30 January 2010

Quilt Craft

I got this sweet idea for a paper quilt craft from crayola.com. Emperor was a little reluctant to do the craft. He knows cutting things and stringing things are not his strong points. As it is, it took him over two hours to do this project with much help. He worked very hard on it but was motivated to finish as he is a HUGE, HUGE Hello Kitty fan and Mom let him have some of her stationery to decorate the squares. Now, it's hanging in his room and he's very proud of his work.

28 January 2010

Hypocrisy is the Human Condition.

If you have the time to watch this video of Gayle Haggard, I think you'll be blessed. She sure sounds a little overidealistic to me, especially in regards to this idea that her husband could go through a couple years of therapy and not have *one* single gay compulsion... but she seems like such an *amazing* person with that kind of compassion for others and forgiveness... wow. Just imagine all the friendships she lost and the pain she went through for that dope of a husband she has. She may be overidealistic, but she does not strike me as naive or stupid. And she is right, I think, in her statement that hypocrisy is the human condition. Her husband has just played his out on a very public stage.

Now, of course, ol' Teddy has no thoughts like that at all. No, no, no. But the sad thing is... folks in the church make it kinda tough to come out and say you're struggling in an area like that. I'm not saying it's "right," but we also have plenty of fat parishoners (Mrs. C included) we accept every week, knowing that HELLOOO, the "sin of gluttony" is practically shouted out by the fat pants. Or pregnant parishoners who shouldn't be... but here we're gushing about when the baby is due and isn't that exciting? And how are you feeling? Or we meet people and learn they're living together in sin and we're saying nothing? Hope you come back next week? I guess it's only hypocrisy when it's someone who criticises another person and yet partakes in THAT SAME SIN himself. So, it's ok for me to sit around and criticise people for their sexual immorality whilst overstuffing myself on pizza and Grace's Best Sunflower cookies. It's only wrong when I attack a fellow GLUTTON. Ahhh... now I get it. (snarfs pizza loudly) That stupid Ted Haggard.

I'm watching this video and thinking, poor Miss Gayle might just find herself shocked in a few years by some misbehaviour or "mistake." That, or she's laughing all the way to the bank after writing this book. That, or maybe Ted is totally and completely healed and it's all due to a couplea therapy sessions and now *wham-o* the sex with his wife is better than ever. (Not that I wanted to hear that part... uggg. Just not a visual I want while I'm eating, ok?) But if the latter is true, Mrs. C has a bunch of other problems that she would like fixed in her life, fortunately (or not!) not the kind that I could write an entire novel about and have people be that terribly interested. They're probably the same problems YOU have but don't write about.

I Choose YOU!

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Wow, we have a phrase! Um, not that it's very useful unless you happen to have a Poke-ball and are starring on a TV show... but we have a phrase. Note the imaginary Poke-ball being thrown. I can now say without hesitation that ALL my boys are now obsessed with Pokemon. Still haven't heard "Mama" from the kid yet, but I guess he has his own priorities. :)

25 January 2010

The Lunch Line







My wrist was sprained yesterday afternoon, necessitating a trip to the emergency room. I'm on drugs, so that precludes our planned trip to the store today. The boys were disappointed as it is Rose's birthday, and they wanted to pick out the cake mix themselves. Sorry. Mom just bought chocolate and hopes you're ok with it. Elf wondered if we couldn't just have a store in our house just like the school (Elf, that is called a "cafeteria."). So here it is. We wait on line until the cafeteria bell rings (yay for timers!) We must enter our student number (Elf is 1, Emperor is 2. I'm original that way.). Then we must tally our meal cost and show the old cafeteria lady aka "Mom" what our beloved parents will be paying into the account. At one time, Emperor had racked up $317 and some change in charges. The lunch lady always appreciates "tips," but unfortunately, she also is in charge of teaching you the difference between the "cent" symbol and the dollar sign and/or how to use decimals appropriately. Finally, do you like Rose's hair doodle? Now that she can say "flower," the days of plain ponytails are over.



23 January 2010

Lookit This Picture, Mom!!

Elf waves me over to see a photo of two scorpions looking like they're holding hands.

"You have to hear this," he tells me, and settles in to read. "When scorpions reproduce, the male uses his pincers to hold the female's pincers. Then he drags her around until he can fertilize her."

Here Patrick, who was standing nearby, has to smirk and raise his eyebrow at me. Shut up, Patrick.

"When scorpions do this, it looks like they are dancing," Elf read.

"Um, yeah, it does kinda look like they are dancing, I guess," I told him as I tried to do the "look like I'm really busy and in too much of a hurry to talk right now" thing because I am uncomfortable. Mostly because I just faintly heard Patrick snort.

"Sometimes getting dragged around makes the female angry," Elf continued. Man, that kid CANNOT take a hint. Now Patrick is devoting his full attention to this reading. He's nodding and his arms are folded. My heart is sinking and I'm probably turning red. Great.

I wish I left that so-called "kids' book" on the library shelf but noooo. I had to get all homeschool-y and make the kids research a report on "something about a desert animal that is interesting."

"The male will then sting her," Elf read as Patrick came over to check out the pictures and nod. YES! There is scorpion porn, right in the middle of this children's book! I'm flabbergasted, but Elf just keeps reading as if scorpions *ahem* doing this were an acceptable topic of conversation. "This does not kill the female, but it numbs her so that she will stay still. The male can then fertilize the female."

"Interesting technique," Patrick comments.

"Once the dance is over, the male scorpion runs away. He does not want the female to try to eat him. It does not happen very often, but sometimes she does." Little Elf has his eyebrows up in that chubby Spock "isn't that interesting and odd" sort of pose.

"Ohhh," Patrick nods and does the "hmm" pose. Clearly he has no interest in directing the attention *away* from this awful book.

"Well... that's very... disturbing, Elf," I sputter, hoping that was positive enough. "I guess the female scorpion gets kinda mad about being dragged around and stung."

"And fertilized," Patrick interjects with a grin. He's 16 and I'm still not sure how I'm going to raise this one.

"Um, we have to go now," I tell Elf. "Lock us out there, would ya?"

"Sure! So... did you like the story? Was it interesting?"

"Welllll... you read a bunch of stuff I didn't know about before, I'll tell you that!"

"OK!" he said proudly as he was shutting the door. "See you later!"

Feeling Discouraged.

Sorry, but yes, I get there sometimes. I've been reading your blog.

I'm glad for you that you have 16 children, all homeschooled, and all perfectly neat and tidy in the pictures (matching outfits, too. How did you afford that? And then, what threats did you have to use on your teen male to get him all dressed up like that?). I admit that I'm glad mostly because then I could at least point to someone else who has it all together and say, well... it isn't the "lots of kids" or the "homeschooling" that makes us dysfunctional and odd... it's just us. That's oddly comforting, because if the problem is us, all we have to do is pray reallllly hard while clicking our special red shoes and reading the correct Bible verse, and we will *change* and become different sorts of people. Nice ones, even.

I must admit to you at the present moment that I'm continually tweaking the schedule here at the Mrs. C house. I'm so tiiiired of trying to homeschool through the little ones screaming that I'm very, very tempted to just throw a book at some older children and log that down as "literature time." Then I can spend my morning with the little kids and Mr. Potato Head. It's pretty challenging to homeschool while dealing with the toddlers wanting to get out of the downstairs area. Trouble is, there is NOWHERE ELSE to put them that they won't cause a lot of trouble and cleanup... and be more of a distraction than just letting them howl downstairs in the middle of their roomful of toys because God forbid I left them for a bit and am visible through the doorway (!). Woodjie tends to throw toys and scream very loudly even under the best of circumstances, so I can't "just" have him in the same room while I'm homeschooling. Other parents can do a lot of "just" this or that things that I can't... such as "just" take a shower while this or that is going on, or "just" do the laundry WITH the little kids and don't use prime "alone time" for that activity.

You would just have to see the special needs Woodjie has and visualize the horrendous layout of our home to know what I mean (it's a nice enough house, but a HORRENDOUS layout considering our situation... but how were we to know that 12 years ago when we purchased the place!??)

There is an air intake vent here that must not be blocked, doors opening onto stairways that can't be cordoned off, electrical outlets that have been painted over so many times that one can't put safety covers over them (it MUST be blocked with heavy furniture because it's an older house and nothing is grounded). Then we have poles downstairs, which are useful for holding up the house and all, but sure put a crimp in the ol' decorating and arranging of furniture. Computer must go where the telephone jack is located. And we have to put the TRAMPOLINE somewhere (Yes! We are white trash! But the trampoline goes with the picnic bench we are storing! In the family room! Besides which, the basement is too full of metal leatherworking SKEWERS and needles, Christmas trees, boxed curriculum and bags of children's clothes stacked five feet high. I kid you not, and no, I'm not posting a pic.)

Woodburning stove? Some previous owner decided to plop that puppy right in the middle of the family room. It wasn't a big problem when Patrick and G were little and we bought the house, but now we have gates snaking about downstairs.... big metal monstrosities that look terrible but keep tiny kids from getting into the electronics. Someday these kids are going to escape the gate and then... then... the two really *good* hours of homeschooling I get done each day will be out the window.

Yes, I play with the little kids. Yes, they have toys. They just don't get constant attention and they dislike that part. I'm trying to do the picture schedule... first "playtime" (so Mom can homeschool/clean the kitchen), then "arts and crafts" (you sit there with a crayon at the kitchen table, or some playdoh), then more "playtime" so Mom can clean the mess, then "lunch" and for Woodjie, "bus time."

I'm beginning to think that I should "just" homeschool when Woodjie gets on the bus. He leaves at 1 p.m. and Patrick comes home around 3:15. That would be two hours and fifteen minutes. It's hard, though, if the homeschooled boys have had a break BEFORE school stuff gets serious, to pull them away from what they want to do. I like to have rewards for AFTER school. Then there's the "Mom needs to eat an actual meal SOMETIME during the day" factor, and honestly? I'm downright crabby by 1:00 and want to get away from people.

Then I go back and think I might just be crabby because I'm not eating properly. Sure, I don't have time for meals, but that doesn't stop me from grabbing and eating an entire bag of cookies, three candy bars and five cups of coffee here and there. So don't worry that I'm starving here in my 3x pants. I keep getting these stomachaches, too, but of course that can't be from poor eating habits. It must be stress.

I hate screaming in my house!! If only, if only, if ONLY I could teach Woodjie to SPEAK, there wouldn't be so much yelling because the little girl will follow his lead. We could do some things like... oh... I don't know... ask for stuff we want and have a discussion about "sure, I'll give it to you in five more minutes" or "no, because (reason)" or my fave: "YES! HERE IT IS! I'M GLAD YOU ASKED AND USED YOUR WORDS INSTEAD OF HOWLING AND POINTING and making me do a dance all over the room, grabbing things and going, 'This? No... um... This? No? How about this?' and handing you random objects you don't want. Good job, buddy!"

I'm all for the neurodiversity thing, but I'm so not for the kid being miserable, wanting stuff and not being able to tell me what it is, and my not being able to talk back to him in a way that he can understand. Good grief, that stinks. I'm so tired of it!

If I had some big chunk of money that was all mine and D couldn't stinkin' well veto my purchase, I would hire a special-needs consultant to help me design and build a house where we can all live in peace and harmony. I'm really having some trouble figuring out what goes where and when to do everything I need to do.

I know some things need to change. There are folks in my home on a regular basis (another story!) and whatnot, and they don't see a "problem." Is it just me? Am I too sensitive to the fact that my kids yell? I want a quiet and peaceful home with no clutter that is clean and organized. I am very, very, VERY blessed. I am just either very sensitive about the children crying and the faults of my organization system, or I am needing to change A LOT of things and not knowing where to start.

God's grace meets me where I am, but I think it's the latter.

22 January 2010

Eating School Lunches

Interesting little public school lunch blog here. (I don't think the lunches blogged so far seem very terrible!) Pictured are our lunches today. It's pretty much the same every day except Tuesdays, when we cook. Tuesdays are often our days to get adventurous. Note that Woodjie has a different lunch than the other children. He has a pretty limited selection of food he enjoys. When I'm out of the house, I'm always looking for something new (milk and egg-free) that might be palatable to him.

21 January 2010

OH NO!!


Apparently, Elf doesn't like hair in his face... so he cut it himself. It was down to the scalp in a few places, which precluded my cutting it with scissors. Buzz cut time. Then G (who refuses to get a hair cut!) came home with bloody skulls drawn all over his hands. Yep. We're realll fashion winners here at the Mrs. C house. :( I think I did a pretty good job considering, though.

20 January 2010

Hitler Finds Out Scott Brown Won Massachusetts.

Hat tip: Holy Coast blog.

A Keebler Elf in My Kitchen.




Elf is learning to help with sweeping and he enjoys home ec on Tuesdays with his brother. We decorated aprons once in art and Elf wrote "Kiss the Cook" on his... because he saw it on Spongebob. He deeply regrets this action as Mother takes the saying rather seriously. At least he is learning this lesson now, unlike the poor teens I've seen prancing about with glittery sayings like "Hot Strumpet" pasted on their derrieres. "Kiss the Cook" is way cooler. I'm hoping to give the boys a *great* grade on the cookies they are making. :)

19 January 2010

Guest Post.

"It says a lot about my fellow Americans when an article about a massive tragic event becomes fodder for political bashing, classism, and racism, as well as attempts at humor. And so many wonder why we have developed an image of imperial arrogance around the world.Compassion and community are foreign concepts to many Americans. We have developed into a nation of greedy, self-centered nationalists, and then complain when the rest of the world resists anything we say or do.

"This tragedy was about people: Many thousands of people are dead or injured. Babies buried under rubble. Old men crushed under rock and cement. Old women suffocated under tons of dirt. Children who probably had played games like any other children in the world crushed to death. Men and women who were mothers and fathers lost forever. Those who lived have to dig all those who died out. They must live knowing that those they loved dearly died unexpectedly and possibly painfully.

"Please stop commenting on tragedies like they are entertainment. They aren't. Imagine your own family if this were to occur to them, imagine your feelings if you discovered their lifeless bodies with your shovel. America, please find empathy and sympathy, or we are lost. "

-- NewRevolution, reprinted from the comments section of the New Haven Register online.

18 January 2010

Imagine.

Can you imagine NOT choosing your homeschool textbooks? That you were so big and important the textbook people gave you footrubs and free lunches as you sat in a puffy reclining chair? That they swooned and said, "Yes, Ma'am! That'll be in there!" to you as you rattled off all the stuff you wanted included in the next book you bought? (The imagining is a bit weirder if you are a male reader, but I digress.)

Well, let's just pretend you and a few of your friends are elected on a big important board. You guys get together and decide what the books that aren't even published yet are going to include. The books will sell millions of copies and be diligently taught to children not only in your little homeschool group... but nationwide. Because (let's pretend) ALL the schools in the nation tend to follow your lead. You're the respected curriculum choice... because everyone chooses your stuff... because you have a lot of people in your group... so everyone chooses your stuff... because you have a lot of people in your group... so everyone chooses your stuff.

Naturally.

Bwa ha ha HAAA... just think of the power you'd have. You'd get to decide about the important things, really important things, that children will be learning. Finally, the golden sceptre, the ring of power, that juuuuuicy decision-making power is YOURS. World domination cannot be far behind, friend.

"We'll use it to teach about hip-hop music to the kids," your friend Double U Dawg says. "This world domination thing can't be taken too lightly, and we should be sure to teach children about IMPORTANT things like hip-hop music and the dormant power of the inner-city migrant field worker subculture."

"But I think hip-hop music is stupid," your friend Cletus counters. "Country music and proper *yeeee-hah!* Duke Boy yelling technique both need to be taught to all first graders. An' some line dancing in fourth."

"Hmpf," Snarki Smyth intones as she rolls her eyes and fiddles with her snooty half-spectacles using her obscenely fake French nails. Yeah, she's not really your friend, but you invited her to be on the committee because she agreed to take notes and run PowerPoint. "Country music strikes me as just the sort of thing the hip-hop people would do if they were plopped into the country livin' for a while. Booze, loose morals and excessive admiration for large motor vehicles. I think we should teach children about the IMPORTANT things... like the necessity of quilt-making in pioneer America. Third graders should be able to accurately reconstruct a quilt design from paper. I want that on the test, too. Woe betide the child who can't cut a straight line!"

"Ohhh, nooo, you don't," seethes your poofy-wigged, sequin-wearing, glamourous, curvaceous and *famous* friend, Unbie Knownst. "I insist we print up a list of weird names like Ellen Ochoa, Le Chez Somebodyoranother, the Girl Scout founding chick and a bunch of other people my friend Mrs. C has never heard of before. While we're at it, we need to get her a Britney Spears album and make her listen to it. It drives me nuts that she thinks 'Oops I did it again/ I pooped on the floor/ and I peed in my pants' is one of her hits because her older son told her so six years ago. That is literally *all* she can sing of her musical repetoire." Unbie then sniffs the air as if Mrs. C's extreme lack of knowledge has polluted her nostrils.

Mrs. C counters that she KNOWS Spears is the lady who shaved her head and appeared on her AOL welcome screen for about three weeks straight. And like many people, Mrs. C used to BE in Girl Scouts -- for years -- and never knew who founded it or why. She thought it was all about the brown beanie, doing crafts and going camping. She suggests that maybe the kids should do THAT just for fun.

*much yelling ensues between group members*

Ahhh... drama. Sometimes I think we homeschoolers take those state public school curriculum boards far too seriously. Other days? I think we're in for some serious trouble in 20 years if this is the stuff we're teaching our kids.

17 January 2010

What We're Learning

Honest to goodness, we really need some "life skills" around this place. Emperor and Elf are learning to clean the kitchen after breakfast. We have cereal for breakfast, so this is the easiest cleanup of the day, and one I can let slide a little until their skills improve. In other news, Emperor is learning not to run up and kiss other people's babies when we're out. For a while, the "ask first" thing worked a bit... but then he got older and even though he remembers to ask more frequently, folks get more skittish about it now. He's just under five feet tall and wears a men's size 8 in shoes, and most people don't like almost-grown people smooching on their babies, even if they are only eight years old and tell you their life story while they are doing it. I keep telling him "space bubble," and demonstrating an arm's length distance. Ok, at least he's not sniffing people and going "mum-mum-mum" on surprised strangers' arms with his mouth any more... but buddy, *please* don't pop everyone's space bubbles. After a very long afternoon shopping with him, I told D I was logging two hours of "social skills training" down because of all the hard work and practice that it entailed. "Yes," he said, "Please do."

15 January 2010

The Class Ring

Patrick and I looked at jostens.com until late Thursday night. Some of these designs are very unique. Patrick played around with all kinds of different styles and finally decided on a beaut for about $300. He would get the "gamer" style on one side (it pictures what is OBVIOUSLY a Nintendo DS) and a dragon on the other. The system pictured would be dated in a few years, but it's the memories that count.

Did you know Jostens also sells THREE Barack Obama styles?? I kid you not.

Barack Obama high school rings?? No Washington or (my fave!) John Quincy Adams rings?? Man, Jesus doesn't even have His own style with Jostens, but Obama gets three gaudy styles - your choice of custom colour, some complete with the American flag.

Patrick thought and thought and thought about it, but finally decided that he would appreciate a ring, but didn't think he'd appreciate it $300 worth. Which is probably a wise decision as aside from a mood ring we got at the Fall Festival once when he was eight, I don't think he's ever worn a ring in his life. It would take some getting used to.

But I really think Patrick ought to have that opportunity, if not this year, then certainly next. We can at least look more at the styles and you can pop ideas in your head for next year. Just think about it.

Noo... it's ok, he told me. But let's look at the website some more and design a ring with lotsa bling!

Hey, ok. We were doodling with the Sheer Ice style, only $1,364 before sales tax, shipping and customization. We had his initials on the thing and all kinds of options were going on.

D came upstairs and said no, he couldn't believe the cheapest ring is $300. Well... it was the cheapest WE could find.

*flip, flip* Cheaper than THIS one?

I don't know how he does it, but he found the cheapest ring just like that. I kept getting distracted by all the pictures and options, but there it was. You get NO choice on the stone colour or what the sides look like (except for your grad year) but thankfully the school colour is the default colour and it is JUST the colour he had picked out on the more expensive ring!! (No, not the Sheer Ice one. Those are pure diamonds, baby!)

D has agreed he will pay $125 of the ring's cost, and I'm thinking the ring will be a few dollars over or under that amount once you figure in taxes, shipping and whatever other charge they want to put on it. Yep. "Basic Options" in the cheapest metal is listed at $85.95. Add initial engraving to the inside for an extra charge, and there you go. I think he'll be happy with it.

Fun Food Days!

Rose wants some cheese balls. "Ball?" she asks. Ok. "Hee," she'll point into her bowl. As in, "Put 'em right here." Ok, Miss Bossy. There ya go.

"EE? EEE? EEEE!" Woodjie is no dum-dum. Hey, he doesn't say much, but he knows a good thing when he sees it. For him, though, it isn't really a good thing because he has allergies. He knows maybe three words, and unfortunately he chose to say a new one when we were serving something he couldn't have recently: pizza.

"No, Woodjie. You're allergic." Before the wail and tantrum that are starting to simmer after his hearing this reach full boil, I bring over the milk and egg-free sugar wafers. "Want cookie?"

"Doo-EEE?" (Whole body nod!) Oh, yeah. He's pretty happy now. But there's still trouble in the Mrs. C house.

"Boo? Boo? Boo?" Rose wants 'em. She even points to the spot in her bowl she wants you to set them. "Hee!"

Um, nope. These are Woodjie's special expensive cookies. You don't get any, kid.

*waaah!*

Sometimes you just can't win! At least Elf and Emperor were very hilariously entertained by this exchange while they were chomping on cheese balls. Better than dinner theatre, I suppose. :)

14 January 2010

Rite of Passage.

Patrick has never owned a gold or silver piece of jewelry. Frankly, I was surprised at his interest in class rings, most particularly as he will not be attending his current high school next year. Presently he attends Cityname High School, and next year he will attend the *new* Cityname NORTH High School (Yes, they had several committees and spent much time and effort reviewing submissions so that they could name this school properly.) If it's been awhile since you've been in high school, or you're just plain curious, you'll want to design your dream ring at jostens.com and take a look at their stuff. Patrick is very adamant about owning a class ring... despite the fact that they will not make one with the new high school logo... he'll have to have it CHANGED next year. D says mayyyybe he'll contribute $40 toward the ring, but Patrick has to work for the rest. If I grumble about it, he'll make it $30. :P

12 January 2010

All About Girlie.

When I was expecting, I was EXPECTING I'd have this sweet little Girlie with hair bows. She would dress nicely and sit quietly. Sugar and spice and everything nice. Awww.

But she doesn't. She laughs at burps. She puts her feet on the table during meals. She even throws her food, she's that rude sometimes. It doesn't help that occasionally her brothers encourage this by giggling about it.

I'm really working hard with this kid. At least now she can wave her hand around as though she were smelling something awful and say "poo-poo" so I can get a chance to change her. Before? She'd crumple her nose as if to say, "Get this icky thing away from me," dig in her pants and throw the offending object away. Eew!

Ok, so there's progress on that front. But she's still climbing the couch. It doesn't matter what nasty punishment I devise for the kid; she's motivated. Once I caught her in the act and was running toward her when she tackled WOODJIE, who was minding his own business, told him "No! NO! No, no" and SMACKED him a good one upside the head. Like that will work on me and placate my anger. The kid has some serious reasoning issues.

Or this: Imagine you are less than three feet tall. Your older brothers are about 6 ft 2 inches tall, and they are chasing you, scaring you and being a monster or a lion. Do you:

A. Run away! Scream for Mom to help!

B. Hide!

C. Confront them head-on with a big growl and LICK THEM? And then tell them "NO No NOOOOOO" while you squish your face up in an angry pout and point your finger at them?

The girl is crazy, too, because she chooses choice C on a regular basis.

This child also has no idea about "Mom means what she says." She knows Woodjie is leaving the house (he goes to preschool) and asks for her "Shhhh-zooz." Um, nope. You're going to be going nigh-nigh soon.

*cries*

Later... "Shhh-zooz?" Um, nope. Nigh-nigh.

(crumples herself on the floor dramatically. Mom ignores her.) "Owwwwwt? Owwt? (still ignoring) "Shhhh-zoooz?"

(Thinking)

"Up, up, up?? Owwwwwwt?" Um, nope. Nigh-nigh in one minute.

*cries dramatically*

Ok, nigh-nigh NOW, then. Time for bed!

I almost feel sorry for her... but she has to learn sometime. Elf and Emperor were pleading her case... she really should go somewhere... she used her WORDS! How about we go to Wal-Mart? Then we can look at all the toys!

Isn't that generous?

11 January 2010

Ooo?

Woodjie likes to ask for an "ooo" now. Once he has a spoon, you know a request for "eee" is not too far behind. I mean, you need an "ooo" to eat your "eee." Though sometimes he's had to make do with eating cereal with his "ooo" because Mom doesn't understand requests for "eee" first thing in the morning. Sorry. Not to mention that Mom is going to run out of "eee" soon at the rate we're going.

07 January 2010

Tax Deductions for Disposable Kids?

Synopsis of article:

Waah! We were only able to have one child, and we wanted another boy about the same age as ours for his company, figuring it would be better than springing for a dog that would wet on the floor and bark at night. What better way to get a kid than to ask the government for one of the extras they have on hand already? Then we could train him up, raise him right (you know, as though he came biologically from a *decent* family like ours?) and get a tax deduction to boot!

Yippeee! Now we won't have to be sad that we can only have one kid and/or I won't have to worry about gaining weight and being a fat pig... like the kid's biological mother.

Can I just go off on the kid's biological mother a sec? Ok, thanks. Um, she's a selfish little twit who doesn't have custody. I'm going to disclose private information about her problems for public consumption in this article because I'm mad about taxes and stuff. I'm also going to write alllll about how egocentric she is for turning in her big gas guzzling car for something smaller, newer and more fuel efficient, even though she rarely is able to keep her children over (gossip about reason/ her problems). I'm going to act surprised while I write this article that families whose children are in foster care sometimes have problems and stuff.

Anyway... we kept this brat of a kid for just over six realllly long months. He was like family! Or, at least until we traded him in because we couldn't stand him. He didn't get along well with OUR little Precious Man, but we were sad to see him go. Really sad. He behaved badly! Defective goods! You understand. Thanks.

But since we put up with the twirp for so long, we deserve a tax deduction for this! It isn't fair that the mom might maybe get one, even though I know nothing about her financial situation and whether a tax deduction would make any blessed difference. I'm going to whine about it anyway.

Waah! I want a tax deduction! The mom isn't perfect like I am, so I should get one, not her.

Waah! I want a tax deduction! Waah! It isn't fair! Waah! Waah! Waah! And now I'm going to act all sad that other moms who are *great* like me might not enter the foster care system. I'm just sure it's alllll because of the lack of a tax deduction.

(Disclaimer: the foster families I know have never been this petty. It's a hard job. Placements sometimes don't work out. But wow.)

06 January 2010

Homeschool Update

English

Elf and Emperor have been reviewing subjects and predicates, using a thesaurus, and writing a "personal narrative" of late. Don't forget to comment on their blogs if you haven't already! They are also in the process of writing about what they think would happen if they were in charge of writing a sequel to Journey to the Center of the Earth. I'm NOT allowed to view the authors' works in progress, but they've been pretty busy. We're learning to write the names of the books of the Bible correctly this year as part of our spelling curriculum. A few other words Elf has trouble with are included each week. Elf is a great reader, so whoever came up with this idea that great readers are always great spellers... is wrong. Elf is a great speller "in progress," ok?

Maths

We will continue working on long division and multiplication until we've mastered it. Even if it takes until June. And even if using a calculator is easier. The noogies are tough, guys.

Social Studies

Wrapping up our Lifepac on "seaport cities." Sydney, Hong Kong, Istanbul and London were covered. Did you know that you can see the Gettysburg Bible in London, or that the London Blitz is the oldest part of the city, or that the BBC is the English Channel? I swear I taught them properly. I won't even, even get into this idea that "Constantinople" is the guy who influenced Chinese history with his wise sayings. They KNOW the answer when they get a few choices named on quizzes, but don't always come up with the um, exact correct name of everything on their own. They demonstrate *just* enough to show you that they were listening, but not enough to mark the answer down as correct.

Science

We did some work on weather in December and even made a thermometer with water instead of mercury. It didn't work so well, though... We'll be discussing food chains and that sort of stuff in our next unit. First, we are going to surf around on the web and look up things that we feel like learning for a bit. :)

Reading

We've finished Robin Hood, Heidi, Journey to the Center of the Earth and are beginning 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Tonight we began by learning that a league is about three miles. So... 60,000 miles under the surface of the ocean. Plausible... Elf and Emperor think that since the sea creature described at the beginning of the book has a long sword-like nose, that it would like to make Captain Nemo a "shish-kebab."

Well. Maybe they were paying attention in social studies after all, as this dish was discussed when we covered the culture of Istanbul. Awww.

Of course, within 30 seconds, the boys were talking about how it would rightly be a "nose-kebab" on one of these creatures and began discussing how the other sea creatures would be eating their dinners off its nose, and how funny that is (*hee hee heeeeeee* Elf giggles), and who gets the drumsticks.

Sick, sick, sick.

Bible

We are officially backslidden as we have done very little in our Bible curriculum over the last month.

Music and Art

We made a diorama of the Journey to the Center of the Earth, complete with a giant tree, mushrooms, strange sea creatures and Captain Hook. (Well, he's sort of making a cameo appearance. It really has nothing to do with the book.)

In music, Patrick is doing some teaching, and then the children practice what they have learned. *whew* That was worth a $5 lesson. Yep.

05 January 2010

Blanket Homeschooling!


Yep. It's a new one. Public schools are closed today due to the cold weather. It's really too cold to expect small children to wait at the bus stop or walk to school. It doesn't stop us from grabbing a blanket and getting our work done, though. See how snuzzly warm Elf is in his blanket? I also paid Patrick $5 to teach the boys some music for an hour. At the end of the lesson, Elf and Emperor could read the notes you see here. Patrick is sad that he didn't have time to teach them "tempo" and a bunch of other stuff. Maybe some other cold day. :)

Religious Stuff on the 'Net.

I'm Jewish! Who knew?? LOL Well, these are my results from a the Belief-O-Matic quiz:

Orthodox Judaism: 100%
Eastern Orthodox: 93%
Roman Catholic: 93%
Seventh Day Adventist: 92%
Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant: 91%

Hat tip to Darren for the quiz link. I'm sure it's scientifically accurate, though I'm thinking my refusal to plop God into a "Trinity" category is what caused this shift between what I identify myself as... and what the quiz figures I am. So I guess I can't join your church if absolute ready-to-die for the concept of Trinity is a membership requirement. Conversely, am I going to say that what was contained in the bodily Jesus is all there is to God? He was just playing cosmic puppet show when He got baptized? Maybe Mrs. C is wishy-washy, or she just realizes she doesn't have all the answers, or she is too lazy to fast for 27 days and pray until God reveals the answer. (Maybe I just don't wanna know that bad and am happy with not understanding it all... oh well. Other stuff to do.)

And in other news, Jesus was autistic. Yep... that's right. And what a wasted life He lived, too, eh?

"The present authors, having taken at least a cursory glance at all peer-reviewed articles produced by means of an Internet search performed on June 6, 2006, and filtered by means of the keywords 'Christ+autism+disability+burden+tragedy,' have reached the unanimous and infallible conclusion that the man once known as Jesus of Nazareth, sometimes also as Jesus of Galilee, sometimes also as the Messiah, sometimes finally as Jesus the Christ (ambiguous self-identity is another well-known symptom of autism), did indeed suffer the debilitating consequences of a form of autistic spectrum disorder, sometimes known as ASD... adequate support has been provided in this article for all the basic diagnostic criteria in the case of Jesus—the social awkwardness, the language difficulties, the obsessive interests, and not to mention, a sickening disregard for the medical profession."

The article laments the lack of care and ABA therapy Jesus experienced. Maybe I shouldn't laugh at this stuff, but I did.

04 January 2010

Stories!

We wrote personal narratives recently in our homeschool. Would you like to read them?

Emperor wrote about going to the zoo last summer. We had a long day at the zoo before we came home to play outside and have dinner. I've left all of his original spelling and punctuation, but have altered some of the names mentioned to blog nicknames. :)

Elf has written an account about flying to Florida and going to Disney with his Nana and Grandpa about three years ago. I am not sure where he gets his ideas that Nana and Grandpa own the Disney hotel or how he flew for days and days, but it's pretty cute as well.

Will you please visit and feed the comment bugs? Thanks!

02 January 2010

The *NEW* Room!






Before, we had a blue sky with clouds and little boys' names embellished in red balloon-y letters. But even Elfie McMelfie was ready for a change, for something new and different. Elf and Emperor decided on Arabian Sands paint from Home Depot, and we planned on painting the room and then doodling Western "brands" on the wall like wallpaper. It took me a lonnnnng time to finish, and I was pretty sore. Even D, who hates working 'round the house, touched up a few corners for me out of mercy, or just wanting it all to be over already... I hung a bulletin board for the boys' finished bead projects. When we finished and popped the beds back into place, we took a look. The boys and I (well, Woodjie, who shares this room, didn't really get any say) agreed that it would look a bit too "busy" with brands all over, so we picked out some pictures from our Picturing America packet. Elf has chosen photo of a stained glass autumn treescape, and Emperor chose The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere. The pictures are reflective of their respective personalities. We also hung the flags they made during our unit on the Civil War. They love this room and slept happily last night. :)

Star Trek Roller Skating!

Woodjie LOVES the audience.  I made these little outfits for the children and they danced to the Star Trek: Next Generation theme...