Archive for the ‘Teen Life’ Category

teens reading books

As a mother of a tween and a teen, I often feel frustration finding other bloggers who focus on or are geared towards teens and tweens. I get rather excited when I find a new site or blog. I recently came across blogger, , who also is the mother of two teenage sons, as well as a college age daughter. In addition, she is a self-published author and an accredited home daycare provider for preschoolers.

I read a review on her Lisa’s’ site about a site called Clean Teen Books: Helping You Choose Clean Books for Teens. This site was founded by a single mother, Alison Craig, a teacher who holds a Masters degree in English. Her site was inspired by her time (8 1/2 years to be exact) volunteering at a local Juvenile Justice Services facility, working regularly with juvenile offenders to improve their reading.  While searching for books to interest the teens and young adults, she experienced difficulty in finding not only books that they would enjoy reading, but also determining whether or not they are objectionable material. She developed a policy that she would read or heavily skim the books prior to introducing them to young readers.  Understanding other parents and teens and tweens too, most likely experienced similar frustration, she created Clean Teen Books.

I think it is an excellent concept.

She primarily reviews books from major publishers but will review books from other publishers as well. Her reviews are in a variety of genres, subjects and reading levels. Each with a “rating” indicating bad language, sexual content, violence, etc.. Her website is divided into sections: Teen Section, Parent Section and Subscriber Section. The parent section contains “spoilers” to the story, which are withheld from the teen section so as not to ruin the end of the book for a teen.

I have often struggled with this same issue. Once when one of the boys was 10 or 11, he came home with this book he checked out of the school library. I just assumed it was age appropriate content and was mostly just thrilled he was reading it.period. After glancing at the cover then reading the back, I started skimming through the book, to find awful language, violent behaviors and references. I was appalled – it was disgusting, and in the school library?

After this experience, I have been more careful with their selection of books and they know what is expected and accepted material. I love the site Alison Craig has created and was just thrilled when I found it on Lisa’s site.

Both ladies seem just lovely, I encourage you to visit both of their sites.

Photo credit: Photostock from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Read Full Post »

This may have happened or I could be totally making it up.

Kid: Can I hold hands with Girl at church tomorrow?

Me: What do you mean? Like while you are praying or just sitting there? Tell me the situation.

Kid: Well when we are in the back rooms in the church.

Me: Um, why are you and Girl in the back rooms in the church? Are you alone?

Kid: Haha Mom, your funny. No, we are with all the youth listening to our youth pastor.

Me: Oh, okay, well it really is your call, Kid. If it is an appropriate situation, then sure, you can hold Girl’s hand.

Kid: That’s right it’s my call.

Kid: Can I kiss her?

Me: Why are you asking me all this if your going to do it anyway?

Kid: You always have something funny to say and might have good advice.

Me: Okay, thanks.I guess.

Me: But, no you can’t kiss her.

Kid: Right mom. Thanks. (pure sarcasm)

I remember when I was the exact same age as said pretend kid. I had this boyfriend and he would come to church with me, my friend and her boyfriend sat next to us. We would cross our arms and hold hands with our opposite hands. Can you even picture it? It’s quite funny thinking back to it. It was innocent as can be, we just wanted to hold hands.

So,if said pretend kid wants to hold hands with his girlfriend at church and he is at church and he is telling me about it. I feel pretty confident in his judgement.

Funny story that may not have even happened.

Need some tips on hand holding? Yes, they are out there – Bwahaha! Check out this 10 step guide to holding hands.

Tip #1? Figure out who it is you want to hold hands with, and if they would let you. Good advice, people.


Sea Otters holding hands. Cute story.

Read Full Post »

Are you completely finished with your shopping list other than that one person who is likely the first person you started shopping for? I know how you feel. For years, I would have said my parents or maybe an in-law or even my husband were the most difficult to buy Christmas gifts for, but never would I have said my children.

Until now.

They have always been a pleasure to buy for and extremely easy. Never holding back their Christmas lists or desired gifts. Telling me months in advance, sometimes even right after Christmas they are already telling me what they want for next Christmas.

This has changed.

Enter the teenage years and buying gifts for teens.


He doesn’t want anything or he doesn’t know what he wants …. according to him.



I need that ginormous list of 2 or 3 several hundred dollar items and crazy unreasonable gift suggestions. I need the stress of worrying if he is going to be happy since I didn’t get the 3 different game systems, the cell phone and  iPod he asked for along with the other catalog marked pages torn out and laying all over “to remind me”.  I am only kidding really, but you get the idea.

Where did that list go?

Where did that kid go?

What does that mean exactly? 

Is he growing up on me? Who knows – I do not try to read the mind of a teen nor predict their next step or potential move.

Here are some good gift ideas for teens that will leave them full of surprise and excitement that you thought of these all on your own. You know what that means though, right? They will be please with your gift-giving skills without having been told and will continue to withhold this information for years to come.

I am starting with my favorite of all – I really like these styles, although they do have many to choose from.

 HEX polycarbonate watch band

The  HEX polycarbonate watch band is a hip accessory that you can mix and match with Nano’s 16 new clock faces. Available in five bold colors and made for the iPod Nano Gen 6/7.  Priced at $39.95. HEX Dealers & Stockists


This next one is way cool.

Rule the airspace with HELO TC, the touch-controlled RC helicopter you control with your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.  Starting as low as $39.99
Download the free HELO TC app onto your iOS device, load your device into HELO TC’s Flight Deck and you’re ready to fly indoors in either of two ways:

  • Touch Control: Use a virtual joystick on your Multi-Touch display to maneuver the chopper.
  • Tilt to Steer: Tilt your iOS device to move the chopper forward, backward, and side to side.

Use the app to record and store up to three Flight Plans so you, or another pilot, can easily repeat a favorite flight pattern. Make up routes among the furniture, missions to fly, obstacles to avoid, goals to achieve, and replay them later with your friends.

I have a strong feeling this one will be just as popular with the young at heart.

Purchase online or visit a local retailer near you.

TOMS are a hot number and while there are several different brands picking up their concept and style, they remain to be the top seller. Try these Silver Holiday Women’s Classics $54.00 : Holiday cheer with every step. Featuring a soft wool upper for warmth. Like the sweater your grandma gave you, only you’ll actually wear these… or search their site for your teens style choice.


with every pair you purchase,
TOMS will give a pair of new shoes
to a child in need. One for One.

A retro double-belled design marks this thoroughly modern combination alarmclock/iPod charger that wakes you to your favorite tunes. Built-in, omni-directional speakers provide rich, vivid sound while you get ready for work or play. Docking feature charges your MP3 player (the universal docking plate suits most iPod socket configurations); alarm function includes a handy 9-minute snooze… More at Crate & Barrel. Priced at $59.99

I like to receive books as gifts and especially a good you-can-not-put-the-book-down series type of books.

My sister-n-law read these books in her book club and strongly recommended I give it a go. I understand they are geared toward a teen audience. Have you read The Hunger Games: a young adult science fiction novel written by Suzanne CollinsHunger Games is the first novel in a trilogy, followed by Catching Fire, published September 1, 2009, and Mockingjay, published August 24, 2010.

I am sure most have completed their shopping by now. I am never done it seems. I hope you enjoyed a look into these gift ideas for teens this holiday season.


Read Full Post »