Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Life without satellite

A date that will live in infamy.
A day that will change the dynamic of Oehlschalger farm forever.
A turning point.
It was the day we got rid of satellite.
Now, without a digital converter box, we are the proud owners of an Amish television.
And when the wind blows, our channel options are even fewer.
Sounds pathetic this is such a big deal, right?
I think it is. It’s pretty sad when deciding to turn off the tube and turn to family time caused such a stir.
And I know we aren’t alone. Families all over the country have been caught in the time-consuming vice of television, satellite and DVRs so long we don’t know any different. We don’t see the problem. It’s a part of our lives. And the reason it’s sad is because television is not reality.
On the other hand, it is a way to avoid what problems ARE realities in our lives.
A way to procrastinate the work we, in reality, have to accomplish.
It makes us lazy. It numbs our minds. It makes us fat.
Wake up, America. We are zombies!
The instant we unpluged that satellite and turned on the fuzzy remnants collected by our antenna, there was relief.
Our home now has a different feel.
The white noise (most of it) is gone.
Now all that remains is the normal and healthy family sounds.
Kids screaming, playing and laughing.
Conversations with my husband.
More story times with the children.
There’s even more quiet.
The world has been turned off and I am left with the things that matter most to me.
I’m not distracted by smut T.V. or worried about the influence even “good” shows are having on those little sponges.
There’s no obligation to keep up with “my shows.” Getting rid of satellite was like marking 100 things permanently off my to-do list.
I can tell you that, so far, it has been one of the best decisions we’ve made in regard to our family health.
Mentally. Physically. Financially. Spiritually.
Winter is on its way. An opportunity for us to perfect our non-satellite time management skills. I will be tested. I probably will long for the mind-numbing glow of hundreds of child-occupying channels.
But I will also cuddle with and listen to my oldest daughter, Kadence, read me a story.
I will be captivated by the Lego architecture Rylan designs.
I will watch Bella dance to her own music in her full-length bedroom mirror.
I will laugh at the antics of baby Masen.
I will miss lots of television, but I won’t miss my family.
We will be warm. We will be safe. We will be happy.
Without satellite.

Ginia's favorite things

You know that little, barely known talk show named after the world’s super-mega-icon-celebrity Oprah?
While I don’t frequently watch the show (I have a hard time stomaching the star for a whole hour), I am familiar with her annual “Oprah’s Favorite Things” show.
During this Christmas episode, all audience members in attendance leave with a bundle of Oprah’s favorite things for that year. And I mean the loot they leave with is AMAZING! An eBay seller’s dream score.
So in light of the fact that Oprah is retiring from her show and I will never have an opportunity to be in THAT particular audience, I’ve decided to compile a list of my own favorite things.
Now I don’t get the kick-backs that I’m sure Oprah doesn’t receive either, and my list is rather unexotic and, for the most part, inexpensive and unfashionably available and common, but I’m going to write on anyhow.
This list will be made up of things. There will be no personal heroes or favorite people and no “fall is my favorite.” Just boring things.
So without further delay, I now present you with “Ginia’s Favorite Things 2010”:
(In no particular order)
1. Pepsi. Without the burn of this caramelized “water,” I would surely become a headache-ridden, zombified grouch. (Please, no snickers from the crowd.)
2. Netflix. I love, love, love this online movie rental service. For a monthly fee, your family can enjoy several movies every month delivered straight to your mailbox or live to your T.V. Literally, this service has any movie you can imagine. Literally.
3. Gum. I was THAT kid who always had a wad of the chewy substance smacking around in my trap. Still love the stuff. I carry several different varieties in my purse. I long to be known as the “gum aunt.” And I am proud to announce my reputation is spreading. You should see the crowds I attract at church!
4. Tide and Magic Erasers. I know you are in shock because this former laundry detergent maker is now a buyer of one of the most expensive detergents out there. But, believe me, the orange bottle is worth it. I was skeptical, but it convinced me.
Another cleaning miracle is Magic Erasers, otherwise known as God’s gifts to housewives. Whatever that little sponge is made of can do wonders, making the thickest ring on the dirtiest tub come off with little to no elbow grease. It can take crayon off anything and can do a gazillion more cleaning chores like a champ.
5. ewordtoday.com. This little website gives you day-by-day assignments to read the Bible in one year. God convicted me to do this after thinking back on all the books I’ve read from cover to cover. I, unfortunately, realized the Bible — the most important book on my shelf — had never been read as thoroughly.
6. allrecipes.com. This site gives cooks a chance to browse more online recipes than you can imagine. What I like is all the reviews and suggestions. Excluding your own kitchen inadequacies, it’s almost a sure-fire way to make a hit dinner dish.
7. Dyson vacuum. We recently purchased one of these awfully expensive vacuums after our only-2-year-old model quit doing it’s one and only job: sucking! I will tell you, that this purchase has revolutionized my world. Seriously. I loved to vacuum before. But now I REALLY love to vacuum. Worth the money.
8. Coolpix camera. This memory maker has been nothing but a joy to me. Available in all the colors of the rainbow, the cameras are as small as a cell phone and take amazing, quality photos.
That’s really it. My favorite things reflect what’s most important in my life: God, husband, kids, family, home.