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Archive for August, 2007

escrow, or surplus

August 31st, 2007 at 05:21 pm

Most months we run a surplus of cash in that we send off to the car (in addition the the normal payment)

Next month the car insurance will be due, and being smartish I have money in the savings account mentally marked 'escrow' for just such expenses as these.

Now the question is, do I take the money out of savings and use it for the insurance, or do I use the surplus and send less on the car.

I am leaning on surplus, cause it seems that paying down is easier to sacrifice for than savings...but then, mathematically the interest paid is more than the interest earned...Though I am not using that math to empty the account, we feel the need for some savings 'just in case'.

Just not sure yet.

AAAGGGHHH Pain, major amounts of Pain!

August 30th, 2007 at 12:17 pm

We were walking to the pool yesterday, and we watched several girls get off the bus at the end of the block, then I was a bit suprised to see them start running top speed, giggling all the while to the other end of the block.

And was treated to the obnoxiously LOUD sound of SQUEALING brakes, as the bus stopped at the other end of the block to let of more kids. I about dropped to the ground and curled up in the fetal position in pain. For a moment the world blacked out as I struggled to remain upright!

You do realize I live in one of those suburbs with blocks being all short, size of two houses and two small lawns, that is it. Not like a 'city block' of 1/4 mile, or whatever, this is a bloody suburb!

And if my ears from the street were in that much agony, what kind of damage is being done to those kids riding on that stupid bus every day?

I would also like to point out we live less than one mile from the school they were being dropped off from...and less than 2/10ths of a mile from the entrance to the community!

I spent the next 20 minutes snarling at everything as I heard the squeal of brakes many more times (thankfully from further away each time).

Did I mention how bad it hurt?

If you have to pay for studies...

August 29th, 2007 at 06:41 pm

The US government pays for lots of studies 'research grants'... here are a few I would like paid for.

How do childhood sleeping habits relate to insomnia in adult hood? I know lots of insomniacs and I have a guess as to which sleep method their parents choose (rock em, cry it out, gradual removal)

How does a mother attitude on breastfeeding effect her attempts? While we do all know that a certainty of failure is most likely to be fulfilled, how little doubt it may take to derail the effort is a curiosity to me.

How well do home schooled children rate in life satisfaction..not wage earning, but base a few simple factors how statistically do they fare on happiness in life? I have seen some preliminary reports suggesting that not only does homeschooling improve avg test scores (and often IQ, though is that a chicken or egg thing) But I would like to see more concrete evidence on something that ought to be more important than testing brainy.

How well do adult home schooled rate on average sex life? The recent comment about public school being better for your social life got me interested...I would like to know if it is a phenomenon only in my 'circle' or if it is home school wide....

How much stuff causes sensory overload in an average child? Most people know that ADHD, and ADD and forms of Autism are effected by stuff, but unless all the children I have ever come into contact with have one of the three, all children are effected by clutter...so how much clutter is too much?

Just my random list of questions for the day.

The freebie we wouldn't take.

August 24th, 2007 at 02:11 am

Normally we do not buy movies that my brother in law has..which in general means we do not buy movies.

Some films we find important enough to have at two houses...Star Wars for example.

Others were acquired before we moved so close or given as gifts, and some we still buy so that the kids can see them, somehow my brother in law with teenage kids doesn't seem to buy veggie tale movies anymore...

But in general we don't buy movies.

And as in some music, we copy what we like well enough to borrow more than once (which isn't much), generally we listen to it in the car and we will not keep originals in the car, so for movies it is also offered...and if you knew how hard it is to get each kid adjusted to not messing with the movies you would understand why!

Then came firefly....we saw it from my brother and were instantly hooked. I sent my husband online fast to find us our own copy, and then one of the movie Serenity. Then we proceeded to pester everyone we knew who made 'copies' of movies to make sure they PAID for firefly.

It is true we are actually Fans...not just 'fan of the movie/show, but capital F - Fans.

Never thought I would say it, I am a tech geek but not a trekie, I am a sci-fi fan but no Darth Vader posters adorn my walls, yet I could not avoid becoming a Fan of Firefly.

Though we have yet to succumb to buying the fan club membership...instead we bought the softest T-shirt emblazoned with 'Firefly'...another thing I have never myself done. I figure if your show needs me to advertise it it must not be any good...except Firefly...it is good enough for me to pay to advertise it....did I mention how soft the shirt was? I have a couple nightshirts that soft, but they are also too thin to wear in public, the firefly one is soft and strong and thick enough that nothing distracts from the 'Firefly' name.....pretty cool shirt.

So have I mentioned Firefly enough? have you seen it? if not you should..

And I would love to hear a recording of 'you can't take the sky from me'........(course the last recording crashed my computer...)

Can't live with it, can't live without it....

August 23rd, 2007 at 06:50 pm

First it is good for you "Get the kid out in the son, get some color into him"

then it is bad "sun causes cancer! wear hat and apply sunscreen liberally!"

And Now.....
ten minutes of Sun could stop cancer

Good grief...you can't win.....

Or else it just goes to show, 'everything in moderation' including sun safety.

The book was better...

August 22nd, 2007 at 07:14 pm

Do I even need to tell you what movie? In nearly all cases when I have read a book and then seen the movie (or the reverse) the book was better.

A book can spend a whole paragraph describing an outfit, or setting the scene, or filling you in on thoughts..but a movie HAS to move quick.

I am guilty of that need myself I like fast music, fast fight scenes, and faster car chases. Don't slow 'em down 'for effect' please. (ok one slow bullet evade is ok, but I already saw it so no more are needed)

And yet, when I read a book you can make that fight scene of seconds take several pages and fill me in on the hero's thoughts, the villain's every snipe and trip. And while you're at it go ahead and tell me how the sun felt mercilessly beating down on the bystanders...No rush, use all the words you need (and none that you don't).

So how can a movie even hope to compete with a book? Seems the only thing a movie can do is hope to encourage non readers to join the fan base....hard to sell XYZ gadgets if no one outside of the library has heard of them...but then they often ruin the world for the reading fans.

Edit to add pertinent article 1 in 4 Americans didn't read even one book last year

Best birthday cake recipe

August 21st, 2007 at 04:20 pm

My son wanted to do something for a boy at church who helped him with Vacation Bible school.

So he wrote out a recipe for chocolate cake, since he is only 5 he doesn't get to actually cook very often, he thought the recipe part he could do on his own.
Here it is with all the spelling errors included:

12 eggs
2 cups o fouer5 cups of suger
4 silsis of chees
110 cups of choclet

he also wrote "Happey birhday"

Now I have no idea when The kids birthday is, but I really hope he thinks the recipe is as cute as I do (and I might make some cupcakes for Church Sunday..)

On a completely unrelated but financial note...please don't text me...I do not appreciate paying 15 cents just cause you pay 10$ extra a month (that is 120 a year)for unlimited service..I don't, don't text. Feel free to call, I have that option in plentiful supply. (and quite frankly if all you wanted was a quick word, email me, I read that daily, I NEVER read the text)

America is a trendsetter!

August 18th, 2007 at 01:55 am

Europe that the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) in the UK is looking into banning cars from school zones, not to protect students from being hit by a car, but instead to get kids to walk more. And to be honest, the biggest reason they’re looking into it is to reduce the waistlines of kids in the UK, who are rapidly catching up to their counterparts in the U.S. by packing on the pounds due, in part, to a sedentary lifestyle facilitated by the good old-fashioned automobile.

See that our lazy lifestyle is catching on! even kids in other countries are getting into the anti health habits!!!

I have no idea how I ended up on this topic, but it hits home as my husband is about to start leaving earlier for work...not due to school buses, they are a minor addition to the upcoming traffic, instead to the VAST number of moms and dads who drive on in to schools (one of which is right outside our community)..the number of people idling in line to drop kids off less than one block from the door makes his commute 10 minutes longer than during the summer....

I feel compelled to point out that we live less than a mile from said school, and many of the cars in line come from our community....

Ain't I a stinker...

August 18th, 2007 at 01:45 am

Well I seem to be on a roll with the controversial topics, but these are funny IMO...







And I happen to have just spent a week working with public (and private) mass schooled kids...I have no idea what they do all day, but they don't even know what verbs are! (least not the majority of the not so random sampling of 45 Lutheran youth we worked with science on...)

All cartoons from Mallarcd Fillmore

And my personal favorite...

Just cause it is true Smile

Disclaimer, I do not agree with all of Mallards topics.

Star wars day care

August 17th, 2007 at 08:33 pm

I have no desire to be in the middle of a day care debate, but I think this article is funny enough to share, so please keep your pro or con agreement of daycare to yourself and enjoy the onion satire:

Deathstar daycare (with pictures of storm troopers and kids)

The new Sunshine Death Star Play and Learning
Center provides battle station parents with a fun
and safe environment for their children. The
Imperial Emperor himself has overseen games of
Duck Duck Goose encouraging the tots to "feel the hatred".

Park events, and library events.

August 17th, 2007 at 04:06 pm

I just got our local park program list in the mail and was looking thru it for all the events, there are a lot, and most are 3$ each...we will be taking advantage of a few this season...and enjoying the ability, I am remembering when the idea of having 6$ to spare for a class was way out of budget!

Then I thought I would check out our local library..hardly any programs for non preschoolers....compared to the library by my brother it is pathetic, but I branched out to other libraries and found even less listings.

I seem to be getting spoiled to think that a library with half a dozen free 'classes' is pathetic....

Adorable quote

August 14th, 2007 at 06:10 pm

"but when is it my turn with you mommy?"

G came out of the room at 1pm today, and since I wasted more time than I was supposed to, I wasn't done on the computer (usually done by then)

I suggested he get a shower or something he needed to do (the hour he leaves me alone is our nap time arrangement)

He said "but mommy, when is it my turn with you?" I was surprised, I thought he just was bored and wanted something to do each day..but apparently he wanted me Smile.

so of course I left my fun and work on the computer and went to spend time with him, I told him to meet me in my room with whatever he wanted to do with me...his pick...Goldbug the book we have been reading for oh 4 years. Though since h is older, we managed to find Gold bug on every single page, and then go back and see if Dingo Dog. Mistress Mouse, and Officer Flossy are on each page (no but cutely hidden on many)

Now no more time wasting, I do need to work.

If I sent him to school...

August 13th, 2007 at 04:58 pm

First of all, how would I let him sleep in after a late night? Every Cubscout night is way to late, he doesn't nap, but he will sleep in.

And who would vacuum the boy room? It would still be used by UE and JC, but UE can't vacuum yet, and JC already does her own.

While on the subject, when would he dust? again, room would be used, but UE doesn't dust well (though better than he vacuums)

Moving along the morning, would I have to remind him to put his clothes away after dinner like I do daddy? I prefer having them put away right after they are folded (most often by him)

What about reading those nifty Ranger Rick mags...would seem silly to read them to UE alone, but with GMC makes sense....Or that cool book on King Tuts tomb, totally not JC's speed, but really interesting. Now way would I read that to myself, but hearing GMC read it...Somehow only reading at bedtime doesn't seem like enough. Especially since many evenings are full of company, music or cubscouts, or swimming and the story is cut out or at least shortened.

And who would I play Go with? JC is too young, and most adults I know don't play (not to mention they tend to work during the day)

What about Oregon trail! when would we get to try again to actually make it to Oregon?

And who would be Papa bear for the skit he wants to do with sock puppets?

When would I find the time to play with paper clay, or science experiments?

And would the cute things he say be enough if I only got to hear them from 3-7? I rather like the quiet breakfast with JC, and the later insights of GMC....(on days when he sleeps in, breakfast is late for him, JC NEVER sleeps in - but she napa)

Not to mention seeing him remake a optical illusion while drawing (draw two small pictures about 2 inches apart, look at the mid spot and move the paper closer to your nose, the two objects will move into each other) I would have to wait till 3 to see it, if he even remembered what on earth that window and guy was drawn for!

And that little aside while figuring out some division sums about how easy division is...wouldn't get to hear that if he was doing division for someone else...not to mention he wouldn't be allowed division in public school.

No I can't think of anything that would be better if he were gone all day....I don't even know what I would do with myself...

Since this is the first year he would legally be allowed to enter public school Kindergarten I am being asked a lot more why we don't send him....This week I was asked if I hadn't been looking forward to sending him to school. Nope.

ps cutoff age by state

your kid really is smarter than you...

August 12th, 2007 at 03:23 am

Child Brain Development
Measures of brain activity show that during the second half of a child's first year, the prefrontal cortex, the seat of forethought and logic, forms synapses at such a rate that it consumes twice as much energy as an adult brain. That furious pace continues for the child's first decade of life.
from brain connection

now I have proof, my kids brain is working harder than mine.

The most expensive science experiment

August 11th, 2007 at 08:47 pm

Well there are some more expensive, but this will be the most expensive experiment I ever do.

For VBS we volunteered to do the science, I don't think that is a mistake I ever intend to repeat.

there are supposed to be 4 different experiments every day! We cut it down to 3 one for each age, but that still has my head spinning, I am used to one a day, all kids share, and no fancy supplies allowed (no budget)

Day one and each day after we are working on growing 'coral', which will actually be salt crystal formations, supposedly they look similar to certain kinds of coral.

the bottle of 'blueing' needed costs 7$...enough for 4 kids to make a batch....we have 50 coming...there is no way we are buying enough for all 50 kids!

Instead we are planning on putting several kids together in one tray and hoping to transfer the finished product at the end of the lesson...might get away with only 3 bottles.

A little splurge can stop a big one.

August 10th, 2007 at 04:37 pm

I hate cooking, I really do, I like to bake, but I hate to cook. So every night there is the same old struggle to force myself to come up with something edible, and usually it adds to my desire to eat out...anywhere out so long as I don't have to cook!

Well I discovered that the more we have real food in the house, meaning meat to this carnivorous family. The more I am willing to cook. Not that I really like cooking or anything, just that I would rather cook 'real food' than just pasta or potatos. No offense to any vegetarians intended, just an observation about me.

So when we go to the store and see meat on sale for over 2$ a pound...I think we will be buying it a bit more often, so that I feel less desperate to run to the restaurant at every turn. That little splurge is keeping me from trying out more big splurges...like find dining.

More space to clothes than to food

August 8th, 2007 at 05:20 pm

Todays chapter of the smiling hill farm story involved storing food. First they built a store room, from the picture and description they built something about the size of a modern smallish bedroom, about 4 or 5 times the size of my pantry.

Then they proceeded to fill it with dried fruit (pie from dried apples? ugh!) nuts (you mean like off the dirty ground? eww) plus room for molasses (for sweetening, do you know how unsweet molasses are?) and salt (straight from a salt lick, eww) as well as lard salted meat, pumpkins (how many pumpkin pies can you eat anyway) beans (dried of course, you know how I fail at those) and oddmints like 'paw paws' and persimmons (hey that was just for seeds in a fairy tale, we don't eat those do we?)

Anyway after the read I sat there thinking of just what we devote space to in our homes, and I have more space devoted to clothing than food! Seems a bit odd since food is so much more important. I also have a stack of junk beside me (husbands) that is larger than my pantry!

What on earth happened that Americans have houses and values so far gone from the pioneers that we no longer feel the kitchen has to be large much less the pantry!

When we house shopped we saw so many homes with small kitchens, no room for a table full of guests, and matching small dining rooms, what on earth do I need a dining room for if it only seats 4 small folk? I have 5 in my family and love company!

Seems to me houses are built for what people pay for, and people aren't asking for big kitchens or a big pantry, they are paying for room counts and big closets to stuff with clothes.

Ice conduction electricty answer

Free birds

August 7th, 2007 at 06:32 pm

We got a chance to see a 'birdman dave" show at Imaginon a library/theater for kids.

The show was slow to start, but the kids loved the birds, my youngest kept saying 'fly, fly!' because the birds got to show off their skills, the Macaw actually flew over the crowd twice, which is a pretty cool site. The owl I mostly felt sorry for, it had been hit by a car and was blind and deaf on the one side.

Sky the parakeet was cute and would hop onto kids hands, but in a crowd of 300 not to much chance of being chosen..would be cool if the kids could feel that though.

regardless the kids learned a bit about birds, the trip was made possible due to a wonderful friend coming all the way here well out of her way to pick all 4 of us up. That and tax supported education of course Smile I am for that, just not public schools.

how many pots and pans do you have?

August 6th, 2007 at 05:12 pm

We are reading my mothers 3rd grade reader. I read it when I learned to read and now it is GMCs turn.

One line is 'mother thought herself rich in pans' she had three, a frying pan, a cast iron pot, and a 'spider' (like a frying pan, on legs, used for baking bread over a fire)

So I asked GMC how many I had, he said 'LOTS', and I defended myself, I don't have that many, I have a big one, and a medium one, and a umm ok fine, I have lots. Not to mention I bake bread in a bread pan, and cake in a cake pan, and have a 'brownie pan (square, that I never use for brownies, just force of habit call it that)

Even with all the reading about pioneer times and the constant urge to purge useless stuff I have the kitchen of a king compared to pioneer times or current day 3rd world countries (what exactly does that mean? 3rd down the line from USA? like there is USA, the couple competitors, and all them other ones...)

And yet....I know for a fact most of my 'peers' have more than I do, most have tons of pots pans or baking supplies, when I gave away a couple silicone liners I was offered purchase of more muffin cups...umm I have the number that fills my oven...after that I dump and re-pour. (love the silicone liners, makes that sooo easy to do)

Now I can't see getting rid of any more stuff, I use most all of what I have monthly at the least, and I can store it. But I can be thankful for how rich in pots I am (and I know this is a revisited topic, sorry)

Success at the blood drive

August 5th, 2007 at 12:52 am

While I know you can give every 8 weeks, I prefer to wait for the blood drive at church every 12 weeks, I know the staff of the nursery, and the folk 'taking' know us.

Which means they know my husband is not permitted to get up without first drinking juice, and eating and an escort...cause he fell once, or rather sat down fast.

I on the other hand changed my usual routine and managed to fill the bag in 6 minutes as opposed to the half hour it took last time. Hopefully this is a new tradition for me, and my husband not having trouble is a new tradition for him.

The secret might be in the food/drink, I had oatmeal and a banana for breakfast, he had about a gallon of orange juice while donating.

Either way it is a simple way to help out, and my oldest gets to learn all sorts of things about blood and donating and needles and iron, great education, the other two are too short yet.

Direct orders to go swimming

August 3rd, 2007 at 05:36 pm

My youngest shot site swelled up a bit yesterday, so we called and checked into it, apparently this is normal, and the cure is..swimming!

So we had to go swimming yesterday, Dr's orders!

I like that kind of prescription, free and fun. (though not really great tasting, but you aren't supposed to drink the water)

Amazingly well bahavied kids!

August 2nd, 2007 at 04:46 pm

They were So good at the Dr, not just for the wait, though I had to keep suggesting new games, and not just for the checkup part, but all three were wonderful for the blood draws and the shots.

First my oldest, GMC (5 year old)sat up on the table for two shots, he didn't even blink! I am so proud of him.

Then we told him he was all done and it was JCs turn (middle kid, 3 year old) Only after a minute the nurse says she needs to draw JCs blood and the one shot, this was a mixup so she went out to double check the charts (always hard when you bring in three kids at one time)

She comes back and says it is GMC who needs blood drawn, Does JCs shot and JC was wonderful, just a mite of teary eyed, and a mite clingy after, I let her sit in my lap while GMC came back for the blood draw.

(remember we told him he was done?) he hopped back up for the blood draw and was very good, he blinked when the needle went in then a second later asked 'how long is that going to take' in a slightly distressed voice, but that was it!

Then came the kid we worried about UE is almost 2. He sat still for the blood, didn't even blink when the needle went in, and did nothing but wiggle his arm while she finished! Then for the shot the first went in fine, but as soon as she pushed the meds in he cried, and continued thru the second shot. he was done before she could close up the second needle and get the third out! Of course he started again when the third needle went in the other arm. but only for a minute, very quick, just letting us know it hurt.

When we visited family later that day he was talking about the shots "shot, ahlllll done" he was glad they were over! he also would point to his arm and say "buhd" where the blood came out.

The bad part is it cost us 90$ to get all kids up to date on checkups and shots, but the good news is they are adorable!