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Monday, April 16, 2018

Monday Musings

Well, our weekend started off with the most beautiful Friday and Saturday that anyone had seen in a long while. I promise you it was as if everyone in my area was walking around on clouds, so happy were we that spring had sprung. It was pretty much like this everywhere you went.


Then Sunday came and when we walked outside we were all collectively like this.



Same thing for Monday, so let's just go back to Saturday. It was just Kyle and me at home for the weekend as Steve and Drew were away at a New Jersey baseball tournament.

We started Saturday morning greeting veterans arriving on an Honor Flight at Dulles Airport. We have participated in these amazing events where vets come to DC to tour the monuments a number of times over the years.


Every time we go Kyle always has the same instructions for me. He tells me to try not to cry my eyes out this time. And then reprimands me when I make comments like, "Oh my goodness, that man is the most adorable, cutest thing I've ever seen." He tells me to knock it off and will remind me before we go in, "Mom, these men are soldiers. They're warriors. You aren't allowed to call them adorable."


Good point, Son. Still, though. Adorable, right?



It really is a moving experience for everyone and it is very easy to attend. If you are in the DC area you can find the schedules for Honor Flights at both Dulles and Reagan Airports and simply show up twenty minutes before arrival to greet the vets. You even get your parking ticket validated. If you are in other areas, I believe you can welcome them home from their trips as well.

Later we went to get Kyle fitted for a tux because Prom is coming up. I snapped this picture as quickly as I could because 17 year old boys aren't big fans of their moms taking photos.



Then we went through McDonald's for lunch because hanging out with teenagers is equal parts disgusting and thrilling.

Saturday afternoon I spent a glorious few hours sitting on the deck in the sunshine reading this book while Kyle mowed the lawn for the first time this year. Later I had a very exciting evening which included a bubble bath, Grey's Anatomy on my ipad and the application of somewhere between five and eighty-four different facial masks, creams, serums, and magic potions promising to change the landscape of my entire face.

Dear Beauty Product Marketers: I do not know what hyaluronic acid is, but apparently I will buy it from you without question. Well done, Wizards.

Later that night, Mack and I watched The Greatest Showman. We loved it.


Sunday when I got home from church Kyle asked me if I wanted to watch the Celtics with him. Y'all I don't care about the Celtics or any professional basketball team. AT ALL. Not one bit. I didn't even know it was the playoffs. I was thinking that what I really wanted to do was to continue that really great novel I was reading, so you would think I would have said,


But then I realized MY TEENAGER ASKED ME TO HANG OUT WITH HIM - SORT OF, KIND OF, MAYBE NOT REALLY, BUT I THINK HE DID. So I was all,


So we watched the Celtics and the game went into overtime because basketball hates me.

So there it is. It was a weekend of hanging out on and off with my teenager when he wasn't with his buddies or playing basketball or Fort Nite and all I can tell you are just the facts, ma'am.

Which brings me to something I've been thinking about lately in regard to how my writing here has changed and how it will continue to change. I've been writing about my life for six years here at this blog. My writing, for the most part, has been about parenting. (Well, that and my never ending quest for the best lipstick and most stylish, yet comfortable boots.)

It was easier to post my thoughts about parenting young children - the trials, the frustrations, the everyday extraordinary ordinary moments. I wanted to share my faith and how it helped me navigate the confusion and the feeling that I had no idea what I was doing. I wanted to share to feel less alone and also to help other women feel less alone. To help us all to find ways to marvel in the mess of motherhood. To urge us to look for God's beauty and blessing in the seemingly boring moments of our everyday.

As our children grow, I feel much less ownership of the stories I would normally tell. Their stories are their stories. Even though that quote which says that having children is like having our hearts walking around outside of our bodies feels true, I have to remember feelings are not facts. God made each of my children a unique, whole individual - an actual human being separate from me with his own story to tell or not tell.

That doesn't mean that I don't want to write millions and millions of words about parenting teenagers and it doesn't mean that it isn't a valid and maybe even important thing to do. Because mamas of teenagers do need to feel less alone. They do need to know that they are not the only ones experiencing the fears and worries and struggles and triumphs and joys and pride that they are finding in their teens.

But it does mean that I am hyper-aware about what I share about my teenagers. Even if it is something so mundane and ordinary that I might think it would be no big deal to put it out here. I am aware that one of them might be fine with whatever I share and one might only be okay with a few things and one might just as soon I pretend he didn't exist outside of this house.

I honestly don't actually have any terribly difficult stories or deeply personal adolescent struggles to share here right now. I actually spend more time worrying about future difficulties than dealing with present ones. That tendency I have to "borrow grief" from the future might be the hardest part of this season. But if I was navigating a really hard, really delicate situation right now, I wouldn't tell you about it. Not yet anyway.

I will likely write chapters and chapters about this season and I may or may not publish those words some where when it feels appropriate. It might be that those thoughts would get a lot of views and comments and discussion happening here. And maybe my writing would mean a lot to people and that, frankly, would make me feel great and important and valuable. But what is crucial right now is that my people feel great and important and valuable. More important than the popularity of this space.

I will continue to navigate this season and share when I feel it's appropriate and approved. But for now, I'll remember the most important thing. A quote I heard in The Greatest Showman speaks this truth:

You don't need everyone to love you. Just a few good people.

This space is so meaningful to me. The people who read and comment and send me notes fill up my heart in ways I never could describe. But no matter how much I want to write and share and connect with people through my writing, it is these few good men living out these ordinary extraordinary days with me in my house who I truly need to love me. I am so grateful that they do.

Have a happy Monday, friends.

Friday, April 13, 2018

5 Friday Favorites: April 13, 2018



Happiest of Fridays to you, Friends! It's going to be 83 degrees today and I am simply beside myself about it! It's time for my Friday link up with A Little Bit of EverythingGrace and Love, and Momfessionals

 Here are some of my favorite things from this week.

1. Tops for Spring

As previously mentioned, I am giddy about the sun and the temperatures today. I feel like everyone in the world is my best friend. If you see me in the 'hood today, be careful because I might hug you or something weird like that. I am so ready to get rid of the long sleeves and coats and move on to short sleeves. Here are some cute tops I found this week.

As usual Loft has some great tops for spring and they are 30% off today and 10% more off when you buy three.


This Lace Yoke Flutter Shell would look great with white jeans. And it is officially okay to wear white now according to the calendar and most importantly, to my grandmother who was adamant that no one wear white between Labor Day and Easter.

Speaking of white, my favorite look for spring and summer is a pretty feminine white top with jeans. And Loft has so many white blouses to choose from.


This Petite Lacy Pleated Shell is perfect.



I love the back detail on this one .



I also like this Eyelet Flutter Top.




I'm also seeing a lot of this mustard yellow color and I love it, but I am not my best self in this color which makes me really sad. Maybe you are made for this color. If so, please get this from Old Navy.

After reading this and using the word "top" so many times it occurs to me that men would never use the word "top" to describe their shirts. I think next time my husband comes downstairs I'm going to say, "I really like your top." and see what happens.

2. Everyday Holy by Melanie Shankle



There is no other writer that I follow more closely than Melanie Shankle. That sounds just a little bit like I'm a stalker. What I mean is, she has a blog and I never miss it when she posts. She has written four books and I just love her writing style - she is funny and real and faithful. I preordered her devotional Everyday Holy and it came yesterday. I am a devotional junkie and I just know that this will be one of my favorites.

3. No Longer by Nichole Nordeman



I know I have mentioned Nichole Nordeman's album, Every Mile Mattered, one or seventeen times. It's just that it seems that even though I've listened to the album over and over, I keep finding a new favorite song.

This is the thing. Many of my friends and I find ourselves in a weird season.

(Actually, sometimes I wonder if every season feels weird and transitional? It seems if we're living, we're usually moving toward something or away from something, right? This might be a whole topic for another day.)

For now, many of my friends and I find ourselves at a time in our lives that as our kids grow older and leave, the world seems to be opening up in wonderful and exciting ways. And yet, all that wonder and excitement can scare the living daylights out of a person. It seems that some of those goals I put off while I was raising my kids might be ready to be addressed and it is scary because what if I'm not ready? What if they're not ready? What if I'm not equipped? What if I missed the boat? What if the dream is silly? What if I heard God wrong? All of those thoughts keep swirling in my head. I came home from a run the other day after listening to this song and wrote down every word including this, "I thought living safe meant living stronger, No longer." Maybe you need that message, too, today.

4. it Confidence in a Cream Moisturizer



I have been using the Rodan and Fields Redefine regimen for a bit over a year. I think it's great. I don't think it's miraculous. I am still committed to continuing with R&F for at least a little while, but I ran out of the night time moisturizer recently and since I had picked up a sample size of this moisturizer from Ulta, I've been using it. I have to say I LOVE IT SO MUCH. My skin is super dry and dehydrated according to the lady who gave me a facial recently. This stuff is really thick going on, but absorbs quickly so it doesn't feel sticky or like it's sitting on your face all night.

5. Note To Self Socks


My sister-in-law and brother-in-law recently gave me a couple of pairs of these socks. I'm kind of a weirdo about never wanting to be barefoot pretty much anywhere except on the beach, so I need A LOT of socks. These are my very favorite running socks, but the Note To Self socks are a close second. These are a really cute gift and can give your friend a little boost. Or yourself because who doesn't need a little boost?

Bonus Favorite: My New Favorite Sportscaster


My kid has about three weeks left of his freshman year. Here he is (left) "in the booth" broadcasting at the Penn State Baseball Game last week. I'm certain he has learned an enormous amount this year. And I'm more certain that it is a fraction of what I've learned from him. Thanks for teaching me this year to dream big, show up, work hard, and do it all over again the next day. I'm so shamelessly proud of you, Joe Skinner.

Have a great weekend, everyone!!!



Disclosure: The View From Behind Home Plate is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn small fees by linking to amazon.com

Monday, April 9, 2018

Sunshine & Hope On Opening Day

Sunday was Northern Virginia Travel Baseball League's Opening Day. It was bright and sunny, but cold. Interestingly enough, this baseball mom has a part time gig as a basketball mom. So I spent most of Sunday inside a warm gym watching my middle son play in an AAU tournament. On the way to the gym, I passed at least three or four youth ballparks - their parking lots full of SUVs and mini vans, their bleachers full of parents wrapped up against the wind and their fields full of players basking in the immense possibilities that come with the first game of the season.

This had me thinking about an Opening Day a few years ago. It was cool and bright like this one and as full of hope and promise, but the hearts of my family and many in my neighborhood were dark and heavy. I wrote this piece the next day. 

Originally published April 2015

It was Little League Opening Day on Saturday. It is one of my favorite days of the year.  The sun shone bright and we almost forgot about the bitter winter we had endured. My older boys have aged out of Little League, but the little man gets to start his first year in the Majors this season.  He, as my husband likes to say, was "shot out of a cannon" as soon as he woke up.  I was to miss the opening ceremonies because I had to take my middle son to a basketball game, but I raced back to the park as quickly as I could to make it for the youngest's first Little League game of the season.


I pulled into the full parking lot as if a child looking for Santa. The ceremony was over but the park which had been empty and snow covered only weeks before was bustling with activity. Lines of children snaked between moon bounces and food trucks. Music blared and flags flew high over the fields.

This was a day my community needed. After such a brutal winter, we deserved the bright morning and the changing of the season laid out before us.  Opening Day is the hope of pristine white pants (a hope that is dashed as soon as those cleats hit the grass). It is the possibility of a winning season.  It is the promise of not one, not two, but at least three chances to swing for the fences. I was so ready for this day. I barely had my car in park before I was ready to rip off the seat belt and run up to find a flame-haired, freckle-faced boy with black lines smeared under his eyes. A boy who would adjust his catcher's mask with the utmost confidence that though he is small, he is fierce. Opening Day is full of promise.

Friday, April 6, 2018

5 Friday Favorites: April 6, 2018

Hi, Friends! It's Friday! And it's time for my Friday link up with A Little Bit of EverythingGrace and Love, and Momfessionals

It has been quite a busy week getting back into our routine after being away for more than a week. There's been a whole lot of laundry. SO MUCH LAUNDRY. But, I refuse to put Tide Pods and Bounce Dryer sheets on my list of favorite things this week so let's dig a little deeper.


1. Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm




Are you wondering if there will ever be a Friday that I don't include some sort of lip product on 5 Friday Favorites? Well, you're going to have to keep wondering because I'm doing it again. No matter how responsible I tried to be with skin care and sunscreen while I was in Florida, there was no denying that when my previously hibernating body felt that hot sun, it was going to take a hit. My lips were no exception. I picked up this Burt's Bees Lip Balm in Red Dahlia at the CVS while I was there and I loved it. It goes on really smooth - not too thick or sticky - and has a very subtle tint to it. You'll notice that at Amazon you can get it marked down from $7.48 to $7.11 which if you get out your calculator and do the complicated math is a savings of a whole 37 cents. Is it your lucky day or what?


2. New Spring/Summer PJs


If there is anything besides lipsticks, balms, and glosses that I cannot resist putting in my online shopping cart, it's pajamas. Especially if they are a set that has a short sleeve top and long bottoms. While we were away I got a handy-dandy email alert from JCrew that their entire site was 40% off. I snatched up this Vintage Short Sleeve Pajama Set as quick as I could. Unfortunately, today they aren't 40% off. I'm not the boss of you, but these might be worth it. I am thinking I need another pair in another color because pjs are my jam. Also a note: I think they are supposed to be cropped, but for me (5'2") they come just past my ankle which I love. Long enough, but not enough to skim the floor and get dirty.

3. Spring Dresses (A Girl Can Dream)







Apparently, it's supposed to snow here tomorrow and thinking about spring dresses makes zero sense in that regard. I don't even care. Let me live, Al Roker. You really can't go wrong at Loft if you're looking for reasonably priced dresses, so even if you get one of these and simply wear it around your house and sit by a fire in it, just know that I affirm that decision. Carry on.

4. Books I've Read or Am Reading This Week


I kept hearing about An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, so I downloaded it on my Kindle on the way home from Florida. I am just barely into the first chapter and I can tell it's going to be great.


I read Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis perhaps faster than I've read a book in a long, long time. It is fabulous and absolutely the kick in the pants I need in my life right now. Rachel is funny and inspiring and pulls no punches. In the first chapter, she says this: "As a Christian I grew up learning that God was in control, that God had a plan for my life, and I believe in the marrow of my bones that this is true. I believe God loves each of us unconditionally, but I don't think that means we get to squander the gifts and talents he's given us simply because we're good enough already. A caterpillar is awesome, but if the caterpillar stopped there - if she just decided that good is good enough - we would all miss out on the beautiful creature she would become. You are more than you have become."


I loved this book, The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas so much. It is different than anything I've read before and is told from the perspective of a teen who witnesses the shooting of her childhood friend by a police officer. I would recommend it for your high school aged kids as well.



Ok. This is a bit of a white lie. I did not read Same Kind of Different as Me this week or even this year. I read it a very long time ago. I can't even remember when. However, Kyle and I watched the movie this week because he has read it as well. The movie was not great. Not terrible, but just absolutely nothing compared to the book which is one of my favorite reads ever. I highly, highly recommend the book, I only barely recommend the movie.

5. Being a Baseball Mom 
(even if my kid isn't playing)

I know this is going to come as a shock to you, but I love baseball. Especially Little League and High school baseball. I love baseball players even if they're not my own flesh and blood. Here's the thing. When I started this blog, I was the mother of three baseball players that I had birthed myself. This year, technically, I only have one. My oldest is in college now and spends his time in the booth calling games and my middle gave up the game to focus on basketball last year. The youngest - a middle schooler - is still swinging. (See what I did there?)

I don't have a player on the high school team this year. And yet, whenever possible you will find me in the bleachers cheering like it's my job for our Varsity team this season. Because after basically living life with the same group of families on various teams for well over ten years, I will tell you with absolute certainty that I still consider myself a baseball mom to a whole mess of boys that aren't mine. With very few exceptions, the boys on the high school team have played on teams with at least one of my boys at least once in the past ten years. I'm praying for guidance for those who are looking to play in college and for healing for those who are injured. I'm dancing in the stands to between-inning music and huddling close to friends when the sun goes down to keep warm. I'm high-fiving  mamas when their kid rips a single up the middle and I'm cheering like a maniac when our boys fight back from being on the wrong end of a 6-2 score to win with an extra inning walk-off. And there isn't a Skinner boy to be found on the diamond. I can't quit you baseball and I can't quit the boys I've been watching swing for the fences since we had to double knot their cleats. Let's play ball, friends. I'm in.


Disclosure: The View From Behind Home Plate is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn small fees by linking to amazon.com

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Spring Break Summary: Including That Time My Kid Said I Was Right


Well, after a Spring Break week spent with Drew's baseball team in glorious sunshine and the cloudless, blue skies of Florida, we have returned to Northern Virginia where apparently Spring goes to die a sad, lonely death.

Just kidding. Truly, I am. I mean, it is grey and cold and raining today, but I am bound and determined to hold on to the hope and positive vibes that a restful vacation brings me. It is remarkable what the sun, sand and ocean waves can do for my spirit. Add the miracle of Easter to the end of the week and I am completely renewed.

So I am going to recap a few highlights from the week which included driving thousands of miles and stopping at numerous gas stations, listening to hours of podcasts and reading two whole books, gazing at sunsets and giggling at my boys, cheering baseball players and chatting with their mamas and also a blue drink called a Jet Ski from the beach side bar that was joy in a plastic cup.

To start though, I will share with you, dear readers - especially, you moms - the most important event of the entire week - a moment brought to you by the voice of a severely sunburned teenager, the day after he was told no less than 7,000 times by his mom to put on more sunscreen as he lay on the Florida beach.

"MAAAAAAA! Why don't you smack me upside the head when I don't listen to you?"

(Note: There is no paraphrasing here. No artistic license. This is exactly what was uttered into the universe for my very own ears to hear by my seventeen year old knucklehead.)

And I don't mind telling you that before I went on to offer compassion and aloe vera lotion, I stood in awe and wonder at what I had just heard and my insides pretty much did this:


In honor of this momentous occasion when a child I birthed into the world saw fit to acknowledge that I was right about something, I would like to thank the Academy and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Just in case you think I'm taking too much pleasure in that turn of events, calm down. It was fine. A day out of the sun, some aloe, ibuprofen, icy towels and a whole lot of peeling skin and he survived to live another day of ignoring most of what I have to say.

After spending many days on the beach, we had a great time watching Drew's spring baseball team play their first game of the season at Eckerd College in Tampa. They won big.


After the game, the whole mess of us went to get ice cream at a building shaped like an ice cream cone which seemed like the most logical way to celebrate the blessed return of baseball.


Joe flew in from State College, PA for a few days so I was so happy to have the whole family together. The boys had a blast and I got a little misty eyed realizing that it appears that more often than not they really are the best of friends. It is one of a mama's greatest hopes and I pray it will continue.


I will say that our hotel left a little to be desired, but I was so happy to be in the warm weather that I tried really hard to get over it. The silver lining was that I became very adept at being sure that my feet never actually touched the floor. I am so skilled that one night when one of my socks fell off while I was sleeping, I had to hop on one foot to the bathroom and I did so with great success. Please hold your applause. Here's a peek at my girls and me getting a glamour shot at what we labeled the hotel's "Grand Staircase". Please notice the lovely hues of purple, red and turquoise on the walls and carpet.


In the end, the sunsets made up for everything. They were stunning every single night.



Of course, the Skinner family can't let vacation get in the way of multiple sporting events and since the NCAA Women's and Men's Basketball tournaments were going on, there was no doubt that we would find ourselves a tv a time or two to watch some hoops.



Warning to all the college basketball players: If you make a last second winning shot there is a 100% chance I will re-watch it 700 times and cry my ever-lovin' eyes out as if I gave birth to you. It doesn't matter if I have never heard of you or even of your school. The number of children I have "birthed" during this NCAA tournament is too many to count. Yes, I might have named my boys boring, run-of-the mill names like Joe, Kyle and Drew, but do not doubt that I have been officially behaving as if I also have a daughter named Arike Ogunbowale. While we're at it, let's just say I have a sister named Muffet McGraw. Give me all the buzzer beaters. I heart sports so darn much.

On the way back home we stopped in Columbia, South Carolina to check out the University of South Carolina. It was a lovely campus. My favorite part was the enormous Strom Thurmond Wellness Center which basically looks like the country club that Troy and Gabriella worked at in High School Musical 2.
uoscsastayinformed.wordpress.com

After spending six nights at a beach hotel, when we spent the night in the Courtyard Marriott in Columbia, I felt like a princess in a castle.

The drive home the next day was really long, but we were able to live stream the Big Ten Network so that we could listen to Joe make his debut as a baseball broadcaster when he called the Penn State vs. Purdue baseball game. We were just as proud as we could be and it helped make the trip a little more bearable.

I was so happy to make it back to our church for Easter and after the service I literally felt like it was a new year. I suppose there are challenges in all seasons of life, of course. And for me, the literal season of winter is particularly difficult. There have been times during these last months that I think I have closed myself off from facing the change that comes with reality of my children becoming grown-ups. With one gone to college and one with a foot out the door and one who is a full fledged teenager, I have spent many days - not all, but many - confused and frankly fearful as to what this future means for them, for me, for us. I have spent time wanting to turn back, to slow time, to pull up the covers and pretend that life can stay the same when in fact it can't. It shouldn't.

But that Easter Sunday, surrounded by familiar hymns and the reminder of the defining moment of my faith, I felt the stirring reminder that our Lord remains the same and that He has always and will always have good things in store for us and for those we love. We are able then to look past the dark of winter and remember the victorious words, "He is not here. He has risen. Just as he said." I have celebrated Easter for almost 50 years and just this year, I have seen a quote numerous times this week that I had never once seen before. No matter what we have gone through in our past and no matter what we will go through in the uncertain future we will always know this:

We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song.
-Pope Saint John Paul II

Amen, Amen and Amen.

Happy Springtime to you, friends. (even if it doesn't feel like Spring quite yet!)

Friday, March 23, 2018

5 Friday Favorites: It's My Mom's Birthday Edition


Hi, Friends! It's Friday! And it's time for my Friday link up with A Little Bit of EverythingGrace and Love, and Momfessionals. And it's Spring Break in my neck o' the woods. I am so excited I can barely stand it. Also, if this gets posted today, it will be the first time that The View From Behind Home Plate is coming to you straight from a moving car because a wifi hotspot is a wonder. This will only happen if yours truly does not get carsick or if someone doesn't spill a drink on my laptop or if I am actually able to concentrate whilst listening to all the sports talk radio ever broadcast. That's a lot of "ifs" and it doesn't sound very promising.

Let's try it anyway. Here are a few of my favorite things this week.

1. #1 Favorite of All Time Any Week of the Year: MY MOM

It's my mom's birthday. She's the best person I've ever known. Ever. So today the rest of my favorites are related to my mom in some way, shape or form. 

2. "Just put on a little lipstick & blush and you'll feel better."
-My mom, anytime I was ever sad, angry, disappointed or feeling too many feelings.  (she usually added other stuff, but this was first.)

I was listening to the Big Boo Cast recently and Melanie and Sophie were discussing beauty products, as they do. Melanie mentioned that she came by her vanity honestly since she had come from a long line of vain Texas women. This was an "A-Ha" moment of sorts for me because SAME OVER HERE, SISTER. Due to my honest vanity and my increasing age, I have been hyper - interested in all the products lately. Neutrogena Moisture Smooth Color Sticks are by far my favorite lipsticks. I have four different colors. Also, this month at Ulta you can buy three mini size products and get a fourth free. Yes, please. Here are some of the things I got yesterday.










3. "Readers are leaders."




My mom and I share a love of reading. I'm pretty sure I never heard her say, "Readers are leaders." but I think she'd be down with that statement. Recently I heard someone mention that we should really make an effort to read books by authors of different races, cultures and/or faiths. I was nodding vigorously in agreement to that statement. Then, I realized I was in the middle of reading Sisters First by Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush - two white girls, each whose sister is her best friend, born in Texas to a Republican family, one of whom actually went to the same college as me and joined the same sorority as me and also became a teacher like me. Hmmm. I'm not saying I shouldn't have read and/or enjoyed that book, but perhaps a move in a different direction was in order for the next book on my list. I have been hearing about this book, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas for months. It is categorized as a Young Adult novel, but I think it is absolutely important for adults. I am only about a quarter of the way through it, but I am finding it really compelling and again, for a girl who grew up with very little diversity in her life, this book is very important. Here is the synopsis per Amazon.

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.


 4.  Wonderfully Made by Ellie Holcomb


My mom taught me that I am wonderfully made and never doubts that I can do all the good things I want to do. I know that I am lucky that I had a mom who believed I was valuable because so many do not have that experience growing up. And yet, even with that upbringing, I find it hard sometimes to remember all the important things that Lord has in store for me and that I am worthy of His belief in me. That's why I'm more grateful that my mom taught me about Jesus because I know that even when she's gone, I know who to look toward to know my worth. This song by Ellie Holcomb reminds us the truth of Psalm 139:14. It makes me weep. Yes indeed, Lord, "Help me to see me just like you see me." 

5. Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas


https://www.gonnawantseconds.com/2015/01/chicken-enchiladas-with-sour-cream-white-sauce/
My mom makes some amzing things but these chicken enchiladas are a family favorite. So good.

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas
4 whole chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 large onion, chopped
1 can diced green chiles
1/2 jar of green taco sauce
1 pound of grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 pint sour cream
1 cup chicken broth
1 pint half and half
1 Tablespoon butter
1 dozen flour tortillas

Saute onions in butter.  Add chicken, chiles, taco sauce and 3/4 of grated cheese.  Heat until cheese melts.  Add sour cream and mix thoroughly.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Keep warm. 
Heat broth and half and half on low in skillet.  Soak each tortilla to soften.  Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of chicken mix into tortilla and roll up.  Place seam side down in buttered casserole dish.  Pour remaining broth/half and half over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese.  Bake in oven preheated to 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

PS This photo is not of my mom's enchiladas. But they look pretty close. Click the caption on the photo to see that recipe.

Have a great weekend, everyone! Happy Birthday, Mom!!!


Disclosure: The View From Behind Home Plate is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn small fees by linking to amazon.com