Samuel Jerome and Richnightder

Samuel Jerome and Richnightder
Our boys in Haiti

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Maybe I am that dumb?

It's obvious that I've changed the name of my blog to more accurately reflect our new home and glee we feel about moving to Minneapolis, but I've got a small techno problem to work out.

Ok bloggers, I need some help.  I tried to change the address of the blog to something more similar to the blog's name, but even after I changed it, I could never locate it by googling the new address.  It came up with some old blogs with that address....guess mini apple us is not so unique after all....but I still find it witty and charming, so it's staying.  It also came up with everything 'Apple' related, such as IPad's, but nothing with my blog. 

So what's the scoop?  Why could I not find my own damn blog with the new address?  Why did I have to switch the address back to the whynorthdakota one?

I would love to cut all my ties to this glorious state, so any advice about this would be helpful.  I know I have techno nerdy friends who can help me so I'm counting on you. 

A New Name, same old stuff

For both of my faithful followers, and I'm being optimistic, I've changed the title to reflect our new life.  We are excited to say the least that we will be living amongst diversity of every kind again. 

While we will actually be living in Cannon Falls, Minneapolis will be our home city.  Hence from a much appreciated suggestion from a follower, I have chosen the new title to reflect our new locale.

Mini apple....lis!  Get it?!  Sheesh, do I need to spell it out?  If you have another idea for a catchy title, let me know.  Until then, I'm sticking with mini apples!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I'm not a tourist, I live here

We've been to the Mall of America many times, but this time I was happy to claim that mall as my 'home' mall.  Finally, after living 9 years in purgatory (North Dakota) we are returning to civilization again.  Walking thru the mall on Sunday afternoon, I was annoyed by the mass of people there that were sight-seeing.  Don't these people know that it's MY MALL?  Sheesh

The movers come on December 10th and will spend two days packing us up and two days loading.  We will be in our new home about December 14th and all of us are excited beyond word.  Marc is really happy about his new office.  We went into meet everyone there and Marc hit the jackpot!  His office is on the 8th floor, and overlooks the Mississippi River.  He has the enviable corner office with floor to ceiling windows and a couch and occasional chairs.  It's officially a big boy office.  His agency occupies 34,000 square feet on the 7th and 8th floor and is really, really impressive. It's honestly a fully contained mini city.  But the best part of his new office is.....wait......because of the building's location and the fact that he has underground parking, we can walk from there to the Twin's Stadium, the Timberwolve's venue and the Viking's Stadium.  I have some very happy boys in my house right now!

Our new home is exactly 32 miles from the Mall of America.  Trust me, Madison is pretty darn happy with that one!  My Nordstrom card was used exhaustively the past 10 days and will enjoy future exercise.  There is so much more to do and explore there than there is here.

I've had numerous people in Bismarck tell me what a great place Bismarck is to raise a family.  All I can say to that is, that might be true if your family is homogeneously white.  But if you have black kids, this is not the place I want my kids to grow up.  I'm tired of people expressing out-rage at our racial incidents, but being too cowardly to make a stand for us and the 'right' thing.  It takes a strong person stand up for those who have been maligned, but sadly, we haven't met any of those strong people in Bismarck.  The incident at church this past summer was a true blessing.  It brought to light the meek and cowardly nature of those whom we had once respected and pushed Marc's agency to move us quickly....and give him a promotion to boot!

We still marvel at the fabulous good fortune that came our way soon after the loss of our church family.  From this, good things have continued and we can't wait to begin the next phase of our life.  Change is good!  More people need to embrace that belief.  Isolation and insulation from change causes the narrow and spiteful, racial comments and ignorance we encountered. 

The next few weeks will be busy, busy, busy.  So busy that we might forget to be thankful to God for His blessings, but each time we get overwhelmed with all we have to get done, we remember that we could be stuck here and very bored and lonely.  God is good and we look forward to sharing our new home and fabulous new city with our dear friends and family.  To the Watkins and Dorcheus families, you will always, always have room in our home and we won't consider it our official new home until you have come and stayed with us and broken the house in with  our collective gaggle of children.  See you soon!

Monday, November 5, 2012

House hunting is for the birds

This sucks!  10 days to find a new home is just not enough time.  Today we looked at 4 houses scattered throughout the western edge of Minneapolis.  We took our time and were methodical in sizing up each homes potential and likelihood of meeting our needs.

The first home was lovely and was by far the nicest house in the neighborhood.....which probably explains why it's been on the market 500+ days.  Great house in a not so great neighborhood equals no resale value.

The second home has a fabulous barn and indoor riding arena.  It also had a wonderful built in pool and was in a fantastic location.  The house was nice, but needed a little up dating.  What you ask, was the problem with this one? Well it had a small heaving problem where the patio foundation would heave up in the winter and drop back in the summer.  Yep, not buying that problem no matter how nice the property.

The third house is in Buffalo and is a lovely, lovely home in a great small suburb of Buffalo, MN.  It has a barn with 4 gorgeous stalls and we would have to add a few more, but completely doable.  The house is move in ready.  Great house.  HUGE! seems to be a little over priced.  We'll have to see about this one, but as of today it's number one on my list.

Fourth house was also a nice house...HUGE at 4800 square feet.  Great jack-and-jill bath for the boys and a ginormous bedroom for Madison and bachelor pad for Thomas.    A little further out than we would like, but it's on 22 acres but has no horse fencing and is close to a busy road. 

Decisions, decision.  One thing I do know is that Marc's government per diem for food is not nearly enough to cover happy hour needs.  Cocktails are most needed when we must choose a home in a few days.  Mas bebidas, por favor!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Where my kids can just be kids

The excitement in our household is building as we get closer to our move.  We head out on our house hunting trip this week and will probably pack a month's worth of looking, investigating, searching, shopping, negotiating and eating into a few days. 

We have had two appraisals, a home inspection, a pest inspection and a septic tank inspection done on this house for the relocation company which will ultimately purchase our house from us.  So far everything is moving smoothly.  We've had two offers on our house, but we were unable to accept one offer since it was contingent upon the sale of their current home and the other people, well, let's just say they weren't living in the real world.  Their offer was a little low and they wanted us to pay their closing costs and give them all our mineral rights.  UM, that would be a huge NO!

Mineral rights are the hot topic these days in North Dakota.  As oil and gas exploration expands south and east of the Bakken, everyone who owns land and the mineral rights are reserving their rights due to the potential for huge income on those minerals.  I guess some people enjoy living in la la land with Tipsy and Po. 

The greater Minneapolis area has a glut of houses that fit our needs.  We are looking for a home on at least 10 acres, horse ready with a barn and a 4 bedroom house.  So far our realtor there has matched us with 136 house within a 40 mile radius of downtown Minneapolis.  From that list we have whittled it down but we really can't know if a house will 'feel' right until we can see the surrounding area and get a feel for the town.  We most certainly do not want to repeat our circumstances that have occurred here with small town/small minded bigots, so getting there and getting a feel for the neighborhood will be so important. 

The moving company is pushing us to lock in the specific date that we want them to show up and load us.  It's been hard to do since we aren't sure when we'll close on a new house in Minnesota or Wisconsin.  We know Marc must be at work there on December 19th so we are guessing the movers will be here around the 13th.  GULP!  They estimate 2 days to pack and 2 days to load.  Once there they are paid to unpack us...which they did not do last time and literally just dropped our stuff and left.  This time I'm not going to be a nice Nelly.  I'm gonna be wicked Nelly Olson from Little House on the Prairie!

I'm still not complaining.  Really I'm not.  I'm so damn happy to be getting out of here and leaving a community behind that resists new comers no matter how hard they work to adapt and blend with the old timers.  We look forward to blending into a big city again where my kids won't be stared at simply because of their skin color.  A diverse enough city where my kids can just be kids.  Not the black kids with the white parents.  Just simply kids.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Moving on the East side....AKA, Minneapolis!

It was pointed out to me by Tina, that due to our impending move to the greater Minneapolis/St. Paul area, I would need to change the title of my blog.  YIPPEEE! 

I am utterly lacking in creativity.  Even though I am a Pisces, I still missed out on the creative aspects I was supposed to have been born with.  Nope, nada, zilch creative ideas originate in my noggin. So darlin' blogland readers, help me come up with a new title for my blog. 

We've hooked up with a realtor in Minneapolis and we are also looking at properties in the Hudson, Wisconsin area.  Funny thing though is that the property taxes are much higher than in the surrounding counties of Minneapolis with the exception of Hennepin County which are outrageous. So with that in mind, even though Marc will be working in Minneapolis we very well could be living in Minnesota or Wisconsin.  Toss out the ideas for a new blog title....Please...I need help here!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Whew, what a summer, but a GREAT fall is ahead

Well most of you know what transpired with our family and the hateful, bigoted racism that was directed to our family....and blatantly ignored by this small backwards community, but out of that has come some true blessings.  Let me share some of the outstanding good fortune and blessings given by God that will benefit our family.

First of all, Marc's agency stepped up to the plate and intervened in hearing our pleas for help living in this community and worked diligently to transfer our family ASAP.  Well, the big kahuna's in the government not only got us a transfer to our city of choice, but also gave Marc a promotion!  In addition, they are relocating us in only 90 days.  Well, it's actually 83 days now since we've known for a week now, but who's counting?  We've already begun the process of listing the house, getting it show ready, and signing up with the relocation company.  If our house doesn't sell in 30 days then the relo company buys it and we leave this hideous state behind. 

It's funny how the cowardice of other people and their hateful words and actions caused us so much emotional pain at the time, but ultimately brought us to a better place.  A better place emotionally, financially and vastly more diverse so that my family will not be surrounded by ignorant, mean-spirited people. 

Marc informed the people he works with here in Bismarck and they are sad to see him leave, but understand the terrible hatred our family has been experiencing.  Someday soon, the people of this state will have to come to terms with people living in 'their' community of different races.  It's despicable for people to idly stand by and witness racism and fail to address it, condemn it and intervene.  Sadly, the vast majority of the people here have acknowledged that our family has been subjected to racism, yet are too weak of character to stand up and publicly declare it as an abhorrent behavior.  We've made excuses for years now for the people who privately tell us it's wrong what our children hear spoken to them, but will not stand with us in public in an effort to change it.  Weak people...cowards...come in all shapes, sizes, ages, religions, and occupations.  Maybe we're just unlucky but we have encountered bigots matching all these demographics. 

While we know racism is alive and kicking everywhere, our new location will definitely provide us with a metropolitan city where the population has actually lived somewhere else than the good 'ol family farm in rural North Dakota.  North Dakota is quickly being pushed out of it's cherished isolationism and will soon need to deal with real world problems.  We as a family are ecstatic beyond belief that we are moving and leaving this hate filled community behind.

As much as I hate painting, I must continue to touch up the white baseboards, dings in the walls and repaint the back door.  When I get so frustrated trying to keep the house spotless (what a joke with 4 kids) I simply remind myself that we have a deadline to be in place in our new state, the movers are coming to pack us up and we can blow a ginormous raspberry to the narrow-minded lifer's as we fly away to a new beginning.

Out of ashes and heartache came blessings for our family.  My faith in God is as strong as ever and we look forward to the future with great excitement and zeal.  To those who maligned us, thank you!  Your spiteful, cowardly natures have blessed us beyond belief.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Going private

I will be taking my blog off the grid soon.  If you would like to continue to follow, please email me or leave a comment and I will make sure you can continue to join me on this most unique adventure that our family is on. 

Monday, July 16, 2012


In honor of all my new readers, I decided to change my outdated background.  I hope it adds an air of summer time joy!

Monday, July 2, 2012

The sting of losing a church

Marc and Madison returned Friday evening from a 10 day youth group trip from church.  The name of this trip and the ones taken in the previous years are called faith adventure trips.  This years trip jouryned to New York City where we believed the kids (14-18 year olds) would be involved in charity service work of one kind or another.  After a 3 day bus ride from North Dakota to NYC, the kids and chaperones disembarked at their 'hostel' which had 2 people per room, with one person on a roll-a-way bed and 2 bathrooms on each floor serving about 30 strangers.  GAG!

It quickly became obvious that out of the 6 days spent in NYC, only 3 days had any type of service work involved.  Marc figured that including travel time on the subways to reach the soup kitchens, the total amount of time spent in service to others was a mere 5 hours!  Now in my world, 5 hours does not constitute substantial community giving.  Let along having to travel by bus for 30 hours in each direction to participate in 5 hours of charitable giving.  I know first hand that there are several places right here in Bismarck where these kids could put some sweat into serving others!

Lots of things are bothering us about this so called Faith Adventure.  First of all, when asked why the prefered method of transportation was by bus, the pastor informed Marc that it was not only cheaper, but allowed for team building exercises to take place in solidfy the group.  COUGH, I call BS on this one.  Seems there was actually NO team building exercises that occured in transit at all.  Another little thing that annoys me is that while yes, they were in NYC, the over-whelming vast majority of the time was spent sight-seeing.  While I do agree that the kids from our church have led narrow lives, with few having traveled anywhere in the USA before and most having never flown on a plane...sad but true....the pastor also wanted to expose these kids to cultural differences.  God knows these kids need that.  Most of the local kids still look at my kids and call them wooly because of their hair, and ask stupid questions about their skin.  At worst, these kids have called my kids the N word and spoken freely at the parsonage about shooting "coons."  They've told racist jokes to my kids on previous church outings and joked about how my kids shouldn't be able to swim, but could sure shoot hoops.  We've tolerated and tried valiantly to educate the local kids to no avail.  Some are quiet in their bigotry and some are blatant, neither of which feels good.

So on this journey, Marc got to witness first hand how the girls bullied Madison.  Madison simply aint no shrinkin' violet, for damn sure, but even she can only take so much.  Marc watched the girls make fun of her curly hair, listened to them as they told her that the roommate would take the bed and Madison would have to deal with the roll-a-way, and watched as the girls ostracized Madison at Times Square and told her that they would be going off sight-seeing without her.  Marc was a good Dad and picked up the slack when all she wanted was to be accepted by narrow-minded, frightened girls.  That night at devotions with the group, Marc was asked where he had seen the face of God.  He replied, "I know where I DIDN'T see the face of God, and that was in the young girls who have mocked and shunned Madison to the point of tears."  One of the girls to whom Marc was referring had a Mom along as a chaperone who instead of acknowledging this issue chose to give both Marc and Madison the cold shoulder for the remainder of the trip and refused to speak to them. 

Marc brought this issue up to our pastor who shocked the hell out of us by telling Marc that this is normal girl behavior and he would not comment or talk to the girls since he hadn't seen it himself.  He had been told by several people about the bullying, but chose to ignore it and not address it because I believe he(the pastor) too, is a chicken to stand up to the majority to take the cause of the minority.  Marc called me from New York to share what our pastor had said, or failed to say, and we both feel that since this is a church trip, not a secular school trip and we both expect these kids from church to behave in a Christian manner.  If this is a faith adventure then these kids better step up and bring a Christ like behavior with them, or stay at home.

We are sick feeling about this.  To think that our pastor can call this behavior 'Normal girl behavior' is sickening.  Since when do we as a church body, lower our standards and condone mean, ignorant behavior?  Madison and Thomas experienced bullying in the private Christian school they were in for 3 years and then again in public school.  Now as homeschoolers it's odd that my kids are experiencing the most egregious behavior from the people that compose their church family. 

Madison came home with a new appreciation of how 'average' young teen girls treat each other.  I am glad she is a strong, Strong young girl who can move beyond the slights and insults tossed her way, but it still leaves an invisible scar deep within.  Marc and I have tried our best to live our values and morals as an example to our kids.  We expect them to respect everyone.  They may not like someone, but we still expect them to be civil.  How is that our pastor can turn away, shirk his duty to teach and instill Christ like values to those in his charge when he knows this behavior is occuring?  To avoid it with the casual thought that this is normal is to perpetuate its cruelty. 

I am mad.  I am sad and I feel lost in my spiritual journey.  I refuse to let one man who happens to wear a collar, destroy my faith in God, but he has destroyed my faith in him and his ability to take a moral stand and correct those who are behaving in a despicable very un-Christ like manner.  It's not often that Marc expresses his sadness and vunerability, but when it comes to our kids, that is our weak spot.  How can we return to this church knowing our pastor, our shephard of our flock, perceives and condones this behavior as normal and acceptable?  This is where we are right now.  It's not a good place and it stings. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012


In my last post, I wrote about how this ding bat lady wanted us to help her by reducing the price of our property so it was more comfortable for them to meet their payments.  Well, against all odds, after that discussion with her, we raised our price again and got yet another bite on our property.

I emailed the first gal back and told her about the new interest and believe it or not, they have agreed to our asking price.  I guess her comfort level could be expanded after all without my help!

We've never played hardball before and never intended too, but we too see this property sale as a chance to help fund our trip to Haiti to search for Richnigthder's family.  We also intend on helping our friends, the Watkins family who are moving to Haiti to run the orphanage for the children who are not legally free for adoption, but who are still abandoned and in need of Watkins love!  You can follow their adventure here

Anyhow, I feel badly for the other people who were ready to plop down money on our property, but this gal is ready to go, pre-approved and wants to do the earnest money tomorrow.  We've never been lucky in selling property.  Heck when the government moved us here in 2003 we barely broke even on our house in Oregon.  Then the last house we sold, we actually had to bring a check to closing to pay the difference.  Seriously, who ever has to bring money to the closing when you are the SELLER?! 

My hope is that this nest egg will do some good for our kids and the kids who have no one in this world.  What the Watkins family is doing is following Christ's example of love to the letter.  They are in the place in their life when they are able to go and do what very few others can even contemplate. 

Sometimes, ding bats aren't as dingy as they appear, and by us digging our heels in, we may be able to have some fun and continue to help the country where are hearts are always tugged, Haiti!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Am I missing something here?

We have 40 acres of bare land for sale in Wilton, North Dakota.  When we bought this land, we planned on building on it and customizing it for our horses.  Soon after we bought it, we found this house on 40 acres and it seemed a no-brainer to buy the house we are in since it required much less planning, developing and building.

Fast forward to today.  We have held onto the land as an investment.  Land prices in North Dakota are escalating quickly and is at a premium.  40 acre lots are becoming very rare in the Bismarck/Mandan area and in fact we have one of only a handful available for purchase.  We have marketed ours well under competitive pieces  and against all reason, every time we raise the price we get more interest and offers.

We currently have two offers.  One offer we have agreed upon the price and have given the family a few weeks to get their financing in order.  Yesterday we got another offer from a gal who is crazy about the property and has already contacted builders about getting a home constructed on the property.  Here's where I am feeling insulted and bewildered. 

She made us a low ball, insulting offer, $35,000 under our asking price.  We countered back at full asking price and she replied with, "This really doesn't help us with our payments. We want to stay at a certain payment amount and was thinking you would help us."  WTF?????  Am I missing something here?  Is it our responsibility to help the prospective buyer meet her payments?  Then she added, that it's a little further out of Bismarck than they wanted and what about the snowy and icy roads?  Um, yeah.  That's part of living in North Dakota. 

Am I being dense here?  When did it become our responsibility to help the buyer meet their payment comfort level?  Look, you either buy it or you don't.  Maybe I'll start going through life like this gal.  I'll just expect everyone to help me out and make my life easier.  Yep, that takes a load off of me.  Next time I'm at the grocery store, I'll just tell the checker that the price really doesn't help me stay in my budget and stand there and pout.  If any of my kids ever grow up to be this inept, I'll blame, hmmm, everybody else!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Today, because I can

Today, simply because I can and the day is already off to a freakish start, I am going to seek out the dark forces and join their hellish crusade.  In other words, if I can't beat 'em, I better join them.  For the dense people out there, I am referring to my children!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A composition with heart

Richnigthder is my deep thinker.  He's quiet and introspective.  He always has a lot churning through his brain and sometimes shares those thoughts with me.  Today I asked him to write a composition telling me why he was crying in the car yesterday.

He was sitting in the center row of the car,crying silently.  Tears were running down his face and he tried to wipe them away without any of us noticing.  I asked him if he would share his thoughts with me and he said yes.  Today, those thoughts and emotions came pouring out in his wonderful composition.

Here it is verbatim, without corrections:
      I was sad the other day thinking about Camesuze and Jean.  When I was thinking about Camesuze and Jean, I couldn't stop crying until I saw a car that looked like a car from Haiti.  I was thinking about the earthquake and I couldn't off my mind.  I was thinking about if they were dead.  I just couldn't off my mind.  I can't wait to go see Haiti again and other people and meet other people.  I'm praying to God in bed because I want them alive so we could have a great trip.

We have been planning a trip to Haiti near the end of the year to begin our search for his birth family.  We talk about the trip everyday and how we will start our search.  I know he is excited to begin this journey, but also immensely sad to have to face a horrific realization......that his birth family may be dead and lost to us forever.  His tender soul is aching to know their fate.  We need to know one way or the other.  It truly is the not-knowing that is torture.

Richnigthder tells me frequently that he wants to be a doctor and return to Haiti to help poor people.  I'd like to think I can take some credit for his amazing soul, but honestly, the credit goes to his amazing birth parents and God.  He is a rare soul and the best Marc and I can do is to continue to nurture it and help him follow the path his birth parents laid out for him.

Ah, these Haitian kids are amazing kids! 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Sometimes lemonade isn't that great regardless of the lemons used to make it

It's no great secret that our life is always a roller coaster adventure.  No matter how well planned I think the day/week is, something always happens that changes the orderly chaos I thought I had contained.  This past week was a prime example.

Madison was scheduled to show at her first dressage show in Billings, Montana.  Although her horse has been battling some lameness issues, we had her coffin joint injected in both front feet and she seemed to be back to her normal, free-flowing, fluid gaits.  On Wednesday, she had another lesson with Karla to tune her up before we hit the road for the show.  Ka Ching was a royal pain the butt!  She was angry, defiant and unwilling to work. 

As Madison moved to transition her from a trot to a canter, Ka Ching began to throw her head and then put her nose on the ground and bucked and bucked.  Madison fought a good fight trying to stay on, but in the end, she belly-flopped....and hard.  Then ka Ching stepped on her left shin as Madison laid on the ground trying to catch her breath.  I dealt with Madison and karla dealt with Ka Ching.  After an exhaustive lunging session, Ka Ching seemed a little more willing to please and Madison regained her position on top of the beast and rode on.

On Thursday, as I packed the horse trailer and gathered the remaining interstate health certificate the horse needed, Madison tried to give Ka Ching a light work out here at home.  This is where my kid broke down in tears and realized this weekends show was in jeopardy.  Ka Ching refused, REFUSED to move forward.  She wouldn't walk or trot down the center line of the arena.  WOULD. NOT. DO. IT!

I called Karla and we decided it was best to not spend $500 in gas money to haul the horse to the show since she seems to have some yet, undiagnosed lameness issue that is causing her to be this defiant.  We ate the show fees and decided to drive out and watch our friends and trainers show.  On Thursday I called the host hotel for the dressage show, The Dude Rancher Lodge in Billings and the receptionist sounded very pleasant, but also very distracted.  I told her I had a better price on Priceline and she happily matched that price. 

Fast forward two hours......I decided to check on the miserable weather (snow) forecast for Billings and was shocked to the point of insane laughter to see that the hotel I had just booked, had just had a wanted felon shot and killed there in a massive gun fight with police.  When I booked the room, the receptionist was distracted since the police were conducting their investigation and the crime scene was being cleaned of bio hazards.  Yippeeee!  It was at this point that I realized all the signs were pointing towards telling me not to travel to Billings.

In fact, the weather was so bad for Karla and her crew that either Friday or Saturday they awoke to 6 inches of snow.  This added to the chaos of trying to keep show horses clean and warm.  I'm glad Madison and I stayed home, but my kid is beside herself with sadness and anxiety about not having a functioning horse for this show season.  I hate to see her so sad and feeling as though her dreams are slipping away.  I hate to see her crying and worrying.  I hate to see her moping around.

The hunt is now on for a new dressage horse.  I suppose if she has the talent and drive to reach for the stars, Marc and I will do what we can to help her get there.  For anyone who doesn't think dressage is a sport, think again.  Both horse and rider have to be in great condition, mentally and physically and be totally tuned into each other.  Now Madison is ready to go and show and her partner is struggling.  Ka Ching will be heading to a specialist in Anoka, Minnesota and we are hoping that we get some answers to her lameness and refusals. 

And as usual, our carefully scheduled chaos goes on in disorderly disarray.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Isn't God really about love and not hatred?

I tend to quietly follow the politics of our country and take passionate stances when issues resonate deeply within my soul.  Politics have intrigued me for years and the machinations of humans never cease to amaze me.  You know way back when (1989) I received my bachelors in Political Science so I do have a smidgen of knowledge about the happenings of this union of ours.

Politicians come and go and with them, so do their beliefs.  Just as politicians come and go, so do ideologies of the times.  Within recent times, people of different races were prohibited from marrying.  Some people even backed that belief up by using the Bible.  Of course, time marched on, people latched on to new beliefs and realized that the world did not implode if people of different skin colors married and had children.

Of course throughout the course of human history, people have used the Bible to defend all types of issues.  Now given my liberal nature, I have no problem with people holding different values than my own, but I do have problems when people use the Bible and God as a reason to espouse hatred.  I take great issue with Christians who quote the Bible and use the Bibles words as weapons used to hurt.  Seriously, there are parts of the Bible that state an unmarried woman who has premarital sex should be stoned to death.  Or better yet, how about the sin of wearing multiple fiber clothing.  If people are going to say they follow the Bible as God's inerrant word, then they better be prepared to follow every last dictate in in the Good Book.

As a happy ELCA Lutheran, I am proud to be a member of a church family that embraces God's word in the Bible and that realizes how important it is to relate those ancient words to modern life.  Of course no one should be stoned to death for have sex out of wed lock and children should not be put to death for cursing their parent, but somehow these leniency's seem appropriate to those who claim to be following the word of the Bible.  Hmmmm, makes one wonder how they pick and choose which aspects to follow and which ones to defend as obviously having evolved with the progression of time.

All of this leads me to the topic of same sex marriage.  Seriously people, why do conservatives object?  I've heard all the crazy arguments that liken it to beastiality and other disgusting ideas.  Those who propose those ridiculous arguments are grasping at straws to save their narrow views.  I am thrilled that we have a President with courage enough to publicly state that it's a human right to allow marriage between two consenting same-sex adults.  BRAVO, President Obama and Vice President Biden!

Save the arguments people.  I believe that God doesn't make mistakes and when someone is gay, that's who they are and they are entitled to the same happiness and rights as heterosexuals.  As an ELCA Lutheran, our church accepts and embraces same sex unions and allows an openly gay, monogamous man or woman to be a pastor.  Now that is exemplifying God's love!~

Time continues to march on and as with everything else in life, once hotly debated topics that were viewed as abominations offending God (interracial marriage) have fortunately changed.  It's my desire and hope that someday every consenting adult in this country will have the right to choose which human they marry and have it recognized legally.

Friday, April 13, 2012

My outspoken disdain for the Three Stooges movie

When I was a kid, I would catch a snippet of the Three Stooges on T.V. every now and then and in confirmation of my low I.Q. I would belly laugh until it hurt.  Heck even my nieces would laugh and one time, became terribly upset when their dad refused to participate in their rendition of the stooges, resulting in utter chaos as they were forced to play the two stooges.  Anarchy!

I took my brood to see the movie which was released today. I expected a mind-numbing experience as three morons slapped, poked, and punched each other with funny sound effects until one of them falls down.  True to stooge fashion, all those things occurred, but the premise of the story is very, very disheartening and I'm on a shtick to get people to ban seeing this movie.

The movie begins in an orphanage.  Benign enough, but it quickly devolves to witnessing three babies in a duffel bag being tossed from a moving vehicle.  Other disturbing scenes follow where these orphan waifs are lined up for perusal by prospective adoptive parents.  One is chosen and quickly returned when he states he wishes his friends could be adopted too.  The movie isn't just offensive to orphans and adopted children but to those in foster care too.  In several scenes, foster children are referred to as those who are sent to live with people who are paid to care for them.

The whole movie smacked of insensitivity and callous attitudes towards a substantial chunk of the worlds population.  I am aware that movies are a form of entertainment and often poke fun at the foibles and human frailties we all possess, but this is truly poking fun of the least of the least. 

There were so many aspects of this movie that Pissed. Me. Off.  that it's hard to determine which one is the worst.  Wait.  Nope. I do know what I found most offensive.  There's one line in the movie in which a nun is gazing upon the myriad of children (orphans) at the orphanage and she states, "No wonder their parent's didn't want them!"

I'm a liberal minded person, but man did this movie strike a cord in me.  Do not see this movie if not because you find it offensive to the most vulnerable of humans (orphans) but because the number of brain cells that die watching this flick will be irreversible.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Nah, I'm not busy. I'm a homeschooling mom!

Most people assume that because I have chosen to home educate my children, my days are blissfully unencumbered by the mundane aspects of life.  I've had people look me in the eye with genuine shock when I explain to them the multiple 'hats' that I wear throughout the day.  For those that give a damn, let me give you a snippet of one of my average days;  a day that isn't compounded with a surprise doctor visit, vet visit or dental visit or a husband out of town.

Everyday we begin school at 8:30AM.  It's really more for me than the kids, but I find that if I don't begin school work with the kids by 8:30 the rest of the day is thrown out of whack.  But before we can begin school, there are 5 dogs that need to go out, go potty and be fed.  Marc most often feeds the 10 horses before he heads to work and often squeezes in a stall mucking or two.  So once the animals are fed and pottied, I make sure the kids have eaten, clean up the kitchen, put the puppy in his playpen so he doesn't electrocute himself and we sit down to begin school.

If everyone stays focused, school moves along nicely and then we head to our assorted afternoon activities.  Today for example we were supposed to head to the swimming pool at 1:30, but the horse shoer called to say he could do Madison's dressage horse and our mini with bad feet today at 12:30.  Scratch the swimming and insert farrier.  Thomas couldn't stay inside and finish science or literature knowing the farrier was here so we still have work to finish.  But before I try to refocus his energy, I have to throw something together for dinner.  Madison has Algebra tutoring tonight and the boys have Tae Kwon Do.  In addition to that the same 5 dogs and 10 horses  need to eat again, now it's time to feed the 2 bunnies, 2 guinea pigs and 10 cats. 

But after leaving the algebra tutor tonight, I'll have to stop at the store and pick up some supplies for the world health kits the ELCA Lutheran churches are putting together.  Then I can come home, do some laundry, clean up from the mad dash of a thrown together dinner, take the dogs out again, get boys to take a shower...WITH SOAP AND SHAMPOO....usher them off to bed and then prepare for tomorrow's lessons.

Tomorrow may just be even busier with the addition of Madison's riding lessons, Lenten dinner at church and service at 7:30.  Fortunately I do not have church council tomorrow night as that would just be one more thing to juggle. 

I'm not complaining.  I'm really not.  What I am doing is trying to let the world know that although I am home with my children all day and have chosen to do so, I am not sitting around watching t.v with my thumb in my butt.  I am making lesson plans and/or adapting them to individual needs, maintaining a household in the same fashion that I used to when the kids were in school 8+ hours a day, shuttling kids to activities, trailering a horse and kid to riding lessons 2-3 times a week, feeding animals, cleaning up after them, paying bills, grocery shopping, schlepping kids to friends' houses, picking them up, and squeezing in whatever else may pop up.  My life is busy.  Yes, it's busy by my choice, but why do people feel they have the right to put me down if I try to correct their assumption that my life is not as busy as theirs is because they work?

If this ain't work, I don't want to know what hard work is!!  Let me say it again.  I have chosen this life and I wouldn't have it any other way, but it sure would be nice if people would give credence to the fact that my days are busy because I am invested in my family.  Respect's just about the simple courtesy of respect.  I don't put you down for choosing your lifestyle, so please respect that I am just as busy or busier than you may be.

Now it's time to put my soapbox away until some butthead offends me again....and trust me, it will happen!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Pick up lines

Our dear friends, the Watkins family, have the funniest kids alive.  Seriously, naturally funny kids.  I know they get it from their seriously funny parents, but as of last night, we feel one of our kids just might be able to match the Watkins in the humor department.

Madison went to the neighbors and rode with the 16 year old girl that works there.  Then they both came here to play with Angus, the new puppy.  I'll get to Angus McDog later on.  Anyhow I've been telling people for a year or so that Thomas is a walking hormone these days.  Let's just say he has a sincere interest in girls; older, blond, blue-eyed girls.  So in walks Libby with very long blond hair, tight jeans, boots and spurs.  Totally his kind of girl.

Jerome loves girls but for different reasons than Thomas or Richnigthder.  Jerome itemizes girls and likes to tell me how he would like to look like them.  He too likes blond hair and long legs, but he WANTS them as in he wants to be a girl.  That's another whole story altogether, but it doesn't bother us.  Just so you know if our little Jerome wants to be a girl when he reaches adulthood, we would help him achieve that and love him just the same.  It's his soul we love and it's one of the best souls God ever made.  But I digress somewhat.

So last night Libby and Madison were in the family room just talking until about 2AM.  Marc and I had long since gone to bed and when Angus woke us up to go out and go potty, Madison asked if we could keep Thomas and Richnightder away from them so they could have some girl time.  Sure no problem.  We sent them each to bed and the girls were happy.

Fast forward to this morning when Madison is explaining to us how Thomas was trying out some pick up lines he learned from some movie.  Let's just say it leaves a lot of room to be fine tuned and finessed.  Seems he wrote on an index card 'boner' and handed it to Libby.  Yep, we are proud parents.  I suppose this means we have some work to do with Thomas on explaining the fine points of sweet-talking girls!  Boner, is not going to get him a date.  A kick in the crotch maybe, but definitely not a date.  Besides, he's too young to date, but not too young for a kick in the raisins.

Which brings us back to Jerome's antics.  While Marc and I are still up and the kids were in the family room, Jerome handed Libby a note.  Now it must be noted that Jerome is still learning English phonetics and sometimes spells things the way HE hears them, not necessarily the way the rest of us hear the words.  So he hands Libby a detailed list of her body parts: eyes, ears, butt, hands, leg...yes just one leg was noted, and last but not least, muff.  Yes, muff.  Of course she didn't know quite how to take that notation, but after some deciphering, it appears Jerome was trying to write 'mouth' which of course translates to him hearing, muff. 

So between Thomas' Rico Suave pick up lines and Jerome's inventory of body parts, I doubt we'll be seeing Libby back here anytime soon.  Actually she'll be back tomorrow to take a jumping lesson from Madison, but it's a safe bet, we will be keeping the boys....all 3 boys....far away from Madison and Libby.  This family cannot take anymore mortification.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Why can't my house be plumbed with laughing gas?

Two out of the four kids are crabby.  I'm crabby too and since I'm home with them all day long, maybe I'm rubbing off on them, or vice versa.  Who knows.  As usual, Jerome is his usual, happy self.

Today Jerome had to go and have a baby tooth pulled since it refused even my intensive efforts to remove it 'naturally' and the permanent tooth was half way in behind it.  While they had his mouth open they decided to fill two small cavities he's had since coming home.  I was a LOT concerned about home Jerome would handle the 'gwo piki' which is 'big needle' in Creole.  He's not a stoic little guy when it comes to blood, needles or any kind of pain.  How he survived 4 or 5 years of his life in an orphanage is beyond comprehension given his kind, sensitive nature. 

Before I blather on about his teeth, last week he went for a cleaning and the dentist did confirm that based on his teeth he does appear to be at least a year to year and a half behind what his birth certificate says.  Our orphanage had to randomly make up a birthdate and birth year when they found him at about 2 years of age so instead of Jerome turning 9 next month as his birth certificate states, we tell everyone he's turning 8.  I guess it would be closer to tell everyone he's just a good solid 7 year old give or take a couple months.  Confused, yeah, him too.

The peds dentist also confirmed that he has Hutchinson teeth.  If you don't know what that means, lucky you.  Hutchinson teeth is what develops in a fetus when the birth mother has Syphilis.  That particular venereal disease affects a developing fetus in lots of ways, but the most visible are the teeth.  Fortunately Jerome doesn't have any heart, brain or bone diseases, he just has the yucky teeth.  Once he gets all his permanent teeth, we'll probably have to have some significant dental work which would include crowns, veneers, implants and braces.  Oh golly, good times ahead!

Since the moment we read Jerome's bio in 2007 we knew he had been found by our creche with active Syphilis and it didn't deter us from loving his sweet little soul.  He was treated with 30 days of antibiotics and the Syphilis was cured.  However we always wondered if he had contracted the disease in utero from his birthmom or if he had been molested by some sick bastard.  That thought always left us feeling violently disgusted and murderous so it came as a great relief to find out that he had congenital syphilis. 

We wonder if his birthmom even knew she had Syphilis.  It's a funny disease.  After the initial exposure and sore goes away, the person remains asymptomatic for years and years.  It's likely she'll live for sometime before the disease that's been lying dormant rears its ugly head and begins to shrink her life span. 

But boy oh boy, did I go way off track here.  All I know is that if I had the house plumbed with laughing gas, I would be one happy momma and have 4 happy kids.  When they hooked Jerome up to the Nitrous Oxide, he must have felt like he was floating because I kept having to push his legs down.  It was so weird.  He just kind of bent in half from his hips and kept his  feet pointing at the ceiling.  He also looked a little like Stevie Wonder with the head bob thing going on while watching the Disney Channel.  I really didn't care since he was dealing with it so well.

I bet if I went into the custom home building business and plumbed each house with laughing gas, I'd be the wealthiest person on earth.  Seriously, who wouldn't want their household of kids...especially a state of perpetual happiness and mellowness?  I must be the smartest person alive!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I'd like to take the credit, but I can't

Madison is smart.  Darn-tootin' smart!  She is enrolled in 10th grade at the age of 14 and is doing well.  She is using the University of Nebraska's online high school curriculum and I like it since it will provide her with a high school transcript from an institution and she is held accountable for all of her work.  She takes tests thru a proctor here to ensure no cheating and must be self-motivated and diligent in her work. 

I would like to take credit for her innate smarts, but I can't.  In that area I must acknowledge that she gets her ample brain from her birth parents, Angela and Darryl.  Now each of them will argue that her smarts came from them, but either way, she's a smart cookie.  However, I digress.

All this means she'll graduate a year early.  While we have a plan for her gap year which includes traveling abroad and visiting friends in New Zealand, it really brings to light that the kid will be heading to college sooner than later.  HOW IN THE HELL DID THAT HAPPEN?  I've been looking at colleges on line and almost made a rosebud in my panties.  Hello?  The tuition's are hideous. 

Madison has always told me she wants to go Ivy League.  Harvard to be specific.  I honestly don't know if that will play out, but I've learned in regards to my children to never say never.  If she can get admitted, i suppose we'd do everything in our power to get her there.  She would like to be a veterinarian in addition to a Gran Prix dressage/ jumper equestrian.  Add all those words together and it equals........2 bazilliion, gazaillion, majillion dollars.

For all the days I've belly ached about my kids and homeschooling and my expanding waist line...or lack of a distinguishable one anymore...I'd reverse time and go backwards if I could.  Now I've got a kid who's actually earning high school credit (after skipping 9th grade altogether) and is beginning to look at colleges.  Whoever said that brilliant nugget of wisdom about having little kids=little problems and big kids=big problems....was a flippin' genius.  Thinking of my kid leaving home gets me giddy, and yet leaves me sick to think about her leaving the nest.  I also throw up in my mouth a little thinking about trying to pay for college for her, and the damn horse she wants to haul with her. 

How in the hell did I get to be old enough to have a kid old enough to be a sophomore, let alone the mother of a kid surfing the web for universities?  Dear God, I don't think I could wear one of those dippy shirts that says "Proud mom of a fill-in-the-blank college student!"  Hell, I still picture myself wearing my sorority sweatshirt, passing on food and choosing 'liquid' nourishment, and trying desperately to not get caught doing the walk of shame.  No, this can't be happening.  I refuse to be old enough to have a daughter in high school.  This is wrong.....all wrong.