Hangin’ Tough

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Today at the library, that jazz book caught my eye — but it was something else that reeled me in. Shouldn’t that red book be somewhere else? Upon closer inspection, it seems the whole shelf is out-of-sorts.



The Saga Continues…

1603 1603_ () 1603 1603 Reader Amy, who also has five boys, sends us this hilarious story.

I thought of you while standing in line at Walgreens the other day. There was a man standing in line behind me who seemed a bit nervous and sly. I had two of my boys with me, so I was automatically shifting gears to’ protect-mode’. He was looking over both shoulders and it was becoming quite obvious that he was making sure others weren’t watching him.

I pulled my boys close and remained on guard. As I finished my transaction, he (quick as a fox) grabbed a Snuggie and added it to his small pile of purchases. Judging him, I assumed he was up to no good. The poor guy proved me wrong. He was just embarrassed.

I was still in the process of strapping the boys into their car seats when I noticed him come out of the store. Happy as could be, he approached his car (his wife waiting inside) and handed her his thoughtful gift. It was freezing here in Colorado last night. I wish I had a Snuggie. Good to know they sell them at Walgreens, should I ever get the urge.

How many of you out there have gotten your own Snuggie? We would all love to hear how your winter is going with this brilliant creation. I’m also going to get an update from my friend Kim on life with Snuggie. 1603″> .


Family Charisms

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It is a weekday morning and we are getting ready for school. The boys are getting dressed, and I’m working on bringing breakfast to the table while I make lunches.

As I walk toward the refrigerator I stumble across a boy seated on the kitchen floor. I look closer to discover that he is tied to the column that is part of my kitchen island. Should I even try to get to the bottom of this, I ask myself, and then decide no. It’s probably better to just keep moving forward to get us out the door on time.

“Go put your shoes on,” I say to the boy, ignoring the detail of his being tethered to our cabinetry.

“Yes ma’am,” he says and gets himself free.

I realize someone needs a patch ironed onto his one pair of clean school pants. I leave the kitchen in search of my sewing box and find that the only patch I have is blue. I use it anyway. When I am done I hold up the pants to verify that yes, you can totally see that blue square through the khaki cotton.

“This is awesome,” says my son. “Thanks mom.”

I walk back into the kitchen to find another boy tied up, this time in an elaborate knot system designed to challenge his maneuvering skills.

“I’m trying to get free,” he says happily. His brothers look on as he works his magic.

“Untie him so he can get dressed,” I say to the oldest. And then I wonder how many other women are uttering those same words to their children as they get ready for the day. Surely I’m not alone.

In the midst of all this craziness – on this day and so many others just like it – we keep on keeping on. I realize that having a family of boys is going to make my family look and act in ways unlike other families. It’s not a bad thing – just different.

My goal is to embrace our life, to enjoy this unique vantage of having five sons while I continue to strive for those same ideals Paul and I had for our family before our children were even born.

We want our boys to love the faith. We want them to have a real love for Jesus, to look to the saints for inspiration, to seek the Lord in everything. We want to use these formative years to plant seeds that will be with them forever.

Our standards and ideals haven’t changed, but our approach has. Because we didn’t anticipate this unique nature of our crew – and this nature certainly affects a lot.

The way we pray, what our prayer times look like, even the saints we are drawn to – these details will differ from family to family, based on personality and charisms and yes, gender. I realized recently that our family will likely never be charter members of the St. Maria Goretti Fan Club, and that’s okay.

What Paul and I can do is tether ourselves to our boys’ imagination and boyish charm and even some of that spunk and mischief – and then we can direct those energies back toward Jesus. It might look different from what another family is doing, but we pray for the same end result – that each of our boys will have a firm, unwavering love of the Lord, and a desire to seek him always.

Every family is different. This I tell myself often. I look to other families for inspiration, to be reminded of our ideals when they start to slip. I want to be around other men and women who want to raise their children in God’s ways.

I have to remember, though, that I can’t cross the line that separates “seeking inspiration” to “comparing.” Comparing can be dangerous, especially if there has to be a “winner.”

We seek the Lord, and we embrace the family God gave us, who he made us to be. And then, with all that in mind, we travel down the path he sets before us. 1602″> .


Calling All Nerds!

1601 1601_ () 1601 1601 This is kinda cute. HT: the Balducci boys