Friday, February 22, 2008

It's ON like a MathATHON!

This month Niki fired it up over on her place and we will be joining the families who participate. If you're local, come on and bring it! We'll be using the discount theater in FW as the reward site.

The kids are psyched about it. They're such good little sports, I swear. They love math too, so this should really help them bone up on their base skills, as well as branch out. We have the Right Start curriculum we have been trying out this year, the Montessori materials, and workbooks and internet printsheets out the yang.

I can't believe I was so stressed about math. As a baby homeschooler, in the "can I do this??can I really do this??" phase, I was really stressed about three subjects: math, foreign language and music. I can do music appreciation until the cows come home, but my teaching skills in anything other than voice and reading notation leave much to be desired because, well, I don't play an instrument. I badly want them to be able to play at least piano. I have relaxed significantly about the music, completely about the mathematics, and I remain verklempt about foreign language. I continue to speak French to them, for goodness sake, when I want to be teaching them Spanish.

So anyway, as we were doing our math today. I mentioned to G that we were invited to a mathathon, and she flipped out. Then she wanted to know if her math card games were included in the count, and I assured her they were. C'est finis! ;)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Patriot Guard is Awesome

Westboro Baptist Church (I use their name only to identify them; I respect them as neither Baptists nor a church) is the horrible group that pickets any high profile funeral it can, be it soldier, celebrity or politician with their vitriolic signs such as "God Hates Fags." Their rhetoric makes no sense and they abuse some of the civil liberties we have left (freedom of speech, freedom to assemble) to torture innocent, grieving people. They embody evil to me, and because of the nonviolent methods they use, have gone unchallenged for quite some time.

I recently learned about this group, The Patriot Guard, which has taken up a mission of its own. They literally surround the evil protesters like a macrophage cloistering a virus. Equally nonviolent, yet equally determined, these people block the evil-doers from the sight of the funeral participants. As the video shows, Police officers apparently appreciate and respect the turnabout.

I applaud the Patriot Guard and I am so grateful they exist. Regardless of how I personally feel about the war, what they do is necessary to honoring the hearts of our citizens. This is a Good Work.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Unit Study at Hogwarts?

I need some fun! And Lapaz Homeschool just gave me some direction with their Unit Study on Hogwarts.

How much fun does that look? I know at least one other family who is into that kind of stuff like we are. This is gonna be fun.

Tiny snippet for the lazy people who won't click the link:

Potions, Charms, and Spells

(I will be adding these daily)

First year students will learn many skills that will be important for potion making, as well as some simple potions, charms, and spells.

Your teacher will supply you each day with instructions for this class so that you do not do something foolish by working ahead. You must keep a journal to record what you have done (including ingredients, procedures, spells, chants, wand motions etc) and what you have hopefully learned.

Study well, as knowledge of potions and charms is a powerful weapon against dark forces!

Potion 1: Goblin Slobber

Goblin slobber is a potion which is particularly effective against being followed through woods and caves. Just drip some goblin slobber on the path behind you and anything that is chasing you will be driven away.

You will need:

One flask of water

¼ measure instant goblin slobber(dehydrated)

1 full measure Manticore milk

1 full measure water

3 drops goblin blood

Cauldron (mixing bowl will do if you have not yet received your cauldron)

Your wand, of course.

  1. Rehydrate the goblin slobber:Pour the instant goblin slobber into the flask of water. Stir briskly with wand to dissolve while chanting “soluloso aqualitem.” Repeat until fully dissolved.
  2. Into the manticore milk pour the measure of water and the goblin blood and stir, repeating incantation.
  3. The final step is to pour the two solutions into the cauldron and stir well chanting “goblinatum sloberosum.” You may need to adjust the quantities, so add them slowly.

(Note to professors: muggles will know these ingredients by different names. Instant goblin slobber= borax. Manticore milk= Elmer’s glue. Goblin blood= green food coloring. flask=quart, measure=cup)

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Caucus Today-- or it doesn't count

Democrats caucus in this state despite how it appears on the absentee ballot you may have received.

Your ballot vote will not count in the mail-in primary if you are voting for a Democrat.

Why they do it this way (include democrats on the primary ballot) I have no idea, because it certainly creates confusion. It is all too easy to feel like you have done your civic duty when you lick that envelope and check the appropriate boxes.

Caucus is today at 1:00.

Click here to find out where you need to go to caucus.

The Democratic party in WA has this to say:Why is Washington State having Caucuses and a Primary? The Washington State Legislature was the body who voted to hold a primary. The means that the Washington State Democratic Party, which chooses how delegates are decided, had no participation in the decision to hold the primary, which will cost $9 to $10 million. The Washington State Democratic Party decided to choose their delegates through the Caucuses, as it always has. As a result, your vote for a Democratic candidate in the State Primary will not count toward delegate selection.


Monday, February 04, 2008

Yes, We Can

Make Sure You Vote

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Carseats Make my Head Spin

Washington has changed legislation again so the kids will be in seats way longer than I thought they would be when I bought them all. I had two Alpha Omegas (with which I remain happy, despite a lot of online carseat gourmands complaints) which would have been all I needed had we remained in SC. It kind of boggles my mind that in my home state , G would soon be out of her seat and in P-daddy's home state, only D-boy would be in a seat at this point. Yet here, I can expect them to be in seats for a very long time. Only Maine is stricter, according to this map I found. (click to see it)

Children under the age of 16 years must be restrained in a vehicle according to the following steps:

. 1 year of age AND under or weighing less than 20 pounds:
a rear facing infant seat

. Between 1 - 4 years old or 20 - 40 pounds:
a forward facing child safety seat

. Children under 8 years of age, unless 4 feet 9 inches tall:
a booster seat with a lap and shoulder belt

. Children over 8 years of age:
a properly-fitting seat belt or a booster seat with a lap and shoulder belt

NOTE: Doctors and safety experts recommend that children ride in booster seats until the lap and shoulder belt fit right, usually when they are at least 4'9" tall, or around 8 years old.

So this week, the ugly and ratty boosters I bought for the big guys were replaced with larger, highback convertible boosters. The ugly ratty ones will live in P-daddy's car now, because while ugly, ratty and now uncushy, they are still legally sound. They love the new seats, but because we grow tall children, both seats are extended pretty high, and I will be sewing in additional padding where there are gaps. D-boy still fits very well in his seat, even at5 point, but I am thinking about him too. This seat has never been in an accident, but it is 4 years olds already-- maybe 5. I don't want to replace it at all because aside from the cover needing a good laundering, it's in great shape. I really thought I was done with carseat considerations.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Birthday Weekend

Today was a C-family birthday, and we celebrated with a party at Odyssey-1. So did about 936 other small children. While the Moms sat stupefied, the kids apparently had a great time. Happy Birthday Girliness!

P-daddy will celebrate his old-man-ness on Sunday. I haven't planned a party this year because he didn't seem to dig the one we threw him last year. He has, however, requested an ice cream cake. Good luck to me!