Sunday, May 31, 2009

Recycling at Schools Instead of Fundraising #MoneySmart

Public schools always act like they are hurting so badly for money. Yet they get crappy deals on supplies (see John Taylor Gatto’s book Weapons of Mass Instruction) and throw away so many textbooks, computers, monitors, etc. that you’d think they were Donald Trump.

The school across the street has FOUR huge bins in the parking lot to recycle tons of paper. So I just ASSumed the public schools in my area would recycle aluminum cans like the private schools do. WRONG.

When we went to the carnival across the street, there were cans overflowing from every trash can in every classroom. In the gym, one of the prizes for winning some game was a can of soda. When we left that night, cans littered the parking lot and grass at the school, like a nice big, non-alcoholic frat party.

So I thunk to myself, “Self, why not call the private school and find out how THEY do it and then ask the public schools why they don’t. Go to the superintendent if you have to. You’re just trying to help them, anyway.”

So I got on the horn. I called Holy Cross Catholic School first. I had to leave a message. Nobody has called me back.

Then I was going to call the school across the street from me and ask why they don’t recycle aluminum cans, but they collect soda pop TABS for needy children in other countries. Doesn’t make sense.

But then I got hot and tired and sick of thinking because of the training manual I was writing that was frying my brain and realized I don’t really give a crap right now. I’ll probably get fired up about it again next spring when I can think straight again.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I’m a Size One!!!!

I went to Target recently for bikinis for the girls and some maternity tops for me. I haven’t shopped for maternity crap since my first kid, thanks for many years of hand-me-downs.

And don’t even get me started on myself wearing a bikini. I haven’t worn one of those since I was 17, BUT now that my belly is SUPPOSED to be sticking out into the atmosphere I’m considering it. AND I’ll be 38 this summer, which is the age of I-don’t-give-a-crap, I do believe. If I could find a top to hold up my buubies (pronounced like they do in Jersey), I’d probably do it.

Ah, digression. My strong suit.

So I’m all white trash, trying on tops and shorts over and under my tank dress right in the middle of the store! Anyway, the point here is that in maternity tops I’m a size ONE! I think the last time I was a size one was when I was about 6 years old.

But then there’s the maternity SHORTS, which are all freaking low-rise crap these days. I want the ones that go up to my buubies, not the ones that show my pubic hair, thanks very much, designers. Liz Lange, my ass. What does she know?

Oh, but the maternity shorts are sized like 16W and 20W. Jeez. Is the W for wide? But I’m NOT wide. I’m big out the OTHER way, out front.

Anybody wanna start a maternity clothing company with me? AND, Kansas City friends, would anyone loan me some high-rise maternity shorts? Summer's a-comin' and I'm super cheap.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Field Trip: Kaleidoscope in Kansas City

I had some major brain fog recently. I scheduled a field trip to one of the most popular FREE kid destinations in Kansas City on GOOD FRIDAY. Do you see the problem with that? Good Friday is the day all the religious schools have no classes, and lots of parents also get that day off. So when we showed up for a 1:10 art session, hoping to meet a few other homeschool families, we were surprised to see the place PACKED already. Luckily we were able to get tickets for the 2 p.m., and we just grabbed some Sheridan’s (evil frozen custard) and messed around at the hotel that’s attached to the main shopping part of Crown Center.

So lemme tell you about Kaleidoscope. It is the ultimate in green. It’s affiliated with Hallmark Cards, a company we are very proud of in Kansas City. Had I been smart instead of man-hungry back in the day, I would’ve gotten an entry level job at Hallmark delivering mail or something and now would be happily working from home part-time writing greeting cards.

Anyway … it’s just a visually cool place and it’s FREE (had to mention that again), and all the materials the kids use inside are cast-offs from Hallmark … stickers that aren’t 100% up to their standards, paper shapes made out of leftover cardstock, cardboard from leftover puzzles that you can then make your own drawing on and they have a machine that turns your drawing into a puzzle.

The sessions are only 50 minutes, but they have them all the time. I’d never go on a Saturday, and the 2:50 during the week hits a little close to Eva’s naptime, but they have some great early-afternoon Friday sessions (it helps that my husband is off work every other Friday).

When we went it was TOO packed. It was loud (hellish kid music) and hot. I can take all that. Aron and I just tag-team the kids … he takes the boys and I chase the girls. But that day the other parents were out of hand. I mean, when you have adults pushing kids out of the way so the ADULT can make a puzzle of K-State or a heart with his and his wife’s initials in it, you have to start wondering about America. And this was NOT an isolated incident.

Then there was the woman who looked at Callie’s crown and goes, snidely, “My, that’s a LOT of stickers”, like “are you going to wear THAT?”

So basically when you someday visit the amazing Mecca that is Kansas City, drag your kids to Kaleidoscope. You’ll be glad you did. Then hit the Hallmark Visitor’s Center right next door. Then go see the cool fountains in front of Crown Center. Then grab something at Sheridan’s Frozen Custard inside Crown Center. Then eat dinner at Crayola CafĂ©. In that order.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Homeschool Lady Griping About the School Carnival

The public school across the street had their carnival earlier this month, and of course we went. I always feel weird going there, though, since we homeschool. But 500 kids go there, and all the parents can’t possibly know each other AND all the kids who attend. So here are my reflections on the event:

1. Why the hell was Time Warner Cable there assaulting me? I told them over and over that we have no cable and no Internet and have no intention of getting them and they looked at me like I’d just flipped them off. So to get them off my back I told them it was my husband’s fault and that I’d call them and order cable and internet if he dies. Then I told my husband to watch his back.

2. Why don’t schools, who are supposedly suffering financially, recycle soda cans? This will be explored further in another post, when I have time to make some phone calls. And don’t get me started on all the stuff they throw away or recycle … expensive workbooks and textbooks that I find in the bins. Yes, I AM a dumpster-diver.

3. There’s no “e” after the “t” in “inflatables”. Somebody tell this to the person who made the signs because it annoys those of us who can spell. It's a school. Represent.

4. Some neighbors approached us about giving us their wooden bunk beds that are just sitting in their garage. YIPPEE! Someday the girls will have a FREE place to sleep (when we boot them out of OUR bed, that is).

So those are my deep thoughts. Rare these days, I know.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Success in Old Age

For some reason I feel like I have to do everything NOW … homeschool, get my house in order (ha!), become a successful writer (success to me = making $100 per month!!!).

I keep forgetting I should slow down and appreciate all that is around me, which includes listening to people without interrupting and playing 2-square with my niece and tickling my kids for no reason at all instead of walking around with a must-write, must-do-dishes, must-teach-homonyms stick up my butt.

When I take time to do that, everything else falls into place anyway, plus I’m more peaceful and patient and find that I’ve made some pretty great memories with my husband and kids and other family members.

According to the May 4 issue of People Magazine (an excellent literary resource), Paula Deen didn’t publish her first cookbook until she was 50, which led to her own TV show at 55 AND overcame agoraphobia to do all that! Also, Morgan Freeman didn’t find fame as an actor until he was 52. Steve Carell landed his first starring role on a sitcom (The Office) when he was 43.

Slow down a little bit! If you don’t, you may just give yourself a heart attack or stroke and THEN where will you be? Let me know how it goes for you … it’s going to be a long process for me!

Update on those deleted posts: my in-laws are afraid of identify theft. I think a decent thief needs a social security number and possibly a date of birth, though. And I would also recommend to them to not shop online.

By the way, Happy 59th Birthday today, Mom!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Our Love Story in the Paper!!!

Having major internet connection issues today, but have managed to get on for a second to share this with you ... it's the link to our Love Story in the Kansas City Star today! Enjoy, and I'll have the blog back up and running in no time!

they keep changing the link, so if this doesn't work, go to, then FYI/Living, then Star Magazine!

By the way, I can't stand the photo of me in the paper, plus my dad says I should change my blog profile photo. I'll post some super-hot preggie pix (oxymoron?) once my camera comes back to me in the mail.

Text Messaging Annoyance

I recently had to get a new cell phone after three years. I didn’t have the text-messaging service turned on with my last phone, and it’s not on this one, either. I’ve heard all the reasons why people from age 5 to 95 love text messaging: it’s nice to pop off a note without bothering the recipient (who may be in labor or at work or school), it’s quicker and easier than e-mail to ask your husband to pick up some milk on his way home from work, you can call your boss an idiot during a meeting without him/her even knowing it!

Here are my crazy reasons for hating text messaging:

1. It’s rude. I hate having a conversation with someone and hearing their phone jingle or sing or vibrate or … bark. The message beckons to them, and they get all jittery and anxious until you give them permission to read it.

2. It’s addictive. I love when the text-message receiver grasps their phone like it’s a life raft, as if they simply have to know who has texted them the super-intelligent item such as, “LOL” or “What are you wearing?” or “I’m so bored.” Watch your teen try to live without texting for one day … it’ll be fun!

3. It makes it too easy to have an affair. Just read messages from your lover under the table and respond when you can. Your spouse never has to know. It’s a stretch, but I contend that texting is contributing to the delinquency of human beings in general.

4. It’s why my hairdresser didn’t give me the !@#$ cut I asked for. Instead of listening to me, she was texting her next client. Later she kept stopping in the middle of my blow-dry to text again. See #1.

5. Wouldn’t you think texting makes it easy to cheat on tests? Teachers have it bad these days … they have so many devices to compete with, as if teaching isn’t hard enough. How do you take away 30 cell phones at the start of each hour, then give them all back as the kids leave? Or do you just get tired of the whole thing and try to ignore it while the kids are setting up sex dates via text message?

6. It’s expensive. Just ask my cousin, who ran up several hundred dollars’ worth of text messages once before getting the unlimited texting option.

7. Driving while texting and “sexting”. Enough said.

The next time you start to text, consider how potentially inane your message really is. It’s just one more technological “breakthrough” that has become a pain in the thumbs.

I’m so curious to see what Paul has to say about this since he’s practicing just “being” … doesn’t texting get annoying to him when he’s trying to meditate or get or give a massage? Or is he polite and just turns off his phone for hours at a time? And if he turns off his phone, what’s the point of even having text-messaging? Isn’t the point of it the urgency? Let's all text him right now. His number is 555-555-5555.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Unsafe Touch

For some reason, during Joel’s final religious education class they did a talk on and gave handouts on Safe and Unsafe Touch. Joel even had to draw a picture of his “safe adults” … me and Aron, of course!

When Aron and the boys went fishing, they acquired several ticks. Joel got one on his … ahem … nether-region. It was itchy for a few days, and Joel told me that …

What the tick did was a BAD TOUCH. It had no business being in his nether-region.

Friday, May 22, 2009

What Kind of Mother?

Takes her 4 kids (plus one in utero) to the liquor store for 2 boxes of wine and 2 cases of beer?

The kind of mother who is harried because her son’s First Communion is in a couple of days and she has many other errands to do, none of which are open past 9 p.m. like a lovely liquor store!

Then I tried to have Joel carry out one of the boxes of wine because I had Eva on my hip, but the chick who worked there told me that’s illegal. So we made a joke about him spending his First Communion in jail. I think jail sounds like a vacation with free food and all the books I can read, so why am I so damn straight-laced all the time?

I never used to WANT a drink, but lately I think a glass of champagne would be wonderful. Only, of course, I CAN’T. The liquor store chick and I also joked about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and how I have enough on my hands and don’t need a kid born with THAT … isn’t that sick?

I have to go read the blog called Mommy Needs a Cocktail now … (it's on my blogroll on the left).

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I Feel Like a Bad-Ass When …

… I mow the grass with Eva (almost 1 ½) in the sling while I’m 4 months pregnant.

Stupid-sounding, I know. The neighbors think I’m nuts and tell their kids, “Her HUSBAND should be mowing.” But let me explain!

It was a Tuesday night and the grass was getting long. It was supposed to rain the next few days, and then Saturday was Joel’s First Communion, so we were going to have a lot of people over. But Aron couldn’t mow Tuesday night because he was being an angel by taking Joel to his religious education class. So I decided to strap on the baby and go for it. I did the whole backyard plus some of the front.

This is not foreign to me. When Aron used to be out of town all the time and I only had 3 kids, somebody had to mow the grass. Luckily, Callie was happy in the sling while the boys played and I mowed. To do the front yard, I waited until a friend or my mom came over to watch the boys play out front (to make sure they didn’t run into the busy traffic that runs on both sides of our house) and mowed with Callie on me. If I didn’t strap Callie onto me, she’d cry, and I hate that, so the sling was my solution.

Last summer when Aron was gone all the time, Eva was only between 6 and 9 months old, so sometimes she’d lounge in the bouncy seat while I mowed and sometimes I had to have someone watch her inside. A few times cheapskate me had to suck it up and pay Ellen’s twin boys to mow.

I guess I feel like a bad-ass because people who walk or drive by stare at me like I’m crazy, which strangely I’m getting used to. But to me, I’m just doing what is necessary for my family. Isn’t “field expedience” doing the best you can with the tools you have? Then I do that every day! Who doesn’t?

*FYI … I HATE lawn maintenance in general and think it’s a waste of money to fertilize it and water it, but it’s important to my husband so I try to play along.

Bonus post: to see what I'm up to in WriterMommy-Land, check out yesterday's post at Mother (or click on the link to the right) ... sorry, but I'm mouse-less today and can't get the "select" thingie to work so I can make a link.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Walking School Bus

The world is so screwed up that kids shouldn’t even walk to school by themselves anymore. There’s a program our public school has started called the Walking School Bus. Basically an adult or two (with cool orange vests) accompany a group of kids to and from school every day to make sure they are safe. They all have to wait for each other just like waiting for a bus, then they all walk together and have different stops. Brilliant and safe, but also sad in a way that we have to worry about our kids so much.

I don’t remember walking to school much … my mom probably drove me on her way to work once she became a Working Mom again. But I definitely remember walking home FROM school because that’s when I got bullied by people bigger and smaller than myself and by people I thought were my friends. School was pretty cut-throat for a petite only child like myself who’d only had her friend Ambre to practice defending herself against (and Ambre was no Mike Tyson).

Here’s a picture Michael drew of a walking school bus because we get a kick out of the whole concept. And because he’s so literal. Sorry it’s cut off … that’s because I own a DELL printer/scanner/copier and it’s a piece of !@#$ that I’m about to pull an Office Space on (take it in a field and beat it to death with a baseball bat while “It’s Good to Be a Gangstah” plays in the background).

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Soap Operas

The other day we were doing projects and picking up the house and homeschooling on our main level but accidentally left the TV on in the family room downstairs. Around noon, as I’m making lunch (canned ravioli since Aron wasn’t coming home), I heard the Days of Our Lives theme music coming from downstairs and I laughed.

I love the stereotype of the housewife sitting around watching her soap operas all day, or at least while the kids have a nap or quiet time or are at school.

When my first child was a baby, I got out of the house plenty, but I also sat on my butt nursing and holding my sleeping baby for many hours each day. I watched a lot of TV, read a lot of books and relaxed. I had zero desire to lay Joel down so I could get stuff done. I just held him all the time because I was 30 when I had him and was SOOOO ready to have kids.

My days are a little different from that these days. “Quiet time” is when the baby takes a nap on me. The other kids might watch TV while I read or journal or make a phone call. Sometimes they have a friend over or are playing outside, and I get to watch some of the shows Mom has taped for me (like Rescue Me, Celebrity Apprentice, Grey’s Anatomy, Brothers & Sisters). The less the baby naps, the less TV I watch and the books sit untouched, also.

I have a friend who watches Young and the Restless with her husband (a big, strong father of 5 boys) after the kids go to bed … isn’t that cute?! I love knowing cool stuff like that about marriages.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Little Eva

She’s not even a year and a half yet, but here comes her personality!

She can say TACO. Of course, because she hears it at every diaper change.

When she’s hungry she stands by her chair, which contains her booster seat. Then she makes grunting or whining noises. She insists on feeding herself (Mom says it’s because she sees the other kids doing so), and tips the spoon upside-down as it gets to her mouth.

She eats Chapstick and chews on dog toys and is still somehow super healthy.

She kept taking out barrettes and ponytail holders, so I just cut her long front hair into bangs.

She likes to throw potatoes in the trash can, just like her siblings did when they were little.

I have to keep reminding myself that with every mess she makes, she is learning and her brain is growing. And I will certainly miss all this mess-making when it’s gone.

*The digital camera is still in Illinois being checked out. As soon as it returns I’ll be a picture-posting fool (instead of just a regular fool). I know you’re all dying to see the kids and my preggie belly. You know you wanna rub it for luck, but I’ll probably smack your hand away, so BACK OFF.

Friday, May 15, 2009

She’s the Mailman’s Daughter

My dad delivered mail for like 30 years. When he’d see someone impatiently waiting for her mail, tapping her foot like he was taking too long, he’d say, “This is actually TOMORROW’s mail … you’re getting it EARLY!!!”

Thank you very much. Don’t forget to tip your mailman on the way out.

*And they CAN accept Christmas money, by the way … you just have to make sure you’re not giving them TOO much, because the post office gets pissed off about that. There are guidelines, you know. Why, I have no idea. Maybe they don’t want the mailmen getting too rich and quitting?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Anti-Nursing Home

Here’s the plan for when our parents are old and feeble since I’m anti-nursing home:

Build 3 separate shacks in our backyard for Aron’s parents, my mom/stepdad and my dad/stepmom. My stepdad has no kids and my stepmom’s are in Michigan. As far as Aron’s parents, well, we’ll just have to see. He has 4 siblings, so I’m sure we’ll all be fighting over who gets to take care of the parents.

Don’t worry, there will be a bathroom in each shack and room for a hospital bed, a TV and a home-health nurse. And a mini-fridge. And maybe even a hot plate if the parents are good and don’t act up too much. I swear I’ll take my mom’s hot plate away if she gets too mouthy with me.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My Dad’s Large Family Comebacks

My dad is a freakin’ hoot. He needs to be a writer. He’s still young … he can totally break in to a writing career. He wins humorous caption contests at The Kansas City Star. He writes a funny Fishing Report after the twice-yearly family fishing trips.

He and Mom only had one kid, so I’m surprised he’s become one of my biggest champions in my quest for a large family. When I told him some of the comments I get in public and about some of the snotty looks (as if I’m not ENTITLED to have so many kids), he came up with some zingers. I’m not one of those people who will say, when told “you’ve got your hands full”, something like “yes, and my heart is also full.” I like to say something funny but not rude that will make them think about what came out of THEIR mouth and help them to see me as a real person and not just a Walking Baby Oven who is too lazy to take her kids to school each day.

I recently took my kids plus 3 of their friends to an indoor playplace, for a total of 7 “truant” kids. Dad said the next time I do something like that I should say things like this to those who stare or make rude comments:

-- This is just my FIRST seven kids.

-- These are my grandchildren (I’m only 37 and often look 12).

-- These are my brothers and sisters.

-- My hands are full but my wallet is empty. Can you spare a five?

-- My husband and I can’t figure out where they’re all coming from!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I Wanna Be Sedated

Lately I’ve been wondering a lot about Valium. Somehow people in the 50s and 60s took this Wonder Drug and still FUNCTIONED, and it’s fascinating to me.

They didn’t act like alcoholics, who get mean or run into things with their cars or pass out during a PTA meeting or wake up totally non-functional.

They didn’t act like other drug addicts, who have all kinds of problems with finding a vein to shoot up in or whatever. Sorry, but my drug lingo isn’t that great.

They didn’t act like people on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs, who get about 57 fun side effects (can’t sleep, sleep all day, don’t want sex, want sex all day, can’t eat, want to eat all day, act stupid, act mean, etc.) and are often STILL messed up.

I definitely need to do some research on Valium. Can you take it pregnant? Can you take it nursing? Does it just make you a little dull or does it knock you out? Raggedy, you should know something about this one ... you are a cool 60s-type chick!!! I thought my mom would know more, but she disappointed me :-)

Here’s your assignment for the day: leave me a comment with everything you know about Valium.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Sex of My Baby

I love when people ask me if I’m going to find out the sex of my baby.

I reply, “How will I NOT? I mean, the doctor will probably tell me when it’s born or else I’ll lift it’s leg like I always do and see for myself. Even if those two things don’t happen, I’m pretty sure I’ll figure it out when I see a penis or a vagina when I change those first thousand diapers.”

Man, people can be so dumb!

P.S. Lori (and anybody else, actually!), when you leave a comment, put your e-mail address in the spot that asks for it so I can write you back. If it doesn't let you, just email me at so I have your address!!!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Joelmark, Inc.

Instead of giving Hallmark hundreds of dollars this year, I’ve hired my son Joel to make cards for occasions. And no, Eva, you smarty-pants … I’m NOT paying him extra. I told him it’s part of his measly allowance (part of which goes to savings and some to church, by the way!).

We have 3 First Communions, a bunch of birthdays and a baby shower coming up, and he’s not only saving me money, but he’s saving us a trip to the card store and he feels good knowing he’s making something special for someone.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Your Financial Future

I’m not rich, nor do I desire to be. I guess I just want more of the same … we have enough food, we each have a car, we have a nice home that is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. We have all the wonderful kids we want and are able to take care of them in every way possible, including educationally.

Aron and I talk about if we ever somehow came into a lot of money (impossible for the most part, since we don’t play the lottery). We’d give most of it away. Well, he says he’d give it ALL away. I say, “Don’t be stupid. Put some in our savings account for an emergency, some in each kid’s saving account and THEN give it away to a worthy cause that you really check out and get to know personally.”

Here’s the offensive question of the day, then:

Financial advisors now tell you to plan for your OWN financial future before putting your kids through college, paying for a costly wedding, etc. To me, this makes total sense. I’ll be old and feeble and will need the money for my hip replacement worse than my spry kids, who can work and pay off their own loans just like their dad and I had to do. Plus I might be taking care of my parents, step-parents and in-laws (in 3 separate shacks in the backyard, mind you).

By the way, let’s not forget about our parents because you may be in the Sandwich Generation (people taking care of their kids and their parents at the same time. You may need to be helping to take care of your parents, also. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather spring for a home-health nurse for my parents who gave me LIFE than pay for college for my kids or a $20,000 wedding (with the 50% divorce rate!) for my girls when my kids can so easily take care of themselves.

What do you think? And be NICE! Use your big-girl and big-boy words … ha!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Recycling Juice Pouches

Have you seen the cool purses women are carrying lately that are made out of old juice pouches? They are so cool! And so green.

Ah, the Capri Sun juice pouches that we throw away. We pretty much only buy them for birthday parties and for summer outings since they are so easy, but the trash really adds up with all these kids. I was planning on just getting a gallon jug to take on outings and filling it with Koolaid or juice or water, but then I saw it:

On the Capri Sun box, they have information about recycling the pouches to make MONEY FOR YOUR SCHOOL.

So I figured the Catholic school down the road always needs money. And if I save our used juice pouches, the school gets 2 cents for each pouch we turn in (1 cent for non-Capri Sun pouches). I called the school to let them know about the program, and the secretary said she’d pass on the info to the women who handle their recycling. In the meantime, we’re saving up all the pouches we can get out hands on. I even dug in my sister-in-law’s trash the other night.

Check it out here.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Going Greener by Having Your Coffee at Home

Even though I recycle and have cloth diapered and breastfed for 8 years, I’ve been feeling crappy about how many to-go coffee cups of mine end up in the landfill. I saw something on TV about how those cups are waterproof so they take forever to break down.

So I’ve been making mochas at home … nasty, calorie-laden mochas. Here’s how:

I brew some coffee, any coffee. I dump some powdered creamer into a coffee cup, then a bunch of powdered hot chocolate mix (buy the big ole tub of it!) or chocolate syrup. Then pour in your coffee and stir. If you’re really bad like me, you’ll add some whipped cream to the top! If you want to be a little healthier, put in powdered milk instead of creamer. Oh, and rinse out your Starbuck's cup from yesterday and just re-use it til it gets nasty.

Plus it saves a lot of money, which helps when your 401(k) is totally tanking. Yeah, I know you should live in the moment and all that, but sometimes you have to look to the future and be responsible … as far as the future of our kids and the landfills and as far as your own financial future. But that’s another blog post.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Homeschool Socialization Part 2

Judging by the snotty-ass way the kids act when they walk past our house on their way home from school when Joel goes out to try to say hi and make friends, I’m thinking homeschooling is a good way to go. Often when I’m out in the world people tell me how well-behaved my kids are (except for when Callie’s having an Exorcist tantrum, of course, but then I just act like I don’t know her). In school you are taught to look down on anyone younger or smaller and to be a tattle-tale about any little annoyance. If you aren’t tough, you get bullied. So you are either weak or strong or popular. I speak from 13 years of experience. And yes, you cowards who want to leave Anonymous comments but now can't, my kids ARE perfect and act fabulous all the time and are NEVER snotty (ha!).

These posts aren’t called “homeschooling is for everyone” … because I totally disagree with that (I know women who want to kill their kids just doing homework with them). But let’s respect each other’s choices. I don’t think I’m better than you … I just chose a lifestyle that works for me and for my husband and kids, and I’m blessed enough to be able to follow that path financially and without going insane.

Back to the socialization thing … we go to friends’ houses, we have friends over (for days, not just an hour for a playdate usually), we have a Meals on Wheels route, we used to do babysitting at churches, we go to homeschool events, we go on field trips, we get to see my mom weekly and my dad pretty often, they go to the grocery store and the bank and the post office with me, we go to the pool all summer, to parks, we meet people everywhere we go. Some women in my Catholic homeschool group won’t let their kids play with kids who go to public school. I say even Catholic school kids have issues and so can homeschool kids, so we don’t segregate our kids. They have friends from all walks of life who go to all kinds of schools and churches (or not). They learn to deal with all kinds of people, young and old.

I don’t write much about homeschooling because I’m not sure who’s interested in reading about it (that couldn’t be because this blog has no FOCUS and is all over the place, right?), so if you have any questions (how many hours a day do I homeschool, what curriculum do I use, how much do I spend/save doing homeschooling, what are benefits I see, why did I start doing it), let me know in the Comments section! And Paul, I expect you to weigh in on this one, PLEASE, seeing as how you used to be a schoolteacher!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Homeschool Socialization

Aron told me some guy he knows has a kid who goes to the school across the street from us. The guy asked why we homeschool (so many reasons and my main ones aren’t religious, by the way) and if we were concerned about socialization.

Aron told the guy we have a super-social son (a little like me) who can’t ever get enough … 24 hours a day with several of his friends is honestly not enough for him. He would love to be the oldest of the Duggars, we joke.

He also told the guy our other son is not social at all and takes a long time to warm up to people (like my husband). I kind of wish I was like that because then maybe I wouldn’t get burned so easily by crazy women “friends”.

Our oldest daughter would probably just be the way she is no matter what … she’s strong-willed and pops in and out of being social (like me and my mom).

Eva’s just a sweet pea tornado so far who will most likely be happy homeschooling and having her brothers teach her how to write (I hear this happens a lot in big families, whether they homeschool or not … the mom is doing dishes and all of a sudden her older kids have taught the younger one how to do something cool)!

I would like to add to the conversation this tidbit: “ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THIS SOCIALIZATION CRAP?” Google “homeschool socialization” and you’ll find some great stuff about how crazy the socialization hierarchy is in school. When else in your life are you segregated by AGE? Not in college, where you’re with all ages. Not in the workplace. Not even when you get married. My man is 5 years older than I am, and it works for us. My mom socializes pretty good with her husband, who is like 12 years younger than she is. But she didn’t learn to do that in school.

This post got a little long, so tomorrow I’ll continue with snotty school kids, how I know homeschooling isn’t for everyone, and how we socialize.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Women Annoy Me

A friend from high school who is now a Facebook pal told me she enjoys my Dennis Miller-like rants. I was pretty flattered. But you really haven’t seen anything yet. Maybe a little taste of the real me in the post “A Surprise Unexpected Accidental Mistake” … which I’m pretty sure annoys many people who don’t like taking responsibility.

Women really annoy me with their “I should get equal pay for equal work and the guy should clean house alongside me [I agree with these things, by the way], and then they blink their big doe eyes when they become pregnant and go, “I don’t know HOW that happened. Hmmm. I could’ve SWORN he told me he had a vasectomy. I must’ve been listening wrong.” Look, even if your tubes are tied and you use 10 layers of condoms, ALWAYS ASSUME YOU COULD GET PREGNANT. It’ll just make your life easier.

Watch out, readers, because I’m even more opinionated than I’ve been letting on. I just can’t let my true self show until I can afford a bodyguard.

By the way, Happy First Communion today, Joel! Hopefully we’re eating a nice meat/cheese tray and a nice fruit tray and a nice big cake with lots of family and friends.


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