Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Library-loving blog challenge

I'd like to encourage you to comment on C. Lee McKenzie's blog here between March 23rd and 27th. For every comment, she's going to donate a dollar to her local library. Everyone knows that libraries need all the help they can get!

If you're feeling really ambitious, go here to see a list of blogs of people who will donate money for each commenter. It doesn't take long to do, and I definitely plan on doing my part by surfing the net tonight after the kids are in bed.

Go libraries!!


Monday, March 22, 2010

Homeschooling saga...part one hundred

Some of you may know that I homeschool my oldest (an eighth grader), and that she's a smart cookie in the math department. We've had problems dealing with our school division in that they've not allowed her to move ahead. We found an online option so that she could get credit for 10th grade math, but because we're not in the same school division, the tuition would be $500. Our school division finally acquiesced and said she could take their online math course...for $500 - and after she wrote the 9th grade final (on material she took 2 years ago).

I found it rather insulting that they would extend this offer, particularly since she could take the course for free if we withdrew her from this school division and enrolled her at the online school in the other school division. The problem with doing that though, is that she attends band at one of the middle schools here. So, no school division, no band. Now, understand that when she goes to band once or twice a week, nobody takes her attendance, and she kind of comes and goes as she pleases. If I hadn't gone to the principal at the start of the year, he wouldn't have even known she was there, and if I hadn't submitted it to the school division on her year plan, they wouldn't have known she was even taking it.

However, I did both of these things - neither of which were actually required on any sort of official level; I just thought it was the right thing to do. So when the superintendent of home school put forth the extra effort to call and let me know that she wouldn't be allowed to take band if we decided to pull her out of the school division, I was a little upset. She loves band, and I was hoping something could be worked out. Schools have guests come in all the time, and I know as a parent, that I'm able to be in the classroom as much as I desire, so I didn't think it would be an impossibility. After all, she already knows her pieces, so it's merely a matter of being able to come in and play with the other students.

I went and talked to the principal to see if something could be worked out. He is a great guy, and was shocked that she wasn't allowed to take the online course here (after all, "regular" students of the division have access to the courses - for free - if they need them) and he thought it'd be a very good idea, but would eventually have to check with his supervisor. He told her to keep coming until he found out otherwise.

Well, a few short days later, I got a phone call from him. He asked if I had received the official letter stating that she was no longer a student of the division. I hadn't (and still haven't, over a week later), but he had. Darned if they didn't send it to him first to make sure he knew that they wouldn't allow her to attend. He talked to his supervisor, asking if our girl could take a bit of time to "transition out", but they are trying hard to send a message to us. (I imagine the voice of the beast in Beauty and the Beast saying "You're not welcome here!")

Anyway, the principal was very sorry, and said that he found the situation to be extremely unfair, but that it was way over his head (which it is - they were pretty abrupt with him). Honestly, this school division has been terrible right from the get-go. I don't understand how they can behave in this way, and I plan on writing several letters once I do a little research into how other school divisions deal with their homeschoolers. From what little I know, I've seen that they at least allow their home school students to take the online courses that mainstream students can access.

In the meantime, our daughter has begun the Math 10 course with the online school, and in 4 days she has already completed 2 of the 7 units with an average of 99%. Her goal is to complete it as soon as possible so we can re-register here so that she'll be able to finish out the band year and go on their big trip in June. This is something we hadn't even considered, but at least it's an option. I hate to go back to our school division when we've been welcomed with open arms to this online school in the other school division, but I'm leaving the decision up to her.

Thanks for listening to me rant a little bit, but it feels good to get this off my chest!


Monday, March 15, 2010

Unveiling the truth...edited

Well, one of you did guess correctly - the truth was #2.

Back in the olden days when I may have been a lot cuter than I am now, I went on 11 dates (edited to add: with 9 different guys) in one week*. I had a date every day of the week, with 2 on Friday, 3 on Saturday and 2 on Sunday (one was an invitation to lunch after church, and one was to visit sick people at a hospital). I don't know what I was thinking, and that was the week my roommate decided to screen my calls (remember that, B?). It was an exhausting week.

Here's the skinny on each of my lies:

1. I got to dance on stage with Madonna at a fundraiser bash. FALSE - I just totally made this up. My dance moves are questionable, and I'm not even a real fan of hers.

2. I once went on 11 dates in one week.  TRUE

3. When I was 7 months pregnant with #2, I got a free blender after I burst into tears while talking to a store manager. FALSE - Although, I did cry and get a free can of paint because the first can said it would cover in one coat (and it didn't). I got frustrated when they gave me a hard time, and the waterworks started. I'd like to say this is the only time I got something while crying, but that'd be a lie. It's embarrassing to have perpetuated such a cliché, but boy, does it get results, haha.

4. My eyes turn lime green when I wear pink. FALSE - I do have green eyes though, just not crazy lime green ones...

5. I have a tattoo on my hip that says "Bookworm". FALSE - Do stretch marks count? They kinda look like worms...Besides, I have an aversion to pain, particularly the self-inflicted kind.

6. In my spare time I like to throw clay, and have several pieces on exhibit in an art gallery. FALSE - But it's something I've always wanted to do!

So, there you have it; the truth revealed. Thanks for playing along!

*Lest you think this was normal behaviour for me, rest assured that it wasn't! I just wondered what it would be like to go out with every decent guy who asked me out that week, and it happened to be a, uh, productive week. I never had another week like that ever again (and I'm sooo glad)!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I'm such a liar

Shannon O' over at Book Dreaming gave me this Creative Writing award (aka: bald-faced liar award). I must say that I've seen this on a few other blogs and it looked like so much fun to do, so thanks Shannon, for thinking of me when you, umm, think of lying...? ;)

So, I'm going to tell you 6 outrageous things, and you have to try to figure out which one is true. Well, you don't have to. It's not like I'm going to hunt you down or anything...or will I? mwahahahahaha*cough*splutter* Note to self: evil laugh needs work! 

*hem, hem, hem*

1. I got to dance on stage with Madonna at a fundraiser bash.

2. I once went on 11 dates in one week.

3. When I was 7 months pregnant with #2, I got a free blender after I burst into tears while talking to a store manager.

4. My eyes turn lime green when I wear pink.

5. I have a tattoo on my hip that says "Bookworm".

6. In my spare time I like to throw clay, and have several pieces on exhibit in an art gallery.

Good luck picking out the truth...they're all pretty realistic*, haha.

I now pass this blog award to: (with working links)

Terresa @ The Chocolate Chip Waffle
zz @ eek.eke
Erica @ laugh.write.play


*She says with tongue firmly planted in cheek...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

On writing

It's been a while since I've actually posted anything on writing, but I read a great post over here at The Write Game about C. Lee McKenzie's process and wanted to share it. (She's the author of the novel Sliding On The Edge.)

I'm generally a pantser when I'm writing. Though I usually have an idea of where I'll end up, I like to let things go and see where the characters take me. In my most recent MG novel, things happened a little differently. I had a bunch of ideas that I wanted to take place along the way, so I wrote them as chapter headings. I ended up with a little outline that's been immensely helpful. It's even added another element of fun to my writing (okay, so I might be easily amused, but I'll take it :)).

What's working for you these days?


Monday, March 8, 2010

Win a critique from an agent, and free books too!

There's a great contest over at the Shooting Stars website where you could win a 40 page critique from agent Suzie Townsend (among other things). Check it out here!

There's another contest going on at Elana Johnson's blog here!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Comment moderation; world peace and blue cheese edition

A while back, I took off my word verification and just put comment moderation on for any posts older than a week. This has been a great way to take care of spammers, but I'm starting to wonder if I did the right thing.

This morning there was one comment that needed to be moderated, but it was for some type of French blue cheese. (Okay, I'm no cheese expert, so if that's the only kind of fromage bleu, please forgive me...)  I deleted it, but then started to think that maybe I was really missing out on something here.

What if this type of blue cheese is a cure for cancer, or was the missing link that would enable world peace and I didn't spread the word? Then I'd be doing the human race a terrible disservice by just deleting without even looking into it. How could I be so careless???

I would like to take this opportunity to make a pledge that I will never again be so flippant about deleting blue cheese comments. What else is a blog for, if not to enable comments that might one day save the world?


Seriously. Blue cheese spam?? People really have nothing better to do than randomly comment about cheese??? Does the cheese industry really need this kind of promotion?

Monday, March 1, 2010

The travellin' blues

I'm still trying to get my feet back under me after our big trip to the U.S. We were on the go for almost two weeks, spending 5 days in Utah for my brother-in-law's wedding, and then drove on to California for our first ever big family trip to Disneyland. We spent over 60 hours in our minivan! The kids actually did pretty well, except for #5, who thought he should lean on #4 the whole time. Once we got him out of the back and stuck him in his own bucket seat, everything was quiet. :)

We got back in the wee small hours of last Tuesday morning, which means I didn't get moving until much later that day. I will admit that I was pretty much forced to get moving, because we were right back into piano lessons and coaching soccer. I would've gladly continued sleeping for a few days.

With the kids finally gone to school on Wednesday (except #1, our homeschooler) I was able to get some laundry done and unpacked a couple of suitcases (okay, so they were the ones with the dirty clothes in them, but that still counts as unpacking, right??). Wednesday after work, my poor hubby was back in the car for an overnight trip out of town for meetings, and at the end of the week, I had to take #1 to an honour band thing in a different city, and today I'm on the road one last time for a funeral* in a neighbouring province!

Can I just say that I. AM. TIRED. What a zoo! I mean, life is usually pretty busy around here, but this is much crazier than usual.

I feel kind of bad, because I haven't been able to do much reading or commenting on others' blogs, but I just haven't had time. I'm so out of the loop, and I have no idea what everyone's been up to, but I'll be back at it eventually!

*Okay, so going to the funeral of my best friend's mother is very sad, but I get to see him and his wife - two of my oldest and best friends - which only happens once in a blue moon, so I'm so excited in spite of the tragic circumstances.