When the poop hits the fan, that's when real discipleship begins.


A wise friend once told me that the kids will do as well as you do. You can’t be a good parent if you’re a miserable person. Do what you need to do to stay healthy and sane.

1, 5, 15, 21

Define success for yourself. Be wary of becoming a corporate coal miner. Why bust your $@!#% for years and in school so you can bust your $@!#% for years in a soul-sucking job? Regardless of compensation that is not success in my book. How do you define success? For me it's "Do good. Have fun. Belong to a tribe. Meaningful work with people you love.Make enough money to pay the bills and not have to worry about the basics."


Ask yourself "What kind of man do I want to be?"


Hold fast to what is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:21)

10, 15, 21

Begin to teach self-policing. There are plenty of good things that I want them to be able to partake in (alcohol, a trip to Vegas, etc.) but alcohol and gambling are just a few of the things that can sneak up and take hold and RUIN your life if you don’t know how to self-limit. Respect the potential danger and be vigilant. keep re-ticketing and repeat yearly (age-appropriate)


Check your ego and question your motives. Are you in it for the right reasons or because of how it would look if you weren’t? Do you feel like you need to be a hero or the smartest one in the room? If the answer is yes I would strongly recommend that you get right with yourself.

13, 16, 19, 21

When you bring home a new baby, make sure your older kid(s) hear you talking to it the way you talk to them: “I’m sorry Baby I can’t hold you right now, I’m going to play with Sibling.” It makes it a lot easier to tell Siblings that you can’t give them attention right now because Baby needs you. Less resentment, etc.

2, 3, 4, 5

“You will use up everything you got trying to give people what they want.” —- Nina Simone


If baby / toddler is melting down, put them in the bathtub or bring them outside. A change in temperature will calm them.


Make "place value cups" as a rainy day activity and way to teach big numbers. (google, youtube or pinterest)


When you meet people in an intimidating situation, like a job interview, etc. An easy trick is to imagine them as they were in kindergarten. (Don't talk to them like they'r 5 year-olds! But relate to them on a human level. We're all human - filled with talents and fears and insecurities. No matter how "important" or "unimportant" our station is.


Go as a family to local high school musical productions.


Psalm 37:3 “Do good and trust in the Lord.” That pretty much covers it.

9, 15, 21

A simple trick to calm your nerves: Name 5 things you can hear right now.



Watch “The Sandlot” together. Great story about friendship and showing up for each other.


When you apologize don’t offer excuses just acknowledge your mistake, apologize for the consequences, and assure them it won’t happen again.

12, 16, 21

Become habitual about doing that which makes you feel good and yourself and fulfilled. If it’s running, make running a habit and dedicate time for it.

16, 21

Stand up (or sit up) straight in photos. Don’t slouch or lean. (You can touch or be close but don’t lean in.)

12, 14, 21

On September 11th I was at work in Fairfax VA. News reports were saying a plane was headed to the Capitol, that the Whitehouse had been hit. In the immediate aftermath of a big event, news reports will be unreliable. Wait until the facts are in. Several of the nurses had husbands who worked at the Pentagon. One of the doctors was married to a U.S. Senator in her office on the Hill. It was surreal, but no one panicked. I remember we all burst into tears when my friend’s husband called saying he was safe. So relieved.

15, 17

Put together a PowerPoint project outlining addiction: substance, gambling, shopping, hoarding, eating, etc. Have them so the research and put it together. Discuss. Reward its completion with a fun activity or trip.


“Just because you think it doesn’t mean it’s true. Your brain’s a little $@!#% and likes to lie to you.” -Elyse Myers

15, 21

People have big feelings when they realize how unjust and unfair the world can be. Totally natural and healthy. The problem starts when they channel those feelings into destructive actions and beliefs: violence, war, crime and hatred. We will be so much better off if we can learn to deal with our collective and individual pain in a way that is therapeutic and constructive. Maybe we can help each other to be creative in the face of fear, grief, pain, anxiety, anger, betrayal, injustice.

14, 16, 19, 21

We all want to be liked. But consider what you’re willing to *not* be liked for: If things like kindness and loyalty and being genuinely yourself *cost* you friends, is that a bad thing? Were they really friends then? Try not to do or say anything simply out of a desire to be liked.

11, 13, 16, 21

Be respectful with regard to how you treat girls:. How you talk to them, how you talk about them, and even how you think about them.


Rain, snow or sleet...Always return the shopping cart to the proper spot in the parking lot.


A dear friend of the family used to swear by the many healing properties of Seabreeze (alcohol based astringent.) She’d prescribe it for everything from sunburn to bug bites, rashes and scrapes. it stung like heck but she was right: The stuff is a miracle! I always keep a bottle Seabreeze around and think of Mimi every time I use it.


There are things you should not say: Never comment or ask a woman about her age or weight. Never comment on how many kids someone has (or doesn’t have.) The size, timing, composition, etc of someone else’s family is not your business to weigh in on. You never know who is struggling with loss or infertility, etc. And if someone announces they are expecting their seventh kid, the only correct response is “Congratulations” “How are you feeling?” etc. Just like you would if it was their first. Never ask someone how much weight they lost. If they’ve lost weight, just say “You look wonderful/amazing/ fantastic, etc.” And of course never comment on anyone having gained weight. Just say “You look wonderful.” And never never never ask someone how much money they earn or how much money they have, or how much they owe or paid for something, etc. People’s finances are personal, and are just not any of your business.

15, 20

Brennan Manning lectures and books.


It’s okay if you don’t know how (or don’t want) to move on. Start with something easier…just don’t go back.