{SQT} Parties, Burns and Collecting More Data

I love four days weeks! I’m always forgetting what day it is, and therefore am pleasantly surprised when the weekend arrives “early”. But we managed to pack in quite a bit since the last Olympic sized takes so, here goes.

Seven Quick Takes

1. We had the best possible weather for our annual party to honor St. John the Baptist. Last year, it rained buckets, but we partied anyway. This year, we had to push the date of our party back, but St. John sent some heavenly love in the way of temperatures in the low 80s, no humidity, and sunny skies. After all the craziness last year, and then bad weather messing with our recent Confirmation / Communion party, we toyed with the idea of not having a St. John’s party this year. But I’m glad we didn’t because everything went well, everyone had fun and even the set up and clean up seemed easier than usual. The grand finale was the breathtaking sunset that appeared right as we wrapped up fireworks. (Lots of families with little kids = early show.) Total attendance was 111 people, mostly kids, which might be our highest turn out ever.

sack race
Here’s me coming in a distant third in the ladies sack race.
st johns bonfire
A roaring bonfire and some fireworks!
Lousy iPhone shot doesn’t do it justice but seriously, God put on the best show of the night!

2. The next day, my parents and sister visited for a belated celebration of Fulton’s 8th birthday. My mom made him a BB8 cake (get it???) and we got to spend time with my sister who moved to the West Coast last year. She’s a cooler, funner version of me that yells at the kids much less; therefore, the kids love her. We didn’t do much for the Fourth of July, except eat leftovers, continue to clean up from Saturday and avoid airport traffic.

coolest aunt
Mama, why don’t you have cool apps on your phone like Aunt Kate?

3. It’s our last week of school and we’re all ready to be D.O.N.E. Thankfully, Addie took, and passed, placement tests for the online school she’s enrolling in next year, so I washed my hands of her education a couple of weeks ago. Today, Byron and Edie will take some tests then call it a wrap.  Fulton and Teddy will probably keep up with some reading instruction through the summer because they enjoy it. (For the record, we took a break from Reading Kingdom and Fulton’s been using Reading Eggs for a couple of months now. ) I will try to go a full two weeks without thinking about school, but then I’ll jump back into planning mode. Probably just in time to buy a bunch of stuff I don’t need at #4.

4. I’ll be speaking at the IHM Homeschooling Conference in Dobbs Ferry, NY, August 5 and 6th. I’m not sure what time I’m speaking yet, but I’ll have a table the whole time so please stop by! I’ll have BOOKS to sign and sell and my daughter will be there to roll her eyes and take your picture with me. Admission is free! I love meeting readers in person; I hope to see you there! (And if you’re planning a conference or event and looking for a speaker, please email me!) 

And for the record, you don’t have to buy my books or hire me to speak or anything. I’m totally cool with you just reading my blog. But for everyone who’s ever purchased anything from me or supported my speaking, you make it easier on our family to afford glamorous stuff like bed pads, disposable gloves and homeschool classes which help keep me sane. A very special thank you to y’all, but a big thank you to everyone that continues to stop by even though my Takes are always on the long side. I heart my readers.

5. Wednesday we baked at the beach. With temps in the 90s, it was the only enjoyable place to be, but after three hours in the sun, we all discovered several spots we missed with sunscreen. In related news, the backs of my knees are ON FIRE. But we spent that time visiting with cousins, building sand castles and riding the waves, which were rough enough to be fun, but not, suck you out to your death dangerously rough. Fulton spent the day either in his Mobi-Chair or pouting on the beach that “I’m not cold! Take me back into the ocean!!” while covered with goosebumps.

My skin was not that pasty white when we got home. And Fulton could not be bribed into using anything other than his, “I will kill you slowly and watch you die.” face.

That meant that yesterday we stayed inside and reapplied aloe, and I dabbed apple cider vinegar on my kids because Pinterest said so. Tony also thought it was funny to keep asking Byron, “Does your face hurt? Cause it’s killing me!!”, which surprisingly enough, Byron did NOT find funny the 2,440 time. I like to remind Byron that this is where he get’s his own stellar sense of humor.

6. Next week, the girls will be away at camp and Byron will have a half day camp on design or programming or something that is the opposite of enjoying the outdoors. It’ll be me and the little boys for hours on end. It could be fun, or miserable, depending on whether or not we can get Teddy’s wheelchair fixed. The bolt that held on his driving arm broke off and we can’t get the broken end out. We’ve tried to MacGyver his control so he can still drive, but he’s not happy about it to say the least. When I called the repair shop, the supervisor glanced over his records and said this was Teddy’s 20th repair in the two and half years he’s had the chair. Then he informed me he couldn’t get a repairman out until next week.

It’s frustrating for our whole family, but the problem is the demand for repairs is much higher than what this wheelchair company (or any) can meet. When you throw in the problems and demands that insurance adds, it’s really no surprise the process takes forever. I try to be patient and understanding, but usually I want to bang my head against a wall.

7.  I recently downloaded the Moment app on my iPhone to track how much I use my phone in a day. Needless to say, I was a bit shocked at how often I was actually on my phone, even on busy days. I only have the free version, but I’m thinking about upgrading so after a pre-set time limit, my phone will yell at me to put it down. Thus far, the biggest problem is that it doesn’t differentiate between wasting time (social media) and important usage (weekly phone call with my mom). But it’s interesting none the less in the way all data tracking is for me, though I have yet to get back to wearing my fitbit (I need a strap that doesn’t irritate my skin!!! Any suggestions?). I deleted the Facebook app (again) so we’ll see how that affects my numbers.

How was your week? Write it down then link it up below. Don’t forget to include a link back to this post so your readers can find the rest of the Quick Takes. I look forward to reading your posts!


  1. Coconut oil works wonders for burnt skin. Wish I could make it to Dobbs Ferry. I need to get the in laws to schedule the family reunion a different weekend next year! Grr!

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