Adventures in Homeschooling in Southern Indiana

Friday, January 30, 2009

Nerves of STEELE!!!!

Woohoo! Michael Steele, the pro-lifer from MD, wins the RNC chair!!!

And mentions we have to remain the party of Lincoln.....

=) I like Michael Steele-- he's one of my favorites in the RNC..... and he'll probably help pave the way for Jindal or Palin in 2012...


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Weird Conspiracy Theory #32413

What if Dems are threatening to push through FOCA now in order to focus Republican efforts on defeating that, thus causing us to IGNORE the massive 'stimulus' boondoggle that's going to bankrupt our children?????

If I didn't know better, I'd also assume all of Obresi's recent actions were part of a massive plot to make sure that conservatives retake congress in 2010......

Like I said. Probably crazy, right?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pelosi, on why the stimulus includes birth control funding....

PELOSI: Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost.
The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for
children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states
meet their financial needs. One of those - one of the initiatives you mentioned,
the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal

Well, I guess she DOES have a point here. After all, kids ARE expensive (Health care, education, etc.) So if people have fewer kids, maybe we'll save a few bucks.....

Why don't we just summarize this as Pelosi to Poor People: Stop having kids! Don't you know we're in a recession?????

H/T The Corner....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ok... this is seriously creepy...

"I just gave up and prayed to Obama"

Talk about weird demonic temptations.

Though the whole treating him like a king rather than a president thing has eerie shades of Samuel for me....

Good thing we Americans aren't the chosen people, huh?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I guess I'm too young

I'm reading all these blogs by people from across the political spectrum, talking about how wonderful it is that a Black Man has been elected president.

And I think I might be too young to understand their excitement. I ALWAYS assumed there'd be a black president in my lifetime....I just assumed he'd be Colin Powell. Or maybe that she'd be Condi Rice. Or possibly (hope against hope) Michael Steele, but probably not Allan Keys since he seems to have trouble connecting with more than a narrow slice of the electorate.

Like I said, I might just be too young, since even Thomas Sowell is swept away. And I can't help feeling that, politically speaking, Obama won't be that much different than McCain would have been.

Except on the one issue that I consider totally unnegotiable. It would be nice if Obama 'grew in office' and decided to protect the unborn, but I can't see it happening....

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Birthday Improv

We were frozen in for my daughter's birthday this week, which meant we couldn't go out and buy her ice cream.

On the other hand, Daddy's work got canceled, so she was excited about that. But no ice cream. And HOW can you have a birthday without chocolate ice cream????

Well, we didn't have ice cream, but we sure had lots of snow..... So I went online and found this article on making ice cream without an ice cream maker.

Then I needed a recipe. The ones in the article above wouldn't work-- we had no cream on hand. And we couldn't go out and buy cream-- if we could, we could have just picked up a container of Breyers! (My child has corn allergies and Breyers is one of the few corn-free brands on the market.)

So I googled around some more as my illiterate but anxious child peered over my shoulder. And then I found this Chocolate gelato recipe. Milk- check. Sugar - check. Cocoa -check.

Corn starch??? Well, we'd have to substitute. I used a bit of mashed potato (hey, potatoes have starch, right? Don't judge me! I had a sniffling birthday girl desperately hoping for chocolate ice cream!)

So I followed the directions and chilled it in a sink full of snow---- stirring periodically. The snow in the house was a huge novelty for all of us girls, and we felt like "Little House in the Small Town." After about 4 hours it STILL wasn't done, so I put it on the porch for an hour (it was -5 out) stirred every 10 minutes, and voila!

If I'd had another 2 hours, it might have firmed up better--but as it was, it was milk-shake consistency and dark chocolate and the kids proclaimed it amazing.

My husband commented that now he knew why ice cream was so expensive--it takes FOREVER to make....

But it was definitely a learning experience. We had history, math, science, emotional growth (don't freak out, kiddo, we'll find a way to make a chocolate dessert!), and a healthy dose of google-skills (look, if I use 5 search terms, the answer to my question magically appears on the top of the list!)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Phonics is SERIOUSLY awesome

After a less than a week of lessons (we skipped a few days) my daughter is starting to sound out words on her own... words she's never seen before.... with minimal effort...

Something clicked yesterday. A weird light came on in her eyes, and she read a sentence. Now she's sounding out random words, even ones with letters we haven't covered yet..... (Of course, she's been doing "B is for Ball" since she learned the alphabet a million years ago, so I'm not surprised she knows these things... just that she's suddenly putting them together!)

So, Phonics are officially AWESOME! She's giddy with the feeling of power from reading an unexpected word. She's dying to read on her own... and even though the first few days were HARD, I have a feeling it will get easier now that she clicked.....

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Eight Arguments against abortion

At Inside Catholic


I really, really hate not being pregnant. But I don't really want another baby yet. I just want Paul.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Another Day in the Phoneme Mine

Today went better. She seems to do best in about 5 minute spurts. Otherwise, things just get silly.

So now I'm wondering, what can I do to help her learn to concentrate and focus as she grows older?

On a lark, I plugged "Teaching homeschool concentration" into Google, and the second hit I got was this.

Now, why didn't *I* think of that? She's already obsessed with watching her dad play turn-based strategy games, and she wants to learn chess anyway.

Time to hit the library for a few chess books... maybe I can improve my own, super-duper-pathetic game while I'm at it.

Or, we could just devote hours to Penguins.

Hmm... the price has skyrocketed since Christmas... what's up with that??? It really is a fun game though. And it's pure strategy but has simple moves and inviting pieces, so I think it's a good first strategy game.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Phonics with the Professor

So my eldest and I started on Professor Phonics today.

Pros: Does a good job of introducing phonemes. Builds gradually. You can do it in 15 minute nuggets, so kids don't get to frustrated.

Cons: My daughter is too much like me. She knows the sounds. She'll gamely sound out one word at a time. But if you give her a whole sentence, she glances and guesses something that makes sense. After all, it's MUCH faster to make something up then to bother sounding it out! (she looks at the last two letters, guesses, and if she's wrong, she guesses another word that rhymes with the first...)

ARGH. Hopefully we can break habits like this BEFORE she gets to Latin and Greek! On the other hand, her willingness to look at word ENDINGS bodes well........

Anyway, we're going to shoot for 10-15 minutes a day at this point. Because she really, REALLY wants to be able to read the "Magic Tree House" books whenever she wants.....

Red the Pragmatist

My girls were doing a Red Riding Hood puppet show for the grandparents yesterday (Skype is awesome!).

My almost 5 was Grandma, My 3 was Red, and Daddy was the wolf because he has the deepest voice.

So it's all going along well, until the wolf eats grandma.

At which point Red said "I don't LIKE wolves. I don't WANT to go to Grandma's now. I'm going to the Fair!!!!!!"

Loooong post to Anon. Please skip if it's not your thing!

1. On religious vs. non religious – Sociologists and the courts generally hold that any strongly held belief is religious in nature. That’s why pretty much ANYONE can get a religious exemption from vaccines these days, even if their reason is “I believe they cause Autism.” Even atheism is a belief that is religious in nature, since God’s non-existence not provable by direct observation.

Since, as you laid it out here, you support your position based on anecdotal evidence, hypothetical situations, and strong statements that you didn’t back up with science or logic, I think your position still fits under the legal/sociological definition of ‘religious,’ even if you don’t belong to an organized religion that shares those same beliefs. (If you DO have scientific/logical reasons why you hold your views, please feel free to argue them here—I’m just going on your comments to my posts, and since you’re Anon, I can’t really know what larger philosophy lead to your current position!)

I’d also argue that just because a religion teaches something doesn’t mean that everyone who believes the same thing is religious.

For instance, Judeo-Christian tradition teaches that the Sun and Stars existed before life began. But everyone who believes in the order “First Sun, then Life” is not subscribing to a religious belief. Most people’s belief in the idea that the sun came first is based on scientific observation, either their own, or that of others.

(Note: I know some philosophers of science have argued that all science is inherently religious too, and that there is no truth that is actually knowable. They’re nuts.)

Anyway, on to your second point:

I don’t think my religious opinion should be given more weight than yours in the political process.

I DO believe that my position on abortion is the right one, and so I’ll try to persuade other people that they should vote pro-life.

Trying to influence the political process by persuading people to change their minds is NOT the same thing as asking Congress to give more respect to a view because it’s religious. It’s asking Congress to give more respect to a view because more people hold it. (After all, that’s how the Born Alive and Partial Birth acts passed. Because MOST Americans agreed that there should be at least some regulation of abortion.)

I would argue that Roe and Doe actually short-circuited this normal process. Abortion IS a very divisive issue at the national level, but states were working out their own compromises at the time.

By having courts decide to either totally permit or totally ban abortion, you’ll have a large percentage of Americans living under a law they find abhorrent. However, there are large REGIONAL differences in abortion politics. So if Roe and Doe were overturned and abortion went back to the state legislatures you’d have local abortion laws that more closely matched local opinions. Also, that would mean that parties at the national level wouldn’t have to address abortion anymore, and I think it would do good things to our political process.

OK. Major Digression Ahead.
By declaring at the national level that Abortion is a constitutional right, the court elevated it to the level of Free Speech…..

I’d also like to point out that if FOCA passes, it will actually elevate Abortion to a place ABOVE free speech--- Because with free speech, I have to let everyone speak their mind, but I don’t have to listen to them or act on their words.

With FOCA, people who are opposed to abortions would be forced to PERFORM them, or lose their jobs. And religious hospitals would be forced top provide them or close.

FOCA would push Abortion from a RIGHT to a necessity—which is creepily “Brave New Worldish” or Orwellian, if you ask me.

Also, it would mean that, from a legal perspective, our guiding principles would change from “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness plus the Bill of Rights” to “ABORTION UBER ALLLES!!!”

Even if you see abortion as a tragic necessity that helps some women, can you really support forcing people to kill and dismember what they believe is a baby? Especially when they’re the same people who, on other days, work so hard to save tiny lives of the same gestational age? From my perspective, as someone who believes that human life begins before birth, it seems tantamount to forcing a doctor to help Mengele in his experiments.