Nine Kids, Wacka Wacka!

08/01/2013 Comments (48)

When I write about stuff like going camping, I always make some crack about how crazy we are to be doing this with nine kids, aged fifteen and under.  Nine kids, wacka wacka! 

The truth is, I'm making these jokes out of habit.  On our way home, husband and I actually marveled at how much crazier it would have been to try to go camping with, say, three or four kids.

Yes, lots of things are harder when you have lots of kids.  But lots of things really are easier.  Part of that is because of who we've become through having nine kids, and part is just because of the actual kids themselves.  Here are a few big family perks that revealed themselves on our recent trip:

 

It's easier to...READ MORE

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We Put the Hurt in Yurt

07/30/2013 Comments (38)

If you're reading this, I survived. 

We went camping on Sunday, and are just getting back today.  Yep, camping with all nine kids and two decidedly indoorsy adults.  Two things made this plan just a shade less than criminally insane:  we left the puppy with my mother-in-law (and the bird with a friend. The gerbils, the tadpole, and the raccoons who've built their retirement plan around our garbage cans fend for themselves), and we rented a yurt.

To some, the use of anything that makes camping more convenient -- whether we're talking about a change of socks, or a GPS device, or a tin cup in which to simmer your wild caught possum and toadberry stew -- means that you're not actually...READ MORE

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Visual Examination of Conscience

07/25/2013 Comments (85)

This will only take a minute!  Check out this picture from World Youth Day:

 

and then look at this video

 

 

 

What was your first reaction?  Was it,

(a) "Oh my gosh, look at all those people going to confession!  How great!"

Or was it,

(b) "Why do those confessionals have to be so ugly?  This is what's wrong with the Church today."

or

(c) "Those confessionals look Masonic to me."

or

(d) "The asymmetry is a sign of Satanism."

or

(e) "What a field of monstrosities; it almost look like a graveyard.  CULTURE OF DEATH, CULTURE OF DEATH!!!"

If your answer was (a), then you're fine.  Enjoy your Thursday.

If your answer was (b), (c), (d), (e) or any...READ MORE

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Let's Try Not to Use Babies

07/23/2013 Comments (76)

When Kate Middleton was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, lots of women who suffered through the same malady felt a sense of sisterhood.  When she got close to her due date, lots of moms groaned in sympathy -- not so much over the pain of the last few weeks, but over the attention she'd be getting.  What pregnant women want most of all in the third trimester is to be left alone, and this poor woman had more than just the usual wisecracking grocery baggers and curious old ladies watching her -- she had a whole nation, and then some.  Women everywhere felt a connection with her.  Even though she's "royalty" (whatever that means), even though she's poised and lovely and unerringly...READ MORE

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You Can Make It Across

07/18/2013 Comments (21)

It was scorching hot at our little town beach.  I roamed back and forth, from the blueberry bush to the rock, counting the heads of the swimming kids, trying to keep the baby from eating too much sand.  People came for a long stay or a quick, cooling dip, catching up with old friends as they bobbed up and down in the water.

There was a couple with two kids, a baby and a boy about seven.  The young mom was lovely, with a fierce, classical beauty, but her layers of clothing and the way she kept adjusting her top and glancing at her postpartum belly and hips showed that she wasn't feeling it.

The dad was trying his hardest to give everyone exactly the right kind of attention:  asking...READ MORE

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I'm Not the Entire Congregation

07/16/2013 Comments (94)

Last Sunday, our retired pastor (who does an awful lot of work for someone who is retired) gave the sermon.  It was hot, the kids were squirrelly, and I gave a little sigh when I realized that he was planning to focus on something fairly pedestrian:  the idea that everyone is our neighbor, even if they look different from us.  We, as the people of God, should be accepting and welcoming of all peoples, and must love and care for them just like the Good Samaritan did for the  man who fell victim to robbers.  Racism is bad. 

All true, I thought to myself, but not exactly groundbreaking.  Come on, Father!  There are no lynch mobs in this congregation.  Tell us something we actually need to...READ MORE

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The Stupids Get a Dog

07/11/2013 Comments (38)

When I decided to start blogging twice a week for Register, rather  than three times a week, I thought it would, as Norman Osborn said, rectify certain inequities:  to wit, I thought I'd have a safe place on Patheos to purge my yappy brain of trivialities like stories about my new puppy and how the baby was sick and oh my gosh, ticks are disgusting, and does anybody know how to make corn nuts?  And then I could talk about, you know, Catholicism, on the National Catholic Register.  Good plan, eh?

But there comes a time when we must remember the words of Duns Scotus, who famously said, "If it's about puppies, it's Catholic."

What I'm trying to tell you is that we drove three hours to...READ MORE

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Free Lumen Fidei!

07/09/2013 Comments (74)

Did you hear about the bizarre dust-up over Lumen Fidei and the free downloads?

This is how the conversation should have gone:  

Brandon Vogt:  Hi, this is Brandon Vogt. I am super excited about the new encyclical, so I'd like to make it even easier for lots of people to read it.  Okay if I convert the Vatican's PDF to a bunch of different formats?
Vatican:  Of course!  Good job, Brandon. What's your address?  I'll send you a basket of oranges from the Pope's garden.
Vogt:  Thanks.

This is how the conversation actually went:

Brandon Vogt:  Hi, this is Brandon Vogt.  I'm super excited about the new encyclical, so I've made it even easier for lots of people to read it. ...READ MORE

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About Simcha Fisher

Simcha Fisher
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Simcha Fisher, author of The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning writes for several publications and blogs at I Have to Sit Down. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and nine children. Without supernatural aid, she would hardly be a human being.