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.

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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!