30 May 2007

Me Pushing Dolly

I don't know which dolly I'm pushing in the picture but thankfully I never named my children the same names as my dolls. Otherwise my kids would have names like, "Bwubbin."

"Daytag" is a Rip-Off

Don't even try to defend them. If you're working for them and want to say something nice about the company, I'll understand in the same way I'll understand an RJ Reynolds CEO telling me that cigarette smoke doesn't REALLY kill people. People kill people. Just admit that "Daytag" stinks, and we can still be friends.

Actually, we have a dishwasher we're pretty happy with from them. It's making a lot of noise when it washes the dishes but it seems to be working reasonably well for being about six years old. We're pretty ok with the dryer as well.

We *used* to be happy with all of our appliances from Daytag. We (idiots!) decided we'd like to use the local place for everything. Maybe we'd pay a little more, but we'd have the satisfaction of knowing we're buying products locally and blah American blah blah service and stand behind your product blah. I even bought the overpriced warranty to go with my appliances!

Hey, a word about the overpriced warranties. They are NOT overpriced if you wind up with a lemon like we got for a clothes washer. The washer was about four months old when it overflowed out the BOTTOM of the machine, ruining every internal piece of the appliance. The Daytag people had to keep sending out the repair man and reconditioning the whole stupid washer on more than one occasion. Basically, each time our engine flooded out, it was a whole new machine on the inside. The only thing that was "old" was the mouldy shell! Thanks Daytag!

Not to mention the inconvenience of having a musty overflowed basement. Soggy nasty clothes. Using a LAUNDROMAT full of cigarette smokers with my asthmatic child while we wait weeks for parts to arrive and an appointment on their calendar. Every time this would happen, it was sure to be a busy week, or snowing. There were some interesting people at the laundromat but that is a whole 'nother post... The whole idea of the Daytag repairman having nothing to do is a total myth, folks. His calendar is booked solid.

After about the second ENTIRE rebuild of our machine, I suggested that on the third that maybe we should just do something different. You know, give me the cost of a washer b/c your service guy's time plus parts is way more than I paid for the whole thing EVERY time you come out. Or do you have a discount for me to maybe trade up or something? Some other idea maybe? It would save YOU guys money, and I'll be happy and tell my friends and continue to be a loyal customer. Nope. Loyalty doesn't count for crap.

Eventually, even our warranty policy ran out of money and we got a whole whopping $70 "buyoff" and had to keep a bad washer. We've cost the Daytag people maybe $1000 in parts and labour and I'm unhappy. I'm going to be sure to tell all my friends that Daytag smells so that they don't get into this predicament themselves.

Why can't corporations be reasonable? This machine was obviously a lemon, and they would rather repair it constantly --at a loss to them -- until my warranty runs out of money, than to just replace the thing right off the bat when I had problems so soon after purchase.

One of these days I will be looking for a new washer and dryer set. Has anyone made a reasonably recent purchase that they're happy with? But not such a recent purchase that it hasn't had a chance to totally fall apart yet. Comments welcome!

Daily Devotionals

Over at Peter's blog, we're discussing the value of daily devotions in the Christian family. In our family, we've been doing a short daily bible reading and prayer time for about 10 years now. I can't say that it is ALL of us as a family though. D is a relatively recent Christian and I don't think has come under conviction in this area. It would be nice though.

I started having a brief time of prayer and Bible reading when the boys were about 2 and 3. It *used* to include singing a couple little songs but I've stopped doing that, probably around the time I started singing at my children instead of yelling all the time. Yes, I'm working on fixing one thing at a time but I think singing, "You'd better stop it or there will beeee lots of trouble la la laaa..." sounds a lot better than someone screaming. Maybe. But now if I'm singing otherwise my six-year-old will cower and say, "You're yelling at me!" *sniff*

Each child and I take turns for "bible week" and the whole week will be spent reading the next passages in that person's Bible. The Emperor (5) still has a 'bible' with smiling fluffy rabbits and flowers near Jesus. It has descriptions of real Bible events, such as, "Now Haman is sad because he made a bad choice. He will have to be punished." I think that page features a sad turtle or something. I'd have to look that one up LOL! I think it gets the children used to the differing versions and I'm hoping they realize KJV is the best. Not that you're some sort of horrible unsaved person if you read NIV, just more like the KJV has been very carefully translated and not *all* Bibles have been. There are whole cults out there who have their own "translation" of the Bible. But I digress.

One thing we have NOT done as a family is scripture memorization. I always figured I was not really bright enough to memorize scripture. Silly lines from Spongebob are so much easier to remember, even though I *know* the Bible is much more important. I have started the Bob Jones curriculum with Elf and Emperor and you'd be amazed at the verses they remember. I can remember a few as well. I can't tell you enough how this curriculum has helped me as a parent connect some of those dots. I think more because I changed churches a lot as a new Christian, and I never learned a coherent doctrine. I was always moving to a new state, or in one case there was a horrible church split and I *just* couldn't see myself growing as a three-month-old Christian in that environment. There was too much venom and backbiting going on and I wasn't reallly grounded enough in the word to know how to defend things or figure out why person A would have it in for person C etc. Drama!

You know what I would do in that situation now? If I felt I could make no positive change... I would just leave earlier LOL! Now that church is part of a denomination that accepts gays into the ministry... so just as well I'm not around as a voting member to deal with *that.* I just can't see even paying my tithes anymore if someone's even THINKING of such a thing. I have enough problems of my own without having to deal with everyone else's you know.

In any event, this curriculum presents the Bible stories in ways I hadn't thought about. For the story of Samson, the teachers' manual talks about Samson's pride. Now, I had never thought about it before. I always thought that Samson was just thinking with the wrong area of his body and God only just got around to punishing him after his hair was cut. Being gracious sometimes God dillydallies hoping that you'll get your act together yourself or something.

But this curriculum talks about Samson's pride and the more I think about it (on an adult level; this is a second-grade curriculum), they may be right. Samson thought he could just do *whatever* time after time and get away with it. He had disobeyed the laws of God by trying to marry outside his faith, eating honey (did you know that??) and being with a prostitute. He also was very prideful in the bet he made at the wedding feast. It was only when he was HUMBLE that he was able to knock down the entire temple. God's word tells us he was able to kill more Philistines that way than he did during the rest of his life. (Judges 16:30) Yay Samson... he finally *got* it!! Plus killing Philistines would be, as Martha Stewart would say in those days, "a good thing."

27 May 2007

Another J picture

Yes, it was taken at the same time as the last one, but since I think he's cute, you have to see this again...

Some Hints for a Happy Life

Please do not look to me or to this blog for amazing organizational hints. Because I'm not one of those truly amazing women who will keep a management binder and then ACCOMPLISH the tasks she sets out for herself. I stink!!

I will literally set out to dust and vacuum the house. Sounds like it can be done in one day, easy enough. Oh, but to DUST this room, first I must get the laundry out of the way. Then I have to move everything around so I can dust. Then I have to let the dust settle for a bit (no, really, I do... I find it discouraging to dust something and look back 30 seconds later and see DUST again. You know it just fell a second ago.)

Oh, but NOW all the bedding is dusty!!! I'm starting some laundry, but see more laundry in the washer. And the dryer. And on the floor. Sigh.

Then I've gotten involved in straightening out a kitchen drawer. This pile goes upstairs, this pile goes downstairs. I will leave the "upstairs" pile on the dining room table and the "downstairs" pile on the desk. I'm busy right now.

Oh, back to homeschooling.

Oh, I need to start lunch soon..

**ring, ring**

No, I'm not answering that. I know better.

OK, the upstairs pile has gone upstairs but I can't put it away in this drawer without organizing it first. Now I have another pile to go downstairs to the kitchen and another pile to go to the basement...

Oh, forget it, I'm shoving it all in the kitchen drawer and dealing with it later!! Yes, there is a toothbrush there still in the wrapper but I just don't care at this point. I just saw a bunch of bills that need to be paid... But I've moved my stamps somewhere in my last cleaning spree ...

I really do work hard all day, but by the time I get around to vacuuming, only one room is done. I check my phone message four hours later to discover I've missed a really important phone call. I stink! If I *only* had the magic "ADHD" bug I could do all this with a lot of energy. I don't really believe in the label as a medical diagnosis, but maybe more as a description of how some children operate. Not me. I lose steam by the end of the day and haven't gotten anywhere!! But I do have some household hints anyway, for what it's worth...


Strange Household Hints

Use a nail brush by the sink for dirty nails, but also for the twisty parts of the tops of baby bottles and the inside rims of soda cans. Then when you wash these items afterwards you know the gunk is really gone. Of course, clean your nail brush as well after use.

Use a used (non poopie) folded disposable diaper to get the dust bunnies out from under furniture. I've find sweeping and vacuuming are less effective than this method, which makes the hair and dust "stick" to the paper fabric. You only really need to do this when it looks like there's a frothy wave creeping out from beneath the furniture, so that you really feel like you've accomplished something. Plus you're recycling the diaper (sort of) by putting it to a new task. I'm actually much more ecological using the disposables. With the cloth diapers, EVERY TIME the child goes to the bathroom you have to wash the diaper, the clothes AND the kid AND the car seat, bedding or (insert name of difficult-to-wash or bulky item here). Forget it. That was my "moneysaving idea" with the first child and it turned out rotten.

Use Post-it notes as bookmarks. The Post-it sticks to your place in the book and will not fall out like conventional bookmarks will. They're not as pretty as the standard bookmarks, though.

Use a baby wipe for hands after visiting thrift stores, hospitals, and gas stations on the interstate where washing one's hands might actually give you more germs than leaving them alone. I hate hand sanitizers because I feel like I'm just smearing the dirt around rather than at least wiping it off.

I've heard this hint in other places, but used fabric softener sheets really do remove pet hair from furniture.

So what do you think of my household hints? Maybe they're a little too honest, and you won't read this blog while you're eating next time.

Blessings!

Mrs. C.

26 May 2007

The Emperor at Home


Homeschool Planning and Surprises

Hi folks!

I'm going to talk a little bit today about how we started out homeschooling our Elf and how things have evolved from there.

When we started homeschooling, it was very SUDDEN. But he was just mid-way through first grade and didn't know his math facts or how to read fluently, etc. So about anything I chose to teach him would be new stuff! We stayed home and read Dick and Jane. We used a dry erase board and a marker for spelling. (Do I need to buy a curriculum to teach the Elf to spell C-A-T?) We got some worksheets from Sam's Club for mathmatics and English and used index cards to teach basic 2+2 math facts. I learned so much about how the Elf learns in those first couple of months teaching him at home.

I'm really glad I didn't rush out and buy a curriculum RIGHT when we started homeschooling. I would have bought something that did not fit his needs at all. One thing I'm finding... that I don't really see discussed on other homeschooling blogs... is that I purchased a curriculum that fits ME as well. I did not come from a churchgoing family, and I need a lot of help learning how to teach the Bible in some sort of order that would help build precept upon precept. So Bob Jones is PERFECT for me doing that. It outlines all the discussion questions I will need, and the workbooks go so well with the teachers' manual. **I** am actually learning a LOT from this curriculum.

For science, I need something that is going to honour God first. The LIFEPACS are perfect for that. Science is taught not only from observation, but from the Bible as well. I don't see the contradiction, although obviously you cannot "prove" a miracle through empirical evidence. I do think that rational people can still believe in the Bible, although the Bible is very clear that it is the SPIRIT OF GOD that will lead one to the foot of the cross. But I think you really cannot have too much of one without some of the other without being a little unbalanced. Just my opinion.

In mathmatics, we're doing the Horizons curriculum. Elf is about halfway through the first second grade book, and I think we'll continue that this summer. Next year, I will probably start to need the teacher's manual as well so that I know how to present more difficult concepts. But I can do what we have right now without any problems.

Social Studies - we have Bob Jones for this too. I think that the teachers' manual may be a bit overpriced but that may be because I don't NEED it in the same way I need the Bible manual. I'm sure that will change in the upper grades though.

The Bob Jones tests are very overpriced. I'm starting to have my child copy the questions on the tests, because technically you're not supposed to xerox the things. Then (hopefully!) I can use them later on the Emperor and Baby J, and just buy new workbooks. The workbooks are worth it. :]


I'm starting to plan out what to do from year to year now. Looking at the samples online at the CBD website has been a big help to me, and probably saved me from many foolish homeschool purchases.

I also have found that sometimes ladies I post with on a moms board are getting rid of their stuff, and I can snap up a bargain. I got some used books for just the cost of shipping! They were Bob Jones ones, too. From the 70s, and not great condition, but I looked at the online table of contents for the *new* books and they really aren't that much different to justify my spending $60 on the set. And really, you're just READING them so they don't have to be perfect.

I'm just having so much fun and enjoying the process of learning with Elf and Emperor. This summer Patrick will be learning Spanish with me too, and a little bit of Social Studies. I have never really taught a child almost 14 years old, so this will be new for both of us. I haven't even had to really help this one with his homework, and he is able to pull the A's without me for the most part. I'm feeling a little intimidated. I know that it's going to be ok though. I am going to just treasure the time we have together even if I don't get everything "right."

Blessings to you guys!!

25 May 2007

The Emperor Graduates From Preschool


My Children Wait So Politely!

I know hardly anyone was there yet, but could we PLEASE get a NORMAL picture next time??
The Emperor was in good form last night at his Preschool Graduation. We are going to miss his teachers and aides so very much. This preschool has been everything that is RIGHT with public education in regards to the Emperor these last couple of years.

It hasn't always been that way. It used to be when G tested (or bombed LOL!) into the system that the entire month of October was spent talking about ghosts, witches, and pumpkins with faces on them. The old preschool was in a dirty basement with peeling lead paint that was impossible for wheelchair-bound kids to access. The attitude of the director, from her comments to me on the phone when she did not know I would be sending a child there, was that the parents generally have ignored raising their children and that's why they're behind or need help. Little fliers would come home in the backpacks each Friday encouraging parents to "get their GED" or sign up for free lunches. How condescending. But G is autistic and really needed the help. I'm honestly not sure now if I would send him or not if I had to do it over again. (Oh, poo, we don't get do-overs, do we?)

Now, there is a new building and a new director. The preschool is much more tolerant. Yes, I said the TOLERANT word! It's our word, too! I think we've totally and irretrievably lost the original meanings of gay and "molest" though... there was nothing more humiliating to watch than a pastor at a church I visited about eight years ago trying to "take back" the GAY word. He danced around on the stage talking about how GAY AND PROUD he was and I guess I wondered... does he have something to hide and this is his way of talking about it??!! That was bad for me to even think but yet I'm *still* thinking it! Even his wife was mortally embarrassed, but had to pretend to watch the sermon supportively... poor thing.

Anyway. The preschool does have a Halloween party, which is fine because they also have a Christmas party. But pumpkins and ghosts aren't up all month and I don't have to fight Every. Single. Day. about singing about witches and making jack-o-lantern crafts. I could just keep the Emperor home that day, but this year all they did really was dress up as firefighters or whatever and learn about bats and spiders. :]

I know for an absolute fact that these educators have a different philosophy and religion than I do. I appreciate that at least at the preschool, we can put those differences aside and find some really good common ground.

We're not sure what we'll be doing with the Emperor next year. I would really like to homeschool him because I know what that elementary school up the street is like. But I also remember that *kindergarten* at least wasn't too bad. I also remember that all it will take is my husband saying that Emperor can stay home and I can type a letter removing him from the district rolls in less than half an hour LOL! And honestly, his preschool teacher and I agree that academic-wise, he is DONE with kindergarten. What is there for him to learn there?

He has some high energy issues and maybe next year will help him learn to stay in line and participate quietly. But it also might break his spirit. I'm praying for my little guy because I want him to grow up LOVING to learn and becoming all God wants him to be.

OK, I'm off to dig up a pic of the Emperor at his graduation to post.

24 May 2007

More Fashion Sense!

Perhaps I inherited my innate sense of the cool, the hip, the now, and the groovy from my parents.

Interview Me!

Daja over at http://www.gombojav.blogspot.com/ has kindly "interviewed" me with the following five questions. If you have a blog and would like to be interviewed, leave a comment with your email address (I will not publish it; comments are "moderated") and I will email you five questions. I promise they will not be SICK questions like I've seen on some blogs. But you will have to answer the five questions in YOUR blog.

It's kind of like a chain letter but totally voluntary and without all the threats of bad luck and cooties if you don't participate.
What is your favorite charity and why? My dh and I contribute to City Union Mission in Kansas City. It helps homeless people and I think truly tries to serve "the least of these" and present the gospel to all. I know a "graduate" of their program and see that people who apply themselves there can lead happy and productive lives. They also have a camp for children of homeless or very low-income people so they can get away from what is probably a bad situation at home for a week or two each summer.
Which is more annoying, NOW (National Organization of Women) or PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)? Why? Actually, I don't find these organizations "annoying" so much as "threatening". They're both very outspoken and radical. I would have to say I dislike NOW more than PETA. PETA, if it were toned down a LOT, actually has some good arguments. I really am not into torturing my food before eating it, you know. I'm all for more humane methods of preparing food. It's even a biblical idea that we're going to give an accouting for every animal's blood. Honestly, I think the tactics and arguments they use are a real shame because there are a lot of people concerned with basic human kindness who will never be members of their organization or think about their line of reasoning b/c they are so self-righeous in a way that a conservative Christian would never DARE to be in today's time.

NOW is just way too radical. I try not to think about them...
If there is a fire, which would you grab first, the family photos or the important documents? I'm going to be a "rebel" here and say the kids first. Then the documents. If I have time, the photos. I just know what a pain life is without documents, especially if you're going to have to rebuild your house, re-enroll kids into school, rent a place (no ID? good luck!), drive or whatever. Now, one of these days the government is going to come out with a very HANDY solution to all this. It will be some sort of identifying mark on the right hand or forehead.
What is your favorite beverage? I drink coffee mixed with hot chocolate powder and milk. I'm trying to copy a Starbucks mocha without the mega-money. I also drink lots of diet soda so that my body will need no embalming after my death.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why? Well, D had to stick his two cents in while I was reading this and tell me that he would have the superpower to predict the stock market. Then he could buy all the other superpowers.

But I'm not such a carnal Christian. I'd want superpowers so that I could make time go backwards and re-do things so they'd always turn out the way I wanted! I can't tell you how many times I've said or done something STUPID, and would just like that thing to "go away." I think I'd keep going back in time and redoing things so that I would become a three-year-old with an IQ of 9,000, as well as someone with a lot of money. I would skip college. Well, no, let me re-do that one. I would go to college but not spend as much time learning about the imperialist new colonialism of the multinational corporation. I'd be too busy enjoying all my money and stuff to do that.

Oh, I'd also buy a really big older house and get it re-done. I wouldn't do all the work myself, but I'd hire lots of contractors to do it exactly as I wanted. It would be beautiful.

23 May 2007

I Am THE Fashion Guru!


Just admit that you guys will NEVER equal me in my fashion sense, and that you are envious.

WHOSE Standards?

http://www.hslda.org/docs/link.asp?URL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Emainecoastnow%2Ecom%2Farticles%2F2007%2F05%2F16%2Fthe%5Frepublican%5Fjournal%5Fand%5Fthe%5Fwaldo%5Findependent%2Flocal%5Fnews%2Fdoc464b2b0037422591603780%2Etxt



I'm sure that on the one hand, no state wants a bunch of children growing up to be adults who cannot read, write, or hold down a job. On the other, the idea of the STATE telling ME as a parent what is best for my child to learn and when is a little tyrannical. Where does it stop?



It *might* (and even this is debatable) be a good idea to have every seven-year-old know his addition and subtraction facts up to, say, 10 minus 10. Maybe. Is it also a good idea to require me to teach the kid about Islam, or Black History Month, or "gender equity" over my objections? (These things are in our public local school curriculum.) And at what point would you say a homeschool parent is "failing" their children? I'm seeing entire public school districts providing a *supremely* crappy education for its children.



So should I be held to THEIR standards? Or the Richie Rich district down the highway? Because I have different standards than either, I think a comparison would be unfair to all concerned. Nevermind that each child has differing abilities and that six-year-old "Seth" may be able to write and read well but have no idea about numbers regardless of the amount of tutoring.


I have very mixed feelings about statistical evidence that homeschool students score well on standardized tests in general. Comparing isn't fair to the public school district that has several families who couldn't give a rip about their child's education, and has to deal with all kinds of federal and state standards. I spend about five hours each day tutoring the Elf. And I make up lessons or plan curriculum etc. on top of that. There is almost *no way* for a public school parent to become that involved short of working for the district themselves.


On the other hand, I think homeschoolers are just being defensive when they quote statistics like this. I tire of reading about legislators trying to make homeschool families "accountable" to the state. As if these are THEIR CHILDREN to begin with!! Worse, most people seem to accept that it's a good idea in the "best interests" of the children. I know there are some bad parents out there. But give me a break. Most of the truly bad parents probably send their kids to public school for the free childcare eight hours a day! (No, I don't have statistical evidence to back that up LOL! There aren't too many studies on "good" and "bad" parents for me to quote anyway...)



What I want most of all for my children to be able to do as adults is to know and follow God. So I teach my public AND homeschool children to read the Bible for themselves. (Let's not forget I have three kids in p.s!) I pray with them each morning. I pray *for* them as well.



My second goal is to have each child able to live independently and productively in his adult years, sharing the good news of God's word with others. To me, it's a very secondary goal because persecution could come at any time, job markets can change drastically, and each child's innate ability is going to be different. Patrick and G would be ill-suited to work at the same job. And let's face it, different jobs pay at different rates.


I know you're chomping at the bit to comment, Erin! :] When are you going to make your own blog so I can come see your pics and articles too?? I want a "Frogger" photo of you moving your sofa across the street!

22 May 2007

The Emperor In Action


Please Pray for the Dudeks

And for other homeschooling families in Germany:

http://www.hslda.org/docs/link.asp?URL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ewnd%2Ecom%2Fnews%2Farticle%2Easp%3FARTICLE%5FID%3D55778

Remember, these policies were instituted under Hitler. Hitler did understand one thing very clearly, and that was that educating a young child forms ideas in his or her mind that will last a lifetime. Now, you and I both know that kids can reject the things they have been brought up in, but the ideas are still there.

I know some of you are asking as you are reading this ... why fight this? Who cares if kids all go to public school? What's so bad about public school? It was good enough for me/ my kids/ whatever... I would just counter that the children ought to belong to the PARENTS.

But, you may say, some parents will abuse their kids. Some parents would never educate their kids. Some parents are just plain messed in the head. Yep. And the children belong to those parents. They shouldn't be wards of the state unless some extremely heinous crime has been committed, and then only under due process of law. (In my mind, due process of law would entail actually following the fourth amendment, getting a warrant, etc., and not sending little Molly Miss Social Worker... age 23 with no children... out to "evaluate" your home)

I'm concerned at the trend lately that children belong to the state, and you must give a child an upbringing that is in line with what your state wants. You must teach them tolerance so that they don't offend anyone, or use their religion to justify "discrimination." You need to teach them respect for people of all races and cultures, even if a particular race or culture has declared jihad on your people. And certainly if you're a Christian you ought to love your neighbour enough to pay for their sex ed classes and condoms in public schools. What is wrong with these fundamenalist Christians who disagree??

20 May 2007

On Sexism and Autism

Two of our five boys are autistic. They have been diagnosed at a Childrens' Hospital and not a psychologist using a checklist... and I think the diagnosis is (unfortunately!) probably accurate. The other three either have not been tested, or are given some catchall label in the (VAIN!) hopes of getting help from the school district.

Don't get me started on the school district...

We've had some great teachers over the years. We really have. One in particular, the Emperor's preschool teacher, is going to be VERY sorely missed when the Emperor graduates in a few days from the program. She teaches a mostly special-needs preschool and is really gentle and energetic. She knows how to integrate the therapies the kids need into the school day so they think they're playing! In short, she's awesome.

G also has a *wonderful* case manager in the middle school. I can't say enough good things about her. G has a lot of difficulty sometimes in school and really needs help with social situations (what does that look or that expression MEAN?) or in reasoning out that just because he is angry right now does not mean everyone is against him. His case manager is able to make allowances for him. She's able to manipulate that environment a bit so it's more G-friendly. She sends home daily checklists so I get a good feel for how his day was without a big preachy sermon or judgmental comments. I really like her.

But we've found that the school district as a whole does NOT really understand the needs of Christian or special needs families. Oh, my goodness. The Elf is autistic and runs away when he is in a large group. He gets overwhelmed! What's the solution to that? Oh, let's suspend him for his behaviour. Oh, let's lock the kid in a closet and call it a "safe room." Oh, that doesn't work? We're here to help! We'll assign someone to be with the Elf all the time. He's autistic and can't deal with change well? Well, that's not in the budget. The staff member with him will change literally every 15 minutes. We're here to help!

Worse, they'd assign someone about 65 years old to watch the Elf. Do you think she can catch him when he runs away? Or the situation we encountered at a private preschool: We'll assign someone 98 months pregnant to watch nine kids and then act surprised when the Elf almost makes it to the highway. He made bad choices, lady, and you'd better teach your kid better at home and put some consequences in there! What's wrong with you as a parent??

SO, I'm a sexist pig. I prefer young male teachers for Elf when he is at church or anywhere else because they can run and the cannot get pregnant. They also tend not to want to tell you long stories about how the Elf made "bad choices" and blah blah blah. It's probably a bad attitude for me to have. On the one hand, I *do* want to know what is going on, but I don't want inordinate amounts of detail ALL the time EVERY time he is out of my sight. He's not out of my sight that often. He's homeschooled now. I take him to the library and might leave him for about 2 minutes (literally!) to go to the bathroom or check out a book. Even then his feet or his head is in my line of vision. I leave him for about an hour at church. And that's it.

Thankfully, the church we attend is wonderful. They actually LISTEN to me when I tell them I would prefer to have a male teacher at least in the general vicinity. Several times Mr. B has run through the building to catch a running Elf. Mr. B, God bless him, is big enough to just hold the Elf in one arm and carry the child back to class.

The World of Blogs

Hello! Right now, I am probably off reading YOUR blog. I look at some blogs, and then look at the links in those blogs, and then the links in those blogs... and that's probably how I found YOUR blog. I think it's really interesting to see how different blogs are all related and how you'd be surprised at how some people pick their online "friends."

I used to hit the "next blog" button a fair bit. Then I discovered that about half the blogs are in Spanish and most of the others have porn or bikini ladies, or German-Finnish something writing in them. Every now and then I come across something interesting and of value. But not very often, so I haven't been doing that very much lately.

So I read about 20,000 blogs each day but hardly ever comment. But I *love* comments on my blog. So if you're reading be sure to leave one and say HI! And leave me an address so I can come say HI back sometime if I haven't already!

19 May 2007

Family Fun Night

We went to the Family Fun Night at Worlds of Fun last night. It's an event given each year by the company D works for. We really had a lot of fun! D refused to go on any rides and cuddled with the baby the whole time. I gather that lots of passers-by had to admire how thin and underfed the baby is, and how small! Ok, not really. He might be a little chubby, maybe.

The bigger boys ran off to ride on the crazy death sorts of rides that I don't want to know about. They had a good time, but I didn't really want to hear about it. I was just glad to see that they were alive at the end of the night.

The younger boys (Elf, 6, and Emperor, 5) and I wandered off to the boat rides. We went four times on the boat rides and they had a LOT of fun on those. The Elf was screaming almost the whole time because he was so happy. His whole body was shaking. We went on the rides in the little kid section of the park. The Emperor is just about an INCH under the maximum limit for the little kid rides. Even though he is younger than the Elf, he is a good six inches TALLER. He will not be able to go to the Camp Snoopy part of the park next year... they'll kick him off all the rides because he'll be too big. The rate we're going though, the little Elf will be able to ride the baby train until he's about 12! Actually, that was the ride with the longest line, and I thought it was the lamest!

18 May 2007

We're Getting a Will (Finally!)

I know some of you family members are scratching your heads and going, um, we were TALKING about who takes what kids in the event of your death LAST YEAR.

Yeah. We saw the lawyer in January and only in the last week have we received a draft that is acceptable. You know, one without incorrect childrens' names and all the money not going to my dad? (Too bad, Dad!) We sign off on the will on Monday afternoon. I'm usually a pretty patient person, but I'm thinking it's about stinkin' time they got around to it. And yes, I did start hounding them after the first couple months went by with no draft. I *was* told that it would be at least a few weeks though.

I started to think that we would all be dead by the time the will was finalized! And then it would be no good unsigned! Wouldn't that be a kicker!? Hopefully we don't get a bill charging us for five months of work...

Please Pray for Melissa

http://www.hslda.org/docs/link.asp?URL=http%3A%2F%2Fworldnetdaily%2Ecom%2Fnews%2Farticle%2Easp%3FARTICLE%5FID%3D55730

... and for homeschoolers worldwide. Whose children are these, anyway? The state does NOT know best how to raise our children and what sort of theology they need to learn. God help us all. I will be joining the HSLDA over the summer when Elf turns 7. That is the age in Missouri when he is "required" to be educated, although the state legislature is thinking of lowering that very soon.

17 May 2007

Backyard Flowers


Allergies and Asthma

My son Patrick has some pretty severe allergies. We had him tested a couple years ago and he is HORRIBLY allergic to dust mites, and somewhat allergic to almost anything else you could think of. What is really strange is that we had never thought to get him tested before our Elf was tested for allergies because of his asthma. I just didn't know allergy testing existed, or what it entailed. I had no clue that allergies and asthma were related. I think we're figuring it all out now and the drug companies at least are very grateful.

Our allergist has been most helpful in keeping the Elf out of the hospital. Sure, he's on about seven different things and seems *FINE* to any doctor examining him. We had one physician doubt that he even has asthma. But despite all you hear in the news about physicians receiving kickbacks and big money for keeping people on brand-name drugs, let me tell you: these (expensive) drugs really do work in keeping things relatively stable for the Elf. I really don't like him being on so many things though. I have learned the hard way in the past that he needs to take these things. I tend to think that because there's no problem he shouldn't be fed all these drugs!! I like to do things more naturally, you know... Feed the kid an extra Flintstones multivitamin from the jar at least...

Elf has the sort of asthma that is "no problem" until he gets sick. It flares up a little with exercise and upset as well, but nothing worrisome. He is doing a LOT better when he gets ill now. We just up the frequency of a couple different medicines and go on with life. It helps that he is homeschooling as well. When he was in public school he missed about a ton of school days because I was not ready to send him in to a class with 27 kids, one teacher and no aide when he had even a slight cold. I mean, even the *best* and most-qualified person is going to be busy teaching, or dealing with this and that and perhaps not seeing an attack or a problem. Plus they would stick the kid in PE unless he had a SPECIFIC note from the doctor EACH time he had a flare-up. Common sense does not work on these people.

Now Patrick is off to get his weekly allergy shots. He is doing much better with his dust mite allergies of late. I think the shots are helping but it has been well over a year since we started shots and we are still not down to going every other week yet.

I'm glad at least that he is not allergic to peanut butter! I can not imagine sending a child with a severe peanut allergy ANYWHERE. All it takes is some kid with peanut butter on his hands to touch the same doorknob as your kid and someone could die after lunchtime. Wouldn't you think there would have to be perfumes or shampoos with peanut oil in them as well? I wouldn't know but I would imagine there would have to be. I'm surprised at the number of things that MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF PEANUTS, OR PEANUT INGREDIENTS. I would not be surprised at all to receive something from a clothes catalog warning that their clothes are shipped on machines that may have also shipped peanuts, or peanut ingredients. It's no fun dealing with a dust mite allergy but so far as I know no-one has ever died from it. A peanut allergic kid would have to live in a bubble at our house.

16 May 2007

G, age 12. He's our second son.


On Educating Boys

I suppose it's *just* me, having all boys and maybe a bit of a bias toward my children in most situations. But it seems to me that almost anywhere you go, girls are more valued and praised, especially when they're in the younger grades.

How often do strangers gush over your five-year-old boy's Spiderman or Bibleman shirt? Or ask your child whether the dirt stain came WITH the trucks on his pants or was added later for a bit of authenticity? Ok, not as often as they'll gush over a little girl's hairbows or matching shoes and purse.

And there are big compliments for nice, quiet girls. Noisy little boys who "bother their neighbour" during library story time are frowned upon. In school, teachers will get the boy into trouble far more often than the girl in almost every circumstance. I can think of a particular series of "difficulties" we had with Patrick's teachers throughout grade school. The little girls would very quietly whisper and giggle about him, or give "looks." Patrick will do something like directly walking up to the offender and saying something along the lines of, "I'm not afraid of YOU, fat girl." Guess which kid would get into trouble?

To my mind, the girl should have gotten into WAY more trouble for instigating the whole matter. Not that it's Christlike to call the girl in question "fat" (hey, we're supposed to only speak the truth when it's in LOVE *kiss kiss*), but I feel that he was goaded into the whole situation time and again.

But the wisdom at our local elementary school, according to the children, is the following:

"Girls go to college to get more knowledge.
Boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider."

Yes, this is the same place that brought you the "Scooby Dooby Doo pooped in a shoe" rhyme, so maybe I'm a bit oversensitive. But it does seem that educators, librarians, Sunday school teachers and assorted other adults are not as welcoming to boys. I'm trying to teach my younger sons at home and not get as hepped up about them jumping about while learning to read and write. I do ask that we are seated with sharp pencils though. :]

15 May 2007

An Old Picture of Me


This was taken last year after all the flowers came in!!

Spelling R Us

We've been working SO hard on spelling. Still, the Elf spelled words like "dozz" for "does" on his test. It shouldn't be a surprise what's on the test because we're using the PACE system. The 40 words listed at the beginning are the 40 words on the test. It seems that no matter how much we practice, he still BOMBS the test. And throughout the booklet there is copywork, using the word in a sentence and a definition for each word with a picture.

He can read well enough, but the reasoning skills aren't quite there. He can read a story about Stella going to the store at 3 p.m., but when the questions ask what time it was 20 minutes before she left for the store, he'll have no clue! We use the Judy clock for illustration. I'm getting to the point where I don't really expect him to complete those worksheets on his own. He'll sit with me and we'll use the Judy clock together. I'm hoping that eventually it will just click in.

He does very well in his mathmatics. I can teach him a concept and away he goes. I just have to be sure there are no pesky word problems, or that we think through those word problems together. I am not sure if he is having difficulty because he is young or because he is on the autism spectrum. I'm HOPING these things will get better with practice and time and that he will be able to do the word problems on his own in the next year or so.

14 May 2007

My Bathroom Blog

OK, I really do have other things to talk about besides my bathroom. But I'm going to talk about my bathroom anyway.

Yesterday I heard some dripping BEHIND THE WALL in the downstairs bathroom. This is a very bad thing. I just envisioned horrible water seepage and mould everywhere. All the walls and the flooring having to be pulled out and re-laid. The water being shut off to the entire house for a full month. The only other useable bathroom in the house is directly above this bathroom.

I had all kinds of dollar signs dancing in my head last night instead of sugar plums. I was not happy to get up at 5 with the crying baby and dread those hours (tick, tick, tick) until 8 a.m. when our plumber would answer the phone. But it didn't turn out as horrible as I had imagined. And he didn't dress like Super Mario as the Emperor had hoped.

Our plumber couldn't hear the dripping I heard, no matter which order we flushed toilets and ran sinks throughout the house. Now, I KNEW I wasn't crazy (yet!) so I let him cut a little hole in the wall to peer in with a flashlight. Sure enough, there was a little leakage but not so bad as to rip out walls or grow mould. Thank God!! It looks like I caught it really early.

The plumber installed a new toilet and wax ring. I don't like this new toilet as well as the old one. It has very little water at the bottom and doesn't growl at you when it flushes like the big old toilets. It bubbles! I'm very grateful that things weren't "bad" like I thought they would be. I spent just under $300 for the whole ordeal. I'll have to leave the hole in the drywall for a week or so, so that everything can air out. Otherwise, I should say it could have been a LOT worse.

I'd take a photo of the new toilet except for the fact that it looks very similar to the old one (white), AND, the plumber installed our yucky old seat on the new toilet. I'm thinking of buying a new seat just because. Oh, the other reason there's no photo here? I think we have enough potty photos. I'm not obsessed or anything.

13 May 2007

Eight Random Things.

I'm seeing on http://cherylklarich.blogspot.com some interesting "random" things about her. Thought I'd post my eight "random" things about me as well.

1. You know, I keep thinking there is NO WAY one can just figure out eight "random" things. They all have to have a reason to be included in the blog. I mean, "I am breathing air" is a random thing about me, but not particularly interesting...

2. I have tried to waterski, but never figured out how to do it.

3. I use a baby wipe to wipe down the keyboard, mouse and desk area every time I use the computer. Germs, you know.

4. We like to play "The Price is Right" in our family. Whenever I get an overpriced catalog, I will show the boys a picture and ask them to name the price of an item. Closest without going over "wins." The little ones are getting better at not giving guesses like, "500 and a million dollars" although you would be surprised at the number of times they have WON with guesses like "a thousand dollars" for an ottoman, when the older boys are making more reasonable and conservative guesses. We used to play this game at the local furniture store until the older boys were a little um, loud, in their objections to some of the prices.

5. I love my Magic Eraser. I feel sorry for people who have never discovered the Magic Eraser.

6. I only learned how to make paper snowflakes last winter.

7. I like to paint but I am a lousy artist.

8. We bought two sets of brown plates a couple years ago, but they keep breaking. Now, none of my plates match all over again.

REAL Flowers in My Backyard!


On Idolatry

Oh, boy. We've been having a problem with fights over the PlayStation and the Nintendo. Who had the longest turn and who erased which saved game... Sigh. We're very careful about the CONTENT of the games (they're allowed race car games and that sort of thing, but not the teen-type with the blood and large-chested women) we allow our children to have. But another thing we need to look out for is how IMPORTANT these games become to them. It's hard for me to define. I mean, my computer is very important to me and I'd sure miss it if it were to go away tomorrow. But I *hope* that I would still be a pleasant person to be around, or that if I were called away from my computer to do an errand or something I could do it without sassing or complaining...

Well, we all have some work to do. We have to live in a world with all kinds of useful little gadgets and devices. I know we're commanded to live in the world but not of the world, and that needs to be reflected in our use of the computer and games as well. So mean old Mom has taken away games several times this week after reminders to be a Christian in playing them. I can totally understand some families just opting out of the whole game-station thing altogether. I really can. That's what we've done by and large with the television. We have one, but it is very rarely used to see "regular" tv and even then a parent is in the room. We have no cable.

Actually I would like to have cable, but I wouldn't want to buy a stupid PACKAGE thing. To my mind, it's like giving the pornographers my money for programs I don't watch. Ok, someone is going to leave a post here telling me that HBO and that sort of thing is not pornography in the strictest sense. But... it's just a conviction that I have. I'd like to get maybe History Channel and things like that without having to buy one of the higher "tiers" to do it and get things I don't want (and object to!) "bundled" in as a "bargain."

No thanks.

12 May 2007

Baby J


My Front Door


Yes, I do use fake flowers. They look much better than dead "live" ones.

This is the Bathroom


It's *reasonably* clean. My second son G cleans all the toilets each week in exchange for a dollar. Then he tithes on that. So my toilet isn't as sparkly as some but you can't beat it for the price LOL!

This is What My Kitchen Really Looks Like...




Happy Mothers' Day!


Now that most of my children are past that cute stage where they don't talk and can't go anywhere unless you carry them, I understand my mother SO much better than I did growing up. Now I understand why tossing a fully shaken purple pop on a newly-cleaned white rug just MIGHT elicit a pretty angry response from the local housewife. I understand what it is to be unappreciated at times ... just every now and then. I know the frustration of FINALLY getting five loads of wash done and folded to find that some little boy has draped his socks on the DOORKNOB and behind his dresser. Five of them, and only two matching.
I also know what it feels like to learn that 50 plastic cups must be purchased for some important event... tomorrow morning. What it feels like to get a phone call from school. How "volunteer" work is really anything but. And how being a mom is a pretty easy job, if only it weren't for the hours.
So I want to wish all you moms out there a happy Mothers' Day, but most especially my mom because she had me to raise! I'd print her address here for sympathy cards, but I think maybe she's forgotten about how bad we all were since we've been gone so long and I wouldn't want to help her remember and retraumatize her LOL...

11 May 2007

Comments?

I've snooped around here a bit and I *think* I've made it possible for anyone to make a comment, without signing into the google or whatever system. Please somebody give it a try. I would ask that all comments are "signed;" that is, you put "Mom" or "Bob" or "Smurfette" or some other identifying information on it. You can use a pseudonym if you like ("Patrick" did) as long as you are consistent about using the same one each time.

Baby J


I'm hearing grousing from dh that I am loading all HIS pictures onto my blog. So I found a picture I'm SURE he didn't take! This one is from the hospital where baby J was born. He looks like he's doing the wave!

10 May 2007

OK Last Pic...


Yes, there were actually PEOPLE living in this room at one point. There is even a small smeary handprint in one of the hallways.

More Bathroom Pics




Step Into the Parlor... CAREFULLY


Want to go Downstairs?

Sorry, Dh wasn't brave enough so we'll wonder forever what could have been lurking down those stairs!!

YES!



There really WERE people living here. In the winter. In Missouri. With their children.

Imagine...


How pretty this house must have been 100 years ago!!

More pics




The eviction notice! And the price! I wish I could have the house in good condition for that price... sigh.

Welcome Home!!




I KNOW you guys want a tour... Here's the beautiful yard. It really is a gorgeous place and I'll bet once all the trash/ needles/ cars/ rusty tools are cleaned up the house truly will be a gem.


Want to Buy a House?

I know I'm receiving bunches of comments on the blog and in my personal mailbox asking, how on earth are you keeping your house so CLEAN? And I even got a comment wondering if it's even MY bathroom?

And I'm *tempted* to say that it isn't really my bathroom, it's just the BOYS' bathroom and we let them use it when we release them from their cages each afternoon. But somehow, I thought if I typed that I would get a visitor from the state requesting, nay, DEMANDING, to come in and smell my French Toast candles for themselves. So I'll have to tell the truth. (Doggone it! It would have made my day to see the British nanny show people come over as well. I coulda been on TV!!)

The bathroom and the kitchen you see are actually taken from a REAL house in which REAL people had been living just before the photographs in question. It is about a mile up the road from us and was a very old and in its day surely a very beautiful place. History tells us that the owners of that house also owned the tiny house across the street as "slave quarters." It's a place you can't see from the road and the lot is situated SO nicely. Someone has bought it and is doing extensive work on it.

At the time it went up for sale, we weren't really aware of how structurally bad the place was, or how thoroughly mouldy. These aren't things you can see from the sidewalk, and the lot is large enough that quite a few of the major defects of the place are not visible from the road. So Dh toured the place with our ever-patient Realtor, and snapped these pictures about two years ago. Actually, the really sad thing is, you could see little childrens' toys about this place and KNEW they had kids living in that filth. Did you guys click on the kitchen pic to make it bigger? It's actually MUCH WORSE than it looks at first glance. I will have to dig around and see if I still have a photo of the sheriff office eviction notice and the yard, etc.

09 May 2007

Home is Where the... Heart Is


Keeping the house tidy is a little difficult sometimes with five little boys. But I find the French Toast scented candle in the dining room really helps mask those day-to-day odours between deep cleaning days!

Homeschool in the Kitchen



Sometimes, while I'm homeschooling, I leave all kinds of papers about in the kitchen. I'm always sure to tidy up after we do our schoolwork so that my countertops are free for YUMMY food preparation.

Oh, come on somebody leave a comment before I post a BATHROOM picture.

Elf Feeding Baby J


Teaching Mathematics

When we started homeschooling, what I did was use a lot of pretty close to free stuff. The dry erase board and markers, and some flashcards and paper pretty much was the sum total of our mathematics curriculum. I used some worksheets from Sam's Club. You can get about a TON of math worksheets in some of those workbooks from Sam's Club for about $7 each. The only thing I don't like about those workbooks is that they tend to repeat themselves... that is, the first grade workbook has a bunch of sheets you already did in the kindergarten book, or the book on "time and money" would include the same worksheets you just did in the first grade book, etc. But for 300- odd sheets per workbook, the kid doesn't notice so much when you repeat a few. Plus it's extra practice!!

The Emperor gets all the easier worksheets or ones with a lot of colouring to do. He will do homeschool with us while he is home in the morning. If he is a good boy, he will get a "homeschool star" at the end of the day just like the Elf. They also can get one star for memorizing a verse in the Bob Jones Bible lesson. I have a sticky note for each boy with 20 little boxes in them. When the sticky note is full, they can trade it in for a PRIZE. There are some old discarded Happy Meal toys the older boys are done with, as well as some cool pencils and google-eyed notebooks to choose from. It's a lot of work for a pencil, but the boys are VERY into getting that star for the day!

Now we are at the point where I am ready to follow a curriculum. We have the basics of adding and subtracting down. Elf can add and subtract columns of numbers including the borrowing and carrying. He can add and subtract money if the decimals are lined up nicely. (That's KEY!)

I have purchased the Miquon Math Blue book. They are beginning to multiply fractions like 1/4. When I think about it, they are basically teaching the Elf algebra but using little shapey boxes instead of x and y. **I** have to pause sometimes to figure out how to do these things. But Elf seems to have a talent for mathematics. So does the Emperor. He is learning his times tables with the Elf.

I am concerned that when the Emperor goes to public school kindergarten next year, they will not realize that the kid has a brain. He tends to run around and act goofy a lot of the time. He also has a LOT of trouble with his handwriting, despite my teaching him and the really GREAT work they do at the public preschool. So they'll see this bouncy kid who scrawls instead of the little math fan who is reading some basic Dick and Jane. We are sending him to public school on a "we'll see how it works out" kind of basis.

08 May 2007

Do NOT Mess With the Force!


This is the Emperor. He is going to be six in a few months. He doesn't suffer from low energy at ALL. He likes to fight with cardboard tubes, plastic light sabers, sticks and whatever happens to be lying around. He is in almost constant motion except when he is playing GameBoy or sleeping. Isn't he cuuute?

A Discussion About Freedom

This is my first official "homeschooling" post. By the way, after I've blogged a billion little posts, and you want to go back and review your favourite one, look at the BOTTOM of this blog. I'm starting to organize them by category. Hopefully I don't wind up making a million categories and confusing everyone. But the "labels" are at the bottom of the page should you ever need them. I rock, but not enough to figure out how to MOVE the labels to the side of the page...

I just want to talk a little about the freedoms we still do have in our country. I know EVERY homeschooler in America knows about the Busekros family, but for those of you who might not be aware, homeschooling is ILLEGAL in Germany. As in, they will fine you thousands of dollars and take your children away for psychiatric help. That kind of illegal. If you're not up on this issue, you might want to go look at the HSLDA website and educate yourself if for no other reason than to understand that "it could happen here, too."

Which brings me to the point: Who has the right to decide how to educate our children, and where do those rights come from? I would have to say in my opinion that my children are given to me by God. The responsibility to educate them is mine and my husband's. Therefore I am against any interference in the decisions I make concerning how to educate my children. That means that yes, I am against mandatory schooling. That does NOT mean that I am against any and all public schools at all times and in all places. And it certainly doesn't mean I'm against education!

I guess I had never really sat down to question the educational system to the extent I did until I began homeschooling. It is so refreshing to have my child here at home with me. I'm learning so much from "Elf," my six-year-old, since we began this process together last November. It was so nice to get through the entire Christmas season, knowing that the only things he was being taught as a matter of educational instruction were the facts about Christmas from the Bible. I didn't have to deal with Kwanzaa colouring sheets, the "value" of other religions or have to hear yet again from the staff about how mean it is for my children to "spoil the fun" of other kids who believed in Santa. (Give me a break! If you LIE to your children, and then expect ME to teach MY kids to lie to them as well, you are seriously messed in the head. Get over it.)

I am teaching my son to read from the King James Bible for English. In Science, we've purchased a curriculum detailing the days of creation and what happened on each day. (Did you know that God made the plants BEFORE he made the SUN?? Go look it up!!) We have so many fun experiments to do and we're growing all kinds of plants. We also learned the hard way that not every science experiment worked. We've figured out that sweet potatoes from the grocery store all come to us WAXED, so the science experiment of leaving the potato in water for weeks on end so we could watch it grow was a little, um, smelly before we gave up on it. We left that part of our notebook blank!

In short, all the mistakes as well as the triumphs are ours. It's a very big responsibility, and I KNOW there are going to be quite a few "gaps" in Elf's education. But do you know what? It's ok. I'm fine with that. I mean, Patrick is going into the eighth grade and recently I found out the child does NOT know how to use a phone book, or address an envelope. By the way, Patrick is very intelligent and in the gifted program at the public school. He does math about a million times more advanced than I can at present (I'm learning! LOL!), but I suppose envelopes and phone books aren't on the MAP tests. (But that's a whole 'nother blog post!)

I hope everyone reading this appreciates the freedoms we still have in our country. I hope we all guard it wisely and teach our children that we really do live in a special place. May God bless America.

Please use your freedom of speech and leave me a comment! I'd love to see what everyone has to say.

07 May 2007

The kitchen fiasco

Someone was kind enough to ask about my husband in the comments before. I know thousands of you are reading this blog but just don't know whether to comment. But anyway, yes, I have quite the husband. I'm going to tell you more about him because I *know* people reading this blog want to know all the details about him that are fit to print (or blog, or whatever...).

Now, this won't be one of those husband-bashing blogs. I have read some that practically tell you that the fellow's mommy still brushes his teeth for him or the latest "I can't believe my husband didn't buy me a dozen roses on Valentine's Day. The JERK! **Sob!!**". I cringe when I read those. Actually what's worse are the COMMENTS on those blogs. "Well said, Whynee! You go girl!" and "OH, my husband was even worse because he bought me a new vacuum instead of the bracelet I asked for... waaah."

But I have a great guy for a husband. He would practically die to get the children their dinner cooked EXACTLY RIGHT. (He does rather much favour his own mother in that respect, whereas **I** would serve chocolate for "variety." The kids love us both LOL!!) Just last night, dh decided that burgers HAD to be served at the table. Nevermind that four of the five children were not going to eat the burgers; he was going to cook something nice for our oldest son (I'll call him "Patrick" here).

Dh is a brave and mighty warrior in the kitchen. He served I think four different dishes for the four older boys who actually eat table food. He had the microwave and the stove going. He had stuff out on the counters he was combining and fixing. He had the burner going. He got the burgers out onto a plate.

Then he dropped that heavy plate directly onto his foot! It shattered into a lot of pieces. He bruised himself pretty mightily and could have broken a bone. And the meat was halfway done, so the grease got ALL OVER the floor, making picking up shards rather difficult. We kind of smeared the broom around over things and figured after dinner it would get a better going-over.
Next dh got hot chili spice in his eye. He limped all over the kitchen in pain and I tried to help him get a band-aid eyepatch on. Then I accidentally stepped on his other foot. I forget what happened to his other eye (I think onions), but eventually he was pretty well blind but pushing me away from the burner so that HE could make the dinner that night.

Patrick better &*$# well like his *&*@# burger, is what I *thought* I heard...

Dinner actually went fine. I don't tend to eat with the kids though. For some reason things don't go well when I do, and I've learned not to do that except at times like Thanksgiving or whatever where it's obligatory. Mostly because there are too many things to do and to get during the course of the meal and it's just easier to wait and have some peace.

Dh is fine now by the way. I'll bet his foot is still bruised though.

06 May 2007

I'm going craaazy here.

OK, ever look at a blog page and see this horrible, pathetic little blog with, say, three posts and no pictures or links or anything good? And the blog is about three years old and you know no one is ever going to visit the thing again to fix it or update it?

I'm beginning to understand the people who MAKE THOSE BLOGS. OK, I'm trying to do all kinds of cool things and make "links" to other sites I like or maybe just add a smiley face or something here and there. Good grief. You would *think* you'd need a whole year of schooling just to begin such an endeavour.

I like the little "help" articles Blogger has though. So clearly written, with nice big print. Most third graders would be able to read and understand it. But somehow, regular English words and COMPUTER English words do not mean the same thing. They just don't. I have a BA in English, people, and I can NOT for the life of me figure this thing out. I'm sure once I know how I will just laugh in derision at those silly little fools who can't read the SIMPLE ENGLISH directions on how to get started!! Ha-ha!

05 May 2007

The strangest blog I've ever written!

I have stupid old strep throat. I'd *really* like to know where I got it from. I never go anywhere! The only place I had been to this whole week was the dentist's office and I'm pretty sure they at least rinse the instruments off between patients... I heard in the news this week about a lady who got Hepatitis B from her dentist's office and they had already been following accepted sanitation procedures... scary. The only other possibility is that someone brought the germ into the house without getting it themselves... and somehow *I* got it and they didn't.

Or, it's the melamine-tainted chicken. Anybody else paranoid about this? Like, oh, a bunch of chickens have been eating PLASTIC and we went ahead and sent thousands of them to be slaughtered and brought to the local grocery to be put on your dinner table. But there's no problem. Our government tells us that it's SAFE to eat chickens with melamine. And that Agent Orange doesn't really cause medical problems. Oh, and that mercury filling thing? SAFE. So is thimerosal in your baby's shots.

Anyway.... So now I'm all germy and disgusting. I can't touch anything or dh will go, "You're getting germs all over that! Now I have to wash that..." This includes the children LOL! OK, I was pretty sick there for a while until I went to the doctor. Actually my fever was just under 102 and I'm still pretty shaky but not as feverish. I'm still sick, which is why I have an inordinate amount of time to sit here and type and shed my germs all over the keyboard...

If anyone's out there you can try to leave a comment. If I ever figure out how to do this, I'm going to "moderate" comments so I don't have Islamic jihadis or Klansmen recruiters leaving messages all the time. Or the Nigerian scam thing. You know, of all the gazillion times I hit the "report spam" button on the viagra, pornhotwebcamxxx, getwhateverdrugnow and etc. junk I get on AOL, that was the ONLY thing I got an actual letter in response to!! All right. So leave a comment if you're there. :]

Star Trek Roller Skating!

Woodjie LOVES the audience.  I made these little outfits for the children and they danced to the Star Trek: Next Generation theme...