Sunday, August 27, 2006

A Name: It is there for Life!

I just got off the phone with my sister, who had spent the afternoon at a baby shower. Her friend is having a baby girl and they have narrowed their search down to two names; Keelin or Kassidy. Their first choice was JonBenet.

"Have you ever thought about the name JonBenet. It is such a pretty name, but if you think about it, no one can ever use that name again. Everyone would think you were crazy." My sister stated.

Our conversation turned to other names that people no longer use when naming a child. At the top of the list was Adolph, Lucifer, Damian & Jethro.

Our conversation reminded me of a family name that I liked when I was pregnant. My great grandfather's first name was "Bates". I think it is a unique and classy name, but every time it roles off of my tongue I think of the movie Psycho.

Names bring unusual reactions to most people. When I was pregnant my ob/gyn inquired, during one of my visits, if we had picked out any names. I told him we were considering Terra for a girl. He responded "you know if you name her that people will call her terror." Terra was soon moved to the bottom of our list.

I have a friend that detests unisex names. I on the other hand lean towards names such as Aaron, Jordan & Taylor. These names are perfect for a boy or girl, but with their current popularity I do find myself saying "boy Jordan or girl Jordan" when my kids are telling me a story about their friends.

I have another friend and she had two kids and married a man with two kids. They both had daughters named Brandi. People would call and ask to speak to Brandi & they would reply "blonde Brandi or brown Brandi." My friend said she always felt like a hillbilly and referred to the men in her household as Larry, Darrell and Darrell, just to keep up the commonality.

Lisa was a common name of the late 60's, so much so I graduated high school with 14 other girls named Lisa. When you have that many classmates with the same name & you hear it walking down the hall, you don't know whether to turn around or keep on going.

In the last few years it seems Hollywood has gotten into parenthood and the stars are choosing names that are not traditional in every sense of the word. For example Charlie Sheen & Denise Richards named their baby Lola Sheen. Does her name remind you of a strip club marquee or make you think he was reliving his Heidi Fleis days?

A name can even generate big bucks or big blockbusters if you are in Hollywood. The movies Meet the Parents and it's sequel Meet the Fockers were based entirely on jokes revolving around the main characters name of Gaylord Focker.

Names are facinating they affect every aspect of ones life. They determine if a child will be teased on the playground and if they will be successful in the business world. When John Handcock's parents named him, I bet they never thought he would change history and that his name would become a commonly used phrase.

Like my sisters friends: When we name our children are we naming a baby or are we picking a name that will impact a generation? You just never know!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

That White Paint Didn't Look So Bad After All!

I have always admired the investigators on CSI & Without a Trace. In one hour they solve the crime and find the body. As avid viewers of HGTV and fans of Devine Design and Sensible Chic, my husband and I decided we would paint the den this weekend. Not the entire den, just the bookshelves. If the detectives can solve a crime in an hour and the decorators on HGTV can do an entire room in 30 minutes -- including commercials -- I figured we could complete a wall of shelves in a weekend.


Saturday purchased the paint and supplies at the local do it yourself home store. Sunday morning my husband started taping off the room at 6 AM. I woke up at 8:00 expecting to marvel at his paint job. He was just finishing up the taping. I have watched HGTV & they tape off the room in 2 maybe 3 minutes. Hubby might want to hone in on his taping skills.

Our next step was to sand the surface. We used liquid sander. The bottle said to wear gloves. The girls on HGTV don't wear gloves. Who needs gloves? (I am going to get paint on them anyway) Not me. You know what? Liquid sander burns a little when it gets on your skin.

We selected Cherry Cobbler Red, because it looked really pretty on the card. It is a dark color and the sales girl suggested we prime the surface first. Sounded easy enough. One coat of primer a little paint & we will be done.

Wrong Again!

The first coat looked a little pink or is that purple. The cast of Decorating Cents would have already finished 12 projects and it is now 11:30 & I have a Pepto-Bismol colored den!

I sat back in the recliner to admire or reevaluate the shelves. If we took the doors off of the shelves they wouldn't have to be painted. We could get a few Pendelton blankets for the shelves and give the den a rugged look. The blankets would go perfect with the Texas star over the fire place. Hubby did not like the blanket idea. Paint the doors.

Did you know that red paint wipes right off of ceramic tile. That is pretty cool. The grout is now pink, but hey at least it isn't on the tile.

Three coats later, four if you include the primer, my den is now Cherry Cobbler Alamode Red. One more coat and I think it will be finished!

Wrong again...I am seeing a trend here!

After all was said, done and painted. 5 coats and 19 hours later I have Cherry Cobbler Red bookshelves in my den. They look really good, so I am emailing a picture to HGTV. I am sure they will be featured on their new show "Home Decorating & the Divorce Connection"!

Thank you sweetie! By the way what do you think about green for the kitchen?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

JonBenet Ramsey Rest In Peace

Did a research college paper turn into an obsession & lead to false confession that turned into a media circus?

John Mark Karr has confessed to the December 1996 murder of 6 year old JonBenet Ramsey. Laura Ramsey, John Mark Karr's ex-wife, has said he was not in Boulder Colorado & did not kill JonBenet Ramsey, because he was in Alabama with her celebrating Christmas.

John Mark Karr researched the murder of JonBenet Ramsey for a college term paper & was encouraged by his professor to write a book about the murder. The reaerch for this book lead this gentlemen to become obsessed with her unsolved murder.

As this plays out in the media I am eager to see where it goes. In this age of technology; Can an individual find enough information on the internet to confess to a crime that he did not commit?

Friday, August 11, 2006

Be Happy You Can Be a Rebel!

You will find racism everyday, just as you will find tolerance. If you look hard enough you can find something to be offended by, or you can look for something to be thankful for, such as your freedom to be offended instead of oppressed.

Be glad you live in the United States of America. Be glad you get the opportunity to go to school. Be glad you have memories to put in a yearbook. Be glad you can play football. Be glad you can sing, dance & play a song such as "Dixie".

Be glad or be mad. It is your choice.

"You must study to be frank with the world: frankness is the child of honesty and courage. Say just what you mean to do on every occasion, and take it for granted that you mean to do right." Robert E. Lee

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Will This Summer Ever End?

You know it is time for school when the kids are so bored they play "batting for sodas" INDOORS and spew Coke from one end of the living room to the other. Spraying the shutters, sofa, ceiling and carpet!

On the first day of school this year my kids will be introducing themselves as "Hello my name is...Grounded for Life!

Count down to August 16th begins!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

MISD Gifted Education Grades 4th - 6th

As any parent will tell you each child is completely different from their siblings. Each child has their own interests, personalities, and aptitudes. When a child is very intelligent or gifted, as it is referred to in an academic setting, this child presents new challenges to parents as well as educators.

MISD students in grades kindergarten through third that are identified as gifted have 2 options. These options are Quest and Project Think. Quest is for students identified in the top 5% of their class. Project Think is for students that are in the top 20% of their class.

When a child is in 3rd grade they can apply to be in Gifted Education Midland, commonly referred to as GEM. GEM is for students in grades 4th through 6th that are in the top 5% of their class.

Midland Independent School District offers enhanced classes for gifted students, but they do not offer any enhanced classes for a student that ranks in the top 6% to 20% of their class in grades 4th through 6th.

I find this particularly disheartening, because I have a daughter that is in the top 9% of the country academically, but MISD does not offer any enhanced academics for her for the next three years. A recent study conducted on students in grades 4th through 8th concluded that many girls lose interest in math and science in 5th grade.

I have spent the summer examining the many options that are available for my daughter and the other children that are in grades 4th -6th that need additional challenges to keep their curiosity peeked. With this in mind I have found that I can offer my daughter math and science challenges at home and so can you. Here is a list of things that you can do with your child at home.

Make learning an adventure
Let the child ask questions that will lead to the answer
Allow time to think and explore

Make math a part of daily life
Balance a checkbook
Plot mileage on a map
Calculate the tip at a restaurant
Tax Free weekend is the perfect opportunity to look at savings

Introduce Science experiments at home
Go on a rock search and then identify all of the different rocks
Find the different stars, planets and constellations
Skateboarding is the perfect way to teach the laws of physics (remember your helmet)

With new technology popping up everyday; Allowing your child to create a web site or to look up homework answers on the internet is a good way to introduce this technology to them. Internet usage is likely to be as common as the telephone and television for our children's generation.

Additional Challenges
Creative School House and Barnes and Noble also carry "bridge books". These books are great for a student that needs a little more academically than their grade has to offer.

The Enhanced Academic Services through MISD get back on track in 7th grade and once again includes children in the top 20%. The children in grades 7th -12th have two options. If you are in the top 5% you can apply for GT-classes and if you are in the top 20% you can apply for Pre-AP classes (formerly referred to as honors classes.)

"The support you offer your child at home far outweighs any educational setting"