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Showing posts from July, 2011

We're Home!

Well, hello! We're home again. Emperor and I had a great time, though I must say we're pretty disappointed that Emperor was only able to get one win. I don't get it... he beat some of these children handily in the practice games, and then lost to them in the tournament. And by the end of the three day tournament, I was able to beat him in a couple games.

That, friends, should never happen. So I'm thinking he's just taken a good tailspin on this and needs to just keep on studying tactics and work on concentration, really, more than anything else.

I'm going to admit we're doing it all wrong.

See, there's this kid named "Matlock." The kid seems like a nice, likeable young man. He was playing some practice games with Emperor and we were having a nice time.

Were. Having a nice time.

The mom comes in and squawks at the kid about guarding his back rank. WHAT about the checklist your coach went over with you?? You need to bla bla bla and she was just teari…

At The Kansas Open

Yes! We're at the Kansas Open in Overland Park. Stalkers and assorted cray-zee homeschool blog fans, you have a day and a half to find us and meet us in person at the Ramada Inn. lol EVERYONE who left a correct comment, I'll send you a postcard and a random guesser will get a small package. So, leave a comment on an old post or email happyelfhomeschool (at) gmail (dot) com.

Emperor was the youngest player last night in the quick tournament. Most of the players are adults. Poor guy lost every game.

It wouldn't be so bad if the few kids who were here were, you know, NICE. Or had nice parents. One mom screamed at her child in the middle of a practice game with Emperor about doing his checklist, why hasn't he practiced this afternoon, what did your chess coach say, look at your h-file bla bla bla queen out too early in the game. Whoo. I chalked it up to that individual family's rudeness until I met another family that wanted to introduce the child by USCF rating instead…

We're Here!

Wherever that is... will be published tomorrow. Comments/guesses about where we are will be accepted through midnight tonight, Central Standard Time.

I think I can tell you, at least, that we are presently in a hotel. And that Emperor is lucky to be ok. He has some sort of weakness on his right side. Even when he was crawling, he'd drag his right leg like a polio victim (no, I'm not making fun of polio victims, just giving an analogy of the appearingly uselessness of that leg). He can now walk and doctors think he is just fine. But he doesn't write well. And no matter how hard we have tried, and many classes, he has never been able to swim.

Anyway. All that to say this: he could have drowned today. You know drowning really does look like just a little dip underwater. Some nearby girls rescued Emperor while I was about to dive in with my sneakers. They had to be all of maybe ten. Poor kid comes up gasping for breath etc. and is told to stay on the SHALLOW side and he readily …

A Trip.

Emperor and I are leaving. Friendly contest time. Prize is probably a postcard or something small I get there, and you can send me your address later if you "win." Not sure what's available in the hotel shop so I don't want to promise anything specific.

So where are we going? That's the contest. You tell me. Annnnd you have to be exact. Let's see if you can do it. Closest wins. I get to decide which entry is closest. Ready?? Here are some hints:

sunflower state

not closed

OK!!! I've practically TOLD YOU where we're going, so you have to be exact in your comments. Feel free to google away and good luck!

PS. In the event of more than one correct guess, names will be written on scraps of paper and tossed into a room where Woodjie is playing. The one he picks up first is the *winner!*

New Mascot: Annoying Orange?

Have you seen the Annoying Orange videos on youtube? Ehhhh... I know people like this, is what's sad. But he might be the new mascot for McDonald's the way things are going.

Now, they're going to start giving apples instead of french fries in my kid's Happy Meal. That is why I go to MickeyD's in the first place! The apples! Meanwhile, the McNuggets need absolutely no improvement. Everyone LOVES the taste of anti-foaming agents... mmm, MM! As the saying goes, I'm lovin' it. Well, in fairness, I'm not sure what to think of it, but "I have no clue what is in this so-called 'food'" doesn't make for a good slogan.

When Elf heard the news about McDonald's, he thought it was a bad joke that Mom was playing on the innocent little children. Mom is mean and doesn't let him search the internet by himself, so he is not sure he's going to believe this. He says that people go to McDonald's for the fries and that they will complain…

The Fried Liver Attack!

Have you ever been the victim of a fried liver attack?? Emperor pulled this move on me and I didn't even see it coming. I think what bothers me most about it is the incredulous, "MOM! You have to try to win!" and "WHY did you move that piece there?" and "That was an interesting move... but not a very intelligent one!" sorts of comments I get from him during our friendly games. As if I know each of the several hundred move series, each with its own name and history. Did you know that in an official USCF tournament you can't even say "check" or "checkmate?" Our chess coach explains that "that's just Hollywood" and they don't do that in real life. You'd just better figure out you are in check. Note how in the video, the narrator never explains when the king is in check, but simply states that the king moves. Emperor and Elf did well in their first USCF rated tournament on Saturday. Emperor won all of his game…

What's His REAL Name?

"MIKE!! It on a wall!" screamed Rose, jumping and pointing. Woodjie came over to look at whatever "Mike" is. I'm in the middle of bagging poopie diapers (ugh), rounding up dirty laundry and reallllly looking forward to washing my hands. With soap. You just can't stop in the middle of a job like that. It would be too hard to get back into, you see...

"Ee MIKE!" Woodjie starts to scream. They both start hopping about and screaming. "Mike! Momma, Mike! MIKE! Mike Mike Mike Mike Mike! MIIIIKE! IT ON A WALLLLL!! WOOK!"

I'm thinking, great, they're naming spiders and I'm way too busy to kill them at the present moment. Bleh... poopies tossed into garage trash, clothes thrown next to washer two floors down, run upstairs and ahhhh water time. And grab a shoe.

"OK, where's this 'Mike?'"

"WOOK!" Woodjie points to a little green scratch on the brown wall. "MIKE!"

Siiigh. "His name is MARK, Woodj…

Weight Loss Wednesday!

Well, I *did* lose two pounds... but it took me two weeks to do it. I've been working awfully hard for not very much of a result. Now mind you, for the last three days I have not been able to do my walk. It may be another few still yet during the heatwave. I was able to do a little weed-pulling yesterday, but that was more so that my yard would look great... not so much me. If you're on track with me, how are YOU doing? Feel free to update in comments. :)

Dinnertime With Patrick

Patrick is bugging me. I just got done telling him to quit acting like a smartie butt at the table. He began wondering about his butt's IQ and speculated that it was rather low. Um, ok, whatever, just quit acting like a smartie butt.

The only way to become a saint is 1. to be really really famous, or 2. to die in a church, he continued... .

"Did you know the Nazis hate juice?" he asked when I served fruit juice. Elf and Emperor had no clue that Patrick knew so much about the dietary habits of the Nazis. We're reading Maus and see, it never mentioned this factoid. "Yeah, they can't stand the juice," he told them. "You didn't read history, did you?"

The kid removes a plastic ring from the top of the cheez-ball container, places it atop his head and proclaims himself king. Everyone else must do his bidding. "No, no, you not a king!" Rose shrieks. Yes, I am... look at my crown/ No, no! NOT a king! goes on for a bit.

Bleh, just pour the …

A Change in Routine

We regret to inform you that we will no longer be arranging hairbows at breakfast time. However, our staff is happy to assist you with a brief detangling spritz and brushup service. Yours sincerely, The Management.

Crazy Comment Monday!

What would you say to a teacher who objects to the fact that a parent doesn't give a consequence just as she feels would be best? A little first grader was kept in from the book fair for misbehaviour, but snuck off and got a book anyway.

Teacher calls mom. The mom says something along the lines of, she thought the book fair to be important, the other first graders were going, and please send the book he snuck out and got in his backpack tomorrow. The teacher then blogs that the parent, when the child is 16 and dragged to the front door by the cops because of drug use, will just blow the officers off because all the other kids are doing it.

Yeahhh. Allowing your kid to cave in to peer pressure and LOOK AT BOOKS is gonna lead to big trouble when he's older. You just wait and see, as this commenter suggests:

"Flash forward to when he's 40 & his mom says, 'Oh well, the other crazies told him he would be a loser if he didn't rape women & store their cho…

School Supply List

The high school doesn't have a specific supply list. You'd better hit the ground running and have a zillion hours to run all over creation and fight the crowds during that first week of school - good luck to ya. But here's the supply list for the local sixth graders. The warning at the bottom states it may not be complete, but this is what every student needs:

1 three hole pocket folder
8 70 sheet spiral notebooks
1 three ring cloth zippered pouch for pencils
set of coloured pencils (minimum of 8)
24 pencils
1 small package of red pens
3 boxes of Kleenex (2 for core, 1 for encore)
10 glue sticks
Student agenda (to be purchased at Schoolname for $5.00)
Spanish: pocket folder with brads, spiral notebook, 4 packages 3 x 5 ruled index cards
Art: Pencil & eraser
Computers: flash drive
Gym clothes - white T-shirt, dark shorts, white socks and tennis shoes

Bear in mind that in terms of "gym clothes," there is actually a uniform you can buy through the local sports store. If you&#…

Do You Back-to-School Shop?

I do... for my children who attend public school. Actually I'm trying to spend some money on Patrick and his horribly scarecrow-raggedy wardrobe, but he doesn't like change. And no, I am not allowed to "trade" his old shirts for new ones that are nicer. He has several nice shirts at the bottom of his shirt drawer that he never wears anyway, so maybe I shouldn't bother.

But still... I do spend on some things for everyone in the family that I would have had to break down and buy eventually anyway. New underwear and socks are just about a given (unless you are stubborn like Patrick) and so is one new pair of shoes. Might as well when stores lower prices to lure you in so that you will buy the Hannah Jessica Madonna Montana whatever extreme-decorated $7 notebooks and pencil cases.

One thing I do appreciate about the local mega-stores is that they helpfully provide supply lists for each school for the younger children. Though I must say I've gotten away from filling…

Before... and After!

I know... lots of pictures coming at you this week. But I just had to share Miss Rose's new hairdo with you. Yes, I used the scissors on the kid and it turned out ok/not horrid. I am not sure when she wakes up and starts to live regular life if I put the part in the right place. To keep the hair out of her face, I have a knitted cap with a flower. She is very particular about having "hairbow" in the morning. She hates not having her hair up. It will be all new to her tomorrow. But she is enjoying the attention tonight. :)

Embarrassing Problem

My hair is even worse than my daughter's. But I'm thinking of having Rose's hair cut in the hopes that it won't pull at all on the many thin spots she has. I have gone to piggies and odd side-'dos to disguise it. And no, no one is pulling out her hair. It is just falling out. :(

"See A?"

"I make it a A." Yes, Woodjie got a button for trying so hard to make his A based on my example. Often I had to "hold hand" at his request and show him how to form the letter several times before he'd even try on his own. Five velcro buttons on his token sheet means that he gets to play "DS!" (Really an old GameBoy Color, but he doesn't know that...)
It's been a long time since he has tried to write anything for me. So this is great progress! He used to know how to write all his letters, but for the past year or so has refused to do so. Now he will write a little for me BUT absolutely refuses to use the potty. "Oh no, oh CWAP!" Woodjie tells me to let me know when it's time for a change. Do you know how yucky it is to change a kid who is nearly five? We can be thankful he only *somehow* learnt how to say cwap, yes?
Other times when it's time to "work," I'll have him look at picture cards and tell me what he sees…

Not Sure

why people laugh at me sometimes. I find it very insulting.

Poor Patrick...

Ok, so Patrick had surgery today to remove his wisdom teeth. He warned me quite sternly in the parking lot not to patronize him once we were inside.

I really tried not to, but once they put that guy on laughing gas, HE didn't laugh, but he had the most hilarious ways of phrasing things, so I admit I had to laugh. He was talking about all his senses being muddled and how he could taste with touch, it's really the same thing (or something very odd along those lines), and the nurse looked at me and told me that he wouldn't remember any of this stuff later. Suddenly Patrick asked, "Did you turn that down?" and sure enough she had turned the dosage way down because it had wayy too strong an effect on him. Heart rate way up and kinda scary ramblings actually, though if it were a different, less reserved person I wouldn't think too much of it.

Just seemed that my son suddenly changed personalities. It was shocking. Very talkative, reminded me of when he was little an…

MORE Crazy Comment Monday!

Don't be a bad parent. Be a good parent. But don't be TOO good a parent. That is BAD.

I'm telling ya, some people need to invent stuff to grouse about. Ahem. Let's pretend I had an attitude like this (I don't, the letter is fake, no fair unfriending me on facebook). Ready?

Dear Mom and Dad:

You were always there for me. You were always helping me with homework, or buying me new clothes, cheering for me when I went to soccer practice, and generally being nice people. You even FED me three times a day. I seriously blame the extra 20 pounds I had as a high school senior on YOU for indulging my pizza habit. I also blame you for the fact that I thought I was a pretty great person and had this "self-esteem" thing going on. You even paid for four years of college, my room and board and drinking- I mean spending- money, at a prestigious university.

In short, you were bad parents all around because you were too GOOD, you see. I am now in therapy to work out my issues.…

Playing a Grandmaster!

Elf and Emperor recently had an opportunity to listen to a lecture and play Grandmaster Akobian at the Kansas City Chess Club. Thanks to Tradebot Systems, Inc. for sponsoring this! GM Akobian put on an excellent presentation, and all the children were very attentive. And thanks to my friend Maria for sending me this picture and giving me permission to use it on the blog. :) Patrick came along as well and was glad he went. He just doesn't want his pic on the blog. Meh.


...have watched this video. Seriously. And there is an entire series of "Nyan Cat" videos including "Captain Kirk Encounters Nyan Cat" and some Captain Picard ones, and even a Star Wars Nyan Cat. Millions upon millions of people are watching Nyan Cat. I just can't figure out what's so appealing about it. I don't hate it... but... 24 million people? Watching this? It must *mean* something very deep that I don't get. Your thoughts?

Crazy Comment Monday!

I know it's early, but I just have to share. Would you like to join the Obedient Wives Club? Wives promise to give their husbands whatever they want in the bedroom and aim to be "good whores" for them:

"Fauziah Ariffin, the Malaysian chapter's national director, said: 'When we said that husbands should treat their wives like first-class prostitutes, we were not putting wives on the same level with prostitutes.'"

"'We are talking about first-class elite types, not street hooker types … Ordinary prostitutes can only provide good sex, but not love and affection, which only a wife can provide,' she told the Malay Mail."

"'If we provide our husbands [with] more than a prostitute can give, then he will not go out looking for it.'" Article.

Ya know, what's scary is that this is not just a "Muslim thing." I'm daggone tired of Christian websites that extol the virtues of giving the husband regular sex and bac…

Easy Canvas Prints Review!

Easy-to-order canvas prints of your very fave picture. Or you can order some of the premade art on their website. I was given a free 10 x 8 inch canvas print in exchange for an honest review on this blog. See, I won't lie to you about the product, because if I write a scathing review, I won't have to give my free stuff back. Bwa ha ha haaaa.
Seriously, I really had A LOT OF FUN doing this and I think it turned out ab-so-lutely gorgeous. I spent an entire afternoon posing all my Polish pottery this way and that way, taking pictures from odd angles, adding props, taking props away, loading pictures and finding tons of *glare* on the pottery, and so on. I even had Patrick come in and be a consultant. Red accents? His idea. I rummaged about and found a cloth napkin. Cranberries for some reason did NOT work with this picture. Neither did patterned curtains. It was tacky.
But finally, I had a picture I thought was something I'd really cherish. I wanted to go for a "formal …

Miss Airport 2011

A friend sent me an entire pretend calendar with a different "pose" for each month. I think I'll stick with the cartoon one currently hanging from my cabinet door... I'm left wondering who thinks of these things, who poses for them, and whether the whole thing is a photoshop gag.

Short Thoughts

1. Elf wants to know if in New York, they eat those "British muffins." I keep telling him it's "English muffins," but when he asks, I can't tell him why there would be any difference. I hate how I can't get the last word in when it comes to stuff like that.

2. Another thing I don't get: whyyy did the NEA endorse Obama so early in the election cycle? I don't even know who all the Republican candidates ARE yet, let alone what they think about public education.

I DO know, however, that Obama seems to get zero flak for sending his kids to private school and simultaneously working against school "choice" for the rest of us. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, though? Is criticised for sending his children to private school. I dunno; I'd be hesitant to send my kid to public school if the entire state's teachers' union is praying for my DEATH. Nevermind the politics a sec on that one. But yes, Mr. Christie, it IS relevant and it IS…

NOT Feeling Deprived

Yay! I lost ten pounds! Fer real! At least I think so... my scale likes to zigzag depending on the time of day, barometric pressure, whether I ate or drank anything and the humidity. So, I'm trying to just stick with morning weight already fer crying out loud. Even that fluctuates a bit.

But I'm not feeling deprived. Before, I ate pizza, ice cream, chocolate and just about anything I wanted. I ate too much of what I wanted and that's how I got into this mess. Now mind you, it is disgusting AND unfair that my older sons can eat anything and everything they want in about five Pig-at-the-State-Fair portions, three times a day and still stay a bit underweight. Oh. Plus snacks. They have snacks as well. Waah.

BUT I'm not feeling deprived. Now, my very favourite food is tofu with carrot slice pie. No crust, just carrot slices, unboiled with NO butter... and slimy tofu. I don't even WANT that terrible food that I used to eat. I'm positively *brimming* with happiness at …

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July! I've been a little addicted lately to playing puzzles on JigZone and I hope you enjoy this one... even though it doesn't have Alaska and Hawaii. Just pretend that Alaska is floating underneath California and Hawaii is located in a box in the Gulf of Mexico. I wonder how many children that sort of thing messes up, seriously. :)

Product Review: Tajin!

I'm talking about Tajin (pronounced tah-heen) today because I think some of YOU might be interested in this product. I wasn't compensated for this review.

Tajin is a spice made with lime and chili peppers and tastes just a little salty. You can sprinkle it on fruit such as bananas or apples, and it really does give it a unique and new taste combination. At about $2 a bottle, you might just consider trying it and seeing if it's something you want to keep in your pantry regularly.

Rose's speech therapist J got us some bottles from her Wal-Mart across town. It's not available in our local store. I really MISSED the Tajin seasoning once our second bottle was gone... but I just wasn't able to make a trip across town for fruit seasoning. Enter La Tienda Chiquita near the Liberty Square. Like 'em on facebook and hear more about their specials if you're interested. For those of you not local to the KC area, I'd suggest looking in Wal-Mart first and then tryin…

The Usual Small-Talk

Patrick is craning his neck and squinting to see inside the car going past us. "Ohhh... It's *them.* I know those guys," he remarked.

"Oh, that's nice," I told him.

"No, it isn't."

(What should I say to THAT?) "Well, do you know them from school or...?"

"I take NO responsibility for what they've done today," he stated emphatically.

"Well, you've been with me every hour today, except for one hour during which I left you with Emperor, and no way you'd get away with anything around him, so... I don't see why you are saying you won't take responsiblity for what they've done TODAY specifically."

"I also take no responsibility what. so. ever. for what they do on ANY day," he said.

Um, okayyy... how to recover this conversation... "What is it they do?"

"I do not have to answer that."

I participate in a large number of dead-end conversations along these lines.