Friday, July 31, 2009

Absent Candidate Finds My Blog!

Read the post prior to this and you will have a clear understanding...

This is Ammon Cunningham, I was unable to make it to the meeting described in your blog. I was googling about some issues involved in this election, and came across your blog! I would also like to take some time to answer the questions which you asked. 1. I do support homeschooling. I was actually fully home schooled for a year, and then partially home schooled for another year while I grew up in Wisconsin. It was a wonderful experience, and if done correctly can be a very beneficial experience for the child, as well as the mother (or whoever happens to be doing the homeschooling). 2. I do support the chicken ordinance. I oppose any permit to keeping chickens as well. I believe that if the animals are being treated improperly though that some type of regulations need to be put into place. The three books that have prepared me for this is 1. President Hinckley's 'Stand for Something.' President Hinckley was an amazing man, admired by many. This book doesn't show only thing that I knew I could change to make my life better, but all citizens I believe could live better lives after reading this book. This is one thing I think is so important. To make our community a better place it is not entirely up to the government. It is a person choice made by each person, and citizen, everyday. The second book would be 'The Ultimate Gift'. I don't remember the author off hand, but I loved how this book shows that work is important. In our world today, where everything is easily within reach, it is still important to teach the importance of work in the home, as well as work for the things which we feel are right. I know that there are things that I can do better with the city of Provo, and even though I do not have tons of resources to dedicate to a campaign, I am running because I know that the services I can offer the city, and the citizens will be greatly beneficial. The third book, as cliche as it may sound, would have to be the scriptures. I cannot pretend that living by the principles in those books has not influenced my life. They have by far been the most influential books in my life. 4. I would definitely attend a meeting in your home. Thank you for this blog post, and I'm glad that I stumbled across it. Feel free to send me an email.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Meet The Candidates...

I attended my first River Grove Neighborhood Block meeting last night. I went because the mayoral candidates were going to be there and I wanted to meet and ask them each a question. 4 of the 6 runners attended the gathering.

My one question turned into four: 1. Do you support homeschooling? 2. Do you support families having chickens? 3. Name three books you have read that you feel have helped prepare you for this event in your life? And 4. Would you attend a cottage meeting in my home?

Here are the answers:

Don Allphin: Don is out of town and sent his son Mark to read a statement for him. Mark took my questions and will ask his dad about the three books and the homeschooling but did indicate that his father supports the chicken ordinance. Mark said his father would attend a meeting in my home.

Steven Clark: Supports Homeschooling, is pro chickens, would come to my home, and said McCullough's Truman and Adams along with a book on Oppenheimer (he invented the atomic bomb) as his books. This guy has been involved with state and federal legislatures, his wife is Cindy Clark on the current City Council Board.

Ammon Cunningham: A no show

John Curtis: He said he's pro homeschooling but his wife is President of the Provo school board. Well I guess I can't hold that against him. Pro chickens, pro cottage meetings, and finally someone said they had read Beck's Common Sense, and a leadership book by Rudy Giuliani. But no third book...It would appear this is the man with the money right now, color brochures, shirts. Interesting...bty, he is the only runner who brought his wife.

Neil Mitchell: Very pro homeschooling, pro chickens, pro cottage meetings. Doesn't like the turn over in the Lakewood subdivision area. He realizes he doesn't have all the answers but wants to try and help his community. I think this will be a hard win for him but I'm glad he is stepping forward and trying. Three books; The Forgotten Man, 1776, biography of Ronald Reagan.

Andrew Thompson: a big no show

The bee lady I spoke to yesterday about these feeling of change coming my way attended the meeting too even though she is in a different district.

One last thing. I learned that within the City Counsel there are 5 district members and two city wide members. This Fall, there are 6 people running for one of the city wide slots.

My first political type of meeting. Eli and Gavin attended with me. I'm glad they had this first experience too.

You should go out and find a first experience for yourself. Just make sure it's virtuous and safe.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested."

Have you felt at some point in your life that something intangible was coming towards you? If so, what did you do? How did you prepare? Did you ever come to understand the experience?

I have been experiencing a feeling like this. Something influential is coming towards me and I have no idea what it is, how it's coming, nor why this sensation is so strong. I feel moved upon to do do do. Yet I'm not sure what what what. I decided to give thanks in my mind and prayers for this experience. I'm excited at times then apprehensive and then I just want to tell someone. I'm saying it here.

I've been trying to read... different subjects, like talking to your children about sex, progressivism, socialism & dystopianism, and democracy. Ouch!!!

On a lighter note I read an article by Susan Wise Bauer that pinned me to the wall so to speak. It's called Stop cleaning the kitchen and read a book

The paragraph above makes it sound like I've done a lot of reading. Not so, let me tell you because I find myself most often still fixing or putting things back when I should really be learning! Isn't it wonderful to have more then one chance at learning and recovering from poor habits? I sure think so.

The thought of me educating myself or of you educating yourself can feel like Susan said, “a revolutionary act”. We have been, and our children are being raised to be passive learners. Sit and listen. But now I'm no longer wanting to be a passive learner. Issac Watts said to “Acquaint yourself with your own ignorance”. I don't have to look far which I guess can be a good thing. I'm open to my ignorance. I tell myself to just keep asking.

Reading for enlightenment uses different skills then reading for pleasure. Ms. Bauer uses a three step process for enlightened reading:

First is the “grammar stage” level. Just get through the book and try to understand a few basic principles, basic story, or the basic argument. Try to create a mental overview.

Second is the logic stage. After reading the whole book, stop and ask yourself what the book is saying, how is it said, and try to decided if you agree or not. ( This seems to be a step we as readers in America don't follow and just jump to our own opinions without understanding the authors point.)

Finally the rhetoric stage (the art of speaking or writing effectively: the study of principles and rules of composition formulated by critics of ancient times: the study of writing or speaking as a means of communication or persuasion: skill in the effective use of speech). This is where a book club or a good friend comes in to play. You need to talk about what you read and you also need to write for that matter. Which neither are an easy task for me. You just have to keep trying and pushing yourself. Talking is probably the best way to figure out what you think.

Yesterday morning I went to talk to a lady about bee hives and ended up telling her about these pressing feelings and what I'm going to do tonight and she said I inspired her to keep trying.

Tonight I'm going to the Meet and Greet for our district with the mayoral candidates. I plan to have two questions answered. 1. What are you currently reading and 2. What have you read that you feel has prepared you for the responsibility of Mayor?

Typing this confession is getting me excited because I, Nickie Allen, have never felt such a desire to ask questions and make judgments based upon my readings and ponderings. I want to yell, “Wow, it's me saying this, no way.”

Yes way.

Do you feel something happening to you too?

I hope so.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Something To Chew Upon...

1. America is good.

2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life.

3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.

4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.

5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.

6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.

7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.

8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.

9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.
"Parents can plant seeds in the hearts and minds of their children only if they know where the children are and what they are doing. Parents should not leave the teaching of their children to chance."
--Joseph B. Wirthlin, Ensign, May 1989, p. 9

Sunday, July 26, 2009

"Let us never lose sight of the fact that education is a preparation for life -- and that preparing for life is far more than knowing how to make a living or how to land on the moon. Preparing for life means building personal integrity, developing a sound sense of values, increasing the capacity and willingness to serve. Education must have its roots in moral principles. If we lose sight of that fact in our attempt to match our educational system against that of the materialists, we shall have lost far more than we could possibly gain."
--Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 297

Friday, July 24, 2009

Podcast: Nickie on the Doug Wright Show

Here is the recording of my chat with Doug. It's not much but it is a step in the right direction for me.

I feel like change is coming my way, something is beginning to build within me and I don't know yet what it is. What I do know is that the hand of God is preparing me for something...oh if I could just see clearer.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Welcome, You're On The Air...

Methinks my public speaking class from a couple of weeks past might have paid off today.

This morning while exercising it was announced that Doug Wright of KSL radio would be discussing the poor turnout of voters in Utah. (We were rated second to last in turnout last November, and last place in 2006).

I wanted to share what I have done to become a voting citizen. All though these actions are very small steps, even small steps cause great changes.

I was the first caller and this is what I basically said...

Mr. Wright, I'm Nickie in Provo and I thank you for taking my call.
I am a reformed non-voter. I could use the excuse that my vote did not matter but really I was someone who just did not care. (I'm happy, things seem fine and I don't know squat about government so why get involved). That's what I used to think but not anymore.

I said something to the effect that I'm a homeschooling mother and have a dream or hope of my children being leaders in their homes, community, and maybe the nation. But if I want them to lead I have to set an example.

I told everyone listening about our book club that meets once a month. How we have discussed all the Federalist and Anti Federalist Papers, The Law, and now Democracy in America. I took a class from George Wythe University and had to read The 5,000 Year Leap. It was this book that made me feel so strongly that I could influence someone for a better change that could have an effect upon national government. (How? I do not yet know). But heck, before this reading I didn't even know what the 17th Amendment was!

It was at this point that Doug said he had to take a commercial break.

WHAT!!! I still wanted to share how I volunteered to be a voter precinct manager last year. How I read the voters handbook for the first time last year and how learning about the sacrifices of my founding ancestors and those of our national founders have inspired me to keep learning and trying to participate.

How I and Gove are now attending our City Council meetings and all because we are citizens of this nation and of our city, county, and simply have the responsibility to be aware, concerned, and active. It requires more then just wondering... you have to get up and start doing.

So there you have it. I'm still so surprised that I did this. Me, Nickie, on the radio standing up for a good cause. Neat.

This was another small step that is taking me to a bigger something. I wonder what it will be.....

Thursday, July 16, 2009

You Can Come Too...


We are pleased to invite you to attend a first-person, historical presentation of Mormon Church History surrounding the Mormon emigrant ship Brooklyn, the Mormon Battalion, and the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill in 1848.

Angeline Lovett of Massachusetts boarded the Brooklyn in New York on February 4, 1846 (under the direction of Samuel Brannan). She made the voyage of nearly six months around Cape Horn, stopping in the Sandwich Islands (now Hawaii) to Yerba Buena (now San Francisco). She would marry a young man she met aboard the Brooklyn and establish the first school in California to provide instruction in English.

Moses Wade and his family were driven from their home in Nauvoo. They found temporary shelter in Council Bluffs, Iowa. There, Moses joined the Mormon Battalion, leaving his wife and 16-year old daughter in the care of a good friend. Moses was among the members of the Battalion who came to the Salt Lake Valley directly after being discharged in Los Angeles. Upon his arrival, he learned of his wife’s death and his daughter’s marriage. Moses stayed in Salt Lake and became the valley’s first commercial broom maker.

After William Sydney Smith Willes was discharged from the Mormon Battalion, he worked for John Sutter at Sutter’s Fort in Sacramento and at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California. Shortly after James Marshall discovered Gold in 1848, Sydney Willes would find gold on a sandbar in the American River. Providing the richest panning in the entire Mother Lode, the sandbar would become known as “Mormon Island.” Sydney would eventually come to Utah and would be among the founders of Lehi, right here in Utah County.

Hear presentations made by, and ask questions of these three individuals (as portrayed by Virginia Guilbert, Peter Guilbert, and Bob “Bubba” Blair). Virginia, Peter, and Bubba are members of the Sierra Nevada Mormon Pioneers , which operates under the direction of the Northern California Church Public Affairs Office to deliver more than 50 such presentations every year.

However, they rarely come to Utah. This is a rare opportunity to experience a one-of-a-kind historical re-enactment. Please join us.

When: This Sunday, July 19, 2009
Where: Grand View East Stake Center (1081 W 1060 N, Provo, Utah)
Time: 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Who: Anyone interested in Church History (including children)

Hope you can join us.


God's Words...Never Cease

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Utah County Statemanship Club Is Starting...Get Involved!

You are Invited to Join...

The Utah County Statesmanship Club!

Open to all youth, ages 12-18

September 2009 – April 2010

Weekly meetings held on Mondays, 3:00 – 5:00 pm

Location: Classic Books and Gifts

98 West Main St., Lehi, Utah

Facilitator: Diann Jeppson, 801-450-5016,

Experience the art of statesmanship

In a high-energy environment

With awesome mentors and amazing friends!

Discover what it means to be an American

Experience classics coming alive as you discuss great ideas with

your friends

Explore the exciting world of simulations

Learn the tools of a great public speaker

Arm yourself with the tools of parliamentary procedure as you

prepare for leadership and powerful participation in any debate

Get to know the US justice system, “up close and personal,”

through speakers, a field trips to the local courthouse and

participation in a the Mock Trial Program

Improve your personal effectiveness through study and discussion

of Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens

Develop service projects to impact your community

Enhance the quality of your character

For more information, see: “Utah County Statesmanship Club Schedule and Fees”

To register, complete the “Utah County Statesmanship Club Registration” form and submit to

Classic Books and Gifts


Utah County Statesmanship Club of Salt Lake

2009-2010 Member Registration

Name _________________________________________________________________

Address _______________________________________________________________

E-mail ________________________________________________________________

Phone ___________________________ Cell Phone ____________________________

Birth date _____________ Parents’ Names ___________________________________

Annual Membership Fee: $10

See Schedule for other fees

Make check payable to “Classic Books and Gifts”

Deliver completed form with registration fee to:

Classic Books and Gifts store, 98 W. Main St., Lehi, UT 84043

For more information, call Diann Jeppson at 801-450-5016

Or e-mail

The Statesmanship Club program is from September 2009– April 2010


Utah County Statesmanship Club

September 2009 – April 2010

Meetings held on Mondays, 3:00 – 5:00 pm

Location: Classic Books and Gifts

98 West Main St., Lehi, Utah

Facilitator: Diann Jeppson, 801-450-5016,


Annual Membership $10

Parliamentary Procedure Student Training Manual $8

NAP Membership Test Fee (Optional) $37.50

Mock Trial competition entrance fee, including handbook: $20 reg. plus $6 binder fee

Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised $17 (approx) in most bookstores

7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens $10 - $15 in most bookstores

The Five Thousand Year Leap $7 through the Patriots

Focus on the Founders $3 individual admission, $10 family admission

Simulation Week (5-days, includes meals) $165

Freedom Bowl Registration – Club Member Discount

$5 if you already have the Freedom Bowl Manual and $15 if you need a manual


September 14 Orientation

September 21 Public Speaking Training, Intro to Focus on the Founders

September 28 Presentation on 28 Principles of Liberty

October 5 Presentation on 28 Principles of Liberty

October 12 Presentation on 28 Principles of Liberty

October 19 Presentation on 28 Principles of Liberty

October 26 Presentation on 28 Principles of Liberty

November 2 Speech Judging Day, Public Speaking Training

November 9 Parliamentary Procedure Training

November 16 Parliamentary Procedure Training

November 23 Parliamentary Procedure Training

Thanksgiving Break

Calendar Continued

December 7 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens Presentation

December 14 Colloquium Party – Sackett’s Land, by Louis L’Amour

NAP Membership Exam, Member/Advisor/Parent Mtgs.

Christmas Break

January 4 Judicial System Introduction

January 11 Mock Trial Overview

January 18 Mock Trial Skills

January 25 Mock Trial

February 1 Mock Trial

February 8 Mock Trial

February 15 Mock Trial

February 22 Mock Trial

March 1 Mock Trial

March 8 Mock Trial

March 15 Mock Trial Party

Spring Break

April 5 Simulation Week Prep

April 12 Simulation Week Prep

April 19 Simulation Week Prep

April 26 Colloquium Party – Little Men, by Louisa May Alcott,

Member/Advisor/Parent Mtgs.


Focus on the Founders Saturday, December 5, 2009

Freedom Bowl Saturday, January 30, 2010

Thomas Jefferson Education Youth Forum Saturday, March 20, 2010

Simulation Week TBA

Note: Each Statesmanship Club member will need to obtain a binder to bring to the

club meetings each week. This is for keeping handouts and taking notes. Members

will also need to download the AYLI Statesmanship Club Certification Packet from and print it for inclusion in their binder.

Friday, July 10, 2009

There's Hope For More Camping...

Last week we took our first camping trip for the season.
(I hope it wont be our last but you never know what will happen as August draws near).
In the meantime I will recall our camping at Duck Creek with fondness because of the peace I felt.Once we settle into our campsites I usually feel a lifting of stress.
What was nice about this adventure was the fact that I was not tired. For two years I've been using a c-pap machine and thanks to my weight loss efforts I did not need it this time. YAHOO!
I think sleeping without choking has been the best blessing so far. Last year while camping I was so exhausted, once I realized it was a sleeping issue I just accepted that I'd be sleeping later into the mornings to make up for all the interruptions.
Not the case this last week.Unlike other camp outs, this time I walked at lest twice a day but tried for three. As I walked the loops of the campground I was surprised to learn that it's 2 miles.
As I walked I decided to read the June Ensign and would you believe I was even able to read the July issue and finished on the 30th of June! That was pretty neat.I have a funny habit of using my overly active imagination when camping. I have often thought what if a bear is out there? I tended to think this when I was waking up suddenly during the night. But not last week. Sleeping solidly and not a concern if a bear did come through. Two buck deer maybe mule deer were eating behind out tent. I felt pretty safe with them munching away on the mountain grasses.

When I first started camping with Gove, I could not imagine more then two days without a shower. Now I can go five days. Without the c-pap, my hair doesn't get messy. Just another plus for better health and fresh air. Speaking of air we were about 8,000ish feet above sea level. The evenings are cool and the nights required a sleeping bag. That's really a nice way to sleep.I like camping with my family. Gove is great at cooking over the fire. He made sour dough breads, pizza and french fries from scratch. You will have to ask him about the time he was frying potatoes at the Five Finger Lakes in Louisiana. It's possible a space shuttle might of seen the glow.
Camping is fun. There is never a dull moment even when it's pouring down rain. I like camping. You should go camping with your family too.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My Conclusion.....You Are Fired!

I went for my weekly weigh-in this morning. It really is more then a week because we went camping all of last week and then this past weekend we drove like the wind to the YMCA of the Rockies near Denver Colorado for a family reunion.

And so after a week and a half I checked in only to learn that I'm fired! I'm doing too good of a job says Dan. I felt I was at this point as I drove up to the door but I was thinking just for the remainder of the summer, not the rest of this year and all the years to come. That's not quite true. Dan, who is the owner of Total Health & Fitness says I can come in every three weeks for a quick check of weight and fat pinching free of charge. So technically I'm not alone in this journey.

Here I am, forty pounds heavier and six months ago.

Yesterday I and Gove attended a public speaking seminar hosted by TJED Marketplace.
Unleashing Your Voice is presented by Kathy and Nate out of California.
I learned a good lesson about conclusions. I actually sunk three of four conclusions from different speeches we were asked to give. I'm glad to have gone through the experience even though I cried. I don't like to cry for sissy things like that but I did. Oh well, it's water down the river now.

I went through my first debate experience too. I was not looking forward to this because I don' know anything related to Socialism and Capitalism. Be that as it may, Gove and I were given the assignment of debating the positive side of Socialism as a better economic system then Capitalism. The only things that saved me was the fact that I had my good husband at my side and that we had just listened to the audio book The Human History of Coal. BTW, this book is well worth the first 6 or 7 hours of the historic telling but then the author goes on a tangent.
I provided the opening argument and Gove followed up and gave the rebuttal. In the end we just lost by a vowel. In my mind I think we lost by a conclusion. Will I be scared for life? Maybe..., the only way to over come this fear is start giving talks or teaching something that I will need to write a speech for. Oh that sounds like fun.

In conclusion,I'd like to say that standing in front of people with 40 less pounds(!) on my body felt wonderful. My conclusions may have flopped, but my body was strong. Way to go weight training. And my greatest heart felt gratitude to God.