Monday, April 30, 2007

The Mormons

Statement on "The Mormons":
Joseph Smith is the Alpha and Omega of the religion
He is the center of the religion

Jesus Christ is the Alpha and Omega; he is the center, the cornerstone, the focus, the reason for the LDS religion. Joesph Smith is "merely" His prophet.

Mormon = nickname
Real Name = The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, NOT the church of Joseph Smith. =Þ

My thought: What's with the funky pictures? Some are kind of freaky.

Um; wow, ok - Joseph was focused on looking for gold? Everybody make a W with your fingers now...

OTOH, thus far, 20 minutes into the programme I like the even-handed approach. Some good, some bad. Some believing, some not just agnostic but absolutely against. LOVE the presbyterian minister - he can't believe, but he doesn't denounce.

No no, Jesus didn't come to America during the three days after his crucifixion, but after his resurrection. He said "Many sheep I have which are not of this fold...." and those in America were some of those "sheep of other folds". When Christ left America he said, "Many sheep I have which are not of this fold...". Where are those sheep? We don't know, but for sure Christ visited them. Maybe we'll find out about them later.

(brief intermission whilst our family does the dishes....imagine The Offspring..."Ahhhhhhh, intermission...") If we don't get a move on and watch the rest of this thing we're going to be still here at midnight for goodness sakes.

My thoughts: Joseph Smith was not very well educated. How in the heck - if it was not a translation of ancient scripture but instead a falsehood - did this unlettered man write this book in such a relatively short period of time? And furthermore, how was he able to write this book that has caused SO many millions of people to feel the Spirit?

WOAH!!! What's with the demonic angel Moroni???? That's the freakiest picture of them all.

Joseph didn't "create" the priesthood. How can you create something that God has already organized?

"Joseph Smith was the Henry Ford of Revelation. He wanted every home to have one." ROFL!!!! =D =D

"These people"? Ouch!

When Joseph Smith left Kirtland in despair and went to Missouri, and when he refused to give an inch and kept trying to build a Temple and gather the saints - for what reason could he have done this? Perhaps it was a commandment from God?

House burnings, raping, abuse, taking of possessions, murder, persecution of these simple farming folk - an order of extermination from Gov. Boggs. How did these people stand seeing their mothers and children raped, their fathers, brothers and sons murdered? My goodness, could I have stood with them? I'm a total spineless girly....could I have done it? Would my faith have stood the test?

Extermination. Like termites and cockroaches.

Sarah Barringer Gordon's opinion that the murders and rapes "exhilarated" the Saints - how can you possibly say that? What an awful awful thing to say about a heart-rending horrifying tragedy.

I find it very interesting that this programme has not enumerated all the many persecutions and false arrests that Joseph endured; that his child was killed on the day they grabbed him, tarred and feathered him, chipped his tooth trying to pour poison down his throat. Why are these things not mentioned? How is it that they mention his jailing in Carthage as if it was the only imprisonment he had endured? He'd been imprisoned in various places for MONTHS on false charges....Carthage was simply the last one he had to endure.

How is it possible that a destruction of a printing press is somehow more awful than the murder of men, women and children?

"She was relieved when her son died" What???? Presumably because then his suffering was over? I wish the narrator had clarified that really very odd comment.

The dancing segment was rather odd too. Not awful just...well, I've never met anyone that's felt that way.

How come they don't mention the seagulls?

Mountain Meadows Massacre. Makes me want to hurl. My blood boils with anger. I want to bawl and throw up. Ben says, "But I thought we were the good guys." Bert says, "There were bad people back then in the church. There are bad people in the church now. The church is true, but they were bad people in the church."

The church believes in honesty and integrity, but those people lied and murdered. They will have to answer for what they did. September 11th 1857. Terrible. Terrible. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth passed away with the atonement of Jesus Christ. Taking revenge is Christ's job, not ours.

Oh my - here we go on the polygamy thing. Time to flinch, as the man says. =D

Hey!! Pay attention to what Gor Hinkey (that's what Andrew calls Gordon B. Hinckley. =D) says - he tells the truth.

Um...Joseph Smith had an affair with a 19 year old maid??? But no factual back-up of that statement? That's not fair.

Hey...lots and lots of anti mormon people commenting on this - where's the Mormon comments? Where's the balance here?

Ben says "Why is this programme taking every single negative thing and focusing on it? Why aren't they talking about the good things? Catholics and other religions aren't perfect, how come people say we're a false religion because Mormons aren't perfect?"

The point being - can the church be true and the members be human and make mistakes? Or can the church only be true if all the members are absolutely perfect? There was only one person on this earth ever who was perfect - Jesus Christ. The rest of us are just trying our hardest to follow His example and do the best we can. None of us are perfect.

My gosh, Brigham! Boy he hated polygamy, but when he decided to accept it, he REALLY accepted it. No grey areas for that man.

Try and get away from the government and you just can't. Even when you travel for thousands of miles to get away from it because they beat you so hard you can't stand it anymore, they still come after you and find you and force you to do what you don't want.

It's a little disturbing that they are showing polygamist Mormons almost as if they are saying "These are the true Mormons". Disturbing. For sure Emily's going to be asked again, "How many mothers do you have?" This is a very very long segment on something that it simply not part of the LDS church, and has not been for over a hundred years. Why are they focusing on this and saying it's ok? It's not ok! It's against the law!

This programme claims to have as one of the purposes of the programme to clear up certain aspects - but they've MORE than muddied the waters on this subject. The church has nothing at all to do with polygamy...WHY are they going on and on and on (and on and on and on and on and on!) about it? It's not clear, and it's upsetting.

*sigh*. Well. Some good, some bad. Some truths, some lies. It confuses more than it enlightens, and thus fails in its purpose.

It'll be interesting to see what tomorrow brings.

One of those days

It's 5.46pm and I'm still in my nightdress.

I woke up at 3am and couldn't get to sleep again, dangitalltoheck. I heard Andrew fussing for a few seconds and listened closely but he went back to sleep so I didn't think anything of it.

By 9.30am Andrew was not awake so I went in to get him, a little worried. He was fast asleep....and he'd thrown up in the night. It was everywhere, the poor little thing.

I got him up, washed him off in the bath and took the sheets off his bed (ick) and put them in the washer. Andrew was happy and lively so I figured it was just a one-off thing.

We had oatmeal for breakfast. He drank all the milk then threw it all up.

He was now feeling hot and icky, and his nose was running like crazy and he started flopping around listlessly and whining. Poor little man.

Ben was invited to go to the skate park with Chase and Teresa - bless their hearts they picked up lunch for him, picked him up from here and then brought him back later. =)

Ben did homeschool down here at the kitchen table (Before and after Teresa picked him up) so I could hold Andrew and sedate him with "Peep". When Ben went off skateboarding I put Andrew in bed and played a quick game of Age of Empires. =) I was just about to get on the treadmill when Ben came home. I hopped on while he read "Mary, Bloody Mary". 15 mins into my workout Ben came to tell me Andrew was crying. The poor guy had a leaky diarrhea diaper. =(

Sooo, I cleaned him up again and washed the sheets again and held him and held him some more. Poor little man whined and moaned for about two hours straight.

SO, that's why it's 6pm and I'm still in my nightdress. Luckily Andrew hasn't thrown up again and I really really hope that no-one else gets it. From the way Andrew was listless and crying, it's a nasty one. =(

Meanwhile, PBS is airing "The Mormons" today and tomorrow. This fills me with apprehension. No doubt they'll focus on half-truths and stereotypes and my daughter will still have people at school asking her how many Moms she has. *sigh*

I guess, if you're not a Mormon, for goodness sakes don't think everything you see on TV is the truth about them! Go find a Mormon in good standing and ask them about it - you're more likely to get the truth and not some sensationalized story that way.

Frankly, I'm dreading the outcome of this little programme in the homeschool group I'm in. On Saturday there was a woman who didn't have positive things to say about Mormons (I'd only just met her and thus she didn't know I'm LDS). It upset Ben (and me!) quite badly. She lives directly opposite us, so if she really gets mad about our religion it could be quite uncomfortable.

By-the-by, when a schoolmate asked Emily how many Moms she had, she replied "Six", and named off a bunch of names. Then said "Yeah, my second Mom is picking me up today." *sigh* So maybe it's not a good idea to ask a Mormon any questions you have - you might get one with a warped sense of humour like my daughter. Just ask an adult, not a teenager!!!! =D

It's just as bad that Bert tells people his misbehaving children are from his first wife... *sigh*. Now you see where Emily gets her sense of humour....

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Strange and weird happenings

I had a dream last night that involved Bert, Nate, Mike, myself, cookies and a HUGE bar of chocolate as big as a wheel of cheese, but flatter. Go figure.

Woke up. Bert was in a tizzy about work. Brought me Andrew and I cuddled my boys in bed and we were so happy. The conversation came around to homeschooling. Ben started talking about the horrid situation in Germany. We mentioned the story of the 15 year old who was taken from her parents. For some reason this sent Bert into the stratosphere saying I was exaggerating. (I wasn't.) Don't know what it was about this story that got him so mad. Ben was horrified. Andrew was crying his eyes out. We've had a really horrid day because of it. I want to run away run away run away far far far away where we won't ever be hurt again. But of course, I can't.

*sigh* =(

In other good news, there's a wonderful website here:

Furthermore, Ben's doing FANTASTIC on his research project. He also wrote a brilliant story for his Writing Strands assignment. WS gave the first paragraph. Ben's work begins with "The next part petrified me."

The Long walk Home.

I remember the walk home that night very well. It was late in October, near the end of the month, I think. It had been a cold day, and there were dark clouds piling up in the west. They had hidden the setting sun and were moving quickly over me, for there was a strong wind blowing. the dark and bare trees along the lonely road creaked and moaned as they were blown this way and that. Their branches seemed to reach and clutch at me like old and thin hands.

As I hurried along, I noticed that the lights of my friend's house had disappeared around the bend, and the other few houses on that long, gravel road were dark. The next part petrified me. I remembered that I had to walk past the Old Finster house. The house was in shambles. Windows were broken and the curtains were ripped. The person who had moved from there was a kindly man, but the house had a scary appearance. I gathered up my courage and kept walking.

As I walked past I quickly flicked my eyes to the house, searching for anything unusual. I felt something strange was going on. I don't know what it was, but something was happening. I shuffled quickly past the house, still fixed on the old building.

Wait! What was that? I was sure I saw something moving in the highest window! It couldn't be possible! It was a trick of the street-lights, it had to be! No! There was someone there! I stopped in front of the house. I was sure there was a figure moving about, pacing the empty floors! I was shaking, as if I was in an earthquake.

But, this couldn't happen. Mr. Finster had moved from there two years ago. We were all sad to see him go. Did he have a secret? I peered at the For Sale sign. "No-one has moved in," I said to myself quietly, "I'm imagining things." I was still quaking with fear. What was going on? I ran home to think some more...

Monday, April 23, 2007

Hiding, cheating, stroking.

I said to Andrew, "It's time for lunch, come sit down!" and he ran away.

Which made me mad.

I said, as he ran behind the blue chair, "Andrew Kai David, do not run away when I call you, come here."

From behind the chair he said, "I'm hiding." =D =D =D It was so unexpected.

I said, "What are you hiding for?"

He replied, rather indignantly and nonsensically, "I'm right here!" =D

So I said "I'm coming to get you!" in a "coming ready or not" kind of way, and he giggled and ran right into my arms.

Oh my goodness, I love two year olds.

In other news, both my other children have not behaved very well. Emily skipped her math class a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately she didn't realize there was a test in that class on that day - and also unfortunately an unexcused absence equals a big fat zero on any assignments given in the missed class.

This means she currently has an F in math.

Emily had previously told me that she was, in fact, in the class and that the absence was a mistake - however her teacher assures me this is not the case. I'm waiting for her to come back from lifeguard training so we can talk about it. I certainly will not be giving any notes for a skipped class. She'll have to suck that F up. Might even have to repeat the class next year because of it. Well, live and learn. I'm pretty mad about it.

I was marking Ben's science - he had seven activity problems I was marking. For some reason as I was marking the second one I KNEW he'd cheated on it. I don't know why I knew it was that particular one. Parental intuition? Spiritual prodding? He fessed up right away, and I think was rather taken aback that I'd caught it. Moms know everything. =)

I am currently watching The Backyardigans' "Volcano Sisters" with the fabulous song "Huka Pele". It bugs me to death that this particular song isn't on any of the CDs. We LOVE this song. Ben's rewound it a bazillion times.

I had to let the cleaning lady go. I don't know why I thought I could afford her. Ever since I'd hired her I felt...well, kind of emotionally manipulated. Every time she came she'd say "You're not going to fire me are you? I really need the job" or some such thing. Unfortunately, no matter how much I'd like to keep her on (and oh man I'm already tired of cleaning the house and she's only been gone a week) the money's just not there.

I called her last Monday to let her know. She didn't call back. I wondered if something was up or if she was having a hissy fit.

On Thursday she called and said "I'm in the hospital; I've had a light stroke." Oh MY!

I said "Oh my!!! You poor thing! Are you ok?"

She said "Yeah, it was a bad week. First I had this stroke, then you fired me."

And I guess it was the resentful/angry/I don't know way she said it. I mildly replied, "Well, it was less of a firing, more of an inability to pay you."

In any case, after that I'm kind of happy I don't have her anymore. She still owes me two cleanings but frankly I don't want her to come and have a stroke while cleaning my house. She said she'd try to get out this Thursday. I said "no hurry!" Seems kind of early to be getting back to work after a light stroke. How light was it? I'd rather she rested a bit.

Anyway, what a saga.

In other news:
What science curriculum to use...hmmmm...I'm in more than a little quandry.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Considering I don't have a high school diploma, being English......

Oh yeah.


You paid attention during 91% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Orson Scott Card

I didn't really think much about OSC. I mean...I've read some of his books and enjoyed some of them. Some I found inspirational and uplifting. One was boring. Several had so much bad language I felt uncomfortable reading them. Only my inability to put down a book once I've picked it up allowed me to finish them. I read an excerpt of one and it shocked me so much I truly felt nauseous. Thank goodness I'd read the excerpt! That might have been one book I HAD to put down. I've pretty much stayed away from his writings ever since.

However, this article turned up in a classical homeschool email group I belong to - and it's interesting - and I like it - and agree with it. =) So here it is:

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Ok....Am I the only person in the world that noticed when Chris sent his heartfelt wishes to those at Virginia Tech, Simon Cowell rolled his eyes?

And then some producer or something must have noticed this really despicable act as later on he very insincerely sends his condolences also no doubt hoping to avoid controversy.

He needn't have worried.

Man, I wish SOMEONE would notice it and call him to account. It was shocking.

Oh well, maybe he's just not that important and I should forget about it.

....except my daughter saw it and was so upset at the cruelty and thoughtlessness she cried...and she doesn't usually cry.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Ben's Squid Adventure

Benjamin went on a field trip with his friend, Jack, to the Adventure Science Museum in Nashville for one of their Home School Science Days. Normally I go with Ben to these things but my car is dead and I'm stuck at home until Bert can fix it. Thankfully, Jack's Mom saved the day.

Ok. Now I'm going to type verbatim what Ben says about the "coolest" class of the day.

"Ok. So there was this squid dissection. What we got to do is ... The first thing we did was cut open the eye. We got to use our BARE hands (he said I had to use capitals. Also, note the use of the word "got" - like it was some kind of treat. =D) and we had to squeeze the eye and find a lens which was a little clear ball.

After that we had to pull out the backbone which looks sort of like a quill pen. Then we cut open the head, which also is the body and opened it up. The lungs were stored in the head. The teacher said the heart was so small you had to have a microscope to see it.

After that we found the pouch that held all the ink and we cut that open. We used the backbone, dipped it in the ink and wrote our names with the ink. ("What was the pouch called?" I asked. He looked at me like I was nuts. "Like I was listening! I was too busy poking around.") The pouch varied in size.

Sometimes when they caught the squid it sensed danger so squirted out its ink, but they killed it before it could reproduce the ink. Some squids had more ink than others. In order to write my name I had to dip out of someone else's ink because my squid had seriously nearly nothing in it.

And that's all we did, but it was so cool it took an hour. I didn't mind that's all we did because those parts were awesome. The squid smelled like old smelly fish. It was all rubbery and all brrrrr (Ben shudders like he has the jibbley-jibbleys) but it was brrrrr in a cool way."

"Did you wash your hands?" I ask.

Several minutes later he answers, "Yeah, but I could still smell the fish."

"What was it like eating lunch with smelly fish hands?" I ask.

"Cool." replies Ben.

"What other things did you do?" I ask

"Gah! Like it matters!" Says Ben.

Then, "Oh!!! It was suckish! Dialysis Tubing - the instructor didn't even show up! He never came! After a while someone came in and told us he never showed up so instead we went to the Matters of the Heart class which was really boring."

Ben is 11. Need I say more? =)

Now, as he is reading over my shoulder I will give him some instructions: Go do your science for the day. Science is all you have to do today, ok? Your argument that you did science at the museum holds no water for me. Go do it or no TV. Thank you. =)

Monday, April 16, 2007


So, Emily was THRILLED with the treadmill and I tried it out today and - woah! I like it! Man, it's cool having one in my bedroom. I can hop on and exercise and if Ben needs help with his math or science or whatever I can just hop off. Holy cow. Cool.

Speaking of treadmills, Ben found this video on the Sonlight Student Forums:

YEAH! One day I will be so cool on a treadmill!

...or maybe not.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

"I'm Naked!!"

Twenty points if you guess where the title quote is from...

Given the fact that I hate and loathe and despise shopping with a passion, it's perfectly understandable that I have a wardrobe full of unwearable clothes. My shirts are all stained (I prefer white, which doesn't mesh well with having young children) and/or ripped. My trousers are all ripped - I have precisely one pair of trousers that are decent. I also have one handmade skirt that's difficult to get over my hips.

I have at least four beautiful dresses in my wardrobe, most of which are maternity dresses. I wish I were pregnant so I could have an excuse to wear them again. The rest of my dresses (Well, not dresses precisely - I have three jumper-dress thingies) are too small because I've put on weight lately. It's a total bummer. Even the one pair of trousers I have that are decent are tight. *sigh*.

I'm bummed about my shirts being stained because they're Christopher and Banks shirts when Christopher and Banks used to make really cute embroidered clothes dead cheap. Now their clothes are totally boring and blah. It's going to be hard to get rid of those cute embroidered birds and things.

So, when Bert got up with Andrew this morning (whose mouth is still slowly bleeding btw. He wakes up in the morning with blood on his sheets. I don't think his winnie-the-pooh blankets are ever going to be the same again) and took care of him and they seemed to be having a fun time together - and when Emily needed a lift to her lifeguard training - I took total advantage of the situation.

I didn't MEAN to. I mean, I just went into hideous-mart to return an item and noticed that Kohl's was just next door and I'd wanted to see if they had a good bread maker anyway, and I knew I had no clothes so I thought maybe I could quickly pick up a pair of capris.....

An hour and a half and $208 later, I'd bought a bunch of new outfits:

A pair of jeans
A pair of linen trousers
A pair of soft denim capris
A pair of dark blue capris
A pair of tan capris
A gorgeous soft denim skirt that swishes and feels wonderful
A soft denim top to go with it
Two white scoop neck shirts
A black scoop neck shirt
A dark blue v-neck shirt
A brown v-neck shirt
A polka dotted square neck shirt
A green square neck shirt
A blue bohemian type embroidered shirt
A light blue bohemian type embroidered sweater
Uuummmm....I think that's it.

Not bad for just over $200, eh?

Which means - ALRIGHT!!!!!! - I probably don't have to go shopping for clothes for at least a couple of years. WOO HOO!!! I'll probably need a warm pair of trousers in the winter, and maybe one other sweater considering I don't have any at all that don't have holes in - but that's it!!!

I'm so happy. =)

Oh yeah, and a pair of shoes as I've worn through the insoles of my others.

So anyway, on the way home I saw a garage sale with a treadmill - which I've been wanting to have - so I came home to ask Bert if I could have it and he said he didn't have any money.

As a savings precaution I take a little money out of the food budget for the week and put it aside. I counted the money - it was half the price they were asking for at the garage sale. Bert took the seats out of the van...and I took the money to the garage sale...and bought the treadmill. ACK!! My gosh!!!! I'm kind of in shock about that one.

That thing weighs a TON. It took Bert and I over half an hour to get it from the van into the house, up the stairs and into our bedroom. It was so difficult I gave myself a massive headache with straining to pull it up the stairs. It was such a tight fit that there is NO WAY that thing is coming down the stairs again in one piece.

Oh I really hope I can use it and like it. I hope I can get into a routine of using it and not be driven insane with boredom. Oh I really really really hope I can get some regular exercise in and lose some weight.

So ANYWAY, the third story of the day is that Emily was THRILLED when she saw I'd bought a treadmill - she's wanted us to have one for AGES. So I was showing her all the bells and whistles...and then Andrew starts screaming.

I hadn't noticed him exploring at the same time I was telling Emily all about it and he'd got his fingers caught in the treadmill belt that was going round and round...thankfully on the lowest speed. Emily turned it off immediately and I looked at his little fingers - the skin on his middle finger was rubbed raw.

Oh my. The poor little honey. It really hurt him. =( We gently bathed it in cold water and I got it as clean as I could without killing him. I put two special Garfield band aids on it and he felt much better after that.

I told him he was a very brave boy and asked him what he'd like for dinner. He stopped crying right away and said,



So I gave him food for dinner. And sedated him with more "Peep".

And my beautiful new totally white unstained top is now stained. His mouth bled while he was crying on my shoulder. I'd worn it for less than three hours.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

What a day..

It all began this morning. The children awoke and began talking.

Now...this doesn't seem like a bad thing. But imagine yourself in a house with two children who constantly talk. Constantly. Simultaneously.

I crave silence. At least for a few minutes.

So anyway, the talking began immediately, and my attitude soured considerably.

After a while being a totally miserable mother, and Ben going "Man, what's WITH you?" a few times, I put Andrew in bed for a nap, had Ben finish reading "Catherine Called Birdy" (Which he LOVES because it talks about burping and farting) and took a shower.

It was GREAT! Silence for a full five minutes. Woo hoo! =)

But the talking began immediately afterwards and I was going MAD!!!!!! AGGGHHH! Make the noise STOP!

So I told Ben we were going to blow off the rest of homeschooling (Science) until tomorrow and we were going out for lunch.

So I called my friend and we went to Cracker Barrel and it was GREAT. I felt like a sane person again after talking to a fun adult. =)

And then we went to the park for the homeschool post-easter-egg-hunt-play-at-the-park afternoon.

Within five minutes Andrew was screaming. He'd fallen off the play equipment. I ran over to him and noticed blood in his mouth and gently lifted him - it came pouring out all over me. Oh my gosh. Can anyone except a parent understand how I was feeling at that time? I felt like bawling and panicking, but how would that help Andrew?

Laurie offered to look after Ben and I took her up on it. Dashed to the car and drove to our dentist - unfortunately on the other side of town....and the high school had just got out. Oh my gosh. Took me 20 minutes. It was the longest 20 minutes of my life. Except when I was in labour.

The dentist saw him right away. Oh my little man was so brave!!! The two teeth on the upper right hand side of his mouth are pushed back and the gums are swollen and bloody. He bit right into his lower lip and it's swollen with a nasty cut - but not needing stitches thank goodness. By this time the shock had worn off a bit and Andrew was calmer so I had a good old bawl right there in the dentist's office. She was fantastic and didn't mind at all - very sympathetic. Thank goodness!

I feel so guilty. If only I had been watching closer. If only I'd been right next to him or made him stay right by me instead of letting him wander all over the play structure. But children need to explore. This means mummies need to be extra vigilant and that's my lesson for the day, obviously.

Here's his little face after I got him home and sedated him with Popsicles (he won't let me hold ice to the cut so this was the only thing I could think of to cool it) and TV. ("Peep", of course. =))

I'm still covered in blood. I'd better go change. I've just realized my shirt is ruined. Not that it matters, it was stained with chocolate from Andrew anyway. =D

Huh, interesting

Wow, did you know this? I had no idea. I knew about Gore's house.....but how come the media didn't pick up the info about Bush's house?


HOUSE # 1: A 20-room mansion (not including 8 bathrooms) heated by natural gas. Add on a pool (and a pool house) and a separate guest house all heated by gas. In ONE MONTH ALONE this mansion consumes more energy than the average American household in an ENTIRE YEAR. The average bill for electricity and natural gas runs over $2,400.00 per month. In natural gas alone (which last time we checked was a fossil fuel), this property consumes more than 20 times the national average for an American home. This house is not in a northern or Midwestern "snow belt," either. It's in the South.

HOUSE # 2: Designed by a professor of architecture at a leading national university, this house incorporates every "green" feature current home construction can provide. The house contains only 4,000 square feet (4 bedrooms) and is nestled on arid high prairie in the American southwest. A central closet in the house holds geothermal heat pumps drawing ground water through pipes sunk 300 feet into the ground. The water (usually 67 degrees F.) heats the house in winter and cools it in summer. The system uses no fossil fuels such as oil or natural gas, and it consumes 25% of the electricity required for a conventional heating/cooling system. Rainwater from the roof is collected and funneled into a 25,000 gallon underground cistern. Waste water from showers, sinks and toilets goes into underground purifying tanks and then into the cistern. The collected water then irrigates the land surrounding the house. Flowers and shrubs native to the area blend the property into the surrounding rural landscape.

HOUSE # 1 (20 room energy guzzling mansion) is outside of Nashville,Tennessee. It is the abode of that renowned environmentalist (and filmmaker) Al Gore.

HOUSE # 2 (model eco-friendly house) is on a ranch near Crawford, Texas. Also known as "the Texas White House," it is the private residence of the President of the United States, George W. Bush.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Andrew's first science project

Today Andrew and I discussed what various animals eat. We had fun with his toys. Here is his first science project. He didn't understand a word of it but he loved the gluing. =D

I took a picture of what Andrew likes to eat.

Sadly, it's french fries.

Happily, he's not eating them, but using them as x-ray specs.

Yes, that is my bed we're homeschooling on.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Here's Emily's painting

It's pretty cool, na?

Ben would like a picture of himself in my blog

So here he is, the rockin' dude.


I've just been reading and voting on the homeschool blogger best blog awards

I, of course, went to the "funniest blog" because I like humour. =) Here is one that had me wetting my pants:

This one too:

Hahahahahaa =D =D =D =D

Oh man, I wish I could write like that. It's a trial being totally boring.

I always hated when people would start talking about talents. You know like "What's your talent? Mine's xyz." and I'd look around and could point out everyone's talent and when it came to thinking about mine I'd draw a total blank.

I thought I'd try to list some that I've thought of:

- being totally boring
- being totally uncreative
- guaranteed to take all the fun out of anything my kids think of as "really fun".
- po-faced git
- one of the laziest people I know
- one of the most selfish people I know
- inability to stop eating fattening things
- maker of boring meals that make the family, for the most part, go "ew". Though how I'm meant to make anything appetizing with my food budget that's also non-fattening I don't know. helps a lot.
- generally distracted
- ability to go "brain dead" My Mum has these incidents as well. We call them "fuzzy brain" - where you can't focus on anything and it's important that you don't do anything important because if you do you'll get it disastrously wrong.
- can't draw
- can't paint
- can't sing
- can't dance
- can't write anything interesting, though I used to write poetry. Most of it is pretty ugh though.
- Must stop with this list immediately because there's so many things I'm awful at that I could go on and on and on and on and on and on and on......

OTOH, Ben says I'm a good teacher so that's a positive.

And Andrew seems to love me a lot.

And Emily mostly tolerates me alright and doesn't really hate me - that's pretty good for the Mom of a teenager.

Monday, April 09, 2007

I'm Tired

Wow! That's astonishing! Just after my waffles the other day about politicians and how much I don't like them and trust them, someone sent me this email today. Wonderful! =)

Two weeks ago, as I was starting my sixth month of duty in Iraq, I was forced to return to the USA for surgery for an injury I sustained prior to my deployment.

With luck, I'll return to Iraq to finish my tour.

I left Baghdad and a war that has every indication that we are winning,to return to a demoralized country much like the one I returned to in 1971 after my tour in Vietnam.

Maybe it's because I'll turn 60 years old in just four months, but I'm tired:

I'm tired of spineless politicians, both Democrat and Republican who lack the courage, fortitude, and character to see these difficult tasks through.

I'm tired of the hypocrisy of politicians who want to rewrite history when the going gets tough.

I'm tired of the disingenuous clamor from those that claim they 'Support the Troops' by wanting them to 'Cut and Run' before victory is achieved.

I'm tired of a mainstream media that can only focus on car bombs and casualty reports because they are too afraid to leave the safety of their hotels to report on the courage and success our brave men and women are having on the battlefield.

I'm tired that so many Americans think you can rebuild a dictatorship into a democracy over night.

I'm tired that so many ignore the bravery of the Iraqi people to go to the voting booth and freely elect a Constitution and soon a permanent Parliament.

I'm tired of the so called 'Elite Left' that prolongs this war by giving aid and comfort to our enemy, just as they did during the Vietnam War.

I'm tired of antiwar protesters showing up at the funerals of our fallen soldiers.

A family who's loved ones gave their life in a just and noble cause, only to be cruelly tormented on the funeral day by cowardly protesters is beyond shameful.

I'm tired that my generation, the Baby Boom -- Vietnam generation, who have such a weak backbone that they can't stomach seeing the difficult tasks through to victory.

I'm tired that some are more concerned about the treatment of captives than they are the slaughter and beheading of our citizens and allies.

I'm tired that when we find mass graves it is seldom reported by the press, but mistreat a prisoner and it is front page news.

Mostly, I'm tired that the people of this great nation didn't learn from history that there is no substitute for Victory.

Joe Repya,
Lieutenant Colonel, U. S. Army
101st Airborne Division

Friday, April 06, 2007

Never give in.

In researching World History to study next year with Ben, I came across this website:

In reading the sample they had available, I read these quotes by Sir Winston Churchill:

"...never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never - in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."

"Do not let us speak of darker days: let us speak rather of sterner days. These are not dark days; these are great days - the greatest days our country has ever lived; and we must all thank God that we have been allowed, each of us according to our stations, to play a part in making these days memorable in the history of our race."

What a great man.

Where are the Sir Winston Churchills of our day? I trust no politician. They are all out to grab or keep power. I do not believe any of them truly love the the land they serve - they are more self serving than country, constituents or people serving. More in love with themselves than those they should be serving. More interested in opinion polls than in common sense. They have no foundation, but are waves of the sea tossed by the storms of current events. REALLY current events - yesterday doesn't matter, tomorrow isn't here yet, they focus soley on today.

Where are the Sir Winston Churchills of our day? Have they been destroyed by illogical Ad Hominem attacks? Have they been stymied by lack of money? I noticed there was a report on how much money each candidate has raised as if it were an indication of who would be president or not. Does a person then become President based on how wealthy their campaign is? Why does this information matter?

I am disillusioned.

And yet, I hear the echo of Churchill's words, "Never give in, never give in, never, never, never never....never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense."

Surely, somewhere, there must be someone of good, strong, moral and far-seeing character to lead us in these confusing times?