How many libertarians are in your state?

800px-Vinland_Map_HiResDo you want to see where most libertarians are? See here

Image attribution: “Vinland Map HiRes” by Yale University Press – Yale University, from this website. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vinland_Map_HiRes.jpg#/media/File:Vinland_Map_HiRes.jpg

Why My College Degree Is Meaningless: Years in the Education System Has Soiled My Learning (Huffington Post)

Sin_diplomaIf the Huffington Post is starting to go after higher education i am assuming there must be a big problem. I agree with most of what this lady says. She is very right when it comes to the core problem, the standardized testing. (Although personnally i would love to see all education left up to parents. But that is a discussion for another day.) This article is definitely worth checking out. Particularly the conclusions she draws for solutions.. why most college degrees…

images attribute:{{Information |Description=sin diploma |Source=self-made |Date= |Author= Ener6|Permission= |other_versions= }}

Now you too can go to London or Germany

bigbenThere’s a whole world out there and it’s all at your fingertips. Through the magic of the Internet you can travel just about anywhere, without ever even leaving your chair. I told stories to my kids about the country where I grew up, the Netherlands. Stories about frost giants, Sweden. We read the Bible, Israel. Books are wonderful ways to travel to places. Now as much as I would love for my kids to go to these places personally and see them first hand, it’s a little bit expensive. Besides they are really young so they probably won’t appreciate it very much. So I have a really good alternative: Enter Google Earth and its street view.

castle2My kids wanted to see what Jerusalem looks like, so I got on Google Earth and we looked up Jerusalem and went there. Now I’m assuming that my kids literally thought that this place was dusty and old. It would look the way that it would’ve looked when Jesus was there, about 2000 years ago. However modern-day Israel has skyscrapers and advertisements and people wearing modern clothes. This kind of shocked them. However it is amazing that we can show what this country and city look like. I’ve also done the same thing for the Netherlands, to show them where I grew up. I’ve also been able to show them castles, because there is a walk-through of quite a number of castles in Germany, England and other cities.bridge

So while I know that this is not exactly the same thing as going there, it is a very cheap and very fun way of showing your children what other countries are like. You can go see things that you are probably never going to see in your own life. So if you ever have an after where you really don’t have a lot going on, I definitely recommend visiting one of the castles that is in Germany or London or any other location in the world. Trust me it is amazing.

Photo credits:

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/12534523@N04/14246881844″>Big Ben Clock Tower – London Sunset</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/42033648@N00/19958024″>Kampen Bridge, Netherlands 2003</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/24350382@N07/2887558076″>Front of Old Wardour Castle</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Homeschool resources for all ages (guest post)

1066134201_75c9e135f4_qI know that alot of people get interested in homeschooling but don’t know where to begin. This is an article with all kinds of links to all different resources for homeschooling.

SURVIVAL MOM BLOG

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/72598766@N00/1066134201″>100_4380.jpg</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>

The Pantry Project: Setting up your pantry to be safely accessible to your children (Guest post)

littlekidIt’s something I did not understand until I had my own children…well, until I had my own two boys under two years old. First of all, no one prepared me for the bitter reality of the grocery bills that are necessary to support the toddler who I swear is bound to eat me out of house and home. Granted, his baby brother is still breastfeeding, but with two of them on my hands who knows what will happen.

It hasn’t taken me long since having my second child to realize things will never be the same as they were before. Those seemingly luxurious one-on-one snack times before naptime are a thing of the past these days, and while my toddler is adjusting (better than I, I might add), there are some things we needed to change to help that happen.

It only took a week or two for me to understand that I needed to rethink my approach to the pantry to allow my older son to access his usual snacks without necessarily involving me in the process. As I did so, here are a few of the things I kept in mind:

Safety first. Everyone’s approach to baby proofing is a little different. For us, we’ve opted to batten down the hatches, locking every nook and cranny, to avoid the inevitable emptying of the Lazy Susan throughout the house. You only need to find a can of peas in your underwear drawer once to know this is necessary. Assuming your pantry is a place your child knows his or her way around, make sure the space you designate for them is at a safe height and includes child friendly items. It may go without saying, but this is not the place for your guilty pleasures, whatever they may be.

Make it kid-friendly. A clever idea to keep things organized is to use clear packaging that allows your child to easily identify what’s inside. As children mature, labeling large containers with what is inside is also another good idea. If there is something a grumpy toddler likes, it’s exerting his or her free will to chose something like sweet potato puffs over pretzel sticks. Embrace that by giving them a variety of their favorites to choose from in containers they can easily navigate.

Pint-sized everything. Offering a wide variety of accessible options for the independent child is a great first step, but you also need to be sure to incorporate vessels for eating the aforementioned foods. Bowls and child-friendly silverware are two things to keep in mind, in addition to sippy cups and napkins.

Don’t forget the mess. The other day my toddler spilled the entire contents of a packet of applesauce all over our carpet. Busy feeding my newborn, I didn’t react. That is, until I saw what happened next. My toddler ran to the kitchen to collect a discarded burp cloth and used it to wipe up the mess. It wasn’t perfect, but if there is a time to embrace the “thought that counts” concept, this was it. Incorporate some wash cloths and napkins into your child-friendly pantry space – you might be surprised by what happens as a result.

For more tips and tricks, head to Modernize.com.

Via Photo Pin

And then I became like my dad

Red Wing 3_4_15 (4)I think it was 9 March when my wife sat me down on the couch and said,“ I have got a present for you.” She gave me a bag with a book inside and I think the book was, “What to expect for the new father.” I read the title and kinda stared at it for little while, not really entirely realizing what was about to happen. I must’ve uttered “really?” a dozen times and looked over at my wife just to confirm that this is really happening. She showed me the positive pregnancy test just to confirm that yes this was really happening. A lot more thoughts went through my head as I was sitting there, the most prominent one was about the fact that I was about to become a dad.

Pregnancy affects men differently, you don’t experience the physical symptoms in fact you really don’t know what the child is going to be like until after they’re born. But having been a dad now for over six years and having a total of four children I can tell you, it is definitely the best experience that I’ve ever had in my entire life. People may take jabs and me about having four children and things like that. but I honestly don’t really care. I love every single one of them in their own very unique way.

Its not easy being a dad, there many things ago through your head before you have a kid. You think about all kinds of things that you do want to do, things you don’t want to do. I always use my dad as a frame of reference. It’s always funny to think that I wanted to do things differently from him and the reality has become that in so many ways I do what he does. But I also do a lot of of the same things that my mom did. Combine that with Holly’s influence and I think that my four little ones will hopefully look back and think they had a wonderful youth. But as I already said you do end up doing a lot of the same things that your parents did, even the things you didn’t like about your parents and their parenting style.

So, to all the fathers and mothers out there, I know it’s a wonderful experience. It can be very hard and very challenging. Having your heart walk outside your body is one of the scariest moments of your entire life, when they are mean it can hurt you more than anything else can. But when they gaze up at you with their loving eyes or they want to try to hold your hand when they cross the street. There’s nothing else quite like it. Even today, my four-year-old made a card for me, where I had to write’ I love you’ and then he wrapped it up and told me that this was going to be my surprise for tomorrow. But I wasn’t supposed to know about it. It’s those moments that make being a father the most awesome job in the world.

Photo: Linda House, Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation.

It’s So Sad (What happened in Charleston)

I was planning on posting something different today, but instead I felt as thought it was important to write about the very tragic event in Charleston, SC. A young white man went to a traditionally black church and killed 9 people. He killed these people cause they were black. According to a woman who survived the shooting he said extremely inflammatory language when talking about African Americans that I wont bother repeating and used that as his reason for killing them. This is extremely bothersome to hear, especially after the much celebrating of having the first African American president.

There never is a justification for violence and this man should be held accountable for his actions.

I have prayed for the people who are involved in this, that God will give them peace during this time. I also pray that God will let us reflect on this event and let cooler heads prevail and realize that this is not becoming of a civilized society.

These are the 09 people that were killed: BUZZFEED

This is an indepth talk on the event.

The dinosaurs went wild (My Jurassic Park adventure)

CAM02997Instead of going to watch the movie Jurassic World I went to the Virginia Beach Aquarium. They had their latest exhibit on display, Dinosaurs. My kids charged and wanted to see all the different dinosaurs and check out the games that you could play there. There was a Triceratops head you could climb on and sit on. Which my kids and other kids for about 30 minutes. CAM02996 CAM02999 CAM03003

There were multiple other dinosaurs that you could look at including one exhibit that showed the internal workings of the dinosaurs. My daughter was a bit afraid of the T-rex.

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They also had a couple of activities you could participate in such as a mock dino excavation. You could use a brush to uncover dino bones.

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Then you could also put your face on a dino. They loved it. Please keep up the awesome work Virginia Aquarium.

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There’s no Tabula Rasa here (kids are all preformed)

Man_without_Qualities_n°2While I was in college I took a course in child psychology. I remember that the instructor talked about child and what children do. One of the things that the instructor really harped on was that there’s generally to schools of thoughts when it comes to child psychology. Children are born tabula rasa which means the child is a blank slate or they’re born with many of their personality built-in. After having children of my own I discover that the reality is is that everything is already there. The only difference between you and a baby is, you have years of experience as a baby does not.

So looking back upon the statement that kids are tabula rasa, I really began thinking of what exactly would drive somebody to that conclusion. Because in observing a child you learn very quickly that everything’s already there. The people that said this, must not interact with children at all or are just liars? I don’t know, but having spent a significant amount of time with my own children I have realized that they all have their own kind of temperament. They definitely take a lot of traits from their family. You can see that they are like you, your wife , and grandparents and so on and so forth.

It is amazing when you see your kid smile at you and you recognize that that smile is the exact same smile that your mom has. But not just that, it is also the way they move their hands, the way they look at you and even their sense of humor is very reminiscent of some kind a family member. My oldest one laughs in a very peculiar manner that’s exactly like his mom, his grandfather (my wife’s dad), and my wife’s dad’s mother. So if anyone ever comes at you and says that children start off as blank slates or boards and that you you can form them anyway that you want. The reality is as a parent you can focus and change some things, but but most of it it’s already in there and there’s not really a lot that you can do to change that.

By Onlysilence (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

6 lessons that turn kids into money savvy adults (yahoo)

This is a pretty good article on ways to help your kids learn about money management. Article: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/6-lessons-turn-kids-money-234909201.html

By Poppy Thomas-Hill (Flickr: Girl Purring Money Into Piggy Bank) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons