30 November 2012

The New Chair!

G made this chair in school!  It's nice and sturdy.  He called me around noon to come pick it up because obviously he can't bring this home with him on the bus.  I was so very pleased to see how well it turned out.  He has about three weeks of classes and then he says he is done with school forever. 

Dear Adult Children: You Stink.

I have to promise you something.  And that is that your adult children are going to disappoint you.  They're going to live their lives in all kinds of ways you really, really wish they wouldn't.  And it's tough.  You want to support them without appearing to support all of their decisions. 

I can tell you that my oldest is 19 and it's already hard.  Do you know what it's like to chat with your son's old best friend's parents, and learn that their son is in medical school at an elite university, and what is Patrick doing?  Minecraft.

I was disappointed that he didn't apply to colleges.  And no matter what you say, it does reflect badly on me.  This is the little guy who learned to read before kindergarten, who used to have aspirations, yadda yadda yadda.  But it's his life.  I can be disappointed.  But it's his life. Even if his choices reflect badly on me, it is his life.

I came across this dad's note to his adult children, not in some bitty blog somewhere with a stock template and three readers, but in an international online newspaper.  Could you imagine reading a letter addressed to you, with your father's byline, stating that you can't keep your pants on, you can't stop whining at your mom, and you can't hold down a job, so quit being such a loser or stop contacting us?  And PS, your kids are really cute?  Could you imagine that?

"We are constantly regaled with chapter and verse of the happy, successful lives of the families of our friends and relatives and being asked of news of our own children and grandchildren. I wonder if you realise how we feel — we have nothing to say which reflects any credit on you or us. We don't ask for your sympathy or understanding — Mum and I have been used to taking our own misfortunes on the chin, and making our own effort to bash our little paths through life without being a burden to others."


Lately I've been very relieved that Patrick has recently applied to college and been accepted for next term.  I am proud that he is taking this step.  I am learning, however, to distinguish between his success and mine.  It seems when children are younger, they're so intertwined.

Have a great weekend, guys.  We are still battling some flu here in the house and so prayers are always appreciated.

28 November 2012

Carnival of Homeschooling!

Sorry I'm late posting this.  We've had the flu at our house and two children had to go to the hospital.  Fun times!  While you're practicing your good handwashing habits, take a gander at this week's Carnival of Homeschooling!   I'll check in later when things are a little less germ-y and laundrified.  :/

25 November 2012

OTC Birth Control

Now the Great Council of Self-Important and Wise Physicians has recommended that birth control be available over the counter to... well, anyone who wants it. Good news, I think! No, not because I believe birth control is a really kewl thing but rather, if you do? Pay for it your own stinkin' self. Most insurance plans won't cover OTC stuff.  This would end a lot of the bickering about religious institutions being forced to act against their convictions under Obamacare. All millions of Americans would ask, though, is that you make this available only to people ages 18 and up. Like cigarettes. No one wants a six-year-old using this stuff. Same with antibiotics: if we're over 18, it should be available without a prescription. How often have we had to go to the doctor with a raging ear infection or case of strep throat, wait for hours, paid the $25 copay, bla bla bla, and meanwhile? Infect everyone with our nasty bugs. I'm thinking all but the super-antibiotics should be grab and go. And pink eye medicine. I do NOT want to go to the doctor with six kids who all contracted pink eye. $25 copay each? And we're all touching the chairs in your medical office? Thanks, no.

24 November 2012

22 November 2012

Santa Delivers Presents

* * * * * * * * Oh my goodness, Santa visited me this afternoon and told me I needed toys for a Mewy Cwimmis.  I got all kinds of kisses and hugs from Santa as well.  He brought me plastic toys and letter blocks (just what I always wanted!).  D got annoyed.  "That's MY pillow!"  He's a bit concerned that the pillow will go missing or he'll discover pointy toys when he tries to go to sleep tonight. I probably encouraged this thieving behaviour by filming him as "Santa." It's all fun and games until he touches MY stuff.

21 November 2012

Little Walking Feet

G had his ankle patched up after an accident in gym class last year.  A few months ago he started walking on the side of his foot and his orthopaedist made him wear braces and go to physical therapy.  It got worse instead of better.  It looked as though his tendons would need to be sliced, tightened and all this other stuff pretty soon.  We were referred to Dr. Bonar's place to find out what to do next. Her office was awesome.  We got an appointment within two weeks, and her people are friendly without being fakey-syrupy.  She told us to not use the brace and not do the special exercises.  I spent just under $100 on "hiking shoes" and if G isn't doing better in a couple of months, she'd like to see him again.  That's it.  G has been very happy this afternoon.  We thought Dr. Bonar was great, but we'd prefer not to see her again, you know?  Only thing is, there are times when "hiking shoes" are gonna look dippy, but that's the price you pay for good health I guess.

19 November 2012

How to Deal With Evil Republicans This Thanksgiving.

Mmm.  Relish that vegan side dish you bring to the table this year and remember that you don't have to listen to these people.  Remember that our side won and not only that?  Your oldster Republican Grandma won't be around to cast her vote for much longer, baybee.

"If you’re unable to respect Grandma’s Birther views, instead respect the human lifespan. Breathe easily in the knowledge that you’ll have many more ballots to cast than Grandma and that the tides are changing in this country." Article.

I'm surprised the author celebrates Thanksgiving at all, and doesn't have some "Day of Mourning" or somesuch silliness.  Whateverr.

18 November 2012

Woodjie Pumpkin!

Woodjie is helping to make chocolate pretzel treats this year.  Later I hope he will be able to make the sugar cookies.  Of course, being allergic to milk and eggs, he can eat neither.   Woodjie is perfectly happy with Oreos for special occasions.

15 November 2012

Starting to Hate Christian Curriculum

I'd really like to homeschool a serious science student from the Christian perspective.  But I'm starting to think that I need a more secular program.

Take this LIFEPAC sheet, for example.  It's about five years old, so Pluto is still a planet.  Easily explained.  Cross out Pluto, and your textbooks are instantly updated!  Not a biggie.  But seriously.  This is an English assignment in which Emperor is to look at the diagram of the planets and answer the questions.

He got the question about which planet would be the hottest incorrect.  He answered Venus, and the correct answer is Mercury.  I marked it wrong. 

Emperor was unhappy.  Venus is warmer because it has an atmosphere which traps heat, he explained.  He shouldn't be marked wrong!

I suppose "according to the diagram," Emperor is wrong.  Mercury should be the warmest planet.  But it simply isn't.  I checked Mr. Google and confirmed that Emperor is factually correct.

Maddening.  Do I have to drop my Christian English curriculum because it doesn't check its science facts?

Our science curriculum is also a lovely, easy-to-use package.  Most of the information it contains is pretty timeless and factually correct.  Parts of a flower.  Simple machines.  That sort of thing.  But I'm not using this stuff next year because it groups humans in its own group apart from all animals.  The "scientific" reason being that Man has a soul and therefore is in an altogether different category by itself.

My kid would be laughed out of college if he seriously put that idea forth!

So I feel a bit stuck here.  Man DOES have a soul.  Our family DOES believe in God.  It doesn't follow that Mankind is in its own completely different scientific grouping because the textbook authors don't agree with the current methodology for classifying animals.

14 November 2012

Seceding From the Union

So a lot of people in certain states would sure like to secede.  In this technological age, they decide not to do the normal thing whereby they stockpile weapons, hold secret meetings, figure out who their leaders are and start to make a battle plan and all that.

Nope.  They go right onto the government's website and sign a petition about it.  That will work.  I'm sorry, but how lazy can you get.  People want to vote by email and now I guess they want revolution at the click of a mouse as well. 

Now the government doesn't have to worry about all that effort with counter-insurgency and whatnot.  Just print out the list and go. 

So easy!

Don't even tell me that this whole thing has absolutely zero to do with the fact that a black man is president.  Because you know what?  No-one would be saying this stuff about Jimmy Carter if he were re-elected.  I remember comments about Jimmy Carter being a peanut when I was a kid, but that's about as nasty as it got.

Anyway.  The dorkiness on the other side that we should just let those Southerners go because they eat up our federal tax dollars is just hooey, too.  Because really?  Do these Southerners get full say in where their tax dollars are going?  Suppose (just suppose) they don't want the money for x but would rather spend it all on y?  Too bad.  The feds grab all the money and redistribute it however they (read: New York and California mostly) feel.  It would be akin to desperately needing rent money, but Grandma just bought you a cashmere sweater instead.  Thanks.

09 November 2012

About Elf and G


Elfie has been home all week.  Coughing, headache, fever, really bad asthma symptoms.  I don't get why no one else has gotten sick, but he's been to the doctor twice and now has a Z-pack and an excuse note to stay away from school until Monday.

We've gone to the school about a zillion times (ok, twice) and gotten worksheets, books, looked for this and that.  He's been advised to study for his health exam; wasn't that nice of the teacher to email me that he was missing a test?

But Elf tells me that will be impossible.  Once his class was over, he just recycled his notes.  Being all eco-friendly and stuff.  Otherwise he would have just thrown them out.  Aaargh.

He feels a bit better and goes back to school on Monday.  He misses the routine and all the teachers are so sweet to him.  And I know they are tryyying to teach him organizational skills.


G has been walking on the side of his right foot instead of the bottom.   His right ankle was totally crushed awhile back and he had surgery to insert a metal bar and six screws there.  His orthopaedist says that the tendons are just traumatized and ordered six weeks of physical therapy.

Physical therapy, for those of you who don't know, is basically a program in which very old and infirm people learn things like "don't sit around all day" and "here is how to use a cane."  Many of the clients are a lesson to me that I should probably NOT gain about 300 more pounds.  G was a very unusual sight at their office.  I think it was a pleasant break for them to work with someone who is so physically able other than this one area.

The PT did not help, however, so we had to go back to the ortho.  He ordered a new brace which hopefully works.  And why did it have to be ordered?  Because they don't seem to carry anything in his size 14 foot handy.  :/

So here's hoping a new brace works a bit.  Not sure what the next step is if it doesn't but with his walking incorrectly he is at great risk of injuring himself pretty badly.  :/

05 November 2012

Privacy in School?

Bio-Tracking Students

A present from the Gates family.  You just have to love those people.  They have no kids of their own, but they don't adopt puppies or go on Auntie overdrive like normal people.  Nope.  They're billionaires, so they are spending cash on public schools.  Schools say thanks and then do whatever the Gates family wants.

What they want is to make sure little Johnny knows how to read is biometrically "engaged" in class.   So they're funding bracelets to track the kids' attention and collecting data about everyyything.  Diane Ravitch blogged about how teachers would ensure kids are really, really "engaged" in their class if it meant funding for them:

"One suggested she would pick students at random and scream at them; everyone in the class would have a faster heartbeat, not knowing who would be humiliated next... there were suggestions of soft porn..."

OkayyI think we can all agree there are some things that should not be tracked.  Ew.

Teacher Privacy?

Teachers should have the right to say anything at any time and in front of anybody and they shouldn't be eavesdropped on or recorded in class.  Even if a parent has a strong suspicion that bullying is going on in which the teachers are involved.  And even if these special-needs students would be unable to formulate a complaint on their own.  Arrggh.

A young child was humiliated constantly, has trouble going to school.  Mom records what's going on secretly and the teachers are upset because they expected the conversations they had about how they hate the kids/parents and humiliating details about certain children - in front of the kids! - to be private.  I mean, it should be a private thing if you were to discuss a buxom mom who is hard to get along with, and if you were to make racist little jokes about her Puerto Rican heritage in front of her kid, right?  Private.

But the mom violated state law apparently.  You just watch her get sued for trying to protect her kid.

I don't see why cameras wouldn't be mandatory in all special-ed classrooms just as they are on school buses here.  I wish this mommy and her kiddo all the best.

By the way, I had no idea until I read the comments in this article that misbehaviour and/or teacher bullying in school was caused by condoms, President Obama, and the fact that old people don't pay much in taxes in Florida.  Who knew?

03 November 2012

Lost on Planet Politics!

I wish everyone would just shut up already.  I'm even starting to get tired of people I agree with because just saying that the sky is blue can cause a lot of drama!  I've been offline a fair bit recently, but I thought I'd check in with a cute political ad accusing Kevin Morgan of being a space alien.  At least I think it's cute because I think they're kidding.  You never know though.  I found this in my mailbox today...  I swear I cannot make this stuff up.

Woodjie's Roller Dance Routine!

Only a few people were selected to perform their routines at a recent club fundraiser.  I went to upload this video and was pretty shocked...