Seven Quick Takes: Crazy Schedules, Crazy Doctor’s Appointments, and Crazy Christmas Presents

Welcome to Seven Quick Takes Friday, hosted by Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary Kelly Mantoan at This Ain’t the Lyceum. Be sure to go by and see the other Quick Takers at the new home of Seven Quick Takes!

Seven Quickies: Back from Vacation Edition

Oh, I guess that image won’t work any more, will it?




This weekend is the culmination of our Fall schedule. My 16 year-old is performing and working backstage at a production of Like Winter Waiting, a play by Father John Foley, SJ, that teaches about the importance of Advent. (It even talks about my favorite Advent topic, the Jesse Tree!) Two of her performances are happening at the same time as her younger sister is performing with her dance studio. Tonight, Nathan and I are splitting up, and he’s taking our older daughter to the play (and watching) while I take our younger daughter to the Christmas festival in the neighboring town so she can dance right after they light the Christmas tree.

It’s going to be a fun weekend, but we’ve figured out a schedule to make it work!


It’s supposed to rain tonight. The dancing is happening outside. And it’s supposed to be a little cold.

Really not as fun as Gene Kelley makes it look.

Please pray it holds off until my daughter is finished dancing!


I seem to be collecting embarrassing and goofy medical stories lately. The latest is about my scheduled mammogram. (Gentlemen, feel free to skip this one if you want!)

^ every one of my male readers ^

I showed up and signed in for my mammogram and was taken back for it at 11:48 AM. The tech asked if anything was new or worrisome, and I mentioned that I have cysts and had developed a new lump while I had shingles. It was very painful then (but so was everything else), and it had actually shrunk since the shingles cleared up. But the tech said she’d rather be safe than sorry and wanted to do a diagnostic screening and sonogram instead of a regular screening. (And if they didn’t, they’d probably have brought me back anyway, due to a new lump.)

She brought me back to the waiting room and said she’d call my doctor’s office to get them to fax over an order for the more detailed mammogram, and as soon as she got word that they would send the fax, she’d go ahead and do the tests. Well, it turns out my doctor’s nurse was at lunch by then, so she left a message and told me I might as well go grab a bite to eat while we waited for her to get back.

I got dressed and went out for lunch, then went back to prep for the mammogram again. However, at 1:30 we hadn’t heard back from the office and had called them 8 times between the two of us!! I got dressed and wound up going to the doctor’s office in person to request the order myself (it was literally on my way home), and went home to stew.

I’d been out for more than 3 hours at that point, had been undressed twice and been poked in the boob a couple of times to boot. My introverted nature was totally overwhelmed by the rest of my to-do list for the day, and I was pretty much friend, mentally speaking.

When Nathan asked what happened with my appointment, I told the story and said, “My mammogram was just a BIG BUST!”

Not a Fake Laugh

I thought he was going to die laughing at me.


Oh, and he laughed at me more later that night when I got really excited about him buying me a new printer for Christmas. I get to use it as soon as it comes (I have Christmas letters to print, people!), and he’ll wrap the empty box to put under the tree. (That’s how we roll — we did the same thing when he bought me a stand mixer the year I baked more than 1,000 cookies for the people he worked with as a Christmas gift.) Anyway, I’m really stoked about my new printer!

This is totally how excited I am!

Lest you think this is a weird thing, remember that I homeschool. I have copies and massive amounts of printing to do all the time. Fellow homeschoolers, have a look at this beautiful printer and tell me it isn’t awesome!

My Dream Printer!


When I was growing up, my mother and father would frequently include needed items as Christmas gifts. If we needed clothes, we’d get them for Christmas. There were fun presents, as well, but always clothes that were needed anyway. It was a way to have lots of gifts under the tree and not blow the budget. We do the same thing for our children, including one tradition that would mortify my poor father, and does the same to poor Nathan.

What’s one thing that every kid needs on a pretty regular basis, and that makes a stocking look full and fluffy? Underwear.

Don’t judge.

Am I the only mom who’s done this? Seriously, let me know if I’m the only person (aside from my mother) who is crazy enough to do this.


I had my girls each choose a child from the Angel Tree at our parish this year, and asked that they use their “Give” money to purchase a present for someone. Our Angel Tree supplies gifts to the children of inmates at the local prison, so it’s a ministry that hits on the Corporal Works of Mercy in a big way.

Do you have any traditions to teach your children generosity at this time of year?


I happened across a link to this video on Twitter the other day, and loved the entire story around this! Apparently, back in September Olive Garden decided to offer 1,000 Endless Pasta Passes that would entitle the recipient to as much pasta as they wanted for seven weeks for the price of $100.

How can you resist a pasta-eating kitty?

Matt Tribe managed to get one of these passes, and realized that there was no way he could eat enough pasta to actually get his money’s worth. He called the promotions department for Darden Restaurants and asked if he could use it for takeout multiple times in a day, and the answer was yes! So he started committing Random Acts of Pasta, showing up at friends’ and family’s homes with takeout from Olive Garden. He said he learned a few things from this experience:

1. Nobody is ever home when you randomly stop by. Some people I tried 6 times and they were never there.
2. Not one person was pissed that I brought them free Olive Garden.
3. Homeless people vanish at night
4. Always check soup lids to make sure they’re on tight or your back seat will hate life

Also, I feel that I should note that I used the pass on myself 14 times.

See number 3 there? That’s where the video comes in. Be sure to go check out his website (linked above) and see the highlights of his Random Acts of Pasta, too. There’s a bit about the video below that really touched me. There’s real love at work here.

Have a great weekend!

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