And I think I’m more happy than he is about that little fact. Yeah, this isn’t a normal q&a Friday, although I did ask myself quite a few “Q”s through the whole process. Like “How in the world do you sort through all the heaps of info. you need to know to do an Eagle Project?” And “Why in the world is there such an incredible amount of parts to this darn thing?” And “Why will this form we have filled out five times simply not save in the computer so we don’t have to do it all in one shot?” Or “Is all this pain and agony going to be worth it?  But in the end, we became a team, me and this boy, and we both came out smiling.2013-01-21 Claire's birthday 68417 I know you’re not really supposed to be “proud” but man alive I’m pretty excited for this boy of mine.  And you know what?  I’m thanking my lucky stars for the scouting program.  Yes, the rules and regulations and all that goes into it can be a pain sometimes (like, a lot of times), but when you see that shining boy who has completed campout after campout in the cold or in the burning heat and learned what it takes to be a “citizen of the nation” or how to tie a darn knot or how to take charge of “personal management” or even how to relate to other scouts in his troop and his leaders it makes my heart warm to think of boys all over the planet figuring out all these good things and becoming good men in the process. My how he’s changed over his years of scouting.2013-01-23 Eagle Max 68576 Max did the work for the actual Eagle project way back here and here and here (THANK YOU once again for all the help from blog readers!) After that “high” he was on from actually doing the project, he took a break.  And then we got serious about the paperwork. I should have like 52 of these pictures on different days cause boy howdy that little “paperwork” piece seemed to take FOREVER.  2013-01-06 winter 67611 We had to get five merit badges signed off which he had already done the work for so that should be easy, right? But wow, it sure took ages.  2013-01-09 untitled 67634 We were pretty happy when that part was over…2013-01-08 iPhone 68588 There was a deadline to be included in a Court of Honor with a bunch of other boys in our area so Max had to work his tail off to get ready in time.  And that means his mother had to work her tail off too.  At first he thought there was NO WAY we could do it in time.  So many different people to call and things to do.  But as a family we memorized this scripture that first week:

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

–2 Timothy 1:7 And I’m just sure that was the kicker to help him throw those hesitations and fears to the wind and realize he had POWER to get to work. …Or was it the threat of his mom being hopping mad at him if he didn’t?  Hmmmm…I guess we’ll never know, but some how it worked 🙂 He got up the courage to call all those people, go to a bunch of different merit badge counselor houses to get things checked off after little interviews, and get this binder together.2013-01-12 iPhone 68615 But it was really this woman who made this whole Eagle thing happen for him:  2013-01-13 iPhone 68626She is our hero and I know I sound dramatic, but we will remember and love her forever for all she did to help get this done.  She sat down with him and sweetly told him the essay he had written for hours was from the old format and walked him through every step of the submission process. And then suddenly we were there: the night of the award ceremony, up on a stage getting pinned as his parents and beaming with love for this boy of ours who has grown into such a great young man. Here’s the display table we shared with Taylor (our friend who did the Eagle project with Max in India):2013-01-23 Eagle Max 68564 Six boys got their Eagles that night and it was quite a shin-dig.  2013-01-23 Eagle Max 68561 One of the moms made it into a luau with roast pig and everything. Claire and her cousin were pretty excited to help serve up the food for a little bit. 2013-01-23 Eagle Max 68565 We were so grateful to have so much family around to help celebrate.2013-01-23 Eagle Max 68566 I wish I had pictures of everyone, but at least I caught a few.2013-01-23 Eagle Max 68568 So great to have my Dad in town for the big day:2013-01-23 Eagle Max 685672013-01-23 Eagle Max 68569 Awesome grandparents.2013-01-23 Eagle Max 68572 This is when Max started getting bugged about pictures:2013-01-23 Eagle Max 68574I mean, who wouldn’t when their mom makes them do a cheesy pose like that one. So then everyone got loopy.2013-01-23 Eagle Max 68578 And Dave left to take whining Lu home so I didn’t get a pic. of him, and my Dad was too goofy for normal pictures as you can see…2013-01-23 Eagle Max 685792013-01-23 Eagle Max 68577 But in the end, of course, those darn pictures aren’t what matters.  I went in and watched my huge 6’4” child sleep for a minute before I went to bed late that night and I thought I would burst with gratitude for him.  And for the scouting program.  And for all the leaders and grandparents and friends who have shaped who he is becoming. Because I really, really like him. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to be his mother.

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  1. Such a great post! My oldest is a boy and he's only turning 4 next week, but I know stuff like this is going to be here before I know it, and although it will be crazy, it's great to see how special it is when all is said and done. What a great mom you are and a great example!

  2. How great for Max!! It takes a lot of hard work to be an Eagle Scout – but he did it (with help from Mom!)

    I love the comment about watching your boy sleep. I do the same thing. My "boy" is 19 and I still do it – I watched him sleep when he was 6 pounds 2 ounces, and I do it now that he's 6 feet 2 inches tall!

  3. Hooray!! That is so exciting, and so exciting that you only have to go through that process once. Yea Mom! Max is your only child I have actually met I think, so I fully approve of him getting the Eagle scout. And I love the scripture. SO perfect. Love you!

  4. Congrats to the both of you. My oldest son just started boy scouts a few weeks ago, and I'm already impressed with the program and the values it instills in these boys (young men). My husband was an Eagle so that's the direction were heading with our boys.

  5. Totally tearing up! 🙂 My boy is turning 11 soon so that's where we're at, but also my husband was employed by the BSA until a few months ago and it is always so heartwarming to hear people appreciate the program instead of hate on it. 🙂

  6. Congrats! That is such fabulous news! I worked closely with my nephew as he completed his Eagle Scout and I too was amazed at all of the paperwork! It has been fun to see how my nephew has applied the skills he acquired in the Scouting program in his life as he has served a mission and is now in college – Max is such a great kid!

  7. Congratulations!! How wonderful to have your one and only boy finished with his Eagle. With how old I'll be when my baby boy finishes his Eagle, I fear it will be the death of me. FYI – I've been messaging with Florentina Licu from Ploiesti on Facebook – so fun!

  8. Shawni, his "bugged" pictures look just like Dave's "bugged" pictures. That made me laugh. We are in that same process … Congratulations on making it through!

  9. Wow – I enjoyed this post! I read almost daily but commenting slips through the cracks. I couldn't leave without saying that your words are so very often used of God to motivate me. We are starting the Eagle Project this very weekend with my 14 year old first born. I echo all your words about scouting. In the beginning, we rolled our eyes about having to utilize an organization to teach kids campouts and knots. Couldn't we just do that in our own yard. Yeah – well it's a great deal more than that!!!!! And the leadership, and the falling in, and the pecking order and reality and somewhere transforming from a Cubbie to a big boy to a man. It's one of the great things about our Country. Totally teary reading this accomplishment for your son. Way to go Family. Team effort!!!! Love your blog.

  10. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Mom's deserve the award as well. That is for sure. ; )

    Up here in Canada the Eagle Scout equivalent is called the Queen's Venture Award. I am on "my" third one. My third son's ceremony will be this fall. So I DO know how much work goes into this. It truly is an amazing program. Love Scouting and all it does for our young men.

    Mom's here in Canada don't receive any pins or recognition of any sort throughout the Scouting years…..but that's okay. The best reward is watching our boys accomplish all they set their minds out to.

    Congrats Max! Love your smile.

  11. congrats to you both! you're both amazing and i love you both so much. i love this post too because it has all of your catchphrases – "that little fact" "man alive" "thank my lucky stars" "boy howdy" "shin-dig" (just wish it was "wing-dinger shin-dig"). you're the best!!

  12. Congratulations to both of you!! And you totally can be proud of him. It's a LOT of work. (I should know; we helped all five of our sons set and complete that goal.) Scouting really is a family activity, and all the effort really is worth it. You've made some fantastic memories that will never be taken away. Awesome!

  13. Wow Congratulations Shawni and Max! I have heard from Boy Scout leaders how much work it is to get the Eagle scout award. My brother in law was offered a job out of college and the tie breaker or deciding factor for him versus other candidates was that he is an Eagle scout. Congrats!

  14. My husbands family had the requirement that they had to complete their Eagle Scout before they could take their driving test. We decided to do that for our family too but we have one boy and 3 girls, so for them we decided they needed to complete their YW Personal Progress. I love both programs and the way it helps them grow, work hard, set goals and work towards something big that will take them years of keeping at it.

  15. What a wonderful accomplishment! Congrats Max!
    Scouting is such a wonderful and fruitful activity. And so very few actually make it to Eagle Scout…you have every right to be proud!

  16. This is so awesome! What a big accomplishment! My boy just earned his arrow of light and entered the Boy Scout program. Boys like Max are really what inspire him to continue. I'm so excited to see the way my son will grow on his journey to Eagle 🙂

  17. Shawni you continue to inspire me to be a better parent. Your children are so blessed to have you as their mother.Congratulations Max it's a huge achievement 🙂 Fay Bunbury Western Australia

  18. You're getting me really excited to help my 4 boys when the time comes…NOT 🙂 Oh boy, I have a lot of work ahead of me. congrats to Max, that is great!

  19. A-men about that being a ton of work! I loved all the questions you wrote at the beginning of your post, they were exactly the same questions I had going through this with my son.

    We're in the middle of the whole mission process now and that two has been an eye-opening experience.

    Congratulations on your Eagle Scout!

  20. You are adorable. I hope to be half the mother you are. I love your posts about your family because your love for them just shines through. You are a wonderful person and I feel so blessed to get to know you through your blog. Thank you for sharing with us! Congratulations to Max! I have four boys and can't wait for them to become Eagles. My oldest is ready to do his project and as overwhelming as it is, I'm so excited for him!!

  21. Awww… that is so nice. My first child, a boy, is 6 months old. This makes me even more excited to see what he is going to be like, and what he will be interested in as he grows up.

  22. congratulations to Max (& you) That sure is an achievement! The Scout program seems to really shape boys into men who can be proud of themselves & make great contributions to society. It makes me wish even more they still did Scouts at church here in Australia. We only have the 'duty to God'program. it seems like we're missing out on something big & wonderful.

  23. Way to go Max! I do have a question though; why did you mention that you shouldn't be proud of him? Is there something bad about being proud of your child's accomplishments? I'm not trying to be rude or anything; I really am wondering what your opinion is about that.

  24. I so needed to read this. After serving as a Cubmaster (and having my first baby, a girl) for a year and a half, I got so bugged with scouts. I'm expecting Baby #2, a boy, and have been known to say that I hope the church discontinues their participation in scouting before he turns 8. (Having a husband serve as scout master at the same time, and longer, probably hasn't helped. I resent those campouts!) I need to be reminded that there are good things, and the program is in place for more than sending the BSA a ton of money for badges, beads and uniforms. Thanks for sharing the transformitive side of scouting.

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