Reluctant homeschooling

. . . having been home-schooled myself


 

"ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ.  Now I know my ABCs.  Next time won't you sing with me."

“ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ. Now I know my ABCs. Next time won’t you sing with me.”

Girl 1 goes to a marvelous little Catholic Montessori program.  The only downside to it is that it technically is a “tutoring center” and not a school.  Her program only meets three days  week.

I knew that I’d need to do something the other two days eventually.  For now, she’s just kindergarten age, and I hoped that it would be enough for Pat to go over her phonics readers with her in the evenings.

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She’s so eager to learn.  She writes words and sentences on her own initiative.  She tries to write in cursive, making up her own style.

At the same time, she’s been acting up in school lately.  And even during good weeks, her unfocused self only gets so much done at school.  Mostly she draws and paints and socializes and goofs off.  So I’m thinking she needs some supplementation at home sooner rather than later.

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I was homeschooled K-12, and I feel like “Been there, done that, got the tee-shirt.”  I literally got a tee-shirt.    Still it just seemed like the right thing to do to bust out a few worksheets a few weeks ago.  A Friday morning in mid-November is as good a time as any to start homeschooling, right?

I held her hand over the pencil and traced the cursive letter “a” with her . . . for about five seconds until she shook me off.  It was funny how it brought back memories of when my mom taught me how to write in cursive (except that I think I was a more docile student).  A real déjà vu moment.

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We only got through maybe 20 minutes of actual work.  She did a few easy preschool-type shape-matching worksheets too, just for fun.  Then a really long snack.  Then some outside play time.  Then Peter and the Wolf on YouTube while I made lunch.

I  remember my mom playing Peter and the Wolf for me on our record player when I was about four.  I was really scared of it.  I think my mom turned it off.  Girl 1 was scared too.  I don’t know what I was thinking. Peter and the Wolf just seems like the homeschooler-ish thing to put on.

After lunch we read some Little House and the Big Woods, then I put the girls down for “quiet” time.  Girl 2 yelled the whole hour.  Then another snack, then a trip to the library, where we happened to catch a children’s group Suzuki lesson.  Then dinner.  Then Pat read Girl 1’s phonics reader with her and put both girls to bed.  (Okay, and there was some movie-watching here and there throughout the day too.)

The whole day was like an out-of-body experience, especially since our days generally have no structure.   (My life is like Jenny’s life, minus the part where her life gets better.) I usually go around in a sleep-deprived haze, trying to keep the girls amused and not screaming, and trying half-heartedly to empty the dishwasher and brush my teeth before dinner.  Adding any school work into the day seemed completely impossible.

But, in start contrast to my prior apathy, I find myself a bit excited about homeschooling.  A big part is that it might help put some structure in our life.

I wrote another post about how loving your child, for some people, might mean giving up your dreams of homeschooling.  For me, it might mean giving up my dream of not homeschooling.  Girl 1 has a strong will, a short attention and probably ADHD.  Her sister is no shrinking violet either.   I have extremely limited emotional reserves, I doubt that we’ll homeschool full-time for any significant period.

But–for today–we did it!  Only 20 minutes of real work, but we did it! Because that’s what we needed to do.  And it felt good.

 

(**Update, several week later, we are still at it.  Some days are better than others.  The novelty has worn off for Girl 1.  Girl 2 is excited to do “home-goo wook” because she gets to chew gum.  We still only get a few minutes of serious work each time.  But we’re doing it!)

My Outside-the-Lines Child Growing Up

Sweet Girl 1, you matured so much this summer.IMG_6761

You learned to ride a bike.

You taught yourself to whistle.

You taught yourself to snap your fingers.

You can put your hair in a ponytail by yourself.

You persevered in swim lessons, even though you didn’t want to put your face in.

You conquered your fears and took an airplane ride and discovered it was fun.

You attended vacation Bible school and enthusiastically participated in the songs, crafts, and games.  You loved learning about Jesus.

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You play with your little sister.  You watch out for her.  You treat her tenderly (most of the time).  She worships the ground you walk on.  She never wants to be away from you.  She wants to be you.

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You can draw in the lines.

You can draw in the lines.

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I like to think of you as my outside-the-lines child.  I hope you always will march to the beat of your own drum.

Drawing in the lines, though, gives you so much satisfaction.  You take joy in making beautiful works of art.

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As your skills increase, your frustration decreases.  You can focus so much longer now on a project.  You take pleasure and enjoyment in your work.  (And I’m grateful for Montessori’s insight that a child’s play is really her work.)

You have become more capable, more focused, and more independent.

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Being your mommy now involves less headache and more heartache.  My heart aches at your beauty, inside and out.  My heart aches because you are not really mine.  You are on loan to me from Someone who loves you even more than I do.

Sweet five-year-old girl.

A Day At the Movies With a Highly Sensitive Child

and the magical mother-daughter moment that wasn’t.

Okay, it was magical in a way.  On Saturday, after several long sick weeks indoors, Girl 1 and I needed to get out.  We spent over an hour at Old Navy, and that was a miracle in itself.  When she was 2 or 3 or even 4 I could never manage her in a store for more than five minutes at a time.

This time, though, the sensory overload at Old Navy got to me before it got to her.  The bright lights, the stale air, the loud music, the bright baubles that make it hard for me to focus my eyes on anything for more than five seconds.  It all gets to me.

Then we got lunch at Chipotle (steak salad for me, cheese quesadilla for her–no rice, no beans–and chocolate milk).

Then we saw Frozen.

{I’ve been eager to write another post, just so “My Life Is Hell” is no longer the first thing you see on my blog.  “This Felicitous Life . . . which is Hell.”  Still I was tempted to title this post “Hell Frozen Over.”  But that would make the third time in as many weeks that I’ve titled a post using the word “Hell.”  My parents raised me better than that.  Two times per month.  Tops.}

Not sure what I think of the movie.  I think most kids’ movies are pretty dumb, and this isn’t an exception.

I like the message of “love is putting someone else’s needs ahead of your own.”  Love isn’t just romance and kissing.

There’s also a message of “holding back your feelings is bad.”  It can lead to lashing out and inadvertently hurting those you love.  True ‘dat.  Though holding back your feelings isn’t always bad.  The devil is in the details.

And that “Do You Wanna Build A Snowman” song, sung by the little sister who loves her big sister more than anything, when the big sister loves her too but feels she has to stay away?

But in the end, the princess and the guy who loves her (really loves her and sacrificed for her) end on an ambiguous note.  They kiss and things look good for them.  But they might get married; they might not.  Does it really matter?  I kind of think it does.

I heard a Disney exec interviewed on NPR recently.  He was basically apologetic about earlier Disney princess movies, stressing that the newer ones feature “strong women” who “aren’t just waiting around for a guy to rescue them.”  Somehow, I don’t worry about my girls becoming strong women.  I take that as a given.

My bigger concern is that they know they deserve a guy who will risk everything and slay dragons for them.  And they shouldn’t waste their time on anyone offering less.

My biggest problem with the movie experience, though, is that it bombards your senses.  Violently.  Poor Girl 1 had her hands over her ears through most of the movie.  We left three times for “breaks” when it got too scary or just too much.  Too much noise, too many scary monsters, too many chase scenes, too much hanging off cliffs.

Afterward, I asked Girl 1, “What did you think of the movie? . . . Did you like it?”

“Mmm, no.  It wasn’t a good movie.”

We stopped at Panera on our way home, for a cinnamon bun as big as her face (found to contain raisins: mostly rejected).

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The warm fuzzies were coursing through my veins.  Shopping! Movie! Food!  It was the perfect mommy-daughter outing.

And then she pouted and whined and kicked my seat the whole way home because I wouldn’t let her play with my phone.

Some moms really enjoy making special “moments.”  I’ve really had to lower my expectations on that front.  I enjoyed our day out, and I know Girl 1 did too.  But my satisfaction can’t hinge on her appreciating the “specialness” of it.  She rarely reacts in a way I feel is warranted.

But on another, perfectly ordinary day not long ago, Girl 1 looked up at me and smiled, saying,

Oh Mommy, I love being me with you.

Oh Girl 1, I love being me with you, too.

Terrible Twos, Llamas, Lululemon … and Homeschooling

1. Girl 2 has gone from hero to zero.  Terrible twos.  Boom.  Overnight.  For a few weeks I thought I was getting off easy, but nope.

2.  She refuses to wear anything other than this:

Tutu

3. I’ve pretty much delegated dressing her to Pat, on those occasions when I have to take her out of the house, which I avoid doing as much as possible.

I had a brief, beautiful period of life where I could walk out of the library without a kicking, screaming, writhing child under my arm.  No more (at least not during the day).

It’s a good thing she’s cute.

4. Our biggest battle is at meal time and snack time.  So, five times a day.  She refuses to sit in her booster and wear a bib.  I refuse to let her eat any other way.  She gets grumpier and ornerier as her hunger increases.  I usually call in Pat.  I don’t know what I’d do if he didn’t work from home.  I’d probably just feed her Goldfish crackers from the kitchen floor, no shame.

5. At this point I’m just like, “Tina! Eat your food!”

eat your food gif

6. Speaking of fat lard (kidding!), I’m back to exercising.  A little.  But I hate getting dressed twice in one day.

I see how the whole Lululemon/ yoga pants phenomenon came about.  You put on stretchy clothes to exercise in.  You don’t feel like changing, so (like Shana) you buy exercise clothes that look nice (enough) to wear throughout the day.  And then even if you don’t exercise one day, you put on the exercise clothes out of habit and to at least make it look like you’ve exercised.  And after enough days like that, your jeans don’t fit anymore, so all you have left to wear is yoga pants.  (This wouldn’t happen to Shana–or to you, Annie, if you’re reading this–but it just might to me.)  It’s a slippery slope.

But I don’t like shelling out $ for clothes that aren’t “real” clothes.  And I don’t like wearing my one pair of really crummy, too-short, bootcut yoga pants, even around the house.

So I exercise in my pajamas.  Or in jeans with the waistband unbuttoned.  I feel like there’s a better way to do this but I can’t figure it out.

7. This is totally and completely unrelated to anything else in this post but, before I forget, I thought this was a good series: How to Homeschool without Warping Your Kids: Adult Grads Report Back (especially parts II and III).

Happy weekend!

For more quick takes, go to Conversion Diary.  Thanks for hosting the link-up, Jen!

Humblebragging, Proud Parenting, and Dressing Your Daughter

Me as I’m writing this post.

— 1 —

As of last week, the one New Year’s resolution I had progressed at was the one that simply involved buying stuff.  I wanted to replace our plastic leftover containers with glass.  I went and bought some Pyrex.  Big whoop.  But still, progress.

And then, wouldn’t you know:

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Pat and I both heard a *crash* from the cabinet, all of a sudden, with no apparent cause.  I can only guess that they dishes were stacked precariously and gravity happened.

I mean, sheesh, can’t I just have one little resolution be easy?

But it reminded me that in the currently-trendy backlash against plastic that maybe some of us (myself included) have forgotten that there was a reason people were so enthusiastic about Tupperware back in the day.  Glass breaks, yo?

— 2 —

I read this article on “humblebragging.”  I’ve been thinking about it so much and there’s so much I want to say.  For now, though, I observe “humble bragging” a lot from people–mostly women–who aren’t actually being prideful.  There’s just so perfectionist that they seem to feel it’s inaccurate to say anything positive about themselves without mentioning something negative as well.

— 3 —

Speaking of perfectionism, it was bothering me to have my Goodreads lists cluttered with books I read to my girls.  Not cluttered in the sense that children’s books aren’t important.  But cluttered in the sense that the two categories were all jumbled up together.  So I created a Goodreads account just for the books I read to my kids, or plan to read to them someday.

— 5 —

Speaking of little girls, I loved Ellen’s post here: Little dolls, about the subtle dangers of dressing little girls the way we like to dress ourselves, even if there’s nothing blatantly inappropriate about the outfit.

— 6 —

I thought this article was really interesting.  It’s by a father of 12 who could afford to raise in children in luxury but instead raised them to be so self-sufficient and hard-working that they all could pay for college by themselves.

A lot of it appeals to me.  (Like giving each kid a computer, but only in pieces they had to put together themselves: how cool is that?)  But on the other hand, there’s a slight whiff of pride about it: “ALL my kids were raised to be exactly the way  I wanted them to be, no exceptions.”  Can twelve individuals all fit into the same mold that easily?  Some people really couldn’t put a computer together to save their lives (like, um, me).

But on the other hand, it would be hard to include all the nuances in a short article.  And it seems more like a dad to look at the big picture; the mom probably could detail the different ways the overall system changed depending on the kid.

But on the other hand . . . .

“No, there is no other hand!”

Those are his index fingers, btw.

Can you name that quote?

(Random!)

— 7 —

I was nominated for three Sheenazing Awards!  Thank you to whomever nominated me!  I am honored.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

My Outside-the-Lines Kid {7QT}

— 1 —

Today was the last day of the one-week ballet “camp” Girl 1 participated in.  Here is the a drawing she made during the program:

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— 2 —

All of the other little girls drew neatly inside the lines.  My kid, not so much.  But she was the only one to think of drawing a person inside the tutu.  Why have a tutu without someone wearing it?  Sheesh.

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— 3 —

They had a little two-minute performance at the end for the parents.  My kid stood at the end of the line, closest to the teacher.  About half the time, at most, she followed the teacher.  The rest of the time, she was staring off into space, at us, at the mirror, or doing her own thing.

— 4 —

I have to remember that this is progress.  For two years, I took her to storytime at the library almost every week.  I thought she never would be able to sit and listen to an entire story without getting up and running around the room.  Now, she can at least stand in line, even if she’s not paying attention the whole time.

— 5 —

Pat says Girl 1 reminds him of himself at that age.  In tee-ball, he sat in the outfield picking daisies.  In tennis lessons he held his little tennis racket and looked to the side at his mom the whole time, oblivious to the instructor and other kids.  This makes me feel better because, you know, he turned out okay.  Still doesn’t like to follow the herd.  Still a little awkward sometimes . . .

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but those qualities just make him perfectly suited to be a software developer.  And that allows me to be the world’s lowest-earning attorney.  So it all works out.

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— 6 —

But back to Girl 1: unlike Pat, it’s not enough for Girl 1 just to do her own thing; she often wants to impose her will on the rest of the world (or at least on us).  And she tends to be hyperactive.  And she is LOUD.  But she is oh so charming, when she wants to be.  Very musical.  Very affectionate.  Very sociable though socially immature.  (Just now we have another little four year-old girl  over.  Girl 1 got a kick out of singing “Al-mond milk! Al-mond milk!” over and over to the friend, cracking herself up.  The friend gave a polite but bewildered smile. . . .”Why is she saying almond milk?”  Why, indeed?)  After dealing with Girl 1, along with her also strong-willed, light sleeping, loud-screaming little sister,  I am near catatonic at the end of the day.

— 7 —

I think Girl 1 could be considered ADHD, though her pediatrician says that, at 4, she is too young for a formal diagnosis.  I also think she has some degree of Sensory Integration Dysfunction.  (This book has been informative.)  Part of me doesn’t like to seek out labels for her.  But lately I’m thinking I should think of her as special needs.  Too often–although I try so so hard to be patient and encouraging–my reaction is “Why won’t my kid get with the program???”  I admire mom whose kids have autism or other special needs and who are able to focus on their kids’ individual strengths and weakness, without regard to what is or isn’t “normal” or “average.”  I need some of that.

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Because there’s nothing average about my kid.

For more quick takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Four Year-Old Fashion and Some Cross-Stitch { phfr }

I’m participating today in the Pretty Happy Funny Real link-up at Like Mother, Like Daughter.

Pretty

Instant friendship between Girl 1 and another little girl, as they danced to the recessional music at my brother’s graduation:

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Happy

Some little cross-stitch animals for Sebastian, the first completed needlework project in two decades for this self-avowed non-crafter:

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Funny

Four year-old footwear choices (she got the sandals on by herself for the first time):

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Real

Four year-old footwear choice when I don’t do a last-minute shoe check before Mass:

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Thank you for hosting, Leila and Co.!

 

Seven Felicitous Flops (7QT)

— 1 —

It is in this spirit that I write today’s post.

mistakesdemotivator

— 2 —

Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy, by Rumer Godden.  It promises to be a beautiful book, as is her In This House of Brede.

 This haunting tale of disgrace and redemption centers on Lise Fanshawe, a prostitute and brothel manager in postwar Paris who, while serving time in prison for killing a man, finds God. Lise is helped by an order of Catholic nuns that includes former prostitutes and prisoners like her. She joins the order and is swept up in an unexpected and fateful encounter with people from her past life. Rumer Godden, author of the masterwork In This House of Brede, tells an inspiring and entirely convincing conversion story that shows how the mercy of God extends to the darkest human places.

Thing is, none of the reviews I read mentioned the supporting character who is a pre-teen incest victim turned nymphomaniac sociopath.  Yikes!  Can’t take it.  Maybe I’ll finish it eventually.  Not now.

— 3 —

How Should A Person Be, by  Sheila Heti .  

How Should a Person Be? is a novel of many identities: an autobiography of the mind, a postmodern self-help book, and a fictionalized portrait of the artist as a young woman — of two such artists, in fact.
For reasons multiple and mysterious, Sheila finds herself in a quandary of self-doubt, questioning how a person should be in the world. Inspired by her friend Margaux, a painter, and her seemingly untortured ability to live and create, Sheila casts Margaux as material, embarking on a series of recordings in which nothing is too personal, too ugly, or too banal to be turned into art. . . . She begins questioning her desire to be Important, her quest to be both a leader and a pupil, and her unwillingness to sacrifice herself.

I read an intriguing review somewhere, perhaps the Wall Street Journal.  I only skimmed a few pages, but I can tell that no matter how great the story is, it won’t be worth wading through all the vulgarity and disturbing sexual imagery.  Never mind.

— 4 —

L’Oreal Beauty Tubes mascara.  Unique in that it forms little tubes around your lashes.

This type of mascara is recommended by both these books:

Go ahead.

That judgmental thought you’re thinking about me.

It’s okay.

You’re right.

You’re absolutely right.

Anyway, the result on me is neither hot nor expensive looking.

The toddler-claw mark doesn't help either.

The toddler-claw mark doesn’t help either.

And anyway, how can it make me look hot when I always wear sunglasses while driving my minivan?  That’s what I wanna know.

— 5 —

Recipe improvisation.  It works for me well enough sometimes, as in this crockpot balsamic beef turned Philly cheese steak.  This crockpot chicken teriyaki though:

I’ve tried making it twice now, tweaking it each time.  The results were somewhere between meh and bleh.  Just make the recipe as written, Laura.  It’s not difficult.

— 6 —

Coconut milk in place of half and half in my coffee.

I tried it, as discussed here.   It tastes like 1 tsp of skim milk plus 1 Tablespoon coconut oil.  In your coffee.   Not recommended.  Problem is . . .

— 7 —

Dairy: it’s probably the biggest reason I’ve been only borderline compliant with the Perfect Health Diet the past few months.  Dairy is allowed on the PHD, but not necessary.  I’ve consumed much more of it than is recommended.  Lots of cream in my coffee.  Butter on everything.  Cheese on everything and on its own.  Lots of whole milk yogurt.  Cream cheese stuffed dates for dessert.  Mmmm.

I’m giving it up for a month.

We’ll see.

Have a good weekend.  And enjoy your ice cream.  😉

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Maybe Pope Francis Will Teach Her To Pray (7QT)

— 1 —

Wednesday was the strangest day of the last 4+ years of my life:  Girl 1 amused herself all day long: playing believe with her dolls, drawing on paper, dancing around the house.  All I did was feed her meals, put on Sesame Street at one point (at her request), and play princesses for a few minutes.  She didn’t even protest when I put the princess doll down.

This is the girl who, since the day she was born, has delighted in nothing half so much as getting all up in my grill.  She never found herself in a situation that wouldn’t be made better by demanding something of her mother.   I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve thought, “Why can’t you go away for a while so I can miss you?”

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And suddenly she did.

And I did.

Even though she was just in the next room.

This was the moment I had waited for, the light at the end of the tunnel, blessed peace at last.  And yet, to quote Ruby Gillis on heaven:

Oh Anne, it isn’t what I’ve been used to.

— 2 —

Pat assures me that playing quietly to oneself is a normal part of childhood.  I don’t know.  I can’t help but see it as an omen that one day she will grow up and want to leave me.

— 3 —

In the past few months, Girl 1 has taken to climbing into bed with Pat and me in the middle of the night.  She never slept with us before, even as an infant.  Now I often don’t even notice when she crawls in.   I wake up at some point later to find her next to me, sleeping in 5T footsie pajamas.  5T is the last size in which I easily can find non-ironic footsie pajamas.     I’m so grateful for these footsie pajama moments because . . .

— 4 —

This morning I read this passage in Ann Voskamp‘s One Thousand Gifts:

My baby is five.  She falls asleep in my arms . . .  and I can’t capture it, hold it, this, her life now, me in this moment.  She is leaving me, she’s growing up and moving away from me, and she stirs and I sweep back the crop of the golden ringlets. Stay, Little One, stay. Love’s a deep wound and what is a mother without a child and why can’t I hold on to now forever and her here and me here and why does time snatch away a heart I don’t think mine can beat without?  Why do we all have to grow old?  Why do we have to keep saying good-bye?

Stay, little one, stay.

— 5 —

A few nights ago Girl 1 was struggling to enunciate the last lines of the Lord’s Prayer.  I really stuck my foot in it.

“De-li-ver us from e-vil.”

“Do you know what that means, Girl 1?  It means . . . keep us away from evil.  Evil means . . . bad things.”

” . . . You mean when I was crying yesterday, I was being evil.”

“No! No no, sweets, you are not evil.  You are . . . not evil.   Evil means bad things like . . . scary monsters . . . and bad guys . . . and . . . the big bad wolf.”

“Oh, like scary monsters and bad guys and the big bad wolf?  Scary monsters . . . bad guys . . . the big bad wolf.”

“That’s right.  Good night, Girl 1.  Sweet dreams.”

— 6 —

Next day, after saying Grace:

“Mommy, what does ‘holy’ mean?”

“Err, holy means . . . someone who is close to God.”

“Oh, someone who is close to God? . . . What does ‘spirit’ mean?”

“Uh, ah, er, ah . . . spirit means . . . spirit means . . . spirit means a person . . . apersonthatwecan’t seenowthat’senougheatyourlunch.”

— 7 —

New rule: no lying on the dining table, except when waiting for a new pope to be announced:

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For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

7 Quick Takes: iPhones, Mark Wahlberg, and Marriage

— 1 —

Having a strong-willed child like my Girl 1, I try to radiate this kind of aura:

Every time she sees me though, Girl 1 hears me singing this (the refrain):

I heard this song in the grocery store a while ago and stopped dead in my tracks.  “That’s it!” I thought.  That expresses exactly what Girl 1 thinks I think!

— 2 —

I found my iPhone!  In the linen closet, bottom shelf, under the bottom most towel.  Random!  (As the young fry used to say a few years ago.)

It’s a relief (a) to find it and (b) to know that I didn’t do something stupid like drop it in the trash and (c) to find it in a place in which I wouldn’t have looked even if I had done a thorough search of the house, which I didn’t.

— 3 —

If you have an iPhone, spare yourself the frustration and wasted time and money I did: go to your settings, then go to “iCloud,” then make sure the “Find my iPhone” option is turned On.

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— 4 —

Then again, losing my iPhone wasn’t the worst thing in the world.   This article, brought to my attention by Megan at Everyday Mom

Peters Fam in Natural Habitat

Peters Fam in Natural Habitat (Photo credit: Crazybananas)

Style, really got me thinking.  It’s all about how much of your children’s childhood you can miss by being glued to your smartphone all the time.

I see the point, but, on the other hand, I feel that if I were 100% “present” emotionally and socially, as well as physically, to my two ankle-biters, I would go crazy.  Really crazy.  Young children don’t understand that mommies need boundaries.

Anyhoo, losing the iPhone, along with my no-internet-after-8pm resolution, put me on a sort of involuntary retreat.   The evenings are definitely more restorative, which has been a good thing, because the girls have been awfully sick this past week and . . . .

— 5 —

Before having kids,  the concept of “caring for a sick child” carried the image of a child in bed and a parent sitting at a child’s bedside.  Just sitting.

Nurse making house-call, New Orleans, 1936. Or...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ha.  Ha ha.  Ha ha.  Ha ha.  Ha ha.

— 6 —

I recently read this short little interview with Mark Wahlberg on marriage.   Amazing.  He lists going to church as the #1 secret to a good marriage, at a time when “being spiritual” is cool but “going to church” is looked down upon as close-minded, unenlightened.  Not that Mr. Wahlberg is an all-around good role model but still, I found his words refreshing.

— 7 —

Oh my goodness, have you heard about Justice Scalia’s hat that he wore to the presidential inauguration?  Read about it here.  Totally made my day!

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