Friday, August 31, 2007

Just Thinking About Les Mis...

We will finish Les Mis tonight. Today I have felt a little blue, and tired because I did not go to sleep until after 11pm. I was crying about Jean Valjean, and about my dad. I'm feeling hurt by Jean that he has given up life and seems to be sacrificing himself now that Cosette is married. But what has really bothered me is that he is not willing to be forgiving of himself for his sin of long ago. Granted Victor probably did not understand the power of the Atonement and repentance in the life of Jean Valjean, but the care Jean offered to Cosette I think is like his repentance and the care he gave to others in need as well. As we read the pages leading up to his death I was also crying because I was feeling that my own dad has turned away from repentance and the blessings that come in the wake of forgiveness from God and forgiveness towards yourself by yourself. Both my dad and Jean are making things harder for themselves and punishing themselves unnecessarily. Yes Cosette has forgotten her father for a number of days, and I have forgotten my dad to at times as too. It's sometimes easier to manage until something like this gets thrown in your face again.

How terrible life is for those who do not forgive others or themselves. It just pains me to think of men and women who have gone to jail and prison and are lost in the system and never learn or want to learn of a greater message and way of life through Jesus Christ. Or people I am sure who want to receive that second chance but never get it because of the record they carry, that yellow slip of paper. I am so thankful for the Atonement and the gift of repentance in my life. I have been forgiven much and I seek to forgive more. I am thankful for my husband who is a forgiving person. Goodness, if he was not forgiving he would not have married me.

What will happen tonight for Jean Valjean? I know he will die. I know there is some sort of gathering but I am not sure if it is forgiving for all involved. I was listening to the music from the musical this week, and I started to cry as Monsieur the Mayor was telling Fantine that he would care for Cosette and for she to be at peace. This musical has made the book more meaningful. Or maybe the book has filled in the gaps and made the music more heavenly to me I don't know which but I can't think of the story without hearing and feeling the music.

Les Mis comes with personal pain for me now. I will probably have a good cry tonight to release the pain I feel with my lack of a connection with my own dad. And then I will smile and be at peace because I know and have a testimony of the great Plan of Salvation. Peace & Security not Stress & Hopelessness.

-Good night

Thursday, August 30, 2007

We Did 1,440...

I tell you, I am feeling so swell about being a mom again. I told my kids just this morning that I feel they are loving me and I am feeling greater love for them. They agreed that things are much better.

We are listening to Gene Stratton Porter's The Harvester. It's just so beautifully innocent. My son is enjoying David Langston and the type of male role character being taught through the story. I'm enjoying the pictures of all the plants and the identification and use of the plants in the Limberlost. I will take my children there in the next 2 years.

We use to do service every Thursday at the Bishop's Store House and then in February I let it go to the way side. Well we went back today and WHAT AN IMPROVEMENT IN MY CHILDREN! In 2.5 hours minus 30ish minutes for lunch, we packed 1, 440 rolls of toilet paper and my kids and I had a great time! My youngest did not complain she did a great job packing and we all just went so smoothly. I heard one of the directors say that we had almost finished a whole pallet in 1.5 hours. By the time lunch was ready we had just 8 boxes left. We felt good about our job and we came up with a Motto for the family

"We Allen's Get The Job Done"

Eli is now ready for his first Webelo meeting and I am going to scan some lessons for the next 4 months.

I am so thankful to know of my Heavenly Father and his son who is my Savior and Redeemer, even Jesus the Christ. This is such a fantastic feeling in my heart right now. I think by being hopeful and remembering what Jesus said of Mary, I will continue to improve, heal, and become a refined daughter of God. Oh, Jesus said that 'Mary did what she could', and I am doing what I can and that is hopeful to me and is truly giving me the sense of security not stress.

God bless each of us.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I'm Such A Good Mom...

Eli Beth and Keith ahead of us.
Mattia and Rachel with me.

at the base of the lift after our ride.


The Stellar's Jay

I know it sounds amazing, but I am a great mom today. I took my kids and two of their friends up to Aspen Grove, and we almost walked to Stewart Falls. While on our walk I felt so free with my children. We were out in nature, doing what Charlot Mason says to do with our kids...loving nature and thanking God for this beautiful earth. In the process of being grateful, we saw 2 Red-napped Sapsuckers, caught 3 different butterflies which we need to learn their names, and 1 grass hopper. then we returned to the parking lot and had a picnic. While eating, 3 Stellar's Jays came to our area. We feed a little of our bread to them and took some nice pictures. I brought our nature notebooks and I and Beth took our time drawing something of our field experience.

Now, here comes the great part of me being a great mom today. As we drove pass Sundance, we saw the ski lift taking people up the mountain. I stopped and we all decided it would be fun to take the ride. So I bought 6 tickets and up we went. I did not realize that there were no seat belts. And we were so high up and the mountain kept getting higher! oh boy, I was a little scared but I had 5 children with me and we all decided to be brave and really it wasn't so bad. The view was amazingly lovely and we noticed many autumn colors developing on the scrub oak.

You know, I left our home this morning completely in peace with the idea of spending the day at Timpanogos mountain, I did not worry at all about leaving the house unorganized. It is truly a peaceful experience to let go of trying to be in control and just enjoy life with your family.

This evening Gove and I attended our last family coaching class, until we feel the need to attend again that is. I am thankful for the tools received and as I use these tools to change distorted thoughts to correct statements, and as we praise and be consistent with our children I think all will continue to improve or at lest to be able to work through our difficulties. We learned about 'Thinking Errors' which are distortions that are 'all or nothing' statements. Such as 'You never...', or 'They always...' this happens with our children at times so we will teach them about thinking errors and see if we can help each other when we do this.

We have about 4 hours of les Mis left!!!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Putting Education Week To Work In Our Home...


This morning I had to medical appointments, so I left a list of 8 items on the chalk board to be accomplished through the teamwork of our children. A new item was the Quick Clean/Deep Clean of diffrent room. A bought laminated 8x11 cards that says what should be done for either type of cleaning. The kids were fine with the idea. And they had everything taken care of and the laundry going when I made it home 2 hours later. We have to fix the venting system for the dryer as the clothes are taking too long and it's a new dryer.

For Family Home Evening, I started to incorporate some of the ideas from Angelle Andersons CD. I wrote a 1 page story of how Gove and I meet and how we came to have 3 children. The kids thought it was kind of fun. Then I said we would be adding information about ourselves to a binder called the ????? We need a name at this point. Each of us filled out a page of questions about ourselves and included a picture that I took of each person. we practiced singing The Spirit of God Like A Fire Is Burning. I took my date night with Elijah and without him knowing it I had a personal interview with him. He says he wants to continue with Knights of Freedom, take Creative Dance through BYU, and stay on top of his Webelos activities. Sounds good to me.


I have not mentioned that our chickens are laying about 9 eggs per day. We have 4 dozen right now. I think I'll have Carrie take them to the Farmers Market this Saturday. 4 Dozen will pay for the next 50 pounds of feed. I gave the hens a fair amount of rice that I had seasoned with to much Tumeric. I wonder if some of the yokes will be more yellow becasue of it?

I am a mom to our children... it feels good and right. It is nice to have my
chidlren want to hug me so much and for me to want to praise them for good deed.

One last note. The girls decorated our indoor mail box we took the idea from Little Women. No one has looked to see if something was in it so tonight I got the box and took out the certificates I made for the kids. They were happy to be recognized for work and actions well done. we are planning a October trip to Delta for Trilobite digging.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

No More Heachache

I received a call this morning as I was heading out for Visiting Teaching. A teacher was needed for the Valiant girls class in Primary. Lesson 32. Oh I wondered what I was going to do. I realized I was thinking more on what I was going to do instead of how the Lord was going to guide me once class started. I read through the class lesson once. I and the girls talked about the time of Christ's Crucifixion. I realize that what would help more is to have the kids participate in some sort of enactment. That's what Angelle Anderson was trying to say. Turn lessons into hands on experiences becasue the kids will have something to relate the sunject too. Things to learn.

I went to my Chiropractor on Friday and had acupuncture on my neck and face. I still felt dizzy and sore behind my eyes but it seems that it was more tolerable now. I also learned that my CT scan was normal. That was well received. Anyway, we attended a ward block party this same evening. I awoke Saturday and had no dizziness or head pain. What a blessing to be healed. I am thankful to have gone through this and know a little of how others feel. It is so hard to get anything accomplished when your unsteady and your eyes hurt.

I have not read how to use Julie Morgensterns planner yet but I am using the monthly planner and days are going faster then I care to see. Here I am typing this message and barly hearing Les Mis as the narrator is telling the sewer system chapters. I start to get agitated. I thought it would be good to see what days are going to be busy for us starting in September, maybe it is better not to see it on paper? Well get use to it Nickie.

A neighbor said her children attended the BYU Creative Dance program for many years. All 3 kids are interested in the program so I will see what can be done tomorrow. I still need to hear when Mattia's speech class will begin at BYU as well. I think it will be 2x per week.

Friday, August 24, 2007

My Sons 10th Birthday, Still Dizzy



Happy Birthday Elijah! I remember the day he was born as if it was yesterday.Eli was scheduled for C-section on the 25th of August but at 3:00 in the morning he decided to come on the 24th. I wonder if there is a deeper significance related to ones birth date? How come I can't remember what happened on his birthday 3 years ago? Oh it is so frustrating to not remember things from last week. I sometimes think there is too much to remember in our lives now. Gove will be taking the kids out to fun activities per Eli's request for his birthday. We don't do birthday parties.

About my head. I was able to see a doctor late yesterday. Besides my terrible headache and dizziness, I talked to him about my poor sleeping patterns. He is going to address my sleeping once we can figure out what is going on with my head. I had a CT scan of my head last night. Dr. Brown says I might of experienced a Thunderclap headache. He prescribed lortab. I took 1 and a second at bedtime. I awoke this morning thinking all was better. But about 30 minutes after awaking the dizziness has returned, the pain behind my eyes, and a lack of complete balance are back. I hope to hear something about the CT soon. I also had some blood work as well. the front of my head hurts.

I missed Angelle's class at Education Week yesterday and I will miss today as well due to these symptoms. I was listening to Les Mis a little last night, but not ready to think right now. Must rest...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Ed. Week.:Wednesday's Thoughts, and Headaches...


By Albert Bierstadt

When I left Ed. Week Tuesday night, I had a headache. By the time I drove home, I was feeling dizzy in my head. When I woke up Wednesday morning my head continued to pain me and my eyes hurt and I felt like my head was too heavy for my neck. I thought maybe this was my body dealing with toxins, so after taking 800mg of motrin with no changes I decided to walk on the treadmill and try to sweat it out. I walked and jogged 2 miles in 33 minutes. I felt fine on the treadmill but once I was off, I was dizzy with my head hurting.

I went to Angelle's class yesterday with my head in pain. I found Donna there and she shared the idea of a pain med called vanquish that used magnesium as the buffer. I didn't find the vanquish until about 8:30pm when Gove took me to Target.

It is now Thursday morning. I used the treadmill and still did not feel well. I decided I needed a special blessing to call upon the Lord through my faith to be healed. I'm feeling a little better now. I really don't want to take a pain pill but maybe it would help to get rid of the last of this pain and unsteadiness now. What to do...

Thought #3 from Ed. Week:
These principles that are gospel centered, that we are striving to teach our children, need to have examples that are hands on experiences which create stories in the children's minds to help them develop testimonies and for our children to know the they have a testimony of gospel principles.
Ex: Hold a multi family activity that is intended to teach the Plan of Salvation via driving tgo the temple would be premortal, at the temple would be coming to mortality, going to a place that is fun like Chuck e Cheese for mortality, then to a funeral home for post mortality. I can see how doing instead of hearing this plan can solidify a child's and an adults understanding and help their testimony of God and of our Savior to grow.

I so hope to feel better for today. Tomorrow is my son Elijah's 10 birthday. I don't have a gift for him yet. Oh boy.

I am a mom. I am doing what I can to be diligent within my call of motherhood.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

My Thoughts From Attending Education Week...Tuesday

Thought #1
I have completely forgotten that a person should awake from 8 hours of sleep feeling refreshed! I have not awoken from a nights rest refreshed for at lest 8 years and that is no exaggeration!! I heard this in the Stress Management class. This is concerning to me that some how stress and anxiety have affected my sleep. Or is it something that is just sleep pattern related? I want to find out more about my sleeping situation. I guess I will need to see a doctor.
Thought #2
I love Donna Goff's recommendation to attend Angelle Anderson's class. She spoke about creating family committees, and every family member being the chair person and the rest of the family is involved in the activities of each committee. She said they use a monthly theme and base FHE and spiritual teachings and activities on the monthly theme. I bought her cd and her printed agenda sheets for family and executive councils. I found Donna Goff attending and Julie Graham from Roseville Minnesota where we use to live 6 years ago.

Before I left for the afternoon sessions I assisted Gove with more guard rails, prepared dinner which I pressure cooked pinto beans and a chuck of beef. It taste great. I also attended the temple at 7:30am and after the temple I purchased the Julie Morgenstern program at Franklin Covey.

I woke up tired this morning and a little unsteady.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Monday's Are 'Date Night's' With One Of Our Children




This evening, after a lovely dinner with our friends, the Goff's. I and Bethany headed out for our date at Barnes and Noble. Beth was looking for the old spiderman comics for Eli's birthday this Friday. There were no old black and white comics just colorful, bold, cheap looking, and creeping looking comics. We also tried to find a book on the care of lizards but now we realize we need a book on a specific type and I'm not sure I really want a reptile in the house now. I found a book of songbirds with a cd that I am looking forward to hearing tomorrow. I will play it near the canaries and see if Flicker is inspired to sing even more. Beth ended our date with an Italian cream soda. She was hoping it would taste as good as grandma's but it did not.

We do our weekly cleaning of the home and laundry on Monday's and today, everything went very quickly and smoothly. I wrote a list on the chakl board with 8 items to accomplish and the kids went to work. Our last job was to move bedroom and build new frames for the kids beds and placed them in one room so that we can read to all of them and they can hear at the same time. Plus I have just felt they should be together again. Eli siad this afternoon that it felt good to be putting their beds in the same room. And Gove started reading the Count of Monte Cristo to them. I am currently reading The Old Man And The Sea by Hemingway to the family.

This morning we officially stopped working on our back yard hill. We have brought in over 200 loads of dirt and this morning we tied the last rock to the tarps to keep the majority of the rain off and to prevent the hill from sliding down into the canal during the winter. We feel good about this work and the fact that we are doing it ourselves and saving many thousands of dollars.

I have so looked forward to having Donna and Roger and their kids to our home. It was so nice to listen to Donna after dinner as we talked about how to learn drawing, she said to get Drawing With Children by Mona Brooks, and Donna provided collaboration for the Wild Days book a Charlotte Mason approach. I realize this evening or rather I had an epiphany that I need to return to the ideas of Charlotte for nature and love of learning activities. Thank you Donna for stimulating this epiphany to come my way.

Tomorrow is Education Week. Also, I just learned today that the Face To Face seminar is being changed and Oliver DeMille and Shannon Brooks are coming in September and the colloquium will not be Les Mis but rather Pride and Prejudice! I have not finished Les Mis but I have never read Pride and Prejudice! One step at a time Nickie. I can be peaceful and calm wit this change and still grow and learn.

Good night

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Relaxing With My Family...This Is Peaceful!

Service project during July 2007. Girls made bread with Gove and are delivering to families in the neighborhood.

Ah!! Saturday evening is here, we have had 4 days of hard yard work. After 200+ dump truck loads of dirt, we are feeling good about our back yard hill and the driveway is beginning to take shape. Today we spent hours spreading tarps to cover the dirt so it doesn't wash down the hill during the rainy seasons. Just look for the yard with blue ground and you have found us!

Thursday evening, Gove and I attended our family coaching session. We had a successful experience. With the help of our counselor, I was able to recognize what is called 'distorted statements' or just plain false thoughts that we think are true. I have the hardest time being able to relax and feel peaceful and calm when things are not finished. Once this came out from me, it took like 30 minutes of discussion I felt it was right. My new statement is 'I can be peaceful and calm even when things are not finished. I was so willing to try and find this answer for why I always feel like I have to be working and getting things done before I can feel relaxed and calm, I don't have why, but now I can keep saying this true statement and I will come to believe it. I am a worthwhile, good, and concerned mom and wife. This feels nice to say now.

I am interested in the Julie Morgenstern planner at Franklin Covey. I like the notebook which is basically the teaching/epiphanies and doing columns, and the monthly notebook. I think it would be helpful to have small daily tasks and to write them and check them off. I use to write all our daily learning activities on a planner I think I need to do this again.

Goodnight.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

An Important Message About September's Face To Face With Greatness Seminar!

The Battle of Waterloo by William Sadler

Dear Friends,

This message is intended to help encourage you to attend the FTFWG #2 seminar in September.

I am not the best person at expressing my thoughts through writing, but I'm going to give it a try right now.

The past 3 months has been a heart changing and eye opening time for me. It started with a realization (eye opener #1) that I didn't have a testimony for motherhood and kind of snowballed from there.

I decided I wasn't doing any good for our children and should send them to public or private school.

I felt like our family dynamics was falling apart, and frankly I had no idea what my mission could possibly be.

And if that isn't enough, I decided to read Les Miserables in preparation for the Face To Face With Greatness Seminar #2 being held in September.

In June, Donna Goff took I and Gove to the Rethinking Education Retreat at GWC. During the first 5 hours, I had my second 'eye opener'. Oliver DeMille was discussing the 4th Turning. And although I don't understand it all yet, I had my heart changed. And I came to see that my children need me to be prepared to guide not only them but the children they will have. I see that my grand children will be keys to the founding time in the not so far future and I need to inspire my children through my quest for statesmanship. Wow! My choices are going to affect many generations from now. How exciting!

We decided in July to help our family improve in our communications skills and parenting skills, so we started attending family coaching sessions, and we see positive improvement and I feel better about being a mom. Why is it so hard to say, 'I'm a good, fine, worthy, worthwhile mom?' I can say that I'm an ok mom but truly I'm more then ok. Like Jesus said of Mary, 'she is doing what she can.'

Also in July, we attended the How To Read A Book seminar and I started to feel a new sense of freedom in my attempts to read/learn. This idea of epiphanies, taking notes only on what I'm going to teach and having a 'to do' list as I am learning from a book was all new to me. And who ever knew I was to date my books? How thrilling it has been to accept that I don't have to read every word the first time through a book to gain what I need from a particular reading.

Something was changing in my heart. I was beginning to feel hopeful. Hopeful for my education, hopeful that I really can write a paper to submit for the 5 Pillar program, hopeful that I can gain a testimony for the most important job ever placed in a womens hands. I started to feel that my mission is just around the corner for me. Who knows how long its going to take me to get to that corner but I'm working to arrive there both spiritually, physically, and educationally.

Reading Les Miserables has become an enjoyable encounter for me now and I've had my own epiphanies and I love Waterloo to boot!

I am looking forward to sharing these epiphanies with you the first weekend in September when Leah and Stori will host the second seminar in the FTFWG series. However, this seminar is not going to take place if you and I don't get up and make changes in our selves that will positively affect the outcome of our children and grand children and someone else's children too. I share all of these feelings with you to help you to know that you are not alone in wanting to make changes for the better in your family and in your life. We are the mentors in our families. I can inspire greatness but I think I have to be inspiring to myself first.

My friends, this is our opportunity to grow in preparation for the new school year. The next #2 seminar is not being offered until January 2008 in the Los Angeles area! If we don't step up and attend now and pay the registration cost, ultimately it will cost us more to travel long distance and to wait longer. My heart is with you. Don't let this pass by. We are good and great persons and we have much to share and learn from each other. We need each others positive support (and energy for that matter) to help motivate us to just keep swimming and trying.

Vive Leah and Stori!!

Vive Hugo, Shakespeare, and L'Amour!!!


Warmest regards,

-Nickie Allen

The web address for this seminar is below:

gwc.edu/seminars/ftof/070907-2-Orem.php

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sunday Thoughts...

I was in Sunday School this afternoon, and we were reading from the book of Acts chapter 9. And I had the following epiphany. Saul was angry with the jews who converted to following Christ. He was visited by our Lord, and then after 3 days Ananias came to heal him through the power of God. Ananias called him, 'Brother Saul'. It was at this moment that I thought of Jean Valjean and the good Bishop of Digne. The Bishop is Christ in this story and Valjean who is angry with everyone is like a Saul. It is the Bishop who calls him 'brother' and because of the pure love of the Bishop, Jean Valjean chooses to make a change in himself and to become like the Bishop. In otherwards I see jean Valjean becoming a Paul now.
Well, I think it's a great idea. I shared it with our teacher afterwards who has read Les Mis and he appreciated the analogy.

My submersible pump is doing a fine job watering the orchard.

This evening we invited 2 families over for dinner. We talked about a fermented herring that is popular in Sweden, the dead zone around Chernobyl, and one guest is in the Navy, he has spent time in the Phillipeans and he discussed issues regarding the increase of Muslim extremist within the country.

Sadly, I have lost my childcare provider for BYU education week. I am hopeful to attend at lest one class each week if Gove can be available.

I like this quote of James E. Faust ( he died Saturday morning, an apostle of Jesus Christ)

"Private choices are not private. They all have public consequences...
Our society is the sum total of what millions of individuals do in their private lives.
That sum total of private behavior has worldwide public consequences of enormous magnitude.
There are no completely private choices."

Fare thee well.


Saturday, August 11, 2007

A Good Days Work...

What a day! So it started at 7 am. It was so nice to sleep until then. Anyway, my children had decided on Friday to attend the Farmers Market with my sister. I helped make some signs and gather all they needed this morning. They had 2 1/2 dozen eggs, pincushions, pillowcases, Mardi Gras beads, and veggies from the garden. When all was said, they made $13. I will save it for them and take out the money for the eggs to put toward buying feed for the hens.

After moving dirt, Gove decided we would find me a submersible pump so that I could start watering the grass along the canal. We are renting a share of water and if we had known about a submersible pump before hand I could of had things looking better sooner. I finally mowed and cut the edges, gave the clippings to the hens and hooked up the pump. I am getting enough water through the pump to add a sprinkler head which is helping to distribute the water.

I gathered 10 plums from our tree and there will be more ready next week although I will need Gove to come and pick them as they are out of my reach. Our peaches are really small this year. Is that because we had large ones last year or because I have not had enough water in the orchard this year?

While I was doing my work in the sun, Gove was putting together 2 new faucets for the kitchen sink. One is very arched and leaves a lot of room in the sink for a pile of dishes. The other was on clearance and it's like a big nice sprayer and is also a faucet, but we will mostly use it for spraying. Gove also installed a soap dispenser and as he removed the sink to put everything on, he recaulked and sealed the sink nicer then before. thank you Gove for this lovely gift.

This evening we attended the Stake picnic at Lion's park. The music was live Blue Grass staring the Wolfenstein family. Jennie, my newest friend was there with all 5 of your cute children and we sat with the Doud family as well. Gove was asked to MC the Tug-a-War and give out candy. It looked like he did a great job and there were many participants.

I like this little gamin, Gavroche, in Les Mis. He was hiding under a bush when he heard the sermon preached by Jean Valjean to Montparnasse, and now he is trying to do good to others and he has a cheerful heart even though he lives in the gutters, and he manages to give. Marius and Cosette have finally meet to express their unfailing love for each other, all in an hours time. Gag me.

My visiting teachers come over tomorrow morning. I shall enjoy preparing by reading our lessons for Sunday School and Relief Society.

So I don't forget. Elijah came to my room at 9:20pm and said he wanted to read Amelia Bedilia Goes Camping so that we could see how his reading has improved. This is the first time he was wanted to read to us in order to show us something in relation to his skills. He did a great job and I encouraged him to continue and to think of the progress he had made. He was quite happy to be recognized for his work. I do believe he will keep it up too.

Farewell and goodnight...

-Nickie

Friday, August 10, 2007

Helping Kids Prepare For The Farmers Market...

Bethany and Elijah are going to the Provo Farmers Market with my sister Carrie to sell their wares tomorrow. Eli is selling 2 cabbages, and Mardi Gras beads. Bethany is selling strawberry pin cushions, and 3 pillow cases. We also have 2 1/2 dozen eggs for sell at $3/dozen. I hope it goes well for them. I'm not sure about Mattia. I will take her later and she can see if this is something she wants to try later.

We picked up our laminator machine in SLC today, it has cost us $600 to repair. I think we will sell it on EBAY for about $1,500. I'm going to use it first and see if I want to keep it.

I felt some anxiety today. What was it? I felt something... what....somehow it was like I felt heavy for not getting more done educationally with the kids. We listened to Little Women, and I talked to Eli about our epiphany chairs in my bedroom and how seating in these chairs can help open our minds to new insights while reading, thinking, writing, or drawing, and even listening to music. Eli was drawing as I told him. He said he had an epiphany to end one of his characters in his current comic.

I walked with my sister the past 2 mornings and I am so tired by 5:30pm. This is frustrating. I'm sure my diet has something to do with it. I did soak brown rice for dinner and had fresh veggies from the garden, and chicken. I think I need a little more sleep before getting up but it is nice to exercise and get breakfast going before 7am. I have whole wheat flour and spelt soaking for pancakes in buttermilk tonight.

I have this great new Timetable of History and I was reading to Gove tonight from 1790-1836 looking for info on French activities. it is amazing that Napoleon took 550,000 men into battle about 1812 against Russia. He came back with 20,000 surviving. That sounds like the beginning of his down fall but I don't knew that for certain. I was annoyed with Marius and his sever daydreaming for Cosette and his lack of work. Now Cosette is behaving the same.

'...he had stopped his work, and nothing is more dangerous than discontinued labor; it is habit lost. A habit easy to abandon, difficult to resume.'
pg 861 Les Mis




'...she is the maker of her character, the molder of her life, and the builder of her destiny, she may unerringly prove, if she will watch, control, and alter her thoughts, tracing their effects upon herself, upon others, and upon her life and circumstances, linking cause and effect by patient practice and investigation, and utilizing her every experience, even to the most trivial, everyday occurrence, as a means of obtaining that knowledge of herself which is Understanding, Wisdom, Power.'

Thursday, August 9, 2007

My Family Is Home!! and...A New Friend

Last night, our Bishop and others, provided a dinner for all the females in our church. It was very nice to have a picnic with my daughters who had arrived home from Ca. 2 hours prior. I was so happy to hug and love my kids and they told me so many times how much they loved me!! I really think they missed me. How wonderful to be their mom. Great to have my husband back and to finally sleep with confidence. Gove brought me Holly's treadmill that she wasn't going to need now. Wow, thanks Holly!!!

So, at the dinner last night I meet a new friend! She is Jennie, and she just moved into the neighborhood 2 weeks ago. And what is so fun is that Jennie knows about George Wythe College and TJed. She works at a Montessori school in Lindon and she is helping to develop a TJED model of education. So, we spent the evening talking about Les Mis, Jane Austin, Gene Stratton Portter, and changes that have occurred in our lives. It turns out that she was living Missouri while we lived in New Orleans our first 3 years. It was so nice to talk to someone who understands homeschooling, and the importance of reading. Before I realized it almost everyone had gone home. Jennie is an avid reader and she will be a helpful, and insightful friend to me.

Today I am taking my children to Thanksgiving Point for a fun afternoon with dinosaurs and sand. Beth has Achievement Days following this field trip.

We just spent 1 1/2 hours down at our garden drawing pictures of different plants. I can see an improvement in Eli and Tia's drawing skills, they really tried to show details. Beth has enjoyed drawing from her imagination, not necessarily something she just saw. I am in a sad state when it comes to drawing.

Time now for my personal learning with Les Mis. Our children are have quality playtime together. They have agreed to work out any differences that might arise and they were singing, God BE With You Till We Meet Again', as they left me to go down stairs. I can tell that all my striving to say positive statements and to praise their actions this morning is paying off with positive outlooks for them right now.

Until next time...

-Nickie

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

It's Hope That I'm Feeling!

I went to the temple this morning for my weekly visit. It's my second time this month. I don't think I have ever gone more then once/month. This is going to be exciting and experimental as well. Three times I've attended since the middle of July and I have had such a strong feeling each time that my faith was helping someone whose name was on the prayer roll. I feel uplifted and grateful to be able to feel this emotion and gift.
As I drove to the temple in Provo this morning, I was listening to Dr. Lund and he used the word that describes this joyous feeling I have been having for two weeks. It's Hope!! I feel so hopeful. Never have I felt this way for this amount of time. Never. Do you hear me! I am joyful and hopeful that my mission is becoming clear, that our family is rejoicing with better communication, praise, and empowering our kids to figure out their own solutions, that God loves me and I will be made worthy to return to him after all that I can do. I feel hopeful about my testimony growing regarding motherhood. I'm so thankful and hopeful for mercy and grace. What a joyful life God is blessing me with.

I pressure cooked some beans after soaking them over night for dinner and there will be plenty for the family when they return tomorrow. Govie is on the road right now. I was able to mend 2 pairs of Gove's pants, take care of three loads of laundry, and I screwed the curtain hooks that hold back the curtains in each of the girls rooms so that they can look out their bay windows yet close the curtains without pulling on the rods. Went grocery shopping with Carrie. I also sent an email to Richard at the Ag department about this terrible law that is putting small dairy farmers out of business. The Wolsey's are closing I hear in two months. I do not like the Foot farm milk. We should be able to make our own choices as to where we buy food and dairy products.

I am concerned about my learning and my epiphanies while reading Les Mis. I had none today and I really wasn't interested in Restoration chapters. What to think of Marius? I think he is an independent scholar? He wants to have a lot of time for reading and thinking. I don't know if I like him yet. It has been fun to realize where the names of streets in New Orleans most likely came from as I read this book. Am I learning? Not this time around, out side of Waterloo and that was pretty moving for me so maybe that was what I needed. I will continue since it's a requirement.

I'm going to pay bills and then sleep. It's late, I'm to meet my sister for walking at 6am I'll have to see how my sleeping goes tonight.

P.S. The picture at the top was made by Beth. She calls it 'Our Earth'. She also says it is for sale.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Today... and everyday now

Today I awoke excited because it is the sabbath. Everyday I am now excited to awake and say, 'thank you Lord for letting me be a mother'. Today I prepared for our Sunday school lesson in the book of Acts. Where is the best place on the internet for etymology? I will investigate tomorrow.
Today I shared my thankfulness that God has shown me where to get help in my parenting skills, and how to gain a testimony for being a happy, thankful, loving, and learning mom.
My daughter Bethany's gold fish died. I told Gove first and he broke the news to her. He said the fish was old and maybe he was. He had been attacked by the crayfish and lost his tail fin but it had started to grow again. When I talked to Beth this evening about it she was ok. Beth is very sensitive about animals.
It was so nice to tell my children that I love them and am grateful to be their mom. They said yea they loved me but they needed to play with their cousins!!! I am glad they are creating these fine memories in childhood.
I read an article from the August Ensign this morning, what I pulled out of the article was the need to remember my Lords atonement on my behalf. By remembering and feeling this act which Christ performed on my behalf will open my heart to being willing to change and repent because I am desiring to not let his act be in vain for me.
I also started learning the speech given by Van C. Gessel called 'The "Welding Link" of Culture'
this is what I read while waiting for our last and most meaningful Harry Potter book. I want to learn this speech so that I can share his ideas regarding the reading of classic as, "to forge a link between civilizations of the past and our own day and then to transmit them to our own progeny." As I learn this time, I want to practice learning poetically and not logically. I hope to find meaning that will influence me in a transformational way that will help inspire my quest to build cultural literacy in me and in my family.
I sent my testimonial for Martha's Elocution classes to the TJFA, and HSF. I hope the attachments went through and I truly hope others will feel inspired to participate, as Martha is desirous to earn an income sharing these wonderful skills that help increase our confidence in public speaking.
-Fair thee well my friend. Goodnight.

Art by Eli. It's called 'faces' and it's for sale says Eli.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Vive Victor Hugo!!!


So I am trying to understand Victor as I read Les Mis and decided to read from Wikipedia as well as Cliffnotes. I see how there was all this turmoil in France in the 1780-90's and while change is occurring to the government, which I think is the internal French Rev. there is also war or coalitions 1st and 2nd going on now against France. Napoleon helps save France with the 1st war, goes to Egypt, comes back and places himself as Emporer, wins the 2nd coalition and then I think the Napoleonic Wars begin. If anyone every reads this does that sound correct to you?

Anyway it's quite interesting. Napoleon had both is brothers, sister and husband, and another brother in-law in command of different French controlled regions. Wow! No wonder he had a big head and like Victor said, Napoleon thought of himself as a god. And to think I started reading all this just because I wanted to know what the Pantheon was, and then I started reading about who was buried there and found the first few burials were French Revolutionist. Victor is buried there too. This feels exciting to me!!!!! How fun, I am have a Love of Learning /Aspiring Scholar 3 hour moment in time. This is fantastic!!!

I also finished my main work here in our home. I thought it would take me until next Tuesday to get this work completed but with no family here I finished today and now I get to have this time of study. I feel so thankful and grateful to my Heavenly Father and to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Life is joyful and I am thankful to be a mother, wife, and daughter.

Now I want to figure how to help some friends with classes they are presenting in the area starting in September. I took the first Elocution class that Martha taught last year and it has been helpful and inspiring to me, so I want to share my testimonial and see if I can get others to attend this fall. The second class is the Face To Face With Greatness seminar #2 and Gaylene Hatch who is very engaging and inspiring is the presenter. I am thinking how to present these two classes to diffent homeschool groups and see if someone will be interested in attending because I believe in both and feel a desire to share. Thinking....thinking.....thinking......

Thursday, August 2, 2007

I'm Home Alone For The First Time In 9 Years

That's right! I have 6 days to finishing the unpacking of items that have been boxed up for over a year now. I have pressed forward all day. I finally stopped at 8:30 for a salad for dinner. I was able to organize, and down size the play room, organize the sewing room, remove all the toys from one of my daughters rooms, bring in boxes from the garage which I will bring upstairs tomorrow morning and begin the office and learning supplies, I know I will have a lot to part with. How fun.

When we returned to New Orleans 6 months after Katrina, Gove found a large laminator with corrosion at the end of the plug. We have tried replacing parts but can not get the heater to heat. It's a GBC4250 and I took it to SLC this morning. I hope that the guys at Pinkey and Bowes can fix it. It would be great to laminate all the wonderful posters that we have.

I finally finished typing my notes from H.T.R.A.B and I sent a copy to Leah who was most kind in her gratitude and thought I did a fine job. It was the first time I ever shared notes or at lest since high school.

Alen Levie called to night. He and Martha would like to host the next Elocution coarse at our home. We are happy to oblige as we wanted our home to be used in this fashion for learning and group activities. I have some ideas to help with the promotion of the class.

I called Gove about 40 minutes ago and they had just arrived at the home of Aunt Joanie they were eating and the kids were all excited to go swimming. I miss them now that it is bed time but I and they will be blessed with more love and excitement to see each other again.

I continued to listen to Little Women, I did not stop to write my teaching moments and now the ideas are passed for today I think. I will pray at bedtime and ask that I might recall them. I so appreciate to hear the girls talk about Pilgrims Progress because it helps me to understand and visual Christian's story with greater clarity. It also makes me want to read John Bunyan again.

I'm calling it done for the day, I'm going to register for education week and maybe read or sleep, I never sleep as well when my husband is away. You can imagine my sleep the 4 months we were separated after I moved to Utah with the kids and he stayed behind to sell the home and finish teaching at Tulane. But now all is as it should be.
-Goodnight

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

It's Almost Bedtime...

Boy I am so tired. I took a shower just to help me wakeup. Gove and the kids are driving to Ramona, Ca. tomorrow with Grandma Allen. I get to stay home! I really looking forward to finishing the unpacking and dejunking of our homeschooling stuff and general supplies. I have so many things scattered around this home of ours that it is hard to find things so I plan to have central locations and labels on the drawers so we all know where to look and where to put things make.
I have chosen the classes I feel are right for me to take during the BYU ed. wk. Gove just said he would try to come with me. It's pretty much all about motherhood, I tried to let the spirit guide me.
It wasn't until this late morning that Gove told me he is leaving tomorrow so I have been busy. I have not read steadily since last Thursday but I feel I have been learning daily.
I went to the temple by myself. It was so nice to be there for the first session. It was quiet and peaceful and I had an insight about my faithfulness when praying for others. I am thankful for the time spent praying and pondering.
My son Elijah has been so helpful today. He is responding with a happy attitude now too. He loves to receive this positive praise and pre-teaching. Both the girls are happier too and Tia is expressing more love. Beth is still testing the water to see if things are going to continue this way. It is so nice to feel and see an increase of love and respect. It isn't every minute but things are much improved in 3-4 weeks.
I'm going to continue to type up my notes from last weekend. Tomorrow morning I need to take our non functioning laminator to SLC for servicing.
Today the kids and I listened to Little Women. It turns out that the sisters had a newsletter too. I think I like the idea of a special mailbox to send letters to each other and notes to uplift and thank the kids like the March family and Lorie and his family did with each other. How fun.
-A whole week to get things accomplished. Wow!!!!