Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Patriotic Resource . . .

Thanks to Latterday Conservative for the link to this wonderful resource. I have never seen this pamphlet before and after looking it over, I think there are many great parts that I can use to encourage knowledge of our country, the founding fathers, and our wonderful Constitution.

The fact that this was put together under the direction of men inspired from the Lord is even more encouraging. Here is what they said:

Our Dear Brothers and Sisters:

On September 17, 1987, we commemorate the two-hundredth birthday of the signing of the United States Constitution. The group of inspired men assembled for that convention produced the document that the Prophet
Joseph Smith referred to as “a glorious standard” and “a heavenly banner.”

In commemoration of this important event, we are providing this booklet, which contains three family home evening lessons, activity ideas, and a copy of the Constitution. We encourage you to prepare and teach each lesson prayerfully so that family members may feel the divine significance of the Constitution in their minds and hearts.

Faithfully, your brethren,
The First Presidency
(Ezra Taft Benson, Gordon B. Hinckley, Thomas S. Monson)

Follow the link below to download:

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Just wanted to let everyone know about this great deal! Thanks to Free n' Equal at for the heads up. I have looked at this book many times at the library and it never gets old. They use it as reference only. Great companion to the full version 1776. Follow the link below, Enjoy!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Just Wondering . . .

First, an update. Things are going great with us. I feel like the "learning" part of our lives is blending in smoothly with the rest of the everyday grind. When people ask what a typical day with us is like, I think they are a little surprised to learn that our learning is just another part of our day like meals or chores. Most people expect us to have a time set aside for "school". We do, it is just part of what we do. If we feel like starting a chore a little later because we are deep into a great book and the kids don't want to stop (yes, it's happened) then we keep reading. The best part of core phase is that they get to play their little hearts out and eventually they want to learn. It's amazing to experience, but you have to be patient in the process. Having had two children experience the public school system for a couple of years, I not only had to retrain their thought process but my own. It has been hard, but amazing at the same time.

We have been reading Bambi and loving it! It is an amazing story and I love the way the author gives the reader little tastes of nature and life from nature's point of view. We are coming to some critical parts of the story and I am interested to see what kind of conversations they will initiate. We have already had a few good ones. I do want to share with you a portion of my favorite chapter so far. It is not too long, but the author does such a great job of making it come alive to the reader.

The leaves were falling from the great oak at the
meadow's edge. They were falling from all the trees.

One branch of the oak reached high above the
others and stretched far out over the meadow. Two
leaves clung to its very tip.

"It isn't the way it used to be," said the one leaf to the other.

"No," the other leaf answered. "So many of us have fallen
off to-night we're almost the only ones left on our branch."

"You never know who's going to go next, " said
the first leaf. "Even when it was warm and the sun
shone, a storm or a cloudburst would come sometimes,
and many leaves were torn off, though they were
still young. You never know who's going to go next."

"The sun seldom shines now," sighed the second leaf,
"and when it does it gives no warmth. We must have
warmth again"

"Can it be true," said the first leaf, "can it really be true,
that others come take our places when we're gone,
after them still others, and more and more?"

"It is really true," whispered the second leaf. "We
can't even begin to imagine it, it's beyond our powers."

"It makes me very sad," added the first leaf.

They were silent a while. Then the first leaf said quietly
to herself, " Why must we fall? . . ."

Really, I encourage anyone to read this book, it is enriching. I do have a question for you all, what do you do when you have something throw off your schedule for a period of time? What do you do to keep things relatively on track? During the summer is especially hard because you have family visiting, vacations to go on, things throwing the balance off. What do you do?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Battle of the Purge . . .

This is, in a sense, a continuation or update from an earlier post, "Joining In". I had said at the end of that post that I had since moved onto the basement in our battle to purge our home of any and all things non-needful or non-used. The hubby and I dug right in and went through every square inch of the basement. Every box, tote, anything that could hold or store something. We made piles; one for trash, one for keeping, one for selling/donating. I know what your thinking, why go through the trouble of a yard sale. That is exactly what my husband said. He is disgusted with the whole idea of having a yard sale and I just kindly told him that it would be nice to get some money out of all the things we were getting rid of. I also reminded him that it would be me and me alone that would do EVERYTHING for the yard sale.

The piles grew and grew and grew. I was SHOCKED at all the stuff we had that was just junk and what was not to be kept. There was so much! I went through all of our DVD's and CD's and got rid of about 95% of the CD's and about 60% of the movies. The movie average is low because about 75% of the movies we kept are Living Scripture movies or movies made by the LDS church. When my husband saw how many movies I had in the "get rid of" pile, he questioned it. I told him why I didn't like this movie or that and he agreed, there is better.

In the end, we hauled off about 400 lbs of TRASH! It was crazy how much there was. I did have a yard sale and was able to sell about a third of everything there. I made $150 in the 5 hours that I had it and felt it was worth it. We will be putting that in our trampoline fund. (One of the downsides to living "in town" is not having all the room to just go, go, go.)

After the sale, I loaded our Expedition up with all the boxes of things to donate and drove them promptly to the local thrift store. It feels so good to have it gone! So, farewell music from our teenage years in the late 80's and early 90's that was never appropriate to begin with. Goodbye stamps and other scrapbooking supplies that were lovingly used for a couple of years but not even looked at for the last three years. So long to all the piles and piles of DVD's that were watched 1, 2, maybe 3 times and never looked at again. The list goes on and on and on. I am glad to be rid of it and I actually think I lost a few pounds in the process. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Seeking . . .

I have had a HUGE reminder this week about the concept of good, better, best. I spent some time reading some of the posts at The Misfit Cygnet and immediately thought of a portion of the 13th Article of Faith that says:

"If there is anything virtuous, lovely or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."

I don't think that is too high of a standard to determine what we experience in our lives. I think the first requirement, anything virtuous, would actually weed out a lot of things we may consider. At the 2010 TJEd forum, the keynote speaker talked a bit about virtue. He defined virtue as,"... being that what you were created to do or be." Once we decide if something is virtuous, we can then use the other requirements mentioned, lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy, to help decide. This is were it can get a little tricky. Just as Elder Dallin H. Oaks said:

" We have to forego some GOOD things in order to choose others that are BETTER or BEST because they develop faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ and strengthen our families."

I have decided that I am not ok with "good enough", "it's alright", "it's not that bad", or "there's worse". I want to know that what I am exposing my family and myself to is the best that is out there and that it is, "virtuous, lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy." I am not ok with just enough, good or better. I want the best for my family and that means not being afraid to go against the "norms" of the world.

Will I come off as a little strange? Some might think so. Will we miss out on some of the things kids these days are into? Sure. Will this help give my children a giant step towards gaining the testimony necessary to make it through this world? I know it will.

So, through our devotionals and scripture studies, I am seeking. I am seeking those things that can help my family live in the world but not of it. I am seeking for those things that magnify the gospel principles and help me be a better mother and wife. I am also going to always be asking myself, is this the best?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

FINALLY ! ! ! . . .

It is such an amazing feeling to have something come that you have been waiting so long for! Ok, a little over dramatic, but I just wanted to stress how happy I am at the nice weather that we have had lately. There is still an occasional rain storm, but mingled in with those have been beautiful spring days just begging us to enjoy them. We had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with family over the last couple of weeks and a lot of that time was spent outdoors hiking, playing, fishing, horseback riding, taking wonderful rides through the mountains, and just enjoying the beauty that God has given us.

I really think that it is during the Spring that I think most of the things God has created for us here on earth. Of all the things that we will someday learn about, the creation of this world will be one of the most fascinating. Here are a few pictures of our spring splendor:

JJ loving the outdoors.

Dads are SOOOO handy!

Ky enjoying Grandma's tree swing.

Ever the patient fisher, once a nibble, never a catch. Ok, it lasted all of about 30 minutes, but not bad for the first time out.

The mighty fisher-woman!

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Backroom . . .

One day, I hope to have an amazingly HUGE collection of all the great books that we and others deem as classics. I think that I already have a great start toward that goal . . . (My husband would say that I am a little obsessed with books. Yes, I would rather buy books than food. Isn't that a great diet plan though!) . . ., but every once in a while, I need to visit the local library to get a book that I don't yet own. To find the book, I do the usual; look it up in their catalog and find the call number by which to locate it. There have been a few occasions when the call number is followed by the group of letters, BKRM. These letters, I have found out, mean that the book is located in the backroom of the library that only the librarians have access to. So, in order to get the book, one has to ask a librarian to get it. It is not a bad thing, but a lot of people don't know what the letters BKRM refer to, so they look on the regular shelves and when the book is not to be found they just get something else.

The reason I bring this up is because the books that I have had to ask for have all been great classics like The Lonesome Gods and Walden, just to name a couple. The first time this happened to me, I asked the librarian why they keep these books in the backroom and she gave me two reasons; because they belong to the classic collection . . . (not sure why that is a reason, I guess because they are expensive?). . . and because those books are often stolen. Really? People go in and steal books from the library? I've heard of people keeping books they've checked out, but to steal them? People, THEY ARE FREE TO READ!!!!!

So, I understand why they put them back, but here is the negative part of it. A lot of people don't know about the "classics". There are alot of people in this world that love to read, but don't necessarily have direction and so they just browse the shelves. The books that I got had not been checked out for the last four years; that's really sad. Is there a better way to keep these materials safe but also readily available to everyone? It would be nice.

It is nice though that when I go to the library and approach the front desk, the librarians usually ask me what I need from the backroom. I guess that's a good sign! Enjoy!