Surviving a kitchen renovation, late-night school supply runs, cake decorating, and more (7 Quick Takes)

~1~

Our kitchen renovation is complete! It took exactly three weeks from start to finish, and I can’t believe how different and beautiful the space is. I will write a full post about it and share before and after photos.

But today is Friday, and I wouldn’t want to deprive anyone of the weekly 7 Quick Takes. Kitchen renovations aren’t quick, and neither are blogs about them. So, come back for the full kitchen update tomorrow, and be assured that our boys finally enjoyed the ramen they have been craving for three weeks.

Being able to boil water and wash dishes…aaaaaaah. It’s glorious.

~2~

I used our Instant Pot to boil eggs this week, and they turned out perfectly.

I don’t think I would invest in one just to boil eggs, but I did love that the whole house didn’t end up smelling like eggs for two days.

The house didn’t explode, and I’m excited to use the Instant Pot again to make something much more adventurous.

 

~3~

Are you really a mom of school-aged children if you haven’t had to run to a drugstore just before it closes to get a school supply item that your child just remembered he needed the next day?

Do you get bonus mom points if you do it two nights in a row?

In good news, school supplies are cheap—and there’s no time to worry about which color binder to buy since there’s only one left on the shelf.

 

~4~

Our older son takes the bus to school now, but we still drop his brother off at school. He was climbing into the car the other day and he started squeezing his water bottle to spray water everywhere. I could just see us heading back into the house to change into dry clothes—and we had no time to lose.

“Stop! Stop!” I said. “You’ll get all wet!”

He kept squeezing, though, as the water sprayed up and over everything. Somehow he stayed dry.

When we got into the car, I said, “Why didn’t you stop? Didn’t you hear me?”

“I heard what you were saying,” he said with his winning fourth-grade smile. “I just didn’t want to listen.”

I appreciate his honesty. And I found myself thinking of how often that is me with God. I hear what He is asking of me. I just don’t want to listen.

~5~

We celebrated my mother’s birthday last weekend, even though she doesn’t actually celebrate her birthday. I’m not even sure I’m allowed to mention it here, but this take is really about her cake. My sister Treasa made the sweetest whale cake. It was hot milk sponge with homemade chocolate frosting, so it was delicious. Even better, she added a colored sugar whale to the top.

We often give my mother whale items because her mother was from New Bedford, a whaling town in Massachusetts, and she collected whales.

I had never thought to use sugar as a cake decoration, but you can bet I will be trying my hand at this—especially now that I have a kitchen again.

~6~

Halloween decorations are popping up, and they scream my children’s names. It’s just so hard to pass them up, even though we have more than enough Halloween decorations.

Still, I haven’t heard any mention yet of Halloween costumes. I wonder whether that’s a sign of children getting older.

They used to pick their costumes a year out and then change their minds over and over and over again over the course of the year.

~7~

Have I mentioned that our sixth grader is taking Chinese at school? I am so excited about it. I couldn’t believe it when I learned that Chinese was an option for seventh and eighth graders at his school. Then, when I heard it would be open to some sixth graders, I mentioned it very casually to him—as if I didn’t really care one way or another. But he right away said he wanted to try it. I am ecstatic.

I’m even more excited about Chinese than our new kitchen—and that’s really saying something.

Meanwhile, you can read more quick takes and see how Kelly is doing at her blog, This Ain’t the Lyceum, and have a wonderful weekend!

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Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner is a wife, working mother and author of the Catholic Review's Open Window blog. She and her husband adopted their two sons from China, and Rita often writes about topics concerning adoption, family and faith.

Rita also writes The Domestic Church, a featured column in the Catholic Review. Her writing has been honored by the Catholic Press Association, the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association and the Associated Church Press.