Thursday, March 27, 2008

Update on homeschool situation in California

Below is a copy of an e-mail I received from the Home School Legal Defense Association. The California Court of Appeals has granted a re-hearing of the case that led to original decision that homeschooling was not legal in California unless the parent held a teaching credential.

Thank you to all who signed the petition!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
======================================================================


Court of Appeal Grants Petition for Re-hearing

On March 25, the California Court of Appeal granted a motion for
rehearing in the 'In re Rachel L.' case--the controversial decision
which purported to ban all homeschooling in that state unless the
parents held a teaching license qualifying them to teach in public
schools.

The automatic effect of granting this motion is that the prior opinion
is vacated and is no longer binding on any one, including the parties
in the case.

The Court of Appeal has solicited a number of public school
establishment organizations to submit amicus briefs including the
California Superintendent of Public Instruction, California Department
of Education, the Los Angeles Unified School District, and three
California teacher unions. The court also granted permission to
Sunland Christian School to file an amicus brief. The order also
indicates that it will consider amicus applications from other groups.


Home School Legal Defense Association will seek permission to file
such an amicus brief and will coordinate efforts with a number of
organizations interesting in filing briefs to support the right of
parents to homeschool their children in California.

"This is a great first step," said Michael Farris, chairman of HSLDA.
"We are very glad that this case will be reheard and that this opinion
has been vacated, but there is no guarantee as to what the ultimate
outcome will be. This case remains our top priority," he added.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Birthday of a homeschool Mom

2:30 AM wake up sick

2:45 AM get up to fix myself some food

3:45 AM back in bed after cooking a full meal and reading the paper

5:00 AM finally fell asleep again

6:15 AM wake up hungry again, grab a snack

6:45 AM doze back off

6:55 AM woken up by husband leaving for work

7:30 AM kids wake up and want breakfast, while I am trying hard not to lose mine

8:00 AM get started on housework and school

...

...

The rest of day was spent along the same pattern. Lots of school work, laundry, dishes, errands, all while I was so tired I felt like falling over, and all while I felt VERY sick and hungry all day long. I mean, the baby IS doubling in size this week, that must take it's toll on me sometime. I spare you the details, but it was one of the worse days. I put the kids to bed earlier than usual, just before my husband returned from work around 8 PM. No celebration then, either, since he had more paperwork to do. At least I didn't overeat on the non-existing cake. Hey, at least I didn't have to eat a cake made by one of the guys in this house, who don't know the first thing about baking.

And, at least I have one more year before the big 30!

Monday, March 24, 2008

How to cope with morning sickness

Below are some tips beyond the typical "eat some crackers before rising" on how to deal with severe morning sickness that I have learned over the last few years and 5 pregnancies. If you have never suffered from "hyperemesis gravidarum" (translate: severe hyper-vomiting), count yourself lucky. If you do get terrible morning sickness, take comfort in the fact that it DOES usually indicate a very healthy pregnancy, and that it WILL end.

Please consult with your midwife/doctor if your condition keeps you from getting enough fluids or food. Dehydration is the major concern with severe morning sickness, and you may need to go to the hospital for intravenous fluid therapy.


Fluids

- The most important thing is to try to get enough fluids. If you find yourself thirsty, your lips are getting chapped, etc. it is a sign that you are dehydrated.

- Many women find that the easiest thing to keep down is small sips of very cold ice water drunk through a straw. Glass cups are better tolerated than plastic (because of the plastic disflavoring the water). Try sucking on ice cubes, too.

- You can get more fluids through fruit such as watermelon, or through fruit sorbets (try to find an all natural kind with little or no sugar).

- A great drink to maintain your electrolyte balance is Emergen-C powdered drink packets (found at health food stores and some grocery stores). Gatorade etc. is not a great choice, but certainly better than drinking nothing. The more out of whack your electrolyte balance is, the harder it will be to keep more fluids down.


Food

- Try to eat whatever it is that you are craving, even if that means ice cream or potato chips.

- Some very healthy foods, such as leafy greens or whole grains, may make you sicker. Try to stick to plain, bland things like white rice or a baked potato. Fruit is usually well tolerated, whereas vegetables are not.

- You may feel a lot better switching to all organic foods.

- Try to munch on something all day long, rather than eating a few large meals. Aim for something little at least every hour.

- The more protein you get, the better you will probably feel.

- Eating a diet low in saturated fats before becoming pregnant has been shown to reduce the severity of morning sickness.

- Greasy foods will make you a lot sicker, because your body will produce more bile.

- Following the "Brewer Pregnancy Diet" as soon as you find out that you are pregnant might help reduce your morning sickness.

- Make/buy small portions of everything. You may find that if you eat something once when you are sick, that food will then make you sick if you try to eat it again (negative association, I guess).

- Don't worry if you can't keep much food down, the baby will be fine.


Vitamins

- If you find that you get sick after taking your prenatal, try taking it at night right before bed. If you still get sick, try switching to a prenatal that has you taking several smaller pills each day rather than one big pill per day. Start with just one per day, and slowly work you way up until you feel you get sick again.

- You could also try to switch to a multivitamin that has no iron, which is usually the culprit for making you feel sick.

- If all else fails, you may need to skip taking your prenatal for now, or take just a folic acid supplement.


Triggers

- Any stimulation to any of your senses can cause nausea. For example, loud noises or busy patterns can be just as disturbing as bad smells. If this is your first pregnancy, try resting in a cool, dark room as much as possible. If you already have older children, try to rest as much as possible and neglect other housework for the time being.

- Stay away from offensive smells such as cigarette smoke, coffee, perfume, deodorant, etc.

- Brushing your teeth can be another major trigger and induce vomiting. Try to at least brush once each day, and munch on carrots and apples to keep your teeth clean. If you can't brush after throwing up, at least rinse your mouth well with lots of water to get rid of the stomach acid (which can destroy your teeth really fast).


Natural remedies

- Ginger in any form is a good remedy, but you may find it hard to stomach. I have found liquid ginger extract to be the easiest form to take.

- I have also found "Morning Sickness Magic" capsules to be very helpful in reducing morning sickness.

- Distractions that occupy your mind without actually taking much thought can help you forget about your nausea for a little while, such as crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, computer games, etc. I never have time for any of these distractions, but find them very helpful when I am down sick.

- Wristbands for sea sickness may help with mild morning sickness, or take the edge off severe morning sickness.

- I have found the same to be true for vitamin B6 and B12 injections.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This list is far from conclusive. Please feel free to add your own remedies in the comments.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring Break Fun

In spite of giving the kids two weeks off from school for our trip to Europe, I still decided to let them have a one-week spring break this week. This had more to do with my busy schedule than them needing time off. The weather has been very nice around here and we are all looking forward to school being over for the summer soon.

On Monday, I took the kids to the Arizona Science Center, and afterward took them to Peter Piper Pizza for lunch.





On Tuesday, Solomon got a bigger bike (20"), while Isaac upgraded to Solomon's old bike (16") and John got to have the small bike (12"). He is the only one who still has training wheels, while Solomon and Isaac speed around like crazy. Often, they crash into each other, and it's a miracle they haven't broken any bones yet.

Yesterday, Wednesday, I heated up the spa for Solomon, Miriam and myself while the other kids were napping. The pool is still a little bit too cold to go swimming, but last week when the weather was hotter the water actually got up to 72 degrees and Solomon went swimming last week. He knows how to swim without the floaties, but I made him put them on because I really didn't feel like getting into the cold water to supervise his swimming. For me, the water has to be in the mid-80s before I consider swimming in it.






Today, we have lots of errands to run. When we are all done I want to take the kids to a nearby park that is great for riding bikes. It is next door to a library, so we might end up going there, too.

Hope you all are taking time to have some fun with your family!

Monday, March 17, 2008

How to be a soulwinner

Below is a YouTube clip about how to present the gospel to an unsaved person through door-to-door soulwinning evangelism.



"The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise." - Proverbs 11:30

Friday, March 14, 2008

Pictures from our trip to Europe

We have been home for a week now, and are finally starting to get back into the swing of things a little. Jetlag is definitely a lot worse traveling West because of going with the sun and not being able to sleep (as opposed to going East). My morning sickness is still a factor, but has improved as I get more rested. In fact, I am tired much of the time from being in my first trimester. I had managed to wash all the laundry from our trip, but it had been piling up without being put away. Yesterday I spent close to 6 hours on that, and got most of it put away. We have also had a lot of different repair men come out this last week. First for the water damage, then to get the air ducts cleaned (to help ease Isaac's allergies), today the motor for the pool filter is being replaced. Having a pool is about as much work and as expensive as having another child, but it's really worth it for all the fun in the summer. It's especially great because before we had the pool, I had not been swimming in years because I could not find a ladies-only time to go swimming at any public pool. Our property now has a 6 ft wall all around, so that I can go swimming anytime without having to worry about the neighbors. On that note, if you are shopping for a swim suit, I use and highly recommend this one (don't worry, no inappropriate content on that site!).

But back to the trip: We had two flights to get to Germany. On the first to Chicago, all the kids played nicely. We arrived in Chicago two hours late because of severe snow storms, and were told on arrival that our connecting flight to Munich had left 15 minutes earlier. We made our way to customer service, where the line was not moving hardly at all because of many canceled and delayed flights and thousands of stranded travelers. After a half hour of waiting, I asked my husband to run down to the gate where a flight was leaving to Frankfurt to see if we could get on that instead. He called me from there saying that they were letting us on, but that he could not leave the gate because if he did, they would shut the door to the plane and take off without us. So I had to get to the gate with a double stroller, the baby's car seat, four kids, and three carry-on bags, all the while they were calling out on the intercom "Last call for Mrs. Anderson. You must come to the gate immediately. Last call for Mrs. Anderson". My husband kept telling the gate agent not to do that because I was pregnant and shouldn't be running through an airport, but he didn't care. We ran the mile or so to the gate and walked onto the plane at the last second. We then found out that this flight was not going to Frankfurt, but was in fact our original flight to Munich which had been delayed because of technical difficulties. Which was good, because if we had missed it there was not another flight until the next day. The second flight was pretty uneventful, and since we flew into the night and it was dark, the kids all slept for most of it except during dinner and breakfast. We arrived in Munich the next morning (Wed.), but our luggage did not - it got there the next afternoon.




We spent Wednesday and Thursday at my mother's house in Bavaria.



On Friday morning, we left to drive to my father's house in Hungary. My mother divorced my father when I was a young child, and both remarried and had more children with their second spouse. In spite of not growing up around my Dad, I am very close with him now and have a very good relationship with him. He got saved a couple of years ago, and never harasses us for our beliefs. My mother is very much the opposite. She is not a Christian, and has nothing but disdain for our "religion" and the fact that my husband is a pastor. She was very upset at us for even going to visit my Dad, whom she hates, and was trying hard to get us not to go. I had not been to Hungary in close to 10 years, and had never met 2 of my 4 siblings on my Dad's side, so we were determined to go. The drive was long, but again, the kids traveled very nicely and never once complained. We stopped for dinner at a Hungarian restaurant on the way. We got to my Dad's house later on Friday evening.



The next morning, Saturday, we went to the market in the town where I grew up. I had a craving for a Hungarian specialty called "Langos" that's a lot like Indian fry bread. Later, we visited my Grandma, whom I had not seen in 10 years.








Even though we have been married for almost 8 years, my husband and my Dad met for the first time on this trip. They really hit it off with each other, and immediately became good friends.

Part of Hungarian culture is to force-feed your guests, so we had food put in front of us pretty much all day long. I had mentioned that I could not very well tolerate greasy foods because of my morning sickness, and my Dad's wife made me twice-battered fried cheese and french fries, which she called "light fare". And compared to a lot of other food they served, it really was!




On Sunday, we tried to go to church in town, but it turned into total disaster. You can hear about that here. Afterward, I took the kids and three of my Dad's kids to see a castle in the are, while my husband and Dad butchered a pig. You can watch that video here, but it is very graphic and weird, so don't watch it if you have a weak stomach. As a child, I thought this was really fun, but now I prefer to get my meat neatly packaged at the store. Before you send me any angry comments about this being barbaric, please read the book of Leviticus, which talks about a lot of similarly gory stuff. I really don't think that they injected the fatted calf with an anesthetic before killing it.



On Monday morning, we left Hungary early and made the drive back to Germany, where we arrived in the early afternoon. As always, the kids were happy to sleep, play, and snack on the road, and again never once complained. My mother was still angry that we had gone to Hungary and was trying to force a fight about it, so we decided to stay at a hotel instead for the rest of our stay. This worked out very well.

On Tuesday, we went to visit my Grandma in Germany, who met Miriam for the first time. We had some really nice time together. Afterward, we picked up an aunt of mine who lives in the area and went to see the famous Neuschwanstein Castle with her. As we were driving into the Alps, we were met by heavy snow. It was really beautiful. We went up to the castle in a 30 minute horse-drawn carriage ride, and got there just in time for the last English tour of the day. Even though the visibility was very limited, the inside of the castle was stunning and impressive.







Wednesday was our last day in the country, and we went to Munich where we visited my brother, his wife, and their son. We had a wonderful time with them as well.


We flew out of Munich early Thursday morning. The crew on that flight was especially nice, and moved passengers around to let us sit in the first row between business and economy class, where we had tons of leg room. The kids were awake for most of that 10 hour flight to Denver because it never got dark, but they played nicely with all the toys the crew kept giving them. Miriam spent hours walking to the back of the plane and back to our seats again, while my poor tired husband had to follow her around. Changing planes in Denver was a bit of a hassle since we had to go through immigration first and then check all our luggage out, take it through customs, and then check it again. We went through 4 security checkpoints in Munich, and a total of 6 more in Denver! We made our connecting flight to Phoenix just in time, where we arrived on Thursday afternoon (thanks to gaining 8 hours).

So, overall we had a very nice trip, although my husband refuses to ever visit my mother's house again after how inhospitable she was. I have to agree that the time in Hungary was definitely the highlight of the trip, and we hope to be able to fly there directly on a future visit.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Very important homeschool petition - PLEASE SIGN NOW

A friend of mine sent me this information via e-mail. Basically, a California Court of Appeal recently decided that homeschooling is illegal in California unless a parent is a certified teacher.

Please follow this link to read about the case and sign this petition to depublish this decision.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Back from our trip

I apologize for not posting much lately. Last month I was very busy getting ready for our trip to Europe, and then we were gone for 10 days. We finally just got back last night and there's a ton of laundry and shopping to do. The house was fine except for some extensive water damage in the kitchen (source unknown, since it didn't rain) and the weeds having taken over some parts of our yard. Some really nice people also decided to throw their trash bags into our yard, and of course the dog tore through them and made a huge mess of the entire backyard. Based on the trash we think it might have been the people across the back alley from us, but of course that's just a guess.

Hopefully I will get to post some pictures and details of our trip here in the next few days. If you have e-mailed me within the last month and not received a response yet, I apologize. I will respond eventually.

Finally, I would also like to announce that we are expecting another baby, due mid October. The pregnancy has been pretty smooth and uneventful so far, and I have not had the usual morning sickness. Well, I do, but I have found liquid ginger extract to be pretty much a miracle cure. I take it anytime I start feeling sick, and it helps make me feel almost completely normal. After the strenuous trip home yesterday, combined with an 8 hour time change, I am feeling very sick today, but hopefully that will subside with lots of rest and proper diet over the next few days. Thank you to all who have been praying for me.