Superstitions, school’s out, the stuffed friend we didn’t win, juice boxes in Ireland, and Father’s Day (7 Quick Takes Friday)


It’s Friday the 13th! Are you superstitious? I’m not. Not at all. But don’t open that umbrella in the house! I grew up in a household where we were taught not to:

–          Put shoes on the table, even if they were unworn and still in the box

–          Rock the rocking chair while it was empty

–          Give sharp items (knives, scissors, etc.) as gifts

–          Open an umbrella over your head–or in the house at all

–          Look in the mirror when someone else is looking into it

Actually, I paid no attention to the mirror one, but that’s because I was too busy with the other four. Oh, and there were positive superstitions too, such as sleeping with a piece of wedding cake under your pillow so you would dream of your future husband.

Do you have any superstitions?


I don’t remember any wedding cake dreams, but if it worked I must have dreamed of my husband, the father of my two sons. We’ll celebrate him on Sunday, and perhaps all weekend, though we don’t have a specific plan for how. And I will celebrate my father somehow, too, even if we don’t manage to see him in person. Fathers are hard to celebrate since the card stores would lead us to believe that they are supposed to be into golf and fishing.

Part of Daniel’s gift for his father

We could buy lots of things for the fathers in our lives, as long as they aren’t sharp, but we all know what they really want: an afternoon nap. So maybe the boys and I will take a long grocery shopping trip on Sunday afternoon.

We do also have a few gifts I can’t name here, even though Daniel will almost certainly tell his father about them before he opens them. And that “he” could mean Daniel or his father.

How will you celebrate?


It’s the last day of kindergarten! I want to congratulate all those of you who managed to get beautiful last day of school photos. I am not sure why taking the first day of school photo was easier. And that wasn’t a cinch either.

This is what our last day of school photo shoot looked like.

And this.

And this.

And let’s be honest. Those are an authentic representation of how we get to the cars in the morning.

I’m just so glad to see the school year–wonderful as it was–coming to a close that I didn’t even think to offer a bribe for our photo shoot. After a few terrible photos and some kisses from disgruntled children who don’t like to pose, we just packed up and left.

Bring on summer vacation.


Earlier this week Leo announced that someone in his kindergarten class would win Ginger, the stuffed cat who has been spending each week in one of the students’ homes.

I could absolutely see the appeal, and Leo and Daniel were both excited about the idea of having Ginger forever.

“I am going to ask God to give us Ginger,” Daniel said, and he burst into a spontaneous prayer.

It was adorable and just what you hope your child will do–turn his wishes and needs over to God. But I could immediately see a problem. God answers all of our prayers, but sometimes He doesn’t say yes. So I thought I’d better step in.

“I know God heard you,” I said. “And He listened and cares. But everyone else in the class might have said the same prayer. So we might not win Ginger, but He might have something else in mind for us, and maybe it will be even better.”

We didn’t win Ginger, and everyone was OK–except maybe Ginger herself, who had to have been hoping to come back after the fun she had at our house over Christmas. I had actually forgotten that I did a full interview with her on that experience.


Speaking of prayers, if you like praying novenas, have you found  I may well be the last person to discover it, but I love that the novena lands in my inbox every morning and that I know I am praying with other people everywhere!

Not through that site, but because it seemed like the right thing to do right now, I am currently praying the St. Joseph novena for the fathers in my life. I figure it’s the perfect Father’s Day gift, and I don’t even need a stamp.


Daniel wants to go to Ireland. One of his school friends went with his family, and now Daniel wants to see the Emerald Isle.

The other day I was picking him up from school and he said, “Mama, can we go to Ireland sometime?”

“Maybe one day if we save our money.”

“Do they have drinks in Ireland?”

“Uh, yes. Yes. They do.”

“What kind?”

“Oh, I don’t know….”

“Do they have juice boxes?”

“Yes, they do.”


I don’t actually know whether there are juice boxes in Ireland. The truth is that Daniel just loves going places–any places. The other day I was running an errand and I said, “It won’t be any fun.” And he said, “But I LOVE no fun!”

Don’t we all–well, as long as there are juice boxes.


Our peonies have bloomed–and thank you, dear readers, for identifying them for me last week.

It turns out that ants are always on peony buds nibbling at the wax. And there seems to be some disagreement over whether the ants serve a purpose nibbling it away to make it possible for the peonies to open, whether you should chase the ants away, or whether it’s just one of those wonderful natural relationships that works out for the ants and the peonies.

Whatever it is, we are happy to have both the ants and the blooming peonies.


Happy birthday to my brother-in-law George! And, in case I don’t blog tomorrow, happy birthday to my sister Maureen. And happy Father’s Day to all the fathers!

I’ll be keeping all fathers in my prayers, especially those who are waiting to become fathers, and those with children in heaven.

Linking up today with lots of quick takers and our hostess for the next couple of weeks, Kathryn at Team Whitaker.

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