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Showing posts from February, 2009

The Job D Didn't Get

D was speaking with the human resources department at Playboy magazine the other day.

I can't say that he'd make an ideal employee there, because the reason for his call was that he was hopping mad. SOMEBODY must have sold his name to the Playboy people, and big bunches'a boobies on a postcard in the mail were delivered to our home.

"LOOK WHAT I GOT!" an angry D exclaimed upon entering the house. Boing! My eyes were assaulted, my word.

Um, I'm usually not one to point at and discuss other people's body parts, but breasts that big just don't happen naturally. And even if they did (which I doubt), no one could possibly walk down the street with these huge bulbous-y things hanging out. I mean, the postcard was pretty much plain old porn.

Now, I know times are hard (shut up LOL) for the poor pornography sellers, but mailing this stuff ought to be illegal. We have teenage boys in our home that I don't especially want looking at this stuff.

D was mo…

Effective Prayer

You kind of wonder what the point is sometimes. You pray, and you know all your friends are praying, for elections to turn out a certain way. And then they don't.

You pray, and your friends pray, for your family situation to get better. And you try and try and try in addition to praying... and it just doesn't. In fact sometimes, just sometimes, you start to wonder if there isn't a scientific correlation between "your prayers" and "everything getting ruined." So maybe we Christians look a little silly to people who believe.

Maybe we believe BECAUSE we are silly.

I do know that there are many areas of the world that missionaries and believers are in great danger. I cannot imagine that somehow they are different than me, that they have some sort of super-believer faith in other areas of the world. One thing that I've heard of is that there are miraculous healings in third world countries, and also great persecution. SURE, Grandma is up off the flo…

Speaking of Taxes...

"Democrats have long been of the belief that you can raise taxes on business and they'll just pay it out of their profits. They don't seem to understand the connection between higher costs to the companies and higher prices to the consumers. They just assume that higher taxes and fees will be absorbed by the evil corporations. Consequently, any taxes on business are in reality a tax on you the consumer. You will pay the bill."

"They also seem to be strangely dim about the concept that whatever you tax you get less of. For instance, raise the capital gains tax and you will get reductions in capital investment. It works every time it's tried. Investors don't enjoy seeing the value of their investments destroyed and they will look for other avenues to keep their money."

Quote above from the Holy Coast blog. I'd agree with much of this quote but add the stipulation that this isn't just a Democrat sort of a problem. It's a voter sort of probl…

Support SB 445

Missourians, please contact your state senator and let him or her know that you support SB 445.

"This act prohibits school district employees, volunteers, and independent contractors from placing a student receiving special education services into seclusion, which is defined as confinement in a locked box, locked closet, or locked room as a behavior management technique or discipline management practice. Exceptions to the prohibition on seclusion include a court-ordered placement, situations that fall under the federal Children's Health Act of 2000, and when a student has a weapon and confinement is necessary to prevent bodily harm.Follow this bill here."

Many thanks to Ange and her advocacy at the state level for every family whose special-needs children attend or receive services from public schools.

Did You Know This About Autism?

"An autistic child cannot lie if they are verbal. They do not understand why anyone should care to follow rules. They have no idea about any kind of rules unless specifically taught and they do not care if they break them. This is not out of any need to break rules, rather it is a pervasive lack of understanding. They just don't get it."

That was a quote from some "Educator" on a message board who no doubt knows through extensive personal experience that autistic people are perfect angels who only break rules because they don't understand. And they never lie. I think they also get super flying abilities if you get the autism mega-pack with the pixie dust. Doggone but I shoulda spent extra on that.

In any event, I looked online for others who are homeschooling autistic children via Google search and um, wasn't very happy with the results.

Dill Potato Skin Fries

G and D worked on this together with a fry cooker. They took potato skins (we used the potatoes for something else) and put them into the frier with dill weed spices. It turned out very well, but I don't have a final picture because these were eaten too quickly.

Homeschooling with LIFEPACs.

In our science LIFEPAC, we're going to learn about time zones and why seasons change. As an introduction, Tom relates to his class that he has spoken with his grandmother in France yesterday, where time is somehow different than it is "here." How could that be? Well, his teacher, Miss Forest, asks the class to open THEIR LIFEPACs to find out. This has captured the imagination of Elf and Emperor. Elf has drawn Tom, looking amazedly in his LIFEPAC at himself as he was yesterday... who is looking at himself in a LIFEPAC... who is looking at himself in a LIFEPAC... The children don't seem to see simple advertising, but some sort of space-time continuum problem here.

Monday.

What Do YOU Say?

"I would rather have her marry a black than a Catholic."

Ok, what would you say to that comment? Would you say anything if this were said to you? Would you address the wrong-ness of hating blacks or Catholics first? Or would you just not talk to the person who said this to you ever again?

I have a friend who heard this as a little girl. It still hurts her to this day, although she is elderly. Do you think that if someone said something right then that the speaker would have learned anything? How can you say something so that the speaker learns something?

When someone says things like this to me, I really don't know what to say except that I really like "Joe" or whoever we're talking about, and I think he'd make a fine husband. But then that leaves the other half of the statement hanging, or I get bewildered when statements like this really come up (because I'm unprepared!) and say something stupid like, "Well, I don't see too much of a …

Woodjie and Woodjie Jr.

I still think they look like little twins, but D doesn't see much resemblance.

Homeschool Update.

Well, Emperor's knee has been bugging him for a while now. He can't remember injuring it, and it doesn't look red or swollen, but he's limping everywhere. I finally took him to the doctor. The doctor wants to know how it happened (no idea) and how long it's been going on.

Emperor wanted to be very specific about answering this question. "It was one full day, and perhaps a little less than three-fourths of the next day, so maybe five-eighths? I'm not sure. I would prolly just say one and three-quarters if I were rounding in fourths but it doesn't hurt when I'm sleeping so maybe I should just say ONE day. Or would you like to know how many days, like whole days, altogether? Or should I just say one day and part of the next day?"

I told the bewildered doctor just to write down two days. He has told us to give the kid some asprin and come back if it isn't better in "awhile." Emperor wants to know exactly how long do you mean by "a…

Super Duper IEP Meeting.

Goals on G's upcoming IEP include less arguing with the teacher and more help with completing assignments. He still gets speech therapy, but he has (finally!) gotten to the point where he no longer searches for words and has to tell you that he put the milk in "that thing that has a door on it and makes things cold." His speech therapy will be in "social skills" groups and he gets no more one-on-one therapy because he doesn't need it. Great! Wouldn't it be nice if we could just schedule *no* extra help because G functions so well? Ah, but the school isn't able to quite do that just yet. :p


I can't imagine the school doing any MORE for G than it is already doing. He has the ability in many of his classes to take a two-minute break in the halls at any time and has a special pass. He gets squishy balls. He gets a "scribe" during tests (yep, kind of like his own personal secretary). They're going to make it as easy as possible for …

Language Misunderstandings in Neurotypical 13 Month Old Female.

Sounds like a case study, doesn't it? Poor me, I read too many of these about my own children.

Woodjie McOnion McGillicuddy Muffin McMuffin McMuffin with Cheese is raised in a language-rich environment. Worrying mother-hen old Mom is doing workboxes, reading, signing, doing the picture schedule and just about anything else but stand on her head to get the two-year-old guy to talk. I'd learn to stand on my head if I really thought it would help. And yes, that really is his nickname. Can't wait to put that on a form sometime when that's requested.

Rose, though. I'm sure we talk to her sometimes, when we get around to it. It just isn't programmed into her schedule. No flashcards. No picture books on daily activities done in precise order, no picture schedules. No PECS. She just somehow LEARNS WORDS without formal instruction.

It's very eerie. I don't think ANY kid in our family ever did that.

It's almost as though this child is learning to speak from, you …

How to Prevent Abuse.

How can we prevent abuse of children in private homes?

You can't always, but you can help a parent to *be* a better parent with a bit of loving support. You can help a struggling parent with ideas and/or a listening ear.


I think no matter what system of accountability you choose to deal with abuse or potential abuse, there are going to be problems. Children are small and can't speak for themselves... well, at least in any sort of meaningful advocating kind of way when someone at home is hurting them.

But make government tightly wound up with the home environment in an attempt to catch abuse, and it still won't catch every case. THEN abuse that happens at the public school is not so easily escaped. I think what Elf experienced is actually pretty typical. I think a LOT of students are bullied by their teachers and peers, sometimes mercilessly, and nothing is done. Easy to say that with public "accountability" that schools will do the right thing. They DON'T.…

Free and Appropriate Public Education?

This man is an anti-Christian, bigoted, pompous ass. The state is now questioning the sincerity of a couple's religious beliefs. The state can now force parents to pass some sort of theological test as to where the vaccination "comes from" (God or the Devil) and ask them to answer whether God can make a rock so big He can't move it. Whatever happened to the separation of church and state? Liberals seem to be pretty big on that one. Well, until someone in a church happens to vote some way they don't like. Or until someone makes a parenting decision they don't like. From the comments: "like the Inquisition in reverse" and "Why would you have to believe in the supernatural to be able to be exempt from vaccination anyway?" Why, indeed.

Wisdom From a Teacher.

I was out browsing blogs and came across this post on how teachers can keep themselves from being accused of wrongdoing (leave it at that). I thought I'd share an excerpt of what I read with you:

"If you are male and see a young lady unsuitably clad, try to have a calm, rational female colleague address this issue if you find the attire to be detrimental to the learning environment but especially if you can't look at the student without feeling uncomfortable. Sorry to say, since I am all about gender equality, but a male teacher should see nothing below the chin on any young female person. If you comment, a defiant child will try the gambit of asking loudly and embarassingly why you would even be looking, and the conversation will degenerate from there very quickly to charges of lechery."

Sad. Probably very true. You can read the whole post here. Many of the trials she and fellow teacher bloggers go through make me go *whew* that Patrick is in gifted classes and G i…

Patrick's Medal

Patrick ranked fourth in the junior high division, sixth in high school division at the Missouri State Championship this year. Go Patrick!
I sympathize with the schools on this. Too often, schools are trying to deal with discipline issues, academic lack of progress and "etc." without the proper backup and reinforcement at home. It's a good argument against compulsory education, actually, because it keeps the other students behind when the teacher has to constantly deal with "stuff" and is not able to get things straightened out with parents. It sounds sappy, but there IS a REASONABLE amount of partnership that should be going on. Do you want the school to help you when your child is bullied? Then if you receive word that your child is bullying, do your *best* to stop it and impose some consequences at home. But to *require* parents to show up at the school at a certain time, and subject them to fines if they don't show up, is a bit over the top. Imagine if I were a single parent... Patrick and G's school has one side entrance that is stroller-accessible (everything else is stairs up a STEE…

Call to Action for Missourians

National media has been exposing alleged abuses in Chicago Public Schools. Most people are unaware that corporal punishment of school children is still allowed by law in Missouri. Missouri lawmakers should abolish corporal punishment in schools and also address the abuse of restraint and seclusion in all schools.

House Bill 96, which is making its way through the Missouri House right now DOES NEITHER. Currently The Safe Schools Act allows corporal punishment. HB 96 would also add "use of force" but neither will be defined or regulated. Your help is urgently needed to push for real reform for the safety of children attending school.

Consider contacting the Missouri House Special Standing Committee on Children and Families :http://house.mo.gov/content.aspx?info=/bills091/commit/com488.htm and Elementary and Secondary Education Committee: http://house.mo.gov/content.aspx?info=/bills091/commit/com455.htm

And the Missouri Senate Education Committee: http://www.senate.mo.gov/09info/c…

World's Largest Number Discovered!

PALO ALTO, CA - An international mathematics research team announced today that they had discovered a new integer that surpasses any previously known value "by a totally mindblowing s---load." Project director Yujin Xiao of Stanford University said the theoretical number, dubbed a "stimulus," could lead to breakthroughs in fields as diverse as astrophysics, quantum mechanics, and Chicago asphalt contracting.

"Unlike previous large numbers like the Googleplex or the Bazillionty, the Stimulus has no static numerical definition," said Xiao. "It keeps growing and growing, compounding factorially, eating up all zeros in its path. It moves freely across Cartesian dimensions and has the power to make any other number irrational."

More here. Hat tip to Darren. The really funny thing is, when I first read this I was just waking up and thought this was some Democratic propaganda.

A Few Rotten Apples.

... spoil the whole bunch.


I don't think that people are apples, though. We talked about this idea of the state making too many laws that are intrusive into the average person's family life. I think that having a few bad parents out there doesn't mean we ought to view every parent with suspicion.

As of yet, I have not heard of any broad proposal to require preschool attendance from every child over the age of one. However, I have heard from several places over the years that the second year of life is the most problematic for children abuse-wise. Is there a way to know for sure? Probably not, but I would imagine that to be the truth because of the nature of the two-year-old. The kiddo is getting into everything, telling you NO, making you tired, and pooping on the floor. In short, the kid is a mini-teenager who can't rat you out to the fuzz. :p

WHAM! upside the head isn't the answer to that, obviously, but neither is assuming that there is this vast undercur…

Same Hospital, New Week.

Me this time, falling UPstairs. Go me!

How I Take Care of My Children.

If you're not beating your kid *right in front of me* or locking him in a hot car and walking away, I don't care what you do. Want to marry your daughter off at 13 to some weirdo on the compound? Well, have a nice life. Your decision. I guess I'm more pro-choice than some other people who bandy that title about. I think if the kid's hit puberty, she can get married just as well as have sex in the public school stairwell (no, I'm not linking to that story).

Since when did we as a society evolve from the idea that you should take care of your kids your own way and good luck to ya... to "take care of your kids the way the school, doctors, and assorted nosy people like or you'll lose 'em if you don't?" It bothers me.

You know, when I had my younger two children at the hospital, did you know they would not physically let us go until they'd SEEN the car seat in the van and SEEN how the child is strapped in? Oh, boy. That gets me really mad. It'…

Ready, Set, GO!

He loves to take whatever I'm using. I was *going* to sweep the kitchen after dinner and Woodjie had the biggest screaming/crying fit you've ever seen. I had to figure out that he was very upset that HE didn't get to use the broom as well. Pencils are another fit-provoking item as are vacuum cleaners and coffee mugs. Woodjie LOOOVES coffee with lots of cocoa mix stirred in.

More G Drama.

Doggone it, but I got a call from the school. Seems he's having (ahem) difficulty "staying on task" and "letting the teacher be in charge" and "not disturbing others" of late. And I've been asked oh-so-gently about what G eats for breakfast. Because Mr. L just "happened to notice" that G is bringing in a LOT of candy from the vending machines. And were you sending "all that money" with him each morning thinking he was going to buy lunch? Just wondering...?

All that money, you see... well, it shouldn't exist. G gets $2 a week for cleaning all the toilets in the house. Then he tithes on that. $1.80 a week shouldn't buy you too much candy. Every now and then I'll let him "babysit" while I'm in another room for $2 an hour. But he shouldn't have a big stash of money. His case manager Mrs. A told me that would get him exactly two candy bars with a stupid dime left over if he spent his $1.80 all…

Natural, Earthy Spelling.

Are you a naturally wonderful speller?

I'm jinxing myself to posting a ton of spelling errors by writing this, but I don't use spelling-check machines at all. I've looked into how they work a few times, and noticed that the spell-checker hates all proper names and the hyphens and intentional international spelling I enjoy using on occasion.

Other people are totally dependent on checkers, which is odd because it seems to me that it's much, much more trouble than it's worth. But I don't think that it follows that I'm some naturally wonderful speller. I brought home a good plenty of C's and D's as a small child and was well-known for my terrible handwriting. Thankfully my parents understood and were always kind-hearted about accepting my limitations, so long as I tried my hardest.

(NOT. I just wrote that to see if my mom were reading the blog LOL. I guess I would have very mixed feelings about being homeschooled myself. If I had to deal with "…

If You Give a Mom an Hour...

She'll want to clean and organize all her stuff for homeschool. While she's organizing, she realizes that there are several things that can be put into storage. She runs downstairs with these items and takes out several boxes of homeschool items so that everything will be stored in the proper box. While she's digging through books and papers, she sees the laundry out of the corner of her eye. This reminds her that the laundry has to be done. She begins to do some more laundry, but taking clothes out of the dryer reminds her that there are large, bulky items from Sam's Club that need to be put away properly or she'll twist her ankle again. These need to be carefully organized by product type and expiration date... Oh, nevermind. I stacked all that stuff quickly, threw some laundry into three different piles, boxed up old stuff willy-nilly and returned to find Emperor had squirrelled himself away with several homeschool catalogues. He would please like ALL the stuff …

Hare-brained Business Idea.

Joe's Vacuum Cleaner Cleaner business. That's right. You bring your vacuum cleaner in to be cleaned. It will cost you two cents to get this service performed, but the owners are planning to get a LOT of jobs at that rate, so they'll really get a LOT of money.

In fact, they'll be very rich.

Soon, the other vacuum cleaner cleaner businesses won't be able to keep up and they will go out of business. THAT is when they will slowly, slowwwwwly, very slowly raise their prices and get WOW a lot more money.

Yep, that's an Emperor and Elf idea there. I'd hate to bust their little bubble and tell them there aren't enough hours in the day to do all the work they'd get for two cents each... or that no one really wants their vacuum cleaners cleaned... they just use the cleaners to clean so they have clean floors after all that cleaning.

I haven't even gotten into the tax problem yet and how their Uncle Sam will take all their profits slowly, slowwwly, and f…

We're Expecting!

And due in November! It's going to be another boy. And Emperor would like the name Waltson. Isn't Waltson a great name, Mom? Then, when he is older, he will be a doctor. Then, instead of calling him MISTER Waltson, it will be Mister DOCTOR Waltson.

But... one problem. I'm not pregnant. Emperor, where are you getting this thing that the baby will come in November?

Math. You just add nine, because February is the second month, plus nine more, that makes November!

D always says you can't argue with a crazy person.

Of course, Emperor is the guy that really makes listening to stories hard because he's such a realist. Take King Midas. Emperor wants to know why his internal organs didn't turn into gold. I mean, why wouldn't they? he asks. If your hand is touching your arm, and your arm is touching your body, then, all your guts will turn to gold! And why don't his feet turn the ground gold?

Oh, wait. And the ground would turn the trees gold. Then the SKY would be g…

Tenemos Una Fiesta.

They're supposed to be sombreros. Gumdrops on sugar cookies with icing and sprinkles. I think it would look better if we had followed the directions and ONLY put the icing on the edges and sprinkled those. But they're tastier with frosting everywhere, you see. We're starting to study Spanish. I bought a curriculum for smaller children so that we would have an easy time with this elective. Well, "smaller children" meaning second grade. So it'll be easy in that we don't get into conjugating verbs, but we'll learn a lot of vocabulary and sing some songs.

Truancy Is Now In Effect.

Here are some black teens wandering about their OWN community and minding their OWN business when the cops pull up. The children are interrogated by the officer and forced to admit that they're late for school. Then the curt officer tells the young men to get into the squad car and informs them that "truancy is now in effect." Meaning, I suppose, that they are now prisoners.

They get carted to a holding tank at some building, where they're further interrogated by social workers. One person brought in during this video is coerced to admit that he uses drugs. No doubt his life is no longer the same.

Maybe that's a good thing. For his own good, the boss-man is gonna take care of him. Forgive the racial overtones in this. I don't do it often. But just *look* at how the government is treating its own people. How the schools and the police and the judges, social workers... they're all working together to infringe on the rights of these black teens. It…

G's Day Part I

Yesterday, G informed me that instead of staying after school for chess club, he'll just mosey on over and make up a "detention" he has to serve. Why? Oh, um, for being tardy to class. Well, I'd better leave my nose out of why he's tardy all the time; it's obvious. But I informed him that in another year and a half, when it's no longer possible for him to walk home from school, that he'll have to pay the standard $5 fee for Mom picking you up when it's an extra trip that wasn't scheduled ahead of time (and if you think I'm picking you up from DETENTION for free if you schedule your misbehaviour ahead of time, well... I'm not... so stop thinking it...)

Oh, no, he can walk the three miles, he says. Across major highways. I told him no. And before you think of it, G, NO you will not get rides from friends.

"Well, you just want money from me all the time!" G explodes. *raging meltdown*

Um, yes, I do. I want lots of money from him, a…

G's Day Part II

This post isn't for the faint of heart. It's gross. It's honest. Maybe you should skip it, or better yet just scroll down to the comment section, give me an internet ((hug)), and I'll think you've really read it and care a lot, and you'll spare yourself a few minutes that could be spent doing other things like picking your toenails or pickling raspberries. But please, not in that order.

OK.

So here I am going to the bathroom. I have six children and the worst bladder known to mankind. In our house, we let it mellow if it's yellow and if it's brown we flush it down. Otherwise, even our $90 per month water bill would be much higher. Mind you, YES, we flush before company arrives. And YES, we wash our hands every time. But if Old Mom is just going to go to the bathroom in 15 minutes, there's no need to waste a gallon of water EVERY time. Just from a money and conservation standpoint.

I exit the bathroom to find standing RIGHT THERE one of G'…

Homeschooling at My House.

I've had a few questions by e-mail and in my comments section about our homeschool that I thought would warrant a blog post.

Does the School Give You Your Teaching Items?

I seem to get asked this from the therapists who come into our home to teach Woodjie. They must think I'm accredited or something LOL. Answer: Nope. I buy all the stuff I feel like teaching my children from wherever I feel like buying it. Yes, that means that I could be teaching a lesson on "how to name everyday objects" with a seven-year-old later. Don't make me cry... Woodjie still hasn't said "Mama" yet. Hey, if he still hasn't when he's seven, that's English class. We move on when you've mastered the basics.

(I appreciate that the law is broad enough that such things are possible in my state. Places like Vermont, you might as well forget it. They OWN special ed kids there, baybee. And I have a lot of mixed feelings about special ed. SURE, there are great specialist…

Expensive ER Visit

The good news is that G is a perfectly healthy kid. He weighs a whopping 135 pounds and is six feet tall. His thumb is not broken, but was very purple and swollen, necessitating a trip to the ER. The bad news is that someone called him a faggot one too many times. I wonder what price Mom and Dad are going to be paying here for his defending his honour...? I'm guessing about $2,000 because of the high-tech splint and the fact that an x-ray was taken.

Here You Go. I'll Share.

Dad also had to take the girl away from the little pile of Cheerios he left out for Woodjie because she was starting to look like a chipmunk.