About Me

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Just another stay at home mom trying to do it all, save the world, and not run out of coffee.
My published articles: exm.nr/gkA1yp
Twitter: @CarolBruckmann

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Beach Daze

I promised the hubs that if we could stay right on the beach just this one time then I would be content staying across the street for the rest of my life. I may have to break that promise! Our week at the beach began as a rainy drizzly mess, but every time there was a break in the deluge we raced to the beach for as much beach time as possible. When it rained we could still look out of our sunroom window and see the waves. The kids have taken to the beach like true children of mine. Every morning I head to the beach with my early riser baby and any other kiddos he wakes up. Since we are right on the beach we make trips in and out as beached kids suddenly remember they haven't had breakfast, need to go potty, or need a nap. I am totally spoiled... just don't tell Jamie!


You can see more pics on Facebook by clicking here and on Google+ by clicking here.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Zoo Trip

Nothing could be more enjoyable than hitting the zoo on the hottest day of the summer and trudging up and down hills pushing a stroller for the better part of 7.5 hours. Thankfully  the Asheboro Zoo is almost fully shaded. I was afraid Jamie would mock it since he grew up going to the much larger Cincinnati Zoo, but he really liked it! Coincidentally my aunt, cousin, and 3 second cousins hit the zoo on the same day. We ran into them at all the best places - the water mister, playground, and exit.

Caitlyn spent some time talking to a seal, and it reciprocated by doing a show for us.


Favorite animals were: Elijah - baboon, Caitlyn - chimpanzees, Carol Anne - seals, and Jamie - albino alligators.


For more pics click here. For a video of Caitlyn monkeying around click here.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Salivania or Bust

I would love to move into this beehive,
but the wireless service is really spotty.
I was the sort of child who became so absorbed in reading a book or playing a video game that I would literally not hear my parents call me. Back in the days of nonsavable game like Mario Brothers I would often only go to bed with assurances that the game would remain paused through the night and while I attended school the next day. So it may seem hypocritical that I so severely limit my children’s exposure to television and video games. Except on special occasions my four year old has to do 3 chores, reading, and math to earn a television show, then 3 more chores and a workbook to earn video game time. It’s possible she sees me as slightly harsh. The other morning I walked into our bedroom to this conversation:

Caitlyn: I don’t like you mommy. You always make me do chores. When I grow up, I am going to move to a country where they don’t do chores.
Me: Where do you think they don’t do chores?
Caitlyn: South Africa.
Me: I’ve been to South Africa. They have chores there.
Caitlyn: Well then Salivania. They don’t do chores there. (long pause while her dad and I crack up) Where is Salivania anyway?

Despite the fear that my daughter may one day move to an imaginary country with unrestricted television and video games where no one has to empty the dishwasher, I do plan to continue my efforts to fight her natural inclination to zone out into all things technological. (Her latest plan involves turning five so she can buy her own iPhone to play games on during quiet time.)

Now I am as likely as the next parent to turn on the electric nanny when I can’t quite get dinner done, and our long van trips are much more enjoyable thank to a built in DVD player and a Leapster. But several things have convinced me of the importance of fighting to pull my children away from media. Here are a few:

1. Brain Drain – Despite the fact that Jake and the Neverland Pirates will try to draw her into conversation, her brain shuts down to the lowest level possible when placed before a shiny screen.

2. Time Waste – The child will literally stare at a computer or smartphone indefinitely, even if nothing is on it!

3. Lack of Good Programming – Okay, so at the preschool level the only thing I really have to worry about is that The Fresh Beat Band really freaks me out, but the shows only get worse as the suggested age increases.

4. Commercials РEven while watching an okay show an advertisement will pop up with a risqu̩ line from a network sitcom, or our football game will be interrupted with a Viagra commercial. Thank goodness for DVRs, am I right?

5. Family time – I don’t want to be one of those families sending instant messages to each other that dinner is ready. I want us to be truly present with each other and involved in each others lives.

The next generation gets sucked in...
Ephesians 5:15-16 warns, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” As much as we as parents have struggled with time management and wasted time I pray that we can break the cycle and teach our children to walk carefully and wisely use the time given them by God.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Kingdom of Camelot and the Kingdom of God

Although he was suspicious of my photography,
Jamie did in fact approve this message.  :)
One of the biggest sources of contention in the six years of my marriage has been the computer. Although last year my husband and I agreed to track our computer and television usage for a week, he neglected to write down his hours (and hours.. and hours…). His perception of time would become skewed as he entered his Kingdom of Camelot to command his knights. It reached the point that I began to resent the computer and contemplate “forgetting” to pay the bill for a month or two. No matter how I nagged, cajoled, complained, or whined I could not seem to command the same attention as Facebook games and web surfing. One look at my beloved staring at the screen could send me into a scream of “I HATE FACEBOOK GAMES!” while I searched for my Mark Zuckerberg voodoo doll.

Thankfully things have improved. Through calm conversation Jamie has come to understand that when he is at the computer when I need help or attention it makes me feel unloved and unimportant. And I have come to understand that no matter what his actions my be, mine need to be love, joy, peace, patience, kindness… well you see where I’m going with this. Not only does this make me feel better, but as I can communicate in love and frustration it will help change our marriage for the better.

As the apostle Peter wrote, “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.” A quick glance may lead one to believe that this verse instructs women to sit down, shut up, and take whatever their man throws at them. But whether or not Peter was speaking from the view of a patriarchal society, it definitely seems the case that my husband is more likely to be won over when I am acting in a pure and calm manner rather than seething and threatening injury to the PC. The real problem is not the computer itself, but the way we handle it, our time, and our relationships with people in “real life".

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Media and My Walk With God

I have joked with my granddad about how his family could be so morally corrupt. After all, his parents grew tobacco (like everyone else in N.C. in that era), he sold televisions (tearing apart the moral fabric of our nation), and his son sold drugs (calm down people... he's a pharmacist). What will the next generation do, something with the evil internet???

Okay, even though I'm not an Al Gore fan I know that all media is morally neutral in and of itself. So the internet isn't evil, it's what we do with it. About a year ago I logged the time I spent on the computer and television and as a result became more conscious of the time I spent completely "vegged out" doing nothing. Then I compared what I was watching to Philippians 4:8 (Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things). Since then I have rarely been able to watch a comedy, and really I should cut out the dramas to which I'm already addicted. I've made a conscious effort not to add any new shows. Nevertheless I have of late spent time completely unplugging my brain and watching the Food Network or History Channel while the hours slip away and the tasks I need to do fail to magically complete themselves. And even though I don't have time to play computer games anymore I have been known to stare at the glare of the screen while mindlessly flipping through my email, Facebook, blogs, and Twitter.

Currently I am contemplating purchasing an iPhone or the like. Although I text like a champ I have yet to step into the smartphone world. On one hand internet access when I'm out would be nice, I could get online even when the hubs is home and on the computer, and as I don't have an iPod or a Kindle the phone could multitask for those missing gadgets. But would I turn into one of those people constantly staring at my phone and scrolling madly instead of engaging those around me? Would it distract me from divine appointments with strangers, take time away from my children, and put a wall between conversation with my husband? Or could it be a time saver helping me quickly connect to the information I need, a tool to connect with others, and an educational device for my children? Could having access to devotionals, the bible, and other Christians draw me closer to God or would the opportunity to look at nothing of value pull me further away?

The Bing search overload commercials are funny because they are so true. My high school students would type questions into Google and copy the first website that pops up verbatim with little or no thought. So do I want one more technology invading our live, or would a smart phone simplify the time I spend online? Would an iPhone distract me from God's will for my day or connect me to the original iAm? 

Convince me either way!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July 4th Math

1 small town parade complete with pirates, a battle ship replica, Super Soakers, and Air Force flyovers



1 preschooler more interested in technology than fireworks


1 adorable hand me down July 4th dress perfect for church and a surprise visit from my auntie and grandparents


1 Emergency vet ER trip


An action packed July 4th weekend!

And then there was the cleanup....

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don't use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.  Galatians 5:13

Check out all the pics by clicking here!

Shalom Seekers