Sunday, October 21, 2007

We Live in a Strange Day

We live relatively close to our school district's football stadium, so every Friday night we can hear the band, crowds, and announcers from our house. This week there was a big football game between the two high schools that we draw most of our youth from. So rather than frustrate ourselves by trying to entertain our toddler during the lovely "witching hours" between 5 p.m. and bedtime, we decided to see if the football game would do the trick. It was a glorious fall night and we actually needed sweaters! We had a great time and Jackson loved watching everything. It's been said so many times before, but when you become a parent, things truly become new again as you see them through your child's eyes.

By far, the most interesting part of the night was halftime. Curt pointed out a football player who had stripped down to his pads and joined his school's marching band. His instrument happened to be the flute. Can y'all picture that with me? A big sweaty football player marching with a flute. It was so awesome.

Speaking of high school athletes, I recently read about a teenage athlete from California who has received unimaginable levels of attention after someone posted her image online without her knowledge or consent. Someone even created a fake Facebook account on her behalf. Unfortunately, I know a little bit about fake accounts since someone created a fake MySpace page for my mom last year. Isn't that ridiculous? She didn't even know what MySpace was.

All this caused me to make some different decisions about how I communicate online. At this time, I don't really feel the need to change the way I do my blog. That's not to say that the day won't come when I stop posting pictures. But I have decided not to accept Facebook friend requests from people I don't know personally. I have felt really bad about this because I do not want to hurt any feelings. But I mainly use that resource to communicate with my college students. It's just a little unsettling that people I don't know personally would be able to observe my communication with my girls (even though I'm sure they're wonderful people). So I want to offer this explanation and an apology to anyone I may have offended as a result of that decision. I share a ton about my life and family on my blogs, so I feel good about closing doors to other areas, especially when they involve our students. Through the years, my family has had our share of freaky situations and private investigators. We could scare ourselves into all sorts of limitations, but we don't want a few strange experiences to ruin many normal and wonderful ones. I hope I am communicating my heart here. I am not a big deal and am no more interesting than the next person, but I do think that everyone needs to look closely at the pros and cons of online communication and make decisions with their eyes wide open.

If you are a parent of child old enough to use the computer, be sure to check out Vicki Courtney's blog. You might need to get your hands on her new book, Logged On and Tuned Out.

I'm totally changing the subject now. I have become the Clark Griswold of fall. At last count I had fourteen pumpkins, both fake and real, inside and outside of my house. Someone please stop me!

And since no mommy blog is complete without throw up stories, I am obliged to tell you that Jackson had his first stomach virus last night. He is doing fine now, but Curtis and I both feel like we had it too - having smelled it, touched it, heard it, and been up all night with it. We are both bracing ourselves for the real thing. It could be a rough week.


connorcolesmom said...

Oh I am glad Jackson seems to be doing better. My oldest had that last week on a Wed so my hubby had to take him to the Dr. since I was teaching Bible Study. Well as they were signing in my son threw up all over the floor about 3 times. I could not help but chuckle b/c daddy was the one who had to deal with it - bless his heart.
Anyway, how sweet of you to even explain the facebook thing (although I confess I don't even know what it is). We are all entitled to setting limits that we feel helps us and our family (let alone your sweet youth)
After the week I have had I do not put anything past anyone these days even Christian brothers and sisters.
God bless,

hello sunshine! said...

I'm a little envious of your cool weather back in my hometown! (Well, I'm 99% certain I'm from a different DFW suburb than the one y'all live in, but anyway!) It's still in the 70s here in NYC, so not fun.

Facebook and Myspace are... I don't know. I feel like since Facebook opened up to the general public, it's gotten kinda out of control. I liked it best when you had to use your college ID, but I'm happy that some of my non-college-bound friends were able to join. I deleted my Myspace altogether - completely out of control, and I think it's a little sketchy at times!

Anyway :) Have a wonderful Sunday and I hope your darling little man gets to feeling better!

BooMama said...

Wise, wise, wise.

And so sorry about that unfortunate stomach virus bidness. Bless him.

Anonymous said...

Thank you!!! I totally agree and respect that!

i find it bizarre that people idolize others to the extremes that we see. i think there has to be some form of accountability,i am sure you see that with your mom.. there comes a point where general curiosity crosses a line and becomes idolatry, and even stalking.It's disturbing how it's become acceptable because it's the internet.

people spend way too much time and energy obsessing over people they have never met, and detach themselves from their actual lives.

good for you for setting boundaries, the whole world doesn't need to be your facebook friend or have access to your personal life.

i hope this challenges everyone to take the same measures, or look at their own time on the internet, and ask why they do what they do, or would they do it in their day to day life?

because while the people looking are most likely sweet and nice, you just really never know..

Abby said...

I admire the fact that you are as open as you are and you share yourself with complete stangers through this blog...thank you for that, you have blessed me many times over with your words. Good for you for drawing some limits though, indeed we do live in a strange day!

MamaCass said...

Tobey had his first stomach virus on Tuesday night and it was awful. We made it to the bathroom just in time. There was no time for the toilet. I just held him over the bathtub. Then he dry heaved every 10-15 minutes for almost two hours. It was horrible! He was fine the next day but he had a very low appetite for three days or so. Then I got a visit early Friday morning around 2am that lasted about 4 hours. I have not been that sick with a stomach virus since high school. So far Rodney has been in the clear but yes girl you best brace yourself!

Lindsee said...

A football player turned into a marching band member playing the flute. It soulds like a video off of You Tube. Oh my, I would have LOVED to see that!

Hope Jackson is feeling better. 4 kids in my class were absent this week b/c of that virus. I am praying HARD that I don't get it. I'll send up a quick prayer that y'all don't get it, either!

Lauren said...

Amanda, I think this is wise and completely understandable. God bless and don't get sick!

Nancy Mon said...

Amanda, you don't need to publish this if you don't want to, but there is a Jasper's in Plano. I don't know how close you are to Plano, but it is WELL worth the trip. That dessert was awesome... I get the impression that the lunch menu is the way to go. I think dinner there might be a little pricey, but I could be wrong. Anyway, if you go let me know if you like it.

Anonymous said...

Hey Amanda,
I totally feel the same way as you! I almost erased my blog about two weeks ago but my hubby said to keep it... mostly for our families sake.

I can't believe you have that many pumpkins:) I have one for each member of the family.

Hope Jackson feels better!
And that you and Curt don't get sick!


Fran said...

I completely heard your heart and understood every word you typed. We do live in a crazy world and I think you were being VERY smart. You need to keep your life separate and private with your college girls. Good for you!!

And....about the stomach thing. I can handle ANYTHING but that nasty thing. It is not my kids "bug of choice" thank goodness. I'll pray for ya momma!!

much love,

Ginger@From The Cocoon said...

Everyone needs areas in their life that is just off limits. I'm sure that you're "normal" just like the rest of us...but you do happen to be a bit more of a visible role model and unfortunately in today's society, a target. Don't ever feel the need to apologize for protecting yourself and your family. (But, I am glad that you're keeping your blog I do enjoy reading and connecting with you and the other ladies I've met on the WWW)

CrownLaidDown said...

OH Amanda, I'm so sorry Jackson got sick. All six of us had it...and we bonded :)

Praying that it passes over.
Love in Him,

Jackie said...

sara loves football games too... she claps no matter who does what, she just loves to be "in the moment" i guess. and go ahead and pass some pumpkins this way, b/c bad mommy that I am hasn't even gotten ONE yet- last year I had like 15 or so..not sure what the deal is, maybe if it FELT like fall...not mid-summer around here, i'd be more motivated to do so! We'll see if the weather predictions this week (of cool weather) come through... have a good week!

Kelly said...

If you can clean up (read: smell) vomit without gagging yourself, you're ahead of me in the Mommy department. WAY ahead of me. The smell of vomit alone is enough to give me dry heaves until my eyes water.

Lord have mercy, this parenting stuff isn't for wimps. I fervently pray you and Curt avoid the virus.

Busy Mommy said...

I love it that you are hurt feelings here...kind of weird if you think about it...hey, you should accept me as your friend b/c I read your blog...

Always err on the side of caution. Your family is just too precious.

Darlene R. said...

We had a week like that here..two sick out of three! I'm thinking at least one of us is going to get it!

I totally agree with you on the Facebook thing. Lots of people have access to my blog,(not too many read it, but that's beside the point :)) but Facebook friends are limited. It's very hard to find a happy medium when it comes to the internet.
I heard Vicki Courtney on the radio the other day and I think I'm going to get that book. I have a 10 year old with VERY limited web access, but he's only going to get older and it's important to be one step ahead.

{Karla} said...

we had a stomach virus around our home last week.

It was a classic moment:
my son woke me up crying because he had just thrown up...
daughter then doesn't want to go to school because "she doesn't feel good" (yeah right...)
I tell her to go lay down for a bit, she's going to school. I totally took the hard line with her.
Next thing I know she's thrown up.

Not a good call on my part.

Stay well!


Vicki Courtney said...

Oh goodness. I am so sorry to hear that you were on vomit duty all night. I will pray for Jackson's recovery and that you guys don't get it.

Thanks for mentioning my book! Let me tell you girl, I am AMENing your comments about being more selective on Facebook. Would you believe that MY KIDS get friend requests from girls who attend my events or read my books? Talk about unnerving! Of course, they are under strict orders not to accept.

I too, am struggling to find the balance of when to accept and when to decline. It's especially hard when you are in public ministry and write and speak to an audience that expects to find you on these sites. Sigh. The key is balance and I think you are being prudent. A lot of mommas enjoy your wit and wisdom, so keep a' bloggin'!

Now go back to spraying your house down with Lysol!

Mommy Firecracker said...

Poor Jackson. Lil Miss Firecracker is not the throw uppy kind and I so very much thank God for that. Daddy Firecracker was always on "input" and somehow I did most of the "output". I feel for y'all.

My HS alma mater was Ma******r and the rivalry was between us and I*****. Has that changed? Where does N&&&&z fall in there? But that was MANY MANY moons ago. Back then a football player would never have been caught dead being in band, so KUDOS to that incredible young man. Awesome! Reading your post brought back sights and sounds memories of that stadium.

For someone who does not have a blog out of respect for my husband's wish to protect our privacy, I understand. Those who know and love you ceraintly won't be offended about your decision. I have only had one person be rude about me not having a blog and that was someone I personally know. You do what is best for your family.

And I will disagree, you are a big deal, especially to your siestas.

Erin said...

I don't blame you. I refuse to be "friends" with anyone on myspace or facebook that I don't actually know. A little too weird for me...

hallegracesmama said...

I am still a newbie to your blog, but enjoy your posts a lot!

I think you are wise to exercise caution with your posts, wherever they may be. We had a scare just over a year ago with someone using my infant daughter's pictures and "story" as his/her own. That said, we've password protected our blog.

twinkle said...

Understand...totally. And sorry about the craziness that has been used against your family. It shouldn't be, it just shouldn't be.
May you have a week full of God's blessings. And no tummy troubles at the J House.

Bev Brandon said...

one benefit of blogging is finding resources like Vicki's book and blog...i missed the Focus forum...that's right the battle I live in with my precious 16-year-old boy...i had 3 graduate from college this year so i thought i "knew the ropes" until we let our freshman on MySpace---oh my!!!---no private passwords here...i have seen really disturbing things this year...thank you so much for the link to something wise and weighty...
ps - i laughed so hard at your "dog invading the neighbors" story

Dionna said...

Amanda -
I love that you are so personal on your blog. I, too, have been trying to protect my family on my blog - but still be "REAL" to the women who read it. I have been keeping copies of my entries on my laptop - and then every once in awhile, I go in and delete old posts on blogger. I figure someone doesn't need two years of history and pictures on me and my family. The fairly recent is enough! Just an idea for ya! :)

Allison said...

So sorry to hear Jackson is not feeling well. We will be sure to send a prayer up that you and Curt don't come down with it!

Patty said...

You are very wise in your decision! I am glad the Jackson is feeling better. I pray you and your hubby don't get it!
You always write something that makes me laugh and I laughed over the Griswold comment. I watched Christmas Vacation a few weeks ago and I was picturing your 14 pumpkins! Clark would be proud! I can't stop you because my whole house is decorated for Fall. Wait until Christmas! I miss putting my pumpkins out because we are moving in a few weeks. I console myself knowing that I will decorate our new home a week after we move in with my zillion Christmas decorations.
Have a great Monday!

Finally an Abrigg..... said...

I taught at that school next to the football stadium, near your home. :) I "retired" after 4 years. Whew.

Kathleen in TX said...

Praying you and Curt don't get the bug! I think people will understand about not doing facebook. I hadn't heard of it but you're right, need to be careful. I'd seen my grown son's myspace and it can get wierd comments from people. I was really happy to find LPM's blog and find out there are really good Christian based blogs out there!
God Bless,

Anonymous said...


Sorry about the bug. It is going around. Several of my students have been out. I understand about Facebook. I got a request from someone I never heard of. I blocked any further requests from them. Check out the security portion of Facebook.

I pray Jackson gets well and the rest of the family stays well.


Amy T said...

Very wise decision. And I wouldn't get my feelings hurt at all. Hope the virus missed Momma and Daddy and that Jackson is all well. Bless his little heart. And yours too for clean up duty. Not fun.