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: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201304

Parental Controls on Kindlehttps://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201729930

PC Mag Parental Control Suggestions (2017):  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2346997,00.asp

Parental Control Apps: http://www.tomsguide.com/us/best-parental-control-apps,review-2258.html

Covenant Eyes: http://www.covenanteyes.com/

Three Mistakes Parents Make With Technology: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/when-kids-call-the-shots/201604/3-mistakes-parents-make-technology

Kids & Tech Tips for Parents (American Academy of Pediatrics): https://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/Media/Pages/Tips-for-Parents-Digital-Age.aspx

Crackberry’d Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJ1aADtxvF4

Create a Family Media Plan here: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/media/Pages/default.aspx

Reviews of Movies, Apps, Shows & Tech Info: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/

Another Review Site: http://www.pluggedin.com/

Google Accounts for Kids: http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/baig/2017/03/15/first-look-google-family-link-app-helps-parents-manage-kids-smartphones/99202084/

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Whatever…

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.

 

Finish it Friday…on Saturday

So, as I’m drifting off to sleep last night I realize that it’s Friday and I didn’t post anything for “Finish it Friday.”

Ever so briefly I entertained the idea of getting up to post something. I think we all know what the final decision was there since you can see that this is posted on Saturday.

Here’s what I’ve go so far as my list is concerned:

1. In response to Jon Acuff’s post Tuesday Task I typed out my Finish List on paper. I think it will hang in my bathroom where I can see it in the mornings.

2. I worked this week on the quilt squares. I also went to the store and got some more embroidery floss when I decided I was missing a few key colors.  (Finish list #1)

3. I found what will be my first sewing machine project. It’s easy and will make Ginny a very happy girl. Of course, her’s will have a “G.” (Finish list #5)

Dish Towel Apron

 

4. I started keeping better track of our grocery spending. I was not the greatest couponer last year, and can do much better. I found a spreadsheet created by Stephanie over at Couponing 101 and started using it in Google Docs.  This certainly covers the “goals should be measurable” part of SMART goals. (Finish list #7)

5. This wasn’t on my official Finish List, but we’ve been wiggling the toilet handle in the master bath for a few weeks now (to make the water stop running.) No one had made the trip to Lowe’s to get a new flap, so we kept jiggling. Yesterday I had HAD IT and in my frustration suddenly remembered the fact that we had an extra flap stuffed somewhere in the linen closet. Took the time RIGHT THEN and FINISHED IT. Took 15 minutes and now there’s no more jiggling.

I think that the spirit of the Finish List is that some things should never make it to the list. Some things just need to be done and we can move on.

Plan for next week:

1. More quilt squares.

2. Spending part of today decluttering.

3. Make a decision about a Photoshop class I found.

4. Track my finish the Bible goal.

Not too bad for week #1 of Finish Year.

Life Doesn’t Stop For Christmas

Life doesn’t stop for Christmas.

The movies and stores paint Christmas as a wonderful, magical, time. We imagine it filled with family, friends, gifts, and goodies. And it can be. I don’t mean to be a downer.

But life doesn’t stop for Christmas.

There are expectations. Gifts to buy. Trees to decorate. Food to cook. Cookies to bake. If you are a parent there is the expectation of creating memories to last a lifetime. Who doesn’t want their grown children to say, “remember that Christmas when we were little…”

Even attempts to “keep the Christ in Christmas” can prove stressful. Suddenly our full lives have a whole list of “to-dos” added into an already busy mix. I found this great idea of a “Jesse Tree” as part of Advent this year. I had good intentions. (Check out what a Jesse Tree is here) We need to double and triple up some devotions this week to make it to the end before Christmas.

But life doesn’t stop for Christmas.

My Facebook feed is full of real life happening in the month of December:

  • I’ve seen a single mother loose everything except her two young children in a fire.
  • I’ve seen children in the hospital.
  • I’ve seen friends in car accidents.
  • I’ve seen mother dealing with being a single parent in a difficult situation.
  • I’ve seen police officers just doing their job, shot and killed.
  • I’ve seen friends dealing with their elderly parents, stressed with the choices that lie ahead for them.
  • I’ve seen adult children facing their first Christmas without their parents.

My job puts me in the position to answer numerous calls with desperate people on the other end of the line. Can you help with food? Can you help with the light bill. Can you help find presents for my children? Can you help me find a place to stay. We get these calls year round. They just increase in December as people with little try to make more. Some are truly in need, some may have overspent on presents and let things like the power bill slip by until that letter finally comes saying “pay, or all the Christmas lights go out.” Some may just be scammers. Sad, but true.

Life doesn’t stop for Christmas.

Life didn’t even stop for the very first Christmas, over 2000 years ago.

Mary was pregnant. And she wasn’t married. Not even remotely as accepted as that is now. Was she stressed? Did God give her a peace that passes all understanding? And Joseph, too?  And what about their families? Not an easy time.

And on top of that is was tax season. And it wasn’t as easy as filling out some 1040 forms online. A really pregnant Mary had to go with Joseph back to his hometown. I can’t imaging that was a comfortable trip.

If you’ve ever given birth, imagine that it was almost time, and instead of being at home (or in your preferred hospital suite) that you had to pack up and travel back to your husband’s hometown and give birth who knows where.

And when they got to where they were going, no one could (or would?) offer them a bed. Or even a corner of the floor in their living room.

For goodness sake! This poor extremely pregnant woman was sent to sleep with the animals. Were they in a barn? A cave? Depends on who you listen too. I just know that it doesn’t sound comfortable and certainly not what a first time mom has in mind for giving birth. Even a couple of thousand of years ago.

Had word got around? Were they already the talk of the town? “Hey, that Mary chick–she got pregnant and they aren’t even married yet!” Who’s letting that couple into the inn to stay? Nobody–that’s who. I’m sure Bethlehem was full of people, but really!

But all of these worldly circumstances didn’t stop Christmas from happening.

The Emmanuel, the Alpha and Omega, the Great I Am, made His way into our world to save us all in the middle of life happening.

So, Christmas isn’t about everything being perfect. It’s about remembering that life doesn’t have to be perfect to invite Jesus into your life. He’s ok with how your life is RIGHT NOW. Even if everyone around you thinks you are a mess, He’ll still show up. Life may not stop for Christmas, but when invite Christ to be with us, we are able to celebrate beyond our circumstances the awesome gift of Jesus Christ that was given to us so many Christmases ago.

A gift that we can still claim today.

A gift we NEED to claim today, and every day.

Because life doesn’t stop.

 

Wearing Socks Outside

SocksFor the past two days I’ve been at home (instead of at work) with Ginny, who has had a nasty, junky cough, and a fever. We’ve done pretty good so far this fall–she’s not been home and stuck to the nebulizer until now. So, we’re hanging out at home. I’ve been doing what work I can from home, and taking advantage of being home to get some stuff done around the house. Ginny was particularly happy about the housework part of the day. She even worked it into her blessing at dinner last night: “Dear Lord, thank you for mommy, daddy, Sydney, and Will. And thank you for cleaning up.”  For those that don’t know her well, Ginny thrives on neatness and order and is a bit OCD. She’s the most organized in our house (a heavy burden for a girl that just turned 3.) So it was not really a surprise to me that she was thanking the Lord for a clean living room. (Just this VERY moment I heard the words, “I love putting things up!” come out of her mouth. And NO you can’t have her–she’s all ours!)

Anyway.

It was Monday AND a sick day and she spent the day in her jammies. Cause you can do that when you are sick. But come 2pm it was time to go collect her brother and sister from school. I stuck my head in her room and did something I HATE to do–woke her up. Cause she’s grumpy sometimes when she just wakes up. But she was sick and in jammies and we were just going to drive through a couple of carpool lines, so I saw no reason for her to change into clothes, or put on shoes, for that matter.

But in Virginia World there are rules and she walked out the door and her socked feet must have screamed to her, “you aren’t wearing shoes!” because she stopped dead in her tracks and screeched that she needed shoes. I’d already grabbed my ID, keys, and Diet Mt. Dew, and I had no intention of going back for shoes. SHE DIDN’T NEED THEM. I knew she was going straight to the van and not getting back out until we came home. I knew, and I told her, that I was going to carry her to the van. But she thought she knew better. She questioned my judgement and my motives for wanting her to go out without her shoes. She fussed a bit as I picked her up, sock feet and all and proceeded to buckle her in to her car seat.

She finally accepted the fact that she was on her way without her shoes and the world hadn’t ended.

Even as this was going on I was thinking about how we are this way with God. One of the main ways I see my own relationship with God is through the lens of my relationship with my own children. I began to think of the times that God has called me to “walk outside with my socks on.”  He calls me somewhere unknown, for reasons known only to Him, to do something that calls me out of my comfort zone. Ginny only knows that I usually say that she needs shoes on to go play. But sometimes God’s way is strange to us, and seems so odd that we balk. We say that we need the shoes, that we aren’t going unless we do it the normal way. Even when God says that it’s ok, and that He will carry us.

Back to the van. As we were driving away and I was contemplating how she had finally come to see that her lack of shoes wasn’t the end of the world as we know it, she showed me yet again how trust is an ongoing process. When we were about half a mile away from our house she said, “Momma, are you sure it’s ok that I don’t have shoes on?”

How we must make Him shake His head.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

The Fair Has Rides

Fair RidesAs we all know, “life’s not fair.”

My children know that if they call, “not fair!” that they are likely to hear, “the fair is in October!” fall right out of my mouth.

Since I have friends in places where the fair isn’t in October, not to mention the fact that when the actual month of October comes it becomes difficult to whip this quip out, I decided to go with the name The Fair Has Rides.

Sometimes I have deep thoughts about life, family, kids, and the Lord. Sometimes I want to share the coolest thing I’ve seen in a while (at least since the last time I was on Pinterest.)  I’ve finally decided that Facebook alone was not doing it for me, and I need more space to be able to ramble on about some things.

So, while life isn’t fair, it’s kind of like the fair–full of interesting people, places, and things. Sometimes you just go around in circles like so many fair rides, sometimes it’s scary like the fun house, sometimes it speeds by like you are on a burlap sack on a slide, and other times it feels like the bottom just drops out and takes your breath away (not sure the name of that ride, but I like it as a ride, not a time in life!)

Thanks for reading!