Don't worry. I still LOVE my kindle. :) I use it every day pretty much, whether for school or my own self, and I'm not likely to slow down on that much.
But I got something for my birthday that is just about as nifty. I decided an ipod would be really fantastic. I coveted my friend's ipod Touch a while back (don't worry; I repented), amazed at the way the screen would turn with the ipod if you wanted to read tall or wide, impressed with the touchscreen and smoothly slowing scrolling down the page. It could access internet for heaven's sake. I barely knew what else it was for.
But nifty screens and internet wouldn't really enrich my life for the long run, so I did research. I'm still no expert, but it turns out that there are quite an assortment of ipods and generations of ipods out there. My niece got a tiny ipod nano for Christmas, which is about a 1.5-inch touchscreen, but holds a relatively small amount of memory. I saw photos online of the new ipod shuffle (also smaller memory, no screen and no programming - just shuffling). In real life the thing is TINY! Like postage-stamp tiny! The Touch started at 8 GB of memory, but also at $230. The classic sure offered a lot more memory (the new 7th generation ipods start at 160 GB! What are they putting on those, anyways? All 20th century film and music?), but the same out-of-range pricetag. I started watching ebay for auctions (and my, there are SO many!) and gathering info on the older ipods. Then I lost a whole lot of auctions. :) I got serious finally, and bought a just-right 30 GB ipod classic, Generation Five, in white (matches my computer even, but not my kindle). For a much more reasonable price.
It came from Maryland. A gangster in Maryland named Jeff, apparently, based on the contents of the ipod. I sew aprons and homeschool, and I didn't know who Li'l Wayne was. Jay Z? I recognized some of the names from when I was in school (Notorious B.I.G. R.E.M. Green Day Beastie Boys), but seriously? This is music?!? I scrolled through approximately 3 seconds each of 67 songs (thought that might've been the contents, but was only one playlist) and were I Catholic I'd have had to attend Confession straightaway. Yikes! I'm not Catholic though, so I prayed for Jeff's salvation instead. I admit, while cleaning the kitchen, I did rock out to Michael Jackson's Thriller (well, inasmuch as one can rock out in an apron and slippers).
Then the true Redemption occurred. I plugged in the ipod, renamed it "Mama's Ipod"** and trashed all 2400+ gangster rapper songs AND the Family Guy episode and whatever movie(s) Dave Chaparelle or Chapelle had. This was the "Dead to Sin" part. After that I uploaded some podcast preachin', some homeschool convention lectures, some worship music... A splash of holy water and a dab of anointing oil later, and we managed "Alive to Christ!" [I hope I'm not blasphemin' here. No disrespect intended.]
Seriously though, I am LOVING this. And the iTunes store? Wow. I don't know if they sell music (okay, I'm sure they do), but the podcast stuff is amazing.
I can attend Voddie Baucham's Family Conference (or whatever it was) while I scrub the toilets! I can listen to House of Bread, preaching my Dad is ALWAYS telling me to listen to (it's great, truly) in the van on the way to errands. If the kids aren't with me, I can listen to The Ramp sermons (are they sermons? They're pretty excited, and southern) my cousin told me about while I do my shopping! I can re-hear homeschool convention speakers, which is nice since I spent the live-version juggling a baby and a toddler and didn't exactly take notes. I. have. even. managed. to. put. my. workout. on. there. I know, anyone who has been part of this century lately knows all this already, but remember: I kill chickens every June. This is big. Truly, the workout plays right there on the little screen, though I can't flail my arms about when there are wires between my ears and an upright ipod, and I can't see the screen when the thing's tucked into the back of my britches, so... As far as I know, I can't get just the audio track without (horror of horrors) spending money on a program to do that, but I would if I could (do it for free).
It really has enriched my life. It's hard to yell very loudly at your naughty child when Julie True is crooning some beautiful Jesus-worship in your ear (sometimes I have to go mono, see, for the sake of parenting and all that). Hearing some church, when I'm not simultaneously counting and locating my children (or if I DO have to do that, I can use pause and rewind!) keeps me focused on God more than I was before. Prayer is up, too. Perspective freshened.
I have an anti-progress bias in some areas (organic farming, in some ways), but this kind of technology can help increase Kingdom in the world. In my house, at least. :) I am grateful for this blessing, and I'm so glad to have such a meaningful birthday gift!
**Truth be told I call it "Granny." If the 7th generation was just born, and this is the 5th generation, it is a grandparent, is it not? And I think it's a girl, so Granny it is..