Get the exclusive (almost) Weekly Digest.

    Other Thoughts

    7 Quick Takes

    January 17, 2014 by Brandy Vencel

    — 1 —

    At our house we have what we’ve dubbed the 7-Up Club. We’ve always been very, veeerrrry low-media around here. So when our oldest was about seven, we decided to do monthly movie nights during the summer. He was old enough to stay up a bit later, for one thing. His tastes were also a little more formed, meaning that showing him one movie didn’t mean he’d start pestering us for another and another. He was, in brief, capable of being moderate.

    When our second child reached seven, it seemed like she, too, was ready for something like this, and thus the 7-Up Club was born. It is a fun night for those in our family who are seven…and up. Q-Age-Seven joined the 7-Up Club this past week. We christened her with an adorable little film most of us had never seen before {Siah remembers watching it with his younger sister back in the 90s}: Madeline. This was a big hit, and since we own most of the books this was based upon, the girls spent Saturday morning re-reading them in our library.

    — 2 —

    I think an 11-Up Club is about to be born. Granted, this was a bit of a girl movie on purpose, because our newest member is, after all, a girl, but we’ve also realized that E-Age-11 is ready for some films that would most assuredly be too much for the sisters. We’re scheduling something in February. Harry Potter, perhaps? I love those movies.

    — 3 —

    About a month ago, my teeth became sensitive to cold. I suppose not every single one of them, but most of them did. I then got all weird about cold drinks. Ice? No way! Naturally, this was followed by fretting. My teeth used to be okay with the cold, and now they’re not. Was I dying??

    So, I clicked around on the capital-I Internet. I wanted to know if there were any home remedies for cold-sensitive teeth. I like to experiment with my health. This is the truth. Home remedies weren’t really available at the time, but Ayurvedic remedies were. Have you ever heard of oil pulling? Basically you swish a bunch of oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes, and then spit it out when you are done. I’ve read of different amounts of oil; I’m using about a teaspoon. I’ve read of different oils; I’m using coconut oil.

    Guess what? Less than two weeks later, I no longer have sensitive teeth. It’s true! I have no idea why it worked, but worked it did.

    — 4 —

    Did you notice there are two email subscription options now? I’m mentioning this because maybe you hadn’t noticed. Or something. One of the big things I learned through the Survey {and thank you to those of you who took it} is that there is a large minority that would prefer a weekly digest to what we’ve been doing, which is sending one email at a time, containing a whole post. So…now you get to choose! You can still receive one post at a time OR you can get a weekly digest. It’s your choice.

    — 5 —

    I was supposed to be telling you in this “take” that we were expecting baby rabbits on January 25th and were so excited. Unfortunately, Thumper, the beloved {and pregnant} rabbit belonging to A-Age-Eight passed away on Wednesday. We did all we could to save her, but unfortunately she took a turn that we couldn’t recover her from. I’m really not sure if it was from the pregnancy, or not. Both of the girls are quite heartbroken over the loss, especially considering this means they lost the babies, too.

    Someday I’m going to write my thoughts on children owning pets. For now, I will just say that I think even grief is good for them, though I can’t hardly stand it, and I’ve shed tears of my own over this.

    — 6 —

    Speaking of upcoming posts, you all were full of great ideas in the survey results! Specifically, you asked me to update you on all sorts of things — allergies, using the progym, and orthodontia, to name a few. I found myself blushing when I read your comments, embarrassed that I’d forgotten to follow up on things. A number of things! So now I have a list I’ll be working through. As long as I don’t lose the list, this will be helpful.

    — 7 —

    I’ve been shopping for the girls on Zulily lately. I’ve gotten frustrated with the quality of clothes that I feel I can afford from a store, and Daughter A. has now reached the Dreaded Size Ten, meaning stores are offering her strange-looking “tween” clothes, of which she will have none! {Fine with me, of course.} Shopping online is always a risk, but so far my girls have proven easy to fit, except when it comes to swimwear, which is why I never, ever buy that online. Anyhow, I’ve gotten good deals on pretty dresses for church and play in the spring. Of course, I’m willing to dig through the expensive stuff to find the deals — to me, a $30 or $40 dress is just too expensive, regardless of whether it was originally $100 retail. So I dig around and I usually spend between $7 and $15 per item, with an exception I made this week for a $22 beautiful spring/summer church dress for Daughter A.

    Totally. worth. it.

    Especially since this child has spent the winter outgrowing all of her clothes.

    Anyhow, if you haven’t signed up for Zulily, and want to, do use my referral link. I earn a credit that way, and who am I to refuse more cute dresses? Ha!

    Get the (almost) weekly digest!

    Weekly encouragement, direct to your inbox, (almost) every Saturday.

    Powered by ConvertKit


  • Reply Kelly January 20, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    Posting this random question here since this is a random post — can you give us a progym update some time in the next couple of months? I was just looking over your past posts and you haven’t had one tagged Progymnasmata since last February. Also, I can’t find a search feature on your blog. Did I miss it, or is there not one? Sorry to bug you, but if there isn’t one, please add one. 🙂

    Yeah, I could have put all this in your survey, which I didn’t take because I couldn’t think of anything to say when it was active. o.O

    Besides the fact that I love your blog — it’s one of my top three along with Cindy and Deputy Headmistress. <3

    • Reply Brandy Vencel January 20, 2014 at 11:06 pm

      I must say that I meant to write a post like that — truly I did! — to post today, but I caught this terrible cold, so I did a cupcake post instead. Please know that it is at the top of my list when I’m better!

    • Reply Kelly January 20, 2014 at 11:15 pm

      I’m sorry you’re not feeling well. Looking forward to the update — I listened to Selby’s talk again this afternoon and I’m trying to figure out if I’ll need to buy his whole curriculum or just the teacher’s guide like you did. I already know this is not something I can figure out myself — that problem of getting from the theoretical to the practical that you mentioned in one of your early posts on it.

  • Reply Nelleke Plouffe January 19, 2014 at 2:55 am

    I just read about oil pulling last week, and tried it with coconut oil. I really, really don’t like the feeling of the teaspoon of oil melting in my mouth, though I think I’ll get used to it eventually. I think it has already helped my bleeding gums. Such a strange thing…

    • Reply Brandy Vencel January 20, 2014 at 11:06 pm

      That is so great that it is helping your gums, Nelleke!

    • Reply Kelly January 20, 2014 at 11:19 pm

      I use sunflower oil — it’s light and doesn’t have a very strong flavor. I have a strong gag reflex when it comes to having oil in my mouth on account of needing to use castor oil once or twice in my life… a thing which I will never do again unless the only alternative is to go to the doctor and have my bowels scraped out.



    • Reply Brandy Vencel January 20, 2014 at 11:24 pm


  • Reply christalee January 18, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Guess what I am doing as I read this… oil pulling! I do a T of coconut oil. It helps when I am fighting a sinus infection. And I am a big fan of doing it when I am grouchy. Better not to say anything at all, right?!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel January 18, 2014 at 5:21 pm

      So, Christa, do you do this all the time? How did I not know this?

      I can’t help but wonder if you are grouchy AND sick right now… 😉

  • Reply Mystie January 18, 2014 at 1:17 am

    Hey, I tried a weird health thing before you! Wow! 🙂 I did oil pulling a few times about two years ago….but now I can’t remember why. It was the same time I started doing the oil cleansing method, so I was reading about that, came across oil pulling, already had the oil, and tried it. I only remember that it wasn’t as gross as I anticipated. 🙂

    • Reply Brandy Vencel January 18, 2014 at 5:20 pm

      I’m impressed, Mystie! I really am!

      I think it’ll be easier once it warms up. Right now, I’m starting with a *solid* oil that I have to melt in my mouth, and that just about gags me every time. But it’s worth it to have my teeth feeling back to normal!

    • Reply Mystie January 18, 2014 at 6:40 pm

      I can’t for the life of me remember what I thought I was accomplishing, though. 🙂 Maybe it was fighting a cold. But generally I only try weird health things when they promise weight loss. 🙂

  • Reply sara January 17, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    I’m sorry about Thumper and the babies, even if it is character-building.

    I’ve tried pulling and it makes me gag. Plus, twenty minutes is longer than I am capable of keeping my mouth shut. 😉

    *sigh* I wish I had a little girl to buy cute clothes for.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel January 17, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      Thank you for your condolences! There is nothing like seeing your children sad and being powerless to do anything about it! 🙁

      You know, I never realized my husband was in favor of my oil pulling due to the silence which ensued until your comment. Hm.

      Zulily sells boy clothes, too! But I don’t have nearly as had a time finding decent boy clothes as I do girls clothes…

    Leave a Reply