Friday, February 17, 2012

Five Things For Friday, 32nd Edition

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I apologize about not having a Five Things for Friday last week, I know some of you were planning on it. Last week was just unbelievably crazy and when it came right down to it my choice was between neglecting my husband and staying up way too late to write my post or spending time with him... and I hate to say it but he is a bit more important! Thanks for understanding.

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If you haven't noticed yet I have a BEAUTIFUL new blog design. I have been wanting to re-design my blog forever, but I am lacking in the graphic design skills. I have actually been praying the last few months to find someone who would help me do it, and Misty was an answer to my prayer! Didn't she do a great job?! I really love the colors and the feel of it. It surpassed my wildest expectations. There are two features that I'd especially like to point out. The first is the new Facebook "like" button that is now attached to each of my posts. This makes it super easy for you to share something you read on my blog with your Facebook posse. Second, Misty made me a new button for the "Women in the Scriptures Challenge". So if you are taking the challenge you might want to update your button. The old one will still work, but this one is MUCH prettier. Thank you Misty so much! You are wonderful, so wonderful.

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Remember the caterpillar that Asher found way back in September? Well after it made its cocoon we put it on top of the fridge thinking that it would hatch a few weeks later. It didn't. Month after month is sat up there not doing anything and Jon and I thought that it must have died inside the cocoon. I almost threw it away, but yesterday when I looked inside I saw that there was a moth. My first reaction was "Ugg, how did a moth get into the jar? I've had the lid closed." And then, in a streak of brilliance, I realized that it must have hatched out of the cocoon. I was so excited.

See how it ate itself out of its cocoon, neat huh?



I was a bit disappointed (only for a moment) that it wasn't a butterfly. But as I explained to my children what the caterpillar had done I was struck by the incredible miracle of re-birth and transformation. I love it how God teaches us important eternal lessons through the nature that surrounds us. The answers to the deepest questions in the universe are all around, we just have to have the eyes to see them. God really is the ultimate teacher.

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I was really humbled by the article in the Ensign this month entitled "Keeping Safe and Keeping Balanced in a Google- YouTube-Twitter-Facebook-iEverything World." The article gives suggestions to parents about how to set good boundaries for their kids in using technology and the Internet. At the end of the article the author gave "10 Signs of Digital Overload". As I read through the list I was appalled to find that I could answer yes to about 6 of the questions. I've written about it before but I have really struggled with finding a good balance of technology and Internet in my life. Reading this article just reminded me that I still have some things to work on. I realized that if I want to be able to teach my kids good technology boundaries then I need to be able to have stronger boundaries for myself.

So, the first thing I did was to turn off the email notices on my phone. I realized that they really stress me out. I am constantly checking my phone and reading emails but since I hate typing on my phone I can never answer them. It makes me stressed out all day thinking about all the emails I need to respond to. It has been heaven having it turned off. Also, inspired by things I have read on other people's blogs and the article in the Friend magazine this month, I made some "technology tickets". I took Popsicle sticks and painted them a different color for each member of the family. Each child gets ONE movie ticket a week and four 15 min. tickets to be used for time on the ipad. I also gave myself some tickets-- one hour of internet/ipad time a day and broke it up into 15 minute interval sticks. On Sunday everyone has to cash in their tickets-- meaning there is NO technology usage by anyone on Sunday-- and for each one you haven't used you get some money in exchange. We have only been doing this for a week and it has been amazing the change in our home, especially in me. Knowing that I have to cash in some of my tickets when I get on the Internet has made me use my time so much better. And not having the TV or Internet on on Sundays has been so peaceful. It forces us to play and talk together instead of staring at a screen... which is an improvement. Hopefully we can keep it up. It really requires me being honest with myself... and sometimes that is hard;)

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When I went back to read the post about Asher's caterpillar I realized that at the time I told you we were going to be graduating, selling a house, moving, and having a baby all in the same month. Well, things didn't quite work out like that... thank heavens. My husband ended up staying an extra semester to finish his Master's thesis and his new job was good enough to let him postpone starting until the end of May. I am really glad that we didn't have to move with a new baby, that would have been crazy. The one downside is that the extra semester in school has made our financial situation a bit tighter than usual and I am really having to find ways to make our paycheck stretch. I would LOVE to hear your best suggestions for reducing expenses and getting by on less. It has been an adventure for me, and I'd LOVE some more ideas!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

If you want to link to your own "Five Things for Friday" post you can use the tool below to add your link. 1) Please link to the URL of your blog post and not your main blog and 2) Please include a link back here.

9 comments:

  1. I had the same reaction to the Ensign article. Yikes. That ticket idea is a great one; I'll have to figure out a way to do it in our family too. Thanks for the thoughts, as always. You're kind of endlessly fabulous.

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  2. I LOVE the old scripture scroll that is now on your blog header {and in the taking the challenge button too}. Misty is a wonder! She has designed our new Family Proclamation Celebration button for us.

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  3. Thank you for the example of puting family first over technology. I too read that article in the ensign and what I got out of it most was WHY we stay so long- our muscles don't tire- we can keep going and going, but in most activities we get tired. Thank you for being so great!

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  4. Love your post!
    When my family was younger I had a fun time making our budget stretch. You can be very creative. One thing I did that I enjoyed was exchanges with other moms. I envited a group of women and we brought clothes and toys our children and us had outgrown that were still in good condition and traded. I had a group of at least 10 moms who showed up on a regular basis. It was all new to us, we called it "Our sisters closet." We did this every three months. It was loads of fun.

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  5. THe new blog design looks fantastic! I might have to have Misty help me out with my blog!

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  6. I love the new look!

    Also, I'd seen the article in the Ensign that you mentioned and was planning on reading it, but hadn't yet until tonight. It was so well done! I felt that we do pretty well on "ways to cut back," but even then, we're pretty awful with the "digital overload." I find it really sad that I spend so "little time in face-to-face interactions with friends," but it's so hard to actually get together with anyone, especially when you have little kids! Hopefully when it warms up a little more, I can have some REAL interactions outside!!

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  7. I agree, Misty did a wonderful job! I really love your new layout. And I have not read the article in the Ensign yet, but I can't wait to check it out.

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  8. Check out theprudenthomemaker.com for some AMAZING tips! It's one of my favorite sites.

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  9. I love the media ticket idea, and it inspired this pin on Pinterest. I've credited you with the idea - I hope you don't mind. http://pinterest.com/pin/247135098272164669/

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