Friday, February 23, 2018

We all want the same thing: for our kids to be safe

How do we keep our kids safe when "see something, say something" does not work? When school is a potential target for evil acts? I wish I knew the answers. My heart is still broken after so much school violence in the US, most recently at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in south Florida, just 45 minutes from where my niece and nephew attend school. 

"She must've texted me three times. Please call the police. Please call the police. Tell them somebody's hurt on my building in my floor." -Parent, Lissette Rozenblat who received these texts from her daughter that afternoon.

People on either end of political extremes will tell you the answer is simple. However, those of us who use critical thinking skills and reasoning know that it is not that simple.

Arm teachers with guns? 

I can tell you, I do not know one single teacher who wants to carry a gun. Teachers are trained to teach and support kids, not act as armed protective services. I do not think any of us, except our heroes who have served in war, could ever know exactly how we would react in a deadly situation facing an assault rifle. And sadly, MSDHS had an armed officer. He sat outside the building while students and teachers died by bullets. He was trained! However, when it came down to do-or-die, he did... nothing. He was not able to make a difference. How do you defend against an assault rifle, anyway?!

"As parents, we shouldn’t have to worry when we drop our kids off at school that it could be the last time we see them. But we do." -Kim, Duluth Moms Blog 

Beef up school security? 

It is a sad fact that kids need as much security as possible at schools. Security measures will take time to implement, and a lot of money. School districts do not have those funds. Most counties do not have those funds. I do not know where the money would come from. We need it. But on the flip side, you have to ask yourself... is someone who is hell bent on killing going to pause when the metal detector beeps? Or obey any other security measures? They can enter a building in some way, somehow, if they have the fire power.

"See something, say something" should have worked. There were so many warnings... and saying something to the police and FBI (more than once) completely failed. Having an armed officer on campus should have helped. All of the drills and practices and safety speeches should have helped. A "background check" prior to assault rifle purchase should have stopped evil. These things did not  keep teenagers and teachers safe. Now our country grieves. Again.  

What are we to do? I want to see it become extremely difficult to obtain an assault weapon. Really, really, really difficult. With a long waiting period, mental health evaluation, school records check, employment record check, and personal reference checks. Somehow, we need to review current ownership as well. I have to give my personal information to purchase Sudafed for a stuffy nose and I am prohibited from buying too much at one time. So please explain to me how someone, like the Las Vegas shooter, is allowed to own multiple weapons designed for human death? It makes no sense.

I am sad and I am angry. We all need this insanity and evil to stop.

I love my children.
I love yours too.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Upcoming travel? These vacation rentals look awesome!

A mega-luxury huge vacation rental is probably not in the budget for your family travel, but this USA Today slide show will get you dreaming! In the article, 50 awesome vacation rentals: A great place to stay in every state, the website shows one amazing rental from each state. They were picked by vacation rental company HomeAway. If you feel like a vacation to remember, recruit a bunch of family friends and split the splurge!

I picked out a few additional options that would sleep up to 12 in some popular southeastern destinations. What do you think?

Orlando, FL
Within 7 miles of the Disney World Resort theme parks! This is an eight-bedroom Orlando home with a private pool that sleeps 16. It is beautifully furnished throughout and includes a Frozen-themed bedroom and an awesome Harry Potter bedroom if you are headed to Universal.  Foosball Table, Air Hockey Table, and Table Tennis table all in the home! I do love the Disney World Resort and Universal hotels, but having an entire house with friends would be so much fun and spacious!

Gulf Shores, AL
This stunning penthouse view on the beach has floor-to-ceiling windows and four bedrooms with four bathrooms. One room has twin beds and another is colorful with fish motif and bunk beds. Indoor and outdoor pool available at the property.

Charleston, SC
Charleston offers so much to see and so, and we love visiting there. This Charleston rental property looks awesome! It is located on the second floor of a stately building in the heart of historic downtown.  It is directly across Meeting Street from the iconic Mills House and has five bedrooms and a private entrance. Second floor.

Where are you traveling for spring break or summer vacation? We are ready for sunshine and family fun. Winter is long!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Can't play outside? Netflix kids has some great new shows

I love Netflix in the winter, especially when the Netflix kid section has fantastic new shows. We are luckily to be in the Atlanta, Georgia area where winter is not too bad, but it is still gray and often rainy. The weather makes us tired and blah, so I admit, my kiddos watch more TV than usual. Especially the younger one, who is only in preschool four hours per day (and I work from home at least six hours each day).

In a dreamland where she can make anything possible, Luna Petunia is back in this follow-up to the Canadian-American series. It is great for ages 3-6.

Dreamwork's Dragons returns for a sixth season of high flying and great adventure. It will have 13 episodes and it is recommended for ages 5-10.

Also for the 5-10 year old age group, Atomic Puppet will launch on February 22nd, 2018. This was a show on Disney XD a couple years ago, and soon the kids can stream the excitement of a 6th grader teaming up with a former superhero who’s been transformed into a sock puppet. Yes... really! Thanks to Netflix kids.

These new Netflix kids programs join some already-beloved titles like Beat Bugs and Trollhunters, (both of these first aired in 2016). And as a kid of the 1980s, I love that they brought back and modernized a lot of our favorites like Inspector Gadget and Danger Mouse! I challenge you to not get those two theme songs stuck in your head.

What are you watching when the weather keeps you in?

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