Wednesday, December 31, 2008

"We do not need more material development, we need more spiritual development. We do not need more intellectual power, we need more moral power. We do not need more knowledge, we need more character. We do not need more government, we need more culture. We do not need more law, we need more religion.

We do not need more of the things that are seen, we need more of the things that are unseen. It is on that side of life that it is desirable to put the emphasis at this time. If that side is strengthened, the other side will take care of itself. It is that side which is the foundation of all else, if the foundation be firm, the superstructure will stand."

Calvin Coolidge, "The Price of Freedom" pg 310

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Just Sledding Around...

This is what we did for three hours today...need more be said? O.K. I'll say just this. It was fun, sunny, and I did not get cold until we headed back to the cars. We went sledding with two other families, Lisa and her four children, and Jodi and her five children. Out of 11 able body kids there was just one crash which involved a nose bleed and bruised eye lid. Hang in there Parker Stevenson!

Just Sledding Around... Part 2

Winter Joys...

Hey, with a toy like this, who minds clearing the 1/2 block long driveway of inches and inches of snow! Not me. It's finally fun. Well, that's not exactly true. It's fun as long as there's no ice under the snow. if there is well then it's pretty tricky on the slopes.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

John Adams...Three Nights Is Enough

For the past three nights, we watched the 7 part mini series of John Adams. This movie says so much about the man, though I'm sure to learn much more with the reading assignment of the book for my American History class later in January.

No matter what I think of John Adams and the way he raised his family, I highly encourage you to participate in gleaming new understanding for the founding of America.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.

Dr. Seuss

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Service In Action...Last Chance To Order...

Earlier this month, we held a Family Home Evening lesson about serving and helping this month within the community.

It was decided by the children that all bread sales made during December will be donated to local charity organizations.

Eli, Beth, and Tia, delivered notes to the neighborhood explaining their plan. (It's the picture with the Wise men on it)

Gove made a fresh new label and I added the Christmas bow.

One Hundred and Seventy loafs later, the kids now have about $630 to donate.

At this point the talk is focusing on the local soup kitchen and a shelter for mothers and children. We are leaving this decision up to the children.

Notice our WWII Hobart mixer that is finally getting some use again since we bought it shortly after we married and have moved it all over the country. Now it's feeling like itself.

A few weeks ago we took left over bread to the Food and Care Coalition which is the local soup kitchen. I was hoping the kids would be interested in serving there. Once they saw the industrial dishwasher, (just like the one in Ratatouille),
they were all ready and willing to come serve others.

We are making bread next Monday or maybe it's this Saturday. You can purchase a loaf if you live in Utah County for $4. And while you savory every delicious bite of whole wheat bread, you can feel good about helping others less fortunate this winter season.

Plus you will be contributing to the development of our children's entrepreneurial skills at the same time. Can't beat this deal anywhere.

One night we made 80 loaves. It was this evening that Gove created this large cooling box for the cooked loaves. Big help.

Merry Christmas to all.

From the sous chefs of Bethlehem Bakery.

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable,
to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and
 lived well.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, December 20, 2008

To Improve My Reading Skills...

I made a short review for Harold Bloom's book on How to read and why to read. It did not seem to be going in the direction my mind was hoping for. But he has made some interesting points that are creating interest in my thinking.

It sounds like the author is someone who uses Shakespeare like a Bible. He says,"First find Shakespeare, and let him find you." and that Shakespeare is the undisputed authority on inter generational conflicts more then anyone else. I'm glad we are reading plays by Shakespeare yet now I think I need to hear them more regularly.

In a later chapter I was scanning the introduction on novels and Bloom now has me interested in reading Don Quixote by Cervantes. I love to sing with The Man of La Moncha which I'm sure is just a glimpse into the real meaning. But he says that this is the best and first novel written and it rivals Shakespeare and that both need to be a part of our lives to understand the meaning of interpersonal relationships.

Here is what gets me wanting to read this great novel. Harold Bloom said that there are parts of ourselves that we will not know fully until we know as well as we can, the relationship between Don Quixote and Sancho. Very interesting, and curiouser and curiouser.I love this quote on page 24:

" You need not fear that the freedom of your development as a reader is selfish, because if you become an authentic reader, then the response to your labors will confirm you as an illumination to others."

That makes me think of the pure light of Jesus and his gospel. Becoming a light of truth. I like this potential.

Here are the points as to why we should read and his principles for why we read:

1. Read to weigh and consider.
2. Read to prepare yourself for change.
3. Read to form your own judgments and opinions.
4. Read to strengthen yourself.
5. Read to learn of the characters authentic interest. ( I like to think about Les Mis and the Bishop and his ability to love so freely.)

Principles as to why we should read:
1. To clear our minds of the word "can't"
2. Do Not try to change your neighbor or neighborhood by what or how you read. (until your mind is purged of it's ignorance).
3. A scholar is like a candle which the love and desire of all men will light. (don't fear the the freedom of your development as a reader)
4. One must invent to read well. (I'm not sure about this yet)
5. Recovery of the Ironic. (he says the loss of irony is the death of reading)(again I don't know what to think to this yet)

I think this book has great value, right now I am looking for something else. I turn next to Mortimer Adler and his book, How to Red a Book. Maybe I will find what I feel but I'm not actually sure what I'm looking for.

Watch The 14 Days of Homeschooling...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them if we basely entail hereditary bondage on them.

Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Little Red Buckets...

Oh My, I hope you can find this little treasure of a Christmas story. It's called The Little Red Buckets by Lynda M. Nelson.

Jenny who is 10 has the responsibility to take two red lard buckets to their neighbors a half mile up the road every day. A friendship blooms. Set around WWI, this is a sweet story of faith hope, love, and death. But that doesn't really say much does it.

Mrs. Nie, who is Jenny's friend brings a special heavenly Christmas gift to the family on Christmas Eve in the midst of a great snow storm. It's a story of the love of our Savior and the gift to all mankind because of his birth atonement, and resurrection.

I cried and cried. It's a fast read and the kids loved the message. I know you and your children will be blessed for finding and reading this treasure together. If I see a little red bucket I shall always think of this classic.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Upcoming Seminar...Are Your Children Part of the Hero Generation?

Mentoring the Hero Generation:

Have you heard of the Millennial Generation? This is the generation that Neil Howe and William Strauss have identified as a Hero Generation. The Millennials have a very specific mission. They come of age during a crisis. They must have the wisdom, courage, diplomacy and virtue needed to lead us through it safely. Some of the Hero Archetypes of the past have been James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Winston Churchill. All of these Hero people have had something in common-Parents.

Parents of Hero Generation children seldom understand the great importance of their work. In this exciting seminar, parents will learn how to be the mentors of the heroes in their homes. Don't miss this great opportunity to understand your children and youth better. The most important factor in getting a great Leadership Education is for the young person to have a real vision of his/her mission. Once parents understand the position and mission of this rising generation, they can really understand how to mentor their children.

This entertaining and inspirational 7 hour seminar will cover:

~The four generations (Artists, Boomers, Generation X, and Heroes, sometimes known as Millennials).

~The common mistakes made by Boomer parents of Hero children and youth.

~The common mistakes made by Gen X parents of Hero children and youth.

~Implementing Leadership Education, specifically Scholar Phase and the importance of a broad Liberal Arts education for the Hero Generation.

~Learn the 8 steps of effective parent mentoring, and how effective parent mentoring can make all the difference in the success of your young scholars.

Date February 7, 2009

Time: 9 am - 5 pm

Location: The Columbus Center, SLC, UT (Room 105)

Cost: Before Jan 10th, 2009: $40 indv/$50 Couple

After Jan 10: $50 indiv/$60 couple

Contact: Contact: Dionne Schetzel


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Announcing the GWU Extension Course for Utah County,

starting January 2009

On January 21, we will be starting the next extension course in Utah County! Please join us as we explore US History, 1607-1776. Reading and discussing biographies of those who impacted the shaping of our nation, along with other powerful works. Here is the course description and readings list:


3 Credits


This course is the first in a serious of U.S. History courses

based around the biographies of the prominent presidents and

leaders of the period. In this course we will study the events

that shaped America from the 1600’s through the founding of

our nation and on to events leading to the secession of the

southern states. Instead of dry facts, we will get into

the hearts and minds of the people who made things

happen. From the Magna Charta to the Declaration of

Independence and on through Federalism, Jeffersonian politics

and Jacksonian era come join us in a study of history that will

change the way you look at the world today.


ST102A Reading Packet

McCullough, John Adams

Card, Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus

Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin

Bennett, America, The Last Best Hope vol. I

Hawthorne, Scarlet Letter

Allison, The Real Thomas Jefferson (optional)

Carson, Basic History of the United States volumes 1-3 (optional)

Parry & Allison, The Real George Washington (optional)

Other selected writing TBA

Class will be held in the Provo/Orem area (location TBA) on Wednesday evenings from 6-9

Please contact Jodi with questions either by phone or email: 801-794-0440, When you are ready to enroll, please fill out the Off Campus Registration Form found at and contact me for information on where to send it.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Finished... Now To Begin Again

For the first time in my life I took a final exam that was all essay. No true or false. No multiple guessing.

Twenty six hours of reviewing. Sixteen hours of writing. And I just sent the final off into cyber world. I hope it makes it's destination in one piece.

My kids of been great through all of this. Eli has just about finished all of his Saxon math but the last 8 lessons during this time as well. He too has been dedicated towards reaching his goal .

At one point I could not recall principle 12 from The Five Thousand Year Leap. I tried and nothing was there. I got down on my knees and started to pray and I just did not stop until the point came to my mind. With gratitude and many thanks I got up and added, 'The United States is to be a Republic'. A blessing from God.

I'm glad I went through this experience. I don't think it's ever going to get easier because now I expect more of myself. I am relieved to say I've given what I could give and it's now time to move on and continue to study that I might be able to tie history and books together, find understanding and with understanding, wisdom.

Merry Christmas to all. And to all a ...

Good night.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"Quod omnes tangit ab omnibus approbetur"

I just found this Latin quote and have decided it will be the title of my final essay exam, especially in regards to the Federalist Papers and the passing of the Constitution.

English translation: "What concerns all, should be approved by all"

Don't ask me why I decided this, it just feels right and I am actually excited to be going through this experience. I have 12 more principle of liberty to learn, 9 Bill of Rights to learn and a number of pages to formulate in my mind as I prepare to write my findings for the final exam.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands.

Anne Frank

Friday, December 5, 2008


About two weeks ago I missed my government class due to illness. I heard later that the instructor went over the final exam, and said we could review as much as we wanted to prior to answering the essay questions.

O.K., I've never completed an essay only test before. Tuesday afternoon the test questions are emailed to me. OH MY GOODNESS! How am I to answer these questions?! I did all this reading, over 40hours of book reading for five class meetings and I don't know how I'm going to articulate what I learned and frankly I'm thinking I did not learn anything, as in teaching myself.

If I did not learn from this experience then have I gained anything over the year of almost weekly colloquiums? What am I doing with myself??? Needless to say I quickly thought I might as well give up...

Wednesday afternoon I spent a few hours going over The Virginian. Owen Wister wrote this American cowboy novel to depict the natural aristocracy in the development of the western United States and the results of corruption in local government.

I went to class with the idea that I would not take another class after this. To my GREAT surprise, we were having oral exams. I looked at Jodi and she said, "Oh I forgot to tell you that part." Frankly I was glad she did not tell me because it could have been enough to keep me from going and would add unwanted stress.

So there I was, thinking fine, I'll do what I can. Interestingly as I listened to other students answering what they could there was much I too could not fully answer in my mind but I was surprised that additional knowledge was coming back to me. Wow, maybe I did learn some. I think the hard part is seeing the connection of concepts and having never been interested in government it's been hard to motivate myself beyond just getting the reading done.

I finally went up to the hot seat and tried to answer what was placed before me. The questions are all vague now. I remember talking about family, gay marriage, Three Cups of Tea, and other things. I think I hung in there o.k. The experience showed me that I really do want to push myself to take my learning seriously.

Ultimately, I left with a different feeling for the experience of doing all the required reading. I truly need help in writing or taking notes while I read. I know I wont go back later to copy things down. So I need to change that about me. The lack of reviewing on my part is a BIG hold back as well.

Here I am today. I sent 5 hours writing my essay answers. I decided to write a pre-review essay. This is quite helpful to me because I see where I want to focus my attention when I start my reviewing. I intend to add my post-review answers in blue so I and the instructor can view what I added and where I decided to direct my attention. I want to expand each of the 28 principles of liberty.

I feel back on track again. It's rewarding trying to bring these ideas and thoughts out of the dark recesses of my mind. And dare I say it's fun too. Well it has been.

My decision is made for next semester. As BYU won't let me know for two more weeks and the classes I wanted to take are full, I will take an American History class through 1776 at GWU. This summer I hope BYU will be offering Hebrew, Latin, or Greek.

And there you have it.

Monday, December 1, 2008

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader".

John Quincy Adams

Who's Our Protector...

In Saturdays newspaper, I read that the Homeland Security office of Kentucky is supposed to credit God with keeping the state safe. How interesting. I thought to myself what might be the change in America if God was acknowledged more whole heartedly. Would there be any change or improvement?

Following my line of thought with The 5,000Year leap of my previous post, I decided to look this article up and see where it might fit in with the 28 principles. I found two principles that fits this subject. Principle 4 says that "Without religion the government of a free people cannot be maintained."

At President Washington's Farewell Address, he said; "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports...Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail to the exclusion of religious principle."

Who's morality do you follow? Apparently the new Governor of Kentucky (Steve Beshear) did not affirm that Deity had indeed protected the state in his Homeland Security report for this year. Well, how much credit should be shown to god anyway? One of this states senators, Kathy Stein, said that requiring the department to credit God takes away from the states Homeland Security's mission. What I wonder is what does it take away?

What to think???.... Next summer I might have more understanding about this. Our colloquium group will be reading the first volume of De Tocqueville's Democracy in America.

The other principle I thought would work for this news article is the 5th. "All things were created by God, therefore upon Him all mankind are equally dependent, and to Him they are equally responsible."

George Washington, as commander of the American military during the Revolutionary War acknowledged that the hand of God intervened in behalf of the struggle for independence at lest sixty-seven times (according to Charles Flood's research).

It was our Founders who came up with a national motto. What good is our national motto "In God We Trust" if our nation does not believe in that trust anymore?

Who is your protector? I can answer that indeed God is my protector just as long as I am living in accordance with what I know to be right. And no doubt about it, we each know right from wrong. The question is are we going to acknowledge that which is right from that which is wrong.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thinking, and I Hope Learning...

I was looking over the 28 Principles of Liberty that Cleon Skousen wrote in his book, The 5,000 Year Leap, when I remembered two newspaper articles I have posted on the fridge about marriage. The first is an article about a stone-age burial site in Germany that gives indication of the nuclear family. A mother, father, and two children. I thought it interesting with all the same-sex marriage stuff going on in California. And then I read that courts in California are now going to hear challenges to the passing of proposition 8.

I feel Skousen is right with his 26th principle. It states, "The core unit which determines the strength of any society is the family; therefore, the Government should foster and protect it's integrity." He further says what I would like to have said; It will be appreciated that the strength and stability of the family is of such vital importance to the culture that any action by the government to debilitate or cause dislocation in the normal trilateral structure of the family becomes, not merely a threat to the family involved, but a menace to the very foundations of society itself.

Principle 7 says; "The proper role of government is to protect equal rights, not provide equal things." I can across an article by Walter Williams who is a featured columnist in the Deseret News. He spoke about socialism and how evil acts are given moral legitimacy by noble-sounding expressions. He uses the example of an elderly lady who has no money or strength to mow her lawn. Is it right to force a neighbor to mow her lawn? And would it be right to fine the neighbor if the lawn doesn't get mowed? Is it better to force the neighbor to give money to the government who then gives it to the lady to hire someone to mow her lawn? I agree with Williams that it isn't right and it's morally wrong. Although it would be right and good if the neighbor went over or willingly gave money to hire someone for the elderly lady. It's wrong to be forced to give up your earnings to make someone else more comfortable and a little more equal in 'keeping up with the Joneses'. I have much to learn about all the different "ism" in our government. What I can see is that Socialism hurts society and I think it contributes to keeping people on the receiving freely end and does not encourage them to work out their own destiny.

The Founders of American recognized that the people cannot delegate to the government the power to do something that they the people are not able to do themselves. We are not allowed to take the car of our neighbor and give it to another neighbor who has no car. The protection of people's rights actually provides for the freedom to prosper. Seeking learning and the development of talents can lead to greater prosperity. But it doesn't mean that you have to have gameboys and that box and wii thing.

Samuel Adams said, "The Utopian schemes of leveling (redistribution of the wealth), and a community of goods (central ownership of all the means of production and distribution), are as visionary and impracticable as those which vest all property in the Crown. (These ideas) are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government, unconstitutional."

I recently read the U.S. Constitution for a government class I was taking. I don't think it said that congress has the authority to take money from us the constituents in order to give to those who have not. I guess this is all about taxes, taxes, and more taxes.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


I'm in the mood for moving. I've moved the dinning room table in preparation for Thanksgiving. I would love to move my bed room around but it's to hard to move our bed. I'd like to move the things in the foyer out so I can paint. And just this morning the kids brought up the Christmas tree and now I can move the living room around.


Sometimes I just get this itch to do something different. I want to move to a new blog but boy it's hard to get everything to work properly. Just ask my husband.

P.S. He did it for me. Now I can move my background picture whenever I feel the need to get up and go. Thanks Govie.

Friday, November 28, 2008

My Cup Runeth Over...

I would love to travel to every country upon this earth. Sadly it will never happen for different reasons. My primary concern when it comes to traveling is safety. With so much conflict in the world I will stay nearer to home for the most part. There is the issue of money for all this sightseeing too.

I recently finished reading Three Cups of Tea. I am narrow minded, and I'm glad to have my mind opened to a beginning understanding of Islam society in Pakistan. All Muslims do not believe in the actions of the Taliban. I was very surprised that even members of the Taliban after 9/11 talked about turning Osama in.

"The true core tenants of Islam are justice, tolerance, and charity." If the book is being true, then after 9/11 one of the northern Shia leaders gave a speech at a school dedication and apologized for the attack on the New York village. I've only ever considered the negative about Muslim society based on the Taliban terrorist attacks.

Three cups of tea; First you share as a stranger, the second time you are a guest, and the third time you become part of the family and this new family will die for you. Mortensen learns from his mentor, Haji Ali, who is leader of the poverty stricken village of Korphe and was illiterate himself "Doctor Greg, you must make time to share three cups of tea, We may be uneducated. But we are not stupid. We have lived and survived here for a long time." This is the village that first receives Mortensons help.

It's beautiful to see how one mans idea for a school turned into this astounding organization building not only schools for girls but vocational training for women, libraries, and scholarships for higher education.

"Who knew that something as simple as a bridge could empower women?" Can you imagine being able to finally leave your home and walk to another village and return home all in the same day. What joy the women of Korphe experienced when Haji Ali told Mortenson that first a bridge had to be built before the school.

I attended a seminar two years ago where Oliver DeMille spoke about tribal society -vs- national society. I thought it was interesting and wondered where he got his information from. My answer is books. And in this book I came across the value of tribal society and not so much modernizing the villages but rather encouraging education so that ignorance can be fought and choices made for working and understanding that wont necessarily make you rich but can lift you up out of the deepest of poverty to perhaps a level of hope and brightness.

Helena Norberg-Hodge is quoted to have said,"It may seem absurd to believe that a "primitive" culture in the Himalaya has anything to teach our industrialized society. But our search for a future that works keeps spiraling back to an ancient connection between ourselves and the earth, an interconnectedness that ancient cultures have never abandoned."

I like this quote by the same women when she quoted the king of Bhutan who said that,"the true measure of a nation's success is not gross national product, but "gross national happiness." Isn't that wonderful? To be more concerned for the happiness of a society.

The Waltons tv series I think shows the tribal society before WWII. The grandparents living with their son and his growing family, contributing and teaching. One other quote by Helena which has me thinking about how hard it is in our national way of living without close knit families to help each other raise families and provided help to each other with the working of the gardens and preparations for seasonal changes is this. "I have seen that community and a close relationship with the land can enrich human life beyond all comparison with material wealth or technological sophistication. I have learned that another way is possible."

I'm learning this too. Another way is possible. You don't have to follow the main stream of national living. You can step out and say no, I'm raising my family within the walls or rather the beginning walls of a tribal community, we are working our little piece of land together, we are serving the needs of our less fortunate brothers and sisters. We are creating surrogate extended family with our neighbors.

I hope that you will read Three Cups of Tea. I hope we will all begin to contribute our time more fully to helping others because I think we ourselves are helped in the process of serving. I think the possibilities are endless. Now go out and be the change you want to see happening.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Goodnight John Boy...

I experience fond memories when I hear the theme song for The Walton's. Do you remember John Boy and the family?
Gove and I went out last night and purchased the first and second seasons. Now we can watch The Walton's every Sunday night for a whole year. I hope to help create wonderful feelings in the hearts and minds of our children as the characters of the tv program seemed to have accomplished for me. I am completely surprised that I can remember plots from so long ago.

This evening, we thought it fitting to start with The Walton's Thanksgiving special from the second season. I heard John Boy say something that I have recently learned. Before WWII, boys and girls were not called teenagers. John Boy tells his little sister that he is a young man and his friend Jenny is a young women. Good, I said to myself, my children just heard this great point. We are not having "teenagers" but rather responsible young adults living through the teen-age years.

Another aspect of family life I like is seeing the grandparents living with the family, and guiding the grandchildren. Grandpa takes Ben out to shoot a turkey and although Ben misses the shot Grandpa said he knew Ben needed the chance to try and learn from the experience so that next year he'd be more prepared. I think the Walton family will cement some of the lessons we are teaching our children about family life, work, initiative, dedication, learning, and curiosity to name a few.

A nice way to end this Thanksgiving day.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What Are America's Gifts?

Abraham Lincoln established the annual celebration of Thanksgiving in the midst of the Civil War. (1863)

"We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that [the gifts of God] should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens . . . to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens."

Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, November 20, 2008

No Inspiring At The Museum Please...

I read a post at TJEDMUSE by Donna. She remembers when her mom would tell the kids that she was going crazy and did they want to come along.

When I awoke Tuesday morning of this week, I thought I was getting better. I remembered what Donna said and decided to give it a shot. I thought that going to the BYU Art Museum would be a fun way to "go crazy". After all there is a lot of crazy art to discover. We arrived 45 minutes early, it was closed. We went to the book store and while there I realized I was not getting better but rather the infection or virus was moving into my head. I guess you should know that I wasn't feeling great when we returned to the museum.

We decided that the Modern Art display would be a great place to color/draw a picture of something we thought was crazy looking, in celebration of the event.

We barely walked into the gallery when Mattia sat down to draw a picture of an X setting in the center of the room. In no time flat the security guard comes over and says, "you are not allowed to set on the floor in the museum, nor are you allowed to color without a sketching pass and only in the designated areas".

What!!! What do yo mean a child can't set on the floor and draw a picture of something she sees. The guard said that's the policy and to go talk to the front desk. Oh, I went and talked to the front desk all right. Because now my head really hurts and they have just spoiled a great love of learning moment of inspiring not requiring!

In New Orleans we'd go to the art museum and sat drawing pictures of what ever was our fancy. Or we would set and just look. But oh no, not here at BYU.

With rules that don't allow children to get excited about coming and creating at the art museum, how can you expect them to grow a love for the environment?

I hope through what we do at home and in our travels will counter balance such a let down at the BYU Museum of Art this past Tuesday.

So, I took the kids to Maceys Grocery store and they investigated the highest cost of cereals, medications, and pet animal foods. They sat down along the side of the aisles and drew a picture of a product that was crazily priced. And not a person said we couldn't do this. The art wasn't half bad. And the other crazy thing was that I bought each a doughnut afterward.

P.S. They told me it was fun and could we do this again some place else. Maybe a book store next time. Boy there must be some pretty pricey collections.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Joy For Learning Even When Sickness Previals...

Perhaps you have noticed numerous changes to my blog today? Well, when you are sick and not quite up to worthwhile activities one speeds time changing the look of her blog and google home page. I had no idea there are so many themes for my home page at google. I've gone Christmas.

Here we are on the fourth day of illness in our home. Eli can hardly talk, is running a fever at times, and has a hard cough. My head feels like it's going to split. Every time I move my eyes without moving my head it hurts. Enough of illness. I am confident we will be healing soon.

My reason for writing has nothing to do with viruses, and everything to do with freedom. Drum roll..... today I saw freedom in action. Here's the scoop. This afternoon Bethany comes in with her Saxon math and announces she is going to work on her math until she feels she has had enough or Dad comes home. "O.K". I said, "wow this is so exciting to watch you. I bet your going to do so much that when you finish your book I'll take you to D.I." You should have seen Beth's eyes. I think her dreams center around D.I. (I hope Diann would be pleased with this example.)

My point? I never asked her to do this. She also read to me this morning just because she wanted to. This makes being together twenty four hours a day so worth it. And Eli, bless his heart decided he could read while laying in bed next to me and has just about finished Revolutionary War on Wednesday. It's an easy read but when your sick it's nice not to have to think hard. Yesterday Tia worked so hard at reading and spelling she felt she needed a break and has been sculpting with that foam sculpting clay that dries quickly, and listening to Farmer Boy.

The bummer for me today is that I was actually ready for my government history class and can't go. I'm really not sure what to think about taking this extension course through George Wythe. I have yet to feel inspired by the class or the presenter and there is one class meeting left. Yet I have persevered for myself and accomplished the reading. I haven't found the group discussions that stimulating. I wonder if it's because I'm tired come evening? No it's not that. Yet my finger isn't getting to the source. I hope to take my first class at BYU next semester and maybe I can figure out whats missing this time for me or what will be missing next semester at BYU that I can't comprehend just yet.

Today, But Not Today... 1863

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

A Funny Moment... yet not so funny

Thanks Cherie.

Think About This...

"Men give me some credit for genius. All the genius I have lies in this: When I have a subject in hand, I study it profoundly. Day and night it is before me. I explore it in all its bearings. My mind becomes pervaded with it. Then the effort which I make, the people are pleased to call the fruit of genius. It is the fruit of labor and thought".

Alexander Hamilton

and this...

"To every man there comes...that special moment when he is figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a special thing unique to him and fitted to his talent. What a tragedy if that moment finds him unprepared or unqualified for the work which would be his finest hour."

Winston Churchill

“Actually, all education is self-education. A teacher is only a guide, to point out the way, and no school, no matter how excellent, can give you education. What you receive is like the outlines in a child’s coloring book. You must fill in the colors yourself.”

Louis L'Amour

I read Louis L'Amour's Education of a Wandering Man earlier this year and appreciated how he learned and used every experience for his growth and development.

Monday, November 17, 2008


I have little thoughts written in different places as they come to me. You will find this strange so just ignore it. I'm just putting some ideas here for me to keep track.

1. monthly book club for kids, invite mothers? or little siblings?
2. family club- talking with Jodie
3. food bank
4. bishop storehouse before opening
5. school kit idea
6. BYU touring group in spring
7. tjed basic training course
8. which class for me? and where?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Reading...It's Worth More Then You Can imagine

I should be sleeping, I'm running a fever and my joints hurt. I can't sleep so I come here to put down some epiphanies that have come over the night. I'm going to say all these things in the hopes that someone can take an idea and run with it, or feel inspired to try something that comes into your mind.

Last night I finished Roots of American Order (see my Goodreads bar). It was 10pm and I could not go to sleep. Instead I read the introduction to Three Cups of Tea. This neat epiphany idea came into my mind. What if we could get the author to come here and in exchange we, that is the Utah county communities provide a truck load of school kits for the children in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Isn't that interesting? I wonder what could be done about this? First I'm going to read his book, then I'm going to investigate the cost and then I'm going to write to him.

And you know what, this and a few others thoughts would not have come my way if it wasn't for reading, praying, and pondering what God wants me to be doing along with my mission as mother and wife, and disciple of Jesus Christ. Wow, I was just so surprised to have these ideas coming into my mind and I give thanks.

This morning I was finishing the story of Esther, and using the institute manual for additional commentary. I went through the points to ponder and the idea of a celebration of the festival of Purim came into my mind. Three main points occur at this fest. 1. Every time the name of Haman is said the kids go crazy with noise. 2. Gifts are given to the poor. and 3. Gifts of food and drink are given among the celebrators. I see the idea of purpose and having missions in life to serve coming into all of this as well. What a great homeschool activity.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh, in her book Gift from the Sea, says:

‘My life cannot implement in action all the demands of all the people to whom my heart responds.’

The quotes in the manual were so moving for me to read. I heard that although I have good ideas coming into my mind, I can only do so much. That's why I'm sharing here. Neal A Maxwell said in 1972:

"The world is full of causes that lead into conceptual cul-de-sacs. Our task, therefore, is to be wise in the selection of good causes, using the scriptures and the modern prophets as our guide."

I can go on but it's time to stop and have my symfree tea. And I might be boring you. All the same I am excited about life.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Successful Evening...

Last night's guest lecturer, Diann Jeppson, presented an inspiring example of the greatness that can occur within a family when we as parents understand freedom and exercises our choices in such a way that it actually encourages our children to accomplish without taking the power for learning away from our children. She spoke about the arts of inspiring and the arts of enduring.

We had over 40 people in attendance! Wow, I planned for about 32 and hoped they would all show up and look want happened. It was great. There were reunions of a number of people who had not seen each other since college 11= years ago, a mom who felt she just had to come and said she found what she needed to do with one of her girls, 3rd cousins meet again after many years, neighbors discovered each other. Needless to say I am still feeling the blessings of love poured out in different ways to touch the hearts of many people present.

This is so neat to see happening. I just get full inside my chest and want to burst with the joy that I feel as I'm being guided to do these things. How thankful I am for a loving Father in heaven and for his Son, who is the Redeemer of mankind.

I'm thankful again this morning for Corrie Ten Boom and The Hiding Place which came to my mind while at Wal-Mart and I was blessed to change my thinking about some people around me as we are all the children of a loving God.

I seriously want to know more about the TJED Basic Training Course that is offered through HomeFires by Diann and Jodie. If anyone else is interested please contact me.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

Benjamin Franklin

A Little More Learning...

I finished a short book about the Spanish -American War of 1898 last night. Frankly I was at the point when I just wanted to get finished and move on. I was interested to learn about some of the men who joined this group of voluntary soldiers.

I remember learning something in school about the Rough Riders and Teddy Roosevelt. But I couldn't tell much else.

This book is about the development of the voluntary group of cowboys, farmers, college men, mountain men, and military men that made up the Rough Riders. I had no idea this group of horse riders actually fought. I just remember seeing pictures of men on horses and never thought more of it as far as I can recall.

I question how Theodore Roosevelt kept such details while fighting. I think having been in the Army gave me the idea for reading this. I was surprised and impressed that Roosevelt was willing to give so much praise for the gallantry and dedication of fellow soldiers.

I can't imagine reading this story again, I did like learning about the names of the men and how some were famous for acts done out in the wild west. Like this line from the book: "One of our best soldiers was a man whose eal and assumed names I, for obvious reasons conceal."

It seems Roosevelt was much respected by his men. That was one thing I did not like in the Army. I felt that our leaders were weak and did not actually care about us the enlisted. I felt no desire to protect someone who did not want to be our friend. Oh, I also read this because I was stationed at Fort Leanard Wood and Dr. Wood was the other main character who helped create this group of Rough Riders.

(Detail from Charge of the 24th and 25th Colored Infantry and Rescue of Rough Riders at San Juan Hill, July 2, 1898 depicting the Battle of San Juan Hill.)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Time For You To Slow Down Too...

Take a deep breath right now.

Now repeat after me, "I am slowing down this very hour." Good. Now I want you to stop and simply spend the afternoon listening to a truly uplifting and wonderfully written story.

I have mentioned before my appreciation for Gene Stratton Porter, it hasn't changed. Today I knew I needed to slow down and Gene has a way with her stories that causes you to stop and really listen to the characters.

In this case of relaxing, I want you to listen to the beautiful story of Freckles. A boy raised in an orphanage, missing his right hand, and never wanted. He is seeking employment in the woods of the Limberlost.

I love to read/hear how Freckles develops into a man while living in the forest around the animals and a few friends. Freckles possesses the qualities any mother would love to see in her son and frankly I hope to add to the character of our son with the listening of this story. I see my son thinking and taking little lines from books and using them in his life for self development and improvement.

While your listening to Freckles, you can set with your children and start some type of hand craft. For us, we like to use the hook loom and make hats (that's me) or blankets (that's Beth). Drawing while reading is another favorite past time in our home.

Develop a craft that can be enjoyed all winter while you are gathered together listening to great works.

Come to LibriVox and take the afternoon to get inspired by the determination of a boy who wants to make a place for himself and create beauty in the process of over coming his challenges. Freckles exemplifies value, integrity, and morality.

Give time a chance, you have nothing to loss and loving memories to create with your children.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

You're Invited...

The PALMS Colloquia Group


Building an Inspiring Environment

Speaker: Diann Jeppson

Thursday, November 13, 7:00 – 8:30 pm

When it comes to the education of our children, parents have lots of options! We can invite, coax, strongly suggest, bribe, beg, threaten or just wait and hope they decide to move. Or we can choose to think in an entirely new way – a way that in the beginning evokes a level of uncertainty that is as deep as our culture. We can inspire. At the outset, inspiring children sounds like a monumental feat – best left to highly trained experts. This workshop will supply you with tools for this great work of inspiring (and I do mean work!) that you can take home and put to immediate use. My objective is for you to leave this workshop knowing and feeling your capacity for building an inspiring environment for the education of your children. Possibilities abound! Come and see.

Diann Jeppson is the founder and current President of American Youth Leadership Institute. Her engagement with leadership education led her to co-author A Thomas Jefferson Education Home Companion. She received a BA in statesmanship from George Wythe University, and is a Masters in Education candidate at that institution. She has presented at numerous education conferences. Jodie Palmer and Diann Jeppson co-own, a leadership education seminar and mentoring company. She and her daughters perform professionally as The Wildflowers, a family bluegrass band. She and her husband Adam live with their four daughters in West Valley City, Utah.


Location: 854 North 1375 West Provo, 84604



Childcare: Babysitting will be provided (free of charge) to all families attending. Please let Nickie know the number of children you will be bringing. We will provide, games, crafts, and snacks.

Warmest regards,

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Morning After The Election Pill... :)

I realize that there is a pill that women can take to prevent contraception after copulation. However I'm not talking about that morning after pill. I'm talking about a pill for the pain after sixteen hours of managing and balancing the totals at an election polling precinct.

Come on ibuprofen, do your stuff.

Oh, the pain, the morning after election day! Twenty-four hours over two days, and I survived. I was the poll manager in Salem at the elementary school, and like so many other places, the morning was crazy, the afternoon slower, and the anticipated evening rush never came.

The biggest delay was in setting the machines for voting. You are given one hour to have the computers zeroed and ready for voting. I and my co-manager had five booths ready when it was time to let everyone in. Our six poll workers who take information as the person arrives did a fantastic job and once we had all the booths working things just moved right along.

I really enjoyed thanking people for coming in to vote and ensuring the voting cards were returned, keeping track of the number of cards in the arena being used, hoping our count in the books and on the machines matched. It was fun in an exhausting type of way and I might consider it again. Although the money is non-taxable, and frankly not worth the time involved, your really doing this work as a service. I like to think of it as my patriotic duty.

Friday, October 31, 2008

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.