Monday, March 29, 2010

Let's Go Fly A Kite Up To The Highest Height!

This past weekend was bee-YOO-tee-full as Bert would say so we Wes decided we needed to fly kites.


Except for the kites flying.

And the singing and dancing.

And the girls wearing pinafores and sassy hats.

And the sophisticated English accents.

Otherwise it was EXACTLY the same.

Shockingly, kites purchased from the Dollar Store do not come with instructions and are not self-explanatory like you'd think.

I think we missed that day in science class when aerodynamics was taught.  We tried tying the string to the fat end of the kite and then to the skinny end of the kite.  Both resulted in said kite dive-bombing its owner before crashing and burning.  We tried tying the string in the middle of the kite which, interestingly, resulted in said kite hovering about three feet off the ground and spinning wildly in circles and hilarity ensued. It was great fun but couldn't really be described as kite-flying.

So we gave up.  But not before I fondly reminded Hayley of the phase she went through when she was about three and she insisted that we sing "Go Fly A Kite" EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. before bedtime.  Good times.

Caitlin carefully documented our weekend and published a Family Newsletter:

Apparently her key take-away from the kite incident was that you get what you pay for which I must admit is a valuable life lesson.  Take that, Mary Poppins!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Still The People

I have to tell you that I have been in quite a funk about the Health Care Bill passing and being signed into law this week.  I truly believe that it will be financially devastating and will have a negative impact on our individual freedoms in the years ahead.  I'm sure I'll get some vitriolic feedback for that statement.  You wouldn't believe the absolute venom that is spewed by some Lefties when someone like little ol' me dares to have an opinion that differs from their own.  That being said, I'm thankful that people like that are in the minority and that most Americans are good and decent folks who believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. 

In fact, that is the reason that I have renewed hope today.  I have been reminded that what made this country great are her people.  We are the people who left behind everything we had ever known to cross the ocean in search of liberty.  We are the people who conquered the wilderness and made it a home.  We are the people who despised tyranny and defeated the greatest empire in the world at the time.  We are the people who tamed the wild west.  We are the people who found it self-evident that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator, not government, with certain inalienable rights.  We are the people who throughout our history have been willing to sacrifice everything for liberty's sake.

It's going to be okay, America.  We are still the people. 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Mourning in America

Tonight I weep for my country.

- Posted using BlogPress from Dixie, my iPhone

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Tales From Branson

Well, here we are in Branson for Spring Break--for the third year in a row. However, we are staying at the Hilton downtown by the river and it's very nice. In fact, this is the third year that my salesman hubby managed to sweet talk the girl at the front desk into giving us a free upgrade to one of their beautiful condos (and more importantly, free Wi-Fi). Should I be concerned that my husband is so charming that the girl actually remembers him from last year?

Last night we shopped a bit and dined on the deck of Joe's Crab Shack overlooking the river. It was 72 degrees and we were all in shorts & flip-flops. Today it is 34 degrees and raining. My body temp is confused.

We began the day today at Krispy Kreme. It's the Breakfast of Champions.

Then we saw Alice in Wonderland in 3D and I cannot tell you how much we loved it! It is incredible and amazing. Loved every minute of it even though I'm NOT a Tim Burton fan. I am a huge Johnny Depp fan though and he did not disappoint.

Then we did some serious "spaving" (that's "spending money to save money" for those not in the know). Best buy of the day: Lucky Brand jeans reg. $99 but I paid $4.50! SCORE!!

After exhausting our shopping abililities we headed to Macaroni Grill and it was delish. And Wes had a coupon for a free appetizer so SCORE again!

Then we visited the Hollywood Wax Museum and the Maze of Mirrors. While it was quite interesting it was not $75 worth of interesting.

Of course we had to end the day that started with Krispy Kreme's with a trip for frozen custard. Mmmmmm....good.

Now I feel like bloated road kill but it was so worth it.

- Posted using BlogPress from Dixie, my iPhone

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Turning Point In History

I've been trying to decide what to say about Obama's health care plan that the House is probably going to pass (or at least "deem" passed) this weekend.  I don't even know where to begin. 



Because this bill IS NOT ABOUT HEALTH CARE.  It is about putting into place the framework for fundamentally transforming this nation into a Socialist/Marxist utopia.  It is about power and control in the hands of a few elite in Washington.  It is about the government takeover of one-sixth of the American economy.  It's staggering.

The funny thing about total government control is that history proves it doesn't end well.  Ever.  Never in the history of the world has government been able to deliver on its promises and more often than not it ends up delivering oppression and even bloodshed.

That's why Progressives have tried so hard to rewrite history.  I'm not sure if they actually intend to do harm to our country or if they are just arrogant enough to think that they can do total government right this time.  Probably a little of both.

In the meantime while we've all been arguing about whether or not health care is a right we have forgotten to ask if this bill actually works.  Oh it works alright.  Just not in the way we've been promised.

Did you know that the so-called Health Care Bill also includes legislation that eliminates private funding for higher education loans?  The government will now be the only source of education loans.  Why is that alarming?  Because whoever controls the purse strings controls who gets a loan, where they can go to school, and what they can study.

And don't you find it interesting that the same people who have argued for years about a woman's right to choose what to do with her own body now want to legislate what kind of fats and how much salt you can eat?

But America, this is not just Obama's and the Democrats' fault or Bush's and the Republicans' fault.  This is OUR fault because we wanted to believe the lies they told us.  We wanted to believe that we could have it all and not suffer any consequences. We wanted to believe that America is too big to fail.  In our arrogance, we wanted to believe that the natural laws of economics didn't apply to us.

This is a turning point in our Nation's history.  Our grandchildren will read about this day in their history books.  Make no mistake--you must choose sides.  If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.  This health care bill is a significant battle in the greater war against the usurping of liberty.  One day our grandchildren will want to know, "Where were you when America destroyed itself?"  I hope to tell mine that I was standing firmly rooted in the principles of liberty and speaking boldly without fear for freedom's sake.  What will you tell yours?


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Train Wrecks and Decision

First, did you see American Idol tonight?

I am so embarrassed for Ke$ha.  Hello, Sitting Bull called and wants his headdress back.  She should definitely stick to the studio.  Live performances are NOT her friend.  It was an absolute train wreck.  And yet I couldn't NOT watch it.

I am happy to tell you that I think one of my hamsters has finally been put to rest.

PETA, if you are reading this I don't literally mean "hamster".  No animals were harmed in the blogging of this post.

I think we've made our decision regarding homeschooling.  It's a GO!  It's amazing what a huge burden has been lifted just knowing that we have a plan.  And events this past weekend about which I am being purposely vague served as confirmation that we've made a good decision.  I am now excitedly researching ninth grade curriculum and thinking about lesson plans.  I. AM. SO. GIDDY.

Anybody out there have any suggestions on high school curriculum?  I don't want to spend a lot so I've already ixnayed pretty much any of the DVD curricula.  A Beka Grammar & Composition comes highly recommended by my bestie.  And I have to tell you that grammar and literature are my FAVORITE subjects so I am psyched about finding Literature curriculum that I love.  And, yes, I love grammar.  I love diagramming sentences.  I am a loser.  I was an English major for a while and almost had enough hours for a degree in English before I switched to Accounting.  I knew I didn't want to teach so I really didn't know what I would do with an English degree.  Now accounting--that one is obvious.  You do accounting.  End of story.  Have I mentioned that I am also practical?  My accounting degree has served me well, lo these many years, and now my almost-English degree will too!

Oh, and I really need to talk to you about this health care debacle that is taking place this week.  More on that later...unless I'm busy building a bunker and stocking it with canned goods.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Hamsters On Wheels

Remember me?  It's been a while.

I'm happy to report that my computer is feeling much better now.  Unfortunately, since it no longer takes 10 minutes to open the web browser or load pages my kids have hijacked it.  If I want to use my own laptop I have to make an appointment.  I know I'm the parent but I try to choose my battles wisely and this is just not one I'm willing to fight right now.  I have bigger fish to fry.

***Warning:  You are about to experience another one of my brain dumps. ***

I read somewhere that studies show that daily naps greatly strengthen the ability to pay close attention to details and to make critical decisions.  Now that's research I can really get behind.  Noted nap enthusiasts include Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison.  So, obviously I'm in good company and I may be a great world leader or inventor someday.

I also read somewhere that writing down your thoughts helps your brain process them.  That's unfortunate for you, my readers.

So here goes...

I am still pondering whether or not to home school my 8th grader next year.  There are a few reasons I'm even considering homeschooling.  First, our local public high school has a less than desirable learning environment.  And when I say "less than desirable" I mean it's a nightmare. (No offense to my teacher-readers.)  I won't go into details but suffice it to say that it's out of control.  A friend of mine described it really well yesterday when she said that it has an "adversarial atmosphere."

Second, my daughter is afraid of the high school.  And not without reason-- One of her best friends was physically assaulted last week.

Third, my dad instilled in me a love of learning that continues to this day and I don't see that same desire in my children.  I WANT that desire in my children.  Public school is failing to accomplish that in my children.  I want to attempt to pass that love of learning on to them while I still have the chance.

Fourth, I think I could do a better job of preparing my children for college.  We could work at their own pace instead of having to teach down to the lowest common denominator.

Fifth, I am concerned about what my kids are learning in public school.  Man-made global warming is taught as fact rather than a theory and skeptics, like my kids, are openly ridiculed--even by teachers.  (I'm not going to debate man-made global warming with you today so don't waste your comments.  I'm saving that for another post.)  History is being rewritten to cast a favorable light on the progressive movement and to remove the Founding Fathers.  Kids are being taught in subtle ways that America is bad and that becoming a "global citizen" is the way of the future.  In short, today's children are being indoctrinated.  (Again, I'm not going to debate this with you today.  That's for another post.) I am burdened by what I want my children to know before it's too late.

So, it sounds like I've already made up my mind, right?  Here's the catch:  My daughter LOVES basketball and soccer and if I homeschool her she won't be allowed to participate.  Some states have what is commonly referred to as a Tim Tebow law which says that homeschool students must be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities.  Unfortunately, Arkansas is not one of them.  There was a so-called Tim Tebow Bill brought up before the legislature last year but it was tabled and sent for an interim study.  It won't be up for a vote again until the spring of 2011.

We live in a small community so there aren't enough homeschool students to form their own team.  Some cities around us do have that option available but it would mean driving at least 45 minutes ONE-WAY for practices.  And she LOVES her team here.  It's a really great group of girls.

So....I don't know.

Some more thoughts running around in my head like hamsters on wheels have to do with my house.  We built a house four years ago that we love.  Mostly we love the location.  We had a realtor call us recently and ask if we would consider selling it because she was looking for something suitable for some clients.  As our friend Chris the banker says, "Everything is for sale for the right price."  So we let them come look at it thinking that nothing would come of it.  And then they wanted to come look at it again.  Uh-oh.  So we looked in to buying more land in this same area and building another house.  Which was kind of exciting...for a few minutes.  And then the thought of moving set in...ugh.  We'd have to rent something in the meantime and we've got three dogs and two cats.  This is a problem.  However, we kept thinking how nice it would be to downsize a little, especially in view of the current economy.  And then we thought maybe we would just refinance since rates are so much lower now.  But that's a hassle too.  And then we'd be committed to staying put for a few years in order to recoup the loan closing costs.  But then what if we need to relocate because of jobs or what if we have an offer on the house that just blows us away?  So that's all up in the air.

And speaking of the economy, Europe is melting down and I'm afraid we're not far behind.  I am wrestling with the best way to prepare.  I'm not building a bunker in the back yard yet but I am concentrating on paying down debt, getting out of the stock market, stocking up on canned goods and learning to speak Mandarin.

Oh, I kid.

About learning to speak Mandarin.

That one's way down on my priority list.

You know what?  I DO feel better now.  Those hamsters can take a break from their exercise in futility for a little while.