Scheduling School Time

Awhile ago we had a great discussion on some ideas for a good family routine when trying to teach older kids and keep little ones happy and out of (too much) trouble. I promised several people that I would share what has worked in our family this year. As much as I would love to spend the next few years in a relaxed manner reading and following rabbit trails, the reality is that this does not work for our oldest son. So, as with so many things, I had to cast aside my ideas of what I wanted our … [Read more...]

On Shaping

From the Simply Charlotte Mason blog: Shaping requires intimate knowledge, trusting relationship, careful monitoring, constant interaction. We must become our children's students, studying them, learning about them, discovering where they need shaping and how best to use our shaping tools in their lives. (This series of posts on the process of shaping based on Miss Mason's motto for students: I am, I can, I ought, I will looks really interesting!) … [Read more...]

We’ll Take Daddy…

...anyway we can get him! Mr. Incredible spent last week in New York giving presentations, and the boys were riveted to the webcast version on his company's website. These kids are going to rock ECO 363 Corporate Finance someday! My husband's travel schedule has been pretty mild recently, but it often seems that those trips never come at a good time, probably because we always prefer life with Mr. Incredible here. When Dad is gone I tend to simplify things like meals. Last week I resurrected … [Read more...]

Good Behavior Club

My boys informed me today that they have formed a good behavior club. Of couse, I instantly thought it was some very localized off shoot of the Blue Knights and they would be spurring each other on to great virtues. Images of impeccably dressed boys treating each other with impeccable politeness danced in my head. My mistake. I was promptly informed the goal of the club is to slay dragons rather than, shall we say, use good table manners. At least I now know what they think when I tell them … [Read more...]

Holy Week Logistics

  The liturgies of this most holy week are so beautiful, and also so long and late for little ones. How do you all balance celebrating Holy Week as a family with little ones? The last few years my husband and I have traded off with one of us going to Holy Thursday and one of us going to Good Friday services and the other putting the kids to bed. And we opt for mass on Easter Sunday morning instead of the Vigil Mass, which is the most beautiful Mass of the year. Does anyone have any … [Read more...]

Check your own shoes, first!

This time of year is beautiful in Texas and we spend long weekends outside planting and gardening and bug collecting. I have drilled and drilled into the boys' heads that they are supposed to take off their muddy shoes before they come into the house. Of couse, they are little boys, and often, in some Very Exciting Moment (like the discovery of a new bug) someone will charge in to retrive a bug box or a butterfly identification sheet or fulfill the burning desire to "show Mommy" something that … [Read more...]

Doing Good Things

If you visited Princeton anytime in the last 16 years, chances are you were blessed with an encounter with Father Thomas Mullelly. Father Tom, or FT, is an iconic figure on campus. While I know our readers extend well beyond Princeton, I also know that each of the builders has been bolstered in our faith, prayer and apostolate by our beloved Father Tom. There are few on campus of any denomination or creed who do not know Father Tom. As head of the Aquinas Institute, Father Tom has presided over … [Read more...]

Further Explanation Needed

Our big boys enjoy the tradition of adding dried beans to a mason "sacrifice jar" for the extra sacrifices they make during Lent and have a good handle on what constitutes a sacrifice for Jesus. The baby, not so much. Incredibaby addressing Daddy: "Can I put a bean in the rack-fice jar?" Daddy: "Why? What did you do?" Very sincere 2 year old: "I finished all my dessert!" … [Read more...]

Hymn for Lent

This hymn is the very first thing in my Lenten binder. The words are simply beautiful. A blessed Ash Wednesday to you all. Hymn at Matins for the Office of Lent The fast, as taught by holy lore, We keep in solemn course once more, The fast to all men known and bound In forty days of yearly round. The law and seers that were of old In divers ways this Lent foretold, Which Christ, all seasons' King and guide, In after ages sanctified. More sparing therefore let us make The words we speak, the … [Read more...]

Papal Message for Lent

"the Lenten journey, in which we are invited to contemplate the Mystery of the Cross, is meant to reproduce within us “the pattern of his death” (Ph 3: 10), so as to effect a deep conversion in our lives; that we may be transformed by the action of the Holy Spirit, like St. Paul on the road to Damascus; that we may firmly orient our existence according to the will of God; that we may be freed of our egoism, overcoming the instinct to dominate others and opening us to the love of Christ. The … [Read more...]


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