bag of presents

Even Naughty Kids Get Gifts on Christmas

After a busy morning of wrangling my children followed by an afternoon manning a craft table at a children’s Christmas Craft Fair, I decided to appease the requests of my younger crew members (aka sons and daughter under 12yo) who’d been begging to visit Santa at the mall.

I had a few errands to run beforehand (think clothes shopping with 4 less-than-interested companions), so I figured that the promise of a stop-over to see St. Nick would be ample incentive to keep the whining at bay. Continue reading

hands-on advent craft

Make an Advent Wreath for Little Hands

With a wide range of ages in my household, I’m always looking for novel ways to include all of my children in the beautiful traditions of our Catholic faith.

During the season of Advent we try to keep the focus on anticipation and preparation. But it’s not always easy to keep those sugar-plum dreams of Christmas at bay for four weeks.
We’ve found that having a traditional Advent wreath can be a great help.

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kids playing soccer

Scoring for the Right Side

Like a swarm of bumblebees that buzz one way and then the other, their little bodies bump and rub as they move in unison after the rolling target. The air is booming with commands, but the rush of adrenaline has rendered the players deaf.

Just as some tense on-lookers bound from their seats, arms waving wildly, the pint-sized leader boldly takes the perfect shot straight into the goal.

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Wasting Our Treasure on Christ

Shortly after having given birth to my first darling daughter and fourth child, someone suggested that I seek employment working with special needs children.

I hadn’t been soliciting advice or job hunting, but I guess the messenger found it reasonable to imply that we should move beyond baby-making; seeing as we’d finally managed to have that elusive girl-child and that our dream of having a large family had been fulfilled (according to societal standards).

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getting married

We Can’t Give Up On Marriage

Hardly surprised that we were headed toward troubled waters again, I thought I knew enough to weather the storm (fairly) unscathed. After years of marriage, we’ve endured more than a few disagreements, but most of the time we’ve easily found our footing and resolved our differences.

Marriage is hard work for every couple, we knew that. Yet, when the winds of discord got stirred up this time, I almost abandoned ship. Continue reading

intruders enter

Home Invasion: The Night My Daughter Confronted An Intruder

My husband and I left behind the house we’d intended to grow old in. We gave up the magnificent dining room that we’d hoped to one day entertain our grandchildren in. We let it all go to protect our family.

We traded a beautiful, spacious, old home for the promise of greater security; because the once-grand neighborhood in which we’d resided became a hot-bed of crime as house prices declined and gang activity increased.

So, there we were sleeping soundly (in our new, safe, country home) about a year later, when our 7 year old daughter stood in the doorway of our bedroom and announced, “The man just left.”   READ the rest HERE on Raleigh Moms Blog

stuff in your closets is holding you back

When The Stuff In Your Closets Is Holding You Back

Sometimes holding on to stuff is a wise decision. Why purge those out-grown onesies if they can be handed-down to a younger sibling? Yes, sometimes storing up stuff is necessary. But what about when the things in your closets are simply holding you back?

Let the Stockpiling Begin

It was 1995 when my family threw me a baby shower to help me welcome my firstborn. I still remember oohing and aahing over all those tiny new outfits and the sweet, bunny print bedding.

My husband and I had hoped, right from the start, to grow a big family and by 1999 we were well on our way. Seeing as our little ones were generally arriving every other year, it seemed prudent to keep a ready supply of baby items in the attic.  READ the rest HERE on Raleigh Moms Blog

cleaning for success

Spring Cleaning for Success

“He’s on the roof again!” cried a younger son as he bounded through the back door. Not the least bit shocked, I knew exactly to whom he was referring.

Feeling compelled to do my parental due diligence, I put down my cleaning supplies and stepped outside to investigate. I wanted to be sure the accused teenager wasn’t trying to out-do himself by scaling new heights.

Not wanting to be detected, I stood, close-lipped, watching as my son mentally assessed the roof’s height and the distance to his landing target (a patio cushion). Looking on in amazement, I remembered my own fear of high places. READ the rest HERE  on Raleigh Moms Blog

bad attitude changed to gratitude

My Bad Attitude: How I Learned to Give Thanks for Family Challenges

We were headed in opposite directions, my husband to soccer and me to fulfill our weekly adoration hour with the rest of our brood of children. It wasn’t really anything new or extraordinary, single-parenting in adoration.

Admittedly during the adjustment period three years ago when we first began adoring as a family, two pairs of arms and eyes were needed to manage our youngest ones as the clock ticked off sixty minutes, but since then we’ve all learned how to spend an hour in the chapel with (relatively) few interruptions or needs for discipline. Continue reading

When Good Parenting Doesn’t Equal Good Results

Last Thursday, I found myself engaged in a parent-teacher conference of sorts. Since we’re home schoolers, parent-teacher conferences generally look like me getting pulled aside by a fellow parent so they can inform me of some disappointing situation my offspring has engaged in or facilitated.

This was one of those conversations. Continue reading