Friday, July 28, 2017

7 Quick Takes about BBQ Successes, What It Must Feel Like on Antiques Roadshow, and a Good Reason to Eat Broccoli

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


Tip: when the power goes out on a Sunday afternoon and there's nothing to do, try taking out a set of double 12 dominoes and tell the kids to check if all of them are still there.

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Pointless busywork: it's not just for school anymore!

It was kind of fun to watch them all shout out suggestions on how to go about it and decide on a method.

In the end, we were only missing one domino out of the entire set of 91. Frankly, this was more amazing to me than the nine-month miracle of childbirth.

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

To celebrate, we even played a game of dominoes, which I'd previously been avoiding because I assumed at least 50% of them were under the couch cushions or in the U-bend beneath the toilet.


The whole family went to a farewell barbecue for one of Phillip's coworkers who is spending the next year in Mongolia studying yurts on a Fulbright scholarship (no kidding.)

We were nervous because it was a small gathering, and the Evans family would be a big portion of it — meaning that the kids' behavior was important.

If half of your BBQ guests are flinging potato salad and running around screaming and spilling soda on innocent bystanders, it could really tank your party.

Thankfully, they were all really good. My artistic 13-year-old spent some time talking to some of the adults who'd gone to design school. The middle kids drew a farewell sign on the driveway with sidewalk chalk. The 1-year-old and the 3-year-old wandered into the house and alternately swept the floor and fought each other with brooms (but didn't break anything!)

I think that went about as well as could have been expected.


My 13-year-old has obviously learned a thing or two in her life about small children. Namely, that it's all in the marketing when it comes to kids.

We were eating blueberry crepes and my 3-year-old was glaring at his plate with a sour expression.

"What's wrong?" my 13-year-old asked him.

"I don't like blueberries."

"Oh, those aren't blueberries," she said. "That's crepe sauce."

Later, I related the incident to Phillip. "Immediate response and with a completely straight face," I told him. "She's going to be a great mom someday."

"You mean a great liar?"

Well, yeah. One helps the other.


I knew our piano was out of tune, but I didn't know quite how bad until we went on vacation and I got used to listening to the kids play on my dad's in-tune keyboard.

We got home and suddenly, I wanted to surgically remove my ears every time someone sat down at the piano bench.

The thing is, our piano is so old and hadn't been tuned in so long I was actually worried it was beyond help.

But I called a piano tuner and after two and a half hours and one polite request about "the noise level" (i.e: "Can you please lock the kids in the basement with Finding Dory and a party size bag of Cheetos?") it sounds AMAZING.

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

Bonus: I've always told people it's a "beautiful old piano" (it's all taken apart in this picture, but you can see what it looks like in this post) but I couldn't be very specific. All I know is that my mom's family was given this piano when she was a child, and it wasn't even new then.

But the tuner found a serial number inside and looked it up... and the piano was built in 1906.

I can't believe we have something 111 years old in our house. And that the kids haven't destroyed it yet.


Our public library just switched to a new computer system, and I hate it.

The reason I don't like it is: if you have even one item overdue it says right at the top in bold letters "Account Status: DELINQUENT."

It's not like I'm out vandalizing boxcars and smashing mailboxes for fun; I just haven't gotten around to returning The Cat in the Hat Comes Back because today was laundry day. Settle down, library. Stop judging me.

Anyway, if there's a better way to annoy a perfectionist, I don't know what it is. Sometimes you can automatically renew your overdue books online, so I did, and do you know what it says then? "Account Status: OK."

Pfft. Whatever happened to positive reinforcement? I've officially lost all motivation to return anything on time again, ever.


As a stay-at-home mom, I rarely get the pleasure of walking in the door and seeing what kind of random shenanigans the kids have been up to while I've been gone.

After dinner, I went for a walk with my oldest daughter and left Phillip and the other kids to clean up. They were all upstairs getting ready for bed when we came back home, except for the 1-year-old, who was standing in the kitchen soaking wet, violently shaking an upside-down sippy cup and stomping in the puddle he'd made.

Sometimes you laugh too hard to even discipline effectively.


They say that Christmas starts earlier every year, and I guess it's true. This sign outside a nearby farm stand reminded me that it's almost the most wonderful time of year again:

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

Remember moms and dads, Christmas may still be 5 months away but it's never too early to start tricking your children into behaving.

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Ari Mack said...

I'm a pianist, and it's amazing you can get a piano that old to get in tune and stay in tune! It warms my heart to see it taken care of. (nerd alert)

Jenny Evans said...

I certainly can't take all the credit because the piano has only been in our possession for 5 or 6 years, but the tuner did say that the inside of the piano is in great shape (no cracks in the soundboard, etc) and it was obviously well cared-for!

Lyndsay said...

That piano is amazing!!! 😍😍
We had my childhood piano on our last house. We purged all of our furniture when we moved into the house. I miss having a piano in the house. Maybe in the next house, we don't have room here.

My daughter Emma (9) is a master genius at convincing the toddler to do things. It's ridiculous.

Jenny Evans said...

I do love having the sound of a piano in the house, although some friends of mine have a keyboard that takes up less space and I'm a little envious that they can put headphones on their kids so they don't have to hear every practice session.

The Lady Okie said...

I went into hobby lobby the other day and they have full-on Christmas decor up in half rbe store! I'm not ready.