April 25th, 2012
Months of planning resulted in a fantastic 8th grade dance last weekend. Much like Christmas, weddings, and birthday parties the planning is really the most fun. We had several weekends of dress shopping. She was pampered with nails and hair. In the end, it was great (f not exhausting) fun. Here are some of my favorite pictures.
Before the dance
Seeing each other's dresses for the first time.
Nice wall downtown
The day of the dance Rod brings me an article in the paper about people going overboard on prom and dances. Where has he been th10 or so proms? I remember doing assembly line hair and make-up for Joy’s prom. I learned that it is just as time consuming and expensive to get a boy ready for prom as it is a girl. Yes, some people do go overboard. I don’t think we do though. I feel like I work hard and earn what I make. If I want to spend some of it on a dress and heels, so be it. I’ve tried to count the proms and dances we’ve done and lost count. (boys get asked to lots of proms) Boo is our last one and I want it to be special. I won’t rent a billboard or anything. But I will make sure she feels like a princess.
April 9th, 2012
April is officially declared Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month and our county will honor the day on April 11. For many years I’ve worked in this area and this year I’ve done quite a bit of research on how you actually prevent child abuse. *disclaimer-This does not include pedophiles* I’m talking the abuse and neglect cases that are so prevelant in our country today. Breast cancer awareness informed women that they needed mamograms and self checks. Exactly what does awareness serve here? How do we prevent abuse?
From the studies I’ve read, it is early intervention.
- Teenagers need training in child development. Do we want more teen pregnancies? No, just setting the foundation for good parenting. They need to learn the stages of child development, the benefits of good nutrition, and positive parenting techniques.
- Community interventions are key. Parents need to connect to other parents in their same situations. They need churches, organizations, and community projects that involve them and model good parenting.
- Consistent reporting by mandated reporters. Yes, it does take a chunk of the day. I know it seems to be such an involved process. But we must be diligent about reporting and documenting.
- Accept zero tolerance for drug users with babie sor children. In our area it is the drug abuse that causes many parents to lose their children. Children arrive in foster care with levels of meth and other drugs in their systems all too often.
Lately, I’ve become pretty jaded on it all. I see so many parents keep on neglecting over and over. I see people get their babies back from CPS only to go through the cycle again. I hear of babies in crack dens as if it were a McDonalds. People just don’t get it and I guess we can’t force them to at least have a little decency. Maybe my years of seeing it over and over and Joy having the worst cases each day….it is wearing on me.
But. Someone this weekend reminded me that if you save just one child it is all worth it. Of course she is right. Even one is worth all of this.
Wear blue this week. Know your state’s reporting guidelines. Organize a Blue Sunday at your church. Volunteer for something that helps keep kids safe.
We will have a balloon release this coming Saturday. The blue balloons will represent the children who have been abused this year. The white…the deaths. It is chilling to watch.
In our country, four children die each good each day from abuse. Twenty seven children die each day from poverty. Over 13,000 are abused or neglected in the USA each day.
And I’m not sure why.
April 4th, 2012
I had to really look through my pictures to find one that I thought fit this prompt. I looked at wedding, new baby, and birthday pictures. I finally decided on this one.
All the neighborhood kids were outside with sparklers and watermelon on the 4th of July. She was having SO much fun. It is hard to catch her off guard and get a natural shot of her laughing and smiling. This is one.
Check out the other visions of happiness at IHeartFaces.com.
Now off to work, band concerts, and hopefully getting ready for Easter!