Thursday, January 31, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
1. Pick up the nearest book ( of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.
At first blush, most would peg me as an average Joe, and I'm proud of that. But my sheepskin announces to all assembled that though I may be a man of the people, I also have the keys to the clubhouse. I can't count the number of times I've heard the phrase, "You went to Dartmouth? I find that hard to believe."
The book, Stephen Colbert's I AM AMERICA (and so can you!)... super funny I'm told by Daddio who laughed pretty much the whole time he read it. It's on the top of the pile because he just gave it to me to read. I'm actually reading another book at the moment, The Connected Child, by Dr. Karyn Purvis and Dr. David Cross... which happens to be the book right under the previous selection! So applying the same rules here is the selection from that read:
Recognize the value of what you bring to this child for her safety and her instruction.
Give one chance to self-correct. You can verify that you're really facing defiance by first giving your child the opportunity to self-correct.
So there you have it folks... there are actually 4 more books on my nightstand, 2 of which have been read, and 2 that will be read sometime in the future!
Now for the tagging... who hasn't been tagged for this one yet? Hmmm, I'll go with Bob, Familia Del Valle, Just Stuff, Dei Gratia, and anyone else who hasn't done it yet!
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
They have not been themselves, and so our normal courses of action simply don't work. My new plan for today is silence. No, I'm not expecting them to be silent... that will NEVER happen... I'm going to be silent. All my interactions with them will include the wipe off board in the game/school room, or a piece of paper. Honestly I'm so tired of saying things that simply WON'T SAY IT one more time today.
One telling message of this morning:
"Just because I'm not talking, doesn't mean I can't hear what you are doing! If I hear it again, ALL of the colors will go into the garbage."
I consider this a form of homeschooling. First they are having to read! Secondly, I can work on contractions with Bobcat. And third, the lesson on READING and FOLLOWING the directions printed in their texts, which is something they all need to be working on!
Monday, January 28, 2008
I'm feeling somewhat better. I've had a Shiner Bock, and I got my W2 in so I've done the taxes. Let's hear it for child tax credits! I highly recommend TurboTax online. I'm competent to do the forms long hand, but about two years ago, the online thing was ending up with about a $70 higher refund than I was getting by hand. I could not figure out what I had done differently, and TurboTax comes with an accuracy gaurantee and audit protection, so I just paid the $29 and have never looked back. To me, it's worth $29 for the time savings alone and not having to fill out and mail in your forms. I've heard you can e-file directly with the IRS for free these days, but I've gotten used to TurboTax and it saves all my personal information from previous years, so it's just easier to stick with what I know.
Hopefully, MommaLlama will return to me refreshed and happy. She is at band practice now, which is fun and relieves stress. Although it may be somewhat awkward sitting across from the transexual clarinet player. Oh, you didn't hear about that yet? It's quite a story. I'll ask her to write a bit about "Jo" (formerly "Joel"). Heh heh.
Update: I looked into it, and it appears that free e-filing on the IRS website is only for lower incomes. Others are directed to a service that you must pay for. Therefore, I can still recommend TurboTax. I don't have any experience with the others, but I don't have any complaints.
Complaining that you didn't have Carmelo doesn't help. It's called a "deep bench", y'all should really look into it next year. ;-)
Although I do give props to the little guy that was raining down three-pointers. It was a valliant effort. Fortunately, the best team won!
Sunday, January 27, 2008
|You Are a Cappuccino|
You're fun, outgoing, and you love to try anything new.
However, you tend to have strong opinions on what you like.
You are a total girly girly at heart - and prefer your coffee with good conversation.
You're the type that seems complex to outsiders, but in reality, you are easy to please
|You Should Be a Social Worker|
You are deeply caring and empathetic.
You are able to take on other people's problems as if they were your own.
Sensitive and intuitive, you understand human emotions well.
Helping others gives you the most joy in life. You feel like it's your purpose in life.
You do best when you:
- Have a lot of responsibility
- Greatly impact someone's life with your work
You would also be a good philanthropist or stay at home parent.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
I came across this interesting global warming quiz and recommend you take it. You should know that many (perhaps most) scientists are not drinking Al Gore's kool-aid just yet. In a nutshell, average temperature change is real, but it's not very drastic, and we humans really don't have anything to do with it. Not only did we not cause it, we don't have the power to change it either. It's just part of a natural cycle. There have been climate changes throughout geological history, well before man-made emissions came into being. We're taking too much credit!
Now, there's an argument that I believe I heard from John McCain awhile ago that went something like this:
We should do everything we can to increase our miles per gallon and use less energy. Because if we were right about man-made global warming, then we've saved all of humanity. And even if we were wrong about man-made global warming, then we've done a good thing by keeping the air clean.
It sounds harmless, right? Why wouldn't we want to "err on the side of caution"? But the part that liberals always forget is that there are costs associated with the choices we make. And when the government is enforcing, the costs tend to be even higher. More efficient building materials for homes cost more. More efficient cars cost more to design, build, and eventually purchase. It's common knowledge that hybrid cars take about 10 years to break even on the fuel savings. If you are a stay-at-home mom who doesn't commute to work every day, that time period grows.
If you need a quick, smart-alecky response, remember this little factoid: the fuel economy of Al Gore's private jet is measured not in miles per gallon, but in gallons per minute! One trip from Los Angeles to Europe to collect his Nobel prize burned enough gas to run the Llama family SUV for seven years!
Why not let every person and family conduct their own cost/benefit analysis and make their own choices? If there is something clearly dangerous and unsafe (lead paint, exploding Ford Pintos), then regulation is needed. But there is not sufficent evidence to support the man-made global warming hysteria, and when they force us to be "green" it costs all of us a lot of money that we may prefer to spend elsewhere. If you like those compact fluorescent bulbs and enjoy saving a few bucks on your electric bill, then go ahead and use them. But it's not a priority for me, and I don't want to pay $4 a bulb. And I hate the color of that light anyway. I work in it all day, it's not what I want from the lamp on my night stand.
I've also read somewhere that recycling kills trees. Wood is a completely renewable resource. Before recycling, lumber companies would plant as many trees as they cut down, because they didn't want to go out of business. But with recycling, they don't have to replace as many as they used to. Fewer plants to breathe in our CO2!
Again, we should be good and responsible stewards of the earth. But we have been given dominion to use the earth for our own good purposes.
Next, I'll share some info I've discovered about another dogma of the Church of Liberalism - Evolution.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
"There was a weather man with hands."
Actually, there was a man with withered hands. But at least Snookie was sort of paying attention this time... Last night I just got a blank stare, so this is progress!
Tuesday proceeded as any normal day. During handwriting practice, Bobcat stretched out his arm and said "Mommy, I don't know if I can write anymore, my arm is hurting from yesterday." Being the kind soul I am, I looked at his arm and noted that there wasn't even a bruise there. I told him I was sure he could continue, but that I would give him some motrin later.
After everyone finished up, we headed out to meet Daddio for lunch. I was telling him about Bobcat's remark... when he started laughing... hard. I thought it was pretty funny that Bobcat was being somewhat dramatic but not that funny, then Daddio informed me that the blood had been taken from his left arm... and he's right handed! Oh... ha ha ha ha... get it?! Maybe you had to be there.
Monday, January 21, 2008
She's been growing it out for a long, long time, and it was finally long enough to donate. We'll post an "after" shot when she gets brave enough to let me photograph her. Trust me, it's really cute! Ooh, the suspense...
(It's not the hair she's afraid to show - it's her pretty little face. I suppose many women hate pictures of themselves. Maybe I'll put up a really bad photo so that she'll want to put up a nicer one just to redeem herself. But that would be mean, and I would never do such a thing...)
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Bobcat: Daddy, what does it feel like before you've been created?
Me: Ummm.... you don't really exist yet, so you can't feel anything at all until you're created.
Bobcat: I don't remember being created.
Me: Well, most of us don't remember when we were that small.
Bobcat: Oh, okay.
Bubba: Daddy, what does it feel like when you grow up?
Me: Pretty much the same, except you're taller, and you get tired faster.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Friday, January 18, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
That was last night, sitting in the pew waiting for our family's turn for confession. I went in first and once finished I told the priest that Bobcat was coming in next that this was his first confession... to which the priest said, "Oh praise God, and how wonderful." With a giant smile on his face, Bobcat entered the confessional... and exited with an even bigger grin. Next up was Daddio and then everyone back into the car. Bobcat's reaction to his first confession: "That was so cool, I can't wait to do it again."
I was worried he might be nervous, I sort of remember preparing for mine and I do remember be a wreck... and that it took 10 years before I did it again (for those doing the math... First Communion/Confession and not again till Confirmation). But I think we are doing a much better job preparing him for his sacraments than I was ever taught. Not only that, Daddio and I try to make a conscious effort to show our love for the sacraments, and in regards to confession... we take them with us when we go. There's nothing like seeing your parent do something and wanting to do it as well. This was something I've never witnessed my parents participating in, and led me to think in my early years that it was scary and not necessary.
Momma: "Good morning boys!" (to Bobcat and Bubba... Snookie was sleeping in another room)
Bobcat: "Man, my arms feel really long. Do they look really long this morning?"
Bubba: "Mommy, check out my muscles, they grew last night." (Then he 'kisses the guns'.)
Going to the gameroom where Snookie spent the night.
Momma: "Good morning little Snookers."
Snookie: (With a look of complete confusion) "Mommy, how did the dogs get in their kennels?"
As far as the first two... I have no idea about why his arms suddenly feel longer than yesterday... and Bubba always thinks his muscles are getting bigger... after meals, after naps, before bed, after his shower, he always has a comment regarding his muscles. Now, Snookie and the dogs... well, he's not really very awake the first hour he is out of bed. It's kind of funny that it takes him a while for his little mind to get all warmed up and for things to make sense. He's knows we kennel the dogs every night... half the year he is sleeping in that room and sees us putting them in there... but for some reason this morning that portion of his little brain wasn't ready to be
Monday, January 14, 2008
The hero of the weekend: Jerry Stackhouse! Why... his 3 point buzzer beater to win the game by 1 point. Now I won't lie, had they lost by two points it would have been totally deserved. They played miserably against a terrible team. Him winning the game is the only reason why the TV in our room is still in one piece and working!
The upset: THE COWBOYS, 'nough said!
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Daddio:"From what came God's voice to Moses?"A few more suggestions and hints were given, unfortunately they couldn't come up with it... so Momma won the Lemonhead. Although Snookie is challenging the ruling - he thinks he should win because he said it right after I did (he was sitting in my lap).
Daddio: "Well, close... something was on fire. But what?"
Bobcat: "A sheep."
Daddio: "Um, no a sheep wasn't on fire."
Bobcat: "No, Moses was following a lost sheep."
Daddio: "Yes, but the sheep wasn't on fire."
Bubba: "Not Sticks?"
Snookie: "Pime Combs!!"
Momma: "No not PINE CONES."
Snookie: "Pime Combs can be on fi...."
(Momma puts hand over Snookie's mouth...)
Momma: "We aren't talking about things that we can light on fire."
Thursday, January 10, 2008
He went on to talk about our responsibility in the coming election, and our calling as Christians to vote pro-life. While he spoke about what you can do, he made a great analogy - TRUTH actually. Imagine that someone, against your will, aborts your unborn child. You watch the child being dismembered and all the other horrible things they do in abortion. God, the FATHER, witnesses that with EVERY SINGLE abortion. How angry would you be... how angry is He. How sad and distraught would you be, how distraught is He?
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
“Mommy, I need a Kleenex to DEAL with my fighter jet.”
Now, with that statement I need to do a little explaining. A few days ago we super glued the canopy shut on his plane (with the pilots inside) because he kept pulling off the canopy and the little plastic hinge was no longer working. So gluing it shut seemed like the best answer to that situation. Okay let’s continue with the conversation.
“Snookie, Mommy doesn’t understand, could you tell me what you are talking about?”Cue more SOBBING!
“Mommy, I need a Kleenex to DEAL (even more emphatic than the last time) with my fighter jet.”
“I’m not following you, honey. Are you fussing and you need my help to blow your nose, because your plane is making you mad?”
“No, I need to break my plane real HARD, and I will use the Kleenex to clean up the glue when I get the top off.”
“Wow, you really thought this whole thing through, but unfortunately you are not going to re-break your airplane! I’m sorry, Pumpkin.”
I have to hand it to the kid, he was trying to think ahead… and apparently he thinks that glue stays wet?
“Mommy, (sniff, cry, sniff, cry, cry…) they won’t play on my track.”
“The boys won’t play cars on the track I built.”
“Honey, I know you built the coolest track in the world, but that doesn’t mean that they boys have to also play on it.”
He also used to do this thing with his face called “Give me the EYES.” But while sitting in Daddio’s lap the other day he proclaimed that he no longer does that, and instead gave a whole new face! Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of that, YET! You just never know with that kid. Oh and Daddio taught him to play "staring contest" which has been a lot of fun. He furrows those little brows and really makes a go at it!
What else is goin’ on? Well, I’ve been under the weather (starting last night), and had to postpone school this morning. My current plan is to work on school after nap time. I’m hoping whatever has me feeling a little tummy ill will have passed!
I’m also dealing with a retarded medical bill from our (terrible) pediatrician. Thankfully the nice lady at billing (not at our dr.’s office, they are morons) was able to clear it up and while I was on hold with her she called the dr.’s office to notify them of their screw up!!! Yay! So that is one thing I was able to resolve while I was feelin’ ill!
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Monday, January 7, 2008
Preparations are almost complete. Just two more lessons in our book, with first confession next week. I got a few unconsecrated hosts from the church last weekend for practice, so he'll be familiar with the taste and texture.
Bubba will be jealous that he isn't getting a new suit, too. Poor kid, he hates it that Bobcat is older than him.
It occurred to us a few weeks ago that we may get some strange looks when only Bobcat comes up to receive communion with us for the next year, and then when only Snookie is left out for the year after that. People always assume they're triplets because they're about the same size. (Of course their personalities are very, very different, so the birth order quickly becomes obvious to anyone who is paying attention. And while they certainly look related, they are not that similar. It's rather annoying how most people don't make an effort to tell them apart, much less learn their names. A post for another day...) Bobcat is actually a few pounds lighter and slightly shorter than Bubba, although he's the oldest. So folks will expect them all to receive at the same time. They may even think we're punishing the non-recipients.
And their non-reception will be especially obvious because we don't bring the boys up through the line with us for a "blessing". We typically sit in the front row so the boys can see what's going on, and when we adults get up to receive, we leave them seated. They are within our sight (and reach...), and even if we were seated farther back, they're able to behave well enough to sit alone for less than two minutes. So this is not only quicker and easier, but there are a couple of practical issues as well.
1) Most times, there are dozens of extraordinary ministers distributing communion in our large church. This is probably another post for another day, but in short, we aren't big fans of lay EM's. We do understand that necessity and logistics dictate having a few lines open (not just the priest and deacon, who are the "ordinary ministers"). But they use way more EM's in our parish than are really necessary. The E stands for "extraordinary", so they should only be used in extraordinary circumstances, right? At least they could serve the bread/body only and not the cup, to limit the number of lay participants. Our Lord is fully present under both species, and many folks believe the cup should not be served to the congregation unless there are enough ordinary ministers to handle it.
2) The other, and primary, issue for us is that we believe those lay people have no business "blessing" non-recipients. They have not received holy orders. And they all do it a little differently, so there is no uniformity. It especially irks the Llama when they insist on touching all those grubby little children on the heads as they handle all of those hosts. So, the children do not go through the line with us.
So, bring on the funny looks, we've gotten pretty used to those by now. If they ask what's up, we'll let Bubba and Snookie explain that they are not old enough yet. If anything, I suspect it will make them more eager to participate fully, and do all the things that go into earning that.
Sunday, January 6, 2008
The last several days have been quite difficult in the Llama household. The devil has done his best to infiltrate (via extended family conflict), but today was the light that we so desperately needed. The weather was great, the boys and my niece (who spent yesterday and today with us) got to run, scoot, and play for the better part of the day while we were able to enjoy their enthusiasm.
Plus after Mass this evening we were able to catch up to the priest and set the date for Bobcat's First Communion... Feb 1! YAY! Oh, and I built up the courage to stop a black lady and ask for some advice to treat the boys skin. They have very dry skin, and we'd been doing quite well with this one particular lotion from Melaleuca, but I no longer order from them and the current lotion doesn't seem to be doing the trick. They have developed these super dry patches that are a little raised, and even with application a few times a day isn't really clearing it up. Anyway, this is way out of comfort zone to go up to someone I don't know and ask such a bizarre question. She was quite nice (and thankfully was not at all put off by me asking, which had been a worry of mine when asking about issues that are in direct relation to their african americanism), and it turns out that her children are also bi-racial and I was able to show her Snookie's hands and she gave a recommendation that I will take care of this week!
Saturday, January 5, 2008
To be considered a candidate for celebrating the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion a child must be:
· Baptized in the Catholic tradition…AND
· At the age of discretion, understanding right from wrong,
Usually 7 years of age…AND
· Has completed a full year (2006/2007) of formal foundational catechesis (attending weekly Christian Education Classes or attending a Catholic School)…AND
· Currently enrolled and attending formal catechesis for the year of 2007/2008…AND
· All families (parent along side their child) participate in the Sacramental Preparation. This is a free standing preparation separate and in addition to your child’s weekly Christian Education Class/Catholic School…AND
· Families should be attending Sunday Mass…AND
· A Copy of your child’s Baptismal Certificate needs to be received and attached to the registration form…AND
· If your child did not attend Christian Education Classes/Catholic School at SEAS for the year of 2006/2007, you will need to attach proof from the Church where your child attended…AND
· A $25 book/materials fee covers both sacraments
I scoff - SCOFF, I say! - in the face of these requirements. Call me old-fashioned, but I think it's the parents' duty to instruct our children in the faith. Here's a lovely quote from the modern Catechism:
“The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute. The right and the duty of parents to educate their children are primordial and inalienable.”
--- CCC 2221
We believe that the principle of subsidiarity applies even to DRE's. So, we're going renegade. (Cue the bad-ass music.)
We've been working through the good old Baltimore Catechism with Bobcat for the past four months. We've been evaluating his progress, conversing with him, reiterating certain key ideas through routine conversations. Basically, making sure that he is ready to receive worthily. It's going really well. Obviously no one fully understands the great mysteries of our faith, but for his age, he seems to understand pretty well, and is excited about it.
All that's left to do is get the January mass assignments from the parish and pick a date. I'm a little nervous that some church employees would be ruffled by us just showing up without going through the "proper channels", but we'll choose one of the friendly, older priests. We will probably make it a Friday evening, so the church is not crowded and we won't have any trouble sitting all together.
I hope it goes well, because I suspect that a number of others from our homeschool group may wish to follow the same formula. We're not the only ones put off by the many requirements listed above. After all, first communion is not even a recorded sacrament. There's no certificate required, as with baptism, in order to get confirmed and married later in life. The parish has no right to deny the sacraments of the church. (I couldn't find the catechism reference regarding denying sacraments to those who ask for them, but I know it can only be done if the would-be recipient is living in an obvious, public, and scandalous state of grave sin. Surely that doesn't apply to a seven-year-old!)
So, we'll let you all know how it goes. And then we'll party, and you'll all be invited!
Do you guys have trouble with extended family members thinking that no matter what they have RIGHTS to your children... no matter if that would interfere with your own traditions and family life?
Hmmmm, cause mine do!
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Who's with me?
"Mommy, my pants come up at the same time as my underpants. (induce sobbing here)"
As best as I can deduce, he went potty and was finishing up and went to pull just his underpants up first then move on to his pant... but in a freak occurance (add sarcastic inflection) his pants became intangled with said underpants and all came up at the same time. This was quite disturbing for him, not because he was injured in any way... but because he had it set in his mind that it was going to happen in a particular manner, and that isn't what happened... oh the agony. While I think it is ridiculous that he is fussing about it, I've taken the high road consoling the poor child... because I fear that the days of him needing Mommy to console his every frustration will come to an end too soon!