Being Together!

Being Together!
All of us!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Life's Miracles!

My Dear husband came home last week and said he thought we should go to Halifax! It was exactly what I needed after my last post!  So we packed our bags, took the kids out of school on Friday and headed off to Nova Scotia.  It was wonderful.
But do you know what we do when we stay in a motel?  Do you know what the first thing my kids want to turn on?  Yup,the T.V!  In the past we would visit some new town with great things to see and I couldn't get the kids away from the television.  I must add here that it has been a very long time since we have had cable and we have never owned a satellite, so the pull of  T.V shows is pretty strong for these guys who never get to watch them!  (There were always plenty of movies being watched!)
Well I am here to tell you that the T.V was NOT turned on once for the 2 days we were away!  I was resigned to the fact that this would be our one day of the month that they could watch any show they wanted.  But they had a movie they wanted to watch and decided they didn't want to give that up for a T.V show!  It was amazing!  We easily got out of our room and went to visit friends, we did a bit of shopping and spent some great quality time together! Plus we were all asleep earlier because we didn't have to finish an episode of some show before turning off the tube! No one mentioned that they missed it or complained.  It was great!
So I am hear to tell you that miracles do happen!  I am grateful for the break away from home and the T.V!
Hope you have a great day!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

For Goodness Sake, Stop Knitting!

I knew it would happen eventually!  I am dying to turn on the T.V because it is easier then figuring things out! All this talk of goals and the quiet in the house has pushed me to look at who I am and if I am good with that!  I don't know if it's the weather or the lack of media but I am crashing!  And it would be great to throw in my favorite movie to fill the need for an adventure or a change in my life virtually instead of really! 
That is a sad statement.  Does that mean that I have been living my dreams vicariously through the TELEVISION?  I am NOT okay with THAT!
I guess I have done the planning and the thinking and the next step is the doing!!!  I don't feel like I know where to begin.  How do I do the doing?  Stuffed pork chops are one thing, but I have some pretty lofty goals on that list and frankly it scares me!  It would be so much easier to rent Under the Tuscan Sun, or watch a National Geographic movie then it is to look at writing my own book or traveling somewhere I've never been before.   And I realize that knitting myself a sweater would be pretty low key and doable, but look at where all of that knitting "meditation" has gotten me! 
Who knew that turning off the tube could bring such agony?  You did!  All of you who told me that you could NEVER live without T.V knew the danger!  I thought you were all a bunch of wimpy T.V addicts. I apologise!
(he he) Okay I may be exaggerating a bit but hey this is harder then I thought. I thought I would just be writing about the fun little things that my family is doing and it would all be so great and simple.  I didn't bargain for any emotional or mental shake ups! 
But that being said I am not going to turn on the T.V.  I may attack a room or two and see if that helps.  If not at least I'll have some order in my home.  And maybe just maybe I'll be closer to doing the doing!  Until then hang in there!  Stay strong and STOP knitting!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Alone with....My Thoughts? AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

When I watched T.V I would try to do something with my hands like knit.  I hadn't picked up the needles since before Christmas, until yesterday while trying to take my own challenge of doing something I hadn't in a while.  It is a completely different experience knitting in silence!  If you google it, you can find many sites that claim knitting is a great meditation tool. Who knew? 
As I sat on my cozy couch yesterday beside Hogan (my dog) after a bit of a stressful morning, I was amazed at how relaxing it was to knit.  I also noticed my thoughts.  Since there was nothing to fill the silence my thoughts seemed to come through loud and clear!  When was the last time you were alone with your thoughts? Sometimes we are so plugged in that it is hard to hear someone yelling at you much less the still small whisperings of your conscience or the musings of your own thoughts.  You might be amazed at what you hear. 
This morning after taking a bit of time to "meditate" (don't be afraid of the word!) I actually went and did some little projects that had been nagging at me, but that I had been blocking out.  I feel much better!  That stress is gone! 
So what is it you are trying to tell yourself?  What things do you really want to be doing?  You might just want to unplug for a minute and listen!
Hope you have an insightful day!  I hope too!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mushy Brain

When it's -35 with the wind chill our adventures are limited to say the lest.  It means we must come up with something to entertain us inside.  Without T.V this can seem a bit daunting!  Sometimes I think I worry too much about the kids being bored.  Being Bored is a GREAT thing!  It pushes us outside ourselves and makes us use our imaginations.  You remember, that part of our brain that we used before everything imaginable was placed before us on the big screen! It helped us to turn a blanket and chairs into an enchanted cave, a walk in the woods into a visit with Little Red Riding hood and reading a book a ticket for a grand adventure! 
Like any muscle, our brain needs to be used regularly and stretched everyday. 'Couch Potato' isn't just a state for our bodies, it is something that happens to our minds too.  I like to call it "mushy brain"!  
Yes, it is easier to turn on the T.V and veg then it is to carry on a conversation, write a letter, tell a story, do a cross word puzzle or work on one of our goals!  And what if we've had a long day and used our brains to the point of exhaustion?  It would be better for us to go to bed and rest our minds then it is to have them turn to mush in front of the tube! When all is said and done, the people in the movie or T.V show have travelled the world, built relationships, created something new, lived their dreams and we are still just sitting on the couch no further ahead!
So the challenge today is to do something new OR something you haven't done since you were little!  What will it be?  (I hope you will share it with me!)  Will it be taking out that old guitar from your closet that you haven't picked up for years and tuning it?  Maybe you will build a fort in the living room for the children in your life,  when was the last time you finger painted, built a block tower, drew a picture, had fun creating supper, read a good book~it doesn't have to be a great novel~ Robert Munsch is tons of fun!  My favorite is Smelly Socks, but you must read it with great enthusiasm! Don't think you have to have children in your home to do any of the above mentioned activities! They are too much fun to leave only to the little ones!
I hope you will be bored today!  I hope you have the opportunity to stretch a bit and Please tell me all about it!! I would love to hear!
Have a fun day!  I plan too! (Excuse the colours, I was BORED!!)

Friday, January 21, 2011

So What Do I Do Now?

Deciding to become T.V free is a big deal!  Most of us have been watching T.V since we were born!  That is quite a well established habit we are trying to break!  It is what we turn to when we are bored, needing down time, want to learn something, have a problem we are trying to forget, tired, hungry (oh you know you've turned it to the food network for a good idea!), frustrated, taking a break, I bet you've even exercised in front of it!  We make it the answer to most of our needs!
So what do you do if you are not going to turn on the tube?
Well I could make you a fun little list of cute things to do, but that may not be motivating to YOU!  What do you love to do? My Challenge to you today is to start a list of 101 goals that you would like to accomplish in...  a month, a year, five years, your life time... you decide your timeline!  Then when you are drawn to the T.V you will have a list of great things to do for you!  (I would love it if you would share some!)
I have begun my list here.  I had a great time writing it.  I just finished reading the book Achieving Your Life Mission By Randal A. Wright.  He writes about making a list like this one, suggesting that it will give you insight into who you are and who you can become! So be forwarned it could be life changing! (Hooray!)
Calvin and Hobbes, one of my favorite cartoons, has a strip where Calvin asks Hobbes what he wants out of life.  Hobbes replies that he would be happy with a tune fish sandwich.  Calvin explodes into a great speech about dreaming big and lists some of  his wishes!  In the next block Hobbes is eating his sandwich and says, I got my wish, what about you?
I am all about dreaming big, but I try to remember to add a few things I can accomplish quickly because I am also about checking things off my list!  Yup, the pork chops are already defrosting!!
So even if you are just cutting down on the T.V time this is a fun idea to get you thinking outside the tube!(ha ha) and onto doing something life changing like Calvin, or satisfying like Hobbes!
Enjoy your day! I plan to!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Maybe you have heard the example given of the airplane that takes off and goes only one degree off course, but ends up way off track. Never coming close to his planned destination.  The point being that just one degree, one tiny change can bring great deviation from our planned destination.
I was thinking about this today and wondering if it might work for the positive, that when we make a change in our daily life, even just a little one, we may end up somewhere we never dreamed of being. Last night after tucking the kids into bed, locking up, turning off lights and checking that all was in order, I laid in bed with such an overwhelming feeling of contentment.  I LOVE where I am right now.  I love living in New Brunswick, I love that my children will hang out with me, I love that we laugh together and play together.  I love our 24 acre back yard that we explore and that we have friends who will come with us.  I love that my little kitchen is easy to clean, that Nathan loves to cook and has made supper 4 nights in a row and that Mackenzie has so much determination and self discipline that she can do anything,  I love that Jacob is so happy, that he gets the humour that is around him and is quick to giggle!  They are a joy to me!  I love that my husband knows me so well and loves me anyway.  I love that I have a yellow lab and that he won't go to bed until I do.  I love that it is snowing ( although I wish Colin was home from Moncton!). I love today!!
Turning off the T.V didn't change much on the list above.  I would still live in New Brunswick, have a wonderful husband and great kids even with the T.V on, but maybe I was just too distracted to see or feel the joy of it all. Could it really be that the simple act of walking away from the tube could cause change, bring contentment, even joy? It has for me.  I hope it will for you!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Oh The Joy Of It ALL!!

         I love being a Mom.  It brings me the greatest joy in my life.  I realize this is probably because it is the hardest job I could ever do!  I have 3 amazing children.  I just love them!  Even so I am not always at my best!!

strings of popcorn

Saturday I decide that we would snow shoe back to a magnificent tree that we have on our property and decorate "her" with yummy treats for the birds.  We had spend some time stringing popcorn and raisins, mixing bird seed and peanut butter  and rolling them into tubes with strings, (Thank you Julie for the prototypes!) and filling coconut shells with yummy goodies.  I had pictured a beautiful experience hiking to the back, cheerfully talking about great ideas we had, laughing and getting along so well! 

Ha ha. I told the kids that I was going to put supper in the oven before we went so we had about an hour to get out there and back again, plenty of time!!!  That was mistake # one!! So trying to get everyone out the door became a stress because we were on a time crunch! 
I had found a pair of gloves to wear which is a great feat in our house.  There never seems to be enough dry mittens or gloves.  We had been out already that morning and had plenty of wet mittens in balls all around the house...ugh. Mackenzie seeing my gloves on the table where I had placed them (mistake #2) decided that she had come across great luck and picked them up. But before putting them on thought she better visit the "little girls room" and dropped a glove into the toilet!  Nathan was having a hard time finding anything and I guess hoped that walking in circles would help! Jacob was having fun going as stiff as a board while being strapped into the chariot and laughing at my frustration!  I was dripping at this point because I thought it better to get myself dressed before Jacob (mistake #3) so that he didn't get too hot! The dog who was so excited to be going anywhere was jumping all around the house and knocking things over!
During this time, My dear husband, Colin, was trying to nap.  He had been up with Jacob in the night (thank you, thank you!) to let me sleep and I was really trying to return the favour.  After yelling at the dog and Jacob to sit, getting after Nathan to just put on any coat Colin was a wake and appeared at the door wondering what was going on!! Poor guy! I told him that we were going to have a FUN outing darn it, and that he should go back to bed!!
Well Finally we were all strapped in, Jacob into his chariot, the dog to his leash and the rest of us into our snow shoes.  Off we went! Leaving Colin scratching his head, the dog bouncing around us and me wearing very thin floppy gloves. All the makings of great joy!!
I was now going full speed because we had lost so much time getting out the door.  No one was talking, and if we had been cartoons we all would have had one of those squiggly fuming lines over our heads!!
All Decorated!
We did finally make it to the great tree!  And the decorating was fun!  Mackenzie fell twice, I fell once with the dog coming to my rescue! 


On the way home Mackenzie who was behind Jacob and me just in case we needed help with the chariot, was paying attention to that instead of the trees and got whipped in the face by a branch.  She yelled and got upset, Then 3 seconds later did it again on the other side of her face!  I was losing patience with having to stop (No, not one of my finer moments!) and asked her "what in the heck is going on?" and telling her to "Be careful!"  She then stomped off in front of me leaving me to deal with the chariot myself and yelling, "It wasn't my fault, it isn't my fault!" in between her sobs!
 Oh we could feel the joy!! I did stop her and apologize for being so insensitive and gave her a big hug.  (oh the welt on her poor face)
We arrived home tired and hungry!  Colin who hadn't gone back to bed, had a lovely table set and salad made! I love that man!! We sat around our very well done lasagna watching Mackenzie's welt grow, grateful to be home, warm, filling our tummies and yes even together!
So I guess it doesn't always go as we plan, but today we have something great to giggle over!  And I am heading to the store to buy everyone a new pair of mittens!! Enjoy your day!
OH, I love being a Mother!!
Thank Goodness!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Yup, It's a Habit!

The house is quiet as the kids have all loaded onto the big yellow school bus.  I have discovered since they have gone back to school that I have been spending quite a bit of time on the computer. All in the name of blogging, but it has spilled over into other sites.  Our family site, of course that is noble and good!  Then answering email, I mean, who doesn't do that? Then there is facebook.  Still with in our "rules" since I am keeping in touch with family and friends!  But let's face it, I am just substituting the mind numbing T.V for the cyber race of the computer.  That is NOT what I want to be doing!
Why is it that we are so attached to this stuff?  I say "we", but maybe it's just me!  Am I wrong?  Are we all struggling with the pull that technology seems to have on us?
I heard an interesting tidbit yesterday that technology has the same affect on our minds as drugs!  That we get the same shot of "happy" hormone from the ring of our cell phone or the win on the latest video game that we would get from using illegal drugs!  Wow that is incredible.  Are we all just behaving like Pavlov's dog.  Drooling over the ring of our cell phones and the intro music of our favorite sitcoms?
Well, I am through.  No not with the blog, I do love this.  I have always dreamed of writing maybe even a book someday.  Until I am brave enough for that undertaking I will continue to write using this outlet!  I Love it too much!
But I am going to turn off the computer when I have finished this post and I am going to do something else today!  I am going to finish cleaning out a closet, then head outside to explore my own backyard! Feed some birds and maybe even get some exercise! 
I choose to take back the control, Be the Captain of my own... Well you get my point. Enjoy your day!  I plan to!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Soapbox

A food fight? For Real?
The purpose of this blog is definatly Not to lecture or provoke guilt in anyone, but I am going to write a few thoughts and then be done with it!
It has been interesting to hear so many people say that they just couldn't do this challenge and that our family is so brave!  I don't get it.  Have you seen some, dare I say most, of the stuff on T.V today?  It is pretty scary!  But I do Not believe that all T.V is evil, that is not why we are taking this challenge!  I am just tired of my family all being so sucked in.  We become zombies when the T.V is on and the influence is felt for so long afterward.  Nathan can quote parts from a movie he saw once, 5 years ago! If only he could remember his multiplication facts as well!
I watch this generation so wired, so plugged in and it scares me.  Kids texting each other and they are in the same room!  (Don't get me started on that topic!)  Ear phones always in ears, i-pods and cell phones always in reach.  The technology that is available is incredible. Please don't misunderstand me.  Technology is important and when used well, it is amazing wonderful stuff!
I guess what scares me the most is how dependent we are on it.  If you don't think you can turn off the T.V for a year, start with a month, a week, a day, even just an evening.  What do you have to lose?  A funny joke to tell a friend tomorrow?  Being out of the loop when everyone is talking about the latest episode of a favorite show?  What if you were able to tell of the great new game you played with your family, or about the walk you took to the park.  The beauty you saw out your own window instead of on the tube!  I can Not believe the change that has occurred in our home in the last 13 days!  Mackenzie has started a quilt, written a four page story, learned how to use the washer and dryer, just about finished reading a great novel and been more involved on our family web site. 
And Supper is served!
Nathan has created 2 wooden swords, worked on his dart game, played with his brother more, is reading a novel, has cooked us supper- seafood is his specialty!, and has gotten outside. 
Jacob, who is likely the one in the house who watched the most T.V is benefiting so much!  He is ten and has cerebral palsy.  And I admit that I have been known to put him in front of a movie because it is easier then having to entertain him and I can get something done!  He has been playing on the floor more, helping out with chores, painting pictures, has  begun to bond with his older brother and been outside so much more.  His appetite is better, he is happier and he adds so much to the interactions that go on in our home.  He may not talk, but he sure lets us know when something is funny or if he doesn't like what is going on!

Snow Shoeing with the family
As a family, we are laughing more, talking more, playing more, getting outside more, exercising more, and building better memories than what happened on the latest T.V program.  That is why I am so excited about 2011. And if you are saying "my kids will never go for it", how do you know if you don't give them the chance? Put it out there and put it out there again. Then lead the way! Pull out the chess board or the Sorry game, make a great snack and invite them to join you! Get your boots on and head outside and ask them to come along!  Get a great book from the library and read it out loud, even while the X box is being played!! 
Okay I will get off my soap box now.  I hope I have not offended or caused any guilt.  I am just so stoked about the possibilities that this can and will provide that I have to share.

As Our dear friend, (actually he doesn't even know us, but his influence is felt in our home) John Bytheway says "Turn off the T.V and get a LIFE!!"
You will never know what can happen unless you try!  Good Luck!
(I will try my very best not to lecture anymore!!!)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Beginning!

Christmas of 2010 was wonderful!  We have recently moved from the West to the East, away from family which was hard. But has provided us with the joy of creating our own traditions and fun!
As we were talking to our family and friends over the Holiday I kept catching my children adding to the conversation with details of a movie they had watched instead of their own life experiences! I realize this is not the end of the world, but Man! we had just travelled across Canada, moved into a new house and neighbourhood, made new friends, got a dog, explored our 24 acres, swam in the ocean, been to every Province except Newfoundland... I could go on with all of the joys that have filled this year And here were my dear little ones saying "Yeah that reminds me of when Harry fought V..he who must not be named..."
So as the season was winding down I decide it was time for a bit of a shake up!  I put the challenge out there and am happy to report that it has been accepted!  One Year without T.V!!
The rules are simple.  No T.V, yes this includes DVDs and VHS, except for one day a month where you are allowed to watch any movie or show you like.  Movies at the theatre are okay because they are an outing and we don't do it much!  Computers are used for communicating to family and friends and for school work but not for games! 
It is time to turn OFF the T.V and get a LIFE!!!
Are you with Me? I would love to hear if you are taking the challenge and how it's working for you!
I am so excited about the year ahead! Hope you will join me!