Saturday, March 31, 2012

Firstborn and Facebook

As I posted earlier, Firstborn turned 13 last week. Some of the kids at our school lie about their age and get a Facebook account prior to age 13 (the required age). Not us! Being honest about her age online AND delaying that privilege to make it special were both important to CC and me. This week she got her account!

I did a little research prior to letting her sign up. I am sure there are differences of opinion among those reading this blog. Some would not consider letting their 13 year old have a Facebook account, and I am sure there are valid reasons for that. But we determined that it would be ok for her. First of all, I trust her modesty and discretion fully both in dress and talk. We all have issues we struggle with, but those are not hers.

Also, she is a TCK (Third Culture Kid)...meaning she is a mix of many cultures, without one she can really call her own. She has an American passport, was born in Singapore, but has had all her growing up years in Turkey. She's a mix. When we fly into America, we discuss the things to remember about the "foreign country" we are landing in. No, you can't take candy from strangers like you do in Turkey. Hugging and kissing on both cheeks people you've just met would not be appropriate, etc. It's a wonderful place that she wants to live in one day, but for now, it's just a place to visit her beloved sets of grandparents and cousins.

So, all that to say...Facebook is wonderful for a TCK. She's already been able to find childhood friends that have moved to far away countries. She's currently looking for a little friend that she shared the Lord with so many years ago. For her to be able to re-connect and stay connected, even when these kids fly in all different directions, will be very good.

And finally, basically, it's their world. This is the technological age she was born into. We want her to be connected, but just want it to be appropriately done.

Prior to setting up her account, we talked about what would be expected. I found this very helpful article:  What Parents Should Know and also this contract which we read through together: online contract
 It became very clear as we discussed it that we are very much on the same page about all of it. Still, I felt it would be good to not assume anything and just talk about it all. We also went to some Facebook pages together, ones that I had made a mental note of in the months leading up to this. For example: a profile picture of a girl in a bikini on the beach; conversations between two people posted on a public wall that would be more appropriate sent as private messages; subtle anger directed at an anonymous person when many would clearly see to whom it was directed; careless words like "sexy" tossed about on status updates; reminders that the choices she makes in her posts could affect her employment years later,  etc. It was very helpful to have it on the screen in front of her. She got the message.

And so last night, after CC and I came home from our date, I logged in and planned to send her a cute little note on her wall. CC and I were enjoying seeing what she had chosen to explain herself:
Religion? Evangelical Christian.
Inspirational People? Jesus Christ, her parents, her teachers.
Favorite Music? Jamie-Grace, Wynnona (my fault!), Carrie Underwood, Newsboys, TobyMac, Tenth Avenue North.
Books? The Wise Woman, Narnia, Tolkien, Love Comes Softly, Caps For Sale (because her dad read this to her class when she was little).
Movies? The Grace Card, Facing the Giants, Indiana Jones, Fireproof, UP.
Favorite tv? Dr. Quinn, Little House on the Prairie, Christy.

Yep, that's my girl.

So, I'm up for a healthy discussion on comments, even if you don't agree with me. What do you think about Facebook for a teen?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dressing Up

We've had two occasions to dress up recently. Miss Middler's class did a play, which was a twist on fairy tales. In this play, all of the accused had to appear in court. She was Auntie Pot Pie from Blame It On The Wolf. 

And then in honor of Dr. Suess' birthday, the little ones got to dress in pajamas. The upper elementary requested a day to dress as a book character. These two divided up a pirate costume, added some more, and were pirates from Treasure Island. Mighty cute! (We are certain that the pirate had a crow rather than a parrot.)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Firstborn Turns 13! She's Home!

Firstborn arrived home from her many Saturday commitments. Miss Middler and Big Ben wanted to hide. We all hid behind the door; Big Ben insisted on hiding under the coffee table (never mind that she wouldn't be entering that room when she first arrived). He felt it was a much better place to hide. She was pleasantly surprised that the meal was to be on the balcony. It's a simple thing, but one thing we do on birthdays is to go around the table and tell the birthday person one thing we love/appreciate about them. Twinkle Toes commented that she was happy they'd been doing more together and getting along better. Miss Middler appreciated how patient she had been when babysitting them. Sweet Cheeks told her she was the best roommate ever, and Big Ben said he liked getting in Abla's (Turkish for big sister) bed at night.

Sweet Cheeks realized she didn't have a gift for her sister. Her Papa was out, so she called him and asked him to buy some earrings for her to give. Miss Middler picked them out, Papa paid for them, Sweet Cheeks got all the credit!
The middle sisters got her a scented pillar candle, in blue (her favorite).
She got lots of goodies from home...a purse, headband, white board for her room, sea monkeys. We gave her a tadpole habitat home. Yes, that's right. And like a classic girl of 13...she was equally happy with new make up and a purse as she was the sea monkeys and the tadpole home. I love this age!
Just before bed, she asked if she could have her picture made with her parents on her 13th birthday.
Happy birthday, Firstborn! We are so very proud of you!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Firstborn Turns 13! Getting Ready....

How can one ever really be ready for their firstborn daughter to turn 13? We've been thinking about it for nearly a can she possibly be a teen this year? Didn't we just lay eyes on her for the first time a few weeks ago? Does this really mean we only have 5 more years til she's gone? But the big day came, March 24. She was busy all day with school project meetings and drama rehearsal. To surprise her, we cleaned and decorated our balcony to have her birthday dinner outside. We are so happy to have the sunshine and 50ish temps!
She chose Singapore Chicken Rice as her birthday meal, complete with fresh cucumbers, soy sauce, and red chili sauce...just the way the Singaporeans eat it!
And instead of baking a cake, I made her a giant chocolate chip cookie. I dug out some blue jelly beans from our care package from Grandma. When she turned 3, I got her a giant chocolate chip cookie from a bakery and walked with her in downtown Singapore and let her pick out a beanie baby, which she promptly named Dudley. Time flies...
And soon she arrived home....

Saturday, March 17, 2012

School Pictures 2012

My friend B helped me nose around the school computer system and find our school pictures from this year. Our photographer is actually one of our staff members. His photos hands-down beat the professional photographer's we used long ago.

 Sunglasses. (Soccer mom?)
 My look-alike.
 Bangs. (Cut by herself because she had sticky tack in it and didn't want to wake me up.)
 A mess.
 Heart-throb (one day).

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cool Car

The other day my son (3 years old) and I were driving our van. It is still snowing off and on where we live. It seemed a good day to get out, run errands, and see the world together. Here was our conversation: 
B: Mom, our car is not a cool car.
Me: Why don't you think so?
B: It's just not a cool car.
Me: What's a cool car look like?
B: This (points to a car similar to this one) 


Me: Well, son, I think our car is very cool. Do you know why? God gave it to us. And it's also cool because it fits all 7 of us. Don't you think so?
B: No, it's not cool. It's just normal. 
Me: Well, just so you know. We HAD cool cars until all of you came along! 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Witch Vs. Kids

I've missed blogging. Long story, but I've had technical difficulties. I think it is resolved now.

This morning Twinkle Toes asked me to read the story she had written for her class. It was to be an adaptation of a Fairy Tale. She chose to write a modern version of Hansel and Gretel.

In her story, all of the characters were from the Deep South. Two kids were playing Mario Kart wii games, when a strange lady entered the house. They were so wrapped up in playing, they ignored her. Soon she snatched the remote and shut off the tv suddenly. She then screeched, "Get upstairs!" She then proceeded to find a big crock pot in which to cook them. All was resolved when the parents returned, called the police, and justice was served.

This witch with her Southern accent, who snatched the remote, ordered them upstairs, and used a crock pot sounded vaguely familiar. I am so glad to know I will live on through the stories my children tell their children.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Papa brought us lots of surprises in his luggage. I got a couple of things for my 40th birthday ( a cute, new outfit; a beautiful bowl made by an artist; and some $$$!) from our families. The kids also got some Easter candy (shhhh!). It's always a challenge to fill Easter baskets here with candy that doesn't really look Easter-ish. In addition to that, our sweet Singaporean friends sent us a Kindle (hurray!!!) and the girls some batik dresses and purses from the East.
These friends from Singapore were our landlords when this daughter was born. Amazing how God brings people in your path, isn't it?

Mimi sent the girls t-shirts, which they've enjoyed layering this week. (Still snow!)
Big Ben quickly found his intended gifts, a front loader and a new Nerf gun. In fact, there were 2 Nerf guns...Papa got himself one too.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

What We've Been Doing/ Leap Day

It was a long 2 1/2 weeks without our Papa! Finally, February 29, Leap Day, came! As predicted, it snowed for about 48 hours straight. It was the kind of snow that you can sink into, like a throne.
 My sweet friend T invited us over, as it was a snow day and school was closed. Here we are making our way down our street.
 I felt like I did really well all the time CC was gone, until that last day. Coffee with a friend who loves me and loves God, friends for the kids to play was just what I needed.
 We had cupcakes with little frogs jumping out, for Leap Day!

And in spite of our nearly 2 ft. of snow, CC's plane made it all the way, and he was able to get a taxi driver to bring him home.

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