Thursday, February 28, 2008

Do You Know of the Great Names Series?

Have you read or know of the Great Names Series by Mason Crest publications? I read one this morning called Archimedes: Ancient Greek Mathematician. Mattia chose it for her reading with me. I liked how they used the Roman writer Cicero who has come to Sicily to find evidence of the great math master. I now wonder if Cicero really did this. I will try to find out.
In the mean time have you read any of these books in the series I would like to know how others feel about them.
Bless Mattia. Today she gave me a lesson about the circle I will not now forget. Using the Sir Cumference books, she related to me the meaning of circumference, (Lady) Di Ametur, and their son Radius. She did so well and was so excited to share and teach me I was so pleased and happy to see her experiencing a love of learning. She even had me look up the origin of the word Tories. It's French.

Strike at Shane's Review

Strike at Shane's is a short story about a farming family in the mid-west. Gene Stratton Porter wrote this little gem in 1893 and it won the Humane Society national award. This book is about the Shane's farm animals going to strike because Mr. Shane and his son Tom abuse them, and they have had enough. Intended to remind us of the need to love all of God's creatures, Gene tells the tale of a father who has lost contact with his wife and daughter for the sake of money and he will use and abuse his animals to get the most out of them in working the land. Sadly, the son is following the fathers example. With the strike in full force, Shane gets a surprise that changes his life and opens his heart to the value of loving nature, his family, and the gifts before him.
I am partial to Gene's writings and find this story one I wish my own father had read while growing up and while raising us. I so thankful to have the birds at our deck eating the seeds and darting about seemly having a day of joy each day of their lives. I appreciate the beauty that surrounds me everyday with the Wasatch mountain range in my backyard.
I will read this to our children again if necessary to teach the lessons it offers about animal treatment. Luckily my kids don't even want me to kill a bug for our collection anymore since their Dad read this story to them last year.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Keeping Track...

I use composition books to write my book reviews, thoughts, journaling, studies, epiphanies, and insights from conferences, and anything else that comes to mind. I also blog some thoughts and sometimes I try to type what I learned for the month. Everything is in a different book/file. I know I want to take my religious studies comp book to church, my PALMS book to our weekly colloquium, my personal studies book, I will use at this weekends leadership/home education forum in SLC. But maybe I will start a new composition book for conferences and seminars.
What if I want to find something that triggers my brain...what am I to do when I don't have that particular book with me. Sure, I can write myself a message and look later...
I could use a 3 ring binder but that is too big to take everywhere. With a 3 ring binder I could divide into many section and as the section fills transfer to a permanent binder.
The more I think of this right now it seems I should stick with the composition books. They are cheap, come in bright colors and fit in my purse. I will have to work with this and see if something comes to mind over the weekend.

BTY, the picture shows the binding on the right side of the book. We left handed people would so appreciate this type of binding here in America.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Thanks goes out to my very own husband! Granted he has a PhD in Information Systems but I did not really want to bother him on something so mundane, foolish, silly. I just didn't realize that little button was right there in front of me.

I love my husband.

Just Today...

I had a reply to my post regarding the Teaching Company that I wrote about last night. It seems there is a web site dedicated to providing reviews of lectures and professors.
It could be helpful. It looks like you can register to post reviews for the site as well. Here is the link if your interested:

How do I add a link that a person can click on and go directly to the site? I know the answer is out there but can someone just give it to me. Please. Thank you.

Much was accomplished in chores today. I and the kids and in particular Eli and Beth had self directed love of learning today. Both worked on their Faith in God and prepared a FHE lesson on the Word of Wisdom. Tomorrow night is the Blue and Gold dinner for Cub Scouts. Eli has earned his fitness and ??? so he is excited and feeling more motivated to earn the religious knot.

Mattia and I had an insightful and colorful date this evening. We went to Aquatica to look at the fresh and salt water fishes. I thought about this amazing earth we are blessed to live upon. So many beautiful creatures hiding on this planet.
I'm also pleased to say that Mattia made the carrot juice tonight and drank her portion without complaint. Finally.

I think I will hold an informal open house to allow families to meet me and review the expectations for being involved in a Knights of Freedom club. I will have the forms and guidelines available. I'm going to see if I can borrow a couple Tabards, I already have the swords used for knighting. Oh, I just remembered! Gove has a cousin who has fenced in the National Championships and won. And I am also just remembering that at some point he made his own suit of armor. This would be great to have him attend when we knight the boys with their particular virtue.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Saturday's Work

Usually when I think of a full day of working on Saturday, it almost always includes exhaustion at the end of the day. But not yesterday. I felt we and I had accomplished a great deal without adding a new ache to my back.
I recently reviewed the writing of some guy who wrote an organic farming book (sorry, to tired to find the book now). It's from the early 60's however. I read the chapters about pruning. First you must understand why you are pruning a given tree. Our trees are too tall. That was my reason. I did prune the trees last year and had no idea what to do, I just cut. This time I felt better as I pruned, not always doing the best job at creating a clean cut but ultimately pleased with how the trees looked. I think I had the job finished in 2 hours. Not bad. I will be watching as the season progresses to see the results of the fruit of my labors. I hope to get cherry blossoms like the picture above. Last year I had zero.This technique called espalier looks so interesting. I would love to use our retaining wall to see something like this come to pass. How amazing if I could guide and direct a fruit tree to grow with a single plane pattern.

I was able to prepare all the forms to apply for our passports. We just need pictures now. Gove was able to build a base for our bed and raise us up about 6 inches and provide greater support for the frames. We roasted hot dogs on the camp fire while the kids burned the branched I pruned. And if that not enough, Gove and I ran over to a dinner sponsored for High Priest in the stake.

I am starting a Knights of Freedom in April. I need a co-adviser before I can send in the application form. K of F is for boys ages 8-12 in their love of learning stage of life. We will meet twice a month in the afternoon for 3 hours each time. The boys will lead activities, the leaders lead activities which focus on the planned book for a given month. This is the first time that most boys have exposure to the idea of a colloquium. We have used the Famous Childhood Series at the Lehi K of F for the past year. I may see if the boys of this new group want to try other series. the goal is to read about real men who behaved with morals, virtue, statesmanship. there is also a lot of play time for the boys. I hope to find some boys interested in Chess for Eli to play with. The other big thing that the boys look forward to is the yearly Summit in SLC. The boys learn about chivalry and positive virtues of knighthood. They end the 2 day summit with a battle against the marauders. This is great fun and so Hero generation stuff for the boys.

Learning With DVD's

The Teaching Company hires the best professors to discuss and present subjects in all areas of education. Gove has been reviewing and learning new concepts of Calculus. We are both learning about The Great Debate: The Opponents and Proponents of the Constitution. We thought this might be helpful as we study the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers. The verdict is that this is really helpful to understanding both sides and the feeling of mistrust at the time.

I think I will order the dvd for the Masterpieces of the Louvre. It's on sale for a great price.
If your interested in the Teaching Company as a way to supplement your own education here is the link:
This morning I was listening to a couple give talks at church. It was kind of surprising how well they fit into the Nomad generation but in particular the waiting to have children. I would imagine that has something to do with being in their 20's still.
My children have always been thought of as the best by their mother. Now I like to think about them as part of the Hero generation. During our executive Family Counsel meeting this morning , we invited each child to share their goals for this week regarding personal education. spiritual growth, and physical development. Each had ideas for their growth. I will help to facilitate their ideas but the power to accomplish is theirs to develop. Eli is heavy into drawing and labeling lego pictures to use as a plan for his next Lego movie. Bethany is planning her square foot garden and deciding seeds to purchase. I have plans for square foot gardening too. Mattia is now excited to get her tonsils removed on the 11th.
Here is the link for SFG:

Friday, February 22, 2008

Which are you...Silent, Boomer, 13ner, Millennial?

Last night members of the PALMS colloquium meet for an interesting discussion of the book, "The Fourth Turning" by Strauss and Howe copyright 1996. Here is what I learned in reading and listening to the abridgment of this book and then talking to others, in a small degree.

History runs in cycles. In this case 4 turnings. 1st Turning called the High, although I have heard Dr. DeMille, President of Geroge Wythe College call this first turning the Founding. 2nd turning is the Awakening, 3rd turning the Unraveling , and the 4th turning is the Crisis. These authors thought they were the first to come across this idea but as they researched they found it was not so. The Etruscans understood these cycles of turnings and said their society would last through 10 Saeculum. The saeculum is about 80-100 years +/- a few years and includes the four turnings. The Romans lasted through 12 I think.
I was born during the Awakening or 2nd Turning. 1964-1984 is the Nomad generation and people born in this time are called the 13ners or x generation. A generation is 20 years. My parents are the Artist generation called the Silent generation. Boomer's are the Prophet generation. Interestingly Barack Obama was born right on the cuff of both the Boomer and 13ner generations. One would need to ask him who he relates to better to say weather he is a 13ner or a boomer. I was born in 65, I am a Nomad from my lone life in my 20's to my late marriage in my 30's. Of course if the opportunity came earlier for marriage that would of been great but I don't know if I was ready then. People born during my generation are called the 13ners because we are the 13 generation of Americans.
My children are the Hero generation. They are the Millennial children. these children with be young adults when the Crisis of the Fourth Turning cycles through society again. No one has a crystal ball to see what the crisis is going to be, however history shows it is usually a war. Revolutionary War, Civil War, WW2, next war. The authors said that the parents of these Hero generation children and the children themselves will be willing to give of themselves for the cause of the fight. Boy, would I be willing to let my son die?
Wednesday I started reading a book to the children called The Boys of 76. The first story is about Elijah Favor who was 16 during the battle of Concord and Lexington. His father was actually the minute-man. But when the call came to take up arms, Eli said he would go for his father and Elijah's mom said yes to Eli going and that the older father must stay home. She was willing to give her Hero son to the cause knowing that possibly a linage of family would end with the death of a child. I think this is interesting.
Yesterday I was tying to catchup on writing reviews form recent books I read in January. I was thinking and writing about The Keeper of the Bees, which is post WW1. The main character Jamie McFarland is a Nomad generation also called the Lost generation. The time is beginning to enter the Flapper stage, morals and values of this generation had been on a decline. The author of the book who was born post civil war and of the Reconstruction generation is writing not just about this character but about society and the need for moral change and for parents to teach their children to turn away from social sin and temptations.
The GI generation was also a Hero generation of the WW2 era. They won the war and have been heroes since. Though this group is in later elder hood now. Next is the Silent/Artist generation. Presidential runner John Mccain is from the Silent generation maybe on the edge of the Hero generation. Hillary is a Boomer.

I have lots of questions and need to read this work again and ponder. This reading has opened my perspective of generational gaps and has increased my feelings of preparing myself and our children for greater causes in the future. How far into the future I don't know but I feel there is something of great value and worth in the effort we are using to raise our children and increase our own knowledge and wisdom.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Here I am...

What have I been doing? Why does every day speed by me? Yesterday I realized that I would probably not get to podcasting until later. How later? I just don't know. I wonder how much more I could do for myself if I gave up homeschooling and sent the kids away for 6 hours. Face it Nickie, your a wimp. I like having our kids with me and more importantly if they were not here I might resort back to my former desires for a perfectly cleaned home. I just don't want to do that anymore. The reality is that some things go to the back burner for now at lest.

Yesterday I was trying to hold a non-love of learning with the kids. I thought it was time for them to take some spelling tests. I know.... So instead all three were having a love of tracing animal pictures onto parchment paper. Bethany realized you don't have to trace every line and yet the end result is just a beautiful.
A local artist once told Eli that his line quality is exceptional. I was so surprised because he was tracing and I always thought that was cheating. But she said, "no lines matter". The kids told me last night what they are planning for this morning. "We are going to color our tracings!" I'm going to read stories surrounding the French and Indian War.

Hey, I'm 43 now. My friend Rebecca from Knights of Freedom was surprised. She said I look like I'm in my 30's. I suppose I look "39" and holding? Holly and her children were up visiting from San Diego, so Gove and I took advantage and we left for a nice birthday. Except is was snowing and very cold last Wednesday. We went to a local restaurant that was not here 13 years ago but is part of a chain. We had our first date together at the Old Spaghetti Factory in SLC. We both love mizithra cheese.

I was determined to have a nice Valentines with my family. I and the kids celebrated by taking unmade items to Gove at his office. Mattia choose a large decorated heart cookie with "We love our dad". Eli choose several balloons. And Bethany bought a potted Mum because if it survives we can plant it in the spring. Daddy was very surprised. He actually came home with us and we took the kids out for lunch thanks to a gift card from my brother. Thanks Eric!

Good news for Mattia. She is going to have her tonsils and adnoids removed in 2ish weeks. We are hopeful that she will stop snoring, sleep sounder and wake up feeling rested. She talks nasally so the removal of the adnoids may help with her speech as well. I trully hope she feels better once she recovers.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A New Day Dawns....

I'm feeling much better, thank you. I have a head cold but it's a vast improvement compared to yesterday. I took an antihistamine yesterday morning and ended up in la la land for about 5 hours.

My education has been off track for the past 3 weeks. I don't like it and so I return to some improved level of diligence. I am expecting cousins from Californian to arrive Tuesday so my great intentions may have to be pushed back another week. I look forward to my sister being healthy and returning to work in the next 2 weeks, visitors coming and returning to their homes and then our home life returning to our regular schedule. I miss my afternoon personal education and scripture study time. I need to make some changes and have a monthly plan for the direction I feel I should take, and how far I'd like to see myself progressing weekly.

I and the children have enjoyed our first 3 weeks of French. I am so pleased to see a love of learning experience happening not only for my children but for me too. My desire to learn French and actually having it be understood in 3 weeks time is so more progressive then what I experienced in Junior and Senior High schools.

Although I was ill for all of last week, I was able to finish Gene S. Porter's, The Song of the Cardinal. A delightful little book about the antics of a puffed up in pride male cardinal and a shy, frumpy female. I know Gene grew up in the Limberlost Forest of Indiana and studied birds so as I read about the antics of Mr. Cardinal I have to believe her descriptions are accurate. It is my plan when I finally learn how to use our mini mac to create a podcast, I will read this story as a child's evening theater series.
I and the children finished Shannon Hale's The Goose Girl. Even a shy princess can stand up and learn to be courageous in the midst of intrigues.
We also read Old Yeller. I would love to have such a dog with us this summer when we are talking in the woods. How peaceful it is to feel that an animal can protect you and guide you while enjoying the beauty of nature.

It feels nice to type some of my thoughts once more...

Friday, February 8, 2008

Tired and Sick, and Sick and Tired...

5 days of hacking my lungs out with every cough...
4 days of fever which ended yesterday...
2 days into a head cold...

Just a little under the weather but hope to bounce back soooooooon.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Saturday Was A Special Day...

Yesterday morning we drove to Idaho Falls for cousin Peter's baptism. Peter is Jeremy's son, and Jeremy is Gove's younger brother who died about 4 years ago. We made it to the chapel four minutes before the ceremony started. Gove was asked to confirm Peter. The confirmation was especially meaningful for Gove as he felt strongly the presence of both his brothers, Jeremy and Peter. Whenever Gove cries, I start to cry too. We are happy to have made the drive even if it was a mere 5 hours of visiting. My daughters love to play with cousins who love horses just like they do.Our truck started acting up. Gove had changed the fuel filter Friday night. He changed it again out side of Idaho Falls but still the jerking continues. We faithfully said a prayer, the truck jerked 2 more times and stopped until we made it to SLC. Although is sputtered more, we were able to make it home by 9pm. A blessing received and most thankfully appreciated.
We have sick children this morning and decided to attend Sacrament meeting and return home. I am grateful to have been at church. Both Gove and I felt reasons to bear our testimonies. I have been planning since hearing a talk last week about taking the time to be with Jesus during the passing of the sacrament. I tried very hard to just think of Jesus and to be aware of how this was making me feel. I was humbled to see my weakness at taking upon me the name of Christ each week. Last week I was feeling stressed and invaded within my territory. I am most thankful to have these feeling passed me now. Yet, I complained to some women during HFPE meeting and I felt compelled to repent during my testimony. I seem to hold on to the carnal man when I really want to soar with the angels or at lest act like an angel if I can't be one. This thought leads me to feel greater indebtedness to Christ for his Atonement and the opportunity for repentance.

A new week for learning begins...