Friday, February 29, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I was stunned and saddened to just see on the news that my first political mentor, William F. Buckley, passed away this morning. While some of my generation (born in the 60's) may have been parked in front of TV watching After School Specials, I was watching Firing Line. Long before the Rush Limbaughs and Laura Ingrahams of the world, there was Bill and the National Review...which I think I had a subscription to from the ages of 19 to 22. Bill Buckley rescued me from a fate worse than death...Liberalism. Through common moral sense and an astounding intellect, he convinced me of the 'Right' way to go. Finding out that he was a devout Roman Catholic (after my conversion) just made me love him more.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
I think I am a great mom to Andrew. I relate so much better to him. Maybe because he is a teenager. I love music, he loves music. We love to listen to alot of the same stuff and talk about it and find cool new stuff to listen to. I don't want to play alot of girlie stuff with Autumn or video games with Ben because they make me really sleepy. I know this is terrible. I am NOT looking for comfort. I get really mad when Ben tries everything in his power to coerce me to play video games. Except for Guitar Hero which is fun, I don't want to shoot people in Halo 3 or kick the crap out of them in Mortal Kombat. I like reading stories to my two youngest kids, but they won't always let me.
Here I am this AP (attachment parenting) mom and I feel like I am majorly dropping the ball..total fraudville! I mean, when the weather is nice I will take the kids to play tennis or play baseball outside. But inwardly I am wanting my husband to do those things...you know...be the dad that throws the ball. It's not something he does much.
Also, with Ben's relentless demands and moodiness I tend to run away from him and find something else I really need to do...like laundry etc. I know I am the mom who is forever saying, "Hold on a minute." or "I'll be right there." or "Maybe later." And I try and avoid them. Oh, I am so BAD! Why am I like this? (No one needs to answer that...it's more a question I am posing to myself.) You know, it's that I am selfish. I get bored doing things that aren't mentally stimulating and literally start to fall asleep. How do I get my kids to do stuff that won't put me to sleep and that we will all love?
I love snuggling them, I love chatting with them, I will take them places. I nursed them all for years not months, we co-slept with all of them. I just have such a hard time playing. Am I alone in this?
For those of you moms out there that are great at playing with your kids...how do you do it?
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
however, I could not resist tasting it and the frosting I made all the way through.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Going crazy for ribs...her choice for her birthday dinner. She' no vegetarian!
With Mom (me) who really needs to put on some make-up...YIKES!
With her fabulous homemade by mom, "Ty Girlz" cake!
With my brother, her Uncle Jonny! She LOVES him!!!
Friday, February 15, 2008
THE BOOK MEME
My new blog pal, Ukok, tagged me.
Here are the rules:
1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.
From The Underground History of American Education
by (one of my heros) John Taylor Gatto.
1st three sentences after 5th sentence:
Many schools were burned to the ground and teachers run out of town by angry mobs. When students were kept after school, parents often broke into school to free them. At Saltfleet Township in 1859 a teacher was locked in the schoolhouse by students who "threw mud and mire into his face and over his clothes," according to the school records---while parents egged them on.
Like Ukok I have to finish the author's thought or you won't get it.
At Brantford, Ontario, in 1863 the teacher William Young was assaulted (according to his replacement) to the point that "Mr. Young's head, face, and body was, if I understand rightly, pounded literally to jelly." Curtis (from the book Building The Education State 1836-1871) argues that parent resistance was motivated by a radical transformation in the intentions of schools---a change from teaching basic literacy to molding social identity.
*(Rachel's notes) The above passage has to do with initial reaction parents had to the idea of compulsory schooling. Too bad relatively few parents feel that way about compulsory government schooling now.
-Now I MUST go an pick up my house because Autumn's party for her 8th birthday, which isn't until the 18th, is tonite. It's grown-up friends for us and their kids (Autumn's friends) for her.-
Thursday, February 14, 2008
I really don't see a lesser of the 3 evils. So, I may have to bow of the coming presidential election...the first time I will have done that since 1984, when I turned 18 and voted for the first time, for Ronald Reagan (man, how I miss the 80's).
Go Huck Go!!! Stay in it until the end. Mike, you got my vote in Georgia (and that may be the only vote I cast this year). Thank you for continuing to give Republicans a choice in these Primaries no matter what the pundits say. Show the country there are conservatives out there who will not settle for McCain....EVER!
My husband says that if I don't vote for McCain , and Hilary is the nominee, then I'm essentially voting for Hilary. You know what, I'll write in Huck's name on the ballot. If Obama is the nominee, I will not vote. Let history be made and finally the liberals can all shut the heck up about race, coz I am SICK OF IT!
(BTW, When Ann Coulter says she'll support Hilary, if McCain wins the nomination, you know things are bad in the Republican party!) :-)
Now it's time for me to fire up the TiVo and get lost in LOST (my fave show).
Apparently, according to the website below, Autumn's learning talent is Music. I can definitely see that as true. She is globally artistically inclined, in that she sings, learns songs easily, takes ballet, pottery and drawing, designs her own fashions in a notebook, and has recently started writing her own songs (which I transcribe for her). She has plans on being in a band (Andrew is mostly to blame for this) and really wants to take guitar lessons. I can totally see Autumn on stage in NYC in musicals. It would completely fit the personality I see in her now. However, she is only 8 (on Feb 18) and things can change. Though, I am sure, she will always love music.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Friday, February 8, 2008
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Probably more frustrating is that in order to get your child(ren) into a social situation, like the one I mentioned above, is that the moms have to be integrally involved. And by being involved, I actually mean, said moms will have to teach a group of kids in a classroom some pre-determined subject that the adults have decided on (not the kids, God Forbid). No offense to my daughter, or anyone else's kids, but I spend alot of time with Autumn and if I get a chance for alone time, I want it. I don't want to teach other people's kids...I don't "teach" my own (in the traditional sense). That's why when Autumn takes classes 'she is interested in' I can just hang out and read a book, or drop her off run some errands, and pick her up. Autumn wasn't interested in her classes at Torch, and she isn't interested in the class I teach at her new co-op SOG. Now, she loves the Art class that SOG just added, and she wanted to try the Spanish, which they just added too, but she doesn't like it (because the teacher expects the kids to read, and Autumn is not a fluent reader yet).
I have already pulled myself and Autumn out of our parish's new American Heritage Girls troop. Instead of setting up a date twice a month where little Catholic girls of the parish could play and become friends, the grown ups had to make the social time "count" by starting this Christian scouting group. What a nightmare.
What Autumn wants to do at these co-op/scouting classes is play with other kids, especially girls, because she's with me most of the time. I know she loves me, but I am sure I can be boring to her at times. I don't blame her for wanting some peer time. I have been hounding her Dad for another baby (a 2nd girl would be awesome) for years, but nothing is happening. So, Autumn just has to deal with the fact that she has an 18 year old brother whose life is completely different than hers (though he loves her) and another brother, 11, who (when the stars are aligned and the planets in the right house) will happily play with her, otherwise he just instigates fights with her. Autumn, being essentially an only child homeschooler, gets lonely. She wants to play and relate to other kids. I dare say, even kids who are homeschooled with siblings probably want to get out and see other kids in a social setting every once in a while too.
I don't construct events or structured situations in order to get together with my friends, for example: only seeing them within the context of classes etc. I see my friends to spend time with them and develop, deepen, and strengthen our friendship. Our times together are free form. Sometimes we may choose to do something structured with each other...a movie, a cooking class, bible study etc...but mostly I just want to sit with them and chat over a cup o' joe or glass of wine. What I see going on in the homeschooling community is that there has to be a more important reason to get kids together than just for play. WHY!?! That ends up, yet again, admitting, that kids still need something schooly. Well, they don't. They are kids, they want to play. It is so good for them to play and use their imaginations, and to build lifelong friendships. In free form play they really do learn to socialize, because it isn't a structured activity like school, team sports, dance, art classes or any other type of situation where adults are running the show. I am not suggesting that classes aren't ever necessary. Autumn loves to dance and wants to learn how to do various dance styles. I can't teach her that. I am not a dancer. So, she takes ballet, jazz, or tap classes depending on the mood she is in when it comes time for registrations. She also wanted to work with clay and learn more about acting, so she takes a pottery class and drama class and adores them too.
However, in the last 2 co-ops we were involved in, Autumn really just wanted to play with the kids in her co-op class, she wasn't much interested in the topic. Oh, sure she would participate, and I would have to beg and cajole and even threaten her that I would send her out, in order to get her to participate sometimes. And I don't need some arbitrary subject/class setting to have me angry with my daughter. She is not in school for many reasons, but one I loathe is the constant shaming and blaming kids who are distracting, or disruptive, in a class, because they are bored and would rather do something more interesting like talking with their friends. There is enough in a regular day that I might get upset with Autumn about, the LAST thing I need to come between us is a mock school setting. And you know how I knew she didn't care about those subjects at the co-ops? Because she barely retained any of what we covered. I don't retain anything I am not interested in learning either. If I am not ready or don't care it goes in one ear and out the other...and I bet it is very similar in almost everyone. It's like when I was in school and retained something long enough to take the test and promptly forgot it.
So, when we are done in the next 6 weeks with this co-op we will probably move on. I think it is more worth it to pay the yearly fee to these co-ops and take advantage of the cool field trips they offer, than it is to take the classes. I actually want my daughter to have more time to play. She is the one I am homeschooling, no one else. I could kick myself for getting angry with her because she is distracting other kids, who are not mine, from what I am supposed to be teaching them, because she would rather talk to the little girl next to her. I'm on her side. I am involved in this group for her. Not for anyone else. So, if it is not working for her, then it's not working period.
I am really going to work on some kind of a set play date for Autumn's friends homeschooled or schooled. Maybe a Catholic Friends group. She already has Tuesday Park Day with a diverse mix of friends. But she does have a bunch of friends at church, so a Catholic Friends group would be cool. And I am not going to tie anything, it's just going to be friends playing with friends.
I hope you are all lathered up. With that I step off of my soap box.
Are you Catholic? This is the second time I have visited your blog and have been scandalalized.
February 6, 2008 10:37 AM
Yes, I am Catholic. And I am overjoyed to be so. I am a convert. I love Mass, I go to confession regularly, use NFP, am Lay Director of our next Christ Renews His Parish retreat, and am currently in my last year (out of 4) of the Regnum Christi apostolate: Familia. That is me down there so that you can imagine me talking with you.
I adore my husband and he adores me, but we aren't robots, and we find the opposite sex attractive. It doesn't mean I am going to run off with someone. It's like looking at paintings...you have your favorite, which is hanging in your home, but you still like looking at the others because they are...well...beautiful. I am not interested in getting intimate with these people! I just think they are attractive.
Maybe you should look through other parts of my blog, to get a better idea of who I am. Not that I really need to justify it to a person who isn't even willing to identify themselves.
But just to be clear, let me tell you what I find scandalizing...and this happened to me. I was going through my Inquiry period at the Catholic parish near my home, which is what I thought one would do if they were interested in being Catholic. Wow! Was I wrong. The longer I stayed there, it became obvious to me that none of the people running the RCIA program were really interested in being Catholic themselves. They dismissed Confession, saying try to make it quarterly, if you can even do that. When asked about NFP, I got this line about how the Church was wrong on that one. (Now having read through several encyclicals by Pope JPII I understand the wisdom and beauty and TRUTH of the Church's teachings on sexuality). Everytime I tried to understand the Church's teaching on the tough issues like female ordination, gay marriage, abortion, salvation etc I was railroaded with RELATIVISM! I seriously thought that maybe God didn't want me to be Catholic, but to stay in my Conservative Evangelical spot and do the best for Him there. But, oh, how I wanted the Eucharist, because through my reading of the likes of Scott Hahn, I came to realize that was MY LORD in that transformed bread and wine.
I pulled out of the RCIA program, at that parish, before the Rite of Welcome, because the RCIAers had to attend a Lenten talk with the new Director Faith Formation (DFF) who proceeded to tell us, in said talk, that Christ really didn't go out into the desert for 40 days. It was a story, as was most of the Gospel of Mark, and then he went on to say how St. Paul was a Universalist!!!! I nearly puked!
I informed them that I couldn't stay in RCIA anymore. They were relieved, they wanted me to leave. They said I asked too many questions and was annoying them on my quest for TRUTH (they said there was no absolute truth) and so I walked out and cried my way home, wondering why God would bring me so far (because prior to all this I was seriously Anti-Catholicism) and leave me standing at the door...never to come in.
It was a couple of months later, that I was PROVIDENTIALLY put in touch with the DRE of the Archdiocese of Atlanta and he informed me that the priest of said parish, and his DFF were being investigated and that the Papal Nunzio of the US had been written regarding their behavior. In other words, I wasn't the only one to notice they didn't act Catholic. Apparently, since my leaving the RCIA there, the DFF, at said parish, had reorganized the Adult formation program and of the 6 course offerings, 1 was by a dissident priest, 1 was by the Liberal Episcopalian and Gay rights activist Bishop Spong, and the other 4 were Protestant authors. By doing so this DFF had completely freaked out a bunch of the parishioners.
Also, you might be interested in looking into a group called Communion and Liberation. It sounds kind of Liberal but it is not. If Regnum Christi thinks it's great, it has to be on the up and up. Anyway, part of their philosophy is that Catholics can't become completely immersed in a Catholic subculture, where nothing is good or valuable unless it is Catholic. Because then people who are still in the world and need to be reached for Christ to enter into their lives will never be in position to interact with you. Here is a link that will explain this better than I can myself.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
For the Democrats sake, I really hope Barack kicks Hilary's butt!
Back to Fox News, Obama is speaking...I do like listening to him, even though I don't agree with him on the issues.
Well, I gotta say I am totally psyched that Huckabee is doing well, especially in the South, and that it looks like he is going to win GEORGIA! Yeah!
Huckabee is also proving that this is not just McCain's race, as the pundits have been suggesting, and thus is letting the more Socially-Moderate Conservatives know that there are very vocal and active Socially-Conservative Conservatives out there and if McCain thinks he is going to get the nomination, well then, he better move a little more to the right, especially when it comes to immigration. IMO, Romney, though interesting, seems kinda like a poser to me. He has not been, throughout his career, as completely conservative as he purports to be now. I'm just not buying it. He reminds me of a Republican version of John Kerry.
I can hear Laura Ingraham on FoxNews talking about how if McCain becomes the nominee for the Republicans he is going to have to build a bridge to Conservatives...and she is RIGHT ON THE MONEY!! Start building now, John, NOW!
I am not Liberal politically (only liberal when it comes to homeschooling philosophy), but I have to say that, if I were Liberal, I would vote for Obama. As far as Liberals go, I really like him. His website is great. He has really motivated young Liberal voters and I am really happy that he is squashing the Evil Witch of the East, Hilary, here in Georgia! Might I just add that this whole Obama thing is just proving, yet again, that America is not racist like some many Liberals always want to say that She is. Obama is getting a huge white MALE vote tonight. So, can we shut up and stop with the race-baiting...Bill Clinton et al? And just to let anyone know reading this. You know who I would have LOVED to run for President?...A black woman...Condoleeza Rice. I think she is awesome. And back in 2000 my initial pick for Republican nominee was a black man...Alan Keyes. To me, it is not your race, it is what you stand for. End of story.
Overall, it is looking like Tuesday evening, here in the States, is proving to be quite and interesting and exciting night...certainly better than the Superbowl. Then again, I don't watch the Superbowl, I tried, because the commercials are always cool, but I am just NOT into it. Politics is definitely, to me, a whole lot more fun. I can't wait to hear what Dick Morris is so going to say about all this.
In the end, no matter what side you are on, if you are participating, I am happy. We need interested and active Americans...not passive ones.
Good luck Huck!
Monday, February 4, 2008
Sunday, February 3, 2008
So, we get to church and they are short on Eucharistic Ministers (lay people who have taken a class and become certified to give out the body and blood of Christ after a Priest has consecrated it) and they ask Robert and I to fill in (yes, we are Eucharistic Ministers). Well, you should have seen my Hunny's face! He was mortified that he was dressed in sweats! I was giggling terribly! But it gets better, because it's the Feast of St. Blaise and EM's are also allowed by the Church to help the Priests bless the throats of the parishioners. So, Robert had to get up TWICE during Mass and show off his wonderful attire!
I could not even look at him when we got back to the pew because I kept giggling. What a goofball. Anyway, can I say, that beyond a shadow of a doubt, my sweet Hunny has learned his lesson about slumming it to Mass? YES!
On a side note, I have to say that I am always just filled with love and peace when I get to hand out Our Lord to the faithful...what an amazing privilege. Also, it was REALLY special to bless the throats of the parishioners with the crossed candles. Thankfully, God loves me (and Robert) no matter how we are dressed. We felt very honored.
Okay, well I am now off to CRHP.
Friday, February 1, 2008
I also have toilets to clean...yee haw! (NOT)! But I figure if I just 'get r done' I will actually have the weekend to maybe...I don't know...READ. How awesome would that be? Oh yeah, I gotta roast some coffee.
Autumn's 1st Confession went really well. She loves the priests at our parish, so it was really who was she going to choose. Afterward, she skipped out and was so cute! She told me she wants to go every Saturday. Then a couple of days ago we had a rough morning with Ben and Robert really yelled at him. Immediately, Robert felt awful and said out loud he never wanted to be a parent who yells like that. Without skipping a beat, Autumn said, "Well, Daddy, I think you should tell that in Confession!" GOD LOVE HER!! A Protestant friend asked me what on earth a 7 year old had to confess. I told her there was not much...and that IS the point. Start now and keep God close to the vest in confession and hopefully she won't end up the sinners her mom and dad ended up to be. Hey...but we're workin' on it!.
As far as unschooling goes, we are really blowing where the wind takes us right now. I have been reading this really cute series to Autumn called Ivy & Bean about two mischievous seven year old friends.
I have been encouraging her to read. She has a new Dr. Seuss book , Fox In Socks and it's a good one to help with phonetics and fluency. Really, the main focus with Autumn is reading. It really is so important to everything we do. The increasing technology and constant need to stay in touch with phones, texting, email, IMing, blogs etc. She has friends she could email, but always needs me there to help her write. I don't mind, but she does. She wants to be able to do it. She just really is not interested in the practice and work it takes to become fluent in reading. This is one of those times I gently push. I tell her when she gets frustrated that practice makes perfect, just like when she learned to ride her bike, in-line skate and her continuing of ballet. There is so much practice that went into those skills and still does. I keep telling her that she doesn't have to read all day....just a little bit each day...and soon it will be like breathing. It is hard for me to see her (and Ben still) struggle over this vital skill, especially since it comes so easily for me.