Monday, July 11, 2011

Media Monday - Week 1

It's been awhile since Women Living Well has hosted a weekly challenge.  Courtney is very good at posting thoughtful discussions and I have enjoyed participating in the past.  The current challenge, which begins today, has to do with the Media around us. She wrote a really great post - so click the link and read her thoughts as well!

Before I can even begin to think about how media impacts my life, I needed to list the media items that I allow in: Computer - Facebook, blogging, general searching; Phone - just basically talking to my husband but my phone does have texting; TV/Music - the "oldies but goodies".  I don't own a iPad, iPod, or iPhone nor do I do anything with Twitter.  Courtney has challenged herself with tracking her time using the basic media items (facebook, twitter, writing blogs ect).  I don't feel the need to do that - most of the time I spend on the computer is done after my family goes to bed.  My husband's hours puts him to bed at about 7:30 - the same time as the kids so I have several hours before I head to bed.  Throughout the day, yes, my computer is on, but I don't spend tons of time on it - rather for a quick check more than anything.

So where do my challenges lie?  For quite awhile I've had the burden in my heart to make sure my kids don't grow up thinking that their mom is attached to the computer. 

It is easy to make the computer the central focus not just because of fun things, like facebook and You Tube, but because everything that encompasses our daily lives is stored on there.  From pictures to schedules, to plans for fun family ideas and more.  Who uses paper anymore?  In my stocking for Christmas, my husband got me a 3 subject notebook, pens, and high lighters.  No, he wasn't trying to give me a hint, but he knows that I've always loved those little supplies.  At first, I just stuck them in a drawer but as I started to realize that most of my free time was spent sitting at my desk in front of the little screen . .. I pulled that paper out and use it more.  When I need to brainstorm, or make a to do list, or even work on the beginnings of lesson plans - I use paper.  I can always type up the master list later.  I also created templates for things like menu planning, grocery lists, and other often used lists, printed them off, and fill them in with pen.  Basically, I cut the cord between myself and the computer.  Of course I still spend time on it each day - but I have tried to limit it more and also be willing to walk away.  I play more with my kids and we go outside on the really nice days.  

The other challenge to me was one that Courtney touched and that is the computer verses my quiet time.  Yes, I've slacked off this summer but that is sheer laziness on my part (called not wanting to get out of bed) but, when I was being disciplined this past year, getting up 30 minutes earlier to ensure I had time to get through my devotions, I pulled away from using the computer during that time.  This past year, as I was doing a study in James, I found that half way through my quiet time I was on the computer searching for an explanation of a verse; which made me think, "Oh, I should just do my devotions on the computer!" . .. .that idea quickly was replaced with a "no way"!  This is my time - I don't want to give it up to the screen.  So instead, I pulled out my husbands J. Vernon McGee commentaries and kept the one with James in it with my Bible Study books.  When I needed some help understanding a passage, I would just use that old-fashioned book instead.  I get so much more out of my quiet time as I sit in the semi-dark living room, without a computer screen glaring at me, or the TV on or even music for that matter.  It is so easy to find a way to use the computer for everything - when really we need to turn off everything so we can focus on what is truly important.

As far as Facebook - I know that many people struggle with it - they get into the middle of discussions, get stabbed in the back, get wrapped up in all of the hype and even feel the need to take breaks from it.  Personally, I enjoy facebook.  I find it fun to read status' of friends and family; I find it entertaining to look at their pictures or read the fun notes the put up.  I have not had a problem with anyone on facebook and periodically remove people from my friend list who I have had no contact with or who are posting things I would rather not see.  I don't accept every friend request that comes my way and I try not to get in the middle of any discussion that I know will blow up.  I don't plan on giving up Facebook - and, despite the fact that my brother thinks I'm always on it - I'm really not :-)  I do enjoy a page that links me with other Flylady followers and often use that page as an accountability to get things done throughout the day but otherwise, I'm not on there very much. 

Those are my simple thoughts today on this topic - anything to add?  Feel free to leave a comment. 

Deep Cleaning 101 - The Living Room and Dining Room

With the 4th of July holiday last Monday, I did not post my Deep Cleaning post as planned.  I didn't want to leave you all hanging (I know, you are so excited, aren't you?)  If you want to see the previous posts, just click here.

First up is the living room!!

 The "after" pictures:

 So, the big thing I try to do when I deep clean the living room is to organize, clean out, and move toys.  It helps when my kids are gone - I'm able to do this without "help" (hehehe)

And, the dining room before . . .
 And the after:
No, my dining room doesn't always look like the "before" . . .that is what it looks like after cleaning other rooms because my dining room table is my drop zone.  As I'm cleaning - I put stuff there, and put it all away at the end .  Honestly, I spent a full day cleaning the bedrooms, living room, and dining room while my kids were gone a few weekends ago.  I planned it that way knowing it would be easier to clean!

Here are my deep cleaning lists:
Living Room:  Because we "live" in the living room, it gets the most picking up on a daily basis so this deep cleaning (according to Flylady) takes place on the last days of the month - sometimes it is only one day, sometimes it is a full week.
1) Clean out/organize all toys
2) REALLY dust - move things, dust knick knacks, etc
3) Move furniture and vacuum
4) Wash insides of windows
5) Vacuum under couch cushions
6) Wipe down trim/baseboards
7) Clean off my desk

Dining Room:
1) Dust everything
2) Scrub chairs and table (all of those sticky fingers!)
3) Clean blinds/insides of windows
4) Wipe down ceiling fan
5) Wipe down baseboards
6) Move table - move rug - steam mop the entire floor; put rug back and vacuum the entire rug; move table back (I need my husband for this - the table is too hard to move by myself)

Now for reality:  This week, following my routines, I should have deep cleaned my kitchen again.  Well, it has been hot and humid here - all I'm doing is keeping up with simple routines.  And today, if you walked into my house, you'd find toys not neatly organized anymore . . .it is so hot in the evenings in the house that we are  not doing our normal clean-up but just putting the kids in bed and hiding in our room, where it is cold.  We only had one and a half bearable days last week - on Thursday I did the basics in the kitchen but that was it.  (On Friday -we went to the park!)  Even though I'm trying to keep up with the deep cleaning plan - until fall, when it is cooler, my cleaning is dictated by the weather!!!