Learning from hackers

a person who uses computers to gain unauthorized access to data.
synonyms: cybercriminal, pirate, computer criminal, keylogger, keystroke logger; More
an enthusiastic and skillful computer programmer or user.
a person or thing that hacks or cuts roughly.

Have you ever noticed how the media glamorize the shenanigans hackers?

Most good TV shows and movies will have at least one character who specializes in computer hacking.

Can’t track the bad guy?
she can!
need to know what they’re planning on doing next?
He already knows and is sending the location out to you now.

But what about in real life?

I’m not just speaking for myself here but I’m not ashamed to admit that I have cheered when I have learned that a group of hackers has taken down an evil corporation revealing a closet full of ugly skeletons.

I’m not saying that their methods are something that I approve of but let’s be honest, they get the job done.

But when a hacker goes after one of “my own” I’m left scratching my head more confused.
What’s the reasoning behind it?

What could be gained by taking out a mommy blogger?
How threatening were her adorable valentine crafts? Or her recipes?
Or her tutorial for making liquid chalk?
Am I the only one left confused?

For the last few days I have been glued to my iPhone reading post after post as one of my fellow mommy bloggers struggles to regain control of her sites.

First her entire website was “mirrored” by a Hacker whose sole purpose was to siphon traffic away from her blog to theirs.

Then she discovered that several of her posts including her pictures were stolen by another mommy bloggers who shamelessly claimed the content “to be her own” and when asked to remove the content kicked up a fit.

Umm no, plucking it off Pinterest doesn’t make it your own.

Then my fellow mommy blogger lost everything.

All her posts and pictures to a hacker who brazenly flaunts his “victories” over Facebook.

Seriously, he lists each  of his hacks and displays them like cheap awards.
no matter how many people reported his page “it doesn’t violate any of Facebook’s terms” so they won’t remove it.
Confusing right?

Show a picture of a momma nursing her baby and they will punt you faster than you can say “pacifier” but slap a country name in front of the word “hacker” and they turn a blind eye.


Watching her go through all of this has really opened my eyes.

It’s shown me once again that there is an ugly side to blogging. A side no one really wants to talk about.

It had bothered me so much that I have spent the last couple of days re-evaluating why I’m crazy enough to even want to blog in the first place.

I wish I was sitting next to you sharing a cup of coffee.
Am I the only one who thinks it’s so much easier to share your heart when your face to face?
Life happens face to face.
Not screen to screen.
So let’s pretend we’re sitting in a coffee shop chatting.
I hope that you know that I am being transparent &real.
That the words you see on the pages show you my heart.
Even when they seem random.
I want you to catch a glimpse of who I am.
What interests me. What I’m worried about or brings me to smile.
I write this blog to share tid bits of my life.
I love cooking.
LOVE it.
But I’m not a foodie blog.
I love crafting.
LOVE it but I’m not a DIY craft blog.
I love reading other blogs.
And leaving comments on their posts.
But,if it’s something that not true to what I believe I am not going to tell you how great a post it is.

I hope my readers feel the same when they comment on my posts.

I love entering draws and winning stuff.
But,I’m only going to support giveaways for products I would use or want for myself.
I’m still going to stick with what feels truer to who I am.
I’m not a journalist.
I will misspell words, make grammatical errors and litter a post with slang.
I type the way I speak.
I want my posts to capture real memories.
Adventures with four is my sharing place.
My venting place.
My “be” who I am place.
My live life and share life place.
In 20 years it won’t matter how many recipes I shared or giveaways I blogged about.
What will matter most is capturing snapshots of my babies as they grow up.
One day at a time.
Are willing to walk with me one day at a time?
Now having said that I started to think.
What if I was the one who was hacked?
What If I was the one who had logged in only to discover that my entire blog was scrubbed clean and instead of my content I faced a stark black screen and a scrolling taunt that I had been hacked.

Ever post I wrote and photo I took gone.

How would I feel?

What would I do? Would I know what to do?

I’m sure that I am not the only blogger that automatically assumes everything I write Has been protected on some level or at least saved. Right? I’m not so sure.

I didn’t even know how to back up my blog until a few days ago and I have been blogging for years.

When I made the switch from blogger to WordPress One of the first things I needed to find a web host that would import everything over for me.
I pay my fees and understood that they would “take care of me” so I didn’t give it a second thought.
Rookie mistake. I may know how to “export” my blog and save it to my own personal computer but do I know what to do with the information next?
And where do I go to find that out?

Her experience had taught me a couple of valuable “take aways”.

* back up your posts and if you don’t know how to find out! If you use a web domain that auto backs up find out how often they do.

* keep a hard copy of all your photos and another watermarked copy online so if you need to replace a blog photo you already have it saved.

* change your passwords regularly.
For everything. Make sure not to reuse your passwords.

Blogging has been an awesome learning experience but beside protecting myself I need to remember that life happens away from the screen.
For every new experience there are lessons to be learned even if that lesson comes via a hacker.

As for my friend she still trying to protect everyone else and has asked that we don’t leave comments on her personal Facebook page or blog about what is happening because she is worried that we will be targeted next.

I’m pretty small potatoes.

She has an entire team behind her helping her working around the clock to retrieve all of her photos and years worth of posts.

She will be back.

Stronger and smarter too just you wait and see…


I need a new hiding space

Because I have been found By the “dreaded” spammers.

Lately My inbox has become a breeding ground for ridiculous comments.

left on some of my older blog posts from my time with blogger.

(Shhhhh…they apparently haven’t found me on wordpress yet!)

Most of then are highly comical.
Filled with Grammatical errors and questionable spelling.

Sometimes their entire comment appears to be a strange mixture if numbers and symbols.
Which leaves me slightly confused.

Some of the comments are quite complementary.
If only I could edit out the link to “what every they are trying to sell me.com” I would have allowed them to post.

I have blogged a long time before “they” noticed me and now, I just want them to leave me alone.

My email has become one big junk pile spewing messages like this one:


Umm?? What?

And people wonder why I hardly ever use my email.

One feature I love about wordpress is the spam software that automatically filters all of that out so I don’t have too.

The odd “ham” post shows up but I have to click “approve” or “deleted” and I have only seen two of those since I moved over to wordpress.

My blogger site sends me anywhere from 5-10 messages a day.

Sometimes it feels like I am opening up a HTML treasure trove of junk mail.

No thanks.

Now I just have to figure out how to minimize the “leftover comments ” from my old blog.

3 quick tips to fight spam

1) don’t use your primary email address to sign up for anything.
(I’m horrible with this one)

2) take advantage of spam blocking software your email already has and make sure to report all spam.

3.) disguise your email address on blog comments and online in forums.
Ex. Crazy4you (at) wherever dot com

I’m hoping over time the emails will lessen but for now they dreaded spammers haven’t found me on WordPress and I’m planning in staying in the shadows!

How do you protect yourself from spammers?

Common blogger blunders

Image There are so many things that never even crossed my mind when I made the switch from blogger to word press last week.

I think as bloggers a lot of the time we are busy trying to put our hands into so many topics we aren’t really even sure what topic we love the most.

{I am guilty of this one hands down for sure!}

It’s only been in the last couple of days that I have had the time to really sit down and think about what I think still needs to be done to get Adventures With Four the place where I want my blog to be.

{perhaps I am entering into a season of growth??!}

directs to my new blog but that might be a time sucking vortex.

{ I am passing on this}.  I made sure my links are current with the big ones like facebook, twitter and pinterest so I should be good right?

At least for now.

I have been perusing the web looking out all sorts of popular blogs and looking at some not so popular blogs.  Trying to put my finger on the pulse to see what makes those blogs tick.

I’ve been making notes of  what I like, what inspires me to learn more about this craft, what annoys the crap out of me and even a few things I am still “on the fence” about.

What inspires me: The internet has so many tutorials that even a newbie like me can teach herself how to blog more effectively.  Helpful bloggers willing to offer advice or willing to pointing you in the right direction .

What annoys me: snowflake graphics or anything else dancing across my screen.  Especially the tracers that some bloggers thought were neat when a user is clicking around on their page.

stop that.

It slows down my machine and makes me want to leave.

Blogs that greet their readers with music.

I get it, you like your honkytonk country but I like my quiet time clicking around on the net.  If I wanted music I have hundreds of songs at my disposal and we unfortunately have much different tastes.  Can I recommend The Crystal Method?

What I’m on the fence about:  Bloggers that send you a “thank you email” for commenting on their blog.  My email is already chocked full of junk email that I deposit daily into the trash.  I’m not sure if this is effective use of time or not.

Blogs with pop ups encouraging me to like their page or subscribe to their RSS feed.

I know, don’t point fingers because when you do there are three pointing back at you.  I can take my lumps just as well as I can dish them out and these are just my opinions so you can take them or leave them. I know you have yours too. What inspired you to blog? What gets under your skin and are you like me and there are still some things that you on the fence about?

Blogging is a lot harder than it looks.  Sometimes putting yourself out there for the world to critique feels a lot like streaking down the middle of a football stadium.

{not that I have ever done that}

I’m still learning… and trying and growing.  But, for heaven sakes if I forget and start to become annoying please tell me!!

That’s what friends do and you and me, we are in this for the long haul so best get used to my quirkiness!

And then there were…none?

Ack! I know that numbers are well, just numbers.
They don’t mean anything right?
I on purposely decided NOT to re-add my “numbered follow me” widget when I made the big move over from blogger.
And don’t think for one second that I regret that.
I think my blog looks cleaner and as another blogger reminded me numbers can be faked.
Yes, there are bloggers who do this.
Lots of bloggers actually so it’s nice that I’m getting a fresh start with this blog.
My only concern was losing the followers I had from my old blog.
I had forgotten that I needed to head back and claim “this” blog to re-direct my traffic here.
I just did that on Bloglovin and I will admit it was a little startling to see a big fat zero.
None, nada, zilch.
So now, I am fighting with blogger to re-direct my traffic here.
{it’s not working}.
I am fighting with plugins
{that’s not working either}
And I am wondering if there is a “word press for dummies” book that perhaps should be wrapped up with a big red bow and placed under my tree?
This entire experience has been an interesting one.
I have had the opportunity to see where my heart really is and it’s surprising me to be totally honest with you.
Followers come and go but I need to be true to who I am first.
I will share the most mundane stuff, the funny stuff, the stupid stuff and everything in between.
But I won’t be posting anymore numbers.
After all, numbers are just numbers.

Plugins? Widgets? oh my!


It hasn’t been easy..at all.  I’m taking bite size pieces trying to figure this out and by gosh I refuse to be beaten by a program!

Blogger is easier but they don’t have any of the  cool features that are available on wordpress.

Blogger has no plugins.  Widgets, yes but plugin ins?

What the heck is a “plugin” and how do I install and how do you chose which one to use?

There are HUNDEREDS of plugins.  I know because I have spent roughly 20+ hours in the last couple of days trying to navigate around my dashboard without getting lost.

I needed hated the white boxes around my old “follow me” social media icons so I chose instead to re-format and freshen up what was there. Should be easy right?

Wrong…there is just one small teeny tiny problem.

 My  iMac has been at the shop for oh, a month or longer now meaning everything that I would have at my fingertips isn’t available.

It’s all gone. {{gulp!}}

Frustrating right… I thought so too until I found the media button.

What a snazzy feature that one is! 

I dragged and dropped new buttons to upload, copied the html code that was visible to me and easy peesy swapped them in place of my old graphics.  So much easier than the process I went with on blogger.

I’m kicking myself for waiting so long to make the switch!

Now I just need to figure out it if I am going to re-install all my “followers” buttons from my blogger blog. 

You know the ones, the bloglovin’ or google+ ones that has a little number saying how many people follow a certain blog.

It’s starting to feel a lot like that guy who walks into a room yelling “Like me”.

Or is it just me who thinks that way?  We would never do that in real life and honestly it sort of feels like a popularity contest.

I have never been any good with those anyway and most of the bigger blogs don’t have those.

Hmm, now have you ever given that a thought?

I’m excited to say that wordpress was one of the best moves I have ever done and I am loving the features I have figured out already.

Now can anyone explain a plugin to me?


Pardon the mess!

It might take me a little longer than I expected to figure out exactly what I am doing but I will.

The format with wordpress is quite a bit different than I am used too.

I felt a little overwhelmed at first and wondered if this was out of my range but you know the old saying “learn something new each day”.  Well, this is mine!  So, please be patient if you notice that posts are disappearing then magically reappearing.  I still haven’t figured out what theme shouts “me”.

From a newbie point of view..wordpress is extremely overwhelming.

It took me 8 hours yesterday fiddle farting around so today I only tinkered for a little bit trying not to get too overwhelmed.

As I mentioned to my friend Kathy this afternoon if you want to start blogging start on wordpress.  Get all the hard stuff out of the way early on then the rest is smooth sailing.

I’m a little worried my “followers” will get lost along the way but lets be real here.

Who walks into a room starts jumping up and down like an idiot asking people to “like them”.

Or is it just me who hasn’t seen anyone doing that?

I’m looking at this “move” as a clean slate.  Toss what doesn’t work, clean up what does make it cozy and more… me.

Thanks for stopping by and a huge thank you to the bloggers who have held out an olive branch while I transition from Blogger to WordPress.

Let the learning begin!

30 things my kids should know about me….

My blog has always been mostly a journal for me, but I also like to think that someday, my kids can look back and read this and laugh (hopefully when they are much, much older, considering some of my content in the past). 

I found a great list of 30 things to ask your spouse on Pinterest but my initial thought when reading it was “hmm, I’d like my kids to know some of these things (and more).” 
I tweeked a good third or so to fit the type of things I’d like them to know, and taking out things I thought weren’t relevant or wouldn’t be as interesting for them and created 30 things my kids should know about me. (Or shouldn’t, depending who you ask).

The idea is 30 things in 30 days, and while I’d love to do that, I’m not sure *cough* that’s exactly do-able so please don’t hold me to it. Especially seeing as I can’t even manage to mail out Christmas cards, update the kids baby books, and other random things I set myself up believing I will actually be able to do.

So I’m aiming for writing about these 30 things in 60ish days. Feel free to join along in this new list if ya like. I’ll link to my posts as I write them.


1. List 20 random facts about yourself.
2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.
3. Describe your relationship with your spouse.
4. List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.
5. What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?
6. If you could have three wishes, what would you wish for?
7. What is your dream job, and why?
8. What are 5 passions you have?
9. List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.
10. Describe your most embarrassing moment.
11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.
12. Describe a typical day in your current life.
13. What’s the hardest part of growing up?
14. Describe 5 and weaknesses strengths you have.
15. Describe when you knew your spouse was the one or how I fell in love.
16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?
17. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?
18. What do you think your spouse loves most about you?
19. How did you feel the moment you became a parent?
20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.
21. Describe your relationship with your parents.
22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?
23. What’s your favorite holiday and why?
24. What’s your favorite and least favorite thing about parenthood?
25. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?
26. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?
27. What is your favorite part of your body and why?
28. What’s your favorite quality in your spouse?
29. What are your hopes and dreams for your prosperity?
30. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.