Tag Archives: awesome

House Rules


One of the hardest parts of parenting is being consistent.  After a tough day at work, one might find themselves either too exhausted to battle wills with or very short with a child.   I sat down early one Saturday morning and wrote out a list of House Rules that apply to everyone in the household, and made a copy for everyone and placed a copy on the fridge for everyone’s viewing pleasure.  I’ve had to add some addenda over time.

House-of-Holmes Rules

  1. Every person in the house will show respect to every other person in the house.  We take turns.  We are courteous.  We say please, excuse me, and thank you.
  2. Every person in the house will stand up and greet visitors to our home.  Hugs not required to be given to strangers (ADDENDUM –  or the UPS man.)
  3. No running in the house unless it is on fire or there is a need for a tourniquet.  (ADDENDUM – SPEED WALKING IS THE SAME AS RUNNING) (ADDENDUM – SKIPPING IS THE SAME AS RUNNING IN THE HOUSE)
  4. No more animals.  (ADDENDUM – Yes, a hamster counts as an animal) (ADDENDUM – I mean it!)
  5. Dirty dishes belong in the dishwasher (ADDENDUM – if the dishes in the dish washer are clean, please don’t put your dirty dish in.  Empty the dishwasher first).
  6. If you are going to be gone for more than one night, make your bed.
  7. Dirty clothes left in the bathroom will be donated to Goodwill.  (ADDENDUM – No, I will not replace your missing basketball shorts).
  8. Honesty is the ONLY policy.  Consequences for violating this rule triple that of anything else.  Once trust is lost, it’s hard to find.
  9. Indoor voices are for indoors.  Outdoor voices are for outdoors.  (ADDENDUM – use a headset when using any device that makes noise) (ADDENDUM – all noise making toys will be sent to the grandparent’s home that purchased them)
  10. You have no right to privacy when you live in this house or you are supported by my paycheck.  you will be given privacy out of courtesy in many cases, but never believe it is a right. I am ALWAYS watching you.
  11. Homework before TV (ADDENDUM – homework before everything)
  12. Kitchen closes at 9 PM (ADDENDUM – does not apply when having overnight guests)
  13. No negotiating on the rules after one has been broken.  If you want to talk about one, talk about it beforehand and never when there’s emotion involved.
  14. Do something nice whenever possible.
  15. Everyone in the house goes to church.
  16. You are required to laugh, love, hug, & communicate.

After implementing these, life in the house became much less stressful and I highly recommend parents (and children) come up with their own list of house expectations.

Be awesome!

Coached by an 11 Year Old

Since I’ve had kids old enough to play sports or participate in team activities, I’ve coached.  My resume includes T-ball, softball, baseball, football, soccer, & Destination Imagination (check this one out).  Every team & child has had a distinct personality, but over time the kids have grown up, some are even married with kids of their own.   I’ve forgotten names and the faces are now blurry.  But often, one touches my heart.  

This year it’s Ethan (not his real name).  Ethan is obese.  During warm ups at soccer practice, he struggles to stretch.  When time comes to run a lap, he always goes last because he doesn’t want to hold up the line.  From the outside, there’s nothing remarkable.  I coached teams in the past years that’s played against him, and never really gave him a second thought.  However this year, I’ve discovered there’s a very special person shining bright for those that get to know him.

The first thing I noticed about Ethan was his manners.  He never asks or answers a question without a please or sir.  That is, unfortunately, becoming a rare trait in today’s youth.  Ethan is the first to help up a fallen team mate, or offer knuckles or a high five for a nice play.  His smile is infectious, as is his positive attitude.  

Friday night at practice, I asked him his plans for the night.  He said he was going home, getting his homework finished, so he could spend the rest of the weekend being awesome.  “What did you say?”  I asked.  He repeated his plans.  I was blown away by his answer.  It sat on my brain all night and I had to get more details.

After Saturday’s game, I asked Ethan how his Friday night went.  He said it was fine.  I then asked him what he meant the night before by “being awesome.”  He said that he thinks of ways to be a better person, and ways to be nice to other people.  Holy crap.  This is an 11 year old kid!  I patted his shoulder and told him to never stop being awesome.  He looked up and said “Never!” and jogged off to his parents.

I’m amazed at kid’s attitude.  Instead of feeling left out or embarrassed by his obesity, as I sometimes do (by definition, I’m obese as well), he totally ignores it and creates light in the darkness.  

I think I’m the one being coached this season, by an 11 year old, and I’ll gladly forfeit my title to be just like him.



Touching the Heart of an Artist

It’s so easy to touch someone’s heart, but we fail so often to make the effort.  I did so yesterday, almost by accident.  I spent the weekend at Jon Acuff’s START Conference in Nashville, based on the New York Times best selling book START.    It was NOT a motivational conference…it was an inspirational gathering of a community of people that are on their personal journeys to find their awesome.  I heard touching stories and shook hands and hugged some of the greatest people of this generation…and that was just the audience.  After the conference, I met comedian John Crist, & Artist Dana Tanamachi at a private dinner.  But that’s really not the story.

Yesterday, I got my haircut and during the conversation I looked at the lady in the mirror and asked her, quite out of the blue, “What is your dream?”
She asked what I meant.
I said if you could do anything, what would your “anything” be?
She looked stunned and said, I just cut hair. I told her she wasn’t a hair cutter but an artist that made people feel good about themselves and artists were dreamers.

She just stood there looking stunned. A tear rolled down her cheek. I let her soak it in, wondering if I had went too far.  I’m guessing she started thinking about all the “what ifs” in life that she didn’t have the courage to chase.

She was quiet the remainder our time together and I respected her thoughts and didn’t interrupt them.

I left her a large tip and told her to not forget to chase her dream.

As long as that lady is breathing, she can still live her AWESOME.

And she hugged me as I left.

I’m a Crime Victim

This morning I found out I had been robbed.

While my focus has been elsewhere, sometime over the last 3 months someone has taken a few things and I never took the time to notice.  I’m not sure how I’m suppose to feel about it.

If I had been at home more, I know it would not have happened.  But I’ve let myself become distracted by a new exercise obsession and I’m not at the house in the evenings nearly as much as before.

I have a big meeting at work today and I need to wear something nicer than my khakis.  My favorite suit was pulled from the closet and when I put on my pants, they slid right down.  Something wasn’t right.  I checked the label to make sure someone hadn’t switched pants on me.  Nope.

Then an idea struck.  I got out a measuring tape.

The audacity of the crime!!!!

They took 3 inches from my tummy.

They took another 2 inches from my chest.

And to top it off, they walked out with an inch and a half from each of my thighs.

They stole it from my body while I was busy exercising.

My wife advised me not to call the police.

Be Awesome!





Seven for an Awesome Weekend

Seven simple things to do this weekend…

  1. Turn off your smart-phone (for the love of all that’s good and holy!!!)
  2. Call someone from your past (not necessarily your ex), just to say “hello.”
  3. Hold the door for the next person (bonus points if they are 20+ years older than you)
  4. Smile at a baby (they USUALLY smile back..if they start crying, quickly walk the other way)
  5. Get up early (coffee helps…really) and spend some quality time thinking
  6. Read a book (the sports ticker doesn’t count)
  7. Eat something you’ve never eaten before (if you need a suggestion, add bacon to a PB&J…yum!)

Slow down…smell the proverbial roses.  Try living in “the now”… just one weekend.  

It’s liberating!

Be awesome!