Friday, October 21, 2022

7 Quick Takes about Fall Leaves, How Firefighters Have Fun, and Unearthing My Correspondence from a Long Time Ago

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


On Sunday we took a fall walk to see the leaves. Not all of them have changed yet, but it's awfully pretty out there.


My 6- and 8-year-olds participated in an interesting research study this week. The purpose was examining how kids raised in religious homes think. 

The kids were told several stories involving an authority figure who either rewards children for being good, punishes them for being bad, or helps them when they ask for help. In some stories the authority figure was God, an in others it was a teacher or a parent. At the end of the stories, the kids were asked if what the authority figure did was okay or not okay, and why.

I thought it was funny when one of the stories involved a parent giving a big jar of candy to their kids and my 6-year-old said it was "not okay." When asked why not, he said, "Because sugar is not good for you. You should only have a little bit."

At the end, the researcher asked one final question: "Does God have to follow any rules?" and you could tell it kind of broke my kids' brains. But I was impressed with the 6-year-old's eventual answer: "Not really, but He always knows what to do."


In the fall in New England, the forest is a beautiful tapestry of bright orange, yellow, and red against a backdrop of evergreen trees, with only oak trees to mess it up. They are seriously so ugly how their leaves turn brown and refuse to fall off like everyone else.

But a lot of them are turning red this year. It's really weird. Sometimes they're bright red, like this one in our yard, and others are more like crimson or maroon. 

Much improved, although it's a little odd.

On our Sunday walk, we also saw this funny tree. It sort of looked like it was on fire because only the leaves at the very top were changing color.


When Phillip and I went on a date over the weekend, we stopped by the grocery store on our way home. Our 10-year-old wants with all her heart to bake an Oreo cheesecake, so we stopped in to get two packs of gluten-free Oreos.

But when we went in, there was a Buy 2, Get 1 Free special so we ended up just getting three. And then I remembered we were almost out of milk at home so we grabbed a carton for the kids to have with their cereal in the morning.

It wasn't until we got to the checkout that I realized how incriminating it looked for the two of us to walk up with three packs of Oreos and a gallon of milk, and nothing else, as if we were about to go home and have the most epic midnight snack of all midnight snacks.


Our local fire station had an open house and I took my younger boys to see it. The trucks were parked outside and firefighters were standing by to answer questions and let the kids crawl around inside the cabs of the truck.

Mine found a piece of candy and a penny between the seats, if you're wondering how nosy mine are.

"What about the fire pole?" the boys kept asking me, and I told them that not all stations have them, especially newer stations. So we asked a firefighter.

"Oh, yes, we have one," he said, showing us where it was. "It's not really that much faster than taking the stairs, but I try to use it at least once a shift because it's fun."

I laughed at that and he added, "Because of injuries with the pole, some stations have installed slides instead."

Now guess what occupation both my boys would like to have when they grow up.


I have a confession to make: I hate Halloween. Actually, it's just Halloween costumes. Not even all Halloween costumes. Just ones that I have to make for/with my kids.

I think it's because I despise doing crafts, and making something for one-time use as part of a costume is too close to a craft for me.

Fortunately, the 6-year-old already owns everything he needs to dress up as a police officer, and the 14- and 16-year-olds are going as Not My Responsibility (I'm not sure what they're going to be, they'll figure it out.) But I do have to help out with my other two kids, who are Poseidon and a bank robber.

What are your kids going to be for Halloween?


My aunt was doing a deep-clean of her house, and found a letter I wrote to her when I was 7. 

When I was younger my parents had a typewriter and I took advantage of every excuse I could think of to use it, including writing stream-of-consciousness letters to my family members that put James Joyce to shame: 

Letter circa 1989.

I hope my writing has improved since then, and at the very least I'm confident that I've mastered the difference between "real" and "really." But I do still love babies, so I guess some things never change.

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samcarter said...

My youngest wants to be a ranger from Middle-Earth, and luckily we have saved enough costume stuff from his older brothers to cobble together an acceptable costume. His older brother is going to be a plague doctor from the Middle Ages, repeating his costume from last year. The older two are too old to really want to dress up.

Unknown said...

I really enjoyed your letter! For someone going into 2nd grade that was quite an extensive writing project. And I have to say the details about your book you were going to create sound a little bit crafty. So you must have lost it somewhere along the way.
Dad and I drove through the canyon this week. Up there the colors are at peak. I had thought of seeing if your college student here would like to get out for a drive. I realized she is just getting by on time so decided Next year! Mom

AnneMarie said...

Our local fire station has a slide! When we went on a tour there 3-4 years ago (we really need to get back there since now I have more kids!), the firefighter showed it to us and said that it can get REALLY fast, and if they don't slow it down with their feet, they can go flying out at the bottom. Not sure how it's that much safer than a fire pole, but it sounded pretty neat!