Show & Tell: All About Variety

Sometimes I pick a "theme" for my show & tell posts... well, this one is all over the map. Pick the things you want to read about, and skip the things you don't... but these are all things that are interesting to me... hopefully some of them will catch your eye, too! ;)
  • HEAVEN: I want to go THERE! - a personal account of how reading Randy Alcorn's "Heaven" greatly increased one Christian's desire for and excitement about Heaven.
  • When controversy strikes over worship styles: CappuccinoMom writes about it in a post called Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs
  • The familiarity of an idea: how we go from rejection to acceptance of new ideas as they become more familiar. She's talking about cloth toilet paper, but I think it can go for any number of things: family size, cloth diapering, homeschooling, etc.
  • Bill Cosby on parenting & education
  • An abortion counselor on how she counsels Christian women who come to her for abortions: "God knows what's in your heart."
  • Still trying to decide what Christmas gift to get for the Christian men in your life? GirlTalk compiled a list of books that Christian men would likely love to read... (I should confess: I skipped over this post, thinking it wasn't a good list, and then my loving husband forwarded me the link as a little hint, hint. So perhaps your husband would like it too.) ;)
  • Looking for quality children's books? This blog may give you some new ideas.
  • What kind of toys should we buy for boys? And for girls? Shouldn't they (at least sometimes) be different?
  • Modesty Check: A Titus 2 woman gives us a great way to check our motives and dress modestly.
  • How homeschooling instills leadership. Independent learning, creativity, and faith are all strong positives that come from the homeschool environment.
  • Big Brother at School: Don't leave your children's education to the government-- how 19th century Democrats addressed this issue of government involvement in public education- and some things we ought to think about now.
  • "I prefer someone else's kisses": how premarital sexual experience can harm one's chances for marriage, or one's happiness in marriage. Just something to think about.
  • The beauty of routine when a new baby enters the family: though this is a controversial issue, I can't say enough how thankful I am for having a basic routine with each of my babies... it makes our lives more predictable and makes everyone in the family happier when there's a general order to things. You can see more of my thoughts on this in the comments of the linked post.
  • The dreaded "Christian Table": One waiter shares his thoughts on how Christians often come across to waiters/waitresses... something to keep in mind! (Personal note: I can still remember hating to get the Sunday afternoon shift when I waited tables in college... many times, tables of six or more --obviously having come straight from church, with dress clothes and bulletins in sight-- would leave horrible tips and have terrible attitudes. Once I got 86 cents as a tip from a table of seven people... we, as Christians, need to consider that we are indeed watched, particularly on Sunday afternoons, and use that as a time to honor, rather than dishonor, the name of Christ by how we interact with those who wait on us.)
  • They ARE a handful: Kelly shares about the responsibilities and rewards of children-- and how people applaud women who work themselves to death for the good of a beloved cause or candidate or company, but pity mothers who are working heartily to raise godly children.
  • Are large families and ministry incompatible?
  • Ever asked a kid, "what do you want to be when you grow up?" Elisabeth Elliot challenged me (and Amy) with some thoughts about that question.
  • Victoria doesn't keep her "Secret" very well: Where do we as Christians draw the line?
  • Some things to consider during the holiday season
Two ways to get free books... no joke, folks. FREE. BOOKS.
  • Here are some excellent books available FOR FREE online. These are electronic format books by John Piper, Wayne Grudem, Dennis Rainey, and more.
  • Library GIVEAWAY: Encyclopedia Kevinannica is giving away free books, videos, and music for Christmas. No hidden costs, no switch-a-roo... go check it out!

POLITICS:You all may have noticed... my guy's on the rise (that would be Huckabee!) ;). It's getting exciting to see others agreeing with what I've known for years-- that Mike Huckabee will make a phenomenal President! Here are some interesting recent news items:
  • Bill O'Reilly and Dick Morris, an astute political adviser and observer, do a run-down of the current Republican race... it's an interesting segment- and only takes 5 minutes to watch. If you want to get up to speed on what's happening in the Republican race, this is a great video to get you there.
  • Huckabee's $327,000 vs. Romney's $7 million. Huckabee is #1 in Iowa, where Romney has long been thought to have the race "wrapped up" (remember? Thompson, Giuliani, and McCain didn't even bother to do anything in Iowa for the straw poll because it was thought to be totally "Romney country".) Now Huckabee's the one to watch, and he's doing it in a fiscally restrained way--( i.e., he's the frugal candidate), which I personally like. I don't want a President who goes through money like crazy, and Romney certainly doesn't seem to know how to get "bang" for his bucks. Huckabee does.


{Editor's note: if you are a man or don't want to know about personal female hygiene, stop reading now. I mean it. Stop. Don't go blaming me if you read any further and then get embarrassed or squeamish about what you read. Are you still reading? SERIOUSLY? EVEN AFTER I WARNED YOU?!?!? Well, stop. Now. Consider yourself fully warned.}


Ladies, over the last year, I've been introduced to some new thoughts about feminine hygiene products for *that* time of the month, and I wanted to share them with you here. I'm not going to go on and on... but you can read about these things for yourself and get your own ideas.

I just want to say that many of my friends have had decreased cycle strength/bleeding, hugely decreased cramping, and less hormonal/PMS stuff because of switching from the over-the-counter disposable ladies' products to natural products. The bleach and certain chemicals in the disposable products may cause increased cycle strength and cramping, and I have too many friends that have happily "made the switch" with great physical/hormonal results to think that it's just coincidence. Here are some great links to check out:
Health-wise, financially speaking, and environmentally, I think more women ought to consider these options. Maybe you'll agree. ;)

And finally, something fun to end the "Show and Tell": MUSICOVERY- what a FUN way to blast back to your past and hear some old tunes. You can click on the decade, click on your mood, and away you go, hearing tunes you may have forgotten (for me, it was Milli Vanilli and some 80's and 90's one-hit wonders)


Kevin Stilley said...

Welcome to the contest. I still have a few more books to add before the 24th. Just 15 days till the drawing. Good luck!

Gina said...

Thank you for pointing women to my blog, Jess! I appreciate it, and pray God might use what He wants to use there! I am far from an expert and share what God leads me to share. I encourage others to "take what they can use" and "throw out the rest"...and to God be the glory!!!

Merry Christmas hug to you!

Sweetpeas said...

JMO I prefer the mooncup (one's available in the UK and a different, but VERY similar one is available in the US from the makers of glad rags & the keeper) to the diva cup (I have both). They're very similar but I find the mooncup easier to use & easier to clean (doesn't have those little holes around the top which drove me insane LOL).

Kim said...

So you use the Diva Cup? Okay, email me about it. Because I've been contemplating getting one. Mostly because of the expense of buying other stuff. And because of the stupid medicine I am on, I have an increased number of cycles per year (it's better that way, BUT PCOS was nice for the pocketbook...).

Also, regarding infant scheduling - my only personal concern about it is the lack of flexibility it allows the infant. Maybe it's just certain babies and certain parents, but the ones I have been around end up with babies that cannot sleep anywhere but home and are uncomfortable being snuggled and cuddled. Like I said - maybe it's just certain kids! :) But it's a concern I have when it comes to my own. My nephew isn't a CIO kid, but he does go to bed by himself. Mostly using techniques from The No-Cry Sleep Solution. He fusses for a couple of minutes and then is out!

Good Show and Tell today! Thanks, Jess! I wouldn't want to be in the sleigh with anyone but you. :)

Jess said...

RE: routine

Clearly, Kim, from our lives over the past, oh, three years, routine hasn't hurt my kids' ability to sleep anyplace. ;) (For those of you who don't know, we've virtually continent-hopped for the last 2 years of our lives-- unintentionally-- due to medical situations, primarily.) In fact, having a routine helps their ability to adjust to life wherever we are (over time, and on a day-to-day basis). They don't need certain cues or assistance to fall asleep. They can sleep, and sleep well, wherever we are... which indeed has been a blessing. Church nurseries, carseats, airplane rides, taxis, all around the world, routine has helped our lives be predictable and actually, contrary to what you suggest, allows flexibility because we have a baseline to start from.

We have a norm, and then in America, we had Sundays, which threw off our "routine"... but that was OK... because we could adjust what our routine looked like on those days.

Your comment that maybe it's just certain kids-- I think, rather, that it's just certain parents who have a problem with fairly predictable routine with flexibility built in. From what I've seen, and I've seen a lot... the people who have trouble with this are the ones who have taken routines into hyper-scheduling. People who read parts of a book without ever seeing the "but if baby is hungry..." or "if you're going out that day..." or "when you need to...", and so they build lack of flexibility into their norms with baby, and then baby can't sleep anywhere but at home (I have a friend doing this right now, and it's hard to watch). On the contrary, routine gives our lives predictability without rigidity, which is what kids need anyhow, no matter your feeding philosophy.

Kids don't need unbridled, unchecked freedom to be able to demand their whims whenever they please (and have them fulfilled), and neither do they need to-the-clock rigidity... but God is a God of order, and a sensible routine gives our family order and consistency that I'm so grateful for. I can honestly tell you (these are my personal thoughts, so no one come in and tell me how wrong I am-- this is my view that if I was having to demand feed and be up all night long, my personal convictions on b.c. during this season of our lives would be a lot harder to live out. I wouldn't be able to take it.

What makes our family life lovely and enjoyable for all of us (even the precious infants God gives us) is that there is a flow to our days together. Kids get up around 7/7:30... we eat at certain times of the day (8-ish for breakfast, 12-1-ish for lunch, and around 6-ish for dinner)... the kids have naptime or quiet time for 2 hours each day-- all of them! Then all the kids are in bed around 8, and Doug and I have time together.

Routine makes our family life more than just bearable-- but amazingly enjoyable... and not just for the parents-- but for the kids too- that they know what's coming next... they don't have to fuss or whine for what they need- they know they'll be fed, they know when it's naptime (and can I say that people are always *amazed* that our kids actually happily go down for naps?). We don't do bedtime battles... those "typical" problems just don't exist in our home.

I'm not trying to act like *we're* the ones that have created this great thing or something... I'm just thankful for God leading us to this parenting method that gives our little ones some security and comfort in those early months and later into life. (And I have to say, the fact that all my kids, regardless of size and temperament --which has varied greatly among the three I have so far-- have all slept through the night consistently by 2 & 1/2 months, well, that's lovely too.) ;)

So there's part of my answer to your thoughts.

Jess said...

I wanted to say, too, that Mary does a great job addressing that issue (of kids who are rigid about their sleep) and how to deal with it in her post... it's something that we did, not obsessively, but just over time, teaching our little ones to sleep anywhere by letting them sleep in various places in the home, carseat, bouncy seat, pack and play, crib, etc.

So if you haven't yet read the link to Mary's post, I'd encourage you to do it- to have your question answered on the "how to" of flexible sleep. Again, I think any parenting method fails without flexibility, but I find more than adequate "flex" by having a basic routine that our family works on.

(Oh, and by the way, we're both "P's" on the Myers-Briggs scale... this is definitely NOT a parenting personality issue- we're both VERYYYYYYYYYYYYY go-with-the-flow kind of parents. It's not just that we like scheduling things or something.) ;)

Jess said...

RE: Diva Cup/feminine stuff-- (SO MEN, PLEASE SKIP THIS COMMENT):

Well, I used it for the cycles in between Maranatha and this pregnancy, so I'm no expert (I think I had 2 cycles, maybe 3 tops). But I really enjoyed it for those few cycles... and I have friends of all ages (young, menopausal, and in-between) that use it & love it, so I feel confident promoting it. It's easy to use, and particularly compared to pads or tampons, it is unnoticable and doesn't "hurt" in any way.

How you use the DivaCup:
You can look online for how to insert it, etc. I'll not go into the details here. But it's simple-- it took me no time at all to "get" how it works. For removal, it's simple to use... and you can look online for that too. (I'm trying to be as discreet as possible, while answering the questions I know people have.) But... you empty it based on the strength of your cycle... if you know your first 2 days are heavy, well, then, you empty it more frequently on those days, etc. Once you use it for a day or two, you'll get a "feel" for how often you need to empty it. I never had even a single leak (I kept on extra liners just in case, but never needed them.), and my friends say the same thing- that they never leak with the DivaCup.

What else? Oh, it could fit in the palm of your hand, so it's very discreet and easy to carry with you (it comes with a little pouch) wherever you go, so you can be ready. Women with predictable cycles just put theirs in around the right time and wait for their cycle to start... there's no risk for toxic shock because it's made of silicone.

Anything else you want to ask, just e-mail me. (That goes for ANYONE with questions... I'll do my best to answer them!) ;)


Claire said...

Woohoo! Oh, Jess, you are the first Christian blogger I've read who mentioned the Diva cup - I use it too and I just love it!

It's SO much nicer than chemically-treated tampons and sanitary pads, and so much better for the environment. AND it's cheaper too - it only costs as much as maybe two or three months pads or tampons, and then you have it forever!

Christian women - do a Google search, you won't regret it!

Kim said...

Jess - thanks for answering my scheduling questions. :) I'll be honest, I had been wondering how you do it, so I just skipped down to your comment (oh, the shame). I need to go back and read the actual blog. :) I think you're right - it's definitely a matter of teaching kids to sleep anywhere...I think kids most definitely need to be taught to sleep. I just am thinking of a couple of dear friends whose kids, while well behaved and well rested, had/have NO flexibility in sleep, and so in the nursery - watch out! :D (And just in the interest of full disclosure - way before baby scheduling ever came around, I was one of those babies who could only sleep in MY bed, on my tummy, with a cloth diaper over my head. So I suppose I was an inflexible little one as well... ;) )

But I think you're right. In most cases, it's an absolute adherence to any one parenting method without allowing for flexibility of schedule AND child. This is just stuff I like to think about and figure out for myself - what I will do when I have kids. So I like hearing different sides of the story.

Thanks for the info on the diva cup. I might have to track one down.

Love ya!

Buffy said...

Thank you so much for posting about the natural feminine hygiene products. I have recently been reading that tampons are no good for you.

Anonymous said...

Just read the blog post from the abortion counselor. I was chilled to the bone. I assume you posted it as an example of bad theology, right? Were you the Jess who put up the comment with Ps. 139 on that blog? (I'd assume so, and well said.) That we can now justify murder through the "God knows what's in my heart" excuse is frightening. I mean, "God knows I love the baby I am about to kill, so He will forgive me" ??? With that justification, what's to stop us from breaking any commandments? "God knows I love my husband, but I really need space and to have my own life, so this divorce is for the best." "God knows I love my children and want them to follow Him, but I'm not an expert on child-rearing, so it's best for me to stick them in government schooling where they can have professionals teach them...." The list is endless. What a terrible, horrible tragedy to jump willingly onto such a slippery slope.

Jess said...

RE: Abortion counselor link

Yes I was the first commenter (Jess). I read that blog occasionally as a reminder of what the opposite side is saying... how they justify their "choices", and just how deceived they are about what's "right". It makes me sad and keeps me grounded in how profound the disagreements between pro-life and pro-choice really are.

Yes, it's an example of bad theology- it's a reminder to all of us that there is a battle raging- and that we can't afford to stick our heads in the sand and "live and let live", because there are millions that aren't getting to live when we take that approach.

Meg W. said...

Hey Jess! Can I just say that I love your mega posts that you occasionally write with outside links and whatnot. I especially enjoyed the "familiarity of an idea" one. Ironic that I've been thinking of that and then she just verbalized it. And I also used the free book link and downloaded 3 books :) Now if I could just print them out....all 800 pages of them.

have a great monday!

Mrs. Brigham said...

The link about the "Christian Table" unfortunately made me recall some of my worst days in retail. I dreaded Sundays as "church people" were often the most hateful, nastiest customers I ever came across. I even had a pastor's wife, still dressed in her church clothing, throw a heavy jar of neck cream at my chest, simply because the cosmetic line I worked for did not carry a foundation in a color appropriate for her complexion. When the police officer showed up, I remember him asking her what she had learned in church that day. It took me a LONG while to ever go back to a worship service after this incident. :o(

I was just discussing my "mama cloth" over on my blog last week. My period had always been terriblt painful until I gave up the "regular" items for a Diva Cup and Glad Rags. Since exclusively using cloth pads, I do not even need to take a pain reliever when my period comes, and I cannot tell you what a relief that is. I used to spend a good day or two in bed every month, very ill, and *nothing* could even take the edge off!

Terry said...

On "The Dreaded Christian Table": I, too spent a few years waiting tables as a young college student and it is unfortunate that what this young man witnesses was indeed the rule and not the exception. Because I've been a "for tips" employee, I am always careful to tip well (Stay home if you can't afford to tip. The per hour salary for tipped employees is dismal; not even minimum wage), and be courteous because a server's performance is dependent on so many more factors than just their personal performance. We go to a big church and I was so blessed when a non-churched acquaintance mentioned to me how our pastor (she recognized him from a visit to the church) was nice and a big tipper to boot when she served his table. And by the way, we have been admonished from the pulpit to be kind to those who serve us in these capacities. We miss out on powerful witnessing opportunities when we don't.

deb said...

I love it when you post about other articles for us to look at. It saves me so much time finding interesting items by myself.

Mary said...

Jess! So many great links, wow! Thanks for taking the time to compile them all here...wish I could print them all off and keep them handy...I feel like I'm going to wish for some reading materials if this forecasted "ice storm" hits us in the mid-west USA as hard as they say it will!

Thanks for highlighting my blog post about infant scheduling! I've gotten some great feedback and discussion going on over there, from two or three really nice ladies. It's especially appreciated by me, knowing we can agree to disagree, and that in regards to the infant scheduling topic, there can definitely be more than one "right way"!

You're not the first one I've heard rave about the Diva Cup. I hadn't heard, however, that getting away from the other items can aid against cramps and other menstrual difficulties! Wonderful...I probably will end up getting one sooner or later! What a money savings as well...

Mary at Homesteeped Hope said...

Okay, I'm sold. Went to the Diva Cup website and read the Q&A's and the testimonials! Can't WAIT to try this! It sounds wonderful...thanks again, Jess!

Amy Jane (Untangling Tales) said...

I've heard so much about reducing cramps when using "natural"/reusable products.

Lately it's struck me particularly b/c I was just in a conversation a week ago with a young lady thrilled to be on the Pill now that she's married "because it manages my horrible cramps!"

The comment curled my toes just b/c I don't trust chemical birth control (ethically), and then, days later when my own bleeding started I found myself for various reasons alternating between disposable and reusable products.

God help me, the cramps with the tampons were *un.real.* and went away almost at once when I switched back. I had to wonder if an active promotion of alternative menstrual products could reduce the need for "therapeutic" use of the Pill like my aquaintence's.

Jess said...

So glad so many of you have been encouraged to check into the DivaCup and other natural options...

I hesitated to post about it, because it's such a personal issue, and the line between discretion and information (in this case) is a very fine line. BUT-- I decided that if I hadn't had some online friends talk openly about it, I would have never known about this stuff- and so... I decided to share. I really, REALLY hope I didn't offend or gross anyone out-- but I find that this is very good information to have! :)

Thanks for all the comments-- I'm glad so many people enjoy these Show & Tell posts-- they are fun for me too, because I get to share the things that I'm learning and mulling and that I've found challenging or interesting. So it's a win-win situation! :)


The Queen said...

Thank you for not making me feel totally freaky.

I live VERY rurally and this summer my cycle returned unexpectedly after weaning...I mean I KNEW it would be coming back, but when it did it caught me unprepared. I had tons of flannel on hand and found my way to the hill billy housewife page to make your own products. I have loved them ever since and I haven't found it near as weird/gross, etc as I'd have thought. And it is SO much more comfortable for me...I'm sorry but those papery plasticy products you buy just are NOT comfortable no matter how you slice it!

However, I mentioned it to ONE friend and was met with a VERY uncomfortable silence/strange look and have been too nervous to tell anyone else. Too bad..their loss! :)

I feel better now though! :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Jess.

I just had baby numer 8, snd switched to all natural home made prodects, because money is particularly tight. I love it! So CHEAP! So easy! Why didn't I do this forever ago? I've wanted to blog about it, but I have too many male readers that I know in real life. I just didn't want them to know this about me...

So glad you found a wat to get the info out there!


Anonymous said...

A WAY, not a WAT. :)

One handed typing...


Anonymous said...

I found your blog through your comment at Abortion Clinic Days. I often find the type of "counseling" these women receive from the so-called counselors chilling (most are not professionally trained or licensed counselors but abortion rights activists or post-abortion women trying to justify their decision). On a few occasions I have written responses and my own thoughts to their writtings at my own blog. I'd be interested in seeing a refutation to Biblical justification of abortion, would you consider expanding more on this in an entry?
Rachael C.