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

Wonder

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...]

God always provides

We've had an interesting few weeks out here in the West, I have to say.It started with a planned 3-month move for work to a town 8 hours away, and the road trip that we made (with our cars packed to the gills with essentials + our daughter + 1 car seat that takes up half the car + our dogs) was thankfully uneventful. Ok, ok, ok, maybe there was a non-essential or two, but it's summer and why leave the ice cream maker at home I always say. Anyhoo, I will spare you pictures if what that looked … [Read more...]

Thoughts for Thursday

What am I cooking?Quinoa muffins from Vegetarian Cooking is for Everyone.  My wonderful husband brought home a three pound bag of organic quinoa from Sam's Club (!?), which has sent me searching for all manner of recipes for this ancient grain.  It is so fun to develop a new ingredient recipe repertoire!  Do you have a favorite quinoa recipe?  I'd love to hear about it.What are my weekend plans?My grandmother turns 93 three this weekend, and we'll be going to a family birthday cele … [Read more...]

Dental Boot Camp: Brushing Up on Kids’ Oral Hygiene

On her first trip to the dentist...

I had the privilege of hauling my crew of 5 into the dentist for our bi-annual check-up yesterday. You might have heard us as we paraded down the hallway and into the already-packed waiting area. I could hear the minds of the people there buzzing with questions and comments, but I chose to keep my head held high and delighted in the energy of my wonderful crew. They played nicely in the corner toy area as we waited. A few minutes later, four hygienists showed up at the door and in went my four … [Read more...]


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