Thursday, September 25, 2008

No, not the baby.


I'm attempting to wean myself from the computer.

It's perfectly amazing how this little machine, that 5 years ago I didn't even own, has imersed itself so firmly and seemingly irreplacably in my life. It was about 5 years ago that James and I broke down and got the internet (at the time, the absolute cheapest dial-up service available). We had had it before, living in Stoney Creek, and before that in Chicago, but we had cut it for while to try and get a handle on our budget.
But people without the internet now are definitely in the minority. And considered weird. And are harassed by family, friends and co-workers until they give in and make the call to Rogers. Or whoever. It's true that one significant reason that we got the internet back then was because it was the chief way one of my jobs communicated to it's staff. So on came the email.

And then a few years ago I started this blog. And another. And another. Blogs need to be updated, and as you can see, I'm not so hot at it.....I'm getting to that.

Then there was the Facebook stint. I've had about 45 seconds of regret that I got away from that.

Recently I got into MSN. It was a quick little phase, still used sometimes, but man, that one is a real time snatcher. It's like the livechat function my budgeting program, Mvelopes uses. You can't just phone up a tech person if you're having problems, you have to do a live, msn-style, chat with a tech. I find that I'll be on for at least an hour, or a good part of one, and when I read back over the conversation, it takes me about 1/4 of the time it took to type it all. And I'm a pretty fast typer.

Tick, tick, tick.

Not that some of my time spent on the computer isn't completely useful. Like I said, there's the email for work purposes. And my budgeting on Mvelopes--completely online. There's always the odd google search for map directions or definitions of "eye twitch" to help me figure out if I have a brain tumor causing my eyebrow to quiver all the time. See? Useful stuff.

And who knows what powerful forces in my life would be non-existant if I didn't spend time on the computer. Like knowing about this Kirk Cameron movie that I'm dying to see and have woefully realized I'll have to wait until the dvd comes out. Or the many blogs my mom points me too about homeschooling or interesting devo's. Good stuff.

But here's the bottom line: I have four children. One is an infant. One is a tyrant. Ok, maybe that's a bit harsh. Let's just call her, "my adventurous one". One is, well, fairly normal. The other needs much more of my attention than he usually gets. He needs to get toilet trained. He needs to learn to speak more clearly. When he says grace it sounds like:

"Mm-mm-hmmm" (Dear Jesus)
"Mmm-mmm-mmm-mmm-mmm" (thank you for my food)
"Uh-men" (You can figure that one out)

I'm homeschooling them.
I teach 2, soon to be 3 choirs.
I'm helping run the children's program at church. (http://www.mountainkidsministry.blogspot.com/)
I have a horrendously messy house. I'm trying to get in with Flylady. (What constitutes 'trying'? Hmm, wishing? Thinking? Planning? Am I fooling myself?)
I have a husband. He needs....attention.
I have a Lord. I need my relationship with Him to be stronger.

I'm a big proponent of simplifying one's life. I plan to fight tooth and nail before I'm racing my 4 kids from activity to activity day in and day out. We'll see how that goes, eh?

And so, back to weaning.

I'm thinking of giving this blog up. And likely the kids' one too. This is kindof a hard decision. I love to write, love to have a creative outlet. But I scrapbook too---I could just pick that up again. And I can journal. As my mom would say, there you go.

I just feel like if I have one more thing hanging around my shoulders that's calling out, pay attention to me!! I need to be updated/cleaned/worked on/read/filed/putaway/wiped/changed/taught/corrected/run after/rescued/washed!---I might, well, to quote my SIL, jump out a window!?

I met my husband at the door yesterday and said, "Sometimes I wish we were still 17". He chuckled and asked why. "Simpler?"
I nodded.
"Then again", I added, "When we were 17, we couldn't imagine there would be a time in our lives with more stress and concerns than we had then". Such a vicious cycle.

So read and enjoy, if you commonly do. I don't think leslife-morelife will be here much longer.


One of those moments...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

There are some posts where I extol the virtures of my beautiful children. Like most families, we have many wonderful, exciting, happy times where I think "This is why we're doing this". You know those moments.
And then there are the moments where I want to crawl under the nearest table, or perhaps rush back out the door of the restaurant....

Yes indeed, I had one of those mortifying moments....much worse than Verity continually announcing that her bum hurts at the family dinner table (that would be my parents' dinner table, you know, with all the siblings and spouses and boyfriends sitting around...).

Yesterday was grocery day. When James got home, we needed to go out and get groceries, an adventure that the kids love and look forward to; a harrowing torturous experience that James and I are growing to dread every two weeks.
The biggest problem yesterday is that the larder was empty. I'm not sure what happened our last grocery trip because we horrifyingly went over our budget by fully a 1/3, but by yesterday there was absolutely NO food to prepare for supper. We couldn't even do pancakes because we had no eggs. I do plan a menu, but I never actually plan out 14 meals, usually about 10 and then leftovers and a few dinners at my mom and dad's takes care of the rest.
So when James got home, we sat and talked for a bit (mostly about how tired we had been all day from staying up until 1am watching Lord of the Rings the night before--go ahead, give my hand a slap) and then decided we would hit Pizza Hut for a quick dinner before we went to the grocery store. Truthfully, we didn't really have the money to do that, but we didn't have the time to make two trips to the grocery store for something to make up for supper and then head back out for the big haul.

Alas, the Pizza Hut was closed for renovations. So down the road we went and spotted the East Side Marios. I LOVE East Side Marios, but I always feel a little guilty going there because it's a little expensive. But we decided we'd order a pizza there and nothing extra (sigh, no salad or garlic bread) and then it would probably be no more than Pizza Hut would have been.

The kids were all very excited, especially Verity. In fact, she was a little off the wall. As we all walked in and the Hostess appeared, she immediately went running up to her and started screeching away about something in one of those so-excited tones of voice that you could hardly understand what she said.

But I understood what she said.

Our server was a beautiful, very dark skinned young woman with many braids. She was one of those black people who you can truly call black. To my horror, Verity looked at her and said something along the lines of "You're brown!! I don't like brown!".

At first I wasn't sure she actually said such a horrible thing. She came spinning around to me and I caught her by the chin. "Verity", I said, "WHAT did you just say?". But she was too excited to comprehend and I was trying to speak on the quiet side. I waited until we got to our table and then a got my face into hers.

I determined that yes, my ears had heard correctly. I was so stunned. Why in the WORLD would she come out with such a thing? How could MY child have said something like that?

When I sat back down, James and I looked at each other with concerned looks. We discussed whether I should take Verity over to apologize to the hostess. James thought yes, but I was unsure because frankly, I didn't think the woman had heard or comprehended what Verity had said. But after a minute, I decided that she needed too: even if the woman hadn't heard it, Verity had said it and she knew she had. This apology would be more for Verity's benefit than the hostess.

So I put Verity on my hip and explained what we were going to do. She seemed agreeable. I went over to where the hostess was setting a table and told her that my daughter needed to say something to her. She was gracious and smiling, clearly touched at the cutesy apology of a three year old. I don't think she had quite heard what Verity said originally, but that was ok.

It's still a mystery why she said that. I think it was a combination of typical not-thinking-before-she-put-her-mouth-in-gear, intense excitement and perhaps a little awe over being so close to someone with such dark colouring.

But jeepers I hope that doesn't happen again!