Thursday, February 26, 2009

Spiritual Cavities?

I HATE going to the dentist!

First there's the fear of having cavities - (which is really a fear of the Novocaine and drill to take care of the cavities . . . but that's another story to tell you! Plus - I don't think there's any more room in my mouth for cavities to form! I had "soft" teeth as a kid. :( No fun.)

But what I really hate is the scraping that the hygienist has to do with her metal torture tools!

However, I choose to endure it every six months to keep my teeth healthy and clean - and boy do I love how they feel after they've been poked at, scraped and polished shiny! I go home with a renewed determination to make sure no plaque EVER gets on my teeth again! Dental floss . . . here I come! :)

It seems though, that no matter how much I floss and brush, there's always some little hidden crevice that likes to hold onto and hide bits of the yummy food I've been eating. (I don't blame my teeth! I would love to hold onto it too. . . . just not in my teeth . . . or on my hips! Hmm . . . where can I store it then??)

So, yesterday, as I was doing my Lamaze breathing techniques to get through another anxious hour at the dentist - I decided to check in with the Lord. :) (what else is there to do? I had counted all the ceiling tiles, the water spots on the tiles, read all the labels on the light above me and any other appliance or tool that was in my limited view!)

The Lord asked me - "How are your spiritual "teeth"? How are your kids' spiritual teeth?" What have we been "eating" lately that could have turned to plaque . . . and potentially cause harm to us - death to part of us - ie. cavities? What sweet things have we enjoyed eating - only to later find out that it wasn't so good for us after all (despite how sweet it tasted going down)? What am I even talking about, you ask?

My friend Bree posted a similar blog post this week - Don't let your guard down. I encourage you to read it!

We need to not only be careful about what we "eat" (watch, listen to, engage in, think about, etc) - but we need to make sure we are daily "cleaning" our spiritual teeth (going to God for forgiveness).

None of us are perfect. We all "eat" things we shouldn't from time to time. But, what do we teach our kids about their physical teeth - "Go brush them. Get them clean and get all the sugar off your teeth so it won't cause cavities". We need to do the same spiritually . . . immediately! The longer we wait - the greater chance that that "food" will settle in and start to harden - almost looking like and becoming like our "teeth" - but it is secretly and slowly causing death (disease, sickness, etc)!

So today I challenge you to watch what you "eat". What have you been allowing in your own life or your children's lives that could potentially cause damage.

I know it's hard to say no to some things. They seem harmless. They are fun. They are "sweet". But in the long run - are they really good for you or your kids?

We have had to do away with alot of the "popular" and "sweet" things that "ALL the kids" are doing/have/etc. It's because I love and care about my kids and their health - physically, emotionally, and spiritually! I tell them that's the reason. "I love them too much" to allow some things. One day they will understand and be thankful. One day they see all the problems their friends have (the "cavities" in their lives) - and realize that they were spared that trouble because we loved them enough to be tough (or as they say "mean!").

So be a "mean mom" or dad today! Watch what you guys "eat" and make sure you all brush and get "clean" immediately (or at least daily!) - washing in Christ's forgiveness!

Phillipans 4:8
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

Red Envelope Day

I learned about this from and event page on Facebook.

You can also find out more on their website -

Get red envelopes or postcards (http://www.zazzle. com/RedEnvelopeD ay) and mail them on March 31st to the White House

March 31st, 2009

Get a red envelope. You can buy them at Kinkos, or at party supply stores. On the front, address it to

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington , D.C. 20500

On the back, write the following message.

This envelope represents one child who died because of an abortion.
It is empty because the life that was taken is now unable to be a part of our world.

We will mail the envelopes out March 31st, 2009.

Forward this event to every one of your friends who you think would send one too. I wish we could send 50 million red envelopes, one for every child who died [in the U.S. ] before having a chance to live.

It may seem that those who believe abortion is wrong are in a minority. It may seem like we have no voice and it's shameful to even bring it up. Let us show our President and the world that the voices of those of us who do not believe abortion is acceptable are not silent and must be heard.

Together we can change the heart of The President and save the lives of millions of children.

Barack Obama spoke at a Planned Parenthood Action Fund event, uttering the now infamous line, "Well, the first thing I'd do as president is, is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. [Applause.] That's the first thing that I'd do."

An empty red envelope will send a message to President Barack Obama that there is moral outrage in this country over this issue [The Freedom of Choice Act, which will essentially “undo” every law currently in place to limit abortion in the U.S. (i.e., parental consent laws, parental notification, waiting periods, prohibition of transporting a minor girl across state lines to obtain an abortion, etc.)]. It will be quiet, but clear.

Please read more about The Freedom of Choice Act here:

http://www.lifenews .com/nat4359. html

http://www.barackob 01/22/obama_ statement_ on_35th_annive. php

http://www.jillstan 2008/07/one_ year_annive. html

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Butt Dust



What, you ask, is "Butt dust?" Read on and you'll discover the joy in it!

These have to be original and genuine. No adult is this creative!!

JACK (age 3) was watching his Mom breast-feeding his new baby sister. After a while he asked: "Mom why have you got two? Is one for hot and one for cold milk?"

MELANIE (age 5) asked herGranny how old she was. Granny replied she was so old she didn't remember any more. Melanie said, "If you don't remember you hafta look in the back of your panties. Mine say five to six."

STEVEN (age 3) hugged and kissed his Mom good night. "I love you so much that when you die I'm going to bury you outside my bedroom window."

BRITTANY (age 4) had an earache and wanted a pain killer. She tried in vain to take the lid off the bottle. Seeing her frustration, her Mom explained it was a child-proof cap and she'd have to open it for her. Eyes wide with wonder, the little girl asked: "How does it know it's me?

SUSAN (age 4) was drinking juice when she got the hiccups. "Please don't give me this juice again," she said, "It makes my teeth cough."

DJ (age 4) stepped onto the bathroom scale and asked: "How much do I cost?"

MARC (age 4) was engrossed in a young couple that were hugging and kissing in a restaurant. Without taking his eyes off them, he asked his dad: "Why is he whispering in her mouth?"

CLINTON (age 5) was in his bedroom looking worried. When his Mom asked what was troubling him, he replied, "I don't know what'll happen with this bed when I get married. How will my wife fit in?"

JAMES (age 4) was listening to a Bible story.! His dad read: "The man named Lot was warned to take his wife and flee out of the city but his wife looked back and was turned to salt." Concerned,
James asked: "What happened to the flea?"

TAMMY (age 4) was with her mother when they met an elderly, rather wrinkled woman her Mom knew. Tammy looked at her for a while and then asked, "Why doesn't your skin fit your face?"

The Sermon I think this Mom will never forget.... this particular Sunday sermon..."Dear Lord," the minister began, with arms extended toward heaven and a rapturous look on his upturned face. "Without you, we are but dust." He would have continued but at that moment my very obedient daughter who was listening leaned over to me and asked quite audibly in her shrill little girl voice, "Mom, what is butt dust?"

Sunday, February 8, 2009

You know you are too busy when . . .

OK - This one is just for fun!

"You know you are too busy (stressed/tired/etc) when . . . . "

Fill in the ". . . " for me!

I'll start.

. . . I sprayed white board cleaner in my hair thinking it was my leave-in conditioner spray! (maybe subconsciously I thought it would erase the "white" IN my hair!)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Video Game Troubles?

OK - so when I originally set up this blog - the very first topic I wanted to talk about was this - Video Game Addictions. As you can see . . . . I'm not only a busy mom of 5 . . . but a procrastinator who gets easily distracted by other interests! :) It's a battle I fight daily! So . . . no more procrastination today. After talking with a friend of mine this weekend about all this - I have to let you know too! It looks long . . . but it's worth reading!

I have 3 boys and 2 girls ranging in age from 4 up to 13. I love my kids and want to see them happy (as I'm sure you do with your own kids). I want to see them grow up healthy (physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, etc). I want to see them succeed in life - in relationships, in careers, in marriage and more.

I also want my kids to "like me". :) Who doesn't. However, "liking me" comes last on my list. I've been told many a time "You're such a mean mom! I have the meanest mom in the world!"

"Man - what a bummer. It stinks to be you! I'm sorry you got stuck with such a mean mom . . . but that's my job!" :) (all said with a smile of course)

Now - I'm not REALLY a mean mom . . . but from their perspective- it does seem that way. What I am is a loving mom - who is willing to make the hard choices for my kids - to teach them and train them up so that they can make the hard choices for themselves and their loved ones one day. That is my goal. To work my way out of a job! :)

For our family - one of those hard decisions was what to do about video games.

Oh if I could turn back time . . . . to the day my husband said "I think I'm going to sell our Playstation". Our oldest was only 2 1/2 years old, and my husband had grown bored of the Playstation I had bought him a year or so before.

I remembered the fun in junior high when my family got our first Atari! My dad had sworn we would never have one - but we did! I enjoyed playing with it . . . but I could easily turn it off and go play something else. Of course, the choices of games (and the types of games) to play back then was limited.

I pleaded with my husband to not sell the Playstation - that our sons might enjoy playing it one day. Our 2 1/2 year old had already learned how to turn on the computer and start up his favorite games, and liked watching his dad play on the Playstation. My husband agreed to keep it.

Oh, if I could turn back time.

Fast forward 5 years or so. Birthday time! Oh the excitement to be getting a Game Boy! Now my son could play games on the long trips to see grandparents, or stay entertained in the doctor's office, etc. What a great invention! Or so my son thought. I thought it "might" be good. Plus - everyone had one!

However, I was beginning to become more hesitant about video games as I found that we had to restrict my son's game playing time each week. He had no "off" button of his own. His younger brother was following suit - but not to the same degree. And then there was the fighting between them as to whose turn it was to play, who had more time to play, etc.

The solution?

GM & GD bought another Game Boy . . . so now they both could play! :)

For awhile, it was nice to have video games to use as a reward for various things (ie - good behavior, doing their chores, finishing homework in a timely manner, etc). But I still had my doubts and concerns. I didn't like the attitudes that were starting to emerge from the boys - the fighting between them (not even just about video games). It wasn't even that they were playing violent games - but if they did play even a mild "shooting" type game vs. a racing type game - I did notice the frustration and anger escalated.

Hmm . . . . we need to do away with these games.

But what will I use as a reward (or a punishment)? What will the kids do with their time? It's so nice to be able to get some things done for an hour or two while they are playing their games. Plus - they really do love playing them!

I knew we had an increasing problem when I told my 2 sons and their friend to go outside and play instead of playing video games in the house! It was a beautiful day. They agreed. A few minutes later I looked out front to check on the 3 of them. They were all sitting in a circle on the front walkway. . . . . playing? Yes. Playing what? . . . . . . VIDEO GAMES!! They had brought their Game Boys outside to play! "But you said - 'Go play outside' mom!" :) That's not quite what I meant! :)

Fast forward a couple years, and the adventures of RPG's (Role Playing Games) has become the desired source of fun. Runescape, Adventure Quest, Club Penguin, etc. At first glance, some of the RPG's seem harmless . . . cute . . . fun. Some don't. Some I had a problem with the evil nature - the casting of spells, killing people, ghosts, zombies, etc. We banned those. But what could be wrong with Club Penguin and other ones like it?

Addiction! That was it! It was becoming an addiction.

Can you really be addicted to video games? And is it really a bad thing? I mean - it's not like they are out there doing drugs, smoking or drinking. There are a lot of worse things to be addicted to - right?

I received a Focus on the Family magazine in the mail one day. The front cover said "Are your kids video-game junkies?" (Oct. 07 issue) I began to read the article, and I swear they were talking about our family!! . . . . Finding my son up at 2am playing his RPG online, lying about video game use, playing games he knows he's not supposed to, not turning the consoles off when told to - begging for more time or to "just finish my level so I can save my game", hearing my sons talk about nothing other than their video games, etc.

They literally thought and talked about them morning, noon and night! Their whole life revolved around when they could play video games again . . . which at this point was down to only on Fri, Sat and Sundays - 1 hour each day. Yet they obsessed about it all week long!

In the article I learned that I had committed all the mistakes that had actually led to my children's video game addiction.
1. Starting young
2. Creating easy access
3. Using video games as a reward
4. Allowing "just one more level"
5. Ignoring your gut.

I learned that the chemicals triggered in the body by 30 minutes of video game playing can be just like an amphetamine high - and that eventually the brain is rewired to create a physiological dependence ("habitutation") on it similar to that of a cocaine addiction! There is even a detox center in the Netherlands for video game addicts!!

The article was written by Olivia and Kurt Bruner - authors of "PlayStation Nation". I immediately ordered the book! It answered so many questions and was the push that I needed to follow my "gut" (or most likely - the Holy Spirit) in getting rid of video games. I read portions of the book to my older kids and husband . . . stories from college age kids who had wished that their parents had taken away their video games because now they are so addicted and can't seem to stop playing and thinking about video games. It has taken over their lives.

As a family we all decided to sell the games and consoles and use the money to buy something that the kids could do together with their father . . . airsoft guns! :) Games for Guns! Sounded strange . . . but it was great! The kids love playing airsoft with their dad, uncle and friends. They are outside making memories (of shooting each other! Ahhh . . . good memories! :) hee,hee.).

They are being creative, analytical, tactical, relational, etc. They are out of the fantasy world that held them enslaved.

We still have more hurdles to overcome though - and after talking with a friend this weekend - we need to do it.

We got rid of the Playstation console and games just before my son's 10th b-day - after we had already planned a sleep-over b-day party where he could play video games with his friends. So - we decided to keep the Game Cube and just take it out for b-day sleep overs. Yah right. The b-days seem to last for a week afterwards too! We tried it for a year . . . but when we bring it out, it's all the kids can think and ask about for weeks and weeks afterwards. It's like giving a drink to an alcoholic who has been trying to stay sober. It's not healthy. I wish it would have worked, but it doesn't . . . not for my boys (esp. my oldest and youngest).

I had given my friend (who I had talked with this weekend) the book to read last year sometime. She read it at first and thought - "oh - I'm not as strong as Lori to be able to take away my kids games. They will hate me for it. Plus, I kind of like playing them some myself - especially the Wii." But after some time went on, and she saw some of the same addictive behaviors in her son - she decided she had had enough. They decided to sell their Wii and all their games. Her worst fears were soon addressed . . . . with a pleasant consequence! Her 10 year old son came up to her and said "Thank you mom for loving me so much and getting rid of the video games. I feel like a weight has been lifted off of me. I am so much happier now." And he really meant it! The stress and anxiety of the addiction had been affecting him - without him knowing really what it was or how to deal with it. Isn't that true with most all addictions?

I am so proud of my friend! The battle isn't over though.

We live in an entertainment saturated society where the "only" game kids want to play is a video game. They don't know how to play anything else - to be creative - to be inventive - to be relational (in the real world - not the online/fantasy one). It will take time for her son to figure out how to play - what to do with his other toys that have been gathering dust in the closet - to figure out how to live in this digital world in a healthy way. We have to be patient and stand firm. We also have to teach and encourage them in what to do now.

We as parents will still have to deal with the questions about "why" they can't play video games (as the enemy will still try to work a number on their minds . . . or ours), why other parents let their kids play games - especially the violent ones - rated T or M and above, etc.

I actually had one mom whose husband was not only severely addicted to computer games, but she didn't have a clue that video games even had ratings or what the ratings were for (or that there can be a huge discrepancy in the labeling/rating of games)! For her son's 10th b-day he was having a LAN party (where they connect up several computers to play an online game together) - and they were going to be playing games that were well above my tolerance level for my kids. I had to tell her my son couldn't come because of it (and she was shocked to find out what her son was really playing). Her son valued my son's friendship so much that he decided to change what they were going to do at the party so he could come! :) It doesn't always work out like that (and I didn't expect them to change for our son's sake), but I do have to do my part to protect my children - even at b-day parties (unfortunately).

Parenting is tough. But it's ok to be a "mean" mom or dad if it means your kids will grow up to be healthy and happy - and that they will be able to make those same hard decisions in their lives later on - when it's really important (ie - with drugs, drinking, pre-marital sex, etc).

I encourage you to go visit the Bruner's website - and find out more about video game addiction and if it's something you should be concerned about with your own children. Not all children will become addicted. And not all video games are made to be as addictive (RPG's are the MOST addictive though!).

So do your research. Educate yourself. That way you will be informed and will be able to stand firm in whatever your decision is and be able to teach your children to stand firm as well. (I wish they would have classes about this for our youth and parents like they have the D.A.R.E. programs in school!)

Be a "Mean" Mom today!! Love your kids!!

Lori :)

Here are some things to think about if you suspect there is a video game addiction going on in your house - with the kids, hubby, or yourself! (taken from the Bruner's website)

RISK ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS: A 2002 survey sampling 223 adolscents conducted by the Society for the Study of Addiction to Alcohol and Other Drugs posed the following situations to help determine patterns of video game addiction.

  • PREOCCUPATION: When I am not playing with the video games, I keep thinking about them (i.e. remembering games, planning the next game, etc.)
  • TOLERANCE: I spend an increasing amount of time playing video games.
  • LOSS OF CONTROL: I have tried to control, cut back or stop playing, or I usually play with the video games over a longer period than I intended.
  • LOSS OF CONTROL: When I lose in a game or I have not obtained the desired results, I need to play again to achieve my target.
  • WITHDRAWAL: When I can't use the video games I get restless or irritable.
  • ESCAPE: When I feel bad, etc. nervous, sad, or angry, or when I have problems, I use the video games more often.
  • LIES AND DECEPTION: Sometimes I conceal my video game playing to my parents, friends, teachers, etc.
  • DISREGARD FOR CONSEQUENCES: In order to play video games I have skipped classes or work, or lied, or stolen, or had an argument or a fight with someone.
  • LIFE DISRUPTION: Because of the video game playing I have reduced my homework, or schoolwork, or I have not eaten, or I have gone to bed late, or I spent less time with my friends and family.