St. Patrick's Day

All of the girls with shamrock crowns – Little Man snuck in too.

What did the leprechaun bring?
Gold from the end of the rainbow.

I grew up in an Irish Catholic family and my Mom was particularly good at celebrating all holidays, large and small. St. Patrick’s Day was a special day because not only was it fun, but it recognized our Irish heritage. We always wore green clothes along with our special shamrock pins, which my Mom only brought out for that one special day of the year. We ate corned beef and cabbage for dinner, along with red potatoes, the potatoes (or lack thereof) that drove my family to America.

My children are not fond of corned beef, so we celebrate with a dinner of Bubble and Squeak, which is essentially fried potatoes and cabbage with a small amount of meat. We also had green beans, green salad, and topped off the night with green rice krispie treats. The highlight of dinner was the traditional visit by a leprechaun. The doorbell rang and the little kids ran to answer it. On the porch they found a treasure of gold coins left for them by the ever-sneaky leprechaun. Such loot! Such joy!

Between a dinner heavy on potatoes, chocolate coins, and dessert, Dimples concluded that St. Patrick’s Day was a fine day to celebrate.

We also had a discussion around the table about the significance of St. Patrick and the work he did to spread the Gospel throughout Ireland.

I’ll end with a quote from St. Patrick’s Breastplate:

Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me.

Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.


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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Big Sis
    March 19, 2008

    My but it is good to remember our childhood. I am sad that my kids do not expect visits from leprachauns any more. But, we did eat corned beef and cabbage!!

  2. Sherry
    March 20, 2008

    Steven and I are both from Irish/German Catholic backgrounds and our families never really had any special traditions for the day, so I loved reading about yours!

    We both love corned beef and cabbage though, and I at least, always wear something green to celebrate the day. The gold coins are always a popular treat here as well…who doesn’t like chocolate?

    I love the history of my Irish background…probably why my kids all have Irish names! hehe

  3. Anonymous
    March 20, 2008

    I told everyone in Jazz Choir about how we celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, and Diana said, “I have NEVER heard of anyone who celebrates Saint Patrick’s Day so thoroughly!”


  4. jen
    March 21, 2008

    Love that quote! Gonna have to remember that one!

  5. Lisa W.
    March 23, 2008

    You sure do inspire me. I don’t 11 children, but am doubling my existing children (ha!! from 2 to 4) in the next 3 months and that is huuUUge to ME. But boy, I just love being inspired by other Moms who do such a great job at it. I love your blog, your family is just gorgeous and I look forward to continually following your journey as you bring home your precious little girl.


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