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Archive for October, 2011

The Divided Brain

Followin’ Friday

In my blog and homeschool adventure, I ran into Suzanne from All In A Day’s Work.

She is a homeschool mom too – and freaking HILARIOUS! She calls it like she sees it, curses like a sailor, and lends a very real voice to homeschooling. (Despite what is put out there, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies and our kids aren’t robots).

So, if you need a laugh, a chuckle, a reason to see the beautiful and hilarious truth that is Team Suzanne – take a peak at her blog All In A Day’s Work.

It’s Friday… have a cocktail.

 

 

 

Takin’ Back Halloween

Each year I walk into Halloween stores hoping to gaze upon the best, most unique, clever and inspirational halloween costumes.

Each year I leave angry.

Why?

Because, apparently, if you have a vagina, the only kind of costume you want to wear involves the word “sexy”. And by “sexy”, they mean “slutty”.

by Andy Marlette

I’ll admit I’ve worn a few of the “sexy” costumes. I dressed as a French Maid once. And I was in Rocky Horror Picture Show.

I can’t take my 9 year old daughter into these places because… well…because our “the talk” did not yet cover “Thinly Veiled Prostitution in its Various Forms.” Key word… yet.

I don’t understand how thigh high stockings and/or socks are EVER needed for Mrs. Claus, Alice in Wonderland, or any number of children’s fairy tale characters. GROSS.

What are we teaching our teenagers and little girls with this?

I also don’t understand these dumb ideas:

Sexy Harry Potter

forkparty.com

Sexy Finding Ne-moh (*gag*)

forkparty.com

Sexy Anna Rexia (WHAT THE FUCK?!?) (excuse my language, but… COME ON!?)

I’m TAKING HALLOWEEN BACK, bitches!

Yes, I enjoy the idea of being sexy.

No, I don’t enjoy being mistaken for a hooker dressed as Elmo. GROSS.

Yes, I enjoy being a woman and feeling attractive.

No, I don’t agree that expressing myself as a woman means dressing like a rap-video-throw-away-piece-of-ass.

And where is the creativity… the wit… the damn self-respect?

Slapping on a dress that barely covers your bum and boobs, is in no way historically accurate or authentic, heels you obviously can’t walk in,  and then parading around pretending you care what guys actually think about your personality is insulting to the rest of us.

Well, I found a site that is doing something about it, TakeBackHalloween.org.

What we mean by “taking it back”

We love Halloween. We really love Halloween. We think it’s cool that there’s one day a year when people can dress up as anything they want. What we don’t think is cool is that increasingly women are only supposed to dress up as one thing: “Sexy _____” (fill in the blank)

Our vision for Halloween

We think there’s a serious lack of opportunities in life to dress up in strange clothes and pretend to be somebody else. Unless you’re in show business, Halloween is pretty much it. Why waste it?

Scary costumes are traditional, and that’s great. But there are other things you could do. We have a theatre background, so we think of Halloween as an opportunity to portray a specific person or character. For example, you could:

  • Celebrate your heritage. North America is full of people from every single part of the world. But no matter where we’re from, we all have amazing queens, heroines, and goddesses in our cultural backgrounds.
  • Channel the goddess. It’s a great way to explore the female divine—or just wear an awesome costume. (Use care if you’re stepping outside your own heritage.)
  • Be Queen for a Day. To heck with princesses. Be a queen.
  • Honor your personal heroine. Who inspires you? Who fascinates you?
  • Try on some red carpet glamour. Dressing to the nines is fun. When else do you get to wear elbow length gloves and feather boas? Unless you’re a movie star in real life, Halloween is your chance.

In fact, we have more ideas for costumes than we have time to post on this site. We’re adding more costumes every day—even every hour (when we’ve had coffee).

A few of their classy and brilliant ideas:

Grace Kelly

Brighid

Frido Kahlo

Zenobia

And many, many MORE!!

Check it out ladies… they have many ideas and how to make/put-together the costume. They give a background/summary on each character/person as well :)

Take Back Halloween and pass this it on – stop relying on almost or actually showing your va-jay-jay as a costume option.

BIG THANKS to  Real History Project and  Suzanne Scoggins for Taking Back Halloween!

** Also, hubs says, the classic scary/horror costume works too! Zombies, Ghosts, Ghouls, Witches (real ones, not slutty ones) anything with terrible gashes and blood and gross teeth.

God And Baseball

I’ve been told that people don’t really pray for “God” to determine the outcome of a sporting event. I’ve heard that those are silly things non-believers say to try to discredit the “power of prayer”.

Now I have proof.

I live in the proud St. Louis area and our baseball team is in the 2011 World Series (although, the whole world doesn’t compete…) and my Facebook is slammed with baseball status updates. *groan*

As I was perusing my Facebook last night, I took this screen shot when someone prayed to “God” on behalf of the St. Louis Cardinals. Because, you know… it’s “His” top priority to help win this thing. Right? And loving Jesus means “God” will be on your side in this terribly important matter.

 

Well, I hope it was worth it because this is still happening…

despite prayers… but at least “He” was doing what is most important… winning sporting events.

Stop The Banning

Books are challenged and sometimes banned. It is unfathomable to me that people so fear a difference of opinion that they would censor someone else.

The ALA explains:

Why?

 

Often challenges are motivated by a desire to protect children from “inappropriate” sexual content or “offensive” language. The following were the top three reasons cited for challenging materials as reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom:

  1. the material was considered to be “sexually explicit”
  2. the material contained “offensive language”
  3. the materials was “unsuited to any age group”
Who?

Throughout history, more and different kinds of people and groups of all persuasions than you might first suppose, who, for all sorts of reasons, have attempted—and continue to attempt—to suppress anything that conflicts with or anyone who disagrees with their own beliefs.

In his book Free Speech for Me—But Not for Thee: How the American Left and Right Relentlessly Censor Each Other, Nat Hentoff writes that “the lust to suppress can come from any direction.” He quotes Phil Kerby, a former editor of the Los Angeles Times, as saying, “Censorship is the strongest drive in human nature; sex is a weak second.”

According to the Challenges by Initiator, Institution, Type, and Year, parents challenge materials more often than any other group.

 

Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009:

1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
5. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
7. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
8. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Myracle, Lauren
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
11. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
12. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
13. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
14. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
15. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
16. Forever, by Judy Blume
17. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
18. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
19. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
20. King and King, by Linda de Haan
21. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
22. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
23. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
24. In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
25. Killing Mr. Griffen, by Lois Duncan
26. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
27. My Brother Sam Is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier
28. Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
29. The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney
30. We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier
31. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
32. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
33. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
34. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
35. Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison
36. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
37. It’s So Amazing, by Robie Harris
38. Arming America, by Michael Bellasiles
39. Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane
40. Life is Funny, by E.R. Frank
41. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher
42. The Fighting Ground, by Avi
43. Blubber, by Judy Blume
44. Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher
45. Crazy Lady, by Jane Leslie Conly
46. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
47. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby, by George Beard
48. Rainbow Boys, by Alex Sanchez
49. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
50. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
51. Daughters of Eve, by Lois Duncan
52. The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson
53. You Hear Me?, by Betsy Franco
54. The Facts Speak for Themselves, by Brock Cole
55. Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Green
56. When Dad Killed Mom, by Julius Lester
57. Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause
58. Fat Kid Rules the World, by K.L. Going
59. Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
60. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
61. Draw Me A Star, by Eric Carle
62. The Stupids (series), by Harry Allard
63. The Terrorist, by Caroline B. Cooney
64. Mick Harte Was Here, by Barbara Park
65. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien
66. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor
67. A Time to Kill, by John Grisham
68. Always Running, by Luis Rodriguez
69. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
70. Harris and Me, by Gary Paulsen
71. Junie B. Jones (series), by Barbara Park
72. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
73. What’s Happening to My Body Book, by Lynda Madaras
74. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
75. Anastasia (series), by Lois Lowry
76. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
77. Crazy: A Novel, by Benjamin Lebert
78. The Joy of Gay Sex, by Dr. Charles Silverstein
79. The Upstairs Room, by Johanna Reiss
80. A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck
81. Black Boy, by Richard Wright
82. Deal With It!, by Esther Drill
83. Detour for Emmy, by Marilyn Reynolds
84. So Far From the Bamboo Grove, by Yoko Watkins
85. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, by Chris Crutcher
86. Cut, by Patricia McCormick
87. Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume
88. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
89. Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissenger
90. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle
91. Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George 
92. The Boy Who Lost His Face, by Louis Sachar
93. Bumps in the Night, by Harry Allard
94. Goosebumps (series), by R.L. Stine
95. Shade’s Children, by Garth Nix
96. Grendel, by John Gardner
97. The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende
98. I Saw Esau, by Iona Opte
99. Are You There, God?  It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume
100. America: A Novel, by E.R. Frank

 

Top Challenged Classics:

1. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
3. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
4. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
5. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
6. Ulysses, by James Joyce
7. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
8. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
9. 1984, by George Orwell
11. Lolita, by Vladmir Nabokov
12. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
15. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
16. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
17. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
18. The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
19. As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
20. A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway
23. Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
24. Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
25. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
26. Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
27. Native Son, by Richard Wright
28. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
29. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
30. For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway
33. The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
36. Go Tell it on the Mountain, by James Baldwin
38. All the King’s Men, by Robert Penn Warren
40. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
45. The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair
48. Lady Chatterley’s Lover, by D.H. Lawrence
49. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
50. The Awakening, by Kate Chopin
53. In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote
55. The Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie
57. Sophie’s Choice, by William Styron
64. Sons and Lovers, by D.H. Lawrence
66. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
67. A Separate Peace, by John Knowles
73. Naked Lunch, by William S. Burroughs
74. Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
75. Women in Love, by D.H. Lawrence
80. The Naked and the Dead, by Norman Mailer
84. Tropic of Cancer, by Henry Miller
88. An American Tragedy, by Theodore Dreiser
97. Rabbit, Run, by John Updike

* The titles not included may have been banned or challenged, but we have not received any reports on them. If you have information about the banning or challenging of these (or any) titles, please contact the Office for Intellectual Freedom.

Halloween It Up!!

This is FREAKING AWESOME!!!

Creamy Macaroni and Cashew Cheese

This was pretty tasty – From The Vegan Table:

INGREDIENTS:

1-1/4 C raw cashews

1/2 C nutritional yeast

2 tsp onion powder

1 to 2 tsp salt, to taste

1 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp white pepper

3-1/2 C nondairy milk

3 Tbs cornstarch

1/2 C canola oil

1/4 C light (yellow or white) miso

2 Tbs lemon juice

12-16oz macaroni, cooked

 

DIRECTIONS:

Place cashews in a large-sized bowl of the food processor and finely grind–just don’t let the cashews turn to a paste. Add nutritional yeast, onion powder, salt, garlic powder, and white pepper. Pulse three more times to blend in spices.

In a heavy saucepan, combine milk, cornstarch and oil(s). Bring to a simmer over high heat. Decrease heat to low-medium, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes, or until cornstarch dissolves.

With the food processor running, gradually add milk/oil mixture to cashew/nutritional yeast mixture. Blend for 2 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Next blend in miso and lemon juice.

Combine cashew cheese with macaroni noodles and serve. You may also bake it: Preheat oven to 325 and place macaroni mixture in a 8 or 9″ square baking dish (I recommend a 9″x13″ one). Cover and bake 20 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with 1/2 C herbed bread crumbs. Continue baking, uncovered, for 15-25 minutes until topping is golden brown.

New Nationwide Study Confirms Homeschool Academic Achievement

In 1998, by Dr. Lawrence Rudner, a professor at the ERIC Clearinghouse, which is part of the University of Maryland, surveyed over 20,000 homeschooled students for his study, titled Home Schooling Works. In his study he discovered that homeschoolers (on average) scored about 30 percentile points higher than the national average on standardized achievement tests.

Since Rudner’s research was conducted over a decade ago, HSLDA commissioned Dr. Brian Ray, an internationally recognized scholar and president of the non-profit National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), to collect data for the 2007–08 academic year for a new study. This new study would build upon 25 years of homeschool academic scholarship conducted by Ray himself, Rudner, and many others.

The Progress Report 2009: Homeschool Academic Achievement and Demographics included 11,739 homeschooled students from all 50 states who took three well-known tests (from 15 independent services)—California Achievement TestIowa Tests of Basic Skills, and Stanford Achievement Test for the 2007–2008 academic year. To it’s credit, the Progress Report is the most comprehensive homeschool academic study ever completed to date.

 

The study showed note-worthy advances in homeschool academic achievement.

Additionally, the so-called issues, such as student gender, parents’ education level, and family income, had little bearing on the results of kiddos being homeschooled.

 

National Average Percentile Scores
Subtest Homeschool Public School
Reading 89 50
Language 84 50
Math 84 50
Science 86 50
Social Studies 84 50
Corea 88 50
Compositeb 86 50
 

a. Core is a combination of Reading, Language, and Math.
b. Composite is a combination of all subtests that the student took on the test.

Only a slight difference between boys and girl on core scores:

Boys—87th percentile
Girls—88th percentile

Household income had almost no impact:

$34,999 or less—85th percentile
$35,000–$49,999—86th percentile
$50,000–$69,999—86th percentile
$70,000 or more—89th percentile

Though the parent’s education level saw a difference, it still remains that the homeschooled children of non-college educated parents scored well above the national average.

Neither parent has a college degree—83rd percentile
One parent has a college degree—86th percentile
Both parents have a college degree—90th percentile

A certified parent did not matter:

Certified (i.e., either parent ever certified)—87th percentile
Not certified (i.e., neither parent ever certified)—88th percentile

Amount of money parents spend on home education made little difference:

Spent $600 or more on the student—89th percentile
Spent under $600 on the student—86th percentile

Government regulation also didn’t change results:

Low state regulation—87th percentile
Medium state regulation—88th percentile
High state regulation—87th percentile

Report here.

So… how do you like them apples?

 

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Monday WINS

 

Inspirational Quote for the Week:
“I don’t think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.”
- Abraham Lincoln

 

 

 

 

Menu Week o’ October 24

Just dinners this week since our breakfasts and lunches don’t change much.

 

 

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