You always hope that your kids are listening. I realize that they will never listen ALL the time, but you always hope that some of the important stuff seeps in and sticks. Every once in awhile as a parent, you get a reminder that you're doing OK. No parent is perfect, but my daughter Carly proved that we must be doing something right.

Earlier in the school year we got a notice that Carly would be receiving an award at the end of the school year. This award was for displaying characteristics of what our district likes to call 'The Marion Way'. They encourage kids to focus on honesty, integrity, and other positive traits. Each teacher gets to pick several kids from their class that best display those qualities. Carly was chosen as one of the kids from her 3rd grade class.

Ryan Brainard

So on the last day of school in a gym with no air conditioning, parents and students piled in and honored the students of the 3rd and 4th grade who had best displayed the Marion Way. I am proud of Carly. She has always worn her heart on her sleeve and is one of the kindest people I know. She always makes sure she is kind and respectful and really focuses on doing whats right. She was very excited for the ceremony too! She had quite the cheering section as both sets of grandparents along with Holly and I attended.

Ryan Brainard

It's important to teach kids more than just book smarts in school. Reinforcing positive behavioral traits will also better prepare them for the future too. In the world we live in, we need more people with integrity who act out of kindness and honesty. I'm proud that my daughter takes those things seriously. I guess she is listening to us after all.