Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sex Sells.

Have you seen this commercial?

I'm so grateful for our DVR. I've been considering letting our satellite service lapse but now I'm reconsidering it. I rarely watch television (save Wednesday nights, I must watch LOST!) but the kids still do. Fortunately, they rarely watch live TV. They only watch things that they've recorded. When you watch things on the DVR you can skip through the commercials. The commercial above is a very good example of the kind of thing I don't want my kids to watch. I'm not overly protective about these things but seriously... it's getting rediculous. It's hard to pass up a sale but I won't be shopping at

WV HB 2749

I ran my mouth yesterday before I fully understood what I was talking about.
Who me?

I admit it though and I apologize for that. I never mind discussion, even when it's a bit heated. That's how we learn. Debate is good and yesterday, I learned something.

I learned that on Monday a bill was proposed in the West Virginia legislature that on the surface looks like a wonderful opportunity for homeschooled students that would like to participate in team sports at their local public school. I also learned to look very closely at these things because they are like David Copperfield.
"Hey, look over here, isn't this wonderful?!"
All the while they're slipping something ominous out of their sleeve.
On the surface the bill says that homeschooled students will be required to score at or exceeding the 50th percentile on the required end of year standardized test. Well that's fine,,, right? I mean, if publicly schooled children must maintain good grades then a home schooled child should, too, right?
Well, the ominous part to this is that this bill actually re-writes the Compulsory Attendance: West Virginia Code 18-8-1(a). It changes the language to state that a portfolio review will no longer be allowed for any student, not just those seeking a place on the team.
Portfolio review is a very important part of our WV law. Many parents choose to homeschool their children because they believe that a child does not progress according to a standardized test but by his or her own path. Some children have varying anxiety issues which makes testing counter indicated. Some parents prefer to maintain their personal liberties and believe that the state should have no interest in their children's test scores. I am the latter.
I believe this is a blatant attempt to whittle our hard fought rights away. They will not outlaw homeschooling all at once, they'll just make it so difficult and uncomfortable that no one will want to do it. Families are leaving the public schools in droves. This has to alarm the Department of Education.
Please contact your local representatives and tell them that you want this bill to be amended and that you will NOT COMPROMISE!!! Portfolio needs to stay in the current code.
Here is a link to the proposed bill:

Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm as mad as Hell, and you should be too.

I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's work, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV's while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be. We know things are bad - worse than bad. They're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, 'Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone.' Well, I'm not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot - I don't want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you've got to get mad.
[shouting] You've got to say, 'I'm a HUMAN BEING, Goddamnit! My life has VALUE!' So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell,
'I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!' I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell - 'I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Things have got to change. But first, you've gotta get mad!... You've got to say, 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Then we'll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it: [screaming at the top of his lungs] "I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!"

Howard Beale. I just had to quote that. Has it ever been more appropriate?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

My Big Old Saturday.

Today was fun. It was also exhausting and frustrating but mostly fun.
It is friend T's birthday today so that means lunch and shopping. My dear sweet husband has grown to expect that this is what happens on either of our birthdays and he's very accommodating.

I left the house at 9:30 AM this morning to pick up some last minute gifts for T and a card (yeah,, I'm a slacker). She's going to let me borrow said gift when she's done with it. Yes,,, she is. ha ha (she doesn't know this yet) We met just before noon and hit the mall with only 2 goals:
Running Shoes (for me)
A Cute Shirt (for her)
We scoured that entire mall. We finally did come out of Sears with shoes but the shirt is still eluding us. Everything out there is just total CRAP! I mean,, seriously? $54.00 for something I wouldn't buy at Kmart? Come ON! Everything on sale or clearance was about 6 inches too short. Don't think you've got me fooled fashion industry,, I know where you're skimping.
About 3pm we needed a break.
Time for food!!!
We usually go eat sushi and that was the plan today too except we wanted to try the new Shogun Steak House. We had no idea what we were getting into. I'd never been to a Hibachi house before and had to essentially have the waitress hold my hand through every choice. She was very gracious. I asked her one time "well, what do YOU eat here?" she replied "I don't eat here, it's too expensive!" ha ha ha,, you gotta love that honesty!
So the chef (who was named Pablo Martinez and only knew about 50 English words, 45 of which were the names of 80s Hair Bands) was doing his thing, throwing knives in the air, tossing eggs into his hat and all of the cool stuff they do when he laid a large slice of onion on the grill. He reversed the order of the slices with his knife so it formed a little cone, filled the cone with oil and then lit it on fire. The fire was like a little volcano shooting flame way into the air. He threw a knife into the air and caught it pointing at the little volcano saying "HOME DEPOT!!!"
Well, I thought,, I MUST have heard him wrong,, I must have! So we sat there watching the rest of his performance when the table behind us was coming to the same part in the show. I saw their chef light their volcano and exclaim "HOME DEPOT!!"
OH. MY. GOD!!!
Apparently they all misunderstood during training because I think they were supposed to be saying "VOL-CANO!"
Funniest thing I've ever heard.
The food was very very yummy and the sushi was superb. It was a bit on the pricey side but really? you're paying for dinner and a show so you can't beat it!

After dinner we continued shopping. We never did find a shirt and I didn't buy one other thing than shoes. 10 hours of shopping and I didn't find anything to buy. Ridiculous. It's like there is nothing on the shelves and what is on the shelves,, STINKS!
Ugh, an indirect product of stores not having a line of credit I guess. YAY DEPRESSION!!!
After that meal I could use some weight loss supplements!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Monday, February 16, 2009

Another Busy Week

I sound like a broken record don't I?
Monday- Band
Tuesday- Skating
Wednesday- Science Club
Thursday- lessons? Appleton? Appleton? Anyone?
Friday- Field trip to the Post Office.
Saturday- big day of shopping and eating sushi. Mmmmm sushi.

None of the above is really a big deal except Wednesday. Wednesday is a huge deal because I have nothing prepared for it. NOTHING. Anyone have any cool science experiments for middle school kids that require very little time and supplies?
Yeah,, no?,, me either.

Our field trip last week to the Power Wagon factory was awesome. They were so excited to have us and we were excited to be there.
The Power Wagon is just a marvel. It hooks up to the back of any vehicle and makes and stores electricity while you drive! It's an amazingly simple idea but took years and years of recalibrating to just the right specifications. The really cool part is that now matter how fast or slow you're going, frontwards or backwards.. it charges the battery. It's an amazing thing and it's going to be huge. I feel really privileged that we got to meet the inventor because some day he's going to be in the history books!
Check out the website
Out of floor space? Need that big TV up and out of the way? Look into a LCD mount .

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cake Ball recipe

So, yeah, call them what you want. You can pick a new name if you live with boys or really? men in general, but I call them Cake Balls.
Here's what you'll need:
1 cake mix (and the goodies it calls for, eggs, oil, etc)
1 tub 'o frosting
1 package of white almond bark (it's the chocolaty stuff you melt, Wilton chips will work too)
Some mini cup cake wrappers or sucker sticks.
sprinkles (optional)

Bake your cake according to the instructions. Let it cool completely.
Here comes the fun part....
Crumble the entire cake up in a bowl.
Now, start adding the frosting to the bowl of crumbled cake. You MAY NOT need the entire tub. There's no way to tell this but trial and error. It depends on how dry your cake is. You should be able to form a ball with the resulting "dough".
I used my medium pampered chef scoop to get them all the same size and to keep my hands out of it. If you have hot hands this stuff will become mush pretty quick.
Now,, after I've formed all the balls on a cool cookie sheet I stick the entire thing in the freezer for about 15m.
While your balls are in the freezer (snicker), melt your bark either in a double boiler or in the microwave.
If you decide to do it in the microwave, PLEASE stir it often. It must "temper" or it starts to taste funky. Stir it at least every 30 seconds.
So now you have really cold balls (snicker) and a bowl of melted chocolate. Stab a ball with a toothpick and dunk it in the chocolate coating it completely. Let the excess drip off and either stick a sucker stick in it or plop it in a mini cupcake wrapper. If you want sprinkles, do it while they are wet.
Now if you leave these setting out they will eventually harden and set up but I stuck mine in the fridge periodically because I couldn't wait!
Enjoy these tasty balls! ha ha ha ha ha
take these to work and you'll have some business insurance for sure!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


When we first came up with the idea for our Enrichment Classes (EAGLE), we were very excited and had big ideas for all the classes we wanted to offer. Our enthusiasm was well received and we now have more students than we ever anticipated. This is a great thing! It really is.
You knew it was coming didn't you? It's exhausting. It's a good kind of exhaustion but still. It's controlled chaos. And it IS controlled, very well. I hope that next year I do not have to feel obligated to hold a class in every block of time. Perhaps I can get to know some of the other moms a little better. I'm kinda stuck at my little table from 10am till 1:30pm. I'm even leading the 4H meeting during lunch.
We have an excellent group of kids. Everyone of them are curtious and attentive and as patient as they possibly can be.
Today we had a Valentine exchange and WOW! did the kids deliver when it came to decorating their valentine's boxes! I wish I'd taken pictures of them. They were just super.
We also had a bake sale for the 4H. I made cake balls. OMG,, they are SooOOoooOOOoo good!


Needless to say,, there weren't many left. That's a good thing tho!
All of us dieters have renewed interest in our diets and will weigh in again at skating.
I just can't say enough about the group of mom's we have at EAGLE. I'm lucky to call them all my friends.
Cake Balls should totally be adopted by one of the fast food franchises!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Write some stuff.

Hmmm, write some stuff,, write some stuff. I don't know, I have writer's block I guess!
Let's see, I'll wrap up the events of last week.
Monday- Band, I think everyone paid me, isn't that amazing?
Tuesday- snow, not looking too good for the field trip on Wednesday
Wednesday- snow, no field trip
Thursday- Mom's night out at Cheddars in Ashland. Oh yeah baby. That was GOOD. We had a really super turn out, too. Everyone must have had cabin fever!
Friday- Racina's house. THAT was fun! The kids had a blast and we had the world's biggest hen session. We needed that, we'd all been cooped up too long. Wow,, that's a lot of chicken references. BTW,, she's got the world's greatest dog and I love it and want to steal it.

This week should be very full.
Monday- Band. Early I think, at 3 instead of 4.
Tuesday- EAGLE barring a torrential downpour of snow.
Wednesday- Going to try to take our field trip again to the Power Wagon Factory.
Friday- Project Day.

We'll have to work really hard to get all of our school work in this week. At this rate it will be March before we know it! COME ON MARCH!!
Speaking of Spring. I could stand to do some spring cleaning, I'd love new office furniture !