Category Archives: Family Matters

Did You Know?

My husband is quite an interesting man. When we first started getting acquainted, he described himself as a “knower of odd trivia”. That, he is, and it certainly makes for interesting conversation.

It’s always intriguing, but I’m no longer surprised by any of the oddball stuff that he knows right off the top of his head. This sometimes puts me at a slight disadvantage, though. For example:

Mike: Did you know that Helsinki, Finland has more bars per capita than any other place in the entire world?

Lottie: Oh really? I wouldn’t have guessed that.

Mike: Nah, I just made that up right now.

My husband is so weird, and I find it extremely endearing.


For Mike With All My Love

Mike is in the shower right now. We’ll be leaving for the airport in about an hour. Our time together flew by even faster than I thought it would. He won’t see this until after he’s back in England, but hopefully it will be something nice for him to return to.

I love you, Michael! Next time it’s for keeps. Deal?


Odds and Ends

Besides having Mike here, there’s really not a lot going on at my place. It’s great having him here and I wish he didn’t have to go back next week.

Work is boring, but at least I’ve managed to hold on to my job during this economic crisis. It’s pretty sad when you’re thankful for a job that doesn’t make ends meet and health insurance with a premium that’s killing you. But I admit I’m still on cloud nine over the election results, and I believe Barack Obama will deliver change we need, as promised.

The situation at my son’s school seems to have greatly improved. A few changes have been made; my son is happy and performing well academically, so I am reconsidering withdrawing him for now. I’ll post a full update on this soon.

It’s finally starting to get cold in my part of Texas. We had a cold spell a while back and then it passed. It seems to be back now and I hope it sticks around. Autumn is my favorite time of year, and it doesn’t last long enough here.

I think we’re going out for dinner tonight, but I haven’t decided where. My son suggested “someplace nice” like Whataburger or Subway. Bless his heart. Just goes to show that we’re definitely not living high on the hog. But I think we’ll go somewhere even nicer tonight because… didn’t I tell you?

It’s my birthday!

Yep! I got a visit from my husband, an excellent report card from my son and the President of my choice. What a great way to turn forty-two! Now, I’m going to celebrate it all with a nice dinner someplace and no dishes to wash afterward.

Have a great weekend! I know I will!

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On


Mike etc.

Mike is here. He arrived safely and without incident. We’re having coffee now and will head out shortly for a Mexican breakfast. Mike has been jonesing for barbacoa; I haven’t decided yet what I’ll have but I’m leaning toward chorizo and eggs.

After breakfast we’ll go and do some shopping with champagne at the top of the list. We’re planning a celebration after the votes are counted tonight. I think we’re going to make history!

I want to thank all of you for your support these past few days. I’ve had a lot on my mind and it’s comforting to know that others relate and care. Even those who are reading along but not commenting provide encouragement; my numbers are increasing daily and it’s uplifting to know that people are interested enough to keep checking in.

I’ve been thinking a lot about one of the posts I linked to here. It’s the second link, entitled Senator Dole’s New Anti-Atheist Advertisement. While I understand the point Alonzo is trying to make, I do not agree with the notion that expecting people in positions of authority to speak out against bigotry toward any group is “hiding behind” them. I understand the dilemma; I know that being viewed as an ‘atheist sympathizer’ could be political suicide, but we’re talking about elected officials whose responsibility is to all their constituents, not just those who share their personal views and prejudices.

I would like to elaborate on this and a few other thoughts on this article, but my time with Mike is very limited and precious, so it will have to wait for now. More on that later.

In closing I want to encourage everyone to go and vote today. I’m sure we all know which candidate has my support and, of course, I would like everyone to vote for Barack Obama. Most important, though, is that you exercise your right to vote at all; it’s one of the only opportunities most of us will ever have to make our voices heard on the national stage.

And, again, my thoughts and condolences to Barack Obama and his family during their time of grief; let’s hope we can give them something to celebrate at the end of the day.

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On


(Just Like) Starting Over

Mike will be here tomorrow night. We’re going to have one more visit before kicking the immigration process into high gear. He won’t be able to visit while his visa is being processed, and while that could take as little as three months, it can take up to eighteen months. He can only stay for ten days this time and we do plan to make the most of it.

I can hardly wait to see him. I’m having trouble sitting still and I know I won’t sleep worth a crap tonight. I’m like a kid on Christmas Eve. But I’ll still have to work tomorrow!

The time is going to fly while Mike’s here, though. This will be our shortest visit yet. The thought of seeing him off at the airport again so soon makes me sad. We’ve been through it many times and it never gets any easier. We’re really quite a spectacle, the three of us.

When I’m in this kind of mood, listening to music helps sooth me. I especially like listening to The Beatles and John Lennon’s solo music. I came across this one a while ago and it really sort of hit the spot. It’s especially for Mike, although I don’t know when he’ll see it. Hopefully, he’ll be able to before he hits the road. The song and the video will tell him exactly where my heart is right now and where it will stay while he’s heading my way. It’s also one of my favorites by John Lennon and I hope you’ll enjoy it too.

Interesting side note: Mike and I were married on March 20th and so were John and Yoko.

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On


Secular Homeschooling and Texas Public Schools

For the first time ever, I am seriously considering homeschooling. I work from home, so I have the flexibility needed to manage it. Mike could help via the internet until he’s able to join us permanently.

On searching for homeschool resources in my area, I kept finding Christian and Bible-based curricula . After listing a few well-known sources, one secular homeschool mom said the following:

Unfortunately, these curricula are so steeped in Christianity that even purchasing individual subjects will not shield you from the onslaught of indoctrination. Yes, my friend, even mathematics can be related to the glory of god!

Secular Homeschool

It was through Secular Homeschool that I found several other sites offering support and resources for atheists who want to homeschool, or even Christians and other theists who choose homeschooling but do not want a Bible-based curriculum. Two of the sites I found were Atheist Homeschool.com and Homeschooling Freethinkers, both of which link to a large variety of other sources.

The curriculum packages can be very expensive, and Mike and I are not in a position right now to purchase our top choices. We could do next year, but I’m not sure we can hold out that long due to the nature of the problems at my son’s school, which I will explain shortly.

Continue reading


Feedback Requested

I received an email from my son’s Mulitmedia teacher. I find it disturbing for several reasons, and wonder if some of you would tell me what you think. First, here’s the email:

Hello Ms. [Rambleson],
I had a situation/ conversation with [John] today because he called two students names. [John] informed me that the first student– he was not talking to but the second student claimed that [John] called him stupid. I told [John] to go stand outside, this is where we talk to students about things we do not wish to share with the class in the portables because the AC is very loud– the good and the bad. He asked me why several times before doing so. This is a great question and I was more than happy to answer that for him but not in front of the class– which I told him once we were outside. I didn’t think our conversation was appropriate for the whole class because when I speak with [John] and another student, [John] tends to argue instead of talking about it so it turns into a mess instead of a productive situation.

For the remainder of class, I asked [John] if he would sit at a different table (without any students at it) so he could finish his work.

I spoke to the entire class on Friday about STEM core values (Respecting each other and “name calling”) and our expectations for our students in this program.

[John] told me that he is going to request to take Art instead. To do this he needs to go to the counselor, however, we expect STEM core values to be upheld in all of our classes.

I wanted to speak with you about this and hopefully together we can come up with a solution that will be easy to implement within a 45 minute period. I would like [John] to be part of the solution, as well, but I do not think we were ready for that today (due to time constraints).

Thank you for your time,
[Name withheld]

To begin with, I find this barely coherent. I’ve read it several times, and I’m still not sure what she’s asking me to do. It’s unsettling to see this quality of writing and communication from one of my son’s teachers, especially one whose whole job is based around communications.

The most I can gather is that John called another kid stupid and she dealt with it. So why is she writing to me about it? If a middle school teacher is so fragile that she needs to call in the troops over a little bickering between preteen students, I contend that she needs to seek employment elsewhere.

As to John being argumentative, I concede that he can be that way. I also know that it is quite normal for boys his age. That’s not to say that it’s OK, or that there shouldn’t be consequences, and I do not condone his arguing with teachers. I only say this to point out, once again, that this particular teacher seems ill-equipped to work with children my son’s age. Furthermore, while I admit to his being argumentative at times, I hardly call it making “a mess” of things.

John asked me last night if I think he’s a “screw up”. It broke my heart. I certainly hope he’s not getting that kind of message from his teachers.

After reading through the email several times, I can’t help wondering if the “mess” might be partly a result of this particular teacher’s inability to communicate effectively and take charge.

Please don’t get me wrong: I’m not the kind of parent who thinks her kid can do no wrong. I’m big on taking responsibility and making John do the same. But I know my son and I’m familiar enough with this teacher to suspect that perhaps not all the responsibility for the “mess” belongs to John.

I welcome honest feedback on this. I want help, not coddling.

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On