Posts Tagged ‘Home School’

This video is disturbing; however, it is totally worth understanding that your food doesn’t magically appear.  That chicken sandwich came from abused chickens. 

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1…….2………2½ …….. 2 ¾ …….. 2 7/8 ……..look, knock it off, already.

Does that sound familiar?

How about: “You are grounded until you are 30!” Two days later, “Mom, can I go to so-and-so’s house” “Yeah, sure, have a good time.”

Or perhaps: “The reason you can’t do that, is……..**Twenty minutes later**….do you understand?”

We all have our parenting issues…whether learned from our parents, from well meaning parenting classes or even the University of Hard Knocks. Regardless of the differences, there is one thing that I hear from almost every parent: “I wish there was a manual that came with this kid.” The closest thing I have ever found is 1-2-3 Magic.

The 1-2-3 Magic concept is actually pretty easy to understand and implement. The biggest problems I can see with implementation is using it too much, not using it enough and following through with whatever discipline is chosen. It will also probably work best if whomever is caring for the children on a regular basis, also uses the program….or at the very least doesn’t undermine your use of it. There are books and movies available to illustrate the concepts much better than I could ever describe in a quick blog post. While I suggest trying to find a more frugal method of reading the books or watching the movies, you can certainly purchase the entire set of books/DVD’s/CD’s from the website: http://www.parentmagic.com/

According to the book by Dr. Phelan, you will use the 1-2-3, or counting method to deal with obnoxious behavior (like arguing, fighting, whining, etc.) not things like getting a child up in the morning, doing homework or practicing an instrument. The “magic” is not in the counting, but in the “No-Talking and No-Emotion Rules,” which makes the kids think and take responsibility for their own behaviors. The other main ingredient is short and sweet punishments. For example: If you choose to use the ‘time out’ method, you may want to use the formula: 1 minute for each of the child’s years on Earth (a 10 yr. Old gets 10 minutes of time out). So, when you count, you would say “Junior, that’s one.” Wait five seconds to see if he has taken control of his behavior….if not, you say, “Junior, that’s two.” In many cases, this is all you need; however, if your child continues, you say, “Junior, that’s three…take ten” (Meaning take ten minutes in the designated ‘time out’ location.) Dr. Phelan describes some tough situations like discipline in public and dealing with testing and manipulation.

As a veteran parent, I could see (even just in my own family) some of the problems that may come up. My husband, in wanting to remember to use this program may use it too much and it won’t be as effective…..or he might forget and not use it enough. He is also a “people pleaser” and might have a hard time following through with the punishment. All of that, though, can’t hold a candle to the offenses that I would do to make it ineffective, namely showing WAY too much emotion AND talking too damn much!

If you are able to work through the possible problems in your own parenting/home situation, the program itself is really much easier to implement/follow than all of the other parenting programs I have been a part of, thus far….particularly Love and Logic. This program will work best if it is used as consistently as possible….which shouldn’t be a shocker; however, it may be tough to get all of the folks who co-parent or care for the children on board….not to worry, though, it will still be effective if you are the only person who chooses to use it. 🙂

I borrowed the DVD and book from CASA. When I checked them out, the only reason I was interested in watching/reading about the program was to get in-service credit; however, within minutes of watching the DVD, I was hooked….and interestingly enough, so were the kids. (I was watching it while we were eating dinner.) I think they liked it ’cause it promised that Mom wouldn’t lecture AND that the punishments would be over with very quickly!! James watched it with me the next night and he liked it as well. We have only “counted the kids” three times (two of which were the night we watched the movie….I think, ’cause they wanted to “try it out.”) and not once did it require time out!! We also avoided all of the other unpleasantries!! All-in-all, I think it is a fantastic program…it is easy to use, easy to implement and easy to maintain….what more can you ask for?

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I was sent an email from the Homeschool Group and within this email was a link for an article entitled “When Children’s “Rights” Become Parental “Wrongs”” {http://www.worldviewtimes.com/article.php/articleid-4347} by Brannon Howse.

My responses to the article will be in
bold blue text, I have kept the article in non-bold black font. A lot of the information is just scare tactic OPINION, which I can’t argue with….just like I can’t argue when someone pulls out the “that’s just what I believe” card – – no matter how illogical it is. What I CAN argue about is FACTS….or AT LEAST show some supporting material for “my facts.”
Without further ado…….

Lest you think I am overreacting, this is an e-mail I received from attorney Michael Farris in December of 2008. I personally know Mr. Farris and he has spoken for one of my Worldview Weekends. Mr. Farris has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court and has also warned Americans about this treaty for many years. Here is what Mr. Farris wrote in this December 2009 e-mail:
I was in the United States Senate this past week meeting with lawyers for a Senate office. They told me directly what I have been hearing indirectly on a regular basis ever since the election.
Those who want to change family policy in America to comply with international law are preparing a full-scale effort to seek ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child during this next Congress. Barbara Boxer recently told a planning group that they intend to use children’s health care as leverage to seek ratification of this UN children’s rights treaty.

Actually, I do think you are over-reacting.
The only other country, other than the United States, who has not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, is Somalia, which has not ratified, because it does not have a stable government. Although I would like to argue that most of our government leaders aren’t stable, it just is not an acceptable argument.
Article 4 (of the Conventions) states: “When countries ratify the Convention, they agree to review their laws relating to children. […] Such legislative changes are not imposed, but come about through the same process by which any law is created or reformed within a country. Article 41 of the Convention points out the when a country already has higher legal standards than those seen in the Convention, the higher standards always prevail.”
So, what is wrong with the United States REVIEWING the laws that relate to children and creating or reforming said laws through the same process we already have?

While the idea of “children’s rights” may sound nice, this is just one more effort by liberal agents of change to demean and negate traditional family values.

The author did not define “traditional family values” as it relates to this topic; therefore, how can he clearly state that the “liberal agents of change” intend to “demean and negate” them?

Similarly, what is the purpose for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and who came up with this idea anyway? The pretext for the convention was provided by Poland in 1979 as their contribution to the Year of the Child. And remember: In 1979, Poland was controlled by a Marxist-Leninist, socialistic government. Does that give you an idea of why this treaty is so dangerous—and why Hillary is no friend of the family?

First of all, I understand the purpose for the Convention to be (from the UNICEF site): “Under the Convention, States are obliged to respect parents’ primary responsibility for providing care and guidance for their children and to support parents in this regard, providing material assistance and support programmes. The Convention makes clear the idea that a basic quality of life should be the right of all children, rather than a privilege enjoyed by a few.”
Secondly, I am trying really hard to understand why the information provided about the pretext is in any way a clear and direct link as to why this “treaty” is dangerous {and what that has to do with Hillary Clinton}? It appears to be more scare tactics.

Let’s be clear about what constitutes some of the legal “rights” that would be guaranteed by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Ah, yes, let’s PLEASE be CLEAR about some of those rights.Currently, in the state of Kansas, Social Workers/Attorneys/Judges determine the adequacy of intangible factors, with regards to laws which are ambiguous, at best (this includes the law concerning corporal punishment). Here is the link for the Policy and Procedure Manual for the Kansas SRS: http://www.srskansas.org//CFS/cfp_manuals/ppmepmanuals/ppm_manual/ppm_sections/SECTION%202000.htm
I would assume that if the U.S. Were to ratify the Convention, the same players would be in charge of determining the factors, intangible or otherwise, in child welfare cases.

Consider this sweeping statement proposed by the treaty: “The right of every child to a standard of living adequate for the child’s physical, mental, spiritual, moral, and social development.”
Again, it may sound good at first blush, but who will determine the adequacy of these intangible factors? On what basis will judges and social workers determine what is “adequate”? Social workers certainly are a likely candidate for the job. Yet consider the track record they display. An Alabama social worker once testified under oath that even if she received anonymous complaints against the governor himself, she would need to inspect his home, no matter what evidence was offered to rebut the allegations.[6]

Does all this sound far-fetched? Not if you are aware of what is taking place in courts across America today. The Supreme Court of Washington state a few years ago ruled that it was not a violation of parents’ rights to remove a child from her family because she objected to the parents’ “reasonable rules which were reasonably enforced.” The parents had grounded their eighth-grade daughter because she wanted to smoke marijuana and sleep with her boyfriend. She objected, and the court removed her from the home.[7] That alone should take your breath away, but the implications of the UN action are far more sweeping.
This kind of thing SHOULD take your breath away. It is a shining example of the laws CURRENTLY in effect – – and how much the people have ALLOWED the government to dictate their lives.

Article 13 of the Convention lists the right of every child (any individual under 18) to be:

The right of freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child’s choice.

This article would give the child the right to view pornography whether in print or through the computer. You would be in violation of the law if you tried to prevent it. Every child would have the right of “access to information and material from a diversity of national and international sources,” and the state must “encourage the mass media to disseminate information and material of social and cultural benefit to the child” as well as “encourage the production and dissemination of children’s books” (Article 17).
Excuse me?
The author forgot to add the REST of Article 13: “2. The exercise of this right may be
subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:

(a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others; or

(b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals.
That’s right, folks. Children would NOT be ALLOWED (or have the RIGHT) to view pornography, as it is a VIOLATION OF THE CURRENT LAW (and would NOT impede on the articles of the Convention). In addition, the author neglected to mention the Parent’s rights as stated in Article 5: “States Parties shall respect the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents […].”
Finally, the author left out an important part of Article 17: “States Parties recognize the important function performed by the mass media and shall ensure that the child has access to information and material from a diversity of national and international sources, especially those aimed at the promotion of his or her social, spiritual and moral well-being and physical and mental health.”

Again: Who will decide the content of these “children’s books” to be produced and disseminated by the state?

Again, the same people who NOW decide the content of those “children’s books” – – will be the same one’s who would make the decisions after ratification.

Can we trust the same government who funds blasphemous and homo-erotic art through the National Endowment for the Arts to decide what is of “social and cultural benefit”? What about parents who don’t want their children reading books the state has deemed as “information”?
Parents who don’t want their children reading books would have the right to provide appropriate guidance and direction under Article 5, “States Parties shall respect the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents […] to provide, in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child, appropriate direction and guidance in the exercise by the child of the rights recognized in the present Convention.”

Just so you’ll know, other “rights” provided for under the UN Convention include:
Yes, just so you know the COMPLETE truth:

 • The right of “freedom of thought, conscience, and religion” (Art. 14);
Article 14 ALSO states: “2. States Parties shall respect the rights and duties of the parents and, when applicable, legal guardians, to provide direction to the child in the exercise of his or her right in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child.”
Yes, I know, it puts the decisions right back into the parent’s lap. Amazing.

 • The right of the child to “education” (Art. 28);
This is good, yes? We do want our children to have a good education that will be “contributing to the elimination of ignorance and illiteracy throughout the world” (also Article 28), correct?

 • The “right . . . to benefit from child-care services” (Art. 18);
Oops, the author left out a TON of information about this article. Here is part 3 of the article, in its entirety: “3. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that children of working parents have the right to benefit from child-care services and facilities for which they are eligible.” That sure does put the article in another light, doesn’t it?
Part 1 of the Article states: “1. States Parties shall use their best efforts to
ensure recognition of the principle that both parents have common responsibilities for the upbringing and development of the child. Parents or, as the case may be, legal guardians, have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child. The best interests of the child will be their basic concern.”

 • The “right of the disabled child to special care” (Art. 23).
Oops, the author left out some important parts of Article 23: “3. Recognizing the special needs of a disabled child, […] shall be provided free of charge, whenever possible, taking into account the financial resources of the parents […] and shall be designed to ensure […] his or her cultural and spiritual development.”

I have no problem with the right of every child to receive an education, or for the disabled to receive necessary care. Potential problems arise, however, from the vague wording of many of these rights.
Actually, potential problems arise when people pick and choose from the Articles in order to scare the public into thinking that the government wants to take away “traditional family values.”

The question then becomes: How do Hillary, the UN, and other “agents of change” define education? If you home school your child or send him or her to a private school that does not fit the government definition of an “education,” will you then be guilty of depriving your child of an education? Obviously, the UN and company are not opening the doors to greater freedom but to more totalitarian-style control.
The current laws, which discuss what constitutes a “proper” education would remain the same (as it is in accordance with the UN standards). A parent would be responsible THEN, as they are NOW, for ensuring that their children are receiving an “education.” Obviously, the author is trying to scare you into believing a bunch of nonsense.

What about Article 23 which provides for the rights of the disabled child? Who will determine which children are disabled? Liberal educators regularly hand out new disability labels. What if your child is determined to have dyslexia or have ADD (attention deficit disorder)—or any of myriad other so-called disorders? What if you don’t want your child to take Ritalin or some other mind-altering drug to control his or her hyperactivity? Suppose you refuse to allow your child to take part in special classes, programs, or courses—many of which are filled with psycho-babble, New Age thinking, and humanistic garbage. Will you then be depriving your “disabled” child from special services?

This is a lot to address, luckily, Article 23 covers most of the concerns in section 2, which reads: “2. States Parties recognize the right of the disabled child to special care and shall encourage and ensure the extension, subject to available resources, to the eligible child and those responsible for his or her care, of assistance for which application is made and which is appropriate to the child’s condition and to the circumstances of the parents or others caring for the child.”

The same folks who NOW determine the standards of disability, will continue to do so. “Liberal Educators” handing out “new disability labels”? That is just ridiculous. If your child is determined to have a disability, Article 23 allows for circumstances of the child AND parent(s).

Consider this frightening real-life example. A school guidance counselor examined a first grader and diagnosed the child as hyperactive. The counselor recommended psychotherapy. In response, the mother took her daughter to four sessions but stopped after concluding that the little girl’s problems were due to the classroom environment at school and not the result of any personal or emotional issues. It was also apparent that counseling was not helping her daughter. When the mother refused to take the daughter back to therapy, social workers removed the child from the home. The court, claiming the right to intervene whenever “medical intervention will have a beneficial effect,” ruled the mother guilty of child neglect.[9]

Again, this is an example of CURRENT issues, using laws that are CURRENTLY IN EFFECT.

There are children in this country and around the world who do not receive the kind of love and nurture that every child craves and needs. And there are parents who do not take the responsibility of parenting seriously, some of whom should have children removed from their custody because of physical or sexual abuse. Nevertheless, this does not mean the problem in our nation is so great that all parents should have the rights of parenting taken from them. Why strip the constitutional freedoms of the majority in order to get at an irresponsible minority? There is no cause or justification for such action.
The Convention SPECIFICALLY supports the rights of the parent’s in raising their children – – and no where does it state (or imply) that freedoms, Constitutional or otherwise, would be stripped! There is absolutely cause AND justification for the Convention on the Rights of a Child. The problem is that instead of focusing on the GLOBAL issues that the Convention intends to address, Americans are cutting off their noses to spite their faces. The UN is way more concerned with the little girl in Africa who will have her clitoris removed with a piece of dirty glass, sans anesthesia (http://www.fgmnetwork.org/index.php), than whether or not you home school your child.

Article 37 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child provides every child “deprived of his or her liberty” with the right of free legal counsel and access to the courts to let his or her case be heard. Will children be encouraged by their public school teachers, guidance counselors, school nurses, school phychologists, or friends to sue you the next time you deprive them of their liberty?
Under the right of freedom of religion, you could be sued by your child for forcing him or her to go to church with you. Under the right of freedom of expression, you could be sued by your child if you refuse to let her pierce her nose or deny him the “right” to wear a T-shirt with profanity written on it.
Okay, according to Article 37: “(c) Every child deprived of liberty shall be treated with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of the human person, and in a manner which takes into account the needs of persons of his or her age.”
Article 13 states, “2. The exercise of this right may be subject to certain restrictions […].” and finally Article 14 states: “2. States Parties shall respect the rights and duties of the parents and, when applicable, legal guardians, to provide direction to the child in the exercise of his or her right in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child.” That should clear up any of those lingering “what if’s.”

In a report for the Family Research Council, Dr. Lucier, a former congressional staffer, explains how these “rights” could be used against parents:

The child is guaranteed these rights, no matter what the parents’ religion, political, or other opinion. If the parents, on the basis of their religion or political views, or even ethical views, object to the so-called “rights” guaranteed in the Constitution, the state must step in and uphold those rights “irrespective” of the parents’ opinion. The state, or agency acting on behalf of the child, can sue in court against the parents so that the child can think what it pleases, and associate with whomever it pleases.…If parents refuse to grant these rights, even on the basis of conscientiously held religious or other opinions, the child may be removed from the parents “when competent authorities subject to judicial review determine, in accordance with applicable law and procedures, that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child.”[10]
Actually, current laws can be used in much the same way, if an entity wants to exercise it’s power. Right now, the state must step in and uphold the current laws pertaining to children, NO MATTER THE PARENTS views/beliefs/etc. The state will provide FREE legal assistance in the form of a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL), who will act in accordance with the child’s best interest (as it pertains to the current governmental laws.) If parents refuse, the children can be placed in “state’s custody.” Conversely, if the Convention were to be ratified, the parent’s would be given MORE ‘parental rights’ with LESS governmental interference and MORE governmental support.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child gives children the right to do almost anything. Why do I say almost anything? Because there is one very important right that this treaty does not grant every child: It does not give a child the right to say, “I was wrong.”
When, in a moment of anger and rebellion, a child picks up the phone and files a complaint against his or her parents for supposedly violating one of the “liberties” given by the UN, this treaty does not give the child the right to say later, “I was wrong.” The treaty does not allow the child to change his or her mind and have the complaint withdrawn.
Article 9 states: “1. States Parties shall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his or her parents against their will, except when competent authorities subject to judicial review determine, in accordance with applicable law and procedures, that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child.”
Most states CURRENTLY have an “emergency clause” which allows the state to take children out of their parent’s custody with little to no “proof.” This article would force the government to review the CURRENT laws – – and ensure that children are not separated from his/her parent’s willy-nilly.
Oh, and the laws concerning complaints would remain about the same – – they would still require JUDICIAL REVIEW (whereby the child(ren) AND parents would get a “fair” hearing.)

Your child is sure to receive at school or through radio or television the proper number to call when he feels his liberties have been violated.
A child can do that NOW. Call 1-800-4-A-CHILD or check this site for state-by-state information: http://www.childhelp.org/about/programs-and-services/programs-by-state.

How many parents will find themselves embroiled in a court case or being subjected to the regular visits of a social worker simply because their child got angry and made a call which the child later regrets but cannot reverse? Who will provide the official interpretation of this treaty? A group of parents? Certainly not. Even the interpretation will be up to the UN—through its Committee on Children.
Right now, there are THOUSANDS (if not hundreds of thousands) of families that are (or have been) “embroiled in a court case or subjected to the regular visits of a social worker” because a child was irritated or, as the author illustrated, an anonymous phone call.
The interpretation of the ‘treaty’ will likely be performed by the same judicial folk that currently interpret law/’treaties’/conventions. (As a side note, the majority of folks who are currently in that position are conservative, which should quell any stress that the “Christian, Republican, Right” would feel.)

In Great Britain and some European countries, the committee has already determined that it is in the best interests of the child to outlaw corporal punishment and conduct public education campaigns to accept the prohibition of corporal punishment. That means it becomes illegal for parents to spank their children.
First of all, it would be illegal in GREAT BRITAIN and some of the EUROPEAN countries IF they determined that the Convention should be interpreted in that manner.
Secondly, in the state of Kansas, KSA Statute 21-3609 outlaws “corporal punishment.” {http://www.kslegislature.org/legsrv-statutes/getStatuteFile.do?number=/21-3609.html} Of course, if a parent were to actually go to court for “corporally punishing” their child, he/she would rely upon the leniency of the court and the liberal interpretation, of said legislation, by the presiding Judge.

But the UN goes even further. The committee wants to limit the rights of parents to withdraw their children from sex education classes and intends to change laws so as to increase the ability of children to participate in their parents’ decisions concerning them.
This is just not true. I truly wish the author would not use laws from other countries or propaganda opinion to scare people in this country.

The socialist, liberal agenda, with their one-world viewpoint, seeks to take away America’s pride, prestige, and prosperity. They know the best way to do that is to remove any influence that traditional family values may have on children. When all else fails, they must resort to removing children from homes that are not politically and socially correct. In order to do that, they need laws on the books that will give social workers, teachers, judges, and psychologists the authority to determine whether you are a fit parent and whether or not your child’s “rights” are being denied.
“Those” laws are already on the books – – and it has little do do with a “socialist, liberal agenda.” This kind of hateful propaganda is the same tactics that the Nazi’s used in order for the citizens to display ‘proper’ patriotism. Don’t let this happen to you. “Liberals” are really not trying to take away your money, your guns, your pride, prestige or propsperity…..settle down.

And what is the present status of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child? It was “approved by the UN General Assembly on November 20, 1989, and entered into force on September 2, 1990, after the 20th nation ratified.”

Actually, according to UNICEF, “More countries have ratified the Convention than any other human rights treaty in history—192 countries had become State Parties to the Convention as of November 2005. Only two countries, Somalia and the United States, have not ratified this celebrated agreement.” (http://www.unicef.org/crc/index_30229.html)


If this treaty is passed, Christian parents in America will find themselves on the wrong side of the law of the land. It will represent the greatest restriction of freedoms yet foisted on the American people.The Convention, proposed by the United Nations and ratified by every country belonging to the UN, sans Somalia and the United States of America, has outlined 54 Articles (http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/k2crc.htm) in support of children all over the World from the issues and conditions forced upon them by adults in order to live in peace, surrounded by loving and supportive people.
As a side note, the USA PATRIOT Act is currently the greatest restriction of freedom on the American people – – and this Convention will not even come close to the loss of freedom that American’s had suffered at the hands of the previous fascist government. {http://www.aclu.org/safefree/resources/17343res20031114.html} In fact, it {the USA PATRIOT Act} is a complete disgrace to our Constitutional History.
Finally, as in all things, I encourage you to do your own homework….to actually check the facts and to make your own decision based on said facts. (Here is the website that has the Convention of the Rights of the Child in legal terms: http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/k2crc.htm. And here is the plain-language summary site: http://www.unicef.org/crc/files/Rights_overview.pdf, if needed.) Do not let anyone scare you into believing everything they say, just ’cause it sounds like it may be plausible. Take the time to research the information for yourself.


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So, obviously I haven’t been on here in a long time…..but, especially, I haven’t blogged about homeschool and our related adventures. Well, it is kinda complex and yet, really simple. After the Winter break, Boo basically decided not to do the work that was assigned…..which she did kinda gradually. From January until mid-March, she SLOWED WAY down on her out-put and then added arguing with me….and finally just flat refused to do the work. None of my kids seem to be really scared of me…but, they are of my Honey…LOL. (And really, he is just a big Shrek….all bark…no bite.) Problem is, for whatever reason, they listen to him….so, I told him that he was in charge of her now, as I was tired of the fighting…and I really wasn’t getting that much support from him, I guess he felt like all I needed to do was put down the law and POOF….it would all get better. I finally got so frustrated with the both of them that I told him that HE was in charge now….and I stepped back. No more arguing or fighting…just waited until he got home and said: “Now, deal with her.” This frustrated him after a while, too, as she did START listening but, then went the way of poo-pooing him, too. Finally, we all sat down and agreed on a list of things that she needed to get done daily and then would be allowed privledges: 1) Clean her room; 2) Clean the kitchen and 3) Do school work. This lasted about two days…and she has since NOT completed a day. The bad part is that I have other responsibilities; therefore, there are days where she goes to the sitter and they do lots of fun things (which feel like privileges.) So, basically I have decided to put her back in PS as of August and will. For the remainder of the summer, keep the rule as it is.

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Light Chocolate Torte

Cooking Spray/Vegetable Oil/Crisco
4 C. All-Purpose Flour
4 oz. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 ¾ C. Sugar
2 t. baking soda
¼ t. salt
½ t. ground cinnamon
2 eggs
10 oz. Pitted prunes, soaked in 2 to 3 T. Orange Juice or Water (for at least 15 minutes)and Pureed with soaking liquid
2 t. Vanilla extract
1 C. 1% Milk
1 C. Strong Brewed Coffee
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting (Optional)

Preheat Oven to 250 degreed. Spray, oil or grease 9×13 pan. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Beat eggs until fluffy and doubled in volume. Add prune puree and vanilla. Mix well and add to dry ingredients, beating well. Combine milk and coffee, then beat into batter and pour into prepared cake pan. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until tip of knife inserted gently into center of cake comes out clean. Leave cake to cook for a few minutes and then, if desired, sift confectioners sugar over top.

*Recipe from Tast For Life

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“People who talk about the effects of global warming tend to use the future tense, as if the damage had yet to occur. If only. Even though the earth is just beginning to heat up, it’s already showing the strain.

In Darfur, a decades-long drought — triggered by a warming southern Atlantic — led to a shortage of arable land and ignited an ongoing ethnic conflict. In Washington, D.C., politicians are being forced to deal with more powerful Gulf Coast hurricanes and a flood of “environmental refugees” from equatorial countries. Meanwhile, European nations like Italy are increasingly susceptible to “tropical” diseases such as malaria and dengue fever, while the wine industry is being forced to migrate north, to Denmark and England. So garage that SUV, or brace yourself for the inevitable bottles of Chateau Liverpool.” – – VSL


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Everybody lies, but it doesn’t matter since nobody listens.
– Anonymous
Think of giving not as a duty but as a privilege.
– John D. Rockefeller

You should give as you would receive, cheerfully, quickly, and without hesitation; for there is no grace in a benefit that sticks to the fingers.
– Seneca

He who cannot give anything cannot feel anything either.
– Friedrich Nietzsche

The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving.
– Albert Einstein

Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
– Anonymous
In a mad world, only the mad are sane.
– Akiro Kurosawa

You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.
– Anonymous

Anger blows out the lamp of the mind.
– Robert Ingersoll
Stand up for what is right, even if you are standing alone.
A part of kindness consists of sometimes loving people more than they deserve.  
– Joseph Loubert
Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.  
– Albert Einstein
Ultimately, it’s up to each of us to choose how we will live our lives, hold ourselves to high standards, and continually evaluate what’s inside the image we see in the mirror.  
– Eric Harvey
The greatest discovery of this generation is that a human being can alter their life by altering their attitude.  
– William James
A friend is a present you give to yourself. 
–  Robert Louis Stevenson

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“One hundred twenty-five years ago, Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley took the first microphotographs of snow; 46 years later he died of pneumonia contracted while photographing snowflakes in his barn. Today, CalTech physicist Kenneth Libbrecht is carrying Bentley’s work into the 21st century — and posting the findings online.

Libbrecht’s gallery includes a remarkably beautiful photograph of the “stellar dendrite” — a many-branched, starlike form that creates the light, fluffy powder that skiers adore. You’ll also see a “hollow column” (which resembles a tiny pipette) and the superdelicate “needle” snowflake, which appears only when the temperature nears 23 degrees F. Keep looking, and you’ll find prisms, sectored plates, and the rare triangular snowflake. According to Libbrecht, each of these flakes holds about a billion billion molecules.” – – VSL


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Drop.io is a totally free, totally private server space that allows you to upload and share documents and (unlike Google Docs) music and video files.

“Drops” can hold up to 100MB of data and come with their own e-mail addresses and fax and voice-mail numbers: Once you’ve built one, you create a password to allow others inside. Work on group projects, back up your files, or post all your holiday photos at once and shoot the URL over to your friends and family members. The best part? Unlike other file-sharing sites — YouSendIt, box.net — drop.io doesn’t ask you to register or provide an e-mail address.” – – VSL 


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My Values

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