Because this is what happens without screens

(While I was making dinner, I said we were done with the computer and iPad for the day. For as much as they're always asking for these things, they didn't complain. They went off to their room and began playing with each other. Completely content and far more engaged. I love that their toy of choice was a wooden nuts and bolts set.)

I've been obsessed again. With wasting my life away doing one random search after another on nothing that is too important and nothing I'll remember the next day. We lived without the internet in our home for three weeks at the end of summer, and it was heavenly. For our girls and maybe especially for me. When Jake started teaching again, it got a little inconvenient to run back and forth to work to work our minor kinks and respond to his students. It felt safe to reinstate the world wide web in our home because I knew how great life was without it. How quickly we forget. The first thing Goo asks for in the morning is the iPad. 

I actually had a good reason for spending extra time on-line. I was educating myself on some things that may or may not be happening in the near future, but I let all of the searches get away from me, and if I wasn't at the computer, I was thinking about what I should look up next, and how I could better prepare myself. It makes me feel like I'm sleep walking. And my girls are so plugged in. I hate it. Yes, I said hate, and I mean it.  

I've been thinking about ways to overcome my internet addiction. One thought is unplugging our router during the day and reconnecting it after the girls are in bed. If I have any really pressing thought, or something I want to look up, I can write it down. This takes care of two things: it makes me stay away from a screen for most of the day, and makes the time I do allow myself on-line far more productive.

I've been reading more in the last few days. Like from books. I know. Today I picked up Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne with Lisa Ross. I'm almost halfway through it, and it is wonderful. In the first chapter, we're asked to reflect on the hopes and dreams we have for our family. He said, "Our daily lives can become disconnected from the hopes and dreams we hold for our family." He is exactly right. 

I've found myself often saying, "I'll start tomorrow." Tomorrow I will come up with the perfect plan limiting screen time. Tomorrow I will sit down and make a schedule to do supplemental work with Cora on her speech. Tomorrow I will redo this or that in Dot. Tomorrow I will practice drawing shapes with Magnolia. These tomorrows go on and on and on. I think the weight I feel with them compounding in my mind makes me push them off even more. I forget that they don't all have to happen at the same time. I devoured the chapter of the book on simplifying the environment of our home (I'm always drawn to such things), but I'm especially looking forward to the next chapter: Rhythm. We have a predictable rhythm to our days, but I don't really like what we're doing with a big hunk of our time. (I hope that makes sense.) I want to dance to a different beat. I want the overall rhythm of our days and weeks to match the hopes and dreams I have for my family.

This is a little off topic, but it feels relevant. I didn't make any official resolutions this year, but I've been thinking about traditions. We don't really do many in our little family. That is super lame-o. I think they are important. This year, we are going to start and/or borrow traditions to add to the few we do have. Any traditions you love that you are willing to share would be welcome. And for anything: holidays, birthdays, any old day of the week special things you do. 


  1. Here are some thatI have heard of but not necessarily that I have incorporated into my life yet:

    March 17- eat a green meal; green veggies, green milk, green eggs etc.

    Any holiday you could do shaped pancakes or some fun breakfast that is not the norm.

    I like the idea of taping a bag around the door fram on birthdays and filling it with balloons so when they wake up and open the door ballons fall all around them.

    Or a small birthday cake prior to school/activities that they get in the morning

    its late thats all I can think of at the moment...

  2. I have a mix of stuff - not necessarily traditions but activities I guess.
    -We are starting the 3 gifts tradition for Christmas. I am so tired of Christmas being over commercialized and losing its meaning. You can read about it here
    but I have a friend who did this and I love that it keeps it more meaningful and simple.
    -I also like the decorating the door or room for the kids birthday.
    -One of my friends started a new years tradition with her kids that I love. She did a family awards ceremony for her kids accomplishments over the year to show how proud she was of them and made it a big huge deal so that they could feel really special.
    -I plan on trying this one this year - get a large blowup pool and fill it with pillows and blankets. Sit out under the stars and watch them for some quiet time.
    -I do the Wii Active workout and Andrew likes to participate with me. Gives us a little bonding time.
    -picnic in the living room for dinner time.
    -on conference Sunday we do a picnic at the park in between the sessions. It gives Andrew a break in between the sessions and is just a fun thing to do. We used to have them in front of the church when we would watch the sessions at the building.
    -We also do family dance parties on Saturday mornings. I put on some old school mommy music and we do our crazy dances around the house. For the record - no one else gets to see those lol.

    I totally feel like we spend too much time on the computer too and Andrew definitely picks up on it and wants to do do what Mommy is doing.



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