June 28, 2017

Entertainment Kit

Before I get to todays topic, I have a quick personal update. As many of you know, I have been unemployed for quite some time. I was just offered a position doing something very similar to what my last job was. Because the job is so specialized, and because I have previous experience, they offered me 12% more salary then what I asked for.

I know many of you have been praying for me over the last year. I want to let you know how much I appreciate you! I thank God for this position opening up and for all of you.

Entertainment Kit

“RSN”, an active Prepared Christian Forum member, made a thread on the forums that she called Holiday and disaster doldrums pick-me-up’s. It’s about some different things she keeps on hand for entertainment just in case the stuff hits the fan. I think this is a fantastic idea, and thought it would make a good post! At first glance, it might not make sense to have fun things to do when life throws us a curveball. I would argue that it is when we need these things the most!

Depending on how things are going sideways, there could be a significant amount of downtime. If you don’t have something to soak up that downtime, you run the risk of dwelling on the situation and compounding the negativity you feel.

I made it through two 6 month cruises through the Gulf on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln and even when things weren’t falling apart, having downtime with nothing to do makes the time crawl by. I can’t even begin to count the number of Hearts and Spades games I played.

Having things to keep people of all ages occupied is important. Entertained children are not going to be as focused on what is going on, which in turn should decrease their fear.

Here are some things you might consider.

Pocket Bible
Decks of cards
Books on how to play various card games
Board games for multiple ages
Pens, pencils, crayons and paper
Tinker Toy’s
Yard games
Word finds
Art and Craft things to do
Hand held electronic games, with extra batteries.

You get the idea! I think having a deck of cards and a travel game or two stuffed in a BOB is a great idea, just in case you’re forced to bug out.

When I am stressed, having something to do that engages my mind can often help me calm down, and help clear my head. In turn, it helps me think clearly when I go back to what it was that was stressing me out to begin with. I personally get bored easily and even more so when there is a lot of stress. I strongly recommend having a variety of things to do!

I would love to hear your ideas of things to add to an Entertainment Kit!

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  1. That is AWESOME news. Our God is an awesome God and he answers prayers.

  2. Musical Instruments (instructions if you don’t know how to play them)
    Sheet music/Hymnals
    Rechargeable Batteries and solar charger for electronic games, Kindles and such
    Scrabble (the wife and I play this every morning now when we get up and are drinking our coffee)
    A small solar panel system and battery can run a DVD and flat screen TV as well as a computer or laptop
    I would tend to make all things family oriented as much as possible so everyone can join in when possible.

  3. What board games would you recommend?

    • Chris Ray says:

      All kinds, and for all ages. Some like Monopoly and Risk take a bit longer, while some others can be completed in much less than an hour.

  4. Wow! I have often thought of what I would do if all breaks loose. There will still be the meals to prepare, but a lot slower and harder to do – maybe have to gather wood in order to cook. Then there is the clean up. After I tend to my chicken chores and do all the gardening including preserving the food in whatever way necessary. I will always have to do the laundry – probably by hand. Will I be expected to do my share of surveillance and guard duty? I don’t know! Possibly. Things could get hard. Even if it is a little crisis that doesn’t last long, it will take a lot longer to do our every day chores. I would love to be able to fit in my Bible study.

    After all of this, if I have any time or energy left, I would read – if I could keep my eyes open!

    In all reality, this would be the life of a woman – wife, mother. At least I don’t ahve to add small children to the mix. What I might enjoy is a good hot bath (only in my dreams of the past, probably).

    Does this sound negative to anyone? I don’t call it negative – I call it reality…or the new normal. Maybe the temporary normal if everything goes well. I came up with this conclusion when I sat down, listed my chores that I do in a day and decided how I would accomplish them if I didn’t have the modern day conveniences. This is the result that I came up with. Actually, for me it isn’t a lot different than I live now. I do very little “play” and mostly “work”. My leisure vice is reading.

    However, something to think of would be what your hobbies are. Get stuff for that. If I had unending time with nothing to do (yea, right) I would like to do art work again…pencil drawing, painting, etc. That would be fun. I like to sew and have everything I need for that even if the grid is down, so I could do sewing.

    • Chris Ray says:

      Sure, depending on how things fall apart, we could have much more work. But I think that makes it even more important to take time to fit in a bit of relaxation withy the family. If nothing else then on the Sabbath.

  5. Duh…I forgot to mention earlier a congradulations on your new position. God does answer prayer we just can’t anticipate when that will happen but it will. I can understand how hard it is to find a job when you have a special set of job skills.
    Till I retired I was a professional killer. It wasn’t till my second job that I obtained that title from my mom. My first job was 20 years in the navy. The second job was in pest control. Now that I’m retired from everyting I’m still killing but it’s time I kill now or so my wife says.

  6. Congratulations on the new position–and the raise! Thank you, Lord, for all of your blessings and for being involved in the details of our lives!

  7. Jim Moore says:

    Praise God! That’s great news Chris.
    Great post and comment suggestions.
    Thank You!

  8. Julie Anderson says:

    What a blessing, so happy to hear of the new job! Seriously, how often does one get more money than they are asking for? Our God is awesome and rewarding your faith and patience :) Congratulations!

  9. Good Idea. I was just about to get rid of my old games when I decided to hang on to them a few years ago for this reason.
    I have seen these at many, many, many, did I mention, many garage sales and rummage sales. Just make sure the parts and instructions are there; or, they can be “replicated”. i.e. just about anything will do for a game piece in monopoly. The houses could be difficult and knowing what to write on the “chance cards” could be impossible. Instructions can be downloaded and printed now, and stored with the game. The rules will avoid many fights later.
    What is funny or ironic, these are the games that are no longer cool as they have all been replaced by electronic games.
    Several decks of cards are needed because some need to be specialized. i.e. you need two decks of cards for canasta. You need a specialized deck for pinochle and mau mau (German game, lots of fun). and so on.
    Cards and darts have many different games that use the same equipment so they become versatile.
    I like the idea of the yard games to get outside the house. You just have to be careful if you are trying to keep a low profile and creating no noise to avoid attention.
    Don’t forget hand pumps and needle insert for those balls.
    A hoop & basketball, horseshoes, jarts, washers, croquet, wiffle ball, cork ball, touch football.
    A website, acorn naturalists dot com has a lot of stuff on teaching (keeping busy) kids with outdoor activities. id tracks, id birds, crafts and kits. Good skills to start on now.
    A telescope and star charts may gain interest. Especially after an EMP when we can see stars again.
    A lot of people are doing geo-caching. Try it with a real compass and map.
    Don’t underestimate that fact that kids will be happy doing what you are doing if they can be with you. They may be messy or slower, but they are learning important skills. I.e. Even if they can’t swing an axe, The little ones can pick up the small splinters and put them in a bucket for kindling and tinder. The bigger ones can carry the split wood and stack it on the rack.

    • Our family has over 100 board games (two floor-to-celing shelves plus overflow full!). With seven children who occasionally misplace things, game instructions tend to get lost from time to time. I’ve found that MOST game instructions can be found online, often in a scanned PDF of the original instructions (even out of print games). Just search the game’s name + rules or instructions. For example, searching Google for Monopoly rules returns an actual PDF from Hasbro. So don’t toss out (or pass over a good deal on) a game for lack of instructions alone! :-)

    • Chris Ray says:

      Many good ideas!

  10. Our home has most or almost all of the things on your entertainment list, although not all together in one kit.
    One outdoor game for kids -When I was a kid in the 70s, our neighborhood kids sometimes played “kick the can” – but I can’t recall all the rules. It was a good outdoor game for 5-10 kids & required only an empty tin can.

    When there was fresh snow in a large yard, we’d make some curved paths & interlocking loop paths. Then we’d play tag, but one was allowed only to run on the paths in the snow. If u ran off a path to avoid being tagged by “it,” then u became “it.” I supposed it could be called “Snow Path Tag.”

    When our kids were preschoolers. A couple times for birthdays or CHristmas, I cut up some of my scrap wood into wood blocks & sanded them smooth. & our kids used them as building blocks. This was cheaper than buying the toy wood blocks in the store.

  11. Thank the Lord, Chris, for your new job. You didn’t say, but it sounds like u’re going to accept it. Hope it works out well. Bless u.

  12. BTW – and most importantly! – congratulations on the job! I bet you are so very relieved and happy to get it. God is Good – all of the time.

  13. Congratulations Chris! I’m assuming you’ll have less time for your awesome posts. Because of your faithfulness, God will still use you for His glory, regardless.

    We have 3 boys, and have been blessed with a house big enough to include a well-stocked playroom of electronic and non-electronic games. With our camping gear (and preps), I also have a small duffel bag of more portable games to-go. These are card games, Bible story cards, dominoes, etc. This bag goes with us on every trip to the outdoors.

    I think multiple sets of playing cards are a must, as there are so many games that can be played from one. There are even math games (great for teaching purposes) that I’ve downloaded/printed. I feel the need to continue our kids education as best as we can, for a long-term catastrophe, and having some tools to do that is important to me.

    I also think it important (especially with boys) to have physical games that can be played. We are Boy Scout leaders, and have found a wealth of outdoor and indoor games that can be played with large and small groups, through that program. Online searches will uncover a wealth of games to be played. I recommend having hard copy of all instructions.

    My last point is that I can see games as a potential way to show the love of God to others, to help bring joy in very difficult times. Having games to share in, may become a door opening for someone in need – especially children who’ve become separated, or lost their parents.

    • Chris Ray says:

      I might not have ad many posts a week as I normally do, but I do intend to keep posting.

      Great additional information, thanks for the comment.

  14. congrats on the new job….i was out of work for 18 months b4 i found my current job 4 1/2 yrs ago…i know what a great stress was just lifted from your shoulders…good luck

  15. Elizabeth says:

    (1) Praise be unto Holy G-d for providing you this opportunity!

    (2) Add a familiar treat or two or three to “pacify” the youngsters of all ages and remind them of better times; chocolate, tootsie pops (do these EVER go bad?), etc.

  16. Barbara Davis says:

    I’m so happy a job appeared for you! I’m in the same place; 2 weeks ago I started my first steady job since 2010. Let’s hope this marks a corner being turned for lots of people!
    I’ve been enjoying your blog this year; lots of cool stuff, clearly explained! Thanks for it all!

  17. Congrats on the job, Chris! Happy for you and your family :)

  18. Hey, that is great news Chris. Congratulations and God bless.

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