7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 24)

— 1 
Who was it who said, “You can never go home again”? That person didn’t move back in with my parents last weekend.
There are delicious hot dinners every night, a wonderful yard where the children can play, a screened-in porch that catches these marvelous breezes, my sister Treasa’s abandoned shoes to wear when I can’t find my own, and fantastic company.
When John and I arrived home to chicken Parmesan one night, we looked at each other and said, “Why are we buying another house?”
But buy another house we have—or at least we will soon. It was the first house we saw six weeks ago when we started looking, but you can’t buy the first house you see, can you?
I remember saying to our agent, “We should really buy this house. We’ll never find one that is so meticulously taken care of.” But we didn’t. Because it was the first house we saw. And we thought we had lost it when it went under contract immediately. Then the other buyer’s loan fell through, the house came back on the market suddenly last week, we made an offer, and we got it.
Whew.
It’s all happening pretty quickly. But we are really going to enjoy the next month or so at Grandma and Grandpa’s.

— 2 
On Saturday, our last day living in our house, I made this big deal over having the boys say goodbye to the house as we were leaving for the last time together. I was sure everyone had understood what was happening. If anything, I thought I was overdoing it.
We had driven for about 15 minutes when Daniel said, “When can we go back to our old house?”
Although the move has been disruptive for the boys, and they are a little sad to have left their home, they are happy to be at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. They love that they are sharing a bedroom and have lots of space to play. Daniel even got to watch some of the Ravens game with his grandfather last night. What a treat!
I’m starting to think the greater challenge may be moving them from here to our new home.
— 3 
Shortly after John and I were married, I made a mistake while trying to help with the laundry, and John has handled it all ever since. One night I tried to do laundry and couldn’t even get the washer to run. John explained later that he had turned the water off. So I knew he must not really want me to do it, and that was fine with me.
Now that we’re living with my parents, however, and I feel I am doing less around the house, I decided to do a load of laundry—my first in nine years.
So this is the washer…or the dryer?
I’d like to say it’s like riding a bicycle, but I was rather tense about it and worried I would do it all wrong.
Luckily—or unluckily?—the laundry turned out just fine, and John was delighted. Now I’m wondering why I worked so hard to make sure everything was dried and hung properly. I’m already regretting my success.
— 4 
As my father was leaving for work yesterday morning, Leo called after him, “Grandpa, one day can we go to work with you so we can see the volcanoes?”
Flickr Creative Commons / Image Editor
My father hesitated, and I was confused. Then I realized that Leo must have heard him talking about tornadoes that had touched down near his work the other day.
“Do you mean the tornadoes?” I asked.
“Oh,” Leo said, and his face fell. “I thought they were volcanoes with hot lava and interruptions.”
Sadly, there’s no lava at Grandpa’s work. But he says there are plenty of interruptions.
— 5 


Yet another bonus of moving home is discovering that my parents say the Rosary every evening. I haven’t made much of an effort to introduce the Rosary to our children, though we’ve said it together a few times.
The other day while I was at work, Leo sat and said a whole Rosary with my mother. When I asked him about it later, he put his hands over his ears and refused to talk about it. What happens at Grandma’s stays at Grandma’s, of course. Still, I hope maybe we’ll carry the idea of a family Rosary with us when we move. Not that we’re in any rush to leave, of course.
— 6 

Meet the Barbapapa family.
Are you familiar with the Barbapapa family? We grew up reading a book about the Barbapapas, a family of colorful shape-changing characters, and—as a child—I just assumed they were widely known. They’re not.

However, we are keeping the Barbapapa tradition alive at my parents’ house. And for the first time Leo is wanting to “read” aloud, even though he’s just reciting parts of the books he has memorized. I can’t even keep the characters straight, especially as they change shape, but Leo knows all the names and how they should be drawn. And he expects his mother to create them to his standards.

This is the drawing Leo asked me to make the other day.
I’m not in any rush for him to read. I like the idea that he’ll have something to learn in kindergarten, and I also don’t want him to start asking questions about the bumper stickers we see on the road.
Besides, I really like to point at signs when we’re together and tell the boys they say, “No screaming the Star Wars theme song in here,” or “Bookshelves are for books, not for climbing boys,” or “Always listen to your mother.” I’m operating on borrowed time.
— 7 
Because my mother is probably my most steadfast blog reader—and the most likely to notice my grammar and spelling errors—she decided to try the peach cake recipe I posted a few weeks ago.
It didn’t work. The cake was too moist and didn’t bake properly. In fact, it wasn’t edible.
This is what the peach cake should look like.
Has anyone else tried to bake the peach cake without success? I’m wondering whether my mother shouldn’t have used a ceramic pan, or whether my baking times are wrong.
There’s really only one solution to this problem. I need to spend the weekend baking peach cakes to prove to my mother that the recipe works. At least I’ll have plenty of taste testers.
Read more quick takes at Jen’s blog, Conversion Diary.

Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.