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...]

We’re Back!

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After a week of technical glitches with our server, the Builders are back and ready to rock and roll...or at least, we're ready to write!Personally, August snuck up on me! It's hard to believe that in just a few weeks we will be entering back into a school routine. I'm dreading the early mornings especially this year, as we have definitely slipped into a summer schedule of late evenings and later-than-usual morning wake-ups. My kids have taken their time moseying down to breakfast in the mo … [Read more...]

(No More) All of a Kind Family

Our boys have loved listening to the All of a Kind Family series by Sydney Taylor, which were originally introduced to us by MaryAlice. We have definitely considered ourselves an "all of a kind" family of the opposite gender. We have very, very boyish boys. Sometimes we refer to the upstairs as the frat house. However, we have shocking (and soooo exciting) news that someone is about to break up the boy party!Our latest ultrasound showed that our growing little one is a GIRL!! The ultrasound … [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...]

What I Sometimes Wish that Someone Would Say to Me in the Third Trimester

Every time I have a newborn, someone inevitably tells me the following: "If all you do today is feed your baby and tend to your children's basic needs, then you have done a great job!" I always smile and love this reminder that life can be very simple in the first few weeks of a baby's life. It makes me feel like it's okay if I don't get to that project that is looming, or if my house is a bit untidy, or if I take a quick nap at 9 a.m. when I am absolutely exhausted.Now, I just need someone … [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...]

Vinaigrette Idea

We are having crab cakes this 4th of July, and I am going to serve corn on the cob and a big green salad. As a change for our standard balsamic-dijon, I thought the flavors of this citrus vinaigrette looked great, and will work nicely with the the seafood. http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/citrus-vinaigretteI love planning big family meals like this, and having time to put some attention into the details! … [Read more...]

All men are created equal….

Our children are still quite young (7,5,3 and 1), but for them the Fourth of July is already synonymous with fireworks, flashy parades, and fabulous summer food (s'mores!).   This year, I have modest hopes of instilling in them a nascent appreciation of what the Fourth of July really means for our country, as well as some of the principles that it represents.  I bought a few vintage books at a used book fair to read to them this week, including The Story of the Declaration of Independence by No … [Read more...]


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