educational television

:: read the rest of educational television


what's up with this?

Dandy: "Mom, can I take a nap?"
Me: "Uhm, yeah. Sure."

:: read the rest of what's up with this?

another quickie

Another 5 minute update:

  • The fair was great -- I lasted from 2 til 9 which is quite an accomplishment given my summer. Pics to follow.
  • We are busy converting the old creamery into the chickens' winter home.
  • The garden is producing well, especially zucchinis and beets. I roast, shred, and freeze the beets for winter borscht.
  • We are packing for our upcoming vacation on Vancouver Island. Mom and I are going up with the kids. Then mom leaves and bff comes up. Then she leaves and beloved husband comes up. The kids and I are there for two weeks.
  • Both kids are really enjoying reading.

:: read the rest of another quickie


5 minute update

How much can I post about in 5 minutes?

  • 5 of the 6 hens are laying.
  • I've been quite sick all summer and we are all fed up with it -- bronchitis, ear infections, tummy flu, bad colds, whatever comes along I catch. On steroids and antibiotics now and hoping to get to have a life.
  • Gardens are over-producing -- this would be a good thing if I had any energy for canning and freezing.
  • Going to our county fair on Friday with my folks.
  • Looking forward to a couple of weeks at Pacific Shores in September.
  • Really really love Quicken's Medical Expense tracking software. We've toted up nearly 50,000 of expenses and this program has helped me sort out what the insurance company should pay and what we owe and what we can submit to our Medical Savings Account for reimbursement. If you have a medically complicated year, you need this software.
  • I am teaching face-to-face all three quarters next academic year. This should be interesting.
oops, time's up.

:: read the rest of 5 minute update



Last year I bought specialty tomatoes, planted them in specialty containers in specialty dirt, coddled and pampered them and enjoyed one little tomato.  This year I bought nothing special tomatoes at the nothing special store and planted them in the vegie gardens along with everything else and utterly ignored them.  Tomatoes everywhere.  What gives?

:: read the rest of tomatoes?


Zucchini Recipes

As zucchini season is upon us, here are three of our favorites:

:: read the rest of Zucchini Recipes



We just got Dandy's test results from the end of the school year. I am posting this for all of you that question our home-schooling decision.

Let's look at Reading first. The top line is the district norm, the triangles are his class norm (pretty much the same). The lower line is Dandy.

The first measure is May 2008. Then September 2008, then May 2009. Yes, he is below grade level (approximately at mid-2nd grade level when his age peers are at end of 3rd grade level), but he had to learn a new language and alphabet at age 7, so being behind is to be expected.

What I want you to notice is this: his group went up a half a bar in a year; Dandy went up a bar and a third.

Now let's look at Math.

The first measure is May 2008. Then September 2008, then May 2009. Yes, he is below grade level but only by a teeny tiny bit and again, look at the gains. His peers went up half a bar; he went up a full two bars (thank you Math-U-See).

So tell me again why I should not home-school them? Oh right, the socialization. Honestly, with the state of pop culture, and the government using schools as tool of social "reform", I can do without the socialization.

Have I ever mentioned that, as a community college English teacher, I see in my classes the products of public schooling? Of the outstanding students I do get to work with (few and far between), many of them are home-schooled.

Now, I know that home-schooling does not fit for many families; I am not posting this to say that you should home-school. I am posting this for those who question the fit for our family and to brag a little on our hard work. Go Dandy! Go home-schooling!

:: read the rest of homeschooling


hope for America

DIY Chicken Coop!

me! me! me!

Here I chatter about books, parenting, election 2008, recipes, teaching college writing, and the adventures of getting settled in with our two freshly (Fall 06) adopted school-age children from Russia. This blog is chapter two; chapter one is posted at Jamie & Suzanne go to Russia. I live in the City of Subdued Excitement, Cascadia, Land of the Free.

I am the wife of a man I call My Gift from a Generous God. I am mama to two lovely children, Dandy and Chickadee that became ours in September 2006 in a court-room in Siberia. I am the daughter of two people whom I love and admire. One of them, my dad, is a new (Dec 06) paraplegic.

In my previous life (B.C. - before children), I was a college English teacher, specializing in composition and ESL composition.

:: click here to read my 8 things meme



older child adoption


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This blog started life as hackosphere's neo and has been heavily tweaked and widgetized by Suzanne :: I got all the coding for the peek-a-boo posts over at hackosphere :: All my pretty little icons came from famfamfam :: The coding for the rotating banners came from Vince Liu :: The very cool tabbed sidebar widgets are thanks to the very cool hoctro :: The fun "Feeling Lucky?" toy -- which is currently disabled -- came from phydeaux3 (fido 3?) :: The pretty label cloud also came from phydeaux3 :: The elegant and easy to install related posts widget came from Jackbook :: I got all the social bookmarking icons nicely packaged for me at the aptly named Social Bookmarking Script Generator :: The 3 column footer came from Technodia :: The pretty sliding photo galleries are from CSSplay :: The recent comments widget is from Hackosphere::