At the Capitol, we are winding down this year’s work and gearing up to begin the 2022 Session on January 5.  But before we start talking about next year’s politics and begin another hectic year, it’s the perfect season and the perfect time to slow down, to reflect, and to count our blessings.   
One of the many things that I like about the job of state representative is meeting with people from back home that come to the Capitol.  When time allows, it’s fun to personally give tours of the building to our guests, and I especially enjoy visiting with the many students and their teachers that come to the Capitol on field trips.  
During the 2021 session, class director Joan Dietrich led a group of high school students in the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) program to the Capitol.  The JAG program helps students face life issues, stay in school, and develop lifetime interests, skills, and careers.  During the trip, the students were able to personally visit Governor Mike Parson.  Governor Parson talked about the challenges he faced and had to overcome in life and encouraged the students to excel in all aspects of life.  It was a heartwarming discussion between the Governor and the JAG students.   
Continuing with a positive theme for this Report, Christmas is my favorite holiday.  It’s a fun and joyful time to spend with family, and I am most grateful for the birth of a loving and forgiving Savior.  Not only is Christmas full of laughter and joy, but it’s also a humbling, quiet time to think about the birth of a Christ child many years ago in a manger and just how important that birth was and will always be to the world.  It’s not surprising that my two favorite Christmas songs are “The Little Drummer Boy” and “Silent Night.”  Christmas and the New year are wonderful times of the year.
The Ozark region is a beautiful place to live.  I am grateful.  This truly is God’s country.  At one of my mother’s first jobs, which was working at the local post office, she was taught to answer the phone every day the same way (regardless of the weather outside) with this greeting:  “It’s a beautiful day in the Ozarks.”  Those words later became a favorite lifetime saying of both my mother and father passing on to me and many others their positive attitude and their love of this area and its people.      
We live in the greatest country in the world, and arguably, in the history of the world.  In the year 1787 on the last day of our Constitional Convention, Benjamin Franklin stood and pointed to the sun outlined on the back of the president’s chair.  He reflected on the progress of the Convention saying: "I have often ... in the course of the session ... looked at that sun behind the President without being able to tell whether it was rising or setting. But now at length I have the happiness to know it is a rising and not a setting sun."  
Franklin suggested that other countries around the world should use our supreme law as the model constitution to be emulated.  I agree.  We have a great Constitution for a great country.   Although this country’s image has perhaps been tarnished in recent times, the sun is still rising on our country with great times yet to come.  God has blessed this country, and he has been our greatest strength.  It’s our ongoing duty to protect our way of life. With God’s grace and working together, we can and will keep that future bright.
May God continue to bless you, your families, and this great country.  
My family wishes you and yours a wonderful holiday season.
If you would like to schedule a specific time to meet locally or at the Capitol, please call my office at 573-751-1455, or email my office at  
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