At last! We have the first episode of Catholic Vitamins! Have you checked it out yet?


The Online Retreat in Everyday Life starts the week of September 13 (which is next week!), if you’re interested in making it in conjunction with the liturgical year. Last year, I did a series of reflections inspired by the online retreat, and I can’t recommend it highly enough…whether you’re Catholic or not.  It’s fabulous!


macbook-proFor about a month or two, I’ve been doing what I’ve called “Screenless Sundays.” It’s a cousin of “Offline Evenings” (see #6 on this post)– I don’t use the computer.  The screen is the computer screen, not the TV, though I don’t really watch TV.  It hasn’t been a family thing as much as just a personal resolution to make Sundays a day of rest.  I’m not the only one who’s been thinking this way, apparently, and isn’t it just interesting how these big thoughts seems to sweep everyone at once?  Greg and Jennifer talked about “Tech-Free Sundays” on their last Catholics Next Door podcast and they really got me to thinking — could I ask this of my family?  Sundays are a day of (cough, ahem) FOOTBALL.  Football = rest for a certain someone in our household.

Well, regardless of whether I go tech-free all the way, I’m experiencing a lot of peace with my Screenless Sundays experiment.  Yeah, there’s more to do on Monday, but I find I am rested in a whole new way.  Maybe it’s because being in front of a computer screen means work to me in so many ways, whether I’m doing parish work or writing work.  Maybe it’s because I’m paying attention to my family with more focused attention.  Maybe it’s because it’s something different.

Since this can’t just be something I am pondering, I have to ask…how about you?  Do you do something like this on Sundays?  If not, what do you do to make Sundays a day of rest?


Mr. Oompa Gloompa has been silent lately. (He’s introduced here, in #2.)  My four-year-old just hasn’t asked to talk to him.  Then, out of the blue, she asked to talk to him on Wednesday in the car.  (The car is the only place he talks to her.)  We’ve learned quite a bit more about him.

And I’ve realized that I need to make notes.  For one thing, I can’t remember what his wife’s name is.  For another, he has seven — seven! — daughters, and my dear remembers-everything daughter wants to know their names.  Well, they can’t just be Henrietta or Jane, can they, not with a father named Mr. Oompa Gloompa!  His oldest daughter, who’s orange, is Galoompa.  I had to just admit that I didn’t know all the rest of their names, and my four-year-old was OK with that.

She moved right on to the next most important question.

“Mr. Oompa Gloompa, can I ask you something?”

“Sure, Principessa.”

“Is there God in your world?”


“Yes, Principessa, there is, though my world is different than yours.”

“Mr. Oompa Gloompa, can I ask you something?”

“Why, of course, Principessa.”

“Is there Mary in your world?”

Now how do I answer that?  Does God have a mother in this other world?  I hadn’t thought about it.  There are a lot of things I haven’t thought about, and I guess I’ll have to get a little notebook to jot these things down so I remember them.

Though I doubt it’s any safer to reference those notes while I’m driving than it is to text or talk on the phone…


On a whim, a week ago, I got a bunch of books on insects from the library. My four-year-old had asked to learn all about crickets, and I figured, “Why not?’cricket

Last week, inspired by this book, Cricketology, we went cricket-hunting.  This week, still inspired, we made cricket castles.  What will next week hold?

One thing’s for sure: bugs.


How’s homeschooling going? I’m finding out what it means to have the learning just, well, happen all the time.  We get together with our friends (Belle is the other four-year-old, and Penny is the toddler), and we work on the subject of the day.  But, really, it doesn’t stop.  I have piles of books acquired from the library thanks to my handy-dandy newly-minted teacher library card (oh joy!), and my four-year-old is immersed in them.  From horses to insects to the wide world of all animals, she will sit and pore over the books in the evenings, in her bedroom, in the mornings.

And this is SOOOO why I wanted to homeschool.

(Yes, there are challenges.  Don’t get me wrong.  But I’m enjoying it and keeping a smile in my mind — if not always on my face.)


American Girl catalogI was lamenting the American Girl catalog a couple of times after it arrived in our mailbox on Tuesday. These dolls seem great, don’t get me wrong.  I want one.  For that matter, I want the horses too.

But to shell out that money for a doll that my kid’s going to probably forget in five minutes seems…silly.  (I told her she had to save her money for one, and if that involves Christmas and birthday money, fine.  But still…)  Anyway, getting these catalogs in the mail (How did they get my name? How’d they know?) has caused mixed emotions with me for some time…we go through a spell of constant “I want…” and, well, I just seem to struggle.

Then, somehow, I remembered the painter’s tape one of my friends recommended as a must-have around the house.  And I gave my four-year-old permission to use it to hang something up.  And suddenly, her room redecoration was born.  Yes, the entire American Girl catalog can be found on her bedroom walls.

And, incidentally, the old-fashioned Holly Hobbie quilt (the profile Holly Hobbie with the bonnet, not the new-fangled one who’s popular now) my grandma made me when I was a girl of about five is on her bed, underneath all those smiling American Girl catalog pages.  I don’t know if that’s what inspired her to make her bed every day this week, and even insist on it, should I imply that it’s not, perhaps, necessary.  I’m not a bed-maker, for whatever reason.  So either that old, washed-soft quilt is inspiring her or she’s only related to me by blood.  🙂

Thanks to Jen at Conversion Diary for being our lovely 7 Quick Takes hostess.