29 April 2014

I Am Never Allowed to Eat Nectarines Again.

Apparently I am not a very smart person.  I just swallowed a pit a few hours ago!  How can I do that?  I don't even get it.  Then, I called our insurance company's nurseline.   They made sure to ask my my member ID number and address and all that and THEN they asked me if I could breathe and so forth.

I told them I felt fine, but didn't know if nectarine pits were poisonous or if I needed to swallow something to throw it up or what.  And they didn't know.  Great.  At least they said they didn't know, and referred me to Poison Control.

They're poisonous.  I'm having a great night, I tell ya. 

Though what they say is probably not enough to really do anything.  Just... you know... expect things to come out in the next few days.

So now I get to worry about whether stuff will get stuck or if I will find the pit or... what.

I'm feeling pretty stupid about it all.  I mean, who gulps down a nectarine pit?  Me, I guess.  D says I can't be trusted with these any more.  Had to give the rest of my nectarine slices to an Elf.  I have just bought a whole big bag of super-ripe ones, too.  Elf is the only person in our family (well, besides me anyway) who really likes them.

25 April 2014

Adoptive Families are Like Boob Jobs?

IF YOU WOULDN'T SAY IT ABOUT A BOOB JOB... from Rain City Church on Vimeo.

Mega-boobs are obviously not natural, and all you J-cup fake people with the 22-inch waist make us real chicks look like crap by comparison... but somehow?  It's impolite when other people stare or ask oddball questions.  I don't think adoptive families are quite the same thing at all, but it's a funny video.

23 April 2014

How Evil is the Testing Machine?

This evil.  Copy/pasted from Moyers Public School's facebook page in Oklahoma:

"In my 25 years in education I have seen many changes. As a teacher, principal and superintendent, I have always tried to make these changes adapt to our particular school in a way that follows the guidelines but also takes into consideration the individual child. This has worked relatively well as I feel that we follow state guidelines and our students' needs are always considered.

" Personally, as an educator, I have always felt that too much emphasis has been placed on testing but if that is what is required by individuals more qualified than myself, then that is what we will do. However, with that being said, I find myself in a very difficult position.

"We have a family of students whose parents were both killed in a car accident this week. When our district test administrator called the State Department of Education to ask for an emergency exemption for these students, it was denied. This is not considered a reason for exemption by the SDE. The SDE believes these students should be tested and their scores be used to not only judge them but also used to evaluate their teachers and their school at a time in their life that is unimaginable to most.

"So as administrator of our district, I have made the decision to go against the SDE rules and exempt these students from taking their tests. This may or may not cause our school to receive an 'F' on our school report card for not meeting our testing percentage but it is the only decision that best meets the needs of our students.

"As an educator and a human being with a reasonable amount of common sense, I don't feel like any test these students take during this time would be valid in any way. Testing and its importance are quickly escalating out of control and our common sense appears to be going in the opposite direction."

-- Donna Dudley

As one of the commenters stated, "This needs to go viral."  I agree. 

22 April 2014

Socialization at Middle School

The internetz tell me that kids need that socialization, and you get a lot of it at middle school.  Thankfully Emperor goes half days so he can learn how to act from the righteous and upstanding models of humanity in his class.  And you know, Emperor needs to learn how to fit in a little better.

Emperor snorted when he heard this!  "Do you even know what they say in school?" he asked incredulously.  "The behaviour there is horrid, I'm serious."

It can't really be that bad... I don't think...

"I'll give you just one example," he told me.  "Yesterday, when Miss C went out of the room to make some copies?  Trent stood up and screamed, 'BOOBIES!'"

I couldn't help busting out laughing at this being the most horrible thing the kid could think of to relate to me.  I was expecting something much more awful.  Elf was aghast at my laughter and took me to task.

"You do realize that you are giggling at the equivalent of a young girl shouting 'PENIS' in school, don't you?  This is quite inappropriate!"

Sorry. Elf raised an eyebrow at my immaturity.

"Yeah, I know!" said Emperor.  "When Miss C got back into the room, I tried to tell her, 'Do you know what Trent just yelled out?' but she wouldn't listen.  Can you believe that?"

21 April 2014

Palcohol: Get Drunk Without Drinking!

Government approved!  So you know it must be good for you.  It's alcohol powder.  You can sneak it anywhere!  Get soused without paying outrageous drink fees at the stadium!  Bring a bunch along in your suitcase so your business associates don't figure out what an alcoholic you are!  Slip some into your girlfriend's food or drink and take advantage of the situation!

Only imagine the possibilities!  Did I mention you can snort it, too?  "Take your Pal wherever you go," Palcohol's website read.  Oh, and they also remind you to use their product "responsibly."  Makes perfect sense. 

20 April 2014

More Handmade Barbie Clothes.

Because now we have SOOO many Barbie-type dolls.  Guess how many we just got in a bag at the thrift store for $21 total?  Just guess.  I have spent all weekend washing the few wearable outfits that came with the set and running conditioner through the hair to de-mat and de-tangle.  Now they look almost new, and everyone has an outfit.  I didn't make the three t-shirts on the end, or Barbie's stockings, but everything else is pretty much "sew a straight line and stuff Barbie into the outfit."  Woodjie also got some man-dolls as he calls them.  I will show them to you later.

Sew Your Own Barbie Clothes!

 If you want to make your own Barbie clothes, there's only one real thing you need to remember:  Barbies don't wear things out, and they can't be uncomfortable.  So you don't need to worry about durability, triple-stitching, or any of that business.  Want to see how easy it is?
 Here we go.  I made this little dress out of Rose's old fleece pants.  Fleece never frays, and that means I don't have to bother hemming anything!  Do you see I hemmed the dress above?  Then I wound up just hacking that with scissors because it was too long.  I didn't bother with sewing in elastic, either.  I turned Rose's old pants inside-out, and sewed in such a way that the elastic from her pants is the elastic of the new garment.  Why complicate things when they don't need to be?  Rose is six.  She will be thrilled when she finds these tomorrow morning on Easter.
 I held a Barbie up to the cloth and sort of traced a t-shirt pattern, left a space for the head, cut a V-shape and *zing!*  Then I wound up chopping off the sleeves because Barbie arms don't bend!  It still looks good once it's on the doll, I think. 
And this?  Is just a strip of cloth tied around Barbie's back.  It will do for a "shirt" with her little skirt.  Eventually I will make better clothes but I was tired of seeing the mega-bag of Barbies we just got for Rose going around nekkid.

18 April 2014

Emperor Teaches Math

Here's a bag of coins, some plastic animals and a dry erase board.  Go do some fun stuff for "homeschool" today with the little people and I'll pay you a dollar.  Keep the math simple, though!  They are only just learning to add simple numbers.

Emperor begins to explain to the children that presently, each plastic pig is three cents, but due to inflation and gas price increases, they will be five cents each next year.  He's not going to get into why, but prices go up.  So how many pigs do you want to buy?  Ten?

Great.  Now all your pigs are dead because you forgot to buy food and fence them in.  Want to start again?  OK.  Yes, maybe seven pigs is a better idea.

Yes, I'll pretend you can buy food and a fence with the rest of the money.  Now the price has gone up and you can make a profit!  Want to sell your pigs at the local bacon stand?

Great.  But then you have to pay your farmhand.  And sales tax.  And now the income tax man has come around.  You just lost a lot of money.

Rose suggests they sell the plastic bears at this point.  Now Emperor gets into the various differences in price, feeding pigs vs. bears, resale value, and who are you going to hire to take care of your bears?  Plastic bunnies now enter the picture.  Easter drives the cost of the plastic bunnies up.  Is it still a good idea to buy a bunny?

The plastic horses are now unbagged and they are discussing how much a pony ride would cost.  Woodjie has all the plastic animals fighting with Ka-Pow sounds, but Rose is determined that there IS a way to make money in this game.  She will find a way.

Next time I will hand the kid a textbook.

15 April 2014

School Dress Codes... For Parents?

A Florida school district is considering a voluntary dress code for parents.  They say it's pretty hard to enforce the student dress code when Pops shows up with his pants halfway down his butt. 

Why the need to focus on how Mom is dressed?  She showed up, right???

The school board decided to host some totally lame "fashion show" next fall so everyone will know how to put their clothes on in the morning.  So. Insulting.

Would you go?  Could you imagine your child's teacher telling you what clothing is acceptable for you to wear?

14 April 2014

Reading Curriculum: ABeka Book and BJU Press

Woodjie is reading the book with the yellow marker, and Rose is reading the book with the pink marker.  It's a big deal to finish a book in our house.  Children get 50 cents and a big congrats from Mom and Dad!

Did you know that in the state of Missouri, homeschoolers must teach reading as a separate subject?  I don't know how anyone could homeschool well without teaching their child to read... but OK. 

I got many of my ABeka books used and collected them over time.  I'm glad I came across these readers early in my homeschooling years.  It teaches children to read step-by-step.  I don't think I've seen a more effective reading program for the elementary years.  The children love the stories, and what I appreciate about them is that there is a rich and varied language even in simple-to-read books in this series. 

My set is pretty old, and some are even from the 1960's and no longer listed in the reading series.  I think if I had to do things over again somehow, I think I'd just spend on a curriculum set and be done with it.  That's the thing, though, with homeschooling.  By the time you figure out what the perfect curriculum is for you, your children have graduated.

About halfway through the second grade reader set, we'll only have a few third and fifth grade ABeka readers left in my cubby.  That's when we'll pull out our BJU second and third-grade books.  They're pretty old, too.  I dig the shag carpet and station wagons in the illustrations.  So groovy.

Can you tell some of our books have been repaired with Super Mario duct tape?  Just because.

Books Woodjie has read since Thanksgiving break, when he began homeschooling.

12 April 2014

"I Hope Their Feelings Got Hurt Really Bad."

Big graduation pep rally at North High School in Bakersfield, California.  Two truant officers read the names of 34 teens who would not be graduating and instruct them to come forward, look at their fellow senior friends and "say goodbye."

FOX News interviewed a "motivational speaker" who says that the teens should have been publicly shamed because they've demonstrated they're not even smart enough to graduate from a (said sneeringly here) public school.

"I hope their feelings got hurt really bad," he said, adding that this is going to really inspire these students to go to school every day it's open and complete their studies.

Here's a link given by the school's website about how teachers can avoid bullying.  Examples:  don't give any indication of a student's grade (um, hello, telling people "these kids failed" sorta violates that?) and never display a student's weakness so that others can see it (yeah).

I hope some heads roll with this one.  I'm disgusted not only by the behaviour of the adults in this school, but by the treatment of this topic in the news.

11 April 2014

The Kansas City Zoo!

The littles went with D, Patrick and me to the zoo today!  We bought a family pass, so look forward to seeing more pics in future posts!
D took all the pictures in this post.  This is a jellyfish.  There are several in the new penguin exhibit.  The zoo is really changing and it's so much more interesting than it was even a few years ago. 
The penguin exhibit is very neat.  You can see penguins from all sorts of angles.
Of course D had to take... this picture...

The polar bears are Woodjie's favourite!   They're right near the entrance and so they're the last thing we do before piling into the van :)

09 April 2014

Are You Old, Too?

08 April 2014

Language Arts Curriculum!

Spent $10 on a used workbook older than my 20-year-old child.  Yes, I did.  It's something I never would have chosen online but after having looked at it, I thought it was perfect for our younger children.

Simple, simple "daily exercises" actually take longer than you think.  But I think Woodjie and Rose are learning quite a bit.

Rose and Woodjie were asked to write a couple of sentences.  Rose's work took about five minutes.

Woodjie took over half an hour on this and by the time he was done, he needed a lot of praise and hugs.  It is just very hard work for him.  We still remember that he didn't speak for quite some time, so every word and bit of progress is really a little miracle.  We'll be doing just a bit of writing a few times a week now.

Spelling workbook.  I just xerox and go.  I could have made my own list of 60 words, but I didn't bother.  This workbook is little, but it has plenty of activities and the printing is big and kid-friendly.

Woodjie's master list.  He gets to star the list after he passes the test.  I told him when he is finished with the whole sheet, he will get a BIG PRIZE!  Even I don't know what it is yet.  :)

07 April 2014

All About Rose.

"Did I choose this family when I was a baby?" she wanted to know recently.  "I'm not sure I picked the best one.  Will I get another chance?"  Sorry, kid.

Here's her new hairdo from the side.  I bought her some frumperware at the homeschool convention!  This is a Flexi-8.  Apparently lots of people who homeschool sell them and collect them.  Which.  Is odd.  But cute.  So why not... goes with her prairie skirt and all that.

This is the "mini" size.  Rose's hair is very fine and slips through my fingers.  Maybe it will take a while to figure out how to do more neatly.  She loves her little clip.  D keeps pretending that it is HIS Flexi-8 and asking for his hairclip back.  Rose is pretty outraged by this, as dad has pretty much no hair.  I mean, unless he grows his beard out or something.

05 April 2014

Please Visit Rose!

Rose at an indoor park.
Rose would love some visitors to her blog.  Would you follow her as well?  She'll probably write something once or twice a month, so she won't be too hard to keep up with.  Here's her web address:  Rose's Blog.

01 April 2014

WARNING: LEGOs Destroy Souls!

“These toys can have a negative effect on children. They can destroy their souls and lead them to the dark side” Polish priest Slawomir Kostrzewa told the UK Telegraph recently.   They're the work of the devil!  Much as My Little Pony toys are really the "carrier of death."

I know you're looking at the date of my post and thinking I'm making it all up, but no such luck.  Apparently this is not a hilarious April Fool's joke like the "I'm hiding in the bathroom during a massive college campus shooting" prank this chick tried to pull off.  (Hint:  it doesn't end well.)

I do think some of the LEGO products are a little overly-dark for small children, however.  And I would allow my older children to collect and construct BIONICLE items, but not to watch the movies and read the books while they were smaller.  There's a whole fake theology and storyline connected with them that I don't appreciate.

I don't really want to devise motives for Satan, but I'm just guessing LEGO is not number one on his list.

Woodjie's Roller Dance Routine!

Only a few people were selected to perform their routines at a recent club fundraiser.  I went to upload this video and was pretty shocked...