7 Quick Takes: Volume 34

Friday, Friday. Here you are, coming in on little pig's feet, looking all cute and innocent. You're actually getting ready to pounce, aren't you?


I have the privilege today of watching my first born child as Lucentio in a production of The Taming of the Shrew. He watched the film version with Elizabeth Taylor the other day and said: "Now that shrew was impossible to tame!"

Oh, is he in for a world of hurt.


There is very little that goes wrong in life that cannot be made better by a cup of hot Irish breakfast tea, with just the right amount of whole milk and sugar. It may not work for everything, but it works for many, many bad days. Give it a try.


Recommended reading: Nicholas Schmidle's article in the August 8, 2011 issue of The New Yorker magazine, entitled Getting bin Laden. American citizens should read this account so that, collectively, we understand what we as a nation did on May 1, 2011.

You can support what our nation did that day or you can oppose it. Either way, you should know what happened. Schmidle does a good job of telling the story and of letting the story speak for itself.

Many New Yorker stories are not accessible to non-subscribers: this one is. Go forth to click and read.


Summer is coming to a close. For us, that means it's time for me to figure out how we will do our 2nd year of homeschooling. I am surprised by how many people assume that our schedule doesn't change during the summer; I've been asked many times if we just keep up our "schooling" year round.

Most definitely, we do not. I have not required the kids to do any reading, for example, and we took the summer off from the math tutoring the boys were doing. We've basked in the lazy days of summer and we've focused on fun, fun, fun. And this has been the best summer we've ever had.

We were definitely unstructured schoolers last year, which was just what the doctor ordered for all of us at the time. This year, I'd like a bit more of a structure, a bit more of a plan. So while I may not be going over those crazy school supply lists the way many parents are doing these days (which ranks up there in the Top 5 Things I Don't Miss About Having My Kids In School), my mind is turning to plans and ideas for the coming year.

And this year? I've got Little T to contend with. Which makes me consider Kindergarten boarding school. Think one of these exists?

One thing I need to incorporate into my year is more networking and talking with other homeschooling parents. I'm ready to trade ideas, try new things, and hear about other people's experiences, etc. Last year, I wasn't. I just wanted to do my own thing and see where it got me.

Mostly, I am hoping that the Best. Summer. Ever. will lead us into the Best. Schoolyear. Ever.


Overheard: The other day, we were driving through the country, and Lola noticed a really lovely fresh, outdoor smell. We were talking about how nice it was, and Lady E, who couldn't smell it, said:

"Man, I guess I should have plugged in my nostrils this morning!"

Add that to the morning routine: plug in your nostrils and don't forget to bring your elbows.


Lessons learned this week: So it turns out that if you plan on what meals you want to make each day, and if you use that plan to make your grocery list, and then if you actually take your list to the store and get everything that's on it?

Mealtimes go much more smoothly and you save money. And you feel like a grown-up.


A Friday photo:

The other day my daughter, ever the negotiator, presented me with a bargain. "If I go pick blackberries, will you make a blackberry pie?" I agreed. As it turned out, we did not have enough blackberries, but we did have lots of apples. So...we adjusted the plan.

I really enjoy making apple pie, especially making the crust from scratch. Contrary to what you might have heard, it's super easy. So after a little effort, I was able to send my husband the following text: "Will you stop at the store on your way home for some ice cream and/or whipped cream for the apple pie I just made?" I think he wanted to marry me all over again.

The bad news? I didn't get even one slice of that pie. A pack of crazed puppies attacked it. I heard it was tasty though.

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Please visit our 7 Quick Takes host, Jen at Conversion Diary and clicky-click on a few of the links to other Quick Takers.

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