The Death Penalty

This subject is as touchy as talking politics & religion. Everyone has an opinion about it, and I have mine. I don’t expect that everyone who reads this is going to agree with my views, and I respect those who will disagree with me.

I should warn you that this is not something that I want to debate here, I am open for “real” conversations if you seriously want to adventure there with me. 

Many of you who are reading this know my story, and you have walked this long journey with my family & I. For those who don’t, should know that when I was 11, my 8 year old sister, Vicki Lynne Hoskinson, was riding her bike in broad daylight when she was kidnapped, raped and brutally murdered by a disgusting monster who was on parole from California and lurking the streets of our little community in Tucson, AZ. Frank Atwood, a previously convicted pedophile who had been molesting children from an early age, sits on death row for his crime, he’s been there since 1987.  Vicki was murdered September 17, 1984.

Vicki, just 18 days before she was murdered in 1984, age 8

YES, I support the Death Penalty. I feel that it should remain on the books as an OPTION in heinous crimes, especially those committed against children.

So why this blog today? Last week a judge ruled that “Montana must change the way it executes prisoners after ruling that the current method is unconstitutional; giving a victory to death penalty foes that could be short lived.”  (The Daily Interlake) This affects the two inmates who sit on Death Row in Montana. The ACLU has already stated that it will push for legislative change in this matter, they have been trying hard to abolish the death penalty in Montana for many years. The Death Penalty is an OPTION and I will continue to personally fight to keep this law on the books.

Then there was this flyer that I came across for a fundraiser to be held later this month in Tucson, AZ.

  

The MUDERER’S drawing was on their flyer,

I won’t publish it on MY blog

a view from death row

Drawings by Danny Jones

September 29, 2012 Noon to 4pm

Pima Friends Meeting House
931 North 5th Avenue Tucson, AZ 85705

speakers including Danny Jones (via telephone) (FROM DEATH ROW)

Nancy and George Mairs
Joe Taylor (Pima Friends Meeting)

Gene Hall (curator)

Music and Refreshments Provided by
Pima Meeting Peace and Social Concerns Committee Donations accepted on behalf of
the Coalition of Arizonans to Abolish the Death Penalty

Do I have a problem with the fact the Coalition of Arizonans to Abolish the Death Penalty is raising money for the their cause? NO. Do I have an issue with the fact that another monster sitting on death row with Frank Atwood will actually be a “guest speaker”?  YOU BET I DO. It is utterly and completely ridiculous and it makes my blood boil.  Danny Jones, the man who murdered three innocent people, Robert, Katherine & Tisha in 1992, will have his drawings displayed and speak to help this organization raise money.

This is as absurd as the fact that while Frank Atwood has sat on death row he has earned college degrees and wrote books. It is DEATH ROW people! When did it start that OUR tax payers dollars went to the higher education of death row inmates?  Where does it stop? I wonder how many members of the Coalition are victims of heinous crimes whose perpetrators are sitting on Death Row? Or why, they feel that it is important now to define the talents of a monster who thoughtfully took lives of innocent people rather than spending their time and efforts on helping children, educating the poor, building houses for the homeless, or feeding the hungry?

I could go on for days … literally. For now, I’ll stop and hope that for at least this moment I have raised some questions in your minds. I know I am starting to question what I can do to stop death row inmates higher education and “guest speaking” engagements.

 

September already?

Summer came and went and it is hard to believe that we are settling into fall. The air is cool in the morning and we have woke up to some frosty wet windows already.

I am a little discouraged with myself that it was actually June since my last blog post. I have done little writing this summer. And haven’t blogged once. Geez!

Needless to say, once June hit things went crazy around our house. We had a lot of family and friends visit us this summer. We explored our local area seeing the Flathead Valley from the top of Big Mountain to Glacier National Park to Flathead Lake and as far west as the Thompson Chain of Lakes. We put on a lot of miles and we probably over ate, drank and had to much fun… nahhh, I think it is impossible to have to much fun!  We laughed sometimes until our stomachs hurt and reminisced about old stories while making new ones. Life is good!

As we move into September, Scott is still as busy as ever. Giles Thornton, the Super Late Model racer he is working with now, has had a great summer season. It is really exciting to watch Giles as he continues to grow in his talents. To be honest, I haven’t been this exciting about racing since Scott drove!!! I know there are great things to come in this program and feel so incredibly lucky that Scott is a part of what is happening!

Madison has gotten her first few days of 5th grade under her belt! 5th grade? It really amazes me how fast the time has gone, and it only seems to be steaming faster ahead.  She loves her teacher, has enjoyed reconnecting with friends from last year and making new ones! We will continue with horse riding lessons and find some art lessons to nurture her talents, here is what she is working on today…

(When she saw me posting a copy she warned it is NOT done yet just for the “record”)

Mackenzie starts kindergarten this week. I am not sure how much of this I can really talk about without getting completely emotional. I am so excited for her to go to school, and she is ready. We met her teacher last week and visited her classroom during Open House.. 3 days and counting down! It is just hard to believe how fast the time has gone. Sniff sniff…

As for me? I accepted a part time position at their school as an Instructional Para Educator, a.k.a. assist and help in anyway I can. I am beyond happy to be able to be at school with them. It’s really perfect for me to be able to take them to school, work and still have a few hours in the afternoon to do other things until I pick them up. I am not sure exactly where this will all lead but I am open to the new opportunities that have come my way and will just sit back and see.

My biggest goal for this fall is to get back to writing, and blogging… stay tuned!

Just Fishin’

We love to fish! 

We are lucky to live in a place that lakes, rivers, ponds and streams are so abundant that we can go 5 minutes from home and spend an evening fishing with the girls.

 

No, we are not professionals. It’s why we call it “fishing” and not “catching”. Scott has always loved to fish, from the time he was a little boy. It’s something that he talked about  when I first met him and is a past time we are enjoying with our girls now. Honestly, in the beginning, I would rather ride around in the boat, eating snacks and having a few cold ones. I’ve never been much on touching the worms, or baiting my own hooks. But I have actually really grown to love fishing more now than ever because it is something the four of us can do together. 

Lately we’ve tried to take the girls fishing close to home for a few hours in the evenings.  Last week we loaded up the girls, a picnic dinner, a blanket, our poles and headed to the Pine Grove Pond. This is a wonderful facility that sits amidst land donated by the Street Family. It makes it that much easier for people who can’t get out on a boat to still take their kids for an evening of fishing fun.

 

Kalispell Fishing Pond Guide is a complete list of ponds around the valley. I think we caught  7 fish last Wednesday. None of the fish were very big. But, then again, it’s more about making memories for them, the excitement in their voices and the smile on their faces as they are reeling their catch in. 

Ok, so it is a little funner to catch a big one. 

Mackenzie’s favorite song right now is “Just Fishin” by Trace Adkins. She plays it over and over on her iPod, singing along the best she can. She wants her own pink fishing pole for her birthday…. and I’d be willing to bet if Scott asked right now if they wanted to go fishin’ they would be out the door. 

“…and she thinks we’re just fishin’, we ain’t only fishin’….. this ain’t about fishin’….”

The End of the World? No, just the 4th grade

Summer Vacation! Yahoooooooo! Right?

Yesterday, a reality hit me as I sat in the back row of Mr. Nikunen’s 4th grade classroom watching the incredible video highlights he put together of the 4th grade year.

ANOTHER school year has passed.

It was a great year. We have been so blessed each year with Madison’s teachers. Each one understanding that Madison is an incredible artist, but may struggle in math. When she daydreams in class, her mind is creating something I only wish I could express. She loves to draw and read, her soul is gentle, her spirit kind.

Madison has wandered around for days saying for that she “can imagine the last moments of 4th grade” and how sad she is about this. Watching the video I understood exactly what she was saying.

Mr. Nikunen made the classroom a place where the kids loved to be and filled with:

learning…. kindness and giggles……. silly dances…

the education of Ooblick….  

a few class clowns ….  24 Super Stars…. “Hooked on fishing”…. iPads…..

…the importance of friendship   ….being creative is cool

 ….the Montana History Trip…. reading…. kick ball wars…. lego “drag racers”….  

and he taught the kids that words are like toothpaste, they can’t be put back in the tube

We are walking away from this year with a lot of wonderful memories, new friendships formed and a teacher who left an imprint on our hearts.

Mady said she paused today before leaving the classroom to have one last moment to remember her year. I am sad that another year is over, because for me it means that our girls are still growing. And today, I would like the world to just stop……