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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Perpetual Eternal, Or Standard Eternal?

06/07/2012 Comments (48)

Ah, spring, when an oldish couple's fancy turns to . . . coffins.  Here's an email my mother sent to the family yesterday:



The carpenter brought the coffins and they're standing right in Joey's old room, one inside the other to save room. They're very nice, plain pine boxes with rope handles. The simplest way to deal with the whole thing is to wrap the body in a nice quilt and I suppose a little pillow, and that's that. You do not have to buy a coffin from the funeral director, you can bring your own.

You can get information about funerals from www.funerals.org so you can avoid falling into the various traps the funeral industry has laid for vulnerable consumers. For...READ MORE

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Some Questions for the Catholic Consumer

06/05/2012 Comments (170)

The Bishops are investigating the ties between the Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood. Our family is too busy for Girl Scouts anyway (and when you look up "overrated" in the dictionary, there's a picture of Thin Mints). But for many people, Girl Scouts is central to childhood and beyond, and it would be a significant sacrifice to sever ties with it.

Even if it turns out there really is a strong and problematic association, does that mean that Catholics should shun Girl Scouts? Would it be a sin to participate? Most faithful Catholics would never support Planned Parenthood directly, but where do we draw the line to avoid indirect support? A reader writes:

We do our best but I can't...READ MORE

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It Could Always Be Worse

06/01/2012 Comments (54)

We lost power on Tuesday, which is sorta kinda why I didn’t have a post. I'm not gonna lie to you:  We didn’t actually lose power for that long. But when the lights did go out, it was kind of like when you are just going along, living your life, going to the dentist, dropping by the library, picking up 240 pounds of humus (not hummus!) and suchlike, and all of a sudden the volcano in your back yard erupts! But you’re okay!  But then out of the still-smoking mouth of the devastated mountain comes a cloud of bloodthirsty pterodactyls, and you’re running and running with your family, and you find a safe place in a cave, and you’re hiding and you’re scared, but you’re still okay!  But then...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.