Monday, November 22, 2010

TV Timeout

For a while now, my children have been struggling with listening and I've felt like if my face had a screen on it, they might actually listen to me. Then about 2 weeks ago I was watching "19 Kids and Counting" and Michelle Duggar said something that really hit home. She was talking about the character qualities she tries to teach her children early on and one of them was attentiveness. It was a lightbulb moment for me. I really mulled that thought over all day the next day. I decided my kids needed screen restriction, meaning they had to give up anything that had a screen (TV, computer, DS...). Their inattentiveness is partly my fault for allowing them to use those things too much anyway, and this was a pretty big step considering how much time they spend watching TV and playing games. I have to say that we are making baby steps. Maybe I expect too much (although I don't really think so, I just said that in case you think I expect too much) but I see no reason why I should even have to tell an 8 and 10 year old to pick up their clothes and toys. I think they know I expect that and have chosen not to do it. I shouldn't come into their room in constant disarray. They keep asking when they will get the screens back and my thoughts are that I hope we will never go back to the way we were. They have been allowed special privileges, such as watching a movie or ballgame together and this weekend they were allowed some computer and TV time. I think it makes for more meaningful time if we all watch together and they aren't mindless surfing the web if they have to ask permission to use it. In the meantime, here are some things I have caught them doing instead.

Card making - Hannah did this one on her own.

Corey and Allie have traded their screen addiction for Lego addiction.

Corey has completed (almost) Diary of a Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself.

And most importantly, they are spending time together.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The List

About 2 weeks ago, Jon Tyler went for his 2 year old well child visit. Yes, I am little behind, but what's new? He weighed a whopping 24.6 pounds and is 33 3/4 inches tall and yes, he still has a big head. He is supposed to be speaking between 30 and 50 words, but with 5 other talkers in this house, he has trouble getting in any words. Plus we know what he wants so if he points and grunts, we get it for him. His pediatrician wants him up to 30 words within 2 months or they may consider starting him in speech therapy. I am not freaking out or anything because I feel pretty confident that he hears well since he does pretty much the opposite of what we tell him. ("Stand right here," and he takes off, etc.) Only kidding. He is actually pretty obedient and he follows directions without arguing, which is more than I can say for the rest of them. I have started a list and we're up to about 25 so I think 30 is a reachable goal. It's funny how much the older kids pay attention to when he says something now, though, so we can add words to the list. He's even thrown in a few 2 word phrases, "Go Cocks" and "Watch chugachoos." What more does he need in his life right now?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I have a confession to make. For years I've been a time change hater. I do NOT like it being dark by 6:00. Evening became my favorite time of day way back when I worked at Bonnie Doone as a camp counselor. My family and I spend lots of evenings outside playing or taking walks, so every year when the time changes, it depresses me. Until this year. I mastered the whole time change mental game. Instead of setting our clocks back at bedtime on Saturday, I waited until we were all up on Sunday morning. Then when Jon Tyler woke up and my clock said 7:00 instead of 6:00, I just wasn't as ill. Plus when I set the clocks back on Sunday morning, we had an extra hour to get ready for church. We still made it in the parking lot on 2 wheels at 10:28, but that is beside the point. I have noticed some nice benefits to the earlier time. For one, everyone seems to get up easier. For the past two mornings, the 3 school kids have been up when I got up. Another thing that is working really well is bedtime. It seems calmer because everyone has to stay in after supper. So we get homework done, get everyone bathed, and have time to sit down together. (OK,so watching Billy the Exterminator extract a dead and rotting cat doesn't exactly count as quality time, but we were together.) So even though I miss our nice "outside" time from April to October, I think we can have some nice "inside" time during this time change. I'm going to try to make the best of it anyway!

Of course, as my friend Margaret pointed out, I have missed 2 appointments in 2 days, so maybe this whole thing has adversely affected me more than I realize. But we'll see.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I am really ashamed that I have not posted this sooner because it is the most awesome thing a parent can hope for. Last Sunday Hannah & Corey both were baptized after asking Jesus into their heart on October 25, the Monday before. Several years ago our pastor started a really cool thing where he will allow other people to baptize besides himself so Donnie got to baptize his own children. I absolutely love that! My kids did too and were adamant that he get to do it. Here is the video of their baptism for you all to enjoy. You will probably have to turn the volume way up, but I just had to share this.

Hannah has been asking questions off and on for several years now about getting saved. We kept telling her that we wanted her to wait until she was a little older so we would know that she understood. (This, by the way, is a personal preference and is just what we felt was right.) Monday night she finally got to asking again and was insistent that she get to ask Jesus into her heart. We had a big evangelistic push this year for our Fall Festival and her words to us were, "How am I supposed to tell everyone how great it is if I haven't done it myself?" Yes, she blows us away sometimes. As we ask her about what it means to have that relationship, she answered our questions and as she was answering, so was Corey. We just really felt like he understood and was ready so we prayed with both of them. I have to say it was an incredible experience to watch my children being born into the kingom! What an amazing God we serve!