Mom’s Rule For iPhone by Janell Burley Hofmann

12 01 2014

 Mom's Rule For iPhone by Janell Burley Hofmann

Dear Gregory

Merry Christmas! You are now the proud owner of an iPhone. Hot Damn! You are a good & responsible 13 year old boy and you deserve this gift. But with the acceptance of this present comes rules and regulations. Please read through the following contract. I hope that you understand it is my job to raise you into a well rounded, healthy young man that can function in the world and coexist with technology, not be ruled by it. Failure to comply with the following list will result in termination of your iPhone ownership.

I love you madly & look forward to sharing several million text messages with you in the days to come.

1. It is my phone. I bought it. I pay for it. I am loaning it to you. Aren’t I the greatest?

2. I will always know the password.

3. If it rings, answer it. It is a phone. Say hello, use your manners. Do not ever ignore a phone call if the screen reads “Mom” or “Dad”. Not ever.

4. Hand the phone to one of your parents promptly at 7:30pm every school night & every weekend night at 9:00pm. It will be shut off for the night and turned on again at 7:30am. If you would not make a call to someone’s land line, wherein their parents may answer first, then do not call or text. Listen to those instincts and respect other families like we would like to be respected.

5. It does not go to school with you. Have a conversation with the people you text in person. It’s a life skill. *Half days, field trips and after school activities will require special consideration.

6. If it falls into the toilet, smashes on the ground, or vanishes into thin air, you are responsible for the replacement costs or repairs. Mow a lawn, babysit, stash some birthday money. It will happen, you should be prepared.

7. Do not use this technology to lie, fool, or deceive another human being. Do not involve yourself in conversations that are hurtful to others. Be a good friend first or stay the hell out of the crossfire.

8. Do not text, email, or say anything through this device you would not say in person.

9. Do not text, email, or say anything to someone that you would not say out loud with their parents in the room. Censor yourself.

10. No porn. Search the web for information you would openly share with me. If you have a question about anything, ask a person – preferably me or your father.

11. Turn it off, silence it, put it away in public. Especially in a restaurant, at the movies, or while speaking with another human being. You are not a rude person; do not allow the iPhone to change that.

12. Do not send or receive pictures of your private parts or anyone else’s private parts. Don’t laugh. Someday you will be tempted to do this despite your high intelligence. It is risky and could ruin your teenage/college/adult life. It is always a bad idea. Cyberspace is vast and more powerful than you. And it is hard to make anything of this magnitude disappear – including a bad reputation.

13. Don’t take a zillion pictures and videos. There is no need to document everything. Live your experiences. They will be stored in your memory for eternity.

14. Leave your phone home sometimes and feel safe and secure in that decision. It is not alive or an extension of you. Learn to live without it. Be bigger and more powerful than FOMO – fear of missing out.

15. Download music that is new or classic or different than the millions of your peers that listen to the same exact stuff. Your generation has access to music like never before in history. Take advantage of that gift. Expand your horizons.

16. Play a game with words or puzzles or brain teasers every now and then.

17. Keep your eyes up. See the world happening around you. Stare out a window. Listen to the birds. Take a walk. Talk to a stranger. Wonder without googling.

18. You will mess up. I will take away your phone. We will sit down and talk about it. We will start over again. You & I, we are always learning. I am on your team. We are in this together.It is my hope that you can agree to these terms. Most of the lessons listed here do not just apply to the iPhone, but to life. You are growing up in a fast and ever changing world. It is exciting and enticing. Keep it simple every chance you get. Trust your powerful mind and giant heart above any machine. I love you. I hope you enjoy your awesome new iPhone. Merry Christmas!


20 And Pregnant In school by Amy Ford

28 08 2013

 20 And Pregnant In  school, I Chose Life With No Regrets By Amy Ford

When I was 20, I was living with my boyfriend and doing my party scene. We were really living our life, having a lot of fun. We were going out and enjoying time with friends. I thought I had my life made for myself. I finally met a man that my mom actually approved of and I saw my “happily ever after” with.

Right when I thought I was in the fun time of my life, things began to feel different with me …
I started to notice that I had become extremely exhausted all the time.
I remember I was watching Juno, the movie and caught myself thinking “oh my gosh … I have all the same symptoms Juno is having.” Just a flurry of thoughts were bombarding my mind. “No no no, there is no way. I couldn’t be. Could I be really pregnant?”

The next morning, after my Juno movie night with my best friend, I took about 12 pregnancy tests. The first one, the + sign immediately popped up. Still in shock and denial, I needed to take 12 more before it finally sunk in. I called my boyfriend and told him we needed to talk when he got home. I then called my best friend, and told her. I remembered her pulling over to the side of the road and just her pausing on the phone. She asked the question “What are you going to do Amy?”
I hung up the phone with tears in my eyes asking myself the very same question. What am I going to do?
After hanging up the phone with my best friend, I called and scheduled a doctor’s appointment. Shortly after, I texted my mom. I told her that I really needed a friend and someone to talk to. Her mother’s intuition kicked in full gear. She replied with, “What’s going on? What’s wrong?” She knew immediately I was pregnant. The breath was taken from me.
After finding out I was 5 weeks pregnant, the questions started flashing through my head. My boyfriend started getting into my head on how we couldn’t afford a baby, how we’re not ready, how we couldn’t provide the life our child would deserve. I went to a clinic feeling so disgusted with myself for being at the one place I always told myself I would never go to.

When we pulled up, there were protesters standing outside the clinic. I went inside and quickly signed in. I still kept questioning my decision but before I could decide on an answer, a counselor called out my name. She began discussing my options … I remember them pricking my finger to check my iron level. They said to me, “I’ve never seen someone so devastated…”
I was moved into a room to do an ultrasound to check on my embryo. I couldn’t keep my tears in. I kept thinking please let there be a sign, anything to show me what to do. The nurse looked at the screen and said, “I think you need to give this another week or two to think about. We can’t see an embryo, so come back in 2 weeks and we’ll check again and see if this is what you really want to do.”
I got up and walked out. I remember my boyfriend being so confused on why I didn’t go through with it. I couldn’t explain it to him. He was a guy and he’d never understand what I had to go through. We raced out of there quick.
Those 2 weeks I thought so much about it and decided that I really couldn’t go through with an abortion – living my life with tons of “what if’s” was too much to even imagine. I would never regret having this baby but there is a chance I would regret not …
Two weeks later, I went back to the clinic. They called me back and I told the counselor I had decided I going to keep my child. She smiled at me, and said good luck. I remember walking out of the clinic with my friend and a protestor came up to check on me. I looked at her and said, “Thank you. Thank you so much! I am keeping my baby!”
My mom had always supported anything I would decide but she said, “Make sure it’s a decision you can live with.” I told my boyfriend I was keeping my baby. I couldn’t go through with an abortion. He was not happy with my decision. He got scared and he left me. I was devastated.
I had my mom and my best friend by my side. The day I found out I was having a little girl; I was excited for all the cute little things I wanted to get her. Since little girl stuff is so adorable! My mom was at every sonogram appointment with me, cried with me at each one and was excited for me at the same time.
When my sweet baby little girl Harlie was born, I felt at that moment that the world had stopped just for me. She was the light of my life. She was the reason for living, my reason to do better and to push myself to the limits I never thought I would go. I cried. She was the most precious baby I’ve ever seen weighing 9 lbs 21 inches. I felt so blessed.

My mom cried with me tears of joy. It really made me realize that my mother was incredible. She’d been my motivational cheerleader my entire pregnancy. When I had no one else, she was there with me every day. I craved to be just like her to my sweet little Harlie as she was a single mother of two.
Life as a single mom was definitely harder and different but SO worth it.
When Harlie was 6 months old, I decided to go finish a college and become a dental assistant. I did it! I finished and graduated. I have been a dental assistant for 3 years and I’m getting ready to go back to college for either Therapist/Counselor, Children’s Psychology, Labor and delivery nurse.
My life is so full and rewarding. When I get stressed out, I’m exhausted but I would never trade any of it for the world. She’s my reason for changing my life. She’s my strength, my growth, my reason for everything.
Those of you, who go through pregnancy alone, don’t be afraid. Life does get better. Life can be SO rewarding and full.
Never lose faith.
Originally published on Embrace Grace blog on June 22, 2012.

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