Friday, June 21, 2024

7 Quick Takes about Hardwood Floors, Scribes with Way Different Personalities, and Adventures with Amazon

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

{Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning that if you buy something through these links then I may receive a small referral commission at no extra cost to you.}   


How was your Father's Day?

Having older kids is great, they did most of the cleaning of Phillip's car (our traditional Father's Day gift) and put together an impromptu fancy dinner complete with water goblets and I had nothing to do with any of it, even setting the table.

I only wish the older kids were around more so they could pull off stuff like this more often, that usually isn't the case because they have such busy work/school/extracurricular/social lives.


The carpet in the kids' room, particularly the boys' room, is at the end of its life and probably needs to be replaced. 

I know that hardwood floors is better for allergies and easier to keep clean, but carpet is just so cozy, especially in a bedroom where kids play on the floor. I decided to ask the boys what they thought.

"A hardwood floor?" mused my 10-year-old. "Can we paint basketball lines on it?"


We have a chest freezer in the basement which we usually keep stocked with frozen meat, fruits and veggies, and even staples like bread, butter, and cheese (yes, you can freeze those) to rescue us in a pinch. But over the last busy month we haven't been on top of restocking it as things get used, so it's getting pretty empty.

So I enlisted the kids to help me inventory the freezer, doing half of it on two separate days with two different children. I would look in the freezer and call out what we needed and how much, and they wrote it down for me.

The 12-year-old scribbled her notes all over the paper in every orientation, using Spanish and French when she knew the words and just spelling them as weirdly as she could on purpose when she didn't. It took me forever to decode afterward and when I asked her about one of the real head-scratchers, even she had to shrug and say "Sorry, I don't know what that is." The 8-year-old, meanwhile, wrote his notes in immaculate handwriting with everything in neatly labeled columns as to which section of the freezer it belonged in.

How did both of these people come out of me??


This week marked the beginning of this year's Educational Summer Vacation in our house. We choose different countries to learn about during the summer, which gives us some structure and the ability to extemporaneously identify obscure national flags to impress people at parties. 

This summer we're doing:
  • South Korea
  • Mali
  • El Salvador
  • Estonia
  • Syria
Since this week is South Korea, last night we went out to a Korean restaurant.

The 10-year-old made a huge dent in this bowl of kimchi soup and got full but wanted more, I was impressed.

It was also Phillip's and 21st anniversary so it was only natural to go out to dinner with a 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th wheel (the 8th was working).


This week wee tried to fix my friend Bev's vacuum. The motor and everything was working just fine, it just wouldn't roll because of one tiny little plastic piece that had broken.

Well, my 16-year-old and his 3-D printer were all over that. He spent half a day designing the new part, printing it, and using some tool in Phillip's workshop to shave off some of the surrounding plastic, then gluing it in with expoxy.


Unfortunately, because of the way the 3-D printer was printing it, there was a weak point and it kept cracking at that exact spot. 

I was really disappointed, because my son had spent a fair amount of time on it, because it would've saved a big appliance from the trash, and because it would have meant that Bev didn't have to buy a new one. 

But failure teaches a lesson in humility, and skills were still learned that can be reused elsewhere, and we tried to help someone. And I guess that's the important part.


A few recent noteworthy Amazon purchases.

First, these. These are just underwear. They're not even particularly special or expensive underwear. But the box prepares you for your mind to be blown, anyway.

Get ready for the first day of the rest of your life when you open up these babies.

The back of the box had the care instructions, prefaced with "If you take good care of your underwear, they'll take great care of you." Again, wow.

The second is this duck. One of my kids got this a few months ago and it has become our go-to birthday present. It is so cute. 

It's not a hard plastic but a fun squishy texture, and when you squeeze it then it lights up. When you set it down on the edge of a counter, its little feet dangle off like a kindergartener kicking their legs on a too-tall couch. I think it can even be a phone holder, but we've never used it for that. 

I don't know if it's Japanese or not, but it's definitely the most kawaii thing we own.


Phillip has been reading a book called Beyond Weird: Why Everything You Thought You Knew about Quantum Physics is Different. I don't know anything about quantum physics, which is why I'm not reading the book.

But he was telling us at dinner about some of the crazy things he read and the 10-year-old wanted to know if he could read it. 

"I don't think you'd understand it," Phillip told him, "There are some more science classes in school that you need to take first."

"But I understanded Future of Humanity!" the 10-year-old protested.

Oh, the cuteness of the statement, especially when he used the word "understanded."

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