Fear on Valentine’s Day – A Lockdown

My heart was really pumping today after a phone call asking me if I’d seen the police cars surrounding my son’s middle school.

The next ten minutes were spent scanning the news channels and fielding phone calls to find out what was going on.  Then a news headline popped up:  Armed Suspect in Middle School.

My first instinct?  Run to the school.

Thankfully my husband was there.   Hundreds of parents gathered at a nearby church where police updates were being relayed.  Armed suspect turned into man with an ax.  Soon the story turned into a student with an ax.  And, thankfully,  mercifully… after two hours of heart-pounding stress… the result was a student had been asked to bring in an army folding shovel for a WWII lesson and it had been mistaken for a weapon.   Poor kid – he had no idea he was the cause of stress– we think he’s likely to be doomed for a long time to be called “the ax man” or “Digger.”

Relief.  Many parents rushed to the school and waited in long lines for over an hour to get their child.  While, we decided our son could continue classes that day, I could understand the impulse.  I was worried how he handled the lock down.

We learned that in that situation, the kids locked their classroom doors and all the students had to hide behind the teacher’s desk.  Sam thought it was a drill until all the kids heard sirens… then fifteen minutes later, the cops unlocked the door, burst in with their guns and shouted, “Police! Hands up!” while they searched for an ax. Then they instructed the teacher to relock the door and the lockdown continued.

My two other kids, at separate schools, were also on lockdown for extra precaution.  My eldest brought home pictures of the cops outside of the middle school –even though she was at a highschool a mile away!  Those teens know how to text fast and furiously!  My own daughter continued the texting chain but accidentally texted a wrong number with one sentence:  “Ax murderer!”   (Oh dear.)

All that to say, my heart is happy my kids are safe today.   We had a lot to talk about on this Valentine’s Day… and for some comedic relief one teacher told students about a lockdown because of a bear on the playground, but our favorite story?  A lockdown because of a giant burrito.  Check it out.

Glow in the Dark Scavenger Hunt

Looking for a cure for cabin fever?  I found a sneaky way to get the kids to declutter:  Gather any useless fast food toys or broken toys for a glow-in-dark scavenger hunt.

We found a cheap pack of glow in the dark paints at Target during the Halloween season, but I’ve noticed a lot of packs at the hobby stores year round.

Take the broken, or useless fast food toys and paint them!  If you don’t want the paint all over it, I HIGHLY recommend painting the eyes, and teeth if the toys have it.

Here’s our collection, painted and ready to go.  I found a few glow-in-the dark stars that had fallen off ceilings and put them into use too.  Then place them underneath a lamp and wait until dark!

We chose one room that was the safest.  You don’t want to hide objects in a room with sharp furniture or breakable decorative items!  I had the family wait on the stairs while I hid the objects, then I turned off all the lights, led them into the room and the scavenger hunt began!

Note:  If you decide to let the kids have flashlights in this type of indoor nighttime game, then notify any caring neighbors in the area so that you don’t find your house surrounded by policemen. ( I speak from experience. Pretty memorable childhood moment, though!)

For Parents ONLY:

If you want to have some extra fun, hide these babies in  your pocket and wait until the kids start hunting and then randomly throw them out into the room!  Expect some screams and lots of giggles!  I don’t recommend using an actual nerf gun in this scenario – too easy to shoot someone at close range (ouch!)

The kids had so much fun.  Once all the objects are found, be prepared for them to want to do it again… and again… and again!   Cabin fever cured!


Birth Order, Expressed Through Cake

It’s that time of year again. The time where seemingly back-to-back birthdays keep me celebrating (while inwardly sighing at the increasing ages).

And, as I was prepping for this busy season I had an epiphany in regards to birthday cake.

An eldest child says “Mommy,I wanna help you make my cake!”
The middle child says, “Mommy, I want to watch you make my cake!”
And the youngest says, “Yay! I’m going to go play! Let me know when my cake’s done!”

Is this just at my house? Or am I on to something? Hmm….

Career Aptitude for Kids

“Mom, did you ever take a career aptitude test when you were in school?”


“What did it say you would be?”

“A laywer,” I replied, as I wiped up the spilled milk on the counter.

“I could totally see that,” my daughter answered.  “You’re really good at arguing.” She smiled. “It must be where I get it.”

I grimaced.  “Your father is good at arguing too.”

“When? We never hear him argue?” she argued.

Note to self:  Arguing in private maybe not so beneficial after all.

“Did Dad take a career aptitude?” my son asked.


“What did it say he’d be?”

“A window washer.”

The kids hit the floor in hysterics.

My husband objected. “Window glazier!  Glazier!”

I shrugged. “I knew it had to do with windows.” The kids were still laughing.

My kids are keenly aware of the competitive job market and are already wondering what career path they should follow. Especially my freshman daughter. We took our career aptitude tests in junior high.  Clearly, not so accurate.  But my kids are still curious.  I found this career test for kids but it’s 485 questions!

My advice to my daughter?  Be a kid.  At least for another two years. Just be a kid. Try everything to the best of your ability. And just see.

Just see.