Friday, June 19, 2009

I'm Feeling Better....

I noticed a lighter feeling in my heart and on my mind since Tuesday. I think the following items have been a great help to me:

1. A return to daily scripture study and reading. I came across a web site called Read The Scriptures (I've a link to the site at the upper right corner of this blog). Each morning I receive the next chapter in the areas I am reading. It's nice to hear as I read along.

2. I finally found a new note book for writing my thoughts and studies into. I've been using Composition books, a different one for different activities. Now I'm trying a 5 subject notebook, I plan to write every thing (church, journal, studies, conferences, book reviews, etc...) into one area.

3. I'm taking my gratitude more seriously and offering my thanks to Heavenly Father oftener throughout the days this week.

4. I was most blessed to realize the need to put aside my education for my childrens learning and I in turn will learn new things. Thus I'm reading every day with both daughters. In the past two weeks I see an increase of confidence in Mattia, and Beth is flowing through The Book of Mormon. I will be starting a club for girls, most likely a YASA Club, and I'm inviting Eli into the Statesmanship Club currently in SLC. I hope to bring other youth from the south end of the county.

5. I got back on track with my eating and exercising. No snacking so far this week and most important I'm exercising both am and pm. My energy is increasing. I whole heartedly believe that because I'm getting up in the morning to have spiritual rejuvenation, I'm being blessed to carry on through the days. With Gove gone this week I have had less sleep. So I really see this energy as a blessing.

6. I'm relaxing mentally. I don't really know how I'm doing this but I do feel more at peace and slower in my pace.

7. I now have contacts for entertainment for our Stake Picnic scheduled for the 29th of August. This has stressed me because I was to late at reserving the park and was not able to get the day the Stake wanted. But now I have learned that we are going to be out of town anyway. So I look at this as a blessing and if others are disappointed I know I can't make everyone happy, even when it's a silly picnic. I also have the date for the county wide homeschool picnic set for September 4th. And George Dyer says he will try to work with me as a possible guest opera singer.

8. I'm praying more with my girls. We pray and ask that a spirit of education will be with us as we read and learn together. It's humbling to hear your daughter exercise her faith that God with open her mind to his teaching and the development of keys to open the doors of her mind.

9. I'm praying for an added measure of peace. It doesn't always work. But I'm not giving up yet. I came across a verse in Romans that Paul gave. he said we need to give thanks in our tribulations and grow in patience so that we can grow in experience and then in hope and I would add faith as well. Our trials are given to bless us not to destroy us. Patience, Experience, Hope and Faith...

10. Lastly I'm striving to love and not judge others. I was not created to pass judgment over peoples level of commitment to Christ. We all go through times when we are less receptive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. I am a fine example of what happens when one slips and when one gets up, repents, and tries again.

I think this covers things for me right now. I'm such an up and down person. I guess I need to work with this trait instead of fighting against it.

Acting Jeans Must Come From Mom...

I try hard to hide my acting talent. So far I think I've done a splendid job. I'm sure no one knows of my ability to act upon the stage, even I'm unaware.
Be that as it way, our daughters seem to have a desire for acting.

This past week the girls participated in a Scara theater camp. Both gave monologues.
Tia recited, For Want Of The Nail

Bethany recited the opening lines of The Highway Man.

Both acted in different skits.Tia was Grannie from Little Red Riding Hood.

Bethany was an accurate sounding Toto who can talk when she wants, in a revised Wizard of Oz.

Both say it was fun and are considering the Shakespeare camp where they can try out for parts in a production for the festival in Cedar City.

I see that Mattia has gained confidence in herself and the ability to learn lines quickly. She received a very nice letter from her group leader encouraging her to keep trying.
Bethany is truly coming out of her time of separation anxiety. We almost don't see it anymore. Though shy, she really did a good job performing in front of people today.

If I Had Another Me, I'd Get More Family Pictures...

Here's kids and Gove taking a rest while I get a quick sketch with local citizens in Williamsburg.
Walking along a path that Thomas Jefferson often rode upon his horse.
Here we are posing on the west front of Monticello.
We were readily welcomed into the original garden site when we offered to pull weeds at no cost.
I was thinking we did not get enough family pictures. More would have been nice but this is pretty good. I don't think of pictures enough until I go to someones home who's talented at keeping a history with pictures.
We are setting under this majestic oak at the Governor's Palace awaiting the arrival of Thomas Jefferson.
Here was a great moment in time. We spent almost an hour with the historian who portrays John Rolfe. This day it was the year of 1620 in Jamestown. We learned that there was a traitor among the British men. The Spanish spy who came with the original settlers of 1607 was able to get an accurate map and information regarding the dying of the English and thus no need for an attack.Here's a shot of the whole family. We're on a cruise along the James River near Richmond, Va.
You can't tell, but I and the kids are standing at the side of George Washington's grist mill.And last yet not lest is Mom and kids with Thomas and his portable desk.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Public Speaking Skills for Youth and Adults...

Unleashing Your Voice!
Transformational Public Speaking
for the Statesman

Let us help you find YOUR VOICE! Public speaking is a skill and anyone can learn it! We offer a two-day seminar which will ignite a passion for public speaking and debate in your youth and help you become more comfortable with your own unique style. You will observe coaching, be coached, and be taught how to coach so that you will be prepared to coach youth in this vital scholar skill. You are already giving them a great education, give them the ability to communicate what they know!

All participants will receive individualized coaching and assistance with overcoming roadblocks to effective communication. Coaching is one of the five environments of great mentoring but it is often underutilized because no one teaches us how to use it! Learn how to maximize it when teaching a public speaking class or in any teaching situation you find yourself in. The mentor manual provides the activities and information to teach a public speaking class and the student workbook will help your scholars learn the basics of speech writing and techniques of delivery.

Hosted by: Classic Books and Giftsregister at:

Dates: Monday, July 13, 2009 (for youth ages 11-18)
9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Scholar Impromptu Workshop
1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Scholar Introduction to Debate

Tuesday, July 14, 2009
9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Adult SeminarMentoring Public Speaking and Debate (for your planning purposes, there will be a 1 hour lunch break but you will need at least part of it to write a speech)

Location: 187 W Main St
Lehi, UT 84043
(801) 766-2381

Cost: Adults: $75 admission and $15 for mentor manual
Youth: $50 admission and $15 for student workbook

Please register at

For additional information or questions, please feel free to contact me at or visit our website at
Kathy Mellor, author of Unleashing Your Voice!, is the homeschooling mother of six children from San Diego, California. Kathy competed four years in Speech and Debate in high school where she reached Ruby level with the National Forensic League and was awarded the Vernetti Memorial Award for Outstanding Public Speaker in her graduating class. During college she earned a B.S. in Psychology and an M.B.A. in Finance. She continued speaking during her seven-year career as an analyst for General Dynamics Corporation. For the last several years she has been teaching public speaking skills to youth and adults and was recently awarded the Woman In History award from the Daughters of the American Revolution for her work in raising leaders with a passion for and dedication to America. She currently works for LEMI training mentors for the Thomas Jefferson Youth Certification project.

Nate Bothwell, contributing author of the student workbook for Unleashing Your Voice!, was the 2007 winner of the Most Inspiring Speaker award at United Scholar Academy where he was also voted by his peers as their Student Representative to the Commonwealth Board. He is a Thomas Jefferson Youth Certification graduate and a freshman at Grossmont College. But, most importantly, he is an engaging and funny presenter as well as an insightful coach. You will see firsthand a young man whose voice has been unleashed. In addition to oratory, he has a gift for playing and creating music for piano, guitar, ukulele, and more. He has earned the rank of Eagle Scout and currently serves as an Assistant Scoutmaster.

Comments from Past Participants:

We all have moments and situations when clear communication serves our success and happiness. I found that practicing this art gave me confidence that the next time Im offered an audience, I can speak with a passion that really helps transform others, not just inform them. I learned a lot about how to think about my audience and the best way to infuse them with my prepared speech in a way that is transformational.

The challenges, the nerves, the stressYes, I hate these uncomfortable feelingsBUT I survived! It felt great to get through my speaking parts and to learn something newI thrived and listened to every little detail of your comments.

This is a must for those who are building their statesmen and leadership skills. To effectively lead you must be able to communicate.

Your seminar was excellent! This is a class that everyone can benefit from. Thank you!

Do it! Its such an important skill and this is a great way to improve it. Put all you can into it and youll reap so much!! Well worth the time and money.

A scholar wrote: You made it feel like it was going to be really fun from the very beginning and it was fun! I also felt like you really cared about us and liked us. Thanks.

Many more testimonials can be viewed at

Saturday, June 13, 2009

That Amazing Swarm...

Remember my post regarding the attack of the hand stinging, semi aggressive honeybees?

That night I did not care if those little buggers died or left for greener pastures. My hands were hurting with numerous stingers stuck in them!

I'm here to say that I have had a change of heart for the darling little critters. Holy cow, these girls know how to work.

Last night, Bethany and I inspected this hive. We used our new smoker, it was heavenly. Not a single bee sting. I lifted out a couple of frames and I think they might weigh at lest 5 pounds each, completely capped over with wax. We added our first medium super box which will be our supply of honey this fall.

This was a neat experience. The smoke did indeed cause the bees to go down deeper into the hive, they were calmer and did not seem agitated in the lest. That was a great relief to me. Bethany was fairly nervous when we went out there too. And now we have had a good experience which out shadows the bad. Kind of like having a baby I guess. I never went into labor.

This hive is now known as our 'yellow hive' can you see why? I will no longer call them the swarm but rather the yellow hive.

They are now living up on our bedroom deck as of this past Wednesday when we brought them home to their permanent nesting ground.

I'm Queen of the Dough...

So maybe I'm not the real queen of bread making, but I did make the bread for the Provo Farmers Market this morning; and it worked!

Wow! It was kind of empowering to present my bread to the world and have people comment on it's beauty.

I and the girls sold 24 loafs in two an a half hours. That's what I like. In and out in three hours top and I still feel like I have some part of Saturday left.

( I was going to say some Saturday to go home and work, but I'm trying to relax a little and so I wont say that).

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I Ain't Goin' Nowhere...

We came home from our wonderful vacation 10 days ago. The first week home I was a basket case of over whelmed feelings for our yard. Weeds growing up to my waist line, the irrigation pump not working, the garden seeds dead or dying. It was to much and I had a melt down last Friday afternoon.

I cried out that this place is going to age me before my time with all the work that needs to be done just trying to keep the dirt on the hillside. I even scared the kids with my meltdown. I never had great feelings for buying this house. The kids couldn't wait to tell Gove what I said and luckily for me he took it with good nature.
We had a beekeepers potluck that night and so I went determined to eat in an emotional fashion which I discovered did not include over eating.

I still managed to loss three pounds when I checked in this past Tuesday at Total Health and Fitness. Darn, there is a part of me that really wants to eat BYU ice cream though really it's not warm outside yet so I cant be doing that until at lest July, if I even do.

I think at the core of all my issues is that I feel no personal direction or motivation to do something specific out side of helping the kids but that isn't rewarding all the time and then I end the day and wonder what have I done for my own betterment. Did I read? Did I study something? Did I even think to pray? So much of this year is answered with a No.

I've been reading my scriptures this week, praying that I can get up when God wakes me which is about 5am and then I'm so tired by evening time and find it hard to get up the next morning so what good is it to pray that I can get up if I don't get up right when I wake?

I'm confused that I have no desire to take an educational class from either BYU or GWU. I have not attempted any personal study and as far as our colloquium goes I do the reading but I'm not prepared for a discussion.

What is the deal? I just would like to know how long this is going to last. What does Heavenly Father want me to gain from this experience.

Do I need a mentor? How can I possibly need a mentor at a time when I feel ... so blank.

Still I would not trade my daily life with our children at all. All three are entering new educational stages for themselves. And it's funny but each is into reading at very differing degrees yet they each are caught with the reading bug.

So here I set this late evening, Gove is taking another round with his sour dough bread making. It's going quite well and in three weeks we will be selling a new bread product at the Farmers Market.

Each morning that we exercise, we watch a Teaching Company video. Right now it's been a 24- part presentation of Alexis de Tocqueville and his book, Democracy in America. It's been interesting especially these last segments relating to us as members of society in America much has come to pass that he predicted and not all for the best of us.

Maybe this is just a time for me to let go and enjoy an easier pace if I will allow myself the opportunity. Goodness sacks Nickie, last year was a tough year of marriage and a time of healing as well as the beginning of this year. Can I just see the blessings here and thank God that I can enjoy just being mom and wife and maybe a little something more without feeling like I need to do do do.

Something else,since I'm confessing here. I did not want to go to church Sunday. I felt like taking a break. Does anyone else feel this at times? I imagine so but I also wanted to be free of all church callings. For some reason I have associated negative feelings with the whole visiting teaching thing. I did bring the girls home after the first hour. I think it was o.k. I feel a lot better now and plan do go visiting teaching tomorrow. Maybe Heavenly Father understood this about me and saw that a break was what I needed.

I don't really know for sure. What I do know is that I have sat too long and my bum is numb.

Good night.

Monday, June 8, 2009

I Got Up And Tried Again...


The Bridge Builder

An old man, going a lone highway,
 came at the evening, cold and gray,
 to a chasm, vast and deep and wide,
 through which was flowing a sullen tide.
 The old man crossed in the twilight dim;
 The sullen stream had no fears for him;
 But he turned when safe on the other side and built a bridge to span the tide.

"Old man," said a fellow pilgrim near,
 "You are wasting strength with building here;
 Your journey will end with the ending day;
 You never again must pass this way;
 You have crossed the chasm, deep and wide --
Why build you the bridge at the eventide?"

The builder lifted his old gray head: 
"Good friend, in the path I have come," he said,
 "There followeth after me today
 a youth whose feet must pass this way.
 This chasm that has been naught to me to that fair-haired youth may a pit-fall be,
 He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
 Good friend, I am building the bridge for him."

Will Allen Dromgoole