Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cheap Fun

So, you all know we have a Big Family.

And it's hard to go out and do anything together and not trash our budget completely.  

No, we are NOT rich.  And no, one doesn't have to BE rich to have a Big Family!

We are a simple family.  We do not have cable or satellite TV.  We don't have Xboxes or play stations or iPads and iPods for each child. We do have Family Time 6 out of 7 nights a week.  

WHAT is Family Time, you ask?

Well, Family Time for us is the time after Dinner and Clean Up in which we all assemble in the living room and then, we decide what to do.  

If it's early enough, ideally, if it's between 7-7:30, we sing some hymns, with Daddy playing the piano, and then Daddy or Russell reads a chapter of the Bible.  If it's late, like 9:30, this is all we do, because we usually get done around 10 or so.....and ummm....the kids actually go to bed late around here! I know, you're gasping with horror and outrage that we let our kids go to bed late!! But that's another post! 

If we manage to start Family Time at a decent time, then after singin' and Bible readin' we usually watch a movie or documentary.  Yes, we do own a VHS/DVD player!

The movies the kids choose from are probably not even on other people's radars, but we have old-fashioned, conservative tastes around here! Here's a glimpse of what's in our TV cabinet:

The Andy Griffith Show
The Waltons, all seasons
Little House on the Prairie
Bill Gaither Homecoming DVD's
Films from the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festivals

We very seldom rent movies.  We have never done Netflix.  We do have all of the Toy Story movies, plus The Incredibles....we even have The Twilight Zone!!!! We recently purchased Chariots of Fire, which I had never seen, and a collection of very old Loony Tunes cartoons, which I absolutely despise but which *most* of my kids love.

We also have a Wii, which is a mixed blessing.  The kids can play together on it.....but they also fight over it too! *Some* kids want to play it alllll the time.....I've tried it a time or too and I'm totally horrible at it!! It's a good laugh when Mama steps up to the Wii! Usually Wii Time happens on the occasions when Dave and I go out to dinner, and the rule around here is that the Wii does not get touched until everything is clean and spotless. Then everyone gets to play.

I guess the reason we don't have lots of movies and stuff like that is because we're wanting to keep the focus off of media and brainless entertainment....not that ALL media is "bad" or "sinful". Please don't misunderstand me.  Our media choices and our LACK of media is just a choice for OUR family.  We turned off the cable about 15 years ago, and we think it's the best decision we've ever made for our kids.  We are also a musical family and we want the focus to be on music and singing and playing together.

(Let me go on rabbit trail here and say that choosing to not have cable or satellite is so wonderful for ME because I happen to LOVE cooking shows and I know I'd be wanting to watch it ALL day long!!! So not having 100 channels, or any channels at all, is great for me because it's just one of the things I can scratch off of my list of temptations, which can be LONG at times!)

We also like to watch Homestead Blessings, which are made by Franklin Springs Media, and they are fun teaching DVD's by the West Family, teaching how to do things like candle making, soap making, making cheese and yogurt, quilting, cooking with herbs, and things like that, and each show takes place with the mom and her three daughters in their humble Tennessee kitchen.  They're so cute and fun and also informative and we really like them.  We've learned a lot from them!

So, there you have a very meandering look at what we do in the evenings for fun! I hope you weren't bored!

What do you do with your family for fun?

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