Christmas to-do list

Well, friends, the first Sunday of Advent is here, and I have to admit that I have not even printed the "begin in October to have a chance at a good Advent" to-do list.  Our kitchen is gutted, our house is a construction zone with boxes everywhere, and my calendar is looking like a spreadsheet, but I do need to make sure that my family has a lovely Christmas somehow.  I have learned over the years that when I start to get anxious and when I start to forget things, a to-do list is my first step a … [Read more...]

Early Preparations for First Communion

Our oldest daughter is in second grade this year at our parish school. That means that this year she is preparing for her First Holy Communion. Neither my husband nor I was raised in the Catholic church. When I came into the church after college, I received my first communion and confirmation together at the Easter Vigil service. So, this is an unfamiliar process for us.My husband and I both take the spiritual formation of our children very seriously. We want to be active participants in … [Read more...]

Marriage Under the Microscope

I'll never forget visiting with my first married friend a few months after her wedding. We expected her to walk in starry-eyed and head-over-heels (isn't that what Hollywood dictates?) Instead, she was wide-eyed and serious as she said, "Girls, marriage is really tough." Wow.Twelve years into my own marriage, I think back on those words and posture what she was getting at. I think to achieve happiness and oneness in marriage, you really have to work at it. Life pulls us in every direction. Ki … [Read more...]

Inspiration for All Saints and a favorite craft

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Heading into a Holy Day weekend, I thought this quote quite appropriate for my All Saints reflections:'They who are engaged with the salvation of their neighbor, will gain more by an humble modesty than by an authoritative manner, and will gain victory sooner in retreat than in combat."  - St. Ignatius of LoyolaOne of my favorite crafts to do with my kids on All Saints is making  Armor of God paper dolls from Ministry to Children.  We read Ephesians 6 and talk about how to be like the sa … [Read more...]

Tricks and Treats From the Archives – Halloween Math Activities

As we get our costumes and treat bags in order, I am making a short list of math concepts which I want to be sure to touch on during this year's Halloween Candy Math unit the first few days in November.  For my kindergarten and first grade students, there will be sorting by one attribute, tallying, counting by twos and fives, single digit adding and subtracting with m&ms, graphing m&m colors and working different types of graphs, probably a bar graph and a pie chart.  Yum, candy pie!  Fo … [Read more...]

Do you believe in Magic?

A little boy opened the bedroom door and looked up at me, tears in his eyes and a tooth in his hand.  "She didn't come," he said, lip trembling.  I pulled this puddle of disappointed cuteness on to the couch, close to me and almost into my bathrobe and decided to level with him."I have to tell you, buddy, there is no tooth fairy, it is parents who switch the tooth for money, it is supposed to be me, but I forget.  When you go to bed, I go to bed too, I am just too tired at the end of each da … [Read more...]

A Weekend In the Mountains

"How in the world are you going to camp with five children?" They said we couldn't do it. People scoffed. They questioned.But guess what?We had a ball.Did we sleep much either night? Not really.Did we return unscathed or unbruised? Definitely not.Did we split our sides with laughter over the campfire? Absolutely.Did we enjoy new friendships and watch our children become explorers? Yes, indeed.Word on the street is that yours truly zip lined through the camp, children r … [Read more...]

On Verily Magazine and Elevating Culture

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I stopped reading magazines, with the exception of a few cooking publications, long ago.  I was tired of being bombarded by sexualized imagery, raunchy articles, gossipy updates, and fashion that didn't even begin to apply to my life.  Recently, however, I have found a new favorite in Verily.   Briefly a quarterly print magazine, Verily is now exclusively online, complete with daily deliveries and updates.  I appreciate their realistic, feminine fashion sense, the balanced examinations of relat … [Read more...]

Encouragement for the Family

"Today more than ever, we need witnesses who live out the Gospel of the family to the fullest and with joy, and who show the world that it is a beautiful and fascinating way of life, a source of happiness for spouses and children. Here there is enormous scope for the prophetic mission of our laity. In the lives of Christian couples today it takes the courage of prophets, the courage to stand up to the dominant culture." ~Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko President of the Pontifical Council of the … [Read more...]

Christianity in Commerce

You, are safe.. be my friend?

I don't know if it is the maturity that comes with being a few years into my thirties, or sheer necessity, but I am finally ready to become a businesslike woman. Several transactions of which I have been apart recently have made me reconsider my dealings with service providers. In short, if you are billing me, I do not need to be your friend. I will be polite, respectful and honest with you, but the overly friendly thing has failed me one too many times.As an extremely extroverted … [Read more...]


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