Saturday, October 03, 2015

Guns and Schools AKA My Short-Lived Re-entry to Blogging

I've been thinking for a while now about how I've missed the outlet of putting my thoughts into writing. In reality though, my life just doesn't make time for it these days. But yesterday, I started to make a comment in response to a link that was posted on Facebook about guns and shootings and all of those other touchy subjects that no sane person would touch. When I realized my comment was becoming a novel, I decided to make it a blog post instead. If nothing else, the raking over the coals this is sure to get me will quench my thirst for a while. So without further ado, here are my thoughts on guns in school. 

First, I will not even pretend that any reactions I have with regards to my children aren't emotional. I'm a mother. That's what we do. Even so, if the conversation pertains to children, an emotional mother should not be discounted.

Shortly after the incident at Sandy Hook, I got a call from our elementary school explaining that the doors to the classrooms would be locked once the last bell rang in an effort to protect our children from possible harm from the outside. I - CRIED. I'm not even sure why I cried. I think part of it was having the awareness that there was something standing between me having access to my children. Part of it was just grief over the necessity of the measures that were being taken. That being said, I'm also grateful that the people caring for my children were and are taking their safety seriously.

In all honesty, I do have an emotional response to the thought of a gun being in the classroom with my child. I have been around a lot of children, and managing a lot of children is often stressful and chaotic. Beyond that, I know quite a few teachers, and not all of them are what I would consider "stable". I would be fearful to see a few of them holding a gun.

That being said, I think I could be okay with allowing certain personnel to carry a gun inside my children’s school… If I felt like this measure was being instituted in a way that treated my concerns regarding it as valid.  If I knew this responsibility was being placed in the hands of TRAINED faculty members with extensive background checks, and that it was voluntary, not mandatory (that being the case, I would be supportive of the school actively pursuing a person willing to meet these requirements as an employee). Honestly, I would prefer any armed personnel to be someone outside the classroom. I feel for it to work the way that advocates propose, the carrier would need to have a gun that is loaded and ready to fire and I am admittedly very fearful when it comes to the thought of having a necessarily loaded gun inside the classroom with my children.  And while we're at it, if your objective is to protect my children, use whatever level gun is needed to achieve that objective.

The problem is, a lot of times when an issue becomes so politically polarized, each side starts to treat those on the other as if their concerns aren't valid. I have a hard time trusting anyone with my children who treats my concerns as a parent as invalid. The truth is that the concept of “Gun Free Zones” would have to be revisited as well as the idea of “Gun Control”. I’m unlikely to be convinced that the thing to do is issue every teacher a gun without any regulation. If we're going to make any kind of steps toward an attempt to make our children and teachers safer, we have to find some common ground. We have a golden opportunity on this one. What “conservative” or “liberal” doesn’t want their children to come home alive?

And while we're here, I’ll go ahead and get really personal. I have been called both a "liberal" and a "conservative".  Both titles have been hurled at me with equal hostility. It really depends on where I stand in relation to the person labeling me. Politically, I am registered as non-partisan. I find labels such as “liberal” and “conservative” unproductive, over-all. Most often, these terms are used to belittle and divide, not to mention the fact they are frequently used incorrectly. At my very core, I am a mother that loves my children. I am a wife that is devoted to my husband. I am a daughter that desires to honor my parents. I am a citizen that desires to make my world a better place and I cast my vote accordingly. Both sides often brush my opinion aside. I often manage to play the “black sheep” no matter the community I’m in. I’m fond of that role. It allows me to fly under the radar while the arguments are being fought. Even when I fail to keep my thoughts to myself (as I desperately desire to do but am incredibly deficient at actually doing), worst case scenario: I’m only mocked.

And at the end of 2016 I know the joke will be on them. When all is said and done and everything has been viciously argued… when the votes are counted, it’s the unimportant political party-less vote that truly gets the voice.

THAT, my friend, is what makes America the beautiful! ;-).



Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Welcoming Ella Grace

I posted the photos that I took of the day that my niece, Ella, was born (April 4, 2012) quite a while back on facebook.  But since I couldn't find it on my timeline.  I thought I would post it here so that I can find it when I need it.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

On Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston......

I think there's a certain solace that comes with knowing that someone went down while still on top. For me, with situations like that of Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson, there is an additional grief that comes with the knowing that the pressures of the industry took a toll on them and they were cut short of fulfilling their dreams (they both looked like they were about to make a major comeback) . I also grieve the fact that their families have to endure some of the horrible things that people have said about them. I am really bothered by the pleasures that it seems that some people take in watching a celebrity fall off the pedestal that they're on, only because they put them there. I think people forget that these are real people that have real people that love them that are grieving their loss. Death is a natural part of life. It stinks but we all know it's going to happen to us all. But, I have to work really hard to not let seeing someone lack humanity when responding to death turn me into a cynic.

And as Jewell put's it... "please be careful with me, I'm sensitive and I'd like to stay that way".  



Monday, March 19, 2012

Happy Cleo Patricks Day!

Cudo's to Pinterest for the rainbow fruit kabob idea!  

And now caught on camera... Emma and Chloe discover a Leprechaun has used their bathroom...
My children are going to spend their adult life in therapy... 




Monday, February 13, 2012

Motorcycle for Baby Milo

So I saw this cute idea on Pinterest and just had to make one for Baby Milo, the newest addition to our church family, weighing in at a whopping 2 lbs and 11 oz.  Isn't it cute!?  There's a super easy to follow tutorial at SweetAprils.  Baby Milo will be in the hospital until his due date mid March, we're keeping our distance since we've all been sick but we can't wait to meet the sweet little guy!  



Saturday, February 11, 2012

What Kind of Shopper are You?

So I made a post yesterday of a photo shoot I did of Emma way back in December.  In that post, I said that I had been consumed with school work, none of which anyone would find interesting blog material.  But, then I got to thinking...  Maybe I'm wrong... A lot of people like to shop and all of us have to (which is the case for myself).  So, perhaps you would be interesting in knowing what kind of shopper you are.

I had to do what is called the VALS survey for one of my marketing classes.  It uses a series of questions to group people into target markets based on personality predisposition for innovation and the resources that are available them.  Once you take the survey, you can click on "VALS types" and see a description of each type.

I found my results to be, as with any other personality test I've taken, to be quite bizarre but probably accurate.  Which would explain why even I can't figure me out.  Anyway, to avoid skewing the results for anyone else that might like to take it, I will give anyone that might possibly see this a chance to take it and report my results at a later point and time.  I'd love to hear your results and whether you thought they were accurate.



Friday, February 10, 2012

Guitar Photo Shoot

Taken December 6th 2011

Back in September, I started working on a marketing degree.  While I do still write quite frequently,  Consumer Behavior is hardly blogging material and coming here to write for leisure after I've spent my week doing case studies and writing research papers seems equivalent to working out after track practice during my college track days.  There just isn't much of a desire to run five miles because the coach told you to and then leave track practice and go work out for fun.   

I've still managed to capture a lot of daily life by camera.  But all the pictures that I've taken since November are hanging out and twiddling their thumbs in my Photoshop Organizer.  Hopefully I will get a chance to catch up on those some time in the near future.  

For now, I am posting the only pictures I've managed to edit since I started school.  Emma started taking guitar lessons in September and she really seems to have a natural talent for it (from her daddy no doubt).   So, we played around, pretending to be doing a photo shoot for her album cover.  I did manage to get Chloe in a couple but for the most part, she was more interested in playing than taking pictures.  Emma's guitar shoot also ending up lending itself to a personally suited Valentine's Day card which was great since I had vowed not to do anything with any new pictures until I post my Christmas pictures.  

Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's a Conspiracy!

Wow, it's been so long since I've been over here.  For record keeping sake, I wanted to get over here and make a short note of our three day Christmas tradition.  Watch the video below to see how it all got started.

To read more about our rethinking of how we approach Christmas, see our first Christmas of Presence in 2008.

I will be back soon with pictures of our activities.

If you're a friend on facebook, you can view our digital Christmas Card there.  There are pictures of other children on there that I don't have permission to share publicly.



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Little Pink Lady

Emma in her get up for 50's Day for Red Ribbon Week at school.  I think I have more fun putting these costumes together than she does wearing them.  Cutos to the costume store downtown for the "Pink Ladies" jacket and scarves.   Kids costumes on sale for $2.00 Score!  The rest came from around the house and the pants, they're Chloe's.. 

Monday, October 03, 2011

Happy Birthday/First Day of School

Surprise a blog post!  One that is over a month late but do you know what that means?  It means that shortly after these events took place, I started back to school myself.. My only goal with the blog these days is to record the major events that will go in "The Ellis Family Yearbook".  And, if I come across a fun idea and find the time to get over here to share it, then yay!  Truly though there are many blogging momma's out there that I'm counting on to keep me up on the kiddy things while I'm a student too and I assure you, they can handle it much better than I can until I figure out a way to install more hours in a day.   But, more on that later..  This post is for my baby so I'll make this about her.. 

My Chloe Anne turned 4 on August the 30th.  And since we decided to go ahead and keep her back in school because of her late birthday,  that meant that she started 3 year old preschool on her 4th Birthday which for our little social butterfly meant that she got her cake and ate it too!  

So we filled her room with balloons for her to wake to and stuck a candle in some heart shaped cinnamon rolls and then got ready for the first day of preschool...  

The backpack that Chloe used last year was just the perfect size and Aunt Jan had personalized it so we weren't ready to retire it.  I jazzed it up a bit by adding a pair of wings and my dollar store addition made the records in Chloe's book.  It also turns out that taking cupcakes the first day of preschool isn't a bad way to introduce yourself and just as suspected Chloe loves preschool, her teachers and loves "keeping the boys in line" (as her teachers say) even more.  

Chloe's birthday falling right at the beginning of the school year makes having a birthday party with school friends difficult.  So while I had the help of Nonna and Aunt Denise for a weekend visit, we had a birthday party with just church friends and gave the water slide a run for it's money to finish the summer off.  We have hopes for a tea party play date with the girls from her class once we get the chance to get to know everyone.  

Thank you to everyone that helped make Chloe's birthday special.  I don't think a smile has left her face since!