The Efficient Parent Blog


Just Playing Around! June 7, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — theefficientparent @ 10:08

The other day my husband and I visited a farm in the middle of nowhere (I like to think of it as a date because we were childless for the afternoon) & I brought my camera to play around with.  It was fun because I got to shoot the goats, geese, ducks, cows and even 3 old barns!  One part of the farm is an empty catfish pond that isn’t very appealing to the eye.  But I found something that actually looked pretty cool to take a picture of in that abandoned catfish pond!  I caught a glimpse of myself in my hubby’s shades & had to snap a shot. It’s fun to see myself directly from my husband’s viewpoint…especially when I’m right in the middle of doing something I LOVE!    So, this is my favorite shot from our time on the old farm.    I’m entering this into the iheartfaces photo challenge because it fits nicely into this week’s theme: “Play”.  Visit the iheartfaces website to see other cool shots of people doing what the love….playing!


Exposed: Inexcusable Me, Irreplaceable Him May 13, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — theefficientparent @ 17:37

The book is here…

Exposed: Inexcusable Me, Irreplaceable Him is now available!  It’s a story that might hit home with many women who have traveled down a road of self-destruction, thinking they were unworthy of God’s love and forgiveness.  Author Shannon Deitz currently helps teens in their own journey towards Christ.  Read the valuable insight she provided during a previous post on the Efficient Parent Blog!


Sponge Bob Christian Values? April 21, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — theefficientparent @ 09:33

I never really understood the big controversy about Sponge Bob Square Pants, and thought that everyone was just making too big of a fuss out of nothing.

Then one day when my son was three, one of the Sponge Bob episodes featured a PANTY RAID, and I was completely furious.  It was then when we quit watching Sponge Bob and I got a little taste of why Sponge Bob is harmful to kids…and that the controversy is valid.  So, when my 6 year old kindergarten niece brought home a Sponge Bob book that she bought through a Scholastic book fair, I was disappointed that our school system  is allowing a kindergartner to spend money on a character that has Panty Raids on television (let me remind you that I live in a location that is regularly on the “Top Places to Live” list in numerous publications, so I expect more from our school).  But I was even more shocked when my son started attending a preschool…a well-respected Christian preschool.  They sent home a book catalog which featured Sponge Bob in it!    My first thought was wow…my son’s church based Christian preschool is marketing Sponge Bob and his panty raids to little children too!

And then I considered moving him to another Christian preschool, but guess what…they raise money using the same book fair company too!    Sponge Bob and his inappropriate content has found his way into our churches and schools and we don’t raise an eyebrow!

A panty raid is just the beginning.   Sponge Bob’s inappropriateness goes far beyond the panty raid episode and we aren’t even aware that the content of this cartoon is undermining our Christian values as parents.  Think about it…a panty raid is an obvious and understandable term so it’s clear to anyone that that particular episode isn’t appropriate.  But many  of the Sponge Bob episodes are filled with subtle inappropriate suggestions and themes that are not as obvious as a panty raid.  For instance, in one episode a French character is named “The Tickler”.  Hence, the French Tickler…which is a particular style of condom.   Introducing this type of  inappropriate terminology and concepts to children early lays the foundation for having no boundaries and no concept of “red flags”.  When an inappropriate behavior or word is familiar and acceptable to a child, then it’s hard for them to be aware when adults or peers cross boundaries or are acting inappropriately. It’s easier for our kids to get into bad situations if they don’t have any sense that something is out of place.  I think Sponge Bob definitely breaks down boundaries and blurs the lines of inappropriate behavior for children.   I feel stupid for being so blind to this guy.  My first clue that he was a bad influence should have been that he regularly appears in episodes exposing his underwear.  I didn’t raise an eyebrow to that because he is a cartoon…yet, I don’t let my son watch movies with men parading around in their underwear!   Just because it’s coming from a cartoon character doesn’t make it okay.

If you aren’t familiar with sexual references and terminology, then you don’t know the foundation that this cartoon is laying for your child’s boundaries and comprehension of how the world works.  Even if your kids don’t fully understand the negative meaning behind words and themes, they are definitely becoming familiar with those words and themes.    I know there are a probably a dozen other characters and cartoons that are inappropriate for children, but I’m focusing on Sponge Bob simply because he is the character who introduced the concept of a panty raid to my 3-year old child.   He is the cartoon I stupidly allowed into my home.

If Sponge Bob was a living, breathing adult talking to my child about a panty raid or french tickler, I would contact the police and he would never be allowed in my home again.  Yet, my Christian preschool and public schools all across the nation are sending this guy home with our kids.  Why are we parents letting this happen?

Schools and preschools gain valuable dollars from book fairs….they are a fantastic way to help children develop a love of reading.  But schools have a choice about which book publishing company they choose to use for raising money with book fairs.  All books are not written equally!!  Some books have the purpose of educating children,  while other books are simply considered educational because they have words.  I didn’t realize there was a difference with the quality of books until I started selling Usborne books…I don’t sell them anymore, but Usborne gave me a great understanding that schools and preschools DO HAVE A CHOICE about which book company they use.   I’m sure there are more quality book companies out there, but I’m simply using Usborn as an example because I’m familiar with them and know that their company values will NEVER condone selling trashy characters like Sponge Bob to kids.   Please do your own research about why Sponge Bob is harmful to our children…and if your school uses a book fair company that markets Sponge Bob, please bring this to the attention of the school so they can make it stop.  Feel free to share this post link with them. Schools have a choice and parents have the voice.   Let’s protect our children!


I’ll Never Make Fun of the Circus Again March 22, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — theefficientparent @ 13:50

Never again will I ever, ever make jokes about the circus.  This is serious business and these people are TALENTED and skilled.   I would have died doing the things they did.  We decided to get our tickets at the very last minute, and the only seats left were on the floor…an arms-length away from the action.  I’m not complaining….the $45 extra dollars we paid were well worth getting these shots.  There were two PETA protesters outside the event facility with signs that said “Barnum & Bailey kills animals”.   Really?   The animals looked alive and well to me.  It was the people performing in the circus that I was worried about.  I hope they are getting paid very well to put on such a wonderful show.  It was great entertainment and I’m happy we were forced to splurge! hee hee!  Here is some more of what we saw:

I’m sure that the Ringling Brothers are definitely performing illegal acts….like shooting a guy out of a cannon and hoping he lands safely in a chair.  That’s got to be illegal, right?  I mean, I’m sure I’d get arrested if I did that to my husband.  Or would I????  Hmmmmm……

And did you know that the Ringling Brothers made this guy jump through a ring of fire?  I’m sure he caught on fire because I see some burning embers on his skin.  I didn’t do anything to this picture…he really is jumping through the fire.   And those really are flames on his skin.  Poor guy.  I wish I would have brought my first aid kit because he needed it.  I don’t even let my child watch this kind of torture on TV, but we paid extra just so he could get an up close and personal view of a man jumping through fire.  Did the fire department know about this?   Yet another moment when I feared for someone’s life.    I didn’t see anything about this guy’s life on the PETA signs.  They don’t care about him either.

We made it out alive and I didn’t feel bad for the animals.  I mean seriously, I don’t even get a pedicure like this elephant has.  If your nails look this good, you’re living the good life.  It really was a great  night and I recommend it…I’m sure it’s a great show from wherever you sit.  But because all the other seats were sold out, we got to see the wrinkles on the elephants’ feet up close and personal.  Hope you enjoy these pictures!


I Dislike Mormons March 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — theefficientparent @ 21:14

I am so mad at the Mormons.  And I’m not even talking about the whole false prophet issue….I’m talking about simple common sense.  Why must the little Mormon guys ring my doorbell THREE times?    It’s a very loud doorbell and I know for a fact it is audible from where they were standing, so the whole house heard it the first time they rang and I can’t figure out why they felt the need to do it 2 more times after I didn’t answer the 1st time.   There were three of them, so maybe they took turns ringing…just to make it fair? You’d think that between the 3 of them that they could come up with enough brain cells to figure out after 1 door bell ring that I wasn’t going to answer.  But no, they WOKE UP MY BABY FROM HER NAP!!!   Maybe ringing the doorbell 3 times is code for “we’re Mormon”. No, they already have a special code for “we’re Mormon”…it’s the way they dress.  I just happened to have a picture of my son looking like he is in the Mormon training program…White shirt, black tie and back pack.  Before today I didn’t really have a bone to pick with the Mormons, but now that they woke up Sleeping Beauty from her nap I am furious with them!!


Warning: Don’t Stand on the Side of the Cart March 9, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — theefficientparent @ 01:07

My son took this picture of me from the bottom of the grocery cart. Apparently he's not the only clumsy one in the family...I knocked these items off the shelf and wouldn't you know that my son had his own little camera handy!!

Did you know that the warnings they put on grocery carts actually serve a purpose?    It turns out you’re REALLY NOT supposed to stand on the side of the cart…or else it will fall over.  We apparently needed to test this concept this past weekend when my son jumped on the side of the cart….and it came crashing down on top of him.  He hit his head on the shelves and cried real tears.  I felt horrible for him, especially since I didn’t stop him from getting on the side of the cart in the first place.  He seemed fine after the incident, but I started getting a little worried about 2.5 hours later, when he went to sleep in the afternoon…and he slept, and slept and slept.  I woke him up several times to check on him and he was fine each time, so I just figured he was really worn out.  But then at 2 a.m. he was done sleeping.  He woke me up and wanted to eat dinner, which I happily made for him because I was just glad he was okay.  I started worrying again though when he began complaining about pain in his “brain”.  He said “my brain needs to go stay the night in the hospital”.  I took him to the doctor the next morning and he got a clean bill of health.  He was fine and the doctor said he could continue swim lessons.  Life has returned to normal and he will never again stand on the side of the cart.


365: Day 9 February 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — theefficientparent @ 13:17

For the past 2 weeks, it seems like my life has revolved around laundry because we’ve been minus a washer.  Our washer was scheduled to arrive today, but yesterday the order status online showed that it was completed and THAT WE HAD ALREADY RECEIVED THE THING.  Oh, I was LIVID and got on the phone to complain to Home Depot and the delivery company.  So at 7:00 this morning guess what showed up at our house!!  Yep, no more complaining from me.  Here it is…our brand spanking new, undamaged and FUNCTIONAL washing machine.  This is a picture of when they were testing it after installation.  I’m like my 8 month old daughter…I’m in awe with bright shiny flashing lights.  So, that’s why I had to take a picture of this thing.  No more hand washing and complaining from me!  The past 2 weeks made me appreciate my mother’s hardships more than I ever realized before.  Having to do things the hard way to take care of your family and keep things orderly is rough.  I feel extremely lucky to have a washer and to lead the life my husband and I have created for our children.  We have food, hot water, transportation, and an income.  Those are ALL things that my mother didn’t always have.  Dear God, bless her heart.  She never complained and she always went out of her way to try to do better for us.  My kids and I are soooo spoiled, and I feel a little guilty because I would fall apart if I had to endure the hardships my mother experienced trying to take care of her family.  Oh, how my heart breaks for her.