And on earth, Peace?

The night Jesus was born, the Good Book tells us, angels appeared in the night sky over Bethlehem, bringing the news to the shepherds there. They sang: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” Here's what happened there Wednesday:At first it made me laugh because it's just too ridiculous. Robes and brooms?But then it made me very, very sad that such things happen among Christ's followers in the place where he was born. I was in Israel exa … [Read more...]

The Question

A cardinal flew into our picture window after we cleaned it, breaking its little neck. (Moral: Housework is deadly and should be avoided.)My son, the animal lover, was greatly affected. In horror he ran to inspect the creature. He bent over the exquisite bird, fantastically red but with surprising blue underfeathers. He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes and stick in his hand and asked:"Can I poke it?"It figures. This is the quintessential little boy question, applicable in a s … [Read more...]

The Perfect Moment

If you've traveled at all during this holiday season, you've seen it: The perfect moment. In the driveway, by the baggage claim, at the curb, parents eagerly awaiting their grown children, grandchildren bouncing as they strain to catch the first glimpse of grandma through a window, sisters throwing open the front door for their brothers.Then the delighted giggles, the emotional handshakes, the sincere bear hugs. Laughs. Questions about the flight. Offers of favorite food. Little, trivial … [Read more...]

What Kids’ Drawings Look Like Painted Realistically

Artist Dave DeVries has plenty of experience painting monsters for Universal Studios and bringing comic book characters to life in realistic paintings. However, the sketches done by his four year old niece intrigued him more than grown up monsters and he began applying the same techniques to drawings by children.The result is an art installation and book called The Monster Engine, pairing the original drawings with interviews with the child and the final painting.I just love these. … [Read more...]

Unclean! Unclean! The Spiritual Side of ‘Extreme Domesticity’

  When I told a friend about the passionate reaction to my post questioning the hipster homemakers who pointedly bake their own bread and grow their own food, as profiled by Emily Matchar in the Washington Post, he responded, "Of course. You've attacked their religion."Maybe he's right. I wonder if the whole thing isn't a spiritual question after all.The average homemaking mother (and statistically less frequent but still important father) has a chorus of critics in her … [Read more...]

Deadline is Coming to Send a Soldier Holiday Greetings

The Red Cross Holiday Mail For Heroes program is a simple idea: When you're sending out your Christmas or holiday cards, include a few for our troops overseas. I'm sure cards drawn by your kids would be greatly appreciated as well.But time is running out for them to be processed and sent over. The deadline is postmarked no later than December 9, WTOP reports. That's Friday.Send greetings to:Holiday Mail For Heroes P.O. Box 5456 Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456A few … [Read more...]

The Downward Slide Continues

In addition to not baking my own bread or growing my own wheat, I have now become completely depraved as the newly-minted owner of an iPad 2. As I have not touched an Apple device since my roommate had a MacIntosh in college (more years ago than I want to admit, but the Internet HAD been created....barely), I need suggestions on what apps are utterly necessary for a mom and writer. I fully expect this device to run my life and make it complete, like the lives portrayed in a Pottery Barn catalog. … [Read more...]

Hipster Homemakers and “Extreme Domesticity”

Women are taking on burdens their grandmothers rejected: growing organic food, canning, baking bread. Is this movement a way to take care of one's family properly or a symptom of an overly wealthy and neurotic society?Emily Matchar, in Sunday's Washington Post,  explores modern hipster homemakers, women who happily reenlist for the domestic chores which our mothers and grandmothers abandoned with glee.Is it an advancement or reversal of the feminist movement? Matchar writes: I recently … [Read more...]