Sunday, May 25, 2008

A new To Do

well, now that there's a remote possibility that we could move off to the mission field some day, I thought of a few things i must do before leaving the modern conveniences of home. The first is to get laser hair removal. I just don't want to shave my legs in a river.

Second, i'd like to take at least one more photography class, just so I can have that a little more mastered.

That's all i've got so far... let me know if you can think of anything else that I *must* do before I leave all of the conveniences of home.

While I'm at it, I think i'll update my life's to do list. I'm removing "learn to cut hair," because i've lost my interest in that. But i'm going to add, "visit Europe", and "become a photographer" - which is kind of vague, because i'm not sure i'll ever actually do it professionally... though i would like to, which is why it's on my list. But i'd much rather be a full time missionary... so maybe that should be on my list instead. ... or maybe i should put them both on my list, and that way, i'll at least get to check one of them off. and MAYBE, just maybe, both.


one more thing before I go - I would just like to add a little disclaimer: just because i'm dreaming of one day going to the mission field does NOT mean that we've made any plans in that direction. Don't anybody freak out. I'm just dreaming. But if i'm going to get all of the hair removed from my legs, that will be an expensive and time-consuming feat. So i've got to start planning & saving now, before anything happens. Because *IF* we ever decide to go into missions, i'm sure we'll act quickly on that decision, and I don't want it to be too late... and then i'm stuck in the middle of Africa with itchy hairy legs... EEK!

...rambling again...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Happy Birthday to Zachary!!!

Zachary turns four today. :)

This last year with Zachy has been so much fun. He's beginning to develop his personality, & become his own little self. It turns out he's extremely sensitive. (i never would have thought that before). He loves quiet cuddle time with me, & likes to have serious talks -- and loves to tell stories. But it takes him awhile to get out exactly what he wants to say. (hmmm sounds like me). He doesn't like to be teased, or to wrestle too much. But he's all boy, and loves to tease & has a silly sense of humor. :)

UPDATE: LOL! just went back & read this. it sounds like a "personals" add. :)

"sweet senstive SWM, who enjoys serious talks and cuddle time with Mommy seeks SWF... "

More Legal Stuff regarding homeschool

okay, i know i've not been posting for ages, & now you're probably drowning in my posts, but a lot of you have been asking about what's going on w/the homeschool laws in California. So, here's the latest email I got from the Homeschool Legal Defense Association:

California : Court Filings Complete

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

On May 19 all the filings of the legal briefs to re-hear the case In re Rachel L. were completed.

The Court of Appeal, which made the fateful decision on February 28, 2008 to declare all homeschooling illegal unless the parent is a certified teacher, will now begin the process of considering the arguments. The current schedule anticipates oral arguments to begin this June.

HSLDA has been at the forefront of the process to defend the right to homeschool in California and across the country. In this case, we were able to successfully help Gary Kreep of the U.S. Justice Foundation, who represents the father at the center of this case, Mr. L., to prepare the arguments to grant the petition for re-hearing. When the Court of Appeal granted the petition for rehearing, the original opinion was vacated and no longer has any legal effect.
Furthermore, in the latest round of filings, we have also been able to provide substantial assistance to the Alliance Defense Fund, which is partnering with the U.S. Justice Foundation in order to make the strongest argument possible to preserve homeschool freedom in California . So much is at stake, and all parties involved have shared their unique perspective to present the best case possible.

HSLDA has also filed a friend-of-the-court brief in conjunction with Focus on the Family and Family Protection Ministries to show the benefits of a home education. These arguments draw on the extensive development of homeschooling and the successful track record of parents educating their children at home.

Also, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has filed a brief in conjunction with the Attorney General of California, which supports a parent’s right to homeschool. Their brief begins with this statement: “Recognizing that home-schooling has a long and positive history in California and across the nation, the State of California provides a broad statutory framework that authorizes and regulates the practice.” In other words, the Governor and Attorney General are strongly arguing for no changes to the current law. To read the brief click here.

While we do not know what the court will decide, you can be confident that hundreds of hours were spent by many different organizations to defend your right to homeschool.
We hope and pray for a successful outcome in this case.

J. Michael Smith
HSLDA President

Our New School

Well, we just finished a meeting with the principal of the new home school. She really has great plans for this school! She's eager to let parents keep their independence, but give as much support and resources as are available. If I wanted to, I could send my kids to school from 9-2, three days a week. Or i could never set foot in the school, and do whatever I choose. I can have my kids do assessment testing. or not. I can use only their curriculum. Or whatever I choose.

They'd like to offer PE - like basketball, or swing dancing, or jazzercize (and get this! the parents can do it too! --for FREE!). And electives, like kindermusic (again, for FREE!), or language, or pottery, and science experiments, and lots of hands-on exploration & field trips.

This is their first time to try this, so i'm sure it will have some kinks, but the heart of what they would like to do with the school sounds really great! So i'll be signing the kids up to begin next August! YAY!

And if worse comes to worse -- or is it: "worst comes to worst" --or "worse comes to worst?" or "worst comes to worts?" ... whatever.... if it all goes bad, I can just withdrawl the kids, & i've lost nothing. sounds like a good deal to me. :)

oh.. and one more interesting tidbit... ANYBODY can enroll in this school --anywhere in the country. isn't that interesting?

a serendipitous misfourtune

You would think, that because I live in a beach town, I go to the beach all the time. But the unfortuante thing about *living* in a vacation area is that you're not vacationing. In the ten and a half years that I've lived here, I've probably been to the beach less than twenty times. Mainly because it's a pain to deal with four kids & all their stuff & all the sand they come home with. Again, not a big deal when you're vacationing, but a very big deal when you have a day's worth of To Do's, to do. I *have* decided, however that *this* summer, i'll actually spend some time at the beach. Now that my kids are a little older & can take care of themselves a little more, I think it will be easier to venture out.

So anyway.... yesterday, just as I was sitting down to do school with the kids, when my mom (who's in town for awhile) called to tell me that she was at the beach & had locked her keys in the car. So I loaded up all the kids & we ran out the door, in whatever we were wearing, to pick her up. Instead of going home, she decided to have a tow truck come unlock the car. As she was talking to them on the phone, we drove to starbucks & picked up some yummy drinks, & then drove back to the beach to wait for the tow-guy, who was about an hour away.

While we waited, kids went and splashed in the waves, - zachy & evy stripped down to their undies, & Chloe wearing a very serious black dress with fur trim - what a sight! And Mom and I forgot about all of the many things we had to do that day, and relished the moment. What a special time, for us, being forced to sip starbucks on the beach, & enjoy eachother's company. :)

I definately need to make it a point to go to the beach more often.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

finally something interesting -or- Public Home School?

I don't know how it is in the rest of the country/world, but here in our city, the schools get paid for each day that each child attends. So if a child is sick, or goes away on vacation, the school doesn't get paid. Becuase our state government is financially irresponsible, money is really tight for the local schools. Some of them have gone so far as to ask parents to pay them out of their own pockets if their child is going to be absent for an extended amount of time.

Many parents are dissatisfied with the public school system and have chosen alternative "non-public" methods of schooling (such as private or homeschool). Because students equal money to the local schools, the school system is losing money with each child that goes somewhere else. So they came up with this great idea to keep students in their district: "If they want to home school, we'll make it part of the school system, so we can still make money!"

So our city is now offering a "public home school." If we join the school next year, I will still be teaching my kids at home, but i'll get a mentor teacher who will help me plan & set goals each month. There will be optional classes three days a week (including foreign language, art, & some staples: math, science etc). I could do as much or as little of those as I would like. And, I'm told that I can use whatever curriculum i choose!

This is all very exciting to me, because i really like to be able to choose *how* my kids do school, but I feel like i'm drowning in the world of homeschool, and could really use some extra (free!) classes for my kids to be involved in, as well as someone to coach me through it all. This feels like the best of both worlds. I'm a little leary, feeling like this is too good to be true, and there must be some sort of catch, but assuming everything is as good as it sounds, I think i'll enroll my kids for this coming fall! yay!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

stay tuned

Whoa! I just noticed that my last post was in APRIL! my deepest apologies to all of my regular reader. I'm not actually going to say anything interesting right now, either. I'm just going to say, I'll say something interesting soon. :)