Kids & Technology

I’m entering this here as an easy way for a class I helped with to find some links that were referenced during the class. (This is all just curated information and not a endorsement of any of these sites.)

Here’s some current info technology & kids:

Parental Controls on iPhone/iPad:

Parental Controls on Kindle

PC Mag Parental Control Suggestions (2017):,2817,2346997,00.asp

Parental Control Apps:,review-2258.html

Covenant Eyes:

Three Mistakes Parents Make With Technology:

Kids & Tech Tips for Parents (American Academy of Pediatrics):

Crackberry’d Documentary:

Create a Family Media Plan here:

Reviews of Movies, Apps, Shows & Tech Info:

Another Review Site:

Google Accounts for Kids:







They Are Not Mine

I’m looking at my children tonight in a different light.

I’m thinking, “They are not mine.”

They are His. He alone loves them more than their father and I do.

The older Will gets, the more I am frustrated by one thing. What is this “one thing” that frustrates me most about my teenage boy?

It is that I can’t make his choices for him. I can argue FOR the choice I wish for him to make, but, alas, I cannot make them for him. I can only stand back and watch the consequences. Some choices I’m still in control of, some I still have the final say in, but for the most part, it’s out of my hands.

I feel that raising a teenager is like trying to hold on to a big fish you’ve just caught. They are floundering and flopping around, struggling to break loose of your grip, making it near impossible for you to hold on and keep control. Every once in a while they may tire out, give in and you can hold them, but they are slippery, and eventually you realize you are not the one in control as they flop out of your hands.

Not matter what you do, no matter how they may lull you into thinking you have things under control, ultimately, they get to call the final shots. They do their homework. Or not. Study. Or not. Do the right thing. Or not. And some of those “Or nots” have lasting consequences. Some temporary. Some permanent. Some eternal.

Today, my community is mourning for and with a family who has watched their lives suddenly change forever in the last 24 hours. Their life suddenly became headline news for everyone else to see. These are people I don’t even know, though many of my friends do, and I’ve been thinking about them a lot today–about how fragile life is, about how much I love my kids, about how easy it is for them to make a choice that changes everything–forever.

I watched my 13 year old son get in my van when I picked him up from school and looked at him and said, “Promise me! Promise me you will NEVER drink and get behind the wheel of a car! Promise me! Promise me you won’t drink when you are in high school. Please promise me.”

He looked at me bewildered–no idea where this was coming from–“Mom? Why would I do that? Of course not, Mom!” and I looked at him and said, “You say that now, but you have to keep promising. You don’t know now what choices you will make later.”

I tried terribly to hold it together I as I drove away from the building that was just full of children becoming teenagers; already making choices that they can’t take back. And before I panic, before I lock him away for the rest of his life to save him from himself, I have to remind myself, “They are not mine. They are His. And He is in control, not me. No matter how hard I try to take that job from Him. God is vast and great and mysterious and I cannot understand what happened today or the pain that family and those boys’ friends are feeling because I am not. I will just have to rest in the knowledge that my children are His. And He loves them. Even more than me.

Monday FAIL

Didn’t do it.

Didn’t get up early today. AT. ALL.

Didn’t get up REALLY early (5 am) or early(5:30 am) or even really when I should have gotten up.

And I blame the government. You know, Daily Savings and all. And Monday.


Just like Scarlet, I’ll worry about that tomorrow. When I plan on getting up EARLY. Maybe REALLY early. Who knows.

I’m not The Doctor

Not a lot of complex thoughts today, but an interesting truth I’ve realized…

Some notes from Early to Rise:

“You want more, and the only time you are going to get it is at 5am.”

Ok. I’ll give. He’s right. I don’t have more time. I can’t make more time. And unless The Doctor shows up in this:

The TardisI’m probably not tearing through the fabric of all time and space. ***sits waiting for David Tennant or Matt Smith, either one will do*** Nope. Gotta get up earlier if I want more time in my day. (PS–If you haven’t seen Doctor Who, you like sci-fi  & British TV, then you need to find Doctor Who on Netflix–you are welcome.)

You need to equip yourself for success, and house slippers are part of your arsenal.

Yes, sir, you are correct. Slippers required. I have a variety. I’m all about “being dressed to your shoes” when it’s time to go out and about, but I LOVE some comfy slippers.

I think I have come to the conclusion that if I want to take advantage of getting up early by actually doing something in this time before others get up that I’m going to have to get up before 5:30 am. Realizing that your “new early” isn’t early enough really isn’t the best feeling.

SHUT UP! says the voice in my head. Are you kidding?? You don’t want to get up early to begin with! Seriously? You haven’t even been getting up at 5:30 each morning. I have been AWAKE at 5:30 for the past week. Proof:

time screenshot

The problem is that the mornings that I got up at 5:30 (go me!) I felt like I actually needed more time.  If the whole idea is to get up early enough to actually be doing something productive, then 5:30 isn’t going to cut it.  So, I’m thinking that I’m getting up even earlier next week. Or at least setting the alarm earlier. Gracious. Monday morning is going to be interesting. I think it will be a fuzzy black slipper day.


Early to Rise, Part 2: When Did Buying Real Estate Become Entertainment?

Ok. Yesterday I set my alarm for 5:30 a.m. My alarm is on my phone and my phone takes the pictures & it’s an Android and I don’t know how to take a screen shot, so…no picture to prove that I was awake then. Guess I’ll need to take a picture of another clock. 5:30 is not a time I enjoy being up at. For the record, I didn’t get out of bed immediately. But I was awake, I did NOT hit snooze and roll over and go back to sleep. So, progress.

I’ve been reading Early to Rise by Andy Traub and I’ve got some notes:

1. Andy says it’s ok to ease into the early morning thing. So I don’t feel so bad about not hopping right out of bed.

2. He also says I have to go to bed earlier. Sigh.

3.Everyone is motivated, even lazy people. Hmmm. This really stuck out to me. You know when your parents told you that you could do whatever you wanted to when you were grown up and left their house? True, but not all that productive. Maybe with more sleep I’ll be able to squash the “don’t-want-tos” that I get more often than I’d like to admit.

4.Why don’t we get up? We would rather be asleep than thinking. NAIL. ON. THE. HEAD. I know people who say they are worried and can’t sleep. I cannot relate at all. Not a bit. For me sleep is a wonderful retreat. The ultimate place to go when I don’t want to think about it. Odd enough, I also enjoy it when I actually am the first person up and it’s nice and quiet. Go figure.


5. Seriously?? I’ve got to go to bed earlier, get up earlier, and now he’s attacking TV. And my TIVO. Hmph. 😛 Andy


5a. Ok. I’ve got a few shows that I watch each week. Sometimes, but not always, I’ll end up watching other people buy expensive real estate in a foreign country for entertainment. Yep. That sounds even worse when you write it out. I watch people buy real estate for entertainment. Maybe I should go to bed earlier.



6. Andy is now suggesting that in the wee hours of the morning I can shut out the world so I can create, read, and write. Now we’re talking.

Ok. Those are just the notes from the intro. I’m further along than that, but more later.

PS. Today I didn’t wake up at 5:30. I had the day off, so hey–one day up at 5:30, one day with no alarm. The hubs was up for work, though, so I was awake when his alarm went off. Just wanted to keep it honest!

PSS. I looked up screen shot for Android on YouTube, and after a few minutes found that it was SO easy even a caveman could do it. On my phone (Droid Incredible 2) you just press the power button and the picture of the house and BAM. Screen shot in your picture file.

Early to rise…

So, it’s been over a year since I wrote anything on here. And the point of some of my posts was FINISHING. Good grief. FAIL!

I mean, come on. I wrote this about making an apron for Ginny out of a cute seasonal towel. I have all the materials to make 3 different aprons. And NO aprons are made. Zero. No finishing.

In my defense, I did finish a few of my quilt blocks mentioned in this post. I still have more to go, but hey–there was finishing involved. Blocks were delivered. I’ll take any kind of success I can get!

To follow up on the rest of the list (as seen here):

1. Quilt squares–addressed above.

2. Decluttering: I did some. We had a garage sale at church and I shuttled several vans full of stuff over there without a second thought. However, the house doesn’t seem lighter. Lots more to go. LOTS.

3. Bible study…NOPE. I read several worthy books, but not a daily/weekly Bible study.

4. Yarn and graphics…NADA. My daughter has recently shown an interest in the yarn, so maybe. We’ll see.

5. Sewing machine projects. Sometime before the end of the year I used the sewing machine to sew something. I remember getting it out. I don’t remember what it was. Whatever :\

6. Paint the kids bathroom: The kids bathroom currently has the following on the walls: the original contractor paint, primer, a test wall of a cold seafoamy green color that I didn’t like, two test spots of a weird yellowish color I liked at the time, but I’m not sure about, and an abstract mural done in the medium of Irish Spring deodorant gel stick (done by my 8 year old…yep EIGHT.) Forget Sharpies–if you want it to last forever, use some deodorant.

7. Financial Peace…bills got paid. That’s about it.

8. Bible reading plan. I read some more, but no finishing here either.

“Let’s do all the things!” GREAT GOODNESS. That list is HUGE. What was I thinking! I have a husband 3 kids, and a job outside the house. If my husband didn’t do laundry then we’d be naked.

I am such an imaginary overachiever.


There’s obviously some things I need to get done that aren’t getting done. It’s March now and most people have moved on from Level One goals of New Year Resolutions to Level Two goals of Lent. Cause most people can do anything for 40 days.

This past week I saw a post that, when I saw it, shouted to me: this is a good way to start!

Get up early. The early bird gets the worm. Early to bed and early to rise…

You get the picture. Crystal at is doing the Early to Rise Challenge using the book Early to Rise by Andy Traub.

What do you do? Get the book (I grabbed it for $5) and pick a time you are going to get up each weekday for March. The get up then (I’m pretty sure this is the critical step. Each day there is a post at with a challenge for the day.

I think that if I can get this down, then I might be able to think about some of the other stuff on the last list! Or at least get my kid to school earlier.

Why the quilt blocks are #1 on my Finish List

I didn’t grow up around a big extended family that did a lot of stuff together. Jeff’s family is different. His mom had lots of brothers and sisters who supplied lots of cousins and they now have lots of kids. It’s a big family. Thanksgiving dinner is a perfect example of  how big–tons of people gathered at Jeff’s Aunt Beanie’s house each year to talk and eat and play and shoot guns. We love it. My kids love it (the kids are not shooting the guns, fyi.)

But there is another special time of year for the women in Jeff’s family–Girls Weekend. I don’t even know when it started, but all of the sisters in the family and their daughters and girl cousins (and their girls) started getting together for a weekend trip in the late summer or early fall. There’s lots of cooking and talking and usually some swimming and shopping and the best Rice Krispie treats.

Several years ago (quite a few based on the number of quilt squares I have) there was an idea to draw two names and everyone would embroider a quilt square using a white square and a set of embroidery iron on images. (Cause there are enough people on this trip that if those who are old enough to, actually make a square, they could create a pretty big blanket!) Everyone went home with 2 squares so you could do your stitching and bring them back next year. The first year I wasn’t the only one not done by trip weekend. Some people were finishing up that weekend. But as we have discussed, I’m not a good finisher. So bad at finishing that I’m still working on the first set. It’s not because I’m super slow at embroidering. And it’s not that I’m bad at it. I knew how to do it before we started. It’s just that I don’t take time. I’m bad at finishing because I don’t plan. I just put it off until later and then later never comes and then it’s 5 or 6 years later and I’m still not done and there are more squares each year. It’s just a big pile of guilt waiting to be stitched.

quilt squares
Waiting to be stitched...

So now I’m planing. Planning to finish. And today’s plan is to finish square one and get square two on the hoop.