Mummy spam…

I love my Motorola!!

Dear friends

It’s been a while – we’re all fine. There’s bits of news – like I started piano lessons!! again, after… 30+ years = ūüôā my dear husband is paying rather than my dear mother – but I’m going to quickly ask:

How often can I message my children?

I mean, I’m embracing the technology! Making sure they are safe! And on time for lessons at college! I, me myself, I don’t see a problem with that!!  After all, I carried my children in my tummy for 9 months each and nurtured them, I think they can at least text back when I check up on them. Right?  I don’t bother anymore with Son1, I only receive monosyllabic responses so I only message when picking him up from work (he works part time in a fast food restaurant) or when he’s picking up Son2 from school (an occasional reminder!). Daur1 always politely replies, letting me know where she is on her journey.

But this evening as I chauffeured Son1 & Daur1 (18 and 17 years old respectively), I suddenly heard Daur1 say:

At least you don’t get the Mummy spam!

And proceeded to list off how often I text her (we have unlimited so…) – did you get bus OK? Did you catch the 8h train? Have you been to your chemistry 1-1/ workshop? Are you nearly home? 

It did sound ridiculous and Son1 said – I’ll block you if you do that with me!!

So I clearly need to restrain myself!! Even Daur1 can distinguish if Son2 has used my phone to message her because:

Mum uses punctuation!

So there you have it.  Despite having phones which do everything, so quickly and easily, and let’s face it, they’re like the communication devices in Star Trek! (I’ve recently discovered you can video call through WhatsApp!!) – despite this there seems to be some unwritten protocol about how often is too often! … And I was thinking about getting an App to track where they are… in case of emergency!! 

Tender mercies

Dear friends
This past weekend has seen some miracles in my life, not large scale like parting the Red Sea but equally meaningful to me and I know the hand of the Lord was involved.  A prophet (Thomas S. Monson) has said:

The Lord is in the detail of our lives

I truly believe that and these are the details where I saw Him in my life the past few days.  I encourage you to look out for the Lord and the Holy Ghost at work in your life – Father is always there.

1. Finding matches: Some weeks ago we noticed the match box (we use them for lighting the gas cooker) was low. They were on the shopping list but last week when we went shopping we couldn’t find them in the household goods section. None. This wasn’t critical until this weekend but my dear husband still didn’t buy them.¬† Yesterday, Sunday we used the last few and I checked with dear husband that he still had a lighter (he’d bought them to light to cooker but I find them difficult to use without lighting my thumb!) So early this morning, resigned to using a lighter, I went to my husband’s desk to find one. As I dug around the top drawer, lo and behold!, I find a small box of safety matches!! ūüôā

2. The conference talk: last Sunday, after sacrament meetwith as I was getting the classroom ready, for the youth Sunday School class that I teach, I was asked to give a 10-15 minute talk on the Saturday evening session of stake conference, in 6 days.  (For those of you who are not LDS, this is a large local area meeting for the church, the Saturday evening for all adults, so typically around 200 people in attendance).  The presiding area seventy had made some changes to the proposed programme and asked me to speak.  No topic – I was to be inspired, like general conference (from Salt Lake City, for everyone #LDSconf).  I looked at him and said “Me?” I was a little incredulous but was assured that this is what the Lord wants.  So last week I prepared a talk, completing it in the early hours of Saturday morning, the theme being who are we and what is our relationship with God and each other.  I timed it, 11m 30s, and practised reading it a few times.  When I was asked to sit on the stand, beside another speaker (who said she’d received her assignment some weeks ago, with a verse of scripture to base it on), I still has no idea when I was speaking or the other topics.  As the meeting began, I peered forward to check the programme held by the stake president.  I saw my name, after the intermediate hymn and right before the visiting seventy.  I was the penultimate speaker, eeekk!!  I did, however, feel a great calm as each speaker spoke. And by the time the stake president had finished, I knew that the talk I had prepared was in fact the perfect summary of the previous three – right down to the stake president using a phrase which I had written.  It was one of the most sublime experiences that I’ve had and I am humbled to know that the Lord knew that I had the personal views and experience that would meet the stake’s needs for that meeting. (I’ll post my talk separately).

3. My tablet – I have a Samsung 10.1inch Galaxy Tab 3 tablet and since a little after Easter it has not charged, at all.  I had bought some new cables, left it charging, returned from work, and nothing.  The children were interrogated. I’ve never understood the full story – “Son1 killed it” “Daur2 switched it off!” “I didn’t touch it!” You know how it goes!  I took the back off, back on, left it to rest, tried again but nothing. So, I reluctantly decided to take it to a fixer shop at the end of this month (payday!), dreading how much I’d be charged.  This morning, as I was about to go to work, I thought, let me try again, and I set it to charge.  I’ve already learnt to be patient with devices… seconds later, the screen lit up with the battery symbol, charging!!  Yeah!!! ūüôā

PS – when I told our daughters about the tablet charging again, they gave each other a knowing glance and Daur2, we thought it might – maybe Heavenly Father took it away so it wasn’t a distraction while you were writing your talk!!

the small car, the smaller phone

Dear friends

So our small car broke down a couple of days ago. ¬†It’s legally my car but my dear husband uses it to get to work – I use it when I’m chauffeur (for the children) and to get to/from church on Sundays (or another day if necessary). ¬†Last weekend, when I noticed something electrical not quite work … maybe the interior lights – and I said to the children – I hope this doesn’t break down on my shift! ¬†Fortunately it wasn’t.

My dear husband drove to work in small car, dropping off in town myself and our daughters for work and school respectively, and all seemed well. ¬†The day before I had noticed the car not start first time when I was driving back from early morning seminary with Daur1 who mentioned, “sometimes it does that with Dad.” [Me] – ” Really? ¬†He’s not said anything to me.”

However, after the design team meeting¬†I returned to my desk and almost immediately my private mobile rang – it was my dear husband. ¬†Since I was still speaking with a colleague¬†I picked up the phone, ready to go out to call back, and he rang back again, and again. ¬†Sensing some urgency, I headed out to the main stair and called back. ¬†(I really need a new phone since the person at the end can’t hear me unless I put it on loud speaker and I’m not doing that in an open plan office!)

Did you get my messages? ¬†The car won’t start – I’m getting a taxi to the [girls’] school, the girls [our daughters] are still there!

My response (as I notice 3 or 4 text message notifications…)

Oh, sorry, no. ¬†I’ve been in a meeting all afternoon. ¬†My phone was on my desk.

There was some discontented words about how I can never be reached via my MOBILE phone in an emergency. ¬†I felt that was a little unfair since if I were a surgeon, in an operation, I would not be expected to pick up a call. ¬†Also, what could I actually do, except maybe, go to the school now and pick up the girls. ¬†My dear husband’s feeling of being unable to communicate with the women in his life at such a crucial moment was further compounded by the fact that Daur1 has mislaid her (well, my husband’s) old mobile phone. ¬†So, they were also incontactable!! ¬†(is that a word?)

“I’m sure they’ll wait for you,” was all I could say and he rung off. ¬†I called Son1 at home to let him know why they all weren’t home, in case as a 17 year old boy he was concerned for the whereabouts of his sisters (!) – [Son1] “Oh yeah, Dad called.” ¬†{As it was, a neighbour friend whose daughter attends the same school saw them waiting and brought them home – and¬†contacted their Dad to let him know, that must have been after we spoke, but I didn’t know that until I reached home}.

You might be beginning to get the sense of how laid back the rest of us are, compared to my dear husband, about the need (or not) to have a mobile phone permanently fixed to our bodies so we can be contacted every minute of the day. ¬†This is one of the areas of opinion that my dear husband and I do differ on – why not keep it in a pocket? ¬†I don’t really have pockets in my skirts/ dresses/ trousers! ¬†I thought it was a generational thing but we’re both of a generation to remember when mobile technology of any sort was not ubiquitous… after all, we both pay phones¬†during our university days. ¬†Maybe it’s actually a gender thing… mmm… in which case, there’s little hope for me!

The small car is still sat in a school car park on the other side of town. ūüė¶ ¬†It’ll be safe, I’m sure. ¬†Fortunately, I did renew the corporate car recovery service at the start of the year and I’ve emailed¬†the number to my dear husband since he will take charge of its recovery! ¬†I was told they tried to jump start the car, but nothing. ¬†We’ll see if the school has activities on Saturday morning so we can call the RAC out – what fun! – that’s probably a new battery or some other part to be bought.

We’ve begun making contingency plans for Sunday – I should check the weather, maybe we can walk home from (my dear husband always has to stay later than us at church for commitments after the meetings and lessons finish), it’s less than an hour and downhill all the way – we’ve done it a few times before when we were not fortunate to have a car, let alone two cars – the children are much bigger and it’s not fast Sunday! ¬†Time for me and the children to bond!

welcome to the I generation!

Dear friends

First there was the modem. Remember the dial up, the fuzzy line sound, the ‘bings’ as it connected… brings back fond memories…¬† Phone or email? Browsing, what was that?

Then there was the broadband cable connection Рthe direct link between a computer and the world.  It was all so simple. Email, Skype, browsing but oh, the size of the phone bill!!

Then the dongle – who invented that name? – great but we needed more

Then, the mifi, our own mini WiFi, 15GB per month, surely that would do? And it did suffice for 5 years or so until 2.5 teenagers and 3 tablets later, it kept running out after just 10 days.

So now, the fibre optics, the wireless, tablets, phones, laptops, security, parental controls, it’s come, it’s here, it’s working, it is the unlimited home wireless broadband network with speeds that mean no buffering!

I’m aware that the next big thing in terms of technology is already in use by the military, somewhere. But right now, our family is very excited and grateful for unlimited home Internet access!! Yeah!! ūüôā ūüôā

television! what?

Dear friends, have I mentioned that we don’t watch TV? Well, at least, not live stream television. Some years ago, 4 or 5 years back, when my husband was studying, we needed to reduce outgoings so the children were asked, “television or internet?” The internet connection won unanimously. ¬†Oh, there have been moments when we wished for live TV again, like the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup, but they are few and far apart.

The kitchen radio is on lots and I try to buy a national newspaper so we can keep up to date without going online. ¬†YouTube means the children can stay familiar with advertising or music, especially as those topics come up in school conversations. ¬†And really, there’s enough sports coverage online so we can see goals scored, games played and tournaments won, simply not live. ¬†Most of the time we watch programmes or DVDs as a family rather than individuals.

It’s great when our dear children are found (like this evening) reading, colouring, in the garden or (on occasion) doing homework. ¬†Most importantly, we feel we’ve some control on what we allow into our home, in terms of having the Holy Ghost with us. ¬†Yes, unsuitable images pop up on the Internet but we try to ensure that ‘devices’ are kept in common areas (not bedrooms) so we can observe what is being watched. ¬†So, if you have been thinking of watching less TV, I encourage you, ¬†you can do it! ūüôā Take time to reclaim your home and take control of what entertains you and your loved ones.