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I’ve been taking my kids to coffee, one child per week, for the past three months. At the time of writing Sydney is 8, Savannah is 5, and Elliot is 3 years old.

The point of this exercise is to enjoy each others company, one-on-one, and nothing more.

But there have been… unexpected benefits.

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Howdy folks! I’ve had a few requests for my presentation, so I made a quick export to PDF.

Wrestling the Writing Muse Down to the Dusty Earth

Thanks to everyone who attended! I had a lot if fun and learned quite a bit myself! This was my first real speaking engagement and I was really encouraged by the warm reception.

This has been a rough year for my family. Our sweet Granny passed away, or as they’re fond of saying in the South “went to be with the Lord,” shortly after New Year’s Day. Granny first belonged to Brenda but I adopted her quickly for my own. Pro-tip: You can never have too many grannies in your life. Especially ones like Doris.

Dying Isn’t For The Faint Of Heart

Neither is watching someone do it. Besides wrestling with my own emotions and grief, I was faced with helping Brenda through hers. Thankfully she had her parents and sisters to lean on. The real difficulty was helping my children make sense of it all. I can still hear them sobbing when we told them Granny would be dying very soon. The five of us hugged each other and wailed in an eery sort of unison. Looking back I think their initial display of grief was more in response to seeing Mommy and Daddy cry than a firm understanding of what the future woud hold.

The time leading up to Granny’s passing is still a blur. I remember packing for the trip at break-neck speed. I remember facetiming with Granny while she was in the hospital. “I’m fine with it, Youngins!” she kept saying in between labored breaths. “I’m fine.” Pause. “With it.” Brenda and I held each other and I told her through my tears, “You gotta be fine with us not being fine with it, Granny!”

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to take the ones we love for granted? It’s practically effortless, really. I can’t count the number of times I’ve done it with people I love, like my own mother, for example.

Speaking of which, it’s time to play a little catchup. The rest of this article is an open letter to my mother, Debi Ames, whom I don’t want to take for granted.

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Me No Love You Daddy!

For the past 4 months or so, every time Elliot is upset at me, for pretty much any reason, he blurts out these words, “Me no love you, Daddy! Me no love you!” Then, he stomps one foot. 

Brenda was horrified at first. I was more amused than anything else, but it still left me wondering, what is the right way for a parent to handle this situation? We’ve tried many things and I still don’t know the answer. Here is what Brenda and I have tried so far.

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Last week I announced that I would be subjecting myself to somewhat of a blog challenge by committing to write 5 times a week leading up to a speaking engagement in March.

Let’s see how I did my first week!

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Standing On Giants

This is picture of my son and my dad. Boy has been trying to reach that basket since he could throw. This week, with help, he nailed it.

There is a quote by Sir Isaac Newton that I learned about from a friend.

If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.

Newton wrote it to mean “One who develops future intellectual pursuits by understanding and building on the research and works created by notable thinkers of the past” according to Wikipedia.

This photo is more than a word-picture illustrating the metaphor. It is also a reminder of my childhood. My son sits where I once sat. I stand on the shoulders of a giant, my dad, and if I raise Boy right so will he.

Do you stand on the shoulders of giants? Better yet, are you becoming one worthy of standing on?


Please Don’t Hate Me Cuz We Home School

Pardon me for a moment while I step into a stereotype. I know it doesn’t fit me very well, but that’s sort of the point about stereotypes. They promise to be one-size-fits-all and then fall dreadfully short once you start dressing up in them.


There. I said it. I hope you don’t hold that against us, and if we could go on still being friends and all, that would be swell. But just in case you are dubious, I’d like to clear the air about a few things because this stereotype I’m wearing is rather uncomfortable.

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The Project Manager Triangle

This is a noteworthy article I wrote for 8BIT.

Yelling With Your Body

February 19, 2013 — Leave a comment

My family and I were having dinner recently and while we were eating I looked over just in time to notice Sydney, who is 8 years old, making a very hostile face at one of her siblings. I had very little doubt that the sibling in question had been annoying her on purpose but the face she made was more than stern, it was actually threatening. Her eyebrows were fierce, her face was pinched, and her upper body shook with anger.

Her reaction was exaggerated, and in my opinion extremely disproportionate to the offense. She looked downright mean.

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