All posts by Christy Isinger

FoC 078: Stranger Things and Parenting in the Upside Down

Do you love Stranger Things like we do? We hope so because that’s what we’re diving into with this episode! Today we’re interviewing Alexi Sargeant, theatre maker, game creator, fellow Stranger Things fan, and writer for such publications as First Things, The Weekly Standard, Commonweal, Aleteia, and more. He lives in New York City with his lovely wife (and fellow writer) Leah Libresco.

In this episode we discuss a piece by Alexi that we loved about what makes children vulnerable in the world of Stranger Things and what parents can learn from the series. How do we equip children to live in a world where danger is lurking? Is there hope for a generation of broken families? Is the Upside Down a symbol for the internet? Would we watch a Steve and Dustin spin off show? (Yes!) These and other deep questions are what we examine.

So get ready to for a conversation about TV, why Winona Ryder is GREAT, and why we should be engaged parents. Hope you enjoy it!

Links we talked about in this episode:

Alexi’s great piece for The Weekly Standard about Stranger Things

Our Sponsor:

 

This episode is sponsored by Around the World Stories. These original audio stories are designed to teach kids about different countries and cultures in an engaging way. There’s currently a set of 52 stories that focus on 13 European countries as well as a six-story set about artists. The stories are fun adventures about kids in different countries in Europe. They also provide supplemental guides that includes discussion points about the stories, activity ideas, recipes and background info. The stories are created for kids ages 5-12 and are produced by a fellow homeschooling family traveling around Europe and collecting stories (dream job, right?!)

Around the World Stories is offering a great discount code for FoC listeners who want to try out their stories for FREE! You can use CARROTSMONTH for one free month of a subscription (and you can cancel at any time). Or you can use CARROTS20 to get 20% off any of the story sets including the gift certificates for them (would make a great Christmas gift)! So head over to their site to use your discount codes!

Connect with Alexi:

 

Come hang out with us!

You can listen to us on iTunes, and we’d love a quick rating or review. If you have an android device we’re also on Stitcher. And as always, you can find all links, show notes, upcoming guests, and listen to all episodes at Fountains of Carrots.com.

FoC 076: How We Adult (And Advice to Our Single Selves)

 

Every few months, instead of chatting with a guest, we like to ask our lovely listeners for questions they’d like us to answer and record a Q&A episode! These are always a lot of fun and it’s fantastic to hear your questions. While we couldn’t convince our husbands to be guest hosts discussing British costume dramas as requested by several listeners (maybe someday!!), it’s a great episode that covers some thoughtful questions.

In this episode we shared about how we adult, where we fit in all those pesky grown up tasks like dealing with insurance companies or making dentist appointment. We also confess that we do NOT do anything resembling “work” after the kids go to bed.  We also gave advice we’d love to have heard when we were single ladies and some general rules of thumb for handling interactions with extended family (good boundaries). Then we touch on some other topics like how we encourage vocations to religious life for our kids and how Haley and her husband have managed to be a one-car family for the past 12 years.

We hope you enjoy this Q&A episode!

Other Q&A episodes:

What’s Working for Us Right Now (Organization and Pray in the Everyday)

How Small Can We Go? (And Other Questions Answered)

And because it’s just a few weeks away…

Advent Low Down: Our Guide to Living the Beauty of the Season

Our Sponsor:

 

This episode is sponsored by Liz Escoffery of Indy FertilityCare. Liz teaches the Creighton Model of FertilityCare to help couples both trying to get pregnant and trying to avoid pregnancy (and single women too wanting to learn more about their health!). She teaches in person in central Indiana and virtually to anywhere in the world. Her specialty is in helping women going through the difficult postpartum time/breastfeeding before cycles return.  Liz provides prayer support and accountability as well as instruction and offers free 15-minute consultations for anyone wanting to get more information about working with her. You can contact her through her website.

Check out the freebie on her website: 5 Ways to Less Stress While Postpartum Charting

Come hang out with us!

You can listen to us on iTunes, and we’d love a quick rating or review. If you have an android device we’re also on Stitcher. And as always, you can find all links, show notes, upcoming guests, and listen to all episodes at Fountains of Carrots.com.

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FoC 075: When a Saint Brings a Baby Back to Life: The Alleged Miracle of Venerable Fulton Sheen with Bonnie Engstrom

 

We love Bonnie Engstrom and she’s joined us on the podcast before to chat about liturgical living, but we’ve never devoted an episode to her amazing story of her son James and the alleged miracle that brought him back to life….until now! Despite being familiar with the Engstrom’s story and hearing it from Bonnie herself in the past, neither of us could make it through this episode without ugly crying. It is just so incredible and moving.

If you don’t already know the lovely Bonnie, she has seven beautiful children and she lives in the midwest with her husband Travis. She’s the voice behind the popular blog A Knotted Life and a writer for Blessed Is She.

In this episode Bonnie walks us through the events of her son’s stillbirth and his miraculous recovery after an hour post-birth with no pulse. We talk about the intercession of Ven. Fulton Sheen they believe is responsible for this miracle as well as the process of beatification and how James’ life and health contribute to the cause for Sheen’s canonization. This is an emotional story so definitely get the kleenex ready!

Links for this episode:

Our last interview with Bonnie about Lent

Our Sponsor:

 

This episode is sponsored by Liz Escoffery of Indy FertilityCare. Liz teaches the Creighton Model of FertilityCare to help couples both trying to get pregnant and trying to avoid pregnancy (and single women too wanting to learn more about their health!). She teaches in person in central Indiana and virtually to anywhere in the world. Her specialty is in helping women going through the difficult postpartum time/breastfeeding before cycles return.  Liz provides prayer support and accountability as well as instruction and offers free 15-minute consultations for anyone wanting to get more information about working with her. You can contact her through her website.

Check out the freebie on her website: 5 Ways to Less Stress While Postpartum Charting

Connect with Bonnie:

Come hang out with us!

You can listen to us on iTunes, and we’d love a quick rating or review. If you have an android device we’re also on Stitcher. And as always, you can find all links, show notes, upcoming guests, and listen to all episodes at Fountains of Carrots.com.

FoC 072: Confronting the Poison of Pornography in our Relationships with Matt Fradd

 

For ages we’ve wanted to discuss the pornography epidemic on the podcast because it affects so many marriages and women’s lives. Even though pornography is a problem even for many in the Church, it’s a difficult topic to breach which can make those suffering from the effects of porn feel even more alone. We are so thrilled to have Matt Fradd joining us to discuss this weighty issue. Matt is a speaker, podcaster, and author of recently published book The Porn Myth as well as Restored: True Stories of Love and Trust After Porn co-authored by his wife, Cameron, of the Among the Lilies podcast.

This episode includes some heavy themes so it might be one to listen to with your headphones and not around kids. We delve into difficult questions like whether someone who is addicted to porn is capable of the sacrificial love marriage requires and what to do if you discover your spouse is addicted to porn. Matt has great insights and shares resources designed to help women who have been betrayed by a spouse’s use of pornography and the abuse that can accompany it. This is a hard topic to discuss, but we are excited to send this episode out into the world and hope it can help women who are hurting to know they are not alone and to find the help they need to heal and move forward from trauma. We’re so grateful Matt took the time to join us and share about this toxic problem.

Mentioned in this episode:

Restored: True Stories of Love and Trust After Porn by Matt and Cameron Fradd

Bloom for Women

Books:

The Porn Myth: Exposing the Reality Behind the Fantasy of Pornography by Matt Fradd

Treating Trauma from Sexual Betrayal by Dr. Kevin Skinner

Treating Pornography Addiction by Dr. Kevin Skinner

What Can I Do About Me? by Rhyll Anne Croshaw

Related:

4 Signs Your Man Is Serious About Quitting Porn: Verily Magazine

God Hates Divorce. But God Doesn’t Hate Divorced People: Patty Breen for America Magazine

Connect with Matt:

And don’t forget that we’ve chosen our next FoC book club pick: Father Brown: The Essential Tales

Grab yourself a copy and join us for our next episode of discussion!

Come hang out with us!

You can listen to us on iTunes, and we’d love a quick rating or review. If you have an android device we’re also on Stitcher. And as always, you can find all links, show notes, upcoming guests, and listen to all episodes at Fountains of Carrots.com.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

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FoC 071: Grieving Suicide With Faith with Leticia Ochoa Adams

Leticia Ochoa Adams’s vulnerable writing about her son Anthony’s suicide convinced us that more discussion of mental illness and suicide in the Catholic community is needed. We are so honored that Leticia was willing to share her story and her wisdom about this tragedy in her family. Leticia is a writer, mom, and grandmother in central Texas and you can find her blog Through Broken Roses at the Catholic channel of Patheos. Her work can also be found in a new book edited by Patrick Madrid called Suprised by Life.

This episode includes some heavy themes so it might be one to listen to with your headphones and not with your kids. We get into some of the distorted attitudes Christians can have toward mental illness as well as the unique difficulties faced by families that have lost a loved one to suicide. Leticia shares with us about how her parish community has carried her family and walked with them in their grief (as well as reactions and attitudes that have been hurtful). We also briefly get into the issue of separating yourself or your family from toxic friends or family members when necessary.  We really hope this episode will be meaningful to many people and we’re so grateful to Leticia for talking to us about such a personal topic.

Mentioned in this episode:

Surprised by Life by Patrick Madrid

Connect with Leticia:

Our sponsor: 

This episode is brought to you by a new shop, Rose Harrington (formerly known as Hatch Prints), opening on July 13th, the Feast of the Mystical Rose!  The aim of this lovely shop is to have your walls call you to heroic virtue and to bring beauty to your home.

 

There’s a beautiful new collection called Botanical Rosaries that contains botanical watercolor paintings of flowers that historically represent the mysteries of the rosary.
All of the artwork and hand lettering are done by Katrina Harrington, the watercolor artist behind the shop and is inspired by the saints and historical botanical Christian meanings.

 

All the Hatch Prints inventory (including the popular Morning Offering, Offer It Up, and Fiat mugs are still available and are all made in the USA, dishwasher safe and microwave safe.

 

And don’t forget that we’ve chosen our next FoC book club pick: Father Brown: The Essential Tales

Grab yourself a copy and join us for an end of the summer episode of discussion!

Come hang out with us!

You can listen to us on iTunes, and we’d love a quick rating or review. If you have an android device we’re also on Stitcher. And as always, you can find all links, show notes, upcoming guests, and listen to all episodes at Fountains of Carrots.com.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

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FoC 069: The Crown vs. Victoria

 

When we were brainstorming topics for our “just us” episode, we remembered our undying love for British female monarchs. We made it the topic of this episode since there have been two great series recently about queens beginning their reigns and since we don’t turn down a chance to chat about a good costume drama! So we give you a conversation on The Crown streaming on Netflix and Victoria that recently aired on PBS.

We had a blast chatting about the these two great shows of queens navigating monarchy, Christy’s love for the British monarchy, a little bit of history, and our adoration for Dame Judi Dench. We really dived into the challenges of their unconventional lives and the toll on their marriages and their experiences of motherhood. So grab a basket of laundry and join us!

Links to what we talked about in this episode:

The Crown (available on Netflix)

The Man in the High Castle

Article about how Queen Elizabeth watches The Crown

The Young Victoria

The Queen

A Magnificent Obsession (book on Victoria and Albert Christy recommends)

Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown

Victoria & Abdul trailer

The White Queen

The King’s Speech

Our next book club read:

And don’t forget that we’ve picked Father Brown: The Essential Tales as our next Fountains of Carrots book club read, so grab a copy and get ready for a discussion episode in a few weeks!

Come hang out with us!

You can listen to us on iTunes, and we’d love a quick rating or review. If you have an android device we’re also on Stitcher. And as always, you can find all links, show notes, upcoming guests, and listen to all episodes at Fountains of Carrots.com.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

FoC 068: Choosing Real Self Care, Not Perfection with Kate Wicker

 

Our most frequently asked question we get from listeners is how do you practice self-care in your busy lives? And how do you find a balance in nourishing your body and soul to be fit for service to your family without diving into self-absorption? That’s exactly what we got to chat with Kate Wicker about!

Kate is a mom of many as well as a wife and writer living in Georgia. She used to be a frequent blogger (and Christy and Haley were avid readers) and is the author of Weightless and a new book from Ave Maria Press titled Getting Past Perfect: How to Find Joy and Grace in the Messiness of Motherhood.

We were so inspired by what Kate had to share about our primary identity being children of God rather than being mothers, finding time for self-care before we’re drowning, asking for help when we need it, and staying real about our struggles in our vocation. Grab some laundry to fold or a cup of tea and enjoy!

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Kate’s books:

Getting Past Perfect

Weightless

Connect with Kate:

Come hang out with us!

You can listen to us on iTunes, and we’d love a quick rating or review. If you have an android device we’re also on Stitcher. And as always, you can find all links, show notes, upcoming guests, and listen to all episodes at Fountains of Carrots.com.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

FoC 067: Scandalous Books Are Good For Your Soul with Dr. Jessica Hooten Wilson

Sometimes Providence really just takes the wheel when we’re looking for good podcast guests. At least that’s the way it happened with this interview with Dr. Jessica Hooten Wilson. Christy read a fantastic piece penned by Jessica on a topic dear to our hearts, told Haley about it, and Haley realized she knew Jessica from back in the day at Baylor when they were both students!

Jessica is a mother, speaker, author, and Associate Professor of Creative Writing at John Brown University. She has published on the works of Flannery O’Connor, Dostoevsky, and Walker Percy. She’s releasing A Guide to Walker Percy’s Novels in 2018 and is currently preparing Flannery O’Connor’s unfinished novel Why Do the Heathen Rage? for publication.

We had a great conversation about reading works that make us really uncomfortable and force us to wrestle with difficult ideas and spiritual realities. We chatted about how writers like O’Connor, Dostoevsky, and Percy offer a mirror to their readers to examine dark parts of their souls. Jessica shared wonderful advice about how to dive in to some of the greats that aren’t easy reads.  And we even touched on some TV shows and films with stories that are worth wrestling with. We know you’ll be inspired by this conversation so brew a cup of tea and enjoy!

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Links to what we mentioned in today’s episode:

Jessica’s interview with Hallie Lord

Jessica’s article about scandalized reading

Walker Percy Weekend

Mad Men

The Brothers Karamazov

St. Augustine’s Confessions

Moana

Our podcast episode about why we love Flannery O’Connor

Jessica’s books:

Giving the Devil His Due: Flannery O’Connor and The Brothers Karamazov

Walker Percy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and the Search for Influence

Connect with Jessica:

Come hang out with us!

You can listen to us on iTunes, and we’d love a quick rating or review. If you have an android device we’re also on Stitcher. And as always, you can find all links, show notes, upcoming guests, and listen to all episodes at Fountains of Carrots.com.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

FoC 065: Attracting with the Transcendent – Why the Beauty of Catholicism Speaks to the Heart with Brandon McGinley

 

We’re excited to welcome Brandon McGinley for a second time on the podcast! Brandon is editor of EWTN publishing and he also edited a great book about Catholic fatherhood titled The Joys and Challenges of Family Life. He lives in Pennsylvania with his lovely wife and three kids.

In this episode we discuss whether the Church should aim to be attractive to modernity by aligning it’s liturgy and evangelization with “the spirit of the age” or whether we should focus instead on offering beauty, goodness, and truth. We bemoan the past few decades of unfortunate church architecture and music (we may or may not bring up a few of our least favorite “hymns” and ugliest church sightings) but we focus on the transcendent, even unfamiliar nature of our Catholic faith and how we can really bring that to the forefront of our liturgy and evangelization. We cover a lot of ground and have a great time tossing around some weighty ideas so grab a cup of coffee and join us!

Links to what we mentioned in today’s episode:

Our first episode with Brandon: The Challenges and Joys of Catholic Fatherhood

Dappled Things (a Catholic quarterly of ideas, faith, and art)

Brandon’s book:

The Joys and Challenges of Family Life

Connect with Brandon:

And don’t forget that you can get Haley’s ebook Making Big Life Changes Together: Pursuing Your Dreams as a Couple for 97% off as part of the 2017 Ultimate Homemaking Bundle! (As well as the Literary Medicine Cabinet printable.) The sale ends Monday, May 1st at midnight so be sure to check it out before it’s gone!

Come hang out with us!

You can listen to us on iTunes, and we’d love a quick rating or review. If you have an android device we’re also on Stitcher. And as always, you can find all links, show notes, upcoming guests, and listen to all episodes at Fountains of Carrots.com.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

FoC 064: Vocation, Suffering, and Joy with Laura Fanucci

 

We’ve been big fans of writer Laura Kelly Fanucci for years. Haley and Christy have had the pleasure of meeting her in person and she’s been on our list of folks we’d love to interview for ages. Our conversation with Laura was beautiful, poignant and compelling and we know you’re going to be inspired and moved by her story.

Laura, her husband, and her three little boys live in Minnesota. In addition to her vocation as a wife and mama, Laura is an author and theologian and blogs at MotheringSpirit.com. So many people have been touched by her vulnerable writing about her family’s journey in grief after the death of Laura’s newborn twin daughters early last year. Laura generously shares that story in this episode and how she and her husband Franco experienced something very supernatural in the NICU as they were saying goodbye to one of their daughters. It’s truly amazing.

While there is plenty of heavy material in this episode, we did a lot of laughing, too. We discussed the idea of vocation or calling.  We confessed how different the reality of motherhood is from how we imagined it would be. And we talked about the intertwining of love, grief, and joy and how Christ is present with us in suffering. So grab a basket of laundry (and maybe a box of kleenex) and listen in!

Links to what we mentioned in today’s episode:

Bridget Jones Baby

Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl

Shadowlands (film about C.S. Lewis based on his experience shared in A Grief Observed)

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Laura’s books:

Everyday Sacrament: The Messy Grace of Parenting

Living Your Discipleship: Seven ways to express your deepest calling

Mercy: God’s Nature, Our Challenge

Connect with Laura:

Come hang out with us!

You can listen to us on iTunes, and we’d love a quick rating or review. If you have an android device we’re also on Stitcher. And as always, you can find all links, show notes, upcoming guests, and listen to all episodes at Fountains of Carrots.com.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.