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Showing posts from September, 2008

Morning Jump-Start.

Two rounds of this and I'm good to go. Lack of sleep doesn't matter doesn't matter once the daily caffeine intake requirements (CIR) have been reached. I add a little flavoured cocoa powder and milk for some extra kick. (OK, that's the second random thing, Catherine! Stay tuned.)

What We're Reading Now.

Silly me, I never bought a full reading program past second grade. I figured once we past the "learning to read" stage, that we could pick up pretty much anything the kids or I felt like that week and start reading.

Our last book was The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene DuBois. I have to wonder whether the fellow was being silly when he wrote the book or was trying to comment on some sort of Utopian form of government. The plotline goes like this: a mathematics teacher decides to escape from teaching children by embarking on a year-long balloon cruise. He winds up marooned shortly after on an island full of children the exact age he had been teaching at home.

Their parents have all named themselves the letters of the alphabet up through T. They each have one boy and one girl child and are part owners in a very productive diamond mine. If they were to leave the island permanently, the value of the diamonds they'd bring out would bring down the market. If they sta…

Help Me Help You.

"I need a bailout. Someone help me please. I have a nice house and two cars, but a huge mortgage. Without a bailout, I can’t buy a Porsche or a castle. And if I can’t buy another car or a bigger house, the dealerships and real estate agents will go out of business. That in turn will cause other businesses to go out of business. The economy will sink even more and you’ll lose your job. Please help me help you. Bail me out. If you don’t help me, I’ll have to live within my means instead of on your hard earned money."

That Daddy Forever is hilarious. And his "Forever" kids are fodder for some pretty cute posts.

Homeschooling. On a Footboard.

I heard Lincoln did his learning on a dirty shovel. Our children learn on a used footboard from a bed. We put it on the floor every morning and they're ready to work.

Parade Flag.

Wave it and be proud of your country!

Truth. Oh, But I Get to Decide What "Truth" Is.

You had better not say that Barack Obama is not a Christian during this election campaign. You had also better not think that his campaign promises contain the slightest hint of falsehood. You must speak the truth. The Obama campaign has hired goons (I mean... lawyers) to decide what the truth is on His behalf. Thou shalt not lie and say that He, the Great Obama, is not a Christian who plans on cutting taxes AND giving all sorts of money away in great social programs.

I'll say that some of the attacks on Obama have been unfair. I don't think he's a Muslim in the way that most Muslims would think of other Muslims. If my understanding is correct, once you're a Muslim, other Muslims think it's a sin worthy of death to embrace another religion. You and I should agree that that's unfair and people ought to be able to change their minds. And do you know what? Last I checked, Jesus didn't have a brand name, and Obama can call himself a Christian if he lik…

I Only Left For a Minute.

Just long enough to put a load into the dryer, and another into the wash. Then I walked up the stairs and found this little angel looking like he could NEVER do a thing wrong. Sigh. That was a lot of rice to clean up. It gets everywhere.

Clubhouse Jr.

Elf and Emperor are VERY delighted when the monthly issue of Clubhouse Jr. arrives. I think I shall have to continue this subscription until J is old enough to read them. Every month, the children read the corny jokes sent in by the other readers and I get to hear a missionary story. For some reason, little boys love missionary stories. To my mind, going into unknown territory where you may not know the language so well... and facing the possibility of martyrdom... um, count me out on that one. But the boys think that's great. YEAH! Adventures with Jesus!

HAIR MAGGOTS

We have ourselves an infestation. Wanna come over and share a comb?

Outside Day

The boys are playing with rice and chalk. The rice in a container, with things inside to find and scoop the rice with, is supposed to provide "sensory input" for J. As you can imagine, it also tracks all over my house. I've tried to contain the mess outside and shake the children out when we come inside, but it gets inside diapers and EVERYWHERE. It's a lot of fun, though. Even the bigger boys had a lot of fun scooping this stuff up and pretending the rice is "dubloons."

Sonlight and Singapore Math.

I think the people at Sonlight were specially waiting for my order. I think the second I hit that purchase button, about five of the employees there started screaming, "Order in the hoooole!" and scurried about gathering supplies from hither and yon like crazy squirrels at a nut festival. I mean, it arrived at my door about 48 hours after I placed my order. That's insanely fast. But they got the order right anyway. I think my favourite part, though, was being able to check with their "curriculum advisor" to make sure the stuff I was getting was the right stuff (she was precise about it right down to the pencil in the triangle set case, I think because I told her I HATE hate hate HATE ordering stuff only to find out I need more stuff...a CD this or reading book that...). I could figure out the math stuff with a little help, but if I ever wanted to figure out "core" this or that and select stuff from the head-spinning variety of things in the ca…

HSLDA Stuff.

Free coffee for teachers at Starbucks. You can present proof that you're a homeschool teacher with your HSLDA card, but there are other ways you can take advantage of this offer. More info here.

And are you interested in a survey on homeschooled teenagers? I love HSLDA and the work they do, but methinks they may be a weeeee bit biased on the issue. I am, too. I know my kids are missing out on all kinds of great socialization at the local school, but they were able to make stupid comments during school time here at home and fill in "wedgies" instead of "widgets" in their unit boxes during math time. They think Mom won't notice?? Yeah, I think we'll miss out on the surveys when the children are older. They made it pretty plain that the purpose is to prove how well-rounded homeschool kids are, not hear about how my Elf would freak out if he had to get on a school bus and can't handle groups of more than about five people very well. I'd send…

Tea On Tuesday.

We usually do some cooking and extra reading on Tuesdays, but I haven't posted anything on the topic in about forever as we haven't cooked anything unusual or different in quite some time. Today, we used a recipe in Clubhouse Jr. to make streudel. The recipe calls for preserves, sprinkles, and refrigerated crescent dough. We also ate some apple slices with some hot chocolate as the story characters drank hot chocolate with their snack. We read a story while the food was cooking.

Trip to PetSmart.

One of the pics the boys took at PetSmart. They've written a few updates on their blogs and would probably love a few visits and comments.

Do Unto Others.

Well, I can understand *just a little* about the plight of the homeless. Often there are addiction or mental health issues there as well. I know that my own son G just might fit the profile in a few years because his autism literally doesn't allow him to see clearly when someone is acting in his best interests. He doesn't "get" things and often goes on screaming, destructive rants. I could very easily see him as being homeless in ten years, and yet I couldn't see myself allowing him to live here when he can be so belligerent when he's upset.

It just hurts my heart to think about. (And I try not to, but I'm having a burst of honesty this morning.) I've known folks who were previously homeless, too, and have been able to learn how to handle finances and get a job while they were being helped by various community organizations. (Then again, despite what they might have done to their own bodies with drugs, they were neurotypical and able to "recover.&…

Funny.

The Gospel of St. Luke: 20:21 et seq. – And they asked him, saying … "Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no?" But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, "Shew me a penny, Whose image and superscription hath it?" They answered and said, "It is Lincoln's."

And he said unto them, "Never mind that, but render unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and keep rendering until I say enough; and render unto God the things which be God's through federally funded, faith-based social programs."

Cute, huh? More here.

The Mad Scientist Look.

Woodjie keeps pulling out her hair doodles, so Rose has to do without. We can't give her a buzz cut like the other children, so she will have to look like a crazy mad scientist complete with hair static. Poor kid.

What's REALLY Wrong With Public Schools?

I know on Dennis's blog and in other places, we see the heart of educators who really want to make a positive difference in the lives of young people. They work for a system that isn't anywhere close to perfect, and most of them admit it. But how rotten and wrong is the system itself?

Usually the argument for public schools goes something like this: We need to educate the masses. Sure, YOU can homeschool, but not everybody can. We pay taxes so that every child gets at least a shot at a decent education. We want every child to have a chance to learn to read and write and get a job later on. Yes, some schools are way better than others and the system is broken. But we shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater, or millions of American children will do without their basic need to learn to connect with the world by becoming literate, socialized and useful people.

Any educators who want to pop on and add to that synopsis are welcome. I don't want to misrepresent the argu…

They'll Do Anything to Increase Church Attendance Some Places

Well, I've heard of people running by with mugs or balloons after service to make people feel welcome and introduce the pastors. I've heard of some churches giving Bibles out to people who have made a commitment to Christ. It helps them read a version the church leaders feel is reasonably free from error and whatnot.

This church is different.

Yes, friend, if you live in Pennsylvania, you can go to this church and experience something different at the swingers' church. What's really sad is that I have to wonder what happens to the old churches when they go off to die. Did the original parishoners split the church over who gets a TV in their home? King James only versus those heathen NIV-ers? Folks in the church quit giving enough, or just a lot of them die from old age? Sigh.

Well, the new "church" there is having a little trouble convincing the ol' zoning authorities they're the genuine article. One of them stopped by and claims his experience wasn't…

Educating Elf, Emperor, and J

It was just such a cute photo that I had to include them all in one post. Going to separate them, though, in the post.
Elf Elf went to special-needs preschool and did well in kindergarten. He had a lot of extra help in kindergarten, though, that wasn't provided when he reached first grade. When he became a first-grader, it became necessary to do most of the schoolwork at home in addition to sending him to school each weekday. It was so much work to teach him at home AND send him for a couple hours each day (of course not during the same time Emperor was at school; that would be too convenient) AND be ready for those phone calls each day ... that when we finally made the decision to homeschool Elf, it was actually WAY LESS WORK. And, I have to add, that I enjoy teaching little Elfie at home. He's decided that he likes school and is ready to learn every weekday. Sure, it gets a little old to homeschool through July and August, but we have a lot of fun together. Emperor Emperor made …

Educating G

Yes, I know that's an old picture. G began his schooling at the local public preschool for special-needs children. He's since been diagnosed with autism, but has done reasonably well in school with help with things like finding his papers and making sure things are turned in. He does have a little trouble understanding what he's reading, but his self-esteem on this issue is way lower than his abilities. Emperor was remarking the other day that he thinks G reads quite well. G is ashamed of his reading, which makes me sad because I know how well he can do, and what he misses out on when he only looks at the pictures. I'm happy to report that his teachers this year seem to take an interest in him, and his science teacher has asked, "How can we get this kid to read?" Hey, think of an answer to that, and educators from all over the world will want to hear your method. :] I told him stuff with pictures might help. I don't really know. I wish I could make him se…

Educating Patrick.

Thought I'd do a short piece detailing a little bit about each child's education. Of course, we have to start with Patrick. He's always been a sweet and compliant child. He still (sort of) is except for the fact that he's bigger and starting to get "his own" (um, yeah right) ideas. But he's a great kid. He started reading before kindergarten, but I regret pushing him to learn a bit early with too many flash cards. I was deathly afraid the child would be behind in school when he began kindergarten. So I taught him to read. He could read and write almost fluently by the time he was ready to begin his formal schooling, and so I asked them to test him to see if he wouldn't qualify for a pass to first grade. Might as well. On the way home, Patrick told me the test went GREAT until they asked him to count to 20. Oh, no! I had never taught him numbers. At all. I'm sure I'd have gotten 'round to it eventually, but I guess that's …

Are You a Pirate?

You Are 5% Pirate




Arrr, yer nay a gentleman o' fortune, an' ye dasn't make like yer one.

Ye rather stay on dry land than take to the seas lookin' fer booty.

Peg legs an' eye patches really aren't yer thing. And parrots scare ye.

So stay away from the Caribbean, unless yer prepared to walk the plank.

Would You Make a Good Pirate? Ok, so Kim tells us it's international "Talk Like a Pirate" day today. Guess I'm not so great at it. I can't read the heading on the little blog thing I put on, but it says on the website that I'm a whopping 5% pirate.

Homeschool Field Trip

Well, OK. It was just a trip to PetSmart and I'm counting it as a "science" hour. We're looking at the animals and noticing the beak and claw types on the birds as outlined in our Lifepac workbook. Birds with long pointy beaks usually use them to dig grubs or insects. Short beaks that aren't sharp usually indicate seed or berry eaters. You can also tell where the bird spends lots of time by the type of foot it has. Webbed feet, of course, mean a water bird, but did you know that three forward-facing toes and one backward usually means it lives in a tree? That backward toe helps it hang onto branches. We saw fish of many kinds and spent the obligatory big bucks after ooh-ing and aah-ing over all the animals. Now at PetSmart: Halloween costumes and porcelain dishes for your animals. Yep. We got a pet toy we didn't need and a couple of birthday cards. Thankfully the boys did not ask for any new animals as they sell about everything you could think of there. Whil…

Unloading?

Parents of special-needs kids (or caretakers of special-needs adults for that matter!) will appreciate Hammie's blog and her latest post on "unloading." A short excerpt:

I got the message that unloading all your problems on your nearest and dearest, including siblings or friends that you see very regularly, is not a good idea. Because next time they see you (or the person/people you were whinging and bitching about) they will view you a little differently. Maybe even as a little bit of a victim, which I simply cannot stand the thought of! achgh!The other problem I can see with "unloading" is: who is going to carry it all around if you don't?I don't mean to stretch the metaphor but seriously, if you get it all out there in the open, it doesn't mean that anything is going to change. There simply isn't the infrastructure to take over what is worrying you, and it will always come back to being up to you.

If there is anything I learned in the first yea…

Yikes.

"A 17-month-old baby boy was murdered by his mother and her boyfriend despite being on a council "at risk" register and having already suffered a catalogue of injuries including eight fractured ribs and a broken back that left him paralyzed, a British court heard Tuesday."

I'm usually one of those "let the kid stay with the parents no matter what" sort of people, but even *I* have to admit that once the kid has eight fractured ribs and is paralyzed, it just *might* be a good idea to remove him for a little while and check out the story at home. It sounds more like the social agency investigating this sort of thing ought to be on trial, as well as the parents.

In another part of the article, however, it stated that the flap of skin between the upper lip and the gum was torn, indicating abuse. It's "highly suggestive of non-accidental injury, usually by forcing the teat of a bottle into a child's mouth or by a hard glancing blow across the mo…

Math Craziness.

I am BAD, awful and terrible at mathematics. I think it was all downhill after about second grade. I wanted to be a scientist until about fourth grade, when I figured out that scientists are not allowed to wear red lab coats. Well, that wasn't the only reason. I also discovered after one of the 11 moves we made during my childhood that I was behind and stupid at my new school in Australia. I THOUGHT I was smart, but I really wasn't. I was way behind. I don't think I stayed in any one place long enough to really master the lessons. This is just as well, because like I said, I'm terrible, awful and BAD at mathematics. It's one of the reasons D was reluctant to allow me to homeschool the boys.

But my sons Emperor and Elf think I actually can do math. Shh. Don't tell them the truth! Emperor even admired that I was able to help him with one of his math problems a bit ago. Yay for me... I'm able to interpret a word problem better than a seven-year-ol…

Because I Like This Post.

Madame Monet has an interesting post on khattera, or underground tunnels, I think you'd be interested in. It has pictures, too, and some really neat historical facts. Go on over and learn about Morocco. I think you'll like her blog. Short excerpt:

Khattera are an ancient underground system of tunnels and wells, built several hundred years ago, to transport water long distances. It’s too bad they are being destroyed now. They can be found from Morocco to India, throughout dry regions of North Africa, the Middle East and into Central Asia. They were typically used in areas without any large rivers. Scholars think the technology originated in the Indus Valley civilization of Pakistan. They are known as khattara in Morocco, qanats in Iran, and suranga in India, with a few other names in between.

Emperor.

OK, we love him, but he's weird. He told me today he'd like to marry a chicken so that his children could hatch out of eggs because that would be SO COOL. Um, you can't do that. "Well, show me where it says so in the BIBLE, Mom!" (so I did) "That just proves you can't have SEX with a chicken, but not that you can't marry one or have babies with it." Yep, I've been put in my place by Mr. Logical there for sure. I won't even relate what he said when I mentioned what a "eunoch" is. This is a family blog.

Joe's Journey

An excerpt from Joe's blog, about his autistic son "Buddy Boy"'s difficulties in school:

Due mostly to an idiotic curriculum not suited to him, and probably partially to lack of self control (in the face of being taught by idiots) Buddy Boy trashed the classroom one day. He first threatened to trash the classroom (“I’m going to throw things”) to which they responded with their direction of “Sit down, Buddy Boy” three times, dutifully recorded on their chart that he had refused to sit down, then stood back when he started pulling things off the shelf.

No one acknowledged that he was angry and/or frustrated. No one tried to find out why he was upset. Just a command to sit down repeated three times.

Mom was called to come and get him and take him home.Buddy Boy was suspended for three days for that, and moved to a “resource room” where he was the only student. We were warned at that time that if he continued to be violent and a threat to others and himself that the police …

Hell. Nationwide.

Documented on this blog, some of the problems and ongoing reports on restraint and seclusion of students in America. Elf has been through enough of this, but it happens not only in public schools, but hospitals and other places that are entrusted with the care of people who are disabled or otherwise incapacitated.

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times, stuff like this is almost never needed. If we'd make changes in the environment that our disabled and/or autistic children are dealing with, or help train THEM to cope with various situations... you know, actually SPENT MONEY or time on a problem, the need for "safe rooms" would be almost nil. The very fact that there IS a room, I think, means that it's going to be used. If you build it, they will come. They will not only come, but they'll stick a child in there instead of searching for a better way to handle things because you know what? Locking a kid up is easier than negotiating, disci…

Look at Me!

Sorry. Being Christian to Someone Else.

One thing I've noticed in my own personal Christian walk is that there are so many opportunities we miss. We really need to miss some of them, so that we can go for the one we feel God's called us to accomplish right now.

For example... Once I was out with the four littlest children getting shots for J and S. They were two and a half hours waiting in a no doubt germ-infested room. They were tired and crabby and hungry and Elf and Emperor were tired and crabby and hungry. I had to go to the bathroom, I felt dirty and I was picking up screaming, tired infants and going on my way into the house.

That's when my very elderly neighbour started to come over to say 'hi.' I told her she was welcome to come in with me and have lunch with us, but that everyone was really hungry and crabby and needing of a peanut butter sandwich. I felt awful seeing her walk away, knowing I could have spent a bit of time chatting with her, but she knew she wouldn't have my full attention and…

Are You Tired Yet?

Is anyone even listening anymore to the McCain-Obama battle of 2008? I'm thinking by the time November rolls around, I'll be so accustomed to hearing jabs, jokes and who's endorsing who updates that I'll forget to vote.

Just a cute aside, did you know that the Obama campaign is ripping off the poor? Yeah. John McCain's shirts and hats are cheaper, and here's the research to prove it. You know, I really don't see where it would be a copyright violation to print up shirts that say, "I'm voting Democrat" or "Republican 2008." Sell 'em for $6 at your local hot dog stand and make a profit. But I guess to show your loyalty, you must purchase these collectors' items now.

A Useful Tool.

It was so handy for my macaroni and cheese that I think it's necessary to use on my bread as well. I will scream and cry if you try to take my spoon away. It's MY spoon.

The Church Mafia Website.

No, really, I think you'll like this. I stumbled on it through seeing friends of friends of friends and I kinda forget where I started from so it's hard to give a hat tip. But the website has several articles of interest like "how to help your pastor" and quizzes on how to know if your church is a cult or not. Suffice to say, if you feel you need to take the test, the answer is probably YES, and your family has been trying to tell you for years...

Anyway...

From the website, a short but sobering snippet with my own comments in blue:

Eighty-five percent of pastors said their greatest problem is they are sick and tired of dealing with problem people, such as disgruntled elders, deacons, worship leaders, worship teams, board members, and associate pastors. Ninety percent said the hardest thing about ministry is dealing with uncooperative people. Good gracious! "People" would be the number one reason I would never go into the ministry. Living in a fishbowl …

I am Following You.

I think I am, anyway. I'm using some time to explore this "follow" option on Blogger. I don't know really all the benefits and drawbacks to using it, but it looks like it might be fun. I will start loading some of my friends into my follow list soon and see what happens. If you follow me back, your photo thing will show up on my sidebar. Kewl, huh? See what happens when I get some free time?

Day Off.

Elf and Emperor homeschool year-round. I was reading with them yesterday about an old man who was a teacher and wanted to play hookey. It occurred to me that the little boys will never get a chance to play hookey and learn from the experience. D told me that even if they went to public school, they take attendance first thing and give phone calls to parents, so the children would never be able to do that in any case.

Party pooper.

So how else are we going to get an unscheduled day off? Well, I just decided that we would take an unscheduled day off. Today. D told me I was NOT allowed to call it playing hookey, because that would teach the boys to do wrong. (sigh) So I just told the boys this morning that there would be no school. Emperor was very glad; I think he's starting to show some signs of school burnout, and it's just time for a break. Elf was about in tears. He is autistic and changes in schedule he isn't anticipating can be pretty tough. Even though we we…

Microanalysis

People who write political news stories are just brilliant. I'm glad this lady is able to tell us that Sarah Palin isn't a woman (somehow?). She's also literally pontificating at us, and letting us know that we can believe anything we want as long as it doesn't involve forcing our beliefs on others. Glad to see that column on September 11th of all days... this lady doesn't know what the hell she's talking about when she speaks of forcing beliefs. I wish I had the money to send her to Yemen or somewhere really warm, and see how she feels when (if) she returns home. But perhaps her editor knew stupidity would get her links (as, of course, I'm doing right now. See? Yeah. I think I posted earlier about how I'm a hypocrite, but some of y'all keep coming back and reading anyhoo.)

And other concerns I'm reading about... I just have to share this tidbit with you. I've seen it on several other blogs and we really need to be worried about tha…

Am I a Nerd?

Apparently not. I really thought I'd outgeek a lot of people, but I'm getting suspicious that lots of extremely poindextrous folks are taking this test and skewing the results.

Thanks, Stacey!!

I won $20 in Amazon money, just for leaving a comment on Stacey's blog. She values my participation *that much.* I have never been to Amazon.com as a serious shopper, so it was a new experience for me. I remember clicking on strange "stories of interest" on other blogs in the past, however, and the website remembered what I looked at last time I was there and brought up its strange assortment of garden gnomes and Latin textbooks. You know, things that I clicked on while I was browsing other people's websites? Like, six months ago? It *remembered what I looked at,* months ago, even after I forgot?? OK, that kinda creeped me out. The folks at Amazon national headquarters now probably think I have a thing for garden gnomes, Latin, and Bob Jones textbooks. In that order.

I think that I've placed an order. I also think that I should receive it sometime in the next month or so, too. I paid about $5 after I used the gift card. I got a Bob Jones Bible curricul…

Obama = Jesus.

Ya know, it doesn't really matter who you're voting for this election when you see silly things like this. Obama is a community organizer *just like Jesus* but Palin was a governor *just like Pontius Pilate.* And while we're at it, let me mention that Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah... just like Satan is a lion seeking whom he may devour. Oh, and Jesus was a king, just like Ahab. The point? While we're at it, perhaps I should mention that Jesus never held an elected office and that His foreign policy seems to be extremely Zionist. (Good grief!) So who would Jesus vote for? What if the answer were something like, "Jason Zigglesnork of Toggleston, Georgia?" Would it make any difference? Why is "Jesus" a campaign thing? On both sides of the aisle, they're assuming Jesus is one of them. Last I checked, you need to bring YOURSELF into alignment with HIM, not the other way 'round. Some of my Christian brothers and sisters disa…

September 11, 2001

Do you have a "September 11, 2001" story to share? Rick Moore of the Holy Coast blog is collecting them. You can pop over to his blog and leave a comment or email him your story.

My story is not very exciting. Little Elf was a toddler and Emperor was my snuggly baby. We took a nap together in the morning. It was so peaceful. September is the month when things start to get cooler and a nap with a sleepy baby is one of the most blessed things in the world.

The phone rang.

D asked me if I've been watching the news. Um, no... What's going on?

He told me a plane hit the World Trade Center in New York City, and that a second plane just hit another tower and the buildings collapsed.

Yawn... huh? OK, this is not possible for the buildings to collapse. And... with two planes, it couldn't be an accident?

Duh! Just... turn on the news, ok?

Um, ok, but D... you are not understanding because you have never been to New York. Those buildings are really big.

It's on the …

Hey Babe, Can I See Your Card?

From Catherine's post titled, Official License to Fornicate:

"Forget heeding God's word about the consequences of sexual impurity, there are ways around that! Introducing the "Safe Sex License". I thought they were joking when I saw this on the local nightly news. If I am understanding correctly, this is how it works; you meet someone at the local bar or whatever other high class establishment you happen to be at and decide that you'd like to go ahead and engage in sex acts with them. To put your mind at ease, they show you their Safe Sex License. You call the number on it and are prompted to enter a pin at which point you will hear a list of information related to their past year of STD testing."

I have to wonder about fake IDs though. That's just the cynic in me talking there.

Yup, there's some sexy stuff goin' on at Catherine's place. Her posts are always thought-provoking, or honest, or controversial. Sometimes even all three at once…

Me, Size 8

Obviously this is not a recent picture. But I'm hiding my face because I'm "too fat" to have my photo taken. See how little Elf is? He was in preschool at the time. He still loves me just the same and will still hold my hand in public. I get hugs, too. He draws the line at being smooched and called "Elfie McMelfie" in front of all his friends, though.

Changeable Truths?

I sure don't share *all* the strange things I come across on the internet (before you say it, shut up LOL!), but I thought this might make for an interesting discussion. A Catholic website discussing the idea that it's the Protestants, not the Catholics, who have distorted and changed the One True Faith:

"A Protestant elder of the 17th century looking at many protestant churches today would be astounded and appalled. He would see "Signs", "wonders", and "miracles" supposedly manifesting at nearly every service. He would see big-name evangelists rating themselves by the number of miraculous healings that took place at their meetings. He would see people "baptised in the Holy Spirit" and "talking in tongues". All these things would be entirely foreign to him. Not only would they be foreign to his view of Protestant religion, he would probably see them as deceits and abominations!

"If the Reformers preached one thing cons…

Thank You!

Tiff emailed me a few moments ago.

The paediatrician rang her.

Ivy has been approved for her IVIG.

She will be admitted to hospital at 10.30am tomorrow morning for her first round of treatment.

All of Ivy’s doctors had seen the petition, so they fast tracked the decision.

Thankyou to everyone who blogged about it. Thankyou to the 1100+ people who signed the petition. Thankyou so SO much to everyone who banded together to help.

It has all been so worth it to see her get the treatment she needs to be a normal little girl.
Thankyou from the bottom of my heart for helping. Just, thankyou.

Guest-blogged by Veronica at Sleepless Nights.

For Ivy.

Guest-blogged by Veronica (links below).

Ivy is beautiful and Ivy is sick. Ivy is only 2.

And yet, at age 2, Ivy has seen the inside of a hospital more times than anyone should have to. Ivy has a rare immune deficiency IgG. Because of that, she has Pemphigus which is an autoimmune response to the IgG [please note, these are photos of Ivy's pemphigus blisters and they may be a little graphic for some people].

These are horrible conditions that no adult should have to deal with, let alone a child.

Ivy is currently on Prednisone and Mycophenolate to help control her symptoms and blistering; however, these drugs suppress her immune system, on top of the deficiency.

Ivy’s mum says “…she was never good at mounting a response to infection but the meds make it worse.”

She frequently ends up in hospital on IV antibiotics, just to help control the infection in her ears that never seems to completely disappear. She cannot be exposed to a simple virus in fear that it will land her back in hospital …

The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle.

Elf and Emperor have finished with the Story of Doctor Dolittle, and we're now taking turns reading chapters in the next book. Doctor Dolittle is off on an adventure with his animal friends, Bumpo the African prince, and Tommy Stubbins, his assistant and the narrator of the book.

Doctor Dolittle has managed to trick the people on a Spanish island to give up bullfighting by speaking to the bulls and throwing the match. He became matador for the day and had the bulls pretend to be very frightened of the Great Doctor. Elf and Emperor have found an old baby hat shaped like a bunny and Elf is wearing this so that he can be a bull. Emperor will wave a pink burp cloth to complete the effect. Sometime I'm *required* to film this and put it on one of the children's blogs.

The animals and the Indian peoples have strange ideas about the "White" people. They are seen as being very backward and greedy. It even feels backward to read the book, but it's a funny adventu…

Being Frugal. Because I Won't Spend $10 on Pizza.

Sam's Club loves us. We use MEGA pizza sauce from the big can and scoop it into old apple sauce jars, where it keeps nicely. MEGA mozzerella cheese and MEGA pepperoni. And a 25-pound bag of flour. Elf and Emperor cook something every Tuesday, and lately it's been pizza. We've been reading Doctor Dolittle while we eat our lunches as well.

Stereotyped News Flash: Homeschooled Kids Not Socialised.

Oh, it's a big disadvantage to homeschooling. Because where else but in public school would a child meet a wide variety of other folks from various backgrounds and ethnicities, etc. etc.? Interesting question. I think the high school I attended until my junior year had, like, four black kids in it. Out of 500-something kids. Oh, and two of those children were the identical twins Ronald and Donald, who dressed identically in their little Members Only (tm) jackets. Remember those days? (Hey, they were nice guys, though, and really, we ALL dressed alike as teens.) I think the school paper made a crack that we had diversity because we all had different coloured "Benetton" shirts. Yeah, you could learn a lot about other cultures there fer sure.

Another huge disadvantage is the blurring of lines between being the "mom" and being the "teacher." You know, because being the "mom" and doing the "teacher's" work for two hours a n…

The Newest, Greatest Game

Elf and Emperor are studying the French Revolution in Social Studies. Now, of course, the Sydney Funnel-web spider attack game is just old news. The newest, greatest game is to jump out and shout, "Le Guillotine!!" and chase the other boy while shouting, "CHOP chopchop chopchopchop!"

I hope no one asks about the little "chop" marks on poor baby J at church tonight. I would hate to have to explain that the marks on ANY of my younger children were actually caused by, "Le Guillotine!"

I think all nouns in our house currently have a "le" attached to them. Le pencil. Le test. Le calculator and le math. Pepe Le Pew must approve.

Le Au Revoir!

Stupid Question?

Dennis Fermoyle is a public school teacher, author and fellow blogger. We've been bloggy friends for some time. He's just written a post on some of the idiocies of NCLB you might want to check out. He says with impossible goals of 100 percent proficiency, people get around to wondering if 80 or 90 percent is good enough and who we can leave behind. The answer: we don't know.

"I am often amazed by the things that are done in modern medicine," he writes. "They have made great progress in so many things. For example, the survival rate for breast cancer has continually increased. But I doubt very much that they are going to have a 100% survival rate by 2014. To set that as a goal, and to tell the medical profession they are failing if they don't reach that would be the height of stupidity. But if you ask, "Well, which women do you want to die?" no one is going to say, Betty Jones and Sally Garfield. We don't know which women will die, and we don…

How Mean.

Can you believe a hospital went and called the police because someone applied for a job using a stolen Social Security number? I mean, how dare they tell on Maria Martinez when she practiced the CRIME of identity theft? Now she's going to be deported and it's all the hospital's fault. Boo hoo hoo. The whole family is all upset.

Good job, Trinity Hospital of Carrollton, Texas. If that were my Social Security number, I would want to say thank-you personally. Why can't other businesses see that identity theft is a CRIME no matter what the colour or family circumstance of the person perpetrating it?

UK "Under Five Learning Goals"

Coming to a nursery near you soon, if the British are implementing it. Children being watched with state money will be expected to count to ten, write their names and short sentences on their fifth birthday. It won't add any work for the childcare providers, though, don't worry. It's just an extra goal that they're going to just plunk in there and it will magically get done.

>>zing!<<

I'm NOT writing this to be critical of those parents who find themselves needing to use state-funded childcare or those who truly believe that having their children interact with other students on a part-time basis is beneficial for their social development. But can we agree that children seem to be perceived as "left behind" at earlier and earlier ages?

Just for a moment, as an aside, let me tell you a little bit about Emperor. I'm not trying to be scientific, or brag, or anything like that. I just want to tell you the story of one little boy. Emperor …