Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Influential Homeschoolers - From Presidents to Pop Stars

Tidewater News featured a nice article by Virginia homeschooling-mom-of-five Carolyn West about how homeschooling has changed over the last few decades.

One of the things I enjoyed about this post was the reminder of how many famous people were home schooled.

You might be amazed at the famous and influential people who were homeschooled — 14 presidents, including Abraham Lincoln; 28 heads of state, including Benjamin Franklin; military leaders like Douglas MacArthur; Supreme Court judges, including Sandra Day O’Connor; scientists such as Albert Einstein; artists like Da Vinci; religious leaders, including Jonathan Edwards; inventors, such as the Wright brothers; composers like Mozart; writers, including Mark Twain; educators, such as Booker T. Washington; performing artists like Whoopi Goldberg; and many business entrepreneurs, including Andrew Carnegie.
And these are only a few of hundreds of famous people known to have been educated at home. Let us remember that there was a time when all education was homeschooling.
There are a number of famous people who are currently educating their children at home as well, including Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, John Travolta and Kelly Preston, and Darrell and Stevie Waltrip, just to name a few.
For an impressive and more comprehensive list of famous homeschooled Americans and influential people in history, visit

Much in the same way I had the privilege of raising my children in the fear and admonition of the Lord, today's homeschooling families have the opportunity to teach their children through the grid of their particular worldview. I have actually known families who thought the public schools were too conservative!

Though I might have to take exception to the idea that Will and Jada Pinkett Smith or John and Kelly Travolta are educating their children at home constitutes an endorsement of homeschooling on any level. Most of us who were homeschooling back in the day did NOT do so in order to encourage our children to create videos like this.

Perhaps the Travolta's children will author a sequel to Dianetics.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Emergency Items That Run Out First


My thoughts and prayers are with those in the Midwest today who were slammed by storms and crazy weather in the last 24 hours, particularly those in Joplin, MO who have lost their homes.  I am also praying for those those who have been affected by the rising Mississippi River the last few weeks, and those who live in the area of the New Madrid fault who have had earthquakes on their minds as pundits have pondered recently what would happen there if we had a Big One in that area.

People used to laugh at us when we talked about being prepared. In fact, even I used to accuse my husband of being paranoid and thought it was just an unfortunate side effect of working for Homeland Security.

But preparedness is not just for "Survivalists" and "crazy people" who stockpile guns and live in caves Montana anymore. Preparedness is for everyone who has watched a weather report recently.

This list of emergency items was sent to me by a friend. These are the things that often are the first to run out in a time of panic.  You can laugh if you like, but think about the 70+ inches of snow we had this year in New Jersey and what might have happened if you lost power for about a week, or couldn't shovel out of your house.

Now would be a good time to think about laying in some of these supplies, especially if you are in an area that could be affected by tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, or other natural disasters.

1. Portable Toilet
2. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps (Buy clear oil.  If scare, stockpile)
3. Coleman Fuel
4. Charcoal and Lighter fluid
5. Cooking utensils (hand can opener, whisk, etc)
6. Propane Heaters and all accessories that go with it (extra propane, heads, etc)
7. Fishing accessories (line, hooks, bobbies, etc)
8. Basin to do laundry in/wash boards, etc
10. Cook stoves
11. Propane Cylinder Handle-Holder
12. Feminine Hygiene/Haircare/Skin products.
13. Aluminum Foil Reg. & Heavy Duty (Great Cooking and Barter Item)
14. Garbage bags
15. Toilet paper, paper towels, hygiene items
16. Clothes pins/line/hangers
17. Coleman’s Pump Repair Kit
18. Matches
19. light sticks
20. Plastic Containers
21. Cast iron cookware
22. Fishing Supplies
23. Duct Tape
24. Tarps/stakes/twine/nails/rope/spikes
25. Bleach (plain, NOT scented: 4 to 6% sodium hypochlorite)
26. Canning supplies, (Jars/lids/wax)
27. Carbon Monoxide Alarm (battery powered)
28. d-con Rat poison, MOUSE PRUFE II, Roach Killer
29. Mousetraps, Ant traps & cockroach magnets
30. Paper plates/cups/utensils 
31. Baby wipes, oils, waterless & Antibacterial soap (saves a lot of water)
32. Hand pumps & siphons (for water and for fuels)
33. Roll-on Window Insulation Kit (MANCO)
34. Lumber (all types)
35. Cots & Inflatable mattress’s
36. Lantern Hangers
37. Screen Patches, glue, nails, screws, nuts & bolts
38. Paraffin wax
39. Goats/chickens

photo credit: Britt's Pics

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sorry, Harold, You Were Wrong. Again.

Well, I'm still here. And so are all my Christian friends. And my non-Christian friends.

And Harold Camping.

Sorry, Harold, you were wrong. Again.

You were wrong in 1994. And other clowns were wrong in 1988 and 1992.

"But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." - Mark 13:32

"But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. " - Matthew 24:36

What part of  "NO ONE KNOWS" did you not understand? Jesus said that even HE doesn't know the day or the hour. What ever gave you the idea that you had some secret knowledge not available even to the Son of God?  It embarrasses me to even think about it.

If there be any good from this it is that there have been more than a few serious conversations about the return of Christ that would never have happened. They may have started with people making fun of you, but they probably ended on a more sober note. Because Jesus IS coming back. You have that part right. Even if you were off on the "yesterday" part.

There have also been people who may not otherwise have thought about what they are doing with their lives. I pondered this in my Facebook status yesterday. You can bet if I believed that Jesus was coming back yesterday I would not have wanted him to "Find Me on Facebook."  How much time to we spend on distractions and foolish entertainment instead of loving and serving people and doing the good works God has "prepared in advance for us to do"?

No, I'm not getting rid of Facebook. Or even the addictive new social media/investing game I have been playing lately called Empire Avenue. But I am giving some serious thought to the proportion of time I am giving to the temporal instead of the eternal. 

A whole lot of joking has been going on in recent weeks about this, but it is time to remember that the return of Christ will be no laughing matter. Are you ready?

Sunday, May 08, 2011

The Next Survivor Series

Last year I wrote an article about redeeming email forwards. I was thinking that even though most email forwards are a waste of time, occasionally there is one that is totally worthy to be forwarded or posted on a blog.

To all mothers everywhere - this one's for you. Happy Mother's Day!


Six married men will be dropped on an island

with one car

and 3 kids each

for six weeks.

Each kid will play two sports
and take either music or dance classes.

There is no fast food.

Each man must

take care of his 3 kids;
keep his assigned house clean,
correct all homework,
complete science projects,
do laundry,
and pay a list of 'pretend' bills
with not enough money.

In addition,

each man
will have to budget enough money
for groceries each week.

Each man
must remember the birthdays
of all their friends and relatives,
and send cards out on time--no emailing.

Each man must also take each child
to a doctor's appointment,
a dentist appointment
and a haircut appointment.

He must make one unscheduled and
inconvenient visit per child to the

Emergency Room.

He must also make cookies or cupcakes
for a school function.

Each man will be responsible for

decorating his own assigned house,
planting flowers outside,
and keeping it presentable at all times.

The men will only have access to television

when the kids are asleep and all chores are done.

The men must shave their legs,

wear makeup daily,

adorn themselves with jewelry,

wear uncomfortable yet stylish shoes,

keep fingernails polished,

and eyebrows groomed

During one of the six weeks,

the men will have to endure severe
abdominal cramps, backaches, headaches,
have extreme, unexplained mood swings
but never once complain or slow down
from other duties.

They must attend weekly school meetings

and church,

and find time at least once to spend
the afternoon at the park 
or a similar

They will need to read a book to the kids
each night

and in the morning,

feed them,

dress them,

brush their teeth and
comb their hair

by 7:30 am.

A test will be given

at the end of the six weeks,

and each father will be required to know

all of the following information:

each child's

height, weight,
shoe size, clothes size,
doctor's name,
the child's weight at birth,
length, time of birth,
and length of labor,
each child's favorite color,
middle name,
favorite snack,
favorite song,
favorite drink,
favorite toy,
biggest fear,
and what they want to be when they grow up.

The kids vote them off the island based on performance.

The last man wins only if...

he still

has enough energy

to be intimate with his spouse

at a moment's notice.

If the last man does win,

he can play the game over and over and over

again for the next 18-25 years,

eventually earning the right

to be called Mother!