Many of us have smartphones now. Whether it's an iPhone, Droid, BlackBerry, or any other popular brand, there is likely at least one in your home.

There's so much that can be done on these phones, almost as much as a laptop or tablet. We can stay up to date on the news, get weather alerts, and urgent email messages. We can take great pictures with the high tech, built-in cameras and then upload them to every social media outlet there is.

There are many positive aspects to having a smartphone, but there are a few negative ones, too. Especially if you have a son or daughter. 

With instant access to, well, everything, it's easy to get carried away and spend too much time in the digital world. Playing games, messaging, texting, or writing status updates, the focus of the day often becomes the phone and what's on it.

That, alone, can have a negative impact on your children, but then what about those sites that are not kid friendly, like pornographic sites, or the texting that is not texting but sexting, or "meeting" someone that they don't know, that befriends them. These topics are not ones that we like to talk about. We think of them as embarrassing, or shameful, and even say "it's not going to happen in my family". But it can, and it does. If we turn heads or close our eyes, we are not protecting our children as we should. Especially our sons. Our daughters can get caught up in things, too, but our sons are more vulnerable to those sites that are visual. And once their eyes see those images, it's hard to take them away. They become ashamed of themselves or wonder more about what they saw, and the behavior continues. If our sons are afraid to come to us because of guilt, shame, or fear, they will have nowhere to turn, except to where we DON'T want them to turn.

Why am I talking about this subject. Because it seems to have infiltrated families I know, and the families of acquaintances I have. It can be in our homes without us knowing it. We must be diligent in protecting our sons, daughters, and even husbands. 
An article I read from the MOB Society (For Mom's of Boys, by Mom's of Boys) addresses this subject well.

It's titled "Helping Boys Make Smart Choices on Smart Phones" and provides interesting ideas on how to protect our sons.

They are:
  • Utilize apps and software to keep your boy safe
  • Know their password
  • Have a phone curfew
  • Remember that cell phones are a privilege not a right
  • Take advantage of the benefits

These are wonderful ideas. I invite you to hop on over to their site to read their article and learn more about the different techniques we can do to protect our families.

Don't put your head in the sand on the negative aspects of smartphones (or the internet). As moms & dads, it is our responsibility to provide our sons and daughters with the same protection with their phone as we did when they were 2 and were playing outside at the park. We didn't take our eyes off of them because we didn't want them to get hurt. They may be older now, but they still need us to protect them from the harms that are out there, for as long as we can. Handing them a smartphone with no limitations is like handing them a loaded gun. Only instead of physically hurting themselves, they could hurt themselves emotionally and mentally. Which is an injury that could last a lifetime.

Thank you to for posting this. It is a topic I have wanted to talk about but haven't yet. Please read their article when you have time. And drop me a note and let me know your thoughts.

Thanks :^)
Living in Central New York has it's ups & downs. One of those is snow. There are many ups to the winter snow.  It's wonderful to see the beautiful falling snow whiten our trees and yards. Those that enjoy winter sports love the snow and kids (and adults) like playing in it, building snowmen, and making snow angels.

But there are definitely downs of snow. It's cold (like right now it's -9f degrees outside) and then there's the storms and lake effect snow. Below are 2 pictures of driving in white out conditions that led to nearly 2 feet of snow in 1/2 a day in my area. There was 3 1/2 ft of snow that fell in a town close by. It was not fun!
Next week I'll post pics of fun things to do in the snow. This week has just been a little crazy with all the snow. 

What are your thoughts on the winter snow? Do you have a fun activity you enjoy during the winter? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Happy Winter Day to you : ^ )

I've teamed up with a select group of great bloggers to bring you this winner's choice giveaway, hosted by This Flourishing Life and Generations Of Savings. The prize is a $50 Amazon Gift Card or $50 PayPal Cash. This giveaway will run from January 21st at 12:01am EST to January 31st at 11:59pm EST and is open Worldwide! You can enter using the giveaway form below.

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Disclaimer: Please note that Amazon and PayPal are in no way associated with this giveaway. If the winner chooses a gift card, the card will be sent via e-mail, and the winner is responsible for paying any associated shipping charges with their eventual online purchase. If the winner chooses PayPal cash, they must have a PayPal account set up to receive it.
Happy New Year! Every year we anticipate the excitement of what's to come and ponder on all that's passed. I pray that this year brings you many blessings & happiness and that 2012 offered many good memories.

As we enter the new year, I hope that The Lord brings you goodness and mercy and that your relationship with the One True Savior reaches beyond measure. If you don't know Him personally, I pray that you seek an understanding of why and how you can. 

Take care to each of you.