St. John Paul II on Everyday Life

Do you ever go through periods of time when your schedule is so carefully crafted that any unforeseen obstacle threatens to throw everything out of balance? Most of us can probably answer this question with a resounding "yes!", and some of us might even be feeling this way right now. Personally, our family has a lot going on for the next few weeks: we are in the process of moving, packing, and doing work on our new house, all while I am almost 7 months pregnant, and we are leaving for a family … [Read more...]

School’s Out!

Swim practice

It's that time of year again - the end of school and the beginning of summer vacation! In all honesty, it starts feeling a bit like summer break once swim team starts in late April - the countdown begins when we start donning goggles and swimsuits every afternoon for swim practice. I told my son that I couldn't believe that he was going to be a 5th-grader next year, and that I was just getting used to the idea of him being a 4th-grader. He told me that I should start calling him a 5th-grader … [Read more...]

Secret to Sanity

As summer beckons, I wanted to share our secret to keeping a (mostly) sane mom when kids are around all day every day. While our children are not exclusively homeschooled and attend some classes, most of my kids are home most days. With a hard working husband, most waking hours are attended by mom. Enter Quiet Time. Each and every afternoon, each boy who no longer naps is required to spend 1 hour quietly by themselves in their room. They may read, play with legos, or play a game as long as it … [Read more...]

Screen Time: Where We Are Right Now

Just Dance game on the Wii

Since creating Building Cathedrals over 7 years ago, we have had several conversations about screen time. Each of our families has worked hard to find the balance that works best for our particular situations; our decisions have involved factors such as the ages and the personalities of our children, our own comfort levels with technology, sibling dynamics, housing situations, etc. Currently, my children are 10 (boy), 6 (girl), and 4 (girl), and our baby is due in September. We have typically … [Read more...]

Moving Checklist

Moving in six years ago!

We are moving! After six years in our beloved house, we are moving just three blocks away to another home in our neighborhood that will give us some more room to grow. The decision to move was a tough one, especially because we have wonderful neighbors that have become great friends, but we saw this as a great opportunity for our family and we think that it is a good decision all around. Our move will happen in late-June, after a couple of weeks of minor renovations on our new house, and I am … [Read more...]

Make Spring!


My kids have been begging constantly to fill the kiddie pool in the backyard. I keep telling them that we will when the temperature reaches the 60s and sunny. This morning, after putting breakfast dishes away, I discovered them playing in the pool, clad in swimsuits, in the 45 degree morning rain. They were just happy that the pool was filling steadily with rain water, hypothermia or not. If Philadelphia hands you an everlasting winter... make spring! … [Read more...]

Celebrating in Style


Yesterday, we celebrated the 4th birthday of a very excited little girl. She couldn't wait to try on her new party dresses, and even wore one of them to nursery school this morning. Honestly, I think that our youngest is just excited that she is closer to being one of the "big kids," although I'm not sure that the rest of us are quite ready for that yet! Our big decision for now is whether to send her to Pre-K at the big school with her older sister - all day, every day - or to keep her in our … [Read more...]

My Favorite Picture by a 5 year old


Any guesses on what it is depicting?? … [Read more...]

Five Best Things about Snow Day #38


Today is another snow day. And tomorrow too. And Monday is Presidents’ Day holiday. Yet another five-day winter weekend spent entirely indoors. I don’t know if my children have gone to school more than 3 days during any one week since Thanksgiving. Winter unschooling.... Here are the top five reasons to be happy this morning: (5) Plenty of time to finish every Christmas-gifted science kit, coloring book, craft set, and activity pack, which will make spring purging that much easier. … [Read more...]

As Only Mary Alice Could Say It…

...It's almost St. Valentine's Day - are all of you Christmas decorations put away?  We have an undeclared, disassembled tree in the dining room corner. Enough ignoring it!  Just do it! *Mary Alice's computer is offline, so she asked me to post this on her behalf. Thanks for this, Mary Alice. For all of us who still have a pile of Christmas decorations/cards/ornaments on the bedroom dresser or wherever, this is good motivation to get it put away for good until next year! … [Read more...]