Top 5 Ways I Went Wrong with Legos

Am I the only mother on the planet who has Lego fantasies? These fantasies usually consist of Legos sorted by color and organized in bins. Or, this reoccurring dream: my boys challenge themselves to reconstruct the 3 trains, 2 parking garages, 2 jails, and 3 fire stations that I literally spent $100's  (no, $1,000) of dollars on and which are now rubble in large plastic tubs. Not that I hate Legos. I actually LOVE them! My boys have spent HOURS with these blocks building and creating. . … [Read more...]

Christmas IS NOT Over

In the Catholic liturgical calendar, yesterday was the Feast Day of the Holy Family: a beautiful feast celebrating the Holy Family and by extension all families. This feast day was even more meaningful as we are visiting my family in Colorado. I had totally forgotten about this Feast Day in the craziness of the Feast of the Nativity. While reflecting on the Holy Family during the homily, the priest at Mass said something else that filled me with joy (and dare I say relief): the Catholic … [Read more...]

Wrapping Candles as a Gift

When you have five children in school or a Moms Day Out program, there are a lot of people in addition to the teachers who are working hard to make sure your kids' experience  (and mine) is good one. The school nurses (WE LOVE YOU NURSE GREEN and NURSE VICKIE!), secretaries, administrators, librarians, art and music and PE teachers. . .all of these people dedicated to the children in their school and they deserve a little holiday thanks, too! Last year, I found these beautiful red Root … [Read more...]

I Should Have Been a Mom of Boys Before I Became a Teacher

I am a mom of four boys. And now I get it. You see, in my previous life before husband and kids, I was a 7th and 8th grade language arts teacher in Colorado. I thought I was pretty good. Actually, I was pretty good--for a single woman with no children. Make that no boys. Because now that I have boys. . .I would be a damn good teacher. Boys. . .well, are often a different breed of learners. My boys run the gamut of learning styles. There is Marc who hates the daily writing journal he … [Read more...]

Get in the Christmas Photo, Mom!

So I've had two different conversations with friends who don't want to be on their family's Christmas photo card. Both conversations have gone like this: "I'm just going to take a picture of the kids. I've gained so much weight this year." I know how you feel. I thought for sure that I'd be wearing at least a size less this year. . .you know the clothes in that bin on the top of my closet shelf. But, the fact of the matter is, I'm not. Oh well. And even though I did try to photoshop a few of … [Read more...]

Happy Thanksgiving

Did you have a good Thanksgiving? We definitely did! Dinner was at Scott's mother's house. Our day was filled with food, stories, traditions and a few surprises. We are always late to any of the family gatherings. Even though today I MADE A SCHEDULE and had a list of things we needed to bring. . .we were still late. I used to blame it on having so many small children to gather up and change and gather up again. I don't have an excuse for our tardiness now. Scott is one of eight … [Read more...]

Best Christmas Pageant Ever

The best children's books are the ones that both kids and adults want to read again and again. Besides a good story, these books are multilayered with meaning so each reading seems to reveal something new. It is not that often, though, that a children's play is both entertaining and seeped in meaning for both parents and children. San Antonio's Magik Theater's production of the Best Christmas Pageant Ever successfully accomplishes that feat. Based on the classic novel by Barbara Robinson, … [Read more...]

Rediscovering the Creative: Making Pillows from Tea-Towels

One of the most difficult things in parenting young children, especially when you have multiple young children, is nurturing those creative pursuits—those passions—that you used to do. I used to sew and create things. And, while I've tried to get back into it. . .well, you know how it is A couple years ago, I met a women who is a poet. After her third child was born, she felt like she was losing her soul. The part of herself that she was most in love--that part with was being overrun by … [Read more...]

Monday Meal: A Secret, Game-Changing Ingredient

So my colleague, Heidi, and I were chatting at work and she mentioned that she was fixing chili for dinner. I groaned. I don't like chili--at least the kind with ground beef and kidney beans and red sauce. My apologies to my mom (a wonderful cook!) who would occasionally make it when I was growing up; it was one of the few foods I just didn't have the taste for. Now, her corn bread muffins that went with it were amazing and well worth chili night! Last week, Scott, hearing that the weather … [Read more...]

Bring on the Firefighters!

  Contrary to your perception after reading this post, I'm not a careless parent. It is just that I have a lot going on (especially between the hours of 3-7) and sometimes I lose track of things. . .or a child or two. Such was the case this afternoon. Thursday is the crunch day. Homework packets are hurriedly being finished. Spelling words are being pretested. Scott is finishing up work so he can get to a night class (on parenting, no less). In the midst of emptying … [Read more...]