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2009 April » Philoxenos


Be careful little eyes what you see…

27th April 2009

Be careful little eyes what you see…

Do you remember that song? From your toddlerhood?

Be careful little eyes what you see

Be careful little eyes what you see

For your Father up above

Is looking down with love

Oh be careful little eyes what you see

Recently I have been very aware of what I’m watching on telly or listening to on the radio when the children are around. It’s not that I’m watching anything I’d be ashamed to watch around my grandma, but I’m aware that there are lots of things that I watch or listen to that I wouldn’t want my kids to see or hear. Handsome and I are working hard to be sure that they are being raised in the fear and admonition of the Lord and we try to control what they’re exposed to because, frankly, they’re really young.

So while I’ve been careful to change the radio station from country music to KLOVE while we’re in the car and make sure we don’t watch Fringe until the kids are actually asleep in bed, God has been talking to my heart. I’ve bee hearing things like…

Michele, if it’s not good enough for your kids to watch, why are you watching?

Michele, is that song worthy or admirable or lovely?

Michele, what valuable thing is this television show teaching you?

And don’t get the idea that I spend a lot of time watching TV. We don’t actually have a TV so we watch online. Our big computer is in the school room so I’m often on my computer doing other things and watching at the same time. I never watch during the day and rarely without Handsome being there. But still. Is this the best use of my time? Is God honoured by the programmes I watch?

So. That’s where I’m at. If we actually had a TV I’d probably be selling it about now. Since we don’t I do believe that I’ll be finding other projects to do in the evenings or at least being very very selective about what I watch.

I’d be interested to hear your opinions. Do you watch television? What do you watch? Are you ever concerned about your kids coming in at the wrong time?

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22nd April 2009

My afternoon at the beach

I have had the privilege of being away, alone, with just my husband for the last three days. Although there have been unexpected hiccups (like a trip to the ER for Handsome) it’s gone reasonably well and I’ve enjoyed being away.

This afternoon we went to Laguna Beach for Jeremy to meet with someone for work. While they were meeting, I mosied on down to the local library. Lo and behold! A Friends of the Library bookshop!! I got several great children’s books for our homeschool and just for reading, for only 25 cents each. I love that.

I still had some time so I went up to the library and found a book on the new release shelf and started reading. Unfortunately Handsome called me far too soon to tell me that he was finished. And now I can’t stop thinking about the book! I want to know what happens!! I went online just now to check my local library system to see if I could reserve it. There are 35 other people already in line to reserve it, so it might be a few weeks. They have about 30 copies of it so hopefully I’ll get it sooner rather than later. In the meantime I’ll have to read something else. Sigh.

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21st April 2009

Multi-tasking Mom

I just finished reading this post at The Happy Housewife. If you’re anything like me you’re trying to get a lot of things done during the day and often feel pulled in several directions. I can attest to the fact that when I actually really focus on just doing one thing it makes a huge difference, particularly with my kids.

Go have a read. You’ll appreciate it.

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16th April 2009

My Rock List

I am a big fan of Preschoolers and Peace. Kendra is my go-to girl when I have a question about balancing homeschooling with everything else in life. She has recently posted a short series called “Drowning in Home Management”. As a mother of 8 children and a homeschooler as well, she knows what it’s like to be surrounded by preschoolers or young elementary kids.

In the first post of the series she talked about a Rock List. You know how if you want to fill up a jar, you put the largest things in first and then fill it in with smaller things? Kendra explains that it’s the same with our day. If we can determine what five things we need to accomplish each day (the same things each day) then we can start to sort out our priorities. She said that there have been times in her life that she has only done those five things because she simply couldn’t fit in anything else. And the joy of it? That’s okay. There have been other times when she was able to do much more.

So I started thinking about my Rock List. I came up with a brief list. And then I asked Handsome what he thought my five things should be. Guess what? They were different. :)

On my list I had 1) time in prayer and Bible reading, 2) exercise, 3) reading aloud to children, 4)meal prep, 5)keeping kitchen/living area tidy.

I chose #1 because I know that when I start my day with the Lord, things run smoother. Maybe not easier, but I have the tools to deal with whatever happens.  #2 is because I know that if I’m to run around with my three kids I need to be as healthy as possible. And all those endorphins are a good thing. #3 because if we do no other school work during the day I know that reading quality books aloud to my children is sufficient. #4 everyone has to eat! But I don’t include gourmet cooking here. This is just eating basic meals to survive. #5 because I know that everyone, especially Handsome, appreciates a tidy living area and it reduces the time spent looking for things.

Now. Handsome’s list for me - time with the Lord, educating the children, keeping kitchen clean, recording my expenses on our computer, and working toward some kind of alternate income source. Please note that his list did NOT include any kind of food. I asked him about this and he said “Michele, if I came home from work and you hadn’t done any dinner prep but you had done all the other things, I wouldn’t care. We’d all work together and get dinner done. ” In his mind the things he listed are things that only I can do (or are my responsibility to do). Food preparation is something he’s capable of but I’ve just always done it. (And don’t worry about the alternate income source, it’s just something we’ve been talking about. He’s not going to send me out into the coal mines. If there are even coal mines where I live.)

I found this to be a very interesting exercise. I believe that I need to talk with my husband about these kind of things because it’s my experience that he often sees my life in a different (and more positive!) light than I do. His opinion is highly valued and he can help me see what is really important and what I just fabricate in my head.

So what’s on your Rock List? If you could do just five things each day, what would they be?

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13th April 2009

Question for my readers

I have a question and I’d like some honest responses from my readers. I realise that this might be somewhat controversial, but that’s okay. I’m up for controversy. But this is something that I’ve been thinking about a lot.

As a Christian I believe that s*x outside of marriage is a sin, as is clearly taught in the Bible. I don’t believe that God judges any one sin greater than another. I do not condemn people for their sin as it’s not my place to do so.

Here’s the question: what would your response be if you had visitors coming to spend the night in your home that you knew were involved in a physical relationship outside of marriage? Would it make a difference if the couple was gay or heterosexual?

Let me hear from you. I’ll respond in a few days with a post. And let’s use our kind, grown up words, shall we?

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11th April 2009

The miracle of fresh air

Ever since I knew that my in-laws were to be visiting for a couple of weeks around Easter, I started planning the projects. They’re project people, like to be busy and help out wherever they can. Last time they visited in October my father-in-law did a bunch of electrical work that has improved our home immensely. This visit is earmarked for gardening, lots of it.

We’ve spent the last couple days pulling weeds, preparing soil, measuring, planning, building boxes. Today we have been buying plants and planting them. We’ve chosen fun things like yellow bell tomatoes, cantaloupe, honeydew, butternut squash, among other standards like cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and bell peppers. Oddly enough we found absolutely no lettuce or spinach seedlings and no seeds either! I’m puzzled.

During all this gardening the children have been outside with us, digging and squishing snails and squirting each other with the hose. The result has been dirty, wet, happy, and very tired children. We postponed naptime until about 2:30 today, which is far past our normal naptime.  When we put Little Boy down (after he had a trip to Lowe’s with Daddy and Granddad) he was out like a like and slept until just past 4pm. The girls also both had a sleep without any fuss. Cutie, the 3yo, didn’t sleep as soundly because she’s got a hacking cough which I believe is allergy related.  But I believe that bedtime tonight will be very quiet and somewhat early.

Note to self: make sure to water new plants and make sure the kids play outside as much as possible!

Note to readers: the allergies of which I spoke yesterday? I believe they might be caused by the pollen coming from the Easter Lily that Handsome brought home on Thursday. I had it on the counter in the kitchen and I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. When I left the house for a couple hours this morning I was feeling much better. So, I’ve removed the offender from the kitchen and I might just have to give it away to my neighbour.

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10th April 2009

A River of Snot

(Sung to the tune of the old Sunday School song “I’ve Got A River of Life”)

I’ve got a river of snot flowing out of me

My sinuses hurt and I need to sneeze

I used the last tissue, what will I do?

I’ve got a river of snot flowing out of me

It appears that I’m either suffering from allergies or have been hit by some massive cold that came on in about two hours. I’m leaning more towards allergies, considering that where I live there are a million and one things growing in the spring. And I was outside working the garden today. And it was windy, blowing spores from who knows where.

So, next time you’re suffering from allergies, cheer yourself up by singing my little ditty.

And stock up on Kleenex.

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9th April 2009

I feel like my life is a Seinfeld episode

It was my privilege to pick up Handsome from work today, sans children. My in-laws have arrived and they looked after the kids while I drove off, listening to whatever music I wanted which did NOT include Five Little Speckled Frogs.

I was joking around with one of Handsome’s colleagues, who is a man I’ve known for over 17 years. He was at our wedding, even. Anyway, somewhat out of the blue he told me that I should write more. And I was like, write what? Handsome just thanked him for confirming something that he has been telling me for years. And so I’ve been thinking of writing. And trying to think about what to write. You might have noticed that my posts here have been somewhat scarce the last wee while. Facebook is partially to thank for that, but I also feel like I’m running out of material.

My daily life is comprised of many vignettes all strung together, but those vignettes normally deal with (in no particular order): disciplining of children, bodily excretions not my own, teaching children to count, reading picture books, cleaning up spilled milk (and trying hard not to cry over it), exclaiming over another (!) drawing. You get the idea. I feel like if I start to write about all those kind of things, I’ll just sound like a Seinfeld episode, filling up 30 minutes with chatter about the mundane.

So. Because I enjoy writing and because I know that the simple discipline of actually writing will improve my writing, I’m going to write. It may just be drivel, but I’ll write. No promises on how often, though.

Stay tuned.

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6th April 2009

Win some Crocs!

I am a die-hard Birkenstocks fan. I know they’re not the prettiest shoes in the world, but I just don’t care. I think I got my first pair my first year of college, which would have been 1994.

Oh my word. That was 15 years ago. Yikes.

Anyway. I’ve had several pairs throughout the last… *gulp*… 15 years and I’ve loved every pair. I have some on right now. I wear them all the time. I only have a few pairs of casual shoes, including sneakers, so these are basically my warm weather shoe.

BUT. I have always wanted to try out Crocs. They’re so light! And colourful! They had them at Costco once and I should have bought them.

This morning I was reading on Simple Mom and she announced that Croc was giving away TEN pairs of shoes to her readers. Actually gift certificates to the values of $50 each.  I always love a chance to get something for free, so I’ve entered!

Go here to read how you can be entered to win too!

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