Saturday, November 8, 2008

Scouting needs to get underway.

Since we moved our boys have not been involved in Scouting. That has been six weeks now and I really don't want them to get too used to not being involved. My younger son got his Bear early and is now in Webelos. He has yet to go so I am anxious for him to get started. My other son will turn 12 in just a few weeks and needs to be in with the 11 year old Scouts for just a while before he goes into Young Men's. I just want the transition to be smooth for him.

With homeschooling I find that Scouts is a great time for the boys to go be with their peers and learn things from other adults. I love to be involved as much as possible but I really love for the kids to make new friends and have as many opportunities to be with other groups as possible.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Devotionals are struggling, time for a new idea.

I know we are supposed to do family scripture study every day and there are times where we do really good with this but we do better when we do it right before bed along with our nightly family prayer. I was trying to do it before we did other school work in the morning. I was hoping that this would show my children that we put the gospel first in our lives by putting it first in our day. That sounds great but it hasn't been working and how we quit and aren't doing anything.

So, time to revamp! I am thinking of switching back to doing our evening routine so that we get that family scripture time in to the schedule. For the mornings my thought right now is to read an article out of the Friend or New Era and talk about it. I think that the kids will like this more and it will still send a good message.

Here's hoping!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tithing and our economic crisis.

My husband e-mailed me today to tell me that everyone in his department at work besides him and his boss had been laid off. Evidently, the whole company had a 25% reduction in force. Effective immediately. The people were handed their checks and walked out of the building. Can you imagine? I'm sure some of you have felt it first hand. All I know is that what was once a slight fear in my mind is now a huge weight on my shoulders. I am terrified.

My DH is ever so strong. He keeps telling me that it will be okay. He is not in denial, he wants to think positive and reassure me that he will take care of all of us and seeing as he does quite a good job of caring for us, I should just trust him. Still, there are a lot of good people that happen upon hard times, especially with our economy like it is.

Anyway, the double whammy was that I realized that we had not been paying tithing for the last few months. This made me want to crawl under a rock and die for a few moments (until a child or DH called for me). In my Patriarchal Blessing I am promised that if I pay my tithing I will have enough for my needs and more. I do know Heavenly Father well enough to know that what He considers needs and what I consider needs may be completely different.

My husband and I have struggled endlessly since before we were married. Yes, it has all been our own doing. Some life circumstances have stunk but we could have been prepared had we don't things wisely during good times. Still, I do not know if I can take another dunk in the economic dunk tank of life. I have felt like I live there, maybe I'll pick out curtains for the tank.

What I do know is that I am not missing on anymore tithing payments and I am preparing myself and this household to be as prepared as possible in as short a time as possible. For once in my life, when the rug gets pulled out from under us, I want to know that I did what was right and can pull my family through the hard times.

Sorry that this varied from the homeschool topic. Perhaps we could all ask our children pointed questions about how to be prepared and why. This could be a great family learning experience.

I'm glad we homeschool, I am learning so much! LOL

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Finding inspiration and resources

Aren't all parents, homeschoolers, moms in general and other people all looking for more inspiration to keep plugging away at their daily jobs? I know that I am. I can always use new ideas, resources, and tools to make me a better mother and a better homeschool parent. It's a rare day when you find all of those put together and have the luxury of it being applied with my religion in mind.

Homeschool Helps (Help for the New and Veteran LDS Homeschooler) is a great resource for homeschool parents. It truly has something for everyone and I love it that it is for new and seasoned homeschool families.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Teaching our children about gay people and gay marriage.

Yes, I know we are not supposed to be gay. Or should I say, act upon those urges. I fully believe this doctrine. I am perplexed lately about Proposition 8 in California. Why? Because I think it is a civil rights case and nothing more. I don't believe that by allowing gay people to enjoy the same privileges that I have for being married is condoning their behavior, it is simply treating them equally.

My husband is a little worried about my opinions here and that is fine. I am not out to convert anyone to my way of thinking but I think that the more ideas we listen to, the more informed we are and the more angles we see in things.

It just occurs to me that while acting on gay urges may be a sin, it is also purely evil to take away the agency of people on some levels. I feel that if the gay people want to be married let them. They will meet their maker as we will and we will all be held accountable for what we have done.

In the meantime, I want my children to know from me and my DH that there are gay people, even if they don't know any first hand, they probably will in time. I want them to know what we believe about this and that we know it to be right and true. I also want them to know that they have no business pushing their beliefs on others. Most of all, they should be taught to not be judgemental and to love everyone equally. Sins come in all shapes and sizes, we all have our fair share. None of us (unless given the authority) are in a place to judge someone else.

Thanks for hearing me out dear readers.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Spirituality and schoolwork.

I have a girlfriend who I believe is Baptist. I know for sure that she is Christian through and through. Although we have some differences in what we believe, she is positively one of the most spiritual people I have ever come across. Her name is Marsha and her blog is great! I hope that you will visit it and if you are LDS as I am try to appreciate the fact that this sweet lady is always praising our Heavenly Father and always grateful for the good in her life. Even when times get tough.

Marsha studies the Bible more than anyone I have ever known and I consider her quite a scholar. She also reads many books (not of an LDS type) regarding salvation, scripture study and more. Her commitment is awe inspiring. She makes me think about the amount of study that I do for myself.

If I do in fact believe that we (LDS people) hold the True Church and that we have scriptures that we have been blessed with to accompany the Bible, then why do I not show the same desire and devotion as Marsha. She is always striving to be closer to her Heavenly Father. I wish I could say the same.

What I do know is that while I am teaching my children reading, writing and math, they also need to be getting a spiritual education that sometimes takes a backseat after all that we do for "school" during the day. The spiritual things should come first and even though I know this, I struggle with putting it into action. I suffer from the heart being willing and the weakest flesh.

Thank Heavens for Marsha, her insight, her devotion and her example. I am so glad to have this person that I haven't even met face to face who inspires or impresses me daily. Here is hoping that she rubs off on me and I can put what I have learned from her into action with my own family and my own heart.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Answering vampire questions

Today wasn't my finest moment as a homeschool mother. I think the most information my children got into their heads was at dinner where they all picked my brain for the facts on vampires in the Twilight books. Not my favorite topics.

I don't want the subject of vampires to be completely off limits to my kids but I don't really want to encourage it either. It feels like if I tell them that vampires are off limits, they will just want to read more books about them or see movies about them. On the other hand, I don't want them to think that it is something worthy of their time and focus because by all means, they are horrible fictional creatures no matter what. Drinking blood just doesn't work for me.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Teaching right and wrong along with acceptance.

One of my great parenting worries is that we are pretty good at teaching right from wrong but I want my children to know what is right for them without being judgemental of others.

For example, this evening we were watching Extreme Make Over, Home Edition. My 10 year old pointed out that they say the Lord's name in vain a lot! I have noticed this as well. Our family enjoys seeing the good that this show accomplishes and I like that it teaches the kids to be happy for others and what they receive. I have noticed how often the Lord's name is used in vain though and it does bother me. I use certain swear words quite often but nothing bothers me more than this one.

What my 10 year old pointed out to me struck me pretty hard and I immediately tried to teach him that most people in the world do not believe the way we do on this and so they may not know that there is a problem with it. Nonetheless, I worried the children can become desensitized to hearing this phrase. Then if they hear it so much, will it become part of their vocabulary too? I would imagine that it would be hard to hear something so much and not have it be in your head.

I am now rethinking our watching of this show. The show is not evil, that is not what I am trying to imply. I just wonder how great it is for kids to hear this phrase.

In the end my worry is mainly that my children will not be able to stand strong and still love others for what they are. I also want them to know that they don't always have to focus on someones perceived faults. Enough rambling for now!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Morning devotionals.

Last year (I think I blogged about this before) we did a morning routine where we had some scriptures study, discussion and prayer before we started on our other curriculum. I would like to implement something like that starting next week. One thought that I had is that I have four children which means that they are in four different Primary classes. Perhaps I could use the lesson that they had on Sunday at church as a starting point. This way it allows us to be more involved in their Primary learning as well as reinforcing what they learned. I have most of the Primary manuals as I find them priceless for Family Home Evening lessons. With five days in a school week I thought that we could cover each lesson that was taught on Sunday and then do something different on Fridays. As soon as I get more organized I can post more on what we do.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Suze Orman on Oprah October 13th, 2008

Suze Orman was on Oprah today talking about what people can afford and what they can't afford. A lady was on who has one child and is pregnant (due in April 2009) with her second child. She currently works four days a week. She has an excess of something like $2400 per month after all bills and day care are paid for. If she quits working she will have an excess of over $800 per month. Suze Orman told her that she basically had no business staying at home with her two kids.

Now I get that this is strictly from a financial stand point but I'm hoping that the LDS people listening were aware that the Lord does provide for those who choose to follow a Prophet's counsel. I don't usually get really spiritual or preachy on this blog but I would beg more mothers to realize that maybe if all women made an effort to stay at home and find satisfaction in their work at home then possibly the men's wages would increase, day care costs would drop.

I realize that some women without question have to work. I am not trying to judge anyone. Those without children or who have met horrible circumstances have to do what they have to do. I am talking about mothers like me who may have to simply save the pennies that they can, do without what they can, live in more affordable homes and drive more affordable cars or simply use public transit wherever possible.

All things are a trade off. I was so worried to hear someone try to tell someone that their newborn would rather hear the beating of a mother's heart who was not stressed about money rather than being able to hear a mother's heart all day long when it was held. All mother's will have some stress somewhere. What if the baby can pick up on the guilt that the mother may feel by working through the baby's infancy.

Here is hoping that more mothers will realize that as President Hinckley stated: If anyone can change or improve the world it will start with Mothers!

Faith in God award.

My son is turning 12 in about six weeks. I am really stressed as I have not always kept up on the Faith in God booklet. Cub Scouts overwhelmed me and now Boy Scouts is really overwhelming and Faith in God has taken a back seat. Actually, not just a back seat but out of sight, out of mind.

I am hoping that I can get him ready to receive this award within this six week period of time and if he can't get it in that time frame I am wondering how we explain it to him that it isn't a big deal, even though all his friends will probably get theirs. These are the times that, as a parent, I am guilt ridden!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

So church didn't happen.

I woke up at 2 am with a migraine of course. Somehow my poor body knows when it is Sunday and decides without fail that we are having a migraine! It is a bloody curse. No matter how many blessings I have, no matter the lifestyle changes I make, no matter how hard I pray, there are Sunday migraines. Why?

I frequently read a friends blog that is called "Sufficient Grace for Suffering Saints". The author is not LDS but she is really spiritual. I'm sure that Marsha could find some purpose in my suffering with migraines. I cannot. She has me beat.

A member of the Elder's Quorum (possibly a member of the new Bishopric) came by to see how we were doing. I guess that he had noticed that our records had not arrived in our new ward. Weird. The old ward said that they would handle it when they took our new information but no big deal. I don't think that they can give you a calling until they have your records and I could use one more week to get on top of things here before worrying about something new. (Please don't think that I hate serving!)

Anyway, my 10 year old was bummed that we missed out on church and I had to apologize once again for not being able to go. Perhaps I should start sending them even if I can't make it. My son loves all things social and I want it for him.

So, hopefully I can do something this week that will help prepare and help me for next Sunday. If I am really prepared for Sunday perhaps there won't be the underlying stress and therefore, no migraine.

I have complained enough now for several months. Sorry!

Same old problem, new house, new day.

Tomorrow will be tricky. I found that our new ward starts at 9 a.m. This isn't really a problem except that I am blogging at 3:30 a.m. and have been at it for over an hour. My boys both need haircuts before they can even think about putting on their suits for church because I have hang ups about being well groomed, not just well dressed. Hopefully I can just get up early and trim the hair around the ears and neck line and make them look a little more presentable and go with it.

To be honest, right now it sounds like I can do it and I'm motivated and looking forward to it. My fear is that it will be like every other Sunday and I will lose all motivation and nothing will happen except us staying home. I hope that I can overcome my weakness about Sunday mornings and make this what it should be for my family. My kids need this so badly. They have a lot of other extra activities but this is the one that truly should matter the most.

If you read this please wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

General Conference packets were a huge hit!

I wish I knew who created the General Conference packet that I had for each of my children for this Conference. It was the best General Conference ever for my family! We did not miss one minute of either day. We sat together as a family with our packets for each moment of the televised Conference. Of course, we did not get the Priesthood Session but the kids loved learning more about it and what it is and why it is held.

My five year old loved coloring the ties of the Quorum of the Twelve. The boys loved the games, codes, puzzles and listening for keywords during the talks. Tonight I am going to have them finish a matching game with the scriptures.

Hope others who had this packet or just watched General Conference had a great experience.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Missing President Hinckley

As Conference draws near I still cannot believe that President Hinckley is not with us. It seems so odd to not hear his voice at Conference. While I completely, without a doubt, know that President Monson is our true prophet it still does not help with the feeling of loss. I'm sure that all church members and even some non-members feel the same. President Hinckley was truly one of a kind.

My hope is that I can grow to love President Monson and help my children to do so as well. They have really had a hard time with the death of President Hinckley but I guess that would be hard if you only knew one prophet during your whole life. I just want them to know that President Monson is just as wonderful, just different. Hopefully they will see that change is okay and part of the beauty of our gospel.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Guilt, guilt, guilt. I love the word(s) "NO (thank you)"!

So, nothing new, we are still unpacking. This was my DH's last day off of work to help me so we really had a full agenda. Wouldn't you know that at around lunch time some missionaries from another church showed up at our front door. I don't like people who are mean to any missionaries because I think that basically we are all good somewhere in side.

These men asked if they could share a message with me from the Bible. Here comes the guilt! I told them "Look, we are just moving in and have so much work to do, I am just not interested right now." They actually just said thank you and have a nice day and left. Amazing. So many of them try to keep you talking at the door for some crazy reason.

For those that know me they know that the guilt lasted two seconds and then the relief for having said "no" took hold. What a powerful word. Even in the church, where we are taught to serve and to do it cheerfully, it is okay to know your limits and say "no" when needed. Don't get me wrong, I am all about service. I think that church is where we go to learn to serve and love one another.

I'll give you an example. About five years ago I was in the Relief Society presidency in my ward. I was Education Counselor so it was a pretty fun calling. Christmas came around and one of my friends in the ward asked me to play the piano for the ward Christmas party. Now, I play the piano pretty well. The problem here is that I have health problems that keep me from being able to practice the way one should for a performance. So, years ago I decided that I could not perform. I play for choir, Sacrament Mtg., or other meetings because I don't really have to practice much to make do.

So, I said, "NO". I said it nicely too. Finally my friend got off the phone and I knew she wasn't all too pleased with me. The following Fast Sunday we were bearing our testimonies in Relief Society and I said something in my testimony to the effect that "I would do anything for any of you sisters". After Relief Society this sister came up to me and said "No you wouldn't, you wouldn't even play at the party when I asked". I never feel the need to explain my decisions to people and I'm sure that is part of what frustrated her. In general, in my daily life, I don't like people to know that I have health issues and I certainly don't want to talk about it. I just want live and be happy.

For all of you who have been told "no", try to see where the other person may be coming from or best of all, don't take it personally. After all you asked a question and you know going in that there is a 50% chance that you will get a "no". And boy when you are the one who finds the strength to say "no" to something that is too much for your plate right now, it is the best feeling ever!

Monday, September 29, 2008

General Conference Packet for Children

I was excited to get a reply to my request for a General Conference packet for children. I was sent one from someone in April for Conference and I loved it! My sister-in-law sent me one but I can't seem to get it on here to share. That may be best as I have no clue who to give credit to for creating it. The link above will lead to another great one that I found online. What I love about it is that there is one for older kids and one for younger kids.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Why won't she leave me alone?

This will sound so whiny. Just a warning!

We have lived in our current ward for six months now. We were active for part and inactive for an equal part. The Relief Society President is just driving me crazy. She calls quite often and I know that she means well. She keeps asking if she can visit. She keeps offering help and food for our move despite the fact that I begged her to use the help available for someone who truly needs it. After ignoring her calls for the most part, why does she not get it?

I know that she is a sweet lady and just doing what she thinks is right but I am about to get really blunt about the fact that I want to be left alone and I am not sure how you can say something like that without someone feeling hurt. It really isn't personal, I'm just not interested right now in visits, meals from strangers and men throwing my fragile items into a truck with lightning speed but little care. Not to say that the people aren't wonderful. Boy I'm just digging a hole!

I need a fresh start in a new ward and I know that it sounds like a cop out but I just want to go and have everyone not know that we ever didn't go for two or three months in a row. I don't want to be fussed over. I cannot wait to get out and make a new start for myself. How selfish is that.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Looking for ideas?

Last conference someone sent me the neatest printable pack for children to have during conference that helped them watch for things and make it exciting and age appropriate. Has anyone seen anything floating around that they are willing to share that is like that for this conference? My kids are still adjusting to a new prophet. I need to hype it up all I can and help them let go of the past but keep fond memories.

Please reply if you have any ideas. Thanks!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Another week of no church.

Seriously, I am stressed about this. I know that those of you who are on a spiritual high or any higher ground than I will think that I should just buck up and do what is right. It's like the heart is somewhat willing (not) and the flesh is really weak. Pathetic.

I don't remember how many weeks of church we have missed and I am so disappointed in myself. I know what is right and wrong and I know what an astoundingly good mother would do in my shoes. Somehow I can't make myself go. What really worries me is that the more weeks we miss, the easier it is to miss the next one.

The week after General Conference I am making it my goal to get to our new ward and make a fresh start. I know better than to think that something will change on a weekend when we have the stress of moving. So, I am trying to set a realistic goal. I also know that I need the encouragement of General Conference to get going. Don't you just get that feeling that all the speakers somehow are speaking right at you and you situation at the moment. I get that during nearly every talk. Here's hoping it takes this time around. We need a change.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A great recipe for functions.

As with most religions we have a lot of get togethers and pot luck occasions. I am always in need of a recipe that serves plenty of people without completely breaking the bank. I did find one quite a while back on the Internet. I have no clue where I got it so please forgive me.

Breakfast Casserole

6 baking potatoes
1 pound hot sausage
2 T. butter
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp. seasoning salt
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
12 eggs, lightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a med. baking dish. Prick potatoes with a fork and place on med. baking sheet and bake 30 min. or until tender but firm. Remove from heat, cool, peel, and cube.

Cook and stir sausage in a med. saucepan over med. heat until evenly browned; drain.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over med. heat. Stir potatoes and onion into saucepan, and cook until potatoes are browned and onion is tender, about 10 minutes. Sprinkler with seasoning salt. Place potato mixture in the prepared baking dish. Cover with sausage. Sprinkle with cheese, top with eggs, and season with salt and pepper.

Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until eggs are fully cooked.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Family Home Evening Ideas

These are general but they work for us so I thought I would share.

Gospel Art Kit - I love this kit. The cost is nominal and the payoffs are huge! In a pinch I grab one picture and we look up the scriptures and read the story on the back of the picture. I also try to come up with a relevant Primary song.

Faith in God - My boys are both working on this award and one is due to receive it at the end of the year. You can do so much of this during family home evening. Some of the requirements even have the boy do the actual lesson.

Scouting - There are a lot of scouting requirements (especially for Cubs) that can be done during your family home evenings. Even the connection subjects are just great topics to get started with.

Game night - I'm sure everyone has heard this one but can we ever sit together as a family and have fun too much?

Food from around the world - It's fun to take a night once a month where you learn about another countries customs and top it off with a dessert or other food item from that region. It's great to let the kids help in the kitchen, this helps them want to try something because they have ownership in it.

These are very limited but thought they were worth jotting down. Hope they help someone!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Church History Field Trips & More Ideas!

I was just doing an article on field trips for Homeschool Playground and got to thinking about church history. I live in Utah so there are a lot of places with church history to visit. The greatest thing about all of these is that they are free.

I had a few other ideas that I thought would be great fun for kids and families. Your community or somewhere close will most likely have a Bishop's Storehouse. If you ask your Bishop or Branch President, they may be able to help you arrange a tour or at least give you information on who to contact.

Another idea is to take your children to a stake center that is equipped with a family history center. These are very common now and family history is a popular thing to do for all. It would be fun for your children to go with a goal in mind. The missionaries and other people called to take care of these centers love to share it with people.

Any visitor's center. We have a temple in our town and we love to go to the Visitor's Center. It is great to hear a beautiful message. Great for the children to see missionaries at work and to learn more of the gospel. This is a great family home evening idea.

For a stay at home idea, you can ask your ward or stake library if you can borrow a church video. All stakes (in my experience) have different policies regarding this. I have found that stake center libraries are much better equipped.

Anyway, I hope that some of these ideas are useful to someone.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Almost time for General Conference.

Every time conference comes around I am excited. Anyone that knows me, knows that sometimes I go to church and get really active and other times I am hanging on by a thread. It seems that no matter which cycle I am in I get excited that it is conference time.

I will say that about two years ago I found General Conference totally overwhelming. We were really active. I was the Young Women's president for my second year and it seemed that we were falling into routine with all the responsibilities that came with that calling. As I look back, I think I was on the point of burnout and just didn't see it at the time. What I do know is that General Conference about pushed me over an edge emotionally. It was so odd. I know it had everything to do with my attitude but still today I am perplexed at what happened.

Since then I have been relieved that the same feeling has not returned. I hope that this time I can do what it takes to feel like my cup has been filled and to keep things in perspective.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Just a warning that came to mind

A while ago my husband had a business associate that was quite wealthy and had a nice wife and great children. They also homeschooled. The wife was a bit overboard in her need to have a structured school day for her children. It got to where the homeschooling bit became all she was. Take this with a grain of salt because you never know what goes on behind closed doors.

What happened over time was that the husband felt very neglected and had an affair. They ended up divorced. I have no idea if she still has the ability to homeschool her children or what has become of her.

What I do know is that he made a bad decision and is 100% accountable. What I also know is that maybe she could have found some balance. I feel for her because I know how hard it is to juggle all the responsibilities that we have as mothers and educators. After a full day of teaching and nurturing it is hard to drum up more for a man who comes home at the hardest time of day (dinner time).

I don't know how to prevent cheating spouses, I just know that as an LDS mother I hope that we have tools and inspiration that will help us keep our marriages together. The greatest gift we can all give our children is not homeschooling but a stable home life.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Teaching abstinence vs. teaching safe sex.

Whether you are a parent, teacher or both, this is a big topic. Personally I want to be the first voice in my child's head about sex and as a homeschool mom, I may be the first. I know that chances are, kids talk amongst themselves before parents get a chance but that doesn't mean we should be talking. As homes break down I see the need for society to do something for itself and that may be sex education in the schools. There is no right way to do this because you can't please everyone. The problem is that parents are not (for the most part) doing the talking and so someone needs to.

Frankly, I was taught abstinence. I was told sex was bad, not why I shouldn't have sex before marriage. I could go on for days about how this has had a negative impact on me and my perception of sex, even as a married woman. I have had serious issues that are still not all dealt with because for the first decade of my marriage sex made me feel guilty. Gee, I wonder if it was because I was always told nothing more than not to "do it", it is "bad".

Then I have this brother who's IQ is through the roof and yet he and his girlfriend with an equally high IQ got pregnant before marriage. They got married, had the baby and seven years later through that girl's life into a horrible episode by having a divorce. My brother was taught abstinence, not safe sex. I wouldn't wish my niece away for anything, she is a blessing to all of us but it's too bad she couldn't come to parents who chose each other for the reasons that make marriage work.

I understand that abstinence is best but we are all human and more of us than not know that we have either had sex before marriage or came dang close. I do know that there are some of us who have made it to marriage as virgins and congrats on that. Still, if my children do make a poor choice by having sex before marriage I would like them to then make one right choice and do it safely. Partly because they won't be ready to be parents and partly because diseases are real. Two wrongs will not make a right when we are talking about sex.

I'm not saying pass out the condoms but I'm not against it either. I don't believe that just because you hand a kid a condom he or she will want to use it more than ever. I remember being in junior high and getting my hands on condoms. We blew them up and laughed all night long. Maybe the bottom line is that we can teach and preach and get on our high horses but then just as Sarah Palin's daughter did, our daughters may end up pregnant at a tender age.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Moving to yet another ward. YIKES!

Here is yet another day to be glad that we home school. Our landlord is not renewing our lease because she is mental (no kidding, I really think she needs professional help). Once again this puts us out to house hunting and finding a good neighborhood for our children. We are fortunate to live in a place that has so many fine neighborhoods.

Anyway, even though we have to switch wards I am grateful that the church is basically always the same and runs the same wherever you go. This helps my children and it helps me. It's nice to know what to expect and to know your place in it all.

I am glad that we home school so that this doesn't mean yet another change of schools for my children. Although we have this in favor my heart still aches to have a permanent home where we would never have to move. Not to boo hoo but we have paid so dearly for some of our past mistakes. They are like consequences that just keep giving. Isn't that how life goes?

Good thing I love a new beginning and a fresh start!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I am so ashamed.

There is definitely something wrong with my wiring. I have a huge hang up about being somewhere when someone tells me where to be and when. I'm a born rebel. This could be why church is so hard for me.

This past Sunday for the first time in my life I was a "no show". I have a calling as the Relief Society pianist and I didn't call anyone to back me up or forewarn them. As I have never done this before I feel as guilty as all get out.

On the flip side, it was the nicest Sunday we have had in a long time because we just decided to let everything else take a back seat, except for our marriage. We spent all day cuddling and being together which is a prized occasion anymore.

While I know that this is no excuse for not calling someone I will say that I have not been at church a lot and I was quite embarrassed to call, yet again, to ask someone to do my job.

Why is it that I can't just get with it? Why isn't it enough for me to just set the example for my children? These are questions that I almost fear the answer to.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Family History

We have decided to put some family history into our history lessons. We are doing the History of the U.S. since 1865. This is great because I can actually easily find history about our family on both sides from 1865 to present date. I also hope that this will help my kids see history as a personal story for them. They already love it so this should be the icing on the cake.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Personal Finances for Kids

As part of our curriculum I would love to come up with a way to teach our children how to deal with their personal finances. We have always paid them an allowance thinking that they would learn some basics about saving and shopping wisely. Now I would like to implement more.

We were lucky a few months ago to have our son work on the Personal Finance merit badge for for Scouts. He had to track some stocks and that was a lot of fun. We had many great discussions and looked up some great information when we both wanted more information.

As homeschoolers, I feel like we are so lucky to be able to teach our kids about these things while instilling our values and morals. I want them to be better stewards than I have been. I want them to know the things that I didn't when I was college age and just married. It would be wonderful to come up with a good way to teach them how to be responsible and frugal without resenting these attributes.

This post isn't really a complete thought so I apologize. I just hope to find some way to include these lessons in the curriculum that we have so that the lessons are learned early on. If I come up with anything ingenious, I will be sure to post more on the topic.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Giving up, hanging in, moving on.

A week ago we thought we had to move from our ward. My DH and I both have callings but with the summer schedule we have not been in church much. So, when we thought we had to move it seemed easy to throw in the towel even though we knew that it wasn't right for us to do it or right for the children to see what we were doing.

Now, there is a prospect that we will be staying in this ward and I am feeling ashamed about my attendence, or lack thereof.

I wonder what it is inside of me that makes me want to veer the "wrong" way. Not that I want to do a whole lot that is really wrong but getting to that church building kills me most weeks. I seriously have a resistance to the building.

I guess that the thought of moving makes me feel like there will be a fresh start where I don't have to feel bad about my past absences.

It would be wonderful if this weren't really how it is, but it is this way. I don't know how to change how I am about church things. And for all of those like my best friend who ask if I am praying and reading my scriptures, I will answer a solid "no". I don't know if I want to feel differently so that it would do anything to spark something in me.

It seems odd that I feel the need to confess this somewhere. My DH knows about me through and through and oddly, he still loves me.

Enough rambling, just had to get this out of my system.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

SLC Temple, Conference Center, Capitol Building

We went to SLC this weekend and took the kids to the zoo. After that we took them to Temple Square to see all the sights. While we were up that way we took them by the state capitol building. They were in heaven and so were we! A perfect family day.

To read more please visit


Friday, August 22, 2008

Websites and our values.

Is it hard for anyone else to find websites that are truly family friendly? I'm not saying that they aren't there, it is just hard to be vigilant and careful. Today our curriculum steered the kids to a Yahoo kid's site that I liked on one hand but didn't like the commercial aspect of it. It is very much marketing things like Hannah Montana to kids. Most of it I don't mind but I have to be careful or it feels as though we are saturated by it.

Kids are so influenced by all media types that it astounds me. Today my five year old asked me if we could by Trix Yogurt so that she could find something under the lid. She won't like the Trix Yogurt even if I guy it so I resented the television for having put this bug in her ear about her "needing" to find the clue under the lid or whatever it is. I know it is the job of companies to market. I just used to love the early morning hours of a particular channel on television that showed kid's shows without ads. It was so refreshing. Gone are those days unless I'm missing something.

Back to the web. As the kids get older it is easier to feel the want to just have them be self reliant and find what they need on the Internet without me standing watch. We are lucky that in our home, the computer is in the kitchen so hiding things would be hard but it still wouldn't prevent something inappropriate from just popping up. It happens to me a lot.

I guess that as parents we don't have the luxury of being lazy if we want our children protected. As wonderful as the Internet is, I don't want my kids exposed to the negatives of it this early. I'm sure that all parents with values understand that!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Making judgement calls without being judgemental.

We recently were at our family reunion and our little family of six are the only ones on this side of the family that are LDS (or active LDS anyway). The alcohol flowed and there was even an undesignated "smoking section". We also had an experience with a family member who is addicted to prescription drugs.

Upon coming home I tried to talk with my children about what they were exposed to and realized, once again, how hard it is to teach children certain things without instilling a disposition to be judgemental. We want them to make good decisions based on their judgements but to also keep a soft heart and not feel "holier than thou" or superior to others.

It has always been a struggle for me to teach the younger children who are wonderfully verbal that they shouldn't tell strangers that "smoking is bad for you". Or "you shouldn't do that, it is bad". I am glad to be reassured that they have learned but it is hard to teach them to know and not preach to complete strangers! Children can say the most amazing things as we all know. Here's hoping that we don't have any "wonderfully verbal" incidents due to our latest chat about our extended family's lifestyle.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Babies crying in the night.

Last night I was up all night and finally got two hours of sleep between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. What was strange was that at about 3 a.m. my toddler was up crying and drenched in sweat. She was so sweet and just wanted to be loved. What really tugged at my heart is how much she wanted her daddy. I changed her and gave her a bottle and put her back to bed. In 30 minutes she was crying again. She still wanted Daddy. So, despite the fact that my husband had to be to work in an hour I got him up so she could have a minute with him. She was delighted just to have his attention. You could literally see her bubble over with happiness at the sight of him. Could anything be sweeter.

So, despite being a bit tired for school today, I am so glad to have this not so little family of mine. Even with all our trials and problems we are together and enjoy being together. It doesn't get much better than that!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Meditation or what?

I have been reflecting on how little silence we have in our lives. As LDS people how do we find time for this? I know that we are told to pray and to read our scriptures and to meditate. That all sounds easy but for those of you with a household full of children, appliances, televisions, game systems and everything else, you know how hard that is.

My mother and I had a discussion about how times change and I told her I thought it would be nice to go back in time when the physical labor was harder but you didn't have to worry so much about other problems like violence or media influences. She felt like times hadn't changed and that the problems were the same today. My thought is that while there would have been more work to do to stay alive there would have been some serenity in working in the garden alone with your thoughts, or while you used a washboard. We now shove the washer full, turn a dial and we are off to the next appointment, show or whatever is going on. I also think that maybe even being a member of the church "back in the day" could have had it's bonuses. No Sunday mornings of constant telephone calls from people needing you to do this or that or telling you that they wouldn't be able to do their part.

I am glad to be here in this day and age. I am a technology nut. I love it. I'm glad that I can blog in multiple blogs in the same time it took someone to make one journal entry before they even had a ball point pen. Can you imagine? I am glad that there is a chapel three blocks from my house and that I can call in sick from my calling. Still, I wish I had a garden of silence where I could just work with my own thoughts.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

LDS, Homeschool and Drugs?

Usually you don't find those three words together so closely but this subject is heavy on my brain lately. I feel that we are somewhat sheltered because we homeschool. I also hope that we have certain beliefs, training and blessings because we are LDS. Of course, the blessings are only there if we do our part. As for the drugs, I have seen the best families from all walks of life who in one way or another get affected by such destruction.

For those in need at this time or in the future I have found two great resource sites that are here to help us. One is Drug Treatment and the other is Drug Rehabilitation. Please visit these and hopefully they will start you on your families road to healing.

Migraines and church.

Maybe it is the simple thought of church that does it for me. But every weekend I get a stupid migraine. It is comes Saturday night or during church on Sunday. I understand the ones that start during church as the whole building is lit with fluorescent bulbs and that is a curse for me. The Saturday night thing has me totally stumped. Even my neurologist has trouble explaining it.

So, moral of my story, church causes migraines. Use with caution! Well, that's my story this week anyway. Now, I just need to get rid of this thing by tomorrow because the state won't understand days off of school due to the teacher having a migraine!

By the way, please don't pity me. We all have our things. I'm just really good at expressing all of the thoughts that come out of my head.

By all means, share yours too!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I love a Saturday but spend it dreading Sunday!

Most likely, I am one of the worst LDS members ever. I love a Saturday as my husband works two jobs and we get to spend all of Saturday together as a family most weekends. The problem is that I also spend most of Saturday resenting the fact that Sunday is coming. I hate going to church. I don't mind it once I am there for the most part but I really hate getting six people dressed up, out the door on time. And then there is the matter of the first hour where my husband and I go the rounds with a two year old who wouldn't know how to sit still for anything. Then, we finally get to sit together for a while in Sunday School but get separated again.

I know my attitude isn't good and for the most part I get there and do the right thing. My mother gets mad that I am honest with my children about my attitude but I don't want them to think that all LDS women are Mary Sunshine about their responsibilities but I do want them to know that even if it isn't your favorite thing to do, you do it anyway, because it's what's right.

So, for anyone reading this that is LDS you can go ahead and judge me all you want. You can think I am the worst possible example for my children but I would dare you to find a happier family! I am sorry if this post sounds like one long complaint but it's just the way I feel~ on most Saturdays. This would be one of those.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Devotional/FHE idea

A lot of Monday nights for family home evening we are fried from a day of school with each other. So, a simplistic lesson is always needed. I bought a gospel art kit from the distribution center a while back and about every other month I resort to just pulling out one picture and reading the story on the back and then discussing it with my kids. It makes for a nice, short and sweet FHE. We also have our prayers and song which are always a favorite.

I am thinking of doing this same thing as a devotional type thing before we start school each morning. Last year we did about one week where we did scriptures and prayer before school and it made so much difference in our days. I wish I had kept it up.

Religion and School

The more I homeschool, the more grateful I am for it. I am glad that if we choose to say the Pledge of Allegiance we can. I'm glad that if we start our day with prayer and a devotional, we can. I'm glad that when we are doing science, history, or geology we can sit in wonder at what our Heavenly Father has created. Isn't it great that we live in a country that provides us the opportunity to not only have freedom of religion but freedom of education. Nothing in this life is one size fits all, not even those darn swim suit cover ups! Thank Heavens that we have choices!