Friday, January 3, 2014

The New Year, Snow Days, British TV, and More (7QT)


I shamelessly use my children as an excuse at the New Year - an excuse to not party.  I've never partied on New Year's Eve, but back in the day of being single and childless it may have been construed as lame, pathetic, or at least the to-be-expected behavior from an introverted homebody.  Now that I have children, staying in and staying sober on New Year's Eve is "responsible parenting."  Score!


We did actually do a little daytime celebrating to mark the passage of 2013... the kids and I made chocolate bark: 

The white chocolate choked on us though... 

And we went bowling (the non-stuff Christmas gift I referenced in my non-stuff gift idea post).  We had a great time - and there were even some moments of stereotypical New Year's Eve celebrating going on (documented by the equally stereotypical bad flash-photography in large poorly lit rooms)...

 ridiculous dance moves:

excessive drinking:

and the party show off:
(I admit he was pretty impressive getting strikes and spares while holding a 20 lb child... And he's mine all mine!)

I didn't bowl (even though parts of me currently resemble a bowling ball).
But I did get to cuddle with and congratulate the participants:

And my parents brought over a delicious New Year's Day dinner which required the men to don special gear to grill steaks in snow and 13 degrees...


A little surprise waiting for me on New Year's Eve was an unexpected nod from Kendra at Catholic All Year!  How fun to read her post on little-known blogs and see my name up there!  My husband wondered what was going when I shouted "oh my goodness!!" and jumped up from the computer to run to the bathroom.  It was a combination of baby-bouncing-on-my-bladder and blogger's excitement!  Thanks for reading here, Kendra, and for spreading the love!


Aaron gave Ruth a belated Christmas gift that he had made and hid in his closet weeks ago.  It was a cardboard "house" for her Calico Critters mouse family.  They played with the set together for a little while and I just had to get this picture of how a boy plays with a doll house...  it's all muscle and heavy lifting:

the mouse family moves in :)  and no, we don't know what happened to their clothes...
maybe they haven't moved the dressers in yet??


The downside to homeschooling in the north...

Are there other mothers out there that use this when trying to convince their children how great homeschooling is: Just think of all the extra time you get to play outside while the other kids are inside doing lessons!  ??
It sort of didn't work today.
Today all the local school kids had a day off because of the cold temperatures.  (It's currently 1 degree) We didn't take off AND the kids don't get to play outside.  After beautifully and dutifully finishing math, spelling, handwriting, and reading the boys were begging to go outside and shovel.  I launched into my oft-repeated monologue on frostbite, after which Aaron deigned to accuse me of "making it all up just because you don't want us to go outside."
It took a lot of self control to refrain from guffawing - not want my kids to go outside, do all the shoveling, and leave me undisturbed for any reasonable length of time??  How little they know me...
What I DID do was Google "frostbite" which provided enough unpleasant pictures to scare any die-hard snow child from going outside until it at least reaches 37 degrees.  I was also fortunate to come across a portion of a Wikipedia article where it stated in words that even my seven-year-old could read, those at higher risk for frostbite include people with diabetes.
You're staying inside, kids.
But lessons were done, so they moved on to building Lego snow plows (one of which is outfitted with it's very own salt spreader) and now they're watching an episode of Mighty Machines.  (Netflix probably loves their stats and ratings on days like today!)


I've never been able to teach the boys how to crochet, but Clare seems to have taught herself in the time it took me to step out into the kitchen for a second cup of coffee...


So, Downton Abbey starts up again soon.  What is it about British television?  There are very few shows out of the USofA that I can stomach, but I'm a little bit of a sucker for shows from across the pond.  As far as Downton is concerned... I'm looking forward to it, but I'm nervous that they'll be dragging out some of the story lines/character development that I started getting sick of last year - like the tirelessly manipulative Ms. O'Brian and the obnoxious wily ways of Thomas.  Enough already.

I get most of my British show recommendations and updates from my mother.  Here are some I'm passing on to you...

The Bletchley Circle, on Netflix - Four ordinary women with an extraordinary flair for code-breaking and razor-sharp intelligence skills are the focus of this murder-mystery drama. Having served as code breakers in World War II, the four now focus their talents on catching killers.
(this is the Netflix recap)
Russ and I both enjoyed this, though parts of it were a little grisly.  They were tracking a psychopathic killer, after all.
I'd be interested in hearing other opinions on this, but I also thought it wasn't too heavy on the meek-and-humble-housewife-longs-for-the-significance-and status-she-held-before-marriage-and-children theme.  It was obviously an element in the character development, but not overbearing in the end.  I think.

Father Brown Mysteries - This series from last year is making it's first appearance on our local PBS station this weekend.  I'm a Father Brown fan - having read some of them when last in the hospital with a new baby and then spending lots of time thereafter nursing.  I think I'll watch the first one at least, but I did read some pretty awful reviews on from serious Chesterton fans.  I'm interested to see where this new series ends up...  Will anyone else be watching?

And you know you can watch All Creatures Great and Small on Netflix now too, right?  Classic.

Thanks to the ever-hospitable Jen, for hosting Seven Quick Takes, and for welcoming even those of us who can come up with quick takes only every couple months!


  1. I'm a big fan of British TV on Netflix. I've enjoyed Downton Abbey, Sherlock, and Doctor Who. And if you're in the mood for a wacky British sitcom, The IT Crowd is hilarious. I tried Land Girls, but didn't like it. There wasn't a good guy. North and South is a great miniseries.

  2. I despise all this cold weather we've had lately. It is supposed to freeze the next two nights. Yuck!

  3. The pictures are adorable. I especially liked the excessive drinking and the mice carrying the couch.

    My children played out in the bitter cold without losing any digits.

    I watch Lark Rise to Candleford on Amazon sometimes.

    IT crowd is ridiculously funny too.


Like the old song says, "comments are a girl's best friend." Or something like that... So... leave a comment! I love chatting here! Pretend you're on my back porch, kick the broken plastic sandbox toys aside, sip your iced coffee, or beer, or (__fill in the blank with your beverage of choice__) and let's talk about all the things, because back-porch blogging is what I do!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...