7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 116)

February 11, 2011 | 88 comments

— 1 —

I just read the most amazing book: A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. I’ve spent the past few days trying to figure out if I can officially say that it’s the best memoir/biography I’ve ever read. Could anything really be better than He Leadeth Me or Endurance? I’ve decided that they’re each so different that I can’t rank them; they’re all tied for first. But here’s a telling detail: I’ve already started re-reading Miller’s book, and I’ve never read a book in this genre twice.

Now, I was about to write a note along the lines of, “IF YOU DO NOT CLICK ON THIS LINK AND HIT ‘ADD TO CART’ RIGHT NOW YOU HAVE ONLY YOURSELF TO BLAME, ” but then it occurred to me that it might not touch everyone the same way it touched me. It’s the memoir of a writer who tries to live his life as if it were a story, so all the insights about what makes a good story — on the page and off — were right up my alley. But I think anyone would love it.

I’ll shut up now and save my full review for later, but a huge thanks to Julia at Lotsa Laundry for recommending it back in this post.

— 2 —

Speaking of awesome recommendations from online friends, last night I was doing some work and wanted to watch a TV show on Netflix. I asked the Twitterati for recommendations, and @feebeglee and @KateOH immediately recommended Downton Abbey. I’ve only watched half of one episode, but I’m hooked. It involves dry British repartee…and butlers! Butlers ironing newspapers for “his Lordship”! Butlers steeping tea for “her Ladyship”! If I’m suddenly offline for about a week, it’s because I’m busy watching every episode of this show.

— 3 —

So how fascinating were the comments to my post from Monday? For those of you who haven’t had time to read them all, I’m going to do a post with a highlight reel condensing all the comments, since it would take a long time to read every one of them. Look out for that soon!

— 4 —

I have an idea. It is an idea that, were I to execute on it, would make me a very rich woman. You see, I’m teaching my kindergartener son to read. He’s doing fine, but I can tell that he could do a whole lot better if he were motivated. I’ve tried everything to help him understand how great it will be when he’s a proficient reader, with only limited success. And then. A while back he came across the word “but” in a book. Mistaking it for a different version of that word, his eyes filled with delight. He immediately devoured this wonderful, perfect book that he thought included a discussion of his favorite (albeit forbidden) word.

And so I had an idea, an idea to instill young boys with a passion for reading so intense that they’ll be ready for War and Peace in the 1st grade. It would not be a reading program to start with. It would, in fact, be one you’d try to avoid, a program of last resort — and you’d never, ever admit to your friends that you used it. You would simply shrug when people wondered aloud why your six-year-old with average reading skills was suddenly an obsessed bibliophile. And you’d never tell them that it all started when we met in a secluded parking lot, me wearing a trenchcoat and oversized sunglasses, looking both ways, then quickly slipping you a copy of my self-published children’s book,  Bobby Buttfart Poops on the Ninjas.

— 5 —

A notice to my neighbors to the south: apologist extraordinaire Patrick Madrid is coming to San Antonio next weekend! Check out this site for more details. It’s only $10, and should be a great event.

— 6 —

Here’s a great article to start your weekend: Dr. Peter Kreeft talks about what it would take to usher in an era of peace and love in the culture at large. He has a unique take on the issue. Lots of great ideas.

— 7 —

Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? It seems like most couples I know either don’t really do anything for the holiday, or do something toned down like just having a movie night at home. I’d be interested to hear if anyone has any elaborate, fancy plans!


Below is a linky list if you’d like to add a link to your own 7 Quick Takes post. (1) Make sure the link you submit is to the URL of your post and not your main blog URL. (2) Include a link back here.


  1. Elizabeth

    Other people live their life like it’s a story? Hmmmm I need to reevaluate with my narrator.

    Your book title is hilarious and it would work for girls too…

  2. Suzanne

    Jennifer….have you tried any other of Donald Miller’s books? Blue Like Jazz is an all-time fav of mine. Now, maybe if you could just convince him to convert…..!!


  3. Pam

    I’ve been wanting to read that book — and even more now that you’ve recommended it so highly!

  4. Jackie

    I’ll have to check out that Donald Miller book. I’ve liked his other ones.

    It’s my first Valentine’s day with my husband, so we have plans. Just not yet.

  5. Leah @ Unequally Yoked

    I don’t do Valentine’s Day things with my boyfriend, since it’s mostly and excuse for all the local restaurants to jack up their prices.

    This year, of course, is different, since IBM’s Watson supercomputer will be facing down Ken Jennings on Jeopardy starting on Monday (valentine’s day). I am super psyched.

  6. Shannon

    “Downton Abbey” is highly addictive. Fortunately, there will be a second season. Most memorable line? “What is a weekend?” spoken by one of the gentry.

    And if you haven’t given your son “Everybody Poops” yet, you’re in for a treat.

  7. Angie @ Many Little Blessings

    Oh my! Your children’s book would be a best seller, if all those little boys could pick out their own books. Bwahahaha! You’re hilarious!

  8. Tracy

    I can totally relate to the difficulties of teaching a boy to read, and he has the same reaction to “naughty words”. I believe there are a few books out there like that, I should get on with finding some.

    It reminds me of a story my son told me when he went on the Christus Rex pilgrimage here in Australia. All the young boys were comparing their favourite Saints, and the highest rankings were based on how bloody and awful their death was. Apparently martyrdom is exciting to little boys! It certainly got my son interested in reading about Saints and has helped his reading skills too.

    • Kathleen

      My dad says he chose to take Michael as his Confirmation name because he thought of St. Michael the Archangel as “a super-hero saint, with a sword and everything!”

  9. Andie

    Thanks for the great references Jennifer. I love Kreeft so I’m on my way to read his article. Wouldn’t it be interested to ask ‘What is the religious climate in your Church?’ for those inside the country? Hmmmmm, I wonder what the answers to that question would be… I so enjoy your blog, thanks.

    • Kathleen

      I agree, I was going to say I’d love to see a similar post discussing the religious climate in your region of the country.

  10. Lexie

    Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants series are chock full of scatalogical humor and other things that you don’t necessarily want to encourage.

    A book I can recommend is Mary DeMuth’s Thin Places: A Memoir. It’s one of the few books I’ve bought multiple copies of to give away. (C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity is another.)

    I agree with Andie about the “What’s the religious climate in your church?” Hmmm…

  11. George @ Convert Journal

    I think the Fulwiler Reading Program probably would work, but it is pretty much a boys only thing. For Valentines, we celebrate a week ahead because that marks the anniversary of our meeting 35 years ago.

    My takes this week… Planned Parenthood support for the sex trade is not an isolated problem. Philadelphia’s Dr. Gosnell’s actions are in-line with the president’s stated position. How abortions effect women – a video. World Youth Days 2011. Why I’m Catholic is launched. Google Goggles solves Sudoku.

    • Erika

      Have to disagree on boys-only. My nine year old daughter (to my everlasting aggravation) is a die-hard Captain Underpants fan. I have to make her alternate CU or Diary of a Wimpy Kid with real books.

  12. Christy

    I’m glad you loved Million Miles! I liked his “Blue Like Jazz” a bit better, but he’s great.

    Happy Valentine’s Day! My husband makes me a sushi dinner, then we watch “The Notebook,” lol. Suuuuper sappy, but a lot of fun. 🙂

    Have a great weekend!


  13. Meredith

    Just chiming in that Captain Underpants (forbidden in this house but “accidentally” read at the bookstore) might have already beat you to that reading idea!

  14. Rachel@Testosterhome

    Your book will be a bestseller and women will flock to (secretly) buy it from you.

  15. Kathleen@so much to say

    I read “Searching for God Knows What” and thought it very interesting. I’ve put your recommendation on my liast.

    We used to bah-humbug V-day but then I realized that we should be taking advantage of the opportunity to do something special, even if we can’t spend a ton of money. Unfortunately, we’re so scattered that we still don’t do a proper celebration. But I suppose it we did we’d spend a lot more dough.

  16. Joy

    Hahaha!! I love your reading program, and though it might make me sound like a bad mother, I think girls would go for it, too! I homeschool my kids and the other day I asked them to name some action verbs. They… um… mentioned the kind of words that might go into your reading book “Bobby Buttfart…” But they were action verbs!! 🙂

  17. Jamie Shover

    We are renewing our vows at our parish’s annual Valentine’s day Celebration of Marriage! Afterward is a reasonably priced dinner and dance. It’s so much fun!

  18. Kim D.

    Have you discovered the Captain Underpants books? Maybe your son’s bibliophile days are just beginning…

    Can’t wait to read the Kreeft article–thanks!

    Have a great week! +JMJ+

  19. Liesl

    I’m obsessed with the BBC TV show Merlin, and so my friend made me watch Downton Abbey. It is really great. I love British humor… so like my own.

  20. Catherine

    As someone totally obsessed with Downton Abbey, I have to warn you: The series ends in a huge cliffhanger, and the new season won’t be out for at least a year!

    Seriously, Downton Abbey is all I think about these days, and I have to wait until next winter to find out what happens!

    If you ever want to talk about the characters in a hush-hush, gossipy, “I can’t believe Daisy would say such a thing!” sort of way, just shoot me an email 😉

  21. Julie Culshaw

    A great movie involving a butler and another house servant is The Remains of the Day with Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson. Not funny or with witty remarks, but heart-wrenching.

    • Kris, in New England

      Oh I agree! That film is one of our faves – Hopkins gives a beyond-masterful performance.

  22. Mary @ A Simple Twist of Faith

    LOVE Downton Abbey, if you like this, I suggest The Forsyte Saga with Damian Lewis of Band of Brothers. He is excellent as Soames.

  23. Nicole

    My 5 year old can’t wait to read your forthcoming Buttpants series! Seriously. I read him Charlotte’s Web and he was leery until I told him what manure is. Then he couldn’t wait to listen more for that word!

  24. Allie

    I’ll admit that I’m not big on Valentine’s Day, but my boyfriend – wise to my dislike of the holiday – asked me out on that day two years ago, so now it has a soft spot as our anniversary. I’m also trying to associate more with St Valentine in my mind, but I think that’s a project for next year…

  25. Jesse

    Ha! I love the Bobby Buttfart book, excellent idea. I haven’t read the Donald Miller book you mentioned, but I will because I loved Blue Like Jazz by him. Have you read it? He’s got a wonderful way of using his own experiences to put things into perspective.

  26. Rebecca

    Thanks for the link to the Peter Kreeft article, I am looking forward to reading it!

    Have a great weekend.

  27. Kelly

    The comments WERE fascinating! Great idea! I concur with Shannon about “Everybody Poops”–I was often skeeved while reading it to my grandson. I am def. going to check out Downton Abbey. Sounds right up my Abbey! er..Alley. And quick–before Lent.

  28. Erin

    Thanks so much for the book recommendation! I love autobiographies/memoirs–one of my absolute favorite genres. I’ll have to check it out. Oh, and I love butlers too! (And, I have to add that I sure wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to have one of my own lol! :p)

  29. Nicole C

    Cracking up at #4! Ha! I’d be your first customer (for my 4 year old son, of course)!

    #7 – nothing fancy, but we always do homemade fondue after my son goes to bed! It cheaper than going out, but still kind of special.

  30. Sarah

    Valentine’s Day… okay, for some reason Valentine’s Day has always been a disaster for us? We attempt elaborate plans, and they get messed up. So this year, our first year as a married couple, hubby has something up his sleeve. I know it will be special and very well-planned (but that’s all I am allowed to know!). I am guessing he has reservations at a very special restaurant? Anyway, I love that he surprises me.

  31. Doris

    Valentines Day~ I am makeing dinner for us and some friends of ours. Our kids will be able to play while the adults can sit and chat! Now to just do the grocery shopping!

  32. Michelle

    haha at number 4! My oldest daughter was reading something called the Adventures of Captain Underpants. Apparently, these are really popular books with the boys in her class. She read them to check them out, but…being a girl and all, there wasn’t quite the fascination. I think 1st and 2nd grade boys find them enthralling, though. LOL

    have a great weekend!

  33. Scott

    Quick Take No. 4 made me laugh out loud. Probably because my two oldest sons (7 and 5) would be begging for every book in the Bobby Buttfart Poops on the Ninjas series.

  34. Peony Moss

    #4? You’ve got a winner. Do it.

  35. cindykay

    Valentine’s Day? What’s that? Hahahahahaha!

  36. Darren

    I’m looking forward to your recap of the Monday post’s comments. I started reading them and was fascinated, but didn’t have time to finish them all.

  37. Teresa

    I’ve homeschooled my five children through all 12 grades(the youngest is a senior now) and I have to say that teaching them to read was the hardest thing to do. After that, it was all gravy. I have one son and he was somewhat of a reluctant reader (maybe it’s a boy thing?). I introduced him to the Adventures of Tintin comic books (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Adventures_of_Tintin) and he never looked back. He’s a graduate of MIT and is now in law school.

    Also, my daughter recommended “Kings” on Hulu (not for children). It’s loosely based on the story of King Saul and David but it’s in a modern setting. The only problem is that it only ran for one season and you’re left hanging at the end, but it was interesting…

  38. deanna

    Valentine’s Day – we both took off from work, so far plans include lunch at a Greek resturant, adoration, walk on the beach and doing nothing or anything else we want.

  39. Jessica


    My first comment to you–I heart you and your blog.

    We celebrate our family’s love Valentine’s Day (not just mom and dad)–I make a “romantic” dinner for us–husband and my two little daughters: flowers, candles, tablecloths, the whole nine yards. We chat about how much we love each other and the rest of our family. This year we’re going to try fondue and maybe creme brulee for dessert. Mmmmmm. Have fun!


  40. 'Becca

    Don’t bother writing those books in #4. There are plenty of them already on the market, and your idea is hardly new…but there’s no evidence that it works, either. The Wall Street Journal ran a column on this just a few months ago, which makes some excellent points, such as, “If you keep meeting a boy where he is, he doesn’t go very far. The other problem is that pandering doesn’t address the real reason boys won’t read.”

    When I was in school in the ’80s, almost all the books we read in English class were violent ones with few female characters, like The Call of the Wild and The Red Badge of Courage, and the argument was that boys love violence and boys have to be enticed into reading, whereas girls will do whatever is assigned so we need not take them into consideration. It didn’t work, though; the boys still were less diligent.

    The biggest motivator I’ve found for my six-year-old boy’s reading is to store desirable objects in opaque containers with written labels, and then to tell him I’m not available to get him the thing he wants right now but he could get it himself from the labeled container. With other children around, I’m sure you can be plausibly unavailable much more than I can.

  41. 'Becca

    Oh, I also want to recommend The Adventures of Tom Sawyer as a book to read to a six-year-old boy. We’re reading it right now. Plenty of gross stuff, fighting, even a murder! Also excellent vocabulary at a far higher level than anyone writes for kids these days.

    • Magda

      ditto Becca. The classic version of Peter Pan is another.
      My four loved The Boxcar Children – star wars at two and three (before they saw the movies – they liked the tapes and being read to from the books. It is the books they want to be able to read that will inspire them.
      Children enjoy vulgarity MORE when you disapprove of it. I say, let them enjoy that part of childhood – the “this will shock my mom” part!
      Be shocked!
      Also check out the flash game (free) Fancy Pants Adventures, world 1 and world 2 some reading and math and a lot of fun!m

  42. Ashley Taylor

    You could create the Adventures of Bobby Buttfart. Book two could be Bobby Buttfart and the Stupid Pirates.

  43. Sarah @ This Heavenly Life


    Okay — I just needed to get that off my chest. But you should totally take your time watching them. They’re creating a second set of episodes to follow up, but it won’t come out until 2012!! I think FALL of 2012, if I remember right!!

    Savor it 🙂

  44. Kara

    #2, LOL. That’d work on my 5 yr old, too. She loves bathroom humor, sigh!

    We “celebrate” Valentine’s Day, and I’m thankful that now that Amelia is in (Catholic) school, she gets the whole saint experience too. We always read to her about St. Valentine, and talk about it, but this is a whole big thing at her school, which I love. I’m such a noob at all this raising Catholic kids stuff, that I appreciate what a great job they do in the religion aspect. But, we also buy the girls a small animal and some candy, and daddy usually surprises us with a flower for each of us, and that’s about it. 🙂 Valentine’s Day is very close to my birthday, so going out to celebrate just isn’t ever in the budget.

  45. Kris, in New England

    Valentine’s Day – we used to go all out, extravagant gifts, expensive dinners, the whole shebang. It got so that V-Day outshone our wedding anniversary! So we stopped that a few years ago. My hubby knows I love exotic flowers, so he’ll likely splurge with my fave florist for a glorious bouquet at work. I got him a slightly corny yet very sweet gift that I know he’ll love. He has to work this weekend so it’s likely to be a quiet evening for us. Perhaps a movie and some popcorn at home.

    Quiet pursuits – it’s what we are all about these days.

  46. David

    I agree with Ashley…
    “You could create the Adventures of Bobby Buttfart. Book two could be Bobby Buttfart and the Stupid Pirates.”

    Book #3: Bobby Buttfart and the Booger Boogie Monster
    Book #4: Bobby Buttfart and the Dino Doo-Doo
    Book #5: Bobby Buttfart and the Temple of Doom (okay, so that one is just a throwback for the parents)

  47. Alison T @ Shaken with the Wind

    Well, I’m single so I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s day. I’ve never been one of those people who hates it, though. Yeah, I know it’s very commercialized (what holiday isn’t these days?) but, I mean — chocolate! Hurray! Maybe I just have good memories of Valentine’s Day in grade school, when it was exciting to get all the little cards from your friends, and then overdose on sweets.

  48. Denise

    Enjoyed the post, but I am especially thankful for the link to Dr. Kreeft’s article. It was incredibly honest and inspiring!

  49. Katie "Wellness Mama"

    I definitely think you should write the series for teaching kids to read! Great idea!
    We don’t usually do much for Valentine’s day, as my husband is against overly commercialized holidays, but we will probably watch a movie at home.

  50. T

    I’m single, so my Valentine’s Day plans = Daily Mass with my Young Adult group and dinner, then Gossip Girl.

  51. Jared

    Thanks for a great Friday Quick Takes. For those interested, the Peter Kreeft link is part of larger whole from a speech he gave at Calvin College. It is free to download on iTunes. I think I have listened to it about 1000 times! Ok, like five or six.

  52. Tara Meghan

    I will buy that children’s book. I will buy the whole dang series. That’s like Puddle Lane, for boys!

    Will you write it?

  53. amy2boys

    A Million Miles is one of my favorite books EVER. I’ve given it to my mom (loved it), to my daughter (hasn’t started it yet), and hosted 2 book studies at my work on that book. It’s so incredibly accessible, and it has something for every person (in my opinion) – from those who aren’t even sure they believe in God to those who are committed Chtristians. He’s so funny, and he is so modern, that I think young people especially who think all that religious stuff is for grandmas and fanatics, can relate to him.

    Genius book, really.

  54. amy2boys

    Oh and I’m going to re-read it this year and I also never do that with this kind of book!

  55. Jessica

    Those of you who love DOWNTON ABBEY would most likely enjoy the Robert Altman film GOSFORD PARK – another great production featuring Maggie Smith with a similar “upstairs/downstairs” theme!

  56. Jamie Jo

    Thanks for letting me join in!

  57. Julie @ The Corner With A View

    Ahh I love Peter Kreeft! I’ll be in Georgia this weekend, so my Valentine’s Day will be spent with one of my best friends from college and her family. Oh, and then on a plane. I expect excitement at the airport! 🙂

  58. Nina

    Jen! What a great 7 quickies today!

    I am checking out this memoir/bio! WOw—rarely do you recommend so emphatically!

    Peter Kreeft is one of my faves. That article made my day and I sent it to some of my family members (including my son, at college, lover of philosophy—- has read almost every Kreeft book).

    Jen, those posts from Monday were a-ma-zing. I was in shock reading every post answering the question about number of children, even though I already “knew” this information. Oh. My. Word. Some one please help me understand this epic fail on the part of the worldwide church to evangelize in this area. What happened? And don’t blame modernism and consumerism. I need more! The only group seems to be the Muslims…what does this say? Really, I think we would be put in an insane asylum in some of these countries, or literally, be unable to live. The “larger” families were those over, say, 4. Why is it that I know so many people who have 7, 8, 9, 10 or more kids, and we’re talking America? Just so fascinating….

    My husband and I, no matter what, go out for Valentine’s Day. We are doing Fondue this year, which is one of my favorite things on earth! It’s three kinds of fondue: traditional cheese (you can choose from many types); the meat/seafood/vegies in wine or oil “entree” course; goodies in chocolate w/liquer AND a unique salad of your choice. They also have a “wine flight” for each course. HELLO. Can’t wait. Are you drooling yet? 🙂 Oh how I love food. I’m glad it’s not Lent early this year. 😉

    The thing about the reading, by the way, I had to figure out the same hard way. The more “potty humor” the better. BUT (ha) it WORKS. 😉 The first book he would actually make an effort to learn to read was the series called “Fly Guy”—-about a kid named Buzz and his pet fly. Not much potty humor but very boy-stuff and boy-centered psychology! You gotta do whatcha gotta do! Now he reads! And better stuff. 😉

  59. Michelle

    I love Donald Miller! I can’t wait to read this book! Thank you for the recommendation Jennifer!

  60. JoAnna

    My husband and I just finished watching every “Fawlty Towers” episode on Netflix. The last one was hilarious; I was laughing so hard I was crying. I love British comedy, especially John Cleese! Now we’re watching “The IT Guys,” which is a British comedy a la The Office, and it’s hysterical. I’ll have to check out Downton Abbey!

  61. Marian

    Oh, Jennifer! Though I occasionally write an LOL in a Facebook comment, it’s rare that I literally laugh OUT LOUD at something online. But #4? Oh. so. true!

    (Pssst. I here you have… you know… one of those books… I’ll meet you in a mutually agreed upon back alley…)

    And now that you’re the third person I’ve encountered raving about the Donald Miller book, I believe I’m officially obligated to read it.

  62. Katie

    I LOVED a Million Miles in a Thousand Years!

  63. suzannah {so much shouting, so much laughter}

    i’ve not read that miller title but loved Blue Like Jazz. my favorite memoirs are A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Girl Meets God, and anything by david sedaris:)

  64. Grace

    going to read Monday’s post now.

    Love your quick takes as always..


  65. Nicole

    Putting Miles/Years on my “borrow” list for the library!

  66. Katie "Wellness Mama"

    Just finished reading Kreeft’s article…. very insightful. Thanks for posting!

  67. Alishia Hanson

    If you like Downton Abbey, check out Lark Rise to Candelford. Also Doc Martin–BBC comedy. And, I can’t believe the amount of sailing books you reference. It’s one of my favorite genres to read. It’s such a niche…especially for desert dwellers 😉

  68. Vicki

    I love the Downtown Abbey series as well as Lark Rise – fun brain candy after a long day with the kiddos! Also, I accidentally linked to the “religious climate” post, so you can delete me from that one. Hope it’s a great weekend for you!

  69. Courageous Grace

    We don’t really do anything elaborate for Feb. 14th (especially since my birthday is three days later) but I decided to do something a bit fun this year. First, I made a cardboard “mailbox” complete with red flag and hinged door, about 8″ long and 6″ high. Then I printed a list of 14 things I love about him, cut them up into little strips, one for each item. Then I wrap each note around a mini Snickers and deposit one in the box each day of the month. I figure on Monday we might go out for sushi for lunch as a family or something if we can afford it.

    Nothing really fancy, I like the idea of either doing something for your loved one or making something that shows time and effort.

    And your #4 is awesome!

  70. Sara

    Thank you for I introducing me to Downton Abbey! I have officially stayed up too late watching the first two episodes. Good night!

  71. Monica

    I think I’d meet you in that shady parking lot for a copy of that book! I’ll be teaching my 5th kid to read soon, and didn’t do that with the others — we just started homeschooling this year — so I am aware that I’ll be doing something I used to leave to a teacher. Sounds like a best seller to me! 🙂

    I usually do 7 quick takes, but was so entranced by Egypt today that I spent my blogging time watching CNN. 🙂

  72. Sharon

    I loved No. 4!! My boys read nothing but “Captain Underpants” books for a while (I had to ban the “Super Diaper Baby” series though; a little over the top.)

    I don’t have a 7 Quick Takes for this week (note the title of last week’s post). Have a great week! 🙂

  73. Wendy

    As far as Valentine’s Day goes, I cook something special and then make a fabulous dessert for the family, for in this home everyone gets included in the love.

    The book is on my list to read. Thanks for the write-up!

  74. Kathleen's Catholic

    We love spending St. Valentine’s Day with our kids. My husband is an awesome cook, so he makes a gourmet dinner, while I set the table with linen, silver, and china. Kids enjoy sparkling cider.

    Next come the dessert and homemade valentines. We also tell the kids–again–how we met, fell in love, and married, all in three months time… almost 17 years ago.

    Here’s a link to a little post about our dinners. http://kathleenscatholic.blogspot.com/2010/02/st-valentines-day-with-kids.html

    Happy St. Valentine’s Day to all!

    P.S. I’ll also be looking into A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, and I’m looking forward to your review!

  75. Christian

    “Bobby Buttfart Poops on the Ninjas.”

    This sounds like my 6th-grade class! Poop, pee, vomit, burps, farts, drinking blood, eating flesh, and martyr torture are always sure to get the kids’ attention. All I have to do is attach a Catholic concept to one of these keywords (which weirdly enough is easier than you might think…it’s a very physical religion) and I get instant learning.

  76. Jenny C.

    Well, I think your book idea sounds great. When my son was learning rhymes, we used to do ones like sugar and booger, or heart and fart, bird and turd. It got lots of laughs out of him and he learned about rhyming at the same time. Sometimes with boys, I’m finding you have to do things a little different!

  77. Beth M.

    This is a picture book that my brother and I devoured at that age. It’s called “Underwear!” Not as cool as your picture book title, for certain, but it involves saying ‘underwear’ often and loudly. I highly recommend it.


  78. Shannon

    Re: Valentine’s Day
    We did something we rarely do: went to the movies. I wanted to see ” The King’s Speech.” It was completely worth the overpriced ticket! Best Valentine prezzie I’ve had in years! Highly recommended!

  79. Chantal

    I´ve always heard of boys and potty humor. I don´t think my son is that much into potty humor. He always likes to do good things and doesn´t like violence. My daughter on the other hand…. anything that is not normal is funny. Peeing on the carpet, in toys. This morning she took the chocolate and decided to decorate the carpet… burps, farts, you name it!!!

  80. Mark

    My first post here on this website having been a lurker for a couple of weeks. I so impressed with this place that it has become an instant regular read for me. Please keep up the good work! God bless you! 🙂

  81. Amanda

    My husband and I use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to get out of the house for a much needed date night! We don’t go out on Valentine’s Day with the rest of the population, though. We wait until the next opportunity arises, hire a sitter, and get dolled up for a night on the town.

  82. Heidi Hines

    Oh my! I need more! I’m single, so my Valentine’s Day plans = Daily Mass with my Young Adult group and dinner, then Gossip Girl. I love Kreeft so I’m on my way to read his article.

Connect With Me On Social Media or Explore My Site



The "THIS IS JEN" podcast is on Facebook & all podcast apps


- Subscribe on iTunes or Google Play (audio)

- Get weekly bonus episodes on Patreon

- Sign up for my email list to be the first
to know about new tour dates