January Background

Monday, December 27, 2010

Monday Moment

[Monday Moment - One moment, no or few words, capturing the everyday in my world.]

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

[Scroll to the bottom of the page and turn my music player off first.]

Mama's Christmas

[I didn't write this but wanted to share for all the mamas.]

It was the night before Christmas, when all through the abode
Only one creature was stirring, and she was cleaning the commode.
The children were finally sleeping, all snug in their beds,
While visions of Nintendo and Barbie, flipped through their heads.

The dad was snoring in front of the TV,
With a half-constructed bicycle on his knee.

So only the mom heard the reindeer hooves clatter,
Which made her sigh, “Now what’s the matter?”

With toilet bowl brush still clutched in her hand,
She descended the stairs, and saw the old man.
He was covered with ashes and soot, which fell with a shrug.
“Oh great!!” muttered the mom, “Now I have to clean the rug.”

“Ho-Ho-Ho!!” cried Santa, “I’m glad you’re awake.
Your gift was especially difficult to make.”
“Thanks, Santa, but all I want is some time alone.”
“Exactly!!” he chuckled, “I’ve made you a clone.”

“A clone?” she asked, “What good is that?
Run along, Santa. I’ve no time for chit-chat.”

It was the mother’s twin.
Same hair, same eyes, same double chin.

She’ll cook, she’ll dust, she’ll mop every mess.
You’ll relax, take it easy, watch the Young and the Restless.”
“Fantastic!!” the mom cheered. “My dream come true!
I’ll shop. I’ll read. I’ll sleep a whole night through!”

From the room above, the youngest began to fret.
“Mommy?!? I’m scared, and I’m wet.”
The clone replied, “I’m coming, sweetheart.”
“Hey,” the mom smiled, “She knows her part.”

The clone changed the small one, and hummed a tune,
As she bundled the child, in a blanket cocoon.

“You’re the best mommy ever. I really love you.”
The clone smiled and sighed, “I love you, too.”

The mom frowned and said, “Sorry, Santa, no deal.
That’s my child’s love that she’s trying to steal.”
Smiling wisely Santa said, “To me it is clear,
Only one loving mother is needed here.”

The mom kissed her child, and tucked her into bed.
“Thank you, Santa, for clearing my head.
I sometimes forget it won’t be very long,
When they’ll be too old, for my cradle-song.”

The clock on the mantle began to chime.
Santa whispered to the clone, “It works every time.”

Thursday, December 23, 2010


My house is full of....

...excited murmurs

...sparkling eyes

...wild boys

...wrapping paper scraps

...ribbon, bows, and tinsel

...toy nutcrackers waiting to be painted

...gingerbread houses to be made

...presents under the tree

...boxes, boxes, boxes, still waiting to be filled

...candies and cocoa

...smiles and laughter

...the Magic of Christmas


Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday Moments

[Monday Moment - One moment, no or few words, capturing the everyday in my world.]

A Nightly Tradition...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Why Men Are Happier

[Got this from a friend and had to share...]


Men Are Just Happier People-- What do you expect from such simple

Your last name stays put.
The garage is all yours.
Wedding plans take care of themselves.
Chocolate is just another snack.
You can be President.
You can never be pregnant.
You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park.
You can wear NO shirt to a water park.
Car mechanics tell you the truth.
The world is your urinal.
You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky.
You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt.
Same work, more pay.
Wrinkles add character.
Wedding dress $5000. Tux rental-$100.
People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them.
New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet.
One mood all the time.
Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.

You know stuff about tanks.
A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase.
You can open all your own jars.
You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.
If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.
Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack.

Three pairs of shoes are more than enough.
You almost never have strap problems in public.
You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes.
Everything on your face stays its original color.
The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades.
You only have to shave your face and neck.
You can play with toys all your life.

One wallet and one pair of shoes -- one color for all seasons.
You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look.
You can 'do' your nails with a pocket knife.
You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache.
You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25

No wonder men are happier.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Goin' to a Cookie Exchange Today

YUM! My mom's snickerdoodle recipe. :-)

(click on the image to see it larger)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday Moment

[Monday Moment - One moment, no few words, capturing the everyday in my world.]


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

This One's for You Miss A

I have a friend who cooks AMAZING things pretty much daily.  I used to hang out at her house and watch her start dinner at crazy times like NOON or earlier!  I sat and worried about how much therapy might cost my kids when they were older, since they were normally being fed quickie meals. They sure didn't have a mom taking time to actually roast a chicken or chop several DIFFERENT types of veggies for the stir fry.  My kids were so deprived!

This friend moved away a few years ago, and man, I wish she were still here.  I'd love to show her that I have NOW learned to roast my own chicken and even chop more than one veggie in a sitting. 

What always kills me though is that every time we talk, she requests my macaroni and cheese recipe.  I think I took this dish to her once when maybe she had a baby or had a party or had....something....

Well, here it is.  It's not fancy by any means, but nothing involving cheese, butter and pasta need be fancy in my opinion.

The Infamous Mac n Cheese Recipe

12 oz pkg dried macaroni
3/4 lbs. velveeta cubed
2 1/2 Tbs. flour
2 Tbs. Butter
3 c milk
pepper to taste

Cook macaroni in salted water until done.  Drain and place in dish.  Melt butter in large saucepan. Add a little of the milk and the flour.  Using wooden spoon, stir until all lumps have gone. Gradually, add the rest of the milk. Next, add the velveeta and pepper. Stir over medium heat until sauce comes to a boil. It will thicken...promise... Pour over macaroni and stir until well blended.

Here's the yummy part...

Add topping as follows...
2/3 stick butter (6 Tbs)
3 slices of WHITE bread, crumbled

Melt butter in a small frying pan. Add bread and stir until bread has absorbed the butter. Spread this on top of mac n cheese.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for approximately 15-20 minutes until bubbly and TOPPING is crunchy.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Monday Moment

[Monday Moment - One moment, no few words, capturing the everyday in my world.]


Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Christmas Meme

A Christmas Meme

1. Hot Chocolate or apple cider?

Hot Chocolate with mini-marshmallows, please.

2. Turkey or Ham?


3. Do you get a fake or real-you-cut-it-yourself Christmas tree?

Love a real tree, but the ones down here are pitiful, so fake it is.

4. Decorations on the outside of your house?
Lights and a few other things

5. Snowball fights or sleddin'?

Sledding as fast as possible

7. Do you enjoy going downtown shopping?
Yeah, no...

8. Favorite Christmas song?
The Holly and the Ivy

10. How do you feel about Christmas movies?
Love them! Funny, serious, cartoon or made for TV, classic or new - love them!

11. When is it too early to start listening to Christmas music?
Christmas music starts here the day after Thanksgiving.

12. Stockings before or after presents?
Before of course.

13. Carolers, do you or do you not watch and listen to them?
I would if any were to come by...

14. Go to someone else's house or they come to you?
Ever since having kids, the grandparents come to us.  It makes Christmas day soooo much easier, plus I get to make my house smell good by cooking Christmas dinner.

15. Do you read the Christmas Story? If so when?
My husband ALWAYS reads The Christmas Story to us right before the boys head to bed.  Cookies and milk are set out, lights are dimmed, and we snuggle in for this tradition.

16. What do you do after presents and dinner?
Our present opening time comes early in this house, so we dive in to a big Christmas breakfast and play with our goodies.

17. What is your favorite holiday smell?
Peppermint mocha coffee from Starbucks...is that bad???

18. Ice skating or walking around the mall?
Ice skating.

19. Do you open a present or presents on Christmas Eve, or wait until Christmas day?
We always open our Christmas ornament for the year on Christmas Eve.  Everything else waits for Christmas morning.

20. Favorite Christmas memory?
I was always quite the tomboy growing up, and one Christmas my dad bought me a big set of toy cars and trucks.  My mom was livid, but I LOVED them!

21. Favorite Part about winter?
I loved the stillness of a winter morning after a snow when we lived up north.  Down here, I just love the break from the mosquitoes.

22. Ever been kissed under mistletoe?
You know what? I don't think I have....may have to correct that this year.

Feel free to post your answers in my "Comments" section or use the meme on your own blog.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Music Player

Hi Guys!

I added a Christmas music player to my blog today. 

If you're more in a "BA HUMBUG!" kinda mood than a "Fa-la-la-la-laaa" kinda mood, you can pause the music at the bottom of the page. 

But just remember - 'tis the Season to be JOLLY AND BRIGHT!  The music might just turn your mood!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Getting My Christmas On!

I am totally ready for CHRISTMAS!!!  Well, not in the "the house is all decorated and the presents are all purchased" kind of way, but...

What I am READY for is Christmas songs to play everyday and drinking the occasional Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks!

Here are some of my favs for setting the festive mood in our house. (you can click on any of the titles to follow a link to hear a sample of the song)

Christmas/Sarajevo - Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Christmas Canon - Trans-Siberian Orchestra
(I love the anything Trans-Siberian and the purity of Boy's Choirs get me everytime...)

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Andy Williams

Please Come Home for Christmas - Eagles

The Holly and the Ivy - George Winston

Santa Baby - Eartha Kitt

I Believe in Father Christmas - Emerson, Lake & Palmer

The Bells of Christmas - Loreena McKennitt
from The Santa Claus movie

Christmas All Over Again - Tom Petty

Wonderful Christmastime - Paul McCartney

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Santa Claus is Comin' to Town - Bruce Springsteen

The Chipmunk Song Christmas Don't Be Late

Can't Believe It's Christmas - Veggie Tales

Christmas Time Is Here - Vince Guaraldi
Charlie Brown Christmas!

You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch

The Shape of Things to Come - James Horner
The Grinch!

Snoopy vs. the Red Baron

Christmastime - Smashing Pumpkins

Christmas Song - Dave Matthews

I Saw Three Ships - STING
(Dare I mention, I LOVE Sting???)

Christmas All Over Again - Tom Petty

Only You Can Bring Me Cheer

Gee Whiz, It's Christmas - Carla Thomas

Silver Bells - Relient K
a rock twist to a classic

Santa Claus is Coming to Town (New Wave Version)

Remember - Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Faith Noel - Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Yep, basically anything from Trans-Siberian is great.
The 12 Days of Christmas - Straight No Chaser
If you haven't seen this, you've gotta click on the link above

Hark the Herald Angels Sing - Straight No Chaser

Auld Lang Syne - Straight No Chaser
Why yes, I do love a cappella, why do you ask???

We also love the Charlie Brown Christmas, Polar Express, Home Alone and Elf soundtracks, Bing Crosby, and many more.  I hope you can find a few new songs above to cheer your house from now until the 25th.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010


This is what happens when you and your mom shop at the same stores! 

Yep, she showed up at my house so we could do some Christmas shopping wearing MY shirt (she still claims it's HER shirt, but...)


Monday, November 29, 2010

Scenic B&W - iheartfaces

I decided to post a B&W Scenic shot for iheartfaces this week.  This is at our ranch in NW Arkansas.  What a pretty place - in any season!

For more Scenic B&W Photos, please click to iheartfaces

Freezer Paper Tee Tutorial

Did you know that freezer paper will stick to material and make a perfect temporary template???  Yeah, me either!

Inspired by the "I Am Momma - Hear Me Roar" blog. I have had a blast making t-shirts for Charger using freezer paper templates.  The possibilities are endless...

(This is a pretty long post, so grab some coffee and/or chocolate, sit back and....)
Here's what you're gonna need.

Any design you want to transfer
Freezer Paper
Fabric Paint - I used Tulip Matte paint that I found at Hobby Lobby
Exacto Knife
Paint Brushes

Here's my design.  I had a hard time finding a Christmas-themed design for a 10 year old boy, so I just made one.  It's printed out on regular paper, and I just cut the paper to make it easier to manage.
Tape this down to your cutting board or self-healing mat.

Place a piece of freezer paper (shiny side down) on top of your design, and tape it down to your mat as well.

Carefully, cut around your design with an exacto knife.  Be careful not to make any extra cuts in your freezer paper.  This will help you not have any of your paint seeping underneath later.

Here's my stencil all cut out.  Notice the small circles up above?  Make sure to keep those "holes", so that you can place them back in your "o" when you iron your freezer paper onto your shirt.

(Pretend you see a picture of me ironing the freezer paper to the shirt now.)

Go ahead and iron your t-shirt and decide where you want to place your stencil.  I decided to place it vertically up the side of Charger's shirt.

Then, place your freezer paper SHINEY SIDE DOWN onto your shirt and iron over it.  Make sure you really go over the small pieces of your template to make sure they are stuck down really well to avoid the paint seeping underneath.

Here, I have started to paint my stencil. Can you see the freezer paper ironed onto the white t-shirt up above?  When you're painting, try to go FROM the freezer paper onto the t-shirt.  Avoiding that paint seeping once again...

Here, I have painted my entire stencil area twice to make sure the paint is really dark.  My boy sure doesn't want a pink and white shirt!

Next, you just need to carefully pull the freezer paper off of your tee.  See those "holes" in my "o's"?  Just get your exacto knife and a pair of tweezers, peel it up...and...


Here's my tee basically finished.  Now, I just need to let this dry according to the fabric paint directions (mine said 4 hours).

After looking at it for a while, I added some shadow to it in black to try to make it a bit more masculine.

After all the paint had dried, I placed a dry washcloth over the design and ironed over it once last time.  This heat set the paint, and now it can safely be washed over and over again.  I think I'll turn it inside out each time, but I'm not sure you really have to do that.

Here's the finished product.

I also made a Star Wars themed shirt for Charger since that's his favorite.

If you have any questions, leave me a comment...actually leave me a comment anyway - just to show you're out there!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


My newest favorite photo of my boy...

It makes me smile...


Saturday, November 27, 2010

I Love Target!

I almost peed my pants! Now, that would have been "stinky"!


Friday, November 26, 2010


Ok, who doesn't love BACON????  No, it's not good for you.  No, I don't know what part of the pig it comes from.  And no, I don't eat turkey bacon! (And yes, I just ended that last sentence with a preposition - sorry...)

I HATE the mess stovetop bacon prep creates.  So, I have come up with a solution.  This is a totally new-to-me solution (please don't tell me you've been doing this your whole life...).  :-)

Take your trusty cookie sheet and line it with parchment paper (aluminum foil will work, but you will need to overlap it and the grease tends to leak to the sheet).  Make sure your parchment paper is a bit longer than your sheet so it will contain the nastiness. 

PLOP your not so healthy, non-turkey (or turkey if you must) bacon onto the parchment paper and pop it into a 375 degree oven for...... a while....Honestly, I don't even know how long I cook it.  I just go about my business, and when I start smelling that fabulous (not so healthy, non-turkey) bacon-ey smell - VOILA!

Your bacon's ready, the house smells yummy and the grease is all contained on top of the parchment paper.  I just let that nasty grease congeal (eewww) and throw the paper away.  No messy clean up! My kind of cookin'!

Tell me what you think.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Charger's Homeschool Curriculum 2010-2011

I just realized that I wrote about Viper's curriculum this year, but neglected to come back and write about Charger's. Here goes...

Teaching Textbooks 5-6
This curriculum seems to be working out okay.  We are moving pretty quickly through it and hope to finish both books this school year.
We're also supplementing with Key to...books.  We are doing the Fractions book right now, and I am loving the step by step method it uses.

Sonlight dictation exercises.
We're continuing on with Handwriting Without Tears Cursive again this year, since handwriting is probably Charger's most difficult area.  Ideas are all there - writing them down still seems torturous.

We're using both Vocabulary Workshop Orange from Sadlier-Oxford (k12) and Vocabulary from Classical Roots 4 (k12).  I LOVE the Vocab/Classical Roots series.  I have used this for years with Viper and his understanding and use of vocabulary is amazing.  We'll finish the Workshop book by Christmas and move onto VfCR in the next semester.
No spelling this year, since Charger does not have any problem in this area.

Mainly using Sonight 4 grammar sheets but also supplementing with Exercises in English Level D (k12).

Sonlight 4 readers
Lots of library picks
Also, some from the workbook - Nonfiction Reading Comprehension, 6

Sonlight 4 program
History Pockets - Civil War and more as we move through the year

Sonlight 4 science program
Scientist biographies from the library
Following along with some of his older brother's chemistry experiments

U.S. geography through Notebook Pages

We had started typing using Typing Tutor software, but his computer crashed, and we gotta find the $$$ to replace it.

I am also utilizing some fun stuff from edHelper and superteacher.com and anything else I find that would be fun for him.

He's continuing with piano lessons and thoroughly enjoyed playing tackle football for the first time this year.  We're so sad the season is over...

We ARE a Green-Eyed Family

Want proof????

(ok maybe we're actually the Hazel Eyed Family, but that doesn't sound nearly as cool...)

I LOVE MY GREEN EYED (hazel eyed) BOYS!!!!!!!!!!!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Christmas Craft #1

Ok, so I'm feeling all accomplished and everything since I actually completed a CHRISTMAS CRAFT before December even rolled around! Let me point out all that is AMAZING in that last sentence.

First, the fact that I am even crafting is shocking even myself! I am not that kinda girl people - I'm the "let's go throw the football" kinda girl and I'll just go BUY a pillowcase kinda girl.

Second, ummm...I started AND FINISHED a project before the intended holiday rolled around!!!

Now, this craft was a pretty simple one (after I finally figured out what that sausage-like roll of fabric could actually turn into). The one tricky thing for me was figuring out how to do the "applique" portion of the project. (And please don't comment to say that my applique isn't finished yet - I know, I know. Getting to that this evening.)

What caught me by surprise was the intricacy of Heat N Bond. Yes, I know many of you are laughing, thinking to yourself - Heat N Bond - easy peasy! And yes, in the end it was easy peasy. But, why o' why don't they tell you NOT to iron your Bond sheet to your fabric "snowflake" while using your ironing board????

I seemed to have missed that key instruction of maybe placing it on wax paper or marble or super duper teflon!!!

I'm off to find the post on sewing your own ironing board cover....

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Homeschool 2010-2011

Thought I would post the curriculum we're using this year. I love reading what others are using for their kids and hate that I hardly ever see what others are using for their older kids. So, I will.

I have a highschooler and a 4th/5th grader this year.

Viper (13yrs.)
One Year Adventure Novel

We're using a tutor from Los Angeles, named John Rosasco
to study Conceptual Geometry, Trig and other higher math concepts.

I decided to use Apologia's Chemistry text this year. I have really struggled with finding quality science curricula that is not purely Christian in its focus. This science text seems to be working for now. It was a bit of a struggle just reading the text and answering questions. BORING! But now, I bought the DVD/supplement lecture material from Red Wagon Tutorials, and that is making it more interesting.

Viper is auditing a U.S. History class at the local community college this semester. He is doing great, carrying an A average so far. Whew!

He is also taking the following:
Spanish 2 - Rosetta Stone

Web Design this semester and next semester 3D Design

U.S. Geography using these notebook pages -

His literature correlates to his American history and/or character building. I will try to place a list here sometime soon.

Vocabulary from Classical Roots, Level D

Daily Grams, Grade 11

He is also taking a college level piano course with a private tutor and continuing with his karate training. He will be testing for his black belt in December (we hope).

I have to run but will post Charger's curricula later today.

And your daily pic...

Switching to a New Blog

Well, I screwed up...I decided to have my boys start a blog so that they could talk about the books they're reading, etc. What I DIDN'T realize was that I created their blogs linked to my original blog...So, every time they changed their information, it changed mine as well.

So, last night I finally took the time to set up a new blogger account for myself and transferred my old posts over to this blog. Now, it looks like I blogged about a million posts in a single night, but I couldn't figure out how to do it any other way. Thank goodness I'm not great at keeping up with this blogging thing, so I didn't have too many posts to "cut-n-paste" over here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

KFL Chargers Football 2010

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Trip to Austin, Tx October 2010 (old post)

We took a spontaneous trip to Austin to see the Capitol and Treaty Oak last weekend. We just up and took off after Matthew's football game and stayed until Monday night. My mom went with us, as she likes to travel just as much.

We had fabulous weather and even visited Inner Space Caverns on our last day. It was fun!!!

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Vader Plays "The National Anthem" (old post)

And now....Vader....(insert girls screaming).......playing....

The Star Wars National Anthem!!!!


He had a blue button down shirt on over his Star Wars shirt but just had to take it off to play his piece.

Way to go Vader. You did an awesome job!!!


Merry Christmas 2009 (old post)

We had a quiet, family Christmas this year. Fortunately, hubby didn't have to return to work the night of Christmas like he did last year, so we have been able to hang out together. The boys have been lost in their new videogames - but today we forced them out-of-doors and went to a (new to us) State Park to ride the trails. Not as exciting interesting as we had hoped, but we all got some much needed exercise and fresh air.

We'll be taking the next week off for Christmas vacation and then heading back to the real world. Maybe by that time I'll be ready for it, but for now I'm totally enjoying having no obligations!

I guess I didn't keep up with this...(SPAIN video)

I guess I didn't keep up with this blog as I intended, but I hope to do better from here onward. (yeah right, I know myself) I'll just say that I'll do the best I can. ;-)

A LOT has happened in the past 10 months. One of the biggest was that Jake and I were selected to the USA National Karate Team and traveled to Punta Umbria, Spain for the WKA World Championships. We traveled from October 25- November 3rd, and had a great time.

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Another big event that occurred was the death of my husband's Aunt Jerry. It was really a shock. She was 83 years old, but doing rather well. She passed away sitting on her front porch watching the sunrise. How perfect was that???

Along with dealing with the sadness of her death, we found out that my husband was to become the Trustee of her 420 acre farm in Arkansas - 11 hours from home. My husband is up to his eyeballs in the logistics of this, and we have a lot of decisions to make. One thing I do know is that Halen and Vader LOVE spending time on the property.

The boys have switched to using the Texas Virtual Academy for school this year. It's a public school option completed at home online. It's great because Halen has instructors for all of his classes, lightening the load on his good ole mom. Some classes I just don't want to have to learn all over again.
We are now getting ready for another Merry Christmas. The house is decorated, the stockings are hung, the shopping's even done. Now, if I could just find the Spirit....
Merry Christmas!!!!!!!

The Bitter Homeschoolers List (old post)

This is cranky but also really funny. I got it off Facebook. Read to the end for an after note by me.

1 Please stop asking us if it's legal. If it is — and it is — it's insulting to imply that we're criminals. And if we were criminals, would we admit it?

2 Learn what the words "socialize" and "socialization" mean, and use the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do now. Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun. Socialization means having acquired the skills necessary to do so successfully and pleasantly. If you're talking to me and my kids, that means that we do in fact go outside now and then to visit the other human beings on the planet, and you can safely assume that we've got a decent grasp of both concepts.

3 Quit interrupting my kid at her dance lesson, scout meeting, choir practice, baseball game, art class, field trip, park day, music class, 4H club, or soccer lesson to ask her if as a homeschooler, she ever gets to socialize.

4 Don't assume that every homeschooler you meet is homeschooling for the same reasons and in the same way as that one homeschooler you know.

5 If that homeschooler you know is actually someone you saw on TV, either on the news or on a "reality" show, the above goes double.

6 Please stop telling us horror stories about the homeschoolers you know, know of, or think you might know who ruined their lives by homeschooling. You're probably the same little bluebird of happiness whose hobby is running up to pregnant women and inducing premature labor by telling them every ghastly birth story you've ever heard. We all hate you, so please go away.

7 We don't look horrified and start quizzing your kids when we hear they're in public school. Please stop drilling our children like potential oil fields to see if we're doing what you consider an adequate job of homeschooling.

8 Stop assuming all homeschoolers are religious.

9 Stop assuming that if we're religious, we must be homeschooling for religious reasons.

10 We didn't go through all the reading, learning, thinking, weighing of options, experimenting, and worrying that goes into homeschooling just to annoy you. Really. This was a deeply personal decision, tailored to the specifics of our family. Stop taking the bare fact of our being homeschoolers as either an affront or a judgment about your own educational decisions.

11 Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my credentials. I didn't have to complete a course in catering to successfully cook dinner for my family; I don't need a degree in teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years in the kind of chew-it-up-and-spit-it-out educational facility we call public school left me with so little information in my memory banks that I can't teach the basics of an elementary education to my nearest and dearest, maybe there's a reason I'm so reluctant to send my child to school.

12 If my kid's only six and you ask me with a straight face how I can possibly teach him what he'd learn in school, please understand that you're calling me an idiot. Don't act shocked if I decide to respond in kind.

13 Stop assuming that because the word "home" is right there in "homeschool," we never leave the house. We're the ones who go to the amusement parks, museums, and zoos in the middle of the week and in the off-season and laugh at you because you have to go on weekends and holidays when it's crowded and icky.

14 Stop assuming that because the word "school" is right there in homeschool, we must sit around at a desk for six or eight hours every day, just like your kid does. Even if we're into the "school" side of education — and many of us prefer a more organic approach — we can burn through a lot of material a lot more efficiently, because we don't have to gear our lessons to the lowest common denominator.

15 Stop asking, "But what about the Prom?" Even if the idea that my kid might not be able to indulge in a night of over-hyped, over-priced revelry was enough to break my heart, plenty of kids who do go to school don't get to go to the Prom. For all you know, I'm one of them. I might still be bitter about it. So go be shallow somewhere else.

16 Don't ask my kid if she wouldn't rather go to school unless you don't mind if I ask your kid if he wouldn't rather stay home and get some sleep now and then.

17 Stop saying, "Oh, I could never homeschool!" Even if you think it's some kind of compliment, it sounds more like you're horrified. One of these days, I won't bother disagreeing with you any more.

18 If you can remember anything from chemistry or calculus class, you're allowed to ask how we'll teach these subjects to our kids. If you can't, thank you for the reassurance that we couldn't possibly do a worse job than your teachers did, and might even do a better one.

19 Stop asking about how hard it must be to be my child's teacher as well as her parent. I don't see much difference between bossing my kid around academically and bossing him around the way I do about everything else.

20 Stop saying that my kid is shy, outgoing, aggressive, anxious, quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or loud because he's homeschooled. It's not fair that all the kids who go to school can be as annoying as they want to without being branded as representative of anything but childhood.

21 Quit assuming that my kid must be some kind of prodigy because she's homeschooled.

22 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of prodigy because I homeschool my kids.

23 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of saint because I homeschool my kids.

24 Stop talking about all the great childhood memories my kids won't get because they don't go to school, unless you want me to start asking about all the not-so-great childhood memories you have because you went to school.

25 Here's a thought: If you can't say something nice about homeschooling, shut up!

by Deborah Markus, from Secular Homeschooling, Issue #1, Fall 2007

Okay, now I don’t always go around feeling that way and I am not going to bite off the head of anyone who asks me questions about homeschooling. But sometimes I DO feel like this.

You Know You Homeschool Your Kids...(Old Post)

your youngest son is playing with an army man and a schoolbus (WHILE completing his math work by the way)and says:

"You're under arrest. Why? Because you're on a schoolbus!"

(spring 2009)

week in review Jan 12-16, 2009

Yes, I know it's a week late....

Let's Try This Again (old post)

Here's a video of Halen's Top Kick Demo this past Saturday. The pictures aren't that great - but it's something for Dad. I HAVE to learn this CAMERA!!!

KTKK Top Kick Demo Team (Old Post)

Here's a video of Halen's Top Kick Demo this past Saturday. The pictures I took didn't come out all that great - but it's something. I HAVE to figure out this CAMERA!!!

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As Luck Would Have it (Old Post)

A Brag on Halen/Viper (2008-2009)

Just need to brag a bit about my oldest. Tonight, Halen, his dad and I were called into his martial arts instructor's office. Halen thought he was probably in trouble, although he couldn't think of what he could have done.

Well, after working really hard - Halen was asked to be on the karate school's WORLD TEAM!!!! I am so proud of him. It was a hard decision for him to decide he wanted to train 6 days a week and all throughout the summer to be a part of this team. He had to decide he would put forth that effort BEFORE he even tried out. Then, he also had to prove he was good enough to compete effectively. And TONIGHT he found out he was one of only 2 kids asked to join the team this year.

Way to go HALEN.

Viper's 2009-2010 Reading List

Hatchet - Paulsen
Number the Stars - Lowry
The Trojan War - Coolidge
Banner in the Sky - Ullman
Adam of the Road - Gray (?)
Archimedes and the Door of Science - Bendick
Escape from Warsaw - Serraillier (?)
The Great and Terrible Quest - Lovett
I Am David - Holm
In Search of Honor - Hess
It's a Jungle Out There - Snell
Leonardo DaVinci - Hahn
The Samurai's Tale - Haugaard
Snow Treasure - McSwigan (?)
The Good Master - Seredy
Only the Names Remain: The Cherokees and the Trail of Tears - Bealer
Year of Impossible Goodbyes - Choi
The Breadwinner - Ellis
The Light in the Forest - Richter

Charger's Reading List 2009-2010

The Great Wall of China - Fisher
Tut's Mummy: Lost and Found - Donnelly
The Usborne Time Traveler
The Greek News - Powell& Steele
Detectives in Togas - Winterfield
Henry Huggins - Cleary
Homer Price - McClosky
Little Pear - Lattimore
Mr. Popper's Penguins - Atwater
Greg's Microscope - Selsam
Pompeii: Buried Alive - Kunhardt
Titanic: Lost and Found - Donnelly
The Chalk Box Kid - Bulla
Jake Drake: Bully Buster - Clements
The Last Little Cat - DeJong
The Littles - Peterson
The Long Way to a New Land - Sandin
The Long Way Westward - Sandin
The Secret Valley - Bulla
Viking Adventure - Bulla

**Vader may not read all of these selections, since others may be substituted to match our History Odyssey curriculum.

Elf Yourself Christmas 2009

Alabama Pics

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Well, we headed to Alabama last Friday to spend time with Midnight's brother and family. We had a really good time just hanging out

and having fun. Midnight's brother is laid back and positive thinking - just what this family needs. The boys had a great time playing with their cousins and getting antagonized by their uncle. Heading back soon is definitely on the agenda.
We had the dog and the camper. Both worked out surprisingly well. It was great to have our space, and the dog - well, he was in HEAVEN!!! Can you say, living a country dawg's life. He even tried to sleep under the house with uncle's two pooches. What a trip!