Thursday, July 24, 2008

Consumer Warning!

In case you did not know, the Mars company is now making M&Ms for grown-ups!

That's right, fancy M&Ms, called Premiums, are now on the market (and when they say Premium, they mean it...but I hit a sale).

However, the box should come with a warning: These candies do NOT have the melt-in-your-mouth-not-in-your-hand candy coating that we grew up with! And trust me, you don't want to find this out after you have snuck them into the movie theater (which I cannot believe I am admitting to after my last post, LOL) and the place is dark and you pour a bunch into your hand. Also, the bag has a neat little 'open here' reclose-able thingabob that you also can't see in the dark.

Other than that, all I can tell you is that the Raspberry Dark Chocolate Almonds babies are yummy!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What Are We Teaching The Children?

Matthew 18:6
But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
So, on a forum where I spend far too much of my time, various parents are debating various 'social networking' websites in various contexts. Now, neither of my kids have-or even desire-one of these personal pages. But the thing that bothers me the most is many of these parents helping their children to defraud the owners of these websites. The parents sign in, agree to the terms of service, and then hand the page over to their kids...who are explicitly not allowed to use them according to the terms of service which the parents agreed to. But the parents say, 'All their friends have them!' Well, I don't know about you, but when I was a kid, mothers told their kids, 'I am not your friends' mother, and besides, if your friends jumped off a bridge, would you jump off it, too?'

Now I guess cool moms help their kids lie and defraud so they can be just like their friends! What does this teach the kids? And why on earth would we think that, after teaching kids to lie, they are going to tell us the truth? Hey, everyone, the truth matters!

Brandon has a new friend. She's a nice girl, from what I can tell, and they enjoy each others' company. He has invited her to various things, usually youth group activities or whatnot, but she can never go. Today I found out why: Her parents decided that their children should be raised without religion, so that they can make the choice for themselves when the are grown. I can tell you what choice they will make!

The childhood years are the years of formation. What you teach a child is still ingrained in the adult. Even when an adult recognizes harmful thinking or behaviors, it can take years to overcome, and that is with hard work. Left alone they will continue on the path their parents set them on. And children learn by example, as the saying goes.

I am by no means a perfect parent. I may not even be a great one. I hope I am improving, but most of all, I hope I am instilling, by example, ethics that will carry on through my kids' lives.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Proud Mama Moment

Brandon just brought home a blue ribbon. Swim meets are sometimes confusing, and so we didn't even know he'd taken first place in the backstroke! Can't wait to see him at tomorrow's meet after a week of stroke clinics.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I Guess It Could Be Worse...

So Brandon took 8 emergency trips to the hospital just to get born, and then an emergency transport afterwords. When he was 12, he had 12 emergency hospital 13 it was 13, at 14 it was 14...and he turned 15 in April. I thought, oh no! LOL But so far we've been ok. We still are, except tonight he got whacked in the teeth in Karate class and his tooth is loose. Thank the Lord it is the tooth that is already false! Yes, an already false tooth...that would have been the 13th trip, I think, when he broke his wrist and snapped off his front tooth in a scooter accident. In any case, I will be calling the dentist first thing, and let's just hope he doesn't accidentally swallow the tooth in the meantime. You know, like he did the thumbtack when he was 12.

For the Birds

Here you see two of the six geese with whom I became well acquainted on Saturday. They belong to my mom's friend, L, who graciously hosted a birthday party with me for Mom. The goose on the left thought my pretty green toenails were berries, I think, and tried to take a bite. All six pecked and chewed in some manner, and I now know why being goosed is called being goosed! Geese have fascinating mouths, in case you have never been up close--no teeth, but they do have funky ridges that feel rather strange. I have no idea why they chose me--no one else at the party got this special goose treatment. They would not let me pet them, however.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

For Pity's Sake!

This article from fellow blogspot blog JunkFoodScience highlights one of the stupider results of our culture's fatphobia. It discusses a new proposal to screen TWO year olds for high cholesterol and use statin drugs on CHILDREN. Um, pardon me, but these are kids. Kids whose brains are developing. Brains that are composed of cholesterol. Sorry, Johnny, you have too much grey matter potential coursing through your veins....yeah, this drug might make you dumb, but at least you won't die of a heart if. My grandmother has been on statins for years, and along with those drugs, had a very unhealthy fear of all things fat and cholesterol. She caused herself to starve out of this fear, going down to 95 lbs! My 12 year old weighs more than that. I am firmly convinced that lowering her cholesterol to unhealthy lows (yes, I said unhealthy LOWS), which doctors now seem to be aiming for, hastened the onset of dementia. I will say it again--our BRAINS are made out of cholesterol. We NEED cholesterol. And young children need it most of all.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Mastery Approach and Grading

I tend to use the mastery know, keep at it until the child understands it well, then move along, and don't worry about grades. But I am having trouble now that Brandon is in high school with grading. Specifically, in math. He is using Teaching Textbooks Algebra right now. We really do like it. There are only a couple of complaints that I have. The first is the flipside of the reason I bought it--I don't have to teach Brandon. That saves me tons of time and energy BUT it also keeps me from knowing where he's at and what problems he's dealing with. Unless he is having trouble, in which case I jump in kind of blind. That happened this week. He had low scores on his last two lessons and so we just went over nearly every problem in both lessons. I can see that he has made tremendous improvement and to be honest, I am not sure why he had such low scores. Perhaps he was tired? Grumpy? Still getting used to his summer schedule? I dunno...but it brings me to my second problem: Do I make him keep the really low scores in his gradebook, bringing down his year's average, or replace the low scores with an A now that I have seen him do the work with few difficulties?

I don't know the answer. At least what I DO know is that Brandon is getting the hang of algebra and seems to be over his fear of math almost completely. And that I can still do most of those problems in my head, LOL. If you have any ideas, PLEASE share them in the comments, because I am pretty open to suggestions right now!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Since When is it About Easy?

Twice in 24 hours this subject has come you teach your kids to do things like chores, or do you do it yourself? Both times the mother in question has said, 'It's just EASIER to do it myself.' (in defense of one mom, she now sees the subject differently and what she said was part of a compliment she was giving me)

Well, OF COURSE it's easier! But since when is parenting about easy? No, very little about parenting is about ease or comfort. One problem I see more and more is that parents see their task as taking care of kids instead of shaping adults. Today's kids are tomorrow's rulers, after all. And tomorrow's criminals, lawyers, bakers, get the point.

This mindset brings with it several effects, none of them happy. First, you get kids who think the world revolves around them. It is not healthy for a child to believe this (past the normal egocentric age that begins at birth, that is), and it really is necessary to their self-worth to feel like they are contributing to the family rather than being served by it. Secondly, you have a young person who graduates school and goes to college (or not) not realizing that their fairies aren't coming with them. You know--the Laundry Fairy, the Dishes Fairy, the Toilet-Scrubbing Fairy. These young people are impossible to live with, both because their roommates are suddenly thrust into multi-fairy mode, but also because they have that attitude-the Princess attitude...all good things come to me, because I am me! You also have kids who don't respect their parents because they haven't learned that their work is respectable. I suspect these same kids won't feel they need to be doing any respectable work anytime soon.

I'm a proud holder of the Mean Mommy Award. Yup, I make them do the dishes over and over if they can't seem to get them clean. We have company coming today and both had to do extra chores. They suffer consequences when they make mistakes. And one day, they'll thank me. Or at least their wives will.