An Update and Links Post

An Update and Links Post April 9, 2013

This week’s forecast finally looks like spring!  My younger children are outside, my older children are hurrying to finish their schoolwork so they can also play outside, and things feel very much under control.  Considering our recent battle with strep throat, I am thrilled.  Last week ended with 5/7 of our family on antibiotics.  Two confirmed cases of strep, one lingering ear infection, and two more kids with newly sore throats.  Years of experience led my pediatrician to recommend putting the two newly sore throat kids on a precautionary antibiotic.  Their rapid strep tests were negative, but their red throats were less than 12 hours old.  He thought it best to just hit this bug with a full arsenal, immediately, rather than bring kids back into the office, and stagger treatments until the first sick one landed back in his office with a reoccurrence of strep.  I agreed to this treatment plan almost immediately, and left his office with a smile and nod, as I was still unable to really speak.  BTW, taking 5 kids to the pediatrician w/o the ability to talk results in almost constant wild hand gesturing.

The weather this weekend was amazing, and we were outside thanks to Little League opening day and my oldest daughter’s soccer game. I warned Gianna’s coach that she might need some extra breaks because of her throat and he kindly let me know that several kids on the team had the flu and so they were already very short on subs.   Thankfully, she played great, which makes me wonder if antibiotics are performance enhancing drugs?

Despite strep throat, IT IS SPRING, Little League has started, AND the Builders have a girls weekend beginning this Friday!!!!!  How exciting is that?!?  In just a few short days, five of us will gather in Texas for the time of our lives (ok, that was dramatic, but I’m really getting excited!).  Should we live blog on our trip?

And now, here are some links —

1.  First, a piece by Jennifer Fulwiler on those Catholic women in the pews who use contraception.  She speaks to the HHS mandate, and how education of Catholic women on the Church’s actual teaching in this area is an unintended consequence of all the publicity.  These women are interested to learn more, but there are many obstacles to them embracing this new lifestyle and approach to their fertility.  She talks about how our Church needs to better reach these women, and offer them the support they need.  It is a good read.

2.  Second, a detailed piece on our new pontiff.  I don’t normally read the National Catholic Reporter, but this was a good read.  H/t to Janet Smith.  Here is an excerpt with some of the themes —

First, there seems universal agreement that the heart of Francis’ pastoral vision is a desire for a missionary church, a church that moves out into the streets to meet people where they are and to respond to their real needs, both human and spiritual. Over and over again, people who’ve lived and worked with Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio cite some version of two of his favorite sayings:

  • “A church that stays in the sacristy too long gets sick” — the idea being that remaining in an enclosed space, constantly breathing the same recycled stale air, is bad for the church’s health. The church needs to get out into the wider world in order to stay vital and alive.
  • “Teachers of the faith need to get out of their cave” — meaning that preaching to the choir is not the heart of the missionary enterprise, but rather making the faith relevant to people on the outside.

3.  I’m sure by now most have heard about Susan Patton’s letter to Ivy League women urging them to consider finding a mate while at their Ivy League school.  There have been numerous responses to this letter, mostly critical, but Ross Douthat has had the most interesting one yet.  Here is an excerpt —

Her betrayal (Patton’s) consists of being gauche enough to acknowledge publicly a truth that everyone who’s come up through Ivy League culture knows intuitively — that elite universities are about connecting more than learning, that the social world matters far more than the classroom to undergraduates, and that rather than an escalator elevating the best and brightest from every walk of life, the meritocracy as we know it mostly works to perpetuate the existing upper class.

As the only Builder to NOT marry another Princetonian, this point was already pretty obvious to me.

4.  Ryan Anderson, a fellow Princetonian and friend of many of the Builders, is fighting the good fight to defend man/woman marriage.  He has handled himself with great grace, even in the face of heated disagreement and flat out abuse from those who disagree with him.  He needs our continued prayers.  If you haven’t already done so, please visit the site for the book he co-wrote with my Princeton Professor, Robert George, and Sherif Girgis —  What is Marriage?  Man and Woman:  A Defense.  

5.  Here is an interesting First Things piece on the economic sunk costs of co-habitation, and why people in these situations get married even though there are signs of serious problems in their relationship.

6.  Finally, we lived very close to these ladies when my oldest was born.  I now follow them on facebook (their updates are great!), and I just LOVE this order!  If you have a daughter in high school considering a vocation, please consider one of their retreats.  You will see on their website that they have recently sent a team of sisters to a Bible game show, and of course they are winning.  It is hilarious.

That’s all for this morning.  Happy Tuesday.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Thanks for so many links! Lots to read tomorrow when the kiddos nap!! I can’t wait!

  • LS

    You are getting together for a girls’ weekend? I wish I were a fly on the wall! Seriously, you all could host a conference and I would pay good money to be there. Building Cathedrals is a constant inspiration and encouragement for me!

  • Kellie “Red”

    We would LOVE to do a retreat/conference someday. Thanks for the positive feedback and encouragement!