Thursday, April 28, 2011

Do They Get It?


Yes, Obama revealed the birth certificate.  Now, quit spending every minute of your broadcasts mocking and harping this issue.  Seriously.  Everytime I flip past your channel (Notice-PAST your channel) that is the ONLY issue you seem to feel is important. 

How about this: start reporting on the fact that we are arming rebels in Libya who, for all we know, could be the Taliban.  Report on the fact that our government is spending its way into oblivion.  Go ahead and throw in a little Royal Wedding.

Move on from the birth certificate already.  If you think the issue is so ridiculous...why are you spending precious airtime covering it over and over again?

Just a suggestion...

Conservative Mom

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Call Me Crazy, But....

I am currently reading "Heaven Is For Real" by Todd Burpo.  It chronicles the near-death experience of his four year old son, who after the experience matter-of-factly would talk about Jesus and what heaven was like and things that happend when he was in surgery that he never heard about.  The book is okay.  I mean, it is sweet and all, and I imagine if you are a 'doubter' in heaven existing, then it might be mind blowing...but it is a good little read.

What I wasn't expecting was a trip back in time to when my son was about 4.  No-there is no near-death experience,  but something spooky nonetheless.

Anyway, my son was about 3 or 4, and we were having a conversation.  I was half-way listening, nodding and giving a "Wow!" or a "Really?" at appropriate times.  So I don't remember how we got on this topic.  All of a sudden he was talking about things that happened when he lived in "Tyrone". 

"You lived where?"
"Ohh.  Okay.  What did you do there?"
"Played with Jackie in the woods.  We didn't have toys."
(Starting to really listen...) "What did Jackie look like?"
"He had blonde hair to here (pointing to his collar).  We wore overalls.  We don't have shoes.  We liked to play in the woods."

I chalked it up to vivid imagination.

A few days later...

(Me)" Tell me again about where you used to live."
"Yeah.  What did it look like there?"
"There's a big white house.  And next door is a big red house."
"Who do you live there with?"
"Jackie.  He liked to hide in the woods."

These little conversations went on for weeks.  He gave me other little details about Jackie and "Tyrone"...enough to make me really wonder.  I told my dad.  The next day he called me on the phone.

(Dad)"Jeanette, ask W--- what state 'Tyrone' is in...I found a place in North Carolina called the Tryon Palace.  It's a historic landmark.  It's a group of old houses...and there is a white house next to a red brick house."
I asked my son  "Honey...what state is 'Tyrone' in?"
"North Carolina" he answered.  I almost dropped the phone.

Coincidence? Maybe.  But my son was four.  We had never talked about or been to North Carolina.  The stories were consistent.  The details were consistent.

Makes you wonder, no?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Will Kindle Replace Books?

I love books.  I love old books.  I love how they have that musty smell, the creak of the binder, just...everything.

Some folks I know have a Kindle (or something similar) and tout how much they love it. How it is convenient.  Portable.

I just don't think I want one.  What if the power dies in it?  What about the smell and the sounds that make reading a multi-sensory experience?

Keep your Kindle.  I think I will stick with books.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Yes, I Was Once Cool

As an adult I am not ashamed to admit that I love peacefulness and quiet.  The TV stays off until the late afternoon...the radio in my van is always at a sensible children know I abhor yelling and loudness ESPECIALLY in the car. 

But back in the day...I liked my music loud.  And it was 80's rock/metal music. Loud.  I think having kids and spending 90 percent of the time when they were babies keeping things quiet around the house so they would SLEEP changed it for me.  Back in the day, I was quite the 'party animal' indeed.

But my kids only know the quiet, peace loving mom.

I picked up my daughter from her grandmother's house last Friday evening.  It was just she and I.  I drove the Monte Carlo instead of the Odyssey.  It was a balmy Georgia evening, the sun hanging low in the West, darkness creeping up in the East.  We had the windows down.  We were feeling sporty with the wind whipping through our hair.

And then it happend.

Joan Jett came on the radio singing "I Love Rock and Roll".

The Old Me cranked it up as loud as it could go.  My daughter looked at me suspiciously.   Her expression begged the question: "What happened to my mom?"

We both sang (yelled) every word of that song as loud as we could.  We cruised through the neighborhood, windows down, music blaring, singing at the top of our lungs.  Head banging even.  Neighbors stopped in their yards as we drove past.  Squirrels ran for cover.  Cats dove into the bushes.  We were outta control.

We pulled up in the driveway as the song ended.  We were breathless and our hair was properly wind blown and wild.  My daughter looked at me like I was an entirely different person.

"That was FUN!" she exclaimed.

Yes, it was.  Thanks for sharing that moment with me, Daughter Dear.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Just When I Thought I Was Decided on Curriculum...

Oh, Sonlight.  You tempt me with your display of fabulous reading materials.  You dangle that science curriculum in front of me like a chocolate cupcake.  You play upon my desires with that pre-planned lesson manual. 

Winter's Promise-you are no better my dear. 

Then you slap me with the cold hand of your price tag.

My heart weeps.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Challenge

I read this quote recently..."When all else fails-just love them."

It was referring to moms getting frustrated with their children, but it struck a chord in me.  It should apply to everyone in our lives, not just the kids.

As my brain usually does, it started linking all these other ideas onto that one statement:

When they say something snarky or inappropriate- just love them.

When they unwittingly hurt your feelings-just love them.

When they take advantage of you-just love them.

When they gossip-just love them.

Because really, all of us have done one of the above at sometime or another.  I know I have.  And when I do I am so glad to know that when all else fails...The Father loves me. 

So my challenge today-when all else fails....just love them.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Home Is Where the Magic Happens

I had already posted this morning and then I read this post over at Habits for a Happy Home.  It was so touching I had to share the link.  If you are a stay at home mom, you will appreciate the sentiment. 

I know I did.

Review: Apples to Apples Junior

At my house we try to have a family game night at least twice a month.  Sometimes it is hard to strike a balance with the games.  Some are fun for the kids but mind-numbing for the adults.  Some are great fun for the adults but leave the kids confused and frustrated.

For my daughters ninth birthday she received "Apples to Apples Junior" for ages 9 and up.  We have really enjoyed it!  It even throws in a little critical thinking and language arts at the same time (always a plus for me!)  It was simple enough to just play and have FUN playing, yet at times giving a little more challenge.

Now-if your kids are older middle-schoolers or up I am sure the non-junior version would be more entertaining.  For my family, the junior version has provided its fair share of entertainment!

How about you? Do you do game-nights?  What games would you suggest?

Monday, April 18, 2011


The cross was meant to mock Christ....instead, it became the symbol of His power.

The cross was meant to humiliate Him...instead, it became His glory.

The cross was meant to cause a hopeless death...instead, it became the hope of all mankind.

The cross was meant to stop Him....instead, it gave Him new life-and a new beginning for us all!

I love irony.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Feedings

Here are our menus for the upcoming week:

Crustless Quiche, salad, fruit

Pan seared salmon with dill and lemon butter, couscous, green beans

Chefs salad and rolls

Tuna salad on croissants with cucumbers and carrots with ranch dressing and chips

Turkey Tacos, black beans and rice

Grilled steak, salad, sauteed broccoli and cauliflower

I am loving this warm weather and the light, refreshing meals! 

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I traditionally give up something for Lent.  This year it was Facebook.

I thought I would be really twitchy and jones-ing.  I'm a little embarrassed to say that, aside from the first few days I have not had any desire to be on it.

Sure I feel left out when there is a whole group conversation centered around someone's latest status update or when invitations are passed around through Facebook and I nor my children receive one.  And therein lies my underlying distaste for social assume everyone is a 'friend'.  People send you silly little cartoon hearts about how "My Friends Rock!" or have you on their "BFF" list.  People are all sunshine and lollipops and act like the Best Friend  It also seems that so many little discussions turn into full blown spitting contests...why is that?  Is it because online we have the nerve to just say anything to anyone because we don't have to say it to their faces?

When you drop off of the radar it is amazing how few 'friends' actually keep in touch with you.  "It's easier when you are on Facebook!" they exclaim.  Oh-I'm so sorry that having an actual conversation with me or emailing me is such a chore.  Even texting people is may get a reply or you may not.

Easter is approaching.  Funny thing-I have been dreading actually going back to my Facebook account. 

I think I might delete it.

I would much rather spend my time with true friends who are willing to keep in touch despite the inconvenience. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A What?!

Last night my son came running into the house shouting  "There's a snake in the front yard!"  I immediately pictured this in my mind:

After hearing his description of was probably more like this:

I hope to encounter neither today.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

GED or Diploma? Or Neither?

I found this post by Kristen Chase (contributor to Confessions of a Pioneer Woman's blog) very intriguing.  She herself was homeschooled all the way through highschool and is now homeschooling her children, so it is nice to have her perspective.


Of all the questions I get about my own homeschool experience, everyone always wants to know what I did for high school. These days, there are way more options for homeschooling highschoolers than my mom had back in the very early 90s, most of which include some sort of high school diploma.
That was not the case for me, however, and not wanting me to have to get a GED, my mom was determined to figure out another option.
I still was never able to get a high school diploma. And I don’t have a GED.
But I did earn a Bachelor of Science, a Master of Music, and was about half way to a Ph.D. when I decided to take a college professor position.
So here’s what she did:
1. Homeschool Curriculum
My curriculum consisted of the typical high school level subjects, picked by her through research – Saxon Math, Wordly Wise, and a bunch of other names you’d probably recognize if you saw them.
Admittedly, I did not have advanced Math (like Calculus) or advanced Science (like Chemistry), but given my interest in the Arts and my desire to go into an arts-related field, it was never a detriment. Although, I actually picked an arts college degree program (Music Therapy) that required a strong science background, with Biology and Anatomy & Physiology course requirements.
However, not having those in my high school curriculum never affected my performance in those courses.
I’d never say that courses like Calculus or Chemistry are useless by any means. It really does depend.
2. Extra Curricular Activities
It was clear that my talent and interest was in the arts, and I spent most of my days (up to six hours on some) taking ballet classes and practicing violin. I was a member of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra and a small semi-professional dance company as well.
And at the time, I was heavily involved in a homeschool group and our church youth group, with weekly meetings, Sunday Bible study, and a bunch of mission opportunities, weekend trips, and opportunities to meet other kids.
3. Early Admission Community College
I started taking classes at my local community college at 15 – just one night class a semester – and built up about 18 credits by the time I was ready to apply for a four year college. This was probably the best decision my mom ever made because it got me acclimated to college course work (which I loved) and it allowed me to transfer in to my four year college a semester ahead.
When I decided on a degree program, I applied to two schools, a private college and a public university. Not surprisingly, the private college was much more accommodating of my situation (because they could be), and between my college credits and my strong musical background, they admitted me with absolutely no hassle. In fact, I was the first homeschool student ever admitted.
However, if we had to do anything differently given the opportunity, here’s what we would have done:
1. The SATs
I did not have good SAT preparation worked into my curriculum. And while I scored well enough to get me into college, I would strongly recommend making sure your high schoolers are well prepared for the SAT (or ACT – depending on which is more popular in your area).
2. Transfer vs. Freshman
Because I had those 18 credits, I was admitted as a transfer student, which meant I never attended the Freshman Orientation over the summer and I was stuck with an upper class person as a roommate. Both made the transition to a four year college away from home pretty tough. Had we known better, my parents would have just sent me to Orientation and asked that I be treated as freshman with extra credits rather than a transfer student.
3. Three vs. Four years
I went away to college at 17 and finished right before my 20th birthday due to my transfer credits and heavy summer class load. And while it was great to finish in three years instead of four, part of me wishes that I had taken a little more time to enjoy my college experience. I held huge class loads along with 4 jobs every semester. My summers were packed with classes. But I do think that the college years are special – educationally and socially – and if I had to do it over, I would have taken a little more time and graduated with my class. I was fortunate to have nearly a full scholarship, however, so the financial aspect did not factor into my decision.
I realize that the technicalities of homeschooling a high schooler have gotten easier since I “graduated” in 1992. But I always like to share my story to show that it is possible to be a successful and happy homeschooled high schooler.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mr. Rogers Monday

"Some days, doing 'the best that we can' may still fall short of what we would like to be able to do, but life isn't perfect--on any front--and doing what we can with what we have is the most we should expect of ourselves or anyone else." --Fred Rogers

Friday, April 8, 2011

Not-So-Extreme Couponing

I have the coupon fever.  Not as bad as those ladies on the show 'Extreme Couponing'...but I can relate to their joy of saving money.

Today I got these deals at Kroger:

Dove Men's Care bath soap-6 bars....regular price $8.08.  I paid $2.75!

Crest Mouthwash...regular price $4.39.  I paid $0.39! Woot!

Always Pantyliners (14 ct) ...regular price $4.39.  I paid $0.39! Woot!

Crest Toothpaste...regular price $2.85.  I paid NOTHING. Woot!

Lysol Scrubbing Bubbles (2 cans)...regular price $4.98.  I paid $0.78 (.39 cents each!) Woot!

Glade Scented Oil Candles (2)...regular price $7.18.  I paid $2.59!

Yippee!  I love saving money.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I Broke My Number One Rule.

"Don't get involved in 'kid stuff'." 

That's my rule...kid arguements, disagreements, etc.  Let them work it out.

Until today. 

Not to get into details...but sometimes your kid looks to you for help and you see in their eyes that you can't say no.  Sometimes the cruelty is too much.  Sometimes the words are too painful.

I tried to talk myself out of it. I don't want to be one of 'those' moms.  I was not successful.

So I went and Got Involved.

I was calm.  I was nice.  And I was to the point.  I stood up for my kid when he felt like he didn't have anyone on his side.

When I got back home...he smiled. 

Don't worry kid.  If you need me...I've got your back.

That's my new rule.


I woke up feeling exceptionally thankful this morning.

Thankful for the lovely weather.

 Thankful that I am able to homeschool my kids- as such they were able to get together yesterday with all different ages of kids in the middle of the day while they are still ripe for romping outside with friends. 

That they still find joy in simple things like caterpillars and sticks and dirt.

That they don't have to worry about anyone in this crowd judging them on what clothes they wear or what haircut they have.

Thankful that my daughter announced that she doesn't like her computer math because she "Likes to learn it from *you*, Momma." (So much for that 'fun', expensive computer program.)

Thankful for the playdate this afternoon with two of my son's new homeschooled friends.

 Thankful for the moms who lend support and advice and give me something to laugh about.

Are any of the above a 'big deal'? No.  Each is a small something. 

But those small somethings make me so happy.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Works For Me Wednesday

I have used Saxon Math since I first began homeschooling three years ago...mainly because it was the only math curriculum that I heard about from other homeschoolers.

We strayed last year and ordered a computer based program in order to inject a little 'fun' into the learnin'.  That was a mistake.  Both of my kids are begging for Saxon.

When I pulled my son out of school he had just completed 3rd grade.  Math was his weakest subject and he had lost a lot of confidence in his math abilities.  He has issues with attention span and distractibility, so if he missed a key part of a lesson, he was lost.

What we love about Saxon is the 'spiral' technique of teaching, where a concept is introduced and you are given several practice problems on that topic.   The rest of the lesson is review of other topics you studied previously...but not too many.  Maybe three division, three multiplication, about five word problems, etc.  That way there is constant review of concepts to keep them fresh.

Another plus (for me) is that Saxon, once you get to level 5/4 ( advanced 4th grade or average 5th grade) the textbooks are set up for the student to work independently.  The instructions are written to the student in a simple, straightforward way and there are at least three examples to illustrate.  The earlier grades do require more teacher-student time. 

I will add that I never bought the manipulatives from Saxon, but instead used household products.  We didn't do the 'meeting book' either as it was geared to a classroom setting. 

Some friends say they didn't think Saxon was advanced enough for their children, or fact paced enough.  I happen to prefer that my kids really "get" a concept before moving on and not trying to push them to far to fast. (Of course, they are average math students...I am sure if your child is a math whiz the best thing is to let him/her soar on ahead!)

It is also very affordable compared to other curricula if you opt out of the manipulatives and 'extras'.  I will add that if you want something colorful and 'fun'...look elsewhere.  But this is a good, solid math program.  We will save our colors for art. ;)

And the best part-my son now says his favorite subject is math.(yay!)

So there you have it.  Affordable, constant review of concepts, set up for independent learning.  It works for us!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Moody Blues

Ever try to plan fun stuff for your family only to have it blow up in your face?  As Jerry Seinfeld once said-"There is no such thing as 'fun' for the whole family." (By the way, Jerry-I really miss your show.)

Yesterday I declared a Spring Break day, as we worked through the county's Spring Break last week.  So we rode bikes together.  We went to our homeschool chorus class.  I packed a picnic lunch and we went to a local park with some friends.

If I was a kid, I would be so happy  I'd be whistling Dixie until my lips fell off.

Daughter wanted to go home with her best friend.  I explained we couldn't because she had ballet that evening and she wouldn't have enough time. 

Let the sulking begin.

She was quiet on the ride home.  I explained that we can have another playdate when she has more time and doesn't have to stop early to go to ballet class. 

Let the tears begin.

We had a little back and forth exchange and when we were home in her room, she finally let it loose.  Her friend is heading back to public school in the fall.  She is fearing that she is losing her friend.  That her friend will forget her and make new friends.


I explained that even though her friend will make new friends, that's ok.   She can still be friends with her too.  And we can arrange playdates on holidays and weekends.

"But it won't be the same..." she said quietly.

No, it won't be the same.  But it's a lesson in life.  Things change.  Times change.   It's not a bad thing, though.   You just have to trust that God will bring you where you need to be. 

But here's the kicker...there was no ballet practice last night.  She could have had the playdate after all.

Yet another life lesson-sometimes life just stinks when you are almost 9 years old.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Mama Duggar Monday

As you all know...I love me some Duggars.  This morning I was surfing channels and came across their show.  An interviewer asked Michelle Duggar, as she spoke of her youngest child Josie's struggle and success this past year, if she knew the difficult road she would travel by conceiving and giving birth to a very premature infant....would she choose to do it again?

Her answer- "Sometimes I think that by taking the easy road...making the easy descisions....we miss out on opportunities for experiencing God's blessings."


Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday Feedings

Our upcoming menus are as follows:

Braised Pineapple Chicken with Rice and Mandarin Oranges

BLT Wraps with Sweet Potato Fries and Fresh Fruit

Taco Soup (complete with pinto beans, black beans, ground turkey, corn and tomatoes) garnished with avocado, sour cream, cheese, salsa

Teryaki Turkey Burgers on Whole Wheat Buns, Pasta Salad (pasta, cucumber, celery, grape tomatoes, green onions)

Fish Fillets, Grilled Corn On The Cob and Tossed Salad.

I am soooo looking forward to warmer weather and chillin' and grillin'!