Archive for November, 2008

The day after

I was planning on hitting some sales today, but I am not one of those die-hards that has to be there before the 5 a.m. opening of the stores.  That, my friend, is insane.  I treasure sleep too much to worry about saving $10 on something.  But I did head out mid morning with a friend to see what we could find for the few remaining presents that needed to be bought.  Mervyn’s in Nevada is closing it’s doors.  Our local one hasn’t had very good deals yet.  Lots of stuff still $15 and up.  That is not a deal.  I want $5 and under.  That’s a deal to me.  On our way to the mall we saw guys holding up signs about Mervyn’s closing the store sale and everything was supposed to be $5.99 or less, so we decided to stop in.  Everything in the store was $3!  I walked out of there with 2 shirts, 2 jackets, 1 pair of paints, and pair of shoes for under $20.  I also got a great deal on a queen sized down comforter for Sweet Pea; $30.  Yahoo!  We also wandered through Toys ‘R Us but nothing jumped out screaming “BUY ME”, so we left.  Aside from a few other goodies, we were pretty burned out from standing in lines.  It was nice to just get out and enjoy the relative quiet.  (Remember I’m usually doing all my errands with 3 kids in tow, so even the crowds of stores and the mall, it seemed quiet.)  Since Traveler had the kids all day, he’s out this evening brewing beer with a buddy.  Trading time and compromise, the essence of marriage!

Hope everyone is enjoying their time with family or whatever you are doing on this weekend.

Thanks

Here is my list of thanks for this year.

1.  My healthy family.

2.  Traveler and I are both gainfully employed with no signs of the economy rearing its head in our direction.

3.  I have 2 of my cousins in my life again.  They are fantastic and I am loving getting to know them as adults.

4.  When asked what I want for Christmas, I can’t honestly think of something that would make my life better.

Really, this is all I could ask for.  My life is really good.  I am thankful for my life and the family and friends who are a part of it.  I hope the same can be said for you.

Running

Close to the beginning of this blog, I wrote about a milestone.  Well as of today I have added almost 60 miles to that total.  I’m really trying to be consistent.  Unfortunately this means that I have to be a little bit more of an ogre during school time so the kids stay on task and get their stuff done by noon.  Then it’s lunch time and then Sweat Pea takes a nap.  She needs to be down for a nap so I don’t have to worry about what she chaos she might be causing.  The older two are fairly trustworthy.  But I’m trying to focus on the positive.  I was on the treadmill for 9 miles last week; not enough of it actual running.  So I’m trying to shoot for running close to that this week.  It feels good when I’m done.  When my motivation seems to fail, I just have to remind myself to shut up and run.

Homeschooling

I belong to a couple of yahoo groups that are geared toward homeschooling using the Three R’s.  If you don’t know what the Three R’s are, well we have bigger problems.  But basically this philosophy is that if you focus on reading quality books, learning math, and writing daily, a quality foundation can be had on which any future learning can be built.

 

One of these philosophies is solely based on a self-teaching model.  This has fascinated me for about the last year.  Essentially you give kids access to quality materials and lots of support until they learn how to self teach, and their confidence in their own abilities will keep them motivated and allow them to learn anything they want. 

 

In these yahoo groups I periodically feel like a minority in homeschooling realm.  Most of the people (mothers mainly) are part of what I would call the Christian right.  I do want to preface this by saying that I admire these families and their experience and commitment in educating their kids.  I have gleaned so much information from them in how to better school at home.  However, a handful of comments have been made since the election that they fear for their rights as homeschoolers because of Obama winning the election.  They believe he will pass legislation that will make it illegal to homeschool and that a public school education will be mandated – especially since he talks about early education. 

 

I’m conflicted for a couple of reasons.  I believe that every child should have the access to a quality education.  If that education happens to be at home, so be it, but many families either can’t afford to not work or the parents don’t feel confident in teaching their children.  Some families can’t afford a private school or don’t align themselves with the faith on which a private school is based.  Some families don’t have the means both financial and/or social support to accomplish early education.  I want every child to have opportunity.  Take my niece for instance.  My parents are paying for a preschool that is fairly pricey along with providing support to her parents with pick-ups and drop-offs; otherwise, she would not be attending.  This is an awesome investment of time and money.  But there are also kids that just aren’t ready to formally learn at an early age.  Forcing a child to learn in a certain environment because “that’s what you do” is not the answer either. 

 

There are so many families that don’t have options or have very limited options with regard to educating their children, and this is extremely true in the city I live in.  Your choices are public school, a Catholic private school, or a couple of other private Christian elementary schools.  I’m not sure if you know where Nevada falls nationally on the spectrum of dropout rate and quality education, but let’s say it is at the bottom of the list.  Moving here from Idaho, where there were so many options, was difficult.  SmartyPants had just started kindergarten in an online charter school, and I didn’t know what I was going to do when we moved here.  She was already a grade ahead of what was being taught in “traditional” schools.  We couldn’t afford private school, and I didn’t feel confident in my abilities to teach her on my own.  Currently Nevada has the option of the online charter school.  Sass started in kindergarten this year with them, and, like her sister, started in the first grade curriculum.  I am a firm believer in parents having options…and one of those options should be homeschooling. 

 

I don’t believe, in my heart, that Obama has any intention of trying to federally mandate that homeschooling be illegal or to restrict parents’ rights to choose the right education for their child or their family.  If anything I think he is a firm believer in people having options in all aspects of their lives – be it from legitimizing gay marriage, supporting women’s rights about their bodies (not pro-abortion), women being allowed to be paid for their knowledge and expertise along side their male counterparts, and even the rights of gun ownership. 

 

My inner conflict, I guess, really isn’t a conflict.  It’s just that I still don’t see how the Christian right can insist on demanding freedom from governmental oversight on things like education, guns, and religion, but yet they desire a restriction of other groups’ freedoms that they don’t agree with.  I abhor double standards.  And I am having troubling wrapping my head around this concept.

 

The possibilities

Despite the fact that Traveler is on the road again for about 24 hours – all because when someone gives him a deadline (no matter if it was “firm” or not) he must complete said task by that date – I hate him being away.  It’s been a considerable amount this year.  The other night I was avoiding working and looking around at change.gov  and saw the jobs tab.  Curious, I click on it.  It is essentially an “are you interested” form to offer anyone interested in a possible appointment in the Obama administration.  Traveler is a schmoozer.  I mean that in the most respectful way.  He stands a whopping 5 feet 3 inches tall, and I think people underestimate him on a whole, but put him in a room full of people and he will find the one person in room that can offer opportunity and advancement.  It’s like Gaydar, but better!  So, I sent him the link.  He is going to be filling out the long form application in the next couple of day.  I don’t know the possibility of his name, of all the people I’m sure would want the opportunity, getting picked, but to pass on something like that.  He has always talked about wanting to go into politics because not only does he know how to play the game, he has good, sound ideas that are practical.  He also has an overwhelmingly strong work ethic.  To pass up a possible opportunity to be a part of this hopefully “something great” of the Obama presidency, would be insane.  Let’s hear it for possibility!!

Pictures, finally

Here are a couple of pictures from Sass’s 6th birthday party on Saturday. Hopefully I’ll add a few more when the only other person with a camera at the party gets me some pictures!

present-opening

 Can’t tell she’s enjoying herself.

happy-6

This last picture?  Proof positive that I have one of the ugliest kitchens in the world.  Yellow tile counters, gold floor.  Amazingly it looks 100% better since I painted the cabinents white from an old mismatched brown, but ulgy nonetheless. 

ugly kitchen

Slacker

Yes, I’m talking about myself.  Did I take any pictures of my Sass’s birthday party?  No.  Did I have a fantastic time herding cats for 2 hours Saturday afternoon?  Yes.  It was utter chaos in my house.  I know 1 person took pictures, and I’m planning on hitting her up for copies.  

In the meantime a giveaway from a fantastic blogger who I regularly visit.  This is her design blog.  You can find her personal blog here.

You can also find a ton of Christmas gift ideas here.

Hope Monday is treating everyone well.