In which I narrowly avoid Jesus Juking the heck out of you

sunflower house

Back in the spring, I said to myself, "This is the year! This is the year I'm going to plant one of those glorious sunflower bowers for the children."  "This is so simple, even I can't screw it up!" I thought.  "They can pretend they are fairies living in a flower fairy home, and it will be a Nice Childhood Memory Guaranteed!"So, we chose some seeds that become hardy, mammoth flowers, we picked a sunny spot, measured out a generous circle, dug, fertilized, planted a … [Read more...]

What are you doing for catechism this year?

All right, YOU catechise this, if you're so smart.

For the older kids, in 7th, 8th, 10th, and 11th grades, I give up. Wait, no, that's not what I meant to say out loud. What I meant to say is that we haven't found either EDGE or LifeTeen to be a good match for our family, and every time I try to read something aloud to the kids, or do a pre-packaged curriculum with them, something happens to capsize the whole endeavor.  It's some combination of the kids being in three different schools, and me and my husband working four different jobs, and the … [Read more...]

Yes, your kids can pack their own lunches. BUT . . .

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You really do want to check them before they leave the house.  Not that there is anything wrong with an actually quite balanced and hearty meal consisting of ham, carrots, apple sauce, an apple, yogurt, and ...  bread-and-butter balls. "It's just something I invented," the kindergartner mentions casually.And then we have this meal prepared by the third grader:   who is willing to face the day knowing she has peanuts, two cold … [Read more...]

The Case for Siblings: Why Having a Baby Is Good for Your Other Kids

[This post originally ran at Faith and Family Live in 2010, when I was pregnant with #8. I'm on my way to Virginia for the Summer Soiree at Mary's Shelter! If you have a prayer to spare, maybe send up one that my ears don't get too plugged up on the plane? It's hard to talk into a microphone when your ears are plugged up! Usually I take Sudafed, but this is a no go for this stage of the pregnancy. And also please pray that I don't cry on stage for any reason. I don't even know why I would, but p … [Read more...]

At the Register: Lessons from the ER

bad doctor

--One of the greatest functions of the ER is to illustrate for your children why you do not pay for TV at home. Ninety nine channels, 'round and around and around you go.  See, kids? There is nothing on. Nothing. --If you are holding a catheter tube, and I say, "Careful, she is little, but she is strong," then you should listen to me.Read the rest at the Register. … [Read more...]

Give me a dumb kid any day.

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Today, we went for kindergarten screening with my five-year-old (here in the persona of "A Snooty Waitress")  The teacher showed her three sets of dominoes: a group of two, a group of three, and a group of four.  She asked my kid to show her which group had two in it. Kid points to the group of three and the group of four.I, being the greatest mother in the world, didn't say a thing, because this is my kid's moment to shine, and whatever happens, happens. So the … [Read more...]

“Pop! Out comes the corpse!” or, fun with the Fishers

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Our summer library reading program ended not with a bang, but a howl, then a whimper, then ice cream, and then more howling. It was an unfortunate combination of overtired kids, high expectations, generalized raffle anxiety, and a hideous game which I don't know who thought was a good idea, where you tie balloons to your ankles and run around getting stomped at by bigger, faster kids. I guess there was a bang and a whimper for that part, come to think of it.There were also some bad feelings … [Read more...]


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