April 30, 2011

I Have a Dream

I know our family is in a minority. I'm about to ask a question that only a few will be able to answer. Does anyone else that homeschools their transracial family have a really hard time teaching segregation? I managed to get through the grief and horror of the holocaust with some grace, but segregation stopped me in my tracks. We are moving along through history and stumbled into the 50's and 60's. I usually preview some of the longer books that I let Everett read on his own, but the ones I read aloud I don't read beforehand since I can skip or just close if it turns a corner that I don't want to go. Over a snack last week we were reading about Martin Luther King Jr and I was having a really hard time getting the words out.

The idea of segregation is very far fetched to our children. Almost like, 'Wait this is recent, these are normal people who are treating other normal people like this?' We read several picture books that deal with Jim Crow laws in the south. I was keeping an eye on Sally and skipping some sections that seemed so raw. As I was reading, looking around the table at the kids and their variety of skin tones, I couldn't help but feel like this was a history lesson that they needn't learn so young. I kept cringing at the words, "Whites only" or "Colored". They sounded ugly and confusing. Eli's cheerful take on this was, "Well, if we lived back then we'd just sneak library books for Sally and Jojo since they couldn't get a library card." Hmmm. Except I don't think our family would have existed back then. That thought made me so sad and ashamed.

We ended on a high note with a short video at the end of the week about Martin Luther King Jr's life. With all of my hesitation and worry about giving some kind of residual complex to each of the children about Whites vs. Blacks; the week ended with "one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers." Everett turned the TV off and said, rather optimistically, "Yep, that's just like us. Sisters and brothers."

April 15, 2011


Eli balking at my lentil soup for dinner tonight, "Doesn't look too good."

Sally was surprised because she becomes a ravenous wolf when I start dinner prep and EVERYTHING looks good to her. She chirps, "Eli, it looks just like baked beans!"

The baked bean lover's sad reply. "Don't be fooled, Sally. It isn't."


Upon discovering I have made a pasta dish, Josiah begins his usual rant, "I don't eat pasta. Girls eat pasta and scream like this, 'Ehhhhhhh!' Boys scream like this, 'Roooooaaaaarrrr!' Boys eat chicken. I. Am. A. Boy."

April 7, 2011

Science Projects

Owl pellet dissection on my table, worms loose on the kitchen counter...it's our first science fair.

Christmas shopping here brought on the ideas, along with the parakeet breeding frenzy that accidentally happened earlier this year.

April 5, 2011

Foster Chicks

Seth and I fight a battle of conflicting desires. We would both love to live away from everything with a huge garden and animals. Little House on the Prairie in a bigger house with internet. Except, I can't imagine Seth surviving another long commute. The year he spent driving an hour each way was a killer for him. Two hours a day, five days a week, stop doing the math because it's really depressing. That's when he accidentally drank his own urine, if you remember that story. Plus, I love walkability. Did I just make that word up? I love walking to the store and the library. I would rather walk with the kids for 15 minutes than buckle those seat belts any day. So, we faced a real conundrum when we moved. Long drive to work, to store, to library, and possibly cool farm vs. living in town without the cool farm. Since the gentleman farmer idea is slightly far fetched we bought another house in town and decided to do the best we could.

I grew a pretty good garden last year. This year I wanted more and started dreaming of chickens. Not for eating, because I'm still too much of a city girl. If we are actually taking care of an animal then we are thinking of it as a part of the family. Around here, we just don't eat each other. Kudos to you if you can pull it off, I'm just really a sissy. I want those precious eggs! We scramble eggs and a dozen are gone. Poof, just one breakfast and I can wave goodbye to $5 in organic eggs.

Alas, we live in a slightly uptight area that won't allow "farm animals" unless you own 2 acres. It's their polite, uptight, way of saying, "Rednecks may live here, but we don't want you to flaunt it." I talked it over with Seth and convinced him that we should just try having chickens. If someone comes along to slap us on the wrist we can send the chickens down to my parents to live out the rest of their (due to the bird dog they own) short lives. Before actually making the chicken purchase, I decided it might be good to look at the penalty for civil disobedience in the farm animal laws. To my dismay they deem this serious enough to slap you with a misdemeanor. And that isn't worth even the best eggs in the world.

I tried to let my chicken dream die.

Until my mom mentioned getting some new laying hens for her house. It seems that the ones the dog doesn't get grow up to be roosters, so she's lacking in the egg layer department. I had a brilliant idea. Now, our children are currently foster parents to five little chicks. Shhhh, don't tell the city. I'm pretty sure it's okay for us to babysit a few chicks for a little while, right?

I'm pleased to introduce: Princess Leia,
PeckerNonaRose, Astrid, Fancy Nancy, and Super Grover. Fancy Nancy's 'caregiver' is not pictured. She only likes to look at the chicks in their brooder and occasionally tap Fancy Nancy on the back when one of the other kids is holding her during the super-supervised holding session once a day in which Momma Caregiver tries not to be a complete salmonella freak. Yeah, I'm so not built for farm living. This is pretty fun though.