The Day the Cardinal Paid a Visit

Red Cardinal

Hey, what’s this? A new blog post! And aha, it’s a story! A story about that time a cardinal paid a visit to our home. But it’s really more than just a story about a cardinal. The message? Praying for the dead is one of the greatest acts of charity we can perform. . . . → Read More: The Day the Cardinal Paid a Visit

Take 5 with Jon Erwin

Take 5 with Jon Erwin - FB

With its title Moms’ Night Out, one might think this movie is just for the girls. To that I say, in my best Lee Corso ESPN College Game Day voice, “Not so fast!” But don’t take my word for it; hear it from the director and co-writer yourself in the video here. I am honored to share my interview with filmmaker Jon Erwin about his new movie, Moms’ Night Out, in theaters now. Last summer I had the opportunity to spend a day on the movie set. Now I’m thrilled to help promote the film. And a note to the guys … really, this interview is probably more for you than the gals in our audience. Jon and I even sneak in some football talk. Enjoy the interview and head out soon to see the movie! . . . → Read More: Take 5 with Jon Erwin

Take 5 with Devin Rose


A few years ago, Lisa and I went to the 2011 Catholic New Media Celebration in Kansas City. During the conference, a number of us went out to dinner together one evening. Purely by chance, Devin Rose and I ended up sitting next to each other. Upon discovering that we were both converts, we shared our conversion stories and generally chatted each other’s ears off. He mentioned that he had written a self-published apologetics book, which had caught the attention of Catholic Answers. Devin’s book, The Protestant’s Dilemma, is finally available. . . . → Read More: Take 5 with Devin Rose

Stewardship: Natural Easter Egg Dyes

Colored Eggs 3

My word for the year is Stewardship. One place where that word is really coming alive is in our kitchen. The 40 Days of Soups experiment we just completed grew out of my desire to become a better steward of my family’s nutrition. It’s working! It’s working! And maybe one day soon I’ll find some margin to write about that … working on becoming a better steward of how I use my time, too. But first, let me wrap up my Easter post from last week.

During Lent, I spotted a few recipes for natural Easter egg dyes floating about Facebook — a good extension of my stewardship goals. I thought, . . . → Read More: Stewardship: Natural Easter Egg Dyes

Mass Forward: A Reflection on Sunday’s Mass Readings


Joel helps us prepare for this Sunday’s Liturgy of the Word with a reflection on the Mass readings. . . . → Read More: Mass Forward: A Reflection on Sunday’s Mass Readings

Easter Snapshots


He is risen. Alleluia! Popping in to wish you a Happy Easter on this fifth day of Easter. It feels good to allow the fingers to fly on the keyboard once again. I suppose I could have waited until day 45 or so to pass along Easter greetings and stubbornly reinforce that Easter is a 50-day celebration, but I won’t. Maybe next year.

I realized late in the day on Easter Sunday that I didn’t get one photo of my blue-eyed beauties in their Easter best to share here. Not even one? Not. One. Photo.


May I please explain? Okay, thanks. We attended . . . → Read More: Easter Snapshots

Laboring Through Lent

Black Bean Butternut Squash Soup

Today we wrap up our Lenten Soup and Stories series with a terrific post from Marcia Mattern about the spiritual similarities between Lent and pregnancy. “Forty days, forty weeks (or in my case more like 41 or 42 weeks!) Waiting and waiting for that baby, waiting and waiting for Easter.” And we’re also treated to a soup recipe that Marcia prepared right before welcoming Baby #6! . . . → Read More: Laboring Through Lent

Tortellini Making Day

Tortellini Making Day

Today’s guest post comes from a very special person in our lives — our daughter Lydia’s godmother Maria Campbell. Since we both live in the Des Moines area, readers might think we have a longstanding friendship. That isn’t exactly true. We actually “met” through the pages of this very site. Joel and I were in the midst of getting the infant loss ministry up and running, and well, you can read Maria’s story here to understand why we connected. She’s such a valuable resource, and more important, both Maria and her husband Mark have become tremendous spiritual friends.

Maria’s blog is Our Heavenly Homestead, where she writes about her family’s journey to . . . → Read More: Tortellini Making Day

7QT: 2 Days Late and Several Dollars Short


It’s two days late and several dollars short of anything worth value, but hey, here’s another round of 7 Quick Takes Friday. . . . → Read More: 7QT: 2 Days Late and Several Dollars Short

Julie’s Cajun Crawfish Soup

Julie Baldwin

Today’s Soup & Stories contribution comes from Julie Baldwin, the Editor-in-chief at Ignitum Today who blogs at The Corner with a View. A Midwesterner by birth, Julie currently lives in the South with her husband and baby. She has embraced southern living AND southern cooking and today shares her Cajun crawfish soup recipe. Lucky us! I’m not even a fish person, but I find this one quite intriguing! Oh, one more thing. Please allow me to publicly congratulate Julie for being the first, and most likely only, person to ever use the praise “Slap Ya Mama” here in this space. . . . → Read More: Julie’s Cajun Crawfish Soup