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Monday, May 30, 2005

Finding Under the Sky

Hello all my loyal readers (all five of you...) :+)

I have moved locations to:

http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/underthesky/

Please update your sidebar links if you are kind enough to link to me. If you are kind enough to favorite me, please update your favorite link to Under the Sky.

I look forward to hearing from you on my new blog.

Warmly,
Kate

We're back - Airplanes and FPEA safely experienced!

It
was a walk of faith to get on that plane, but it was not nearly as bad
as I thought it would be. My partner in crime was more flustered than I
was so I was thinking of her! Not having slept for more than 24 hours
by the time we arrived in gorgeously green Florida, we were a little
loopy, but hey, that was part of the fun. 

Jen and I were warmly greeted by the FPEA leaders and we could not
believe what we were met with. This was a *top notch* conference. There
were 85 workshops and a very large vendor hall with everything under
the sun to poke through. We met a host of really amazing curriculum
providers and writers from Susan Wise Bauer to John Holt to Diana
Waring to Andrew Pudewa to Mark Hamby and more. Everyone was helpful,
interesting, had a lot to share and just out of this world. The vendor
hall was like a smorgasbord of all you can eat homeschool stuff. Oh my
goodness it was hard to hold onto the wallet there. I have to say we
spotted some really interesting new (to me) vendors of exciting quality
products. I really liked Corps of Re-Discovery and Art Flashcards from Kiddie Connoisseur. I would have liked to say I heard Susan speak, but alas I was so off kilter on my sleep cycle I slept clean through it! (Sorry, Susan!)

There are some really marvelous people living in Florida and I had the privilege
of meeting a few of them. Kolbi being one of them. Here Jen and I are
smiling it up for the camera with Kolbi in front of the Peace Hill
Press booth (which was almost always swamped!)





The hotel this conference was in was bar-none the best I have ever
seen. It was just beautiful and so HUGE! We spent a grand total of one
hour outside the entire time because the hotel was so large and
everything was enclosed. It was like a small city inside there - its
own biosphere I think - truly wild. We even had our own alligators
there. Heck - why leave?! Visit Florida and go to the Gaylord Palms -
no need to leave! Maybe that is their master plan - I think it must be.

I was greeted with happiness, joy, hugs, and flowers by the gang
when I arrived home after what can only be termed the Flight From the
Dark Side. Jen is right - we would have had more room had we been in
the overhead storage containers. It was so nice to be missed! Emma
would not let go of me - even when I went to get our checked baggage!
We hardly slept at all the entire weekend so I just crashed pretty hard
yesterday. Sleep is a wonderful thing!


What a  rejuvenating
experience for me to see all these people - 5,000 to 7,000 people!! -
all devoted to their children's education, all welcomed to FPEA with
open arms - all there for one purpose! If there was any way to afford
it, I would go every year - what a marvelous time!


Kate


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Sovereignty! Aaaaanndddd, a little struggle. :+)

Well, this Thursday morning at the hideous hour of 4:30 I will be departing my home for the airport. I will fly with my good friend, Jen, to the beautiful not-currently-hurricaning state of Florida. I am headed to the Florida Parent-Educators Conference. Yes, I do live in glorious sunny California, but the California homeschool conventions just were not enough for me. HA! That is in jest, of course, but I am going to Florida anyway. Now in order to *get* to Florida, I have to fly there because it is a little late to start driving, and it is the quickest way to avoid the Midwest. (That was also in jest for you midwestians.) In reality, we are flying and it spooks me. So all this jesting is really to hide the fact that I am not comfortable dangling my life upwards of thousands of feet in the air. I know, I know, it is safer than cars, probably safer than walking, but it is still the fact that I am doing something SO out of the ordinary – and when I say out of the ordinary I mean it. I have not been on a plane in almost 15 years. Sooooo, it is just a little out of my comfort zone, you know?

I asked my dear husband if he ever feared flying. He said, “No, God is sovereign in this area just as much as others.” Hey, now don’t confuse me with the facts please! In reality, it is a blessing he said that to me. He understands the minute details of sovereignty in a way that I am missing. I could keel over in the back yard while gardening, I could go in my sleep, I could… well, you know, I just could, and it would be in His time. If I am on the plane and something happens then it is His time. God will care for those who are here – better than I can. It is hard to face these fears for me. It is hard not to have control over everything. There is great safety in my head when I think of being “in control.” But that is a farce too! When are we ever truly in complete control of anything? I am SO glad that God is truly in control – that His hand moves the world – that He is truly King of all. That means He is King of all - including airplanes! There is great comfort in that for me, and I will be praying that while we take off at ten past six on Thursday morning.

If you think of us, please pray that all will go well during the weekend. There is much to accomplish, fabulous people to meet, information to take in, and some relaxing to do. I have not been away from my entire family ever and this will be a big time first.

Warmly,
Kate

Sovereignty! Aaaaanndddd, a little struggle. :+)

Well, this Thursday morning at the
hideous hour of 4:30 I will be departing my home for the airport. I
will fly with my good friend, Jen, to the beautiful
not-currently-hurricaning state of Florida. I am headed to the Florida
Parent-Educators Conference. Yes, I do live in glorious sunny
California, but the California homeschool conventions just were not
enough for me. HA! That is in jest, of course, but I am going to
Florida anyway. Now in order to *get* to Florida, I have to fly there
because it is a little late to start driving, and it is the quickest
way to avoid the Midwest. (That was also in jest for you midwestians.)
In reality, we are flying and it spooks me. So all this jesting is
really to hide the fact that I am not comfortable dangling my life
upwards of thousands of feet in the air. I know, I know, it is safer
than cars, probably safer than walking, but it is still the fact that I
am doing something SO out of the ordinary – and when I say out of the
ordinary I mean it. I have not been on a plane in almost 15 years.
Sooooo, it is just a little out of my comfort zone, you know?

I asked my dear husband if he ever feared flying. He said, “No, God is
sovereign in this area just as much as others.” Hey, now don’t confuse
me with the facts please! In reality, it is a blessing he said that to
me. He understands the minute details of sovereignty in a way that I am
missing. I could keel over in the back yard while gardening, I could go
in my sleep, I could… well, you know, I just could, and it would be in
His time. If I am on the plane and something happens then it is His
time. God will care for those who are here – better than I can. It is
hard to face these fears for me. It is hard not to have control over
everything. There is great safety in my head when I think of being “in
control.” But that is a farce too! When are we ever truly in complete
control of anything? I am SO glad that God is truly in control – that
His had moves the world – that He is truly King of all. That means He
is King of all - including airplanes! There is great comfort in that
for me, and I will be praying that while we take off at ten past six on
Thursday morning.

If you think of us, please pray that all will go well during the
weekend. There is much to accomplish, fabulous people to meet,
information to take in, and some relaxing to do. I have not been away
from my entire family ever and this will be a big time first.
Warmly,
Kate

Farm Fresh

 I was recently reading a blog that
was discussing the treatment of farm animals and organic foods and the
fact that Christians are not speaking up for what is good and right in
this area. A few things about me before I delve into certain aspects
that have stuck in my craw - so to speak.

1. I believe in God's mandate to take dominion, but I also believe
strongly that we are to be good stewards of the land, creatures, and
all things God gives us.
2. We eat meat and all sorts of veggies, fruits, and milk products.
3. We as believers should care about how animals as well as crops are treated and harvested.
4. I do NOT believe that animal and human genes should be combined in any form.

Now, my frustration:

From my recent blog reads I have gleaned that buying organic is the
very best for my family and that buying meat straight from the farmer
is the greatest way to go. I would not disagree that either of those
things is probably better than what I am buying, but what if I cannot
afford it? Am I doing a disservice to my children because I buy from
the regular corner grocery store? Am I somehow doing irreparable damage
because I am trying to live within my means? Does this equate to me not
caring about my children’s health? Isn’t God sovereign in our
children’s lives even when we cannot afford organic/farm fresh? Just
last week I went to the local natural foods store and one gallon of
organic milk cost me close to $6.00. I bought it because we were there,
it was needed, and I really didn’t want to make another stop with five
children on the way home, but I could never afford to buy that on a
regular basis! To buy two gallons at the grocery cost me less than the
one at the natural foods store.

I guess I am vocalizing my sadness at the idea that I somehow care less
for my children or that if I don’t buy this way or don’t talk about it
with my Christian friends that it in some way equates with me not
caring about how farm animals are treated or what is in our crops.
Different people are created for different ministries – what you may be
passionate about may not be what I am, but that does not equal detached
indifference. While I might *prefer* to buy organic, I have never been
able to do so because of the cost. I don’t know any farmers and I don’t
live near any – so what’s a mother to do? Even if I was to meet a
farmer, how would I possibly know he had never treated his
cows/pigs/chickens with anything? There is only so much in this life
that I as a Christian can be and only so much that I can do within my
financial framework.

It is tiresome to be told what I ought to be doing as a Christian in
areas that are not clearly delineated in Scripture. I don’t feel the
need to tell you what you ought to be doing as a believer, but if you
wish to stand firm for what is right in farming/animal husbandry, I am
all for it and in great support of you. Please do not think that I view
you as somehow off your rocker, or that I think you are a “leftie”
because of it - I just may not have the same passion.What I do have a
passion about, I will share with you, but just because it is not the
same thing does not make me wrong; just different.

Warmly written,
Kate

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Farm Fresh

I was recently reading a blog that was discussing the treatment of farm animals and organic foods and the fact that Christians are not speaking up for what is good and right in this area. A few things about me before I delve into certain aspects that have stuck in my craw - so to speak.

1. I believe in God's mandate to take dominion, but I also believe strongly that we are to be good stewards of the land, creatures, and all things God gives us.
2. We eat meat and all sorts of veggies, fruits, and milk products.
3. We as believers should care about how animals as well as crops are treated and harvested.
4. I do NOT believe that animal and human genes should be combined in any form.

Now, my frustration:

From my recent blog reads I have gleaned that buying organic is the very best for my family and that buying meat straight from the farmer is the greatest way to go. I would not disagree that either of those things is probably better than what I am buying, but what if I cannot afford it? Am I doing a disservice to my children because I buy from the regular corner grocery store? Am I somehow doing irreparable damage because I am trying to live within my means? Does this equate to me not caring about my children’s health? Isn’t God sovereign in our children’s lives even when we cannot afford organic/farm fresh? Just last week I went to the local natural foods store and one gallon of organic milk cost me close to $6.00. I bought it because we were there, it was needed, and I really didn’t want to make another stop with five children on the way home, but I could never afford to buy that on a regular basis! To buy two gallons at the grocery cost me less than the one at the natural foods store.

I guess I am vocalizing my sadness at the idea that I somehow care less for my children or that if I don’t buy this way or don’t talk about it with my Christian friends that it in some way equates with me not caring about how farm animals are treated or what is in our crops. Different people are created for different ministries – what you may be passionate about may not be what I am, but that does not equal detached indifference. While I might *prefer* to buy organic, I have never been able to do so because of the cost. I don’t know any farmers and I don’t live near any – so what’s a mother to do? Even if I was to meet a farmer, how would I possibly know he had never treated his cows/pigs/chickens with anything? There is only so much in this life that I as a Christian can be and only so much that I can do within my financial framework.

It is tiresome to be told what I ought to be doing as a Christian in areas that are not clearly delineated in Scripture. I don’t feel the need to tell you what you ought to be doing as a believer, but if you wish to stand firm for what is right in farming/animal husbandry, I am all for it and in great support of you. Please do not think that I view you as somehow off your rocker, or that I think you are a “leftie” because of it - I just may not have the same passion.

What I do have a passion about, I will share with you, but just because it is not the same thing does not make me wrong; just different.

Warmly written,
Kate

Etc...

We finished our history read aloud today -
in two days actually - we enjoyed it that much! We are in the midst of
the Renaissance and dove into The Apprentice
(not the Trump one) by Pilar Molina Llorente. It was a very good story
about a young boy longing for a painter’s life. I half expected it to
be slightly boring, I mean how exciting can a Renaissance apprentice’s
life be, right? Mixing paints, sharpening charcoal, eating poor food,
slaving for the Maestro, etc. But the best books are those that
surprise me and this one did. If you are anywhere near the Renaissance
and would like an inside look into that life then I recommend it.
Rainbow Resource is where I bought it for a few dollars. It was worth
it. I have been trying to meld our Reformation read aloud books with
our Renaissance ones and some have been better than others. We read Ink on His Fingers and The Beggars’ Bible, both by Louise A. Vernon, and enjoyed those a lot. We read Thunderstorm in Church and found it rather dry. With that title I thought it would be more exciting than it was. I was wrong! We are heading into The Hawk That Dare Not Hunt by Day and William of Orange
soon. I hope they do not disappoint!I look forward to an entire year of
American history next year and the children do too. Having made it this
far into the homeschooling realm and only studied it a little bit, I
think it is time since we are just about there after the
Renaissance/Reformation/Exploration we have been in for a while. I look
forward to reading some good books on the founders of our nation. What
have you found that you like for US history to read aloud? Any
suggestions are welcome and encouraged!
***************************************
One
more tidbit from our Saturday tea - it is the poem our Pastor's wife
read to us. I just really liked its simplicity and its message. I do
not know the author.A Mother’s PrayerA careful woman I ought to beA
little lady follows me.I do not dare to go astray,For fear she’ll go
the self same way.Not once can I escape her eyes;Whate’er she sees me
do she tries.Like me she says she’s going to beThat little lady who
follows me.I must remember as I goThrough summer sun and winter
snow,I’m molding for years to be-That little lady who follows me.
***************************************
I
am getting ready to go to Florida next week and am a bit nervous to
fly. Not having done so in almost 15 years makes a person - ME -
discombobulated. I don't have that terror of flying that some of my
dear friends have, but I am not particularly comfortable with it even
though all the stats tell me it is safer than, oh you know, probably
going to the bathroom. To make matters even stranger I have been having
mild asthma symptoms for no apparent reason. I may or may not take it
to the doctor level, and am trying to treat it with over the counter
medicines and herbs, but we shall see. I love strange medical issues
that come up out of no where!
***************************************
I
had better make dinner since it is approaching that hour when I start
to hear calls of, "Mommy, what is for dinner?" "Food," I answer in a
rather snarky tone when I really don't know what I am making yet. Today
though, all snarky tones are gone because I am making chicken, rice,
and a veggie. Don't we sound all-American apple pie and everything?
Grin!Happy evening,Kate

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Etc...

We finished our history read aloud today - in two days actually - we enjoyed it that much! We are in the midst of the Renaissance and dove into The Apprentice (not the Trump one) by Pilar Molina Llorente. It was a very good story about a young boy longing for a painter’s life. I half expected it to be slightly boring, I mean how exciting can a Renaissance apprentice’s life be, right? Mixing paints, sharpening charcoal, eating poor food, slaving for the Maestro, etc. But the best books are those that surprise me and this one did. If you are anywhere near the Renaissance and would like an inside look into that life then I recommend it. Rainbow Resource is where I bought it for a few dollars. It was worth it. I have been trying to meld our Reformation read aloud books with our Renaissance ones and some have been better than others. We read Ink on His Fingers and The Beggars’ Bible, both by Louise A. Vernon, and enjoyed those a lot. We read Thunderstorm in Church and found it rather dry. With that title I thought it would be more exciting than it was. I was wrong! We are heading into The Hawk That Dare Not Hunt by Day and William of Orange soon. I hope they do not disappoint!

I look forward to an entire year of American history next year and the children do too. Having made it this far into the homeschooling realm and only studied it a little bit, I think it is time since we are just about there after the Renaissance/Reformation/Exploration we have been in for a while. I look forward to reading some good books on the founders of our nation. What have you found that you like for US history to read aloud? Any suggestions are welcome and encouraged!

***************************************

One more tidbit from our Saturday tea - it is the poem our Pastor's wife read to us. I just really liked its simplicity and its message. I do not know the author.

A Mother’s Prayer

A careful woman I ought to be
A little lady follows me.
I do not dare to go astray,
For fear she’ll go the self same way.

Not once can I escape her eyes;
Whate’er she sees me do she tries.
Like me she says she’s going to be
That little lady who follows me.

I must remember as I go
Through summer sun and winter snow,
I’m molding for years to be-
That little lady who follows me.

***************************************

I am getting ready to go to Florida next week and am a bit nervous to fly. Not having done so in almost 15 years makes a person - ME - discombobulated. I don't have that terror of flying that some of my dear friends have, but I am not particularly comfortable with it even though all the stats tell me it is safer than, oh you know, probably going to the bathroom. To make matters even stranger I have been having mild asthma symptoms for no apparent reason. I may or may not take it to the doctor level, and am trying to treat it with over the counter medicines and herbs, but we shall see. I love strange medical issues that come up out of no where!

***************************************

I had better make dinner since it is approaching that hour when I start to hear calls of, "Mommy, what is for dinner?" "Food," I answer in a rather snarky tone when I really don't know what I am making yet. Today though, all snarky tones are gone because I am making chicken, rice, and a veggie. Don't we sound all-American apple pie and everything? Grin!

Happy evening,
Kate

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Random Thoughts and Quotes

From one of the slips of paper on the table at the tea this past Saturday:

"The formative period for building character for eternity is in the nursery. The mother is queen of that realm and sways a sceptor more potent than that of kings or priests.
~Author Unknown

and on a funny lighter note:

Sweater: noun; garment worn by a child when its mother is feeling chilly.
~Ambrose Bierce

__________________________________________

For those of you that go to the beautiful site of Christine Miller, how do you best utilitze it? I know there is much I can glean from this site, but everytime I go there I think, what do I do now that I am here? I suppose it helps to have a specific question when I go, but I don't - sometimes I am just looking for that something that I cannot quite place my finger on. Any thoughts?
__________________________________________


I discovered a few really beautiful products this week and thought I would share them with my homeschooling friends:

1. Birdcage Press has some of the loveliest games I have seen in a long time. These are not your normal games, but educational games: art, music, history, etc. I just get excited to see this kind of product and think it is worth mentioning!

2. Nexus Books is the other company that has gorgeous magazine-like products on various subjects. As they call it, "literature based integrated curriculum" - which really means nothing to me, but they are gorgeous and cover some fascinating topics. :-)

__________________________________________

I am reading an interesting book - just beginning it really - so I have no official opinion on it yet. Just wait though, and I will. :-)

It is called The Daisy Chain, by Charlotte Mary Yonge, and you can read about it here:

Charlotte Mary Yonge's Victorian bestseller is a domestic story, a novel of female education, and a detailed survey of the controversies and practices of High Church Anglicanism in the 19th century. Its portrayal of the bookish, awkward heroine, Ethel May, paved the way for stories of literary heroines like Jo March and Anne Shirley, and its emphasis on the domestic life of the May family illuminates the Victorian doctrine of separate spheres, the seemingly contradictory gender politics of the Woman Question, and the relationship between religion and the rights of women in the 19th century. Absorbing, moving, and intricately plotted, The Daisy Chain is Yonge's best-known novel; this edition will provide the 21st century reader with a comprehensive education in Victorian culture, not to mention a tremendously satisfying reading experience.

This is taken from the Beautiful Feet website as they are the ones who sell it! I look forward to getting further into it, but already it is intriguing and the family dynamic is lovely.

What are you reading?

Kate

Monday, May 16, 2005

A humble, beautiful day!

Saturday
was the day that our church put on a Mother/Daughter tea. I brought my
oldest, Hannah, by second oldest, Abigail, and our fourth child,
Elizabeth. I had expected it to be nice, maybe some sweet mothers
speaking, and some good food to go along with this special time. It was
so much more than I expected!


It is hard to put into words what
this day means to me. I have been so very busy, and preoccupied with
the difficulties of wearing so many different hats that I had moved one
of the most important ones to the bottom of the wearing list. You may
think how can it be possible to live with five children and forget
about the primary importance of your role here? Well, it is possible,
and humbling to realize that the move was made so easily. My life is
F.U.L.L. in every sense of the word, and I have allowed the tyranny of
the urgent to take the lead. I have just been mismanaging my priorities
for a few months and this tea really helped me to see that at the end
of it all, what will really matter the most is what I do here and now
with these children.

Not only did I have lovely fellowship with
my own children, and truly enjoyed the easy pace with them, but I
gleaned from the rich offerings of the older women who were there. One
woman recalled some of her best memories with her three daughters; one
woman shared that while we build into the lives of our daughters, and
pray for them, we will someday set them free to be the women that God
created them to be. We are the ones who will help equip them to live
that life. One daughter gave honor to her mother by saying she gave me
roots and she gave me wings. Then one daughter, who happened to be my
own Hannah, aged ten years, stood up and recited a poem she had written
about me. Here is what she said:

My Mother

My Mother helps me all the day
In school and crafts, in work and play
She looks out for me in every way
And teaches me what to do and say

She works her fingers to the bone
But through it all she's not alone
God helps her to care for the home
And loves her.

She will never really know
How much she means to me
And how much I mean to her
Is more than I can see

When the day comes that we must part
I will know truly in my heart
That she is still, from heart and soul
My loving Mother.

God
gives us glimpses into His plan sometimes to help us to see the "why"
behind it all. Why do I do what I do every day? Ohhh! Thank you, God,
for helping me to see that what I do is important; what I do is for
your glory and for our good! These precious children are ours for such
a short, short time - only on loan and in trust. I was humbled beyond
words today, honored by my precious daughter in a very public way, and
God used it to remind me - THIS is your purpose here in this home. No
matter what else you do, what else is important, remember that this is
right there at the top, along with Me and your husband. Do not forget
these little ones.

Thank you, Jesus, for a glimpse, and thank you for the beautiful gifts of my children.
Kate



Saturday, May 14, 2005

A humble, beautiful day!

Today was the day that our church put on a Mother/Daughter tea. I brought my oldest, Hannah, by second oldest, Abigail, and our fourth child, Elizabeth. I had expected it to be nice, maybe some sweet mothers speaking, and some good food to go along with this special time. It was so much more than I expected!

It is hard to put into words what this day means to me. I have been so very busy, and preoccupied with the difficulties of wearing so many different hats that I had moved one of the most important ones to the bottom of the wearing list. You may think how can it be possible to live with five children and forget about the primary importance of your role here? Well, it is possible, and humbling to realize that the move was made so easily. My life is F.U.L.L. in every sense of the word, and I have allowed the tyranny of the urgent to take the lead. I have just been mismanaging my priorities for a few months and this tea really helped me to see that at the end of it all, what will really matter the most is what I do here and now with these children.

Not only did I have lovely fellowship with my own children, and truly enjoyed the easy pace with them, but I gleaned from the rich offerings of the older women who were there. One woman recalled some of her best memories with her three daughters; one woman shared that while we build into the lives of our daughters, and pray for them, we will someday set them free to be the women that God created them to be. We are the ones who will help equip them to live that life. One daughter gave honor to her mother by saying she gave me roots and she gave me wings. Then one daughter, who happened to be my own Hannah, aged ten years, stood up and recited a poem she had written about me. Here is what she said:

My Mother

My Mother helps me all the day
In school and crafts, in work and play
She looks out for me in every way
And teaches me what to do and say

She works her fingers to the bone
But through it all she's not alone
God helps her to care for the home
And loves her.

She will never really know
How much she means to me
And how much I mean to her
Is more than I can see

When the day comes that we must part
I will know truly in my heart
That she is still, from heart and soul
My loving Mother.

God gives us glimpses into His plan sometimes to help us to see the "why" behind it all. Why do I do what I do every day? Ohhh! Thank you, God, for helping me to see that what I do is important; what I do is for your glory and for our good! These precious children are ours for such a short, short time - only on loan and in trust. I was humbled beyond words today, honored by my precious daughter in a very public way, and God used it to remind me - THIS is your purpose here in this home. No matter what else you do, what else is important, remember that this is right there at the top, along with Me and your husband. Do not forget these little ones.

Thank you, Jesus, for a glimpse, and thank you for the beautiful gifts of my children.
Kate

Friday, May 13, 2005

When the real deal doesn't cut it...

This amazing article came from Michelle Malkin; a very interesting conservative woman I have recently discovered courtesy of my aunt and Jo's sidebar links. (And there are some great sidebar links there!)

_________________________________________________________

NOT QUITE THE NEWS
By Michelle Malkin · May 12, 2005 02:15 PM

Two items from the MSM bloopers file:

- Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Diana Griego Erwin has quit her post at the Sacramento Bee amid suspicions of making up several people in recent columns. The Bee has been conducting an internal investigation over the past 2 weeks. From the registration-only Bee site, executive editor Rick Rodriguez announced:

Diana Griego Erwin, whose column has appeared in this space three days a week, resigned Wednesday amid an internal inquiry into whether some people mentioned in several recent columns actually existed.

During our inquiry we found we could not authenticate the existence of several people even though they were identified by name, age and sometimes by the neighborhoods in which they were reported to have lived. We used extensive online database searches as well as old-fashioned shoe-leather work in our investigation over the past 2 1/2 weeks.

Griego Erwin has said throughout the inquiry that there was no fabrication of sources. When asked to provide confirmation, however, she was unable to do so to our satisfaction. She resigned citing personal reasons while still maintaining that her sources ultimately will be proved authentic.

Brian Maloney has much more and highlights this passage from Erwin's bio:

Her winning columns that year (1990) took readers to the streets of Orange County, delving into the stories most people never hear; the places most rarely visit: a Mexican bricklayer navigating bureaucracy at the Department of Motor Vehicles. A homeless man, anonymous in life but not forgotten in death. Agang member lamenting the murder of a child.

Maloney asks: "Now we're left to wonder, were these all fabricated tales?"

Bingo.

Reader Craig Bell provides a link to a prescient and ironic column by the Bee's public editor on journalists caught fabricating the news.

- And Ramesh Ponnuru does a little shoe-leather work over at The Corner, catching CBS distorting Ken Starr's views on the filibuster.

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I think we ought to have a writing contest to see which one of us bloggers can make up the best news story. *Then* maybe we can submit it to the Bee and see if they will print it! Sources? We don't need any *real* sources!

Hey, when the real news isn't good enough, just make your own up!
Kate
(A newly discovered journalist with some spicy stories on the make...)

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Now for some levity!

A scene from the Holy Grail:

Scene 3
'Bloody peasant!'

ARTHUR:
Old woman!
DENNIS:
Man!
ARTHUR:
Man. Sorry. What knight lives in that castle over there?
DENNIS:
I'm thirty-seven.
ARTHUR:
I-- what?
DENNIS:
I'm thirty-seven. I'm not old.
ARTHUR:
Well, I can't just call you 'Man'.
DENNIS:
Well, you could say 'Dennis'.
ARTHUR:
Well, I didn't know you were called 'Dennis'.
DENNIS:
Well, you didn't bother to find out, did you?
ARTHUR:
I did say 'sorry' about the 'old woman', but from the behind you looked--
DENNIS:
What I object to is that you automatically treat me like an inferior!
ARTHUR:
Well, I am King!
DENNIS:
Oh, King, eh, very nice. And how d'you get that, eh? By exploiting the workers! By 'anging on to outdated imperialist dogma which perpetuates the economic and social differences in our society. If there's ever going to be any progress with the--
WOMAN:
Dennis, there's some lovely filth down here. Oh! How d'you do?
ARTHUR:
How do you do, good lady? I am Arthur, King of the Britons. Who's castle is that?
WOMAN:
King of the who?
ARTHUR:
The Britons.
WOMAN:
Who are the Britons?
ARTHUR:
Well, we all are. We are all Britons, and I am your king.
WOMAN:
I didn't know we had a king. I thought we were an autonomous collective.
DENNIS:
You're fooling yourself. We're living in a dictatorship: a self-perpetuating autocracy in which the working classes--
WOMAN:
Oh, there you go bringing class into it again.
DENNIS:
That's what it's all about. If only people would hear of--
ARTHUR:
Please! Please, good people. I am in haste. Who lives in that castle?
WOMAN:
No one lives there.
ARTHUR:
Then who is your lord?
WOMAN:
We don't have a lord.
ARTHUR:
What?
DENNIS:
I told you. We're an anarcho-syndicalist commune. We take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week,...
ARTHUR:
Yes.
DENNIS:
...but all the decisions of that officer have to be ratified at a special bi-weekly meeting...
ARTHUR:
Yes, I see.
DENNIS:
...by a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs,...
ARTHUR:
Be quiet!
DENNIS:
...but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more major--
ARTHUR:
Be quiet! I order you to be quiet!
WOMAN:
Order, eh? Who does he think he is? Heh.
ARTHUR:
I am your king!
WOMAN:
Well, I didn't vote for you.
ARTHUR:
You don't vote for kings.
WOMAN:
Well, how did you become King, then?
ARTHUR:
The Lady of the Lake,...
[angels sing]
...her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water signifying by Divine Providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur.
[singing stops]
That is why I am your king!
DENNIS:
Listen. Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.
ARTHUR:
Be quiet!
DENNIS:
Well, but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!
ARTHUR:
Shut up!
DENNIS:
I mean, if I went 'round saying I was an emperor just because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away!
ARTHUR:
Shut up, will you? Shut up!
DENNIS:
Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system.
ARTHUR:
Shut up!
DENNIS:
Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help! Help! I'm being repressed!
ARTHUR:
Bloody peasant!
DENNIS:
Oh, what a give-away. Did you hear that? Did you hear that, eh? That's what I'm on about. Did you see him repressing me? You saw it, didn't you?

~*~*~*~*~
Just because I thought it was funny. :-)
Kate

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Fit it in the margin

There are several blogs that I read every day that are always new, always thoughtful, and usually long. I am amazed that these great minds exist and that they can so eloquently express what is running through them. I find myself so busy with children, schooling, work, and family that my mind is seldom quiet enough to do such heavy thinking. I mean I just have not had the time to read the deep books, study the theology I enjoy reading and learning about, or really set apart that quiet time for reflection. I mean I almost do not know what reflection is anymore.

I am not complaining, mind you, I really am not. I am just so very busy. I read that sometimes and I hate that as an excuse for almost anything, but in my current reality, it is the truth. Some people have a great ability to have margin in their lives. While I don't feel like I have reached the margins of mine, (thankfully!) I do sometimes feel like butter stretched over too much bread - and I am no where near Bilbo's age!

Probably part of this feeling stems from the last month being in a state of flux; first with our wonderful Disneyland trip and then followed by three weeks of sickness. It throws a person - sort of in front of a moving train. We have not had a "normal" week in a month's time. This weekend we are heading out to a wonderful weekend of sun and water fun here in sunny CA, for a Mother's Day extravaganza with my extended family. It will be very nice, very full, and we will come home very tired, but it will be a warm weekend of fellowship with family we do not see that often. We are blessed to have good family. The more I read the more I realize just how blessed we are.

I appreciate all you ladies out there, and the few gentlemen I read as well, for your thoughtfulness on life's important issues. It is sometimes all I can do, to read another's thoughts, but I appreciate all the depth your mind puts into it - even if I cannot do the same.

Warmly,
Kate

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Books ~ Beds ~ Bounty

Not like this is a surprise, but I have not been very blog-oriented recently. Not that that disrupts the cosmos or anything, but I have been just under the weather and struggling to come out of it! (Still!)

I am enjoying Thomas Hardy's, Far From the Maddening Crowd or Far From the Madding Crowd, depending on your version. What does "madding" mean anyway? Glad you asked!
Madding \Mad"ding\, a.
Affected with madness; raging; furious.
adv. [Archaic]

ok, well what about "maddening?"

Mad·den·ing (măd'n-ĭng)
adj.
Tending to anger or irritate: a maddening delay at the airport.
Tending to drive insane.

I think we are dealing with a pretty similar word, but I find it funny that I have been reading this book for quite a few days and only now just realized it said, "Madding." I really do like archaic words or words that one does not see much anymore even if the dictionary does not classify them as "archaic." That is one reason I like reading older books so much; the rich language is enticing to me.

Here is an example of the language and Hardy's use of description.

He had just reached the time of life at which "young" is ceasing to be the prefix of "man" in speaking of one. He was at the brightest period of masculine growth, for his intellect and his emotions were clearly separated: he had passed the time during which the influence of youth indiscriminately mingles them in the character of impulse, and he had not yet arrived at the stage wherein they become united again, in the character of prejudice, by the influence of a wife and family. In short, he as twenty-eight, and a bachelor.

What kind of prejudice a wife and family gives a man, I am not quite sure, but I will take it kindly and look forward to finding out what happens to Farmer Oak as I read further!

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I now have all five of my children in twin beds, which to my way of thinking, is quite an accomplishment since that is a lot of beds. :-) We were gifted with a daybed/trundle bed over the weekend and it will work marvelously for Emma with the trundle for guests when we have them. All the other children have their own twin and I am very happy. God has continually provided for us in this area. I was not looking forward to buying a bed and what a blessing these friends have been to us!

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Contests! For those of you who like free things, curriculum, books, you know, fun school stuff, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine has their quarterly contest room stocked full again! Check it out and enter! You never know, you might just win!

Enjoy your day, kiss those kids, and love that husband!

Warmly,
Kate