Go Outside and Play !!

Mark moved to Texas 2 1/2 months before the rest of the family.  That same weekend another family from Washington moved to Texas.  Mark met them at church – three of their children match the ages of our three still at home.  How fun it has been to have such good friends already – our kids have a great time together – all of them laughing, talking, playing games, etc.
Our two families have a lot in common.   One important characteristic of both families – we limit our children’s away-from-the-home activities so that the family has recreational time together.  We both enjoyed living in Washington with all of the outdoor activities available.  Hiking, swimming, exploring the coast…    A few nights ago my friend looked at me and expressed her concern for how we will spend our summer hours in the heat and without the mountains, lakes and rivers to which we are accustomed.  That night I slept fitfully as I pictured a summer without Lewisville Park, Battle Ground Lake, Siouxon Falls, Moulton Falls…

I captured this on my
phone last August and
it should explain my
summertime anxiety
I loved walking at Lewisville
Park several times/week

To know me is to know that one of my greatest dreams for my children came true when we moved to our five secluded acres.  We lived there almost 14 years and never watched a television station.   My kids played outdoors with their imagination – I love hearing them reminisce about their make-believe games.  It sounds like they all had a special spot in the woods where they could go to be alone.  I know I did.
I have been very blessed to move to Texas with 2.3 somewhat secluded acres also!  My property is lined with trees on three sides and a neighbor with a pond on the other.  I am humbly grateful each day to have found this location!
I just stepped outside to spray paint several picture frames.  Yes, it is a bit cold to be painting outdoors in January.  Nevertheless, those few minutes outside were exhilarating.  More so than sitting here, now, at my computer.

My kids built some sort of stone-
henge at our favorite beach,
Cape Lookout

This entire blog post was inspired by a friend’s Facebook post which included this important video: Click Here  It is sobering to think what is happening with our current generation and what this means for the future!

This seems like a good time to transcribe a paragraph from a letter written by Mark in September of 1994!  It surfaced during the move. It is printed on a dot matrix printer and still has the paper-feed sides to it.  (We used to be better about writing letters to our families.) The setting is Aloha, OR.  We had just graduated from BYU and moved to the northwest.  Mark is telling everyone about the blackberries, the zoo, and other discoveries.  Then he writes this:

Our neighbor’s pond in
Texas is beautiful

One of the best things we have done as a family is sell our TV.  I recommend this to everyone.  We do plan to buy a small portable 13 inch to use as a monitor for watching videos, but feel no urgency to do so.  You may ask how we fill the void of TV.  Well, there is no void, only freedom.  

As we drove away from WA,
one last stop at
Multnomah Falls.

   The lack of TV allows time to read books with the boys or play other games.  Corinne and I also enjoy reading.  For news we listen to the radio during the day.  This is much better because the radio takes time to discuss issues instead of just giving a headline.  I have access to computer databases at work and can print articles from all the major newspapers.  If there is an issue that we want to know more about we have a great information source.  The nicest part of not having a TV is that we have eliminated the negative influence in our home.  We no longer feel obligated to sit and watch all night long.  Instead we go for walks or just sit and talk to each other.  Again, I encourage all of you to move the TV out of the front room and into a closet only to be used occasionally.

I have been thinking, if this
doesn’t sell I will have a great
summer vacation home!
In WA we kept this “TV”
under our stairs and pulled
it out to watch movies.

This was obviously before the internet was a part of our lives.  No one would have dreamed of smart phones, especially in the hands of children!  Mark was 28 when he wrote this.  As I read I am encouraged to think of new ways to cut back on technology.
Yesterday I talked with another mom who limits her kids’ time with technology.  (It was her Facebook post.)  It is so refreshing, why is it so rare?!
Seriously – if you haven’t watched that video… go back and click.

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