Saturday, February 27, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
So, over the next several months I will organize all our belongings from the basement to the bedrooms, take Julia Ellen househunting, and finish up the school year and all our activities here in Washington, DC. We can find a new piano teacher, ballet studio, YMCA for swimming lessons, but one thing that will be much easier will be finding a church home.
Our favorite parish in the world, St. Benedict's, will soon be opening their new sanctuary and we will find many of our old friends sitting in the pews. There, Will won't be the only altar boy under the age of 20, though he won't be able to serve every Sunday. There, we will be able to send the children to CCD, using the Baltimore Catechism. There, we will be able to get involved in parish suppers, cleaning the church, helping with the homeschool group, and attending retreats. I will also be able to visit with my elderly grandmother and bring flowers to Mother's grave regularly. I will know where everything is, from the best thrift store to the grocery that makes the best raspberry pies I have ever eaten (best heated with a scoop of Breyer's vanilla on top).
Our delay of moving up to the farm makes me a little sad, for I want to move up there with my whole being, but a short delay is not a tragedy, after all, the children will still spend much of their summer in Maine with trips to the lake, to the top of mountains, and to the lobster pound.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
Of course, after a productive morning at co-op there are only 5 tiny fruits left (out of 35) and now the kids are clamoring, "Can you get some more of those yummy oranges?" I doubt I'm going to get more free food, but I would rather they fill up on fresh fruit than artificially flavored "fruit" gummy snacks.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Which brings us to the crux of the issue. There is evidence that birth control pills, especially when used by young women, increase a woman's risk of breast cancer[ix]. Given that we're talking about the most widely used class of drugs on the planet, and one of the commonest forms of malignancy in women, the implications are not trivial. But the spin of the medical establishment, as well as cancer charities including the National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, and Susan Komen Foundation, is to push these findings under the rug.
The whole thing was published today in American Thinker. Go check it out!
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
This is an excerpt of a letter written by Jennifer O'Brien whose daughter was dismissed from a local Catholic preschool because she didn't have the varicella vaccine.
not only was the Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Patricia Weitzel-O'Neill, well aware of the connection between the vaccine and abortion, but she would continue to require the vaccine for all students attending Catholic schools in the Archdiocese. She has no intention as of now to change the policy, which allows for only medical exemptions from vaccines; no ethical, religious or conscience exemptions are allowed for vaccines in Archdiocesan schools.
The refusal to acknowledge a parent's right of conscience regarding the abortion-tainted vaccines seemed rather odd to us, especially since a medical and religious exemption is allowed in the MD public schools. So, our child can currently attend a public school without the tainted vaccine, but cannot attend a Catholic school.
Is not the Archdiocese, as well as Catholics around the country, currently fighting for the right of conscience regarding the health care plans? Why are we okay with the right of conscience in health care, but not in our own schools?
We are not anti-vaccine, but we are pro-parental rights and pro-conscience. In our quest to change the policy, we have been in contact with Bishop Barry Knestout. He was unaware of the nature of the vaccine, and thankfully researched the topic and read the information we sent. As of right now the policy is still unchanged, partly because of the lack of people contacting the Archdiocese to let them know this is unacceptable.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Not 5 minutes later we were subjected to Maggie complaining that she couldn't blow a bubble with her Valentine Day gum because of her super duper wiggly front tooth. "I'll get a bit of gauze and see if we can get it out," I said as I pulled down the wooden box in which we store medical supplies on the top of the fridge. It only took a mere touch to extract her dangling tooth, but then she found she couldn't blow a bubble because she doesn't have enough teeth left to pull the gum back over her tongue. Apparently those same genes which drags out seeing that first baby tooth are also responsible for their adult teeth to slowly emerge from the gums. Not one of Maggie's 5 lost baby teeth over the past year has fully come in. As a result, the poor child looks like she was recently in a bar fight with a brawling biker named Otto. I am grateful for the umpteenth time that we homeschool and my poor child doesn't have to put up with horrible little boys calling her names. But in the name of socialization we will tease her a little. A very little, for she is still a beautiful child, despite the gap tooth grin.
Monday, February 15, 2010
I snagged some great items including 2 Hanna Anderson dresses, fuzzy sleepers for Julia Ellen, a pair of oars for our rubber boat (the boys destroyed one by trying to dig up gravel), warm socks, puzzles, and a bag full for Mary. Over and over people asked me if they could have my cart, but I refused to give it up until I spotted a young mom with a baby and a toddler, "Excuse me, but you look like you really need a cart. Would you like this one?" As we were navigating the hordes of cars and people in the parking lot Mary asked if I could wrap up her gifts so it would be like a "real birthday." "We can also make a cake this afternoon after you finish school and piano," I said, "especially since you can't take cupcakes to the next co-op since it is Ash Wednesday." Almost a full week after Mary's real birthday we will actually celebrate our oldest girl hitting double digits with gifts, cake, and many happy wishes.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
But there was a price (other than my sore biceps). My boots are completely trashed. I have found that duck boots are one thing I shouldn't buy at the thrift store. So far we have had 2 pairs undergo the same problem, they look fine in the store, but once they are exposed to freezing cold the rubber dries out and cracks.
Friday, February 12, 2010
School has been suspended for at least one child the past few days, but they all seem to have recovered and today most of them are back in their snow gear and sinking up to their waists in the fluffy stuff. I haven't had a twinge so either God deemed it necessary for me to stay well just to nurse everyone else or I have the constitution of an ox. I can say that things go precariously downhill when Mommy gets sick as I recall a day in Italy when I came down with the flu and Tim was TDY in Sicily. When he got home that night it was not a pretty or pleasantly fragrant scene. So, whatever the reason, I am grateful this day for children who can eat more than Rice Krispies, electricity, and at least one healthy parent in the house (and doubly glad it is me).
Thursday, February 11, 2010
UNLIKE many of the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” that have sought refuge in America, the Romeike family comes from a comfortable place: Bissingen an der Teck, a town in south-western Germany. Yet on January 26th an American immigration judge granted the Romeikes—a piano teacher, his wife and five children—political asylum, accepting their case that difficulties with home schooling their children created a reasonable fear of persecution.
The piece then describes the laws and attitudes regarding homeschooling in several European countries. Why America is more free in its educational opportunities is not delved into, but some of the commentators do discuss the questions that the headline teases us, "Why some countries welcome children who are taught at home and others don't," such as who is responsible for children, the state or parents? What is the point of forcing children to attend the state-run schools, equal education (or equal lack of learning)? Should children be taught the religion of their parents or secular humanism?
As someone who has taught both in the public school system as well as homeschooled for 7 years, I can tell you that most homeschooling parents take their job very seriously (sometimes almost too seriously) and want to give their children a quality education. They see the low expectations, emphasis on politically correct lessons and pop culture, lack of discipline, and mob rule mentality and want more for their own children. They know that the system is rotten and there is no way that they can change that to benefit their own offspring. So they bypass the system and teach at home. They can do that in many different ways and methods from reproducing a traditional curriculum to following the child's interests.
Studies have proven over and over how effective and successful homeschooling is with higher test scores and being more socially involved, to homeschool graduates stating that they want to homeschool their own children. America has always been a land of freedom and opportunity and homeschooling gives families the ability to be independent, to be innovative. It is socialist big government vs the free market on a micro scale. We choose to be free and it is evident in several comments how far we have lurched politically to the left that they can't see this obvious fact.
Our nation has become great because of innovative thinkers and designers such as Ben Franklin, Orville and Wilbur Wright, Thomas Edison, Samuel Morse, Alexander Graham Bell, Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, and many others who thought outside the box. All homeschoolers want is to encourage freedom, educate their children in the best way they know how, and to be left alone from the educational lockstep of the government schools.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
However, Maggie and Mary started throwing up right around bedtime and then Tim started in at midnight. My morning has been running to put laundry in, filling glasses with ice water, and holding basins under chins. The little boys are on their own and Will is in charge of the baby. Even if we were feeling up to it, the blizzard outside would prevent us from venturing any farther than the driveway. The family party has been postponed and I haven't even been able to buy Mary a gift.
If you could, a Hail Mary for our crew would be appreciated, for a return to health for the invalids and especially that no one else comes down with the crud.
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Today we are back home with clothes in the washer, the pantry restocked, and the furnace blowing out heat. However, another storm is fast approaching, the threat of 20 more inches of snow makes us worry about the power staying on. Up on the farm in Maine we have the tools we need to stay warm and fed at home: a backup generator to keep the lights on, a tractor to plow the driveway, and wood heat to keep warm. Down here in suburbia we are so dependant on the utilities that if they go out we are helpless. While I appreciate the cultural opportunities we have so close to Washington, DC, I would prefer to live like the pioneers who managed to survive winters without government "assistance", but relied on themselves and their neighbors.
Sunday, February 07, 2010
Saturday, February 06, 2010
I'm so glad we didn't lose electricity like so many folks in DC and Northern Virginia. We made pumpkin and chocolate chip cookies, dried many loads of mittens and snowsuits, and I was able to quilt for several hours. Another thing I was determined to do was clean. Despite the snow coming in the kitchen door every time a child came in and the mess of wet socks, boots, and snowsuits they hung over every available chair, I was scrubbing the bathrooms and vacuuming under the beds. The light seemed brighter today with the snow and I wanted the inside as clean and bright as the outside. There is still plenty to do, but I'm taking a well deserved rest tomorrow and playing in the snow with the kids.
Friday, February 05, 2010
With the public schools already cancelling classes for the anticipated snowstorm (28"?), we might have a knock on the door from the neighbor girls wanting to play. But as we told one of Will's friends at Boy Scouts last night, "We don't do snow days since we only have to walk downstairs to get to our books."
Thursday, February 04, 2010
I guess this is what every winter is like up in Maine so I better get used to putting on little kid's snowpants and boots, wearing boots to Mass, and making sure the kids wear their slippers all day to keep their toes warm. The local populace scoured the dairy shelves yesterday in preparation of the storm so I'm heading back down to the grocery this morning. Here's hoping that Trader Joe's got a fresh delivery so I can get our 6 gallons of milk without having to engage in a fistfight for them. (just kidding, we have plenty of powdered milk just in case)
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Yes, it is lovely to have a lot of support from other homeschooling moms, but it means so much when a family member says, "You are doing the right thing by your children and a mighty fine job of it too."