Category: Parenting

‘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 […]

The Perils of Growing Up a Girl
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The Perils of Growing Up a Girl

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She arrived pink and plump, sporting a full head of cotton-soft brown hair and that intoxicatingly sweet scent that only newborns have. All gurgles, whimpers and tiny yawns, her delicate fingers gripped mine as I thought of all the things I wanted to give this brand-new baby girl: love and security, freedom, opportunity and the […]

For Mothers Everywhere: On Scrubbing Toilets and the Challenger Disaster
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For Mothers Everywhere: On Scrubbing Toilets and the Challenger Disaster

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Twenty-six years ago, on January 28, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight,disintegrating over the Atlantic Ocean off the course of central Florida.  All seven of its crew were killed, including the “Teacher in Space,” Christa McAuliffe. On this sad anniversary, it’s not space flight I want to talk about, […]

Obedience and Ballroom Dancing
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Obedience and Ballroom Dancing

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I don’t think anyone would argue with the notion that in order to learn any new skill, you need to have the ability to be obedient. For example, if you want to learn how to do the fox trot, or tango, chances are you would register for classes and obey the instructor. You would do what […]

A Letter to My Daughter
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A Letter to My Daughter

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My dear daughter, I know that you feel like no one can possibly understand the way you feel right now.  You think no one has ever felt this way.  You feel alone.  You look around and see couples and feel like the “odd man out.”  What you fail to see are all the other young […]

"The Middle" - A Shameless Plug
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“The Middle” – A Shameless Plug

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We mothers are a “Jane of all trades.” My skills have been evolving for decades now. I didn’t start off knowing how to cut and style hair for instance, but I have become quite good, in my own estimate, and am now allowed the great honor of cutting two of my adult sons hair. This […]

Our Second Baby Needs a Name
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Our Second Baby Needs a Name

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At adoration last week, I prayed a rosary for a dear friend who recently lost a baby eight weeks into her pregnancy. My heart breaks for her. As I prayed in the quiet chapel, my heart became even heavier thinking about the loss of our own pregnancy at 13 weeks, around this time in 2006. […]

Girl Scouts Leadership: Pro-Choice, Pro-Gay Ideologues
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Girl Scouts Leadership: Pro-Choice, Pro-Gay Ideologues

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Who’s calling the shots over at the Girl Scouts? And where’s the organization headed? The questions matter for two reasons. First, it’s cookie season. Any day now some cute little girls wearing green sashes and bright smiles will knock on your door and sweetly seek support for their projects, badges, and activities. Do you write […]

Reaching Out to a Love-Starved World
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Reaching Out to a Love-Starved World

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An interview with Catholic author, Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle, on Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. Welcome , Donna-Marie! As you know, I’m a devoted fan of your books, so it’s an honor to have you join us to chat about your absolutely superb new booklet through Ave Maria Press, Bringing Lent Home With Mother Teresa: Prayers, Reflections, […]

Kids’ Reaction to Perry is What’s Shuddering
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Kids’ Reaction to Perry is What’s Shuddering

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The subject line of the email from my daughter read, “I shudder.” The text said only, “You won’t believe this,” and included a link to a video that my 14-year-old freshman, Amy, wanted me to see. The video that prompted her concern was an episode of “Teens React,” a YouTube series from Fine Brothers Productions, […]

All Gifts That Are Given
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All Gifts That Are Given

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The most prevalent mantras I’ve encountered in the “parenting magazine” world have to do with “gifts.” “Gifted children.” “We need to discover our gifts.” “Moms need to have their own time to use their own gifts.” “Time! Talent! Treasure!” (That’s from my “Catholic pew” world.) “Everyone is special.” “Allow the child to explore her talents.” […]

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