all things thursday

This morning my older daughter left for Florida (again) where she’ll be living in a trailer with her employer, taking riding lessons from some fancy guy, and, hopefully, earning a bit of money.

Tomorrow morning I head to NYC for the Fresh Air Conference, and then Saturday my younger daughter returns from a week of nannying for my brother’s family in Pittsburgh.

It’s more comings and goings than usual, but I’m okay with it. I’m also looking forward to March when we’re all back together again.


I was all excited about trying this recipe — I even made homemade pasta (but with just one egg and about a third cup water) — and then no one liked it.

I mean, we ate it, but the kids weren’t too keen on the onions and I thought the yogurt sauce made it taste like baby spit-up. Lovely, right?


I need a new read aloud for me and the younger two kids!

We’re all a little worn out from the last two books — Ender’s Game, which the boy liked but the girl (and mother) not so much, and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy which none of us liked (sorry, Hitchhiker fans!) — so now we’re craving pure pleasure, something like Holes, or A Day No Pigs Would Die, or Counting By Sevens.



Hey-hey, lookie here! For all things beautiful and practical, check out my cousin’s fabulous new website.

at the Christmas gathering, in her element

She’s amazing, and so are the things she makes. I’m a fan of her drawstring bags and skillet socks, and we use her cloth napkins daily.

Treat yo self, people!


The other evening, the older two kids and I decided to watch something. It’s gotta be funny, Mom, they said, and I was like, I know JUST the thing.

I’d already seen Hasan Minhaj’s Homecoming King, but this time it was even more fun, since I got to watch the kids’ reactions. They loved it. They caught a bunch of the jokes that never made any sense to me — pop culture and tech stuff — and they appreciated the hard topics of immigration, racism, and romance.

Have you seen it?


My older son and I both made it into The Valley Playhouse’s production of The Diary of Anne Frank — I’m Mrs. Frank and he’s Peter. Rehearsals start tonight, and the show runs May 2-12. Mark your calendars!

Have a great weekend!

This same time, years previous: vindication, ROAR, crispy pan pizzas, lemon creams, and just when you thought my life was all peaches, peanut butter and honey granola, mayonnaise, rock-my-world cocoa brownies.


  • Mountaineer

    When you were young—preteen, I think—I read Animal Farm to you and your brother without belaboring the deeper political commentary. Your two "youngers" might enjoy the story and appreciate the allegory. Do you recall enjoying, or merely tolerating, the story?

    • Jennifer Jo

      I remember listening to it, but I don't remember whether or not I liked it. I actually got a copy from the library a few weeks back, but I haven't been able to bring myself to read it to them, mostly because it looks so dry. But maybe it's not….?

  • mommychef

    We really liked Mrs Frisby and the Rats from NIMH, Tuck Everlasting (you have probably already read these) but also Elise Broach's Masterpiece and Cynthia Voigt's Mister Max series, esp books 1 and 2 (although by book 3 she kind of lost us a bit). About to start "The Emerald Atlas" by John Stephens."A Riddle of Roses" is also next on our list.

  • Anonymous

    I'm reading Susan Wittig Albert's series on the fictional life of Beatrix Potter. I think the series would make awesome read aloud books for older kids. There are 6 or 7 books in the series and best to read in order.
    SJ in Vancouver BC Canada

  • Margo

    Ewww, baby spit-up. Definitely not trying that pasta recipe!!

    Book read-aloud: anything by Polly Horvath, but especially _Everything on a Waffle_

  • Lana

    Every one of every age at our house loved all the books by Ralph Moody. They are some of the few that I have kept from our kids growing up years.

  • Joanna

    Maybe not to read together, as only the boys liked 'Ender's Game', but 'Ender's Shadow' is a really good companion piece/expansion piece to EG. I've read it many times and I still cry at the end (not sad tears!)

  • katie

    I just started reading Momo, by Michael Ende with my kids. I stumbled upon it last year when it was recommended to people who liked A Wrinkle in Time. This is apparently the German "equivalent". I can't promise that it will be all fun and games, but it is pretty wonderful so far.

  • Suburban Correspondent

    Thanks for the recommendation of Hasan Minhaj! Have you seen Kid Gorgeous yet (John Mulaney)?

    And your cousin makes beautiful things! Love those rope bowls!

  • JAG

    I have to admit, I had the same reaction the one time I made the yogurt/onions dish. I don't know if I'm missing something, or it just isn't to my taste. I did use the sheep's milk yogurt, but wonder if the extremely excellent farmers' market yogurt would be better. But I have to admit, I have a number of last minute pasta dishes in my pocket and it never seemed worth it to keep going with this one.

    My daughter is younger than your two but The Westing Game, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil Frank…something, Neil Gaiman's Fortunately the Milk (only one night, but what a great night), Mrs. Pigglewiggle (maybe too young?) Maybe less fun but ones I'm looking forward to eventually Ursula LeGuin's EarthSea series, Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising Series,

  • Eldon

    Surprised that nobody liked the Hitchhiker's Guide, I loved that book!
    For a fun one-off that I wish had some siblings, read Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophesies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.
    I know I said it before in the previous call for book suggestions, but give Terry Pratchett's Diskworld books a try. Start with The Colour of Magic and then read in order of publication. The books have 6 distinct different character sets/story arcs that intersect at times but all are basically stand-alone series in their own right. However, when read as a whole, the entire body of work is just incredible, with zany humor, subtle literary criticism, biting social commentary, moral and ethical exploration, and just sheer ridiculousness. I cannot wait until my boy is old enough for me to read these to him.

    • Anonymous

      I agree on Good Omens! I hadn't thought about the rest of Pratchett's stuff, have to look into that.
      Since these suggestions seem to have a slight sci-fi/fantasy bent, I'd add Madeline L'Engle and the Dealing With Dragons series. Especially for pure pleasure, Dealing With Dragons is completely indulgent.

  • Mama Pea

    I played the role of Mrs. Frank in our local playhouse's production of The Diary of Anne Frank some years ago. It surprised many of us in the production that each night we had members of the audience sobbing. I think it was a testimony to the emotional impact of a well written play. (And maybe a teeny bit to the acting of the cast? ;o] )

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