My lastest YUGE project

So…. We’ve got a large renovation project up ahead of us.  The last two years since we’ve been here, we’ve been working on the upstairs.  Some recent changes in the lives of a couple of our home’s now-former tenants mean that areas previously occupied by said former tenants are now empty and ready to be renovated.  And yes.  I’m being vague on purpose. Please, no one who knows anything about the “former tenants” say anything here.  They’ve requested we keep their lives off the ‘net.  If you know them, you know why.   ANYWAY!!!!

 

So here are the before shots of the big living area downstairs.  I’ll post the after shots when we are done.  Well, when we’re mostly done anyway.

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We’re going to be getting rid of the ugly 1970’s era paneling. It’s a big job. It’s going to take a while. I’ve got BIG plans for the sun room off the back of the house, but that will have to wait until we get enough progress in the main living area and the bedroom to lay down new flooring. And we can’t do the flooring in either room until we fix the walls in the main room. So there is a domino effect that needs to happen, and the main room paneling seems to be the first domino.

We’ll also be using this as a homeschooling experience, and teaching the kids how to do some routine maintenance on the house, and some renovation projects. The youngest has already discovered a love for demolition. He’s helped us tear down one of the sheets of paneling already and is loving getting to work with his hands. The Diva is really more of a supervisor than anything else, but we’ll make sure she gets involved somehow. My oldest isn’t so sure about all this, but I plan to have him help me with some of the electrical work (replacing outlets and switches, nothing major!). It will give him a taste of the job, and maybe help him figure out what he wants to do after high school.

So that’s it for now. It’s alot of work… Not going to lie, I’m feeling overwhelmed and stressed out… but it will all be worth it in the end.

New Server!

In the on-going struggle to keep my site off of EIG’s crappy servers, I recently had to move my whole site to a new host. Usually, moving servers is a huge hassle of backing things up, uploading to a new site, unpacking, and weeks of tweaking to make sure things are still working right. This time was different tho. Luckily, I had a friend on the inside (Shout out to SD-Dubs!) at my last host who helped me get out, and get my site moved to a new host so quickly, so efficiently… I’m really surprised at how easy this move went. It went so smooth, nobody even noticed. We didn’t even have any email downtime! Amazing! And this all went down while I was busy with the kitchen renovation, so that tells you just how much my friend helped.

Anyway, now that the kitchen is done, and my site is moved, I’ll probably tweak a few things here and there anyway, because that what all site admins do. Nothing drastic, just a few subtle changes I had planned to do a long time back, but never found the time or energy.

In the meantime, have a look over at the Genealogy section, especially if you are a Yuriar!  I’ve done a lot of work over there.  I still have more to do, but that’s the story of every genealogist’s life.  There is always more research and documentation to be done.   I’m still hoping to get some more work done on my book about the Hardenburgs.  But first, I’ve got to get ready for the next year of Aprendemos Academy.  My oldest is starting 11th grade this year!  Yikes! How time has flown.  Homeschooling through High School has been easier in some ways, and harder in others.  But that’s a post for another day.

I have the best kids in the world!

I just have to brag on my kids, and maybe encourage some of you.  Just a brief reminder, I’ve got 3, all on the spectrum. My 12 yr old has Asperger’s Syndrome, Dsygraphia, & ADHD. My 10 yr old has High Functioning Autism, and some sort of processing delay – it take her longer to catch on to things than the others.  My 8 yr walks the line between Aspeger’s & HFA, and also has Sensory Processing disorder, & ADHD.  I myself am an Aspie with Dysgraphia & maybe some ADD.

Some of you know, I am HEAVILY involved in my city’s politics. I was brought into the local tea party in October to be their social media person.  I’ve since been named Vice-Chair. Our city is nearing the end of the yearly budget battle.  I’ve been actively fighting a tax increase & a water fee raise, by writing articles for the local paper & organizing our little group as best I can.  This past week has been the final push to do anything about these increases.

In the past week, I met with the city’s budget director & spent about 3 hours going over the budget with her & my Tea Party chairman on Monday.  On Tuesday, I spent several hours at a TP meeting, grilling the Asst. Superintendent of the school system on his budget, & putting out the results of our meeting with the Budget Director.  Then last night, from 6 to midnight, I was out at the city’s public hearing, and talking to people about the budget.

All that to say this:  I could NOT have done any of this a year ago. This week, for the first time since we started homeschooling 7 years ago — all three of my kids have done their schoolwork everyday this week, without being prompted, without having me sit over them, constantly reminding them what was next.  They didn’t give their father a hard time about anything on the days he was subbing for me. Just woke up, did their school work, and went on about their day.

Then last night, there was a 2 hour window between when I had to leave for the council meeting, and when my DH would get home from work.  Not only was I able to leave the kids at home, and trust they would feed the dog & not kill each other — My 12 year old cooked dinner for the other two – Kraft Mac & Cheese, Scrambled Eggs, Hot Dogs, & Toast. *S*  I’m so proud of him! And so proud of my littlest guy, who for years has struggled with separation anxiety that was near crippling, but was able to kiss me good bye last night, and has not freaked out about any of this.  Also, I’m proud of my Diva, for holding her ‘tude in check & not fighting with her brothers over stuff while I was gone.

Last year, none of this would have been possible.  We still have our issues. But I’m so proud of my kids.

My Kids

Today was a good day.

Easter Eggs

We dyed Easter Eggs.  It was actually kinda fun.

Dyeing Eggs

Dyeing Eggs

The hilight of my morning though, was when my four year old son asked, “Mommy? How do you spell Easter?”  The my son proceeded to write each letter as I said them.

BigBoy writes

It’s even more amazing to me because, I have not taught him how to write.

Yet another sign I'm raising Geeks.

We went to the Air & Space Museum yesterday.  Much fun was had by all, but by far, the funniest moment of the day came as we left the house.  BigBoy had said he wanted to bring his sutffed puppy.  Not a problem, this puppy goes alot of places with us.  Then, just before we walked out the door, he changed his mind.  So I asked, “Are you sure you don’t want to bring your puppy?  I thought you said puppy wanted to see the space stuff?”

BigBoy said, with an absolutely serious & straight face, “No, it’s ok, I’ll just type to him on my invisible computer. Puppy has a invisible Wap Top that he will use to type to me.”

I about fell over laughing!!  But I choked out, “Are you sure?  I thought he wanted to see the stuff?”

BigBoy:  “No, it’s ok, he’ll use his inner-net to watch the video.”

I’m not even kidding…  oh my word… too priceless.  He he he… I’m still laughing about it…

It's put up or shut up time.

I’ve been having a very polite political debate (for a change) on a local homeschool board (well that explains it! *S*).

The question was, what exactly was Obama’s stance on homeschooling?  The truth? No one knows for sure.  There was something mentioned in a book of his, but that’s it.  So we are left with looking at his stance on education in general.  So, here’s a quote from Obama’s own website:

“Unlike other early childhood education plans, the Obama-Biden plan places
key emphasis at early care and education for infants, which is essential for
children to be ready to enter kindergarten.” <-source->

He wants to send infants to school to prepare them for kindergarten. I had one woman tell me I was wrong, that this was all about “the underprivileged children whose parents are not giving them what they need.”  She pretty much accused me of fear-mongering, and asked me to show where it said “all infants would be required to go to school?”  Thing is, I never said he wanted to send “all infants” to school.  Nope.  Never said that.  I have a problem with the way it’s worded. If he wants to improve daycare options for lower income families, say that. Don’t say “education for infants” because infants don’t need “education”, they need TLC.  And if this is about getting those “underprivileged” kids help, does this mean that I will have to prove that I am capable of caring for my own infant before he would let me keep my own baby all day?  She also mentioned that she wouldn’t mind sending in the required notice of intent a few years early so that an underprivileged 3 year old could have the security of school.  Again, if he meant 3 year olds, why didn’t he say “toddlers”?  He said “infants.”  An infant is the 0-2 range.  An infant doesn’t need education. If he just wants to make preschool mandatory, or even simply improve the Head Start type programs, then say that! Don’t tell me you want to supply “education for infants.”

When it comes to homeschoolers on the ticket, well…  I know the libs out there don’t want to hear this, but there is a homeschooler on the ticket.  The Palins are going to homeschool the oldest child this year. (Yes, I know. I can see that the decision was most likely made because of the teenager’s pregnancy.  And I know they will be using an Alaskan Virtual school.  But the point is, there is a homeschooling parent on the ticket, regardless of what you think of her.) <-source-> Sarah even gives homeschooling moms some respect.

I know a lot of moms who are busier than I am. They’re running all over also. And a lot of these home school moms, too, they’re teaching their kids in addition to doing everything else. And no, I’m not unique in this at all. <-source->

And unlike most of the Washington elite, her kids have been in the public school system for years.
<-source-> Who better to know what’s wrong with the public school system, and how to fix it then someone who’s been in the system?  Someone who has seen it working first hand?

I’m not here to defend John McCain or his policy.  The question was about Obama and homeschooling.  But, if anyone wants to read up on McCain’s educational policy, try here, here, here, and here.   From John McCain’s website:

“John McCain will fight for the ability of all students to have access to all schools of demonstrated excellence, including their own homes.” (emphasis mine) <-source->

Want more information on Obama and his stance on Homeschooling & education?  Try here, a good article with lots of links to the sources.

For more information about Barak Obama, the article here has A LOT of sources and videos of Barak in his own words. The Bitten Word has a copy of a letter from Hilary Clinton’s attorneys alleging voter fraud on behalf of Obama here.

Then there is this video:

It talks about the lawsuit against Obama (brought against him by a fellow democrat) to try to get a copy of his birth certificate and prove that he is a legitimate citizen of the USA. Why won’t he produce this? It should be easy to disprove the allegations and put this lawsuit to rest.

As a follow up, there is another video, which digs into the birth certificate issue and explains it very well:

But back to homeschooling, and the original question.  The truth is, neither candidate has come out and stated a policy on homeschooling.  I would like to think that’s because they would both leave us alone.  Homeschooling should not be a national issue, it is a state issue.  According to the US Constitution, the Federal Government is supposed to “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”  I don’t see Education.  Amendment 10 says anything not delegated by the Constitution or prohibited of the States, is in the jurisdiction of the States. Section 10 limits states from printing their own money and seceding from the union. (read it for yourself here.)

Personally, I think the Fed has gotten way to big, and taken on way too much that it has no business doing.  Do I think McCain will rein them in?  I would hope so, but I won’t hold my breath.  Do I think Obama would rein them in?  Nope, not a chance.   But for me the election is about way more then smaller government or education.  Honestly, I’m voting more against Obama’s policies then I am for McCain’s.  I don’t like it, but given the choices I have, I feel McCain is better.  It is sad that the election has come down to “the lesser of two evils” for so many. Personally, I would have much rather seen Tom Tancredo get the nod as his policies lined up with mine exactly, but it wasn’t to be.  Oh, and yes, I know there are lots of 3rd party choices out there, but I refuse to throw my vote away on someone that has no shot.

I’ve always felt that if you don’t vote, you lose the right to complain about the things that happen that you don’t like. Who you vote for is your choice – though I will argue and debate for my guy til I’m blue in the face -Please.  Do the research. Voting isn’t about “feelings”, it’s about the future of our country.  My children’s future.  Your children’s future.   Research.  Know why you are voting for or against someone. Then vote!

Faster then the speed of light

Life has just been flying by so fast lately.  So much going on, and I just haven’t had the energy to blog @ the end of the day.

There was the day a few weeks ago when I wished I had thought to bring my camera to Walmart.  The Firefighters were there with their “Fill the Boot” fundraiser for Jerry’s Kids or whatever.  But the awesome thing, when BigBoy asked if he could check out their truck, They opened it up and let the kids climb in and try on a hat and everything.  It was awesome, and so much fun, and they were so nice, of course we put a few bucks in the boot.  The kids had a blast, and I wished for a camera, but oh well.

Then there was the school projects we did, & had so much fun with.  Like the Nile River model that we made out of potting soil, alum foiil, & a roasting pan. Even the Mailady commented on it, she said it was awesome and she wished they had done cool stuff like that when she was in school. We also mummified a Dollhouse lady and then buried her in a lego pyramid.  it was fun.

Then football season started (Go NY Giants!!), soccer started, and Hanna hit, and life has just been non stop.

Diffusing the Wicked Witch

Once a month I tend to turn into the Wicked Witch of the East Coast. I swear last night, while hearing myself rant & scream, I thought Damn. Where are the flying monkeys? And really, I could have used a few to help out with the dishes and the toys, but that’s beside the point.

But, I rocked out last night, til 2am actually. Oh, and I totally created a new scrapbook kit, and scrapped with it! I tend to lose track of time while scrapping, so that’s a part of why I rocked out til 2am, I just kept playing more videos/music while I worked. It was pretty fun, and something I tend to do once or twice a month (music that is, not create scrap-kits!), though usually I notice the clock sometime around midnight… but whateva. I’m actually doing pretty good this morning. But, since we have to go to the store, and the wicked witch is here, simmering just under the surface of this calm facade, coupled with a late night… Well, let’s just say the kids were overjoyed to wake up and find this message on the white board:

Why I love homeschool
and that’s what I love about homeschool.

Future Blackmail Material

So, we’ve been watching From the Earth to the Moon. It’s been meshing rather well with our NASA sponsored Mad Science class (Our teacher Cyndi Starblazer is a hoot! And so kind to the little siblings to boot. Hey! that rhymed! “I’m a poet, and I didn’t even know it!”). Well, meshing well in that both things are about space. *S* and both involve rockets. *S* But I’m on a bunny trail here.

Anyway!!! So After watching a few episodes like Apollo 11’s trip to the moon, & Apollo 12’s trip and camera trouble, the boys were inspired. They turned GeekBoy’s room into Outer Space, and then dressed up in their space suits. Spacesuits meant both boys donned one of GeekBoy’s t-shirts over their current shirt. They also needed socks on their hands for the space gloves. And I will give you all three guesses as to what they used for helmets. Go ahead. Guess. I’ll wait.

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Did you guess Underwear? If you did, ding ding ding! You win! That’s right, each of my boys had not one, but two pair of the Geek’s drawers pulled over their head. See, the first pair, was so they could look out through the leg hole. the second pair was positioned to be pulled down, covering the face, much like the visor on the space helmets wore by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and the gang.

Yes. I have pictures.

My Spacemen

But, being the good, kind, wonderful mother that I am, and because the photos involve his undergarments, I asked the Geek for permission to post one. “No! Because it will probably look stupid.” So I asked if I should post one of just BigBoy, and GeekBoy said, “No… Because it would probably make him look stupid too.” So there you go internets. No photos of the SpaceMen helmets. You’ll just have to use your imagination. But oh, heck ya! I am so saving these for the blackmail material folder when they start bringing home dates. *S* And yes, that is the Diva in the photo. She said, “I’m their helper! But I’m not getting in a suit.”

PS. the cover-ups were a blog freebie by Fantacy, the Hillbilly Scrapper.