Search This Blog

Monday, November 29, 2010

Food issues

Picky eaters are not necesarily picky just to bother you! 
In the past few years I've seen a few studies which suggested a genetic componant to picky eaters.  I've long belived this to be true, as I've seen plenty of evidence in my own household.  Apparently it's a fairly common problem with children, but tends to lessen as they age.  Except in the case of some people.  This new article says that extremely picky eaters often have issues with the smell or texture of foods.  I've seen this in my husband who can't stand the texture of tomatoes or onions.  It completely grosses him out!  The article points out that many people with this problem have trouble eating out, being in social situations that include eating, and wish they could eat normally.  The comments I saw for the above article were discouraging, as they suggested that the parents just let their children eat whatever they want and that caused the pickiness.  But as my uncle said about his adopted son, "eventually you get to a point where you're just happy they're eating ANYTHING!"  It's hard to fight a battle, at least three times a day every single day!   When you think about it, it's easy to see how many people do just stick to feeding their kids the food that they know they will eat.  And from an outside view, that could look as though the kids are only eating that way as an effect, rather than it being the cause of the eating habbit. I suspect the problems in our household are a combination of a very real genetic componant, coupled with viewing a Very picky adult and often financially limmited food supplies.  Not a fun combination, let me tell you!!  In fact, I don't think my husband is of the most extreme sort described in the article, his issues, in my opinion, are a combination of very real factors combined with psychological factors.  As with many issues, I think they will eventually find that there are people with food issues who fall on various ends of the spectrum, and it's real for them all. 

A quote from the article:
"[They]could be one of thousands suffering from a previously unrecognized illness: selective eating disorder, more commonly known as very picky eating. Instead of having a couple foods they'd rather avoid, the way most of us do, people with selective eating disorder feel there are very few foods they are even capable of eating.

.."People who are picky aren't doing this just to be stubborn," said eating researcher Nancy Zucker of Duke University, explaining that extremely picky eaters experience food differently than the rest of us. "

Twas the night before Thanksgiving.......

Chopping pecans for my first attempt at pecan pie!

The now tradditional Pumpkin-Gingerbread
It's delicious!

A new treat-this year I finally tried making some Pumpkin Cupcakes from a magazine recipie.  They have cream cheese frosting and are dipped in orange sprinkles with pretzel sticks for stems.

Timothy being silly
He loves to make a silly face when you point a camera at him! 


I finished the bathroom curtains (finally) before Thanksgiving.  It's hard to see here, but they have gold flecks on them, it reminds me of spray from the water, appropriate for an ocean themed bathroom.  (sort of, I chose the paint as an ocean color.  The bathroom has no decoration.)

A few pictures to catch up blogging......

A girl and her dog-Leanna sleeps with Curly every night

Oatmeal raisin cookies that were awesome!!  And the whole house smelled so nice!

The boys-this includes Tom-found and tried to keep a salamander.  It didn't last very long.
Just a few shots from the past months.  I can't take many pictures because all our digital batteries are shot. I charge them overnight and they only last a few minutes!  Very dissapointing.  And life's still crazy in general, so I haven't been blogging as much. 

Rest in Peace

Leslie Nielson died at age 84, after a career that spanned six decades!  One of my favorite actors for forever now!  I love his deadpan delivery of  lines he made classic. 
I had no idea he had his start in dramatic roles and that they said he was being cast against type when he took the Airplane role (he said he'd always been cast against type before this!)  I am genuinely sorry to hear of his passing.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Arlo Guthrie/Alice's Restaurant * Happy Thanksgiving!!

I've loved this one since I was a teenager, maybe even preteen.  This has clips from him singing and also a movie version, which I didn't even know existed!

And if you want a more modern Thanksgining song:
(Gotta love Adam Sandler!)

A good answer.......

I just found another blogger's take on how to answer the why do you homeschool question.  I"ve included the parts that I most agree with (which is most of the post). 
A few excerpts from Why do you homeschool? – Homeschooling Five Part 1

I just found this post on one blogger's answer to why she homeschools.  Had to laugh out loud at this part of her answer to the oft assumed idea that you must have superhuman amounts of patience in order to homeschool your kids: " I am embarrassed to tell you that while teaching my son fractions one day I threw two halves of a potato at him after explaining to him for the eleventh time that a potato cut in half was not two potatoes, but I want to be honest with you."
"one of the main reasons we homeschool is because we believe that the model of compulsory education we now have in place stifles children from learning, being creative, and is waste of our time and theirs. Not only do we feel this way about public school education, but private school as well. I really don’t believe there are any great schools out there. What I believe is that there are better schools in different communities, often due to socio-economic class and parental involvement, but as long as schools are following current trends in education and No Child Left Behind, your child whether they are in a school with excellent standardized testing scores or poor ones, is getting at best a sub par education geared towards fake learning to pass a test at the end of the day.........I see the traditional model of school as glorified daycare. So much of what goes on between the time your child goes to school in the morning and the time they get home has absolutely nothing to do with educating our children. In fact schools are being used as a substitute for home and for things that should be taught at home. Some children are eating not one meal, but two meals a day at school. They are getting all their hygiene education, sex education, and drug education beginning in kindergarten, not to mention any political, social, and spiritual education from a teacher that you may or may not share the same values with. All of this “learning” should be conducted at home, by family, or by what I call “the village” that you surround yourself with. This is not the job of our government nor is it the job of the teachers to educate our children in this way.

Putting children in school in my eyes is training them to be a slave to the man, the machine that we now call our government, to not think for themselves and spit out what has been forced into their heads by a system that is failing in every way. Parents leave for work, drop their kids off and have little involvement in the actual education of their children. In fact, parents are unwelcome guests in most schools, requiring them to jump through hoops to observe teachers and the classroom environment that there children are in. Schools are the place where kids go so parents can work or have a break from parenting them instead of a place that fosters a love for learning and an environment that is conducive to creativity..........Our “book learning”, as I call it, is gotten in the same amount of time that the average child puts into homework each day. I spend less time “educating” my children per day than I did helping them with homework and projects when they were in school. I find it ridiculous to have kids in school seven hours per day than to send them home with busy work and projects that can take from anywhere to thirty minutes to several hours for them to complete. That is what should be going on at school. When they are at home, they should be playing and spending time their siblings, friends, and parents."

The Selfish Aspect

This is an excerpt, actually most of the post, Part 2: I homeschool Because I Am Selfish  It's more fun than you'd realize to witness a human being's growing aquisition of knowledge.  Those Aha! moments when you've struggled to convey a particular subject are so satisfying.  Or just those times where you see your kids learning and enjoying the process-it's wonderful all around. 

The Excerpt:

Even on my hardest days when a glass of Crown and Coke sounds good before noon, kids are fighting, toddlers are coloring on walls, and I can’t even take a piss by myself, much less hammer out some writing on the computer, I would rather have my kids here, at home, with me than anywhere else. I don’t want to miss out on those special moments. Moments I missed with some of my children because they were in traditional schools, like that gleam in their eye and smile that crosses their face when they realize they can read or understand simple math or realize the earth rotates around the sun. I’m sure you remember those other firsts, like their first smile, steps, and first foods, then imagine how magical and wonderful it is to watch them learning all about the world around them and how to read! And it isn’t just about watching them learn, it is about watching them play. It is about seeing my kids be creative and using their imagination. I don’t just get to see the finished works of art my children make, I get to witness it being made and it is priceless.

I do not want to give those moments to someone else. I do not want to give a teacher, a practical stranger, those moments. Moments – special, wonderful, delightful moments to someone who will not treasure them nor appreciate them the way I will. Most kids are just another student in a different year passing through their classroom. Rarely does a teacher form a long term relationship with a student. Even if a teacher is very interested in a student and cares about their outcome, there is no way a teacher feels equally about each one of their students each and every year. The bottom line is this – no teacher is ever going to care more deeply, more passionately about my children’s education and well being than I am.
Childhood is such a small part of our lives and I want my children to enjoy it. I want them to get plenty of sleep without being forced out of bed early in the morning to ride the bus or go through a carpool line. I want my kids to be able to stay up late to spend time with their dad when he comes home late. I want to take my kids on vacations whenever I want too or go visit friends whenever the mood strikes us. I want my children to have healthy meals not the garbage served in school cafeterias or the processed foods that end up in most sack lunches. I want my kids to have recess, be able to chew gum, go to the bathroom, wear clothes they picked out and not uniforms, and drink water whenever they need too. I want to have long conversations with my teen about her latest work of fiction or the new vocabulary words she has learned that she is going to use in her own stories. I want my five year old to care more about playing with dolls and digging in the dirt than learning how to read. (gasp!) I want my kids to run around the yard with wooden swords fighting to the death, or using sticks as wands to act out a scene from Harry Potter – and I want to witness it. I want my kids to dress up stuffed monkeys and read them books and pretend to teach them geography or even better, pretend to take them off to some far off land while I take pictures when they aren’t looking. I’ll admit it, I’m greedy. I don’t want to share these moments with just anyone.

I’m selfish and if that was my only reason for homeschooling, it would be a damn good one.

I agree, it's fun to watch them get excited over learning about bees, or that the sun is really a star.  It's great to hug each other because good lord, she finally got that math concept!  We're both so proud of her and it's wonderful to share that.  It makes me smile when the boys come up to me carrying their math books because they WANT to do schoolwork.  Or to watch what they've learned become part of their play as well. 

Had to laugh at this part in the comments:  "On top of that, I don’t care if some people thinks that means I’m too attached. Too attached? Because I actually like and want to spend time with my kids?"  :  )

Thursday, November 11, 2010

This is the judge we had for our parking ticket and landlord cases!

District judge's 'bizarre' conduct probed

Allegations against Maryesther Merlo include absenteeism, mishandling landlord-tenant and truancy cases and abuses of power.
from the article:
 the portrait painted in a 33-page complaint issued Nov. 4 by the state Judicial Conduct Board, where Merlo is characterized as "nasty, rude, erratic, strange, bizarre, irrational, unpredictable, yelling, demeaning, babbling, rambling, nutty and crazy."
Sounds exactly like what we experienced with her both times.  Tom stood before her to fight a parking ticket (He was unloading for about 2 minutes, with no open spaces on the block, and cars were able to get around him.  Parking authority suggested he move to the alley behind the girls club which would have completely blocked traffic.  We cited an article that had run in the paper saying the parking authority would take circumstances, such as unloading groceries, in consideration and that the idea was to prevent traffic being blocked.  This judge threatened Tom with contempt of court when he attempted to unfold the newspaper article to show it to her.  She didn't want to hear a word he had to say.)  and our whole family went in front of her with the landlord dispute.  I do not understand her behavior-she got upset when Tom didn't understand her legal terminology and refused to explain.  Her logic was interesting-because at one point in time we were hoping to buy the house, it was our responsibility to repair a 30 year old water heater, even though at the time it broke we were no longer buying the house (and as we found out that day, they had apparently tried 4 times to put the sale through but kept getting denied because of the self-employment).  But she ruled that we had to pay the cost of the first repair-even though they had cashed the rent check with a lesser amount for the repair and had advanced warning plus a reminder and never bothered to answer.  Cashing the check would have been legal acceptance of the terms.  We didn't argue because of her bizzare behavior-she did yell out of nowhere and she was a bit scary.  Her behavior extended to our landlords as well, so it wasn't just a prejudice towards us, or for them.  I really hope they get rid of her!  Even if it does us no good, someone like that she not be in the position she is in!
Again, go here to read the full article

Friday, November 05, 2010

unschooled boy does ok

I ran into this story about a boy who was allowed to grow and learn at his own rate and thrived!  It reminds me very much of Justin. 

Gift ideas

I thought this list had some good ideas for large family gifts. 

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Free meals

If you're ever eating out with kids, check this list of restaurants that have kids eat free nights.  Most have certain restrictions, such as only up to two meals free, or a meal only with an adult entree.  Worth looking into.