Seven Quick Takes: An update

Joining Kelly and all the cool kids at Seven Quick Takes this week. It’s been awhile. Glad to be back!


We cozied up the house for autumn the other day and I am so glad we did, especially now that the sun won’t ever come out again, or so it seems. I love the warm colors of fall, the candles, the feast days in October, the sweater/leggings/boots weather. I love it all. I also love how the kids appreciate the change of seasons in our home. The girls and I had so much fun getting the boxes of fall things out of storage and placing all our fallish things around the house. They were begging to put the Halloween decorations out as well, but I told them I’m won’t be ready for orange and black until about halfway through October — just something else to look forward to!

cozy autumn collage SMAM-2-

Gosh, do I love Pope Francis. I could not get enough of the coverage! I don’t think I’ve watched that many Papal Masses on TV in such a short time span in my life! And I enjoyed every second of it. We recently got rid of cable to save money and so we were limited to local stations for his visit to DC and then CNN and EWTN live streaming on our desk top and lap top. It was definitely an adjustment for me. I got a little frustrated at times with the limitations, but we rolled with it. In fact, on the Saturday night Festival of Families in Philly, we had our own little festival! It was a gorgeous fall evening, so we had dinner on the back porch with the laptop hooked up to a portable speaker so we could listen to the coverage. Then, after we put our two year old to bed, we lit the fire pit out on the driveway, ate s’mores, and watched the coverage in Philly. It was so much fun! I hope the kids remember this experience for years to come. After the children were all snug in their beds, The Hubs and I sat watching Pope Francis’s impromptu address to families at the end of the festival. We held hands and just kept smiling, looking at each other and saying, “Wow.” We also promised each other that we would print out his inspiring words and read them once a week to remind ourselves of what we are about here in this crazy family thing we do everyday. In case you missed it…

papal visit SMAM

Some of you who’ve been reading my blog for awhile or know my family may get tired of me saying this, but it’s worth repeating just to bring some perspective. Smarty Pants was born in October of 2004, Dimples in June of 2006, Bright Eyes in February of 2008, and, when the oldest was just five years old and in pre-Kindergarten, Social Butterfly was born in January of 2010, our Snowmageddon baby. As a mom, it was a huge deal to have our fifth baby a whole three and a half years later. And now that Little One is two years and three months old, well, I’m feeling good. This season is so enjoyable. The big kids just keep getting bigger and more independent and Little One is still our littlest one at the age of two. I’ll take it! Since we’re open to life, this could change any month now, and probably soon since I’m getting so cocky about it. God’s Will be done!

still little one SMAM-4-

Up until twelve days ago, I have never really had to watch any of my children suffer. A week ago Sunday, our nine year old daughter Dimples had a reaction to poison ivy all over her face. On Saturday, Dimples, Little One, and I walked through a small cleared path through the woods to the soccer fields to watch Bright Eyes play. We sat on a blanket in the grass by the trees to stay out of the heat. As we were walking on the path to go back to our car at the end of the game, I was looking down at my feet and saw some poison ivy. It was one of those, “Oh! Poison Ivy!” moments. Nothing you can do about it. There it is. The next day, we attended the Bluemont Country Fair where Dimples pointed out some redness under her right eye. I didn’t think about the poison ivy from the day before. I just put some calamine lotion on it and she ran off to play. The next morning at 4am, The Hubs and I were woken up by a puffy and swollen-faced Dimples, in tears over the discomfort and itchiness. That was the beginning of three terrible days followed by four or five more days of nursing her back to health. It was just awful. She missed a whole week of school, and the two of us lost a whole lot of sleep. There were moments between doses of medication to ease the itching when I felt so helpless, unable to give her more of anything because it was too soon, wondering how on earth I could make her feel better. Then, the resurrection: Dimples was able to attend her class’s field trip (at school- A troop comes all the way from Camp Flintlock in North Carolina each year) affectionately called “Colonial Day.” She dressed up in the darling costume we borrowed from a friend (who purchased it on Etsy last year), packed her lunch in her little basket, and had a wonderful, wonderful time. The next day, she went to school for a regular day and felt a little self-conscious about the redness and swelling still on her face. Then, Wednesday morning, she woke up and had horrible swelling and redness. It was a moment as a parent I will not soon forget. I understood that she didn’t want to go to school, but I also knew that she had to go and push through, knowing that she has a school with loving teachers and a class of kind children. I said things like, “It’s gonna be okay. It is going to go away. This is not permanent.” I took her to school a little late and when she got home it was, “I’m so glad I went to school today. Everyone was so nice to me.” Growing pains – for daughter and mother.

colonial day SMAM

I started posting my menu plans each week on Sundays about a month ago. I skipped this week because, well, see #4. But you know, it’s been really enjoyable for me. Does anyone want me to make it into a link-up? Please email me or make a comment giving me your blog address and we’ll convo. Good? Good. Click on the “COOKING” menu above to see the four menus I’ve posted so far along with reviews from the previous week’s meals.

smam Whatcha Got Cookin' new series IG graphic

Yesterday was the Feast of St. Therese, The Little Flower. I have a special love for this saint, precisely because I am not little, so each year I pray a novena to her leading up to her feast (I’ve only received a rose as an answer to said novena once and I’ve prayed it every year since 1996). She’s been a friend to me in so many different ways over the years, so I see her feast day as a chance to celebrate all that I have learned from her as I try to encourage a friendship with her among my children. So, this year, we had an epic dinner on her feast day. Chicken a l’Orange (so easy and so, so, so yummy), Potatoes au Gratin (to die for, I tell you, and so very easy! Mine didn’t pop out of the muffin tin, but it was such a delicious dish, it didn’t make a difference), a simple salad with a typical French dressing (dijon mustard, olive oil, and vinegar), roasted brocolli and cauliflower, a baguette, some French wine, and cream puffs from the freezer section for dessert. It was divine and everyone ate heartily. All I could do was picture my dear college friends sitting around the table, but I have a feeling we’ll all have to wait for our heavenly banquet to enjoy a feast all together — and in that case it will be with all the Saints and our Sweet Lord. Until then, I’ll enjoy my husband and children at our dining room table just fine, thank you.

St. Therese Feast Day Dinner collage SMAM-7-

My first Seven Quick Takes: March 28, 2014, Trying my hand at “7 Quick Takes”

I really didn’t know what on earth I was doing, and I was incredibly intimidated by the whole Link-up to a big time blog like Conversion Diary, but as with most things in life, I needed some practice. Once I got the hang of it, I really started to enjoy it. I go through stages where I know they’re happening each and every Friday, and I really should take part, and then Friday rolls around and I’m all, “It’s the weekend! Must get everything done before the kids get home from school!” Thanks for the reminder that 7QT’s is a great opportunity to introduce yourself to other bloggers and meet some new ones too, Kelly! No doubt, the chance to win free and really great stuff is also motivating! See you here next week!

seven-quick-takes-friday-This Ain't the Lyceum


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