Search This Blog

Friday, February 27, 2009

Messy house =Messy minds?

Well, I'm hoping they'll later disprove this one. A study-a very small one though-that shows a connection between kids with an orderly house and routines doing better with reading than similar kids in a messy house.

Will the prez change rap music?

I'm not really a rap music fan or anything, I just thought it was interesting how many different areas could potentially be affected by our new president.

For my mother-in-law

A crossing guard story with a happy ending:

Crossing Guard's Funny Hats Land Him in Hot Water
by Susan Wagner Feb 27th 2009 10:00AM
Categories: In the news
Crossing guard Larry Douthwaite has been keeping kids in Littlestown, PA, safe for 15 years. And for most of that time, he's been wearing one of his collection of crazy hats to work each day. The hats -- a flowerpot, an ear of corn and the like -- were a huge hit with the kids, who call him "Hat Man.""It was for kids first," Douthwaite said. "And then I noticed it was a great thing to help me be safe because people would see me more readily." Of course. How can you miss a grown man with a flower pot on his head? And how could you not love a guy who wears a model airplane on his head?Unfortunately, his hats were not such a big hit with one misanthropic member of the local town council, who said Douthwaite's hats were unprofessional and a driving distraction, and ordered a cease and desist. Douthwaite complied, although he admitted to feeling "disappointed. But I have to listen to what I was told," he said.Enter the cavalry -- his fellow Littletowners. This week 20 of them showed up for a council meeting, many wearing funny hats of their own. "I think they are tired of having fun things sucked out of their life," Douthwaite said. (Show of hands?)Dad Donald Bateman, who came to the borough council meeting wearing a tall Uncle Sam hat, said "sometimes when my daughter feels bad she'll go to school just to see what [Douthwaite's] wearing." Who can argue with that? I would wear a funny hat, too, if it would get my kids out of the house more easily in the morning.Happy ending: The borough council voted unanimously to allow Douthwaite to wear his hats. He returned to work on Wednesday in his pharaoh hat. Of course.

Delayed present

Claire found this set of construction utensils that she had bought for one of the boys for either a birthday or Christmas (she doesn't remember) and gave them to me last night. Since she didn't remember, I told the boys they were for them to share. I did not anticipate Leanna's reaction-she got very upset that she didn't get a present too. I explained that this was not something extra, but a previous present. It didn't help. Justin and Timothy were thrilled. Timothy promptly asked for cereal to use the spoon. They each slept holding their silverware. They are really adorable. And I checked out their website, they do make a pink version for girls.


A week or two ago Grease was on tv and the kids were just fascinated. Maybe when we can rent movies again I should try some musicals. I told Leanna that this is the original High School Musical but she wasn't quite understanding (Actually I wouldn't have let her watch high school musical, but Maree' watched it with her one morning while we were still sleeping. The damage was done. It's hugely popular in the elementary school too.)

It's funny, watching Grease now as a parent, I realized there's a lot of content in it that isn't so kid friendly. They were really enjoying the singing and dancing though, (and really, so was I), so I tried to compensate. When the nerd passes by the cool boys and they push him and whatever else they did, I took care to point out how that was really not very nice. I just tried to watch out for moments like that to use to teach a lesson or at least so they wouldn't just absorb that stuff thinking it was normal or ok. They were playing, so they weren't actually watching the whole thing. Plus I use distraction for other parts. Justin and Leanna really like to sing a lot, it really amuses me to hear Justin singing along with Summer Nights. He's just really cute. We added some Grease songs to our playlist.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Managing Minutes

I found this interesting. I know I need around 9 hours of sleep/night to feel normal. People gasp or looked shocked if I tell them that. But 8 hours/night is only an average, so some people need less, some need more. It's not shocking at all but people have this attitude like needing sleep is a sin! It really should be more of a priority, for everyone!

Did you know ...
In 1850, Americans averaged 9.5 hours of sleep a night.
In 2008, Americans averaged 6.5 hours of sleep a night.
On average, Americans watch TV for 3.25 hours a day, close to the difference in sleep between 1850 and today.
Sixty-eight percent of Americans say they want more free time.
On average, Americans spend 10 hours a day affixed to technology--TV, Internet, radio, iPod, and cellphone.
The average middle-manager gets interrupted 202 times a day. (Moms probably couldn't stay on the phone long enough to complete the interruption survey!)

More Recent Stuff

*Two days in a row of really good mornings with Leanna! She's not really a morning person either, so that is an accomplishment for us.

*Leanna and I have been reading the The Chronicles of Narnia at night lately, and we're both quite enjoying it.

*Jacob weighs about 23 pounds now. We went to a doctor's appt. yesterday. I don't know the height or exact weight though because we had an insurance mix up and the kids are temporarily without until I get reapplied and all squared away. So we got to visit Central Elementary School for a free checkup. They did everything quickly and weren't writing it down. Interestingly, they said Jacob only needed two shots. Versus the regular clinic wanting to do a million at a time, saying he was so far behind schedule. They were polite and very nice and it was waaaay quicker than the regular clinic. The downside is that they can't do anything about Jacob's eczema. She recommended I try Claratin. And the lead Nazis got to them! I said that he needed a lead test but I didn't know it they could do it, and she said, funny you should mention that! They called prior to our visit and arranged for a paper giving Jacob a free lead test, we just had to march over to Sacred Heart to get it. (Which we did, immediately following the checkup). so hopefully the levels will have gone down again and the lead Nazis will leave me alone!

*Jacob's new food-love is bread. He will bring me a loaf of bread and wait for me to open it and give him a slice.

*Justin and Timothy have formed their own band and are doing their best today to give me and/or the neighborhood a headache! They laid out a bunch of pots and pans and grabbed wooden spoons for Timothy and maraccas for Justin as drum sticks.

* Justin found one of Tom's miniature wrenches and is currently planning to build a toybox with his father's help. His father does not know of this plan yet.

License to Lie

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Making up for last night?

Jacob's been giving kisses galore to me today (and Justin too). Wet, cereal-covered kisses, but heart-melting nonetheless.

Monday, February 23, 2009

terms that amuse me

From the urban dictionary:

laundry limbo
February 22
2705 up, 693 down
Intentionally rewashing clothing simply because you don't feel like putting it away
I had a shirt I knew was clean, but I was too lazy to hang it up so I just kept it in laundry limbo.

lol theory
February 15
9284 up, 1012 down
The theory that the internet phrase lol,meaning "laugh out loud", can be placed at any part in any sentence and make said sentence lose all credibilty and seriousness.
ex 1 Doc: We need to operate on your colon lol, you have cancer.
ex 2 Jesus: Take this all of you and eat it, it is my body, lol.
ex 3 Me: Will you marry me? Lol. ^
Lol theory in action
by bobmcd123 share this more

Thanks Laura!

I keep forgetting to post this. Isn't it funny how sometimes you look at something one way and someone else shows you a completely new perspective, one you would never have thought of before. I had a situation that was really irking me, I felt as though it served no purpose in my life other than to deeply irritate me. My sister mentioned that she thought it was great that I had this thing in my life to amuse me. I had never thought of it that way. And when I adjusted my thinking, it really could be amusing. I'm actually having an easier time dealing with it from this new perspective! Siblings really can be useful in ways you'd never think of!

Hula dance learned from Tropical Sleepover

The second time through she forgot she was going to sing to add music. (that's why she yells cut!)

Pretty cool

All 13 boys in this troop, who've been together since elementary school, achieve Eagle Scout rank, the highest you can get. Pretty impressive.

A thought

A passing thought I just had:
You know the woman they're calling Octomom, the one who just had the octuplets and then it turned out she already had six children and the father's not involved and she lives with her parents and wasn't working because of physical problems....if you're not aware, she's been criticised right and left for pretty much every choice she made. Having kids without a spouse/partner, using fertility treatments, using fertility treatments repeatedly, continuing to have children without the means to support them, not "reducing" any of the babies when they found out she was pregnant with seven (the 8th was a surprise during delivery), burdening taxpayers with the children's birth, etc. etc. Most people think she is mentally disturbed, and that she is having children to fulfill her own disturbed needs.
Let's say she does have mental problems. (I don't know her, nor do the vast majority of the people and reporters commenting on this, so I don't know the real story.) People are angry and disgusted with her for having a mental problem, a disorder of some sort. Whatever happened to compassion? Didn't we used to feel sorry for people who need metal help? Most people's first reaction seems to be anger and criticism, and I think that's sad. Regardless of how it happened, she's in a very difficult situation. Taking care of eight babies at once could drive a perfectly sane person insane, even without six other kids (including a set of twins and a special needs child!). It just saddens me that the primary focus isn't on helping her poor children to survive and thrive, or even on getting the mother mental help if they truly believe that she needs it. If this sad situation was caused by this woman having a mental disorder that led to her poor choices, than we should feel pity for her, not disgust. Everyone seems to be thinking of themselves first and how they might be affected by her or women making similar choices-although this is a rare and unusual situation.

(I'll state right now that I haven't seen any of the videos of this woman interviewed. I've just read some of what she's said, and mainly editorials from various sources debating how bad this situation is. I just hate that people might take her highly unusual situation and use it to try to make choices about other people's fertility. I also find it disturbing that so many people think you can't possibly have enough love for more than a few kids! I can't imagine having children and not loving them! I think compassion for her children should be the primary focus. Just my opinions. )

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Smart Woman

I'll have to remember comment this for the future:

"Whenever I see a discussion like this I am reminded of my mother’s comments to me when I was about to be married. In essance she said, “How many children you have and when you have them is entirely up to you and your husband, with the guidance of the Lord, and it will not now, nor ever, be a topic of discussion between you and me.” She was good to her word, and it made for a great mother/adult daughter relationship."

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Will my 2 year old go to Harvard if they can't ride a pony?!

I ran across a post on Does Your Child Really Need Extracurricular Activities? Those sorts of posts always amuse me. Especially people who list exact schedules of when and how ALL parents should run their children's lives. I'm also amazed at how many people are saddling their kids age 2 and up with all kinds of enrichment classes. And from the comments, they seem to feel that it's not just desirable, but necessary for their children. Wow. I'm old-school I guess. I think that it's important, not just desirable, but necessary for children to play and use their imaginations and have adventures. A class or two here and there is fine, there are many great things to be learned, and experiences to be had. So long as they're not at the expense of actually living life. All learning does not take place in a class or classroom setting!

I like this response on the blog:

"My kids need time to be at home, playing with their toys, building things in the basement, getting filthy in the yard, riding their bikes. They both do cub scouts, and swimming. But most days, we are a much happier and less stressed out family if we keep the activities to a minimum.
I really dislike the 'you have to get them started at age 1 or they will never excel and never get into Harvard' argument. Seriously, Harvard is not that big. Even if every suburban mom in creation puts their kids in activities for 4 hours a day from the time they are born, they are not all going to get into Harvard. And truly, a Harvard (or MIT, or name your school) diploma and $2 will get you a bus ride, but it is not a guarantee of success or happiness.
If your kids get crazy if they are not scheduled - then schedule them. But don't overschedule them in order to chase some dream of yours. Posted by BMS February 19, 09 12:37 PM "

Random things

A few things while I remember:

*Leanna's teacher wrote again in her Friday folder that she is really improving in math! Yay!

*At the bank, when the teller asked if the kids wanted a lollipop (duh!) from down in the stroller Jacob quickly replied, "Ohhkaaay!" in a happy voice. LOL.

*Last night, out of nowhere, Timothy asked me if I could get him a Panda Bear. As a pet.

*Today Justin asked me "what's God?" And when I said that he created everything, Justin asked, "why?" Uhhhhh.......

*I contacted a local homeschool support group with questions and am awaiting a reply. So far I got a reply saying a reply will be coming.

*I've noticed lately that Jacob really likes sitting inbetween his two big brothers. He idolizes Justin, but also really really loves Timothy. They sometimes play cars together. It's really adorable to watch.

Her first group sleepover party

Leanna's at a Tropical Fun sleepover at the Reading Museum tonight with Girl Scouts. I'm wondering how she's doing and if she's bonding with the girls. As I was telling my sister tonight, Leanna says all the girls at Girl Scouts are her friends, but she doesn't have any close friends. I think this is mostly because she started late this year (they forgot to call the girls from Leanna's old troop to tell them that their troop was disbanded and that they could join this one now). And she's missed a few meetings when Tom couldn't get home in time. Plus since the troop was already established, most of the girls were already friends from last year. So I'm hoping something like this will help bring her closer, feel more like a part of the group.

Leanna was looking forward to this, aside from a personal issue that was worrying her. She's not afraid of sleeping over though. They get to do all kinds of fun stuff-a pizza party, make aquariums, hula skirts, paper flowers, a book on fish and learn a dance from Hawaii. I'm missing her a little tonight. But at the same time, I'm looking forward to hearing all about it tomorrow and seeing how excited she'll be. Sometimes it amazes me this this is the same baby I gave birth to nearing eight years ago. It really went by so quickly!

Also related to dishwashing.....

While making chocolate chip cookies tonight, I heard a clanging noise. I look over and there's Jacob, emptying all my clean silverware out of the drawer, and into the dirty sink. I thought we'd been going through silverware awful fast lately!

Did I mention his latest hobby? He likes to run over to the computer and turn it off!

Again, no one's taught him any of this. These aren't things the older kids are doing. Just a natural instinct for trouble, I guess.


A post suggesting that dishwashing by hand could be a way to improve family or spousal relationships.

I HATE doing dishes. I told my Dad as a teenager that I would have a dishwasher when I got my own place. He laughed and said we'll see. Yes my first apartment had a dishwasher,, and my second! Then I had a portable one with Tom, and now finally my own regular one!
I say, have the dishwasher-you can always do them by hand anyway. I know at my house we have so much plastic (which is supposed to be in the top-smaller-rack only) that there's always plastic sitting out to be washed. And I have a few items that can't be done in the dishwasher. But it is something to consider for the kids. I"d probably have them do some of them and use the dishwasher for the rest. I like reading the comments too. Someone points out that a lot of fights occur while washing dishes too! But then that can be part of the bonding process too.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The source of my kids' lead levels??

Oh great, they've discovered yet another source of lead-ink from books published before 1985! Yikes! I seriously doubt that's the source of their lead, but it's one more thing to worry about!

Hawking cookies at the Farmer's Market

It started out with just Leanna and one other girl, very quietly asking the few passers-by if they would like some cookies. Then two (much louder) girls came and suddenly there were loud choruses of, "Would you like to buy girl scout cookies!!?? They're delicious! This one is new! Please!" They pounced on anyone walking by, no matter that they'd been walking back and forth several times and worked in a nearby shop! LOL. Luckily they were very cute. Jenn, one of the assistant leaders (also Leanna's leader from her troop last year) had to tell them, "This is Leanna's father, you already asked him. Please don't ask him if he walks by again!"
It was a bad time slot though, there really weren't many people out. They sold 18 boxes. It was fun to watch Leanna come out of her shell though, dancing in front of the table holding cookies boxes up!
(We were asked last minute if we wanted to go out tonight. Tom couldn't make it in time to take her, so the boys and I walked her to the Farmer's Market and waited there til Tom met us. We stayed since it would have been silly to go home and come right back).
(These are cell phone pictures, that's why the quality's not so great)

Scary laws

For a good example of state intrusion into our lives and bodies, click here. This is in Tennessee and quite scary. As a woman who has miscarried, I know the last thing I would want after going through it was to have the state make me feel as though I was responsible. Almost every woman feels responsible, even if she logically knows she's not. And as someone mentions in the comments, "How can it be legal to end your baby’s life ON PURPOSE via abortion, and illegal to do it by accident?"

For those of you who get bored by the legal mumbo-jumbo, you can skip the legal part and understand what's being said from the commentary afterwards.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I can relate....

There've been several times when I've tried something supposedly reliable, completely logical, and sure to work....and it didn't!

From News of the Wierd:

Parenting Handful: Late last year, Jack Burt, 5, of a rural area near Darwin, Australia, admitted to his dad that he had been kicked off the school bus for bad behavior (including hitting the driver in the head with an apple), provoking the father to use the episode as a teaching opportunity, according to the Northern Territory News. For the five-day suspension, Dad would not reward Jack by driving him but would make Jack walk the 2 1/2-hour, seven-mile distance to school and back each day. On the first day after the suspension, Dad proudly helped Jack aboard the bus, hopeful of having instilled a new maturity. However, three stops later, Jack was kicked off again, for fighting. [Northern Territory News (Darwin), 11-28-08]

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Firehouse Project Update

I was going to wait to put pictures up until we finished, but then yesterday Jacob grabbed the firehouse by the door and ripped it. I glued/taped it again, I don't know if it will stay though. So I thought, maybe I'll take pictures just in case things get ruined before i ever get a chance to! So these aren't complete, but here's our work-in-progress.
*The back of the firehouse was supposed to be the same color, but I liked Justin's colorful painting on the box better, so I left it.
*The top of the bell tower on the firehouse isn't supposed to have a door in the back, but Timothy requested we add one after it was already done, so I just cut a flap door. Not pretty, but functional.
*The firehouse is a little messier than I had intended, but the only masking tape we had was an old one from Tom's work van. It was dented and a little old so it didn't stick so well. So the tape bows out in some places.
*We still have to add the fire pole and paint the inside of the firehouse yet.
*The purple milk carton is Justin's, and it will eventually be a car. With a cool door that opens upwards.
*The pink and red and purple and blue egg carton is Leanna's. I'm not sure what it will be, but it belongs to the underwater castle she's making.
*The red firetruck isn't complete yet either-I still have to figure out how to attach the wheels since I don't have the supply listed in the magazine article. I also don't have the foil containers to make the ladder.
*The green and brown buildings with the green and purple roofs are doghouses for the firehouse dogs. Justin painted the green one and Timothy did the brown. We're still making the dogs for them.
*Although it doesn't look much like the ones pictured in the magazine, Timothy has really enjoyed playing with his firehouse and the accessories we have so far. His little people have been having a ball there. And the kids LOVED painting it! We may have to make a whole village!

Awesome hand-me-downs

My cousin Karissa's old toy (but real) sewing machine, now Leanna's. She's very excited to learn to use it, and I'm very excited for her to learn to use it too! I always wanted one and my Mom intended to get me my own when I turned 12, but it never did work out. I didn't get my sewing machine until I got married. It was a wedding present from my parents. You can be so creative with a sewing machine, I can't wait to find out what things she will make!!

For Laura

For Laura: I will forever associate that phrase with you now!

Click here!

Monday, February 16, 2009


Could you not see this at one of the kids' parties?? I would so love to try! I really love how easy it is to find all kinds of creative things like this on the internet. You can really spark your own creativity just by looking at some of the great things other people have done.

Where are our Huxtables?

Good analysis of modern tv, I think. I've wondered about this problems too!

EDIT: I would like to add that there are many good posts on the same blog as the above post. I particularly like The Octuplet Momma: Is she nuts? acceptance goes both ways. and Thank You Kind Lady at Kohls .

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Legal stuff-for anyone who is curious

(1) At the elementary school level, the following courses shall be taught: English, to include spelling, reading and writing; arithmetic; science; geography; history of the United States and Pennsylvania; civics; safety education, including regular and continuous instruction in the dangers and prevention of fires; health and physiology; physical education; music; and art.

(2) At the secondary school level, the following courses shall be taught: English, to include language, literature, speech and composition; science; geography; social studies, to include civics, world history, history of the United States and Pennsylvania; mathematics, to include general mathematics, algebra and geometry; art; music; physical education; health; and safety education, including regular and continuous instruction in the dangers and prevention of fires. Such courses of study may include, at the discretion of the supervisor of the home education program, economics; biology; chemistry; foreign languages; trigonometry; or other age-appropriate courses as contained in Chapter 5 (Curriculum Requirements) of the State Board of Education. '

(d) The following minimum courses in grades nine through twelve are established as a requirement for graduation in a home education program:
(1) Four years of English.
(2) Three years of mathematics.
(3) Three years of science.
(4) Three years of social studies
(5) Two years of arts and humanities.

(e) In order to demonstrate that appropriate education is occurring, the supervisor of the home education program shall provide and maintain on file the following documentation for each student enrolled in the home education program:

(1) A portfolio of records and materials. The portfolio shall consist of a log, made contemporaneously with the instruction, which designates by title the reading materials used, samples of any writings, worksheets, workbooks or creative materials used or developed by the student and in grades three, five and eight results of nationally normed standardized achievement tests in reading/language arts and mathematics or the results of Statewide tests administered in these grade levels. The department shall establish a list, with a minimum of five tests, of nationally normed standardized tests from which the supervisor of the home education program shall select a test to be administered if the supervisor does not choose the Statewide tests. At the discretion of the supervisor, the portfolio may include the results of nationally normed standardized achievement tests for other subject areas or grade levels. The supervisor shall ensure that the nationally normed standardized tests or the Statewide tests shall not be administered by the child's parent or guardian.
(i) A teacher or administrator who evaluates a portfolio at the elementary level (grades kindergarten through six) shall have at least two years of experience in grading any of the following subjects: English, to include spelling, reading and writing; arithmetic; science; geography; history of the United States and Pennsylvania; and civics.
(ii) A teacher or administrator who evaluates a portfolio at the secondary level (grades seven through twelve) shall have at least two years of experience in grading any of the following subjects: English, to include language, literature, speech, reading and composition; science, to include biology, chemistry and physics; geography; social studies, to include economics, civics, world history, history of the United States and Pennsylvania; foreign language; and mathematics, to include general mathematics, algebra, trigonometry, calculus and geometry.
(iii) As used in this clause, the term "grading" shall mean evaluation of classwork, homework, quizzes, classwork-based tests and prepared tests related to classwork subject matter.

(2) An annual written evaluation of the student's educational progress as determined by a licensed clinical or school psychologist or a teacher certified by the Commonwealth or by a nonpublic school teacher or administrator. Any such nonpublic teacher or administrator shall have at least two years of teaching experience in a Pennsylvania public or nonpublic school within the last ten years. Such nonpublic teacher or administrator shall have the required experience at the elementary level to evaluate elementary students or at the secondary level to evaluate secondary students. The certified teacher shall have experience at the elementary level to evaluate elementary students or at the secondary level to evaluate secondary students. The evaluation shall also be based on an interview of the child and a review of the portfolio required in clause (1) and shall certify whether or not an appropriate education is occurring. At the request of the supervisor, persons with other qualifications may conduct the evaluation with the prior consent of the district of residence superintendent. In no event shall the evaluator be the supervisor or their spouse.

(f) The school district of residence shall, at the request of the supervisor, lend to the home education program copies of the school district's planned courses, textbooks and other curriculum materials appropriate to the student's age and grade level.

(f.1) (1) Beginning January 1, 2006, the school district of residence shall permit a child who is enrolled in a home education program to participate in any activity that is subject to the provisions of section 511, including, but not limited to, clubs, musical ensembles, athletics and theatrical productions provided that the child: (i) Meets the eligibility criteria or their equivalent for participation in the activity that apply to students enrolled in the school district; (ii) Meets the tryout criteria or their equivalent for participation in the activity that apply to students enrolled in the school district; and (iii) Complies with all policies, rules and regulations or their equivalent of the governing organization of the activity. (2) For the purposes of this subsection, the school district of residence's program of interscholastic athletics, including varsity sports, shall be considered an activity and shall include all activities related to competitive sports contests, games, events or exhibitions involving individual students or teams of students whenever such activities occur between schools within the school district or between schools outside of the school district. (3) Where the activity requires completion of a physical examination or medical test as a condition of participation and the school district of residence offers such physical examination or medical test to students enrolled in the school district, the school district shall permit a child who is enrolled in a home education program to access such physical examination or medical test. The school district shall publish the dates and times of such physical examination or medical test in a publication of general circulation in the school district and on its publicly accessible Internet website. (4) A board of school directors may adopt a policy to implement the requirements of this subsection. Such policy shall only apply to participation in activities and shall not conflict with any provisions of this section.
(g) When documentation is required by this section to be submitted to the district of residence superintendent or the hearing examiner, the superintendent or the hearing examiner shall return, upon completion of his review, all such documentation to the supervisor of the home education program. The superintendent or hearing examiner may photocopy all or portions of the documentation for his files.
(h) Such documentation required by subsection (e)(1) and (2) shall be provided to the public school district of residence superintendent at the conclusion of each public school year. In addition, if the superintendent has a reasonable belief that, at any time during the school year, appropriate education may not be occurring in the home education program, he may, by certified mail, return receipt requested, require documentation pertaining to the portfolio of records and materials required by subsection (e)(1) to be submitted to the district within fifteen (15) days; and documentation pertaining to subsection (e)(2) to be submitted to the district within thirty (30) days. If the tests as required in subsection (e)(1) have not been administered at the time of the receipt of the certified letter by the supervisor, the supervisor shall submit the other required documentation and shall submit the test results with the documentation at the conclusion of the school year.
(i) If the superintendent of the public school district determines, based on the documentation provided, at the end of or during the school year, that appropriate education is not taking place for the child in the home education program, the superintendent shall send a letter by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the supervisor of the home education program stating that in his opinion appropriate education is not taking place for the child in the home education program and shall return all documentation, specifying what aspect or aspects of the documentation are inadequate.
[j) Upon receipt of the certified letter required by subsection (i), the supervisor of the home education program shall have twenty (20) days to submit additional documentation demonstrating that appropriate education is taking place for the child in the home education program. If documentation is not submitted within that time, the home education program for the child shall be out of compliance with the requirements of this section and section 1327, and the student shall be promptly enrolled in the public school district of residence or a nonpublic school or a licensed private academic school.
(k) If the superintendent determines that the additional documentation submitted still does not demonstrate that appropriate education is taking place in the home education program, he shall so notify the supervisor of the home education program by certified mail, return receipt requested, and the board of school directors shall provide for a proper hearing by a duly qualified and impartial hearing examiner within thirty (30) days. The examiner shall render a decision within fifteen (15) days of the hearing except that he may require the establishment of a remedial education plan mutually agreed to by the superintendent and supervisor of the home education program which shall continue the home education program. The decision of the examiner may be appealed by either the supervisor of the home education program or the superintendent to the Secretary of Education or Commonwealth Court.
(l) If the hearing examiner finds that the documentation does not indicate that appropriate education is taking place in the home education program, the home education program for the child shall be out of compliance with the requirements of this section and section 1327, and the student shall be promptly enrolled in the public school district of residence or a nonpublic school or a licensed private academic school.
(m) At such time as the child's home education program has been determined to be out of compliance with the provisions of this section and section 1327, the supervisor or spouse of the supervisor of the home education program shall not be eligible to supervise a home education program for that child, as provided for in subsection (b)(1) of this section, for a period of twelve (12) months from the date of such determination.

Valentine's Video-Happy Valentine's Day!!

From yesterday:

It took about 5 takes to even get this!! (previous videos had Jacob running away, people bumping each other, and someone scratching their nose).

Valentine's Day

I tried to get them to sit still for a Valentine's Day picture. I couldn't keep Jacob sitting there for more than a few seconds though!

The commons

If you enjoy looking at old photos, try exploring the commons on Flickr. I clicked on view by tag and went from there.
I'm looking through the 1900s right now. I found this one that appeals to me because it's just so little boyish. Reminds me of Justin.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

From Overheard in NY:

We Like to Think Of It As Our Elephant in the Room

Woman #1: I did that walk once when the subway was out.
Woman #2: It's good exercise. So, me and my friend decided that we need to exercise at least twenty minutes a day. For motivation, we decided that for each day we don't get at least twenty minutes in, we will donate $10 to the Republican National Committee. It's very motivating.--Hudson & Houston
Alsome Thumbs up Thumbs down Wtf? Wtf?; Wtf?

Life Lessons of the Dread Pirate Roberts

Pirate life, as applied to business today. Not the way you're thinking, either!!
Life lessons of the Dread Pirate Roberts

Friday, February 13, 2009

Kid excuses

Excuses kids give to try to get around the laws that don't let them sign up for accounts online until they're over 13.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Another Quote

Robert Browning said, "My business is not to remake myself, but make the absolute best of what God made."


Are people assets or liabilities?

Interesting discussion of getting older without children here.

Also, the above poster's 18 month old daughter singing the ABCs-it's just really cute. It reminds me I should really film Jacob singing!

I love has free printables, free gifs, free wallpaper, etc.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Slow Progress

We're very slowly working on the firehouse project. As you can see, we really enjoy paint here. It's mainly been me and the older boys doing the painting. I've been making it primarily my project with Timothy, but Justin and Leanna have contributed some to it too.
The firehouse itself is mostly completed, Timothy plays with it everyday. We're still making the firetruck and the people and the doghouse.
Thanks Nanny Sue for all the boxes, that really helped!!
(I still need aluminum foil containers if anyone has any.)

Cheerio Bandit in training

Those two do love them some cheerios!!


Timothy and Jacob in the same pair of pjs, same night. They're actually Jacob's now, but Timothy just had to put them on again. Shows how close they are in size (or not, really).

Jacob is Tom's best friend whenever he has chocolate chip cookies or chips.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Good report card for Leanna

Good for Leanna, her teacher wrote on her report card:

Leanna has really improved in her writing skills. Her spelling is improving. In math she needs to practice counting money. She has made great strides in reading, moving up 4 levels.

In reading she is marked at above level! I'm proud of that!

Monday, February 09, 2009

PTO meetings and a question

Another PTO meeting today and I left feeling a little frustrated. When they asked for suggestions for topics to discuss, I decided to answer for once. I don't like to talk in front of people. But I figured I'd give it a shot and maybe we could talk about something interesting for a change. So I asked if they had any character building programs in the school or district. She replied that they have a Foundations of Democracy program (basically how to behave in public) and a bullying program and some individual teacher may discuss any class problems in the AM before they start the day. Not really what I meant. I've been reading this book, Character Matters, and really the theme comes up over and over again in my homeschool/education research that successful education and responsible citizens are the product of families being involved in their children's education. I conclude that families need to be supported-by the community, by public policy, and by the schools. We currently have a system where whatever is considered good for business is good for the school. This often is in opposition to what's good for families. But it can help in the short-term, while hurting us long term, so it's always overlooked. How does this relate? The school is trying in small ways to support families with these meetings. They try to give parents ideas for how to be a better parent to their children. I think that if the school teaches kids to make helping others a priority, with things like charity drives, and teaches about things like honesty, responsibility, etc. that helps to foster a nicer community and helps the children become good people. This helps parents who are often working a job or two and are too caught up in the rat race to spend much time with their kids, much less teach them. But of course, no one commented on it and the teacher dismissed it because they have those things they are already doing. And I didn't get to say what I've just said on this blog. It was too much for that place.
Meetings are extremely small, they have trouble getting more than a few parents to attend. There is always a translator there for the 2 or 3 parents who only speak Spanish. Topics are generally very basic-we're collecting boxtops for education, this class won this contest, these events are coming up soon. And they sometimes try to have a speaker on a topic, the two they've had so far this year have been on getting kids to eat healthy and the obesity epidemic. These are important topics, but they're at such a basic level that they haven't told me anything I wasn't already well aware of. If you read and know how to use a computer, you're probably aware of this stuff or can easily find it if you so desire. When I commented on this to my mother, she asked, well, why do you go then? The first thing I thought of was to set a good example . But the more I pondered it, the more I wondered if there is a good reason to continue going. I'm not learning anything. I can't really contribute much because my thoughts are on a different wavelength than theirs. The teachers are just trying to help parents who are at a very basic level. I am not a typical parent at this school. Info on upcoming events is sent home in a flyer anyway. There are other ways, and things that I already do, that show Leanna that her education is important.
Can anyone think of a compelling reason to keep going to the PTO meetings?
(I am seriously asking-is there something I haven't thought of?)


If you know anyone in the Charlottle NC area who's looking for a dog, check out my cousin's doggies for sale page:

Just Cute

Justin and Timothy were just fighting over what to play. Justin was upset because he said it was his turn to pick what they would play. Timothy wanted to play doggie and Justin wanted to play Shark Boy and Lava Girl. Timothy, understandably, was not as interested in that since with Leanna at school, he would have to play Lava Girl.

How to celebrate Valentine's Day

I thought this post ( from parentdish) was interesting for several reasons.
1. Is it bad to force sentiment on people?
2. Is it ok to change a romantic holiday to a family affair
3. Is it a bad thing to celebrate too many holidays?

Valentine's Day - Family Affair or Over-Celebration Nation?
by Sabrina Weill Feb 9th 2009 11:00AM
After every ad for flowers, chocolate and sweet romantic moments, my wonderful, tragically unromantic husband laughs boldly and whispers: "Sucka!" He actually can be romantic, he just doesn't like to be told to be romantic. By Hallmark. So the only way I'm going to get to celebrate Valentine's Day is with my kids -- and that's just how I like it. Now that our little Prince is 7 and the Princess is 4, the Year of the Valentine here. A search for cute ways to celebrate turned up a story about how, due to our overly kid-centric culture, V-day is widely considered less of a romance opportunity and more of a fun family affair, with moms baking heart-shaped pancakes and decorating the living room with pink paper chains and hearts rather than dressing up in a satin teddy or thinking up new ways to wow him. Hmm ... I do like pancakes. But then one psychologist warns that turning this special holiday into a family event can rob couples of the potential for a deeply romantic night of tender bonding. Some moms also fear that turning Valentine's Day into a family celebration provides another opportunity for "celebration creep." The "Celebration Creep" is not a Chuck E. Cheese mascot, but the idea that if you celebrate everything, kids won't be able to tell what's worth celebrating. I see their point, and I guess that could be the case if a family acts like Valentine's Day is a good reason to paint your whole house pink before flying your crew to Italy so they can learn a romance language. But truthfully, any anti-celebratory sentiment makes me a little sad. This is my Valentine's Day year with my kids. So stop raining on my pink parade!This February 14th, will we be making Valentines? Yes. Heart-shaped pancakes? Maybe. Pink ponies?? Ah, no. And what I also won't be doing this year is making last minute reservations at a local place for a second-rate, overpriced prix-fixe meal, nor will I wait expectantly for a Tiffany blue box that isn't coming. For us, family-style Valentine's Day is a happier, calmer way to add a little sweet-themed celebration to our lives. And my husband and I will surprise each other with romance on other, non-romance-prescribed days. We both like it better that way.

Do you think a family-fun Valentine's Day is a beautiful idea or just another example of "Over-Celebration Nation." and we should leave the love holiday to the grown-ups?
Sabrina Weill is editor of

I understand people who feel that the holiday is too commercialized and they hate feeling pressured to act a certain way. But I also know people who use that as an excuse to not celebrate the holiday-which would be fine if they showered affection on each other regularly, or on other days and times that they determine. But I think a lot just don't. So if having a holiday encourages us to think about love (in all forms) and allows people to add a little, even comercialized, romance that they wouldn't have otherwise-than it's a good thing.

I think it's a good thing to celebrate love of all types, not just romantic. I had a female friend in high school buy me yellow roses for valentine's day one year, just to be nice. I thought that was really sweet. It's nice to recognize all types of relationships. So long as it doesn't become an excuse to forget about your partner, there's nothing wrong with adding to the love party, in my opinion.

I like the idea of more fully celebrating each holiday. I think that traditions for each holiday become family rituals that parents and children can look forward to. I haven't done much for Valentine's Day in the past, but I'd really like to start. Kate, of Jon and Kate Plus 8 inspired me on that one!

From News of the Wierd

It's Supposed to Be the Other Way Around:
On the South Boulder (Colo.) Creek Trail in January, as a woman was standing beside her bicycle, a cow wandered by and tipped her over (and then stepped on her legs before meandering off). [MSNBC-AP, 1-20-08]

Also: A News of the Weird Classic (August 2002)
New York's Newsday threw the improving-self-esteem movement into confusion with a July 2002 profile of the Lane brothers (who are both in their 40s) of New York City. Winner Lane (his birth name) has a long rap sheet of petty crimes, while his younger brother, Loser Lane (also his birth name), is a decorated police detective in South Bronx. [Newsday, 7-22-02]

Sunday, February 08, 2009

illegal drying

Line drying one's clothes is not allowed in many communities for fear of lowering home values. One of my cousins told me that she was given a warning in a previous home community they lived in. She hung towels out since they're thicker and take longer to dry. Someone came to her house to talk to her about it.
That seems like such a rediculous thing to worry about. Hanging laundry reduces home values? As they mention at the end, we live in the land of the free but can't do something as simple as drying our own clothes in our own yards??

Saturday, February 07, 2009

If you lay down with dolls......

It's the night of the sleeping posts! Here's Jacob, amidst the dolls. I should have filled it in more, I know, but I knew he'd wake up if one touched him.

Sleeping Timothy

He is the only one of our kids who falls asleep in strange positions in strange places. He fell asleep on the step-we have no idea why. He wasn't overly tired and he wasn't sent upstairs or anything. One minute he was playing, and then I noticed he wasn't around. There he was, one step away from the floor! He woke up about a half hour later.
(I don't know what the stain on the step is, but it doesn't come off)

Napping with Daddy

Sleeping in the chair with Daddy-a male traddition in our house. He's all scrunched up, reminds me of an Anne Geddes photo.

Hide your Cheerios!

The cheerio bandit has come!

Dr. Ben Carson

speaking of movies, here's another post from parentdish. I thought this was worthwhile info, for myself, if no one else.

Dr. Ben Carson's Parenting Success
by Michele Burford Feb 6th 2009 3:00PM
Categories: Just for dads, Development

How do you raise a smart, respectable child who just so happens to change history? The world renowned pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson, MD, shares his experiences as a dad of three and the lessons of his mother, Sonya Carson, a single mom who had only a third grade education.

What's the most important lesson your mother passed on?
You are not a victim. My mother never accepted excuses from me, and when I tried to give them, she quoted a poem that began, 'You're the captain of your ship.' The bottom line is that we can go through life finding other people to blame, or we can own up to our situation and deal with it. That's exactly what I've taught my children.
Did you ever have trouble relating to your boys?
Just remember what it's like to be a kid. If you stop and think about what you once felt at your child's age, it can turn you into a considerably better parent.
How do you make time for your family?
When my children were growing up we had weekly discussions about anything that was happening in their lives. If one of the boys was dealing with a bully at school, for instance, we all talked through the possible responses and the consequence of each reaction. I [also] made it a requirement that my family accompany me on most of my trips. All my kids have frequent flyer cards for just about every airline! We've been all over the world together -- from Zion National Park in Utah, to a trip all the way down The Nile.
Has that changed now that they're in their 20s?
If you create and maintain an open relationship with your children when they are very young, when they have a question or issue as they grow up, they will come to you. And they will know that you will not judge them.
You've said that your mother working as a house cleaner was a great lesson. How?
When she worked as a house cleaner, she began noticing that the people she worked for had lives of great achievement. So she compared their environment to ours, and she asked herself, 'What's the difference?' When you notice a child doing well, find out what his or her parent is doing right. That's what my mother did.
Any examples?
I'll never forget what my mother once said to me: 'If you start reading and stop looking at TV so much, pretty soon, people will be looking at you.As it turns out, Sonya couldn't have been more right.

Watch Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. as Dr. Carson in the TNT Original Movie, Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story, premiering Saturday, February 7 at 8 pm ET.

Quality movies for our children

Love this movie review from parentdish. It's the last sentence that gets me.


It's all about the thrill of the purchase in Sophie Kinsella's Confessions of a Shopaholic. The main character, Becky, is a shallow and self-absorbed woman searching for a wealthy husband to subsidize her spendthrift ways. She's a liar and a snoop and more interested in looking good than doing the right thing. OK for Kids 15+

LOL-she's a bad person who does bad and somewhat harmful things. Ok for kids! (I know they mean kids 15 and up, but still!)

Friday, February 06, 2009

How to have a happy life

"In every case, people cited as the source of their greatest happiness the times they made a positive contribution to the lives of others. The world tells our children that happiness is to be found in sexual pleasure, beauty, popularity, weatlth, power, or unending good health. They need to learn what aristotle taught ages ago: A fulfilling life is a life of virtue. You can't be happy unless you're good."

From Character Matters: How to help our Children Develop Good Judgement, Integrity, and Other Essential Virtues by Thomas Lickona

Coffee saves the day!!

I found this: (for picture of mug)

Mom Saves Earth with Coffee Addiction
Saturday, April 19, 2008
filed under: taiwan-on

Mom•Logic's Jackie: I'm making the world a better place and other Moms jealous—all in one shot.
When my husband presented me with this coffee mug for my very first Mother's Day, I admit I cried. I thought it was the sweetest. He actually went to the pottery place with our baby boy and made this.
But three years later, it's the gift that keeps on giving. When I stand at the coffee maker here at Mom•Logic beside Moms who (gasp!) use paper cups—sometimes even double cupping!--for the umpteenth time in a day, I know I am doing what it takes to "go green." And the fact that they gaze at my cup with envy for the handprints and childish writing? That's just icing.
So, if I fall asleep with the TV on or skimp on organic milk, I know that my cup is helping me do my part.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

dealing with anger

Ever feel like the universe is sending you a message? I ran across this today, it's part 2 of a 4 post interview with the Duggar parents(they have 18 kids and a tv show). I find them kind of fascinating, not because they chose to have all the kids, but because they seem to do it so well. I've never seen an entire episode of their show, only parts, but the Mom always seems so calm and at peace with everything going on. I should take lessons from her:

lilsugar: You have 18 kids, how do you stay so calm? On your show you seem to have a sense of peace within yourself and in your household?

Jim Bob Duggar: I think Michelle is a sweet person naturally, but she has chosen to stay calm when things are going wrong. She has a way of lovingly correcting, but not being angry. She chooses to keep a sweet voice even though she doesn't feel like it.

Michelle Duggar: I think it's something that is learned like patience, you don't want to pray for that. It's a hard place to be, but it's God's grace. It's not me. I know from my own experience, when I had five under five, those were the most challenging days of my life. I was trying to have extra arms and eyes and to keep up with everything. I remember that there were many moments when I would just cry — cry to the Lord, cry, "What am I thinking? I can't do this, you know?" And, then God would give me a thought or a scripture would come to mind. I had little guys fighting and fussing over toys and it was constant and I'd be trying to figure out who did what and all I did was referee and I thought this is not the way it's supposed to be. Surely, this is going to drive me nuts and I just remember Matthew 18 came to mind. So I got down on the floor on their level and explained it to them. They learned to work it out and communicate. There's so many lessons of life that are learned at a three-year-old level. We would have never imagined, but after trial and error —It is amazing that there is peace in our home. We've taught our children to respect each other and their belongings.

lilsugar: Is the same true for you, Jim Bob?

Michelle Duggar: Jim Bob jokingly said in the book that he never had an anger problem until he had children. It's so true because you realize what can really push your buttons when these guys are not catching on to what you are trying to tell them to do and then they turn around and do just the opposite. But, when we react in anger, we are undermining everything we are trying to teach them by example.

Jim Bob Duggar: That's probably the number one way to make them get out of the home as quickly as they can — to occasionally explode with anger. And, then you are like a time bomb waiting to go off and they don't know when you are going to go off next and no one likes to be around that if they are a stable person.

Michelle Duggar: And, one day we were around the table going through our homeschooling stuff and part of our study was about dealing with anger. There were four points and the children could probably recite all of them, but the one that stuck out in my mind was that a soft answer turns away wrath. My anger is not going to bring about the right behavior that I want to see in my children. There have been many times when they've done something wrong. I say, "You sit right there." and then I walk back to the kitchen and get what I need to do done and then go back in just a minute. It gives me the moment to regroup, pray, whatever I need to do and then when I go back. I say, "I was not having the right response, will you forgive me?" And, I lower my voice. When I first whispered instead of raising my voice, my children were shocked.

Jim Bob: In the book I talk about my story about accountability (a family member touches the upset person's arm to remind them to remain calm) and even if the kids do something way out there and color on the cabinets, I still struggle with that, but it's helped me so much.

Michelle Duggar: And, we've seen that happens with our kids. One child will put the hand on their sibling's arm and say, "I think you are kind of getting angry." And, for the other one, it's like ice cold water being poured over a hot head. We're all human and we're going to struggle, but we love each other.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

the age of questions

Timothy seems to be reaching the age of never-ending questions now too.....

Timothy: "Can alligators eat us?"
Me: "Yes, if you get close enough to one."
Timothy: "Can they eat your glasses?"
Me: "yes."
Timothy: "Can they eat hair?"
Me: "yes"
Timothy:"Can they eat your eye?"
Me: "yes."
Timothy: "Can they eat a strong computer?
Me: "yes."
Timothy: "Can they eat a closet?"
Me: "yes."
Timothy:"Can they eat a tv?"

ETC, ETC. ETC......


We've had so much trouble with Leanna's glasses this past year. It took extra long for them to be ready, then a day after she got them, a girl in her class tried to bend them in half. They couldn't repair the frame and so we had to order new frames again. I was really irritated about that because 1. we had just got them, they were brand new!! and 2. more visits to the eyeglasses store-it's always crowded with a very long wait. and 3. Why would anyone bend someone's glasses that way?? This girl was one of Leanna's friends. Nothing was done about that incident.
Then after her glasses were repaired the plastic pieces that sit on the nose both broke off. I think she was trying to adjust them herself. The way they broke couldn't be repaired by us, this meant back to the eyeglasses place. But Tom had just been to an eyedoctor in Easton and he said that that man could fix them for us. I wasn't anxious to go back yet again to tell them her glasses were broken again so I agreed. But Tom never did make it there and we forgot about them for a while. I also wasn't sure if we'd have to pay for the repairs this time, so I waited until the new year.
Now I just took her and got them repaired on Monday afternoon. Tuesday she wore them to school and when I picked her up, guess what? Broken again! This time only one of the plastic pieces broke off-a boy picked them up off her desk and did it. Again, we can't fix it. She said she set them on her desk to get out the cloth to clean them off. I have no idea why he did that. But he got suspended for it. And the teacher said if there's a bill to bring it in and they'd pass it along to the boy's grandparents.
The only reason I can think of for a kid to touch another kids's glasses is to try them on-I really don't understand why they would purposely break them! It really frustrating. I'm glad they at least did something about it this time, I don't know that suspension was necesary, but at least they acknowledged it this time. It's quite a time waster to walk downtown with all four kids, then wait for at least an hour to be seen, and walk back home again. And try to keep everyone quiet and well behaved in a boring waiting room. It's not even about the money-I'm irritated by the waste of it, the loss of time, and why it's even happened in the first place!

The housing crisis, the economy, and Gen. X

I may be weird (I freely admit it) but I found this article about how Gen X is, in some ways, responsible for the economic meltdown to be pretty interesting.

(Disclaimer: I'm a Gen X-er whose parents are still together, as are my husband's). (Though I did let myself in with a key starting in 5th grade)

My summation from quotes from the article:

"What this seems to mean is that the collective feeling was, basically: screw stocks, invest in a home, pay for it when you get back on your feet. This seemed like a no-brainer for phoenix-like Gen-Xers. After all, in spite of the pronouncement of a much-cited 2004 study of generational differences that Gen-X "went through its all-important, formative years as one of the least parented, least nurtured generations in U.S. history" — and that half of all Gen-X children's families split, and forty percent were latchkey kids — we'd always not only landed on our feet, but kicked some serious booty, too.........""Evidently, we were so sure of our own phoenix-like capabilities that it didn't strike us as odd that the banks should be so magically sure of us too.
In a Psychology 101 way, it kind of makes sense. One of the notorious legacies of Generation X's home-alone childhood is an abiding suspicion of authority. All this has been well-documented, i.e. we hate ass-kissing the boss, so just let us do our thing because we rock as self-starters. But when the whole house bubble started to swell, the dynamic shifted: Enter the banks, as approving parents.

They gave us a home! It's almost as if we became giddy children, finally getting the apology and consolation prize we'd always secretly hoped for: You didn't get a real home as a kid, but you worked hard, succeeded on your own steam, and now we're going to give it to you and your children. The 1980, 1990, and 2000 GSSes reflected our self-satisfaction. A whopping 66.4 percent of Generation X affirmed the statement: "People get ahead through hard work, not luck."

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Second kids get the shaft

Two first born parents decide they will try to parent their second child like a first-born. (linked to the subject line).

Baby thief

Little stinker!!

Quick as a flash he pulled out the pizza box and grabbed some while I was drizzling the iceing on the lemon cake.

*all pizza is free from Tony's-I don't want anyone to think I'm complaining about $ but ordering pizza at the same time!

What I've been up to.....

Mostly cleaning......I've also been trying to do more baking foods from scratch. I'm only inspired to do baking though, not cooking. I guess largely because no one but me would eat any supper type foods I might make. Tonight I made Lemon cake, on a whim. I had a few lemmons and didn't want them to go bad. So I searched the handy dandy internet, and came up with this:

My current goal is to read all the books I took out of the library before I got sick. I had to renew them all because my eyes hurt while I was sick, so I couldn't even read.

I really enjoyed Family Matters:Why Homeschooling Makes Sense by David Guterson. This one is so interesting because it's not a typical book listing all the great reasons to homeschool. It's written by a high school teacher, who homeschools his 3 boys while teaching the neighbors kids, so he has his feet firmly in both worlds. It was written in the 90s, but it covers completely different topics than I've seen in any other book-ones that would be useful even if you don't homeschool.
It discusses Guterson's theories on why American's hold public education so near and dear to their hearts, despite knowing the fallbacks and shortcomings. To ponder the notion of not sending our children to school is seen by many as un-American. Guterson feels we are unable to objectively examine schools for what they are because we are blinded by our memories. And the fact that School tests, quizzes, essays and assignments don't measure learning so much as they measure the child's "approximate degree of adjustment to life at school". He also discusses socialization and what it is that non-homeschoolers worry about regarding homeschooled children and socialization. Counter arguments are made for common misconceptions and the value that homeschooled children get from forming relationships with people of all ages throughout the community. An interesting idea that schooled students are so far disconnected from their own parents and their parents work lives that some students seek a close relationship with a teacher, to form a relationship with an adult mentor since their own parents are away from them the majority of their lives. Guterson feels that the social lives of schooled children are both dangerous and unhealthy, and that homeschooled children do have peer pressure but are less peer obsessed.Guterson states that in creating schools we've removed learning from life and believe that learning can only take place inside of a school building. He covers learning theory and the fact that schools do not take advantage of what we have learned about it and feels that educational reform should happen through strengthening families. Ideas for ways for public schools and homeschoolers to work together as a team are explored.

I just finished Anne Rice's Called Out of Darkness yesterday. It's about her return to her original Catholic faith. The first half was slow for me, I imagine if you grew up Catholic in the 50s and 60s it would be much more enjoyable. But I was curious what prompted the woman who wrote all the Vampire and Witch fiction, an atheist for years, to return to belief in God.
I'm currently reading:
Parking Lot Rules by Tom Sturges.
Debra Bell's The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling. That one I'd like to order when we are back on our feet again, it's a really great resource, and the first homeschooling book that I've read that seems to present a balanced view. Usually the negatives are briefly mentioned, and the entire rest of the book is homeschooling glowingly described. In this book she discusses the cons in a realistic way. I like that.
I have several books by John Holt to read. Those are books on educational philosophy.
Also Boys Should be Boys by Meg Meeker.

So I've kind of got my plate full right now. : )

Webkinz dog

We finally found the code for Leanna's last Christmas webkinz. She named the dog "Patches." Gee, I wonder why!
I visited the parent's corner in Webkinz world, I really like their idea to have kids draw the rooms they'd like to have on paper, or to make a scrapbook of their webkinz. Here are the tips they give:

1. Use Webkinz World as a reward. Your child will be able to play in Webkinz World AFTER he or she has finished homework, done a few chores, etc.
2. Decide what you believe is an appropriate amount of time for your child to be on the computer and discuss it with your child ahead of time. Set a timer, if need be. When the timer goes off, so does the computer.
3. Encourage offline play with the Webkinz plush toy; encourage your child to draw pictures of the rooms they'd like to design, make pictures of their Webkinz (scrapbooks are lots of fun), and have parties for the Webkinz. Invite some friends over in the real world and celebrate Webkinz!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Child's Play

I love to listen in when the kids are involved in their play. Not so much when they play games together as when they are playing individually. Timothy does this the most. These are from this weekend, I thought it was cute to see Timothy and Jacob playing separately next to each other. (I was cleaning the half-room attached to our bedroom, that's why the fan was out).
You can also see that now that Jacob's better again, his excema's back in full force on his face. The backs of his knees are pretty bad again too.

The Vikings!!

I went to Barnes N Nobles last Friday to check out the job scene (which was a no go), but I must have been meant to be there! Because I found this in the clearance bin for only $1.00! Isn't it pretty?? It's nice not only in content, but the look and feel of it are appealing as well. I am fond of the vikings as I took a class in Viking history in college. It was taught by the coolest of professors (naturally, who else would teach a class like that?) and I kicked butt in it and impressed my professor who was already impressed with me from previous classes, so that was quite an accomplishment.
By the way Mom, this is not the viking book I had been lusting after for so long in the bargain books. It is a different book, but very very nice also.

The Baby Keeper

A Phoenix obstetrician uses controversial methods to help infertility patients and their babies survive high-risk multiple-birth pregnancies. But is he promising more than he can deliver?

I like the guy for this reason alone:

Elliott can come off as a cowboy—he occasionally wears a gold chain under his scrubs, and he says there's something to the idea of Phoenix as the academic "Wild West," where doctors take risks and "think out of the box." Still, with patients, he is gentle, thorough and not in the least intimidating. He uses very few technical terms; he refers to a "baby" instead of a "fetus." "A lot of OBs are very busy, and they don't spend much time explaining things," he says. "It's amazing how a patient responds to that."

I wish all doctors would realize that!!

Take note, Laura

In case we may one day need an intervention for Claire:

Family Knows Best: Evelyn Poynter, 86, had refused for months to leave her apartment in Pittsburgh and move in with her sister, Laura Stewart, 72, who had offered to take care of her. In December, according to police, a fed-up Stewart forcibly wrapped Poynter's arms, legs, neck and body in duct tape, tossed her in the back seat, and drove her home to Shaker Heights, Ohio. "There was nothing sinister," said Stewart's daughter, but still, Stewart was arrested. [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 12-30-08]

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Change of career plans

Leanna wanted to know how long until she can get a job. I told her not until she's at least 16. She wanted to know how many years that was. Apparently she wants to work in an animal shelter. She visited one with Girl Scouts last year. I wouldn't mind that goal sticking.


Very sad story of the first surviving quintuplets. It's truly horrifying to think something like that could happen.