Thursday, January 26, 2012

Social Networking and Children

            Isabelle won’t go to school today.  Her parents can’t understand her sudden withdrawal from her education, goals and friends at the local high school.  What started out as missing a day or two a semester is now up to skipping more days than she attends.  Isabelle’s parents are at a loss as to why their one straight A, very active, social daughter is refusing to finish her senior year of high school.   What they do not know is that when they allowed Isabelle to set up a Facebook account, something unimaginable started.  Their very active popular daughter began to be harassed by other students via the internet.  While social networking and the internet are in many ways an innovative way to keep in touch with others and network, there is a dark side that many parents are not aware is out there. 

            Facebook, MySpace and Bebo, and other similar sites, also known as social networking site, have become part of a daily routine for the millions of users that have flocked to these sites since their introduction (Boyd and Ellison, 2007).   Adults, teenagers, elderly and even preteen and elementary aged children are signing up for the services.  Social networks allow for individuals to meet and interact with others they would never have the chance to normally (Livingstone, 2006).  However, the effects on children using these sites are not readily known by all parents that allow their sons and daughters to engage in activities on these networks. 

            Children are being negatively affected at school by what is known as cyber-bullying that takes place on Facebook and other social networking sites (Welker, 2011).  Just like Isabelle, many young adults and children are being bullied on line.  The harassment may take the form of fake profiles built, emails sent, or through the chat programs within the networking sites.  Many times children do not know how to deal with the negativity so they ignore it, hoping it will go away.  They are embarrassed, scared or confused, so nothing is done to stop it.  In cases like Isabelle’s, where the child is too confused or scared to even tell her parents, the child is withdrawing from school and friends.  The irony of this is the site was supposed to enhance social networking and it is causing the child to actually revert into a non-social individual.  Even without bullying there are effects on children allowed using these sites. 

            When a child socializes primarily on line through chat and other programs, there is a loss of social interaction skills that one needs in real life situations.  In real life a child or adult cannot choose to “log out” when a discussion or incident gets too heated.  The ability to do this on line does not develop skills our young adults need to be functioning adults in society.  There must be a balance, initated by parents, between the two forms of socializing. 

            Isabelle is just one of thousands of school-aged children being affected by social networking.  There are positive outcomes of social networking that are readily seen and applauded.  However, we must also look at the darker side of these sites and internet use by young people as well as adults, before we can make a definitive analysis of the worth of such sites.
@2012 KAR

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Day 4 Thru Day 7

I haven't updated in a while so here is my last post of 2011!  Tonight I am at home, quietly working on my dollhouse.  It is amazing how excited I get about this project.  Tonight we took what I have been working on for the last four days!  The wallpapered walls and floors!  We dry fit them together to make sure they will still work with the addition of the wallpaper and such.  I have to say I am thrilled with the progress.  I also must mention with little additions and suggestions by the family I have done this 99% on my own.  That feels good!  So without further ado, I wish you all a great 2012 and here are the pictures!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Short and sweet I am tired!

So today I cleaned more house and rearranged and then worked on the dollhouse.  Here are some pictures of what we have done so far.  I am also adding  pictures to give a real perspective of how small these parts are. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Here I am Again!

Okay so this time I am really going to have to put some effort into keeping up with this blog.  I have several but this is the one I plan to keep updated for family and friends.  I am so over Facebook and MySpace.  It is so overwhelming to log on to chat with a friend or email someone.  I mean really do we really need to read a thousand and one reposts from each person to feel connected to our friends.  Lord, I pray not!  I have a phone and email; if those fail I have paper and pencils too! 

So today is the day after Christmas!  I have been like a mad woman removing all traces of the holiday.  It was good but not great around here the last month or so.  Maybe as I blog along some details will come out, but let's suffice it to say that I have found out who my friends are and where I stand with some really big people in my life.  I will be making changes for sure to bring those that deserve to be in the forefront of my life a bit closer and those that don't I will be keeping at arms length for the time being.  Eventually they will decide for themselves if they move up or get pushed completely out!  As for me I will be focusing on the good and letting go of the bad.

Yesterday morning I was blessed so many times by my children. I stand amazed at my children.  First gift I opened was from my oldest daughter.  She has been listening when I drool and talk about a doll house I built with my dad years and years ago.  She got me a doll house.  It might not be the exact same as the designs change but it is in my mind almost identical to the one I remember.  WOW!  Talk about making a grown woman cry!  Then came the gift from my son.  "You are the key to my success" and his class key.  He is a senior this year.  After a few side trips he is set to graduate in May 2012.  Those side trips have left him doing his junior and senior year all in nine months.  He gave me the key to remind me daily he appreciates my support in his endeavors.  By job and hobby, I am a photographer.  I take pictures, I print and frame them and I give them to families to enjoy.  My own family pictures pile up on a disc or on the computer and get forgotten.  So imagine if you will a full set of 15 pictures of my children, husband and self all framed and in a box!  Yeppers that is what the youngest daughter did!  Tears all around!  My children really do amaze me!

I started the doll house yesterday.    This is it!  We are definitely changing the color scheme!  We are using primarily Antigue white, light periwinkle and thunder blue for the outside of the house.  We haven't decided on the inside yet.  Yesterday and today we worked on windows and dormers and original artworks for the walls inside.  The blue looks really bright in these pictures compared to the almost black it is in person.  We will just have to wait.  The mountain painting is by my son and the pink-purple flower artwork is by my daughter.  The photo is for above the fireplace and is actually a small picture of my grandson decoupaged to a small scrap of wood.  So soon I will update more of the house!  It is exciting business around here to see things starting to look like parts of a house.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

When Emotions Rush In

Yesterday was a sad somber day filled with raw emotions for me.  Although my husband is home and safe, the events in Germany brought forth overwhelming emotions.  We have friends stationed at Lakenheath, we have friends deployed and we have had our fair share of deployments.  We have been blessed by Heavenly Father not to have experienced what happened today.

I couldn't help but look at my husband and think "I am one of the lucky ones"!  We have gone through deployements and seperations safely!  There are times I am so frustrated with him I can't see or think straight, but in the end I am glad he is home safe and we are staring retirement in the eye!  We will not have another deployment, we will not endure not seeing each other for months at a time, I will not lay awake at night wondering where he is and if he is safe and I won't jump and run to window every time I hear an unexpected vehicle in the driveway. 

Today I shall seek Heavenly Father and implore angels to surround those who lost a loved one yesterday.  I pray for the safety of all our troops and for their families and friends.  I pray for guidance for our govermental leaders and the choices they make.  I pray for the Security Force family worldwide to have strength and calmed hearts as they continue to defend our nation and endure seperations from their families.  Amen

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Blast from the past! March 31, 2009 3:15 AM

This is a letter I wrote to my husband in 2009 when he was deployed to a remote location, now known as Kabul, Afghanistan!  Enjoy!

For the love of grape koolaid! A letter to my husband!

Current mood:vexed

okay. I am up for some  reason.
this cold has turned into malaria, the clinging, life force sucking kind, so I went and got some Tussin DM and as I swallowed the nice handy plastic cupful I read the nice +LITTLE+  warning about not taking it with certain meds or for two weeks after stopping those meds, huh what?? shouldn't that be in BIG BOLD LETTERS somewhere? I mean uh HELLO! So me being good girl didn't take sleeping pill so I could wake up without a toe tag and I didn't take any meds because I already know I am insane and don't want to push the limits with that. So here I sit with a $5 bottle of cold remedy, malaria that the nice cherry flavored swill didn't even touch, I think it actually might of mutated it as now my throat is itchy and feels closed up compared to just a dry hacking cough, a headache, and I can't sleep worth diddle. I don't consider 20 minutes hit and miss in sleepland sleeping.  Although the nice cherry drink did allow me to dream about things like, railroad cars as a storage container and that my life was packed into approx 200 of them set on my property somewhere in BFE, they were sealed and I couldn't figure out how to open them. Nice right?
Have you ever wondered why you married me? Well let me tell you, it was for sheer entertainment value I am sure! With me as a wife who needs movies, ipods or video games, I am all of them plus rolled into a nice small portable compact package. They don't tell you to put me away on airplanes, you can't get in trouble for paying attention to me or talking to me while riding in a car.
I am self mobile, meaning you don't have to carry me up stairs or through airport security. I don't waste batteries but I have been known to go through the power juice marketed as Mtn Dew rather quickly, but hey that is still cheaper than Double As!
Unlike video games, ipods and movies, I can actually entertain and FEED children of all ages and occassionally I can even be programed to clean house or do laundry! All for the love of a toe without a tag, here I sit this morning, wondering why do they make it cherry? I thought it was the "grape koolaid". And for the love of sleep, why don't they put the warning on the OUTSIDE of the damn box!

We are Expecting!

Did I get your attention with that title?  Well we are expecting just maybe not the way you are thinking.  In my "spare" time from school, running my house and producing goodies for my on line store I do something a little bit different.  I raise, train and breed horses. 

Yesterday was an exciting day for us!  Isabelle Dawn arrived.  She is 8 months pregnant and expected to bless us with a baby in May/June.  I was in love before she came off the trailer, then she snorted and pranced to the holding pen.  She had me hook line and sinker!

I spent most of yesterday working in the barn and just watching her.  It is magical to me to watch such a large animal move with such grace!

Today I challenge each of you to take a moment and find something that takes your breath away and ENJOY it!