Family Read-Aloud Time

I have a totally unrealistic dream. I imagine me sitting in a chair with an enchanting, living book in hand reading to my three sweet boys who are playing or drawing peacefully and quietly, attentive to the beautiful story, absorbing its language and its richness. I'm sure my husband is laughing across cyberspace quipping to himself, "Maybe I should introduce her to our children."I  would love to establish a family read aloud time for longer chapter books, but my attempts thus far have failed … [Read more...]

Summer Strategies

Since snow days are rare in Texas, we don't have the winter cabin fever like some of our friends further North. But when summer hits, it can be brutal. We are instituting some new routines and incentives around here to help us order our summer days.We try to go to our neighborhood pool early (8am) to beat some of the intense sun, but by the time everyone is splashed out we still have several hours until lunch. In an effort to minimize friction between our sensory child and the others, we are … [Read more...]

Can’t Be Outdone By B-Mama…

Special Ed graduation...the hats were too cute!! And, yes, I cried, too, B-Mama!! These boys are just too sweet! … [Read more...]

Overheard in the Car

Boy 1: "I'm thinking of a number between ten thousand and 6 million." Mom thinks, "Wow, this is going to take awhile." Boy 2: "One hundred!" Boy 1: "You're right!"Boy 2: "I'm thinking of a letter between A and B." Boy 1 (slightly puzzled): "A and a half?" … [Read more...]

(Not so) Great Expectations

10 days ago I went on a retreat. I hadn't been for 2 years, since I was pregnant with Incredibaby, so I was very much looking forward to it. As probably the most intensely introverted of the builder bunch, I was looking forward to the silence and solitude more than anything. 9 peaceful hours of quiet in the car by myself, my own little peaceful room and 3 days of silence and meditation. This was what I expected, what I had determined I needed. Despite hemming and hawing and insisting that I … [Read more...]


My husband and I play a little game with the boys when we hit a red light: "Mommy, Mommy," they beg, "make the light change! Remember to ask it nicely!"And then we begin a short or long request for the light to change to green using lots of big words and fancy language by keeping our eye on the lights the other direction waiting for them to change yellow to make our final triumphant request for green. The boys squeal with glee that we have once again made the light change at our command. Rocket … [Read more...]

Roman Coffee

Juris Mater's Roman adventure has me thinking nostalgically of the time I spent living in Roma, working as an intern at the US Embassy to the Vatican. I thought I'd post one of the vignettes I sent out during my time there. This is the one about coffee. Which reminds me, and maybe I am the last person in the world to figure this out, but I have started pouring my coffee into a travel mug in the mornings, even when we don't leave the house. It stays warm for hours. Brilliant!! How did it take me … [Read more...]

Holy Week Artwork

I was looking for some beautiful images of Holy Week to share with our children and came across the website Joyful Heart's list with links to many, many beautiful images. I have not reviewed any of the other content on the site, but this list, which includes images of the Last Supper, Gethsemane, the Trial, the Crucifixion and the Pieta, was exactly what I was looking for. Not all the links work, but many can be looked up by artist/title at the Web Gallery of Art. … [Read more...]

Raising Real Men

The day I received an email from Melanie and Hal Young was probably like any other day with 3 young boys. Except that the commonplace falls, bumps and bruises of this particular day necessitated our first ER visit (I know, not too bad in 9 combined years of little boyhood). "Would you be interested in a review copy of Raising Real Men?" They asked.Still shaking from our first ER visit, I laughed at reading the subtitle, Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys, (at the moment, I'd have taken … [Read more...]

Habla español?

I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that my 4 year old knows more Spanish than I do. He comes home from Spanish class and tries to teach me the days of the week, names for articles of clothing, etc., but I am a slower learner than he is. I have wanted to learn Spanish since moving to Texas 5 years ago. Has anyone had any experience attempting to learn a foreign language alongside their children? I vaguely remember the Muzzy videos and figure if I can handle the BBC's Scottish goat giving typing … [Read more...]