28 February 2014

At George's Pizza and Steaks


We are in Columbia, Missouri, for a chess tournament tomorrow. We stopped at George's place for a bite to eat.  Pray for travel mercies tomorrow night or Sunday and we will update you later!

24 February 2014

Your Kid Could Be Paralyzed Tomorrow, But Don't Panic.

So this horrible disease is going around, and people here in the US have been paralyzed after contracting it.  There is no vaccine and no cure.  They're not even sure how it's being spread, or rather, they're not sure why it's rare and all that, which is pretty much almost the same thing.  It's very much akin to polio in what it does to the body, and this "enterovirus" is in  fact related to polio insofar as they are categorized in the same family.

Take-away from the article?  The doctor-experts want you to just wash your hands and stay away from sick people.  They like to say that the same way that people at church like to tell you that God won't give you any more than you can handle.  It's a blowoff/ shut up/ go away tactic that sounds good at first blush but isn't really when you think on it.  They don't know how the crap this virus is really spread, so they're just going to take this opportunity to stress that you should get vaccinated against polio, as if that had anything to do with anything.  Even the CDC website itself admits 154 out of 162 total cases between 1980 and 1999 were caused by the vaccine itself

Eesh.  The reporting is just all over the place on this one.  Who hires these people?

23 February 2014

Housework.

Woodjie is learning to be more independent.  Here he is putting clothes on their hangars.  It's a work in progress.

He's in charge of sorting his own laundry and putting it away.  Woodjie wants you to see the shelf where his pants are kept.

Rose also has her own laundry basket and came to visit her brother in his room after her chore was done.  They play together every day.

21 February 2014

Congrats to Emperor!

Officer H presented an award to Emperor during the drug education program graduation at school today.  His essay on why he is against the legalization of marijuana was chosen as the best out of about 180, and was read before the mayor, some school board members, the police chief and the entire sixth grade.  Great job, Emperor! 

20 February 2014

Helpful Phone Calls

"Did you know that you are required by law to have health insurance?  Do you need help obtaining health insurance under ObamaCare?  Press ONE to speak to a representative authorized to help you find affordable insurance.  Press TWO to be removed from this list."

Oh yippee.  You can bet I pushed all sorts of buttons and gave out all my credit card information, just as I did to those helpful people from the United States Computer Security Department who apparently were calling from our government offices in Bangalore.

Recently I've been dealing with stupid robo-dialing robots saying they have an important message for Elf or his parent.  Several times a day, some company I'd never heard of would call.  

A bill arrived from this company finally, explaining they were the billing agency working with the hospital we visited in November for Elf.  The bill was for the exact amount of a check I'd already received from the insurance company and so on.  So it was legit. 

I spoke with a representative about the inappropriateness of the excessive phone calls, particularly in light of the fact that I hadn't received the bill/explanation yet.  She was quite a lovely person and she did understand my exasperation.  I wound up spending I think about half an hour with her on the phone.

Do you know how she began working for this bill-collecting company?  She had breast cancer and they started hounding her.  She told them she would happily pay, if only she had a job.  And they gave her one.  That was four years ago and she is still happily employed.

I guess that phone conversation didn't go as I had planned it! 

15 February 2014

Winter Activities!

Rose insisted we celebrate Valentine's Day by making cupcakes.  We made 42 cupcakes on Thursday and today only two are left. 

Woodjie has decided he hates frosting.  So decorating his cupcakes is a pretty simple task.

Emperor wants popcorn and candy hearts in his frosting. 

Rose isn't one to just have two or three or something.  She poured the entire jar of Hello Kitty heads onto her after-lunch cupcakes.  :/

Recently I made teddy bear pancakes.  I used a frosting dispenser to squeeze out the batter in just the right amounts.  Messy, but the results are pretty good if I do say so myself.


Woodjie and Rose are playing an addition game I made up using UNO cards.  I took all the skip, reverse and so on cards out and left just the numbers.  Each child gets a card and the child with the highest number has to add the two cards together and then "keep" the cards until the end of the game.  We need to work on memorizing our addition math facts. 

Taking a break and watching a short Brain Pop, Jr. clip.  Hope your winter is also going well! 

14 February 2014

I Think There Is A Story Behind This.

Speaking of hair, Rose recently used my scissors to give herself a trim!
Emperor informed me yesterday that it is statistically more likely for breakups to occur before Valentine's Day than it is for new relationships to form.  And incidentally, he certainly sees this whole holiday as a way for people to get greedy, or sad if they don't get what they want.  And for businesses to derive income. 

Awww.  Poor little kid feels left out, I'm thinking.

Well, I told him, don't you worry.  Someday when you are older, Mom will set you up with a nice girl.  She will be soooo pretty and have beautiful red hair.

"Ohhhhhhh no," he told me.  "You're not setting me up.  I will find my own girlfriend.  And she will most certainly not have red hair.  And she absolutely most certainly will not have curly red hair.  The girls I know with curly red hair are (raises eyebrow) not very nice girls at all.  That is all I am going to say on this matter."

Well.  Happy Valentine's Day to you, too, Emperor!  Mwaah!


13 February 2014

Public Schools are Pressure Cookers Under Common Core

Carnival of Homeschooling!

Check out this week's Carnival of Homeschooling at homeschoolbuzz.com!

09 February 2014

Your Lifestyle, Your Choice

Why is everyone so concerned about how many kids you have or don't have? I could really care less so long as you take care of yourself, your spouse, and any resulting children. But no fair turning around and asking me if I know "what causes that." Meh.





07 February 2014

Thinking of Homeschooling?

Copied from facebook with permission from Karen Braun aka Spunky Homeschool.

                                                                                                 

05 February 2014

"Bring Your Own Device" to the Classroom. Unfair?

Before we pulled Woodjie out of public school, they were beginning to institute a program whereby children could bring their own devices (Ipads, laptops, whatever) into school and use them.  They just weren't going to be responsible when the kid breaks or loses the device, or it gets stolen.

I don't have enough money to give a six-year-old an Ipad just for school.  Maybe that's because I'm low class and don't care about education.  Or because I'm stupid and don't understand the importance of technology in the 21st century.  Maybe I'm just cheap and know that if I'm gonna have a cow over my kid missing his $24 lunchbox on the first day he used it, that I would probably get a little bit upset about a $1000 device.  As you might guess, my kid never got an Ipad, but that was sort of the least of our worries anyway (long story). 

I'm still not really sure how I feel about it all.  On the one hand, if you can afford fancy tutoring for your kid at $ylvan Learning Center, and a vacation to Spain because your child cracked a C in Spanish class, it shouldn't really concern me and if I'm jealous, it's my problem.  On the other hand, it seems that all the kids with technically inept or poor parents seem to be missing out on using the devices during school time.  

Then again, wouldn't devices be a huge distraction?  Maybe it's a good thing and the achievement gap will close because kids like Rupert will be playing Angry Birds while the rest of us learn long division.




04 February 2014

Secret Thoughts of a First-Year Homeschool Mom.

August:

All right, everybody.  I've started a blog and a Pinterest account.  I'm going to be homeschooling soon!  I've pinned every cute "school" idea using clothespins and crayons that exists!  I've researched every curriculum!  I'm going with "Alpha Sun Beka Jones Whatever" stuff because it's so much better than all the rest!  I know it's going to be so awesome!

Read my preachy blog post all about "Alpha Sun Beka Jones Whatever" curriculum!  Look at the mega box which just arrived!  See my children pose with all their books!  They are so excited!  I caught a child peeking in the cover of a textbook.  I snapped a photo and shared online.  This curriculum is magical.  They are already learning soooo much.

I'm also posting cheesy photos of my children with giant 1, 2, and 7 placards, indicating their grade levels this year and consigning them to fashion hell in about... ok, nevermind, I'm consigning them now.  Tacky.

September:

We opened a book!  Here's a picture of my kids opening a book.  I'm also posting this list of "helpful homeschooling websites" I found/pirated from other sites.  Allow me to take a little time here to spout off about how glad I am that God called me to homeschool, and how great homeschooling is.

God loves me, and I know all my readers love me, too.  Go ahead and leave me a comment telling me so.

November/December

Turkey handprint crafts!  Plans for Thanksgiving!  Goofy instagram photos!  Crafts!

And Christmas!  Wheeeee!  I'm so high on sugar, I'm just going to open five jars of glitter and post all about the mess my kids made as though that were some big surprising thing.  You can comment about how this is so. funny. and cute.

January:

Oh.  Sorry I've been quiet on the internet.  This homeschooling thing can be hard work once you get past the "review" lessons and the relatives have left.  I'm going to post some random "Throwback Thursday" photo and hope you don't notice.

February:

My daughter says she hates me and wants to go back to school.  Time to hit the social media websites and ask random strangers for advice!



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...