Friday, October 11, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday: Scrumptious Blog Edition

Sarah Therese from Footprints on My Heart kindly tagged me, more than a month ago, for a "Scrumptious Blog Award."
First of all let me say that I'm sorry, Sarah Therese, that it's taken me this long to respond!  And secondly, I never thought of this blog as "scrumptious" before, but now I've decided that's an adjective I'd love to have associated with my String of Pearls.  What could possibly be better than something scrumptious?  So thank you, thank you, thank you.
Here are Sarah Therese's questions for me
 (which are going to double as 7Quick Takes...or perhaps 10):

1. What is your favorite children's book? 

I have the hardest time with questions like these, because I always love so many books.  But for little ones, it's a toss-up between two.  One is The Boy with a Drum, a Little Golden Book that I read to my boys ad nauseam when they were tots.  It's the first book I ever read aloud to my oldest, starting when he was about six months old.  ("There once was a boy with a little toy drum, Rat-a-tat, Tat-a-tat, Rum-a-tum-tum...")  This book has it all: sing-song rhyme, lots of animals, darling illustrations--love, love, love it.  I also adore The Runaway Bunny, which I read a lot to son #2, who was the child of ours who was most prone to threatening that he was going to run away from home.  "That's okay, because if you do, I'll be just like the mother bunny," I'd tell him.  "If you become a fish in a stream, I'll become a fisherman and fish for you.  If you become a bird and fly away from me, I'll become a tree that you'll come home to.  If you become a boat, I'll become the wind that blows you back to me...You can't win, buddy.  So you might as well stay here." Personally, I think this work from Margaret Wise Brown is way better than Goodnight Moon--but what do I know?  For middle school-aged children, my favorite book ever is Ralph Fletcher's novel Fig Pudding (RL: 4.7~ages 9-12).  Narrated by Clifford Allyn Abernathy III, the oldest in a family of six children, it is one of the most beautiful and poignant peeks inside a tight-knit, loving, normal family that you'll ever read.  It's really not just for kids, although they love it; adults should read this gem, too.  You'll laugh and you'll cry, and you won't soon forget the Abernathy clan.  (If you're like me, you'll read it more than once.)

2. What is your favorite book from the Old Testament?
Here's where my ignorance is going to show, because I don't read the Bible enough to have a favorite Old Testament book.  I am much more apt to read from the New Testament.  This question, however, has inspired me to do a little--make that a lot of--reading.  And I'll have to get back to you with my answer.  I just asked my husband, though (and he's a lot more scrumptious than I am anyway), and he said he's partial to the Book of Ecclesiasticus (or Sirach).
3. What is your favorite past time?
When my kids were growing up, my favorite way to spend time was just being with my husband and boys, for simple activities like "family movie night."  Or standing on the sidelines of one of their football or lacrosse games, next to my favorite person (their dad), watching them do their thing.  Now that they're grown and on their own, traveling has become a favorite past time, because that's what my husband and I need to do in order to see our beloved brood (which includes three edible granddaughters).  Reading is also a favorite past time, especially reading on a rainy or snowy day, when there's no point in going out anyway, and you can curl up on the couch under a blanky without guilt...Hey, how many favorites are you allowed to have?  Because I have a list of activities I could add here, but I'll spare you.

4. What is your favorite childhood memory?
Waking up on Christmas morning!  I know that's hardly a creative answer, but it is hand's down my favorite memory from childhood.  We didn't have a fireplace, so Santa always left our stockings at the end of our beds.  Those bulging stockings were the first things we saw when our eyes popped open on Christmas morning.  When the five of us kids woke up (at zero dark thirty!), we were allowed to congregate and open all the little toys in them, while waiting for our parents to wake up hours later and make their coffee before we were allowed to start opening what was under the tree.  We weren't even supposed to peek at the tree (although sometimes we cheated), but those whispered hours in the middle of the night, sitting on each other's beds and exclaiming over the cheap little plastic treasures in our stockings, were magical.  I was therefore thrilled the Christmas our youngest son was five (and he'd woken up at about 3:00 a.m. with his ten-year-old brother) and he said his favorite part of the festivities that year was "the stockings in the dark."
5. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?  (If vanilla, favorite topping.)
I am addicted to soft-serve vanilla ice cream, which I've blogged about before (and frozen yogurt is not an acceptable substitute).  I don't really like to ruin its pristine perfection, but if forced to add a topping, it would be a toss-up between hot fudge, bits of Heath bars, or crushed Oreos. (I could choke any of those toppings down, with little effort.  You know, for the team.  But give me plain old vanilla soft-serve any day of the week.)
6. What is your favorite form of exercise?  (I thought it would be good to put this in the same section as the above question, since it's the ice cream habit that makes the exercise so necessary.)
My favorite form of exercise these days is not called "running"; it's called  "Turbo Jam," which comes in a set of DVD's from Beach Body.  It includes cardio, punching and kicking (but I'm not a violent person, I swear), and stretching.  It strengthens your core.  It's sort of fun; the moves are more athletic than dance-like, which suits me.  And after a few weeks, you really do start to notice a difference.

7. What is one thing you like to do on rainy days? 
See #3 for the answer to this one.  Let's move on to the next question, then--because after all, movie watching is another perfect rainy/snowy day activity.

8. What's one movie that makes you laugh and cry each time?
Oh, that would have to be "It's a Wonderful Life."  Some of my boys don't share my love of this oldie but goodie, and they make fun of Jimmy Stewart's corny lines as George is wooing Mary (you should hear sons #4 and #5, both brilliant mimics, do the whole moonbeams shooting out of her fingers and toes schtick).  But I just love this classic movie, and I never fail to get teary-eyed at the end, when Stewart's George Bailey is surrounded by his loving family and all the loyal townspeople who've rallied to save him from financial ruin, and Harry Bailey bursts into the house and cries, "A toast to my big brother George--the richest man in town!"

 9. Rain or sunshine? 
Oooh, tough one.  Of course I love sunshine.  But sometimes a rainy day is a bit of a treat (see #3...again!).  My sister-in-law who lives in FL was not disturbed in the least by the three straight weeks of almost constant rain she encountered when spending part of the summer in Upstate NY a few months ago.  It's boring, she says, when there's nothing but unrelenting sunshine.  I think I agree with her; so I guess rain and sunshine are both my favorites.
 10. What is your favorite inspirational quote?
That would have to be this one, which I put right at the beginning of my novel Finding Grace because I absolutely couldn't imagine not including it in my heroine's story:
"God would never inspire me with desires which cannot be realized; so in spite of my littleness, I can hope to be a saint." ~ St. Therese of Lisieux

Now head on over and visit my friend Sarah Therese's scrumptious blog; and while you're at it, stop by and see more 7's from Jen and the gang at Conversion Diary.


Here are the rules for the SCRUMPTIOUS BLOG AWARD:
1. Once you are awarded, post about it on your blog and link back to the person who awarded you.
2. Answer all of the questions on the tag.
3. Do not award anyone who has more than 100 followers.
4. Come up with 10 new questions.
5. Tag 5 to 10 people.

I tag the following 6 bloggers:
Erica from Boys, Books, and Balls
Olivia from To the Heights
Kristin from Team Boda
Natalie from Between the Bobseins
Amelia from One Catholic Mama
Rebekah from Rebekah's Web Log

Here are my questions for you:
1. What was your favorite sitcom growing up?
2. What song makes you happy every time you hear it?
3. Have you ever had anything happen to you that you thought was bad, but it turned out to be for the best?
4. Do you have a favorite saint you pray to, or one to whom you feel a special friendship?
5. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
6. Do you prefer scary movies or comedies?
7. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
8. When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you spend it?
9. What's the hardest thing you've ever done?
10. If you could be any fictional character, whom would you choose?


  1. It's A Wonderful Life! That is a GREAT answer to that question - I have to say, I completely agree with you... lol. I happen to be a big Jimmy Stewart fan *smiles*

    I can relate to Christmas morning memories as well. My siblings and I were allowed to open our stockings together first thing, but all six of us had to be awake first {which required some patience for us littles because one my sisters has never been a morning person}. Christmas tree gifts had to wait until after Mom and Dad had opened their stockings, family brunch had been enjoyed, mornings chores complete and everyone ready for the day. It's funny that the roles have been somewhat reversed now... Mom and Dad are nearly always the first ones up, opening their stockings together before any of us kids awaken to join them.

    It was fun getting to know you better, Laura! God bless you!

  2. Yup.....Christmas morning stockings were and still are the best!!! My kids love them too!

  3. Thanks for the tag. I'll try to get to writing a post soon!

    I love It's a Wonderful Life too...we watch it every Christmas Eve.

    Vanilla soft-serve ice is awesome. Usually I prefer chocolate flavors, but I actually like soft-serve better in vanilla. Jason's Deli is my #1 favorite restaurant because they have free soft-serve ice cream with every meal for everyone! What could be better?

  4. Thanks for the tag, Laura! I am going to try to answer your questions soon!

  5. Sorry, I've been away from my computer a lot lately. I'm not ignoring you wonderful people who leave comments here. Believe me, you make my day.

    And Amelia and Erica, I look forward to reading your posts. :)