It all started with sewing patches. My oldest son is in his first year of the Boy Scouts, so I found myself sewing a lot of patches onto his new shirt a few days ago. I'm a pretty amateur sewer on the machine, but especially with hand stitching. I definitely improved my skills and patience, though! :) Hubby and I were talking about improving my sewing capabilities, and he said he was thinking of getting me a new sewing machine. The machine I have now was his grandmother's, who passed away before he and I met. She got it in the 60's, I believe. When I first got it, I couldn't get it to sew without breaking thread, so he took it in for a tune-up, after which it worked pretty well. That was about 3 years ago. Shortly after we moved into this house, not quite 2 years ago, it started acting up again and I haven't been able to use it. I've been wanting to get it in for another tune-up, but hubby said with what it costs for a tune-up every year or two, we'd be better off getting a new one.
That long story to say, I knew the first thing I wanted to make once I get my new machine and get a little more proficient at sewing: a cover for the TV. We have a LCD mounted on our living room wall, and I'm thinking something with elastic around the edge, kind of like those plastic wrap bowl covers that you just slip over the top. But bigger and made of fabric. And for the TV. :) We had gotten in the habit of having the TV on A LOT lately...even if we weren't watching, it was background. The day after my TV cover idea, hubby came to me and said he wants the TV off from now on. The only time we will have it on is as a treat or for special occasions, like football. ;) Hubby and I do have kind of a nightly "date" thing going where we watch an episode or two of CSI: NY on the blue-ray player before we go to bed, but it's always after the kids are all in bed and sleeping. Yesterday was our first full day with no TV, and it didn't go quite as bad as I thought. In fact, I swear the kids were in a better mood. We're doing more fun things now, like playing board games or Go Fish, or reading together. And doing more not-so-fun things, but things that really need to get done, like getting the house clean and organized, and thinking about getting ready for the upcoming holidays (okay, that last part is fun, at least for me!).
Another bad habit we had gotten ourselves into (and I think this one just naturally goes with having the TV on all the time) is not eating at the dinner table. So, we re-instituted that rule yesterday as well. And it has been nothing but wonderful. :) I really thought there would be protesting about this one, but the kids were actually excited. And we're not just doing dinner, or just when Daddy's home. EVERY meal is eaten together at the table. I can't even describe to you what a wonderful time of fellowship and bonding this has been for us as a family already. Not to mention, eating meals at the table forces me to make sure that I have meals planned out. Yikes, I have let myself slip into these bad habits around the house lately, and meal planning (or lack thereof) has probably been the most disastrous. It becomes too much of a free-for-all and it's too costly!
It's only been a day, but I am absolutely loving the changes that are already taking place because of these new "rules." I'm already thinking about other things I can do to minister to my family and make this a more joyful household. The next thing to work on is definitely my computer time. I'm not constantly on the computer, but it's always ON (with the internet always up), and so easy to slip on for "just a few minutes." It doesn't help that the chair at the computer desk has sort of become "my chair," either. Even if I'm not on the computer, it's where I gravitate to when we're relaxing, or when I'm knitting, or reading, etc. So, of course, that makes it even easier to slip on and see what's going on around the internet world. So, I'm trying to change that. I'm not there yet, but my goal is to have the computer logged off the internet and on sleep mode unless it's nap time or the kids are sleeping for the night. Or, unless I need a recipe or something else pertinent that I need to look up while we're homeschooling. The good thing is, is that when I AM on the computer, my time will be more focused and purposeful (such as planned blog posts, as I've been wanting to do!), as opposed to the "mindless wandering" I sometimes do.
I'm really excited about these changes, and, as always, I can't wait to see the plans that the Lord has for my family!