Happy New Year to you.  I apologize for my recent blog absence.  I’m finally emerging from the intense demands of writing a book (while parenting 3 boys!).  I'm planning to post regularly this year, and share with you ways you can be intentional (and laugh) in this most-important job of raising children (and ourselves.) I'm not big on resolutions, since too often we ignore/forget our intentions.  (Or is it just that I’m too unresolved?)  I do like the idea of thinking some about what we want in the future, but I’d encourage you to link the activity to a different process I’m definitely big on:  reflection.  (I’ll be posting a video blog on reflection in the near future.)  As the new year begins, reflect on what your vision is for yourself and for your family.  What’s been working?  What isn't working and needs an overhaul?

A couple of my friends begin their new year by writing out a mission statement for their family, with objectives in various aspects of life (physical, intellectual, spiritual, recreational, etc.) and action steps to reach those goals.  I love that idea.

But for now, for me, I will be reflecting on how to better balance nurturing each of my kids, my marriage, and myself.  I’ll help my kids reflect as well.  On a micro-level, I’ll ask them to reflect on their own behavior in a given moment and how others might feel in response.  On a macro-level, I’ll ask them to reflect on how they see themselves—as brothers, as friends, as sons, as people.

And while I'm not making resolutions this year, I did ask my kids what they'd like to change or learn this year, and this is what I got:

My 10-y-old:  "Make All-Stars again this year."

My 7-y-old:  "I want to do baseball better and learn how to bunt.  Oh, and beat the world record of tamale eating."

My 4-y-old:  "Do a better job at being nicer; be a ninja for Halloween, like Ryan and like Brandon was; and go to the same school as my brothers; and do baseball better.  Play golf in the seasons and also play baseball better and also get in some hopping clothes, and with my legs in the same hopping clothes, and hop around on the hopping race."  So good luck to him.