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31 October 2011

Classical Homeschooling Carnival #20

Hello! Welcome to another Classical Homeschooling Carnival! I'm so glad you could come! Here are our entries for this Halloween edition:

AnnieKate, of Tea Time with Annie Kate, shares some of their Favorite Living History Authors. She mentions Laura Ingalls Wilder, a favorite of ours, and then goes on to list a whole slew of folks I'm going to have to check out. Looks like there's some good reading out there!

Kristen enjoys a little mathematical irony in her post, Ecstasy in Math, at  Teaching Stars.

Photo credit
Here at Baby Steps, I wrote Beautiful Math about some awesome things to do in math that I'd never really considered might actually be math before.

Melanie shares her efforts to get their third foreign language - Chinese - up and running in their school, with tips on what did and did not work for them in Learning Chinese Mandarin as a Second or Third Language over at Mel's Mouthful on Mothering.

That's it for this time - but don't forget to come back next month and enter your own post in our carnival, as well as read what others have shared with us. You can browse the previous editions of the carnival either by using the index, or by looking around here on Baby Steps. I hope you enjoyed the carnival, and thank you to our contributors!

Nature Study for a Patch

We recently discovered that the state parks have a program where kids can earn a patch. Way cool! My husband has infected us, and now we're a bunch of patch geeks. Monkey was so excited, because he earned a patch that is his alone - none of the rest of us are the right age to get it. It took 2 relatively intense days of doing guided nature study with their booklet, but he got the patch!

28 October 2011

Self-Reliance and Preparedness

I was recently called as our ward's Welfare Specialist, and my Bishop has me working on a couple of projects for our ward that have got me studying the principles of welfare in the Lord's Church. I thought some of this stuff might be interesting to others, plus, a blog is a useful tool to organize it all as I get my thoughts straight in these projects, so here it is. There are some wonderful quotes, council, and promises associated with self-reliance.

What is Self-Reliance?

Self-reliance is the ability, commitment, and effort to provide the spiritual and temporal necessities of life for self and family. As members become self-reliant, they are also better able to serve and care for others.
Church members are responsible for their own spiritual and temporal well-being. Blessed with the gift of agency, they have the privilege and duty to set their own course, solve their own problems, and strive to become self-reliant. Members do this under the inspiration of the Lord and with the labor of their own hands.
-Handbook 2, section 6.1.1

Since the beginning of time man has been counseled to earn his own way, thereby becoming self-reliant. It is easy to understand the reason why the Lord places so much emphasis on this principle when we come to understand that it is tied very closely to freedom itself. -Marion G. Romney, "The Celestial Nature of Self-Reliance," October 1982 General Conference, emphasis added.

President David O. McKay said, “Let us … realize that the privilege to work is a gift, that [the] power to work is a blessing, that love [of] work is success” (True to the Faith, comp. Llewelyn R. McKay, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966, p. 287), Quoted by Franklin D. Richards in "Personal and Family Financial Preparedness, April 1979 General Conference.

ProvidentLiving.org breaks self-reliance and family well-being into several topics: employment, finances, gardening, home storage, physical health, social and emotional strength, combating pornography, education, and emergency preparedness.

Doctrinal Basis of Self-Reliance

In modern revelation, the Lord has given us these commandments: “Verily I say unto you, concerning your debts—behold it is my will that you shall pay all your debts” (D&C 104:78). And again: “Pay the debt thou hast contracted. … Release thyself from bondage” (D&C 19:35).

President Joseph F. Smith advised the Saints to “get out of debt and keep out of debt, and then you will be financially as well as spiritually free” (In Conference Report, Oct. 1903, p. 5).
-Franklin D. Richards, Personal and Financial Family Preparedness, April 1979 General Conference

In 1936 the First Presidency outlined a welfare plan for the Church. They said: “Our primary purpose was to set up … a system under which the curse of idleness would be done away with, the evils of a dole abolished, and independence, industry, thrift and self respect be once more established amongst our people. The aim of the Church is to help the people to help themselves. Work is to be re-enthroned as the ruling principle of the lives of our Church membership” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1936, 3). -Handbook 2, section 6.1

“If ye are prepared ye shall not fear” (D&C 38:30).

Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work –Exodus 20:9

“Thou shalt not be idle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer.” [D&C 42:42.]

There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven, upon which all blessings are predicated, and no man will get the blessing without fulfilling the law [see D&C 130:20–21]. I wish to impress upon the Latter-day Saints that we get in this life what we work for, and I want to urge every Latter-day Saint to be a worker.
-Heber J. Grant, Teachings of the Presidents of the Church - Heber J. Grant, Work and Self-Reliance.

Why do you think the Lord has given us these commandments? Why is it important for us to work for what we receive? How can failure to be self-reliant affect us individually? as families? in our communities and nations?

Self Reliance is an Act of Faith

As in any area where the Lord gives us direction, obedience to the council given about self-reliance is more about faith than it is about anything else. Wherever the Lord gives commandments he opens a way to obey. This is true with self-reliance and preparedness as well. As the prophets and scriptures have taught, the distinctions between "spiritual" commandments and "temporal" commandments are artificial, and thus not useful. If we have the faith to begin to increase our self-reliance then the Lord will teach us the things we need to succeed.

Preparedness is Like Noah's Ark

In his teachings, Paul said:

“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen … prepared an ark to the saving of his house.” (Heb. 11:7.)

President Kimball gives us this insight to Noah and the ark:
“As yet there was no evidence of rain and flood. … His warnings were considered irrational. … How foolish to build an ark on dry ground with the sun shining and life moving forward as usual! But time ran out. … The floods came. The disobedient … were drowned. The miracle of the ark followed the faith manifested in its building.” (Faith Precedes the Miracle, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1972, pp. 5–6.) ...

I wonder how many Saints will be able to withstand the disaster of their own personal flood by showing faith in the advice of modern prophets and building an ark of family preparedness.
-Loren C. Dunn (70), Building Bridges of Faith, April 1981 General Conference

“The revelation to store food may be as essential to our temporal salvation today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah” -Elder Ezra Taft Benson (“Prepare Ye,” Ensign, Jan. 1974, 69).

Blessings of Self-Reliance

In 1941 the Gila River overflowed and flooded the Duncan Valley in Arizona. A young stake president by the name of Spencer W. Kimball met with his counselors, assessed the damage, and sent a telegram to Salt Lake City asking for a large sum of money.
Instead of sending money, President Heber J. Grant sent three men: Henry D. Moyle, Marion G. Romney, and Harold B. Lee. They visited with President Kimball and taught him an important lesson: “This isn’t a program of ‘give me,’” they said. “This is a program of ‘self-help.’”
Many years later, President Kimball said: “It would have been an easy thing, I think, for the Brethren to have sent us [the money,] and it wouldn’t have been too hard to sit in my office and distribute it; but what a lot of good came to us as we had hundreds of [our own] go to Duncan and build fences and haul the hay and level the ground and do all the things that needed doing. That is self-help.”
By following the Lord’s way, the members of President Kimball’s stake not only had their immediate needs met, but they also developed self-reliance, alleviated suffering, and grew in love and unity as they served each other. -Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Providing in the Lord's Way, Ensign, Nov 2011, emphasis added

Things We Ought To Do

We encourage you to grow all the food that you feasibly can on your own property. Berry bushes, grapevines, fruit trees—plant them if your climate is right for their growth. Grow vegetables and eat them from your own yard. Even those residing in apartments or condominiums can generally grow a little food in pots and planters. … Make your garden as neat and attractive as well as productive. If there are children in your home, involve them in the process with assigned responsibilities” -Spencer W. Kimball (“Family Preparedness,” Ensign, May 1976, 124, emphasis added).

“I quote with pleasure … from Lord Bulwer Lytton: ‘What man wants is not talent, it is purpose; not power to achieve, but the will to labor.’ Samuel Smiles has said: ‘Purposes, like eggs, unless they are hatched into action, will run into decay.’
-Heber J. Grant, Teachings of the Presidents of the Church - Heber J. Grant, Work and Self-Reliance.

The practice of coveting and receiving unearned benefits has now become so fixed in our society that even men of wealth, possessing the means to produce more wealth, are expecting the government to guarantee them a profit. Elections often turn on what the candidates promise to do for voters from government funds. This practice, if universally accepted and implemented in any society, will make slaves of its citizens.
We cannot afford to become wards of the government, even if we have a legal right to do so. It requires too great a sacrifice of self-respect and in political, temporal, and spiritual independence.
-Marion G. Romney, The Celestial Nature of Self-Reliance, Oct 1982 General Conference

There is a spirit growing in the world today to avoid giving service, an unwillingness to give value received, to try to see how little we can do and how much we can get for doing it. This is all wrong. Our spirit and aim should be to do all we possibly can, in a given length of time, for the benefit of those who employ us and for the benefit of those with whom we are associated.
The other spirit—to get all we can, and give as little as possible in return—is contrary to the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
-Heber J. Grant, Teachings of the Presidents of the Church - Heber J. Grant, Work and Self-Reliance.

    “I quote with pleasure … from Lord Bulwer Lytton: ‘What man wants is not talent, it is purpose; not power to achieve, but the will to labor.’ Samuel Smiles has said: ‘Purposes, like eggs, unless they are hatched into action, will run into decay.'
-Heber J. Grant, Teachings of the Presidents of the Church - Heber J. Grant, Work and Self-Reliance.

22 October 2011

The Tower of Babel and Brother of Jared Lapbook

We're be switching chapters six and seven in the Story of the World, because the Tower of Babel(ch. 7) ought to come before Joseph in Egypt(ch.6). While we do Babylon, the Ziggarauts, and the Tower of Babel, we'll also add in the Brother of Jared from Book of Mormon history. Here are some of the resources I've found to do all that, as well as some lapbook elements I made for a Brother of Jared lapbook.

Primary lesson: The Jaredites are Lead to the Promised Land

Brother of Jared flannel board pieces from the Friend.

Brother of Jared coloring page

Art: Brother of Jared selecting stones

Art: Sawest Thou More Than This?

Here is the Tower of Babel accordion book lapbook element that I made up. According to this Science Fair site, it's thought that it could be the Tower of Babel, so that's the drawing that I'm using.  If you'd like to use it, feel free to right-click. It should copy/paste into your favorite editor nicely.We'll also include the Ziggaraut in our Book of Centuries, by printing this again but cutting off all but the last rectangle.

The second lapbook element I made Is a little fish book. I plan to have Monkey do a section for the foods the Jaredites took with them on their journey. We'll cut them out and connect them with a brad, the way the "Frog Facts" book is done on this completed book we did. This element should fit on a regular piece of paper, so click it, then copy/paste into your word processor. This set, I printed on cardstock, so it would stand up to the turning and use a little better.

The Last thing I did was a representation of the barges, to be folded into a "matchbook." Fold the top down and the bottom up and the boats should be right side up when you flip it over. I also printed out smaller copies to put into our Book of Centuries near the entries we'll be putting in for Hammurabi and the Ziggaraut. The timing isn't exact, but so much of the timing of when precisely things happened this far back into the Ancients is educated guesstimates that it doesn't bother me (too much). Though the dates on the pages we'll be using are definitely guesswork, the sequence of events should be correct,and I think the value of putting sacred history right in there with the secular history is pretty high.

20 October 2011

Weekly Wrap-up: the sick, rainy one

This little cutie has been pretty miserable all week. I figured that was long enough and took him in today, then we stopped at our favorite pharmacy and brought home a collection of medicines to help him feel better. I'm looking forward to that "feel better" part! Though he's such a sweetie, even feeling rough. With him feeling icky, and it's been raining, we didn't really get outside all week. Everyone is a little stir-crazy, but some weeks are like that.

We finally have success with a lapbook! Monkey did a frog lapbook. This is the front and back sides, below that is the inside. The folder is hole-punched, and I trimmed the top and bottom just a bit, so it will fit in our science binder with all the rest of his work. He's pretty pleased with it - particularly that "Frog Facts" book that spins. I think he'll like this sort of thing even better when he can read the stuff himself. He asked me to read it to him over and over.

This week, in history, we were reading about ancient agriculture, and the book was talking about the benefits of shattering vs. non-shattering wheat. And Monkey wasn't getting it. We clearly needed something a little more hands-on than what we were getting from the book alone. So I drew a picture, so he'd know what a stalk of wheat looked like. Then, I took a little bit of our wheat kernels and dropped them on the floor. The mat was in need of sweeping, so I dropped them there, and I asked Monkey to pick them up. He thought it was pretty funny. We talked about how, if we had lived in those times, it might have been one of his jobs to help pick up the wheat kernels that fell so that our family could eat. He thought playing with legos sounded nicer, but now I was pretty sure that he was understanding the material, and understanding what a good thing it would be to start to have wheat that would stay on the stalk!

Another thing that is going extremely well this week is math. This week is the first week that we're doing more, officially, with the cuisenaire rods than just playing with them. And I love them more each time we have them out! This sheet is similar to one that Math Expressions uses: you take turns dropping a paperclip or something (today it was a Power Ranger) on a problem. Then you solve it, and each person has a wheel they color the answer on. First person to color all their spaces "wins." Monkey has asked for these "water wheels" for three days running now. I'm OK with that: they're great practice on his addition facts. And, since he's doing so well with the regular stuff, we're starting to explore "tricky" ways to do things. I was so pleased when the second problem he made up ended up being 8+1=3+6!

19 October 2011

Making My Shopping-Menu

A friend asked me, would I please explain what I do to plan my menus? Sure. Here it is.

I start by printing out the form I made. I've got a file I made up in Word. The menu goes down one column, and all the stuff I buy on a regular basis is in the second column. I also grab a highlighter and a pen.

Then comes the hard part: actually making the menu. I write out 2 weeks of meals, lunch and dinner. We generally just have cereal for breakfast, so that's a no-brainer. But I mark in the left margin when we're having company, when we're traveling, and anything else that I know about that will affect menu-planning, and then I go through and figure out what we're going to eat. This is easily the hardest part of the whole process.

When I know what we're eating, then I take my highlighter and mark the things that we'll need on the list, and write in any odd items at the bottom. Normally, this doesn't take very long at all, and I often go through and do it as I make the menu, so by the time I finish that chore the list is 90% made too. I always read through it, just to make sure I haven't missed anything. Sometimes I mark which stores at which I plan to get the various items (I regularly shop at 3-4 to get the best prices. It sounds excessive, but it sure makes the money go further). Then I fold it in half.

With my list folded in half, it fits better in my pocket for going to the store. Plus, it's easier to look at. But, if I get to the store and bell peppers are on sale, I can flip it over, make a quick adjustment to the menu, and feed my husband one of his favorite foods: fajitas. Having the menu right there isn't a big deal... except for when it is. As I go along, I scratch off the stuff I bought, just like a regular list, only I ignore anything that's not highlighted: it's not "on" the list. When I get home, I flip it over and stick it on the fridge.

At this point, I don't have to think about it: I just make whatever's on the list. And, if I need to swap things around a bit the meals I have foods for is all right there, so even that's not very hard.

And that is how I do my menus. Thanks for asking!

18 October 2011

Random Stuff

Item #1:
I was thinking I'd like to be Red Riding Hood for Halloween. At this point, it's not going to be for this year, but I did find this pattern for a chemise that would be a great start to the costume. Plus, it's about the easiest thing ever to make. The hard part seems to be finding a pattern for the overdress. I'm thinking something like this. Only, not $200. I don't have that to spend on a costume.

Item #2:
I've been reading the Gospels to Monkey, and this week we're working our way through Luke 1. Monkey asks good questions. Today, after he went to sleep, the Daddy and I got talking about Gabriel. Gabriel announced both John the Baptist and the Lord, and he also visited Daniel. Modern revelation tells us that Gabriel is Noah, and that Noah is second only to Adam, the Archangel. This got me to wondering, what is an archangel, anyway? Turns out, it's pretty interesting. I spent some time wandering around dictionary.com learning about it.

Archangel comes from the Greek, from "arkh," meaning first, ruling, or chief. So the archangel is the first, or ruling angel. Another interesting thing I discovered, in the Bible Dictionary this time, is that Michael means "who is like God." So when we say, "Michael the Archangel," we are saying, "The ruling angel who is like God." That's high praise!

Item #3:
I've been making yogurt. And when you make yogurt it's all goey, so I strain it. Thus, I have whey. If I strain it too much my yogurt becomes cream cheese, but that's not all bad. I don't want to waste the whey, so I've been looking at uses for it. And it turns out there's plenty. So far, I've tried it in bread. Works for rolls, leave it out of the pizza crust. I put some in rice - can't really tell a difference, but the whey isn't in my fridge any more, and it didn't get wasted. Also, my cookbook Nurturing Traditions has uses for whey. I haven't tried most of those. Apparently you can also make ricotta cheese out of it, but I haven't tried that yet. Or, another cheese called "zigger." One of these days I'm going to try making cheese too. But I need to figure out where to get this thing called, "rennet."

Item #4:
This clip amuses me.

Beautiful Math

You can play with math. This has been a huge revelation to me. And it makes math interesting in a way that it hasn't ever been before.

I've been realizing that things like the Commutative Law in addition (it doesn't matter what order you add the numbers) are more than just strange words you occasionally bump into in the text; they're signals that something cool is going on, and there's probably an opportunity for play if I can just find it!

Turns out, once you realize they're there, opportunities for play in math aren't that hard to find. For instance, snowflakes. I love to photograph snowflakes, and I think cutting them out it tons of fun too. And it's almost time to build some to decorate the house. Turns out they can be more than fun decorations: they have math in them. And stories. Check out this symmetry lesson at Moebius Noodles. And, if your kid is up to such a thing, it bumps into multiplication too. And powers. How cool is that? (Don't skip the comments - there's a whole 'nuther fun activity, with story telling, in there. Plus, they have hints that there might be math in origami, so I googled that.

Oh yeah. There's math in origami. We'll have to come back to origami, because Monkey's still got pudgy munchkin fingers. But what fun!! Check this guys "bucky balls" out. Wouldn't that be a fun Christmas decoration! Little fishing wire... hang it from the ceiling. Yeah. I could be a geek. But it's art-math!

Part 2 has some interesting points about the properties of the bucky ball... and its relationship to a 20 sided die.

Anyway, here's a link for fractions with origami. Looks like fun. I actually printed that one out. (I think I might need a math games reference book if this keeps up...) Oh, cool, there's a whole site on origami in the elementary education classroom! OK, so it looks like they want you to buy their book to get the really good stuff (though they do offer a whale lesson, and if you email them they'll send a 101 Ways to Use Origami in the Classroom) and it looks good enough that I put it on my wish list at Amazon. Though why anybody thinks I'd pay $999 for a used origami book is beyond me!! That's not the only option Amazon has, happily. Plus, the suggested books people buy with it also look like a lot of fun. (If you decide to peek, I'd love it if you'd use my affiliate link.)

Here's another upper-grade origami/math book, from the same folks as the Miquon books that are working so nicely for us. Grade 7-11... we're not there yet, but it looks like such fun! Slip the activities in there between other math for a break? I hope my kids think it's as interesting as I do.

17 October 2011

Volume = LOUD

Loud, but enthusiastic today as he was practicing his memory work. I think we'll have to work on the "polished performance" part some...

In case you didn't quite catch what he's saying, here's the words to the poems.

by Christina Rosetti

Brown and furry
Caterpillar in a hurry
Take your walk
To the shady leaf or stalk.

May no toad spy you
May the little bird pass by you
Spin and die
To live again a butterfly.

Cottleston Pie
by A.A. Milne

Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston pie
A fly can't bird, but a bird can fly
Ask me a riddle and I reply,
"Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston pie"

Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston pie
A fish can't whistle and neither can I
Ask me a riddle and I reply,
"Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston pie"

Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston pie
Why does a chicken? I don't know why!
Ask me a riddle and I reply,
"Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston pie"

14 October 2011

Teaching the Reformation

We're doing the Ancients this year in history, so we're not to the Reformation - yet. But reading Fire in the Bones: William Tyndale, Martyr has made me aware of the sacrifices that the reformers made so that we could read the scriptures in comfort and safety. Although I'd heard of the Inquisition, I'd somehow entirely missed what it was about. I had no idea that people were burned at the stake for possessing and reading the Bible! I don't know a lot about it yet, but I'm learning. And next year, Monkey will too.

Cocoa, at Chocolate on my Cranium, is doing the Reformation with her kids right now. And hers a little older than mine, but she's gathered together a wonderful list of resources on the Reformation, mainly from the manuals and magazines put out by the Church, that she's sharing. I can't wait to dig into some of them myself!

Downy Woodpecker

12 October 2011

Car Games

We just got back from a 6-day roadtrip (Hi, Jenny!!), and of course we played some car games to keep the drive from feeling quite so long. Here are the results:

State License Plates:
Florida                                        Georgia                                 Mississippi
Ohio                                            North Carolina                    Iowa
California                                   New York                             Arizona
Idaho                                         Connecticut                         Kentucky
Washington                             Missouri                              New Jersey
Michigan                                  Oregon                                 Alabama
Indiana                                     New Mexico                         Tennessee
Illinois                                      Maine                                    Minnesota
Wisconsin                              West Virginia                       South Carolina
Kansas                                    Vermont                                Maryland
Virginia                                    Montana                               Utah
Pennsylvania                         Colorado                               Nebraska
Louisiana                               Massachusetts                     Montana
Oklahoma                               Colorado                                South Dakota
New Hampshire                    Nevada                                   Wyoming

Other License Plates:
Washington DC
US Government

For it being the middle of October, and all the public schools in session, I don't think this is too shabby of a list! I did think it odd that there wasn't a better representation of Canadian guests: other trips this long have shown us most or all of the Provinces. Perhaps because they are also in school, we didn't see as many of our neighbors to the North. We also made note of vanity plates, which was a new list for me, and one that I think I'll be making a habit of doing in the future!

Vanity Plates
ICANDI                                BOBBIN3                          IGUANA8
JABA                                   JAG XJL                            JEPR
ME ME ME                        WIN WIN                           EREN
CU RACN                             BBS                                   SN1PS
NH OMFS                           PIZZAZZ                          MEGLET
LV2MNBK                          JAG                                    2 N JOY
SIR OWL                             TWIN 1                              KENEDY 4
SAAD                                 THE VOLS                         CRN 79
7 R                                        FRKNRCN                         RUNRBUG
BREZEEE                            GILVSJT                            JAG DADY
4 SCUDR                             NATO 16                          FNFAB1
SARRIS                               PODGE 4                          AMP 1
TEDYBUR                          NOJZFST                         NEW MINT
MOMANS2                       S MUERTE                        X PS1 X
JIMBO 52                           MAX THIS 1                    COOKN IT
ME BRAT 1                       NERZ1                               DA MASK
LA PRINCSA                    BEAR DN                          WD2 N4W
MR WB 5                          MR ZIP                               GIDEON
HK3                                    JEWEL                                NANEE
CAPTTED                        PITURA

The Chicago area had an unusual density of vanity plates: we probably got about half of the plates as we went through that area. Made me wonder if they are less expensive in Illiniois? We also though of a plate that we may get ourselves at some point... no, I'm not giving it away!

We also kept track of weird/interesting stuff we saw. Here are the highlights:

  • 2 empty white lawn chairs, set up on the side of the highway like they were watching a parade
  • a large windfarm. We estimated that there were probably 500+ windmills, and they weren't small ones either!
  • a semi trailer that was hard-topped for the first 1/3 of the trailer, then soft topped the rest of the way back. It had no marks to give us clues about what they might be carrying.
  • a large green dragon, with little tiny wings. I guessed it was around 2 stories tall.
  • "Isothermal" Community College
  • cotton fields, ready to be harvested
  • 1/2 hay bale laying on the highway
  • hot tub on a pickup
  • yard with a 2-hole golf course
  • sign: "Possible Wildlife in the Road"
  • watertower painted like a rainbow hot air balloon
  • "Hungry Mother State Park" (guess the Daddies had enough to eat??)
  • sign: "Big Musky Bucket"
  • falling plane - we thought it was remote control...
  • burned and melted semi cab - gone to the level of the headlights
  • Binary Odometer: 111010 (58)
  • Binary Odometer: 111111 (235)
  • Big Crane: the top was popping out of a quarry on I-80 that's around 2 miles deep. BIG crane.
  • Max's Cheese castle - with a castle shaped building
My family started keeping a list of roadkill sightings when we were headed out West one year and there was an unusually large number of them on the side of the road. Funny thing was, we saw them in the first state we traveled through, and then everyone else on that 1500 mile drive had them cleaned up. This time I also noticed that there was a definite difference between the way that one area to the next was able to keep their roads cleaned up.

UFO*: 19
Racoon: 12
Skunk: 3
Rabbit: 2
Deer: 3

UFO = unidentified flattened object 

Other bits of stuff we kept track of:

Lowest gas price: $3.11/gal
Tunnels: 5

It was a good trip!

07 October 2011

Weekly Wrap-up: Sargon the Great

We started out looking back at Sumer/Mesopotamia in history this week, with chapter 5 of Story of the World. This was Monkey's narration:

Mesopotamia is the land between the Tigris and the Euphrates river. It’s called Sumer. They all had their own king and their own set of armies. Then the Great One, Sargon, came and he fought over fifty cities. He won. He made them follow him instead of their own king. He sent his army to live in those cities. He made a military dictatorship, which is something that you do to make everybody have to go with listening to the army.

We also finished up some of the Egyptian stuff that's been pushed off to the side. Like this documentary I found nearly a month ago. We finally watched it.

Monkey's doing great with reading /sh/, which makes me happy. Next week, I believe, is /ch/. It seems like he's really getting the hang of this now. Once, doing a lesson a week seemed like it was pushing my luck. Now, I've been feeling like we could do them a little faster. We may try it, but I don't want to go so fast that he doesn't get adequate practice as we go along. We're so close to the long vowels... I can almost taste it. I'm sooo looking forward to the time when he's got enough vowels sounds and combinations that he's suddenly able to read the picture books that are all over our house! I'm beginning to think that it will probably be relatively sudden too: so many books are based on sight words, and once we learn the phonics rules that cover them he'll suddenly have a world of books available to try out.

We tried again to make a lapbook, this time a frog lapbook, which we did instead of doing a narration. We used elements of several different lapbooks I found. Oddly, the 3 books about frogs we have don't talk at all about what eats them, so we had a hard time finding that information to include in our finished product. We used a coloring sheet from our Dover Reptiles and Amphibians coloring book for the cover. We also watched a few clips of frogs singing; I was amazed at the variety of songs!

02 October 2011

A Safeguard and Protection

After listening to Brother Bednar's talk in Conference I wanted to find a way to help Monkey begin to learn to love family history work. Although the talk was primarily addressed to youth, Brother Bednar also specifically included children in his remarks. Then, after I found another clip (below) on lds.org, my husband and I became even more determined to find a way to make this happen.

I will hardly ever ask the question, "Are you preparing to go on a mission?" I will ask the question, "Are you worthy to be in the temple? And will you be next year? And will you be the year after that? Are you doing the research in your own family, and helping other people with their research?" 

That, for a young person, in the wickedness of the world in which we live today, is one of the greatest safeguards against the temptations of the adversary.

-David A.Bednar

A safeguard against the temptations of the adversary; protection from the wickedness of our world.

We need that.

We need to protect our children so they can grow up to the Lord! Now that he says it, it makes perfect sense that the temple would offer that protection to our children and youth. Of course the temple will draw my children closer to the Lord! Funny, President Hunter invited us to make the temple the great symbol of our membership, but in teaching my son I never thought to invite him to do the same.

OK. Now what. My big boy doesn't read yet. Not enough, anyway. And the little one not at all. (Though he does point at my alphabet strips and say, "That-- me!") How can I involve such little ones in family history and temple work? Obviously neither one can do real research just yet.

Things we can do

  • Tell ancestor stories.
  • Make an "Ancestor Book" - this would be good for long, "boring" Sundays, or for Family Home Evenings.
  • If I get names ready maybe they can help print and organize the temple cards
  • With (a lot of) help, Monkey could put dates into PAF after a temple trip
  • We could find space for an "Ancestor Map" and mark where they lived
  • We can take our digital recorder to Nana & Grandpa's house & ask them for stories

What else? How can we help our children do this?

01 October 2011

Sunday Scripture

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Against such there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23


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