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Last week I published my one hundred and twelfth post!

If you’ve been following me for long, you know that I write as a simple homemaker, recording some of my personal reflections on

* “HOME LIFE” (the things that affect the way we live together),

* “HEALTHY LIVING” (tasty food, natural cleaning and self-care recipes) and

* “MATTERS OF THE HEART” (that part of you that plays into every other area of life).

As a wife and homeschooling mother to our 5 children, it’s the stuff I’ve discovered, practiced and implemented in our home (though certainly not perfected!). There’s nothing super special about my musings, but it’s a way for me to record my own journey, my thoughts and passions… and a way for me to have a ‘hard-copy’ of things I’ll want to hand off to my own kids someday. I also hope that it’s found useful, encouraging or enlightening to YOU, dear reader!112

I can hardly believe that it’s already been a little over two years since I started on this blogging journey. But since I’ve remained fairly consistent about posting each week, that means that I have about 37 entries in each of the above three categories! I thought I’d spend the next few weeks highlighting some of my older posts.

Today, I’m showcasing a few of entries from the category “HOME LIFE”. If any of the snippets sound interesting, simply click on the colored words. It’ll take you right to that blog post. Check them out! May they be a blessing to your day.

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~  Whatever I own, ultimately owns me. As I press forward, as I re-evaluate this fall, I want to keep this in mind. I want to be content with simplicity.

 

~  Is he actually saying that by being overly committed, over involved outside of home, that I may lose what, in fact, is most important to us? Our family?

 

~  You don’t have to have answers. You don’t need to make things appear sunny and bright. Life is hard. Things happen that we don’t understand, that we can’t explain, that we don’t like. The uncomfortable is uncomfortable… but not unbearable when you’re in relationships.

 

~  I thought I’d share some of the money saving tips that we’ve used and benefited from. If you find one or two that can help you and your family pinch pennies, I’ll be just tickled!

 

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Next week, we’ll browse the category “HEALTHY LIVING”. Looking forward to it! But for today, make your home and family a priority. You’ll not regret it!

Digital Back-to-School Plan

Life has gone digital!

As a culture, we’re becoming more and more adapt at interacting with … a screen.

It’s how we’re spending our time.

It’s becoming a way of existence.

 

Technology has suddenly become a force to be reckoned with.

 

A while back, I wrote about the need to discipline our use of technology. (Catch it HERE if you missed it.) About our need to be intentional.

Today, I wanted to offer you a written “contract” to help you and your family in this area…

to help you safely control the amount of time spent in the black hole of digital media.

 

Because no matter what type of schooling you choose for your child(ren),digital

YOU will always be your child’s first and best teacher.

As such, you are the one they will most likely model in thoughts, attitude and actions.

Even media consumption habits.

 

In light of that, here’s a question to consider: how much time are you on-line each day?

Is your time being wastefully spent or wisely invested?

 

It’s tricky, you see. Because we can justify….

I’m not playing video games.

I’m not spending hours watching You Tube.

What I’m doing is important.

 

But, as is true with all other screen-activities, I can become absorbed in my media-of-choice

and before I know it, too much time has passed.

And here is where the rubber meets the road.

 

No matter WHAT I was doing when I was engaged in screen-time,digital 1

I was spending time with IT and not with THEM…

 

The form below is taken from The Digital Invasion website. This link HERE will give you several other contract options (adult, child, and teenage pledges/agreements) as well as an internet addiction test and many other free resources.

 

If it hasn’t become one already, dealing with technology is going to be an issue for most parents in a relatively short time.

And, as I’ve said before, foresight is a parent’s finest weapon.

So check out the contract below. Print one for your home or make your own contract. It may just be the best “back to school” planning you’ll do this year!

 

Family Digital Use Contract

1. I commit to not hide my activities I am doing online and on my phone from other members of my family.

2. I commit to not share personal information to anyone.

3. I commit to limit my time on the computer to _______________ hours a week.

4. I commit to limit time my time spent gaming to _______________ hours a week.

5. I commit to be responsible for my password and will not share it with people outside the family.

6. I commit to be respectful and practice responsible behavior not insulting people or sending mean messages online; or in a text or comment.

7. I commit to not purchase anything online or enter a credit card for any reason without asking my parent first.

8. I commit to not copying, pasting or sending a message to someone else if that message was meant only for me.

9. I commit to give credit to others when I cite, quote, or copy their ideas or images from any sources.

10. I commit to not fill out surveys or questionnaires online and will not give out my specific information about where I live or where I go during the day.

11. I commit to download or use copyrighted materials only when they are legal to do so or I have sought and received permission to use them.

12. I commit that I will tell someone in the family if I experience something online that makes me feel bad or that I feel is inappropriate.

13. I commit that the following locations will be digital free zones: __________________________________________________________________

14. I commit that when I am at the dinner table with family I will put my phone and other digital gadgets away.

15. I commit to spend _____________ hours a week doing activities with my family members.

 

Date: _______ Child Signature: ______________ Parent Signature: _____________________

 

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Here’s another idea. Click HERE, print the “Pick 1” image, frame it and follow its advice.

Remember, their eyes are on YOU.

 

Be the type of media-consumer you’re hoping your kids will become!

Live It

A while back I read about a very busy man who was a prolific writer and speaker. He also had a high-profile, government profession and a family. But “when asked of the work he was most proud to have published, he declared that it was his letters to his children.”  It was the time he had invested in communicating with his boys.

“Blessed Kermit: I need not tell you to do your best to cultivate ability for concentrating your thought on whatever work you are given to do…”troosevelt2

“Darling Archie: Do you recollect how we all of us used to play hide-and-go-seek? And have obstacle races down the hall when you brought in your friends?”

“Dear Ted: Character counts for a great deal more than either intellect or body in winning success in life.”

“Dearest Quentin: I miss you all dreadfully, and the house feels big and lonely and full of echoes with nobody but me in it… I love you very much.”

This man was one of the greatest figures in our nation’s history. He had many admirers, but none he considered as important as his four boys. He was quick to scrap his responsibilities and “focus on what lesser men would consider the trivial and unimportant duties of fatherhood…finding lizards with his sons, scrambling over rocks with them, or rejoicing in the smallest of their youthful victories and conquests.” He lived out what he believed… that fathering well was essential to meaningful existence. This heroic man was Teddy Roosevelt.

President’s Day is celebrated on the third Monday of February and is usually recognized as a day to honor George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. These two presidents are certainly worthy of remembrance. But today I want to focus on President Theodore Roosevelt.

As a father who saw it as his mission “to raise sturdy boys”, I found T.R.’s essay “The American Boy,” first published in May of 1900, very interesting, worth reading again today.

                “Of course what we have a right to expect of the American boy is that he shall turn out to be a good American man. Now, the chances are strong that he won’t be much of a man unless he is a good deal of a boy. He must not be a coward or a weakling, a bully, a shirk, or a prig. He must work hard and play hard. He must be clean-minded and clean-lived, and able to hold his own under all circumstances and against all comers. It is only on these conditions that he will grow into the kind of American man of whom America can be really proud….

                A boy needs both physical and moral courage. Neither can take the place of the other…

                Ridicule is one of the favorite weapons of wickedness, and it is sometimes incomprehensible how good and brave boys will be influenced for evil by the jeers of associates who have no one quality that calls for respect, but who affect to laugh at the very traits which ought to be peculiarly the cause for pride…

                He cannot do good work if he is not strong and does not try with his whole heart and soul to count in any contest; and his strength will be a curse to himself and to every one else if he does not have thorough command over himself and over his own evil passions, and if he does not use his strength on the side of decency, justice, and fair dealing…”troosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt understood the relationship “between boyhood, masculinity, leadership, strenuous living, and the future success of the American people.” As you watch the ads announcing President’s Day Sales this year, think of something besides dollars and cents. Think of President Roosevelt who “believed that right was right and that wrong was wrong, and that men can know the difference.” Now that makes real sense! Think of Teddy, who boldly rejoiced in family and above all else wanted to be remembered as a father. Think of how he lived it as a leader and playmate and friend to his children.

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How about you?

How do you want to be remembered?

Do what Teddy did. Name it.  And live it!

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Quotes taken from The Letters and Lessons of Theodore Roosevelt for His Sons, compiled and edited by Doug Phillips