The Das Schmidt Haus Baby Name Game


Stop me if you've heard this one before. An ancient history professor went to the hospital to be with his wife as she gave birth to their first child. While the baby was born, the professor's expression never changed. The child was put in the arms of his mother. Still the professor's countenance never changed. The family moved from the delivery room to the post delivery room. Still the man's face didn't change; it remained bland. A nurse noticed this and asked him to go into the hall while they … [Read more...]

Soup and Stories: 40 Days, 40 Bowls of Soup


Here at our digital plot of land, I share a bit about my family’s desire toward living an intentionally, joyful Catholic life. This Lent my family is striving to be very intentional about the food we eat to nourish our bodies. Here’s what's cooking at Das Schmidt Haus this Lent. Friends of mine recently introduced me to the tradition of eating only soups for dinner throughout Lent. Intrigued, I began researching the history of soup, and I found a story about how the French once sold a … [Read more...]

How McDonald’s Shakes are Bad for Dogs

Sophie Sunbathing

** Disclaimer: Some details may or may not have been exaggerated in the retelling of this story. ** I know I’m not the only one going a bit stir crazy and itching for the first glimpse of spring. I hear people talking about "this crazy winter" nearly everywhere I go. Has it been colder or snowier than normal this winter where you live? It sure feels that way here in Iowa. Because it's been so cold here, getting out, even to go deposit a check at the bank, requires bundling up kids like … [Read more...]

Snow, Sisters, Surrender, and a Second Birthday

Jude Leonard - bowtie

The announcement about this book, The Little Oratory: A Beginner's Guide to Praying in the Home, co-authored by Leila Lawler who blogs at Like Mother, Like Daughter has me charged, positively charged. David Clayton, an iconographer and other co-author of the book, shared the following at his blog. It is written with the hope that through the spread of a liturgical piety in the home, the family will become once again the driving force for cultural renewal. Keeping a faithful prayer life with … [Read more...]

The Das Schmidt Haus Man of the Year

Happy Birthday Joel 2

Today, Time Magazine named Pope Francis their 2013 Person of the Year. Also today, the little inhabitants of Das Schmidt Haus name their daddy the 2013 Man of the Year. Happy birthday!  Thank you for your guidance in word and deed; Thank you for your help in time of need; Thank you for teaching us how to pray; Thank you, Dad, on this your special day. God bless you today and everyday. You truly are God's gift to our family. 1 Corinthians 16:13  … [Read more...]

Welcome to the World, Lydia Ann!

Lydia - thumb.jpg

I originally set out for this post to be a birth story of sorts. But the would-be narrative about a most blessed and holy event is simply not going to happen here and now. I guess I'm running with C.S. Lewis's advice: “Life is too deep for words, so don’t try to describe it, just live it." Right on, chief, right on. This little babe has brought new hope and true healing to our family --- hope and healing I didn’t even know we (read, I) needed. So I’m not even attempting, … [Read more...]

A Day of Holy Distractions


Saturday was a day of holy distractions for us here at Das Schmidt Haus. First, check out our latest post at Catholic Stand, Holy Distraction: The Case for Sacred Art & Architecture, where we make the case for our churches to be filled with sacred art and architecture if for no other reason than to help us focus. Our story starts at Holy Angels Catholic Church in West Bend, Wisconsin, shown below, where our daughter makes an interesting observation. Second, and probably the … [Read more...]

An Anniversary, A Past Due Date, Decisions and a Plethora of Emotions

Wedding B&W - Dance

October 22 was a day of mixed emotions here at Das Schmidt Haus. A couple of clues. Let’s first tackle the upper photo. October 22, our wedding anniversary. This year marks our ninth year. In a nutshell, I’m at my best --- stronger, smarter, calmer, more patient, loving, and caring --- when next to Joel. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be than by his side. Last week our family dined out, and a married couple, probably in their mid-seventies, greeted Joel and told him how impressed … [Read more...]

10 Ways to Stress Out During First Month of Homeschooling

Frustrated Child Doing Homework

While cleaning my home office recently, I found a stack of papers I brought home with me after retiring from the workforce. Before pitching, I thumbed through them and had a great chuckle at one piece hidden away in that mess. It was a flyer titled How to Stay Stressed and it satirically proposed that we humans must really enjoy feeling at our wit's end because we are really good at inviting stress into our homes. The "self-help" flyer's author was even so kind to offer strategies for how to … [Read more...]

Lord, it is good that we are here


It's been an interesting week here at Das Schmidt Haus. As I reflected late last night, I keep ruminating on a phrase from sacred Scripture --- a couple of words Peter said after Jesus took him, James, and John up the high mountain: Lord, it is good that we are here (from the Transfiguration of Jesus, Matthew 17). --- 1 --- Lucy: "Mom, there's a dragonfly in our house." Me: "Uhhh, that's no dragonfly, sweetie." {Cue: screaming and scrambling to get out of das haus!} By the looks of it, … [Read more...]