21 April 2015

And.  The really cool kids had the box of 64 crayons with built-in sharpener.  You know who you are.

18 April 2015

Homeschooling in the Mitten State

Michigan looks like a mitten and is located at the top of the map.
Looks like Mitchelle Blair killed her kids and put them in a freezer, and the crime wasn't discovered for two years.  Two years.  I gather Grandpa called or otherwise tried to make contact, but he was able to be convinced for a time that they couldn't come to the phone and/or visit because they were homeschooling.

That's right.  He's pretty smart.

And the neighbours never saw these kids for the past two years.  These kids never emerged from their home, because they were homeschooling.  Makes total sense, right? 

Michigan State Rep. Stephanie Chang held a press conference to remind people that homeschoolers are normal people and they're not all murderous thugs keeping their kids inside for years at a time.  Similar conferences have been held after terror attacks to remind citizens that every Muslim is not participating in some crazy jihad.   Everybody stay calm.

Kidding.  That response would have been the normal thing to do.  Instead, in true "make a law to fix some weird situation that just happened and probably won't again for another 20 years" fashion, Chang just decided to make up a new law.  Under her proposed regulation, homeschoolers would have to "register" and be checked twice a year to be sure they're not dead... or something.  Snarky internet comments indicate that really, freezers are to blame just as much as homeschooling, so we need for everyone to have a semi-annual freezer check as well.  Get ready to let the cops into your house so they can peek at your frozen pizzas, folks.  :)

Update:  Michigan State Senator Phil Pavlov has vowed to fight this and not allow it to get out of committee.  Here's his facebook page, which you can look at for more details.

14 April 2015

Congrats to Emperor!

Emperor answered 39 of 40 questions correctly, barely missing a perfect score on the National Latin Exam.  He's hanging his ribbon up in his room as I type this. 

10 April 2015

The Story for Kids

The Story for Kids is a gentle introduction to familiar Bible stories for children ages 7 to 12.  The paperback is very simple to read and about an inch thick (264 pages), divided into chapters by story.  It makes a good reader for first- or second-grade homeschoolers, so guess what we're working on now?  Woodjie often has difficulty with reading fluently, but he's doing a pretty good job on this book.  Each chapter has a small introductory paragraph and a few questions to consider at the end.

Max Lucado and Randy Frazee simplified the text while preserving the gist of most of the stories.  If you have a child who's struggling through his King James Version, this would be a great book for him to read before tackling a passage.  I like how the explanation of the text is woven into the story itself.

A word of caution, however:  this is not the Bible.  Either for the sake of simplicity or sparing young viewers graphic detail, the stories leave out the more upsetting bits of Scripture.  Let's just say that David didn't just make "bad choices," ok?

And it's a real shame they didn't add colour to the illustrations of Fausto Bianchi.  Isn't the cover of the book gorgeous?  So much depth and feeling is missing from the black and white drawings inside the book.  I have a feeling the originals are stunning, however.

I think this is a nice supplemental book for your elementary schooler or for a preteen who has a bit of difficulty with the more advanced versions of the Bible.  

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Here's An Easy And Fun Craft!


I bought a 100-pack of hair clips from Amazon for less than $5.  Got a glue gun and some buttons, sequins and fake coins.  The children arranged the buttons and other items and we just popped them on.  (I operated the glue gun.) They've been happily arranging the clips for a good part of the afternoon. 

Woodjie wanted a clip for his "man doll," so we went for the fake coin look and put the hairclip on the doll's pants.  Woodjie says that this means the man is very rich, upon which Rose said, "Hey!  Let's make our dollies get married now!"

Poor man doll didn't have a chance at the single life.

09 April 2015

Liebster Luv!

Bethany Carson at Liberty or Death has given me a Liebster Award.  The Liebster Award is a fun way of learning more about fellow bloggers by asking them questions.  I've answered Bethany's questions below:
1.  Would you share a favorite quote and a favorite Bible verse?  Well, I don't know that it's a favourite, but I have been thinking on Isaiah 5 lately.  The things God is warning Israel of are the things we are seeing happening today.  There is so much hatred for the poor and for people who want to live righteously, and even now in this country which (for all its faults) I do believe God has blessed.
2.  What would you like to accomplish before the year is over? I'd love to lose 40 pounds, but I'd be happy with 20.  It has taken me a year and a half to lose 40 so far.  After I lose five more pounds, I will no longer be obese.  I'll just be fat, like the rest of America.  Knowing I have a thyroid problem and being on medication just means this takes me a bit longer.  :/ 
3.  What is your ancestry (e.g. German, Italian)?  I think every rabble-rousing tribe from Europe has contributed to my ancestry.  Did you know I had relatives from Mexico(It's a city in New York state, but it sounds more ethnic and impressive if I leave that bit out.) 
4.  What is your favourite genre of music?  I like Indian music!  I just only have one recording of it that I got from a rice box years ago.  When I lived in Australia, my best friend was the daughter of the Indian Vice-Consul to Australia, and they listened to cool Indian music, had lots of parties, and ate great vegetarian food.
 5.  Do you have a favorite bird or flower?  I have a very un-favourite cardinal that hangs around one side of my house and enjoys the vehicles in our driveway.  He sneaks up when no one is looking, sits on our rear-view mirrors, and poops his little guts out!  I used to like cardinals before, but I think I have it in for this little fellow. 
6.  What is the most encouraging thing anyone has ever told you/or that you've ever read?  I don't remember where I heard it, but it helped me so much to learn that God has given me enough time to accomplish everything that God wants me to do.  So obvious, but so deep. 
7.  What is your go-to meal for when you need to cook something quickly?  Now that I am starting on this crazy gluten-free stuff, I don't eat anything anyone else eats, really.  So I have bags of cheese and crackers, yogurt, microwaveable rice, and veggies and fruits.  I rarely cook. 
8.  Do you have a favorite word?  Lolloping!  Well, that's one favourite.  It sounds like what it is.  "And the big brown bear came lolloping over the mountain."  Remember that quote in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?  Hate the rest of the movie, really, except for the child-kidnapper fellow with the lollies.  He's symbolic of socialism, I think.
9.  What is your favorite tv series?  I just got done watching all the Amazon Prime episodes of Flashpoint.  It's about elite Canadian police doing tactical stuff.  I find myself wondering how they get all their information so quickly and in such a high-tech manner.  When I had to call the cops about a local threat on twitter, they asked me, "What's twitter?" 
10. If you could have a gift card to any clothing store, including online, what would it be for?   I would order a skirt in size 12 from Delarosa Custom Jean SkirtsYou know, as a goal for when I'm done losing 20 more pounds.  Gorgeous handmade stuff. 
11. If I were to visit you in your hometown, what would be the first place you'd want me to see?  I suppose we'd have to go drive by the bank that Jesse James robbed.  If I were entertaining Mormons, first stop would be the jail in which Joseph Smith was held.
My nominees (if they'd like to participate):
Kerrie The Kerrie Show
Merle @ Merlesworld 
And anyone else who would like to participate, please feel welcome!   

07 April 2015

Adopted Children Should Have Rights!

Adoption is supposed to mean that a child not born to you has the same legal rights as a child that you birth. In the United States, the child's original birth certificate is routinely sealed and a new, amended birth certificate is drawn up listing the adoptive parent(s) as the child's birth parent. (I don't agree with this practice; I mention it only to show you that our legal system recognizes an adopted child as the same as a birth child.)

So, this man was adopted by not one, but two abusive families. One gave him up... the other has been charged with rape, sexual abuse and criminal mistreatment of their adopted and foster children. They kicked him out at SIXTEEN over an argument over the phone. Homeless and alone at sixteen... he became involved in criminal activities.

Now, he lives a honorable life. He is married and has three children, another on the way... and our government would like to send him back to Korea. He doesn't speak Korean. He doesn't remember Korea. He knows no one there.

The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 was supposed to fix this, but it didn't grandfather in those adoptees who were over 18 on February 27, 2001. What a grave miscarriage of justice. If we are not going to protect those who come here as vulnerable littles...

Everything about this man's life has been a tragedy.  Here's the petition.  Please sign!

-- written by my friend Julie Suelter Clobes, mother of three adopted children.