juggling a busy lifeSchae Richards, managing editor

The Parsons family of Blackfoot certainly knows what it’s like to be caught up in the busyness of life. With juggling lots of different activities and responsibilities, it can sometimes be overwhelming. However, Holly and Tony always try to remember the kind of experiences they are giving their children.

Holly and Tony have always wanted to give their children opportunities that would help them succeed, and they are doing just that. With their hands full with six kids, they encourage each one of them to be active in different things. Whether it’s a club, sport, music or all of the above, they encourage their kids to try a little bit of everything.

Their oldest, Jordyn, 15, participates in debate, cross-country, and also enjoys playing the piano and flute. Lexy, 13, plays volleyball and soccer. Kayden, 11, plays baseball, basketball and football. Koltyn, 8, is playing basketball and baseball this year. Ty, 5, loves helping his older siblings feed their animals, and will also be playing his first season of tee ball this year. Kenzy, 2, is the baby, and loves her older siblings. The four oldest will also be participating in 4H this year and will show their goats and lambs at the fair.

Like their kids are now, Holly and Tony were both really active in different sports and activities throughout high school. When Tony finished veterinarian school, their family moved back home to Blackfoot, and have lived there for about seven years.

Tony now runs his own veterinarian clinic, the Blackfoot Animal Clinic. When Tony isn’t taking care of animals or doing his own activities like running marathons, you can find him coaching and supporting his kids in sports. You can also find him helping kids, including his own, with their 4H projects.

Holly stays busy throughout the day, too, dropping off and picking up kids to and from school, and taking them to their various activities. She also coaches their kids in sports, helps Tony run the clinic, and has recently taken on cycling.

Most nights everyone is home from work and activities around 7 p.m. The kids feed their animals, they have dinner as family, and recharge for the next day. While their busy schedules keep them on the go, Holly and Tony still plan as much family time as they can. “You have to enjoy the family whenever you can,” Holly said. For example, they make sure to keep Sundays open so they can do things together. But even when their family is away from home, they are together and cheering on their siblings at their games, meets and other functions. “Whenever we can, we take kids to their sibling’s activities, so even when we are busy we can still be together,” Holly said.

Tony said the real challenge of juggling everything is making sure each child gets the same amount of one-on-one time. He said this is why he and Holly take turns coaching their kids. “Coaching our kids’ teams has made it so we can be involved in their lives,” Tony said.

Each day can be hectic and have its own challenges, but that doesn’t stop the Parsons family. Holly and Tony want their kids to have every experience so they can find their real passions in life. “We can’t assume that we know what they will love,” Tony said. “We have to let them try new things and discover that for themselves.”

For Holly and Tony, staying active is also key to developing good habits and character. “We would rather spend money and time on positive activities than have them develop bad habits or get involved in negative or harmful activities,” Tony said. “We want them to find one or two things they are passionate about. For example, he said although Jordyn does well in cross-country, she excels in debate and has qualified as an alternate for state this year as a freshman. “We see her potential, and it’s been great to see her blossom,” Tony said.

Holly agrees with Tony, and said the experiences their kids have now will prepare them for their future. “Our goal is to help them explore and to find their passion and ultimately success within it,” she said, “We work hard to make sure that our kids can have a variety of experiences along the way to help them to be well rounded.”