Thursday, January 31, 2013

Book Review

Plugged-In Parenting by Bob Waliszewski

OK, I just have to give my disclaimer. If you are reading this then you came here on your own. You do not have to like what you read. You do not have to agree with what you read. God gave us our own children to parent the way that we choose to parent. I am not criticizing your parenting so don't criticize mine. I make lots of mistakes. There are things that I would do over if I had the chance. I am not saying that I have regrets. But knowing what I know now certainly changed my point of view on many topics.

This topic is entertainment, specifically music, movies and video games. And how to raise godly children in an ungodly world!?

These are the highlights that I found to be either interesting or helpful. Again, you don't have to read any further. It's your choice.

OK, with that said:

"There is one aspect of parenting that seems to have the greatest lasting negative impact, it's when our kids see us acting in a hypocritical way. It tends to breed rebellion. Authenticity is the goal, not perfection. Let them see how you deal with failure as well as how you deal with success. Asking your child to forgive you for a mistake is one of the most powerful teaching tools you have. It's impossible for you to be perfect for your kids, but anyone can be authentic."

Lord, make me transparent. May I be the same person on the inside as I am on the outside.

"God's Word doesn't say you'll be a pervert if you watch perversion. He doesn't say you'll be depressed and angry if you listen to depressing and angry music. God doesn't say you will kill people if you play first-person shooter games...God's Word says if you choose to entertain yourself with empty philosophies of this world (Be careful that no one changes your mind and faith by much learning and big sounding ideas. Those things are what men dream up. They are always trying to make new religions. These leave out Christ. Colossians 2:8) you will struggle with your faith and joy.
Al Menconi, author of  But It Doesn't Affect Me

Four Rewards of Media Discernment
  1. Find Time to Explore the Real World
  2. Less Pain, More Gain
  3. A Healthy View of Sexuality
  4. Get Real With God

If you have time, read Production Code 1930. I had never heard of it. Eye opening. I am truly living in the wrong era.

Top Ten Tips - Practical Steps

  • Make Decisions Based on God's View
"It doesn't matter what I think. It matters what the Lord thinks."

I totally love that and will be quoting this from time to time with my children.

  • Teach WWJD (What Would Jesus Do)
If Peter, John and Matthew asked Jesus if they could see this, listen to that, eat at this restaurant or play this video game, what would He say?

  • Instill Biblical Principles
Instead of saying "because I said so" or "because you may embarrass me in front of other parents" consult scripture.

That's a hard one for me because I am bossy and controlling.

  • Model It
You  must become who you want your children to become.

I love when I see me in my children (the best of me that is). I cringe when I see the worst of me in my children.

  • Get Your Pastors on Board
  • Develop a Family Media Constitution
Yes, the children and I will be doing this!

  • Encourage Positive Alternatives
Replace old CDs, games, movies with positive choices (Christian) or neutral entertainment. Get rid of the objectionable.

Yes, the children and I will be doing this!

  • Use the Buddy System
Friends with the same view.
Iron is made sharp with iron, and one man is made sharp by a friend. Proverbs 27:17

Amanda is blessed with one and I am blessed with three!

  • Avoid Extremes
    • Permissiveness - no boundaries, everything is OK, do what you want parenting.
    • Legalism - parents rarely explain their reasoning. They just say NO!

It's not enough to quote verses at our young people.

"Our kids need to understand that using obscenities is a symptom. It's a symptom God cares about. But He is always more interested in the root problems and root solutions.

"We put Charles Manson away for life. He didn't kill anyone, but he influenced his followers to do so. Eminem has more influence and more followers than Charles Manson" Darrell Scott

I am not finished the book. But I have read enough to recommend it. People say it's just music It's just a game. But it's not. It really is not.

"Music can change the world because it can change people".  Bono (Lead Singer of U2)

There is two kinds of music the good and bad. I play the good kind. - by Louis Armstrong.

Daniel's Homemade Bow & Arrows

Pinewood Derby 2013

The infamous track!
Wicked Fast!

Thin to Win car.

Eleven Webelos (4th and 5th graders) raced. Daniel took 1st place. (Amanda was so excited for her little brother).

Out of 34 boys, Daniel took 1st overall. (He said he didn't care about the big trophy that he gets to keep for a year. He wanted the little trophy. He went to Districts last year and will be going again in March).

Monday, January 21, 2013

It's been three weeks...

since we started the change in our lives.

I have been without coffee for 21 days. At first it was very hard. The baby's parents make awesome coffee and they would leave just enough for about half a cup. I would fill the rest with creamer and a little sugar. Yum.

But come January 1st, the party ended and change began. They still have yummy coffee but I just dump it down the drain. At first, I would look at the coffee pot and want to take a tantrum. Then it got easier. One day I was so frustrated with one of my children I was ready for a cup. That's when I realized it is such an emotional addiction. I dumped it and it was freeing. Just this week, the baby's mommy switched to Hazelnut. Curtis drinks vanilla flavored coffee. I have no desire to drink flavored coffee. Flavored creamer is a different story. But flavored coffee, no thank you.

Just talking about coffee makes me want to have a cup. It's still a battle. You take it day by day.

I have not had "bread" in 21 days. I have had flour tortillas. And Amanda and I had a Girl Night and went to the Olive Garden. I had a breadstick for dinner and then one the next day.

When the food came, I asked the waiter to bring boxes. I split my eggplant parmesan and spaghetti in half and put the other half in the container. From  this site it appears that my little dinner was 850 calories. My soup (pasta e fagioli) was 130 calories. I did eat all of that but the waiter asked if I wanted more. I said, no thank you. (I could have eaten more).

 I couldn't find information on the breadsticks from the Olive Garden site. But this site claims that one breadstick has 150 calories. My raspberry lemonade had 110 calories.

So let's just say that I ate all of my little dinner. Did you catch that in the paragraph above? I called it a "little" dinner because it really was. It was a side of pasta with sauce and three pieces of eggplant. I could have easily eaten it.

1 Breadstick - 150
1 Bowl of Soup - 130
1 Entrée - 850
1 Non-Alcoholic Beverage - 110

1240 calories (whoa). I could have eaten the whole basket of breadsticks (4) and had dessert. What an eye-opener.

Is it hard to pre-plan our meals before going out? No, it is just slightly time consuming. You first have to decide what you want and then you have to find the appropriate site and then you have to do MATH, yuck!

Change is hard. That's why we don't do it. It's work. Sometimes we do it for a few days. Then we backslide in to our old ways. It's like anything else in our lives...getting up for work, reading our Bible, consistently praying (and not just when we think we won't be on time or that our bank account might be overdrawn). EXERCISING. How's that word grab you? Yeah, me too. It's just one more thing I HAVE to do. Not want, have.

I have been doing a 16 minute fast pace walking video once the little guy goes to sleep. I want to sit down and watch HGTV but if I don't invest 16 minutes in to my morning, it's harder to do the work-out during the afternoon nap.

Everything we do is discipline (except sinning, that just comes naturally). I have my books in front of me on the coffee table. I have to force myself to put on cartoons when the baby is sleeping (after the work-out) so that I won't watch T.V. Let me tell you, tough. I watched Sophia the First with the volume down instead of reading my James Bible Study. Oh yes, and the Lion King 1 1/2.

I wanted to sleep in on Saturday. It's my only day to sleep in. I deserved it, right? But nooo, the Lord had me awake at 5:40. Sometimes if I pray, I fall asleep. Does that happen to you?

Father God,
You are an amazing God.
I confess...zzzzzz

Well, I tried that and at 6:20 came to the conclusion that I needed to get up and go to the chiropractor. Dr. Tom is such a huge part of why I stay healthy. I don't know if you believe in preventative care, but when I am going for adjustments on a regular basis, I have no health issues.

I have to praise the Lord also. It's not just me talking care of myself. It's God taking care of me.

So anyway, back to my progress. I have not had dessert in 21 days. No chocolate. No cookies. No cupcakes or cake (even on my Dad's birthday. Even on Curtis' birthday), no pie, no ice-cream, no anything classified as a dessert! Do I miss it? Honestly, there has been some difficult times. But if it's not in the house I am forced to go buy it. Which I am not. I have to go to a restaurant and order it. Which I am not.

I am eating more fruit, more salads, more vegetables. I am making good choices.

I feel so much better.

I will update you on Mike and JeannieHopes progress when I hear from her. Curtis has lost 10 pounds in the last 21.

(Oh and by the way, I have only lost 1.7 pounds in the last 21 days. That is why I am not weighing myself or making this about weight loss because that is discouraging to me.)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Fifteen Days In

From JeannieHopes:

Down 3.6 pounds so far...lots more to go but I'm happy to see the scale moving in the right direction!


My Tips to Successful Water Consumption

  1. Have a designated water cup.
  2. Know how much it holds.
  3. Have one that holds at least 16 oz.
  4. Drink one before breakfast to start your day well.
  5. Keep it in sight.
  6. Keep it full.
  7. The goal is to drink two more before dinner.
  8. Try using a straw.

I want coffee.

I have been without desserts for fifteen days with the exception of my Aunt Virg's banana bread. I did have a few slices over the weekend with butter.

I have been eating a lot of fruits, more vegetables, and salads. I have not had sandwich bread. However, I have NOT given up flour tortillas on taco night.

I have not had chocolate in fifteen days. I have not had ice-cream in fifteen days. I have not had cupcakes, cookies, pie or cake or coffee in FIFTEEN DAYS.

It's still really hard. I want it all. I am not happy about eating an apple and orange as a snack. I place them on the counter and just glare at them as I pour the yummy coffee down the drain.

I feel better. That's the trade off!

I don't think I have lost any weight because my pants don't feel any different. I have decided not to get on the scale until Day 21. I really don't want to be defeated by a number. And this is not about a number. I am ok with 125. I just don't want my pants to be tight.

I have started exercising. There is a 16-Minute video on-demand called "quick pace walking". I don't break a sweat (because I don't really sweat unless it is over 90 degrees) but I do get out of breath.

I have done the video with the baby watching. He thinks I am funny. I bet I look funny. But usually when he falls asleep I exercise instead of watching HGTV (my channel of choice now). I had to give up watching The Food Network for obvious reasons.

Curtis has lost 8 pounds. Hooray for him.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Update on Progress

Jeannette sent me a short message last night:

Been off of soda and bread for a week.

I know that is huge. That's huge for her and anyone who drinks soda. I gave up soda...I don't know, maybe twenty years ago. Maybe longer. I think I gave up bread on a regular basis after Amanda was born and Atkins was all the rage.

I am very proud of you, Jeannette. More than a few words on a blog can truly express. Way to go. I LOVE YOU!

You are improving your life. You will lose the weight and feel better.

For me, weight is not the issue. It never really has been. I am not diagnosed with anything either. Nor do I take medication. I just know that it is time to make a change. I don't want to wait for the diagnosis. I am tired of trashing my temple!

My progress update:

Been off of dessert (candy, cookies, pie, cake, ice-cream etc) and coffee for a week.

Sunday night I was frustrated with both children and in tears. I'm not even pre-menstrual I thought. I went to be at 8 pm.

Monday, I had a headache all day. I took Tylenol during the day and then in the evening. My neck hurt and I ended up going to be early again.

Yes, I attribute this to my detoxing of refined sugar.

Yesterday, I woke a new person.

I have been doing a walking video (ten minutes) from On-Demand. It doesn't make me sweat but it does make me out of breath when I start using my arms when I am marching. It's a lot of in place marching and some moving up and back as well as side to side. I have done that twice a day for about four days.

Hey, it's better than nothing.

I have also been consistent with my prayers, quiet time, journaling and reading my Bible.

Today is Day Nine.

The first Twenty-One are the most difficult. I have the twenty-first circled on my calendar. When (YES, I said WHEN) I make it there I will do something nice for myself. Something that does not include food or beverage.

So, how are you doing?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My One Word for 2013

Happy New Year!

This is the 600th post. Wow!

And it's time to talk about change and My One Word.

The concept behind this is that we make these big, long elaborate resolutions that we don't keep anyway. The one word is a summary.

My 2011 word was REST.

My 2012 word was SIMPLIFY.

My 2013 word is  ACCOUNTIBILITY.

Many things must change in my life. But the biggest hurdle I have is my health. I have become extremely lazy over the last four months. I don't exercise AT ALL. And my eating habits some how ended up in the toilet!

I went grocery shopping and I have decided that the time for change is now. Actually, I decided this about a week ago and it's been reckless abandonment ever since. I said to Curtis that I just wanted to eat fists full of cookie dough since I knew the party was over.

I am divorcing sugar and everything associated with it...which means pasta and bread.

I know how to do it. I can do it. And I have done it.

I just need help.

Because face it people, we can not accomplish anything on our own. We are weak and spineless individuals. And if I just offended you because you are not weak and spineless, well forgive me. I sincerely apologize. And good for you! But for me...weak and spineless!

I need Jesus but I also need you.

I have prayed about it. But when you are all by yourself it's easier to eat it then to pray not to eat it! I need ACCOUNTIBLITY.

I am going to have people who will email me, Facebook me, text me and call me to make sure I am sticking with what I need to do.

I need to be asked this question: What are you doing right now!?

OK, how about you? What's your One Word.

(The steel cut oats are cooking right now. Yes, I would rather have an everything bagel).



My goal is much the same as Theresa' health! I need to lose that baby (14 year old) weight and then some. 

I recently started experiencing high blood pressure and anemia; something I've never dealt with before. And I have been on medication for high cholesterol and triglycerides for some time now. 

Things need to change before I head to diabetes and heart disease. So, it's off to the grocery store to start the life-style change in terms of my diet. My goal is to eat as many natural (not processed) foods as possible. 

I need to keep focused on the goal because food is an addiction and as my schedule gets busy, I stray. My husband is working on the same goal for himself; but he's always had no trouble losing that's often discouraging for me when I'm battling for each pound (or even half a pound) to come off. So focused I will attempt to be in 2013.