Saturday, June 27, 2009


I had a rare hour of silence and God spoke.

I was driving out into the country to visit a good friend and her family. There was complete peace and silence because my two little ones were sleeping during the drive and the older two were out camping with their father and grandfather. It was a rare silence, indeed! I was able to spend time in prayer and reflection of my life and more specifically, my role as a mother.

For some time I’ve been struggling with an unhealthy relationship with the internet. I can’t walk past my computer without checking in on my Twitter account or Facebook. I’ve spent ungodly amounts of time involved in social media and internet social networking. I read blogs, take quizzes, play games, and chat to and with the world outside my home. Meanwhile, there’s a whole world inside my home that I’m neglecting; my family. God is calling me to unplug myself from the computer and plug into my family. Instead of fostering and developing relationships with people I will probably never meet, no matter how wonderful they are, I will be spending time fostering the relationships I have with my children. I am to be spending time developing their character! Raising, teaching, and training my children is my JOB and I’m blessed to have it. It’s a HUGE responsibility. It is my calling at this season in my life. When I spend time and energy on the internet I am neglecting my children. I am shirking the responsibility that is mine.

When I shared with my friend what the Lord had so clearly impressed upon me as I was driving out to her home and what I was about to do she shared that God had been impressing the very same thing upon her. She and I started the whole Twitter movement (that never really took off) for mamasunplugged a few months back because of this same problem. We both knew we needed to spend more time plugged into our children and that the internet had a way of stealing that time. The goal was to be offline completely for 4 consecutive hours in a day to spend time exclusively doing something with our children. We both found, over time, that it was impossible to manage this. It was unmanageable. It would be like a drug addicted person just having a little now and then…managing their addiction and we all know that’s not possible as a long term solution. It has to be cut out entirely to be managed. Obviously I needed a bigger change and a bigger commitment to my children than just 4 hours of undivided attention a day. That’s why I decided to give it up entirely. Thankfully my friend is making this commitment with me so now I have outside accountability and kinship as well as the accountability of my husband.

The internet is a powerful and wonderful tool. I want to be able to use it for the benefit of my children and family. There’s a lot of good stuff out there. When my children come to me and ask me what the biggest fish is or the tallest building I want to look those things up and study them with my children. I want to check my email and reply to my friends and family. It’s a great way to keep in touch. I don’t, however, need to read countless emails about whom my latest followers on Twitter are or who replied to my comments on Facebook. Don’t get me wrong here, I’ve TRULY enjoyed my time spent online with all my friends but in my attempts to manage my relationship with the internet I have never been able to find a healthy balance when it comes to social media/networking. I always end up right back where I started, spending too much time online.

My children need me to be present with them ALL the time. The Bible says in Proverbs that a child left unto himself brings disgrace to his mother. Oh how I know this. Due to my lack of being consistently present I have been seeing an increasing amount of behavior in my children that I do not find appropriate or pleasing at all. I am concerned for their character but I’ve been too busy “online” to deal with life here every waking hour and to do the hard work of training that needs to be taking place. As a mother, I have not been doing the best job that I can do. I can do so much better and the best investment of my time is in my family, hands down. I only have this one chance to “get it right”. My children will be grown and gone all too soon and I want to have the kind of relationship that keeps them close for a lifetime. I want them to remember me sitting on the floor with them playing games, reading books, and building forts, NOT sitting at the computer.

I’ve been using “being trapped under the baby” as my latest excuse to sit far too long in front of the monitor. I can, instead, sit in whatever room my children are in and be WITH my children while I feed the baby or do whatever it is that needs to be done. We can talk, work, learn and enjoy one another’s company ALL the time. I won’t have to say, “Wait until I’m done feeding the baby then we’ll ________________ (fill in the blank)”. Too often have I said that even AFTER the baby was done eating or even asleep in my arms.

I don’t need to take meaningless quizzes to find out what Michael Jackson song is my life (it was Black or White, by the way) or what my eyes say about me (innocence, according to the quiz ha-ha). I don’t need to escape to a life of crime (Mafia Wars anyone?) or build and maintain a pretend farm (I have three of them). The list goes on! What I NEED to be doing is spending all of that time with my children. My work with them is eternal. What I choose to do now will effect generations. I’m choosing to do what God has called me to do ALL the time, not just some of the time when I’m #mamasunplugged (Twitter reference) for 4 hours a day. I want to be and am GOING to be MAMA PLUGGED IN to her family 24 hours a day. Basically, I plan to go #mamasunplugged permanently.

This is my “GOODBYE FOR NOW” to the internet world. I love you but my relationship with you is toxic and it must be cut out like cancer.

I will always be available to my friends and family via phone or email but don’t be surprised if I’m too busy reading a book, playing, or learning with my children to answer the phone, talk very long, or reply to an email promptly. I’d be thrilled to meet any of my online friends in real life…so CALL me or email if you’re ever coming to the Pacific NW and I’ll see what we can do about getting together.

I will be maintaining my family photo blog for my family and friends who enjoy keeping up with the children in that manner. I might even find myself doing a bit more writing on there as well. Who knows? I will not be Tweeting or spending time on Facebook anymore. I am also giving up my online parent groups. I can play Mafia Wars or Tweet or whatever happens to be the latest thing when I’m 60 and have plenty of time for social media, I just hope that the purpose of it then will be to connect with my children and their children.

May the good Lord bless and keep you all. I would covet your prayers, if you pray, during this time of transition in my life. Change is never easy!

If you want to reach me you can email me: or you can call me! I’ll be happy to hear from you!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Random Esther Pic ~ June 19th

Well, this little darling is just about 3 months old now!!! Time is just FLYING by!
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Front of the house

My front flower beds that I add perennials & tubers to every year. It's really so much more colorful than the pictures show!
This lamp post WAS surrounded by WEEDS and it was very ugly. Looking at this picture makes me realize we really should paint the post...hmmm. Anyhow, we cleared it out and put down some weed cloth and river rocks (from our huge rock pile that we ended up with after digging out the easement windows). I'll plant SOMETHING in the little circle we put around the lamp post...just not sure WHAT yet. IF you have any ideas please do share!!!
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My big boy Azriel ~ June 16th

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Liberty ~ June 14th

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My sweet, sweet Libby!

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Kids fishing pond ~ June 04

Didn't get any good ones of Az or Libby but they were both there having a fun time!
This last photo was taken just moments before a tremendous dust storm hit. We were literally running for the safety of the car; totally caught off guard! It was crazy!
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Baby Esther ~ June 2nd, 2009

"WHAT'S UP???"
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Frogs & Lily Pads

The water lillies have been blooming WONDERFULLY this year. We have about 5 or 6 young bullfrogs in our pond & some tadpoles as well. And, of course about 50-60 fish, most of which were from last year's spawn...who knows how many little baby fish are in there now. Anyone want some fishies? Bring a net!!!

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Esther ~ May 26th

Doing some "Tummy Time" on her changing table. She was 2 months old in these pics!
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Up a Creek...

Az, the ever helpful BIG BROTHER!

My big kids! I was sitting on a stump feeding the baby & taking pictures. We had a fun morning on the trail.
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Azriel's view of things

Zintel Canyon/Spirit of America Trail

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More of Azriel's photography

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