7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 57)

November 6, 2009 | 47 comments

— 1 —

We had the flu run through the house this week, hence the infrequent posting. We had a very similar experience to what B-Mama at Building Cathedrals describes here, where we all got sick a few days after my two- and three-year-old daughters got the swine flu nasal mist vaccine. They say that the live viruses in the vaccine can’t cause the flu, but I have to wonder about the timing. Anyway, what are you guys doing about flu vaccines this year?

— 2 —

One funny thing that came of me being sick is that I lost my voice. It certainly set a different tone for the house, and it was really cute how the kids kept answering me in whispers. But it was also exasperating when they’d be into some mischief and I couldn’t raise my voice to get their attention. You should have seen the delighted looks on their faces when I saw them pouring out Cheerios onto the kitchen floor from across the room and all I could do was wave my hands and whisper for them to stop.

— 3 —

I finally bought Four Witnesses after reading a bunch of reviews that basically said “I WILL CUT OFF MY RIGHT ARM IN PROTEST IF YOU DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK!!!!” Well, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but people seemed to really like it. I’m only about 30 pages in, but now I see why.

Rod Bennett does an incredible job of weaving in the writings of the earliest Christians with historical context about what was going on in the time and place in which they lived, and the result is a fascinating look into history that reads like a good novel. The only down side is that stayed up way too late last night reading it. A huge thank you to everyone who recommended it!

— 4 —

I’ve figured out what I believe is the best invention in the history of humankind. The wheel? Eh, it’s OK, but no. The printing press? Sure, I guess that was nice and all, but no. No, the by far greatest thing that the human mind has ever created is: That yellow line that indicates first down for football television broadcasts.

Who’s with me on that? I mean, you just can’t even quantify how much joy that technology has brought to the human experience. And can you imagine how many free beers you could get bought for you if you walked into random sports bars and announced, “I’m the dude who invented the yellow line!” Anyway, here’s a cool video on how it works:

— 5 —

How did it take me four babies to learn about the awesomeness that is Baby Mum Mum crackers? I’m buying stock in these things. They have saved my sanity on many a crazy morning when I’m trying to get the three toddlers fed and the baby is hungry too — I can toss her a Baby Mum Mum and she’ll happily chew on it for a couple minutes until I can get her her breakfast. And — here’s the best part — it’s not messy! It doesn’t turn into that mysterious sticky super-substance that seems to actually morph into the fabric of clothing like so many other teething crackers do! If you have a finger-foods-aged baby, I highly recommend them. (There was some talk of a recall , but evidently it’s cool now.)

— 6 —

My 95-year-old grandfather is cooking dinner for us again this weekend. I’m not sure what’s on the menu for this weekend, but here’s a glimpse of what we had last time:

Prime steaks

Potatoes au gratin

Zucchini “spaghetti”

— 7 —

A friend mentioned that she’s working hard this week to get her house all decluttered and clean to start the holiday season the right way. I love that idea. If I can ever get over being sick I might just have to do that myself. Anyone else doing any cool holiday prep stuff?

Have a good weekend, everyone!

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. It Feels Like Chaos
2. Peace Garden Mama
3. Aubrey @ Laughing All the Way
4. Gae
5. carrien (she laughs at the days)
6. Therese (Aussie Coffee Shop)
7. Tami @ The Next Step
8. Mary @ Passionate Perseverance
9. Laura @ HS JOY
10. Erin@Seven Little Australians Plus One
11. DebbieQ@stophershesknitting
12. Mama Fuss
13. Deanna@Notlukewarm
14. Dawn Farias @ I Hate Socks
15. Pharmgirl @ Adventures in Pharm Land
16. Ladyofthelakes
17. Julia@ Blessed Obscurity
18. EV
19. Dymphna @ the Well
20. ChrisV
21. Trena
22. leah @ abundant life
23. Amanda
24. Judy@A Thankful Woman’s Book of Blessings
25. PapuaGirlinDallas
26. Joy@ joy in the morning
27. Sara @ AShowerOfRoses
28. Barbara @ These Things
29. Marie, Two Ways of Renouncing the Devil
30. Mary @ HopeEchoes
31. Kathlen
32. ThatMarriedCouple
33. Chelsea @ Roots & Rings
34. Colleen
35. Janet @ Domestic Bliss
36. Darren and Sara Jones
37. nadja@patch o’ dirt farm
38. Rebecca
39. Lindsay
40. Becky @Beck’s Three
41. Elisa @ Elisa Loves
42. majellamom
43. violingirl (Christmas)
44. Transitus Tiber
45. Kacy @ Meandering Home
46. Sarah @ Fumbling Toward Grace
47. Holly @ Hollison Journey
48. Tracy@The Secret of Living
49. Therese@Musings of a Mom
50. Esther @ The Mommy Diaries
51. Matching Moonheads
52. Elizabeth Mahlou
53. KC
54. udubalum mama
55. Fr. Christian Mathis
56. A Broader Mark
57. Aimee@ The Mother Load
58. Ranee @ Arabian Knits
59. Exultet – 7 Fulton Sheen quotations
60. dashoff
61. Dakotapam
62. theRosyGardener
63. Melodie
64. Jamie
65. Kathryn @ Suitable For Mixed Company
66. Smoochagator
67. Sarah @ This Heavenly Life
68. Jaime
69. Stephany Writes
70. becomewhatyouare
71. Rebecca
72. Jen @ The Short Years
73. Jennifer
74. leighann_marquiss@yahoo.com
75. Kate @ La Vita Bella
76. Very Sleepy People
77. Lindsey (with links)
78. Jennifer Frey
79. natatomic
80. Amy @ From the Desk of Mom
81. Arwen @ ABC Family
82. suburbancorrespondent
83. Anna @ Annalogue
84. Miriel @ seeking Solomon…
85. Kalynne Pudner
86. The Philosopher-Mom
87. NCSue
88. Elena @My Domestic church
89. Seeking to be worth far more than rubies
90. Box Full of Blessings

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  1. It Feels Like Chaos

    Wow, I love that your 95 year old grandfather can cook a meal like that!! Can you send him over to cook for us?

  2. Roxane B. Salonen

    Jen, can you send your grandfather up here to cook us a meal, too? Huh, can ya? Please? 🙂 (You lucky duck!)

    Hope you're all better now!

  3. Aubrey

    Wow! The yellow line on the football field during broadcasts is GREAT for a wife who's trying to find a quick way to follow along with her husbands second love. It's awesome!

    I'm heading up to my doctor's office tomorrow for the H1N1 shot. Normally I'd pass but he strongly recommended it, which is rare for him since he hasn't yet encouraged a particular vaccination to me. I'm pregnant now–maybe that's the difference.

    Hope you feel better soon! 🙂

  4. Carrien

    Those food photos have me wanting to raid my fridge at 11:30 at night, even though I know I will find nothing so good in there.

    Happy Weekend.

  5. Tami Boesiger

    I've always wondered how they do that yellow line, but that guy's explanation made my head spin this early morning. Yikes.

  6. Laura

    Thanks for hosting. As to #1 – staying as far away from them as possible. Sorry to hear you guys got sick. Look into adding a vitamin D3 supplement for all of you. They even come in drops for the kids!
    God Bless.

  7. Dawn Farias

    Thank you for hosting. I think I may just buy that book!

  8. Sandy C.

    I lost my voice this week, too, while substitute teaching for a 4th grade class. Teachers have mentioned my "strong" authoritative voice (not that I yell, I just have a strong voice trained by a few years of alto-voice lessons.;))When I couldn't rely on my voice to get the students' attention, it was interesting to try other methods.

    My voice is back and I'm teaching 5th grade today. We'll see how it goes.

  9. Dymphna

    Wow, it looks like your grandfather is an excellent cook!

  10. johannal

    I really enjoy the football links sprinkled through your site!
    My husband and I are going through RCIA right now (from anglicanism) and I've really enjoyed reading what you have to say as a Catholic Convert from a female perspective. A lot of issues (motherhood, contraception) really resonate with me and God changing my views on all that is partly why we are becoming Catholic.
    BTW, my husband is a displaced Texan and we live in New England. Are you a Cowboys fan?

  11. johannal

    I forgot to ask-
    Could you post the recipe to the Zucchini Spaghetti?
    Looks like you will enjoy a wonderful dinner!

  12. ~ Judy ~

    WOW! Thanks for the "yellow line" enlightenment!!!
    No flu vaccines here at our house…only FLU 🙁

    95 and cooking for YOU! AMAZING…Please God, let ME be like Jennifer's grandfather in life!!!

    Goal for holiday prep: Making SURE that I actually have the right colored candles and ones that are more than mere stubs ready and waiting for our Advent Wreath…I think I actually had to use white emergency candles with color-coded ribbons last year…ugh)

  13. TwoSquareMeals

    No post for me this week. But there used to be a fan club for the yellow line. I think there was a website an everything. Not sure if it is still around. I love it, too.

  14. Aimee

    Actually you CAN get a mild form of the flu from the flu mist vaccine. That form of the vaccine contains a live virus, although in a very weakened form. That is why the nasal mist is NOT recommended for young children, pregnant women, and the immuno-compromised. Those groups should only get the shot, which does not contain a live virus and will not give you the flu. If you get the flu right after you get a flu shot, then you were already exposed to the virus somewhere else.

    (PS: this info came from our family physician, and from my hubby, who is also a doc)

  15. Marie

    Don't know if the same is true of the swine flu vaccine, but I understand the regular flu vaccine takes about 2 weeks to fully work, so often you get the vaccine because the flu is around and you've already caught it by the time you get the shot. Could happen.

    Papa Familias had a good post on his blog, though, about how these vaccines aren't even being placebo tested.

  16. Aimee

    Also, I forgot to add that we are getting the vaccines this year. Every single person in my household is in a high risk group — health care worker, pregnant, kids!

  17. Jennifer

    My baby LOVED Baby Mum Mum. So much that that we gave him some for Christmas. I originally bought them because the packaging looked so odd and silly, but they are great!

  18. Elisa

    Haha, I'm with you on the yellow line. What would I do without it during football season? I'd be lost.
    Might have to read that book you were talking about next…

  19. beck'sthree

    Yeah, the yellow line is great, but I have to say it's no match for the epidural!

  20. Kathleen

    The book sounds great. I may have to check it out.

    We're finally getting the H1N1 vaccine next week. Since we have a 2yo with Down's in the house–who has given us the death scare twice from upper respiratory stuff–we're bypassing the live virus and getting shots. We already had the seasonal…barely felt it! Much less drama than I expected.

  21. That Married Couple

    3. That book looks great!

    4. I've always wondered how they do that!! Thanks for sharing!

    7. Wow, what a cook! Can you discover his zucchini spaghetti recipe and share it with us? Yum!

  22. Jennifer @ Conversion Diary

    Johannal – I will definitely get that recipe and post it — I want it for myself! And we're not really Cowboys fans around here…amazingly, my family still has hard feelings about the way Tom Landry was pushed to leave. 🙂

    Thanks for the comments, everyone!

  23. Abbey

    We took the regular, annual flu shot but are not taking the N1H1 … sometimes we take the shot, sometimes we don't .. I don't seem to get the flu either way – go figure.

    I am probably the last one on the block to hear of "Four Witnesses" but it sounds like a wonderful read .. glad I learned about it.

    The food pics make me hungry – your dad must be quite a guy! What a blessing.


  24. Lindsay

    I am in decluttering mode as well (as is evident in my own first quick takes posting) in hopes of some peace and order to soak in Advent. I'm hoping to incorporate some of our gifts with crafts for the boys, and that can't happen amidst chaos.

  25. Rebecca

    #1: We don't do flu vaccines at all in our house. I am highly suspicious. However, no one is in a risk group and I can't say how I would feel if I had a child with asthma.

    #4: After having spent last weekend doing some fairly intense touch-up work on our house, I want to give a Nobel prize to the inventor of the carpet tile. Tacky, somewhat, but SO EASY.

    Enjoy the delectable goodies.

  26. Kacy

    My daughter also LOVES Baby Mum Mums. Actually, one of her first words (to mean something) was "Mum Mum." I got them to introduce her to finger foods, and I keep buying them because they work so well.

  27. Barbara C.

    I had to laugh about the football line. DH was watching a really old game the other day, and I commented about how annoying it must be without the yellow line.

    I'm also intrigued by the zucchini spaghetti. May have to browse AllRecipes.

  28. Tracy

    1) no to the flu vaccines here. We sometimes do them, but never the live mist ones, because two of us have asthma, and the third has autism and while I'm not sure how I feel completely about vaccines and autism, I don't vax him right now. Risk outweighs the gain in this case.

    4) good argument for the yellow line. I do love football, and it makes it easier to watch the game on TV.

    6) that food looks so good that I'm about to go to the store. Mmmmmmm.

    7) I'm trying to clean and declutter, but my motivation is the people coming to my house for Christmas. I counted the days recently and they are diminishing too rapidly for my comfort level!

  29. Therese

    Thanks for hosting! Your grandfather's dinner looks fabulous!

  30. Charlotte

    My son LOVED Baby Mum-Mums, and he wouldn't eat other baby snacks, so they were a God-send. I never saw them anywhere else but Wal-Mart, by the way.

  31. Anne Marie

    Not getting the shot, ever.

    1) It didn’t work out well in 1976.

    2) Mark’s Gospel: And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well." After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.

    With the Lord offering this kind of protection as he was departing, I’m thinking he has the matter well in hand no need for an icky, dicey shot.

  32. Fr. Christian Mathis

    Thanks for the book recommendation. I will check it out!

  33. Fr. Christian Mathis

    oops….posted my link twice somehow! well….maybe folks will read it twice!

  34. Aubrey

    I got both my flu vaccines within 3 days of each other this year – I'm a physician AND pregnant, which definitely puts me in a high risk group. I've been widely recommending it to my patients, especially kids, those with chronic diseases, and pregnant women. The flu is fairly widespread right now, so I really doubt your family's cases came from the vaccine, though as a previous commenter stated, the intranasal can cause a weakened form.

    Both my husband and I love the yellow line. It definitely makes football watching easier.

  35. Roz

    Thanks for the heads-up on "Four Witnesses". Adding to wish list as we speak.

    I'm deep in preparations for Thanksgiving because there will be 25 in my small house, and I'll be working full-time between now and then. I know St. Jude is the patron of impossible causes — is there a patron for those less organized than they wish they were?

  36. angela michelle

    so with you on the yellow line in football. i still can't figure out how they do it.
    i lost my voice this week also. it was actually a good exercise for me to remember that i can accomplish what i need to while talking less and talking softly. 😉

  37. Nzie (theRosyGardener)

    So… I'm late posting here but I was actually up before you were due to the time zone! 🙂

    I want some yummy meat like that….

  38. Jamie

    I hope you all get healthy soon!

  39. Anonymous

    We vaxed ourselves by catching H1N1 in the doctor's office while there to receive the seasonal flu shot. Go figure. My little guy with respiratory issues has had it the worst. First to get it, last to get rid of it and the worst of it in between. 10 days and counting…

  40. Paul

    3. I too loved the Four Witnesses, especially the description of the master/ apprentice relationship and its importance. Might I suggest Fundamentals of the Faith by Kreeft and Theology for Beginners by Sheed.

    6. While I admire your grandfather's skills, I had to chuckle that you took the time to take a picture of it. What a brave new world we live in.

    Thank you for your family's witness.

  41. Kalynne Pudner

    My seventh take should have been that I forgot my name for blog-linking purposes. Maybe next week…

    Hope you have your voice back! Your description of the Cheerio raid reminds me of what my older six kids would do whenever they noticed me trying to nurse the twins simultaneously.

  42. ~Leyla~

    I've been eating tons of zucchini lately, and getting rather bored with my way. Now I HAVE to find a way to make it into spaghetti! Time to search through Google. Thanks for the post 😀

  43. Jess

    We all got the H1N1 vax, I'm too pregnant at this point to feel comfortable not getting it and the kids are just little germ cesspools always bringing interesting bugs home for us to share. My midwife recommended I NOT have much physical contact with Bob and Ella for 10-14 days after their nasal vax b/c of the live virus. We did "elbow kisses" with Ella and just used lots of Purell. None of us had any reaction whatsoever from the shot or the nasal vax.

    As for Mum Mums, my kids have loved them too. Especially Gabriel. I hate how much freaking packaging they have though. I know it probably keeps them fresh but goodness, they must be the most packaged snack food on the planet.

  44. Anonymous

    Here's the correct information on the nasal mist flu vaccine from the CDC web site:


    The flu infects the lungs, so it wouldn't be correct to say you get a mild flu–it is probably more accurate to say you can get something like a cold from the nasal mist.

  45. Marcy K.

    I absolutely LOVED the Four Witnesses book. It is fantastic. I read it a few years ago and need to read it again. You will get so much out of it.

    I'm going to get the vaccines. I have mild asthma, every time I get sick it goes right to the lungs. I just finished getting better from my annual (semi-annual even) bronchitis. My son's school is supposed to give the flu mist out and I think I will take our other son who is 14 too. That is unless the illness my husband has just gotten is really the flu and then all bets are off.

  46. 'Becca

    My boyfriend is NOT the dude who invented the yellow line, but he used to work for the company that invented it. We're not sports people, and he always was a little irritated that the one thing about his line of work most people could relate to was this football thing…and that it's so complex to explain!

    I hope you're all well soon. We have no access to H1N1 vaccine here so far. When we do, I am seriously considering it but more for myself than for my 4-year-old, who has been extremely healthy all his life despite exposure to many communicable diseases; I think he has a great immune system built. I'm recovering from a mild nose-and-throat thing, so my resistance is probably low.

    At my church, we now have to use hand sanitizer on our way up to the altar rail, but we are still receiving wine from a common cup. I read that, between the alcohol and the antimicrobial properties of silver, the risk of transmitting anything via the chalice is far less than the risk of germs on your hands. Having just been sick, yesterday I hand-sanitized before the Peace as well. But I look at the common cup as a sort of inoculation, a blend of the germs that are going around but in a very small and weakened dose that may help to build my immunity…as well as my trust in God!

  47. Emily

    I LOOOOOOVE the Yellow Line! It makes watching football so much easier!
    Seriously, how did I watch football without it? Eh, I probably didn't. LOVE the yellow line.

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