Pattison's Perspectives

Have you hugged your kids today?

I don’t mean hugged them, I mean really hugged them.

It doesn’t matter the relation. Biological, adopted, foster, or guardianship, the question remains the same: have you hugged your kids today?

Not like it’s an obligation and they’re an inconvenience, but like it’s an honor and they’re a blessing.

And I’m not talking about the usual fleeting hugs you give them as you rush off to work, I’m talking about hugs that remain with them long after you’ve left.

Do you hug them with such singularly focused determination that they feel safe, loved beyond measure, and blissfully unaware of their own mortality? That they feel untouchable from all the fears and insecurities of life that their little hearts secretly endure?

Do you grip them so deeply that they feel nothing bad could befall them as long as they remain in your embrace? That they are sheltered from the chaos of a world around them that’s gone mad?

Do you hug them so passionately that in your arms is the only place they want to be? That when they grow older they will look back on those hugs and yearn to be in that moment with you again?

Do you hug them with such an abiding love that they will long to return to that place—and that very moment in time—where mommy and daddy loved them like crazy and made them feel like nothing else in the world was more important, more precious, or more sought after?

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Pattison's Perspectives

5 Rule Modifications For Catan.

game-340574_1280I reluctantly began playing Catan four or five years ago (back when it was known as Settlers of Catan). I say reluctantly because when my wife brought it home for our family to play on Thanksgiving, I remember rolling my eyes thinking it would surely be a dumb game. After all, I was a strict Castle Risk guy and this ugly, hexagon-shaped game—comprised of little hexagons within—had “no-fun” written all over it.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I’ve played Catan approximately 200 times since that Thanksgiving. Some people may call me a Catan addict, but I prefer the term enthusiast.

In the past four years I’ve introduced numerous people to the game, I’ve made numerous Catan converts, I’ve researched new strategies, developed some strategies of my own, and I’ve even made a few modifications to the official game rules.

And, if I may be so presumptuous to say, I believe those modifications are an improvement to the original rules. I’m so confident in this, that I’m sharing my five modifications publicly in the hopes that others will derive as much fun employing them as I have.

So without further ado, here are the five rule modifications that have enhanced my family’s Catan gaming experience.

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