7 Quick Takes Friday - #8

Jumping right in...
  1. It's beginning to look a lot like December, and I guess it really is. What in the world? I suppose this officially plants me in the "old lady" department, but I'm serious-- time is flying so fast.

  2. Here's what we've got going, Christmas-wise: our older two boys made paper chains, now gracing our living room. We all made paper snowflakes and they're hanging from the ceilings this year (last year we taped them to windows-- shhh.... I think I liked that better.) Christmas tree & Christmas banner are up. Most presents have been purchased. We're planning to have a party to get to know the other people in our building better (language practice, here I come!).

    What about you? Are you ready for Christmas? Decorations up? Plans sorted out? Recipes chosen? Feel free to share in the comments.

  3. Anyone travelled on Amtrak with a family? I'd be interested to hear about your experiences. Please e-mail me or share in the comments, thanks!

  4. Little Moses is about 4 & 1/2 months old and he is up on all fours, rocking back and forth and scooting and rolling all across our floors. I remember Silas did similarly, but man, this seems too early! (That picture is from Halloween, where Moses dressed up as "Moses"... ya know, baby in a basket?-- he even had a Bible-style headdress and all, LOL.)

  5. I made some Christmas ornaments this year, and I think they turned out nice. I'll try to share pictures next week once I get my flash card/external harddrive situation sorted out.

  6. I'm ending week 1 of the No S Diet, and it's been enjoyable. I'm so impressed with how reasonable it is, and it feels sustainable, long-term. Dare I say I'm excited? (I'm also really glad it's Friday and that the next 2 days are "S" days-- click on the link to know what in the heck I'm talking about-- I am really looking forward to dessert tomorrow.)

  7. Reading through Charles Sykes' book, 50 Rules Kids Won't Learn in School, I came across this quote and thought it is just really great for interacting with people, even within the church:
    "People are not easily divided into saints and sinners. Most of them are more complicated and more interesting, a mixture of strengths, weaknesses, insights, and blind spots. If you demand perfection, you'll be disappointed. If you decide to only listen to perfect people, you'll find that you are pretty much on your own."

So there are 7 things on my mind... if you also want to do a "7 Quick Takes", click here. As always, feel free to share your thoughts and responses in the comments- I love to hear from you guys.


Anonymous said...

I have travelled on Amtrak with my children, but I only had two. We purchased the upgraded tickets so we got a "family room" which included two regular sized (reg. train size) and two short bunks which folded down from the couch and chairs that were in the room in the daytime. We had our own door and therefore our own privacy; the bathroom was right down the hall. The only problem? That was on the lower level and it was in the back of the car and right over the wheels. Didn't bother me in the day, but at night, I was constantly dreaming of train wrecks.

The cost of the room includes a lot of first class services, including all of your meals, endless coffee, morning newspaper, and an attendant (responsible for the whole car). Depending on what station you travel to/from, you can also stay in the first class lounge while you wait for your train.

I think it would be fairly difficult to travel coach, but there are a lot of fun ways to pass the time and the lounge car is great! Unlike an airplane or a car, you don't have to stay seated or buckled, and you still get to watch countryside pass by. I felt safe the whole time, but again, at night when the train would stop, I was in my own private room, so I wasn't disturbed by other passengers. The other disadvantage to riding coach is that you must bring all your food or pay for it on the train, and that is very expensive, but decent. (We couldn't eat a meal for less than $10 a person, it was a lot closer to 15-20 for dinner). There is a snack car, but it is still expensive.

There are a lot of different "first class" options, that my family will use in the future because for us, the train is part of the vacation and not just the "travel time". Though based on cost, and our family's recent planned expansion, I think we will try coach.

I will travel by train again!!! I love it, but it has gotten fairly expensive, especially when you consider the cost of a plane (which gets you there faster). You don't have to pay for young children though, and the regular children's fare is also discounted with Amtrak.


Anonymous said...

I haven't seen the no-S diet, but that looks pretty simple. It's nice that Christmas falls on one of the S-days, isn't it? :)

Your little Moses picture is adorable.

Jess said...

Thanks, Angela.

And actually, all holidays fall on S days... because S is for "Saturdays" "Sundays" and "Special" days... meaning holidays and birthdays. It's a really workable plan, I think.

Graceful Threads said...

Just read this quote by John Piper and saw that you posted a blurb from something you were reading....made me think of how we can read a whole book or blog post and its the nuggets that stand out and impact our lives.

“What I have learned from about twenty-years of serious reading is this. It is sentences that change my life, not books. What changes my life is some new glimpse of truth, some powerful challenge, some resolution to a long-standing dilemma, and these usually come concentrated in a sentence or two. I do not remember 99% of what I read, but if the 1% of each book or article I do remember is a life-changing insight, then I don’t begrudge the 99%.”

Lindsey said...

Moses is such a cutie in the basket -- and getting so big!! Curiousity question, do you guys celebrate Halloween?

Jess said...

Living overseas, normally, we don't celebrate it (as no one here would even know what it is). This year, some of our friends wanted to do a small candy-and-treats party at their house on October 31st. So, yeah, we "celebrated" Halloween this year. Just an excuse to get together with friends, play some games, and have some fun. The kids loved dressing up. It reminded me of what Halloween was like when I was a kid-- just some fun and candy. I know it's controversial, but this is what we decided to do this year.

Lindsey said...

I completely understand what you mean! My kids would love dressing up and going to a party, but because of so much of the "outside" pressure & me not knowing what to think, we ended up staying home painting pumpkins. I respect you and was just wondering if you had any good insight :)

Christina said...

What a cute baby Moses!