Literature Meets Life

Sometimes you read a book aloud and it just sticks.

Last summer we read 7 Seven Riddles to Nowhere, by A. J. Cattapan aloud as a family. It was a book that everyone, including Daddy, enjoyed!  As we approached the final reveal to the mystery of the 7 riddles, the boys spent several car rides debating the solution.  We finished the book aloud on the front porch with ice cream cones.

It was every bit as idealistic as it sounds.

Almost immediately the kids began planning a trip to see all of the Chicago churches visited by the kids in the book.  When Dad had a work trip to Chicago earlier this month, we decided to take advantage and extend it into the weekend as a family to give ourselves a self-guided tour. 

I could spend a post on every church and not share everything we saw, but here are the highlights!

Parenting Books A Mom of 7 Reads

Before I had one or two kids I was sure that everything I needed to know could be learned in books.  By the time I had a couple kids I was pretty sure that books were utterly useless and I would learn everything I needed to know from my family.  Now as a mom of 7, my reality has settled somewhere in the middle.  Realizing that books have their limits, but acknowledging that sometimes we need a helping hand when our family presents us with a particularly challenging puzzle!  No book is perfectly aligned to my parenting philosophy or yours, but these are the copies I reach for when I run into a road block with my family.

2017-2018 Curriculum Choices


School year 2017-2018 is upon us!   I'm excited for fresh starts, clean notebooks and sharpened pencils, but I'm also a little in awe of just how much a "low-key" plan involves for us this year.

That Time I Spilled The Beans About My Marital Relationship to A Cardinal


Alternately titled... Why Heidi should only communicate in writing that can be edited before she hits send.

Do you remember Sarah Margaret's pregnancy announcement?

The short version for those who don't have time to read is that she was conceived in the window of time between when we visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe and met St. Gianna's daughter and when Lucie was diagnosed with epilepsy.  Of all of my children, she is my greatest testimony between the beauty of NFP (Natural Family Planning).

How Much He Loves Her


Among my many doubts about the close spacing of these two youngest monkeys of mine, was how well Tomas at 19 months would respond to his new sister.   While it has not been a seamless transition (he's tired of extra people around the house and doesn't always want to share Mommy and Daddy, both completely understandable), overall he has taken his cues from big brothers and sisters and loves her as much as they do.

Here are some adorable moments from their first days together.

5th Times the Charm


When we first learned that little Miss Sarah Margaret would be joining our family, I had my doubts.

Ok, I had lot of doubts.

I said a lot of prayers of "I sure hope YOU know what you're doing God."

As the boring, uneventful weeks of pregnancy passed by I began to feel more and more comfortable hoping for a boring, uneventful birth and recovery period too.

I started to dream about a normal recovery period.   One where you hold a baby when he or she is born.  Where you nurse early and often, as much as you want.

See, I don't talk about it much but my history has stolen those early moments from me all to often.  The last time I delivered a baby who went straight to my chest was Kenna.  Ten years ago.

Oh yeah, and she was already dead.

So not exactly normal.

The Perfect Toddler Evening


Alternatively titled, Daddy found a toad and Tomas followed it...

On a rare activity-free night home as a family this week, Tim and a few of the kids headed out to finish planting the garden.  Tomas naturally followed and had quite the adventure of his own learning how to transplant a tomato.



That alone would have been a beautiful toddler evening, but then they found the toad....