A Quote to Start Things Off

"Passive Aggressive. It works for my mother, it works for Duolingo" Luis Von Ahn , co-founder of Duolingo from his TED talk, How to make learning as addictive as social media.

Search Me!

Pictures of Memories I

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

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy Zoo Year

We are all feeling better finally.  We are having relatives over and while the young ones are watching shows I have a few minutes to post what will probably be my last HSD entry for 2012.

Let me tell you a thing or two.

1.  Puppy (who will be to the  changing nicknames in 2013)0 faced down a lion yesterday.  Amy took her on a special day to the zoo.  

2.  Before I got sick, I quit my summer job.  I had the job from early July to late December.  That's some summer.  That's 4o+ hours a week I am looking forward to getting back.  I am going to use some of that time on our home school co-op and looking for a career rather than a job.

3.   I am also planning on getting back to some sort of blogging schedule.  I am  used to going week at a time without  an entry so it will take me some time to get back into practice.

This entry does get me one step closer.  I hope to write a quick homeschooling piece in the next day or two. I hope you all have a happy and joyous new year.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Sickmas

For the past week at least one of the family has been ill.  This made for a more hectic (at times), more subdued (at other times) but still very merry Christmas season.  Presently, we are all feeling better, but still on the mend.  I will be back in a few days when I am at 100%.  Until then, The HSD family again wishes your family a joyous holiday seaso

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Six Word Santa Day

It's December 22nd, the Mayan calendar ended and the world didn't.  So I have  6 words to share:


For more Six Word Saturday click here

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

WFMW Rubber Bands

It's been a while since I participated in Works for me Wednesday.   Today a common household device brings me back the handy dandy rubber band.

Here are 2 ways rubber bands have worked for our family recently.

I have found that at the factory job I have had for the past 6 months that overalls  were the best thing for me to waer.  The problem was that I only had 2 pairs of overall and one was missing the metal fastener that holds the snap up as you can see in the picture below.

I got this brain storrm to use a rubberband to replace the fastener.  It looks a little awkward but with a shirt or sweater on over it, none are the wiser.  

2. Recently the power cord formy laptop has become very persnickety.  Unless you are holding it at a certain angle and applying a pretty good amount of pressure, it will not recharge the unit.   My lovely wife found that by attatching the laptop to the power cord with a  that it would not only properly charge the batter, but could also allow us to power it without the battery.  This had become impossible without use of the rubber band.

So that's how the rubber band works for me.  It has saved us money, time and frustration.  To find out how other things (some not even elastic) work for others, click here for more WFMW at We Are That Family.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

An Open Letter to the NRA

Dear National Rifle Association.

I am sure that your leadership is viewing the events at Sandy Hook this past weekend the same way the rest of the country is, tragic, horrific, needless and sad.  Many of your membership are educators and countless members parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts of school children.  I am sure you will mourn with the families of the victims as they are laid to rest this week.  Then I imagine you will go on the defensive as you prepare for a governmental and public outcry to restrict your second amendment rights.

I write you today to discourage the last action.  Now let me explain that I am neither a gun or anti gun zealot.  I am only zealous for a few things,  like Homeschooling, The Chicago White Sox and Sterzing's Potato Chips and not zealous enough in others like personal holiness.  That is to say I usually don't have a horse in the race which is gun rights.

However, since I do have a wife who is a school psychologist who sees caring for the children in her school as one of her callings for God much like the School Psychologist killed at Sandy Hook and since I have a first grader who loves to draw and encourage people like at least one of the 20 first graders shot multiple times at Sandy Hook and since I myself would do anything in my power to protect and shield children from danger like the heroic educators living and dead at Sandy Hook, I am putting a horse in this particular race.

It is important and fundamental that the N.R.A. be at the helm of protecting  not only your right to bear arms but also the safety and well being of the citizenry that you bear arms for.  Last year I attended one of your young hunters traiining classes with my son.  He was trained in orienteering, archery and other hunting skills.  He was also taught gun safety and the idea that guns, bullets, bows and arrows are tools to be used properly.

That educational wing of yor advocacy group not the legal wing need to be in the forefront in the weeks and months to come after this national tragedy which  hopefully is  not just another domino in the gun related tragedies of recent memory. 

And when it comes to the legal wing, surely some concessions can be made for the saftety of all.  If the N.R.A became known as a force for regulating gun use along side advocating the safe use of guns for recreation, by,   provision for and protection of our loved ones this would go a long way into strenghting your image in the 21st century.  The time for carrying a big stick will come, now is the time for walking softly.



Monday, December 10, 2012

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Bill Nye, Creationism is Highly Appropriate for our Children

This is a video response of the last post. Spider Droid and I are still planning our own video response.

A Puppyism is Born

As I said in my last post, we had a recent addition in our family of a niece/cousin. So not surprisingly the kids had babies on their minds tonight as we were driving home from dinner/shopping. We were talking about how all our kids were born by C-section. Amy explained a little about why that was and puppy from the back asked when I was born I had an ear infection? As we all laughed, I remembered that we had studied both Julius and Augustus Caesar in our Mystery of History
curriculum last year.   So I asked the kids if they knew what the C in C-section stands for.   None of them did, so I said it stands for Caesar.  After a little while Puppy said so I must be part Roman.

I thought this quintessential Puppyism appropriate for my 700th post here at HSD.  I am sure there will be more posts and puppyisms to come.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Big Niece Little Niece

I have been an uncle for almost 20 years now.  My first niece was born in 1993 when I was living in Russia.  I didn't meet her until she was 15 months old.  My first nephew was born in 1995.  From 1997 to 2008 my sister and my sisters in law  added 2 more nephews and 4 more nieces to my  collection.  Making me the OctoUncle.  In February 2010, my wife's side of the family cried Uncle, when my wife's sister had her first child, a son.

My sister's 4 children including her oldest, all live near Washington D.C., while the rest of  my nieces and nephews live in the same Midwest state as we do.  This means that I am both a long distance and short distance uncle.  Last year my oldest niece started attending college a few hour away from where we live.  This means we  have seen a bit more of her in the past few years than we usually do.

In fact she was at Thanksgiving on Thursday at my folks  with the rest of her cousins, uncles and aunts.  Today she took a break from her studies and went swimming with me and  kids.  Our kids really like her and she is gracious enough to treat them as equals even though she is now much more adult than kid.

After swimming, Bunnygirl and I traveled to the hospital to visit another niece.  She wasn't sick, just extremely young.  She's also not naive, but she was born yesterday.  My wife spent Black Friday at the hospital helping her sister give birth to a beautiful girl.

When Bunny girl and I got to the hospital, I realized I had not been in the newborn department of that particular hospital since Bunnygirl was born 13 years ago.  The hospital rooms had not changed much.  My BIL and SIL were watching a rerun of Law and Order when we walked in.  I remember Amy and I watching Law and Order reruns there when Bunny girl was an infant.

One thing that had changed is that Bunny, who years ago, looked similar to my newest niece pictured below

.  now does not resemble her new cousin in the slightest.  But she does love her as do we all.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Carnival of Homeschooling @ Homespun Juggling

Time for another edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling.  This week it is being hosted at Home Spun Juggling.  Please enjoy the Gratitude after Stormy Weather edition.  Cristina was nice enough to include my response to" Should Homeschoolers keep a low profile?" in this week edition.  I am very grateful.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Should Homeschoolers keep a Low Profile - A Response

At the end of September, Happy Elf Mom of Home School and Etc. had a guest post entitled Should Homeschoolers Keep a Low Profile?  I have been wanting to respond to it for some time now but have had so much on my plate, have not gotten around to it

Well I am enjoying a quiet Sunday afternoon/evening and Lo and behold I got one.

I will be responding to parts of the original post which I have italicized.

The author starts out . . .

We're really proud of the local school. It's part of living in this town: we root for the Falcons.

So far so good.  Nothing too objectionable.  I understand how a school can be part of living in a town.  Especially when that school has successes to enjoy.  I've seen Remember the Titans and October Sky enough to understand that.

The author continues . . .

  If you homeschool, it's like saying you don't want to be part of the social fabric of the town. Your children are not participating in something that is important to all of us. 

So much for so far so good!  Or as Marlin says in  Finding Nemo, "Good feelings gone!".

I have many problems with these small sentences.  First of all just because I homeschool does not mean I do not want to be part of the social fabric of the community.  My children have been  active in athletics, library, park district and scouting  programs and even volunteered at the local public school.   In what way does that say we don't want to be involved?

Also, I wonder if the author would say that parents who sent their kids to private schools or parents who sent their kids to other public schools that better met their childrens'  need rather than her public school, did not want to be part of the community.  Or is it just us homeschoolers?

  She continues to continue . . .

You're also unintentionally hurting the feelings of some very nice, dedicated people who work hard to keep our local school one of the best in the region. And you're basically saying that my school isn't good enough for your kid . I know you don't mean it that way, exactly, but that's how it comes across to a lot of people."

I don't have a lot to say about this part.  Except to say as I am working on this post,  my wife is e-mailing a local radio host applauding the staff of a local  public school for the exemplary work they do in our community.  No doubt, because she feels so guilty about hurting their feelings.

Speaking of guilt, the author continues her thoughts . . .

There's also the fact that not everyone can homeschool like you. People feel guilty or obligated when they hear about the good things that you are doing with your child. You don't have to say one word about them homeschooling for them to feel judged. I know you don't want to hear that, but that's just human nature.

By that logic, parents of honors students would not be aollowed to have those bumper stickers cause other parents would feel guilty or obligated about the good things others kids were doing.  I know they don't want to hear that, but that's just human nature.

After one last closing salvo regarding some home school parents saying it is God's will that they homeschool.  She concludes by saying . . .

I know you really enjoy homeschooling, but I think you should just tone it down a little.

 But that doesn't seem to be at all what she's saying.  If people can feel guilty  even if we say nothing, how does toning it down a little help?  I really think she's giving reasons (not good ones) why people shouldn't home school.

Now we know people who proudly send their kids to private schools, some just as proud about their local public schools.  We don't feel guilty when they brag on those institutions.  We know they are really just bragging on their kids.  We see no problem going on about our home educated children in the same way.

As one of the comments on the original post said.

Why would I keep a low profile on it?

It's legal and we are awesome at it! :P

I wouldn't say I am  exactly awesome at homeschooling, yet.  But I would say it is awesome to live in a country where parents can choose what's best for their children.  Now we just need to learn to be more tolerant of other people's choices.

If you have entered here by way of the Carnival of Homeschooling, consider this link your breadcrumbs back to the gratitude fest.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Hi Yah!! - A Puppyism

Puppy was playing with one of her Webkins yesterday when she announced, "Fluffy knows Karate and other Material arts." 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Remember our Veterans

Today is my brother Keith's birthday. Born in 1970, he died 7 months before his 39th birthday. This marks the 4th year that his wife, son, daughter, parents, brothers, sisters,nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends have had to mark his birthday without his presence.

It s also Veterans Day, the day we Americans celebrate the veterans of our armed services.  Dictionary.com say a veteran is a person who has had long service or experience in an occupation, office, or the like: a veteran of the police force; a veteran of many sports competitions. With this definition in mind, I  got to thinking of everyone who has lost a loved one recently.  How they, like me, have become a "veteran" of grief.  Because even the loss of just one person you loved deeply is enough to make anyone a veteran.

We are taking some time as a family today to communicate to some of these "veterans" that we are praying for them and care for them deeply as they continue to experience their loss.  If you are a veteran of recent grief, I hope you are encouraged as you reflect on the memories of your loved ones.  If your war with grief is less recent and  you know of some one dealing with the new loss of a loved one, i would encourage you to communicate with them words of hope and encouragement.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Ah, Yes I had the Lasagna

Today is election day.  Amy and I voted right before I drove her to work. I had the hardest time deciding who vote for for President.  The election seemed to be a choice of Steak or fish and I had the distinct hankering for Lasagna.  I literally decided who to choose while in the voting booth.  After picking the big job,  I then filled out the rest of my ballot with much more conviction.

Without knowing the outcome, I can  tell you that the most important thing I did today was not who I  voted for, but that I voted.  And the second most important was that I voted my conscience.

Steak or Fish should be served up a little later tonight.  Whatever Presidential Entree is selected I as a citizen will definitely come to the table and participate in the meal which is democracy.


As I mentioned in my last post, another election is taking place.  The HSBA Awards.  If you would like to see last years winners and who I voted for last year in each category click here.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

I've been Nominated

Even though this blog has been mostly dormant for the past few months, I have been twice nominated for the 2012 Home School Blog Awards at the HSBA post. I have been nominated in the following categories

Best Home School Dad Blog
Funniest Home School Blog

Voting began today and continues througer 16th Friday November 16th. To vote please click here.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hows that for six word Irony?

Time once again for ...

My Six:

Coworker Fired during employee appreciation week.
I have been working at a chemical plant since July in addition to my gig as home educator. Some of our assignments at the plant give us the chance to talk with each other as we word .  Recently I overheard 2 of my co-workers becoming acquainted with the other.  They discovered that they had both worked for the same company at about the same time and knew some of the same people. That is when one of my co-workers mentioned he was fired during employee appreciation week. 

It was all I could do to keep from laughing.  That image of getting canned during the week chosen to celebrate employees has stayed with me. 

If you have six words to share or simply want to see what others out there are sharing click here.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Father Son Camp Pictures Part I

Spider Droid and I had a great time at Father Son Camp.  I will be sharing a picture or two each day this week as I try to worm my way back into the blog-o-sphere. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Carnival of Homeschooling Comics Edition

Welcome to the October 9, 2012 edition of Carnival of Homeschooling.

First of all, sorry I'm late.  It is early Thursday morning here in Illinois as I put the finishing touches on this carnival.  It is so early Thursday morning that it is late Wednesday night in California.  I hoped to have this ready on time, but I ran into so many deadlines this week that someting had to give.  With that said, let's get Carnivalizing!

I think it is pretty comical  that I am hosting the Carnival of Homeschooling this week even though I have been not posting consistently about home schooling or anything for the past few months. I signed up for this week's spot months ago long before I started working full time and taking a class along with  regular regimen of home educating.

I am so busy it is easy for me to imagine looking like this . . .

Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking by Charles M. Schulz - detail by fantagraphics

Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking by Charles M. Schulz - detail, a photo by fantagraphics on Flickr.

Chuck Brown and I cordially welcome you to the Comics edition of the Carnival of Home Schooling.

There are basically 3 things that come to mind when hearing  the word comics: comic strips, comic books and stand up comics. Interspersed between this week's Carnival entries I will give my thoughts on all 3 types of comics.

Lets start things off with Henry Cate who runs this little smorgasbord of home school blogging.  He  has reviewed a book that he thinks all parents should read.Check out Book Review: Why Gender Matters at Why Homeschool

Comics I - The Comic Strip.

I love reading the comics in the newspaper.  I am a big fan of many Comic Strips.  I would say my all time favorite 5 are Peanuts, Calvin & Hobbes, For Better or For Worse, Mister Boffo and The Far Side. 

Here is one of my favorite Peanut's cartoons:

Peanuts sample

Cartoonists are a kind of artist and with that in mind Ann presents Artist Study - Georgia O'Keefe posted at Harvest Moon by Hand.

Rebecca presents My Rock in the River posted at Into the wind of freedom. A home educating adventure..

Barbara West presents Tiny Tots-Caring For Our Children posted at Tiny Tots-Caring For Our Children.

One of my favorite Comic Strips is Home Spun Juggling by Cristina Ramos Payne a home school Mom and frequent contributor to this carnival.  I did not take the time to solicit posts this week and I am sure that if I had, Cristina would have contributed one.  So I am breaking Carnival protocol and including one of her recent strips here as it fits my theme.  If you don't like it, you can lump it.  (You can take the guy out of Junior High, but you can't take Junior High out of the guy.)


Angela Gray of Graymattersonline presents When Arithmetic is Reading

Katherine of No Fighting No Biting presents Slow but Steady wins the reading race. She's ecstatic that her 8 year old is reading for fun.

Comics II - Comic Books.
Avengers #1
I actually use Comic Books in my home schooling. Spider Droid and I have read Graphic Novel versions of 2000 leagues under the sea and several civil war battles including the Battle of Gettysburg. While you probably you know that you don't have to use comic books for home schooling, Linda Dobson of Parent at the Helm asks the provocative question: Homeschooling, do I need to use textbooks?

Natalie of Fill Your Book Shelf reviews The Great Motion Mission by Cora Lee. She says it is a Magic School Bus type book about physics.

Action Comics #1
First appearance of Superman

In Comic Books it is very possible to see a story pitting heroes and villains and sometimes heroes and other heroes against each other. For example Superman vs. Batman or Spiderman vs. Doctor Octopus. Our next post comes from the blog Home School vs. Public School.
Christie presents Science for your Home School or Public School Child.

Katherine of No Fighting No Biting presents  Slow but Steady wins the reading race.  She's ecstatic that her 8 year old is reading for fun. 
Comics III - Stand Up Comics
I always wanted to be a stand up comic.  I am what you'd call a sit down comic.  When I get up to tell a joke, I am usually told to sit down. 

Steve Martin once said that he believed Ronald Reagan could turn this country (The U.S) into what it once was. He then paused for effect and said : A barren wasteland covered with ice.  I happen to be a big fan of Reagan,  but still love the joke because it is a classic example of the kind of word play and misdirection stand up comics engage in. Martin and other comedians have taken their comic sensibilities to the internet these days  via twitter feeds and other social media. About the time of the Republican National convention, Conan O'Brien tweeted that he saw conservative Latino children playing Marco Rubio at his local pool.

Phyllis Sather  of Phyllis Sather.com presents Why are you Ringing the Bell?

Another one of my favorite comedians Steven Wright once said that he worked at a fire hydrant factory.  He then paused and said you couldn't park anywhere near the place.  Stand up comics and comic book heroes are similar in that many do their work at night.  Mrs.White of The Legacy of Home shares about Home Studies in the Evening Hours. 

Sarah of Small World at Home shares a review of two fantastic new attractions in Pigeon Forge, TN, that are great adventures for homeschoolers in Field Trip Review: The Tomb and Magiquest in Pigeon Forge.

Andrea Hermitt presents If You don't home school your kid's you don't love them at Notes From A Homeschooled Mom

That concludes this All Things Comics edition of the Carnival.

Thank you for participating, visiting, breathing or whatever. 

Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of homeschooling
using our carnival submission form.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sorry For the Delay

I am hosting the Carnival of Homeschooling this week.  The Carnival was supposed to go up this morning.  I have not been able to finish the carnival on time.  I hope to have to have the  carnival up by Thursday at the latest.  My apologies!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

School's Everywhere

So Spider Droid magically forgot his multiplication facts over the summer ( we focused on writing.) So we went to the internet and printed out a blank multiplication chart and had him fill it out. It took him 22 minutes, just copying from flash cards. We then studied the flash cards, realizing we could skip the zeros, ones, twos, tens, and elevens. The next night we took out a deck of cards and had him multiply any two numbers that came out. This also helped Puppy, as I had her add the same set of numbers (she's in first grade.) It turned into a race. They had fun! The next night I googled free math games (for example) and Spider Droid played a few fun games. We alternated flash cards, playing cards, and computer games. Tonight, it's School House Rock, Multiplication Rock. Love it! We're having fun! I'll let you know how quickly he fills in his next chart! Making learning fun works for us. For more WFMW go to www.wearethatfamily.com.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Wasted leftovers, any advice?

Our family does not do well with leftovers, because, I guess we forget about them.  So we waste a lot of food, which makes us feel so bad.  Wasted money down the drain, wasted food, etc.  As many of you know, I have been working evenings so that I can homeschool the kids during the day, while Amy works.  To say it's been a juggle is an understatement.  But one of the reasons we are going through this season in our family is to beome more financially responsible and more honoring to the Lord.  This pile of wasted food flies in the face of our goals!  Any tips on how to avoid this problem?

Chucking leftovers and the money that went to buy them definitely does not work for us.  Asking the good people stopping by from WFMW at We Are That Family if they have any suggestions. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Don't wait a few days

September is blogger's month at Compassion.  They are pulling out all the stops to have their compassion bloggers talk about a simple way we can help children in poverty.

Starting next week, I will be writing one post each week about Compassion.  I am going to do this, even though I am extremely busy (2 full time jobs and  taking1 class).  I will do this for 2 reasons 1: The ministry of Compassion International is  important to me.  Compassion saves lives by providing needed food , health, and educational opportunities.  They also transform lives by sharing the Gospel of Jesus through word and deed.

2: The Compassion blogger whose blog generates the most sponsorships  in the month of September will go on a 2013   blogging trip (Bloggers go to compassion countries and blog from the field) at Compassion's expense.  I want that to be me.   

Going on a trip like that, is not within our families  financial abilities and probably will not be for some time.   It would be the trip of a lifetime for a ministry that I heartily endorse.
With that said, If you are interested in saving a child's physical life and providing opportunity for spiritual transformation, sponsor a child from Compassion today!!!!!

Don't wait until September.  Don't think  about me and my little dreams.  Think about Sukatra from Bangladesh who has been waiting for 209 days for a sponsor. Think out Wendtoin who is turning 4 today, who lives in an AIDS area of  Burkina Faso.   She also has been waiting 209 days for a sponsor.  Think about the many children that Compassion cannot help until the ones they are helping have sponsors.
Click here to sponsor a child today. You can even sponsor the children I mentioned.   If I didn't convince you today, I will be back next month to try again.

If you are a blogger, interested in participating in blogging month check out this link so you can participate as well.

Bill Nye: Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children - OPV

I don't believe any of this, but I post it here.  Spider Droid and I are going to make a response video to this soon.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Randy Stonehill on Compassion

Our family went to Indiana over the weekend to visit our friends and see the baby they just adopted.  We coordinated the visit so we could see Randy Stonehill, my favorite Christian artist, in concert.  Here he is articulating whypeople should sponsor children with Compassion International.  I will post some of his songs later this week.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Risk Legacy-the game of champions!

Spider Droid has co-opted a game that I received for Christmas called Risk Legacy. It's much like the Risk game of the olden days, but this game changes every time you play it. You get to name countries, dominate territories permanently, etc. He wants to play it ALL the time. I enjoy playing with him as well, but the girls do NOT enjoy playing it. Amy does not understand how to play it, despite numerous tutorials. So Spider Droid has long wished to invite some of his friends over to really get into the game. Today is that day!
Risk Legacy-the game of champions!

For more six word Saturday, head on over to

Monday, August 6, 2012

What about the other 1010?

This summer our children participated in our local library's summer reading program.  This is always a big deal in our family.  Spider Droid made sure that he was the first one to sign up and also read very diligently and was the first one to finish.  As the summer went on, each of our children finished the program.  When the children finish they receive a free book of their choosing and several prizes from local businesses, like certificates for a free Frostee from Wendy's, and vouchers for free tickets to  a local minor league baseball team.

As you enter the childrens' section of the library you see this sign . . .

This picture was taken a day or two before the program ended, so I would imagine the final count would be pretty similar.

When I saw the sign, I asked myself the question, that serves as the title of this post,

What about the other 1,010?

I mentioned what the finishers got out of participating in the program.  But what did the non finishers get out of it?

Here is what I think . . .

Each child who participated the  program gained something from it.  Those who finished and even those who got 1/2 way stickers (which the poster did not mention) received something tangible.  But I think all participants received intangible rewards (some without even knowing it.)

I wonder how many of those 1,010 children result of entering the program.  I'd imagine the number quite high since only library materials can be used for the program and those materials must be read or listened to off of library grounds.  Now our family checks out 100's if not thousands of books each year.  But for some families, a library book is a special treat.  So if any of the 1,010 children took out a book for the only time all year this summer, that is a wonderful thing.

Since our library lets children from 0 to 12 participate in the summer reading program (there are separated programs for teens, and adults).  Some of the reading that is done over the summer is by parents and older siblings to younger children.  Any of the 1,010 who did not finish or the 632 that did, who were read to as a result of this program experienced something magical.

Another  thing that may have happened with a great number of participants in the program this year,  (regardless of whether they recorded finishing the  program) is they may have discovered a favorite author, book, genre, series, or subject this summer.  Some may have discovered the joy of reading.

Achievement and accomplishment are wonderful things.  I think that so much is achieved and accomplished when children or anyone reads or is read to for enjoyment.  I would say that the 1,642 children who participated, may not have all finished, but each one achieved.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Training for the Burpee Challenge

What you see in the video  may look like our family is running the bases at a minor league baseball game (Kane County Cougars)  It is actually Puppy training me for the Burpee Challenge.  You can't hear her but she keeps on repeating the words of  Herb Brooks, Coach of the 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team.  "The legs feed the wolf, gentlemen!"   As Puppy tries to fashion our athleticism after the gold medalists, she finds it extremely important to imitate their training methods as well.  At the game she wanted me to do a burpee at home plate.  I refused.  Believe me her discipline was pretty similar to Herb's.

The Big Inning

The Chicago white Sox have been a major league base ball team for more than 110 years. I have been a rabid fan for over 40. Yet if you asked me what I considered their single best inning in franchise history, I ld would not hesitate with an answer.

Monday, July 30, 2012


Starting in just 2 short weeks both adults in this house aka parents, will be working full time, albeit different shifts. To prepare for that, I'm assessing what the kids can do food-wise, and "certifying" them in each area.  Puppy's list so far includes, Certified egg cracker (she's amazing), Certified sausage cutter, and Certified macaroni assistant.  Bunny has quite a few certifications that we need to get written down, and Spider Droid makes a mean peanut butter sandwich.  Here's someone getting ready for the mac-n-cheese certification test. 

Lest you think I've forgotten about the Burpee Challenge, alas, I have not!  Puppy has gotten herself a whistle which will aide in my speed of burpees.  More photos, videos, and commentary on that score later.  How many burpees can YOU do? (I think I'm up to 6.)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Burpee Challenge

Here is a video I just put on Home School Dad.  Since it is a video, I thought I'd share it here as well.

This is Dave Out Loud, Going out Strong!

Burpee Challenge Day 1

Yesterday, (actually) earlier today I told you about my burpee Challenge.  I Hope to be able to do 25 Burpees by my birthday which is 64 days from now.  Thus I am calling it the burpee Challenge 64 to 25. 

In yesterday's post I wasn't quite sure what a burpee was.  Well, I have gotten myself a personal trainer, who will now show you how to do a burpee.


I don't expect this blog to become the Burpee Channel: All Burpees ALL the Time.  I will keep you up to date and will put any videos (including this one)that  are Burpee related up at Dave Out Loud as well.

Speaking of videos, searching the Burpee Challenge brings up a number of videos on You Tube.  Here is one of them:


Six Word Saturday Physical Education Edition

It's Time for Six Word Saturday at Show My Face Dot Com.

My Six:

The Burpie Challenge: 64 to 25 

I was driving in the car today with Amy and the family and Amy mentioned doing burpies in Jr. High or High School gym class.  I told her I didn't know what a burpie was.  I some how got roped into training to do 25 burpies by my birthday which is 64 days from now.  SO  Sunday, September 23rd my 48th birthday I will be attempting 25 burpies.  Hopefully, I will know what they are by then.

For more Six Word Saturday Click here.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Fragments: Quotes and Isms Edition

Mommy's Idea

Fragment 1: Puppyism

Puppy likes Ramen soup. So much so, she sometimes asks for it for breakfast. Puppy pronounces ramen, robin. She pronounces thanks, hanks. So I didn't really think that she thought they put robin in the soup.  This week Amy described this conversation she had with Puppy.

Puppy: Mommy can I have Robin soup for breakfast?

Amy: Sure. It's ramen soup not robin soup.

Puppy: Ohhhh. (After some thought ) I guess if they put robin in it, it would be more like a stew.

Fragment 2:  Dad or Grandpaism

In The past few weeks two of our families favorite actors have passed away.  First Andy Griffith and then Ernest Borgnine. We generally turn our t.v. off for the summer, but when we heard of Andy Griffith's death we turned the t.v back on and watched a couple episodes from the Andy Griffith show as a tribute.  The next  week when we heard of Ernest Borgnines death, we turned on the television once again to watch him in  the film Marty.

The next day I was at my folk's  house explaining the above to my Mom.  My Dad walked in the room and said "don't watch anything with me in it this week."

Fragment 3:  Quote

"If Christians would run more programs like Safe Families,  DCFS would be put out of business. " -the director of the Illinois Department of Family and Child Services to Dr. David Anderson Executive director of Lydia Homes and creator of the Safe families program.

For More info about the Safe Families program click here.

That's all the fragments for today.  For more Friday Fragments head back to Half Past Kissin' Time.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

JJ Heller - Boat Song (Official Music Video)


Other People's Videos

We are big J.J. Heller fans.  We saw her in concert earlier this year.  More on that concert  can be found at HSD by clicking here. So I thought her boat song, which is based on Margaret Wise Brown's book the Runaway Bunny would be a good fit for this session of OPV.

Carnival of Homeschooling at Why Homeschool

Change can be good.  Why Homeschool is hosting the Change edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling this week.  Both Dave Out Loud and Home School Dad have submissions.  Be sure to check those out amid all the excellent carnival doings.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

How to make a paper airplane

I asked my son, Spider Droid to share some of the fine points of Paper Airplane making.

Here is some footage of him teaching his method to our family

Spider Droid turned the camera on me and walked me again through the process

I have shared this post with the Carnival of Homeschooling which will be hosted this week at Why Homeschool.  I will put up the link here on Tuesday.

I guess there's nothing more to say except the closing. 

Carnival of Homeschooling

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Six Word Minimum

It's been far too long since I participated in Six Word Saturday at Showmyface.com.  I talked about my new job in my last post.  I didn't mention that I am earning minimum wage for the job.  This fact gave me two (count them) different six word reflections . . .
Haven't made minimum wage since 1996


I make 13.75 cents a minute.

I prefer the second one because it require more math.  It also puts a more positive spin on it.  That's 20.625 cents a minute if I can get some overtime going. 

For more six word Saturday click here.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


I am gainfully employed. I have been trying this summer to get a temp job. I finally got 1 this week and it has the potential to go beyond the summer and not interfere with homeschooling. So I have the potential of working 2 jobs for a while. Homeschooling has many non monetary forms of payment. But a steady paycheck is going to come in handy.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Fragments of rants, thoughts, and feelings.

Mommy's Idea

Fragment 1: Stupid is a swear word in our family.  It is not a word that we want our kids to use nor  do we use it ourselves. It's a crippler.  And it's everpresent.  Consider these lyrics from the beginning of Book Report from You're a Good Man Charlie Brown:

"Peter Rabbit is a stupid book about a stupid rabbit who steals vegetables from other people's gardens."

Be that as it may, stupid things fascinate me.  I don't mean that I am fascinated by things that nobody else finds interesting.  That is true.  I am very random, and the oddest things do strike my fancy.  What I mean is the nonsensical things that people say and do fascinate me.  Nonsensical is a kinder gentler way of saying stupid.

Before, I continue with fragment 1, let me digress. This whole introduction to fragment 1, is a fragment to itself.  So let's call it a prefragmenace (part fragment part preface). 

At the 4th of July parade I described in my last post, I saw one illustration of the nonsensical.  It was a sign that a man was carrying in the above picture.  I have isolated the sign below.

The reason why I think this sign is stupid nonsensical is mainly because it doesn't make sense.  Voting independent will not end fascism for a number of reasons. 

Fascism is defined at dictionary.com as  a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.

So A,  if the U.S. was a fascist state, this mans opposition  and criticism of it would be forcibly suppressed. 

B, our governments checks and balances and our current 2 party system and free elections  show that we have no dictator leading us. 

C, voting independent will not necessarily keep us from a fascist state.  Imagine a fascist running as an independent.  His plan to get in power and become a dictator. Voting independent in that case would actually put a fascist in office rather than remove one from office.

Fragment 2:  Not  all isms are Puppyisms.

Bunny Girl just walked into our bedroom and said that she was thinking and when she was done thinking she began thinking credits.   Then she walked out. 

Fragment 3: Obligatory heat wave post.

It's been hotter than heat itself for the past week or so.  It is 10:30 at night and the temp have finally dipped to 85 degrees.  It was 104 at 3:00 when we left the swimming pool  I am not sure how I feel about these real feel forecasts.  It is 85 now, but it feels like 95.  Who cares how it feels? What's next  if were at work at 2:00 in the afternoon but it feels like 5:00 in the afternoon, are we supposed to leave for the day?  It's anarchy I tell you.  And if there's anarchy, can fascism be far behind?

For more fascism free fragments head back to half past kissing time

2 questions for the 4th of July


It has been quite a while since I participated in Thursday 2 questions at Self Sagacity. My independence day activities have given me few questions to ask.

Question 1: When is the last time you marched/walked in a parade? If you have never marched in one, when is the last time you went to a parade?

I marched in a local parade today and actually had 3 separate invitations to participate. 2 political candidates (one a homeschooling father, who I will be featuring in a future post) needed marchers but I ended up marching with Spider Droid and his robotics team.

This cyclist was in the group behind us. Right before the parade started his horn sprung a leak. Some of the robotics kids gave him a few I love robotics stickers and he patched up his horn easily. That was honking cool.

I asked myself question 1 on my way to the parade. As far as I could recall, before today the last time I walked in a parade was in a 4th of July parade in 1990 in Macomb, Illinois during my time at university there. What was unique about that experience was that a Christian group that was marching in the parade needed someone to carry a full size cross in the parade route. I remember this having a powerful spiritual impact on me, as I was able to reflect on how Jesus carried the cross in preparation for paying for my sins through his death and resurrection.

Question 2: What is your favorite part of the 4th of July holiday?

For me it is going to see the fireworks. It's not exactly the fireworks themselves, which were fantastic this year. It is actually tossing a ball or a Frisbee with Amy or the kids prior to the fireworks. Just a simple act of familial affection in a sea of patriotism and excess make me realize how much I "depend" on my family.
For more questions click here.

Next Time: Friday Fragments

A to Z 2023 Road Trip

#AtoZChallenge 2023 RoadTrip