Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Here's why my son isn't getting a Nintendo DS anytime soon

My children do not have the latest in popular entertainment and video devices. While we don't live under a rock and my boys do watch TV, we have not yet jumped on the bandwagon of digital gadgetry in our household. Yes, my laptop is my BFF. However, I am not on Facebook or Twitter. I don't know how to text (I know that is VERY lame...........I just haven't needed to learn yet), and my phone is a Motorola Tracfone which I buy minutes for when my minutes run out. It doesn't even have one of those cool little keyboards that slides out. Usually I just use it to call DH with an item to add to the grocery list. (Yes, he does our grocery shopping. I am very blessed.) And believe me...........if someone walked up to me today and offered me one of those really cool phones that does everything, I would not hesitate to accept.

So..........before I go any further, please know that in no way do I judge others for their relationships to digital devices. Nor I am opposed to or "against" the use of said devices. To be honest, we just haven't purchased some of these gadgets because as of yet no one in our family has felt a pressing need to have them. It doesn't make sense to us to buy something for our children that they are not asking for. That would be like introducing an ice cream sundae to a child who consistently and contentedly eats a variety of healthy foods. If they're happy eating healthy, why mess with it, right? Likewise, if my children are happy and occupied with books and toys that don't beep or light up, why mess with it?

Recently, however, my youngest son (he's 5 1/2) has been telling me he REALLY wants a Nintendo DS. I have explained to him that these cost a lot of money and that he will have to really save his money (which he earns by keeping his room clean) if he wants to buy one. The chances of him saving up enough to buy one are slim to none; money kind of burns a hole in his pocket and is usually used to buy more LEGO sets. And I love it when he buys LEGO sets because they are hands-on, open-ended, constructive and will get lots of play time in our household.

Today, however, something occurred that pretty much convinced me that none of MY hard-earned cash is going to buy him a DS anytime soon. There's a bit of a backstory here. Today (Tuesday) was a no-school day for me and my sons. We also had the day off on Monday for President's Day. On Monday I took the boys to a local museum where they were having President's Day activities for families. I also bought the boys lunch at the museum. My youngest son had an orange cream soda to drink. It came in a glass bottle. He didn't drink it all, but when I asked the restaurant employee if they recycled the glass bottles, she said no. I am a pretty dedicated recycler, so I took the bottles into the restroom, dumped the remaining soda out, rinsed the bottles and hauled them around in my huge purse the rest of the afternoon. My youngest son was very excited that we were saving his bottle. He said he was going to make something with it when we got home.

Fast forward to this morning. I decided to clean out the junk drawer in our kitchen. While doing this project, I had the contents of the drawer spread out on our table. My youngest son spotted a round metal lid that was missing its handle. He asked if he could have it. Knowing there was a good chance I had no use for the lid, I agreed. A little while later I was sweeping the floor. My broom dislodged a circular piece of heavy wire from beneath our couch. My youngest son spotted it in the pile of pet hair and dirt just before I swept it into a dustpan. He asked if he could have it. I agreed, but cautioned him to be careful with it.

Later in the morning I rounded up the boys to go to work with me. They often accompany me when I have to get things ready in my preschool classroom. As we headed out the door I noticed that my youngest son was planning to bring the empty glass soda bottle, the metal lid and the ring of wire along. Not wanting to deal with that, I urged him to leave them behind. He persisted, telling me he was going to make something with them. I gave in. We went to my school. While I busied myself with the tasks I needed to accomplish, my youngest son played with the bottle, lid and wire. He showed me all the different things he could do with them. At one point, he used them as a catapult to roll a globe from my classroom across the floor. Another time he showed me how the curved wire could be used like a hook to pick up the lid.

Much later in the afternoon, the boys and I had to stop at my parents' house to pick something up. Again, my youngest son insisted on bringing his bottle, lid and wire with him. My mom greeted us at the door and remarked about the strange assortment of items my little guy was carrying. I told her that he had occupied himself with these three items for much of the day. The boys played at my parents house for about an hour while I went back to work. Although he played with other things, I know my son continued to enjoy his trio of "junky" treasures at their house as well.

At one point today he told me he wants to collect lots of bottles so he can make lots of things with them. It reminded me of his Valentine's party at school last week. I had brought juice boxes for the children. Instead of throwing his juice box away when he was finished, my son asked to bring it home. He wanted to make a boat out of it.

So........now you know why he isn't getting a Nintendo DS anytime soon. Who needs a fancy video game when you can be happily entertained for hours with a bottle, a discarded lid, and a piece of wire? Why mess with a good thing?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

I used the random number generator to choose a winner for the Candace Cameron Bure book giveaway.

The random number was #34, posted by LT: "PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!! I struggle with both spiritual and physical fitness. I could definitely benefit from a book like this, plus...Candace Cameron Bure is one of my role models."

Congratulations, LT! Please email me at directress@live.com with your snail mail address and I'll pop it in the mail to you.

Thanks to everyone for playing! Best of luck to you on your fitness goals. I am plugging away with my exercise and better eating goals. I used to drink 3 diet sodas every day. Now I am only having a few each week and I'm gradually learning to drink lots more water. I have found that I much prefer cold water to water right from the tap, so I've started keeping a large glass in the frig at all times so I can grab it and drink. I'm also keeping a water bottle in the frig at my work so I drink more water throughout the day. In addition, I'm doing a treadmill workout (using this beginner's running program) about 3 times per week and I'm doing exercise DVDs on the other days, about 3 times per week as well. I have found that exercise DVDs are a great and inexpensive way to fit fitness into a busy schedule since you don't have to go anywhere or be anywhere at a specific time. If you haven't already done so, head over to Collage Video. This website features only fitness videos. You can preview every single one of their DVDs right on the website because each title has a short video clip. You can also read the reviews written by other women who have tried the videos. In addition, you can usually find videos here for much less than anywhere else and the selection can't be beat! I recently ordered 4 new DVDs to put into my weekly rotation. Yesterday I did Skinny Sculpt with Ellen Barrett. I totally loved this workout and still feel a little sore today! The great thing about this DVD is that it is not a strenuous high-impact aerobic workout, yet you still really feel toned and strengthened at the end. I highly recommend it and it has great reviews over at Collage.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Reshaping It All Book Giveaway

I can't believe how rarely I am making it over to this space to write posts. Hopefully I will find the time and motivation to write more over here soon. Anyway, a few weeks ago I became aware of this book, written by Candace Cameron Bure (of Full House fame for those of you who are old enough, also the sister of Kirk Cameron) and Darlene Schacht. At the time I read a review of the book our MOPS group was going to have a speaker about fitness and health. On a whim I decided to email Darlene to ask if she would send me a copy to give away at our MOPS meeting. Being the gracious and generous woman she is, she sent me THREE copies: one for MOPS, one to keep and one to give away on this blog.
I read my copy cover to cover in one day. There is a lot of good stuff in this book. What I loved most about it was its focus on the need for spiritual as well as physical fitness. There are many Scripture references in this book which I found to be helpful and thought-provoking. There is also a lot of practical advice and encouragement for living a healthier life. I have already implemented some of the suggestions in this book and have seen results. I have dropped a few pounds already and have started exercising again after a three-month hiatus. Candace and Darlene truly gave me the encouragement and motivation I needed to get back into a healthy lifestyle. Some of the great advice tips I've used so far include: being mindful of how much I am eating (I tend to eat extra servings of food I really love), being mindful of when and why I am eating (I also had gotten into a habit of snacking after my boys were in bed which was adding a lot of calories to my overall consumption each day), and drinking more water. I am a diet soda fiend, so I am still working on this one.
Candace has included several of her favorite healthy recipes in the book. The first week after I read the book I tried (and liked) several of these recipes.
All in all, I whole-heartedly recommend this book. I do not have a lot of weight to lose (hopefully another 5 pounds.....), but I still found it very useful. I am planning to give my "keep" copy to our local library so others can enjoy it.
If you would like to win your very own copy of this book, leave a comment on this post telling what you struggle with most when it comes to either physical or spiritual fitness. I'll keep the giveaway open until Friday, February 11th. Then I'll choose a winner randomly from the comments.