Read-aloud books that even (my) dad likes to read

When it’s time for bedtime stories, Dad’s usually tired, so sometimes he’s the one who will fall asleep while he’s reading (well, he dozes off when he is interrupted by DISCUSSIONS and COMMENTS on what he just read–and we have a lot of, er, spontaneous discussions in our family!). But: even though most of us are too old to listen to bedtime stories, we always come to hear him read from the Mitchells three book set (and he NEVER falls asleep, either). This great set by Hilda van Stockum presents a rollicking story of a large Catholic family during the 1940s. From big sister Joan to baby Timmy, the five Mitchell children struggle to adjust to life without Daddy after he leaves to fight during World War II in the first book of the set, Five for Victory. Then Joan

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Finding ways to Truly Celebrate Advent with Family and Friends

The “Holidays” are coming–and don’t they all seem to run together now? The commercials, the radio, and the store fronts won’t let you forget it: all sorts of holidays are just ahead. As the weather cools and the familiar Fall sights and smells invade our senses we look forward to pumpkin pie, seeing family we haven’t in a while, exchanging gifts, and all the traditions the fall and winter brings. As the hubbub and chaos ensues, I often find that everything is over before I really get a chance to reflect on the meaning of these Holy Days, these Holidays. My best laid plans to really teach my kids what this time is all about get pushed aside and before we know it we are packing up the manger after Epiphany and trying to sneak in some lessons as we wrap the Baby Jesus

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The November secret most Catholics don't know

In November each year, the Church helps us focus on the “Communion of Saints.” But there is a “secret” in the first days of this month which I only learned of recently. Learning about this “secret” can really capture the imaginations of your children: making them more aware of their connection with the people God places around them, both the living and the dead. It’s also a great preparation of their minds for Advent, when the Church leads them to contemplate: Christ’s future Second Coming to judge the living and the dead, and the anticipation of the Jews long ago for His First Coming at Christmas! The Communion of Saints includes the following: those who have already reached heaven (The Church Triumphant); the faithful departed who are being

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Imagine: your kids WANTING to eat VEGETABLES...

Imagine: your kids eating vegetables… helping prep for dinner… and making breakfast for you while you sip your coffee (!) BUT–Here’s the catch, Mom: Working with food encourages kids to try new things, but fruits and vegetables almost always require knives… Does the idea of letting your kids use knives make you squeamish? It did me!!! Here’s the solution that worked for us (my little girls absolutely LOVED it!) and gave me peace of mind: Let a trained cooking teacher bring knife skills and safety to your children in the comfort of your own home. NOW–for a limited time only!–here’s your FREE chance to do what we did. For two weeks only, you can get 3 free classes from the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse. Watch one with your kids like a regular

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Text of canonization homily for Mother Teresa of Calcutta!

An inspiring two days we’ve had: the canonization of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta followed by her first feast day as “Saint Teresa of Calcutta”–wow! Here below is the full text of the Pope’s homily for her, as well as some other text from the Holy Mass on Sep 4, 2016. “Who can learn the counsel of God?” (Wis 9:13). This question from the Book of Wisdom that we have just heard in the first reading suggests that our life is a mystery and that we do not possess the key to understanding it. There are always two protagonists in history: God and man. Our task is to perceive the call of God and then to do his will. But in order to do his will, we must ask ourselves, “What is God’s will in my life?” We find the answer in the same passage of the Book of Wisdom: “People

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