Thursday, December 27, 2012

Time to talk...

As usual, in the wake of Newtown, there has been a lot of blah blahing on FB about gun control, putting God back into school, and other various "let's fix this" items. And at the risk of losing friends, I have a few things to say about that.

First yes, Newtown was a tragedy. I lost my father in June of this year and honestly, I didn't want to talk about or anything. I still don't. I can't imagine what losing your 6 year old would be like. I don't want to imagine it, but for the love of Pete, please leave those people alone. That's all I'm going to say about that.

The first thing I heard was "get rid of all the guns". Um, I don't think that's the answer. Since only the honest, law abiding citizens would actually turn in their guns. I consider myself to be an honest law abiding citizen and I wouldn't give up mine. So now I'm a baddie with a gun. Not saying I'm perfect - but I don't exactly fit into that category either.

Arm the teachers. If a teacher goes through the training and feels comfortable having a gun around kids I don't see a problem with this. I'm getting my teaching degree, but I wouldn't ever carry a gun to school. There's already too much going on in a classroom of 30 kids. I couldn't imagine trying to keep track of a weapon too. To me, this one is kind of like the abortion question - while I would never have one, I would never tell anyone they couldn't.

Armed guards at schools. Since I just recently saw this one I haven't really given it much thought. I suppose it could work - but how many would have to be there to cover every area of the school? Or are we just putting one in the front to stop anyone from coming through the front door? How's this guy getting paid? From an underfunded school budget? Let's teach the kids less so we can pay for this guy? Yeah, I'll have to think about that one some more.

Put God back into school. I have a problem with this. I believe in God. But I don't think He belongs in school. I homeschool and we rarely talk about God or religion unless it comes up in our history lesson. For too many years, thousands of years, people have been fighting and dying over religion and God. Which I don't think anyone's god ever condoned. I do believe that people need to treat each other with respect and behave like civilized people. Treat others as you want to be treated - the Golden Rule. That falls on the parents (or whomever is raising the kids). We don't go to church, but honestly, my son knows more about being kind than most of the kids who do attend church. Being a good person is not dependent on whether you walk into a building a few times a week.

For good measure - bring back corporal punishment. I never was paddled in school, but my parents signed the consent every year - and honestly, it made me think twice about doing anything out of line. Knowing that whatever the principal was going to dole out was only the start, because I would have gotten it when I got home too!

Is there any one answer? No, there's not. But the reality is unless we can all sit down and talk like grown ups nothing will happen. Well, something will happen, but what that will be may not be what everyone wants, or even the best long term answer. It will just be knee-jerk reaction. And let's face it, that always ends up badly.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

First half of the year

Goodness, I can't believe it's almost Christmas! Our year has been going pretty good though. Some things we're having problems with though:

Getting my boy to remember anything about history. I don't know if we need something more hands on, more heavily invested in writing, or just some books to reinforce. Granted, the Middle Ages is sooo long ago for an 11 year old. To him, the 1980's is more like the middle ages. No computers? No video games? *gasp* how did we even survive he often wonders! One day he asked if we even had cars. Um yeah, no sweetie, we rode dinosaurs everywhere. Or Fred Flinstone cars. pshh

We are backtracking through some missed, or not learned, math concepts from grade 5. He's still struggling with some of them, so I think that is right where we need to be.

The middle of the year also starts the look to the next year. What's working for us? What isn't? What are we willing to change for the next year. After all, he will be in 7th grade next year. Oh my! So, I've been looking at some stuff for next year and some decisions have already been made.

Teaching Textbooks. I've read all the reviews and honestly, since I'm not very good at math, having someone else teach it as he moves ahead is probably better for both of us.

Secondary Spanish. Right now he's using Elementary Spanish from Monarch and loves it. I'll let him do secondary next year and then we'll move to Rosetta Stone or something else. One year at a time!

The history and science is our hang up. The Monarch doesn't seem to be working as I'd hoped. Even his favorite subject (science) is a struggle for him this year using this program. Since I have the Apologia General Science I will probably give that another go next year.

I've also been looking at Ambleside online for next year. I'm not 100% on that though. It seems well thought out, and having books to read instead of textbooks for history might work better for both of us.

I'm back to the curriculum conundrum!

I hope all of you are having a great year!

Ups and Downs


In October, my husband quit smoking. I'm not a quitter though. At least that's what I always said when someone would ask me about quitting. But, I decided to give it a shot after the incessant nagging from my boys (and the always stuffed sinus', and the nagging sore throat, you get the idea). So, I went to my Doctor - he always said "Whenever you're ready call and we'll make a plan." So we made a plan:

Chantix

O.K. I don't know if any of you have used this. One of the big side effects is "vivid dreams". That's the big one everyone talks about. Another side effect, "may cause difficulty sleeping". Bingo! That would be the side effect I got. After a week on them I would have welcomed any dream - vivid or other-wise. Even taking my sleeping pills offered no sleep.

So, off the Chantix - I need a plan B though. I didn't have a plan B. I'm most certainly not a cold turkey kind of girl. Hubby used Wellbutrin (which I tried before but made my heart feel like it was exploding out of my chest). What IS my plan B?

I decided on NicodermCQ. You know, the patches. Which some of my friends say is cheating because they have nicotine in them. I say any help you can get. This is a 10 week endeavor for me, since I was a more than 10 cigarettes a day smoker.

So, on December 6th, I peeled the backing off my first patch and stuck it to my arm. It was still hard not to smoke though. I just wanted one, with no rhyme or reason to my cravings. But I stuck it out. I lasted four days before I broke. I had two or three that day. Then I started again. I lasted a whole week (7 days folks!) and on day 12 I decided I was good - no patch today, I've got this beat. Um yeah, except I didn't.

Days 12-15 were smoking days. Never more than 10, usually far fewer. Except Day 13. I had 5 cigarettes that day and I was so sick on day 14. I knew why - but I had to have those three on day 15 just to make sure. Because hey, you never know - it might not have had anything to do with me completely polluting my body again - you just never know!

So today (December 21) I'm back on the patch, no cigarettes. If nothing else, now I have the "oh it makes me so sick" thing to think about when I'm craving. It's like me and just about any kind of alcohol I've ever gotten sick from. The list is extensive of what I won't drink anymore, but the memory never goes away of why I don't. Even though some of those memories are well, close to 30 years old now.

It's been hard. I've discovered the joys of cherry dum-dums and pineapple lifesavers. I chew gum in very small amounts. Once my sinus' clear up again I'll be able to smell the wreath hanging on the front door without sticking my nose right in it again.

I still have the urge. Even as I type this I want to have a "blog post completed" cigarette. But I won't. Because I know, in the end, it's the best thing I can do for myself and my family.

I just wish those little people would come sing to me every time I resist the urge!


My current step

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Slacker Blogger Returns

I'm not just a slacker because I haven't posted in a while. I'm also a slacker because I'm posting without pictures.

After drinking two glasses of wine and taking my sleeping pill.

And going two days without a cigarette.

Yeah, this is going to be a nonsense post if I ever saw one. Read one, typed one, whatever. You get my point, right? Of course you do.

So we've been doing good. We are about 9 months away from Erik's retirement. He's starting to get a smidge crabby. And by smidge I mean iceberg size crabby. Unfortunately, I'm sure that will increase exponentially as the months move past us.

I'm still trying to talk him into becoming an expat. I thought I might have a leg to stand on after the election, but he's still resistant. When will he realize that I'm like the Borg - resistance is futile? I've even opened the pool to other Central/South American countries, but he's not rolling with it yet.

(I must remember gentle nagging only)

He's so far away from where I am that he nicely pointed out a job may be opening up that I could probably get if I really wanted to. Here. In South Carolina. In the state where I refuse to send my son to public schools because they are horrible. And I'm going to hold a full time job? Who's going to homeschool? Erik? Well, on second thought, that could be interesting..

(Mull that over later, when you are thinking more clearly, Kris)

So, that's what's on my mind tonight. My slightly intoxicated, ready to go to bed mind.