Category: Parenting

The Prom Dress
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The Prom Dress

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Having a large family brings many blessings. One that might surprise some people is the blessing of not having enough money.  Most people would not understand how less could be more. After all, part of the reason large families became an endangered species is because so many couples stress about money when contemplating more children, […]

Degrading Cycle Targets Girls
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Degrading Cycle Targets Girls

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The crime alone was heinous enough. According to police in Cleveland, Texas, an 11-year-old girl there was gang raped six times last fall by a total of at least 19 assailants, some of them boys, some of them ex-cons more than twice her age. Her assailants documented their attacks using cell phone videos and photos […]

What’s a Baby Cost?
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What’s a Baby Cost?

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When my wife and I found out we were having our first baby, I was ecstatic.  The coming of the new baby filled all my thoughts.  I got to be a boring conversationalist, with only one topic to discuss.  It was uncanny the connections I now saw (which had never been apparent to me before) […]

Ugly Girls
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Ugly Girls

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For the second time in a week I have run into the ugliest girls I ever met. I’m not being mean. It’s simply true — they’re hideous. Dubbed “Monster High Girls”, they are 10 inch or so fashion dolls and marketed to little children ages 6 to 12. They have been around since last summer, […]

Valley of the Mismatched
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Valley of the Mismatched

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Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” I can only add: “Especially when it comes to pairing socks.” Oh, how the mighty fall. I thought I had everything ready. All the details were attended to and I thought I knew exactly how the next several hours would unfold: exactly […]

Who Does It Hurt?
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Who Does It Hurt?

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Our then 4-year-old daughter decided that she’d had enough. We’d heard the complaints about a small group of boys in her preschool class and their trucks for a while. I can’t remember now exactly what it was the boys were doing with those trucks, except that they were breaking preschool truck rules in a way […]

Knockin' on Heaven's Door
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Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door

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We and our 4 daughters, ages 13 down to 1, needed a home, and we needed it soon.  Our 6-month lease was soon to expire, and our family was living a make-do lifestyle in an apartment.  Everything about our living space spoke the language of “temporary” — some nearly-weightless plastic chairs; a white, wobbly table with […]

Exterminate the “Nag Bug”!  The Gentle Virtue of Self-Control
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Exterminate the “Nag Bug”! The Gentle Virtue of Self-Control

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The other day I opened the front door and found my two kids engrossed in play, drawing chalk pictures on the front stoop.  Oblivious to my presence, their conversation became louder and more strident, until at last Sarah stood up and faced her brother, fists on hips. “How many times do I have to TELL […]

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My Story of Becoming a Mom, Part Three: Having It All

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I feel that for the most part it is a myth that women can have it all — at least at the same time. I have been the primary breadwinner in my household since my marriage 5+ years ago, working as an RN Case Manager at a health insurance company. My earning potential is more […]

Teaching Teens the Truth about Sin
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Teaching Teens the Truth about Sin

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I never cease to be amazed by what can be included in a high school “health” curriculum these days. I was recently looking at a health course for ninth graders, which included such topics as “contraception,” “decision-making” skills, “sexual orientations,” as well as “what to know about health care facilities, costs and sources of payment.” […]

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My Story of Becoming a Mom, Part Two: Adoption, a Second Choice, not Second Best

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For birthparents, adoptive parents and adoptees, adoption is almost never first choice. The choice of most birthparents would obviously be to avoid an unplanned/unwanted pregnancy. The first choice of most adoptive parents would be to achieve parenthood through the more traditional route, rather than to become parents after a long journey of scrutiny, paperwork, financial […]

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My Story of Becoming a Mom, Part One: Aching Arms

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As a registered nurse, I have patients who experience discomfort in different regions of the arm for a variety of reasons:  frozen shoulder, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, the list goes on.  Some of these conditions are very difficult to treat, and I’m very blessed that I don’t suffer from these or any other debilitating medical […]

The Blue Nail Polish, Saint-Making and Stepping Out
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The Blue Nail Polish, Saint-Making and Stepping Out

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Amidst their other literary interests, our children invariably return to their various saint books and Glory Stories CD’s (etc.). Of course, we’re delighted. More and more often I see in them glimmers of virtue that put me to shame. Sports’ metaphors work in our home: while they all get that our playing field is about […]

Chernobyl Diaper and Parental Joy
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Chernobyl Diaper and Parental Joy

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As a two-year old, our Grace had a certain “gift.” We were eager to get her potty trained, as were the garbage men (whom we’re sure drew straws every week, or received hazardous duty pay). Steph called from the other room: “Greg, do you want to change Grace’s diaper, or run to get some milk?” […]

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“But, Why…?”

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I have been nibbling away at a book titled, The Difference God Makes, by Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I.  I say nibbling away because what Cardinal George has to say about the role of the Catholic faith in our modern word is so incredibly rich that to read it straight through would be like trying to […]

Dressed in Matrimonial Grace
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Dressed in Matrimonial Grace

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As our eldest daughter perched on the cliff of entry into adolescence, I found myself perched upon a dangerous cliff of my own — that of seeking modest dress for teenage girls. I slowly awakened to the truth (I was somewhat in denial) that taking a teenage girl shopping for modest clothing is nothing less […]

More than Just Apparent: You’re the Parent!
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More than Just Apparent: You’re the Parent!

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A couple days ago I had great consternation over my kids’ less than virtuous attitudes, tones and dispositions, wondering where it was coming from.  Once again I turned inward toward my soul and inquired: “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, help me understand from whence it comes, before I drop-kick them all!” And the “mirror” spoke […]

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Saintly Survival of the Teen Years

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There’s a bit of a theological disagreement when it comes to heaven. Some believe we will understand all of life’s mysteries and have all our questions answered there. Others expect that basking in the glory of the Almighty will satisfy all desires. Curiosity will simply not exist. My guess is the latter theory is most […]

Beyond the Power of Angels
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Beyond the Power of Angels

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Like a lot of other people, I have been very busy this season, and even though I’ve taken time off from my usual homeschooling schedule, I’ve managed to find plenty to keep me just as occupied as usual.  I have to watch my use of time, as I sometimes treat it as something that needs […]

Catch Me Now, I’m Falling
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Catch Me Now, I’m Falling

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We enjoy the sport of rock climbing as a family.  Because granite cliffs are a bit hard to come by where we live on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, we most often climb at a world-class, indoor climbing gym about 40 minutes from the house.  Upon first glance, the gym is an intimidating place.  A towering […]

Teaching Catholic Children about Islam
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Teaching Catholic Children about Islam

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Catholic Book Review: My Muslim Friend: A Young Catholic Learns about Islam by Donna Jean Kemmetmueller, FSP In today’s complex world, we have an ever growing need to learn about and understand other cultures and religions. Images of war and terrorism enter into our homes on a daily basis. Stereotypes abound, frequently leaving children fearful […]

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Scattering Seeds

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I plant seeds for a living. Every plant I’ve ever watered has died. People give away dead and dying plants to my husband Tom and he resurrects them like they were Lazarus. Me? Put a plant in my charge and it will turn brown. But I plant seeds, none the less. I don’t sow seeds […]

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