Thursday, September 26, 2013

Recipe for Doughnuts like Krispy Kreme

We made these a couple of weeks ago, and they turned out simply perfect. My recipe is a slight adaptation of the one found on Instructables.




Donuts
3 packages yeast (2 Tbsp plus 3/4 tsp) 
1/2 cup (120ml) water  (105-115F / 40-46C)
2 1/4 cups (530ml) milk, scalded, then cooled
3/4 cup (169g) sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 eggs
1/2 cup (113g) palm oil (solid white at room temperature and performs much like shortening, but much healthier, without the overwhelming flavor of coconut oil), coconut oil, or butter
7 1/2 cups (940g) all-purpose flour
lard or palm oil for frying

Glaze
1/2 cup (113g) butter
3 cups (375g) powdered sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
6-9 tablespoons (90-135ml) whole milk 

Directions

Scald the milk on top of your stove, and let cool. 

Proof your yeast by adding it to the warm water.  Mix it up and let it rest.

Combine yeast, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, palm oil/butter and 3 cups (375g) flour.

Beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly.

Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.

Carefully stir in remaining flour until smooth.

Cover and let rise until double, 30-60 minutes. 

After the dough has risen, turn dough onto floured surface; roll around lightly to coat with flour.

Gently roll dough 1/2-inch thick with floured rolling pin.

Cut with floured doughnut cutter.  

Cover and let rise until double, 30-40 minutes.

**If you want to make these donuts for breakfast, let the donuts rise in the refrigerator overnight!***

Make up the glaze at this point because it can sit at room temp until the donuts are fried and ready to be dipped.

Melt the butter and stir in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.

Add milk until desired consistency is reached.

*** to make chocolate glaze, melt 6 ounces of chocolate along with the butter!***

Use a deep pan to heat the oil. Be safe!

Heat your oil to 275F.  A thermometer makes this part fool-proof, and you can monitor the heat to make sure it stays in this prime frying range.

Use a scrap of donut first to test different frying times.

Even after you take the donut out of the oil, the remaining oil on it is hot enough to continue cooking it, so err on the side of pulling them out too soon rather than too dark.

Carefully place the donuts in the oil.  Cook on each side until just blonde.  Use tongs to flip the donuts and remove them from the oil.

Place donuts on paper towels to drain.

Dip them in the glaze and set them on a rack to dry.  

Enjoy! 

Variation: Instead of using a donut cutter, you could use a round biscuit cutter without a hole in the middle. When the donuts are done, you can fill them with jam or cooked, cooled pudding. 



These donuts were a huge hit at our house, though I will say they are anything but healthy fare, intended for regular consumption. I am thinking once a year on these babies is enough.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Nightmarish Memories of Nursery Hell

My husband was going through some old document files the other day, and found a funny relic of our family: newborn baby John's photo ID excusing him from mandatory nursery attendance due to being "special needs."


Yes, you read that right. Let me explain:

My husband attended Hyles-Anderson College in NW Indiana from the fall semester of 2003 through November of 2005. During that time, we went to church at First Baptist Church of Hammond, at the time pastored by now disgraced Jack Schaap

FBC Hammond has a strictly enforced rule of no babies or young children in the auditorium. By strictly enforced, I mean the ushers at each door act as bouncers, and physically stop any parent from bringing young children into the main auditorium. If this policy has changed since then, someone please correct me.

When we first started attending there, Solomon was almost 2 years old, and Isaac was 6 months. While we were not fans of the nursery, we also were not categorically against it. Isaac had enjoyed the old nursery back at our home church, partly due to the fact that Solomon was in there with him. In Hammond, however, nursery was not cozy and sweet as one might imagine - it was baby bootcamp. Crying babies were not tended to, unless the schedule said it was time to feed, diaper, or move them to the swing. In general, emotional needs were a foreign concept, and coddling babies was out of the question.

I could write post after post about how particularly terrible the facilities and staff at the Hammond nurseries were. For starters, the meanest, oldest, most-opposed-to-breastfeeding matrons were put in charge of the youngest babies. For a church with hundreds of babies, there were about one dozen old, dirty metal chairs with arm rests in exactly the wrong positions crammed into the back of a ladies' restroom for nursing moms. Due to the seating shortage, nursing sessions were restricted to 15 minutes per mom/baby. Yet, I don't remember the chairs ever even being maxed out. All the good, responsible mamas dutifully pumped a bottle for church services, so their 2-day old could be left from 9:30 am before Sunday School started, until past noon when the morning service dismissed. Unless, of course, the parents had a bus route to tend to all afternoon, in which case baby was left from before Sunday School, until after the evening service dismissed sometime around 8 pm or later. I actually knew many people who would literally leave their tiny newborn baby in the nursery for that whole entire day, every week. Makes me shudder!!!!

One time, Isaac was about 8 months old, I had the audacity to nurse him twice in the same morning. Once between Sunday School and the morning service, and then again when, on mother's instinct, I returned a few minutes later to check on him and found him wailing miserably, laying alone in a crib, completely ignored. I briefly nursed him again, hoping he would fall asleep. I had to be back in the main auditorium before the preaching started, at which point nobody could come and go any longer. The nursery worker in charge of Isaac that day was a particular piece of work. She made no secret of letting on just how much she despised my permissive parenting of a baby. I hated having to turn Isaac back over to her. He was so tired, but too worked up to relax and go to sleep. 

When I returned after the service to get him, I realized that the little number tag that we received in exchange for our child was left in my husband's suit coat pocket. Even though this woman had twice that morning handed Isaac to me to nurse him without requiring the number tag, she was now refusing to hand him to me, just to teach me a lesson. She insisted I must produce the tag to be given my child. She knew who I was, she knew I was the mother, she was just a jerk. Had Isaac been playing happily, maybe I wouldn't have cared, but he was screaming, beet-red, worked up and overtired, back in that same stupid crib, obviously having been ignored for the last 90 minutes. And this woman was refusing to let me have him!!! This is back before everyone had cell phones, so I couldn't just call my husband and ask him to come over with the tag. There was no way I was going to find him in this tangled sea of thousands of people crammed in tiny back hallways. (This was all at the old, overcapacitated church buildings.) We had agreed beforehand to meet at Isaac's nursery after he picked up Solomon from his, so I figured I would just stay put and wait for him to show up. I told the nursery worker I at least wanted to hold my child in the nursery to console him while we waited for the "golden tag," but she would have none of it, claiming my "street shoes" (which she also was wearing) would contaminate their floors. Isaac wasn't even allowed one foot outside the nursery. It took my husband a good quarter hour before he worked his way over there, having had to wait in line for Solomon, etc. The whole while, this monster is holding my screaming baby hostage. My blood still boils just thinking about it.

Even before this, immediately after moving to Hammond, Isaac (who had virtually never cried in his life as he was the mellowest, most content baby we have ever had) started becoming fitful and clingy. Normal at that stage maybe, but greatly exacerbated by the nursery "care." He would start crying anytime he couldn't see me, or if I put him in the car seat. He started being up at night. Both he and Solomon started being sick for months on end - I would miss as many services as I would be able to attend, thanks to all the illnesses being brought home from the oh-so-sterile nursery. Must have been all those street shoes (eye roll).

I felt like I had two kids in day care, and I wasn't even going to any of the many little classes and events they put on for the ladies, which always included nursery care. The pervading notion was that the more often a mother would drop her baby off to "serve God" in some other capacity, the more righteous and godly she was. Wives of full-time college students were allowed so many college credits for free each semester, and there literally were women who would take one 8 o'clock class, just so they could drop their baby off in the nursery, and leave it there until chapel dismissed at 1 pm. This would give them all morning, from 9 am to noon, to be footloose and fancyfree. The cheap nursery laborers were college girls taking the "Christian Wife and Motherhood" degree. So they were not only cheap, they actually PAID college dues to babysit in the nursery.

Needless to say, we realized we had to come up with some other alternative. We resorted to me sitting in the hallway with baby Isaac in my lap, while my husband started smuggling Solomon into the main auditorium. This worked for a while, though I received plenty of dirty looks from ushers walking the hallway. 

However, shortly after John was born, the church moved to its new (current) auditorium. This being their Taj Mahal, having anyone sitting in the foyers or hallways with a baby in arms was absolutely no-no, as it ruined the image they were going for. Nevermind the fact that they had sofas everywhere, and I could actually have sat and listened in comfort. We were told the only options for parents were to put the kids in the nursery, or else not to come back to church.

At this time, my husband had finished about half of the required credits for his 4-year degree by taking tons of classes each semester, and doing summer school. Having invested so much time, effort, and money into this Bible college degree, we didn't just want to walk out. But we also were not going to put the kids back into the hands of those nursery dragons. 

And this, you see, is where the story all comes together. The beautiful new auditorium had two fully glass-enclosed, sound-proof rooms extending into the main auditorium, designated for the infirm. One of these rooms housed all the insane people they would bring in from various nursing homes (no joke), the other was always empty but allegedly for chronically sick people. 

In order to be allowed access to the glass cage, one had to produce a written note from their doctor, stating why and how long they could not be allowed in the general nursery population. Through a series of fortunate events, my chiropractor at the time wrote up a note for John, stating that the rash he was born with on his face and torso might be contagious, and that he was to be kept separate from other children. The people in charge of issuing the cards were suspicious enough to want to consult with a dirty old man at the church, Dr. Creeper Streeter, but thankfully he was unavailable at the time that we were to be seen by him and the card was, after some debate, issued to us without the approval of the holy man in white.

Side note: In all the years at the college, I only attended one class there. It was taught by Dr. Creeper Streeter himself, and open only to the engaged young college ladies getting married at the church in the near future. At the time, I of course was the married mother of three. This secretive meeting aroused enough suspicions in us that we felt it might be interesting for me to sneak in there incognito, wired with a hidden recorder and all. Through dumb luck, I got through the matron nurses checking names at the door. I mean, even the windows had been completely blacked out by heavy fabric.

The meeting was all about graphic sex ed complete with a blown up crotch shot of a naked woman, the good doctor pushing birth control pills and insisting they do not cause silent abortions (the first batch was practically free, and I am sure it had nothing to do with the accompanying pelvic exam he had to perform in order to give them out), and urging young virgins to come see him at his office before their wedding night, as they would not be able to consummate the marriage with their husband if he did not surgically assist in ridding them off their virginity first. As a married woman who had thrice given birth, the graphic and obscene nature of this "class" made me blush and shrink back into my chair. One of these days, I will need to make the tape from that meeting public. This is the same college physician that divorced his wife after getting one of the nurses pregnant, which neither cost him his position nor his clinic at the college.
How did I get off on this tangent? This was the same doctor that was to come and look over my baby John, to see if he was indeed legitimately indisposed of the nursery. We were not going to let the creep anywhere near the baby if it had come to a showdown, but we were glad that the whole thing was averted through an act of God. 

Being granted photo ID began a period of time where we could sit, without harassment, and observe the services from the cheese bell known as the West Overflow Room. Besides us, the room was virtually empty. Those cards were hard to get, I'm telling you. Can anyone who goes to church there tell me if they still issue these?

By the end of the next year (November 2005), even though my husband was so close to being done with college (he was slated to graduate at the end of the spring semester in May of 2006), we left the church and the college because it became so overwhelmingly evident that Jack Schaap was a false teacher and a pervert. And he wasn't the only one on staff there. With the blessing of our pastor back in California, we moved to Arizona to start Faithful Word Baptist Church, and the rest is history.

There were good things that came out of going to Bible College in Indiana. One of them being that we went from being somewhat supportive of church nurseries, to being vehemently opposed to them, much to the betterment of children and families in our church and elsewhere.




But yeah, this card cracks me up. Photo ID for church!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

How to make kombucha at home

Fermented foods and beverages, such as kefir, yogurt, sourdough bread, sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, etc. are highly probiotic, as well as full of enzymes and vitamins (especially B vitamins). I am working on a separate post explaining in great detail how fermented foods play such a huge role in being healthy. In a nutshell, I would say that adding ferments has been monumental, at least as important and efficient as switching to being all organic, if not even more so.

Kombucha is fermented sweetened black tea. It is incredibly refreshing, healthy, hydrating, naturally fizzy, and very tasty. At least the homemade kind. I have tried one from the store, and while the health benefits are the same, I greatly prefer the taste of my fresh, home-brewed kombucha. It's also much cheaper, plus you can play around with the various teas and flavors.




Inevitably, someone will raise the concern that kombucha (or other fermented foods and drinks) contain alcohol. This is partly true: anytime you have sugars (that's carbs) and yeast present, you have alcohol fermentation. Of course, yeast spores are everywhere, even in the air you are breathing right now. Therefore, wherever you have sugar, you also have trace amounts of alcohol.

There are two ways to ferment something: by yeast, or by bacteria. Yeast fermentation always produces alcohol, whereas bacterial fermentation eats up these sugar alcohols. Since kombucha is made using both yeast and bacteria, the end product will contain only trace amounts of alcohol - less than the browning banana in your fruit bowl, or than what is found on the outside of grapes. At a rate of 1 cup sugar per gallon of tea, the alcohol level in kombucha will remain far below the legally permissible limit of 0.5% alcohol for soft drinks. This is why kombucha is considered a soft drink, and can be bought by anyone of any age. Even regular soft drinks contain about 0.2-0.4% alcohol, kefir about 0.5%, etc. Such small amounts of alcohol do not cause intoxication, because the human body and liver are capable of filtering these naturally occurring alcohols out of the system. Intoxication is a result of pouring in more than the body can process and eliminate - picture a funnel being filled faster in the top, than it can empty out in the bottom.

Ideally, you will be able to obtain a starter culture for free from a friend, or you may want to try your luck with craigslist or freecycle. If not, you can obtain a wonderful, inexpensive, fresh SCOBY starter culture from Azure Standard, or directly from Herbucha.com. I am also a great fan of Cultures for Health, however, their starter culture comes in a dehydrated state and must be rehydrated, an extra step that I would rather skip. They also have a great video on how to make kombucha.

Have you tried kombucha, and have you tried making your own?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Pedophilia - the new frontier

Those pushing their sexually depraved agendas have already won the battle on the homo/sodomite front. For years, I have been saying that normalizing pedophilia is next up.

Avowed atheist Richard Dawkins has just proven my point:

Sexual assault victims’ organizations are slamming evolutionary biologist and leading atheist Richard Dawkins for comments he made about the inoffensiveness of “mild pedophilia.”

Dawkins made the remarks in a recent interview with The Times magazine. He said that during his time at a boarding school as a boy in the 1950s, a teacher “pulled me on his knee and put his hand inside my shorts.” Dawkins described the incident as “mild pedophilia” that left him no worse off. Neither Dawkins nor the other boys abused by this teacher suffered permanent physical or mental damage, he said.

“I don’t think he did any of us lasting harm,” said Dawkins.

Dawkins also said that it was improper to judge the acts committed by this teacher by today’s higher moral standards.

“I am very conscious that you can’t condemn people of an earlier era by the standards of ours,” he said. “Just as we don’t look back at the 18th and 19th centuries and condemn people for racism in the same way as we would condemn a modern person for racism, I look back a few decades to my childhood and see things like caning, like mild pedophilia, and can’t find it in me to condemn it by the same standards as I or anyone would today.”

His perspective on sexual assault drew strong criticism from numerous victims’ rights organizations, including Peter Watt, director of child protection at the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

“Mr. Dawkins seems to think that because a crime was committed a long time ago we should judge it in a different way,” said Watt, according to The Washington Post. “But we know that the victims of sexual abuse suffer the same effects whether it was 50 years ago or yesterday.”

Dawkin made the comments to suggest the outrage over recently revealed child abuse scandals was overblown, according to The Daily Mail.

No lasting harm? Is that why he turned out to be a rabid, God-hating atheist bent on convincing others to reject God?

And none of the others boys suffered lasting harm, either? How does he know? Does he know every victim? Has he followed all of them for the last 5 decades?

Today's higher moral standards? And his example is racism? Because being a racist is so much worse than openly embracing sodomy like our society today does.

Clearly, Dawkins is just going mild on his own depravity. After reading this, I have zero doubt that he himself is a pedophile. Openly accepting him and his like is next on the agenda of perverting humanity.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Weekly Lesson Plans

Here are a glimpse at this year's lesson plans, laid out by week. Basically, there is one line per child, color-coded, which tells them where they should be at in each subject by the end of the week. Solomon: green (8th grade), Isaac: orange (6th grade), John: yellow (4th grade), Miriam: pink (2nd grade), Becky: purple (1st grade). Subjects that we work on together are shown in white across the respective rows of those children.





Bible Reading and Memory
Math
Reading
Writing
Spelling
Grammar/ Comp.
Science/ Social Studies
Other daily subjects

Other weekly subjects


Week 1

Aug. 26
Aug. 31


8/27 First Day of School

4 chapters per day

Psalm 31
Saxon Math Algebra II,
lessons 1-3
non-fiction reading pertaining to weekly topic
1 page per day in Pentime 8
--
LLATL
Lesson 1
Abeka Science 8: lessons 1-5
German
S:
I:
J:

Piano Practice
S:
I:
J:
M:

Typing
S:
I:
J:
M:

Story time

related art/craft:
7-day creation collage

related meal:
fruit salad

related activity: write to Dr. Hovind

field trip:
AZSC class

ASL

P.E.

piano lesson

Great Science Adventures: Earth’s Landforms


ATTA: Creation to Flood

7 days of creation, Young Earth

astronomy

heliocentricity vs. geocentricity



daily portion


Psalm 31
Saxon Math 87,
lessons A-3
non-fiction reading pertaining to weekly topic
1 page per day in  Pentime 6
R&S, grade 6, Lesson 1
LLATL through p. 10

daily NT portion  

Psalm 31
Harcourt Math 4 chapter 1 (up to p. 15)
non-fiction reading pertaining to weekly topic
1 page per day in  Pentime 4
R&S, grade 4, Lesson 1
LLATL Book Study A (through p.11)

Bible time with Mom
Harcourt Math 2 through p. I
Handbook for Reading,
Learning Letter Sounds
1 page per day in  Pentime 1B
R&S, grade 2, Lesson 1
LLATL Red Book
R&S I and J workbooks

Harcourt Math 1 through p. I
Handbook for Reading,
Learning Letter Sounds
1 page per day in  Pentime 1 A
LLATL Blue Book

R&S D-J workbooks


Week 2

Sept. 2
Sept. 7

9/2 Labor Day
4 chapters per day

Psalm 31
Saxon Math Algebra II,
lessons 4-6, Test 1
non-fiction reading pertaining to weekly topic
1 page per day in Pentime 8
--
LLATL
Lesson 2
Abeka Science 8:  lessons 6-10
German
S:
I:
J:

Piano Practice
S:
I:
J:
M:

Typing
S:
I:
J:
M:

Story time

related art/craft:
learn to draw animals

related meal:
fig bars

related activity: sleep in a tent

field trip:
BBQ and apple/pear picking at Date Creek Ranch

ASL

P.E.

piano lesson

Great Science Adventures: Earth’s Landforms


ATTA: Creation to Flood

Truth about “human ancestors”

harp, organ

iron, brass

cattle, trees

dwellings: tents


daily portion


Psalm 31
Saxon Math 87,
lessons 4-8
non-fiction reading pertaining to weekly topic
1 page per day in  Pentime 6
R&S, grade 6, Lesson 2
LLATL through p. 18

daily NT portion

Psalm 31
Harcourt Math 4 chapter 2 (up to p. 31)
non-fiction reading pertaining to weekly topic
1 page per day in  Pentime 4
R&S, grade 4, Lesson 2
LLATL Lesson 1 (through p.20)

Bible time with Mom
Harcourt Math 2 through p. 12
Handbook for Reading,
Learning Letter Sounds
1 page per day in  Pentime 1B
R&S, grade 2, Lesson 2
LLATL Red Book
R&S I and J workbooks

Harcourt Math 1 through p. 12
Handbook for Reading,
Learning Letter Sounds
1 page per day in  Pentime 1 A
LLATL Blue Book

R&S D-J workbooks


  
The daily subjects have room to allow for check marks behind each name. When we are done with a certain subject for the week, that box gets crossed out.


We have used this system for several years, and it works well for us. It gives structure and guidance, keeping everyone on track, without being overly detailed. It's simple enough for the kids to read themselves, yet keeps them accountable.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wedding Bells

We had a wedding at our church this past Saturday. As he always does, my husband preached a short sermon related to marriage. I am sharing it here because I really liked it. This is the seventh wedding my husband has officiated in as many years of pastoring.

This is the second wedding that Solomon has played the piano part in. He was nervous and excited, but did great.


There is a delay when the ring bearer is supposed to be coming down the aisle. The little boy, for reasons known only to him, froze about half-way down the aisle and would not budge. The best man walked up to encourage him to go on, but when that didn't work, he simply threw him over his shoulder and carried him the rest of the way. It was pretty cute and funny in real life. Only four years old, and already dragged down the aisle!











 Every child's favorite part seemed to be the easily accessible spout of the punch bowl...



 
 We get the tables for the reception ready ahead of time, and just quickly transform the auditorium once the ceremony is over. 

 The table of the wedding party




 
 She got him... kinda, sort of, a little bit... :)

Weddings are so much fun! I saw a comment somewhere, along the lines of "There are three kinds of rings: the engagement ring, the wedding ring, and the suffering." Clearly, whoever came up with that is failing as a spouse. What an insulting thing to say when you are married, and if you are single - well, your attitude explains why! 

Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD. - Proverbs 18:22


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

URGENT homeschooling alert

If you are a member of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), you may already have heard about the persecution of the Wunderlich family in Germany at the hands of the German government. If not, read on below:

HSLDA Founder and Chairman Mike Farris meets with the Wunderlich family during the Global Home Education Conference held in Berlin, Germany in October 2012.

Children Seized in Shocking Raid

At 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 29, 2013, in what has been called a “brutal and vicious act,” a team of 20 social workers, police officers, and special agents stormed a homeschooling family’s residence near Darmstadt, Germany, forcibly removing all four of the family’s children (ages 7-14). The sole grounds for removal were that the parents, Dirk and Petra Wunderlich, continued to homeschool their children in defiance of a German ban on home education. 

The children were taken to unknown locations. Officials ominously promised the parents that they would not be seeing their children “anytime soon.”

HSLDA obtained and translated the court documents that authorized this use of force to seize the children. The only legal grounds for removal were the family’s continuation of homeschooling their children. The papers contain no other allegations of abuse or neglect. Moreover, Germany has not even alleged educational neglect for failing to provide an adequate education. The law ignores the educational progress of the child; attendance—and not learning—is the object of the German law.

Judge Koenig, a Darmstadt family court judge, signed the order on August 28 authorizing the immediate seizure of Dirk and Petra Wunderlich’s children. Citing the parents’ failure to cooperate “with the authorities to send the children to school,” the judge also authorized the use of force “against the children” if necessary, reasoning that such force might be required because the children had “adopted the parents’ opinions” regarding homeschooling and that “no cooperation could be expected” from either the parents or the children.


State Custody

In October 2012, state youth officials had been granted formal legal custody of the Wunderlich children by a German court based solely on the fact that the family was homeschooling. German lawyer Andreas Vogt sought appellate relief on behalf of the Wunderlichs and was able to forestall immediate removal of the children. But, yesterday, as the family quietly began their homeschool day, a ringing at the door signaled the interruption that turned their lives upside down.

Dirk Wunderlich described the frightening turn of events.

“I looked through a window and saw many people, police, and special agents, all armed. They told me they wanted to come in to speak with me. I tried to ask questions, but within seconds, three police officers brought a battering ram and were about to break the door in, so I opened it,” he told HSLDA.

“The police shoved me into a chair and wouldn’t let me even make a phone call at first,” he said. “It was chaotic as they told me they had an order to take the children. At my slightest movement the agents would grab me, as if I were a terrorist. You would never expect anything like this to happen in our calm, peaceful village. It was like a scene out of a science fiction movie. Our neighbors and children have been traumatized by this invasion.”


Looking for a Home

Over the past four years, HSLDA has reported on the Wunderlichs’ saga as they have moved from country to country in the European Union looking for a place to call home where they could freely homeschool their children. Although they found refuge from homeschool persecution, Mr. Wunderlich was unable to find work, and last year the family had to return to Germany. 

The family resettled near Darmstadt, just 25 miles south of Frankfurt, with some trepidation. It is mandatory that all residents of Germany register with their local municipal authorities. Within days of the family registering their presence in the town, authorities initiated a criminal truancy case, and just months later the “Youth Welfare Office” was granted legal custody of the children. However, the court left the children in the residence with the parents since they were being well treated and otherwise cared for by their parents (see also: “Come Peacefully Now or by Force Later”).

Authorities even took the children’s passports, making it impossible for the family to escape—a violation of a number of human rights guaranteed to them by the European Convention of Human Rights, said HSLDA Chairman and Founder Michael Farris.

“The right to homeschool is a human right,” said Farris. “So is the right to freely move and to leave a country. Germany has grossly violated these rights of this family. This latest act of seizing these four beautiful, innocent children is an outrageous act of a rogue nation.”
 
The right of parents to decide how children are educated is a human right of the highest order, said Farris.

“The United States Constitution is not alone in upholding the right of parents to decide how to educate their children. Germany is a party to numerous human rights treaties that recognize the right of parents to provide an education distinct from the public schools that so that children may be educated according to the parents’ religious convictions. Germany has simply not met its obligations under these treaties or as a liberal democracy,” Farris said. “HSLDA and I will do whatever we can to help this family regain custody of their children and ensure that they are safe from this persecution. This case demonstrates conclusively why the Romeike asylum case is so important. Families in Germany need a safe place where they can educate their children in peace.”


“Devastated”

Following the raid, Dirk Wunderlich told HSLDA Director for International Affairs Mike Donnelly that he and his wife were devastated.

“These are broken people,” Donnelly said. “They said they felt like they were being ground into dust. They were shaken to their core and shocked by the event. But they also told me that they had followed their conscience and the dictates of their faith. Although they don’t have much faith in the German state—they have a lot of faith in God. They are an inspiring and courageous family.”

“I’ve been fighting for German homeschool freedom for years,” he continued, “and I had hoped that things were changing in Germany since it has been some time since brutality of this magnitude has occurred. But I was wrong.”

“Mike Farris and I spent time with the Wunderlichs at the first global homeschool conference in Berlin in November 2012,” Donnelly went on to say. “They are a delightful family with precious children. They are really just regular people who are doing what millions of people here in the United States do every day.”


“How Long?”

“My question to the political leadership of Germany is: How long will you permit these kinds of brutal acts to be perpetrated against German families?” said Donnelly. “Why is it so important to you to force people into your state schools? The echo of this act rings from a darker time in German history. When will leaders stand up and make changes so that brutality to children like the Wunderlichs no longer happens because of homeschooling? Isn’t there any German statesman willing to stand up for what is right anywhere in Germany?”

Wunderlich said that his 14-year-old daughter Machsejah had to be forcibly taken out of the home.

“When I went outside, our neighbor was crying as she watched. I turned around to see my daughter being escorted as if she were a criminal by two big policemen. They weren’t being nice at all. When my wife tried to give my daughter a kiss and a hug goodbye, one of the special agents roughly elbowed her out of the way and said—‘It’s too late for that.’ What kind of government acts like this?”

After the children were taken away, the family was “invited” to a meeting with the senior social authority in charge at the scene, Mr. Behnis. The Wunderlichs agreed to the meeting and were joined by their attorney, Andreas Vogt, who came as soon as he was notified, traveling hours by train.

When the parents asked when they could seek a hearing to contest the seizure of their children, they were told they would have to wait until the regular judge returned from vacation. Vogt told HSLDA that the authorities had displayed little sympathy. Vogt has become a key lawyer in the German homeschool movement, representing many active cases. He has taken some to the German Supreme Court with no success to date.

Petra Wunderlich said her heart was shattered.

“We are empty. We need help. We are fighting, but we need help,” she said.

If you are as outraged about this as I am (and you should be), the HSLDA offers the following contact information:

Contact German Officials


Talking points:
  • You are shocked and dismayed at the German actions in sending a SWAT team to remove the Wunderlich children.
  • A UN rapporteur has criticized Germany for its harsh treatment of homeschoolers in his 2006 report on the German education system (see paragraphs 62 and 93 (g) of the report).
  • Germany authorities should immediately release the Wunderlich children to their parents.
  • Germany should promptly change its law to permit homeschooling to comply with its obligations under international law.

German Embassy in Washington, D.C.
(202) 298-4000
Online contact form
If you receive an error message in Google Chrome, please try a different browser.
 Other German Consulates in the US



School Office—Frau Christa Lettau
Staatliches Schulamt
z. Hd. Frau Christa Lettau
Rheinstr. 95
64295 Darmstadt
FR GERMANY
Tel. (+49-6151) 36 82-411
Fax (+49-6151) 36 82-402
Email: Christa.Lettau@da.ssa.hessen.de

Youth Welfare Office—Mr. Behnis
Der Kreisausschuß. des Landkreises Darmstadt-Dieburg
Jugendhilfe
Erziehungshilfe
z. Hd. Herrn K. Behnis
64276 Darmstadt
FR GERMANY
Tel. (+49-6151) 881-14 42
Fax (+49-6151) 881-14 62
k.behnis@ladadi.de (email address closed due to volume)

Herrn Harms
r.harms@ladadi.de
Tel. (+49-6151) 881-22 74
Fax (+49-6151) 881-42 74

Family Court—Judge Markus Malkmus and Judge Koenig
Amtsgericht Darmstadt
Familiengericht
z.Hd.Herrn Markus Malkmus
Postfach 1109 51
64224 Darmstadt
FR Germany


Resources

Farris: Germany Breaking Pledge to Protect Rights
For ideas on human rights arguments visit TheBerlinDeclaration.org.
You can support our fight for the Wunderlich family by donating to the Homeschool Freedom Fund.

Like you, my time is very limited and valuable, yet I have, and will continue to, beat down the doors of the above contacts. Don't be afraid to call the above offices in Germany - they all are supposed to speak English, or at least understand what you are saying. If you use Skype to call the land lines, your call will cost very little (2.3 cents per minute). Depending on where you live, there is a 7-9 hour time change between the US and Germany. You can search "local time in Germany" on Google to find out what time it is there. The above offices will be open only during typical business hours, roughly 8 am to 3 pm local time. In Arizona (MST), that is between our hours of 11 pm and 6 am.

You could get your children involved, and teach them a very important civics lesson.

I would like to ask any and all of my friends and family in Germany, that are reading this, to likewise contact the above officials. Whether or not you personally homeschool, which would be against the Hitler-era laws still in effect, does not determine whether it is right to forcibly remove children who are well cared for and educated, simply because they refuse to be a part of the German brainwashing institutions known as public schools, the ONLY school option available in Germany (every private school must still accept and abide by state-wide and federal public school standards).

Germany's violation of human rights is not only shameful and embarrassing, but downright criminal. This is a disgrace to anyone of German nationality, myself included, and should swiftly be repealed.

Please contact the above officials NOW.