The Nightmare Before Christmas - Lost jobs and the art of shopping Blog at - 291630

Lost jobs and the art of shopping

The Nightmare Before Christmas 
Dec. 9, 2012 11:49 am 
Updated: Dec. 16, 2012 7:10 pm
If you want to read blogs about happy times and Christmas cheer, this is NOT the one to read. I enjoy this holiday season the same way so many do, baking, cooking,  and decorating the house while listening to beautiful Christmas music. I am sorry to interfere with Christmas cheer but this story has to be told and I need help from all of you, finding an avenue to channel my endeavors so that this might not happen to another child.

Sadly, this week, I read a horrific story in our Las Vegas newspaper. It was a about the death of a little seven year old boy named Roderick. He was beaten to death by his parents. They beat him because he did not do his homework and did not read a bible passage. When the mother found him unresponsive in the morning she didn't call 911......she called her pastor. They showed an interview of their pastor and he told the interviewer that he told them to call 911 immediately and that he believed they had committed child abuse against their son. This horrific event brought me back to a story I had recently read about a young woman in a far away country who was stabbed to death by her mother and father for wearing or acting contrary to the strict adherence  of their Muslim??? religion. I was aghast at the story, but I went on with my day and soon that sad story was behind me.

Then Roderick came into my life. He was not really in my life, but his story has touched my soul and my quiet moments. His face has woken me in the middle of the night and I feel guilty that I lived up the hill a couple of miles in a warm and safe home with hot food bubbling on my stove while he was beaten mercilessly in the house of horrors he called home. Did he have a hot dinner the last night of his life or was he so broken that he huddled away from his torturers?  Did he believe that God would forsake him for not reading his bible passage? Did he still look forward to Christmas and all the promises that brings to so many little ones?

The stories say that he was recently returned to his parents after having lived for some time with his grandma. Does his grandmother weep and wail at what she couldn't fix in his life? Does she wake up and feel guilty for returning him to the mother who wanted him back? The newspaper said that someone from his school called CPS the last day of Roderick's life on this earth. They also said that he had not been able to sit down in class that last day and  he shared with his teacher that he had been whooped on the butt and it was too painful to sit. The teacher? or someone at the school did the right thing and called the authorities at the CPS hotline, but it was too late for Roderick and I wonder how much pain this teacher/mentor suffers now. Does he/she blame themselves for not stealing little Roderick away and saving him from the monsters he called mom and dad only to risk being arrested and stripped of a teaching license for interfering with due process?

 My husband is a public school teacher, and when I shared my despair with him he said he could NOT hear it. He has witnessed the sad lives of so many kids with broken lives brought on by neglectful or irresponsible parents or crime or divorce that he said he cannot stand to hear one more sad thing about some innocent child being hurt. He is fully convinced that education's biggest enemy is the pitiful lives so many kids live these days. Divorce, prison, or just sad neglect of nurturing or value for education stunts the lives of so many children in our society. My husband has 45 of these charges for six periods a day (that is over 250 students a day) and he wonders frequently how he can touch their lives for just one moment in a positive way. It breaks his heart that so many of them seem so needy or miserable. Many of them do not even like holiday breaks. What kind of life do you live as a kid when you don't look forward to the wonders of Christmas or a long warm summer to explore your world?

I have watched the videos of this beautiful boy with the spark in his eye named Roderick. Every single photo shows a wide smile and a delighted look in his eyes. His happiness looks genuine and I wonder if anyone else could sense the  impending doom. I will hold his smile and sparkle in my heart through this holiday season and search for an answer to the dilemma of abused children and the monsters who perpetrate such violence. I will search out an avenue to channel my energy and hope that I can prevent one more Roderick/victim. It is the least I can do. I ask that all of you be vigilant in your defense of children and nurture and protect all children.

With love and warmest respect to Roderick. You live in my heart little man.
Dec. 9, 2012 12:04 pm
prayers to lil Roderick:-(
Dec. 9, 2012 12:09 pm
Thank you nanny129, I know he is in a better place, but I want so much for someone/everyone to know that he mattered :)
Dec. 9, 2012 12:15 pm
So very sad, so needless, so very wrong. Sorry, just can't type any more, I need to go get a tissue. :(
Dec. 9, 2012 12:20 pm
baking Nana, I have to push him away at times so I can keep going, but it is so hard.
Dec. 9, 2012 12:21 pm
i is a sad day when we realize he is safe NOW- hope the parents(and any one else involved) gets what they deserve- or as close as that can be-
Dec. 9, 2012 12:24 pm
I wish this was a rare occurrence but it is not. Here is an organization that does wonderful works.
Dec. 9, 2012 12:32 pm
mauigirl, if Roderick's life can inspire you in this way, then his life will be honored. Blessings on you as you search out a way to love children like him.
Dec. 9, 2012 12:43 pm
Reading this certainly brought tears to my eyes, can barely type. Prayers for Roderick and to you also for being such a caring person.
Dec. 9, 2012 12:48 pm
nanny, it was interesting to watch the parents at their arraignment. His mother was weeping, but his "father" looks unconcerned. The most telling thing is the way the other inmates looked at them while they were being arraigned. Looks like they could be taken care of, but at what cost to an innocent child?
Dec. 9, 2012 12:48 pm
Marie C. Thank you for sharing this organization. Time for me to find someone who needs help.
Dec. 9, 2012 12:50 pm
Bibi, I hope his story inspires many others cuz sadly, his death is not a unique occurrence :(
Dec. 9, 2012 12:50 pm
misty, I only need prayers to keep me on task :) Thank you so much kid:)
Dec. 9, 2012 12:55 pm
Hugs, my dear friend. I had to wipe a tear. Sadly, this is not an isolated incident. Thank you for honoring Roderick who is now resting in the arms of The Beloved. And for alerting us to a great need.
Dec. 9, 2012 12:59 pm
LadySparkle, I am so blessed to have so many loving friends like you. Sadly, Roderick is just one more victim in this often sad society. He was a beautiful little boy and I am glad that I found him :)we must be vigilant.
Dec. 9, 2012 1:03 pm
Right after we moved to NM, a baby girl was sexually abused and killed by her father and her uncle, while her mother and grandmother stood by and did nothing. Nothing could help Baby Brianna, but her terrible death caused a new law to be passed in NM that makes the penalty for the death of a child due to abuse the same as that for murder for an adult. Up until then, child abuse was not considered as serious a crime as a crime against an adult. I don't think it will stop all abuse, but it might cause some to stop and think. I feel your pain and pray that Roderick's parents will get their punishment both here and in the hereafter.
Dec. 9, 2012 1:08 pm
When I googled to find this little boy I was horrified at how many stories came up. So sad. Sending prayers to all the people who are in abusive situations.... not just physical but verbally, too. Dealing with a situation now that has no happy ending. Praying you can help make someone's life better. Thanks for posting.
Dec. 9, 2012 1:14 pm
midwestchef, The horror of Brianna's death is just unimaginable. I too want swift and harsh punishment, but I fear these monsters are frequently so damaged themselves that they cannot formulate any reasoning when confronted by their own anger & self hatred. By then it is too late for their victims :( Take care kid
Dec. 9, 2012 1:15 pm
Cried when i read this,that poor boy.
Dec. 9, 2012 1:16 pm
Shannon K thanks for your kind thoughts and checking on this terribly sad story. You are right, verbal abuse is another part of this horrific cycle of abuse. We all must be aware and try to intervene when some instance that we witness troubles us.
Dec. 9, 2012 1:17 pm
manella.....Roderick has taken a piece of my heart with him :(
Dec. 9, 2012 1:18 pm
and I didn't even know him.....
Dec. 9, 2012 1:47 pm
Julie that story saddened me beyond words. It breaks my heart that so many deserving people who truly want a child to love and nurture, can't have them and then the monsters like Rodrick's parents who don't know how precious his life is/was, are entrusted with his care. I thank God everyday for my kids and know that they are the most precious gifts I've ever received. I also know how difficult your husbands job is. Thank him for me, because the good ones(like him), really do matter and really can make a difference in the life of a child, whether he realizes it or not.
Dec. 9, 2012 1:54 pm
It truely breaks your heart and Boggles the mind how Monsters can inhabit such a beautiful planet! I am soo sorry for All the Roderick's. Just imagine, you need a license to own a dog, cut hair or trim toes, yet Any IDIOT can have a precious child to do Whatever the He!! they want! Please find peace my friend:) I don't know how you will get it but I hope by talking about these children WHO DESERVED BETTER THEN THEY GOT, will help you find it.
Dec. 9, 2012 1:59 pm
Avon, it makes me feel better that others know Roderick's story. I wish he could know that not all adults are monsters and that we would have loved to have helped had we known. Our children are our greatest gift and responsibility and yet there is frequently no "training" for parenthood. You need a license to drive but there is no requirement for any training for parenthood. So many have not had the joy of a good childhood and then we expect them to be good parents? Thanks for the kind words about my husband. Contrary to all the anti teacher cr@p, most teachers do care and are overwhelmed at the responsibility of their charges.So many parents send damaged children to school and expect a teacher to fix what is wrong when they have 30+ in the classroom. Shame on the parents' lack of responsibility. Sadly, Sparky says the children seem more damaged and needy every year :(
Dec. 9, 2012 2:00 pm
Yes, you did not know him, the fact that you Know of HIM, and care soo deeply, speaks volumes of your LOVE for him!! God Bless you my Dear::)
Dec. 9, 2012 2:01 pm
Patty Cakes....great minds thing alike.(see above) You are so right about the license issue :) Once again I seek solace in the kindness and wisdom of my friends. Thanks for listening.
Dec. 9, 2012 2:49 pm
WOW!!! I am sitting in my living room.... Next to my husband .... My 3year old playing at my feet.... Twins sleeping upstairs - and I came across your blog. I tried to keep my sadness to myself for now. I hear my little one say "daddy - mommy is crying". WOW is all I could muster up to say. We went thru so much to have our 3! So painful to think that poor little boy never had a chance! Gosh it just infuriates me! Saying a little pray him and all the others who sadly we know are going thru the same as we al type.
Dec. 9, 2012 3:00 pm
Heather I am sorry I made you cry....but that kind of concern is the medicine for this kind of atrocity. My son is an adult...and 40....but even at my age, I realize that WE all are the keepers of the children and it really does take a village to raise well adjusted children. We must be vigilant.Give your little peanuts an extra hug and kiss today :)
Dec. 9, 2012 3:10 pm
So funny you said that....I call them "my peanuts". It was a good cry. Not sure if 'good' is the right word but I know you know what I mean. Vigilant I will be - of my peanuts and others!
Dec. 9, 2012 3:19 pm
Maui GIrl-as a teacher for 37 years-(retired now)-it saddens me when a child is subjected to child abuse. I have had to report parents and it was hard, but I am an advocate for children. No child deserves to die. My prayers are with you and poor little Roderick.
Dec. 9, 2012 3:27 pm
Heather...I once had a little peanut who is now a big ole peanut and I still love him with all of my heart :)
Dec. 9, 2012 3:27 pm
How horrifying. At just 3 months out from becoming a parent, I could never imagine treating my little blessing in such a way. Unfortunately, the holidays are not all ribbons and bells for everyone, as much as we wish they could be. My heart goes out to those who cared for Roderick, and I hope his parents get what they deserve. I'm sure their God would forgive Roderick for not reading a bible passage, but can't see how he could forgive the parents. What a shame :(
Dec. 9, 2012 3:29 pm
Lela, You have all my respect for being a teacher and making a difference in kids' lives. I loved so many of my teachers and a few I didn't like......I realize now that they taught me something valuable about myself and my world. Merry Christmas dear :)
Dec. 9, 2012 3:40 pm
Julie - I would like to suggest thinking of becoming a foster parent - but I want to warn you that you need to be prepared both physically and mentally for this - your phone can and will ring at all hours - your life "disrupted" at a moments notice - and frequently you receive frightened and angry children. You may have one or several children for a day or more. It's always temporary - but the difference you make is forever. The reason for their separation from adults vary - from abuse to abandonment. So although the "cause" for their removal is varied the "cure" is always the same - they just need to feel safe and to feel love. It's just a thought and foster parenting is not for everyone - but it's something that can help.
Dec. 9, 2012 3:42 pm
Hey is now your Walnut! Haha.
Dec. 9, 2012 4:01 pm
I've seen stories like this in my life as an educator, too, mauigirl. It's so heartbreaking. There doesn't really seem to be an answer to all of this, does there, except to keep serving as examples to others of love and decency. Thanks for your caring.
Dec. 9, 2012 4:06 pm
It seems that this year, here in Michigan, we are hearing about far more of these sickening stories and too many of them involve the torturous deaths of innocent little ones. There are campaigns, advertisments, PSA's, court sponsored classroom services and numbers of volunteer organizations dedicated to finding and preventing these atrocities, yet so many remain unnoticed until it's too late. The most horrible ones seem to be where both parents are the perpetrators, directly or indirectly. Patty Cakes comment is so horribly true but I see no way to change that irony. Laws cannot protect these victims, they can only punish the murderers. My gut tells me that we are becoming a society of self-centered people who have no idea that their actions can have irrepairable and deadly consequences.
Hella from Moorea 
Dec. 9, 2012 4:08 pm
A truly tragic story that regrettably is going on all over the world all the time, even down here in the South Pacific islands. I have no words to express what I feel now or each time I read of a similar story. It's a cruel, cruel world.
Dec. 9, 2012 4:43 pm
i'm old south. folks would handle this..their neighbors. but as society has changed, so have we. i'm sorry to say i am not in the majority here. i feel that young child's pain. i would inflict pain. turn the other cheek? nothing else happens to these "parents", at least spade them before releasing from on over-crowded prison. hopefully nevada has a death penalty.
Dec. 9, 2012 4:51 pm
Julie, after reading about little Roderick's sad life and death, I couldn't help thinking about 7 year old little boys. How they are full of life and mischief and wonder. I think of my own son who is now 35, who thrilled me and made me laugh every single day as a little boy. How he put about 50 little toads in the bread drawer for safe keeping and was convinced his Daddy (Orangezest) hunted the dinasours to extinction. I think how much fun life is supposed to be for these little fellas and how little Roderick's life was such a horrific nightmare. How he had no hope! It makes me sick how his parents perverted their idea of religion to abuse , torture and kill one of God's precious children. The bible says this, "he who brings harm to the least of these (children) will surely be judged." Any judgement or punishment here on earth is not enough for those who harm children. My HOPE is in the wise judgement of God who now holds little Roderick in his loving arms!
Dec. 9, 2012 5:19 pm
I've heard many sad stories concerning children over the years and I have often thought they are the angels of the earth in a manner of speaking and because I love them so much. I thought of the same scripture Candice did. You're so right. So many of those stories about little kids I've heard, haunt me too. So sorry for them. And yes God does have him which is comforting to know.
Dec. 9, 2012 6:10 pm
My husb has been in education for 40 years. Daughter is a Principal. My DIL and daughter are both active in the CASA program in their communities. The horrors going on every day in our country, in our towns, in our states is horrific. To just make a difference in one child's life is at least a way to start. Trying to grasp the entire problem is overwhelming. So if we each try to do one thing... each and every day, it is at least a start. If ALL of us did one would add up to so many things being done!! Thanks for bringing up this topic in your blog.
Dec. 9, 2012 6:55 pm will be a wonderful already are :)
Dec. 9, 2012 6:57 pm
luv2cook....For many reasons I cannot be a foster parent. The biggest reason is we live in an age restricted development (as in old age) I am formulating a plan though :)
Dec. 9, 2012 6:58 pm
Marianne, I know every educator knows this kind of heartbreak. Thanks for making a difference :)
Dec. 9, 2012 6:59 pm
Mike Harvey, I too read this stuff every day and pause to think of the horror. I think this one hit me so hard cuz he was within a 10 minute drive. If only....... I am with you though....the harshest of punishment for them both.
Dec. 9, 2012 7:01 pm
Hella, I know it happens all over the world and my Maui has a terrible record when it comes to domestic violence. I will become more involved in honor of this adorable little guy.
Dec. 9, 2012 7:04 pm
gderr....Yes we do have the death penalty. I would like them to have a wall mural in their cells to show the damage they did to this precious little boy every day of their miserable existence until they are gone from the earth forever. BTW OJ Simpson knows all about the saying "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" Our judge gave him 60 years :)
Dec. 9, 2012 7:05 pm are so right. He will miss all the wonderful times that every little guy should have. Your memories make me smile :)
Dec. 9, 2012 7:07 pm
Seeker, God may have Roderick, but it is imperative that we all try to watch over the children better so that they may live to help the next generation be better. Thanks for caring :)
Dec. 9, 2012 7:08 pm
chris k Thank your family for all they do. I am trying to decide where my role lies. I only know that I will become more involved.
Dec. 9, 2012 7:12 pm
Totally agree. Thanks for caring too. :)
Dec. 9, 2012 8:44 pm
Such a sad story that happens much to frequently to innocent little children. Its hard to imagine that parents can hurt their own...but they do...child abuse will never go away their are to many sick or twisted minds in our world. Love and caring and keeping an eye open for those who are being abused; report any abuse that you know of and then report it again until some one hears you, I for one will do that if I know of abuse. Another precious life lost for no reason.
Dec. 9, 2012 10:37 pm
MG: I have a strict no-tolerance policy with regard to harming children or animals. Roderick's parents should be thankful that I do not meet the qualifications as a Nevada juror.
Dec. 9, 2012 11:59 pm
that, is soo sad. It brings me back to my girls. My 2 girls(not counting my biological children Emily and Brandon) But Aliena and Jenny that had an abusive biological mother. Jenny was way to young and can't remember her birth-mom because she was 6 months old when they were taken away from her. But Aliena being 5 when CPS came in and saved their lives from her distruction, remembers bits and pieces of the tourment this woman did to them, them being special needs babies as well...not understanding what was happening to them, nor being able to express by words, what the woman that was their mom was doing to makes me sick, to know, that these people and people like them, do things like this to children. They should be given the same punishment bestowed upon them as they dished out to that child. See how it feels to be on the receiving end of what they did to that poor little boy and to my girls and to other children out there! Life is suppose to be celebrated, not mournful. We are to love and praise our children and teach them to love each other. What horrible horrible people. Do you know how hard it is, to answer questions from an autistic child, that wants to understand why her mommy locked her in the closet or why, if she didn't finish her food, would rub her face in it to force her to eat it...or why she never hugged her?? It's soo sad, please please, don't turn the other cheek...if you know of a child being abused, even if it's suspected, call CPS to look into it. It may save a child. I will pray tonight when I lay my head down that, these parents of Roderick...know they need to see his face everytime they close their eyes, what precious life they lost by not loving him the way, he should have been loved. And that they should not mourn for his life, they don't have the right too, but mourn for their own souls. I don't have pity for them!
Dec. 10, 2012 3:27 am
No way to understand this. It is far too common. I can only think - Why, God? Why? Rest peacefully, little Angel Roderick...
Dec. 10, 2012 4:06 am
Child abuse is a horrific crime we are always hearing way too many times in the news. This child Roderick has touched you, as Caylee Anthony touched many people living in Orlando. That sweet little girl lived two blocks from our dear friends and they helped comb the woods looking for her in search parties. The day her mother was acquitted will haunt me forever. I can still see her sweet little face when I close my eyes. God bless all the little souls that have been taken by the hand of monsters.
Dec. 10, 2012 4:29 am
It makes me sad to hear little innocent children being abused. I know I get angry at my children for disobeying me, acting foolishly in public, etc. Those are the times when I look back and laugh now. Striking a child, malnutrition, etc is abuse. My heart aches for all those who have been abused. May God bless you and keep you in His care. Judgement day is coming.
Dec. 10, 2012 4:48 am
CliffG Thanks so much for being aware. The world needs more caring people like you.
Dec. 10, 2012 4:50 am
bikerfamily, I can't agree with you more...but I still shudder when I think of all those jurors letting Casey Anthony off the hook. Sometimes the justice system just plain stinks!
Dec. 10, 2012 4:53 am
mis7up, your babie's stories made me cry all over again. Those little peanuts hit the jackpot when you became their "real" mother :)
Dec. 10, 2012 4:53 am
Maggi...Thanks so much for taking the time to read about this precious little guy.
Dec. 10, 2012 4:56 am
Sherri, I will never understand how that jury made the decision they did. They recently announced that they found another piece of damning evidence against Casey Anthony on her computer. Sadly, she can not be tried again. How monsters like her can walk the earth without swift punishment totally boggles my mind.
Dec. 10, 2012 5:00 am
Can't help but have a broken heart for the child of abuse. It is horrifying to even think about what Rodrick was going through. God rest his innocent little soul and pray that if there is another lifetime for him, it will be kind. Thanks for sharing this, Julie.
Dec. 10, 2012 5:01 am
luv2cook, I was an imperfect parent too but never to this extent. We all have to discipline our children or they would turn out to be uncivilized. Sadly, the abusers are relentless in inflicting pain and suffering on innocent children or adults for that matter. PS For any who read this that are abusers or live with abusers, get help. There are people and agencies who can help you get out of this horrific cycle of violence.
Dec. 10, 2012 5:48 am
Mauigirl, Tears and prayers for all affected by this tragic event, except his mother and stepfather. The article stated "Nationally, more than five children die every day as a result of child abuse" and that sickens me. It is a shame as Patty Cakes said "you need a license to own a dog, cut hair or trim toes, yet Any IDIOT can have a precious child to do Whatever the He!! they want." Today there are 15 days until Chirstmas so 75 children may fall under the hands of those that should have had a parenting course (or more). MG, I pray your blog helps to save the children, the elderly and animals from the monsters in our society. Report any abuse and get these children to people that would love them and protect them. A special prayer to his natural father, sending his son to live with his mom and step-father has cost him his own son for life. Rambling now and getting yet another tissue. . .
Dec. 10, 2012 8:05 am
Lucky Noodles.....Thank you for sharing those sobering statistics. We must not forget the adults who are abused too. Maui (and all of Hawaii) has an astronomical rate of domestic violence :(
Dec. 10, 2012 9:14 am
hmmm, so many thoughts fill me. Little Roderick can no longer be harmed. The justice system plays a huge roll in what happens to these parents. Many want to grab pitchforks and have the parents endure pain or what is coming....but....the sickness in their heads seems real though disgusting to us who may not understand. I feel it wrong to pass judgment on them since I am not sitting in the jury box. Too many abused children. Children are precious and a gift to all of us. People need to step up and speak out. I understand your husband has a hard job and is at risk when or if he reports a parent. I have reported several with no regrets. Few have received counselling, treatment and rehabilitation and now have the children back in their lives. A couple have had their children taken away permanently and 1 set of parents even had another child. I will never back down to take a stand for a helpless child, and I never regretted reporting any parent. The few who have turned their lives around are a great success story and I am very proud of them. We continue a relationship and they know that I was the one who reported them. I have been thanked for saving their families, and I get fuzzy feelings when I see the family enjoying time with each other. Some people need building blocks and a foundation to be a parent, some were abused as children and some have addictions that are out of control. We, as a society, need to protect the innocent. Sorry, do not mean to preach, but there are so many broken families out there, we read about them, feel bad, then move on with our lives. Becoming a Big Brother or Sister, or involving yourself with an organization in your community may help with the pain, Maui. I was involved with Big Sisters for years, then time became an issue as my own children needed me more. Soon, I will look into another organization as my baby moves out of the house.
Dec. 10, 2012 9:15 am
...also the idea of Foster Homes may be a wonderful thing, unfortunately some Foster Homes are run similar to puppy mills
Dec. 10, 2012 10:06 am
There have been similiar stories in this area. So sad to think, some pets live better lives than some children.
Dec. 10, 2012 10:26 am
Child abuse and neglect area horrible fact of human history around the world. It is unfortunate that it is often cyclical, from one generation to another, hidden, covered up and the victims feel it is often thier fault. My prayes go out to all abusers and abused that they my find help, peace and love.
Dec. 10, 2012 11:29 am
mickdee, it is so heartening to have so many like you step and and share their piece of this puzzle. Thanks for caring.
Dec. 10, 2012 11:33 am
RNG You are so right on so many levels. I think you misunderstood one important detail though. My husband has had to report many a parent over the past 34 years. He just hates to hear more sad stories after working all day with sad and broken children. He would never ignore any abuse or be frightened of those consequences.He just needs a bit of peace and escape from his every day challenges at work. During this story they mentioned that 30,000 complaints have been filed so far this year with CPS. How can any agency possibly investigate that many complaints? You are so right about the foster system. There are so many who do it just for a pay check. Luckily, I have known some that are fabulous at what they do. PS In the U.S. it is illegal for a teacher or a dr. to NOT report suspected child abuse or severe neglect.
Dec. 10, 2012 12:01 pm
cathill, YEP Lily rarely gets in trouble and it is only a raised voice to correct her :)
Dec. 10, 2012 12:03 pm
sleslie, I admire your approach. I wish I could forgive the abuser but I am just not that far along yet :( Peace to you too my dear. If only we could all live in a peaceful world....
Dec. 10, 2012 12:10 pm
Not clear if this was the only instance of abuse. Normally, abuse gets progressively worse over time. Makes me wonder about whether the teacher/school system should have seen more so that they could’ve reported this abuse other than on the day before his death. Fortunately, there are prisoners that will shank and bleed out his parents while serving their time assuming, of course, bleeding hearts don’t let them walk.
Dec. 10, 2012 4:41 pm
ConkeyJoe, I don't know any teacher who would ignore obvious abuse. That being said, my husband has an average of 40+ in his classes and he doesn't even have a chance to speak with his 250+ kids a day. What a challenge. Me thinks that these folks will go away 4 a long time. Nevada is not an easy place to do time.
Dec. 10, 2012 7:59 pm
What a heartfelt blog MG and how incredibly sad. Although fostering a child in your home is not an option, what about a grandparenting program if there is one in your area. I've read about programs that are similar to big brothers/big sisters. Hugs dear friend. I know whatever avenue you choose to pursue to make a difference will be given your all.
Dec. 11, 2012 12:03 am
Just happened along and read your story. How sad that children and adults as well are subjected to such pain and misery. May I suggest to you that you may look into becoming a voice for these children, speaking out for awareness to folks who may otherwise just go their merry way without any thought as to the miseries of these children. Possibly find information through the CPS agency on what level you could be a helper? My heart breaks for these children, and God bless you for good heart.
Dec. 11, 2012 2:17 am
A very sad incident indeed....Child abuse is more than bruises and broken bones....physical abuse might be the most visible, other types of abuse, such as emotional abuse and neglect, also leave deep, lasting scars. these kids need immediate help. We have to do our which ever part of world we live in.
Dec. 11, 2012 5:35 am
Oh, Mauigirl, your blog brought tears to my eyes. What a horrible and tragic life this child endured. When I hear these events reported I often change the channel or turn off the TV or radio before it can "touch" me. How brave and truthful you are to alow this child's death to touch you and write about him so he touches others. It says a lot about who you are. And it gives a voice to a child who no longer has one. Thanks for sharing this with us. Roderick now has a whole new family greiving and praying for him, our AR family, thanks to you. God bless, and A joyful holiday season to you and your faily and our entire AR family.
Dec. 11, 2012 5:36 am
Magnolia Blossom, I have some ideas that I want to pursue. one of the first things is that I am going to volunteer at the school so that I can work first hand with all kinds of kids.
Dec. 11, 2012 5:37 am
Dave R Thanks for the great suggestion. I think CPS would be a great place to start. Thank so much for caring.
Dec. 11, 2012 5:40 am
Asha N Basu Thank you for your encouragement. You are so right. It is imperative that we help in even the smallest way no matter where we live. Thanks for taking the time to stop in. It is so nice to have a more global perspective :) Take care.
Dec. 11, 2012 5:44 am
Saveur...That is such a wonderful sentiment.Thank you for your very thoughtful words. I wanted so much to tell his story.....but you are right. Everyone who read this has shed at least one tear and kept this little guy in their hearts. (I thought the tears had dried up, but they are rolling again). Bless you and all the wonderful people here on AR. You all make the world a better place :)
Dec. 11, 2012 8:33 am
There was a little boy in Toronto years ago that had similar abuse happen to him and his parents ended up killing him - I know the emotions you feel because his image haunts me too. Thank you to all the care givers that have reported the problems and made a difference in these children's lives. My wish this Christmas and every day is that the violence in this world would stop.
Dec. 11, 2012 9:01 am
mauigirl - I have always had a soft spot for the most innocent and vulnerable among us (our children). Yes OUR children - Like another poster above - I have ZERO tolerance for ANY abuse I witness toward an innocent child and I will NEVER turn a blind eye to it! The unfortunate problem is our "system" for dealing with child abuse is in need of a MAJOR overhaul. My daughter has been interning at some local child advocacy programs and it has been an eye-opening experience (to say the least) for both her and I. I encourage everyone who has the time to consider getting involved with your local child advocacy programs. The number of children suffering from abuse, just in my mid-sized town alone, was alarming to me! We are the only hope for these innocent and defenseless kids! Thanks for bringing this much needed awareness to our AR community. ((HUGS))
Dec. 11, 2012 12:36 pm
Mauigirl, your posts and comments are always thoughtful and honest. Thank you for sharing yourself so openly. This story both incites and saddens me, as my initial response is to wave the flags of injustice and go in guns blazing. My job requires me to work with at risk populations, and sometimes the injustices I see done leave me furious. Thank you for not only being aware and supportive of this and other situations present in our society, but kudos to your husband as well for working in a position that requires him to see and deal with some of the worst that our society has to offer. I truly believe that social accountability has been lost to an apathetic government in our current society. People are afraid to hold others accountable due to the ramifications and potential repercussion of their actions in defense of someone less fortunate. The posters above who are advocates and outspoken - thank you :) Mauigirl, thanks again.
Dec. 11, 2012 5:29 pm
Karen Skully, Thanks for your comments. It really is as simple as living in peace isn't it? Take care.
Dec. 11, 2012 5:32 pm
Mi being Mi, Thank your daughter for doing some very tough work. I am looking into being a volunteer for CASA and I also want to volunteer in the classroom so that I might make one small difference for someone who needs someone to lean on.
Dec. 11, 2012 5:37 pm
Hillary Jo, Thanks for your kind comments, but I think I am just like most folks. I cannot stand the insanity of all this stuff going on in this world. I guess i can only take a step and be counted as an advocate for a lonely and hurt child. I urge everyone here to do the same btw :) I think you are so right about society. My husband (and most teachers) is so overwhelmed with the lack of responsible parenting these days. They send damaged children to school and expect a teacher in a class of 30+ to fix what the parents broke. It is way past time to hold parents accountable for the job they signed up to do. Take care my dear :)
Dec. 13, 2012 7:45 am
I'm so heartbroken to read about Roderick. I can't for the life of me understand why/how 'parents' could be so cruel. I've also read and heard stories about female infanticide and abuse to little girls just because they were born to families that wanted only boys. How can people be so horribly sick in their minds to not appreciate the beauty and awesomeness that are children? Thank you for your blog Julie - I'm going to dedicate this season and my prayers to Roderick and all the kids out there facing a similar plight. I'm also going to work towards doing my bit to prevent child-abuse and increase awareness.
Dec. 13, 2012 2:09 pm
That things like this continue to happen just absolutely amazes me and breaks my heart. I certainly shed a tear when I read this. These things just stick with you. I hope those parents pay dearly for what they've done. They deserve to never have another minute's peace!
Rakitu Island 
Dec. 13, 2012 6:13 pm
Oh dear sounds too sad to watch, I would neverget 5 seconds through let alone the end. People do not believe it, but I do, "their day of judgement" will come. Thank you maui for sharing. You carry the name of a great legend called "Maui" by our people here in Aotearoa or New Zealand. Have you ever heard of him? Shall be following your blog.
Dec. 14, 2012 5:01 am
ri2 So nice to see you my dear. It seems there is no end to the violence perpetrated no matter where you live. Awareness is a start and we must do our bit indeed to stop the insanity of this crime against the innocent. XO kid!
Dec. 14, 2012 5:04 am
wisweetp, I wish I could forgive these monsters, but I am like you. I want them to know the horror and I especially want them to never have the gift of a child in their lives again. Thanks for caring.
Dec. 14, 2012 5:20 am
Rakitu Island, Aloha my island friend. I have heard many stories of the demi god Maui. I know that his legend is throughout the South Pacific and the Polynesians & Maoris have successfully kept his spirit alive. The most common story that I know is that he captured the sun so that his mother would have more daylight to get her chores done for the day. There are many chants and stories of his power and I swear his powers make many fall in love with the island :) I thank you for caring about little Roderick from clear across the world.It gives me great comfort to know there are so many who care. Mele Kalikimaka XO
Dec. 14, 2012 2:11 pm
We are all precious in God's eyes and loved no matter what. Little Roderick is in a better place surrounded by love. Merry Christmas Roderick and to all that are on here.
Dec. 14, 2012 4:46 pm
VNezos, In light of today's tragedy in CT. it all seems overwhelming and too sad for words anymore :( Take care and Merry Christmas to you and yours.
Sallie D. 
Dec. 14, 2012 7:51 pm
In the light of today's horrible tragedy, my heart feels so broken hearted that finding a place to feel spirit for my 17 year old son this Christmas is very difficult. Each year on Christmas Eve, my husband, son and I take a box of goodies to the police and fire departments down the street to thank them for their providing safety and security to us and our neighbors day in and day out, year after year. Each year, I have a new sense of the importance of their work in our communities after that year's most recent tradegies - this year is no different. I feel blessed that we have these tireless heroes in our midst. Blessings to you all. Hold your children tight tonight.
Sallie D. 
Dec. 14, 2012 7:52 pm
Maui girl, I just noticed that your hometown is Olympia!! That is where I live. Just down the street from the Tumwater fire and police depts.
Dec. 15, 2012 6:10 am
Sallie D. I know we are all heartbroken today. It will certainly be a different and sad Christmas or Hanukkah for so many :( BTW We are Oly natives. We lived on Maple Park Ave (just down the road from you) near the Capitol building in Oly until 2008. Miss our friends but NOT the weather :) My email is
Dec. 15, 2012 6:12 am
Sallie D....My husband used to be a firefighter at Lacey FD many years back. They do amazing work as all first responders do. I cannot imagine the stress that the first responders are experiencing after the horrible event in CT yesterday. The carnage :(
Deb C 
Dec. 16, 2012 7:32 am
Sadly, we hear of so many tragedies like this which are inconceivable. My heart goes out to his grandmother and the teacher who tried, limited by law, to protect this child. I can’t image their grief and the “what ifs” that I’m sure they are tormented with. I look at the beautiful faces of the young victims of Newtown and can’t imagine having a mind that is so deranged to do such an atrocious act. I’m incensed that certain religious leaders use this tragedy to blame it on lack of prayer in school to promote their religious agenda. Tell that to the abuse victims in Catholic schools. To help me through such horrific times, I focus on those whose humanity is not limited by any form of prejudice but of their love of their fellow man. As in 9/11, here too we hear of ordinary people doing extraordinary heroic acts and sacrificing their well-being to protect others. Especially during this time of year, we appreciate the goodness and kindness of the vast majority, who act devoid of bias and intolerance, and deeply care for all our neighbors, no matter where they may live.
Dec. 16, 2012 1:37 pm
So beautifully said Deb C. You are right. Most folks are unsung heroes doing what is best for all and any. I also think of that teacher who tried to intervene. Had she/he grabbed that child and took him home. She would have lost her job, her career, maybe her freedom and Roderick might still be alive though no one would know that she/he saved that child's life.
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Member Since
Feb. 2008

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Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Healthy, Dessert, Quick & Easy, Gourmet

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About Me
I have been married for 43 years to the most amazing man on the planet. He is quiet and deliberate and I am NOT. We have one grown son (and his partner) that we adore. Because they work for the airlines they drop in on a flight frequently and we feel so lucky for that. We retired after 30 years at our careers from our native Olympia to Maui and now most recently retreated to Las Vegas to try to ride out this horrendous economy. We bought a small home here and I gutted it and am putting it back together, so I spend most of my time fine tuning the decorating and now I am plunging into a full tropical landscaping to remind us of our beautiful Maui. I miss the PNW, but NOT the weather. Miss the razor clams and the wild beaches of Washington and Oregon. Miss my friends too. Happy to have my friends from Allrecipes though. The four legged critter you see on my profile is a five year old yorkie/bichon who is the greatest little (9 lbs) girl ever. Quiet and calm, but so excited about life.
My favorite things to cook
I love to cook just about anything...just mostly like the art of cooking and baking and sharing my art with friends and families. Love the smells that emanate from my kitchen and the familiar memories that come flooding back. The scents from my kitchen are probably my favorite thing in the house.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mother used to like to make a big deal out of almost any holiday, so I have followed through with that tradition. Valentine's Day, Christmas, St. Paddy's day, Thanksgiving, Easter, Oscar night are just a few of my favorite cooking traditions. Birthday parties for all my loved ones are something I love to do too.
My cooking triumphs
The first time I mastered sauce bearnaise, or raviolis from scratch or my first perfect cheesecake or my first wedding catering job or meeting Julia Child (about 25 years ago).
My cooking tragedies
(See above) Well....Julia was so cranky and rude it ruined my love of I sold all my Julia Child cookbooks (some of them signed) at a garage sale for $1.00 apiece. Now I wish I would have kept them of course. I guess Julia was just having a bad day:( & I was foolish of course.
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