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30 September 2007

Phases of the Moon: Day 5

Well, instead of getting a new picture of the moon, we're getting water from the sky. Which means that even if I could see the moon, I couldn't take my camera out to take pictures. Bummer. But we need the rain. And, the moon isn't going down until almost noon tomorrow, so if it clears up maybe I can get a picture in the morning. For now, it being Sunday still, I'll post this instead:

And I, God, said: Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven, to divide the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and for years;

And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth; and it was so.

And I, God, made two great lights; the greater alight to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night, and the greater light was the sun, and the lesser light was the moon; and the stars also were made even according to my word.
-Moses 2:14-16

Sunday Scripture 3

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. ... For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Romans 10:9, 13

Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. ... Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Romans 3:20, 28

It's a huge topic, and one we're tackling in Sunday School today. I got some fabulous commentary from these articles:

Salvation: By Grace or by Works? By Gerald N. Lund

Paul: Untiring Witness of Christ By David Rolph Seely and Jo Ann H. Seely

Have You Been Saved? Elder Dallin H. Oaks

New participants this week:

Keeley at Wanderer in a Strange Land

29 September 2007

Phases of the Moon: Day 4

Still a waning gibbous (84% illuminated), and I've been learning about the names of the stuff on the moon. The trick is coaxing my photo editor into changing the font color so you can see a few labels. Gonna have to work on that.

Interestingly, it's not going to be very long before I have to get my moon pictures in the morning. Moon rise moved about 45 minutes later this evening, and if that's the normal amount of change, I'll eventually need to get daylight shots of the moon, which I'm sure are not going to have nearly as much in the way of contrast on the craters as these cool night time ones have. You can see it especially well along that line where the light and the dark meet. I ran across the name of it today, but I've forgotten it and will have to find it again. In the mean time, it was cloudy outside tonight, so I had a hard time getting a good picture of the moon. What that means is that I took a bunch of pictures, and actually, it looks like several of them turned out pretty well. Here are some of my favorites:

Photo Hunt: Original

It's definitely an original way of getting out of the little tube at the playground!

28 September 2007

Phases of the Moon: Day 3

Well, we are officially in the "waning gibbous" phase of the moon now. Here's another interesting tidbit: they think the moon is actually moving away from us at the rate of about 4cm a year. Not that you'd notice to look at it. Also interesting: the moon makes an orbit around the Earth every 29 1/2 days. Here I'd always thought that a lunar month was 28 days. Today's factoids are courtesy Space.com, which also has an article about the moon's bulge. Who knew the moon bulges? I'm off to read about it.

Here's another Wunderground photographer that's doing moon pictures. His shot from last night it breath-taking!

27 September 2007

Phases of the Moon: Day 2

Weather Underground says that today's moon is still a full moon, and that 97% of the moon's surface is illuminated. Huh. Here I'd always thought that a full moon was a one-night Event. But they do have a spiffy star chart that you can play with to make it show all sorts of different things. It says that the moon rose at 6:55 this evening. Which would explain why I couldn't find it when I was looking for it before that. One thing I'd like to learn about the moon is when it's going to be in the sky. For instance, you often see the moon up there during the day time. Does that ever happen when it's a full moon? Or are full moons always at night? Gonna have to look around and see what I can learn about the moon in the next few days. I'll post any good links that I come up with. And maybe tomorrow I'll try the telescope again. Although it's supposed to be cloudy for the next 3 days, and then raining after that for 2 more days, so hopefully I'll be able to see the moon.

BSPP: Lesson 11

Next week is Take a Child Outside Week so we'll be working that into our preschool lesson. It works well, because after browsing around the Charlotte Mason Carnival, I was inspired to work on getting the Monkey outside for at least a little while every day. It's good for me too: outside is good for just about everyone! (We're planning to do a Classical Education, but Miss Mason sure has a lot of good ideas that work well with a Classical philosophy.)

The Take a Child Outside website has a bunch of good ideas for activities, but they are all too old for the Monkey, so we'll just focus on getting out there and enjoying the great outdoors. If he was a couple years older, the shadow activity would be fun, as well as the rainy day walk. Maybe we'll do those in a couple of years. In the mean time, I'm going to continue my Phases of the Moon project, which will likely result in more outside time for the Monkey.

Now. Planning the rest of our activities for this lesson:

Week 1: Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett
Week 2: Eloise Wilkin's Monther Goose

Week 1: My First Church History Stories retold by Deanna Draper Buck
Week 2: The Holes in Your Nose by Genichiro Yagyu (Note: when I finally managed to get to the end of this thrift shop find without the Monkey stealing it r closing it on me, I discovered some anatomically correct pictures of a little boy & a little girl... I'm gonna get my Sharpie out and take care of getting them some clothes & keep the book anyway: I haven't laughed so hard in ages as I did over treating a book about boogers 'n things like serious nonfiction.)

Read Aloud:

Week 1: Jacob and Esau (Genesis 25-27)
Week 2: Jacob's Ladder/Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 28)

Book of Mormon:
2 Nephi 26-28

Classical Music:

Kick the Ball

color with black crayon on last week's finger painting

Baby Steps Preschool

26 September 2007

Phases of the Moon

I've been trying to get a good shot of the moon for a while, and as I was watching it get closer and closer to the full moon over the past two weeks & being amazed at how quickly the moon was moving through its phases, I thought it would be fun to take a buncha shots of the moon, and record how it moves through the phases over the next month. So, tonight being not only a beautiful moon, but the full moon, I thought that it would be a good time to start my "Phases of the Moon" project. It was also fun to take the Monkey out and show him the moon. Of course, the cars going by on the street were more interesting, but I think he did at least glance at the moon. Maybe I can get my telescope to work and get some really cool shots of the moon by setting up my camera and the telescope in tandem... of course, that would require figuring out how to use the telescope. Apparently it's more complicated than "the big end points at the sky."

25 September 2007

My Point, Precisely

So, Andy's working on his Anthropology, which has spawned a discussion a discussion among his classmates about Creation vs. Evolution. In the process, it's got me thinking about it again. I wrote this a while back, and today some random wanderings around the internet led me to an article by an MD, a Texas urologist. He says a lot of the same things I did, only since he's a scientist, he looks deeper & gives specific examples. With footnotes and everything.

And I still like what Orson Scott Card has to say about it all - even if it is published on Meridian & I can't recommend them at all.

Working On It

Today, while my boy is sleeping, I'm working on finding a place to query for my picture book. I am using the gift that my wonderful husband bought me: The Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market. I tell you what, this process puts my stomach all in knots. And then, I had a query all written out & nearly ready to send & I realized I'd already gotten a rejection from that publisher - but it was a very nice rejection with a hand-written note that wishes me luck with another house. So, if I have to be rejected, that's a nice way to do it. And, after all, Dr. Seuss had a whole boatload of rejections before he was first published. So I just need to collect me a boatload of rejections! =D Wish me luck - I'm back to picking out another place to send my query, and I'd really like to put something in an envelope before the Monkey wakes back up!

23 September 2007

Sunday Scripture 2

Isaiah 12

And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me.

Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.

Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.

Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.

22 September 2007

Sunday Scripture: an invitation

Post a scripture each week - one that you thumb to randomly, one that touched your heart during the week, one that you've been studying. You can take the "Sunday Scripture" graphic to use in your post if you'd like, but if you do please include a link to my blog. Once you've posted your scripture, come and sign Mr. Linky so we can visit you!

This graphic was generously contributed by Shannon at Gabi's World for participants to use! Thank you Shannon!

Now listed in the Meme Direcotry!

the Meme Directory

Cool Toys

Found some really cool toys n things here at Think Button. Looks like tons of fun!

18 September 2007

Say Cheese!!

So, this afternoon, I'm trying to get the Monkey to sign for me. I've been trying to get him to use signs to ask for, well, anything. The only sign he really uses is "milk," and that only while he's actually nursing. We've worked on more, and apple, and kitty, and I had high hopes for that, because he actually says both "cat" and "kitty" and I thought that since there's such an obvious interest there.... then again maybe not. So here I am working on getting him to say "cheese." Give him a cube of cheese, show him the sign. He eats it & looks at me for more.

Show the sign and "Say cheese!"

He eats the cheese. Wants more.

Show the sign, help him make the sign.

He looks at me.

"Say cheese!"


Okaaay then. Who needs to sign when you can SPEAK?

I gave him the cheese. =D

Windows and Sorting

Yay!! We finished a book today! Actually, we finished several, which was good for me, because never finishing a story was starting to bug me. We started with One Duck Stuck and when he stole that one from me I moved on to The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which he also stole from me, so I went back to the duck book. Then I read him Mama, Do You Love Me,which we managed to get all the way through. Mostly because I handed him some other book and showed him the pictures. But it worked: we finished not just one, but SEVERAL books!

In other news, we have installed several new vinyl windows. Yes, they're more energy efficient. Yes, they're much nicer to look at, and no, the glass in the new windows is not wavy like the glass in the old windows. Nor are they painted mustard yellow or dirt brown like the old windows. And all these things are good. Very good, even. But the best thing? Now we have screens that work on 7 windows in our house and we can finally open things up so the breeze comes in!

17 September 2007

Thoughts on Today

So, I'd wanted to do something for Constitution Day today, but what do you do with a 1 year old? Especially since I didn't remember until the last minute. That's something that should have been in my planner. I'm going to have to put it in there so that I can plan it a little bit next week.

Right. So, we tried reading several times today, but we didn't actually make it through the books, but we tried Green Eggs and Ham and Three Little Javelinas.I actually can't remember the last time that we got all the way through a book. I suppose that it's still good to try, so we keep on trying.

We also played with his abacus today. He likes to spin the beads on the wires. And step on it. Stomping is always a fun activity, particularly when you can reach the object with feet not hands. He got in trouble the other day with the cat when he stomped her tail. Poor kitty. Poor boy. But today I showed him again 1 - 2 - 3. Move to the next wire. 1 - 2 - 3. Move to the next wire. 1 - 2 - 3. Wap. Spin. Move a single bead. Something seems to be working here!

And, of course, we played the piano. Mostly he did. I've got to make time to practice myself again if I want to play in the recital next week. I'm close, but I've still got a lot to go: the song's not memorized yet, and it's still got some rough spots. Like, the last 2 pages. But my piano kids are doing well. Now that we moved the recital back because several of the bigger kids did a rotten job of practicing this summer, looks like most or all of them are going to pull off performing pretty well. I'm a little frustrated, but dealing well. I think we're going to do something a bit more low-key around Christmas time: been discussing possibly going to a nursing home with one of my piano Moms, and next time if they're not ready they're just not going to play. It'll be good for them, I think, to miss out. But to do that sort of consequence this time I would have had to cancel the whole thing, which would not have been fair to the little kids.

Wish us well tonight: the past several have been just fine, until about 3-4AM, and then he wakes up and just screams. Well, really he falls asleep, but he's got radar or something, and can tell when I try to leave the room, so then he cries again. A lot. So I put him back to sleep. And then I try to leave. Not so much in the sleeping department going on here! (Ask me why I'm blogging right now, rather than sleeping. I really couldn't tell you.)

It's Gotta Be Done

It's been posted by Keeley, who got it from Magic Valley Mormon. MissKate, who I suspect has some similar feelings (having once played cello), this Pacelbel Rant is for you:

15 September 2007

Sunday Scripture: You're Invited

I'd wanted to post this sooner - almost got it up last night, so that I could invite folks to post their Sunday Scripture & put a link in the comments. But I didn't quite finish it before bed last night. I'll have to do better next week. However, you are still invited to participate - leave either a scripture or a link to where you posted your scripture in the comments section, and plan on coming next week & we can lift each other! Here's my verses for this week:

For behold, thus saith the Lord, I will liken thee, O house of Israel, like unto a tame olive-tree, which a man took and nourished in his vineyard...

And it came to pass that after many days it began to put forth somewhat a little, young and tender branches; but behold, the main top thereof began to perish. And it came to pass that the master of the vineyard saw it, and he said unto his servant: It greiveth me that I should loose this tree.

... It grieveth me that I should loose this tree...

... for it grieveth me that I should loose this tree and the fruit thereof...

... and now it grieveth me that I should loose this tree...

And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard wept, and said unto the servant: What could I have done more for my vineyard?

... and it grieveth me that I should loose them.

But what could I have done more in my vineyard? Have I slackened mine hand, that I have not nourished it? Nay, I have nourished it, and I have pruned it, and I have dunged it; and I have stretched for mine hand almost all the day long, and the end draweth nigh. And it grieveth me that I should hew down all the trees of my vineyard...

And the Lord said: Yea, I will spare it a little longer, for it grieveth me that I should loose the trees of my vineyard...

... For it grieveth me that I should loose the trees of my vineyard...
-Jacob 5:3,7,32,41,47,51,66 (emphasis added)

It's so abundantly clear in this passage how much the Lord loves us. WE, His children, are the trees that it grieves him so much to loose. Everything that the Lord of the Vineyard does, is in some way, to help us grow.

Baby Steps to Orginization

Yep. It's definitely going to take a LOT of those little Baby Steps. But I feel the need to do it. Time Management, that's a big one, and it's Time to Overcome.

So, I bought a planner. And a book on organization called Organizing Plain & Simple. And I'm going though it with my notebook in hand so I can answer the questions she raises & really think about what I'm reading. I also did a search for time management in the LDS.org library. There's some good stuff in there! Like This Day, from Brother Eyring at the April conference. Brother Monson addressed the same thing right after 9-11:

And so I ask, “What are we doing with today?” If we live only for tomorrow, we’ll have a lot of empty yesterdays today. Have we been guilty of declaring, “I’ve been thinking about making some course corrections in my life. I plan to take the first step—tomorrow”? With such thinking, tomorrow is forever. Such tomorrows rarely come unless we do something about them today. As the familiar hymn teaches:

There are chances for work all around just now,
Opportunities right in our way.
Do not let them pass by, saying, “Sometime I’ll try,”
But go and do something today.

Brothe Scott says some very similar thing in talking about First Things First. I especially like this talk from Brother Maxwell on doing things in Wisdom and Order, and plan to come visit that one with my notebook in hand. (Did I mention that I love LDS.org's search feature? It makes it so easy to find the words of the Prophets, on whatever topic!)

I am Resolved. I am a little bit nervous. That's the perfectionist in me speaking. But the Lord can do anything - even make me efficient!

10 September 2007

Doing Preschool

We did some reading today, which was pretty interesting. We're getting to the part where we never seem to finish a book because he likes to grab them and do it himself, and I don't yet have all of our books memorized. I'm sure, based on what I hear from other moms, that this will come in time. We read Rainforest, the super cute Mommy Mine, and the Monkey tried to eat his bear book, which I then took away. We also hit But Not the Hippopotamus, which is on our list this week, but unfortunately I had to return the hummingbird book before the week was done. It was overdue and I owe so much in fines again that I'm sure the librarians aren't speaking to me. Sometimes I wonder if it's really worth it to do the library. Most of the time I'm fine, but every now and then I mess up spectacularly, and this is one of those times.

Anyway. We did some finger painting the other day, and now it's dry so I need to decide which relatives I haven't sent anything to for a while & mail it off. I wish I'd gotten some pictures of him before I put him in the shower this time: he was such a mess!

09 September 2007

Article: The Honored Place of Woman

I was just telling my friend about this quote the other day, and now, while I am looking for something entirely different, I've run accross it, so I thought I'd post it so I don't loose it again before I see her. It's from President Benson's talk, "The Honored Place of Woman."

It is a fundamental truth that the responsibilities of motherhood cannot be successfully delegated. No, not to day-care centers, not to schools, not to nurseries, not to babysitters.

We become enamored with men’s theories such as the idea of preschool training outside the home for young children. Not only does this put added pressure on the budget, but it places young children in an environment away from mother’s influence.

Too often the pressure for popularity, on children and teens, places an economic burden on the income of the father, so mother feels she must go to work to satisfy her children’s needs. That decision can be most shortsighted.

It is mother’s influence during the crucial formative years that forms a child’s basic character.

Home is the place where a child learns faith, feels love, and thereby learns from mother’s loving example to choose righteousness.

How vital are mother’s influence and teaching in the home—and how apparent when neglected!

Sunday Scripture 1

"Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statues;
and I shall keep it unto the end.

"Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law;
yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.

"Make me to go in the path of thy commandments;
for therein do I delight.

"Incline my heart unto thy testimonies,
and not to covetousness.

"Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity;
and quicken thou me in thy way.

"Stablish thy word unto thy servant,
who is devoted to thy fear.

"Turn away my reproach which I fear:
for thy judgments are good.

"Behold, I have longed after thy precepts:
quicken me in thy righteousness."
-Psalms 119:33-40

So, I was thinking, if anyone else wants to do a Sunday Scripture, we could make a blogroll & perhaps have themes. If anyone's interested, let me know!

07 September 2007

Photo Hunt: Music

Theme: Music

We regularly play the piano here - in fact, I struggle to get my own practice in because when I want to play is exactly the moment when he wants to play! But I don't mind too much; I'm glad that he likes it so much.

The hope is that he'll keep on enjoying it and eventually be quite good at it. So far, "practicing" isn't a problem.

And someday when he asks when he started to play the piano we'll just tell him that he's pretty much always done it. At least, I hope so. The piano teacher in me can't help but hope that he loves it as much as I do. Looks like we're off to a good start!

04 September 2007

Pretty Easy Bags

Well, I've now finished the first of my bags and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I had some fabric left over from some other projects, so I grabbed that & started playing. Looks like it'd take 1/3 to 1/2 yard of 45", depending on if you do a pocket or not and how big your bag is. I did just a standard size bag.

I loaded it up with some refried beans and pizza sauce from my cupboard and it looks like it's going to do the job quite neatly. In addition, it should hold books nicely when we go to the library. If I ever catch up with my fines. I swear, sometimes I wonder why I don't just go to the bookstore instead!

Anyway, my bottom didn't turn out quite the same as the pattern's, and I haven't exactly figured out why yet. I'm going to try some things a little differently on the next bag because this one doesn't close up very nicely. The bottom seam is just a little weird. Getting the gusset to do its magic & also be a french seam is going to take a little practice.

Also, my pocket is just a little bit big, so I cut down the pattern that I made, and the next one will be nearly square. Because the fabric's got a right side & a wrong side, the pocket looks inside out when it's folded up. But I think that I'm going to do it the same next time: I'd prefer an inside-out look folded in my purse, rather than it being obvious when I'm using it. But I think that if you did the pocket in a solid color it wouldn't be so obvious. And of course you could pick fabric that is patterned but not obvious about its right side/wrong side. But this was stuff that I had leftover from some project. I think it must be some project I forgot to do because there's a lot of the stuff, and I don't think I've ever made anything out of it before.

Altogether, including figuring out the directions and using a towel on the kitchen counter to avoid setting up my ironing board so the Monkey doesn't get a hot iron on his head, it probably took less than 2 hours to do, but I did it in 3 settings, so I'm not positive exactly how long it was. Not too bad.

03 September 2007

Looks Like Fun

Seems like a couple of sturdy shopping bags are always nice to have around. I'm thinking of making up a couple of these Singlet Style Shopping Bags - the Craftster's pattern even has a pocket for the bag to fold up into, much like a quillow, so that you can tuck it into your purse when you're not using it & it'll be ready for you when you need it. I'm thinking that I've probably already got fabric that would work for this. Now all I need to find is the time...

02 September 2007

Fast Sunday

Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning;

And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness...

-Joel 2:12-13

Photo Hunt: Dirty

Theme: Dirty

We got a sitter went junkyard diving the other day. It was nice and dirty. I love junkyard pictures; they just have so many unusual shapes & views. This time as we left I was struck by how similar the highway and the junkyard are. Except that the highway isn't sorted into Pontiacs and Dodge and what have you.

Here are some of my favorites from this time:

01 September 2007

Haircut Rant

So, my hair was so long it was getting in the way. It was hard to keep it out of things when I was working and it was doing things like tickling the baby's face as I tried to lay his little sleeping self in his crib. So I had a little bit of leftover gift card to a local salon. I wasn't supposed to get a haircut with this gift card, I was supposed to do something frivolous, but when I tried out the manicure it was too hard to keep it nice. Maybe I'm just Beauty Routine Challenged. But my nails were messed up before I left the place cuz even when the polish was dry it wasn't hard. Then I did dishes once and that was pretty much the end of the manicure. So there was no way I was going to do another manicure - waste of my money. And a pedicure was $50 - people do this? Where do they get the money (or the time for that matter)?? So. It's been more than a year since my last haircut, and I'm ready. Gonna donate to Locks of Love and get me a cute haircut. I've got a picture of one I had several years ago, and I'm looking forward to it.

Only when I get there the stylist wants to "play." And he's not very happy when I tell him I don't want any gooey stuff in my hair - including hairspray. The smell bothers my husband, and I'm really too lazy to do my hair every day. I don't want that kind of cut. After double checking 3 or 4 times, just to make sure that I really know what I want, he gets down to the business of cutting my hair. So I leave with an odd cut. I'm not sure what I think, but I run into my friend from New Zealand at the store, BW, and she loves it. I'm still not convinced. But washing it and doing it myself are always a good way to tell what's really going on with the hair. So I washed it last night (I often get evening showers.) and this morning it was a mess. Some parts are flipping under, some parts are flipping out, and and some parts don't seem to know where they're going.

So, I'm no master of the curling iron, but this morning I found myself in the bathroom trying to get my hair to all lay the same direction with my curling iron. The baby wanted to unroll the toilet paper, and the hair, of course, is not cooperating at all. Once this cut grows out a little bit, I'm going to Cost Cutters - or even the Beauty School. Both of those places do what I ask them to, and they are litterally half the price!

This'll be humerus next week, right?


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