Week 9 Verse – This One’s For The Parents

Have you ever had one of those times where you question whether you’re a good parent?  Where you wonder just how effective you really are?  Well,  welcome to my week.  I love my kids and I know they love me but for some reason the past week has been a struggle.

With that in mind I turned to my Bible looking for a little guidance.  That’s when I came across Proverbs 22:6 (MSG).

Point your kids in the right direction – when they’re old they won’t be lost.

That was the reassurance I needed.  I have been pointing them in the right direction.  If I hadn’t I wouldn’t be getting the push back lately. It also reinforced what I believe my priorities for parenting should be; parent first, friend second, everything else can follow.

After some prayer and reflection I see that having weeks like this are probably beneficial.  Questioning the job I’m doing as a parent from time to time is a good thing.  It means I care and want to be better… and anytime you care about something and work to be better at it you are already a long way down the path to success.

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Meat Cutting Memories

This past weekend I shared the above picture of the beef broccoli I made on a forum I visit often.  Yes, I really like forums.  One of my online friends asked the question if “I’d ever considered a plant based diet”.

The honest answer was “no” for several reasons.  I’ve had some (and cooked some) excellent vegetarian dishes. I have nothing against a plant based diet but with family and friends that raise cattle and hogs we have access to excellent meat at very affordable prices. We know where it comes from, how it was raised, and can instruct the meat locker on how we want it cut and packaged.

Growing up my Grandparents had a meat cutting area in their basement and we cut and processed our own. Working together with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins cutting and packaging meat is a fond childhood memory.

In fact, I think it might even be my first memory of working. You see, if you could use a black marker to write an “H” you had the job of marking the hamburger.  As you got older you might be able to run the tape dispenser.  It was a really big deal for me when I was old enough to be trusted with a small knife for the first time to cut the fat off pieces of meat. Those pieces then got run through the grinder to be made into hamburger.

Lunch was always delicious. I remember crock pots of soup and my grandma’s homemade apple bars.

Every time I get a pound of hamburger or package of steaks out of the deep freeze I remember my family working together, talking and laughing, having a good time cutting meat.  What a great memory it is… and probably the main reason I’ll never give up eating meat.

What’s your earliest memory of work?


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The Cheaper Way To Watch TV

Ten years or so ago my wife and I made the decision for her to stay home with our kids.  We were only able to afford this by cutting expenses and adjusting our lifestyle.  One of the first bills to go was our cable bill.

I can’t remember what we were paying at the time but the current national average for cable is about $75.  That’s $900 a year! Quite a lot to be spending for television.

Cutting the cable cord was easy. In fact, the only time I missed it was when I couldn’t watch NASCAR because the races were only shown on cable channels.  Not really a big deal. I found other (and to be honest better) ways to occupy my Sunday afternoons.  I’m still a race fan just not as big of one as before.

Aside from missing live sports I see no downside to getting rid of cable. There is some good programming on over the air broadcast television. Plus, thanks to the industry going digital, you have more than just the 5 big networks from a decade ago.  In our area we have over 20 channels available for free.

One way to make cutting the cord easier is by utilizing some streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu.

Our family has both Netflix and Amazon.  We tried Hulu for awhile but didn’t care for it much. If you add up the $7.99 a month for Netflix with the $69 annual fee for Amazon (which includes free 2 day shipping on everything you order through them) our yearly television bill is $165.  More than $700 less that what cable would cost.

Having a streaming service has changed the way we watch television. We’ll watch entire seasons of great shows back-to-back with no commercials.  Best of all, we watch on our schedule.

Dexter, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, The Walking Dead, Weeds, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black… all great shows that we’ve streamed.  Sure, we might be a season behind the cable viewer but who cares?  We are saving a ton of money.

So how do you go about cutting the cable cord and stream programming to your television?  If you have a gaming console, like a Wii, you can use that. Some blu-ray players make it possible.  There’s also Roku.  In my opinion, the best and cheapest option is Chromecast.

You can get your own Chromecast for around $35 from Amazon.

Have you cut the cable cord? Was it easy for you? What tips do you have for others who are thinking about it?

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