Friday, March 11, 2016

7 Quick Takes Friday


Little (Big!) Thomas outgrew his bucket car seat about 3-1/2 pounds ago and we finally got him a new convertible car seat that will fit him forever. The poor boy had been screaming in the car because of the tight straps, but look how he likes his new seat!

new car seat
Milestones of the week: Thomas (7 months 3 weeks) cut his second tooth, which accounted for a couple days of being fussy, clinging, and unable to sleep well. Also, he began standing with only one hand lightly hanging onto furniture, and cruising slowly along furniture.

Pulling up to standing doesn't get me high enough, so I will use this stool!

New foods this week: ground beef, brown rice, and green peas (just squished, not pureed). 

Also, Thomas found the very first food he dislikes, and with a passion: baby food out of a jar! A mom had extra baby food, so we were given a whole bunch of jars of it, and, boy, does this child hate it. He clamps his mouth shut and veers his head this way and that.

Where's Waldo? I mean, Where's Mary?

Where's Mary?

During play time after Mass, Mary was found hiding at the tippy top of The Sharp Tree (some type of holly?), having scaled the trunk somehow without getting torn to shreds, like Brer Rabbit in the brier patch.

Where's Mary?


In a sign of spring, a bird's nest appeared in our mail box (like back in 2014).


Moments in school . . .

I began reading aloud "The Merry Adventures Robin Hood" by Howard Pyle (1883) this week: what robust language! Mary tells me, "It's the best, best, best book ever!"

Morning Basket time
Doing our read aloud books goes so much better when I assign the children coloring to do while I'm reading. I'm often lazy and don't want to set up age-appropriate coloring pages and supplies for each child . . . but when I don't, I'm left a frustrated mess because the littler ones distract us all, nobody can hear the book.

Joseph coloring a football picture

Mary and Margaret coloring butterflies

John coloring an anaconda snake

Thomas creeping, ever on the hunt for fallen pencils to grab and stab on his face

Quiet Margaret with Big Sister Mary, with her Bigger Personality

Speaking of read alouds, I've been reading Margaret (almost 5) a chapter book just to her alone this week, which may be her first. I love watching attention spans increase from board book to short picture book to long picture book to short chapter book and onward. "Happy Times in Noisy Village" by Astrid Lindgren (originally published 1952) is a really delightful first-person narrative for children ages 4-5. Margaret has gone from impatient to sitting stock still through one chapter, asking for a second, and begging for a third (by which time Mama really does say 'no' and tuck her in).


With the beautiful spring weather reaching into the 70s and even achieving 80, we're trying to spend more time outdoors. It's hard to keep the children restrained indoors!

Reading aloud First Communion meditations (by Mother Mary Loyola) to Mary on the deck

The children often eat lunch outdoors during the warm months. I realized this week that a platter of food to feed the hoards will work even better than giving them individual paper plates, which merely serve to litter the back yard and be found trampled in the grass over the days to come.

Eating lunch outdoors

Praying the Angelus before lunch (John taking a photograph surreptitiously)

Tasting his first pine cone
Both John (9) and Mary (7) learned to ride bicycles without hands this week, whizzing along the road. We've forewarned them that there will undoubtedly be some scrapes that come from this learning curve. Interestingly, Chris remembers as a child learning to ride without hands but stopping because it wasn't worth the risk, while I remember learning to ride without hands and it was the main, exhilarating manner in which I rode for years to come.

Look, Mama, no hands!


All I did was ask the children to watch the baby on the deck while I walked across the back yard to help Margaret with something. I returned to find gleeful baby laughter and this video on my phone, as recorded by John . . .


We replaced a broken ceiling fan this week, so John (9) had the honor of taking it apart and doing with it whatever he wanted.

For more 7 Quick Takes Friday, check out This Ain't the Lyceum.


  1. I love your book choices! We had a hard time with Mother Layola's First Holy Communion- MM just wasn't connecting with it, which is weird because MM loves EVERY book I have ever read to her. We are going to try First Confession by Mother Layola next month as it was written to a slightly younger audience. I hope it goes well- I love Mother Mary Layola!

  2. Katie: John (6) was decidedly too young for Mother Loyola's FHC book three years ago. I decided to try it with Mary (7) and she protested pretty vociferously, but I've pushed through three chapters so far and she is warming up. I figure this is just icing on the cake at this point, as she's done all her required study, and I'm just seeing if she'll enjoy it now. She has begun paying attention and even making cute little notes about the meditations.