Friday, September 29, 2017

7 Quick Takes about Gross-Smelling Writing Utensils, Entrepreneurial Ideas, and a Weekend Invitation

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


My kindergartner's favorite thing about school is that her teacher lets them color with smelly markers.

Each one has a different scent, and she likes to color everything in rainbow so she gets to use all of them.

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

The 11-year-old asked me if the black one is port-a-potty scented, though, so I guess this is a case of beauty being in the eye of the beholder.


Occasionally I'll see a brilliant mom hack and legitimately feel ashamed that I didn't think of it in all my years of parenting.

When my 5-year-old's friend came over and took her shoes off at the door, I noticed her socks were on inside out. My kids do stuff like that all the time, either accidentally (you'd think it would be highly unlikely that the same kid could put all clothes including their underwear on backwards on the same day, but you'd be wrong) or on purpose (because kids are weird sometimes) so I asked her about it.

Turns out that her mom does it on purpose to avoid crises over sock seams. How is it even possible that I've gone 13 years without figuring this out? I feel like I should grant this person legal guardianship of my own children.


Sometimes as a parent, you create traditions without meaning to. The blog celebrated its third birthday on Tuesday, and when I mentioned to my kids that it was coming up they all wanted to know what kind of cake I was making.

Umm... when I spontaneously decided to baked a cake for Unremarkable Files' first and second birthdays I didn't realize I was making a blood oath to continue the practice.

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

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

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

Now I know better.


If any of you want to become self-employed but aren't sure what to do, my children have two ideas that I think would make pretty viable business models.

Within ten minutes of each other, my 11-year-old told me that there should be an online retailer that sells sleep-related merchandise called Pajamazon. And then my 5-year-old had the idea for an airline called "Errbody Up."

Whether either of those names would get us sued, I can't say. But one thing is for sure: I'm raising little entrepreneurs.


I'm not a gardener, but it's not for lack of trying.

I've planted raspberry and blueberry bushes that haven't yielded a single berry in 6 years. The strawberry plants were apparently planted as a public service to the birds because I've never eaten a thing off them.

We've tried planting cantaloupe and broccoli and carrots. The broccoli never flowered and nothing happened on the melon vine, but we did get about 4 pale and tasteless carrots about the length and size of mini golf pencils. Sadly, that was our biggest success.

Even tomatoes, supposedly the most foolproof vegetable to grow, withered under my care. By the time it started to frost they were still like bright green golf balls.

I officially quit trying to grow anything except children years ago. But Phillip's no quitter.

In the spring he dug up a patch of our backyard, read up on growing potatoes, and planted a bunch. I refused to participate, and generally acted like the sourpuss who attends a wedding and mutters the whole time, "It's never going to last."

I admit I was floored when I started to see something green growing out of the dirt. Maybe Phillip could do this, after all!

That was months ago, and recently the kids went out to harvest the bumper crop of potatoes that was surely waiting for us just beneath the surface of the soil.

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
If we had to live off the land, we'd be dead in a week..

If you're looking at the two big potatoes thinking, "Now wait a minute, those two bigger ones are respectable-looking potatoes! You could eat those!" I will tell you those are two of the original potatoes Phillip planted in the spring.

Phillip still has dreams of having a big Evans family vegetable garden someday, but at this point  I think the only way that could ever happen is if one of us dies and the other remarries.


I taught for the first time in my son's co-op preschool (we rotate houses every week,) and I have to say I was intimidated out of my mind.

When the kids learned about the letter A, they brought home a hundred crafts including an outline of their own body on butcher paper noting how many apples tall they were. More of the same for letter B.

By the time they made an actual campfire in the yard and roasted hot dogs and made S'mores for the letter C, I was sweating bullets because next week was my turn.

Good thing I do my most impressive work under pressure:

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Tons of prep time went into this. Tons.

Actually, I did also have the kids color and cut out D-word pictures on another piece of paper so maybe they'll let me stay in the co-op after all.

Here's hoping.


Another thing I've been doing is getting ready for this weekend. You know what I'm referring to if you're also Mormon, but if you're not Mormon you're probably thinking, "What? Does this have something to do with pumpkin spice?"

Sadly, no. I never really got into the whole pumpkin spice thing. Don't hate me.

But what is this weekend is General Conference, which is our chance to hear from our church leaders. Since we believe that the guy in charge of our church is an actual prophet of God, you might understand why Mormons get excited over this. It's like Moses giving a TED talk.

If you're interested in Mormonism for any reason, tuning in for some or all of it is an excellent way to learn more. And regardless of your religious leanings, there's a lot of hard stuff going on in the world right now and we could all use some messages of hope.

I'll be back on the blog Monday, probably feeling a lot more centered and level-headed. Conference usually has that effect on me.

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Ann-Marie Ulczynski said...

Don't you guys do a massive snack a thon during the conference? And yes to the smelly markers. But have your kids friend the scented pencils? They are crazy. Except the scent rubs off on their hands and you wonder how they got into the peppermint candy.

Also, have you tried a grow box? They are the only way I can make anything grow. You just plant the items, then keep water in the bottom of the box. It comes with a fertilizer strip (you buy a new one each year.). They are pretty cool.

Also, Mormon friend, I have a question. My husband went to a training for a week in Salt Lake City. At every place they went to eat there were these signs- either "This is a restaurant, not a bar" OR "this is a bar, not a restaurant." But it seemed that regardless of the sign, the establishment served both food and alcohol. So, he was confused and wondered what it was all about. He told me and I said, "I know just who I can ask for that!"

Jenny Evans said...

We do, and I just went grocery shopping this morning!

Probably a grow box is the only possible way. I know our soil is not very good. I've thought about doing raised beds and filling them up with good potting soil, but I worry that I'll spend all that time and money and then figure out that I'm STILL a terrible gardener and kill everything, anyway!

I'm not sure what the signs are exactly, but I know Utah has weird liquor laws so I'm sure there was some legal reason why every establishment had to make crystal clear whether they were a restaurant or a bar.

AnneMarie said...

Funny you mention the General Conference, because just a couple days ago I was thinking about your brilliant snacking method that you use during that! I think it's neat that you do a cake for your blog's birthday, too. Kids always seem to remember things like that so well (growing up, we'd sometimes do that to my mom around the holidays: "mom, remember that dish you made last Christmas? So you're making it again this year, right?")

Audrey Louise said...

I'm a terrible gardener, but I'm going to give it a shot next summer (again).
Your kids are entrepreneurial geniuses. Coming up with a name is the hardest part!
Happy blog birthday!
I learn that sock thing a while ago and it's so smart... but I forget to do it all the time. Lol
I think you should've sent all the kids home with dogs at the end of your lesson ;)

jen said...

When you mentioned that something was happening this weekend for Mormons, I thought of your snacks immediately! I will have to go read what Michelle (Scenes from the Wild) and her kiddos made from Legos this weekend as well.

Rosie said...

We had much, much better success with potatoes in raised beds than in our regular soil! They're tricky though, because you have NO IDEA what could be going on under the soil...

AiringMyLaundry said...

Happy 3 years with your blog! So cool!

Oh, and I can't grow a thing. My mom can. But it didn't pass on to me.

The Girl who Loved to Write said...

the sock thing is so smart! And blog birthdays totally deserve cake.

Jenny Evans said...

I tried to go healthier this year (at least for some of the snacks) but the kids outsmarted me.

They found out that President Monson wasn't able to attend this conference (he is 90 years old and pretty frail) so they switched the pictures around so his was on the dates they wouldn't have to eat. Sneaky people.

Jenny Evans said...

That would be great... like sending the kids home with a goldfish as a party favor, but even WORSE!

PurpleSlob said...

Of course there has to be cake!! And that one looks good!!
Smart kids! I would definitely buy from Pajamazon!!
And the dates switch was genius!!