7 quick takes, Uncategorized

7QT: The Things You Missed (because I didn’t tell you) Edition

It’s 91 degrees here today. 91. As in nine degrees less than one hundred.

The funny thing is, I don’t even mind. After all the cold, wet rain of the last month, this feels great. Hot, but great. Like summer. Since this weekend is the beginning of summer (as far as retailers are concerned, anyway, by the volume of e-mails I am getting about various sales), I’m good with it.

I do feel like I’ve left out a lot in my blog silence of late, so consider this a ketchup post- photos and things I haven’t told you.

We celebrated Easter here at our house and went to church at our own parish. Usually, there’s this big debate about whether we ought to take a “liturgical field trip” to the Basilica or the Cathedral, but this year, we wanted to stay put. George made a country ham and a truly amazing lemon chess pie. There were Peeps and chocolate bunnies. And Felix wore a bow tie. It was pretty perfect.

Just at the last minute before the season of Easter ended, we managed to dye eggs with our friends. I’m always grateful for long liturgical seasons when we start listing things we want to do as a family. Everyone has a special list of things we MUST DO or it will not feel like Easter (or Christmas, or Thanksgiving, etc). I know the Church wasn’t thinking of busy moms when the calendar was being created…I’m pretty sure it has more to do with Jesus…but it’s lovely to take advantage of the length of the season to spread these things out.

We celebrated Pentecost here at home, too, with a very red cake that turned everyone’s mouth very red. It wasn’t red velvet- I didn’t have enough cocoa powder for that. Sam wanted to just dump red food coloring into the bowl and make the batter as red as possible. This was the result.

I’m probably going to just blame any and all behavior problems for the next 90 days or so on that amount of red dye. Ugh.

Sam celebrated his First Communion last weekend with friends and family. He looked so handsome in his suit and was so excited to go up to receive communion. He and his good buddy Mark ended up being chosen to carry up the gifts together. Watching them process up the aisle, side by side in their suits, I suddenly wondered if they’ll do that again at Confirmation and maybe when one or both of them gets married…and then I had to stop, because I was crying.

Sam was the first child of 70 something to go up to receive, and he was nervous he’d mess something up. Of course, he didn’t- it all went beautifully. I think the bigger thrill for all of us was the next morning, though, on a regular Sunday, when Sam got to walk up with us and receive communion instead of crossing his arms as he’s had to do for a while now. The priest asked for all the First Communion children to come up front to receive as a group, but Sam didn’t go. He said, “I’d rather stay with my family so we can all receive Jesus together…that’s kind of the point of today.” It was a beautiful moment.

After church, we had a Second Communion party with friends from church at a local park. It poured down rain. The picnic shelter kept us dry, and the kids (who didn’t care) stood outside and let the rain stream down their bodies and laughed.

In other news, there are two girls here who are VERY eager to make their First Communions. They raided their dressup clothes collection for “communion costumes.” I think it might be a long few years for them.

Felix has adopted the word “actually” (to the great amusement of everyone else in the house). He picks up things and holds them close to his chest, saying with great authority, “This is MINE, actually.” It sounds more like “ak-shoowee,” but he is using it correctly…and something about that is just so funny.

I still struggle with this- I don’t want him (or any of my children) to think we’re laughing at him, but sometimes we can’t help it.

On a related note, the empty lot next to us is being turned into a house. This means lots of noise and lots of trucks. Felix couldn’t be happier about this development. He has started naming the trucks and machines and correcting us if we call them by the wrong names (actually, that’s a cement mixer!). After months of reading his truck books to him, it’s fun to see him getting excited about the real thing.

I do wish the trucks didn’t beep quite so loudly when they back up. Seriously- SO LOUD.

In an ongoing effort to appreciate the beautiful sweetness of everyday moments, I’m trying to take a picture every day to record one. I’m sharing over at Instagram with the hashtag #100daysofholylens. Come follow along. You might even get to help me identify random wildflowers or weigh in on fabric choices for projects in progress. Conversation sparks creativity for me- I’d love your input.

I have a love-hate relationship with clothes my children have outgrown. When I put away Sam’s clothes, I sorted and labeled everything carefully, anticipating we would need those things again. With the girls, I was lucky to get the clothes out of the house to the shed at all, and I mostly just shoved things into bins and stacked them high in the shed. Whenever we go to get things out (like the lawnmower, which has suddenly become pretty important), the terrifying towers of hand me downs sway ominously back and forth, threatening to crush us beneath them if we make a wrong move.

To avoid this unpleasant end, I’ve been sorting through the bins and finding new homes for things the girls and Felix have outgrown. I am keeping some things, but it seems foolish to have so many clothes piled up when someone could be using them. I don’t know exactly where the line is between thrifty saving and greedy hoarding, but I must be close to it!

Something about going through those girl clothes is really hard. I haven’t seen them since I put them away. They’re tiny and sweet and covered with rosebuds and rainbows and tiny daisies and watermelons. It’s hard to give them up…but it is slightly easier to give them to someone I know will love them. We were able to donate a big bag of stuff, plus a few baby essentials (pack ‘n’ play and bouncy seat) to a new twin mom who had fallen on hard times. That was fun.

(Do you need any little girl hand me downs? Let me know! I have tons.)

That’s it- I think you’re all caught up, right? Thanks to Kelly for hosting. For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum!

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