My hamper floweth over

The Keith Family News

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The World according to Princess Lillian

Here are some pics that Lillian took at our school picnic this weekend. I think she has a promising career in photography. Pierce had a great birtday party, PERFECT weather, will post some pics when I get them developed, (our digital died fairly early, we did get some cute videos of the kids with the pinata)
Keithclan, 4:06 PM | link | 0 comments |

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Give it to me straight

Dear McDonalds,
I have noticed your latest advertising campaign is trying to convince us that your food is actually good for us, a healthy choice. "What goes on your tummy is not as important as what goes in it." If I represent your consumers at all, (and with a family as big as mine, we have to make some dent, right?), you are totally going in the wrong direction. Here are some ideas:

"It may not be the healthiest option, but it's better than you can do in under 3 minutes."

"With less clean up, do you really care if it's healthy or not?"

"If you make sure the other 2 meals you had today are fairly well balanced, having one with us probably won't kill you."

"You know you want it, (and so do we, because we put addictive chemicals in the fries.)"

Just thought I'd let you know where I stand.

Mom to Many
Keithclan, 6:29 PM | link | 3 comments |

Monday, September 25, 2006

Blah, blah, blah, about work

Since blogger always hates me now and will never allow me to post pictures....

I am really enjoying my class this year, I have several boys in my 3 year old class that I had in the baby room. For the most part, it is a very calm room, with a lot of very compassionate children. We only have one girl, but she is very sweet.
The year really is going well..

I have one little boy who is having some troubles. I am not even going to try to pretend to give him a specific diagnosis, I am just not well enough informed. He doesn't seem to have any realization of the personal space of others, most of the other children avoid him, he has some alarming behaviors (biting himself, pulling his own hair, even kicking himself), and doesn't seem to connect to others in general. He becomes very irritated during group activities, and doesn't transition well. Although he is very intelligent, the answer to any direct question is "T-rex".

Another little boy's mother came to me with some concerns, her son told her this little boy got in trouble a lot and it really bothered her son (he doesn't really get "In trouble", but her son didn't have another explanation for his behaviors). That same day, he had a very disturbing fit, and I had to pry his mouth off the door to allow a parent out of the room. I asked my director to set up a meeting with the mother for that afternoon. She called the mother to ask her to come in early, and the mother persisted for a conversation then.

My director is not a people person, especially on the phone.

I was in the middle of a painting project, but could hear a little of the conversation. There were a lot of negative "behavior oriented" statements. "your son doesn't mind unless he wants to. He doesn't listen to his teacher, he only does what he wants..."

What I would have said. "(son's name) seems to be having a difficult time transitioning between organized activities" "he doesn't seem to be connecting well with the teachers" "although he expresses a desire to interact with the other children, he seems to be having a hard time integrating into their activities"

She came to pick her son up 10 minutes later. I said hello and she looked past me and told her son it was time to go.

I should have found a way to talk to her. She left confused and angry, and I wish I would have prevented that. I hope she comes back tomorrow, and I have a chance to fix it.
Keithclan, 4:11 PM | link | 4 comments |

Friday, September 22, 2006

It really does hurt me more

Why do so many lessons in life have to be so hard to learn? I wish we had cameras installed in our heads at birth, so we could take snippits to show our children,here's the mistake I made, and here was it's consequence. I know even if we did, our kids would say "but that was DIFFERENT. Things were different when you were my age, can't you tell by how dorky your fashion trends were and how cool and timeless ours are now*?"
My daughter is entering the tween stage, which I am feeling less and less prepared for. I miss time-outs and redirection, I am not ready for grounding and missing out on experiences I really want her to have.
I need to go, I have a date with a 1 and 3 year old and some playdough and some much easier lessons (playdough does not go in your mouth, though excessive smelling is totally acceptable.)

*I am very aware that the fact I used the words dorky and cool would only seem to help prove that very point.
Keithclan, 9:39 AM | link | 0 comments |

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Bad Day

Woke up at 8:15, and knew I should just hide under the covers all day. Wishing I had. Tried to fake energy and excitement for Pierce, (it is his birthday) It worked. He left in a great mood. When he got in the car after school, he seemed a little depressed. I asked if they had sung Happy birthday to him, he said no, because he was late. I was perturbed. Seriously? His teacher called me at work later. She said she was very sorry, and although we passed out invitations to his party, she had it written on her calendar that his birthday was in November, and it didn't click until she heard me say "hello, six year old boy!" when I picked him up from school that she thought "Hmmmm." So she went and looked a the school records and called me immediately to apologize. And she did. A lot. And I was very impressed, (seriously).
Thought I would focus on the best part of my day, although with all the bad, I'm pretty sure it doesn't equal half full. But it is a drop.
Keithclan, 3:29 PM | link | 3 comments |

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Not just a syndrome anymore

Dear Archer Farms,

I wanted to inform you that you have mislabeled one of your products- The Bacon and Cheddar Beef patties taste neither like bacon nor cheddar (or, quite frankly, beef). I think a more appropriate name would be AssBurgers, it definitely comes closer to describing the actual taste. I also think you should consider putting a "not fit for human consumption" label on the box, and displaying it next to the Bil-Jac, although, come to think of it, most people love their dogs too much.

Mom to Many (who had a
lovely dinner of green beans
and chocolate chip cookies last night)
Thanks, assburgers!
Keithclan, 2:01 PM | link | 4 comments |

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Survey: Which to do you find the "grossest"?

Keithclan, 4:06 PM | link | 4 comments |

Saturday, September 09, 2006

I'm okay, you're just rude

I posted the If you Give a Mom a Muffin link late last night when I should have been in bed. I saw a reference to it on another blog, searched it on Google, and put a link to the first page that came up. Today I went back and explored the link, to find that it contained anti-public school articles. I will take this opportunity to counter-point.

I would like to say upfront that I am not anti-homeschoolling. I am sure there are situations where it is the best choice for the child/parent. It just seems to me that many people choose to homeschool based on fear alone. They are afraid of the government, the teachers, and the children in public schools. They may tell their child something that don't personally believe, and how will their poor child cope?

Here is a link to one of the articles
Some problems I have with it:
* "Your child will never suffer the embarrassment of group showers after PE."
True, but you are assuming that they will have bad body image, which is a horrible thing to wish on your child.

*"If your child gets drugs at school, it's probably Tylenol"
Do these people really believe that our elementary schools are full of drugs? That's just plain insulting. And as to the availability of drugs in high school, I would rather my child be able to resist peer pressure than never be faced with it.

*" Your kids learn new vocabulary from their extensive collection of "Calvin & Hobbes" books, You can take the time to look at a tiny spider on a log, Your kids think reading history is best accomplished while lying on the floor with their head resting on the side of their patient dog."
Yes, public school children have no access to books at home, would never read them at home, and are never interested in nature.

* "You can't make it through a movie without pointing out the historical inaccuracies."
Boy I bet you are a blast to watch movies with! Apparently homeschooled children never learn to respect others around them and keep quiet so that they can enjoy a movie?

*"Your kids refer to the neighbor kids as "government school inmates."
Do I need to comment? Yes, let's encourage name calling! Not to mention an "us and them" mentalilty.

Here is a link to the second article I found
EVERYTHING about this article offended me. I wasn't aware that as a parent of public school children that I have no opportunity to teach my children at home.

It all boils down to fear and ignorance. When is the last time these people set foot in a public school? My guess is not since their personal bad experience with one.

Let's ask the "What would Jesus do?" question. Would he secure his children in a bubble teaching them that other children were scary and bad? Would he encourage his children to call people names and point out the flaws of others? I personally believe he would have taught his children by example, teaching them that everyone is a Child of God, and we should love each individual despite differences in beliefs and religions, and to be secure in yourself so that when you are faced with temptation, in the form of drugs, bullying, or whatever life throws at you, you can walk away feeling strong and confident yet not superior.

I am pretty sure Jesus would have sent his kids to public school, and put all that time and money to use volunteering there so that ALL kids could get a great education, not just his own.

I know that not all homeschoolers are as narrow minded and full of fear and hate as the authors of these articles. My comments are intended for them alone.
Keithclan, 11:34 AM | link | 7 comments |

Friday, September 08, 2006

This should be published, with pictures of real "Mommy Bloggers"

Maybe I am the last one to see this, but it is too funny not to share:

If you give a mom a muffin
Keithclan, 9:28 PM | link | 0 comments |

Shameless in America

I hate selling things for my kids' schools. Hate it! Which is ironic because I have fond memories of selling Girl Scout cookies. That was in a small town, though, and we went door to door.

I save Box Tops and Tyson Chicken labels, spend a small fortune on Bingo nights...

My kids are used to disappointment at the prize ceremonies for their school fund raisers.

I thought I would give it a whirl on the old internet this year. Go to this site * and see if you would like to give my children a chance to not be the only ones in the whole school sitting hopelessly on the floor while all the other kids go up to get their really cool and exclusive prizes (shameless guilt plug). Oh, and it's a chance to help a really good school, too.

On the subject of really good schools, I watched a John Stossel report called Stupid in America the other night. I am not a fan of John Stossel, but it was a very interesting show. I am pleased to tell you that while watching I had much less of a "Oh crap, my kids are doomed to fail" reaction and much more of a "hmmm, my kids have great opportunities that don't seem to be available nationwide" reaction.

I have complained about the "college application" type process that my daughter has to go through this year to get into the school of her choice, But it is THE SCHOOL OF HER CHOICE. There are several good magnet and charter schools in the area, and while they are not perfect, and can't accommodate all of the students in the district, it is a giant step in the right direction.

So let's sell, sell, sell, or rather buy, buy, buy, people! (No pressure, really)

* School and prize information:
Wilson Elementary, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and student prize info is J Keith 5. Thanks!
Keithclan, 3:59 PM | link | 2 comments |

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The boob tube

Things are very busy now, lots on my mind, too much and too complex to blog about, so let's stick to my "therapist"- the boob tube. I try to get in a 2 hour session nightly, which is hard because we don't have DVR and there isn't much to watch when the kiddos are in bed. So sometimes my sessions get a late start or are cut short. Here are some highlights from the last few weeks.

PROJECT RUNWAY: My picks for the top 3:

Notice my boy Kayne didn't make the cut. It saddens me, but Laura has more talent. Michael Knight will win.

I am not the only person to be unusually upset
by the passing of the Crocodile Hunter

I think it is because he truly seemed to have never lost the zeal of life from childhood. He seemed such a genuine person, and it sickens me to hear the "he should have been more careful" type reports that cheapen his memory. Makes me want to write a song for him like Natalie Merchant did for River Pheonix....

Watched a another episode of Super Nanny, and was equally unimpressed.
Isn't this on this same network that Extreme Home Makeover is on? Is the best help they can offer a woman who is extremely overwhelmed with the task of taking care of seven children a few Rubbermaid containers? She criticized her housekeeping skills, (which were rather shocking) without giving any real suggestions for improving them. Again, I am shocked that the subject of childcare outside of the home is not explored. The family seemed to have no support system whatsoever, and her husband was being deployed for a year and a half. A support system should have been emphasized.

Jordan and Ashton and I watched a few episodes of Little People, Big World. I was impressed by the parents, not "despite their handicaps", but in general. Ten feet tall or two feet, they seem like great parents who are truly preparing their children to be self confident, happy adults. Jordan was a little disturbed by their messy house. She also told me the other day that she knows that if we went on Wife Swap a messy mom would come to our house. Is it wrong that that makes me happy?

Must go and watch Project Runway, you can call me Nostradamus when my predictions come true.....
Keithclan, 7:21 PM | link | 7 comments |

Friday, September 01, 2006

Ready or Not

I am the mother of a pre-teen. What? Nooo, I have 5 small children, right? It is becoming increasingly apparent that is not the case. November 3 I will be living with an 11 year old. How did this happen?

My daughter is feeling the changes. The once stoic girl is now teary eyed at the drop of hat. Easily frustrated, outraged by every injustice, scared of the unknown.

When she was 2 and we bought her a toddler bed, she sat quietly in the corner as we dismantled her crib and assembled her new "big girl bed". She watched in silence, needing to come to grips with what was happening. She was excited, but it was a change. She has my adventurous sense for new things. NOT! (see Summer, I am 30 something, too.)

The summer before I became pregnant with her, I worked as a counselor at a summer camp. I worked with Junior High girls, and I was good at it. Patient, attentive...
At the end of the week, we made "warm fuzzy" sheets. Papers that you pass around to let others write nice things about you. Most of them are very yearbook-ish. "You are a good friend", "you are nice", "you are pretty"...... One girl wrote "You are a good listener. You look at me when I talk to you. Thank you."

I don't look at me daughter when she talks to me enough. I am looking at the dishes or laundry, looking at the poopy diaper I am changing, the computer...And when I do look at her, I often don't see her.

I know this is a critical time. The child who talks to me non-stop about everything could become a teenager that shuts me out. It is easy to meet the needs of "the kids", but much harder to meet the needs of the individuals.

I promise, Jordan, to remember this all at least once a day. I promise to look at you, to try to see past the child in my mind and really see you.

Keithclan, 11:46 PM | link | 5 comments |