Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentines & Winter Break

The girls are on winter break for 2 whole weeks, and we are loving it. After finding a lot of fun crafts on Pinterest, I decided this week we would do crafts each day. I am
NOT a crafter. It's actually quite stressful to me. But my kids love it so I sacrificed for them. We invited our neighbor kids over on Monday to make Valentine trees. (Ella was at dance club both days so she didn't get to do as much, but we did include her on Tuesday for a bit.) Tuesday night I made sugar cookies for our home group Wednesday. We had company all day today and have plans the next 2 days so this may be the end of crafts for this week, but next week I think we will add bracelets and maybe knitting hats. What are some of your favorite crafts for kids?

Last night we had another round of snow. (I'm kind of ready for the snow to go away. Oh well!) Anyway, today the girls spent probably 2 hours in the backyard playing together. I'm glad they like the snow and each other.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Social Media

Facebook. Blogs. Pinterest. iPhones. iMessage. Email. Text Messaging.

These are just a few of the social media tools out there. There are so many ways to stay connected 24/7. I live in a foreign country but am in constant contact with what is happening at all times in America, Texas, my hometown, my friends' lives, etc. I go to bed and check Facebook one last time. I wake up and spend 10-15min reading Facebook and blogs before I even get out of bed. The mornings are long because no one in America is posting until after 1:00 or 2:00pm my time. But yet I check Facebook every little bit just to make sure. I follow people's lives on blogs & Facebook that I don't even know. What is happening with little Lucy and her cancer? How is Lauren doing after the horrible car wreck? What new fun ideas for being a good mom, feeding my kids and family the "right" kinds of food, or teaching my kids the right things from the Bible have been written on some stranger's blog for me to read? What is happening in American economics, government, schools, etc? Who won the football game? What did my friends do this weekend? What am I missing out on living thousands of miles away? And on and on and on...

The problem I have been feeling is that I am constantly glued to my iPhone. I might just miss something...some new development in the past 10 minutes since I last looked. It is a compulsion I have to always look at my phone. This means that I am not listening to my children. I watch movies with them or play games with my phone in my hand because heaven forbid I miss breaking news. Right? And I also need to post stuff because the grandparents, friends, aunts and uncles want to see what we are doing as well, right?

The past few months I have felt that I need to walk away...mainly from Facebook. I am so caught up in everyone else's life and laughing at their kids and sad for other people's struggles, but I don't feel that I am as caught up in my own life and the lives of my own family members. I get frustrated when I am interrupted from reading someone's post by my child. Doesn't she see me sitting here reading? When I am with other people, I am able to put my phone in my purse or away from me and ignore it, but I can't seem to do that with my own kids. Don't they deserve more? And then at night after the girls go to bed, James sits either on his phone, iPad or laptop and I am on my phone and we don't talk. We don't ask each other about our days or what is going on in our lives. We just sit and live in other people's lives. There is something very wrong with this picture. And my kids are watching this. They are learning to be withdrawn and not have conversation with each other. I haven't even mentioned the distraction from spending time in the Word or studying Polish.

There is always an excuse as to why I shouldn't give up Facebook or limit the times I answer a text message. What if someone needs me now? People want to hear about my kids' activities and our ministries. What are we doing in Poland? Etc...I can't just walk away. What about the people who only have contact with me through Facebook? How would we talk if I don't have Facebook? Well...I don't know. So what am I going to do? Well Lent starts on Wednesday. My sister and I generally do something for Lent...mainly for fun and usually with the hope of losing weight. But this year, I think I will walk away from Facebook and limit the time I spend with my much time? Well I don't have that time just yet. But something has to change. I am going to use that time to play with my kids and truly engage in a game of Trouble or watch a fun movie. I am going to talk to my husband...even if he isn't listening to me. I am going to enjoy MY life a little more worry less about everyone else's life...not because I don't care but because my family is just more important. And I am going to pray and read my Bible and journal. I am going to let God speak to me during this time and be open to what He wants from me and for our family.

So there you go...that is my plan for Lent this year. I will continue to keep up with my blog and keep you posted on some of the highlights happening around here. But my time on Facebook will be gone for now.

Disney on Ice

A few months ago, some of our American friends asked if we would be interested in taking the girls to see Disney on Ice that was going to be in Gdansk. James and I have seen a few Disney on Ice events and thought it sounded fun. We could get tickets buy 3 get the 4th free. That worked out well for us. Our friends only have one daughter left at home so she was able to bring a friend. It turned out the friend she brought, Karolina, comes for a poor family with several kids. She has never been able to do something like Ice. I learned this just before the show started. My friend, Gina, told me that she was so excited. She called the night before to see if she could sleep over. Then she wanted to dress up and wear make-up, paint her fingernails, and ever wore a crown. She is 11 years old. This might sound crazy for most 11 year olds but for her this was a HUGE deal. As the lights went down, she was all smiles as the characters began to skate out on the ice. Afterwards we talked about her favorite princess and how she liked it. I had tears in my eyes watching her enjoy this special treat. I am so glad that Kayla chose Karolina to come. We take so much for granted that we do each was just Disney on Ice...but to her it was a dream come true.