7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 21)

February 13, 2009 | 88 comments

— 1 —

I’m sitting here, looking from the box of clutter in the corner of our living room that’s been there for weeks to the myriad stains on the carpet, waiting for the nesting instinct to kick in. Waiting…waiting…

— 2 —

Speaking of which, my doctor mentioned in passing today that we’ll probably schedule labor to be induced two weeks from Monday. ONLY TWO WEEKS?! It seems like it was just yesterday that I was writing this post talking about my nervousness about a brand new pregnancy. Even though I still have tinges of apprehension about handling four kids under age five, I’m excited to meet the new little one!

— 3 —

One of the interesting things about blogging is when you come across off-site discussions about your blog where the participants talk amongst themselves about your posts. It’s always an educational experience to see completely uncensored feedback about what you write — all the more so, I’ve found, on the not infrequent occasions when atheist forums link to something I’ve written. It’s no surprise that the consensus is typically that my writing not only drivel but indicative of amoeba-level intelligence, but what is rather fascinating is the sheer energy level that tends to be behind their opinions of my little site. Here’s a typical example, a recent discussion of one of my posts from last week (scroll down to see the comments, though be warned that there’s some profanity).

Anyway, I find that links like this from atheist forums always bless me with excellent opportunities to practice humility. ๐Ÿ™‚

— 4 —

Every time I watch Top Chef I feel the uncontrollable urge to pick up the phone and call Bravo and pitch them the concept of a Top Housewife competition. I’m telling you, it would be HUGE (meaning: I would like it). I have this all figured out. Here’s how the first episode would go:

WARM-UP CONTEST (winner receives immunity for elimination challenge)
A series of timed skills tests where the last person to finish is eliminated:

  • Fold 10 king-sized fitted bed sheets into perfect squares with smooth edges.
  • Match up pairs of socks from a bucket of 500 mismatched socks that are all the same color but different sizes.
  • Craft a Faberge egg to specification while holding an angry octopus in one hand and reciting the Gettysburg Address while someone screams in your ear. (This one inspired by how I feel about fives times a day.)

Since it might violate various laws to include real children in this series, the conditions of having multiple young children will be approximated with various similar stimuli:

Contestants have 60 minutes to get a living room and kitchen completely ready for formal company. Prior to the episode, 12 drunk interns will have been turned loose to have a kegger and a massive food fight on the site. During the challenge, trained monkeys will be sent in to cling to contestants’ legs; a door leading to a room full of angry bees will automatically open at frequent intervals and need to be shut; the phone will ring constantly and contestants will have to answer and respond to trivia questions; and at random intervals a box full of toys will be dumped in the middle of the living room floor. Oh, and because it’s my concept, there will be scorpions involved too.

OK, so now that I’ve typed it all out I see that it might not be the biggest ratings draw in the history of television or anything…but, hey, I would watch it!

— 5 —

There seems to be a small but vocal contingent of people on the internet who have strong feelings about the words healthy and healthful. I’ve received more than one note on the topic, I saw that someone left a similar comment for Kelly the Kitchen Kop, and I’ve seen it other places as well. These folks claim that it’s incorrect to say, for example, “I ate a healthy meal, ” saying that it should be “I ate a healthful meal” instead.

Now I’m all confused because, according to Merriam-Webster, healthy can mean “conducive to health.” If that’s the case, then wouldn’t it be a correct use of the word to say, “I ate a healthy meal”? If there are any language experts out there, please weigh in! I’ve been using the term a lot lately with my diet talk so I’m very curious.

— 6 —

An email from my dad from this week:

I know you lie in bed at night and wonder how center lines and other road stripes and signs reflect the headlights. Hereโ€™s a shot of a gate sign being created:

They put down a heavy coat of yellow paint and immediately the guy in the blue jacket spreads ground up glass on the paint. The glass is about like beach sand. They said that for long stripes, the paint truck spays the line then thereโ€™s a glass sprayer right behind the paint sprayer.

— 7 —

Proving that we are not only cheap but unromantic, my husband and I have actually considered making our official St. Valentine’s Day celebration a few days after the 14th so that it’d be easier to get restaurant reservations and we could get cards and gifts on clearance.

I could just see us gushing about our romantic St. Gilbert of Sempringham dinner or the lovely card (marred just slightly by the big 80% OFF CLEARANCE sticker) that I got my husband for Conrad of Piacenza’s Day.


Below is a Mr. Linky list if you’d like to add a link to your own 7 Quick Takes post. (1) Make sure the link you submit is to the URL of your post and not your main blog URL. (2) Include a link back here.

I look forward to reading your posts!

1. Lerin @ Beautiful Chaos
2. violingirl
3. Spacebooke
4. MaryAgnesLamb
5. Venite
6. puella
7. Missy @ Grasp the Love
8. PricelessPearls
9. Denise @ Teacups & Time
10. Debbie
11. Erin@ Seven Little Australians Plus One
12. warillever
13. Kate Wicker
14. Kathy@10minutewriter
15. KimK
16. Sarah
17. Laura
18. Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker
19. Margaret in Minnesota
20. Gillian-Life of a Photographer
21. Trena @ The Third Prayer
22. Elena @ My Domestic Church
23. CheekyPinkGirl
24. Katherine @ The Domestic Church
25. ~liz@smithical
26. Tami @ The Next Step
27. Tracy@The Secret of Living
28. Dawn
29. theRosyGardener (Nzie)
30. Scarlett
31. Tina
32. Nicole @ As Many As We\’re Given
33. Megan@SortaCrunchy
34. Charlotte
35. Lisa (Are We There Yet?)
36. beckygiggles
37. Layla @ NDLawWife
38. Kristyn@Hall Cottage
39. Eliz at Tink\’s Mom
40. majellamom
41. Sara@Coffee Randoms
42. mom.huebert
43. So… now what?
44. MrsDarwin
45. April @ SALT for the Spirit
46. Milehimama (Mama Says)
47. Sarah @ This Heavenly Life
48. Heather in Madrid
49. Heather
50. Wendy from Zoom
51. Jenny
52. Write From Karen
53. Aimee (The Mother Load)
54. Mrs. Bubbles
55. GiGi – Incrementum
56. Amanda @ Old Fashioned Girl (cheap hand soap)
57. Rob–The Spyglass
58. Ordinary Time
59. Annemarie
60. Smockity Frocks
61. Amanda – The Mom Job
62. MacyFron
63. Becky
64. Amber @ Rutabaga Dreams
65. T with Honey
66. Christine the Soccer Mom
67. Renee
68. Heather @ Not a DIY
69. Hannah
70. Steele (the Day)
71. the luxurious life of anna
72. Rachel
73. Kathy at the Political Housewyf
74. Michele Q.
75. Party of Eight

Powered by… Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets.


  1. Lerin

    #4 made me laugh out loud, and disturb my snoozing hubby. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. beyondhomemaking

    I would totally watch your top housewife show- the quick clean before company had me laughing!

    We don’t do Valentine’s Day at all if it makes you feel any better. Our anniversary is just a few weeks later so we feel a little better about making a bigger deal about that if we say it’s an anniversary/V-day combo.

  3. Lindsay

    We have long done our V day dinner on an off day. V Day is one of the busiest restaurant days a year I understand.

  4. Roxane B. Salonen

    Jennifer, I’ve linked to you from my blog now, and am happy to see your updates from there. I found the commentary from the peanut gallery (atheist forum) very interesting. Just duck when the mud comes at you. It’ll hit the wall behind you. (Actually, you’ve done that quite well.) I love that you posted this though. The writing here is in such contrast to the grace with which you write. Also, at heart, none of us are atheists, I think, because God’s imprint is written on our very hearts. Some simply don’t recognize it. It’s interesting to see what lengths they go to to prove their points. What are they railing against? Not you, though it is disguised as such. I commend you for your bravery and steadfastness. Also, blessings on the coming birth! My nesting urge didn’t kick in either with my latest pregnancies. ๐Ÿ™‚ I couldn’t keep up with what I had in front of me!

  5. sarah

    Ugh, what repulsive sounding people those were.

    Lol re the Top Housewife show ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Good luck with your last two weeks of pregnancy. The time sure has gone fast (well, to a distant observer). I hope you are relatively comfortable.

  6. Missy

    Love your Top Housewife idea! Although I love watching them some of the cooking competition shows bother me. They get 3000 dollars to buy their ingredients and then 3 hours in the kitchen (UNINTERRUPTED) to make their food. How heavenly would that be! P.S. I thoroughly enjoy your blog. I’m a mom of a 16 month old and 2 month old and I have no idea how you do it. Your a great encouragement to me!

  7. Hannah

    Wow! You know you’ve made it when you end up on FSTDT! Though I think you should get bonus points for having a post there that uses correct spelling and grammar ๐Ÿ˜›

    Interesting how atheists refuse to believe that anyone who converts was ever truly an atheist. I remember being about 15, and having this gut physical feeling that there was absolutely, definitely no god, and a complete incomprehension of how anyone could possibly every believe in god…This may explain why I felt rather confused and angry when I realized that I was becoming agnostic! But all the things I’ve realized so far really do make the things I said and believed then seem rather infantile.

  8. Karita

    Whoa, those are some pretty strong reactions to your post!

  9. Aussie Therese

    this is one of my favourite quick 7’s Jen. I have laughed at many things here.

    My first 4 children were born in 5 years 5 months. It was hard work but they are all teenagers now and great helpers (mostly)

    I would watch your idea of a program for Top Housewives too.

    Have a great valentines.

  10. Kate Wicker

    My quick takes this week is the “Why I Love My Husband,” but it’s not particularly romantic. We never go to dinner on the actual day and I often make cards. I think you’re smart, not cheap or unromantic!

    Jen, two weeks! You’re in my prayers. Your housewife competition almost made me pee (well, actually I probably did dribble a little…I’m almost at the finish line of pregnancy, too).

    I used to only cover health beats, and the editors and I always used “healthy” as in “healthy meal.” Have you read Barbara Wallraff’s Word Court? From Amazon: “In Word Court, Wallraff addresses changes in the language, questions of grammar, issues concerning specific words and phrases, and a bunch of other, uncategorizable linguistic concerns. She recommends rewriting in order to avoid problems (“recast, recast”), treading carefully when you don’t want controversial word use to obscure your point, and forgiving significant others ‘for any lapse of grammar committed in a bathrobe, before the coffee is ready.'” She even suggests breaking some grammar rules instead of risking sounding like some weirdo word elitist.

    Not that you have that problem, since you lean toward amoeba intellect. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been called a “simpleton breeder,” someone who obviously takes dumb blonde to a new level, and after my little why I nurse at the mall and Mass article, I received hate mail from fellow Catholics – one who told me I was a dog who should be sent to obedience school. Woof! Woof. I mean: Detachment! Detachment!

    God bless!

  11. Lisa

    I love the Top Housewife competition. I can hear it now. Lisa, please pack your vacuum.

    Hope you are feeling well.

  12. KimK

    Ehhh… I couldn’t bring myself to click the link in #3, because I’ve come across similar discussions and they just make me feel sick. Not disgusted sick, just sad and helpless sick.

    I’m glad you followed up with #4, though, that was genius! I would so totally watch that!

  13. Monnie

    When I was in high school (not THAT long ago – I graduated in 2003), we were taught the same distinction between healthy and healthful. A person is healthy and an apple is healthful, for example.

    Ever since then, however, grammar stickler that I am, when I come across an apparent misuse of the word “healthy,” I just chalk it up to being a colloquial usage. *shrugs* ๐Ÿ™‚ Maybe the dictionary has picked up on the colloquialism in it as well?

    Just my two cents. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Laura

    I think the housewife show would be a great thing to watch, and fun to compete in too. You’ve captured the mood of it perfectly.

    It is amazing the hatred that is out there.

    Good luck with your last two weeks. I know it is hard when they are young, but once they start getting older and more helpful, you will really enjoy having them close together.

    God Bless.

  15. Kate Wicker

    Will the complete loss of cerebral capacity due to pregnancy never end? I meant my quick takes were the “Why I Love My Husband” edition.

    And I peed out of laughter, not just for the thrill of it, in response to your housewife competition take.

    Will. Stop. OCDing. Now.

    Blessings to all…

  16. Trena

    We celebrate Valentine’s Day early or later as well. They hike up the prices on V-Day and then they change the menu. Not very romantic!

  17. Charlotte

    I guarantee, Jen (and you know it too) that everyone of those a-holes on that atheist forum is afraid to die. They just can’t own up to morality, that’s all. I hope you didn’t feel too bad reading all those lousy comments.

  18. Anonymous


    It’s really fascinating how angry those people are at you for “claiming” to have been an atheist. They are so sure that you’re lying and that no one would ever convert from atheism to christianity. It would be just as easy (no easier) to rationalize that there’s no accounting for the way people convert from one thing to another, but they believe their position is so obviously and inherently rational that on one could waver from it once they had been there.

    I also think it’s interesting that they gave you a “fundie” rating of 4.4. Granted, nothing on the site seems to ever get less than 4, and 4.4 seems to be a relatively low score. Still, it’s weird and a little disturbing that they actually don’t seem to know the difference between fundamentalism and mainline Catholicism. Huh.

  19. Tami Boesiger

    Hey, I like your idea for a reality show. It might open some eyes.

    Thanks for hosting, Jen.

  20. Tracy

    Scorpions, monkeys, and bees, oh, MY!

    (now I have a tune in my head, can you guess what it is?)

    funny concept for #4.

    Two weeks from Monday is almost my due date with my last baby. He’s going to be 5 on 2/27. He was such a nice baby to come before Mami had to start eviction proceedings. I hope you have a baby with similar solicitude. or is that a word. Since I have to run out the door now, I’ll let it stand.

  21. Dawn

    7 Benefits of Extended Breastfeeding

    Thanks for hosting!

    Good luck with the nesting. It will come. And I love your show. Similarly, I’ve always thought they should have a show named “30 Minute Meals with a Baby and Two Toddlers Afoot.”

  22. Nzie (theRosyGardener)

    Geez, those folks are rather vicious, aren’t they? I’d like to say their colorful language was covering actual points and discussions, but aside from the presumptuous (and unsupported) claim that you were always a Christian and somehow in incognito, I couldn’t find any.

    For Valentine’s Day I’m… working. But since I don’t have a romantic valentine, and don’t really get worked up about it, it’s fine by me (I was never of the “Singles Awareness Day” sadness and regret mentality). Enjoy a dinner out sometime when the restaurants won’t be crowded.

    Top Housewife… ๐Ÿ˜€ I’d totally tell my mom to enter… She comes from a long line of clean freaks, and never really considers the house clean. On the other hand, though, having to clean up a huge mess by oneself — shouldn’t your children be able help?

  23. Meredith@MerchantShips

    And that’s why I love your blog so much!

    I truly can’t believe you are having another baby in 2 weeks. Maybe you can cut some pink sponges into heart shapes for that last minute Valentine’s nesting.

  24. nicole

    Two weeks! That can’t be possible. It does seem like it was just last month you were telling us your happy news. I for one can’t wait to hear news of a healthy arrival.

  25. k3vin k!

    Healthful seems a rather clumsy word; there is a reason normal people do not use it.

    Praying for baby, mommy and family. ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. beckygiggles

    My sister and brother in law have an even more economical way to handle Valentine’s Day. They go to Walmart together, pick out cards for each other, trade, read them, and then put them back. All the sentiment and none of the cost! And if atheists have a problem with your blog, you must be doing something right!

  27. 'Becca

    #3: Gosh, how determined they are to believe that you never were an atheist. Oddly similar to some Christians who believe that nobody ever is really an atheist; they must be just lying out of bravado. In both cases I suspect the angry bluster is compensating for fear: “If *she* changed her mind about a belief that’s important to me, then it could happen to me too–what if she’s right?” Sigh. Thanks for having the humility to post the link.

    #4: Great idea! I think the socks should be not only the same color but also VERY CLOSE TO the same size, but different thicknesses and textures. I am learning the hard way about why I should not save money by buying “irregular” socks.

    #5 and #6: As a grammar geek, I haven’t formed an opinion on “healthy” vs. “healthful”, but I do wonder exactly how “the paint truck spays the line”–presumably to prevent proliferation of unwanted lines.

  28. Kristyn

    I do the sock thing twice a week. Never thought it would come in handy, though. The more kids I have the better sock workout I get.

    Many many blessings as you reach the end of your pregnancy.


  29. Someone Being Me

    Ouch, I read about the first 5 comments by the atheists and had to stop. It never ceases to amaze me how cruel people can be when they are sure they are right. I’m glad you have a good thick skin because the world needs people like you.

    And I love your idea about the Top Housewife competition. I would totally have that on my DVR list.

  30. Megan@SortaCrunchy

    Top Housewife! Yes! I would watch faitfully.

  31. eliz

    “Lisa, please pack your vacuum”!!

    Jen, your Top Housewife bit is brilliant. You should try to pitch that to a magazine.

    Love them atheists! They are so predictable in their schtick. And go you for showing up on their radar. That’s how you know you’re making a difference.

    Your #7 is actually quite smart. As someone in the restaurant biz, I’d never go out on Valentine’s Day (or New Year’s Eve, or Mother’s Day, etc.) Specials are overpriced, the service could be slow, and the food won’t be its best. Save a special night out for another time.

  32. Stargazing

    Hi Jennifer… my name is Anna and I started reading your blog a couple of weeks ago. I’m a lifelong Catholic who recently began to re-commit myself more fully to my faith. I read your blog every day, no matter if you post something new or not! I thought you might be interested in this piece I received from my Dad via email today…


    Continue the great work. You are an inspiration.

  33. Tres Angelas

    1) Luckily, my wife had the nesting instinct big time. If these things were left to husbands we’d be picking up diapers on the way home from the hospital.
    2) What a blessing. Ours are nine and thirteen now, and I’m just a bit jealous. Good luck!
    3) Whoa, what a hateful, semi-literate bunch. The insults are sickening, but it’s the blasphemy that really makes me cringe. Disturbing.
    4) When I fold a fitted sheet it pretty much looks like it was just wadded up when I’m done. In college a buddy of mine observed that the ability to fold a fitted sheet was a mystery that only mothers understood.
    5) I’ve done a fair amount of editing in my career. In cases where the usage isn’t fully standardized I always let it go, even when the use kind of bugs me.
    6) Ground glass? Cool.
    7) When we were poor (well, poorer) my wife would (jokingly, I think) call me cheap when I brought her flowers well before Valentine’s Day. Hey, it was better than the flowers arriving after Valentine’s Day, in which case she would have called me dead.

  34. Potamiaena

    Love you and your pen! Prayers headed your way.
    I read the comments on the “atheist” site you referred to. I am amazed how very violent and full of hate the comments are. What is constructive about spewing hate and cuss words and attacking someone? Can we discuss the idea? I’m glad you are strong enough to put the vitriol where it belongs. You were there once so you know what is going on. It’s sad and scary.

  35. Rebekka

    Wow. I’m not surprised at all by the atheists’ belief (not supported by fact) that one must be unintelligent to be a Christian, but I was surprised to see that it’s now reached the point that the atheist-to-Christian conversion is actually IMPOSSIBLE and that you were therefore never an atheist. Wow. I wonder what they think you were, then. Pre-Christian? Heathen? It sounds like atheism according to these guys requires a level of permanent, considered commitment that could be equivalent to the vows of a religious order. Most curious.

  36. mom huebert

    I followed the link to read that discussion of your blog, and oh my! I got warm all over reading those vicious, vicious comments. How can people be so rude and insulting?!

  37. Kingdom Mama

    Hehe…I’m waiting for the nesting to kick in too! Two weeks!? Wow! How many weeks will you be then? I have two more before 36, which is when I take a deep breath and say, “OK, whenever you’re ready!”


    I’ll have five under four for a few days until the girls’ b-day in April. We should start (or join) a club!;)

  38. April

    I wonder if Top Housewife would inspire a show on a competing network for Bottom Housewives. I could maybe compete in that one.

    Healthy/ healthful drives me nuts but mainly because I think healthful is a made-up word.

    Hey — here’s to two more weeks! Congrats!

  39. Janessa

    I love your dad.

  40. Renee

    On take #3 regarding atheists.

    I read your blog a lot, so the other night driving I thought what would the world be like if I was an atheist. I have to admit that yes, I would think anyone who did believe in God to be very different but what I can’t grasp is the anger/superiority factor in these discussions. If I didn’t believe in anything, I don’t think I would be engaged in these discussions, instead I would simply shrug my shoulders and go on with life.

    If an atheist believes we’re just all chemical equations, simply wouldn’t my personal equation be output of a supra-natural belief and why couldn’t they accept my equation?

    It’s a cliche, “You can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” but the phrase applies not just to those who have a theological belief but also this current atheist belief system also. These individuals have to ‘accept’ as a belief that there is no God, prior to making any public assertion there is no God.

    If Catholics and others are indeed drinking Kool-aid, atheists are simply sipping a different flavor.

  41. Milehimama

    I’ve never watched Survivor, but a reality show I would LOVE to see would be “Survivor: Welfare Mom”.

    Challenges would include feeding 3 hungry kids for 4 days until the food stamps arrive, using 1/2 a can of iffy tuna, 1/4 of Jif, and corn tortillas; forcing your landlord to make repairs; and taking everyone to the laundromat where you wash only and take home 400 lbs. of wet jeans to hang dry, in order to save quarters. Also, I think some good challenges would be the babysitter quitting while you are in the middle of your shift, the first night on the job and rude cashiers grilling you on your food purchases.

    I write about reality shows, and there WAS a show about homemaking, called “Wickedly Perfect” a couple of seasons ago. It was on ABC or Fox, I think.

  42. Kelly

    My husband and I *always* go out to eat the weekend before or after Valentine’s day, and celebrate the day after with clearance candy. Glad to hear we aren’t the only ones. Or won’t be, after you hear my encouragement. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  43. Heather

    I would TOTALLY watch the Housewife show! It’d be much better than that other “wife” show on TV. I can’t believe baby #5 is almost here!

  44. chickadee@afamiliarpath

    the top housewife idea is great! i would even watch that and i don’t watch reality tv.

  45. Karen

    I always wonder at people who get THAT upset about our lives/decisions/writing. To me, that just screams insecurity, unhappiness, doubt and dare I say, envy?

    Have a great POST Valentine’s Day! *grin*

    Write From Karen

  46. Just Me

    On #3, Wow. I clicked over thinking I was going to read real discussions about your post but was not expecting all that sheer anger by the commenters.

    They basically had no real refutes or opposing arguments to share, only insults.

    The comments didn’t make me mad, only very very sad for them. That they are missing out on something so amazing. I hope they find peace eventually.

    I guess that’s the real “kicker”, they believe these insults will harm you, when in reality the truth that you have found is so life-changing that you can only wish that they too (even your enemies) could experience it so they could escape from such darkness we all once knew.

    Anyway, I guess you know you’ve really “arrived” in the blogger world when someone is discussing your posts elsewhere. Too bad they didn’t post the whole thing.

  47. Party of Eight

    As my 3 year old would say: “They’re just jealous”.

  48. Anne Marie

    You big fundie, youโ€™ve been told!!!

    I sometimes read God Free/ Humanist/ Free Thinker type blogs for the heck of it. Every time I do I get an image in my mind of weeping & gnashing of teeth. Itโ€™s exhausting to read.

  49. Mrs. Bubbles

    Love your site and am thankful for this quick way to organize all of my random thoughts at the end of a busy week. ๐Ÿ™‚

  50. TL.

    #1 I followed the link to the atheist discussion, it felt really ugly, which helps remind me that THERE IS evil out there. those comments are inspired, but not by the Holy Spirit!
    This said I didn’t like your post about death row. The analogy is interesting, but a sentence for life isn’t better than death row. Life with the certainty that you WON’T come out, is very similar to death on many levels, maybe you keep some hope, but the degree of despair is awfully high. What’s a future when you’re locked up, with no exit possible?
    Especially if you add the bullying conditions inside, separation from any form of normal relationship, every thing is biased in jail, it’s its own world. I mean I see what you mean with this analogy, but there are better different ones to pass on your message… IMO.
    #2 good to know that your baby is doing fine, praying the birth goes well! ๐Ÿ™‚
    #6 I would go with healthy, healthful means : full of health.
    I’m not a native speaker of English, but I’ve been studying linguistics, and I may not have authority, but still! “healthful meal”!? seriously?
    #7 Thanks!! I didn’ wake up at night, but that was cute and interesting. I thought they were using a special paint..

  51. Aliocha

    As to number 3 comment, I hereby make a public challenge to any young atheist on earth.
    If he can be civil, I challenge him to spend a couple of weeks of holidays next August with me.
    He would be with me in Fatima, Portugal (my hometown) for the first week, and going on a trip we’re organizing to Paray-le-Monial, France, on the following week.
    I don’t believe anyone can do that and remain an atheist. Period.
    Ridiculing quotations over the net is one thing, facing facts in real life is a different thing.

    The reason why I’m specifically mentioning young atheists is because I believe older people might not feel comfortable in our trip.

  52. Amanda #1

    Um, yeah….I’m a moron. The box filled in automatically for me. So you can ignore the part by my name that says “Cheap Hand Soap.” B/c my post has nothing to do with that.

  53. Christine

    Wow, what vicious comments from that discussion. Funny, they question that you were ever an atheist. Makes no sense. Anyway, love these Friday posts and one of these days I plan to do one!

  54. Rob Harrison

    Re #3: I admire your ability not to go to war at times like that. Keeping my mouth shut has never been one of my strong suits.

    I’m reminded, too, of some of the comments the Raving Atheist made when he converted (and became the Raving Theist), about the inability of many of his atheist ex-comrades to come to grips with what he’d done.

  55. Elizabeth

    Bravo to you for linking to that hateful atheist site. Depressing reading.

    Oh, and I’m of the opinion that the word is ‘healthy’. Strikes me that ‘healthful’ is one of those American pomposities like ‘anaesthesiologist’ instead of anaesthetist. I’m English, it’s my language, and I’m right. (Like the well-honed logic? I’m sure our atheist friends would approve.)

  56. Marla Taviano

    #3–wow. Sad.

    I’ve never met a really angry person who wasn’t dealing with hurt beneath the surface.

    When atheists can respond with nothing but anger and venom, it tells me they’re hurting.

    If there really is no God, and they know that for sure, there’s no reason they can’t be happy people. The handful of atheists I know are miserable–and intent on making other suffer with them.

  57. Juliet and Eric (Mom and Dad)

    My dad is one of those people who distinguish between healthy and healthful. When I said the salmon I was eating was healthy, he corrected me and said the food I was eating was not healthy – it was dead! Calling something healthy refers to its’ health. I’m healthy. This fish is healthy. Which means we are both alive and in good condition! Something that gives you good health is called healthful.

    I always enjoy reading your posts!


  58. The Bookworm

    Love the Top Housewife idea, and stunned at the ignorance and abusive language of those blog commenters.

    I did a 7 Quick Takes here, but Mr Linky has taken a dislike to me and is hiding so I couldn’t link.

  59. Christine the Soccer Mom

    Our Valentine’s Days are usually low-key (or not even happening!), and I’m apt to resist the whole idea. But I explain that a bit in a link I’ve got on Quick Takes at my blog.

    See how I did that? I used a teaser! Let’s see if it actually works. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  60. mary ellen

    “I think you were what I’ll call a “nu-atheist.” You get paid by the Church to be an atheist and then convert to Christianity because that helps them convert more followers. Just my theory, though.”

    Who knew that the Church pays for this? I can’t wait to tell my husband that I’ve finally found a way to bring in some much-needed cash ๐Ÿ˜‰

  61. Rachel Gray

    #2 I’m excited for you!

    #3 The funniest thing to me is that so many of them say you couldn’t have been a real atheist. I know that’s what Christians are tempted to say about someone who apostasizes (for those who believe once-saved-always-saved, that’s what they *have* to say), but how funny that atheists think the same thing!

    #6 Cool, I didn’t know that.

    #7 I think that’s a great idea and I would like it if my (hypothetical) husband agreed with me on that. I’ll go further: I’d rather have a lab-created diamond than one that’s been mined. Lab-created diamonds are completely real diamonds, just as real as the mined ones, and don’t have the flaws that lower the value of mined diamonds, and are much much cheaper. I would never want my (hypothetical) fiance to blow two months’ salary at de Beers when we could get something better for less money! Let other suckers bow to that silly cultural custom. End rant. ๐Ÿ™‚

  62. Heather @ Not a DIY Life

    My first time playing along – glad I found you! I love your idea for the TV show. I would watch, for sure.

  63. Erin

    RE #2: Yay! I’m praying for you to have a safe and quick delivery.

    #4: I’d watch it too.

    #5: As a linguist in training, I find attitudes like this to be cringe-worthy. There’s a difference between “descriptive” grammar and “prescriptive” grammar. With descriptive grammar, the interest is in how people actually use language and understand one another. With prescriptive grammar, which can be very useful in teaching a person how to communicate effectively, especially in professional settings, we nonetheless enter the territory of rules. And rules are inherently complicated when they conflict with your everyday experience with language.

    My personal ruling on the healthy/healthful debate is that it will pass. “Healthy” in the context you provided is grammatically acceptable by authorities on the English language such as Merriam-Webster, and also Oxford English Dictionary. I trust their research, which includes a survey of how people in a variety of settings actually use the language, as well as incorporating a certain prescriptivism as is logical and necessary without going over the top into elitist prescriptive grammar. I trust that more than some random internet grammar snob.

  64. Anonymous

    Hello, Jennifer!

    I, too, read the comments regarding your recent post on atheism, and I am sorry for the pain they must have caused you. But my heart felt more deeply sore for them. I said a prayer right away for them. There isn’t any point being angry with them, is there? They are God’s children, but lost and sad.

    My husband, although baptized Catholic, grew up in a Catholic-hating household. After he met me, he received Confirmation for my sake, but became a fully believing and Jesus loving Catholic on his own. Point: his parents continue to believe he’s been thoroughly brainwashed, and have treated us cruelly on a few occasions because of what we are and who we are. They are, otherwise, good to us and frankly, I enjoy their company.

    I think such people are quite complex and are not to be dismissed as easily as they seem to dismiss gorgeous people like yourselves.

    I love the way you bear witness.

  65. Shannon

    Two weeks! That will be here so fast! I bet you can’t wait.

  66. Candace Jean July 16

    Any chance for a “Bottom Housewife” show? I might have a chance…

    It’s gotta be “healthy.”

  67. Jenny Andrews

    I absolutely loved the Top Housewife proposal – LOVED IT!

  68. Lana

    #3: I clicked over there. Ha ha! That was hilarious. I liked this:
    “I think in your previous life you were a serial killer and on death row.”

    Here I’ve been reading your blog for so long and would never have guessed! lol.
    Some people are just cra-zy. I think it just shows your sense of humor about all things that you posted the link. Good for you.

    I also like milehimama’s idea about a survival welfare-mama show. That would open up some eyes about the plight of the poor in our country.

  69. Barbara

    Your “Top Housewife” pitch had me laughing hysterically. Thank you!

    I just linked to your quick take #15 in order to share your sunrise/sun position photos. They are great–so much more amazing than reading about it in a book.

  70. Barb

    I linked to the atheist forum and I felt revulsion at the evil in their words and pity for their unhappiness. No one who is at peace with their life can write such words…they only pour from someone who is hurting inside.
    I wish they could know His healing peace…prayers for them and for you and that new baby…God bless..

  71. Starrball

    Forgot to post..

    I really enjoyed 4 and 6 was really interesting!

  72. Peter and Nancy

    Read the atheists’ comments, and once again am mystified by folks who claim intellectual superiority, but can’t think of anything but the f-bomb when they’re writing. :o)
    — Nancy

  73. graceunbound

    I would so watch a Top Housewife show…and if the grand prize were to be maid service for a year? I might even sign up to compete in it!

  74. lj tanner

    Love it!!! The angry octopus had me laughing, but then you threw out all kinds of madness for the 60 minute clean up challenge! Room full of angry bees indeed, so true.

    I also have to ask the wisdom of the gentleman throwing glass (albeit sand-like) with a bare hand when he has a perfectly good glove on the other hand. What does he have that glove for then? I thought ‘Becca was witty about the line being spayed too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  75. Sarah D

    As a self-proclaimed linguistic, you can say healthy. Word usage is not determined by only what the dictionary says. If by saying healthy it is more in line with how one speaks and does not interrupt the sentence or conversation then it is legit. The same goes with ending a sentence with a preposition.

  76. Chris

    Formal linguistics draws a distinction between observed use of language and prescribed use of language. Observed use is pretty simple: it defines how people actually use language in day-to-day-practice. Prescribed use is what linguists sometimes sniff at as the stuff of grammarians, those uncouth souls who think that rules have to be introduced and taught โ€“ or else everyone will forget what language he is speaking. Indeed, that last sentence is a vestige of prescribed rules in modern American practice, though in some modern British practice (and in American practice of the very recent past), people still learn everyone-he as observed behavior. But I digress.

    Hereโ€™s my take: dictionary.com lists the etymology of healthful as reaching back to around 1350 or so. There is actually a Middle English word, helthful from which our modern English word, healthful, is derived. In contrast, healthy can only reach back to 1545 or so (again, dictionary.com is the reference). Moreover, both the -y and -ful suffixes are native to English, so there can be no accusations of Latin or Anglo-French mixing unnaturally with Anglo-Saxon words. Nevertheless, the traditions that attach to healthful are objectively older than the traditions that attach to healthy. No doubt some band of brigands or miscreants instituted the use of healthy. Perhaps not. But it wouldnโ€™t surprise me to discover that some social distinction attached to those who used one form or the other in the past โ€“ a distinction that might have reversed itself several times during the intervening centuries. Whatever it is, this is an example of one of those deep cultural influences that still affect the way we speak and relate to one another in the present day.

  77. Tales From the Eurovan

    When I clicked on the link I was amazed at the theme running through most of the comments…anger. So sad.
    Take care,

  78. Baroquem

    What ran through my mind when I read that atheist thread was the great irony of its attitude. Atheism is supposed to “free” us from our delusions and let us become happy, n’est-ce pas? It was an atheist group in London that boldly proclaimed that we should “stop worrying and enjoy” our lives. Yet there isn’t even a trace of happiness or warmth or generosity among those comments. If the issue of religion weren’t in the picture, why on earth would anyone be attracted to a group that behaved that way? It is extraordinarily sad.

  79. Julie C

    A common pattern to those who hate anyone with faith is to use foul language. It is almost a classic indicator of the mindset. Julie

  80. Whimsy


    If you read 1 Corinthians 13 you’ll realize that the mother who does her tasks with the most patience and kindness wins, regardless of the number of tasks accomplished.

  81. truthfinder

    You actually HAVE 50 king-size fitted sheets???

  82. Brother Juniper

    ROFL, I would love to watch a “Top Housewife” program sounds me to me that it would be a great deal of fun. Why don’t you pitch the idea to Bravo and see what happens? If they have a show about hair dressers, then may be it’s time they had one for housewives! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  83. Antique Mommy

    I would win that housewife thing – I can fold any sheet into a perfect square. My linen closet looks like a department store. I know the secret – gnostic sheet folding.

  84. Pam

    Jen, I appreciate your determination to respond with grace to the atheist posts.
    As tempting as it is to react with indignation, I’m trying to remember that I was not very different from them at one time. God may be working on their hearts. My irritation with them speaks more about my own wounded pride than it does about God’s grace.

  85. Chris

    One of the great ironies of some corners of modern atheism is the refusal to entertain any arguments of faith — and this refusal is itself based on faith. Only faith can instill such a sure-fire certainty that one could conclude there is no need to listen to or understand counter-argument. Actually, it’s not just faith but fundamentalist faith that flat out refuses to entertain reasoned debate about a point of contention. For faith willingly entertains arguments that counteract faith. Indeed, the only reason that apologetics exists is to engage in these sorts of arguments — and the great detail available in modern Catholic apologetics demonstrates a faith well-used to arguing with reason and love, even when directly contradicted by seemingly insurmountable (and sometimes hate-filled) counter-argument.

  86. Kelly the Kitchen Kop

    Hi Jennifer,

    I just added this comment at the post you linked to…and I thought I’d add it here, too:

    I recently looked up the word “healthy” again (and again, because I keep forgetting, and I know I use it wrong all the time), and here’s what I found on Dictionary.com:

    “Usage Note: The distinction in meaning between healthy (“possessing good health”) and healthful (“conducive to good health”) was ascribed to the two terms only as late as the 1880s. This distinction, though tenaciously supported by some critics, is belied by citational evidenceโ€”healthy has been used to mean “healthful” since the 16th century. Use of healthy in this sense is to be found in the works of many distinguished writers, with this example from John Locke being typical: “Gardening . . . and working in wood, are fit and healthy recreations for a man of study or business.” Therefore, both healthy and healthful are correct in these contexts: a healthy climate, a healthful climate; a healthful diet, a healthy diet.”

    If I understand this correctly, I can interchange these words “legally” in the context that I normally use it…which is good, because I do so in almost every post I write.

    Love you Quick Takes, you always make me belly laugh. ๐Ÿ™‚


  87. Tres Angelas

    Fitted sheet, contour sheet — same thing. Call ’em what you want, they can’t be folded into squares as far as I’m concerned.

  88. workplace Organization

    What’s up Dear, are you genuinely visiting this web site on a regular basis, if so then you will absolutely take pleasant experience.


  1. 7 Quick Takes #9 – - [...] excited to be hanging out with Jen & friends doing 7 quick takes Friday again. Come see what everyone…

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