Friday, January 25, 2019

7 Quick Takes about Lesser-Known Presidents, Subzero Sledding, and a Few Winter Memes for the Long, Cold Months Ahead

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

1


My 14-year-old and I were talking about Timeline, an American history card game she got in her stocking for Christmas. (I know, Santa's a real ball of fun at our house.)

Specifically, we were wondering whether playing the game would be a good way to memorize all the U.S. presidents in order.

"Well, I know it has the presidents who were particularly important," I said, "But does it have all of them? What about... um... uh...?"

Think, Jenny! What was the name of that one president who didn't do anything? Milford something?

Reading my mind, my daughter asked, "Millard Fillmore?"

"Yes!!" I cried. "How did you know??"

Even though there are other less-notable presidents in U.S. history (Chester G. Arthur, anyone?) somehow Millard Fillmore became the go-to name for "president who did absolutely nothing."

My daughter thinks that's pretty sad for poor President Fillmore, but I don't know.

I actually think it's pretty cool that he's famous precisely because he didn't do anything. He's the most famous of all the least-famous presidents! Whenever you think of an obscure U.S. president? Boom: Millard Fillmore. The guy's practically a legend.

2


Historically, we haven't been good about planning our family home evening (like a weekly family devotional) lessons in advance. Our last-minute effort this week was doing trust falls to illustrate the principle of faith, and it ended up being just perfect.

Some of the kids fell immediately backward into Phillip's arms without hesitation, and others were so scared they had to try several times. I think it perfectly illustrated how faith is a belief that motivates you to action, and it plays out a little differently for everyone. 

Then we talked about the role love and trust plays in faith: what if, instead of their dad, it had been a random stranger off the street? It's hard to have faith in someone you don't know, which is why we tell the kids to read their scriptures, say their prayers, and go to church. Sometimes they see it as just another thing on their list to check off, but we really do it because we want them to get to know God.

It turned out being a pretty awesome object lesson, and when you factor in the treats we ate afterward, it looks like we turned out a pretty decent family home evening after all.

3


Other than a little snow in November, it's been unseasonably warm here. We had a brown Christmas (as opposed to those white Christmases Bing Crosby always goes on about) and you know what? I was 100% okay with that.

I wasn't sure before if I'd be sad living in a place further south where it never snowed, but now I know I wouldn't be.

My kids are a different story, though. We got snow this weekend and had to go sledding when they were all out of school for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

The noisy and chaotic adventures of a family of 8, delivered every Friday! 7 Quick Takes is the always-funny recap of the last 7 days at the Unremarkable Files household. Buckle up. #7quicktakes #7qt #funny #familylife #unremarkablefiles

We had the sledding hill all to ourselves, even though you'd think it would be crawling with kids after how snow-starved New England has been all winter.

That's because it was -1° outside.

Fahrenheit.

So we hopped in the car every few minutes to keep warm and had hot chocolate when we came home, and it was actually a really fun time.

4


My teenager has a unique sense of humor, and what she finds most hilarious of all is what she calls "puns."

I call them "dad jokes." Because that's what they are.

She delights in finding one eye-roller after another on the Internet and reading them to me out loud, probably her sweet way of making sure I don't miss her too much when turns 18 and moves out.

So I should have known what was coming when she approached me with a big grin on her face and her phone in her hand.

"What do you call someone who tells dad jokes but doesn't have kids?" she read out loud.

"I don't know, what?"

"A faux pas."

I'll just let that sink in for a minute.

That's right, it's a dad joke within a dad joke. The daddest dad joke there ever was. I'm dead.

5


My daughter downloaded a notes app on her phone to keep track of assignments and stuff, and the notifications that pop up are hilarious.

The noisy and chaotic adventures of a family of 8, delivered every Friday! 7 Quick Takes is the always-funny recap of the last 7 days at the Unremarkable Files household. Buckle up. #7quicktakes #7qt #funny #familylife #unremarkablefiles

It's like a phishing email and the app store had a baby.

The noisy and chaotic adventures of a family of 8, delivered every Friday! 7 Quick Takes is the always-funny recap of the last 7 days at the Unremarkable Files household. Buckle up. #7quicktakes #7qt #funny #familylife #unremarkablefiles

My phone came with a default memo app that I never use, but if it were as entertaining as this one I think I would.

6


I haven't had good things to say about the experience of cooking with kids in the past. I know some people enjoy cooking with their children; I also know those people aren't me.

However.

My 7-year-old is really into cooking. She found one recipe in a kid's magazine one time and begged me to make it with her, until I relented and then she wanted to make it all the time.

She even copied down the recipe "to start her own recipe box."

Then she started tweaking it to make her own flavor variations, and at that point I knew: I have to accept the fact that I have a budding chef on my hands.

We've been getting issues of a great junior cooking magazine called Chop Chop from the library, which are just right for her age. If you have kids who like to cook I highly recommend it.

(The magazine, not the part about getting it from the library. Cooking from a magazine you don't own and yet is constantly in danger of being ruined by grease splatters and kitchen messes is relatively stressful.)

7


Now that snow is here, I finally feel like it's winter and wanted to share a few of my favorite winter memes.

The noisy and chaotic adventures of a family of 8, delivered every Friday! 7 Quick Takes is the always-funny recap of the last 7 days at the Unremarkable Files household. Buckle up. #7quicktakes #7qt #funny #familylife #unremarkablefiles

Seriously, it's a production. We're still getting snowpants on the last kid by the time the first one gets cold and wants to come in, and afterward our little 5' x 8' mudroom looks like the outerwear department of a thrift store on 50% off day.

The noisy and chaotic adventures of a family of 8, delivered every Friday! 7 Quick Takes is the always-funny recap of the last 7 days at the Unremarkable Files household. Buckle up. #7quicktakes #7qt #funny #familylife #unremarkablefiles

I may not be able to feel my extremities, but at least I can disguise my pajamas under an enormous coat and the cover of early-morning darkness. There's always a silver lining, right?

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5 comments:

  1. Millard Fillmore got a city and county named after him in Utah. Fillmore in Millard county. Still not sure what he did to get the honor though. It's the center of the state and was the state capital for all of 4 seconds before changing back to Salt Lake City.

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  2. So, um, I have absolutely NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO problem wearing my jammies when I'm escorting Daniel to the bus.

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  3. I feel your pain! The absolute worst part of living in MA is the outerwear mess after time outside.

    The magazine sounds like a great find! Have you tried putting it in a page protector? the Avery 74171 is specifically made for larger quantity so it won't buckle when you put a magazine in it. Have fun cooking!

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    Replies
    1. I actually thought of that just after I typed this. I think next time we definitely will. We just paid for a library DVD my 2-year-old snapped in half, so I'm done with paying for ruined library materials for a while.

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