Happy back to school week! Or, as we know it here at the Fulwiler homeschool, the week where mommy pretends like she has a principled reason to start school after Labor Day and is not just sitting around and surfing Pinterest to see what’s working for everyone else first.
Also, I am particularly excited about the beginning of Fall. The only way to describe the weather in Austin right now is to say that it feels like you’re jumping into a pot of boiling slime every time you step outside. As if the usual heat weren’t bad enough, this new kind of ectoplasm humidity we’re dealing with makes leaving air conditioned spaces unbearable. I know we have a good two months before we’ll see the highs drop into the 80s, but at least the beginning of the school year signals that relief is on its way.
I have a few great events to tell you about during my Washington, DC trip, but I want to start with the Risk Jesus conference on Saturday, 9/27 in Woodbridge, VA.
This is going to be a fantastic conference for a lot of reasons, but one of them is that it encourages people to attend who are in all stages of their spiritual journey. I was just talking to the organizers yesterday, and they were thinking aloud about how they could help people who might not have fully embraced the Catholic faith yet feel welcome, while also making it a fulfilling experience for practicing believers.
Fr. Dwight Longenecker is also speaking, and Marie Miller is performing! I’m so excited to be able to see Marie Miller in person. If you’re not familiar with her, this song tells you everything you need to know about her fresh, unique brand of music:
Last week I needed to go down to a radio studio to do a promo spot for a JPII Life Center event at which I’m speaking in the Fall, but I didn’t have babysitting. I dropped the oldest kids with a grandparent, took the youngest ones with me, and hoped for the best.
I knew the ad was only scheduled to run for a minute, but the question was whether I could get it right in one take — if I we had to do it more than once, that would be more than enough time for my children to demolish the studio.
I ended up setting the kids up in the waiting room, which I could see through the glass doors of the studio, and running over to the mic to do the recording. As I spoke the words, I was watching my youngest girls push the baby around the coffee table in the waiting room, occasionally wrinkling my brow as I wondered what game they were playing that involved them standing on his stroller to try to jump over a chair.
It’s funny to listen to the spot now and remember what I was looking at when I recorded it:
(If you’re reading on email, click through to hear it.)
I’m giving a talk to young adult Catholics in a few months. I’m excited, but this isn’t the usual demographic for my talks. Since I’m much more familiar with the lives of married people with families, I wanted to ask: What are young, single, faithful Christians struggling with right now? What are the biggest concerns that are weighing on their minds? What are the areas where they could use some encouragement?
I was going to use this slot to ask for book recommendations, but I know what everyone is going to say, so I’ve decided: I’ll finally read Kristen Lavranfhsrhjsnwifhdshfgatadtter.
When I ask for new book suggestions, fully 40% of the responses go on and on about that one. I figure I can’t lose: either I’ll love it like everyone thinks I will, or I’ll at least be able to say that I read it so I can demand that people recommend something else. I’ll report back in five years after I finish all 6,000 pages of it.
I am on a never-ending quest to find things that amuse the kids that don’t require my time and don’t involve glowing screens, and my latest discovery is this: the VeggiChop Hand-Powered Food Chopper. (I only wish that I were the type of blogger who got these kinds of things for free in exchange for a review. Sadly, this is just a personal recommendation of something I found and bought myself.)
I went on Amazon to replace my Chop Wizard, which I originally bought off of an informercial because I am exactly like that person in the pathetic “before the Chop Wizard” black-and-white segment who ends up a sweaty, frustrated, bleeding mess from trying to chop a vegetable with a regular old knife. The Amazon reviewers said that the VeggieChop was better and, sure enough, it’s my new favorite kitchen product.
It’s basically a blender powered by a string — which doesn’t operate unless the lid is closed! — which means that the kids can make smoothies, salsa, and other fun stuff without a bunch of noise and mess. I highly recommend it.
Fun Friday pop quiz: What is the last song you listened to?
(My answer: the acoustic version of Stubborn Love by the Lumineers.)
Have a great weekend, everyone!