Friday, November 23, 2018

7 Quick Takes about Chocolate Compensation, Metaphors that Are Mostly Lost on Preschoolers, and Being Completely Unforgettable

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


Wow. I'm honestly confused about the timeline of the last few weeks.

I know Phillip was gone on a few work trips for what feels like a zillion years but was probably only a week and a half. It's all a haze of cleaning up after puking kids day and night and trying to sleep inbetween sometimes.

And if my life were a novel, just as you reached the end of that chapter (entitled "What Jenny Can Handle") there was a plot twist: 5" of snow followed by rain that made it too slushy for the snowblower and too heavy to shovel, rendering us totally homebound with our sloped driveway. It's possible that our heroine could've figured something out, but at that point I believe I heard the literal crack of my spirit breaking so I just went back to bed and cried.

But things got better. 

My sweet neighbor plowed our driveway and drove away before I could even thank him. Phillip came home and is currently giving me several hours a day to myself to do whatever I want. And he brought me these:

Enjoy this week's 7 Quick Takes, the weekly post that will make you laugh, cry, and above all, know that we're all living this mom life together! #7quicktakes #7qt #unremarkablefiles #funny #relatable #lifewithkids
French chocolates: almost making up for a spouse leaving you for a business trip in Paris during Armageddon.


Since Phillip was traveling on his birthday, we celebrated when he got back. With the kids' help (and after the lying-in-bed-giving-up-the-will-to-live incident) I was able to make him this pistachio cake.

Ordinarily, I'm not a fancy cook. I refuse to use a flour sifter or separate bowls to mix the wet and dry ingredients. But I will do it once a year, for Phillip's birthday, and this year his cake (pisatchio cake with honey cream frosting, FYI) was one of the best I'd ever had.

Enjoy this week's 7 Quick Takes, the weekly post that will make you laugh, cry, and above all, know that we're all living this mom life together! #7quicktakes #7qt #unremarkablefiles #funny #relatable #lifewithkids
You should've seen the pistachio-shelling sweatshop that was my kitchen as we baked this cake.

I'm proud of keeping my composure when cooking with the kids and also of letting them place the berries around the bottom at random orientations instead of slanting them all the same way, which I am totally cool with and doesn't make my eye twitch AT ALL.


There's a bookstore in town with a cute little children's play area. It seems like a nice winter playdate spot where you can chat, let the kids play, and then leave with a book. In my opinion, that sounds better than spending a few hours at a McDonald's playplace and going home with a watery soda and rotavirus.

When my mother-in-law was visiting in October, I took my 2- and 4-year-olds there for the first time. My 4-year-old spent the rest of the day complaining that he didn't have fun there, but the next day he was begging to go back like it was his favorite place in the world.

So I recently suggested meeting up at the bookstore to a friend, and even though my 4-year-old played happily while we were there, he started complaining again that afternoon.

"I had a bad day," he informed me.


"Because we had to go to the bookstore. The bookstore made me have a bad day."

Fine. Whatever. Fool me once, shame on you, Fool me twice, shame on me.

But you guys, he woke up the next morning begging to go to the bookstore again! I just can't with this kid.


We've been attending a lot of concerts/programs/awards ceremonies for the kids' various school groups lately, and even my 2-year-old has caught on to the fact that they serve refreshments at the end of these things as a reward for sitting through it.

Now when we sit down in any type of performance, he looks up and asks, "Can I have 'freshments?"

That has saved us many times. I honestly don't know what we'd do to get them to behave if we couldn't threaten to take away 'freshment privileges a dozen times before it's over.


As far as teaching profound spiritual truths to children under 5, this week has definitely been a big, fat fail.

On Sunday during church, while the bread and water were being passed around the congregation, I whispered the story of Jesus healing a blind man into my 2-year-old's ear. He seemed to get it, but then he turned to my 12-year-old and whispered, "Is Jesus' eyes broken?"

Clearly he didn't think I could be trusted.

After that I went to teach my nursery class, where the lesson was on being reverent. I displayed a poster of ways we can be reverent at church (listening, quiet voices, thinking about Jesus, etc.) and passed out stuffed animals.

"I need you to help me teach your stuffed animals to be reverent," I said. Pointing to the picture of Jesus on my poster I asked them to reverently whisper to their stuffed animals 'There's Jesus!' Which one of the 3-year-olds in class interpreted as, "this would be an excellent time to yell 'POOPY POOPY PEE-PEE POOP!' at the top of your lungs."

And then on Monday I read a children's book of Bible stories one of the kids picked out, and my 4-year-old had some serious questions about the parable of the wise man who built his house on a rock.

4: "Why did that guy build his house on rocks?"

Me: "Because he was the guy who followed Jesus and did what He said."

4: "Jesus told him to build it on rocks?"

Me: "Yes. Well- no. It's a metaphor. The house is like... your life."

4: [pointing to the wise man] "Is that the life?"

Me: "No, that's a guy. It means that if you build your life on Jesus you'll be okay, like this guy who built his house on a rock."

There was silence for a minute as my 4-year-old absorbed what I was saying.

Then he asked earnestly, "So did Jesus build our house out of wood?"


Aaaaaand Thanksgiving. You didn't think I'd forget about Thanksgiving, did you?

Even our library got into the Thanksgiving spirit. I don't know why I thought this was so hilarious. I just did.

Enjoy this week's 7 Quick Takes, the weekly post that will make you laugh, cry, and above all, know that we're all living this mom life together! #7quicktakes #7qt #unremarkablefiles #funny #relatable #lifewithkids

Enjoy this week's 7 Quick Takes, the weekly post that will make you laugh, cry, and above all, know that we're all living this mom life together! #7quicktakes #7qt #unremarkablefiles #funny #relatable #lifewithkids


Some friends invited us to Thanksgiving dinner and offered to share cooking duties with us, which was good because Phillip was worn out from jetlag and I was worn out from the week in Hades (see Take #1) and my plan before they called was going out for Chinese food.

We had a great time at their house.Their 6-year-old decided my 14-year-old was her favorite person. While we were playing a board game she looked up at my 14-year-old and said "You're a girl I'll never forget! [slight pause] What's your name?"

We all had a good chuckle about it because seriously, how are little kids so funny like that without meaning to be? But then we really could not stop laughing when she asked my 14-year-old again as we were leaving what her name was.

Like she said: unforgettable.

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Rosie said...

I've never been able to wrap my head around building a house on a rock, I feel like that would be really precarious!!

Anonymous said...

I know what a fabulous mother you are so what I am wondering soon as your son asked about Jesus building your wood house did you immediately break for "freshments"??? - Kathy

Melinda said...

Poor Jenny, so soory we didn't know about the week of Hades. We would have sent an Immodium and Pepto bouquet!
That cake is amazing!! Congrats on not eye twitching! lol
Thanks so much for telling me about using a different browser!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Diana Dye said...

It's my life's goal to convert my husband from pie to cake and that cake just might do it. Thanks!

Michelle said...

You truly did have the worst week ever. I’m glad you’re on the other side of it!

Jenny Evans said...

IT TOTALLY WILL. Phillip can't eat gluten so I used gluten-free flour (which generally makes things worse) and it was still the moistest and most delicious cake I've ever had. The frosting was a perfect complement, too. I still get emotional just thinking about it.

Jenny Evans said...

True. Some metaphors only go so far...

Jenny Evans said...

I'm surprised he didn't ask, honestly.

Jenny Evans said...

I love the idea of that bouquet and will save for future occasions when I know of a sick person!

Jenny Evans said...

Me, too. Phillip was amazing the whole week after he got back. Plenty of watching the kids giving me time to do whatever I wanted/needed to do, making dinner, putting them to bed... he wanted to send me to a hotel for a few days so I could decompress but I sort of missed him, too, so I didn't want to.