Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Manly, Positive Music

Dh and I bought bunk beds at IKEA tonight and have been busy all evening moving furniture in the girls' room so that it will sleep 3 (4 with the trundle bed pulled out). He asked me to play some good working music for him to listen to while assembling the furniture. Searches on the internet for "manly music" turned up a lot of heavy metal and songs with very objectionable lyrics. The playlist I finally put together on Grooveshark consists of the following songs. The furniture job is taking hours, so it's a good thing he likes the mix! If you're interested, it includes the following songs:

1) "Eye of the Tiger" by Journey
2) "A Man's Gotta Do" from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (warning - this is the only song on the list with a crude word)
3) "You're the Best Around" from The Karate Kid (the Ralph Macchio version, of course)
4) "I'll Make a Man Out of You" from Mulan
5) "We Do (The Stonecutter's Song)" from The Simpsons
6) "Trogdor" by Strong Bad
7) "The Final Countdown" by Europe
8) The Mission Impossible Theme
9) "Kung Fu Fighting"
10) "Macho Man" by Village People
11) "Big in Japan" by Alphaville
12) "Anton aus Tirol" by DJ Otzi
13) "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley
14) The A-Team theme
15) Knight Rider theme
16) Airwolf theme
17) Bonanza theme
18) Hawaii 5-0 theme
19) "I, Don Quixote" from Man of La Mancha
20) "Holding Out for a Hero"

Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing day

What a relaxing day! Yesterday was a bit hectic, what with choir practice at church and then church. However, I really appreciated that with Christmas on Sunday this year, the focus was taken off opening presents and placed on more transcendent things.

I just read the book Shiny Objects: Why We Spend Money We Don't Have in Search of Happiness We Can't Buy, which says that although studies and statistics show holding materialistic values doesn't lead to being happy, materialism has increasingly become a much greater characteristic of our society, particularly in the recent crop of young adults. Materialism is a bit of a treadmill, one on which you never can feel like you have "enough", no matter how much money and/or stuff you accrue.

Both dh and I are fairly modest in our wants (living in developing countries can do that to you), and we have been united in focusing our family life on religious, relational, and educational goals. As recommended in Shiny Objects (written by a professor of marketing, ironically), we have avoided TV much of our marriage. We have been without a TV altogether for the past four years. This permits us to escape most of the advertising industry's incessant inculcation of materialism, a freedom that we gladly embrace over keeping up with the Kardashians's doings or idolizing wannabe pop stars. When we do occasionally see ads on Hulu or at a relative's home, we point out to our children that the ads are "just trying to get us to buy something" and are often stupid or dishonest. A positive result of avoiding TV marketing is the peace that we have experienced this Christmas. Yes, we gave our children gifts, but we probably didn't spend more than an average of $50 per child, counting stocking stuffers and candy. I did utilize a local thrift store heavily to save money on books and clothes and their grandparents sent gifts, but it was still a low-end haul by US standards. Yet they had a very happy Christmas. They were grateful for each gift and, most gratifying to us parents, they hardly fought with each other Christmas afternoon, indicating a minimal level of possessiveness about their gifts.

Now if I could just live up to today's name and box up some older playthings to give away in order to prevent toybox overflow, but low levels of materialism do not prevent little girls from developing emotional attachments to copious numbers of stuffed animals and homemade crafts. Grrr. At least they have loving hearts....

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dd7's newest project

She wants to have a website, so I just set up another blog for her on this account. If you want to learn weird but true facts about random animals, feel free to visit weirdbuttrueanimalfacts.blogspot.com.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A sweet moment

I walked into the living room this evening to find dd7 playing with this place value learning tool. She showed me the large number she'd made and said, "Mommy, this is how many times God thinks of us." I love that girl.