Parenting Resources


Alpha Mom

Alpha Mom: "We try to help women embrace motherhood with confidence."


I feel like I know you, because I've been reading your blog for many years. I'm reeling tonight after the latest Trump healthcare debacle, and I just needed this to go out into the internet unknown and find someone who would read it and understand.

I'm deep deep in a red state surrounded by people who say things thing “the gender pay gap doesn't exist” and “employers shouldn't pay for you birth control– birth control is free! it's called don't have sex” and “if you are living life right, preexisting conditions aren't an [...]

Wed, May 24, 2017
Source: Alpha Mom

Hi Amy,

I am the mother of two kids- a 3.5 year old and 2 month old. They are happy and healthy and I am very lucky. For my oldest, I had a home birth. For my youngest I planned a hospital birth due to insurance reasons but still planned to go without medications or any interventions unless absolutely necessary. It did not go well. He was very overdue, I had day-after-day of labor starting and stopping, scheduled an induction due to the risk of him dying without warning due to how overdue I was, cancelled the induction after labor started, [...]

Fri, May 19, 2017
Source: Alpha Mom

Hi Amy!

My husband of 4 years and I live in the US while his family lives in Europe. I've always been aware that my husband and his younger sister “Sally” – who lives at home – don't quite meet eye to eye which is why I was not surprised when my mother-in-law began singing her praises Non- Stop in an attempt to get me to see her in a positive light. Things took an eerie turn when our daughter was born and mother in law started referring to her as mini-Sally, Sally- version II – oh! [...]

Mon, May 15, 2017
Source: Alpha Mom

As you probably remember, we made a “This Guy Needs a Back Massage” t-shirt for dad for Father's day a few years ago but we never made one for mom. Why is that? Let's rectify that situation. If you need a last-minute gift for Mother's Day this might be just the thing.

Supplies you will need a pre-washed cotton t-shirt in mom's size (I chose an large man's t-shirt because they make great lounge-around-the-house shirts) iron-on transfer paper for inkjet printers (found in your local craft or office store) our handy dandy printables (scroll down) a hot dry iron [...]
Fri, May 12, 2017
Source: Alpha Mom

Welcome to yet another riveting episode of I Read And Watch Upsetting Things So That You Don't Have to (Or So That You Can Have Some Groundwork Before You Do).

This past weekend I was feeling pretty okay about life in general, so I chose to reread The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. Much like when I recently reread 1984, this is a book I haven't picked up since high school, and my memory of it was fuzzy. (Also, just as with 1984, if you have Amazon Prime, you can read The Handmaid's [...]

Thu, May 11, 2017
Source: Alpha Mom

Catholic Icing

"The icing on your Catholic cake! - Info & Crafts for Kids"

If you're looking for ways to observe Lent with your kids this year, you've come to the right place! Browse all my Lenten resources for families by subject below. Click on the link for full directions or printables. Be sure to save this link- I update this post every time I come out with new Lenten resources for kids.

Click here to download my printable Lenten calendar- FREE!

Print my Lenten Countdown Calendar!

Lenten Planning Pages– an 18 page pack to help you lay out your Lenten and Easter plans for a smooth journey [...]

Sun, Feb 26, 2017
Source: Catholic Icing
Add to Cart

I made a printable book that tells the story of Holy Week for children. The story is adapted from the book of Matthew, and the story is illustrated by your child and his or her handprints.

Each handprint picture is designed to be loads of fun, and easy to replicate! Even the youngest of children can participate in a handprint craft, and the craft also becomes a keepsake to be treasured. Imagine pulling this book out for years to come to read it to your children and grandchildren, saying things like “look how small your mommy's hand used to be!”

Each [...]

Thu, Mar 03, 2016
Source: Catholic Icing

You can see all of my Lenten Posts by clicking here, or browse the links below.

Print my Lenten Countdown Calendar!

See all the Ash Wednesday Posts Here.

Preparing for Lent With Children– are you ready?

Bury the Alleluia

Pretzels for Lent

Sacrifice ideas for kids

The Lent Song for Kids

Counting Down the Days of Lent:

Print this Lenten Countdown calendar– this is by far the most popular Catholic Icing post of all time!

Make a crown of thorns

Easy Crown of thorns craft

Giving Alms– a coin every day!

Check out all the Lenten [...]

Thu, Jan 28, 2016
Source: Catholic Icing
Honoring Mary in May with kids

Here's my post from a few years ago about honoring Mary in May. I have links to all of my May Crowning resources at the bottom of this post. I hope your family is blessed with some ideas.

Since the month of May is dedicated to Mary, it's a great time to honor her with your little ones!

Some years, our family has a May crowning or makes a May altar for Mary.

This year, our family… moved across 3 states, had a case of the shingles, completed a police academy, delivered a baby 12 minutes [...]

Mon, Apr 27, 2015
Source: Catholic Icing
montessori lent lessons for kids

For anyone who's been following along, you know about my printable Passion set of peg dolls, and my Easter set of printable peg dolls. Well, it's time to bring those peg dolls full circle, my friends.

I absolutely love the Montessori method of telling Bible stories. Catholics have a program called Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, Orthodox people have a version, and the Protestants have a version called Godly play. They are all extremely similar, and I think it's because they're all based directly off of Maria Montessori's work. Serious Disclaimer Coming* [...]

Thu, Apr 02, 2015
Source: Catholic Icing

Carrots for Michaelmas

Carrots for Michaelmas: "My little spot of the web to discuss faith, motherhood, literature..."
Coming Fall 2018....

That's me on the left. That's also me on the right.

I've been sitting on some exciting news about becoming a legit published author that I've been dying to share with the world. I've also been clapping my hand to my mouth so I didn't blab it before knowing it was actually, truly going to happen.

It hasn't happened yet, you fool. Said me to me.

If you didn't grow up with the Kevin Sullivan sequel to Anne of Green Gables as one of the 10 movies your family owned, my apologies. This photo might not mean anything to you. Let me explain [...]

Tue, May 23, 2017
Source: Carrots for Michaelmas
Anne with an F: The New Avonlea's Confused Feminism

This post contains spoilers.

As I watched Netflix's “Anne with an E”, my family had to tolerate my enraged shouts at my laptop and my bookish friends had to endure text message rants in real time:

Every episode is worse than the last.

WHY is this happening?


I challenge anyone who likes this version to a duel!


I was writing a review for America Magazine so I couldn't just quit watching, bleach my eyes, and burn my laptop, but I have big issues with this betrayal of my friend, Anne Shirley. Partly because I think the series is [...]

Thu, May 18, 2017
Source: Carrots for Michaelmas
Summer Reading Suggestions from Haley Stewart and Tsh Oxenreider

If you're the podcast listening type (and you really should be because podcasts are fun), you might remember that in addition to the Fountains of Carrots podcast I co-host with Christy, I've been joining my friend Tsh Oxenreider once a month on The Simple Show to chat about books.

Usually we just each share about one book we've read lately and loved. But this week, we shared summer reading ideas!

As we chatted about the books we picked (we each chose five–three we've read and two we plan to read), I realized that over the [...]

Wed, May 17, 2017
Source: Carrots for Michaelmas

I feel like I've been running around like a chicken with it's head cut off since the beginning of Lent. The late winter/early spring upper respiratory viruses were something else this year. Probably extra penance or something. And then my parents came to visit and then I've had some major writing projects going and along with the run of the mill homeschooling, co-op, blogging, podcasting, meal planning, laundry, and the hours I've devoted to Kurt Seyit ve Sura**, an epic Turkish miniseries set in Russia and Turkey around WWI–full of fur hats, snowy landscapes, women in beautiful coats crying at [...]

Mon, May 08, 2017
Source: Carrots for Michaelmas

A few weeks ago I shared something with my email subscribers–one of the more intimate “secret” posts I send to them that I do not post to the blog. (Psst! If you want to get them, too, you can sign up for free here). It was all about what my priest taught me in the confessional.

When I confessed losing my temper with my kids and being consistently impatient and frustrated, he told me to pray. But he didn't tell me to pray for patience, instead he suggested asking God for surrender. He believed the anger and yelling is [...]

Sun, Apr 30, 2017
Source: Carrots for Michaelmas

Catholic Mom

Catholic Mom: "We celebrate all things Faith, Family, and Fun from a Catholic perspective."
"God chooses the weak" by Tommy Tighe (

By Francisco Moreno via (2017), CC0 Public Domain

As a marriage and family therapist, my entire career is based around helping people when they find themselves walking in the lowest valleys in their life.

Recently, a woman who experienced an early pregnancy loss said to me, “My husband is so strong. I wish I could be more like him, rather than sitting around crying all the time.”

This struck me quite deeply as a perspective we all share: the idea that people who appear to be strong in the face of adversity are the ones we should aspire to be [...]

Thu, May 25, 2017
Source: Catholic Mom
"The Mother in Every Woman" by Jessica Ptomey (

Copyright 2017 Jessica Ptomey. All rights reserved.

I recently read and wrote about St. John Paul II's apostolic letter Mulieris Dignitatem. It was a timely read, as May is the month we celebrate both mothers in general and our own Mother of the Church, Mary. But it was also timely for me because I have been reflecting on the idea of motherhood in culture today. The letter was such a life-giving exhortation to me of “the dignity and vocation of women,” and one of the main themes that runs throughout is the fact that every woman is created [...]

Thu, May 25, 2017
Source: Catholic Mom

Anthony van Dyck [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14)

Often when we first commit to our lives to Christ, we end up striving to be perfect in our own strength. I know I did and I still slip into this Pharisaical stance. However, anyone looking at me from afar usually sees a devoted Catholic mother who has lived a sacrificial life worthy of a modern saint. Little do others realize that although I did pour out [...]

Thu, May 25, 2017
Source: Catholic Mom
"What is a spiritual director and why should you get one?" By Coming Home Network International (

Via Pixabay (2013), CC0 Public Domain

“The Holy Spirit gives to certain of the faithful the gifts of wisdom, faith and discernment for the sake of this common good which is prayer (spiritual direction). Men and women so endowed are true servants of the living tradition of prayer. According to St. John of the Cross, the person wishing to advance toward perfection should ‘take care into whose hands he entrusts himself, for as the master is, so will the disciple be, and as the father is so will be the son.' And further: ‘In addition to being learned and [...]

Thu, May 25, 2017
Source: Catholic Mom

For those who wonder what the Blessed Mother's apparitions 100 years ago to three young shepherd children in Portugal could possibly mean for Catholics today, Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle's new book provides both context and inspiration.

Our Lady of Fatima: 100 Years of Stories, Prayers and Devotions (Servant Books, 2017) offers a unique approach to this subject. Many books explore the impact of the Fatima apparitions on world history. Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle delves into the impact of the apparitions on individual souls. David Carollo of World Apostolate of Fatima USA, is quoted in the chapter titled “Our [...]

Thu, May 25, 2017
Source: Catholic Mom


Catholic Dads

Catholic Dads: "This is a site to help build community among Catholic Dads."

Manual for Spiritual Warfare
Paul Thigpen
Tan Books
ISBN 9781618906533

Like it or not, you are at war.

This book is excellent. To be honest I had no idea where to begin with writing a review. So I went back to the book and copied my highlighted texts from the introduction and first chapter to give you a taste. To begin with we have: “First, belief in Satan's existence and activity is today widely dismissed as an outdated superstition. As a result, most Catholics hear very little about him, leaving them unprepared to understand and defeat him. They need to [...]

Tue, Feb 24, 2015
Source: Catholic Dads

It's a new year, gentlemen. So what does that mean for us? Maybe you are on this site because you feel that itch. Something telling you that you can be better. Something deep inside of you wanting to be better. I found this website about a year ago in the same position. I didn't like where I was as a husband, a father, or a child of the Most High God. I resolved to change how I approached everything in life to position myself to be what God created me to be. I am still not there but I must [...]

Sat, Jan 03, 2015
Source: Catholic Dads
Freeing Tanner Rose Faith and Kung Fu Book 1 T.M. Gaouette Createspace ISBN 9781494305062 This is the second novel I have read by T.M. Gaouette and I have enjoyed both immensely. However the pace and intensity in this story was gripping. I barely put the book down and read it in two extended settings. When I finished this novel, I was really wishing for more. It was only when I went to do some research for the review that I discovered it is the first in a series called Faith & Kung Fu. This story was a very intense read. From [...]
Mon, Dec 29, 2014
Source: Catholic Dads

As Christians we must always speak the truth in justice but treat one another with mercy.

In today's climate, many tell others not to judge. Often what they mean is “leave me alone” or, “leave him/her alone.” Sometimes people use it as a reason to not speak, after all, “who am I to judge.” For too many it is an excuse. What they really mean is that “I am so glad I don't have to say anything.” Used in these ways, it is a way to let everyone stay comfortable. It is also used in political and social contexts [...]

Thu, Nov 06, 2014
Source: Catholic Dads

I subscribe to a lot of different email lists that I find can be a positive influence in my life. Most of them are faith-based and some are health-based. One of the lists I subscribe to is by a health and fitness guy who is also a Christian, Shaun Hadsall. I read one this morning that got me thinking. I have an evil twin. Do you?

There are two distinct versions of me. When I was younger, I would frequently party, drink, engage in behavior and act in a manner that was doing nothing good for me. I was an [...]

Tue, Oct 07, 2014
Source: Catholic Dads

Doctor's Notes

Catholic Pediatrics

Catholic Pediatrics "We support a faith-centered approach toward pediatric care. We believe it is futile to heal the body and not the soul."

Search for a Catholic Pediatrician

Dr. Sears


Guest article by: Felicia Fitzgerald, BSN, RNC-OB, C-EFM, Perinatal Outreach Educator, Chicago, Illinois. Last revised: May 15, 2017

While each of your baby's “first” moments are exciting and memorable, some activities, such as feeding, bathing or diapering your baby, can turn into every day, habitual tasks over time. However, it's important to keep in mind that if you mentally “check out” during diapering, (a task that you might do up to 12 times a day if you are the parent of a newborn!) you're potentially missing out on opportunities to hug, bond, and connect with your baby daily. By [...]

Wed, May 17, 2017
Source: Ask Dr. Sears
Young Athletes Need a Diet Rich in Omega-3s and Antioxidants

My friend, Dr. Michael Lewis, Director of the Brain-Health Education and Research Institute, recently publicized what we Little League coaches and parents have long known – heavy training and sports competitions can stress the immune system. Dr. Lewis made the point that athletes tend to have lower levels of omega-3 fats in their bloodstream because their bodies use them more quickly than non-athletes. To maintain good immune strength, young athletes need to “go fish!” I tell my Special Olympics team: “Eat at least three fistfuls of wild salmon at least three [...]

Fri, Apr 07, 2017
Source: Ask Dr. Sears
Does Your Family Have Diabetes?

The headline on March 10, 2016 in the Los Angeles Times read: “Almost half in the state are at risk for diabetes.” While many have always thought those “granola-fed Californians” are a bunch of health food nuts, researchers from UCLA have recently determined that 55 percent of California adults either have diabetes or pre-diabetes. This reminds me of a startling statistic from the Centers for Disease Control in the year 2000, in which health experts predicted: “Unless American families change the way they eat and live, one-third of American children are destined to become diabetic.” [...]

Fri, Feb 24, 2017
Source: Ask Dr. Sears
Mommy Brain

“Mommy brain” is for real – so is “daddy brain.” A must-read article in Scientific Mind, October 2015, explores the reality that we have always written about, birthing a baby and parenting a child changes all the brains involved in this wonderful process: mommy, daddy, and baby – for the better. Once upon a time writers of baby books downgraded “mommy brain” to a spacey stage of foggy brain and forgetting where you put the car keys. That was old school. While there is some truth to this forgetfulness – we believe that it's the brain's way of [...]

Thu, Feb 09, 2017
Source: Ask Dr. Sears
Diaper Size

One of the first things you learn as a new parent is how to change a diaper, and before long you become a diaper-changing expert. The next type of diaper change you should be aware of is changing diaper sizes.

You may have noticed your little one has gotten a bit bigger and you're wondering when is the right time to move from newborn diapers to size one, two, three and above. Here are a few signs I recommend parents look out for to help them know when it is time to move on up:

Butt Coverage: Are you noticing your baby's [...]
Thu, Dec 22, 2016
Source: Ask Dr. Sears

New Evangelizers

New Evangelizers

When I was a child, there were four Catholic schools in our little city of 50,000. Each covered K-12. There was the German parish, the Irish parish, the Polish parish and the non-parish-affiliated all girls school. The Felician Sisters taught at the Polish parish school. It wasn't until I read about St. Felix that I understood about the Felician Sisters.
St. Felix was the first Capuchin Franciscan canonized. And with good reason did the pope take this step!
Saint Felix was born the third of four sons to Santi and Santa Porri, poor illiterate farmers in Cantalice, Apulia, a very agriculturally [...]

Thu, May 25, 2017
Source: New Evangelizers

On May 13th, the 100th anniversary of the first appearance of Our Lady of Fatima, Pope Francis canonized Jacinta and Francisco Marto.

These siblings were two of the visionaries of that extraordinary event, along with their older cousin Lucia. With this, they have become to the two youngest non-martyrs ever to be declared saints.

Most people know the story of how Mary appeared to these three shepherd children in the Covo di Ira in Fatima, Portugal. They were for all intents and purposes ordinary children of their day. They did their chores and their duties as children did, with [...]

Sun, May 21, 2017
Source: New Evangelizers

He wore steel-rimmed glasses and had hair to the middle of his back. The fringe on his buck-skinned jacket bounced as he walked.

At least that was the way I was accustomed to seeing Mike as he bopped around town. It was just a few years after Woodstock and we were all taken with hippie culture. It seemed so free, so new, so exciting.

But that day at the entrance of the mall, I scarcely recognized him. His hair was cut and his clothing conventional. He was passing out tracts and spoke to me of the Holy [...]

Sun, May 21, 2017
Source: New Evangelizers

It's been a while now, actually a lot of years. I have been “casting my eyes” on the daily readings of the Church for about forty years or so. Because of that I have been encouraged to do things, empowered to say things and moved to change my thinking. It's been good and endlessly challenging. That's what scripture is supposed to do. The Gospel writers and wisdom of the Church teach us that. Veiled in that adventure, though are some clear regrets. The regrets are not mine but for all of the other [...]

Wed, May 17, 2017
Source: New Evangelizers

Does it matter that liturgy is something bigger than us? Something God gives, not something we make or create?

In his 2010 post-synodal apostolic exhortation, Verbum Domini, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI emphasized the relationship between human history and Christianity:

“The historical fact is a constitutive dimension of the Christian faith.

The history of salvation is not mythology, but a true history, and it should thus be studied with the methods of serious historical research” (§32).

Now in this context, he's talking about the historicity of Scripture. That the rooted-ness, the fact that every Biblical text has a real human author in an actual historical [...]

Mon, May 15, 2017
Source: New Evangelizers

Brandon Vogt

Brandon Vogt - blogging, writing, speaking

Today we continue our regular series called “Learning from the Saints.” Our guide is expert Bert Ghezzi, a dear friend of mine and the author of numerous books including Voices of the Saints, Saints at Heart, and Discover Christ: Developing a Personal Relationship with Jesus.

His more recent books are The Power of Daily Mass and The Heart of Catholicism. You can learn more about Bert and his work at

Today, Bert profiles Servant of God Elisabeth Leseur, the patron of cancer sufferers and incurable diseases.

After Elizabeth Leseur's death, Felix, her husband, [...]
Wed, May 03, 2017
Source: Brandon Vogt

St. Josemaría Escrivá once said that, “Reading has made many saints.” But reading what? Magazines? Cereal boxes? Escriva surely didn't mean reading the stream of breathless news articles on your Facebook feed. He meant to encourage spiritual reading, a special discipline by which we grow closer to God through slow, meditative journeys through the Bible and other holy books.

I've seen this in my own life—not that I'm anywhere near a saint, but I've experienced real spiritual progress through reading. My daily spiritual routine involves setting aside time to not only pray and go to Mass, but also to read [...]

Mon, Apr 17, 2017
Source: Brandon Vogt

Today we continue our regular series called “Learning from the Saints.” Our guide is expert Bert Ghezzi, a dear friend of mine and the author of numerous books including Voices of the Saints, Saints at Heart, and Discover Christ: Developing a Personal Relationship with Jesus.

His more recent books are The Power of Daily Mass and The Heart of Catholicism. You can learn more about Bert and his work at

Today, Bert profiles St. Vincent Ferrer, the patron saint of builders, construction workers, and plumbers.

Vincent Ferrer was an activist. He was renowned [...]
Wed, Apr 05, 2017
Source: Brandon Vogt

Hopefully you're subscribed to “The Word on Fire Show,” the weekly podcast and radio program we produce at Word on Fire.

Each week, I sit down with Bishop Robert Barron for half an hour to chat about all sorts of topics, ranging from movies to books to prayer to theology. We've done around 70 episodes of the show and they've been download over 1.5 million times.

But out of all the episodes, I think the most recent one is the best. It was on the topic of hope, and how it differs from mere earthly desire and attachment.

While I [...]

Fri, Mar 17, 2017
Source: Brandon Vogt

“Find out how much God has given you and from it take what you need; the remainder is needed by others.” — St. Augustine

Since I've built up a large collection of extra books and resources, every week I give some away absolutely free, no strings attached. Each giveaway lasts seven days with a new one beginning every Friday. You can enter any time during the week. Check out my past giveaways here.

Today I'm giving away TEN copies of a newly reprinted Fulton Sheen book, Justice and Charity. Learn more and enter below!

Justice and Charity

by [...]

Fri, Mar 03, 2017
Source: Brandon Vogt

The Catholics Next Door

"Living Out Our Catholic Faith in Today's World"

Interesting Independent Articles

Make Prayer a Practice

As enthusiastically as we accept a close friend's invitation to a backyard picnic, we need to model to our children to accept God's invitation to share yourself with him in prayer. God is with you always and everywhere and you can most certainly model and pray whenever and wherever you want! If you pray daily together, you will build the practice of daily prayer for yourself and set that example for your child.

How do you build this practice? We build practices simply by doing something over and over again...until they become second nature. (The regularity is more important than the length!) Prayer is not a chore to complete, but rather a gift. Remind yourself that this is actually good for you, like a plant that needs sunshine and water, you need spiritual enrichment. Designating a special time and place is helpful. Make a sacred space in your home, a little oasis. Have your children help to decorate it by including their own pictures and notes to God, a Bible, a flower in a vase, a candle, a crucifix, your rosary, etc. Remove the pressure of trying to "impress" God with the "right words". You don't have to prove yourself to God. Just be present...let God do the work! Make sure every special occasion includes family prayer...birthdays, family meals, the loss of a pet, the birth of a baby, an illness, both joyful and sad. Say grace before meals...even in restaurants.

Children learn from their parents. One of the best things we can teach is the practice of daily prayer. The family is the first and most important "teacher"...where children not only learn to pray, but to worship God, to love, to forgive, and to work together.

-- Mrs. Sandy Robertson
Principal Mother Teresa Catholic Academy
The Diocese of Joliet
Crete, Illinois 


Dear Parents With Young Children in Church

Jamie Bruesehoff 

Blogger, 'I Am Totally *That* Mom'

Posted: 09/14/2013 10:03 am

You are doing something really, really important. I know it's not easy. I see you with your arms overflowing, and I know you came to church already tired. Parenting is tiring. Really tiring.

I watch you bounce and sway trying to keep the baby quiet, juggling the infant car seat and the diaper bag as you find a seat. I see you wince as your child cries. I see you anxiously pull things out of your bag of tricks to try to quiet them.

And I see you with your toddler and your preschooler. I watch you cringe when your little girl asks an innocent question in a voice that might not be an inside voice let alone a church whisper. I hear the exasperation in your voice as you beg your child to just sit, to be quiet as you feel everyone's eyes on you. Not everyone is looking, but I know it feels that way...(read more)


When satan steals your motherhood

  Christie Elkins  Blogger, 'Letters from the Nest'

It is there, and it creeps up like a silent killer. Maybe it is the wet underwear that you found floating in the hallway bathroom. Or the cat food that has been flung out on the floor like tiny marbles waiting to trip up a passerby. Or the loud thumping and yelling and tantruming as if we live in some sort of primal age where roaring and beating your chest were the only way to get other’s attention.

And all of that madness and anger? It wasn’t the kids. It was me.  The mother. The one who left a pair of Superman undies in a bathroom we rarely use for days, fed the cat without my glasses after someone else forgot, and the loud, obnoxious, downright scary human being I can be when I have just had more than I can handle...(read more)

We are always working to add more content to this area, please check back often.