Friday, May 24, 2019

7 Quick Takes about Prescription-Strength Arithmetic Problems, A Personal Pet Peeve of Mine, and the Key to Thunderous Applause

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


I mentioned a few weeks ago that I got exposed to poison ivy. When most people touch poison ivy, they break out in an itchy rash.

That happens to me, too, but my body also hits the panic button and completely flips out.

I was itchy from head to toe (not just at the contact site but everywhere) and I also felt like when you have a bad sunburn and anything but cool air hurts your skin.

I was determined to ride it out without medicine, but when it got so bad I couldn't sleep for two nights straight I finally broke down and asked for a round of steroids.

When I picked up my prescription, these were the dosing instructions on the label:

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! The funny Friday recap of the chaos and happenings of the Unremarkable Files family. How was your week? #7qt #7quicktakes #unremarakblefiles #funny
Sounds suspiciously like a word problem from the SAT.

I was worried I'd need to go get out my graphing calculator to figure this one out, but I was relieved to see once I opened the package that each pill was clearly labeled and no math was necessary.


I rarely exercise. I know I should, but I really don't like it. And I always have a hundred other things to do, so...

But I'm trying to get better, so I decided to do a quick little routine at home in the morning. I was about to start when my 3-year-old asked me to do something for him.

"I will do that right after I work out," I told him.

"Work out?"


Cocking his head at me, he asked "What's that mean?

IT'S BEEN A WHILE, OKAY? Way to rub it in.


Someone at church forwarded me this article written by a Jewish columnist about taking a tour of a temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I enjoyed the humor and the writing, but I also deeply appreciated that he followed the church's preferred style guide for journalists and avoided referring to us as "Mormons."

I've become extra-conscious of that kind of thing ever since I made the deliberate decision last year to drop the word "Mormon" from my writing. Our prophet had asked us to consciously use the full name of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, opting for "Latter-day Saint" instead of "Mormon" when an abbreviation is really necessary, and I have some strong-ish feelings about that.

I don't have a lot of things I'd call pet peeves, but it bothers me to hear fellow members of my church continuing to say "oh, I'm Mormon" as if nothing ever happened, and here's why.

I know people from the blogosphere who made real sacrifices when we were asked to stop calling ourselves Mormons. "Mormon" was part of their blog's title and so for them, following the prophet of God meant changing the names of their blogs, undoing hundreds or thousands of hours of work and completely rebranding. The thought of that is enough to make any blogger want to cry.

For most of us, though, no such sacrifice is necessary. It costs us nothing to say "member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" instead of "Mormon." We could hardly be asked to do anything simpler.

So if you are a Latter-day Saint and you struggle to retrain your vocabulary or just don't think it's that big of a deal, please re-read President Nelson's original plea (or maybe just read 1 Nephi 17: 41,) and reconsider. It would make my day.


I was so excited to attend the graduation of a friend of mine who went back to school and earned her biotechnology certificate this week!

I felt it was the perfect occasion to give her this official nameplate for her new desk:

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! The funny Friday recap of the chaos and happenings of the Unremarkable Files family. How was your week? #7qt #7quicktakes #unremarakblefiles #funny
Also appropriate for using at home, placing on your dashboard, carrying around in your purse, etc.

And as president of the student trustees she also got to sit up front and wear the fancy robe, so you'd better believe she's a big deal.

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! The funny Friday recap of the chaos and happenings of the Unremarkable Files family. How was your week? #7qt #7quicktakes #unremarakblefiles #funny
That's my friend.


Graduations have changed since I was young. When I finished high school and college, phones with built-in cameras weren't even a thing.

I guess now they have to ask graduates to refrain from taking selfies as they cross the stage to receive their diplomas because it holds up the whole procession.

Oh, the progress of the human race.

Also, I remember a few people in my high school graduating class writing HI MOM in masking tape on their mortarboards, but at this graduation there were so many decorated mortarboards. Really fancy ones, too.

Decorating your mortarboard is like tying a colorful piece of fabric on your luggage: it makes you/it easier to spot in a crowd. Of course, that's assuming not everyone else has the exact same idea.

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! The funny Friday recap of the chaos and happenings of the Unremarkable Files family. How was your week? #7qt #7quicktakes #unremarakblefiles #funny

Ironically, it could have been equally effective for many of the graduates to tell their families to look for the plain hat and they could've found them faster.


My kids usually like each other and get along well, but lately my 7- and 10-year-olds have been incessantly bickering.

When they started up again on the way to Phillip's voice recital last weekend, I'd had it. We were about a mile from the recital hall, so I pulled over and told them they were walking the rest of the way.

Although I suspect many of us as children were told to take a hike when our parents were tired of dealing with our crap, it isn't a common form of discipline in this day and age. Still, I highly recommend it for three reasons:
  1. Peace and quiet in the car for the rest of the way (!)
  2. They walked off the pent-up energy they were using to fight with each other.
  3. By the time they met us at the recital hall, they were laughing and joking with each other, just like I knew they would be.
In our house, the "consequence" for fighting with siblings is often spending time doing something together for just those reasons, and in this case it worked beautifully.


At the recital, I received several compliments on the kids' good behavior.

People were particularly impressed with the 3- and 5-year-olds, who clapped vigorously at the end of every song like their lives depended on it.

Or at least like their access to the refreshments depended on it.

I told them if they were "good audience members," which they apparently took to mean "clapped louder than anyone every time," they could have refreshments at the end.

So the night was full of unconventional and somewhat questionable parenting methods that resulted in parenting wins, as far as I was concerned.

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Anonymous said...

Completely seriously about #3 how can you reconcile President Monson's millions of dollars spent on the "I'm a Mormon" campaign? I mean, "Meet the Mormons" was in theaters nationwide. And now President Nelson is all "Victory for Satan." Doesn't it just seem like President Nelson's pet peeve that now he has the power to do something about it? I get what you're saying about little sacrifices and I have reread the General Conference talk. But the Prophet is kidding himself if he thinks this isn't, in fact, a "rebranding." One of these dear prophets is wrong.

Rachel said...

I love the story about the enthusiastic applause with hope of snacks. Brilliant, really. I definitely have never yet been to a graduation that includes a rule against selfie-taking while on stage. Man...times have changed! At my graduation, I HATED wearing the hat and tried to convince the guys I was sitting with that none of us should wear our hats but they refused to be peer pressured and in the end I wore it like a normal graduate. Grr.

Ann-Marie Ulczynski said...

Every time I reference you (just about every Friday when I recap a funny story to my husband), I’ve made a real effort to refer to you as the Latter Day Saints blogger I follow. So there’s that . I love the idea of making the kiddos walk - brilliant. And now that it’s a million degrees in Tx, it shouldn’t take too many times of that for the bickering to stop.

Jenny Evans said...

Responding to Anonymous' comment: I totally understand how you could say that. That's also what a lot of people said about Jesus showing up and overturning a bunch of stuff Moses said. On the surface, it doesn't seem to make sense.

As I understand it, that's what a prophet does and this is a prime example of why we need a living prophet. The doctrines of the gospel don't change, but the way God directs His people constantly responds to what their world currently looks like.

Do I think the whole "I'm a Mormon" campaign was a mistake? Not necessarily, and since the first presidency requires a unanimous vote among the entire first presidency and quoroum of the 12 apostles to act, then-Elder Nelson must have signed off of it, too.

I'm not any more privvy to the inner workings of church leadership than you are, but I can speculate on why God directed (or at least allowed) us to go one way and then do an about-face. One thought is that before the whole "I'm a Mormon" movement, Googling "mormon" resulted in pages of non-church sources containing inaccurate information. As a result of the campaign, we now have a real SEO presence for the search query "mormon." Our official pages come up among the first results. Is that too trivial for God to care about? Since the Internet is how the entire world gets its information, I don't think so.

Again, that's just speculation. God sometimes allows us to try things that He know won't ultimately work, and maybe reclaiming and redefining the word "mormon" through the "I'm a Mormon campaign" was one of those things. Maybe after all the effort, surveys showed that people still thought "mormon" meant "bearded polygamist from Utah" and at that point church leaders sought direction and received this course correction from God. I don't really know.

What I do know is that I have a testimony of both President Monson and President Nelson as prophets and I'm grateful for the God-given direction each of them has provided in their time. I will continue to follow President Nelson and the prophets who come after he's gone.

Jenny Evans said...

Thank you, Ann-Marie! I appreciate it.

PurpleSlob said...

DEfinitely love the walking!! I'll try that when the kids get older!!
And the loud clapping- precious!!
And wonderful that you got so many "good behavior" compliments!!
Parenting wins for sure! Congrats!