Challenge for the Lenten Homestretch

A few days ago, I read a great Lenten reflection by Fr. Robert Barron, and the general gist was as follows: For the homestretch of Lent, try picking both your favorite saint and the saint that you have the hardest time with, and open up your heart and mind to learn something from both of them. I love the latter part of this challenge, which Fr. Barron states much more eloquently than I ever could: "...choose another saint who bothers you, one whom you don't really appreciate or who maybe rubs … [Read more...]

Happy Feast of the Annunciation!


In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, "Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you." But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a … [Read more...]

Keeping Faith

Huge disclaimer: I haven’t read this book, which is apparently about how faith is lost or kept over generations, but I’m very curious about it.  Still, I have been thinking a lot of its summary via this book review in the New York Times  although I’ll admit that my thoughts are a little jumbled this afternoon (I know. I’m writing about a book review, not actually reading something! Sigh). The premise of the book hits a nerve with me, namely that many families intend to pass on faith … [Read more...]

Redemptive Haircuts

I have heard they do female hair too...

There is a curious barbershop on our military post, near where my husband goes to work each day. It has an inauspicious brick exterior and erratic hours. For the first couple months we lived here at Fort Leavenworth we tried to figure out how to get haircuts at this place... we had heard they were $4 apiece! My husband took our sons in a couple times and was told that they could only get their 30 minutes in a barber chair with an appointment. It seemed inconvenient, but we gave it a shot. The … [Read more...]

Helping Our Kids Deal with Stress

One of my children seems particularly affected by stress. This child tends to be pretty easy-going and slow-moving, so it often comes as a surprise when I hear the words "I'm so stressed out, there's just too much pressure!" come out of this child's mouth. Often, I cannot understand what is so stressful about the situation; in my eyes, everything is under control and we are just plugging right along. When I ask what is stressful, this child answers, "What if the teachers change their mind and … [Read more...]

What Are You Wishing for this Christmas?

With Christmas Day just a little over a week away, all of us are asking the question, "What are you wishing for this Christmas?" If you were to ask my children, they would say that they are wishing for a marble run, a 4D puzzle, and a Mulan doll. My husband would probably mention something technology-related, and we would both probably say that we would love to have a date night that doesn't involve holiday parties and school concerts! All of these Christmas wishes are great, and we have a … [Read more...]

There’s Still Time…

I’m very embarrassed to say that my daughter saw our nativity for the first time yesterday. Also, our second purple candle on the Advent wreath had yet to be lit, and our first one is almost gone because I left it burning on accident one night the first week after saying our prayer around the Advent wreath (which, as an aside, we’ve done twice).  All of this does not bode well for our first Advent as parents, nor does it mesh with whatever rosy catholic dreams I had envisioned in ‘passing … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving Preparations

I don't know about you, but with Red’s annual Advent/Christmas post fresh in my mind, I’ve very much been thinking through what I need to do before Advent starts for our little family (thanks Red, very, very helpful as always!). But before we get there, we have wonderful Thanksgiving to prepare for and in my home this will mean family, dear friends, and two little Goddaughters coming our way for the holiday. While not a special season set apart like Advent or a holy day like Christmas from a … [Read more...]

Jesse Tree – It’s Not too Early to Start Planning

The beginning of Advent often sneaks up on me, meaning that I am only sometimes successful with family traditions like the Jesse Tree. This website has some great tips on planning for doing a Jesse Tree with your family this year, and it also contains a link that you can use to purchase the materials if you're not feeling crafty this year (I would fall into this category most years!). In the past, I have also printed Jesse Tree ornaments from this website, and then simply taped them to a wall in … [Read more...]


Do you ever feel like God keeps giving you little nudges about growth he wants of you either personally or in your marriage (or both)? Um...yeah. That's where I am this morning, except for he is pushing, not nudging! My husband and I have been embarking on more robust nightly quiet times together for a particular prayer intention. What a great thing this has been for us! While I know God is leading us slowly to His will on that intention, some of the “ancillary” results of our prayer have … [Read more...]