Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Broken TV Changed My Life

So Spring Break just ended and a lot of things have changed around our house.

Now, let us rewind six months ago when our television bit the dust. It was the first TV that we got in trade for Todd building some gates for a family friend. We manage to score plenty of awesome things that way, but I digress. After some research we discovered that our meager budget was not anywhere close to the inflation and technological advances that have affected prices of TVs, so we borrowed one from my gracious parents and went about waiting for tax returns.

Tax returns make me happy. We were able to get A LOT knocked off of our "wish list" which included our new TV. Which in return, made me happy yet again. Then I get our DirecTV bill, and they raised it yet again. I expected that after my two year contract was up, I could renegotiate to reduce our bill and save some money, right? Wrong. So I cancel. Then they offer to let me have reduced payments for six months. Didn't I just ask that question five minutes ago and you said no? Am I in Crazy Town? I canceled on principle. Well, to tell the truth, I actually wanted to see if they'd give me a better offer...and they didn't. My bad.

Which brings us to having no cable, no satellite, and no local channels. So I take a trip to Fry's Electronics with my super cool Dad who knows more about computers than I ever will. We get a wireless router, external hard drive, wireless receiver, and a digital antenna. Holy $$$$$!!!! But, thanks to a Christmas gift from Casey and Christi of free NetFlix for 3 months, and my shiny new Hulu subscription. We are only paying $15 a month for more than enough movies, TV shows, documentaries...yadda yadda.

Which brings us to what I had originally began this post wanting to talk about. When the TV broke I started wondering if we could survive without television. I was seven months pregnant, winter break was coming up, and I was anticipating having three children, no television, no sleep, and no patience.

I've heard that you never pray for patience, but I did it. It just came out. I couldn't take it back, because really, He's God...I'm pretty sure He would know. Instead of being smacked upside the head with trial and tribulation to MAKE me patient...OR ELSE! I was prompted to start reading the scriptures. I had made it all the way through last year, then for some reason I just stopped. I can feel such a dramatic difference in our home when we're doing what we know we should be doing in the first place. Also, I wanted everyone to read, not just me. I'm not the only one in this house that needs patience! So, we started reading the Book of Mormon together as a family every evening before bed.

It has been two months of reading. We're in 2nd Nephi now. Sometimes we will read a few articles from the Friend when we feel our resolve slipping because the kids just can't sit still. But the point is that we're reading. After dinner we go through the bedtime routine: jammies, brush your teeth, brush your hair, wash your face, wash your hands, and now, read the scriptures. Then we say a prayer, hugs and kisses and off to bed. It is WONDERFUL not to need the television at night. Instead of inviting the world into our home before bed, we invite the Spirit of our Heavenly Father.

I have noticed that I have been becoming more patient, loving, and genuine. I'm not going to lie, there were times before when I just COULDN'T look at my kids and want to sit and play blocks, or trains, or I would PULL OUT my hair if I was forced to watch one that same show AGAIN! Now, we (and I say we because this implies my whole family, not just myself) are smiling more, laughing more, creating more, keeping a cleaner home, and complaining a whole lot less. Garrison and I build trains around Delaney. Chloe and Garrison build forts with the couch cushions. The kids regularly injure Todd by experimenting with various methods of flight. We work on the garden. We play on the swing set in the backyard. We go to the park and play. I sit on the computer, typing on my wireless keyboard, bouncing a Delaney with one foot, and tickling Garrison with one hand. We are also watching a whole lot less TV! What we do watch is much more wholesome. I definitely that less TV = happier home. Now, no TV = CRAZY, I just don't think it's realistic to not let your kids watch ANY television. You're on the computer reading this, on some level you agree with me. I can read your brain.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Return of the Semi-Blogger

This is an attempt to resuscitate my sham of a blog in hopes that it will be, as the name implies, my journal. I am writing for myself. I want to remember who I am today, so I can improve tomorrow. Yeah, right.