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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Baby Date and Family News

I have forgotten to mention here that barring any complications, we will meet our new daughter on July 8. I met with the doctor who will do the surgery, and she is wonderful. I am wishing I went with her last time, but whatever.

She works with mostly midwives, so she doesn't flip out about birth and pretty much takes care of the hard cases in the practice. She was easy going and listened to me, answered my questions and had good ideas for dealing with some things that we'd encountered before with medication and surgery preferences. I'll see her again about a week before we have the baby, and the morning of the surgery.

Dominic's stitches came out easily, and he's looking and feeling much better. We're still applying vitamin e, mederma and paper tape on Amira to try to keep her scar from being too bad. We have managed to go two weeks with no serious injuries in the house!

Rich and I finally got to go out with a couple I've met through our local homeschool group. Well, I'd met the wife, and we got along swimmingly, and we've been trying to get the adults and/or families together for some time. Our local Y has a ballroom class, and her husband has been wanting to go, so Rich and I said we'd go with them when we could, and we finally had a chance. We went out for coffee afterward and our husbands also got along, which is nice. We'll be seeing them at the Northwest Catholic Family Education Conference this weekend as well. There is a swing dance scheduled for Friday night, so we are looking forward to doing that, too. Several really amazing speakers and topics are being covered at this conference, and we are going to take in as much as we can. I believe you can still register, and possibly even register at the door, so if you are in the area and are interested, I encourage you to go. The prices were extremely reasonable for families, though I think they went up by $10 a week or two ago, they still should be around $60 for both days for a family. We're bringing our own lunches, and either scouting out something local and inexpensive for dinner or packing one, so we aren't paying for that, but I believe meals are offered for an additional cost.

There is another general homeschool conference, non-sectarian, on June 13-14. The Washington Homeschool Organization is having their big annual conference. We plan on going on the Saturday to check out the curricula, services and organizations represented, and to play around with the fun things scheduled for children and families. We like this group a lot, and their website offers all sorts of good information for homeschoolers in Washington state. One of the things I really appreciate about this group is their understanding of what non-sectarian means (from their website):

Clarification - Nonsectarian Policy
In order to avoid the perception of association, or implied affiliation, with a particular religious denomination, it is inappropriate for WHO to include a religious service, ceremony or practice as part of its sponsored activities, events, or presentations. In those instances where WHO is providing a framework for the individual expression of homeschooling experiences, styles, perspectives or preferences (i.e. graduation parent statements, convention workshops, curriculum vendors, student exhibits) WHO will not attempt to control or censor that expression in terms of religious content.

This is what religious neutrality actually is. They do not sponsor any religious group or activities, but when the students or parents are doing it, they don't interfere. Even when it happens during one of their events. So, some of the workshops at the conference actually are religious, for instance, and because they are very open about the content people can choose whether or not to participate. Vendors can be openly religious without being penalized, or keeping it quiet. At the same time, workshops can be actively secular, vendors do not need to profess any particular belief, and members come from every walk of faith and some from none. Imagine that!

Membership in WHO is very reasonable, $25.00 a year, and gives you a free entry into one conference of theirs each year (there are two in our state, one in Eastern WA, and this one in Western WA), and if you wish to join HSLDA, there is a discount which basically subtracts the cost of your WHO membership from the HSLDA membership. HSLDA has a list of other homeschool memberships within each state for which they give discounts. WHO is only one of many in Washington, so if you already belong to another group, you can see if that membership will get you a discount with HSLDA. HSLDA is Christian, but works with and serves all homeschoolers and other homeschooling groups regardless of faith. If you take a look at their qualifying groups, you'll see secular, non-sectarian, and other groups that are from differing faiths represented, and no faith statement is required to be a member or use HSLDA's services.

Th all the news from here for today. Talk to you later.

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