Monday, September 15, 2008

5 things you might not know about each of us


1. Amory is almost exclusively called AJ now. I honestly think that one friend of mine, the principal, and I are the only ones that call him Amory. The principal is swinging towards AJ too. It's so bad that he was across the street and I knocked on the door and the grandma answered and I asked if Amory was there and she said, "WHO?". The mom knows what kid is mine, grandma, not so much.

2. Amory is musically talented. He can memorize music and sing guitar parts after only hearing them a time or two. He makes up his own songs. He can keep a beat on a drum set and is awesome at hand drums. However, he can NOT play guitar hero or rock band.

3. Amory is a geek (like his mom). His passions include star wars, comic books, and transformers.

4. Amory loves to read. His favorite books right now are dinosaur books. I swear he has probably checked out the whole section at school. When reading them out loud it amazes me that he can pronounce most of the words.

5. He loves animals. His favorite thing to do is to go to the pet store. They all know him there and pretty much let him do whatever. He's helped catch a koi from the pond, he's fed fiddler crabs, held a bird, petted a snake. He just goes in and asks, "What are you doing? Can I help?" Of course, he did get bit by a hamster and it bled like crazy, but they took him to the back room and cleaned him up and he thought he was awesome.


1. Corey is a typical big sister. Many people think she's this nice, sweet girl. She's really not. She does things quietly to get her brother in trouble. She won't let her brother do anything with her unless it benefits her. She also beats her brother up way too much.

2. Corey was reading before kindergarten. She's always been good with reading. She loves it. She is now doing above average in math though. Her teacher had to come tell me how well she did on a standardized test the other day. Always great to hear.

3. Corey can take a shower for over an hour if you let her. It's insane. Wait until she's a teenager. I'll never get her out of the shower!

4. Corey loves to bake, cook, draw, color, paint, and pretty much everything else that is creative. She is an artist on every level. Her new passion is cake decorating. Also, she's an amazing singer.

5. Corey is very sensitive and things really upset her. The good thing about this is she is very aware of things going on around her. She pays attention to everything and has an opinion about everything, but she is also empathetic and wouldn't want to hurt feelings.


1. I don't have a lot of hidden secrets. If you have known me for any amount of time, it's easy to know what I'm all about. Seriously, I'm an open book and have been about the same person since I was a kid. I'll go with some general info I guess. Oh, this is an old picture. I don't have long hair in the front right now, and never really wore clips in my hair. Here's my opinion about hair. It's just something that grows on your head. Who cares! I prefer to cut it short and ignore it.

2. I like sports. All sports. Well, ok, I'm sorry but golf is boring to watch and I've never played it so maybe not golf. When I was a kid I was a huge Lakers fan. I couldn't stand Larry Bird and the dorky Celtics. Now, I'm all about the Celtics. I've been into them since Paul Pierce left KU and went to Boston. Strange, I know, but I tend to follow players rather than teams when it comes to the NBA.

3. I'm shy. Most people don't believe that. I always say I lead from behind. I will do this at work, home, and even did it as a kid sometimes. I can't even remember how many times I'd make my brother do something for me. Shoot, once we went to see Body Count, he had to go get autographs for me. At work, I'll let the aide in my room lead us into a field trip. I'll say, "Just go in and say we are from CLC and we have an appointment." Then I hold the door. Why can't I go in? No idea. I think it's because I don't want to seem like an imposition. Even if I've been to a place before, that's how I am. I guess I don't want to cause trouble. (I'm the peace maker). Also, that's one reason I like playing drums. You get to be in the back and hide. Once I'm in my element though, I can't shut up. How can you be so shy and so social? No idea!

4. I failed Calculus 2 at KU. I don't even know why I took it. My advisor sucked that's why! I didn't need it. I could use it as an elective. Well, the TA spoke no English, he couldn't say half the names in the class. I was failing so bad, I should have dropped it. Instead, I stayed there. By the time finals rolled around, I said screw it an F is an F. I didn't even go to the final.

5. I moved around a lot as a kid. I really hated that. I went to most of the grade schools in Oak Harbor, Washington. Then we moved to a small town in Nebraska. I'm thankful we moved from there. When I say small, I'm not joking. The year I graduated highschool, the graduating class for that UNIFIED school was 2 people! Unified means from several towns in that area! Two people. TWO. Anyway, then off to Lincoln, Nebraska. I honestly never liked the cornhuskers, but Lincoln was a lot of fun for a kid in 5-8th grades. Well, it was good friends and lots of places to play. I never wanted to leave there. In fact, my family moved. I stayed with my grandparents a few months. I had to go to Hiawatha, Kansas after that. What? Never heard of it? Really? Maybe that is because it's small. Not as small as that first town in Nebraska, but sure not big. The plus is, I knew everyone I graduated with. The down side is there wasn't nearly as much to do. Also, I never really felt like that was home. I kept wanting to go back to Oak Harbor or Lincoln. Luckily, we didn't move any more. I moved to Lawrence, KS for college and have been here since. Love it. I plan to let my kids grow up in one town and keep all their friends. Sure, there isn't as much to do, but I think it's more a sign of the times. People just don't let kids run around like we did when I was a kid. This neighborhood does have kids running around some.


1. Kenny is the cook around here. I will cook, but ultimately, Kenny is the one who makes things. He makes his own spaghetti sauce. I also like when he makes fried potatoes and rice bowls.

2. Kenny is a pacifist. He can get angry, but never to the point where he wants to hit someone. Well, sometimes my brother pushes him, but even Ghandi would want to deck him.

3. Kenny feels the same way about Hallmark holidays that I do. They are cheesy and we don't need to have a card or a special day to tell people we care about them. Of course, he seems to feel that way about birthdays too, and my birthday SHOULD be a holiday.

4. Kenny was born in the same town both his kids were born in. That's pretty cool. Sure, he hasn't lived in Lawrence all his life, but he was born here. The kids like to see the hospital they were all born in.

5. Kenny is a guitar player that is wasting his talents. Seriously, he's pretty good and gets better when he actually plays. He has not played in a band in about a million years. I sometimes wish he would play somewhere, but he's really a homebody.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I am about to blog something that is going to seem unpatriotic especially at this time of year. However, I feel that the use of free thought and saying what you want IS as American as you can get. If you don't USE your rights, what's all the fighting for anyway?

My frustration is a 5th grade social studies test. The kid got a C which isn't bad, but isn't great. I looked over the test just to see what was going on. There were some errors that I totally understand marking down; they were only partial answers. That accounts for 5 points. What really bothers me is the multiple choice.

1. Why is the motto E Pluribus Unum a good saying?
a. Many people spoke Latin.
b. Coins display this saying.
c. Out of many states, one country was formed.
d. Americans share many ideals.

What would you answer? Could it be argued that it's not a good saying? Out of many, one. I have to admit that I haven't read the propaganda, I mean text book, to see what the answer that is expected. I have taken enough tests to guess that a teacher would probably say that D is the real answer. But, A is valid in that many more people DID speak latin, but it wasn't a universal language, so I would guess that's a flaw of that answer. B isn't good. It was on the coins after it became ONE of the mottos on the great seal that was approved in 1782 (first on coins in 1786). If you look on wikipedia (which is of course what I did) you will see that originally, the thought WAS C. That is what the kid answered and I can see the thought process to that. We are 50 states (and even then we were more than one state) coming together to make ONE nation. Many forms one. Sounds like the saying to me. Then there is D. I'm not 100% sure if that is the real answer, but it would have to be. However, we do NOT share ideals in this country. That is actually part of what makes us great. We can all think what we want. I think this question wasn't great.

Now this next one is the one that will get people mad at me. It's almost like I'm Obama running around without a freaking flag on my lapel.

Why is the Pledge of Allegiance important?
a. It shows our varied population.
b. It teaches us to memorize sayings.
c. It shows we have a strong country.
d. It tells the basic ideals Americans share.

Now, I KNOW I can argue that it's NOT important. It's not. Some people don't even say it at school. They really don't. Let's look these answers to the "pledge" question, right after I make a short tangent about the history of it. I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. This pledge was written for the most part in 1892 as a part of Columbus day celebrations. We won't start yet another tangent on my thoughts on THAT. The original author was a Baptist minister, yet he didn't put the god part in. He did feel it was a way to show solidarity. Interestingly, the other part that was changed was that he said "my flag" instead of "the flag of the United States of America". Then there is the under god issue that was added in the height of a war with Korea AND Germany. Have you ever noticed how all that propaganda comes out when there is some sort of turmoil.

But, regardless of all that, back to the question. A - it shows our varied population. Obviously that's not the right answer. I can't even twist that one to make it fit. Then B says it teaches us to memorize sayings. I have to be honest and say that right there is my answer. I contend that it's not philosophically important so I'll say if it has importance it would have to be so I can memorize something. I personally like mnemonics for memorization, but that's me. Next is C which states it shows we have a strong country. Go back and read the pledge again. This is ONE nation (be it under god or not) INDIVISIBLE... That's pretty darn tough. It can't be divided (reminds me of a song by Sham 69). Sounds like a decent answer to me. And finally D states it tells the basic ideals Americans share. I honestly don't think that. I think some people think this. But there are those that feel the that pledging to the flag is idolatry. (On a side note, I've thought this since I was a kid and remember getting in trouble at a young age for questioning this and the cross symbol. Maybe I was a Jehovah's Witness in a past life. I don't agree with all they have to say, but that's one thing I do agree that is biblically valid -not stating the what I feel about the bible either, but if you are saying you believe the bible, you might rethink how you feel about idolatry.) Then of course there are those that feel that this should not be considered one nation under god. So, people with this belief wouldn't share the ideals with people that do. With liberty and justice for all. THAT is an ideal for all of us, but different people feel differently about what that means. Wiki the word liberty. And justice? Justice for ALL. I'm willing to bet if you even think for a second, you can think of many injustices around you at any given time. Sure it's IDEAL to have these qualities, but I don't think all Americans share ALL the ideals in the pledge.

What is the correct answer you may ask. I don't think my answer of B is the right one. I know it's not C because that's what the kid wrote and she got it wrong. It would by default be D. I guess if the book says it is it must be. I just don't agree is all.

Here's the question for those that took the time to read this insane rambling: What to do. I found out that my child is not the only one to do poorly on this test. Do I let it go knowing it's the first test, the kids will get used to it, 5th grade is harder. Do I contact the teacher and if so say what? Obviously, this diatribe is for me to blow off steam. I need to be more assertive rather than aggressive if I contact the teacher. I CAN do that, but it wouldn't have helped with my frustration to talk nicely right now, but I CAN. Or should I save up my anger and write to the text book company? I could do that, but seriously I doubt that would do any good.

Done for now.