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    Seven Quick Takes on Watching Persuasion with my Girls, Planning a Birthday Cake, and More!

    February 6, 2015 by Brandy Vencel

    Seven Quick Takes

    :: 1 ::

    Last Friday night, Siah and E-Age-Twelve deserted me in order to go to a hockey game. I decided this was the perfect opportunity to watch the copy of Persuasion Friend H. had lent to me with the girls.

    In order to pacify O-Age-Six, who had to go to bed, I did an extended reading of bedtime stories. Then, when he was settled in, the girls and I snuck into my room to watch. It was oh so much fun! They are still too young to completely follow such a movie, so they asked a lot of questions, but I think they felt all the right things about it, if you know what I mean.


    :: 2 ::

    A-Age-Nine is becoming A-Age-Ten this month. This means we’ve been dreaming about cake design on Pinterest. She’s decided on a meadow-inspired combination using these chocolate trees around the sides, and topped with some grassy frosting and some Schleich deer figures. Can you tell she just finished reading Bambi?


    :: 3 ::

    Since I’ve been writing on burnout this week — and will be again next week — I thought I’d share with you my theory. I mean: why February? What’s so special about this month. I’m not saying this is the only reason, but I just thought I’d mention that I often wonder if February is the worst month because most of us are completely depleted of our Vitamin D stores by now, and we can’t start making more until next month at the earliest.

    I have no clue if I’m right, but I think it’s an interesting theory.


    :: 4 ::

    This week’s link collection:


    :: 5 ::

    Wait Only Upon God How many of you bought Candace’s Advent book, Jesus: Light of the World? Well, you might be interested to know that she’s come up with something similar for the Lenten season. Her newest {and might I mention how gorgeous it is?} book is called Wait Only Upon God and it follows a similar format to her Advent book. It’s basically 40 days of pondering the idea of waiting on God. She includes Scriptures and devotional thoughts and even a place to write out prayers.

    And did I mention it’s pretty?


    :: 6 ::

    For at least four years, I’ve been trying to get my hands on a copy of Dark Pilgrim: The Story of Squanto by Feenie Ziner. It’s the preferred biography for AmblesideOnline Year Three, but because it is out of print and so very expensive, there is another book that most of us must use.

    A few weeks ago, I was able to find a copy for less than $30. That’s still an expensive book, but I had some Christmas money, and I’ve been wanting to know what the fuss is all about.

    Now I know.

    This is the best book ever. It gives a glimpse into the British kidnapping and slave trade of American Indians. Told through the perspective of Squanto, you come to feel you know him so intimately. It’s a living book in the very best sense.

    I’ve been reading it aloud at lunch, and even requiring narration, and the children are eating it up. I’m not going to say you should spend a hundred dollars on it, but if you ever find a less expensive copy, buy it! You’ll be glad you did.


    :: 7 ::

    Some questions you’ve asked:

    • Question: What is a WoW chart?
    • Question: How about this mysterious tea-time I keep hearing about – i.e. what is the point? What is accomplished during said “tea time<” is it even CM or just something that CM folks tend to do? Can you tell I’ve been wondering about it?
    • Question: Is there a way to subscribe by email rather than RSS feed?
      • Answer: Yes! Use this form:

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  • Reply Candace February 7, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    Thanks, friend! 🙂 I think it’s beautiful too. I appreciate the mention! I always enjoy your 7 quick takes.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel February 7, 2015 at 4:17 pm

      You’re welcome, of course! I am happy to do it. 🙂

  • Reply Laurie February 6, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    I think both sides are probably pretty nasty about the vaccinations right now, but the pressure is certainly on. We are non-vaxers and one of our children is Autistic so we get all the questions, opinions, and assumptions that come with that. All. Of. Them. And it’s a lot.

    Thank you for always reminding me about my Vitamin D. You mentioned taking it when you were sick or getting sick I think recently, so I remembered to take mine last weekend when one of mine had a cold and voila- I didn’t get it! Happy, happy I am!

    Can I just say I love reading your Fridays? I found myself wishing tonight it was much longer. How about 15 quick takes? It is always a lovely, yet intellectually stimulating diversion. And today was less than lovely. 🙂

    • Reply Laurie February 7, 2015 at 7:20 am

      I just re-read this. Today was less than lovely for me I meant. It was a bad day. I should really re-read these!

    • Reply Virginia Lee February 7, 2015 at 3:19 pm

      I second the 15 takes! I save these posts for nap time/quiet time on Saturdays. Hubby is home and I manage to grab some quiet time in the afternoons to read. These posts get my mind settled down form the organized chaos of life. Then I am ready to jump into whatever reading I have going on. =)

      • Reply Brandy Vencel February 7, 2015 at 4:17 pm

        What are you reading, Virginia Lee?

    • Reply Brandy Vencel February 7, 2015 at 4:16 pm

      Well, I don’t know about 15 takes. Gotta save something for the next week, you know. 🙂

      I am so glad you found the vitamin D helpful! I have really become a believer in it over the years. Once I started supplementing, the difference was amazing. Of course, in the summer I prefer to supplement with a suntan. 😉

      I’m sorry you had a bad day. 🙁

  • Reply Rebekah February 6, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Persuasion has always been my favorite Austen novel. I read it over and over. Have you seen any of the other movie adaptations? that one is actually my least favorite by far. I might just be prejudiced because I really dislike Sally Hawkins, but the cinematography also drives me nuts.
    The move from 1995 is my favorite. You should watch it if you haven’t seen it!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel February 6, 2015 at 5:18 pm

      I haven’t! This was my first Persuasion viewing. I will look up the ’95 one. Thank you for the suggestion!

      One of the things I love about Jane Austen movies is that they tend to be true to the book in a way most other movies aren’t. It’s so nice. 🙂

    • Reply Sheri February 7, 2015 at 5:06 pm

      I agree completely with Rebekah – the 1995 version of Persuasion is divine.

  • Reply Dawn Duran February 6, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    YES! I have been wondering what the big deal is about Squanto, too, but lately got my hands on a copy via interlibrary loan (bonus of our recent relocation=great library system). It is magnificent. Stupendous. A joy to read. In short? I get it.

    And the marriage texts? So laugh out loud funny. I needed that. Thanks.

  • Reply Glenna February 6, 2015 at 10:33 am

    You are so right about the Squanto book. My library has a copy and what a privilege it is to read a true living book! I’m praying they don’t “discard” it as they can with many old, dusty, “out of date” books!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel February 6, 2015 at 3:41 pm

      You will have to tell your librarian that if they are ever getting rid of it, you want it. That would be a shame for it to be discarded! I am glad to hear your library has a copy. I think many must not because I have heard of it being an issue for AO families trying to find it that their system doesn’t have it. 🙁

  • Reply Lauren February 6, 2015 at 9:03 am

    I have learned so much to just never say my own opinions about hot topic issues particularly since we are the odd family out. It seems to make everyone happy. People at church can go on and on about whatever the issue is (vaccinations, the newest fad health diet, the newest medical therapy, etc.). And I just smile and listen cheerfully. I don’t really like feeling like a loner on everything but it is much better than fighting or upsetting people.

    Besides that, just after Christmas I was really sick for two days and it was a perfect time for pre-reading. I read Dark Pilgrim (I lucked out finding it for $8 a while back!!!) and I also really loved it. It was truly a living book and I thoroughly enjoyed it very much.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel February 6, 2015 at 3:40 pm

      I am trying to learn the art of saying less or nothing, Lauren. You are so wise to do that. I often forget how emotionally involved people get until I say something that is just trying to explore the topic intellectually and someone gets offended. Not worth it.

      I am SO envious that you found it for $8! That is a STEAL. Good for you! 🙂

  • Reply Mystie February 6, 2015 at 7:04 am

    My best friends vaccinate and we don’t; they haven’t disowned me yet. 🙂 Personally, in real life, I tend to see the non-vaccinators being the most contentious or at least overly-defensive. Usually it is that decision that is making a big deal out of it, probably because it’s such a counter-cultural decision that they feel they have to explain themselves, and then when people don’t agree, they feel extra defensive.

    And I totally think February is burn-out month because of a lack of vitamin D and being stuck inside. The times I’ve taken D, used my happy light, and exercised seriously reduce my February “we’re all falling apart” reaction to every little thing. My mom and I are both prone to SAD, but this year I’ve not gone there. Of course, the weather hasn’t been too cold or continually cloudy here, either, so that helps.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel February 6, 2015 at 8:35 am

      Normally, I would agree with you that the non-vaxers are the most contentious. I went through a stage where I read some of the “the books” non-vaxers read and they were just ridiculous. I almost wanted to be able to vax just because of how bad the literature was!

      This time, the groups seem equally unreasonable to me. I feel so silly saying this, but can’t we all get along? 😉

      I’m happy to hear my Vitamin D theory holds water with an INTJ. 😉

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