Friday, August 20, 2010


So, I went and got most of my books and uniforms yesterday. I still have a few books left to get that the bookstore was out of, and a stethoscope, white shoes, lab coat, watch, and a few other little things. I can't believe I'll be starting Nursing school in 10 days!!!

Ryan will be home next weekend for 2 weeks. I wish he could have come before I started school, but I needed his help for those first 2 weeks. Caleb is in Pre-K and can't ride the bus until he is 4, which will happen on September 14. I was having a hard time figuring out how to do transportation for those 2 weeks, but we decided Ryan would come home and take care of that. I miss my hubby so much!! It's going to be hard concentrating at school knowing he's at home, but maybe the excitement of starting the nursing program will motivate me to stay focused and prioritize those two weeks.

Now, to start reading on all those books....

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Obsessed over a news story?

Ok, so the last few days I have been obsessed with a news story. I don't know why, other than it just seemed to really interest me after reading comments associated with the story. I'm hoping maybe getting all my thoughts out will free my mind for something else!

It's a story about a Lexington, NC teen, Shelby (17) who died during surgery. She had been struck in the liver by a concrete paving stone that had been thrown by Michael (21) towards the car she was a passenger in. According to news reports, they had both been at a party where alcohol and drugs were consumed. Friends say Michael had gotten mad when Shelby, who had previously dated his cousin, showed up at the party with her new boyfriend. Friends and teachers describe Shelby as the sweetest person, always smiling, full of life.

Okay, after reading that, it should be cut and dry, right? He threw the "brick" which killed her and now he should be put in jail for the rest of his life. But, then I read the comments which is linked to the Topix website...all 400 of them so far. Comments are from people who knew Michael and/or Shelby and from just random people. It became very interesting to see all the different perspectives that I just want to see the real facts of this case. Here is a summary of the "facts" from the comments-not necessarily true:
*Friends of Michael claim he wouldn't hurt a fly, but he became hot-headed when he was drunk. * Some claim that he had a drinking problem.
*He wasn't aiming the brick at Shelby, but at someone else.
* He may not have known at the time that he even hurt Shelby.
*The party was thrown by a teenager that just graduated this spring and included those students and this coming years graduates (which included Shelby).
*Michael and his friends crashed the party.
*The car Shelby was in was moving.
*The car Shelby was in was parked.
*The brick was thrown around 3 am but Shelby didn't go to the hospital until 6 am (and died around 12 pm that day).
*The other passengers in the car she was in were three guys.
*Those said guys were known for drug use.
*These parties are held often and sponsored by parents who buy and allow the alcohol.
*Not everyone at the parties drinks; they go to hang out with friends and have fun.

And then, you have all the comments of people bickering over the facts and placing blame:
*Why was a 17 year old still out at 6 am? (this is the most common question).
*Her parents are to blame for letting her be out.
*The parents who hold the parties are to blame.
*The people in the car should have taken her to the hospital earlier but they were afraid of getting in trouble.
*Lots of comments over whether what happened is an accident, tragedy, or murder.

If someone comes on trying to place a neutral statement expressing condolences to the family for the "accident", they basically get flamed and branded a moron because what happened was not an accident--he intentionally picked up and through the brick. Then the definition of "accident" is stated and more arguing over that. Basically, people have their opinion and that is the right one, and anyone who has a different opinion is an ill-bred moron. Oh, and I should mention the bickering going on over spelling and whether you "chunk" or "chuck" the brick, and whether animals have souls or not. Yeah, I know, what does that have to do with anything?

I haven't posted my comments because I know my words would be all twisted and I would be involved in the ridiculousness of that thread. So, I'll post mine here:

My purpose in this discussion is to present the possibilities of this situation that will hopefully keep the reader open-minded and to realize this is not a cut and dry let's send him to prison case.

For those who have branded him a murderer, consider this: If a car going under the speed limit on a curvy rural road comes around a sharp curve and hits a child who ran after a ball into the road, would you consider the driver a murderer? He/she intentionally got in the car, drove it, and their actions killed the child...that is your chain of rational thinking, right?

For my conscious, I can't label him a murderer unless he intentionally aimed the brick at Shelby with the intention of killing her. It's possible that he was aiming at the car to cause damage and didn't realize anyone was in it, or maybe he did but was aiming for the hood to scare them. Maybe he was trying to protect Shelby and stop her from going with these guys. There are many reasons for his decision to throw that brick and until we find out why, we can't pass judgement.

Circumstances surrounding that night really don't matter. You can argue the morality of the parents "letting" teens stay out all night to party all you want, but that has nothing to do with this situation. This same situation could have easily happened at 9 pm, an acceptable time for a 17 year old to be at a same-age party. As for a 21 year old being at a party with teens, that's really not a questionable action. This party included teens from 17 to 19 years old on average. Michael's cousin is a member of this age group, and since it sounds like they were close, maybe they attended the party together. More than likely the older teen girls had boyfriends who were a year or two older than them, so it's possible Michael wasn't the only 21 year old at the party.

As for the friends who didn't take Shelby to the hospital right away, maybe Shelby didn't realize how bad she was hurt. Getting hit in the stomach with a brick is sure to hurt, but since there is no evidence of external bleeding, it's harder to ascertain that an internal organ is damaged. We don't know if they drove around for a few hours or went to another friends house or what happened during that time. Maybe she went to a friends house to lay down and woke up in excruciating pain. Maybe they were trying to weigh the decision to go to the hospital based on their current alcohol or drug consumption. We don't know. Also, she died during surgery. It's possible that even if they took her right away, she could have died during surgery even if it was performed earlier. There are always risks concerning surgery.

As for blaming the parents, the only parents that should feel responsible for the situation is any that contributed alcohol and drugs to minors. I'm not including those who had said alcohol or drugs taken from their home, but those who intentionally provided alcohol and drugs to these young people knowing they would be consumed by them. Parenting children of any age is not easy, but especially those who are old enough to drive or can find transportation. It's easy to say to take everything away from them, but teens are known for stubbornness and defiance when they feel imprisoned. If they don't find a way to be with their friends, then they become depressed and suicidal. It is a fine line to find the area between these two, and those that have found it are very blessed to have great role models. But most parents struggle to find a balance to keeping healthy, happy teens.

*Oh, and I have to input my opinion here. If rules are made to keep your teen safe, and you decide when they break the rules to lock them out of the house, how is that keeping them safe? So many teens get hurt or killed after being kicked out the house than when given some freedom and the opportunity to make their own decisions while under the supervision of a responsible adult. That doesn't mean to keep bailing them out if they get into real trouble. But kicking them out because they're constantly late for curfew sounds like a control issue. The purpose of a curfew is so you know that you're teen is safe and aren't worrying half the night wondering if something happened to them, not to make sure they are following your orders. How many times have you been late to events, meetings, appointments, etc. because things just happen? First make sure you know where they are going. I know, teens lie and you never know exactly where they are actually going. If you have a teen who frequently goes out, and since the majority of teens have cell phones, invest in the insurance of sanity and safety by subscribing to the GPS tracker on their cell phone. I think it's about $5-10 a month. Hopefully, you'll never need it, but like life insurance, it's great to have when you might need it. Give them a curfew and tell them you'll start worrying if they aren't home at that time and after 20 or 30 minutes you'll go looking for them. Reward them when they consistently come in by that curfew time(maybe pay for a tank of gas or a gift certificate or even a later curfew). Punish them when they are consistently late (more than a few minutes) without a good excuse. Embarass them when you do have to go look for them by gushing over their safety and hugging them and taking them home in your car (in front of their friends), and then punish them for having "worried" you for being late for curfew. Maybe enlist the help of a cop friend to be with you when you show up to "find" them. I guarantee that will only take once or twice before they make sure to come home on time! Okay, back to the original discussion.... *

Right now, we have heard nothing from Michael because the judge has placed a restriction of communication on him--he's not allowed to talk to anyone about what happened and can't pass any messages to Shelby's family. So, we don't know what was/is going through his mind. Before placing judgement on any parties, all the facts need to be presented before an unbiased jury.

What should be concentrated on is the fact that one young person is dead, one in jail, and lots of friends and families negatively affected and mourning the loss of these two young lives. The bashing of people and lifestyles, and the bickering between facts, gossip, and definitions is utterly repulsive and shows the selfishness, cold-heartedness, and lack of empathy our society has come to. I would send my condolences to the family and friends of these young people, but then that would mean I think they would read it, and I hope they never, never have to suffer from reading the heartbreaking, callous opinions included in these comments.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Just Another Day

Ugh! I can't get motivated to do anything productive lately. I have so many things that need to get done, but no desire to do them. When Ryan's home, I feel like I can do everything, but when he's not, nothing. He's the only one I even talk with on the those who think I'm just avoiding them, it's really not you, it's me. I really wish there was an easy button for all this, but there's not. Maybe I'll take the kids school shopping today....not really looking forward to it, but it's got to get done.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Let's try again

Wow! It's been almost a year since I've last written. So much has happened, but not enough time to write it all down. So I'll do a short rundown:

Me: I've been attending school full-time and have finished all my prerequisites for nursing school, which I will be starting on August 30th! Yay! I've been in the process of getting immunizations since I don't have a record from when I was younger. That's okay, I'd rather be safe and be double immunized! Tomorrow I head in for my 2nd TB test. And next week I'll take the Basic Life Support class for healthcare providers. Then I'll need to start collecting the tons of books and other supplies!

Kids: They are all starting school on Aug 5. I'll have 4 kids in 3 different schools! Ashley will be starting 9th grade (high school); Jacob will start 6th grade (middle school), Megan will be in Kindergarten, and Caleb will start PreK! I think they all have mixed feelings about school....ready to see friends, but not ready to be there all day.

Ryan: Is still in New York. At this time, it doesn't seem he'll ever get to live with us! Fort Campbell has absolutely no openings...they are actually overstrength at 120%. The best thing for us to do at this point is to have him stay where he is, mainly financially because New York's housing allowance is almost twice what it is here so we're able to manage two households. Neither one of us likes this situation, but there's not much for us to do!

Animals: Let's see, we have about 2 dozen chickens, 2 guineas, 1 duck, 1 rabbit (sadly, we've lost 3 to the extreme heat this summer), 3 kitties, 2 dogs, and 1 neighbor dog who likes to protect our house.

No garden this year; just wasn't enough time with my classes and everything else. However, we do have a couple of squash plants that grew on their next to the sandbox, and one next to the rabbit hutch. Funny, if I tried to grow them, they wouldn't have grown!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I'm here!!

Wow! This summer has been so busy. I've been taking summer classes online with Austin Peay. Silly me decided to go ahead and do 4 classes!! It's been a lot of reading!!! But at least I'll have 12 credits out of the way. Classes end this week and then I'll get a 2 week break before the fall semester starts. I'll still be taking 4 classes online, but it will be for 15 weeks rather than cramming everything into 5 weeks, and I'll go once a week to the school for biology lab.

The kids have started school. Ashley is in 8th, Jacob in 5th, and Megan is starting PreK. Megan will start going everyday next week, starting the 18th. She has gone for one day and will go again tomorrow, but is excited to go! Her meds seem to be working great for her ADHD! Caleb is in the process of potty training. We are doing "forced" potty training because I've decided I no longer will buy pull ups. He's actually doing very well. Still has a couple of accidents each day, but doing much better than when we had pull ups.

Daisy just had puppies on Saturday! They are so adorable! She didn't give us much warning that she was about to have them. She ended up having 5 in 1 hour! Then it was about 2 1/2 hours before she gave birth to the last one that didn't make it... :( But she is a good mommy. She had 4 girls and 1 boy....4 black and 1 black and white (the boy is black).

The garden didn't make out too well. We've had several storms with high winds that killed several of the plants. The tomatoes are producing, but they keep splitting before they get ripe...don't know why. The only things that has done very well is the okra and the cilantro. Carrots are still growing, so maybe they will be good too. Oh, and the marigolds are doing wonderful!! I know what to plant all over for color next year!!

Okay, I'd better go get some housework and reading done!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Has it been almost a month already!?!

Wow, time goes by quickly when you're busy! Warning now--this will be a long post! Ryan just a left a few days ago to go back to NY after having visited for a few weeks. This time, Jacob went with him. I think it will be great for both of them, but especially Jacob. He is at an age where he really needs his dad. He's usually stuck with girls and little people. He'll be up there for about 6 weeks.

Okay, where to 'bout Ryan's running tractor! He did get it started this time and has just had fun riding around on it and put her to work pulling branches and trees, and the trailer to give the kids a ride. Of course, Megan and Caleb got to have a ride right beside daddy!

And the garden is growing! I already got a huge zuchini (which, of course, I forgot to take a picture of). It was about 10" long and at the widest part about 7" around. I sliced it and grilled it with some chicken...yummy!!




Watermelon...a total of at least 6 growing!






Corn and Sunflowers


And, I've noticed that Dragonflies gather to fly above the garden at dusk...I wonder why?

The chickens are doing great! We have had a couple of of the older chicks--we think one of the stray dogs that's been hanging around dug underneath and got to it; and 2 of the little chicks. They are all out on pasture now. We believe the older chickens are all pullets and are Barred Rock, Buff Orpington, and Red Star. The little chicks are Rhode Island Reds and Speckled Sussex. We know one of the RIR is a rooster, but we're having a hard time with the SS. At first glance all 3 look like roosters, but researching the breed, it seems even the hens have big combs, and some waddles. So, I guess we're still waiting to see.

We may be expecting puppies sometime soon! Not intentionally!! Our little Pek-a-poo went into heat earlier this month and attracted a little boyfriend! He seems to be homeless, but well-mannered and sweet-tempered, so we decided to add him to the family. So, now we have Sadie, Daisy, and Charlie. I've been researching doggy pregnancy, and it seems puppies are born in about 8-9 weeks, so we'd be looking at the first week in August if we are expecting. BTW, if you think you know what breed Charlie might be, let me know. We think he has a little chihuahua in him, but we can't figure out what else.

And last, a picture of our littlest after having taken a bath after a long day of playing outside...he looks like a little sleeping angel!

Have a Wonderful and Blessed Day!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Same ole stuff

I know I haven't updated in a week, but it's just been busy around here with the kids, the grass, and the garden. We had our yard sale and it turned out okay, but I'm going to try again this weekend. It's been raining off and on. Actually, I hear thunder right now. I'm getting ready for VBS that's at our church June 1st-3rd. I do the music for the beginning and ending, and I'm making little cards for guests to write on to include in the crisis care kits our church is collecting.

This has been a hard week for me emotionally, so if you pray, please include me, and Ryan in your prayers. This separation is just taking it's toll on us.

Since, I don't have anything interesting for today, I'll include a few pics of the chickens and our girls.