Trying to raise my kids the best I can

Monday, October 26, 2009

Paranormal Activity

I never, never watch scary movies. But this one had me curious because of all the talk. And I thought that I could handle the subject matter- demons. And I was right. :) Here's my review

Laaaaaame. After all that built up anticipation I was Part of why it was lame I think was because I'm a Christian. Cuz you know how what makes a movie scary is imagining that it could happen to you... But I spent the whole movie going "well, this couldn't happen because I'd just cast the demon out in the name of Jesus" (which, btw, I've done before. ) I got to kind of witness to my inlaws who saw it with me though and they kept asking "what could you do???" And I said "Go to a Christian!..."

I could see how someone who is only vaguely familiar with the Christian faith could be scared by the movie. Because they played to the Christian beliefs quite well like, "Don't play with ouija boards!!"

Also, I totally predicted the end.

Another thing that was funny about our viewing... I was watching it with my in-laws, like I said. We're poor- ghetto folks- who tend to live in apartments like sardines- three or four to a bedroom. So the couple in this movie live in your large, typical suburban home. And throughout the movie, they kept exclaiming "why do they have so many rooms?" "well, I know why they have a demon- they have too many rooms" and "Aren't they scared to go in all those rooms?"

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

RIP Mary


My friend Mary has died. I am sad. Here is an article about her beautiful life.



My remembrance of Mary:

She spoke often of her firstborn son. She was so proud of him. I want him to know that.

I'm going to miss you Mary. We had many of the same passions (like parental and pregnancy rights) and a few philosophical differences (the role of government). You were gracious (open to my point of view about the newborn hearing screening) and thought provoking (I remember when you said it would make more financial sense to buy something now vs. save the money because of the possibility of a Value Added Tax in the near future) . You were an inspiration (Your ministry. Your family.)

Your death is a tragedy. It makes me cry out to God because it isn't fair. How can a god leave little children motherless? She didn't think that was your plan either, God. And maybe this wasn't your plan. I know you hate death. You despise it's separating powers. But you place great priority in caring for the widower and orphan. So I have faith that you will do just that.

I know her children were her central love in life. It comforts me to know that she can hold one of them while she waits to greet the others. I thank you that she is no longer in pain and can breath easily once again. Thank you for sharing her with us.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Unschooling

I am a huge believer in the philosophy of unschooling. To sum it up:
  • Children learn best through play and when they are self motivated.
  • God designed kids to learn this way and we are only doing them a disservice when we replace "play" with "forced learning".
  • The knowledge of this world is extremely diverse and enormous. The belief that there is a certain order we need to teach it in or the possibility that if we cover stuff in order we could teach "it all" is downright laughable.
  • Every human being has unique gifts and talents. It is ineffectual to teach everyone in society exactly the same things in exactly the same way.
  • There is no subject that cannot be self-taught using internal motivation! (I consider myself an unschooled nurse. Most of what I learned I read on my own of my own accord. I didn't even buy the textbooks in nursing school, but I got a near perfect score on the board exam).
I don't oppose all teaching. Handwriting and math equations are the two areas I heavily teach. But most other stuff is best learned as it comes up in life. Today was a great example of a spontaneous lesson, so I thought I'd share it with you.

My five year old had two different buckets for trick-or-treating. He thought that one would hold more candy and I thought the other would hold more candy. So I suggested an experiment in which we put small blocks in one to the top and then transfer the blocks to the other one and see which one would hold more. This impromptu lesson on designing experiments, testing scientific theory, and measuring volume, was better than any planned lesson could ever have been because it was motivated by a real question.

(And for the curious... I was right, but my five year old son refused to believe the results. ha ha. Which is OK. He still learned the lesson on how to test a theory).


I diagrammed sentences growing up and loved having that knowledge. I've never used it as an adult (other than occasionally doing it in my head for fun). Part of the shift of unschooling is the shift of "education" being the priority. If your goal in life is to be an elite professor at a university the public school system is set up to begin you on that track. But how many children does that apply to? One in ten thousand, maybe? Everyone's goal in life and track is going to be different and gathering trivial information-which is the sort of thing Public School places value on, is only applicable to a very few.

If on the other hand the information is needed or desired than the opportunity to learn will present itself- as in the case of a foreign language. If you're taking a trip to Italy, you'll naturally prepare by studying Italian. And on that subject I took two years of it in highschool and remember pretty much none of it.

But then there is the question: isn't there value in the learning process? In having a child sit and read and study? And unschoolers would say yes, but that can be acheived by following your passions too.

And finally there is the question of common societal knowledge. If we all just study what we want won't we have huge masses of the population with gaps in their learning- say- uninformed of the periodic table? To that I say: maybe. But anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that unschoolers are far more knowledgeable than public schoolers as a whole. If the unschooling philosophy were extended to everyone I'm not so sure that it would continue to carry out. I think that a huge part of the success of unschooling lies in the supportive learning environment that parents create.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Possibly the biggest evil in the world

There is a company you may never have heard of that is doing, arguably, the most damage to our World. And sadly, it's found in America. And it's got it's claws in our government regulatory agencies. grrrr. If I made a list of my most hated companies for their despicable greed it would look something like this

#4 Exon Mobile - for their destruction of the environment and attempt to silence research
#3 Nestle - for their heartless to undermining of breastfeeding in the third world
#2 Pfizer- for their lack of concern for safety and lack of empathy for impoverished sick
#1 Monsanto -for putting the entire world food supply at risk

Please watch this video and become informed about Monsanto.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The last frontiers of women's liberation

I am so blessed to live in a country and an era when women are afforded all the same rights as men. Thank you Lord!!

But I would like to take a moment to address, in my opinion, the final frontier in women's lib. There are still several ways in which our society oppresses women.

#1 Wage discrimination
I can't believe this is still going on but it is!!! Is it some sort of subconscious thing??? My brother got a job at the same grill that his girl-friend worked at. His starting pay was higher than hers only he started with no experience and she did have experience!!!! That's infuriating!

This is happening on all socioeconomic levels. There is only one solution. We need to have complete and open honesty about money. We need to talk about salaries. The secrets need to end. It is doing us a disservice. I know this is a completely foreign concept to Americans but in the best interest of women and minorities the gag has got to come off the mouths.

#2 Job discrimination
A recent study showed (disturbingly) that mom's are still being discriminated against in hiring practices. I found this out firsthand when I was applying for a supervisor role at UPS. I thought that I could highlight some of the skills I had utilized as a stay-at-home- mom in my resume. The hub manager (a really big kahuna in the company) gently took me aside and advised me to rewrite my resume. I admire that he went out of his way to help me. But I am disappointed that the corporate world hasn't evolved to the point of recognizing the contribution of mothers in this world and instead still discriminate against them.

#3 High heels.

What is the difference between high heels and the ancient Chinese tradition of foot binding??? Very little in my opinion. Both painfully alter the female foot in the name of cultural beauty. This has got to stop. The long-term ramifications of high heels are serious. And the expectation of women to perform difficult athletic feats (no pun intended) in high heels in the sport of ballroom dancing is OUTRAGEOUS!!! I would really like to see one of the competitors in "Dancing with the Stars" take a stand on this issue and refuse to wear high heals. This is a gender equality issue!!!!

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Friday, October 02, 2009

Good looking world leaders







So my friends and I were talking about good looking world leaders. Power is so irresistibly attractive. So can you imagine the chemistry you could conjure for a handsome powerful man? I digress...

The winner is Regan. And Shwarzenegger for his bodacious body. Honorable mentions for: Yushchenko, Obama, Prince William (pictured above in uniform),Mitt Romney (to the left), Jens Stoltenburg of Norway (under Shwarzenegger), JFK, Jonathan Edwards, Jack Conway KY Attorney General, Anthony Weiner D-NY, Jesse Jackson Jr. and Josh Svaty, former KS state rep. and acting Sec. of Agriculture, Indiana Rep. Brad Ellsworth





For the ladies we've got... Rona Ambrose: Canada’s intergovernmental affairs minister (left), Prime Minister Yuliya Timoshenko (right), Sarah Palin and Benazir Bhutto (bottem)

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