June 6th, 2016

[podcast] De-clutter Your Life #023

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NOTES This week we are talking about de-cluttering your life. We focus on three main areas:

1. The Kitchen What spaces need clearing out in your kitchen? How can you make sure to keep

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May 11th, 2016

Mommy Wars, Schmommy Wars

In an article at Salon a few years back, writer Katy Read admitted something that raised some maternal eyebrows: She regrets having left a respectable job and steady paycheck to be an at-home mom to her two sons for ten years.

It’s not the quality time with her children she regrets, but the financial toll she’s now paying for it.

“The swing set moments when I would realize, watching

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March 21st, 2016

My Kingdom for a Pencil

My husband is a teacher. I am a writer. We homeschool. You might think it would be reasonable to expect to find a pencil in our household.

But don’t be silly.

Most weekdays in the Bean home begin with a mad search for writing implements of any kind.

My response to our chronic pencil deprivation is cyclic. I endure it until one day (usually after scribbling a phone message

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March 8th, 2016

My Oasis

I really should stop reading magazines. That might be an odd thing for a magazine editor to say, but it’s true that certain kinds of periodicals are bad for my self esteem.

Take that popular homemaking magazine, for example. What’s it called? Better Homes Than Yours, I think.

I browse through its slick pages, squint at the glossy photos, and search in vain for a sign of peanut butter fingerprints

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January 19th, 2016

[podcast] What ‘Doing It All’ Really Means #003

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NOTES This week we’re talking about “Doing it all.” Do you do it all? What does that mean? Does anyone really do it? Of course not. But sometimes it feels like we do.

No one can do it all, but many of us busy women are doing MANY things. So many things, sometimes, that we

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November 30th, 2015

One Little Thing at a Time

(This is an old column of mine that originally appeared at Inside Catholic. Just like yours, my life is still ridiculous, but some of the details are different from what is described here. The message still applies, though.)

My life is ridiculous. Do I need to tell you this, or can you reach that conclusion all on your own when I tell you that I am a homeschooling mother of

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October 29th, 2015

Brownies, Teen Boys & Important Stuff

After dinner Monday night, my husband and kids asked if we had anything for dessert. There was nothing. We rarely have an “official” dessert after dinner here, and they rarely ask, so I felt a little bad. I did remember a brownie mix in the pantry, though, and promised I could make them that evening.

After dinner, I kept busy with work while football played in the other room. I

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October 27th, 2015

We can’t get enough of that laundry talk

In last week’s newsletter I asked readers to share laundry tips, and you guys sure came through! As I promised, I’m sharing some of your input here …

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