Friday, June 24, 2022

7 Quick Takes about Celebratory Ice Cream, Lots of Flags, and Basking in the Glory of My New Pantry

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


"What day is it?" my 10-year-old asked me.

"It's Monday the 20th," I told her. "Did you know that today is mine and Dad's anniversary?"

"It's your anniversary? Let's go out for ice cream!" 

That girl will use any excuse available to get a treat out of the deal, so I decided to give her a little bit of a hard time. "Wow, you're offering to babysit so Dad and I can go out for ice cream to celebrate? Thanks!"

"Well... Daddy has to work today, so I was thinking maybe just you and I could go."

Nice recovery.


Over the weekend, our family put on a recital at the nursing home for the residents with another family from church. Our kids played the piano, violin, and ukelele. And because the next day was Father's Day, they also sang a song about grandpas and handed out Father's Day cards to the men in the audience.

I think the residents enjoyed it, and afterward my daughter asked, "Can we come back again to cheer them up some more?" 

Several of them said that what they enjoyed most about the recital was the youthful energy the kids brought with them, so I'm going to look into volunteering on a regular basis this summer, bringing one or two kids with me every time to play games or visit.


Another thing we're doing this summer is visiting countries. And by that I mean that the kids pick different places in the world, and we spend a week learning about each one.

The first step is to put up our wall map in the dining room and hang up all the flags we've drawn in previous years. After 11 years (well, 10, because I took a year off one summer when I had a newborn) they barely fit on one wall.

The kids love to quiz me on these at dinner.

Well, they aren't ALL on one wall. In light of what's happening in Ukraine, the kids decided to put Russia on the opposite side of the room where it can't bother any of the other countries.

We'll be "visiting" Bangladesh in July; I'll post recaps at the end of the week when we finish a new country.


Remember how our dishwasher broke a few weeks ago? Well, we found a guy on Facebook Marketplace who was remodeling his kitchen and giving away a working dishwasher for free. It took us a while to get it and hook it up, but it's finally functioning and I'm not washing every dish in this house by hand anymore.

Something similar happened a few years ago with our refrigerator, which was a really nice top-of-the-line splurge item for us. It crapped out within 4 or 5 years, and we ended up replacing it with a cheap one from Marketplace that is still going strong.

Moral of the story: we're never buying a new appliance or an expensive appliance again. If the oven dies next, we're cutting out the middle man and going straight to Marketplace for the cheapest one we can find.


The kitchen pantry organization is finally done! We hit a snag when we realized the label writing wiped off, especially if your hands were wet, but then we made new labels and sprayed them with art fixative and everything seems to work beautifully now.

I used to dream about things like this. I can't believe this is my house.

While the spice drawer is my pièce de résistance, I also did the rest of the pantry. I don't have a before picture to show you what a mess it was, but trust me, this is way better. 

I don't love that the shelves on bottom are purple, but we already had them and they fit.

I invested in some 9" turntables and some 11.5" ones to organize things in the fridge and pantry, and I'm so glad I did. I was a little skeptical that they'd help all that much, but they do. They corral everything, make it easier to find items, and no more buying duplicates of things that got shoved in the dark recesses of the shelf.

My 10-year-old also reports that they're really fun to spin.


I'm writing this from Montreal, Canada. We're here as an 18th birthday present for our daughter, mainly because it would be fun to take a last trip with her before she goes to college but also because she's been learning French all throughout middle and high school and might get a kick out of visiting French Canada and seeing/hearing it all around her for a few days. Since her 16-year-old sister is also taking French, she got to come, too.

So it's just me, Phillip, and the two oldest teenagers. Talk about a WAY different travel experience from our usual family vacations. I'm not worried about anyone peeing on themselves in public or eating something off the sidewalk, and we're having a great time sleeping in in the mornings. It's kind of like stepping into someone else's life for a few days. 


As predicted, the girls are loving all the French. As soon as we crossed the border, their eyes lit up because they were able to read all the signs on the road (and Phillip and I weren't.) When we go out to restaurants, they order in French. And one of our first stops was to a bookstore where they each got something in French to read.

To make things even more interesting, our hotel is actually in the Chinatown section of Montreal, meaning that it feels like we're visiting a country within a country. In the immediate area around our hotel it's all Chinese restaurants and specialty shops, and most of the signage is in Mandarin (sometimes with French in smaller print beneath it.)

Last night, we walked around a Canadian shopping complex, came back to Chinatown for pho, and retired to the hotel to watch French cartoons. I think this is going to be a fun trip.

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PurpleSlob said...

The 10 yo has it going on! lol
Wish I could have the purple shelves! sigh
Everything looks great! But, you already knew that!
How fun!! A real grown-ups' trip!

Terra Heck said...

Enjoy your trip! I've gotten lots of great bargains from Marketplace. Love that your family did that at the nursing home. I'm sure the residents enjoyed it.