A friend of mine has a son who is 4 and he asked his dad.
“Dad, when I grow up will my weenie grow a beard like yours?”
A friend of mine has a son who is 4 and he asked his dad.
“Dad, when I grow up will my weenie grow a beard like yours?”
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This weekend my wife and I had a chance to see the movie ‘The Hunger Games’.
Typically, thanks to our 3 children, we do not get to see many movies. In fact the Hunger Games is not a movie we probably would have chosen to see, but we wanted to go to dinner and a movie with some friends and they were already planning on seeing the new film so we decided to join them.
Going into the movie I knew very little about it. I had seen the trailer and heard that it was an extremely popular book series. It did look fascinating and I was excited to see it.
After the Movie:
On the way home my wife and I were discussing the movie. I thought it was very well done, captivating and I could see why there was so much hype. The story was excellent, the main characters well developed and the scenery and imagery was incredible. The story, which follows 16 year old Katniss Everdeen, is enticing and pulls you in. The movie is extremely suspenseful and violent. It was very entertaining and leaves you with a lot to think about after. Two things I really love in a movie.
Just could not shake this one thought:
While my wife and I were discussing the movie there was this one thought we just could not get past. That was that it felt like the movie promoted, or perhaps desensitized child violence and killing. I use the word ‘child’ specifically instead of ‘teen’ because there are 12 year old children that get killed (by other children) in the movie.
For those that do not know The Hunger Games is about a post apocalyptic society separated into 12 districts. Each year these 12 districts are forced to send 2 children, 1 boy and 1 girl, ages 12 – 18 to participate in the Hunger Games. The children involved in the Hunger Games are chosen at random and are forced to kill each other on live TV for the entertainment of the rest of the society. 24 children start and kill each other until only 1 is left.
The thing the movie lacked was the voice of morality. There was not a defining moment in the movie where someone stood up or fought back. Throughout the movie I was waiting for that scene where someone takes a stand against the “system” (you know that scene in the Gladiator when he throws his sword and yells at the crowd, “ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!”… that type of scene). It just seemed like the movie was about a bunch of kids killing other kids, and the people of the world enjoying it as entertainment.
There were a few scenes in which people discussed that the Hunger Games were wrong, the rulers of the area talking about how they use the Hunger Games to oppress the districts to ultimately rule over them with fear and even riots from some of the people in the outlying districts. I can see how they are laying the ground work for this type of overthrow, but based on a stand alone movie it was hardly there.
To watch a bunch of kids killing other kids is extremely disturbing. At the beginning of the Hunger Games event all the kids are running to collect supplies and weapons. The scene is described in the movie as a “blood bath”, and that is exactly what it is. Kids just getting killed left and right. A group of 4 or 5 older teens form an alliance in order to kill everyone else then turn on each other in the end. This group mocks the other weaker children before they murder them and laugh about it. There is one scene where a young boy maybe 13 years old gets his neck snapped by an older boy who is probably 17 or 18. A 12 year old girl gets a spear through the stomach.
The director did a good job of not making the violence gory, but the psychological side of the violence being innocent children killing other innocent children is what is quite hard to stomach. The movie is rated PG-13, but it is a strong PG-13.
Is this Our Hunger Games:
In the movie the society watched these kids killing each other as entertainment. We sit back and say that is disgusting and disturbing, but how is that so far off from America watching this movie? Without the moral voice in this movie the entertainment value is essentially watching the kids kill kids. While we understand that we are only watching a movie, it draws an interesting parallel to what constitutes as entertainment even in real life.
Ultimately the movie disturbed me in the sense of kid vs kid violence. The lack of the morality advocate in the movie made the movie seem like it was centered around The Hunger Games event instead of being centered around bringing down the evil leaders who are oppressing the people and ruling with fear. The “bad guys” were never challenged nor were they really developed. The only people killed in the movie were innocent children. I fully understand this is a trilogy and the ground work has been laid for the overthrow to happen, but then again I do not know for sure because I have not read the books.
My issue is that this movie in and of itself seems to send a dangerous message to kids that the entertainment of kids killing kids is cool.
After the movie I ran into a young man I know who is about 16 or 17 and I asked him what he thought of the Hunger Games and his response was… “The scene when they were all running for the weapons and just slaughtering each other was awesome!”
What do you think?
What do you think of the movie? Have you read the books? If you have read the books maybe you can share in the comments (without giving too much away) what transpires later on concerning an uprising and overthrowing of the evil rulers.
I think I am going to have to read the last 2 books to gain a better understanding of the entire story.
That being said this first movie disturbed me and my wife. The killing of children was never avenged by overthrowing those responsible for such atrocities, nor did anyone even take a stand. It seemed like a movie in which kids killing other kids was passed off as entertainment. (Sounds like the Hunger Games in real life.)
You think I’m right? Wrong? Crazy? Stupid? Please leave a comment.
Speaking of dropping by, you should drop by Mommy Adventure. Sheri was nice enough to post up one of my articles on her site so I wanted to thank her. She is a mom blogger from Australia and has some pretty great home made art on her site!
As a parent you do things you never thought in a lifetime you would do. Many of these unusual actions take place around those two lovely numbers… Number 1 and Number 2.
As a single guy standing over the porcelain throne I’d occasionally, and accidentally mind you, get a drop on either my finger or my jeans. What would be my reaction to this? Well, those jeans probably need two washes before they are wearable again and despite the pain I run my hands under scolding hot water with enough soap to wash a horse, just to make sure my hands are sanitized.
Now I am not even a “clean freak”. I love to fish and will gut a fish with my bare hands no problem. A simple rinse with river water is enough for me to feel clean after that. Pee and poop is just a whole other side of gross.
As you experience fatherhood year after year you realize the early years of a kids life numb you to these things you thought were so disgusting in the past.
Let me give you a few examples.
The Blow Outs: I am sure every single parent has experienced the blow outs. This is when that diaper, which is supposed to hold all that stuff in, FAILS! There is junk all up the back of your child, running down both legs and how in the world did that get on his cheek.
Some parents have kids that make a habit out of this type of discharge. Literally every single time it is up the back or down the legs. Cute outfit after cute outfit is ruined (that was for the moms!).
Trying to clean your kid is extremely fun (please note the extreme sarcasm, it is actually disgusting). You will touch more gross in one of these diaper changings than in the previous ‘however long you have been alive’.
After years of blowouts it is really no longer that big a deal. Slap a pad down on the floor, expect you are going to get crap on your hands, clean the mess as quick as possible, breath through your mouth, new change of clothes, grab an apple, realize “Oops, I forgot to wash”.
The Smell Test: As a single guy about 50% of my wardrobe selection was based on the smell test. “If it doesn’t stink wear it”. As a dad not much has changed, except it’s mostly pee that I smell now (not my own pee).
I never could have imagined that I would have shoved my face in a damp fabric, pulled my head back and uttered the words,
“Yep, I think it’s pee.”
Is smelling really the only way to tell whether the spilled liquid is pee? I think it is.
Sometimes I catch myself shoving my face so far into the liquid ring on the couch, or smothering my face in a wet pair of pants that after I think, “What am I doing! What if that was really pee?” Sometimes it is.
Do you see how numb you can get?
Now, I know some parents will never soften on their disgust for this portion of the baby trinity… Eat, Sleep, Poop. But I say embrace it! My oldest daughter is already out of diapers and is now sleeping through the night with no pull up. Don’t get me wrong, I love the no more poop and pee thing, but wow has she grown up fast… and she’s not even 5.
Parenting can change us in so many great ways. I’m not sure that being more tolerant of Number 1 and Number 2 is so “great”, but it does show the profound effect kids have on us “adults”. Touching, cleaning, feeling, brushing, contacting, dabbing, examining, handling, inspecting, patting, pawing, rubbing, smelling, breathing, detecting, discovering, finding, get a whiff of, identifying, inhaling, sniffing, snuffing and puffing are all worth it for our kids. (Yes I used a thesaurus (and spell check for the word ‘thesaurus’). )
I saw this video on youtube and I just had to share it with you. This is a 4th grade girl who is attempting her first k40 ski jump.
You have to turn the volume up on this one. She talks herself into it and then goes for the jump. It is all caught on her helmet cam.
As a dad I wonder if my girls will have the courage to try something like this when they are 9 years old. I have a pretty good feeling that they won’t but don’t your kids always surprise you!
My wife’s brother did a flip off of a 30 foot cliff in Hawaii when he was 8, so the craziness is in the blood! (We have that on video so I’ll try to find the video and show you guys some time.)
Here is the ski jump. This is awesome!
Child 1, our 4 year old daughter, is quite a bright little girl. Don’t worry, I’m not a delusional parent who thinks his kid is far beyond all other children, but I have noticed she loves words, letters, drawing and she really has an incredible memory. She can write her name, her sisters name, mom, dad, gramma, spell and even a few aunts and uncles names. She is starting to recognize words and be able to read them.
Because of her interest in this stuff we decided to pick up Hooked on Phonics for her. It is in the mail as I am writing this. I am excited for her to try it out and be able to report for you guys.
It has arrived in the mail and the girls just dove right into it! My girls right now are 2 and 4, and right away started treating the books as coloring books. I had to put a stop to that quickly because we can get coloring books for about $0.10, so this was not going to turn into that. So with a little guidance from Dad and Mom we started them into the system.
Use a Hooked on Phonics Coupon.
If you plan on purchasing Hooked on Phonics I want to help you get the best deal. So if there are promo codes or discounts for the program I will list them right here.
Where can I buy Hooked on Phonics?
The easiest place to buy hooked on phonics is from their website here. How much is it? Well that varies. You can buy the whole set, or you can purchase the individual lessons depending on what age your child is.
Let’s get to the facts…
What is Hooked on Phonics?
Hooked on phonics Learn to Read is a program designed to teach kids how to read and make it fun. They use books, videos, charts, pictures and a bunch of other cool things to encourage this process. The system starts when children learn the sound of a letter, like ‘a’. As they progress through the book they will add more letters and learn a slightly more complicated sound like ‘at’. After some practice they will understand that the letters ‘a’ and ‘t’ combined make ‘at’, then can start reading and understand words like ‘cat’ and ’mat’. Their reading skills will develop quickly and soon enough your child will be able to read. The system is created so that adults can participate with their kids and help guide them through the process. Hooked on phonics is considered one of the best phonics programs out there. Their goal is to make children master readers which will prepare them a great amount for their education in school.
What is Phonics?
Phonics is a method for teaching reading and writing by developing a child’s ability to learn the relationship between a letter or letters and the sounds they make. This development is called phonemic awareness. Phonics based activities will help kids understand the letter ‘b’ makes a /b/ sound or ‘tion’ makes a /shun/ sound. This is learning and reading with phonics.
Phonics is a great way to teach kids how to read. It is a step by step, simple process, which can help your child learn to read beyond their years. Not only are they learning to read, but they are also developing their phonemic awareness which will help them with spelling and writing.
How do I teach Phonics?
Many parents wonder how to teach their kids to read with phonics, but that is exactly what Hooked on Phonics is for. They have created workbooks, flash cards, games, crafts, DVDs, videos and more which teach phonics to kids and make it fun. Kids absolutely love to learn, they soak it up. My kids tore into their first hooked on phonics books the second they came in the mail. Even if your child is young, like 2 or 3 you can give them a chance to learn to read and they will love it. If you home school your kids Hooked on phonics can be a great option for your curriculum.
You can visit hooked on phonics online website here to check everything out and pick up the program if you want.
My sister has a son and the other day he turned one. This post is for her!
I think as parents we all know that a kids first birthday is more about the parents then the actual kid. For what other birthday does literally every single relative you have within a 3 hour drive show up for? The answer… NONE. It’s a good thing kids don’t remember their first birthday and set their birthday expectations on who attends their first. It would be a life full of disappointing birthdays. Just like my life. (Just kidding Mom and Dad, my birthdays were wonderful, except that time you forgot.)
There are two types of first birthdays. First, the type that is just your family and the little tyke turning 1. This usually happens when you have the first child in your family, or the first kid in your group of friends. It is a calm atmosphere and there might even be wine and cheese being served (not to the kid). The other type of first birthday is when there are 5 to 12 other toddlers ranging from ages 1 to 4. This is where the chaos happens! In the first birthday scenario the most exciting part of the party is watching the birthday boy/girl dig into their cake with their bare hands. Possibly even more entertaining is watching the disappointment from Mom and Dad when instead of smiles, laughs and frosting all over their kids face its crying, boogers and tears because your little angel accidentally touched the frosting with her toe. Dad and Mom look like dorks with their camera and camcorder around their neck trying to coax the kid into scooping the frosting in their mouth, which mind you is already full of the boogers. Mean while the poor birthday girl just wants a nap.
Anyway, enough about my daughters first birthday and on to the party we experienced which is scenario 2. Five other toddlers at the party.
The Birthday Boy Could Care Less About His Presents.
What is going through a one year old’s mind when they get the first box thrown in their lap? Everyone in the room is crowding around him, the other toddlers are literally so close to him it might as well be a group hug, Mom and Dad have strategically given recording and picture duties to relatives with different angles on the action, every adult with kids and that one crazy aunt in the corner are yelling at all the toddlers to sit down so everyone else can see, there is a pile of presents 4 or 5 times as big as the kid and Mom is holding him in her lap just so he cannot crawl away.
I’ll tell you what is going through his mind.
‘I HAVE TO PUT THAT SHINY PAPER IN MY MOUTH!’
Half Way Through the Presents Its a Free For All.
Mom and Dad (in this case mostly Mom, I think by this point Dad was downstairs mounting some sort of mammal onto the wall) eventually cease trying to keep the present fiasco organized and simply let all the other kids tear into remaining wrapped gifts. Meanwhile the birthday boy is still chewing on his original piece of shiny wrapping paper while the other kids push the gifts into his face.
“Look what you got, its a tractor, bath toys, a potty chair, books, more bath toys, toy cars, this one moves by itself!”
Eventually the birthday boy has had enough and starts to cry. Mom can barely hold him in her lap anymore and snot is just streaming out of his nose. Because it is far to crazy in the room for anyone to do anything rational like get a Kleenex for the poor boy, mom just grabs the closest plastic sack and wipes his nose.
Where did the Parents Go?
After the final present is finally torn open the next logical step is to hype up all the kids at the party a little more with some cake and ice cream! By this point both Mom and Dad are no where to be seen and for good reason too. Moms in the back taking puffs on her asthma inhaler just trying to calm down a little. Finally after a few short minutes mom and dad emerge to pump all the kids full of sugar.
Other Parents Thoughts of the Presents
If you have been a parent for more than 1 or 2 birthdays you know how fast trinket toys pile up. As the kids are opening the presents I dream of taking the gifts out of their box and dropping them right into the garbage. Just skip all the times I have to pick them up off the floor and put them away. I know my sister (who’s son had the party) was dreaming the same thing! She is an excellent toy tosser.
I will refrain from mentioning specific toys I dreamt of tossing directly into the garbage because I’m sure some of those that attended the party will read this post. If you did attend the party and are reading this… Your gift was PERFECT! Its not about your gift… its about the joys of reducing your kids toy collection. I’m not sure about other parents but I LOVE it.
Finally its Over.
And as soon as it started it ends! Your little boy or girl is 1. Smiles and Tears.