April 2009 - Posts

Swine Flu Symptoms
Wednesday, April 29, 2009 3:12 PM

With “swine flu” having been confirmed to be quickly spreading throughout the US, many people are in a panic to check online for the symptoms of this potential epidemic. More important than where this disease might be showing up is whether or not it could be affecting you or a loved one. At this time, reports of a few schools in New York and Chicago are closing due to the affect that one infected child could cause. It has been reported in over 10 states at this time. It has been reported that a 23-month old child died in the US today from swine flu, however, the child and his family were from Mexico.

Please keep in mind that washing hands regularly and covering your mouth when coughing are ways to help spread of the disease. Schools are only closing because children obviously do not follow these guidelines very closely and they can easily spread it to others.

It is very important not to panic over this, but rather stay informed and be cautious that you don't touch your eyes, nose, or mouth after leaving a public place like the grocery store, doctor's office, fitness club, school/day care, etc. Hopefully this will be well contained.

After doing my own research online, I have found that the following are signs that the CDC is reporting, but keep in mind that these do not mean that it is “swine flu” as it can be so many things, including the common cold or flu. Even prior to this outbreak, the CDC says that over 36,000 deaths per year occur due to flu related illnesses in the US alone. Just be aware of these signs if they continue to worsen and seek medical care immediately.

The CDC reports some symptoms to be:

Fever
Lethargy
Lack of appetite
Coughing
Runny nose
Sore throat
Nausea
Vomiting
Diarrhea






 

by parker | with no comments
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More Reasons Why I HomeSchool
Friday, April 24, 2009 11:06 AM

I read not one, but two appalling stories today in the news about children and the public school system. I could not have decided to homeschool at a better time.

Not sure what area this story is from, but two fifth-graders were recently arrested for selling marijuana at their elementary school. My oldest daughter will be in 5th grade next year and I can’t imagine having her come home to tell me about this. I am not ignorant of the fact that this happens in schools. My husband and I have had discussions with both of our young daughters about the bad effects of illegal drugs and more importantly, about how they might be approached by other kids their age who want them to think that it is ok to take the drugs. Part of my outrage with this is that someone taught these young boys how to start their “career” in selling drugs before they had a real chance to get a good education and set their goals on a promising career. While it is true that not everyone gets that chance, don’t waste those early years on such nonsense!

Then, there was an elementary school teacher who decided to send feces home with one of her 5-year old students to teach him a lesson. Whether or not the child was responsible for the classroom accident is not yet known, but this is insane. According to the media, the incident is being “investigated.” In other words, the woman is still in the classroom at this point and I can’t imagine how the parents of this child must feel at this point. Although the child is too old to not be trained, there could be several valid reasons for why the accident happened. If it was not an accident, it still could have been handled differently. This is not the type of lesson that the child went to school to learn.

by parker | 2 comment(s)
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Postage Prices Increase May 11, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009 1:05 PM

Well, it’s May again and once again the post office will be raising their prices for mailing first class. The full list of the new prices is now posted on the official United States Postal Service website at: USPS.com.

Some of the more common price changes are:

$0.44 Letters – first ounce
$0.88 Large envelopes – first ounce
$1.22 Parcels – first ounce
$0.17 per additional ounce

$0.28 Postcard
$0.54 Stamped envelope

So if you know you will need to mail some things off in May, go ahead and get them out by May 11 to avoid insufficient postage delays.

by parker | 1 comment(s)
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Extreme Makeover Home Edition
Monday, April 13, 2009 10:53 AM
I normally don’t watch the Extreme Home Makeover show, however, friends and family contacted us last night to watch this special Tallahassee, FL episode of a large family who desperately needed a new home. I regret that I missed the beginning of the show and the introduction of both parents and their large family of 1 biological son along with about 6 adopted children. The adopted children were all from China and have special needs. This family is so special because of the love that is shared among all of them and the attention given to the children who have special needs. The family live in Tallahassee, FL and this made the episode even more touching for us since we live in the same city. It was so moving to get to know this family over the short course of this show.

My understanding is that they were living in a 3 bedroom / 1 bathroom home when they were chosen to be the recipients of a new home by the show. In the end, a very beautiful home was designed for a very deserving family and they were even serenaded in their new home by the Stevie Wonder! Unfortunately, the father was not able to see their new home since he was battling with cancer and went into the hospital before the home was built. I wish the Kadzis family the best and although they have a long and tough road ahead of them emotionally, it seems that with all of the love in that house to go around that they will eventually overcome their loss.

by parker | with no comments
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The Perfect Storm
Friday, April 3, 2009 11:03 AM

What does that term really mean? What is the perfect storm? To me, when you say “storm”, that means something bad. It could mean thunder, lightning, hail, strong winds, flying debris, falling trees, power outages and more. None of that seems to be the perfect circumstance to me.

There was a movie with this title released back in the year 2000 or so that starred George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Diane Lane, just to name a few. It was all about this bad storm that some commercial fisherman were caught in, and all the terrible effects of nature that they were up agains. From what I understand, that movie was based on a true story.

The term “be careful what you wish for” comes to mind because the ground here was quite dry and we did mention that it would be nice to have some rain. We were dealing with terrible allergy and sinus reactions to the over abundance of pollen in the area for weeks, so some rain would have been nice. We just had about a week of rain here in north Florida and it dumped on us pretty good. It has finally let up and we are seeing the sun again, but not before a really nasty storm that downed trees and left many areas flooded. Local area residents voluntarily evacuated their homes to avoid being flooded out. I don’t ever remember seeing so much rain for so long and it was really starting to depress some local residents. It was a huge topic on Twitter and all the local media as well.

So is there a perfect storm? Maybe for those whose profession is predicting and chasing bad weather, but in my opinion, the perfect storm is NO storm!

by parker | 1 comment(s)
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Spanking Children
Thursday, April 2, 2009 10:54 AM

Is “spanking children” a part of the job description for a school official? Yes, those of you who read my blog know that I homeschool now, and although this is not the reason why, it does help me feel it was the right decision. A local vice principal “paddled” an 11 year old boy last month for bad behavior (I assume, although the update on this story does not explain why he was paddled. I think that just makes this worse). Anyway, authorities have decided not to charge the VP for child abuse. Mind you, those parents who do spank their children for misbehavior are concerned that some government or state authorized agency official might come by and “take” their children from them for the disciplinary act, but apparently, school officials don’t have to worry about answering to authorities for spanking children who are not theirs (biologically speaking).

Now, playing for the other side, here is the policy that was quoted for the non-action taken:


1.) "A teacher or administrator shall administer corporal punishment only in the presence of another adult who is informed beforehand, and in the student's presence, of the reason for the punishment. Corporal punishment shall not be administered by a person while he is angry nor shall such punishment be administered with malice."


2.) "In no case shall such punishment be unduly severe or degrading in nature and shall be administered to the buttocks."
Wow! I had no idea that school officials could do this. While I do agree that children who badly misbehave should be disciplined by school officials, I thought that punishment involved suspension, detention or some other act that does not involve physical contact.

Another question I have is: does this policy apply to parents too?  And have any families really lost their children due to disciplining them or is that just a myth? I don’t know of anyone who’s child was removed from the home for being spanked, but if they have been, and it was NOT due to child abuse, then how fair is that?
 

by parker | 4 comment(s)
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