Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Reading Catch-Up

It has been a couple of months since I last picked up these books, but last night I dusted them off and went back at it::

The last entry I read was marked at January 25...the day we thought we first miscarried.  It caught my breath when I opened it to that date, but I immediately marked it off for today, March 1 - a new month, a new beginning :)

The theme for March is Sacrifice.  (Smile crossing  my face.) 

I also thought that was such an appropriate theme for the Lenten season.

Moving on...

Another book that was set aside.  I was able to read the first three chapters and look forward to slowly digesting the rest.

Chapter 1 : - Toys R Taking Us Over.

I wish I had read something like this when I was just beginning my family.  Tami packs in some great ideas that you can take or leave.  All keeping with the theme: Finding Play That Is Purposeful and Manageable.

Now that we have entered the tween years, we have our own ideas and have worked out the kinks along the way.  I was excited to see that things we implemented are ideas that she touches on as well.

My faves -

1.  Storing messy games and puzzles - use ziplock bags.
2. Ideas for grandparents and relatives when it comes time for gift giving.
3. Beware of the toy chest - don't go bigger when it fills up.  Instead, clean out or rotate toys.

Chapter 2 : The Media Monster

Tami has nine children who range from pre-school through 20's.  I really appreciated her suggestions that she put out there.  Again, you can take them or leave them. 

Two great movie review websites (and you may have already heard of them or use them)
1.  www.pluggedin.com - Sponsored by Focus on the Family
2.  www.screenit.com - more comprehensive, but comes with a $25 yearly membership price.

I felt relieved to hear that I am not a strange mama for requesting to know what my children may be viewing prior to watching t.v. or movies as a friend's house.

I agree with her when she wrote, "Maturity, gender, faith, stages, and temperament are all factors to be considered."

Computer. Internet.  Oh my!  She is a wealth of information.

*Personal computers for kids.  A must read!  (This includes iPads as well.)

*Did you know that Facebook is for teens only - at least age 13?  (I've seen kids on there that are NOT that age yet.)

*Mom or Dad has to be one of your teen's Facebook "friends."

*She said No Twitter for Teens!  (Strangers evidently can send photos of themselves with Twitter.  This cannot be done on Facebook.)

*Teens, with parents' "help," should check their privacy settings regularly.

*Cannot stress enough - "what goes online stays online!"

*If gossip or negative comments about other people seem to be a problem for the teen, then the teen's Facebook should be shut down for a while. 

I'm telling you, she is such a wealth of information!!!

Youtube - only trustworthy teens are the only ones who should be allowed to be the operators, and they are only allowed that privilege as long as they show appropriate videos.

* Yes, we need guidelines and rules for music, too.  She reminds us that we are parenting our children to help them make good decisions on their own.

*Check your sons' and daughters' playlists regularly. 

*Personally, (we do what she suggests already), we don't tolerate iPods when we are doing something together as a family.

Boundaries and Rules for Cell Phones
 This section is jammed packed with fabulous ideas that I know we will be using when we get to that point.

Chapter 3: - Dinner

I really enjoyed this one.  I am a big, big, big believer in family dinner time.  As Tami pointed out, "Regular dinners together provide an opportunity to have a "quantity" of time together every single day.

Again, just some of her suggestions:

1. Getting folks to the table - She states that for the sake of family life, we all could afford a little more simplicity.  Less is more. 

2. Have a set dinnertime.  Or, a set breakfast time can be eaten together instead for those parents who may work late.

3. Preparing the table.  She suggested making it look as important as it is. 

She inspired me to go get some "pretty" placemats for those Sunday dinners we have.  (Or a pretty tablecloth.)  My kids love it when we have Sunday dinner in the dining room - a room we usually never use otherwise.

She also said to use that china more often than you do.  (Of course, she wasn't suggesting 18 months old use it... must use common sense.)

4. Meal planning.   She talked about how crucial it is to have a menu.  I know from reading so many posts that you all realize that one, too.

5. Cleanup.  Everyone has to take part.  Give out jobs. 

6. Positive conversation only. 

This next book I heard about came recommended by Tiffany

This is going to be my "retreat" through Lent. 

I also loved her idea of a family meeting between each liturgical season.  Just to re-teach, re-think what each season is about. 

This week I've been slowly talking about Lent  to the littles.  I am hoping that we can all sit down this weekend and help one another develop their own spiritual journey. 

Ash Wednesday is one week away.  As my mother-in-law would say, "Eee-gads!"


  1. Smart Martha's looks like a "must read"! I am ready to do some spring cleaning which means a toy purge!!

  2. Good for you getting some reading done while you are recovering. Hope you are mending well in body and soul. I have seen that Smart Martha book and it looks great. Be sure to keep us updated and your final review too:-)

  3. I must read that Smart martha book -- I heard about it a while ago, and never thought to put it on my wish list for Christmas. And your Lenten book sounds interesting. I need a book and will check into that one.


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