The Start of School

This post is part of the project I have going on with U.S. Cellular…

First off, I can’t say enough good things about my Samsung Galaxy S5.

I can’t  believe what a difference having U.S. Cellular’s 4G LTE makes.  My old phone was a dinosaur and SO SLOW compared to this.  It’s allowed me to do so much more..much of my blog work is now done via my phone and I love it.  Kelli liked mine so much that she just got one too..but back to the topic of cell phones and back to school…

I have always welcomed the new school year.  It wasn’t that I didn’t love having the kids home over the summer, I just missed the routine and structure that school days brought.  Once school started things were just a little more predictable.   Even now when I don’t have kids in high school or elementary I am looking forward to the start of school and some more predictable days.
Now my college kids run home on any day of the week over the summer-Kayla our teacher daughter does too…they call at unpredictable times and want to take off for the day and do all sorts of things.  I love that I can spend time with them and want to do those things but I’ll be honest, I like a few longer stretches of uninterrupted time when I can accomplish bigger tasks.

When the kids are away is when I especially appreciate them having cell phones.  Time and time again Hubby and I argued over the right age for a cell phone.  I argued for a younger age…him -he said older.  Finally one day I said, “The reason I want them to have a cell phone isn’t for them…it’s for me!  It takes some of the worry away from me!”  Can I say…even though our kiddos are grown, I still feel the same way.  (If you’re having that same conversation, I highly encourage U.S. Cellular’s Parent Child Agreement that you can have your children sign so that they know how you feel about their cell phone use.)

Our college kids aren’t driving the best cars but I know if they break down, they have a cell phone to keep them safe.  Our daughter that’s a teacher has a 40 minute commute that sometimes leaves her a little sleepy.  I know she can call me and chat and that will keep her awake and safe on her commute.  Our son that works construction often calls on his commute home to tell me about his day….all of this is comforting to me…all are reasons why I love that they have a cell phone!

Kayla, our teacher daughter, has been working to include more and more technology into her classroom.  She says the kids love it.  With most of the kids owning smart phones she can have them use the internet during class to look up information.  She can have them watch a video that pertains to the topic.  She is constantly coming home and sharing ideas of how she is working to incorporate more technology in the classroom…

In a recent mailing that I received from U.S. Cellular they high lighted several phone apps that were particularly relevant for teachers and students.  Many teachers are using Skype to bring in guest speakers.  Teachers can use Teacher’s Assistant Pro to help keep their grade books up to date and for parent communication.  The one I am most excited about is Noteability.  Our daughter Kalissa often tapes her lectures for her nursing classes.  She then listens to them to and from college on her commute.  It’s a great way to study and not open a book.  She’s missed a few taped lectures as her battery on her recorder has been dead.  Apparently Notability will work allow users to tape lectures as well.  I am going to tell her about that for sure.

So no matter where you are in life…with small kids, big kids or grand kids, I wish you all a happy school year that’s filled with many notable experiences..many that will be recorded via text messages or through photos taken with a cell phone….that just the way kids do things now days.

For now, I am patiently waiting for Labor Day to come…after that the kids will all be on their schedule for the next few months and hopefully my days will be a little more predictable.


Ticket Winners…

A couple days ago I posted about a giveaway of Iowa State Fair tickets.

In conjunction with my work with  U.S. Cellular and their Better Day program U.S. Cellular gave me two tickets to giveaway to one of my lucky blog readers.  They want to help families create better moments together this summer.  What’s better fun than attending the fair??

The Iowa State Fair is fast is soon to start and the lucky winner of the tickets is…Susan who said, “I’ve only been to the Iowa State Fair once but we had a fabulous time. That trip was before I began quilting so it would be fun to see the quilts they have on display. Happy Summer!”

Enjoy the quilts and all the other fun things at the fair.

A Giveaway: Iowa State Fair Tickets

I told you earlier this month that I got a new Galaxy S5 phone and was doing some work with U.S. Cellular.  In conjunction with all of that U.S. Cellular through their Better Day program gave me two tickets to giveaway to one of my lucky blog readers.  Through their Better Day campaign they are providing communities with everything they need to create better moments together this summer.  What’s better fun than attending the fair??

The Iowa State Fair is fast approaching it runs from  August 7-17th.  There are always lots of fun things to see and do there.  You can check out their website here.

They have an amazing quilt show there.  Here are two different blog posts showing just a few of the quilts we saw last time we went.  Post #1  Post #2

They had this little quilt that I wanted to make…I had the pattern but still-haven’t made it.

There are lots of other fun things to do too…the animals..the butter cow…the rides..the food (pork chops on a stick are my favorite)…the entertainment…and the quilt show.

Thanks to U.S. Cellular I have two tickets for one of my readers.  If you’d like a chance to win the tickets simply leave a comment here.  I’ll pick a winner Sunday night.  That way I’ll have time to get these tickets in the mail to you so you can go.

New Phone for Me

I was recently contacted by U.S. Cellular asking if I’d want to work with them.  Part of the deal was that I would get a new phone for my efforts.  I jumped at the chance and ended up with a new Samsung Galaxy s5.  I LOVE the phone.  The 4G was a wonderful upgrade for me!

Previous to getting my new phone I could never figure out what the big attraction the kids had to their phones.   They would check Facebook, play games and use their phone just like a computer.  My old phone a Motorola Electrify wasn’t nearly as fun as theirs appeared to be.  I was happy I had a smart phone but it just didn’t seem as appealing as their phones….after getting my phone, I can see what the attraction is.  It’s fast, fun, zippy and works wonderfully.  I love the camera too.  You don’t realize it but many of the photos I take for the blog are now done on my phone.  My camera phone is now MUCH better than my regular camera.

With that new fun, fast working phone also come dangers.  I can see why at times the kids didn’t have perfect etiquette with their phones.  I can see why when expecting an email they would jump when their phone would ding as they can manage their lives with their phones.  I can see why rather than looking at a watch to check the time they gave up on watches and just check their phone.  I can see why rather than checking a date in a planner or on a calendar, they just take out their phone.

I think I have a new appreciation for phones…They are the new, watches, cameras, planners and calendars all in one.  No wonder why people sneak a peak at them so often!  However etiquette is still an issue.   What is the right amount phone time vs face time.

When our kids were younger we made rules with phones…no phones at the meal time table-limited phones in the car-if you have to answer a phone in a group setting, remove yourself from the group and take your call but make it quick.  Being we set those rules up when they were kids, the rules have continued to stick with our family members as they’ve grown into adults.

I’ve also learned to be a little lax on things as I have a new understanding of phones.  When the kids come home, they’ll pop on their phone out and check it.  It’s a 5 minute scroll to see what’s up, check the time, see their planner….it isn’t so much that they are being rude, they are just managing their time.  I’m okay with that.

With July being National Cellphone Courtesy Month, U.S. Cellular has put together a Parent/Child agreement form.  It’s a great way to start off discussions with kids and cell phone use.  It sets some guidelines and raises awareness with parents and kids.  I think it’s an awesome form to get those ground rules set early.  Don’t think it’s just for parents and kids either.  Grandparents are encouraged to sit down and have these discussion with grandchildren too….and remember kids learn from the model us adults set…even grown kids.

I’ve had my phone for a month now and LOVE it….watch for more topics here on the blog in the upcoming months regarding my phone.  I am notorious for not learning to use devices.  One of the reasons I opted to work with U.S. Cellular one because I am happy with their service and two it would force myself to learn.  It’s been paying off.  Watch for more topics regarding my phone in the upcoming months.

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