Discipline Gets Color Coded

So it is not any surprise to most parents with school age children that discipline has been color coded.  We have progressed from the block system to the stop light color coding of behavior.

In being responsible parent we try to instill the same values at home that they do in class.  It shouldn't be difficult since most are common sense.  Our children are well behaved for the most part but are far from being perfect. 

Last year Walker had quite the transition from the cozy cuddling life of pre-school to the hard knock life of kindergarten.  He lost many of blocks but seemed to turn himself around by the end of the year.

Well needless to say the transition from vacation back to school is not an easy one.  I can't say it is any easier for us adults to go back to work.  I was three weeks out of the office with the last two being vacation.  Walker has proved that the transition has not been easy as he has landed on red light several times since his return to school.  Apparently he is a "chatter box".  The result of him being a "chatter box" is that he doesn't seem to hear the directions he is suppose to be following never mind actually following them.

So the result of his decision has been the banning of the Nintendo DS for three days.  Yes there tears and drama but let's just say it worked because he got his act in gear to get it back by Friday.  So the lessons we are trying to teach are that there are consequences for your decisions so make them wisely.  Of course even us adults have problems with that every once in awhile.

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Piccoult

my-sisters-keeper-lg.jpgI don't formally belong to a book club but often take suggestions from friends on great books to read.  I have listed just a few of my favorites here.  I gave my most recent list to my husband for book suggestions for Christmas.  He was able to find two of the three.  I ended my Christmas vacation with beginning the book "My Sister's Keeper" by Jodi Piccoult.  For those who haven't read it by all means go out and buy it and read it.  It is always hard to find the time to read but I found myself engrossed with the ethical dilemmas that she proposed in this book.  The book begins with the healthy 13 year old obtaining the services of an attorney.  She no-longer wanted to be the donor for her sister who was diagnosed with leukemia.  Kate would surely die without the donations that Anna has given all of her life.  The ethical dilemma presents itself when you find out that Kate was diagnosed at the young age of 2.  She already had an older brother but there was no match for Kate at the time of her diagnosis.  The only way to possibly have a perfect match was to utilize a sibling.  The parents then decided they would have another child - Anna.  The love of the sister's is so great it is hard to measure.  Anna has undergone major surgeries and multiple hospital stays when she wasn't even sick.

I strongly urge you to read this compelling and emotionally charged story of how a family deals with life and death decisions.  I would love to hear what others thought of this book

I have a dream... do you?

I read a blog today that I haven't read in quite some time - Boobs, Injuries and Dr. Pepper.  She has so eloquently put into words her version of the "I have a dream" speech.   There is also a priceless story of the innocence of a child.

I have a dream....

I have a dream that one day we will unite as a country to care for the deserving ones who cannot care for themselves. We will provide health care for our elderly and not force them into poverty with rising pharmaceutical prices for medicines that enable them to simply live.

I have a dream that we will welcome our military home with joy and gratitude and not force our beliefs upon them about a war they fought while we watched it on the news.

I have a dream that one day I will not fear sending my children to a public school.

I have a dream that myself and others like me can speak freely and innocently, with no malice in our hearts, and not be labeled as a person who hates simply because of the words we choose.

I have a dream that people will rise above those words thereby taking away their power to harm.

I want to thank Crystal for reminding us times change and our dreams change and mutate into something different.  We should never lose sight of what our perfect world should be.

My own dreams:

I have a dream of my children growing up happy, feeling safe and loved.

I have a dream of living in a world that our leaders will truly think what is in the best interest of the people of our country in the long term rather than their own agenda, which may be short term.

I have a dream that my children will continue the friendship they deveoped as children into adulthood.

I have a dream that more people in the world will realize how precious freedom is and how important it is to maintain.

I have a dream of watching my children grow into responsible, compassionate and loving adults and they they have the opportunity to pass these values onto their own children.

I will not tag anyone but simply ask that you pass this along either via your blog or through e-mail.  Renew the dream as it is a precious one.

I have a dream... a man remembered

Today we remember Martin Luther King Jr.  Many of us were not there and did not hear this speech first hand but have heard the famous words "I have a dream..."   Here is a copy of the famous speech..

Delivered on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 28, 1963

Martin%20Luther%20King%20Jr.jpgFive score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.

But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"