7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 108)

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 108)

— 1 —

It looks like I might be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of morning sickness. The nausea is slightly better; the exhaustion is still there, but I’ll take that over nausea any day. A lot of people have asked how I do it with four small kids. It’s definitely very hard. But, in some ways, I think it’s easier than if I only had one other one: since they’re all close in age, they spend a lot of time playing together. For example, this morning I got a full hour where I could pretty much sit on the couch while the four kids ran back and forth through the house in a herd.

— 2 —

I just found out that I’m going to be at the West Coast Walk for Life in San Francisco on January 22! I’m heading out that way to meet with my literary agent, and the timing just so happened to work out for me to be at the Walk. (If you’re not familiar with my pro-life “conversion” story, you can read it here.) Anyone else going to be there?

— 3 —

Anna Mitchell and I had another fun chat about children’s books on the SonRise Morning Show the other day. LNK Here’s the audio if you’d like to hear it:

— 4 —

So we canceled cable. This is a big move for us. Not that I have much time to watch TV these days, but I’ve had access to cable television since childhood! Also, let’s keep it real: I use it a lot for the kids. I am not above dazzling the crew with Dora or Diego so that I can get a break in the afternoon. But our theory was that there are so many options online now that we wouldn’t even miss it.

We hooked up an antenna to get network channels, and replaced our cable box with an old computer from my husband’s office. We set it up with wireless and connected it to the TV, and now we stream shows and movies from Netflix, Hulu, Clicker or EWTN on our main television! The total cost is less than $10/month, and so far we don’t even miss cable. What’s amazing is that the quality of the streamed shows: we’re watching a Care Bears movie from Netflix as I type this, and you’d never guess that it’s from a computer. It looks just like regular TV!

— 5 —

In a spasm of holiday spirit, I bought this festive Christmas garland to put up around the house. I planned to run it along the mantle, or perhaps above the living room window, but I had to stash it on the pot rack for now so that the kids wouldn’t tear it up.

7qt107 garland 1024x816 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 108)

$50 says it stays right there until Epiphany.

— 6 —

Homeschooling is going amazingly well. I know there will be challenges later, but right now it’s much easier than I’d expected. I’m surprised at how little time it takes to keep my son up to speed academically; in fact, without even trying, we’ve already moved past his current grade level. One of the biggest helps has been that his three younger sisters go to Mother’s Day Out a couple mornings per week — we tend to be much more efficient on those mornings!

— 7 —

Confession: I have not started Christmas shopping yet. Haven’t bought a single thing.

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Enter the Conversation...

58 Responses to “7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 108)”
  1. Jen – on people asking how you do it (large family), Creative Minority Report had this cute, seasonal video: http://www.creativeminorityreport.com/2010/12/12-days-of-christmas-for-large-families.html.

    On cutting the cord (cable), we have been toying with this too. The price of it is outrageous and excellent alternatives exist as you note.

    My entry this week… Advent is a time to slow down, think, reflect. Stretching beyond your limits, even if you are only 16. The UN throws a big party to announce rationing. Leaked cables disclose US dirty tricks to support climategate. An Austrian MP and devout Catholic, responds to the Turkish ambassador on Islam.

    Thanks!
    George @ Convert Journal recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday set 18

  2. I love the garland bunched up on the pot rack – a classic!
    Nichole@40daysof recently posted..Most Bizzare

  3. Tami says:

    We do the same thing with hooking up the TV to the computer. Our kids have been on a Care Bears kick lately, too!

  4. Dorian Speed says:

    “Oh, I’ll just check Facebook before turning in,” I thought. And then, I saw them – Seven Quick Takes.

    What’s more, your audio link is embedded into your Facebook status update, which is pretty cool – so I could actually listen to it on my Facebook news feed.

    I welcome you to watching The TV of the Future, as we call it. We will call it that for six more months, at which point every American will watch TV this way.
    Dorian Speed recently posted..Seven Quick Takes- Im supposed to be asleep already

  5. JoAnna says:

    We’ve never had cable, and probably never will. Plus, we’ve found that when we buy movies off of iTunes, they last longer (our kids have destroyed many DVDs). We plan to get an AppleTV soon so we can stream Netflix and Hulu.
    JoAnna recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday- Dec 10 – Worst Christmas Songs Edition

  6. Congrats on ditching cable. I’m a college student, and I doubt that I or any of my friends will bother with cable unless we are really interested in sports (and I’m certainly not).
    Leah @ Unequally Yoked recently posted..7 Quick Takes 12-10-10Special Marriage Edition

  7. Jackie says:

    Hi Jennifer, I hope everyone is familiar with the Lion , the Witch , and the Wardrobe .There is a great book you can read online for free. It’s called “Reading With The Heart”, a guide to symbolism and understanding Narnia.

    Also you can listen to the catholic critic talk about the chronicles of narnia at realcatholictv.com. It might be something your kids would be interested in reading too . Have a great weekend and the garland is just fine where it is :p
    Jackie recently posted..The Chronicles of Narnia

  8. NCSue says:

    So glad to hear you’re feeling better.
    NCSue recently posted..I have a right

  9. Ok, so you made me feel really, really old with “I’ve had access to cable television since childhood!” since I can remember getting our first color television, having to stand up and go to the tv to turn the channels, and having only 6 channels. :)
    The Mom Chef ~ Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Time recently posted..When No One Wins A Giveaway But We Give Anyway

  10. Elizabeth M says:

    I’m so curious about dropping cable. We’ve been seriously considering it for financial reasons. Funny thing is that we don’t watch a whole lot of TV and even less of it “live,” but we do DVR the shows that we or the kids watch. I just need to check to see which favorites are also available on Netflix or Hulu I guess.

  11. Kerrie says:

    I haven’t really even thought about Christmas shopping yet…I’m not sure if it has to do with the new baby or my tired of the whole shopping as a sport thing….

  12. I am glad to hear home schooling is going well. We currently have $8 cable so we can get the PBS station clear, and do not miss the rest. However, I think I am going to checkout the on-line option.
    Mary @ A Simple Twist of Faith recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday Volume 23

  13. Pam says:

    The image of your four kids running back and forth in a herd made me chuckle… and the confession at the end made me identify!! I tell myself it’s not about presents anyway, but I wonder if that’s just because I don’t really feel like buying them…
    Pam recently posted..7 Quick Takes- Volume 21

  14. We’ve never had cable, but have been using the old laptop connected to the TV trick for years. Haven’t done Care Bears, but the kids are extremely well-versed in profound cultural literacy, like Gilligan’s Island and Bewitched.
    Love2learn Mom recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday

  15. Katie says:

    I missed that you were pregnant! Congratulations!
    Katie recently posted..7 Quick Takes

  16. Thank you for your confession. I don’t have any shopping done yet either.
    Tami Boesiger recently posted..7 Quick Takes Volume 111

  17. Glad you’re feeling a bit better. Drinking a ton of fluids helps tremendously with exhaustion. (Yeah, I know you’ve already done this four times, but I only discovered it with #5.)

    On the exhaustion front, one thing to consider when folks ask how to help is to ask them to bring over a small, simple craft project for the kids to do. It helps to have a ready supply of stuff on hand, so your brain doesn’t have to think of it. (This is one of my standard new-mom gifts: something QUIET for the kids to do.)
    Julia at LotsaLaundry recently posted..Christmas gifts for kids- the less expensive way

  18. Jules says:

    I gave up my dish maybe a year ago. I have Netflix and the internet, but the coolest part is probably the lack of annoying commercials.
    Jules recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday

  19. Elena says:

    You have discovered the secret to mothering a big family – THEY ENTERTAIN EACH OTHER!! All you have to do is referee from time to time. And here’s another secret – when they’re teens they’ll hang around together too and be each other’s best friends if you continue to homeschool them. It’s really great!
    Elena recently posted..7-Quick Takes

  20. Sharon says:

    Congrats on your pregnancy! I can’t wait to read all about the West Coast Walk for Life. I’m hoping we’ll make it to the D.C. one this year.
    Sharon recently posted..7 Quick Takes- The Touchdown Jesus Edition

  21. Kristin says:

    So good to hear you are feeling a bit better. I too have been thinking about the cable issue. My kids are not big cable watchers, but my husband and father are, so it will be a fight with them for sure.
    LOVE your blog by the way!

  22. Susan says:

    We do the same, and do even miss cable at all!
    So glad you are feeling better. I remember having my three
    as littles ages 3, 2 and 1, they do play together and you know
    what they still do. It is for sure, easier, in my mind as I
    remember it.
    Have a Happy Weekend!
    Susan recently posted..Seven Quick Takes Friday

  23. Camille says:

    I am terribly jealous of your giving up cable. Maybe I can convince my husband that this is a good idea. It would certainly save us a lot on our bill!

    Another question – do you guys still do Santa? We are having that conversation recently. Is it too commercial v. celebrating Jesus’s birth? St. Nick comes to our house on his feast day (earlier this week) so he’s already been here. Does he love the season so much that we can convince our son he comes twice? Just wondered your thoughts.
    Camille recently posted..7 Quick Takes

    • Josephene Kealey says:

      Hi, Camille!
      When we were very young, my Mom used to tell us that Santa Claus helps Jesus bring gifts. We also celebrate St. Nicholaus’ feast day on December 6 (boot shining).
      The answer satisfied us until, I guess, it didn’t, which was when my Mom explained that Santa Claus was a substitute idea for Jesus in many households, but she also made it clear that S.C. was St. Nicholaus re-drawn for commercialization.
      I don’t remember being scandalized — just a bit sad about some people not knowing about Jesus.
      Best of luck.

    • magda says:

      1 So glad you hung in and moved past four and found the answer to the “How do you do it with four?” Wish we hadn’t taken the heretical solution of sterilization. I regret regret regret that we deliberately limited our family to four children.
      2 As an aside, google West Coast Walk for Life and battle of the babes on zombietimes
      3 My husband read the Chronicles to our children when they were little and introduced them to Calvin and Hobbes.
      4 We canceled cable because our cable company moved ewtn to digital without notifying us that we needed special equipment. We use the internet and do not miss cable one bit.
      If you can find the old anime “Swan Lake” on netflex it is great.
      5 No climbers in the house?
      6 That is great!
      7 God will provide!

  24. Stephanie says:

    Totally haven’t started shopping yet either. Whoops!

    We gave up cable, too, about a year ago when we moved into our new house. We really haven’t missed it. We stream shows from my husband’s PS3, but all in all our TV watching has seriously decreased. It’s nice to have nights where you just sit on the couch and chat or read or do nothing.

    (P.S. love the generic brand cereal, that’s the way to go!)
    Stephanie recently posted..Making our house merry

  25. Michelle says:

    So glad you’re getting close to feeling better. I will keep you in my prayers. Love where your garland is hanging. We did the same thing with cable a couple of years ago. My husband wanted it back this year and so we got it, but I NEVER missed it! We had netflix and all the streaming stuff…now, I wish we’d hooked our tv to our computer, though, that would have been great!
    Michelle recently posted..7 Quick Takes 31

  26. Elizabeth says:

    In regards to your exhaustion…
    I once read that a woman in her first trimester, lying flat on her back is physically more challenged than a non-pregnant woman climbing a mountain!
    Remember that right now your body is not only building an entirely new human being, but the “support system” as well.

    Loved the mental image of your “herd” running through the house!
    Praise God for large families!

  27. Laura says:

    Glad to hear that homeschooling is going so well. It is amazing how much time it doesn’t take for each child! Don’t worry, I’m just getting going with shopping, too :)
    God Bless

  28. Elizabeth says:

    Oh, BTW. With a new baby last year I never even finished decorating the Christmas tree! This year we have a “Wee Tree” that we are using as our Jesse Tree (3 1/2 foot tree on a 4 foot cabinet) The little guy is TOO capable of destruction!
    Love the garland where it is…will it still be there at Easter???
    Elizabeth recently posted..Voyage of Discovery

  29. Kristina says:

    I recently read an article about people cutting cable…I got free cable in my apartment…so I got rid of my TV and only keep up with my favorite 3 shows via Hulu.com and iTunes. Hulu.com also has some random movies too that are sometimes good time fillers. I never had the discipline to turn the TV off. I hope to only do a TV with stream from Hulu or netflix when I have a family as a back up…we’ll see what technology comes by then!
    Kristina recently posted..7 Quick Takes – Funny

  30. Kara says:

    We did #4 a while back and it’s been great! I love not having a cable bill, and Netflix is awesome.

    I also haven’t bought any Christmas gifts. We haven’t had the money, and I haven’t felt well, so it’s just not happening any time soon, lol. I know I’m running out of time, but whatever! It’ll get done :) I haven’t even had the stamina to decorate the tree, even though it’s been up for weeks. Geesh!

    Glad you’re feeling a bit better. I am too, but I’d like to move onto 2nd trimester and be over this completely.
    Kara recently posted..Wow- we have been busy!

  31. Jenny says:

    I swear that is a picture of my kitchen. Except for the pot rack which, at 5’2, I could never reach. And you have way less junk on the countertops.

  32. Judy says:

    I was right with you on number 7 until last night!
    As for the new garland…don’t sweat it…just finish stringing it about the pots and pans there, and be done with the whole matter!
    As to the FIRST Quick Take…I did not realize you were expecting Jennifer!
    How did I miss this post?
    GOD BLESS YOU and congratulations to your beautiful family!
    Fresh ginger squished into the bottom of a cup, with hot hot hot water over it to make a “tea” and sipped slowwwwwwwly sometimes does the trick for morning sickness.
    I remember the odd feeling of getting rid of cable…now…several years later…we’ve never regretted it.
    Thanks for hosting!
    Judy recently posted..Dec 6- Christian Homeschool Programs for Your Homeschool Faith and Family Life

  33. 1. That’s great!

    4. Good for you! It seems more and more people are doing that. We’re so cheap that at this point we just have whatever channels we can get with rabbit ears.

    5. Nice.

    6. That’s fantastic! Congrats!
    That Married Couple recently posted..7 Quick Takes 55

  34. Kim D. says:

    I think the garland is just perfect, right there.
    Congratulations on your pregnancy!
    Blessed Advent to you!
    Kim D. recently posted..Quick Takes Friday

  35. So the extra littles go to “Mother’s Day Out” and you stay in and teach! Yup- you are a homeschooling mama- I hope you are taking your vitamins and drinking your water!
    priest’s wife recently posted..Random Thoughts 7 Quick Takes

  36. Josephene Kealey says:

    The garland made me laugh! It looks like some kinda red mold growing from your pot rack… It’s actually hideously hilarious. You *should* keep it there and let your Christmas guests know it’s all the rage in Hollywood.

    Another thought came to mind regarding nausea and behaving yourself: when Christ was suffering His lashes, cross, and death, we are told He was silent. It speaks to me of many things, but perhaps also that ranting while in pain is “natural” and that keeping silent is sometimes the only way to avoid saying things we regret later. Now, *smiling* while feeling physical discomfort is saintly. I am aiming for “frowning silence” at this stage of my life. : )

    Also, we have in Canada something called Diclectin, which alleviates nausea (prescription drug). Do American Moms have access to that?

    No cable here either. Welcome to the club. Six months from now, if you get the chance, watch television at a friend’s place and you’ll find yourself covering your mouth and saying, “I’m so glad we don’t have cable anymore.” (But then apologize real quick).

    Don’t tell me homeschooling is going well!! It’s something that’s on my mind constantly (we kept our oldest — 4years — at home this year instead of sending him to junior kindergarten because I couldn’t imagine parting from him so soon). I was hoping you would say it’s turning out enormously horribly, just so I can depend on your experience to settle my mind…

    Blessings!
    Josephene

  37. Rhonda says:

    Until recently, we’d been TV-less our entire marriage. We watched movies on the laptop (and snuggle, fun!). I like it, but we’ll see what I think when the little tyke gets older – I, too, may not be above an afternoon of Dora and Diego!

    Thanks for doing this, Jennifer. I’m enjoying your blog and other people’s Quick Takes. :)
    Rhonda recently posted..Seven Quick Takes – Songs In My Head Edition in which the Blessed Mother- the Smashing Pumpkins- and my son with purple lips make an appearance

  38. Julie says:

    We got rid of cable at my house when I was in the 3rd grade (I’m 22 now). We gave it up for Lent and never got it back!
    Julie recently posted..PBR and Other Pleasantries

  39. Kelly says:

    Congratulations on the new little one!

  40. Tres Angelas says:

    I would so love to lose our satellite service; however, when I suggested merely suspending it for a month I was informed that dish latino is a basic necessity of life.

    As for replacing the DVR/receiver with a computer, here’s me exhibiting my technical proficiency to our daughters: “Where’s the remote? No, the other remote. No, the OTHER remote.”

  41. Not A Minx says:

    Glad you are feeling better.
    Not A Minx recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday

  42. Monica says:

    So glad to read that confession: I haven’t shopped a drop yet either!
    Monica recently posted..7 Quick Takes- Volume 22

  43. syd says:

    We got rid of satellite tv several years ago, and we only recently got a digital converter for our old tv to get over the air channels. For a year, we had no tv at all, and honestly, we didn’t really miss it. I definitely did not miss the satellite or the bill that went with it. We primarily use the internet for our entertainment.

  44. Elizabeth says:

    I loved your comparison to the Catechism! I haven’t thought about that story in a long time and it’s so cool to see it come back full circle as a lesson in my adult life.
    Elizabeth recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday- Volume 7

  45. Vicki says:

    We went to cable from DirecTV (BIG move for hubby), but now I’m wishing we could say adios to cable as well. Baby steps…

  46. Anne Marie says:

    So with you on items 6 & 7.

  47. Grace says:

    These are always fun to do! Thanks.;)
    Grace recently posted..7 Great Things About This YearReflections on another year of life!

  48. Liesl says:

    props for canceling the cable (and saving money)! my family has never had cable – we had to get one of those digital converter boxes when all we were watching was snow fuzz – and people always ask what we do instead. well, sometimes we read books, or play games, and every once in awhile, we actually converse with each other! it’s amazing. now if i could only get rid of my cable in my apartment… but alas, i have very few people to play games or converse with in my apartment and the tv is my way of vegging out after a long day…
    Liesl recently posted..My Christmas Pet Peeves

  49. Kudos on dumping the cable! My husband has also been talking about that we should just hook up a computer to the TV and do it. My only concern is that we have our cable, Internet, and phone all bundled together. So, I wonder how much we would actually save by not having cable. I keep meaning to look into it.
    Angie @ Many Little Blessings recently posted..7 Quick Takes- December 10- 2010 Vol 63

  50. I’m looking forward to hearing more about your experiences with homeschooling. I’d love to have the opportunity to do that when my little man is old enough!
    Michelle @ Don’t Eat That Cookie recently posted..7 Quick Takes Vol 1

  51. MelanieB says:

    Oh I do hope that your morning sickness leaves soon. Icky horrid stuff!

    The only reason we still have cable is so Dom can watch football and Nascar. Otherwise we’d be fine with streaming shows from the internet, which is actually how we watch most of the tv we do watch. `

  52. Michelle says:

    i will be at the walk for life!!! maybe i will see you there :D

  53. Nina says:

    Jen, At least my husband and *some* of the nine kids make it each year to SF. I know we’re planning on it this year. Are you speaking? I would love to meet you and hear you in person!

    So glad you are feeling better and getting some relief and consolations. You deserve it. Take care, lady, and know you are “doing” the most important job in the world. (The angels can’t even procreate.) ;)

    And lastly, you inspire me, with the not-getting-any-gifts-yet. I go into panic mode every year and never feel “prepared” or “caught up”. Reflection….serenity…. and actually being able to stop and relax in the peace of the season…..what a fantasy! So, God slowing you down—-take advantage of it if you CAN. XOXOXO

  54. JCA says:

    Congratulations (belatedly) to all USA on the day of their patroness, the Immaculate Conception, from Spain, who is also their patroness.
    JCA recently posted..250 aniversario de la Inmaculada Concepción como Patrona de España

  55. Vicki says:

    you can remove my link – i accidentally posted it on the wrong quick takes :) #81 – Vicki