family members of amish girls killed monday in their one-room school in pennsylvania want younger relatives to forgive the gunman. according to cnn, a grandfather said, “we must not think evil of this man.”

that response floors me. i am amazed at that kind of compassion. i don’t think i would forgive someone who killed one of my family members. i just couldn’t do it. their faith is so strong that they know that if someone dies, it’s god’s plan. the grandfather said, “we’re going to have to pick up the pieces and keep going. a funeral to us is a much more important thing than the day of birth because we believe in the hereafter. the children are better off than their survivors.” i can only hope to have that kind of faith. i have to admire anyone who can forgive the person who kills his or her relatives. that’s a point i can only hope to reach.

longing for safety

in lancaster county, pennsylvania, a milk truck driver entered a one-room amish school, let the male students, a pregnant woman and several women with infant children leave before lining the female students up in front of the blackboard, tying their feet together and shooting them in the head execution-style.

In las vegas, two schools were locked down after at teenager was seen at a high school with a gun.

last week, a principal was shot in wisconsin and a 15-year-old now is charged with his murder, and in colorado, a man held six girls hostage before shooting one and himself.

the news makes me sick these days. i’m a news reporter, so i peruse state and national news sites throughout the day, and i never thought the day would come when students wouldn’t be safe at school. now, don’t get me wrong, i know there have been school shootings in the past, such as the one at columbine high school, but i can’t remember so many happening in such a short period of time. if i was a mother, i don’t know that i would want my child to attend a school. i might choose to home school him or her. i can’t imagine what the parents of the children involved in these shootings are going through.

instinctively, i wonder what could go through the mind of a person to make them enter a school and shoot innocent students and adults. i can’t understand that mentality. the man in pennsylvania, according to his wife, was trying to get revenge for something that occurred 20 years ago. what in the world could have happened to make him execute those young students? it just boggles my mind.

i like to think that nothing like that would happen here, in my small town. i hope not. but, i’m sure none of these children’s parents thought shootings would occur at their schools. i went to high school and college in an adventist town we affectionately call “happy valley.” the worst thing that ever happened at my high school was the administration not allowing a student to graduate because she was caught with drugs during a search. we lived in our little bubble. we weren’t oblivious to the events going on across the country; we just knew nothing like that would ever happen in our little world.

i no longer live in “happy valley.” i’ve seen several police reports at work of crimes occurring in the apartment complex where i live. there have been burglaries and even a man attacked as he tried to unlock his apartment door. it scares me. i know i can’t live forever in an area like “happy valley,” but i should be able to feel safe.

happy birthday, honey!

joe, today you turn 27. i’ve had fun joking about how old you are, even though i will be there in just a few months. i’m so glad i get to celebrate with you, that i was able to be the first person to wish you a happy birthday. it seems like just yesterday we were going on our first date, even though neither of us knew if it was a date until halfway through it. i was so nervous, and seemed so calm. despite my thoughts about that night, i knew then that we would end up together. and, as you know, i’m never wrong. in a month we will have been together for two years, but tomorrow we will have been married for one month. i have never been happier than i have been with you. you are my heart, my soul and my life. i can’t even remember what my life was like without you. i hope you have a fantastic birthday, and really, i *did* get you a present. hehe. i love you, honey.


i spent this afternoon watching the braves knock the astros out of the playoffs (woo hoo!) and working on pages for our wedding scrapbook. i think they turned out fairly well. they definitely are much better than the pages i did for our dating scrapbook. i’ve finished four pages so far.

so what do you all think? decent? half-way decent? hideous?? 🙂