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7 Quick Takes

November 19, 2010

1. We were really excited to hear that Archbishop Dolan was elected president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops! He’s smart, solid, funny and works well with people. These are good things!

2. This school year we’ve been transitioning away from having people all over floors, tables and couches to do their school work (along with the lovely cabinets my husband made for the four older kids years ago – we still love these!) . With a lot of help from our local St. Vinnie’s Thrift Store, we’ve found desks (not the school-type desks which I complain about in the above-linked post, but more traditional desks that are made of wood and have drawers on the sides. As of last week, we finally have everyone in a desk that fits them (which was particularly tough for Gus who has now reached the height of 6’1′ – and growing – he’s only 15!). Many of them even have “desk-toppers” to hold a lot of their books and things. We cleared out most of our “toy” section of the basement and turned it into a study room with toys instead. 🙂 I love St. Vinnie’s!

I should say that the kids still do schoolwork all over the floors, tables and couches and every time I threaten to get rid of everything they neglect to pick up from the floors and couch someone always asks if that includes their Math book!

3. I’m still laughing about a funny quote from my now grown-up nephew Mike that I found in an older letter I wrote to John while we were dating. He said, “Graduation hats are like Mickey Mouse hats, only flatter.”

4. It’s that Library Holiday Tree time of year once again. Unfortunately it took me most of a week to find the leftover ornaments from last year. I’ve got a pretty good list of new books going (with a lot of help from Anna’s Picture Book of the Week feature from the Love2learn Blog). So now we’re checking the old ornaments against the online library catalog (to see which ones have been purchased by the library over the course of the year – quite a few have!) and then I’ll know if I need to make a special research trip to some local libraries and bookstores for additional titles. If you have any suggestions – please share them in the comments! We do mostly non-fiction picture books, but include a variety of other things that people might like to gift to the library in someone’s name.

5. I’m long overdue in saying more about how much I’m loving WordPress. I came here largely because of the spam problems I was having on Studeo (which were enormous!), but I’m loving the integrated side-bar widgets (including a huge variety of easy-to-use options), the smooth photo features (a HUGE improvement over Blogger!) and the overall loveliness of the editing package. I don’t know what was wrong with the editor on Blogger, but I had to manually move my cursor at the end of each paragraph. It was maddening! Thank you WordPress!!!

6. Having jumped ship from Facebook this week, I was interested to see that there’s been some interesting discussion on the ups and downs of Facebook in the Catholic blogosphere this week. I thought it worth mentioning that I don’t have anything against Facebook, nor do I think it’s evil or even superficial. It’s just not a good thing for me at this point in my life and I have to admit that it’s been freeing to break away from it. I think the big thing for me was that Facebook was swamping not only most of my online time energy, but other interconnectedness time and energy as well – like calling friends and family who live far away (which I used to do a lot more of). Here are two articles I stumbled on for those who are interested:

Arlington Catholic Herald: Genuine Friendships

Heart Speaks to Heart (I haven’t yet read the article that she references)

7. I can’t believe that my “baby” is starting to read. He’s still got some work to do on the phonogram cards, but he’s sounding out and blending quite well. We just pulled out the Magnetic Poetry “First Words” set that we bought for Kate a few years ago and Frank is super-enthusiastic about reading the words. He was extremely disappointed when we finally prodded him off to bed at about 10 pm last night (which, admittedly, was only a few minutes after we pulled out the magnets).

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