After The Hunger Games

The other day, I mentioned that my daughter’s 8th grade class would be going on a field trip to see The Hunger Games. The field trip was this morning, and I had promised to update the original post with my thoughts on the movie. However, after what I witnessed today,I feel the topic deserved its own post.

First, I want to thank those that took a moment to comment on the original post. I value each of your opinions, and I respect them. I like hearing how you feel about particular situations. We may not always agree, but hearing someone else’s viewpoint can help broaden my own thoughts and opinions.

This morning was the field trip. I was told that I could attend as long as I didn’t bring the baby. Sigh. Like I’d be that dumb. Did they not read my note? I didn’t even want to have my 14 year old there. But, sure, I’ll bring my 1 year old.

After pushing thoughts of showing up with my 5 year old, my 3 year old, AND my 1 year old – just for spite – aside, I arrived at the theater in time to pay for my ticket and go in. I was the only parent allowed to attend the movie. I know many other parents wanted to go just to see the movie themselves, but I was allowed only because I had stated that if I didn’t go, Ashley didn’t go.

The movie itself wasn’t bad. Had I seen it beforehand, I probably would not have allowed Ashley to go with the school. Not because I thought it was too violent, or that she couldn’t handle it. I wish she had read the book because the book explains SO much better the reasoning behind the Hunger Games. A movie just can’t convey the detail that a book can. If she had read the book and we had the opportunity to discuss it in great detail, I would have felt much better about her seeing the movie.

It quickly became clear to me that the children in the theater had no idea what the “story” behind the movie. As we sat there, I was horrified to hear children clapping with each death – or the shouts of “Kill him!” “Slit his throat!” and other such phrases. At one point, I wanted nothing more than to grab Ashley and leave the theater. I wanted to go back in time and say that she wasn’t allowed to go on the field trip at all, and I would force her to read the book and then take her to the movie myself.

The behavior of the children during the movie was terrible. They were not mature enough to sit through the movie, and they were not mature enough to be subjected to that movie. Had they first been required to read the book and then take a test before viewing the movie, I might be singing a different tune. But they weren’t required any of that, and it was clear they were simply there to have a good time.

The first thing I did when I got home was send an email to the Superintendent. I told her basically what I’ve told you here. I know that I’m not like most parents, and that most view it as “just a movie.” That’s just not how things work in our house.

I don’t know that anything will ever come of my letter to the Superintendent. With 30 days left of school, it will probably be written off as nothing more than an upset mom having her say. And that’s fine. We’re switching school districts next year, so I won’t have to deal with this school system anymore. But, you’d better believe I will stand up for what’s right in their new school district. I’ll just be another “one of those” moms.

The movie definitely doesn’t get 2 thumbs up from me. It was good, but not fantastic. And it definitely wasn’t field trip material without a thorough study of the book prior to the movie.

Did your child see the movie? Do they understand the concept, or just view it as “just a movie”?

8th Grade Book Character Day!

Today, my oldest daughter Ashley will visit several different elementary classrooms and tell the kids about her Book Character. She’s nervous, excited, and just as cute as can be.

Her teacher decided that the students couldn’t do any Disney characters or anything well known. They had to get creative and think outside the box.

So, Ashley picked Alice the Fairy by David Shannon.

Alice the Fairy

It’s a really cute little story, and if you have a little girl, you definitely need to check this book out. My Lucy {age 5} just loves it. I’m pretty sure Ashley and I have both read the book to Lucy about 100 times.

Here’s the book character’s outfit:

alice the fairy's outfit

And here’s how Ashley’s costume turned out:

ashley's alice the fairy costume

Isn’t it adorable?

Ash borrowed the dress from a girl at church. She already had the purple shirt to put underneath it. I made and attached bows to her Mary Jane shoes, and I made the wand with a dowel rod, ribbon, and a star Christmas ornament. I designed the flower on the computer, printed it out, and laminated it. We attached it with a sparkly earring. I don’t think we could have matched the character’s outfit any better. {And, Ashley – you are so lucky you have a crafty mom.} 🙂

She looks adorable, and I know she’s going to have so much fun today. She gets to visit Zander and Jace’s classrooms, so they’re both really excited.

I’ll be heading to the school this afternoon to watch the Book Character parade. Lucy and Parker are sure to get a kick out of that.

What do you think, did we do a good job matching the character’s outfit?

Ashley as Alice the Fairy

Happy Birthday, Ashley!

Happy Birthday, Ashley!It’s hard to believe that my baby girl is 14 years old today!

She has turned into such a beautiful young lady. She is helpful, kind, and such a blessing to everyone that knows her. (And I’m not just saying that because I’m biased. Ask anyone that knows her!) She is always doing something for someone else. And she is such a huge help with all her little siblings! I’m not sure what Gage and Parker will do if Ashley ever decides to move out! I’ll have two very heartbroken little boys on my hands, that’s for sure!

I thought we’d take a trip down memory lane today. So, here are some pictures from when she was little….

1 month old

Me & Ash

Before I know it, I’ll blink and she’ll be all grown up and have a family of her own.

I love you, baby girl! I am so proud of the young lady you are becoming, and I’m so lucky to be your mom. Thanks for being such a blessing in my life. I hope your birthday is fantastic!

Gotta Brag for a Minute…

This afternoon, Ashley had an awards ceremony at school. It was the 6th and 7th grade Honor Awards ceremony, and Ash told me she’d be getting an award for having all As. She kept hoping that I could come, but she never pressed me about it. (What she didn’t know was that I had already made plans to be there! I wanted it to be a surprise.)

I loaded up Lucy, Parker, and Gage and we headed to the school. For the first time ever, I ended up getting really good parking. Stuck Gage in my Ergobaby carrier, grabbed Lucy & Parker by the hands, and headed in to the auditorium.

Ashley’s best friend recognized me and shouted across the auditorium to Ash that I was there. Embarrassed to death, Ash wouldn’t even look my direction. She kept right on talking and giggling with her friends.

That’s ok. She’s 13. Mom’s just not cool when you’re 13. Besides, all of her friends know how strict her parents are, so she didn’t want to point me out to any of them.

The ceremony started, and the first awards presented were for having a score of 900 or above on their CRCT tests. (The CRCT is a big deal around here. A really big deal, and they put way too much pressure on the kids to do well on these tests.) After they went through the entire 6th grade, they moved onto the 7th graders. (I hate having a last name that starts with V!) They called Ashley’s name, stating that she had received a perfect score in Science, as well as a score over 900 in Social Studies.) I beamed. Announced it on facebook immediately, and told the world that I couldn’t be more proud of my daughter.

After that, they handed out the general awards for 6th grade, and moved onto the awards for 7th grade. During that time, Ashley also received an award for having all As in her classes, and she also received the “Best All Around” award. (Basically, best all around means you’re an excellent student, you’re kind, respectful, and just a joy to be around.)

I am so proud of Ashley. We really struggled with putting her back into public school after homeschooling, but I truly believe this is exactly what she needed. She is thriving and excelling in every class, and I could not be more proud of her.

Thanks for letting me brag on my girl. My heart is truly overflowing right now!