Show and Tell: Unpacking Some O' the Things On My Mind

  • VINEGAR!!! I have been adding in a little vinegar to each load of whites I do, and I am really astounded at how much the "gray" that can sometimes set in (particularly to underwear/bra stitching and the like) just comes right out with a little vinegar added to the wash! Here's a link to a great article about many uses for vinegar: I Heart Vinegar.
  • Encouragement for any wife or mom: HE SEES.
  • STUFF! Overwhelmed with an abundance of knick-knacks, junk, toys, and boxes of who-knows-what? Pop over to Sara's place to get motivated to deal with your stuff!
  • What Does the Bible Say About Modesty? An interesting look at the modest heart, by Min The Gap.


  • Let me share with you a post full with WISE thoughts on biblical parenting in an age of pop-child-psychology and worldly parenting methodologies. My friend has been burdened by an increase in the use of labels and medication when dealing with good old-fashioned sinful problems in children. I think her post is dead-on, and we Christian parents need more of this truth in our hearts and minds.
  • Family Scripture Memorization: (I got this link from another blog, so you may have already seen it, but I just wanted to encourage you to begin doing this as a family.) Take less than 5 minutes a day and read through a passage together, memorizing it one line at a time. Over the course of a month (easy, possibly less), that passage will be written on the hearts and minds of your family. We have begun memorizing Psalm 1 together as a family, and my heart has already been encouraged by the questions and conversations it has spurred on.
  • The Contempt Shown to Parents of Large Families- Until we told people that we were expecting our third baby (two years ago), I hadn't experienced this level of interpersonal rudeness over any issue in my life. Now that I'm pregnant again, some of the responses have convinced me all the more that this article is often, sadly, true. Should God give us another child at some point in the future, I find myself wanting to wait to tell certain people about it until we call them from the hospital when he/she is born. And sadly, that's not a joke; I'm entirely serious.
  • Having griped about the negative response we sometimes get about the size of our "brood", let me echo Amy's words, celebrating God's faithfulness, in her series, "LIFE WITH THREE UNDER THREE".
  • For those of you who have asked, I found a website for analyzing your children's MBTI personality types. It helps narrow down the options and is less specific for younger children (since, as I mentioned, it is much more difficult to "type" a young child).
  • Radical environmentalism at its worst: saving the earth from children? How about instead being a steward of the earth FOR our children?!
  • I'd never heard of this woman or this song until I visited this site... and no, I'm not typically a fan of country music, but this song is EXTREMELY touching and speaks volumes about the value of each precious child, in a very poignant way.
  • A mom of seven offers a challenge for birth control proponents: What good thing on the planet is purposely prevented? (An interesting question and discussion... you can read my comments and conversation with the author if you scroll down). I've always thought this is a good question in general to make people think about how they view children.
  • Okay, now for a little levity: (warning, not for young readers or for old readers who may be offended by a little language)- I can't vouch for the entire site, but this woman is hilarious in her no-holds-barred critiques of baby names!



  • Alex & Brett Harris, those guys who started the Rebelution, have joined the ever-growing camp of Huckabee supporters. CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO they put together of Huckabee's message, from debates, interviews, and speeches. It's the best I've seen.
  • HIJACKERS! Post hijackers, that is! Read it and see if you are one! :)
  • To spew or not to spew? Everyday Mommy suggests that humorous bloggers should use a little icon to warn readers that they may not want to drink beverages while reading their posts. I second this motion! If your post is going to be hilarious, give us a little warning: PUT DOWN THE DRINKS! (And you know who you are, dcrmom!)
  • Why is Hollywood Afraid of Abortions? by Al Mohler
  • Here's an interesting article about friendships among women. A quote from one of my favorite authors is included in this article: "C.S. Lewis says that we know we've made a friend when we can say to the other, 'What, you too?' "

Lots of links here... I hope you find some good reading among all these random thoughts/links unpacked from my brain!


*~Tamara~* said...

Wow, you've been busy! :-)

The baby names link was hysterical!

And thanks for vouching for me. Tee hee!

PS: Wanna come over for dinner? We're havin' meatballs! :-D

Anonymous said...

You've mentioned this "contempt for large families" thing before. I find that really odd.

I grew up as the youngest of five children and didn't experience that alleged "contempt," even though my family led a fairly secular life by comparison to yours.

On the contrary, my sister and brother who have just one child each are continually hassled by people who ask them to justify why they aren't having more children.

We've got two kids now, and I get all kinds of people telling me, "Oh, you just have to have a third." Or, "Your kids are so sweet, you have to keep having more." As it happens, I would like to have a third child someday. No one ever tells me, "Oh no, that's a terrible idea, stick with two."

I guess people who have seven or ten or twelve children or whatever might experience more of a hostile attitude, but I am shocked that people seemed disapproving of your plans for a third and fourth child.

Regarding birth control, many people feel that they shouldn't impose their preference for large families on others.

In Iowa, I know of several strong advocates for women's access to and choice of birth control who themselves have five children or more (some Protestants, some Jews, some Catholics). That would include my own mother and a bunch of her friends.

One woman I know in this group has seven children. When people ask her why she is such a strong supporter of making birth control available to women who choose to use it, she says, "My husband and I wanted a big family and chose to have seven children, but that doesn't mean I think everyone has to live that way."

Laurie B

melanie said...

thanks for the link jess!
you are a blessing. your site is FULL of great and encouraging information. keep up the great work!!!

Dove said...

Right there with you on the large family thing. We too just announced that we're pregnant with our fourth and received some... less than jubilant responses. And we pray we'll have more in the future! DH mentioned today that folks are usually more judgmental about the pregnancy and less so once there's a cute little baby to hold, so I think we'll do the same and hold off on announcing till s/he has arrived! Ha!

Serena said...

I've been using vinegar on everything lately! Clothes, dishes, countertops...I don't think my husband is too fond of the smell when I use it on the counters (I'm not either), but he tolerates it!

I Press Toward the Mark's post was so good. My parents, thank God, never had anything to do with that sort of mumbo-jumbo, which is probably particularly good for me, since I was pretty angsty for, oh, several YEARS. Ugh. I have subscriptions to Parents and Parenting magazines, both of which were free and given to me, and, I tell you, I am so SICK of them. They are poison. Every article is the 'latest thing', which includes toys, health, discipline (ha!), school, environmental/green issues, etc., etc., etc. Each of those things should be in quotes, too. I could go on and on about those horrible magazines. But, I don't want to hijack the post. ;)

That's the second article of Rabbi Boteach's that I've read, and both times, my reaction has been, "OUCH!" Which is odd, because I don't actually see myself as committing the horrid behavior he is describing. Yet, I still feel as though I'd been slapped. (I've never been disappointed when someone has told me they are expecting. I tend to get mildly excited--you know, squealing like a little girl, crying, laughing, and jumping up and down type thing. Nothing too over-the-top.)

I find you very funny, Jess. And very thought-provoking. I'm so glad you have this blog.

Anonymous said...

I have met Rabbi Boteach. He is a charismatic figure and an engaging writer, even if we don't agree on much.

Jess, Tamara and Shamgar: check out this post referring to a Ron Paul interview in which he says he "has trouble" with the idea that homosexuality is a sin:

Not surprising to me--that is a natural view for a Libertarian to hold.

Laurie B

Jess said...

It is not just that people "seemed disappointed" with our announcements of a third and fourth... they were overtly disappointed. One family member responded, "oh no." (That was to number three.) One family member responded (the FIRST words out of this person's mouth after we told our delightful news, with happy inflection and excitement obvious in our voices), "wow, how many more are you going to have? You know you're not Catholic or Mormon, right? Birth control IS ok!"

:( What a terrible, TERRIBLE way to respond to someone's happy news. I can't imagine that people who buy the fifth car they've had in as many years get that kind of response.

Perhaps your growing up experience was due to the fact that you grew up 20-30 years ago. I have not met a large family (and by that I mean, with more than the average "two") that has not gotten rude comments or judgmental words thrown their way, simply because of the addition of another precious life into the world.

I'm convinced people's priorities are completely out of whack on this. Even 20-30 years ago, people may have raised eyebrows behind the backs of a family like yours, but they wouldn't have had the crudeness or gall to make negative comments in the checkout line, at the gas pump, or when passing you in the shopping mall. But this is the regular experience of anyone who has three or more kids in tow.

Regarding birth control, PLENTY of people feel it is there right to impose their views on others. They just see it oppositely from the way I do. Just because a view is accepted when it is pushed does not make it any less pushed.

PLENTY of doctors ASSUME a woman will begin her married life on birth control. PLENTY of counselors and advisers unapologetically advise young couples to wait a few years to have children. Just because you happen to agree with the view they are pushing onto people doesn't mean that them pushing it is any different from someone else who firmly believes that birth control is harmful or a bad decision.


Jess said...

I'm gearing up for cleaning more frequently with vinegar- I've used it on the laundry and been SO pleased with those results, that it's time for me to move on to other uses! (I'm becoming so green!) :)

As for your comment about how your parents raised you (sans mumbo-jumbo and psychobabble), I've thought the same thing. If I was raised in this day and age, I'm sure someone would label me ODD or some other string of letters- when really what I was was sinful and selfish and in need of God and some good discipline. Heck, I still need God & discipline (He just gives it in different ways now)!

Thanks for sharing- and I'm glad I make you laugh, smile, or think! This place is such a haven for me to connect with other thinking women in a meaningful way!


sharyn said...

Just wanted to say that when people say "Are you done?" expectantly after I tell them I have two boys and I say, "I hope not!" I get all manner of "well-meaning" entreaties to not have a third child. I've been told, 'Oh, just wait till they're in school and you have your life back,' or 'Oh, just wait till you can wear nice clothes again and go out, you won't want to start over again.' It makes me alternately angry and sad that so many people would see the hope for more blessings of children as this kind of misguided silliness that I should be talked out of. Or I've shared with friends that a mutual friend is pregnant with her fourth and the reaction is a mix of horror and disgust, tinged with pity. It's so disturbing to me!

Jess, I'm sorry you've gotten such reactions -- I for one was thrilled when you put up that post! (announcing your pregnancy) The Boteach article was useful food for thought about this on a global scale -- thanks for tagging it.

In a very awkward segue -- on the vinegar issue -- I can give the boys spray bottles with a vinegar/water solution outside and they happily spray the windows and clean them off -- it's a game to them and I don't have to worry about them ingesting or absorbing anything dangerous while they do it. So enjoyable on a summer afternoon!

Anonymous said...

Jess, I'm sorry people were so insensitive to your good news. It is really rude to react that way to a pregnancy.

You got me curious now--we've got quite a few young families with three or four kids at our synagogue, and I'm wondering if any of them have had similar experiences. (At the Orthodox synagogue, families with six, seven, or eight children are common and the smaller families would feel more of a stigma.)

I can remember some people encouraging our rabbi's wife to have a fourth child, even though she said she was definitely "closed for business."

On a different subject, the New York Times ran an article on divorce statistics. The headline is dumb, but there is interesting information in the article. As usual, Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate, and Bible belt states have the highest divorce rates.

Experts differ on the reasons for this, but some do think it's related to younger age at marriage (on average) in the Bible belt states. Others think it's related to higher percentages of Catholics and Lutherans in the northeast and upper midwest (Catholics and Lutherans have lower divorce rates than most other Christian denominations.)

Here is the link to the article:

Laurie B

Serena said...

I've always found it mildly amusing, when divorce rate statistics of the Bible Belt come up, that the people getting divorced are assumed to actually be saved. Maybe that's the thing: perhaps some don't realize the difference between people claiming Christianity as their religion/ background, and people who are actually serving Jesus. And then there are those who just royally mess up. But that's a whole other conversation. This also ties in with the other posts you've done recently, Jess. The church looking like the Culture we're living in.