Appalachian Mountain Club


Sex talk: “Forget about sex. Just play first.” Forget about making a move and just have fun. Dance, listen to music together, go somewhere exciting, look at something beautiful, read to each other, play sports, let yourself be seen and encourage them to do the same. Communicate in a hundred ways: talk/send texts/ post on social media, pass notes, whatever. “Sex isn’t the door to intimacy


The Buddhists say “life is suffering.” I think struggle might be a better word. Struggle is unavoidable, and it would do us good to stop expecting otherwise. And yes, everybody experiences pain and loss, etc. but I don’t believe we should expect our lives to be full of suffering.

17, 21

Visit the Grand Canyon together


Take the train to Roanoke.


Ask “Is there anything you want to get off your chest?” Confession is good for the soul! Get in the habit of being a place of support when they screw up. Then when they’re older and REALLY screw up, they know they can trust you to help.


Walking at night during the wintertime remember to wear a bright scarf or something reflective. So many pedestrians get hit when it’s dark outside because they’re wearing dark colors and drivers can’t see them.

15, 20

Mallomars in Christmas stockings. Mom NEVER buys Mallomars. But Santa does. (Reticket x 15 years.)


Bedtime often goes to sh*t in a hurry because kids are tired and parents are out of patience. Be kind. If your kids are anything like you, they’ll need extra tenderness at bedtime: cuddles, soft words, prayers. Forgiveness for the ridiculous tantrums over silly stuff. Take pity on them, their little bodies are tired and they haven’t learned how to function on empty.


Tragedy may occur in your life, but it does not need to define your life. YOU get to do that...through the choices you make. _______I know you’ll make good ones. xo


Try out Petra Lingua online language courses for kids. (Ages 3-10)


Soothe a newborn: Swaddle , shushing noise, swing, side/stomach position, suck on a binkie. Read The Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp (or watch the video.) It' a life-saver.


Family trip to a NASCAR race..


Plan a few screen-free weekends every year. (Reticket until 16.)


The Language of the Universe: A Visual Exploration of Mathematics


“If you don’t know what hurts me, how can you say you love me?” From a story told by Rabbi Levi Yitzhak ....Do you know what causes him pain or anxiety? What he’s afraid of? In an age-appropriate way....Talk about our fears and the things that hurt us. He will see it’s normal to have fear and pain, and he will learn he can come to me with anything that troubles him.


Model good nutrition and fitness routine.


Re-Read "Girls and Sex: Navigating the New Landscape" by Peggy Orenstein.


None of us sit high enough to look down on anybody.

11, 14, 17, 21

It’s best not to cuss but writing bad words is even worse than speaking them. Even in casual texting, etc. Always an asterisk in place of a vowel to avoid being rude.


“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

Dream big. Work hard.


Someone else’s success doesn’t subtract from yours. Celebrating with them and encouraging them won’t make you the loser and them the winner. We’re all in this together.

12, 15

Go for walks together as a family before or after dinner. Sometimes we go for distance, sometimes we call them "safaris" and look for as many living creatures as we can find.


One of the most important things I can teach you is to help you learn how to deal with big feelings without resorting to destructive behavior or violence. Everyone on the planet will experience loss, disappointment, grief, heartbreak, betrayal, etc. Tools to deal with these feelings: counseling, journaling, art, music, exercise, meditation, breathing exercises, yoga, being in nature, talking with friends, joining a support group, movement like dancing or skating, singing, acting, anthropomorphic dialogue with your emotions, naming your emotions and describe how they physically feel in your body. Asking the emotion what it needs you to know.


Practice road-rage roll playing. People are NUTS! It's hard to imagine how you'll react when someone gets aggressive with you. Let's practice staying calm when someone is shouting and in your face.


Key to a happy marriage: each of you must love and support the person in front of them. Not the person you married or the person you hope they will grow into. We all change and grow. Not all of it is for the better, especially our looks ha ha. We shouldn’t make our spouse feel obligated to stay the same person they were when we fell in love with them. In marriage as in business as in life: If you’re not growing you’re dying.


Favorite bible verse: Psalm 143:8 “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have placed my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.”


Fact: when you drink to excess you are significantly more likely to cause harm to someone or be harmed yourself. Being drunk means surrendering your ability to keep yourself and others safe.

12, 15, 18

“First things first!” It’s a constant struggle to get out of the house or complete a task. Hammer home “first things first!” After they’re dressed (or whatever task) THEN they can have screen time or playtime free-time, etc.