Life 360…

This is just a little PSA. When I come across something this amazing, I can’t help but share. And perhaps you’re all very aware of this amazing little app, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to share. I am fully aware this app is probably high on my favorites list because I have a teenager, but I can see the benefit even when you don’t have kids in the house.

The description in the app store is: Protect and connect the people who matter most with comprehensive safety features for life at home, on the web, and on the go — all in one place for added value and convenience. Enjoy modern, advanced tools that go beyond a basic GPS phone tracker.

I’m sure everyone uses this app a little differently, in fact they have paid memberships, but we currently only use the free version (however, there are multiple times I’ve wanted to use a feature in the paid subscription).

In its simplest form: We use it for the GPS tracking which is hands down better than apple’s technology (which I have to ask myself, how is this even possible?!) I know some parents would have a fight on their hands with teenagers not wanting to be tracked, but that’s not the fight in our home right now. It is an opt-in tracking, but with teenagers you can lock them into tracking…but we all know teenagers are more slippery than houdini and I’m sure they could get around it in a snap if they tried!

One of the features I like is I get notifications every time my family members leave the home or come home. In the free version, it allows you to have 2 free locations. One is our home and the other was automatically set as Hallie’s school and we haven’t changed it – which means we get notifications when she arrives and leaves. (in the paid version you could se up all kinds of circles – I would like circles at her tennis courts, a few of her friends, the church, etc). Because Hallie isn’t driving on her own yet, I like that I can see her jumping from one house to another and at the end of the night, I always know where to grab her. I like that Steve doesn’t have to call me asking for directions for every friends house because he forgot where her friends live. With a single click, he can directions straight to her. I can even see how fast she is moving in the car she is riding in. (which I’m sure is more helpful when they’re driving on their own.)

I like that at any given time I can click on a family member and know how many minutes it would take to drive to them. So when Steve is driving home and we’re in a hurry to rush off some place, I don’t need to call him and bug him to see how close he is, I can see exactly how far away he is. And it’s been surprisingly accurate for us. When I’m going to pick up Hallie and I want her waiting and ready for me, she can track me and be ready when I arrive.

Just the other day we were at Hunter’s soccer game and the coach was antsy waiting on two players who weren’t there just minutes before the game was to start. In frustration he said he wished he had Life360 on every player for situations like this. I totally understood what he was talking about.

I think this app is even more valuable, the more older children you have coming and going from your home daily. It’s just great to keep track of everyone – and I don’t think I even fully utilize all the features of the app.

And yes, I’m fully aware a teenager could figure out a way to get around all of this. I’m sure they do it all the time – but let’s be real – they can figure out a way to get around just about everything on their phones if they try. But it works for us – it may work for you too!

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Funny Comment…

We had a quiet Sunday afternoon with all the kids lounging around looking through old blog books. I think it’s safe to say they like the pictures, but they love the funny comment posts. When Hallie was younger I recorded so many funny comments. I just don’t do it like I used to. I have 5 kids and they all say things daily that I think I should write down. Part of me thinks it’s funny enough I’ll remember to record it later, and part of me can’t keep up with all the shenanigans going on in this house!

Hallie just told me this afternoon, she actually keeps a notes page on her phone with funny comments she hears so I can start adding a few more of the kids favorite posts for years to come.

Today’s comment is courtesy of Cannon.

I was working on the laundry room renovation and I had the power turned off at the breaker box because I was adding some can lights.

Cannon entered his room and tried turning on the lights and found they weren’t working.

So he says, “My lights aren’t working, the internet must be down.”

So evidently electricity and internet are interchangeable in his little mind – I can see why he would be confused!

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Friday funny…

Just a little humor for your Friday. Who doesn’t need this sign on their pool gate?!

And word on the street is there are places in the US that are moving into fall – Arizona is in denial and we’re living 9 month summers around here! So I’m seeing friends talk about fall decor and pumpkins and we’re still buying pool floats. So when this came across my feed today I had to chuckle.

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Isn’t it ironic…

If your house is anything like our house, you have a cupboard in your kitchen full of water bottles – with every brand under the sun represented. But water bottles are having a moment right now and they are no longer meant to be strictly functional – they have become more of an accessory. Hallie got a Hydroflask for Christmas years ago and she carried that thing everywhere. It worked like a dream until she lost a tiny rubber piece off the spout which made it start leaking. After dealing with a leaking bottle for what seemed like forever, she finally bought a new lid/straw. Problem solved. Except the new lid had been revamped and didn’t fit her old bottle well and it continued to leak. I can’t count how many times she complained about her bottle leaking and I always had the same reply – then buy a new one. But they’re expensive. Then don’t complain.

This exact conversation took place for over a year.

And then right before school started this year, we were out shopping and she came across the perfect (in her eyes) Hydroflask. But it was expensive. She stewed over this decision for 20 minutes. I was done stewing and ready to move on to the rest of the stores and in that pressured moment she walked away from it, and I was surprised. We continued our shopping and as we were heading out of the mall she had complete regret about not getting her bottle. So we marched back across the mall and she snagged it up and she was so happy. She had put up with a leaking bottle for so long, she was so happy to have found such a cute accessory – with the perfect muted colors.

You’d think this was the end of the story. But what fun would that be?!

There very next day, Hallie and friend went to a service project helping kids shop for back to school clothing. And as luck would have it, all the kids received their own Hydroflasks. When all the kids had picked out their bottles, they realized they had so many leftover bottles they gave them to the volunteers helping. Hallie sent me a picture of her new hydroflask.

Of course the minute she walked in the door carrying her second brand new bottle I broke out in the only appropriate song for the situation, Alanis Morissette’s “Isn’t It Ironic?”

She went so long wishing for a new bottle and the day after she finally purchased one, she was gifted another. That’s just how life is sometimes.

Funny enough, she went to lunch with a friend, who went with another acquaintance and she accidentally left her bottle in the car they were riding in. She was afraid she was never going to see it again. But days later, her kind friend showed up to school with her bottle filled with ice water. And I got yet another picture text of her holding that bottle again.

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This was a while back but I’m still playing catch up from summer and school starting and this was just as the craziness was picking up. Our favorite man had a big birthday. I love to throw parties and I went through the best mental list of all the parties we could throw for his big day. I floated the idea by him of having a party and he shut it down. Of course, I’m more persistent than that. So I kept working through what a reasonable party for him would be and he reiterated several times that he did not want a party. Who doesn’t want to celebrate with a party?! Evidently, Steve doesn’t.

So there was no big celebration. (Which in my mind is a little anti-climatic)

We quietly celebrated 40 wonderful years with a trip to Dutch Bros for a smoothie, a wide variety of root beer from Total Wine and More, an afternoon of swimming in the pool, a quiet dinner for the two of us and a special gift that so many of his family and friends contributed to – a book: 40 years of influence.

Steve is hard to give gifts to because he doesn’t want for much – but a personalized gift always trumps anything I could ever buy for him. Earlier in the summer I had collected letters, memories and pictures from people that Steve loved and admired: People he’s related to and people he’s worked with – and everyone in between and it was the perfect gift for him. He said it was better than a party – I think he’s forgotten how amazing my parties are!! 🙂

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