Friday, December 9, 2011

da bomb...but not in a good way.

We interrupt this joyous of all seasons for not one, but two bomb threats at my son's high school.
What the fire truck people?!!
The high school was shut down and searched yesterday by Central MA 
and State Police Bomb squads. 
The building was cleared but students were ordered to return to school with just themselves, 
no bags, backpacks, purses...
We thought good thing that was resolved since there is a play tonight.  
My son is behind the scenes tech guy working the lights and soundboard.
I was out for a sick day, trying to get over the typhoid my mother in law left in her 
wake from her visit last weekend.  
I took an afternoon nap, got up to shower and get ready to go to the play 
and my oldest was home.  He was supposed to be at school getting ready for the play.  
No such luck, there was another bomb threat!  
The High School was evacuated. 
They bussed the high schoolers to the Intermediate School where my youngest was.  
Then the Intermediate School was locked down. 
All the kids had to stay in their rooms while bomb sniffing dogs searched their school also.
Should dinner time discussion with your 9 year old include having
his locker and school searched by bomb squads with dogs?

Now I live in a small big city crime here. Just the usual small town stuff.
This is all days after Rachel's Challenge was presented at all of the schools 
in our town and in the wake of another shooting at Virginia Tech. 

Now we await for the rescheduling of the play and have our fingers crossed that whoever this really disturbed kid is, is found and helped before they really hurt someone.
I am convinced more and more that it 
really does take a village.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Get Schooled...Nun Style

One of our Christmas traditions is to go and see a show.
We have done A Christmas Carol and we've done the Nutcracker.
This year we tried something new.
We went to see Sister's Christmas Catechism.
It was a riot!
We took my mother in law and boys and we all had a blast.

Sister dresses audience members up for a manger scene.
The lamb has a toilet bowl cover on it's head.
The house lights stay on and there is a ton of audience interaction. 
I didn't go to Catholic school, but our church had Sister Ruth. 
She ran our CCD program for our church.
She ran a very tight ship and she stood all of 5' and weighed maybe 100lbs wet.
You did not ever cross her! I hadn't thought of her or the 
other nuns who worked at our church in a long time since I moved away from there.
It was fun remembering.

It was a great time and the show gets thumbs up from us.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

If it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck...

This is a Christmas tree...
It is not a holiday tree or a holiday bush or any other ridiculous names
the PC try to come up with.

Would we call a Menorah anything but what it is?
I see many communities who display Menorahs right along with 
Christmas trees.  I don't hear an
outcry to call them Holiday Candles.
Right along Christmas trees and Menorahs I have seen communities display
a Kinara for Kwanzaa.  
Now here is a conundrum for the PC...
if we change a Menorah to Holiday candles, what would we then call or how would 
we distinguish it from the Kinara?

and right there is the crux of the problem and my issue with it all.
How can we take all of these fabulous 'flavors' and dumb them all down to vanilla?
We are all different.  I am not offended by people who do not believe in my
Christmas tree and all it represents to me.  Just as I am not
offended by seeing the beautiful lights on a Menorah or Kinara.
Who does anyone think they are to minimize what these symbols stand
for to the people who believe in them and change their names to silly and ridiculous names.
Bottom line is, it's a duck!

Monday, December 5, 2011

living gifts...

one of my favorite things to do is to visit Overlook Farm in Rutland, Massachusetts.  They are a Heifer International farm.  Every December they have a weekend of living gifts.  I have made this a regular event for my cub scouts.  The boys bring in money from September to December to our den meetings for this cause.  We add it up and I match what they have collected.  I also have great parents who help out as well.  The boys really enjoy looking over the catalogue and deciding which gift would be the best...which could do the most.  This year they had enough money to purchase a hive of bees and a flock of chicks.  I love the idea of the sustainable living gifts and my scouts really seem to be understanding that donating food to a food bank is great, but also great is giving a family the opportunity to have animals that will sustain them long after a can of food is eaten and gone.

Who doesn't love barnyard animals with cute gift bows on them?

How could this chick resist a photo op with cute barnyard chickens?

 Part of what they do is set up small homes in a global village to show
how the people benefiting from the living
gifts live.
We went to Thibet where the gift of a water buffalo will help a family farm.
 While there the kids could make prayer flags.  There was also
an unexpected escape of one of their bison...
He didn't hurt anyone.  He just wanted to be in his pen with his other bison peeps.
We also visited Poland where rabbits
help families raise sustainable protein and fertilize their gardens.

It was a great afternoon with some of my favorite boys.

Everyone has there own thing they believe in and give to.
What about you?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

my grinch...

he is not so much a grinch, oh no he couldn't be.  for many years he would spread Christmas cheer, singing loud for all the world to hear...

however an odd thing has occurred...see if you can spot it...

It wasn't here in 2005...

or in 2006...
he even posed for a picture with his little bro...

Clearly it was not here either in 2007...
but an odd thing happened for the first time this year... you see, the boy standing in the wreath is not an only child.  He is a younger brother...of a 14 year old. No pictures to be taken, he would prefer not to pose, even 'retired' from this years Christmas card photo...

Can you spot it here...

and maybe a littler here...

yes it is the green of my grinch...though he isn't really.
he plays the role and very well at times of the dejected, misunderstood 14 year old, 
though he really is a good sport.
tree cutting, cranberry stringing...even breakfast with Santa.
he did it for his little brother you know.

he is now taller than Santa...I never thought I would see the day.  He is however very much a 14 year old boy and is not above chatting up the Big Man still for the huge and yummy cookies he gives out.  His hair may be grinchy...but for a 14 year old he is anything but(as much as a 14 year old can possibly summon themselves to be)

now you may ask...what happened to his hair?  
What kind of mother would let her son color his hair that way?
a story for another day...