Some Big Moments in Mason’s Life

This month has brought some great moments for the Mason Man! First up was him receiving his Eagle Scout Award on October 20th. After a lot of work and many merit badges, as well as finishing up his project to fix up & collect gently used bikes to give to charity, he is officially and Eagle Scout! It was a proud and happy moment to be his mom. He is not one to want to be in the spotlight, but he handled it great. He carried himself well and it has been wonderful to see him grow and develop in his character and leadership abilities. I appreciate both Grandpas’ in his life and the amazing scouting legacy that has been laid before Mason. Grandpa & Grandma Parker were able to participate via Skype from their mission in Brazil. Bruce gave Mason the eagle charge. My dad did a magical fire lighting and was the recipient of the mentor pin. He helped Mason go over his application and get it ready to submit at the Council office. He also been an avid role model for scouting for all of Mason’s life. Grandma Baldwin helped out with the refreshments. I don’t know what I would have done without all of the help!! Mason is a lucky young man to have amazing men in his life to strive to become like. Stephen has also been such a great help and support to Mason. It is fun that his calling as Scout Committee Chairman enabled him to be more of an active part with the presentation and preparing involved. Mason has also had many wonderful leaders all through his scouting years, including Cub Scouts. Keep up the great work Mason!!

We just got home this past weekend from a trip to Boys State Soccer in Boise where Mason was able to go with his team. It was a growing year for Mason as he was the only freshman on the team. It wasn’t his favorite to have to be the bag boy and not get to dress down because they had one too many players, but I was proud of him for sticking with it and being a good support to his team. He got a sweet sweatshirt and sweats as part of the deal. He also got to travel with the team and be at the hotel and eat some awesome free meals! He has been motivated to work even harder for next year and is talking about what he needs to do to be able to be a “starter” next year. We think and hope the team with again find themselves at State. It was great to watch the level of playing that we saw – such a treat! As a mother, I have appreciated the way the older boys have reached out and tried to help Mason feel good about this year. It is cool to see boys be sensitive and compassionate. I have been impressed by several boys and the quality of who they are becoming – not only as players but their character. Mason is blessed to have learned from some of them this year. His team finished off the season with taking third place on the state level! It is the highest the sugar soccer team has ever come, and that is something to brag about.

It’s been a good few weeks for Mason!

Freshman Year – entry to the High School Years

My man Mason is officially in High School. He was looking pretty "legit" this morning and is sure to turn a few girls' heads. 🙂 He has found a deeper voice to come out and talk with, and was happy to let me know he even has a few arm pit hairs. Apparently that is an important right of passage to enter through.

I will take this opportunity to let the reader know that I am taking this moment to profusely gush and brag about my oldest guy. I'm so so happy I get to be his mom. He has taught me so much. More than I ever thought I wanted to learn…haha, but seriously he is helping me understand that my way isn't the only way. He has some pretty awesome ways to do things in life – ways that I don't very often consider, but that work for him and make him happy. I love watching him live life and experience it in his way. I have learned that he can be depended on and has a giant heart. I am glad he still lets me get away with a side hug and endures my long winded "discussions". He is teachable and that is a wonderful character trait to possess.

He is NOT excited about school, but he should be he is stinking SMART! Let me say it again…he is smart, don't ever let him fool you. At school he made the High School soccer team. I heard that he even got to play at this past Saturday's games while I was out of town and did a heck of a job! He is the only freshman on the team and is out of his comfort zone, and I admire him for trying out even though it was intimidating for him. I hope and think he learned even more about life and himself by doing this, than he is learning about soccer. He also still plays the trumpet in band at school. I think he enjoys it at his pace. He doesn't love to practice because he is afraid someone might just hear him – silly boy!

He has worked hard this summer to finish up his Eagle project and has done some great work. Stephen and I have been excited to watch him blossoming as a leader. He knows what he wants to accomplish and is gentle in his approach at getting people to follow his lead. He has grown up a lot and gotten the opportunity to work and interact with many adults, peers, and younger kids. His project was to collect bikes for needy children. He called the Upper Valley Resource Center and worked with Paul Hymas to get the job done. He rallied his cousins and family to help him distribute flyers at the fourth of July Parade to help get the word out. He put a trailer and sign out in front of our house to collect donated, gently used, bikes for the month of July. He also retrieved bikes from peoples homes and organized and assessed the bikes' needs and made a list. He got generous donations from Sticks and Stones to make the needed improvements. He made arrangements with his quorum to come help, and had the knowledge to fix up the bikes that needed fixing. He also made sure the other bikes were safe. He collected and dropped off 24 bikes! Stephen, the new Scout Committee Chairman, and my dad, Grandpa Baldwin, were such a huge help in getting all of the paperwork completed and turned in. His is now waiting for his board of review and then hopefully can say he is officially and Eagle Scout very soon! It has been awesome to see how much growth has occurred and confidence was gained through his experience in the scouting program this far. I am grateful for Mason and his desire to WANT to be an Eagle despite how much work it is to achieve! He has genuinely enjoyed scouting and has learned many skills that will not only benefit him, but hopefully others for the rest of his life. I love to watch him get excited about camping. His leaders appreciate that he can manage to go on camp outs with just a small amount of stuff. They always tell me that they wish other boys would get along with less "stuff"  like him.

Mason loves to putter around in the garage and work on things like three wheeler engines and rebuilding bike frames, or building a unicycle or inventing a cool wheeled contraption for younger siblings to enjoy. He comes in the house with greasy hands and leaves imprints on my white doors and has grease stains on several items of clothing. While other mothers are venting to me of their teenage boys being lazy and idle, I think of my complaints of greasy shoes and hands and then decide to be grateful. I love to see his greasy nose and sweaty face and scuffed up shoes from working on his stuff. 

He loves motorcycles and the thrill of the ride. He would love it if I would allow him to ride motorcycles or bikes around town all day long. He has passed on this passion for wheels to his idolizing little brother. JT will follow Mason anywhere and really trusts his big brother. He knows how cool Mason is and is his buddy out in the garage. They are turning into good friends.

We have worked hard in our home at being responsible with jobs around the house this summer. Do you know how cool it is to see your 14 year old boy load a dishwasher, make dinner,  and wipe off the counter or clean a bathroom, and then know that he could go out and help your husband change the oil in a car? That is pretty cool stuff! I appreciate that although Mason doesn't LOVE to do the house jobs, he WILL Do them.

I have enjoyed having some very meaningful conversations with Mason. He can be such a quiet and private person at times that some wouldn't know how deep, thoughtful, witty, loving, and gentle he can be. He is also very resourceful and energetic as well. He has a competitive edge that helps push him forward to accomplish the projects he desires with ease. When you give him a motivation or reason to do some thing he can believe in – he has amazing ambition and determination!

Mason is a true boy and loves to eat. He is eating a lot these days and is growing like a weed! He jumped 2 shoe sizes from last year and now wears a size 10 1/2.

I look forward to seeing this guy realize just how much he is capable of. I've always told him he is a diamond in the rough (as we all are). I have full confidence that he will get to do some pretty amazing things in his life time and will help many for good. I hope he always remembers that he is Child of God and because of that has unlimited potential.  I think of Mason and just want to squeeze him so tight and yell out to the world  – this boy is going to go places and he is my son!!!

Bike Date with Mason

Mason's best friend is his dad. He loves to spend time with him and can't wait for him to come home from work each day. You can imagine his loneliness a couple of weeks ago when Stephen left town for an entire week for some training in Washington D.C. By the time Thrusday came around Mason was itching for somebody to hang out on his bike with. He said slyly to me, "Mom, I haven't ever been on a mt. bike ride with you around our house since you got your new bike, how about we go on a ride tomorrow after school?" I looked out the window before I committed and took note of the wind. I replied with, "As long as it's not windy outside, I would love to." Mason kept his eye on the weather and when he arrived home Friday after school he was a bit down. When I asked him what the matter was, he remarked how we probably wouldn't be able to go on our bike ride because it was too windy. I couldn't resist him and despite the wind, told him to load up the truck and we would head out. He was soo happy! I was so happy to see his happiness. I text Stephen and jokingly said, "I'm going for mom of the year." I really don't enjoy biking in the wind – especially with dirt blowing.

We ended up taking along one of Mason's friends and had a memorable time. I love being one of Mason's biggest fans, even though I get very nervous and anxious about him getting hurt on the jumps. He is very talented and has worked hard to develop his biking skills. I think he is turning into a wonderful young man. I am flattered that my 13 year old boy would want to spend Friday afternoon with his old mama! This date will be one of my favorite memories from getting to be Mason's mom.

He’s a Star

Mason is progressing along the ranks of scouting and at this past Blue and Gold Scout Banquet/Court of Honor found himself with 6 more merit badges, a 10 month camper award, and a scout advancement to Star Scout. He is has only 1 more required merit badge to go for his eagle and is beginning to get excited about his upcoming project. He would love to groom and mark a mt. bike trail up at Kelly Canyon for his project. He will see what the committee says when the time comes closer!

Gearing Up Life

Mason said his favorite part about Christmas Vacation was NO SCHOOL! Some things never change. He is my boy that would be happy to stay home everyday and putter around doing nothing. He creates his own fun and is rarely found in front of the TV or Wii – although he does enjoy it once in a while. He is getting very excited about Snowboarding at Kelly Canyon beginning this coming Friday for the month of January. We went to the cabin yesterday and he was able to give his snow bike a test drive down the hill. I love to see the smile on his face when he is truly happy. It is priceless!

Mason enjoys scouts and the camp outs that come with it – every month! He is determined to get his year round camping award. He missed the camp out for November with the scouts and took it upon himself to camp out on his own. Stephen and I were in Idaho Falls at the Forgotten Carols on one of the last nights of November when we came home to a note etched in Mason's script: "I am sleeping out in the cabin in the Forrest." Stephen went out to check on him and he was curled up snug as a bug inside our Island Parker Cabin located on the north side of our house. I was impressed with his initiative and determination to camping out.

Mason wouldn't say that he is becoming a great trumpet player, but I will! He is very shy and not excited about playing in front of ANYBODY, but when we coax him to I am so delighted! He is a great little player. Although he claims he hates it and won't play in front of anyone, he seems to enjoy being in the band with Mr. Sear. He even told me he has aspirations to play in the High School Jazz Band. I really hope so! I love Jazz and to get to see my boy play it, it would be just awesome.

It has also been fun to watch Mason grow up this year. This is the year that Mason has become more aware about looking & smelling good. Every mother must love this awareness! One of his Christmas Gift requests was for cologne and deodorant. LOVE IT! He is growing into such a handsome guy, don't you think?

Today is the day that his Remote Control Car will arrive! To say he is excited would be an understatement! He helped Stephen fix up some old computers to sell in order to have enough money to purchase his dream Car. He was disappointed that all of the holidays were delaying the arrival of his sweet car. I can't wait to see him drive it around. He spent countless hours window shopping on the computer every morning during the entire Christmas break for this moment to arrive…

Mason Loves Bikes and is Building his Character too

Mason is happy when he is riding, looking, or talking about bikes. I couldn't miss this photo opportunity when I caught him sleeping with a fork that his Uncle Eric sent up for him. He must have had some good dreams!

Shortly after this photo as taken he received his new ride in the mail and put it together with Stephen. Mason worked extra hard for months to earn the money for his new bike. He spent weeks reviewing and picking out the one the would fit his budget the best and have the sweetest components – and the one pictured fit the bill.

The other photo is a bonus shot from crazy hair day. Lexi did a mohawk of mini pony tails down Mason's head. I am so glad my kids have school spirit and enjoy participating in spirit week during homecoming week. I think that is cool – I think I was too shy to do stuff like this.

p.s. Mason isn't really mad about his hairdo, he is just in pain from having his hair pulled on. 🙂


One other great story about Mason is one of integrity and discipline. A moment that made his mother very proud! He went to Utah last weekend to see his cousin Jane Baldwin get blessed. It was fast Sunday weekend. He went to Utah with Grandma and Grandpa Baldwin and Alexis. The rest of us stayed home to practice for our primary program. After the gang in Utah got out of church, the tweens ran to Grandma Baldwin's car seeking treats and candy for their starving bellies. Grandma said she retrieved the candy from the trunk and began passing it around when she heard Mason state, "Hey guys we haven't broken our fasts yet." Others disregarded his statement as he stayed strong and disciplined for the fast that he had begun for his Uncle Everett. Grandma said when he got back to the house he must have found a spot to say a prayer and then found her for some goodies. 

When I heard my mom tell me this story, my heart swelled in honor of Mason and the young man he is becoming. I have much more trust and respect toward him through this simple, yet profound to me, action. I appreciate him staying loyal to himself and his cause. This kind of choice is what creates great character. LOVE my boy and LOVE the choice and example he was in this moment. I guarantee when I was his age I would have not been as noble!

Cedar Badge 2011

Mason enjoyed his opportunity to attend Cedar Badge this summer! He learned many valuable leadership lessons and skills – including manners. We have noticed a difference and it is a good addition to Mason's life. It was fun to know that cousin, Jed, was there as well as Grandpa Baldwin as Camp Chaplain.

When asking Mason about how the week went, he gave most attention to a mock ax accident that apparently was very believable by acting youth staff. This left an impression. Despite a couple of rain storms, Mason loved his time so much at Cedar Badge that he plans on attending next year – he even would love to try to get on staff!


Grandpa and Grandma Parker said…

you look like a real fine scout, and you and your Grandpa Baldwin look really great together
Monday, August 22, 2011 9:18:42 PM

Michelle said…

That looks like a great experience. Keep up the good work.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011 8:23:38 AM

Spring Soccer 2011

So proud of this boy!!!! What a great 6th grade year for Mason.

Mason and Stephen just finished the Spring Soccer season last week! Stephen volunteered to be an assistant coach, and ended up being the main coach. It wasn't without a headache and drama either from soccer parents. He LOVED being with Mason and watching him progress. Mason just keeps moving up in skill level, sportsmanship, and determination. It is fun to see him out on the field! I don't remember many games without a coat on. 🙂


Anne said…

Mason, you are doing such great things, keep up the good work :).
Monday, May 30, 2011 7:13:03 AM

Michelle said…

What a great example you are!
Wednesday, June 01, 2011 8:39:41 AM

Officially a Deacon

Mason is now officially a deacon for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He felt very loved and supported by many of our family members who live close by. Thanks to all who showed your support and faith in Mason in this new and special step in his life. He is lucky to have so many wonderful righteous men to look to for examples. What a blessing!

Unfortunately when I was put on the spot to bear my testimony before Mason's ordination I rambled without making much sense and bearing my testimony of the priesthood. My mind was so full of many thoughts it was hard to sort them out and communicate them properly. I am much better expressed in writing. So someday, if Mason every refers to his blog, I want him to know that I have a testimony of the priesthood. I am very grateful for the priesthood in my personal life, and also grateful that our world has the power of God on the earth! I can not even begin to imagine living without it in my life. I am amazed at the blessings that come from the temple and also as we humbly partake of the sacrament in particular. Of course having a husband who honors his priesthood and strives to live worthy of it, is also a close and special gift. 

I know Mason will continue to be a wonderful individual as he grows older. He has many "specialized" gifts and abilities that make him unique and are preparing him to fulfill the mission he is supposed to perform here on earth. I enjoy being his mother and watching the transformation.


Michelle said…

Congratulations Mason-What a wonderful step in your life. You are such a great example to all of your cousins. Wish we could have been there.
Monday, March 21, 2011 8:23:11 AM

Grandma and Grandpa Parker said…

It was a wonderful and special day for us. We really are thankful to mason for his goodness and diligence in serving the Lord. All we expect is perfection. Thanks for the opportunity.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011 9:19:40 AM

Anne said…

Very cool Mason! It is a very special responsibility, we know you will hold it well :).
Tuesday, March 22, 2011 11:34:09 AM

Message for You

Dear Mason,

This is such a special time in your life. Tomorrow you will be ordained to the office of deacon in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Heavenly Father loves you and He trusts you! You are one of His valiant spirit children from heaven. You are growing fast and with great faith. I appreciate how you try to understand the importance and value the Priesthood has for you as well as all of us here on earth. Your testimony is growing and I can see how your heart continues to absorb and understand the messages you are being taught. It is as if you are remembering what you already know from the spirit world. You have always loved the scripture 1 Nephi 3:7 – it says, "I will go and do the things the Lord commands for I know he giveth no command save He shall prepare a way…" You remind me of Nephi in how much your trust and honor your earthly father. You have an awesome heritage and responsibility to uphold two special family names: Parker and Baldwin. Both of your Grandfathers as well as your dad are great examples of worthy priesthood holders. The righteous traditions they have worked to establish are and will continue to be a wonderful blessing to you now and in the future as you understand things more fully. I have a lot of confidence in you and know you were placed here on the earth to accomplish very specific things to carry out our Heavenly Father's Plan.

 It is so neat to be  your mom here on earth. You have been blessed with many wonderful gifts and abilities. I hope as you enter this role as a priesthood holder you can continue to use them to help others throughout your life. I have noticed many but would like to mention a few specifically: Determination, Dedication, Hard Working, Passionate, Creative, Humble, Teachable, Inquisitive, Courageous, and Trusting.

Determination: I have watched you set your mind to getting good grades and turning your home work in. I have enjoyed seeing how you thought you could do something to knowing you could do it. When you were a little boy of three you would sit and put puzzles together. You would stay with it until you figured each piece out…even after testing all of the different options. You have learned to believe and trust in yourself. 

Dedication: There isn't anything you can't do if you really want to do it. Whether it is jump rope, Origami, Rubicks Cubes, or mt. biking! When your heart it set on something you stick with it until you figure it out.

Hard Working: You have helped our family build several homes as well as do countless projects. It has always amazed me at how hard you can work and the satisfaction you get from work. It is good for you to keep your hands busy – especially while working outside. You have been a wonderful helper to your dad and in the process have learned many beneficial things from him.

Passionate: When you are committed to something you give it all you've got plus 10% more. You eat, drink, sleep it until you have mastered what you've set out to do. This is a very admirable quality.

Creative: Your mind likes to create and build. You like to use your mind to make your hands produce great things.

Humble: You have had the opportunity to learn some of life's hard lessons. When you've found yourself in trouble and facing a consequence I've noticed how amazing you are at acknowledging the mistake and humbling asking for forgiveness or making restitution for the things you've done. This attitude and humility will be a special character trait as you continue on life's journey – none of us are perfect!

Teachable: You are able to accept correction well. You don't seem to get too offended when I offer you advice you didn't ask for. I appreciate you listening and trying to improve in the things that I try to teach you.

Inquisitive: As a little boy you asked millions of questions. I couldn't believe all of the things you wanted to know about – many of which I had NOT the answer and we had to consult dad! This pattern of curiosity is what makes people intelligent, and I truly believe you have a very sharp intellect. As you seek out answers to the questions you have in the future always seek the Lord first and be humble and teachable as the spirit helps you find the answers.

Courageous: Mason you seem to not like being in the spotlight. You would be perfectly happy to watch others shine. I have admired your courage as you've done some hard things to you: like giving talks! Do you know what? I think you are amazing at it. I think as you continue to have courage giving talks will be one of your strengths. You are also very courageous physically. You don't let a scary or hard bike trail or hike stop you. 

Trusting: You have always trusted everything you have been taught by dad and I concerning the gospel. Your faith in us has been perfect. It has been a blessing to have you as a son. The time is approaching now for you to ask and know things for yourself. Trust Heavenly Father and pray to him often and you will know for yourself instead of just trusting dad and I . I hope you will learn to understand what being a child of God means, that you have been put here on the earth to fulfill the mission Heavenly Father has chosen for you, and learn for yourself that this is The true Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on the earth today. As you get older it is natural to question things – when we question we can grow. I want you to know we are not perfect. We are just trying to do our best – just like you. Dad and I have learned that as we trust our Heavenly Father our lives are happiest. 

I love you Mason and feel it an honor to be your mother here on earth.

Love you forever,