Thursday, November 29, 2007

Federalist versus Anti Federalist...

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

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

Sunday, November 25, 2007

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

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

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

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Family Work...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday Evening...

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 16, 2007

Last Nights Colloquium

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Provo Library Encounters...

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

What's For Dinner?...

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

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Habits, Pollyanna, and Little Lord Fauntleroy...

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

Here is a link to the writings of Charlotte Mason's teachings, including 'Habit is Ten Natures' (vol. 1 pg.97 )

Friday, November 9, 2007

Spending and Saving...

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 4, 2007

I Love Falling Back...

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

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

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

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

God bless you on this holly Sabbath day.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Thursday Colloquium

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

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

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

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

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

Life is good.