Sunday, May 30, 2010

Facebook for tweens

I don't know about you kiddos, but my tween is dying to be a part of Facebook. I have to say, I have spent countless hours on Facebook and found lots of old/new friends. It has been a ton of fun! However, that said, I am not comfortable letting my 10 year old (almost 11 year old, sniff, sniff) have free reign on a site that doesn't have a lot of protection for children. Seriously, it is geared toward adults, not kids.

I am a member of Mom Central online. It has been a great experience. I get to test products (like a cooking class with the Sneaky Chef and the new Uncle Ben's Whole Grain Rice, YummEE with a capital E) and do some other fun things. As a Test Drive mom, I was given the opportunity to check out Yoursphere with Catie. It is a website specifically geared toward tweens and teens. They put your child's safety first. This allows them to particpate in an online community and the parents can know that they are safe. This is a 3 month test drive and we have weekly assignments, including a required 2 blog posts a month.

For my first post, I would like to tell you a little bit about Yoursphere. Before they allows kids to participate, parents must set up an account. Once their accounts are set, the parent then sets up accounts for each child. Yoursphere will run a background check on you for safety reasons. That also assures you that whoever has access to Yoursphere has also been cleared of any possible "issues". One of the perks of having the account as a parent is that you can check your childs posts and activity. I love that, except for since it is only your child, you don't get to see things in context, but if you have a questionable post, you can ask your child.

On Yourshere, your child can join Sphere's. A sphere is a group with a common interest. Catie created one about cats. Kids post pictures and comment about different things related to cats. There are all kinds of spheres!

There is a game world, if you child likes to play or watch you play the Facebook apps, they will love Our World. I will talk more about that in my next post.

Yoursphere keeps close eye on the posts to avoid bullying. To do this, they have goodwill ambassadors and of course technology. Your child can get rewarded points for good behavior too. Plus with your access, if you happen to catch them saying something they shouldn't, you have the ability to delete the comment or go so far as to freeze the account, until you see fit to unfreeze it.

There are contest's and games and all kinds of fun things for your tween/teen to do and it is in a safe fun environment.

Feel free to check it out When you sign up, be sure to add the code YSMC-0004 When your kiddo signs up, drop me a comment or email and give me their username so Catie and be their friend.
(FYI, they are going to be doing a remodel of the home page here pretty soon, so the look and content of the homepage will be changing.) I love the fact that they listen to what the test drive moms have to say.

This post was done because I think that Yoursphere is so cool, I want your kids to try it out too. But, I also need to let you know that I wrote this review while participating in the Yoursphere Test Drive program by Mom Central on behalf of Yoursphere. I received a free lifetime Gold membership on, Yoursphere t-shirts, and a $50 American Express gift card to facilitate my review.

Be Blessed,
Until we read again...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Gardening and stuff

James and I decided that this would be the year for a garden. We feel like, with the economy as uncertain as it is, we had better learn how to do something for ourselves and stop depending on Wal-Mart and City Market to have what we need to survive. At least if we can't find or buy other things, we can have the fixins from the garden and can can or freeze what we have.

The garden is a ton of work, let me tell you. It starts out as grass, but you gotta till. And till. And till. And till. Then you have to pull the weeds out by hand. Then make rows. Then pull the weeds out by hand. Then we planted some stuff. Then we got another late freeze and lost most of it. In the midst of this, you are still weeding and watering. Snow doesn't count as watering either, by the way. I replanted most of what I lost from the freeze and the snow. We did plant carrots, but they didn't even sprout. Unless they looked like weeds and I pulled them, oops. Needless to say, I didn't replant those. Instead, I planted more lettuce and garlic. :-) My garden has the all the makings of salsa planted in it.

Things I have learned.
1. If my ten year old wants to talk, we have "garden time" and go out to weed, just her and I. (Did I mention there is lots of weeding required? If you miss it for a few days or a week...yes that did happen's hard to get caught back up.)

2. Patience. I know everyone says this, but if you have a patience problem, like me, grow a garden. It trains you in the way of patience. Stuff doesn't grow overnight and just because you watch it doesn't mean it will grow quicker. Trust me, I tried that too. God's timing is not our timing and guess who is in charge of your garden. That's right, God. I believe He made it that way on purpose. I am a NOW, kinda girl, but guess what, this garden has taught me there is no such thing as now in gardening. Unless it's a weed growing. Then there are lots of nows. It has taught me that hard work and elbow grease is good for me. Each day I would go out and check on my empty ground to see if they sprouted. Sometimes I would not weed, just in case, because I didn't know what the plant would look like. Thank goodness because I would have pulled the lettuce out. When I finally got some sprouts, I called everyone out and we celbrated! Now, my potatoes look like monster plants. My corn is beautiful. My peas finally started grabbing onto the fence. My grapes are looking gorgeous and I am training them on the second wire now. Oh, and my baby plants that I started in the house, well, they are ready to be planted in the garden this weekend! Things are really looking good and it's because God taught me to wait on His perfect growing season.

3. I think I said this, sort of in number one, but seriously, don't procrastinate. If you don't feel like weeding or working in the garden, do it anyway. If not, you will work double time trying to get caught back up. If you think about it, life is that way. If you half a.s something, pardon the language, it will take you more time to go back and fix it then it would have if you just did it right the first time, so just get 'er done. Your plants will thank you for it and so will your boss.

4. Gardening counts as excercise. Yes, I checked and it does. You can burn calories. You work all kinds of muscles. Ask mine, they are sore. Plus, you get so into what you are doing out there that you can easily lose track of time and forget to eat. Yep, did that too, lots. So, less calories taken in and more calories burns equals fat loss. Yay for me!

I know I have more things I have learned, but for some reason, my mind is blank, so I will just show you a couple of pictures and close out. Be looking for more blogs to come. I need to get back in the habit of doing this, so come check it out again.

This was our first harvest. Unfortuneately, the only ones who like radishes are James and myself. Bummer.

This is this morning. If you look close, you can see the potatoes on the left in the front and the corn in the back. The grapes or on the right hand side.

I was working the garden one day and heard the strangest sound...I turned around and look what I saw. Yes, that is a peacock on top of my house. There is a neighbor about 5 house up and she has rescued two. One of them wandered a little far away from home. I guess she needed a better look to get her bearings and make her way home.

Be blessed,
Until we read again...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Ok, do I need to introduce myself again??? You remember, Wendy, 3 girls who are totally rockin awesome. Wild moves of the Lord in my life??? Remember me?? Awesome.

This is just a quick post, but I want you to know that I am back. I have words flowing through my head that are busting to get out. I think I might be losing some out my ears, but not too messy.

Forwarning, I will be blogging again soon, so be sure to check back. No more sad ones either, at least for now.


Be blessed,
Until we read again.

Faith Writers