Friday, April 4, 2008

Bellingham Herald Announcement

Click the link to read the article from today. I am glad they used the picture with Papa. Papa is so very proud and has been the one to support him, attend every game, meet, recital, etc. I am very proud of Mason and so happy for Papa, it is a dream come true for them both and me. All my kids are wonderful and I have to say, they had the best Papa to help support them in all their goals.

There was also this article the days before:

So, off to ASU this summer. It is going to be a long trip! And it is also going to cost, since it is out of state. He did have an offer from U of W, but, when we met with him it was pretty obvious Mason had no intention of attending. It is a great school. Mason just liked the ASU program, campus and commitments that ASU is willing to provide. But, gosh, the U would have been so close….so nice! But, it is Mason’s choice…he is the one that has to live and learn there!

Now, we have to start getting use to the idea of him being SO far away. It has been mostly all about him since the girls left and he has kept us pretty busy. I can't imagine what it will be like when he is gone. Especially for Papa, who is the one that has gone to every event Mason ever had. He might have missed one or two in the 18 years of this boys life, but, believe me, it was not by his choice! I have this feeling, Papa is going to be planning some trips for us to take next year!

I have to say, we are very proud of Mason for the decisions he has made that got him here. He was always throwing Papa and I loops with the things he has done since he was a toddler.

For instance, when he was in the 1st or 2nd grade. He had been playing chess with Papa for a few years, but, now he wanted to enter a tournament. A tournament? So, Papa just told him to print out the application and Papa would give him the Entrance Fee and send it off. Mason did, he got what he needed, and filled out the forms, etc. And Papa paid the fee.

Off we go, he wins the first round, and we are happy for his luck. He wins the second round and we are wondering what the heck is going on? He wins the THIRD one and we are dumbfounded as well as other parents who never saw this child before come in and just start winning! So they are asking us who we are, where did this kid come from, etc. The last match he loses, but, he ties for 3rd place. Oh, My, Gosh! Talk about tickled, proud and totally blown away parents! And Mason...disappointed he did not win! We had to tell him over and over how well he did and proud we were!

This is the kind of thing he has done to us all his life. Every time we turn around he is doing something that makes our jaw drop. Like the day he came home from elementary school. "how was your day?" I asked him after a while. "Oh, okay." He says as he plays his game. "Well, what did you do, do you have homework?" "No, no homework. Today we had the "All school marathon." He tells me. "You did? Well, how did you do in it?" I asked while I continued to work in the kitchen. And you know what he says to me....."Oh, I came in first." as he continued to play his game! Like, no big deal...who cares....quit bugging me, I am playing my game! What?!! I made him repeat it!

He never tooted his own horn and always just did what he wanted. He would just happen to do well at just about everything. I mean, he started bowling before he even started school, and played every fall till I think right after starting high school. He was also involved in playing the Cello. Not to mention, playing baseball since T-ball till his Jr. Year when he decided he wanted to quit and run instead. What?!

You want to quit baseball? We were a bit taken aback. Especially Papa, who LOVES Baseball! But, he says, "I am not quitting baseball to loose." And he mentions he is going to run track. Well, ok. He was already running Cross Country and doing well. He was the only "male" runner to qualify for state that year on the boys team from his school, and had to go with the whole girls team to the state meet. (They actually let him take a friend, so he would not be "alone"). That was interesting!

But, when he got to Sehome, he had a wonderful mentor, Jake Riley. Mason thrived on Jakes help and loved competing with him and learning from one of the best runners in the state. The rest is history.

So, Good going Mason and Papa….you both have brought me so much pride in all that you do and have done. You have made me one proud Mama!

And to all that has helped support Mason, by helping to provide shoes, rides or those that came to cheer him and the team on. Everyone’s help was very instrumental in Mason’s desire to do his best.

On another note…there is something very important I have been thinking about for a while. You hear me now and how I am trying to think of ways to raise money for Mason’s future. It being hard now that I am not allowed to work, per Doctors order, I am trying more creative and resourceful ways to provide. So, this is an important subject.

They one thing that ALWAYS bugged me was the fact that it takes SO much money to support your kids through these programs. We wanted our kids to be active in what they liked, but, it costs a fortune to do it. It is NOT fair to other very talented children whose parents are not able to afford the fees or other costs it takes to join these programs.

Of course it takes money to run these programs and there are numerous parents and other people that volunteer their time to help out. There has even been times when Mason was provided with equipment and discounts when we could not afford it by very generous people, and others that let us pay later. Kudos to them for all their selflessness. If it was not for them, Mason and many kids would not be where they are today. But, it is not enough. We barely were able to do it and went in the hole a couple times doing it. There were many times we had to tell one of the kids, "no, I am sorry, we cannot afford it."

And now, we have to come up with College costs. Costs that I know, many families would not be able to pay. Even though Mason got a scholarship, we are still responsible for the rest, that the scholarship does not cover. And it is a chunk of change. Kids and parents should not be denied this kind of opportunity because they do not have the income.

That should never have to happen to any child or parent. My dream is to have a fund for kids to use so they can participate in programs and sports. A fund for any child that wants to participate, but, cannot due to money they do not have. A fund to help with fees, equipment, transportation, etc.

Children and parents need to have access to these programs for so many reasons. The two most important ones I can think of are: One, to keep them busy and out of trouble and another is to help curb the obesity in kids that have nothing to do but, sit and either watch T.V. or play video games.

There are programs out there, especially here in our city for kids to go to. But, even with the programs, there are still costs to have lessons, join teams, buy equipment, or even have transportation to the events and practices.

I have watched through the years, how it seems only the well off families were able to pay and play. We are loosing out on many, many other talented and willing children because of this.

So, it is something that has been on my mind. And when I can think of a way, I just might start such a fund, so our kids can have that chance and parents don't need to go bankrupt trying to provide their children with the opportunities to succeed. I just have to think of ways to raise the money and have a plan on how the funds would be distributed. That is a lot! But, I got some time now, so I should start to see what it would take to do this. Maybe when I get my crafts done, I can donate a percentage. But, I am sure that would not bring in enough.

If anyone has ideas…please share!

Gotta go….now, I am sure you all have had enough. I know I have! I will talk to you all soon enough!

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