On Guinea Pig Brawls, Facebook for Android, and Games with Kids


Every day this week I have planned what I will write to you, dear readers, after the children are in bed.  Every night, with the exception of ever-exhilarating-budget-night Tuesday, I’ve been asleep by 9:30 with nothing more than a rough draft to show for it.  (Ditto: reading other blogs and commenting.)  This pregnancy is kicking me in the rear, I tells ya.  I just keep telling myself that this kid must be the cutest of all my kids so far, because she’s taking all my energy to grow.  (‘She’ is just a guess.  All we know so far is that the baby is human.)

So I’m using the blogger shortcut of throwing all possible topics into one 7 Quick Takes and calling it Good Acceptable.


The draft that’s allllllmost ready to publish is my review of Jennifer Fulwiler’s new book, Something Other Than God.  Spoiler: I read it in a day and a half and loved it.

Jen’s story of conversion from atheism to Catholicism is fascinating, to say the least.  I don’t want to repeat myself when I publish my official review, so I’ll just say this: If you’re an atheist who wonders how anyone could convert to Catholicism, this book would shed a lot of light on that.  If you’re a Christian who wonders how anyone could be Catholic Christian, same goes.  I’d venture to say if you’re a Catholic, your faith will be strengthened by this story.  And if you’re a sucker for memoirs, or just love a good coming of age/fall in love and get married/realize that all your previous dreams pale in comparison to the ones God has put before you story, this is also a great one for you.

Recommendation: read it.  Click here and read it now.


Get guinea pigs, they said.  They’re so much fun for kids, they said.

Pshshshshsh.  These guinea pigs have been non-stop drama.

Our first pair, supposedly “bonded” males, turned out to be not so bonded after all.  We figured this out after witnessing a guinea pig brawl.  We learned from the guinea pig rescue (it’s a real thing) that they were not likely to get over this, so we took Thorin Oakenshield, the prime offender, back to the rescue.

Doesn't he just look like trouble?

Doesn’t he just look like trouble?

We kept Mr. Ganley, the more tame of the two originals, and got him a pal, which we named Buddy.

Buddy in the foreground, Mr. Ganley in the background.

Buddy in the foreground, Mr. Ganley in the background.

Last weekend, we arrived home from Gianna’s First Communion party to find Buddy lying on his side, dead in the cage.  We believe he died of a heart attack, or possibly heat stroke.  Both of those are far preferable to my first thought, which was that Mr. Ganley killed him.   Can I just say: this was not a fun way to come home?  I’m not generally a squeamish person, but ew.  Just ew.  Thankfully, Kevin stepped up and did the manly thing by driving him to the nearby canyon and leaving Buddy’s remains as a surprise snack for the coyotes. The circle of life, and all that.

So now I find myself needing another guinea pig because they’re not supposed to be alone.  But I don’t want to.  I’m dreading fights and deaths and let’s be honest, cleaning up after 1 guinea pig is half the mess of 2.


I took Facebook off my phone.  It wasn’t out of any desire to improve myself or anything, though, lest you think I’m gettin’ all uppity.  No.  Here’s the story.  A couple months ago, Facebook began asking to update.  I began the process but immediately switched it off when I read their “Permissions.”  Facebook explicitly required permission to access text messages, contacts, and calls, and gave themselves permission upload them to their server and use them as they wished.

No, thank you.

So I continued using the old app until it expired, and Facebook automatically switched to the new one.  When I realized this, I deleted it off my phone.  I share a lot of info on the internet, and as a general rule, I’m not paranoid.  But I’m not voluntarily giving permission to Facebook to control/monitor my life.  Here’s an article on the same subject: Facebook for Android and Why Zuckerberg Now Owns Your A$$.

The unintended upside is that I spend far less time on my phone.  For me, that’s not a bad thing.  And guess what?  Facebook still works on Google Chrome on my phone, so if I really need want to check something, I can do it that way.


The other post I’ve been working on is advice for new homeschoolers.  My friend Katie (who does not yet have a blog but totally should) is seriously considering pulling her son out of school next year to homeschool him.  I have a couple years of homeschool under my belt now, and feel qualified to give some advice, but  I don’t know much about the transition from brick-and-mortar school to homeschool.  Do any of you have advice for Katie?


Yesterday Kevin left work early because he was sick.  He is usually the fun guy in the evenings when I am completely spent, so I had to dig deeeeeeep to make up for his absence.  We struck upon the games of Twister and Chutes and Ladders.

The actual version we own.

Twister: I haven’t had that much fun playing a game in months.  I volunteered to be the spinner and got to watch the kids contort themselves into positions that rival those 1970’s Twister print ads, minus the fabulous clothes of course.  Opinion: Highly Recommend.

Chutes and Ladders, which Ezekiel calls “Shoot the Latter,” was a different story.  The boys started a mutiny about 10 minutes in but the girls wouldn’t hear of quitting.  Plus, they didn’t want me to lose, so they kept opting to not go up a ladder when offered and telling me I didn’t have to go down chutes when I was supposed to.  It was a all very sweet, but in the end I was all:

Will this game never end

Opinion: Play with kids older than 5, and set a timer.


As always, it’s fun to entertain you with some quotes from the boys.  We’ll label this week: The Homeschool Fail Edition.

Zeke: Mommy, I know what tomatoes are made of!

Me: really?  What are tomatoes made of?

Zeke: Strawberries!

and finally:

Gabriel: Zeke, let’s play “History.” I’ll be Brutus and you be Judas.

Now go check out Mrs. I’m-A-Published-Author-Fulwiler.  She’s not too cool for you, I promise.


  1. We have one solitary,lonely guinea. He seems okay by his lonesome. He hasn’t died of a lonely, broken heart yet, anyway. We got him from someone who was getting rid of him, and he has always been a solitary pig. Maybe Mr. Ganley is a unique introverted guiniea pig and prefers his privacy??
    Amelia @ One Catholic Mama recently posted…7 Quick Takes Friday….I’m trying to be more Catholic-yMy Profile

  2. How did I miss that you’re pregnant?? Congrats!

    I deleted Facebook from my phone before lent and found I like it more when it’s just a brief evening scroll thru. Not getting uppity here either, though. Instgram, bloglovin and twitter are still on my phone!
    Nichole recently posted…A Day at the Orchard and GratitudeMy Profile

  3. Gabe and John Paul and Cecilia would totally play well together 😛 Today Cecilia told me, “Mom, did you know Judas put a rope around his neck and then he died?” Out of nowhere. She’s a liiiittle bit obsessed with death right now…
    Rosie recently posted…Outside Time! {PHFR}My Profile

  4. Maybe it’s 4-year olds and death. We’ve done a lot of explaining about coffins to James lately – not in a morbid fascination kind of way. He just wants the mechanics of the process explained. Also he was totally blown away by the story of the death of St. John the Baptist (even though he saw Jack Tierney’s all saints costume in person).

    FYI – I always rig the candy land cards so the treat cards come in order. I don’t care who gets them. I’m just not risking a peanut when I’m only 10 spaces from freedom!

  5. What I hate is when it looks like the kid has just about won Candyland, and then draws a card that send him/her back to the beginning.

    Welcome to the Catholic blog directory. I’d like to invite you to participate in Sunday Snippets–A Catholic Carnival, which is a weekly link-up where Catholic bloggers share their posts with each other. This week’s host post is at http://rannthisthat.blogspot.com/2014/05/sunday-snippets-catholic-carnival_10.html It is a great way to meet fellow bloggers and attract new readers to your blog.
    RAnn recently posted…Sunday Snippets–A Catholic CarnivalMy Profile

  6. Oh my goodness, Guinea Pigs. The worst. But I’m a confirmed non-rodent owner. But I guess Guinea pigs are better than dead mice held up by their tails?? Don’t worry about getting nothing done – growing a baby is hard work!
    Christy recently posted…Seven Quick Takes vol. 88My Profile

  7. Guinea Pigs are so adorable, and they love being petted by their owner. To be honest I love Guinea Pigs, you should play with them sometimes, they need attention. Maybe Mr. Ganley is just frustrated inside his cage, that’s why he’s wild.

    • We do take him out several times a day to play with him. he’s definitely mellowed out. I think the fact that he’s a rescue makes him more skittish. Thanks for commenting!


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