Talk to me about allowance

Friends, we started paying our 6-yr.-old an allowance of $1/ week when she turned 6. I put no guidelines on how she spent the money, but rather, used the first six months as a sort of test period. Well, she spent it all on ridiculous things like silly bands, temporary tatoos and sticker albums. All of it. I think the most she ever saved was $4.¬† I wanted her to have the freedom to make mistakes ... well at least I thought I wanted her to have that freedom. It made me too frustrated to watch. So … [Read more...]

Passion v. Pragmatism

So, I have lived 29 years of my life feeling like I don't really know what I am doing. I mean, sure, I know my priorities, and I live them with my actions and decisions, but life has always felt rather haphazard. You know, I have never had a five-year-plan or even a budget. I have survived by the seat of my pants, on a wing and a prayer and all those other cliches that mean God has been good. Well, then other people came into my life. First it was a baby girl while I was trying to be an Army … [Read more...]

Good Friday

"Brothers and sisters, let us direct today our gaze toward Christ, a gaze frequently distracted by scattered and passing earthly interests. Let us pause to contemplate his cross. The cross, fount of life and school of justice and peace, is the universal patrimony of pardon and mercy.  It is permanent proof of a self-emptying and infinite love that brought God to become man, vulnerable like us, unto dying crucified."Pope Benedict XVI, Good Friday Via Cruces 2008 … [Read more...]

We are a Goodwill Satellite Store

This morning when I opened our apartment door to go to Mass we could barely get out because there were two large white garbage bags blocking our way. Peering through the thin plastic I could see that there were little boy clothes and shoes inside. More money saved at the hands of our generous neighboors -hooray! Then, after Mass concluded, a mother of eight children approached our family and handed my excited three-year-old a smaller plastic bag which contained a … [Read more...]

Authentically Fun, Authentically Catholic.. an elusive combination

I suspect this will be controversial, but I want to be honest here¬† -- as we always are.I move a lot. Every few years I am confronted with a new place. A whole new crop of people. New neighbors, new homeschool moms, new parishes and parish groups. Heck, I even went to four high schools in as many years. Over the course of this journey I have become a bit of an armchair sociologist. I spend lots of time analyzing what personality traits attract me to another person or family. As I approach my … [Read more...]

Public Service Announcement

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Christmas Lights

We range from the polemic, to the intellectual, to the metaphysical here at BC, but this evening I would just like to write a post about how ....Christmas lights are really pretty. I know, amazing, ground-zapping, deeper than deep. But, really, I think this acknowledgment deserves a few moments of our time. I was just taking a walk through our Army housing area in Germany admiring everyone's Christmas decorations and it filled my heart with sincere joy. The soft glow on each person's balcony … [Read more...]

Cambridge Thanksgiving

The Juris Family and 4/5 of the AWOL Family shared a most joyous five days together at their temporary home in Cambridge, England over the Thanksgiving holiday. Here is a shot of us in front of Kings' College on my birthday, a nippy-21-degree-Sunday-afternoon . The temperatures were low, but the conversation and camaraderie were the warmest imaginable.JM, your hostessing abilities while on the road yourself will continue to teach me lessons for years to come, thank you for a great holiday. … [Read more...]

Frivolity to Asceticism

As with most mothers, there is a calculus that goes on in my mind every time I am about to spend our family's resources on something. Most of our clothes are second-hand and I make extra trips to food stores in order to get the best food items for the price.It is with this frugality in mind that I recently questioned some "silly" items I purchased. Then I reconsidered, "why is this silly? Just because it enhances my ascetic experience of life? Didn't God give us senses for a reason?" But then … [Read more...]

Thoughts For Jet Lag Thursday

Just arrived home on Tuesday afternoon from a 2.5 week-trip to the States with my family - flew standby on military aircraft. This is free travel, but wildly unpredictable and logistically difficult. Jet lag is heavy upon us.What am I cooking?No fancy picture here, but we will be having chicken stir-fry. I love to tap into the Hoisin Sauce in my fridge drawer, and stretch a few chicken breasts with lots of veggies. We will be including a zucchini and some green beans we grew ourselves - so … [Read more...]