Meet Rita Buettner:

“When the Lord closes a door, somewhere he opens a window.” After struggling with infertility, my husband and I were blessed to adopt our two sons from China. I’m a working mother who writes about family fun and faith. Oh, and I own hundreds of flyswatters. Join me on Twitter, say hello at, or follow me on Facebook


April 2017
March 2017

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Recent Comments

Thank you, Allison! You are much too kind! I had seen the idea of picking a person to pray for every day on another blog and LOVED it!


YOu always come up with the greatest ideas!! Those lucky boys!! #RockStarMom


7 Quick Takes Friday: How Lent is beginning in our household, celebrating Dr. Seuss, grocery shopping with a book, a rainbow, and more


Ah, Lent. Here you are. Coming in with a stomach virus. That’s just fine. I had decided I would not pick my own sacrifice this Lent, and that I would let God take control. So somehow I wasn’t surprised when I had just slipped into bed on Ash Wednesday and I heard a voice calling for me from the boys’ bedroom.

There’s nothing like the stomach flu to make you appreciate how lucky you are for all the other days in your life when you aren’t dealing with the stomach flu.

I won’t offer any forecast for what the rest of Lent holds in store because it's all in God's hands. But I hope we won't need a vomit bowl for the whole 40 days.


One aspect of Lent that is within my control is the creation of our daily prayer basket. I had seen Katie Warner’s suggestion for picking a different person to pray for every day

I like making everything more tangible for our children. I cut 46 strips of paper, and we sat down to write the names of people we know—living and deceased. Each morning one of the boys pulls out a piece of paper, and that is the person (or, in some cases, the couple or family) we pray for all day.

So far the three slips of paper have all been deceased relatives of my husband, and we are all learning about them. They become very real to us through the stories he shares—of his grandfather who was an ironworker who helped build the facility in Florida where the moon rockets were stored, and his aunt and uncle who showed him around their farm, and his great-grandfather who was a machinist who commuted from Baltimore to his job in Aberdeen every day.

When Leo brought home an assignment about Lenten practices the other day, I was so happy to see what he had written.

Even if I fail at Lent in many ways, which I surely will, I am excited for this part of it.


Looking for meatless dinner ideas for Fridays during Lent? Why not just serve your family video games and Party Mix on the couch?

You’re welcome.


Back when I was a child, Dr. Seuss was just a book author. Now his birthday inspires all kinds of fun. Daniel came home with an assignment to create his favorite Dr. Seuss character.

But who was his favorite character? He really wasn’t sure—and that’s a big decision.

I wanted to do the Onceler or the pale green pants with nobody inside them. But those ideas were rejected, along with many others.

Ultimately he settled on the Cat in the Hat because Leo has a stuffed Cat in the Hat, and the Cat in the Hat is a member of our family.

The assignment said it could be a drawing or a puppet or whatever he wanted to do. Well, he didn’t just want to make a picture. He wanted to make a stuffed Cat in the Hat. Of course.

We don’t usually go all out for homework. In fact, if it were up to me, we would skip it entirely. But this is the very first time Daniel has been this excited about homework. And who am I to stand in the way of my son’s academic success?

We bought some felt, and our first grader learned about cutting and sewing and stuffing and how to draw on felt with a Sharpie. We used Leo’s stuffed Cat as our model, which helped because everything I know about sewing I learned in 7th grade home ec class.

Because I am clearly super-organized and sew so frequently, I couldn’t even find my sewing kit. We used needles and six different colors of thread from a sewing kit we picked up the last time we stayed in a hotel, which means we were in China.

Daniel could not have been prouder of the final product. Guess which one is the Cat in the Hat who has been a member of our family since 2009 and which one we made.


Some weekends both boys want to come grocery shopping with me, but this week neither wanted to go with me. Leo begrudgingly tagged along.

He brought his own entertainment.


Just when we were starting to enjoy spring, it’s getting a little chillier. I still think we could have some snow coming, but I am no meteorologist—just someone who expected at least one snow day for our children before the winter ended.

But I did love seeing some pink trees when I was in downtown Baltimore the other day, even though they are blooming too early.

And after a thunderstorm this week, we saw a rainbow.


Do you let your children quit extracurricular activities? Let’s say you just had a few months left of an activity. And let’s say this was a child who always wanted to participate in everything, but suddenly didn’t want to do this one. And let’s imagine that, purely hypothetically, that going to this activity was not adding any extra burden to his parents’ lives.

My original thought was that in our family we are not quitters, and we see everything through. But he is wearing me down with his continued pleas. Life is short. Is it worth it for him to stick it out? What am I teaching him by insisting that he finish what he started? Perhaps I could also teach him that saying no to opportunities means saying yes to other opportunities—even if those opportunities are more time with friends and family.

What would you do?

After you ponder and give me your advice, click over to Kelly’s blog, This Ain’t the Lyceum, for more quick takes. And have a wonderful weekend, especially during this first weekend of Lent. 


3/3/2017 8:34:44 PM
By Rita Buettner