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Advent Memories

Advent Memories

I’m a Catholic school veteran—16 years all told.    I sent my three oldest children to the same parochial grade school I attended.  Catholic schools have Religion class every day along with Math, English, and Social Studies, and that’s great—but what’s even better are...

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Love and Fear

Love and Fear

Unless all your Facebook friends think exactly like you, your newsfeed is probably like mine right now--completely polarized on the issue of admitting Syrian refugees to the United States. On one side are those who believe that terrorists will take advantage of the...

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Giving Thanks in All Circumstances

In the fifth grade, we were assigned to present short plays adapted from books we had read.  My best friend asked me to appear in her scene from Corrie ten Boom's The Hiding Place. Corrie and her family were members of the resistance in Holland during World War I, and...

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Back on the (Literal) Treadmill

Y'all know I've made some serious efforts to get in shape to improve my health over the past couple of years.  And like most people, I've had ups and downs in the journey!  I haven't fallen off the wagon completely, but we haven't walked as often, I've eaten more...

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Home To Me

I'm excited to be participating in the Home to Me blog hop hosted by These Walls.  You can find a link to each participant's blog and the dates they are posting right here. I hope you will follow along!

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My Forever Home

My Forever Home

You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it’s all right. - Maya Angelou  You can't go home again isn't just metaphorical for many people.  The first home I ever knew--the married student housing apartments where I lived with my...

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Autumn Gardening

You may have noticed my more regular posting schedule lately, because it's November and I am once again participating in NaBloPoMo.  That means a post per day.  And it's hard, VERY hard, for me to find the time. So today I'm posting a few pictures, and writing a...

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Birthday Girl

Tomorrow Lorelei, our baby, will turn 11.  True to her birth order, she's very much still the "baby" of the family, although she is surprisingly capable if no one is around to baby her. Lorelei is homeschooled, and thus somewhat sheltered from a culture that pressures...

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My Sunday Photo

This photo is special to me for a couple of reasons.  The icon was a Christmas gift from my daughter.  I suppose it's meant as a Christmas decoration but I love it too much so I keep it out all year.  The candle holder is a new one meant to fit the peacock theme we...

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Too Much Stuff:  An All-American Problem

Too Much Stuff: An All-American Problem

Americans have a lot of stuff.  Let's take a look at some of these statistics excerpted from Joshua Becker's article in his blog, Becoming Minimalist, shall we? There are 300,000 items in the average American home (LA Times). I have no intention of counting, but I...

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The Gift of Siblings

The Gift of Siblings

This summer I read an article in the online version of Elle Magazine, which read in part: Sometimes, I can see us living in a smaller, older home somewhere, selling this one, and adjusting to accommodate life with a third child in a home that is definitely anything...

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After Three It Just Gets Louder

After Three It Just Gets Louder

When it comes to kids, three is the magic number... for stress. Mothers of three children stress more than moms of one or two, while mothers of four or more children actually report lower stress levels At least that's what a survey from Today.Com claims, about which...

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Bulu Box: SPONSORED

OK, y'all, let me start by saying that this is a sponsored post, which I get to do because I am a US Family Guide Blogger.  I will be compensated for this post with a free subscription to this product, which I will then (HONESTLY, I PROMISE!) review.  As of right now,...

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ATTACK of the Yellow Jackets!

Let me start by issuing a warning:  if you ever see a hole in the ground, don't stick your foot in to see how deep it is. Just don't. It started off well--a family birthday party at my mother's house.  My little niece wanted me to take her out into the back yard,...

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Love: The Key to Compassion

Love: The Key to Compassion

Love, love, love, love: Christians, this is your call; Love your neighbor as yourself For God loves us all. We sang it in a round and we sang it well, because Sister Janice had us practice it before Mass began.  We sat on the hard metal folding chairs in the...

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Pope Francis Memes You Can Trust!

People love Pope Francis, and they love Pope Francis memes.  They love them so much, in fact, that they will repost them whether they are true or not. But truth matters, y'all, and Pope Francis is saying awesome things ALL THE TIME. There's no need to make things up....

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Fun at the Fair

Fun at the Fair

We called it "The Dirty Fair" when we were little and although we begged to go every year, our pleas were rarely heard.  I don't remember why we started to calling it that, but I have a feeling it came from whatever reasons my mother gave for not wanting to go to it!...

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Who Doesn’t Love a Good Wedding?

Who Doesn’t Love a Good Wedding?

I remember a time when it seemed like we were always going to weddings.  Next came the baby showers.  Lately, it seems it's always funerals.  It's the circle of life and all, I realize (and I do love a good funeral, as I may have mentioned a time or two!).  But I'm...

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This Year in the Garden

Last year, I posted about my gardening efforts often.  This year I haven't found the time.  I've gardened, though, and I've taken pictures.  And as fall approached I thought it would be fun to show you the progress I've made this year. Here's what the area that I...

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A Visit to the Windy City

A Visit to the Windy City

Y'all may remember that I'm a big fan of the writing of the late Father Andrew Greeley.  One of the things I love about his books is the way he brought to life the city of Chicago and its environs.  His stories couldn't take place anywhere but there.  So I was excited...

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The Fairest of Them All

Lorelei is all about making videos lately.  She has her own YouTube channel, with a weekly posting schedule, and she has custody of my iPhone more than I do.  Today she was telling me that she no longer enjoys watching the videos made by one of her subscribers,...

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Answer Me This

Happy Sunday!  Time to have a little fun by joining the Answer Me This linkup at Catholic All Year! 1. At what temperature do you keep the thermostat set? Summer, winter, day, night? I believe I wrote about this once already here.  But to recap: I believe we are...

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Answer Me This: July 5

Y'all, thank goodness for Answer Me This, the awesome linkup sponsored by Kendra of Catholic All Year.  Otherwise, you'd have no posts of mine to read apparently. (Vowing to do better this week . . .) 1. How did you celebrate the 4th of July? (Or, for you...

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Answer Me This

Yes, it's time again for the great Answer Me This linkup courtesy of Catholic All Year. 1. How long have you lived in your current home? It will be four years in September.  Our house burned down on September 5, 2011.  We were homeless for not quite three weeks, with...

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After the Flag Comes Down, Then What?

Let's get one thing straight up front--it's time for the flag to come down.  It's divisive, it's hurtful, and whatever you or I or anyone might have meant by keeping or displaying it just doesn't matter now that the Dylann Roofs of this world have chosen it as their...

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Let's Hear It for Skin

Let's Hear It for Skin

UPDATE: I wrote this last week, before the internet exploded with discussions of racial identity fueled by a white woman passing for black, before our hearts were broken by Charleston's violent reminder of one real possible consequence of being born black in America....

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Answer Me This Returns!

I'm so excited that Kendra of Catholic All Year has decided to bring back her Answer Me This linkup!  It's such a great way to start off my blogging week.  Here are this week's questions. 1. Any big plans for the summer? Summer starts early here in Tennessee--my kids...

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My Weekend Escape

For about eight years now, at least when the stars aligned and finances permitted, I have received a weekend away from my family as a birthday gift.  The stars did not align at the right time this year (my birthday was in April), so I took this past weekend as my own....

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Why I Remain a Catholic

Elizabeth Scalia, who blogs as The Anchoress at Patheos, has challenged all Catholics with a publishing platform of any kind to flood the blogosphere with their witness.  Here's her invitation: Let’s do this! If you’re Catholic and have access to a web-page, a radio...

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More Awards = More about Me

In five years of blogging I received one award, and now suddenly I seem to have another one every week.  Like I said in my last award post, that's what's known as an embarrassment of riches, folks, because I really am starting to feel embarrassed and hope you aren't...

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#1000 Speak: The Compassion Connection

#1000 Speak: The Compassion Connection

Let's connect!  Looking forward to connecting! I'd like to connect with you! Such messages are all over social media, and usually there the idea of "connecting" conveys a professional networking vibe.  Connecting helps us get jobs, drives readers to our blogs.  Some...

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Ten Things of Thankful: Big 100

This is only the second time I've participated in TToT but I can still celebrate its big milestone, right? Several months ago I started my own private thankfulness practice in my prayer life (that sounds way more holy than it is--we're talking praying in bed before...

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And Now for the Liebster Award!

I'm afraid I'm starting to sound like a broken record but I'm excited to announce that Kathleen of Lifestyle Building Blocks for Success has nominated me for the Liebster Award!  I met Kathleen over on Google +, and have enjoyed being a part of her Friday Blog Booster...

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Madame Tussauds in Washington, D.C.

Because John and I graduated from Georgetown University, and because his family still lives in nearby Baltimore, we have taken trips to our Nation's Capital fairly regularly over the years.  And although there is never enough time to do everything we want to while we...

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Ripley's Odditorium

I'm excited to report that my family and I are going to receive free tickets to the new Ripley's Odditorium at the Inner Harbor next time we travel to Baltimore to visit my husband's family!  I'm looking forward to coming back here to tell you more about it, but...

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My Graveyard Stories

My Graveyard Stories

Since I was a little girl visiting the old churches in the Smokies, I have enjoyed exploring graveyards.  But in March 2014 I took this interest to the next level when I started visiting, photographing, and writing about cemeteries on a regular basis.  I try to tell a...

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April Goes out with a Bang!

Well, this has been another banner week for me, y'all! Monday was my birthday, and who doesn't like having a little fuss made over them?  Especially when the fuss includes TWO bouquets and a homemade cake (Emily made it). Tuesday I published a post related to the...

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Violence in Baltimore

Am I the only person in America who is having a little problem with this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sr8rdYUOqgw Please understand, I am NOT bashing this mother.  I am sure she loves her son and was concerned for his safety and his future.  I'm not accusing her...

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Nature, Nurture, and Compassion

Nature vs. Nurture? It's a common argument that may never be settled, but one thing I know about me:  it's my nature to nurture. When I was a teenager, I was crazy about babies.  I mean, who doesn't love a baby but I could hardly stop thinking about how much I wanted...

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April: Not the Cruelest Month

This has been a totally awesome month for me blogwise, y'all. First, hard to believe but I have been writing this thing for FIVE YEARS now.  My "blogiversary" was April 7. Next, while I haven't been writing as much as I want to or should, I've been doing a lot of...

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Spring Fling

Spring Fling

For the past several years, starting on the first day of Spring I've posted a quotation about the season as my Facebook status.  I love Spring so much that I needed to celebrate!  My friends seemed to approve, which encouraged me because who doesn't like "likes" on...

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Ask Away Friday!

  I'm participating in a new (to me!) linkup today:  #AskAwayFriday was created by Penny from Real Housewife of Caroline County and Amber from Bold Fit Mom, as a way to connect with other bloggers.  Two bloggers pair up to ask each other ten questions, any questions!...

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More Than a Feeling

More Than a Feeling

Like most people, I routinely share pictures I consider to be cute or profound on my Facebook wall.  Sometimes I'm surprised by the lack of attention paid to something I found particularly noteworthy; other times one picture gets more likes than I expected.  And who...

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Sunday Snippets

It's time again for Sunday Snippets, that weekly linkup of Catholic Bloggers from across the web hosted by RAnn of This, That, and the Other Thing.  Sadly, this is the last week for Sunday Snippets but I hope to find some new linkups to join. Things were pretty busy...

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#1000 Speak: Bullies on the Bus

When Lorelei was very little, she'd get mad at her big brothers and yell, "Shub up!  Beeg bully!" With four older siblings, it's not surprising she'd heard the phrase "shut up," but I'm not sure how she already knew what a bully was:  someone bigger, stronger, more...

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Is Fear Ruining Childhood?

Is Fear Ruining Childhood?

Like many people approaching the mid-century (ACK!) mark, I look back fondly on childhood as an idyllic episode in my life.  And while it may be true, as Doug Larson says, that "nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days," I still think...

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Sunday Snippets

Thanks for joining me for Sunday Snippets, a weekly roundup of posts by Catholic authors from around the web, hosted by RAnn.  If any of you would care to join in, please visit the link for instructions. Partly because of snow days and partly because I've been away...

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Five Life Lessons from The Godfather

Five Life Lessons from The Godfather

John and I are spending the weekend in Dallas with my sister and brother-in-law.  They have an in-home theatre, and last night we ate Italian food and watched The Godfather. I have only watched it start-to-finish once, I believe, and that was twenty years ago. Now...

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He Was Spock

He Was Spock

"Are you sitting down, Dad?" We are out of town and it was our oldest son on the phone.  Those weren't words we wanted to hear.  But Jake knows us well enough to realize that the news of Leonard Nimoy's death would hit hard. I can't remember a time when I didn't know...

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Smoky Mountain Graveyard

Smoky Mountain Graveyard

I cannot tell from the map of the footprint of the still ongoing wildfires whether this little graveyard, just a stone's throw from Gatlinburg, is in the affected area, but there can be little doubt that other graveyards and historic structures have been destroyed and...

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Sunday Snippets

Welcome to Sunday Snippets, a roundup of Catholic bloggers from around the web hosted by RAnn of This, That, and the Other Thing. My content is not explicitly Catholic this week (unless, of course, you consider celebrating the beauty of God's Creation to be...

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