Saturday, March 29, 2008
Sunday mornings are always a little hectic in our household and it seems we end up with cereal and toast on the run. Which, mind you, is okay...but I was craving something yummy to wake up to in the a.m.! Begin preparation the evening before and you will be semi-stress free in the morning! (at least the breakfast portion of the morning) *grin*
One of my favorite breakfasts is my original 'crust-less quiche'. I've never liked the idea of a pastry shell with my eggs. I end up flaking it off and honestly it's healthier without it. So, I give a good spray to my pie dish and in goes the eggs, ham, cheese, vegetables, salsa, sour cream, etc. Not only is it beautiful, but packed with protein and vitamins!
So, here I am...taking a taste test. Understand, this goes against my absolute cardinal rule of zero eating 2-3 hours before bed! But... Mmmmm. Maybe just a little more. Ok, only one more bite. Yes, there is still enough for breakfast. Look at that picture! Isn't it gorgeous!?
Next, I made the cinnamon rolls. Can I just give a good word of advice at this point in the post? Never take a completely random person's recipe advice off a cooking website. You know, the kind that allows anyone to post something? Yikes. A lesson well learned for me this evening.
I usually make up my bread dough recipe, then roll it out, put in all my goodies, slice and bake. And that's all well and good- but tonight I wanted them special. Like really good "from the bakery" whole wheat cinnamon rolls. I should have known the recipe was bunk when it called for six eggs. Six eggs?! For one batch of rolls? And me...the little lemming just put 'em right in. So...four or five cups of EXTRA cups of flour later (I lost count) , I finally had a slightly doable dough. I'm still letting them rise. Half of them have raisins and the other half are plain. I used a honey/butter mixture with cinnamon on the inside. Too much drama. But they're still pretty, right?
As always, if you just can't live without these recipes...email me! Enjoy your day! I'm off to bed! Oh wait...the rolls are still baking. Hmmm...maybe I'll have just a little more quiche...
Thursday, March 27, 2008
"H" is pregnant with her third and is sick as a dog. Her husband has been a huge blessing to have taken on much of the home tasks as well as all the cooking. Poor girl- I truly feel for her in this early trimester time. They have two little girls and I'm hoping for a boy for them! Her doctor has placed her due date on her oldest daughter's birthday- wouldn't that be exciting?!
"M" is pregnant with her fourth and due in about 18 weeks. At the time of baby #4's birth...she will have four under the age of 3!! So far...all boys. We'll have to wait and see about the newest arrival! She has been blessed to have had home births with all three. I was able to be there for the last baby's delivery and am looking forward to this one as well!
So, back to my 'kitchen in shambles'. The boys and I went grocery shopping yesterday morning and came back with arm loads of food. The goal was to make items that they could freeze and bring down at convenience; casseroles, muffins, baked fruit, pancakes, homemade loaves of bread, etc. After I put the boys down for rest, I spent about four hours slicing, chopping, mixing, baking and arranging! Exhaustion, dear friends, exhaustion! It was, however, time well spent for my preggo-girls! If I can encourage them or their husbands by a gift to warm the spirit, then the Lord be praised!
Italian Penne Mozzarella Bake
Chicken Rice Cheesy Broccoli Casserole
Ham & Potato Cheese Bake
Sweet n' Sticky Baked Apples
Loaves Fresh Baked Bread
Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes
Raisin Bran Apple Muffins
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Carob Chip Coconut Cookies
Fresh Avocado Slices
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Blogging has always puzzled me. My reservations regarding anonymity had always kept me from sharing any personal information via the internet. Web forums make me nervous. I keep far away from chat rooms. Online banking has me shaking in my shoes. If you send me an email with a link, you can bet I won't click on it until I've confirmed it's validity through Snopes.
I, honestly, had always been appalled of the by the nature of blogs. Sharing one's personal thoughts for all to read?! Taking criticism from complete strangers for your opinions and views?! Publishing pictures of your children for all to see?! Asking for trouble, I tell you!
Obviously, I have reformed from my original thinking. It was in July of 2007 that I decided to take the plunge into Blogworld. I had a few proviso's that I have always kept at the heart of this blog.
The first and most important is that my posts would be God-honoring and a benefit to those reading it; either in factual information, humor, encouragement, or Biblical perspective. I don't want this to become a gossip column or a forum where I author rants against those who have hurt me; past or present.
Secondly, I like my privacy. I have decided that I will not give out any proper names, including my own. The pictures that I post of myself and my family are carefully chosen with modesty in mind as well as cropping out information about our location in the background. I think that pictures really 'make' a blog and allow it to be more real for the readers.
Lastly, comment moderation. I am all about free speech, which is why I enjoy blogging so much. Everyone has the right to express their opinions, but not necessarily here. If it is not to the benefit of the reader, then it doesn't need to be in print on my blog. This is why I have decided to enable this tab on my layout. I allow anonymous readers to leave comments, but this is my "book" and you don't just get to publish anything in it without an editorial consent. Look, the comments can't be juicier than my material, okay! :)
I would love to give to give thanks my readers! Honestly, thank you thank you thank you! As of today I have published 123 blog entries since the inception of WhatsoeverisPure more than seven months ago. According to my site meter tracking that I set up in January, I have had a total of 3,899 visits to my site over the past three months. This astounds me!
I feel like I'm giving an speech at the Academy awards here, but I would like to specifically thank a few people who have made this experience more memorable for me. There are so many of you on my blogroll and even more whom I need to add! I love reading your posts and emails! I am encouraged by your wealth of information and hilarious accounts of homeschooling life!
I also want to thank my husband who had the first blog of the family. Honey, you were my inspiration! Tracy and Leslie have been with me from the very beginning. They were the first to comment and have kept on commenting as the months have gone on! I thank you girls for your encouragement and friendship! Nester, my husband says it's good to have friends in high places, because you have referred more hits to my site- yikes, girl! You make me laugh and always have a great perspective on the home!
And...to all those readers who are in hiding... Thank you! I hope that in my blog you have found a like-minded gal that has given you an encouraging word or a laugh when you were down! The joy of the Lord is our strength, so let us praise Him together!
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
As time has gone by I have realized that we will never be able to achieve it all, or frankly, come even close. The visions in my own mind regarding my 'perfect homeschooling life' are an illusion. For instance, I have met wonderful mothers that never seem to get riled! I am in awe! I am not laid back and calm by nature, but I am praying that the fruit of God's spirit would allow me to control my actions and show patience when my temper desires to flare!
I am slowly realizing that it is our connection through Christ and the love for our children that is bringing us together as a homeschooling community. There is no one elite family who has it all and lives the perfect life. Personally, the Lord has blessed my husband and I with unique and energetic boys that always keep us on my toes. They are social, curious, and very strong willed. They have two decimals; loud and louder. Where some children sit quietly through church, my boys roll under the pews. I praise the Lord that I have the opportunity to raise them and educate them in our home.
I initially thought my heart attitude would change if I began to change on the surface. For example; I am a jeans girl all the way- I don't even OWN a dress. I have nice pantsuits for church and am all about femininity, but you won't find any denim jumpers in my closet. Now, I have wonderful friends who have been convicted to wear long skirts and dresses most of the time. So, out I went to the thrift store to find skirts. Much like sitting in a cookie jar does not make you a cookie, thus went the analogy for my short-lived skirt wearing. Could I do it? Sure. But what purpose was it serving for me? My long-term desire is to live modestly and wear attire that reflects that. I found that I could continue wearing the clothing I currently owned and still respect my husband and the Lord.
I know that God will reveal his desires for my family (areas of health, family size, modesty, etc) and pray that I will be receptive to hear them. I am overjoyed in the diversity of God's family and excited to be a part of it. Even if our family does break the mold just a little...
Saturday, March 22, 2008
My half marathon is just weeks away at this point. I figured I'd better start some hard core training since my winter has consisted of accidental trips to the gym. Last weekend my pal "L" and I did a ten mile run and it felt great. We came to our big finish and I honestly felt I could have run another ten. I was feeling very proud of myself because this was one of my longest runs since November! I went home that day with barely any aches and pains! (Although I will admit I was a little sore the next day going up and down the stairs.)
So, today I woke up and made up my mind that I would be doing twelve miles. I arrived at the meeting spot where three friends from my last marathon training group had decided upon. We did a little chatting...a little stretching...and then we were off! Unfortunately, I realized within about thirty seconds that I needed to find 'the little girl's room'. (Apologies, if you are currently finding the direction of this story going down hill fast. Better move on now... it only gets worse)
I was totally distracted from that point on because there is absolutely NO where for a person to relieve one's self. Very problematic. So, I went on a potty hunt...running all over creation. I had to divert from my group to run around parks, nature trails, etc trying to locate a bathroom! Nothing, people...nothing! Keep in mind- we are in the middle of basically nowhere. About three miles down I spot a port-a-potty in the middle of a horse corral in the middle of an open field. I have no idea why it was there, but it was my target. Of course the corral was gated closed...so here I am...decked out with my running tights, garmin forerunner, mp3, coolmax hoodie .blonde pony tail flailing in the wind, diving over fences! And...of all the places I could have landed... you guessed it- right in a huge pile of mud. I'm sure I broke more than trespassing law along my route.
So, finally after that little episode I made it back on the running route and could see my group about 1/2 mile ahead of me. I starting running about 8-8.5 minute miles trying to catch up. At mile six I caught up with them and was completely exhausted. But, I pushed to continue and finally made it to mile 12... My team was so sweet...everybody was waiting and cheering when I arrived. I was so tired! I have no idea why this week was so completely different, but I guess that's the way it goes sometimes. (On the bright side...at about mile five I had a wonderful time of prayer! I felt complete and overwhelming joy of the majesty of our Lord! I know that God gives us times like this when we are discouraged to fill us with hope.)
I came home and basically collapsed for about three hours. Oh the soreness! I had to go to the grocery story this evening and that was torture too! I'm in my twenties, people! Aargh! But, yet- here I was again! Limping like I needed to ride in one of those electric grocery wheelchairs with the little basket on the front. After I went up toward the checkout line I realized I had forgotten my cottage cheese. I love cottage cheese. But I was hurting so bad that I didn't even turn around to retrieve it. It is indeed, a sad day when one must forgo curded cheese.
So, here I am... late Saturday night (yeah- it's 9pm) ...still limping from that crazy pain in my hip. My parents are coming over for our Resurrection celebration dinner tomorrow afternoon and I really should be cleaning. Should be. Hmmmm...
- You scream "Stampede!" at the start of every race. (I'd love to try that once!)
- Your joints pop louder than fireworks when you stretch. (Oh, friend! That's me!)
- Your longest run was around the block. Well, most of the way around.
- That big finish line kick always ends with a crawl and a whimper. (Definitely today!)
- You can't help skipping and whistling while you run.
- You faint at the sound of the starter's pistol.
- You look for an ambulance at the end of each race. (Have I mentioned my interaction with the med tent in my last race?!)
- You cry at the sight of a hill. (Absolutely.)
Taken from: http://www.distancedemons.homestead.com/Trivia.html
Friday, March 21, 2008
The entire week we have been reading and re-reading the passages in the gospels about the events that led up to the death of Jesus as well as his crucifixion. This morning during my quiet time I read it again, including His resurrection and ascension.
As I read aloud, I pondered the actions of Peter. His fearful and angry interaction with the servant and the sword. Can you imagine? Jesus being led away by the Roman guard and his disciples are fighting for their Lord... in their desperation, one turns, flailing his sword, panting, sweating, screaming and cuts off an ear of a servant. Amidst the struggle, gasps and painful cries, Jesus turns and rebukes Peter and heals the injured man! Right there in the garden... He heals him. He placed his ear back on miraculously.
Truly, can you imagine this servant's reaction? We don't know what happened to him. We don't know if he became a follower of our Lord that very night. But I will tell you this, you cannot have the healing power of the Divine rush through your body without being affected.
We all have our own personal testimonies about our interaction with Majesty. Our Creator God has spared us from the consequence we so rightly deserved. He has spared us from an eternity in Hell, separated from Him. Praise Him! Indeed, it is Good!
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Yes, my son, diversity is a wonderful thing!
Monday, March 17, 2008
I tried out two new meals this weekend from the Sue Gregg cookbooks. A friend of mine passed these along to me a while back. Honestly, I don't think I realized the treasure that was stored on my shelf until about a week ago when I began to read through them. I've been convicted lately that my body is truly the temple of the Holy Spirit and that I haven't been feeding it very well lately. I was so focused on 'budget' eating that I was not concentrating on balanced nutrition as much as I needed to. The recipes in her books are not only super tasty, but healthy and designed for the budget shopper! She also shares scripture throughout, great nutrition instruction, as well as shoppings lists and more! Check out the link above for more info!
For breakfast this morning, we tried a variation of Sue's Breakfast Strata. Looks yummy, right? Daddy enjoyed it, but the boys were a little turned off by all the green veggies. I made it yesterday afternoon and let it chill overnight in the fridge. This morning I got up around 6am and popped it straight from the refrigerator into the oven then went back to bed. (It was in a stainless steel casserole dish covered with foil) I let it bake for about 45 minutes covered and then removed foil to let cheese crisp slightly to form a top crust. It was nice to have everything done and wake up to great smells from the kitchen! Recipe below!
Yesterday afternoon we came home to shredded chicken tacos, rice and beans, and cottage cheese. This was from Sue's Main Dish cookbook. I wish I had taken a picture of it yesterday- it was so pretty served with all the fresh veggies and grated cheese! You'll have to settle for second best today... straight out of the tupperware with everything mixed together! Before we left for church in the morning, I boiled the chicken breast and cooked the rice. (Basmati long grain) I don't know about you, but when my family comes home, they are ready to eat NOW! When we came home all I had to do was grate the cheese, chop the veggies, bake the tortillas and fry the rice. Prep time was literally only about 15 minutes! It was really good! Looking forward to the leftovers today! Mmmm! Please email me if you would like this recipe!
Whole Wheat Bread (torn into small cubes)
1/2 cup Milk
Veggies of choice (broccoli, onions, spinach, carrots, tomatoes, etc.)
1 Cup grated cheese
Ham- cubed or slice
Salt & Pepper to taste
Line greased casserole dish with bread cubes; mix eggs & milk/seasoning until well blended; cut veggies & meat and combine with egg mixture; pour all over bread; spread cheese evenly over top and cover. Bake immediately or let sit in fridge until ready to heat. Bake 375 degrees for one 45 minutes covered; 15 minutes with cover off. Serve warm with fruit and low fat sour cream!
Friday, March 14, 2008
A few weeks ago during a short cleaning spree in our basement, I found a large tote filled with books from my childhood. In it were an abundance of classics, including a copy of Charlotte's Web by E.B. White.
Before naps, during downtime, and prior to bedtime prayers we have been reading a chapter or two over the past week. The boys have seen the older version of the movie, as have I. The book is delightful and fun, but we all knew what was coming.
Last night we read the final two chapters of the book. Can I just say, "Hello tears, goodbye sanity!?" Seriously, people! I am a grown adult who was weeping over the death of a spider! Weeping! This from a girl who is deep and lifelong friends with Bug-B-gone, Terminex and Hot Shot Max! I was completely depressed for the remainder of the evening as I kept blowing my nose and remembering that "Charlotte died alone..." Good grief! Mr. White, what have you done to me? Talk about the facts of life!
The boys didn't seem to be bothered. Granted, my youngest was dumping all the clothes out of laundry baskets in the closet and was slightly out of earshot. My oldest wasn't so much worried about the book as much as why his mother had to continually stop reading in order to gain her composure!
It does prove, however, that when we humanize something, it gives that thing great capacity to exceed itself...and our emotional attachment to it. On the other hand, when we devalue or dehumanize something, we find ourselves questioning its worth. My husband wrote a great post this week along the same lines here.
Ahhh... the joy of books. I think after this, we're ready for the "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich".
Confession time, blog world.
If you have been around my blog a while you know I'm a running nut. It's not that I'm so completely obsessed with the actual running. (Although I do love it and totally enjoy the challenge) It's more the talking...
Not the "look at me! Wahoo! ...I'm a runner" kind of talk, but more of..."I just ran two miles and I'm going to fall over" or "That was a great six miles! Where's the cheesecake?" or "How long has it been? Oh. Only four minutes? Really? Are you sure? Hmmm."
I'm so glad that my 'mile-marker' below only keeps track of miles. Not complaints and cupcakes.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
We had such a great time with my friend Andi and her boys! I was amazed at all the detail that was put into decorating and organizing this center and wished I had taken more pictures! (not just of my "Firefighter boys"!) We will be going back this fall when my oldest starts his kindergarten studies for a demonstration on fire safety. I can truly say that this is one of the most fun field trips we have taken!
The fire boys and mommy
(smiling in front of a potentially dangerous blaze- my husband pointed out)
My youngest driving the truck (do you see that concentration?)
My oldest (gaining the whole experience in complete uniform) and "G" play together in the truck!
Oldest hooking up the water hose from the truck (Can't you just see him on his first real life mission? "Honey! Look over here! Smile at mommy! Let's get another for the scrapbook!" Poor kid)
The littlest Fireman- and certainly one of the cutest!
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Have you ever received an unexpected gift? One that you were totally surprised by? Perhaps you were filled with joy at the sight of an attractively wrapped package on your birthday or at Christmas... That, however, was an "expected" gift. Even though you are delighted, you are not completely surprised because of the occasion on which it was received. Come on, friend- I'm talking "Whoa! Where did that come from!" kind of gift.
Today I received a very unexpected gift from a very lovely lady that I have had the privilege to meet about five weeks ago. As I left for the church parking lot this morning she came running out after me with a simple white envelope embroidered with cheerful spring flowers alongside my name. The contents inside were for an upcoming event that she wanted me to be able to attend...just because.
So, of course, being the considerate, thankful and gracious individual that I am... I just stood there- looking confused and bewildered. I stammered and stumbled around my words of gratitude...trying to make sense of it all. 'Why is she giving me such an expensive and wonderful gift? I am just an acquaintance. She has never met my children or my husband. I have never invited her to my home or given her a ride in my car. We have merely sat at the same table a handful of times during our ladies fellowship over this past month. She just wants me to have this 'because'? No strings attached? Why do I deserve this gift?'
After talking for a few minutes, I gave her a big hug and thanked her for her kindness and generosity. I took the envelope in my hand and headed toward the van with the boys. I sat there for a few minutes and just held the tickets...pondering the prior conversation we had and the moments that led up to it. I began to think of all the ways that I could sneak cash into her pocket when she wasn't looking; send a large anonymous gift basket; wash and wax her car in the middle of the night... You get the idea.
I almost felt guilty about that wonderful gift! Please know now that I am an absolute hypocrite. *grin* I am not a good receiver of unexpected gifts from unexpected people! I love to dish it out and watch other people stammer and stumble, but I don't know what to do with it when the shoe is on the other foot!
A true gift is one given without the ability to earn or deserve it; no money was paid out...nothing transferred during the exchange...this was not a transaction. Simply one person giving out of sheer desire and will to do so, out of love for another. This brings a familiar analogy to mind about the reception of Christ's ultimate and free gift of salvation, yes?
Oh, by the grace of our dear Savior we were saved from our deserved penalty. Let us stammer and stumble as we think of this tremendous gift! Let us stand bewildered by the adoration He has shown us! Let us hold his Word in our hands and ponder the moment that we became one of His!
We were spared death by Christ giving His life in our place. This amazing gift should leave us in absolute awe as we consider the love it was given with! We can do nothing to earn it...we certainly don't deserve it...and there is no way we can ever pay Him back for it. And yet, he still gives...knowing all of that. As the celebration of his resurrection draws near, let us be mindful that we serve a living God that loves us...no strings attached.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Yesterday we experienced what was deemed the blizzard of 2008. I'm sure to many of you, our foot of fallen snow (drifts in our area up to 4 feet) is business as usual. Here, however, this is big news!
1 cup milk or whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar (or honey)
very scant 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or vanilla beans
large bowl of clean snow (about 3 quarts)
Blend milk, sugar and vanilla. Stir in enough snow to make snow cream to an ice cream consistency. Continue to beat with whisk or beaters until completely mixed. Then freeze for approximately 30 minutes, stirring in 3-5 minute intervals.
Instructions are as follows:
Step One: Find a good-looking husband to point out a fabulous place to gather your snow
Step Two: Collect snow in large mixing bowl
Step Three: Add all ingredients & freeze/stir
Step Four: Let the kids enjoy it and then bounce off the walls from all the sugar
has fallen after that first cleansing snow. Find snow that is in 'unpolluted' areas free from animals or foot traffic.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Friday, March 7, 2008
During my afternoon jump to the Drugereport online news site, my eyes were quickly drawn to an article from the San Francisco Chronicle. If you haven't read the latest news article regarding the California homeschooling laws, please click here .
Basically, back in the 1950's a law was put forth in California that all homeschooling parents must be credentialed to teach their children at home. All others must be enrolled in either public or private institutions. It requires kids ages 6 to 18 to attend a full-time day school, either public or private, or to be instructed by a tutor who holds a state credential for the child's grade level. Parents that disagree with this law have either given in, found loopholes, or have stayed under the radar far enough to keep out of trouble.
Unfortunately, an investigation arose from a child welfare dispute between the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and Philip and Mary Long of Lynwood, who have been homeschooling their eight children. Now ALL homeschooling parents in California are at risk.
Michael Smith, (president- HSLDA) said "the ruling would effectively ban homeschooling in the state. California is now on the path to being the only state to deny the vast majority of homeschooling parents their fundamental right to teach their own children at home," he said in a statement. (excerpt taken from San Fran Chronicle)
Right, so any parent in California who is homeschooling without a teaching credential is subject to prosecution for truancy violation! Potential penalties are community service, heavy fines and possibly removal of their children under allegations of educational neglect.
Leslie Heimov (the executive director of the Children's Law Center of Los Angeles),"it's not the quality of the children's education, but being in a place daily where they would be observed by people who had a duty to ensure their ongoing safety."
Um, hello!?!?!? Are you kidding me? That last statement completely burns me up inside! Is it about 'credentialed' teachers or the safety of the environment? Perhaps in the Long's case it is about the safety of the children (perhaps not...) , but that has no bearing on the 100,000 + families in California that love their children and care greatly for their needs, not only physically, but mentally, and spiritually! As parents is it not our duty, first and foremost to "ensure their ongoing safety?"
And let's look at the data! A great number of homeschooled children have excelled greatly under the tutelage of their "unskilled" parents and sometimes rank higher than that of public schooled children.
This is just one more step that the government is taking to creep into our homes and take over our precious freedom. Think I'm wrong? Read this and see where we are headed if this keeps up.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Yesterday the boys and I found Hi Ho Cherri-O in excellent condition at the thrift store. We have yet to own this particular board game and they were pleased as punch. So, in the past twenty four hours I have played HHC about sixteen-eleven times. This afternoon my oldest and I were playing, yet again, and I began to crave cherries. The longer we played...the more I wanted them. I could taste them and began thinking up creative ways that I would fix them into a delectable dessert.
A few minutes later when youngest woke up...we were off to Meijer to buy cherries. This evening I fixed a lovely pie and thought I would blog about it. Jeepers...it's a good thing we weren't playing Operation. I might have an overwhelming urge to get a little plastic surgery.
A few people have asked if I was surprised that Hillary won in my state on Tuesday. (Yes, we were one of the "superpowers"... I'll let you guess- am I in Texas or Ohio?)
I have to say that a few days before the vote, we started to receive phone calls from Mr. Obama's campaign, and then from him, "personally", urging us to vote for him on election day. We are registered republicans, so... hmmmm?
The campaign volunteers asked if I was voting for Barack. When I stated that I was not, they continued on... "Well, then who are you voting for?" I told them it wasn't for Hillary if that was their concern. The calls kept coming, mostly at night. (Honestly, if you want me to even consider voting for you, please don't call and wake up my children at 9:30pm.)
We never once received a call from Mrs. Clinton. Not a pamphlet in our front door or a message on our voice mail. Perhaps she knew something that we didn't? Perhaps he knew something the AP didn't? Interesting to say the least...
Monday, March 3, 2008
A while back I posted about my decision to "fire the babysitter"; aka the television. My children (and myself) had become too attached to it and frankly, it had to go. We hardly ever watched 'commercial' television, as it was mostly the occasional PBS broadcast and a plethora of well chosen children's education videos. In essence, nothing was 'wrong' or evil about the shows...it was just our level of dependence on TV time.
(Allow me to interject early on and say that I do NOT believe that watching television is a sin. There is nothing sinful about the act of turning on the TV. Many families enjoy watching wholesome programs occasionally that they can laugh and relate to. That is great! It can, however, turn quickly into a sin issue in a myriad of ways- this is what we must be very careful to avoid. For example: What are you watching? Is the subject matter deadening your conscience? (violence, murder, adultery, lust ) How much time are you giving to it? Is it keeping you from your duties as a mother, father, husband or wife? We must be so careful that any one area doesn't consume us or keep us from communion with Christ.)
Well, as it happens with many good resolutions after time...this one soon was broken in our household. It all started out well and good, you understand. No shows ever. Well, shows only on the weekends. Well, shows before daddy comes home so mommy doesn't pull out her hair trying to prepare dinner. Well, shows when mommy gets a shower so that no one hurts each other during that ten minute interval. Wait! Ah! The blog post! Okay, no shows ever. Well, mommy will watch them why you are napping. Get back in bed! Mommy is watching TV! You get the gist...
So, back it came...creeping into our lives once again. The Holy Spirit began to convict me that I was falling back into the same temptations once again. My idea to eradicate television from our lifestyle was fine, except it wasn't well thought out. I had replaced that "time" in our day with... absolutely nothing. It came back, slowly and surely, because there was nothing there to fill the void.
I have been reading an excellent book by Steve & Teri Maxwell, "Keeping Our Child's Hearts: Our Vital Priority". There are two major points that I would like to point out in the area of entertainment that they brought up in their book. First, 'what appetites and desires are we instilling in our children'? Are they overwhelmed with the unsatisfying thirst for entertainment and filling their pastimes with 'self' promotion? Secondly, 'if our hearts' desire as parents is to train our children to love and serve others as Christ did, how is our daily lifestyle reflecting that vision'?
It became very clear to me that although my initial idea of 'pulling the plug' may have been a valid one, it came with no conviction to do it for their eternal good. I had to really think about what appetites I was allowing in my little one's hearts. What they were hungering for was an endless need of self gratification through entertainment
Think about the years before technology had given us television, video games, computers, cell phones, ipods, etc... what did they do all day? I love hearing stories from those folks who lived 'back in the day' and all the wonderful things they did as children! That does not have to be lost! (Please don't get me wrong- I think that technology, science, and progression all have their place in our society...God gave mankind the creative powers to think, invent and imagine!)
So, I've fired the babysitter...again. Our entire family has donned the challenge of keeping the TV off and finding other, more beneficial, things to occupy our time. We have replaced the 'void' with activities that promote service to others, mommy & me devotions in Proverbs, reading- lots of it with each other and by themselves. I have a series of books- "Grandma's attic" that I read back in elementary school. They are about 150 pages each of a grandma retelling her granddaughter stories of her life as a child in the late 1800's/ early 1900's. My boys drool over them...quite literally! We've almost finished our second one...seriously my 2 & 4 year old snuggled up on the couch with a picture-free book! Of course, I have to do all the voices. :) They have such a wonderful Biblical message that weaves throughout all the stories! Check them out if you have never read them. My hubby even enjoys them!
One last encouraging example that this can work to your family's benefit... the other afternoon the boys were playing in the family room and I was making bread in the kitchen. I sat down to work on the menu plan for the week and noticed it was strangely quiet in the other room. (My boys are VERY lively...) I peeked my head around, thinking they must be into trouble. They were reading to each other! I couldn't believe it! I turned off the radio in the kitchen to allow for some quiet time. I prepared a snack for them at the table and continued my work. A few minutes later they both brought their books and sat at the table with me in almost a complete silence as they read for almost 30 MINUTES! I almost checked 'em for fevers.
So, does this mean that we are selling our television and moving to Amish country? Not quite, but I pray that my desire to dwell on "Whatsoever Is...."(Phil. 4:8) would be the primary focus in this house!
Love you all, dear bloggy friends! Have a wonderful week!
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Enter my wonderful friend Lisa. She and I ran together in the last 1/2 marathon this past fall. She was an inspiration, to say the least! A couple of months ago our running group met for dinner and discussed the idea of training again together- almost all of us were on board and excited to do this again! Well, times has gone by and now only Lisa and I remain. So, today is the last day to register before the rates go up. Argh.
(And here I sit at the computer with my new blog (like it? trying something a tad 'spring-y') on one screen and the registration page for the Half on the other. It's looming over me. *grin*)
Today I went on a long run at the gym. I do not recommend this, friends! Treadmills were not meant for miles and miles. Can I just say agony? I rode the stationary bike at 105+ RPM for six miles and then jumped on the treadmill for another 6 mile run. Let me tell you now, I did not 'jump' off. No sir. It was more like a sliding...falling....very ungraceful...plop.
Decisions...decisions. Is it me or does something about winter obliterate any motivation?