Friday, May 15, 2020

7 Quick Takes about Great Purchases, Churning Ice Cream Like Our Forefathers, and a Suggestion for People Who Exercise Too Much

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


Last time I went to the attic to rotate the kids' toys, I brought down an old bean bag that's since become my older girls' favorite place to do homework.

But it was in serious need of some new stuffing, so I ordered a big bag of styrofoam filler pellets. It arrived in this box:

'Big Joe' is the brand name of the company and it is so hilarious.

Not only was "BUTT CERTIFIED COMFORT" stamped on the side of the box, it came with cutouts for a face and arms and at this point the refill beans were like a side bonus for the purchase of this awesome new box toy for my kids.

This box was completely worth $19.88 in my opinion.


This was our first Sunday attending virtual church.  As if I needed definitive proof that the Evanses can be late to church even when it's in our own house. No surprises there.

Why has it taken our church 6 weeks to organize online services since the shutdown?

Well, we talk so much about practicing a "home-centered, church-supported" religion that this shift to home church felt almost... natural.

Secondly, "church" to us is pretty hard to replicate over Zoom. Latter-day Saints actually call our Sunday service "sacrament meeting," because the most central part is participating in the sacrament of bread and water symbolizing Jesus' body and blood.

And because the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints liberally ordains men and boys to the priesthood, most households already have a priesthood holder in the family who can provide the sacrament. (Those who don't can rely on the two priesthood holders assigned to come over and minister to them whenever necessary.)

Since the shutdown in mid-March, Phillip has been blessing the sacrament at home while my son passes it to each of us, and I find it hard to explain exactly why I love it so much.

It reminds me, I suppose, that God is more than someone I visit in a building or in a book. His power isn't impersonal and limited to a few select people and locations. It's everywhere, and often blesses me through the same ordinary people I interact with every day. I grew up without understanding the scope of God's involvement in our lives, and believe me, it changes everything.


We've grilled dinner and eaten outside on the deck twice this week, and I can't help but feel that's noteworthy.

For one, no worries about messes! Okay, we maybe wipe down the table if my kids have gone overboard with spilling their drinks, but for the most part the birds clean up and NO SWEEPING.

For another, that means the weather is getting warm! Although now that I've been officially diagnosed with discoid lupus, I'm supposed to stay out of the sun. I suppose when we go to the beach I'll just cover up and lurk in the shade like Morticia Addams.


With warmer weather coming, we thought it was the perfect time to pull Ye Olde Ice Cream Maker out of the basement and put it to work.

Phillip and our 8-year-old hand-cranking strawberry ice cream.

If you looked at this picture and said, "Wait, are they hand-cranking that ice cream maker when that big black thing to the left of it is an electric motor?" then the answer is yes, I'm a psycho like that.

It takes 40 minutes to crank ice cream, and with 8 people in the family if we all take a 5-minute turn then ta-da! It's a fun family activity and we get ice cream and we're in quarantine so what the heck else are we supposed to do for 40 minutes?


My 4-year-old takes forever to do almost everything. He needs half an hour to brush his teeth before bed, an hour to go to the bathroom, and 3-5 business days to put on his shoes and get in the car.

He shut himself in the closet to change into his pajamas the other night, and stayed there for the entirety of his brother's bedtime story. I kept pausing to ask about his progress and he kept saying he was working on it, but when I finished the book he was still in there.

"Come on!" I snapped, "What are you doing in there?"

His calm reply was: "Just cleaning up the blood."

When I flew across the room and threw open the door, I'm happy to say he was just standing there holding a baby wipe to a very minor nosebleed.

I was so glad we didn't have another medical emergency on our hands I didn't even reprimand him for still being fully clothed, despite having come in to put on pajamas 30 minutes ago.


Phillip has always liked exercising but lately he's been trail running a lot. Like, a LOT. He runs about 6 miles a day now, and it shows.

"I'm turning into a skeleton, but I can't stop!" he complained to me, and he wasn't exaggerating much. "I need to get out, and I like to run way out in the woods so I can see things."

Trying to think of a way he could put on some weight while still satisfying his desire to be in nature, I suggested, "Maybe you could just drive to a scenic overlook and eat a bag of chips?"

He said I didn't quite get it, and he's right. I have no idea why anyone would run for fun in the first place.


Most of the time, living under this stay-at-home advisory isn't so bad. There are even plenty of things I like about it (more family time! no driving all over the place! home church!)

But last week I went to return a stack of library books. The library has been closed for a month, of course, but as I pulled up at the abandoned building and walked toward the book drop slot at the front door, a real pang of sadness hit me: I miss taking the kids to the library.

Eventually it will open back up. Probably just for curbside pickup at first, and then we'll be allowed inside with masks and new social distancing protocols. And that makes me sad.

I'm not sure what it will look like, or how long it will be before things resemble the library visits we used to have. Will they ever? Will the kids be too old to even want to play in the children's room at the library by the time we can do that kind of thing again?

Most of the time I'm fine with this situation and can find the silver lining in it, but other times I feel weighed down by all the uncertainty.

And that's when you just need to go outside and watch some kids playing.

Because whatever they're doing right now, it's not worrying about the future.

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Jenny in WV said...

I have to agree, that box is awesome and looks to be worth every penny!

PurpleSlob said...

Shoot, I wanna play with that box!! And take selfies of my bearded self!!
How long does it take to make it with electric motor??
How are you doing with your lupus??
Online church is good, just not as satisfying to me. At least none of y'all had to put on shoes! ;)
Poor guy, I hate Phillip!! I mean uh, I despise him. I mean I'm jealousy of how easy he loses weight. That's better!
I don't get it either, running for fun.. The last time I ran was 6 years ago, when PP got away from me and was running full tilt twards the lake!!

Kassie said...

That box is amazing, but I am glad my kids didn't see it... "Just cleaning up the blood..." - oh my heart! I feel the same way regarding the library. Ours has even had the book drop closed off (they just announced they are re-opening the book drop next week with curbside pickup to soon follow, but the website is still frozen and won't allow you to put anything on hold yet) and it has been a stress making sure no books are harmed while we wait!