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30 April 2014

Minecraft Morning

We bought Minecraft a while back, and Hero has been keen to get a multiplayer game going. However, it turns out that's easier said than done; the "easy" server software they suggest isn't too easy after all. The Daddy has been working on it, and last night he got it. This morning we are doing things backwards: Minecraft this morning, and school this afternoon.


24 April 2014

Handwriting Songs

Dragon is showing some interest in writing, and I discovered these fun songs on YouTube that reinforce writing ideas. I'm thinking he may like these.












OK, this one's not so much for him as it is for me... I think this is a hilarious approach!



15 April 2014

The Burgess Bird Book - bird list

The kids, particularly Hero, love listening to Librivox recordings. We've heard Children of Odin many times now, and they're working on The Burgess Bird Book for Children again the past couple of days. It occurred to me that we could get some good Nature Study going on, and probably learn some bird calls with each chapter, which will be so rewarding when we get out into the park. So, to make that happen, I need a list of birds covered in each chapter. We're using Librovox, but Guttenberg also has a copy. Even if we don't look closely at all the birds, learning a few -or a bunch- will be fun when we're outside. I'm linking to All About Birds, and coloring sheets when I can find them. We'll also be playing with my Nature Tap app on my phone, which plays the songs of the birds, and see if I can get us all to the point where we know these birds as they sing in our woods. I'm also making note of the times when we might expect to hear them in our area - the Upper Midwest. I also found this, which includes some ready-made copywork from the book.


The Burgess Bird Book for Children.

Chapter 1: Jenny Wren Arrives

Chapter 2: The Old Orchard Bully

Chapter 3: Jenny Has A Good Word For Some Sparrows

Chapter 4: Chippy, Sweetvoice, and Dotty

Chapter 5: Peter Learns Something He Hadn't Guessed

Chapter 6: An Old Friend In A New Home

Chapter 7: The Watchman of the Old Orchard

Chapter 8: Old Clothes and Old Houses

Chapter 9: Longbill and Teeter

Chapter 10: Redwing and Yellow Wing

Chapter 11: Drummers and Carpenters

Chapter 12: Some Unlikely Relatives

Chapter 13: More of the Blackbird Family

Chapter 14: Bob White and Carole the Meadowlark

Chapter 15: A Swallow and One Who Isn't

Chapter 16: A Robber in the Old Orchard

Chapter 17: More Robbers
  • Crow
  • Blue Jay

Chapter 18: Some Homes in the Green Forest
  • Ovenbird
  • Red-tail Hawk

Chapter 19: A Maker of Thunder and a Friend in Black
  • Ruffed Grouse
  • Crow Blackbird

Chapter 20: A Fisherman Robbed
  • Osprey
  • Bald Eagle

Chapter 21: A Fishing Party
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Kingfisher

Chapter 22: Some Feathered Diggers
  • Bank Swallow
  • Sparrow Hawk

Chapter 23: Some Big Mouths
  • Nighthawk
  • Whip-poor-will
  • Chuck-wills-widow

Chapter 24: The Warblers Arrive
  • Redstart
  • Yellow Warbler

Chapter 25: Three Cousins Quite Unlike
  • Black and White Warbler
  • Maryland Yellow-throat
  • Yellow-breasted Chat

Chapter 26: Peter Gets a Lame Neck
  • Parula
  • Myrtle Warblers 
  • Magnolia Warbler

Chapter 27: A New Friend and an Old One
  • Cardinal
  • Catbird

Chapter 28: Peter Sees Rosebreast and Finds Redcoat
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • Scarlet Tanager

Chapter 29: The Constant Singers
  • Red-eyed Vireo
  • Warbling Vireo
  • Yellow-throated Vireo

Chapter 30: Jenny Wren's Cousins
  • Brown Thrasher
  • Mockingbird

Chapter 31: Voices of the Dusk
  • Wood Thrush
  • Hermit Thrush
  • Wilson's Thrush

Chapter 32: Peter Saves a Friend and Learns Something
  • Towhee
  • Indigo Bunting

Chapter 33: A Royal Dresser and a Late Nester
  • Purple Linnet
  • Goldfinch

Chapter 34: Mourner the Dove and Cuckoo
  • Mourning Dove
  • Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Chapter 35: A Butcher and a Hummer
  • Shrike
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Chapter 36: A Stranger and a Dandy
  • English Starling
  • Cedar Waxwing

Chapter 37: Farewells and Welcomes
  • Chickadee

Chapter 38: Honker and Dippy Arrive
  • Canada Goose
  • Loon


Chapter 39: Peter Discovers Two Old Friends
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Brown Creeper

Chapter 40: Some Merry Seed-Eaters
  • Tree Sparrow
  • Junco

Chapter 41: More Friends Come With the Snow
  • Snow Bunting
  • Horned Lark

Chapter 42: Peter Learns Something About Spooky
  • Screech Owl

Chapter 43: Queer Feet and a Queerer Bill
  • Crossbill

Chapter 44: More Folks in Red
  • Pine Grosbeak
  • Redpoll

Chapter 45: Peter Sees Two Terrible Feathered Hunters
  • Goshawk
  • Great Horned Owl


10 April 2014

Frozen Fractals

We watched Frozen at Grandpa's house a couple weeks ago, and my boys are just loving the music, particularly Let It Go. Which works for me; it's outstanding music that's fun to sing along with. And it just happens to have a fun math tie-in, so we'll be playing around with fractals, in between re-watching the raising of the castle.





About 2 years ago, we played with fractals once before. We made some Sierpinski Triangles, but he doesn't remember, at least, not by the name, so I think we'll start out with doing those again. Happily, you can print graph paper from the web - we'll be using this site's Isometric Graph Paper. Which is fun. I mean, what's not to love about triangle graph paper? I bet we can find some fraction work in these triangles too, since that's what we were supposed to be focusing on right now. And coloring. Math + Art is pretty much always good. So much more fun than the worksheets we were going to do tomorrow, though we'll probably do those as well. It'd be fun if we had enough finished triangles to put a composite up on the wall or something, though that's probably pushing our luck for a single day.

But, cool as they are, Sierpinski Triangles just don't look much like the stuff in Elsa's ice castle. That one looks much more like this Koch Snowflake. There's directions for making it; looks like more triangle paper is going to be in order. We won't look at the equations they have on this page, but they have some lovely pictures of these Koch Snowflakes and some variations. Here's some historical background. And some more. I wonder why it is that Koch Snowflakes were discovered by a Wilson Bentley? I might put something about this in my Book of Centuries, whatever the reason for the name. This book is tempting, but I don't know if we'll get that into this project. Our local library has this one. Makes me wonder if our used book shop has it. That's tempting, though the baby's sick, so it won't happen fast either way.

Of course, we'll also have to have a look at some of the fractal zoom clips on Youtube. This looks like a likely starting point.



That should do for a start. we'll see if there's more interest after that.

07 April 2014

Tasty Math and Other Number Fun

These cookies that Vihart and her friends made look like so much fun, but I'm thinking it's a bit involved for us, just yet. We did something a little simpler for our math lesson today.



Hero's 2nd rocket.
However, we tried this idea for teaching fractions with pattern blocks today, and it worked out really well. We didn't do the activity quite as outlined, since Hero(7) is still somewhat new to fractions (we're going to be spending the next couple weeks working with them), but we did have a good time.

The first rocket he made didn't work because I forgot to tell him that we'd be working with only a limited number of shapes - the ones that can make a hexagon. The second one did much more nicely.  But it became clear as we tried to do the worksheet that he needed some of the foundational ideas still, so that's what we mainly worked on.

First, we looked at the number of each shape he'd used. Hexagons were our "whole," the shape we called "one." The rest of them, we looked at in terms of how many hexagons could we make. This worked out nicely, since he chose to count the hexagon first. Next, we looked at the trapezoids. Since Dragon(3) was (kind of) also playing with the shapes, he got some exposure to the names of the shapes as well. We decided that each trapezoid is half of a hexagon, and that 4 trapezoids make 2 hexagons. This gave us a chance to write a couple of fractions: 1/2, 1/2, and 2/2. I forgot to show him the 4/2, which is probably ok. But things got really interesting when we got to the rhombuses (rhombi??). This posed a challenge: figuring out the denominator. We've talked about the denominator several times, but it hasn't really stuck, and he needed more help with the concept. At this point, we pretty much abandoned the worksheet to work on the concepts he needed to solidify.


First, we more firmly established our base:

A yellow hexagon = 1. Surprisingly, this took a moment to establish. It didn't click into place until I started talking about how we can trade the other shapes for a hexagon, the way we trade with our Cuisenaire Rods. Then he had the ah-ha! moment and things were much more clear.

So, a yellow hexagon = 2 red trapezoids = 3 blue rhombuses = 6 green triangles.

We wrote this out like this:

1/1  2/2   3/3   6/6

And at the end, I went through and did this:

1 = 1/1 = 2/2 = 3/3 = 6/6

And we kind of lined the numbers up with the shapes so he could see it was true.



We've done work with "Names of a Number" before, so when I told him these are all different names for one, he understood, and at that point I felt like he had the concept, so we went back to his rocket again. He'd used 2 rhombuses, and that now made sense to him as 2/3 of a hexagon, so I asked him to make the same shape in triangles, and we figured out the name of that as well.

2/3 = 4/6.

At this point, I mentioned the terms "equivalent fractions" and "improper fractions," though I don't really expect them to stick. We did, however, note that the root of equivalent is "equal" and that's really what we're saying: equivalent fractions are equal.




I could tell that we were close to time to be done, but I wanted to try going one step further, and I gave him 7 triangles and asked him to figure out the name of the fraction they represented. It took a few minutes, but he figured it out.




 Pattern blocks are so much fun. Hero has made some beautiful and intricate pictures with them in the past, and today when we were done working, he made this one again. It's one of my favorites. The more of math that I re-learn, the more that I believe that playing around with shapes and patterns like this is immensely valuable. I hope that in the next while as we're messing around with fractions and pattern blocks that he makes some more pictures that I can share.


And, browsing around through comments and links, I found this amazing list of picture books with math in them. I could spend so much $$$ on books! There's a couple in the fractions section that are sounding pretty interesting. I need to order more pattern blocks and Cuisenaire Rods anyway, now that there are usually at least 2 kids playing with them during math time.

I love it when math is play. I think I need to make me some "math cards" and just keep them. I'd play these games with the kids more often if I didn't have to go through and sort the cards before we could start every time.


05 April 2014

Trusting Him with Our Hurts

We read in Alma 5 how Alma asked the members of the Church in his day a number of searching questions, including:


Have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received His image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change of heart?” (Alma 5:14)


I’ve read this many times, but my own answer hasn’t always been a resounding, “YES.” I have often wondered, “How does one come to know Christ?” You can come to know about him by reading the scriptures and learning the stories in them. But knowing stories is not the same as knowing Christ. I was thinking about this, and I started to ponder, “How to you get to know anybody?” I started to think about my friend, B., and her family. I met her not long after I moved to the area, and I knew a few things about her, but I didn’t really start to get to know her until we served in the Primary together, and each week we’d chat, and she’d flirt with my baby. I realized, as I was thinking about this, that it was spending time with her, first in our callings, and then socially, that really began our friendship. After a while, we started to do other things as well. We had dinner together. We did service projects. They helped us, and we helped them. The friendship grew through time and shared experience.

The process of getting to know the Lord is much the same; we start to get to know him by spending time with him. Nephi said, “I, Nephi, did go into the mount oft, and I did pray oft unto the Lord; wherefore the Lord showed unto me great things.” (1 Nephi 17:3) Prayer is the process by which we have conversations with the Lord. When we want to pick up the phone and talk to Him, prayer is how we do it.

Shared experience begins to accumulate when we do things with our friends. We gain shared experiences with the Lord when we do what He does. This is following His example. But it’s also trying to see people the way He sees them: developing real charity, which is so much more than giving money. It is a gift of love – of being able to love, to understand, even the most difficult of people. And, it is a Gift of the Spirit we are commanded to seek. Study charity in the scriptures. Pray for it. And practice it, and you will begin to have it in greater measure. And, you will begin to know the Lord better.

As we do these things, we will find a change taking place within ourselves. We will become more like Him! We will come to know Him better, and better. We will discover that He knows just what we need. We will learn that you can trust him with your hurts!

Christ is the Great Physician – He knows what you need. He will, however, often wait for your permission to help you. The path to perfection is a path of healing. In Conference, last October, Elder Timothy J. Dyches taught:


Jesus Christ heals body, mind, and spirit, and His healing begins with faith. Do you remember when your faith and joy were full to the brim? Remember the moment you found your testimony or when God confirmed to you that you were His son or daughter and that He loved you very much—and you felt whole? If that time seems lost, it can be found again. The Savior counsels us on how to be made whole—to be complete or become healed: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:28–30) Come, follow me (Luke 18:22) invites us to leave behind the old life and worldly desires and become a new creature for whom "old things are passed away [and] all things are become new," even with a new, faithful heart. And we are made whole again. "Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you" As we draw near to Him, we realize that mortality is meant to be difficult and that "opposition in all things" (2 Nephi 2:11) is not a flaw in the plan of salvation. Opposition, rather, is the indispensable element of mortality and strengthens our will and refines our choices. The vicissitudes of life help us fashion an eternal relationship with God—and engrave His image upon our countenance as we yield our hearts to Him (Alma 5:19)


Life is hard. At one day old, Tigress was admitted to the NICU with a collapsed lung and pneumonia, the first thing they did was to ask me to leave so they could place an IV. It needed to go into her belly button, and apparently the process of getting it in is very unpleasant. Later, she also had a chest tube placed. These procedures were done with very little medications because there is so little that can safely be given to someone so tiny: although she was full-term and the birth was uncomplicated, she was not quite 6 pounds and very ill. The NICU was difficult for all of us.

Life is hard, right from the start. We often joke about how little babies "have it made," but I no longer believe that to be the case. Even if you don’t start in the NICU, you begin completely helpless, unable to help yourself with the least little thing, or even to say what it is that’s bothering you! The process of learning to communicate even the most basic of needs and wants is a lengthy one, taking years, and until then, our little ones are completely dependent upon our ability to correctly read the situation and guess what it is that they want. Hard times are part of life. We all have need of the healing that Christ offers. Again from Elder Dyches:


President Thomas S. Monson has said, "There is one life that sustains those who are troubled or beset with sorrow and grief—even the Lord Jesus Christ." If you feel unclean, unloved, unhappy, unworthy, or unwhole, remember "all that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ." Have faith and patience in the Savior’s timing and purposes for you. "Be not afraid, only believe" (Mark 5:36) Be assured the Savior still seeks to mend our souls and heal our hearts. He waits at the door and knocks. Let us answer by beginning again to pray, repent, forgive, and forget. Let us love God and serve our neighbor and stand in holy places with a life made clean. The impotent man at the pool of Bethesda, the leper along the journey to Jerusalem, and [others] were made whole. "Wilt thou be made whole?" Rise and walk. His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9), and you will not walk alone.


Our healing begins with faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Our faith grows as we read Christ’s words, we practice His virtues, we seek His help. And all these things work together to create a mighty change in us. We will come to feel the same things that the Old King felt when he said to Aaron, "...if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee, and that I may be raised from the dead, and be saved at the last day." (Alma 22:18) Giving away all our sins is the only way that we can come to know God. He stands ready. If we will trust Him with our hurts, He will care for us as only He can.

04 April 2014

Planning Modern History Study

You can't buy books if you don't have some idea of what you're planning to study. So I'm trying to figure out what we're going to study in the final year of our first trip through our history rotation. It'll be quite some time before we get to actually learning this stuff, but it will also take some time to figure it out and then we have to buy the books. So now is a good time to start figuring out what we're going to learn. We'll be using Story of the World 4 as our spine. Books I do not have are in italics. Church History in the Fullness of Times is abbreviated CHFT.

Unit 1: Britain's Empire (Sepoy Mutiny 1857)

Read-alouds: The Secret Garden
Biography: At Her Majesty's Request: An African Princess in Victorian England
Church History: Danish translation of the Book of Mormon (1851). Note family history connections.
Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young (bio. sketch, choose any chapter)
A Short History of Wisconsin ch 1-2
Presidents & Prophets: William Henry Harrison, John Tyler



Unit 2: West Against East (Crimean War 1853-1856)
History Reading: Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun
Biography: Florence Nightingale(On My Own Biographies)
Church History: Handcart companies rescued (1856) and Johnston's Army (1857-1858)
Family History: Watch Mountain of the Lord. This includes the account of Johnston's Army, the burying of the Salt Lake Temple foundation, and the problems this caused, as well as Archibald Gardner's council to dig it out and start again.
Short History of Wisconsin ch 3-4
Presidents & Prophets: James K. Polk, Zachary Taylor



Unit 3: British Invasion
Literature: The Jungle Book
Biography: David Livingstone: Courageous Explorer
Presidents & Prophets: Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce


Unit 4: Resurrection and Rebellion (Taiping Rebellion 1850-1864)
Church History: Tabernacle completed (1867) Read an address from conference on Oct 6 1867
Additional topic: Fugitive Slave Law/The Underground Railroad. What was the Underground Railroad. The Last Safe House by Greenwood
Dread Scott Decision (We the People: Civil War Era)
Literature: My Indian Boyhood by Little Standing Bear
Short History of Wisconsin ch 5-6
Presidents & Prophets: James Buchanan



Unit 5: American Civil War (1861-1865)
Church History: CHFT chapter 30 deals with the Civil War. Joseph's prophecies to Douglas
Lincoln-Douglas Debates (We The People: Civil War Era)
Biographies: Ulysses S. Grant by David C. King, and in the series, also Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee.
Additional Reading: (Little Women). Behind Rebel Lines, Abraham Lincoln & Frederick Douglas: The Story Behind an American Friendship. More from A Short History of Wisconsin.

Church History: Abraham Lincoln and the Church from this BYU essay.
Short History of Wisconsin ch 7-8
Presidents & Prophets: Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln:  the Gettysburg Address

Additional topics: Read Riders of the Pony Express by Moody, Old Yeller by Fred Gipson, Germ Hunter: A Story About Louis Pasteur


Unit 6: Two Tries for Freedom
Presidents & Prophets: Andrew Johnson
Additional Literature: Mountain Wolf Woman: A Ho-Chunk Girlhood


Unit 7: Two Republics, Three Empires, One Kingdom

Movie: The Scarlet Pimpernel

Presidents & Prophets: Ulysses S. Grant


Unit 8: Becoming Modern
Biographies: DK Biography: Thomas Edison
Literature: Ten Mile Day And the Building of the Transcontinental Railroad
Church History: CHFT chapter 31 deals with the coming of the transcontinental railroad; All That Was Promised by Yorgason
Family History: The diary of Robert Gardner includes a section on his family's sacrifices to provide wood for the St. George Temple. 



Units 9 & 10: Two More Empires, Two More Rebellions;
A Canal to the East, and a Very Dry Desert (Suez Canal 1869)

Additional Reading: Krakatoa by Nardo
Family History: The Life of Archibald Gardner


Units 11 & 12: The Far Parts of the World;
Unhappy Union
Additional Reading: Feed the Children First by Lyons

Additional Topic: Booker T Washington: Great American Educator
Church History: Signers appear to Wilford Woodruff; Death of Brigham Young. CHFT 416-421.


Unit 13:Old Fashioned Emperor &  the Red Sultan


Unit 14: Two Czars & Two Emperors

Additional Reading: Before the Communist Revolution by Kallen
Discuss commentary on communism by prophets and apostles in A Glorious Standard
Church History: A Decade of Persecution (1877-87), CHFT 422
The House of the Lord: Cache Valley and the Logan Temple(DVD) (1884)

Additional Topic: Statue of Liberty (1885) Lady Liberty: A Biography


Unit 15: Small Countries with Large Invaders

Teachings of the Presidents: John Taylor (bio. sketch, choose any chapter)

Additional Reading: Ellis Island: An Interactive History Adventure
Additional Topic: Segregation/Plessy v. Fergussin (1896) Plessy V. Ferguson: Separate But Equal? (Landmark Supreme Court Cases)
Church History: The Case of Brigham H. Roberts of Utah & The Reed Smoot Hearings CHFT465-470



Unit 16: Expanding United States

Additional Reading: Caddie Woodlawn by Brink; Little House in the Big Woods by Wilder. People of the Big Voice: Photographs of Ho-Chunk Families, Native People of Wisconsin, They Came to Wisconsin. More from A Short History of Wisconsin.
Church History: Salt Lake Temple - Mountain of the Lord(DVD) Note family history connections.


Units 17 & 18: China's Troubles
Europe and the Countries Just East
Church History: The Manifesto, CHFT 439
Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff (bio. sketch, choose any chapter)

William McKinley 2 Inaugural Addresses (1897, 1901)
Additional Topic: Klondike Gold Rush (1897). Call of the Wild by London
Church History: President Woodruff dies; Lorenzo Snow becomes Prophet: CHFT 452
Solving the Church's Financial Problems: CHFT 454-456
Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow (bio. sketch, choose any chapter)


Unit 19: China, Vietnam - and France

Legend of the Teddy Bear by Murphy
Additional Reading: Water Buffalo Days by Nhuong

Church History: 1909 Statement by the First Presidency on the Origins of Man & Evolution CHFT 488-489
Additional Topic: The Wright Brothers: A Graphic Novel
Biography:  DK Biography: Marie Curie

Additional Literature: Cheaper By the Dozen

Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph F Smith (bio. sketch, choose any chapter)


Unit 20: Revolution in the Americas... War in the World

Additional Reading: Where Poppies Grow by Grandield
Stubby the War Dog by Bausum
In Flanders Fields by Granfield
DK Eyewittness: World War I
Woodrow Wilson's 2nd Inaugural Address (1917)


Unit 21: A Revolution Begins, and the Great War Ends

Additional Reading: Cher Ami: WWI Homing Pigeon by Dunn

Additional Literature: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Cricket in Times Square
Biography: Albert Einstein by Wishinsky,


Unit 22: National Uprisings

Additional Reading: Gandhi by Demi, The Kingfisher Treasury of Irish Stories, by James Riordan




Unit 23: "Peace" and a Man of War

Additional Reading: The Russian People in 1914



Unit 24: The King and Il Duce
Additional Reading: Fascism by Downing


Unit 25: Armies in China

Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1st & 2nd Innaugural Addresses (1933, 1937)


Unit 26: The Great Crash and What Came of It

Additional Reading: American Voices from the Great Depression by Ruggiero
Church History: The Church in the Great Depression CHFT 509-516. The First Presidency and the New Deal: Letter to the Treasury in 1941 Speech: The Law of Consecration by Victor L. Brown
Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Heber J. Grant (bio. sketch, choose any chapter)


Unit 27: Civil War & Invasion

Additional Reading: Armistice: 1918


Unit 28: The Second World War

Additional Literature: Number the Stars by Lois Lowery, World War II by Willmott
Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith (bio. sketch, choose any chapter)


Unit 29: The End of World War II

Additional Reading: 1000 Paper Cranes, The Berlin Wall by Grant
Dwight D. Eisenhauer's Inaugural Addresses (1953, 1957)

Unit 30-34: skip

Unit 35: The Cold War

Additional Reading: The Space Race by Collins
JTeachings of the Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay (bio. sketch, choose any chapter)
Speech: Socialism and the United Order by Marion G. Romney


Unit 36: Struggles and Assassinations

Additional Reading: SB Fuller: Pioneer in Black Economic Development; SB Fuller's speech: "It's Not Racial Barriers That Keep Blacks From Prospering." Linda Brown, You Are Not Alone

Lyndon B Johnson's Inaugural Address (1965)


OK. That looks like plenty. More than enough. It's so hard to guess where we need to be in a year and a half or more. Maybe I should enroll myself in "Overachievers' Anonymous." But hey, no matter what I plan, we'll likely do less, so it makes more sense to me to make ambitious plans and have good achievement, than it does to make moderate plans and do only an adequate amount. In any case, we'll adjust as we go along when we get there. And planning now lets me buy the books a bit at a time. My budget likes that.

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