30 May 2008

I Thought it Would be Wrong

You Are Likely a First Born

At your darkest moments, you feel guilty.

At work and school, you do best when you're researching.

When you love someone, you tend to agree with them often.

In friendship, you are considerate and compromising.

Your ideal careers are: business, research, counseling, promotion, and speaking.

You will leave your mark on the world with discoveries, new information, and teaching people to dream.

It's not.

Green Hour #3: Drawing

The third Green Hour assignment was a fun one. Monkey's too little for a nature journal just yet, but I have a sketch book that I've been using as a nature journal, and it's been a long time since I did anything with it. I drew some spent lilac seeds in March, but I haven't touched it since then. It's hard to pay enough attention to be able to draw things well when I've got to keep such close track of the Monkey. Our yard's not fenced in, plus the flowers that I wanted to draw are in the front, so I took pictures of them and drew a tulip after Monkey went to bed last night. I haven't done tons and tons with color, so I was pretty pleased at how this turned out.

We're still working on outside words: "mulch" "garden" "(wood)pecker" "finch." We spent plenty of time outside since the last challenge. We're putting in a vegetable garden and trying the lasagna gardening so that we can neglect it a couple of times this summer and hopefully still have a good harvest. Found a couple of good links for gardening & composting & things with kids:

On KidsGardening:
Making Haste with Waste
Building Soil Nature's Way

One thing that I was worried about when I started to think that Charlotte Mason's nature study ideas, her suggestions of spending large chunks of time outside, had merit is that I'm completely terrified of bees (and anything that looks like it could possibly be a bee or wasp like object). I've been known to scream if one comes within several feet of me. The last time one landed on me I was working right up to crying when a kind friend flicked it off for me. So going outside is a bit of a challenge. Especially since we've removed about 6 nests from our property since we moved in. There was a time when I could hardly stand to go out my back door because several times I opened the door to find huge black wasps trapped between the screen and the door. But Monkey loves to be outside. It's a difficult thing for me, but recently I started praying every time I see a bee. And it's helping. We spent all day outside on Memorial Day, working on the garden. At the end of the day I was happy and relaxed in spite of the fact that I'd been buzzed a couple of times. I'm so grateful for the Lord's help with this - and I wish I'd asked for it years ago!

Here's another post from Barb about drawing in Nature Journals. She's got some great ideas among the things she's included in hers.

26 May 2008


I have no idea how long it's going to be there, but CurrClick's got a 90 page Charlotte Mason nature journal available for free!

Kudos to Cocoa for finding & posting about it!

25 May 2008

Some Books I've Read

I was looking at LibraryThing's list of their top 1000 books. I've read several of them. (Though I prefer Shelfari to LibraryThing. They just don't have the crazy stats lists that Library Thing does.) The inital number is the book's rank. The trailing number is how many people read list it.

1. Harry Potter and the sorcerer's stone by J.K. Rowling (24,861)
2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (23,388)
3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (22,160)
4.# Harry Potter and the goblet of fire by J.K. Rowling (21,220)
5.# Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling (21,203)
6.# Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (21,148)
8.# The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (16,236)
9.# 1984 by George Orwell (15,250)
15.# The lord of the rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (12,039)
19.# Brave new world by Aldous Huxley (10,227)
20.# Animal farm : a fairy story by George Orwell (10,105)
22.# Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (9,872)
24.# Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden (9,614)
26.# The fellowship of the ring by J.R.R. Tolkien (9,570)
28.# The two towers : being the second part of The lord of the rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (9,037)
33.# The return of the king : being the third part of The lord of the rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (8,681)
36.# The chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis (8,317)
39.# Ender's game by Orson Scott Card (7,766)
45.# The adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (7,338)
62.# A wrinkle in time by Madeleine L'Engle (6,569)
63.# The lion, the witch and the wardrobe by C. S. Lewis (6,540)
64.# Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (6,448)
79.# Hamlet by William Shakespeare (5,693)
118.# The secret garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (4,839)
141.# The mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley (4,398)
150.# The diary of a young girl by Anne Frank (4,275)
154.# The magician's nephew by C. S. Lewis (4,242)
164.# Charlotte's web by E. B. White (4,182)
172.# A brief history of time : from the big bang to black holes by Stephen Hawking (4,079)
173.# Macbeth by William Shakespeare (4,051)
174.# The adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (4,027)
177.# Gone with the wind by Margaret Mitchell (4,005)
180.# Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (3,936)
186.# Gulliver's travels by Jonathan Swift (3,852)
188.# Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (3,840)
192.# The horse and his boy by C. S. Lewis (3,780)
201.# Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis (3,689)
205.# The voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis (3,653)
207.# Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (3,643)
208.# Speaker for the dead by Orson Scott Card (3,630)
209.# Jurassic Park : a novel by Michael Crichton (3,607)
211.# The art of war by Sun Tzu (3,595)
215.# The silver chair by C. S. Lewis (3,553)
220.# Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (3,508)
222.# The color purple : a novel by Alice Walker (3,494)
252.# Charlie and the chocolate factory by Roald Dahl (3,262)
265.# The eye of the world by Robert Jordan (3,186)
272.# Nickel and dimed : on (not) getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich (3,076)
282.# The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith (2,966)
302.# The other Boleyn girl by Philippa Gregory (2,858)
310.# The Communist manifesto by Karl Marx (2,834)
327.# A swiftly tilting planet by Madeleine L'Engle (2,738)
328.# Ender's shadow by Orson Scott Card (2,734)
331.# Xenocide by Orson Scott Card (2,728)
338.# Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (2,695)
342.# A wind in the door by Madeleine L'Engle (2,677)
364.# Where the sidewalk ends : the poems & drawings of Shel Silverstein by Shel Silverstein (2,589)
396.# The wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (2,498)
399.# The dragon reborn by Robert Jordan (2,479)
401.# The good earth by Pearl S. Buck (2,475)
402.# The shadow rising by Robert Jordan (2,469)
407.# Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (2,447)
430.# Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (2,447)
431.# Uncle Tom's cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (2,371)
440.# Where the wild things are by Maurice Sendak (2,347)
466.# The clan of the cave bear by Jean M. Auel (2,244)
475.# A crown of swords by Robert Jordan (2,230)
506.# The complete fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm by Jacob Grimm (2,130)
526.# Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery (2,083)
529.# The lost world : a novel by Michael Crichton (2,078)
543.# And then there were none by Agatha Christie (2,053)
553.# Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell (2,025)
608.# Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey (1,922)
612.# Shadow of the Hegemon by Orson Scott Card (1,916)
622.# Fantastic beasts and where to find them by J.K. Rowling (1,897)
626.# A light in the attic by Shel Silverstein (1,883)
644.# The call of the wild by Jack London (1,856)
649.# Little house on the prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder (1,850)
651.# Black Beauty by Anna Sewell (1,849)
654.# Anne of the island by L.M. Montgomery (1,843)
656.# Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne (1,839)
664.# Girl, interrupted by Susanna Kaysen (1,825)
670.# Little house in the big woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder (1,817)
676.# The assassin's apprentice by Robin Hobb (1,812)
715.# The giving tree by Shel Silverstein (1,737)
725.# Wizard's first rule by Terry Goodkind (1,724)
769.# Heidi by Johanna Spyri (1,657)
776.# Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey (1,646)
790.# Green eggs and ham by Dr. Seuss (1,633)
804.# The valley of horses : a novel by Jean M. Auel (1,618)
815.# Dragonsinger by Anne McCaffrey (1,600)
824.# The white dragon by Anne McCaffrey (1,587)
852.# The sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks (1,546)
876.# The Hobbit ; [and], The lord of the rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (1,525)
886.# Where the red fern grows; the story of two dogs and a boy by Wilson Rawls (1,517)
887.# Dragonquest by Anne McCaffrey (1,516)
913.# The cat in the hat by Dr. Seuss (1,481)
916.# The witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (1,478)
925.# The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams (1,467)
938.# Goodnight moon by Margaret Wise Brown (1,458)
952.# Anne's house of dreams by L.M. Montgomery (1,449)
968.# Charlie and the great glass elevator by Roald Dahl (1,434)
979.# Dragondrums by Anne McCaffrey (1,420)

Whew! That's a longer list than I'd anticipated! There's some fun books on there. Also, some books that I'd forgotten that were best forgotten. Guess you can't win them all.

I was amazed to see Moby Dick on the list. I tried to read that once, but I never finished it, so it's not on my list. It was not something that I enjoyed at all. If the classics are "classic" because people keep reading them and liking them, then that one puzzles me a lot. On the other hand, I may go find The Good Earth again. That I remember being a good book, but I don't remember exactly what it was about.

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to patience godliness;

And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ
-2 Peter 1:3-8

22 May 2008

Now THERE'S a Thought!

I was listening to this talk on the LDS Home Educator's Association and one of the talks that they've got suggests using the church's Teaching No Greater Call as a how-to manual for homeschooling. I've got a copy of that. Maybe I'll have to give it another look-over. I have a suspicion that this should have been obvious...

21 May 2008

Now What?

Monkey's having a rough day today. Nasty molars seem to be hurting him again, lots. Last night he woke up every time the ibuprofen wore off. Today he's clingy and whiny. So I popped him into the wrap while I made some lunch. We finally got him into the backpack carry, and I like it lots, although I need some practice. But he's in there and secure. But it didn't take very long and he looked like this.

The picture's not quite what I'd hoped it would be, but it's hard to take a picture of your own back, even in the mirror. He's sleeping back there. It's just the two of us at home right now, so I guess that he's going to take the whole nap back there, because I can't figure out how to get him out without a bit of help. Normally, naps in the wrap aren't a huge problem because I just tuck his head inside the wrap a bit to stabilize it, but his head is right there in that "impossible spot," you know, the place between your shoulder blades that you can never quite reach when it itches. So I guess he'll be staying there for the next while & I'll be doing my best to hold still so he doesn't get whiplash from the lolling head...

Working on Weight

My scale is currently fussing about some low battery problems. Thinks that it needs electricity to run or something. So I have no idea what my weight is today. Which is probably just as well, as I haven't been doing very well the past several weeks. But I've begun to harbor the suspicion that my weight is interfering with my fertility. It's gotta go. That and we realized that the new shoes that I got a couple months ago were hurting my feet. And my knees. So Andy took me out and we got another pair of shoes and these schnazzy insert thingys. Those suckers practically run themselves; I just have to come along for the ride. It's amazing! So there's a 5k that the ladies from church are running. They're actually also doing a 2k, but I'll be out of town, so I'll be missing that. But the plan is to do the 5k. I signed up for the Runner's World training journal. It's pretty cool. Tracks how far & how long you run each week, month, year, and also tells you how many miles you've run since you started the journal. I'm starting pretty small: I went just over 1/2 mile yesterday afternoon. But I started. I got out there with my schnazzy shoes and my jogging stroller. And the Boy enjoyed it too: he wouldn't get out of the stroller for about 1/2 hour after we got home.

20 May 2008

19 May 2008

Wisdom from a 12-Year-Old Brother

After a conversation about bad grammar habits that bug his teacher, my youngest brother said that he likes to use bad grammar. I told him that he ought to at least learn the rules in case he ever wants to sound educated.

Him: Well I'll just learn it then!

Me: I'm going to have to blog this conversation, you're funny!

Him: You can't. I copywrighted it!

Me: (busting up laughing) Now I really have to blog it!

Him: But you can't, it's copyrighted!

Me: OK. I won't.

Him: Are you writing this down??

Me: No. You told me not to blog it.

Him: I'm not being serious!

18 May 2008

Reflections of Christ

Here are some amazing images of Christ's life. They're from this Reflections of Christ website. And there's this, where some of these images have been taken and set to "Come Thou Fount."

T-Shirt Tutorial

So, when I go to the thrift shop, it's often very frustrating to find a really cute top that's just a bit too big. Here's a tutorial on how to fix that.

And another tutorial, for making a crayon roll. I may have to do one or two of these bad boys before we head out to Utah this summer. Better hurry.

6 Word Memoir

I got tagged for this one quite some time ago. Thing is, six words just isn't very many words to work with! I've been thinking about this off and on for quite some time. I'll be she wondered if I was ever going to post! So, with credit to Anne Chovies for the thought on his sneaky-didn't-tell-me-about-it blog, here's my memoir:

Joy in God's gift of Family.

We'll tag Anne Chovies first. And I think I'm fresh out of brain cells, I'll have tag some more folks after I get a nap.

And it came to pass after many days there were a goodly number gathered together at the place of Mormon, to hear the words of Alma. Yea, all were gathered together that believed on his word, to hear him. And he did teach them, and did preach unto them repentance, and redemption, and faith on the Lord.

And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;

Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—

Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?

And now when the people had heard these words, they clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts.
-Mosiah 18:7-11

16 May 2008

15 May 2008

Wanna Talk About Me, Wanna Talk About I...

Got an email forward from my sister, but I really prefer blog memes (not that there's that much difference), so I'm converting it. It's yer basic fill-it-out-and-send-it-on type, so I'll tag a few people rather than forwarding it.

I believe that I was loosely named after my maternal grandmother.

I most recently had tears on my face while getting my wisdom tooth pulled. I'm not positive that counts as actual crying though. It was more like my eyes were leaking. It was weird. As far as regular crying, it was probably most recently at church, under the influence of the Spirit. I'm living my dream: I'm a wife and say-at-home-Mom, not a whole lot to be sad about.

Mostly. I've been playing with giving myself different "fonts" that I can write so I can match my mood and my script. It's fun.

Roasted Turkey Breast

No. I have KID. Singular. We're hoping the Lord fixes that one of these days; we'd like more.

I find myself to be pretty agreeable company.

Not as much as I used to. Probably more than I should.


Uh, NO!

Pretty boring: generic honey-nut cheerios. Almost every day. Sometimes I have smoothies for a while instead, but mostly it's just cheerios.

Most of the time. It's better for the shoes.

Tee, hee, hee! NO.

The cold kind. Definitely not the reduced fat kind. Sometimes just plain vanilla. Sometimes I like crazy stuff like moose tracks or bunny tracks or cow tracks. Those are really good. In college I had this stuff called chocolate decadence. Now that was ice cream. Sadly, I haven't been able to find it for years.

I tend to watch mouths while people talk. I notice people's kids. Or "that guy that said such-and-such."


16. What don't you like about yourself?
This is a pretty public forum to go airing my dirty laundry...

My brother that's on a mission: everyone else I call on the phone when I get to missing them.

Nah, just post your stuff on your blog & drop me a comment. Comments make me happy.

jeans. No shoes. Stripy socks.

Raman noodles

My quiet house. Andy is feeding the cat.

Tough choice. Probably a blue or lavender. Something in that range of colors where it's hard to tell if it's blue or purple.

Cooking smells. I often will cook more by the smell of it than by the timer. Which is not to say that I don't set the timer. Just that I trust my nose more.


Oh yeah.

For the most part, watching sports is a waste of time & brain cells. But the occasional figure skating is fun.


Blue. Look at those pictures of Monkey: mine look Just.Like.His.

Sometimes, but I'm currently out of the stupid disposable ones. Next time I'm getting the regular re-usable kind: I hate running out of the silly things! But mostly I wear glasses. Could have something to do with the fact that I'm currently out of the dumb disposable contacts.

Bread. Rolls. Cinnamon rolls. Biscuits. Challah. Sweet bread. Pizza crust. Whole wheat bread just out of the oven with butter and honey on it. Fazoli's bread sticks. Garlic bread. The candy-cane bread my family makes for Christmas that's got sour cream in the dough, is filled with something tasty like blackberry jam, has frosting and M&Ms on top. Bread.

Happy endings. Scary movies are scary. But I do also like the Asian tragedies.

The Island.



Who's asking? It makes a big difference...

Do I have to choose just one?? Cupcakes, cheesecake, and definitely ICE CREAM.

Errr.... haven't decided who I'll tag yet.

Uhhhh... see #37

The Book of Mormon
Teaching the Trivium
Home Education
Classic Irish Stories
The Moons of Jupiter
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood

Opti-Mouse. No pad.

Nothing. I was busy digging in the dirt, among other things.

Monkey sounds. He's got some great ones!

uhhh.... I dunno.


Not that I can think of. I've got talents, but nothing comes to mind as out-of-the-ordinary. Except maybe that I'm not afraid to try stuff & fail a bit as I learn.

Logan, Utah

Now for the tagging part.
Miss Kate

Oh... I think that's probably enough. Anyone else that feels like posting is also welcome to do so - love to see a comment (See #18).

14 May 2008

Green Hour #2: Use Your Words

We've been continuing with the Green Hour activities. This time, since the goal was to introduce some vocabulary, we did it over a couple of trips outside. The most recent was digging in the dirt to plant some flowers.

One of our words is "hose." Not terribly natural, I suppose, but still an important part of the yard! Monkey likes to help me water the plants and the compost, but he's a bit of a wild waterer!

Our next word is "grass." You may notice that my grass is a little bit out of control, and up to the Monkey's knees in some places. We're having troubles with our lawn mower. I'm sure the neighbors are thrilled. There are several - including our next door neighbor to the East - that have such beautiful yards! In my heart of hearts, I think that the cheerful dandelions and pretty little purple flowers (clover?) are a lovely addition to a huge green swath of grassy sameness.

I've got the gardening bug pretty bad this year (as usual), and I have to guard against both biting off more than I can chew and against spending more than I should. For instance, I received a petunia at church for Mother's Day, but one lonely petunia looks a bit out of place. I needed a bigger smorgasboard for my resident bunnies! So I headed off to the garden shop to get a few more annuals to grow next to the petunia. Of course, if it's at all like last year pretty soon I'll have petunia nubs which, after a time, will disappear all together. Courtesy of the local bunny population. So in addtion to a few more petunias, I got a couple of pansies, and some violas. Monkey helped me dig some of the holes here to put the plants in. The word was "plants" and the action was to hand me the plants, often faster than I could get ground ready for them!

While I was browsing the annuals, I noticed the perennial section of the garden shop, and I just took a "quick peek." Then I put back several items that somehow fell into my cart. And I bought the others. For instance, this columbine. I also got a pair of 4 inch creeping phlox with pretty little pink flowers, but I'm not at all happy with how those pictures turned out, so I'll have to try again. The nice thing about the phlox is that a friend of mine said that her mother-in-law helped her get her very beautiful flowers along the front walk going, and she took and divided the creeping phlox they bought so that it went a lot further for the money they spent on it. I felt almost frugal when I divided my two big phlox into five little phlox. They don't seem to mind the abuse, so I'm hoping that they start to "creep" here pretty soon as they're pretty small right now.

My tulips are a bit slow - they're planted on the north side of the house in very deep shade. But they're coming!

Other words we used while we were outside:

Check out the complete list of Green Hour "assignments" and the considerable resources that Barb has assembled on her blog to help folks get out and enjoy Nature!

12 May 2008

Monday(!) Scripture

Sorry folks, I was at my parents' house for the weekend & not only were we incredibly busy, but their internet seemed rather reluctant, so I could barely look at my blog, much less post on it. So I'm a day late with my verses this time. Gonna have to play with the new "scheduled" post feature that Blogger just added, as the next 6-8 weeks are a complete ZOO. So. Here are my verses for the week, sorry they're late!

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.
-John 1:1-2

Who shall say that it was not a miracle that by his word the heaven and the earth should be; and by the power of his word man was created of the dust of the earth; and by the power of his word have miracles been wrought?
-Mormon 9:17

Wherefore, I must tell you the truth according to the plainness of the word of God.
-Jacob 2:11

Wherefore, the Lord God will proceed to bring forth the words of the book; and in the mouth of as many witnesses as seemeth him good will he establish his word; and wo be unto him that rejecteth the word of God!
-2 Nephi 27:14

08 May 2008

Not Looking Forward to This

I'm getting a wisdom tooth removed tomorrow. Oh. Yay. I'm so stinking nervous. And then I've got to get the boy down to the doctor's. Poor little sausage is still sick.

06 May 2008

Trivium part 2: discipline

My poor little Monkey is out cold on the couch for his second(!) nap of the day, down with a fever. Little guy just isn't feeling really well this afternoon and I'm not sure if I should blame it on the molars he's cutting or the snot that persists in dripping down his face in spite of my efforts to keep it cleaned off. Maybe some of both. In any case, it does give me a few extra moments to blog while he sleeps. As he fell asleep on my tummy as we were reading, and I was reading Teaching the Trivium, that's what I'm thinking about right now. (Although scrapbooking is giving it a run for its money. I just finished labeling 2007's pictures & I'm ready to get scrapping!)

I've spent some time just flipping through the back of the book recently, where they have various problems dealt with in a question and answer format. There's some pretty interesting things back here. One of them is the discussion of discipline that begins on page 328. The Bluedorns observe that the discipline in the home is a hugely important factor in the success of the homeschooling endeavor. This makes a lot of sense to me. I've been asking Monkey to listen to me, and praising him when he does it. But I hadn't been able to put my finger on WHY that's so important. I mean, to a certain degree, it's obvious that children should listen to parents. But WHY? How does that listening serve them? Sure, it's something that scripture says they should do, but God always has reasons for things He asks us to do, and often makes those reasons available to us. So WHY? One reason that pondering the Bluedorn's comments on discipline made me aware of is that children need to listen to their parents so that they can be taught. It doesn't do me any good to feed him the words to describe his world if he's not paying attention. Warnings about dangers he's about to blunder into do neither one of us any good if he's not listening.

There is this idea of "first time obedience" that they talk about. It's intriguing. My folks used, among other things, the 1-2-3 Magic stuff; I remember them going to one of the seminars. But Mom frequently complains about her kids ignoring her until she gets to "3." And it's a fair charge: we've all -including me- done it. After all, nothing happens before then. We've got a little time. But the Bluedorns tell a bit about a home they visited where things were very different:

During one of our trips, we visited a family which lived a very simple life in a very modest home, and homeschooled their five small children. The parents were quite soft spoken and gentle in manner, always speaking to the children in a clam, quiet way. From the very beginning of our visit, it became obvious that the children attended to the voices of their parents. The parents had first time obedience from even the youngest, and this obedience was obtained with quiet voice and manner. In all my life, I have never witnessed anything like it. On one occasion, the one-year-old began to climb up on the kerosene heater. I saw the father give an almost imperceptible shake of the head and heard him say in a whisper, "Isaac, huh, uh." Immediately the child shifted into reverse and backed away from the heater. The child attended to and obeyed the very whisper of his father. It moves me to tears to recall that scene and the affection which the children and parents had for each other. Oh, that I had trained my children so well when they were young. God wants first time obedience from us, and we should form the same habit in our children. When we resort to speaking in a loud voice when we want something of our children, or when we form the habit of repeating our requests, we train our children to ignore us when we speak. If we could only begin at the very beginning to train our children to attend to our voice - to listen for it no matter what they are doing, and to immediately obey, how well we will prepare them to listen to the heavenly Father as well. (pg329)

What a wonderful outlook on discipline: preparing our children to listen to God! This should have been obvious. Teaching my children the gospel, helping them gain a testimony of the Gospel and a through knowledge of the scriptures is a hugely important aspect of their training. But although I love the way that parenting is analogous to our Heavenly Father's care for us, I had never considered how the discipline aspects of our parent-child relationships ought to also reflect our Heavenly Father's relationship to His children! King Benjamin taught that that sibling rivalries are not a natural normal part of growing up and we shouldn't allow our children to fight or quarrel with each other. How much more true is that of parents, as the example in the home? Many times I've heard talks that invited the listeners to consider their parents, then consider God. I think that I need to become more godly in my interactions with my son, if I am to worth of that sort of comparison, if I am to lay the foundations which will allow that sort of comparison to be profitable for my children!

First-time obedience. It's both a worthy goal and a tall order, in training our children and in the heed we pay to the Lord.

Teaching the Trivium commentary, part 1: Role of Scripture; Thoughts on Higher Education

04 May 2008

Weekend Snapshot

These pictures didn't turn out the best, but I love them anyway: they communicate so well how enchanted he was with that bird book! We'd been working on identifying the turkey vulture, and he loves watching birds anyway, so the bird book was a treat.

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Malachi 3:10

This week, the blessing that we have had so much of that there literally wasn't room is hand-me-down clothes. We got 2 big boxes of hand-me-downs, plus I hit the jackpot last fall on some clearance racks and got a bunch of summer clothes for about $2 each. When I sat down to sort it and put the new size into the drawers I had way too much clothes! I filled his drawers with cute stuff and then I had 3 big paper bags to pass along to a friend who's got a son that's a week older than Monkey. We are so blessed!

03 May 2008

Green Hour #1

Andy had some schoolwork that he needed to do for one of the classes that he's taking right now, involving going to a bit of "wild land" and making some observations and then writing a paper about it. I've been wanting to do some Green Hour stuff with Monkey, so it "counts" for him too. For the Monkey, it was more an exercise in exploration, observation and walking on uneven terrain. It was quite enjoyable watching him explore the little section of State Park that we were in! The last picture is Monkey and Daddy looking at a rock they found on the ground.

I did a little bit of bird watching while we were there. Several times we have gone to this part and seen these beautiful birds. This time, I came armed with camera and binoculars, determined to make an identification. Turns out that those big birds are turkey vultures - a new one for my life list!

01 May 2008

Daring Bakers: Cheesecake Pops

So, I'm a bit late with this Daring Bakers post. But I did make the cheesecake pops. They were amazing. I dipped them in chocolate then sprinkled nuts on some, cute little round cupcake sprinkles on others, and a few I left just plain. Those were my favorites. Then I forgot to take them to church, where I had planned to feed those babies to my Sunday School class. This recipe is not for the faint of heart: there's 5 blocks of cream cheese in there kids! But I think that it's the best cheesecake that I've ever eaten, and the whole dipping thing, well, it shouldn't be done in a rush. Make sure your pops are nice and hard or they'll mess up the chocolate. (That is, the chocolate will cease to be good for dipping. Make no mistake, it's still good for eating!) It's crazy good. I think I'll offer to make these for my Mom for her birthday: she loves cheesecake.

The careful observer may note that my picture is not actually a picture of Cheesecake Pops, rather I have a picture of a very tiny remnant of cheesecake and an incriminating spoon. This is because I was in a rush to get to church, so I forgot the Cheesecake Pops. Then I was lamenting this fact to a friend who kindly offered to eat them for me. So they came and took them away. Whereupon I realized that I hadn't yet taken pictures. Not a problem, there was still more than half of the cheesecake remaining, and surely I could take pictures later. Only this requires that I make more Pops, rather than just eat the cheesecake out of the pan. As the astute have noted, this did not happen.

This is dangerously good stuff, folks.

One question: how did you guys get the cheesecake to ball up into such nice little packages? Even after chilling overnight mine wouldn't ball. I had more of cheesecake globs. Not that I'm complaining. Balls and globs taste about the same. But it'd be nice to know where I went wrong.

Cheesecake Pops From "Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey" by Jill O’Connor. Got it from the library: the whole thing looks dangerous. YUM.

Makes 30 – 40 Pops

5 8-oz. packages cream cheese at room temperature
2 cups sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¼ cup heavy cream
Boiling water as needed

Thirty to forty 8-inch lollipop sticks

1 pound chocolate, finely chopped – you can use all one kind or half and half of dark, milk, or white (Alternately, you can use 1 pound of flavored coatings, also known as summer coating, confectionary coating or wafer chocolate – candy supply stores carry colors, as well as the three kinds of chocolate.)

2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

(Note: White chocolate is harder to use this way, but not impossible)

Assorted decorations such as chopped nuts, colored jimmies, crushed peppermints, mini chocolate chips, sanding sugars, dragees) - Optional

Position oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Set some water to boil.

In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and salt until smooth. If using a mixer, mix on low speed. Add the whole eggs and the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well (but still at low speed) after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and cream.

Grease a 10-inch cake pan (not a springform pan), and pour the batter into the cake pan. Place the pan in a larger roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with the boiling water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake until the cheesecake is firm and slightly golden on top, 35 to 45 minutes. (Or more. Mine took longer, and it was pretty soft when I took it out, but the color was right. It set up nicely in the refrigerator, but didn't ball well.)

Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and cool to room temperature. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold, at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

When the cheesecake is cold and very firm, scoop the cheesecake into 2-ounce balls and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Carefully insert a lollipop stick into each cheesecake ball. Freeze the cheesecake pops, uncovered, until very hard, at least 1 – 2 hours.

When the cheesecake pops are frozen and ready for dipping, prepare the chocolate. In the top of a double boiler, set over simmering water, or in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, heat half the chocolate and half the shortening, stirring often, until chocolate is melted and chocolate and shortening are combined. Stir until completely smooth. Do not heat the chocolate too much or your chocolate will lose it’s shine after it has dried. Save the rest of the chocolate and shortening for later dipping, or use another type of chocolate for variety.

Alternately, you can microwave the same amount of chocolate coating pieces on high at 30 second intervals, stirring until smooth.

Quickly dip a frozen cheesecake pop in the melted chocolate, swirling quickly to coat it completely. Shake off any excess into the melted chocolate. If you like, you can now roll the pops quickly in optional decorations. You can also drizzle them with a contrasting color of melted chocolate (dark chocolate drizzled over milk chocolate or white chocolate over dark chocolate, etc.) Place the pop on a clean parchment paper-lined baking sheet to set. Repeat with remaining pops, melting more chocolate and shortening (or confectionary chocolate pieces) as needed.

Refrigerate the pops for up to 24 hours, until ready to serve.


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