Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Some Call Us Peculiar...

Back in the old days at West High, my English teacher gave us the assignment to watch the news and write a summary of a current event.

Oh, bother. The news. I hate the news. Only old people (a.k.a. adults) watch the news.

As these thoughts ran through my brain, The Shy Girl in class raised her hand. "Um, we don't watch T.V. at my house. Can I get a current event from the paper instead?"

A collective gasp sounded throughout the classroom. No T.V.?! What did they do at home? The rumor mill started at lunch... They must be one of those families who only eat organic food, and no meat... I bet they don't have electricity... I heard her mom makes all of her clothes... Someone said they have goats and chickens in their yard... The Shy Girl's family from then on was known as The Weird Family (With No T.V.)

Which brings me to my point. I just realized that my family is our local Weird Family. We stopped watching T.V. a few years back. We do own a T.V., but we only use it for watching videos and our church's General Conference twice a year. (we don't even own any video games! *gasp*) Why would we do this? How can we deprive our children of television? Easy. You just turn it off, unplug the antenna, and watch the magic happen.

CD started standing up on furniture and climbing the stairs this last week, right in the middle of the day. I could have been watching Oprah or whatever else is on during the day, but look what I would have missed! And there's another bonus: I have much more time to keep my house tidy. (People always ask how I keep my house so clean...turn off your T.V. for a week and see if it makes a difference!)
HH has developed a fascination for all trains. He can sit and play with his trains for quite a long time. He points out trains in books that we never knew were there before. We live close enough to trains that HH points out the whistle as it sounds throughout the day. He wouldn't hear that if we had the Disney Channel on all the time.
GA and EG are masters of make-believe. They play with their dress-up clothes, doll house and Furryvilles. They draw and color and paint. They look at books, invent stories and create new bedroom decor with stuffed animals and blankets almost daily. They love playing outside in the yard and picking the neighbor's flowers (sorry, Shawn and Haley). Do they complain about no T.V.? Nope. Not that I've heard.
KC is Mister Imagination. He spends his days and nights reading new series of books, inventing superheroes (ask him about All-a-Boy) and making his rounds in the neighborhood. KC makes amazing Lego and K'Nex creations, builds intricate army forts with wooden blocks, and loves throwing around a baseball in the side yard with anyone who will join him. He asks deep questions after long, thoughtful consideration. Do we wish he played more video games? Not on your life.
JC busies herself creating homemade cards, fashioning new clothes for her stuffed bear from her fabric stash and putting together gifts with her sewing kit. She still enjoys using her tea set. JC writes letters to anyone she can think of on stationery she designs herself. She loves reading, especially anything Harry Potter, and is anxiously awaiting the last book in the series, which J.K. Rowling was nice enough to release on JC's birthday. She loves to read and play with little kids. Her favorite T.V. show? Little House on the Prairie, which we have on DVD. And it doesn't bother her in the least when someone mentions their favorite show and she has no idea what they are talking about.
EM keeps herself busy by reading books, writing her pen pal, practicing (and composing) songs on the piano, and doing things with her friends. EM is an avid reader. She loves sports, especially Ultimate Frisbee, and is glad to be old enough to join the neighborhood kids for night games. EM is everyone's favorite babysitter, and tending kids has become a great source of income for her. Why is she in demand? She doesn't sit at your house and watch T.V. while the kids smear toothpaste all over your bedroom carpet. She plays with the kids, reads to them, helps them color and do puzzles. As for T.V., she is happy to watch one of the Liken series of movies or a Disney musical she can sing along to.

I won't lie to you, AM would love to have an X-Box or whatever the new, cool game system is. But he can play to his heart's content at his friends' houses. While at home he enjoys listening to music on his CD player (he used to be attached to his ipod until he jumped into the pool at Veteran's with it in his pocket...), reading thick books, and being outside. He also enjoys all sports and playing night games with the neighborhood kids. He has a big heart, which is evident in all of the yard work he does as a service for the single women in the neighborhood. (By the way, service = no pay. And he doesn't complain. Seriously.) I'm going to go find him and take a picture of whatever he is doing, too, so you can see...

...um, he's a great big brother. He even plays with the little girls.

OK, so maybe some of us have TOO much time on our hands. How much is cable?


Cami said...

You ARE the wierd family in the neghiborhood, but I wouldn't have it any other way! We love you just the way y'all are.

PS. Love the picture of Little Allen! Definitely a blackmail photo to save for the future when it might come in handy (you know, showing it to prospective Mrs. Little Allens).

Gina said...

Not peculiar...enviable. Good for you! I would love to walk a week or even a day in your shoes. You continue to amaze me. Less TV it is.

Boyd and Sarise said...

Gerb! I love it! Thanks so much for being a wonderful sister-in-law and a great example.

We've started a blog of our own. Not much on it yet, but hopefully we'll get in the swing of things as the next weeks and months go by. Check it out... blackfamilyfun.blogspot.com

See you soon at the reunion!

Teachinfourth said...

I don't know how I ever missed this post. I followed the link from today's and got a double-treat. I think your family is amazing...but weird?


That's what makes your family the one worth reading about in blogs.