Monday, September 21, 2009

Cloudy With a Chance Of Meatballs

We have yet to see this movie. Ok, so it only came out on Friday, but if you know us than you know we tend to watch movies the first weekend they come out. This movie has been a long time coming! They have showed previews for what...5 months? or more.

We have been anxiously awaiting the release of this movie that has had it's preview in front of, it seems, EVERY summer well as on numerous commercials.

One thing that has come from this is Daniel has been in overload with his imagination. It occurs to me that he is no longer a baby (ok, he probably passed that phase LONG ago, but he is MY baby). His imagination is HUGE as is his vocabulary. We were just hanging out in the living room at talking about what we wished it would rain. Here are some of what he wished it would rain:

ice cream
flowers (for mommy)
leaves (for mommy)
pillows, but not cushions
grape juice

Among so many other things. He thinks about this a lot. I told him I wished it would rain chocolate. He said, everything would be brown. I said, yes, but I could eat it all. I told him I wished it would rain cheesecake. He said, cheeeeesecake, in a dreamy voice. lol

Can't wait for Saturday when we will FINALLY see this movie (YES, I do mean FINALLY).

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Spiritual Housecleaning

Have you ever done a spiritual housecleaning?? We have and tend to do it often. We will go through our movies and come up with "good" excuses as to why we hang on to this movie and that movie and convince ourselves that they are fine. A couple months later...all the sudden what seemed "good" and "fine" all the sudden isn't all that good or fine.

I was talking with Matt one day about housecleaning and we were talking about music. Now, I pretty much only listen to Christian music...but this is a personal choice and not one I would put on anyone including my husband.

But, I was discussing his music on his ipod. He tells me, my songs are clean...nothing bad. And I ask him, how can he listen to music from bands who live and breathe bad lives. Case in point...he LOVES Motley Crue (flashback anyone??). Well, I am sure you have, at some point in your lives, seen videos from Motley Crue with half-naked women prancing around and blatant sexual content. I am sure you have heard of the drugs and sex that occured (occurs, now) with this band. Well, a couple years ago, Matt was excited to go to a Motley Crue concert...which he had to attend himself cause I sure as heck wouldn't go. He had to leave the concert shortly after due to the PORN they were showing on the big screens as they sang!!!!!

So, I ask him, how can you listen to them?? He says, well, I do not have those bad songs...only their positive ones. Well, it is my opinion only.

Recently, he was thinking on his life and thinking that he needed to do some housecleaning and that was one of the first thing to that he deemed as inappropriate to own.

But, what about music that may have been illegally obtained?? How many of us have copied music from websites that are not authorized?? How many of us used to do the Kazaa thing years ago before iTunes?? We did. We know people who still do!! But what about the morality in that?? We are supposed to respect and follow the law and isn't it stealing to take music and movies to add to our library without paying for it??

And think about it...when I take a song or movie illegally, as thousands (millions) do and the artist or movie maker loses out on that money...what happens?? Prices go up! Who am I to complain about a rise in movie prices when I am contributing to the rise????

So, here is Matt...deleting music that is objectionable and/or illegal. How proud am I?? VERY!! But, it does not stop there!!

Matt begins to think about how we are supposed to be good servants of our time, money and body. Ok. Here we are spending loads of time (and money...we do not illegally download movies...we are one of those consumers who pay for movies that go up in price due to.....) on a somewhat large movie collection. Matt says...let's think about this. We have an account with Netflix that we pay a monthly fee too and thus we can have delivered any movie we want and it is delivered to our door (ok, mail box at the end of our street in our case)....and we use it a lot. We rarely watch many of the movies in our collection. He says...that is it. We need to sell what we find morally objectionable or wastes of space. GOOD GRIEF!! We ended up selling WAY MORE than half our collection (he kept Star Wars and Indiana Jones, of course and I kept my Jane Austen movies and Steel Magnolias...kept our Pixar movies and other such movies).

So, we have cleaned out our music...our movies... We have set an example to our kids on being wise in choices both spiritually and economically. The result:

I feel so FREE! I feel closer to God. In thinking of how to be good servants of our time, I have spent less time on this computer and on watching tv and more time in study of his word. I found a great bible study podcast and have been doing a verse by verse study of Romans which is facinating. I am also doing a study of the apologetics. We have included Sierra in all these decisions and she is loving the changes. We are doing devotionals after dinner each night.

All those things were like heavy pieces of iron...weighing us down.

Sadly, being a good servant of our time can be SO MUCH HARDER. I have taken to getting to Sierra's school EARLY each day to pick her up so I can sit and do my Romans study. I am working on keeping my heavy foot off the pedal of the car to even do a small thing like not breaking the law in speeding. Are we getting legalistic?? I don't think so. work on being a good servant to our bodies. lol Well, maybe we should get over these other hurdles first.

Addendum to the part about movies:

Let me clarify. We are not STOPPING watching movies...we LOVE movies. We are just not going to possess any illegally downloaded movies OR possess movies that we watch less than once a year that just sits on our shelves. We recently listened to a very good podcast (a three parter) about how we as Christians can go to the movies and learn how to take away key points. One thing that he said was that we cannot just give a blanket statement about not watching an R movie. Yes, most are bad and should not be watched, but there are those few that are very cultural. One he mentioned was "Schindler's List" and another was "American History X". I agreed with him....these are 2 HARD movies to watch. I have seen them both and will probably never watch AHX again (not because it offended me, though it had HARSH language and violence). I also, Stacie (in case you are reading), am going to watch "Slumdog Millionare". He talked about being wise in our choices. A good example of this being the choice of watching movies like the Narnia or Lord of the Rings movies vs. watching Harry Potter. While all 3 series has magic, 2 of the series uses it as allegory to scriptural events and message while the other is just magic.

OK...this is too long. Fact is, we are not shunning Hollywood and all it produces. We are always (or at least try to always be) wise with our choices of movies...

BTW...if you are interested in the podcast series on movies go to We found it very insiteful and found little wrong with what he said. I liked what he said about NPAA ratings and how you cannot go by that alone.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Another Dad Post

My dad has been on my mind a lot lately...this time not because of bad things going on, but good things.

The other night, we were doing our nightly routine...probably the best part of each day. The whole upstairs is filled with laughter as the kids play around together as they are supposed to get ready for bed. Daniel will run into Sierra's room with just his underwear on proclaiming himself "Captain Underpants" at which point Sierra will start chasing him around both yelling (yes, this is joyful). They brush their teeth which often includes Daniel playing in the water (he gets so proud when he fills the sink right to the edge).

Than we all go into Daniel's room where Matt and Sierra will lay on the floor as I crawl into bed with Daniel and read him a story (if it is a new story, than Sierra squeezes herself in to hear it to). The book Daniel has chosen lately is a Maisy book (have you heard of these?). This one has Maisy going to bed...which has a part where Maisy and her stuffed Panda uses the potty (complete with picture of Maisy and Panda sitting on potties). This one portion gets Daniel into the giddiest of laughs and it is hard for me to continue to read as I laugh at him laughing.

When the story is finished, he takes the book and attempts to hit his sister with it (lol...this is funny as Sierra always runs for cover). Than Matt does a "spinny spinny" which means he tosses Daniel in the air as he spins him around...than gets on his knees and tosses him higher in the air....than flies him like Peter Pan across the room to "rescue his elephant"...and than lands him in the arms of ME...where I get first dibs or nighttime hugs and kisses...followed by Sierra...and than Matt.

Next it is to Sierra's room, where I crawl into bed to read to her while Matt tends to collapse on the bed in our room and snooze for the 20-30 minutes it takes us to get through 2 chapters (currently reading book 2 of "Limeny Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events"). Than it is a little talking time (whatever Sierra wants to talk about (tonight it was about her sunburn). Than kisses all around and we (Matt and I) are free. (At least until Sierra's first trek downstairs of the night...she has always been our problem sleeper).

What does any of this have to do with my dad, you may ask? Well, it was in the middle of one of our typical nightly routines the other night that I thought about him. You see, my dad always had this idea of what kind of woman I should become. He felt I should be a teacher (he and 2 of his siblings were teachers and I think he thought it was in the blood). He wanted me to be a teacher and told me the only way to survive financially in the world is to have 2 incomes. He raised me to be a career woman.

Well, as you may have noticed, I did not become what I was trained to become. I tried to become a teacher....but HATED the idea of it with every fiber of my being. You may say...well, you were a Children's Pastor. Yes, true, but I only had kids twice a week (Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights). The thought of teaching frightened me (and from the stories Sierra tells me about the classroom...I was RIGHT).

So, that out the window, I decided to be a career woman as long as it was in administration. My strengths were in working with my computer and programs and thus a good fit. BUT, it is a wonder what pregnancy will do to you. You get a little baby growing in you and the brain says....YOU MUST WORK....but the heart says.....AND LEAVE THIS PRECIOUS BEING GROWING INSIDE OF YOU AT DAYCARE, ARE YOU NUTS!?! In the end, the heart won and out went the career.

So, here I my son's room. Sure, we could be living a "better" lifestyle if I worked as I had been raised. BUT, here are these two kids (two kids who have changed my life for the better) who are so well rounded....loving...

And I got to thinking of my father who tried to instill in me these values he felt so strongly about............and started thinking of the pride he had for me and the life I have built. I remember the first time he held my daughter and the smile that was so wide and the eyes that were so bright. I remember when he first saw my would've thought we bought a palace and not the modest home we inhabit. His excitement at that moment is one I will never forget...and hearing him tell others about what I have become. And, I remember when he first held my son...whose name is father's middle name.

So, as I lay on my son's bed as he joyfully looked for a book to read that night...and my husband and daughter laying contentedly on the floor...I could not help but smile as I thought of my father who was proud of me throughout my life........but became most proud when I did exactly the opposite of what he thought I should do.

I love my dad...I miss him terribly for as I thought of this I also thought of how much he thought my daughter was the most beautiful girl he had seen and how he had barely been able to see my son.......and as I look at my daughter now 10 with those long legs, lean body, blue eyes, and winning personality....and my son with the kind of personality that makes all who meet him laugh.....and I have sorrow that he cannot share in these milestones with me. BUT, I can say with confidence that if he were here........his grin would be big and his eyes would be shining and I would feel like a success.

So...there you have it. I could not meet my dad's expectations as he thought it, but I could exceed his expectations past his own vision for my life. So, even in the sorrow of his absense, I can feel comforted.