{SQT} A New Look and the Same Old, Same Old

Let me start off by saying this week’s takes will not feature a reverse order link-up. Australians and West Coasters prepare to seize your tops spots as usual.

seven quick takes friday 2

1. I spent more time than usual in my bathrobe last weekend so I could present you with this!


It’s a new cover design for my book, ‘The Best Laid Plans’. Spring is finally here and it’s the perfect time to clean out, KonMari your sock drawer, reevaluate your priorities and get organized. If you didn’t get a planner in January, now’s your chance! My planner is undated so you can start it immediately with no wasted pages. Or, buy one as you start thinking about next year’s homeschool plans (which is a lot easier to tackle then say, the pile of math workbooks that need correcting on your desk.)

For ONE WEEK ONLY (or, until next week’s Quick Takes go live) save 15% on printed and pdf copies of my planner. I don’t guarantee it will completely organize the chaos of your life, but hopefully everything will seem less overwhelming laid out nicely in front of you. Plus, it’s full of funny stuff I wrote.

If you ordered a planner with the old cover, or wish to use the new cover with your pdf download, you can snag a printable pdf here. Decoupage that bad boy on top of the old cover or, if you’re an over achiever, use this tutorial to make a new laminated cover. 

2. I’ll also be selling my planner in person at the CHAPLET Homeschool Conference in Berlin, NJ on Saturday, April 25th. Stick around to hear my talk entitled, “When It All Seems Like Too Much: Homeschooling Through Difficult Circumstances.” I love the CHAPLET Conference and the great variety of vendors. I always see old friends and I’d love to see you there too! I promise to write something ridiculous inside the cover of my planner for you, sign your shirt, snap a selfie or smile awkwardly while you avoid eye contact and walk away; your choice! Maureen Wittmann and Margot Davidson are also speaking so you can’t go wrong, even if I freeze up and start crying at the podium.

Lots o’ vendors, friendly people and so much used curriculum you’ll need a hand truck! (Photo from the CHAPLET Conference Facebook page.)

3. I wrote about dealing with writer’s block earlier this week. As I’m trying to pick up my own momentum, I’ve been fooling around behind the scenes on my blog. In the process, I’ve studied many search terms that repeatedly drive people to my site. I’m pretty sure there’s something useful I could do with the information, but for now, my husband just gets constant updates on where I turn up in search rankings for unusual things. For instance, according to my analytics, I consistently turn up in searches for ‘nerf gun’, ‘wilson castaway’ and ‘hair shirt’. Not surprisingly, I get very few click throughs. I’m still trying to discern whether I need to feature more hair shirts on my blog, or figure out SEO better.

photo (1)
I’m sorry, were you looking for the perfect Nerf gun for your 11 year old? Please accept this photo of me in a dress acting like Arnold Schwarzenegger instead.

4. Colleen wrote the post I would’ve written about ‘The Life Changing Art of Tidying Up’, if I wasn’t still trying to empty my house.

5. I cut Edie’s hair this week. It looks cute but man, I hate cutting the kids’ hair. It started with just trimming Addie’s bangs and buzzing Bryon’s head when they were little to save money. Now, I’ve got five kids who expect me to bust into Edward Scissorhands when things get scraggly. I do try to outsource to Cost Cutters or send Byron with Tony to the barber but somehow it always seems to get to the point that someone needs their hair cut right now and they’re willing to put up with my head grabbing and scissor pokes. Plus, it’s understandable that none of the kids enjoy carrying on this same conversation every. time. we go to a salon. “What grade are you in? What school? Oh you’re homeschooled? Do you like it? Do you like having your mom for a teacher? Do you like normal things or are you a freak who’s locked inside his house all day and forced to learn backward moral values?” Or at least it’s what I think I overhear from the waiting area. “Sure Addie, next time Mama will trim your ends at home….like the sheltering freak that I am.”

6. During family prayers on Tuesday, Tony read, “draw down upon us the constant succours of they mercy…”. To which the kids quickly exclaimed, “Suckers?? Why do we want suckers of mercy??” Noooooooooooooooo. Language lesson.

succour -assistance and support in times of hardship and distress.

suckers-  a gullible or easily deceived person.

7. Today is day 30 of my Whole30. The fact that I have not had cheese in 30 days and not in fact died merits a special take.

Link up your weekly takes below! Then buy my book! Or just link up your takes. I’ll still read them regardless.



  1. Love the new look for the planner! Totally just ordered it – I’ve been meaning to and keep forgetting, but the new cover clinched it for me!

  2. Suckers of mercy reminds me of my mom as a girl thinking the Our Father said “and lead a snot into temptation.” 🙂 Those snots deserve to be tempted, I guess!

  3. Arnold ain’t got nothin’ on you! 😉 Whole 30 day 30 WOOOHOOOOO!!! If we weren’t sticking with for another week, that is… Soon and very soon! 🙂

  4. So awesome on the Whole 30! Yay! And I think I’m going to get your planner. It’s been on my mind. I need to plan. I am not a planner-sort at. all! But I imagine it would help with life at home and especially once we fully begin homeschooling. Eep! Good habits starting now is probably better than starting in the thick of more crazy.

  5. How have you survived 30 days without cheese? Amazing! Looking forward to reading more about hair shirts. Is there an opportunity there since you have all the hair clippings from your home barber shop?

  6. Found your blog through Saint Affairs, and I’m LOL. I’m no longer in the trenches as the six little rabbits are grown up. Still have not managed to declutter the hutch, however.

    BTW, I detect a resemblance to an unpregnant Kate Middleton in the photo of you as an armed mama. Happy Spring to you and your family.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.