Sunday, March 30, 2008

Family Improvement...

Next Saturday is the first weekend of April! And that means doing our families Six Month Inventory.
I am excited to see how each member has changed, hopefully for the better. Gove and I started this last October and we use our inventories to help guide us in our Family Executive Counsel meetings we hold weekly with God.
I decided to include these forms under the link for "My Personal Annotations" along the right hand side. Perhaps you will find them helpful as you seek to improve your family relationships and come to understand the value and mission each member serves within your family. Frankly I am still learning and have much to improve upon myself, still it's worth not throwing in the towel and giving up.
God bless you in your efforts.

Where Is Spring?

It's snowing, or rather it snowed about 2 inches during the night. There is a heavy mist in the are and at 5:30 in the morning I can't see if it's still snowing. Oh, fine, let it snow! I am thankful to have all this water coming to the area.
Yesterday, our neighbor up the hill from us said Provo Lake is six inches from full and are draining into other reservoirs in anticipation of the winter melt off.

We survived our three days with 5 additional children. It was actually fun. Elijah misses his pretend brothers and I miss the two littlest. Mattia bonded quickly with Julie Ann and with some time Bethany opened up and found she had a girl friend who also likes to take electrical equipment apart. We took all the kids to the Home and Garden Show Friday evening. Free candy, popcorn, and ice cream. And then they found the Jumping Jacks company with an inflatable castle to jump and slide down. I think the evening was a dream come true for all the kids. It was so nice to send our children to work Saturday morning and have 5 additional hands to help. Things can get done a lot faster and with happier attitudes.

It's Sunday, I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love going to church. I love that I am attending the temple on an increased regularity. I love reading the scriptures and having my favorite sections that help lift me up and carry me through my difficulties.
This is why I got up early. I love my Lord and my Redeemer. I didn't want to stay in bed any longer. Here I am, excited that Tuesday is just two days away and I can go to the temple again. Here I am, excited to go to church to partake of the sacrament, and hear the testimonies that others will share of their faith and belief in Jesus Christ. I'm going to fill my spiritual tank to maximum capacity this morning.

It's simply beautiful.

Friday, March 28, 2008

An Open Invitation...


We are pleased to announce our third guest speaker in the PALMS
Leadership Education Lecture Series. Martha Levie will be addressing
the Provo Area Leadership Mentoring Society next Thursday, April 3rd
from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. This event is open to the public and there is
no fee to attend. The presentation is entitled "Speak Like Ronald
Reagan, Learn Like Mrs. Ripley: Two Missing Ingredients to Education"
Who is Mrs. Ripley, you ask? We have absolutely no idea, but we are
looking forward to finding out!

We took Martha's course on elocution (the art of speaking eloquently)
in winter of 2007 and thoroughly enjoyed it. We encourage anyone
who is interested in improving their speaking skills to attend. The
lecture will be held at our home (map available at Feel free to pass this invitation along.

Martha Harsh Levie is the wife of Allen Levie, and the mother of 4. She is a frequent speaker at leadership education events and loves teaching literature, poetry, the arts, drama, speech, etiquette,femininity and has directed several theatrical productions. Martha has a great deal of experience presenting and performing. Martha was trained in elocution from her early childhood by her parents, she was also taught by Professor Grace Nixon Stewart who studied speech at The University of London. Martha was educated at home, and graduated in Statesmanship and Literature from George Wythe College. Martha loves her home in Southern Utah where she enjoys motherhood with her children.

Got It...

It sounds like Burr and Hamilton had a long standing grudge against each other. I was reading a little at Wikipedia about their duel and it seems it was coming for a long time. Hamilton has participated in many other duels and so now I think it was all about PRIDE. Hamilton's son, Phillip was killed about two years earlier in a duel as well. I have found my own answer and am now satisfied.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Still Learniang...

O.K., after reading the composed anti-Federalist papers #18-20. I feel better. I liked what "An Old Whig" and "A Newport Man" had to say about slowing down and not assuming this Federalist plan was going to work and who would say there wouldn't be another Constitutional Convention to fix something else or change the constitution completely again. I liked how the "Newport Man" gave examples of small confederacies that have survived (1780's) while being surrounded by larger countries. St. Marino is a Republic basically surrounded by Italy. I did not even know it existed until last week! Another place with separate confederacies, (I guess that's the word), was/is the Cantons of Switzerland.

SEVEN hours and counting! We added 5 more children to our family for the next 3 days and it's going well so far. I hope it stays great. The kids are having quality time together. We also spent two hours at the Bean Museum. Everyone was interested in using nature books to copy pictures of the animals. This is a nice experience.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


My heart is not into reading for this weeks colloquium. The Federalist papers again. Boy, every fourth week seems to be right around the corner and Alexander Hamilton is hard on my mind. What I'm really wondering about is what did Alexander and Aaron Burr have that duel for? How did Aaron feel after killing Alexander? I have not looked for the answer to this and many other question on my mind but I like to wonder as I pretend to hear the guy at Librivox re-read the papers.

Good news, we have hired contractors to pour our driveway and deck. In about three weeks we will be driving on our own property.

I feel overly worn down in preparation for tomorrow and the next 2 days. I am taking on five other children so that their mom and dad can attend the Statesman Retreat at GWC. In November of 2006 I was attending a conference while Gove stayed with the children. I realized how beneficial it would of been to have my husband with me. So now I see the need to offer the opportunity to others even if it means less sleep and a much bigger mess. It's only three days and they have four boys! Eli will be in heaven with all these playmates.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

He Is Risen!

I know that my Redeemer lives!
We testify of Christ.

1.I know that my Redeemer lives.
What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, he lives, who once was dead.
He lives, my ever-living Head.
He lives to bless me with his love.
He lives to plead for me above.
He lives my hungry soul to feed.
He lives to bless in time of need.

2. He lives to grant me rich supply.
He lives to guide me with his eye.
He lives to comfort me when faint.
He lives to hear my soul’s complaint.
He lives to silence all my fears.
He lives to wipe away my tears.
He lives to calm my troubled heart.
He lives all blessings to impart

3. He lives, my kind, wise heav’nly Friend.
He lives and loves me to the end.
He lives, and while he lives, I’ll sing.
He lives, my Prophet, Priest, and King.
He lives and grants me daily breath.
He lives, and I shall conquer death.
He lives my mansion to prepare.
He lives to bring me safely there.

4. He lives! All glory to his name!
He lives, my Savior, still the same.
Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
“I know that my Redeemer lives!”
He lives! All glory to his name!
He lives, my Savior, still the same.
Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
“I know that my Redeemer lives!”

Text: Samuel Medley, 1738–1799. Included in the first LDS hymnbook, 1835.

Music: Lewis D. Edwards, 1858–1921

Friday, March 21, 2008

Don't Worry About It... Someone Else Can Fix It...

What to do? What to say?: After reading The Law and Proper Role of Government.
How can we speak of debt?: Is it anti-American to not know how much debt WE owe today?
Your feelings do you credit, sir: Which feelings? Life, Liberty, Property and the Pursuit of Happiness?
And I will ease the parting blow: You mean the economy stimulus package for May?
He pays them: With what, borrowed money again?
Let us not talk of bargains or bones or greed: Oh, boy! Socialism
Now, may I say, we are agreed?: No. I might be confused but I don't agree or feel it's right.
One thing more, one small doubt: It's painful to open your eyes and change your learning.
There are treacherous people about: politicians, leaders, governments, legislatures.
No offense. Please reflect.
Your intentions may not be correct? I may not have the answers but I am learning to recognize truth.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Is A Green Thumb Really Necessary???

Oh my goodness! I have got to finish the Square Foot Gardening book that has been under my current readings for way to long. The kids plan to use this gardening system as do I this summer. I have been reading from my 1968 organic farming book about the care and nurturing of Raspberry and Blueberry plants. Soil p.h. is critical it would appear. Blueberries want the p.h. at 4.5 but the Raspberries want it at about 5-5.6. Blueberries want the water table to be about 2 feet below their root system and it seems that the Raspberries tolerate different soils as long as they have lots of leave mulch, which I just happen to have about 15 bags waiting to go to the dump so maybe I can recycle and help save the earth now.
That's one of the things I strongly dislike about growing crops. Making the environment just right. I'm the type of gardener that likes to garden by the seat of my pants so to speak. Lets just dig up the ground, loosen the dirt, throw in some seeds, water and see what happens. I know many people would call this a 'waste of time' gardening but I like the experimental adventure.
I realize that the frost isn't over yet but I went ahead and decided to test some old bulbish type of plants I've had setting in the garage for over a year. They looked quite dried out but what the hey, I'm all for experimenting and I didn't feel like it took much time at all. Just maybe I might have a few Dahlia's this summer after all.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

To Buy Or Not To Buy...

I finished my Spring purse this afternoon and started with my Summer hand bag. I think I'll be in such fashion I might be to good for my own self. Speaking of MYSELF, I was going to purchase a 2002 Volvo XC70 with 80,000 miles. However, while I was having an inspection at the dealership in SLC, I discovered the Mercedes-Benz dealer next door. Well, they had a 2004 E320 wagon which also has the 3rd seat like the Volvo but boy it is so buff comparably speaking. Actually everything is more on the Benz. The sad news is that the Volvo had not had it's fuel filter changed at the 30 and 60,00 mile checks so I decided not to purchase it.
But this isn't the complete truth either. The link to this picture tells the truth. Don't you agree???

Friday, March 14, 2008

I Think I'll Never See A Friday As Lovely As Today...

Earlier this week I discovered a little treasure at Librivox. Someone has provided an audio file of The Moths of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter.
I was actually having difficulty getting into this little book. But now, as I listen to the reading and hear how some of Gene's fictional stories came about while collecting moths is inspiring. I love being uplifted and encouraged to do good by other peoples missions in life. South Fork park is calling to us.

Thursday afternoon as I and our children drove up to SLC we were listening to the sound track of Les Mis the musical. We love these songs. We were discussing (once again) mercy, forgiveness and how Javert and Jean Valjean differed in mercy and justice. Eli said,"you know these french stories, like the Count of Monte Cristo and Hunchback of Norte Dam and Les Mis all have this problem with mercy." It's inspiring to hear these thoughts from children.
Today, we received reimbursement for the Great Books we received damaged in the mail. The kids were so excited to take the books we were missing and add them to our library. Eli came to me and said in a slightly excited way that we have Shakespeare 1 and 2!

Last evenings colloquium was great! With 14 in attendance we enjoyed a lively discussion of the GWC article How to Learn and Why: 20 Fundamental Principles. I frankly did not like the writing style of this paper, however the 20 points are worthy of understanding. I can't say I have one favorite but these are the points I really appreciate and see growth in myself.
#3 You will be transformed for the better just by making a sustained effort to learn. #5 To live is to learn, and to learn is to live. #18 To truly apply right learning in the right way we have to fine the answers for ourselves. #19 We have to let others find and apply their own answers as well. #10 What we learn depends on the core principles that we hold to be true. Next week I will be the facilitator for The Law and The Proper Role of Government. Oh boy.

Gove finished reading Gulliver's Travels to the children tonight. I did not listen as I need a little down time before going to bed in the evening but it sounds like the ending is sad because Gulliver is unable to relate to his family. Any suggestions for what they should start next?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Smiling To Myself..,

I sent a response to CBS last night regarding the clips on homeschooling. (See my last blog for the details.) I thanked them, and requested they interview Dr. DeMille who coined the term 'Thomas Jefferson Education'. I wonder if it will happen any time soon.

I laughed with myself today as I was reinforcing the Core lessons of bathroom cleaning. Funny how well the children do when I am going to do an inspection and they will have to do over what is wrong. I found a couple sinks unwashed. There was no complaining. I was laughing because there is no 'fast track' when developing the phases of learning, growth, and development.

Last night I called for the 'cleaning detectives' to determine what areas needed direct cleaning today. By the end of the discussion, 7 areas were listed on the chalk board. It is a matter of Core Phase learning that work is part of every day and in particular of Mondays. What I love to see in our Love of Learning Phase is the diversity of interest the kids go through. Painting was highly intensive for Bethany in between our family cleaning jobs today. She was painting by numbers and did a lovely job painting a horse scene. Eli decided his cooking of dinner would be today and without me reminding him, he started preping at 3:30 pm, peeling 20 potatoes for homemade french fries, 20 carrots for fresh carrot juice. He said his legs were killing him. I smiled and said I know just how he feels. Mattia is growing taller and I see little signs of maturing. She was working with in her core phase dealing with controlling the tone of her voice, handling frustration. She is progress.

Now it's time for the mom and dad to read for this Thursday's colloquium.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Homeschooling and CBS News

The CBS EARLY SHOW ran 2 segments last week about homeschooling. One was specially about Thomas Jefferson Educational Philosophy/LeadershipEducation for the 21st Century. The other story was why families educate at home.

Both episodes were well said. I would not call TJED a 'fast track' although once a child is truly ready to learn a particular skill like reading or math, they will learn it quite quickly, so maybe that is where the 'fast track' idea comes from. I love reading to my children, and for my own education as well. Leadership education was not how I was raised and it's a test for me to be making the changes that will inspire others to seek after greatness and discover their missions as they go through life.

Trusting in Providence to take us down this path has been life changing for our family. Did you read my post about Shakespeare? How many children and adults long to read more and to understand the meaning. How many 10 year old boys want their fathers to read about the democrats political debate between Barack and Hillary? Mine does. I have no doubt that it's due to establishing a Core, and Love of Learning Phase in the lives of our children. And they listen to us as we read about the Great Debate of our nation and they are not afraid to ask question and we try to answer or find the answer for them. Today Bethany was excited to learn that there is a shortage coming up within the veterinarian field. She has felt her mission is going to be with animals. It will be interesting so see what unfolds for our children and for myself and husband as we continue and seek an education for the 21st century.

It was this college and the philosophies of Dr. Oliver DeMille, and his wife, Mrs. Rachael DeMille that got us started 4ish years ago. Now we read almost every evening and have no connection to cable television. It's wonderful and be together every day.

Civil Society and the "No Cussing Zone"

Did you see the article from Pasadena last week? This is wonderful. One young person taking a stand for social manners and now the Mayor is supporting the idea. McKay Hatch came up with the idea. Read it for your self.
I think this is neat because frankly I'm not doing much to promote civil society except in my home and there are days yet when we act like monkeys.
It was through civil society groups that Wilberforce and others of like mindedness changed the social manners and what was right for English society during the 20 years it took to abolish the slave trade. I think there is an interesting group called the Civil Society Project seeking to re-establish social manners for the good of society. This is were I see the no cussing idea helping as little steps are taken and people find that life can be better according to how we behave.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

We Want To Read Who?...

Our children were invited to answer the opening question presented at last Thursday evenings colloquium. The question was, " Describe how you feel about Shakespeare". Bethany said, 'well, he writes tragedies and humor plays. Mattia said tragedies. Eli said he likes the sword fights.
Not the type of answer the facilitator was probably looking for, but I do think it's interesting what they all agreed about.
All three agreed that they want to read and listen to more Shakespeare, starting with the Charles and Mary Lamb retelling.

Friday morning we finished listening to Twelfth Night unabridged. I was surprised with the undertone of sexuality. Gove said what sells today is what sold then, sex and violence.
I think it's human nature that Shakespeare is showing, sad as it can be at times. These are the stories that tell about life.
I have read but three of Shakespeare's plays, and some of A Mid Summer Nights Dream. So I am rather limited on my understanding. All the same, I'm liking Shakespeare. Wow! I want to read more. WOW! This is exciting to think that me, so limited in literary exposure wants more. Kind of neat.

I'm in the sewing mood this week, trying to make a couple purses for the spring and summer seasons. I'll post the finished products.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Catch This If You Can...

Don't we all end up having to catch a curve ball at some time in our lives? Mine came last week. I wasn't blindsided, but I was not prepared all the same. I had thought once or twice that this pitch could come my way but I figured I was wrong. When I caught the ball in my worn out mit it really stung. I haven't caught a ball at this speed for well over 14 years. You know whats good about catching this ball? I didn't let go, the ball never fell from my hands. I think my team can win. There will probably be a lot of endings to play, I hope they don't get to rough. I can't say what really happened. It's no ones business but still it's kind of nice to put it out there in the form of a ball game situation.
When I was young I played catcher and short stop on a mostly boys Little League team in Seattle. I hated being catcher. I was always scared of getting hit. Had I received a couple hits then maybe I would have felt better being behind the plate.
I don't remember what short stop felt like. I guess there were no lasting lessons or impressions.

My trials are my lessons. They are gifts from God to prepare me for the future. Trials can strengthen my resolve to live righteously, to repent, or cause me to humbly submit and acknowledge my weakness and nothingness without Providence in my life. I am forever indebted to my god the Father and my god the Son, in whom I would be nothing without.

Baseball, I have no desire to watch it. But if catching, running, tagging, and hitting brings me closer to God then I'm going to play forever no matter how many bruises I suffer. Nice thing about brusies is that they can heal in time. I think my team is going to heal too.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Sundays Little Thought...

"Keep me, O God, for my boat is so small and thy ocean is so wide."
Prayer of the Breton mariner

Saturday's Leadership Forum...

The American Youth Leadership Institute located in SLC sponsored there 6th annual leadership educational convention yesterday. I truly debated until days prior when I realized although I am feeling secure and seeing the fruits of our labor begin to grow with regards to leadership education for myself and our children, I knew that the possibility for personal epiphanies would be there for me. And did I get one. Dr. Oliver and his wife Rachel continue to share their learning and insights. They released a new book while at the conference, as noted in the above picture. Listening to Dr. DeMille is always amazing and wowing...I'm going to type my notes and add them to my Personal Annotations but I wanted to hit the three challenges for leaders in the 21st century as Dr. DeMille covered them.
3rd: Jobs verses Prosperity (they aren't the same thing)
2nd: Entertainment verses Investment (one is slaving the other is freeing)
1st: Nation verses Tribe (very interesting, never enough time to hear his understandings)