7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 188)

September 21, 2012 | 41 comments

— 1 —

Whew! Filming wrapped up last Friday, and I may need another week or ten to recover.

My view for most of last week.

I’m waiting to get all the details about when it will air, how long it will be, etc., and I’ll update as soon as I know! (Since I know that nobody has been able to sleep because you’ve all been overcome with anticipation about seeing my reality show.)

— 2 —

My two surprises about how last week went were:

  1. It was more work than I thought it would be.
  2. It was more fun than I thought it would be.

Given my temperament, in the back of my mind I thought I might end up dreading the crew’s arrival and would end up doing some insane introvert thing like locking myself in the bathroom and yelling “I need to be ALONE!!!!” any time they pointed the cameras at me. As it turned out, I really had a lot of fun, even though it was hard work. We met up with a bunch of fascinating folks, and had some awesome surprises that are going to make for great TV. On top of that, I genuinely enjoyed the producer’s company, and our media guru friend Paul Escandon ended up being the cameraman, so basically I got to pal around with friends all week. And thanks to the help of some talented babysitters, in some ways it was a nice break to be able to spend a few days doing exotic things like leaving the house without children.

— 3 —

…But here’s the problem about that “leaving the house without kids” thing. There is some mystical law of the universe that states that for every hour of freedom you get, you will have an exponential number of hours of work to do when you get home. If I were to do a Parents’ Sleep Index type of calculation, it would be something like:

Take each child’s age, subtract it from 18, then add all these numbers together. Now multiply that sum by the number of hours you were out of the house.

And there you will have the number of hours that it will take you to get everything back in order.

— 4 —

Arwen Mosher was asking Twitter for ways to get young toddlers to LOOK AT THE GLOWING SCREEN AND LEAVE MOMMY ALONE FOR A MINUTE (my words, not hers). I recommended Color Crew on Netflix, which has the amazing ability to hold my 15-month-old’s attention for entire eight-second stretches. I’m not clear on what the overarching theme is, or if there’s a plot, or if the characters even have names. Basically it’s some brightly colored crayons who float around the screen and make happy noises.

But here is a very important note for anyone who might be tempted to follow my advice and try out this show — or, more accurately, yell into the living room to ask your five-year-old to turn on Color Crew for the baby. When you type that name into the search box, the results show up like this:

And if the person operating the keyboard has questionable hand-eye coordination (because, say, she’s five), you may end up hearing all this shouting and gunfire coming from the TV in the living room and think, “What on earth are those crayons doing in this episode?!?!”

— 5 —

The first day of religious ed was last week. And when we were half way down to the church, one of my daughters announced that she didn’t have any shoes (or socks).

I called Joe in a furious tizzy, which was a mistake, because you should never turn to a man in situations like this. From my perspective, the goal of the conversation was for him to hear my tale of woe and shake his fist in the air and proclaim, “That is the most frustrating situation in the world! How can you live like this?!”, and we’d all sit around and feel sorry for me. Instead, he went into solution mode. First he pointed out that my son could wear his Rollerblades which were in the back of the car, and our daughter could then wear his shoes, which would only be five sizes too big for her (and when I pointed out that our son isn’t that good on the Rollerblades, Joe countered that I could wheel him into the class and as long as he didn’t move from his chair it would be fine). Then he pointed out that we had some paper towels and a jumble of discarded birthday present ribbons under a seat, and I could dig those out and fashion some moccasins from them. I scoffed, and he wondered aloud why I called if I wasn’t interested in hearing solutions.

He then asked, “Do you want me to call and see if they’ll let her go to class barefoot?”

“I know they will.” I answered. “They always do.”

Joe began gasping and laughing as it dawned on him that not only was this was not the first time this had happened, but it was a somewhat regular occurrence in our family. “Do you think we’ve developed some kind of reputation as the ‘Shoeless Fulwilers’?!” he asked.

I think we got the answer the next day when he took our son to soccer practice…and he forgot his shoes.

— 6 —

I used to feel overwhelmed by homeschooling, and now I don’t, because I got this clipboard. It has solved all my problems, and now homeschooling will be pure joy for the next 18 years. As it turned out, I just needed a clipboard where I can slide my weekly plan on top, and then a compartment where I can keep my master documents, and a special holder for my favorite pen. It’s sad to think back on my purple-clipboard-less days, but I can take comfort in looking forward to my new, perfect homeschooling future!

— 7 —

If you want a really inspiring story to start your weekend, here you go. (Via New Advent, of course.)



  1. Emily

    I can’t wait to hear all about your adventures with a film crew there all the time 🙂
    Or at least watch it. I love watching documentaries like that!

  2. Becki

    Oh man, giggling over the Shoeless Fulwilers! SO FUNNY!

  3. Kara

    #4, hahahahahhaa!!!

  4. Cynthia

    #5 had me laughing out loud! I’m sure that’s going to be us someday…

    Congrats on wrapping up the filming! Excited to see how it all turns out 😉

  5. Jen/Rabbit

    Have you SEEN the Bic LadyPens???? They would be absolutely lovely with the clipboard! (That was sarcasm, btw.) The Color Crew vs. The Crew = too funny!

  6. Rebecca Fletcher

    I am stoked to see the show. I generally despise reality TV because I just don’t do reality, but I think your show will be epic awesomeness. Even if you didn’t lock yourself in the bathroom 😉

  7. Angie @ Many Little Blessings

    Oh my goodness! This line made me burst out laughing (I’m glad nobody woke up): “What on earth are those crayons doing in this episode?!?!”

    Too funny!

  8. Michigan_Pat

    Someday, hundreds of years in the future, people will be asking “so who was the founder of the ‘discalced Fulwilers’ and what is their charism?”.

  9. jen

    I am usually shoeless and see no problem with this. 🙂

  10. Leah @ Unequally Yoked

    Are you familiar with the musical Damn Yankees? There’s a song that may be relevant.

  11. Jenna@CallHerHappy

    Don’t you hate it when husbands offer “solutions” and “sound advice”? Sometimes I just want confirmation that there is no one in the world who is suffering worse than I am 😉

  12. Smoochagator

    You had me LOLing several times during this post. I missed you! Oh, and I highly recommend Yo Gabba Gabba for getting the child to look at the glowing screen. My son LOVES that show and it’s our ace in the hole when he’s melting down or when I’m home alone with him and need to, you know, shower or poop.

  13. Laura

    Wow, I’ve been homeschooling for 15 years and I never knew that a purple clipboard is the thing I needed! I’ve tried so many other things, when in reality I just needed this 🙂 Problem is, you didn’t tell us where to find it. Can it be ANY purple clipboard or is it a special brand. This is important…we NEED TO KNOW! Thanks for sharing, Jen. God Bless

    • Becky

      Yes she did. There is a link (where it says “this clipboard”. Just click on the link and you get the exact clipboard and how you can buy it from Amazon. If the link doesn’t work for you maybe you could search Amazon for “purple clipboard”.

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      Just click on through and you’ll see the one I bought on Amazon. And it’s a-w-e-s-o-m-e.

  14. Colleen Martin

    Men…they always want to come up with a solution. Although I admit, his were very inventive!

    I’ll have to check out the crayon show for my 14 month old, the problem isn’t so much getting him to watch something, it’s that the four older kids don’t want to watch “baby shows” so I feel like he will be missing out on all the kid shows (Sesame Street, Veggie Tales) that the other kids used to love to watch.

  15. Nella

    He then asked, “Do you want me to call and see if they’ll let her go to class barefoot?”

    “I know they will.” I answered. “They always do.”

    This is the single best thing I’ve read on the internet. Thank you.

  16. Dwija {House Unseen}

    The moccasins fashioned from wrapping paper and ribbon have got to be my favorite image from this entire month. I’m going to be imagining them all day!

  17. KyCat

    The shoeless Fulwilers are really helping this mildly depressed mom this morning – THANK YOU!! I can only hope that somehow the filmcrew was still around for this incident – please, please please!!!!

  18. JQ Tomanek

    Better Shoeless than without so(u)les.

    • JC

      ” “Do you think we’ve developed some kind of reputation as the ‘Shoeless Fulwilers’?!” he asked.

      I think we got the answer the next day when he took our son to soccer practice…and he forgot his shoes.”

      Well, I guess as long as he doesn’t accept bribes to throw games:

  19. Liz

    Hilarious!!!! Oh, and I have three words for ya: Netflix. For. Kids. (best update ever!)

  20. Christine

    I laughed more then once here. Your clip board is the best.

  21. Kathleen Basi

    You don’t know how much better #5 makes me feel! LOL

  22. Kayla @ The AlluringWorld

    Isn’t it amazing how the right organizational tool makes everything seem so much better??

  23. Blessed&Broken

    Oh Man, I can barely breathe from laughter.
    “what are those damn crayons doing???” and haha shoeless fulwilers. 🙂 thanks for a good laugh. hoping your film crew caught a scorpion event.

  24. Grace

    Who knew all I needed was a purple clipboard? Thanks for the head’s up.:)

  25. Tammy

    I read all the funny comments and I so wish I lived in this same universe right now, but I buried my husband of 26 years this week. Seeing others laugh gives me hope that someday I will laugh again too.

    JF, thank you for the kind comment on my blog…all the kindness and support really helps.

    I buried him in the town where he was born & baptized…tomorrow I leave to go back home thousands of miles away. I pray his grave will be a comfort to his parents & my sacrifice of not having a grave I can visit easily will be rewarded with some sort of peace. Im going to Safeway first thing tomorrow to buy dozens of roses to cover his grave in a blanket of love.

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      Tammy, know that you have been in my thoughts and prayers. I am so, so sorry for your continued pain.

  26. Eva

    On point number 4, it took me a while today to realise that my 2 month old had finished the breast as was just as involved in ‘Torchwood’ as I was. Hope he enjoyed it; my boys all know they’re not allowed to watch it till they’re 25!

  27. Becky

    About shoelessness- seriously, try embracing shoelessness. There is a large and growing awareness that going barefoot especially for growing children leads to better foot health and better movement. There are of course social issues about when it is polite to go without shoes, but on the practical level shoes are highly overrated. Of course you can step on a rock and get hurt barefoot, but there are many foot afflictions that come only from wearing shoes, such as my large and painful bunions which have been making it hard for me to find shoes that fit for over 45 years. Generally people are less aware of the shoe-caused problems, but they are real.

    My 24 y.o. son has been going barefoot in many unusual situations for years, for instance riding his horse on a trail ride in the mountains.

  28. Christine Dalessio

    I love that your kids don’t wear shoes. I avoid them myself at all costs, if I’m not in public. Darn- they can get away with doing that IN public. Nice.
    Lovely reading about your temperament, which I had missed…. because I completely relate. So – extra congrats on the filming, b/c it probably was awesome and exhausting altogether.

  29. Meg

    Just in case you need this information in the future- You know those little arm rest covers on the booster chairs? They double as booties for shoeless children. : ) We had to make a rule that no one could get in the car without shoes unless they were in pajamas and yet the rule still gets broken! And yes, I throw little kids in the car in pajamas all the time for early morning dropoffs!

  30. Andrea

    Thank you for your comment on my blog! We are indeed in the AHG troop, and I’ve seen you around but I didn’t want to be the creeper running up to you and fawning since I’ve been reading your blog for…oh…ever.

    And, being the introvert that I am…I was afraid I’d be awkward. 🙂 Anyway, yes I will see you around and look forward to getting to know you. We are all very excited to have joined AHG, and my girls thought they’d never ever ever ever meet any new friends when we moved away from Wyoming – so I’m hoping we can all foster some new friendships. ha

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      Hey Andrea! Somehow I missed this comment when you first left it. I’ll email you to discuss more. 🙂

  31. Christie Martin

    Shoeless Fulwilers? We are the Shoeless Martins.

    We are also among the Great Unbrushed. Five kids, 7 hairbrushes, and I can’t seem to keep track of any of them.

  32. Gina

    Normally I hate reality shows . . . but I’d watch yours! You could make even a reality show great. 🙂

  33. Andrea

    I haven’t read blogs in a long while and got to catch up here today and was laughing so hard the tears were rolling down my cheeks! Thank you so much!! And congratulations on your new blessing!!!

  34. Kenneth

    I am looking forward to see your next reality show. I’m a great fan of reality shows ever since. My favorite of all is the Amazing Race because I learn so much from the cultures of other countries and I can also feel the adrenaline rush while those contestants race to the finish line. What do you think was the most famous reality show ever made?


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