Archive for December, 2011

Should a school reveal to parents if their child is gay? Other stuff?

School officials in Utah have told the parents of a student that their child is gay in the hopes of preventing bullying.

Here is the story from AP:

“LEHI, Utah — School officials say they were being proactive against bullying in deciding to tell the parents of a Utah student that he is gay.

The move came after a 14-year-old student created an advertisement about himself and his sexual orientation during a class project.

Alpine School District officials said an aide overheard other students making negative comments about the boy, who had told administrators he was gay but wasn’t ready to tell his parents.

District spokeswoman Rhonda Bromley said Tuesday the boy reluctantly agreed to allow his sexual orientation to be revealed to his parents but chose not to be present when they were told.

Bromley says the parents are supportive but concerned about misconceptions involving the boy’s treatment at school. His parents removed him from school until the controversy …

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What to do with holiday snoopers?

I am pretty sure that I have a holiday snooper in the house. I put a bag of books in Michael’s top chest drawer thinking the kids never go up there. I also put a small necklace box in a Macy’s bag in the same hiding place. (I have stuff hidden all over the house because there are no basements here! Boy do I miss basements!)

The next time I went in that drawer the books were out of the bag and spread out and the jewelry box was also out of its bag.

The three possible snooping candidates all denied being in there. I asked Michael if he did that and he said he wasn’t sure but he didn’t think so. Since he wasn’t 100 percent certain that he didn’t do it, I didn’t prosecute the snooper. I did move the items.

They’ve never really been snoopers. Last year I just had stuff shoved in my closet behind a bathrobe. It appears I need to pick up my game.

Currently I have stuff zipped into luggage and a bunch of it hidden behind boxes on some shelving units. I have some stuff …

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How do you help when your spouse is out of work?

Through the years we’ve had several friends face long bouts of unemployment. It’s heartbreaking and frustrating for the spouse (in all our friend’s cases the wives) to watch and not know exactly how to help.

Sometimes the unemployed spouse gets depressed while searching. Sometimes they aren’t that good at searching or interviewing, which can be even more frustrating for the spouse.

You can’t do the interview for them but do you help write the letters, resume and follow-up letters? Do you help them prep? Do you give moral support and inspiration or do you tell them to get off their behinds and find a job? What if they won’t follow your advice while searching?

Also does the family dynamic change if the “man” of the house is out of work? Is there a point where a wife gets so frustrated by the lack of work that she leaves? When is it just a terrible economy and when is it a terrible spouse?

What are some ideas to help without being a nag or negative?

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How do you cope with burying a child?

Like many of you I have been following the investigation and burial of poor Jorelys Galarza Rivera. The AJC ran last night the story of burial in her birth country of Puerto Rico. (She also had a memorial service here.)

It is heartbreaking to read, and I can’t even imagine burying a child – especially one that was so brutally murdered.

The part that really got me at the memorial service in Georgia was the description of the mom touching her face in the open casket. The story said how injured the poor baby girl was. I can’t imagine what she was seeing in the casket.

The dad’s last comment in this story is also heartbreaking. He said he promised Jorelys a horse ride when she came to Puerto Rico and that was why they had a horse-drawn carriage take her to the cemetery!! Oh my gosh, so upsetting.

Burying her with her toys is also just so sad and awful. That poor child and poor family.

I know that it is her mother’s hometown and it reads like the dad still lives there, …

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Needs ideas for class holiday parties?

It’s that time of year when moms and teachers are under pressure to come up holiday party ideas that are fun, inexpensive, healthy and not particularly religious.

I am currently working on planning Walsh’s class party and providing items for Rose’s parties, and I wanted to share a couple of good ideas.

For Walsh’s party this year we are copying Walsh’s party from last year. His second-grade teacher put a big emphasis on activity and fitness. The whole party last year was held outside. (It might be warm enough if your party is at the end of the day or maybe you could reserve some gym time?)

The teacher did a relay game where the kids had to swap off reindeer ears, a nose and tie before they could race. They all loved it.

Then she did a sort of musical chairs but without the chairs. She threw little red bows on the ground, played music and the kids had to grab a bow and make it the finish line before the music stopped. She used less bows each time so the kids got out …

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How do you tell the kids you’re being foreclosed on?

One of our readers has sent me a bunch of topics to use (which I always welcome) and one she would like for us to discuss is:

How do you tell the kids your house is going into foreclosure and your family is going to have to move?

Do you have to tell them? Could you pretend like you’re just moving if you get out before the sign goes up? How soon do you tell them? Do you only tell them when there’s a foreclosure sign hanging in the yard? How do you help them cope at school? Do you try to move out quickly so there’s no stigma or stay in the house mortgage-free as long as you can?

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What are your best memories from kids’ pageants, plays?

Tonight my 4-year-old will be singing in a little preschool Christmas pageant. She has been practicing her songs all over the house for weeks. She knows the words but will she sing them on stage and do whatever the teachers have planned?

I have not seen her perform in anything before so I am excited to see what type of performer she will be.

Despite loving to sing, Rose always get embarrassed in school shows and sort of mumbles her way through it. Her hand motions are small and she looks like she’d rather be getting a cavity filled. (At home she sings at the top of her lungs and dances on the ceiling.)

Walsh is my favorite little performer. You never know what to expect with him, and he always steals the show.

If you will recall in his 4-year-old Christmas pageant, he was demoted from wise man to shepherd because he refused to practice. If I recall correctly he was checking out a light or something on the stage during the performance.

During his preschool graduation, he kept …

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If you miscarried, would you name the baby, hold a funeral?

TV reality mom Michelle Duggar recently miscarried in the sixth month of pregnancy. She announced that she plans to name the baby as well as hold a funeral.

I know many people feel strongly about the Duggars choosing to have so many kids but I don’t really want this to be about beating up on the Duggars. (They’ve just lost a baby for goodness sake!) I wanted to discuss the ideas of naming a baby that you have lost and on holding a funeral.

From The Huffington Post:

“The risk of miscarrying in the first trimester is 15 percent, according to  Dr. George Macones, an OB-GYN at Washington University in St. Louis but in the second, it drops to just one or two percent. Conceptually, at least, it would seem that the farther along you are in a pregnancy physically, the more difficult it would be to cope with the loss emotionally. But studies don’t support that assertion.”

“Women themselves will say, ‘How can a loss at 20-plus weeks be the same as a loss at six weeks?’” said …

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Happy Bing-A-Ling wins Pink Pig passes for his family!

Sandy wrote: "Tonight Happy Bing-A-Ling left 6 clues throughout the house with the final clue leading to the computers where they will find personal video messages from the "Boss" himself."

Sandy wrote: "Tonight Happy Bing-A-Ling left 6 clues throughout the house with the final clue leading to the computers where they will find personal video messages from the "Boss" himself."

Sandy wrote: "There's snowflakes and candy canes everywhere, complete with a few surprises thrown in for the kids."

Sandy wrote: "There's snowflakes and candy canes everywhere, complete with a few surprises thrown in for the kids."

Another shot of the Winter Wonderland. Sandy is willing to go all out and make a big mess. She says now they won't want her to take it down.

Another shot of the Winter Wonderland. Sandy is willing to go all out and make a big mess. She says now they don't want her to take it down.

Sandy wrote: "Uh oh! Can you guess who figured out how to work the copy machine? And where the candy is... Can you find the real Happy Bing-A-Ling?"

Sandy wrote: "Uh oh! Can you guess who figured out how to work the copy machine? And where the candy is… Can you find the real Happy Bing-A-Ling?"

Sandy King McElmurray has won our Pink Pig passes for all her wonderful Elf on the Shelf mischief. She has one extremely active and creative elf.

Sandy’s elf Happy Bing-A-Ling has created a winter wonderland, left a scavenger hunt that led the kids to a video message from Santa, learned how to use the family’s copier, held a secret meeting with Santa in the fridge, hid in decorations, …

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Sandusky’s wife defends him: Would you stand by your man?

For the first time yesterday, Dottie (Dorothy) Sandusky spoke out about her husband’s arrests and the more than 50 counts of child sex abuse against him.

From The Associated Press:

“The wife of ex-Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky said Thursday her husband is innocent of the child sex abuse allegations made against him and that his accusers are making up their stories, including one suggesting she was home while Sandusky attacked a boy who screamed for help….”

“She released the statement through her husband’s lawyer a day after a grand jury report detailed claims of two new accusers, among them the testimony of one who said he cried out for her help while Sandusky assaulted him in a basement bedroom.”

” ‘I am so sad anyone would make such a terrible accusation which is absolutely untrue,’ she said. ‘We don’t know why these young men have made these false accusations, but we want everyone to know they are untrue.’ ”

“Dottie Sandusky, who has raised …

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