Video Of Woman Giving Her Opinion Of McKinney Chaos

The woman in the video below is on point. The whole situation would not have happened if the kids respected authority from the beginning. I am not at all condoning what the officer did to that girl (I saw a different article saying that he resigned). But there was A LOT more going on than what was being shown in that 7 minute viral video and that it seems that it did not even cover the initial reasons that cops had to show up in the first place. Right from the beginning it was recipe for disaster. A situation that never should have escalated to the point that it did.

In the videos that I have seen, it appears that it was the black kids who are arguing, talking back, and being aggressive. It does not appear that the white kids are doing those things (not saying they didn’t though). The situation probably did not start out as a race issue, but if the majority of arguing and aggressive teens are of a particular race then of course the accusations become that it was a race issue. The cop could have been more gentle with that girl but several of the neighborhood residents (black and white) (who actually live there and witnessed the events) say that the cop presence was definitely warranted and needed to control an out of control situation that the teens/party started.

On a personal note, this is why we will have strict rules for our kids when they are older so that hopefully they will never be in a situation that gets out of control like this. We do have a taste of experiencing teenager rule breaking so it isn’t like I am just wishfully planning… The past 2 years we had 2 exchange students who lived in our home for 10 months each. We had strict rules with them as well but we had some major rule breaking & lying issues with one of them and we had to confront and correct her.

We will also teach (and have been teaching) our girls respect for authority. Even when we sometimes disagree, there are proper ways of dealing with disagreements. [For example, if you feel a parking, speeding, accident, etc. ticket is unwarranted, you can go to court and dispute it]. It is the parent’s responsibility to teach children to respect authority and teach them that their actions have consequences. I hope that when my girls are that age they will have the sense to know to respect cops instead of arguing with them AND maybe have the wisdom to stay away from situations that lead to cops being called in the first place.



Questions & Answers…Preparing To Host A Student

First, I will say that it was not my idea to write a question/answer post but I thought it was an excellent idea from The Ann Arbor Exchange. The following questions come from them. This is their second year hosting a student so they included how their previous expectations actually worked with their first student and what changes they will be making with this year’s student. For this post though, I only have my current expectations to go on. Maybe after we have had our student for awhile I can revisit this to see if my expectations were reasonable.

So the idea behind these questions, is to evaluate your expectations before you choose a student. If you know the answers to these questions then when you receive student profiles you can compare common interests and look for red flags that might affect your family. This may help you avoid major conflicts throughout the time your student is a part of your family.

1. Is your family religious? How would you feel about hosting a student with a different religion? No religion? Can you commit to transporting a religious child to services if they are a regular attendee? Can you provide a quiet, distraction-free place for prayer if this is needed? If you are a non-religious family these questions are just as important!

144185625539529204_KGDI6yf4_cAbsolutely! While we don’t necessarily use the word religious to define ourselves, that is how most other people would define us. We are Christians. We go to a Baptist church. Our faith in God defines who we are and how we live our daily lives. We read our Bibles, we pray, we worship, we attend church services and activities throughout the week.

Although it would be easier to host a student with no religion, we would be okay with hosting a student with a different religion. We will ask our student to visit our church services and activities but we will not force her to come if she chooses not to. The youth group at our church will be very welcoming and would be a great way to meet friends since the majority of them go to the same high school. Also, there are 3-4 exchange student host families who attend our church and our hope is that they will be more comfortable here if they spend time with the other students and families.

 It would be difficult to transport a student to and from services of a different religion if they were during days/times that conflict with our schedules or own church services. If our student desires to attend services at another church or religious place, we would more than likely require that she makes transportation arrangements with someone whom we have met and who we are comfortable with driving her. If she chooses to pray privately, she will have her room to do so.

We have not brought up religion in our emails with Noriko but according to her profile she has no religion. We know from our experience living in Okinawa, Japan that Shintoism and Buddhism are the most common religions there and that one or both of them will probably have influenced her belief system whatever that may be.

2. Is your family active? Do you want a student who will be open to being active?

Shane is active. I am not. I do not think that this will be a problem for our family. If she is active, we will find avenues (like school or community sports) for her to be a part of.

3. Are you financially ready to provide three meals and snacks? Can you pay for school activities or will the student? How will you handle expenses? Will you work with the natural parents ahead of time to decide on the student’s allowance? Will the student give you cash? Or will you have them pay for an equivalent dollar amount of things?

We do not feel that adding one more person to feed will be that much of an added expense. We tend to cook enough to have left overs. Our girls are hit or miss as to whether they will eat a whole meal or not. And I try to save money by buying produce through a co-op and couponing (not extreme couponing) as I am able too. Our exchange organization requires that the student will have a $300.00 (or more) per month allowance. This money is for the student to pay for all school and extracurricular expenses. If she chooses to buy lunch at school, that will be her expense also. We personally will require her to have a cell phone and she will be responsible for paying the monthly bill. When the student arrives we will set up a savings account with a debit card at our local bank. We will also help the student budget her money so that she does not over spend and so that she plans ahead for larger expenses that she may have while here.

4. What are your family’s unspoken rules? Being aware of these is imperative – an exchange student will not simply intuit them.

The biggest one that I can think of is that Shane is military and his schedule is always changing. We as a family need to be respectful and understanding if he needs extra sleep, will leave for work extra early, will get home extra late, or will be away from home for days, weeks, or months.

Because we have never had a teenager live with us, there may be things that come to our attention along the way. I think we need to be somewhat flexible but if something starts to bother us (that wasn’t already mentioned as a “rule”) that we should explain it to the student tactfully.

5. What are your expectations for school? Chores? Technology? Dating? Social stuff? Curfew?

This question is a little hard for us since we have never had teenagers. So, I think there may be some learning on our part as to what is appropriate for our student. If something comes up that we are unsure of, we have several friends that we can go to for teen parenting advice 🙂 But here are some initial thoughts…

Our exchange organization requires that students maintain a C or higher in all classes. I feel that this is reasonable but will highly encourage Noriko to do her very best to get A’s and B’s. If she brings home C’s I will more than likely be talking to the teachers and arranging tutoring.

We do not really have set chores. Shane and I do what needs to be done as needed. We take turns when we can but more often than not, I take care of indoor chores and he takes care of outdoor chores. I asked Noriko what chores she likes to do and she said she likes to do dishes and vacuuming. It will be easy to set up a schedule for her to help with each of these. As well as, general care of her room and bathroom. We will probably have her help with watching the girls on occasion.

Our exchange organization has limits of 1 hour per week of communication with student’s home family and friends (phone or Skype). They feel that the more a student is interacting with home, the harder it is for them to adjust to being here. Their limit for internet (email, facebook, etc.) is 2 hours per week with the exception of school related internet usage (studying, research, etc.).

We will meet all friends and dates before Noriko spends any significant time outside of school with them. We will encourage her to invite her friends to our house and we will be open and honest with her about any concerns we may have about someone. We will not allow her to ride with friends unless we have met them and feel comfortable with them driving. We will also have an open policy with her. If she feels at all uncomfortable, she can call us and we will come get her. She can use us as an excuse to get out of an activity or date by saying she needs to be with us at that time.

We will have a 9:00 curfew on school nights, a 11:00 curfew on weekends, and a 12:00 curfew on special occasions (like prom). Exceptions may be made if Noriko specifically asks ahead of time (for instance, she is going to a movie and it will get out later than curfew).

6. If you have other children in the house how do they feel about hosting?

Our girls are ages 6 and 4 years old. We honestly did not consult them before deciding to have a student. In fact, we avoided talking to them about it until we knew for sure that our application was accepted and that we would be getting Noriko. After we were approved, we talked to them about it and told them that it would be like having a big sister while she was here. It took a few times of talking about it before they really understood that she was coming for more than just a short vacation. Now they both seem to be excited about having Noriko here!

7. Do you have pets? Have you honestly assessed their behavior? Have you shared any pertinent information about them with your student? What are the pet-related expectations for your student?

0ES1We have a black cat named Hashi (Japanese word for chopsticks) who is about 3  years old. He doesn’t like a lot of commotion or attention and usually hides away in our room throughout the day. He tends to explore during the night. It is not unusual for him to come out to the living room while guests are here (as long as it is somewhat quiet and calm) but if anyone moves in his direction he usually retreats back to the bedroom. He tolerates me the most out of anyone in the family. He will be okay with a student once he gets to know her.

0ES2We also have a black dog named Bear (lab mix) who is around 9 months old. He is all puppy. Very hyper and loves attention. He likes to play bite (but won’t intentionally hurt someone) and he chews anything he can get his teeth on (toys, brushes, headbands, bowls, cups, etc). We keep him locked up in his kennel at night and when we are not at home. We also make a habit of closing bedroom doors or putting up a baby gate so that he cannot get into them.

One of our requirements was that there be no animal allergies. I really liked everything about a Brazil girl’s profile until it said she was allergic to cats. This is something that we just cannot work around. Noriko’s profile said that she has a cat and loves pets. She said as much when we had the opportunity to Skype with her this past weekend. She was surprised that Bear was an indoor dog though.

8. How long will your student be with you before school starts? How will you handle the downtime?

Noriko will be with us for 5 days before school starts. There really will not be much downtime. We will allow her to sleep and rest for a couple of days but we also have to go to a school appointment to get her registered and make her class schedule. We will most likely need to do some shopping. And we will be spending a lot of time discussing rules and expectations, answering questions, and generally getting her settled and preparing for school to start.

9. Do you have any dietary restrictions? Does the student? Is everyone comfortable with this?

We do not have any dietary restrictions. According to Noriko’s profile, she does not either. We looked at several student profiles and a couple of them were vegetarians or vegans. Initially, I wanted to say that it wouldn’t be a problem. After thinking about it, though, I realized that with young children it would be almost impossible to cater to a dietary need or preference. Maybe when our girls are older (or out of the house) it would not be an issue but for now my girls need to be the priority when it comes to food preparation. I need to be able to prepare what I know they will eat. We do eat a wide variety of foods but having to eliminate whole food groups because of an allergy or preference just is not practical for us at this time.

10. What are your expectations around travel? Holidays? Family time?

We want to travel to visit our families in Iowa and Delaware while Noriko is here. Right now we do not know if we will have the finances to be able to take these long distance trips or not. Our plan is to start saving for them now and hope that we are able to do them. I feel that if we can help Noriko see other parts of our country, it would be a great experience for her. If we make it to Delaware, I will most definitely take her to Washington DC for a day and possibly New York City as well. For most travel (long distance or not), we will require that she pays her portion of the trip. If we fly, she will have to pay for her plane ticket. If we go to a museum or amusement park, she will pay for her entrance tickets.

375547_2593634049248_1506571575_32756780_628022001_nFor holidays, we will celebrate them the way we usually do. Most holidays that we celebrate have a Christian theme or history (Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, St. Patrick’s Day, etc.) and we will make it sure she knows the purpose and/or history behind each holiday. Our church is planning to do a Passover dinner next spring which will also give her a the experience of a Jewish holiday. The only major American holiday that we don’t really celebrate is Halloween. We tend to participate in whatever our church does for this holiday (harvest parties, trunk or treat) but we have only been attending our church since February so I don’t know what they do. I also plan to ask Noriko about her holiday traditions and would like to incorporate them into ours while she is here.

Most of the time family time is spent at home at meals and watching tv or movies together. I am a stay at home mom who homeschools, so family time (at least with the girls and I) is usually not an issue. When Shane is away for an extended period of time or due to long hours at work, the girls may start to be clingy and start to act out (attitudes, tantrums, etc.). When I notice this happening, I usually suggest that we go out to eat as a family so that we don’t have the distractions of being at home. We also try to go out as a family to the pool or park to spend time together. We will treat Noriko as a daughter and a part of the family. We want her to feel we are her family away from home.

How would you answer these questions? Can you think of any others that may be helpful?

“Brains Are Like Teeth”

Today I am going to share an article written last year by my favorite father-in-law Tom Sawyer. I will make my comments at the end


“While solving the world’s problems over coffee the other day, my friend made the commented that sometimes his kid acts like he hasn’t got a brain in his head. I’ve heard this comment made by concerned parents more times than I can count and there is a good reason.

Brains are like teeth. You see, a baby, before their baby teeth grow out, eats baby food. No solid food, just fluids and jars of mush. As the child gets a little older and his or her baby teeth grow out, they begin to eat solid foods a little at first and finally pretty much the same foods an adult eats.

When Junior hits the age of 10 or so, all his baby teeth fall out. So for a period of time he or she has no teeth and must eat fluids and mush. Finally the adult teeth grow in and your young adult can enjoy all of the pleasures of most any adult artery clogging culinary feast.

Brains work in much the same way. When you first bring your new bundle of joy home from the hospital their new baby brain is just starting to learn and analyze information. Their communication skills are almost nonexistent. When they want something they cry, or they drool, burp and poop. Once in a while you get the coveted smile. They act like a baby but that’s about it. That’s all you should expect.

As the baby brain develops so do communication skills and a higher order of thought patterns emerge. You see hope for the world because your child must be a genius. Best of all, your young toddler is kind of fun to have around. Spending time together is something you look forward to every day.

Sometime between ages 12 to 14 the baby brain like baby teeth, falls out and for a period of time your teenager has no ability to learn from mistakes or analyze information. Their higher level communication skills are almost nonexistent. Their basic instinct is to eat, complain, drool, burp and poop. Once in a while you get the coveted smile. They act like a baby but that’s about it. That’s all you should expect.

It’s different in all cases, but in time the adult brain grows in and you have a fully functional full grown adult. Ready to change the world for the better.

So the next time you see your teen do something that make no sense and you find yourself thinking, “that kid acts like he doesn’t have a brain in his head.” He doesn’t, it fell out. But it’ll be ok; his adult brain will grow in sooner or later. Yours did.”

[To read more from Tom; check out his column at UBurlington]


The topic of children comes up regularly in my Women’s Bible Study at church. Often mother’s are worried about their children’s development, how to discipline, etc. We share experiences and learn from each other’s failures and successes with raising children. Lately, the following question has been asked: “What do I do if something bad happens to my children (injury, abuse, pregnancy, etc.)? We don’t like to think about these things but the reality is that something bad may happen.

Mother’s are protective of their children. We pray for them constantly and hope that we are raising them right. Sometimes we forget that God placed them in our lives and is ultimately in control. Unfortunately, we as mothers (or fathers) cannot protect them from everything. Sometimes bad things happen and sometimes our children will make mistakes. Our job is to teach them how to love God and His Word so that they will have the foundation they need in their lives. When trials come to them they will learn how to respond to them based on that foundation.

I don’t have teenagers…yet. I have several years before I hit that stage (Thank you Jesus!). I do know that when I was a teenager; I had a desperate need to figure things out on my own. I wanted to do things that I was not allowed to do just to see if my parents were right. Sometimes a situation would come up where I knew my parents were right about something. This saved me from making some mistakes because I had my foundation. When I did make mistakes; I quickly turned back to my Biblical foundation.

We can’t control what our children will do in the future. We can’t keep bad things from happening to them. But, we need to remember that God loves our children even more than we do.

Train a child in the way he should go,

and when he is old he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6