Category: Parenting

“You don’t work? I could never stay home and do nothing”
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“You don’t work? I could never stay home and do nothing”

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I was at a cocktail party with my husband. “You don’t work?,” one woman said with pity in her voice, “ I could never stay at home and do nothing.” Do nothing? Really? I had to giggle. This woman obviously didn’t know my bursting-at-the-seams life of cleaning and cooking, gardening, driving, loving, meal planning, shopping, learning, writing, […]

Loving the Rapist's Child
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Loving the Rapist’s Child

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This story by Heather Gemmen Wilson is a dramatic  testimony to the value of life–even life that results from a rape.  It was featured in the Amazing Grace for Survivors book. It had been more than a year since Casey was stillborn, and it seemed Steve and I would never be able to have the third child […]

Prove Jesus Isn't a Fairy Tale
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Prove Jesus Isn’t a Fairy Tale

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Santa Claus? Check. Easter Bunny? Check. Tooth Fairy? Check. Even Leprechauns. My 5-year-old believes in all these things. Yet last Sunday on the drive to Mass she announced: “I don’t think Jesus is real. I think he’s made up.” Wwwhat?! I thought I had till at least 10 or 12 before that started (or what […]

Book Review: <em>Letters to Gabriel</em>
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Book Review: Letters to Gabriel

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I was mourning my third miscarriage and seeking a book that would offer me comforting words from a Catholic mother who had also lost a child. I found Letters to Gabriel by Karen Garver Santorum. In the pages of this book I got to know Karen as she spoke to her son Gabriel, who is […]

CL77 - hbratton notxt web
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What if Newborns Had No Rights

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It’s a provocative question abortion opponents have been asking for years: If it is ethical to kill an unwanted child before birth, why not kill her afterward? Pro-lifers pose that question rhetorically, as a means of exposing the weakness of pro-choice arguments that devalue the human fetus until the moment she clears the birth canal. […]

humor
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Quit Fooling, Mom. What’s Really Going On?

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My children were really amusing me. And I mean that with the utmost sarcasm. “Who’s coming over?” one asked. “No one,” I said. “Then why are you doing that?” “What do you mean? I do this all the time!” I said. “Oh, we’re having company?” chimed in another. “No!” I said firmly. “Yeah, right. Who […]

Mamma Theologica
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Mamma Theologica

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I’ve been reading the Summa Theologica so much I’ve started arguing with myself in the way of St. Thomas Aquinas, a rough and desperate version running through my head amidst the daily quagmire. For instance the other day, in the Third Part of the day, I asked myself a Question. “Whether it is fitting that […]

How She Does It
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How She Does It

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“How do you do it?” Busy mothers hear this all the time. Time management is an important yet elusive goal. Everyone wants to know “the secret.” I’ve been blessed to know some very holy and efficient mothers. Let me introduce a couple to you and then we’ll talk strategy. My mother had 13 children, yet always […]

How to Homeschool Your Preschool Child
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How to Homeschool Your Preschool Child

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A new homeschooler recently asked me, “How do you homeschool a preschooler?”  Time was, keeping a child home for his or her preschool years was a perfectly normal thing to do. Children went to school when they were five (or even six!) and somehow still managed to learn to read and write and maintain friendships. […]

Can Contraception Raise Family IQ's?
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Can Contraception Raise Family IQ’s?

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Minorities are not generally high achievers so the government has a responsibility to reduce their population. (Stay with me, I have a point to make.) Singleton children from highly educated, successful parents tend to be self-centered, so the government needs to address that unpatriotic situation.  Rich families breed kids with tendencies for depression, so they […]

‘Why?’ of Ohio Tragedy Deeper than ‘Bullying’
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‘Why?’ of Ohio Tragedy Deeper than ‘Bullying’

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If you get a text from your teenager in the middle of the school day, something’s wrong. It might be something minor, like a paper forgotten on the printer at home or gym clothes left sitting in the back hall, with a request to deliver them to the office if possible. It might be more […]

humor
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I Hope You Appreciate This, Lady.

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I sent my six-year-old daughter to deliver some lemons and oranges from our yard to the widow next door. Worried that she might rudely deliver the fruit and leave without a word, I called to her, “Don’t forget to say, ‘You’re welcome.’” When my daughter returned, she gave me the full report: “I rang the […]

Airport Fiasco
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Airport Fiasco

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“Wait right here while we recheck your bags,” advised airport security to my daughter. We stood there in stocking feet, staring blankly.  Suddenly, she giggled and leaned in close whispering, “I know what it is.”  I pointed out that voluntarily disclosing that information is usually the best policy in these situations. “I know what it […]

Get Out of Your Spiritual Comfort Zone
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Get Out of Your Spiritual Comfort Zone

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I am a creature of habit. I tend to exercise the same way, eat the same things, and engage in the same activities. When I go for a walk, I usually take the same route. My work, though varied, normally involves the same type of tasks. I get up and go to bed at the […]

They Just Don't Understand
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They Just Don’t Understand

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I once did not understand. So now, instead of getting upset when others don’t understand, I see it as an opportunity to inform or at least to pray for them. When I came to understand Catholic teaching on love and marriage, my heart grew to include the unborn children I once thought I did not […]

Fossils and Amethysts 100
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Inside Loaves of Stone

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I have some imaginative ideas for teaching our children the spiritual lessons of Lent and Easter, but they involve rocks instead of cute bunnies or painted eggs, so please put on your creativity cap before reading further. During Lent, church sanctuaries everywhere are xeriscaped with dusty, dull-colored sand and rocks among other dehydrated things.  These […]

Trusting God with Our Son and His Addiction, Part 2
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Trusting God with Our Son and His Addiction, Part 2

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Last summer my family began an unwanted journey: We learned that our son suffers from the disease of addiction. The realization shocked and panicked us, so we dove right into “fix-it” mode, quickly calling a couple of physicians and rehab facilities. We took him to the local hospital for a drug test, where doctors told […]

For This I Came into the World
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For This I Came into the World

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Phrases scroll across my mind during these weeks following the peaceful but unexpected death of my 26 year old son Paul.     “I want my baby back!” I cried to God the first week or two, although he was no baby.     Another one that plays across my mind is:  “Why did you […]

humor
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Jesus Speaks to Little Children

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When my daughter was about four, I was telling her that while we were in church everyone needs to be extra quiet. When we are, Jesus can talk to us in our hearts. And if we are quiet, we can hear Him.  She said, “Okay, Mommy,” and about a minute later she said, “Oh Mommy, I hear him.”  […]

What if There Were no Working Moms?
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What if There Were no Working Moms?

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Before you say it, I agree: there’s no such thing as a mom that doesn’t work. I’m all for moms that work, stay home, and those somewhere in between. —JDF A few weeks ago, an article “Motherhood and the Call to Holiness” seemed to pop up on every website, blog and feed I visited. Here, […]

For Thou Art With Me: Trusting God With Our Son and His Addiction
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For Thou Art With Me: Trusting God With Our Son and His Addiction

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Everyone knows of a handful of days that change who you think you are.  Death removes someone you love from your life and changes the family dynamic.  Marriages add new members, rearranging the family dynamic.  And, there are tragedies that can drop you to your knees in an instant, showing you that it can happen […]

How to Behave at Mass
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How to Behave at Mass

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I don’t know if I am getting old, but have you noticed that people don’t seem to know how to behave at Mass anymore? I will never forget the day I was at Sunday Mass, when a well-meaning dad pulled out a very large plastic bag from the Dollar Store. In it, he had a big new toy for his […]

humor
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I Think it was Love at First Sight

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I was riding the ski lift with one of my pupils, a little girl of roughly seven years. She could not keep her eyes off me. I thought it was really sweet, having a crush on her teacher, as it were. When we reached the top and the ski lift stopped, she finally spoke to […]

Why a Child is a Good Idea
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Why a Child is a Good Idea

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Today, in “Annie’s Mailbox” newspaper column, a woman who admitted having no desire for children wrote: “Babies are messy, leaky, smelly and noisy, as well as demanding and expensive.” The woman is accurate. It is not logical to have a child. A baby will drain your bank account and rob you of sleep.  It will […]

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