My Favorite Child’s Desire

hermioneOn the way home from the pool the other day, this gem of a conversation occurred.

Out of the blue, Paco asked, “How old is Hermione in the first Harry Potter book?”

“I don’t know, maybe nine?  I confessed.

“How old is she now?”

Doo doo.  “Siri, how old is Emma Watson?”  Dee dee.

“Emma Watson is 25.”

“How old is Harry Potter?” Bug inquired.

“I would guess the same age…”

harry“Ask Siri.”

Oh sure, like she knows everything. Doo doo. “How old is Daniel Radcliffe?” Dee dee.

“Daniel Radcliffe is 25,” Siri answered with mocking superiority.

Paco’s turn again. “How about Ron?”

“I don’t know what Ron’s name is. Yeah, yeah… Ask Siri.” Doo doo. “Who is the actor that plays Ron Weasley?” Dee dee.

“OK, I found this on the web.”

Oh! Not so smart now are you, Siri?  You can’t even say his name. You have to make me look at my phone while driving. You call yourself a friend. Ha! Don’t you even care about my safety? Alright, let’s see… Rupert Grint. No wonder I don’t remember his name. Rupert sounds more like Hagrid than Ron.

Doo doo. “How old is Rupert Grint?” Dee dee.ron

“Rupert Grint is 26.”

“Why are they different ages?  In the book they are all the same.

“It’s like mom and I are sometimes the same age and then at different times in the year she’s a bit older.”

No response.

“You know how Mrs. Wilson  and I are the same age?”

“Yes,” they both responded.

“But she’s actually older because she was born first.”


“It’s like that.  Hey, next time you see Mrs. Wilson, make sure to tell her that she looks older than I do.  Feel free to tell her she looks 45.”

“No! I’m telling her you told us to say that,” retorts Paco.

“Why aren’t you on my side? I’m your dad. I thought you were better friends with me than Mrs. Wilson.”

“I’m better friends with her son.”

“I’m better friends with you, daddy. My friends go: you, Mrs. Wilson, her son.” Bug has a way of trying to smooth things out when her brother is at odds with one of the parental units.  Even though we were joking, she knows how to choose sides wisely.

“My friends go: Mrs. Wilson’s son, Billy, Jimmy… ” Bug’s eyes grew wider with each proclamation, incredulous at her brother’s lack of loyalty.

“Wait, wait, wait… You’re picking those guys over me?” I jested. “I guess I know who my favorite kid is now. Bug, what do you want me to get you?  You can have anything.”



tapedispenser“I want 100 rolls of tape and a black tape thingy that has sand in the bottom. And a doll. And a puppy. And a pretend cell phone.

“You should get a real cell phone,” Paco pressed.

“Nope.  I just want a pretend one.”

Oh for the days when 100 rolls of tape and a black tape thingy was all I wanted.


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Don’t disagree with Wolverine



A few days ago, the kids were out grocery shopping with Casey. As most of you are well aware, these trips rarely involve children walking hand-in-hand while harmonizing favorites from the Sound of Music.  Although there were no such sweet melodies on this excursion, the kids were actually behaving. We’ve recently introduced a behavior management system for the summer and it seems to be working. It’s cut down on the whining, misbehaving, and ignoring, but even better, we are seeing some changes in their hearts.  More on that in a different post.

At one point in the store, Paco (a name I’ve called my son since birth – I have no idea why) happened to spot a package of shish kabob skewers. I can assure you he didn’t want them because of his love of exotic cuisine. Eating chicken nuggets and fries from our favorite local Mexican restaurant is about as wild and crazy as that boy gets.

“Can I get those sticks? I want to make a Wolverine outfit!”

“I’m pretty sure we have some at home. You’re welcome to use them when we get back.”

The rest of the trip went fine and as soon as they entered the house, the story was relayed to me. The call of Minecraft was too strong however, and the superhero-craft-project fell by the wayside for the time being. As I began to help Casey put the groceries away, Bug (my daughter’s nickname derived from another nickname: “Ladybug”) scurried into the bathroom and proceeded to hop onto the toilet without closing the door. As this is a common occurrence in our house, I hollered “Don’t worry about the door!” Bug has recently caught on to my sarcastic quips enough to realize what I really meant and hopped off, waddled over to the door, and shut it while muttering, “Sorry.”

I went to check in on Paco to see how his castle in Minecraft was coming along. I rhetorically asked, “In what world is pooping with the door open okay?”

“Minecraft world,” Paco responded.  I stared at him quizzically. “I don’t even know what you are talking about,” he added candidly while mindlessly tiling his castle’s floor.

“I’m talking about pooping with the door open.  In what world is that an okay thing to do?!?!”

“This world,” he responded with a chuckle.

“I disagree.”

“Disagreements with Wolverine lead to disasters,” he said straight-faced.


Looks like I may be in for some trouble as soon as he dons his adamantium claws.

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Black Friday Tradition


Black Friday tradition

Every year (for the past 4 years) we drive out to Covesville to get our Christmas tree. It often takes a while to find the perfect tree but this year, it was waiting for us right near the top of the hill. We found it in 5 minutes!

We really enjoy hunting down our tree and cutting it down as a family. Also, it’s hard to beat the $25 price tag…


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Cyber-Bullying and Social Media

Notes on cyber-bullying and social media – Elizabeth Englander

View article and presentation at:

2000 students in first study

55000 students 8 – 18 – in 2nd study (international)

A little bit of meanness is a good thing when you are growing up. So dealing with a peer who is a little bit mean is actually good. The difficulty is knowing where to draw the line? When does productive becoming damaging?

Text based is going away and picture based is becoming more relevant in the past year or 2.

For parents it’s not about being an expert in every app/site. You just need to teach kids about the issues in all of these apps to deal with the issues they may come across in any app…


Pictures and images – kids don’t believe there are any rules about the kids taking and posting pictures of other people. But they believe there should be rules and social norms about them.

Disinhibition – should you say in real life what you posted online? Emotions become more intense online because you are able to interact with many people quickly and build up the emotions from that interaction (texting 30 friend and getting lots of feedback to fan the flames as opposed to talking on the phone with 1 friend).

Increase in self-focus – because there’s not another person right there looking at you, you get more self focused.

Misinterpretation – someone reads what you wrote in a different way then you meant. Emoticons can actually be helpful to help with misinterpretations.

Digital environments is referring to places that you can’t see or hear someone. So not Skype, etc

The Internet feels deceptively private. When you are in a private space physically, your online time feels a bit more private even if they know it isn’t private. When kids regretted sending or posting something, 83% of the children say they posted from their bedroom.

Children owning smartphones. 46% of 5th graders own smartphones. I believe our numbers are lower thTn that but I’d love to get some data from LS.

Adult predators aren’t the biggest danger online. Peers from the same school are the biggest issue students will run into.

Smartphones aren’t phones. Don’t think of them as phones.

Just because they have “privacy settings” doesn’t mean the site is private.

Kid sexting isn’t ALWAYS a serious problem (meaning it isn’t always accompanied by damage). It isn’t rare nor is it pathological. Sexting usually isn’t prosecuted currently in the USA. Sexting needs to be addressed before high school.

The real issue is kids coerced into sexting. 48% of boys were coerced into sexting while 70% of girls. Pressure or coercion was at least part of the reason for sexting when someone said they were coerced. Sexting in this study refers to sending a naked picture of yourself to someone else.

Choice of friends is so important. Will they be a good influence on you or a negative influence?

Self-cyberbullying- making a 2nd persona to bully themselves and then showing friends/parents that they are being bullied. 15% of students who are bullied say they self-cyberbully (and they do this so that other people worry about them). Only 16% of those self-cyberbullying kids had this method work for them (people believe them and they liked how it made them feel).

Teach students the 24 hour rule. Wait 24 hours before you post/respond when you’re mad.

Vamping – kids stay up talking and chatting when their parents think they are asleep. 75% of kids say they go online or text when their parents think they are asleep. 1-2 hours a night… They need downtime but when their schedule is packed, the only time to do it is sleep time.

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Leg Injury

Just finished my last game of the adult 7v7 season and crushed my right leg. Not really sure what happened but I can’t walk too well right now. I’ll check in with Dr. Van. Monday to see what she thinks about it.

I did score 2 goals and we won 5-3 with only 6 players. A nice finish to a not so great season. In this season I had 2 of my worse losses I can remember. 0-8 and 2-12. Ugh.

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