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.