Relocation Programs For Getting Our Families Out Of High Crime Areas

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I read in the news this week that Trump has started working on a plan to help get homeless people off the streets in California. I would love to see our government work towards launching a relocation program to relocate families from high crime areas such as Chicago. We do not talk enough about how the children growing up in Chicago and cities like it deserve so much more than what we are giving them. Some of these children are living in constant fear, right inside America. There’s no asylum process for them, they are just stuck and have been stuck for generations.

This morning a child arrived late to his or her first class in Chicago and many other cities like it because they had to take a safe route to school. That route added another 20 minutes to their trip, but they didn’t care. They were trying to get to their safe place away from danger. The truth is, we have some neighborhoods so dangerous in America that even cops refuse to patrol them, unless they have backup.

When I worked in Dallas, I worked an investigation that led me to a neighborhood so infested by drugs and violence that cops wouldn’t even assist. Infested is an ugly word, but what would you call it? The apartment above had drug problems, the apartment across had drug problems, most of the children from the complex were removed and many of the remaining children had ongoing CPS cases. On the day I arrived, another investigator was headed to another unit in the same complex across from us.

On the day in question, I was headed to a household for a removal. The police were supposed to meet me, but I ended up having to call in another investigator to assist me, due to the mother bringing a weapon the last time I arrived. We waited nearly two hours for the cops to show up and they never did, so I said freak it, let’s go in. Upon entering the door, a cloud of smoke escaped. After I took the child and placed her somewhere safe about another hour or so went by. Finally, after I made it home a cop called and asked if I still needed assistance. I calmly said no and informed them that they missed the chance at a drug bust and hung up.

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Now those families did not start out jaded. They were placed into an environment that held very little regard for doing the right thing. I ran into a female around the same time with her lease coming to a close. She was working as a security guard and trying to do the right thing. At this point she didn’t have anything negative going against her, but her obstacle was her address. I informed her that she needed to start looking for a new place to stay because her current crowd was not compatible with her goals in life.

In her case and many other women like her, moving away from the tainted areas have been pivotal of their successes. A relocation allows people to start over, get better opportunities, and find safer housing. When my husband was in the Army, relocation was always a gift. It allowed us to search for a new area, and remove our family from dangerous situations in some cases. It is important that we find a better solution for helping people who want to get out of dangerous areas.

I find it sad that we have areas inside our country that mirror third world war zones. It is even sadder that people seem to close their ears to the violence. How can we have a system that lets generations of anguish duplicate their circumstances and hinderances over and over? These people are more than a study, more than a statistic, and worth more than a few minutes on our minds. They are our children, our friends, our neighbors, our fellow citizens, and people deserving of the same protection we aim to give others outside of America.

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I Am So Mad Right Now. I Just Want To Cry.

So thus starts the drama for the new school year. My daughter was kicked out of her theater class on the 4th day of school because the teacher seems to have issues teaching children with disabilities. This is my latest letter to the school district.

Ms. Adams,

My daughter attends Temple High School and informed me today that she was removed from her theater class. She stated that the teacher said she would remove children who she felt would not pay attention in her class and Ariana and another student were removed. I find myself concerned due to the fact that last year my daughter was repeatedly paired with children who had disorders similar to her disorder in this class. Instead of the teacher promoting growth, she promoted further confusion due to them not being able to interact with the other students. Often times my daughter would come home in tears because she could not practice lines with her partner due to conflict stemming from the pairing.

My daughter has ADHD, ADD and she struggles with relationships with other students due to an attack that happened four to five years ago while she was on campus. She was attacked by 10 to 11 children when she was in the 5th grade. We have worked very hard with her over the years and theater has always been something she wanted to do. I feel as if she was sectioned off last year and now with her removal from her theater class, I feel like she is being discriminated against because of having a disorder as the other students from last year to some degree.

Now, it is my understanding that she is in another theater class. I need to know if she will be able to learn lines and participate in class? This is a YouTube video to show that my daughter has no issues with being able to use communication. https://youtu.be/fevGVBkPF8o She did a cooking video this summer on making tacos. I will not stand for her being discriminated against because her teacher does not seem to like people with disabilities. It is a violation of her right to not be given the same chance to succeed as other students.

Apparently The other teacher does not really teach theater like the class she was in, so she is being pushed aside.

Why can’t people just be supportive? Why try to teach children if you can’t be supportive of all kids? Does anyone know of any theaters that offer acting lessons in the Austin Area? I support her.

UPDATE 8/27/2019

We were told that the teacher told the administrators that she had an audition to see who was able to stay in the drama class. An audition that my daughter sure didn’t know about. I guess she missed the part about telling the children she would be removing people that she thought wouldn’t pay attention in class. So which was it?

When The Internet Became One Big Neighborhood

When we think about community, we often think about the people in our neighborhood. We think about the closeness, likeness, and struggles we face together. We see the people down the street and place the neighbor label on them which makes us look a little longer if things appear out of place in their departure. We assign ownership to the places that are deemed precious near our houses which are often placed within our neighborhoods.

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Yesterday, for some of us, our neighborhoods grew a lot larger. We mentally adopted a teenager that was assaulted by a group of girls and something magical took place. It just takes a few positive voices and things can start turning. Yesterday while we all struggled to keep #JUSTICEFORJANISE trending something became crystal clear around the 5th hour. Nobody was giving up on finding this little girl.

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We were all picking up our internet torches and wading through the pool of concern. Tweets went out to Trump supporters, Obama supporters and many more people, and they did not fall flat. All hearts reacted! Soon the concern was trending all over the United States with concern flowing into other countries. While we weren’t able to grab the attention of those in office, we were able to grab attention to someone more important.

We were able to make our case to the people and the people formed an online haven of love. I’m in Texas, but it didn’t stop me from caring. Others were from other states, but it didn’t stop them from sharing. Brave friends like @D4MURE, @sharii41886239, @lissa_ajana and @kiologyz created the perfect search for their friend. While things might not be over for the young lady in the video, I do believe she will now find that she has a nation of support behind her. It just took a handful of friends with the courage of an Army with the intent of bringing their friend home.

Now the healing will begin and let’s hope yesterday isn’t forgotten because we stood as one big family with no concern over difference, just the connection of love. Love really is the key.

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Loving What You Do Makes Things So Much Easier

So, last week we posted my daughter’s episode for her YouTube channel and something magical happened. If you watch the video you will see her just come to life. For a while, cooking has been her coping skill especially after PTSD took over. It really helped to act as a caldron for the negative energy she was feeling.

It is so important to establish something positive when dealing with children who have been victims of bullying. We started her YouTube channel two maybe three weeks ago and since then she has stayed three nights at a friend’s house. Some of you might be like that’s not a big deal. Well, for her it was a big deal because prior to three weeks ago she had never felt confident to stay away from home, we are talking about 5 yrs of not wanting to be close to anyone other than us. Her friend was like you are 17 and never slept over anyone’s house and she was like nope!

So of course when her friend stayed over here, I might have went a little all out! I talk so much about what she has been through and this video just shows how she’s laughing and loving life. If you are dealing with children who were victims of bullying, remember being there is number one. Don’t try to push them into anything until they are ready. I might have suggested she try a food show, but it’s all her.

Decorating On Half!

When I first started this blog I had just moved into this house with multiple rooms to try to furnish. If some of you are new to my blog which means you have been following me less than a year, you recall my story. If not I will do a quick refresher. My family basically went from an income of over 100000 a year to almost half of that with hopes of zeroing in on what we deemed as most important which was family.

We didn’t really downsize in the house because we couldn’t, but we had to find a cheaper way of decorating the house. We moved into this house about 1 year and four months ago. At that time we had 3.5 empty rooms which would need to be furnished at some point in the future. This is how we managed to update our house on a budget using sales and The Dollar General. We took three major areas inside our house and turned them into purpose driven rooms.

Due to the house being so large, finding furniture was a really big issue. Now that we were on a tighter budget we would have to pay special attention to sales and stores. One of the big reasons I gave up my job was because I wanted to be there for the girls. As an investigator I spent hours away from home which resulted in many 16 to 18 hour days. So, we decided that we would create a room for fun time. The room would be a central location or like a mini hub within the house.

We managed to make sure that one of us is always facing the children.

The person in the corner is able to look into the kitchen and keep an eye on my 13 yr old’s door while the person on the other side is able to keep an eye on the area my 17 yr old would be emerging from. I like to pay attention to faces. If someone isn’t in a good mood, I want to be the first one to notice it. One of the big issues I ran into when I was an investigator was not being able to notice the simple stuff with my children because I was never home. The girls were miserable because they had an absent mom. I tried to push expensive phones and trips ever so often their way, but it didn’t really help. It didn’t hit home just how miserable they were until I found out that my 13 yr old was self mutilating. So, now that I am home, my main focus is on my girls.

With all of that said, we call this location the hub area of our home. We are still looking to upgrade the table. Finding the perfect computer table isn’t easy when there are three computers in the house. We do not believe in computers being in the rooms, so until we can find a table, the dining table is the temporary home.

This is the real dining table. Someone needs to tell my husband that the picture needs to be centered!!! Not really! I did it.

So, for those of you who might be thinking oh my gosh she traded her eating table for computers! Never fear, here’s the table, right here! We managed to get it on sale from a local furniture store. I like the idea of pubs and this table kind of reminds me of Obrien’s Irish Pub down the street. So, I managed to capture it for my home!

Take notice of the dog gate because it is awesome. I needed something large enough and long enough to keep my dogs out of the guest entertaining area. It was embarrassing having to always explain tears and rips caused by my four legged babies, so when we got new furniture I had to hit Amazon up for a dog gate. Heck, I didn’t even know that gates came in any size other than for a small door, so when I found there were gates large enough to protect two doorways, I did a major happy dance. This means I do not have to explain anything else, or deal with stains on my carpet. Carpet keeps odors in so keep that in mind if you are thinking about getting a new place to live and you are a pet owner.

This shows a better picture of the dog gate. It even matches my furniture. It is large enough to keep my middle size dog from climbing over, but it isn’t 100 percent perfection. He has knocked it over once because it wasn’t positioned the right way. I do not think you can ever really protect yourself against future bathroom incidents involving pets, but certain materials make it easier to clean up. So, we do not do cloth fabric sofas. We like the idea of being able to wipe things off just in case the unthinkable becomes a reality! When it comes to carpets we go really cheap, I am talking Walmart’s 50 bucks cheap! It is much easier to replace a 50 dollar carpet than a 350 dollar carpet. Remember you are trying to have a home you can enjoy, but you are also trying to have a home that will not make you cry if something happens like an accident on the carpet.

We took three areas and turned them into safe areas for my children and pets. If you live like us, you can’t afford to be replacing stuff every year. While our pets are part of our family, we still want to entertain others who might not like the idea of our furry babies getting so up close and personal. So, the gate really does help to section off where they can roam. All of this was done under 4k.

Summer School My Way

My children can’t go to summer school, so I will bring it to them this year. It appears that both of my children have inherited my husband’s disdain for history. I happen to love history, life science, social science, and even managed to take extra classes in those areas in college. So, it is safe to say we will start today with a lesson on how it all started.

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This morning we will start off talking about Pangaea, Continental Drift theory, Southern/Northern Hemisphere and how we all started. If you are wondering how and why we decided that our children needed this lesson, it is because one of our lovely children thought California was in Texas. It really was a wtf moment. We have helped with history homework in the past, but for some reason that lack of knowledge never came to surface.

After we made it to the store, my husband politely asked me if I would teach our children this summer exclusively over the subjects they seem to be low in, and of course, I was delighted. This morning I will work on my lesson plan, and try to help the girls better understand the world as we know it. I knew those classes would matter one day!

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I have science and history covered. However, I need help with drama. Both girls are in theater and both are on the fence about their drama classes. I would like to do something for them to help them gain more confidence in reading plays and memorizing them. Does anyone know of a good method for studying drama?

Planning The Perfect Vacation For People On A Budget.

If your family vacations are anything like mine, most of them result in trips to the ER, after all the fun ends. YEAH!! However, this year we are planning to go about it another way. We will plan the perfect vacation for people on a budget. The first thing we do is look for fun things near our state. It gives the children a chance to go out of state without making us pay so much in gas. This year the winner is!!

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The winner is New Mexico. Some of you might be wondering why New Mexico. Well New Mexico has an ice cave! My husband and I love the idea, I’m wondering how the children will like it. I think it will be a surprise because they aren’t into science like me. However, I want them to respect nature because while it is beautiful, it also has the ability to change life as we know it. Most of our trips have something to do with nature. I would love to go to Yellowstone, it really is a dream. Yet, it isn’t close enough for us and would hurt the budget. We try to find fun things that will allow us fun minus the guilt of spending after we get back home.

This year I plan on learning more about the adventure prior to pulling up to the site, God Willing! I will be a good mommy and make sure I pack lots of water and bananas. We will need to bring a bag with clothing that will protect us from the coldness inside the cave which shouldn’t be too costly. We have bags around the house and we can just use our normal cold weather clothing.

The first thing I like to do is google the distance of the place. It should take us around 13 hours to get to the cave. I have a Jeep that uses e85 gas so I think we are looking at 300 bucks in gas give or take 100 bucks either way. My husband is a state worker so he can get hotel rooms a little cheaper which will get us a better rate on a room. Trying to spend no more than 100 on a room per night which gives us at least two nights without drama. The park fee is 12 per adult, so we are looking at 60 for the whole family. Breakfast will consist of something from the hotel and packed lunches while we are touring.

While I bet New Mexico has nice local authentic food, we normally just stick to the dollar menu for dinner. Normally, our vacations always end with an ER visit because someone does something crazy. One vacation my husband hit is head on the cave ceiling. I was just about to say something to warn him before he hit his head, but I was too late. He started having severe headaches which warranted a visit to the ER.

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The other incident involved me sitting in a hard spot for five hours. LOL Hardspot! Get it! LOL okay, my sense of humor is my own. Anyway, after we made it to the car, I sat with my leg bent in the air for like three more hours. By the time I got home, I couldn’t walk. Turns out I hurt my butt, I didn’t even know that was a thing. I still swear I felt something jiggle around when I was walking. The nurses in the ER were laughing about it, but I was quite worried.

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Lastly, my daughter’s spider bite got infected by the other place we visited. We were having fun in the water which turned out to be irritating her bite. The doctor said it happens more times than people realize. We think those bandages are good for protection, but they can fail. Alison’s bandage came right off and that was what caused the infection. So, this year we will be adding a first aid supply kit to the trip. We are just too clumsy not to have one.

Are you planning anything fun this summer for your family?