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Showing posts from October, 2008

My Dining Room Hardwood Floor

This picture was taken behind the table featured a few posts ago. When we first moved into this house, we quickly discovered that every carpet in the house REEKED of dog urine. I don't know how, but we never noticed it on our tours, perhaps because we never sat on the floor. Next time I buy a house, I will leave the a/c off for an hour and roll on the floor, sniffing in the corners as part of the inspection. Yes, I will. I'll also interview the neighbours and ask them what they think about the area. That saved us from buying a beautiful old place with lots of bedrooms and huge cement lions, gates and the whole works. The school next door let us know that well, the police try, but kids like to hang out and cause trouble over there... Usually when someone nicely tells you um, THEY sure wouldn't buy a house there... you know it's probably not going to work out well. After we moved in here, we ripped up the carpet in most of the rooms and this is about the qualit…

The Artist At Work.

Woodjie looks a little tired in this short clip, as well he should. He had two therapy sessions today and was just finishing a play-doh and paint marathon as well. He enjoys play-doh very much although he seems to think it doesn't taste particularly good. Neither do the raw noodles I give him to make impressions in the dough. Wagon wheels are a lot of fun to push in sideways and look at the patterns after we remove them. Woodjie made a beautiful painting for me, although I think he enjoyed painting himself more than the paper.

Ladybugs!

If you eat prepackaged foods at all, you may want to try the Healthy Choice portable kind that steams the rice. I found it AWFUL. I won't buy it again. But the container is the PERFECT size for ladybug-catching. It has nice BIG holes on top, but not quite so big that your ladybugs can escape. Freak your children out as they watch the ladybugs poke their faces out of the holes in a vain attempt to escape. Blush as you attempt to explain why the nice ladybug is giving her friend a piggyback ride. Yes, Elf, I think you're right... they really DO like each other. We also looked online and found out that ladybugs eat aphids and are good for roses. That's where we'll let them go when we're done with the entertainment.

Neo-Nazi Plot to Kill Obama.

Welllll... what is UP with that. I know there are some kooks out there. (wait. Is "kook" a racial term? Hang on... wikipedia... AH! Good. It's a "pejorative" for a skateboarder. I think it's safe. I'll leave it. I coulda sworn "kook" was a bad word, but I'm tired of saying "crazy" because there are lotsa nice mentally ill people who aren't so... kooky. Ok, on with the post.) Actually I'm surprised some doo-doo head hasn't thought of doing something like this before.

The thing is...

As I read this, I think something to myself. I'm wondering who these people are that join stuff like that. And howcome? Weren't people friendly enough at their local church / synagogue /mosque/ whatever that they feel like having some fellowship SOMEWHERE and those are the only pickin's left? It isn't like people wake up one day and go... "AH! The sun is shining brightly, the birds are tweeting in the trees, and I think I…

My Living Room.

You don't see the couch or coffee table I'm standing by, but this is my living room. Someone likes me a whole lot and got me some flowers for my very favourite table. I blog from over there on the right. Yes, in a rocking chair. I got it from my neighbour for $25 and it's great. We keep thinking of buying office chairs, but then we never actually do. A long time ago, the lamps you see to the left used to have monstrous shades. These originals have regrettably been lost. (Woo-hoo! I mean, boo-hoo!) So I updated them. The windows used to have buggy cigarette-smoke-stained "valances" and three bare bulbs with some glass "thing" over 'em hung from the ceiling over this table. Also updated ($). I tried to disguise the computer area a little bit with the huge plastic plant from Wal-Mart. See? Now you don't notice my printer or the other things that keep piling on my desk. Ok. Tour's over.

It's a Major Award!

From Maddy! Thanks, Maddy! I want to pass this one on to my buddies: First, to Julie. I've learned so much from her blogging about her struggles in adopting two cuties from Haiti and parenting a special-needs child more than qualifies. Next, Terry. She's my special iron-sharpens-iron "chatting about things" friend who encourages me to think things through. Then, I've got to tell you about Mrs. Darling. She keeps me accountable on the weight loss boards even when I don't wanna be. I'm going to be posting a loss this week, ya know, in part because of her candor and inspiration. It's always good to blog with someone who is going through similar struggles. Now I know some of you ladies DON'T do memes. It's kewl with me if you don't pass these on. In fact, sometimes it's nice just to get something without any obligation to do anything with it. Just a little "thinking of you" to perk up your day.

Homeschooling in 2012?

What will the laws in YOUR state look like four years from now? From Spunky Homeschool:

"Something that might affect homeschoolers in a future administration would be the passage of national testing and standards. In the past, homeschoolers have successfully fought and won exemption from such requirements, but with every new administration comes new uncertainties.

Who the next president appoints as the the Secretary for the Department of Education will tell us quite a bit about their priorties and the adminstration's education agenda. Both Obama and McCain currently oppose national standards. That doesn't mean that we're safe from national standards, the pressure on the next president to accept national standards is mounting. "

You know, I was really hoping to be a purist and vote third party. But the more I hear on the homeschool blogs about Obama's being an NEA favourite for a reason, the more I think it's time to bite the bullet and vote McCain. Becaus…

Jesse James Farm - Souvenirs

Each of us picked a souvenir in the gift shop. Guess which one is mine??

Third in State!

Congrats to Patrick for placing third in the state at the 2008 Missouri Grade State Championship in Columbia, Missouri!! He went with his friends from the school's chess club.

The Jesse James Farm and Museum in Kearney, Missouri.

**


***************This tour and museum is worth it. Kids under eight are *free* as well. The tour begins with a wonderful short historical movie about Jesse and his older brother, Frank James. Then you can wander about the exhibits featuring the boots and feather-duster Jesse James was using when he died. His wallet. His letters written under a pseudonym. Some coins and saddles. BTW, *real* outlaws have flowers embroidered on their saddle blankets. Yes, they do.

Jesse James Farm - Outhouse.

Brr... this is not a place I'd want to have to go to the bathroom in the winter. Fifty feet from the house in the wind in the middle of the night. Bleck, but I wouldn't want my home to smell of "chamber pot," either. It isn't like Jesse's mom could have lit candles to disguise the smell, either. Or used air fresheners. Thank God for indoor plumbing, would ya?

Jesse James Farm

You can take pictures and touch things, but they ask you to please not sit on the furniture. A chamber pot and other "personal" items are still around the house. It seems that the work is not done well inside or that they ran out of money halfway through. Possible, as our guide informed us the back porch was JUST replaced as a child fell through. I guess that's how they know when to make repairs. The inside is dusty but the overall value of the tour is such that I'd still recommend it. In the second picture, you can see the "original" sides of the house and the window next to the door is the one the Pinkerton people threw a bomb into the home, fatally wounding Jesse's stepbrother and making it necessary for his mother to get her arm amputated. The guide told us that this was probably because the mom had her arm around her baby and the blast came and got him full in the chest as she was holding him. I didn't take pictures inside because everything is…

Jesse James Farm - Slave Cabin.

This, unlike the farm which was carefully restored using the original materials whenever possible, is a reproduction of a slave cabin that was on the premises. It would have been absolutely miserable to spend a winter in these conditions. There is no insulation and no chinking between the boards. The shack is about the size of a medium-sized modern bathroom.

Jesse James Farm - View From the Creek.

Jesse James Farm - Running About.

We were permitted to take pictures just about everywhere except inside the museum. The boys ran up and down the paved path from the house to the museum and tired themselves out. Elf and Emperor had races and rode their "horses" all over. There were shouts of, "I'm Jesse and you're Frank!" heard from all about. Eventually poor Emperor became exhausted and sat down to rest.

Jesse James Farm - Nature.

This place isn't too far from where we live, but we found amazing numbers of daddy longlegs, ladybugs, birds, butterflies and other animals. We wandered down to the creek about twenty yards from the farm where Jesse and Frank must have played as boys and found this snake. It's going sideways across the picture and is near a big stick. It was only about a foot long, but an exciting find. One could easily imagine the James boys taunting snakes with sticks and leaves as we did over this bridge. Nearby were several very small fish or tadpoles. It was hard to tell which as as wet as the ground was that day, we didn't want to slip into the creek because we got a closer look. As I was buying some souvenirs, a staff member led the boys out to pet a woolly caterpillar. I'm thinking they would LOVE if Dad were to buy some of the moderate acreage near the James farm that is for sale right now. The countryside is simply gorgeous.

Censorship is Wrong.

Sometimes when we censor things, people wind up saying things they didn't mean to say. Watch this and see what I mean. Oh. Can I add I also feel the "sound byte" does the same thing? Pull a few words out of context and we have all kinds of crazy things going on. That doesn't mean that I necessarily want a free-for-all in which people can be verbally threatened and pornography is blatantly visible in the checkout line next to the candy. But... you know. I had real reservations about including this video because it is NOT lovely, pure, and of good report... the things that God commands us to "think about." But it's important, I think, to note that in most TV shows, etc., when a word is "censored," you know EXACTLY what the word really is. The reason takeoffs like this on YouTube are so popular is that eventually, your mind will FILL IN THE BAD WORD in place of the beep. It's almost like we're trained to think of certain words dependi…

Assorted Jumbled Thoughts.

Emperor thinks perhaps the Bible is wrong because God can't die. No, wait. The Bible has to be right. So howcome Jesus died? (I'm not really too clear, either, on how you can kill God.)

Jesus hung out with sinners. A lot. Which means sinners hung out with Him, right? So let's not assume that *just* because a person has a sin problem that they don't know Jesus. His character is still rubbing off on his peeps, yo. While I'm at it, I should clarify that I don't think hate and intolerance are the same thing, though of course sometimes we DO find them both in the same person.

Often, there are more than two opinions on any given issue. It's my opinion that the "experts" interviewed for a story speak more about the prejudices of the organization doing the publishing than the person being interviewed. You want a Christian viewpoint on something? Do we have to interview Rick Warren or Fred Phelps? Bleh.

I keep seeing odd things in thrift stores. I always wond…

Two Days' Mail.

I'm not even counting the zillions of "send us money NOW or liberal nut-jobs will teach YOUR children how to perform sex acts in kindergarten!" letters I'm receiving from various organizations.

About the Mail.

A sad little boy has been robbed by Luann Ridgeway in one of the recent political ads in my mailbox. Yes, friends, this eeevil Republican woman robbed little Mister Freckles of his chance to get ahead because she supports school vouchers. According to the advertisement, only the "wealthiest people in our state" would be able to benefit from this arrangement which also somehow takes "vital resources from our public schools."

I'm sorry. I thought "vital" meant "necessary to life." Is public school "vital?" Um, ok, not going there. But the backside of this ad displays several doe-eyed children who look like they're hungry for my kids' fluffernutters way more than a good education. I didn't take a picture of it, but you missed it. It's important, the ad informs me, to vote Democratic "to help our kids. Because Luann Ridgeway doesn't."

Here, I thought Ridgeway and our other state rep. voting for an accounting…

Swearing?

An excerpt from a recent post by Jove:

"For me, the particular words are of less concern than the intention of their use. Swearing I don’t have a problem. Even swearing while teaching. Swearing at students (or anyone, really) is another story altogether. I am sometimes struck by the way that parents who would chastise their children for swearing might leave them alone if they use made up words to express the same emotions. In particular, if a child is name-calling with the intention of making another child feel bad, I don’t think it matters whether he calls him a shithead or a boobledeeboo. The intention to make another child feel bad is what is wrong with the scenario, not the choice of vocabulary to execute that intention. And I think sometimes objections to “bad language” are standing in for objections to the emotions they express."

I do see her point; I really do. But if my baby J were to up and call someone an S-head I'd about flip. Well, for joy. We want the kid t…

How You Found My Blog.

Some search words leading you here, apparently:

Group 1:

find porno
find pictures children porno
granny porno boy
sexy child photo

(I find most frightening those of you who type these things in, and then STAY AROUND to view pages for twenty minutes. Ick. [Like it should take that long. Ick again!!])

Group 2:

homeschool kids nerdy
homeschool child abuse
homeschool stupid
school like prison
I hate school
homeschool cirriculum

(Yes, I suppose I review a lot of cirriculum. Not that anyone is typing their biases here or anything.)

Group 3:

worms eaten
pumpkin seeds
making hats
household cleaning disaster
mom tired

(I'd call you guys my "regular searching for something" - God knows why - and here you are, reading something different than you probably expected.)

Are you in any of the above groups? Would you ever come out and say, well, I came for the "granny porn love boy skating" but stayed for the snarky homeschool commentary? Can I ask how you wound up here really? If I remember,…

Cute Links.

The story-starter. Hat tip: Why Homeschool.

Ancient Greece.

Crayola. Colour country flags, get craft ideas and MORE!

Hoops and Yoyo teach manners. Funny, funny stuff. Hat tip: Life in a Shoe.

Lewis and Clark travel across Missouri. LOTS of detail. More than you'll use. I'd imagine it could be used from high school down.

Oh, we used this site all the time when we started homeschooling. Printed calendars and other nifty items.

Going to be using this one later when we do weather. Fish around the BBC website and you'll find all kinds of games, reading, counting, etc. Look out for English-isms. It took us a bit of time to figure out some of the things they were asking.

Bug-Catcher.

G is here with his ruler (spider-webby) and his container. Inside? A VERY LARGE brown recluse that would hide behind the toilet until you sat down and then slowly... slowly... would creep out. How could I have missed this thing two inches wide until the children brought it to my attention? Ohhh... it was hard to catch, too. If it knew you were coming for it, it would hide in a crack where the walls meet behind the shower. If you sat on the toilet it would come out slowly... slowly... (shudder) Patrick is hoping to capture a spider in the next day or so so that the spiders can be set free AT each other outside and the boys can watch the ensuing spider fight. By the way, Patrick also had to go to the doctor. Brown recluse bite, infected with icky drainage and the size of a tennis ball. Um, Patrick said it wasn't that bad and he could just squeeze it regularly to keep the swelling down and he wonders why I was SO INSISTENT on taking the kid to the doctor. Just when we got…

I Had a Dream.

... and it wasn't about blacks and whites living together in perfect Coca-Cola harmony. It was about Barack Obama stealing my butterscotch candies. I had them all in a huge crystal bowl. They were the really great, super-tasty gold-wrapped kind. He kept talking, popping some of these in his mouth but yet never really seeming to EAT them. More candies just disappeared entirely. They weren't even savoured; they were just GONE. My bowl had only a little gold at the bottom when I woke up, annoyed at him. * I've been reading on several blogs about this idea that people who don't vote for Obama must be racist... and... wow. I'm sure there are a couple weirdos out there who think that way, but really, I'm also sure that there are people who will vote for Obama mostly BECAUSE he's partly black. Did you hear the YouTube radio interview of black folks in Harlem? WOW, the black people voting for Obama because of his race has GOT to more than offset any "n-hat…

At the Concert.

We brought our new book about the orchestra, purchased from Sonlight. This book has everything, including a CD to listen to each instrument in the orchestra. It has charts to help you "locate" each instrument as it plays. It arrived literally minutes before we took off to watch Patrick play in the orchestra.





Elf was so excited to hear the music playing, I thought at times he might fly out of his seat!! Emperor enjoyed himself well enough, but kinda slumped toward the end.

Kewl. I'll Go Play Lotto.

"There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life."

Probably? Where did this group find the statistics it's quoting? "Probably" no God... what are the probabilities? How would you ever know? And have you considered the consequences if you're wrong in taking your chances?

Well, an atheist group managed to scrape up enough money to advertise on four "bendy busses" in London for four weeks. I've seen a "bendy bus" at the Royal Easter Show in Sydney, and it's basically a two-part car with an accordion-like middle so it can get around corners well.

"Stephen Green of pressure group Christian Voice said: 'Bendy-buses, like atheism, are a danger to the public at large.'" Who says only the religious are looking for converts?

Sarah Palin.

... appeared at Patrick's concert and played the cello. This was the "monster" concert the children do every year and all the kids dress up in costume. Cute.

EEEEwww...

This picture is really of Woodjie eating cake, but I wanted to illustrate my previous post somehow. What do you think? Is he kissable?

Poop.

This is a "free blog therapy" post and you've been given the TMI warning.

Woodjie had really rock hard poops this morning. Lots of little ones that flew everywhere as I was changing his diaper. He jumped all around as I was changing him. If we ever move the furniture and find little poo-balls up under the desk, or three months from now are going, "What's that *sniff* smell???" you know why already. I hope I got them all, but my carpet is black-speckled to begin with... and that stuff really went rolling three different directions. Maybe four.

So I give the kid apple juice to help him out. Poor guy. About an hour later *something brown* is all over his face and hands and clothes. Apparently it's fun stuff to mush and flick around, kind of like smelly play-doh. While he was eating cheerios. I mean, it was IN his nails, which I had to cut to get all the poop out. He's waving his poopie hands around, objecting to being changed and (ick!) smear…

Go, Kristina!

Kristina Chew is interviewed for Newsweek in this link. I don't know that I would agree with her synopsis that we need MORE funding for teachers and public schools. That would just give public educators more money to lock kids like mine in the closet. Thank you, but Elf has had enough of public education for now. I could use the money I'm paying in taxes to support "special" education (yeah, it's special, all right!) for our homeschool. I suppose Elf might take a more advanced web class as he ages. A long time from now. Mayyyybe. Otherwise, I think we're staying away if we possibly can from public education. More money for "them" is not the answer. Just hope D doesn't lose his job or anything like that!!

She touched on the fact that Sarah Palin, as the mom of a disabled child, doesn't really know all there is to know about the disabilty yet. We do change and grow as parents, and our understanding of the disability grows and changes…

Marie-Therese Gown GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

I don't usually participate in bloggy giveaway things... but... this is one of those beautiful things that is worth blogging about even if I don't win. Which I probably won't because there are about 5 million comments on the thing. But...

Look at photos of this dress here, because they're truly incredible:

Marie-Therese Gown GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

I'm thinking if we win, baby S will have to wear this whenever we exit the house once she fits it.

An Award.

Lisa gave me the Perfect Blend of Friendship Award. To claim my fabulous prize of four cyber coffee cups full of mysterious liquid, I must answer the following questions and provide links to five unsuspecting victims:

1. Do you have the same friends since childhood? We moved often, so no. I do have some friends from high school I keep in touch with on rare occasions. It's been a while. I actually keep in better touch with my ex-boyfriend's WIFE than him because she has a blog. Go figure! And she has cute kids, too. 2. What do you value most about your friends? The ability to keep secret that triple-murder I committed in 1998. Shh. 3. Are your friends your sounding boards? No, they usually join in my folly. We can always repent later. (Did I just hear thunder?)But really, I think there's a balance between being a wet blanket and being a voice of caution. I appreciate voices of caution. :] 4. What is your favorite activity to share with your friends? Coffee and chat. Sometimes …

Pictures at My House.

A few weeks ago, I was trying to take pictures of all kinds of everyday items for a "rec id" book for J. It would be a book with his bed, toothbrush, pillow and other things he uses every day. This was my attempt at a "TV" picture. Somehow, someone ALWAYS gets in the way when I'm trying to take pictures. This time it was the girl's fault my picture didn't turn out well.

The New Invention.

Elf is very impressed by Emperor's new invention. He thinks we need to market it. It makes old toys NEW again! He was so excited to share this.

Mm-hmm, yup...

Ever get distracted and do that to your kids? I do that sometimes. One of the boys will say something like... Oh, there's this story I want to tell you about Ampinman and Baikinman and they're going to the movies again. Are you listening?

Mm-hmm...

So, Ampanman and Baikinman want to go to the movies in a flat-bottomed boat like Lewis and Clark? and Baikinman ate all these cookies and then there were these astronauts that didn't think that the dogs ... well, because the dogs kept coming over to where they were in the grass and wouldn't you think that the bug was there listening to all this near the other duck I told you about three days ago and it didn't like all the noise they were making especially since MOM...

ARE YOU LISTENING??

Ack! You caught me not listening again. Yes, you did.

So... I need to l…

Pokemon Guy.

I bought some of these and embedded them in cakes this year for the older boys. I can't pronounce most of their names. It seems these are either very cute or very demonic-looking. This one is pronounced "soo-do-woo-do" or something like that. And he isn't a tree, he's a rock. The boys could tell you all about each character, its unique properties, and what it would best be suited to fight. It's actually very complicated.

Party At Davey's Place!

We went to parent-teacher conferences recently at Patrick and G's school. These things are pretty much my only opportunity to say "hi" to the childrens' teachers without feeling like I'm hounding them. Patrick and G came with me. I'm thinking it's their education, and they can hear whatever the teacher has to say about them right then. I think the only exception I make to this is when I'm brainstorming with special-ed teachers about how to handle G's behaviour at school and what kind of incentives to give him. He's just not at the point where he can be rational during these conversations on most days. I'll be including him soon, though, whether he's ready or not when he's a bit older.

In any event, at the PTA tables and the various little stands where they were selling "spirit gear" and the like was a table about responsible drinking. Apparently, in order to promote responsible drinking, parents can be issued large …

Here's Half the Story.

I'm not sure how wise it was for Nebraska to pass a law allowing parents to drop off their children and relinquish care of them at any point until they're 18. Sure, it might prevent some child abuse in theory. Tough to tell. There are also some stories about concerning parents of older children dropping them off and leaving. But what is the point of a safe haven law? Is it to encourage parents to drop off their children before they do the unthinkable and kill them? I thought it was.

And yet...

Here's a story of a mom who drops off her older kid. OK, so she's not the greatest mom of the day and all that. But now they're looking into taking her other children away? When she lives a day's drive away? And it's supposed to be a "safe haven" sort of situation?

Um...

That hardly seems fair.

I'm not about to defend the mom because I'm not sure exactly what she did or what the circumstances were that led her to drop off JUST this one kid. Cou…

Your Children Are Not Yours.

Mary Grace is a foster parent and a homeschooler. She's writing a series of posts on why families should consider fostering. One of the ideas parents put forth as to why they can't foster is that the children wouldn't be "theirs" under the system:

"The difference between God's idea of loaning and the state's idea of loaning is that God doesn't give you a timetable for how long you have to look forward to those little mouths at the table. If you are truly blessed, it will be until the day you see them walk down the aisle. Or until you die. You will never deal with a teenager who rebels and walks away from you for good. You will never be one of the crushed souls who visits at grave to mark birthdays and holidays. You will never have a child who speaks to you only on the rarest of occasions.

You may get this. God willing, you will be so blessed.

But you may not be counted among these parents. You may be one of the ones who has loved and who seems to …

Yer Kid is NOT Autistic...

"Comedian" Denis Leary, as quoted on the Autism Vox blog:

“There is a huge boom in autism right now because inattentive mothers and competitive dads want an explanation for why their dumb-ass kids can’t compete academically, so they throw money into the happy laps of shrinks . . . to get back diagnoses that help explain away the deficiencies of their junior morons. I don’t give a [bleep] what these crackerjack whack jobs tell you - yer kid is NOT autistic. He’s just stupid. Or lazy. Or both.”

Hurtful words from an uninformed mouth.

"Natalie" commented, "I've been reading about his uninformed, disgusting rant on other (non-Autism) message boards and I can't believe the replies -- while most people think he was "slightly" out of line, they agree with the premise of overdiagnoses and 'whining' mothers. (aka Jenny McCarthy) One comment that I found particularly disturbing was: "Autism is the new ADD" Sadly, as more people try their…

On Jesse James.

We took Flat Stanley into the town of Liberty, Missouri, yesterday. We went to the fountain near where slaves were sold on the square downtown and peeked at the Jesse James Bank Museum. The first daylight bank robbery took place there. A post detailing our adventure should appear here soon.

Elf and Emperor are VERY interested in learning more about Jesse James. I don't get it. I suppose some other time we could trek to nearby Kearney (pronounced CAR-knee) and see his house or even go to St. Joseph and see the bullet holes in the wall where he was shot dead. Elf and Emperor say they want THAT for a field trip... looking at hideouts and houses and whatnot. And they wanna see his gravesite, too!

Well, I kinda would rather have gone off looking at the pumpkin patch again, but there you go. What is it about outlaws and bad guys that little boys want to hear about? Because if I could make up characters like, say, the Number Nine Bandit and the Division Desperado Gang somehow relate to the…

How to REALLY Make Ice Cream

Oh, well, I thought I had followed directions. BUT, inspired by Tammy's comment about the cheap way to do this in the freezer using SEPARATE BAGS, I did a little investigating on YouTube. Turns out you are NOT supposed to put the salt and ice in with the ice cream stuff. I was wondering why I didn't have enough room and why the "ice cream" tasted like water and salt. It was awful stuff. Now we've made another batch and it's the best you've ever tasted. Well, better than that. And the boys are so excited about the process as well. This counts as an hour in home ec as well as a real-life learning process.

Yuck!

Here Elf and Emperor are in the "enthusiastic" phase of trying to make ice cream in our ice cream ball. Two hours later, we were all very dejected. I had ripped the skin of my knuckle off wrenching that thing and it never froze. It tasted like salt, but not like the salt you use at the table. Much, much worse. I literally felt sick all afternoon just from that one taste. Elf and Emperor had horrible faces after tasting the stuff as well. I won't be cruel enough to post pics of that. But we followed the recipe. What went wrong? I'm guessing it's the cream, perhaps. The salt we used specifically said that it was for ice-cream making. Hm.

Homeschooling Children Abused and Hidden?

Um, more likely serious abusers will use the shield of homeschooling against abuse and neglect investigations. Anytime you have a freedom, some sadist is going to use it for evil, or some dork is going to use his liberty as a license for stupidity. Anyone who's ever driven on the highways could tell you the latter!

Most often homeschooled children actually have some sort of contact with the community. Most children have friends or go to church or co-op classes, or go shopping with their families. And I think most people, homeschooling or not, don't abuse their children. But like any other "right," the right to homeschool can be taken away from parents who have been proven in court to have physically abused their children in the past. That makes me a bit nervous, because all it takes is a person employed by the state with a vendetta against your religion or family, but there it is. Your rights are not absolute.

Julie discusses the case of a 14-year-old "homeschoole…

Homeschool Update.

English
Bob Jones English and Grammar, Grade 3. We're up to Chapter Three. I am finding that the third grade curriculum is very much like the second, but tweaked up a notch. Now, we're going over singular, possessive and singular possessive nouns:

puppy
puppies
puppy's.

Ok, that can be tricky! Just wait until they throw in the plural possessive nouns and watch their little faces rumple!

Math
Completed Everyday Math Unit 1. Working on Singapore Math, Grade Four Unit 1. It's very similar math, but difficult to teach in that one must find the "factors" and "multiples" of numbers alone. I find even I miss finding some "factors" in that four is also a factor of 48. I'd remember 1, 48, 6 and 8. But not four. I keep missing stuff like that. Now we're jumping into finding "common multiples" of numbers. For example, a common multiple of 3 and 4 would be 12.

Science
Different animals live in different regions of the world. The climate of a …

Logic.

From Holy Coast blog, McCain is a racist because:

John McCain said he'd "whip" Obama.
Barack Obama is half black.
Slaves were black.
Some slavemasters used whips to punish slaves
John McCain wants to use a whip.
John McCain wants to be a slavemaster.
John McCain's statement was racist.

Ok, that's... interesting. Guess he must be into S and M, too, by that logic. Because we know all Republican men are secretly into something weird, right?? OH! And Republicans are all racist pigs deep down, and that's why they're not voting for Obama. It's because they don't like hope, people! *sniff*

I am disheartened to read so much absolute venomous hate on both sides of the political spectrum. You know what? I dislike Obama. I wouldn't be in tears if something bad happened to him, but I'd feel sorry for his family. Same for McCain, come to think of it. I'd really be worried more about the voting process and American political stability if "God…

The Sarah Palin Debate Flow Chart

Ok, so it has a couple bad words in it but it's awfully cute. I keep getting emails from the GOP in my inbox. "Another debate win for John McCain" or "Talking Points for this week" or "Local Party - You're invited" subject lines. You know, I spent maybe three hours last election making some phone calls for the Bush campaign and everybody seems to take that to mean that I'm some sort of dittohead Republican yes-man (or voting chick, or whatever). You've got to admit that watching Palin debate, you start to cringe each time she says "maverick." Ick.

A Wedding.

I went to a wedding of my very good friend. We both have children on the spectrum (well, she has "only" one on the spectrum) and other strange coincidences in our lives. She was married before, and almost everyone there seemed to want to allude to the fact and the reason for the breakup.

"Sure hope this one works out," was something I heard more than once. Once from a very close relative of the bride! I got tired of trying to be cheerful to these people and say in a semi-naive way, "Oh! Sure hope so! 'Person' is very smart and I'm sure she made a good pick." I left before the cake was even served. I just couldn't stand the people at the reception.

I met the groom for the first time at the wedding and do you know what he said? He's very happy with her, but he knows soon the scales will fall off of her eyes and she'll see what she's done and be sorry. But he "hopes it will work out" so that she doesn't figur…

About Nana.

Not my Nana, though I had one, too. This is about Dianne's Nana. See her picture? She's posted on Nana and what women have had to go through to get the vote. Dianne is my political opposite but close to my heart. Pop by and read her post on women voting. A short excerpt:
"I just learned that Nana tried to register to vote and was intimidated and ridiculed by the workers at the Board of Elections. They made fun of her broken English; her combination Yiddish/Russian/English and her appearance. Nana had very bad circulation problems and wore heavy stockings to ease the pain and to hide the veins she was so ashamed of. Being so small the stockings always drooped and gathered.
I never thought to ask her why she didn’t vote. I wish I had been older when that happened, I would have had a thing or two to say at the Board of Elections."
Be sure to say "hi" to Dianne; I know she loves company just as her Nana did.

TV Watchin' Outfit.

Diaper. Shirt. Shrek ears. Note the happy stim because Bob the Tomato is on. Bob is our friend. "TV" is one of the few signs J still does. It's really just a sideways "V," but you'd better catch on fast. And break out the Cheerios because this monster is hungry.

Hellooooo, This is NOT About Race. Or Politics.

This is about fairness. Lenders ought to check the information they're given before handing out huge chunksa money to people. Because someone's going to be responsible for that money. Can we please at least be certain the person signing for it IS in fact the person whose name appears on the loan document?

"The problem began years ago when banks were forced to give mortgages without confirming social security numbers or borrower identification. As a result, illegal immigrants were able to obtain home mortgages which they could not afford." So who's stuck paying the bill that a large group of Mexican citizens stole from our country? Not Mexico. Guarantee you if a BIG bunch of Americans (pick a colour, any colour) ran south and stole land and goods and services, it would be an international "incident." But if you don't like the fact that not a few, but thousands of Mexican citizens steal from our country, you're a racist. Aargh.

Lenders also were giv…

Confession About Doo-Doo.

Yes, I'm richly dwelling in the land of God's grace; however, I find that when we make lifestyle choices that aren't the best, the "doo-doo" follows you around forever.

You know, David made that little mistake with Bathsheba (D'oh!), and it kinda wrecked a lot of lives. Just one little indiscretion leads to another and another, and before you know it, then you're *really* sinning. You know, one of the BIG sins that gets people printed up in tabloids. "Who Secretly Gossips," I suppose, isn't even worthy of comment, but "Closeted Celebrities Livin' the Gay Lifestyle" does. We have this sort of *range* of acceptable sins, you see.

It's all pretty black when you get down to it, though. We shouldn't enable each other and encourage sin, disrespect or other vices. I'm guilty of this often, so I'm speaking with some conviction here.

And...

You know...

I'm not going to say that my sin is the worst in the world, bu…

Star-Spangled Tea

Back to Tea on Tuesdays with Lori! Our theme today is the Star-Spangled Banner. The boys are trying very hard to learn this, but some of the guesses they make at some of the words are interesting. We made hot dogs and star-spangled apple pie for lunch. American as it gets. We also read a comic book on Francis Scott Key.

The Bug-Squashing Party

Is now underway. Look what we're finding on Elf's arm. SOMETHING in that bedroom is sinister and hungry! I hope we don't need to take this one to the doctor as well. Too late today to bring him!

Spider Bite?

You can't tell from the picture, but Emperor's foot is also knobby and hot and swollen. He has a doctor's appointment in two hours and I'll tell you how it goes.

From Nancy.

See, I copied all this from Nancy's blog so I could just answer the questions myself. Hopefully I can be high-tech enough to remember to delete Nancy's answers from the response section correctly. If my answer seems a little "off," you know why!

Where is your cellphone? Ok, this question is strange. Not because it's a strange question, but because I'm wondering what sort of strange answer I'm supposed to give that would make it interesting. My cell phone just lives in my purse except for the times it gets charged. I never use the thing. Cell phones aren't really meant to be used... they're only there for emergencies.

Where is your significant other? Ok, this question is also strange. I mean, what if my husband weren't a great guy? Would I have to be honest and answer something like, "getting drunk with his friends and ignoring me AGAIN" or "viewing his magazine collection?" Bleh. My answer is boring. He's in the garage, …