All eleven of us were sitting around the dinner table last week when it dawned on me--it's that time of year again.
"Ben, isn't Prom coming up soon?"
"Saturday night," he said, gulping down another bite of Pioneer Woman's Sour Cream Noodle Bake. (Love that stuff.)
"Aren't you going?" asked Captain Fun. Not a surprising question coming from the Captain.
"Wasn't planning on it."
The Fun in Captain Fun took over.
Our friend, Mark, died very suddenly last week while on a road trip with his family. His funeral is today--Valentine's Day.
With her permission, I would like to share the tribute written by Natalie, his 18 year old daughter.
To all of you who didn't know who he was, this is a small glimpse.
It has been one week since I realized you were gone. You were the best Daddy in this world. I know you are spending time with Jesus and are probably discussing your questions about math, science and all the questions you had about this world.
Certainly by now you have heard the news about Justin Bieber's arrest for DUI and drag racing.
When I first heard, I do what I always do with that category of news: I ignored it. I try very hard to keep pop culture out of our home, as it is, in my opinion, one of the most dangerous enemies of the family. And I'll give you a short list of reasons why.
It misrepresents reality, creating discontentment with normal life.
It paints a false picture of happiness.
The older I get, the faster Christmas comes. If I'm not careful, it can turn into an annual race to see if I can get my gift and grocery shopping done before the December 24th deadline.
I have learned to let go, though. To lower my own expectations and encourage my children to lower theirs. After all, creating the perfect Christmas is tricky.
I relish, for instance, the ritual of mailing almost a hundred Christmas cards every year. This year I mailed seven, photo not included.
Once again, the end of the year is staring me in the face. I thought I would begin to bid farewell a little early by compiling my top ten lists of, well, everything. Here is the first that came to mind.
Top Ten Essentials for a Happy Family
10. Red Sox baseball. Just kidding; I'm a big fan and with their World Series win last night, I couldn't resist.
10. A Clean(ish) Orderly(ish) House. This is last on my list because, while it certainly helps, it is just not as important as most people think.