Beautiful Blogger Award

In Need of Chocolate and A Hundred Happy Things have sweetly awarded me the Beautiful Blogger Award.  I love checking out the neat stuff at both blogs and am very honored!

I am supposed to post 3 blogs that I’ve discovered lately that I think are great.  Okay, originally it was 15 or so, but some folks are going with 3 lately and that sounds much more manageable to me.  🙂

Here’s 3 that are new on my blog radar that I’ve really been enjoying, for all different reasons.

Muse Mama

Educating Risa (Okay, not really new to me, but she needs an award!)

Life on Planet Earth

I am also supposed to tell 7 things about myself, so here goes…

  1. I’ve had over 100 poems published, but haven’t submitted anything since before I had kids.
  2. I’m a natural blond but I henna my hair.  I can’t imagine not being a redhead at this point.
  3. My mother hid me from my father after she divorced him when I was two.  He died when I was 18 and I found out later that he never stopped looking for me.  He was an artist with red hair.
  4. I had a dozen miscarriages before I had my kids.
  5. I’m 4’11” (and a half).
  6. When a gunman opened fire from a rooftop at the University of Kentucky when I was a student there, my mother called me and told me “This is not an excuse to cut class.”
  7. I spontaneously break into made up songs while cooking supper.

3 Good Links

Look at this fun stuff!  I love these….

Ordinary Life Magic is hosting the 2010 Science Fair and lists fabulous HS science experiments to do from bloggers all over for all ages.

52 Books in 52 Weeks is a great weekly challenge you can take part in.  Just read a book a week and post about it on your blog, and jump in any time.

And this is a fun little animation of Newton’s cradle apparatus, which should lead to some fun hypotheses and discussions with the kids.

5 Fun Ways We've Learned and Played Lately

I know, it’s usually 10, but Daryl is waiting with a back rub so I must be quick!  Priorities ya know!  🙂

Here’s a bit of what we’ve been up to…

1.  The kids (especially Victoria) have been making handmade beads from magazine pages and nail polish.

I’ll post more about these soon!

2.  We’ve been doing tons of reading.  Here’s half of yesterday’s library pile (somehow I deleted the photo of the rest of the picture books).

(Note:  5 of these have already been returned, 4 more have been checked out and 2 novels have been completed since checking them out today and are already in the return pile.  One fight has also erupted over someone reading someone else’s library book.  Oy.)

I’ll post some lists and reviews of books we’ve liked lately very soon!

3.  Victoria had a piece of art accepted at New Moon Girls as an avatar.

4.  We started a week-long dairy-free, wheat-free family experiment to see if it would have any impact on anybody’s physical or emotional state.  It’s proving to be an adventure, but it’s also been educational and interesting.  I even made a chocolate cake tonight that tasted only the tiniest bit like dirt (mostly like lots of chocolate and sugar, which lucky for us are still allowed!).

5.  The girls and I went on a winter trek that was surprisingly fun.

Stories and pics here.

There was also a little bit of history, math and schooly stuff too!

But with that, I’m off to find a piece of not-much-like-dirt chocolate cake and a backrub with my names on them.

Have a great weekend!

Photo Shoot at the YMCA

I’m posting these pictures because they make me smile like crazy.

We went to the Y yesterday so Daryl could fix their bumper pool table.  Yes, Daryl is the kind of guy who joins the YMCA, notices the bumpers are way too old to be any good anymore, offers to fix them, orders new ones online and then installs them for them.  Don’t tell him, but it’s one of the things I love about him.  He is always trying to help people!

So we all went to the Y and played a little basketball and a little video game football and a little bumper pool, and in between we got very silly with each other and with photographs.

I love these people.  🙂

A Challenge On Behalf Of Children

Many of you have probably heard about the little girl who was killed by her parents this month as a result of them following the Pearls’ advice in “To Train Up a Child.”

I wrote about it here if you’re not familiar with it.

People have been silent about the Pearls for years, even though they have been linked with a child’s death in the past and they advocate practices that many of us feel are heartless and abusive.  A few bloggers have spoken out against them and some (like me and many mothers I know) have boycotted some sites who were affiliated with them.

Too many of us have stayed quiet, though.  Some people think parents have a right to use this sort of “discipline” even if they don’t agree with it while others are just uncomfortable with the thought of speaking out against it.  People are finally starting to vocally call this system what it is, though — abuse — and are standing up to it.

I listed quite a few of them and quoted them here.

The book is online and I read parts of it to see if it was being misinterpreted, as some people are claiming.  People have said it contains “good things” too, but I didn’t see a speck of anything good.  It gave me a stomach ache and made me hurt for all of the children being raised in these methods.

There are triumphant stories of beating the author’s 4 month old baby with a willow branch until she learned not to try to crawl up the stairs, proud stories of the author’s daughters telling a neighbor mother that she needed to “switch” her 7 month old baby for crying because “if he’s old enough to pitch a fit, he’s old enough to be switched.”

Michael Pearl tells parents not not even wait until their children do anything wrong before hurting them because then they won’t be properly trained.  He teaches that his methods (whipping with plumbing line, branches, rulers and other instruments) should be used until parents have “100% compliance.”  He has advised parents they should continue until children are “too breathless to protest” and has said “if she can cry out for you it’s not hard enough.”

People online have said that they respect other parents’ rights to use these methods.  It should not be okay to respect a parent’s “right” to terrorize and abuse children.

I’d like to challenge everyone who has a blog or writes a column to add your voice on behalf of children against these cruel teachings.  If you don’t have a blog, speak out about it on online parenting groups, post against the Pearls on Facebook, bring it up in playgroups and churches.

Let’s flood the internet and our communities with people speaking out and calling a spade a spade.  It’s not a different discipline method, it’s child abuse.  It’s not Christian.  It’s evil.

If you’d like to put a button on your site,  Muse Mama designed the one above that links back to this post about the Pearls.  Here’s the code:

<a href=”http://musemama.blogspot.com/2010/02/bring-back-boycott.html” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y163/AnneBasso/Blog%20Tools/ttuac7.jpg” border=”0″ alt=”Muse Mama” /></a><br />

Thanks for listening, speaking up and being the kind of parents who give me back some faith in the world.

Overheard

Mark this down as one of those “You know you’re a homeschooler when…” conversations!

Overheard yesterday:

Victoria:  Dad, is it okay if I order parasitic wasp attracting plants?

Daryl:  Yep

Victoria:  Do you want to know why?

Daryl:  Nah, not so much.