Thursday, May 29, 2008

What's that they say about Socialization?

My poor, sheltered, homebound son and his parents are absolutely running here, there and everywhere this week! Park Day with the homeschool group, Awana picnic, swimming with friends, field trips, playmates ringing the doorbell at 8 a.m....I could go on and on.

It doesn't pay

to irritate 2 million or so homeschoolers and their families.

HSLDA is pleased to pass along the following apology from Subway


We at SUBWAY restaurants place a high value on education,
regardless of the setting, and have initiated a number of programs and
promotions aimed at educating our youth in the areas of health and

We sincerely apologize to anyone who feels excluded by our current
essay contest. Our intention was to provide an opportunity for traditional
schools, many of which we know have trouble affording athletic equipment, to win
equipment. Our intent was certainly not to exclude homeschooled children from
the opportunity to win prizes and benefit from better access to fitness

To address the inadvertent limitation of our current contest and
provide an opportunity for even more kids to improve their fitness, we will soon
create an additional contest in which homeschooled students will be encouraged
to participate. When the kids win, everyone wins!

I think the apology is probably as sincere as they get these days. We'll be buying a meatball sub and a BMT with everything later this weekend! Thanks Subway!

Monday, May 26, 2008

We Won't Be Taking the Subway Anymore...

And we sent them an e-mail to share our reasoning. If you homeschool, I would invite you to do the same. This article, from Home Education Magazine spotlights Subway’s P.R. gaffe:

"By now, the Subway sandwich shop marketing division must know how bad of a decision it was on the part of whichever wonk who decided to expressly exclude homeschoolers from their latest contest. Email lists may not be utterly aflame over the exclusion, but there is more than one ***-off homeschool mom spreading the word. I’ve been reading their emails.

Subway contest: Every Sandwich Tells A Story

Enter the Every Sandwich Tells a Story Contest for a change to win great prizes for your child’s school!

Here’s what you could win:

1 Grand Prize Winner:

– Athletic equipment for your child’s school ($5,000 value)
– Scholastic Gift Bastket (sic) for your home
– SUBWAY Card ($100 value)
– See your story published on and in Scholastic Parent and Child magazine.

6 Runners-Up:

– Scholastic Gift Basket
– SUBWAY Card ($50 value)

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Contest is open only to legal residents of the Untied (sic) States who are currently over the age of 18 and have children who attend elementary, private or parochial schools that serve grades PreK-6. No home schools will be accepted.

To be technical about it, according to this, homeschoolers in the “Untied” States are the only ones ineligible. Homeschoolers in the “United” States should be able to enter. But, as we all can recognize, I digress, with my tongue firmly in my cheek.

The presumed rationale for the exclusion is that the grand prize is athletic equipment for a school and that “home schools” aren’t organized schools and that the equipment is intended for a community, not a family.

My own point of view is that the way the contest’s rules were worded is another indication of the increasing acceptance that children are creatures of school. This contest — a story writing contest — includes children who are “PreK.”

Do I really have to point out that three and four year old children generally do not compose “beginning, middle and end” stories?

Also, this indicates the trend that no longer are young children pre-schoolers, but they are pre-Kindergarten. Kindergarten itself used to be not only optional in the United States, but was considered a precursor to formal schooling. In German, the word Kindergarten comes from the words for ’children’ (Kinder) and ’garden’ (Garten). In meaning, Kindergarten is equivalent to “play school.” Note that in German the American use of Kindergarten is not der Kindergarten, but rather die Vorschule — preschool.

Obviously, in the United States, now both Kindergarten and what used to be called preschool are now ’school.’

For older ’school aged’ children, legislation tries to tie driving licenses to school attendance, sports for teens is all but wedded to schools, and daytime curfews during the ’school year’ are in effect when school is in session. (I’ve never figured out why there aren’t daytime curfews on weekends or during the summer.) In our collective mind, children who are ’school aged’ belong to a school. That’s just the way it is. Schools = children’s place of duty. Period. The Subway contest seems to reflect some of that line of thinking, which isn’t to malign Subway, but merely to reflect on our national mind-set.

The fallout

It’s too late to fix the wrongheaded concept that parents educating their children without the intercession of an institution are doing so as a school. That water is not only under the bridge, but it has gone out to sea, evaporated, and rained down multiple times.

Regardless of state laws that pigeonhole homeschooling under their respective private school laws, and regardless of whether parents officially/actively/or purposely ‘homeschool,’ all parents are their children’s primary educators even if what is ‘taught’ isn’t the least bit ‘educational.’ This is just family life. Lessons are learned, if only through example, regardless of their worth. Still, families in which children are expressly educated are not ’schools,’ so there is some logic to the exclusion by Subway.

Despite the logic, it was psychologically stupid to apply that logic so abruptly: No home schools will be accepted. Talk about shooting oneself in the foot. Those ‘million homeschoolers’ we always hear about equal how many potential customers?? Either the Subway marketing department is tone deaf, or somebody in the head shed doesn’t like homeschoolers.

Non-homeschoolers often complain that homeschoolers don’t live in the ‘real world,’ but the statement that ”no home schools will be accepted” indicates significant corporate ignorance about that ‘real world’ where real homeschooling families shop with real money.

J.C. Penney learned that in 2001.

Michelle Malkin, August 10, 2001: Publik skool biggotz
Until this week, Texas-based retailer J.C. Penney thought the “HOME SKOOLED” T-shirt was cool enough to peddle on its racks in the kiddie section. Only after a heated e-mail and phone campaign by home schooling parents did the department store chain send a notice to J.C. Penney stores nationwide Wednesday advising them to remove the T-shirts. “It wasn’t our intent to sell an item that is offensive,” a company spokesman told the Associated Press.

The fix
One of the more obvious work-arounds that the developers of the Subway contest could have included for homeschooling parents who entered on their children’s behalf, was for the equipment to be donated to a local park, or to a school of the winner’s choice. Problem solved – good will all around. Too bad that it didn’t play out that way.

I look forward to seeing how the Subway wonks handle their self-inflicted wound."

Friday, May 23, 2008

My Tightwad Testimony

I knew that I wanted the Complete Tightwad Gazette. So, I went to Barnes & Noble where I immediately began berating myself for wanting to spend money on a book about saving money! And anyway, the clerk said there was a copy in-store, but we couldn't find it. So I prayed. Right there in B&N. "Lord, if this is something I would use and from which my family would benefit, please make it available and ON SALE."

Within one minute the clerk returned with a smiling lady. She held the book out and chuckled, "I've carried this all over the store, but really had not come in here specifically for it. I'd decided to just buy it because I had it in hand. I really don't need it -- here." And she handed it over.

Well, that had been a two part prayer! I thought as she handed it over, "I hope it's only around $20 or I'll make a complete fool of myself by not buying it after all this trouble."

Do I need to tell you that I wept openly when I saw the $5.98 price on the sale sticker?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pray for the Chapman Family

From The Tennessean:

Steven Curtis Chapman’s youngest child died Wednesday afternoon after being struck by a car driven by her teenage brother in the driveway of the family’s Williamson County home.

Maria, one of the Christian singer’s six children, was taken by LifeFlight to Vanderbilt Hospital, which confirmed the death, according to Laura McPherson, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Highway Patrol. The 5-year-old was hit by an SUV driven by her teenage brother, she said.

Police did not give the driver’s name.The teen was driving a Toyota Land Cruiser down the driveway of the rural home at about 5:30 p.m. and several children were playing in the area, McPherson said. He did not see Maria in the driveway before the vehicle struck her, she said.“It appears to be a terrible accident,’’ McPherson said. No charges are expected, she said. The accident was witnessed by two other children; the entire family was home at the time, McPherson said.

I'm Drinking from my Saucer

Have you ever heard of this sweet song? I'm living the lyrics right now. God is blessing me so very richly with much needed friendships. I prayed for friends - real friends, Titus 2 friends - and He is answering that prayer with "good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over..."

Yep, that's right! I prayed for you to enter my life. Y'all know who you are. And if you don't, I'm not conveying my heart properly. But I think you know, don't you?!

Here are all the lyrics to this song that is going through my head so often these days:

"I've never made a fortune and it's prob'ly too late now

But I don't worry about that muchI'm happy anyhow

And as I go along life's journeyI'm reaping better than I sow

I'm drinking from my saucer

'Cause my cup has overflowed

Haven't got a lot of riches and sometimes the going's tough

But I've got loving ones around meand that makes me rich enough

I thank God for His blessings and the mercies He's bestowed

I'm drinking from my saucer

'Cause my cup has overflowed

O, Remember times when things went wrong

My faith wore somewhat thin

But all at once the dark clouds broke and sun peeped through again

So Lord, help me not to gripeabout the tough rows that I've hoed

I'm drinking from my saucer

'Cause my cup has overflowed

If God gives me strength and courage

When the way grows steep and rough

I'll not ask for other blessings

I'm already blessed enough

And may I never be too busyto help others bear their loads

Then I'll keep drinking from my saucer

'Cause my cup has overflowed!"

-Lyrics by Jimmy Dean

Friday, May 16, 2008

Speaking of Prince Caspian...


Is there ANYTHING p.b. cookies won't fix?

Especially ones this yummy and simple to make? Here's the recipe for the world's easiest Peanut Butter Cookies:

Combine 1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk and 3/4 cup peanut butter.

Stir in 2 cups Bisquick and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mixture will be very will your arm after combining well. Roll into 1-1.5" balls. Roll ball in sugar and place on baking sheet. Mark with crosshatch pattern using a fork and bake at 375 for 7 minutes.

Be careful! Bottoms (of cookies) will caramelize quickly. Bottoms (of eaters) will expand exponentially!

And yes, I just happen to have a pic OF THE COOKIES of course:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I haven't had time to "really" craft,

but this remake of the ugly pullcord on my pull-down attic steps was a welcome change. I'd been wanting to do it for a while.

I replaced the cord with wire on which I'd woven beads I found on clearance at that Wal store. The picture is terrible, but certainly gives the general idea of what I did. There is no way these pics could do the beads justice...or convey to you the fact that my wall and ceiling aren't nearly as dirty as they seem! But here goes...

Want more fantastic ideas? Head on over to W8tng4Him

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

He grows.

And grows. Yesterday, the tiny gift of God turned nine. Had he been three or four I wouldn't be so in awe. But nine! Halfway to 18.

The same body that arrived weighing only 2 pounds 3 ounces is now 65 pounds strong. The head that was no larger than a baseball is now to my shoulders, and thumb-sized feet now comfortably slide into my shoes for a quick trip to the mailbox.

He grows. *sigh*

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A lovely hymn...........


“So that your trust may be in the Lord, I teach you today.” Proverbs 22:19

Sit down by the side of your mother, my boy,You have only a moment, I know;But you’ll stay till I give you my parting advice,’Tis all that I have to bestow.You leave us to seek for employment, my boy,By the world you have yet to be tried;But in all the temptations and struggles you meet,May your heart in the Savior confide.


Hold fast to the right,Hold fast to the right,Wherever your footsteps may roam;O forsake not the way of salvation, my boy,That you learned from your mother at home.
You’ll find in your satchel a Bible, my boy,’Tis the book of all others the best;It will teach you to live, it will help you to die,And lead to the gates of the blest.I gave you to God, in your cradle, my boy,I have taught you the best that I knew;And as long as His mercy permits me to live,I shall never cease praying for you.


Your father is coming to bid you goodbye,O how lonely and sad we shall be;But when far from the scenes of your childhood and youth,You’ll think of your father and me.I want you to feel every word I have said,For it came from the depths of my love;And, my boy, if we never behold you on earth,Will you promise to meet us above?


Friday, May 9, 2008

Wow! Talk about Quiverfull!

The Duggars (aka: two of my heroes) are expecting baby number 18!
What a joy and a blessing!
Congratulations Duggar Family!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Domestic Spaz says,

"I need to do something like this in some sort of an Asian motif."

How about -- instead of keeping the bow horizontal -- we fold it and use it on the vertical? Looks more Asian-y to me. Then very kimono-sash-like tails combine with a cherry blossom type print to complete the look.

Hmmmm, we may be onto something here, DS!

What about..................(warning: super quick photoshop sketch without coffee sketch ahead)

The Shame of Procrastination

What doesn't work for me? I've just gotten around to doing my first "Works for Me Wednesday" post and the rules are changed? Arrrrrrrrrrrgh! That just goes to show that what doesn't work for me is PROCRASTINATION and my silly, silly highly distractable brain. My life if riddled with it. I think that somehow I got the idea that when I came home full-time those cute little forest animals would give me a hand and keep me on track. Worked for Snow White, right? Okay, well, I must move on with it before I get distracted. Again.

I record "Sewing with Nancy" and several other craft shows- which I watch when the progeny is at his granny's. So I was sitting there watching her be oh-so-industrious when my eyes travelled to the vacant window. An empty decorative rod hung there above stark white mini blinds. The rod used to be occupied by a drape whose color I could just not make myself like. When we finally got a new sofa this year, the color really didn't work. So I took it down, and because I had a picture in my head of how I wanted this particular window to look, I just never got around to doing anything else with it.

You guessed it: until yesterday. I got up off my derriere and put together this treatment below. It looks just like the one in my head. Cost: free! Made from a drape I already had put back and some beautiful ribbon. Luxurious ribbon. Ribbon so soft it feels like water in your hand. Free ribbon. At Christmas 2 years ago my darling hubby got me some wonderful PJs. They came folded and neatly tied with beautiful ribbon. I couldn't bear to throw that ribbon away, so I kept it in my stash - knowing someday we would be reunited. Yesterday was that day!

First, I made a loop of said ribbon and made a bow and extra "tail" as shown here:

Then to attach the tail and bow to the loop:

Which turn out like this

Then to gather the other materials needed, loop the drape through our new ribbon hangers and place on the rod.

Viola! It's simple almost to the point of being stark - but I just love it.

Monday, May 5, 2008


my enemy, my constant companion in the days following marathon design sessions. I actually ended up with the challenge of doing not one but two papers this month.

In addition, I had keepsake bookmarks to make for a lovely lady who was hosting a tea. They turned out quite well. (I'll share a tutorial later.) I didn't mind doing them at all, but it meant an all-nighter doing those - the day before beginning my 5-day design odyssey. Thus exhaustion has become like a pesky little dog nipping at my heels as I drag myself through much of my daily routine.

So, not much today - but I have big plans for the week so stay tuned!