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Showing posts from June, 2008

My Cat's Home Hair-Do

The cat kept leaving big, matted snarls about the house. She kept barfing up fur-balls. Once she even got poop caught in her fur, which we discovered after she rolled all over everything. She's older and doesn't groom herself as well as she used to. See my flip-flops on the floor? I can't bend down and pick them up without injuring myself. Usually I am very picky about the shoes going into the bins the SECOND they are removed. I like my floors clean. Do you like the job D did on the cat? He has officially saved us $45 by using our home haircut system (retail: $17) on our cat. We've saved boodles of money by doing the boys' hair with this system as well. Yup, all the cat fur and boy hair is all mixed up and done with the same kit. It isn't as gross as you think, because right after their haircuts, of course the boys will shower and/or bathe. No-one wants little hairs sticking to themselves, be they the cat or human variety. My kitchen is still a l…

Woodjie Pumpkin

Little Woodjie Pumpkin has been pretty well ignored this past week. Well, I shouldn't say "ignored." More like, not taken out to play much. (I can't lift him to put him anywhere if he runs away or gets into trouble, etc.) Not given time with his therapists. His signing practice hasn't been attended to very well. We were concentrating on keeping everyone alive and in good health over the last week, and probably the next. He is still not talking. Am I going to chronicle every photo I put of this child on the blog with "he is still not talking?" I don't want to give up and not mention it any more. I don't want it to be the only thing I think about him. But it is important to me. He wants to be understood. I am sorry I can't do more to help him.

Prayer

Elf, Emperor and I were playing the "Trouble" game the other night. Elf was losing badly and started to pray to God, to please, PLEASE help him win! I, being a supportive and loving parent, cackled wildly at the idea and then had a discussion with him about how we save prayer for important things. Elf did NOT understand and redoubled his efforts, complete with his arms lifted in worship and praised God quietly with some extra pleaseplease pleeeeease added for extra effect. He told me the game was really important to him.

He lost anyway, though.

I guess I should be praying a prayer of thankfulness that the most pressing thing in this child's life at the moment was whether he'd win this game. He doesn't realize how his mom could have died had we put off this surgery too long (it was only after I was "out" that they realized how terribly bad things were!!) or how some children didn't get to eat that night. He doesn't get it.

No More Babies?

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/29/magazine/29Birth-t.html?ex=1215403200&en=e59465d5cf651905&ei=5070&emc=eta1

I'm starting to think with this surgery and various other (thankfully non-life-threatening) problems that the baby factory might just be shutting down. I find myself completely OK in giving baby stuff away. Mind you, if I were to turn up pregnant tomorrow, aside from my husband asking a few very detailed questions (like WHO, because with surgery it hasn't happened this "month") I'm sure we'd all do just fine with another child and the kid would be well-loved. We're just not planning on another. We're not doing anything drastic, but we're not planning on another.

So it is with great interest that I am reading about "small" families around the world. You know, compared to all my friends on the MOMYs board, I have a medium to small-size family. Compared to the folks in some parts of Europe, it looks like I have an alarmingl…

Childcare in Church.

A little bit ago on Cajunchick's blog, we were talking about "Children's Church" or the issue of nursery and childcare in church. I'm wondering why this has to be developing into such a big issue among more conservative Christians. I can think of 20 really GOOD, important things to fight about, should I be so inclined today.

*shrug*

Last I checked, your kid is your kid. Unless you're dropping your children off with known child molesters and sex pervs, how 'bout we lay off the criticism? Um, that goes both ways. When I feel I want my kids with me in church that should be OK. When I feel I want them to enjoy Childrens' Church, that should be OK as well. It's, like, what Childrens' Church is for.

In our particular situation, this is pretty well the ONLY time our children see other kids. So if they go off for a couple hours twice a week to play with other children, I feel overall that's a good thing. I was reading on another blog where a very ups…

For a Bit of Visual Interest

You can go to Obama's website and upload your very own gay pride button! It's perfect for everyone's blog!

Celebrity Endorsement Time!

OK, we've been hearing in the news about how McCain's former prison guard is now endorsing McCain. And this is relevant... how? Does it not bother you that this is being reported in the media? God forbid Hillary Clinton is raped, but later interviewing her rapist for a political endorsement is kinda more than disgusting. Do we need to know the opinions of people who torture Americans? And do we really need tons of celebrity and near-celebrity endorsements every day?

How 'bout we get Britney Spears to be the next "Obama girl?" She can flash the crowds and do a little singing, crash a car or two and smooch some guy and shave her head. Oh, wait. That actually might help Obama get elected. No telling.

I really NEED to know which candidate Benji the dog and Morris the cat are endorsing this election. How about some celebrity mag put out a special edition with graphic pull-out "shopping in Monte Carlo" and "embarrassing wedgie" pictures, and…

Bzzz izzz izz zzizzz ZZizzz... zzBzzzizzz ZZ!

All day, I've been hearing this zzizz zzz bzzz izzz zzizzing. I thought maybe a bug was hanging out near the window. It was pretty constant. I kept waiting for the bug to just die or whatever. It's an older house, so we have lots of places where spiders and bugs congregate between the storm windows. It's nearly impossible to clean these windows properly and so in true American form, I just quit trying. Just pull those blinds shut and ignore that mess over there. Cuts out a decently nice view, though. D finally wondered what on earth that sound was and I told him. We pulled the blinds back and found a HUGE wasp nest and about a zillion wasps all buzzing about at the same time! Yikes! Then D sprayed while my job was to tap on the window and see if anything moved. Do you see the wasp nest in the upper left corner of the first picture?

Thoughts on Spelling and Standardisation.

I'm watching a Drive Thru History video on Noah Webster. I've always found it readily apparent that when Americans way back when discussed things like Politicks and Historie, they could spell it any which way they wanted and no-one thought the worse of them. Today, however, thanks to the standardization of spelling, you can't write things however you want and expect People to think that you are well-educated.

Actually, it bothers me. It has for some time. Catherine asked me a while back why I sometimes write words like "labour, colour" and other words with obviously English spelling. Yet I don't write "gaol," nor yet "programme and centre" as the spelling of choice with these words. Part of the time it's because I like the English spelling of some words better than others. Part of the time it's because I like the American spelling of some words better than others. Part of the time it's because I've thought a fair bit…

Package From New Zealand!

Everyone dove in on the goodies. I also got a kiwi tea towel and a wooden NZ magnet. Elf and Emperor ran away happily with a book and some "bugs" before I snapped this picture. We got postcards, a keychain, a puzzle, some books, little notebooks and bookmarks, candies and a baby bumblebee for the little ones. Thanks to the H family! It's strange timing indeed because I've been thinking of Chris all afternoon. She's had a routine surgery that went bad and is currently in the ICU. Chris and family, all our prayers are with you and your precious family today.

Patrick

OK, this picture is just a little old. It was taken in 1995 when he was almost three.

Cultural Relativism, Sex, and a Whole Lotta Other Thoughts.

So...

Here I am, after taking two Tylenol and half a wine cooler for pain (whooo... partyyy), thinking some odd thoughts. You know how that is. I've been reading on Eileen's blog about a marriage and subsequent divorce of a little girl:

http://elementaryteacher.wordpress.com/2008/06/11/how-could-this-child-marriage-have-happened-nujood-ali-10-year-old-yemeni-girl-who-got-a-divorce

She was eight when she was married. Apparently in some Middle Eastern countries, girls can commonly get married when they're young and have sex with their husbands when they are older:

"There is a a great MISPERCEPTION in the West that Middle Eastern men are pedophiles. This is not true for the great majority of Middle Eastern men, any more than it is in the West. Generally speaking, in the past, when some girls were married off at really young ages (like four or six), this did not mean they were living as a “wife.” They were growing up in that household, and sometime after puberty took up wi…

Elf's Birthday Gift

I'm very glad that every year, my parents and D's just send me a check in the mail to select their gift. The children never get a gift they already have this way, and it saves on postage. This year I spent D's parents' money on a set of Spongebob books on sale at our grocery store. It was $20 for a set of about 15 books. They're very nice, hardcover books that the boys love reading over and over. I also bought two Spongebob Grammar wipe-off sets for less than one would cost at the local Office Max with my own money as well. It's actually an excellent treatment of the basic grammar concepts, with a Spongebob theme. The books I selected on his grandparents' behalf are actually well-written synopses of the cartoon episodes, complete with glossy pictures. Spongebob of late seems to be hit-or-miss, and we have missed the Spongebob movie altogether after a bad review in Plugged In Online. I'd recommend this set of books, though!

Update

Surgeon told me to quit taking everything but over-the-counter Tylenol. I'm in a fair bit of pain (worse when I try to sleep/roll over!!!) but I have managed to get that visit done as well as a mammogram. Advice: Get your mammograms done right after gut surgery when you have no pain medicine. The boob squashin' is just NOTHING on your other pain and in fact you'll hardly notice how they can contort your body in the evil breast vice. Let's see... what other bothersome things can I get done while I have all this "time off" with nothing to do and I'm in pain anyway? Dental surgery? Eyebrow tweezing? Ideas? Limited time only; the surgeon tells me I will feel better in "only" six weeks.

Playing

Every day, it seems Elf and Emperor MUST get out every toy they own. Then they must play with all the toys at once on the floor. They will incorporate drawings they've made into their play. They don't keep the little warrior men separate from the linking stars. It all goes together and whole worlds are created and put away each day.

Browsing

http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2008/06/do-not-mock-oba.html#comment-120081424

I'm in a lot of pain. It's 3:30 in the morning and I've gone ahead and taken one of Patrick's old pills from his appendectomy. The surgeon (same surgeon for both operations)'s office told me I could take ONE. Yayy. Patrick weighs less than half what I weigh and HE got two. But I'm not going to dicker. At least I get 1/4 of what I ought to be able to have to control pain. Maybe they are more concerned I will be unable to go to the bathroom and have to be catheterized again? I'm having a very hard time, and in more pain than when I first woke up after the operation.

So my insights won't be loopy because of the drugs. I'm just in so much pain that it's hard to concentrate. Those sorts of mistakes aren't as funny as the loopy druggy ones. :] OK, at least to me, because I'm not wincing while typing the loopy ones.

Annnyway...

I was reading about the O…

Giant Snake Found

D took this picture of a giant earthworm in our front yard.

Never Talk to the Police

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Blogs/Message.aspx/2870

My bloggy friend Abrianna at Yankee Cowgirl (http://yankeecowgirl.wordpress.com/) posted this link. You should never talk to the police, the video shows, because it can never be of benefit to you to do so. In any event, the videos are fascinating viewing and I'd highly recommend them.

Complications

Had to go to the ER today. Unable to go to the bathroom, so they put a catheter in. AND an IV and gave me a stupid CT scan. And interviewed me at length on what I'm eating and everything else.

Turns out that I can't take pain medicine or it messes up my bladder. That's right. Just go live without it, have a nice day. How 'bout some over-the-counter Motrin, that might help?

Ow. Haven't had any pain meds since 5 p.m. last night. Two days is not enough time to get well after surgery. I guess I'll be taking Motrin. Sigh. AND having to follow up with the surgeon again. AND our van just broke down. :[

Hard day here. Just listen to me grumble and complain.

The Odd Couple.

Got this You Tube link from American Family Association. It's a Heinz ad currently running in England and shows two homosexuals kissing. I hardly noticed the Heinz product. It just looked to me more like Felix and Oscar setting up house with a couple kids. I guess I was too perplexed to be outraged. Maybe I should be outraged? But perhaps it's me just all slow and loopy on the drugs that this was my thought while watching it: "?? Did I see that correctly?"

The Girly.

Isn't she cute!? D is in charge now and does her hair Bert-style. He hates hair bows. He doesn't put frilly things on her, although there is a small bow in the front of her outfit. Nail polish, bows and girl jewelry will probably be banished from the house if he has anything to say about it. But she'll be a pretty girl anyway. See her trying to crawl? She is the only child I know with fat rolls AND dimples on her knees. Cute.

For Anonymous, On Homeschool.

Anonymous, thank you for your comment enquiring about a curriculum for sensory integration disorder at the kindergarten level. I'm not an education "expert," just a parent, and I'll offer advice based on what works for me. If it doesn't work for you and your kids, I'm not offended if you pitch the advice. We're all in this together to make home education work for our children! And I'm blessed to try to help.

Emperor came home to homeschool with us after being suspended 2 or 3 times in his first WEEK of school. He's touchy. He doesn't seem to know his limits or other people's personal space. It was a difficult situation because on the one hand, I ABSOLUTELY want him to respect others and their limits. However, "consequences" like suspension is not going to teach him to do better. It isn't that I don't believe in consequences. Sigh. All very hard to explain as I'm sure you undertand.

Emperor was technically a k…

Update on Me

Skip this post if you don't want to hear boring medical details.

I was dropped off at the hospital yesterday at about 6:30 a.m. and got my paperwork done. Waited around for a bit in a waiting room full of people coughing without covering their mouths. And someone I recognized from another church openly gossiping LOUDLY about one of the parishoners. Ughh. I wanted to walk over to the entranceway and stand, but standing was very difficult. I could feel my guts falling out and it's a very scary/awful feeling. So I just stayed. I tried to read my Bible and not listen and just pray over the situation. Then I found myself praying that I never do that because we are all fallible like that when we think no one is looking.

The nurse who got me was very kind. Her name was Robin. She helped me get everything ready and even made sure when I asked to get me someone who could get my IV in on the FIRST TRY. (I had them write her name in my paperwork so I can send a compliment card l…

Islamic Dress?

http://winewriter.wordpress.com/2008/06/15/arabian-nights-traditional-moroccan-caftan-styles-give-way-to-bold-mixed-colors/

Maybe it isn't always what you think. I've been browsing this post and I'd like to share it with you. It's about a wedding and how people dress in an Islamic country. Not all Muslims (obviously) wear the full-length black burqua, but these dresses look modest and showy (it's a wedding, showy's ok!) and beautiful. Not something I could afford to wear, but the bright colours and looseness almost remind me of an Indian sari. BTW, did you know that a sari is not really a dress? It looks like a dress, but it's really just one HUGE cloth that you wrap around yourself just-so. I know this because when we lived in Australia the vice-consulate's family lived across the street from us. They were always having parties and serving yummy foods, and I got to come to some of them because I was best friends with their daughter. Some of the foods I …

Bargain!

D picked up all the books you see here for $5 at a local thrift store. They're all from Bob Jones, too, so you know it's good stuff. I looked online and was able to order a workbook for the grades 11 and 12 English; the other stuff is of a previous version and I'd probably have to hunt around for it used somewhere. Still, even if I never find the accompanying workbooks, the texts are still a very good resource. The teachers' manuals retail for over $50 new. D was able to get them for 50 cents each, and the hardcover "World Studies" book for $2. I've looked at several (but by no means ALL) brands of curriculum and I have to say that the Bob Jones stuff is laid out in the most easy-to-teach format. And the answers are right in the teachers' manual with the lesson being taught. So you could teach from page 47 with the answers in front of you while the children follow along in their own texts. I think the hardest to teach at home is the Everyday Math stuf…

Egg Art

I told you I was cheap! The boys are still playing with some Easter eggs they got from the church egg hunt. They decided that the "Girly needs flowers" this morning and so they made this for her. Poor S doesn't really have a name. Everyone just calls her "the Girly." (Even her dad has momentary lapses where he FORGETS her name because she's "Girly.") I'm pretty sure she'll grow out of it before she's ten, but I'm not sure how. D decided to name her the SAME NAME we gave to Elf, only the girl version. So if we say the short form of Elf's name, we would probably have two children answer in a couple years. What can I say; guess we're not creative with the names. But they're all "normal," easy to spell names with the exception of Emperor. I even had a stranger once ask me why I "saddled such a young boy with such a long name." Well... what would you say to that? And it was at church, too, ri…

Look What He's Doing!

This thief is stealing all my camera time. He's getting too close to me and making funny faces during MY picture time. I really resent that. I'm also very upset that Patrick took my cookie the other night and then laughed at the look of "sheer disbelief and terror" on my face. He said my eyeballs nearly popped right out of my head just then, I was so upset. Everyone is taking advantage of me because I can't talk. Mom keeps telling everyone to quit antagonizing me, but I'm going to write about this when I get older. No one will pretend not to understand what I'm talking about then, and I will make rounds on all the talk shows! You have been warned!

Want to Know Your Options?

Hey, we can help you off yourself under Oregon's health plan. It's a whole lot cheaper than doing all that expensive experimental stuff for a chance at life. How 'bout it?

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=67565

What? You're insulted that we're laying out all the options available to you medically? Well, we're sorry you're so upset about it. There, there. We never meant to offend you. We're just being professionals by making sure that you were aware of allll the choices out there. Then you, the patient, get to decide. See, we're trying to enable you to select high-quality medical care, not get you all upset. Whoopsie.

Next patient.

Oh, sonogram isn't going as planned. How about we give you all your options on that child you're carrying? He has a debilitating illness or condition that wouldn't really enable him to have a life outside the womb. In fact, he may be stillborn! This isn't what you wa…

My New Vehicle!

http://jalopnik.com/396587/hot-rods-fire-trucks-and-more-seven-crazy-golf-cart-mods
Well, if gas prices keep going up, D and I could probably each fit half our bodies into the front seat and hang on tight. Then two kids to a seat in the back and away we go! We'll need some optional roof container for groceries and a lot of tolerance for being wet and cold in inclement weather.

A Peek Inside My Teacher's Book

Grades for each child go in the very front section. Next, I have my "log book" area. In it I keep a running tally at the top of each page of the required hours I've done "so far" to the state-required total of 1000 hours with 600 being "core" hours in Math, English, etc. Then once a month or so, I take some time out to think about where we're headed for the *next* month or so. Sometimes we get way more than I had planned, all finished. Other times, a peek back at my goals for the month will spur me into doing more work in a particular subject. The log book in the second page is pretty blank because the school year does not begin until July 1.

Sea Cucumber

If you've ever seen a sea cucumber, you know they can throw up their guts when they feel threatened. That's what I'm like. My guts are popping out, and the surgeon showed me about how big the gap is. Just under the size of a tennis ball. He wants the surgery right away, but D is very busy tomorrow and it must wait until Monday. From what I'm hearing, it sure shouldn't be an "outpatient" surgery, given what they have to do. And fevers are "normal?" Oozing stuff out of your guts, also normal? Horrible bruising and swelling, normal?

And how am I going to not lift anything heavier than a milk jug for TWO WEEKS?? If I hadn't been reallly thinking about my spiritual life, I'd have been cussing about now. How's this all going to happen? Oh, and D is working this weekend so a lot of the last-minute shopping and cleaning just isn't going to happen. It just isn't.

I'm very nervous and upset about this, but I am trying to …

I'm Voting For Obama!

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25251529/

Ack! No! I mean it! I'll really consider it!

Abortion is MURDER and it's WRONG, but by golly, you can wipe out MILLIONS of people with some nuclear disaster at a reactor! I can't believe I'm even reading this! Cheap fuel is not worth it!!

Please say this was a lead balloon in the media. Please. Go ahead and comment and tell me it's just a joke. Because I'm not excited about McCain to begin with. This might just drive me over the edge! Fetal life is important, but doggone it, so are my children's lives!

Gimme Some Love

I just got done reading a post in Terry's blog (click my title to get there!) about the extremes that seem to be happening in "the church" today. I've also noticed the dueling ideas/churches that cater to their own clientele. It's almost as if we can now brand our Christianity, because drinking branded bottled water is oh-so-passe. (Next year it will be something else.) You can either do whatever you want, wear whatever you want, say and go wherever you want in this church or circle of friends... or (I just read this one on another blog) maybe you're a murderer and not a good Christian if you allow doctors to remove a tubal pregnancy before you show signs of about-to-die. From Terry:

I am a woman of strong convictions. Any one who reads this blog knows that. I am frequently alarmed by what I believe is a spirit of heresy being propagated by many Christians in the name of being “led” by the Spirit. The discarding of sound Biblical doctrine and the embracing of…

More Mommy Decorating Style!

See how all the breakables are just out of a certain toddler's reach? Look carefully to see how else you can tell right away that it's "Mommy Decorating Style" in action. Then click on the comments to see if you noticed the same things I did.

WTF? DMV ZZZ. LOL!

http://www.newsobserver.com/news/story/1107923.html

It seems that WTF is yet another letter combination that cannot be on license plates, and is recalled along with XXX and other questionable combinations. Eventually, perhaps, we will have much larger license plates so that we have room for our surnames and the last four digits of our Social Security numbers. That's when I'm going to change my last name to Gregoria-Armhurst-McFarland-Fitzgerald-Murphy-Zimmermann-Smythe. Legally. ARG.

I Love Thesock Obama!

Hat tip to Rick Moore of the Holy Coast blog (www.holycoast.blogspot.com) for this story.
http://www.abc4.com/mostpopular/story.aspx?content_id=48791911-3673-46e2-9749-70831f930937 He is just so doggone cute! Cuddly-looking, even. This image makes me want one to tuck in my front pocket and bring him places. It wouldn't have occurred to me that this was a "racist" thing if there weren't such a stink. Look at that friendly little smile and those pinchable ears. Sweet!

Are we being a little oversensitive? Why is it that George W. Bush has been portrayed incessantly as a monkey with really big ears and a grotesque scowl in political cartoons, but somehow, when some Utah company makes a cute little sock puppet out of Barack Obama, it's racist? Or why does everyone have to make fun of Bush's middle name in almost every political commentary, but when someone says something about Barack Hussein Obama's, it's racist? And why is it that 'most often in common speech, people can say things like, "That boy needs to get a life!" when they&#…

EHhhhAAAA!

Translation: Stop doing obnoxious things like smooching my cheeks to "help me eat." Stop kissing me all over and tickling me and then telling me that I need to learn how to say, "Stop!" And quit pretending that you don't know what I'm talking about when I sign for my fifth cookie.

What Do You Need to Learn?

We haven't chatted about the book Smarting Us Up: The Un-dumbing of America by Luz Shosie and Ned Vare in a while. How about we do that? The authors allowed their son Cassidy to grow up "unschooling."

"Unschooling" is simply student-directed learning. Now, exactly how much input the student gets into what and when, where, how and why he learns I think varies from one unschooling family to the next. But I think the general principle this style of homeschooling assumes is that children are born ready to learn, they want to learn, and they will learn all the things that are relevant to their becoming functional adults naturally and without specialized instruction. Generally speaking, I'd agree with this premise to a point. Given a loving and nurturing environment, most of us (except, I guess, me) don't need to hire speech therapists to help our children learn to talk. You speak to the child and expose the child to language, and the child wants to learn and …

Mother Sent to Jail!

http://www.news-leader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080610/BREAKING01/80610037&s=d&page=1#pluckcomments

She's listed in the article as being the Missouri mother of a "truant" son, although she has been homeschooling for some time. Thanks to the Corn and Oil blog (http://eduwrit.com/blog) for the link.

What do you think about parents who use homeschool law as a cover for "truancy?" And do you think there is truancy in this case? Sounds like the mom is *probably* not doing the most amazing, perfect job of homeschooling this rebellious child given that there are other children with absence issues from public school. That being said, I'd like to know how you can mandate learning. It's my opinion that you can have perfect attendance at your public, private or home-school and be determined not to learn what's on the teacher's agenda.

Should there be "compulsory education?" You might think that an educated citizenry is essential to a…

G's Writing Assignment

G joins our homeschool when he is home with Elf and Emperor. He will be going into public school eighth grade. Next year his focus will be on starting every sentence with a capital letter, using punctuation, and learning his lower-case letters. It's on his IEP, but we're working on it at home anyway. I'm thinking that if G magically masters something on his IEP, we can always get a new goal because there is much to be learned. G worked very hard on this document. If you embiggen it, you can see he has revised himself in the second entry.

Religion of Peace?

Are men really superior to women as the Qur'an says? Are women intellectually inferior as Muhammad taught? Does propagating material (the Qur'an) that openly curses people of other religions amidst random calls to violence really improve the health of our societies? Is it right to keep women as sex slaves, merely because the Qur'an explicitly allows it in multiple places? Should atheists and homosexuals have to choose between the noose and an outward profession of faith in Allah?

Yes, there are Muslims who take issue with these aspects of Islamic theology, but it doesn't change what Islam is. Don't confuse the ideology with the individual. Don't draw conclusions about Islam based on the Muslims that you know, be they terrorists or humanitarians. Islam must be understood on the basis of what it is, as presented by the Qur'an the Hadith and Sira (biography of Muhammad).

By the same token, don't draw conclusions about the Muslims in your life based on…

I'm Signing MORE. Where Is It??

What???? You're saying "No more cake?" Wait a second. I just used my sign! You're supposed to give me what I asked for RIGHT AWAY! Didn't you hear that speech therapist about "reinforcing" my signs!?? I'm signing "MORE." I don't care that I've eaten three pieces. I just used the sign. You are absolutely obligated to provide another treat until *I* decide I'm done. Waah!

Falling Apart.

I must visit a surgeon next Thursday because my intestines are popping out! It seems that my belly button never became an "innie" after S was born. It hurts. Every now and then I get sharp pains in my gut. I saw the general practitioner and he said it was time to "refer."

I'm kind of scared, mostly because I know the recovery time from surgeries like this can be pretty lengthy, which isn't a problem for most people. Just tell the kids to pick up the laundry basket themselves, or leave everything in the sink 'till Dad comes home and let Dad do the shopping. But I have a 35 pound toddler and a 20 pound infant. They don't change themselves, and are getting active enough to where it would be difficult for my 14-year-old to do it. I do thank God that these problems are coming up during the summer, when I would at least have Patrick at home like I did last year.

It was a miserable summer last year.

I was on bedrest with S, and I had promised the chil…

Homeschooling Hows and Whys - Part Three

Do you have to be given any kind of 'test' in order to homeschool your kids?

In the state of Missouri, no. Theoretically, I could be totally illiterate, but so long as I "provide instruction" in the core areas of reading, science, communication arts (that's English, all you old folks!), mathematics and social studies, and keep a record book and portfolio of my child's progress, it would be totally legal.

Though how to do all those things without at least a functionally literate friend involved in the process would be tricky.

I know you are not dumb, but what if some really dumb person wants to homeschool their kids? Then their spelling and maths etc. is hopeless too!

I don't want to misconstrue what Tracey is asking, because it's a good question. Why shouldn't there be some minimum standard to teach a child? Surely teaching a child is a very important undertaking. But I'm also of the opinion that parents, even very illiterate and/or unintelligent …

Homeschooling Hows and Whys - Part Two

Do you ever think, "I can't do this!"?

Sometimes. Usually when I have both a toddler and an infant crying at the same time and one of the other children wants help on a math problem or needs me to explain something. I'm pretty sure public school teachers think the same thing, but instead of crying infants, they face administrative rules, angry parents, and a class full of gifted, average AND slow children. She (or he) is expected to teach them all from the same curriculum, not allow the gifted kids to get too bored or the slower to learn children driven too hard. Oh, but it all has to get done that year regardless, and there are no unit do-overs even if she discovers a quarter of her class didn't understand the concept when she graded their tests. She also has to maintain order and justify every consequence she gives to the child, parents and sometimes principal. She also has lunch duty.

Do you find it intimidating or do you enjoy it or both?

Do you know what …

Happy Birthday, Elf!

Elf is eight years old today. This is his cake.

Bracelet Removal

Elf has been wearing this bracelet for years. It has his name and birthday on it and warns medical providers in an emergency that he has asthma. He hasn't used his asthma medication in several months. He has not had to go to the hospital all winter for asthma symptoms. The bracelet came off today. He will be surprised when he gets bigger that it used to be so large on him.