Friday, August 30, 2013

What I Learned in August

I am linking up with Emily again about what I learned in August. First of all, I have to say that this month flew by for me! It was busy and I am hoping things slow down in September.

1) I learned I really like going on vacation - even with all the work it is with two kids. (Not to mention the other 6 in the house!) We spent a week in a lake house with my husband's family. Great times!

2) During said vacation I learned to play "Mafia." I can't explain it to you, but it's super fun!

3) Also on vacation I rode a bike again. I think it's been years. And while I didn't have to relearn much, I did learn that I do like it! Hubby and I daydreamed about family bike rides. :)

Moving on...
4) I learned that having a 3 year old and a 1 year old is harder than having a 2 year old and a baby, but also more fun, if that makes sense!

5) AND that I haven't a clue how to explain sharing, not saying "mine", etc, etc. I'm failing, friends!

From running I've learned...
6) to bring a hanky!
7) that it's a great time to listen to podcasts.
8) I am not ready for hills.

9) I learned about Square Foot Gardening.  I'm reading the book and I still have a lot to read and learn, but I know the gist of it now.

10) I learned that I need to do my hooping in the morning before the kids are up. It just doesn't work with them around!

11) I have learned a lot about Windows 8 and how to use it on my Surface.

12) And to be grateful for the internet.

And one link to share.... Long but so, so worth it and encouraging to me, especially with where I'm at in my life right now.

Hope you have a blessed September. It's one of my favorite months!

the great internet debate

We've been blessed to have free internet from the college, since we live so close. However, the reception is low, and, at times, there is none. In the past, it was rare to have no internet and usually didn't last long, but not so these last few months.

In those times past, when the internet would not work, I took it as an omen to do something else. And as our computer picked up the signal less and less, my husband's work laptop would pick it up and I'd use it. Then it stopped too.

All this inconsistency and expecting to do something (like post on my blog!), but not getting to, was/is very frustrating. And it brought about a lot of thought provoking questions. Like...

Why am I so dependent on the internet? Why do I feel I needed it? People lived years without the internet - I can't go a day without wanting to use it? Am I making this more important than God? Is God telling me to give up the internet?

It all feels a little silly now, but I was really wrestling with these things. I simply wanted God's will and I was tired of getting frustrated about the internet, or lack there of. So I prayed and thought, and prayed some more.

I realized the source of my frustration - why I feel I "need" the internet. Unlike 10-15 years ago, our society now runs on the internet. It's used for so many things, just about everyone has it, and it is difficult not to use it too.  Especially when you have before. I realized I was trying to live in a way that utilizes the internet (blogging, email, shopping, learning), but I couldn't do it. Hence the frustration. I needed to either do something to get the internet, or change the way I do things so that I wouldn't need the internet.

I came around to all this while I was praying about it and I just felt like God was telling me that it's  okay for me to have and use the internet, which was a huge relief. When I told my husband that, he agreed with me. "That makes sense. Orthodoxy is all about moderation, so why should you not have it at all?" he said.

And so we bought a tablet (the Surface RT), which we had been considering for a few months now. So far, it picks up the internet just fine - and in multiple places. I can use it to do what I need to do. It's like a little laptop!

I'm trying to use it very mindfully. I have certain criteria that need to be met before I get on and I'm trying to follow that. I want to use the internet as a tool - to share, learn, communicate. It's also an outlet - something I really enjoy.

It seems most people don't question the place internet has in their lives. We all just take it for granted because it simply is everywhere. Because in the past I have had trouble putting it in its proper place, I really struggled with this. I thank God for giving me guidance and grace. I pray I can use it for good.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

What I've Learned in July

Hey all! I'm doing this again, and linking up with Emily over at Chatting at the Sky.

In July I learned...

1) that I do better getting up at 6:00, rather than 6:30. Even though I'm still tired, I don't feel as sluggish for whatever reason, no matter when I go to bed.

2) that the founding fathers of our nation were not Christian! Listen to Fr. Thomas Hopko's podcast titled "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."

3) running is supposed to make you feel stronger, not like you are going to die. Who knew? I started a running program from this lady. Two weeks in and I have to say, I do feel stronger when I'm done. Still tired and a bit beat, but, yes, stronger. And maybe, maybe I will start to really like running! 

4) that the new prince was born the day before my baby boy turned one! Fun! But, I do not understand all the hype. I guess it's just like the Lion King - only people stand outside of a hospital to get first glance. Kate must be a strong woman for sure.

5) how to cook beans in the slow cooker.  Soaked beans, water, heat. (I know, I know... a no-brainer, but I just hadn't tried it yet.)

6) that my daughter telling me, "Don't worry. You'll be okay." to me when I hurt myself is really a good thing because it means she's getting the message and will someday apply it to herself. (Thanks to my friend Natalie for pointing that out to me!)

7) a bit about the reading curriculum "Spell to Write and Read." Hoping to start some basics with Sweet Girl this fall. So much more to learn though!

8) that my husband and I are really are busier than we think and we just can't figure out why.

And for August I have some learning goals:

1) Learn a trick or two for hooping (through this awesome site I found).
2) Continue to learn about the reading curriculum and the writing curriculum, Cursive First.
3) Learn to stick with my schedule!!!

AND... just a couple links. I seriously haven't had time to read much, but these were great.

1) What it really means to 'do less and be more' from Emily.
2) All of this page about the 665 sq foot cabin this lady lives in with her family.

Both of these totally connect to some thinking and dreaming Coach and I have been doing lately. I hope to share more in the future!