Friday, November 20, 2009

This Week In Review...

We held GRAPES on Tuesday. Did a quick review of Habit 1 and made banners that will have 7 different colored ribbons to represent the 7 habits. A younger child can wear it like his inner circle that surrounds him or they can hang it on the wall once we finish. Then I introduces Habit 2, Begin with the end in mind. We talked about Alma the younger, we established a mission statement. Here it is:
"To nurture a love of learning,
strengthen relationships,
build positive community, and
prepare for personal missions."

Not bad for our first try.

On Wednesday the 18th, I took the kids to the State Capital. I wanted to have Eli assist with a flag ceremony at a rally for Cherilyn Eagar who wants to run against Bennett for the Senate race in 2010. I've never been to such an event. The Capital is lovely. The kids liked the experience as well. Except it was too long. Eli called the Scouts (our friends from GRAPES) forward with the flags and lead in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Joe the Plumber guy from Ohio is it? Came to be a support for Eagar. He seemed kind of interesting actually.

Yesterday, all three kids passed their karate test and earned their yellow belt. Each was responsible to buy a belt if they so wanted. This concluded our first semester with Keystone. We will have to decided what to do for January.

Today Eli and Gove left for an over night scout camp out somewhere west of here.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tell Us What You're Doing...

-Last week I was speaking with one of the grandmas. She hasn't seem much on my blog and wondered if we still had children. I reassured her that we do and that they have been up to a lot of good.

Gove and I attended 7 weeks of a Love and Logic course at a local school. What I learned and actually know about myself is that I'm not empathetic enough. I'm glad to see the value of empathizing and I'm working on it.

-One of the positive results of attending is that I no longer ask the kids to do their chores. We did away with chores and now have "contributions to the family". There is a list of 3x5 cards, each day has what needs to be done, the time, and how much it cost the child if not finished on time. I've earned a modest amount of coins and even a few dollars but now the kids are seeing they can earn if another fails to follow through. It's really working lovely and I'm no longer stressed. This includes the parents being responsible as well.

-The kids are attending Keystone Academy this semester. Not sure we will next semester for reasons I'll not share here. The kids enjoyed a few classes, crafts, dance, karate. We may try something else next.

-Bethany can be found in a big comfy chair reading most mornings, days, and nights, if I let her. Which I oftenn do once contributions, learning time and other responsibilities are taken care of. Beth has become a voracious reader since August when she read her first novel from the Redwall series. She's now reading her fifth book and has purchased 10 in the series with money her worked hard for this past summer. She is blossoming into a young lady and although she recognized her weakness with spelling, she most assuredly is not fearful of writing stories and sees she has really progressed in her ability to read and cipher words.

-Elijah has found the life of air-soft guns. He used his karate skills to give Tia a chop on the knee. She didn't feel anything by it but Eli broke his dominate hand. The 5th fingers meta tarsal. Notice the camouflage cast?
Eli is involved with a Statesmanship Club in Lehi. I carpool with him and two other kids. I actually presented three two hour classes on principles 11-28 of the 5,000 Year Leap. It was a great learning experience for me and I can report that I improved each time.
Eli and I attended the Utah State Association of Parliamentarians Nov 14th for their annual presentation of parliamentary procedures. Eli said he was glad to have attended even if these were over both of our heads at times. We both feel more confident is making a motion, seconding, amending, and I feel good about attempting to create bylaws now. That alone was worth the experience to me.

-We continue to host GRAPES at our home every other week with three other families. I just finished The Leader In Me and I'm trying my hand at presenting the habits to the kids over the next little while. In September I climbed with the group to the top of the Y for the first time.
-The kids attend a book club on the opposite Tuesday of GRAPES, and we at times attend Friday game day at Belinda's house who is taking a break while the fourth child makes it's splash into the world.

-Mattia has found her gift...helping other people. She believes it will be her ability to cook comforting foods. She is a great helper in the kitchen. We made two apple pies, lots of main dishes and I leave Monday dinner to her and Beth since we don't get home from statesmanship club until 6pm. This girl is tall. She is also gaining confidence in reading. It's still a struggle and I'm so glad to have her learn at her own pace and without additional pressure as I, her mom have given enough of that at times. Hey, I'm learning too. Mattia has a heart of love and is able to quickly forgive. It's one of the things I love about this daughter. You should see the art skills of this girl as well. I think this is a talent that will bless as well as we help her develop and find mentors to teach and help her mind to grasp the skills for painting. She is working on a painting of a still life picture she created. I so look forward to seeing the end product. I hope she can bring it home for Christmas.

-We are working on the basement kitchen and hope to be going with bread again in December. Real Foods in Orem would like to purchase from us and we have been working on a soaking the flour and using a starter with just enough to rise the bread but not give it a sour flavor. It's progressing but out cooking time is changing and we are needing to get that straight before we go full swing again.

-We hosted the second county wide homeschoolers picnic back in September. There was a bigger turn out this year and I hope it will grow to something more in the future years. Time will tell and how much I'm willing to give to add changes to enhance the experience.

-With thanksgiving coming we are serving once a week at the Bishop storehouse again this year. It's great when they are busy and the kids love to stock shelves and help out. We need to find what our Christmas service project is going to be.

-After three years living here, I finally joined the Wasatch Home Educators Network. They seem to have a number of field trip and activities for teens on a monthly bases that Eli might enjoy.

-Over all, things are going very well for us. I am thankful daily to be alive and blessed. Our marriage is stronger, we attend the temple monthly, sing in the ward choir, and are taking the parliamentarian test together. I'm so glad we like each other. That really helps to make a marriage worthwhile.

-I'm considering starting the PALMS book club again in January, but I want to take a path that I might not get much takers. I want to go through the 16 lessons of the Laws of Success by
Napoleon Hill. I'd like to prepare to host some Love and Logic classes and 7 Habits for Families once I learn them and start some incorporation in my life. I recently read The Leader in Me and I want to give myself , our children, and other families the opportunity to lead their lives. I just didn't know this until now. It's so wonderful to be learning and improving over time. I'm slow but I'm not giving in to despair or acceptance that this is just how things are.

-Last but not of less weight. We collected about 80 pounds of honey our
first season with two hives. Oh how I hope these girls and the queens survive the winter.