Friday, January 12, 2024

7 Quick Takes about Family Portraits, Lots of Shoveling, and Mindfulness but in Spanish

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


My 12-year-old got a pack of fake stick-on mustaches in her Christmas stocking, and I haven't seen her playing with them much. The other day I finally figured out what she's been doing with them. 

In our entryway, there's a large wall where each kid has their own 10x13 framed portrait on the wall, and currently 3 of the 6 are sporting bushy mustaches. She's probably doing it gradually so I don't notice.


We finally got our first real snow of the season. It snowed all day on Sunday and dumped about 14" on us.

We should have gone out and cleared the driveway a few times throughout the day, but we waited until it stopped snowing and by then it was too wet and heavy for the snowblower to handle and we did most of the driveway with shovels. Well, Phillip did.

It was really hard. The snow was so wet that it was sticking to your shovel, so when you scooped up a shovelful and tried to toss it over the snowbank, it wouldn't leave the shovel and the whole thing would just hit the ground with a ker-thonk and make you want to give up on life. 

Anyway, it got finished and driving around the next day was extremely beautiful. I love those snows where every single twig on every single branch is covered in white. 

Even the chain link fences were pretty:


A few days later, it snowed again and then rained on top of the snow, but this time Phillip wasn't here to help with it. 

He'd gone on a work trip to Las Vegas and I was super-stressed trying to clear the driveway, get the little kids in bed, and worry about what would happen if the driveway turned icy overnight and was too slick for the teenagers to get out and drive themselves to school. 

In the end, I decided to park the car on the street that night, just for my own fragile peace of mind. Cue my across-the-street neighbor to yell "You're blocking my driveway!" at my 15-year-old when he saw him outside shoveling. Taken aback, my clueless 15-year-old (who doesn't even drive so he personally didn't block anyone's driveway) couldn't think of anything to say in response except "Okay." 

I'm kind of laughing about that still. Because our car was parked in front of our own house, on the opposite side of the street. Our neighbor might not like the look of our car, but it was definitely in no one's way. I think he's still mad that 13 years ago when we moved in, we saw him dumping his leaves in our yard and asked him not to.


Missing: one coat, size 7. Been in the family for years.

It's been such a mild winter that my son doesn't usually wear a coat to gymnastics, and it wasn't really cold enough to need it for the short walk from the car to the gym. But recently I asked him to start at least carrying one in, just so people know that he actually does have regular access to a coat.

Shortly after he started bringing a coat, it disappeared during practice (probably some other kid grabbed it by accident and brought it home.) Just in time for the temperature to dip into the 20s when he actually needed it!

Luckily, his older brother's outgrown coats are in the attic waiting to be hand-me-downs some day, and he can wear one of those until his old coat hopefully shows up next week. But for the moment, he goes to school in the morning looking like Gru from Despicable Me with his huge coat and teeny legs sticking out of the bottom.


Our weekday women's activity at church was about wellness, and after hearing a few people talk passionately about mindfulness and/or meditation and/or yoga, I decided that I should probably give it a try.

But since I hate wasting time, I decided to kill two birds with one stone when I got home and find a beginner yoga video in Spanish so I can practice my listening comprehension at the same time.

I realize that multitasking is pretty much the opposite of mindfulness, but I am who am. Regardless, it was a good exercise in Spanish listening and a nice little stretch as well.


While he was on his trip, Phillip texted the kids a picture of some setup in the lobby of his hotel with flashy lights on it (this was Las Vegas, after all.) The kids' commentary:

12yo: "Ooh, that's so cool!"

Me: "You like shiny things. You're a magpie."

12yo: "A what?"

17yo: "A maggot."

9yo: "Yeah, you're a baguette!"

Sometimes I have to ask my kids to repeat themselves a lot and I wonder if I'm slowly losing my hearing. Other times, I look around and think, "maybe it's not so bad, after all."


My 15-year-old says I need to learn to give him a cooler style of haircut. He didn't say it that way because he's a very tactful young man sometimes, but it's what he meant.

We Googled some pictures  so I could visualize what Gen Z boys are wearing on their heads these days (basically it's this style that looks like a dirty floor mop,) and I saved some of them on my phone for reference next time I cut his hair.

Now my photo gallery is full of teenage male models and it feels kind of like when you go in a store and leave without buying anything: "I know how it looks, but I swear there's nothing suspicious going on here!"

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