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Grizzly Mama

There's a Grizzly who has escaped the City of Brotherly Love..(and she's going back to homeschooling!!)

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Location: Out of Philly, Pennsylvania, United States

"All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth." Aristotle - Greek Philosopher.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Education in America

Here is some information that parents in America ought to be interested in.


A little tidbit to whet your appetite:

"According to the most recent NAEP assessments, only 31 percent of 4th graders are proficient in reading, while 32 percent are proficient in mathematics, 29 percent in science, and 18 percent in American history."

Scary - huh?

I've heard many people say before that parents can't do it. Not only are they unable to educate their children, but they are too stupid to even raise them properly. 'It takes a village', they say.

Bullshit. This 'village' of yours is ruining our children.


A reader posted a valid question and that is - how do homeschoolers fare in achievement testing? I found some very interesting information and I am putting a link here for your viewing pleasure. We must remember that many homeschoolers take a dim view of achievement testing and for good reason.

I think it only fair to point out that there has been a bit of criticism of Rudner's findings due to the fact that Bob Jones University was involved in the research and they are *gasp* a Christian University who apparently hates black people - based on the fact that over 30 years ago blacks were not allowed in BJU. The critical abstract points out the Christian thing so many times that I cannot count them all - and spends atleast one lengthy paragraph on the black hating aspect of BJU.

So! drumroll please.........

Homeschooling Achievement

Read it and weep for your children being ruined in our government education system. Then - get up off your ass and Do The Right Thing!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

What type of homeschooler are you?

Salvador Dali Melting clocks are not a problem in
your reality. You are an unschooler. You will
tolerate a textbook, but only as a last resort.
Mud is your friend. You prefer hands-on
everything. If your school had an anthem, it
would be Dont Worry, Be Happy. Visit my blog:

What Type of Homeschooler Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

I find this funny - because unschooling sort of freaks me out! I do like textbooks but I have to admit that I am relaxing more the further along this path I go. I started very scared and unsure. I needed structure and guidance - I didn't trust myself.

The oldest is now in 3rd grade and the little one will be starting kindergarten next year. I LOVE the K12 curriculum and will continue to use it. The big 'however' is this: However, we are quite relaxed about a schedule and we find moments every day that serve as a learning experience outside of the curriculum. Those moments are becoming more and more important to me as I go along.

Bother with these damn state rules, regulations and laws. It's a reality to be dealt with for sure - I just don't see that they help me or my children in any way. Pennsylvania has some of the most restrictive homeschooling laws in the country.

Homeschoolers needed for a beta test.

Kim du Toit and his wife have developed software for homeschoolers and need volunteers to test it. It's to help with planning curricula, scheduling, grading and keeping records.

I like the way these parents think. I can't resist linking to an entry on their thoughts on homeschooling. I really like it - and I happen to agree with it.

A Nation of Riflemen

I have also put up a link to them on my sidebar as I plan on visiting quite often!

Thank you Anthroblogogy for bringing this site and their plea for help to my attention.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

The neighborhood's gone CRAZY!

A neighbor of mine brought something to our attention today when we ventured out into the bone-chilling, wet cold to let the kids run around and get some air. Three guys sitting in a car across the street. They had been sitting there for 25 minutes before we came out. Not a familiar car. We let them sit there for awhile and then our good neighbor and my husband went to see what was up.

'Yo! Whaddya doin'?'

No sooner did they get to the car when they noticed all the police stuff inside. Cop radio communication thing, coffee cups and Dunkin' Donut tissues.

'Oh - hello officers. Just checkin'.'

An hour later, a couple blocks down, the crap hit the fan. Cops everywhere. Two houses on the next block raided. All of us were gawking at it and chatting about it as we shivered on our stoops. Drugs they say. That one house has tiny little screaming kids in it. It's a shame we agree - that neighborhood has gone down the tubes. And can you imagine raising kids and dealing dope out of the house? It's a neighborhood city, the City of Brotherly Love. One block in the wrong direction and you could be in trouble.

Twenty minutes later a phone call from a friend. A body has been found down by the creek. No information. The only thing that flashes through my mind is the aquaintance that another woman and I spoke with yesterday evening. Her face was nearly unrecognizable. Swollen and bruised - some kinda weird, yellowish, pussy patch breaking up the large purple patches. She was just out of a 4 day hospital stay after the ex boyfriend beat the crap out of her. I looked into her swollen, bruised eyes and told her to go buy a gun NOW. She protested - the Protection From Abuse order. I told her that flimsy piece of paper isn't going to protect her from the whack-job that did that to her. You're gonna have to pop the bastard when he comes back for you, I tell her, because it doesn't seem like he wants to let you live without him.

Is it she? I don't know. Whoever it is I pray for them right now. Those little kids in that frigging drug house. That battered woman.

The doors are locked. The guns are loaded - but locked away in the safe. My trusty shotgun by the bed - with a damn trigger lock on it. Lots of prayers to say tonight.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

So here I am, not socializing my kids again. *sigh*

Oh heck - we had a great time today. Very busy. Up with the sun courtesy of the 4 year old. She had 'quality time' with Grizzly Papa while I had 'quality time' with the 8 year old. She wanted to go to the thrift shop and buy some books. She did well! Nine books for $8.00.

We come home, Grizzly Papa heads to work and the three of us (just me and the girlies)start school. Lo and behold! It's ANOTHER half day for the publics. Good Gawd sometimes it seems that every day is a half day for them. No problemo. We ride with it. Five kids in the sandbox, 8 year old doing math while neighbor 5 year old looks at what she's doing with much interest and hands her pencils if she needs them.

Finish up with Math and Language Arts. Start History. Two neighbor kids follow us in to hear about the Age of Exploration - or atleast a small part of it.

Science. The best of all when the neighbor kids are around. I set up while they run around outside (all 12 of them now). When I emerge with all of the tools who do I see but the lady who said my kids are 'isolated'. I just smile a big smile and say hello. Hey now - give me some credit here - I was nice.

We put some steel wool in vinegar. Nothing. We all start to giggle. WHY isn't anything happening? I explain in my most scholarly voice about chemical changes. Oh hell - we'll let the steel wool sit and see what happens when we mix vinegar with baking soda. Whooooooo - MUCH better!! Lots of action there! Bubbles and carbon dioxide being released. They want to mix more - so we do! Wheeee! More bubbles! I finally look up on the internet what is SUPPOSED to happen with the steel wool - (should've done that ahead of time...) - and we all gather round the computer to see(still 12 kids). Ahhhhhhhhhhh now it's clear. The steel wool will warm up. Something to do with facilitating rust. And it does. One of the 9 year old boys looks at me and we roll our eyes at each other and laugh.

Time to be squirt by the hose. More special ed. kids home from school and joining in the fun. A picnic for the kiddies and gabbing for Grizzly Mama with the other Grizzly Mamas.

Poor us to be so isolated with no socialization. :-)

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Catholic Church really knows how to do it up right.

I have goosebumps I tell ya. From the funeral, to the conclave, to the smoke, to the pealing bells, to the footage of thousands of people rushing to St. Peter's Square - the Catholic Church really knows how to put on a show.

I love the ceremony, the ritual, the consistency. It's what keeps me hooked to the Catholic Church even though I'm really a terrible Catholic. The incense, the holy water being thrown around, I love it all.

Pope Benedict XVI is our new leader. I have no idea what that means for the world. I've heard speculation that it might not be a good thing. I have no idea.

I have to say that my sick little mind was trying to imagine what was going on inside the conclave. What I pictured was a bunch of guys sitting around, smoking, having a glass of wine and shooting the breeze. Throwing some hay on the fire and getting ready for the big moment - the moment that the white smoke comes through the chimney. Man the bells! Get the vestments pressed and ready!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

A Message From the Ghost of Patton

This is great - you will love it.

Listen Up!!

Thanks to Zendo Deb.

I feel better now.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Grizzly is tired

I'm tired, tired,tired of whining, sneaky little kids today. Grizzly Papa is taking over - and he growls much more loudly than Grizzly Mama ever growls.

And I'll add that Abe of Lincoln has an update about grandma Mae. You know - the lady who's granddaughter pulled her feeding tube on her? She's doing fine.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Buck - I think you've saved me!

Or possibly my affiliation with the Republican Party is saved.

Thank you Buck! Buck turned me on to the Republican Liberty Caucus.

I like it. I like it alot. Perhaps now Mike will rest easy knowing that another Republican will remain in the fold. I think that Abe would be happy about the Libertarian leanings of the Caucus. Maybe Steve will inch just a mite closer to changing his registration. (Of course you don't really HAVE to, Steve...) All I know is that MY HERO Rep. Ron Paul is involved with this group. There is even a place for the South Park Republicans!

I'll continue to check them out.

God bless you, Buck.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Homespun Symposium Question

How has blogging affected your life?

A question posed by Patterico and Homespun Bloggers has issued an invite to answer the question.

I usually don't participate in these because most of the time I don't feel that I have anything original or important to say. This one I can handle although it won't be very cerebral.

I just started my little blog a couple of months ago because I needed a place for my thoughts mostly about homeschooling my kids. I started looking at blogs back in the Spring of last year with Iraq the Model. I was hooked and so relieved to find news and opinions other than what I see in the newspaper and on television. That led to reading tons of Iraqi blogs. Then Ala started Blonde Sagacity here in Philly and I was hooked to political blogs. I discovered A Tangled Web and found Brits who actually like America. My family and I were able to meet David Vance from A Tangled Web along with his wonderful family when they were visiting in Philly recently.

I like blogging and realize that although not many people see my blog I do get feedback from readers that I appreciate tremendously. It feels good to get my feelings and thoughts out there. I don't have a lot of time for myself what with the girlies and schooling so blogging is my time for me which happens to be late at night. I enjoy visiting other blogs and reading some different opinions and perspectives.

There are other ways that blogging has affected my life. Laundry for one. I'm further behind on my laundry than I have ever been in my life. My house isn't quite as clean as it could be because I love to check out the blogs instead of doing housework. There was a time that I was quite obsessed with it all and have found that I have had to ratchet it down a few notches. The real people in my real life are here and waiting and need my attention.

So in a nutshell blogging has expanded my world and I am getting news that you just can't get if you don't read blogs. It changed my outlook on Operation Iraqi Freedom as I had been feeling down and depressed about it until I read the words from real Iraqi in Iraq. I was reading a blog about the Orange Revolution in Ukraine while it was happening - great stuff. A blogger in Lebanon is giving up to date on the spot information about the Cedar Revolution there. When was the last time I heard anything about that in the news?

All in all it's had a positive affect on my life. Achieving balance has been the biggest challenge.

Monday, April 11, 2005

So my kids aren't socialized.

Yep. Yepperdoo. That's the latest.

What counts as socialization you ask? I have no idea - none at all - not after hearing officially from the expert in the family that my kids aren't socialized.

Does playing with kids on the block count? Nope.

Does teaching the younger kids on the block how to play games count? Nope.

Does learning games from the older kids on the block count? Nope.

Does organizing a lemonade stand with the other kids (ranging in ages from 4 to 12 and many different races) to raise money for an Iraqi hospital count? Nope.

Does having kids over to play at our house count? Nope.

Does playing over at other kids' houses count? Nope.

Does meeting people and socializing - whoops sorry didn't mean to use that 'socializing' word (because they're not socialized you know) - Let's see...reword, reword...Does meeting people and talking count? Nope.

Does taking part in the library reading group count? Nope.

Does being in gymnastics, swimming or karate count? Nope.

Does going on outings with the k-12 cyber school count? Nope.

Does visiting with Mom-mom and John-John, Uncle Eddy, little Eddy, or Aunt Kathy (or any of a hundred other relatives) count? Nope.

None of that counts, you see. So you tell me - what the hell is this socialization they're all talking about?

This magic socialization that occurs in government education must consist of sitting at a desk for 6 or 7 hours, not speaking unless given permission after raising a hand, holding having to go to the bathroom until the designated times, making sure that one has the 'best' friends and sits in the 'best' spot at lunch etc., having ones performance measured against others performance, dealing with race or sex prejudice, not being given the freedom to work at ones level of ability.

I also just heard from another woman that my kids are 'isolated'. This woman does not know my kids, has not spent any time with them since I was the Daisy Scout leader which was 4 years ago. She knows I school at home - so in her mind my kids are 'isolated'. Well I set her straight on THAT one! You know Grizzly - you KNOW your Grizzly Mama. You know by now that I don't usually keep my mouth shut - huh.

Government schools are not nice places. For many the experience was traumatic and a living hell. That's your socialization. Bullshit.

You can take my kids anywhere. My kids are personable, enjoy spending time with just about anyone, any age, any race, any disability doesn't faze them. They're kind, they're fair, they are confident. They speak up. When appropriate they don't speak up. At times they misbehave or tangle with each other or push my buttons. I like my kids and I enjoy spending time with them. Magic socialization be damned.

Watch out for those elementary school teachers.

This is a bizarre story coming on the heels of Terri Schiavo's fight for life.

Woman killing grandmother

The old lady has a living will, specified that a feeding tube should only be removed if she is comatose or in a vegetative state, a granddaughter who has no power of attorney to make this decision ordered the tube pulled, the hospice accepted the grandmother and happily pulled her feeding tube even though she was not terminally ill, comatose, in a vegetative state or suffering from dementia. The grandmother who is being killed as we speak has glaucoma and an aortic condition. Her cardiologist maintains that her aortic condition is contained and is not life threatening.

The granddaughter, Beth Gaddy - an elementary school teacher - had this to say:

"Grandmama is old and I think it is time she went home to Jesus," Gaddy told Magouirk's brother and nephew, McLeod and Ken Mullinax. "She has glaucoma and now this heart problem, and who would want to live with disabilities like these?"

Apparently this kind of thing is happening in hospice care centers all over America. Scary.

UPDATE: Grandma has been airlifted to a medical center and is receiving IV fluids and nourishment.

Grandma is saved

Hope she ends up okay. My new question is this: Does having a living will help? Can it be so easy to disregard what a person's wishes are? Perhaps the fact that this woman had a living will contributed to saving her. She went an awful long time without hydration or nutrition though. The fact that this is a common occurance disturbs me. How is it that hospice care centers can easily take in a person who is not terminal and even more easily pull the feeding tube and administer morphine? I still think it's scary.

Another Update Apparently there is quite the controversy surrounding this story - with accusations being thrown that a nephew, Ken Mullinax, has some sort of political motivation for going to the press about this. I can't make head nor tail out of it. What exactly he has gained by doing this no-one can say. This is per Patterico

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Back to the important things in life...

Originally uploaded by MonicaR.

There's nothing like getting flowers from your kids. Their grubby little hands picked these for me from our front lawn. I call it the 'lawn' but really it is a 12'x12' patch of mud, weeds and grass attempting to grow.

Okay - they're weeds - but they're pretty dontcha think? These little flowers were crying out to be cradled in the Waterford sugar bowl - and I was happy to oblige.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Vicente Fox - Kiss My White American Ass.

Vicente Fox has threatened to take action in US Courts or International Tribunals against the patriots of the Minuteman Project.

Lets talk courts ol' buddy ol' pal:

With Friends Like This, Who Needs Enemies?? Deafening silence from our Republican administration - why?

Is my man 'W' going to let him get away with this mistreatment of an American citizen? Is he going to let him get away with threatening American citizen patriots for stopping illegals from entering our country? Just who in hell does Vicente Fox think he is - and who does he think he's dealing with? No - he'll not be dealing with 'W' on this, he'll be dealing with the American people.

And they're illegals goddamnit - not migrants. Let's call a spade a spade shall we?

American Patriots

Anyone interested in why I'm becoming unhappy with the Republican party? The lack of concern about the borders and the cozying up to the Mexican president are two reasons.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

So - here I am looking for a new party - political, that is.

I just checked out the Constitution Party. Geez - I like the name of it but most of the things that I disagree with I feel VERY strongly about.

Constitution Party

Preamble: It's a bit over the top, but I can deal with it.
Sanctity of Life: *creak* (that's my brain - sorry) Suffice it to say I don't think federal funds should be used for abortion. I don't agree with declaring that States cannot legalize abortion. I disagree with their conclusion about the scenario of the raped 14 year old. I disagree with the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision for several reasons. I agree with the partys stand on euthanasia, infanticide and suicide. I am against late term, partial birth abortion completely.
AIDS: Agree
Bring Government Back Home: Agree
Character and Moral Conduct: Nice but a pipe dream. Terribly unrealistic.
Congressional Reform: Agree
Conscription: Agree
Constitutional Convention: Huh? Plead ignorance.
Copyrights and Patents: Agree
Cost of Big Gov't: Agree
Crime: Agree
Defense: Mostly agree.
Domestic Federal Aid: Need to think about it.
Drug Abuse: Agree
Education: Agree but have questions.
Election Reform: Agree except I don't understand what's so terrible about the Voter Rights Act.
Electoral College: Agree
Energy: Agree
Environment: Agree
Executive Orders: Agree
Family: Mostly disagree
Foreign Policy: Mostly disagree. Except for the U.N. stuff and foreign aid - totally agree with that.
Gambling: Not sure of the ramifications of the tribal stuff.
Gun Control: Totally, totally agree. Did I mention totally?
Health Care: Agree
Immigration: Agree
Judiciary: Agree
Money and Banking: Disagree in large part
Personal and Private Property Security: Mostly agree.
Pornography: Disagree
Religious Freedom: Agree
Social Security: Agree
Statehood: Disagree and wonder why they take this stand?
State Sovereignty: Agree
Tariffs and Trade: Some of it agree. Some of it disagree. Some of it don't know what the ramifications would be.
Taxes: Like it but it's another pipe dream.
Terrorism and Personal Liberty: Sticky. Have some problems with most of this. Some agree.
Veterans: Agree
Wage and Price Control: Agree
Welfare: Agree

So it's a nix on the Constitution Party mostly due to the strong feelings I have about the things I disagree with. Grizzly is still snuffling around. I'll look at the Libertarian Party in a few days.

Friday, April 01, 2005

'We The People' ,eh?

So - whatever happened to 'We the People'? Whatever the hell happened to that?

I just spent the day with my husband and children at the National Constitution Center here in the beautiful City of Brotherly Love. The birthplace of our nation. It's an awesome stop by the way - I recommend it. The multi-media presentation in the Kimmel Theatre was just the best.

But it got me to thinking. Something is seriously wrong with our country. We have strayed - really strayed from the original intent of our constitution. The branches of our government were intended to act as checks and balances to one another. How is it that there is no check OR balance in regard to the judicial branch?

The injustice dealt to Terri Schiavo is just the latest in a long string of outrages. It's not about 'We the People' anymore. The power of the judiciary is being abused. How is it that we cannot question what a judge decides? If a judge finds a fact in a trial - that fact has to be accepted? What about the 'fact' that Terri Schiavo wanted to die? We have to accept this with all the evidence that refutes it? What about the 'fact' that Terri Schiavo was in a persistent vegetative state? We have to accept this even without documentation that would prove it? Even with affidavits signed by Neurologists who examined her that refute it? Even with recommendations by Neurologists that additional testing should be done? We have to accept this 'fact' from a judge - just because he is a judge. Didn't the judiciary at one time rule that slavery was constitutional???!!

I'm totally overwhelmed by all of this right now. Gawd - someone help me to understand this.

Glenn Beck