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Showing posts from December, 2009

Happy New Year!

Here's a list, graciously provided by one of my sons today, of things I need to keep in mind. I think I'll post it on my fridge or my mirror, or better yet, my computer welcome screen, to help encourage me when I'm feeling down this coming year:


I am a bitch.
I am a jerk.
I hate my son.
I am mean to my son, and don't listen to his advice.
I need to shut up.
He will destroy the house because I have been so awful.
I need to go away.
I am fat.
No one loves me.
No one even likes me, I'm such a bitch.
No one wants me around.
Why am I still here? Didn't he just order me to go into the kitchen?


I got to hear all this (many times) while he was destroying some of my stuff, throwing things and slamming things. And why? I was in the process of making spaghetti for dinner and did not consult him as to what he would like to eat. Meanwhile I had other children downstairs crying for dinner and another teen watching them and hoping we don't have to call the police just as the garlic …

Questionable Parenting

I've been surfing stupid "welcome screen" news items. Yep. I swear to you that I would never know who most of the celebrities are without it or get to see the celebrity "fashion disasters" that I can safely laugh about. (Nevermind that I just wore 3x sweatpants, snowboots and a jammie top to Wal-Mart, mmmkay? I pride myself on the fact that I didn't spend thousands on the outfit and personal fashion designer. Bet you the fashion designer feels the same way. )

Here's a dandy item: it's child abuse to post embarrassing stuff about your kid on the web. If your kid gets stuck behind the couch and you get a video camera out and giggle at your three-year-old, you're just a child abuser. Oh, and it's pretty much the same thing if YOU post videos of your kid on YouTube... and if an ambulance EMT crew posts post-accident video, shot while they're snickering, during a rescue.

See, I don't think so. I didn't like the video. It reall…

Wasting Money.

I know... I have more dishes than I could possibly ever use. But I saw this set at the thrift store for $7.98 and had to have it. I think it's a fair few dishes for $8 in any event. My husband demands to know why I want to buy this ugly stuff... but I just love it and think it's pretty and happy-looking. I have no idea where I will put it or if it will get broken with use. But I want to keep it out even so... I'm one of those types who will actually USE the antiques at my house, and I like to use my possessions until they break or wear out before I throw 'em away or repurpose them. :) After I got it home, I did a little research. This stuff is (apparently) handmade in Poland and some of my pieces were made before 1996, and some after. When you examine it carefully, you'll see slight variations in colour from one piece to the next and even a little variation in the shape of the pottery itself. Do you just *love* it like me, or do you also think it's ugl…

Little Update.

Here's a pic of Elfie as a Samurai warrior. He tried very hard to be pretty authentic about it, complete with making the sword sound effects found in his Civilization game. Patrick was kind to him and told him the closest he would ever get to being a Samurai would be "hari-kari." Thanks, Patrick, for encouraging your little brother. So Elfie figured out that ethnically, the most suitable thing he could be is a Teutonic Knight, but he thinks it would be too hard to learn German. I guess that's the only thing really stopping him, right?Girlie had a wonderful Christmas. Here she is playing with her dad in the snow. She loved the snow, but didn't want her dad to let go of her hand. That would be wrong. By the way, check out Rose's new sidebar pic and caption. I snapped that shot while she was climbing up the couch. Again. She loves playing with her new little people house, but her dad has taught her that the daddy character can do anything he wants. …

Christmas Preparations

Getting ready for Christmas at the Mrs. C house. I'm popping a few recent photos on this post. Rose is playing with a puzzle. I've tried to get her involved with making pies, but she tried eating the pie crust mix instead. (It isn't very good, apparently, before it's cooked.) Woodjie is stirring some sugar cookie mix in the other picture, but of course he can't eat the butter and eggs that go into the mix. *************** Lemon pudding (which surprisingly doesn't have milk) has become the standby for him when others are having donuts, cookies or ice cream. Although I must say even before he had a diagnosed allergy, Woodjie has HATED ice cream from day one.

We Don't Like Your Kind.

“What we want to avoid is to have people who don’t look like they belong in a neighborhood,” an office manager said recently for a news story. Yep. He was even quoted by name. And in the story, they specify the races they want their workers to be and everything. Apparently that's ok, though.

They're going to make sure that the people they pick "look" just right. We wouldn't want any scumballs of the wrong race or people with the wrong accent actually WORKING for us, they say. Because we all know that if you don't speak just like the customers in your area, that people aren't going to want to patronize your business. So it's OK to discriminate.

Right?

See... I'm thinking not. Especially since that quote above came from a CENSUS bureau office manager. If anyone should be hiring nicely and without prejudice, it should be the government. Incidentally, that's where I differ with some of my Christian brothers and sisters on this "Don'…

Autism Rates Now 1:110

I'm not really sure about that. I'm thinking that based on my experience it's more like half of all kids are autistic. And if you want to spread that diagnosis out to just the "mildly" affected kids, we might just get up to five out of every six.

Could you imagine having a hundred and ten children, and only ONE of them being affected by autism? Ok, moms... just picture it. Just one. The other hundred and nine, I guess, are a piece of cake to raise. I mean, I see some of these blogs about poor Jonny having the old ADHD and thinking that these parents need to quit their whining. They're in a 4,000 square foot home, have two kids and a dog, but boo-hoo Jonny got into trouble again for sassing the teacher, and waah, life is so crazy and busy...

Whatever. I wish I had enough spare change to purchase some of these people a clue.

But if autism affects 1:110 kids... where are all the schools for autistic children? You would figure that in a school district lik…

The Zhu Zhu Pets Are HERE!

When I log onto my email account, I get *plenty* of notices about the Zhu Zhu Something Whatever Pets. They are at such and such location at 6 a.m. Be there EARLY to be sure to have your opportunity to purchase one of 50 located in each store!! GO NOW!!!

Um, we don't need pets, real or otherwise. I had no clue there were even these "Zhu Zhu" pets in existence until the constant ALL CAPS emails screamed to me about my absolute need to get them for my children. They're what every kid wants for Christmas! What kind of bad Mom would I be if my children didn't have a "perfect" Christmas with these recycled Furby-looking things?

Elf and Emperor have never heard of Zhu Zhu, but I have been asked for a pony, a goat and a horse within the last month. Oh! And a Crusader outfit. You just can't play holy war properly with the paint stirrer sticks provided by Mom and Home Depot. One *must* have the Crusader outfit to rid the world of infidels/ jab our brothers in …

Cue the "Evil" Music

The NEA bursts forth onto the national scene to remind us all that they're really, really GLAD that there is a proposed bill restricting the use of restraint and seclusion in schools. They're really, really glad. No, really. And they've been working a long time with disability groups and stuff and are heralding this great step forward blah blah blah and et cetera.

Have you puked yet? I'm kinda getting the angry dry heaves coming on here. When was the last time they have "advocated" for any teacher who slaps, restrains, secludes and/or otherwise abuses a student to be FIRED ON THE SPOT? Hmm? You just wow me with that overwhelming evidence *right now* and maybe we'll talk about how sincere this press release really is. Cue the "evil" music:

“We must work together to ensure the safety of all students and educators and create supports that provide proper training for school staff,” states NEA President Dennis Van Roekel.

Yeah.

Is this the same…

On Australia.

How odd that I came across this story about the Australians' new idea for highways. We're doing a brief overview of "seaport cities" in our fourth-grade LIFEPACs, and right now, we're in Sydney.

So what do you think? Should the Australian government build speed bumps every 100 metres on the highways? It sure would cut down on high-speed accidents. I thought this story was for real at first because I had just been reading of another hare-brained idea in Veronica's blog that would entail zie government reviewing every website and see if it is safe for children. We want to keep the kiddies safe... so... the government will make sure that no bad ideas - I mean- porno websites enter the country. And anyone who doesn't agree with that must hate children.

I have to say that I didn't make any connections between the Clean Feed and that highway story until I read everything through and saw the web link. That's good satire, but I had just *assumed* th…

A Thrift Store Education, Part II

Usually I'm a literary purist, but I *really* like this series of books. I started reading Oliver Twist and thought it was a faithful if simplified version of the original. The series does a great job of helping the younger student while maintaining the "voice" of the author. D and I began keeping an eye out for these at the thrift store about a year or so ago. Thankfully, the books are all pretty much the same size and have the same type, so they're easy to spot. Most of these were purchased for 50 cents each and yes, we have two copies of Oliver Twist and Heidi. When you have two children who enjoy reading at night together and following along, 50 more cents and an extra spot on the bookshelf isn't that big a deal. Robin Hood is in this series as well, but is currently hiding in a little box under Elf's bed.

A Thrift Store Education

Spending $25 on some books at the thrift store seems like a bit much, until you price these materials new. We have a full curriculum for sixth grade reading once I buy the workbooks. Even these would not be necessary, but greatly enhance the experience. I just love Bob Jones stuff, but it is usually very teacher intensive, so I don't use it in every subject. In the pile D purchased are also some ABeka books, pieces of various science sets, a social studies textbook and a health curriculum complete with teacher and test manuals and the test answer key. If I decide to use these, I just have to buy the workbook$ and away I go. I might just wait until next April or so and go to a homeschool convention and try to find them used. If I can't find them used, I can order from the ABeka booth and get free shipping. :)
***************
I enjoy buying certain staple items new, but reading-wise, our entire collection is pretty well cobbled together thrift store finds, McGuffey readers and t…

Layers of Story

Here, a pregnant woman shows up at the ER. As is quite common, she's pretty well ignored for hours. Yep, triage and go sit and wait over there. And wait. And wait. So, she gets tired of waiting next to all the flu patients, figures out that this "sit in the waiting room and hope someone gets 'round to me" isn't working, goes home and gives birth to a premature infant that dies.

Ok.

Would the baby have died anyway? We'll never know. Not that that makes it ok to leave her in the waiting room forever. Should she have gone home? Was it a reasonable and advisable thing to do? Maybe not, but then again, I wasn't the one there dealing with the situation, pregnant and hurting with God-knows-who filtering into the ER room. Was she scared for her safety? Were the sick patients kept isolated?

Is this lady some big-money seeker looking to make a fast buck by suing? Well, if she is, she's going to some pretty extreme lengths for her cash. Most people don't start …

The Look.

Leather jacket for about $5 at the thrift store. It really looks *sharp* on G and he has gotten a lot of compliments at school. Yes, it is missing a button, but it's otherwise in excellent condition and is old enough to be back in fashion again. This leather is super-soft, too. D bought it to tear up and make little projects out of, but G is giving it some new life. I wish, with the negative temperatures out there, that he did not go out to the bus stop to wait just as you see him here. Apparently wearing a hat or jacket/ being sensible is very out of fashion.

Homeschool Update

We got sidetracked a little bit in science. You'd think that reading a page in our LIFEPAC book that the children would memorize the information and move on.

But noooo. Thermometers usually have mercury in them, did you know that? Elf has the fantastic idea that they should use water instead because mercury is bad for you. I'm trying to tell the kid that NO WAY a water thermometer would work. Emperor demands to make a thermometer with water to prove me wrong. So, fine.

The temperature inside is marked with a line when we began. As it got warmer through the day in the house, the thermometer read the same. We put the thermometer outside. After a while, the temperature reading was "ice cube." We left it inside for a while and it returned to the previous line. After a few days, I had a hard time convincing the children that the temperature did not go down... the water is just evaporating.

I don't think that there is a great demand for Elf's idea, and beca…

In the News

Yowzers. A charity wants to do a free medical clinic for a few days during January, but can't afford the estimated $77,000 fee the authorities would charge. Well, I suppose they have a right to charge something for the extra cleanup and etc. the event would necessitate... though $77,000 seems just a mite steep to me. But the newsguys, instead of including relevant facts about the fees or examples of other charity events and corresponding fees, made sure to interview some dude about whether doing medical charity is even a good idea at all:

"Many District residents have chronic conditions, Keane said. 'What they need is comprehensive care, and I think the worst thing you can do to a patient is diagnose his problem and then not be able to treat it over the long haul,' he said."

So... in other words... don't bother doing charity work for the poor. I mean, unless they can have "comprehensive" care provided by the government, just forget about diagnosing co…

Proposed Law!

Dare I hope? It ends restraint in public schools and gives guidelines limiting the use of seclusion rooms. Ange is currently in Washington, advocating. BIG hats off to her, because what she's doing is so important. I got the link to the legislation from her blog and want to pass the word on to you.

Will you pray? Will you call your senator when this gets up for a vote? This is big stuff, folks.

And dare I say it? The Obama administration is taking some steps we never saw under Bush. And Senator Dodd of CT, big thanks to him as well. I very much wish that we had some more conservative folks who would "get" that abuse in school is not ok.

Truancy Sweeps

Not in question: education is important. Yay. Also not in question: I sure don't want bunches of unsupervised children hanging out around my neighbourhood. And likely these children ARE skipping classes and shouldn't be. But my question would be about the Constitutional rights of the PARENTS of the children who are carted off in a paddywagon, whether the kids are public-schooled or not. I also wonder about this "cooperation" between truancy officers, the cops and the schools. Does that not scare you a little bit? I'm *guessing* that a cell phone call to Mom might get a "truant" homeschooler out of trouble with the cops in Dayton as homeschoolers are actually registered with the schools in Ohio and they already have your info on file (shudder). And on a *somewhat* related note, our city and school district and local grocery store are working together on something called the "Mayor's Christmas Tree," which gives out presents and fo…

Websites.

FOX News

FOX News is the bastion of conservative opinion... at least according to some of my liberal friends. It features, you know, articles that conservative people like to read. Articles like this one about people going to strip clubs. Did you know that watching strippers sets a woman's mind at ease and is a great bonding experience for couples?

I mean... even when I was an extreme "liberal" and atheist, I didn't go for this stuff. By any measure, this junk is degrading to women. So how is this smutty article, complete with a pic of the author trying to look sexy while eating eyewear, conservative stuff? 'Splain it to me, Lucy.

"Even if they don't like watching" their boorish love interests fawn over wiggling silicone, the article claims, "some women would rather know what their partners are doing than be left wondering. Accompanying him to a strip club makes her feel like she’s more on top of his sexual liaisons." (Barf!)

I guess if FOX Ne…

Woodjie's Day

Here's one of several pictures we took of sleepy Woodjie after he got off the bus. Judging from this form sent home, he must have eaten up a storm at school. I swear I feed him at home, but I know from experience at church that he likes to wander about and eat everyone else's food... so EVERYONE has to have milk and egg-free snacks. I like this sheet because it gives me a good idea of how he functioned at school without the teacher having to write an essay. I wrote her back on the other side of the paper. Woodjie fell asleep on the way home (look how tired he is in that top pic!), ate dinner half-awake, and was very grumpy/out of sorts. We put the tv on for him and got his fave pillow out. He seemed a bit better after the Monsters, Inc. movie. It is now 10:30 p.m. and do you think he is asleep yet? He is not. Nope.

Goodbye, Woodjie.

Woodjie's first day of preschool. Here he is waiting for the bus and getting on. I swear I have five other children, but this week, life is all about him. :] Can you tell it's starting to get cold outside?

Woodjie's Reasoning Ability

He not only matches the proper colour tile to the shape below it, he is now substituting the blue square tile where two green triangles were together for a perfect match. He loves doing this matching tile set he got for his birthday. He has a little difficulty with the fine motor (see top pic) but with a little help, he can do all the boards in this Melissa and Doug set.

Happy Third Birthday, Woodjie!

No festivities yet. Napping with Dad. I have a sore throat and I'm not sure if I'll make him an egg/milk-free cake today. I might put it off and do it later this week. Look for more Woodjie posts this week as he starts preschool on Monday. Prayers appreciated. :]

On Gratitude.

by Elf, Age 9:

I show gaditude by doing what mom says. My mom makes my home comeftubul. My mom lets us do fun things in school. She makes us happy all day. She gives us things we don't desurve. She lets us play with the babies. Thank you mom for what you have done for us! The way I show thaks for what she's done is that I help her. Obeying her. I wach the kids for her so she can eat. We do school so she can know that she is raising good childrin. We clean our room for her. That is how we show gratatude to her.

by Emperor, Age 8:

I show gratitude by whatching the kids. I Somtimes I mess up trying to show gratitude. The only thing I do when that happens is to be a minus not a plus. (Mom's note: I tell the children they must be a PLUS, or a helper, when we go out and not a MINUS, or a pain-in-the-butt. Mom needs helpers!) Mom takes us out for lunch or dinner sometimes. Mom sometimes takes Elf and I to Target or Walmart even. Showing gratitude is hard.

Thanks to…

Pink Toys Are Sexist And Evil

...according to the Pinkstinks people. It's not ok to be marketing toys that perpetuate gender stereotypes. It's a way to keep the girls down and teach them that they're good for nothing but wiping baby bottoms! It has to end, folks. Boycott time.

Bleh.

First off, boycotts are danged overused and downright boring. If you don't like the pink toys, and your friends don't like the pink toys, how about... just not buying the pink toys and writing to the company in question about why YOU don't like them? Why does everyone have to get all organized and angry about it?

Now... I think a man can live in a pink house. I think he can cook in a pink kitchen with a pink pot. It's when he wears the princess high heels and the boa that I start to worry. I also think that men can occasionally have... female children. You know, baby girls. Said baby girls are usually pushed around in little pink strollers and wear little pink clothes and drink from pink bottles. Th…

Having "The Talk."

"Mom, I need to ask you something." Emperor is trotting after me as I clean the living room. "'Member how you said that scientists like to put everything into groups? And give them names?"

Mm-hmm. "Well, how do the scientists figure out which are the boy and girl hurricanes? And how do the hurricanes make new hurricanes?"

Awww, you're so cute, Emperor. Hurricanes aren't alive.

"They AREN'T?? But how do they give them names if they're not alive? And how do they get new ones then?" Sideways look. Mom must be holding out some important information.

Hmm... Well, here are some books on the subject. And if you have any questions, we can wikipedia about it or ask someone who knows more about it than I do. Or maybe you need to do your own research.

Be looking on Elf and Emperor's blogs in the next few days for a post about hurricanes. :]