Thursday, December 08, 2016

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Way too young

I took Gianna to Dunkin Donuts yesterday after school.  When we walked in we saw some of her classmates there...two girls and two boys...on a double date. Gianna said the girls were with their boyfriends...so yes...I'd call that a double date. Seriously? They're in 6th grade and just 11 years old!!! I was surprised at how sad...and angry...it made me. What is wrong with these parents?  I just don't understand all this "dating" in elementary and middle school.

How about we let our kids just be kids for a little while longer?  Let them concentrate on their school work...and after school activities...and figure out who their friends are first...and more importantly...who they are first before getting all tangled up with the opposite sex?  Then they won't have to worry about the drama of who likes who...or the devastation of when that boy or girl breaks up with them for someone else...and then that girl or boy wonders "what is wrong with me?"...and then they see their ex all over instagram or snap chat with a new boyfriend or girlfriend...who is probably one of their friends. See what I mean? Why do these kids have to learn about all that and deal with those adult emotions at such a young and vulnerable age?

I've been wondering lately what makes these kids so "popular"?  Is it because they are pretty, super nice, easy going, friendly? Then I had this "Aha" moment yesterday after witnessing the kiddie double date. It dawned on me that all the "popular" kids my girls talk about are the girls who are most comfortable and outgoing with the opposite sex. They're the ones who have "boyfriends" and hang out with the boys after school and on the weekends. Then I thought back to my years in elementary, middle school and high school and can see the exact same pattern with those "popular" girls.

I have a theory as to why this is happening. I think it's the parents wanting their kids to be "popular" and so they encourage it...or turn a blind eye to it...saying "oh it's harmless...they're not really going anywhere or doing anything". I beg to differ. The kids become a lot more comfortable with the opposite sex at such a young age and so where do they go from there?  When we were kids we may have called each other on the phone (connected to the wall by a cord) or passed notes at school. But now there is instant and more personal communication like facetime, snapchat, texting and instagram messaging. It just helps bring that relationship along a heck of a lot quicker these days.  And it's so much harder for the parents to supervise their kids when the messages and pictures disappear in seconds or can be deleted.

I've told my kids not to even ask if they can "date" until they're 16...which I still think is too young. That is fast approaching for my boy and quite honestly I don't think he's mature enough to handle any of it...but hopefully he'll put it off a bit longer.

I just want my kids to be kids. Period.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

It's December 1st

And how do we know that around here? Because our traditional advent chocolate calendars started today...


and Luke came back right on schedule...


and it's day one for our Christmas tree advent calendar...


and the house is all decorated...


except for our Christmas tree which we are getting on Friday night. I love this season. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Podcasts

So lately I've been entertaining myself by listening to some true crime podcasts. There are a lot of really good podcasts and many that cover missing person cases which has always intrigued me.  Here is a list of my favorite podcasts.

1. Serial - This was the very first podcast I ever listened to.  I remember saying "what the heck is a podcast"?  But I went ahead and started listening about the murder of Hae Min Lee and the conviction of her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed. There are ten episodes each about 30-60 minutes long. Let me tell you...it just sucked me in.  I have found it so interesting that I have listened to this podcast over and over again. I think I just want to figure out what really happened. I always try to see the best in people and I really want to believe Adnan is innocent, but even after listening to it a bazillion times...I still don't know what to think.



2. Missing Maura Murray - I've been following this missing person case for years now. Maura was from Massachusetts so it was close to home. She disappeared the evening of February 9, 2004, after crashing her car on a rural road in Haverhill, NH. She was 21 years old and a nursing student at UMass Amherst at the time of her disappearance. I first heard about her case from the TV show "Disappeared".  It was a great episode that really left me wanting to know more. This podcast started out a little rough and a little disorganized in my opinion. I also felt the two male hosts, Tim and Lance, were a bit rough on Maura's father which I don't think he deserved at all.  He has lost his daughter and is heartbroken. He will look for her until the day he dies. As a mom, that I know for sure. However, they have lightened up on him quite a bit and have really covered this case in great detail. There are 33 episodes to date. They have all kinds of theories as to what may have happened to her and sometimes it just seems so convoluted and confusing. Want my theory on what happened to Maura? I think she simply wondered off into the thick New Hampshire woods as a very distraught, confused and perhaps a little tipsy young woman, trying to "hide" from the police. She got disoriented and succumbed to the elements. Some would say then why no footprints going into the woods in that area?  Because Maura was a track star and was really in great shape. I think she took off thinking the police were on the way. She could have run for quite sometime and then veered off anywhere into the woods to rest or hide.  I truly hope this mystery will be solved someday.


3. Someone Knows Something - I found out about this podcast after the first season was already completed. That meant I didn't have to wait a full week between episodes and was able to listen to all 11 shows over the course of a few days. The podcast is hosted by David Ridgen who is an award-winning independent Canadian filmmaker from Ontario Canada. Ridgen is a masterful storyteller. The first season is about the 1972 disappearance of Adrien McNaughton. Adrien was a five-year-old boy who vanished during a family fishing trip in Eastern Ontario. Ridgen is from the same hometown as the The McNaughton family.  He moved there with his family shortly after Adrien’s disappearance so I think that gives him a unique perspective on the case. He wasn't able to solve the case for certain, but he does enough to come up with the most plausible scenario as to what may have happened to Adrien. Ridgen just started his second season this past week about the disappearance of Sheryl Sheppard. Sheryl was a thirty-year-old woman who went missing in January of 1998 also from Ontario Canada. I've listened to the first episode and I'm already intrigued.



4. True Crime Garage - Each week the hosts of the show, Nic and The Captain, get into their garage and talk about true crime and drink beer. Simple as that. They have covered many popular true crime cases like OJ Simpson, The West Memphis Three, Johnny Gosch and Emma Fillipoff and then others that I've never heard of. I love how they often have such differences in opinion. They tell all aspects of every case and sometimes they agree to disagree about their thoughts and theories. They also add a touch of humor each week which is always fun. The cases can be heavy but they know how to keep it on the lighter side which is good for me. They have 62 episodes to date so there are lots and lots of good cases to listen to!


5. The Vanished Podcast - I will admit her first few podcasts were a little rough. This is also a true crime podcast that explores the stories of those who have gone missing. It's hosted by Marissa Jones who, especially in the beginning, was very monotone and sounded like she was reading straight from a script. But I have to say she has really won me over with her sincere compassion for the victims and their families. I can tell how passionate she is about getting these stories out there. Most often she covers cases that are not highly publicized. There are 54 episodes available to date. Her most recent case is about two boys, Enrique Rios and Elijah Moore, who just vanished this fall only a few weeks apart. They were friends and both attended the same construction training program through their California high school. Their story has barely been covered because the police consider them to be runaways which their families insist they are not. After listening to their mothers interviews, I too believe they are not runaways.  Hopefully with Marissa's help, their stories will reach the right people and help these families find out what happened to their boys.



6. Thin Air Podcast - This is another true-crime podcast dedicated to investigating missing persons cases. This is a newer podcast with only 12 episodes to date, but so far in my opinion, all have been very interesting and well told. The first case they covered was the disappearance of Charlie Allen Jr. also from Massachusetts. He was 22-years-old at the time of his disappearance and a student at UMass Dartmouth. This was a case I first learned about on "Disappeared". His case is very strange and kind of similar to the Maura Murray case.



So take a listen and see what you think.  And if missing persons or true crime isn't your thing, there are lots and lots of other types of podcasts to enjoy.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Midget Hockey Banquet

Last night was Nicholas' midget hockey banquet.  It was a short season because these boys are now moving on to high school hockey soon.  They really had a great season.  It was a big team though with three goalies so Nicholas didn't get to play as much as he normally would.  The coach spoke a little bit about each player which I thought was very nice. The coaches had a lot of nice things to say about my boy especially that he was easy to coach...and I think that's a huge compliment.



The three goalies...


The whole team...



My young artist

Julia was asked to draw something challenging for her art class in school and this is what she chose to draw...


and look how it turned out!!


Pretty amazing. And if you look very closely at the face she drew...you can almost see her smiling. : )