the acoustic life


and so it begins . . . for the next 3 months (90 days) the lara family will be living 'the acoustic life'.

for the next 90 days we will be living life mostly unplugged. that's right- no tv, no movies, no INTERNET, no podcasts, etc. in our home for the next 90 days! i say "mostly" because i will be on the computer for 'work' related tasks. (after-all i do manage our church's website, sermon and video podcasts, and shoot and edit our production videos)

so i'm not really sure how often i'll be checking email or even how often i'll be writing to this post (i've still got to talk to deb more). but one thing is for sure 'i WILL be writing'. in fact that is one of the things i'm looking forward to during this 3 month adventure; being able to have time to do all the things i put off doing. so i may write to and read comments from this blog on a semi-regular basis or i may not write at all until june. (in which case i'll probably have a novel ready to publish) what do ya think . . . is blogging 'work' related?

so we've taken the plunge. this morning i cancelled our cable tv and internet services and went and bought the whole family new pens/pencils and notebooks. so why in the world are we doing this?? well it started out as my idea. one day i was thinking that if i was going to have a family with fond memories of growing together it was going to have to be me as the dad that was going to have to create some of those memories.

so i sat down and started thinking of experiences and times of relating to one another in order to 'create' those memories. AND if any of this was actually going to take place then it was going to have to be 'on purpose' and put on the calendar.

i decided that each year we needed 4 "GRAND" events. these would be things that our family looked forward to every year and would be remember for years to come. this is what i came up with:
1/ "the Laras Winter Weekend" (every year over MLK Jr weekend) - a time to get away and either have fun in the snow or fun in the sun.
2/ "Cousin Camp" (yearly the beginning of the first week of april - 4days & 3nights) - this is an extended time for all the cousins to spend the night at our house. including games, outings, and complete 'snack shack'.
3/ "Single Mom & Dad Days" (3rd week in July) - for the first half of the week one of the parents stays home and plans 'special' times with the kids while the other parent gets to have a few days alone wherever they want! (budget permitting) then on wednesday we come back as a family and then the second half of the week the parents reverse. this not only gives the kids special memories they'll remember as the time "just with mom" or "just with dad", but also give each parent a yearly time to look forward to uninterrupted time alone!
4/ "Dinner & a Movie Week" (1st week in October) - for one whole week we will go out to eat EVERY night of the week and then watch a movie together; rented or in the theater.

these would supplemented by 'smaller' events such as:
1/ "one-on-ones" (various times throughout the year) - dates with mommy and daddy (at least 2 per year per kid per parent; so a total of 16 dates in the lara house with kids).
2/ "no electricity days" (1 every feb/may/aug/nov) - times to just have fun doing stuff that doesn't include electricity. i.e. live life like "little house on the prarie" (within reason, i mean we're not taking cold showers!)
3/ "media fast weeks" (every march/june/sept/dec) - a time to just clear our minds and not 'be conformed to this world'.

in addition to this we also planned in 3 times a year to have an overnight stay away from the kids for at least one night. this will happen in april/august/ and december. (in december it will be a couple nights since it's around our anniversary celebration) oh, and these are in addition to our 'regular' date nights, and 'family meetings'; each every other week.

oh, and we've put our money where out mouth is. we reworked our whole budget so that we are setting aside funds each month towards funding our wild and crazy fun. so when it comes time for 'cousin camp' we already have funds to cover the fun. and when it comes time for a "weekend together"; we have the funds to cover it. and so forth, and so forth.

so it all started as my idea for creating 'family memories' on purpose. but my idea was to only have it for one week every couple of months. but as deb and i talked more recently we felt that our whole family needed some "spring cleaning" in our hearts and minds. we were allowing tv, movies, the internet, computer games, etc to take up so much of our time. and on top of wasting time it was making us more irritable with each other and ourselves. so in true "Lara" fashion we decided to go all out and just take the plunge for 90 days!!!

feel free to call us, email (although you may not get a response very quickly via email), or 'send us a card' (what a novel idea).

we'll plug back in June 11th. until then, good night!

ps. be sure to tell us if the world ends! :-)


//today i'm thankful for:
1. paper
2. pens
3. books
4. words
5. life
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