Saturday, December 22, 2012

Reminder: Christmas Eve “Day of Service” Project...opportunities for the whole family


This Monday, December 24th, we will be hosting a day of service at our home in Provo. We invite your family to come and give for as long or as little time as you have available in your schedule this day. Our doors open at 10:00am and we'll close shop at about 9:00pm.

This year there are opportunities for tying quilts, sewing hats, knitting hats, filling 100 bean bags and stitching closed, coloring educational pictures, making puppets, sanding blocks, making picture/alphabet books, and other fun activities.

There are a few items we could use more of. If you can bring any of the following that would be most helpful. You can leave items at my door as well.

  1. unused magazines
  2. empty hot cocoa or baby formula cans with the plastic lids.
  3. regular mouth canning lids-used is fine
  4. unfinished/finished quilts or hats you want to donate

At 1:00pm, there will be a special Christmas show performed by a local youth band consisting of the Fieldings, Colettis, and Moores.

This Christmas Eve promises to be a blessing for everyone involved.

All finished projects will be divided between three organizations. Utah Co. Head Start Program, Kids On The Move, and Family Support and Treatment Center. Together these organizations serve over 1,000 children.

Merry Christmas to all!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

You're Invited To Serve...2012

 Friends and Neighbors:

For years now we've been wrestling with keeping the right balance at Christmas time. We feel that the right way to keep Christmas is with Christ-like service. Last year we opened our home on Christmas Eve for several service projects. Many people requested to do the same this year and we are pleased to have service projects for Utah Co. Head Start Program, Kids On The Move, and Family Support and Treatment Center. Together these organization serve over 1,000 children who struggle developmentally, financially, or are in unsafe living situations.

We are inviting you and your family to our home to join our family for a day of service on Christmas Eve. 

Here's how it will work. Our home will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. for folks to come as their schedules allow. We will have quilting projects, knifty knitting of hats, ABC books,phonics learning aids, hand puppets, jingle bell boxes, bean bags, and other service opportunities. We'll also have piles of sugar cookies to decorate and enjoy. Most importantly, we'll have the good company of each other.

We'll plan no meal but encourage folks to bring something to share (appetizers, hors d'oeuvres,chips, crackers and a cheese ball, that fruit cake from Aunt Enid, whatever).
If you're able to bring any of the following items, it will help the organizations we are supporting this year:
Gently used or new children's books,
Canning lids or juice lids
Empty baby formula cans with the lid
Old magazines
Quilts (finished or unfinished)
Knitted hats for all ages

If you would like to donate some of these things but can't come on Christmas Eve, we will have a container at our front door where you can leave items.

This has been a hard year for many of us but we have much for which to be thankful. We hope that you have the time and the inclination to gather with friends on Christmas Eve. Feel free to share this invitation with other families who might appreciate the offer. And please let me know if you are planning on coming. Also if you have other ideas for service, we'd like to hear about them, especially if you have something in mind for the younger kids.

Merry Christmas,

Gove and Nickie Allen

R.S.V.P. with a comment here.

Map to our home: 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Third child... first winner...

This has been a super writing month in our home thanks to Elijah attending school now. Freedom Academy has been participating in NaNoWriMo for a number years and students in Elijah's creative writing class have to participate as this is part of their grade according to my son.

This sounded like a great opportunity not only for Eli but for our girls too. So I asked if all our kids could  attend and the school was most accommodating.

And now our family will have three young authors. Beth and Eli are still editing their works which include over 10,000 words each. Mattia wrote 3, 571 words. We will have to send a book to her dyslexia teacher to show what Mattia has been able to do since attending Take Flight. This has been a big burst of confidence to both girls and I think Eli too though he doesn't like the direction his story went.

Once everyone submits their manuscripts I guess we will have to have a celebration. How do authors celebrate the finishing of a book? Ice cream? Dinner? Sleep?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Nurse Nickie...

On occasion when I diagnose a family member properly when they are having an ailment I will consider what it would cost me to return to school and become a nurse again. My husband would like me to become a nurse practitioner so I can prescribe medications to him so he doesn't need to go to a doctor. We shall see about him not seeing a doctor.

As this year has passed with my husband having a cholecystectomy, kids sick, friends children with earaches or bladder infections and then my own 2nd degree burns upon my body and a secondary infection of cellulitis in my left leg related to the burn, I find myself thinking more and more of returning to the field of education.

But then I think about my age. Can I go back at 50 and still learn like I used to do? My brain often feels tired and slow to remember. And yet if I returned to schooling for the next 6 years lets say. I would still have plenty of years to contribute back.

So today it occurred to me what I first need to do instead of stewing about returning to school and starting from step one again after 18 years. I am going to return to the hospital where I last worked as an emergency room nurse and find out what the recruiting team requires for nurses who have been inactive for so long. So simple. I need to know first before I decide what direction to move towards.

One nice thing about me returning now in this stage of life is that I will not need to be in competition with all those young girls and boys who feel the need to prove themselves. I know I've done that in the past and now as an almost 50 year old I come with a great deal of experience with children, surgeries, losses, and life in general. Now I would really know how to teach a woman the skill of breast feeding instead of acting like I did when I was single. A lot of things I did as a nurse back then I really had no idea what it felt like but now I do. That says a lot to me.

I wonder if starting an IV is like riding a bike?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Confession #329 I am a compulsive eater...

From #251 Face the Music

"Don't be too discouraged about that slip. Practically always, we compulsive eaters learn the hard way."

"Your idea of moving on to somewhere else may be good, or it may not. Perhaps you have got into an emotional or economic jam that can't be well handled where you are. But maybe you are doing just what all of us have done, at one time or another: Maybe you are running away. Why don't you try to think that through again carefully?"

"Are you really placing recovery first, or are you making it contingent upon other people, places, or circumstances? You may find it ever so much better to face the music right where you are now, and, with the help of the Cea-How program, win through. Before you make a decision, weigh it in these terms."

Wow, I needed to read this this morning. I am so glad I got up (way too early) yet because of the quiet time with no children around I was blessed to find this.

And now my little world knows it too. I have been blessed to release 22 pounds for the first time in my life without paying someone to coach me along. Working the steps every day and just for today.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

More opportunities...

Cooking Class For Girls
Ages 10-12
Starting September 17th from 1:00-3:00pm. Twice a month in October and November.
Cost $5 for the semester.
All classes in my Provo home, taught by me, Nickie Allen.
Girls will learn safety skills, cooking skills, food science, and play with their food.
Girls will make recipe binders, exchange recipes, write recipes,etc....
Register at:
Details at:
Questions? 801-850-6554.

September 17th Changing and why
Recipes to exchange and collect: veggie dishes and sauces
Science: potatoes and squashes
Cooking: pesto sauce, squash casserole?, fresh flour noodles.
Decorating recipe binders.

October 1st  From Scratch
Recipes to collect: treat and desserts
Science: measurements and conversions/ baking soda-v- baking powder
Cooking: pancakes and syrup, cookies?

October 15th Comfort Foods?
Recipes to collect: grains, soups
Science: ph testing? work of recipe books, thickeners
Cooking: rice/veggie soup

November 5th Knead the Dough
Recipes to collect: doughs and mixes,
Science: gases and elasticity/ catapulting
Cooking: whole grain bread, sour dough mix

November 19th Foods that Medicate/Thanksgiving-Colonial
Recipes to collect: main dishes, miscellaneous
Science: tastes of the tongue
Cooking: raw vegetarian

Opportunites abound...

Introduction To Public Speaking...
 12 week course for girls ages 11-14

 September 11th through November 27th.
Tuesdays from 12:30 to 2:00pm
At my home in Provo.
Cost $3 to cover binder and printed materials.
Call me at 801-850-6554 with questions. Offered by Nickie Allen.
 1st Week Sept. 11th: Delivery & Self-Introduction Speech Preparation/Overcome Obstacles-Demosthenes
2nd Week Sept. 18th: Self-Introduction Speeches/Practice Your Delivery-Patrick Henry
3rd Week Sept. 25th: Preparing a Narrative Speech/Be Yourself-Elizabeth I
4th Week Oct. 2nd: Narrative Speech Polish/Find Your Humorous Voice-Will Rogers
5th Week Oct. 9th: Narrative Speeches/Make It a Story-Marie Curie
6th Week Oct. 16th: Preparing a Descriptive Speech/Use the Power of Three-Paul
7th Week Oct. 23rd: Descriptive Speech Polish/Build a Logical Case-Susan B. Anthony
8th Week Oct 30th: Descriptive Speeches/Paint Pictures in Words-Tecumseh
9th Week Nov. 6th: Preparing a Persuasive Speech/Focus on Your Audience-Gandhi
10th Week Nov. 13th: Persuasive Speech Polish/Share a Vision-Martin Luther King Jr.
11th Week Nov. 20th: Persuasive Speeches/Change Minds and Hearts-Mark Anthony
Call for Positive Action-Lincoln.
12th Week Nov. 27th: Last speeches and a pizza party.

Picnic comments...

Yesterday's picnic was by far the least stressful for me. The night before was long and I was tired the morning of but once things got rolling with the serving of food and help arriving or should I say coming to the rescue (thank you Amy, Amber, Rachael and all the young girls who helped wrap sandwiches), my stress was completely alleviated.

It's nice to take a deep breath now. What I love most about hosting this picnic for the home school community is hearing how the children love playing in the water, running across the park with all the other hundreds of kids and moms being genuinely relaxed and enjoying the opportunity to talk with other moms. But this year was even more enjoyable because of the number of fathers who were able to attend.

Here are a few comments we received:
 Kate said:
"Look at what you guys are doing! Thank you SO much for your unbelievable contributions to all our lives. Thank you. Thank you!
My husband, Bret, said it was the most perfect day. He even fell asleep on the blanket, right there in the middle of everything. He NEVER gets to relax. NEVER! Thank you for holding the picnic on a Saturday. It was so nice to have him there. The kids loved showing him all the special places at the stream and in the trees. It was just magical for all of us.
We all had a really great time. Thank you!"

Sara said: 
 "Thanks again for putting on such a wonderful party today!" 

And Donna said:

"Love today! The Utah County Home School Picnic at South Fork was Wonderful... 
Thank you Nickie and Gove  for your wonderful hard work and consistency in service to the Utah County Home School community!"

Monday, September 3, 2012

It's time for the picnic!

Bring blankets, chairs, and towels for your kids who love to get wet in the stream.
 Lunch will be served at noon.
Nature walks, playing on the hill and running all over the place. Just what kids and moms and dads need. An afternoon together having fun.
Grandma Allen will be there with her stories and music.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Lets address those fears of mine...

I've been living with fears both known and unknown for many years of my life. In ways, fears have become my friends and I have learned to change my activities or my actions to help my fears feel safer in my life.  That is until this past March.

I turned 47 years old in February and this seems to be the year for me to take my head out of the sand and start learning about things/subjects I thought would never be an issue and to also look at and find my fears and begin the processes of overcoming, conquering, and letting go of said fears.

Fear #1: Camping on my own. Even before I was married (17 years ago) I was so fearful of the idea of going camping by myself. How does a girl get over this? She camps. Now granted I didn't go by myself, I took my two daughters and we camped at our mountain property so there was some sense of familiarity. Because the men of our family were at scout camp and I wasn't going to be sleeping well at home I figured this would be a good time to start addressing this fear.
Indeed the days were just fine and peaceful but the three nights were rough emotionally. The first night I could hear cars driving bye, then about 2am a truck came very slowly just creeping along and I realized I had nothing to protect us with except the panic button on my key chain which if I activated it someone might have heard. The second night I realized people just drive slowly past our place because they have finished driving up a steep hill. So finally on the third night, I am truly prepared to sleep. I have a girl on each side of me, ear plugs now in my ears and we feel warm as bugs all snuggled together. Amazingly I fell into my first deep sleep in a week when at about midnight I hear a vehicle pull up close to my tent. Talk about a sudden adrenaline rush! I wake up enough to realize I heard a diesel truck! I yell out "Gove, is that you?" "Yeeeep" I hear in reply. What a relief to my poor heart. We spend the next hour talking about how Beth started all the camp fires and I made fantastic bacon and pancakes on the open fire griddle. And then I couldn't get back to sleep just when I thought I would have the perfect nights rest out in the open fresh air. I would not call camping on my own a fear anymore but it does come with some apprehension. I think I should have a hand gun next time and some pepper spray. I do feel empowered to camp now and can even invite other moms and girls to come with me. I don't have to wait for a man to help me and that is kind of a nice feeling.

My next fear is pretty personal and I'm not sure how to go about address it. I think it is possible to live in fear of what another person is going to do or choices they will make if you are not there to help, prevent, check up on, etc.. I think this is called co-dependency.  Anyway I decided in March that I would attend a 12 Step program to help me. I at times realize that having this fear also makes me feel trapped and annoyed.
The funny thing about programs like this ( I'm attending and an LDS family support meeting) is that what you come for is usually not the real problem. I was hearing people talking about codependency and I started to wonder if what I feel is control issues. So besides working on the 12 steps, (I'm on step 2) I have just started reading one of Melody Beatie's books called Codependent No More. It's interesting. I just finished reading a long list  traits of being codependent in several different categories. I think we probably all have some of these traits just at different levels of intensity. There is also something nice and perhaps therapeutic in gathering around in a circle, sharing ideas or pains without any judgement and just feeling love in the room when attending meetings.

Fear #3: Fear is felt because of ignorance. Ignorance is not bliss. It's terrible. What will happen? Will this never end?  Well the fact is we all live in the age of easy access and even when you are not trying to access you can stumble across pornography on the web. Filters don't keep naked pictures off of google images. I was going to keep my head in the sand until I realized I could not fear this epidemic. I needed to be prepared to help combat against this morally crippling infection. And really lets face it, our kids are going to be exposed one way or another and it was so nice to learn about how to share with my kids what to do when you are accidentally exposed to pornography. It's really important to be able to talk about it and take it out of their mind through words.  It's also nice to be aware of signs that can indicate a problem and to be able to help a family member early on is worth everything there is!
So if you don't know where to start here are a couple of books I would recommend.
The first, and my favorite (so far in my learning) is Understanding Pornography and Sexual Addiction: A Resource for LDS Parents and Leaders. This was a comfortable way to start learning. I love all the resources, sample lessons for different age groups, letters of addicts and parents of addicts, handouts, what to ask when dating seriously, important articles and much more. I'm still working on the articles and I have been grateful for the lesson outlines to guide some of our fhe lessons.
Second is What's the Big Deal about Pornography? A Guide for the Internet Generation. Written for youth to read and parents too. Many youth don't have any idea the side effects and the author has tried to be straight forward about what will happen and how perspectives change.
Thirdly is a book I am just starting. I like the table of contents and I can see that what the subjects are covering is not just for a sexual addiction but for many others like compulsive eating, anger, you name it. The book is called, Putting on the Armor Of God: HowTo Win Your Battles With Satan

So these seem to be the fears most pressing on my mind. I do fear I'll never have another restful nights  sleep again, I fear my teeth will never be white and my silver hair will only continue to spread..along with my lower body; but these I can live with. How terrible to let fear keep me from learning.I need to be ready to help guide a family member or a friend to find hope. A little discomfort in the beginning is worth the understanding in the long run.

Fear had interrupted my life...
Fear had stolen my security....
Fear had disrupted my peace...
Fear had disturbed my sleep...
Fear had me constantly on guard and unable to wind down either awake or during rest.... 
And now FEAR was starting to impact my health and quality of life!
-Latosha Brown

If only...a letter from Public Discourse

Just this morning I was wondering what would happen if all the people in America could be raised with the ideas/actions of honesty, integrity, and virtue. What would happen to the banking/lending systems or the entertainment industry or local, state and national governments in 20 years? If pornography was eliminated from (I was going to say this land)but I'd settle for just the internet alone. Could goodness expand? I would like to think so.  Could individuals be spared this monstrous addiction? I sure hope so.
Pornography, Respect, and Responsibility: A Letter to the Hotel Industry
by Robert P. George and Shaykh Hamza Yusuf
July 9, 2012
A letter on pornography and business ethics written by two prominent public intellectuals—one a Christian, one a Muslim—sent to hotel industry executives last week.
We write to ask you to stop offering pornographic movies in your company’s hotels. We make no proposal here to limit your legal freedom, nor do we threaten protests, boycotts, or anything of the sort. We simply ask you to do what is right as a matter of conscience.
We are, respectively, a Christian and a Muslim, but we appeal to you not on the basis of truths revealed in our scriptures but on the basis of a commitment that should be shared by all people of reason and goodwill: a commitment to human dignity and the common good. As teachers and as parents, we seek a society in which young people are encouraged to respect others and themselves—treating no one as an impersonal object or thing. We hope that you share our desire to build such a society.
Pornography is degrading, dehumanizing, and corrupting. It undermines self-respect and respect for others. It reduces persons—creatures bearing profound, inherent, and equal dignity—to the status of objects. It robs a central aspect of our humanity—our sexuality—of its dignity and beauty. It ensnares some in addiction. It deprives others of their sense of self-worth. It teaches our young people to settle for the cheap satisfactions of lust, rather than to do the hard, yet ultimately liberating and fulfilling, work of love.
We recognize that we are asking you to abandon a profitable aspect of your business, but we hope that you will muster the conviction and strength of will to make that sacrifice and to explain it to your stockholders. We urge you to do away with pornography in your hotels because it is morally wrong to seek to profit from the suffering, degradation, or corruption of others. Some might say that you are simply honoring the free choices of your customers. However, you are doing much more than that. You are placing temptation in their path—temptation for the sake of profit. That is unjust. Moreover, the fact that something is chosen freely does not make it right; nor does it ensure that the choice will not be damaging to those who make it or to the larger community where degrading practices and materials flourish.
We beg you to consider the young woman who is depicted as a sexual object in these movies, as nothing but a bundle of raw animal appetites whose sex organs are displayed to the voyeurs of the world and whose body is used in loveless and utterly depersonalized sex acts. Surely we should regard that young woman as we would regard a sister, daughter, or mother. She is a precious member of the human family. You may say that she freely chooses to compromise her dignity in this way, and in some cases that would be true, but that gives you no right to avail yourself of her self-degradation for the sake of financial gain. Would you be willing to profit from her self-degradation if she were your sister? Would you be willing to profit from her self-degradation if she were your own beloved daughter?
Furthermore, we trust that you need no reminding of the fact that something’s being legal does not make it right. For example, denying black men and women and their families access to hotel rooms—and tables in restaurants, as well as other amenities and opportunities—was, for countless shameful years, perfectly legal. In some circumstances, it even made financial sense for hotel owners and operators in racist cultures to engage in segregationist practices even when not compelled by law to do so. However, this was deeply morally wrong. Shame on those who denied their brothers and sisters of color the equal treatment to which they were morally entitled. Shame on you if you hide behind legality to peddle immorality in the pursuit of money.
Our purpose is not to condemn you and your company but to call you to your highest and best self. We have no desire to hurt your business. On the contrary, we want you and your business to succeed financially—for your sake; for the sake of your stockholders, employees, and contract partners; and for the sake of the communities that your hotels serve. We believe that the properly regulated market economy serves the good of all by providing products and services at reasonable prices and by generating prosperity and social mobility. But the market itself cannot provide the moral values that make it a truly humane and just institution. We—owners, managers, employees, customers—must bring those values to the market. There are some things—inhuman things, unjust things, de-humanizing things—that should not be sold. There must be some things that, for the sake of human dignity and the common good, we must refuse to sell—even it if means forgoing profit.
Robert P. George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University. Shaykh Hamza Yusuf is co-founder and a member of the faculty of Zaytuna College. Affiliations are provided for identification purposes and do not imply institutional endorsements.
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Copyright 2012 the Witherspoon Institute. All rights reserved.

I just lost my post about my burn...rats

Well I'm not going to type that again! Instead I'll just show the two pictures I have of my leg. The first is from today (7 days after the accident) and the second picture was taken 4 days afterwards. Much has occurred, like cellulities and antibiotics.

Today is my first day being active since Wednesday of last week.It doesn't feel nice, not at all. Time to rest.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Perhaps this says it all...

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt." 
-- John Philpot Curran

Response to a question asked of me at Facebook.. and an invitation to you...

Back in May, I was reading about Common Core at the Utahns Against Common Core web site and decided I would support this cause by "liking" it on Facebook. A day later, my neighbor left a message asking why I am against common core because he kinds of thinks it's a matter of being misguided.  Surprise, surprise, I don't often check Facebook so it wasn't until June 10th that I just happened to scroll down to that part of my account and saw his question. And since June 10th I have been deeply invovled with sewing and preparing for the Colonial Heritage Fest. Now my busy days are over and I set at my computer with my second degree burnt leg (a colonial kitchen accident) elevated and try to answer.

Frankly my reasoning is pretty weak. I mean who can stand on just saying,"gut instincts". It just wont float. But that being said I do have a few other reasons and though my reasons probably have nothing to do with Common Core directly I think indirectly my ideas do. And then of course there is always The Constitution of the United States of America and the 10th Amendment of the Bill of Rights (Super Big Reason!)

Small Reason #1: Books I've read...
Democracy in America (vol. 1): gave me a headache but interesting.
The Underground History of American Education: I thought this can't be true but every time we looked up the information, there it was. True. And also by John Taylor Gatto Dumbing Us Down.
Uncle Tom's Cabin: life changing, yet it plays a part in all of this...bondage comes in all sorts of colors/shapes and sizes.
Animal Farm and Atlas Shrugged: both have been happening for sometime now. I'm just beginning to see. 
Roots of American Order: learning from the past
The 5,000 Year Leap: my first big awakening that I needed to learn and would have something to do with repealing the 17th Amendment. I know, go ahead and laugh, but I cried when I received this impression/revelation.
Coal: A Human History: somehow plays into all of this too, as do the Federalist and Anti-federalist Papers which literally gave me super big headaches until I found a modern companion to help me understand what was being said just slightly more than not.

Honestly, after reading all of these books/papers I just mentioned, I still don't know much and can't even write a persuasive transformational paper. Yet, because I strive to not trust in the arm of flesh (not always easy) but rather ask God to guide my learning as there are so many people willing to lead me and our nation and I'm sure I am blind to many things and have yet to learn the truth for what God wants me to know and understand, I am confident that I am on the right path for me, Nickie. (Actually I have the feeling I need to step it up a notch).

I have two other small reasons that are so silly I think I'll be laughed at but since this is my blog and most likely no one is going to read down to this point (tell me if you did read to here), I'll say them.

The movement for parents and children to have their meals, all three meals, at the school. It's happening in Ohio I think I read and even testing it in the Ogden area if I'm not mistaken) and the development of health clinics that will serve elementary, middle, and high schools without needing the parents to be there. Big bells of warning in my mind. Hello Animal Farm. I'm sure this will all start out very innocently but give it time it will change.

Anyway I'm going to try to attend this meeting. Anyone else want to go with me?

And here is more details about the speakers thanks to Kim K.

Free Common Core Public Forum- Come and ask questions
Tuesday July 10 2012
7-9 pm
Larry H. Miller Auditorium
9750 South 300 West
Sandy, Utah 84070

Feature List of Experts:

Dr. Bill Evers: Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution Stanford University and member of the Institution's Koret Task Force on K-12 Education; specializes in research on K-12 education policy, especially as it pertains to curriculum, teaching, testing, accountability, and school finance. Served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education for Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development from 2007-2009. Bill was appointed as senior adviser to U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spelling during 2007. He is currently serving as a member of Mitt Romney's Education Policy Advisory Group.(

James Gass: Pioneer Institute's Director of the Center for School Reform. He has over a decade of experience in public administration and education reform on both the state and municipal levels. Between 2002 and 2005, Jamie worked at the Massachusetts Office of Educational Quality and Accountability (EQA). As Senior Policy Analyst-Technical Writer with the EQA, he oversaw the writing and editing of 80 school district review reports. From 1991 to 1996, he worked for the Dean of the Boston University School of Education/Boston University Management Team in its partnership with the Chelsea Public Schools. Jamie earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Boston University.

Emmett McGroarty, Esq.: attorney and senior director at the American Principles Project; has developed some of the formative analyses on the roles that private, federal, and state interests played in the development of the Common Core program and the related assessments and data collection; introduced the ALEC anti-common core legislation; and has been working with groups and individuals across the country to defeat the Common Core scheme; founder network.

Kent D. Talbert is a co-founder of Talbert & Eitel, PLLC. His practice includes legal services to colleges and universities, accrediting agencies, the K-12 education sector, charter school organizations, professional and trade organizations, and others in the education sector. Prior to establishing the firm, he served as General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Education from 2006-2009, where he acted as the chief legal adviser to Secretary Margaret Spellings.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sunday's solar eclipse

Mattia is taking a 6 week Astronomy online class through LEA.  We thought it would be fun and educational to see the eclipse so we drove down to Kanaraville. Arrived about noon, claimed a nice spot out in the field and waited and waited and waited. Soon Richard from SLC parked by us and we discovered he is an astronomer. Then then two more hours passed more people arrived and soon just in front of us came four astronomers from Michigan with a small U-hall trailer. Oh boy. The guys from Michigan are serious and they shared lenses and telescopes and soon you could see the craters on the moon.  The ring of fire was nice but really the neatest was when the sun was setting for us and the moon was still eclipsing with the sun. Gove thought he saw Baily's Beads.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Greenhouse learning:
     We made a green house from a kit during the Christmas holidays because there was no snow on the ground. I was excited to start our seeds back in March without investigation the dates for planting seeds. Everything was working and growing nicely until last weekend when night temps dropped and day temps increased.
     Today it looks like things have pretty much died. Fried in the day and froze in the night. I have some learning to do I can see. Good news is that the peas I planted about 2 weeks ago are growing, mostly.
     Here is a website that sends you an email with an announcement for what you can plant or start according to where you live. Here is the link: My Square Foot Garden thanks to Lisa P. for this. Lisa also made me aware of some easy plans to make garden boxes which I want to use because our ground has debris underneath the top soil. Here is the link for boxes: Cedar Garden Bed

Nursing Follow-up:

Gove is improving! We took a walk down to his mothers house and back. It was a little further than he should have walked but he made it. His incision sites are healthy without signs of infection, runs a low fever  99-100 on average and his pain is managed with acetaminophen for the most part. He's doing well and so are the children. They are all currently playing Harry Potter trivia.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

At times I'm apprehensive to share...

I have avoided writing about home schooling for a long while now because I had felt like I was falling short with our son and occasionally with our girls. Instead of saying something here that might have been read, recognized and understood by someone else, I tried to bury concerns and not talk with anyone except my husband. I don't think that was such a good idea for me or for other parents trying to home school and struggling with boys between 12 and 14 years of age. 

I have to remind myself that choosing to home educate does work... and using the tools of leadership education, Charlotte Mason, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, etc...  good results do happen.

 For example: Our 12 year old daughter has taken control of her education this year. She reads many hours, teaches herself Latin after taking an online class through Leadership Education Academy,  she has realized her level of spelling is behind and has taken the responsibility with my help for daily spelling exams using the Spelling Power program.

All three of our youth use the Teaching Textbooks for math. Between the lessons and additional reviewing with Dad, this program is going quite well. (I received a call from the company asking if I would like to sell their product for them at a UHEA booth this summer. I declined because $15/hr doesn't interest me.)

They attend art classes, mentoring clubs, girls clubs, choir, write letters and essays, following politics, learn about the constitution, participating in colloquiums, play together, go to parks, piano, do chores, argue, love and forgive, attend seminary, hold devotionals, dream about the future, study middle ages in history, serving in church and our community each month.

Our third child has really come along ways with the Scottish-Rite Take Flight Program for dyslexia over the past 18 months. Writing and reading continue to be challenges, yet there are more and more rewards seen by this young gal and her parents.

My point is that I can see our first daughter is in her first year of scholar education. And the second still in love of learning but she sees she can progress like her older sister.

It's our oldest boy that has been a surprise for me. I was concerned. I am not now concerned as I once was and that is why I feel I can write about this. I suppose the biggest part of all of this was coming down upon my knees and after several prayers receiving assurance that certain steps had to be taken and not to worry my pretty head and heart over this. God is in charge. Growth is available as it is wanted and worked for. I seek to keep doing my duty  as a parent who has made covenants with Heavenly Father regarding the raising of our family.

Maturity really is quite different for everyone and between the sexes. I have learned from my mentor Belinda that many moms go through a time with their sons during ages 12-14 were moms feel "like failures" but it passes, maturity and understanding grows for both the youth and the adult.

For our son, who doesn't appear to want to do anything that is hard, who seems to want to be social but holds back from to much commitment, doesn't want to do a lot of things (though I truly feel he is 12 to 24 months away from his scholarly blooming,) we have decided to use a charter school this fall for him. He was accepted to the new Freedom Academy High School. This isn't what my heart wants for him but it is what my husband wants right now until our boy sees his education as really being his. Opportunities are open for Eli. He is taking the steps to become a volunteer at the space camp facility this summer, will attend Youth For Freedom, youth home school conferences in the area and who knows what else God will bring into his life to help in the molding and growth process.

 Yes, I struggle with how things are going with our children maybe more so than other woman but I just wanted to say that I also feel things are going to work out for my boy who is 14 and has much to grow and learn. He is an honest young man who is aware of other youth with limitations. So, for all the anxiety I was letting myself so through what I need was more trust and giving opportunities for making choices and learning from consequences before leaving home. Yikes, leaving home is potentially just four years away. I feel this is really going to work out as it is suppose to.

Peace to all of you moms and dads with concerns for your 12 to 14 year old sons. What I have typed here are things related to education. I could do much about personal growth and the hormones of boys, my goodness but that's for some other time and probably not here but in a personal setting if so moved by the spirit to share.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Chole what?...

It's technical name is cholecystitis. But most of us humans call it a gallbladder attack. The first time Gove ever had an attack was last Saturday just before the second session of General Conference was to begin. Did he eat something greasy that morning? No. But he did have some nachos the night before that were greasier than normal. It must have been enough of a trigger to finally push the gallbladder to give notice of it's deterioration.

This morning, after taking percocet and an antibiotic to try and "calm" things down for the past 4 days, Gove went in for a cholecystectomy and what a big surprise they found.

1st off the gallbladder was enlarged with about 300c.c. of bile. Normally this bladder holds about 40-70c.c. Plus one gall stone almost the size of a ping pong ball. (I kid you not). See the pictures.

2nd the gallbladder was adhering to the side of the liver and had to be cut away which caused the liver to bleed and so the liver had to be cauterized.

3rdly the bile had to be removed by a needle in order to shrink the gallbladder small enough to be removed through the tube which is placed through the belly-button.
And 4thly the gallbladder was near rupture which would have been life threatening so said the surgeon afterwards.

So, I'm really happy that my good, strong, and brave husband finally agreed to do this as I had hoped he would have done on Monday, he just needed a little time to come to agreement with the whole idea. He did tell me Thursday morning that he wished it was over as he has run a fever for 6 days above 101.

Now at home since about noon, his temp is 99.4 He is cold and a little shaky which I am monitoring as I have personal experience with hemorrhaging and don't want that to occur to this big man of mine. With a dryer heated blanket and Mattia's corn bags heated and applied to his body, he is finally sleeping deeply. When next he gets up I will check his blood pressure. His pulse was steady at about 74bpm after he walked around the main floor three times but that was also when he became shaky and cold.

 It's nice to still have a few nursing skills left in me...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

To leave or stay...

Dear Friend,

I'm torn about this subject I need to bring to your attention. Several months ago I saw that you downloaded an app for the Facebook organization. Since that download, I have seen a dramatic drop in the number of visits and posting at this home base of yours. Thus I feel the need to ask you to consider who is more important. Facebook or Me.

To help you in deciding the best course of action, I will remind you that I have been here with you for well over four years. I hold your thoughts, pictures, and secret pains. All tucked away for you to review at any given time. You can even take my many posts and have them placed into a blogger book and sent to your home. Sure I think you can do something of the same thing with Facebook but really, is Facebook right for you. I see how you have almost come to a complete stop with writing what's happening with your family.

For example:  Just this past weekend, your husband Gove, came down with an acute case of cholecystitis. Sure I see you mentioned it at Facebook but please, you gave no details. What about when the surgical team came to transfer him to the O.R. and he yelled out "No, I've changed my mind." even after he signed the papers, had the flannel jammies on and an i.v. in his right forearm. How about the physical therapy he is going through for the arm injury from last Colonial Fest and needs to prepare the arm for the forth coming fest three months hence.

Oh the joy of taking time to say more then just five words.  You see my friend. You need your blog spot. True you have grown weak but I think we can get you going again. Just say goodbye to FB and welcome back to BS.

With warm hopes and thoughts of a more productive future,

Sunday, March 18, 2012

An invitation to learn about nonverbal body language...

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

I and my children recently attended a presentation on how nonverbal body actions affect our relationships. I have used one of the skills taught that evening on several occasions and have found a decrease in my tension towards the guilty party. It's been a great surprise to me.

On Saturday, March 24th at 7pm Melissa Lunt, a trainer with Three Key Elements will offer a free two hour presentation to youth and adults. Melissa will focus on family relationships and the nonverbal ways we communicate positively and negatively with each other.

We are inviting you to attend this informative, fun and interactive seminar.

Please join us at our home in Provo on Saturday March 24th from 7:00-9:00pm (YW's Broadcast is this night as well. You are welcome to come afterwards.)

R.S.V.P to Nickie Allen at:

Thank you,

Nickie, Elijah, Bethany and Mattia Allen

P.S. Feel free to share this invitation with others you think might benefit from the experience. If this date doesn't work for you email me and maybe I can schedule another presentation in April.
Flyer for Melissa Lunt

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Five and not one more...

In January of 1994 Joe J. Christensen gave a devotional address at BYU entitled Resolutions.  He says you ought to ask a few respected people who you know are readers to share with you the titles of five books besides the scriptures that they feel had the most positive influence in their lives.

My friend Jodi asked me and I didn't get back to her. Sorry Jodi. But she did get me thinking about this is a serious manor. Five books that had a positive influence on little old me...
well I have them and it's not just five!

I'll rank these by number but don't take that to mean anything:

                                                       1. Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan written in the 1600's: This was the first classic I ever read. It was during the first couple of years in New Orleans. I think about 2003. I didn't keep track of my reading back then as I hardly ever read. What I can recall is being able to see a clear picture of what the author wanted me to realize. The burdens that were still strapped across by shoulders. I became consciously aware of the actual physical pain I had in those muscles that span my upper back.  I can happily report that the emotional and physical pain is now lifted. It happened during an experience after Hurricane Katrina while living in Ca. It was Christian that I thought of as I had old old old emotions that felt like burdens pulled out of my body.

                                                      2. Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriett Beecher Stowe written about 1852 just nine years before the American Civil War. This was truly a life changing experience to read. Oh the crying I went through for this wonderful wonderful man called Uncle Tom a slave of the southern way of life yet oh what a Christian he truly was made to be. To be like Uncle Tom...The ending were Tom is beaten by his fellow slaves and forgives them and then they realize who he is , their friend , and they stop but it was too late. Too much damage was done. I felt I went through an emotional catharsis after reading this beautiful life saving novel.

                                                    3. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo written 1862 when I think Victor was in exile.  It's the ending that affected me most and the pain of not having an understanding for or a hope or even the knowledge of repentance or the atonement in the main two characters lives. My heart and my eyes cried for Jean Valjean and in a way for Javart. It was so long but what kept me going was listening to the music and setting the stage in my mind more clearly. Having more detailed emotions of the characters. What a sad life so many lead in the book and in real life. Look for something better. Remember to look up. Remember to look for the good, assume the best and doubt the bad. Do you hear the people sing? I think one day the people of our nation will have to sing out and stop a number of wrongs that are building up.

                                                          4. You better set down to read this;  Atlas Shrugged has totally opened my eyes to what is happening in our nation and the development of Socialism. Point blank that's what is is. Since reading Ayn Rand's 1957 publication I can see numerous instances of what she was talking about 50+ years ago. Declining work ethics, "don't blame me" slogans, shortages, government knows best mentality and so forth. Though I think she sounds very creepy as a person she was right one in this novel.  This was not like the other books mentioned. I felt a little sick when I finished ( by the way, there are sex scenes. I was driving and listening so I fast forwarded it so I don't know the extent of details) but then I saw or read something that happened in the U.S. and suddenly I could hear a warning going off in my mind, "that was what Rand said would happen in Atlas Shrugged" . Do we really think giant international corporations with headquarters in America are going to say if they have to pay more taxes for the money they earn outside of America? No.

                                                     5. Jane Eyre written 1847ish by Charlotte Bronte. I had to read this twice. The second and maybe I read it three times I don't recall now and I'm not going to look for those old notes. What was it about this book? Could be the 2006 BBC production??  Well here's the thing, I have this book and Little Woman by Louis May Alcott both in my fifth spot. In ways I want to develop some of the characteristics of all the woman characters in these two novels. Perhaps these two novels really are in a tie with The 5,000 Year Leap: cried when I was reading about the 17th amendment. I felt that I would have something to change in the future with this amendment. Crazy I know. The Peacegiver, & The LDS 12 Step Program both had helped me and prepared me for great difficulty that came a couple years later. Because I had worked to be forgiven and understood forgiveness somewhat more in my very limited and narrow minded way I knew I could do nothing less for another. The miracle of healing that finally comes when we forgive and allow Jesus and his atonement to go to action for us. All of which have had lasting impressions for my betterment.

There you go. Five and yet not just five. Take it or leave it. I'll continue either way.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I love...

those people in the picture at the top of my blog. I love them I tell you! The husband gives all his joy and trust for managing our money and home to me. The children tell me on numerous occasions each day that they love me and thank me for providing home education for them.  It's a lucky and blessed woman that I am.

I guess this is my Happy New Year to all the world. So happy new year everyone! I hope January is finding you feeling healthier.  I awoke the day of Christmas feeling absolutely terrible in my abdomen. The next day I awoke knowing I was going back to a raw food diet. Gove has come along with me and that's what we have been doing since. I didn't even wait for a new year resolution to make the change.

This Wednesday evening I have Kathrine Scott of 40 Blades of Grass coming to do a raw food prep class. It's open to the public and cost $5. I am going to have kale chips, veggie burgers and veggie dips for sampling along with what Kathrine is going to share.

Our community room hosted the annual home school Geography Bee on Saturday. Our son Eli came in second and Beth tied for fourth. Tia tied for seventh.

Lots of fun things are taking place in the community our family made last spring. There's the Monday mentoring class, Thursday is the Heralders Choir, they children and youth will be preparing a Lion King medley for June. Yasa continues once a month, and very soon we will have a public speaking class starting for 12 weeks.    If you home school and are looking for a room to use for teaching children or youth give me a call maybe we can help you out.

Eli finished with braces. He now wears a retainer at night. Mattia will start her braces in about 2 weeks. It turns out that her mouth has grown and her tongue has enlarged enough that she no longer needs her palate stretched because her tongue helped to push her teeth outward. I look forward to seeing her new smile. Eli's teeth look very nice and straight now.

Gove told me two weeks ago that he was ranked by the students and is 1 of the top 10 professors of all the professors in the Marriott school.  Way to go husband. Not to mention he was recently ranked in the top 25 researchers in the world out of 4,000 in his field.

I started adding yoga to my health regime this month. I've been drinking a green veggie juice drink every morning and I am finding that I can now jog better and longer since I started adding the juice. Sadly I did gain a lot of weight back from September through Dec 25th. And I am now removing those fat pounds.  I took my last dose of Vitamin D2 last Friday. I don't know if I will return to the MD for a followup blood work. I no longer have the flank pain and I'm now using D3. I will send spring and summer out in the sun each afternoon gaining as much natural vitamin D that I can to see if I can keep my levels up naturally instead of using a pill.

I bought Ann Wigmore's book on Wheat grass juicing. I saw that she said some people sleep better with one or two trays of wheat grass growing near the head of the bed. Something to do with negative ions and increase in oxygenation. I find wheat grass so hard to take but I want to help my health so I am going to work more with it. Tonight Gove said he likes the sunflower sprouts in the salads. Plus I need to start adding rejuvelac. I hear it helps to add rejuvelac to smoothies. But will it work the same way I wonder.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Where's the people?

Hey, I'm only 10 minutes late for the city council meeting but did it really end before I arrived? What's that? Oh, city council is meeting at the Covey Center due to remodeling of the chambers? O.K. I zip over there, find the meeting, and return home all by 7:35 pm.  Council adjourned for the night at about 7:25pm. Needless to say I missed everything regarding the new council members.

Here's what I did learn; Laura Cabanilla  is council chair and Gary Winterton is vice chair.  I was present for a few thank you words by Midge Johnson and the Mayor's thanks to the out going chair and vice chair of whom the mayor gave flowers to.  Sterling Beck was voted in as chair for the city redevelopment agency and the vice is Kay Van Buren.  That's it. They went into a closed session.

Now I'm home. I did return Genelle P's pizza cutter that we used last summer during the Colonial Fest. She was covering the story for the DH.  Sad news about all of this is that Gove now has Scouts/Mutual on Tuesday's so it looks like I will need to attend by my lonesome self. Not such a fun date in my opinion. 

There doesn't seem to be a picture of the new council yet available online so I can't show you what your council members look like. All in due time.