Wednesday, December 26, 2007

SEE WHAT BANNING ELECTRONICS CAN DO

so, we took away the twins' DS and X-box [actually their brother's] and Nintendo and all else wired and for Christmas got them legos--- Starwars Legos, a 1326 piece lego set...and for 12 hours straight, pretty much without interuption,[ we had to force feed them dinner at grandma's last night] they have been racing to finish the set...and they did it at 1 am last night. . .how sweet, to see my 10 year old twin boys build this amazing set. . . what an accomplishment, something I do not have the patience for . . . When I told them I am proud of them for putting together this amazing ship with 1300 pieces, they corrected me, "1326 pieces Mom"- : )

Cornelia Seigneur
www.writermom.net
www.myspace.com/corneliaseigneur
www.writermom5kids.blogspot.com

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A WHITE CHRISTMAS IN OREGON!

it's snowing...for a very merry Christmas . . . umbelievable - to have snow on Christmas in Portland Oregon...and it's sticking...while my kids were opening up their presents...and it keeps on snowing...so far about 1 inch which is a lot for Oregon...!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve and Silent Night the Song History

i love the quietness of Christmas Eve. . .I love turning off all of the lights and keeping on only the Christmas tree lights and the white lights around the window and just looking at the tree. I was up early doing just that this morning. . . I enjoy lighting candles too.
Growing up, we used to have candles on our Christmas Tree growing up. It was a German Christmas tradition. And on Christmas Eve, we would sing the German version of the song Silent Night - Stille Nacht - The song Silent Night was originally written in German by Joseph Mohr and the melody was composed by Franz X. Gruber in 1818 and there are now over 300 translations of the song in the world.
I love the traditional way it is sung by countless artists and the way our family sings it. . .and one of my favorite recorded versions is by, you'd never believe, Lisa Marie Presley. It’s the most hauntingly beautiful Silent Night I have heard and it is on my myspace site profile. . .
- another thing we like to do is watch the Natvity Story, the movie made a year ago...
And, read the original. . .

Sunday, December 23, 2007

PUT A LITTLE LOVE IN YOUR HEART. . .

You have got to listen to this song. . .Put a little love in your heart. . .featured in the movie Scrooged. . .and my myspace profile...
. . .Put a little love in your heart, and the world will be a better place. . .
this time of year and always. . .
- Cornelia Seigneur aka Nellie

www.writermom.net

www.myspace.com/corneliaseigneur

www.writermom5kids.blogspot.com

Saturday, December 22, 2007

WriterMomMusings: PUT A LITTLE LOVE IN YOUR HEART -watch Scrooged - the movie

WriterMomMusings: PUT A LITTLE LOVE IN YOUR HEART -watch Scrooged - the movie

PUT A LITTLE LOVE IN YOUR HEART -watch Scrooged - the movie

We just watched my favorite movie for this season - Scrooged with Bill Murray- you have got to rent this movie...it will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will make you think. . .plus the song, Put a little love in your heart, will make you dance. . .and smile - This was the first time in a while my kids had watched this and they all liked it. A bit crude at times and the language Bill uses, well, you have to forgive it, but the message is priceless : )
The song I just added to my profile so when you log onto my account you should hear it., I am not sure if it is the actual version from the movie - I thought the actual soundtrack had Al Green singing. . .the one I have posted is also nice. A great messge - making the world a better place by putting a little love in your heart

NO WAITING IN LINE TO GET THIS GIFT FOR SOMEONE

With 98,237 people on the waiting list nationally for an organ donation, becoming an organ donation is giving the gift of life this Christmas season. And it takes only 3-5 minutes of your time, with no waiting in long lines at the mall. Find info about how to sign up through the state you live in at www.organdonor.gov
Register in Oregon to become an organ donor with Donate Life Northwest which promotes of organ, eye, and tissue donation.
The website: www.donatelifenw.org has info or call 503-494-7888.
Note- it is not enough to have “Organ Donor” listed on your driver’s license.

Cornelia Seigneur

www.writermom.net

www.myspace.com/corneliaseigneur
www.writermom5kids.blogspot.com

Friday, December 21, 2007

West Linn Schools now require development to pay its share for our award winning schools!

West Linn-Wilsonville School District in Oregon is (finally!) requiring development to help pay for the schools in the district that they brag about to potential home buyers. The tax – one dollar per square foot on residential development and 50 cents per square foot on commercial or industrial construction -- was passed by the 2007 Legislature after two Clackamas School District Oregon moms spent five years of their lives working towards this goal; each district has the responsibility to adopt it the tax, something I am happy West Linn did. I have talked about the importance of taxing new development for years, but stopped short of doing much about it besides writing newspaper opinion pieces.
The tax will raise around $400,000 based on construction numbers from last year, though sadly West Linn is beginning to run out of land. Wilsonville, though, still has wide open spaces.
Cornelia Seigneur

www.writermom.net

www.myspace.com/corneliaseigneur
www.writermom5kids.blogspot.com

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The season of silent nights - Real-Life Mom Column in Today's Oregonian Newspaper

REAL-LIFE MOM -
The Oregonian SW Weekly Thursday, December 20, 2007
[or www.oregonlive.com ]

"This season, bring back peace and silent nights"

By Cornelia Seigneur

T he other day when I was trying to get out the door, saying to my 4-year-old, Augustin, "Hurry, we are late," he said to me, "Mommy, why are we always rushing?" Another time while we were driving, Augustin asked, "Mommy, why are you in a hurry?"

He could sense I was time-stressed, though I had not verbalized it. I had no (good) reason either time. From the mouths of babes.

With the Christmas season upon us, the feeling of needing to rush, to get things done, is only intensified. A house to decorate. Things to buy. Meals to plan. Parties to host. Cookies to bake. Cards to mail. Presents to wrap -- first have to get them. Whatever happened to the values in the traditional Christmas carols? Joy to the world. Peace on Earth. Silent night . . . all is calm.

The season of joy can become the season of scurrying about, dragging our kids here and there. My neighbor Joyce Milan recently took her dog, Missy Rose, to the mall for photographs with Santa. Though it was already 8:30 at night, the line was long, not just with dog adorers but with parents and kids. Joyce was surprised to see kids out so late for Santa photos.

And a few years ago during the Christmas season, there amid the night-owl shoppers I saw cranky moms screaming at crying kids. OK, so the kid gets a bunch of presents to open on Christmas, but bad memories a month before.

My sister and I used to meet at the mall with our kids for Santa photos, but one year the line was so long -- a two-hour wait with 14 kids between us -- that we decided to forgo our tradition and go to the Giving Tree instead to purchase gifts for less fortunate children. Now that's our tradition. It's OK to re-evaluate.

This year, I couldn't believe all the ads for Black Friday shopping: stores opening at midnight and every hour afterward. My sister laughed about them on Thanksgiving Day, saying she was heading out at midnight and naming all the stores she would hit and when.
When I called her the next day to see how it went, she said she decided not to go. She said, "It felt too frenetic and rushed."

My 4-year-old would have agreed.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

HUG A BAND KID TODAY

I LOVE THOSE BAND KIDS – Our son Ryan, 16, had his Holiday Band concert last night. He plays the trombone and has since sixth grade.
I love those band kids. Great unsung hero types. Quietly go about bringing music and color and beauty to schools, football games, basketball games, while others get the applause. I remember being at one football game and the announcer made all his thanks for the day with not a mention of the band which played for 3 of 4 quarters of the game.
Several of these kids in the band are also Boy Scout members, including our Ryan. Seriously, amazing kids. Okay, do a good deed- Go hug a band kid today, or at least thanks for the music!

~ Cornelia Seigneur aka Nellie

www.writermom.net

www.myspace.com/corneliaseigneur
www.writermom5kids.blogspot.com

HUG A BAND KID TODAY

I LOVE THOSE BAND KIDS – Our son Ryan, 16, had his Holiday Band concert last night. He plays the trombone and has since sixth grade.
I love those band kids. Great unsung hero types. Quietly go about bringing music and color and beauty to schools, football games, basketball games, while others get the applause. I remember being at one football game and the announcer made all his thanks for the day with not a mention of the band which played for 3 of 4 quarters of the game.
Several of these kids in the band are also Boy Scout members, including our Ryan. Seriously, amazing kids. Okay, do a good deed- Go hug a band kid today, or at least thanks for the music!

~ Cornelia Seigneur aka Nellie

www.writermom.net

www.myspace.com/corneliaseigneur
www.writermom5kids.blogspot.com

Friday, December 14, 2007

MOM OF 3 STRUCK BY CAR

So, I am trying to walk more in the neighborhood. By that I mean, walking to do errands rather than drive. Yes, it takes a bit more time, but has many benefits – forces you to slow down your pace of life, gives you a breath of fresh air, and role-models exercise. One example is I’ve been walking to pick up my twin boys for their after-school classes rather than drive. It’s about one mile, maybe a little less using the back door neighbor’s house to cut through. But, then I heard of a single mom of three in Portland Oregon killed by a car while walking. Now, I’m pushing for sidewalks in my suburban West Linn. . .


- Cornelia Seigneur aka Nellie

www.writermom.net

www.myspace.com/corneliaseigneur
www.writermom5kids.blogspot.com

-

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

WriterMomMusings: SPEAKING ON SIMPLE FAMILY TRADITIONS AT ROLLING HILLS

WriterMomMusings: SPEAKING ON SIMPLE FAMILY TRADITIONS AT ROLLING HILLS

SPEAKING ON SIMPLE FAMILY TRADITIONS AT ROLLING HILLS

I will be speaking on simple Christmas Family traditions at Rolling Hills Community Church in Tualatin on Wednesday December 12 during the Hearts at Home event for young moms.
And the video from the AM NW Family Matters segment from Dec. 6, 2007 where I spoke on Holiday Family traditions can be found online at the station's website - www.amnorthwest.tv/pastshows

Cornelia Seigneur

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Handel's Messiah

We attended the annual Handel's Messiah sing at West Linn High this week! Amazing. The combined choirs of West Linn and Wilsonville highs along with community members sang the entire first half of the Messiah plus the Hallelujah Chorus. It brought back memories of when I was in high school at Cleveland High in Portland and used to sing selections of the Messiah, such as And the Glory of the Lord, All we like Sheep and the Hallelujah chorus. The music is inspired by God for sure and I have the album almost memorized. My kids will hopefully too at the end of the Christmas season!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

MOMMY, WHY ARE WE IN A HURRY?

I told my 4-year-old recently that we had to hurry up, something I say much too often to my kids. In his 4-year-old wisdom he said to me, "Mommy, why are we always rushing?"

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

WriterMomMusings: ADVENT SEASON

WriterMomMusings: ADVENT SEASON

ADVENT SEASON

I love this, the Advent season, where we count down the four Sundays before Christmas, which began Sunday. We make an Advent wreath with four candles, and we lit our first one yesterday, and will light the others each week before the big day on the 25th. It is a fun tradition for our family, as we gather at the dinner table, light one of the candles and read from the Bible a verse related to the season. Yesterday we read from Isaiah about prophesy of the birth of Christ. It seems like not many people celebrate Advent, even in the church we attend, but our family has been, in a simple way, for several years now.
And one of the kids’ favorite Advent traditions is getting a 24-day German chocolate Advent calendar, that count the 24 days till Christmas Eve. I have a trick I learned -- buy an extra one – originally for me or my husband to be able to nibble on. But, it came in handy after our 4-year-old Augustin found my stash and talked me into allowing him to hold his for a while and give the other kids’ theirs early. A half hour later, it got quiet and when I came out of my office, there was my sweet brown eyed boy on the couch, smiling as brightly as the Christmas Tree lights – his tummy filled with every last one of those chocolates candies in the Advent calendar. And it wasn’t even December yet.

~ Cornelia Seigneur aka Nellie

www.writermom.net

www.myspace.com/corneliaseigneur
www.writermom5kids.blogspot.com

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Needles in Hair - Christmas Tree Search is about the Experience

The quotes on the flier caught my attention:
“Say no to sawing and hauling”
“No needles in your hair”
“No muddy shoes”
“No heavy lifting”
“No sore sawing arm”
“Reduce holiday stress now by selecting your Christmas tree now and we deliver later.”

All you have to do is select what size you would like and what style you prefer, and for a mere $ 100, you could let another person do all the dirty work, delivering a holiday tree right to your doorstep.
Maybe we should call it a Drive-Through McTree Service.

Alas, something is amiss in our lives if we view going to get a Christmas tree (wherever that might be) as a hassle, as stressful, as just one more thing to do, relegating it to a drive-through experience to get it over with.

Because we’d be missing out on precisely what this ad boasts about-- the needles in the hair, the muddy shoes, the sawing arms – that is, the experience, the story.

And that experience, a tradition that my husband Chris and I have done year after year with our children, now ages 4-17, is something that our family looks forward to every Christmas season. The kids ask us about it, when are we going and what time are we meeting grandma and pa at Starbucks and we’ll talk about if any of the cousins or friends are joining us, as sometimes occurs.

The tradition is to go the day after Thanksgiving (no getting up at 4 a.m. to stand in long lines for Black Friday shopping), and this year was no exception though Thanksgiving came early.

Mount Hood National forest is our destination, first stopping at Estacada Ranger Station for a $ 5 Christmas Tree permit. Five dollars for a Christmas tree! We could see, as Augustin calls it, “Mountain Hood” crystal clear visible against the clear blue sky day framed by white snow as we climbed higher and higher toward our final stopping point.

Once be arrived, we put on our snow boots and hats and mittens and jackets and marched right through the thick snow to look for the perfect Noble Christmas tree, one for us and one for the refugee family from Sudan.

I am pretty picky and after we finally settled on a 10-footer for us and a 7–footer for our friends, Rachel, 17, asked for the honors of cutting the trees down. It was fun to watch her saw through the trunk and listening to her comment about how much harder it is than it looks; then she and brother Ryan, 16, helped haul the trees up the hill through the thick snow. We all broke out a sweat.

When we reached the top of the hill the twins, 10, and Augustin, 4, who had stayed back with the grandparents (who found their tree closer to our cars,) had started creating chairs out of snow -- and you thought snowmen were creative -- these were snow-chairs, complete with a place to put your drink. What fun. They had big brother try their chairs out to see which he liked better, and they compared it to the Three Little Bears story. Indeed, Augustin made one as well, a little chair out of snow. What fun stories to share.

I pulled the kids away long enough to snap photos in front of our Christmas tree before settling into our sack lunches in the sunshine glimmering on the bright snow setting.

We had very few pine needles in the hair and our boots were wet – not muddy – from the snow.

And Rachel said nothing about having a sore arm from sawing, though it would not have mattered. The experience is one we would never trade for a quick drive-through tree service.

We’d miss out on the story.

~ Cornelia Seigneur

www.writermom.net

www.myspace.com/corneliaseigneur
www.writermom5kids.blogspot.com

Thursday, November 22, 2007

WriterMomMusings: AMAZING GRACE The Movie - To See Thanksgiving

WriterMomMusings: AMAZING GRACE The Movie - To See Thanksgiving

AMAZING GRACE The Movie - To See Thanksgiving

Last night, Thanksgiving Eve, our family gathered on our cozy couches to view the movie, Amazing Grace, fresh out on DVD. It tells the story of antislavery pioneer William Wilberforce and his friendship with John Newton, an ex-slave trader turned minister and abolitionist, who wrote the lyrics for the hymn Amazing Grace.
That is one of the best made, most meaningful movie we have seen. It had action, suspense, purpose without preaching, reflection, sweet romance. Amazing Grace never sounded so good.

~ Cornelia Seigneur aka Nellie

www.writermom.net

www.myspace.com/corneliaseigneur
www.writermom5kids.blogspot.com

Monday, November 19, 2007

17-Year-old neighbor dies in head-on collision

Our neighbor boy, Tom Earhart, age 17, a senior at West Linn High School -- a boy whom my kids grew up with and my daughter recalls playing basketball with outside of our house, and they meandered with another neighbor boy Max Stiglich through the woods and creek by our house. Tom, the boy with the bright blue eyes and blonde hair, the boy who came over for Easter egg hunts in our backyard and who worked at the bakery his parents owned, who was in the same kindergarten and first grade classes that my daughter was in – he died two days ago in a head-on collision with a semi truck.
Tom was the passenger in the Toyota Forerunner that swerved into the semi-truck’s lane, and the family is devastated. Both families. And the community of West Linn is in shock. And so many people love Sourdough Willy’s, the bakery that Tom’s parents own. It is a neighborhood fixture, 21 years here.
It’s a place my 4-year-old Augustin and I walk to during the week for the best chocolate chip cookies and the most amazing sourdough bread. And those Sticky Buns and Grace the mom of Tom lets Augustin sneak behind the counter to assist her and always asks her, “So when are you going to get more bubble gum balls for your bubble gum machine?” and Grace Earhart always responds, “I know, I have to do that.”
And sometimes Tom and brother Al, Grace’s sons, are there at the bakery helping out and I have noticed lately how much those boys have grown and we see Will the baker there and we love that place. And their daughter Gracie, who graduated from West Linn High last year, spent many days at our house, hanging with us, baking Christmas cookies and coming to birthday parties and being like another daughter.
Gracie is the one who called me to tell me the news of her beloved brother, Tom, dying. Through tears making words hard to understand, she told me of her brother’s death. Tom was heading to spend Thanksgiving with his friend’s grandmother, and he did not make it, and he will never spend another Thanksgiving on this earth. It is a dark and rainy day.
And there is so little you can say, you can really say nothing. The only thing you can do is hug them and that is what we did, and they wept in our arms and Will said to pay it forward, to love others, to be there for them. And ask them to talk about Tom and how they found out and what stories they remember.
Grace told me of the knock on the door, when the State Trooper came to her door with a hard knock at 10 at night to tell her the news and she did not know what to think of the police at her door and they told her point blank that Tom died in a head on collision on the way to Klamath Falls and she was stunned. This does not happen to us. As a parent, the pain is so deep and there is nothing that can take that void away, and you feel so deeply for them. My daughter, also 17, drives a lot and sometimes she talks about road trips with her friends and I get afraid for her yet I know I cannot shield her and she has wings and loves adventure, and as parents we are glad our children want to experience life, so we let them go.
And say a prayer to God.
And give thanks for each and every day we have with our precious children, the most amazing gift from God.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Flexibility is Key to Parenting -- and writing - The Oregonian REAL-LIFE MOM COLUMN

Real-Life Mom-By Cornelia Seigneur
"Flexibility is the key fusing parenting and writing"
Thursday, November 08, 2007

By Cornelia Seigneur W hen I'm asked how I keep up with parenting five children alongside my writing career, I realize I have no easy formula, kind of like my mothering. I do a lot by instinct, by learning along the way, by love and passion and prayer.
I have never been one for parenting books by expert Ph.D.s, and I do not think my mother was either. I take after her outside-the-box approach, looking at situations individually and flexibly. For me, there's no book of rules for parenting -- or writing -- or how to fuse the two.
Fusing being a writer and being a mother is like breathing -- both are just part of who I am. And combining the two is something that I figure out day by day, circumstance by circumstance, with a lot of heart and learning as I go.
Take a recent Tuesday. I had been working on a magazine story and waiting for a phone interview with a gentleman from a government agency in Salem; we'd been playing phone tag for days and finally had the chance to connect.
Typically, Tuesdays are my day to focus completely on my 4-year-old, Augustin, and we had planned a walk in the brisk fall air. But then the phone rang and Caller ID showed it was the government in Salem. I needed to take the call.
I told Augustin that we would be going on our walk shortly and he could read a book or listen to music -- OK, watch TV -- while I was in my office for what I promised would be a short time.
After closing my office door and answering the phone, I began asking questions and typing away. Then the door opened and my 4-year-old decided to do a little interviewing of his own.
"Mom, can I take my trike on our walk?" he wondered.
While still concentrating on the phone, I gave a little nod assuring him that he could and I made a sort of wave, trying to indicate I would be with him in a minute.
The person I was interviewing said nicely, "Oh, I hear a little one in the background -- I too juggled being a freelance videographer and dad for years at home."
So much for trying to hide. Thankfully my son was patient.
There have been worse times. I have literally locked my office door during an interview when I heard my 10-year-old twins bickering with my 4-year-old. Sometimes the kids have rattled the door to get in to tattle on their siblings.
I have a glass door to my office, so I've given them the "Don't mess with me" glance that tells them I mean business, or else.
And that works -- some of the time.

Cornelia Seigneur lives, writes and parents in West Linn. Reach her at cornelia@writermom.net

FOUND ONLINE AT
www.oregonlive.com

Friday, November 2, 2007

SCHOOLS SHOULD STICK TO THE THREE R'S

A Portland Maine middle school has decided to hand out birth control pills to middle schoolers. We are talking 11-13 year olds here. I have 10 year old twins. Condoms have already been available since 2000 to students at the same school who have parental permission to be treated at the health center. But, receiving the actual birth control is confidential. This is a bad idea. Parents in the end are responsible for their children’s health and the schools should stick with the 3 R’s. That’s plenty of responsibility. Yes, we can send a message to our children to Just say No – and then believe in them that they can and will say no. Handing out contraception just sends a mixed message to kids.

Cornelia Seigneur

www.writermom.net

www.myspace.com/corneliaseigneur
www.writermom5kids.blogspot.com

Thursday, October 11, 2007

NO CHILD LEFT INSIDE -

I took my three younger sons on a hike today at Tryon Creek Park in Lake Oswego Oregon. I love going on hikes with my kids. It feels so good to get outdoors, into nature, away from electronics, even if it is only for a half hour or hour.

Some of my best memories are going into the woods with my grandma Omi in Germany, into the Taunus in Bad Homburg v.d.H. She went hiking pretty much every day and I loved that time with her. We talked, we examined mushrooms on the way, she sang her German folks songs. Then, we'd find a café along the paths -- yes that was great – and had German torte and coffee together.
Kids today need to get outside more, into nature, into the woods. When I was first studying to be a high school English teacher 20 years ago, I taught Henry David Thoreau and I loved his perspective about going into the woods. To live deliberately. To suck the marrow out of life.
On our hike today, I told the kids to be on the lookout for spiders, to see how many they could find and Augustin, 4, had such a fun time.
"I see one there, Mommie," he exclaimed several times. The twins, freshly minted 10, were still a bit into their digital world at first, talking about their DC games and such. "Join us," I said to them, "join the real world. Look for spiders."
"This is the real world, Mom," they countered.
My goal is to make the outdoors more of the real world to them. It takes time. To slow down. To detox from nintendo.
I did engage them eventually in the nature, making a game of our hike, looking for spiders and talking about their day, looking at mushrooms, asking how their day was.
Then, as will happen when you get brothers together, the twins started teasing their baby brother: "I found a thousand spiders." And that got Augustin upset. "No-I found more!"
"Okay, guys, no fighting in the woods." I guess I can't totally escape the reality of three boys together. They will tease, they will get at each other, they will be boys, but at least it is surrounded by trees and ivy and leaves and a soft path instead of neon lights.

Cornelia Becker Seigneur [also known as Nellie]
www.writermom.net

www.myspace.com/corneliaseigneur

first 40 DAYS IN THE LIFE OF A MYSPACE MOM

40 DAYS IN THE LIFE OF A MYSPACE WRITER MOM -My REAL-LIFE MOM column in Today’s Oregonian Newspaper

40 DAYS IN THE LIFE OF A MYSPACE MOM
REAL-LIFE MOM
By Cornelia Seigneur
Thursday, October 11, 2007 The Oregonian's SW Weekly section
Afew years ago when my teenage daughter started the MySpace scene, I secretly opened a MySpace account as well to monitor her. I wanted to keep tabs on whom she was meeting and what she was saying in this online social network. But when she quit cyberspace, I quit as well.
Since then, I've been told at writing conferences from Portland to New York that it is important -- i.e., necessary -- for writers to have an Internet presence. A Web site for sure, a blog absolutely and a MySpace or Facebook account. To connect. To get your name out there. Just in case someone is looking.
I got my Web site running last December and began blogging regularly in early August.
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And now, I'm back on MySpace.
Day One: I opened a MySpace account last week, and now the biggest thought on my mind is how to get more people in my "friends" section. Yikes, I feel like I am back in high school. Er, middle school?
It just does not look good to have only "Tom" as your friend, as everyone who knows MySpace understands that Tom is everybody's pal.
Day Two: I am thrilled when I get several requests from other MySpace members to be their friend. Yeah! Someone likes me. Then I realize most of the requests are from single or divorced guys looking for love. Whoops. I quickly figure out how to check the "married" box on the personal details page.
Now will anyone else want to be my friend?
Day Six: I am spending way too much time "searching" MySpace groups and asking people to be my friends. And people are saying yes! I feel so popular now.
Day Nine: I realize that my MySpace blog gets read more than my other blog because people are commenting on it and subscribing to it -- OK, I have a whopping six subscribers -- so I have been focusing more on MySpace to muse on life and family and kids and culture and news than my other blog.
Day 15: I am finding my favorite authors and musicians and even some of my favorite dead authors and musicians on MySpace. Wow, this does have far-reaching effects.
Day 21: My daughter is teasing me for talking about MySpace so much, especially since her friends are saying, "Hey, your mom requested me as her friend on MySpace."
Yes, it's true. As a youth group volunteer at our church, I realize that many of the kids I work with are on MySpace. For all the bad rap MySpace has received, this connection is nice.
Day 30: Wow, I have over 120 friends now, and all sorts of people are requesting me to be their friend. I am even being more selective on whom I approve, as somehow, some way, a woman in a slinky bikini has appeared on my page. I need to be more careful whom I call friend -- unless someone changed her photo?
Day 40: I have to confess that, again, MySpace is eating up way too much of my time. I make up the excuse, "It is for work," but really I need to exercise self-control. I am so embarrassed by the amount of time I am spending on MySpace that I have hidden the flashing icon that tells people when I am online.
Now, if only I could hide my age, I'd be happy.
Visit Cornelia Seigneur at www.myspace.com/corneliaseigneur or e-mail her at cornelia@writermom.net.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A HUNTING SHE WILL GO - Give me my food Saran-wrapped

On Sunday, Oct. 7, The Oregonian newspaper’s cover story, A-hunting she will go - Following her grandpa, Vanessa Smith sets out to do what far fewer Oregon kids do these days: bag her first kill, triggered a
a bag of letters to the editor with the usual PC language – how dare someone teach children (or grandchildren) to kill – was the feeling of one angry writer.
Okay, where do you think that barbequed chicken on your table came from – a tree?
The very people against hunting are fine with eating meat as long as it is cleaned up and bagged in a nice clear Saran wrapper and in my freezer.
That, I admit, was my view before I met my husband 24 years ago. My dad was not a hunter, my brother was not a hunter, I did not even know a hunter. I was a city girl. We did not own guns for that matter growing up. So, it was a complete shock to me when in college my husband and I were discussing in the Pilot House at the University of Portland hunting. He said he hunts grouse and pheasant, and I said, you hunt, you actually kill animals? . . . .Then, four years later I marry the man, and he hunts yearly with his dad and he’s taken our son Ryan, now 16, hunting.
I have grown to appreciate hunters – and fishermen – a lot. They are some of the most nature-loving people I know. They love the outdoors, getting dirty, navigating the countryside in boots and heavy jacket, through some of the most beautiful countryside in Oregon. And hunting and fishing are a part of that experience. If they bring nothing home, it is still a great adventure for them, being outside. Like Henry David Thoreau, it is not about the hunt but about nature.
Hunters do not care any less about the life of an animal than non-hunters; it is just that they know where their meat comes from. Hunters keep the wildlife population in check. They are not out there just for the kill, but they eat the meat they kill. Conservationists say in the Oregonian story that hunters are “the original preservationists." The Oregonian quoted Rick Hargrave, spokesman for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife: "In Oregon, the culture and heritage is based on hunting and fishing. If you cut hunting and fishing out of the equation, you are impacting the wildlife as a whole
Our generation of children is being raised on video games and electronics and television -- being left inside instead of being given the gift of the outdoors. And, children are getting farther and farther away from realizing where their food comes from.
Hunting and fishing bring them
back to nature. Back to real life. Back to true free-range food.

Cornelia Seigneur aka Nellie

www.writermom.net

www.myspace.com/corneliaseigneur
www.writermom5kids.blogspot.com

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

74 THINGS I SAY TO MY KIDS IN A DAY

I feel like I am always nagging my kids. Do this, remember that, don’t forget this, stop that. So in about 3 minutes, I made a list of things I say to my kids, not in any particular order, just things that came to mind. Anyone get the idea I have four boys. Our daughter is definitely outnumbered.

74 THINGS I say to my kids in a day –

Time to get up!
Make your bed please!
Did you make your bed?
Open the door to the bathroom!
Be nice!
Stop teasing your brother!
You only have 15 minutes left, hurry!
The bus is coming!
Eat your breakfast!
No cake for breakfast.
Don’t slurp your food.
Are you the Captain Crunch police?
What do you want for your lunch?
Finish your breakfast!
Turn off the TV.
Did you brush your teeth.
The bus is almost here!
Where is your lunch box?
Where are your shoes?
Change your boxers!
Take a shower!
Hang up your towel.
Pick up your towel.
Is that the same shirt from yesterday?
That’s the same shirt from yesterday?
Wear a jacket – it’s cold out there.
Eat your fruit.
Are you playing Nintendo?
Are you playing X-box?
Are you playing DS?
Play outside!
Sweep the floor please.
Unload the dishes.
Did you remember to take out the garbage?
Did you start your homework yet?
You don’t have any homework today?
Vacuum the floor please.
Don’t sass me!
Go to your bedroom for a timeout!
Stop teasing your brothers!
Did you hit your brothers?
Stop fighting!
Can you please get the mail?
Take off your shoes when you come inside!
How many times do I have to tell you to take off your shoes inside?
Did you wash your hair?
Did you floss your teeth?
You did not brush your teeth very long!
Did you change your socks?
Where is your backpack?
Did you read today?
You need to read today.
Can you please pick up the mess in the living room?
Please set the table.
Don’t burp at the table.
Eat your salad.
Eat your carrots.
No dessert until you eat your salad.
Save some for your brother.
Why did you eat all of the ice cream?
Where’s your soccer bag?
Where are your soccer shoes?
I told you to put your soccer shoes inside your soccer bag last night.
Did you put away your clean clothes?
Can you bring up your dirty clothes
Why are there clean clothes mixed up in your dirty clothes pile?
Get ready for bed.
Get your PJ’s on!
Why are your PJs not on?
I told you to get your pajamas on.
Where’s the book you are reading?
Your teeth do not look clean, brush them again.
Read your bible and say your prayers.
I love you!


Cornelia Seigneur

www.writermom.net

www.myspace.com/corneliaseigneur
www.writermom5kids.blogspot.com

Monday, October 8, 2007

ONE SCHOOL'S EFFORT TO HELP FIGHT CHILDHOOD OBESITY

On August 27 ABC’s Nightline, the discussion was centered around the start of school and what the nation’s schools are doing about childhood obesity. Nightline reported that a certain school district targeted over 100 families with overweight children, offering them a free exercise program.
Sound like a great deal? Only eight families took the schools up on their offer while others got mad.
One mom said that her son had genes to be larger while her son said it did not make him “feel very good” to have people think he was larger. Another parent said that this was an invasion of her privacy. Come on. Face reality and have some humility. If your child has an issue, be honest with yourself and the school – and your child – and do something.
Today’s schools have been made to teach more than the three R’s, and the question is, how far should the schools go in the childhood obesity problem. Blame has been placed on the bad food in school cafeterias as well as the junk food and pop sold in the hallways. All of this is nothing new. Kids being bombarded with ads has been given as a reason for childhood obesity as well.
All these things may contribute to overweight children, but I say, the bottom line in fighting childhood obesity is to build exercise into your family naturally and offer your children healthy food. Walk to the store. To the soccer game. Don’t drive your child everywhere. Ride a bike.
Families have to be ultimately responsible for their children’s health, but if the schools want to help, don’t be offended. Instead admit there is a problem and say, “Hey, Johnny, let us try this exercise program.” Have him invite a friend along. It is much easier at age 8 or 10 dealing with weight issues than at 20. Don’t keep worrying about self-esteem. Have your child be honest with himself now, deal with it, overcome it and that will build true self esteem.
And, offer fresh carrots and apples instead of prepackaged food. It will save money as well as the health.

Cornelia Seigneur aka Nellie

www.writermom.net

www.myspace.com/corneliaseigneur
www.writermom5kids.blogspot.com

OREGON FAMILY ON EXTREME MAKEOVER HOME EDITION LAST NIGHT. . .reminds us to be thankful for every breath of life we are given.

I watched Extreme Makeover Home edition last night. I generally find the show too emotional, but because they featured a Corvallis Oregon family, I decided to tune in. The family included a 8-year-old girl whose cancer came back after it had been in remission. They lived in a fixer- upper that had mold growing in it, a broken dishwasher, walls crumbling, and due to the little girl's illness they were not able to fix the house up as originally planned, so the Home Makeover crew came to the rescue.
They tore down the old house and built the family a brand new, environmentally friendly home which lets in lots of natural light to help the little girl stay healthy. The sweet little girl with her shaved head said she prays a lot and is so grateful for her new home, which included a pink bedroom with mannequins that she could dress with wigs.
Even in the midst of her suffering, she reaches out to other children and adults with cancer by giving them stuffed bears.
I cannot imagine having a child with cancer or any illness like that. It reminds me once again that everyday we should give thanks for our very breath, the ability to walk, talk, read, see, hear, taste, hug our child. Pray. Don't wait till a tragedy to appreciate the little things in life, which become gigantic in the midst of suffering.

Cornelia Seigneur aka Nellie
http://www.writermom.net/
www.myspace.com/corneliaseigneur http://www.writermom5kids.blogspot.com/

Saturday, October 6, 2007

A VISIT TO THE HAPPY ROCK CAFE

Why I like independent coffee shops -

On Fridays I began making it a tradition to treat myself to sitting in a coffee shop called Happy Rock in Gladstone Oregon, a small, truly old fashioned, non-trendy town. No chain stores exist in Gladstone; it has a barber shop, this coffee shop, a police station, and a new deli, also independent.
I discovered Happy Rock Coffee Shop after dropping off my 4-year-old at the local Baptist Church preschool (Mom’s Morning Out) last spring, and fell in love it from the moment I stepped foot inside. That first day when I walked in, I saw a group of men, probably freshly retired men, playing cribbage and they looked up at me from their game when I arrived as if to see if I am someone they know. I think they know every other person that walked in.
I ordered my coffee from shop owner Chris who makes me the most beautiful mocha I have seen in my life: all fancy on the top, swirly whipped cream and chocolate syrup. I settle into my seat with my books and journal and laptop to work and the “retired” men notice that I am writing, striking up a conversation with me.
“So, what are you writing?” I tell them I am a freelance journalist for The Oregonian newspaper and I tell them this coffee shop would make a perfect story. As more people come into Happy Rock, the men playing cribbage greet them by name and guests seem to have an account with Chris to pay later. The owner’s girlfriend comes in with her daughter and we talk about writing and God and life.
Next week I go back with my preschooler and the guys playing cribbage remember my name. “What are you writing about now, Cornelia?” they ask.
I think about all the people I want to bring back to the Happy Rock coffee shop. I brought my daughter -- she’s 17 and loves independent gathering places, especially if it is not Starbucks.
I brought my friend Jeanie and we met another lady who had also just discovered Happy Rock café. She began playing cribbage with the guys. “Have you ever played before?” I asked her. She rode her bike several miles to get to Happy Rock. “No. But I learn quickly,” she said.
During last summer I did not come as often to Happy Rock but began again this fall when my 4-year-old started back at preschool.
Why do I like independent coffee shops – and stores in general -- so much? I guess I like the small guy trying to make it on his own. The underdog. The guy who has to struggle a bit. I like discovering these types of places and the people you meet in them.
I thought about the woman who was learning how to play cribbage and I thought, Oh, I should try that, but I just don’t have the patience. For now, I just watch them play – and greet all the locals.

Cornelia Seigneur aka Nellie

www.writermom.net

www.myspace.com/corneliaseigneur
www.writermom5kids.blogspot.com

A WALMART NEXT TO ME?

In Oregon there is Measure 49 to vote on in November and I am for it. It will help curb the craziness of allowing people to build whatever they want, wherever they want it for whatever reason. Now I am not a big government intervention advocate, but we do need planners to help keep land use in check.
The opponents say, "It's my property, I can do what I want with it." Well, think about this. Would you want Walmart next door to you?
That's why I'm voting Yes on 49 - save our land from overdevelopment.
Cornelia Seigneur

www.writermom.net

www.myspace.com/corneliaseigneur
www.writermom5kids.blogspot.com

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Pledging allegience to the flag in churches?

Okay, this may offend some, but I need to ask the question about the American flag and my question is: why do we salute the American flag in churches today?
I mean, this not in anyway against America, I am not anti-American nor am I a flag-burning liberal before you label me, but the other day I was at an AWANA’S meeting at church for my kids and they had the kids pledge allegiance to the US flag and then they had the kids pledge allegiance to the AWANA flag and I thought, why are we doing this. I understand ceremony and our older son is in Boy Scouts and they salute the flag there, but I just have to ask myself, why are we doing this in evangelical churches? I feel we should not pledge allegiance to anyone but God and God alone.
Perhaps the church does this out of habit, or is it tradition? I am only asking. Wondering. Living the questions.

Cornelia Seigneur

www.writermom.net

www.myspace.com/corneliaseigneur
www.writermom5kids.blogspot.com

Saturday, September 29, 2007

TO HANG CLOTHES TO DRY OR NOT is the QUESTION

Where’s AL Gore when I need him –

LET THE POOR LADY DRY HER CLOTHES ON THE CLOTHES LINE

So in Bend Oregon, aka a hip place to live attracting lots of environmentalists, a woman (Susan Taylor) decides to dry her clothes the old fashioned way – on a clothes line in her yard,. Bend Oregon is known for its 300 days of sunshine, so this makes sense. Not to the homeowners association of the Bend upscale neighborhood where this woman lives. They complained about the airing of Susan’s clean laundry. No more, they threathened legal action.
I say, “Get a life.”
My mom hung her laundry to dry out in our yard all year long, well, in the winter she sometimes hung laundry in the basement, but for the most part, she hung our laundry in our backyard, freeze or shine. It did make you plan days in advance, especially in the winter, when you wanted to wear a certain pair of jeans that took like four days to dry. I remember feeling lots of frozen jeans in my backyard. “When will they be dry, Mama?” I’d ask. “In three days, Cornelia,” she’d says.
I always tell people that my mom was waaaay ahead of her time. She recycled before it was popular, she hung her clothes to dry when no one (except her kids, athletic kids) noticed.
In environmentally-friendly Oregon, cutting-edge Oregon, give the poor lady Susan Taylor a break. In fact, declare her a hero for saving the environment by drying her clothes (clothes dryers burn up 6 percent of the electricity used by U.S. households. Okay, I also say, change the neighborhood association rules.
Perhaps Al Gore could come to the rescue? No, he’s probably busy driving his SUV to another screening of his movie on how to save the planet

Cornelia Seigneur aka Nellie aka WriterMom
www.writermom.net

www.myspace.com/corneliaseigneur

www.writermom5kids.blogspot.com

Friday, September 28, 2007

OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE AND INTO PRISON

VISITING PRISON

Last night I visited the Seven Step program at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem Oregon to be part of an essay presentation I helped organize through the church we attend (Rolling Hills Community). I had never been to a prison before so this was a way out of my comfort zone experience for me.
When we first got there, we went through all of the security measures – one gal in our group could not find her driver’s license and was not allowed in. When we finally got through all of the gates and check ins and beeping, we were ushered into a room where the inmates were waiting for us with cookies, apple tarts and coffee. We were supposed to find a place to sit among the denim-dressed men and so I asked one of our group, Marupong, to sit by me. It was all men prisoners and I felt a bit looked over.
Marupong and I sat by a group of smiling prisoners who immediately asked if we were believers and what church we came from --they were also Christians; I asked them to tell me their stories. They seemed so, well, normal. Several had grown up in the church but had gone astray with drugs, landing them in jail. Many of these men have children they don’t see and their lives have been forgotten. Some hope to get out, others I am not sure. One man’s deep blue eyes pierce your soul.
The essay presentations began and we all shared our stories on parenting and life and what we do differently from our parents and how our childhood affected us today. I shared my “We are a living textbook on parenting” essay and my “PocketFul of Sunshine poem-essay.” Several inmates came up to talk to me afterwards about the essays and advice for their lives. One gentleman said, “How can I keep in touch with my two kids, age 4 and 6?” Oh, my heart bled for him. I have a 4-year-old that I see everyday. I cannot imagine the pain of not seeing a child.
The evening seemed orchestrated by God in so many ways, though I admit at first I was not sure I even wanted to go, but I was asked by Gary Strudler from church and I wanted to help him out. Go out of my comfort zone. When I met Rick German from Bridges to Change I knew it was meant to be that I was there. Rick visits the State Pen inmates at the Seven Step program monthly as his life was transformed by Christ and now he gives back helping drug addicts and homeless folks get their lives back together. Amazing thing – Rick’s transitional housing center that he assists with is in West Linn, the very city I live in!
I also met Tim the security guard who is a believer as well - He told me every day when he walks through those gates into the State Pen he prays to God: ”Dear Lord, use me today to bring light to a dark place.”
He is so aware of darkness while we are sometimes asleep in the light.


Cornelia Seigneur aka Nellie aka WriterMom

www.writermom.net

www.myspace.com/corneliaseigneur

www.writermom5kids.blogspot.com

OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE INTO PRISON

OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE INTO PRISON

VISITING PRISON

Last night I visited the Seven Step program at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem Oregon to be part of an essay presentation I helped organize through the church we attend (Rolling Hills Community). I had never been to a prison before so this was a way out of my comfort zone experience for me.
When we first got there, we went through all of the security measures – one gal in our group could not find her driver’s license and was not allowed in. When we finally got through all of the gates and check ins and beeping, we were ushered into a room where the inmates were waiting for us with cookies, apple tarts and coffee. We were supposed to find a place to sit among the denim-dressed men and so I asked one of our group, Marupong, to sit by me. It was all men prisoners and I felt a bit looked over.
Marupong and I sat by a group of smiling prisoners who immediately asked if we were believers and what church we came from --they were also Christians; I asked them to tell me their stories. They seemed so, well, normal. Several had grown up in the church but had gone astray with drugs, landing them in jail. Many of these men have children they don’t see and their lives have been forgotten. Some hope to get out, others I am not sure. One man’s deep blue eyes pierce your soul.
The essay presentations began and we all shared our stories on parenting and life and what we do differently from our parents and how our childhood affected us today. I shared my “We are a living textbook on parenting” essay and my “PocketFul of Sunshine poem-essay.” Several inmates came up to talk to me afterwards about the essays and advice for their lives. One gentleman said, “How can I keep in touch with my two kids, age 4 and 6?” Oh, my heart bled for him. I have a 4-year-old that I see everyday. I cannot imagine the pain of not seeing a child.
The evening seemed orchestrated by God in so many ways, though I admit at first I was not sure I even wanted to go, but I was asked by Gary Strudler from church and I wanted to help him out. Go out of my comfort zone. When I met Rick German from Bridges to Change I knew it was meant to be that I was there. Rick visits the State Pen inmates at the Seven Step program monthly as his life was transformed by Christ and now he gives back helping drug addicts and homeless folks get their lives back together. Amazing thing – Rick’s transitional housing center that he assists with is in West Linn, the very city I live in!
I also met Tim the security guard who is a believer as well - He told me every day when he walks through those gates into the State Pen he prays to God: ”Dear Lord, use me today to bring light to a dark place.”
He is so aware of darkness while we are sometimes asleep in the light.


Cornelia Seigneur aka Nellie aka WriterMom

www.writermom.net

www.myspace.com/corneliaseigneur

www.writermom5kids.blogspot.com

BRAVO TO TWO TENACIOUS OREGON MOMS

BRAVO TO TWO TENACIOUS MOMS

Several years ago I interviewed a developer in West Linn Oregon where much new house construction has been underway for a while. I asked him if he is wiling to help pay for schools while he builds on every last piece of land left in this suburb, that boasts of the “best schools in Oregon.”
In fact, developers when they go to sell their houses, boast about the great schools in West Linn. People, in fact, move here for the schools.
Yet, this developer said he is not willing to pay for the very schools her brags about when selling houses; instead he said to me, “Over my dead twitching body will I help pay for schools in West Linn.”
I was so irate about this; I wrote a column about it but did not go very far with it. I did talk to my city councilors, who at the time were very supportive of charging developers high fees (David Dodd and Mike Kapigian were ahead of their time), but I got tired like everyone else does on this issue.
The law in Oregon as it stands does not require an system development charge on developers to pay for schools and this is just not right. Well, two moms in Oregon, featured in a story titled “Two Tough Moms” in the 9-27-07 edition of The Oregonian have been fighting back. They campaigned for 5 years to find additional sources of funding for school construction in the ever growing Clackamas area. Due to the moms’ (Pauline McGuire and Julie Volpel) tenacity, the North Clackamas district will be the first district to enact a construction tax the 2007 Legislature approved to give overcrowded districts additional dollars for new buildings. It was not easy for the two persistent moms-- they discovered just how strong and powerful the construction lobbyists are and how politicians just bow to them.
It is time for new construction to pay its fair share for schools in Oregon, the very thing that home buyers look for when searching for a place to locate. And finally, after years of people speaking out, the Oregon Senate did pass a new construction tax that would require developers to help shoulder the costs of new schools. Under the plan, builders would pay $1 per square foot for new homes, 50 cents per square foot on new commercial buildings and 25 cents per square foot on industrial buildings. Statewide, the tax could raise $60 million a year to build and repair schools. Critics say this is too little, and I would agree, but it is a start. May we not, as I did years ago, let this issue go away. Our kids are too important.
I am back on this bandwagon.
Cornelia Seigneur
aka WriterMom
www.writermom.net
www.myspace.com/corneliaseigneur
www.writermom5kids.blogspot.com

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

4th grade NATIONAL READING SCORES DOWN Concerns Mom

I have twin fourth grade boys. One loves to read and one, though an excellent reader, prefers to do other things, anything but read.

Today’s cover story in The Oregonian newspaper’s Metro section states that Oregon’s Fourth –graders sink below the US average, and that does not ring happy in my ears.

And now into the fourth week of school – and discussing this with my children’s teachers at last week’s open house at the school -- I found out kids can choose whatever they want to read, and I just disagree with this. How do you monitor if kids even finish a book or not.

Whatever happened to assigned reading, where all the students read the same book and then discuss it. Summer is a time for choice reading while the school year should have mostly assigned reading, and classics at that. As a parent I do rely on the schools to pick books for my kids and my kids look to their school teachers as authorities in this area, so it is hard to come back as a parent and say, “Okay, choose so and so book.”

It is so important for schools to introduce classics to children beginning in the younger years, and required reading is one way to do this, but in my kids’ schools, even on the high school level, there seems to be this, “read what you want” philosophy for part of the time.

The schools are missing out on a chance to help kids learn to love good literature and discuss it together as a class. And with today’s scores showing reading tests are lower on the fourth grade level, maybe schools will listen.


Cornelia Seigneur aka Nellie

www.writermom.net

www.myspace.com/corneliaseigneur
www.writermom5kids.blogspot.com

Saturday, September 22, 2007

PRESS ONE FOR ENGLISH

LIVE HERE, LEARN OUR LANGUAGE

A Wed. Sept. 19, 2007 cover story in The Oregonian daily newspaper (Oregonlive.com) highlighted recent conversations between the Oregon department of education and the Mexican government to bring in Mexican curriculum for the large number of Mexican immigrants coming into this state. Okay, I just plain and simply disagree. People who come to this country are very welcome into this country but if they are going to live in this country, they need to learn our language, which last I checked is English. Though, sometimes I wonder. I get tired of having to “press 1” for English when I call my phone company or other businesses. When I go to another country, I am courteous enough to try to speak the language and I do not expect people to know English. With the education system in American teaching Mexican children in Spanish, they will never get proficient in English. there are so many immigrants in this country, and they should – and can – all learn English. German was my first language, as it was spoken in the home, and so I asked my mom how I learned English and she said just by being in the neighborhood and when I went to school my English got really good of course. Children’s brains are so pliable and they can so easily learn two languages side by side, if we require them to. My mom and dad are both immigrants from Germany having come here for college, and they dove right into the English language by taking classes (in English!) at their colleges. Of course, they had no choice and neither should school children. This whole idea of “English as a second language” does not work. Immersion, however works. Teach subjects in the target language and though it may be hard at first, kids adjust. Challenge our children, all of them, and give them the advantage of learning English by being immersed in English. The Mexican immigrants will hear enough Spanish in their homes and communities to keep up their native language, which I strongly believe in as well. In fact, one of the best gifts my parents gave me was raising me bilingual. I can get by in German speaking countries as well as here. Thoughts? Cornelia Seigneur aka Nellie aka WriterMomwww.writermom.netwww.myspace.com/corneliaseigneur www.writermom5kids.blogspot.com

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Underage DRINKING AT crisis

A Sept. 18 Oregonian article points to the fact that youth drinking is at a crisis point. Are parents doing enough. . .?
The acting US surgeon general Rear Adm. Kenneth P. Moritsugu says that "underage drinking is dangerous. . .and should be unacceptable for our communities, for our adults and for our youth."
If kids get addicted as teens, they are more likely to have trouble as adults.
We as parents need to take a stand. - and what are we role modeling. . .
thought how are we behaving at auctions. . .

Cornelia

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

BONO SPEAKS at prayer breakfast

You have got to link onto this to see Bono at the national Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC - link onto UTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvthfJVlnH8
God is using Bono to unite people, to inspire people, to challenge people to action, to help, to get off of our couches. . .
which I need to go do. . .I talk about kids and electronics, but what about us - okay, let's get personal - me. . .
Cornelia

Monday, September 17, 2007

WISHFUL THINKING or REAL LIFE PARENTING?

Saturday I drove to Salem Oregon to watch our two high school kids compete in their cross country races held at Bush Pasture Park. I had the option of taking our 4-year-old son Augustin or having him tag along with my husband Chris, who was doing the soccer thing with our 9-year-old twins. Divide and conquer as they say.
Chris said, “Leave Augustin with me. Make your time less stressful.”
But I love having my kids with me, especially if they are well behaved!
Before I left, I looked up Bush Park online it showed this really nice play structure and I thought, oh, I really want to take Augustin to show him this park -- and yet, another “reality” voice inside me said – “You know how impatient Augustin can become in situations where he has to wait and you are going to Salem to watch cross country races where there will be lots of waiting. Maybe you should leave him with Chris,” I thought to myself.
But, Augustin can be an angel with me and I love having him with me, and the sentimental thoughts begin to get to me – “this is your last child and he will be older before you know it,” and the wishful thinking dream life takes over, and the thoughts of a sweet 4-year-old brown eyed beautiful little perfect boy flood my mind and heart- he really has been perfect at events, so I brought Augustin along. . . .and you guessed, he had one of his impatient days, as any 4-year-old might. He was really good for the first part of the race, but I had told him that there was a play structure at the Park where the race was and soon that was all he could think of, and the sweet little guy got impatient and tired and wanted to go to the play structure, which I promised him we would do; then he got hungry so I promised to feed him lunch after staying for the second race, to see his brother run, but he did not want to.
Our older son, Ryan, now 16, was the exact same way at age 4, and back then I had to face reality – Ryan did not like to go shopping or having to wait anywhere (neither does Augustin) but in contrast, I could take Rachel, now 17, anytime, anywhere. I used to host a banquet at the Rhinelander Restaurant in Portland at the end of the term teaching a Germany class through Clackamas Community College and I only took Rachel with me, leaving Ryan behind. I could not chance in a professional situation taking Ryan, because, bless him, he just might act up. I love all my kids but realize that, yes, indeed, they are different. With different temperaments. And that temperament will take them far later in life.
` For now though, it might mean, not with me in certain circumstances.

Be well and keep in touch –

Cornelia Becker Seigneur

http://www.writermom.net/

www.myspace.com/corneliaseigneur
http://www.writermom5kids.blogspot.com/

Friday, September 14, 2007

MEDICAL TEAMS WEBSITE correction

The REAL. LIFE. Exhibit housed in the Medical Teams International Headquarters in Tigard Oregon as I wrote about in my earlier blog today [both here and My Space] is amazing. However, I had published the incorrect (former) website - the correct one is:

www.medicalteams.org

Please visit this hands-on exhibit. God may use it to change your life.

Blessings, CORNELIA aka Nellie aka WriterMom
www.writermom.net

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Every 3.6 seconds . . .

REAL. LIFE.
By Cornelia Seigneur

Every 3.6 seconds a child dies from hunger or other preventable illness. . .this and other sobering statistics were presented in a walk through museum, called the REAL. LIFE. Exhibit *cq* housed inside Medical Teams’ International headquarters in Tigard Oregon , which I had the chance for visit for a story I am writing for The Oregonian’s the SW Weekly (published Thursdays in Tigard, Sherwood, Tualatin). With Yo-Yo Ma playing Gabriel's Oboe *cq* in the background -- think the movie, The Mission -- I walked through the 10,000 square feet exhibit where I saw, heard, and even smelled some of what Medical Teams International workers have lived through helping millions around the world.
About 9000 visitors have walked through the multi-sensory, multi-media exhibit the past year it has been opened, and they are in need of volunteers to help guide school children and youth groups, among others, through the 14 vignettes. Some of what you see when visiting: a simulated Romanian orphanage with real baby cribs and a large screen video playing of Romanian children in orphanages; a life size hut where a displaced family of six from Uganda would live; a Mexican garbage dump where families live and work; and a refugee camp in Kosovo for those fleeing ethnic cleansing.
The last room is called the Resolution Room where you can make a decision to respond in one of four ways – pray, act, give, volunteer.
The exhibit is located at the Medical Teams International Headquarters, 14150 SW Milton Ct. in Tigard. The website has more information: www.medicalteams.org

Peace,

Cornelia

http://www.writermom.net/
www.myspace.com/corneliaseigneur
http://www.writermom5kids.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

9/11

Remember. . . .

Monday, September 10, 2007

You know you are getting older when. . .

your dad turns 70. . .and he is the last to turn 70-y mom reached the 7 decade mark three years ago and my husband's parents are also over 70. . .but I still feel 25. . .except for these knees, my hip, my feet, my hands, my side. . .and I am tired. . .but thankful for being able to sit on my deck this morning, watching the sunrise and reading my Bible and praying and taking in the fresh air and thanking God for the ability to breathe, to see, to smell, to hear. . .
even when I am old. . .

Cornelia Seigneur
West Linn Oregon

www.writermom.net

www.myspace.com/corneliaseigneur
www.writermom5kids.blogspot.com

Saturday, September 8, 2007

WHEW! survived the first week of school -but does Saturday provide relief??

Though it was only four days, the first day of school felt never-ending! Whew! Glad we survived. Getting ready was one thing and now the first week behind us. It was filled with early morning lunch making sessions, breakfasts rushed again, making sure kids brush their teeth, tracking down matching socks and remembering where those shoes were placed and where is the backpack and homework and reading book; and we were back to getting kids to bed early in the evening and dinners on time and dishes done after wards – alone (back to the “I have homework” excuses from my kids). So, after this week, I just was looking forward to sleeping in today. . .but, then reality hit me -- the twins had their first soccer game this morning. If that was enough, I also realized that they did not have the uniforms to play in, so we had to drive to the soccer supply store in Lake Oswego on our way to the match in Wilsonville. First things first, Rachel, 17, needed to go to cross country, making a stop on the way at the store to pick up items for her tea party with the girls’ team after practice. Initially, she was going to take the other car until my husband needed it to last minute to go help an Boy Scout Eagle Scout event.. . After dropping Rachel off at her practice we arrive at the soccer store only to be told they did not have the uniform sizes that the boys needed, and that we needed to come back. So, we scurry to the game, barely getting there on time and had to borrow one uniform from the opposing team for one twin and trade with the goalie for the other twin. . .Okay, we make it through the first game and I am ready to crash, but soon discover that my keys to my car are missing. Fellow team members’ parents help me look for them and we finally find them and I am soooo ready to go home and recover from the week. Take it easy tonight. . .
But instead we will be heading to a birthday party for a neighbor boy. I better go clean my house from the busy week – and get organized – before we start this over again.

How has your back to school week been?
Write me. . .

Cheerio - Cornelia Seigneur aka WriterMom
www.writermom.net/
www.writermom5kids.blogspot.com/
www.myspace.com/corneliaseigneur

WHEW! survived the first week of school -but does Saturday provide relief??

Though it was only four days, the first day of school felt never-ending! Whew! Glad we survived. Getting ready was one thing and now the first week behind us. It was filled with early morning lunch making sessions, breakfasts rushed again, making sure kids brush their teeth, tracking down matching socks and remembering where those shoes were placed and where is the backpack and homework and reading book; and we were back to getting kids to bed early in the evening and dinners on time and dishes done after wards – alone (back to the “I have homework” excuses from my kids). So, after this week, I just was looking forward to sleeping in today. . .but, then reality hit me -- the twins had their first soccer game this morning. If that was enough, I also realized that they did not have the uniforms to play in, so we had to drive to the soccer supply store in Lake Oswego on our way to the match in Wilsonville. First things first, Rachel, 17, needed to go to cross country, making a stop on the way at the store to pick up items for her tea party with the girls’ team after practice. Initially, she was going to take the other car until my husband needed it to last minute to go help an Boy Scout Eagle Scout event.. . After dropping Rachel off at her practice we arrive at the soccer store only to be told they did not have the uniform sizes that the boys needed, and that we needed to come back. So, we scurry to the game, barely getting there on time and had to borrow one uniform from the opposing team for one twin and trade with the goalie for the other twin. . .Okay, we make it through the first game and I am ready to crash, but soon discover that my keys to my car are missing. Fellow team members’ parents help me look for them and we finally find them and I am soooo ready to go home and recover from the week. Take it easy tonight. . .
But instead we will be heading to a birthday party for a neighbor boy. I better go clean my house from the busy week – and get organized – before we start this over again.

How has your back to school week been?
Write me. . .

Cheerio - Cornelia Seigneur aka WriterMom
www.writermom.net/
www.writermom5kids.blogspot.com/
www.myspace.com/corneliaseigneur

Friday, September 7, 2007

PAPER OVERLOAD !!

So the first week of school is over for my kids -- Hurrah! I am exhausted! With four kids in school and one set to start preschool next week, I am inundated with papers, papers, papers. The kids came home each day this week and tossed papers at me and placed papers in front of me and it was, “sign this” and “look at this” and “read this” and “initial this” and some of it I did right away if my kid stood there and waited but other papers I placed in a basket, the ever expanding basket that if it gets forgotten, gets shoved in a corner in my bedroom when guests come only to be found at Christmas. Maybe.
Can any of you moms, parents, nannies, grandma’s etc. relate?

Cornelia Seigneur aka Nellie aka WriterMom

www.writermom.net

www.myspace.com/corneliaseigneur
www.writermom5kids.blogspot.com

Thursday, September 6, 2007

I GOT HAD

I GOT HAD - A LESSON IN READING LABELS BETTER!
By Cornelia Becker Seigneur aka Nellie aka WriterMom

The juice looked natural and appeared to be natural and even tasted natural and on the top this big label said, “100 percent” which I figured meant 100 percent juice, i.e. natural.
After a day or two in our fridge, my very health conscious 17-year-old daughter said to me, with a smile on her face, “Mom, you bought juice with only 25 percent real juice in it. The rest is flavored juice and corn syrup. I cannot believe you.”
I got had.
The words 100 percent caught me off guard as I usually look for the words 100 percent juice on the top, but must have somehow missed this one.
In another situation at a store, I noticed a yogurt container that said, “Lite” on it and I thought, great, lite is good, but when I read the ingredients it said Splenda Added.
Yes, I have been “had” when it comes to sugar content before. The labels are sooo misleading when they boast: “No Sugar Added” – because in reality there is FAKE SUGAR ADDED.
Just on Tuesday when we were at Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream store, I noticed a couple of ice cream flavors boasting No Sugar Added, but when you read the fine print, beware of the splenda, which I just do not like. I like natural sugar or none or light on the sugar.
Once I called Yoplait Yogurt Company to complain of their too sweet yogurt.
“Can you just lower the sugar content?” I asked.
Their solution? “Try our sugar free or lite versions.”
I countered, “But those have fake sugar in them. I just love your yogurt but I want less sugar in it.”
. . . I did not get had that time.

Have you ever been fooled by labels. . .share your stories. . .

www.writermom.net
myspace.com/corneliaseigneur

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

JUNK FOOD CITY

So, this morning, an hour later than my super Tuesday, I am once again making lunches for my kids for school and I say to Wesley, 9, "Hey, did I give you guys too much junk food in your lunch yesterday?" and he says “Yes,” can you believe it?! So now I am feeling way guilty because I really like to eat healthily and I really am not that much of a junk food person but I wanted, like I said yesterday, to make their first day of school special and so I bought every pre-packaged food item you could find, but today I made up for it; I added only one junk food item in their lunch boxes -- chips-- oh, do granola bars count as good food? I also added more whole, fresh foods-- carrots and a banana in addition to a pear.
. . . Speaking of junk food, I saw the news on Monday night and there was a segment on how public schools are going to offer better foods for kids to eat this school year, to battle the bulge in today’s sedentary children, which I commend on the one hand, but on the other hand, there are other ways to overcome obesity in children and it’s called exercise naturally and do not buy all that junk food at home, which I confess is easy to buy because it is easy (fast) to serve. Yes, food intake is important but just as important is living an active lifestyle. Ideas: Walk to the store for a gallon of milk instead of driving. Ride your bike with your children to school instead of having them take the bus. My mom used to send us kids with a dollar on our bikes in Portland Oregon to the local supermarket or gas station to buy milk. It was a way to build exercise into our daily life-plus save money on milk. And, we never had junk food in our lunches, and sometimes I wanted junk food. I used to drool over potato chips that I saw next to other kids’ sandwiches. So, now, I am giving a little bit of junk food to my kids but not as much as the first day of school!. . .
PS> Update. . .I did not make lunch for my husband this morning, like yesterday. Back to the old routine. I seem to barely be able to make lunches for my kids.
Cornelia Seigneur
www.writermom.net

JUNK FOOD CITY

So, this morning, an hour later than my super Tuesday, I am once again making lunches for my kids for school and I say to Wesley, 9, "Hey, did I give you guys too much junk food in your lunch yesterday?" and he says “Yes,” can you believe it?! So now I am feeling way guilty because I really like to eat healthily and I really am not that much of a junk food person but I wanted, like I said yesterday, to make their first day of school special and so I bought every pre-packaged food item you could find, but today I made up for it; I added only one junk food item in their lunch boxes -- chips-- oh, do granola bars count as good food? I also added more whole, fresh foods-- carrots and a banana in addition to a pear.
. . . Speaking of junk food, I saw the news on Monday night and there was a segment on how public schools are going to offer better foods for kids to eat this school year, to battle the bulge in today’s sedentary children, which I commend on the one hand, but on the other hand, there are other ways to overcome obesity in children and it’s called exercise naturally and do not buy all that junk food at home, which I confess is easy to buy because it is easy (fast) to serve. Yes, food intake is important but just as important is living an active lifestyle. Ideas: Walk to the store for a gallon of milk instead of driving. Ride your bike with your children to school instead of having them take the bus. My mom used to send us kids with a dollar on our bikes in Portland Oregon to the local supermarket or gas station to buy milk. It was a way to build exercise into our daily life-plus save money on milk. And, we never had junk food in our lunches, and sometimes I wanted junk food. I used to drool over potato chips that I saw next to other kids’ sandwiches. So, now, I am giving a little bit of junk food to my kids but not as much as the first day of school!. . .
PS> Update. . .I did not make lunch for my husband this morning, like yesterday. Back to the old routine. I seem to barely be able to make lunches for my kids.
Cornelia Seigneur
www.writermom.net

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

BACK TO MAKING SCHOOL LUNCHES. . .AND remember DADS

This morning was the first day back at school for my four school age children and so I was up at 5:30 to make breakfast [well coffee for me first] -- and then it's to baking crepes. . .I like to indulge the kids in German crepes with lemon and powder sugar on the first day of school, a tradition. Then it's assembly line fashion creating lunches. . .each child has a different wish. Micki likes turkey with cheese, on rye, Wesley prefers peanut butter and jelly on Potatoe Bread, Ryan orders ham on white and there is mayo and mustard and lettuce to add to the sandwiches and Rachel, well any veggies and fruit and yogurt will do, though she often makes hers the night before. Then it's juice boxes and chips and pudding and fruit roll ups, grapes, and water bottles filled and napkins and spoons and granola bar and rice crispy treats. Man, these kids better not think this will be every day like this, just the first day splurge -- I want my kids to look forward to lunch, something from home, from their mom. . .I remember being a kid and thinking about lunch all day - between reading writing 'rithmatic and so I want my children to have good memories of school lunches, especially this first day monument.This morning I was also thinking of my husband as I used to make his lunches, a long long time ago , before kids went to school, but now he fends for himself, poor guy. But, but this morning, I had all these supplies out for sandwiches and I thought, let me surprise Chris and make his lunch and so I did, and he was shocked, sure enough. . .I am not promising anything tomorrow. . . stay tuned. . .

Cornelia Seigneur
www.writermom.net

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Aahh! SCHOOL SUPPLIES SEARCH

Okay, so I waited once again for the week before -- make that 5 days before -- school starts to get school supplies for my four school -aged children. Every year I vow to begin in June or July or at least by early August to begin purchasing the billions of colored pencils and markers and glue sticks and folders and pens for my kids. And when you start early in the summer, at least when those first ads hit the Sunday paper, you get better deals and better selection.

But no, I did not once again do that; instead I wait for the day of the open house at my twins’ school, Cedar Oak Park Primary in West Linn last Thursday, when they can bring in their school supplies and meet their new teachers.

So, we decide to go to Fred Meyer in Clackamas as I figured Target would be the most sold out of items -- I have learned this from past experience. I happened to be watching my friend Nancy’s son, Jonas, 8, for a few days so he tagged along with me, the twins, age 9, and Augustin, 4, and the store is packed. And Augustin wants to use one of those carts with the large pink plastic cars where he can ride in the front and I say, Okay, and that turns out to be a disaster. He gets into the car part of the cart which weighs like a thousand pounds and one of the twins decides to climb on top of it and the other twin decides to try to climb into the car as well, and Jonas also gets on top and now the thing weighs like 2000 pounds and the kids are really really loud and then Augustin starts screaming, “Get out Wesley, it’s too much,” and Micki the other twin says, “It is my turn,” and so he climbs in and that lasts a few seconds before Augustin begins screaming again, “It is too much in here, get out,” and all the while I am trying to shop. I figure while I am at Fred Meyer I better get a few groceries, another chore I had been avoiding.

After the 10th time of telling the kids to calm down, I see an empty shopping cart and I say, “Abandon Ship!” everyone out of the shopping cart, we are moving to a new one. They try to talk me out of it with, “We’ll be good,” but I remain firm.

So, with a new shopping cart and new instructions to hold on to each side of the shopping cart and “do not lean on it and do not play in it and do not touch each other,we are off to get the school supplies which is in a totally different part of that store, as far as New York is to Oregon it feels like.

We finally find the area and see all the other late moms and their tag along kids. And here I am, with a list a mile long, trying to find pearl erasers and Fiskar scissors and certain crayons and specific this and exactly that, and I am looking at shelves and they look empty and my 4-year-old is running all over the place and the twins are bugging him again and he screams really loud once again, “don’t bug me,” and these kid-less people are staring at me with that “why don’t you control your kids” look.

I see a couch and I say to Jonas, my friend’s kid, “could you do me this huge favor and sit here with Augustin” – he calls him Gus – “and read him this book,” and Augustin runs to the couch and jumps on it, and I say, “No jumping on the couch, sit here Augustin,” and so he does. And Jonas reads to him, which works for a while, while I continue searching for supplies.

I ask a Fred Meyer worker where the rest of the supplies are and she shows me a whole separate area, a bit away from the couch. We begin checking things off the list but I will not buy 12 glue sticks when they are like $3 for four of them. I will go to Costco for the rest. And while I am there I also look for items for my high school students, though they seem to need less, just a notebook and paper and pens. Jonas comes over to tell me he has finished the book he was reading to Augustin, and the only other ones on the shelf are violent or have no photos in them, so I find more children’s books for him to read to Gus and he does and soon comes over to show me how much Gus knows in the book and the twins are getting tired of looking for school supplies and it is getting close to the open house time and I see another mom from my kids’ school and her daughter has the same teacher, Weaver, as Wesley has. And I am trying to act really calm and really, deep down, I am thinking, why oh why did I wait so late again to get school supplies for my kids? Wesley worries that we did not find everything on the list but I assure him, it will be fine. We will find it at a different store later. For now, I just need to get out of here. Before we miss the open house, the very reason we chose this day to school shop. I suppose it was a good motivator, otherwise, I may have waited for the day before school starts to buy supplies, and by then the stores may have already been totally sold out of school supplies and they may have decided not to reorder, and instead to focus on the next big event, which will be Halloween. I better not wait till the last minute for that event.

Friday, August 31, 2007

GO AROUND - A hurried - should I say rude- soccer mom to another soccer mom

After dropping off my kids at soccer practice at Mary S. Young Park yesterday in West Linn, I drive to the end of the park to turn around, and come to this long drive along the many soccer fields where several signs clearly warn, “No Parking,” and for good reason -- if you do park there you block other drivers from finding their way through the park.
Common courtesy, right?
But this lady in her running, air conditioned Lexus SUV is stopping in front of me to wait for her child, who is nowhere to be seen and another car going the opppostie direction is also waiting there, and so I am stuck. Wanting to leave the park, but I cannot.
My son Ryan is actually driving trying to get his hours on his lerner’s permit and he waits there, and even sees the lady look in her rear view mirror to see us waiting, but she still does not move forward so we can move past the soccer fields. I look to see if her child might be coming from one of the soccer fields but there is no child around, so we do a brief honk, thinking perhaps she does not see us behind her.
She sees us all right.
But instead of apologetically moving her car on, she rolls down her window and snaps, “Go around.”
Okay, now I am thinking, does she want us to drive on the soccer field to go around? We cannot move in the very narrow drive by the fields -- the other car waiting in the No Parking zone is blocking the option to “just go around.” We just want to leave the park in peace I say to my son.
It is one thing to quickly drop off your child without getting out to walk him or her to soccer practice, but to wait there for pick up in a narrow drive clearly marked No Parking is quite another thing, especially if there is a car behind you trying to get around and your child is nowhere near being finished with practice.
I figured that once she saw us behind her she would pull forward into the parking lot and, gasp, walk to pick up her child, but no, instead we get yelled at. I was not happy and was thinking, I confess, some very un-Christ-like thoughts at that moment.
Finally, the car from the other direction was kind enough to pull forward so we could “go around” and leave the park while the Lexus SUV mom driver snarled at us again.
Have we gotten so busy in our lives that not only do we serve dinner at drive-through windows but we do pick up of our kids in a drive-through manner?
I remember being at a school function a while back and a lady pulls up and honks her car as her child waited in the foyer of the school.
I know we are busy and have babies in the car and have a million things to do and it is inconvenient and and and, but maybe we should try getting out and walking into the school or church or, I hate to say it, get our children a cell phone and call when we get to the event if we do not have the time to pick up in person.
But frankly, the walk will do us some good as well as actually give us the chance to connect with live people, other parents, picking up at events.
If nothing else, think about the message we are sending to our children. By picking them up in person, not just via a drive by or through method, we are communicating to our kids that they are worth it.

By Cornelia Seigneur
www.writermom.net
myspace.com/corneliaseigneur

Thursday, August 30, 2007

DYE FREE MEDICINE

I was at Safeway picking up some generic liquid ibuprofen for my 4-year-old and asked him what flavor he wanted, berry or grape or bubble gum.
“Purple, Grape,” he chose, so I looked for the best deal. The name brand Motrin was twice what the Safeway generic cost, so I was all set for that version of ibuprofen. Until I noticed a box with the words Dye-free written on it. I started thinking about dye in my kid’s medicine and did not like that idea at all, so I looked for dye-free in the generic brands, but just could not find it. The dye-free Motrin cost twice what the generic food-colored ibuprofen. I had not thought of it before but now that I had an option, I was determined, despite the cost difference, to get the non-colored box.
I commend medicine makers for creating dye-free versions of their product to help pediatric patients with dye allergies, but have to ask myself, what about those children – and adults for that matter – who do not have allergies but also want non-colored medicine. Just the thought of filling my body or my children’s bodies with artificially colored products makes me nauseous. But why should I have to pay twice as much to get a product with no dye in it? Generic brands need to produce dye-free products so there is competition, otherwise name brands like Motrin can charge whatever they want for their medicine as they know there are moms out there who just do not like the idea of putting dye into our children’s bodies, and will pay almost anything to get the product.

Cornelia Seigneur
www.writermom.net

Monday, August 27, 2007

MySpace WOES

I opened a MySpace account this past week and now the single most thought on my mind is how to get more friends on my friends section. Yikes, I feel like I am back in high school.
It just does not look good to only have “Tom” as your friend as everyone who knows MySpace understands that Tom is everybody’s pal.
A few years ago when my teenage daughter started the MySpace scene, I secretively opened an account to monitor her, but when she stopped the whole Cyberspace world, I quit as well. This time joining was for me, as I have been told at writing conferences that it is important for those involved in the arts --- including writers – to have a web presence. A website and a Blog, and to consider joining MySpace. To connect. To get your name out there.
I got my website going last year and this new Blog a month ago, which I have vowed to write in daily.
And now, MySpace this week.
After having only Tom as my friend for starters, I was thrilled when I got several requests to be someone’s friend. Yeah! Someone likes me. Someone wants to be my friend! It won’t be so obvious that I only have one friend on MySpace.
But then I realized that most of the requests were from single guys who had come across my portfolio and were in this MySpace cyber world looking for love. Whoops, I did not see the section on the personal details where it indicates whether you are married or not.
I quickly figured out how to change that to “married.”
I hope that means I won’t lose my new friends.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Misbehaving McMinnville Boys!

The judge finally saw the light in the case of the two middle school boys from McMinnville Oregon whose criminal charges were dropped this week. Their behavior last spring, swatting the tushes of girls at their school, was not acceptable but also not criminal. Boys at that age – my twins are getting close at almost 10 – are just goofing around with other girls and girls need to know how to be assertive and say, Hey, that is not okay, knock it off. Kids can work these kid things out themselves, and adults need not bring in the police. This was not an act of sexual violence which the term sex offender implies, and to label these boys sex offenders for the rest of their lives (which the original criminal charges would have done) –now, that is what would have been criminal. The judge did the right thing by letting the boys’ apologies, a $ 250 fine and completing an instructional program on boundaries for behavior speak to the situation. The boys – and others I am sure - learned their lesson. As the mom of four boys between the ages of 4 and 16, I know all about boy jokes and bathroom laughs, and as a mom I am helping to teach them what is appropriate and what is acceptable good fun. What those McMinnville boys did crossed the line and they needed to be told that, not sent to jail.

Friday, August 24, 2007

ITSY BITSY SPIDER

Does it take a study by the University of Washington to tell us what is good or not for our small children? Is that where we get our kudos from? In Tuesday’s (8-21-07) Oregonian (www.oregonlive.com) I read an editorial titled, “Itsy bitsy spider bites back,” that notes how “Disney bristles after a study finds that specialized DVDs may not be the best way parents can teach babies language”. The videos in question, Baby Einstein, are a mere excuse for educating your baby. The study tells us what we already know intuitively if we are honest with ourselves as parents – that the best way to teach our children language is to – yes indeed -- talk to them, not sit them in front of a TV. Sure enough, there’s no short cut for instructing your child on Itsy bitsy spider but by doing it yourself. But, who’d want to miss out on that anyway.
Cornelia Seigneur
www.writermom.net

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

OH NO! It's back to school

So, I went to Rachel's cross country time trials today to watch her and the powers that be would not let her run as she is not "cleared" which totally confuses me as she is a senior and has competed in varsity sports since freshman year. Okay, paper work, I hate it. Always have. And perhaps I have, like my mom, been able to work around the system and it is catching up with me now. The doctor is saying they have no current physical on file, but then I ask myself, how was she able to run track, with a "clearance" form. Ah, I thought I finished school already. I have been on the phone for an hour and a half while at Mary S Young Park in West Linn, trying to reach the athletic director and doctors office and school district, and I am getting no where and my younger kids are in soccer camp for four hours so my time is totally precious. I love time alone at home and am wasting it here.
Speaking of back to school, so everyone I know already has all the school supplies for their kids and one mom of a fourth grader -same age as my twins- said we have to get a special pencil for them and I have not even looked at the ads yet. Then, I get mad at myself for being so far behind. Again. I had promised myself to be on top of things this year, to get supplies for my kids in early August.
At a party last night for our church community group, a mom of two high schoolers said to me, that she remembers the competitiveness of getting the best school supplies for your kids. Did you get RoseArt or Crayola? The big box or the little? I remember worrying about that when my kids were like in first grade only to find out when they got to Cedar Oak Park Primary School that the school supplies were communal and they would not be able to keep their top of the line colored pencils or crayons. Forget it I thought. I am just going for the best deals around. If I can still find anything out there at Target! Last year I remember going for supplies toward the end of summer and everything was sold out. Especially the good deals. I guess all the other moms figured out that the best deals - not always the best quality- are the way to go.
I am not ready for the schedule yet. For the making daily lunches. For the finding matching socks in the rushed mornings. Yet, when the kids fight which they have been doing a lot of lately, then I am ready for them to go back.
I do not remember my mom being as involved in my school as I seem to be for my kids. They invented the term multi-tasking for us moms for sure.

CampingHikingLakeWenatcheeArea

CampingHikingLakeWenatcheeArea
Hidden Lake

OUTDOOR ADVENTURE WITH KIDS

OUTDOOR ADVENTURE WITH KIDS
Cousins bicycling at Champeog Park

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