The Living Without Series

This is a series of posts that I wrote back in 2006 on living with less stuff. Check them out: liv011Living #2liv031liv04

Coal Creek Farm on Facebook

The Chicken Doctor


The Architect


The Social Media Child Rearing Blogger, that’s me.

I recently attended a class for parents of teenagers.  The topic of discussion was media and social networking.  I decided not to participate in the discussion and opted to listen to the input from the parents.  I noticed that the parents of younger children were very against their children ever participating in any social media and the parents of older teens discussed how they carefully try to navigate monitoring their children’s involvement with their devices.

I decided I was the teenager in the room.

I have a blog, I love Facebook, I was on Twitter before it became the hot hang-out for teens, I have Snap Chat and Instagram and I text.  What am I missing?

Obviously, I wasn’t going to stand up and say, “Dudes! Yo! Screens forever!”

Because that would be bad and I might lose my reputation as overly-protective-slightly-ignorant-homeschooling-pansy-Christian-blonde.  And that would be, well I could stand to lose a few adjectives.

So, I sat there listening to the parents give their input about the trust they have to put into their teens when they walk out the door and hope that they aren’t assaulted with images on Joey Nogood’s phone on the bus or in the hall or wherever.

And that made me want to hide my children in a hole until they are 25, but then they would be super pale and socially inept……wait.  Uh, erm, might have that going on without the hole.

Still I was not opening my mouth to say anything, because I was enjoying the banter of these parents.  Some of them were wise to the fact that FaceBook is so yesterday and if you want to know the real kid just follow their Twitter and if that shocks you then you can only imagine what that kid is Snapchatting and Instagramming  and none of it would be Pintrest worthy, I promise.

Do I need to insert that as I type this my 19yo daughter is laying practically in my lap while surfing Pintrest and my 8yo is shoving a Calvin and Hobbes book in my face every few minutes, “Mom! Read this. Read the whole page.  It’s really funny.  Read it.”  I have yelled, “NO Get that out of my face!” several times to no avail and I’m passed kindly asking my daughter if she could choose any of the other three chairs in the room, “GET OFF ME CHILD!” 

Obviously, my family does not have issues with being together.

I gained some insight from the class and decided there were some things I could monitor more closely.  Hopefully, my children will have a strong moral compass by the time they leave the confinement of our home, but there is always the chance that they could be sucked into the dark world of selfies and hashtags.

I’m not going to tell you how we manage/monitor/control the use of social media in our home.  I think it’s wise that we talk about it with our kids all the time.  Hopefully, they will learn discernment and keep their head on straight without causing their parents to worry about them constantly.

I need to go update my status.  Snapchat you later!

A Year to Love

Dear Kind Readers of Coal Creek Farm,

How are all of you?  I hope you’re well and above all that you are happy and loved.

I’m reflecting on the past month.  As Christmas approached so many tragedies hit that my soul was flooded with grief.  We watched as a nation the aftermath of the brutal killings of precious children and the adults that chose a profession to aid our children at Sandy Hook Elementary.  For days the only thing people could discuss was gun control and mental health.  My heart ached for all of them, so far away, yet so close to home.  Some expressed their sorrow in song and some argued politics and health benefits.  It all seemed ludicrous when I saw the images of the stricken families that will forever be scarred with the pain of losing a loved one, especially a child.

There was grief in our church and in our town as two babies passed away unexpectedly .  I attended the funeral of one of the babies, I’ve never been to a funeral where so many people cried for a family.  It was so very sad to see their pain and grief.  So very, very sad.

I only have one resolution this year.  Love more.

It’s a tall order I know.  But, I want to wake up every day and share love with people.  I truly believe that when people are kind and loving it spreads like a virus.  I hope I can spread some love past the doors of my own home to the people of this world, the people who need love, that need a kind gesture.  I hope I can teach my children to put their needs aside to help and comfort someone.  I hope I can teach them to do these things without the need for self-gratification.

I hope this year I will remember everyday to love more.

Oh, and dance like nobody is watching too!

Fast Tube by Casper

The Hair and The Run

The week before Thanksgiving I got a bug in my bonnet and decided to chop off my hair.  Actually, I had Ellen hack it off….then I was all like, “Holy crap balls! What did I just do?”

Then I spent the next week trying to figure out how to style it and taking photos of myself in the mirror.  I learned just recently that these photos are called ‘selfies’.  Please ignore my messy bedroom, it’s beyond help.  I’m looking forward to the day that I can have a professional cut my hair.  It will be such a luxury.

While I was busy chopping off my locks and using every hair product known to man, Clay was in the kitchen making cheesecakes.  This was the night before Thanksgiving as he was making a chocolate cheesecake with absolutely no help from his older two children.  He’s thinking about moving onto breads.  I like that idea, because my thighs can’t handle too many more of his cheesecakes.

Thanksgiving morning we ran a 5k.   We called it the Phillips’ Family 5k, sponsored by Coal Creek Farm, so we felt official. My eyes are closed because I was praying to God that I wouldn’t die.

Clay and I won first place in our age categories. It helped that we were the only participants in the race, but still. Oh!  And I won, best hair style!

Directly after this photo, Clay had to help me limp to the van and I limped all week and the next week and the next week….because of this stupid thing called a stress fracture.  Fun!  So my running has been on hold until it heals. But, I’m glad I got to finish the dad-gum race!

The winner of the race was…her.  Yeah, running track in college might give her a slight advantage over the rest of us. She made sure her little/giant brother knew who won.

On another note, I’m not sure why Seth wore the oldest, nastiest pair of shoes he owns…..wait, I think those are the only pair of shoes he owns.

Seth would like everyone to know that he will take donations toward a shoe fund or a ski fund, same thing really.