Friday, July 15, 2011

General Conference Book Club

I have such a firm testimony of the importance of General Conference. My goal every year is to read through the entirety of the Conference Ensigns (or Liahonas, when I read it in French). I always take notes in the margins and love discussing the principles that are revealed to me through study.

I found this General Conference Book Club on the website Diapers and Divinity and thought it might interest some of you. Every Sunday a new talk is discussed, open for comments from anyone who feels led to participate.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Simple Things

I really enjoyed this post from a contributor at Pioneer Woman Homeschooling. It's all about the simple things that do more than their share of contributing to an enriching homeschool experience.

My own suggestion? Meaningful work for the children to contribute to the household. Have you noticed how kids want to help all the time? Find a way to teach them and put them to work! That's one of my big goals for this coming year.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

On Emma Smith

I've felt led to ponder Doctrine & Covenants 25 many times in recent months, and I've always wanted to know more about Emma Smith.

I found this post a new perspective for me; so often I hear women disparaging Emma and her lack of dedication to the church and to Joseph after his martyrdom.

Blessings to you all. I'll let you know when I'm in my new place and no longer have to steal moments on other's computers.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Word of Wisdom Diet

Madame Coin sent me this link a while back and it's been popping in and out of my mind since then.  Lately, it has been on my mind A LOT.  Norovirus (stomach flu) has been circulating and over the course of 4 weeks there has been someone sick in my family.  Recently it was my turn and it got me thinking more about what I put into my body and how it affects it.  I've also been struggling with my mental health and I've thought about the word of wisdom. 
 These pictures have nothing to do with anything.  They're just cute.

And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones; And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures; And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.  And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass them by, as the children of Israel, and slay them not.  Amen.  D&C 89
Those are some pretty powerful promises and  yet I have ignored them for most of my life.  I think because of the emphasis placed on abstaining from coffee, tobacco, and alcohol, I've lost sight of what the Lord has told me I should eat.  Any time the word of wisdom is discussed in church, I find that most comments revolve around what we have to avoid in order to be worthy for a temple recommend.  And that's great!  Because we need to avoid those.  But sometimes I wish we could talk more about what the Lord says we should eat so we can further reap the blessings he has promised to those who do.
All grain is good for the food of man; also the fruit of the vine; that which yieldeth fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground
I don't want to get into a discussion about whether or not the saints should be vegetarians.  The first part of scripture says it's not "by commandment or constraint" so that doesn't interest me.  What I keep thinking about is how little I pay attention to that last verse.  I pray for health and strength, but I expect the Lord to do it all when I eat processed junk.  Do we need to be commanded in all things?  Sometimes I wish we were, but that's not how the Lord works.  He has given us scripture and like all other scripture and words of the prophets it is for us to choose to follow them.

I want, no, I need those blessing right now.  My current medications aren't doing enough.  The new options freak me out.  Honestly.  Truth be told I'd like to be off them all together!  I know that my diet is part of the problem and my sugar addiction isn't helping.  Yeah, I may still need medication because of the diseases that run in my family.  But why not try changing my eating habits first?  If I am what I eat, then there's a lot of processed sugar in there (I overdid Christmas and it's gone downhill since) and that means cloudy thinking and unpredictable energy levels and moods.
Yup!  Sounds like me.
So I'm thinking of getting a juicer and doing once of those juice fasts (within reason-I'm still nursing).  Maybe for 2 weeks I try to stick with only produce and whole grains.  And fresh eggs from my neighbors chickens (one day I'll finish the coop and get my own....)
And because there's always something that will interfere with this, I have to start next week.  We're going to Tucanos for my husband's brithday this week and then out again for our anniversary.  That said, I can still be more aware of what I'm eating.  I don't have to try every cut of meat they bring by, right?

Monday, July 11, 2011

How Low Could You Go?

I read an article about a family downsizing from 2,500 square feet to less than 400!

It's fun to see; they homeschool at home, too! What could you go without if you were to lose more than 4/5 of your square footage?

Or perhaps it's more useful to think of what things you really need? It's a fun exercise.

My family needs:
Clothing
Dishes
Food storage
A computer
A few books and toys
Bedding (this doesn't have to be stationary! My boys sleep on a sleeping bag on the floor)

And I can't honestly think of much else. What about you?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Homeschooling

I have a friend who's "agitating peacefully" for women to become holders of the Priesthood. My short analysis: women have the sacred trust of bearing children, and men have the sacred trust of holding the Priesthood, and I don't want anybody to take away from my sons the one thing that is their duty. If every woman can hold the Priesthood of her own, then why do women need men at all?

He's a good guy, though, and pointed me to this link today, an analysis of a woman advocating "celestial education". Basically members of our church should homeschool. It's a good article, even having not seen the 3 hour video being critiqued.

It reminds me that we as mothers have the sacred responsibility to see to the education of our kids; and we should not be afraid by anyone who beats us over the head with quotes from general authorities. We have a right to the Spirit as we teach our children; but he won't beat us over the head with information that we can find easily if we reach into a subject of study that many have been researching for decades. We must seek knowledge by study and by faith, and a neglect of either aspect of the process will result in an incomplete education.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

On Families

I saw this link today; Josh's Virginia mom pointed it out to me.

Why family adopted a grown man.

My mother-in-law's comment on the article was as follows:

"We were foster parents to a 17 year old boy 10 years ago and he taught us that we could love a child who was not biologically ours. Since then, we adopted an entire family of three children, then 10,15 and 17. Our foster son is back in our lives and is now 27, married with 3 kids of his own. If he asked us today to adopt him, would we? Faster then it would take to say, "Yes!" Why? Because we love him that much."

Any stories of unconventional family members in your life? We really do have a say as to who we let into our lives and what we do with those relationships, whether or not we believe that to be true.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Narnia

I want to know if anyone else has seen this.  There is a difference in the way my kids play pretend when they're copying a book or something they watched.  When they read a book, they follow the general storyline, but they break the rules.  They add things or change something.
But when they pretend a movie they've seen, I hear a lot of "that's not what he said" or "no they did it THIS way"  Unfortunately I also noticed that in school.
 Kids are away from home for 7 hours. They had to read the books teacher gave, which, for the more advanced readers consisted of whatever uninspiring fluff was "at their reading level" because teacher is more concerned with the kids who still aren't reading, and do their homework and by the time they had dinner, burned off some energy, and cleaned their room, it was time to go to bed.

During all of this last year, my son had stopped playing.  He still used his imagination, (I wanna build a space ship!) just not in the same way.  The way that kids do when they can see fairies and pirates.
He still went outside and ran around, but it was more burning off energy.  I hadn't noticed he had stopped until he started again.  It's wonderful to watch!
My son is reading the Narnia books right now, so yesterday he and his little sister were running about the house and outside jumping into puddles and going to different worlds and coming back to tell me what they saw.
They brought me silver apples and the white witches wand (she's a good witch now, btw, who helps animals when they get hurt).  And told me about adventures that didn't exist in CS Lewis's mind.

At one point my son asked if I could go into the wardrobe to Narnia and I said, "I can't.  I'm a grown up."  And he told me he wouldn't grow up and I wanted to read him "Peter Pan".
And it was one of those moments that we as mothers package up and store away in our minds and frequently unwrap and look at as our children grow.  I know he'll only do it a few years more and I want to treasure it.

I think preserving our children's imaginations is so important and it needs to be taken more seriously.  I get so tired of robot kids who can't think for themselves because I was one of them.  The only solution I know of is to give them more "free time" (not scheduled 15 minute recesses) and good books.  And then, as recently posted, stand back and watch.  They know how to do the rest.