30 March 2011
28 March 2011
26 March 2011
24 March 2011
22 March 2011
We also bought this guide book. If you live in Missouri and like birds at all, you'll want it! It's organized with coloured page edges. If the bird you're trying to identify is mostly brown, look in the brown section. Mostly red? Look in the red section. And as a special bonus, the female and male birds are listed separately if they differ greatly in colouring (female and male cardinals, for example). The pages show the areas in which the bird can be found and season (migration, summer, winter, or both).
We're also learning about bird calls by using a website. (That's a link to the song of the chickadee Elf loves so much. Just press "play" and listen to him!). So often before I would just think, "Oh, that's a bird." Well, different birds have different songs to sing entirely.
21 March 2011
Which is really sweet. Really. But I only told the school that he is allergic to milk and eggs so that they wouldn't serve them to him. He will live if he has a swig of someone's milk or a bite of egg. Probably not very sanitary to eat other people's food, but not (usually!) deadly.
I feel kinda bad for having told them. Now the entire classroom is milk and egg FREE. They reallly don't have to do that, I told them. Just try not to give the kid a milk carton, yk? The classroom is already peanut FREE for another child. And shellfish FREE for another. So when it's time to pack a snack, I'm left with trying to choose things that 1) I know Woodjie will eat; and 2) don't have those ingredients.
He eats Pop-Tarts, Oreos, lemon pudding, popcorn or chips usually. They must think I stuff the kid with candy all day. Oh, well. His fave snack is cashews, and I can't do that. Granola bars? Nope. PB sandwiches? Nope. You get the picture.
I have no doubt (because this is the special autism classroom) that Woodjie and these other students will be together all through their schooling years unless they withdraw or move or Jenny McCarthy cures 'em. It isn't like there are 50 different classes for these kids. So... he will be eating Oreos for snacks, PopTarts for the main course, and pudding as a "fruit" for his entire school career, I guess.
I don't specially want to see another kid die for my child's food preferences, but we're going to need some help later broadening the choices. I feel bad that the other kids can't have milk with their lunches, but apparently this is a standard procedure when dealing with allergies. *shrug*
How much trouble should other children have to go through to accomodate another child's allergies? I like Darren well enough, but some of the commenters on this post are either into eugenics or have badly represented their own thoughts. What is sad is that Darren is a teacher, and his audience? Mostly teachers.
Just let those kids die. Can you imagine?
Well, as an aside, according to this article bullying children with allergies is quite common. And the bullying happens at the hands of SCHOOL PERSONNEL quite frequently. And how best to bully and torment these kids? Wave the allergen at them and/or brush it against them or put it in their food. Nothing like a little difficulty breathing to give those other kids a hearty laugh! That's fun!
I'm realllly glad my children are not deathly allergic to foods. But neither would I appreciate milk or egg added to their food or rubbed on them for fun. In severely allergic children, it's beyond bullying. It's getting these kids in fear for their lives and sometimes? It's attempted murder if it goes too far in my opinion. I don't know if the law backs me up on that one, but trying to kill someone and attempted murder sorta sound the same to me...
I am going to write a thank you letter to this school nurse. My child's allergies are not severe at all. I am not worried in the least about him. But the preschool is to be commended for making the school a place every child can learn and play and eat their snacks in safety. :)
19 March 2011
State Sen. Mike Kehoe (R-Jefferson City) has introduced a bill, Senate Bill 50, that would allow utilities to recover the costs associated with obtaining an early site permit, or ESP, which is issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The good news is consumers won't pay a dime unless and until the permit is issued. The cost would be less than $2 a year for residential customers. If completed, the plant would help diversify Missouri's power generating facilities and help continue to keep Missouri's electricity costs among the lowest in the nation.
For more information, please visit www.moenergyfuture.org. Sign up for updates and stay in-the-loop about how we're working to keep nuclear energy an option for the future. Find Missourians for a Balanced Energy Future on facebook and Twitter.
Umm... talk about bad timing. This arrived in the mail two days before the events in Japan.
18 March 2011
Many of the people I've met online in my YoVille game are happily married. The first married couple I really got to know had some shared homes and beautiful pictures of one another on their virtual walls. I'll call them Dan and Danielle. They spent a lot of money (well, $100 is a LOT of money on a 'free' game) making their homes beautiful places to be together avatar-wise because they lived in two different states. Something about the husband's job and he can't leave the job just yet.
It struck me as a little strange but certainly not unheard of. My own father travelled internationally for business and my mother accompanied him on only one of those trips. To Brazil, ages and ages ago. So... I do understand that dads have to work, and are often away from home.
But then I heard about Danielle's lavish wedding. It was, she said, the most important and most touching day of her life. All her friends were there. It was a great online experience. And as soon as Dan is ready to leave his wife, they can start their lives in REAL life out in Oklahoma with her kids.
I'm a little more jaded now when I come across "families" on YoVille. I wasn't surprised when D played for a little bit and we'd pop into other people's "houses" for a bit that new friends weren't sure what to make of us. You mean, you're married? In real life or just on YoVille? Real life? And you're on YoVille together? Do you have another husband/wife on YoVille? Wait, it's just YOU together? You're on the game from separate floors in your house?? (Ohh. Hmm, that's different...)
What can I say? We're an odd family. So far as I know, my husband doesn't even have a "work spouse." That would make life interesting.
For those of you backward people who don't know what a work spouse is, it's basically a worktime-only husband or wife. No sex (yet). "Nearly two thirds of workers have or have had a work spouse" according to the article, but "surprisingly" there are no greeting cards for this. If you were writing one, what would it say? "Happy Valentine's Day, my quirky-cute office spouse. You know all my secrets and my deepest wishes. You are so much cuter than my real wife, 25 years younger, and it's awesome that you never nag me to do the lawn or help with the kids. And this bunch of roses I buy you once a year proves you are lower maintenance than that old cow. Hubba Hubba. Love, Jack."
16 March 2011
Her parents decided to homeschool this school year, "taking away most of (the children's) visibility to outside eyes and increasing the danger that abuse and neglect would go unrecognized. This was further compounded by the lack of formal requirements relating to the monitoring of students being home schooled." (emphasis mine)
Okayyyy. Was it really "compounded by the lack of formal requirements," or did these folks just plain old not listen in the bloody first place when everyone was hopping up and down and yelling about problems in this family?? Would they have suddenly listened if this child stayed another month or two in school? Or six? Would they?? Or is "the lack of formal requirements" a good scapegoat for their own shocking level of ineptitude?
This PDF from the beeauuutiful, sunny state of Florida goes on and on about those wonderful, diligent people who worked at the schools. La- la- la- singing praise and throwing rose petals about. And yes, it sounds as if the school actually CARED. Too bad that *whoopsie* several screams for help went unheeded and this child died a horrible death. If I were one of those people who worked at that school, I would SO not want praise from these folks for my great job reporting. What kind of attaboy is that after a child is dead? Who cares if they did a great job or not if NO ONE LISTENS TO THEM?? Hope those school folks are able to sleep at night, because it sounds like they did what they could and God bless them.
Homeschooling can be torture if it's done just right. But just imagine being hauled in each month and having your child checked over because he HAPPENED to be school-aged and not sent to school. Nevermind that it really is a very small minority that kills; can we just chalk it up to "lack of regulation" when it happens and clamp down on people? I mean, I know you feel safer getting all naked for the TSA guy. ("Backscatter" sounds like a lap dance to me.) I think we did a great job by changing things so that you can't just leave your explosive luggage with the porter any more. You at least have to die on the plane now. And popping in metal detectors, not letting non-passengers through the gate, and a bit of common sense... these things are all improvements. Ever heard of the law of diminishing returns? Should everyone who wants to fly on an airplane check in once a month so the TSA guy can do the blue glove check for terrorism?
If the "state," in the process of approving Nubia's parents for adoption and closely overseeing her transition into the home, can miss that these parents were about to MURDER their child, do you think that abusive or menacing parents might escape notice? You think? And how much would all that cost? Money could be better spent better on responding to genuine allegations and on parent training if it's needed, that's what it would cost.
What really ANGERS me when I read all this isn't so much the idea of homeschoolers being looked after. (Or into, depending on your perspective.) I'm scared that homeschoolers and adoptive parents are going to be scapegoats and that the state of Florida - yet again! - will simply fail to listen to the mandated reporters and look into anything. Why can't they listen to people when they say something? And grant you, a person or two may have an axe to grind. But when you get a bunch of unconnected people all saying the same sorts of things about a given family, you know something is likely up.
Another thing that really gets me about the PDF report is that the state has the gall to go on and on about how they are not calling the Barahonas Nubia's parents because they don't deserve the honour after what happened to her. OK... SO WHO GAVE HER TO THE BARAHONAS? It was *ta da* the state. Of course.
I've really thought about this. I've really wondered if my own biases formed my opinion on this. I know there ARE some really crappy parents out there. But I find myself saddened at this disrespect of adoptive families as well as homeschoolers. I also need to add that soon, I will have FIVE public school children and only ONE homeschooler. Which means I'm mostly a public school parent. Can I still be a public school parent and say that I know a power grab when I see one?
Nubia was such a beautiful girl. I hope that something changes because of her death. I'm not too hopeful on that score.
15 March 2011
I have no idea what to tell my children other than some basic information about earthquakes, tsunamis, the Richter scale and the like. And theologically, all I can say is that I reason if there were ANY WAY God could stop this that He would. Jesus cried over Jerusalem, over the suffering He knew had to take place. I would imagine He is crying now over the devastation of the people He loves in Japan.
I believe the entire world, the very earth itself, was harmed somehow when sin came into the earth. I do not understand it. I am just sad that it is that way.
14 March 2011
I know, another video... but this is too good to pass up. (Warning: F-word at beginning. I didn't notice it the first time through...) These poor downtrodden young students, who ostensibly have gazoodles of money to spend or borrow for college, seem to feel that it is your responsibility to buy their birth control. They only want to be treated like adults. And it isn't fair that the government spends so much on defense and that Planned Parenthood is so derided in the news. Activism time! People giggling, holding silly signs and talking about how they have sex ("SEEEX!") helps you think of them as adults discussing an alternate point of view, right? Yeah. That'll do it. Tell you what: if you want to be treated like adults, fine. A rational, calm, non-giggly argument could be made for the public benefits of STD testing being made available at taxpayer expense. Slogans like, "We lube and we vote" probably doesn't qualify as a rational argument in most circles, however.
11 March 2011
Now that you parents are old and responsible, you shouldn't be thanked for anything you do. That's just something to be expected and part of your job. Quit whining all the time about being unappreciated. You need to just keep providing for your kids just as you did when they were three, but give 'em nicer toys and more freedom. Communication is so important at this age, and that means you'd also better pay attention to their sarcastic and mean comments. Maybe the fact that these poor children need to make them means you need to change something in your life. You might acknowledge that you sure aren't perfect, but that isn't enough because your kid knows wayyy more than you, you stupid old and fat person. (Did I mention you look funny?) It is their house and their rights we're talking about here. Oh. And it is a violation of their freedom of speech that you tend not to lend out your own computers, telephones and the like because you have been mocked by your disrespectful and ungrateful children. Shut up. Do you expect them to fall over themselves every time you drive them someplace? Rides and other extra things are just things you should expect from a good parent. What is wrong with you people??? Be a good parent, already, and give those kids THE RIGHTS THEY DESERVE!
09 March 2011
06 March 2011
You know, he said, he's not the sort of person to go off and kill people but hard times are coming. Don't think all those crazy people from the city, who aren't preparing for this upcoming disaster, won't come out looking for food and a safe place to stay in the months to come. Meaning his place in Kearney. There were several other people from our church who were speaking similarly.
But Pastor reasoned that if it says in the Bible that we oughtn't worry about what we will eat or wear, that God will clothe and feed us, then we oughtn't borrow our troubles. You'd better plan ahead and not be foolish, but don't worry too much about it, is what he was saying. And as an aside when Lenny wasn't around, he reminded us that Lenny sometimes takes things a little far. He believes in miracles like Lenny does, he said, but he's not so sure of the miraculous benefits of oregano oil and (brandname) juice.
Back then, even some folks I knew from other churches weren't too levelheaded. One of my friends had enough supplies to last perhaps a month and a half, but she also had poison. She reasoned that if the antichrist came, she'd rather her girls were dead than see what would have to go down. I have to admit to you, I felt rather unprepared in comparison.
And I really hoped no one was right. I mean, my husband was one of the ones WORKING on the Y2k bug and he advised we have maybe two weeks' groceries and money around. He figured bugs would be worked out but things might not be up and running those first couple days. That's the thing. You can test and test and test, but you just never completely know until you're up against it. We never got a bunker or any poison. And thankfully nothing ever really awful happened.
But whyyy am I telling you this very old and somewhat silly story? Oh, because I was reading up about affinity fraud and I'm thinking, "HMmm! Sounds very familiar." Telling you, I knew people in churches who sold all kinds of stupid stuff to each other. Lenny with his specially blessed oregano oil and juice. Some other lady had gummy vitamins made from vegetable extracts that were practically guaranteed to help G get his body something or other levels into balance. One lady I knew sold air purifiers and magnetic somethings that would have cured Woodjie of his autism. I've sure missed out on a lot of opportunities to cure my children. I don't love them enough to spend the money. Only a very uncaring parent like myself wouldn't TRY EVERYTHING, you know.
But here's what we have done: we have paid off our house. As in, we haven't spent for vacations for about 12 years. We haven't bought the latest gadgets. We are driving 11-year-old cars and not eating at the restaurants twice a week. We have stuff falling apart at home, and some parts of our house look pretty doggone crappy. We have cellphones, but no Ipod/Ipad/ cable tv or well... much of anything. (We do have a VCR player, and videos at the thrift store are about $1. Yay!)
But we own our house. It's ours. And maybe our kids aren't cured, but I can live knowing that *likely* I won't be dependent on any one of them. And sorry, no, we're not mortgaging our home to send anyone through college. Though we may get a bigger or differently designed house (and take on a mortgage) that is more suitable to our special needs children at a later time.
I am very thankful to God for this opportunity, and also to my husband who has been a wise and prudent person financially. And no, we're not loaning out any money. It's all tied up in the house. :)
05 March 2011
04 March 2011
Our records reflect that there has been no activity initiated by you in this account since 02/19/09. We are offering you a simple way to notify us of your plans to keep this account active. (Directions given here.)
In order to keep your account active, it is important that you respond as soon as possible. The reason we ask for a timely response is due to the fact that we are legally required to remit the funds to the state for accounts that remain inactive for an extended period of time. We are notifying you to protect your funds from possible remittance to the state.
(Make sure to verify your address, blah blah blah.)
If you have any questions, please call us at (number). We appreciate your business and would like to continue serving your banking needs.
(Well. Wouldn't it be nice if *I* could pass a law stating that all inactive accounts become my property?? WHERE and WHY does the state come into this? And we're talking a TWO year gap, not a 100 year gap. Even taking money from a 20-year-old inactive account sort of sounds like STEALING to me.
The exception to this would be an express agreement between the business and customer that, say, inactive accounts are remitted to the bank after five years or whatever after reasonable contact efforts are made. After all, it does cost something to keep things on the books.But the state? Taking a child's $5.11 savings account? Patrick is upset and says he never trusted banks, etc. etc. Seriously, he is not happy about this note addressed to his parents and himself.)
02 March 2011
Do you have your flu shot? I don't recommend shots often... but get one if you can. There were people with vomit all over themselves coming in, people retching, shuffling, holding barf bags... ugh. Telling you, the ER made NO EFFORT to separate the sick from the well in the waiting area. Terrible. We were waiting three hours before even going back to wait some more and see a doctor.
A total of a day and a half before the surgery even happened. They told us that the orthopedist on call is the one who must perform the surgery, and all these people kept having car wrecks. :(
G is now able to climb stairs and use the restroom alone, but he can't bathe yet. He is using a walker and a wheelchair. I guess when you're really tall, crutches are particularly hard. There are "tall" walkers out there, which I didn't know. His does not have tennis balls. It is our walker to keep so I am thinking of decorating with flaming death skulls or whatever else young men think is kewl. Bummer the wheelchair is a rental or it would likely get pinstriping. :)
G is very sad because this happened literally two hours before his first official tennis practice. He was going to be on the team. All his friends- the buddies he hangs out with at lunch- are going to be on without him. Here's hoping he has a speedy recovery and finds something else with which to occupy his time. There IS always next year. :)
-- from facebook status. Posted on Wednesday because life happens. :)