Freebie Friday and Chinese Olympics
Monday, June 30, 2008
In light of this news story, I think my email was not over the top.

China announce stability drive
From the article:

"The Beijing Olympics are approaching and properly carrying out petition and stability work, protecting social harmony and stability, and ensuring the Beijing Olympics go safely and smoothly has become a tough battle that every department at every level must win," said one report of a nationwide video conference on a stability drive that was held on Saturday.

"Now we are entering a state of war," said the report on a local government website in the eastern province of Zhejiang (

... "Our most fundamental demand that is that zero go to Beijing, zero go to the province capital and there are zero mass petitions and mass incidents," a county official in the southwest province of Sichuan said, according to a local official website (

That "war" is on citizens who dare protest governmental abuses and corruption.

I love how what the world would call a "despotic crackdown", China calls a "stability drive". Kinda like a blood drive, except instead of helping accident victims, it's running in the streets.

Someone has to say something.

I like The Old Schoolhouse. Every Friday they send out Freebie Fridays, usually a buy one- get one kind of deal. I've even featured a few of the better ones here, including the reading program on my sidebar.

This week they offer an "awesome Summer 2008 Olympic Lapbook/Unit Study!" It "even includes a Bible verse to consider."

This made me a little testy, and I dashed off a too-quick email to the publisher:
I am very disappointed to see you offering an Olympics lapbook, an obvious tie-in to the Chinese Olympics.

China kills babies and forbids Christianity. They still drag people off in the middle of the night and took 2 million people's homes and businesses in order to built their Olympic stadium. Those people were left on the street with nothing. They execute prisoners without fair trials, and sell their body parts.

My children will not be watching the glorification of Beijing under the banner of "sports". I can't even imagine what Bible verse is being pushed to justify this kind of "fun homeschool tie-in".

Shame on you for promoting the Chinese Olympics!

Perhaps I should have cooled off a bit before hitting send... did I go to far? I have had no response.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/30/2008 08:04:00 AM | Permalink | |
Well Slap Me Silly
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Obama's for the death penalty!

Many liberals may be inclined to view Barack Obama's criticism of the Supreme Court decision banning execution of child rapists as the worst kind of poll driven pandering--akin to Bill Clinton's decision to fly home to Arkansas during the 1992 election to permit the execution of the mentally handicapped Ricky Ray Rector. I disagree. In fact, Obama's support for the execution of child rapists wasn't invented for the presidential election; it dates back to The Audacity of Hope, where he wrote: "While the evidence tells me that the death penalty does little to deter crime, I believe there are some crimes--mass murder, the rape and murder of a child--so heinous, so beyond the pale, that the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage by meting out the ultimate punishment." His longstanding opinion on the death penalty is a particularly nuanced one. He has opposed expanding the death penalty to include gang activity, for example, on the grounds that it would disproportionately punish men of color, but he supports the execution of especially egregious murderers who are clearly guilty.

Who knew?

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/28/2008 01:56:00 PM | Permalink | |
Sale on Vitamins
Puritan's Pride is having a sale on vitamins for Independence Day. Shipping is 76 cents, and Puritan brand vitamins are 70% off.

Choline is $2.69 for 100 capsules, and Inositol is just $2.99 per 100.

I know a few of my readers use (as do we) this so I'd pass along the info!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/28/2008 10:15:00 AM | Permalink | |
Friday, June 27, 2008

Welcome Aine!


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/27/2008 04:42:00 PM | Permalink | |
Depression and Abortion, One Handy Pill

This is kind of odd news, I'm not sure where to file it!

Corcept is trying to get mifepristone approved as a treatment for depression. Of course, they renamed it "Corlux".

Mifestripone is also known as RU-486, the abortion pill.

It's documented side effects include:
headache, abdominal pain, cramping, uterine hemorrhage, nausea, diarrhea, and serious, sometimes fatal, infections. (See page 12 of the medical label insert here.)

I have not been able to find the dosage used in the studies. It is fast tracked by the FDA, however.

Oh, and it doesn't seem to really work. Is this Big Pharma's reach to make more money on questionable remedies? A plan to make RU-486 "mainstream" and accepted by Americans as a necessary drug?

H/T Furious Seasons blog.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/27/2008 11:42:00 AM | Permalink | |
Messin' With Her Mind
(Readers, please note the proper use of the apostrophe in the title!)

Summer is a time for lazy days and no plans. So we were wasting time on the black hole of productivity internet. - Dad?

This one really messed with Miss C's mind.

H/T Barbara at Mommylife!


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/27/2008 11:25:00 AM | Permalink | |
Rosemary and Thyme...
Oooh! I just realized that I have a kitchen window with a windowsill! (My last four homes lacked windows and/or sills.)

I'm gonna do this!

What grows well indoors? I want cilantro and basil, at least.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/27/2008 10:41:00 AM | Permalink | |
Kroger Meat Recall
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Kroger has recalled ground beef sold between May 21 and June 8, 2008 because it has been linked to e. coli outbreaks in Ohio and Michigan.

I first heard about this and went to Kroger's website. It wasn't on the main page, company news, or press releases. Shame on them for that.

Return the meat for a refund, if you have some in your freezer. My Kroger has ground beef on sale this week for 99 cents a pound, and I put meatloaf on the menu... I'm going to have to rethink that!


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/26/2008 08:29:00 PM | Permalink | |
Bishops and Babies

Catholics believe that bishops are the direct descendants (in a spiritual sense) of the Apostles. They are ordained by God, and are the shepherds of His flock on earth (John 21:15-17). Catholics believe that just as a city on hill cannot be hid (Matt 5:14), Christ's Church is also not hidden, but rather it is a visible institution. That's one reason bishop's official statements are important to Catholics.

Okay, now that the mini theological lesson is out of the way...

The Bishops issued a statement on embryonic stem cell research. All emphasis is mine.
Because life is our first and most basic gift from an infinitely loving God, it deserves our utmost respect and protection. Direct attacks on innocent human life are always gravely wrong.
Yet some researchers, ethicists, and policy makers claim that we may directly kill innocent embryonic human beings as if they were mere objects of research—and even that we should make taxpayers complicit in such killing through use of public funds.
Some "Christian" abortion proponents hold a belief (based on an erroneous interpretation of Scripture) that a baby isn't a person until they have taken a breath. The bishops address the intrinsic humanity of each baby, no matter what developmental level they are at.

...some claim that the embryo in his or her first week of development is too small,
immature, or undeveloped to be considered a “human life.” Yet the human embryo, from conception onward, is as much a living member of the human species as any of us. As a matter of biological fact, this new living organism has the full complement of human genes and is actively expressing those genes to live and develop in a way that is unique to human beings, setting the essential foundation for further development.
A person's a person, no matter how small:
As believers who recognize each human life as the gift of an infinitely loving God, we insist that every human being, however small or seemingly insignificant, matters to God—hence everyone, no matter how weak or small, is of concern to us.

Well, what about frozen embryos? Aren't they just going to be thrown away, right?
Finally, some claim that scientists who kill embryos for their stem cells are not actually depriving anyone of life, because they are using “spare” or unwanted embryos who will die anyway. This argument is simply invalid. Ultimately each of us will die, but that gives no one a right to kill us.
Likewise, the fact that an embryonic human being is at risk of being abandoned by his or her parents gives no individual or government a right to directly kill that human being first.

Notice the statement that parents who leave their babies in a frozen never-land are abandoning their babies. But God remembers them, and so should we.

Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Isaiah 49:15

I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' Matt. 25:40

We should not compound the tragedy of these babies' abandonment by killing them, whether they are merely "disposed of" or whether they have their innermost parts harvested by scientists.

The paragraph on human cloning bears reprinting, in entirety. Emphasis is mine.
Human cloning is intrinsically evil because it reduces human procreation to a mere manufacturing process, producing new human beings in the laboratory to predetermined specifications as though they were commodities. It shows disrespect for human life in the very act of generating it.

This is especially clear when human embryos are produced by cloning for research purposes, because new human lives are generated solely in order to be destroyed. Such cloning for research will also inevitably facilitate attempts to produce live-born cloned children, posing a new challenge to each and every child’s right to be respected as a unique individual with his or her own future.

Some policy makers offer to prevent this result by mandating that all embryos produced by cloning be destroyed at a certain point, so they cannot survive to birth. These proposals wrongly approve human cloning, while compounding the evil further by insisting that the innocent human victim of cloning must die.
But should we just abandon stem cell therapy, leaving millions to suffer and die from diseases we might be able to cure or prevent in the future? No, there's no need for that.
Nature in fact provides ample resources for pursuing medical progress without raising these grave moral concerns. Stem cells from adult tissues and umbilical cord blood... are now in widespread use to treat many kinds of cancer and other illnesses, and in clinical trials they have already benefited patients suffering from heart disease, corneal damage, sickle-cell anemia, multiple sclerosis, and many other devastating conditions.1

Researchers have even developed new non-destructive methods for producing cells with the properties of embryonic stem cells—for example, by “reprogramming” adult cells. There is no moral objection to research and therapy of this kind, when it involves no harm to human beings at any stage of development and is conducted with appropriate informed consent.

Here's an analogy. Say you need a heart transplant. It turns out I'm a match. Can you kill me, to harvest my heart so you may live? Of course not. What if you are a respected cancer doctor, or inspiring artist, or inventor creating products to enhance millions of lives, and I'm a high school dropout living on welfare? Can you kill me? I might be your only chance for a transplant, and I have something you need to be cured. Is your life inherently worth more than mine?

It is the same with embryos. We can't kill them and harvest their body parts in the name of research.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/26/2008 07:02:00 AM | Permalink | |
Fair or Foul? Autistic Boy Kicked Off Plane
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
An autistic two year old was kicked off a plane for acting like, well, a two year old.

Was the airline justified, or did they discriminate against a special needs child?

Talk amongst yourselves.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/25/2008 09:03:00 PM | Permalink | |
So sad
Why Homeschool reports on a man who killed his child, while passersby stood back and watched.

What would you do? Do you think that by giving the responsibilty for safety to public servants (police, fire, etc.) in our current Nanny state climate has caused Americans to abdicate our responsibility to each other?

How very, very sad.
posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/25/2008 04:17:00 PM | Permalink | |
WFMW: Year in Review
Shannon's taking a break from Works For Me Wednesday, and is counting on us to serve up helpful tips this week.

I thought I'd serve up some leftovers, with a sampling of some good ones from this year. Yeah, I'm getting lazy this summer too!

Here ya go - a cheat sheet for the stay at home mom:

Sibling Rivalry - still working for us!

Tasty chicken

Soap Scum Solution


Family Gatherings
Remembrance Table

Tough Days
Chili time

For more Works for Me Wednesday, head over to Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/25/2008 09:31:00 AM | Permalink | |
We Interrupt This Blog
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
For a public opinion poll.
I'm finally getting around to tweaking my template again and hopefully fixing the broken links. I've removed the PayPerPost button from the sidebar, because I'm working on getting BlogHer ads.

What should I keep, what should I add, and what do you totally ignore, side bar wise? I think I'll keep the CVS report. I stopped doing it because I had so much stuff, I didn't need to get anymore! I think I'll start CVSing again soon, though, as we are down to our last two boxes of toothpaste.

I'm curious as to what you want to see!


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/24/2008 11:41:00 AM | Permalink | |
Apostrophe Apoplexy
After seeing this error three times in one morning, I must instruct:
After seeing this error three times in one morning, I must instruct:

Mama Says...

It's "good ol' days", or possibly "good ole days". Marking dialect is flexible.

Apostrophes mark missing letters, however.

Good 'ole days is completely wrong. And they did teach punctuation in the good ol' days, too!

Three different websites? Really? Grrr.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/24/2008 08:10:00 AM | Permalink | |
Government the Disney Way
Monday, June 23, 2008
Okay, I promised this would not become an "I Hate Obama" blog. (I don't hate him, actually, but I just can't wrap my mind around what it would be like to have him as President. The horror!)

Richard Danzig, a Clinton cabinet member, is on his short list for National Security Advisor in an Obama White House.

Richard Danzig looks to literature to inform his opinions and strategies.

Mr Danzig told the Centre for New American Security: “Winnie the Pooh seems to me to be a fundamental text on national security.”
First order of business upon taking office? Institute the Huney for Money program?

Let's add that to Obama's supposed "unifier" model of politics, which includes not being seen on camera with women who cover their heads.

And the staffers who proudly display Che Guevara in the campaign office, instead of the American Flag. It was staffers, and not the candidate, who did that, but even after it hit CNN, Obama never apologized for it or renounced it.

Che Guevara may be the current anti-establishment poster boy and fashion forward logo of choice, but he is still, in the lexicon of children's literature, a very bad man. (Chief executioner of Fidel Castro = not exactly a saint, KWIM?)

This latest from Obama was also just a *little* hypocritical, in light of the antiMcCain ads currently running. He's criticizing McCain's campaign finance here:
"And we've already seen that he's not going to stop the smears and attacks from his allies running so-called 527 groups, who will spend millions and millions of dollars in unlimited donations," Obama said.
Sigh. On the plus side, Consent of the Governed mentions four other people running for president.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/23/2008 08:34:00 AM | Permalink | |
The Library Rocks!

I know it is Homeschool Heresy, but I haven't been to the library in two years. We went once when we first arrived in SC, but the library had inconvenient hours and it was just difficult to go with all of the children. Plus, we have books. Oh, my, do we have books! We moved 18 boxes of books - after I had culled my beloved babies my extras.

I ventured down to the local library - it's Harris County, as I don't live in Houston proper - and although the library was small, it was amazing! You can check out magazines! You can reserve online! They have a self checkout! You get a printed list of your books after checking out!

Their selection is limited, though. They don't have David McCullough's John Adams. I'm fourth in the reservation line for For the Children's Sake, second in line for Atlas Shrugged.

On the other hand, I didn't get embarrassed by the librarian, trying to explain why I was checking out Magic Tree House, Thomas the Tank, The Elegant Universe, and The Communist Manifesto. Plus, a Stephen King novel. We're a bit eclectic in our reading tastes around here.

Whoo-hoo! Now I just need to unpack our history text so I can start reserving the recommended reading!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/23/2008 07:28:00 AM | Permalink | |
Potty Training Blues
Friday, June 20, 2008

Miss C is coming right along with the potty training. I shamelessly bribe her with tic tacs and Pez.

Making the bathroom easily accessible to the two year old is a bonus for the one year old. He's found a new toy!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/20/2008 08:08:00 AM | Permalink | |
Duct Tales
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Wow! Since an overwhelming majority of my commenters want to see my van held together with duct tape, here it is!

A little plastic clip that held the entire tail light assembly broke when husband dear wired the van for trailer lights. That was... umm... three children ago. Yeah, I was pregnant with the five year old when it happened.

The packing tape helps out when the glue on the duct tape melts in the Texas sun. Plus it's shiny, like lip gloss for the back of your car. Right? Right? Self-delusion can be fun.

This happened about 4 months ago, whenMama some dummy who wasn't watching hit the trash can while backing out. Our mirrors are all fancy schmancy, wired up so you can adjust them at the flick of a button. You can't really adjust it through six layers of the tape, but since the window doesn't roll down anyway, who cares?

And, for my sister, here's a picture of my front door. We didn't break the glass, it was cracked when we moved in.

See what happens when you let the common folk into your HOA neighborhood? I was going to spring for some nifty green duct tape at WalMart as a Father's Day present, but I forgot. I think that would be classy, though, don't you?


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/19/2008 08:13:00 AM | Permalink | |
Salt on the Wound
Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I just have to vent somewhere, and that place, Internets, is here. (Anyone want to diagram that sentence?)

I shared the little tiff with my editor. (I didn't mention the part where she said it was too irritating for me to write with small children. I left out those modifiers, trying to be the bigger person.)

Yesterday, said editor posted a few items herself. And she used the wrong word in the HEADLINE (oh, those homophones! Ante/Anti tripped her up) PLUS an egregious misuse of its/it's/its'.

Update: Another homophone abuse! Heals/heels (mis)posted today. But I can't point it out, because she's still my boss...


Updated Thursday 6/19: Today we are promised a "sneak peak" of comics from "five different continents; England, France, Australia, Scotland, Ireland, ..."

Related aside: I found this nifty post on last week's Works for Me Wednesday. Anyone have this book?

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/18/2008 11:39:00 AM | Permalink | |
WFMW: Macaroni and Cheese

Basic cooking skills sure do come in handy.

For example, if you can make a basic white sauce, you can make darn near anything! It makes a great substitution for Cream of Crud soup, which Mr R can't have anyway due to MSG. It's healthier, too! If you have no skillz, never fear. You can cheat with a microwave.

Mr R can't have food colors. Kids like macaroni and cheese, which is full of Yellow #5 and #6. I buy the organic variety - half price at Big Lots - but it still takes 3 boxes to make lunch for the kids, and at .80 - $1 each that adds up! What's a miserly Mama wise mistress of resources to do?

I figured out how to make it myself, cheaper and tastier, on the stovetop. It takes about the same amount of time as the box stuff, but you will dirty one extra measuring cup.

You will need: (Equivalent of three blue boxes of noodles and chemical powder.)
  • Three (7 oz.) packages of macaroni noodles or shells. $.75 (Look in the Latin foods section! Pasta is cheaper there. Two 7 oz. packages of noodles for $.50 vs. 1 16 oz. box for $1 of the store brand stuff. Plus, they have alphabet noodles for soup!)
  • 1 c. of milk (.20, if milk is $3/gallon)
  • 1/4 c. all purpose flour ($.02)
  • 4 oz. cheese ($.95, if cheese is $3.80 per pound) Sharp cheese gives you more flavor, and therefore more bang for the buck.
Total cost (feeds 6-8 hungry children and their Mama) $1.92

Boil the noodles.
Quick Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese
While the noodles are boiling, put 1 cup of milk in an microwaveable measuring cup (I use a 2 cup Pyrex). Add the flour, and microwave for 60 seconds, then stir. Repeat 2 more times.

When noodles are done, drain them. Return noodle pot to stove. Add milk mixture (pour through a sieve if it seems lumpy). Heat on low until mix thickens (it might be thick enough already, depending on how powerful your microwave is.) Do not boil!

Turn off stove. Add cheese. Stir until it's melty. Add noodles back to pot. Mix.


This would be slightly cheaper if you used powdered milk; you could double the powder for added calcium and protein. Add in leftover ham, chicken, or veggies so you don't have to clean out the fridge waste any food.

To make a ONE BOX version, use 1 package noodles, 1/3 c. milk, 2 Tbs. flour, and a handful of cheese until it tastes good to you. Total cost? Less than 50 cents.

Check out Rocks In My Dryer for more Works for Me Wednesday goodies!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/18/2008 08:29:00 AM | Permalink | |
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Some of you may remember I write about TV online for pay. I won't link because I use my real name as a byline.

I got a new editor at the beginning of the month. My payment for May never came. I inquired of my editor if she could find out if the check was cut (we moved in the interim, and I was worried it went to our old address.) She brushed me off. A few days later I inquired again (actually, I just asked her for the accounting department's contact info, so I could take care of it myself.)

Today demoted me from Staff writer to freelance recapper. (It turns out that the payment policy had changed from twice a month to once a month, which is no problem... except they might have bothered with telling us about it!)

I almost quit on the spot. I was particularly irritated by this line from the email:
I know you have small kids
and I don't want this to start taking
more time from your family than it

I work from home. I do not talk to anyone on the phone, and it's frankly none of her business whether I have two, ten, or no little ones running around. She has never once told me she had a problem with my writing, and I have never implied that it was "too much work." Actually, if I thought it was, I wouldn't do it.

In fact, the only post that she ever "unpublished" in order to fix was because the code for a widget that she created didn't work properly at first. And then it was fixed and published just fine.

It just really ticked me off that she put it off as "taking too much time from my family", whom she has never met and knows nothing about (I don't think she knows I have 7 kids.) She should just say I annoyed her by asking to be paid or sending her too many emails and left it at that.

I'll still do the recaps until I find something else. Anyone hiring a writer? Unfortunately, I don't work for free!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/17/2008 10:25:00 AM | Permalink | |
Obama Would Annihilate States Rights
Monday, June 16, 2008

and annihilate our children, too!

Okay, that's a cheap shot but accurate in light of his votes to prevent newborns from receiving life saving care in Illinois, votes that give doctors and hospitals the right to put babies in closets or other out of the way places to die alone. Yes, this was happening in America and Obama wanted to allow it to continue! Fortunately, the federal version passed, protecting babies in IL despite the Senator's actions.

Last July, Barack Obama sought to soothe the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, a political PAC, assuring them that abortion rights is a very high priority. (BTW, despite claiming to NOT take money from PACs, he does.)

He, along with 18 other Senators, co-sponsored the Freedom of Choice Act. Of course, that's a misnomer, as the FOCA makes sure states don't have any choice regarding the regulation of abortion.

That's right, folks, Obama apparently forgot we live in a Republic and thinks the federal government should mandate what is, and is not allowed throughout the land, whether the states' residents want it or not. He knows what's best for us, after all!

The Freedom of Choice Act assures that women will be able to abort on demand. No state can restrict it. The Federal Partial Birth Abortion Act will not be able to limit it. Any hospital, doctor, or agent of the state that does not go along could be sued.

Be careful of a Marxist bourgeoisie pandering to the proletariat. Don't think that applies to Obama? Just listen to his wife try to foment class warfare. (Note to Michelle: Wearing chic suits and pearls does not make you Jackie O.)

I promise this is not going to be an I hate Obama blog. However, it's my blog and these are the things I talk about in everyday life. For the record, I don't think McCain's a peach either. IMO, the McCain-Feingold Act strips away American's right to free speech.

I'm thinking of making a separate, political blog. What do you guys think? Do you like my weird mix of household tips, cheapo adventures, and opinionated rants? Or should I just stick to family life?

And who wants to see a picture of my duct taped van, because that's what I was originally going to post today? :)

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/16/2008 07:43:00 AM | Permalink | |
Not Funny
Friday, June 13, 2008

Mr P does not have a sense of humor. Oh, he tries. He tries really really hard. He just can't tell a joke to save his life.

He is just not funny. And he's not funny in a straight-man-Bob-Newhart kind of way, he's not funny in the awkward-silence-then-pity-laugh kind of way.

Honestly, I don't know where he gets it from. I, myself, have a Shakespearean sense of humor. This means I'm full of obscure puns and prone fits of iambic pentameter. Okay, not really on the last one.

One of his favorite jokes to tell?
What's black and white?

A penguin.

(The joke actually goes something like, What's black and and white, black and white, black and white, black and blue? A penguin falling down the stairs.)

He forgets to mention the punchline, every time.

Are your children humor challenged? Perhaps these sites might help:

Printable knock knock jokes

Knock Knock jokes arranged by name

Jokes and riddles

Knock knock jokes have helped Mr P come up with one funny joke.

Knock knock

Who's there?

I farted.

Then all of the boys and their dad roll to ground in helpless laughter. Ah, life with boys. And men.

And for those poor souls similarly afflicted with Bad Pun Syndrome, I offer The Shakespearian Insult Generator. Much better than the standard "doo-doo head" heard in our playroom!
And look what I found for our preschool classroom! Take that, Baby Einsteins!

The same site also offers avenging narwhales action figures. I guess you really can find anything on the internet.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/13/2008 10:20:00 AM | Permalink | |
Self Righteousness, The American Way?
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Father Powell does it again. He's got a great sermon up on Righteousness.

Here's a taste:
Despite decades of social engineering and the rule of political correctness, we are still diseased with racism, sexism, and any number of other “-ism’s” that tempt us to violate the dignity of God’s rational creatures.

As Christians, we would never use racial slurs, sexual smears, or any other sort of language that degrades or insults our fellow man. Do these imposed restraints produce good will? No. P.C. terms hide contempt, foster resentment, and encourage ridicule of those we ought to respect as children of the Father.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/12/2008 12:02:00 PM | Permalink | |
An Unpopular Opinion

The Republicans blocked a bill that would tax "windfall" profits on oil companies.

Thank goodness.

I know it's fun to make the corporations into bad guys, and blame them for our oil price woes. However, oil company profits are good for America.

  • The oil companies create jobs.
  • The oil companies pay dividends to their shareholders.
  • Government taxes should be proportional to any profits made.
How is that going to make prices go down? Does anyone really think the oil companies are going to say "Whoa, Nellie, we better make sure we are unprofitable?" No, they'll just raise prices to cover the new tax. We'll pay more at the pump.

Facts: Oil companies profit margin is relatively small; they do have a lot of volume.

Exxon Mobile reported $40 BILLION dollars in profits last year. That must be obscene, right?

Let's look at Exxon Mobile's first quarterly statement for 2008:
Revenue - $116.8 billion dollars. Costs: $96.6 billion dollars. Net: $10.89 Billion dollars.
Paid in sales tax: $8.4 Billion dollars.
Profit margin: 9.3% *

A company with a profit margin of less than 10% doesn't seem so obscene any more, does it? Not to mention all of the jobs they are creating and all of the retirement portfolios they are enriching. In the first quarter, 2008 Exxon paid out .35 per share in dividends. Exxon has 5.3 billion shares of stock. So Exxon paid out to Americans $1.8 billion dollars. That's not counting capital gains from stocks going up, that's just a handout of profits they gave to stockholders.

So. Exxon made 10.89 billion dollars, but also handed $10.2 billion back to the American people in taxes and dividends. I say let them make more money!

Our real problem is supply and OPEC. Also, we are printing a lot of money willy-nilly so our dollar is less valuable. Since oil pegged to the US Dollar, the price keeps rising as dollars are worth less and less.

Perhaps we should concentrate on making sure China doesn't siphon all of our oil out from under us, instead of turning CEOs into boogeymen.

(And the fact that this week, husband dear is making well heads for deep sea oil rigs in a Gulf Coast warehouse does not have anything to do with this opinion! But I felt the need to disclose that the oil companies are good for my family, too.)

* I did not use any Enron-like mathematecal convulutions. I just straight up divided how much they pocketed (profit) by how much they took in (revenue).

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/12/2008 08:56:00 AM | Permalink | |
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
It was a comfort in those succeeding days to sit up and contemplate the majestic panorama of mountains and valleys spread out below us and eat ham and hard boiled eggs while our spiritual natures reveled alternately in rainbows, thunderstorms, and peerless sunsets.

Nothing helps scenery like ham and eggs. - Mark Twain

Ham is a budget's best friend. Don't save it for special occasions, have it in the spring, summer and fall too!

I bought a 10 lb. shank ham for 99 cents a pound. For $10, that's 30 servings of meat! I'm fortunate to be able to bake in our new house without roasting the kitchen... ah, the conveniences of modern amenities!

First, cook your ham and eat it. It is ridiculously easy to roast a ham. Put it in a pan, maybe add some water, put it in the oven, check on it some hours later. A meat thermometer helps.

No wonder it was a Sunday dinner favorite! Even Mama needs an easy day once in a while.

Don't feel like you have to go all out with holiday trimmings. Last night we had ham, black-eyed pea salad, and green beans. I would have made cornbread, but I was out of flour and cornmeal (well, not out, I just haven't bought any for the new pantry yet.)

(Side note: mustard does not enhance the flavor of black eyed pea salad, but if you starve them make sure the kids are hungry, they'll eat it anyway. Especially if they can't have more meat until they eat their beans.)

Today husband dear will be eating ham sandwiches - his choice. I try not to serve ham at every meal all week, but my family just can't resist an oinker in the fridge.

Tomorrow we'll have scalloped potatoes with the ham. I'll also make brussels sprouts using my famous recipe, and substituting ham for bacon. Mmm... pig makes everything taste better!

We'll probably have some version of chopped ham and eggs at some point, because everyone loves it. It might be a lunch sometime this week.

I'll freeze the ham bone and wait until it rains for soup.

And I'll feed 9 people 4+ meals for $10. (Less than $20 counting all of the other ingredients, for sure.)

Kim at Weaving A Tapestry posted about this a year and a half ago, and I'm still saving money with her frugal tips!

Check out Rocks in My Dryer for more ideas!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/11/2008 09:23:00 AM | Permalink | |
It's Hard to Be Two
Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Miss C is having a crisis today.

Her hand is cold. She is crying and crying over it "Mine hand is cold! Mine hand is cold!"

Why is it cold? Because she is holding an ice cube. She likes to slurp it like a popsicle.

My suggestion to put the ice cube down, so her hand won't be cold is met with disdain. Some people just have to learn the hard way, and several of my children inherited that gene. (The gene that forces people to line up their shoes in an orderly fashion? Totally skipped our family.)

I wonder what the neighbors must think, since I sent her outside and she's still crying about her freezing hands.

Oh, well, we've already messed up our reputation when the police came on the day we moved in.

Art courtesy Despair, Inc.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/10/2008 04:11:00 PM | Permalink | |
Homeschoolers and Stereotypes
Homeschooling seems to be all over the news nowadays, with the MSM usually seeking to portray us as "other". Weird dress. Weird hobbies. Weird kids.

Dana at Principled Discovery has post on the matter that makes a good point.

We moved this week, and it turns out my neighbor is a school teacher. When she asked if I would be enrolling my children at the local elementary school, I told her that most of them were homeschooled. I didn't entirely expect her reply:

"Oh, I though you probably homeschooled. You are smart and have lots of kids."

I'll take that as a compliment, I guess, but truthfully, in SC, almost all of the homeschoolers I knew had two children. Maybe three. I did know two Catholic families with 5 children each who homeschooled... TWO other families! (Hi Craig! Hi Sandi!)

What homeschool stereotypes have you encountered (or held)?

I suppose I'm guilty of this myself. When I'm at Sam's Club or Half Priced Books, and I see a 15 passenger van pull up with lots of little heads in the backseat, I get excited. If the mother is wearing a skirt below her knees, my pulse quickens. I want to run over and demand their phone number, then ask what they think of Math-U-See.

Even though I drive a minivan and my children may or may not be wearing clean clothes, let alone handmade matching dresses with pinafores.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/10/2008 07:00:00 AM | Permalink | |
Police State
Monday, June 09, 2008
A major city and tourist attraction, plagued by crime. The people are rebelling, demanding something be done. The government steps in. Streets are closed down, guarded by police. You must produce your papers in order to pass. Only residents or people who can prove legitimate business will get through the barricades.

Where is this? Beijing? Cuba? No. It's in our nation's capital, Washington, D.C.

"We're going to go into an area and completely shut it down," D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty says. Here's how it's going to work, according to the Washington Post:
The checkpoint will stop vehicles approaching the 1400 block of Montello Avenue NE, a section of the Trinidad neighborhood that has been plagued with homicides and other violence. Police will search cars if they suspect the presence of guns or drugs, and will arrest people who do not cooperate, under a charge of failure to obey a police officer, officials said.
So, the police will stop you and demand to see identification. They may or may not decide to search your car. If you protest, citing, say, civil rights, you'll be arrested.

I wonder what the Congressmen would say if police did that on the Beltway? But, since it just affects the peasantry right now, will they bother to get involved? I doubt it.

The police claim checkpoints are effective at recovering stolen cars and weapons. But these checkpoints are supposed to catch murderers, and they are turning people away. It's one thing to run people's plates to check for stolen cars. It's another to turn people away from public property because the police don't think they have a good enough reason for driving down the street.

This is America. We paid for the streets and we don't have to have a reason to drive down them! Also, they're not searching pedestrians. I guess cold hearted murderers only drive, never walk or bike. And there's just no way they could actually be residents, right? The killers must come from "outside"?

A super-quick primer:
According to the Fourth Amendent,
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
A major exception is if the owner of the property says it's okay to search.
Except, apparently, police are arresting people who aren't Yes Men.
They came first for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time no one was left to speak up.
-New England Holocaust Memorial Inscription, from a poem by Niemoller.
Meanwhile, I heard about Jessica Alba's baby on every single news outlet and had to search for this story after a I saw a brief teaser late last night on the news.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/09/2008 10:12:00 AM | Permalink | |
Friday, June 06, 2008
Days after posting a slightly gleeful account of how Lifelock is not the airtight protection of your information that they claim to be, I am the victim of identity theft.

We were offline for a few days while moving into our new house and waiting for the internet to be hooked up, so I'm not sure how bad the damage is. I think we caught it very early.

They stole my husbands debit card number, but used it with my name. Now our checking account is all messed up (mainly because I am in another state and it's taking time to get the paperwork done.) I'm just hoping our deposit check to the water company doesn't bounce because I've grown used to the convenience of indoor plumbing. Plus I think the HOA bans the alternative to running water.

Note to criminals: If you are going to steal someone's money, it's a good bet that the family with 7 children and a minivan held together with duct tape doesn't have much. You may want to look for more lucrative pastures - seriously, you could have worked a minimum wage job without risking jail and made more money.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/06/2008 09:24:00 AM | Permalink | |
Goodbye, Old Friend
Monday, June 02, 2008
The Discovery Home channel has been canceled. Discovery is launching a new network, Planet Green, in its place.

How am I ever going to learn how not to flip a house now? Oh, right. A&E Network on Saturdays. Ok, I'm good.

Unfortunately, Planet Green panders to the MTV generation and will have shows featuring Tommy Lee, Ludacris, and Tom Green.

Emeril Lagasse supposedly has a show on the new network, too. Tom Begeron (Dancing with the Stars host) has his own series, as well.

Planet Green launches Wednesday, June 4. I thought something was up, since I've seen a lot of their "staple" shows migrating to other networks.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/02/2008 12:12:00 PM | Permalink | |
Sunday, June 01, 2008
Our new house is great, and has a fenced backyard with built in sprinklers.

Except - there is a row of oleanders along the fence. Oleanders are pretty, drought tolerant, bloom a lot, and poisonous. A single leaf can kill a toddler.

Remember that Michelle Pfeiffer movie called "White Oleander"? Yeah, that's how the character killed her husband in the film.

We've already talked to our landlord and we'll be removing the bushes. They are along the fence, in full sun... a great spot for a veggie garden, especially because we'll already have it dug up!

Does anyone know if you can eat plants grown in soil that oleanders grew in? They don't poison the dirt, do they?

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/01/2008 09:46:00 AM | Permalink | |