Monday, December 31, 2012

Woo Hoo we have Snow, snow, SNOW!!!

We woke early to snow. Everyone was up and eating breakfast by 6:30 and out the door playing in the snow by 7:00. 
They. Were. Excited.

It wasn't even light out yet! 
I brought out the camera and was happy I did because I loved the effect of the blurry snow falling. 

I have been praying for snow/rain for months because we desperately need the moisture out here. It snowed all morning and we made the most out of it. 

The kids and I all bundled up right after breakfast and played for over an hour before we needed hot chocolate and popcorn to warm up. After a movie we bundled up again before lunch for more fun time. 

I was so excited to see the snow this morning because it was sticking to the ground. We've had a few snow flurries during December but the horizontal winds blew all the snow, I desperately wanted to fall in my garden, straight to Oklahoma. 

In fact the snow we had a couple weeks ago, weathermen were actually calling for blizzard conditions which made me think, being that I grew up in Indiana and all, that we'd be getting a foot of snow. In reality the snow we received barely covered the ground because the 50 mph winds blew it all away. So in Kansas wind determines blizzard conditions, not amount of snowfall. 

The morning light cast a soft blue over everything. So pretty. 

Being that we live in Kansas obviously we don't have hills. I had forgotten that we had sleds packed away in the garage from our trip to Colorado a couple years ago. Needless to say the kids were psyched to play with sleds. 

Even if they had to pull each other around. 

Okay Father Winter...anytime you want to dump another 2 inches, or 22 inches, of snow on us I promise I won't complain! 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

8 year old boys vs. the old TV

In the past month with our window project, Christmas and some other things popping up I haven't blogged as much as I'd like and this little post ended up buried for the last few weeks. You can tell how old it is because our old windows are still behind DR. 

Anyway, DR bought a new TV soon after Thanksgiving. 
Jerk! That's what I was going to get him for Christmas. I bought him socks instead. 

We promised the boys that we would let them tear apart the old tv what we didn't agree to was helping them get it out of the house! LOL!

What a night watching these boys working together to try and get this big heavy tv out the door and into the garage. They actually were working very well together during this entire process, surprisingly!! 

At first they had the idea that they could tie the television onto a skateboard and then roll it to the garage. Hmmm, it was a bit too top heavy. 

After a while I just couldn't take it anymore and told them to drag it on a towel. 

I'm still not sure who to attribute this next idea too but it worked really well. They put the tv in kiddie pool (why was it out of the garage in the middle of November??) and drag it to where they were trying to go. 

The cord worked well for a rope and Yahoo hitched a ride. 

DR refused to move the truck and convinced them they could figure out how to get the tv around it. 

Phew, finally into the garage! 

Let the fun begin! 

They attacked this television for about three days until there was nothing left to take apart. 

They asked just the other day when they can take the new flat screen apart. I gave them a death glare and they've since dropped the subject. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Guns are a symptom.

For the last couple weeks I've been pretty silent here on my blog. I could probably chalk it up to a couple reasons; substitute teaching, our window project, preparing for Christmas. These were all things that kept have kept me busy the last couple weeks. But really, I don't think it's any of them. I think the biggest deterrent to my blogging was the Sandy Hook shooting. 

It was certainly a tragedy, of course, however the sensationalist media who swooped down into Connecticut sickened me. I don't need to see a crying child on television to know that this was an awful incident. I don't need to see cameras at the funerals. After a couple days I couldn't bring myself to read one more blog/news story about the shooting. 

Then came the gun debate. "Ban all guns!" Please...that would create a huge backlash by gun owners and seriously, isn't even a realistic option. Then the NRA comes out and states, "every school in America should have an armed guard in their school at all times." At this point I was so livid I couldn't bring myself to blog about anything. Now I've grown up with guns all my life. My parents are 4-H shooting sports instructors so I was raised to be safe and responsible with firearms. I enjoy shooting guns and I think that we should have the freedom to own guns and carry guns if we are deemed fit. 

But I honestly believe that in the case of the Sandy Hook shooting guns was not the problem. Guns are a symptom of a deeper problem that won't be solved by the banning of guns, more gun laws or putting guns in every school. Three of the deadliest massacres in the United States were caused without any type of firearm; 9/11, Oklahoma City Bombing and the Bath Massacre. Violence isn't caused by access to firearms. 

I've heard all the arguments saying that if we, as a society, truly cared about our children then we would do everything possible to protect their well being by putting guns and armed guards in schools. There are more children's deaths caused by drowning every year than by guns but I'm not constantly hovering over my kids while they bathe. If we really cared about the well being of our children, ALL OF OUR CHILDREN, then as a society we would spend more resources and time with kids like Adam Lanza, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris. Let's put our resources into more counselors in schools and a school psychologist in ever school rather than having one psychologist serve numerous schools. More teachers in schools so there is more one on one time between teacher and student. 

We need to put our resources, not into armed guards, but into creating a caring community within schools where numerous adults and role models have formed caring relationships with students of all ages. A community where a teacher doesn't have the fear of losing their job simply by hugging a child. We need to create a community where all students feel cared about rather than being shuffled between teachers and parents as an object rather than a person. 

Let's create a mental health system that supports our kids rather than punishes them. A system where a parent can actual afford the services their children so desperately need. In some cases an ADHD screening for a family without insurance is close to $2000. A screening. That doesn't include any services! 

If we truly cared about the well being of our children we would start WITH our children and learn about them individually as people rather than treating them as though they only merit our full attention when they become adults. 

Guns are a symptom. Sometimes guns are a symptom of being ignored and not cared for. Sometimes guns are ways to gain attention, any attention. Sometimes guns are a symptom that a child is loved. A symptom that a child has adults that care enough to spend time with them, teach and listen. Guns are a symptom, not a problem. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry Christmas Morning!!

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas morning! 
We were cold here with a bit of snow and a LOT of wind and Christmas morning here was quite entertaining, but I think any house with kids probably had an entertaining Christmas morning. 

(Quick cute story....on Christmas Eve DR and I were tucking Yahoo into bed. After reading with her and tucking her under the covers and the required number of kisses and hugs she looked at us both quite seriousl and said, "Now QUICK run to your bed and go to sleep!" As if Mom and Dad going to sleep would make Christmas come sooner! )

Yip has been wearing these slippers non-stop since Christmas, seriously I can't see how he can actually walk in them. He was easy to shop for this year; bear slippers and duct tape was pretty much all he wanted. 

Check out the look on that boy's face when he opened up a roll of 5 bright new duct tapes!!! 

Miss Yahoo too was easy to shop for as well, anything pink and Princess! I searched Amazon until I found a reasonably priced metal tiara, one that wouldn't snap the first day of wearing and playing. I'm so happy I did because she has already bent it much farther without breaking than a plastic tiara would have survived. 

Now I am a tomboy and though I did wear dresses as a little girl I was never much for pink, glittery, frilly things. Yahoo is MUCH different than I am. I try to avoid surrounding her with over the top girlyness. 

My sisters, however, seem to think their only job is to help make Yahoo as girly as possible! 

Oh. My. Goodness.
I don't know what my sister did to that tule skirt but I had glitter all over my ankles! 

One of the coolest and most creative gifts the boys received this year was from my sister who sent them an entire box of PVC pipes and connectors. It's like a giant building set. Very cool! 

We actually had two Christmases on Christmas day. Since this was the first time we weren't traveling to spend time with family I've been receiving boxes for the last couple weeks from them. My brother Mountain Man was able to come over later that afternoon when we opened the second half of Christmas presents. Whew! I'm glad that's over. I felt like my living room exploded twice! I didn't take nearly as many photos of the day as I would have liked, I was too busy enjoying my family. 

Santa and Papa Doug were especially good to Yip and Yap this year with gifts of air pistol and rifle and pocket knives! My house has also been covered in wood shavings since Tuesday, HA! More on that tomorrow! 

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