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Hillbilly Elegy

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

All I can think about and could think about while reading this book was that I am so unbelievably ignorant of the world, and not just the world, but the good old US of A. This young man may as well live on another plant from me. His experiences have opened by eyes. May I be less judgmental, and more Godly in my associations with people. I can not possibly know their experiences, much less their hearts.

Kudos J.D. Vance - you have quite a story.

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The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O'Connor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A book full humor, horror, hopelessness and hope written in beautiful metaphorical prose.

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A Mother's Day Letter to My Kids

Dear all of you,

Last year I had a thought or impression, maybe. I felt like I wanted to send you guys a letter to tell you my thoughts about Mother's Day. Well the day, week, month and year came and went, and I never did. This year, same impression. This time I'm responding to that impression. 
My path to motherhood was slightly different than most. Four kids within a few weeks of being married and then 5 of my own. Mothering is hard work. And strangely, nobody bothers to actually tell you how hard it is. Mothering is also the most rewarding thing I can think of ever doing. 
I used to hate Mother's Day. It's not uncommon. Gather 20 mothers together, ask them to discuss mother's day and I would be willing to bet more than 1/2 of them hate it. The reasons vary. We are all different. 
I could drone on and list the reasons I "hated" mother's day. They were all selfish and self-pitying. Therefore, not worth mentioning. Those of you who are mothers have yo…

A Prayer

I want to be like you. I want to have your influence guide all I do. I have been thinking a lot about relationships, and how we interact with one another in this fallen world.
Our form of communication is imperfect. We misunderstand one another. We give offense. We take offense. We impose motive and intent on the words spoken to us. We defend the words spoken by us.
I want my relationships to be God-like and facilitated by my desire to communicate as perfectly as I can.
My prayer:
I want to lift people and bring light to their life.I want my conversations to be honest. I want to speak to people with love and compassion. I want them to be edified and uplifted by my counsel, if they are in need. I want to be kind and charitable. I want to be understood. I want to say what YOU want me to say. I want to say it in a way that they hear YOU in my words
I know from experience that I can say things that are interpreted incorrectly. I am then forced to rethink. What is my intent? What …

S*&#t I let my kids and their friends do

In honor of this blog post:

Here is a list of a few of the things I let (or watched) my kids and their friends do: 
-Ride a Yamaha 90 cc dirt bike without shoes or helmets (starting at approx. 12-years old)
-Ride a Honda Metropolitan scooter without shoes or helmets (starting at approx. 12-years old)
-Play tag around the neighborhood with friends on aforementioned dirt bike and scooter
-Stack lawn chairs as high as they can and jump off onto trampoline
-Have 10 people on the trampoline at a time (only one rule: big kids can't jump with little kids)
-Running jump off elevated retaining wall onto trampoline
-Douse tennis balls with gasoline, light them on fire, send them through the pitching machine and hit them with either bats or tennis rackets
-Play with balls (all makes and models) in the house
-Make soda bottle bombs with dry ice - BTW you need to be 18 years old to buy dry ice
-Hold firecrackers in their hands to see wh…

A New Year's Resolution

1. Be less superficial in my interactions with people.
2. Be a safe place for others to do the same.

I hope I am able to articulate succinctly what is in my head and my heart. I feel strongly about this. I had an epiphany the other day. The names have been changed to protect those who I didn't ask permission to tell their part of the story. It took place kind of like this.

I was at school substituting a delightful group of 1st graders for Mrs. Z. It was the end of the day. Carpool. I am standing outside watching parents come and pick up their children. I was standing next to another 1st grade class taught by a teacher who I consider a friend. Our kids have gone to school together for years. We have 3 children the same ages. Despite their growing up, graduation, and different college and career paths, our children are friends.

As we stood there, we started chatting about our kids. How are they? How are they liking school? So you have a wedding coming up? Where is so and so now? Is s…