Ten Tips for Actually Having Fun at the Fair

07/29/2011 Comments (30)

Going to the country fair?  Oh man, you’re going to hate it. 

The first several times we went to the fair with several children, it was a miserable experience:  tears and accidents, stickiness and anxiety, disappointment and recriminations.  But for some reason we kept trying, year after year, and what do you know? We figured it out. 

Here are ten tips on how to have a good time with the kids at the fair:


Just accept that this is going to be a ridiculously expensive day.  Figure in admission, parking, ride tickets or passes, food, souvenirs, and possibly special rides or shows, plus emergency cash for unexpected expenses like replacement hats or bail bond.  An unlimited...READ MORE

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Cord Blood and God's Grandeur

07/28/2011 Comments (29)

Since I’m about halfway through my pregnancy, it’s starting to dawn on me that I’m probably going to actually give birth at some point.  This time around, I’m determined to donate my baby’s umbilical cord blood.

Cord blood is rich in stem cells, which have been used successfully for the last thirty years to treat various types of cancer, as well as blood, immune, and metabolic disorders.

Although it is harvested from a newborn’s umbilical cord and placenta, cord blood stem cells are classified by most as adult stem cells. They are safer for the recipient, and more versatile, than bone marrow transplants; and umbilical cord blood therapy neatly sidesteps the ethical horror that is...READ MORE

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07/26/2011 Comments (85)

A reader asks,

Have any of you heard of the Pandamania VBS [vacation Bible school] that many parishes are adapting this year for summer VBS? My wife received an email from a home school group she subscribed to and so now we have some reservations ...
We’re not trying to be a family of misanthropes, but we don’t want to infuse our kids with stupid ideas either.

My own family’s summer religious training thus far consisted of me ordering yet another catechism at 4:00 this morning, in yet another night of panic-ridden insomnia (and yes, I tried eating cheese to clear my head). We’re not joiners, so I don’t even know if our parish is offering PandaMania, which is a protestant program for...READ MORE

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Safe Playgrounds and Safe Sex

07/22/2011 Comments (43)

The hairdresser at Supercuts always gasps when she gives my son his summer buzz cut, revealing a horrible maze of scars. He looks like a vet who’s encountered one too many IEDs—but in fact, his scars were won through nine years of terrifying encounters with such perilous items as dining room chairs, upholstered couches, wooden nightstands—and, one memorable Halloween, a treacherous sidewalk that leaped up without warning and attacked him for no reason at all.

I have to admit, though, he rarely gets hurt at playgrounds. This is because most of the local playgrounds are utterly pathetic. They look like the physical therapy unit at The Psychoneurotic Institute for the Very, VERY Nervous.


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Mary In Her Helicopter

07/21/2011 Comments (15)

There was a lively and fascinating discussion about portrayals of Mary a few weeks ago after Steven Graydanus’ post The Many Faces of Mary and after my response, Even More Faces of Mary.  It’s been a wonderful revelation to see how Mary is depicted in different cultures at different times—both in miraculous visions and as she appears through the lens of different cultural sensibilities.  This variation is, of course, a feature and not a bug:  the mother of us all is going to look different to different people, because we need her in different ways.

One image that stays with me was not actually intended as an image of Mary at all—but if it were, it would be my favorite.  Rather than post...READ MORE

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This Is Why My Children Play with Sticks, Rocks and Dirt.

07/19/2011 Comments (39)

Now available to induce hysteria in United States parents:  it’s the Breast Milk Baby Doll.  It’s made by Berjuan, a Spanish company which appears to specialize in creepy playthings, and is called “BEBÉ GLOTÓN” in its native country (I only took one year of Spanish, but that’s weird, right?).  It’s designed to teach girls about breastfeeding.

It comes with a special halter top that has two flowers where nipples would be. When a little girl puts on the top and holds the baby doll up the flowers, it makes suckling sounds.

Oh, me oh my.  As a mother of eight who breastfed them all, here are my thoughts:

—If we had this doll, we’d lose the shirt part within 24 hours, and Baby Glutton would...READ MORE

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Behold, My Suffering

07/15/2011 Comments (70)

Every time I leave the house, I have to fight my way through hordes of adoring fans waving their laptops at me. They do this because there’s nothing paper to autograph, because, as several of my sisters in Christ have recently pointed out in an effort to promote more charitable discourse, I haven’t written a book yet. All’s I do is blog, blog, blog, which is no more difficult than taking a seat on the keyboard and bouncing a few times. Blog, blog, blog! Here I go again.

Some people (coughmarksheacough) make this look easy. He can blog with his left hand while writing a book with his right. Heck, sometimes he writes one book with each hand and just lets his beard do the blogging. I may be...READ MORE

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High Ideals and Grunt Work

07/14/2011 Comments (52)

How many times have you heard this argument: “Oh, so you don’t like abortion, huh? Well, are you going to take care of all those children? Who’s going to take care of all those unwanted children, huh? It’s all very well and good to have high principles and ideals, but it comes down to logistics. Who’s going to take care of all those children?

We all know the answer to that. The Catholic Church is going to take care of all those children. Or it’s going to try, anyway, if the state will let them.

Catholic Charities will not send children to live in foster or adoptive homes of unmarried cohabiting couples, including gay couples—so in May, the state of Illinois decided to end its contract...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.