Tuesday, November 18, 2008

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

I'm not super up to date on lots of political stuff, but I received this blurb today... Read through it and let me know what you think. Our children definitely need to be safe, but should it be at the expense of every family? It seems as though it's a slippery slope we're heading down. Anyway, what are your thoughts?

"Imagine If..."
The Reality of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Imagine an Air Force mom, serving her country on a month-long deployment, who learns that her daughter has been secretly removed by local authorities, claiming the child has been "abandoned." Children begin mandatory sex-education at the age of four, regardless of their family's opinions, beliefs, or convictions, and parents are imprisoned if their children fail to receive any of their mandatory vaccinations. Parents live in a state of constant supervision and suspicion.

Imagine if your national government had the audacity to appoint a "guardian" to monitor your child from birth, charged with the legal responsibility to evaluate your decisions as a parent and armed with the legal authority to "intervene, prevent or rectify" any violations of your child's rights. Public and private schools alike are policed by the national government, and classes begin with singing about the principles of peace, tolerance, and the United Nations. Your child's confidential medical records, stored in a nation-wide electronic register from birth until age twenty, can be accessed at any time, without your knowledge, by any physician, teacher, or government social worker in the nation.

Now stop imagining, because for parents in the 193 countries that have ratified the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of the Child, each of these scenarios is true.
Read the rest of this article.

Marriage, what's that?

I heard a blurb from Mike Huckabee on a news talk show last night, and he was talking about how our country was designed by our founding fathers to operate within a moral framework, within a certain structure. When parts of that structure start crumbling, we start having problems reverberate throughout our country. One of the most basic parts of our country's framework is the family, and we know that families are having a harder time than ever staying together in recent years. Please take a moment to read this press release from the National Institute of Marriage. It's important, to you, to someone you know, to our country. Thanks....

With the national divorce rate around 50%, there is no doubt that many marriages run into communication problems at some point. There is a communication epidemic. The National Institute of Marriage has created marriage counseling programs and resources utilizing a structure that is the most powerful format they have found for helping couples who feel stuck and hopeless. They have designed several programs to help couples move past the barriers and experience the marriage of their dreams.
NIM's Intensive Marriage Counseling Programs are unique from weekly marriage counseling in three distinctive ways:

· Intensive Marriage Counseling Format: Committing to an extended amount of concentrated time like the 2 or 4 day Marriage Intensive allows people to get to the root of the problem and stick with it in order to work through it. If you’ve been in traditional marriage counseling before, you may have experienced how you spend the first half catching up from the week before, the second half getting into the real issues, and then the time is gone. The Intensive format is designed so that people have the chance to go deeper without many of the other distractions of daily life and have enough discuss to consider solutions.

· Efficiency: One of the first steps in the process is an extensive assessment with some questionnaires. This allows the therapists to gather background information and can get an idea of the best strategy to proceed before you arrive for your session.

· Marriage Counselors: The counselors at the National Institute of Marriage are specialists in this area. One analogy we like to use is that of the Mayo Clinic: people go to their regular physician but may be sent to a specialist to work with specific areas. The NIM marriage therapists have been trained in this format to maximize its effectiveness. Also, the NIM marriage counseling programs provide the perspectives and insight of two professionals rather than one.
If you are considering divorce, you must try the National Institute of Marriage before giving up. They have developed a continuum of care that meets couples wherever they may be in their relationship. Regardless of the health of their marriage they have a service that can help couples improve their marital satisfaction. Visit their website at http://www.nationalmarriage.com. Read the incredible testimonies from the couples that saved their marriages by attending a Marriage Intensive at the National Institute of Marriage.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Saying No

I received this in an email from Parenting by Design, and just wanted to share... It's no fun to say no, but we know that it's necessary sometimes. It's even less fun to hear no as an answer, but we will. Take a quiet moment and read and think on it... Let me know what you think.

Matt. 7:9-11: "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!" (NIV).

Sometimes our kids ask for things that are not good for them. We say "no" out of love even though they may accuse us of being mean. We are able to handle their disappointment and anger because we see the bigger picture. Some parents, however, are so anxious to avoid conflict they say "yes" to things that are against their better judgment. They can't bear to let their kids down or they fear their kids' angry reaction.

Parenting provides a wonderful window into the Father's love for us. We may feel as if God is punishing us when He doesn't say "yes" to our prayer requests. But how many times have you prayed for something you later realized would not have been in your best interest? Without realizing it, we sometimes pray for "snakes," but God loves us enough to say "no."

Demonstrate your love by being strong enough to tell your kids "no."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tough stuff

As I've jabbered on about before, one of the things I really like about homeschooling is that we can grab up the teachable moments and really run with them. One thing that I wasn't really prepared to talk to my daughters about yet was the issue of drug and alcohol addiction. I'd like to pretend that this kind of tough stuff isn't an issue for kids their age, but I know that it is. I know that there are kids in middle and junior high schools all across our country having to tap into alcohol rehabilitation services in order to deal with problems that they already have! We have had to hit this topic recently because of someone somewhat near to us having a struggle... Unfortunately they are resistant to help. There are so many great resources out there that it's sad to not use any of them!! I found a place called Promises Treatment Center that does look to offer what it's name says: a promise of treatment. They treat addiction to a variety of drugs and substances, including: Alcohol, Cocaine, Codeine, Heroin, Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Oxycodone, and many others. If you find yourself in a place where any of these are an issue, please do check it out. Don't make life harder for you and for your family than it already is. Take the hands reaching out to you!

G is for goat

I've been rambling on here before about my procrastination... Well, tonight at 10:00 I find myself looking for books and material for my preschool class tomorrow, based on a goat. We live in a rural area, so with a little forethought I could probably secure a goat. No forethought here though, and material for preschoolers on goats is pretty thin. When will I learn?!?!?

Learning about ourselves

With the kids with me all day homeschooling, we have opportunities to learn about so much more than academics. Conversations pop up about everything from celebrities on tv to what a lapband surgeon is. The conversations so often feel like they're taking us away from our studies, but I need to step back and realize that I've got a unique opportunity to help them learn to make sense of the world that we live in. Our learning may not always organize neatly on a planner, but learning we are!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

First Thanksgiving Day Proclamation

Thanksgiving day doesn't really mean much more to most folks than a big meal with family, does it? A fun thing, a good thing, but not what it was intended to be. Check out what George Washington said when declaring a nationwide observance of Thanksgiving. Read it through slowly and really chew on it... Thoughts?

A Thanksgiving Proclamation
October 3, 1789

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3rd day of October, A.D. 1789.

-George Washington

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Panama, anyone?

I have not traveled tons outside of our country, but I have traveled enough to know that you can learn a lot more about another culture when you actually allow yourself to be immersed in it, ideally academically and physically. If it is financially a possibility, traveling with your children is a huge plus in their learning. There are more and more options available in the way of doing this. You can stay at conventional hotels, timeshares, and all sorts of varieties of these. I found a neat looking condo style hotel in Panama - Hotel Casco Antiguo - that might offer a chance to really get to know another country and its culture.
You can Register for an eBrochure Here to get more information about it for yourself. It looks like a really interesting location, and in this day of uncertain investments, a second home that you can physically touch is a nice concrete investment, I would think. Our family is not quite in the place to do this right now, but if you have done something like this yourself, share. I'd like to know how it worked out for you!


Monday, November 3, 2008


Tomorrow is a big day in our country, a big election. Hopefully you've registered already (too late now!), so now just be sure to get out and vote!! Times polls are open can be found here, so check it out, make your plans, and don't miss it tomorrow!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Extra-curricular game time!

My kids are a little young to be doing too much in the way of gaming. We have an OLD playstation in the basement, but that's about it. As they do get older, though, especially if our little boy ends up staying here, I'm sure that we'll get much more aware of all of the gaming units and the fun that they can offer. And you know, in moderation, they are a great "extra-curricular activity." I know that it really helps my girls to know that there is some sort of a treat available at the end of their schoolwork each day, and this might be the magic carrot for us down the road!

Combine the above with my interest in things free, and the Charter Communications Xbox Sweepstakes has caught my attention! Here's the deal. If you order any Charter service online or even just register, you'll be automatically entered to win an Xbox 360! They'll be giving one away every day until December 15th. Ooh - free Christmas present!!!

Here are the details on what's actually being given away:
  • XBox 360® Pro Console
  • XBox LIVE Headset
  • Wireless Controller
  • Component HD AV Cable
  • 20Gb Detachable Hard Drive
Ooh ooh, I should probably let you know what services Charter offers. Good stuff for gaming, but also for your schoolwork, home business, whatver. They offer HD and "blazing fast" high speed internet. They even offer a risk free trial period for 30 days, so why not?

Let me know if you win - I sure will share if I do! :)