Monday, April 25, 2016

Video Game Addictions

Video Games are an addictive pastime, and there are several generations of 'kids' now addicted to them. The fast-moving digital media can be unhealthy, too, because overexposure to it can reprogram the brain for rapid-fire, rather than cognitive thinking. See this article on it...

I for one have many that I've enjoyed over the years, on many platforms including the Commodore 64, the Atari 2600, the PC, the Playstation 1 and 2, the GameBoy Advance, and Nintendo DS. I'm even currently working through level 150 of ToyBlast on my iPhone. (A very addictive little game).

In our loving madhouse, we sign off from Electronics on Sunday, from morning until after evening services, to focus on God and unplug for a bit. Maybe do some healthy brain activity like read a book. Like, maybe, the Bible! Or work puzzles.

But little Johnny doesn't quite get it. Could be the ADHD, perhaps he wasn't paying attention. Since we confiscate his Nintendo 3DS for the day, he's leveraged the Color printer and a roll of Scotch Tape to create one we WON'T confiscate.

Believe it or not, what you are seeing here is the OUTSIDE cover of a Three-Dimensional, realistic, PAPER Nintendo 3DS. I'll open it up for you so you can see the inside...
Please forgive the rotated nature of the pictures, my iPhone created the pictures in landscape, and I'm having trouble rotating them back. Notice how John has a PacMan game going on his PaperCraft Nintendo 3DS. He's also got all the controller buttons, and along the sides of the unit, he has all the connectors to plug in power (a big no-no during no electronics) or an audio cable.

I gotta say, his PaperCraft Nintendo 3DS is so realistic, it's fooled several people in the family, and even visitors, and I've even managed to fool John himself with this expertly taped together game system.

It's certainly 'street legal' during our electronics fasts, but the only game that will probably play on it, other than PacMan, would be Paper Mario.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Focus, Dishes, Tea, and ACTS Praying Revisited

Image result for herding cats gif
Ever tried to force an ADHD kid to have focus to complete a task?

So last night, it was John's turn to do the dishes. Actually, we have chores on rotation, so each week we rotate, with Justin (20) doing one chore, Rachel (17) doing another, and John (10) doing a third. Mom and Dad picking up the slack.

The three chores we rotate through are (1) Dishes, (2) Laundry, and (3) Sweeper.
The prized job is Sweeper, because we rarely force whoever is sweeping to actually sweep. It is usually just feed the animals (no cows and chickens, just Cats and Dog). Oh, and take out the trash. And maybe scoop the cat litter. Slack = scoop cat litter for the kids, and put a liner in the can for those who forgot. BEFORE you throw trash in the can and discover there's no liner!

Laundry is is a no-brainer. One load, make sure the washer has nothing molding overnight.

Dishes ought to be a no-brainer, but when the dishwasher went south shortly before Christmas, rather than buy a new one, we decided to hold off and wash by hand. We're still holding off, partly to make sure Rachel finishes funding for a Mission Trip, and kids have college. But we have one picked out, I think...

Anyway, whatever chore John is on is a sharing chore, because, well, he's ten. And ADD. And Hyperactive. And all boy. A wicked combo, especially when he's wrapped around the axle from too much video gaming.
Image result for washing laptopI usually give the assist in the evenings, and don't mind dishes. My mom would die of shock, I used to hate hate hate hand dishes. So, I wash, and John dries and puts away. But what occurred last night was, I washed, and John played his game. When the dish racks were fully loaded, therefore, since John was on his game when he was supposed to be helping, I sent him to completely empty the rack while I finished reading The Ghost Box by Mike Duran. :-)

I had to break away from reading seven times to send John back in to dry. First, he couldn't find a hand towel, so he just chased the cat around the house. So, I got him a dishtowel, and sent him back (he knew where these were!) Then, he chased the cat with the dishrag. Trying to pop him, I think. So I sent him back. Then, he marched around the house with a towel and a glass.

You get the picture. He was so hyper he did a flying tackle on the cat, snagging him with the towel. It's a wonder we weren't back at the ER for a broken bone or Cat Scratch Fever. Or at the vet for a crushed rib...

I had to get a chair, and block exit from the kitchen, while reading my book, until he was completely done drying and putting away. Funny how being trapped in a five-foot by five-foot kitchen will give you focus.

After chores came the usual ACTS praying.

Image result for praying hands
ACTS Praying is a thing our family does in the evening to wind down, focus on God, and get our hearts ready for sleep. It's an acronym for (A)doration, (C)onfession, (T)hanksgiving, and (S)upplication.

(A)doration is where we praise God for one of His attributes, like 'You are Holy'. Or one of the other Nine Billion Names of God.

(C)onfession is where we confess something we did wrong to God, try to make it right with each other if it's an offense against another family member. This one can be hard to draw out, or to nail down, especially with John. But, he's ten.

(T)hanksgiving - should be obvious, except when you're tire, you might end up saying Grace for a meal you've already eaten...

(S)upplication - 2 rounds. One for others, and a second round to pray for yourself.

John was still wound up tight, even after 10PM, so when we got to Thanksgiving, he just said, for Tea. I told him that the Tea in the fridge had been there too long, and was probably fermented. Thankfully, he didn't ask what that meant or we'd have been exploring beer and other fermentation.

But he said he meant T. As in, the letter T. I never really thought about thanking God for a letter before, but T is not a bad one, as it's used in so many things. It's even used four times in this sentence.

So, flashback to Sesame Street: Today's ACTS Praying time was brought to you by the Letter T.
Image result for Letter T Vols
We all got a big laugh out of that. You would too, especially if you were a Vols fan.