Turning off the TV.

This year we as a family decided to turn the TV off for Lent – forty days without the tube. With the new baby, the holidays, and all of the other stressors we’ve had, there had been lots of Netflix and video gaming in the Robinson household. So this was going to be hard, but doing it as a family is the key.

For Christians, Lent is a time of reflection on the sacrifices of Christ. It’s the forty days before Easter, starting with Ash Wednesday. We try in small ways to make some sacrifices ourselves in an effort to bring ourselves closer to God. It’s a wonderful time of growth and expansion, probably because it is a challenge. The idea is to give up things that are not necessarily harmful to us but rather luxuries that we would otherwise feel entitled to. So you wouldn’t necessarily use this time to give up smoking, but of course there’s never a bad time to give that up.

I thought I’d share our saga here with you, and let you know how we’ve spent the time. I guess one good thing is that it’s afforded me the time to take up blogging again ūüôā

Day 1 – Ash Wednesday. Church! Dinner at the table with everyone. The house felt so quiet. Shockingly quiet. It’s amazing how without that background noise (which is of course what TV tends to be) there is just this emptiness. A bit of a jolt to adjust to.

Day 2 – Thursday. This day was a bit more challenging. The boys however discovered a love of bath time. They took four baths between the two of them – two together and one each alone. We were admittedly shocked at this development.

Day 3 – I was home from my internship. We read lots of books today and the boys spent a ton of time outside. Also got their room a bit clean! Went to see hubby’s grandfather and spent a great portion of the afternoon there.

Day 4 – Saturday. The hubby was gone with his dad all morning, so the boys and I enjoyed a super quiet day.¬† We listened to a lot of NPR. The boys played with their Skylanders – these little statue toy things that go with the Wii. The boys played out their game WITHOUT their game. It was super fun to see. They played out this elaborate story with their figures. For a while Virgil was even the bad guy. Day 5 – Sunday. Church again in the morning. I am so proud of my boys, who are hanging with it so well. We’ve talked a lot about God and sacrifice, how it can make you a better person. However, Yeats says that next year he’s giving up homeschool for Lent.

Day 6 – Monday. Took Hermione to PT and her first speech. Hubby did karate with the boys. An easy day!

Day 7 – Tuesday. LeapPad has taken over our house! Mom got the boys the old kind of LeapPad, the kind with actual books that you touch with a pen, and they had not really taken much notice of it for months. She hooked them up with like twenty books. Now it’s all they want to do. LeapPad started at 4:30am. Hermione went to doc for what turned out to be infected ear pits (see previous post)

Day 8 – Wednesday. We decided to have a picnic on the deck. In the cold. With blankets.


Day 9 – Thursday. Karate with the family. This is perhaps my favorite picture ever!


Day 10 – Friday. The boys rediscovered their Cars racetrack. An afternoon of racing ensues.

More to come as the days roll on toward Easter!

Categories: Motivation, Spirituality, Stories from My Life | Leave a comment

20 reasons to exercise

  1. You will NOT live to be 100 if you don’t.
  2. It’s addictive.
  3. Workout clothes have come a long way.
  4. More exercise = less cancer.
  5. Our bodies are meant to move.
  6. It involves oogling hot guys at the gym.
  7. Your children.
  8. Your grandchildren.
  9. Your great-grandchildren.
  10. Fewer real sick days (so you can use those sick days for fun)
  11. Your body is real – your TV is not.
  12. More exercise means more food!
  13. A little goes a long way.
  14. Your friends will be impressed.
  15. Lower medical bills.
  16. Better sex.
  17. A sense of accomplishment.
  18. Being able to shop anywhere in the mall.
  19. You will feel better. (even if it sucks at first)
  20. No more guilt about not exercising!


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Faking it – admitting to my disdain for exercise

I’m putting out there – I don’t like to exercise.

I was not a sports person in school. ¬†The only reason that I was able to pass PE in high school was because of the classroom health component. ¬†One memorable instance was me failing the volleyball test. ¬†The goal of the test was to serve a volleyball to a certain line on the wall about six feet off the floor. ¬†I couldn’t even hit ball and get it airborn. ¬†And I had a good PE teacher, not some nightmare drill¬†sergeant. ¬†We had plenty of tries and easy grading, but I just could not serve the ball.

This doesn’t mean that I was a couch potato – no way – I was a band geek and a theatre kid. I did marching band for five years with gusto. We competed regionally and won often. ¬†I was in the low brass section where we were definitely physical. ¬†Marching band pushed my body, but it also engaged my intellect so I was able to dive into it and get past my disdain for physical activity. My head was in the music, not the muscles.

And yes, this is my actual marching band during the 1994 season (I’m the little one with the marching trombone) Go Yellow Jackets!

Marching band was an exception.  I did theatre for the arts of it and while I dabbled in musical theatre and show choir, the dance part was never something that I felt I was good at or called to.

My body has always done its thing and for the most part I haven’t had to worry about it. ¬†I’m blessed with great genes and without a penchant for indulgence in food, so weight wasn’t a problem (in my twenties, the pounds have started to materialize now that I’m in my thirties). For the last ten years I’ve worked out often and I credit that physical fitness with a lot of good things in my life. ¬†But it’s nearly ALWAYS a chore. ¬†I do it because I know the health benefits and because I feel good on the other end. ¬†The doing part is not fun for me.

There’s been mountain climbing and hiking, martial arts and yoga through the years. ¬†There’s been a fair amount of running and weight lifting. ¬†I consider myself a health conscious and healthy person, but I just don’t like exercising! ¬†I do a fair amount of “piddling” as my mother says – walking around the house in circles cleaning up bits and pieces of things and yes, ladies you know that this is exercise. ¬†I’ve always chosen the stairs over an elevator when given the opportunity. ¬† When we’re out and about I love walking, especially when it’s somewhere that I’m interested in like the zoo or a festival. ¬†But man that treadmill (or elliptical or bike) is just a turn off!

My husband and I have lately been doing in INSANITY (you know you’ve seen the infomercials). ¬†It is a fantastic program – hard work but well done and the results are there. ¬†It’s six days a week and I feel so great after I do it but I struggle with getting started every single time.

How do I keep doing it? I psych myself into it by FAKING IT. ¬†That’s right, I fake it. I guess all those acting classes paid off. ¬†I lie to myself, pretending that I’m one of the women in the video with a sculpted body who “pushes it.” ¬†I lie to my husband, telling him how excited I am to be working out. I lie to my kids, telling them how awesome it feels to exercise. I lie to my friends and¬†acquaintances, both online and off. ¬†That’s a lot of lying. But the payoff is totally worth it because over and over again we see the benefits of physical activity. ¬†I don’t feel guilty at all – rather that I’m giving a gift to my family. ¬†And guess what? I DO feel better after I work out, short term and long term. ¬†The key word there is of course “after” because before and during it I’m just loathing the whole process.




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New Year’s Eve

I know I’M ready to say au revoir to 2011!

My little family has experienced so much joy, sadness, disappointment and relief in the past 12 months.  I am invigorated by the thought of a new year and what opportunities it will bring.

We are constantly presented with chances to redefine ourselves.  We know when one of these  occasions will present itself  as every January 1st we are confronted with the prospect of a new beginning, even if it is falsely placed there by a seemingly arbitrary date on a calendar.  This date has been so imbued with the essence of this new beginning that it has begun to actually carry meaning.  And so I do embrace it as a time to change things about myself that I want to change and to redefine my life in ways that are true to the vision that I have of myself, as opposed to the reality of who I am.

Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do. ¬† ¬†–Pope John XXIII

So here’s a taste of my resolutions – who I want to be in this new year that will not be in so many ways defined my the challenges that the fading year presented. ¬†These are not goals. ¬†I cannot measure them but they are statements about who I want to be in the new year, from the inside out. These are all “I will” statements because they are about actions that I will take, things that I can change without other people. ¬†They aren’t perfect and are sometimes a bit redundant, but the emphasis is there because I know it’s what I need.

  • I will improve my inner environment so that its reflection in my outer environment will be beautiful.
  • I will pause in the moments when I recognize that I am not giving the most of myself to those around me and change my actions.
  • I will see the best in my children and my husband.
  • I will be decisive and forceful about important decisions in my life.
  • I will trust myself.
  • I will ¬†believe that I can do it.
  • I will take life one moment at a time and strive to not feel overwhelmed.
  • I will purge things from my life that are not constructive.
  • I will understand how important my role is as a mother and will fulfill that role – inventing with my husband the life that we envision for our family.
  • I will see the beauty in the blessings that are all around me.
  • I will intentionally create my life. Continue reading
Categories: Motivation, Stories from My Life | Leave a comment

Motivation Monday

We’re starting a new series here on Moving Mama. ¬†Every Monday I’ll be posting things to help you find motivation – quotes, stories, images, whatever.

To start, this week I’ve created some images – kind of like those motivational things that you see around (of course these days you mostly see the ‘demotivational’ kinds of things all over the place.) ¬†Speaking of ¬†“demotivational” images, it makes me realize that we have really become to cynical. ¬†Somewhere in there bettering ourselves has become uncool – I’m thinking right now about all of those Stuart Smiley skits from SNL. ¬† Self improvement is NOT hokey! ¬†It’s a good thing! A few years back I was fortunate enough to hear Mac Anderson speak and to meet him as well. ¬†He’s the guy behind the original posters and the founder of Successories, the company that made and marketed them all over. ¬†It was at a large corporate conference where the idea was to encourage people to do things that would make the company more money. I know I went back to my job after that conference and was more productive! Say what you like, but people get more done when they immerse themselves in positive thinking, and it makes people around them better too.

Take a few to look at the pics below, let me know your thoughts.  Does this kind of thing make you feel more motivated or does it make you roll your eyes?

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