When I was a child, my mother used to say, “Idleness is the devil’s workshop.” I find myself saying the same thing to my kids whenever boredom leads to trouble. Not that I’m against boredom. A certain amount is healthy — it allows children to use their imaginations and creativity in a free and leisurely manner. Excessive boredom, however, makes children want to eat when they’re not hungry and waste time on video games (which we don’t do here). It also incites kids to pester their siblings because they have nothing else to do.
The warm, care-free days of summer are a wonderful gift. But children still need structure. They still need to use their time constructively. Besides play-dates, swimming, biking, and sports, here are some things we are doing to make the most of our summer days.
Continue reading “How My Kids are Keeping Busy this Summer”
Summer is here! And with it, mosquito bites, scraped knees, and an outbreak in tattle-taling. Being home all day with half-a-dozen kids, I have noticed there are five (yes, five!) different types of tattle-tales. Not all tattles are created equally. Here’s what they are and what we can do about them:
Continue reading “The Five Types of Tattle-Tales”
Do you ever have those days when a dark cloud seems to be hanging over you? Perhaps you didn’t sleep well the night before or health problems are gnawing away at your energy and patience. Maybe your kids are particularly ornery and you can’t get them to stop squabbling, let alone get them to do their school work. Or maybe you had a marital disagreement which has left you feeling deflated and depressed. It sure is hard to be joyful and kind on such days, isn’t it?
Here’s an excerpt from Evangelizing Our Children with Joy that describes the importance of being joyful even in the face of tribulations.
Continue reading “Help for Mean, Moody Mamas”
Do you ever feel as if there are days when your are too often taking disciplinary action with your kids? Do you ever feel as if you have morphed into The Punisher, doling out “consequences” to one child after another? Do you ever feel as if you are frequently scolding and reprimanding your children — and getting nowhere?
I’ve been there. With my younger ones sometimes I’m still there. But I have a little secret about discipline that I’d like to share:
Continue reading “Discipline, Decision-Making, and the Four Cardinal Virtues”
I wanted to go to the March for Life on Friday. I really did. My husband and my older kids went to D.C. , and marched amongst probably hundreds of thousands of youth, rallying for the dignity of the unborn child. I’m missing the exhiliration and excitement of the March, the feeling of being a part of a tremendous movement that will one day put an end to history’s greatest atrocity, the legalization of abortion.
But sweet little Junior has had a rough past few weeks, as babies often do during the winter. Instead of Marching in the nation’s capital, I stayed at home playing peekaboo.
However, I thought I’d share this little pro-life story:
Continue reading “A Little Pro-Life Story”
On Friday, Mary and I were having our weekly chat and both had the same question…What on earth are you getting your kids for Christmas that doesn’t involve LEGOs or plastic toys made in China? Now I have to preface this with neither of us have anything against LEGOs or plastic toys, but we are both inundated by them.
Admittedly the Grinch sneaks into my heart this time of year as I threaten to either throw out all the toys or tell everyone I know that there is a toy ban on our household. Truth be told some of each will end up at both of our houses this Christmas no matter how hard we try to avoid them. That being said, we are both looking for creative gift ideas. We spent an hour mulling over this topic (at least that is what we told our kids so we could have some uninterrupted mom chat time) and here is what we came up with. Continue reading “Christmas Gift Ideas”
The moment I first held baby Junior, I looked into his eyes and I knew there was something different about him. “I wonder if he has Down Syndrome” I thought. But I quickly brushed the idea from my mind and revelled in the joy of holding our newborn.
The next day, the kids came to the hospital to see their long-awaited baby brother. They could barely contain their excitement. But they had to wait and wait and wait, since Junior was in the nursery with the pediatrician. He was taking an awfully long time. When my husband finally returned with the baby, the children were ecstatic. As they surrounded my daughter, who was holding little Junior, my husband whispered into my ear, “The doctor says the baby has Down Syndrome.”
Continue reading “Words to Welcome a Down Syndrome Baby”
With one of our favorite Feast Days just around the corner, I thought I’d share with you some of our saint costumes. Mind you, these are not professionally made costumes. These are the “not perfect but good enough” projects of a busy mom who has to make four costumes in one weekend or so. After several years of making these, I’ve come up with a method to the maddness. Here are five tips for sewing All Saints Days costumes which I hope you may find useful.
Continue reading “Sewing Easy All Saints Day Costumes”
Happy Father’s Day! Here’s a post my husband wrote for the Dads:
Do you ever wonder how God intends for us to cope with, or better yet master, the daily demands of life? I do. If you’ve read any of Mary’s blog posts, I imagine that you’ve found her to be inspiring – as do I. How does she do it all? Our house is always impeccable, the children are excelling in their studies, the bills get paid on time, she has a large and growing number of friends, she’s written three (or is it four now) books, and she seems to always have time for the essentials. Then, there’s me… So, I couldn’t help but wonder, how does she do it?
Continue reading “A Father’s Rules for Discernment”
They come to church on Sunday mornings, a father and his son. Although we try not to stare, we can’t help but notice because there is something so beautifully edifying about this pair. The father, large and strong, carries his son, thin and frail, into the church. He places him on the pew and gently props the limp boy, whose arms and legs dangle uselessly, against his own muscular build. The boy is about twelve. We don’t know their names or their story. We don’t know the medical condition that renders the boy so helpless. Yet my husband and I both agree that no music is as moving and no homily as uplifting as the sight of this father and the love he bears for his son.
Continue reading “Super Special Fathers”