Welcome to our dialogue! We may not all agree all of the time but everyone's opinion matters! -
Make sure to scroll all the way to the end for Advice from GusVernon!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


MOM:  Online worlds are not like the real one where I am sitting right now.  They are easy…they make it easy to forget there are real people and real consequences beyond the screen.  Parents tell their kids all the time to be cautious on the internet but what does that mean?  As far as I am concerned, the internet is endless.  The possibilities go on and on to infinity…good and bad.  What exactly do we focus on when we have a conversation about “safety” or “netiquette?” 

Safety is a non-negotiable issue.  If you ask my kids the advice I give them most it is, “Don’t do stupid things!”  Then I elaborate on things that fall into the category of “stupid” like: giving out personal information or agreeing to meet with someone they don’t know because of an online conversation.

“Netiquette” is a murkier subject unfortunately.  My definition of netiquette is to adhere to the same standards of behavior online that you follow in real life.  Sounds simple enough but if it were really that simple, I wouldn’t be writing this little blog.  Our household has not had any major issues in this area but we have witnessed its effects on several occasions.  I am holding my breath as we begin to roll through the teen years, it seems inevitable.  Part of my purpose here is communication and hopefully this will play a role in my teen’s decision-making AND anyone who follows us on this adventure. 

We will blog on and see where it takes us.  A teen’s online self is a matter of degrees in my opinion, a bit cooler here and a little shyer there.  My parenting job is to help ensure that these fluctuations do not get too hot or too cold.  After all, teens can resist everything but temptation!

To Be ME or Not To Be ME!

ME: We put a poll online asking if you were the same online than in person. The results were mixed. Sometimes I even make myself “cooler” online (As if I even needed to!) Some people can even be MEANER online than in person! They think “Psh. Nobody will get mad!” and they end up being like...a bully or not "like" a bully- just a bully OR the can't belived what they said and now can't take it back!  That one sucks!        
And some people just straight out LIE.  That sucks too! 
As of this blog time- I just got no answers to this one.  Being someone else or being you "with some improvements" online is tempting.  Sometimes, if there is no harm done, it could be OK!  If harm is done, it probably is a bad idea- the trick is to know which is which!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


ME:   Happy Fastnacht Day to all of my peeps….can’t talk now- my mouth is full!

Happy Fastnacht Day!!

MOM:     MMMMM……Happy Fastnacht Day!  Making mention of this special day on our blog is just for fun.  The kids rank this day right up there with Christmas and Birthdays (and Groundhog Day).  It is a Holiday made expressly for the taste buds.  The Pennsylvania Dutch produce more than their share of mouthwatering sweets and fastnachts top the list.

Traditionally fastnacht day is always the Tuesday (Shrove Tuesday) before the beginning of Lent.  It originated as a means to use up the excess in the household before the season of fasting and such.  Today it is about keeping in touch with our heritage and eating yummy donuts!  With potatoes as a main ingredient and frying the finished dough in lard (a must), how can they not be good???

P.S. Last one out of bed is the fastnacht!!!  

Monday, February 20, 2012

Facebook Needs Me!

ME:  Facebook. I don’t have one. All my friends do. WHY?!?! The answer, PARENTS. My mom says that people are going to “Stalk” me and such. All I want to do is post pictures of me and my friends at the movies, out to dinner, etc. And I won’t talk to anyone else! My best friend has one, and she’s friends WITH MY MOM. So, why can’t I have one if she has one? People think “Yay! I have a Facebook! POST BAD PICTURES! POST OTHER PEOPLE’S ADRESSES! MUHAHAHAHAHAHA!” It’s like. NO. NO. NO. None of my friends would EVER do that, and I don’t see why some kids aren’t allowed to have one! (I understand if they are doing bad things they would get banned.) Even if I did have a Facebook, the “worst” thing I would do is comment, BANG to a picture of someone doing a “Duck face” face.  (I’m Duck hunting! Durrrrr) Besides, I think Facebook probably needs me…there’s not enough witty banter without me!

Social Media???

MOM: G-mail, facebook, chatrooms…how much should a middle school child be involved in these types of social media.  Of all the topics we may discuss, this is clearly an agree to disagree between Grace and I.  She is anxious to begin all and any types of social media.  On the other hand, I cringe at the idea.  For a year or so, I have had a facebook account.  Facebook has its ups and downs for me and I am an adult.  LIKE it for keeping in touch with family and friends that are literally scattered over the globe, from Belgium to Columbia and every state in the US.  A big DISLIKE for some of the obvious cattiness and petty postings that are clearly meant to annoy others- and I mean the adults!  For kids in the middle school to refrain from this kind of activity seems hopeless.  As parents we have all seen middle school kids in action and their lack of self-control constantly amazes me. My daughter does not have a facebook account for these and a very long list of other reasons. 

Concern is not only with the posting but with how much time I think she will devote to this activity…A LOT of time I would imagine.  Her schedule is full now with school and sports and the social activities that she does have- something will get shorted and I doubt it will be the social activities and media.   As of now, she has a Gmail account and can instant message there as well as a cell phone and Ipod that uses textplus.  She has everything but Facebook.  Which, as I am writing this, seems a bit illogical because I would have to be her friend on there and monitor her page.  I guess it just the final step at allowing her an online identity and I am not ready for it.  Between you and me, and now the whole world, I am more tech savy than my daughter and can keep track of all she is up too.  I have to say that it is work to keep ahead of her and hopefully she doesn’t pass me once she gets to high school.  It’s the only way I can be certain that she is safe.  She underestimates me as well but this will be changing after she reads this. LOL!

This issue cannot be summed up in one blog because it is so vast and there is so much available in the way of technology.  I plan to revisit this topic as issues arise.  Keep checking and add your comments as well, I’d love for other parents to weigh in!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Do Not Disturb!

ME:  My mom wrote a blog about how I am angry all of the time but it is not really true.  Sometimes, I just don’t feel like talking and want to be left alone.  And sometimes, (here we are going to go testing the “no grounding for what I say” thing) it is annoying when I am asked what is wrong or why I am so angry all the time.  Are you hearing me, if I have in my earphones then it is like a big do not disturb sign posted on my forehead.  After school, I just want to chill and get rid of any drama that befell me or any of my peeps during the day. It’s no big. I mean, I just want to relax for a bit and not be disturbed RIGHT AWAY, and if I have my headphones in when I come off the bus (which I usually do) LEAVE ME ALONE for a while. I’ll eat something and then I’ll usually be better and sounding less angry when I talk to someone.

 Another relevant factor, my younger brother is disturbing in his own strange and brotherly way.  He makes grand attempts to drive me nuts and usually it works! Like last night, I was “skype-ing” with my friend and he comes in in his UNDERWEAR eating a piece of CAKE!!! My friend was like “I did NOT need to see that!!! O-o  So as you all can see…I need my down time!