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LOTD: Acting Human

– Great advice from James Lipton, host of Inside the Actor’s Studio, for Mitt Romney on how to improve his image — how to “act human.” Anyone who watches Romney for any length of time knows that he just doesn’t look comfortable a lot of the time. Probably because he’s trying not to look like he’s worth billions while he really has no idea how to pull that off. So what to do?

As worthy as the real Romney may be, he is not, has never been, and never will be the common man, and when he assumes the role in a crowd, his evident discomfort tells us that this guy doesn’t fly coach, much less go Greyhound, and, without the demands of “running for office,” wouldn’t be spending much time with these people who do …

So, for what it’s worth, my advice to Mr. Romney is this: Since the evidence indicates that you lack the skills to simulate what you’re not, you should stick to typecasting and go with what you’ve got and who you are. It’s not just your best option, sir, it’s your only one.

– This is from a couple of months ago, but these are fantastic photos of Alaska’s Iditarod sled race from The Big Picture.

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Because … (a glimpse into life with five kids)

A glimpse into life with five children …

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Because I needed to finish something up at work, I was delayed a few minutes getting home.

Because I was late, my lovely wife Kelsey left five kids (ages 7, 4, 2, 2 and 1 — the first three are biological sons, the last two are foster girls) alone in the backyard for a few minutes so she could start dinner.

Because I hadn’t yet put together the new deck box we bought to replace the old plastic bin that holds outside toys, a few inches of dirty rainwater were just sitting in the bottom of the bin (the lid doesn’t work so well) waiting to be used.

Because they were alone, the three youngest children (boy and two girls) decided to dump the waiting rainwater into the sand table that had just a few minutes before been lovingly cleaned and filled with new replacement sand that surprisingly enough we actually had in the garage.

Because water and dirt make mud, and because children enjoy mud, when I walked in the door from work, I found a frustrated mama, two older kids being perfectly agreeable and three younger kids with mud and sand on their shirts, shoes, hands, faces and hair. Mud and water were also all over the back patio and muddy toys near and far.

Because mama was cooking dinner and had taken care of the cherubs all day, I got clean-up duty. Because kids don’t like to stop playing in the mud just because you don’t like that they are dirty, it took a few minutes to wrangle them away from the dirt.

Because dirt in the house is a bad thing, I stripped them down to their diapers and pulled out the hose. Worked pretty well for Gabe. Because hose water is cold, and because she’s probably never had a hose-shower before, Lily (19 months), was decidedly not a fan of the hose and made her displeasure loudly known.

Because a kid was screaming, I wrapped her up in a towel and herded them all up to the bathtub. Because a boy and two girls in the tub together might not be the best thing in the world, I washed the two girls first, dried and diapered them and then washed Gabe.

Because the two girls decided to slam doors (after I specifically told them not to), one of them hurt her finger just before I put a pull-up on Gabe after the bath.

Because I aborted the pull-up mission to tend to the finger, Gabe was still in his birthday suit when I heard this: “Dad, I peed!”

Because I put my head in my hands at the news of pee soaking into the carpet, Nevaeh (2 ½), put her arms around my neck and hugged me. That was pretty sweet.

Because Gabe then went to the potty to pee some more, I got some clothes out for the kids while he did so.

Because I was not in the bathroom, I walked in a minute later to see both girls standing directly in front of the potty, peering curiously at naked Gabe as he relieved himself. So much for avoiding questionable boy-girl interaction.

Because I’m paralyzed by all the female clothes choices, my wife gave me specific directions about what to pick out for them to wear.

Because I finally got them all dressed, we got to eat dinner.

Because we got to eat dinner, we were all happy. Because we were happy, it all feels worth it.

But because of grace, even when we don’t feel happy – yeah, it’s still worth it.

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LOTD: Parenting

Good piece from the WSJ on “oversharenting” — the phenomenon of parents putting everything their kids do online, often to just say their kid is cuter than yours. Some parents even set up fake online accounts in their kid’s name, hijacking their identity.

There’s a line between beneficial use of fabulous tools and abuse of them. As the author writes, “I’m torn between wanting to offer my son a tabula rasa, and tapping the efficient, frictionless nature of digital tools to share him with our family and friends.”

Good read — and good reminder not to put too much of our lives online. It’s best lived in real life.

– Great post on Desiring God about motherhood, written in honor of Mother’s Day yesterday: Motherhood is Application. Love this line:

Every day we fight against disorder, filth, starvation, and lawlessness, and some days we might almost succeed.

She goes on to make the point that even in the moments when you feel like pulling your hair out, when there’s not time for Gospel presentation, we have to do Gospel application — “The gospel is not too big to fit into little situations. It is too big not to.”

Kowloon Walled City

In my world, KWC usually stands for Kentucky Wesleyan College, where I went to school and now work. Because I’m responsible for online communications, I get Google alerts every day for KWC. You’d be surprised at the number of groups who use KWC as an acronym: Karoake World Championships, Kids With Candy, etc.

One such group is the band Kowloon Walled City. Apparently, there really was a Kowloon Walled City — a series of more than 300 interconnected high rise buildings in Hong Kong. Once thought to be the most densely populated place on earth (50,000 people in a few blocks), it was demolished in the early ’90s.

Photos of the place are absolutely fascinating. A couple of photographers spent five years there, capturing the crowded life of more than 33,000 families and businesses. A couple photos below, but check out the link for much more detail — it’s remarkable how these people lived.

Get the full story and more photos here.