Thursday, August 23, 2007

Holmes Family Portrait

My sister, Lindsay came in to town a couple of days ago, and my mom decided she wanted to take a picture of us. We took the picture, and I immediately ran back into the house to look through my mom's photo albums to find a comparison picture...for my blog, of course. This was the only picture of us all together in the same position/order, so here it is. I think I was 12, My sister 11 and my brother 5.
I now understand why my husband can't resist me! Could YOU?! Just look at the PASSION for LIFE GLOWING in my eyes!

Here we are thirteen years later.

After lots of softball, gymnastics, Karate, wrestling, plays, school, tatoos, babies, kidney stones, one great husband, lot's of girlfriends, and an awesome boyfriend...each of us has turned into our own individual person, and as we reminisce on old times, plaid vest shirts and bangs, we're continuing to learn about and admire each others individuality. I am so grateful for my siblings, and even more grateful for my outfit on some fall day before school in 1994. AWESOME.


On our 4 year wedding anniversary today, I was going to write a mushy post about our wedding and how great it was, but since I have two kids screaming and running around the house like crazy chickens, I've decided to tell you, blog world, the top ten things I love about my husband.

I love my husband because...

1. He values people. I don't think there's anyone on this earth that Steve doesn't see potential in.

2. He loves kids. My husband loves kids more than any man I know. He has WAY more patience with Cameron and Riley than I'll ever have, and I'm very thankful for that.

3. He has an amazing voice. I think the day I officially fell in love with Steve was the first day I heard him sing. I still remember the first song I heard him sing.

4. He does the laundry. I know I've mentioned this one before...but it's really worth mentioning again. Just last night I went on a walk with a friend, and when I got home, he was folding clothes. I could have married him for this reason alone!

5. He loves learning. Whether it's in a book he's reading, a tape he's listening to, or just in conversation...Steve loves to dig deep in learning more about God and living life.

6. He loves sports. I know some women don't like this passion in their men, but I do. Maybe it's because I love sports too, or maybe just because it's such a great common bond he has with most of his male friends.

7. He's passionate. I don't think there's anything Steve doesn't do without passion. Whether it's planning a get together, writing a song, talking to friends, loving his kids and me...he's the most passionate man I've ever known.

8. He has remarkable faith. Steve's faith makes mine look non-existent. I know that sounds terrible, but his strength in knowing and trusting in our "God of the midnight hour" has always been amazing to me.

9. He loves me. The man with all of the qualities listed above loves ME! I'm indebted to God for that.

10. He loves God. Steve's love and desire for God has always been the foundation of our relationship, even before we were married. He 's always put his relationship with God before his love for anything else, and I really can't think of a better way he could love me than by allowing GOD to be his number one. There's so much security in knowing God matters most to him.

I'm so glad to be married to my best friend. On this day, as we celebrate the past 4 years of marriage, I am so thankful for my island man, and the two little island boys he gave me.

Happy Anniversary, Sitivi Lemasani Faiai!

Oute Alofa ia te oe

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Go - Put Your Strengths to Work

Today is the first day of Willow Creek's Leadership Summit. Journey has been a host site of the summit for 4 years now. Every year I find myself refreshed, challenged and incredibly re-motivated to develop my strengths in leadership. This week thousands of church leaders get to sit at the feet of amazing leaders, like Bill Hybels, Carly Fiorina (former CEO of HP), Colin Powell, Jimmy Carter, John Ortberg and more.

All three sessions were incredible today, but I'll definitely have to post about the teachings of Marcus Buckingham. Marcus is a consultant for Gallup and a best selling author. Marcus' two latest books "Go - Find Your Strengths" and "Go - Put Your Strengths to Work" have influenced my outlook on personal potential in incredible ways.

Here are some notes from Marcus Buckingham's Session

In our attempt to find our strengths most of us tend to focus on how to improve on our weaknesses instead of how to build on our strengths. We need to spend NONE of our time finding out who we aren't. We need to spend ALL of our time developing who we are. In making marriages better we study divorce. In finding joy and peace, we study depressed people. These are WRONG approaches in strengthening these areas. In making my marriage better, I need to study what IS RIGHT in my marriage. In seeking joy and peace, I need to spend time thinking about where and when I DO feel joy and peace.

In a poll by Gallup last year, millions of parents of high schoolers were asked to answer the following question: "If your child comes home with their report card with the following grades- A in English, A in History, C in Biology and an F in Math, which one of those grades do you give the most attention?" Out of millions of people in 6 different countries, 70% of these parents say they'd give the "F" the most attention. hmmm?? Something wrong with this picture. We're spending more time enforcing in our children what they AREN'T and giving NO FOCUS to who they truly ARE.
Marcus mentioned that he's not saying we should merely pat our children on the backs for the "A's" but go deeper and ask them why they like that class so much or what intrigues them about that subject that makes them do so well. Marcus said in finding THOSE answers, the "F" will figure itself out. wow!!! WOW!!!

To learn excellence, you must study excellence!

What % of people spend most of the day playing to their strengths?
* 17% (2005); 14% (2006); 12% (2007)

How do we move that number?
* Change your people systems …or…
* Start w/ yourself (put your own oxygen mask on first)

3 myths:
MYTH - As you grow, you personality changes (66% believe this)
Truth - As you grow, you become more of who you are!

MYTH - You’ll grow the most in area of your weaknesses.
Truth - You’ll grow most where you are already strong.

MYTH - A great team member puts their strengths aside and does whatever it takes to help the team.
Truth - A great team member volunteers their strengths to the team most of the time.

3 skills to learn:
* I.D. your strengths
* Change something (put together a strong-week plan)
* Talk about your strengths w/o bragging & your weaknesses w/o whining

What are your strengths?
Take a blank sheet of paper, draw a line on page, right side = “I loved it", left side = “I loathed it”
* Look for 4 signs of a strength
o S - success
o I - instincts (what you look forward to)
o G - growth (you feel your brain “growing” as you do it)
o N - needs (you were put here to do that…)
+ The “I” the “G” & the “N” feed the “S”
o Pick the 3 strongest & write 3 strength statements ("I feel strong when…”)

I am going home encouraged and so excited to identify and put my strengths to work. If you want these books, I'll let you borrow them. They WILL change you!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Happy Birthday, Sweet Riley James!

Our little Riley, turned ONE a few days ago. We had a great time celebrating his life and praising God for how well Riley has recovered from his surgery. Read an entire post about celebrating Riley's first year of life at

Here are some pictures of his big day!
Thanks Sarah Tolson for the great pictures!
This picture was taken while we were all singing "happy birthday". Riley was too tired to be part of it.