Fall Morning Magic

I love Kat's post about being intentional about meeting our own needs so that we can set the right tone in our household.  My biggest challenge lately has been the early morning hours.  I am NOT a morning person.  Life has radically changed for me this September and the mornings have been rough.  When my big kids get up to head to the school bus, my others all wake up as well, so we have a household that is noisy and clammering for breakfast by 6:30 am.Some days I run around and meet their ne … [Read more...]

September 11 and Living History

On September 11, we pray, we grieve, and we remember.  Just the words "World Trade Center" bring tears to my eyes, I remember those who were lost but I also remember the shocking feeling of vulnerability in the city which I love, and the way that so many people came together to honor those who were killed and those who were working in Ground Zero.  I remember flags at half staff and fire departments draped with purple bunting.  I don't have to watch the news coverage over and over again to re … [Read more...]

Unexpected Good Advice

I called today to arrange for some home maintenance work that I need done twice a year.  The time frame they gave me was not specific (they might come anytime, all day, until it gets dark).  My gut reaction is anger, that is such a crap way to run a business, but on the other hand it is seasonal work and they are trying to do as many homes as they can in the next two or three weeks, so I guess that's just how it goes. Anyway, when I asked the receptionist for a smaller window I whined a little b … [Read more...]

Outstanding Math Picture Book

My preschool set has a new vocabulary, and my older ones are thinking about math in a different way as well after reading this great book many times.  I can't recommend it enough.  I got it at my local library, and hopefully your library has it too!My philosophy of elementary education involves picture books for every subject, but I think that Math is sometimes neglected.  The fun pictures and real objects in this book make the lessons accessible to everyone.A few other math picture bo … [Read more...]


I live in New Jersey, so almost every family I know spends a lot of time at "the shore" during the summer.  Some take day trips and others are lucky enough to have a week long rental with grandparents, but everybody loves the beach.  I have to tell you, I feel a little "meh" about the beach.  I have fun when I am there, but it is not the vacation I would choose.  I am a woods and mountain girl.  If I can get away in the summer, I like to go someplace where the nights are cool and the landscape is … [Read more...]

To School

As you may already know, two of my children will be going to school outside of our home this fall.  I have been laughing as I think that they are not going "back to school" in September, but rather "to school" for the first time at ages 10 and 11.I'd like to know what advice you have for me - not for them this time, though I may ask for that later, as I adjust to being a school parent.  I am particularly unsure about morning routine, homework negotiations, adjusting to a new culture and r … [Read more...]

Why am I here?

When I joined a new gym, I was given a questionnaire from the personal training department.  Was I joining the gym to: lose weight, gain fitness, increase endurance for a specific sport, make friends, rehab an injury, manage stress?The statement underneath this question said "Participants who know their goals are more likely to stick with an exercise program."I thought that this was great advice, and I have taken to applying it to other activities that I choose for myself and my family.  … [Read more...]

Laundry Saver for my Fashionisto

When it comes to laundry, I don't let perfection become the enemy of the good, I just get it done.  This means that I wash almost everything in cold water and I don't separate or pretreat.  I buy my boys plenty of cheap polo shirts, often at consignment, and gym shorts, and they look decent all summer with easy  wash and wear clothes.  I have them change out of nicer church clothes right after mass to avoid grass stains on their nicer pants.Except for my Fashionisto.  This boy chooses his out … [Read more...]

Coveting Tidy

I've been thinking a lot about this whole "makers gotta mess" concept.  I know that from a parenting standpoint, I do not want a picture perfect house in which the kids mostly watch TV because that is the least messy activity.  I do want them to build huge awesome train tracks around their rooms, to save a box of acorn tops for a "someday" craft project, to McGyver old headphones and a book light into a pretend rock star mic, to jump on the furniture from time to time, and to feel that the house … [Read more...]

Living the Dream – The Joys of Home Ownership

Recently, we had a plumber come out to fix a slow drain in the children's bathroom.  This particular bathroom is the handwashing and toothbrushing station for 6 children, so it is heavily trafficked, and the plumber recommended that we put an organic septic solution in the drain once a month to prevent future back ups.  It's a fifteen minute process of mixing the solution, letting it sit for a while, putting it in the drain, flushing with hot water, and then not using that drain overnight.   … [Read more...]