Friday, April 25, 2008

"A Husband's Not To Look At, He's To Get"...

Finally we are watching Fiddler On The Roof!

After watching Jane Eyre, we are creating a classical list of movies we want to share with our children each year. Here's what we have so far:
1. The Sound of Music
2. Jane Eyre,
3. Fiddler on the Roof.

I'm open to suggestions BTY.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Golden Moment #12...

Warning; what you're about to read will be transformational.
How's that for positive thinking!

This morning we attended the temple. I went to contemplate our children and my education. By the evening I was blessed with multiple epiphanies as I started reading Anna Comstock's nature book.
My mind was opened to wonderful ideas for creating a mom-school for my children and other families.
I found myself excited to be reading and thinking of how to share these ideas and use our chickens to share a love for learning with the kids. Ideas for field trips, demonstrations, experiements with air flooded my mind! I'm not sure this has ever happened to me or at lest not for many years.
It was refreshing to feel a love for learning within myself. I was beginning to doubt if I had a desire for learning. It's interesting that I have walked by this book for about 2 months saying to myself that I needed to start reading it. And then this afternoon I walked by the book again and felt prompted to read it now. Because I listened (finally) I felt an out pouring of love from God with these insights that came into my mind.

Now to get to work...

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Here's what I was looking for in Screwtape's letter number eight to Wormwood:

"Their nearest approach to constancy, therfore, is undulation-the repeated return to a level which they repeatedly fall back, a series of troughs and peaks. If you had watched your patient carefully you would have seen this undulation in every department of his life-his interest in his work, his affection for his friends, his physical appetites, all go up and down. As long as he lives on earth periods of emotional and bodily richness and liveliness will alternate with periods of numbness and poverty. The dryness and the dullness through which your patient in now going are not, as you fondly suppose, your workmanship; they are merely a natural phenomenon which will do us no good unless you make a good use of it."

My conclusion: Hang in there, it's going to get better again. Don't stop trying to improve. Provide a place within your heart and mind for Providence.

Friday, April 18, 2008


Last night, Mindy, who attends the PALMS colloquium reminded me of what Screwtape said to Wormwood about the humans having up's and down's through life.
I forgot to consider this point of view this week as a low in our ebb and flow hit us full force.
It's difficult to think the bickering and picking would ever stop when your in knee deep.
And yet here we are this evening rising from the bottom of the trough, and again seeing the light and joy of day. Thank goodness.
I find it discouraging to read about leadership education when we are having quarrels. I wonder sometimes what good it is to read our scriptures, pray daily, go to the temple,have personal religious studies if the kids are going to fight and mom is going to loss patience with it all.
I know, I know.... I have imagined what life would be like without these habits, I don't want to go there either.

Anyway, my point is that what was hard to read this week is over. Today I started the Leadership Education by the DeMille's and I am finding great suggestion and I don't feel like I am failing.
I am grateful to be indebted to my Father in Heaven and to my Redeemer. Really, I am so thankful to be lifted and to see that this was just a cycle that comes about once a month for some number of days.
What I think helps and is hard for me to do is to see that this is a passing stage and we will be lifted again to higher ground. It just takes some trials, experience, patience, humility, and forgiveness.
Thanks for the reminder Mindy it's a big help.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Which Bird Makes The Most Noise During The Night?...

I awoke with a headache.
I imagine my head hurts because I slept outside with the family last night.
Sleeping outside is not my favorite thing. Although I like to camp in the tent, sleeping with the sky above, in a city, is tough. For one thing I sense to much light. I need darkness when I sleep. The other big reason is the noise. Birds, cars,pheasants, and last night the wind. So this morning I awoke tired and sleep deprived.

The flip side of this experience...

Our children woke-up very happy! Last night we tried to locate the Big Dipper and the North star which we did when the clouds passed long enough for us to see the constellations. This morning we read our central cannon, had our family cheer, and brought the gear in with the hope of sleeping out tonight.

Do you know what happened here last night?

MEMORIES! I came out and slept with my family to help create positive memories for them. And to be honest I might not have slept out if it wasn't for the April Ensign and a short message about childhood memories. Tiredness aside, I'm glad to have been with my family.
Gove and I were able to begin this week's colloquium reading as well. I recommend learning about leadership education and the Thomas Jefferson Educational Philosophy for the 21st Century.

There is something nice about reading outdoors that brings peace to my soul.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Jane Eyre...

We watched the 2006 production of Jane Eyre last night. All 228 minutes. Fortunately for the kids, they recalled some of the plot when Gove and I were preparing for a colloquium discussion in 2007. The kids often realized a change was occurring because of the music.
I suggest reading Jane Eyre and discussing the characters with someone else prior to watching the movie.
I find myself pleasantly surprised with Mr. Rochester. In my mind I had created an uglier character. I like how Rochester turned out in this production, not as angry I felt.
I was pleased with Jane's character. She is willing to make sacrifices for what is right between herself and God.
I like happy endings even when trials can not be avoided. I think the trials bring great joy to couples once they have learned to perceiver and forgive each other. How blessed Jane and Edmond are to be brought together again.
Ultimately this movie was true to the story that Ms. Bronte wrote. A lot has to be cut out and even then the movie is over 3 hours. But worth every moment. I was hoping for more involving Helen Burns at Lowood. I cried again when Helen died. I cried a couple other times and again I felt like a raw pain was opened for some reason which is interesting since I feel peaceful with my life. I'm sure I still have some emotional boxes hidden somewhere deep in my heart.
So, go to the library and get your name on the waiting list. In the mean time read Jane Eyre.
Good luck.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Follow-Up ON Our Six Month Inventory...

Outcome of last weeks Six Month Inventory.

Last Sunday I and my spouse held our second, six month inventory for the entire family.
We do this individually to allow freedom of thought for each family member without influence from one another. Interestingly, my husband included a family inventory which I think is a good idea.
We are now using these inventories to guide our directions in our weekly Family Executive Counsel meetings. I realized that we were adding to much to the weekly expectation and last week we cut way back. Just one idea for each child and suddenly the week felt very attainable for everyone involved.
Bethany decided she wanted to read from the Pathway Series. Tia also felt like trying to begin reading and I was surprised by how quickly she remembered. I told Tia that when an honest desire came to her she would begin reading. She was very happy with her progress and last night she was asking Daddy to help her read. We have lined up a Veterinarian field trip with 2 other families for this week and are looking into a work/study with IFA.
Elijah is entering the pre-puberty stage! Deodorant is a definite needed hygiene item. Gove took Eli for a date Monday evening and they had a special father son talk. Not to deep but all the same important to understand the sacredness of man and women. Eli said it was good to talk with dad. Eli is very concerned when he sees immodesty in magazines, stores, and any where else for that matter. He quickly turns away and says he doesn't want to see such things. I am grateful for his desire to make righteous choices. He also said he wants to take a religious class at BYU. Wow, was I surprised to hear this.
We are going to act on these ideas to help inspire the love for learning in our children.
While doing my inventory I was surprised with an over whelming desire that I need to prepare myself to share with other mothers that they can bring their children home and find joy being with their families and inspire greatness. I also feel the need to step up to taking Extension courses through GWC. This is were I get nervous and realize that it's a step in faith and trust verses fear and running away. I now think of The Screwtape Letters when I think of fear, as well as trusting in God and not in the arm of flesh.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Thank Goodness For Library Reminders...

I am so happy to use our local library. Why just last year, I finished reading Jane Eyre for the third time and thought I'd check out the movie. It must have been over 5 months ago that I requested a hold for this particular version of Jane Eyre. It turned out that there were 26 people in front of me also waiting to see this movie and this morning I received notification that it was my turn. Needless to say we went to the library this afternoon.
I love library reminders because I had totally forgotten about this movie!
I feel like I received a Christmas present today.

Eye Foot Coordination...

An acquaintance said she heard a rumor that I homeschool. I said it wasn't a rumor, I really do. She asked if it was hard. I said it's like anything else in life. Some days are great and some days are hard, but even with the hards days I would not trade our families' experience.

Yesterday was one of those days I'm indebted to God for guiding me to this selfless act of homeschooling. I say selfless because you have to be willing to share a lot of your very personal time with family. Don't worry, it's worth it once you find what works for your family.
So, as I made lunch, I said I would like to take the children for a walk afterwards because there was a lot of unused energy flying around. The kids suggested a picnic. And this is another reason why I love homeschooling...We walked up the hill found the stairs to Lions park, and as we walked, I read the Children's Homer to the kids and they loved this experience. I have never heard them with less complaints when it comes to walking. Every time I stopped reading to look ahead and make sure I wasn't going to fall they encouraged me to "keep reading, this is great". We picnicked, played, and walked back reading the adventures of Odysseus after he was allowed to leave Calypso after seven years. I am often reminded of things I would not be doing if it wasn't for homeschooling. I am thankful for this path in our lives.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Happy Birthday Grandpa Bush...

I remember my grandfather mostly for milking cows and letting me drive a tractor when I was a wee child. Today Grandpa Emil is 90 years old or young depending on how you look at it. I like to think he is young because he actually looks younger then his son, my dad.
Why just this morning Grandpa Emil was out in the barn mixing fuel and oil for the chain saw so that my dad could go cut up some oak trees out in the back 40.
I enjoyed visiting Grandma and Grandpa as children living in Washington sate. We would travel almost every summer in our families VW bus. It was hot and often slow going up the hills but as soon as we turned down the dirt driveway and could hear the cows and see Grandpa plowing the corn fields we were ready for excitement once more.
What I didn't like about visiting were the ticks, leeches, and mosquitoes. I was always attacked by some insect.
I do however have found memories of a little snow color kitten I caught with the help of my uncle Marvin. We ran the wild kitten into the manure gutter in the milking area and I got her into a gunny sack. I called the little thing Snowball and after fresh milk and bread and lots of cuddling I was able to make a feline friend. I don't remember what happened over the years but I did see kittens from her litters over the next few summers when we visited.
Minnesota is great for thunder storms and electrical summer storms. I remember watching out our the bedroom window as the lightning flashed across the night sky.
I'll always have found memories for Lake Wobegon and Garrison Keillor as well. Who wouldn't?

You're Invited Too...


May 9th -10th

Martha Levie Presents a Hands on Workshop

For Parents and Youth on Elocution.

Martha was trained in elocution from her early childhood by her parents Lemuel & Gina Harsh. They taught her everything she knows and have decades of experience. Martha began teaching elocution two years ago, now she is excited to teach with her parents at this seminar.

What is Elocution?

The art of public speaking in which gesture, vocal production, and delivery are emphasized.

Come and transform the way that you present yourself to others and improve the confidence with which you carry yourself. Discover how to speak, stand, sit, and breathe. Experience personal coaching. Learn how to memorize and how to understand Shakespeare and literature. We will perform for each other and learn some wonderful ideas for creating a family culture of elocution, art, drama & dance.

Where: Salt Lake Valley: location TBA.

Date: May 9-10, 2008

Who: Adult & youth ages 12 and up.

Course: Elocution 360° audio course included:

Seminar: Plays, recitation, personal coaching, home and family elocution, Q & A, hands on creative playwriting practice and Martha’s newest material.

Cost*: Before April 10th

$159.00 per person and $275.00 per couple

After April 10th

$175.00 per person$290.00 per couple

*Seminar fee includes the audio course.

Registration: For a registration form call: 435-865-7540 or e-mail

Space is limited; registrations will be accepted on a first come basis.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


Hillsdale College publishes a monthly newsletter called Imprimis. I recently finished reading the March issue presented by Charles Kesler who is a professor of government at Claremont.
Honestly, I did not catch the flow of everything Mr. Kesler's was expressing except for one paragraph that sounds so true and yet terrible, I and I think millions of other fellow citizens of this United States have fallen into the idea of security and rights via the government. I'm going to paste the quote below and you tell me how you feel about this. I don't want the government telling me what my rights are. I don't even know what all my rights really are outside of the right of life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness.

Here it is: "A new theory of the Constitution corresponded to this new theory of rights. FDR put it memorably in his 1932 Commonwealth Club Address: Government is a contract under which “rulers were accorded power, and the people consented to that power on consideration that they be accorded certain rights.” According to this view, we give the rulers power and the rulers give us rights. In other words, rights are no longer natural or God-given, but emerge from a bargain struck with the government. And it is up to liberal statesmen or leaders to keep the bargain current, redefining rights constantly—adding new rights and subtracting some of the old ones—in order to keep the living Constitution in tune with the times. Entitlement rights—rights created and funded by government—replace natural rights. Given this new relationship of people and government, we don’t need to keep a jealous eye on government anymore, because the more power we give it, the more rights and benefits it gives us back—Social Security, Medicare, prescription drug benefits, unemployment insurance, and on and on."

Give me, give me, give me....

Come Watch The 178th General Conference of the Church of Jesus Chrsit of Latter-day Saints...

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Mrs. Sara Bradford Ripley to be exact...

I have the answer to the question posted on the 28th of March. Do you know who Mrs. Ripley is?
Thursday evening, our guest speaker for the PALMS colloquium shared with us who Mrs. Ripley was. She's probably a distant cousin of Gove's since both are related to William Bradford. Sara was friends with Emerson, Henry David Thoreau and others of the Transcendentalist movement. Mrs. Ripley sought education through the development of relationship learning. She sought out people both men and women who could mentor her. Because of the era, 19th century, she was not able to attend college. She decided to persevere instead of complain about her lot and became learned by associations, and then she shared her learning by mentoring students sent from the president of Harvard.

Martha shared two idea missing in our educational process. First the idea of Transformational Speaking and second the idea of Relationship Learning. I would love to open my moth and great, inspiring words would flow out. When I think of this type of person, I think of King Benjamin's address found in the Book of Mormon, or the prophet Nephi, or Gordon B. Hinckley. I remember Ronald Regan's "Tear down this wall Mr. Gorbichof" speech. Or at lest I remember the feelings and that's what makes a speech transformational. You are moved or a nation is moved to action. I would think that Obama has this ability as well but I don't know about his heart and sincerity. I already mentioned how Mrs. Ripley exercised the second point of learning through relationships. But how do I develop this and inspiring speaking skills? More practice and finding the people who desire the same growth as I do or who are already developing their educations and they or she/he would mentor me in turn. When I think of a mentor for myself or for my children I again turn to the Book of Mormon chapter 17 of Alma. The qualification of the sons of Mosiah, and the blessings they received for the effort they gave to seeking truth and righteousness. That's the type of mentoring I'm going to seek after as I build upon this idea of relationship learning that Martha just started to share when our evening ended. Maybe we can have her up again next year.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Moths of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter

This short documentary presents a side of the authoress that's fascinating. I think my greatest enjoyment in listening to this unabridged book at was Gene's explanations regarding characters in her fictional writing and how she incorporated her nature studies of the Limberlost into her novels.
When Gene was describing the songs and antics of the cardinals, while searching for moths, I knew she was showing how she came up with the story for the Song of the Cardinal, which is a short story with an important moral understanding of the value of nature and mankind.
Months of the Limberlost is Gene's details of the joy of discovering and wondering "why" within the field of Lepidoptery . Written at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th, Mrs Porter was often frustrated with the lack of descriptive information in the current text books regarding lepidopterans.
I like how the author described in detail were to find these different moths, and although she is talking about Indiana and the formerly great swamp land of the Limberlost, I believe we will have success this Spring and Fall as we go out searching or rather "mothing". I will no longer be afraid of the horns on the Tomato caterpillar, nor will I kill it this year if I find it on my tomatoes. I am excited to search the Lilac bushes for potential specimens.
I am inspired by Gene to look closer and try some nighttime searching since the majority of moths are nocturnal. My only disappointment is that the author used the scientific names more often then the common.
Who knows, maybe there are Luna moths here in Utah! I'll find out.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Happier Fish... A Morning Well Spent...

God blessed me with an wakeful mind this morning. I was up by 4:35am and out the door for the 5:40 temple session. I love the temple. I go to feel the love of my Lord and Savior. This morning my heart was humbly administered to and tears flowed freely. Tears of gratitude for my Savior's fulfillment of his calling upon earth. Sometimes I look in the mirror, and feel so amazed to be in existence. I am me, I was created by heavenly parents, I am here.
I now await this weekends General Conference and all that will be taught to me by the Spirit.

What about the fish? They received a clean tank last night during our Family Home Evening activity. After 7 months of algae development they have a clean, bright, habitat. I was quite surprised that algae would grow on the lamp above the water. No wonder it was looking so dark in there. I suppose we will go buy some new fish to make up for the 6 fish I killed about 2 months ago when I add water that was too hot. Hey, when you have radiant floor heating and your filtered water bottles are kept on the floor, they have the potential to warm up. The poor Neon Tetra didn't know what hit them.