–  I hung out with my sister and her 3 kids today.  I walked through Wal*Mart with them while she shopped.  At one point my sister took the two girl to the bathroom, so I took the boy to look at toys.  As we walked toward the isles of brightly packaged toys, my nephew stopped and said in a slight whisper, “Wow, they’re beautiful.”  What stood out to me most was that even though he was in awe of all of the beautiful toys, there was no whining or crying when it was time for us to move on.  He didn’t’ beg to could get any of the toys.  I was really proud of my sister at that moment.  She is raising her children in a way that they don’t expect to get something every time they walk into a store.  This seems very counter-cultural these days in our consumer-driven society.  That simple moment left me with a little bit of hope.

–  I feel like the majority of the things that I’m reading these days, via my Google Reader, are the same talking points I’ve been reading about for the past few years.  I realize that this has much to do with the fact that most of what I read is more opinion than news, but come on people, write about something new!  I’ve come to the conclusion that for New Years I’m going to clean out my Reader subscriptions.  Don’t worry, I don’t think I’ll wipe it clean.  I’ll still hold on to the feeds that come from personal friends, but I think that, unless I have some relational connection to the author, it’s gone.  However, like all New Years related decisions, there will probably be a clause in which I allow myself to keep newly acquired feeds for a certain allotment of time to determine if they are beneficial.  Here’s an example:  Lauren’s feed will be kept.  Emergent Village’s wont.  Here’s two tricky ones though:  Josh’s feed will be kept even though I’ve never met him in person, but I think I can call him a distant friend.  And Deb’s feed will stay even though I haven’t really interacted with her much, but because of the overall usefulness of the site.  7 out of 10 recipes I try come from her site, and man I dare you to not drool when you look at the pictures .  So there you have it.  Do you guys ever do things like this as a way to clear the clutter of your mind…and inbox?  **That reminds me, I should do this with my Google Alerts account, too.  Ahh, spring cleaning in December.