29 July 2007

On Criticism

Andy & I have recently been discussing: What exactly IS criticizing your leaders? This article looks like exactly the answer we've been looking for.

Here's the meat of the article:
I am persuaded that many do not understand the Church’s teachings about personal criticism, especially the criticism of Church leaders by Church members.

I do not refer to the kind of criticism the dictionary defines as “the act of passing judgment as to the merits of anything.” (Random House Dictionary, unabridged ed., s.v. “criticism.”) That kind of criticism is inherent in the exercise of agency and freedom. In the political world, critical evaluation inevitably accompanies any knowledgeable exercise of the cherished freedoms of speech and of the press. In the private world, we have a right to expect critical evaluation of anything that is put into the marketplace or the public domain. Sports writers, reviewers of books and music, scholars, investment analysts, and those who test products and services must be free to exercise their critical faculties and to inform the public accordingly. This kind of criticism is usually directed toward issues, and it is usually constructive.

My cautions against criticism refer to another of its meanings, which the dictionary defines as “the act of passing severe judgment; censure; faultfinding.” (Ibid., s.v. “criticism.”) Faultfinding is “the act of pointing out faults, especially faults of a petty nature.” (Ibid., s.v. “faultfinding.”) It is related to “backbiting,” which means “to attack the character or reputation of [a person who is not present].” (Ibid., s.v. “backbite.”) This kind of criticism is generally directed toward persons, and it is generally destructive.

Faultfinding, evil speaking, and backbiting are obviously unchristian. The Bible commands us to avoid “evil speakings.” (See 1 Pet. 2:1.) It tells us to “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you.” (Eph. 4:31.) Modern revelations direct us to avoid “backbiting,” “evil speaking,” and “find[ing] fault one with another.” (See D&C 20:53–54; D&C 42:27; D&C 88:124; and D&C 136:23.)

27 July 2007

Photo Hunt: Creative



Theme: Creative


I grabbed a scrapbook idea bookof the "new books" rack at the library not too long ago and found the perfect idea for what to do with some of the pictures from my trip to the Chicago Botanic Gardens this May. My sister and I went with our cameras and took pictures of pretty much anything that got in our way! Here's the 1st scrapbook page, done in a creative photomosaic style the book

had a few examples of, as well as some pictures that I took.








Down on the Farm





24 July 2007

Bouncing Baby Boy!

Here's some more video. I remembered to put it right side up this time. The best part is at the very end, so you've gotta stick around long enough to see the whole thing. It's not quite a minute long.



In addition to the obvious practicing of "gross motor skills" we also visited some friends today. They got a new baby the other day, and we had leftover frosting from the cake we made to celebrate, so we went over to use it with them. I forgot my camera, so hopefully Jenny will post the pictures she took & I can link to them. But here are a few of their new baby!




We also spent a little while "practicing" the piano. The Monkey was really going to town today. I was trying to do a little practicing myself, but anytime I picked an out of the way place to doodle on, he decided that was just exactly where he needed to be playing, silly kid.

Update: here's the link to Jenny's pictures!

23 July 2007

Learning Experience

So. I took this cute video this afternoon, but I thought that it would fit the frame better if I tipped it sideways. Tipping the camera works like a charm when I'm taking photographs! Anyway, I can't seem to find any way to turn it right-side-up now, so I've got this cute video and it's... odd.
video

Only, grrrr. It's giving me trouble again. Thought this thing was supposed to be kinda working??

video

Third time's the charm, right? I sure hope so!

18 July 2007

BBB: Lesson 8

I find it a bit amazing that we're already doing lesson 8! That means that when we've finished this bunch of school we'll have done 16 weeks - a semester - plus a week off. Not too bad. And we're still doing it, which is very encouraging to me.

After reading Nonfiction Matters: reading, writing, and research in grades 3-8 by Stephanie Harvey, I'm changing things just a bit to include a nonfiction book each week in addition to the fiction stories that we've been reading thus far. I'm also working on getting some tapes of people reading poetry to listen too. I'm thinking about making one myself, but I'm not at all sure that I want to listen to my own voice on tape. But hopefully I'll have something by the time it's time to start lesson 9.

So. Here's the plan for this lesson:

Fiction:
Week 1: Baby Food by Saxton Freymann
Week 2: The Napping House by Audrey Wood

Nonfiction:
Week 1: Seahorses by Elaine Landau
Week 2: The Shipbuilders by Leonard Everett Fisher

Read Aloud:
Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, chapter 1

Bible:
Week 1: The Tower of Babel
Week 2: Abraham and Sarah

Book of Mormon:
2 Nephi 19

Classical Music:
Tchaikovsky's Nutcraker Suite and Serenade for Strings

Game:
Tic-tac-toe
(Play by tracing X's and O's on your baby's back. As you trace repeat this rhyme: "X's and O's, X's and O's, where I stop, nobody knows." Just after you say nobody knows, choose a spot and tickle!)

Art:
Coloring with crayons

17 July 2007

Seahorses n Things

We had a library trip, and picked up a book about sea horses. As we read from the seahorse book, I'd read the text and show him the pictures. It was really cute: he was in his highchair having a snack & I'd read then turn it around for him to see, and he'd smile at the pictures of seahorses. I learned that seahorses are very odd creatures. Did you know that the male actually incubates the eggs, in a belly-pouch like a kangaroo? And then he gives "birth" to a buncha tiny seahorses? They had a picture in the book. Apparently seahorses also make decent pets, and are nice additions to aquariums, as long as the other fish are compatible. Who knew? We also read this week's story, Mommy Hugs, several times today. I think he likes this one.

Later on we went and played the piano. He's so cute when he's "practicing." We actually did that twice today, for just a few minutes each time. And he wandered over there on his own to stand at the keys and make sweet music all by himself.

I've been reading a book about reading non-fiction (more on that in a bit) and decided to change the format of our Lesson plans a bit - kind of depart somewhat from the Brightly Beaming Baby model. But I'll probably still keep at least some of that site's plans around too. We'll see how things develop.

Today in School: Monday

Hmmm. Interesting that so many of these "today" posts are Mondays. I'll have to pay attention to whether it's because we actually do better at school on Monday or if I just like to blog on Monday.

Today we read several stories: Mommy Hugs and Head Shoulders Knees and Toes and some other ones that don't come to mind right now. He "helped" me unload the dishwasher. That consisted of pulling the silverware rack right out of the tray, which was entertaining. But then he dropped it. Also, I stripped him to his diaper and dangled his feet into a sink full of water. I was envisioning the science play you hear about sometimes, pouring water from one measuring cup to another, playing with the whisk. None of that stuff was nearly as cool as just kicking the water. Since we don't have a bathtub, he takes showers and seldom gets to splash. I guess the splashing should have been predictable. It was fun to watch him wear his "observing" face for the first few minutes, then switch over to grinning as he kicked his little feet in the water. Didn't take him long at all to get it all over the place. At the end I gave him his own dishtowel, thinking that I'd encourage him to "help" cleanup. It was pretty fun.

14 July 2007

Photo Hunt: Shadow




I'll be back tomorrow to fix this up a bit - but that's a grackle, only he's shadowed, so you can't see the pretty blue of his head. I've got a couple others that I want to add, so stop by again tomorrow!

12 July 2007

Free History eBooks

A woman on a mailing list I am a member of (Classical LDS Homeschoolers) is posting several ebooks, mostly dealing with History, on her website. I saved what she's got posted already, but she plans to do quite a bit more, it looks like. Gonna have to stop by again sometime.

Today I picked up "Famous Men of Rome," "Famous Men of Greece," and "The Story of the World, vol 1," which is not to be confused with Susan Bauer's Story of the World. These are all books which have expired copyrights.

09 July 2007

Today in School: Monday


Today we met some friends at the library and picked up several board books as well as some books for Mom (cuz I'm not reading enough already... just check the sidebar!), and some recordings: Debussy and Rachmaninoff's piano stuff, as well as Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite. Gonna have some good music around here! A couple of the board books we got are just adorable - well worth a peek, even if your kids are not the write age. For instance: Baby Food, by Saxton Freymann, is just fabulous! It's baby animals... made out of food! I'm also loving Over in the Meadow, illustrated by Michael Evans, but I really can't see who did the text.

We also attempted some coloring because the Monkey saw the box of crayons and got all kinds of excited. It didn't go as well as I'd hoped though: he has apparently forgotten the "don't eat crayons" rule. Each time he tried to eat a crayon, I helped him scribble a bit on the papter. There's lots of scribbles, as you can see. Try again another day, right?

Also, I tried to do some genealogy while he was sleeping, but between the short nap and being distracted (who me??), I didn't get a whole lot done. However, I must say that Ancestry.com has got some pretty cool toys. I'm particularly fond of their "auto-search" feature that they have when you make a family tree. Absolutely addictive.

08 July 2007

Photo Hunt: Fake

They've got a buncha lions around town right now. I'm guessing they're for some sort of Event, but I really couldn't tell you what that Event is. I do know for sure that I am glad the beasties are fake. This one is one of the cooler looking ones I've seen. It's little plaque said "reach for the stars."










And, because I was so enchanted by the idea of doing photo manipulations the way that This Place of Mine did, I'm adding this photo:



06 July 2007

Funny

Keeley posted something that is terribly funny! I've seen it before, but I think I like her version a bit better. It seems more comprehensive...

Wanderer in a Strange Land: Household Principles for Children from the Old Testament

BBB: Lesson 7

Literature:
Week 1: The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle
Week 2: Mommy Hugs by Anne Gutman

Poetry: Invitation by Shel Silverstein

Bible: (Oops!! Missed these last time!)
Week 1: Enoch
Week 2: Noah

Book of Mormon:
2 Nephi 17

Classical Music:
Public Radio in the car

Game: Ice in the bathtub

Spanish: 3 Nefi 12

Japanese: Park words

Art: finger painting

04 July 2007

Sparkler Art













Today was Monkey's first Independence Day. We got some sparklers, and the neighbors had so mony big fireworks we almost weren't missing anything by skipping the city's show. We had a blast with our sparklers in any case.


The camera was set at
Aperature: f5.8
Film Speed: 100
Shutter speed: varried, but long for the wavy ones.

Wear a black shirt.

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