No Cell Phones for the Kiddos

I took a lot of crap on this one. . .

A little back story; most if not all of Sprat’s friends got phones by the time they were in middle school, some even had them in elementary school. The hubby and I were of the mindset that phones are a need for adults not a toy for children. During this time I was a stay at home mom and the boys were either at school or with me. No reason for either of my boys to have a phone. There are some cases where I understand a child would need a phone to reach a parent if both parents worked and there could be transportation issues. Let us not forget how many kids went through the school system before there were phones and survived just fine. Even parents can fall in to the trap of peer pressure.

One of the main reasons my boys did not get a phone until it was a need. . .

Cell phones give people access to the internet and all sorts of communication. For adults cell phones are a necessary evil to be productive in their jobs. Children do not need that kind of unlimited access to the internet or their friends. Giving a child a cell phone is like inviting their bully from school into your home, the pedophile that was just released from prison or has not been caught yet into your home. Yes, I am being very serious there is so much out there that children should not have access and you cannot be there all the time to watch over that interaction. Kids are bullied every day in school, both of my boys were and you would not believe by who. If they had phones during that time those bullies would have had access to my boys at home where they should feel safe and secure.

Yes, adults/parents can fall victim to peer pressure. . .

Determined I would not fall victim to peer pressure with my boys. Sprat in fifth grade and Big T in third grade, Big T jumps in the car and reports Sally has an iPhone. I have changed the names to protect the overindulgent parents. LOL!! I simply replied Ok, and how was everyone’s day? I tried to gloss over that because I knew that would set Sprat off because all he could talk about was how he needed a phone. I always laughed and told them both a phone was not a need for a child. I have to ask why a third grader needs a phone and an iPhone to boot? It has to be peer pressure, no normal parent would say; hey, let’s spend $800 on a new phone for our special little third grader.

You would think my children were the most deprived. . .

To hear my oldest tell about his phoneless sophomore year of high school you would think we shoved bamboo shoots under his finger nails every night after dinner (liver and onions). By Sprat’s freshman year in high school all of his friends really did have phones, but many of them bought them with their own money. I have no problem with a kid that has a job buying a phone and paying for his service and phone himself . In fact, I thank that is awesome and kudos to the parents that have kids that are that industrious. Mine were not that industrious, Sprat thought his dad and I printed money in the basement.

The straw that broke the camels back . . .

When Big T was finishing up sixth grade my very sweet hubby was re-organized out of a job. Yep, two weeks shy of twenty-five years with the same company my sweet hubby was laid off. He looked for work and after six months with no luck I decided to look for something part time to help with insurance once his severance ran out. I found a great job that I could work part-time with insurance benefits. This was very exciting, but this meant that days I worked Big T would be riding the bus. The boys did not mind riding the bus, they had ridden it a couple of times before. The problem was that being part-time I could get called in at the drop of a hat. This meant that Big T’s transportation could change with very little notice.

Need to back track here just a bit, at this point Sprat has his license and yes a phone too (not an iPhone). Sprat got a flip phone not a smart phone for his first phone when he started driving. I do believe kids that are driving do need a phone for just in case. Now Big T a seventh grader is going to get a phone (not an iPhone). When Big T got a phone I broke down and Sprat did finally get a smart phone. Let all the horrible mama talk begin. . .

In Conclusion. . .

I have laid it all out here, you must in the end make the decision that best fits you and your child. Just remember once you open Pandora’s Box you cannot close it.

A Little More Advice for Mom’s

These are few things I wish I had done sooner. . .

I found this on Pinterest many years ago. You can find neat things to do with and for your kids on Pinterest. You write your child letters and enclose money in each letter, not a lot of money a five, a twenty, whatever you have extra. According to Pinterest you are supposed to write one letter each year and give them to your child at their high school graduation.

Did not find this one until the boys were older, so I wrote to the boys more frequently throughout the years. Sprat got his letters when we left him at school his freshman year in college. I did give him direction on opening them, he was told he could only open one a month. When he realized there was money in them I was afraid he would tear through them and not really read what I had written. My goal here was to give my child something that I had written in my own hand that told him how much he was loved when he was growing up and how I felt when we argued and that no matter what his Dad and I were very proud of him. Let’s face it, teens do test their parents to the very end.

The picture is a little dark but those are Sprat’s letters in his hand as we get ready to leave him in Boston.

School teachers and your kids. . .

I saw this one on Pinterest too. I did not do this one personally but I thought it was neat and had I found it when the boys were younger I would have done it. Take one of your child’s favorite books and each year have their favorite teachers write a note to them in the book. Pinterest suggested books like Dr Seuss or the Berenstain Bears. When your kids graduate high school they have a book full of positive notes from their favorite teachers throughout their school years.

A little garden stone. . .

Throughout your child’s school career they will make hand print turkeys, footprint I love you notes, and cut out hearts with their pictures for mom. Hobby Lobby and other shops of that nature sell make your own stepping or garden stones. We purchased two when we moved to our new house in 2006 and the boys created their very own stones to put in our flower bed. These stones still adorn our front flower bed today. They have their hand prints and some shards of glass and the date they were joyfully created. I wish I had done a few more at different times I could have my own garden path made with their little hands and feet.

Big T’s stone, you just barely see his little hand print.

Pinterest is a neat little library of ideas. . .

Pinterest holds a wealth of information from everything to job searches to recipe ideas. I found many little things to do with my kids to enhance their education and expand their horizons. Check out my Pinterest boards for yourself. https://www.pinterest.com/pamperedpage

the Garden Grows in the COVID. . .

the Hubbs has been busy. . .

My husband has been very busy in the COVID pandemic. Our garden has been plowed and planted, he added tomatillos and some peppers yesterday. My cutting flower bed also has a good start. I was told we will take a trip to Lowes to get some timber to build up the bed. There is nothing like the smell of fresh cut flowers.

This was my herb garden last year. The hubbs built this little raised bed. This is similar to what my new cut flower bed will look like.
This was the herb bed yesterday. Sage, lemon Thyme, chives, Rosemary, and some Oregano hidden by the Rosemary, oh and Lemon balm. I also have Lavender and garlic planted here. It has grown nicely.
This is where my new cut flower bed will be. The hubbs has been busy during the stay at home order. You can see I already have a peony in place, it will be fixed in a better location in the bed. There is also another peony behind that one that will go in the bed eventually.
The garden: onion, cabbage, potatoes, peas, lettuce, spinach, and newly planted peppers, tomatillos, cucumbers, and zucchini.

There is a lot going on in our yard this year. Spring will be all a buzz at our house and I cannot wait.

I was able to talk the hubby into buying some flowers for my pot on the front porch, since my flower bed is not quite ready. We could not find any cedar timbers yesterday anywhere in town. Everyone must be building flower beds and raised garden beds. For now this will be my cut flower garden and my few peony plants I have in the front and the back.

What are you doing in the stay at home order to keep your sanity? Tell me how you are dealing with school for your kids and keeping everyone happy.

Fair Warning, this is a RANT!

This is the product of being at home almost two weeks with: my husband (cooking all the time) and my two teenage boys eating all the time. And here we go. . .

What is going on????

What is going on in this world? People think just because their kids are out of school and they are on furlough or work from home order that they can pack up and go to the beach. Why would you do that, why would you put yourself and others at risk by going out of town to stay where you do not know anyone or have any family near by? What happens if you get sick then your family is stuck where they do no know anyone and have no help for your kids if you get put in the hospital? What happens when your hometown goes on lock down and you cannot get back to your home, family, pets you may have left?

Folks you need to wake up. . .

Folks you need to wake up and realize that this is not a vacation it is a serious issue. My husbands Bass club plans to have a fishing tournament two hours away in an area that has many cases of this virus and has been on lock down longer than we have. My husband is not going nor is his brother, they have a little more sense and wives with more sense than that. The shelter at home orders are for everyone’s safety. This is not a time to go visit older relatives, this not the time to pack up the family and go to the beach. My husband and I have been on shelter in place since March 17th, that was when I started working from home full-time. I work with the Organ Donor organization for our State, we started our precautions to protect employees as well as: doctors, nurses, donors, donor families, and recipients. The boys have been on lock down since they both have been home from school.

What I would like to see. . .

What I would like to see come out of this Pandemic is, people starting to care about someone other than themselves. I am tired of hearing about the poor seniors that did not get this or that how about we start caring about those that are sick and dying and worry about how we can keep everyone safe and healthy all that other stuff can be done when this is over. I would like to hear how the Senior class of 2020 is going to do something to help the folks affected by this pandemic not hear them, “oh woe is me.” It is not even the kids that really care about it, it’s the parents that are crying about it.

I will get off my soap box now. . .

Yes, it is sad that the Seniors may not get their graduation in a timely manner and they may not get a Prom. Let’s look at the BIG picture and think about the lives that are saved because they stayed home. I am sad my sons’ did not get to have a complete season of lacrosse and bless Sprat’s heart he has had two seasons cut short. Life happens and it does not always go the way we would like it to go. My prayers through all of this are that God is watching over our young people and that we make it through this and we are better for it in the end.

And Just Like that We are Home Schooling. . .

Lots of Emotions This Week. . .

This is an add on to my last post about detesting the media. Just like that, my Sprat is coming home. There are mixed emotions about that; I love that I will get to see him but I am worried about him finishing this semester at home online. Sprat struggles with the online only format of learning. He has had a good semester so far and I want him to finish strong.

I am very sad that his lacrosse season was cut short too. We have yet to see him play college lacrosse in person, goodness knows I watched all three games on TV and watched the replay several times. I am especially sad for the seniors that did not get a true season this year. Big T did not complete his lacrosse season either.

Sprat in red going behind cage.
These are compliments of Sprat’s friend. Sprat in white on the left.

Online Classes for High School. . .

Online classes for high school will probably be the most difficult hurdle for many kids. I am thankful that Big T already has a computer from his school since he is dual enrolled in college and high school classes. His transition to online classes will be much easier than most. It is going to be difficult for those that do not have access to computers or internet most high schools do not have computers for every child. Larger cities will be better prepared for this situation than the rural areas.

I would love to hear how you will handle your child being at home to finish high school or college. Please leave your comments below. . .

Why I Am a Lacrosse Mama

Sprat after the first Scrimmage. . .

Sprat had his first scrimmage last week and they played their first game yesterday. Hard loss 6-7 but very exciting to watch. Sprat played the whole game and even was mentioned in the after game write up. It is hard for this mama when my baby is playing a sport and I cannot be there in person to cheer him on.

Thankful for technology. . .

The game on Saturday was in Maine and I was so thankful that the school live streamed the game for those that could not be there. I got to see my boy play his first official college lacrosse game on the Big screen. Not every school has that option but most of them do. Sad I could not be there but so happy I did get to watch him play. Very exciting weekend.

Big T has his first lacrosse game tonight and I will not be able to attend that one either. The hubby will be holding down the fort for this one. I have to work so the hubbs will be texting me the play by play. The hubbs and I try to be at the boys sporting and academic events but things do come up that prevent that, but one of us is always there.

The Little Leaguer. ..

“I had a little leaguer, that played ball for me. He never missed a practice, he was always there at 3; and when we had a ball game his best he’d always show, I’d ask where his folks were at, but he would never know. They’d bring him to the ballfield and then go on to town, and then one day he got hurt real bad, his parents could not be found. He’s grown up to be a teenager now and he’s in and out of jail. And his parents often ask me, ‘Tell us where we failed.’ So all you parents with little leaguers, go to their games and stay, and let them know that you’ll be there every game they play. And should they make an error, don’t make them feel ashamed, just tell him to try a little harder it’s all part of the game. And when it is his time at bat, stand and holler loud, It will make him feel much better to know you are in the crowd. ” by Anonymous

The poem above was printed in June 1969 in my hometown paper. My mom saved this paper like many other things and she shared it with me when my boys started playing little league ball. I love this poem, it speaks volumes to what your child really needs. They do not need things, they need you. They need you present in their lives and they need to know you are there cheering them on through life.

Mom, forever a cheerleader. . .

I hate missing my kids events, whether it is academic or athletic, I want to be there for every one of them. It is hard and it does not always work out that way but the hubbs and I make every effort for at least one of us to be there. Sprat in college 15 hours away does make it difficult but, we are going to see two games in person this year. I am beyond excited to see him and getting to see him play will be icing on the cake.

Stay tuned as the laxmom journey continues. . .

Happy Valentine’s Day. . .

A little text goes a long way. . .

I got a text today from Sprat, “Happy Valentine’s Day momma.” I thought that was the sweetest thing. It brought a little tear to my eye. I had just dropped off some of Mom and Dad’s old clothes to our local charity and then got that sweet text. I was a little down thinking about cleaning out Mom and Dad’s house and thinking about all the things Mom had saved of mine over the years.

Valentine’s Past. . .

Growing up my parents always gave us a small heart shaped box of chocolates for Valentines. It was always sitting at the breakfast table when we got up on Valentine’s day. I carried that tradition on to my boys, every year they got that same heart shaped box of chocolates only their box had a small teddy bear on top. Even now with the boys older I still get that small box of chocolate with the teddy bear on top for their Valentines. Sprat got his box early since he would be at school on V day. He told me he was going to give it to his new “friend” Jacki. He wanted to pass that tradition to her. One, two, three. . . Awwwwww!!!!

Traditions. . .

I love that Sprat wants to pass/share that tradition of the Valentine’s box of chocolates with the teddy bear. I hope he will share that tradition and all of the other ones with his family when he has one. That thought does this mama proud, it is nice to know that the little things did mean something. We try so hard as parents to do things right, you may or may not ever know if what you did had any impact.

Stay tuned as we continue this journey. . .

Hidden Gems We Find. . .

This is Me, no filters, on college move in day with Sprat September 2019

This Beautiful little girl is me, not sure how old I was.

We found all sorts of gems at Mom’s house while getting things ready for the renovation. The above was a surprise found in the piano bench. There were a set of three of these; my brother, sister and then this one of me.

I had to laugh when I saw the picture because of my mouth being wide open. It all started at birth, the whole mouth wide open thing, I was always a very happy little girl. I still laugh with my mouth wide open.

Not sure how old I was here but this one is framed at my Mom’s. Again the mouth wide open loving life. I hope that is how I will be remembered, always laughing and loving life.

When my boys were born, I thought they looked like my husband, now I think they look more like me. I will let you guys be the judge, tell me what you think.

My very handsome husband at work.

Your task if you choose to take it, who do these handsome boys look more like? Will you choose Me or my very handsome husband? I think they look a little like us both. I will take the middle ground. Please leave your comments below.

Background on Our Crew. . .

This is my crew many years ago, Sprat lower right, Big T on the left and of course  the hubby and I.  This was taken at one of their birthday parties at a tumble gym.  

Mom and my sister and myself,  this would have been Christmas 1986 or ’87.  I cannot remember which. 

We took the boys on the Polar Express train ride.  We had a blast, when I made the reservation the lady said, “wear your PJ’s everyone does.”  We all showed up in our PJ’s, to my husbands chagrin, and we were the only adults in PJ’s.  Sprat said, Mom you all are the only parents in PJ’s, I simply replied yes and we are the only ones that know how to have fun.

The boys enjoying the Fair and the bumper cars.  The hubbs and I always took the boys to the Fair each year.  We always went when the boys could get the ride all day bands.   These are just some of our family traditions.  

We also used to go tubing with the boys in the Summer.  When the boys were little we had a couple Summers where we did stay-cations.  The boys loved it, we went to local AA baseball games and I took them to the pool during the day, this was during my stay at home mom days. 

We took a few trips here and there with the boys.  This is on our trip to Sea World. This was the boys petting the Rays, notice the hubbs holding Big T by the shirt so he does not fall face first in the water. 

This was just a little background on my family.  Stay tuned for updates on the boys and all the goings on with high school and college lacrosse.