Thursday, January 7, 2010

Into the Home Stretch Marks

I'm in the home stretch. The big boxes are sitting in my living room - awaiting all of the holiday decorations - to mark this marvelous fact (although I had a really really really wonderful holiday season). Christmas is over, New Year's is over, our 24th wedding anniversary is over. Today one of my babies is having a birthday. Tomorrow another one of my babies is having a birthday. Poor planning on my part. Anyway, them I'm done with the celebrating for awhile.....nothing brings down the celebratin' like being tired of the celebratin'.

Jules was supposed to have his gigantic Birthday Nerf Gun Battle today but it turns out The Republicans Are Right and THERE IS NO FREAKING GLOBAL WARMING. I know! What a relief! They've been sayin' it all along. Stupid socialist scientists. Anyway - so today is very very very cold and worse, very very very windy. Howling windy. Seriously. It sounds like a tornado. And this is not good for Nerf Gun Battles. So it has been rescheduled for Saturday (are you seeing this facebook friends? 'cause i know i set up an event with the wrong date, time, year, basically everything....DO NOT COME TO MY HOUSE TODAY I WILL NOT LET YOU IN).

I plan for the party to go smoothly because I have learned from a master. 9 Texans started the whole Nerf Battle Business (or rather, her kid did) and she runs it like a pro. In short, the kids are not allowed in the house and she means business. And really - you DO NOT WANT masses of stinky adolescent boys in your house. Because of the stinky part. And the loud part. And the messy part. And the knocking over the furniture part. So she guards her door with a large kitchen utensil and they can basically come inside if they really really need to pee and won't do it outside. Hostess of the Freaking Year...I LOVE her!! And that is my plan for Saturday. Also for Saturday? Misery. Pure misery. 'Cause Camille is having a sleepover Friday night and that will make for a miserable Saturday but at least she will be somewhere else being miserable because she has ANOTHER birthday party to go to and I plan to just drop her off all cranky and nasty.

So party at my house on Friday and party at my house on Saturday and then no more stinkin' parties until March. The parties at our place have become less and less extravagant over the years. To think that we actually hosted a pony party for a 2-year-old once. With real ponies. And a little homemade cowboy outfit. And the little stinker doesn't even remember it (he's 15, now). All I remember was a lot of trouble, a lot of money, and that Joel took a bite out of his Fresh-From-A-Bakery-And-Not-A-Cake-Mix birthday cake and said, "Good chicken."

2010: So what? Honestly - all of my unfinished business has just carried over from 2009. 2010 would only be exciting if someone said, "Clean slate! All that stuff you started in 2009 and wish you hadn't is officially erased!! Ta-Da!!" Procrastination would work in my favor if things went that way.

Things don't go that way. And today I have taken care of a couple of things on my to-do list that have to do with things I started last year and wish I hadn't. First up involves Odyssey of the Mind. I registered the Odyssey of the Mind team for the regional tournament!! Cyber-High-Five me. This is NOT a big deal by the way, the registration process. It takes less than 5 minutes. And I dread it each and every year and do it at the last possible second but this year I did it an ENTIRE DAY before the official deadline.

Also, I filled out the financial part of the From The Top scholarship form for Ellie. The rest of it is supposed to be filled out by her high school guidance counselor in order to rank her on the awesomeness scale that goes from something like Fairly Awesome to Rocking Awesome. Well, Ellie has no guidance counselor. She's homeschooled. And it feels weird for me to write about her rocking awesomeness but it also would be weird for me not to. Like, if your own mom doesn't think you're rocking awesome, who does?? I think I will get some other people to fill out this part in addition to my filling it out, which isn't part of the procedure and will thereby probably disqualify her. See how I do these things to myself? Anyway, so yes - she is auditioning for From the Top and you can click on this link to hear her rocking awesomeness for yourself if you don't want to take the mama's word for it because who would?

The other big thing I did was packaged up Christmas gifts for mailing. I'm not going to say anything obvious here and I'd prefer you didn't, either.

Let's see....what else to blog about before signing off? Oh yeah. It seems homeschooling has been in the news. I hate it when that happens. A few recent child-abusers have been homeschoolers. A FEW. But that makes it newsworthy because if they didn't homeschool their kids they certainly wouldn't be abusing them because they would be scared someone would notice....that is why, my friends, there are no abused kids in school. None. Zero. Zilch. Nada. School has saved them!! All kids should be in school because of this!! In fact, I propose that babies should be removed from their mothers' arms in the hospital and enrolled in school immediately because that is what is necessary to make the whole School Saves Kids From Abuse Stupid Argument make any sense!!

Truly - if we want to outlaw homeschooling based on this issue - we would have to also outlaw keeping babies at home instead of in daycare centers. Because child abuse also happens before school age. That is where the whole Shaken Baby Syndrome comes in - BEFORE SCHOOL AGE. Child abuse is awful. Some people can't handle parenthood - humongous, sad, tragic, and horrible issue of massive proportions, this abuse thing. But homeschooling has nothing to do with it. Some people homeschool. Some people lock their kids in the basement and call it homeschooling. It isn't. And one has nothing to do with the other.

Also? There is a woman named Robin West who published a paper about the harms of homeschooling in Philosophy and Public Policy Quarterly. She is being wrung through the wringer in the old blogosphere about basically every single thing she wrote. I won't do the same but if you want to read some of it you can check out my blog roll, specifically, Milton Gaither hits it with this post. Dr. West makes those of us who swing left look like idiots....sigh. And while you're checking out my blog roll you might want to consider writing something for Freedom to Learn - Peter Gray is seeking some homeschoolers / unschoolers to write about their experiences.

Also also? As you look at my blog roll you will probably notice (as most people have) that I link to a few atheists and also to a few spiritual / religious types. That's how I roll. I like opinionated people. I like excitable people. I like people who are living lives of integrity and who are trying to figure out who they are and what they believe and why they feel this way or the other. This has caused some confusion as to whether I am an atheist homeschooler, a religious homeschooler, a secular homeschooler, or just your typical run-of-the-mill crazy homeschooler.......people want to put me in a little box. Well people, I want nothing better than to jump in a box but I've never found one that fits. If I ever do, I promise to blog about it.

Speaking of such things - I live in a very small and very rural and very conservative Texas town and would you believe that there is a Dharma Center opening up??? Seriously!! Do you freaking believe it?? The Buddhists are coming to town. Which is PROOF, my friends, that the world is indeed, going to hell in a handbasket.

Don't forget to check out the awesomeness of my kid here.

Signing off as a Uncharacteristically Frigidly Chilly Southern Sardine Mama


  1. Love the commentary on Global Warming..and would you believe it? Someone actually told me these things...and they meant it! Like 2 hours after I read your post. Couldn't help but laugh.

    I listen to it every week. Those kids are amazing!

  3. That upsets me about the negative homeschooling comments. I wasn't homeschooled; in fact, I work in a school now. There are some children there who come from horrible family situations or who remain uneducated despite school attendance. My husband and I would love to homeschool any future children we're blessed with, and we're fairly average people, not terribly left or right.

    As a vegetarian, it angers me when they label people who commit crimes if that label happens to be far left or right. (I fully know that vegetarianism isn't for everyone; my husband's favorite thing in the world, aside from me, of course, is bacon. Not that turkey stuff, but "real" bacon. Just using it as an example.) Anyway, for example, every once in a while, bad parents starve their kids. Sometimes those parents claim to be vegetarians or vegans, and, if so, the headline reads, "Vegan Parents Starve Their Child." Most vegetarians/vegans, of course, don't starve their children. If those parents are omnivores, you NEVER see the headline "Omnivore Parents Starve Child." They are just plain old "Parents." In a similar way, you won't see the headline, "School-supporting Parents Abuse Their Kids."

    Just keep on doing what you're doing, and keep up with your awesome blog! Good luck to your daughter!

    ~Natalie, who is anonymous because she has no google or blogroll account