Friday, May 26, 2017

7 Quick Takes about Art That Takes a While to Finish, Surprise Cakes, and Why Mopping is My Love Language

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It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?


When I went to pick up my 5-year-old from her Sunday School class, she was the last kid left in the room, furiously drawing stick figure after stick figure. Her teacher and I were both tapping our toes, making helpful suggestions like "You can finish at home," which she completely ignored.

Finally, she filled up the page and agreed to leave, and it wasn't until I asked later who all those people were that it dawned on me she was drawing a family picture.

This was one of those times I don't realize how big our family actually is until I see a picture. This is seriously us? It looks like the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. No wonder people stare at us when we pile out of our clown car at Safeway.

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8... yep, that's us, alright.

Since my daughter was still working on her drawing and all her classmates were long-gone by the time I came to pick her up, I can only assume the other kids have smaller families.

Or maybe they just left out the details like crowns on the heads of all the girls.


A big thank you to everyone on the blog's Facebook page who gave me some great advice on a crazy cake to make for my son's birthday. It was a success.

When we asked what kind of cake he wanted, he just said "Surprise me." And he was pretty surprised when we gave him this normal-looking cake...

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

...with M&Ms spilling out.

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

Although if I'm honest, the best part actually came before that, when Phillip and I were assembling the cakes the night before.

You cut out the middles to fill the insides with candy, and guess what? Each cut-out is the perfect size to frost and eat yourself as a secret dessert.

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

You know how the Book It! personal pan pizzas were the highlight of your childhood? You should try a cake version of that sometime.


Once upon a time, I would have attempted baking these cakes with my kids "helping" me. Now I know better, and dropped them off at a friend's house so I could do the whole thing myself.

Instead of trying to keep the 3- and 5-year-old from fighting over whose turn it was to pour in ingredients while flour flew everywhere and the screaming baby kept grabbing my legs, it was actually quite enjoyable. And not only were there no arguments over who got to lick the spoon, but I GOT TO LICK THE SPOON.

When I saw the bright yellow health claim on the frosting canister, I decided what the heck, I'd just help myself to some of that, too.

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
No high fructose corn syrup? Why, it's practically a vegetable.

Because it's health food, basically.


This week also marked my 35th birthday. Phillip made apple pie, which is my favorite and his absolute specialty.

At dinner he went around the table asking the kids "Why are you glad Mom was born?" and they all answered with some variation of "Because otherwise I wouldn't be eating pie today."

I couldn't even be mad, because I had to agree. His pies are that good.


I'm such a practical person that it's really hard to buy gifts for me. People want to get you something "fun" for your birthday, but all I really want is boring stuff I actually need. Sorry, friends and family.

I've been looking forward to my birthday so someone could finally get me this wallet:

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

It replaced this 15-year-old black leather behemoth (please note the ripped-off snap so I couldn't fasten it shut anymore, and the hole in the coin portion so pennies and dimes literally spilled out of it whenever I picked it up:)

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

I also got a bunch of new kitchen implements and a swimsuit cover-up that I'd requested, and all in all it was everything I could ask for.


I have really wanted this spray mop. Ever since I helped a friend clean her house and used her mop, I've been raving about it. One reason I don't mop nearly often enough is because after I sweep all the floors I'm totally out of energy to fill up the mop bucket and do a whole separate chore... having that spray mop would make my life easier and our floors less sticky in the process.

I knew that Phillip knew I wanted that mop. I'd thought he was going to get it for me. But all the presents were opened, and that was it.

No mop.

I tried not to be disappointed, I really did. I'm sure Phillip meant well. I mean, most wives would be offended by a mop on their birthday. He'd probably intended to get it for me, and then ended up second-guessing himself. Maybe he thought it wasn't a good enough present. Maybe he was convinced by the voices out there saying, "Are you crazy? You can't get your wife a mop for her birthday!"

And then Phillip told me, "Jenny, I think there's one more thing on the porch."

In a scene exactly like that one in A Christmas Story, I ran to the porch and there it was, my official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle spray mop!

I love Phillip. Of course he knew me better than that. How could I have ever doubted him?


One afternoon, I came upon my daughter on the computer playing a game with a little dinosaur jumping over cacti. It was black-and-white, pixelated, and looked a lot like an Atari game from the '80s.

"Hey, Mom? The Internet's out," she said.

"Then how are you playing that game?"

"This? This is the dinosaur game when you're not connected. Didn't you know about it?"

Well no, Smartypants. But now I do.

If you have Chrome as your browser and you're suddenly offline for some reason, you too can play this high-tech game. Apparently you just need to press the space bar to start it.

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

So if you're worried about being bored when the Internet goes out, don't. Google has got your back.


I love almost everything about babies. Even the parts that annoy some people like the diapers and spit-up don't really bother me. But there is one part that drives me crazy: trying to figure out when they're sick.

This is because every infant illness has the exact same symptoms.

If your baby has a low-grade fever, doesn't want to eat, and is irritable, he's probably just getting a tooth. Unless he's actually dying from one of several identical-looking medical emergencies. Or maybe it's just Tuesday and he feels like it. No one knows.

Lately the baby has been cranky and has some suspicious-looking welts on his forehead, so after a lot of Googling I've concluded it's either something life-threatening or an itchy mosquito bite. Love you, WebMD.

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Anne said...

Health Food! Absolutely!!!

AnneMarie said...

WHOA. That m & m cake is amazing!!!! I bet his reaction was great :) I love the personal cake idea, too.
That dinosaur game-I have mixed feelings. It's kind of fun, but really, it just makes me sad because the only reason I can ever play it is that the internet is down when I needed to do something online.

Ann-Marie Ulczynski said...

That cake is AWESOME! I will be dropping off my kids somewhere and making that cake for my birthday. Such fun. I love the family picture; it's a super sweet story. And yes, I feel you on the mop. I got the flylady broom for Christmas a few years and it was then I knew my husband truly loved me.

Jenny Evans said...

You knew about it, too??

Laura @ Life Is Beautiful said...

The mop story!! <3 <3

And sweet memories of Book It pizzas...

PurpleSlob said...

Yay for birthday cakes!! Especially ones where you get to eat your own individual one, AND lick the spoon!! And a mop???? Phillip needs to win Man of the Year- hands down!!

Kathleen said...

That cake! Oh my gosh, my sone would love that!!

The Lady Okie said...

Love the M&M cake! What a great idea. Also, I'm glad to know that even someone with 6 kids gets unsure about illness, because it's so true that all the symptoms sound identical half the time. Wheyey

The Not So Perfect Catholic said...

I absolutely LOVE that cake! I imagine he was surprised...and probably a little disappointed. What a great surprise!
1 of the good things about having your kids all grown up is that you get the lick the spoon...and the bowl! :)
Good to know about the dinosaur game...who knew???
Happy Birthday!!!!
I'm with you on the birthday gifts: just give me something I can use and I'm happy. I'm going to have to get that mop...I love, love, love Bona products!

Chaun said...

Okay the "No high fructose corn syrup? Why, it's practically a vegetable" made me laugh so hard!

And girlfriend, I am right with you on the mop deal. I'm a woman who gets staplers and file organizers for birthday presents. Maybe we're not too far from the practical-people tree ;)