Friday, February 26, 2010

Aggies, donkeys, and adoption

I tend to pick on those Aggies a lot. But I will probably encourage our boys to consider attending A&M because it is a good school, and has, for a public school, a very conservative student body and faculty. And most of all, I am so impressed with their well known, vibrant Catholic student organization. I've been following the Aggie Catholic blog for a while, and I thought this post today was a good one:

We've certainly felt the same way as an infertile couple, longing for those beautiful horses across the pond.

This weekend will mark the fifth anniversary of our "consummation" in court. I used to think that was an unusual term for it - consummation - since I'd only thought of it in a sexual way. But I've come to love it. The dictionary definition is:

–verb (used with object)
1. to bring to a state of perfection; fulfill.
2. to complete (an arrangement, agreement, or the like) by a pledge or the signing of a contract.
3. to complete (the union of a marriage) by the first marital sexual intercourse.

Our sons didn't result from our marital embrace, but they certainly did fulfill its purpose. Thank you, God, for leading us out of our self-pity and despair, and showing us the little brown donkeys in our field.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


"Mommy, those cars are synonyms!"

Um... I scratch my head, really confused. Did I just hear him right, granted I do have a blaring headache, but I swear I just heard him say that two objects were synonyms...

"Snooker, what did you just say?"

He repeats slightly exasperated that he is being asked again, "Mommy, look at them... those two cars, they are synonyms."

Okay... what he is pointing out are two cars that are the same make, model and color... only differences... the wheels.

Alright, can anyone guess what his Language Lessons have been on lately... clearly we need to have another talk about what exactly a synonym is and what things are actually just SIMILAR!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Offensive statements

Because we are opinionated and this is our own blog and it's a free country, we present the following statements of fact:

The Beatles kinda sucked. Their voices are whiny and the lyrics are asinine.

Ditto for Taylor Swift. And Miley Cyrus.

If your blog gives the picture of perfect domestic harmony, we know you're lying. Everybody's life is tough. Quit making other people feel bad.

Every private school, college, and university, is overpriced and overrated. Especially religious schools. If you need a school to teach your kids their faith, you are not doing your job as a parent.

Dear Aggies: Stop telling us about your silly traditions. We don't care. I'm glad you have fun down there, but nobody else cares. Seriously. We don't brag about the "Animal Guessing Game" our kids play in the car.

The Animal Guessing Game is awesome. Always pick squirrel. Trust me. (By the way, wombats can't fly.)

That vampire series is stupid.

Medjugorje is fake. If you want a miracle, go to Mass.

If my kid asks why your son has girl hair, he needs a haircut.

Do not use "product" in your son's hair, unless it is picture day.

Talented kids are annoying. Especially the ones that sing.

If your kids don't get upset when it's time for school or bed, something is wrong with them. They're supposed to want to play all day, right?

If you aren't ready to have kids, you aren't ready to be married.

If you aren't ready to be married, you aren't ready to have kids.

Global warming is fake. And even if it's not, I don't care. It's cold.

My Suburban gets 100 passenger-miles-per-gallon. The more kids you fill up the SUV or van with, the smaller your carbon footprint! Suck it, Prius boy.

Nobody cares about your honor roll student. Elementary school is easy.

We don't care what your kids' names are, so don't put those stickers on the back of your car. We don't think you're super creative - we think you just can't spell common names like Ashley and Jackson (with an X - seriously?).

If you are a grown woman, you should not wear short shorts or low rise jeans. Or jeans tighter than spandex. We don't need that level of detail.

Do not let your daughters wear hooker boots. Only hookers should wear hooker boots. That's how we identify them.

They're called Uggs because they are ugly. Not "so ugly they're cute". Just plain ugly. Stop wearing them. Stop it. (The fur trim and tassles don't help.)

Adults should not wear Crocs outside of the house. Decorating them doesn't help.

You should be excommunicated for wearing flip-flops to church.

Do not wear a T-shirt under a suit coat. You look like an idiot. Be a man, wear a tie. (But not with a T-shirt.)

And tuck in that shirt, hippie.

If you have ever bought a "designer" T-shirt , you are a sucker. They deserve your money.

Gaucho pants look terrible on everyone. No exceptions.

Ditto for leggings. Just don't.

Obama is not the anti-Christ. He's just another politician. Don't get so worked up about it.

TV is better than fluffy books because at least you can do the laundry while you watch and listen.

Movies with fast cars and explosions are awesome. Character development is lame. We want characters to get blown up.

(Only the bad guys, of course. And yes, it counts as a "moral lesson" if a bad guy gets what's coming to him.)

Basketball is the best sport ever. Baseball is boring, football players only work once a week, and they almost never score in hockey. MFFL, baby.

Grow up, adult "gamers".

Do not get mad if you marry a "gamer" and he spends all his time playing video games. You should have married a grown-up.

Text apparently is, but should not be, a verb. If it's worth saying, it's worth calling to say it.

Having a blog doesn't make you a Writer. (Evidenced by this very blog.)

Just because you read it on a blog, that doesn't make it true.

Pokemon and Bakugan and whatever other weird cartoons they have now are lame.

Legos rock.

Trains rock too.

Don't argue with argumentative people on the internet. They're not listening, they're just provoking you.

These can be made available as bumper stickers and T-shirts (not for Mass). Because cottage industries are awesome, and we think we should get rich like everyone else who wants to escape their real jobs and sell junk on the internet.

If you disagree with any of these, leave a comment. We won't change our mind, but at least you will have had a chance to argue with someone on the internet today. We're here for you.

*This will be a regular series, if we think of more.

Do you know...

who "Mr. Civil Rights" is?

I love homeschooling because it seems everyday I learn something that I had no idea about... things that were completely left out of my education... more often than not, my historical education. Take yesterday for example, Bobcat was reading from his reading comprehension book about a Mr. Alexander Pierre Tureaud (pronounced to-row). As he begins reading, Bobcat tells me that this man was born in New Orleans and was a great civil rights leader... hmmm, really? That name doesn't really ring a bell. I don't remember hearing about him in high school history... come to think of it, I don't remember hearing about him in my early history in my own home state of La. (although we did move here after 3rd grade, I can't really remember if we talked about civil rights by that point).

Now if you click on the link in the previous paragraph you will only get a small portion of this man's life. What they don't tell you was that he was a cradle Catholic, family vacations were spent traveling to important religious and historical venues of our faith, and was an officer of the Knights of Saint Peter Claver (in 1971 he received the Gold Medal from the Knights for his tireless work for equality). During a visit to Rome in 1964, he was honored with a meeting with Pope Paul VI.

As a mother of children with an African American heritage... I'm always so pleased to find wonderful men and women who exemplify our faith and are great role models to look up to!

So to answer the question... who was dubbed "Mr. Civil Rights"? A.P. Tureaud, I had no idea... but am so pleased we've finally been introduced!

Friday, February 19, 2010

To Potter or Not To Potter

I have written about Harry Potter before:

Today I came across this post on Mark Shea's blog:

…wherein he and his readers get all bent out of shape over this latest article by Michael O'Brien:

I honestly don't understand why those who like Harry Potter are so bothered by those who don't. Doesn't every parent have a right to discern these things for their own family? This is especially surprising coming from a fellow home schooler. Aren't we supposed to be the most respectful of other parents' decisions. Don't we face enough criticism from the world for being "too protective", "too religious", etc.?

As I understand it, O'Brien was asked by friends for his opinion, so he is giving it. His writings on this topic (not just Potter, but fantasy in general) happen to resonate with a lot of people, myself included.

His mention of certain spiritual phenomena are not the meat of his argument against the Potter series. He notes them as signals, but then forms his arguments in light of scripture and Church teaching. We have to be objective and think clearly and do some research. But I know I have definitely learned to trust my wife's intuition in matters pertaining to faith and family

Don't the rest of you experience this? Do you ever see a movie trailer and think, "I'll pass..."? And if someone later tells you, "Oh don't worry about it, Horton Hears A Who was actually a really cute movie!", do you owe Walt Disney an apology for not seeing it?

I am often told by Potter lovers (and DaVinci Code lovers, and plenty of other examples), it's "just a book". To which I respond, the library's full of them, why do you care if I pass on this one? Why so sensitive?

Someone please point me to an article that explains how Harry Potter is good, or at least morally neutral and not even slightly dangerous. If you disagree with O'Brien, write a charitable rebuttal, and I'll consider it. At this time, I find the anti- arguments far more compelling.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Progress report

8 minutes

19 push-ups

salad instead of tamales

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

These 40 days!

For weeks now I've been looking through my stuff, my friends' blogs, other crafty Catholic blogs, but simply hadn't found that THING that I really wanted to do with the kids. I wanted something that was a scripture study... something marrying the Old Testament to the New Testament...

Tuesday morning I had all but given up finding something that would do just that. All my usual crafty go-to's just didn't have exactly what I was looking for... and I feared that with such little time I would have to try and make it up all myself, or just not have one big thing... but a series of little things to fill our Lenten journey.

Then, I FOUND IT!!!! A Lenten Cross... very similar in concept to the Jesse Tree we do! With 40 cards needing to be made, along with finding symbols... I had to think and work more quickly than I prefer... but I managed to get the bones of it done this afternoon! Over the next few days I hope to add some character to it... I have no idea what that might be... but at least we can begin our journey through the readings while building our cross.

For those who might be wondering the logistics of our project... I set this up on a tri-fold project board. It wasn't the perfect size... not quite tall enough, but it really was the best I could do with the time issue. Each card is a 3x5 note card that I covered with scrap paper. Most of the symbols I was able to find stickers for, the rest I created my own stickers with art I found online (there are 2 hand drawn items because I wasn't pleased with anything I did find). Each card is attached to the board with velco dots (they already come with a sticky side, YAY!), there is a set of 40 dots on the cross and 40 outside! The above picture is what it will look like at the end of the 40 days... the cards are now affixed to the outer dots and will be moved onto the cross on their appropriate day! The hole in the paperwork says to put an image of the crucified Christ... but I'm kind of thinking of finding a great Risen Christ to put on their for Easter! I'm not real worried about that at the moment, though. Oh, and as you can see from the center... I did paint the image of a cross onto the board!

And now... I'm zonked... between the above project, Bubba's breathing treatments (his asthma is flaring up... Olive say a little prayer for your godson!), Daddio being on a business trip, mass, and the start of the Lenten cleaning... I've had enough fun for one day :-).

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A little humor for the middle of the week!

Top 10 Reasons Why Public School is better than Homeschool!

1. Most parents were educated in the under-funded public school system, therefore they are not smart enough to homeschool their children.

2. Children who receive one-on-one homeschooling will learn more than other children, giving them an unfair advantage in the marketplace. This is undemocratic.

3. Children need to learn to defend themselves by fighting off bullies on a daily basis.

4. Ridicule from other children is important to the socialization process.

5. Children need practice "Just Saying No" to drugs, cigarettes and alcohol.

6. Fluorescent lighting may be found to have significant health benefits, along with limited exposure to the weather due to global warming.

7. Asking permission to use the bathroom teaches students their proper place in society.

8. The fashion industry depends on peer pressure that only public schools can generate.

9. Public schools are able to foster cultural literacy, passing on important traditions like the singing of "Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg…"

10. Homeschooled children may not learn any ever-important office career skills, like sitting still for 8 hours straight.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


All three of the boys love telling jokes... they don't know many, so over the last few months they've taken to making up their own jokes... generally in the form of knock, knock jokes... that make NO SENSE WHAT SO EVER!

Usually Daddio and I just look at each other and shake our heads. Sometimes we will explain why that joke didn't make sense, or try to explain the concept of jokes, but it is usually lost on them.

So it was no surprise when I heard Bobcat wind up for a joke, one I thought he surely made up.

Bobcat: What do you call a maid that lives underwater?

Wow... he actually knows a joke I thought to myself, one I hadn't heard him tell before...

Bobcat (to his waiting audience of brothers): "A mermaid!"

All three are laughing hysterically, including actually falling out of their chairs with complete amusement! And then Bobcat pops up, super serious, as if he didn't just tell a joke, "But mermaids aren't real!"

Um, okay... weird kid!


Nope, not 90 degrees today (right now at 11:30 it is a mild 32)...

Nope, not the number of times I've banged my head against the wall already this morning (but I bet we are getting close).

Yep... the number of days of school we've had this school year!

I feel like that is a pretty cool bench mark... especially knowing that we really don't have much longer to go before we are done with the main stuff. Actually Bubba finished up his entire phonics workbook last week, and Snooker is nearly done with his as well. Bubba and Bobcat only have a handful of weeks left on their vocabulary. Snooker is nearly done with handwriting.

And for myself... well I'm in that wonderful time of starting to prepare for next year... my wishful thinking phase. While the boys toil away with math, or reading, or something... I am scouring the internet for all those wonderful things that I would just love to use next year. I'm busy building my spreadsheets of the core things we will need, making note of price changes... and having fun with things that may or may not actually make the final cut!

On that note... I headed back out into the wild blue... um, internet to find more cool stuff!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Birds and Bees

Bobcat and I almost had The Talk this weekend. I was cracking eggs (I make fully awesome breakfast burritos), and he asked if they would grow into chicks if we kept them long enough. So I explained that they don't become chicks unless a rooster fertilizes them. He changed the subject and I was relieved. End of Talk, I hoped.

Now, I've prepared myself to discuss these things with my sons. Our approach has been to answer their questions honestly, and in simple terms. Following their lead, not telling more than they ask, or more than is age appropriate. I expect it to be a series of talks, progressing in detail, and encompassing faith and morals and modesty as well as biological facts, rather than a single overwhelming event at some predetermined age. So, I wasn't relieved at the change of subject out of fear.

I was relieved because I suddenly realized how little I know about roosters and the technical details of avian reproduction. I needed to do some research. Unfortunately, he did circle back after a few minutes, and asked HOW the rooster fertilizes the eggs. I don't remember exactly what I said. I mean, I knew sperm had to be involved somehow. (By the way, honey, I taught Bobcat a new word, don't be alarmed if you hear it repeated…) I think everything I said was true, but I could have explained it much better. He was satisfied though, and changed the subject again.

Then I looked it up online this morning. And I was way off! Am I the only one who thought the rooster came along after the egg was already laid? That's what I was told, at some point. How stupid. I've seen birds mating, after all. I once had to tell the boys that some ducks were wrestling (I know I just said we would be open and honest, but they were really little, and there were other people around). I should have known better, but heck, I didn't grow up on a farm. It makes sense, but it comes as something of a revelation.

Maybe it's better that I didn't give much detail. A nine-year-old doesn't need to know exactly how the sperm get to the egg.

So, that's the birds part. Still not 100% on the bees. It has to do with flowers and pollen and stuff, right? Or is there something I should know about bee sex and baby bees?

Anyway, I'll be better prepared next time it comes up. He did change the subject again, this time to cheetahs. And I was going to be all over that because I do understand mammals pretty well (I think). But he didn't ask about baby cheetahs or anything. Just about how fast they can go and how big of an animal they can kill. That was easy. But I'm ready for the next installment of The Talk.