7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 124)

April 29, 2011 | 54 comments

— 1 —

Let’s start with a Yaya story: On Tuesday the kids were at Yaya’s for the afternoon when I got a call from a number I didn’t recognize (so, like a good introvert, I didn’t answer it). When I received the Vonage voice transcription email it said:

Hi my name is Molly and I need for over here at the neighbor well and just wanted to call and leave a message that guy guy here at the school with the kids. Come bye.

Needles to say, this caught my attention. I immediately listened to the audio to hear a woman’s hesitant voice saying, “Umm, hi, my name is Molly, I’m from here in the neighborhood, and I’m supposed to tell you that, umm, Yaya, is here at the pool with the kids if you want to come. Umm, thanks. Bye.” We went down to the pool, never ascertaining exactly why the invitation was delivered through a random neighbor, to see Yaya and the kids sitting on the edge of the baby pool. A big red wasp landed right by them, and the kids were about to bolt to get away from it. So Yaya did the logical thing: Without a second thought, she snatched up the wasp in her fist and hurled it off into the grass.

We all just kind of stood there in silence, not sure that we really saw what we thought we saw. Yaya was already back to playing with the kids when my husband asked, “Umm, did you get stung?” She looked at her palm as if just now considering it, and laughed as she pointed to a red welt just under her index finger. “Yep, he sure did get me!” she said, and then she went back to splashing around with the kids.

— 2 —

Aside from the concept of snatching a wasp with your bare hand, which is officially The Least Likely Thing Jennifer Fulwiler Would Ever Doβ„’, I cannot comprehend being stung by a wasp as something you don’t really notice (though it does shed some light on one of the scorpion incidents). Later Yaya was telling a neighbor about her day. She talked about the fools on Judge Joe Brown, the funny things the kids did at the pool, her trip to pick up milk at the store…no mention of the wasp incident.

I tell you this: If I were to get stung by a wasp, then have NASA call to invite me to be the first blogger on the moon, then receive a knock at my door from the Publisher’s Clearing House crew, then get a direct message from Oprah asking me to be the guest on her final episode to explain the truths of orthodox Christianity to all her viewers, then check the mail to receive a letter from Pope Benedict saying that he reads my blog every day (and is secretly my regular commenter VaticanDude16), and then get a call from my OB saying they misread the ultrasound and we’re actually having triplets, when my husband came home and asked me what my day was like, I would reply: “I GOT STUNG BY A $%^&! WASP!”

— 3 —

I’m talking about rap today over at the National Catholic Register (the post will be up after around 7:00 AM). It’s been a long time since I’ve had that much fun writing a post.

— 4 —

So I set up a semi-anonymous Facebook account last month. And I think I’m already going to delete it. A friend had a Facebook group I wanted to check out, so I set up an account with a rarely-used email address under my maiden name and turned on all the privacy settings, so that I could just view the group. But now I’m getting all these friend requests and message alerts! On the one hand, it’s all very cool: I love seeing my friends’ pictures, knowing what they’re up to, etc. On the other hand, it’s left me with a dilemma that I’ve talked about before: honestly answering the question, Do I really have time for this? With two blogs, endless email, other writing projects, homeschooling and the whole four (soon to be five) young kids thing, I have to be a time management ninja. So my choices are:

  1. Keep the Facebook account, interact with friends (commenting on walls, replying to comments on my wall and direct messages, viewing photos, etc.), and get overwhelmed.
  2. Keep the Facebook account, interact with friends, and take something else off my plate to free up some time.
  3. Keep the Facebook account, ignore comments and messages and risk seeming rude.
  4. Delete the account.

I see why Facebook is so great. If and when my schedule frees up, I think I’d enjoy having an active account. But I think that right now my best option is (d).

— 5 —

From the “I can’t believe this works” files: We decided that our kids’ diets desperately needed an overhaul, since one of our daughters starting having some problems that we thought maybe, just maybe, could be related to the fact that she never wants to eat anything other than Cheez-Its and pasta. I was skeptical that anything could get the kids to eat more nutritious fare, but decided to give it a shot. I’ve started buying those bags of pre-washed veggies and containers of ranch dip, and each afternoon I dump the veggies out on a serving tray and open up the dip. I’m amazed at how well the kids eat them! We’ve had no grumbling about it, and they’re now getting a lot of fresh, raw veggies in their diets.

— 6 —

I can hardly find the words to explain how much I love the Dominicans, so here’s an inspiring video instead (via Creative Minority Report):

— 7 —

A huge thank you to those of you who recommended the book The Better Part. I bought it on the recommendation of some comments, and am so glad I did. It’s a gold mine! I’ll review it later in more detail, but the biggest thing I’ve taken away from it so far is the difference between prayerful meditation and spiritual reading. I never really knew the difference between, say, reading the Bible as spiritual reading and reading the Bible as meditation, and this book gave me clarity on the subject, which has already transformed my prayer life. I highly recommend it.


Below is a 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.



  1. Suzanne

    You CRACK me up. I am glad I wasn’t drinking anything when i read your first two entries because if i had been, it would have come out my nose!! I LOVE reading about Ya-Ya (ever since the St. Anthony post!)
    Agree w/ the deleting FB account..I love FB, but my kids are grown. If I had it all to do over again, i would try to spend even more time w/ them than I did, so good choice!
    Also try peanut butter w/ teeny carrots for a snack…yummmm!!


  2. Kara

    Lol, you crack me up. Numbers one and two made me bust up laughing.

    I battle my Facebook addiction and finally purged a bunch of “friends” and family during lent. It was contributing to a lot of stress. I’m in a much better place with it now. If you’re not hooked I wouldn’t bother keeping your acct unless you feel you really need it. I would expect that with someone as popular as you are in the Internet world would and could get sucked in really easily. And although I do see a lot of benefits to facebook there are a lot of drawbacks as well.

    Anyway I’m just rambling as usual.

  3. Kara

    Oh and I can’t wait to be home to watch that video. I miss my friend who joined the dominicans so muc and I love anything having to do with them.

  4. Blair

    LOL about Yaya at the pool! I’m one of the FB stalkers who saw your photo on my “suggested friend” page πŸ˜‰ I agree that it’s probably not the best use of our time when we have 4 young kids and homeschool! Better to stop before you start.

  5. Dorian Speed

    I enjoy Facebook, and I think my Facebook habit is far less of a time suck than my, uh, Twitter apostolate. But I think you’re right that you would find it very stressful, for all of the reasons you’ve listed, unless you can just be okay with not worrying about how people perceive you on Facebook based on your level of interaction with them. Which I, personally, would find very difficult.

    People deride Facebook as a popularity contest and I don’t really think that’s true, but it does take self-discipline to not get emotionally invested in cultivating all of the “friendships” you’ll make.

    If you do decide to stay on the FB, the “hide” button is your friend, especially around Election Day.

  6. priest's wife

    rap, hmmmmm? Blackeyed Peas? Will Smith? πŸ˜‰ I don’t know any of the real stuff

  7. Ciska @ This Journey of my Life

    I wrote a long comment, but the computer ate it. Long story short:
    About (4) Facebook, I would go for option d. I personally went with option c, but that only works because FB is blocked at my workplace and the internet I have at home is supersupersuper slow (think beginning of the internet). Facebook is horribly addicting.

  8. Angie @ Many Little Blessings

    The wasp/Yaya story was hilarious! How in the world did she not mention to people that it happened? I would be like you and tell everyone. If I was walking down the street, I would start warning strangers, “Watch out for wasps. I got stung in this town about five weeks ago. Be careful.”

    (Okay, maybe not. But, you know — maybe so. LOL)

    I think if you just set limits for yourself on Facebook, then it’s a perfectly fine thing to have. I don’t accept every friend request I get, and I don’t feel bad about it either. I also have a Firefox add on called Leech Block to make sure that I don’t spend too much time on Facebook and Twitter. That has helped too.

  9. Natalie

    Thanks for the laugh about Yaya and the wasp! I can’t believe she hardly noticed – I was stung twice by a European wasp and it hurt – a lot. My husband still teases me about how much I carried on about it (I know it’s not very Christian of me, but I secretly wish one would give him a little sting, just so he knows – then again, he might do a Yaya and then I would look even sillier!)
    Facebook is too addicting, though it is nice to be able to keep in touch with interstate relatives. It helps if you are careful about who you ‘friend’, so you keep the messages to a minimum.

  10. The Prosey Pirate

    Hi– Shy wave. I’m sort of starting over online with a new identity and personality. Till I feel safe being this person all the time.

    But I’ve read you for years.

    Concerning the Dominicans, I wanted to share a story about St.Thomas Aquinas (I’m new to the whole learning about the saints thing– new to a lot of Catholic things) that I read recently.

    Apparently St. Thomas got harassed and teased for being as scrupulous as he was and at one point while he’s visiting the Dominicans a brother called out, “Quick Thomas! Come and see, a cow is jumping over the moon!”

    Thomas raced over and everyone laughed at him. His words, which I’m sure silenced the laughter, were, “I would rather believe a cow jumping over the moon than that a Dominican would lie to me.”

    Ooo. That’ll shut you down.

  11. Maria

    facebook can be a time vampire … no doubt about it. the key, for me, is to be careful who i accept as friends. blessings to you on this last friday in april!

  12. George @ Convert Journal

    It might be too early yet, but the rap piece isn’t visible at the register yet. I know what you mean by some pieces being fun to write!

    My entry this week… An Easter film for teens and young adults. Only 22 days left before judgment day. The joy of pregnancy with twins then the loss of one… or not. Fact: 97.6% of the time the “reproductive service” pregnant women receive from Planned Parenthood is abortion. A really good explanation of the harm from Harry Potter. Lying is so mainstream that it can now be done professionally. Contrition, not just for people.

  13. Cathleen

    The Better Part is SUCH.AN.AMAZING.BOOK! Father John Bartunek’s commentary on the scriptures feeds me day after day! You will be amazed at how you can go deeper and deeper in prayer with this book. I’m so glad that you have discovered it!

  14. Bethany Hudson

    Alright, Jen. It’s official. I have done my first 7 Quick Takes! Alas, there is no Ya-Ya in my 7. It is a sad state of affairs, but, well, there can only ever be one Ya-Ya.

  15. Amanda

    We could all learn something from Yaya!

  16. Pam

    Yaya stories (with your terrific commentary) are the best! And re: #2 — I absolutely agree.

    The book looks good, and I’ll come back later and watch the video, but I just want to say quickly: you can deactivate your Facebook account, then come back and reactivate it later. I know plenty of people who do that very thing for periods of time (e.g., Lent).

  17. Kate Wicker

    Try veggies with hummus, too. My kids also love to dip baby carrots and/or apple slices into an easy dip I make by mixing plain yogurt with peanut butter. Yum!

    Have a good weekend.

  18. Elizabeth

    Wow, those first two were hilarious!! Your mother in law is a champion!

    Good job getting veggies into their systems… I need someone to make me eat more veggies.

    Thanks for the video and book recommendation!!

  19. Mrs. Zwieg

    Thank you so much for hosting this linky! And I completely understand the FB scenario! πŸ™‚

  20. Louise

    Your Yaya stories always make my day! That is just hilarious! I agree with you about the wasp-stinging. It would also be the headline of my day regardless of whatever else transpired.
    I’ve had a Facebook account for about 6 years and I gave up going on it for Lent. I was shocked to realize how much time I had been spending on it, not really even interacting but just looking at my friend’s updates and photos. It is an incredible tool, but it can take up a lot of time. I’ve gone back on since Easter, but I plan on being more disciplined about limiting my time on there now that I’ve seen how much a FB fast can free up time for other things!
    I can’t wait to read the rap post! πŸ™‚

  21. Liesl

    Hahahaha, your 2nd quick take cracks me up! Oprah… the Pope… oh man. I just got a good laugh.

    I will also have to pick up that book!

  22. Maria

    Love the Yaya stories! Too funny.

    Thanks for sharing the Dominican video. It was awesome. And speaking of Dominicans — happy feast of St. Catherine of Sienna today!

    Have a great weekend.

  23. GeekLady

    I have a FaceBook page, but I don’t interact with people on Facebook very much. I use it for RSVPing to things, especially over evite which I loathe, but that’s about it. No one seems to think me very rude for it. It doesn’t have to be everyone’s cup of tea, and I just prefer twitter.

  24. Stephanie

    I’m with you on option D. Get out while you still can! Also, Facebook makes it very difficult to completely delete the account. So make sure you google it and figure out the correct way.

    Loved the stories of Yaya! And I’m with you, wasp sting is lead story in my world.

  25. Michelle

    I’ve also been thinking of deleting my facebook account…but it is just such a convenient way to keep in touch with faraway friends! I just haven’t been able to bring myself to delete it yet.

  26. Lauren

    As soon as I saw there was a YaYa story, I knew this was going to be a GREAT quick-takes! And might I add, you did not disappoint? Your #2 had me cracking up the whole time!!!

  27. Kristina

    I can’t believe the Wasp story!!! WOW! That would definitely be the first thing I ever told too!

  28. 'Becca

    I agree, a wasp sting ought to get a person’s attention, but are you really sure that picking up a wasp in your bare hand is the thing you are LEAST likely to do? Less likely than a scorpion in your mouth or…I’m sure there are many other horrible options.

    I look forward to your being the first blogger on the moon. No wasps or scorpions there!

  29. The Mom Chef ~ Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Time

    Yaya rocks. Wow. I got stung on the hand once and ended up curled fetal on the bed like a baby. Ranch dressing is one of the best inventions in the world. That’s all I’m going to say about that. πŸ™‚

  30. Judy

    LOVE Ya Ya stories.
    LOVE the Dominicans.
    LOVE 7 Quick Takes Fridays.
    And, LOVE that your share your thoughts and wonderful family with us, Jennifer!

  31. Trista

    Tough Yaya! Wow!

  32. Katarina


  33. That Married Couple

    Loved #2. And don’t give in to facebook – it’s way too much of a time-sucker! Delete while you still can!

  34. JoAnna

    Hahahaha… #2 cracked me up.

  35. JoAnna

    Hahahaha… #2 cracked me up!

  36. JoAnna

    Hahaha… #2 cracked me up.

  37. VaticanDude16

    May the grace and joy of the Risen Christ be with you all.

  38. John Flynn

    Yaya sounds hilarious! They just don’t make ’em like they used too….

  39. Jeanne G. @knowledgehungry

    I love #2. I’m kind of like that too! I also love the Dominicans. I am in the path to become a member of the Lay Dominicans, and Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, are coming to my parish/school this summer. BUT, I can’t watch the video right now, because I am at work!

  40. Jennifer H

    Loved the quick takes today! I’d totally be you with the wasp thing. I’m terrified of the little boogers. That’s what my husband is for ;).

  41. Calah

    Jennifer, your quick takes made me laugh today! Thanks for hostessing, as always. How are you feeling? No updates on the pregnancy lately…I assume it’s going well?

    I meant to tell you how much I loved your post comparing Mary to the moon, but haven’t yet. It was beautiful! I’m going to go back and memorize it. It was so lovely. Thanks for being awesome!

  42. Allie

    Nothing starts off my Friday more right than seeing “Yaya” at the top of your post. πŸ™‚

  43. Karen

    Those red wasps are eeeeevvvviillllll. Huge, scary and their stings are horrible. My husband got stung a couple years ago through a leather work glove and the sting was a HOLE in his wrist.
    I’ll mud-dobbers anyday. They are big and gross but at least they aren’t aggressive like those red ones.
    Our scorpion count so far this year is 2. Snakes only 1.

  44. Emily D.

    Oh, I love Dominicans, as well! I’m a Lay Dominican, my parish is run by Dominicans, and my best friend is at St. Gertrude’s in Cincinnati, in the Dominican Friars novitiate! πŸ™‚

  45. -dweej

    This is so exciting! My first 7 quick takes link up here…and an excellent way to procrastinate my housework. It’s a win-win πŸ˜€

  46. Holly

    Hi Jen! I’ve never commented, but for some reason, I have felt led to today. I stumbled upon your blog two years ago, by complete coincidence. I don’t even remember what I was searching for, but your blog was the first result. I clicked on it and I remember thinking, “Wow people really become Catholic now a days?” πŸ™‚ Anyway, I immediately was drawn in and read pretty much every post you had written over the next few months. To make a long story short, I began attending Mass Palm Sunday 2010 and haven’t looked back. And, honestly, your blog was the catalyst (well the Earthly catalyst!). Thank you for your bravery and for pouring so much heart and soul into this blog. Upon your arrival in Heaven, you will probably be shocked to see how many souls you have touched. πŸ™‚

  47. Cassie

    Isn’t it weird how kids just don’t notice food changes too much. I’m always surprised when my 2 year old tries almost everything…
    I’m about to watch the Dominican thing right now.

    happy Easter, thanks for the 7 quick takes, i love doing them, it’s my second one.

  48. Andrea

    It takes a lot of discipline to develop a healthy relationship with Facebook–my take is that if you have made it this long without an account, I would cancel it and run for it! I really do appreciate having my account since I live across the country from my family {and I have had it since FB’s origin back in 2004ish), but it can be time consuming/wasting. Good luck with your decision.
    Have you read “Conversation With Christ: The Teaching of St. Teresa of Avila about Personal Prayer”? It does a great job helping one begin in the practice of mental prayer and also clarifies the distinction between spiritual reading and mental prayer.

  49. Martina

    DUDE! I made the mistake of looking at my old Twitter account and had that nauseous feeling too. I just don’t think I can make both Facebook AND Twitter work, le sigh.

    We want you to have more fun, though. Keep FB. ::evil grin:: Sorry, I had to say it. LOL

  50. Cynthia

    I LOVE your book suggestions! Really, I am always in need of some new reading material. I love the idea on kids eating their veggies. I’m going to have to try that…

  51. Holly


    This comment has nothing to do with this post, but I have a question for you and I can’t think of anyone else to ask. My friend is a fairly committed athiest. over the years, she has become less so and has thus been interested in the spiritual side of things. She is, in my estimation, very intelligent and scientifically minded (she has a doctorate in some kind of science!!). I was able to direct her thoughts away from reincarnation with the idea of the resurrection of the body. She then asked me why we can’t communicate with the dead. How would you answer this question?


  52. MemeGRL

    If it’s not too late to weigh in on Facebook…the first week or so is the biggest time drain. And I have many, many friends on there who check in once or twice a month. I am a big fan of “only connect” and for me, it is a way to see photos of friends and their kids, hear about events, and share our lives with my family across the country. I think the way you have it set up is perfect–not that I wouldn’t want to be your “friend” but keep it for “in real life” buddies and don’t let yourself get caught up in it. And I think you’d love it. Good luck making your decision, whatever you do.

  53. Sara @ Embracing Destiny

    I thought my daughter was the only one who ate only Cheez-its and pasta! I got a good chuckle out of that one. Here’s a real conversation:
    Me: “What would you like to eat?”
    Her: “Cheez-its.”
    Me: “That’s not a meal.”
    Her: “Spaghetti.”
    Me: “You just had that for lunch.”
    Her: “Penne?”
    Me: “Um, yeah, penne is pretty much just differently shaped spaghetti.”

    I’ve found that it’s best just to make food and put it in front of her, otherwise she will only ask for the usual stand-bys. She is getting better, though. I like your vegetable idea!

    I’m not on Facebook for the very reasons you mentioned. I did just join Twitter last week, but to be perfectly honest, it was just to get an extra entry in a giveaway I wanted to win! I totally don’t get Twitter! I can’t even figure out how to read the whole list of tweets. It all looks like a mishmash to me and I can’t tell who said what or why. For instance, “Yeah, me too. Only boiled.” Huh? What does that mean? What is it in response to? What???

    Praying for you during your pregnancy and hope you’re doing well!

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