Friday, November 18, 2011

Seven Not-Very-Quick Takes

Gabe, 7
1.  We were watching a movie the other day in which there was considerable drama forced upon the hero by two different girls vying for his hand in marriage.  After the 2nd or 3rd round of the heroe's changing his constantly spinning mind, Gabe, in disgust remarked, "If it were me, I'd just be a priest!"

William agreed enthusiastically and added, "Or a Brother!"  And then, on a half minute's thought, said, "But I don't want to be a Brother!"  We all looked over at him, waiting for the punchline, and got, "Or a Sister! Of course not!  I'm not a girl!" 

He laughed at his own joke there, then commenced pounding his forehead with the heel of his palm. "And I don't want to  be a....  a.... a...."

Guessing where he was going, I said, "A bishop?"

"Yeah, that's it.  I don't want to be a bishop, either."

William, 5

OK, then," we asked, knowing our cue, "What do you want to be?"

"I want to be a...  Ugh!  What's that called?  What's that guy called?"

We were clueless.  "You tell us, William."

And the lightbulb dinged over his head.  "I know! I know!" he said.  "I want to be a pope!"

And there you have it.  Are you starting to get the picture of the kind of kid we have here?  Took twenty years and ten kids to get this one.  And he's a lulu!

2.  One thing that must happen around here.  And soon.  The bucket of peanut  brittle that Dan got Anna for her  birthday must be eaten.  By someone else besides me.  All of it.  Get on it, kids, for heaven's sake.

Anna, 9

3.  Anna (9) has an ardent (if not at all secret) admirer in the 2nd grade (She's in the 3rd).  The sweet little guy gives Anna little homemade cards and notes practically every day.  Last week he found out that her birthday was over the weekend, and got together something extra special to give her on Monday -- and all of us here, who have been hovering between being disconcerted (as former homeschoolers who haven't dealt with this before) and highly amused (because we love the irony of a hopeless romance almost as much as slapstick) find ourselves tipping into the smirking-behind-our-hands camp. 

 Picture this and imagine our bittersweet amusement:  Monday afternoon, Anna brings home a very pretty Christmas card from her admirer with "Christmas" crossed out and "Birthday" written in -- and in the envelope, a little cache of stickers, two pretty rocks, and a little scrap of purple paper upon which was written: " To Anna.  You are Butuflu."  Isn't that so sweet it makes you wanna cry?  Or laugh?  Or both?

How does Anna react to these amorous missives?  She's like, "Eh."  The little guy is in second grade, doncha know.  Seriously.  Everyone likes him; he's a doll.  The cutest, sweetest little guy you've ever seen.  And she wouldn't hurt his feelings for anything, but her instinct is to not encourage it, either. (Applause from the gallery!)

 But, alas....  Since the birthday card episode, poor Anna is has heard more than she might like to hear about the whole silly thing --  what with people telling her how "Butuflu" she is and all.  So I have to call a stop to the teasing. 

Even if she really is Butuflu.

* For enquiring minds...  Anna did graciously give her permission for me to tell this story.  I wouldn't post it if it were a source of embarassment to her or if I thought there was a shadow of a chance her little beau getting wind of it...  Just thought that might be important to disclose. :)

Cathy, 11
4.  For Martinmas last Friday, homeschooler, Cathy, and I sewed up some simple fleece scarves, bought some super cheap gloves (four pairs for $6) and little winter beanies ($2 and $3 a piece), then took out all the buttons and trims and "findings" we could dig up in our sewing and craft bins (which was a lot, since -- as Dan will tell you, while shaking his head and rolling his eyes -- I never throw anything away) -- and set the girls to decorating their own winter sets. Since I'm not ready to trust the little boys with an instrument as sharp as a needle, I did theirs myself --  with snowflakes and snowmen -- with a pack of alligators attacking Williams' because it seemed somehow appropriate on a scarf for William...  And, anyway, a week after the fact, here they all are:

And you can see them around the necks of the youngins above and below, too.

5.  Due to circumstance beyond my control (because, believe me, if it were in my control, I would just spend, spend, spend, spend spend.... ), it's going to be a lean Christmas this year.  But, no really...  It's fine.  I'm going to be OK.  Christmas is going to be OK.  The kids are going to survive. It's not about the presents.  It's about Jesus.   And, anyway, last year's was an out-of-the-ordinary exuberant Christmas, so it's all in the balance.  And, in the spirit of "we really don't have it bad in the big picture, and we've never been rich, anyway" perspective,  I'm really looking forward to simplifying this year. 

Advent we hope to spend looking inward and heavenward, preparing for our Total Consecration on December 8th. All of us, Anna and up, are working toward this great grace and honor. Then in the two weeks leading up to Christmas, we'll work on homemade gifts, baking, and planning family get-together fun  for the week between Christmas and New Year when the whole gang will be home.  (We're cooking up some doozy party themes that I'll fill you in on as things come together.) 
But on the gifting thing, because there will be a little of that  -- Those few things we purchase need to have special punch -- at a reasonable price.  In my wanderings for just. thee. perfect. gifts for each of the kids, I've stumbled into some super fun online stores.  Here are a couple: 

Gratuituous photo of Theresa, 12

For teenage boys and young men, ya gotta take a look at the Perpetual Kid site and then run over and take a look at their couponsThink Geek has big boy stuff, too, that will tickle their funny bones and then run over and take a look at their coupons!
 *  For kids of all ages, categorized, in fact, by ages, you have to check out Fat Brain's toy shop.  And for some cool stuff, it's fun poking around the Cool Stuff Express website.  And you know you gotta go check it out if the site is called "Cool Stuff Cheap."  But for real toys (not like we really need any more toys around here, mind you),  you can find lots of good stuff at discount school supply sources and museum catalogues.

*  For clothes that we don't get at thrift stores or garage sales, we love L.L. Bean.  Just love 'em.  And they have coupons, too!

6.  For the past month or so we've been having fun with an incentive chart based on our little "hiding" squirrel, Chippy.  It looks like this:

Here's the deal:

For the Christmas season, we'll change the theme, but I haven't figured out yet what I'll change it to.  And then we always have the Christmas crib and the straws devotion that we'll pull out.  I found a beautiful new little baby Jesus for the crib, too, that we're excited about!  I'll take a pic of him when I pull him out after Thanksgiving.
*  Here's a question for the siblings and aunts who are far away: Can you guess who's won the Chippy Count every Sunday so far?

7. I've been having to stop myself from being tidy-obsessed lately. Not that I'm OCD, mind you -- I mean, you should see the inside of my pantry and the back fridge.  No, actually, you shouldn't.  But, especially if I'm tired or stressed,  I can't relax if the room I'm in is not at least picked up.  Which, as you might guess, in a house with five kids at home (at the moment) and a husband who just doesn't much care God bless him, is maybe not a reasonable expectation?  Is it?

No, really.  Is it unreasonable?  I mean, not all the rooms have to be clean -- just the room I'm in.  So, as long as the kids stay one step ahead of me, anticipating my migration through the house, everything will be good.  And I won't have to nag. 
That's not asking too much, is it?

Ok, yeah.  I guess it is.

It's going to get crazy messy pretty fast around here though, regardless.  The troops will be arriving on Tuesday for Thanksgiving -- at least those troops that have gotten passes to come home (so to speak), which ==heavy sigh== is not very many of them.  But, you can count on it looking like we've been overrun by the whole Marine First Division, anyway.  No matter how many kids show up. 

The count so far: We'll have Kevvy and Michelle and adopted son, Omar, and my sis, Nina, is coming.  But no Paul and Nicole and baby Gavin; no Jon or Br. Pio; no Mom or Dad or any other sibs of mine. 

There will be only eleven of us here eating turkey next Thursday.  Weird.

Anybody wanna come and fill out our numbers?  I can't cook for less than twenty people on Turkey Day.
I won't even make you clean house.

Jennifer' is the place for more Quick Takes (probably quicker Quick Takes than these were...)


AnchorMama said...

I'm so glad those takes weren't too quick. I loved every one of them!I will probably be saying "Butuflu!" all day, now.

With your permission, I'd like to add you to my blogroll. Since I've only just returned to blogging, you'd be the first! :)

Cheryle said...

Our house will less than full this Turkey Day too. Sarah has invited Rachel and Daniel to join her. My 3 oldest won't be here , but they'll all be together. :-)

GrandmaK said...

Whew, You've been busy!!!!! LOVE the scarves!!! AND if I were there there'd be no peanut brittle left!!!! Have a grand weekend!!! Cathy

Anonymous said...

wow love the scarfs! Whose gonna make one for me!! And 11 is still alot! I'm looking forward to taking some leftovers home?(can I huh?)
love ya,

SuzyQ said...

"You are Butuflu" Awwww! I think I would both laugh and cry. What a sweetie.
I love the little gifts that were obviously so carefully chosen for his beloved too!!! He must be quite a charmer although Anna is very Butuflu so I can easily see why he is charmed :)
Your future little pope has the most fantastic smile! Definitely a candidate for greatness there!

Anne said...

Ill have a family of 12 with us.. 18 children, four adults, plus their friend so 5 adults, two turkeys, never done this before! Tips????

Lisa said...

Anne -- are you cooking both turkeys at your house? If you don't have two ovens, you might want to cook one turkey ahead of time,. Your second turkey, cooked Thanksgiving day can be your "presentation turkey" -- but the other you can cook, pre-slice, and just warm up before dinner's ready. Much nicer not to have to worry about it!

Nina -- You KNOW you can take home leftovers! I wish you would! We love you, too! :)

Cathy -- Oh my stars, I think I ate half the tub! I LOVE peanut brittle! It's one of those things I have NO will power against! (It's finally gone now, though, and out of my temptation. HAlellujua!)

SuzyQ -- Haha! Thank-you! We think she's butuflu, too. But William as a future pope scares me. (gglggl)

That'll be neat for Sarah and the kids -- but weird for you, no? Two of my kiddos will be together, anyway -- the seminarians I guess spend it with a parishoner who invites the Bishop, et al. And Paul is together with his little family and friends, so it's all good! But I miss their faces! Can't wait to see them at Christmas!

Anchor Mama ~ Thank-you! And I'd be honored to be on your blog roll! Welcome back to blogging!

Lisa said...

Cheryle -- Oh, woops, that comment right after Suzy Q's was for you!

Kim@Starry Sky Ranch said...

Love it all Lisa! The hat/scarf sets came out so nicely! Do you have a pattern for the hats? Although the only fleece I have access to is blankets...

We would love to round out your numbers. Whadya think? 9 or 10 or so more? We have only our 7 this yr but will have an 8th for Christmas anyway.

Therese said...

One number 1, I just have to share when Daniel was in year two, his teacher asked who wanted to be a priest. Daniel put his hand up and said well I don't just want to be a priest, I actually want to be the Pope.