My archives might be a little outdated especially the older blogs. My links above are all new and current.

I have only positive things to say about Permission to Mother, an autobiographical account of a thoughtful mother and clinician who courageously writes from her heart, soul, brain, and personal experience; who is open to change in her views and opinions and is not guided by the safety of rules of any group or the status quo; she is guided by love and openness to the experiences life brings her and her family. Her process benefits her and those around her and those who read her words. And to add to that, the writing style and story telling ability here make it a very enjoyable read speckled with both the humor and seriousness of life. ~Laura Keegan RN FNP, author of Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy

Readers enjoy your feedback and Reviews (82!) on amazon. Kindle Version Available!

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

World Cultures: Aztec Life

I want to share another assignment from World Cultures. Since my boys did this class together it was interesting for me to see how they processed the same information and came up with their own creative response. If I was ever concerned they would cheat, exactly the opposite was the case. They would have nothing to do with each other. They did not want to help each other a bit.

This assignment was to write from the perspective of a Spanish soldier who is conquering Aztec; What would be the first impression of the Spanish soldier of the Aztec culture? My boys REALLY like pretending they are soldiers. This was a perfect assignment for them to show  their potential. Also, when the boys get assignment grades the teacher cc's me and it comes right to my bberry. How cool is that?

It is really hard getting motivated to do BartonReading with Scott. He is progressing well overall. He tells me he doesn't think Barton's necessary anymore because he reads well....  OK, then, you can enroll in FLVS Language Arts becausee you need to be in some LA curriculum.

No hesitation... Let's do Barton.

So here is the boy's work.

I met the Aztec people in the Island of Texcoco six days ago. They are so different than most people. The Aztecs believe in almost 1000 gods and they give us presents like gold because they think we are gods. Little do they know were going to kill them and take their land. They are savages and they are disgusting and they should be slaves. Although they are disgusting they made some beautiful buildings like temples aqueducts and paved roads.

“Juan” Scott Coquelet


Today I was following orders from Hernan Cortes. We went to the capital city of Tenochtitlan. Which is located in a small island in the center of Lake Texcoco. All of my fellow soldiers and me were having mixed feeling about the way they live. One of my friends said to me “Guillermo, look over there. Altars for human sacrifice! I don’t think this is a good idea. Maybe Hernan made a mistake.” We were all shocked and awed. I noticed some walls had calendars on them. I glanced at it for a few moments and I saw 260 days on it. I wonder where they got that from. I also saw some of their ‘writings’ if that’s what they call it. They were pictures and I can only guess that they probably were words in their culture. Hernan Cortes wanted to take and steal all of their gold and riches so we started to fight. We lost many men, but they were defeated.

Guillermo William Coquelet

Sunday, September 26, 2010

World Cultures: Contributions for All

Scott and William are about to finish World Cultures. I wanted to share Scott's writing. William hasn't done this one yet. Through out the class, they learned about the contributions of all the major cultures, Greece, Rome, China, etc... This last projest was about how they can contribute to society. I am really proud of what Scott wrote. This was all him. He needed minimal proof reading help from me. It takes him a long tme to peck and hunt. Typing (not reading, not writing, not originality) was what slowed him down. Next FLVS class is keyboarding. Scott told me that this lesson played to his strength because he is good at contributions.

Name anything that you are already doing to contribute to society. What is it and how is it a contribution? This can be something simple or something big.

I do a lot for society. One of them is that I am a first degree black belt so my karate teacher tells me to teach the new kids. That helps society because in karate there is something like the Code of Chivalry [from Midieval Times]. I tell them that karate begins with courtesy and ends in courtesy so they can be good citizens.

Name three simple things that you CAN do to help with your family or your community. What are they and how can they help? Refer to the Quest portion of the lesson for ideas.

1. I can help my community by recycling.

2. I can help my family by doing more work around the house like make the beds and take out the garbage, recycling, and compost.

3. Another way I can help my community is to not pollute.

Name one major thing that you can do to help your community to be a better place or to make a difference in the world. This can be an invention or volunteering or organizing a group project. Be sure that this is different than anything that you have discussed in the boxes above. Refer to both the Quest and Goal portion of the lesson for ideas. How can doing this make a difference in the world?

My dog is a certified as a Canine Good Citizen and I’m going to make him a therapy dog so he can continue to go in to nursing homes and give the people love. He is already friends with people with special needs like Down’s Syndrome, who use to be afraid of dogs. This is my contribution because I trained my dog to make other people happy. This is what I can do to make a difference in the world.

Why is it important to become a good citizen? It does not matter if it means just following the laws like obeying the speed limit or becoming the president of the United States.Why should people work to do good things in society? Be specific and use concrete details to support your opinions.

It is important to be a good citizen. If people didn’t care then the world would be crazy. I can be a good citizen by doing good in school and being courteous. Also I can pick up after myself.

Name one person that you have learned about throughout the Quest To Be The Best Game that you feel made a big difference in the world. Who is this person? What did he or she do? Why is he or she important? You may need to quickly go back through some of the past modules to refresh your memory.

Alexander the Great made many war strategies that militaries around the world still use today. He helped spread Greek culture around the world. Most important I am named after him and I am Great, too.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Our Awesome Sukkah

Part of my commitment to the boys Bar Mitzvah training is doing new activities we haven't done before in observance of the Jewish Holidays. Part of the holiday, Sukkot, is to build a temporary shelter to dwell in, called a Sukkah, during this season of fall harvest.

One problem, is, is that we are not a DIY family when it comes to crafts and wood work thus, I couldn't imagine how we would pull this project off. But we did. We got 9 1x 2x 8 at Home Depot. We used every bit of the wood. We cut 7 to 6 1/2 feet for the length and height. We used the short end for reinforcement. We cut 2 in half for the width. I have seen my husband drill, but I never seen him use a saw. The boys were all into it. I like seeing them do things together. Before you knew it, it was built. Barely any fighting or sibling rivalry. whew. We did it at night in the car port with a clear sky and full moon.

In the morning the boys and I cut back our palms and native plants for decorations. Being in Florida there is not much food  to harvest this time of year, but the trees needed pruning and it worked out well to give us an excuse to do yard work.

 So far its stood up to some rain fall. More wind and it would be down. We've had some snacks and meals in it and guests. As you know we have a great view of the river from our sukkah (and my husband's boat trailer made a good workhorse for sawing his lumbar). We have had a lot more fun and laughs with this than I would have imagined.

I once was in another blog called Homeshuling. This would be a good example of homeshul. (shul = temple)

I am guessing part of my husband's motivation to do this is because he wants Tiki on the deck and this is like a preliminary step or practice to see if he can handle a bigger project. My boys brought a lot more history and information about the holiday and blessings that they have learned from their Hebrew school.  I actually am impressed how much they know. Max, our dog, ate the holy fruit. That makes him our Rabbi now. 
Here is a back view. The beauty of a sukkah is the decorations, companionship, and of course food. Since the fall harvest is suppose to be eaten in the sukkah and there is none, I prepped a few raw (next best thing) desserts to encourage the boys participation: almond joy (from Greensmoothiegirl), oat meal cookies (from Nicole the Fitness Freak, date bars from Kristen's Raw). This gives John a good excuse to use the grill as we set up right by it.
The frame itself does not have to be beautiful, a rough shack built by hand is ideal, but it sure does look like we new what we were doing! I am so glad we did this!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Double Birthday Party

William and David have birthdays a week a part. We moved William's birthday celebration up a week. Basically he planned most of it out himself. So you see what he planned; an airsoft tourney. William and Scott and 4 other boys actively played. David was happy that his babysitter Nate and Nate's little brother came over to hang out with him inside. I was kind of glad to have another responsible adult here. David is no longer "almost 7," "practically seven," or  "just about seven." He is seven.  Never in my life would have I imagined I'd be hosting an airsoft party. I am impressed how much the boys know about their weapons and equipment. I had a chance to speak to parents and make sure everyone knew what was going on.It looks to me like they all had a great time. They started by shooting targets on the dock and I saw they were responsible. Sigh. Honestly I think my kids are military bound. I am the mother of a US soldier and I don't know it yet. (Do black belts enter at a higher rank?)

The part of the party I planned was this birthday cake. I knew what I didn't want. I really don't like grocery store cake. You should have seen the smile on the boys face when I brought it home.William was especially grinning ear- to-ear. My friend  Gerrie owns S & S take out in downtown Ft. Pierce.  Everything they make is fresh, and local and/or organic.I knew it would be delicious for the boys.      I confess, I had a piece too and it wasn't just a strawberry AND then I finished David's piece. (But I did have my green smoothie and uncooked soup earlier today!)  Light airy, layered with strawberries, and huge! Topping was a whip cream base.

Everyone else licked their plates clean. It was so worth a special order cake. William requested all white with strawberries, in case you are wondering.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Two First Degree Black Belts and a new Brown Belt

There are lots of high ranking belts at my house.William and Scott got their first degree embroidered belts tonight with the name and dojo in Japanese. In 6 months they get their certificates and are officially recognized as black belts in any school not just their school. I also show some of their friends they train with.  All the older boys are the same rank.                   
David, is a brown belt. He's preparing for his black belt about a year away. As of today, he is still 6 and except for Shihon Joe who is tying the new belt on, he is one of the youngest brown belts. Shihon is the Grand Masters Son and probably was the only other young brown belt. David has been training since his 5th birthday.

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