Wednesday, December 31, 2008

"We do not need more material development, we need more spiritual development. We do not need more intellectual power, we need more moral power. We do not need more knowledge, we need more character. We do not need more government, we need more culture. We do not need more law, we need more religion.

We do not need more of the things that are seen, we need more of the things that are unseen. It is on that side of life that it is desirable to put the emphasis at this time. If that side is strengthened, the other side will take care of itself. It is that side which is the foundation of all else, if the foundation be firm, the superstructure will stand."

Calvin Coolidge, "The Price of Freedom" pg 310

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Just Sledding Around...

This is what we did for three hours today...need more be said? O.K. I'll say just this. It was fun, sunny, and I did not get cold until we headed back to the cars. We went sledding with two other families, Lisa and her four children, and Jodi and her five children. Out of 11 able body kids there was just one crash which involved a nose bleed and bruised eye lid. Hang in there Parker Stevenson!

Just Sledding Around... Part 2

Winter Joys...

Hey, with a toy like this, who minds clearing the 1/2 block long driveway of inches and inches of snow! Not me. It's finally fun. Well, that's not exactly true. It's fun as long as there's no ice under the snow. if there is well then it's pretty tricky on the slopes.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

John Adams...Three Nights Is Enough

For the past three nights, we watched the 7 part mini series of John Adams. This movie says so much about the man, though I'm sure to learn much more with the reading assignment of the book for my American History class later in January.

No matter what I think of John Adams and the way he raised his family, I highly encourage you to participate in gleaming new understanding for the founding of America.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.

Dr. Seuss

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Service In Action...Last Chance To Order...

Earlier this month, we held a Family Home Evening lesson about serving and helping this month within the community.

It was decided by the children that all bread sales made during December will be donated to local charity organizations.

Eli, Beth, and Tia, delivered notes to the neighborhood explaining their plan. (It's the picture with the Wise men on it)

Gove made a fresh new label and I added the Christmas bow.

One Hundred and Seventy loafs later, the kids now have about $630 to donate.

At this point the talk is focusing on the local soup kitchen and a shelter for mothers and children. We are leaving this decision up to the children.

Notice our WWII Hobart mixer that is finally getting some use again since we bought it shortly after we married and have moved it all over the country. Now it's feeling like itself.

A few weeks ago we took left over bread to the Food and Care Coalition which is the local soup kitchen. I was hoping the kids would be interested in serving there. Once they saw the industrial dishwasher, (just like the one in Ratatouille),
they were all ready and willing to come serve others.

We are making bread next Monday or maybe it's this Saturday. You can purchase a loaf if you live in Utah County for $4. And while you savory every delicious bite of whole wheat bread, you can feel good about helping others less fortunate this winter season.

Plus you will be contributing to the development of our children's entrepreneurial skills at the same time. Can't beat this deal anywhere.

One night we made 80 loaves. It was this evening that Gove created this large cooling box for the cooked loaves. Big help.

Merry Christmas to all.

From the sous chefs of Bethlehem Bakery.

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable,
to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and
 lived well.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, December 20, 2008

To Improve My Reading Skills...

I made a short review for Harold Bloom's book on How to read and why to read. It did not seem to be going in the direction my mind was hoping for. But he has made some interesting points that are creating interest in my thinking.

It sounds like the author is someone who uses Shakespeare like a Bible. He says,"First find Shakespeare, and let him find you." and that Shakespeare is the undisputed authority on inter generational conflicts more then anyone else. I'm glad we are reading plays by Shakespeare yet now I think I need to hear them more regularly.

In a later chapter I was scanning the introduction on novels and Bloom now has me interested in reading Don Quixote by Cervantes. I love to sing with The Man of La Moncha which I'm sure is just a glimpse into the real meaning. But he says that this is the best and first novel written and it rivals Shakespeare and that both need to be a part of our lives to understand the meaning of interpersonal relationships.

Here is what gets me wanting to read this great novel. Harold Bloom said that there are parts of ourselves that we will not know fully until we know as well as we can, the relationship between Don Quixote and Sancho. Very interesting, and curiouser and curiouser.I love this quote on page 24:

" You need not fear that the freedom of your development as a reader is selfish, because if you become an authentic reader, then the response to your labors will confirm you as an illumination to others."

That makes me think of the pure light of Jesus and his gospel. Becoming a light of truth. I like this potential.

Here are the points as to why we should read and his principles for why we read:

1. Read to weigh and consider.
2. Read to prepare yourself for change.
3. Read to form your own judgments and opinions.
4. Read to strengthen yourself.
5. Read to learn of the characters authentic interest. ( I like to think about Les Mis and the Bishop and his ability to love so freely.)

Principles as to why we should read:
1. To clear our minds of the word "can't"
2. Do Not try to change your neighbor or neighborhood by what or how you read. (until your mind is purged of it's ignorance).
3. A scholar is like a candle which the love and desire of all men will light. (don't fear the the freedom of your development as a reader)
4. One must invent to read well. (I'm not sure about this yet)
5. Recovery of the Ironic. (he says the loss of irony is the death of reading)(again I don't know what to think to this yet)

I think this book has great value, right now I am looking for something else. I turn next to Mortimer Adler and his book, How to Red a Book. Maybe I will find what I feel but I'm not actually sure what I'm looking for.

Watch The 14 Days of Homeschooling...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them if we basely entail hereditary bondage on them.

Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Little Red Buckets...

Oh My, I hope you can find this little treasure of a Christmas story. It's called The Little Red Buckets by Lynda M. Nelson.

Jenny who is 10 has the responsibility to take two red lard buckets to their neighbors a half mile up the road every day. A friendship blooms. Set around WWI, this is a sweet story of faith hope, love, and death. But that doesn't really say much does it.

Mrs. Nie, who is Jenny's friend brings a special heavenly Christmas gift to the family on Christmas Eve in the midst of a great snow storm. It's a story of the love of our Savior and the gift to all mankind because of his birth atonement, and resurrection.

I cried and cried. It's a fast read and the kids loved the message. I know you and your children will be blessed for finding and reading this treasure together. If I see a little red bucket I shall always think of this classic.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Upcoming Seminar...Are Your Children Part of the Hero Generation?

Mentoring the Hero Generation:

Have you heard of the Millennial Generation? This is the generation that Neil Howe and William Strauss have identified as a Hero Generation. The Millennials have a very specific mission. They come of age during a crisis. They must have the wisdom, courage, diplomacy and virtue needed to lead us through it safely. Some of the Hero Archetypes of the past have been James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Winston Churchill. All of these Hero people have had something in common-Parents.

Parents of Hero Generation children seldom understand the great importance of their work. In this exciting seminar, parents will learn how to be the mentors of the heroes in their homes. Don't miss this great opportunity to understand your children and youth better. The most important factor in getting a great Leadership Education is for the young person to have a real vision of his/her mission. Once parents understand the position and mission of this rising generation, they can really understand how to mentor their children.

This entertaining and inspirational 7 hour seminar will cover:

~The four generations (Artists, Boomers, Generation X, and Heroes, sometimes known as Millennials).

~The common mistakes made by Boomer parents of Hero children and youth.

~The common mistakes made by Gen X parents of Hero children and youth.

~Implementing Leadership Education, specifically Scholar Phase and the importance of a broad Liberal Arts education for the Hero Generation.

~Learn the 8 steps of effective parent mentoring, and how effective parent mentoring can make all the difference in the success of your young scholars.

Date February 7, 2009

Time: 9 am - 5 pm

Location: The Columbus Center, SLC, UT (Room 105)

Cost: Before Jan 10th, 2009: $40 indv/$50 Couple

After Jan 10: $50 indiv/$60 couple

Contact: Contact: Dionne Schetzel


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Announcing the GWU Extension Course for Utah County,

starting January 2009

On January 21, we will be starting the next extension course in Utah County! Please join us as we explore US History, 1607-1776. Reading and discussing biographies of those who impacted the shaping of our nation, along with other powerful works. Here is the course description and readings list:


3 Credits


This course is the first in a serious of U.S. History courses

based around the biographies of the prominent presidents and

leaders of the period. In this course we will study the events

that shaped America from the 1600’s through the founding of

our nation and on to events leading to the secession of the

southern states. Instead of dry facts, we will get into

the hearts and minds of the people who made things

happen. From the Magna Charta to the Declaration of

Independence and on through Federalism, Jeffersonian politics

and Jacksonian era come join us in a study of history that will

change the way you look at the world today.


ST102A Reading Packet

McCullough, John Adams

Card, Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus

Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin

Bennett, America, The Last Best Hope vol. I

Hawthorne, Scarlet Letter

Allison, The Real Thomas Jefferson (optional)

Carson, Basic History of the United States volumes 1-3 (optional)

Parry & Allison, The Real George Washington (optional)

Other selected writing TBA

Class will be held in the Provo/Orem area (location TBA) on Wednesday evenings from 6-9

Please contact Jodi with questions either by phone or email: 801-794-0440, When you are ready to enroll, please fill out the Off Campus Registration Form found at and contact me for information on where to send it.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Finished... Now To Begin Again

For the first time in my life I took a final exam that was all essay. No true or false. No multiple guessing.

Twenty six hours of reviewing. Sixteen hours of writing. And I just sent the final off into cyber world. I hope it makes it's destination in one piece.

My kids of been great through all of this. Eli has just about finished all of his Saxon math but the last 8 lessons during this time as well. He too has been dedicated towards reaching his goal .

At one point I could not recall principle 12 from The Five Thousand Year Leap. I tried and nothing was there. I got down on my knees and started to pray and I just did not stop until the point came to my mind. With gratitude and many thanks I got up and added, 'The United States is to be a Republic'. A blessing from God.

I'm glad I went through this experience. I don't think it's ever going to get easier because now I expect more of myself. I am relieved to say I've given what I could give and it's now time to move on and continue to study that I might be able to tie history and books together, find understanding and with understanding, wisdom.

Merry Christmas to all. And to all a ...

Good night.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"Quod omnes tangit ab omnibus approbetur"

I just found this Latin quote and have decided it will be the title of my final essay exam, especially in regards to the Federalist Papers and the passing of the Constitution.

English translation: "What concerns all, should be approved by all"

Don't ask me why I decided this, it just feels right and I am actually excited to be going through this experience. I have 12 more principle of liberty to learn, 9 Bill of Rights to learn and a number of pages to formulate in my mind as I prepare to write my findings for the final exam.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands.

Anne Frank

Friday, December 5, 2008


About two weeks ago I missed my government class due to illness. I heard later that the instructor went over the final exam, and said we could review as much as we wanted to prior to answering the essay questions.

O.K., I've never completed an essay only test before. Tuesday afternoon the test questions are emailed to me. OH MY GOODNESS! How am I to answer these questions?! I did all this reading, over 40hours of book reading for five class meetings and I don't know how I'm going to articulate what I learned and frankly I'm thinking I did not learn anything, as in teaching myself.

If I did not learn from this experience then have I gained anything over the year of almost weekly colloquiums? What am I doing with myself??? Needless to say I quickly thought I might as well give up...

Wednesday afternoon I spent a few hours going over The Virginian. Owen Wister wrote this American cowboy novel to depict the natural aristocracy in the development of the western United States and the results of corruption in local government.

I went to class with the idea that I would not take another class after this. To my GREAT surprise, we were having oral exams. I looked at Jodi and she said, "Oh I forgot to tell you that part." Frankly I was glad she did not tell me because it could have been enough to keep me from going and would add unwanted stress.

So there I was, thinking fine, I'll do what I can. Interestingly as I listened to other students answering what they could there was much I too could not fully answer in my mind but I was surprised that additional knowledge was coming back to me. Wow, maybe I did learn some. I think the hard part is seeing the connection of concepts and having never been interested in government it's been hard to motivate myself beyond just getting the reading done.

I finally went up to the hot seat and tried to answer what was placed before me. The questions are all vague now. I remember talking about family, gay marriage, Three Cups of Tea, and other things. I think I hung in there o.k. The experience showed me that I really do want to push myself to take my learning seriously.

Ultimately, I left with a different feeling for the experience of doing all the required reading. I truly need help in writing or taking notes while I read. I know I wont go back later to copy things down. So I need to change that about me. The lack of reviewing on my part is a BIG hold back as well.

Here I am today. I sent 5 hours writing my essay answers. I decided to write a pre-review essay. This is quite helpful to me because I see where I want to focus my attention when I start my reviewing. I intend to add my post-review answers in blue so I and the instructor can view what I added and where I decided to direct my attention. I want to expand each of the 28 principles of liberty.

I feel back on track again. It's rewarding trying to bring these ideas and thoughts out of the dark recesses of my mind. And dare I say it's fun too. Well it has been.

My decision is made for next semester. As BYU won't let me know for two more weeks and the classes I wanted to take are full, I will take an American History class through 1776 at GWU. This summer I hope BYU will be offering Hebrew, Latin, or Greek.

And there you have it.

Monday, December 1, 2008

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader".

John Quincy Adams

Who's Our Protector...

In Saturdays newspaper, I read that the Homeland Security office of Kentucky is supposed to credit God with keeping the state safe. How interesting. I thought to myself what might be the change in America if God was acknowledged more whole heartedly. Would there be any change or improvement?

Following my line of thought with The 5,000Year leap of my previous post, I decided to look this article up and see where it might fit in with the 28 principles. I found two principles that fits this subject. Principle 4 says that "Without religion the government of a free people cannot be maintained."

At President Washington's Farewell Address, he said; "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports...Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail to the exclusion of religious principle."

Who's morality do you follow? Apparently the new Governor of Kentucky (Steve Beshear) did not affirm that Deity had indeed protected the state in his Homeland Security report for this year. Well, how much credit should be shown to god anyway? One of this states senators, Kathy Stein, said that requiring the department to credit God takes away from the states Homeland Security's mission. What I wonder is what does it take away?

What to think???.... Next summer I might have more understanding about this. Our colloquium group will be reading the first volume of De Tocqueville's Democracy in America.

The other principle I thought would work for this news article is the 5th. "All things were created by God, therefore upon Him all mankind are equally dependent, and to Him they are equally responsible."

George Washington, as commander of the American military during the Revolutionary War acknowledged that the hand of God intervened in behalf of the struggle for independence at lest sixty-seven times (according to Charles Flood's research).

It was our Founders who came up with a national motto. What good is our national motto "In God We Trust" if our nation does not believe in that trust anymore?

Who is your protector? I can answer that indeed God is my protector just as long as I am living in accordance with what I know to be right. And no doubt about it, we each know right from wrong. The question is are we going to acknowledge that which is right from that which is wrong.