Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Precious Teaching Moment- Random Act of Kindness

In today's society it is difficult for a parent or parents to find those glimmers of hope and shimmers of kindness to use for those teaching moments.

Today I had an awesome teaching moment for the Viking Kiddos. I could not wait t get to my office and to the computer to share. I am carefully and laborously typing this on my so called "smart phone."  Please excuse any weird typos. 

At my favorite coffee shop we had a five or six car "Pay it Forward" or "Random Act of Kindness" moment in the drive hrough window. It started two or three cars ahead of me in which the first car paid for the drink  behind  them. When I arrived at the window to pay for our drinks I discovered that the lovely red car in front of me had paid for my drink. So, in return I paid for the drink for the young man behind me in the huge white truck. 

I have no idea who the mystery person was in front of me but as a way of thanking them for their generosity, I paid for the young man behind me. I hope he continued the "pay it forward" and "random act of kindness" through the line. 

Viking Lady Bug asked, "why did they pay for your drink and why did you pay for the strangers drink?"

I explained to the Viking Kiddos about Random Acts of Kindness and this was an example of strangers being kind to one another. I asked them to Pay it Forward by showing kindness to someone today. 

Then out of the mouth of babes they both quoted Proverbs 3:3


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Summer Time Projects- Day 1

Okay, raise your hand if you know what Memorial Day Weekend means????

 It is to remember our awesome veterans!!

But, to all of us teachers....... it means Summer Vacation is around the corner!!! Woot!! Woot!!

Once again I am gathering ideas on how to keep two very inquisitive and active Viking Children from going "ah- viking" on their Mommy during the summer.

I love being part of the Waldorf Mommy Community because there are so many creative and lovely Mommy's out there. The other day one of my favorite Mommy Blogs, Wee Folk Arts posted a project from Twig and Toadstools. This looks like fun.

Pressed Flower Mobile
Check out their instructions here.

Have fun!

Bless Bless

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

More Violence- And we don't see this in our entertainment?

Probably by now, especially if you live in California, you have heard about the massacre of six young college students in Santa Barbara. The media has been focusing on the "close calls", the "warning signs", and the "memories", "mental health....." What the media is failing to discuss is this Perpetrators MO! 

A body found in San Barbara

MO is police/profiler jargon for "modus operandi." This is Latin for "mode of operation." In reality "unsub" is actually a Hollywood term in which it has leaked into modern police work. Originally, the MO of a criminal was the description of a criminals characteristic profile. 

Recently, and I will not dignify him by using his name-which gives him power even in death-, the Perpetrator sent his "manifesto" to one of his therapist and was also discovered by the police department. 

You can read it here in its entirety. 

Now, I have recently posted a discussion about violence in the media. Has television violence gone beyond a stated taboo?

They are entitled:

Has Television Violence Gone Beyond a Stated Taboo?

I have found it rather ironic recently that society is outraged when they read this Perpetrator's manifesto but then don't see this same violence in entertainment. 

Let's do a thought exercise. Lets change the author's name of the Manifesto to George R.R. Martin or Marquis de Sade or change the title to Saw I-IV or the Hills Have Eyes. 

How is this entertainment but in the same breath we are horrified of the real thing?
Scene from Game of Thrown-Red Wedding

Thought exercise: How is the change of the title or author any different?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Warning Against Scams

I still can not believe that we actually have people, no scum, that pray on people during a tragedy. There is a special place in Hades for these kind of people. 

Last week San Diego go a taste of things to come with an early season fire. 

Now, as things are slowly going back to normal the community receives a warning about potential scam artists that pray on fire victims. 

Legally, unless a policy holder calls their insurance agent, assessors and related people must wait seven days to contact a victim. At least, in California. I am not sure about other states. 

My frame of reference is based on fires and earthquakes. I live in California. But, I am sure this warning can be applied to anyone who has gone through a "Natural Disaster." 

Okay, this may sound bizarre but a wild land fire is not a natural disaster- unless caused by lightening. Tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, snow storms, earthquakes... those are natural disasters. A fire started by a careless construction worker or an arsonist is not natural. 

But I digress..... it's been a stressful week. 

This is from KPBS NPR news

Fire Victims Urged To Be Aware Of Scams

Monday, May 19, 2014

A wildfire task force will fan out across the fire- ravaged North County today and Tuesday to warn homeowners against would-be criminals who prey on victims of natural disasters, the District Attorney's Office said.
The investigators assigned to the task force come from various agencies, including the D.A.'s Office, the California Department of Insurance, the Contractors State License Board and the Department of Motor Vehicles, according to the District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.
"We're joining forces to make sure people affected by the fires aren't re-victimized,'' Dumanis said. "The sooner we warn residents about would-be scammers, the less likelihood there is that people will be duped.''
A similar task force was formed after the massive 2003 and 2007 wildfires in San Diego County.
Also today, the FBI put out a warning to non-fire victims to be cautious when making donations to help those who lost homes or businesses in the fires.
"Unfortunately, criminals can exploit these tragedies for their own gain by sending fraudulent emails and creating phony websites designed to solicit contributions,'' the FBI stated.
The agency offered the following tips to avoid donation scams:
-- do not respond to unsolicited email;
-- be skeptical of individuals asking for donations via email or social networking sites;
-- beware of organizations with copycat names similar to but not exactly the same as those with reputable charities, and organizations that use a .com web address instead of a .org;
-- research a charity independently on the Internet rather than click on a unsolicited link; and
-- be wary of anyone who is too aggressive in asking for a donation or asks for cash, a wire transfer or check addressed to an individual rather than an organization.
Bless Bless
Viking Mom

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Fires! Are you Prepared to Evacuate?

The Viking Homestead is located in San Diego County. As much as I joke about preparing for a Zombie Apocalypse there is a deeper reason for our need to prepare. We live in Fire Country!  We have been evacuated twice due to fires, dealt with a major Blackout, and have to be prepared for the power companies grid shut down due to high winds. 

The Viking Dad and I met during a Fire Worm Storm!

Are you prepared? I have written about preparing several time and you can re-read them here.

Bug Out Box
Professional Medical Kits
Basic Emergency Check List

Another point to think about while preparing.

 Know alternative routes and roads for escape and travel. All major roads during an evacuation will be closed, clogged or possibly shut off. Know your back roads. This knowledge came in handy yesterday when a fire erupted on my route home. I was able to take back roads to my children and make it home, safely. 

Keep you vehicles fuel tanks full. You won't know how far you will have to travel to evacuate or get to family.

Be safe! Be Prepared! Be Wise!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

For the State of California- What is coming in 2014-15 School Year

I feel like an insider sneaking out information to the world. 

After another very long and painful Staff Meeting this was posted to all of us:

2014-2015 School Year

What's Coming Next!
Full Implementation of Fully Functional 
This is the Smarter Balance
That is aligned to the 
Common Core Curriculum

Common Core Curriculum is to be fully implemented 
School Year!

All Common Core Assessments will now be on line and computerized!

Google California Smarter Balance and check it out for yourself. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A True Viking Queen Outfit

This Viking Garment is what a Lady Earl, Karl or Queen would wear. 
Fine wool, fine linen and beautifully hand embroidered motifs. 
The "turtle" broaches were made of silver and gold or find bronze.  In the middle would be her wealth of glass beads, sliver and gold coins, silver or bronze ornaments and amber. Each Lady would have a small knife, scissors and other "Lady items" that would be items of status. 
Behind her are beautifully crafted leather shoes. 
Yes, the Viking loved color! 
Each woman had three layers of garments of on to keep warm. 
Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland were COLD!

This is compared, poorly----

This is what a thrall aka a slave would wear. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Careful What You Say- Your Child is a Reflection of Who You Are

Sometimes, the 240 characters on Facebook are not enough space to really express One's feelings or emotions. So, this moment has been brought to you by a very tearful and confused Viking Monkey Boy whom I just spent the weekend comforting. 

Please raise you hands Moms and Dads if you have had your child come home and has said:

(Names have been humorously changed to protect the innocent)

"Little Attila said I couldn't come to his yurt because his Mama is mad at you because (insert moment of choice)."


"Little Ragnar said he couldn't come over to our house because you can't clean correctly."


"Little St. Francis said we couldn't play together anymore because his Daddy said we were sinners."


"Why does Anakin's father call his Mother a 'b-1-3-4-h'?"

Then in complete confusion your child explains that these "friends" won't be their friends anymore.

As any Mother would do you gently confront the parents of Attila, Ragnar, St. Francis and Anakin and ask for some kind of clarification. Of course they deny ever saying these statements directly to your face. But, you can tell in their eyes that they must have said the statements, but not directly to their child. It was an "adult" conversation that the child wasn't meant to over hear. 

Ladies and Gentlemen- I am not here to be your thought police, your editor, your sensor or even  Judge. What I would like to share with all of you is a bit of a learning moment.

Our children are our mirrors to us. Even during play they are still observing, listening and absorbing everything around them and sounds they hear, including conversations. 

We all tend to vent or express our opinions/beliefs etc to adults, to our spouses or a trusted friend. I do too. But, I am very careful when I vent not to vent around the Viking Children. I try, at least.  Why? To avoid confusion.

When we vent or express a personal opinion around a child under the Age of Understanding they see it as a truth. They see and hear our comments as black and white. Children under the Age of Understanding (ages 0-12 years of age) have developmentally placed us on a Pedestal of Truth.

At this developmental stage children also model our own behaviors. This is why our children are our mirrors. How we behave is how they will subsequently behave. Yes, that tone you often hear from your child that sets you on edge may be a tone that you use. Ouch!

Now, I understand that if a particular person or child is not "healthy" to be around then of course limit their exposure to your children. I have, sadly. 

What I am warning against are those comments, vents or opinions that as adults may be meaningless, but to a child are full of meaning. 

I am still trying to figure out how to fix the damage that has been caused by these two comments. 

Stay tune... I may share my discovery.

Bless Bless
Viking Mom in search of a clean, snotless shirt.

Monday, May 5, 2014

ADhD Monday

Yes, this has been my day.
What do you mean it's Monday and grades are due?!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

21st Century Technology and Mother Nature

Sometimes Mother Nature, Njord,  Norðri, Suðri, Austri and Vestri  conspire together against mankind and their desires to keep to a schedule. Today, while visiting one of my Students I had a bit of shock. 

In Southern California we have what are called the Santa Ana Winds. Winds can reach up to 100 mph and they are dry and hot winds. Nothing like what can come off the fjords.  But, like the winds that blow through the fjords or off the Arctic Circle; the Santa Ana winds can blow down trees. 

Those little lines on the street are not shadows. This particular tree brought down power, cable and telephone lines. 

And guess on whose car?

Ja! on Viking Mom's car!

Completely missed the other car and landed on Viking Mom's car. 

I am thankful in many ways that this goofy and nerve racking moment didn't turn out to be a horrible tragedy. Earlier that morning these outstanding fire fighters were on the other side of town battling a fire caused by the high winds. They still came to help us out with a smile. 
They also graciously checked on my medically fragile student to make sure he was okay, since the power went out. My student's back up systems switched over and he's fine. 
As it turned out the majority of the wires were phone and cable. They graciously checked my car and made sure that it wouldn't explode. I think tonight I am going to dream of Iceland. 

 Bless Bless