Monday, August 22, 2011

FaceBook. Bringing Out The Worst.

I remember a couple of years ago I kept getting invitations to join Facebook from family and friends. "What a time suck!!" was my initial response. How could anyone waste their time reading all the mindless posts from friends they hadn't seen since high school? And not only that, who cared? If someone really wanted to be your "friend" why didn't they give you a call or send you a letter?

Well, here we are 2 years later and I'm constantly checking my Facebook home page. Did my sister update her status? Is my aunt in Chicago doing well? How about my cousins? Don't forget all my old friends who live far away. What are they up to? Oh! I better update my status and let everyone know that I just gave little Jimmy the third bath of the day because he decided to pour maple syrup on his head...again.

Yes. This is what part of my days look like. Granted, I check in for only about a minute and then I'm off. But add those minutes up and who knows how many hours I spend a week on Facebook. How did I get sucked into this? And why is it so difficult to stop?

Today I finally made a realization. Facebook brings out the worst in me. As I sat checking everyones updates on my phone today, I caught myself doing something. I wasn't surprised or suddenly appalled...I was just AWARE of what I was doing. I was judging. Criticizing. Forming bad opinions. Snickering.

And as I read a friend's post, I realized just how addictive Facebook is. And addictive is not good. Sure, I get to keep in touch with friends and family. My dad looks forward to all the pictures I post of the kids. It's the way I message our babysitter. But is being on Facebook really bringing out the best in me? Probably not.

This past Lent, I remember talking with a friend about our sacrifices. Giving up Facebook was one of them. I remember her saying how difficult it was going to not check in and asking if it counted to just read and not post. Wow. Talk about the incredible grip that Facebook has on our daily lives! Even more recently, another friend gave up Facebook as a prayerful cause. But of course, it's impossible to really "give it up" and you can still see where she checks in daily and Sundays don't count.

Is it that hard to stop? I say yes. After choosing to go without it for Lent, I realized just how tempting it was to "drop in." The first week was the hardest. My husband kept saying, "If you even visit the FB page, you are breaking your fast." So I didn't. Not even on Sunday. I went the whole season without even opening the FB page. It was a little liberating.

But now here I am again. Should I "give it up" as my friends say? I'm not sure. On the one hand, I love keeping in touch with my family. On the other hand, I'm sometimes creating negative thoughts and bringing out the worst in me. Which way to go?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Back to School 2011!

Is it August already??!!! Of course it's August. I've known that for the past 17 days!!! But really...here I go again. Life gets in the way of blogging...blah, blah, blah. Let's get down to the nitty-gritty.

We actually started school on August 1st! Yes we had our first day of school celebrations and all. It was a fantastic day and the kids had the best time, like always. I won't say that it was easy, as I wasn't ready to start school at all! But I sucked it up, planned as much as I could, gathered whatever materials I had and got to it. The first two weeks were a MESS!! I couldn't find all my materials, our old books were still on the shelves while our new books sat in piles all over our school room. Not only that but our daily schedules weren't set up, my lesson plans weren't organized, the kids' planners were nowhere to be found, and our school room was a disaster.

Sounds like a nice start to the school year, huh? Well, I finally got my act together. Every night last week I stayed up late organizing and planning. It was painful, but now I can say that I'm mostly done! The only thing left for me to do is get our daily schedules done. I have a tentative schedule, but I'm still experimenting on how our days are going to flow best with 4 kids doing school, a toddler, and a baby.

This week we are well into our 3rd week of school and it's going GREAT! Our lessons are getting done, the kids are happy (for the most part), and I can finally find all our books. I'm sure that this year's beginning isn't going to scar the kids. They have been having a wonderful time since our new school year started. Our first day of school traditions helped, of course.

As you may know, every year we celebrate the first day of school with schultutes or school cones that I usually spend a couple of weeks working on. It's like Christmas around here! The cones are full of school supplies, candy, and toys. The kids get to spend half of the morning playing with their treats before officially starting their school work. Check out the celebration!