Monday, October 29, 2007

10 Reasons We Love Mom

My birthday was back on the 6th of this month and this is what my beautiful children presented me with (not the pizza, just this typed up on paper), picture and all...

10 Reasons We Love Mom

1. She loves us with all her heart.

2. She cares about us.

3. She loves the Lord.

4. She teaches us about God.

5. She loves us enough to punish us.

6. She feeds us.

7. She washes our clothes.

8. She buys us goodies.

9. She listens to us.

10. She takes her time to homeschool us.

Isn't that just the most precious thing ever? They all gathered behind closed doors and made this list together, typed it up and printed it out, and gave it to me on my birthday. Talk about making this mommy cry!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Harvest Party 2007

Our church hosts an annual Harvest Party and this year's was held last night. Here's how our kiddo's went this year...

Baby Girl was a lady from the Renaissance. Doesn't she look so grown up? Sniff...

Handsome needs no explaining. Doesn't he look SUPER COOL?! He was very popular with all the little kids. They kept coming up to him and touching him!

Reece Cup was Boba Fett, also a bad guy from Star Wars. Wasn't mamaw just the greatest to find him this (LOUD) gun? Sigh... life with boys, aye?

Finally, doesn't Priness make the prettiest little Snow White you've ever seen?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Giving Your Home an Autumn Feeling

I just absolutely LOVE the Fall! The beautiful colors of the changing leaves, watching them fall softly with the wind, the smells cinnamon and pumpkin, the feeling of just a touch of chill in the air, the sound of leaves crunching under my feet.

With warmer than usual temperatures and the drought we have been experiencing, the leaves have not turned their normal bright and vibrant colors this year. So I've tried to bring a bit more of the color INTO our home to make it feel more 'Fall-ish' and I just thought I'd share a few pictures with you.

Notice the window is open. This is one thing I love to do in the Fall. I love the breeze and the smells of fall coming through open windows. I also have chimes hanging outside that are so peaceful to listen to as the wind blows them.

While this IS actually a coffee pot, we pull it out evey fall to make hot water for our YUMMY homemade hot chocolate recipe... another one of our favorite cooler weather things.

And who doesn't love burning candles? This is my very first Yankee Candle and it makes our whole house smell delicious! Another easy way to bring the different seasons into your kitchen is to use a jar or pitcher of some kind that coordinates with the season to store those often-used cooking utensils so they're easy to grab. The one you see next to my stove is actually a ceramic fall pitcher whose handle broke off, so I just turn that side to the wall and wha-la!

To bring Autumn to our table I just bought a small piece of fall leaves material and hemmed the edges and laid it over our usual burgandy tablecloth. I also have some fall leaves to add to the greenery hanging around the mirror to make it more seasonal.

So how about you? How do you bring the Autumn season inside your home?

Someone Needs Some Decorating Tips

Ok, is this not the most hideous color to paint the front of a K-Mart? Now, if the big 'swoosh' underneath the word 'Big' was orange, it may not be so bad. But it's not. It's yellow. I know it looks orange in this picture, but it's not.

Why orange? I'm sure they're not going to repaint it each season, so I'm assuming it's not simply because it's fall.

So once again I ask... why?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

School Board Approves Birth Control Prescriptions at Maine Middle School

PORTLAND, Maine — Pupils at a city middle school will be able to get birth control pills and patches at their student health center after the local school board approved the proposal Wednesday evening.

The plan, offered by city health officials, makes King Middle School the first middle school in Maine to make a full range of contraception available to students in grades 6 through 8, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.

There are no national figures on how many middle schools, where most students range in age from 11 to 13, provide such services.

"It's very rare that middle schools do this," said Divya Mohan, a spokeswoman for the National Assembly on School-Based Health Care.

The Portland School Committee voted 5-2 for the measure.

Chairman John Coynie voted against it, saying he felt providing the birth control was a parental responsibility. The other no vote came from Ben Meiklejohn, who said the consent form does not clearly define the services being offered.

Opponents cited religious and health objections.

Diane Miller said she felt the plan was against religion and against God. Another opponent, Peter Allen, said he felt it violated the rights of parents and puts students at risk of cancer because of hormones in the pill.

A supporter, Richard Verrier, said it's not enough to depend on parents to protect their children because there may be students who can't discuss things with their parents.

Condoms have been available since 2002 to King students who have parental permission to be treated at its student health center.

About one-fourth of student health centers that serve at least one grade of adolescents 11 and older dispense some form of contraception, said Mohan, whose Washington-based organization represents more than 1,700 school-based centers nationwide.

At King Middle School, birth control prescriptions will be given after a student undergoes a physical exam by a physician or nurse practitioner, said Lisa Belanger, who oversees Portland's student health centers.

Students treated at the centers must first get written parental permission, but under state law such treatment is confidential, and students decide for themselves whether to tell their parents about the services they receive.

Five of the 134 students who visited King's health center during the 2006-07 school year reported having sexual intercourse, said Amanda Rowe, lead nurse in Portland's school health centers.

A high school in Topeka, Kan., on Wednesday stopped providing free condoms to students after district officials learned of the month-old program. The district has a policy against providing contraceptives.

Story courtesy of

Monday, October 15, 2007

Responding To Commenter

I received a comment on my "Rolling My Eyes, Shaking My Head... and Praying" post that I feel the need to address. The commenter, Doc, stated the following...

"Oh please, instead of quoting WND, why don't you people actually read the bill in question? WND's article is not even an approximation of the truth. However, it's pretty typical that you would simply take the word of someone else, instead of thinking for yourself. That typifies how the average Christian's brain works.

Truly, it's Christians who are ruining our country. Our founding fathers didn't expect an environment of intolerance and hatred."

Ok, fair enough. I have no problem addressing this.

First, it is always a good idea to check out a story from many angles. So, instead of simply going by WND's story, I went looking for other sources about Bill 777.

Who introduced this bill? Well, that would be Senator Sheila Kuehl, who thinks it is of upmost importance to add to our children's history books whether or not any historical figure they learn about was gay.

"Ms. Kuehl said the practical applications of the law would be limited to including the accomplishments of gay figures in textbooks and class studies alongside those of other social and ethnic groups. For example, a teacher talking about Langston Hughes would not only mention the fact that he was a black poet, but also mention his sexuality, Ms. Kuehl said."-The New York Times, May 14, 2006

Wait a minute. Tell me WHY our children, or us adults for that matter, need to know ANYTHING about ANYBODY'S s*xual practices? Knowing what someone chose to do behind closed doors in their private life, regardless of whether I think it was right or wrong, has nothing to do with how the history of our nation was formed. If that was the case, then maybe we should also make sure we tell our children whether or not each historical figure chose paper or plastic, wore boxers or briefs, or pronounced it to-may-toes or to-mah-toes! If it is the intention of Bill 777 to "afford equal rights and opportunities to all persons", guess what? As a God-fearing Christian who believes in the Bible where it clearly states that homosexuality is a sin, I think my rights would be violated if I had to sit in a class and listen to such foolishness! Hmmm... Wonder what would be done about that?

Ms. Kuehl is also a member of The California Legislative
L*sbian, G*y, Bis*xual, & Transg*nder (LGBT) Caucus

My point here is that Ms. Kuehl considers herself a l*sbian. No one can argue that this would have a major impact on her desire to include those like her in any 'anti-discrimination' bill. Correct?

My reason for pointing out Ms. Kuehl's 'preference' is this. I DID go and read the actual wording of Bill 777. Here is what I found:

Section 1. 200. It is the policy of the State of California to afford all persons in public schools, regardless of their disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic that is contained in the definition of hate crimes set forth in Section 422.55 of the Penal Code, equal rights and opportunities in the educational institutions of the state. The purpose of this chapter is to prohibit acts that are contrary to that policy and to provide remedies therefor. (Emphasis mine)

Ok, so we see here, straight from the horses mouth, that ALL PERSONS, regardless of their gender or s*xual orientation, religion, etc. are garaunteed rights and opportunities. Correct?

So nobody, absolutely NOBODY can be denied their 'rights', opportunities, or be 'discriminated' against, because "No person shall be subjected to discrimination on the basis of disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation..."(section 220)

So what's going to happen when a student who claims to be g*y decides they would feel better using the opposite gender's restroom or locker room? No, this is not directly addressed in Bill 777, but if NOBODY can be discriminated against, do teachers have any right to tell that student that they have to use the bathroom designated for their specific gender? What about the girl who feels she relates more to the boys and wants to run for Homecoming King, or vice versa? Or if a teacher has a same-gender partner or a student only knows 'mom and mom', then I can very easily see where the use of 'Mom and Dad' or 'Husband and Wife' could be banned from use. Again, Bill 777 doesn't address these things specifically, but because of this bill, anyone could use what the bill says to do pretty much whatever they want, all in the name of 'anti-discrimination'.

You can protect the feelings of some of the people all of the time, and some of the people some of the time. But it's simply impossible to keep from 'offending' all of the people all of the time. It can't be done. But Bill 777 is trying to do just that, and in the process of trying to protect everyone, it has now stripped the rights of those who are against homos*xuality because now they are forced to sit under leadership who will be teaching things they believe in their heart to be wrong. This is no different than all those of other religions who have complained about the use of God in the Pledge of Allegience, teaching the Creation view in addition to evolution, prayer or the Ten Commandments in schools, and even using the word Christmas. What's the difference? Oh yeah, now I remember, THEY got what they wanted... Bill 777! Talk about 'intolerance and hatred' as my commenter, Doc, talked of. But it's only considered that when it's Christians standing up for what THEY believe.

51500. No teacher shall give instruction nor shall a school district sponsor any activity that reflects adversely upon persons because of a characteristic listed in Section 220.

51501. No textbook, or other instructional materials shall be adopted by the State Board or by any governing board for use in the public schools that contains any matter reflecting adversely upon persons because of a characteristic listed in Section 220.

60044. No instructional materials shall be adopted by any governing board for use in the schools that, in its determination, contains any matter reflecting adversely upon persons because of a characteristic listed in Section 220.

Well, there you have it. Instruction, activities, textbooks, and instructional materials all have to include that anything and everything you are or think you are or want to even PRETEND you are is ok. The world and everything in it is wonderful and ok, as long as you don't try to take a stand against any of it (oh, except that Christianity stuff)! THAT'S the ONE THING that's NOT ok. Try that and you'll be slapped with a discriminating hate-crime badge to your forehead!

I'll leave you with this. Our friend Doc stated the following... "Our founding fathers didn't expect an environment of intolerance and hatred." Let's hear exactly what our founding fathers DID have to say...

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." --John Adams, October 11, 1798

"Without Religion this World would be Something not fit to be mentioned in polite Company, I mean Hell." --John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, April 19, 1817

"Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure...are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments."--Charles Carroll - signer of the Declaration of Independence

In Benjamin Franklin's 1749 plan of education for public schools in Pennsylvania, he insisted that schools teach "the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern."

“God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever.” --Thomas Jefferson (excerpts are inscribed on the walls of the Jefferson Memorial in the nations capital)

"Let the children who are sent to those schools be taught to read and write and above all, let both sexes be carefully instructed in the principles and obligations of the Christian religion. This is the most essential part of education”
Letters of Benjamin Rush, "To the citizens of Philadelphia: A Plan for Free Schools", March 28, 1787

“In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed...No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.” --Noah Webster, Source: 1828, in the preface to his American Dictionary of the English Language

“What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ.” --George Washington

Shall I go on?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

My Goodwill Treasure!

I hated to leave my blog on such a sour note as my last soapbox post below, so I thought I would share my excitement over the treasure I found at our local Goodwill store yesterday.

I didn't go in intentionally looking for a set of canisters, even though I haven't owned a set in about 10 years, but when I saw these I just couldn't pass them up! The black color goes great with our decor and you can hardly find canister sets in the stores any more. Don't know what's up with that. Maybe cause nobody's cooking at home anymore so there's no need for containers for their flour and sugar? IDK. (Dontcha just love those text message commercials?)

Anyway, I paid a whoppin' $5.00 for the whole set and aren't they just boo-tiful? I think so! I couldn't wait to get home and scrub them up real good (now they look brand new!) and find a spot for them! Sadly, the fish had to find a new home.

It doesn't take much to make me happy.

Rolling My Eyes, Shaking My Head... and Praying

My heart is so heavy wondering how this great country of ours has gone so far from what our founding fathers stood firm in to where we are today. You know, the United States of America isn't really that old. Two hundred thirty one years is not a long time! How, HOW have we come to such idiotic, ignorant, almost laughable (if it wasn't so serious) foolishness as this?

I am SO SICK AND TIRED of people worrying about 'offending' anyone. That's all I hear anymore. The latest is the Mrs. Fields company has now removed any mention of 'Christmas' from their product line this year.

"When Diane H. of Michigan called Mrs. Fields and asked to speak with a supervisor in customer service about why they banned Christmas, the supervisor told Diane that they do not offer anything with Merry Christmas because they don't want to offend anyone."

Don't they realize that by doing this they have now 'offended' the 1,342,946,000 Christians in the world, 102,531,495 being in the U.S.?! It just doesn't make sense! I think people should get over getting their precious little feelings hurt and grow up! Companies such as Mrs. Fields should simply use their heads a little bit and not be scared at every little 'Boo' from the MINORITY in this country! (UPDATE: When I just went to check the Mrs. Fields site again, I was surprised and pleased to find 3 products with the word 'Christmas' in them! Maybe that email I sent with the 'Christians in the world statistics' did some good. Just two days ago there was not one single 'Christmas' product.)

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!! I am just so sick of it! I don't get on my soapbox much here on my blog, but this time I'm just fed up and completely aggrivated with it all. I love my country and we are a very patriotic family, but when things like this keep happening it makes me want to pack up and move my family away to some quaint little rolling-hills country where those in power aren't so STUPID!

Ok, I'm sorry. I know this may seem a little harsh compared to my pretty little Bible picture on my sidebar. But maybe if we Christians would stand up and get a little backbone our country wouldn't be on the fast downhill slide it's currently on.

Below is the latest story I heard and just shook my head at. I copied the whole story instead of just linking it in case it is removed some time in the future. This is just that much more fuel to our 'Why We Homeschool' fire. (This story came from WorldNetDaily).


"Mom and Dad" as well as "husband and wife" have been banned from California schools under a bill signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who with his signature also ordered public schools to allow boys to use girls restrooms and locker rooms, and vice versa, if they choose.

"We are shocked and appalled that the governor has blatantly attacked traditional family values in California," said Karen England, executive director of Capitol Resource Institute.

"With this decision, Gov. Schwarzenegger has told parents that their values are irrelevant. Many parents will have no choice but to pull their children out of the public schools that have now become sexualized indoctrination centers."

"Arnold Schwarzenegger has delivered young children into the hands of those who will introduce them to alternative sexual lifestyles," said Randy Thomasson, president of Campaign for Children and Families, which worked to defeat the plans. "This means children as young as five years old will be mentally molested in school classrooms.

"Shame on Schwarzenegger and the Democrat politicians for ensuring that every California school becomes a homosexual-bisexual-transsexual indoctrination center," he said.

Analysts have warned that schools across the nation will be impacted by the decision, since textbook publishers must cater to their largest purchaser, which often is California, and they will be unlikely to go to the expense of having a separate edition for other states.

The bills signed by Schwarzenegger include SB777, which bans anything in public schools that could be interpreted as negative toward homosexuality, bisexuality and other alternative lifestyle choices.

There are no similar protections for students with traditional or conservative lifestyles and beliefs, however.

"SB 777 will result in reverse discrimination against students with religious and traditional family values," said Meredith Turney, legislative liaison for Capitol Resource Institute. "These students have lost their voice as the direct result of Gov. Schwarzenegger's unbelievable decision. The terms 'mom and dad' or 'husband and wife' could promote discrimination against homosexuals if a same-sex couple is not also featured.

"Parents want the assurance that when their children go to school they will learn the fundamentals of reading, writing and arithmetic – not social indoctrination regarding alternative sexual lifestyles. Now that SB777 is law, schools will in fact become indoctrination centers for sexual experimentation," she said.

Also signed was AB394, which targets parents and teachers for such indoctrination through "anti-harassment" training, CCF said.

Schwarzenegger had vetoed almost identical provisions a year ago, saying existing state law already provided for penalties for discrimination.

"We had hoped that the governor would once again veto this outrageous legislation but he obviously decided to side with the out-of-touch extremists that control the legislature. This law does not reflect the true values of the average Californian," said England. "True leadership means standing up for what is true and right."

Thomasson said SB777 prohibits any "instruction" or school-sponsored "activity" that "promotes a discriminatory bias" against "gender" – the bill's definition includes cross-dressing and sex changes – as well as "sexual orientation."

"Because no textbook or instruction in California public schools currently disparages transsexuality, bisexuality, or homosexuality, the practical effect of SB777 will be to require positive portrayals of these sexual lifestyles at every government-operated school," CCF noted.

Offenders will face the wrath of the state Department of Education, up to and including lawsuits.

CCF noted that now on a banned list will be any text, reference or teaching aid that portrays marriage as only between a man and woman, materials that say people are born male or female (and not in between), sources that fail to include a variety of transsexual, bisexual and homosexual historical figures, and sex education materials that fail to offer the option of sex changes.

Further, homecoming kings now can be either male or female – as can homecoming queens, and students, whether male or female, must be allowed to use the restroom and locker room corresponding to the sex with which they choose to identify.

AB394 promotes the same issues through state-funded publications, postings, curricula and handouts to students, parents and teachers.

It also creates the circumstances where a parent who says marriage is only for a man and a woman in the presence of a lesbian teacher could be convicted of "harassment," and a student who believes people are born either male or female could be reported as a "harasser" by a male teacher who wears women's clothes, CCF said.

Thomasson said Schwarzenegger also signed AB14, which prohibits state funding for any program that does not support a range of alternative sexual practices, including state-funded social services run by churches.

Affected will be day cares, preschool or after-school programs, food and housing programs, senior services, anti-gang efforts, jobs programs and others.

Thomasson said it also forces every hospital in California – even private, religious hospitals – to adopt policies in support of transsexuality, bisexuality, and homosexuality and opens up nonprofit organizations to lawsuits if they exclude members that engage in homosexual, bisexual, or transsexual conduct.

"It's the height of intolerance to punish individuals, organizations, businesses, and churches that have moral standards on sexual conduct and sexual lifestyles," said Thomasson, in response to the signing of AB14. "This is another insensitive law that violates people's moral boundaries."

The vitriol over the issue rose to new levels in its latest campaign.

As WND reported, a board member for the homosexual advocacy group Equality California verbally attacked and threatened CRI for its opposition to the bill earlier.

The board member sent an e-mail and video to CRI threatening the group would be buried if it continued efforts opposing the homosexual advocacy.

"The shocking hate mail we received shows that those behind this legislation do not promote true tolerance," said England. "Only politically correct speech will be tolerated. Those with religious or traditional moral beliefs will not be allowed to express their opinions in public schools."

She also cited an informational document published by the Gay-Straight Alliance Network and the Transgender Law Center that already is lobbying for special treatment in the school system.

"If you want to use a restroom that matches your gender identity … you should be allowed to do so," it advises. "Whenever students are divided up into boys and girls, you should be allowed to join the group or participate in the program that matches your gender identity as much as possible."

Further, the groups advise, "If you change your name to one that better matches your gender identity, a school needs to use that name to refer to you." The advocacy group also warns schools against bringing parents into any such discussion with students.

WND has documented a number of earlier cases in which educators, including leaders in California, have taken it upon themselves to promote a homosexual lifestyle to children under their charge.

WND reported California Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell, under whose supervision hundreds of thousands of children are being educated, has used his state position and taxpayer-funded stationery to praise a "gay" pride event used in the past to expose children to sexually explicit activities.

That drew vehement objections from several educators, including Priscilla Schreiber, the president of the Grossmont Unified High School District governing board.

"I am outraged that a person in this high-ranking elected position would advocate an event where diversity is not just being celebrated but where pornography and indecent exposure is being perpetrated on the young and innocent children of our communities," she said.

Story courtesy of WorldNetDaily

Friday, October 12, 2007

5 Hospitalized After 14-Year-Old Goes on Shooting Rampage at Cleveland High School

CLEVELAND — When Asa H. Coon got suspended for fighting on Monday, this was the 14-year-old's response to his schoolmates: "I got something for you all."

He was still suspended Wednesday, but somehow he made it into the SuccessTech Academy alternative school, armed with two revolvers. Police also found a duffel bag stocked with ammunition and three knives in a bathroom.

Coon, who students say also had threatened them last week, shot two teachers and two students before committing suicide, police said.

It began, student Rasheem Smith said, after Coon left the bathroom and ran into 15-year-old student Michael Peek.

Coon "came out of the bathroom and bumped Mike and (Mike) punched him in his face. Mike started walking. He shot Mike in the side," said Smith, 15.

Wearing a Marilyn Manson concert shirt, black jeans and black-painted finger nails, Coon walked down the hallway, cussing and firing shots. Witnesses said he moved through the converted five-story downtown office building, working his way up through the first two floors of administrative offices to the third floor of classrooms.

Antonio Deberry, 17, watched from under a lab table, where he crouched for 15 minutes until police led him and his classmates out. "He didn't see us, we saw him," he said.

Others hid in closets and bathrooms, alerted by the principal's "Code Blue" over the public address system, or fled screaming down the stairs.

"They were screaming, and they were saying, 'Oh my God, oh my God,"' said Darnell Rodgers, who was walking up the stairs. "I knew something was wrong, but thought that it was probably just a fight, so I just kept going," the 18-year-old said.

"It took me a couple of minutes to realize that I was actually shot."

Rodgers was released from a hospital after treatment for a graze wound to his right elbow.

Another student, Doneisha LeVert, said she hid in a closet with two other students after she heard the alert over the loudspeaker. She said she heard about 10 shots.

Police released audio from three 911 calls — two from students who had fled the building after the first two shots and one from a distraught mother, calling on behalf of her son, who was huddled in the back of a fourth floor classroom.

"They just shot somebody in his room!" the crying mother told the dispatcher.

LeVert said Coon had made threats in front of students and teachers last week, but she believes no one took action.

"He's crazy. He threatened to blow up our school. He threatened to stab everybody," she said. "We didn't think nothing of it."

Math teacher David Kachadourian, who was treated at a hospital for a minor wound to the back of one shoulder, said Coon had been a student in his beginning algebra class. But the 57-year-old teacher said he had not disciplined Coon and knew of no reason why Coon might target him.

"I never felt personally threatened or personally at risk," Kachadourian said after leaving the hospital. "I had concerns about him, yes. He seemed like an angry young man. I did not fear for my own safety."

Coon had been suspended since Monday for fighting near the school that day, said Charles Blackwell, president of SuccessTech's student-parent organization. He did not know how Coon got into the building Wednesday.

Blackwell said that there was a security guard on the first floor, but that the position of another guard on the third floor had been eliminated.

Student Frances Henderson, 14, said she often got into arguments with Coon, who told her Monday, "I got something for you all." She said she usually wore a trench coat, black boots and a dog collar.

Students stood outside the building Wednesday, many in tears, hugging one another and on cell phones. Others shouted at reporters with TV cameras to leave them alone. Family members also stood outside, waiting for their children to be released.

Michael Grassie, a 42-year-old history teacher, was in fair condition at Metro Health Medical Center after about two hours of surgery. The hospital would not disclose the nature of the surgery.

The other two injured teens were taken to a children's hospital, which would not release their names, ages or conditions.

Deberry's mother, Lakisha Deberry, said she was upset that metal detectors at the school were not always in use.

"You never know what's going on in someone's mind," said Deberry, adding that she was required to go through a metal detector and present an identification card whenever she wanted to drop off something at school for her children.

The shooting occurred across the street from the FBI office in downtown Cleveland, and students were being sent to the FBI site.

Classes at all schools in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District will be canceled Thursday, said Eugene Sanders, chief executive officer of the district. Counseling will be available Thursday for students at recreation centers throughout the city, Sanders said.

Story courtesy of

Ohio Boy, 8, Brings Handgun on School Bus

CINCINNATI — Authorities in Cincinnati say no charges will be filed against an 8-year-old boy who was taken into custody after brandishing a handgun on a suburban school bus.

A Hamilton County sheriff's spokesman says the matter has been referred to the department of Job and Family Services for appropriate followup.

Deputies answered a report by a Mount Healthy school bus driver this morning and found that a third-grader at Duvall Elementary School had taken a loaded .38-caliber Beretta from his backpack.

Investigators say the boy did not make any threats but did point the gun — while still in its holster — at 12 other students.

No shots were fired and no injuries were reported.

Story courtesy of

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Food For Thought

I read this on Amy's blog and just had to share it here...

Imagine this........

You wake up one morning, pour yourself a bowl of cereal, and turn on the morning news. As you lift your spoon to your lips, you hear the newscaster announce that, starting today, the American government has declared that the nutrition of its citizens is a very important issue. Poor nutrition results in decreased productivity, increased healthcare costs, and additional cost for the airline industry due to seating redesigns. In its infinite wisdom, the government has decided that from now on, it will take responsibility for your personal nutritional intake.

Glancing down at your bowl of Frosted Flakes, a twinge of fear enters your heart.

As the report continues, you hear that each state will be responsible for setting up government-controlled restaurants, and that all adults over age 18 will be required to spend a certain number of hours (generally 8am to 3pm) in these facilities for about 9 months out of the year, for 12 years, eating at these restaurants. Naturally, this upsets you. Turning off the television, you start to get ready for work, hoping you simply swallowed some mouthwash earlier and the alcoholic content was causing hallucinations.

Just then, you hear a knock at the door. To your surprise, there is a police officer standing there.

"Excuse me, Ma'am. Would you mind explaining why you aren't in restaurant today?"

"I beg your pardon?" you exclaim, suddenly coming to grips with what is taking place.

"According to state law, you are required to be in restaurant at this time. If you don't comply, there will be legal ramifications."

"Why can't I just eat what I want, when I want?"

The officer explains that, technically, you can. But this new shift in the power structure has had some interesting effects. Due to the fact that there are now a large number of government-run restaurants, and that the majority of the population will be required to attend them, nearly all other restaurants have been put out of business. Those that remain are required to follow government-set menus, cooking methods,and more. For the most part, the only privately-owned restaurants left are so expensive only the elite can afford to eat there -- and are still required to be there all day.

You ask, "Why can't I simply buy my own groceries, read cookbooks and nutrition manuals, and cook my own meals at home, on my own schedule?"

The officer rolls his eyes, then replies "Well, I suppose, but we'd still have to monitor you. We can't trust that you wouldn't just eat junk food all day, so you would still be required to follow government standards, and we have rules about the qualifications of the people who cook food for you, and you'd have to see a government-set nutritionist every year -- to make sure you're following the rules. You'll have to provide them with a daily meal plan, just so we can be sure."

He then adds "But everyone you know will be in the restaurants. You'll be home all alone. How will you get any socialization?"

You start to mention all the teenagers running the grocery stores, the folks at the cookbook store, not to mention the folks you'd interact with at the bank, post office, library, your job, and all the other places all day. "It's not like I'd be sitting at home just cooking and eating all day -- there's a whole world out there."

But eventually, you give in to pressure from friends, family,neighbors, and government officials. While you'd rather cook and eat your own food, it hardly seems to be worth the hassle anymore.

Getting off the restaurant bus, you step into the building. It's obvious most of the other people you see don't want to be there either. They had plans of their own today. Some people seem to be truly happy - they were very hungry and actually like the menu.

For efficiency, 20 to 30 people are stuffed into a single booth. You start to introduce yourself to your booth mates, only for the waitress to approach and say "I'm going to have to ask you all to quiet down, please." So much for socializing.

You ask the waitress for a menu, only to be told your order has already been made. "Don't we get to choose what we want to eat?" you ask. She informs you that if there is any funding left, you can pick a dessert at the end.

The meal comes - it's some kind of casserole. You take a taste - no flavor whatsoever. Everyone in the restaurant has been given the same meal. Seeing as how it is only 10am, you're not really hungry yet.

The waitress comes by. "You need to eat that." You explain that you aren't hungry yet, and ask if you can save it for lunch. "No, you'll have another plate at lunch. And you'd better hurry -- the eleven o'clock plate will be here before you know it."

"I have to eat a plate of this every hour?!" you exclaim. She assures you that the contents and portions have been measured by government nutritionists, and they know exactly what and how much food the average American adult needs to consume to be healthy.

You look around the restaurant, failing to see any "average" American adult. "What's in the food, anyway?" tou ask the waitress.

"I'm not sure," she replies. "I don't cook it, I just serve it."

Jump ahead twelve years. Americans are even more unhealthy than before, especially considering whenever they see food in real life,they shun or mock it. You avoid eating whenever you can, after having it shoved down your throat for over a decade. You still don't understand why the food you ate was nutritious, and tend to gravitate towards junk food when you are hungry.

Sounds ridiculous, right? Now why, when we apply this same story to education, instead of eating, does it sound like normal, everyday life?

Author Unknown

Monday, October 8, 2007

Fresh Start

Exactly 10 years ago yesterdy, October 7th, was the day I found the ONLY thing that has ever worked for me whenever I've needed to drop some pounds. It was the day that I FINALLY listened to what the Lord was telling me, took a step of faith, and walked into my very first Weight Watchers meeting. As soon as I entered the room I knew that I had found my help.

What a ten years it has been. Initially, I lost 36 pounds to get back to what I weighed on my wedding day and all through high school. It felt GREAT! But, it didn't last because I soon discovered Baby #2 was on the way.

I returned to WW after Handsome made his appearance, got down to 148, and 5 1/2 months after giving birth to Baby #2, Baby #3 was on his way.

When Reece Cup was 10 months old I had only gotten back to 162 when... you guessed it, Baby #4 let me know that she was on her way! Well, after all of that, I was terrified of Weight Watchers! LOL! It seemed every time I returned I got pregnant!

I've returned off and on over the past nearly 6 years, but never stuck with it. I've tried to substitute with anything and everything that promised faster weight loss, all to no avail. Weight Watchers is the ONLY thing that works for me. And you know why? Because it teaches you about portion control, making wiser food choices, and encourages daily exercise! DUH! Who would ever think those things would work?!

I'm really looking forward to being a Weight Watcher again. It was a very liberating and freeing time for me. Being with others who are sturggling with the very same issues I am, hearing what has helped them, and working through my thoughts, actions, and feelings helped me to see where my real struggles were and I've never felt better than when I was released of all of that. I felt better, I had more energy, I was happier, I actually played with my kids. I look so forward to feeling that way again!

Recently Sweetie was diagnosed with sleep apnea and had to get one of those sleep masks to sleep with. Have you ever seen one of those things? SHEESH! I put it on and it feels just like when you were a kid and stuck your head out the car window while riding down the freeway! Once you get used to it, the breathing IN is ok, but you never feel like you get a good breath OUT. Plus, the band that goes over your head to hold it on is not the most comfortable thing to sleep in. Not to mention the tube that hangs from it. Makes it really hard to roll over. Needless to say, Sweetie is now MORE tired after three nights of trying to use it. Each night he has eventually given up and taken it off.

They told him if he lost 20-40 pounds he probably wouldn't need the mask, soooo... to make a long post even longer, we're both going back to the Weight Watchers way of living today. I've been gathering yummy recipes from Dawn Hall's cookbooks and I'll be planning out our meals using these recipes. If you haven't checked out these cookbooks, I highly recommend them! I've been borrowing them from the library, but I'd really like to start collecting them so I can have my own collection.

If you're looking for a way to successfully lose weight without feeling deprived, then you should look into Weight Watchers. It really does work! And if you suffer from sleep apnea, all I can say is, I'm so sorry.

Oh, and just as a side note, that is NOT Sweetie in the picture above. LOL! But that IS what his mask looks like.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Today was my birthday and above is the cake my mom brought me. Wasn't that sweet. A yummy, and low-fat, angel food cake with just a touch of chocolate glaze. Yumm!

It was such a nice, relaxing day. I received several new pieces to go with my beloved Christmas village I started last year, a lovely set of wind chimes, some fall decorating foilage that I wanted, the movie 'When Harry Met Sally' (which I love), a gift certificate for anything I want done to my hair (cut, color, perm...whatever)...and I am in desperate need of SOMETHING being done!, a precious drawing from Princess, a list of 'Why We Love Mom' from all the kids, my neighbor made me brownies with chocolate icing, and my sweetie made me a yummy dinner of lasagna and garlic bread sticks. What more could a mom ask for? I am SO blessed!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Perfect Time for A Field Trip

Below I have posted pictures from a field trip we recently took. This is the perfect time of year to find a pumpkin patch or an apple orchard to visit. It's our favorite time of year and I wanted to share a link with you to help you plan your very own Fall Field Trip.

Here you can click on your state, or even one of six other countries, and find pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and SO much more! Check it out and enjoy this wonderful Autumn season God blesses us with each year.

Pumpkin Patch

Here are some pictures from our trip to Bear Wallow Farm a couple weeks ago...

The kids anxiously awaiting the parents to get their act together and let the fun begin!

Baby Girl feeding the goats.

Handsome getting friendly with the goats.

Reece Cup wasn't too thrilled (read: scared) with letting a goat eat out of his hand, but mommy gently talked to him and explained that some things are going to be a little scary, but that's why mommy and daddy where there, to help him try new things and to keep him safe. I got him to trust me that I would never let anything bad happen to him, he bravely stuck his hand out, and he loved it!

Princess, who isn't afraid of anything!

These ducks would climb up, get a few nibbles to eat, then slide down ONTO the other ducks! We all thought this was so funny to watch.

Ever seen an albino goldfish? Or ones so huge?!

Llamas, one of which we're thoroughly convinced is Kuzco!

Long-horned steer.

Our hay ride took us to the pumpkin patch where everyone got to pick their own pumpkin!

Pumpkin launcher! If you look really close you can see the tiny dot that was this poor pumpkin that got launched some 600 feet into the air and disappeared into some far-off field... let's HOPE!

The kids are used to mommy making them pose for those ever-so-precious pictures.

Inside a TeePee. They thought they could hide from the camera!

Doing a rain dance, which is MUCH needed here!

One of the momma's CLEARLY reading the rules of the huge corn maze to the boys!

An ariel picture of the corn maze we went in. We entered at the entrance pictured in the bottom right of this picture. This was a lot of fun!

It was a GORGOUS day!

I love fall scenes like this, and against that beautiful sky... sigh.

A couple fall pictures from inside their barn/shop.

Apple Orchard

A couple weeks ago our local homeschool group took a trip to Haney's Appledale Farm and Bear Wallow Farm (pumpkin patch). Here are some pictures from the apple orchard (I'll post pictures from the pumpkin patch in the next post)...

What a great bunch of kids, listening so well to Mr. Haney.

Brrrr! This cooler where the apples are stored stays at 35 degrees.

We got to watch the apple-washing/sorting machine at work.

Princess with her apple. Because of a hard freeze back in the spring, Haney's lost most of their crop for this year. We were allowed to pick an apple off the ground and eat it, but not off the trees like usual. So what did Princess do first thing? Yep, plucked that little baby right off the first tree she came to! Sigh... guess she wasn't listening as well as I thought she was.

Don't these boys look like trouble? Actually, they are a very good bunch of boys.

Baby Girl with one of the biggest apples we've ever seen!

Isn't God's World Amazingly Beautiful?

Baby Girl took this picture from the parking lot of our local library. Isn't is just awesome?! How can anyone deny that there's an awesome Creator behind something like this?

Build and Grow Clinics for Kids

I love finding things for the kids to do that are fun and inexpensive, or better yet, FREE! In September we took the kids to their first Build and Grow clinic at Lowes. They made birdhouses, which was perfect for our new bird enthusiast, Handsome. Each of the kids got an apron and very nice patches to sew on them. They will earn a new one each time they attend one of the clinics.

Go here to learn more about these free Lowes clinics for kids.