Bloggerhood Etc. 3/23/15

Best Idea.There’s A Preschool For Adults To Unwind And Relive Their Childhoods” by Emily Arata at Elite Daily.

Best Guest Post.Mask” by Kimberley Coyle at Little Did She Know.

Best Special Needs Post.Thoughts on Growing Up With a Sister With Down Syndrome” by Melissa Otterbein at Like Birds on Trees.

Best Mom Post.Here We Are Again” by Sarah Bessey.

Best Dad Post.My Real Name, and the Problems it Has Caused Me” by Adam Hall at Tenor Dad.

Best Series.Here Comes the Brides!” by Tamára Lunardo at Tamára Out Loud.

Most Interesting.Why Violin-Makers Adopted the f-Shaped Hole” by Clive Thompson at BoingBoing.

Most Honest.Surviving!” by Gary Mathews at Skippah’s Realm.

Best Reflection.The Transition Time” by Addie Zierman at How to Talk Evangelical.

Best News.We Have Some News!” by Glove and Boots (via You Tube).

“Meh.”

To catch up on the great posts I’m reading online and to get a sneak preview of next week’s candidates, check out my new Around the Blogosphere board on Pinterest.

Bloggerhood Etc. 2/9/15

Parker at his dad's laptop.

Photo: The Mindful Dad

Best Guest Post.Daddy I Love You and Mom” by Parker at Mindful Dad.

Best List.16 Things That Happened When I Went to The Creation Museum” by Sarah Moon at Sarah Over the Moon.

Best Question.How Real Are Facebook Friendships?” by Jacoba Urist at The Atlantic.

Best Dad.This Single Dad Couldn’t Do His Daughter’s Ponytail, So He Went To Cosmetology School” by Jessica Samakow at Huff Post Parents.

Best Special-Needs Post.I’m Autistic, And Believe Me, It’s A Lot Better Than Measles” by Sarah Kurchak at Medium.

Best Diagram.Sy Fy Movie Venn Diagram” by David Vienna at Vienna Calling.

Sy Fy Movie Venn Diagram

Image: Vienna Calling

Most Alarming.Report: Requiring Kindergartners to Read—as Common Core Does—May Harm Some” by Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post.

Best Commentary.The Cowardice of Conversationalists” by Charlie Capen at How to be a Dad.

Strangest Gift.Lobster” by Thorn Caraway at Cara Strickland’s Little Did She Know.

Most Moving.Why I Don’t Cry to Christians Anymore” by Anonymous at Micah J. Murray’s Redemption Pictures Blog.

Best Essay.Meet the Bag Man” by Steven Godfrey at SB Nation.

Best Fake Trailer.Star Wars vs. Star Trek Epic Trailer” by Alex Luthor (via YouTube).

Bloggerhood Etc. 7/21/14

Anatomy of a diaper

Photo: Lunchbox Dad

Remember when you had a little one in diapers? Those of us who look back fondly at those times are guaranteed to have all their kids potty-trained! Now on to the source of the above photo, and the rest of the best of the week.

Best Dad Roundup.29 Essential Pieces of Advice for a New Dad” by Mike Heenan at HuffPost Parents. (Reads like a “Who’s Who of Dad Bloggers”—great stuff!)

Best Guest Post.(De)Tales: Paddleboard” by Kelli at Cara Strickland’s blog Little Did She Know.

Best Travel Post.Nobody’s Leaving This Fun Family Vacation” by Evelyn Shoop at Momsicle.  (Side note: We took our coast vacations the same week and even ran into each other at Cape Mears Lighthouse.)

Best Special Needs Post.Why Are We So Afraid of Disability?” by Ellen Stumbo at Not Alone.

Best Bad Comic. “Champion” by James Breakwell at James Breakwell’s Unbelievably Bad Comic.

Bravest Post.Gynecomastia and My Traumatic Day at the Beach” by Lorne Jaffe at Huff Post Healthy Living.

Strangest Story.The Cornish Beach Where LEGO Keeps Washing Up” by Mario Cacciottolo at BBC News Magazine.

Best Question.Who Will Hold the U.S. Accountable for a Rush to Deport the Most Vulnerable?” by Shaina Aber at Ignatian Solidarity Network.

Best Parable.Jesus and the Attempted Exodus” by Mark Sandlin at The God Article.

Best Advice.Brave, Brave, Be Brave” by Ashley Larkin at Draw Near.

Best Commentary.Unfinished Houses” by John J. McLaughlin at America.

Best Satire.Mile-High Baseball” by Spencer Hall at SB Nation.

Best Video. “Fun Healthcare Alternatives!” by Glove and Boots (via YouTube).

Welcome (Again)

The Catholic Channel

If you’re visiting my blog today for the first time, there’s a good chance you found it after listening to me on Seize the Day with Gus Lloyd on Sirius XM’s The Catholic Channel. I just finished up the interview and now I’d like to share a bit more background beyond what we were able to cover in a scant twenty minutes.

I talked about how I made my final decision to join the church. Here’s a more in-depth description of that decision appropriately titled “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic.

I briefly mentioned how the Church is filled with the Holy Spirit, but also filled with flawed, sinful people. I wrote about that too in a post titled “Wonderful, Frustrating, Incarnate.

I mentioned the role my wife had in my conversion. A brief version of that story, titled “A garage sale treasure brought me to the Church” was featured in the Jan/Feb Issue of Catholic Digest, and the longer version, titled “Beautiful Whispers” is online at Why I’m Catholic.

Can you believe I forgot to mention my Sacred Heart Picture?

Also, I talked about my amazing daughter Anna. I write about her more than anyone or anything else. In fact, I’ve written enough to fill a book. It’s called A Smile for Anna, and I am currently exploring avenues to publication.

I hope these links I provided give you a better idea of who I am. Thank you for listening, and visiting and may God bless you.

P.S. I forgot how fast New Yorkers talk!

What This Blog is About

Encourage synonyms

Via Google Image Search

I’ve been stuck for days trying to think of something to write in honor of my first 500 posts. Every draft I attempted came off as bragging when I went back and read it. Then I received a prompt word from Lisa-Jo Baker at Five Minute Friday and suddenly it became clear.

Encouragement.

Like all my writing, my blog is at its best when it encourages others. I discover this almost two-and-a half years ago, when I wrote one of my first guest posts for Alise Write! This is how she prefaced my post.

I connected with David on Twitter and he is a great encourager. In a world where people can be most concerned with promoting their own self-interest, it’s a delight to meet someone who encourages others.

I realized the goal of my writing that day, but I constantly need reminding. I get caught up in the details of word count, publishing opportunities,  pitching, and platform. I forget the point of my writing—to reach other people. To communicate at a deeper level. Above all, to encourage.

And then I’m reminded again.

I feel grateful to have connected with David Ozab in the Internet world this year. He has been a great encouragement to me as I launched my book out into the world this October, and I love the way he writes about faith and being a stay-at-home Dad.

Addie Zierman wrote this short introduction to my most recent guest post. And that key word returns. Encouragement.

Thank you, Addie, Alise, Lisa-Jo, and my many other colleagues for the regular reminder as to why I write.

And thank you for the encouragement.

Five Minute Friday

Night Prayer for Families with Children

The Infant Samuel at Prayer

The Infant Samuel by Joshua Reynolds (c. 1776)

Anna and her fellow second graders at our parish are learning some well-known prayers as part of their preparation for First Communion next spring. She already knows three of them—the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be—and we’re working on the others.

Looking over them, I realized that they can all be incorporated into a Night Prayer (Compline) following the basic form of the Liturgy of the Hours. The version I sketch out below is but one possibility. Parts can be added or subtracted or moved around as needed.

(Note: Prayers Anna will memorize are titled in CAPS, prayer leader’s part is proceeded by an L, responses by an R. Parts said by all are in bold. Directions are in italics).

Begin with …

THE SIGN OF THE CROSS

In the Name of the Father and or the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Followed by an Examination of Conscience—saying either …

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

L: I, the Lord, am your God. You shall not have other gods besides me.
R: You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain.
L: Remember to keep holy the Lord’s day.
R: Honor your father and mother.
L: You shall not kill.
R: You shall not commit adultery
L: You shall not steal.
R: You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
L: You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.
R: You shall not covet your neighbor’s spouse.

or

THE TWO GREAT COMMANDMENTS

L: Jesus said the first and greatest commandment is this:
R: Love God with all your heart.

L: And the second is like it:
R: Love your neighbor as yourself.

Continue reading

Tell Me About Apraxia, Part Three

Anna at the globe in Riverfront park

At the 2012 Oregon Apraxia Walk (Photo: Julia Ozab)

On October 12, we will participate in our third annual Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech. For the last two weeks, and continuing today and next Tuesday, I am sharing information about this common childhood motor-speech delay along with personal stories of our experiences coping with Anna’s apraxia of speech. Today I post an open letter, similar to the one I posted last year at the Apraxia-KIDS blog. That letter was to one generous individual donor who chose to remain anonymous. This one is to anyone thinking about donating.

I appreciate you reading this post and I ask you to share it with others. And if—after reading this post—you decide that you want to help kids with apraxia of speech, please support us. We’re Team Anna (just like every year) and I ask you to make a donation and help us reach our goal. Thank you.

An Open Letter

To anyone considering a donation to an Apraxia Walk:

You may not think that one person can make a difference, but you can. Your contribution, however small, will be a big help to families like ours. Let me take a moment to tell you a little bit about one of the many kids you will be supporting.

Anna is an amazing girl. I know I’m biased since I’m her dad, but she really is. She is seven-and-a-half and she just started second grade. She loves to read, to swim, and to perform for anyone who’ll watch, or when she’s alone in front of a mirror. She wants to be an actress and I think she’ll be a good one. We’re looking into classes for next spring, after she turns eight.

But to act she has to be understood and that’s a challenge for her. Continue reading