Archive for the ‘Off Topic’ Category

Levi and Isaac Picking Pumpkins

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

Levi and Isaac walking through pumpkin patch

On Friday we took the boys on a trip to get apples and pumpkins.  We ate lunch at McClure’s Orchard and then visited Doud’s Orchard.  One could call it “life sciences” or “nature studies.”

Isaac with a pumpkin

I call it a day of family fun.

We prefer to use a you-pick-it pumpkin farm.  That lets the kids get out and play.  They can pick their own pumpkins and see how they are raised, not simply purchased from a store.  Isaac loves his pumpkins.  He enjoyed picking them up and stacking them in an organized pile.

Levi with a pumpkin

Levi, on the other hand, loved running through the field and picking up the different pumpkins.  It was good exercise and they enjoyed it, more than walking through the orchard store to sample apples.  Even Mommy and Daddy got a bottle of semi-sweet apple wine.

The trees are beautiful this time of year.  Today it is projected to be 86 degrees, but there aren’t too many warm days left in the year.  Soon winter will be here and the cold and snow with it.  For this weekend, it’s nice that the boys were able to enjoy playing in the fall weather.  All-in-all, its been a fun weekend.

No Cable? No Problem!

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Something we had on vacation that we don’t have at home was cable.  We have no religious or ethical opposition to TV–we just don’t need it.  We’d rather put that money toward super-fast Internet. ;)   After this trip, I can now confidently say that I’m glad we don’t have it.

It’s not that we don’t consume our share of media as a family.  We have our TV connected to a computer so we can watch shows online.  We are able to catch episodes of some of the more popular shows on  Hulu also offers a variety of good family movies like Benji.   When watching online, we are able to save less age-appropriate shows for after the kids are asleep.  Most popular kids shows are not available (legally) on the Internet, so we don’t generally see them.  Both our cabin and our hotel room had cable or satellite.  We watched a few cartoons, more out of novelty than anything.

I was more annoyed than offended by what I saw.  Most of it came across painfully stupid while at the same time preachy and didactic.  I can’t remember seeing one adult character that wasn’t portrayed as stupid or clueless or cruel.   And there were ads–wow, were there ads!  Online, we see one ad (or at most two) every ten minutes or so.  Most of these sell household products or grocery items.  Nearly all of the ads shown during cartoons bombarded kids with yet another piece of plastic crap that they need.  A Barbie with a built in video camera?  Really?  I’d almost rather they watch adult shows.  “Inappropriate” humor is usually disguised so kids don’t understand it.  Materialism, on the other hand, reaches up and slaps them in the face.

Could we have just turned it off?  Absolutely.  Should we have?  Probably.  Sometimes you just can’t look away.  Thankfully, we don’t usually have to make that choice.

Back Home in Indiana

Monday, September 27th, 2010

We are back home in Indiana today.  The kids did fairly well with most of the trip home.  We split it over two days. If I had to do over again, I would have paid Hotwire for cancellation insurance and driven it in one day.  Oh well, live and learn.

As Mandi posted yesterday, today is our 7th wedding anniversary and the 8th since our first date.  On some days it seems like 27 years and others it seems like yesterday.  As she wrote our marriage is truly a partnership.  I agree with what she wrote.  I won’t repeat it here.

In our annual tradition, we ate at Applebee’s (where we had our first date).  Vacations are nice, but it is good to be home.  Levi will be starting preschool officially next week.  We will post his progress and interesting tidbits of family life.

Its good to be home.

A True Partnership

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

In just about half an hour, Nate and I will have been married for seven years, and together for eight.  I remember waiting anxiously in front of Applebee’s to meet some guy I’d talked to online.  He never arrived.  As it turns out, he had a different idea about which entrance was the “front.”  Fortunately, I decided to check the side entrance (which he still believes is the front).  Despite his refusal to see reason (haha!), we grew into best friends and beyond, and a year later, became husband and wife.  The rest is history.

Just like on that first date, we often see things differently.  In fact, as I sit here and listen to him snore, I wonder if arguing isn’t a hobby for us.  However, our disagreements tend to be over petty things.  Where it truly matters, we could scarcely be more in sync.  To us, marriage is not just about us as a couple, but about the whole family.  We do need some time to ourselves, and we take it when it is reasonable to do so, but the needs of the family come first.

I am thankful to have found someone who puts family first and will defend us at all costs.  Romance and passion are important, and we have a little of those, but that’s not what I appreciate most about our marriage.  We have something rare and invaluable–a true partnership.  I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

Food for Thought

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

This may be loosely related, but one thing I appreciate about homeschooling is that I can feed my kids at home.  Celebrity chef  Jamie Oliver recently exposed the inadequacy of the public school lunch program.  His solution seemed to be a revamped cafeteria menu and (surprise!) more funding.  Instead, in a school situation, I tend to believe that parents who want their children to eat better should simply pack them a healthy lunch.  Thankfully, unless we’re taking a field trip, I can eliminate the step of packing the food.  I’m certainly not perfect when it comes to meal planning.  We end up eating a fair bit of processed and convenience food when time gets tight–like now with Nate trying to start up a business.  Still, I strive for a good balance, and am moving toward more natural, from scratch foods as time allows.  When the kids are a bit older, cooking and meal planning will provide countless learning opportunities.  They can learn fractions while baking or budgeting while planning a grocery list.

If you’re interested in nutrition, you might like my other blog, The Best Darn Diet Blog.  It is essentially a food diary, where I post pictures of everything I eat along with their calorie counts.  I feel that our nation’s problem with obesity has systemic roots, which I intend to discuss in more detail on both blogs once I have had time to do more research and clarify my thoughts.