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Showing posts from April, 2010

More on Evangelism

Thank God we are free to evangelize here in America. Sure, sometimes people feel a little too free to do stupid things sometimes in that regard, but I'm very thankful that we can all believe in what we want to believe and even bug other people about changing their beliefs.

Yup. I'll just remember that next time the Mormons come to visit. We live in a big Mormon tourist town, you know. Some head honcho guy in that religion got himself locked up here way back when, so people from all over the world have to go and look at the *very* spot he was imprisoned. Doesn't matter that the jail isn't there any more and it's just a reconstruction. I guess it's the Mormon equivalent of going to the Holy Land or something. Why else would anyone travel hundreds of miles to a place without a decent Perkins? I am so totally asking the next Mormon I chat with for more than five minutes about that, why that's important to them. The thing is, you can't really tell wh…

Confused.

I thought pregnant ladies were supposed to get blood tests and sonograms so that they could plan ahead for complications and line up other medical providers if there were some sort of problem. But then I looked into it a bit more and it *seems* that many of these tests are put into place to "inform" parents of problems... with the unspoken understanding that they can terminate their pregnancies before time runs out legally. Problem solved.

So when I've been asked, I have refused to allow my children to be tested more extensively (for example, for fragile X and other problems) in "studies" on autism. The last thing I want on the market shelves is a test that would diagnose autism prenatally. Soon autistics will find themselves in the company of Down Syndrome people if that happens. People will "selectively abort" children if they aren't exactly what they expected.

I think, though, that if I were pregnant that I would want to know if my child wer…

Miss Pretty Pretty Palace

We spent about $5 at the thrift store for this house. It had the furniture you see here included. Most of the time, Rose will use the old Playskool people (you know, the ones they don't make any more) and their furniture for the house. We have tables, chairs and even suitcases in our collection. A small Tigger and Toy Story alien are also in this bin, along with a SuperMario car that Woodjie likes to run through the front door with "Rrrr" sound. Woodjie and Rose have some disagreements as to "proper use of grand entryway" in their pristine Victorian home.

Fine Literature

Patrick's English teacher is one of those East Coast liberal types, full of crazy ideas, Patrick tells me. She spouts off nutty ideas in class and runs the school's Native American Club after school. No, there's nothing wrong with "Native Americans," but basically, white Anglo-Saxon Protestant culture is pretty consistently denigrated by her. About half the works assigned weren't even originally written in English! In an English class, that's just wrong.

She's figured out by now that Patrick is a Christian, and a conservative one at that. She has a few snide things to say, and Patrick has a few snide things to say back. When assignments are handed out, Patrick gets the ones that refer to the Bible because she knows he likes all that stuff. We can't really avoid the Bible, she tells the class, because it's the most classic literature written by a committee, not to mention the fact that it gets referenced in the *older* literary works.

In s…

Hello, Smiley. :)

D and I like to go shopping at thrift stores as well as Wal-Mart because we're high class. Sometimes I think that y'all would realllly appreciate pictures of "things people gave away for free... for a reason" posts. What were some of these generous donors thinking? "Oh, I'm sure my collection of empty cookie tubs and plastic knives will net BIG MONEY for the local Salvation Army. And the ripped and soiled sheets? I'm gonna get a thank-you note for them puppies. And my 1958 copy of 'Today's Child' that has obvious mould all over it? That's saleable, too. And now that I am updating my kitchen, I can get rid of the 'Your the Best' plywood shelf that wasn't painted quite all the way and is full of dust and grottiness. Someone else will be buying that at a premium price."

D does a lot of leatherworking and likes to look for cheap leather belts that he can remake into bracelets, or jackets (sometimes marked way down in p…

?????

"Kah... oooo... dah," Woodjie tells me as he writes the letters. And yes, C says "kah," and O says "oo," and D says "dah," doesn't it?? I am encouraging him to write his letters and he can identify many letters as long as I am not quizzing him on his letters (he hates that). He can draw pictures if he wants to (they resemble the mitten and alien family, very cute), but if I were to ask him to please draw a happy face, it won't happen. S is his fave letter, but he can't write it yet. It looks like he is trying in the top picture, but S is even harder than the "bah" he has written (the letter that looks like an 8). Maybe he will be literate before he speaks? How do you teach someone who doesn't SPEAK to WRITE? Where is he getting this from? We just keep exposing him to things around us and are surprised at what he picks up sometimes.

Radical Unschooler Bible Verse of the Day

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13 NIV)

I thought that with all the posts about unschooling in the media and on the homeschool blogs of late, that I would go ahead and inform you that if it's good enough for Peter and John, it's good enough for your kids. I think Paul went to private school, though, and later had to be knocked off his high horse. He thought he was better than everyone else because he wore a tie and a pressed uniform. Thomas? He was a public schooler agnostic skeptic type. :)

Spelling Party

Elf and Emperor just finished up their fourth grade spelling workbooks, so it's time for a little party. We mixed some dough and let it rise whilst we did a little mathematics, covering how to divide fractions. We're reviewing for a quiz tomorrow. We shaped and baked our "bug bread." This picture is a turtle shape by Elf. Woodjie played peek-a-boo and he and Rose coloured and ate snacks. Woodjie made one of the little shapes himself, but cried when they came out of the oven and he wasn't allowed to have any. Woodjie took the picture of his sister you see above, with just enough help to keep the camera from dropping. He aimed and shot it. At the very end of our snacking and clean-up, it was time for presents! Emperor received a tiny Hello Kitty, and he was very excited about this. Elf got a Pokemon book. Congrats, guys! BJU Spelling 5 is on its way for us to use beginning in July!

It's What You Need

You NEED these shots so that your child can attend kindergarten, blares a sign at the children's hospital at checkin. You NEED these shots so that your child can attend kindergarten, it tells you at your physician's. You NEED these shots so that your child can attend kindergarten, it yells at the local clinic.

It's what you need. You're reminded that you *must* get the things you need so that your children can have the education they deserve at every turn.

Do you remember that Twilight Zone episode? "It's what you need," the old man would say, selling a comb or some shoelaces or stain remover. About thirty seconds later, the purchaser would discover that they really *needed* that item right then. An angry man with an attitude recognizes the old man's gift and begins demanding more and more "things he needs" to make him rich and happy until he slipped in the road and died wearing the shoes he was given.

"The shoes might not be what you need…

This Goes in the Baby Book!

We'll file it under "first toilet paper changing." Emperor is getting miffed at me for blogging this and he is saying it's not the first, it's maybe the second or third, ok? Next lesson: remove the paper fully and make sure that it's on the latches so that it can be rolled without falling to the floor. He's nearly nine. I think he is a prodigy. :) Updated to add: he would like lots of comments about what a great guy he is, and he says sometime he will write about me on his blog. That's fair enough.

Love in a Time of Homeschooling

Nice set of articles on Psychology Today blog. Usually, the articles on that blog are a little... crazy, really. But this set is pretty well-balanced. It almost seems like homeschool apologetics: a real-live actual, educated, working mom not only considers that hippie, wack-o, cult ranch form of education... she actually DOES IT. Pulls her normal kid out of her normal school and messes with her normal little mind and twists it.

For a whole year!

Ahhh... ok, that sounds a bit sarcastic, but actually, I love this series of posts. There's just something so oddishly new about seeing what you do every day defended by someone who might not want to live your lifestyle forever, but has at least seen what it's like for a time and is "translating" the experience to other people.

"The word 'homeschooling' makes some people cringe," she writes. "They envision a fundamentalist Christian Mom teaching creationism at the kitchen table, or a counter-culture bohemi…

Hanako-san of the Toilet

Something must have gotten lost in translation. Apparently, in the third stall down on the third floor girls' room... everywhere... there is a lost ghost called Hanako. Don't go into the bathroom in that stall, because if you do, she will pull you into the toilet with her.

I would imagine that Hanako's parents would have reported her missing by now. One comment noted that the Japanese have a high-tech solution for everything and probably just push the button to flush when this comes up.

Ghosts don't inhabit boys' rooms, though. Snakes and possums and butt-eating monsters like to go there (get your post-it note out; when you scroll to the bottom of the article there are naked ladies' butts. fair warning...). When my little brother was small, he was afraid of a snake that would come up through the toilet and bite him on the rear end. My mom was mean to me and wouldn't let me tease him about it, either. She also made me give up ALL MY MONEY to my little …

We Make Good Decisions

Some situations I'm sure no one would ever get wrong... I'm just writing entertaining examples of what pretend children might do wrong. In theory. For entertainment purposes only.

1. You're nine years old and in the Wednesday church class with TWO OTHER children besides your little brother. It's not often your mom lets you out, very nearly unsupervised like this. I mean, one teacher and four students? She's brave.

So here you are. The tiny six-year-old you've been playing with since his fourth birthday clenches his little kindergarten-sized fist and asks if you want "one of these." How will you respond?

Correct response: "Thou foolish knave! Quite the bad idea, indeed, sir! Perhaps you ought unclench your fist and attend to the lesson on 'how to be a good witness for Jesus.' Of a certainty, your mother wouldn't wish to hear of your inattentiveness in class. Not to mention, you disrupt my intense concentration on the moral t…

Tadpole Hunting.

I knowwww we're far behind in our curriculum studies. But it would be criminal to stay indoors on a beautiful day like today turned out to be. We returned to the same place we went last year in July to see what the frogs look like in the stream right now. They are 3 to 5 inch long tadpoles without any legs at all. I would swear that they're about 8 inches long at their longest before becoming frogs later in the year.

Elf and Emperor waded in the water and no matter how hard they tried, they couldn't catch one in the ice cream bucket. So I wandered in as well. It is VERY slippery and slimy in this creek, and full of trash. I kept thinking it would be just my luck to step on a syringe or something... but you know, every child should have some carefree days every now and then to look at stuff like this.

I finally caught a three-inch long tadpole. Like his brothers and sisters, he's a bullfrog with a HUGE head. We let him swim about for a bit and showed him off to t…

Bill White for Texas Governor!

He's just so smart, and witty! Been reading about him and some of his brilliant statements. Truly, a man for our time:

Current Texas Governor "Perry's claim of 10 percent dropout rate does not include students who continue in school, switch to home schooling, or have no follow up data. These students are not tracked, and the governor does not know whether or not they ever graduated," says Bill White. We can't just let these students slip through the cracks! We need to track their every move minutely! The governor doesn't know what happened to every last student in the state of Texas once they've left school, one White supporter claims, BECAUSE HE DOESN'T CARE!

Oh, yeahhh. I think the students for whom we have "no follow up data" should be counted as dropouts. Since we have "no data" on them, we KNOW there must be something very bad going on here. "No data" means that we can make the data say all kinds of things that may or …

Cleaning House

It's like "Give a Mouse a Cookie" time here or something. I start cleaning out one closet... and find that to get everything out of the closet I must clear some space somewhere else... and while clearing space somewhere else... WOW!

I've been looking for that for a long time.

Where was I again? Oh, yeah. Cleaning. About two weeks' worth of off and on cleaning like a crazy lady. I say "off and on" because I have these little cuties that keep wanting to eat, get help going potty and they also like to play 'tay-to (potato head) with their mom on occasion, too. Yes, that includes Elf and Emperor. If you have older children and babies at the same time, you know they get interested in one another's toys. Nevermind what the box says.

Why am I cleaning? Sorry, "to have a clean house" is not the answer. I'm preparing for the GREAT CURRICULUM FAAAAAIR next weekend in which I will purchase about $7,328 worth of stuff.

Well, not reall…

Woodjie's World

Woodjie can go potty! But he doesn't ask to go. You have to remember to take him. He doesn't bother trying to stay dry betweentimes, either. This morning I caught the kid grunting and we were able to save a pull-up!! Yayyy, mee! He got some leftover Easter Pez for that one. And a phone call to Dad. And... I took a picture. Each kid has a picture, somewhere, of "the first poop on the potty." Really. Even the girl will get one eventually. Suitable for framing, right? So I've drawn the conclusion that he knows what the potty is for, and he'll do whatever if someone asks, but he's really not a go-getter on this one.

Woodjie can ask for strange and interesting things that he wants! But he has to have a PEC to choose from, or the actual choices in front of him. You can't just expect him to walk over to you and say, "Mom, I've been thinking that perhaps the linking rings would be a good choice for me to play with this morning. I also …

Flab-bergasted.

I have a big bruise on my arm from the screen door handle. It's one of those deceptive doors that slowly sssss-ss-ssss their way close and then SLAM! shut. My arm was the victim of the SLAM! It used to be a lot worse. Now it resembles a horseshoe (one end of which you can't see because of the shadow of my head). I keep threatening to go outline it in sharpie marker and write GANGSTA or something in graffiti script over the top, just because I can.

So during homeschool, I'm not letting Emperor rub my arm and constantly pull on me like he always does. It's amazing how often he does this... I hadn't noticed until I became injured, but the fact is that he must ALWAYS be touching and playing around with something, and I would rather have my arm kneaded constantly than see him jumping about and poking his brother. I just don't want him to do it right now.

"Well," he tells me, "You should wear shorter sleeves so that I can see the bruise and be remind…

Homeschooling Through Family Crises.

One of our older children has had one problem after another and been in the hospital six times in seven months. Sometimes for a few days, sometimes almost two weeks at a time. The constant calls, visits and coordination of care can take a real toll on a family. Between times, we have about a zillion doctor appointments and discussions with providers on the phone about things all. the. time. I think he's going to be ok EVENTUALLY, but we're doing a lot of stupid treatments, and still others that sorta work, and others that don't really.

Well. He has the best of care, but I don't really want to blog about it out of respect for HIS privacy (Um, you read my blog... you know I have no issues with my own...). I just mention it to frame the story so that I can talk about how it affects our homeschooling.

It's shot! It's terrible! We've put the hours in, so I've fulfilled the letter of the law, but I see stacks and stacks of stuff NOT DONE. And sure, so…

Homeschooling, Bible Style

I'm homeschooling because I know if I don't, my children will be unsaved. They'll grow up and learn bad words from those godless public schoolers. Next thing you know, they'll be flashing gang signs, eating processed foods and killing old ladies on the streetcorners for kicks. When they're not busy selling their bodies for money or taking drugs, that is.

I base alllll my worldview on this issue on the fact that "in Bible times," kids like Jesus were not educated by the Roman public school system. After all, if you give your kids to Caesar, you shouldn't be surprised if they come home Romans. Even though the Romans didn't specially confer citizenship on lowly Jews for the most part. But no matter! The saying is clever AND accurate.

I think we should do everything based on what I heard some guy say they did during "Bible times." I love how during "Bible times," there were clearly defined roles for the sexes. Just read th…

Stop the Sag... Part II

Ohhhh, Mrs. C always writes timely pieces about the culture in which we live. I recently discussed "the sag" and the fact that at least the saggy-trousers people have underwear, so it's ok.

Well...

Wouldn't you know it, that Emperor came out of the pool's bathroom today with his swim shorts down to his knees, yelling? He can't pull the shorts up, he has no towel, and he can't stay in the bathroom alone... so... the best thing to do is kinda shuffle out to the pool area with your "pants on the ground, pants on the ground, lookin' like a fool with your pants on the ground" in front of ohhh... a million five-year-old girls with your "sag" in plain view?

After doing a double-take and screaming, "What? What? Ohhhh my WORD!" I wrapped the kid in a towel and we shuffled off to the ladies room with his dry pants. He's sort of a big kid to hang out in the ladies' locker room, but what else can you do in a situation like …

Stop the Sag!

"If we raise our pants, we raise our image." Hmm... I'm watching this video and I'm not sure what to think. I'm no fan of the saggy pants thing. My sons wear their pants without belts and if you were to lift their shirts, you might get an eyeful. (Not as much of an eyeful as the men in this video are displaying!) But I'm not afraid that "the city, the country, the globe is watching this." I think it's just teen foolishness. Further, I remember well 30 years ago that people with tattoos were generally ex-cons and lowlife-type people. And that really isn't true any more *at all*. **************************************** ********** ************** ******* ***** * * * I had never thought of the saggy pants thing as just a "black" thing, but more of a lower-class thing or a regional preference. And I don't see the racial stereotype thing in the pants. The silly walk and lack of consonant enunciation, perhaps. Mayyybe. But I'v…