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

I'd rather live in a bouncy house...

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...]

Homeschool Round Up


Inspired by Charlotte at Waltzing Matilda, here are some of my lessons from the school year which we are about to finish:Activities:Keep: Skiing: I will treasure the ski season, especially fresh powder on weekday mornings and long sessions reading Heidi in the evenings, I will cherish those months always.   That sort of flexibility is one of the major benefits of homeschooling.Trash: Overscheduling: For the past 8 weeks I have had children’s activities outside the house 7 days a wee … [Read more...]

A New Way to Shop for Baby?

My little June baby does not fit many of our hand-me-downs, so I am getting to buy some baby boy clothes for the first time in about 10 years!  I love Carters for cotton basics that wash and wear well, and I love that you can often buy them on sale and gain coupons for the next purchase, I think they are doubled on Tuesdays, but I am going to check before I purchase.Anyway, I just got an email that baby things are 50% off there, and then I clicked through and saw this bundle.  I can't copy t … [Read more...]

Thoughts on Thursday

I am not following the format, but here are a few things rattling around in my head:1.  I have loved reading to my kids over the past six weeks or so.  We have read Heidi and The Little Princess, and now we are starting Tom Sawyer.  With the latter two, I was moved to tears at some times by the beautiful messages of books which were favorites from my childhood.  I was even reading from my own copies -- thanks mom and dad for saving them! -- and I know that I took things away from the stories … [Read more...]

5 Intentional Home Projects for Lent

If you know me, you know that I love a good excuse to declutter.  I have been thinking over the past few days about whether I would gear up for the now-traditional 40 bags in 40 days, a major Lenten decluttering project.  As I looked around my closet this morning, I realized that I need to take this in a slightly different direction.  After 4 years of valiant decluttering (and a fun basement flood to help us along), I think that we have moved past the point of needing to pitch the things that we … [Read more...]