Monday, July 16, 2012

Water Parks and Silos

Yesterday, I was at the water park.  I am roped into going every year to take my kids, I don't particularly enjoy it.  As I have grown older, I have developed a fear of being in enclosed spaces and I have never liked being in the dark.  So as you can imagine hurdling down a small, enclosed tunnel, in the dark does not in anyway sound fun to me.  So I sit frying in the sun at the wave pool.  An overcrowded, murky 0 depth entry pool.  It disgusts me and there are lots of unknown floaties floating around.  I try not to think about what is floating and what is causing the water to be so murky and I quickly cool off so I can go roast in the sun some more while I wait for my kids to be finished.  I would have preferred a spot in the shade, but all the shade spots are gone, so I am adding more unsightly "age" spots and moles to what's all ready there.  My sunscreen has proven to be ineffective.  I guess it's time to toss it.  How many years have I had that tube?  I probably don't want to know. 

So I am sitting immersed in the unnatural, man-made monstrosity that is the water park.  Surrounded by throngs of people, cement, unnaturally bright plastic tubes, and loud music that is piped all over the park.  I am pretty good at shutting out stuff and am trying to read one of my three books I brought (one never and I mean never wants to be without reading material).  Putting my book down, I gaze out of the water park and look longingly across the farm fields when I spy I silo.  You still see old falling down silos dotting the  horizon.  They were built back when farmers could still make money planing crops and raising stock.  The silos held the silage that cattle ate.  Farmers now days, can't make money raising a small herd of cattle, so the silos stand unused and falling down.  Cattle are now raised on giant industrial farms and the family farmer is struggling to make ends meet, banking it all on how well the next season of corn and soybeans will do.  So, I sit having 'fun' frying in the sun and cooling off in the murky water, thinking about how sad it is that the days of being able to make a good living off of a small farm are long gone.   There will be no more silos, no more barns, no more small family farmers quietly making a living.  Sure their are still farmers, but it's all about being big now.  More acres, more heads, until it is nothing more than an industrial machine.  We no longer build silos.  Now we have to look forward to more unnaturally bright water parks.   

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Parents: You must read this!

 This book is a must have for parents!

I might have written about this book before, but I feel so strongly about it that I wanted to blog about it again.  I have always been a big reader and have routinely read to my children, but I have taken it to another level since reading this book several years ago.  Read the info. below and pick-up the book.  I never reread books, but I think I might be reading this one again. 

Also, check out Jim Trelease's website at,

Below is an excerpt from the web site:

This is not a book about teaching a child how to read; it’s about teaching a child to want to read. There's an education adage that goes, “What we teach children to love and desire will always outweigh what we make them learn.” The fact is that some children learn to read sooner than others, and some better than others. There is a difference. For the parent who thinks sooner is better, who has an eighteen-month-old child barking at flashcards, my response is: Sooner is not better. Are the dinner guests who arrive an hour early better guests than those who arrive on time? Of course not.
However, I am concerned about the child who needlessly arrives late and then struggles through years of pain with a book. Not only will he miss out on large portions of what he needs to know in school, he'll experience a pain connection with print that may stay with him for a lifetime. There are things that families must do as "preventive maintenance" to ensure against those pains.
Even I have to admit that the subject of children's reading is broader than simply reading aloud to children, passionate as I am about that subject. And that's why there's a chapter (five) devoted to SSR—sustained silent reading, reading aloud's silent partner, if you will. And just as the best baseball players come from countries and states where they can play baseball most often, research shows that children who have access to more print (magazines, newspapers, and books) have higher reading scores—because they end up reading more. That's explored in chapter seven.
There is also a chapter on television (nine), including some new research correlating infants' daily TV exposure with attention deficit disorder by age seven. That chapter also includes information about a mechanical device for the TV that is the most successful reading tutor in the world!
Questions covered in the Introduction for print edition of The Read-Aloud Handbook:
  • What if the No Child Left Behind Act is wrong? Where does that leave the nation’s children?
  • Are you suggesting this reading stuff is the job of the parent?
  • Can we really change families and homes in America?
  • Will this book help me teach my child to read?
  • How did a parent come to write this book?
  • How do I convince my husband he should be doing this with our children?
  • Is reading still important in the video age?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Summer of Harry Potter, Update

After a rough start (which I have blogged about earlier this summer), we finally finished the first Harry Potter book on the 4th of July, Yea!  My son, eventually, got into the book and once I dragged him away from whatever he was doing (he never likes to transition away from something he is enjoying) he would enjoy the nightly reading.  Immediately after finishing the book, we watched the first movie with the Raging Princess (who is also a Harry fan). 

I think it is SO important to share the books you love with your kids.  They will pick-up on your enthusiasm and even if they don't ever like it as much as you do, you still have shared something of yourself with your kids and along the way are fostering a love of reading that will sustain them for the rest of their lives. 

We have started on book 2, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.  The goal is to finish it before school starts. 

I'm Farming and I Grow It

I LOVE this!  Check it out!

My Aspergers Child: Best and Worst Jobs for Aspergers Adults

My Aspergers Child: Best and Worst Jobs for Aspergers Adults: 80% of grown-ups with Aspergers do not have full-time jobs – not because they can’t do the work, but because they can’t manage to be sociall...

This is a great article, very informative.  It is never too early to start thinking about careers for your kids in this economy.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

New Blog Name!

I have changed the name of my blog to  I changed it to more accurately reflect what the blog is all about and what my interests are.