Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Great Depression

We are done with the Great Depression, and I am relieved. Very depressing study. I was going to do more study on my own, but I can't face it. Thankfully the books for next year are much lighter.

Onward. The boys are working on papers about the 3 kingdoms of Korea, required before they test for their purple belts. In other words, it is due today!

This month they are all reading Stowaway from Mushroom Planet and writing a science fiction story of their own on an assigned topic--no gravity, no trees, and reverse global warming. They will also be creating some kind of graphic model like a diorama or something else pictorially about something in the book.

Additionally, S-man is reading Johnny Tremain and will be writing a report following one of several models about it. J-Dawg has Carry On, Mr. Bowditch.

The boys have an additional incentive to finish their workbooks by December so they can earn Christmas money.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

End of the week

Shaundra's eye is doing better. I think the bruising will be gone by Monday. Ice packs the first day and homeopathic Arnica frequently have been doing the trick. My hubby took a picture last night after she went to bed. Hopefully I'll get it posted by Monday.

I froze 8 or 9 bags of sliced apples today. We bought them a couple of weeks ago, but I've been dreading canning them. So I didn't. I froze them. It went quickly, and we have far more freezer space than shelf space these days. I've been working on solidly filling my pantry shelves for awhile now. Too bad we have to keep eating the stuff, or it would fill even faster! :-)

Too freeze them, I sliced them as I wanted them in a pie, tossed the slices with Fruit Fresh, shoved them in freezer bags, labeled the bags, and dropped them in the freezer. Couldn't have been easier!

Grateful to have that done, the freezer almost full, and a warm furnace. It feels like the Arctic circle outside with the wind knifing through a body! (I hung out a load of laundry, and they dried thanks to the wind!)

The wind is also taking care of the leaves that never got raked up. So sorry to whatever neighbors ended up with them. The kids jumped in them many times though so hopefully they'll compost well on whoever's yard got them. (Gotta find the humor in there somewhere or I might cry.)

Oh, yeah, J-Dawg actually hit the books today. I think mentioning the new workbook got him excited. That or Dad's chat with him about getting his work done.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Teacher prep day?

Today I spent an inordinate amount of time grading papers. My kids have been working through some workbooks more aggressively now that one of their co-ops has ended for the term (possibly for good). Since these are workbooks and not tests, they get to rework mistakes with me---joyful times for them, I'm sure. S-man did his after taekwondo when his dad was home with the other Star Wars DVDs they have been so anxious to watch. As you can imagine, some of his math problems took about a half hour longer to correct because he was caught up discussing the plots of those DVDs. (They have read several Star Wars books so already know the story.) I wonder if they would have learned to read sooner if I had used Star Wars-themed books?!

As I mentioned, the kids watched Phantom Menace of the Star Wars trilogy. They have been dying to see the second trilogy! We didn't allow them to watch it when they were younger because they tended to get scared easily and it is violent! Because of these movies, the light saber battles around here have been more frequent and so very loud! Why is it boys are so loud? Should I be glad they are and take over my husband's MP3 player to play quiet tunes? It seems like most moms of boys of my acquaintance say the same thing so maybe it is good that they are so normal!

Jewell stayed pretty quiet today after an eventful morning of practicing catching the ball after throwing it up in the air. She missed one throw, and it hit her eye. It swelled up pretty good and is a definite purple. She passed on going to gymnastics today; she said she was afraid she would bump it although it doesn't hurt. Nothing seems to be broken, and her eye is all right. I just realized I didn't take a picture---not that she's going to want it memorialized anyway. I hurt for her. The plus was that we got some together time while I read some stories to her. (By quiet, I mean noise wise. Once we got the swelling down, she played as usual minus the light saber battles. She knows from experience that someone commonly gets whacked and wanted nothing to do with it today.)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Great Depression

I just found out we are supposed to make a presentation about the Great Depression for our literature group.

What a huge topic! While it has been much on my mind, and I've been studying it, I haven't really known how to start it with my kids. We're reading the book Footprints in the Dust---not on the boys' Top Ten picks!

Anyone got any ideas for me? Links?

Update: I found this site and read the Wikipedia entry and Rose Wilder's entry (from the linked site). She compared the depression of the 1890s vs the 1930s, showing more resiliency and self-reliance in the 1890s than during the New Deal policies. She also gives an overview of her own political evolution.

I think we’ll do a timeline, listen to some music, read a biography I have from a Kentucky neighbor vs. events in Utah, (big differences). . . . That’s as far as I’ve gotten. Wikipedia was an entertaining read. I had to check to see if I was reading a historical entry or the newspaper! It has a lot on the various theories that might be interesting to study.

On a personal note, I think that the solution lies in one mandate: "Love thy neighbor as thyself." I started thinking about that with the Enron scandal. I do not believe in the government mandating, "We shalt make thee love thy neighbor." I believe the people who came through the depression the best were those with family support even if the whole family struggled. The ones who came through it worst, did not.

My neighbor remembers her family being thrown out of a makeshift shack in eastern Kentucky (coal-mining country down deep in the hollers that are still unmapped) by an uncle who had found a paying renter. I was shocked that they didn't just make room in their own home, no matter how small! She hailed FDR as a Savior.

My family (grandparent and parent generation mostly) held together and have no written record of anything to do with FDR. I think the one "best" advice I have seen in recent days is one from the Dolans to hold our families closer during these times. They are our best investment. (Not a direct quote---I'm too lazy to pull up the email.)

For another look at how blessed we are, check out Pioneer Woman's blog about her family's recent trip to the Dominican Republic with Compassion. We are truly blessed!

Please share your family's stories from the depression with us! I'd love to get them from all over the country or world! If you click on the complete profile link under the About Me section on the sidebar, it will show you an email link to send us your family's stories.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Miscellaneous and pictures

I'm sure it is more than allergies! As miserable as allergies are, this is far worse!!! On the up side, I am on the mend! If I could just stop coughing to prove that. . . . Of course being as stubborn as I am, I won't go to the doctor.

Due to a chilly night last night, I purchased my daughter some flannel sheets from Sam's Club and pulled out a quilt for her bed. Her room gets downright cold! The boys were fine; their room stays warmer.

My sister has been in the hospital but is now out. She missed the election because she was so ill that she could not breathe. She is extremely prone to pneumonia. She sounded extremely weak, but I'm grateful she's on the mend. She was flabbergasted when she asked the nurse if there was something nutritionally she could be doing to help her stay well (this is #3 this year), and the nurse said no. That's why I struggle with doctors. She wasn't asking about once she gets sick, she was asking about preventative measures. They didn't even suggest drinking more water (she was severely dehydrated). When medical science can start looking at all approaches without being threatened, they will become more helpful again. (Thank goodness she has a very good nutritionist friend who is helping her now that she is home.)

My heart and prayers go out to all those affected by the GM losses. I think it's time to wrap my head around cleaning out everything we don't need and go donate it all to Goodwill. Somebody may be able to use what we aren't!

Here are some things we have been doing:

Here is a picture of the outline we made for the judicial, legislative, and executive branch responsibilities per the Constitution.

A close-up of the Judicial branch responsibilities:
The Executive branch responsibilities:
Here's part 1 of the Legislative branch responsibilities. These shows the unshared House of Representatives responsibilities vs. the Senate's responsibilities.
Here's the chart of their shared responsibilities:
We also learned that anything not enumerated by the Constitution was specifically prohibited to the federal government. Hmmmmm.

It's definitely not all work and no play around here. Here's a recent MSU game we attended. My daughter took these pictures.
Their band:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Onward and School's OUT for today!

I listened to Barack Obama's speech last night and was very impressed at how he did exactly what he needed to do in that speech. He is an incredible speech maker and has such a powerful energy. What he will do (esp. with a Dem Congress) sickens me, but I'll bet he will become a very popular president.

On the other hand traditional families were reaffirmed, for which I am grateful. Abortion was not defeated which saddens me greatly. Someday way off in the future, we will understand what we did.

And now off to other things.....

I am not feeling well so I'm hoping to hold it together long enough to get through school time. I thought it was allergies, but I think (and am almost hoping) it is something more like a cold. My throat hurts so read-aloud time won't happen today. Naptime will. ;-) Hopefully J-Dawg is better today. He sounded better sleeping.

UPDATE: After 1/2 carton of strawberry Haagen-Dazs ice cream, I feel slightly better. But. . . school is out today. So if anyone drives past my house and sees my children out playing, that's because school is out for the day. So don't condemn me or homeschooling! (For the record, I seriously doubt that the public school is having much luck with formal education today. The energy level is too high.) My children are outside playing in the leaves, however, and having an absolutely fabulous day away from "sick" germs!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Heavy heart

My heart is heavy tonight. Barring a miracle (CA swinging red?), Republicans are in very nearly the same position that the Dems were in 8 years ago. McCain just barely lost the popular vote. My heart hurts. It doesn't help that I knew it could very well happen. At least the popular vote is close--at least, so far. There are so many moral issues that really matter that are being lost. Can we gain the Lord's blessings if we turn our backs on such issues?

On a pragmatic issue, I am very concerned for the possible specters that are rising for homeschoolers as I watch the political landscape changing. I am curious as to how the demographics are playing out. I am grateful that Missouri seems to be staying red although it is still very close. I am praying for the Lord's peace and protection on our family and likeminded families. He will not turn his back to us; we would have to do that.

I voted!

I voted. McCain and company. And I'm contemplating going to the zoo so I don't watch the results. Wonderful turnout at the booths although I did want to hit the lady who snidely said, "No, I don't want to see the sample ballot. I know everything that's on it." (There are quite a few state constitution amendments on it. It's a big election all the way around here.)