10 December 2016

Going to a Chess Tournament

Last weekend, we went to a chess tournament in Kansas City.  Even though it was a one-day tournament, I booked a hotel and had the little children stay there all day.  We walked from the hotel to a nearby chicken take-out and brought our food back to the hotel where we played Pokemon Monopoly for hours. 

It was nice to get away and more than that, I was very impressed by how much Woodjie especially has grown.  I am no longer afraid of Woodjie running away or anything like that, which used to happen on a regular basis.  He still needs quite a bit of direction and we had a personal care attendant at the tournament with us, but he's just made me so very proud, being able to be away from home all day and dealing with all sorts of unexpected things happening.  And eating new foods, even! Very proud. 

And that's not to say I'm not proud of Rose but somehow?  She was born knowing how to do things like 'stay with Mom' or not run away.  We didn't even have to go through crazy methods like PECS systems to teach her how to speak.  She just sort of did this thing where she listened to other people speak?  And then she spoke without special classes and reward systems. 

Every child is so different, isn't that right?

Anyway, we had a great time!  And it wasn't nearly so cold as it is this week.  I think we had a high of 36 degrees or something - and that's way warmer than it was even a couple of days ago.  Yep, the guys outside working on my siding all day must be really cold.

07 December 2016

Life at My House Right Now

It's very noisy and very messy.  Everything is off the walls.  All the dishes are out of the cabinets.  Everything is away from the windows while they are being replaced on the upper level of the house.  In short, pretty much a bunch of stuff is in a pile in the middle of each room. 

Nobody come over to visit for a while.

In this photo, you can see our new windows on the upper floor.  Eventually these windows will be "wrapped," which means they won't look so shoddy around the edges as they do now.  We'll also get some Hardie siding and then I'll do a proper post with before, during and after. 

Meanwhile it's pretty noisy and cold when they remove windows during snowstorms.  Apparently these people work year-round though!

06 December 2016

The i-Factor Book Review

"Most of the time, people remain stuck in cycles of the same problems, like a hamster on a wheel, until they finally realize that the trouble is not with their bosses, their spouses, their bank accounts, their health, or their sons and daughters.  The trouble is more personal than that; it's in their minds."

Van Moody's "I-Factor" book really unpacks this idea of mindful living through his book in a Christ-centered way.  Not hokey.  Practical.  The premise of the book seems to be that for the most part, our happiness and success are determined by us and how we view ourselves and our circumstances. 

His chapter on forgiveness is the best, though.  I can't tell you how many stupid Christianese books and articles I've seen on forgiveness.  This fellow is one of the few people who will outright tell you that forgiveness does NOT have to mean reconciliation and it certainly doesn't have to mean blowing off what happened or minimising what someone has done to you.

This book is for anyone going through a rough spot in life and is ready to consider some of the ideas Van Moody outlines for change.  It's not a simple self-help book, but it gives ideas to think about and then come up with your own way of handling a given issue.  Recommended!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

28 November 2016

Sweet Sugar-N-P'napple Ham

Ready to cook!

I used a standard plastic bag of brown sugar from the grocery, a standard can of pineapple slices and about 3/4 cup of honey.  Half the sugar goes in first, then the ham in pieces.  Next I put the honey over the top and pineapple round the sides and a bit on top.  Last?  Covered with the rest of the sugar and cooked on low for about four hours.  I had four and a half pounds of ham, so perhaps your time might vary a bit.  It's really quite good.
After four hours.  Delightful!

25 November 2016

Supplementing Your Math Curriculum

Right now we're working on adding decimals in our fourth grade math program.  My children understand this concept of tenths and hundredths because they've worked with small amounts of money, but if a number is written .3 rather than .30, they'll sometimes get confused.  I'd been making up random numbers to pop into worksheets until I got an email alerting me to the dadsworksheets.com website.  (Yes, it's free!)  It didn't take much digging for me to find the decimal addition and subtraction worksheets already made up for me.  Yay!

The only caveat I would pop in here is that "fourth grade math" can vary by curriculum, so I can't just pop onto the "fourth grade math" tab on the sidebar and get started that way.  We aren't using any negative numbers whatsoever in fourth grade, but we're working with decimals, fractions and geometric problems extensively.

24 November 2016

Go Back Where You Came From.

By now you've seen the video of 200-odd people whipped up in some nutty frenzy, thinking that Donald Trump is gonna usher in some white Utopia for the "children of the sun" and all that.  Even more wacky than seeing 200 actual Americans popping up a Nazi salute is noticing that not all of 'em are white. 

I mean, not to be racist in thinking someone doesn't belong somewhere because of their race, but... I think non-white people reallllly don't belong at Nazi type rallies because of their race? 

Not that I get to decide these things?

Ok, crazy world.  Anyway, I'm hearing from some folks that non-white people are even being told to go back where they came from.  Maybe it's a really small number of people but it only takes one to really sour you on how you feel about your place in the world if you're already feeling anxious. 

Personally, I find the idea of having to go back where I came from absolutely horrific.  That would mean moving to Cleveland! 

Or if they mean "ethnically" where I came from I'd have to sprinkle about 35 percent of myself in Ireland and the rest all over Europe and some "less than one percent" will belong all the way over in Asia somewhere.  It would be sort of messy.

22 November 2016

"Pink" Drug So Deadly, Touching Can Kill You

At least 46 people have died and perhaps the number is far higher.  Fox4kc reports that the drug is hard to detect in an autopsy and just touching it can kill you.

What is this?  Why have we not heard more about it in school flyers?  Wouldn't something this deadly lead to weirdos spreading this on store shelves or something for kicks?  Do we need to wash all our food when it comes into the house?

I hate stories like this that don't tell me exactly how much I should freak out.