Monday, April 21, 2008

Homeschool evaluation

As a homeschooler in Maine, we are given a couple of options about how we will report our student's progress to the local and state authorities. We opted for standardized testing, because we figured that later in life our kids would need to know how to play the standardized test game. Fortunately, through BJU I am qualified to administer IOWA tests, one of the common tests out there.

Just got this years results for Caleb (Anna won't begin to test until 'second' grade) today. While we don't hold much stock in the tests, because we live with the kids and know how well and what they are learning, I still look forward to the feedback.

Today the news felt especially 'good job' mommy, with the summary of the test saying that Caleb our 'third' grader is performing at the level of a fifth grader in the third month of school.

and the ONly thing hE needs to Work oN is CapitALizatioN.

We are so proud of his hard work this year.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

First Gifford's trip of 2008

While the boys went to the Passover Seder at our local synagogue, the girls and I enjoyed a 'religious' celebration of our own.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Dirigo Health (BA!)

I generally don't drink soda. My husband now brews beer at home. I don't smoke, but like to be around those who do. I enjoy wine.

While I am sympathetic to Maine families and individuals who need insurance, I can't ever see myself supporting a government run program. Because government thrives on building bureaucracy, not on making conservative choices.

In light of the new (bad) tax increase that was passed to support a government run (bad) business, I went looking for insight online.

At one place on the website

"Affordable high quality health care for all Maine people. We created Dirigo Health because all Maine people need reliable, quality health care they can afford."

At another place on the website

"We are not offering subsidized coverage to new members at this time"

In the Morning Sentinel this morning:

"Raising taxes on hundreds of thousands of Maine consumers, small businesses and families in this economy is a very bad idea," he (Chris Jackson, Maine Oil Dealers Association) said.

Yet Dirigo supporters say the overall goal of providing access to health insurance for small businesses and the self-employed is important.

Joe Ditre, executive director of Consumers for Affordable Health Care, said the taxes in the law were recommended by insurance companies, large businesses and large health care providers.

I'm just saying....

If Mainers are smart, they will stock up now on those important summer treats; or plan strategic trips through NH where we can get more for less.

Maybe I better go do some yardwork before I get too politically minded.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Read this article at lunch-time today:

It's a new application for Facebook called BLOGIT. When I post on my Facebook, it will show up on my blog over here. Pretty cool, huh? It works with multiple blogging platforms, too.

It seems it could be a tool that simplifies as well as being a nifty gadget.



After three days of Math frustration with Anna, it dawned on me that I homeschool. I homeschool because I like the flexibility it allows. I homeschool because I believe it gives a good margin for my kids. For their spurts, triumphs, their frustrations.

So she and I took a walk around the house looking at the crocuses, and declared vacation for the rest of the week.

Think of that.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

An author

This is MY husband. He is holding HIS book. MY husband is an author. The books got here on Friday and we've spent the weekend celebrating and packing out nearly 100 pre-orders.

I feel particularly blessed that the dedication was to me (is it okay to talk about that?). As I told Caleb, I'm not sure if it's more exciting to be a published author, or to be someone who has a book dedicated to them. I mean, we both got our name in print, and who did all the work : )

Seriously, congratulations to my best friend, and the pilgrim I travel this journey with!
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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

No caption necessary

Sticks and Leaves.

In an enthusiastic (or desperate) attempt to get the yard uncovered from winter, I've been raking every spot that I possibly could. This is my new favorite way to deal with piles of sticks and leaves.

Atta girls

I know I've done something right when:

The kids plan and execute a picnic on the first day that the temps hit 50,

the kids run inside all in a dither to tell me that the first crocuses have appeared,

we eat at Red Robin and the kids choose carrots and melon over french fries (Marc and I had french fries).

A Crafty Experiment

I'm sure I read the idea somewhere, but the girls and I spent part of an afternoon a couple weeks ago painting with straws. This is not a project for my OCD-ish friends. : ) If you can get past the community straws, then it is really a fun way to paint.

Artist Tip: You get better color splat and texture if you 'suck' up a little paint and then blow hard.

Saturday, April 05, 2008


Every once in awhile I look up from everything that fills my life. Today I found myself reading this in the news.