From the Depths to the Heights in Mere Seconds


Last night was nerve-wracking. Crawford was surprisingly spectacular, and Kershaw was solid. The defense was neither. Freddy Garcia was crafty (as I feared he would be). The Braves were scrappy (as I knew they would be). After six, all we knew for sure was that it was as if none of those innings had even happened. We [Read More...]

“Mother, look! What’s all this?”

Covered James II

We have no use for melodramatic Starkian warnings here in Wyoming. Winter isn’t “coming;” it is, or it is not. Yesterday evening, I walked home across a chilly, rainy, snowless landscape. This morning, this: I’ll bet the Public Works folks are less than thrilled, but the boys sure do love it. Well,  most of the boys [Read More...]

Advice For All Papal Watchers: Chew Before Swallowing


Nathan, our youngest, has reached that hilarious transitional stage where he adjusting from receiving his sustenance almost exclusively through breast-feeding to actually eating solid foods. (And by “solid,” I mean “mostly mashed bananas and rice cereal mixed with yogurt,” of course.) He’s both extraordinarily adept — I guess that goes with the early walking — [Read More...]

Tintin, Brought to Life by His Creator


View image | The Susanka Seven are huge Tintin fans. Well, I guess I can’t speak of Nathan’s fandom definitively. Not yet, anyway. But the older 85% are passionately committed. Even The Sixth, Cormac, reads Hergé with regularity. Many’s the time I’ve found him sitting calmly in the basement, leafing through one of the wonderful “Adventures of Tintin” [Read More...]

Tending to My Own Garden


This piece from Mary DeTurris Poust (and her follow-up thoughts) has been making the rounds. It’s hit a real chord (or nerve, or home-run) with many, and produced a great deal of commentary that I find both timely and helpful. And it’s reminded me of my own frustrations over the question of how to respond to the shepherding deficiencies we see all [Read More...]

The Laughter of Learning


Homeschooling a whole mess of boys is a huge challenge. And I say this knowing full-well that I can only grasp the reality of that statement tangentially; my beloved, patient wife bears the real brunt of its truth. Something that makes it measurably easier, however, is the willingness of the older boys to help their [Read More...]

The Family That Views Together…


View image | The weekend was insane. Again. Some day soon, I’ll come to the realization that all weekends spent with a family of seven boys are insane, but today is not that day. One upside of the aforementioned-and-ongoing insanity, however, is that it brings the highlight of the weekend into sharp-and-grateful relief: Watching [Read More...]

Poppy Hill and the Wonderful Ordinary


On the wall above my desk, there hangs a home-made plaque with this Chesterton quote: For a plain, hard-working man the home is not the one tame place in the world of adventure. It is the one wild place in the world of rules and set tasks. I love this quote. Not because my home [Read More...]

A Quote I Just Can’t Shake


Things have been a bit crazy over the past few days, both personally and professionally. (Personally, because “Seven Boys = Crazy” each and every day, without qualification. And professionally, because the opening of a new academic year is always insane.) Over the years, I’ve come to recognize a peculiar, personal tic that pops up every time [Read More...]

Better Parenting through Lunch Preparation


An incredibly exciting/demoralizing thing happened last week: we got an entire carton of apples from our local co-op. Exciting because we now have something with which to keep the boys and their outlandish appetites at bay for at least a few days. And demoralizing because we’ve reached the stage where the half-life of a 35-lb [Read More...]