Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Library

I was at a meeting in a Catholic school library the other evening. We finished pretty early, so when the room cleared out I walked around and perused the titles on the shelves. It was pretty shocking. It's not that I expected all the books to be holy books about lives of saints, or even to teach virtue. There is merit in reading and studying things that are simply and beautifully written because beauty and creativity themselves can give us glimpses into the mind of God. However, I did not expect to see what I did, books that clutter the mind with drivel and openly promote vice. Granted, some of these books have won awards, but I don't believe that every book that wins a secular award should automatically be included in a Catholic library, just as I don't think every academy-award winning movie belongs in every home library(think Million Dollar Baby). I truly believe that it's just another example of lowered expectations in the form of "well, at least they're reading." I've just never been a fan of that viewpoint because if you follow that line to its logical conclusion then you can excuse your children for reading pornographic literature. Vigilance is the domain of all parents, not just those of us crazy enough to homeschool. We should know our children and monitor their interests that we may better "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."

Sunday, March 26, 2006


A friend from Pennsylvania called me on Friday. We call each other when we can to catch up and encourage each other. I was still feeling a little sorry for myself as Clint had just returned from a business trip the night before and would be leaving again on Monday. So, when she asked me what was new I told her Clint had just gotten home for the weekend. She said, "Suzanne, you are so BLESSED to have such a faithful, loving husband who travels. You never have to worry when he's gone."
I think someone's getting an afternoon out for golf tomorrow, and a big hug right now.


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

That's where she gets it!

I have this funny story about Katie when from when she was four, I think. Anyway, we were at a friend's house for this little co-op preschool. It was Lent and my friend, Cathy, was telling the kids about the Crucifixion. When she got to the part about the two thieves crucified with Jesus and how "the good thief" believed in Jesus, Katie (who was full of questions) interrupted and asked, "What did the good thief steal?" I've always scratched my head and wondered, who asks that? Now, I know. I was just telling my mother-in-law(Barbara) that Katie is reading about Betsy Ross. Barbara told me that when Clint was about three, his grandfather asked him if he knew what Betsy Ross did. Clint didn't, so his grandfather said, "Well, she made the first American flag." Clint looked at him and asked, "But who made the last one?"
Mystery solved.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Family Un-planning and Naptime

Our children are 7, 4, and almost 2. We didn't space them that way, God did. It took me awhile to figure out why. I nursed each of my children to sleep at naptime and bedtime from birth. Most of the magazines told me that was a bad idea. I tried their way once when Katie was a baby. She cried for 45 minutes, even with the checking and comforting--which wasn't comforting to her, apparently. And it felt so WRONG. After she weaned, I sang her to sleep until she was ready to go to sleep on her own. Eric went from nursing to reading. Philip is now weaned and prefers just being held until he's asleep. I thought everyone did these things. But, I have friends and family members who just lay their kids down when they're tired and they just quietly fall asleep. That's it. No tears, no yelling "MOMMY!" at the top of their lungs, nothing. Some of these friends have their kids spaced quite close together. So I thought, maybe our kids are so 2+ years apart so I don't have to help two of them to sleep at the same time. God truly knows my abilities, and gave me my gifts accordingly. It's comforting to know that Someone knows what He's doing. I, on the other hand, still have plenty to learn. For instance, I tried putting Philip down in the play yard with a blanket and a bottle of water half an hour ago. He's been alternating calling my name(not crying, just with an air of, yoo-hoo, I'm still here) with singing and jabbering. That's why we don't have a crib. I'd better take him down to our napping place.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The title of my book

I think I'll name my book, The Healing Power of Candy. Now, I know that candy has never really healed anyone, but think about all the kids who've gotten well because they've taken their medicine because it was flavored like candy. Then, look at Philip. He has an ear infection, again. The P.A. at the doctor's office said he doesn't need antibiotics unless he gets worse, just treat the pain. So, we did, for over a week. He's not worse, but he's not much better, either. I'm still reluctant to give antibiotics to my sweetie since he has a sensitive stomach. Time for a natural remedy--olive oil with garlic.

Have you ever tried to put anything in a toddler's ear when he's awake? Not pleasant. Here's where the candy comes in. For a gumdrop, he let me put drops in both ears AND he hasn't pulled the cotton out. THAT's the healing power of candy.
"Then I ate it; and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey." Ezekiel 3:3

Monday, March 06, 2006


I've heard from my fellow homeschoolers that February is the hardest month. There are lots of reasons, here in the midwest the weather is one of them. The mildness of this winter has almost made it worse. Whether or not the kids can play outside has varied not just week to week, but often day to day. It's really broken the routine of our days. I guess what I mean is that I've let it disrupt our days. I really like to use recess to get things done, and when we don't have it, I feel frustrated, worn down, and harrassed by my precious children. Sometimes I need to be reminded that they aren't my obstacles to holiness, they are my path. I received just such a reminder at a recent women's conference where we focused on the "delicate balance" that our vocation requires. The balance is easier when our priorities are properly ordered. Sometimes, reading stories needs to come before loading the dishwasher. And the best quote of the conference, "Multitasking is not a virtue." Amen.