Apr 27, 2010

Headgates Pro's and Con's

If you have not downloaded your copy of the article from I would recommend it before reading this. I learned about it a few months ago at the TJED forum and have been trying to appy the principles in my home....ssslllloooowwllly and I have discovered a few things as I have listened to the debate and to the arguments for and against headgates:

1. Principles are principles.. ..getting rid of distractions is a principle... does that mean that you must get rid of your lego', but mabey if it is a distraction in your home. Work is a principle..does that mean that you must work from 8-12 as she, but mabey if you find that helps your home to run smoothly and your kids learn some skills. I have found that principles should be they should be applied should most definately vary between families. But that does not mean that they should be ignored or rejected just becase someone elses "picture" of the principles is different from what we would choose.

2. Sometimes our arguements are just excuses for not doing something hard that we should be doing....I have heard many arguments against headgates that are similar to ones that I have heard when people ask about homeschooling. ...that works for your family, but could never work for mine....But what about socialization? . (ever asked that one :) ).... If you don't expose your child to the world how will they survive in the world....but my child would never just pick up a book and study, I could never do it..I'm just not ____ enough. I chuckle when people tell me these kind of excuses because I have moved past that point...I know that it could work for their family, that socialization has it's place and time, and that the world is good and bad and that good and bad are a part of a family just as much as they are a part of the world, and that yes, they will eventually pick up a book and read it, and that none of us are enough but we can become enough. And yet some of the excuses I have heard regarding headgates are the same...which leads me to believe that when approaching a new idea we sometimes react the same way...It wouldn't work at my house, I can't take their distractions away because of.____ and _____ and ______....., limit friends, limit toys, limit distractions? ??? ridiculous.. .they are children after all. I don't have enough work to keep us busy for that long...That is just crazy, we aren't living in the dark ages here (all of these are arguments I have heard over the past month regarding the headgates article.) For me when I feel defensive towards something... homeschooling, children, spouce, life, is usually because I am resisting the need to change and once I get past myself then I can see the truth hiding behind my arguments.

3. Application ! and ? I attended Keri's class at the forum. When I came home and was discussing it with a friend I told her that I had one concern...and that concern was that people would take her "picture"... (headgates) , and that they would take it as "doctrine"-- as the way it has to look and not as principles.. .not as these are things I need to do in my a better wife, be a better housekeeper, take back my roles that I've given away, be a better example of a scholar, be a better organizer and purger, be choosy about environment and circumstances, be more involved in what my children are choosing, etc. But that they would take it as...if I get up and have a devotional and then work their little bums off until 12 and then have reading time and then do whatever they want until 4 but I don't know what they'll do because I took all the toys away ...THEN I'll get scholars.... .without joy and fun and bonding and teaching and mentoring and love. This "picture" would be wrong....for anyone! Because being a mother and a wife is about nurturing and loving and giving and service and joy as much as it is about getting rid of distractions and letting them stretch themselves and withholding things until they are ready, and working together. I don't know Keri, but I am sure from what she is accomplishing in her own home and with others who do know her that she also is joyful and fun and loves her children, and mentors her children. Her "picture" is not headgates, that is just a piece of her "picture" of what happens at her home. It is a picture that has been a blessing to her family that she wants to share with others. So I have taken my own "picture" and tried to tweek it a little more to look like her "picture" which I do when I read Charlotte Mason, or John Holt, or the Home Companion. I take my picture and I change it and make it a little better. I want to create the most beautiful picture that I can create.

We all have our own unique talents and abilities and personalities and so do our children and yet we don't throw the baby out with the bath water just because both are dirty. And we don't keep the bath water and drink it just because it is water. We choose. We look at our life, at the principles before us, and to God and then we choose. I may choose to drink the bath water, someone else may throw out the baby. They both may be the right choice.

The truth hurts, but it also sets us free. It has been very painful at our house the past few weeks but I have also felt so from stuff, free from cares, free from weakness.

By their fruits ye shall know them....I have seen good fruits this past week at my house. Dude, my lol son who has never read a book more than 30 page in is whole life has read two books this past week and narrated to me what he learned and what he liked and what he thought was silly about the story...and how he learned you can't always trust a friend/ Both books were classics over 150 pages I didn't suggest he tell me about them, one I didn't even realize he had read.
Chipper my core son has been bored every day this week and I just keep saying I'm sure you'll think of something each time he asks me what there is to do....he eventually finds something. Today I found him in the backyard saying a prayer....can' t beat that!
Moo, my lol daughter is still in bed right now reading her tired eyes out because she can't put down Prince Caspian...and it isn't because she wan'ts to watch the movie like it used to be, it's because she loves the story and can't wait to see what happens next.
And Chip, my core daughter has given me about 50 hugs this week because her mommy has extra time to tell her I love you and twinkle in her general direction because her mommy is not so worried about making sure to get her study time in...I have time now, it is because her mommy is not so worried about the house being gets cleaned EVERY day...and what I didn't do today I KNOW they'll be time for tomorrow.

My "picture" still isn't perfect even though I've used headgates to tweek the schedule.... that's because I'm not a perfect wife or mother or housekeeper, or friend, or daughter, BUT...I'm becoming one..slowly, just like my children who are slowly becoming the people that they should become someday.

These were just some things that I have observed over the past few weeks and I hoped to give voice to the good and bad that I have found as I have studied how to do this wonderful thing called Womanhood :)

Apr 23, 2010

Simply Music

Have you heard of them? I recently started my two oldest in the Simply Music program to learn to play the piano. I love it! We have had four lessons and my kids are three songs away from finishing the whole first book. They have all the songs memorized and are playing with both hands.

It is quite a different kind of teaching. I had my doubts, don't you always have your doubts when you try something new and unique, but I have really enjoyed watching my children grow and learn. They have not actually started learning notes..the "usual" part. They are only playing five fingers over five all of the 10 songs that they know are only five fingers over five notes but they are playing with both hands and in rhythm and most of the songs have words so they sing while they play...this helps keep the rhythm in time without the counting part.. In fact this week was the first week that they began counting at all.

So, for my doubts. I was taught piano the traditionally boring method....finger scales, reading notes, counting, counting, counting...I hate counting, memorizing, practice, practice, practice. And I am a pretty efficient piano player...not the best, but if I really try I can hold my own.

But my kids, they love to play the much so that I had to outlaw playing the piano until after 1 pm since they would play it all morning and all night and all afternoon. They have not been inhibited by boring theory and counting but they have felt confident and passionate that they can play the piano...and it sounds good! They are learning how to make their fingers work, and next week they start the accompaniment program so they learn how to accompany groups. They even both performed and sang three piano pieces in front of an audience of about 30 elderly people last week without even flinching (did I mention that this was after only three lessons?)

Now, before you start to worry...they will learn theory and counting and notes and all of that "other" stuff that you have to learn if you REALLY want to become a pianist, but in the mean time they will learn to love it, learn to enjoy playing the piano, and fall in love with making music. Each week they are composing their own lyrics or using the notes from the left hand and making up their own right hand, or composing any song with five fingers over five notes.

Really, It's name say's it is simply music. It is simply the love of music, and the love of the piano and the love of creation...all together so that when you are ready you can really love and do the hard work required to do the theory the counting and all the stuff that is hard about piano. It has been inspiring to have our home filled with the lovely sounds of little children playing the piano. And I have not even had to tell them to practice, not even one time...hip hip hooray!


I hate laundry! Sometimes I hear people say that Laundry is their favorite household job...crazy! It is obviously not mine. But, a while ago a friend of mine posted on her blog about her new laundry ideas....boiling like they did in the pioneer time as well as hanging clothes up to dry instead of using a drier...crazy!
So I began thinking about it: pro's: longer lasting clothes, less energy consumption, cleaner clothes and one day I went to the store and bought a was like $30 dollars so I figured I could spend 30$ and try it out.
I love laundry! I know...I is that possible? How does hanging laundry up to dry make you like laundry more than drying it in the drier?...doesn't it take more time not less? doesn't it make your jeans stiff? doesn't it drive you cray to have laundry hanging up everywhere?...okay the answer to this last one is yes...but to all the
It is hard to explain so let me sum up..I start a load first thing in the morning, by the time devotional is over and breakfast is cleaned up the washer is done so we troop downstairs and hang it up on the rack our house two kids fold and put away the laundry and two kids retrieve and hang up the laundry, and I do all the hang ups that go on hangers and hang them on a high bar in our laundry roon...and then I will start a second load and we will start doing our family work...about the time we are ready for our school time devotional of the day the second load is done and so we hang that one up. Then I will wash any blankets or sheets or sundrious items..rugs, linens, curtains, etc that I am washing that week and after individual chores are done so is the last load, ready to be hung out to dry. Then I will start one batch in the dryer of the towels and socks...we have decided we enjoy these items dried instead of stiff :) and it takes them about 1/3 of the time to dry as a regular load of laundry.
Other than that I have two racks full of laundry in my bathroom drying my laundry until tomorrow morning it is all done and it is only 10:30 and I didn't feel overwhelmed or bothered nor did I crawl into bed at 11 pm only to crawl back out because I have to unload the drier so I can throw the clothes from the washer into it before they start to have had those days haven't you?
It is a process and just like anything else it takes a little determination but I have not felt frustrated by my laundry for three weeks...and that is a great feeling. Mabey I'll try boiling next :)

ps I should mention that my children do not have clothing in their rooms..other than their church clothes which are hung up. All of my children's laundry is in the laundry room ( and our laundry room/bathroom is not that is more like a hall I believe anyone can do this) We installed some shelves in the closet and gave everyone four clothes, nice shirts, nice pants, pj's and a small bucket for underwear. So it is easy to fold and put away because it is all in the same place....Happy Laundering :)


I was inspired by some friends of mine, and some books that I am reading that I want to become more feminine.
Back in the olden days girls wore dresses...even not so olden days, like when my mother was a girl...and that was only 50 years ago btw, girls always wore dresses. My mother had to wear a dress to school every day and jeans were only for working in the yard....I even am old enough to remember the days when we were not allowed to wear shorts to school and that was less than twenty years ago, btw :)
I presented this idea to my lovely daughters and they are all for it. We have spent all of our extra spending money for this month on our library (see previous post) so we are waiting until next month to go and get some dresses that are appropriate for romping about long enough and durable enough to feed goats, clean our chicken coops and weed the garden...we may end up sewing alot of skirts but I am really excited to feel more like a woman.
So if you see us all wandering around in dresses...we are not going any place special just appealing to our more feminine side....Hey, why don't you join us! Lets bring back our proper place in the world and be more like our mothers and grandmothers were...soft and supple and lovely every just can't look frumpy if your going to put a skirt on.

Apr 16, 2010

Boys, Toys and Joys

A few weekends ago it was the Thomas Jefferson Education Forum...Love it! It is always nice to go and renew your passion and mission for all the things there are to do.

I attended a parenting seminar on Friday put on by the Arbinger Institute. It was a review for me...things I know, but don't always do. Heather Burton was the presenter and she did a great job of being open and honest about her "boxes" and her homeschooling. It really made me think about my own home and where I can make changes in myself to facilitate changes in my home.

The keynote speaker on Saturday was Andrew Groft. It was the first time I have ever heard him speak. He was really good. He talked a lot about Latin and the root words. His title was Renaissance of Kings. He talked about how the work King comes from Kin...which really means family. And how we are all Kings and Queens over our own homes. And that as Kings and Queens over our own homes we have certian responsibilities and roles to fill. My favorite part was when he talked about Virtue. I was very inspired by his words. He said the root for virtue actually means To Do What You Were Meant to Do. I have always been passionate about virtue. And yet, now that I know a little more of what it means I'm even more passionate about it. Sometimes we may think virtue is a passive thing...not doing, saying, or thinking things that are immoral, but when we think of virtue as doing something...and not just something...doing the thing you were MEANT TO DO. Wow! That looks so different to me. I want to be more virtuous and true to my roles as a Queen of my home.
My first class on Saturday was The Visual Aid that Changed everything...I won't say much about this class because it was not a great presentation, but I was interested because I have been lurking about her website and trying to gather information so her presentation clinched for me the need to get her book and learn the things she is teaching...I'll let you know more after I'm finished reading next year :)
My second class was called: How to teach boys and other people who want to build forts all day...Wonderful!. He actually talked about how men are different from boys are different from girls. His information is taken from a man named Sax.

For example did you know that boy's cochlea in their ear is actually shaped differently from women. It is actually shaped so that it is difficult for boys to hear sounds that are high pitched or if you son is not listening to you he really may not be hearing you...speak louder and lower and see if that helps :)

Another example is that boys and girls actually see differently. Men have more rods and women have more cones. Rods see action and movement and Cones see texture and color. So if your son cannot match his clothes or see things unless they are a little dance, sing a loud song and just help him pick out his clothes :)

Another example he shared is how we draw or write. Boys draw like they see...verbs and adverbs...movement and action. I had to laugh at this one because the other day Chipper was drawing in his autograph book and he drew like six pictures that looked to me like scribbles but then he told me the story...airplane crash, parachute, hut, kill bear, eat bear...action action action. Girls draw and write in nouns and, family, tree, road, mountains, sun. If you want your boys to write add more action, for girls add some descriptions :)

Another is how we react to pain. They did a terrible experiement on men and women...poor starving college students...and took them to the brink of pain where they couldn't take anymore and then they took a picture of their brain. Men's brains showed an increase in blood flow to the brain during pain...women brains showed a decrease in blood flow to the brain during pain. He said, "So there may be some relevence to spanking your sons"....they "see" more clearly after pain. but spaking your girls actually works the opposite...." waaaa...why did you hit me?"...they actually loose the ability to think clearly. He pointed out how this works well for survival of the species...Men need to think more clearly to escape or fight during painful situations...Women need to forget the pain that they feel (childbirth) to continue the species.

I really enjoyed the class and I learned to see my boys differently and be more patient with some things....and with hubbies too :)

One of the other classes I really enjoyed was taught by Kerri Tibbets about Core Phase. Lara Gallagher recommended that everyone go to her class...and boy was it packed! She talked about what she does in her home to help her kids. I am writing another whole post on her theory so check there if you are interested....basically she said get rid of all your toys and then get to work!
If you want more info you can get her free ebook at

They other two classes were on mentoring scholar groups and real vs ideal in you not them. I learned valuable things from both of them: just get started, do something, boys really "get into" scholar when then are 14, simulations are key ( $100 service )

It is always nice to go and pick up new ideas and new vision and keep on going to reach our family goals.

Apr 15, 2010

The Library

The other day as we have been "trying" to work on our environment and to get rid of things that are distractions to us I began thinking...I know something scary always happens when I think.
I was thinking about my front know that room that you always keep clean on the off-chance that someone might actually come over to your house and you want someplace to be clean..yea, that room. I was thinking about our front room. It is a nice size room and we put wood floor in about a year ago and the paint needs a little touch up and the window screens need replaced but for the most part I enjoy this room. But I started thinking (the scary part) that it is kind of useless. My visiting teachers have not come to my home for three months...even longer for the home teachers. We never use the room as a family....even when others come over we always go to the living room.
So basically I have a room that is rightly called the "front" room because it is a front....a room that is a projection of what I want the world to see...clean, neat, orderly,...useless!

I got this crazy idea in my head (actually I got the idea in my head from our new piano teachers home) that we should make that room into a library. We went to ikea and bought bookshelves and bought a couch and over conference weekend we made a library.

We then bought two chairs and a soft rug and some nice curtains and moved one of the widow seat benches up from down stairs and now I have a liber room. A room that encourages learning and growth and freedom...and anyone can use it, and it is never clean, and we even spend our evening hanging out in the front room. We are no longer clean and neat and orderly and dark and away.. we are together and bright. I love it. I said to feels warm to me....He said it's because those lamps you bought put out alot of heat :) Warm is a feeling I want my home to say...welcome, come in, plop down, grab a book.

Actually when I was buying the chairs and rug and lamps I left all the kids home and went shopping on my way home from a meeting. I called them to see if they were okay and they said, yea, we are all just reading in the to a mothers ears!

And if that wasn't enough my bro and sil came over to see the baby goats and she asked to borrow a book...welcome, come in, plop down, grab a book. Love, love love, libraries!

Apr 14, 2010

Private vs Public Questions

Last saturday was the Davis County Republican Convention in Kaysville.

I tried to arrive early because I had a really important question that I wanted to ask the candidates...but to no avail I could one find one of I wandered around refusing signs and literature and sickers from all the candidates ..I'm not into looking like a billboard and resorted to reading my book in the auditorium.

The beginning was a lot of policy and procedure...ratifying constitutions, motioning and seconding, dabating and redebating changes, people only worried about getting done on time. And then we heard from Senater Hatch and a few other politicans who are not running for re-election. Then we split into districts and heard the local politicans give their speaches and then we voted.

After the voting I finally got to ask my question. One of our local senators was asked to "fill" in the time while the vote was counted and so after a short speech he took some questions and answers...most were on education, health care, the 10th ammendment, ethics, etc. I decided I would ask him my question.

"My question is an economic question....It has come to my attention that 58% of all the working population in Utah are employed by the Government..state or federal. This is not including people who are on social security or on medicare or receiving welfare assistance threw the government. How do you expect 42% of the population to pay for the other 58% of the popluation as well as their own families and others who need assistance?" His response "This is a good question. I wish more people thought about that question." question

The man next to me started up a dialogue though...he is on the base appropriations committe and he said...well, those numbers are a bit skewed because of the base and the irs in Ogden. I said yes, I agree and then he said and do you know what it would do to us if the base was closed...yes and I am not saying we should not have a military. What I am saying is that we do not need a base in Italy and Japan and England to defend our borders. We do not need 100 people doing a job that 10 people could do. There is definately some fat in our the state level, the federal level, the local level, in our schools, in our public works, in our land management. We need to privatize many things so that the tax dollar is not paying for it. (see my post..what is seen and un-seen, when I finish it that is :) )

For example recently a small town in northern Utah seeing a problem with their budget decided to close a school. They decided to close the oldest school in the town and to try to relocate the teachers and students to other schools. There was a public outcry and so they held a meeting where the people voted to keep all the schools open. Some of the public's reasoning family has attended this school for five generations and I want my children to be able to receive their education there.....if you close this school my child won't be able to walk to school....if you close this school it will cost us money to bus them other places, etc. So they voted and for nostalgic reasons...and nonsensical ones, they decided to keep open all the schools...despire the budget issues. To borrow a saying from a friend of mine THINK MEN THINK! Are emotional resons, exercise reasons and busing issues really worth going further into debt and spending more of our tax dollars toward?

I am not trying to point fingers at anyone who has a job that is paid for by the government. What I am trying to point out is that there is a HUGE problem and that if we don't take a good look at it we are going to have some serious ramifications....ever heard of indentured servants?

Now add to that the fact that when they created social security there were 5 workers for every 1 claiming social security benefits. Now there are 2.8 workers for every 1 social security recipient. Within the next 20 years there will be 2 workers for every 1 social security recipient...this is not even mentioning how we will pay for medicare, obama care, or our trillion dollar national debt.

stepping down from the soap box...

At the conference we also got to hear from candidates running for the Senate and governor. I am all for the guys who say I will not take a salary nor will I take a retirement from the government. I have made my fortune working in the private sector and I was to serve...hurah! My favorite of the day though was our current senator Bennett who's not about the money, it's not about the constitution (it's not?), it's not about who's right and who's wrong, it's about who can get the job done. BOOOOO....I don't really boo people I think it is rude but I wanted to shout out loud...I DISAGREE!

On a positive note...the guy I didn't want to win lost! Hurray my faith is restored in the people. And the underdog...the guy I liked the best...WON! There is Justice and Truth in America. And I must admit I learned a lot being a delegate. It is a great way to get involved and learn about the process. Getting involved is the only way we can have a voice and strive to make a difference.

Apr 13, 2010

#9 Birth a goat, Wean a goat, Milk a goat

I did it. I assisted in the birthing of another living thing.

We came home Friday night April 1 from running around getting things ready for our library and the goats were making a fuss. Now goats usually make a fuss when they need something....they say things one fed me today food is all gone... or excuse me no water...or my hay is wet and yucky. But this noise was more of a whine a cry for help if you will. So I asked the girls to run down and see if everything was alright and they came back screaming there's a baby, there's a baby.
I put on my farming shoes (my snow boots) and grabbed a coat. Our black and white goat Smoothie...or Bulls Eye (depending on the day) had already had one baby and was working on cleaning it off. Our white goat Fluffy was the one making noise. Isn't it amazing that even in the animal world they look after each other. While I was there she began laboring to have a second baby..which surprised us because she was much smaller than Fluffy so we assumed she was only having one baby. I yelled to the kids to grab some towels...which they furiously did. The little babies were shivering up a storm...all babies shiver, it's just so warm inside a mama, but it had snowed and was especially cold this day so we also grabbed the blow dryer to aid mama and the towel in the drying process. Mama was still laboring so much that I was worried she might have another but then we called grandpa and figured that she was just having a difficult time with the afterbirth **grossness ahead** so I actually had to grab the afterbirth and help her to get it out. I even used my bare hands. It really isn't so bad as I thought it would be.
Smoothie had two babies. They look almost identical...same size, same color, both have a prominent black stripe down the middle of their backs but one has four black feet....Chipper named this one Black Feet (male) and Dude named his Stripe (because of the stripe down it's back) it has three white feet and one black foot and is a girl.
It is amazing how fast the labor was and how quickly the animals are up and moving.

Smoothie would not let Fluffy back in the pen that night so we made a little fortress outside for her against the snow and wind but in the morning Smoothie had let Fluffy back in and she was having a baby.

The girls again went outside at my urging...weird sounds again....and Moo peered inside and saw a little baby. By the time I got dressed and "suited" up again she had birthed her second baby but she had not noticed it so it was still in it's sack. **grossness again** so I had to rip the sack open and clean out the babies mouth so that it could breath. Then I put the baby in front of the momma so she could see both of them. Then she took turns cleaning them up...More towels and more blow drying. Fluffy was bigger for a reason because a little while later she had her third kid.

Fluffies babies all look different. The first one looks almost exactly like Smoothie's babies except it is a little lighter brown. Her second one is all a light tan white. And her third one is the darkest color of them all. Moo has named her dark one Chalky after Choclate (girl). Chip has named her's Crystal (girl)...don't ask me why and I got to have the off white one. I thought sugar was a good name but then we found out she is a boy so it is now Sugar Daddy.

Chip is so sad every time we mention that we cannot keep 7 goats in the middle of the city. I told her she should start praying so we can move to a farm and then she can keep her goats. Someday........(sigh) in the mean time anybody want a goat? :)

Why I'm so "weird"

okay, okay...this is not a picture of me....My "weird-ness" has not extended to becoming asian. I thought this was a perfect picture for describing my "weird-ness"...because I truly do have a picture of myself and my cousin looking exactly like this when we were in college. And we went like this on a date with two nice young men who shall remain namless so they do not have to re-live the "weird-ness"

Really I was pondering lately why other people tend to think I am all fairness to other people.....I am weird. But I was thinking about why others think it.
Here is the result of my pondering. I think that people think I am weird because when I see a problem I try to fix it.
When I saw that I could have a different type of family that other people had I decided that I would home school.
When I saw that what I was eating was not healthy for me or my family...for our brains or our bodies I decided that we would change the way we plastics, no preservatives, less meat, no processed food.
When I saw that I needed to stand up for what was right even in the face of opposition I went to my caucus meeting, gave a speech, got elected, visited in my living room with many politicians without makeup on and in my sweats and told them my concerns.
When I saw that my daughter wanted to be in a play I tried out as well and now I have a lead part where I have to sing in front of hundreds of people....I am not that good of a singer!
When I saw that I could get rid of all my toys and teach my children to work I changed my whole life style around...including throwing all the toys away as well as all the "learning" requirements I placed on my children.

I think that sometimes in our society we see a problem and we complain about it, or we blame it on someone else, or we ignore the problem instead of looking at the problem, trying to understand how we are a part of the problem, and them deciding on something to DO to work on fixing the problem (although I do pick "weird" things to Do :) )
Part of the blessing of "seeing" from the Lord is that He gives us the opportunity to "see" and recognize, then repent and make restitution....and then to "become" "become" a part of the solution, to "become" healthy in body and mind, to "become" a better servant to others, to "become" more talented, to "become" involved, to "become" something you didn't intend to become, to "become" more like He is.

I guess my "weird-ness" will continue. Onward, ever onward.

Apr 12, 2010


At my Freedom Project Class we were discussing what we can do to get involved in our communities. Our great mentor suggested that we attend our caucus meetings and try to get elected. A few weeks later the Bishop read over the pulpit a letter to the members asking them to be involved and go to their caucus meetings..well, that clenched it for me.

That morning as I was finishing my morning prayers the spirit whispered that I should probably prepare a few words to say incase I had to give a speech. My bishop nominated me and so I did give a speech. A few, very few really, have asked me to write it down and send it to them so here it is.

I have lots of things that I can think of to say tonight, but I'd like to tell you some of the things that I love about America, and I would like to take them from the pledge of allegience. I love living in a country that is Under God. A country where I can choose to worship how when and why I choose and that my neighbor who is of a different faith than I am can choose to worship how when and why he chooses. I love living in a country that believes in Liberty; that allows groups like this one where we are free to gather, free to express our opinions. I am glad to live in a country where we have the liberty and freedom to get an education and to persue employment. And I am glad to live in a country that believes in Justice for all...for men and women, for rich and poor, for old and young. A country that believes that all men are created equal under God.

But I am concerned, it is the reason why I am hear tonight. I am concerned by the things I see happening in our country. I am concerned when I recently attended a City Council Meeting and found the city council refusing to listen to the people...asking them for permission to have chickens. I am concerned when I see myself and others loosing the freedom to do things on their own property. I am concerned when I see Public Servants who have forgotten that they are just that...public servants instead of serving their own interest. I am concerned when Public Servants do things for profit, for politics, or for personal reasons.

I would like to represent Legistlative District __ and you in seeking justice and liberty for all under God. Thank You

It really wasn't that great of a speech, but I was passionate :) and I did believe all the things I said. But boy, was I nervous :)

Apr 11, 2010

Toys vs Tools

We decided it was time to discuss with the children the new changes that we will be implementing around our home in reagards to "stuff". We have already changed the works schedules and that has been a great benefit. Now it is time to get rid of all the un-real stuff that is taking up our time and attention.

Well our discussion went something like this: We are going to have a garage sell in a few months. We are going to sell a lot of the things that are in our house. I need you to decide if you want to be a part of this process or if it would be easier for you to "just let mommy do it" and not "know". All of the children said that they wanted to be a part of the deciding and each of them had specific toys that they were concerned about. Moo was concerned about the doll stuff and the computer Dude was concerned about the Lego's. Chip was concerned about the dress up's and the stuffed animals and the puppets, Chipper wasn't concerned about anything..he said everyone else had already picked his concerns.

So as we were addressing their toy concerns we came up with a great "catch" phrase: Is this a toy or a tool? Is this something that encourages me to play and enjoy myself or is this something that teaches me something or that encourages me to become something that I want to become. For example: Doll's encourage little girls to want to become mothers and to someday want to have babies of their own. They also encourage girls to desire to take care of something and nurture Laura does in little house, she takes good care of her doll ...and she only has one. As we discussed the computer we decided that the computer is a tool or a toy, depending on how you choose to use it. We must be careful what we choose when we use the computer...are we gaining information, are we learning and changing, are we gaining a skill or are we playing, being selfish, or entertaining ourselves. We are still debating about the lego' it a skill to be able to build with lego's..does it use creativity and ingenuity...sometimes I think yes...not when we are doing "copy" work from pre designed sheets, but yes when we are thinking on our own...(although Keri disagrees because she believes you are not really building with "real" don't really build a building with lego's...or anything like lego's..and yet a doll is certainly not a "real" baby...and you don't treat a real baby how you would treat a doll) so we have decided that we will just give all our lego's to grandma. Then we can enjoy them at her house when we are "playing" and we won't be giving up our lego's.

We also discussed how sometimes our activities can be toys instead of tools. Sometimes sports, play's, book groups, etc can be for social resons for visiting with our friends, for entertainment of our own selfish needs and wants. Sometimes activities or clubs or groups can be for learning, for growth, and for service to others. joy in sharing this is so that someone else may also find a way on their own path...find the place where they have joy and peace and less distractions....we can all benefit from getting rid of distractions in our life....But also we have been reading the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe with our family and tonight we came across the part where we find Father Christmas giving gifts to the Sons of Adam and the Daughters of Eve and he says to Peter...."this is a tool, not a toy" .....TA DA! I was reading...and my brain reads faster than my mouth so I started laughing because I knew what was coming up and I said, "you guys are not going to believe this, but...." and then I had to show them that it said it right there in the book (my first time reading it by the way). So aparently I stole this inspirational phrase from CS Lewis...or he stole it from me 50 years ago :) blogging a tool or a toy? Sounds like a personal decision to me :)

Apr 4, 2010

Beautiful Springtime

There are a few things I love about spring....I love the changes that the beautiful world goes through as it changes from it's winter sleep into growing life....even though I would love to live in a place where it is 80 degrees all year long, I know that I would miss the distinct changes that happen when it is spring.

Spring is in full life at our home this week. We have five little baby goats running around the backyard and two fiesty mama goats being especially protective of them and we have six anxious humans checking on them every two hours to make sure everyone is awake and happy and eating. It is a beautiful thing.

We didn't "do easter" this chocolate, no egg hiding, no easter egg hunts, no stuffed bunnies, no easter baskets, no new church clothes (although we may shop the sales for these :) )
We woke up, had egg on bread for breakfast, watched conference and listened to the beautiful talks about the Savior. It was a beautiful blessing from the Lord to have cute little fuzzy goats as "real" easter presents to teach us about caring and beauty and life.

It is beautiful how everything about spring points to Jesus Christ...birth, hope, joy, peace, growth, caring, resurrection, Life!