27 June 2014

More Summer Pics!

Painting the van and playing with the hose today.  We also got the bubbles out.

Hippie car detailing.

I got this little razor on a screw for free because I watched a sales presentation.  Nope, I didn't buy anything.  It's a little dirty in the pic because Patrick and I just cut potatoes with it.  You stick the screw halfway into the potato, and turn the handle round and round and round...

Heres' what they look like after they're opened.  I doused the potatoes in olive oil, popped some pepper on and baked at 415 degrees for about 20 - 25 minutes.  Half the children love them.  The other half got a cheese sandwich with dinner instead.

24 June 2014

Saved by a Four-Year-Old!

A black man who lives next door almost went to jail for a faked "home invasion" orchestrated by the babysitter.  If she were much younger, the four-year-old wouldn't have been able to tell police they had the wrong man.

What is it with some of these stories?  Faked crimes always seem to be perpetrated by random black men.  I guess because that technique works, and who even knows how often?

Anyway.  Very cute little girl.  I'm glad she has her Hello Kitty bank and her iPod back, and the real bad guys are going to jail.  :)

20 June 2014

Pelletier Family to Sue State for Abduction

"They tried to gag me, to prevent me from telling what was going on. Can you imagine what would have happened to Justina if I hadn’t gone public?" -- Lou Pelletier.

Justina was kept from her parents' custody for 16 months after Boston Children's Hospital disagreed with another hospital's diagnosis and treatment regimen.  For most of that time, family members were unable to visit or have contact outside an hour-a-week window.

Hopefully after the outcry this case generated, social workers in Massachusetts and other states will think twice before seizing a child simply because parents disagree with a course of treatment, and want to use the recommendations of another doctor or hospital.  For more background on Justina's case, click here.

19 June 2014

Never Trust School Administrators!

I need to post this here so you can see a real, actual, honest to goodness reason why you NEVER ask the local school district for advice re: homeschooling:

I recently found out that a local mom, freshly moved to the state, was told that she needed to be interviewed by the Superintendent of (Name) City Schools to decide whether or not she was qualified to teach. Who passed on this little nugget of untruth? That's right - the district enrollment office. She was also informed that she needed to get the Superintendent's approval for the curriculum she wanted to use; and that she couldn't begin homeschooling until that was done.

As far as assessment - she was told that the Super would need to see **all** the work her children completed, and that he would then decide whether or not she could continue the following year.

Based on that information, she decided that homeschooling was an unattainable goal, so instead bought a house in my local school district - one with "better" schools than (Name) Public, with a view to sending her kids to "better" public schools.

Yes - she ***BOUGHT A HOUSE*** based on misinformation from the school district regarding homeschooling. I met her through a friend, and we were both horrified to hear her story. She, as you can imagine, was quite upset to find out that she had been misinformed. Now she has a house that is more expensive than it needed it to be - in a school district she won't use - all because she was given misinformation by a district office.

If you want to find out information about homeschooling - look up a local homeschool support group and ask them - not the establishment that you're seeking to remove yourself from.

Written by another homeschooling mom.  Edited slightly to remove identifying information.  Used with permission.  Originally posted on a homeschooling board.

18 June 2014

Summer Snapshots!

Rose and Woodjie are taking swimming lessons at the local Community Center this summer.  I found a really cute swim shirt and skirt from Lands' End for Rose. 

Woodjie needs a little help paying attention to the lesson and not getting silly with other students, but he is getting more attentive in small groups now.

Still all wet, but headed to the park to walk around and look for frogs.  We don't see any this year!

The small children are learning to put their own laundry away.  Sometimes I will help with a few things, but most of the time they are sorting and putting away on their own.

15 June 2014

Happy Father's Day!

My grandfather holding my father and his twin.  Hope all you dads out there have a wonderful day!  :)

13 June 2014

Death in Debtor's Prison, 2014

A mom of seven was in a bad predicament.  Her children had been truant from school and the fines were just too much for her to pay.

"She didn’t have a job. She was living in a house owned by a family member. She was on welfare. We sat and talked for a long time in my office and I could see that she couldn’t pay the fines," said Reading District Judge Wally Scott.  Another judge sentenced her to the pokey anyway.

She was on several medications, but apparently the prison didn't bother to give her any and she was found dead in her cell.  Seven children are now without a mother.

Was it worth it?

Let's do Eileen DeNino's math: 55 truancy convictions happened since 1999.  Ok, 15 years x  about 180 school days a year = 2700.  Now, all seven of her children wouldn't be going to school all at once since then (likely), so let's multiply that by just four.  We get 10,800 school days.  She has 55 truancy convictions.  When you think about real working people?  Put four of them together, and they're going to take more than 55 personal days out of 10,800 in 15 years.  This conviction should have been thrown out just in the interest of fairness and compassion.

Besides, teachers get "personal days."  Why can't students? 

And now this woman is dead in her cell because she couldn't afford the unjust fines.  We haven't heard the results of the autopsy... but I don't trust the coroner's office not to speak out loudly against the prison establishment or the schools or anyone else in government.  We will never know if going to prison killed her.  All I can say is that however it happened, it wasn't worth it.

12 June 2014

Would You Swim with Wild Crocodiles?


The fun part is reading the comments that say this is his life, he's an American, he has rights, leave him alone. Really? He's leading a boatload of tourists who wouldn't be able to rescue him or operate the boat (let alone figure out how to get back to dock) if trouble happened.

11 June 2014

Fake Facebook Account Stops Family Slaughter

Do you snoop on your kids' facebook accounts and find out all sorts of dirt?

I am a mean, rotten Mom and I have the password to each of my children's accounts.  No password, no computer time and no account.  Since I never signed a school technology agreement, and we have no internet-connected cell phones?  I'm your source for internetz around here.

Here's a family that was probably in crisis for a while, but they don't tell the whole story in the news.  Aunt is taking care of niece, and niece keeps inviting strange men she meets on facebook over to the house (!!?).  The aunt is tired of the antics and being blocked on the niece's account and makes up a man's profile.

Niece wants to have lots of sex with this fictional guy... after he kills the entire family and the little dog, too.  Oh.  And pays her cell phone.  (That's what gentlemen do.)  She had the whole plan laid out for him and everything. 

Yep.  The 19-year-old is in jail.  I just wonder how many drugs it takes before stuff like this makes sense.

09 June 2014

The Most Muslim Country in the World is... Ireland!

In this study, even Israel is more "Muslim" than countries in which Muslims are the majority.  But Ireland is actually more "in line with the ideals of the Koran." 

"Islam is, and has been for centuries, the articulation of the universal love of Allah for his creation and for its unity, and all that this implies for all-encompassing human and economic development," claimed a George Washington University professor during a BBC interview.  Ireland is the most Muslim-like country in regard to how it governs its people. 

Muslim countries do very badly.  They tend to use religion as "an instrument of power."  Hm.   Ya think?

The Grammar Nazi is REAL!

08 June 2014

Register Your Daughter for School or GO TO JAIL.

 The Black HomeSchool website reports that Joseph Rosa is not allowed to homeschool his own child.  A judge ruled that his eight-year-old daughter will be enrolled in school or he'll be sent to jail.

Yes, he's stupid for assuming that state and federal laws don't apply to him.  In Florida, he's supposed to notify the superintendent in writing, include some basic information, maintain a portfolio, and have his daughter take a standardized test each year or submit to an evaluation. 

I get the idea he didn't do any of that stuff.  But forbidding a man from ever homeschooling?  Really?  WHEN have the courts ever forbidden a public school from teaching children when they do a stupid-ass thing, or make a mistake, or disobey the law?  When?

Unjust.  Yes, he's probably a little nuts, but this is unjust.

05 June 2014

Is it "Inciting Hatred" to Talk About Hell?

"If you think there is no God, you better be right!" with flames all around, on a billboard.  The police - the POLICE! - investigated and recorded that the church that sponsored this was inciting hatred

And the church apologized.  What wusses.  I mean, GOD FORBID someone says something that offends someone, or worst of all?  Is "homophobic" or "racist."  It doesn't matter if someone is actually physically threatening another person/group or not.  It's all in the accusation of the person with the hurt widdle feewings.

Does anyone remember in the 90's where everyone was afraid of being called a child molester?  And there were like, 500 million accusations flying around?  For a while there, it didn't matter what the truth was.  The accusation itself was so heinous that reputations were ruint.

Today, you can say no to making a birthday cake for an innocent little boy, but you can't direct a gay couple to the baker down the street because you don't want to celebrate their wedding.

Personally, I'd draw the line at making those anatomical-part shaped cakes for... I don't know what occasion.  But I support your right to say "no" to making cakes for little boys, gay people, red hat gatherings, whatever... and I support your right to tell me all about your religion on a billboard so long as threatening words like "Infidels must die!" are left off.


02 June 2014

"I Wish My Kids Had Cancer!" - A Book by Michael Alan

Because having autism is worse!  And poor me!  Waah waah waah! This book "is a father’s gripping, real glimpse of his family’s struggle to survive with two children with Autism. The book intimately, honestly, and powerfully, addresses the emotional, social, financial, political and medical aspects of a family fighting for their very existence. Learn about the struggle, the epidemic and Help Families In Need!"


You know... sometimes I've observed that people with cancer get a LOT more love and support, and guess what?  Autism never goes into remission.  It can be very hard and isolating to deal with certain behaviours and challenges.  It really can.  You don't "get it" unless you've been through it.  I've been mad when I've seen people at church or whatever get a lot more attention and practical help over a hangnail than our family got with our autistic children.

But never, never would I wish my kids had cancer.  That is such a twisted and sick thought that this author should have run to his therapist instead of writing it down for his children to see someday.  He should be ashamed of himself and shunned by everyone.  

And I'll tell you something else.  It's not even a comparison.  My child could easily get lost or die with this condition, yes.  But it is not the same thing as enduring painful treatments day after day, wondering if your child is going to make it.  Wondering how you're going to pay for it.  And no, don't even compare ABA therapy to chemo, k?

You can look at a preview of the book here.  At the bottom of the page, Amazon lets me know that people who viewed this book?  Also viewed "Semenology:  the Semen Bartender's Handbook."  I... didn't click the link.  Nor yet am I providing it to my readers.  You understand.

Twisted, I'm telling ya...

News Roundup!

File This Under:  Sexism Kills.

People don't take girl hurricanes as seriously as guy hurricanes.  The males must be more powerful, right?

Hoarding Cats!

It's absoluuuutely disgusting.  You know, honestly?  Even getting near one cat's litterbox is disgusting.  Even if you change the litter frequently.  Eesh, we clean our toilets every week and it's still not pleasant all the time in the bathroom.  (Was that TMI?  Too bad.)

The "Millions of Cats" book is super cute, but you'd never want to try this in real life.  Imagine having hundreds of cats.  The smell.  So many cats you can't name them all, and can't fix them all.  A hundred cats all pooping, shedding, breeding in your house.  Eeew.  

Bad enough when you want the cats.  But living next door in a duplex?  OH the poor neighbours.  They complained and guess what happened?  Guess.  

Animal control came in, took the animals, and condemned the building.  The news story gushes about the poor animals and a fund set up to care for the cats that were removed, but what about the neighbours?  Where are they living?  Not one word about helping them?  

I care plenty for animals, but how about people first?

Can You Own a Number?
Maybe.  Some guy actually was able to trademark pi!  From his lawyer's letter to Zazzle:

"Pi is a registered trademark (U.S. Reg. No. 4473631) of our client's business, Paul Ingrisano/PI Productions Corp., and is used in conjunction with goods under International Class 25... this trademark provides him with certain proprietary rights... it is important that Ingrisano exercise his right to protect his trademark.  It serves as an important and distinctive representation of the origin of his products as well as the goodwill of his company."  

This affects perhaps thousands of products in Zazzle's stores alone.  Apparently Zazzle is gonna defy this one.  Many people are pretty miffed that commonly used symbols and even COLOURS are being trademarked.  

"I didn't know you could do this!" remarked a friend recently.  "I am going to go trademark the integration symbol and then sue all physicists. I would trademark all Greek letters and then sue Greece, but they don't have any money."


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...