Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Discovery...

Wm. Hogarth "The Orgy"
Regarding my last blog post. Wilberforce wanted to reestablish the idea of Piety and Virtue in England. It is mentioned how, "England of The Pilgrim's Progress had become the England of Rake's Progress".
My discovery of today occurred as I was looking through an Art book and found the artist Wm. Hogarth of England who painted 6 scenes called, "A Rake's Progress 1733-1734.
The paintings depict the debauchery and decadence of a young man who looses all through immoral living, gambling, and ends with madness. These pictures say much of the times.
For more info see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Rake%27s_Progress

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The End Is Near...

What a wonderful year I have had!
I think 2007 will go down in my mind as an epoch in my existence thus far on earth. And honestly, I think my years are only going to improve so long as I am learning, seeking truth, and listening to the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
My year in a nut shell looks kind of like this... reading and learning, meeting and making new friends, starting a colloquium, sewing, cooking, exercising at times, gaining weight at other times, humanitarian projects, attending the temple, building my testimony, reading the words of prophets modern and ancient, praying for strength to keep trying, raising chickens, exploring the woods with our kids, camping, working on our home, moving, seeing my children grow in wisdom, knowledge, and confidence.
Attending seminars, learning the tools for empowering our children in their educations, understanding security versus stress. Singing, joy to be alive. Learning to use a cpap machine. Caring for sick family members, traveling to grandparents, charity and service.
I guess the list could go on. So much to be thankful. For all my blessings I thank my Heavenly Father and Savior.

I have filed all the 2007 learning encounters and printed pictures from this year for all the family. This was rather time consuming yet I was also blessed to learn more about Wilberforce and his second "Great Change". It seems that in 1692 William and Mary sent a Proclamation throughout England urging the citizens to practice virtuous morals and turn from vice. In the process of wanting to know more about this proclamation I found a man , Don Eberly who started the Civil Society Project which is along the lines of what Wilberforce started to reintroduce with the help of other like minded people.

This book about Wm. Wilberforce is making me more excited each time I read from it. It really is true that one person can make a change. What can I do? I was thinking this very question when I found the Civil Society Project and I will endeavor to learn more. The link is: www.civilsocietyproject.org

Friday, December 28, 2007

Great Composers...

I have never taken the opportunity to learn about the lives of renowned musical composers until this month. I and Gove recently finished "Spiritual Lives of Great Composers".
There is certainly a theme weaving it's way among these musicians. All 20 composers knew their missions from youth or young adulthood. A few like Mozart knew they would compose as children.
Interestingly many parents tried to prevent their sons from entering or continuing with music as a career all together, yet these musical genius's could not deny what God had granted. Many lived with poverty and illness related to poor living conditions. Each knew they must perform for God alone even at the expense of being rejected by the world.
I learned how central Vienna, Austria was within the musical world. Vienna would make or break a composer. Anton Bruckner, once asked by the King of Austria what he wanted, said to stop the critic Hanslick from continuing his wretched reviews of his music.
It is easy to find many interesting points about each of the twenty creators. I found it surprising to learn that Olivier Messiaen, a Christian and citizen of France was captured by the Germans in WWII. Messiaen felt his greatest and most appreciated composition was the one he wrote while a prisoner at Stalag. He entitles it “Quartet for the End of Time”. For many captured, listening to this concert with the broken instruments was the last time they would ever hear music on this earth. To long for beautiful music in such a n ugly place, brings tears to my eyes and pain to my heart for the suffering of others. Igor Stravinsky composed a polka for Ringling Brothers /Barnum& Bailey Circus and a clarinet concerto for Benny Goodman of all music genre.
I appreciate that Antonin Dvorak came to America and learned the music of the American Indians and American Blacks. He was a devoted husband and suffered greatly when 3 of his children died close together. Antonin composed a great symphony called "From the New World" in honor of his experience in the United States.
I like what Brahms said while being interviewed. He said he always prayed to God and asked three questions-whence, wherefore, whither. The ideas would start pouring in and the creating would begin. Johannes said that if there was a block for him he would make a personal inventory, repent of wrong doings and then present himself again to God in prayer before he could go on...

Do you know your musical B's? Beethoven, Back, don't forget Brahms please. Listen to Beethoven's Wig 2 (http://www.amazon.com/Beethovens-Wig-Vol-Sing-Along-Symphonies/dp/B0001I2C8O).


The one American composer mentioned was successful before he embarked on his musical vocation. Charles Ives of Connecticut was an insurance executive, athlete, political idealist, a hymn signing advocate and winner of the Pulitzer Price for Music.
Ralph Vaughan Williams was the grand nephew of The Origin of Species author, Charles Darwin. Vaughan is accredited with his lifelong mission of collecting English folk music from the countryside. I would love to hear his Symphony no.1, when the chorus sings out with “Behold the sea itself!”
Franz Liszt is an interesting character to have in this book which is trying to show the spiritual side of composers. Liszt may have felt God's call to him for creating music but his personal life did not show it as he fathered many illegitimate children, was quite the womanizer and closes his life entering into the Order of St. Francis. One daughter married Richard Wagner but not without intrigue.
France was a country of low morals during the Baroque era. Frederic Chopin found himself caught up in the life style. Sadly Chopin died from Tuberculosis. Felix Mendelssohn suffered from the prejudice of his day as a Jewish youth. He turned to Christianity and is noted as the man who brought back the almost forgotten works of Bach.
“ The judgment of a man's greatness is not only to be measured in the mission he accomplishes but in the obstacles he has overcome in the process.” This quote exemplifies the mission that Ludwig van Beethoven accepted as he lost his hearing, becoming completely deaf, yet persevered for the glory of God.

Spiritual Lives of great Composers has been an easy way to 'wet my appetite'. Now to something bigger...

Our children have listened attentively when they have been around for our reading. Interestingly they are asking to listen to a few tapes we have about the lives and music of composers so this has turned into a learning experience for all of us.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Snow White Christmas...

I find myself enjoying this Christmas holiday with my family more so this year then any other. Why? I think it has to do with less for us and more for them. Three presents and one book for each child and some stocking stuffer's, and some new movies for the family. Our main attention was given to an Orphanage in Ecuador and Subbing for Santa locally.
For the last week we have been preparing for Monday night FHE, an evening of Elocution based on the Christmas theme. Gove's mother arrived late Christmas Eve evening and we preformed our memorized poems. Gove recited from memory the whole Grinch story. Eli's poem was about the 24th of December ticking away so slowly. Beth gave a poem about the stable where Jesus was born. I gave the poem I typed under December 24th blog. And Mattia made her own poem called For Want Of The Snow Flake.

For want of the snow flake the snow was lost.
For want of the snow the snowman was lost.
For want of the snowman the fun was lost.
For want of the fun the kids were lost.
And all for the want of one snow flake.

After our recitations, Gove read the Christmas Story. We piled into the van, the snow was falling again, we made chocolate candies in the afternoon and now we took them to our neighbors. I and the kids were brave enough to get out of the car and we caroled as we waited for the doors to open. It was fun to go with the kids and see how appreciated there acts of kindness were received. Next year we will practice our songs in advance.
Christmas day was lovely as well. We had the kids come help shovel snow prior to opening gifts. Less is more for us this year. I placed a picture of Jesus on the tree and we each wrote 3 gifts we would like to improve upon to give to Jesus this new year. I really like seeing a picture of Jesus on the tree and I think I will add this touch next year when we decorate the tree.

The heat lamp broke in the chicken coop and so I must get that replaced this morning as their drinking water is frozen now. I've had nothing but problems the past 3 days with the water container leaking. I had to remove all the bedding from the nests and from the floor as 7 gallons have leaked onto the floor. I hope to solve this quandary today.

We are off to purchase some containers for storage, and to see what JC Penny has to offer with blinds at 70% off.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The clock ticks slowly in the hall...

Christmas Everywhere
-by Phillips Brooks

Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas tonight!
Christmas in lands of fir-tree and pine,
Christmas in lands of palm-tree and vine,
Christmas where snow peaks stand solemn and white,
Christmas where corn fields are sunny and bright.
Christmas where children are happy and gay,
Christmas where old men are patient and gray,
Christmas where peace, like a dove in his flight,
Broods o'er brave men in the thick of the fight;
Everywhere, everywhere Christmas tonight!
For the Christ-child who comes is Master of all;
No palace too big, no cottage too small.

Friday, December 21, 2007

"I Am Not Now What I Ought To Be...."

This morning while reading about Wm. Wilberforce in A Hero of Humanity by Kevin Belmonte, I was struck with a sudden idea and I want to post it in order to remember. I was reading about Wilberforce during the 1785-86 season when he experienced a "Great Change" spiritually and was once again awakened to his relationship with God and Christianity. I thought how interesting that William would be instrumental in the abolition of the British slave trade and I wondered if this act might have helped prepare the hearts of the British people for the restored gospel that would soon come. I wonder...

Last night we drove to SLC just as the rain, snow and thunder started. We took our children to Temple Square as part of our newly established Christmas tradition. Slush was everywhere and few people were out and about and thus we had a fun time together. Gove and the kids throwing snowballs. Gove's mom came with us. She was able to present the kids with lovely fleece vests for Eli and Beth and a hooded pullover for Tia. All of which came in handy during the snow. We were able to take Great Grandma Maggie to Orem on our return trip to Provo later in the evening.

Late this morning we learned that Grandma Maggie who is 94 needed to come stay with us because her son went to the hospital with irregular heart rhythms. Gove and I quickly stopped at DI the local thrift store and were blessed to find a lazy boy chair, a desk and book self to accommodate Gove's grandma. Maggie has a tracheotomy and often needs saline washes or wiping of the secretions around the trach opening. Today I was grateful to be helpful to this grand old women. I washed her slippers, I rubbed coconut oil and lotion into the skin of her lower legs that were just as dry as could be and are still soft 6 hours later. Mattia and Beth both spent time doing crafts or talking about their dolls that this grandma made for them 2 years ago. It turns out that the dolls of 2 years ago are worth 1/2 a million in dollars Grandma says. She said she was sick as she worked on the dolls and ended up in the hospital and then suffered respiratory arrest and thus the tracheotomy. Maggie will spend the night sleeping in her chair where she feels most comfortable. Gove is going to sleep near her and call me if there are any worries. Gove is playing Upwords with her right now.

It has been enjoyable to learn about Wilberforce in my current reading. He is surrounded by great men of that time. It's interesting to read how he was disappointed in himself for wasting valuable years. I love what he said,
"I am not now what I ought to be;
yet I trust...through the help of that gracious Being who has promised to assist our weak endeavors, to become more worthy of the name of Christian."

I like that the author is showing the natural man in Wilberforce and his 'repentance' as he develops and seeks improvement. In the beginning of his political career he was interested in himself and even bought votes which was and probably still is acceptable.

Must sleep...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sewing Projects...


I can sew! Look what I made. I am so pleased to be blessed with a talent for sewing. I also made 9 pairs of polar fleece pants for the kids. I'm finished for the season, except for Humanitarian projects which I have plenty to do.

A Gift For Me...

Oh my goodness! During 2006 I recorded that I read 16 books and listened to 3 audio books. I just counted my books thus far for 2007 excluding the audio's, GWC articles, and the Famous Childhood Series, I have read 28 books. And one was Les Miserables unabridged which should count for three.
This is a world record for me, a person who 3 years ago might of read 3 additional books besides our central cannon in a year. I'm so excited and happy for myself. I am progressing and it feels great. I like myself and I want to keep improving. I know I will fall backwards often but as long as I keep going forward just a little each month, or year, or decade I am better.
I have read or listened to 44 different works this year and I hope to add 2 more books by New Years Eve. This is so fun! To structure my time wisely and really give more to reading and learning for my personal education in the afternoons could provide a grand adventure for me and my family.
All my thanks is directed to my God for opportunities to read and learn. And the desire to be changed and improved upon.
I feel like this is the best Christmas gift for me.

Give Said The Little Kids....

Our children had the best day on Monday. They went shopping for another family who needed help with Christmas. Eli, Beth, and Tia shopped for 3 other children ages 4-1. I was so pleased to see my children look for clothes, toys and books for someone else and show concern for these unknown little lives.
I was rejoicing in my heart to realize that our children can buy things for others and not be upset that they would never get such toys.
Last night we delivered these gifts to the awaiting family. Our children went away happy to have helped.

This morning the kids are artist. They are painting pictures for grandparents.

I am longing for more reading time. I need to sew a gift for my family today so I guess another busy day is in store and then it ends. We watched Amazing Grace last week, and now I am fired up to read about William Wilberforce. I have 2 different authors to compare. Gove and I have started The Spiritual Lives of Great Composers in preparation for January's colloquium.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Minerva Teicherts Art Work



I took the children to view Minerva Teicherts art work this past Wednesday at the BYU Art Museum. I so like it when the children respond positively to attending an art gallery. On this tour they were interested in the dates of when the pictures were painted. I think the colors of Mrs. Teicherts art works give a feeling of being alive and I found my eyes being drawn to everything she painted. I saw a lot of reds, golds, and blues in her paintings. I have liked the picture of Esther since I first saw Minerva's work in an Ensign some time ago I think it was. This week I liked the Return of Israel.

Today we go to the SLC Aquarium.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Silas Marner...

Yes, I finally finished Silas Marner this afternoon. I am aware that Mary Ann Evans who used the pen George Eliot was atheist and a humanist. Eramus of Rotterdam was also a humanist. From what little I read at Wikipedia, a humanist may not believe in God but does believe in doing what is right or good, as far as right is understood. I think 'right' can be interpreted many ways. I'm not sure it would always be right in my mind.

A young man who is wronged by his own community. He is framed by his friend with murder and robbery. And then his girlfriend is stolen by this same so called friend. Right there is reason to give up I suppose. Silas feels rejected of God.(I guess this could be the atheist in the author?) Silas vows to never connect with others again, and losses himself in a new community and with the skill of a weaver he is able to work but is thought to be evil in someway because of his occupation and his remoteness.
I think God does intervene in this story however. Silas after many years is a miser and dreams only of his money. The money is stolen and our character really has no reason to live until God intercedes with the 'golden child' whom Silas first thinks may be his gold. Years later after rising the child 'Eppie' as she is called and raised as his own daughter, both are confronted by the biological father who wants to make good now. Mr Godfry Cass feels he has repented by this confession. I like how the author pens the response of Silas.

"...-then sir, why didn't you say so sixteen year ago, and claim her before I'd come to love her, i'stead o' coming to take her from me now, when you might as well take the heart out o' my body? God gave her to me because you turned your back upon her, and He looks upon her as mine: you've no right to her! When a man turns a blessing from his door, it falls to them as take it in."

Silas took that blessing and raised a lovely daughter who does not want to leave her father for a grander life in the 'red house'.
Why read Silas Marner? I am reminded that we come from different back grounds and histories that do indeed shape our lives. This remembrance can help me to use greater compassion when handling others of the human race. Showing compassion can soften a persons heart to open and share deep feelings of pain. This very act happened as Dolly, the godmother of Eppie learns by listening and giving trust and guidance in her limited way to help Silas as he begins to raise a child. In turn Silas opens himself to explain about his upbringing and the pains that lead to his solitude in Raveloe.
Ultimately righteous living, using worthy morals, following a code of human goodness does pay off. Silas does get his money returned in a surprised twist of fate. I felt pretty sure that the twist in this story would be Dunstan's body found in the stone quarry pit and I was right.

Get excited about the new year and all you can read and learn. We don't know that we don't know until we know differently. Study, read, discuss with others, make a sacrifice to improve and you will be blessed beyond your earthly experience.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Did I Say Travel Plans?

I am so pleased with our children. While I walked on the treadmill for an hour this morning, they sorted and started the laundry, took the garbages out and found a safe place in the snow for the black container to be picked up at the curb tomorrow. Yesterday morning Bethany and Elijah helped for almost 3 hours to remove all the snow from the driveway. I worked hard to get all the slush removed so when the sun came out, the driveway could become dry. It worked and we now have a clear driveway until the next snow hits.

This morning we continued with Rebecca of Sunny Brook Farm. The kids played the adult version of Cranium last night and wanted to play this morning. I read the questions and they all answer. The green cards are most difficult as they include celebrities and songs which my children have no idea about. On the other hand I am surprised how willing they are to do charades, and drawing with eyes shut and actually do a fine job. The clay dried out so I think they would enjoy the sculpturing too.

Today I came closer to finishing Silas Marner. I'vebeen thinking about this story and relating it to my actions in life. Silas was shunned as an out cast in the new community he moved into because he was different and strange. He was a weaver. It's not until Silas is robbed and turns to the community for help that perceptions of him and he of them begins to improve.
I'm glad to see how the preoccupation with the lost gold is replaced with the 'golden child'. Isn't every person worth more then 2 bags of gold? Yet how often have I not valued another child of God. Weather a homeless stranger, someone at church, or even a member of my family. Ouch it's painful to see my weaknesses and yet I want to change, repent , and improve and become better. I guess I should say I want to become liber. What does Liber really mean? I need to research this more. It's hard to find worthy dictionary definitions.

Late this afternoon I read 'Epiphanal Living' it's an electronic digest of Inspirational Living edited and produced by Donna Goff. Here is a link to the December journal: http://education-exchange.org/index.php?mode=57&id=454
Donna spoke briefly of something she calls the 'MAP' (Master Actualization Plan).I read this idea of Donna's over a year ago but I did not comprehend it then. Now I do. I get it because this summer I was ready for the Family Executive Counsel that Dr. DeMille described and now I can appreciate what Donna is saying. And I can follow through with the Mapping of myself and our children with the help of their father. Donna uses 10 categories when doing your MAP although all may not be used simultaneously. The 10th is travel. I fleetingly thought how I'd like to take the kids to the countries Gove travels to when he attends his yearly Information Systems conferences which are at times out of the United States.
Gove is currently in Montreal, Quebec, Canada for this very conference. He called us this evening and said that next December the Colloquium will be in Paris, and 2011 it's China. When I said China you should have seen the kids heads pop up and then I said the Great Wall of China and you should of seen their eyes go wide as saucers. Needless to say I have the MAP for travel already planned out. What's weird is that my son will be 14 and my youngest daughter will be 11, perfect for going to China. We discussed plans for making money for both Paris and China. I know we can learn some level of French with this type of a goal in mind. I said we could travel to Joan of Arc's home land, the kids are all for this opportunity as long as we can make money and learn the language. I see no reason why we can't all go together. How exciting to take the children to the Louvre or the Great Wall. Maybe we could take a side trip to Waterloo and see Les Miserables. I sense I can truly instill the vision and inspiration in our children to empower them to achieve greatness in preparing for this epoch in their young lives.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Who Knew This?...Pandora

Nicolas Régnier, c. 1626, is aware it should be Pandora's jar, not box.

The mistranslation of pithos as "box" is usually attributed to the sixteenth century humanist Erasmus of Rotterdam when he translated Hesiod's tale of Pandora. Hesiod uses the word "pithos" which refers to a jar used to store grain. Erasmus, however, translated pithos into the Latin word pyxis, meaning "box".[24] The phrase "Pandora's box" has endured ever since.

Here is a fascinating link to Erasmus of Rotterdam:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erasmus_of_Rotterdam

Christmas Specials...

We are tying to develop Christmas traditions in our home. But first I must tell you what happened this evening at the 4th ward Christmas dinner. Our kids were in line to sit on Santa's lap. Elijah came up to Santa and when he, Eli, was asked what he wanted for Christmas, Eli said he wanted to help Santa. Well the guy playing Santa did not get it. Eli doesn't want anything this year! He wants to do something for someone else. Then Eli said he was helping with Sub for Santa program. I wonder if this man playing at Santa understood.

Anyway, back to traditions. We will be going to Temple Square a few days before Christmas. We started this last year when we moved to Utah. We had a bonding time as a family. I hope it will happen again. I will be bringing our own hot cocoa this time. We are as I said Subbing for Santa this year and I hope the children will have such fun doing this that they will want to continue and make it a tradition. I guess that concludes our traditions at this point. Oh, we are reading once again A Christmas Carol. I can see that we don't have a lot of tradition yet but it is building as the children start to see what they can do.

One tradition that Gove and I may start is the attending of the Spanish Fork High School choir Christmas dinner. We received tickets from the directors wife and attended last night. It was amazing. Here is a High School putting on a 2.5 hour production of religious, contemporary, and traditional Christmas songs along with dance, lighting, acting, and a dinner for at lest 200 people.
It was lovely. Very impressive that the students learned all the music. This season marks the 7th year. It was a lovely event and as a date night for us, I can see having this as a tradition. Eventually we could bring the kids. Or maybe not.

Today we must have received 4+ inches of snow. Gove used his tractor to clear away the snow but now Gove is on his way to Canada, so I hope we do not get anymore. But as I was saying my bedtime prayers I realized how selfish it is of me to not want snow so instead I want snow and we will stay tucked away in our home. I have NO APPOINTMENTS THIS NEXT WEEK! Yes! I have the next 4 days planned for reading. Let's see, I will finish Silas Marner, read 1 and 2 of Federalist Papers, finish Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and A Christmas Carol, and start something else. How exciting to think we can get all this reading and even more next week. Let it snow!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Christmas Music...

Have you discovered Pandora music yet? I am listening to beautiful O Holy Night performed by Il Divo. You can make categories that play music in a given area and you can approve or reject the songs and the site changes music to try and fit what you are looking for. Go to pandora.com and give it a try. I think you will like it.

Georgics, Liber, Providence, Public Virtue...

What do these words mean?
Which concepts are lost from our society?
How do we/I gain them back?
Which is needed most to maintain freedom?

Dr. Shanon Brooks came to our home last night to present lost ideas that were once a part of our meaningful society. We extended an open invitation to families in the valley. There were 19 in attendance. An evening of enlightenment and encouragement was facilitated.

My notes are poor. I lack Liber, the ability to write and transform others. I am working to develop Georgics in our home . Our first step is raising chickens. Next spring I hope to plant fruit trees and develop a garden area. I believe in Providence. I am His creation and He has a mission for me and all mankind. I have to identify, prepare, and fill. Public Virtue I fear is in great need of help. It's the ability to give up what you have to help benefit society. It may be that you will give your wealth, service through time, or your life to make community better for others. Is it Public Virtue that we provide childcare each week for the families in PALMS? I think may be it has to have some level of sacrifice connected with the giving. I hear some say that paying tithing isn't the same until it hurts to pay it. I have never been pained to pay my tithing. Payment to the Lord comes first and all else is manageable there after.

Have you heard of Alexander Tytler? He believed in a 200 +/- year cycle for civilizations. He said a society goes from bondage to spiritual faith to great courage to liberty to abundance to complacency to apathy to dependence and back to bondage. Where is our nation today? I think we are between abundance and dependence.



"God bless you, every one!"

Not only did Charles Dickens pen these words for Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol, they are his parting words for Americans when he left port returning to England. Charles died about 3 years later 1870, in his late 50's. I learned while reading to the children this morning that Mr. Dickens also was an actor and would read/act out sections of his books. Now I am interested in reading Oliver Twist and David Copperfield.
I am reading A Christmas Carol to the children. This morning during our reading, Eli wanted to know more about the author. I have one other book about Charles. It's called, Charles Dickens... The Man Who Had Great Expectations. It's interesting that many characters in his books were due to the poor life he and his family had when Charles was a child. Having read this little book has helped us to feel more appreciative of Charles and some of the pains he suffered as a child.
I feel confident that we will read with new eyes and greater comprehension for the life of the characters in A Christmas Carol.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Federalist versus Anti Federalist...

Our colloquium this evening was a discussion of the first 2 Federal and Anti Federal papers. I think the conversations were lively, timely and many people had really thought about both side of the "coin". I read the first two papers of the Anti Federalist and liked what DeWitt said.
He wanted the people to get up and think for themselves about the effects of this Constitution if it was ratified. He did not want the citizens of this country to just accept what 'experts' said. Someone suggested that we not call the writing the 'Anti' but rather the counter-federalist. They the writers were not anti federal they were against accepting the Constitution as it had been purposed. Ultimately, both sides were right. I learned that I do a discredit to myself by voting and not knowing the real issues by reading the purposed items for vote. I have a responsibility to read original intent.

Gove wrote a program and then made copies of the results on cd for everyone in attendance. This cd holds hundreds of original documents. What is handy is that the 1828 dictionary is included and when you are reading a word you don't understand, just click and the dictionary gives the definition if it's available. I think everyone went home with an early Christmas present. Fifteen people in attendance.

I and the kids went to the Bishop Store house and packed toilet paper. We did a whole pallet in 2 hours and had a nice lunch too.

This morning I sent $19 along with some money from Gove and I to the Cannons in Ecuador. They will buy supplies for the children at an orphanage. When I told the kids about this idea, they went and brought money totaling the 19 dollars. I am so happy to see these children growing and being willing to give money that was planned for things they wanted to get but not a complaint was given. If we teach them and show the example they will follow through.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I attended the temple yesterday morning, bright and early. It's the best time to go. I try to make it to the 5:45am session but my luck is more conducive with 6am. Which is fine. There seems to be more people at the earliest session then this second session. I'm all for small group sizes.
I enjoyed this temple experience because I have been thinking about the world. I doubt that I will explain this correctly or coherently for that matter but maybe someone will understand and be able to guide me. I am feeling perplexed regarding the chronology of ancient societies. I wonder how old this earth really is. I started wondering a lot of things...
At Knights of Freedom today I spoke openly of these thoughts going through my mind and Lyndee said something that felt completely right to me. This earth has been a home for other humans during a different earth cycle I guess is how I would say it. Why else replenish the earth?
Maybe I don't need to know the answers. I trust my Father in Heaven, he is my maker. My brain is so small and limited. I wonder things I have never considered before. Why am I considering them now? I noticed as I am reading A Christmas Carol to the family in the evening that I am understanding the meaning of words that I don't recall having ever looked up, yet I'm correct. How is that? I am thinking it's due to reading more classics. I have Silas Marner in slow gear, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Christmas Carol, and Fed./Anti Fed. Papers being read simultaneously. Is something sinking in?
I was reading about the Mesopotamia Era for our time line and I guess that got me thinking about Adam and Eve.
I need to go to work and read what the modern day prophets of God had to say on these subjects (a sudden personal epiphany). That's it. Start with the Teachings of the Prophets. Then
Eric Skousen has a book called, Earth: In the Beginning. Lyndee is letting me borrow it for the next week.
I wonder what will happen to my thinking and understanding over the next week as I do this research for myself. I'm looking forward to finding out.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Side note to last night comments about family work;
The funny thing is that after we finished with the rocks, Bethany and Eli both said they were sorry for being upset for working. Maybe Tia did too I don't recall now.
I am grateful that our children recognized that they made wrong choices in their behavior, felt bad, apologized and during the afternoon work they accomplished the task with speed and perhaps just a few complaints that quickly subsided once she (Beth) saw it wasn't going to change anything.
Often the work we do as a family is hard especially when fixing a home and creating a yard. I am confident our children will grow up with the understanding that there is a time for hard work and time for study, and time for play.

Yesterday we turned off the outside water at my mother in-laws home just across the canal from us. The freezing temp had already broken one of the faucets. We will replace it in the spring. Now that the water is turned off, we will need to carry water down to the chickens and pour it into the water dispenser with the help of the children and myself I think we can handle this just fine. Family work... that's what brings us together and helps us to bond not only in trials but in daily living as well.

Now to prepare for the Sabbath day... We have a new Relief Society presidency and will meet with them for the first time today. I am looking forward to the change and hopefully with younger blood will come a more positive outlook. We have had zero monthly activities for the enrichment program. Personally I wish the monthly meeting was still enforced. I know it was hard for those in charge to come up with ideas. I was one of those leaders but I think the fellowship and feeling of belonging is much harder now. I feel this having moved into a new ward and I just don't get to know people that much.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Family Work...

It's been some time since our children spent most of Saturday involved with family work. This morning we called our children to work with us in the yard. A couple of Saturdays ago we worked to fill a section of guard rail along the canal with rocks. The kids tried to complain but we don't give in to this type of behavior. This morning we called the children to come work with us. We picked up rocks laying in the dirt in our future driveway. Oh my, was there a lot of complaining! My goodness it was like our children had never worked and believe me, they have had to do work often. I don't know what all the complaining was going to accomplish. It seemed as if Bethany was having trouble with her attitude to most. Finally I hugged her and spoke about choices we make with our thoughts and how they affect our attitude. I also reminded her of Pollyanna and Little Women. Beth stilled had difficulty with her behavior and 3 hours later we had many rocks gathered and the dirt removed from the neighbors yard and we cleaned their property nicer then when we first stored the dirt.
After lunch we took a quick trip to DI (looking for another large sewing table) and Sam's ( to purchase metal shelving units).
We worked about 3 or more hours again this afternoon putting together the shelving units and then bringing all the food storage from upstairs to the cold storage in the basement. Luckily Beth was positive this time.

My back aches and I'm in bed ready for sleep. I had Gove rub Arnica cream on my back to help easy the discomfort.

We had a lovely Thanksgiving Day. We cooked everything from scratch. We finished our turkey at lunch today. And potato's will be gone tomorrow. The only thing we hope for next year is to have a few families come celebrate with us.

The children decorated the Christmas tree yesterday. It is lovely. Gove spent these past 4 days working on the driveway. He can now drive his truck from the upper driveway down and around to the street without stopping to backup to make the turn. It's going to be a lovely yard with landscape.

I bought 4 bolts of flannel at Joann's on Friday. 34 yards of fabric for making receiving blankets. I also bought material for fleece pants for the kids. All is cut out I just need to sew them.

This Wednesday I need to be prepared to present a lesson on Mark Twain and an activity for the boys at Knights of Freedom.

Sleep... If only it was quite in my room. All the kids are here and we are listening to Prelude to Glory vol. 1 on tape. So I guess I wont be going to sleep just yet.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday Evening...

This evening we finally had the Baraketes over for dinner. The last time we ate together was 2years ago. As we evacuated together from New Orleans. It seems just yesterday that we last saw each other. Just a new state and new homes. It was nice to visit but I'm always game for just being home with my family.

The good news is that we only have 4 more lasagnas to eat until we have a clear freezer again! I sent the leftovers home with our friends.

Saturday I injured my back when I lifted a too heavy box of books we bought at the library book sale. And then I sat while Gove drove us out to Delta to go Trilobite digging with the kids. We had plans to take the kids in the summer and we kept letting the date get pushed back. Friday night we knew we had to keep our word and get them out there. We took our GPS and was able to find our way to Marjum Pass. This is our third digging experience and the kids actually found quality fossils while taking a walk east of the digging site. However as I was bending over to dig I felt my back give a little more and now I am truly sore. But I am glad that I have my leg's to stand upon and can walk all the same.

Speaking of glad, we finished Pollyanna. I have suggested to the kids the past couple of days that I am sure they are glad to be accomplishing their good habits or they are glad to put the dishes away. Or I'm glad to have their help, etc.. I wonder how I would receive such a book if I read it 20 or 30 years ago? I wonder why I am finding books that are helpful to us now? It all seems to be a blessing to us. It is wonderful to no longer sit in front of a TV. Have you seen how much I have read with the children and for myself this year? I am amazed. I'm happy to be trying to improve.

It's 8:35pm the girls are in bed and Eli has come to our room to read to himself. He is reading to himself. No formal training. To night while I was reading to the family he was writing and his penmanship was lovely. I suggested he was glad to be doing his daily copy work and I could see vast improvement in his lettering.

I am wondering how to inspire the women at church to give time to making items to build 15 newborn kits for the Humanitarian Center in SLC? I don't knew and I don't want to get discouraged. I have fliers, guidelines, examples, I open the home twice a month for sewing but no one comes yet. Two sisters have sewn at home which I tell everyone that is fine.
I've decided to take this matter to the temple when I go Tuesday morning. To seek counsel with God in prayer and just ponder while serving. Maybe I just need to give it more time. After all it's been only 2 months. New ideas take time...

Friday, November 16, 2007

Last Nights Colloquium

Last night we had a lively discussion facilitated by Donna. We expressed our insights and feelings related to the assigned readings of Dr. Oliver DeMille entitled 'A New Collection of Essays on Education' Our first essay, The Calm Before the Storm, we talked about preparing our minds through reading, writing, studying, and discussing great classics. I'm glad that we are coming together with others in this colloquium setting trying to inspire greatness in ourselves that we might in turn go and inspire others to greatness including our children. Inspiring others is our responsibility and then to support those we see as worthy statesmen. Our founding generation worked all day and did physically demanding jobs for the most part and then in the evenings they read, studied, wrote letters, and discussed with others their learnings, thoughts and insights obtained through the classics. Our Founding Fathers and Mothers understood that their lives and all they possessed was because of providence and it was providence that they would be returning and accountable to for their actions.
By attending a discussion group you are doing something during the calm of our current history. There is much more for me and you to do to meet the call of living on this earth.

This morning I was listening to Dr. Shannon Brooks of George Wythe College. He was talking about one of our essays. Liber and Public Virtue. I don't think I am ready yet to give up all I have in order to provide something better for my community. That is what the signers of the Declaration of Independence and every other official declaration that required the names of our Founding Fathers did. They understood Public Virtue. There is a book I want to purchase, I think it's called Signers of the Declaration (an 184? publication). I am indebted to this generation of mothers and fathers who gave everything, money, lives, belongings for the cause of our freedom. Almost all of the signers died poor when once they were wealthy but gave it all for public virtue. What am I willing to part with? During the colloquium Gove said a survey from N.Y.U. asked students what it would take to sell their vote and what they would take in money to sell their vote forever. Would you believe many would sell their vote for an ipod? I need to read about this generation of faithful founders that I might learn and grow from their teachings of both private and public virtue. Lastly was DeMilles paper, 'Attention Span: Our National Education Crisis'. By the time we made it to this essay we had about 15 minutes left. I am so glad we have not had television since 1995. I think my attention span has increased as a result of more reading and managing my time with greater efficiency. Because of all the wonderful toys available today we as a society have decreased our ability to stay attentive. News is delivered in 30 second sound bites. And much of what is said is opinion. I hear lots of opinions and then I forget and move on. Never really thinking what the truth is. When Lincoln and Douglas debated, people were willing to set and listen for 7 hours and then come back and hear more. They had attention span. What I learned is that increasing my attention is hard work. Real study is hard work. Change is hard. Righteousness is hard work. Hard work isn't fun. If I'm not learning I have only myself to blame. This is what I want to teach my children. Don't blame others for their failures, work harder, give the time it takes to become Liber. Liber is the root of Liberty, libro, library, liberal arts. My liberty and freedom did not come free to me. I can not keep my freedom without becoming Liber.

Firday's A Good Day For Fresh Air...

Our family reading time last night was cut short due to our regular Thursday colloquium. However, we did manage to read 1 chapter of Pollyanna. I was laying in Bethany's bed and just as she was about to drift off to sleep I heard her whisper, 'can we go to the mountains tomorrow?' I have noticed an increase in sibling contentions Wednesday and yesterday so this morning I thought yes, it's time to get to the mountains.
We went up to Mt. Timpanogos trail above Sun Dance and I just happened to park directly in front of the bulletin board and right in plain site where 2 posters identifying the area as bear territory. We have hiked the area twice before but I never parked here and as soon as the kids so this sign they no longer wanted to hike. There is a day picnic area with an old theater round. The kids wanted to play in this area. So we found some ice to pretend we were skating, feed the squirrels, and 2 Stellar Jays came and ate much of the biscuits we left. We did see 2 deer on the mountain side and no bears.
Sun Dance is trying to make snow. They had the blowers out on the base of the ski lift. I stopped there because we wanted to see if man made snow felt the same. It looked like snow but had the texture of ice.
The kids said how fun it was to try and ski with their shoes. I think the fresh air was what we needed.

I'm still reading Silas Marner. It's interesting to learn about this character who is a stranger to Raveloe. Funny how we all make up stories in our minds to give understanding as to why we think someone is a certain way. Also interesting is the fear of the peasants. I think it has something to do with a lack of education. The village is so quick to blame a peddler when Silas's money is stolen. And then imaginations run wild as to how the peddler looks. All distorted and based on fear. Is that do to ignorance or lack of security? Or something else?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Provo Library Encounters...

Late this morning I and the kids were at the local library. I am so glad to have this amazing library in our neighborhood. After 5 years of mediocre libraries in New Orleans it doesn't take much to be impressed but the Provo Libray is nice. I love the kids section. I often look for books in the children's section for beginning coverage on a subject . Today I was looking for Mesopotamia as we are starting a time line and already did some light reading from the Birthdays of Freedom. Now I want to fill in some gaps and go a little deeper and wider in understanding for what is known at that time. Today we had a art contest to see who would have the winning image for 1773. The Boston Tea Party. It was a tie. Eli did a fun comic and Beth had a ship, and I drew a tea cup with a Boston tea bag hanging over the side. Tia was the judge.
I digress.
While at the library a mother asked if we homeschool. Normally I just say yes and go one my way. But today I talked. She said she had been home educating for the past year. I shared our PALMS colloquium group and invited her to attend. She seems interested. I mentioned the idea of inspiring and the need of parents to be mentors and gain leadership/statesman educations. I was glad to have stepped up and share ideas about Thomas Jefferson Education. I think I was able to feel confident in expressing myself because I am feeling secure right now and not stressed. Our kids are showing they can learn and do so with joy and desire. I hope to see Wendy tomorrow at our discussion.
Tonight Gove and I arranged a tentative outline until the end of May 2008. We will post at www.palms.gove.net

What's For Dinner?...

A few months back we were shopping at our favorite store, Deseret Industries, the super thrift store. Gove found a 3 volume set of McCall's Cooking School. Three weeks ago we started having our children cook one meal each week. Before cooking the meal the kids have to decide what to cook and make a shopping list and go with mom to buy the groceries. We gave them a $10 budget each the first week. We allowed them to make the decisions and not one of them chose a vegetable. Last week the meals included steamed or raw veggies. And this week I started making green smoothies that really have not tasted that appealing but I am giving the kids the option of eating or drinking their salads. This week Eli and Beth included a green smoothie for their veggie and tonight Mattia made a chicken pot pie dish that doesn't use a crust but rather homemade noodles, celery, and potatoes, and naturally chicken.
This week I helped cook homemade noodles and tenderize meat for the first time. Beth made teriyaki beef and chicken kabobs and she grilled them with Dad. Eli made Swedish Meatballs, and Mattia had her chicken dish. Our goal is to have the kids make the meal plan and then shop for the supplies by themselves. Tonight, I hear that my Mother in-law may have left-overs from the Humanitarian Center where she is serving a mission. They also have a kitchen and are having a Thanksgiving dinner Thursday. So maybe I won't have to cook tomorrow. A dream come true for me.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Habits, Pollyanna, and Little Lord Fauntleroy...

How is it that I am about to tie habits, Pollyanna, and Lord Fauntleroy together? Well I'm not sure myself but I have a desire to try.
Last night for Family Home Evening, I realized I needed to share why I am asking our children to do 4 same things every morning for the past year. Often they get annoyed with me and yet they don't accomplish these tasks unless I've asked. But maybe that has changed...once we talked about good vs bad habits and the consequences of both, I think my 3 bright and lively children came to understand that it's a good habit I am trying to instill within them so as they leave home they might have numerous good habits to take with them.
This morning I and Gove came home from an early session at the temple and the kids had announced that they had performed their good habits and put the dishes away as is expected of them each day. Hey, this is a right step. Today I mentioned a habit I wanted to change about myself and they seemed more receptive to talking about choices and how the decisions we make build habits. Mattia actually changed her actions when I mentioned that she was creating a negative habit and she just stopped! Sometimes I ask until I express my own bad habits but not today.
This talk about habits had me thinking about Little Lord Fauntleroy and Pollyanna. It is the teaching of habits that started both of these characters to find the good and the glad for every situation. Being happy is not a natural habit I have created for myself. I have created the habit of seeing the negative before the positive and I want to change to a glad heart. Besides, God said, 'man is that he might have joy' I want joy too. My negative habits have taken root so deeply I may need a chain saw. It's hope that I am hearing when reading these stories to the children. Tomorrow I will mention Pollyanna's good habit and relate that to Fauntleroy's habit of seeing the good in life. Granted they are children but I think children have it right. Choosing to see the good puts new light on ones life. And it feels swell.
I think I can use my One Minute Goals to help me with development of my habits as well. I am happy today because I have a good attitude. This does feel nice to say to myself. I really can improve. I am grateful to my Lord and Savior for these thoughts, feelings, and hope.

Here is a link to the writings of Charlotte Mason's teachings, including 'Habit is Ten Natures' (vol. 1 pg.97 ) www.amblesideonline.org/CM/toc.html

Friday, November 9, 2007

Spending and Saving...

Try Try Again...
If at first you don't succeed,
try, try again;
Then your courage should appear,
For if you will persevere,
You will conquer,
Never fear,
try, try again.

Late this afternoon we went to SLC to purchase a new couch and sectional. We have always wanted a nice leather sectional and decided to go for it now and enjoy the feel while we can. We also thought we would go look for a newer car for me, a down size but still able to hold 7 people. I think God was looking out for us. We found the color Gove really wanted but discontinued. We finally said we did not need to do this and left. As we drove to the dealership, Eli asked if we could stop spending money for the rest of the year. He has mentioned that we should not have gifts for each other this Christmas. He sure seems interested in us saving our money. Savings is a problem for me right now. We are placing 10% in retirement but I'm not saving for immediate needs though we live debt free and have a nice egg nest, I'm not adding to it. This is concerning me too. We did not buy a car. My van is still great. I am happy that we did not make a large purchase today. I am happy to have money in the bank. I would feel sick if we used so much money for a car. I am happy that we can say no even when we have the means to say yes. I feel good about myself today. Boy I sound llike the One Minute Teacher. I really can praise myself.
So, what do we do that will be a memorable service activity for this Christmas season?

Speaking of the One Minute Teacher, we held our weekly colloquium last night. 10 people showed up, 3 were new. We had a worthy discussion about the One Minute Teacher . When Gove read this book while I was driving to and from San Diego I thought it sounded to easy and so it surly would not work. However, I read about 80 pages yesterday morning and pondered the idea of One Minute Goals, One Minute Praises, and One Minute Recoveries. I do not now think that this is a trite production. Rather I am interested in building my self esteem, opening my mind to the idea that I can teach myself to change habits by setting goals that are in the present tense even if I'm not doing or believing yet to write my goal as if I am.
Amazing is the idea of One Minute Praising. I no longer need to wait to be told that I'm good by someone else. I can let myself know when I have done well. I like myself more today because I took the time to say that I am good.
Lastly and equally hard for me is the One Minute Recovery. To stop and see where I am off track from my goal and correct myself with word and feeling and yet saying that I am a good person, my behavior was not.

Here is my One Minute Goal that came to my mind while reading James 2:8 this morning. "I am happy because I feel good intentions toward my neighbors. I feel more free to forgive our misdeeds. I'm feeling stronger because I can love others unconditionally. I feel I am following the Golden Rule. I feel good about myself." It wasn't more then 4 hours later when I caught myself thinking negative towards a near neighbor. I let this thought process go on longer then I should but then I remembered my one minute goal and I did stop myself. I did not remember to feel regret for what I did so that it might help me to not let this happen so easily next time. Never the less I recovered and I'm good and I am still moving in the right direction.
Today I choose to have a good day because I have a good attitude. I often don't have a good attitude but I am going to praise myself for thinking I do and I think it will come.
Besides, my kids respond positively and negatively to my attitude when I get up in the morning and greet them. I set the tone. I am Mom.
Thank you.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

I Love Falling Back...

Good morning! I love waking up once a year and almost feeling refreshed. I awoke at 6:50am pacific time as we are currently in San Diego but it's actually 5:50am. I felt pretty refreshed for 5:50 in the morning. Thanks to the time change.

We are just packing up for our return to Provo. We brought Gove's mom down for the baptism of Gavin and Chloe. Our families home in Ramona was spared from the fires. Mattia and Gove are sick so I will be doing the driving which I like to do anyway.

Gove made a Google calender for our colloquium. We are calling it the PALMS. Provo Area Leadership Mentoring Society. You can view our schedule at: http://palms.gove.net or go to the link under Educational Sites.

I started reading Silas Marner by George Elliot, who is actually a women. Silas is a weaver and is thought by the local peasants to be untrustworthy because he was not born in this community.

God bless you on this holly Sabbath day.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Thursday Colloquium

Nine people attended this weeks colloquium. This was our official kick off of the group tonight and we discussed the GWC article A Thomas Jefferson Education In Our Home by Rachel DeMille.

We are providing childcare, and Gove made fresh bread for everyone to take home. Well almost everyone. Donna will get her loaf the next time she attends.

I was so happy to find this afternoon while reviewing this article that Oliver suggested that once you read 5 classics in math, science, history, and literature, you will start to ask better and different question then "How do you actually do this". I realized these 4 categories are where we should choose our books for discussions. I think this evening was fun and lively. We are going to have Shannon Brooks come, we are going to the Messiah in American Fork and watching or reading A Christmas Carol for our 2 December colloquia. We discussed using classical movies and foreign films for discussion. The TJed is about principles and not a method that has to be done one way. It's all about personal and family revelation. And this use of revelation leads to a level of security. I look forward to next week.

This morning was the Humanitarian effort. No one came. I arranged things and started 2 kits for newborns. I will continue to encourage. I do have 2 sisters who have sewn 5 gowns and 3 prs. of child slippers. this is a wonderful start all the same.

I spent the week when I wasn't reading volume 10 of Nehpites in Tennis shoes to the kids, cleaning and rearranging the basement sewing area. I stapled sheets to cover up the unfinished walls and added carpets and 2 large tables from DI. The kids helped and we accomplished a great deal, including the removal of all of the garden growth or vegetation that has frozen.

Life is good.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Who Are Your Heroes?

Hero:
noun: the principal character in a play or movie or novel or poem
noun: a man distinguished by exceptional courage and nobility and strength
noun: someone who fights for a cause
Last but not Lest: noun: a large sandwich made of a long crusty roll split lengthwise and filled with meats and cheese (and tomato and onion and lettuce and condiments); different names are used in different sections of the United States

Last Sunday, as in 2 Sundays ago I was wondering who my heroes are and decided to post the results 1 week later. Sorry to be so late. Before I say some of my heroes because it's not a complete list. I am sure it will grow as I ponder and learn more.

However, I want to mention that I am now using the CPAP machine. It's been one week. I am adjusting to the head harness and facial/nasal mask and I think I am sleeping a little better although I continue to awake tired in the morning I am able to make it through the day with out feeling tired for the past three days. I am feeling hopeful that I might have the positive results of others in 3-4 weeks. What I really hope for is to awake feeling refreshed. I can only imagine the feeling.

Now, back to my growing list of heroes. And let me clarify that I am not including everyone right now....
1. The Apostle Paul: He immediately changed and served faithfully.
2. Lucy Mack Smith: mother of Joseph. Small in stature, I think of her as a great force to inspire her son, believe in her son and follow the Lord.
3. Joseph Smith: faith, courage, forgiveness, love, friend.
4.Eli Widger: my 5th great grandfather who served twice in the Revolutionary War.
5.King Benjamin, his son Mosiah, and Alma the Younger: They each gave me courage to over come the chains of my personal bondage.
6. Joan of Arc: amazing young lady who accepted her mission.
7. Abraham and Sarah Clark: understand the cost of public virtue and were willing to pay.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

New Provo-Orem Reading and Colloquium Group

Greetings Fellow TJEDers:

We have started a reading and colloquium group. All are invited to participate. We currently plan to choose one article published by George Wythe College each month, this Thursday will be “A Thomas Jefferson Education in our Home: Educating Through the Phases of Learning” by Rachel DeMille. We will also be choosing fiction and non-fiction books; next Thursday is “The One-Minute Teacher” by Constance and Spencer Johnson. We will be devoting one Thursday a month to readings on government—we're beginning with the Federalist Papers (nice and easy, starting with Federalist 1 and 2 on November 29).

The goal of the group is two fold. First is to establish a group to further the educations of adult home educators. Second is to develop a community for transitional and scholar-aged young adults.

We have structured the group so that individuals who are not able to come to a weekly meeting can choose to attend only the colloquia of most interest. For example, the busy beginner may choose to participate in only the George Wythe Articles, or the adult who is not a homeschool educator may choose only the government colloquia.

This Thursday we plan to fill in some of the future schedule, so come and help shape the direction of the group. We will meet from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. in our home at 854 N 1375 West, Provo. We are making long-term arrangements for child care. Please email me () if you need to bring your child or children this Thursday so I can be sure we are covered.

We are looking forward to developing a long-term group that can work together to meet the needs of TJEd families in the valley. Call or email me for more information.

Hoping to see you soon:

Nickie Allen




Friday, October 26, 2007

Happy Birthday !

Happy Birthday Gove!
Happy Birthday Daddy!
Happy Birthday Uncle Gove!
Happy Birthday Brother!
Happy Birthday Son!

I love Gove because he is 100% committed to the principles of a Thomas Jefferson Education for the 21st Century. I love Gove because he wants us to inspire our children. I love Gove because he has never questioned my spending habits. I pay the bills and he does the taxes. It works great.
I love Gove because he serves the Lord faithfully in his callings and Home Teaching. I love him because he helps other women who have no husbands to fix things or move things or pick up large items with his big truck.
I love Gove because he just wants to be home with his family.

Happy Birthday Govester. You are my lovester.



Thursday, October 25, 2007

Surpries, Surprise...

A couple of weeks ago I had a sleep study test. Today I received the results and it appears that I have moderate sleep apnea. My oxygen dropped to 80 % often during REM sleep which caused me to come out of REM sleep and probably contributed to over arousal activity of the brain during these episodes which might be why I don't get the restful sleep I need.
So tonight I try the CPAP machine and give it a shot for the next month. I can't begin to say how I hope for improvement. This device has helped others to feel better when they awake in the morning. Can it happen for me too? Time will tell.

This evening we help a gathering for TJed mined parents as a step towards building an educational community for ourselves and children. We discussed the Market Based Education and The New Commonwealth School. It was decided that we would continue this group that Deby has given so much time to start and develop. THANKS DEBY J. We have the momentum so we are going to make some changes and add a lecture from GWC, the Federalist Papers, and initiate a cottage type meetings that will benefit families new to TJed, problems parents are having, just what ever is needed at that time. We will continue to do at lest 2 books each month unless we see a need to change. The reason for this colloqiua is to begin the 'Gathering Phase' of a commonwealth community within Provo and try to bring parents and children together to have developed in a couple of years the trust and knowledge necessary to provide mentors and support for our children through the Transition and Scholar phases and maybe before these stages through Mom schools.

This afternoon our family was invited to watch our neighbor shot his cannon which is a 1863 replica 1/3 the scale size. I think it's called a Muzzle Loader cannon. Our neighbor, Philip made this cannon and the cartridges that are shot out as well. I have pictures. Will post tomorrow. The Cannon family that is their last name, came as well. Philip knew I wanted to meet the Cannons who are TJed learners as well. So Philip brought us together and we started talking and Shannon came to the colloquium this evening. I am confident she will be a worthy guide for us.

Tomorrow is my husbands birthday. I am so glad that Gove likes to tease me and give me hards times so that I can smile and laugh with him. I think he likes me to get frazzled when he teases me. I just find myself or rather I find both of us blessed beyond measure in our marriage to each other. I'm also thankful that I asked Gove to attend the book group and now he is seeing the benefit and need to help and do our part for our educations. I love you Gove. Thanks for your help.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Oh That I Could Express My Thoughts With The Most Eloquent Words...

Teaching Moment by Lynde Mott

There's so much I want to say and wish I could type the most eloquent narration of my day. At last I am weak and ignorant and have much to learn. Forgive me will you? And try to catch the amazement and wonder of learning and sharing with other moms.

Yesterday we learned that our 5 Pillar Tutorial leader would need to cancel the remainder of the groups colloquiums. Gove and I have decided to start a book discussion group and continue with the members from the previous setting. The reason we are willing to step up and do this is due to our new insights from our readings. We recently finished Market Based Education and just completed The New Commonwealth School.

I am interested in the idea of starting the 'gathering' phase for a future commonwealth community in our area and I think the book group is one way to start. We were discussing last night that we could use lectures from GWC, classics old and new, and presentations. I would love to have Donna Goff to share insight for us. I don't know if this will come to pass it's just ideas in my mind right now and we are so new to this way of thinking. We have everything to gain and much to loss if we don't try. We attended the tutorial for 13 months so I feel confident that we can be facilitators for the discussions.

This afternoon was Elijah's Knights of Freedom club. We read Robert E. Lee from the Famous Childhood Series. I did not know that Lee married the step granddaughter of George Washington. He was leader of West Point before the Civil War, fought in the American Mexican War, and after the Civil war was President of Washington College that was later called Washington and Lee University. Today, Lynde Mott who is one of the co-advisers did a beautiful presentation of Civil War era. She is the artist shown above and she is amazing in her skills, elocution, and over all presentation. As the boys were playing after her examples from that time we started to talk as mothers and just started to explore the beauty of providing empowerment to our children for their education. We talked about trusting our children to make plans for their learning,...Darn, why can't I remember what we talked about I have been waiting all day to write this and now I'm blank! I shared about the idea of commonwealth school idea and mom schools. I suggested she read for a general beginners idea the 2 books I have previously mentioned in this blog.
What was neat is that Lynde is seeing the need to change and I and Rebecca shared the good things that have been happening for us by trusting. It's true that this type of educational change does feel fearful because it goes against the German type of education that the American school systems are patterned after. The 'conveyor belt' method of teaching. It takes a while to find with the Help of God what is right for that time frame in the lives of your children and your education as well.
I talked about my negative traits that I have carried from my childhood and my realization of how those traits were hurting my testimony of motherhood as well as the emotions of our children. I'm so thankful to be healing with help from God the Father and his son Jesus Christ. It is so wonderful to see daily living in a simpler less complicated light. I feel happier. God created man that he/she might have joy. I feel joy in daily activities with the kids and ....Security not Stress. I love the sense of security that is building and the decrease in the stress levels for me. Some days the stress is high but I wonder if that has something to do with my own expectations that are unrealistic in nature and contrary to the will of God. That's probably key for me.

Our cousins have arrived from Ramona Ca. Their home town is still under evacuation and can not return as of this time. Tomorrow we need to celebrate Gavin and Chloe's birthday.

What about Gove! We have been friends for almost 13 years. When Gove is working on the house he just wants me to be with him so that he isn't alone. Sometimes I'm sure he wants me to be next to him so I can pick up everything that falls but I don't mind. This summer we were building a wall with guard rails. It was nice to have a husband who would listen to my ideas at how to solve a problem.

Thanks for hearing me.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Husband, Father, And A Great Dad Too...


Yea, this is my next reason why I love my husband. He has provided a comfortable life and has made life pleasant when things were difficult. I love Gove because he was willing to have our children close together while getting his PhD. We were so poor we called our first daughter Bethany. Her name has more then one meaning and the meaning we chose was house of poverty. It also means house of dates and she is cute, but we were so poor poverty fitted better.
I appreciate the father of my children because he takes an active roll in their education, discipline, and developing ways to improve our family. After attending a GWC seminar we implimented the Family Executive Council, Weekly Interviews, 6 Month Inventory and 6 Month No. This has been inspiring in the results and the direction we are taking for education, family life, work, and play.
I love Gove because he is concerned about being a Dad who actually plays on the floor with his kids. I think he does much better then me which is a sad thing to say since I'm home all day with the kids. I have to force myself to play horses. Why is that so hard? Another area I want to improve upon so that my daughters can do better when they have children.

Thank you Gove.

-Nickie

Happy 7th Birthday Mattia!




We had a fun day with Tia. After dance class she decided to go to the nickel arcade. Grandma Allen came from SLC and celebrated the evening with us. We love you!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Birthday Week Mania!

Let me start out by saying that I still love my husband, even though we had a minor miscommunication this morning. It naturally, mostly, kind of to a degree was his fault. I was misunderstood. I wondered how I was going to write something meaningful when my feathers were raised.
However, one of the reasons I'm appreciative of Gove is his ability to say 'I'm Sorry'.
I have had a hard head for many years prior to our marriage and frankly I still do but I am grateful to have the desire in me to want to apologize when I hurt his feelings. My husband has taught me this through his example. Gove has learned to control his tongue and can think first and decide if what he has to say is worth while. If it isn't, he doesn't say something. 42 years old and I'm still learning this.

I wanted to say thank you for that second faucet you installed on the kitchen sink. I love getting water from two sources at the same time. How many wifes can say that!
Birthday Mania! Mattia turns 7 tomorrow. We hear the cousins from San Diego are on their way in an attempt for fresh air and the twins turn 8 on Thursday, then Gove on Friday.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Because I Love Him...

This Friday, my husband will celebrate his 39th birthday. I have decided to post a daily message that expresses why I not only love Gove but really like him as a sort of birthday gift.

Let me start with the reason I married him. When I was 27 I was bugging God by often asking when I would find my right man. During one of my nagging prayers it was brought into my mind that my husband would come when I turned 30. I was so sure of this feeling that I did not doubt it again. Less then 1 month before my 30th birthday Gove asked me on a date.
One of the reasons why I like my husband so much is because of his kindness to me. On that first date we went to the Old Spaghetti Factory in SLC and then he took me on a carriage ride. While on the ride Gove told me the funniest story about an alligator wrestler who finally quites while he's a head. What a silly story but I didn't hold it against him.
Here is my point. That night I went home and said my bed time prayer. I thanked my Heavenly Father for this nice man who took me on a date. And as I said this, I was over come with the most incredible warmth in my chest I had ever experienced. I knew at this very moment this was the man God had planned for me to marry. I did not love him but I said yes to my Father. For 12 years and 5 months I have expressed my thanks to my Father in prayer or in my heart for the day He brought us together. Never a regret. I like my husband just as he is. Don't get me wrong, sometimes I am frustrated but that's because of my own unmeant expectations or lack of communication. When ever we are apart I can't wait to be together again. I feel so protected and safe with my 6'6" husband near by. He is the man for time and all eternity.

Thank you Gove, I love you.

Welcome, Welcome, Sabbath Morning...

I read somewhere, I did not write the source down, that our great grandfathers called Sunday the Holy Sabbath, our grandfathers called it the Sabbath, our fathers called it Sunday and today we call it 'the weekend'.
I am so thankful that today it the Holy Sabbath. I have prayed all week looking forward to partaking of the sacrament, and opening my heart so that the prompting of the Holy Spirit my enter into my heart and mind. Finally the day has come.
I have enjoyed our assigned Sunday School reading for this week, Acts 21-28. Paul is wonderful in my eyes. First he doubted who it was talking to him on the road to Damascus and then he knew and immediately was willing to go and do as he was commanded of the Lord. He knew he would be healed through the priesthood authority. And off he goes to preach and spread truth. He was now involved in the mission that God had prepared for him. Paul is faithful to the end and continues to serve even when he is a prisoner being sent to Caesar for trial. Complete steadfastness. I;m adding Paul to my list of heroes.
Who are my heroes? I'm going to think about this this week and next Sunday I am going to present who my heroes are. So stay tuned...

Did you see that Utah received snow on the valley floor last night? It is beautiful to behold the mountains dressed in white. The kids want to decorate for Christmas now but I think we will wait until later in November.
This is going to be a wonderful week I am excited to be a mom and a wife in our family. How grateful I am to be becoming. Which reminds me, Dallin Oaks has a talk I found yesterday entitled 'The Challenge to Become'. It's my reading for tonight. I hope it will be a blessing to my desire to become as my Father in Heaven wants me to be.

God bless all of you.

Friday, October 19, 2007

My First Field Trip Coordination Experience...

About 1 month ago, there was a posting at Homeschool Friends for someone to coordinate a field trip to a corn maze. I took the kids last year and had a fun time so I decided to step up and take responsibility for the activity. It wasn't difficult to organize and this morning we meet with other family's and had about 50+ people show up at the Thanksgiving Point Cornbelly's Corn Maze. It was fun. I jumped with the kids on something called a 'jumping pillow' like a trampoline but arched and very large. We went through the maze and managed to find the exit before we found all the check points. Took a hay ride and brought home 3 large pumpkins. All of us have slight sun burns, it was nice to be a mom playing with my children.