03 October 2017

Citizen Newt: the Making of a Reagan Conservative


Citizen Newt:  the Making of a Reagan Conservative details Gingrich's career path from college professor to Speaker of the House.  It's an authorised biography that pretty much leaves out every detail of his personal life and focuses solely on the man's politics, his influence and his advocacy for the constituents of his district in ethnically diverse Georgia.

Here you'll find a reminder that politicians from a given party and time aren't all carbon copies of one another.  Newt Gingrich has always adamantly supported civil rights and was one of the few Republicans favouring a national holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr.  He's championed so-called "green" causes and is a staunch conservationist.  Back in the day when quite a number of people were seriously bandying about the idea of quarantining AIDS patients, Gingrich stated that the cases ought be reported but not quarantined, and that treatment ought be available.

At the same time, here's a fellow who supports food stamp work requirements and generally opposes tax increases.  But he's not always in line with his own party.

The one criticism I'd have of this book is that, while it's very detailed on many of the political infights and deals through Gingrich's career, the book ends as he becomes speaker.  It's certainly very detailed and well-researched and is likely to become a go-to book for any political writer wishing to gain insight into this time period in American national politics. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

19 September 2017

Teaching Children About Healthy Boundaries



This video is hilarious, I think mostly because all of us have dealt with men like this at one point or another.  I actually used this video with Rose today in an effort to talk a little bit about appropriate boundaries.  Sometimes you need to ask people to leave you alone firmly.  Elf popped into the room, saw what was on the computer, and told me that the little kids shouldn't be watching language this inappropriate.  Of course he didn't know such words existed at that age... yes, I over-coddled the kiddo.  Hopefully he's gotten over it.

15 September 2017

How to Pronounce Place Names



These are the cities of D'Moin, Boy-zee and Shy Ann.

Arkin-saw.

Ignore that second C.  Con-et-ih-cut.

Controversy time!  Miz-zour-ee or Miz-zour-ah.  Depends largely on whether you are native to the state and/or rural.  The second pronunciation is more local and paraded out by politicians at election time.  But when speaking in Washington, DC, it's magically time for them to say Miz-zour-ee. True story.  Can you tell we're working on "place name pronunication" in our homeschool this week?

12 September 2017

History/ Geography

We're doing Alpha Omega LIFEPAC's History and Geography.  This is the third grade set.  Yes, it's easy and has a cartoon bumble-bee explaining everything for you.  Even so, it seems like quite a bit of material for children to absorb.  If you're unfamiliar with LIFEPACs, there are ten workbooks to a set that is meant to last a full school year.  Because the children are in fifth and fourth grades, it will not take us nearly that long to complete.

I've also gotten flash cards so that the children can know at least most of the states' capitals and some other countries' as well.


21 August 2017

Our Eclipse Day!

We're a bit north of downtown Kansas City, so we were in the path of the totality today.  Imagine the sunset happening in a circle around you... all those reds and oranges and such... but no sun on the horizon.  Eerie.  Crickets and cicadas going crazy and all still before the sky turned black.


The students at the local public schools just rolled with it today - there was no way anyone would get any good studying done so they might as well.  They were good enough to give all the children - including the high schoolers - the approved solar glasses and some time outdoors to view the eclipse this afternoon.

In our homeschool, we watched videos about the eclipse and watched it live in other locations.  We doodled the various sorts of eclipses and did a little writing, too.  It was a good day.

In between the "Is it almost time yet?" inquiries, we even got some mathematics finished.


19 August 2017

The Trees Are Down!


We used Walker Tree Service as they're the fellows you see about town on the power lines, licensed and insured etc etc. Which is a good thing as one of these huge branches fell sidewise and cracked my new siding.  It's ok - no one is hurt and I trust they'll fix it.

This should also give you an idea how thick and large the trees were - and hopefully, how many leaves we will NOT be raking and mowing this fall!

Now it feels sort of empty on that side yard.  We also removed a tree that was starting to block our view from the back windows.  Much more sun hits our lot now.

11 August 2017

Start With Amen

You always start any project at the beginning with the end in mind.  When we began homeschooling, we began with the idea that we wanted our children to graduate from high school and move on to college or otherwise be prepared to begin their adult lives.  So we did things a certain way in order to (hopefully) meet those goals.

In Start With Amen, Beth Guckenberger reminds us that the end is already a certainty.  You can rest in knowing that God already has the end planned out in accordance with His gracious character.

The book is an easy read but it often presents difficult situations that are still unresolved.  This is not a happy "throw a Bible verse out and say it will all be okie doke" sort of book.  In fact, Guckenberger's take on the "Amen" of God is not a specific answer to prayer or direction for a believer to follow: 

"He cares more about our relationship than my life plan.  He is working to root out that which is not sacred in me and create space for his deposit of good gifts.  He has the long play in mind - transformation of a life from carnal to supernatural - and I have the short plan pressing on my soul: 'What will this blood test reveal?'  The competing agendas crash together and leave me weary."

It's a casual read full of personal anecdotes I'd recommend to my Christian friends.  In fact, I have a friend in mind who needs to get this little book in the mail now that I'm done reading it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”