What can Catholic parents learn from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev?

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Our kids need us. Most of our teenagers are not in danger of becoming violent jihadists like Dzhokhar Tsarnaev; but unless we make a deliberate, consistent, sincere effort to live our faith and to make sure that our older kids are well connected with adults who can guide and educate them and answer their questions, and unless we give them many opportunities to practice their faith, then there is little hope that they will still be Catholics when they leave our homes.  Read the rest at the Re … [Read more...]

I refuse to worry about what my kids eat for dinner.

boy eating beet for some reason

Today, I'm making Zuppa Toscana. When I share recipes I'm trying, people often ask, "Will your kids really eat that?" The answer is: some of them, yeah. Some of them, no way. A few of them, maybe. And I am fine with that. I have two goals when I serve a meal: at least half the family should eat it, and mealtimes should be reasonably pleasant.My policy is: I decide what to cook, and they decide whether or not to eat it.We don't have food battles (or food cold wars). We don't save plates … [Read more...]

Raising safe, independent kids

 It's good and natural for parents to want to keep their kids safe, but it's healthy for the entire family to acknowledge that our main job as parents is to prepare kids for the rest of their lives. A kid who has never learned to judge for himself when it's safe to cross the street is a kid who is unsafe.Read the rest at the Register. … [Read more...]

Gift-Giving is so Catholic!

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 We don't want to convey to our kids that love can be bought on Amazon; but we also shouldn't try to persuade them that love is some kind of nebulous, moonshiny, spiritual quality that has very little to do with their everyday experiences. Rather than turning Christmas into a story about God vs. Happiness, the trick is to turn love and giving into part of one seamless idea.Read the rest at the Register.  … [Read more...]

Loving the adult Jesus

Christmas is the infancy of the Faith, and most people find it pretty easy to be happy about about their Faith at this time of year -- at least in the good moments. Even when the season is stressful or exhausting, most of us at least occasionally taste those golden moments where the music is right, the candles are glowing, we're finally holding a mug of something hot, finally hearing the happy murmurs of the baby in the manger.  At the best moments, we love Christmas, baby Jesus loves us, and it … [Read more...]

Today only: 15% discount on magazines from Cricket

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To get the discount, use Promo Code NF12-002 at checkout. We have had subscriptions to lots of different  magazines from this publisher, including Cricket, Muse, Cobblestone, and Ladybug, and we have never been disappointed. The artwork is top notch, and the content is very well pegged for the various age groups designated, without being pandering, and does a good job of making the reader feel like he's part of a club, with lots of in-jokes and extra featrures. Good stuff, and a nice p … [Read more...]

Knock-knock. Who’s there? Bad Mama.

jesus knocking

 PIC Jesus knocking at doorSound at the door: Shuffling, muffled sobbing, incompetent doorknob rattling; cries of, "Mama, Ma-maaaaaa." Bad Mama: Buuuuut it's supposed to be my turn to sleep in. Good Mama: But you're her mother, her only mother, and they grow up so fast! Bad Mama: I don't think it's going to kill her to go sit on the couch for a few minutes. Good Mama: But remember the Gospel reading! Whatever you do for the least of my little ones  . . . so, wouldn't you get up i … [Read more...]


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