Domestic Bliss Report

Motherhood is hard work. If we don't stick together, we'll all fall apart.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Like a redheaded stepchild...?

We went on a playdate today. The other two families have adopted and biological children and the topic came up; I finally learned which were birth and which adopted for the Freeman clan; I already knew for the Mabes.
At dinner, the kids were asking about adoption.
"Is James adopted?" asked Madeleine.
"Yes, honey, he is," I told her.
"I thought so!" declared Dale. "With that red hair and all those freckles!"
"Sweetie, Mrs. Freeman has bright red hair and freckles, as well."
"Maybe she's adopted, too," he answered.

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

As always, timing is everything.

My husband and I recently discussed the idea of having another child. Louie had turned a year old, if memory serves. It wasn't an "if," it was "when." That much helps when you can agree on that, let me tell you.
I had joked before that when we had a fourth, I'd want to have another rather quickly so that child would have someone to play with. I was half-kidding; I didn't know how I'd deal with four, so it was all theoretical.
Well, I opened the discussion. I didn't expect him to have immediate answers and he didn't. I basically wanted to make sure we had all of the pertinent information. Like that I'm 38 this year and he's 40. The clock is ticking and the risks go up perceptibly with each year. However, we live in an already crowded house and have extremely poor prospects for selling it. We have no control over the real estate market and less of an idea on when it might shift; under what circumstances did we just damn the torpedoes and go for it anyway?
He didn't have an answer. Neither did I, but I put it out there. "I just want the discussion to be open," I said.

We forgot something, though. We have a third Person in our marriage, a "silent Partner" as it were. He had an answer.

The answer is... October.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy birthday, Miep!

Okay, since I've never met her, I should say "Mrs. Gies."

And many more.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I have a new favorite actress.

Salma Hayek.

Here's why.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Book review, educational diversity, and responsibility

Now that's a mouthful of a title, isn't it?

Back in high school, I was in the "honors" or "college prep" track, mostly. Except for the last two years of math and science, that is. I graduated with six years of English and three each of math and science. Even then, I knew my strong suits.
I had Shakespeare in my background, honors government, four years of French, even a year of drawing as an elective. The Late Great Christina had very similar courses.

Years later, she ranted about our high school--"I had a high school diploma and didn't know how to balance a checkbook or shop on a budget!"
I was taken aback. I never learned to do those things, either. I didn't even know where I was supposed to have learned them. Did such classes exist?

In my subbing years, I learned they did. In our high school yet. However, they were filled with those kids counting the days until they could drop out, or deemed not academically grounded enough for more challenging classes, or suchlike. Those kids I passed in the hall, whose names I sort of knew, but never really had enough in common with to actually talk to.
Why did those kids need that information and I didn't? Did college-bound students have a greater likelihood of not needing to know?

I've come to the realization that it's not up to the schools to teach children everything they need to know to be successful in life. That little ideal died off a long time ago--before my time, for sure. It's not up to the teachers, the catechists, the troop leaders, or peer counselors.
It's up to the parents.

Which is another reason we're homeschooling. (When will this get to the book review? Momentarily.)
Don't get me wrong, I love Kolbe Academy. Their curriculum is the framework I work with in book selection and time frames. However, they are all "college prep" and not much "vocational" or "practical"--what used to be called Home Ec. I realized that if I didn't pay attention, my kids could grow up and never learn to sew on a button or mend a rip--even an easy one on a seam.
That's where Catholic Heritage Curriculum comes in. We recently ordered our new spellers and grammar books (which I love), but I got myself a book:
Sewing with Saint Anne.
This gem starts with the very basics--threading a needle, both with a needle threader and without. There are a couple dozen projects, all rated in difficulty from beginner to advanced. The clip-art illustrations throughout are classic. The explanations and history are wonderful; technical terms like "weft" are explained and there's even a glossary.

I'm not worried now about my kids having a well-rounded education. They will be able to discuss Greek mythology while making quilts, Catholic theology while changing the oil in the car, or Aquinas while making a healthy supper. And I'm okay with that.

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Laugh or cry?

I had my annual girl exam yesterday. The receptionist, married a year or so ago, looked a little more rubenesque than I remembered; she was sitting, so I couldn't be sure. There on her desk was the ultrasound picture.
"Yes, that's mine," she confirmed.
"And what is this baby's name?"
"Carter," she responded with pride.
"Not after Jimmy, right?" I said in jest.
"Who?" she said sincerely.

And some folks wonder why we're homeschooling.

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