Friday, September 23, 2022

7 Quick Takes about Wise Words about War, the Investigation Board on My Dining Room Table, and Stressors for 6-Year-Olds

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


Fall always happens so fast. Like, our air conditioners are still in our windows but the other day I had to break out my electric lap blanket (which I'm using as I'm writing this because searching for the right affiliate link to put in this post made me realize I'm cold right now.)

Maybe that's a good thing for some people, but not for me. I hate every minute of below-65° weather.

Also, I somehow got sunburned at my son's soccer game on Saturday...? While I was wearing a sweatshirt and fingerless gloves. Go figure.


Our youngest son has reactive airway disorder, which could turn into asthma as he gets older or he could just grow out of it. He's been doing great, but his pediatrician jinxed it at his physical on Tuesday. She was talking about how great it is that he hasn't needed to use his nebulizer in two years, yada yada yada, and I think you know what happened next.

He woke up on Thursday wheezing so hard he could barely breathe. There's been a little cold going through our house and it triggered a flare up.

He stayed home from school that day and, after unearthing the nebulizer, were able to get it under control. As long as certain people keep their mouths shut from now on, maybe we won't need it again.


My 16-year-old is writing her first paper of the school year for her homeschool English/history curriculum. It's an analysis of World War I using the novel All Quiet on the Western Front

As an incorrigible perfectionist myself, I know that writing a first draft is, well, rough. It's almost physically painful to write something unpolished and not go back to fix it up before moving on to the next paragraph, but you have to trust the process.

To that end, my daughter decided she was going to write her rough draft in Comic Sans to remind her that it's not supposed to be good. 

In fact, a rough draft should be embarrassing for other people to read. The point is just to get your ideas down on paper so you have something to revise. 

But... maybe she took that concept a little too far:

Just kidding. She wrote this as a joke for the blog. I'm sure her actual finished conclusion won't make my eye twitch like that.


I've come to dread sitting down every week to write a menu and shopping list. It's tedious, and of course when I ask the kids for suggestions I get "I don't care" and "Food." (Actually, no one says that anymore because when they do I turn into the Incredible Hulk and smash up the entire kitchen and it's quite frightening.) But anyway, you get what I'm saying.

For a long time I've been thinking I should put together several weeks' worth of meal plans with associated shopping lists for each, but it required so much upfront work to put together I didn't know how I could do it.

I finally decided that I couldn't, but the whole family could. 

This weekend, each member of the family picked 5 dinners they like and was in charge of writing down the ingredients in that dinner. When they were finished, I collected all of the papers and arranged them on the table into 5 weeks' worth of menus.

It only reminded me slightly of this:

I did kind of feel like this. I would say "Wait, we can't have potatoes three times in one week!" and then I would switch it but it would cause some other imbalance in the fabric of the universe that I had to try to correct again.

When I finally had everything arranged, all I had to do then was copy down the ingredients on the cards and put them on the computer. Now we have 5 weeks of permanent grocery lists I never need to make from scratch again!

Also, the cards the littlest kids made were cute because they include ingredients like "tomato sos" (tomato sauce) and "sulantro" (cilantro.)


My kids' elementary school includes an SEL (social-emotional learning) unit as part of their curriculum, which is about feelings and how to manage them.

Apparently this week they're talking about anxiety, because they read the picture book Wemberley Worried and my 6-year-old brought home this writing prompt:

I appreciate the teachers trying to connect the text with the kids in a way that sheds light on their concerns and fears, but it appears that my first grader's life is just not high-stress enough for that.


Speaking of putting a ton of effort into school assignments, my 5th grader recently approached me with some questions about where our ancestors came from for a project they're doing for their immigration unit.

She wrote my answers on an official-looking worksheet and then flipped it over, explaining that she was supposed to represent my answers with pictures. I was a little alarmed when she proceeded to make the sloppiest 5-second sketches I've ever seen. "Hold on, this paper's not your actual assignment, is it? Like, you're not turning this in, right?"

Her paper.

(For reference of how much she was phoning it in, I submit this picture of the actual Welsh flag:)
photo credit

"Well, these are just sketches to remind me of what to put on the real project later..." Or so she claims. 

Knowing her, I wouldn't put it past her to call these good and just turn them in. She's not really the same kind of perfectionist as her sister and I. 


I found a cute YouTube channel of read-alouds for kids, and several of them are English-Spanish so I watched one with the younger kids this week.

They know I'm trying to learn Spanish so they're always asking me "How do you say __________ in Spanish?" (50% of their questions are about how to say bathroom humor words, but at least they're curious.)

This is the only one of Kid Time Story Time's bilingual videos I've watched so far, but it was just educational enough for them to learn a few words and entertaining enough for them to have enjoyed it:

If you're looking for something for your kids to watch that doesn't involve someone unboxing something or playing a video game, I recommend giving Kid Time Story Time a try.

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Unknown said...

You know I think I like the summary on WWI. I believe it should have been said over and over! Hope your potential asthma guy follows Taylor. He completely outgrew it. Isn't it wonderful the kindergardnrr can't think of anything to be worried about. Huge 👍 on menu. Genius that you found those books. I've heard many times that when you are learning find children's literature.

Diana Dye said...

I Want My Hat Back is easily in my top 5 favorite kids' books. So clever and dark. Love it. And I want you to know I went back and capitalized the title just for your perfectionist brain. Great post.