Sunday, May 25, 2008

Examples of Righteousness...

"My young friends, be strong.
The philosophies of men surround us.
The face of sin today often wears the mask of tolerance.
Do not be deceived; behind that facade is heartache, unhappiness, and pain.
You know what is right and what is wrong, and no disguise, however appealing, can change that.
The character of transgression remains the same.
If your so-called friends urge you to do anything you know to be wrong, you be the one to make a stand for right, even if you stand alone.
Have the moral courage to be a light for others to follow.
There is no friendship more valuable then your own clear conscience, your own moral cleanliness-and what a glorious feeling it is to know that you stand in your appointed place clean and with the confidence that you are worthy to do so."
Wise words by President Monson. Eli decided to use this quote for his faith in God goal program.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

4x4 Gardening...

I'm posting just to say that I think the whole square foot gardening concept is going to work!

Today, our children helped for 6 hours planting their own garden plots and assisting me in preparing additional squares.
Attempting to describe what we created would be great if I wrote like Wister, Stratton-Porter, or L'Amour. But our little 4 foot x 75 foot rectangle of bare land is now glowing with colors from veggies and flowers. (At lest 30 feet is in color)

Eli is planning to grow flowers for harvesting and selling at the farmers market which starts the first weekend in June. Bethany has strawberries and watermelons growing. Mattia had mammoth Russian sunflowers. Among many other items we planted, I also added some Walla Walla onions. They smelled so sweet while planting.

I am getting a camera this very week so I can share a thousand words with just one click.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Looking For Understanding..even a glimpse will do

I'm embarrassed to say this, yet I want to be honest, and I think someone else might read this and feel the same way. I am embarrassed that I did not catch but a couple of the religious implications in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I could see parallels with repentance for Eustus. I think Reepicheep represents all of us hopefully with a mission to return to God and His country. But all the same I felt so bad about this that by 8am I was ready to go to the library and start my quest to find answers. (Thank goodness it's been raining for two days.)
I was happy to see my friend Kacy also seeking higher enlightenment. Sadly, Kacy did not have an answer for the type of book I would need, however it was nice to talk with her.
I found a few books intended to clarify the hidden meanings of the Narnia series.
I've enjoyed learning that C.S.L. as a child, read Edith Nesbit and took some liberties from her in his story telling. His home was actually used for the children who were evacuated from London at the start of WWII, and a little girl who came to his home once asked him what was behind the closet door. Which helped to inspire The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

This morning my son started relating Edmond, Luke Skywalker, and Darth Vader to Hector, Achilles, Odysseus, and Agamemnon from the Iliad with regards to characteristics of right verse wrong, good verses bad. And then I read that The Dawn Treader is a Odyssey/Gulliver's Travel type of story. It was surprising to me that Eli was discussing this very thing. I can envision future scholars in our children. This is an exciting adventure to be embarking upon.

So we continue to have fun learning. We removed our ziplock bags of molding food that we had hiding in a cupboard inside a paper bag. Wow, the spaghetti was the worst looking. It had not only liquefied, it had green and black mold growing. Funny, yet not funny, the store bought bread was clean as the day we placed it in the bag. The apple core was moldy but the apple slice was o.k. Hummus and peanut butter looked ok too.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Shelf Space...

In our living room we have two double wide bookcases. Almost all the shelves hold books that are part of a series. Such as, The Work and The Glory, Ralph Moody books, Gene Stratton-Porter books, Teachings of the Prophets, the Barnes and Nobel pocket classics, Great Books of the Western World, and a few others that I'm to lazy to get up and go look at. (We went hiking today, my feet hurt) One series we have up on the top left shelf is about to be removed and replaced. I have been thinking about this for some time (almost a year) and now my children are agreeing.

We have read this series a couple of times and listened to the audio tapes a few times as well. My husband and children have spent time carving due to reading this series and we were all excited and stayed up late when the last three books in the series came out.
We read the first four books in 2001/2002. This was about two years before I started to understand the idea of reading classical literature. I actually didn't know that we should read classics from the earliest of time to present day.
Boy have I missed out over all my years. And catching up isn't easy.


So here I am today looking forward to this change. Let me say a little more...I received the Spring catalog from Memoria Press and found an article on the very subject that has been pricking my heart. The heart of the issue is this: There are books that are good and those that are great. All books have the potential to be dangerous says the author. I have not read enough classics to know if this last statement is true. For example I can't see how Little Women could be dangerous. I am indebted to Louisa May Alcott for her shinning example of Marmee. This great classic, one which I will read often, has helped improve me as a mother.

Anyway, the article goes on to say that if a book is good but has the potential to become dangerous one of the things we need to do to combat the possibility of danger is expose ourselves and our children to great literature that will expand the mind and show the difference between these two types of books.

I have wondered what makes the Lord of the Rings series or the Narnia series classics. I have read The lion and the Witch and the Wardrobe. My children have read all of Prince Caspian. We are listening to The Dawn Treader and The Magicians Nephew. I really enjoy these novels, I can create the picture in my mind. What will Lord of the Rings provide? I don't know.

What are the books we are removing? I think you already know. Yes, Harry Potter series is coming down, after all, they are good books but I don't think they are great and inspiring novels. We are going to compare the three series and decide as a family which series will be given the prized shelf in the future.

P.S. I'm amazed that my children were so agreeable to remove H.P.

Mountain Meadows...

I made it to the temple this morning. You probably don't know this, but I was down in the dumps about this time last year. It wasn't until July that I came to realize that I needed to start attending the temple regularly. I have hoped to attend four times per month. I don't think I have as yet but I try to go three times and occasionally it's been twice. I have found myself tired in the mornings since returning from San Diego.

Later this morning we shall return to our favorite summer spot up at Southfork park. There is a great log swing we are looking forward to using. I was looking in my nature book and thought some of my drawings of the past look nice for the weak right sided mind that I have. I look forward to drawing something beautiful.

Enough, there's a picnic to get ready.

Friday, May 16, 2008

If Only...

..I had a camera I could show you why I have a sun burn after three days of working in our yard and mothers yard. But I don't and you will have to come over and see the progress for your self.

This week zoomed by. We had Mother's day, our 13th Anniversary, and our oldest daughter celebrates her birthday tomorrow.

I continue to memorize each morning and evening (1 verse per day) from 2Nephi 4, starting with verse 15. I have always loved these feelings of confession and trust in the Lord that Nephi shares with us.

Those Feathered Egg Eaters...

My chickens are very very bad girls!
After days of increased egg sucking I had decided to kill the batch.
Luckily my dad called me on Mother's day and gave wise advise.
Two days ago I filed the beaks until they bled. That will teach them!
I built a cover above the nesting boxes in an effort to shield the area.
The results are astronomical. 20 eggs in two days! Just one cracked.
Slightly more mild hens.

For now the chickens live.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Slight Transient Ischemic Attack....almost

There I was. Setting among my fellow elocutionist. Listening as each person before me executed his or her poem. It was my turn and having studied I thought nothing but to get up and elocute. And then it happened. Complete and solid brain freeze. My recitation was completely gone! Nothing in my mind except the words BE STRONG. And that's when I saw god's hand in my path this evening. Mr. Babcock's poem truly became mine.
I realized I could cry, say I messed up, laugh, become embarrassed and sit down. Or I could be strong, wait for someone to turn to my poem in the 101 Famous Poems book and give me a prompt.
After my first assist I again drew a blank. And this was after being told by our instructor Gina Harsh, that she had never heard this poem said with such inner strength! And here I was at a complete block. Yet I stood up, I spoke out and bravely in God's name I delivered my message.
I feel grateful for this experience. I was sustained with composure and even peace. WOW! I was upheld to not give up my fight. Not of my own accord but by the hand of God.

Elocution 360 was worth every dollar. I came away wondering what is God doing with me? How is providence shaping and refining me to prepare me for the missions intended for me? I received words of compliment. More was said but I don't know that I can do their words justice which is why I think what people saw within me was not me but the Spirit of truth, hope, faith, and courage. All the gifts I have been praying for. This was a spiritual experience for me.

The key to Elocution: Do it, do it, do it, and do it again.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Tomorrow evening and Saturday, I am attending Martha Levie's Elocution 360 seminar. I memorized a poem by Mr. Babcock entitled "Be Strong" and John 20:10-12 (assigned). I don't really know why I chose this poem. It just seems worthwhile and not to mention poor Rev. Babcock died on his way to Jerusalem, so I felt like sharing his poem.

Be strong!
We are not here to play, to dream, to drift;
We have hard work to do, and loads to lift;
Shun not the struggle -- face it; 'tis God's gift.

Be strong!
Say not,"The days are evil. Who's to blame?"
And fold the hands and acquiesce -- oh shame!
Stand up, speak out, and bravely, in God's name.

Be strong!
It matters not how deep intrenched the wrong,
How hard the battle goes, the day how long;
Faint not -- fight on! Tomorrow comes the song!

Recommendations Needed!...

I can not show you pictures of todays field trip to the Bicentennial Park in south Provo because I don't have a CAMERA!

Do you love your camera? I want a digital camera that takes pictures fast. Super fast actually. I want to be able to catch images of nature before the objects disappears. And of course I like to take snap shots of the family.

OR, do I use a digital recorder which seem to take still pictures as well. I wouldn't mind making You Tube video's for families and for homeschooling activities.

I'm waiting eagerly to go out and buy the right equipment with your help.

Twenty Energy Fields...

I sent an email out this week to members of the colloquium group and mentioned that everyone could now us the driveway. I guess that excited everyone to hear because 20 people attended!

I am exhausted. Is it possible I give away energy to others? How is that possible? I only mention this energy loss idea because someone suggested it to me.

Our discussion was the article Scholar Phase by Dr. Oliver DeMille. I wanted to know if anyone else suffers anxiety as we travel this new path of leadership education so not like the education I was raised with. And how can I possibly inspire my children towards a scholarly liberal arts education if I am not giving the effort, time , energy, and hard work/pain first? I can't.
Thus I have started to let the children know that we will have a family counsel regarding changes in chores and increase responsibility to the children so mom can begin her extension classes with GWC and continue reading for the weekly colloquium.
I think I have spoken this idea to the kids a few times now and today they said to me in such a way as to let me know they are thinking about these changes and realize that it's time for mom to do the walk and not just talk about it.

So how about those energy fields?

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Not Just For Time...

This afternoon Gove and I attended the wedding of April and Nate. April is a cousin of Gove's. As I was listening to the brother who would preform the temple marriage ceremony I was transported back almost 13 years (in 10 days it will be 13!) to the day I was married to Gove here at the San Diego temple. Tears came to my eyes as I watched the joy in the young couple standing before everyone excited to begin life together not just for time but potentially for all eternity if they are faithful to the covenants they had made. I am reminded of my covenants. I was reminded of the trials (fast balls) that do come at times and how faith and growth has been a great blessing to me in these latter days of my life.
I confess I have one regret when it comes to the past 13 years...My regret was not consulting my Heavenly Father regarding birth control. Although I only used "the pill" for 6 months, it could of been a time that might have allowed for a fourth children. But at last it is what it is. And I love the three we have....
The reception was held at the Ramona Castle, where my mother in-law lived for some years until her parents had to sell as the taxes were bleeding them dry. A lovely day and evening.
This vacation has been most helpful to my reading schedule. I have finished The Holy Secret and this evening I completed Home-Making. I used a new technique while reading this last book. I decided to read each first and last paragraph completely of every chapter and read the first and last sentence of each remaining paragraph of each chapter. This style worked very well and I feel blessed for reading this way and found the reading helpful, insightful, and interesting to read the authors awareness of the harms to the family back in 1882.

Friday, May 2, 2008

No Kids, We're Not In Snowy Utah Any More....

That's right! I'm in sunny southern California and it feels great. Cool nights and warn days. No more snow. I heard it might have snowed this past Wednesday in Utah but who knows for sure I'm not looking until it's time for a return.

Took all the cousins to the Wild Animal Park! This was our second time. Still worth the $$ the second time around.

I am trying to finish a couple of books while here. I read late into the evening and finished The Holy Secret, about half way through The Virginian, and hoping to finish HomeMaking by Monday.

I was able to post a tentative colloquium schedule for this Fall, as well as repost this summer's schedule. Feel free to join us. Here is the schedule.

I have chosen a poem by Mr. Babcock entitled "Be Strong" to memorized for the Elocution class next weekend. I also have an assigned scripture from John 20. I hope to add one other poem by Van Dyke if I can manage it all.

I am excited to see our new driveway. Here's hoping they did the job right without us there!