I write about my minions from time to time.  If you've been following along you might recall minion anecdotes from posts such as The One With the Rain, Man! and Half Tutorial, Half Rant, Half Bad at Math, but All Good in Showing You the IEP Process  and that's just some of the craziness we deal with here in Autism land.

Today I'm touching on another silly thing called the PSSA's.  Pennsyltucky uses a standardized testing system for their no child left behind compliance as well as a determinate factor in school funding.  What you may not know is that your child's school has probably spent the last month or more not teaching your child new material because they are reviewing for the PSSA's (or whatever your states testing is).

I'm sure you're all aware at how dismal our education system is in comparison to the rest of the world, so you should be horrified that the school spends a month or more at the beginning of the year reviewing old material and another month or more doing it again.

The school tells you as parents, and also tells your children that they are required to take the tests.  That's not quite true.  You as a parent have the right to use PA Code 4.4 and exempt your child for religious reasons.  I don't know about you, but my God(s) wouldn't think putting my autistic child through a test that would upset and confuse him, give him anxiety, not follow his IEP and generally destroy his week is a good idea.  Would yours?
Your child can also simply refuse to take them.  They cannot be persecuted for it by anyone as per PA Code  Title 22 Chapter 4, section 4.24.  They also can't be told they won't graduate or pass if they don't take it.  As with everything else directly concerning them, they have the right to say no.

I know you as parents may not care about one test that takes up a few days out of the year to take.  I do hope you care about the month to month and a half of learning your child is missing out on because of a nonsense test.

Explore your rights and exercise them!

After a houseful of sick men this week, I didn't have much time to blog.  So, I'm offering up a few outfits in lieu of something of substance.

Valentine's Week Outfits
Monday I got to go to work while the king stayed home.  By Tuesday, the evil bug had been given to the minions and they were hacking up their little lungs.  So, I got all fancied up and stayed with them that day.

Sick Day

By the end of the day Wednesday, the temps had dropped and it started to rain, then snow right after. Apparently it snuck up on the weathermen in Pennsyltucky.

Surprise Snow Day

Valentine's Day was spent at a job fair. No, I'm not job hunting, trying to recruit some new blood. We may have one victim candidate.

Valentine's Outfit

By Friday all I wanted was to be warm and comfy. A few layers of clothing accomplished it nicely, plus I got to wear my new shoes!

Casual Friday

Today, I got to join a few of my new friends for a morning out at the farmers market. It was fun to wander about the stalls and see what was available, even if I couldn't eat much of it. I think my favorite thing were the bite size donuts one group was making. They were unbelievably cute.

Farmers Market Saturday
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I started watching Downton on a sick day while browsing Netflix.  I didn't know it would suck the King in too.  Let's just say Violet had him when she was describing Downton "Really. It's like living in a second rate hotel where guests keep arriving and no one seems to leave."  I also didn't know how truly lovely the costumes were going to be, or how much I was going to covet being tall and stick-like to carry those costumes off.  Since I won't be growing or losing my girly figure any time soon, I'll have to improvise.

This Saturday is my mom's tea party/birthday present, so Mom, if you're reading this, stop now, or the surprise you want will be gone.

I'll be wearing a blousy, dolman sleeved, lace number.  Mine is actually a blush color, not black, but one can't fight Polyvore.   For fun, I think I'll even try some Marcel waves in my hair.

Downton Inspired Tea Outfit

The invitations that went out specified wearing fancy hats, I chose a fascinator.  Something I didn't own but ran across and decided it would be fun.  The rest of the outfit is Downton inspired, but without wearing an ill-fitting dress for my body type, I wasn't going to go all the way.

I've planned out a tea buffet with teas from a local tea shop called One Good Woman.  The king has been gracious enough to offer a hand and the minions will probably offer up some service as mini garçons.

Smaller scale but same idea
We'll be dining on tea sandwiches like cucumber with dill spread and hummus with sprouts.  I'll be making scones, because you can't have tea without them.  I'm thinking a sweet scone, probably pumpkin with maple icing because it's my favorite, and a savory one like olive and rosemary.  Some lovely little cupcakes (carrot) done up like hats.  Strawberries in a lemon lavender syrup to put something remotely healthy on the table and either french macaroons or cut sugar cookies.

cute cake I did last year
My mother 'gifted' me with my grandmothers china some time ago.  I lovingly refer to it as the ugly china.  We'll be using it for tea.  Yes, it's ugly as sin, but it's my sin.  My sins include way more pieces than I started with as I filled in broken and missing pieces over the years.  I have everything from berry bowls to teapots covered in pink 40's style flowers.

Homer Laughlin Priscilla Eggshell Nautilus 
I've been stumped on decorations, I'll admit.  I'm a total black thumb and don't do well with any plant that's alive, or even was alive at one time.  I know I like the big puffball flowers, and I adore the look of this table.  Obviously I'll scale it down as it will be on my coffee table and not at a large scale wedding. But I think I can manage some candles and fake puffball things in a vase.

Puffballs are pretty
No party is complete without something for the guests to take home, so mom and I have been collecting old tea cups and saucers from thrift shops all over the mid-state.  Each guest will be going home with a one of a kind candle in a teacup.  I just have to find a couple more, and soon.  Seriously people, donate more cups!

thrifty gifties!
And that's it for this week's post that covers everything from my personal crazy to fashion to food.  In there I think there might be some sort of tutorial for throwing a big girl tea party.  And don't forget, there is a link on a previous post for the printable invitations.