Monthly Archives: June 2012

Max, the real Tough Mudder of the fam!

Max had surgery to remove a cyst above his eye and when it was healing he looked like he had been in a bar/pre-school fight.


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Jenny speaks teddy bear, I speak owl… what conflict language do you speak?

Conflict Styles: Advantages and Disadvantages

We have recently gone through a module on learning conflict styles.  Look at the list below and number yourself 1-5 on what conflict styles you are most to least likely to function under.  We usually all are strongest in one of these, but a sign of true spiritual maturity is learning how to speak the language of others under conflict and stress.  Check out the list and let us know what you think:

Sharks (Competition)


* Useful when quick decision/action is required

* Useful when being right matters more than preserving relationship


* Goals achieved at the expense of others

*Stops exploration of new approaches

Turtles (Avoidance)


* Postpones tension

* Useful when others can solve the problem more effectively


* Residue of negative feelings/pent up anger

* Restricts input

Teddy Bears (Accomodation)


* Useful to preserve harmony

* Avoids disruption; prevents competition


* Sacrifices own point of view

*Likely harbors resentment; frustration with others who wish to problem solve

Foxes (Compromising)


* When quick solution is required and both parties give up something

* Goals of both side moderately important but not worth fighting for


* Mediocrity; half-hearted commitment to the agreed-upon solution

* Possible unprincipled agreement/ lowering standards/patching symptoms

Owls (Collaboration)


* Mutual exploration of new approaches and mutual resolution of conflict

* Gains commitment- as it achieves goals of all members, safeguards the interests of the organization and maintains the well being of the relationship


* Can be time consuming/wastes time/over processing burns people out

* Distraction from more important tasks/ analysis paralysis

What we learned was that we all resort to our native tongue (speaking turtle, owl, etc) when we are in a conflict.  Maturity is taking the time (just like Jenny and I will be learning Arabic) to learn the language of others on your team.  For example, sharks have good things to provide, but need to learn how to speak teddy bear to teddy bears and visa versa.

These are great things for all of us to study and learn in order to best work with people!!!

Any feedback?

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Tough Mudder knocked me out!!

So me and a few of my closest friends went to Indiana for a Tough Mudder challenge:  12 miles, 25 obstacles, 3.5 hours!!  Without going into all the details I must say that it was totally awesome and I highly recommend it to anyone.  Above all things it’s a great reason to train and try to keep fit throughout the year.

The only story I will share is what happened to me as I ran through the last obstacle (electric shock therapy) which is the final 10 yards before the finish line.  I watched everyone else in our group run through and not get knocked down, so I went for it in all my glory.  You have to jump over hay bails which force you to encounter the electric wires, and as I jumped over the very first one a cable hit my back, my whole body went limp, and I dropped face first like a pinata at a Brown bday party right into a couple inches of mud.  It truly took me about 2 seconds to even understand where I was.  At first I thought someone had kicked me in the head, but then I realized the electric shock knocked my lights out… totally awesome.  I got up only to get shocked bad one more time, then finally made it out crawling and to the finish.  Notice the mud on my face after the face plant!!

Any other Tough Mudders out there??

Click here to find out how to sign up for the next one.


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Goodbye Colorado!

After four weeks of traveling we are finally headed home tomorrow! Sounds too good to be true! The boys of the family haven’t held up as well as the girls. On Thursday morning, not even 12 hours after being home, Stevie is getting a root canal and Max is headed to the Dr as well. Poor boys! Then I head off to visit my college girlfriends for the weekend and Stevie will embark on the “tough mudder” race on Saturday.
Our last week here in Colorado Springs was so fabulous! We visited Estes Park and Boulder as well as cousin Megan in Erie! AND we realized that Ella can out-hike us all.
There was a huge storm here last week thAt even made national news. We didn’t experience any of it, but saw these magnificent clouds! The other picture is of my man winning the ping pong tourney. So proud!
Hugs! W hope to see you soon!




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We have just started our third week in Colorado Springs! The weather has been perfect and we are meeting so many great new friends…but…
It’s a long way from home!
Better stay familiar with that idea, right?
The above picture is of my two boys hiking on the mountains behind where we are staying!

Last week we learned about our conflict styles. If you know us you might already be grinning. Anybody want to guess what Stevie and I are? You can choose between the shark, fox, owl, turtle, and teddy bear….
No! I am not a shark. Ha! I am the teddy bear. Which means that I do not like conflict and tend to avoid it. I would rather preserve a relationship than enter into conflict even at the expense of saying how I truly feel. Some might call this a people pleaser.
Stevie on the other hand does not mind confrontation 🙂 He is an owl…highly relational, but at the same time highly motivated to come to a decision on any conflict. Everything must have a solution!
It was a fun week and we have learned a lot about each of our styles.
We have each of these conflict styles within our team which has allowed for interesting discussions.
Where do you think you fall? Are you a teddy bear too? What are the good things about being a teddy bear? What are the things that can be a hindrance in relationships? I challenge you to question your conflict handling style and not get caught only operating in one way. We show our immaturity when we are unable to enter into another mode of operation.
Just a few thoughts!
Have a fabulous week!

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