Archive for July, 2011

After spending two miserable years in the public school system and watching our son’s personality start to change in addition to his enthusiasm for learning grind to a halt, it hadn’t taken a lot for us to realize that something needed to change. We thought about private school, of course, and while budgetary concerns were on the list, I had come to realize that “this kind” of education- sitting at a desk, being forced to do everything on someone else’s time-table, etc- was just not going to mesh.  Not only was it not meshing with our son, it wasn’t meshing with *us* and our philosophy about life in general. (Side note: While my husband’s feeling on the school situation was in complete agreement with mine, we weren’t completely on the same page with homeschooling philosophy.  We’ll talk about communicating and coming to a place of agreement with partners in a later post.)

As parents, we had spent the early years basically Attachment Parenting. We were not directly involved with the organization, but nonetheless, our philosophy and theirs was agreeable.  Without going down that rabbit trail, in a nutshell, attachment parenting in its most basic form is about understanding and responding to the needs of your child.  All you API folks know there is more to it, but at its most basic, this about sums it up.

We spent all those early years responding to cues, and nurturing accordingly.  We spent those early years encouraging and supporting interests. Now we’re in school, and everything is done not based on the child, but based on the adults there and what they deem “important.”  You, the parent, who to this point knew your child best, suddenly doesn’t know spit.  And you have to shut up and obey, too, because after all, the professionals know what is best.

Obviously, I could rant on this for a really long time.  😆  I will say that even today, I know good people who are good teachers, siblings included.  I am friends with a good number of very good teachers.

I am, however, glad to live in a country where we have options. 😀

Those of you who have been reading along (or know me) know that I research things.  Some would say I research obsessively.  😆  I say I research until I get to the point where I feel that I know enough to make an educated, informed decision. I admire all those folks I know that have gone before me on the homeschooling quest without the benefit of computers.  😆  I don’t know that I would have had enough courage otherwise.

When we started kicking around the idea of homeschooling, I heard all kinds of things.  One of those things was “If you aren’t a licensed teacher, you aren’t allowed to homeschool.”  This didn’t ring true, and off I went to gather information.

One thing I learned on this particular quest was that laws pertaining to homeschooling are different in every state. Since I had been on a large homeschooling email list, I knew that people were doing all kinds of things for homeschooling- some had portfolios to submit; some had to meet with the school district to get their curriculum approved, etc.

This got me wondering- if you are having to do all the same things as the school does, what is the benefit of homeschooling?  I mean, why bother? I’ll address that in another post later, because it is a valid question in its own right.

On my quest for knowledge (and yes, I’m thinking a Monty Python type of quest here), I learned that in addition to every state having its own laws on homeschooling, not all homeschooling is the same. That’s right.  Let me say it again:  Not all homeschooling is the same.

Before I go into the details on some homeschooling terminology in my next post, let’s talk about the homeschooling laws.  Because each state has its own laws and requirements regarding homeschooling, these laws do (and probably should) affect your approach to home-based learning.


For example, in Pennsylvania, some of the regulations read like this:

“3. Parent/supervisor must annually maintain and provide the superintendent with “certain documentation. This is due by June 30th:”

a. A portfolio of records and materials. This includes 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.” § 13-1327.1(e)(1);

b. “An annual written evaluation of the student’s educational progress” by (1) a licensed psychologist, (2) or a teacher certified by the state (with two years of teaching experience), (3) or a nonpublic school teacher or administrator (who must have at least two years teaching experience in the last ten years in public or nonpublic schools). At the request of the supervisor, persons with other qualifications may conduct the evaluation with the prior consent of the local superintendent. The evaluation shall be based on an interview and review of the portfolio and it “shall certify whether or not an appropriate education is occurring.” § 13-1327.1(e)(2); “

And that’s one of the ways to homeschool in Pennsylvania. There are 5 options for homeschooling in Pa, each with their own set of rules and regulations. In New York, parents have to submit an Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP) for each child. In addition, there are rules for mandatory testing, annual assessments and quarterly reports. These states are considered “high regulation” states, and for good reason.

I’m glad I don’t live in Pa or NY!

In Texas, for example, “homeschools do not have to initiate contact with a school district, submit to home visits, have curriculum approved or have any specific teacher certification.”

In Oklahoma, along with no notice required to homeschool, “it is the only state with a constitutional provision guaranteeing the right to home school.“

I happen to live in a state where homeschooling regulations are low. We have to notify the state each year, but there is no mandatory testing or submission of anything to anyone.

Knowing your homeschooling laws is important. Knowing what you have to do or don’t have to do can have a huge impact on the approach you take to homeschooling your kids. Early on, I stumbled across the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) website. Hands down, this site has the best overview of state laws I have found anywhere. One of the things I appreciate most is that non-members (like me) can still access most of the information.

Thanks to Google and other search engines, you will be amazed at the resources you can find to connect to people who are or are interested in homeschooling. Finding and connecting with people in your state/area who are homeschooling can be a really important part of taking the homeschooling plunge, because, let’s face it, sometimes wading through the information on the state website can be daunting, overwhelming, and downright discouraging.

Do schools want you homeschooling? My feeling is “Of course not!” Schools get money based on attendance. If you homeschool your children, your school district doesn’t get federal or state funding for your child. Another issue is about control and losing the ability to have sovereignty where your kids are concerned. Some people would rather not have to be responsible for their children, and while I could write a book on my feelings about that, I’ll spare you for now. 😉

One example of confusing or discouraging information comes from the California Department of Education (CDE) website’s section on homeschooling. It says,Is schooling at home recognized in California as exempting a student from public school attendance?

California statutes do not explicitly authorize home schooling. Whether a home schooled child is attending a private school, and therefore is exempt from public school attendance, is a decision made by local school districts and law enforcement authorities.”

Well gee. I guess that solves that question, doesn’t it? If California doesn’t authorize homeschooling, and I can’t afford private school, I guess that means I can’t homeschool in California.  Right?

Not so fast. In reality, what this means is that those wanting to homeschool who aren’t otherwise affiliated with a home education program would have to register as a “private school.” As someone who was considering homeschooling and looking at options, without having a good support system in place, this might have been a deal-breaker for me.  I don’t have the inclination to start a business and find the regulations to start a school.  I really just want my kids home and learning.

But what does it really mean?  It means that you register as a private school.  While it sounds overwhelming, once you do the research, you learn that it’s actually not very hard.  A look through the Private School Affidavit will show you that it’s really more bark than bite. A good guide to starting homeschooling in Ca can be found here.

So, know your state laws. Find support. Connect with others who are homeschooling in your state/area and can help walk you through your options if you want to learn from those who are doing it. Research is critical to understanding options, but there is no replacing the support you can get from those who have been there and are doing (or have done) it. Once you understand what homeschooling options are available to you, you can start to sort through and work out a plan for what you’d like to start with.

Next in this series, we’re going to take a look at homeschooling terminology/jargon. It can be hard not to get overwhelmed with the language. When we first started, I had in mind that everyone was using curriculum and that “homeschooling was homeschooling was homeschooling.” You may be surprised at what I’ve learned!

Stay tuned….tomorrow we are going to Wade Through the Jargon! 🙂


The beginning of this series is Why Homeschool? You can find all the articles in this series along with resource links on the Homeschooling page.

Read Full Post »

When we moved here nearly 16 years ago, our oldest was a bun in the oven.  We had heard that schools here were not the best, but that was not really a huge consideration for us, because, after all, we were only going to be here for 2 years max.  (snort)  (Really, you can stop laughing now.  :D)

By the time the our son was ready for kindergarten, our oldest daughter was 3, and daughter #2 was baking.  One of the things I’ll never forget was going into my son’s kindergarten class and watching plane hit the World Trade Center’s Tower #2.  We didn’t have a home computer then, and we didn’t watch tv in the morning.  So, that event was news to me.

The terrorist attack wasn’t the reason we ended up homeschooling.

Kindergarten was by-in-large relatively uneventful.  Sure, we had the normal kid stuff and the attempted labeling of our child by the school district.  After all, if they get their hands sticky at that age, they aren’t supposed to want to stop the activity to clean their hands, right?  The desire to have clean hands surely signaled something was wrong with him, of course (can you hear my sarcasm?).

First grade came, along with the playground bullying, and along with a teacher selected with help of the kindergarten teacher, as a means of attempting to match as best as possible a teacher to my child whereby personalities would mesh.  One of the defining criteria was her approach to homework; in that she didn’t believe that 1st graders should have regular homework.

Let me back up a minute.  I grew up in a public school home.  My father started out as an elementary school teacher; worked his way into Elementary School Principal, and eventually Superintendent of Schools.  When he retired a few years ago, he had spent 40 years in the same district; 36 of those (iir) as Superintendent.

As of this writing, my oldest brother is also the Superintendent of Schools in a district, and 3 of my other siblings are certified teachers.

I am no stranger to public schools, and have a lot of knowledge of child development myself. When my dad started teaching, the big debate was over whether or not to introduce pencils in kindergarten (yes, really). Fast forward 30 years, and the debate in my mind was whether or not regular homework was necessary in 1st grade. I clearly fell on the side of homework at this age being ridiculous.

I was pleased, of course, to have found a teacher who had a similar philosophy.  We had zone-exempted to this school (this means that because this school was not the school we were zoned for, we had to get special permission to have our kid(s) enrolled, and there was no bus service available to us), and one of the reasons we chose to pursue this school was because of a more relaxed approach to matching students to teachers.  Or at least that was our understanding.

As a mother who was determined to be involved, I was at school for several hours, several times a week.  I packed up my two girls, snacks and activities for them to do, and off we went.

From the beginning of school, I was watchful.  I was aware of things going on that I wasn’t keen on, but tried to suspend judgment in favor of letting the professionals do their jobs.  I noticed a huge emphasis on testing, as part of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

Early on, I was struck by the irony. I had spent the bulk of my youth waiting to grow up and get away from school, so I could be independent and set my own schedule. It didn’t take a rocket scientists to make me aware that here I was, as an adult, being told again by the school what I could do and when I could do it. There was no freedom in anything. There was no freedom to take vacations that actually worked with my husband’s schedule. Sleeping in wasn’t a big deal, but taking naps was pretty essential, first when having babies, and then as chronic illness hit.

Sleep wasn’t the point. Freedom was the point. Ability to have actual parental sovereignty was the point.

Any kind of schedule had to revolve around the school and what it told us we must do. Child is sick? Too bad. Unless you have a doctor’s note (and who needs one for a cold that incapacitates you? I mean, really? You don’t need antibiotics for a virus-it won’t help you anyway. What you do need, though, is rest!), you can’t miss more than 3 days of school (and a regular cold runs at least 7 days) without one, or else you get marked truant for those days. At the time, kids were allowed 10 days of missed school a year. Any more than that, and you would be subject to court, and the possibility that CYFD(Child, Youth, and Family Department) could actually come and take custody of your children. WTH???

We spent both of those years being sick, all of us. Apparently, we hadn’t been exposed to as many germs as we needed to be, and since parents had to send their kids to school sick, every one else got it, too. The threat of having my children removed from the home for missing school too many times ensured that we continued the vicious cycle of sending kids to school sick.

After a lunchroom incident at some point in the year, I was pretty well convinced it was time to start homeschooling.  By this time, we had our own personal home computer, and through my volunteer work, I was in contact with a group of mothers around the country (and even a few in other countries) who were homeschooling.  I signed up for the list several months before the new school year, so I could ask questions and learn. 

I think it helped, too, that my good friend at time (who used to live across the street from us before we moved) had been homeschooling her kids from the beginning, and they were about 5 years older than my kids.  Her youngest daughter and my oldest daughter are just a few months apart, and remain best friends, even though we now live over an hour away from each other.  She loaned me some books, and a friend of my mother’s, actually, mailed me some materials on home education.

The first two years, although my state didn’t require it, we chose to go with Clonlara, a program in Ann Arbor, Mi, that also had a physical campus. This friend had used Clonlara for years and years, and another friend of my mother’s was one of the contact teachers, and was also involved with the same volunteer organization.  We were able to choose her as our contact teacher, and I finally felt comfortable, knowing she would “get” our parenting style and our philosophys, particular as they pertained to child development.

Clonlara offered the kind of support we (well,*I*) needed at the time. They provided us with a contact teacher and a skills guide. The “Why Choose Clonlara” page does a good job of explaining how they support parents. If I recall, we started that first year enrolling one as a second grader and starting our oldest daughter in kindgarten.

As a new homeschooling family, the pressure is immense. There is pressure you have from others (including but not limited to: family, friends, people you know from school, and comments you get while doing your grocery and other shopping with children in tow) and pressure you feel as the weight of the responsibility hits you.

You worry about all kinds of things- you worry about the education they will get- will they be able to keep up?  Can they learn to read without being taught in school?  Will they have the opportunity to learn all the same stuff like they would get in school?  What about socialization (as in, how on earth will they do it if  they aren’t around kids their own ages?)? Am I qualified to teach my kids?

I won’t go into answering those questions now, because I believe they are entitled to their own posts.  Since this will be our 9th year homeschooling, you might even be able to guess the answer to the last question.  😆  Or maybe the post on that topic will surprise you!

Fears and questions aside, for us, the perks faaaaaaaaaaar outweigh any kind of reasoning to send our kids to formal school of any kind. I won’t lie and tell you it’s been a piece of cake.  I won’t tell you there aren’t times when I want to pull my hair out.  I won’t tell you there aren’t times (when, in fact, usually every year around January/February we hit this point) when I wonder why I’m doing it, and whether or not it would be better to have a house that is cleaner and less attitude from the kids (because yes, the house would be cleaner, but the kids are still going to have attitude, and probably more, with the stress of the school environment combined with extra work, etc).

The thing is, as parents, we are going to have these moments regardless.  Well, we will if we’re conscientious.  We’re going to be evaluating and re-evaluating.  At least when you are actually in charge, you have the option to change course if something isn’t working the way you had hoped.

There is nothing better than having the ability to research something and then have the ability to drive the boat; getting to where you want to go, and making course corrections and taking side trips along the way as you see fit.

Check out the Homeschooling page for the upcoming collection of posts and resources!

Read Full Post »

Thrown together by circumstance.  Or was it?

After witnessing high-country outfitter Trevor MacDaniel rescue her toddler nephew from the jaws of a mountain lion, sculptor Natalie Reeve needs to sink her hands in some clay to cleanse her edectic memory.  Images of Trevor, her brother Aaron and his wife Paige, and her nephew, Cody, are seared into her mind. “She needed to clear the images….”

As Natalie sculpts the images into reality, she waits to hear word on her nephew, who had to have CPR to be brought back to life. Little does she know that her encounter with Trevor, a retired Olympic skiier, has just begun….

This book is a bit disjointed.  I don’t know if it’s the formatting, but from the beginning, I was wondering if there was some formatting or font differences that I was missing by not having a printed book.  Generally speaking, I am thrilled with most e-books, and given that my last print book was literally lost in the mail and I had to ask for another copy, the thought of going to e-books seemed like it would a really good thing.

The beginning of the book opened with a few paragraphs that left me shaking my head.  In fact, they made such little sense that I had all but forgotten about them until I went to review this title and had to start back at the beginning of the e-book.  The snippets used by the author didn’t make a whole lot of sense, and there weren’t enough of them until more towards the end of the book for me to even realize that she was shifting gears.

Overall, the plot was good, and I enjoyed the characters and the writing style.  I do plan to get more books by this author. My suggestion would be to get the print copy if you can.  Because of the formatting and the one thread of the book not making any sense to me until almost the end, I have to give this 3 and a half stars out of 5.  I would recommend it to a friend, though, so long as they have to do a little more than average thinking to make sense out of the overall plot.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Click below to rank my review, which will enter you to win your own copy of this book!

Please click and rank my review!

Rank this Review!

Read Full Post »

Jaime is 12. Crockett Grey is not. He’s an adult, and the teacher of her ABC (Adaptive Behavior Classroom) class in upper elementary. 

As a foster kid, Jaime had been passed from foster home to foster home since she was an infant. She’s never had a real family.

Crockett, on the other hand, had a real family, only to have it come unravelled after the death of his 10-year-old daughter to cancer. While his son, Mickey, hadn’t been born yet, the marriage still disintegrated into nothingness.

One night a year, on the anniversary of his daughter’s death, Crockett allows himself to shut away and grieve. Most everyone knows to leave him alone and to steer clear this night.  Most everyone, but Jaime, who shows up at his house unannounced.  As their paths collide, Crockett’s life goes from bad to worse.

This is an “on the edge of your seat” kind of book. Two pages before the Prologue a simple sentence says, “As noted in the afterword, the foundational premises of this novel are based on documented research.”

This trip takes you to the Vatican and back in a fantastical mind-bend. One side of the psychological approach makes complete sense. As the main character uses that approach to shape his perception and attempts to untangle the situation, the reader goes along for a though-provoking ride.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars because there were parts that left me thinking it too far out to suspend belief, even for the Roman Catholic Church. I was also disappointed in the afterword, which consisted of two quotes. I had hoped to get something meatier, which would have helped my lasting impression of this book, and would have given me something more to mull over.  I will definitely put this author on my “get more” author list, though, and make a point to see what else he has written.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Want to have a chance to receive a free book from this publisher?  Click below and rank my review, and you’ll be automatically entered to win a copy of this book!

Please click and rank my review!

Rank this Review!

Read Full Post »

On the radio oh oh oh

On the radio oh oh oh……….now now (thanks, Donna Summers!)

Not now, though,  yesterday.

Part of what I do involves talking on the radio. One of our local radio stations has a daily morning program where local events and happenings are discussed.  This is a great way to hear about what’s going on around town, in addition to promoting your stuff.

So, I go on and gab a few times a year.  I have no idea if people at large listen or not (I have been told they do, of course) but I’ll admit that the only time I listen to the radio is while driving, so that means not much. I have heard our radio ads a few times, though, and that is nice.

I must have the gift of gab, because they sure let me go on and on and on.  😆  The interviewer yesterday was one I had not worked with before, and I’ll admit some trepidation.  There is a certain amount of comfort that takes place when you know and have some kind of history with the person who is interviewing you.  For example, you know that if you suddenly get the “dear in the headlights” look on your face, he’ll be able to say something that is funny or relevant to the topic.

Not that I have, mind you, but those are the kinds of thoughts that race through your head.  The first time I did the radio show, I thought I had gone prepared.  I had all the facts about our program written down so if I was going to blank out, I would have something to fall back on.  Since you all know that I research things to death, I thought I was really ready to answer anything he asked.

Wrong!  As it turns out, he was more interested in the particular event coming up (and its background) than the ongoing, yearly programs.  Eeek! 

Fortunately, I knew enough to sound educated, but vowed I would never again be caught with my proverbial pants down. I was told it was a great segment, and that it went well.

I was a bit apprehensive with the new guy, but I think it turned out fine.  He didn’t talk as much, though, or ask as many questions. And, NONE of the questions he asked were the ones I was anticipating from the other guy.  😆 Really, I think he was going into it blind, not knowing really much about us, and getting some background right before going on the air. Since I had done my homework, though, I had plenty to talk about. It must have been remotely interesting, too, since I didn’t see his eyes glaze over at all.  😆 20 some minutes later, he finally went to commercial.

Every time, they try to get my dd to talk; and every time, she won’t.  So, she got picked on, as in, “J won’t talk today because she’s afraid of public speaking.”  That just makes us giggle.  🙂

Overall, another good show down the hatch.  We’ve decided though, given the new guy, that they must have a height requirement to work on the radio- not a one of the guys are shorter than 6’2″!!  😆

Read Full Post »

Ya, I know, took me long enough!  😆  Last week, my (human) girls decided to spend the week with grandparents around the corner, and I found myself lacking motivation to push.  I did a lot of reading and a lot of napping.  I didn’t get done anything I had planned on doing, but that’s the way it goes.

Click to read why I am going down the path of wearing Hobbit Feet, aka Vibram Five Finger Bikilas. 


Total mileage for this record: 52.5

VFF miles: 30

Total mileage since getting VFFs: 102.5

Total days in shoes: 21

Pain summary: Taking it slower due to the extensor tendonitis/top of foot pain.  Have also had arch pain in that foot. Doing more stretching (supta virasana) of feet before run has seemed to help.  Plantar fasciitis pain in R heel moderate over all, but there are times (like this morning, for example) when initial contact with the floor was extremely unpleasant.  I have not had to crawl at all since getting the VFFs, so this is marked improvement overall. The blister I developed on the ball of my one foot from the shoe was not bothersome to begin with, and that area has *zero* discomfort and is totally fine.

Conclusion:  Continue to take it slower, adding no more than 1/2 mile in VFFs per week.  I’m almost there, but willing to slow pace of increased mileage to avoid pain.

In my log below, I’ve noted when I’ve taken anything that might affect my interpretation of pain.

Feel free to stop here if the details make you fall asleep.  😆


MondayDay 11- ran all 2 ¼miles; L foot starting to get soreish around mile 1; not too bad, but didn’t try to push real hard; took some Tylenol sinus for headache, which started yesterday pm. 

TuesdayDay 12- ran all 2 ½miles; foot was sore since waking; will stretch and probably ice again later; no knee pain at all today; went a lot slower due to discomfort; some archish type pain in L foot; that one is kind of a mess; Tylenol sinus and ibuprofen since yesterday for headache, so bearing that in mind with pain gauge. 

WednesdayDay 13- ran all 2 ¾miles; foot has been pretty sore today, including area near the arch; did not ice yesterday, but probably will today.  Went slower and didn’t push at all in VFFs; Ibuprofen in pm for sinus headache yesterday, but no headache since waking; don’t know that I will add anything to the mileage tomorrow, but we’ll see how foot feels. Some R heel pain, but not prohibitive. 

ThursdayDay 14- ran 3 in VFFs; foot a bit sore; took ibuprofen this morning for sore foot; didn’t ice yesterday but probably will today if pain persists; better with meds while running; still some arch pain???

MondayDay 15- ran 3 in VFFs; foot relatively sore, ibuprofen overnight for sore outer ankles??? Cracked a single time while running, but need more relief; don’t think I’m going to add any distance this week in VFFs; having pain while stretching in supta virasana; much more L arch pain today; also noticed some soreness on the top of R foot over the weekend while wearing flip flops.  

TuesdayDay 16- 1mile in total VFFs; only ran 1/4; did not feel I could push through the intense pain in arch; R heel pretty sore, too; cannot get this foot to crack and so it’s pretty painful; iced a bit yesterday; I haven’t had this level of pain in quite a while, and I’m not eager to try to work through it- plan on taking it slower this week.  Will try to do a mile tomorrow in VFFs and then walk the rest of the 5, depending on how my feet feel.  Feeling *very* disappointed at this juncture.  I am *extremely* tired of pain.

Thursday Day 17- ran 3 in VFFs; foot somewhat sore so I went slower, cracked a single time while running, glad I took yesterday off even though I hadn’t planned on it; didn’t go as fast today and didn’t have as much pain.  We’ll see how it stretches out; had to do my supta virasana with warm up. 

Friday Day 18- ran 3 in VFFs; foot not as sore as yesterday, but still uncomfortable; did not crack at all; pain was not bad today, but I was *so* hot even before running that I didn’t feel like I could push it and not have a heat stroke. 

Tuesday Day 19- ran 3 in VFFs; foot not feeling flexible this morning, some mid-level pain; didn’t push real hard; plan to add ¼ mile this week if all goes well; upper foot feeling sore at this point.   

TuesdayDay 20- ran 3 in VFFs, foot not real sore; did my stretching first; some low-level hip pain, more L than R; R heel/foot sore this morning; only ran one day last week because I was tired and needed to take a break. 

Thursday- Day 21ran 3 1/2 in VFFs; R heel pretty sore this am; R calf still feeling run on Tuesday; feeling the top of L foot a bit. Overall much better.

Share your experience with me, and leave a comment!

Read Full Post »

Milestones are bittersweet.  Reaching a new one means growth, but also never a return to this point and time. You can never go back; only look forward.

Tonight, I am pleased to share, my girls put themselves to bed by themselves.  Why is this important? It means we no longer have to play football to get them where we want them. 😀

Yep, my chicken girlies are growing up.  😆 

The past two nights, we had to hustle them around, scoop them up and pitch them through the spring-loaded door. This was a 3 person effort: me scooping and chucking; my oldest dd blocking the open door with her arms and keeping them inside, and Hunny on the outside, manning the door control.

The spring is taut keeping it open, but lax when the door is closed.  In theory, this means that it would take a team of raccoons to wrangle/slide the door open; one or more on the outside, standing up (or a racoon ladder of one standing on the other’s shoulders standing on another’s shoulders) at least 4  feet off the ground, while the others (who would have had to dig under the run) got through the door on the inside of the run.  Did I mention that once the door is open, because of the tension, the cord has to be wound to keep it from springing shut?

So, I feel pretty good about them being secure at night.  The whole back side opens, but that would take a bear to rip it off, as long as the screws are that close it. I don’t think anything is getting in that way. 🙂

Tonight, we put their little solar light inside and waited.  As usual, they were mashed into one corner of the run, waiting for us to take pity on them and bring them inside the house (They used to wait outside the back door, and when we’d open it, in they would come inside-  except for Rocky, who always flew up and hitched a ride on someone’s back or shoulder.  I know, I know, I should have gotten a picture, but we moved them outside a day before I expected, and now it would just be cruel to tease them :lol:). 

Hunny pitched a bolillo roll in their coop and then we waited.  The run and coop is outside my window in the office, so I can see them when I’m sitting at my desk. By 8:15 pm, they were all inside playing hockey with the roll.  I could hear them clucking and banging around while I crept around the backside to shut their door, hoping they wouldn’t notice me.

Anyhow. Just had to share.  My girls are growing up.  *sigh*  😆

Read Full Post »

Aren’t you proud of me?  I’ve added a new page!  😀

I thought I would make it easy to find information on Kindle Freebies, instead of having to hunt through and find the most recent post that has all the up-to-date information.

When I got my Kindle, I had no idea how many free titles would be available, nor that I would go on a daily hunt to get new books.  Don’t tell anyone, but I currently have 334 unread titles waiting for me.  😉 While I probably won’t get to them all in this lifetime, the thrill of the chase is grand!

Hop on over to my new Kindle Freebies page to see what my newest resource is!

Read Full Post »

Really. Don’t listen to me.  I don’t know anything, and certainly not that. ‘Cause, you know, I’ve never done actual research on that or anything. My opinion certainly isn’t based on fact or anything.  Nope, I don’t know anything at all.

My girls came home yesterday, after having been gone since Monday.  The whole thing (night after night after night) was unplanned.  Calls were made each day to ask for an extension, and to ask permission to go places.

This stemmed from incidents when the oldest was a baby and a quick trip literally around the corner resulted in driving around town- without a car seat- and us sitting and waiting for the longest time while we panicked, wondering where the heck they were with our week old baby.  Our thoughts at the time had been “Surely they would not do something like that.”   Wrong!  We learned all kinds of things at that time (in a nutshell, they were going to do what they wanted, not as we, the actual parents, said) which resulted in no babysitting and only sporadic, short-lived overnight stays for the last 15 years.

And while I appreciate the learned response of “no way we are putting you in a car without their permission so you had better call and ask” (which, I have to say, is a first because we KNOW they have snuck them off places before, even though I still have 2 in car seats and then didn’t have any) I expected I’d probably have to do some kind of damage control in some way.

I just didn’t expect it to be one the same things that we’d already gone round and round over. *sigh*

As silly as it may seem, I have spent years- literally, years– battling all kinds of old wives tales.  Everything from birthing, to breastfeeding, to child raising, to homeschooling laws, and now back to hummingbirds, has been subjected to these old wives tales which are then given to my children as fact.

My factual reasearch (including medical journals by you know, *doctors* and people with degrees) has always been snarled at. Literally.  And their “research” (thoughts that were based on hearsay from older family members or an opinion based on something they heard once upon a time) has always trumped mine (in their opinions), because, after all, what did I know?

If there is one thing- a single thing– to know about me, it is this: I am the queen of research will research something obsessively (part of my OCD rearing its head here) and into the ground before I give an educated opinion.  If I research and can’t find information, I’ll tell you that. “I haven’t found enough information to form an opinion.”

If I find conflicting information in equal ratios, I’ll tell you that. “Some research says…… while other information says….. As far as I can tell, the jury is still out.”

If I have personal experience with something, I may share that, too.  “While research says….. my personal experience was…….” or “Rearch/experts say/s……. and my experience was…… For what it’s worth.”

Another thing to know about me is that I don’t give much stock into “experts.”  I’ve known people who have claimed to be “experts” who have no actual first hand knowledge of something.  This does not apply to certain people like Dr. Thomas Hale ; Dr. Jay Gordon,  or Dr. Jack Newman, who have years and years of practice, observation, and critical documented scientific studies under their collective belts.

Nope, I think there are a great many people who proclaim expert status who have no actual real experience with their topic of “expertise” and/or rely on stuff they find solely in books to support their claims.

I believe experience is the best teacher. I believe there are things you can’t know-even about yourself- unless or until you have experienced them yourself.  Experience really IS the best teacher, 9 out of 10 times. (I always leave room for the exception to the rule, too :lol:)

It goes without saying that if you tell me (or in this case, my children) and promote it as fact, you had better have some personal experience with it AND have your ducks in a row.

Last night, I sent my oldest daughter facts  information regarding comments that were said to them recently. Even though I had several sites saved, I still did another search, because sometimes new information comes along and debunks the old info. The other comment I posted on a large forum and asked for comments and opinions.  Not surprisingly, the ones I received within minutes echoed my own, even though the one comment made to my kids was a “this is the best way to do it and we always did it that way” kind of thing.

And still my dd was miffed.  I mean, really?  She says “I wasn’t saying they were right, just telling you what they said.”  And then she was bent I sent her information? What is the point of telling me something that was said unless you want an opinon or information regarding the accuracy of the statement? Especially when it’s told to you AS FACT and qualified with a comment of “According to my research….”

My response, of course, was to ask, “What specifically was her research?” This is coupled with thinking “her definition of “scratch” is to scratch something processed and pre-made and say she made it from “scratch.” Now, it’s a big joke because the kids called her on it, but how long was she passing stuff off as the traditional “made from scratch” before they realized the deception? (and, anything made in her house is “homemade,” too)

If you tell me someone told you something, I am either going to confirm or deny it, based on the evidence I can find.  And I’m going to use one of the statements above.

Maybe I should have stuck with my old standby: “If I have wanted their (your) opinion/s, I would have asked for it.”  Meh.

Critical thinking.  I’m a big fan.  If everyone had- and USED– good critical thinking skills, I think as a species we’d be a lot better off for it.

Apparently, I don’t know anything.  So, don’t take my word for it.  Do your own **** research and come to your own conclusions!

Read Full Post »

Well, that didn’t last long.  I cleaned my plate and within a week, those things were right back on.  😀  I figure, I’m a girl and can therefore re-evaluate and change my mind. 

The one thing my kids revolted against.  Ok, in reality, they weren’t happy about me quitting my very part-time job since it meant their involvement in those activities would also be cut. And then I got a big case of guilt, knowing my few co-workers were already over-worked and the one would probably get the lion’s share of stuff she hadn’t a clue how to do, but would make herself sick trying. So I unquit.  It seems that everyone is relieved.

Busy time is coming up in the next few weeks, so I may not have time to be here much. We have our children’s theatre camp (ala Missoula Children’s Theatre), which means full-time + work that week, and above-average-busy-ness for the rest of the month. At least this part of it will be hugely fun, and come fall (school starts mid August) semester, the same schedule will be on the table. Once the show is over, we have follow-up and fall semester preparation. And I’ll probably be in bed much of the week following.

Responsibility. Guilt.  Erg. Sometimes I feel like I have the giant “S” on my forehead……

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: