Too many thoughts, too little time.

Archive for July, 2012

Not Everyone Fits Into Your Mold

Looks about right to me.

I was at the library today doing my usual walk through.

Step 1. Return the books I could have sworn I returned last week.

Step 2. Browse the mystery “fluff”. You know, the cheap soft cover books you buy at garage sales for $0.50.

Step 3. Stumble upon the true crime section. Decide which serial killer you want to read about this week, because no week is complete without at least one night where you get up 7 times to make sure you locked the doors.

Step 4. Remember that the library is actually a good place to learn things, and might help with this whole homeschooling thing. Find the education section.

Step 5. Remember why you avoid this section.

I wanted a book, something like “What Your 1st Grader Needs to Know”. I am trying to get a plan in place for this school year, something that will tell me “if your kid doesn’t know how to read Dr Seuss by the end of the year, you’re doing something wrong.”

I do not need “Why Public School Damages Your Child.” I don’t need “The Biblical School Year”. I don’t want “Teaching Your Kids God’s Way.” I don’t care about “Good Answered to Common Arguments!” I also don’t need any of the 75 variations of “School Your Child For FREE!”

I don’t care to read the first 3 chapters about how you met your husband and married him the day you turned 18 so you could become a baby factory, as is “God’s plan” for your life. I don’t care about the next 2 chapters where the author makes sure to remind us, over and over, to utilize our husband’s brilliance and have him help, or even send the kids to work with him for the day, for “real world experience” I don’t care to be warned about the dangers lurking on the internet for both our immature child and our easily led into temptation husbands.  I am not concerned with a book written in  comic sans being my reminder I should go to church whenever the doors are unlocked, and I also am not worried about the fact my sons have “girl” chores, like unloading the dishwasher.

I am bothered by the assumption that EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON who chooses to home school their children is obviously a married, broke, stay at home mother, whose husband has a 9-5 job and is a conservative Christian.

We’re starting our 4th year of this. I have been a single mom for all of it so far, though, that does change this year. I’ve been a working mom for a lot of it as well. I’ve been a full time student through at least half of it. I didn’t have all day everyday to devote to making sure they recited prayers correctly. Now, I’m married. My husband is brilliant. And, he doesn’t really get a chance to help me, because he’s never home. I suppose I could send the kids to work with him, but, that involves 3 plan tickets, a week away, and not even getting to see most of it, due to privacy laws.

I don’t wish to argue with people about how they should/should not teach their kids. I don’t care to hear about the “evil” public school system, because, I already made my decision, I don’t need further convincing. I hate the condescending tone of most “answers to arguments” books. No, I don’t think I am going to help make people understand when my response to “What about socialization?” is “I know, why don’t you let your kids be around more people of varying ages? Obviously, your kids are anti-social.” I want to know what the state requires of me, and what they expect of the kids. I want to know what skills will help advance them in life, I honestly do not care about doing this “God’s way”, mainly because I think most people who make that claim know as much, if not less than I do. Unless they have a divine telephone and God’s direct extension number, they don’t know!

As far as doing it for free, don’t get me wrong, I like a good deal as much as the next person. But, if all I was concerned about was the cost of my kid’s education, I would send them to public school, that my tax dollars have already paid for. And guess what? “Wait for back to school sales!” is not exactly ground breaking new information.

And for all the “my husband is head of the house” writing, there is a lot of things that imply your husband is just another kid, but this one brings home a paycheck. No, I have more respect for my husband than that. I don’t need to ban everyone in the house from the internet because the call of the XXX is too strong for his man brain to resist. He knows how I feel about this sort of thing, I trust him to respect my feelings, and so far, he has.  I go to church because I enjoy it, I take the kids. I don’t think it is necessary to have reading practice for my 3rd grader be Proverbs, when I am trying to instill a love of reading in him, and his attention is held much better by the “All About Ferrari” book. We have managed to have some lovely child led philosophical and theological discussions, that I don’t think could have been planned into our day.

Maybe I should write a book. A book for non-super religious, slightly off traditional families who home school. One that is for tips, info and resources, but doesn’t assume that I am a conservative Christian, that doesn’t assume I hate public schools, that doesn’t assume I want to change anyone’s mind. Maybe one that doesn’t assume everyone is married with a minimum of 3.5 kids and a husband who is only slightly more intelligent than the average idiot, but, who you obey because God says so.  But, days like today, I feel there is a market of one for that book, and why would I need to buy it if I wrote it?

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Don’t Miss Your Life

I can expense this, right?

There is a song rising up the country charts right now, called Don’t Miss Your Life and the lyrics to the song talk about a man on a flight out west, working on his laptop. An older man starts talking to him, and they commiserate  about life on the road. About how they’ve missed ball games, and a baby being born, anniversaries, and going out to dinner for good grades. The song ends with the younger man deciding he will just get off the plane when they land and he will get a turn around flight and go home because he doesn’t want to miss his life.

I hate that song. I also hate shows where they romanticize these kind of jobs. I don’t know about all companies, but I know darn well, if Aussie got out to California, turned around and came back to go out to dinner with us, when he was supposed to be working, his job would be in jeopardy. And yes, he misses soccer practice, and is supposed to be working on birthdays and some holidays. But, oddly enough, birthdays come the same time each year, as do anniversaries. At the beginning of the year, take vacation if you are that concerned about it. Good grade dinners do not have to be done immediately. You say “Oh, good job honey, lets call dad and see what time we can go out Friday night. You get to pick where!” Not only am I trying to juggle a regular life with his crazy work schedule, I’m trying to juggle a family life, when 2 members of our family our gone every other weekend. We’ve moved entire holidays before. I think Easter was 2 weeks early this year. And you know who cared? Nobody. Independence Day was kept on the right day this year, but, for everyone to get to be there and make the kids happy,  my new husband and I invited my ex husband and the woman he left me for. But, the important thing to my husband and I was that him, the boys and I got to spend the day together. What was important to the kids was that their 4 “parents” got to be there, along with their pseudo-step sisters. What was important for my ex was to see the kids. Nobody had to “miss their life”.

The options are not miss your life or quit your job. The solution is to think outside the box. I realize, I have it easier than many people. If I caller my parents right now and said “Please ignore my birthday, we’ve moved it two weeks forward”, they would and they would be understanding about it.  But, my kids are pretty happy about the fact they get three birthdays a year. One little one, on their actual birthday, lunch with mommy, a little present, maybe cake at grandma’s. Then a big birthday when Aussie gets home from work. Then one with their dad.

And, like I said, movies where they romanticize this I hate as well. You know the ones, his alarm goes off, and she rolls over to hold him, he tries to pry himself away, saying he has a flight to catch, and she pouts. He kisses her, and then cut to the scene 3 hours later, where they are still in bed and he has to rearrange his flights. It doesn’t work like that. Yes, I want to pout when he has to leave on Monday morning, but, there are consequences for him when he tries to put a flight he never took on his expense report. There are consequences for missing that 8am Tuesday morning meeting because you missed your 8am Monday morning flight.

I think having priorities is good. I think your family should come first, but every time I hear that song I think to myself “good job, now you can make that celebration dinner, but how are you going to pay for it when you get fired?”

Really?! That is your concern?

I’m sure most of you have heard about the shooting at the midnight showing of the new Batman movie. This story is just horrific. There are many, many reactions to it that I can understand, but, I can not understand, ,at all, some people.

The ones who say “Why was there a 6 yr old and a 3 month old in the theater at midnight?”

Then, somebody gives a valid reason, or at least an understandable one, and the original posters say “I don’t care! What about their little ears? Movies are loud!” Um…movies are the same volume whether they are on at noon or midnight.

Then, there is the barrage of posts about how children don’t belong in theaters because they make noise and ruin the experience.

TWO CHILDREN WERE IN THE MIDDLE OF A MASSACRE ! I really don’t give a crap about your “movie experience” with the crying baby when it could have been SO much worse.

Which is it anyway? Movies are too loud for babies or babies are too loud for movies?

A three month old is pretty portable and will sleep most the time, especially that late.

And, guess what? It is the parent’s job to raise the child, not yours, random stranger who has nothing better to worry about than why a 6 yr old was at the movies “too late”.

I am so sick of this anti-child attitude people seem to have. I have two boys, and they are GOOD boys. We spent 1600 miles in the car last week, PLUS two 5 hour plane rides. They were almost perfect, the whole time. They are 6 and 8. Guess what? I didn’t get to special order them that way. They didn’t reach a point where the switch was flipped and they had instant good manners and social awareness. They didn’t have subliminal messages pumped at them while they were sleeping. I took them out, I took them with me. I expected them to behave, and when they didn’t there were consequences. Maybe we did end up leaving a movie we had just paid $20 to see, but, we didn’t have to do it more than once or twice.

Yes, a kid will cry, and one will kick the back of your seat, and one may spill his drink under your feet at the diner while you and your wife are having a serious conversation. But, that is what kids do. And if the parents ignore it, it is the parents with the problem, not the kids. If the mom doesn’t think twice about her screaming baby during the show, she probably won’t mind texting during it when she’s by herself. If the dad doesn’t stop the kid from kicking, he’s probably the one who reclines his airplane seat into your lap at the start of the 4 hour flight. Children aren’t born with manners, they have to be taught, and you can’t teach them by locking them in their rooms with an xbox and expecting them to know how to behave when you let them out however many years later are acceptable.

I love this, really. Yes, as a matter of fact, I will let my well behaved 6 yr old go to the midnight showing, as a reward for working his little behind off right beside us grown ups all day. And, guess what? That doesn’t freaking mean ANYONE has the right to shoot at him. It doesn’t matter what time my kid is at the movies, it should be a safe place, and if tragedy should strike the appropriate response it “I’m so sorry, my thoughts are with you and your family.”

NOT “your kid shouldn’t have been there anyway.”

We Got Married!

We went on vacation with Aussie family to Glacier National Park, in Montana. We decided, we’d have a reception with my family and all our friends back home, but we’d get married with his family around.

Friday we got in, made it to the courthouse right before they closed to apply for a marriage liscence. On Saturday we went to the top of the continental divide, on Sunday, we went white water rafting, and this morning we woke up, got everybody around, went to the court house and got married, then went back to the park for some AMAZING wedding pictures.

I’m so happy and excited to begin my life with this man.

I so want to post a picture, but I know my new husband would like to keep up his anonymity somewhat, so, this is what you get. 🙂

Our hands and our wedding rings

Election platform for a ban on critical thinking?!

Very Scary

I was reading today, and came across this story.

I thought, surely this must be a mistake. Seriously? No more critical thinking? And THAT is one of your platforms? So, I went to the actual document to read it. I will admit, there are some things I agree with, but, for the most part, this is ridiculous.

“We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values
clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based
Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging
the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority”

I don’t think random people should go around undermining parental authority, however, I also think if you believe something, it should be able to stand up to some scrutiny. If your 10 year old comes running to you about something they learned in school, you should be able to explain WHY you don’t believe or agree with what they were told. Why is it a bad thing to have your fixed beliefs challenged? There are literally hundreds of quotes about going through adversity and coming out stronger, why should our beliefs be any different?

Adversity is the first path to truth.  ~Lord Byron

I’ve been teased recently about my incessant “why” questions. And, it isn’t because I want to change someone’s beliefs, it is because I’m trying to understand them. I’ve heard people blame liberal colleges for their sons and daughters turning their backs on Christianity. I can’t say I agree with this. I think college helps build your critical thinking skills. I think it allows you to question things, and I think that is a good thing. But, when these kids raised with”because I/the Bible says so, that’s why” as their only reasoning for doing, they will question it. I went though a long period of questioning everything. I was told by many “that’s why it’s called faith. I don’t know, you just have to accept it.” Which, honestly pushed me further away. But, I finally met two preachers who welcomed my questions. Who said “I don’t know,so, let’s try to figure it out.” or, one of my favorite quotes to this day “Go ahead, question. If something is true, it will stand up to your questions, and if it isn’t, it won’t and you shouldn’t be worried about it anyway.”

Why would you want to discourage a child’s natural “why”?

Some more quotes from the document

We support objective teaching and equal treatment of all sides of scientific theories.
We believe theories such as life origins and environmental change should be taught as challengeable scientific theories subject to change as new data is produced. Teachers and students should be able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these theories openly and without fear of retribution or discrimination of any kind

Really? And how exactly is one to question and discuss theories without being taught critical thinking skills? Isn’t that questioning authority?

We strongly oppose those efforts that attempt to use the environmental causes to purposefully disrupt and stop those interests within the oil and gas industry

Well, of course, we’d hate for the environment to get in the way of oil company profits. There is also a blurb in here about abolishing the endangered species act.

– We propose that every Texas driver license shall indicate whether the driver is a U.S. citizen.

You know, I’m marrying a non-citizen, and I’d hate for him to be opened up for harassment because he doesn’t have the Texas stamp of approval.

We call upon governmental entities to protect all symbols of our American heritage from being altered in any way

Seems awfully broad to me.

We oppose the recognition of and granting of benefits to people who represent themselves as domestic partners without being legally married

Right, because the only relationship that counts is the one Texas has okay’d. I won’t repost the WHOLE paragraph, but, it says Texas gets to define who is or is not a family, and once TX has made that choice for you, then the “family” is responsible enough to handle ” its own welfare, education, moral training, conduct, and property. Got it, so, in TX Aussie and I are not a family, therefore the decisions we’ve made, in buying cars together, sharing a bank account, painting the deck, paying our bills, and deciding between the two of us to homeschool the kids,are invalid. However, once we get a piece of paper from the state, (which we are allowed SOLEY because he’s a man and I’m a woman) all the past heathen decisions are now acceptable to the state.

We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle, in public policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.”

You know what I think has more of an effect on families than gay marriage? Straight people starting families and then not taking their vows, their commitments or their responsibilities seriously. I’d rather bring back fault divorce than worry about if two guys wanna get married.

There are LOTS AND LOTS of paragraphs talking about God, our Christian heritage, how schools should have curriculum based on this, then lots of paragraphs about religious freedom and liberty. So, which is it? Whose freedom and liberty?

I think this is probably enough for now, and I wonder how many Republican voters (or Democrats) actually know what they are supporting?

Big News Weekend

I haven’t been able to blog recently. Huge storms passed through the area, we had 14 people and a dog at our house last weekend because no one had power. Then, we had a huge 4th of July party to prepare for, now, we are packing for a trip out west next week.

Yesterday afternoon, we got news that the love of my life got a promotion at work. So, we went out to dinner to celebrate.

We had a nice dinner, afterwards, Aussie came over to pull my chair out for me, when I stood, he dropped to one knee in the middle of the packed restaurant and pulled out a ring and asked me to marry him. Officially. I said yes, of course.

It’s hard to see, but the ring has 4 little hearts through each side of the metal.

And, if this all didn’t make my weekend good enough, I found out my ex husband left the woman he was living with yesterday as well. I don’t care what he does or does not do, but, I know the kids didn’t like her at all, so they are happy about it. Plus he tends to be a nicer, better, more attentive dad when he isn’t with this woman, so, hopefully this will be good for the boys.

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