Quick Takes on Pumpkin and Paint

So many random things to write about, so little time!

7_quick_takes post

1. I made pumpkin puree last week (or was it the week before?) We later made that puree into pies, with my brother’s help; but today I made this collage depicting the puree-making process and my sense of accomplishment increased mightily:

homemade pumpkin puree

I’m just tickled that readers can get the picture, so to speak, without having to scroll, scroll, scroll. I see a future full of photo collages. Thank you, picmonkey.

2. I have to leave soon to take Patrick to reading/ educational/ occupational therapy. It’s a combination of physical therapy and focused tutoring. He works better for the therapist than he does for me, but we have homework to do throughout the week and he’s getting better about it. They recommended 100 sessions to adequately address his learning challenges. 100 sessions?! 1 down; 99 to go… if our stamina and budget last.

3. Our basement guest room has been slowing evolving from an unfinished area in the basement to a bona fide room with doors, trim on the window, and an actual bed.


guestroom before pic

This was after the curtain was added, so already an improvement. But now:

room makeover

Yes — another collage! I told you. Now it’s not finished yet, and typically the futon is set up as a sofa and adds more color (reds) to the palate, but you get the idea. Paint helps!! Still needs more trim and some paint removed from the floor; as well as art/ wall decor. Huge improvement though.

4. It’s definitely a low budget decor project. Frugal living at its finest! Sources for my home decor items pictured above:

  • bed & dresser from someone in the parish giving them away
  • rugs and decorative pillows from Target clearance
  • aqua lamp from flea market ($2); brown lamp on dresser from target (also 70% clearance)
  • rocking chair from yard sale
  • Ikea chair a hand me down from my aunt
  • wire basket on dresser from Hobby Lobby

5. I’m really looking forward to meeting my sweet niece, my brother’s first baby, at her baptism this weekend. I can’t wait to hold her. She is so cuddly and smiley in the pictures though she’s only 6 weeks old.

6. I really wish we had better grocery shopping options in our small town. We’re limited to a Wal-Mart and a regular grocery store (Martin’s). I do most of my grocery shopping at Costco, Sharp Shopper and Trader Joe’s, as well as through food co-ops, local vegetable farm, and a local beef ranch. It’s just always a drive to get t better shopping options.

7. I need to shower and get dressed!! Happy Friday!


Linking up with Jen!


7 Quick Takes: Kids

The unifying theme to my 7 Quick Takes this week is kids… 7 thoughts on my kids, other people’s kids, life with kids, life without kids. Yes, I’m a couple days late, but I’m playing anyway. Ok? Ok.

7_quick_takes post1. My Kids

Here they are, in a  picture from the summer (ahh the greenness! my favorite time of year). I love ‘em, every one.

my five kids

2.  The Number

People sometimes make snap judgments and insensitive comments based simply on the number of children one has, regardless of any other factors. Anyone with a  few children is used to the complaints from those who think large families are irresponsible, the over-asked “Are they ALL yours?” and “You have your hands full!” from people who think 4, 5, 6 or more kids is TOO MANY. I’ve gotten my share of these comments, usually when I travel to Northern VA or dare to grocery shop with everyone in tow.

But there’s the other side too … the comments from those who don’t think you have enough kids. Or that you should have more by now, since you’re Catholic. Once after Mass I was stopped by a stranger, a visitor at our church, who asked,

“How many kids do you have?”
“Five?” (I wasn’t questioning my memory, but his reason for asking.)
“Five. Well. That’s a middlin’ effort for the traditional crowd.”

It was one of the more bizarre exchanges I’ve had at the Latin Mass we typically attend,  but not the only one where the number of prodigy I have has been called into question. One matron, who has a large family and many beautiful children and grandchildren, periodically quizzes me on how many children I have and how old the youngest is, now.

I’ve taken to smiling widely and saying, “Still five. He’s three. How is your family?”

3. Kids Aren’t Objects

No matter the number, our children aren’t tally marks on a scoreboard. This article by Cari Donaldson on the “Devout Objectification” of children, over on Aleteia, is a thought-provoking read.

4. Some Choose 0 Kids

Like this guy and his wife. And I think that’s terribly sad. Just… the loneliness. An empty old age. So many might-have-beens. It’s startlingly bleak, this deliberate choice to prevent children who otherwise might have been.

5. Some would Love More Kids

Molly writes poignantly about being a friend to someone who may be experiencing infertility… when you’re pregnant and she is not. So important to think of these things.

6. Vitamin C and Kids

I know that doesn’t really follow … but if you’re part of the small group of people who read my blog this past week, you’re probably wondering about all the posts on vitamin C. I think many moms worry a lot about their children’s health, about their recovery when they’re sick, about dreaded diseases and vaccines and not vaccinating, about which supplements to give and which are a waste.

I know I do.

And the more I read about vitamin C, about the fact that humans are in the minority of mammals who don’t synthesize their own supplies of this essential vitamin, about its proven effectiveness in treating viruses  and reversing damage from toxins, the more vitamin C I buy.

Yes, they make it in 5-pound tubs. Mine should be arriving any day.

7. Kids & Shoes

I thought this little song was super cute. Marie Miller just played at our school fundraiser, and her family lives a county over, so it was cool to see her pop up on Jennifer’s blog.

I think I have the opposite problem with kids and shoes… my husband once asked if we had no shoes growing up, or a shortage, and if that was behind my tendency to buy more shoes than any one family could possibly need. (I buy them gently used or on sale, most of the time.  And they can always pass them down or on to cousins when they’re outgrown. Ok fine, yes, we went barefoot a lot.)

There you have it! I may be close to the final addition this week, but there are plenty more who were on time and they’re all linked up over at the latest edition of 7QT.