Posts Tagged ‘USA’

President’s Day 2013

February 18, 2013

mount rushmore

On any holiday that is not Christmas and Easter, my homeschooling students ask if they get the day off.  We do take off each of their birthdays, and MINE, obviously!  But Valentine’s Day is not a day off.  Neither is Groundhog’s Day nor the first day of any season….nor the equinox of the moon… nor any eclipse.  Nor the first day the NHL starts again after a strike.  However, President’s Day was granted as a day off IF the kids could recite the entire list of the presidents of the United States.  Didn’t even have to be in order.

We have a handy dandy Presidents of the United States place mat that re-arrived on the table during breakfast this morning, being that it IS President’s Day.  (Remember when we used to get off Lincoln AND Washington’s birthdays?)  None of my pupils have given their recitation of the country’s leaders as of yet… 2:48 p.m.

My 9-year-old was fascinated with all the “funny looking” men.  She asked how many of them I knew personally.  Um… none.  Then she asked if I was alive with George Washington.  Um… no.  “So how many have you been alive for?”  Good question. I took a gander at the place mat.  Nine.  I have been alive for nine presidents.

How many presidents have you been alive for?

 

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My Heart is STILL in Colombia!

November 24, 2012

It’s true.  We have been home from Cali, Colombia for 23 months with our little Colombian princess.  The adoption journey has had bumps and twists that we didn’t expect, but it has been so wonderful and rewarding.

Tomorrow is GOTCHA DAY number two!

TWO YEARS!!!  Hard to believe it has gone by so fast.  Sometimes our month in Colombia seems like forever ago… and sometimes it seems like last week.  I miss the lush greenness of Cali, the vast array of mystery fruits that were scrumptiously yummy, the glimpses of the Andes when the fog lifted, the bamboo forest we drove by to our villa, the coconut ice cream bars, the afternoon rain showers, the neighborhood boys who would come and ask,  “Is Austin Rick’s son?”, the sweet smell of the flowers, arepas filled white cheese, the stickiness of the night air and the pee-po pee-po LOUD evening serenade of the coqui frogs.

People often ask “Why Colombia?”  Quite a few factors lead us to the beautiful and tropical South American country.

1.) My husband, Rick, went to Valledupar, Colombia for a summer to build a church when he was 17-years-old.  He grew to love the warm-hearted people and the countryside teeming with unknown vegetation, never imagining that he would return to meet his daughter twenty-something years later.

2.) We have three bio kids who do not look like Rick AT ALL.  Ok, one does a little, but I was expecting little chubby, black-haired Indian babies when I married a Cree Indian.  Didn’t happen.  The Irish and Finnish genes dominated and we got two blonde-haired, blue-eyed kids and another slightly darker. So, when we had chosen an adoption agency, I looked through the pages for the countries they worked in….   I held up the two pages and announced to Rick, “El Salvador and Colombia are where the kids look like you.”  “Colombia,” he replied.  And it was a done deal.

3.) Not that I was anywhere near proficient, but I thoroughly enjoyed taking Spanish… back in the day.  Larisa also had Spanish courses and was mastering her second language quite nicely.  So a country in South America seemed familiar… somehow.  (Not distant in my mind, like, say, Kazakhstan… or China.) I related to Ellie from the movie UP…. her dream was to visit South America.  She tore pictures right out of a library book of the fascinating country.

I am as American as you could get.  I LOVE my country… the anthem brings me to tears.  Studying and teaching the history of our great land is a deep passion of mine.  But I have to say that my heart beats in thirds… a third for the USA, a third for Canada, where I spent my college years and the first 10 years of marriage, and now a third for Colombia where I fell in love with my daughter’s people and homeland.  My heart is still in Colombia. <3

Here we are …

April 9, 2012

Here we are on Easter Sunday … three generations of shining faces.  That’s my mom and my two daughters with me, in case you are new to MSJ.  We are an international crew.  Grandma and Larisa born in Canada. I was born in the USA and Nora in Colombia.  And we’re okay with all that.  Free trade and all that. “All that” really does include a lot of passports/fees/paperwork/fingerprinting…. and it’s all good.

Family dinners are a joy to behold.  Lots of laughter.  Lots of thankful hearts.  Not only for the resurrection of our Lord, but for the family with whom He has surrounded us. 

Favorite quotes from this year’s Easter dinner:

Seven-year-old nephew, when asked what he wanted to drink, “I’ll have rootbeer.  But if there’s no root, I’ll just take the beer.” (We are not a drinking family, so it was quite amusing!)

Eight-year-old daughter, after her father said, “There are E G G S around the R O O M.  We will H U N T after C H U R C H.”  “Hey, I think you guys spelling so I don’t know what you’re talking about!”

My pound-dropping husband, “This is the leanest and greenest Easter dinner I’ve ever eaten!”

He is risen indeed!

Math the Colombian Way

March 19, 2012

(This picture has nothing to do with this post…. but it’s cold outside, so I picked a snow picture!)

Math is different around the world.  I’m convinced of that.  My husband was taught math in Canada and he DOES NOT do multiplication the way I was taught here in the good ol’ US of A.  And he’s not converting from metric either; he simple learned a funky, three-step process to do the facts, and I merely memorized them.  On occasion, I do use my fingers for the nine’s times tables, but that’s only really late at night. [You know… hold up your ten fingers.  Bend down the number you are multiplying by nine.  Read the tens and ones with the remaining fingers.  I.e.  9×4  Hold up your ten fingers.  Bend down the fourth finger from the left.  There are three fingers standing on the left (tens = 30) and six fingers still standing on the right (ones = 6)  Hence, 36.]  But my dear husband’s process has you subtracting and adding numbers up and down from the number you started with.  And you’re supposed to remember all these numbers as you go.  Too many steps for my little brain.

Today, at the kitchen table while teaching math to the little Colombian princess, I was assuming that Colombians learned addition differently than I did.  Here are the equations and her answers:

15.   5 + 4 =  24

16.   3 + 8 = 27

Get it?  I didn’t.  For a LONG time.  Finally I explained that it was a pre-test and I didn’t expect her to know how to do those problems yet.  THEN I SAW the DOTS.  She draws little dots and counts them.  For the first problem, she drew 15 dots, 5 dots and 4 dots.  She counted them all and wrote the correct answer!  SHE WAS INCLUDING THE NUMBER OF THE PROBLEM!  Hahahaha!  And she DID know how to add them ALL!  So after we got it all ironed out, it was smooth sailing.  Colombian math is just like USA math, but probably not like Canadian math! (If I can help it!)

My Political Post for 2010

July 23, 2010

Today was the first day of the homeschool convention here in Phoenix.  The exciting thing this year is that I get to go to seminars instead of working in a booth.  I’ve been in the Konos booth for 6 or 7 years now, but they aren’t doing conventions any more.  Sad but true.

(Photo from  www.focusonlinecommunities.com)

Anyway, the first session was power packed:  State Senator John Huppenthal, Governor Jan Brewer (of immigration fame), Senator John McCain (the 5th Arizonian to not win the presidency), and my personal favorite, Michael Farris.  Those who aren’t submerged in the homeschool world might not recognize that last one.  He is an attorney with the Home School Legal Defence Alliance (or Association… or another A….).  He’s also a dad of ten kids.  Yes, you read that right.  TEN.  My hat’s off to him for that point alone.  He’s a lawyer with a great sense of humor who entertained and enlightened us this morning.  But it gets better. 

(Disclaimer:  I might not have all the details totally accurate, but please get the gist of this.)  The UN has a new-ish treaty that they are trying to get all the UN countries to sign called the Rights of the Child.  It is pretty well a sure thing that our president would sign this document before his term is up.  (Notice I didn’t say termS.)  Up front it sounds all nice and fair for children, but it is not.  It would not only undermine the autonomy of the USA but also the authority of the family.  I learned all this today at the homeschool convention… amidst several thousand like-minded individuals who don’t take kindly to governments telling us what to do with our children. 

Mr. Farris has written Senate Resolution 519 (Here is the text, in case you’re interested: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-sr519/text )  Mainly it states that the primary safeguard for the well-being and protection of children is the family, and that the primary safeguards for the legal rights of children in the United States are the Constitutions of the United States and the several States (plus WAY more).

I did not realize that if this resolution has 34 co-sponsors in the Senate, this treaty could never be voted on by President Obama.  I just assumed that he would vote according to his socialist beliefs and we would suffer the consequences… again.  But 34 senators can say, “We will not support this” and it freezes the vote.    This is also why the Founding Fathers, who would be shocked and dismayed at the state of the union, put a clause in the Constitution to separate the USA from other countries.  Brilliant.  For such a time as this.

The AZ senators are already co-sponsors, among (I think) 27 others.  So I can’t do any calling to senatorial offices.  But if you live outside of Arizona and don’t want President Obama giving away your right to parent your child according to your beliefs, please find out if your senators are co-sponsors of Sen. Res. 519…. and encourage them to be sponsors!  Be American and contact your representatives!

Ok, My Sister’s Jar will be back to fluff and nonsense, and vacation pictures, and drivel tomorrow.

Go Senator McCain!

November 2, 2008

Two and a half more days and we’ll all know exactly what the good ol’ USA deserves.  Well, you get what you deserve, right?  God help us!  We visited the McCain Campaign Southwest Headquarters  this week and helped the cause by putting together yard signs.  It was a buzz of activity. 

Our homeschool co-op also stepped into his office for a few moments to see all that is on display there as well.  They have a rotating system of showcasing hundreds of different pictures, certificates, awards and memorabilia, but the set that was out blew my mind.  The honor and service awards  were vast in numbers that Sen. McCain has been awarded.  Wow.  I wanted to read one in particular to my kids about his life and commitment to America, coming from a family devoted to military service and his valiant stint as a POW, but I was in tears reading it silently and couldn’t manage a vocal performance at that moment.

There were pictures of Senator McCain with Presidents Nixon, Regan, Ford, Carter, Clinton and both Bushs.  There was a picture of him in his flight suit as a handsome young soldier (who looked a lot like Tom Cruise, in my humble opinion) taken three minutes before his personal freedom was taken away from him for six years after he was shot down.  There were also many awards around the office for his work with prisoners of war and veterans.  The man knows what’s going on.  He’s been there, done that and wrote the book.

I was not automatically for Sen. McCain in the beginning.  He did not get my primary vote, but unquestionably, he has my Tuesday vote.  There is just no comparison between the two candidates in work ethic, experience, history, values, respect, track record, etc.  What in the world has Sen. Obama done for our country so far?  I cannot for the life of me figure it out.  And what in the world is a world citizen?  Are they handing out new passports for everyone on planet Earth who can fog a mirror?  I want an AMERICAN citizen as President, who is proud of our great country, and proud of our system of government, our emblems and our Christian heritage.

As many of you, I’ve read a vast array of commentaries about both candidates.  The one that made me really laugh said that in order to claim a nationality, like Chinese, or Spanish, or Black, you have to be at least 1/6 of that nationality.  I don’t know if it’s true, but they stated that Sen. Obama is 1/8 black, so he can’t legitimately even claim that.  Shoot!  That was his main playing card! 

This is my kind of candidate…. a little stand up right before the big day.  To our eternal amusement, Senator and Mrs. McCain did a stint on SNL.  Here’s the link:  http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/video/clips/mccain-qvc-open/805381/

Needless to say at this point, VOTE! on Tuesday.  And if you got a call from the “McCain” camp telling you to get out and vote on WEDNESDAY…. it’ll be all over by then.  It’s TUESDAY that counts.

Happy Thanksgiving to Fellow Canadians!

October 13, 2008

One of the many blessings of being dual citizens in being thankful twice a year on Thanksgiving!  Yes, the second Monday in October is Canadian Thanksgiving and is celebrated much like here in the States…. even with football.  The turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie are not always eaten on the Monday, but can be consumed (followed by turkey-stuffed comas on the couch) on Saturday, Sunday or Monday.  We Americans are a bit picky about our hallowed Thursday for Turkey and the such.

We have much to be thankful for: our loving God, our family far and near, our home, our health, our church family and most of the members of my family would add hockey to that sentimental list.  So to the Canadians in the crowd, Happy Thanksgiving!  Enjoy the holiday and be thankful. :o).  If you need a movie suggestion, I’d recommend The Ultimate Gift.  There is even a touching Thanksgiving scene to bring us all back to reality.  It is a MUST WATCH!

I think we’ll have some turkey dogs to celebrate with our countymen.  Here Here!

Welcome, Honey!

June 12, 2008

A BIG congratulations goes out today to my Canadian husband who had his interview and test to become an American citizen!  Whooooo Hoooooo!  He passed and my country wants him.  The test is quite hard, especially if you went to public school here in the good ol’ USA.  The first day we got the test, Rick already knew more answers than I did.  Shameful, I know.  But keep in mind that he has been the most politically active non-American during the past 11 years of elections…. National and State levels.  He’s so excited to VOTE!  I wish more Americans were just as excited to have the voting privilege and responsibility.

Anyway, I got another convert for our country.  I brought one in.  I got me one.  I did good.

www.LindaCrosby.com