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27 April 2009

Going on a Trip?

Monkey: I'm gonna put you. In my suitcase.

Mom: Really? What will you do then?

Monkey: Take you. To Hotel.

Mom: Ahh. What then?

Monkey: Put the handle out. On the suitcase.
Pull you in hotel. Go swimming.

Guess he had a good time on that trip with Daddy earlier this month! But, can I ride somewhere besides the suitcase? That sounds a bit crowded and dark, and possibly just a tiny bit uncomfortable. Not that I'm complaining about being invited on my son's trips!

19 April 2009


"Nothing will bring the Spirit of the Lord into your meetings, your homes, and your personal associations more quickly than showing kindness. “Charity … is kind” (1 Cor. 13:4). Kindness should be right at the top of everyone’s list of things to do. Write it down every day: “Be kind.” Kindness comes in many different packages. Be thoughtful to your neighbors. Be patient in a crowd. Be considerate of your children and your husband. Be honest with your sisters. Trust them and they will trust you. Go out and bring them into this grand circle of sisters we call Relief Society. As we increase our kindness, we add charity to our storehouse and we are strengthened."
-Elaine L. Jack, “Strengthened in Charity,” Ensign, Nov 1996, 91

"From [Rebekah] we learn that charity, though often quantified as the action, is actually the state of the heart that prompts us to love one another. She offered water. It was in the offering that charity was manifest."
-Elaine L. Jack, “Strengthened in Charity,” Ensign, Nov 1996, 91

If we are to have unity, there are commandments we must keep concerning how we feel. We must forgive and bear no malice toward those who offend us. The Savior set the example from the cross: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” ( Luke 23:34). We do not know the hearts of those who offend us. Nor do we know all the sources of our own anger and hurt. The Apostle Paul was telling us how to love in a world of imperfect people, including ourselves, when he said, “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil” (1 Cor. 13:4–5). And then he gave solemn warning against reacting to the fault of others and forgetting our own when he wrote, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as I am known” (1 Cor. 13:12).
-Henry B. Eyring, “That We May Be One,” Ensign, May 1998, 66

"Whereas the natural man vents his anger, the men and women of Christ are “not easily provoked.” (1 Cor. 13:5.) Whereas the natural man is filled with greed, the men and women of Christ “seeketh not [their] own.” (1 Cor. 13:5.) Whereas the natural man seldom denies himself worldly pleasures, the men and women of Christ seek to bridle all their passions. (See Alma 38:12.)"
-Neal A. Maxwell, “Put Off the Natural Man, and Come Off Conqueror,” Ensign, Nov 1990, 14

"One of the last, subtle strongholds of selfishness is the natural feeling that we “own” ourselves. Of course we are free to choose and are personally accountable. Yes, we have individuality. But those who have chosen to “come unto Christ” soon realize that they do not “own” themselves. Instead, they belong to Him. We are to become consecrated along with our gifts, our appointed days, and our very selves. Hence, there is a stark difference between stubbornly “owning” oneself and submissively belonging to God. Clinging to the old self is not a mark of independence, but of indulgence!"
-Neal A. Maxwell, “Put Off the Natural Man, and Come Off Conqueror,” Ensign, Nov 1990, 14

03 April 2009

Still No Wildflowers

We tried another park today, looking for wildflowers. I think the folks that are seeing them either know a whole bunch more than I do, or they are considerably further south. We're still in early spring here. I think we're supposed to get more snow this week, though I hope it's not much. We're all rather tired of snow. But there is, in fact, nature out there. And looking for the wildflowers this week has been very enjoyable, even if we didn't find any.

We saw a bunch of red pine trees.

Which Monkey and I took a look at to see what they were. I pulled out my field guide, which I had remembered to bring today, and figured out what we were looking at. Short, squat pine cones. Double needles. Red pine.

There is a lot of grass, which when summer comes will be much less pleasant, as it is known to be home to ticks, and if the flowers ever get here, the bees will also like them. Spring is much easier for this Mama, who's still making the transition to outdoorsman. But for now, it was pleasant and beautiful, and I was pretty comfortable letting Monkey explore it a bit.

Fun With Learning

We're using Happy Phonics, a game-based phonics program that I felt very strongly impressed to use to teach Monkey to read. Basically, we play games. If I'm really on the ball, I remember to tell him that it was "school." It's a relaxed and easy-going way to do it. Relaxed works well, especially since he's so little.

We typically spent about a week on each letter. We'd label some things around the house that started with that letter. I'd point out the letter in books we read. He especially liked to know people's names that started with that letter. We'd write the letters in shaving cream, make the letters with play doh and all kinds of fun stuff. But that was the key to it - fun.


It's nice to see that someone else is doing things similarly. She keeps a journal of what they did. I have a markerboard that I check things off on to keep me meeting my own consistency goals. And it's working beautifully.

02 April 2009

Audit the Fed

Rep. Ron Paul talks about the prospects for his bill (HR 1207) calling for an audit of the Federal Reserve. They're the ones that print all our money. And they have been going crazy with all these bail-outs. And they have special rules for their audits: basically, they don't have to have them. Ron Paul's bill aims to change that, but the special interests that are profiting from the Fed's shenanigans don't want it. So we have to get on our Congressmen's cases so they know that it's important for them to do this in order to keep their jobs.

Watch the video. Read the bill. Then write your Congressmen. The Fed needs to 'fess up and tell us what they've been doing for the last 50+ years.

Fat Cat Sat Hat

Nature Study: Wildflowers?

The Outdoor Hour is doing wildflowers right now, and I was all excited about findiing some of the early spring wildflowers that Barb was talking about. One of the blogs I visited in the past couple days (sadly, I can't recall which one) mentioned that there are a lot of wildflowers at this time of year, before the trees leaf out because there is more sunlight on the forest floor. I guess I picked the wrong place to go looking for flowers, because we didn't find a single flower. But we still had a good time. It's still early spring; my crocuses aren't even blooming yet. We'll have to try again.

We went to the same area that we saw the hollow tree at earlier this spring. The hollow tree wasn't nearly as interesting to Monkey as it was last time. Instead, we headed up the hill exploring the low-hanging pine trees as we went.

There was a riot of birdsong going on all around us as we were looking at the trees and their pine cones. We heard red-wing blackbirds (my favorite), a blue jay, and black capped chickadees. There was also at least 2 bird calls that I didn't recognize. We couldn't see much of these birds. They were flitting from the top of one tree to another, and Monkey was too busy for me to stand still and try to photograph or even really look at them very long. We did see some Canadian geese and a duck, probably a mallard.

But mostly, we looked at trees. I wished that I had brought along my tree field guide, but I didn't grab any of that stuff this time, just my camera. Monkey is still too little to do "notebooking," so we're going to keep a Nature Book for him: a photo album that he helps choose the pictures that go in it, and has more access to than the rest of our scrapbooks. We chose a picture to go on the front today, and picked a couple of our pictures to go inside.

01 April 2009

Fun Idea; Impressive Talent

My sister's ward did a talent show. Looks like they had some creative ideas in the execution. Also, kudos to Kate for a very watchable talent show video. I'll have to remember the format for events I will inevitably end up participating in! And, of course, John and the Rubik's Cubes are always impressive.

In Case of Rabbits

We have a robust rabbit population in our neighborhood. Last year, they ate my crocuses before they had a chance to bloom much if any! So this year, I'm getting in my pictures while the getting is good. Hopefully there will be more crocus pictures to come, but if not, I still have this one.


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