Saturday, September 25, 2010

How to Become a Citizen and Get Married and Divorced in the Same Day

Yup, Dear Daughter is eleven now.
When you adopt a child they no longer give you Citizenship papers for them even though they automatically become citizens when the adoption is finalized (like 10 years ago). I guess the Government found the paperwork unnecessary and cumbersome.
So someday you will need those Citizenship documents to produce them for another Government agency because the two agencies couldn't possibly communicate with one another and verify Citizenship. If you don't have a paper to produce who you are then you don't exist. And no, the adoption paperwork (from 10 years ago) was not enough for them.

We spent Monday morning at the Immigration office. If you need to provide your children a lesson in Civics just sit in the Immigration office waiting room for a while.
Notice the different treatment that people receive.
I won't elaborate.
The woman that waited on us and signed all of our paperwork was very nice and VERY excited that the daughter was now a Citizen. At age 11, DD was not so excited but put on her happy face and waved her obligatory flag.

So when we applied for her Citizenship 6 months ago we had to pay $450 to file. See we were told that even though she was a Citizen, we weren't PAYING for her to BE a Citizen we were merely paying for the paperwork to be processed. Ahhhh- that makes so much more sense now. I'm so glad someone explained that to me.

But at least it provided a photo op for a family photo.

Oh, and did I mention that as we were leaving the Immigration office we noticed on her Citizenship paper that she was now MARRIED? So we went back to the window and explained to the man that we needed it changed and he yelled at us and asked how old our Daughter was. Which didn't make a whole lot of sense since we were there for Citizenship status and not MARRIAGE. So the woman came out and was all kerflumped because everything was all notorized and then we had to re-sign all 50 pages again and wait another 1/2 hour for the real certificate that said DD was now SINGLE.
Somewhere down the road I know I am going to have to
provide a divorce decree to yet another government agency.
Welcome to America baby girl, welcome to America.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

First Week of Homeschool

My camera is cranky and I haven't posted in so long. Actually, the camera is fine. I'm having trouble transferring the pictures to my computer hence the delays in posting.
We're now on our second week of homeschool, unlike the title says. We are doing well. Morgan who is in sixth grade, wants all of her assignments on Monday so she can stay organized for the week. Patrick, now a 9th grader, has been working very, very hard on his studies.

Tae is working on his word wall words. He loves these.
This year we have moved on to letter families.

Homeschooling 3 kids is difficult mostly for organizational purposes. Remembering what each child has covered from year to year is sometimes cumbersome. I've always had difficulty planning the week ahead but this year we've switched to Oak Meadow. I put all of their 36 week themes or assignments in an excel spreadsheet so I can see at a glance what we are studying for each of the weeks. As the week is finished, I highlight the whole line. This helps the kids to know where we are and also what lessons they are on. They each asked for a copy of this to keep with their books so they can look ahead and plan out which books they want at the library.

Tae has been reading alot with Larry. He reads as much as he can and we help with the rest. He's reading like a champ and is devouring all sorts of books. He's really beyond the first grade Oak Meadow that we bought but it's easy enough to supplement.

All of his work goes into a main lesson book. He loves, loves, loves this. Especially since he can show his Daddy when he comes home from work.

Morgan seems to work everywhere. Living room, kitchen, office.
Where ever she can find a soft spot to curl up with her books.

We went on a short nature walk (they walked, I sat and watched).
Tae collected all sorts of things.

They found acorns, and leaves and sticks and some cool rocks.

They love the woods.

Some kind of bird didn't make it. It still had bones attached. The best we can figure is that some one's Rooster had become a late night snack.
We're not sure what else would have pure white feathers.

We passed by the old cemetery and paid our respects to Johnathan Rouse.

And his lovely wife Betsey.

There was a woodpecker in this tree.
He flew off as I was snapping the picture.

An old fort in the woods.

The kids thought this pile of brambles was shaped like an igloo.

Tae saw some cool bugs.

This beauty was in my garden eating the Fennel.

Tae took his nature finds and pressed them in a book.

We don't have space for a nature table but made a nature basket. We found some large pieces of paper wasp nest material, some birch bark and pinecones.

Morgan found some items for her science comparison work.

Homeschool by candlelight.

And I've gone back to using Homeschool Tracker.
I can keep track of all of their work, lesson plans and it automatically creates a transcript for Patrick because he would like to take some classes at the Community College. I can't say enough about Homeschool Tracker. The kids like having their assignments for the entire week so they can move ahead if they want. I don't grade Morgan and Tae at all-I don't feel a need since we review their work and spend much time together. If they don't get a concept we spend more time on it and if they've mastered it, we move on.
Tae is learning about Math Processes with the four Gnomes.
He listens to the story and then recreates his own picture.

Don't you love their drawings at this age?

Love the big feet and beards.

Such cute body shapes.

Spelling will eventually come.
I don't correct the misspellings yet.
Love the phonetic spelling.
And the backwards letters.

Deep in thought about Math Gnomes.

The King is a good and kind King.

We practiced some Capital and lower case letters.

Tae thought this leaf looked like a ghost.

The leaves are already starting to change color here in Rhode Island.

Once all of his leaves pressed and layed flat for a few days, Tae glued them into his main lesson book. Then we spent some time looking through books identifying the leaves.

It was so pretty when it was done.

After the school work was done, I went to empty the hamper. Our beautiful part Siamese cat named Kiwi thought it was the perfect spot to nap.
Our homeschool schedule has been crazy and honestly the first week drove us all a little insane.
We have a dry erase board in our kitchen to keep schedules straight.....and one in our classroom and one in my pocketbook.
Sunday is church time, children's RE and Senior Youth Group at church for Patrick.
Mondays and Tuesdays are mostly bookwork.
One Tuesday a Month I have our homeschool group Board meeting in the afternoon.
Wednesdays is Book club in the Morning, Lego Robotics in the afternoon and then Morgan and Tae have soccer practice in the evening which Larry takes them
to because I'm too tired by then.
Thursday is homeschool co-op.
Friday is book work in the morning and our homeschool group ENRICH'd Fridays. This year the kids will be doing the History series, 4H, Art Show, Project Fair and a few other things.
Saturdays, we have two soccer games at two different times and Patrick usually has friends over. Throw in some field trips, housework, animal care, cooking, playdates and church work and I'm downright exhausted. Thankfully, I have a lot of help and support.
I couldn't do it without some help from my friends or help from Larry and the kids.
More posts coming up on my Epiphany, life changes, lyme disease and homeschool.
How is your homeschool year going?
How do you stay organized?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Peace Abbey

Yesterday we spent the day at the Peace Abbey in Sherborn, Massachusetts.
It is a lovely, peaceful place and helps to bring awareness about animal rights, human rights, antiwar campaigns and the twelve major religions views on peace.
It celebrates many who have died, who lived and fought for peace.

Lovely poem on this plot.

There were signs of peace and loving everywhere.

A self explanatory sign.

The chapel had many different faith symbols represented and some information
about how each religion understood peace.

Prayer beads were everywhere.
This display was in the chapel.
The beads to the right of the candle represent the 12 major religions with the 12 beads. People were encouraged to meditate or pray with these beads to
help join all the religions in the name of peace.
There was beautiful poetry everywhere.
Reminders of being kind and gracefilled.

The bowl of prayer links was in the St. Francis of Assissi Chapel.
The links are actually the little metal disk at the bottom of the candle wick.
Each time a candle is lit in the name of a loved one or prayer and then burns out, the prayer is said to be released into the universe.
The Novena Table in the chapel.
The stained glass was beautiful.

This peace dove stained glass so spoke to me.
Such energy in the colors and movement in the shape.

The Hindu corner in the chapel.

Hindu Gods.

Another prayer bead photo.

The Buddhist corner in the chapel.
The singing bowl was beautiful.
Images of the Dalai Lama were everywhere.
I spent a long time at the Pacifist memorial.
In the center of the walls was a large statue of Gandhi.
The walls had memorial plaques of those
throughout history that promoted peace.
People like poet Rumi were there.

Thou art the Buddha.

Jesus....blessed are the poor in spirit....

And some famous Unitarians.

This is the quote on Gandhi's statue.
"Like the bee gathering honey from the different flowers, the wise person accepts the essence of the different scriptures and see only the good in all religions."

There were beautiful alabaster statues.

A very old cemetery peeked out through the trees.

The statue of Gandhi.
There were offering coins and money at his feet.

All of the plaques were mounted on beautiful granite.

At the end of each wall were prayers of peace from the 12 major world Religions.

How many people know about Jainism?

Hinduism peace prayer.

The Sikh prayer for peace.

Shinto prayer.

Native American Prayer for peace.

Jewish peace prayer.
St. Francis of Assissi memorial plaque.

Native African prayer for peace.

Emily, the sacred cow memorial walk.

The weeping angel.

I want this post for in front of my house...or in my garden.

The barn and peace van.
The Peace Abbey has a few animals that have been rescued from the slaughter house. All of them have some kind of physical injury from being kept in deplorable conditions prior to rescue.
They will live out the rest of their lives here in peace.

The rescued Guernsey cow.
I don't remember her name.

The rescued horse.
I don't remember his name either.

This is the animal barn.
Can you see the white dove perched on the corner over the door.
A whole family of doves lived in the barn and kept flying over.
Beautiful origami peace doves all strung together.


Peace flags strung on the ceiling.

Me and the goat.

Henry the Eighth.......rescued from slaughter.

Henry eats well.

Goat trying to head butt me.


Kayrn at the goat barn.

The sheep.

Self explanatory.

More chapel photos.
I love prayer beads.
They make me wonder how many have laid hands
on them and the events surrounding the prayers.

I had a hard time downstairs in their classroom. This entire wall was filled with bracelets that had the names of soldiers that died in Afghanistan and Iraq. Each place a little farther down the wall had a larger number.

So many lives lost.
I got a bit choked up.

Upstairs there were images and statues of peacemakers.

I love the expression.

The kitchen sign.

A display case with I'm not sure what in the bowl.

Mother Theresa sculpture.

Religious ceremonial dress.

Rumi Tapestry.

A blurry photo of the hand dove sculpture.

Tribute to sacred cows.

So much to look at.

Peace sign made out of recycled items.
The guns strapped to it were to protest toys of war.

The entrance to the museum.

We loved the Peace Abbey.
Stop by for a visit if you can.
We start our school year on Tuesday. I have some posts coming on curriculum, field trips and volunteer opportunities for our children.