The Downton Patch

Confession:  it turns out that I was more "addicted" to Downton Abbey than I thought.  It doesn't help that my husband still wants to watch, and so in addition to leaving the show, I am also leaving our date nights!  Just like with smoking, drinking or any more sinister addiction, giving something up takes levels of self control, but you can change the situation to help yourself.First, I told my husband very firmly that not only was I not going to watch, he could not watch it in the house.  I … [Read more...]

Resolutions, big and small

My New Year's resolution has two dimensions. The first, very specific part of my resolution, is to floss daily. The second is to do the right thing all the time.The second part is ridiculous, unattainable perhaps, but shouldn't it be all of our resolution, always? The means to get there, for me right now, is flossing. Flossing is attainable. It is unambiguous and clearly defined. You can't fool yourself about flossing, because either you did it today or you didn't. It is a pretty low … [Read more...]

Teaching your child how to handle a bully?

I know a child who has been picked on within a small group of boys, and I don't have much experience with adolescent boy interactions. The boy tells me that his instinct is to hit the other kid, but he knows that is not right and that he will probably get in trouble. Someone else suggested that he not actually hit, but use his size to threaten. We joked about having younger siblings go over, including a 5 year old, and tell the kid to lay off. In the end, we helped him to identify a friend … [Read more...]

My Favorite Moment of Christmas

Each year, my children choose a name from a hat and buy a gift for one sibling. We choose the name on the first Sunday of Advent and they plan the gifts, whispering and scheming and wrapping. Opening Secret Santa gifts is their favorite part of Christmas morning, no matter what else is under the tree, bikes or skis or huge marble run sets, somehow the package of markers from your big sister is the best gift you get. I think that the children know each other so well and they choose really … [Read more...]

GK Chersterton on Santa Claus

“The Other Stocking” by G.K. ChestertonThis is taken from the facebook page of the American Chesterton Society, and was originally published in a paper in London in 1903.What has happened to me has been the very reverse of what appears to be the experience of most of my friends. Instead of dwindling to a point, Santa Claus has grown larger and larger in my life until he fills almost the whole of it. It happened in this way.As a child I was faced with a phenomenon requiring exp … [Read more...]

Light in the Darkness

I have been thinking a lot lately about keeping the presence of God this Advent and Christmas. Amidst all the busyness and the short dark days, how can I remember that we are preparing to celebrate the Light of Love which pierced the darkness so many years ago? How can I take consolation in that when I am worried or grieving, especially when others around me seem happier or more fulfilled?St. Josemaria Escriva taught his friends to greet Our Lord and Our Lady when they saw statues and … [Read more...]

Pray to End Hunger on December 10

We don't usually post on weekends, but I just read about the Pope's request that we pray to end world hunger. I thought I should help spread the word. Read more here: … [Read more...]

Study the Gospel All Year Long!

Before I begin my post, a happy birthday shout out to my 91 year old Granny! At the beginning of the Year of Faith, someone sent me an email forward of a list which would send a daily email from the catechism. I signed up for the email list, and I have to say that I was really pleasantly surprised by the experience. As the list grew (over 100,000 subscribers), there were some issues with copyright and they wound up with an agreement with the publishers of YouCat, a catechism for … [Read more...]

Nothing Left to Give

deathly hallows cover

The Cosby Show is a major source of support and inspiration in our household. In the pilot, the Cosby family had four children, but they landed a new, oldest child by the time the first season began, and of course we love that she was at Princeton. I like the Cosbys because they are New Yorkers, because they introduce interesting cultural figures, and most of all because they have realistic, sometimes difficult, family interactions, and the parents are my role models. They get angry in just … [Read more...]

A few quick thoughts

A few of my children are under the weather, and I am not feeling 100% awesome either, so I don't have much to say, but here are a few things that I am thinking about this morning:1) I love changing over our seasonal book basket. Out go the apple and pumpkin books and in come the Thanksgiving books, and it is so fun to see the kids grab their favorites and run for the couch. These books are old friends and many of them have lived with us in 4 different homes2) I am becoming best friends … [Read more...]