Building Cathedrals Has Moved!!!!!!

Dear Readers,

Building Cathedrals has moved! That's right, as of today, our new site is--

Thank you for your loyal readership. When we started this blog 2.5 years ago, we had no idea how much our blog audience would grow, and how much we would love the fellowship of our little online community. In response to our growth, we decided we needed a website with more capabilities and a better layout. We posted about this almost 2 years ago, and the husband of one of our readers volunteered to set up our new site. Jonathan did an amazing job, and we are forever grateful for his generosity of time and his joyful spirit! B-Mama worked with Jonathan to design the new site, and it looks fabulous. B-Mama had this hard task as her one last "to do" before the arrival of her new baby. Check!!

Thank you B-Mama and thank you Jonathan for all your hard work!

Please visit us at our amazing new location, let us know what you think, and please subscribe!

books for the iPad

Wow, I don't know what to make of this yet. It never occurred to me that digital readers would change books and reading in this way. The animating seems interesting, exciting and in some cases very artistic, but at the same time, what does it do to our attention span (or the kids') if even our books make noise and have moving pictures? I would say these fall into the category of "high end screen time" rather than reading -- better than watching junk, but not really reading either? Perhaps like watching learn to read shows on PBS? Also, the "read to you" function is really just a leap pad -- though this illustrates another way that the iPad is great for a mom who only has to carry one thing with her.

Swagger Wagon

B-Mama and I both love our minivans. Maybe because we've never been car people? Maybe because I lack perspective? After all, my nicest set of wheels prior to owning our minivan was a 92' Honda Accord (I drove this from 1999-2007). And that Honda was a huge upgrade from the 92' Ford Taurus Station Wagon I used to drive. Below is a picture of that beautiful car. Mr. Red actually drove this baby to work for about a year. I think his boss wanted him to park it in the lot next door (notice the missing bumper?!?)

So when we bought our used 2005 Honda Odyssey in 2008, I felt like I was driving a BMW. I love my minivan and I am very aware that someday I may have to drive something even bigger, so for right now, I'm feeling pretty cool in my car.

And then a fellow mom friend sent me this hilarious video. As a shout out to all those playground mamas lamenting the jump from SUV to minivan, this video is for you. Have you seen this? Hilarious.

Signs of Summer

Signs of summer in my garden.

I'm hoping we will get our first squash this week.


Cantaloupe, which I'm growing for the 1st time.

Gianna's bug catcher. She used her money at a local market to buy this bug catcher. She and Charlie spend 1/2 hour before bed each night catching fireflies.

Can you tell that someone got a new camera?

Yesterday marked the six-year anniversary of our first-born's Baptism, an anniversary that (I am ashamed to admit!) would have come and gone without recognition had it not been for this boy's wonderful godparents, B-Mama and GG! Thanks for keeping us on our toes, friends, and for being such great godparents to our son!

I love the idea of celebrating Baptismal "birthdays" with great fanfare. I think that it sets a great example for our children of having our priorities straight - after all, the day of their Baptism was the day that they entered into the family of the Church and became new creations in Christ. Unfortunately, I have failed miserably in celebrating these occasions over the years, but am comforted in knowing that my children's godparents are always remembering them in their prayers and keeping up with the important anniversaries!

How do you celebrate baptismal anniversaries? Cake? Gifts? A special family tradition? And if you have a special system for remembering such occasions, please do share - my family will greatly appreciate any help you can offer me!

God bless all of you on this Monday morning. Let's make it a great week together!

Being a mom to three (almost four) means giving up lofty goals and settling for smaller ones, ones that give care and bring small joys to my family. They might include picking up that dustball that has sat in the corner of the hallway all week. They might mean taking extra care when wiping the hands and face of my sweet toddler. It could even possibly mean investing the time and last ounce of energy into a game of football with our oldest.

Small things that bring great joy.

So today, here's my small feat that is enough to bring a smile to my face and a spring to my mama step. It is trite and rather unimportant, but to me and my family it means I've taken the time to care in a small way.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you: CLEAN CARSEATS!!

Hosed, laundered, wiped, and scrubbed. (I know, I know, I'm nesting!!)
They will be clean for T minus one second. But enjoy that second, I will. Our van is feeling fresher already.

Because being a mom means investing in my family and doing the little things that wind up making a big difference, at least in our little world.

Burnout Fears

My husband and I met and married young and are open to life, therefore, we will most likely end up with a big family. This intimidates me. I did not come from a big family and really have had very little exposure to the inner workings of a family with any more than three children. Consequently, I am always in search of role models. Of course Maryalice is my number one (shout-out, hollar) - but we live several thousand miles apart.

I have to search out local mothers of large families to see their approach, size it up, take pieces of it and implement them in our home. Recently I had a troubling conversation with a 36-year-old mother of eight at one of our local playgrounds. She is an Army wife like me and her husband is currently deployed to Iraq on a 12-month tour. Her eldest two children are 18 and 14 year old girls. She has homesechooled all seven children (#8 is in utero) and everyone appears well-adjusted and well put together. As we watched our children play together, I took the opportunity to shamelessly pick her brain on all topics from lunch-preparation, to curriculum design to cloth diapering. I guess my questions inferred that her two eldest daughters helped a lot around the home because the mom felt the need to clarify that a)She did most/all of the food preparation and b) she rarely asked her older children to babysit the younger ones, but took them along with her instead. She went on to explain that she knew too many adults who had grown up as children in large families and were now "burnt out" from all that had been asked of them as children. They were reluctant to have many children themselves because of how much had been asked of them growing up. By shouldering more of the chores herself, this mom believes she is protecting her children from burning out.

Immediately this struck me as odd. I ask a lot of my eldest (5.5 yr.old girl), and she doesn't seem resentful, but rather, empowered. I have always figured that as long as they don't see me reading _Cosmo_ and painting my nails (I do that when they are sleeping, yea right) - they understand that we are all in this together and that we will have more time for fun together if we do the hard stuff together. They are already well familiar with my sing-songy "work before play" mantra. Yet, there seems to be a kernel of truth in the playground mother's fear. I cannot think of many people who have emerged from large families with the desire to be a parent in one themselves, especially girls. I want to hear from you - how do we find the balance of raising helpful, responsible children without turning them into nannies or cooks? Are any of you the products of large families -- what did your parents do to make growing up a great experience, even with siblings sandwiching you in every direction?

Older Posts