Logging off of Wastebook

Over the past month I have taken a long hard look at how I spend my time.  I realize I am wasting a lot of time during the day on the computer. I looked at where I was spending the bulk of this time and I decided to log off of Facebook. I have been drawn more and more into conversations which I shouldn’t have been. My views and beliefs are quite conservative, so many times I am forced to defend myself and my views. I have been called a bigot, ignorant, and stupid. I just don’t need that drivel and negativity in my life.
I started playing games on Facebook a couple of years ago to bury the pain of Elizabeth’s trials with her vision, my father’s illness and death, and my mother’s declining health.  The games were a quick and easy way to take my mind off of the trials of my life.  While in and of themselves, most of the games are harmless and don’t take long to complete the “tasks”, most of them require you to come back several times a day to “harvest” or “collect” items. If you don’t, the bounty is lost and you have wasted all the time and “money” so you are compelled to come back. More and more of these games were creeping into my life. I found I was easily spending three hours or more just playing games, not to mention responding to posts.  Plus the blogs I follow and the message boards in which I participate were adding another hour or two to my screen time.

When my children started to say I was always working on the computer, I realized I have more important things to do with my time. My house always has something that needs to be done, laundry is always in the works, my husband and my children need my time and attention and most important of all I found my conversations with God not happening.

Monday I decided now was the time. I could use the impending holidays as the reason I was taking a break. I do not plan on returning in the New Year. At some point in time, I will deactivate my account. My oldest two daughters do not think I can do it. My 18 year old gave me two days. She lost the bet; I haven’t been on it yet and today is the second day. My oldest gave me a week. I am taking these as personal challenges and whenever I have felt tempted to log on, I recall their skepticism and it keeps me off.

I have also greatly pared down the blogs that I follow on a daily basis.  I deleted my membership in several message boards, so now I only participate in four. One is a Christian woman’s board that focuses on the family and frugality, the second is a Catholic Moms board which challenges me to grow in my faith on a daily basis.  The other two are homeschooling boards where I can go and ask questions and talk with moms who understand what it is like to homeschool larger families.

I told a friend I have done, and she thought it was a wonderful idea and is joining me. Her husband has started calling Facebook, Wastebook. As I look back over the past three years; it has certainly created a wasteland in my life.  I am taking this final week of Advent and the rest of the Christmastide season to lead myself out of the wasteland and back the fertile ground of my faith and family.

Wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend…

…and Looking Forward to Advent

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.  Liz made it home from the hospital in time for Thanksgiving dinner and we were truly thankful for that blessing.  Friday was spent recuperating from the hectic week.  Richard decorated inside the house Friday and Saturday.  The tree is now up.  The Christmas village is up and lit.  The outside decorations are completed and are lighting up the neighborhood tonight. Today was also a quiet and restful day.  Other than Mass, no on went anywhere.

Thanksgiving is truly over in our house.  The last of the turkey was used to make a Turkey Divan and the rest of leftovers were also finished.  So now the Christmas dinner plans begin.

We have started a technology free week for the children.  No computer, DSs, computer time (other than specific school subjects) or MP3 players.  This came about because of the constant nagging for time on the computer, borrowing my Nook, time on the Wii.  This resulted in horrible attitudes if the answer was no.  So I declared all electronics turned off as of today.  Only Richard or I can turn on the TV.  Right now we are watching Mankind.  So the children will be allowed to watch the recorded show sometime this week.  The computer will only be used for typing lessons and their spelling lessons. 

Today was a bit rough as they figured out how to occupy themselves without the electronic babysitters.  By the end of the day they were getting it.  Tomorrow we will take a trip to the library for new books to help occupy their time.  My overall goal is to have no electronics throughout all of Advent, other than special shows Richard or I OK ahead of time.  We will see how that works out.

My other major accomplishment this weekend was pulling together my Advent unit for the six year olds. This unit is based off of Elizabeth Foss’s Advent Unit using Tomie DePaola books.  I used her recommended books and pulled together a day by day lesson plan for Advent and the Octave of Christmas.  You can see my plans here.

I hope you all had a wonderful and blessed weekend.