Sunday, January 31, 2010
Saturday, January 30, 2010
We weren't supposed to get much snow...
The guys that do all that weather stuff said that it was going to miss us...
So people made plans and had the last weekend in January all booked up.
Well, that'll teach us!
I think we are going on six inches right now, but it really was a great day. Brendan asked if he could have his friend, Henry, over for the afternoon, just to hang out. I got in the car and headed to Elkton to pick him up, and the driving got pretty challenging on the way back. By the time I got home we had about three inches...
The guys got right outside to sled, just in case it stopped soon.
They had a ball and got all wet and cold.
Lilly was here and she wanted to go out SO bad.
At first she was content to watch them from the window, but after a while I got her into her coat and boots and Brendan took her out to the back.
She got cold, but she had fun!
The kids came in and I talked to Henry's mom, Rachel, who said that she was inclined to have him sleep over rather than try to drive down and get him. The county was asking people not to get out on the roads.
Yeah, the boys were pretty thrilled. They are going to camp in the basement and right now they are watching a movie. What neat bonus for Brendan!
I have been looking for this to post. It's one of my favorite quotes.
H/T to Laura!
Friday, January 29, 2010
This, from a guy who blew up two buildings and crashed an airliner and numberless other heinous acts....If it were anyone other than him, it would be funny. It's pathetic how hard he is trying to be relevant, a has-been terrorist.
Just shut up and slink away and go back under your rock. We Don't Care What You Think! Haven't you figured that out yet? You are irrelevant. We aren't afraid of you, so stop wasting your breath and our time.
Bin Laden Blames U.S. for Global Warming in New TapeFriday, January 29, 2010
CAIRO — Al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden has called in a new audiotape for the world to boycott American goods and the U.S. dollar, blaming the United States and other industrialized countries for global warming.
In the tape, aired in part on Al-Jazeera television Friday, bin Laden warns of the dangers of climate change and says that the way to stop it is to bring "the wheels of the American economy" to a halt.
He says the world should "stop consuming American products" and "refrain from using the dollar," according to a transcript on Al-Jazeera's Web site.
The new message, whose authenticity could not immediately be confirmed, comes after a bin Laden tape released last week in which he endorsed a failed attempt to blow up an American airliner on Christmas Day.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
I finally finished organizing and refurnishing the office/schoolroom!
A friend of mine had a desk/table that needed a home and I thought "Well, no time like the present!"
I have needed to go through all the stuff, clean behind everything and just basically redo this room for so long.
So out went the old worn out desk that the girls used so long ago. It really wasn't very efficient for this room.I put it out on Craig's List for free and got a response back in half an hour! The gentleman came and got it in the morning.
I moved one of the file cabinets into the utility room to make space for the table.
Then I cleaned and sorted...Love doing that!
Here is what we have now.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Most of those reasons are positive.
We love being able to help each of the boys learn to the best of their ability in their own way.
We love being able to take off and go on field trips or vacations when we are studying something interesting.
We love being able to choose challenging curriculum, that is tailored to each particular learning style.
We love being able to work one on one and watch the way these fabulous minds spark and catch fire.
There are so many positive reasons to do what we do, that we frequently forget about the other reasons....the negative ones.
In our homeschool there are no bullies, and no one is allowed to belittle or demean another person. That doesn't mean that it never happens, but it does mean that we do not tolerate it.
In our homeschool there are no school shootings, no knife attacks, no beatings, and no one is allowed to be disrespectful of the teacher. It really helps that we love each other so much, but I have noticed that the boys seem to be carrying these lessons out into the world.
In our homeschool there is absolutely no fear for personal safety. Each and every one of my boys knows that we love and respect every part of each of them; mind, body and soul, and that they should love and respect the minds, bodies and souls of others. We are very careful about where they go and who they are with, and we have an open line of communication that we hope they will always feel free to use.
In our homeschool there is no condescension and no mental abuse.
I am not saying that our school is perfect, far from it. We struggle. We are always concerned about whether we are doing the very best. I try to make sure that they all know that I am mom, and not just teacher. I think and pray about our direction, and I am constantly trying to evaluate my own performance.
The reason I am so concerned is because I love my kids so much and I want more than anything to see them become capable and happy adults. I want them to be able to do anything in this world that they decide they want to do. I know them and I love them more than anyone else does, well, with the exception of God and their dad!
We are so blest to have the right to choose the educational direction that we believe is best for our family.
There are people that don't agree that we should have this right. For many reasons these people feel that parents are not competent to teach, not trained in the formal processes of education.
Recently it came to my attention that the High School in the town that we call home, our small city by the bay, has been the center of a very hot controversy in the area of parental rights.
Parental rights are something that I hold very dear. The right to raise our children the way we believe best has always been one of the greatest rights and responsibilities that we have in our American Culture.
There are those, in our own country and in international circles, that believe that parents are not the best people to decide what their children should learn, believe, or be exposed to and when. There are actually people out there who believe that in parenting, the parents must prove their fitness and that most parents are less than capable of knowing what is best for their children.
In the case of our High School it has become apparent that when children are at school, during school hours, the administrators and staff believe that they have authority over all that the young people see, hear and experience, and that, for those hours, parents are not the primary caregivers of their children.
The issue involves a now-controversial program that the school has been using to reach young people that may be facing serious mental health issues, with the hope that they would be encouraged to seek help. Help that is available through the school.
The name of the program was Drama Therapy, and it is actually a proven method of therapy within a certain framework of treatment or diagnosis. "Drama Therapy" itself isn't the problem.
I have gone to a screening and viewed the content, and while it was not in any way wholesome, it would probably fit the Drama Therapy parameters, if there were actual therapists present and participating. It seemed to me that it was students treating students..but that is another story...
If you want to read more about it, including excerpts from the plays, you may read about it here.
The problem arose when some of the parents of the young people that attended the mandatory assembly, where this program was performed, heard that it had been done without any parental or even administrative involvement. No parents were informed that it would be taking place. There was no chance for anyone to review the scripts or opt their kids out of the program.
This was a HUGE oversight on the part of the administration. Looking back they can see the errors and the potential for problems in the way that it was handled, but there is no excuse for the way that the families that came forward to express and uphold their rights as parents were vilified and disregarded.
The program was put on by a group of very well-meaning people, who had the kid's best interests at heart. We have the right to protect our children from "well-meaning" people.
The program was put on to help the kids find direction and inspire an environment of openness.
We have the right to direct our children and to protect them from an environment that we feel may damage them.
The program may have been intended to put into play the values that the organizers felt the children need to be focusing on. We have the right to define the values and help to inform the consciences of those children in our care. There was no direction, no lessons taught by anyone in authority.
People in this country have been sold a bill of goods by the nanny state.
They believe that only "professionals" are capable of knowing what is best for their families, for their health, for their futures.
Who are these professionals? Do they have it all together? Do they know whereof they speak?
We have the right to know what is going on in our kids classrooms, and we have the right to say that we do not approve.
We have the right to say that there is an objective moral absolute and that we expect our educators, leaders, politicians and government to live up to it.
We have the right to be appalled at the lack of rigor in our school systems, the dropout rate, the illiteracy, the tenure system that keeps incompetent teachers and professors in their jobs.
We have the right to expect to be listened to when it comes to the health and well being of our kids!
Not everyone can homeschool. Most don't want to. They shouldn't have to!!
I am so glad that we can...
I am so grateful that we have the laws that we do in this country. Many people have worked very, very hard to make sure that we continue to have this right. There are those that would strip it away.
We need to be aware of the attempts to remove parents as the primary authorities in their kids lives.
We need to elect people that will respect and uphold those rights.
Do some research. If you can't get a straight answer from a candidate on this issue, then look elsewhere.
Find out if they will oppose the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which will put parents directly under the thumb of the UN.
Go to ParentalRights.org and read about what needs to be done and who is working on it.
There is only so much time, your kids only have one childhood...
Monday, January 25, 2010
The blog is a good way to see how it is going "on the ground", from someone who has been part of the effort since before the earthquake.
Why not just head over to the nearest WalMart, fill a box with even just a few of these items, and ship them to the address. There is just so much need, even in this small corner of the tragedy. Even a few bucks will help Licia keep the kids eating and provide at least a small comfort. Maybe you can throw in a couple of board books or a toy or two.
Here's the List and the address of a friend of hers that has a warehouse and will ship the items:
Debbie Woodward 1500 Jackson Street NE Minneapolis, MN 55413
Current needs listinfant formula
What's in the air?
It's the rediscovery of our American spirit. Our love for our nation .
We, in Maryland, have had a recent history of elected officials that are focused more on the interests of the machine of Government, and the place that they want to occupy in the driver's seat, than the interests of the country and the people that have entrusted their security and freedom to them.
Well, that is about to change...and it's a change that we don't have to believe in, because we believe in God and Country, not in change itself.
We have a candidate on the horizon in Maryland, that embodies everything that we want to see our country return to.
His name is Jim Rutledge...
Here is an excerpt from his website:
This campaign is about Freedom, your desire to live free, your right to dream dreams and to pursue those dreams.
Your desire to live in the Land of the Free is as natural as breathing.
But the more you look around and take stock, you see your freedoms under attack and your dreams fading away, while your government demands more and more of your time and money, only to recklessly waste precious tax dollars on misguided bailouts and irresponsible foreign aid. Your very own government is trampling on your rights as American citizens as it grovels before foreign powers, instead of putting the American citizen first.
Join me in the fight to make Maryland and America the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave.
Go there and have a look at all that Jim Rutledge stands for. If you desire a return to the values and ideals that this country was founded on and has held dear throughout history, drop them a line and lend your support. Even better, come on out and campaign!
We can stop the madness...
Sunday, January 24, 2010
I have been off the soapbox for a really long time.
I have been trying to make my blog more of a family, feel-good blog.
But I just can't resist sharing Mark Steyn's latest column.
He just turns those phrases into satisfying blend of satire, humor and truth.
January 23, 2010, 0:07 a.m.
Too Much of a Bad Thing
Who’s panting for Obama speech number 412? Exactly no one.
By Mark Steyn
So what went wrong? According to Barack Obama, the problem is he overestimated you dumb rubes’ ability to appreciate what he’s been doing for you. “That I do think is a mistake of mine,” the president told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “I think the assumption was if I just focus on policy, if I just focus on this provision or that law or if we’re making a good rational decision here, then people will get it.”
But you schlubs aren’t that smart. You didn’t get it. And Barack Obama is determined to see that you do. So the president has decided that he needs to start “speaking directly to the American people.”
Wait, wait! Come back! Don’t all stampede for the hills! He only gave (according to CBS News’s Mark Knoller) 158 interviews and 411 speeches in his first year. That’s more than any previous president — and maybe more than all of them put together. But there may still be some show out there that didn’t get its exclusive Obama interview — I believe the top-rated Grain & Livestock Prices Report — 4 a.m. Update with Herb Torpormeister on WZZZ-AM Dead Buzzard Gulch Junction’s Newstalk Leader is still waiting to hear back from the White House.
But what will the president be saying in all these extra interviews? In that interview about how he hadn’t given enough interviews, he also explained to George Stephanopoulos what that wacky Massachusetts election was all about:
“The same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office,” said Obama. “People are angry and they’re frustrated, not just because of what’s happened in the last year or two years but what’s happened over the last eight years.”
Got it. People are so angry and frustrated at George W. Bush that they’re voting for Republicans. In Massachusetts. Boy, I can’t wait for that 159th interview.
Presumably, the president isn’t stupid enough actually to believe what he said. But it’s dispiriting to discover he’s stupid enough to think we’re stupid enough to believe it.
So who’s panting for that 412th speech? Not the American Left. As Paul Krugman, the New York Times’s “Conscience of a Liberal,” put it: “He Wasn’t The One We’ve Been Waiting For.”
Not the once-delirious Europeans, either. As the headline in Der Spiegel put it: “The World Bids Farewell to Obama.”
And not any beleaguered Democratic candidates trying to turn things around in volatile swing states like, er, Massachusetts. The Barack Obama who showed up last Sunday to help out Martha Coakley was a sad and diminished figure from the colossus of a year ago. He had nothing to say, but he said it anyway. As he did with his Copenhagen pitch for the Olympics, he put his personal prestige on the line, raised the stakes, and then failed to deliver. All those cool kids on his speechwriting team bogged him down in the usual leaden sludge. He went to the trouble of flying in to phone it in.
The most striking aspect of his performance was how unhappy he looked, as if he doesn’t enjoy the job. You can understand why. He ran as something he’s not, and never has been: a post-partisan, centrist, transformative healer. That’d be a difficult trick to pull off even for somebody with any prior executive experience, someone who’d actually run something, like a state, or even a town, or even a commercial fishing operation, like that poor chillbilly boob Sarah Palin. At one point late in the 2008 campaign, when someone suggested that if Governor Palin was “unqualified” then surely he was too, Obama pointed out as evidence to the contrary his ability to run such an effective campaign. In other words, running for president was his main qualification for being president.
That was the story of his life: Wow! Look at this guy! Wouldn’t it be great to have him . . . as community organizer, as state representative, as state senator, as United States senator. He was wafted ever upwards, staying just long enough in each “job” to get another notch on the escutcheon, but never long enough to leave any trace.
The defining moment of his doomed attempt to prop up Martha Coakley was his peculiar obsession with Scott Brown’s five-year-old pickup:
“Forget the ads. Everybody can run slick ads,” the president told an audience of out-of-state students at a private school. “Forget the truck. Everybody can buy a truck.”
How they laughed! But what was striking was the thinking behind Obama’s line: that anyone can buy a truck for a slick ad, that Brown’s pickup was a prop — like the herd of cows Al Gore rented for a pastoral backdrop when he launched his first presidential campaign. Or the Iron Chef TV episode featuring delicious, healthy recipes made with produce direct from Michelle Obama’s “kitchen garden”: The cameras filmed the various chefs meeting the first lady and then picking choice organic delicacies from the White House crop, and then for the actual cooking the show sent out for stunt-double vegetables from a grocery back in New York. Viewed from Obama’s perspective, why wouldn’t you assume the truck’s just part of the set? “In his world,” wrote The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes, “everything is political and everything is about appearances.”
Howard Fineman, the increasingly loopy editor of the increasingly doomed Newsweek, took it a step further. The truck wasn’t just any old prop but a very particular kind: “In some places, there are codes, there are images,” he told MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann. “You know, there are pickup trucks, you could say there was a racial aspect to it one way or another.”
Ah, yes. Scott Brown has over 200,000 miles on his odometer. Man, he’s racked up a lot of coded racism on that rig. But that’s easy to do in notorious cross-burning KKK swamps like suburban Massachusetts.
Whenever aspiring writers ask me for advice, I usually tell ’em this:
Don’t just write there, do something. Learn how to shingle a roof, or tap-dance, or raise sled dogs. Because if you don’t do anything, you wind up like Obama and Fineman — men for whom words are props and codes and metaphors but no longer expressive of anything real.
America is becoming a bilingual society, divided between those who think a pickup is a rugged vehicle useful for transporting heavy-duty items from A to B and those who think a pickup is coded racism.
Unfortunately, the latter group forms most of the Democrat-media one-party state currently running the country. Can you imagine Bill Clinton being so stupid as to put down pickup trucks while standing next to John Kerry? And what’s even more extraordinary is that those lines were written for Obama by paid professionals.
But fine, have it your way. Tuesday’s vote was really a plea by a desperate people for even more Obama. We’re going to need even more Obama teleprompters, even more Obama speeches, even more sonorous banalities unrelated to action, even more “Let me be clears” prefacing even more tinny generalities, on even more reams of even more double-spaced paper. And we’re gonna need a really heavy-duty rig to carry all that verbiage.
Maybe Scott Brown can sell ’em his truck.
— Mark Steyn, a National Review columnist, is author of America Alone. © 2010 Mark Steyn
National Review Online - http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=
Friday, January 22, 2010
I'm putting them into the same post and I will add comments...
The is a shot of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception...To see better pictures, go to the website...
There were about six bishops and at least twenty priests...The purple of the vestments denotes the day being dedicated to penance and reparation for abortion.
THIS is the most amazing image of Christ that I have ever seen. It is at the very front of the church and I just love the look on His face...
There was so much energy in that place, so many people and so much prayer. It was a very special Mass.
My three great guys! They are such troupers and always up for everything.
Sweet, enthusiastic Paul
Loving, caring Brendan...our prayer warrior!
And John, such a giver and such a help. He comes through even when he doesn't feel like it.
The young people were out in force. I heard a comment that there aren't very many young women going to the March anymore...ummm...some newspaper said that. I think I only saw about 10,000 myself, but that was just in my little corner of the march...
Just a few kids in front of the Verizon Center...and then...after the rally let out...
For a time you couldn't see anything, there were just too many people. But it was SO exciting to be there with so many young people that care so much about the Truth!
Look at the street behind these people. It was a sea of marchers from where we were to blocks behind us. The Street was packed!
We went to Washington DC this morning to attend Mass at the National Shrine and the on to the mall for the March for Life...
I can't even describe the energy in that place...
The Basilica was standing room only, and the boys and I had to sit and kneel on the floor, and the Mall was just packed!
The Verizon Center was filled to capacity. 20,500 young people attended a rally that included a Mass, several bands and gave the kids their marching orders.
I will post pictures tomorrow, but I just want to Thank God for so very many prayers answered...
Getting to the Basilica in time for Mass, and light traffic.
A PERFECT parking place at the church.
Finding our way easily all over the city, well yes, GPS helped out with that too, but God kept us safe.
Getting into town and finding a parking place UNDER the Verizon Center, for only 15.00!
No bad weather at all, after we were told to expect a winter storm.
And all the many, many wonderful people that attended with us. We are truly the Body of Christ!
Pictures in the morning...I'm exhausted...
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
PE has been a difficult issue for our Homeschool all along.
We have sports, and we are an active family, with biking and walking and such, but there isn't much that I can check off as regular exercise.
It would be so nice to be able to set a time, have the boys do a program, and then be able to record it. Brendan would love the karate games, and the skateboard ones too.
I would have to be resolved not to let the system become a temptation to suck up a bunch of time outside of fitness though. I am afraid that I would start allowing too much "gaming" time.
I don't know...Maybe we should just move to the country and spend more time working outside...
UGH! I am torn...
Monday, January 18, 2010
Every year, when we celebrate Martin Luther King's great vision, I am struck by the similarities between the battle for recognition of rights for all races, and the battle for recognition of rights for all people, regardless of the place that they hold in society.
The civil rights movement of Martin Luther King's day, was of most importance, and we can learn so much from his example. He never advocated violence, he never preached intolerance, and he NEVER backed down. He died giving his all, not just for the good of his people, but for the good of all people.
It is interesting that the day that we celebrate this American hero, comes just a few days before we join thousands of our brothers and sisters in Washington DC for our own call to end oppression for a segment of American society. The example of the civil rights movement gives us fortitude, strength and perseverance. The boys and I watched a video today that showed the battle that MLK was willing to fight, peacefully, for those who had no power. We are encouraged and empowered to go forth ourselves.
There is still injustice, there is still intolerance, there is still ignorance.
But with God and the power of Truth, anything can be overcome.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
- The Rescue Center location. The damage is getting worse with each tremor that we have. We need to make some decisions soon. The kids have been living and sleeping outside since Tuesday night. We are thinking a new location that is not far away.
- Infant formula and food for the kids
- fuel for generator and vehicles
- the kids in the RC and my kids peace in their hearts
- some way to be able to get some Haitian cash. All banks and places we usually exchange money are closed.
To read more from a family that is working in Haiti please go to:RHFH Rescue Center
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Some people will do anything for a thrill...or maybe to feel superior. Not sure about the motives of the "tourists", but I am positive that the motives of the guys that started this are going to be rewarded one way or another...more power to them...
For $65, Tourists Get Peek at Los Angeles Gangland
Saturday, January 16, 2010
LOS ANGELES — Only miles from the scenic vistas and celebrity mansions that draw sightseers from around the globe — but a world away from the glitz and glamour — a bus tour is rolling through the dark side of the city's gang turf.
Passengers paying $65 a head Saturday signed waivers acknowledging they could be crime victims and put their fate in the hands of tattooed ex-gang members who say they have negotiated a cease-fire among rivals in the most violent gangland in America.
If that sounds daunting, consider the challenge facing organizers of LA Gang Tours: trying to build a thriving venture that provides a glimpse into gang life while also trying to convince people that gang-plagued communities are not as hopeless as movies depict.
"There's a fascination with gangs," said founder Alfred Lomas, a former member of the Florencia 13 gang. "We can either address the issue head-on, create awareness and discuss the positive things that go on in these communities, or we can try to sweep it under the carpet."
Several observers have questioned the premise behind the tours, and some city politicians have been more blunt.
"It's a terrible idea," City Councilman Dennis Zine said. "Is it worth that thrill for 65 bucks? You can go to a (gang) movie for a lot less and not put yourself at risk."
More than 40 people brushed aside safety concerns for Saturday's maiden tour to hear how notorious gangs got started and bear witness to the struggling neighborhoods where tens of thousands of residents have been lured into gang life.
On an abbreviated advance tour Lomas provided for the news media, his unmarked chartered coach wound its way through downtown. The first sight was a stretch of concrete riverbed featured in such movies as "Terminator" and "Grease," where countless splotches of gray paint conceal graffiti that is often the mark of street gangs and tagging crews.
Today was such a great day!
I have pictures to prove it.
John and I left early and went down to the Promenade to look at the birds and just enjoy the gorgeous day.
It was so nice down there, the sun was out and the water birds were very busy.
We went toward the lighthouse. The little wetland area where the ducks and geese hang out looks so strange in the winter. It is so congested with reeds and vines and water plants in the summer, that you can't even see anything in there. Now it is wide open.
I saw these berries on a vine. I am going to look them up. I just thought they were pretty.
There is a new pier on the far side of the walkway, just before you get to the lighthouse. We walked out on it and then looked back.
This is where John says he wants to live someday. It is a very old building that used to be a home for the elderly, run by an order of nuns. Now it has been renovated and split up into condos. It looks right out onto the bay.
I just love Havre de Grace.
It's such a great place to live, and being able to share it with the kids, as they grow, I feel so Blest! Today, I really felt the tremendous gift that homeschooling my boys gives us. We all know each other so well. When we are walking along, talking about life and all that it entails (and it is getting more complicated for John all the time), I feel like I can really see the fine person that he is becoming. The perceptions, the wisdom, and his ability to interpret the details of where he is going in life. What a confirmation that for all the work and stress that goes into schooling these young men. They are really becoming good, capable people.
Here is the place that I think Mom and Dad should come and live. It is a new condo building right on the water. Each unit has it's own boat slip. The view from the top must be incredible!
After we finished walking, we went to lunch at the little Chinese place that we frequent.
It was so nice to just sit and talk, uninterrupted. I was thinking that someday I'll be an old lady, and my sons can come and we can go walk on the promenade, and they can drive me to lunch. One of those "Circle of Life" ruminations...
When we got home, I loaded up the van and took a drive to the landfill. I got rid of the old TV, all the nasty pink trim, some storm windows and other bits and pieces that I can't put out with the trash. We would have left the TV in the yard, for someone to pick up, but it really didn't work and it had been rained on, so that would have been a dirty trick.
Then I vacuumed out the car, made a trip to Walmart, where I got the usual groceries and supplies.
When I got home Tim was just finishing the cornices on top of the cabinets. What a difference they make!
I was also marveling at the way my cookbook stand actually goes with the kitchen now. It sure didn't when I bought it! I didn't think I would ever have a kitchen where that would look at home....