Saturday, September 29, 2007

I'm So Not Tired... Well Almost

It's true I am sleeping a little longer into the morning now that fall is here, and the sun is not shining directly into my eastern bedroom windows, and I quite using the alarm to wake up at 5:50am. This is all fine and well but still I am often exhausted when I wake up.
Well maybe help is on it's way. Friday I saw a Sleep Specialist and in a few weeks I will have a sleep study done. I wonder how I will possibly get any sleep being hooked up to wires and monitors but I hope something will be detected in the process. I wonder if my weight gain over the past 10 years is the real answer. Or is it just the fact that kids do this to moms? I guess I'll find out by the end of October.

I never sleep well when Gove is out of town. He took his first year scouts camping somewhere south of here yesterday. He said it started to rain this morning after they had packed up and while they were on their 5 mile hike. I'm looking forward to sleeping knowing my honey is next to me once again.

We are reading Market Based Education: A New Model For Schools by Kathleen Harward. I wonder if this is where DeMille started to use the term "conveyor belt". I am interested in changing my mind set to the use of personal projects in the education for myself and for the children. I am realizing how impowering it is for the kids and me to guide and mentor but to let the kids be at the center of thier own education. They, each one has continued to type on this old typewritter we found at DI. Mattia shared a poem she is learning for speech articulation tonight at bedtime. Bethany has been sculpting with clay and cooking little sculptures in the oven. Eli continues to call me Marme. Bless thier hearts. I just love them and it's so nice to see kindness and love so many hours of each day lately.

Today it has rained all day. I helped my friend Jennie clean and move things back into her basement after a sewer pipe broke 2 weeks ago. You can tell that snow was falling on the mountains.

Our children came home after we did some late afternoon DI shopping with daddy and they made hot cocoa for everyone for the first time. Then we turned on the radiant floor heating and fired up the gas fire place and we read for a few hours. The kids were reading/looking at Asterix the series of comic stories set during the reign of the Roman Empire in Europe. Gove and I were reading this Market Based book. The kids had their hot cocoa by the fire. It was so nice. I have been waiting for some weeks for this season of snuggling in to the home. Just prior to spring I will start getting the feelings for getting out and planting and seeing life start to take place again I imagine.

I am reading an article in the September Ensign about seeking learning by faith. In Hebrews 11:1 Paul says faith is "the substance of things hoped for..." I thought about how it was my faith/our faith for learning that brought us to the Thomas Jefferson Educational Philosophy and "the evidence of things not seen" the evidence of this path following the TJED was not seen at the time we expercised our faith for learning. At the present time I see the beginning evidences that are strengthening my faith and creating sureties for me provided I continue to exercise faith and seek my own learning by the spirit. I like this feeling and this idea I had while reading the first page of this message. I guess I had an epiphany.
I like this quote:
"Learning by faith opens the pathway into the heart"

The Holy Ghost can carry a message unto my heart but not necessarily into my heart. I as the receiver have to allow the Holy Ghost to enter. Interesting, I had never thought differently of unto and into before.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Chicken Feathers...

This afternoon I and the girls went to gather eggs from the chickens. I think the change in the hours of light is already affecting the hens. 6 eggs for the past 2 days. Normally we average 9/day.
I decided to cut the feathers off for each hen so that I can let them out in the yard and hopefully keep them from flying in to Betty's yard. It is strange to hear the sound then the scissors cut into the wing. I guess it's a snapping sound. It did not seem that it hurt the hens at all. Still I felt pain for them.
The good news is that the hens stayed in the general area of the hen coop. I also mowed the lawn along the canal and that maybe why they stated so close because of all the bugs this provided them. I was able to weed 2 of the 6 rock gardens this afternoon and meet the Sears repair man on time too.

Listen to this. The Sears guy said that on the east side of the Mississippi you can use gel dishwasher soap and you don't get a gel coating on the dishes. But out west gel is terrible and I can testify of the terrible build up on everything in our stainless steel washer, including the stainless steel. Solution? He said to use 1/4 cup vegetable oil and send it through a wash cycle alone to remove the gel buildup. then every month use the white vinegar about 1/2 cup. So I guess I will try the vegetable oil tomorrow morning and see how the washer looks after that. Oh, he also said that he uses the same square soap block things that you just drop in as well. I don't remember the name but it has a little ball of jet dry build into the block of soap.

Interestingly, my son Elijah has been calling me Marme for the past 3 days. I have not asked him why because I fear he would stop. But it seems like a compliment to me, and my desire to show an improvement in my behavior and attitude as a mom. I really enjoying being with my kids 24 hours a day is now paying off and not just for him but for me I feel my testimony strengthen for motherhood. It's nice.

I have not progressed in a decision for Hebrew lessons that I and Beth can do. My tongue is like a bowling ball when it comes to flexibility. I can't put this off as she feels the desire right now.

Time to look on the web.

Thanks,

Nickie

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Golden '86'...

No, '86' is not the year I graduated. It's the kind of hard white wheat Gove uses for making the best bread in Utah. It's so good, that our friend Juna is here tonight to learn the secret to his success.
You can print this recipe at this link www.education-exchange.org/index.php?mode=48&r=290

P.S. Juna calls this 'heaven bread'

Monday, September 24, 2007

Catch up...

My car broke down in Ogden Saturday late afternoon. Luckily I was passing cars on the left hand side because everyone was driving to slow. It was raining and that might have had some reason for these other drivers to slow down but not me. After all I did drive an M-13 in the military and I could even parallel park that hunk of iron. so any way, I was able to take the exit for Farr West and as we came to a stop, my van died. Both Gove and I felt confident that the fuel pump must of given out. We used AAA and grandma Allen drove up from SLC and in the end we made it home by 10:30pm only 3 hours behind schedule.

This morning we learned it was indeed the fuel pump, and the good news is that the fuel gage will also be fixed in the process. $600 later and my van is ready for pick up tomorrow morning. Darn, I was hoping to get that 2004 Volvo wagon I've had my eyes on. No such luck. But I am going to look on the brighter side and have a new stereo system installed.

Enough of cars! This past weekend Elijah attended his first Knights of Freedom Summit. This is the 2nd summit and he said it was great. We did not get to see him as we were attending a seminar on how to teach math using the classics. Eli came home with a sword that is highly cushioned, and he made and colored a shield that is quite nice. He is not deep into details but it sounds like a good experience was had by all.

I and Gove decided to attend this math seminar that Oliver DeMille was teaching for the last time. It's a good idea that he isn't teaching this anymore. It was over my head. And frankly most of it can be shared in other settings. The fact that I had a headache did not help either.
We started to read Multiple Intelligences by Howard Gardner. Compared to Holt's How Children Learn it is a let down. Though we have read 4 chapters maybe things will get better. They sure did with Holt's book. Gardner seems to want to label children early and put them into a certain occupation and does not seem to consider that people have missions and purposes and can grow and change as they mature.

We need to switch to Commonwealth Schools and Market Based Education for the next colloquium later in October as we will miss the 2nd week.

Today was a great day for being a mom. I'm so glad to be with these 3 kids. We did our chores all be it lightly but done none the less. And I started to read about Abraham Lincoln for Eli's KofF colloquium this Wednesday. We bought some more cases at Macy's but I realized that I want to now shop at Reams because they have removed all alcoholic beverages and cigarettes. Next time I will do thus. I have not been to Reams but I will try to show my support and let them know why I am shopping there.
anyway, this afternoon, we started to paint with acrylics. And we each had a project and then we each painted a flower on a small paper plate and they are enjoyable to glance up on the wall and see them mounted together in a vertical line. All cheerie and bright.

We are letting Jennie and her family stay with us while reparis are hopefully made to her home she is renting after a sewer pipe broke in her basement. My sis ter Carrie is back from a 4 day trip. We will be having a planning session between her family and my family this week to work out some differences.

This morning there was snow on the mountain tops! The kids had hot chocolate. And we ate soup for lunch. It could only have been better if it was snowing at our level.

Bethany told me she wants to learn Hebrew. She said this today. It just so happens that we have Barron's Hebrew lessons on tape so I am going to bring them out tomorrow and see where we go this it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Love For Learning At 10 O'clock At Night!

We just finished reading John Holt's How Children Learn. I am so glad to have learned this book. And not only did we finish it, we finished it in the kids room because Eli wanted to listen while he wrote his second letter of the day to one of his cousins. Can you believe it? I can. I am seeing confidence in all of our children today. I feel it's a combination of holding the weekly Family Executive Counsel, the weekly Interviews and just sharing with the kids about personal missions, and purposes that we all have and can be guided by the Holy Ghost to learn our vocations and not just occupations.

My eyes are blessed this day to see this love for learning occur in our home. It makes me feel secure.

Good night.

P.S.
Carrie and I hosted a wickless candle party and it was fun. I have never hosted or been to any in home parties for anything. Beth sold a pillowcase, and we gave 2 dozen eggs away. Gove took the kids swimming. He and Eli jumped off the diving platform. I am so glad I wasn't there to witness their suicides. I'm glad they were safe afterwards. I love them to much.

Is This My Imagination?.....

view of Delft 1660-61
Is it my imagination or are we experiencing and increase in Love of Learning in our house hold today? No! It's no imagination, it's the truth. Or maybe it has been here but since we are just about finished with How Children Learn I am just finally seeing the fruits of my labor.

Well it goes like this today. Mattia was doing her speech articulation, and Eli and Beth were discussing the prices in the Smith grocery advertisement. I listened to them talk about hormones and antibiotics in the meats, the nasty taste of store bought milk and some other things I don't now recall. I was happy for them to be having this talk and realized that they are listening about the need to change our diet system. When we left from class all three kids said they wanted to so see what $20 would buy for them. I normally would say no but since I am trying to see what my children are going to do next I said yes. Eli had paper and pen. He wrote the prices of what I was getting and it wasn't long before the total was over his thinking for the present moment. I did the totaling and he wrote prices. Still they were optimistic. It's case sell time at Macy's so I had $20 with 4 cases of canned goods. I watched as Beth decided to purchase with her money some plastic cups to sell lemonade with. She and her siblings went and discussed the prices and size of cups. I did not get involved and just praised them for making the decision themselves.

During our late morning devotional we were reading in the writings of Joseph Smith that in 1835 some mummies and papyrus papers were brought to Kirtland. The man who acquired these items was a relative of a man who I think was French. This man secured the mummies in 1831 and died while transporting them to Europe. He willed them to a relative who happen to be in America. This new man heard of Joseph Smith and took the mummies and papyrus papers to him. Anyway the mummies circulated for about 3.5-4 years prior to coming to Kirtland. some citizens purchased these items from the good fellow and gave them to Joseph. That's when the writings of Abraham and Joseph of Egypt were found. I can certainly see Gods hand in this.

Next, we were reading A Landmark book called Joan d'Arc. She was about 14 when she heard a sweet voice and saw a bright light. she said according to trial records that this or these voices came regularly to teach and prepare her. I thought that sounded a lot like Joseph Smith as a boy if you read his history of his young adult years too. I did not know that William the Conqueror was French and invaded England. I didn't know that many French wanted England to rule France in the 1400's.

And to think we learned this all because of a love for learning this very day. Beth and Tia are now doing personal projects of hand sewing. Eli has just finished a letter to cousin Gavin. Beth wrote too. I decided to let the kids write words how they sounded unless they just had to have me spell the word. it was interesting to see the spelling yet I could read what they said. It seemed to me that both Eli and Beth seemed excited to write and not discouraged by being made aware of mistakes even though they told me they were spelling how it sounded. This made me think they understand that the word was not spelt correctly but did not seemed stressed by it. Nor was I stressed. Thank you John Holt

This morning I was concerned that I was wrong when I said Jan Vermeer was from Holland. So I looked up the town of Delft in the National Geographic map book and found that the town is indeed in the southern part of Holland.

Carrie and I are presenting a wickless candle party tonight so I should go put things in order in the living room.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Start and Finish....

Jan Vermeer 17th century Holland

Mattia woke me at 4:20am. She was cold. I turned the fan off in the kids room and saw that Eli was missing and his bed was stripped. I could not find him in any of the beds upstairs. I went down stairs, he wasn't in the laundry room or the living room or any where. I was getting a little concerned now. Was he sleep walking outside? I woke Gove up and while he was coming to help I went back into the bedrooms, turned lights on and found him sunk into the mattress which is a select comfort and low on air. So much for sleep again for me.

Since I was awake, I decided to get on up and go to the temple. I made it to the 5:45 am session! Wow, I thought 6am was the earliest. I continue to feel faith and power in praying on behalf of the needs of others. I was home by 7:45 am and Gove was able to leave for the day.

This mornings devotional was based on 2 epiphanies I had while at the temple. One was to share about the 3 degrees of glory. the second was to start reading 15 minutes from the writings of the Prophets. I started with Joseph Smith. I also read Geneve Foster's World Birthday's and we read about Egypt. In the Joseph Smith writing we read that Abraham taught astronomy to the Egyptians ( see Pearl of Great Price). That was a nice tie in. We also learned about Jan Vermeer of Holland. An artist of the 17th century. I like his light and blue colors of the Kitchen Maid, The Geographer.
This afternoon, we went to the zoo again with our neighbors who invited us. It's good fellowshipping.

After crative dance for the girls tonight we went out for dinner. On the way home, we could see flashes of light up on the "Y". this week is Homecoming and when we got home, we watched the "Y" light up for the celebration. We saw the lights on last year but we did not see the lights turned on until now.

What a nice day with my family. All 3 kids sent letters to cousins this morning. I did not ask at all. Bethany started and the other 2 followed, each doing something different. I decided to write names of different household objects on 3x5 cards. I am posting them on the named items and will see how the children respond to the idea or if they will write names. An idea from this book we are reading currently.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Monday's.....

Tissot's Hide and Seek
I wrote 5 chores on the chalk board this morning. One was hugs, so really just 4 chores and let me tell you my three kids whipped through those chores and had them finished by 9:40 this morning. I was so pleased and impress with the motivation of each. That sure makes the day easier for me to manage. I was able to use the treadmill for 2 miles in 30 minutes, short scripture study and I even had the beans 1/2 way through the pressure cooking steps by the time we needed to take Tia to speech.

Eli and Beth are interested in meeting Kris Heimerdinger tomorrow night at the Provo Library. Eli wants to take all 10 of the Nephites in Tennis Shoes to have him sign them. I think 2 would be more acceptable. We shall see.

After speech, we went to Deseret Book Store and I found a nice framed picture 75 % off. I don't know which wall to hang it on. I also found a landscape picture at DI on Saturday that I am going to repaint the frame gold and find a new mate and give the landscape a little update and I think it will be lovely again. I also purchased the Teachings of the Prophets. Wow, Joseph Fielding Smith wrote a lot. These will be interesting and it's part of building the Lord's Library in our home too, along with a classic library. Of course the teaching of the prophets of God are classics and I think classics are what God wants for our family to read.. So it's all going to work out just fine.

We saw our former rooster at Woolsey's Dairy this morning. The kids are happy to see that he is still alive and they think that our other rooster down in Pinguitch is probably doing well too.

I am happy. We held Family Home Evening. I gave our theme lesson on Purpose for this month. It ties in to our Sunday discussion about personal missions. We each have a purpose to our existence and the Holy Ghost can guide us to that purpose as we seek, receive, and listen, and then act on those promptings. It went well I think. I also read the poem which is in book form with bright solid pictures called The Touch Of The Masters Hand.

Gove took Beth on a date, I had personal interviews with Tia and Eli. I tell you, Eli is on a roll today. He had a plan for improvement this week, for his purpose this week and for a skill this week. Now if we can only get him to use deodorant every morning and take a shower 3 times per week. Poor boy he just turned 10 and the sweet glands seem to be kicking in for him.

This is the good life God wants us to live. It feels good. It feels peaceful.

Thank you....

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Guess This Bird...

If you will click on the picture, you should get a larger view and then you will see the bird standing on a rock in the stream. We called this bird, 'the bobber' because he or she likes to bob up and down a lot. Do you know what it is? Well Bethany discovered it's name while going through a book on song birds. She said a bird called the Dipper looked like our bobber, and sure enough the dipper is seen at streams and is characterized by his bobbing motions. How fun, we learned another bird. Way to go Bethany!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Saying Something More Meaningful...

I was just about to sleep last night when I realized that my post seemed like a generic response to the day. Here is what I should of said...

On the way home from SLC, I glanced back at the kids and found each asleep. I had a sudden vision and imagined that our kids are going to be great scholars in the scholar phase and I would be here to see it. What does it mean? I don't know, but if I can instill this vision that our kids can enter and be successful in their scholar phase of their educations then wonderful.

I'm grateful to be on a better path today then I was a few years ago. Why does it seem that you wish you had started a better path years earlier but also realize that you were not ready earlier?

We are reading How Children Learn. It was slow reading in the beginning. I think because he was telling of experiences with very little children and I did not see that with our babies. But know we are listening to him describe children beginning to read and how they make up words to fit their understandings. He shared about writing words and posting them on the objects with that name.
What I am getting at this point is to let the kids read and write their way and if they ask for help then give it or if they are struggling to offer my help but let them try. Today the kids are making books and Eli asked how to spell some words. I saw he had spelt some incorrectly but as they sounded. I did not correct this because I want to see his progress over the next year and for him to see where he is correcting himself. Same for the girls.

One other thing to get out of my mind. While at our Thursday tutorial, we had a group discussion about what is influencing us to move toward greatness and how do we inspire greatness in others. I had an idea to share but at the last moment 2 other books came into my mind. The first was Pilgrim's Progress. I read this book in New Orleans and the idea of a burden on my shoulders made me realize that I carried a burden. A couple of years ago I was blessed to be released from that burden I had carried so long. After Pilgrim's Progress, I read Little Women. I did not realize that Pilgrims Progress would be mentioned there, so I was pleasantly surprised and grateful for the examples of the March family, in particular Marme who learned with the help of her husband and faith in Jesus to over come her anger. This has been constant reminder for me. I think these are the 2 novels that helped to get me started, along with a self help book called, He Did Deliver Me From Bondage.
At one point Melissa mentioned a dream of her uncles. He saw pictures of his family including 2 children they did not yet have. As he passed by the pictures he saw a person by the TV, in the dream this being was an angle of darkness trying to get this mans family to come to the TV. Melissa used the word demon to describe the being. What I want to say is that as she was sharing this before she got to describing the being, I started to get one of the most chilling goose pimple sensation and I knew this is true that the programs on the television has the means to trap my family. Later Thursday night I mentioned this to Gove. He said he had the same sensation that I did. We both agreed that we have to be careful and selective of everything we are bringing into our home.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Singing Les Mis With My Children

As we drove to Salt Lake City late this morning, I and the kids were singing along with the performers of the Broadway production of Les Mis. My heart was lifted when Eli and Beth both agreed that they 'really liked' watching Jean Valjean and Javert sing and everyone else too when we attended the production at the UofU this summer. What was nice about today's experience was that I could give them deeper emotional meanings to what was being sung because I had experienced the book. We talked about the pain of being poor and Fantine becoming a prostitute and having to sell her love to a man because there was no help for mothers and children which lead to talking about our bodies as temples and Heavenly Father's love for us... we talked about Marius, Cosette, and Eponine and what happened between the three of them and how ones love for a person is not always reciprocated...Gavroche who was turned away by his parents and lived on the streets and created a home for himself inside the belly of a huge elephant statue. There is an elephant statue at the zoo and so we imagined what that would be like to live inside. There was more, it was rewarding to have read this book and to be able to share with my kids and to have them interested in understanding the plot.

We arrived home in time to start work on our dinner. Grandma Allen, Gove's mom came and so did Franz Johansen. We had a nice visit and dinner. Franz has welcomed us to come to his studio and he will mentor us in the art of drawing, sculptor, and making clay. We felt we should seek him out for help with the frustrations that the kids are having about drawing to get your figures to look a certain way or show more action. This may be that step in the right direction for us.

This morning at some point I thought I need to look into Chess for Eli and Beth. They belonged to a group in New Orleans for a little while. My personal epiphany is to find a Chess mentor and look into the possibility of other boys and girls being interested.

I worked with Gove this morning after my 2 mile walk, we finished placing the last 2 guard rails along the south side of the property. We are going to have a nice yard in a couple of summers.

-Sleep calls me. Good night to you.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A Little Poem I was Feeling The Other Morning...

We have our windows open now. The mornings are so refreshing and sweet. I have thought of the following poem we memorized while attending Elocution.
October Is Nearby
I saw October coming
Across September's land,
A final flame of blossom,
Like a torch, held in the hand.

I heard October coming,
In the whirr of southward wings,
The whisper of the falling leaves,
The song of hidden things,

I smelled October coming,
In the smoke of evening's air,
The scent of windfall apples,
Wild grapes and mellow pear.

Yes, October is nearby...
But is there need to tell it?
For all who love October
Will see and hear and smell it.

I am looking forward to lighter air and crispy mornings. I am scheduling a field trip to the Hee Haw farm or the Cornbelly farm for a local homeschool group. I doing this because it was so nice last year and I have fond memories of that day with our children.

Gove has just finished reading to the children. So I want to be ready for our reading now.
Have a safe day tomorrow and God bless you.

P.S. We had a lively discussion about the ideas associated with the inspiring of greatness in ourselves and others at our tutorial this evening. Gove said I had quality comments to make and he enjoyed looking at me and listening. That sure makes a girl feel good, and confident too. Thanks dear.

The Days Just Fly Bye...

Going up into the hills both Monday and Tuesday of this week was an enjoyable encounter with my children. Monday we went to an area called Rock Springs and lunched while I read James Harriet to the children . They stood in the water of the creek while I was reading. Eli and Beth have knee high rubber boots. Beth took turns with Tia and the 3 of them hiked up the creek. We each used our nature books to draw something to help us to remember this hike. I am trying to spend 4 hours each time out doors.

On Tuesday as we drove up towards the South Fork Park, we stopped to watch 2 moose setting in a small meadow enjoying the morning shade and fresh air. We wondered if these might have been male moose who had dropped their antlers for the season? I'm not sure moose do this but we did read it once in a Dr. Seuss book and Eli said it must be true. That statement that it must be true because we read it has me wondering how careful I need to be with the choices of books or that we need to investigate more throughly subjects. Anyway we went to our favorite swing. I wished we had a dog that day. As we were walking pass the swing and down the trail, I was hoping to use Anna Comstock's book called the Handbook of Nature Study (1911) and as we went along, the brush growth of the plants started to get thick and I could not see what was in front of us. I am apprehensive being out in nature and with reports of bear sightings in the area this summer I decided to turn around. But what are the chances of running into a bear? I don't know. I just know it is hard on me to keep calm for the kids when I am actually a little fearful. Thus the wish for a temporary dog. It is so nice to set on the swing and read to and with the children. I did find some picture in the Nature Study Book that we can use the next time. I need a book to identify the local plants and trees.

Bethany and Mattia started Creative Dance through BYU this evening as well. It is so funny to watch Mattia.Bless her little heart she will be like me I think. Heavy on her toes. Beth just glides about. But I am happy that Mattia is trying and I think this will be a blessing for her in coordination of the extremities and I think it is going to help her in her speech articulation that she also started on Monday and has twice a week.

Yesterday Eli had his first Knights of Freedom for the new season. I was so happy to watch him interact with these other boys. Eli told me that he would not run for any of the officer positions in the group but at the last moment, he got up and tried to win the vote for President. He lost , and then he got up again and ran for vice-president. He lost but he was happy for trying. I talked with him about Abraham Lincoln trying and losing more then once. It's ok to fail and try again. We are not perfect the first time or many times there after for the majority of us. Eli just seemed happy to give it a try and I am happy for him too.

Today is Thursday. It seems the kids would like to stay home today and not take a nature journey. That is fine with me. I stuck my foot in the wrong place and now I need to arrange an outing for a homeschool group in October to the corn maze. I want to address this today and have it ready so I need not be worried about this responsibility any longer.

Gove and I are trying to read How Children Learn. I just am not interested and would like to do something else but when you are in a group setting I need to be able to share about the agreed reading. I wonder if a colloquial group for a discussion on any book you feel you need to be reading right now would work?

So here I am, behind with my blog and trying to make up for lost days but the emotions for those days have passed and I am now just giving information. I feel a little lost this morning. I walked hard for 35 minutes on the treadmill this morning and I was reading in the bible dictionary that the word Grecian means a Jew who is Greek-speaking. I am reading in 2 Corinthians in preparation for sunday school this Sunday and I was reading the 3rd chapter and came across "...where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." then I went to Alma 61:15 and it said"...according to the Spirit of God, which is also the spirit of freedom which is in them." It has me thinking about my personal freedom from stress and anxiety. Both are tied to my relationship with my Heavenly Father and with my Lord. I seem to feel a little down this morning and I am wondering why. I've returned to prayer twice this morning and yet no comfort. Liberty and freedom and the spirit of god. I think I'm going to think about this today just in my mind.

Now I have needs to fulfill for my family. Good bye.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Face To Face With Greatness Seminar #2

I am just slightly behind at the moment. So I just want to say that this #2 seminar is creating transformation in myself and husband as this very moment. I am organizing a few things that I had an impression to care for during the seminar. Gove read 2 chapters of The Count of Monte Cristo to Eli and Beth because that is the classic they wanted to hear. He then read a chapter of Strike at Shanes by one of my favorite authors Gene Stratton Porter. Gove thinks Beth will switch her chapter to this book tomorrow.

My main point right now regarding the seminar is Family Executive Counsels, Weekly interviews with each child, 6 month Inventories and 6 month Just Say No inventories. I have been receiving thoughts and examples of these types of idea during August. Some came from the Holy Spirit and others from mentors and even strangers. But now it has come together through the insights and presentation of Dr. Oliver DeMille. More to come as I need to type my teaching notes and my action epiphanies and then post them under my annotations....

The last thing for now is to share how fun it was to participate in the colloquium. We did a syntopical discussion and tried to present common threads found in Les Miserables, The Lonesome Gods, and The Merchant of Venice. I that this was exciting and I felt so passionate for the plan of forgiveness and repentance.

My summer started as ...It was the worst of times. Now my summer ends with.... It was the best of times.

I am in debt to a loving Heavenly Father and his son Jesus the Christ. Wow, he has pulled me through this difficultly in my season of distress. And I am now stronger, hopeful, secure and not stressed. I am tired but not stressed.

Last note tonight. I have injured my left gluteal muscle and I cant put weight onto my left side when trying to go up stairs. This happened when I was getting back into bed early this morning. What is the deal with my wonderful body? I want to live to be 100. I can't have it falling apart now. Maybe I need to make changes? ?? Not ready???

P.S. I am thinking how to move myself into the stateswomen level by helping to create a leadership community for our family and others. Ideas to come...

Thursday, September 6, 2007

It's Late I'm Tired...

Boy I am tired this evening. I hope my mind will relax and I have a lovely nights rest. Today the smell of autumn was in the air. We had our windows open for 24 hours now. I love the hint of fall in the air. Yesterday I and the kids went up to the South Fork Park area. We have never been there before and we had a lovely time in nature. We tried to catch brook trout with our bug net. Boy they are fast. we hiked along the west side of the creek and came upon a homemade swing that holds 4 comfortably. We had lunch on the swing and saw mule deer in the underbrush. We all drew in our nature books and we all did some rendition of the log swing.

Today we started a lab experiment with potato's cut in half and hanging in water. We are seeing if the cut side or uncut side should be down in the cup of water. We will be tracking this in our nature books as well.

Lat night I attended the Pleasant Grove HS support activity. Penny Gardner was sharing her insights into CM philosophy. I was reminded of little things to share with my kids and books to read. Was there an epiphany for me? I don't remember. I need to sleep. I am tuckered out.

We attended our colloquium for the 7 Lesson School teacher. I was surprised to find my friend Jennie there. This will be an interesting semester. I wonder after one member spoke about striving for excellency, What do I seek in the form of excellency at this age of our children. I think I expect them to try to see improvement for themselves and to be consistent. I am not trying for excellency in my life, I am striving for joy and peace and love and charity, forgiveness, remission of sins, harmony with the will of god for me in this life. I left my notes under the My Personal Annotations link. I would like to add more since our discussion tonight. But not now.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I Call It Flexibility....

Flexibility: noun: the quality of being adaptable or variable.

Flexible. That's me today. I woke up just prior to 5 am and got up and went to the temple. I like being at the temple this early. There are fewer people and that always puts me at greater comfort.

We started our new school year on time, however because I am flexible today, we left at the moment I would of started our Article of Faith lap books and rushed over to BYU for the devotional for the new school year. I thought that would be a good way to add to our new year. Only thing was there was no devotional today. And since I'm being adaptable, I took my husband to SLC to buy some 15-16 EEE shoes at the Rack. Gove got lucky and found 3 pair of brown tone casual shoes.

We were almost to the library this late afternoon to return overdue tapes and books, when I remembered how flexible I was and rushed home to meet the deliverer of my oxycimeter that I will be wearing tonight to monitor my oxygen levels as I sleep.

I guess that is the extend of my flexibility today. The children had a fair amount of playtime. Out story about Ruth and David in The Harvester is turning interesting and Gove even enjoyed the story. You have to read it to find out for yourself. I think it is enjoyable to hear about such lovely characters as Mrs. Porter creates in many of her novels. I can't say all because I have 2 larger ones yet to read and her short stories as well.

This evening I and Gove took turns reading out load the Seven Lesson School teacher by John Taylor Gatto. Did you know John added Taylor after another John Gatto schoolteacher was confused for this John? It's true. And this address must of been his way out of the system even though he was receiving the Teacher of the Year for New York state, because he quits a short time later. But was was interesting is how I'm still on the public school system. Not completely but I see a few things i was doing just this morning that I can relate to his 7 points.

John's 3rd point is the teaching of indifference. All though I did not do the following I am happy to report, I did think about doing it and planned to maybe do it later until I read this point. I was thinking that I would use a bell to say when the time was up on a project and then we would have to move on even if we/ the kids were interested. Oh how silly I was and now I see I would do that. We are just having Love for Learning experiences and if it take all day because we are enjoying then so be it. Why did I think of using a bell anyway? Be flexible Nickie.

The 4th point is teaching emotional dependency. 'Rights do not exist in side a school-not even the right of free speech' this has me thinking about a girl in Colorado who during the 2006 graduation gave a 2 minute speech and said that people should include or get God in their lives. The school has not awarded this girls her diploma since that statement and say they wont until she gives a written apology. From what I read, the case is now going to court.

There are a few more points for me to make but I just decided to annotate my thoughts and epiphanies from this reading and then add a link under My Personal Annotations. I am going to use page 11 in the development of a short family statement as to why we are together and our purpose as a family unit.

It's raing this evening maybe the night will be cool and tomorrows hike will be pleasant yet colorful.

Monday, September 3, 2007

T'was The Night Before School....

Our daughters decided last night to for go attending Liberty Girls this fall because of an active family schedule. I called Laura with the news. I am hopeful that she can use the money as scholarships for 2 other girls. This is a relief. I knew something was going to change and this was it. I am grateful to my girls to be able to make this decision for themselves.

I had felt for 3 days to call Leah and see if I could help anyway with the seminar. I can! So, I'm going to bring a veggie tray. I think it is interesting that I am so looking forward to the seminar. Jennie and 2 other teachers are coming as well.

I was working outside with Gove today. We cut a tree stump using a long saw. It is 6 feet and it takes 2 people to use it properly. It's called the 2 Man Cross Cut Saw. We think we might have a chance at taking 1st place in next years Mountain Man tournament. We did a nice job together. While we were working, our kids would bring water, and then bless their little hearts, they made meat and tomato sandwiches for us. The bread was homemade, so the slices were about 1.5 inches thick. They did a lovely job and we felt cared by there actions.

For Family Home Evening, we continued on the development of our family unity. We decided on a family hymn for the next year, family motto, cheer, and a family fun song. We are thinking about a symbol for us. And then we will develop a very short belief statement for our family.

Hymn: The Star Spangled Banner
Motto: Allens...We Get The Job Done!
Cheer: I am, I can, I ought, I will
Fun Song: Veggie Tales Cheese Burger song

Gove gave a blessing to each child and will give me one too at some point. We went out on a family date for ice cream of course at Macy's as the little BYU Creamery was closed.

To bed now.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

A Morning Of Peace and Rest...

I did sleep in this morning almost to 8 am ! I was very tired after not getting to bed before 11pm for the past 3 nights. Once I went to bed last night I might have fallen to sleep within 30 minutes, but the other 2 nights I layed awake thinking of Les Mis and Jean Valjean and the ending of Victor Hugo's masterpiece.

Yesterday, Gove and I moved some dirt by hand to clean a section of the driveway where we wanted to put the bike rack. We have a large pile of dirt on the north side of the house to move I guess we will do it in the spring or maybe this fall. In the late afternoon, my sister took our children up pass Aspen Grove for a hike and a stop for nature drawing. Each child drew and did a rubbing in their nature books. Gove and I went shopping at Sam's Club for ingredients to make 10 large pans of Lasagna. We will use these lasagnas when we invite families over for Sunday dinners. It's a good thing that we have a large outdoor burner that you hook up to a big propane tank and a huge pot big enough. We are a little heavy on salt but maybe it will balance out in the end. we did not cook the noodles, just added a little more moisture.

I have been preparing for Sunday school all this week and am just reviewing this morning. We will be discussing 1 Corinthians 1-6.

It was Elijah who awoke me this morning to ask me to write while he narrated his talk for Primary. I am so pleased that he and Beth write their own talks now. I think they feel empowered with this responsibility and they enjoy sharing what they understand and know to be true. Eli has been listening to John Bytheway, and is talking about examples related to Teancum and Amalikia. He also is giving the scripture and has memorized Moses 1:39.

While Gove and I were shopping yesterday, we both came to say out loud that we may be biting off more than we an handle with our 5 pillar tutorial colloquium group that we are involved with. We agreed to see how it goes and feel fine with stepping back. I am bothered about my girls being in Liberty's Girls again. Both are taking one evening of Creative Dance and I feel they should do so. Mattia will start speech articulation 2x a week starting on the 10th. I don't know her hours yet but that maybe where the need is to drop from the LG club.

I am still stewing over the ending of Jan Valjeans life. I don't like it. Jean was not completely honest with Marius about his life. Sure he told about the evil side of him but he did not share what all he did to repent and become a statesman. I think he committed suicide really. He forced himself to give up his life. I just think he did wrong. I wonder how I turn people way? Am I being like Cosette and mainly Marius and being to late in my forgiveness of someones actions? I feel free at this point in regards to that question. I don't have any contact with a couple of family members but not out of anger. I think I am better off emotionally not having contact or rather having contact by letters.

It seems that Jean Valjean would never forgive himself. He seemed to believe what Javert said of him. Once a convict always a convict. And no worthy actions would ever change that. That is a distorted statement. It is false, wrong , and not worthy to have in our minds.

I did like that Jean Valjean said he did what he could. That reminded me of Mary and the alabaster box, when Jesus said she was doing what she could so leave her alone.

When my father dies, it will pain me because I know much has been lost or never bloomed due to strained relations in the family. Yet I have faith, hope, and surety that joy will be had in the eternities and now as well, when I make room for joy. Man is that he might have joy. That is Gods work and glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Moses 1:39

It seems that a convict was forever that. Can I imagine if a sinner was forever a sinner? If there was no repentance and forgiveness? There would be nothing to live for then. Maybe so many convicts where never given a chance to redeem themselves and improve just became worse because there was no HOPE. Thus no PEACE. Thus no SECURITY. Just STRESS.

Today is the first Sunday of a new month. It is a honor for me to fast and ask forgiveness for my sins, or to seek guidance in a particular area in my life. And then to take the funds we would normally consume in meals plus extra and hand these funds to our Bishop and know that these fast offering will help others in need in our own neighborhoods. Not to long ago I was still struggling with my natural self when trying to fast. I now have a testimony that I can let my spiritual self grow stronger and over come the natural man within me. I am thankful to bear testimony of the goodness of a loving Heavenly Father and and of his son Jesus Christ. I look forward to church each week. I receive spiritual fuel and I partake of the sacrament and renew my covenants to take upon me the name of Jesus Christ. This can not be taken lightly. I have taken it lightly in the not so distant pass. Much has changed. For the good.

This summer (May)started down in the dumps for me. Now I am clilmbing up and up and upward. With the help of my Savior, and hope and faith. Joy is available. Motherhood is growing. I rejoice to know that my Redeemer lives. He knows my name and knows my needs and my pains. I soar on the wings of love and gratitude to Him. Amen.