The following are answers to a few questions that I have received lately…

Question: Please, if you could give me some advice about the Internet in the home. We are careful what we allow the children to have access to but now that one of my children has reached 18, he wants his own laptop for studying, etc.

How much freedom do you allow as your children get older?

I am going to tell you what we do….

Our kids don’t have smart phones until they are married, as a general rule. Rosie has one. She is older than any of our other children have been as a single. She is devout and responsible…so she has one. She was not too hyped about it…which is a good indication she could handle it. She was stuck in her room, very sick and listened to audio books. Thus, the smart phone (for the audio books).

I am very much on top of who is looking at computers. The password is only known by me, my husband and Rosie. The computer is in a high traffic area. I don’t leave it open when I go out. The kids know they have to wait until I get home. They are not clamoring for it because their life hasn’t included it in everything.

We have been strict. And we call the shots when the kids are older but still living in the home. We aren’t apologetic about that. It’s the way it is. The internet is such a dangerous tool so we feel it is important enough to monitor things closely.

Our boys are wary of the computer. They know how quickly people can fall….especially boys…but girls, too. We just have one boy (Angelo) at home and he has written a journal for boys. He was on the laptop a lot while he was doing that. But I could see it at all times and I kept a close eye on things. Don’t ever just “trust” your son. As good as he may be, he is human, has curiosity…and it is just one click away. Covenant Eyes and other such monitoring software are valuable. We haven’t done this. I have chosen to watch things closely. But I do believe it would be a very good thing to have.

So, my advice is…be strict. If they have to use the computer then do be diligent…and make sure they are, too. It takes work but there is nothing more important than the souls of our children.

(I have seen many guys around these parts have flip phones. They don’t trust themselves with a smart phone. These guys run businesses, do Ebay or Craigslist and could really use a smart phone. The convenience is not worth it to them.

My married boys all have smart phones now. It is up to them and their wives to monitor things. And they do. They are not perfect but at least they were old enough to make these decisions before they had the world…good and bad….in the palm of their hands!)

Question: Do you have pdf’s or downloads available for your Boy’s and Girl’s Journals?

Not at the moment. I will work on this. I need to make them black and white first. I will put it up on the blog here when I have that accomplished. I will also get the Gratitude Journal so that you can buy the download. I know many of you are from out-of-country and shipping is expensive for the physical book.

Question: Do you have your taste and smell back after Covid?

Very slightly. And some days not at all. It has been over 3 months so I had a chat with our local Catholic doctor. He said that Covid can cause nerve damage in that area. When you have nerve damage, it can take a year to heal. One of the best things to do with when it comes to nerves, is to work the area. So that is what I am doing. It is called “Sniff Therapy”. I tell you this so you can pass it along to anyone who wants to try it. Here are the four “smells” that are recommended in this article. They sit by my computer and I try to do it twice a day. (Lemon, Rose, Eucalyptus, Clove, in that order.) We’ll see….

Question: Our country seems to becoming more and more Communist. As lay people taking care of our families, what can do we do?

Our family recently went to the Convent in Gower and spent some Days of Recollection there. The good priest gave a sermon on Sunday about being under the “Thumb of Communism” and what we can do. Here was the four things he said:

  1. Holy Mass
  2. Divine Office
  3. Holy Rosary
  4. Devotion to the Holy Face

I found that last one interesting. Father said it is a devotion especially for Communism. We got the book about the Holy Face Devotion, called The Golden Arrow and we will be reading it.

Here is a lovely prayer to the Holy Face from my Little Flower Prayerbook:

Prayer of St Therese to the Holy Face of Jesus

“O Jesus, who, in Thy cruel Passion didst become the ‘reproach of men and the Man of Sorrows,’ I worship Thy divine Face. Once it shone with the beauty and sweetness of the Divinity; but now, for my sake, it is become as ‘the face of a leper.’

Yet, in that disfigured Countenance, I recognize Thy infinite love, and I am consumed with the desire of making Thee loved by all mankind.

The tears that flowed so abundantly from Thy Eyes are to me as precious pearls that I delight to gather, that with their worth I may ransom the souls of poor sinners.

O Jesus, whose Face is the sole beauty that ravishes my heart, I may not see here below the sweetness of Thy glance, nor feel the ineffable tenderness of Thy kiss, I bow to Thy Will—but I pray Thee to imprint in me Thy divine likeness, and I implore Thee so to inflame me with Thy love, that it may quickly consume me, and that I may soon reach the vision of Thy glorious Face in heaven.”


Question: I feel so inadequate. I feel like I am not doing enough. It really stresses me out because I see my kids growing up and I know what big things they will face. I have got to do more spiritually in order to equip them….but I am tired. I have several children and life is busy and hectic. Do you have any advice?

Yes, I do. First things first. Let’s make a TO-DO List. No, not one of those lists that are telling you to clean the refrigerator, mop the floor and go to the grocery store. No, this is a “First Things First” List. Here’s how it could look (or something like this):

Morning Prayers

Mercy Chaplet (Or some other prayer for mid-afternoon to bring the family together…not too long…maybe a special litany or a different chaplet)

Family Rosary

Night Prayers

There, that’s not too long, is it? Get these done daily and they will give you the grace to handle the rest of life. Here’s a post to help with your Morning and Night Prayers. And then make sure your kids are saying their own Morning and Night Prayers. Get a little booklet to help your kids along when they are real small.

Then do the best you can for the rest of the day. We must be diligent with our daily duties but the spiritual is the most important and if you get that done, you are doing good. Rely on God for the rest.

I know that sounds simplistic but simple is best…and will help us to maintain that peace that is so crucial in the business of raising children. Well, and crucial for our own well-being and peace of mind! At the end of a hectic day, when we think we have not accomplished much, if we can look at that spiritual list and they are all checked off, you have done much!

Question: I am very worried about my children growing up in the world and in our country with the way things are going. How do you deal with these kind of thoughts?

I am going to quote a dad to answer this question:

Don’t feel sorry for or fear for your kids because the world they are going to grow up in is not what it used to be.
God created them and called them for the exact moment in time that they’re in. Their life wasn’t a coincidence or an accident.
Raise them up to know the power they walk in as children of God.
Train them up in the authority of His Word.
Teach them to walk in faith knowing that God is in control.
Empower them to know they can change the world.
Don’t teach them to be fearful and disheartened by the state of the world but hopeful that they can do something about it.
Every person in all of history has been placed in the time that they were in because of God’s sovereign plan.
He knew Daniel could handle the lions den.
He knew David could handle Goliath.
He knew Esther could handle Haman.
He knew Peter could handle persecution.
He knows that your child can handle whatever challenge they face in their life. He created them specifically for it!
Don’t be scared for your children, but be honored that God chose YOU to parent them! Teach them God’s love and to share it with everyone!
Rise up to the challenge.
Raise Daniels, Davids, Esthers and Peters! 💪🏼
God isn’t scratching His head wondering what He’s going to do with this mess of a world.
He has an army He’s raising up to drive back the darkness and make Him known all over the earth!!!
Don’t let YOUR fear steal the greatness God placed in them.
I know it’s hard to imagine them as anything besides our sweet little babies, and we just want to protect them from anything that could ever be hard on them, but they were born for such a time as this.

Just some thoughts from a dad who is rocking his sleeping baby and thinking about what a crazy day it has been in our country.

Alex Cravens

And now…A GALLERY!