Independence 'To'

06/29/2012 Comments (56)

No joy in Mudville, eh? 

We've just been told that we're not going to be forced to buy something that we don't want, but we will be taxed for not buying it; that our President is, however, not raising taxes because he wouldn't do us that way; that everything is now free; and that the clothespins we wore on our noses while voting for the last several republican presidents so that they would appoint judges who wouldn't stab us in the back . . . well, they worked a little too well.  And now everything just stinks.

I will admit it, it was hard saying the Litany for Liberty today.  Before the Supreme Court ruling came out, it was a really stirring prayer, very sort of spiritually...READ MORE

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Praying In Your Native Tongue

06/27/2012 Comments (21)

The fabulously goggled Leah Libresco, who recently announced  her conversion from atheism to Catholicism, has some words about how she's approaching prayer:

I like praying the Liturgy of the Hours because, at a bare minimum, it gives me something to say to God.  Not just the words of the prayers but, basically, “I’m really grateful for prayer traditions because I’d pretty much suck at having to make all this up on my own.”  Instead of just being grateful for language period, it’s kind of like being grateful for slang — the shared set of references that characterize a relationship or a community.

Jennifer Fulwiler addresses a related phenomenon when she speaks of praying the...READ MORE

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Why Would An Unmarried Woman Chart Her Cycle?

06/22/2012 Comments (147)

When I first heard the idea that unmarried women, and even teenage girls, may want to learn to chart their cycles, I resisted the idea strenuously.  I have accepted that it's sometimes necessary for me and my family, but I really, really, really hate charting.  So why would someone take on that responsibility before she has to?

I've changed my mind recently, though.  In today's mail, I received some charts intended specifically for teenage girls.  They are very basic, and include space to record menstrual flow, the presence of cervical fluid, and things like "feelings, headaches, cravings for sweets or chocolate, or if your face breaks out."  I called their designer, Kathy Rivet, who...READ MORE

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Read the Declaration of Independence on July 4th!

06/21/2012 Comments (22)

Making plans for the Fourth of July?  We are!  On the list is charcoal, lots of grillable meat, corn on the cob, potato salad, watermelon, beer, sparklers, water guns, bug spray, and, of course, extra Brillo pads and wire hangers.

How-to here, not that you should.  

And of course, also on the list is a copy of the Declaration of Independence, to be read aloud by my father, while all the little cousins solemnly add a nice layer of dirt to the marshmallow glaze that covers the top halves of their bodies.

Have your children heard the Declaration of Independence?  Have you heard it recently yourself?  It's not long, and it is magnificent.  Who writes like this anymore?  This election...READ MORE

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And Then There Were None:  Abby Johnson's New Ministry

06/19/2012 Comments (91)

No more abortion clinic workers.
No more abortion clinics.
No more abortions.

This is the slogan and simple strategy of And Then There Were None, the new ministry launched by Abby Johnson, the pro-life advocate and former Planned Parenthood clinic director.

“We have hundreds of ministries for post-abortive women and men. There is literally nothing for these former clinic workers,” Johnson said.  “We are going to change that.”

ATTWN seeks to assist former abortion clinic workers through these four integral aspects: emotional, spiritual, legal and financial.

Brilliant idea, right? Being pro-life means caring equally for the unborn and the already-born -- and that...READ MORE

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Sleeping Through the Night

06/15/2012 Comments (65)

The baby, with her Svengali eyes, hypnotized me into believing that she was sleeping through the night.

We would solemnly put her into her bed promptly at 9:30, and she would sleep until 6am.

After several nights of this, I would actually be in tears by morning, unable to believe that it was already morning again, and sleeping time was all over, and why was I so tired, when the baby was sleeping through the night?

Sure, she would get up for a little snack when we came into bed and disturbed her; and occasionally, when she has a cold, or was fighting off a cold, or recovering from a cold, she would need to get hydrated; and all of us, including babies who can’t tell time, were a...READ MORE

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A Story Time Survival Guide

06/12/2012 Comments (79)

If you read the book lists I share from time to time, you might get the impression that my children have superb taste.

This is not the case. They are voracious readers, but, as the dictionary points out, "voracious" is from the Latin vorare "to devour;" akin to Old English ācweorran "to guzzle," Latin gurges "whirlpool." So, down the hatch go the books -- all books, any books, from J.R.R. Tolkien to Junie B. Jones, from Gogol to Goosebumps.

It's bad enough when you know your kids are poisoning their own minds with worthless trash, but it's almost intolerable when they insist that you get involved. What to do when their favorite read-aloud books make you break out in hives? Over the...READ MORE

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Books That Get Childhood Right

06/08/2012 Comments (57)

The recently deceased Maurice Sendak famously said that he wrote books about childhood, not books for children.  At our house, we love his books, but it certainly doesn't pay to think too hard about the things he gets right about childhood:  the strange and wild fears, the loneliness, the comfortless absurdity that we must endure.

As a connoisseur of children's books, I've lately become fascinated with books that depict childhood accurately, but gently.  Here are some of my favorites:

101 Things to To with a Baby written and illustrated by Jan Ormerod
Hands down, the most tenderly perceptive depiction of babyhood and childhood (with extra points for making the adults seem real, too,...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.