06 January 2011

7 Quick Takes: Volume 23


Ah, Friday. I dare say I love you more than Robinson Crusoe does.

After a brief 7 Quick Takes hiatus, I have returned today with 7 bits of randomness. Please visit Jen at Conversion Diary, the host of 7 Quick Takes; check out the links to other people who are participating. This week, Jen is not writing her own, for reasons explained on her blog, but she has still made it possible for the rest of us to play along.

OK, here we go.

~ 1 ~

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, we just finished reading Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. In case you are not familiar with this book, at the very end, the President of the United States invites Willy Wonka, Charlie, and Charlie's whole family to a big party at the White House, to thank them for their extraordinary service to the United States, rendered when they saved 136 people from certain death in an orbiting space hotel.

So my son says wistfully today:
"Wouldn't it be great if our family did something really special, and Obama invited us to The White House to thank us?"

pause

"But that won't happen, because we break stuff."
~ 2 ~

Fun Homeschooling Thing: When we started homeschooling this past September, I signed up for a few different list serve/email groups. Through one of them, I get a "History on the Go" email each month. It lists a historical, cultural or otherwise interesting fact for each day of the month. I have ignored these emails until this month, but finally printed January's and have been reading each day with the kids, which has been fun. Simple...easy...no big project...but fun and engaging. So far this month, we've talked about Betsy Ross and the first American flag (her birthday was January 1st), learned about why birds fly in a v-formation when they are migrating (January 5th was Migratory Bird Day), and made jokes that are only funny to grammar school kids about the fact that yesterday was Bean Day. We could have read Jack and the Beanstalk instead, but farting jokes were more appealing to most of the people in the room. Each entry in the calendar comes with a few ideas or links for activities you can do to explore the topic further.

I like the fact that these calendar items expose the kids to all kinds of different topics, from Elvis Presley being the first rock musician to be featured on a postage stamp (January 8th) to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart being a child prodigy (January 27th). Sign up for this e-zine here. It's cool.

~ 3 ~

Seriously? I need some advice about how to get my kids to fight less and complain less. Or maybe someone can just tell me it's normal. But lately, I seem to reach that intolerance level awful darn quick, and then I usually spiral into some narration about how it's all my fault and if I were a better mother they might actually act like they like each other and if they keep on this path, they will all grow up to be mean, mean people. This is the first time I haven't shipped the kids back to school after Christmas Break, so perhaps that has something to do with it. But seriously? They are making me coo-coo for cocoa puffs. And I hate cocoa puffs.

Help.

~ 4 ~

Recommended mommy blog: Many of you have probably already discovered Mommyland, but woo-boy is this some funny stuff. If you are looking for a really funny, sarcastic, not-pollyana-ish take on motherhood, visit their site, Rants from Mommyland. Thoughtfully, they created a link called Is This the Right Blog for You? so you can figure out if you belong there. They also have a glossary, for all of the Mommyland Lingo you'll want to be up to speed on. Check them out and get ready to laugh.

~ 5 ~

My girls are physically incapable of giving me breathing room. As I type, the three of them are having a contest to see which one of them can achieve the highest percentage of body-to-body contact with me. They'll grow out of it, right? I will miss it someday, right? Right now? Coo-coo again.

~ 6 ~

We received the fewest holiday cards we ever have this year. Now, I can't exactly complain because we didn't send any out either. But every year, I aspire to send out cards, and for the past several, I have failed. I always figured I would jump back on the Card Sending Train when my kids are a little older...so it saddens me that the Card Sending tradition seems to be going the way of railroad travel. I love getting Holiday cards in the mail, reading the letters people write, or even getting the ones that are simply signed. I imagine all those cards criss-crossing through the mail all over the country, weaving hand-written connections between family and friends. Their decline is a loss.

Did you send out cards this year? Did you get many?

~ 7 ~

And, because I can't think of a 7th, I'll throw it out to you. What books are you reading or recommending these days? Teacher Mommy and I discussed books via email this morning (we're so erudite) and she has ordered me to get myself to a bookstore (I'm sure a library would do) to get a copy of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. I actually have a pretty intimidating stack of "must reads" right now, but what the heck, let's add to it, shall we? Please suggest a favorite book in the comments, and tell us why you like it.

Also, has anyone read An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken? Sounds intriguing. And surprising.

Thanks! And Happy Happy Friday to you all!

* * *

7 comments:

Teacher Mommy said...

Oooh, I feel special getting a mention!

I have never, ever, ever succeeded in sending out Christmas cards. I don't get too many either, which is okay, since I therefore have less crushing guilt over never, ever, ever succeeding in sending out Christmas cards.

Thank God for Facebook.

Kathleen said...

I had like 30 people ask me for my new address this year so they could send me Christmas cards. I was all excited thinking I would be getting all of these wonderful Christmas greetings and holiday wishes in spite of the fact that we did not send any out (again!).

I only got like 5. What's up with that?

I have a favor to ask you. I know you don't know me. TeacherMommy has known me for about 32 of my 35 years if that gives me any credence...I just signed up for the History to Go thingy, but the email I got says I won't get an update until the 25th. Which does not help me in January. (And believe me when I tell you my homeschooling content needs help this January!) Any chance you would email me the first edition of the year? My email address is mkpierce95 at gmail dot com. Thank you ever so much.

Kathleen@so much to say, so little time said...

I don't think Christmas cards are disappearing...just changing forms. We get some via email now, but still we got a lot. We also send a lot. Like almost 100. I tried to convince my husband to do the email thing except to a close cirlce, but he wouldn't hear of it.

Books...here's most of the fiction (& one memoir) I read in 2010:

http://kathleenbasi.com/2010/11/03/books-books-books/

If you're a Jane Austen fan, I can also recommend "An Assembly Such as This," "Duty and Desire," and "These Three Remain." It's Pride & Prejudice from Darcy's POV, and they're strongest in the parts when she's *not* overlapping what happened in P&P, but takes off on his own experiences. There are so many horrible takeoffs on P&P, these were a breath of fresh air.

Kathleen@so much to say, so little time said...

I don't think Christmas cards are disappearing...just changing forms. We get some via email now, but still we got a lot. We also send a lot. Like almost 100. I tried to convince my husband to do the email thing except to a close cirlce, but he wouldn't hear of it.

Books...here's most of the fiction (& one memoir) I read in 2010:

http://kathleenbasi.com/2010/11/03/books-books-books/

If you're a Jane Austen fan, I can also recommend "An Assembly Such as This," "Duty and Desire," and "These Three Remain." It's Pride & Prejudice from Darcy's POV, and they're strongest in the parts when she's *not* overlapping what happened in P&P, but takes off on his own experiences. There are so many horrible takeoffs on P&P, these were a breath of fresh air.

nicole said...

come over to my library for Fahrenheit as for cards... i nerv got it together to send them out this year...total slacker!

Homemaker Man said...

We sent out xmas cards for the first time in a while. Find a reasonable pic of the kid, go to snapfish.com, design the card, pick them up at a local drugstore, envelopes included. Super easy.

I am in the middle of a Young Adult trilogy Called The Hunger Games that is just rocking good. my wife reads tha YA stuff as research, and it is some of the most entertaining and exciting literature around, I think. No pretensions, just good stories and characters.

Seriously.

Fahrenheit is good. Something Wicked This Way Comes and Dandelion Wine too.

Laurel said...

Sorry for all the comments at once. I'm finally getting around to reading the last few weeks of blogs.

Xmas Cards: We send out every year. This year, in the tight economy, I told my husband that we could save money and send out by email. "No way" he said, we have to do them. Otherwise known as "you have to do them". So I sent out my 80 cards again (and posted the pic on facebook). I am getting less cards - think, it's facebook, email and so many of my friends have little kids.

Fighting - let me know what you find out, cause I got nothing!

Mommyland: LOVE IT. Thanks for turning me on to it. I shared the "5 questions I ask my kids" on FB and it was shared again over and over.

Books: Are you on goodreads - it's where I have all my list of too read. Current one's (mostly for bookclub) are Twenty Chickens for a Saddle and Cutting for Stone (have no idea if they'll be good or not).
Ok - I'll stop talking now!