Monday Meanderings

With the chill in the air and a warm pot of soup simmering on my stovetop this morning, Autumn is coming alive in our world and in my heart despite not yet starting officially. The season awakens in all that surrounds me. Football games are endless on TV and on the field as my second oldest commences his first flag football season (Go Browns!). Soccer Saturdays are in full swing as my #1 and #3 play for rec teams in the area (Go Bengals! Go Guppies!). Apple-picking is on the calendar, as is camp … [Read more...]

Really?

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This catalog came through our mail slot today and I barfed.It is still (technically) summer. My kids are wearing shorts and flip flops and playing in the sprinkler in the afternoons.And last winter was one of the snowiest, coldest winters in Philadelphia history. Also known as "the winter that crushed all the mothers."The cinnamon-scented pinecones and Halloween decor that showed up in stores back in August seemed overeager.This magazine cover is just insensitive; how about givi … [Read more...]

Thrive Family – Sleep is for the Strong*

I was so glad to read J's post yesterday, because her thoughts about family meal time fit in perfectly with striving for Well Being, the first pillar of Thrive.  With back to school time upon us, Autumn is a great time to think about habits that lead to Well Being and help set us up to Thrive on good days and bad.  Thrive includes lots of advice and evidence about our need for the right amount of sleep each day.  One thing that really helped me was the research that shows that we are more ef … [Read more...]

My Top 10 Most Influential Books

I've been taking a break from blogging to tend to the regular demands of family life.  I am resurfacing this morning to share a booklist.  I compiled this booklist in response to a Facebook challenge from my sister.  It was a fun exercise.  This is not a list of the best 10 books I have ever read, but rather the most influential.  And so much of how a books hits you is related to where you are at a given point in your life when you read the book.  The Lamb's Supper came into my hands just as I wa … [Read more...]

Favorite Toddler Activities

I know I am probably the last of the families here to return to school, but we did finally return to school this week.  It has been a wonderful week for my two school-age children.  Even our kindergartener who started half-day kindergarten today was beaming ear to ear.  The week has been a bit tougher for my three year old and me, however.  We both miss his older siblings and wish they weren't gone for most of the day.My three year old is not going to preschool this year, so we, along with hi … [Read more...]

Thrive at Home

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I am a striver.  I know that I was born with a lot of advantages, and I worked hard to make the most that I could of the opportunities I had.  I took that same outlook into married life and parenting.  In almost 14 years of marriage, we have been constantly working to move forward, sometimes, as with a new baby or a big move, putting ourselves into "survival mode" for a while in order to get there.  My life has a rhythm to it: strive, survive, recover, systemize, coast briefly, burnout, repeat.  … [Read more...]

Mom’s Night Out

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Our fabulous cast of local Catholic mothers is discussing a regular Mom’s Night Out for the first time ever. Count me in! We have a regular playgroup, but as families grow, the adult:child ratio is increasingly not in our favor, so conversations have become choppy and unsatisfying. There are fewer natural social outlets for moms than ever: most neighborhood mothers are at work, and immediate family members live far away. With a large family, it’s hard to get out much to see friends, and when we d … [Read more...]

Adoration with children

We are fortunate enough to have perpetual adoration at our parish.  In addition, some very devoted mothers have arranged a children's adoration hour once a week.  During this time, parents with young children are encouraged to come to the adoration chapel, knowing that some additional noise and wiggling won't be distracting, but rather expected.One of the commitments that we will take on this school year will be a regular adoration slot during the children's adoration hour.  It is only a twen … [Read more...]

Encouragement from Chaput on Daily Life

Recently, Archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles Chaput, offered this address at a "Faith in the Public Square" symposium.  Far from being a lofty, academic, theoretical piece (which have a place and can certainly encourage as well), I found his comments to be poignantly practical and encouraging for even the mundane moments of my daily life.  I found his quote of Pope Benedict's depiction of the original Benedictines to be particularly inspiring; I think of St. Benedict as a titan of a Saint: a her … [Read more...]

A Shoe Solution: The Croc Monster

One thing driving me bananas this summer is children's shoes lying every which way all over the house. When kids are in school this is a much simpler situation to manage. But during the summer, my children are constantly in and out of our back door to play, in and out of the garage door to swim practice and summer adventures, putting shoes on and taking them off… And they end up everywhere! I find shoes under chairs and pianos, in our seldom-used dining room, even in the game cupboard the other d … [Read more...]


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