Sunday, March 23, 2008

So I am an Easter Beaver

Which Chronicles of Narnia character are you most like?
created with
You scored as Mr. Beaver

Mr. Beaver


Peter Pevensie


Lucy Pevensie


Susan Pevensie


Edmund Pevensie




Mrs. Beaver


Mr. Tumnus






The White Witch


Friday, March 21, 2008

Spring has Sprung

More sunny days, more buds on the trees, the return of seasonal allergies.

And with it, some new revelations.

Spring light is not necessarily all good. Yes, winter light keeps me from remembering how coffee not a good thing for my teeth; and ew, for the first time I have three hairs on my chin.

This is the first Spring since 2002 that I have not been nursing. In the shower, I realized I was soaping my breasts, which I never did when I had a nursling.

I am a gardening fanatic. I have hesitated starting my projects because I know I won't finish the ones I have going inside if I start the garden. But I HAVE to start the garden. Right. Now.

I love going to the beach. Without the winter wind whipping the cold into the bones, I actually enjoy going back down there.

We have friends staying with us while they house hunt. They are also from the South, and I have enjoyed watching my friend encounter the NW with similar reactions to the ones P-daddy and I had when we moved here. A huge plus for her is that they're moving on the EQUINOX instead of on the Winter Solstice. They're about to get overwhelmed entirely-- in a good way-- and I can't wait to watch.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


You Are Cumin

You are warm, unique, and pretty dominant.

It's also pretty likely that you smoke or like fire.

You are energetic and intense. You definitely stimulate people.

I tag Mackenzie, Niki, Marie and Danelle!

Monday, March 10, 2008

A Girl Named Anna

(this is definitely a click the pix post)

Nineteen years ago, when I matriculated a prestigious woman's college on the East Coast, I met a girl named Anna. We were from different Carolinas, but we must have had something more important in common, because we have been friends ever since. We were in my first study group in college, we had the same major and we had overlapping circles of friends. We both held important positions on the college newspaper. We even liked the same royal blue. We stayed in touch all through school, and then periodically we'd touch base in the years that followed. She attended our wedding, and came to various oyster roasts that P-daddy and I would host. The last time I saw her was at our last big social event on John's Island, when I was pregnant with G. Shortly after that she met her partner and we were both busy, building our families. She moved across country, and that was that.

When we moved to WA, surprising everyone including ourselves, I was relieved to know someone was out here from back home. Anna lives in OR, and I was anticipating seeing her again soon after our arrival. It's not difficult to explain how I (and my P-daddy!) feel about Anna: we adore her. It is, however, unsatisfying to put it so simply, though: it doesn't impart the tapestry of affection and history, love and confidence we have for and in her. She's a good egg.

Anyway, when we arrived in Federal Way, she immediately made plans to come visit us. Alas, on the appointed day, we had a two day old so we asked her to postpone her trip. Then, nursing school started for her. Three years later, we finally got our visit! In she came, like no time had passed.

Yet it had. Eight years. It is always marker on my personal time line when I see Anna, but for my part, that meant three children, four houses, three vehicles one career and a cross-country move later. We discovered we'd both gotten into much healthier, physically fit lifestyles. We are both much greener than we'd ever been before, eating well and trying to tread lightly. We're in similar mental processes, trying to live mindfully and simplify our day to day. She's into yoga, I like pilates. We both have the established "grown up" households we'd try so hard to envision back in the day.

Time marches on for us all, yet with my entire life consumed by child and family, it is actually confusing to me to try and realize her perspective on my life here. My entire childbearing phase has passed her by. She'd never seen me with a child of my own, much less three children. She's never seen me nurse a baby or change a diaper. She asked me "What does homeschooling look like for you guys?" and I couldn't answer her. I-- the woman who will drop everything to talk educational theory--found myself loathe to go into it because I didn't want my time with my friend consumed by it. It shocked me, but the day after she left, it hit me.

I said to Anna repeatedly while she was here that in college, she'd always "seen me." She looked through the craziness and saw who was actually in there. I think I wanted that here, too. Here was someone who knew ME. As a woman who has disappeared into her life and family, I wanted to be seen as who I am. I wanted to be me. And for a few hours, I had the chance to explore who that even is.

We have plans to get together again very soon; I am happy we get to get to know each other all over again.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

California Doesn't Have Homeschoolers

Not really. The way it works there is that each family who chooses to educate at home either signs on with a virtual academy or declares itself a discrete private school and goes from there. The caveat is that the private schools do not have to be accredited to be acknowledged as permitted. And so it has gone, for quite some time.

Recently, as most homeschoolers who do not live under a rock will know, an appellate court ruled that such "unqualified individuals" as parents should not be teaching their children. As a result, one family's court drama has suddenly impacted thousands upon thousands of lives in California.

The HSLDA has gotten involved, filing an amicus brief with the courts in an attempt to get the ruling restricted to the one family in questions, instead of applying to the rest of the state. The goal, called depublication, is a decision that can only be made by the California Supreme Court. "If the Court determines that the decision should stand, regarding this family, on the facts presented, but that the general pronouncements of law for all of homeschooling should not be determined by this case, then the Court has the option of “depublishing” the Court of Appeal’s decision. This would mean that the case is not binding precedent in California and has no effect on any other family."

Luckily for the Californians, Governor Schwarzenegger issued a statement in opposition to recent Second District Court of Appeals ruling on home schooling. He said on his blog that

"Every California child deserves a quality education and parents should have the right to decide what’s best for their children. Parents should not be penalized for acting in the best interests of their children's education. This outrageous ruling must be overturned by the courts and if the courts don't protect parents' rights then, as elected officials, we will.”

I am optimistic about the outcome for California; not only do they have a strong HSLDA membership (at least 13500 families), they have the support of both the governor and numerous celebrities (read: money) who homeschool. I am not an HSLDA member, nor would I choose to be, but they've gotten the info out there. Further, Home Education magazine has issued a calmer, more thoughtful approach to the proceedings and have posted extensive information here. I reiterate, I am not that worried about it in the sense that I think the Californians will handle it.

What has been curious for me is the local commentary in reaction to this highly publicized debacle. In the ruling, one judge cites "a primary purpose" of education as training "school children in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare," quoting from a 1961 case on a similar issue.

The issue has snowballed from punishing one abusive family who really didn't deserve to homeschool to endangering the rights of thousands of others. It annoys me significantly that there are homeschoolers I know online who just don't get why this would effect us here in Washington. They have a myopic view of it: "That's California, not Washington," or "We're not abusing our kids, so we're not at risk here." Worst, "I am technically a public schooler, because I use a virtual academy." That one really strikes me as naive.

Any time a court at that level sets a precedent like this one, it's a bad thing for the home educating parent at large. Not only are the judges admitting that public education is not about imbuing the children with knowledge, but about creating malleable little state subjects, they are stating in their decision that parents are unqualified to teach their children and have no right to even question the curriculum that is being used in the process. Those ideas strike at both curriculum choice and parental instruction, impacting the fitness of a parent to teach at home regardless of whether she is homeschooling or accessing a virtual school. If something were to happen to your virtual academy, as happened recently in Wisconsin, what then would you do? Your kids are home for a reason. If homeschooling is taken away but you're ok with that because you still have a virtual academy, do you honestly believe that the people who think parental choice in curriculum and home instruction is wrong are going to then leave you alone? Most teachers are fine human beings, but they are fully indoctrinated into that system: they perceive each child out of school as representative of money being taken away from the school. They believe-- and many seem to agree-- that more funds will equal a better education. Clearly, I am not in agreement with that.

As for my family, we will support the (Federal) Constitutional right of parents to educate their children as they see fit, everywhere in the US.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Mathathon Movie

Today we finish our mathathon! G has really put a push on this week and has been doing a myriad of math activities, worksheets and workbooks. I was pretty impressed when my wee jockette gave up her morning mile at the Y to do math while her brothers took their swim lessons.

So we're off, D-Meister in tow, to Federal Way. Have a good one!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

It eats us

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Giving up caffeine

I have a number of friends who are giving up caffeine, and one who remains truculent, in the "oh no, no way" camp.

Along with cheese, I have a love-guilt relationship with coffee. I am well aware of the benefits of coffee-- a freshly brewed pot has antioxidants on a par with wine or blueberries. That, along with the ritual, the scent and the sheer palate-pleasing hedonism, makes this a battle I am not willing to fight. Losing cheese would be easier.

My friends are correct and right to release themselves from coffee. It's an anti-nutrient in many ways. It leaches our hard-won calcium from our bones and it stains our teeth. It's an addictive substance on which many a Mom becomes woefully dependent and for those of us who actually enjoy it's taste, it is an expensive dependency at that. For me, who takes my coffee blonde and sweet, it also becomes a delivery system for more fat (no fake milk here) and sugar (or, splenda) into my body. If I could even wean myself to black coffee, I would be satisfied.

But no.

I sit here with the proverbial angels on my shoulders, with the golden haloed one smiling sagely at my words, and the feisty red one staring off into space unconcerned, knowing that my idle musings here won't amount to a hill of (coffee) beans.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Crazy Week is over!

This is one of those weeks where we had something big Monday through Friday. Y sessions started back in force, we had an impromptu Lunch on Wednesday when a planned field trip got rained out, we had an overnight houseguest for two days and then we had Camp Seymour on Friday.

I will have pics from some of it (I think) but really I don't know. How's that for random?

I am just saying "Hi!" and "I am alive!" and I will be back later!