Skip to main content


Showing posts from September, 2014

Weston Red Barn Field Trip!

We had a great time at Weston Red Barn in Weston, Missouri.  We arrived just after 2 pm, when the school tours are wrapping up and free admission hours begin.

We picked apples at the orchard.  There were a large number of bees around, but they never stung us.  They seemed very content to hop about the apple trees and didn't bother us at all.  If you're still and quiet in the middle of the orchard, you can hear the hum of their hive.  So bring an epi-pen if need be... but I don't think you'll need it.

There are several different sorts of animals about including rabbits, cows and a tiny mini-pony.  He's pictured here.  I would be surprised if he measures much taller than three feet.

There's also a pumpkin patch and a hay ride, but we'd expended a fair bit of energy looking around and ferrying little buckets of apples to fill our bag at the gift shop.  It was hot today!

The apples are quite good, but they're not as perfect and polished-looking as the …

It's Hammer-Time.

As you may remember, Pony Boy had a problem calling our house for a while.  I've been suspicious of him bullying Emperor ever since they became "friends."  Emperor is plenty smart, but he doesn't always catch the social cues.

It seems the calls would happen for a while and then suddenly stop.  Every few months, Emperor would be the target again.  I know it's Pony Boy and one other kid with a different voice.  But we never knew who.

Lately the calls have escalated in their disrespect and the level of crudeness displayed.  You know, I try to give a lot of leeway to children because that's what they are.  They make mistakes.  I kept telling them that this was really not in their best interest to continue doing this.

Yesterday, we got a couple of very disgusting phone calls.  One happened when I answered the phone and apparently?  Someone else was calling in at the same time and leaving a horrid message on the machine.  They are very crude gay sex, masturbation …

Another Assorted Post.

I'm Not Arrogant.  I'm Just Better Than You.

Analyze Words will take your twitter handle and spit out some sort of psychological gobbledygook.  Instead of pegging me as an over-friendly extrovert (which I most certainly am online, folks), it says that I'm arrogant, angry, worried, distant and analytic.

I was expecting "you're so nice!" or something like that.  Well.  Go try it and see what it says.  It has pegged everyone else I entered into the system pretty well except me, so it might just be a quirk.  It uses word combinations to psychologize you... somehow.

That's Not The Book Title.  

Anyway.  I had to put a buuunch of stickers on this book after I took the picture you see here.  Patrick would sometimes do reading time with Rose and would giggle about the book title.  It's SUPPOSED to be "Happiness Hill," but I reinforced the binding with Super Mario tape.  Take off the ha- and I guess it isn't the same word any more. 

He also really…

A Letter From the School

(School Name) Families-

This week and next week your child might be talking about taking a test called I-Ready. This is a test we give in both our ELA classes and Math classes to gauge how are students are progressing in their skills. It is an online assessment that they will take on their laptop. It gives us great feedback that we will share with the students to see where their strengths are and skills we can work on.
In previous years this test was called Performance Series. Since the elementaries also use I-Ready, we can now see how are students are growing from 3rd grade through 8th grade.
If you would like more information about I-Ready, you can visit or email me your questions.
Thank you,
(Principal's Name)

Yipes!  The I-Ready website details how this magical program will tell teachers what they need to review and track kids' answers to every question.  It is some sort of "interactive" test designed specifically for the Common Core and bla bla …

Is This a Regional Thing? Informal Poll.

Let's hear your opinion about this.

Say you're checking out somewhere and the cashier asks if you want to buy this or that or donate to a particular cause.  You say, "That's okay, thanks."

What did you just mean?

1.  That's okay, you would love to donate/buy stuff.  (Yes!)

2.  That's okay, you do not want to donate/buy stuff today.  (In other words, no.  But you want to be polite and not say that word.)

3.  It's okay that you are holding this promotion.  Thanks for doing that!  (Haven't answered your question yet, but I'm making chit-chat.)

And in your comment, let me know where you grew up and if this is a saying you've ever used.  I'm curious!  Thanks!  :)

Do Fundie Homeschoolers Destroy Children?

I began homeschooling nearly eight years ago because of abuse in public schools.  Emperor has now been placed two years ahead in mathematics, taking an honours high school class as a seventh-grader in public school.  Elf is now a full-time high schooler in two advanced classes as well as German II.  By all accounts, my children are doing well.

So I find reports of homeschool "neglect" or "abuse" somewhat ironic.  And it really chaps my hide when I read articles like this one from Salon, accusing most fundamentalists of being crappy homeschoolers, and of not even bothering to teach their children to read!  The article quotes a parent who did a crappy job with her own children as an authority on the subject.  Salon figures she's able to put together a serious blog about homeschoolers despite her admitted ditziness as a teacher because... well... because her opinion happens to mesh with their preconceived notions of fundie homeschooling.   Bet that's the o…

The School Lunch.

Elf buys lunch at school about once a week.  At nearly $3 a lunch, I can't afford for my children to eat in the cafeteria every day.  I noticed he didn't pack a lunch for tomorrow and asked if anything good were being served at school.

"No," he tells me.  "But I already have a lunch."

No, he doesn't, so far as I can see.  He presumably ate the lunch he packed for today, and he isn't making a lunch for tomorrow... so...?

"Oh!  Well."  Here he stopped and put his hands together in the "I have a long explanation to go through" position.  "They have this thing where you have to pay extra not to buy any fruit with lunch?  But no one eats it.  So everyone gives me their fruit.  And my backpack is full.  So I don't need lunch tomorrow."

Yeah.  The kid is eating everyone else's apples, and has about three pounds of apples in his bookbag.  Hope they have a generous bathroom break policy.

Do You Give Rewards to Children?

I'm so bad.  I don't have a sticker-laden chore chart, or activity cards, or any such thing.  I'm so haphazard.  Just do what I say, ok?  When the laundry needs doing, it's just plain old laundry time.  You just feeeeel when it needs to be done.  (You get that feeling when there are only two clean pairs of underwear in your drawer, btw.)

Some chores, I suppose, are more regular.  Every day, dinner happens.  But I'm not paying you if I ask you to help out.  I'm reasoning that "you get to eat," so it isn't even a fair trade when I ask you to help prepare your own food or clean up after yourself.

I suppose I should have a philosophy about chores.  I've been on some of the big-family websites and there is almost a theology to how chores ought to operate.  Well.  In some ways, there really is, as one person shouldn't always be the "taker" and so on.  But am I the only one who is too lazy to write up the chart and tally work hours and…

Get a Warrant

Okay, so... the police are looking for a fellow who beat up his girlfriend.  This isn't a criminal mastermind capable of blowing up a whole city or anything extreme like that.  I don't see where knocking on someone's door in the middle of the night and demanding entrance is necessary.  This is America.  The fellow who answered the door is an American.  Go get a warrant.

I have a feeling if the camera weren't running that this story might have had a very different outcome.  Notice the cops always tend to say "turn off the camera?"  God forbid there be video evidence of them bullying a private citizen.

You know, I highly doubt this Michael Brown fellow is anything like a martyr, but one thing is certain:  police are supposed to "protect and serve."  Not bully.  In this case, however, the white cop was far more polite than his partner.

I find it incredible.  Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to this.

NOT Back to School Week.