As Lent draws to a close, let’s remember that Easter is a season

My self control as I walked through the grocery store yesterday afternoon was remarkable. I was picking up a few things to round out the hearty dinner that we will have tonight before heading to the Princeton Chapel for Holy Thursday Mass.All around me, there were Easter desserts on display. Our grocery store has a gourmet bakery department and people must have been working hard because there are chocolate cakes shaped and decorated like eggs, there are bunnies covered in coconut and there … [Read more...]

Faith, politics and young adult literature

The Christian who seeks to live his faith through political action conceived as service, may not adhere, without going against his own beliefs, to ideological systems which oppose - radically or substantially - his Faith and his perception of man.  Therefore it is not licit to act in favor of the Marxist ideology with its atheistic materialism, its dialectic of violence, and the way in which that ideology understands individual freedom within collectivity.  This same ideology denies any t … [Read more...]

One Week In — Checking my Lenten Progress

We've been hearing from so many people that they prefer to add something for Lent, that "giving something up" "misses the point."  The truth is, I think that it is easy to miss the point whether you add or subtract during Lent, because the point is to be INTENTIONAL in a SPIRIT OF SACRIFICE.  As we proceed through Lent, checking our intention can help to make sure that whatever we do is truly meaningful.Here are my reflections on a few of my Lenten plans:40 bags in 40 days -- is it L … [Read more...]

Literally

A few weeks ago, I was trying to explain to my son that I try to give all of my children what they need, even though they don't get everything the same, so what I view as "fair" might not look fair to them. There are even times when things are totally "unfair" because I need other kids to sacrifice in order to provide a special situation for one child at one time, but that it will all even out eventually, hopefully. This was a hard conversation, so I went into metaphor mode. I told him that … [Read more...]

This Olympic Moment Made Me Cry

We have seen the Proctor and Gamble "Thanks Mom!" commercials, as well as several mom-tribute copycats, and I do always appreciate that tribute to the hard work that an entire family does to get someone to the Olympics, but as someone whose life often revolves around getting young people to various (non-Olympic caliber) sports activities, I have to say that I was most incredibly moved and inspired by Noelle Pikus-Pace, the US skeleton racer who came out of retirement for one more shot at an … [Read more...]

I love it when a good plan comes together

On Tuesday afternoon my kind mother in law was at my house, planning to stay through the evening while my husband and I went out to eat with an anniversary gift certificate.  I was out picking up one and dropping off another, as I often am from 3-5 pm these days, when I got a gentle text:  Alice, is there a plan for dinner?Sheepishly I called her back.  Um, no, there is no plan for dinner.  I'm pretty sure there is enough pasta left in the pantry and a jar of sauce, and half a head of let … [Read more...]

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...]


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