Thursday, March 26, 2009

On the Wagon

*I'm posting this blog to force myself into a state of accountability.*

I'm an addict. A junk food addict. I am a junk food junkie. Me. I have to accept that. I love sweets. In fact, it seems that the less nutritional value a food has, the better I like to eat it. Marshmallows? Love 'em. Sugar wafers? Mmmmm. Cotton candy? One of my favorites. I call them ingestible non-food items, because food is supposed to have nutritional value. Can you live on pure carbohydrate? Groan.

Some of the youth here, in order to develop their self discipline I assume, will occasionally pick a "vice" (most often chocolate) to give up for a specific amount of time. I knew a man who used to live here that gave up sweets because he could see that he was getting hooked on them. Well, I'm joining that club. I'm going to give up junk food for six months.

At first I thought that I would just give them up for good, but I decided that I need a more concrete, short-range goal at least for now, so six months sounds good. That puts me at September 26th. At the end, I'll see how things are going and hopefully add on another six months. We'll see. No junk food. None. Nada. Zippo. Six months. Yeah.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Songs of The Heart

We're weird! I never knew! Okay, that's a lie. But I didn't know that one of the ways that we're different is that we sing regularly--as a family.

We're certainly not the King Family Singers (boy, that dates me!), or the Jackson 5, but we do sing in our home quite a bit. I guess "quite a bit" is a relative term and I'm just realizing that it might apply to us. Of course we have individuals in the house that sing privately in their rooms--with or without the cd player. We have those who, like my sister when she was a teenager, sing in front of the mirror with a make-believe mike (deoderant containers work great).

But as a family we sing every morning before scripture reading and every night before family prayer. Several Sundays a month we have friends over and sit around the livingroom and sing whatever hymns we happen to want to sing (in between eating biscuits--actually, I'm not sure if we have biscuits when people come over to sing or if we sing when people come over for biscuits!). Sometimes Casey plays the banjo and we sing "old timey" songs like "I'll Fly Away" or "Amazing Grace." We've prepared special numbers and done them for church (the whole group, not just our family). We've taken a whole year getting a special number ready for performance before--it didn't need that much prep it was really just an excuse to get together to sing.

Many years ago Casey suggested that he would like the kids to have some of the hymns memorized, so we did that. It was pretty easy--kids are great memorizers, especially anything set to music. We rarely sing children's church songs, but one time we did learn a song called "Love Is Spoken Here" in parts (girls' part/boys' part)--that was for Family Home Evening. We've memorized all of the books in the Old Testament to the tune of "Praise to the Man" and the New Testament to "Guide Us, O Thou Great Jehovah." (I like those better than the ones they have in the children's book--we can sing them FAST.)

One of my favorite memories involves singing together. It was Christmas 2006 and all of the "away" kids had come home for the holiday. One of the drawbacks (and it's a big one) of living where we do is that when you send one of your children off to college, etc., you never know when you're going to see them again--especially at home. It was the night before Levi was to leave and we were having family prayer before sending the little kids off to bed. We paused as we looked around the room, and someone started to sing "I have a family here on earth...." Even though Levi no longer was practicing our religion, of course he knew the song and we all joined in as always. I never felt the words of that song more warmly than I did at that moment--I was glad that we could express our feelings for each other in that way.

The hymns that I know have helped me a lot over the years. I suspect they have helped the other members of my family as well--I hope they have.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hello Kids - Million Year Echo

by FFTL Productions