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05/01/10 01:05 - 73ºF - ID#51486

School board update

Buffalo news gives their endorsements for the school board candidate (almost exactly who art voice advises against):

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Permalink: School_board_update.html
Words: 23
Location: Buffalo , NY

04/30/10 10:12 - 65ºF - ID#51476

School Board Elections

Get out and vote on May 4th in the School Board election. Even if you don't have children, the success of our schools will impact the success of our city.

This election you're voting for school board representatives of your district. See the map at the bottom of this site to figure out your district:

A Buffalo News Article gives a short summary of all the candidates in the different districts:

At the bottom of an Artvoice article on illegal campaign practices is a list of all the candidates by district.

Buffalo Rising has been covering the north district candidates which covers a lot of North Buffalo and a lot of the Elmwood Village area.

The above article links to each of the candidates websites.

Some information from the Candidates night on Tuesday:

Happy Reading!
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Permalink: School_Board_Elections.html
Words: 177
Location: Buffalo , NY

04/23/10 09:18 - ID#51440

Five years down and 45 more to go

Seven and a half years ago, on a sunny August day, I cautiously met some guy from an online site on Temple's campus to grab a bite to eat.

Six years ago came a proposal on a beach in New Jersey while watching the sunrise.

Five years ago we said "I do" and made promises for forever followed by a fabulous and fun party.

Several adventures later, I wouldn't have done it any differently.

Happy Anniversary, Drew!
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Permalink: Five_years_down_and_45_more_to_go.html
Words: 77
Location: Buffalo , NY

04/11/10 09:03 - 46ºF - ID#51369

First Vacation with the Kids

Highlights include:

Foster daughter at the zoo constantly asking where the animals were but never looking when we pointed them out.

Foster daughter always having to go poop when out in public and sharing that fact with a large audience of people.

Foster son puking on the steak dinner my father made after my father spent all night talking about how good the steaks were going to be and how expensive they were.

Foster son on the ride home pulling out his little friend and playing with it. I tried to explain that it was for private and not public, but I was laughing too hard and tears were rolling down my face. The husband had to turn around and handle that one.

Foster daughter kept calling the hand dryers in the bathroom hair dryers and kept asking to go outside "bear tracks" instead of bare foot.

Foster son sweetly pushing his sister on the swing. Then trying to push me. But miscalculated his distance from me and ended up being pushed over by me on my way back. He's a tough kid and he got off the ground with a smile. He definitely saw the humor.

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Permalink: First_Vacation_with_the_Kids.html
Words: 197
Location: Buffalo , NY

04/01/10 11:56 - 64ºF - ID#51307

It's more than everything changes

when you have foster children. It's all the normal "everything changes" of having children. New people enter your life, new schedules to rotate around, and new rules to follow. But it's a little bit more with foster care.

The new people aren't just school teachers and day care workers. There are the foster children's social workers (so far the number of social workers is at 4 and counting) who in some respects have greater say over the children's lives than we do. And the family members who are all watching us parent a child that biologically speaking is "theirs" and not "ours". All the while we're trying to be charitable with our time; hospitable with our home; and stay on the same page as a good team player.

The new schedule isn't just school and day care, it's regularly scheduled family visitations. So far enjoyable, because it's the only small break we have from the children since we don't have approved babysitters yet.

And it's submitting not to just the usual rules and societal norms of rearing one's children, but also it's submitting to the regulations of the county who ultimately is the temporary guardian of the children.

No complaints here. I'm just musing over the differences between caring for your own children and caring for foster children. If we ever have our own children, I think it will seem so different and less restricting! How will I raise my own children without 4 social workers and permission from the county to take them on vacation (Janelle says in good humor)?

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Permalink: It_s_more_than_everything_changes.html
Words: 259
Location: Buffalo , NY

03/22/10 12:55 - 37ºF - ID#51247

Values in the workplace

I run a day program that teaches social skills and a work ethic. When my staff and I address social skills and work ethics, we occasionally bump heads. And the root cause is generally a difference in values that inform how we believe one should act. And I have to negotiate those differences, while thinking about how my values are informing my decision making process, and come up with a compromise or a decision that may be disliked by everyone involved. But that's the unfun part of being a supervisor, being the one to make decisions when others can't jointly come to a solution.

Otherwise, my values are something that I live out with out a lot of talk, unless staff/co-workers specifically ask me about it. And even then, I often answer cautiously and carefully. I know I live differently than other people in my work place and I don't mind explaining why. But when I give my answers I want to gently say what I think is right without trying to start any serious discussion, but I work with pretty opinionated people, so it can get pretty interesting pretty fast.

I get a lot of questions from people about foster care. Questions about kids and talking about kids seems to be a fairly popular topic and on the surface seemed harmless. I expected a lot of unsolicited advice, and I was prepared for biting my my tongue and moving on. I didn't expect simple statements to quickly become a source of judgment. And refuting those judgments could so easily become a fight over childraising values that I'm just not interested at having at work.

But so far I have been criticized for:
Not taking the kids to McDonalds or Chuck E Cheese
Fixing home cooked meals (sometimes vegetarian) instead of serving chicken nuggets and hot dogs
Putting a 3yo and 6yo to bed by 8pm
Allowing and encouraging foster son to play with a kitchen set Thinking it's great that the 3yo foster daughter loves to play in the back yard for long chunks of time - digging in the dirt, playing with a wheelbarrow, banging things around

Sometimes I battle over the topic, sometimes I let it go. But I couldn't let the comment about the kitchen set go. The kid loves food. The kid loves watching me make food. Seems pretty natural that he would also love playing with a kitchen set. And I wouldn't let the comment go about playing in the backyard. If she likes playing in the backyard, then she likes playing in the backyard. She also loves going for a walk and loves animals. I have a feeling she's going to be a nature lover when she grows up...not exactly something I'm planning on discouraging.

I guess I find it interesting, because if it was politics or religion, people would tread more carefully, but it seems like a free for all when it comes to children. Yet how you raise children, is a very deep reflection of your values in the same ways that politics and religion is.

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Permalink: Values_in_the_workplace.html
Words: 517
Location: Buffalo , NY

03/10/10 07:29 - 36ºF - ID#51145


Almost exactly 4 weeks ago, we went from being care free DINCs to being foster parents of two. A 6yr old boy and a 3yr old girl.

Our days are full of relentless "why?"s, silly statements, smiles and tears, laughs and whines, the bureaucracy of foster care and school paperwork, toys scattered in the house, long conversations about kids and short lived attempts at non children related moments.

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Permalink: Parenthood.html
Words: 68
Location: Buffalo , NY

02/07/10 12:40 - 19ºF - ID#50980

Valentine's Day

Still looking for Valentine's Day plans...

The church is hosting a romantic Valentine's Dinner on February 13th. Obviously not the traditional day, but you can have a Valentine's evening meal without the crowds!

Better yet, you can hear Theresa Quinn perform! She's a local pianist who sings old school R&B, really well. There will be singing waiters serenading you with romantic tunes. And I'll be showing off my mad clarinet skills with a little Brahms (a Romance era composer, get it?) You get to take in all this musical loveliness while kicking back and enjoying a full meal complete with appetizers, dessert and wine.

Have kids? If you don't want to hassle with fighting with everyone else for a babysitter, we will have onsite babysitting... just make sure to let us know if you're bringing children.

Interested? Here's some info on how to RSVP for the evening:

[link= ][/link]
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Permalink: Valentine_s_Day.html
Words: 149
Location: Buffalo , NY

01/31/10 05:51 - 22ºF - ID#50947

Middle Eastern tastiness

If only I knew just how easy and tasty home made baba ghanoush and falafel was. I would have had many more happy Sunday evenings

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Permalink: Middle_Eastern_tastiness.html
Words: 25
Location: Buffalo , NY

01/29/10 10:47 - 11ºF - ID#50929

Off the topic observations

A quote from a NY Times article today on the SOTU address and the SCOTUS

The flashes of discord between the two branches might have been avoided had the justices followed the example of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, who once skipped the State of the Union address in the Reagan era to attend to other matters.

The speech “conflicted with the watercolor class he was taking at the local Y.M.C.A.,” Chief Justice Roberts, who had served as a law clerk to Chief Justice Rehnquist, recalled last year. “He had spent $25 signing up for the class, and he wasn’t going to miss one of the sessions.”

My thought is completely unrelated to the point of the article, but I absolutely love the fact that the Chief Justice of the SCOTUS went to the YMCA for a water color class. I love the modesty of going to YMCA and the frugality of not missing a class he paid for. And I'm imagining him doing his thing at class surrounded by people who had no clue who he was or what he did.

And continuing on a husband asked me if people at my work place were talking about the SOTU address. I laughed. Loudly. I can barely talk about local politics with co-workers. They just don't seem to care.

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Permalink: Off_the_topic_observations.html
Words: 226
Location: Buffalo , NY



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