Month: September 2007

Help, I’m in Homeschool H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks

Well, not really, but close. This past week has been very draining. And very telling about my skills as a homeschooling mom and teacher.

I’m afraid if we could hear the angels in Heaven while on any particular day school was in session this past week, we might have heard something to the effect of, “Woe! Woe! Woe unto them who are schooled by Karen!” Yes, it was that bad. I should be so much better than this, shouldn’t I? After all, I spent copious amounts of time putting together lesson plans, coordinating schedules, checking and rechecking curriculum…not to mention, this ain’t my first rodeo — I have been homeschooling Katie now for four solid years.

But no amount of preparation could have readied me for trying to teach my daughter how to write. Not just write, but write well. Move her from her childishly constructed sentences to actual prose. I have completely forgotten what it was like to be in 5th grade. My memories of school are a jumble…it seems I have placed such high expectations on my child that I have only set her up for what is certain to be failure if I continue down this same path. We have both spent too much time in tears of frustration this week, that I have realized I must change something…and quickly. So I’m going back to the drawing board – I spoke with several other homeschool moms who have already been through this with their own children and they had several ideas for me as to how to break down the writing into smaller chunks so she wouldn’t be overwhelmed. I won’t obsess about her spelling to start with — instead, I’ll just include those words she mispells in her weekly vocabulary lessons. I’m still not sure what to do about the grammar or sentence structure…

I use daily writing prompts where we learn about something and then she chooses one element and writes her thoughts about it. I have been so obsessed with her spelling and grammar and punctuation that I haven’t allowed her to just…write. I want her to LOVE writing as much as I do. In college, my professor once told me that I was a gifted writer – that my stories about my childhood were so good that I should compile them into a book. I have never had the desire to publish a book, plus I no longer think I have those writing skills. And right now, all I can think about is how to transfer some of those skills to my child, flesh of my flesh. Anyone out there have anything for me? Anyone?

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The Four Wives

There was a rich merchant who had 4 wives. He loved the 4th wife the most and adorned her with rich robes and treated her to delicacies. He took great care of her and gave her nothing but the best.

He also loved the 3rd wife very much. He’s very proud of her and always wanted to show off her to his friends. However, the merchant is always in great fear that she might run away with some other men.

He too, loved his 2nd wife. She is a very considerate person, always patient and in fact is the merchant’s confidante. Whenever the merchant faced some problems, he always turned to his 2nd wife and she would always help him out and tide him through difficult times.

Now, the merchant’s 1st wife is a very loyal partner and has made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and business as well as taking care of the household. However, the merchant did not love the first wife and although she loved him deeply, he hardly took notice of her.

One day, the merchant fell ill. Before long, he knew that he was going to die soon. He thought of his luxurious life and told himself, “Now I have 4 wives with me. But when I die, I’ll be alone. How lonely I’ll be!”

Thus, he asked the 4th wife, “I loved you most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?” “No way!” replied the 4th wife and she walked away without another word.

The answer cut like a sharp knife right into the merchant’s heart. The sad merchant then asked the 3rd wife, “I have loved you so much for all my life. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?” “No!” replied the 3rd wife. “Life is so good over here! I’m going to remarry when you die!” The merchant’s heart sank and turned cold.

He then asked the 2nd wife, “I always turned to you for help and you’ve always helped me out. Now I need your help again. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?” “I’m sorry, I can’t help you out this time!” replied the 2nd wife. “At the very most, I can only send you to your grave.” The answer came like a bolt of thunder and the merchant was devastated.

Then a voice called out : “I’ll leave with you. I’ll follow you no matter where you go.” The merchant looked up and there was his first wife. She was so skinny, almost like she suffered from malnutrition. Greatly grieved, the merchant said, “I should have taken much better care of you while I could have !”

Actually, we all have 4 wives in our lives

a. The 4th wife is our body. No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it’ll leave us when we die.

b. Our 3rd wife ? Our possessions, status and wealth. When we die, they all go to others.

c. The 2nd wife is our family and friends. No matter how close they had been there for us when we’re alive, the furthest they can stay by us is up to the grave.

d. The 1st wife is in fact our soul, often neglected in our pursuit of material, wealth and sensual pleasure.

Guess what? It is actually the only thing that follows us wherever we go. Perhaps it’s a good idea to cultivate and strengthen it now rather than to wait until we’re on our deathbed to lament.

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Which side of the fence are you on?

How do you feel about “Christian Rock” music? Does it belong in the Church? Is it okay to listen to in your “down time”? Do your kids listen to it?

Consider this statement made by a very popular “Christian Rock” artist:

“… the only difference [between rock and Christian rock] is the lyrics and then the difference is sometimes subtle … at the basic root, there’s no difference. … Christianity is about rebellion. JESUS CHRIST IS THE BIGGEST REBEL TO EVER WALK THE FACE OF THE EARTH … he was crucified for his rebellion. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL IS ABOUT THE SAME THING–REBELLION … TO ME ROCK AND THE CHURCH GO HAND IN HAND” (Mark Stuart of Audio Adrenaline, Pensacola News Journal, Pensacola, Florida, March 1, 1998, pp. 1,6E).

This is the sentiment echoed by many “Christian Rock” artists. Do you agree? Why or why not? Join the discussion, please. I’m interested to know your thoughts.

I’ll post my response to this statement on Saturday.

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Thursday 13 – Kind Ways to Say Someone Is Stupid

1. A few clowns short of a circus

2. A few peas short of a casserole

3. The wheel’s spinning but the hamster’s dead

4. One Froot Loop shy of a full bowl

5. He fell out of the stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down

6. An intellect rivaled only by garden tools

7. Doesn’t have all his dogs on one leash

8. Her sewing machine’s out of thread

9. His belt doesn’t go through all the loops

10. No grain in the silo

11. Receiver is off the hook

12. Several nuts short of a full pouch

13. Too much yardage between the goal posts

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Are you even remotely interested?

I found this today. Would you pay $399 for a universal remote? That’s how much this one costs! I mean, come on…don’t those people know it hones your parenting skills to keep track of all the remotes that come with your electronic devices? I like to think of remotes as being like my kids…the second you take your eye off of them, they go missing. It is a little known scientific fact (probably because I’m making this up as I go) that if you learn to keep up with your remotes, you will never, ever lose your kids when you are out shopping in a public place.

This is most definitely a product marketed for the SINGLE person: 1) They are the only ones with enough money to spend on something like this, and, 2) They are the only ones with enough time to figure out how the darn thing works. See, what the marketers don’t tell you is that it takes a Doctorate in Electronics Engineering with an emphasis in Thermonuclear Physics to understand the detailed instructions and binary codes that come with the thing. A substantial energy barrier (the fact that I didn’t get any sleep last night because my 3 year old did that freaky-stand-at-the-bedside-and-look-at-me-in-the-dark-thing) must be overcome before programming can occur — an unmarried person can stay up for days on end with the promise of a promotion at work and a little Starbucks.

My husband’s friend (who is single — what did I tell you?!) saw this remote in Best Buy the other day and was excitedly telling us about it — all the special features and advantages (trying to justify a purchase, no doubt), when my husband stopped him midsentence and said, “Look, for $399, it better have a feature that pauses my wife’s menstrual cycle and makes coffee in the mornings for me…otherwise, I’m not interested.”

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WFMW – How to Add a sk*rt button to your blog post

Have you noticed the cute little add to sk*rt
buttons at the bottom of some blogger’s posts? If you’re like me, you are asking yourself, “Why would I even want one of those?” or, “What the heck is sk*rt?” This is what sk*rt has to say about thier site:

sk*rt is a social media ranking platform of pure goodness. A portal to find cool things, smart scoop, clever ideas, excellent products, exceptional information. All of it. And more. In other words, sk*rt is like that friend who always finds the best stuff. Only better.

You just never know when your tip or your advice that you are so freely doling out is going to be sk*rted, so it’s really great idea to add the button so potential readers can submit with ease, which could net your more traffic to your blog. Whenever a blog entry is submitted to sk*rt, it is rated by the readers and then ranked according to popularity. The closer to the top your article is, the more points you have been given, thus more readers. I don’t use the Sk*rt button on every entry, because they don’t all apply, but if you want to use it on your posts, here’s the how to:

1. Create your blog entry.

2. Copy and paste the following code at the bottom of your post, or put in the footer section:
<a href=” YOUR URL HERE” target=”_blank”><img style=”BORDER-RIGHT: 0px; BORDER-TOP: 0px; BORDER-LEFT: 0px; BORDER-BOTTOM: 0px” alt=”add to sk*rt” src=””/></a&gt;

3. Replace the “http://INSERT YOUR URL HERE” with your post URL, not your blog URL (you’ll have to publish it to get it and then go back and add the URL). For example, to give you an idea of what it looks like, one URL I recently submitted was “;.

4. Publish the entry and voila! You should have something that looks like mine below, but with your entry URL.

This should work for you, but let me know if you have any problems, I’ll be happy to assist in any way I can. For more WFMW tips, head on over to Shannon’s at Rocks in My Dryer!

UPDATED TO ADD: Or…you can also go here and let sk*rt’s html generator do it for you!

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