Friday, September 26, 2014

This Weekend, BOLO

for a photo G took that has been published** here.
I don't know if they will print her name but they will print location in Arkansas.  It is a sunset though I forgot to tell the author of it.  So either Saturday or Sunday this will print.  There are some pretty spectacular photos of sunsets and sunrises on this site.

G has become enamored with taking cool sunset pictures as we leave my mom's.  I will also say that one night we literally saw the sun drop or rather, I guess saw the earth turn.  It was very cool to share that moment!~

**updated link

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Last night while G was supposed to be getting ready for bed, she made a comment about her eyelids.  G has double eyelids which was pointed out to us in China when she was a baby and the comments were basically that she is so lucky to have double eyelids.  So G said, "I have double eyelids because God was preparing me to grow up in America."  She is so funny.

The comment wasn't out of the blue but it did cause me to stop in my tracks.  I don't remember now what the total conversation was about that we were having but that was relevant in her own working out of her story.

She is a funny kid and keeps me on my toes.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Weekend Updates

First and foremost, I didn't get my dream job. Obviously, for me, not God's will and I am trying not to be disappointed.

 Now on to the weekend updates: Saturday was very very busy. G had a car wash at 9 so I dropped her off and headed to the grocery store. Finished up there a bit after 10, rushed back to get G and take her to change into her soccer uniform then back to the soccer field by 11. We did make it there in time. She played, not her heart out because she was tired and had only 1 rest, but she played for 40 mins or so.

Then we grabbed my mom, went home to let G shower and change, then out shopping for the fall blue jeans. Let me say first that I dislike shopping with G. Last fall I discovered that she is so afraid that I won't buy her something when we go shopping that she will promise the moon in order to have me buy her new clothes. She loves tennis shoe shopping, and generally she loves shopping for her own clothes.

 Her style is jeans or shorts and a t-shirt. If I give a little she demands 30 miles. So if I think what we find she won't wear and try to reason with her about finding another store to look she promises that she will wear those jeans or whatever then within a week after purchase she is refusing with wailing and gnashing of teeth.

 So last year we headed to a store and walked out with 1 pair of pants for church and a few pair blue jeans. By 3 weeks into wearing the blue jeans and pants for church she was melting down about them being too tight with real tears. Oh and one pair she refused to wear because a little girl in her class had the same pair.

 I ended up purchasing some extra jeans on-line (clearance) but had to return them because they were too small to her even though they were 12P. We swapped them for size 14. By the way, she isn't a size 14, she is barely a 12. She just hates having clothing to touch her. She doesn't ever unbutton or unzip her pants to put them on or take them off.

 Anyway, she tore up the Sunday pants before the winter season had ended, and I made her wear them torn up because she did it in anger. She had wanted to wear blue jeans because one time I allowed her to do so in extreme cold; therefore, she tried to take the 30 miles and justify wearing jeans because of the 1 time I allowed it.

 I know, she is just being a kid. Even this Saturday she demanded to know why she can't wear one of her new darker blue jeans for church. The reason is because she will demand to do so every Sunday and throw back at me the fact that I allowed her to do so once. She will wear the black pants on Sunday. I can't and won't make her wear a dress (she is uncomfortable in them) but I can make her dress in her best which is black pants and long sleeve solid color shirt.

We are now on the look out for boots. So needless to say, I wasn't looking forward to shopping this Saturday, but my mom came along and we ended up being successful. I say that hesitatingly because she hasn't actually worn the jeans we bought. Living in the south, she can wear summer shorts for a much longer time, thankfully.

We went to 12 stores Saturday, 3 in our town and G refused to even consider any of the jeans. We then headed past big city to bigger than our town where we had lunch. Lunch helped knock out the lack of cooperation and grumpiness which made shopping a bit easier, thank you Fazoli's $5 lunch menu.

We found 1 pair of jeans and a pair of black pants for Sunday at Goodwill. We found 3 pair of jeans at a consignment shop, one of those being a size 8 husky (boys Levis) that were hung in the wrong place but that G tried on anyway and liked. I didn't even see the size until I washed them at home. It was best to let her take what I thought she could wear and try them on without input. She won't be wearing the huskys to school because the waist is so big that even pinning them doesn't work.  Oh and they don't cover the tops of her tennis shoes which she likes her jeans to do.

I told her those could be her Saturday lounge jeans. Everybody needs a pair of Saturday lounge jeans or outfit unless of course your Saturday is a church day then just a weekend outfit. She also told me this week that you can't wear flip flops with blue jeans, never mind that I do so about everyday.  We then found 2 pair of jeans (new) at the Gap outlet and paid more for the 2 pair (ON SALE EVEN) than for the 5 other pairs of jeans/pants combined.

We were unsuccessful with the search on shirts. There just weren't any solid color long sleeve shirts. I ended up ordering some long sleeve solid shirts on Justice online and Hanes online. I got them in size 16 so hopefully she won't complain even if there is a bit of shrinkage.

I had told her that she could wear the long sleeve shirts under her favorite t-shirts and not have to wear the tank undershirts. Now she has taken that to mean she will only wear them layered and no tanks. For Sunday she thinks she will get to wear her Sunday summer t-shirts over these long sleeve shirts which is not at all what I meant. I only meant for school purposes. I sense a long battle this winter with clothes and undershirts.

Oh and thank goodness fall is hear and winter is coming because she got green paint on her khaki summer Sunday shorts. She only had 2 pair of them and now one is totally ruined. I can't get the paint out. So I guess those are her new Saturday lounge shorts, heh.

After the Saturday shopping G and I treated my mom to Baskin Robins ice cream waffle cones and then home. G and I got home around 7ish, had supper and then to bed. Sunday I managed to get my nap in and then Bible study at church.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Spread the word

This needs to be watched by everyone and passed around for everyone with or without children to see what we will be throwing away by using common core in our schools, individuality, diversity of thought, creativity and local/state control.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Have You Heard of the Common Core?

And the outcry behind it?  Here is an example from G's homework.  This is the CC example printed on the page for G to use on her problems:

Problem:  6 x 89=

Solution printed on page:

6 x (90-1)=
(6 x 90)-(6 x 1)=
540 - 6 =

First thing G said was, "Where did they get the 90?"  So basically, what common core does is forces kids to write out all the steps they do in their heads automatically.  The problem is this working in the heads has a foundational basis in math facts.  The common core likes base 10 problems so they work with children to force a base 10 solution to the problems.  Simplest and fastest to the problem would be to rewrite it as:

  x  6

Or if they wish to find the base 10 then:

6 x 89 =
6 x (80 + 9)=
(6 x 80) + (6 x 9) =
480 + 54 =

But in the example printed on the page, they have introduced 90, 1 and a subtraction that is utterly unnecessary.  In the "old fashioned" way the only addition to solve the problem is the addition.  The foundations are laid.  Conceptually, the final problem I laid out is the better explanation because the child can see the 10s place being multiplied where it is not as easily seen in the second problem (simplest) I completed.

G's problem is that she does the math in her head and doesn't write down the steps.  Of course they don't really give children room to write all the steps down either.  I think what common core is missing is foundation.  If the kids don't know the math facts then when they look at a problem like this they can't see how to break the numbers down into 10s in the first place.

Another CC example is:

5 x 12 x 2 =

What they are looking for is to demonstrate associative multiplication understanding with base 10 helping to solve the problem.  So the correct written answer would be:

(5 x 2) x 12 =
10 x 12 =

G looked at it and just wrote the correct number down but didn't write the in between because honestly she didn't have too.  But since I understood what they wanted I asked her to tell me what she did first in her head and had her write the step down.  I told her that CC likes to speak of numbers as friendly; ie, base 10 or unfriendly; ie, anything else.  I told her to always look at the numbers to see if she can find the base 10 first.

The other problem with the whole write every step and break all problems down to base 10 is there are so many steps that the children will make simply stupid mistakes that will not demonstrate understanding but will demonstrate a hurried-ness and lack of clear thinking.

We always had to write down the steps of solving problems so the teacher could make sure our answers were not guesses but we still solved the problems in the easiest way or with as few steps as possible.  I am not a fan of common core and I despise Arkansas Education Dept for adopting it without understanding it.  It is awful, untested and will set our children back behind their peers around the world.  This is dangerous overreach of federal government control backed by large wealthy donors who themselves will not subject their own children to this kind of teaching.  This common core will not aid in getting kids to college unless the aim is only a 2 year so the elite can remain at the Harvards of the world.

If you follow the money, you will see a very scary trail to people who have their own best interests at heart, not the best interests of our children.  If common core remains a generation of guinea pigs (our children) will be lost!

Monday, September 15, 2014


If you use this link to order from Shutterfly for the first time you will receive 101 free prints, no expiration storage of photos and I will receive a small thanks for the referral.

 I personally love Shutterfly. They did not ask me to write this.  These are 100% my own thoughts about Shutterfly

I usually get all of my Christmas cards from them as well as photo books for trips or school year or whatever I happen to wish to make. The storage alone is worth ordering as most photo storage sites either charge or the storage is for a limited time. Projects sometimes will remain complete so you can re-order but sometimes the item may no longer be for sale. They do allow you to transfer project styles for like photo books.

 And cards and books are all I can speak to really. I have ordered regular pictures for regular photo albums or G's art projects but nothing else. So if you are interested, hit the links I have provided.

Thank you,

Saturday, September 13, 2014

5k race

This morning G and I ran a 5k in support of a ministry here in town.  It was a color run and very cold. But we did it and I walked it talking to a lady that goes to my mom's church.  She finally figured out who we were and how she knew us.  It was fun.  Before we left the house see I made sure we both pottied up but just as soon as we picked up the packets, I had to go.  I was able to get through the wait and the race but still had to use the portopotties anyway.

G ended about 30 minutes before I did which was fine by me.  Over in just under 1 hour.  We did warm up so G was glad she didn't overdress.    Home again, homemade pizza for lunch, another pot of coffee for me and settled in for a movie.

 Laundry is taking forever it seems to me.  Regular Saturday stuff, you know.  Fixed dinner for my parents last night mainly to finish off the butternut squash soup G and I made from scratch last Saturday.  Perils of grocery shopping with a smart phone and butternut squash on sale.  I had nothing for the recipe I looked up while at the store at home except salt and pepper.  It was really good soup but then Sunday I decided what was really needed with it was sausage, cheese and sour dough bread.

The soup also took about 4 hours total.  While the squash roasted G and I organized my recipe collection. I love collecting recipes and recipe books though I don't ever have the stuff to make a recipe when I am hungry for something.  My collection looks nice and would be helpful for someone who loved cooking, heh.

So my parents did get the fire phones and of course my mom doesn't know nor will be able to learn how to use it well.  Dad will figure it out and help her along but she tried and couldn't call me this morning.  I spoke to her after the race and she told me how she was going to call me but picked up the old phone since she forgot about the new one already.  Of course the old didn't work and she panicked and couldn't even think how to call me.

Tomorrow is Sunday and our Bible study in Acts begins in earnest.  So excited.  Off to finish this movie now.  Have a great rest of the weekend from G and me.