Feast of Saint Nicholas

Each year I have tried to shift the focus away from Santa Claus to the real Wonderworker, Saint Nicholas. It is 16 degrees outside on my porch right now and I just plopped clementines, golden coins, and chocolate SAINT NICOLASes into four little rain boots. This website is beautiful and full of resources and ideas for young and old alike to enjoy this historical feast day in the first week of Advent. I think Saint Nicholas is also an important Saint because he has great importance in the Eastern … [Read more...]

your favorite Christmas cookie recipe

This coming Sunday, my daughters and I are attending an elegant mother-daughter Christmas cookie exchange. But when it comes to cookies, my repertoire is pretty limited. (Chocolate chip--because really, is there need for anything more?!) The girls are hoping to spend some time on Saturday baking Christmas cookies, and we would be very grateful for your suggestions on Christmas cookie recipes that are fun to make, and not too complicated!, as well as tasty and pretty. My little ladies thank … [Read more...]

My iRobot friend

Do YOU have something that you are wishing for this Christmas?  Recently, my husband, T, gave me a stellar gift and the other Builders have asked to hear more about it.  As I mentioned last week in my Thoughts for Thursday post, T bought us a Roomba iRobot vacuum in October.  The Roomba iRobot is a robotic floor vacuum that comes in several different models and costs anywhere from $300 to $700.  Let me give you a bit of background to explain why he made the purchase.  After all, we already … [Read more...]

Study the Gospel All Year Long!

Before I begin my post, a happy birthday shout out to my 91 year old Granny!   At the beginning of the Year of Faith, someone sent me an email forward of a list which would send a daily email from the catechism. I signed up for the email list, and I have to say that I was really pleasantly surprised by the experience. As the list grew (over 100,000 subscribers), there were some issues with copyright and they wound up with an agreement with the publishers of YouCat, a catechism for … [Read more...]

11 Years Old, and Celebrating Therese’s Birthday for the Very First Time

It is probably not a coincidence that tomorrow is my day to post -- it is my deceased daughter Therese's 11th birthday. Therese Joy was born and died on what was a snowy Michigan night.  Some of the builders were there to meet her.  Others were praying for our family from afar.  Each year, as November 25th approaches, I grieve for my daughter.  Some years I cry a lot, other years I do not cry at all, but only experience a very palpable sadness.  Sometimes the grief begins as soon as the … [Read more...]

Thoughts for Thursday

It is an honor to post my very first "Thoughts for Thursday."  The tradition is long and distinguished here at BC, but it has been a while since the last Thoughts for Thursday post.  Here goes.... What am I cooking?  Tonight's meal is a family favorite, a one-pan wonder that requires little prep:  Greek chicken with potatoes and mushrooms.  I use boneless thighs, cut back the oil to 1/3 cup, add water instead of broth, and it comes out perfectly every time.  It feeds our family of five … [Read more...]

Nothing Left to Give

deathly hallows cover

The Cosby Show is a major source of support and inspiration in our household. In the pilot, the Cosby family had four children, but they landed a new, oldest child by the time the first season began, and of course we love that she was at Princeton. I like the Cosbys because they are New Yorkers, because they introduce interesting cultural figures, and most of all because they have realistic, sometimes difficult, family interactions, and the parents are my role models. They get angry in just … [Read more...]

Why oh Why do you Come?

Me "homeschooling"

Our house is just us. The nuclear AWOL Family is alone after a solid month of in-home company. Granted, the first three weeks were my mom and some dad time, but the most recent week we hosted my husband's aunt and uncle. After these bouts of quasi-hospitality I find myself sitting in my quiet kitchen flabbergasted and wondering... "why would anyone come to visit us?" Most days were so loud, both 60+ men that stayed with us repeatedly stepped on toys and were awoken by a bossy shrieking 20-month … [Read more...]

Ducks In A Row


I love Kellie's annual Christmas post.  Every year it inspires me to get it together and promises the fruit of my labor will be more time to adore Jesus in Advent.  Win-win.   Real, true, well-planned holidays are possible without stress and having a larger family does not preclude doing something well.  Because really, in the end of it, it's all about planning and doing it ahead of time.  The more I live, the more children I have, the more I plan.  There's really no other way. You … [Read more...]

Christmas List 2013!!!

Two years ago, I did a Crazy Christmas Prep post in October, laying out our family plan for thriving during Advent and Christmas.  In response to that post, I received quite a bit of negative feedback.  From the very benign, “I’m stressed out and your post is only making it worse!” to the meaner, “you are so materialistic Red, and if you were as holy as some of us, you would just celebrate Christmas without gifts in a cold dark home and eat soup out of a can to fully embrace the … [Read more...]