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Tips for Parent-Teacher Conferences


Homework Time...For Parents 

 As the first quarter of the school year winds down and, as SJV parents, as well as most other Brookfield school parents, are marking our calendars with PTS conference times, this is a good time to do some of our homework. 

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The error of my ways

Bluemound, Town, traffic

My blog does not have the readership levels that Cindy Kilkenny’s does.  But it does on occasion evidently have impact.  During a conversation, someone recently noted that there had been three ‘factual’ errors in my blog.  He claimed the errors were:

(1)  My writing (and believing) that 124th Street south of Greenfield was in Brookfield.  (Dec 12, 2006)

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Brett Favre

Did he repeat to himself as he broke huddle for that last play, what he had told us so long ago at the press conference called to announce his entry into a rehab. program - "don't bet against me".

We are a nation whose obsession with sports is embarassing.  But at its best, and when played by its best, sports are a microcosm of life, and can often encourage the best that is within us, as well as things we may lament.

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BIG NEWS! Elmbrook tells me they will be LISTENING!

4-K, Elmbrook, TAXES

It must be big news, Elmbrook sent out a special LINK* publication to tell me all about their two LISTENING SESSIONS coming up. 

The LINK listed the High School Facilities sessions first, starting at 7pm on November 26th at Brookfield East's library and November 29th at Central's.  

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Better to SAVE than to be LOST

Illegal immigration, U.S. Sovereignty

The SAVE Act and LOST Treaty are perfect examples of how it does not matter which party affiliation promotes the policy, what matters is the policy!

The SAVE Act,  Secure America with Verification and Enforcement, "Requires every employer to use electronic verification system on every employee", says NumbersUSA. That sounds good to me. The irony of this bill is that it is being introduced by a Democrat, Heath Shuler.

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The Face of War

I am ashamed to admit that I don't think about the war unless I am reading an article in the newspaper or watching something on tv or on the internet.  Like many others, I am guilty of the "indifference" that comes with living my everyday life in my safe, comfortable, suburban cocoon.  On Sunday though, as I sat in church, the war wasn't "distant" any more because it had a face.

Because we have a young child, my family tends to sit at the back of the church, and at a whopping 4' 11", I generally can't see much of what is happening down in front. This Sunday, I had a clear view of the young, Brookfield man who was being called to military service.  He's not the first man from our congregation to be called to serve, and he probably is not the last. 

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United way plea

 Have you heard the latest United Way radio commercial? It has a soft, sympathetic voiced woman who says imagine if you were poor, then there is a older crumugeon male voice saying pull yourself up by your bootstraps, she interjects, now imagine if you lost your job, did not finish high school, and started drinking something like that.

 The jist of the ad is that being poor is not your choice or fault.

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Tis the Season

Dousman Stagecoach Inn, Elmbrook Historical Society

Promotions for the holiday season are beginning earlier and earlier.  For many people it’s a frenzied and stressful time of year.  Planning ahead helps.  So mark your calendar for December 1 and 2 for something you will enjoy and solve some of your holiday needs. 


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Veteran's Day

I always think of four names on November 11: Bud, Andy, Cornel, and Eugene, my father, father-in-law, and two uncles respectively.  They all fought in World War Two, and thankfully, they all came back.  Three of them are gone now, heroes to our country and certainly to me.  My father-in-law's uniform from Patton's Third Army hangs in our closet.  We take it out on days like this to remember him, reflect on what his generation did, and to talk with our kids of these things. 

After them I recall the stunning images in the opening scenes of the movie Saving Private Ryan.  Spielberg's craft is at its height with the panoramic sweep of the American cemetery at Normandy.  The enormous, over-arching American flags lofting in the Channel fed breezes and keeping vigil over her sons, silently express a level of human emotion for which even Skakespeare might have been inadequate.

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Upcoming November/December Events

Upcoming events

Here are some upcoming events that take SJV families to the end of the year:

Vianney Varieties,  Tuesday, November 13, 2007, 1:00 pm & 7:00 pm, School Gym

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Remembering our young and older vetereans

My Favorite Marine -- Thank you Veterans!


Tomorrow is Veterans Day and I hope you will take the time to thank the veterans you know for serving our country.

We would not be enjoying the freedoms we have without their sacrifices. Maybe that is what makes me so frustrated when I see many in our government today TAKING away our personal liberties and GIVING away that hard fought freedom to world governing bodies. But that is a subject for another day.

Tomorrow is the day for honoring the Vets you know.
On the left is my favorite Vet, my dad.
Dad could have had a deferment for WW2, because he was needed on the family farm and his older brother was already in the military. But never one to shirk his duty, he enlisted in the Marines anyway.
Dad's Marine Corp experience impacted him in a positive way for the rest of his life. We always enjoyed hearing his stories about Guadalcanal. The Marine Corp put Dad's natural mechanical ability to work and trained him to be an aircraft mechanic. That training helped him find a job after the war as an auto mechanic and later a service manager for Sorerens Ford.
Like most people in my age group, our fathers and uncles served in WW2. My dad's brothers served too, both as Army medics. His younger brother served in Africa and his big brother won the Silver Star in France. My father-in-law ran communication lines (wires) behind enemy lines in the Battle of the Bulge. No wonder Tom Brokaw refers to these men and women as The Greatest Generation!
But Veterans, both male and female, range from young to old. After 9/11, I was very impressed with the number of young people stepping forward to fight the terrorists. One such young man is my neighbor's son. I have known that boy since he was 3 years old. He enlisted in the Marines and just finished his tour in Iraq. Now his younger brother, recently enlisted in the Marines, will be shipping out later this month.
Our country owes these men and women a debt of gratitude, so don't forget to say, Thank You!
If you are fortunate enough to know a WW2 Vet, ask them about their experiences while you still can. We won't have them around forever, and their stories are fascinating.
I pray for those in service now, daily. If you are a person of faith, I encourage you to do the same

City Development


Brookfield became a city in 1954.  In 1959, the city funded a master plan for development. At that time, the plan projected a population of 80,000 people, and it included a mix of residential, commercial and industrial development.

Because of this, Dan Ertl, Director of Community Development, becomes defensive when people talk about the over-commercialization of Brookfield. Dan was hired in 1987 and began reviewing the 1959 plan with Kate Bloomberg.  Ertl described development until that time as "frenzied."  Ertl and Bloomberg reduced the 1959 plans for density along North Avenue, 124 Street and Capitol Drive.  Ertl is committed to ensuring existing businesses' success and that the city remains inviting and competitive . 

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When You Least Expect It

Health and Well-Being, Quotes

Sometimes you find laughter in the most unexpected places.

I had to have a diagnostic mammogram last Monday because I felt a lump in my left armpit the Friday before.  The good news is that everything is okay. The bad news was that I spent the weekend terrified that it was cancer.  As loyal readers may remember from my "Teddy Bears" blogs, my mother died of cancer last year, and earlier this year, I had a scare during my annual mammogram.

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Comments: FOLLOW THE RULES (oops, I just broke one)

blog stuff

So, the powers that be (TPTB) decided to institute a commenting feature on the blogs awhile back.  So, now, it's getting a little out of hand.  So, now TPTB have decided that there are going to be rules about comments.  I got an email about The Rules this evening.

The Rules will soon be posted on all blogs.  If readers' comments do not follow The Rules, I am not supposed to publish them.  If something gets by me or TPTB disagree with my decision to publish a comment(s), they will pull the comment(s) themselves.  That is also part of The Rules.

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Just for Laughs

Children, Fluff, For Laughs

Out of the mouth of my preschooler...


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Once Upon a Time in America**

The Holiday we know as Thanksgiving has two foundations in our nation's history.

The first lies in the autumn of 1621.  The people we know as the Pilgrims gathered to give thanks for having survived their first winter in North America, and for the liberties they enjoyed upon coming to this continent. 

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Holiday Traditions

Dousman Stagecoach Inn, Elmbrook Historical Society

Each family builds its own traditions for the holiday.  Some are carried over from past generations and are cherished. Some are newly adopted.

This year, make time for "Christmas at the Inn" on December 1 and 2. The Dousman Stagecoach Inn, built in 1843, will be decorated for the 1840s holidays.  Inside, you'll find feather trees, an old-fashioned Christmas tree with handmade ornaments, a collection of precious baby dolls in vignettes, antique cooky cutters and more amid a fully furnished Stagecoach Inn.

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Lake Michigan - Part Two

I wrote of Lake Michigan last month and am only now getting back to the topic.

In my first blog ( I wrote of my feelings for "Missi-Ken".  I acknowledge my lack of objectivity on the subject, for she is one of the great loves of my life.  But the general issue of water is more clinical.

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Just for Laughs - The Sequel

Children, Fluff, For Laughs, Quotes

The preschooler has just been churning them out lately. This chuckle requires some backstory.

The preschooler likes to print pictures off the Internet websites that she is allowed to access. Recently, she printed out two pictures, wrote the words "I love you Mom" on both of them and placed them neatly on my pillow. She did the same thing for her sister.

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