Thursday, March 26, 2009

I'm on a Roll -- Why Stop Now??

All right. I've had a bit of frustration building the last few days. Weeks. Months. Years. Might as well just set it all free. Right Here. Right Now.

Here's the scoop. For the last two years I haven't been able to volunteer much up at school. Abbie's Kindergarten year was spent moving our family from location to location -- finally ending up here right after school got out.

Last year, Kait was in preschool at the Met -- a 25 minute drive away. The time I spent going back and forth five days a week really ate up most of my free time. But I still managed to work on Yearbook, so I did play volunteer role at the school.

I understand busy. I understand how commitments get in the way of volunteerism. I understand how a job can completely take over your life.

But here's the deal. This year, I've spent a LOT of time in the kids' school. As a parent, as a guest teacher, as a volunteer. I've had a first-hand look at how important it is for parents to be active volunteers in their children's schools. And I'm beginning to think that private schools that actually require parents to volunteer have the right idea.

As I've spent day after day bouncing from classroom to classroom, I've seen how a few regular parent volunteers can make a HUGE difference in the education of all the kids in the classroom. Nowhere does this shine as brightly as in Kindergarten. In Kinder, you have kids who don't even possess the basic social skills needed to function in that setting thrown in with kids who are already working on a first-grade level. And there's absolutely every level in between.

There is no easy solution for our educational system. As a parent, I find it very frustrating at times. Kaitlyn went into Kinder already reading some. She could count to 1000 and was absolutely ready. Other children come in not knowing their colors or numbers or even their letters.

And God bless the Teachers who have to take these rooms full of children who are on a bajillion different levels and somehow channel that into a cohesive group where everyone learns. I get the "No Child Left Behind" philosophy. And it's a good one. Let's prepare these kids for what lies ahead. But we also need a "No Child Slowed Down" program for the kids who are ready for more. Teachers have to spend so much time bringing the low-performing students up, and dealing with all the emotionally messed-up stuff, that it's difficult to address the needs of the higher-performing students.

And that's where parent volunteers come in. With a healthy group of parent volunteers, the dynamic totally shifts. It doesn't have to be a huge time commitment. You don't have to have a teaching degree. Simply come into the classroom an hour or two a week and read with these kiddos. They just need to practice. If you do that, it gives the teacher a bit of extra time to spend with other students. Or come in and read with the good readers who thrive with that kind of attention as well.

Our schools absolutely cannot excel without parent volunteers. Funding has been cut while expectations have sky-rocketed. Teachers are expected to fill so many roles in your children's lives. They need help. This is not day-care. This is not the place to drop your kids off at the door and pick them up at 6:00. If you have kids in school, you should find a way to be in that school. Teachers shouldn't have to beg for help from parents. You should be so freaking thankful that these people are educating the most precious gifts God has given you, that you're tripping over yourselves to get in there and help.

I especially think that's the case if your child is one of those high-maintenance kids. You know your child. If they're the student that the teacher is constantly having to deal with -- the one that takes all the attention away from the other kids, the least you can do is give some of that back by volunteering. Read with the other students. Read on parent reader day. Sharpen pencils. Whatever it takes.

I Find it Interesting....

That when I see Barack Obama on TV, I really don't get the sense that he's the President. He's just this celebrity guy who totally whacked my TV schedule by bumping American Idol.

That the Obama administration is FOREVER on my TV trying to convince me that "this is a process. We're going to make mistakes. That's part of seeing what works and what doesn't." And then, in the next breath, they slam the Bush administrations for the mistakes they made.

That Barack Obama got himself elected with a platform built on fear -- and is now having to assuage that fear by interrupting my TV schedule over and over.

That Barack Obama got himself elected by convincing all the under-achievers (as well as my dear mis-guided over-achiever friends -- you know who you are! :-)) in America that it was time for them to get a handout. That it was time for the government to take better care of them -- and now he's going to raise taxes and limit the amount of tax credit you get from charitable giving.

That makes a lot of sense.

I don't think he "gets it" that many, many wealthy people give as much as they do because of the tax credit. That for an awful lot of those people it's not because it's the Christian thing to do.

I also don't think he knows that we have a team of brilliant, giving, hard-working people who are striving to help find a CURE for breast cancer. A CURE that won't be cheap. A CURE that depends on charitable giving!!!

I have to say, when he was elected in November I was bracing myself for eight years of a decline toward socialism. Now I don't think that's going to happen. He has ABSOLUTELY no clue what he is doing. He is in way over his head and is pushing his socialistic plans on us so fast and so hard you're about to hear a giant "NO!" from Democrats and Republicans alike.

3.75 more years, baby.

p.s. One more thing.... Obama has been quoted as saying this change will be fairer to lower-income families that make charitable contributions and don't get the same deductions. Here's my question.... Would those be the same families that don't pay taxes because of their tax bracket? Or would those be the people who don't do itemized deductions? I don't know the answer, but I'm gonna try to find it out!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Tale of Two Bracelets....

Or....

Man, my arm is naked.

Unless you've been living under a rock -- or just haven't checked my blog in a couple of days, you know that I lost Mom's bracelet yesterday. What you don't know is that I'm surprisingly okay about it.

Really.

I am.

I can't explain.

Oh, the drama that ensued the last time I lost it!! October 28, 2007. Barely three months after we lost Mom. That bracelet was so much more than a bangle with scripture on it. I'd worn it every day since we'd buried her. That bracelet was this whole circle of grief that I carried with me everywhere. And when I lost it.... I can't even begin to tell you the emotions that bombarded me. I felt like I'd let Mom down. That maybe if the bracelet wasn't important enough for me to hold onto, she hadn't been important enough to me either.

I know. We're not exactly talking rational here. But if you were around back then, you know there wasn't much about me that was rational.

Losing the bracelet again hasn't been a good thing. I know there's going to come a time when I'm really, really pissed at myself for losing it.

But for now, it's been kind of a positive to take a break from it. Even if I do wish it was going to be a short break rather than a forever break.

Annette and I talked about it last night. Annette also lost her Mom to cancer -- in so many ways, as I've walked this walk, she's been a couple of steps ahead helping me stay on solid ground. Annette knew just where I was coming from when I told her I felt lighter without that bracelet.

Mom has been gone almost two years. Twenty months of my wearing that bracelet -- of getting up every morning and putting on that mantle of grief. Every morning. I didn't realize that was what it had become, and I didn't realize that was what I was doing. But over the last couple of weeks I think God has been preparing me for this.

In the last few weeks, I'd noticed how worn that bracelet was getting. How it was misshapen. And I wondered what I was supposed to do when you couldn't read the scripture any more. At what point would I need to put it aside.

And then, yesterday, it was gone. And I'm okay. Really. I am.

I discovered it was missing yesterday when I moved my arm and it felt too light. Mom's bracelet was gone. All that was left was my Brighton Breast Cancer bracelet.

Part 2

(I know. Hugely long post. Bear with me here.)

This morning I logged onto Facebook and was met with an update that immediately struck a cord with me. A friend had written that she was having a port put in today.

And I knew she had cancer.

It's crazy how a simple statement can say so very much.

Ann works with Gibbs & Soell, the company I used to do PR with "back in the day." You know, back when I wrote magazine articles about cotton farmers and entomologists and herbicides. Back when I could tell you how many heat units were needed for cotton to reach cut-out. And the best place to eat in Greenwood, Miss. And who to look for at the Milan No-Till Field Days.

I knew Ann in a whole other life. She stayed with G&S. I left shortly after we moved to Austin, so Biggsy could get his MBA. I can't tell you how proud I am of Ann and what she has accomplished -- she rocks.

We recently re-connected on Facebook -- just like so many bajillion people who are touching base with people they haven't talked to in years.

This morning I looked further. Port. Anti-nausea drugs. Chemo. Something was amiss.

I found a link to Ann's blog. And I read. And read.

Listen gang, this girl is my age. MY AGE. She has two young daughters -- younger than mine.

AND she has breast cancer.

Down to one bracelet, I knew where it needed to go. That bracelet has power. That bracelet is the one our team gave me this year. It walked the 3-Day (as much as I was able to walk.) It has the power of 3000 people taking step after step to find a CURE. On days when Ann needs to feel like she has an army behind her, she can wear that bracelet and KNOW that is the case.

I sent it to her today. Along with lots of love and a few treats for her girls.

Now here's the deal....

I have one more bracelet. Carla gave me a second Brighton bracelet for my birthday / Christmas. I'm not going to wear it every day. I need to feel lighter for a while. But I'm gonna wear it. And I'd really like to keep it. So all you buddies out there who are reading this (all four of you) -- STAY HEALTHY! No one is allowed to be diagnosed with anything bracelet-worthy.

Got it??

Now....

Please send prayers Ann's way. I've added a link to her blog on my blogroll. Casa de Camden. I know she could use all the warm thoughts and prayers you can spare!

The Awakening.....

One of the things I really love about quilting and cross-stitch and all the other "crafty" things I do is seeing a piece come alive. With quilting, it's the process of starting with 500 pieces, which turns into 250, then 125.... Down to a single piece of art that mirrors that picture I had in my mind.

Cross-stitch is a bit different. I've been working on this piece on and off for about three years. I'd pick it up for a couple of days and then put it back down. Finally, I decided to tackle it and Git er Done.

Until a couple of days ago, it was kind of like wading through mud. But then, I started the detail work. And the picture came alive. I wish I'd taken pictures before I did any of the back-stitching, but I didn't think about it. But I think I've got enough here for you to get the idea...

At this point, I'd stitched the brown on the pier and had put the details on Boomer (my how he's grown!) I hadn't started in on Pa yet.

Here's Pa up-close.
With the brown back-stitching....

Now I've added the black back-stitching....

Then came the yellow "couching" -- a new technique that I have to say I'm not all that fond of.

Finished.... Finally.

Oops. Had to sign it. Don't want anyone to think Alan made this! Now it's done and ready to go to the framer's. They'll have it done in plenty of time for Father's Day! One more UFO marked off my list!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Time for a New Story??

I lost Mom's bracelet again today. The one I lost on the 3-Day in 2007. The one that came back. The one I wear every day.

I have no idea where I lost it. Just that I put it on this morning and have been all over town since then. I just walked the outlet mall twice looking for it -- that makes three times total today.

No sign of the bracelet.

I do know that if it's meant to turn back up, it will.

If not, I'm hoping that whoever finds Mom's worn, scratched, slightly-misshapen bracelet will realize what a treasure it is. That they'll read the scripture and know that Isaiah 40:31 is a gift -- a gift to bring them Strength.

In the meantime, I find it interesting how light my wrist feels without that bracelet. Maybe its misplaced weightiness is a sign that I don't need to be weighed down any longer. I can remember Mom EVERY DAY without wearing that bracelet.

I know.... I'm trying to be positive and look for a bright side here. I'd rather have the bracelet.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Beach is Back -- Sort of....

My Mom would have loved these dresses. I love these dresses. For me, they were the ultimate bargain. Bought them at Target for $15 each. I knew they'd look great for beach pictures and bluebonnet pictures and Easter and summer.... Casual, fun, lightweight....


None of that would have mattered to Momma. All that would have mattered to her is that they're made of White Eyelet. That's right. God's fabric. Worthy of capitalization. Somewhere in Heaven, Mom has on a White Eyelet dress -- you can't convince me otherwise. And if it isn't made completely out of White Eyelet, it's got White Eyelet lace on it. Somewhere.


We used to joke that we'd never let Mom make our wedding dresses. For one, she'd insist they be made out of White Eyelet. And for another, she'd be stitching the hem as we walked down the aisle. Those of you who were in our wedding can attest to that. Were ANY of your bridesmaids dresses (outfits? suits? how would you label those get-ups?) finished when you arrived in Old Fluvanna??



We took the White Eyelet dresses down to the Creek this weekend, so we could take pictures on the beach. Now, I have to set your expectations here. This isn't a beach like you'd find in Cozumel or Cancun or North Carolina or anywhere else in the world. This is a beach that until last September wouldn't have passed for much in any beach-snob's book.



And since Hurricane Ike hit last September, causing a 8-10 foot storm surge that stole the sand from our beach, Sargent Beach just hasn't been the same. Sand is hard to come by. There are still seashells to pick up, and that nasty dried black seaweed stuff to avoid, and now there's more trash than ever -- but not much sand.



But beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And we love our beach. Even where we can't walk into the water without landing in mud. Even where the trash is piled.


As you look through these pictures, if you look really close, you'll see all that -- more mud than sand in places. Debris and litter. But don't do that -- it's a waste of time. Look for the beauty. The sand that is there. And the shells. And the seagulls. And the two little girls who absolutely love our beach. Warts and all.



Yep, we survived our weekend at the Creek. Pa and Mimi were there to help make sure everyone stayed safe and sound. Kaitlyn is somehow genetically incapable of sitting still. By Saturday morning she had misplaced her sling -- and it stayed missing until we left today.


The girls had a great time tagging along with Pa, helping clean out the "Shed" that Pa and Biggsy are turning into a bunkhouse. I spent most of my time working on that cross-stitch project I've been rushing to get done.

Our true benefit, though, had to do with the care and keeping of Boomer Biggs. He learned quickly that we'd take him outside to pee every time he got a drink. So by last night, he came in, got a drink and then went right back to sit by the door. He's absolutely precious. And the weekend pretty much wore him out.

This is his way of saying, "Don't look at me. Don't talk to me. If I had sand handy, I'd bury my head in it. But since I don't, I'm just going to take a nap right here."

Houston Museum of Natural Sciences

Kaitlyn's injury on Monday kind of threw our Spring Break plans into a tailspin. I was very hesitant to take her to the Houston Stock Show and Rodeo because of all the crowds and dirt and stuff. So on Thursday, we headed down to the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences.

Mimi & Pa had given us a family membership for Christmas -- let me tell you, that is the ideal gift. We can't wait to go back again and again! The girls enjoyed checking out this windmill exhibit -- up close and personal. They're well familiar with the windmills -- these days it's part of those West Texas genes. But this great exhibit brought the windmills down to size and explained how they work.

I forgot to mention Abbie's best friend, Andrew, joined us. Here Abbie & Andrew practice their windmill action while Kaitlyn tries to keep from being hit by the blades!

This giant caterpillar is at the entrance to the Cockrell butterfly exhibit. Since none of the kids had ever been to the Museum, and it had been a looooong time since I'd been there, we did the whole tour!

The butterflies are brought in from Brazil and live in a man-made rainforest built just for them!



We also watched an IMAX about Alaska, saw a wonderful exhibit on Indians and went to the Planetarium. It was a busy day!
One of the Chinese dancers kept messing with the kids. They had a great time!

Sea Center Texas

If you're looking for Free Entertainment, we highly recommend Sea Center Texas. You can make your visit a short one by just visiting the touch tanks and aquariums. Or you can make it a bit longer by adding on a fish hatchery tour. A tour of the birding areas is also a great adventure. Either way, it's all FREE (with the exception of any gift shop goodies your kiddos convince you to buy!)

This program is sponsored by Texas Parks & Wildlife, The Coastal Conservation Association and Dow Chemical. The hatcheries and research conducted by this coalition are largely responsible for the increased Redfish populations all along the Coast.

It's a great visit -- educational and fun. And if you need to add an extra slice of adventure, there's a HUGE Buc-ee's right where you turn off of 288.

To get there, just take 288 south about an hour from Houston. Turn right on Medical (right after that Buc-ee's.) Medical dead-ends at Sea Center Texas. Enjoy!






Wow! That's One Great Wall!


You know that commercial where the little girl sends a stuffed animal on a business trip with her Daddy? Well, "Precious" thought that idea sounded pretty cool!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Confidence Not Shattered, but Definitely Shaken

This latest incident with Kaitlyn has left me nervous, shaky -- lacking solid ground where my parenting skills are concerned.

Do I have feelings of guilt? No. I don't wish I'd kept her from climbing that tree. But I do feel a bit nervous.

A good part of the reason Kait is who she is -- fearless and ready to tackle the world at a moment's notice -- is the fact that we've always let her have her run of that world. Kait was just a baby when we started going out to the Young Family Retreat for weekends in the country. (A baby who on one trip kept us all awake. ALL Night!)

As she grew into toddler-hood, we kept an eye on her. But by three, she had the run of the place. With "Little Mother" Maddie hovering over her, we knew she was well taken care of -- and we allowed her to roam with the big kids.

Much the same at the Creek. Our girls have been urged to run and play and explore every inch of the Creek. Kaitlyn has done just that. Our little "adrenaline junkie," as Kelly so aptly labeled her, absolutely lives life to the fullest.

Kait at 3:

This is the child who starts at the bottom step of the house and runs full-tilt down the sidewalk and onto the pier so that when she jumps in she'll be halfway across the Creek. This is the child who has been turning flips off the pier since she was four and whips them out at swim lessons before anyone else.

This is the Kindergartner who is in a gymnastics class for 1st graders and up -- and is more than keeping up with the class.

I know, in my heart, that the opportunities and freedoms we've given her have allowed her to develop that spirit of adventure.

Kait at 5:
At the same time, I was scared out of my mind on Monday. My first aid skills and training were filed away so far back in my brain they had cobwebs. And what they taught in those long-ago sessions was pretty much surpassed the moment I saw her wound. The first aid kits that I had so carefully supplied for the house and car were painfully inadequate.

And we were 25 minutes from the nearest hospital.
The girls and I spent a good bit of the summer last year at the Creek. Much of that time it was just the three of us. And we did great. But right now, I can't bring myself to go down there without at least one more adult.

My confidence is shaken, and I could so easily become an over-protective Mommy to a point that would be incredibly unhealthy for both of us. The trick is to avoid that, and to keep from clipping Kait's wings. She needs to climb trees -- it's great practice for climbing mountains someday. And from an academic viewpoint, you might even find a correlation to developing her problem-solving skills.

She needs to turn flips off the pier and run crazy through the yard and live life to the fullest.

And I need a seatbelt. Being Kait's Mommy has already turned into a wild ride.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

To the Woman....

Who sent me a very negative email last week. (And who, by the way, will never see this because you don't even know I have a blog)....

I didn't read it.

I hit "delete."

That's right.

And then, I went to the trash can and hit "delete."

I have no idea what you said.

Just that it wasn't smile-generating.

And that you spent an awfully long time composing an email I wasn't even going to read.

And I can't tell you how liberating it was to hit "delete" and not give in to the anger and frustration I would have undoubtedly experienced if I'd read your diatribe.

Wow....

Before the Drama....

This is who we were lovin' on at the Creek. Warning: When he's not sleeping, he's peeing on the carpet.


Monday, March 16, 2009

On Hold.....

Kait's debut as a Firecracker is on hold for a couple of weeks -- along with the trampoline, softball, recess and PE.

This morning she fell out of a tree at the Creek. Most of the time you just worry about your kids breaking an arm or leg if they fall out of a tree. But Kait snagged a branch on her way down, and tore a 3-inch gash in her underarm.

She screamed bloody murder.

I was sitting on the pier -- very close by. I got to her and realized there was blood. Upstairs I put gauze on it, told her to hold tight like a thermometer under her arm and issued orders to everyone. My orders were a bit jumbled -- my brain was in hyper-drive.

A'Lise followed in her car. On the way out of the neighborhood, I called 911. The operator is in Bay City. She connected me to Bay City EMS, who had a first-responder meet me at the ambulance barn in Sargent. Kait was breathing okay, so she sent me on to Lake Jackson. And told me the shortcut to the hospital.

When we got to the emergency room, they pulled the gauze off and Kait went ballistic. Tip: wet the gauze with fresh water before putting it on the injury -- it keeps it from sticking. That being said, I'm convinced her screaming and having several hospital employees come running is the reason why we leapfrogged several waiting patients. That, and the fact that we have "Anywhere, Anytime" insurance. Praise God for Blue Cross / Blue Shield.

They got us back and gave her some Tylenol with Codeine to help settle her down. Biggs got there about then and helped hold her down while they deadened the area. She was in a great deal of pain. But it worked, and they put 17 stitches in her arm.

She's sleeping on the couch tonight, and rumor has it that Mimi is bringing a new Webkinz over tomorrow. We are all praising God that she had no muscle or nerve damage. She was very close to an extremely serious injury. But she's going to be okay.

Friday, March 13, 2009

My Little Firecracker

Kait was evaluated at gymnastics last night and bounced her way up to Firecrackers. What a great moment for Kaitlyn! Her true love of gymnastics and the fact that she practices her skills all the time was acknowledged. It's been a hard thing for Abbie to swallow, so please send warm thoughts her way. She's still in Sparklers. But Coach Lindsay says she's very close to moving up and gave her some specific things to work on.

You CANNOT be Too Careful with Your Kids

Okay. I'm back. At least on some level. Yearbook isn't done, but I need to share this with you.

I have a friend who is a GREAT mom. I'm not telling you her name because, frankly, you don't need to know. And I think you'll understand why.

Tuesday evening, she was at her daughter's volleyball practice. Someone needed a phone number that she didn't have, so she picked up her daughter's phone to get the number out. Her daughter is 13 and the phone was FILLED with text messages back and forth between the daughter (we'll call her D.) and a boy named Billy. A lot of "I Love You" and "I want to be with you" on both parts. My friend had to leave for a bit to take another child somewhere (the life of a Mom). But when she got back, and her daughter got in the car, she asked her about the messages. Who's Billy??

D. said her Mom wouldn't like it. After some pressing, she said Billy was a coach at the gym where she goes for Parent's Night Out. The same gym where my kids go for gymnastics. I'm not going to tell you where. Those who know me know where my girls go. But the gym has been nothing but helpful in this situation. I don't want them to experience any more drama than necessary -- I think they're doing a great job.

But this is where my gut kicked in. I knew exactly who she meant. Billy works with Abbie & Kait. Two weeks ago he was messing with Kait. Throwing her up in the air. Tickling her. She was loving it. At the time I made a comment -- just a little comment about it. In hindsight, I'm just sick.

Coach Billy first met this family when they hosted their son's birthday party at the gym. Billy is the fun coach -- the one everyone requests for birthday parties. Like everyone else, they had requested Billy.

On Saturday, Feb. 28, this family had taken their kids to Parents' Night Out. At that point, Billy had taken D's cell phone (she's 13) and programmed his number in and said, "Call me." He knew she was 13 or under -- that's the limit at PNO.

She and a friend had messed with him texting back and forth. At one point, he asked, "How old are you?"

She said, "13. How old are you?"

"17."

"But at my brother's birthday party you told my Grandma you were 20."

"You remember that? That's funny -- I can pass for 20. No, I'm 17. I'm a junior at Cy-Ranch."

Girls, this guy is slick. He knew just what to do. Because at that very moment, he opened the door to her thinking of him as potential older-boyfriend material rather than way-too-old older guy material.

Things progressed from there. She fell hard. Flattered by the idea of having an older boyfriend, the "I Love you's" started to flow. He did his part. Told her he was sitting in chemistry class. Told her he wanted to be with her. Called her his girlfriend. Told her he was a virgin. Told her he thought she was "the one." Nothing really sexual. That's not how these predators work. If they did that, it would scare the girls off. He was slick and he was smooth and he knew just what to say.

My friend had a very strict talk with her daughter at this point. No 17-year-old boy has any business messing with a 13-year-old girl. It was absolutely inappropriate and would stop immediately.

That night, my friend's husband called Billy's phone. He didn't answer, but he called right back. Imagine his surprise when the anwering voice, quite male, said, "Hello, Bill."

The Dad proceeded to calmly and thoroughly line this guy out. He was told that if he ever came near this girl, texted her, called her, received a call from her, that The Dad would call his parents, his work, and anyone else he could think of. There was to be absolutely no contact from now unto forever.

Wednesday morning, my friend contacted another friend who works off and on at the gym. She had a bad feeling and wanted to know more. She asked how old Billy was and the reply was, "I don't know, but too old for D." Friend #2 proceeded to put Friend #1 in contact with the owner of the gym.

At that point, she discovered that Coach Billy is 20 -- almost 21. And that is when this gained criminal implications. That was when she realized her daughter had been in contact with a predator.

As I said earlier, the gym has been top-notch in dealing with this. They fired him immediately and strongly suggested he seek counseling for this problem. They are in a bit of a shock right now.

In the time that my friend was away from the volleyball practice, her daughter had time to send a text to Billy.

"I saw my Mom reading my phone. I think she knows about you."

"Why did you save my texts?"

"They were important to me. Some of them were very special."

"I can't believe you did that."

"Is that all you have to say?"

"Was she mad?"

"I'm afraid she's not going to let me see you anymore."


"It's my experience that girls listen to their parents. Are you going to?"

Right there, he shifted from Lovey to Angry. And at that point, he was asking if she was going to go behind her parents' back and be with him.

Right here, let me stress that nothing happened beyond texting. There was never any physical contact. But had she gone to the next Parents' Night Out as planned, it wouldn't have been surprising if he had tried something then. He'd definitely covered a lot of ground in 10 days.

They can't file a restraining order because nothing happened. Charges have been filed. But that consists of nothing more than a constable going to interview him. Because nothing happened physically.

All that being said, if you have friends who have kids at our gym, it's time to get nosy with your kids. I've seen this guy at the gym. He's like the Pied Piper with little girls. They all love him. He's very affable. Gets along with all the parents. There is not a doubt in my mind that D. is not the only one. Right now, he has the text numbers for any number of little girls plugged into his phone. He doesn't need that job right now to target children. So even though he has been fired, there could still be girls in danger.

And this guy gets along so well with people that he could easily land himself in another job working with children.

I'm so thankful that God has given me friends whose children are older than mine. Friends who are GOOD parents -- actively involved in their children's lives who are daily showing me how to handle the path ahead. This Mom is one of those parents. She and her daughter talk about this kind of thing all the time. And that shows just how good this guy is at what he does. Even though D. knew of the dangers, she was fooled into falling for this guy. Be in your kids' lives. And I'll have another post about that in a little bit. There's a rant coming on. Just wait.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I Still Haven't Run Away....

But I'm getting closer. We have about 72 hours to get the yearbook finished. I'll write more when I can. But in the meantime, here are some pictures from Abbie's Field Day for you to enjoy!








And one of Kaitlyn reading to her class at school. I was supposed to be parent reader last Friday, but after a day of yearbook / Field Day, I was more than happy to let Kaitlyn take a turn at reading!