James, Our Own Little Man of Mystery


James, The Fifth Son, is a bit of a riddle to me. A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma, to be precise. Here’s the latest (hilarious and inscrutable) example. I came home this afternoon to find him huddled over a pile of cardboard scraps – the remains of the display Sean had produced as part of his [Read More...]

Seeing the Familiar in a New Light: Denise Bossert’s “Gifts of the Visitation”


Devotion to the Blessed Virgin has never come to me naturally. I knew the reasons for such devotion, the rightness of it, even the necessity for it.  My parents prayed the rosary with us almost nightly, and my father’s visceral, Irish faith was never more obvious than when he spoke of “Our Mother”.  But as [Read More...]

Half Disco, Half Exercise (Totally!)


Here’s a quote I heard breathlessly shouted by David (The Fourth Son) this past weekend, as he and James (The Fifth Son) were playing Just Dance 2 on their Wii. Half of this is us learning to disco, but half of it is TOTALLY exercise!!! Yup. He really-truly speaks that way. Excited and euphoric and filled with boundless enthusiasm, [Read More...]

Fat Tuesday Antics from the Susanka Seven


The boys are gearing up for Lent with their usual enthusiasm. The Furious Five Eldest spent a lively breakfast hour engaged in “Give-Up One-Upmanship,” where each vies with the others in an attempt to come up with the most outlandish sacrifice. “I’m going to give up the iPad during the day!” Well, I’m going to give [Read More...]

My Dinner with David


The following is a nearly verbatim account of the (mostly one-sided) conversation between David — most frequently described as the Fourth Susanka Boy – and myself last night around dinner time. Sometimes, Papa, I realize that I’m asking myself all these questions that don’t even have answers. Like “Do your eyes see things differently than my eyes do?” Or [Read More...]

6 Weird Tricks to Spending More Time with Your Toddlers (#3 is CRAZY!)


In the throes of motherhood, it can be easy to feel that we’re not spending enough time with our littlest ones. Especially when there are school projects and deadlines looming ahead, piles of laundry that may or may not be actually impeding traffic in the hallway, and yes, Virginia, they DO want dinner. (What, again???) Missing [Read More...]

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I Have No Idea What’s Going On In This Picture. But I’m All For It!

Crazy James

This is James. James the Fifth. And he’s looked pretty much like this  – off-and-on, but-mostly-on — for a couple of days now. And I’m going to allow it. In fact, to be honest, I’m actually encouraging it. Just a little. First off, because I have glasses, so a fellow framerer in the house is fun. [Read More...]

A Day of Lamentation and Bitter Weeping


Every Life is a Gift. #marchforlife — Pope Francis (@Pontifex) January 22, 2015 In all the Dioceses of the United States of America, January 22 (or January 23, when January 22 falls on a Sunday) shall be observed as a particular day of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right [Read More...]

GUEST POST: Being Charlie Hebdo


Taking a moment from my website restructure to share a friend’s thoughts on the recent tragedy in Paris. (We’ll call this friend “Mrs. Joe.”) Before yesterday, I had never heard of Charlie Hebdo.  Would that that were still true. My first exposure to it, coming almost simultaneously with the news of the massacre at its offices, was [Read More...]

Seeing with the Eyes of Children, Courtesy of Star Wars VII


Somewhere down in the depths of my soul, there’s a still, small voice telling me that I should not find this Star Wars VII: The Force Finally Wakes Up (Though We’re Still Not Quite Sure Why It Went To Sleep In The First Place) teaser trailer-related tweet as amusing as I do. Don’t worry. I told that [Read More...]