Wendy Knuth Author of Moore Zombies, blogging about the human experience.

Tag Archives: #children

What’s wrong with the children of today? Raised by Hypocrites!

I have seen many facebook posts about how different the childhood lives were of us older folks.  We are so proud of our crazy escapades.  We used to run wild with parental consent.  Playing outside was the norm.   At times, we were literally miles away, and far outside the reach of any authority.  We were physically fit, we were using our imaginations, and we got dirty.  We had a great time.

I grew up in a neighborhood full of mostly boys.  There was motorcycle riding, bicycle riding, skateboarding all sans helmet, pick-up games of football and kick ball, horseback riding and other such activities.  There was a creek nearby for swimming, fishing, and crawdad catching.

So, what stands out?  Well, let’s see.  There was the time when I was riding on the back of an ATV, a stick somehow got stuck up my pant leg and so I shook my leg to get rid of it.  My leg was caught under the back tire, which sucked me right off the seat and I was slammed to the ground as the tire rolled over my limb. My driver friend took a serious hit to her ribs against the handlebars.

One day, my neighbor decided he would like to be strung up a tree.  Seriously, it was his idea.  Does anyone remember how much fun you can have with the old rope over the branch trick?  Well, said neighbor boy created a loop and put it around his neck and asked my brother to start pulling on the rope.  He made it a few feet off the ground before he started making very strange noises and the writhing of his body was evidence enough for my brother to let him down.  Brilliant thinking on behalf of both of them.

At one point in time, boyhood frustrations were running high.  There were altercations occurring.  One day, we kids happened across previously mentioned hang him up boy and his military father.  The father thought it would be a great idea to duke it out and settle the tension.  So he asked “Who wants to fight?”  Boys agreed to fighting, and fighting occurred.  As the only girl, I was an observer.  As I recall, the fights ended on their own with mutual consent.  Can you imagine the headlines today?

These are but a few of my many, many stories I could tell you about the youth of past days.

So, parents, if life was so great, why won’t you let your children experience the same?

Let your children run wild with no knowledge of their whereabouts for hours on end.  Let them trick-or-treat unsupervised.  Let them sell cookies door-to-door to complete strangers with no parents watching over them.  Forget the helmets, forget the seatbelts.  Remember how much fun it was without them?  Swimming alone, why not?  There is nothing like living a little dangerously.  It will build character.  As a small test, tell your children to leave their cell phones at home to simulate the lack of contact.  Are you game?  Probably not.

Did we have great fun as youths?  Yes we did.  We didn’t know how stupid we were being, and yet we look back at it with fondness.  Did we let our children do the same?  Heck no!  Are you a hypocrite?  I can’t answer for all of you, but for me, yes, guilty as charged!

Wendy Knuth

Author of Moore Zombies picture books and chapter books

MooreZombies.com

Moore Zombies: Gimme Noodle! and Moore Zombies: Blood Moon

Hello, All!

I have been working really hard on a picture book and a couple of new chapter books for Moore Zombies.  With the time it takes to have a picture book illustrated, Moore Zombies: Gimme Noodle! has just been published, and my first chapter book, Moore Zombies: Blood Moon was published immediately after.  Another chapter book is soon to be done.  I am thrilled to introduce this series of Moore Zombies chapter books.  Being able to develop the characters, including back stories, and furthering their personalities is very exciting.

As for Gimme Noodle!, I hope all will enjoy a slightly twisted tale, but I don’t want to spoil it.  I hope it provides plenty of bonding moments between kids and their parents as they read together in bed.  I truly miss those times, as my children are now teens.  Older kids will be able to read it on their own.

Moore Zombies: Blood Moon is the first chapter book in a series of many more to come.  The book is fun fiction, but includes the facts.  I was inspired to write this book after having the wonderful experience of watching my first blood moon with my son last year.  I wish I had taken video.  The last total lunar eclipse we watched this year was not a blood moon.  I did take video, but the moon was so dark you couldn’t even see it.  It did look beautiful once it came out of eclipse, but then it quickly disappeared behind the hill we live next to.

I challenge all of you to take pictures of the next total lunar eclipse and post it on the Moore Zombies facebook page.  I hope it will be a blood moon.

Homemade Christmas Tree Ornaments Are The Best!

I love my Christmas Tree!!  Many years ago when my husband and I were celebrating our first Christmases, we didn’t have much for the Christmas tree.  We bought some ornaments from a neighbor kid for a school sales drive.  We bought bright and shiny hanging balls and tinsel.  We bought a unique ornament here and there, which of course would be horribly expensive if you bought enough in one season to fill up the tree.  I’d have to say for the first several years of our marriage, our Christmas trees just had a manufactured feel.  Memories of purchasing ornaments from K-mart just don’t warm the heart.

After my Grandmother passed away, I inherited all of her numerous ornaments which I LOVE!!!  Most of them are handmade.  The woman could sew.  There are angels and stockings and snowflakes and Santas; all the typical ornaments you would think of for Christmas.  I also have mice, geese, trains, drums, teddy bears and little wreaths.  I recognized and remembered the felt angel I had made as a Camp Fire Girl with sequins and nylon material for the styrofoam head.  And there are really unique ones, such as Dorothy, Tin Man, Lion and Scarecrow, Raggedy Ann & Andy, items you wouldn’t associate with Christmas but they are adorable.  I even have a Batman ornament and Robin ornament.  There are so many – enough to fill up the whole tree.

As a youngster, my mom would always cook popcorn on the stovetop.  Does anyone remember the labor that went into quickly moving the pot back and forth over the burner as the popcorn popped so it wouldn’t burn in the layer of oil?  My mother gave my brother and me a needle and thread so we could make long strings of popcorn for the Christmas tree.  I’m sure we ate more than we put on the string but it was great fun.  We also made chains with links made out of cut up strips of colored construction paper.  Cook that popcorn with your children, and link those links!

Since we have had our two boys, they have added to the collection.  They made ornaments in school and at home.  I still have a Kirby ornament made out of pipe cleaners, er um, chenelle sticks (they loved the Kirby Airride video game at the time).  Yes they made paper chains.  There are styrofoam balls they glued sequins and shiny glitter to, with unfolded paper clips as hangers.  There is an ice cream cone with a glued on ball.  There are simple ornaments that are paper cutouts that they drew on with crayons.  They may not be the most artistic but since they are from my boys, they are the best and I hang them with pride!

So when the Christmas tree goes up, and I start hanging the ornaments, I am flooded with memories.  My Grandmother made this with me as a little girl, here are the ones my sons made when they were young, and yes, my best friend bought this as a present for my first son and my first Christmas as a mother.  Now the tree is not just a Christmas Tree, it is a Memory Tree, truly a Family Tree, full of history, each ornament with its own story.  Make those ornaments, keep them, remember them, hang them, relive the memories and retell the stories.

SAM_0368

Enjoy Old Holiday Traditions and Start New Ones

My side of the family has a wonderful story we have passed on through the generations.  It began when my grandmother cooked a fine meal for Turkey day way back when.  She cooked an amazing meal, everyone sat down to eat, then everyone excused themselves from the table and left her to do the cleaning.  She was very upset and (as the story goes) exclaimed “I worked hard all day for this wonderful meal and no one even said boo”.  So of course, everyone showed their appreciation by saying “boo”.  From then on after every meal, everyone in the family would say “boo”.

Recently, just within the last 5 or so years, on my husband’s side of the family, we started a new tradition.  It was not planned. It just sort of happened.  I’m not even sure whose idea it was.  We were all about to sit down for a Thanksgiving dinner and it was decided we should all hold hands and each person would say what they are thankful for.  It can be serious or silly.  The idea may have even been from one of the young children.  It’s fun to see what everyone has to say, kind of like a penny for your thoughts.  To this day, we still practice this tradition.

I either read or heard somewhere that a person can only recall one of their great grandparents.  This rings true for me.  I think Holiday traditions are a great way of sharing family folklore.  It’s wonderful to watch children grow up and pass it on to their children.  And, you can always retell old stories.  What a beautiful gift for the family from the family.

So, what’s your holiday tradition?  If you don’t have one, start one!