A Quote to Start Things Off

Somebody told me there was no such thing as truth. I said if that's the case then why should I believe you" -Lecrae - Gravity

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Pictures of Memories I

Pictures of Memories I
Snow kidding! These "kids" now range from 17 to 23

2024 A to Z Challenge

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Home School Kids Carnival @ Alice's Bunny Blog

As I mentioned a few days ago Bunny is hosting a home schooled kids carnival at her blog. I think she did a great job! Make sure you check it out.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Creation vs.Evolution

Monday nights are Awana nights at church. I have been taking a creation vs. evolution class at church that meets at the same times the kids are at Awana. Monday's are a pretty long day for me. I tend to be on the go go go from 7:30 a.m to 9:00 p.m. So by the time I get to class, I am not always in the best place for knowledge input.

Today for example, they were talking about astronomy and the big bang. They turned off the lights so we could better see slides of galaxies and stars. I was struggling to stay awake before the lights went out. When they did, they might as well have handed out pillows.

Pillow talk not withstanding, here are a few thoughts about things I have learned or have had reaffirmed during the class:

I was brought up that evolution is fact. I shocked my mom at Thanksgiving when I told her I did not believe in it. I learned it as a theory, but it is a theory that is taught as fact. I saw a youtube video a few months ago where Matt Damon was on a talk show calling, then vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, an idiot because she did not believe in millions of years. He went on to say that he couldn't believe anyone would think of giving her nuclear codes because of it. The implication is simple: anyone who doesn't believe in this theory (aka evolution) as fact is not playing with a full deck.

What I was reminded of during this class is, that evolution is a theory in crisis. It is a theory that people believe even when the facts dispute it. I am 100% convinced that it takes much more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in a literal biblical interpretation of creation. I read so many statements written by evolutionists that dispute evolution. Last week I read a report on the age of the earth. It basically said that the study they did showed the age of the earth was approximately 10,000 years old. They went on to say that the study could not be write because we "know" the earth is millions of years old.

My creationist views have, for lack of a better word, evolved, over the last 20 years. I used to find the idea of a young earth ludicrous. I believed in what is called, "theistic evolution." Now that seems like a have your cake, and eat it too, mish mash of theories. For the past 15 years or so, I have believed in a young earth (less than 10,000 years old.) Over the past 5 years, I have learned some science that has made that faith more fact based.

So that's where I stand on beginnings. What do you think?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Poem from a Train

I lived in Russia from late 1992 to 1994. I lived in a city in Far Eastern Russia called Khabarovsk. For about a year of the time I was there I would regularly travel by train to a neighbroing city about 3 hours away called Birobidjan. Here is a poem I wrote on the train in March of 2004.

The Melting Snow of the Infinte Plain
Written on a train from Birobidjan to Khabarovsk
Dusk inserts contrast to the endless white before me
Small patchs of forest punctuate the crystalline desolation
Brush and barren soil testify
That the Herculean winter is mortal after all
A days journey nears completion
A circuitous route
Ends like it began
Thoughts of far and near
Of important and trivial
speed through the minds eye
Occasionally stopping.
At the stops
The view becomes clear and definite
Then slowly
Movement begins again
The everyday life becomes a blur.
Night has come to the winter plain.
Morning and Spring inch closer.
And the train rolls on.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

An Exciting Announcement

Last August I posted about how I was teaching a blogging class in my home school co-op. In preparing the class I decided a good class project would be hosting the Homeschool kids carnival. I contacted the person who runs the carnival and set the whole thing up for the November 30th edition.

It turns out that only my daughter signed up for the blogging class. And I decided to put it off for a semester to see if I could generate more interest. Earlier this month, the host of the host of the homeschool kids carnival contacted me to remind me of the November edition. Since I didn't really have a class I could turn to, I asked Bunny to host it. Asked or commanded, depends on your point of view.

So, come November 30th, Alice's Bunny Blog will be hosting the Homeschool Kids Carnival. If you have any children who would like to submit an entry click here. For more info on the carnival, click here.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Nothing like a cheese sandwich

You know how they say,"Nothing like a cheese sandwich?" Well, they don't mean it. Let's be completely honest (we're among friends, right?) they hardly even mean it when they say, "Time is money" or "Best friends with goldfish." But what I've got in my craw this evening is the first phrase. Nothing like a cheese sandwich. Robert Redford would say it like this, "There's nothing like a cheese sandwich." But I prefer my own way, and keep the "there's" off. Know what I mean? Now most other things I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Redford. But not this.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pilgrim Hat Cookies

We were finally able to buy orange frosting and thus able to make some cookies that Amy read about in Working Mother magazine.

Here is what you need . . .

Fudge Striped Cookies
Cream Cheese Frosting
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
Orange Frosting Tube

Step 1. Set Fudge Striped Cookies Stripe side down on cookie sheet

Step 2 spread frosting on top of peanut butter cup .Step 3 affix peanut butter cup on cookie. Enough frosting will run over to make brim for hat.

Step 4 with orange frosting, make belt buckle on side of hat.

Step 5. Voila.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

You don't have to be Einstein.

Half-Past Kissin' Time

To be 1 step ahead of the Holidays Half Past Kissing Time has started Friday Fragments early here are mine . . .

Our home school co-op ended this week. One of the teachers was teaching a physics class for 1st-3rd Graders. Earlier in the semester she asked me to speak the last week of the class as Albert Einstein.

So I donned a wig (cotton balls taped to a stocking cap) and my best German scientist accent and had a lot of fun with it.

It turns out you don't have to be Einstein to play Einstein. I was able to perform an experiment that illustrated what Einstein discovered about light having gravity.


My parents came to the closing festivities for the co-op for the first time this year. I think it was the first time they ever got to see my kids in action in a true home school setting. I shared the emceeing duties with two of the speech classes. The presenters went up in pairs and they were very polished, so it had a real awards show feel to it. At the end of the evening I handed the microphone to puppy and she told this joke . . .

Who was the most important knight at the round table?Sir Cumference


As I posted Sunday, Christmas shopping has seemed to begun in earnest all around us. If you make it out to the malls and big box stores take the sales advice with a grain of salt. I have noticed that some sales people through ignorance, poor listening skills, or just to sell more product don't always give correct product information.

For example, I wanted to buy Amy something she could listen to radio programs with when she is out and about. On several occasions we looked at ipods and we asked several associates if those ipods would play pod casts. Each time we were told no. Sometimes we were told that only a Zune would play pod casts, sometimes we were told that only an ipod touch would play them. Both those pieces of equipment cost more than what I had to spend on her birthday present. We then decided to just buy an old fashioned Walkman type radio and were told by an associate that the store no longer sold radios like that.

I walked back to where they "used to be" located anyway. They were still there and we bought out. We found out later that day through the miracle that is Facebook. That ipods do indeed play pod casts. (I mean they are called "pod" casts for a reason.)

I marched (figuratively) back to the store returned the Walkman radio, and proceeded to buy Amy an ipod; at a different store.


Those are all the fragments I have. I hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving. For More Friday Fragments click here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Of Blog Awards and Carnivals

A little Homeschool Blogging news for a Tuesday evening.

The Carnival of Homeschooling is in it's 256th week. If I were hosting this week I would call it the four to the fourth edition. This is probably one of the main reasons I am not hosting it this week. Mrs. Mama Hen is doing the honors this week and she is calling it the Our Great Nation edition. She must be from Switzerland, because only those stinking Swiss would think they were the only country using the internet. Greatest nation, indeed; their cheese has holes in it. Alpine (or other) ethnocentricity aside, it is an excellent carnival.

The HSBA award winners were announced late last night. I don't think anyone I voted for won (including myself) but many excellent blogs were honored. I will be listing all the winners on a separate page laterin the week; you can check them all out here. Congratulations to them all. Special appreciation to the fine folks at the HSBA who spend so much time and energy on the awards each year.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Go Ask My Dad

HSD Rewind time again. Going back to March 2009 when I wrote this . . .

Some of you may know that I would someday like to write a book. I often say I am working on a book, but that does not do justice to my friends who are actually working on a book. I have ideas for a book on relationships. From time to time I may talk about some of those ideas here. Recently Mama Archer's post was about relationships. In the post she linked to something she wrote in a blog called Weekend Kindness. What she shared was actually from a paper her daughter had written about finding a spouse.

Many of the standards her daughter mentioned are those I am imparting in my daughters. Specifically, a courtship model, that involves the active role of the parents especially the father. When my 9 year old was younger, I taught her what to say if a boy ever wanted to marry her. The response is "go ask my Dad." She still remembers it, and has not fought with me about it, yet, but that day may come.

My youngest child, also a daughter, is 3. She is leaving what I call the "save them every day" stage. The part of their life when you seem to be keeping them from physical peril at every turn. We spend so much of their early child hood keeping them from physical harm, making rules to keep them safe. Before they use a tool that could hurt them, we instruct them, and give them careful supervision while learning new skills.

I am not sure why with all that care giving I would be willing to withdraw all that guidance when they become of dating age. Many parents seem to think they have no chance of asserting control in any of those areas, so they do not try. I was greatly encouraged to read that Mama Archer's daughter plans to allow her parents an active role in determining her future husband.

I will write more about these issues in the future.

Meanwhile back in 2010. My youngest is no longer in the save her every day stage. It's more like the save the house from her stage. I have still not gotten very far with the "book". I have written a few more posts about relationships.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving Cancelled

Today was a strange day. I spent several hours on errands that should have taken 1/3 of the time. We've all had days like that, I'm sure. What was the most frustrating was when I went into a craft supply store called Michael's this afternoon. I had to get a few pieces of card stock for Emma's scrapbooking class. That was easy. I then went to look for some orange frosting for some thanksgiving treats we are going to make for Thursday. I found the cooking section very easily but then I realized they only had Christmas colors. I then realized (I am not the most visually observant person in the world) That the whole store was filled with Christmas products. The store was packed with people. I have been at Michael's many Sunday afternoons this Fall and there is usually 1/5th of the people there. For a minute I thought I had time jumped from a week before Thanksgiving to a week before Christmas. (I have been watching some of Season 1 of Heroes this week and that may account for the time jump theory.)

I looked in vain for 5-10 minutes for Thanksgiving decor while I wandered through the crowded store, I finally asked a staff person where I could find it and He said they had taken down all the Thanksgiving merchandise in order to prepare for Christmas. I reconsidered the time jump theory for a split second and then inquired if Thanksgiving had been cancelled? I don't know if he knew for sure, so I just bought my card stock and left.

As I exited the store I read a sign on their window that they would be open 5 hours on Thanksgiving. So I'm thinking why would they be open on Thanksgiving? They don't have any Thanksgiving stuff! Then I read the sign further and it said that there would be door busters.

So that was it, with almost a week before Thanksgiving they had remove all traces of it from their store but are trying to lure us back there on Thursday afternoon when the triptifan is supposed to be kicking in just so we can buy Christmas stuff!

This was not an isolated situation. My SIL had the same experience yesterday, She went into Kohl's, TJ Maxx, and a dollar store looking for Thanksgiving decorations and came up empty.

I read a joke in a letter in the mid 1980's. It said that when you see all the Christmas decorations up you can tell that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I remember reading it that it was an exaggeration of the truth. In the past 25 or so years, that joke has become the reality; and the reality is not very funny, especially when you need orange frosting.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Operation Christmas Child

Six Word Saturday: At least for another 90 minutes. You can go to show my face to check all the other 6 word Saturdays. Here are mine . . .

Our Family Loves Operation Christmas Child

To find out more about this excellent program by the Ministry Samaritan's Purse click here.

In the interim these pictures explain our involvement pretty well.

Keith Time

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fragments Of Libraries, Kefir ads and HSBA

It's Friday Fragment time at half past kissing time.

Here are my fragments . . .

I used to spend a lot of time using our local libraries computers. Now due to the miracle of wifi, and the fact that I have a laptop, I have been using my computer at the library. This Tuesday night I was at the library w/o my laptop and decided to write my blog from there. I was reminded of this annoying yet funny (to me) system issue they have. Each user has an hour to use their computer. When there are 15 minutes left a pop up comes up and tells you how much time is remaining. At 10 minuts es a new pop up comes up and asks if you want an additional 15 minutes (when there is not a que). You are warned again at 5 minutes and at 2 minutes you get a countdown clock. I know this because I have gone down to the last 10 seconds before.

What really gets me is when you finally click the log out button you get another pop-up that says are you sure you want to leave?

And I'm thinking aren't you the same computet r that's been kicking me out for the last 15 minutes, and now you want me to stay? It's crazy!


Speaking of annoying. On the way home from the library I was listening to a radio commercial about Keat kefir. The ad said that a clinical study proved that kefir may improve digestive health.

You needed a clnical study for a maybe? Wasn't it a maybe before the study?


The HSBA Awards voting ends very soon you can vote bt clicking here.

Here is what the first quarter of my ballot looks like

Best Home School Mom: Home Spun Juggling
Best Home School Dad: Home School Dad
Best Blog Design: Live The Adventure
Best Photos & Artistic Content Blog: 1+1+1=1
Best Crafts, Plans & Projects Blog: The Activity Mom
Best Family or Group Blog: The Homeschool Classroom
Best Encourager: Psalm 104:24
Best Current Events, Opinions or Politics Blog: Why Homeschool.
Best Homemaking or Recipe Blog: The Pioneer Woman.
Best Teen Blog: A Young Woman for God.

I have some errands to run but wilil fill in the rest of the ballot when I return. To return to Friday Fragments click here.

Keith Time: Memories of The Funeral Part II

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Helpful Homeschool Hints on a sick day

Last night I had essentially a sleepless night caused by food poisoning or some other malady. It could have been just a suppressed memory of an episode I watched of the Partridge Family when I was a kid. I mean that show stunk! If I were an Atheist, I would use the fact that the Partridge Family ran so long (4 seasons in prime time and several more in syndication) as proof of the nonexistence of God. So whether food induced, bad 70's t.v. memories caused or some other reason. I spent the evening in a feverish, retching state. When Amy went off to work this morning, I was feeling a little better, but still exhausted from the ordeal. All this serves as an introduction to a new meme debuting today called Helpful Homeschool Hints hosted at Many Little Blessings. Even though the weather is currently 11 feet tall and at 6'1 I am still firmly under it, I want to take some time this afternoon to give a hint based on my current predicament and experience.
My Helpful Homeschool Hint:

On a day when you are unwell , take care of yourself.

I think whether working outside or inside the home, everyone has had several nights like the one described above. Perhaps, a sick baby or a phone call regarding the sickness or death of a loved one was to blame rather than just being sick yourself. But, no matter what caused it, there is sometimes a feeling that that no matter what you had planned for the day must continue regardless of your incapacity to proceed. You force yourself into the shower, and then will yourself to whatever needs be accomplished that day.

I know from my own experience that such resolve doesn't usually have the results intended. When I worked outside the home, I had several times when I dragged myself to work sick as a dog, often in bad weather. Just to have to take a sick day anyway 2 hours or less after I came in (usually feeling sicker and driving home in worse weather.)

This also has happened in my role as the home educator. I just try to accomplish whatever was planned and usually the day goes well for no one.
Today, while I harbored some misconceptions of getting some school done. I knew that I needed to lay down for at least an hour or so. I put on a couple of episodes of the Old Electric Company and told the kids to check on me when those two episodes were done.
That hour or so turned out to be 5 hours. I woke up a few times but never had to get out of bed. In between sleeping, they did some educating of themselves. Besides Electric Company (grammar and phonics) I overheard them playing Monopoly and Risk (Math and Logic) emptying the dishwasher and making their own lunch (Home Ec.) While they were eating lunch they were performing "The Book Report" from A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN. (Drama and music appreciation). It was like my sickness turned them into a pseudo unschooled classroom for the morning.

A couple of disclaimers need to be mentioned at this time.

1) If you home educate very young children, sick children, or special needs kids, such a morning would not be possible without the assistance of an older sibling or a friend or relative to intervene.
Even a year ago, Puppy (Almost 5) would not have allowed me 5 uninterrupted hours no matter my condition. She is just beginning to stop operating on the "I'm up, so you need to be up" model.

2) It hasn't all been bonbons and Mallomars this morning. (Aside from the fact, that I haven't been able to contemplate actually putting food into my system yet.) Even as I was writing this, I had to intervene in a breach of contract issue between my little game players.

With that being said, my helpful hint remains . . . When you are sick or otherwise encumbered, allow some flexibility in your plans and allow your students the ability to demonstrate some of the life lessons you are teaching them.
For More Helpful Homeschool Hints click here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Art of the Midnight Snack

A few weeks ago I was in bed at 11ish and I could not sleep. This is not uncommon for me. So I got up out of bed and got myself something to eat. This is still a some what usual occurrence.

Where I diverged from the usual is the elaborateness of my snack. It started with a salad theme on Grandma's china.

Added toast and milk.

And then did a little snack and hulu action

That was a snack worthy of blogginess.

Keith Time: The International Impact of Keith Part III

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Coffee Table Books, No Coffee Table.

Tried to take care of a few things today after school. One thing was to take some books and toys to the attic. I love books. I am not a voracious reader, like my wife. I love to read, but more than that I just love to have them around. When I was in college, if I went on a weekend retreat, I would usually bring 5 books with me. Not school books, mind you, just books. I would then wind up buying 4-5 more books at the retreat. This probably explains why our bookshelves are so overcrowded.

One problem we have with our bookshelf is that we have a number of coffee table books, and no coffee table. The problem is that these coffee table books are over sized and don't fit naturally in any of the book shelves, save the bottom ones. This of course is a problem, as puppy can easily take them out of said shelves.

One partial solution I have found to the book over crowding is a little thing called paper back swap. It is an on line paper back (and hardcover) exchange system. Today, I took a number of books from our shelves (many purchased at those weekend retreats) and listed them at paper back swap.

If someone wants a book. I mail it to them at my expense and then I get a free credit for a book. I listed 15 books an hour ago and already have 1 book to send out.

My wife doesn't see this as much of an accomplishment. As I am either spending money to get rid of books or adding more books to the household.

So far, all of my "purchases" have been on school books I would have needed anyway. Today was an especially good book as I was able to order a book that has been out of print for more than a decade. Our co-op skits class is using one of the stories from the as a final project this fall and another one this spring. This way we won't have to borrow it from a local college library. I will blog more about this book once I get my hot little hands on it.

If you look directly below you will see a link to the books I am giving up.

Well, that's enough about books and exchange rates and all that. Have a great evening.

Keith Time: Time For Jeopardy

Monday, November 15, 2010

Not Much. what's a woodchuck with you?

On the way home from Awana today, my son asked me why a woodchuck is called a woodchuck. I told him, I did not know but would find out.

And the thing is I did . . .

groundhog day! Originally uploaded by NapaneeGal

I originally thought that woodchuck was just an informal version of Wood Charles. It turns out, a woodchuck is just another name for a groundhog. It comes from the Indian name for groundhogs and other similar animals, wujak. The name evolved into woodchuck. I don't believe the animal evolved, but I can believe the name did.

I also found out that woodchuck isn't the only alternate name for groundhog. There is also Land Beaver and Whistle Pig. It reminds me of that old tongue twister (I just made up):

How many names would a ground hog have if a ground hog could ground names?

Keith Time: Memories From the Funeral Part I

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday at the Rollers

And now, a word from our sponsor....

What does Sunday at the Roller's house look like? Maybe much like your house. Wake up, make breakfast, run around getting everyone cleaned and dressed for church. Go to church. Enjoy worship, preaching, and announcements about our pastor search. During second service, divide up into our various classes where we're serving. Don't forget the donuts. Get home by 1:30. Have a nice relaxing lunch, then everyone scatters for their Sunday down time. Some are reading, some are playing Lego's, some are watching tv, some are sorting coins, some are devising ways to get the others involved in her dramatic/comedic play that they will write later. Sundays are generally spent doing all of these things. Then, someone remembers that the fish are almost out of water (they tend to die if we use tap water), and we're almost out of tp and dishwasher soap. So, a quick run to Walmart to pick up the essentials. Obviously, a LOT of other families had the SAME idea! Not before the dog and sheep dramatic/comedic plays. Some of us had better roles than others: Dad and older sister were crawling around as either dogs or sheep, younger sister (author and director) also "got to" crawl around as dog and sheep, brother was the clown to make the animals happy (did his job with gusto) and mom had the cushy role of looking for the lost dogs and lost sheep. Evening spent watching Hulu: Extreme Home Makeover, and Supernanny. More coin sorting by some. Oops! Forgot to have dinner. Dad to the rescue, picks up our favorites! Thanks dad! One more Sunday gone by...tune in next week for another episode of As the Rollers Roll...

Keith Time: The International impact of Keith Part II

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Six words for vote for me @ HSBA

Join Me at The Homeschool Post!

http://www.showmyface.com/ has arguably the best blog meme ever. Six Word Saturday is all that and a bag of chips infinity. It is also one of the few memes with a day in it that doesn't broadcast a day before it's name sake. WTG in the truth in advertising game, Show my Face!

My Six Words today could easily be surmised from the above button. But I'll be glad to reiterate . (reiterate v. - To iterate again) :

2010 Homeschool Blog Awards. Vote Now!

The HSBA Post is again hosting the awards. There is about a week to vote and for the purpose of full disclosure, my blog is nominated in 2 0f the 20 categories. Yes, I have been nominated for best Home School Dad blog again this year. Since the name of my blog is Home School Dad, you'd think I'd be a shoe-in. Tell that to Families Again who won last year. I say vote for me and let him win Best Families Again Blog.

And as surprising as it may sound considering the last paragraph, I am also up for funniest home school blog. You can vote for me by clicking here. I strongly urge that you browse all the categories. You may find some new favorites (fav-o-rites n. Irish Rapper).

To get back to more Six Word Saturday or just to get away from me click here.

Keith Time: A Summertime Remembrance

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Great Pizza Battle

Half-Past Kissin' Time

The basic idea is to share a number of different tidbits that you'd generally not waste a whole post with. It's kind of like my old 3 Things Thursday meme, except it's on Friday, and people read it.

I thought I'd begin these fragments with some local flavor. The Chicago area is renowned for it's great pizza. When we moved to this town 9 years ago, we found a great local pizza place. Local, it's actually only a block from our house. It's a really cool place with a hunting lodge decor. The pizza is great, but they also have great hot dogs and polish sausage. They have complimentary peanuts and insist you throw the shells on the floor.

I don't know all of the exact details that led to the situation I am about to describe. I have heard many conflicting reports, so I am going to be vague to insure I don't pass on misinformation. The pizza place was located in a small complex that includes a hair salon and 7-11. Last year the owners of the pizza place bought the two houses across the street, and had them razed. I thought at the time that this was merely an expansion. In truth the restaurant had let its lease run out and was rebuilding across the street.

A few months later a new pizza place opened in the old one's former location. It was started by a former employee, who wanted to have a place of his own. I tried it a couple of times. The secret to a good pizza, is the sauce. This sauce was not close to the quality of the former tenants.

This summer the building of the new establishment started in earnest. Yesterday they opened. Now we have two pizza places a block's walk from our house. The only time I have ever seen two pizza places so close to each other is in downtown Chicago, and those are generally filled up with tourists. Our small suburb doesn't get a lot of tourists. It's just going to be a short time until there is only 1 pizza place on the block again. I'll keep you posted.


This week we are finishing up our ed 5 week study called Passport to India. It was a Sonlight class and everyone really liked it. Each session we watched a video like this one. We collected $25.00 for Bible Clubs in India. This would generally allow 25 Indian children to attend bible clubs. Sonlight matched our gift, which will allow another 25 children to attend.


We play a lot of games in our family. One game we really like is Mastermind. For a game that reinforces logical thinking, the box is packaged most inefficiently. In the olden days (when I was a kid), the mastermind game which has a rectangular shape, had a box to match. These days they have put the rectangular game in a square box. The packaging was obviously not designed by a master mind!

Speaking of which, the blog Thrifty Jinxy is giving away a Mastermind game and a new game called Animal Mastermind (I'm not sure how that one is packaged.) Click here to enter the contest.


Those are all the fragments, I have for you today. Make sure to hop on over to all the other particpating blogs.

Keith Time: The International Impact of Keith Part I

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Big 40 minus the birthday boy

My brother Keith would have turned 40 today. He died 18 months ago so he never quite made the milestone.

When My Mom turned 40, my Dad put a banner across our garage that read "Jeanne's 40 today. But don't tell anyone!". We lived across from the local library at the time and man people people became aware of the event.

When I turned 40, Amy had a surprise party for me and had one of my favorite musicians, Alan Levi, fly in from Alabama and sing at my party. He performed the following song among others .

When Amy turned 40, relatives teamed with me so I could give her 40 rolls of quarters. (Amy love quarters)

Keith died 18 months ago, so he never quite made the milestone. Keith was born on veteran's day and loved that his birthday was celebrated by many people even though they might not be aware they were doing so.

Today as you reflect on the men and women who served our country in the military. Reflect also on the men and women boys and girls who left the party before we had a chance to throw them one.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Nearly A Quarter Century of Fruit and Fiber.

Word Count Wednesday: 100 Words or Les

It’s funny how quickly food triggers memories. Last night while eating a blueberry bagel, I remembered a conversation from 24 years ago. A friend and I were driving home from a wedding when we had this exchange:

Friend: Do you know what you would love?

Me: No, what would I love?

Friend: You would love a blueberry bagel.

Me: You know what? I would love a blueberry bagel.

I subsequently tried my first blueberry bagel and I loved it. 24 years later I still love them!

Keith Time: Fred Astaire on Dick Cavett

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

HSD Rewind: Puppyisms

HSD Rewind

Originally broadcast February 2009 (edited for the 2nd decade of the 21st century, which includes name changing)

A common theme of this blog has been the sayings of my youngest daughter which I call puppyisms.

Here is what I wrote about it last year . . .

I would have no problem at all filling a daily blog with just crazy things my children say. So far the youngest is the most quotable. Today, I was putting on her bathing suit on and then her clothes over them. This generally takes me two minutes because she is a very squirrely three year old. During those two minutes this conversation occurred:

Me: Let's get dressed for swimming.

Puppy: Is today Monday or Tuesday?

Me: No today's Thursday.

Puppy: Oh Man!

Me: ?

Lucy: I love Monday. Is Monday soon?

So, most people might be thinking what is so special about Monday? Monday is a good day for her; she has some classes she really enjoys at our Home School Co-op. I don't think that's why she said it. I think she has my random genes. She just says things as they occur to her. Things that would never occur to anyone. Like the next thing she said.

Puppy: Butera loves me.

Me: You mean Butera, the grocery store?

Puppy: Yes, Butera loves me.

The problem is that she says so many crazy things, generally in a 2 minute period, that I can't possibly remember them all to tell Amy when she gets home. Point in fact, she said something very random indeed after the Butera comment, but now I have no idea what it was. She just marched in the room chanting "Hello Pumpkin. Hello Pumpkin." I guess, that will have to do.


Same puppy, different year. She is still as random as ever. We were at Aldi the other day and she was off the wall. She was pushing the cart, climbing on shelves. Just acting nuts. Then she stops what she's doing, becomes all calm and controlled and says to woman next to us. "I really like your hair." The lady thanks her and then she's crawling the walls again

Keith Time: Amy Remembers Keith Part II

Monday, November 8, 2010

I Know Funny, I'm A Clown Fish!

You can tell that it's mid fall: the weather is getting colder, the leaves are falling, and the clocks have all been switched. One sure way to know that it is mid fall, is that the Homeschool Blog Award nominations have been announced. The great people at the HSBA each year sponsor awards for homeschoolers in a number of categories (20 this year).

I became aware of the HSBA last year, when I found out I was nominated in the best home school dad blog. Since the name of my blog is Home School Dad, I thought I would be a shoe-in. A very good blog called Families Again won the award instead.

The award I really wanted to win was funniest home school blog. Win, I wasn't even nominated. It was very disappointing, becasuse in the words of Marlin in the epic movie, Finding Nemo: I'm a clown fish, I know funny. Now, technically speaking, I am only an honorary clown fish.

Yesterday they announced the 2010 ballot. Not only was I renominated in the home school dad category, I also was nominated in the funniest category! Some days it really pays to be an honorary clownfish!

To vote for me in the home school dad category click here. To vote for me in the funniest blog category click here. To vote for all the categories click here. Even though I live near Chicago, the HSBA does not follow the vote early vote often method. They ask that you only vote one time per person in your household. The exact rules are at their site.

As glad as I am to be nominated, I am also looking forward to looking at all the other fine blogs that have been nominated. In a future post I will share my ballot.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Dirt on Homeschooling.

My wife had a cool idea for a meme. She called it bloggers' remorse. The basic idea instead of talking the pretty stuff, the cool stuff, the things that WORK for their families. You talk about what doesn't work. For example,what really stinks about home schooling? What are the horror stories too awful to mention for the world to see?

This can be a challenge. It's so easy to post about the good stuff, the funny stuff, the cute stuff, the really cool stuff. Today, I want to talk about the not so pretty side of homeschooling.

Like having a 4 year old, outread your 9 year old. (More on that later.) Or, something our family is struggling with lately is a clean vs. dirty house. I'm not talking about piles of books, piles of clothes, piles of papers, etc. I'm talking about DIRT! When my wife was homeschooling, she was in the process of training the children to follow routines for cleaning, schoolwork, cooking, etc. (Read my lips B O R I NG!!) When I started homeschooling, I tried to do what she did. But one problem. I'm not her. I wanted to have fun, teach the children cool stuff, enjoy being with them 24-7. And I do enjoy all those things. But there's still a lot of dirt. Now, left to my own devices, I wouldn't mind a little dirt here and there. Neither would the kids. However, funny thing happens every day between 3:30 and 4:00 pm. My wife comes home from work. When she walks in the door, the first thing she sees is...you guessed it...DIRT. So I've tried to cut down on the school work and attack the dirt before she gets here, which frustrates me because, I didn't get as much "school" done as I wanted to. So either way, I am frustrated when she walks in the door, and sometimes I bark at her. And she barks back, and starts ordering the kids around. Clear off the table! Sweep the floor! Scrub the bathroom! Clean up after the bunny. So, at times in our dogless home, there is barking going on. We need to work on this. My first thought is, anyone selling a dog? If that doesn't work, we will need a magical homeschool genie to swoop down and show us the three easy steps to obtaining a clean home while homeschooling three active, creative, children. Until that happens, we're going to work on speaking to each other with kindness and love. And maybe, sweeping a little of that dirt, under the rug.

Keith Time: Amy Remembers Keith Part I

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Of Games and Legos

This week we had a game day. Spider Droid made a board game out of legos. Here he is explaining how ro play.

Keith Time: Star Wars, Legos and Kids

Friday, November 5, 2010

Some Puppy and Turkeyisms

It has been over a year but I have decided to contribute some fragments at the Half Past Kissing Time blog feature called Friday Fragments.

Mommy's Idea

Last week I was doing puppy's reading program with her. She was reading a story about a tiger and I notices she was covering her ears. I asked her why she was covering her ears, and she said, "The scary part of the story is coming up and I don't want to hear it."

The other day she told me a joke she made up. It is actually a variation of a joke most of you should already know. She gave it a nice twist, and really stuck the dismount. So when our co-op newsletter was looking for submissions, I entered it for her.

Here is what my published puppy's joke looks like:

Knock Knock.
Who's There?
Nobody who?
Knock Knock.
Who's There?
Nobody who?
Knock Knock.
Who's There?
Nobody who?
Knock Knock.
Who's There?
Orange who?
Orange you glad nobody said banana?

The very same newsletter is having a writing contest. They are giving away a turkey to the writer of the winning paragraph written from the POV of a turkey explaining why or why not the Turkey should be eaten for Thanksgiving dinner.

Bunny's response:

Hello. I'm Tom the Turkey. I want to be eaten because I am very plump and juicy, My feathers are able to be plucked out real fast. I bet I'd be real yummy! If you eat me for Thanksgiving, I wont bother you anymore.

Spider Droid's entry:
Pardon Me!
Dear Mr. President,
Hi. My name is Bill. How are you? You should be fine. Nobody is going to eat you at the end of the month. I am a turkey. Turkeys are not thankful for Thanksgiving. I need your help. Please pardon me!!!!!!! Mr. President you are my only hope of not facing my greatest fear, having my wishbone broken.

Puppy's two cents:

Hello. My name is turkey L3000. The first robot turkey. I do not want to be eaten because I have too many feathers around my robot body.
Those are all the fractured fragments I have for you today. This is a blog hop so hop on over to the other participating blogs.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

HSD Rewind: Library Week

HSD Rewind

Originally Aired January 2009 (Edited for the second decade of the 21st century) We are taking somewhat of a fall break this week as we have 2 field trips, a birthday and a few doctor appointments scheduled for the week. Taking the week off from organized schooling reminded me of our Library Week tradition. Here is what I wrote about it in 2009:

Libraries are a staple in the Roller family. My across the street neighbor when I was growing up was the Elk Grove Village Public Library. We were never able to borrow sugar, but I could get a cook book out, if I wanted to. Now, many years later, while I don't live as close to one as I did, libraries are still near to my heart.

A couple times a year our family embarks on library week. We stop formal schooling for a week and visit at least 1 library each day.

Here are the kids at the main library in Madison, WI.

In all we hit 5 libraries in 2 states. Library Week works for us because:

1) Libraries are fun, inexpensive places to learn and relax.

2) While library week gives us a break from our regular classroom environment, it does give me many ideas for future studies.

3) A well planned library week allows us the opportunity to drop in on friends and family and to visit other towns and cities. This type of multi-task travelling is educational as well as economical.

Even though we home school, I think library week can work for any family regardless of their educational choices. Spring, Winter or Summer breaks make the perfect time for library week. This is actually when we have done most of ours, so as not to interfere with Awana, and co-ops. Even if you have no children or no children at home, visiting libraries with your spouse or significant other can make an excellent date night

Meanwhile back in 2010 . . .

this post is included in this weeks carnival of homeschooling hosteud at The Home Spun Life. There are many other great posts listed there. Be sure to check them out.

Keith Time: When I Heard Keith Was Sick

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I wanted to be a 4hundrenaire.

Today is a big day in the life of my blog. Yes, it's true. Home School Dad is 400 today. 400 posts that is. It has been a crazy ride to 400 but I have loved every mile. It hasn't always been easy. Writing 400 hip posts is the same as writing 20 squared ones.MATH JOKE ALERT

As I did prior to 300 posts I have been tweaking the look of the blog in preparation for 400 posts. I hope you enjoy the new look, I certainly do.

Starting tomorrow I am adding a new feature called HSD rewind. From time to time I will be reprinting (not just putting links to) older Home School Dad posts. These regurgitated posts may come up from time to time. BODILY FUNCTION JOKE ALERT.

Don't have much more to say for 400. I think I've got at least another 400 in me. Thanks again for being part and parcel of the program, and that's no joke. NO JOKE ALERT

Keith Time: Let's go fly a kite.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


This isn't no Wordless Wednesday post a day early or anything like that. Like many bloggers I let my pictures tell much of the story here. Their grammar and spelling are far better (or is that far butter) than mine.

Each year my wife and I give photo calendars to our parents featuring our children. The above pictures didn't quite make the cut. I hope you guys enjoy them.

Keith Time: The Write word at the right time.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Birthday Traditions

It's a certain Spider Droid's ninth birthday I thought I could celebrate it here by telling about a few family birthday traditions.

Technically Speaking

Spider Droid will wear out a phrase every few months. Back this Summer it was technically speaking. Every other sentence would start with technically For example "Technically Speaking Star Wars Episode I was really the 4th episode that came out." If he were here, he might tell you that technically speaking he has only had one birthday is and this is the 9 year anniversary of that birthday.

Almost Birthdays

A relatively new birthday tradition is the almost birthday. It's a pretty simple tradition that is celebrated the day before the actual non technically speaking birthday. Click here to see a video of the almost birthday song.

Birthday Party in Bed

A Roller Family staple is starting the birthday off with cupcakes, singing, and present opening first thing in the a.m. Breakfast is optional. This is done regardless of any other celebrations that may ensue.

The Chuck-E-Cheese Birthday.

The age of 4 is a special year. It is essentially the upperclassmen year of pre-school. When each of our children turned 4 they had a Chuck-E-Cheese Pizza Party. It is special because it was always their first friend party. Our Kids can still be kids but they have all now aged out of their 4 year old rite of passage.

Birdthday Immunity.

All our children were born during the school year. We usually take school off on the Children's birthdays. Sometimes we do a special field trip, sometimes we just stay at home. We Home school, we can roll that way. Technically speaking, we are not taking Spider Droid's birthday off because it is on Monday, our co-op day. However, tomorrow Amy is taking the day off and we are going on a family field trip to the aquarium. The birthday boy is even bringing along 2 friends.

Birthday Shopping.

My wife's Mom takes the kid's out on or near their birthday for a special time of Grandma bonding. They go out to eat and then she takes them shopping to the store of their choice where they can buy a present or two. She even allows them to pick out a little something for the sibs left behind.

The Birthday Pole.

A now multi-generational tradition takes place at my parents house each year. It started when I was a kid at my Grandpa's house. At the visit closest to our last birthday, my grandpa would measure us grandkids on a pole in his basement and then our name and age on a label maker and stick the label where he had marked our height. Being 1 of 29 grandchildren, this was always a special time between me and my grandpa. I am glad my Dad continues this for his grand kids.

Preventing Birthday Spoilers

Our kids get very excited about giving their brother and or sister(s) gifts. So much so that they often spill the beans long before said beans are unwrapped. We do our best tricks to keep that from happening. This year any time the beans were in dang er of spilling, Amy would redirect by saying: Lovely weather we're having.

These are just a few ways that we celebrate birthdays here. I'd love to her how you make family birthdays special. Happy Birthday son, we love you!

There will be a few changes to the ye-olde blog this month. The first one is that I am discontinuing the next time notices for the month. This month my youngest Brother would have turned 40. To honor him in these pages I will be linking to posts I have shared about him in the past. I call it . . . Keith Time.

Today's edition: A Bet I wish I lost.

A to Z 2023 Road Trip

#AtoZChallenge 2023 RoadTrip