Thursday, February 28, 2008

For your amusement...

For your amusement, and the amusement and edification of my children, I present some very old photos that my sister sent to me.

This is me and Nelson Piperedes. I'm sure that's not how you spelled his name. I had such the hots for that guy. I was quite a bit bummed when I found out at The Cramps concert at Loughborough University that he was gay.




This is me popping out from behind Troll. HEY! That's my Grandad's coat I've got on there. Anyway, I think this was at Troll's party the day we moved house. He said "DON'T eat the jelly beans!" to me. So I didn't. I had no idea why he said not to. Now I do, of course, but I was quite innocent then, which was amazing considering the people I hung out with. Anyway, Troll (Simon) was really nice. I liked him. If I remember correctly, he was married to a short plump woman who looked totally normal and who stayed at home in the evenings and never went out with him to his crazy parties or to the pub or whatever. She was just this ordinary lady married to this very tall odd gentleman. They seemed quite happy. Go figure.
Later on that evening after the party someone gave me a lift home because I'd missed the last bus. Only because we'd just moved house that day I hadn't memorized my address and I forgot where the house was and there were no cell phones in those days. So we had to find a telephone box (yes, it was one of those red ones that always smelled of pee and you were afraid to put the receiver too close to your ear) and I called my parents and found out our address. Luckily the chap who was giving me a lift knew vaguely where the road was and we just kind of followed our noses to my new house. It was a weird experience.




Sorry, that's all there is. I do have some more less-fuzzy-more-funky ones of me SOMEWHERE but I can't remember where. No, I didn't lose them deliberately. =Þ

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Grace Kelly

Snow day today!!!!

Thus, we're sitting around doing nothing. It's 11.30am and I haven't studied my scriptures, exercised, showered or dressed. Total bum? Yes indeed.

I have thus far filled up my time with answering emails, perusing my favourite blogs, and re-discovering this wonderful song by Mika. It's like Napoleon Dynamite. I didn't like that film at all the first time we saw it....but then a couple of days later we realized we were quoting from it several times a day. So we watched it again...and now we practically know the entire script. Bizarre.

My Mum told me about "Grace Kelly" a while ago and I was like "Yes, it's very nice" ho hum. But over the weeks and months since then the song has wormed its way into my brain. Obviously a low budget video....but beware, if you listen to the song, you'll find yourself humming it and needing to hear it again.




I'd actually forgotten about the song for several weeks, but there was a fun test over at Candace's blog where I found I am, apparently, Grace Kelly. Go figure. It reminded me of this song...aaaggghhh.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What Bert said....

"There are no Republican candidates. There are Democratic candidates running for the Democratic party, and there are Democratic candidates running for the Republican Party."


"Emily, I'm so sorry that for your first time to vote you are voting in one of the worst elections I can remember."

I'm soooo angry and disturbed.

There have been several interesting things happening vis-a-vis the local public schools near us.

A 14 year old freshman was raped and assaulted by an 18 year old senior in Murfreesboro, just down the road from us. The other students and the bus driver did NOTHING even as she screamed for help.

The girl is now (thankfully - her parents are fantastic) being homeschooled. The senior has been arrested and expelled.

Right next to us, Spring Hill, a 6 year old was left on the school bus ALL DAY. A six year old. ALL DAY. The driver didn't check to make sure all the little ones made it off. He drove the bus to home depot. The kid was alone for SEVEN HOURS. Can you imagine how terrified that little one was?

Ok. There are stories like this everywhere, everyday. I mean, for goodness sakes, my daughter's art teacher was fired because she was caught on tape having sex with a female student. I mean, come ON people!

Everytime I'm tired or feeling like I can't homeschool anymore, I remember the many many stories like these that I've heard. I remember the things I've seen with my own eyes in public schools. I wouldn't let my kids near a public school if you paid me.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunday Scripture

1 Nephi 20:18

O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments - then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Shurley English assignment

Why I Am Against Smoking
A well thought, A-deserving paper
By Ben Brooks

I am against smoking. Smoking is damaging to the lungs, brain, and heart. First of all, smoking greatly damages our bodies. The intake of smoke in our bodies has been proved to be dangerous. Some of the health related consequences of smoking include not only painful aches, but lung cancer. Next, smoking also damages self-respect. People who start smoking before they are old enough might feel much guilt later on. Also, many people who can’t quit smoking lose self-respect, because they want to quit, but just can’t. Finally, smoking packs a punch in people’s wallets. Smoking prices rapidly increase, and many unsuspecting victims pay thousands of dollars a year, just to put themselves at risk of lung cancer and other diseases. Many of these victims buy on average a pack a day, taking money out of their overall budgets. It’s easy to see smoking is bad for you. Maybe we should consider whether to actually smoke or not.




I haven't been trained as an English teacher so I'm not so good at recognizing run-on sentences or comma splices or whatever, but this paper looks good to me. =) Does anyone see any grammatical or other errors in it?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sunday Scripture - three days late

James 4:7-8, 10

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

How about that. If you resist temptation and lean on the Lord, the devil will flee from you. That's breathtaking in its hopefulness.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Life is beautiful.

It's snowing. Great big fat juicy snowflakes giggling down from Heaven. The kind that make you want to blow off school and go play.

I woke early. Andrew came in asking for me. I had just been dreaming that he'd had an accident but had tried to clean it up and I was telling him what a good boy he was...and then there he was, snuggled up to me. =)

I couldn't get to sleep after that. Emily woke up a short time later so I think it must have been about 5.30am.

I tried dozing. in the end I lay there thinking how it would be if I went back and lived my childhood - especially at boarding school - with the mind of an adult. Funnily enough, it put me in a fairly peaceful mood for the day - it was almost cathartic...free therapy for the wounded lonely child in me. Here are some random thoughts on my mental adventure:

1. The adults would really hate me because I would point out their illogical behaviour and so they would need to shut me up no matter what the cost or how much it hurt me. Do I do this with my children? Yes, somewhat. Adults need to "dominate" (I'm sure there's a better word I can put there) to a certain extent...or at least the children need to obey them for their own safety...but adults also need to learn humility and the ability to listen. Out of the mouths of babes...

2. The children would hate me because I would point out their illogical behaviour and so they would need to shut me up no matter what the cost or how much it hurt me. Children are "dominated" by adults and learn that behaviour and pass it on to others. Is not this morning daydream of mine simply a fantasy to be better, smarter?

3. I have an inability to shut up. Ben has this same inability. I bet my Dad does too.

4. I would work harder. With my adult mind in my child body I would be able to a) understand concepts easier and b) appreciate my education. I'd get all As, because I'd actually have a desire to do the work.

5. I would stop some habits I formed back then from even starting and thereby save myself a lot of heartache and humiliation.

6. I would practice the piano more and appreciate my lessons. The Spirit whispered, "Hello? You have a piano downstairs. The very same piano your parents painfully scrimped and saved and went into debt for. How about you appreciate it right now by practicing every day?" Uh....oh. Yeah. That's right. Ok, so I'll practice the piano. Every day. *gulp* Something else to add to the guilt list.

Just before Ben came in I had a painful thought. Why didn't I tell about the time the nurse slapped my face when I was crying when I had a migraine? Why didn't I tell about the bullying? Why didn't I tell about the teachers calling me stupid? Why didn't I tell about being looked at with humour mixed with contempt and told I was faking when I slipped, hit my head hard, then fainted when I stood up? Did I think they somehow telepathically knew of this abuse? I smiled at my young self.

Bert had downloaded a game for Ben last night. It was late so I told Ben he couldn't play it last night but that if he wanted he could have his hour of electronic entertainment first thing this morning before school. Ben came in to wake me up SOOOOO excited this morning. =)

I came downstairs and saw the snow! Beautiful happy, juicy snow. Not the flurries that dash about apologetically for their lack of accumulation. Not the tiny, thin, grumpy snowflakes dropping miserably straight down, but the big, fat, Christmas card snowflakes joyfully wending their way to Earth.

I joined in the joy and passed some on to Ben by walking Maus for him while he played his game. I laughed out loud as I stepped out of the house and startled a fellow dog walker. =) The flakes truly did stick to my hair and eyelashes. It was such fun to blink it away. A snowflake stuck to my lips and I licked it away. It tasted of fun and the laughter of my children.

Life is good.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Emily's AP English Essay

Oh the horrors of Perpetual Osticulasis!


A Modest Proposal

In today’s society of sporadic hand washing, disease runs rampant throughout the nation, cutting down everything in its path with deadly precision. Though one’s thoughts most likely turn to widely known diseases such as Aids, Malaria, and even Anthrax, there is a more pressing disease that roams unchecked. Perpetual Osticulasis, more commonly known as “The kissing disease”, is attacking our youth and taking them out with staggering accuracy. It is estimated that over 95% of those vulnerable to Perpetual Osticulasis have contracted it and spread it to others.


In today’s society, signs of P.O. (Perpetual Osticulasis) may be difficult to discern, however common symptoms have been reported. It has been noted that while Perpetual Osticulasis does affect some females, it more commonly infects males between the ages of fifteen and twenty- five. P.O. may affect any one, even one’s best male friend. Prime targets also include that cute boy in math class with the gorgeous eyes, a friend from childhood, and even the male co worker who repeatedly assures others that all his relationships are “strictly professional”. Symptoms include the need for physical contact between carriers and the opposite sex, random, (and more often than not), creepy compliments referring to the opposite sex’s physique, and the dreaded cheesy pick up line. Maybelle Smith of Seal Beach, CA, illustrates this with “ I was just walking on the beach, having a good time, when all of a sudden this guy comes up and is all : “Hey baby, did it hurt?” I was so confused, so I responded “Did what hurt?” He smiled and was like “When you fell from heaven?” I ran away as fast as I could.” Carriers of Perpetual Osticulasis in critical condition will often manifest side effects such as a sudden migration from his side of the car to the other, the raising of the armrest between movie seats, and the long, “soulful” look into the eyes.

One may be utterly positive that a male has P.O. if he demonstrates the gravest and potentially disgusting symptom of all: The sudden need to kiss. This symptom does not apply to only one particular female- any one can become a victim Mandy Greene of Franklin, TN, describes her experience with a carrier of P.O. as “totally gross. I mean, we were just friends and all of a sudden he just attacked me! He couldn’t even kiss, I mean it was completely slimy…like a slug, and who wants to kiss a slug?!?” Todd Mansloot, the carrier of P.O. who “attacked” Mandy, justifies his actions with “Dude, I dunno, she was totally hot!” Nothing has been done to reprimand Todd for his actions, which allows him to remain at large and scar more victims with his slug- like kiss.

A logical choice to prevent Perpetual Osticulasis from spreading would be to round up all those who have been reported as having P.O., and simply place them in some form of cardboard cubicle for prolonged periods of time. When they vow not to create more victims, they may be released on probation. Another precaution would be to pass legislation in which all females are permitted to carry a 2x4 piece of plywood and perhaps a tazer. A solid iron crowbar or an aluminum baseball bat would also be acceptable. Instructional DVDs would also be distributed on a mass scale in order to instruct the female population in disdainful facial expressions and demoralizing put downs. This would discourage carriers of P.O. from attempting to victimize another female. Connor Egomaniac of Charlottesville, AL, responded favorably to the Cardboard cubicle treatment with “Y’all are crazy! I ain’t never tryin’ nothin’ again as long as I live!” Likewise, Alex Sleezay of Rochester Hills, MI, after being hit on the cranium with a 2x4 piece of plywood noted “ Next time, I’ll ask for permission.”

Perpetual Osticulasis is a threat to our youth, and society as a whole. If a carrier of P.O. is left to run rampant and is not treated, countless young ladies will be subjected to slug-like kissing; a fate worse than death. By jumping on this issue, it will quickly starve the disease into submission, thereby saving countless lips and reputations. Youth will learn to respect each other, and learn not to view one another as a simple outlet for affection. Perpetual Osticulasis is a dangerous disease, and by treating it, society may avoid victims, such as myself, that are thoroughly P.O.’d.



Man, that girl has a great sense of humour. =D

And I think the other one's a high school athelete


HowManyOfMe.com
LogoThere are
2
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Whew, most of the worst is over

We were attacked last week by a really malicious piece of spyware that we couldn't delete no matter how we tried. After massive fiddling last weekend Bert was able to ISOLATE the nastiness so it wouldn't keep downloading. However, we did still have pop-ups on our screen every 20 to 30 seconds. If we ever clicked on one of those monkeys, the isolation would be all done.

Thus we were very very careful all week not to click on ANYTHING vaguely like a pop-up.

After making sure the important homeschool items and other stuff were safely put away on my section on the hard drive, Bert typed C:format and that was that.

It took him aaaalll day long, but we have our computer back with no pop-ups and no malicious nasty spyware. HOORAY!!!! =)

Unfortunately I forgot to save all my bookmarks. Oooops! All the carefully researched homeschool stuff....a lot of the blogs that I read that I hadn't yet added to my blog page...all gone.

Funnily enough, my general attitude is "Oh well C'est la vie." =D It's nice to have a massive clear-out every now and then.

DNC agenda

Bert sent me this and I thought it was quite amusing. Not that we're raving Republicans or anything...


Agenda for the 2008 Democrat National Convention

7:00 pm Opening flag burning
7:15 pm Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. in Spanish
7:20 pm Ted Kennedy proposes a toast
7:25 pm Nonreligious prayer and worship with Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton
7:45 pm Ceremonial tree hugging
7:55 pm Ted Kennedy proposes a toast
8:00 pm How I Invented the Internet - Al Gore
8:15 pm Gay Wedding - Barney Frank presiding
8:35 pm Ted Kennedy proposes a toast
8:40 PM "Our Troops are War Criminals" - John Kerry
9.00 pm Saddam Memorial Rally - Cindy Sheehan and Susan Sarandon
11.00 pm Ted Kennedy proposes a toast
11:05 pm Collection for the Osama Bin Laden kidney transplant fund - Barbara Streisand
11:15 PM "Free the Freedom Fighters from Guantanamo Bay " - Sean Penn
11:30 pm Oval Office Affairs - William Jefferson Clinton
11:45 pm Ted Kennedy proposes a toast
11:50 PM "How George Bush Brought Down the World Trade Towers " - Howard Dean & Rosie O'Donnell
12:15 am "Truth in Broadcasting Award" - Presented to Dan Rather by Michael Moore
12:25 am Ted Kennedy proposes a toast
12:30 am Satellite address by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
12:45 am Nomination of Hillary Rodham Clinton by Nancy Pelosi
12:50 am Speech and toast by Hugo Chavez to the departure of "the great satan", 'W' Bush
12:55 am Hillary proposes a toast to our 89 million new Democrat Mexican voters
1:00 am Ted Kennedy proposes a toast to the extinction of the Republican party.
1:05 am Coronation of Hillary Rodham Clinton
1:30 am Ted Kennedy proposes a toast
1:35 am Bill Clinton asks Ted Kennedy to drive Hillary home

Friday, February 15, 2008

Romney's integrity

I posted this as a comment over at Candace's blog. It summed up what I thought so well I'm posting it over here also.


I was totally shocked by Mitt's endorsement of McCain. Bert and I had a massive chat about it this morning.

Bert and I had differing opinions on it; Bert's basically being that Romney was being politically pragmatic and savvy.

After giving the matter some thought, mine is a totally different opinion. The guy quit the race because he LOVES AMERICA. He believes wholeheartedly that either Democratic candidate will totally ruin America. His whole modus operandi is to do what's best for AMERICA. Thus he doesn't really care what the polls think - he will do what he thinks is right no matter what. He could care less whether he gets popularity points - he'll just do what is right.

He sees that McCain is right now the Republican front runner. He knows the Democrats MUST NOT get into the white house - so he supports McCain as the only person on the Republican side who can possibly beat the Dems. He may totally dislike McCain....but the Dems must be kept out of the white house at all costs...and thus he endorsed McCain.

And if people believe he's selling out - that's their problem. He doesn't much care about that. All he cares about is doing what he believes is the RIGHT thing.

The Politically savvy thing to do, imho, is to leave McCain to hang and become the darling of the Conservatives. The Dems are going to get in the White House - that was obvious as soon as Romney dropped out. Therefore, Politically, Romney just needed to ride out the next four absolutely appalling Democratic years. The backlash against those hideous years would be huge, and Romney, as the Conservative darling, would be all set to snag the Republican nomination in the next election.

But he didn't do that.

He did what he thought would be the best for America - keeping the Dems out RIGHT NOW.

This is a man with great personal integrity.


I'm wondering how the media is spinning thing whole thing. I bet they're mad as fire, and it will be taken as Romney "flip-flopping" again. Except it's not. It's Romney being absolutely sure and steady - he's always been about what is best for America. And this is another move that shows this is what he believes is best for America - keeping the Democrats out.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wow! Talk about unethical!

There is a really funny post right here. But it's only funny if you're a homeschooler who's tired of the usual questions....otherwise you might find it somewhat offensive....or educational, depending on how tolerant you are.

This is a shocking post of completely unethical behaviour regarding the list.

This is the magazine Deborah Markus, the creator of said Bitter Homeschooler list, puts together. I haven't looked at it yet so I don't know what it's like. However, I'm so mad at the way this poor woman's been treated that I posted it anyway.


In other news, my son scattered skittles from his valentine's bag on the table and announced to me, "Momma, I'm going to count in Spanish." And he did, all the way up to five. Ok...now I really don't like Dora at all, but the only reason he's counting in a different language is because of her. Hmm. Maybe she's not that bad after all.

For my beloved

I love this song. For me, it's totally about my husband. Yeah, the picture is of the Cure and they look funky...but looking at a static picture of them is better than looking at the funky 80s video they made for the song... =D

Just close your eyes, and fill your heart with the beauty of the lyrics....





I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine.

An 8th grade education

Having read through this with Benjamin, I have come to a startling conclusion. It's not as hard as it looks. Some of the questions that I CAN answer are fairly easy. Ben (7th grade) can answer them. I think it would take a short time to learn the other information needed to pass the test. The reason why it looks hard to us is because our education is different. In 300 years they'll look back at our 8th grade tests and be like "Uuuhhhhhh....." not because they're stupid taught less, but because they've been taught differently. That's all. We're not stupid today, we've just been taught different things.

Nevertheless, this is interesting. So here it is. =)



This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina, Kansas, USA . It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina, and reprinted by the Salina Journal.

8th Grade Final Exam: Salina , KS - 1895

Grammar (Time, one hour)

1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.
2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications.
3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph.
4. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts of "lie,""play, " and "run."
5. Define case; illustrate each case.
6 What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.
7 - 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

Arithmetic (Time,1 hour 15 minutes)

1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
2. A wagon box is 2 ft. deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
3. If a load of wheat weighs 3,942 lbs., what is it worth at 50cts/bushel, deducting 1,050 lbs. for tare?
4. District No. 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
5. Find the cost of 6,720 lbs. coal at $6.00 per ton.
6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at
$20 per meter?
8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of which is 640 rods?
10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt

U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)

1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided.
2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus .
3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
4. Show the territorial growth of the United States .
5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas .
6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?
8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, 1865.

Orthography (Time, one hour)

[Do we even know what this is??]

1. What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication?
2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
3. What are the following, and give examples of each: trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals.
4. Give four substitutes for caret 'u.'
5. Give two rules for spelling words with final 'e.' Name two exceptions under each rule.
6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.
8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane , vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.

Geography (Time, one hour)

1 What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas ?
3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
4. Describe the mountains of North America .
5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco .
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.
7. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.
8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.

A Charlotte Mason Poem

Ode to all Committed (or soon to be) Home Schoolers Everywhere
by amateur poet, Catherine Levinson.

The ant farm just spilled all over the floor,
Last year's science project's walking out the front door
The in-laws left a message, they want to stay awhile,
And your church has discovered they have a pedophile.

You're chronically late to home school P.E.
The phone always rings when you're about to leave.
Your coat's always covered in cat hair,
Once again the husband's out of clean underwear.

Your friend needs help, her twins have the flu,
The kids are holding the plunger asking you what to do
Your inquiries about the toilet are answered with "I don't know."
In the distance you hear "Hey, where's my Play-doh?"

It's time to make lunch but there's nothing to eat.
The postcard in your hand says they've canceled your retreat,
Your stress level hits an all time high,
You can see the kids on the bus waving good-bye.

The play is tonight but your kids haven't rehearsed,
But just when things can't get any worse,
The town gossip assures you "your secret's safe with me,
I've only told two people, or maybe it was three."

Stolen moments in the shower (worrying about grocery money),
You hear "MOM, MOM, the baby looks funny,"
A brief struggle later (of course you're dripping wet),
Hallelujah, you've retrieved the barrette.

Turns out the Latin phrase you've posted has a dirty connotation,
And your husband has determined to work through his vacation,
The math books you've been waiting for are late in arriving,
The lap top you found floating has no chance for surviving.

The kids come in from playing pronouncing their new "word"
Of course it's of the variety you wish they never heard,
Just then you find your three year old is covered in bumps,
That's okay, at least you're all over the mumps.

Phone rings again "You know the meeting's at your house!"
But your caller is competing with "Ed just knocked my tooth out."
Your five year old is threatening to run away,
you owe some allowance and he wants you to pay.

Here comes your neurotic neighbor again,
the one that always reeks of gin (?)
She's not sure if you want to know,
Your son was squirting Mrs. Jones a minute ago.

Another day's over, you've used your time well,
It's time to take off your jean apparel,
Jump in those jammies, let your cares float away,
If anyone waked you there will be "heck" to pay.

When quitting altogether is a temptation to you,
You've got a case of "WHY am I home schooling?!?" blues
Don't pack your bags and run away,
Turn toward heaven and pray, pray, pray.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day, y'all! Hope you're having a sweet one. =)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

60 things

I was going to post a brilliant poem from More Charlotte Mason, but the book's upstairs and I just can't be bothered to get it. So I'm posting this thingie I picked up from Because I Said So. Feel free to use it on your blog.



1. What is in the back seat of your car right now?
I don't know. I have a VW van and the older children sit back there so I'm terrified to look.


2. When was the last time you threw up
I am SO thankful that I can't remember. The Lord is so gentle with me and kind to me. =)

3. What's your favorite curse word?
I try not to curse. Probably Dang or Bother or AAAAGGGGHHHHHHH.

4. Name 3 people who made you smile today?
Thus far: Andrew, Ritsumei's little boy showing the cup and fork, 60 things at Because I said So.

5. What were you doing at 8 am this morning?
Hahahahaha, I was IN BED. No kidding!!!!! In bed! Still snuggled down. Ooooohhhhhhh I LOVE snowdays. And I love days when Andrew deigns to get in bed with us so we don't have to get up and come downstairs with him. =)

6. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
Folding, hanging, putting up laundry. I told Ben to clean the mirrors, toilets and sinks. I told Emily to vacuum. I, myself, picked up the house so she COULD vacuum. Took ages. =Þ Now I have a mountain of laundry. *sigh* But at least my must-do chore for the day is DONE. Hooray! =)

7. What will you be doing 3 hours from now?
Um. I dunno. (Think Spongebob accent as you say "I dunno" =D) 2.30pm? Perhaps maybe getting ready to go out and buy a birthday card to put the money in for Ben's friend...his party is tonight. (The friend is saving up for a computer, thus the money gift.) Or maybe reading a book. Or doing Andew's Homesool. Or maybe reading the scriptures? I dunno.


8. Have you ever been to a strip club?
Er, no. Talk about a question to give you the heebiedabajeebies.

9. What is the last thing you said aloud?
"Your phone was ringing and I didn't know whether you'd want me to pick it up or not so I didn't. It was Jolien."

10. What is the best ice cream flavor?
Peanut butter perfection from Cold Stone with peanut butter ice cream substituted for the chocolate.

11. What was the last thing you had to drink?
water

12. What are you wearing right now?
Ok...it's 11.30am....but I'm wearing my nightdress. I know. Shhhhhh. It's a snowday!

13. What was the last thing you ate?
3/4 cup total cereal 1/2 banana 1/2 cup non-sweetened soy milk.

14. Have you bought any new clothing items this week?
Gag me, no.

15. When was the last time you ran?
The day before yesterday.

16. What's the last sporting event you watched?
Emily's swim meet.

18. Who is the last person you emailed?
My momma

19. Ever go camping?
Yes.

20. Do you have a tan?
Um. Yeah, I think not. When I first came to America someone said to my husband "She's not from round here is she? I can tell by the alabaster white skin." Without make up on, I look like a ghost. I joke not. I'm almost albino I'm so white.

24. Do you drink your soda from a straw?
When I drink it (hardly ever) yes.

25. What did your last IM say?
We don't do IM here.

26. Are you someone's best friend?
Of course - my husband's.

27. What are you doing tomorrow?
Homeschool. Valentine's day party at Chuck e cheese.....the place I swore I'd NEVER take Andrew to and I swore he'd go through his ENTIRE childhood and not even know what it was....yeah, that's the place where the homeschool Valentine's party is being held. *sigh* I can't even tell you how utterly bummed I am about it. It's going to cost me a fortune. Andrew will love it. Someone shoot me.

Then in the evening we have scouts.


28. Where is your mom right now?
In England, probably cleaning. My Mum is the most AMAZING homemaker. She really really knows how to make a home and how to keep it CLEAN. She's a big example to me. She's doing her spring cleaning right now...and when my Mum spring cleans, she SPRING CLEANS. When she tells me all the things she's been doing it makes me want to collapse in exhaustion just reading it.

29. Look to your left, what do you see?
A couch, a coffee table, a rocking chair, another rocking chair, four chairs that my son has brought in from the kitchen so he can mop, two windows, a cabinet that holds our DVDs, Scriptures on top of the cabinet, a light, three pictures of the children, curtains, tv, vcr, dvd player, ps2, various game playing paraphernalia including guitars, ddr mats and a broken steering wheel someone gave us because Andrew fell in love with it.

30. What color is your watch?
I don't wear one.

31. What do you think of when you think of Australia ?
Some of my family is there. Cool accent. Backwards taps. Cold summers. Hot winters. Desert.

32. Would you consider plastic surgery?
Not on your patella. Unless I were in an accident and were horribly scarred, then yeah I wouldn't have a problem with that. But elective plastic surgery? Nope.

33. What is your birthstone?
Uhhh.

34. Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit thedrive thru?
I try to avoid fast food.

35.How many kids do you want?
Five? Seven? Ten? I'd love a parcel full of children. But *sigh* it's not to be. =(

36. Do you have a dog?
Unfortunately, yes.

37. Last person you talked to on the phone?
Christie Facer telling me Graham was just out of surgery and was really groggy. Hahahaha! At first I typoed "Grotty" instead of "Groggy". I guess he was FEELING grotty. =D

38. Have you met anyone famous?
Yes. Can't think who for a moment, but I know I have. Oh wait! Not really "met", but I chatted a bit with Orson Scott Card online.

39. Any plans today?
Not really. I should make some otherwise I'm going to sit on my bum all day.

40. How many states have you lived in?
Lived in four: Utah, California, Michigan, Tennessee. Been to many others.

41. Ever go to college?
Well, I've taken several classes at College but I don't have anything to show for it. It's been really really bugging me. I desperately need a degree.

42. Where are you right now?
In the living room. We put the computer in a very public place so everyone can see exactly what you're doing.

43. Biggest annoyance in your life right now?
Lots of email. My general laziness. Several other things that I'm too brain dead to think of right now. Lack of money. So many things I want to do, so many places I want to see, no money to do it. =( The house is too big for me to handle. We have too much STUFF but I have an inability to let go of it. The economy is killing me. We can't sell the house and buy something smaller/more affordable because houses aren't selling. Man, that question just totally bummed me out.

44. Last song listened to?
Probably "still alive" or Bach's "Sheep shall safely graze"

46. Are you allergic to anything?
Yes, Penicillin, tetracyclin, chloromycetin, erithroniacin, all sulfa-type drugs. Cats.

47. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time?
Lilac tennis shoes I got on sale for $5 from payless.

48. Are you jealous of anyone?
Yeah, totally. It's a bad thing about myself. =(

50. Is anyone jealous of you?
I sincerely doubt it.

51. What time is it?
11.53am

52. Do any of your friends have children?
Yes, most of them. At least two or three of them have at least 8.

53. Do you eat healthy?
Surely that should read "Do you eat healthily?" I do indeed, eat healthily.

54. What do you usually do during the day?
Homeschool.

55. Do you hate anyone right now?
Oh dear, I do hope not. Maybe the closest is Obama...but it's not that I hate him more that he scares the pants off me.

56. Do you use the word 'hello' daily?
Probably

58. How old will you be turning on your next birthday?
38? Yes, I think I'll be 38. I was born in 1969 soooo.....no! Wait! It's 2008, right? Dang! I'm-a-gonna be 39!


59. Have you ever been to Six Flags?
No, but Bert and the children have. I stayed home with the baby. =)

60. How did you get one of your scars?
Operation on my left wrist to remove a ganglion cyst...twice.

Monday, February 11, 2008

More Charlotte Mason

I'm wondering if the librarian who runs the toddler time at our local library know that we're homeschoolers. Inamongst the books she displays for the toddlers to choose from (if they wish) and take home, there was "More Charlotte Mason Education" by Catherine Levison. I thought this was an odd book to place next to "Brown Bear, Brown Bear", but I was grateful for it. As I already own the previous book, "A Charlotte Mason Education", I thought I'd check this one out.

I'm so glad I did! It's full of practical and down-to-earth advice and comfort.

For example, this morning Ben tested my patience. He had his Sons of Ammon Book of Mormon Scripture Mastery playing in the background and instead of paying attention to it was looking up Portal songs on the Itunes store. (BTW, I HIGHLY recommend these songs. They've helped both Ben and I memorize these scriptures really well.)

I began by calmly telling him this was a little dishonest and in the future he won't be able to do that. When I say calmly, I mean just that...it was almost an offhand passing remark indicating that while I disapproved of his behaviour today, I had no doubt that he was mature enough to not repeat it tomorrow AND, furthermore, that I had enough trust in him that I wasn't even going to MONITOR it, I was just going to let him choose the right without my standing over him.

Unfortunately, Benjamin took HUGE exception to my simple sentence. To the point that he kept going on and on and on about how he hadn't done anything wrong.

I have been trying not to shout. Unfortunately, sometimes children don't listen unless you do. What the HECK is with that? Have I trained them that I don't mean what I say unless I'm saying it at an elevated volume? That's likely, and it's really sad. My gosh I feel like a failure as a mother. *sigh* =(

So after about 15 minutes of Ben saying what he did was FINE and asking me over and over again to explain myself. When I explained myself but it wasn't what he wanted to hear (ie "Hey Ben, it's fine to goof off on your work behind my back") he would again argue, at an increasing volume that it was, in fact, ok.

Finally I reiterated my very first sentence about five times at an excessively loud volume. For some reason he finally understood and said he was sorry.

?????????????????!!!??????????

I want to smack my head against a brick wall in the hopes that:
a) I'll understand what the heck that was all about and
b) I'll knock myself out so I'll quit feeling like a bad mother.


Almost immediately on the heels of this upsetting scene I read this in "More Charlotte Mason":

=====================================================

"There is another condition that can bring on the need for coping. Now and then we all get a case of "bad Mom." This condition can strike without warning. Only a "bad Mom" would complain about her children, or find herself day dreaming of first winning the lottery and then applying her winnings to boarding school. This self condemnation can creep up on us after several days of being behind in laundry, grocery shopping, bathing, etc. It's behind that less than lovely though, "what if I'm not covering enough math, history, phonics."

Anybody can catch a case of this whether we deserve it or not - and when it occurs during burnout I contend that we do not deserve it. A prerequisite of burnout is that you have to be burning. We who have dedicated our lives to bearing, raising, rearing, training, cleaning, feeding, comforting and yes, educating our young are at the least glowing if not burning.

Bad Mom often starts with comparison, either with another home schooling mother or with the accomplishments of another home schooling student. My advice is to avoid comparisons, and if you can't avoid them then at least be realistic. If you wre able to be the "fly on the wall" in any home schooling household only heaven knows what you'd be likely to see.

The only comparison I recommend is with public school.....(snipped discussion on how to request visiting a ps classroom and a comment on how they can, against your rights, ban you from visiting if they don't want you there despite the amount of tax dollars you've paid that your child has not had the benefit of).....

Spend as much time as they allow. Mingle with the students and observe the teachers interacting with a classroom. I've done this several times and the outcome is always an overwhelming sense of confidence in my ability to educate my children. I often return from these visits saying, "If I can't do a better job with both hands tied behind my back and drunk then there's something wrong with me."

=====================================================

That last bit just made me laugh. =D Obviously the passage didn't address exactly what had been going on in my house just two minutes previously, but it did address the mild feelings of burnout I'd been experiencing, and my feelings of being a bad Mom. Furthermore it made me laugh (always a good thing) and helped me feel like "Ok, I can continue doing this. It's just a blip. I'll handle it better next time. I just need to be less prideful and the Lord will help me with that."



In other news, Ben mentioned today that he was thinking about going to PS for eighth grade. I told him No, he wouldn't be able to. He was surprised as my previous policy has been to let him choose. However, a couple of things have happened to make me change my policy.

1. Bert has thoroughly converted to homeschooling. To the point that I think he thinks public schools are useless. He has also said, unequivocally that neither Ben nor Andrew will see the inside of a public school (except college...but I'm having feelings about college that are as yet unformed and I need to ponder and pray more about it...).

2. I think I've talked before about how I decided to homeschool. To make a long story short I pondered for many months and finally prayed about it and the IMMEDIATE - before my knees had even hit the carpet - answer was "YES!". It was as clear an answer as I've ever had.

Several weeks ago, due to tight financial circumstances, I was thinking about getting a job. I prayed about it. The Lord let me know in NO uncertain terms that NO, I was not to work, I was to homeschool the children. I was surprised that the answer came so strongly as I hadn't planned on stopping homeschooling them, I was going to work at night. Nevertheless the answer was NO, I was to stay home and teach the children.

I, of course, immediately accepted this and gave up all thoughts of working. Then I went on to think about something else. A few minutes later, as I was thinking about something else, the answer came AGAIN, just as strongly. I mean to the point that my heart filled and I started crying.

I again accepted this and was filled with gratitude that this point was important enough to my Heavenly Father that he reiterated it, strongly. Then I went on with other things.

TWICE MORE this happened. A strong strong Spiritual feeling - strong enough to make me cry - that I was to stay home and teach the children. It was like the Lord was trying to hammer this point home....really really get it into my skull.


So when Ben said he was thinking about going to ps of course my answer was "Um...no." How can you argue with your Heavenly Father? You don't, unless you want to put yourself and your children in misery and danger.

This is a long post. Sorry about that. I'm off to exercise on my broken treadmill now. =)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

How do I smell?

Ok, so late at night my daughter is a little nutty. I would like to quote a conversation we had this evening.

Emily:
(matter of factly) "Ben smells like you. You smell like Ben."
(with rising anxiety) "Do I smell like you?"
(with more anxiety) "Do I smell like Ben?"
(kind of slightly hysterical) "Do Ben and I smell alike?"

Me:
(somewhat confused and tired and like "uhhh....what???") "Um. I don't know what you smell like. You just smell like you.

Emily:
(really nuts now) "You should know what I smell like!!!! If you come into a room you should be able to" (deep sniff) "and be like "AHHHH, Emily!"

Like it was some kind of motherly failing on my part that I wouldn't be able to find Emily with my nose.

=D =D =D =D She's totally crazy! Hahahahahaha!

Also, she has an inability to put a stem on her Hs, and thus they look like Ns. For example, she gave a card to Graham (because he broke his Clavicle. I may possibly have posted about that earlier, I can't remember). I read it over his shoulder....well, actually, over his elbow because he's tall. At one point Emily had written something that made no sense.

Graham and I looked at her, confused, and said "Banana???"

Emily looked at the both of us like we were COMPLETELY idiotic and said "Bahaha!" I mean, what was wrong with us that we couldn't tell what that word said?

She is looking over my shoulder as I type and said "Well DUH! Who writes "Banana"? You Freaks!"

This is Emily's word of the month. Everyone is a freak. It is meant as a term of endearment. Like "Shut up" means "Oh that's so funny please stop because my sides are hurting" or something similar.

Teenagers are crazy.

Sunday Scripture

James 4:7-8, 10

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you...... Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

Friday, February 08, 2008

WOW! My very first award! =)

Tristi gave me this award:




Hooray! Thank you so much! =)

And I'm meant to give this award to ten other people:

1. Ritsumei at Baby Steps because I so admire the way she teaches her little boy.

2. TC at Fish in my Hair because she's SOOOO dang funny. =)

3. Carrie at Keiser Family because she's amazing. I can't put it any better than that. I just read her blog and feel at home.

4. Candace Selima at Dream a little dream with me... because DANG that woman is SMART! She is incredibly politcally savvy as well as Spiritual and reading her blog is an education. I love and admire her love for her country. I have to say, being an American convert (in that I used to be English) and living in various different countries all over the world, it certainly gives you a different perspective on America. This IS the promised land. This IS a land of freedom and opportunity. And just like children who are born rich, it seems the children of America often don't realize how incredibly blessed they are to live here.

Like when we were living in Rochester Hills - our house wasn't tiny by any means, but many of my children's friends lived in these huge mansions, and my kids would come home and say "This house is so small." I'd be like "Ok, what PLANET are you living on? How about we take a look through the internet at some pictures of the REAL world and how people REALLY live, hmmm?"

Anyway, off my soapbox and onto....

5. Jimmie at One Child Policy Homeschool because of her amazing Charlotte Mason way of educating, and her wonderful pictures of China.

6. Goes to a wonderful blog which is private and so I'm not going to post it here....but just because it's private doesn't mean it doesn't deserve an award. =)

7. Goes to another private blog...kept private, I believe, because of the details of their adoption process. This blog makes my day because of the incredible faith and sacrifice of those involved. Her post on the costs of adoption is amazing....and she's not talking about money. To answer the question "How much does adoption cost?" she replies "For the child - EVERYTHING! Because in order to be adopted the child is an orphan...both parents have died." To answer the statement "This child is so lucky" she replies "Lucky? Um....he's an orphan in a children's home..." Incredible insight; I've never thought of it that way before. She does affirm, though, that adoption is God's way of taking care of His children, who have lost so much...bringing them into a family where they can be loved and cared for. =)

And I'm only giving 7 because Ben has been looking over my shoulder and asking me every minute for the past 15 if I'm done yet.....

A Black President? No Way!!!

Did that totally blow your mind? Make you mad as fire? Like "hold on a mo! That's APPALLING!!"

Ok, how about this one?

"A Woman President? No Way!!!"

How'd you feel about that one? Make you just as mad? It's so dang UNFAIR.


Ok, now try this one:

"A Mormon President? No Way!!!!"


Well? Oh yeah, well, that's not so bad is it? Because, you know, those Mormons...they...you know...you know all about what THEY do/believe etc.



Ok. Now read this article by Maurine Procter at Meridian Magazine:


Religious Bias

http://www.ldsmag. com/ideas/ 080207mitt. html
"Super Tuesday is behind us, and watching Mitt Romney's inability to penetrate the South — he consistently came in third place after McCain and Huckabee — raises the question that has haunted his campaign from the beginning. Is this hum-drum showing in the Bible Belt a reflection of religious bias? Or is it merely identity politics, because evangelical voters like to vote for somebody who just looks like them and Mike Huckabee was there to fill the bill?

The question matters because the prospects of any conservative winning the presidency without carrying the largely Evangelical South are small. Should Latter-day Saints, then, who are mostly conservative, not tell their children what every other American does, "You, too, can grow up and be president"?

On the one hand, according to the Boston Globe, "nationally Huckabee, Romney and Senator John McCain roughly split the evangelical vote, exit polls showed yesterday. But in the South, the vote among Christian conservatives was significant, and Huckabee drew the largest percentage of them by far."

It is also the case that Romney won a few endorsements from Evangelical leaders such as Traditional Values Coalition leader, Lou Sheldon, but many more, whose values line up with Romney's just wrung their hands and said they couldn't find their candidate. Romney was invisible to them — not an option.

Last night pundits at The Corner, the blog at National Review, thought the Mormon question was significant. John O'Sullivan said, "My southern belle wife always warned me that many evangelicals would vote for anyone but a Mormon."

Mark Steyn said, "There was an explicit anti-Romney vote in the South. A mere month ago, in the wake of Iowa and New Hampshire, I received a ton of emails from southern readers saying these pansy northern states weren't the 'real' conservative heartland, and things would look different once the contest moved to the South. Well, the heartland spoke last night and about the only message it sent was that, no matter what the talk radio guys say, they're not voting for a Mormon, no way, no how."

This talk brings to mind an article that Amy Sullivan, now a Time magazine editor, wrote in September 2005 in the Washington Monthly magazine called "Mitt Romney's Evangelical Problem."

Just before she wrote the article, several major conservative news outlets had featured positive stories on Romney as a possible presidential candidate, which made her marvel, for though Americans had apparently become more religiously tolerant, she had vivid memories of the day she first learned about Mormonism and she assumed
that thousands of children, just like her, had learned the same lessons.

She wrote, "The first time I ever heard about Mormons was in fifth grade, sitting in a basement classroom of my Baptist church, watching a filmstrip about cults. Our Sunday school class was covering a special month-long unit on false religions; in the mail-order curriculum, Mormonism came somewhere between devil worshippers and Jim
Jones.

"Although most of the particulars are lost to me now, one of the images remains in my mind: a cartoon of human figures floating in outer space (an apparent reference to the Mormon doctrine of "eternal progression" ) that appeared on the screen next to our pull-down map of Israel. Even at age 10, the take-away message was clear. Mormons were
not like us, they were not Christian."

She said that Evangelical opinions about Mormons have not changed since those days 20 years ago and noted that in 2004 Mormons were excluded from participation in the National Day of Prayer organized by Shirley Dobson, wife of the well-known Focus on the Family leader, James Dobson.

She guessed that, "Some of this anti-Mormonism is a fairly fuzzy sort of bias, based mostly on rumors and unfamiliarity and the vague feeling that Mormons are kind of weird."

Some of the bias is anything but fuzzy. At Pastors4Huckabee, the effort is to make a biblical claim against voting for a Mormon for president and claim that Christians who support Romney are actually violating scripture. This is certainly extreme and not reflective of all of Evangelicals, of course, but even recently a poll found that more than four in 10 Americans would find it difficult to vote for a Mormon.

Rodgers and Hammerstein captured how prejudice is engendered in their South Pacific hit, when the main character laments that she cannot marry her sweetheart because he has Polynesian children, "You have to be carefully taught." Apparently, an entire segment of the population has been carefully taught to consider Mormons pejoratively.

When asked about sentiments toward Mormons, Romney took the high road and told Jay Leno, "I think people want a person of faith leading the country…, but I don't think they select their president or their secular leader based on which church they go to. So as I go across the country, there are probably some who feel that way, but most believe that we should be talking about religious tolerance and recognize that this is the nation that has a religious liberty that is very different than the nations we see around the world. If you're not a Shia in some places, you can't be a political leader. We don't choose our leaders that way."

A Cover for Bias

Still, bias takes many forms, and though the outright Mormon blasting settled down after Romney's talk on religion at the Bush library, the attitude is still there, but masked. Vanderbilt political scientist John Geer recently said that one of the reasons that the tag "flip-flopper" stuck with Romney but not his Republican opponents who
have also changed their minds on critical issues lies in Romney's Mormon beliefs.

Geer and his colleagues, including Brett Benson, designed an Internet survey to assess bias against Mormons and its potential impact on the nomination process and general election campaign.

Benson said, "We find that of those who accuse Romney of flip-flopping, many admit it is Romney's Mormonism and not his flip-flopping that is the real issue. Our survey shows that 26% of those who accuse Romney of flip-flopping also indicate that Mormonism, not flip-flopping is their problem with Romney." Benson noted that the
pattern is especially strong for conservative Evangelicals. According to the poll, 57 percent of them have a bias against Mormons.

Religious bias hides behind not only the charge of "flip-flopping" but perhaps also behind the charge of being "too perfect." Unbelievably, Romney has been criticized because he mentioned that he had not had a serious fight with his wife in their marriage. I've heard people in Washington complain that they were overwhelmed and disdainful because at one event, he filled the stage with his children and grandchildren — "all those people who look just alike," as if it were not a plus.

I think Latter-day Saints have assumed that as the nation got more exposure to Romney, religious bias would melt away — the real person taking the place of the negative stereotype. I would be hard-pressed to say that that has happened as widely as we might have hoped.

As Romney's candidacy continues, it is undeniable that religious bias will continue to play a dominant, though sometimes hidden role.

Something More at Play

Yet more is at play than the presidency for Latter-day Saints. We have learned something unhappy in the last year of presidential politicking that we never had supposed, and it comes as a surprise in this country touted for its diversity and generosity of spirit.

We have been bewildered, disappointed and quite frankly surprised, as we have seen our faith excoriated and blasted both from the left and the right in the press. It would be laughable if it weren't so marginalizing when we see the press and pundits call our faith everything from "wacky" to "spooky" to a "racket" to much worse, like Jacob Weisberg's caustic essay in Slate, "A Mormon President, No Way."

Just rephrase that to say, "A Jewish President, No Way" or "A Black President, No Way" to see how offensive it is.

For a season of this campaign such prejudice was our daily fare in the press. Until last year, we thought we were mainstream, and why not? We are the fourth largest denomination in the United States, one of the fastest growing Christian faiths in the world with a new chapel going up every day somewhere in the world, and our members are founders and heads of major companies, federal judges, members of Congress, and
international leaders in medicine, business, academia, and communications.

Studies show us to be among the healthiest and best educated people in the world.

It is not that before this campaign we didn't run into occasional pockets of bigotry. Most of us have had the experience of telling someone we were a Mormon to see them suddenly stiffen in disapproval. We have assumed that occasional person was an uneducated throwback to some earlier, less sophisticated time when in small lives people were wary of differences.

To see the name calling and suspicions whipped up by the press and some people toward The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not only disheartening, but it has also been alarming. Latter-day Saints have no anti-defamation league to protect them from prejudice.

As Christians, Latter-day Saints are taught to be slow to take offense, but we cannot pretend that real people's lives are not diminished by bigotry when a nation is taught to disdain them. As citizens of the United States, Latter-day Saints are experiencing more soft bigotry toward us this year than at any time in recent history. For us, this widespread response is new.

What has been so disappointing is that very few have stood up and said to cease and desist. Where are the champions of tolerance in the press or in the pulpits who have stood up and said, "Enough"? Where are all these advocates of diversity, who find Mormonism does not deserve the same respect as other groups in society that are handled with kid gloves?

About the best we get are those who say that Romney's faith shouldn't be a problem in considering him for President. The impression that is left is, "Because he is so eminently well-qualified, can we hold our nose and vote for him."

When Mitt Romney's father George Romney ran for President in 1968, his Mormon faith was not a question. Have we lost ground in finding that distant, shining shore where people of different faiths and ethnic backgrounds are appreciated and accepted?

If there is a lingering prejudice among some people toward Mormons, the press does not and should not have become their agents. At a recent conference at Princeton called Mormonism and American Politics, Amy Sullivan said that it is assumed that journalists are hostile to religion, but that mostly comes from a lack of knowledge of religious
traditions. The unreligious may not do well covering religion.

It is also true that the national press does not always do a good job with complex subjects as any faith tradition is. How much easier and lazier it is to grab anything that sounds strange or dramatically newsworthy and write about a religion superficially.

Harvard law professor Noah Feldman at that same conference said that if the liberal press had said that Romney's religion was irrelevant, it would largely have been considered irrelevant.

That didn't happen, so Mitt apparently has had a political handicap, and not incidentally it has reverberated back to affect all Latter-day Saints."


Incidently, here's Jacob Weisberg's disturbing article.

The only thing I have to say about it is for goodness sakes if you're going to write an article about Mormons at least TRY to be somewhat informed! I don't know where any Mormon has claimed that Joseph Smith would be elected king of Heaven by Mormons. I think, in fact, that Mormons say over and over and over and over and over and over again that GOD reigns in Heaven with His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, at his right hand. Why the heck is no-one listening?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Book of Mormon and teaching reading.

Using the audio files from lds.org, I was able to read through the entire first book of Nephi whilst Andrew slept. It helped that I didn't need to do any work with Ben; I'm wondering if we should take a break this week and just read through the Book of Mormon together. He can do his math, and perhaps his English, and then we can read the "scrippures" as Andrew says. I think this might be a good idea as it allows Ben to relax on the couch which appears to be just what he needs this week. (Unless his "aching" develops into full-blown flu, at which point Ben will do nothing but moan, sleep, sneeze and cough =D)

Reading the first book of Nephi with the audio files took three hours. I anticipate that tomorrow's reading will be just as long.

Andrew and I had fun doing homeschool today. I've been holding off teaching him to read as...well...I didn't want to push it. However, it finally got through my thick skull that HELLOOOOO he's been sounding out letters for months now and trying to make sense of them - for goodness sakes why don't I just help him with that?

I wanted to use "The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading", but I don't have a copy of that. I was, however, able to pick up "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" for $1 at a garage sale (AMAZING BARGAIN!!!), so I started using that. I'm hoping to purchase a copy of the OPG before too long as I don't like the symbols "100 easy lessons" uses over the letters for long and short sounds. I'd rather he learn the words as they're written; it's confusing to have to learn it with the symbols and then RELEARN it without.

I wish someone would just tell me which is the better book to use.

I'm feeling a bit odd about this as he is only two years old - admittedly, he'll be three next month, but STILL I mean...teaching a child to read at two? If he wasn't so happy with the whole thing I'd pack it in.

And, frankly, if he gets bored with it I'll drop it until he's interested in it again.

The Book of Mormon

I was able to download the audio files from lds.org and am currently listening to it. When I listen to each section it automagically is put into itunes, so it's very convenient. =Þ (If you ever watch "Peep" that last phrase will make you smile)

It appears Ben is coming down with the flu. If I'm correct - and I may or may not be, he could just be trying to get out of work - then I will be the only member of the family who has not gone down with the flu in the past three weeks. Oh boy.

Ben started crying a little while ago, which is a sign that he might actually be sick. Dang.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Well how about that.

So we were watching the Fox Report with Shepherd Smith tonight. He was interviewing Carl whatsit (my favourite reporter =)) about Romney. While he's interviewing him they show Romney meeting with supporters.

And lo and behold, who's there with Romney but our Bishop! And all his kids! And his wife! Bert says "Oh my gosh, it's our BISHOP!" =D =D

I called the Bish right away and his wife answered. "It's pretty DANG AWESOME that you're on National TV with Romney!" I say. =D

Apparently they heard he was going to be at some pancake place in Green Hills. They almost didn't go, thinking it would be totally packed, but decided they'd go after all. So up they got at 5.30am and drove down to Green Hills - and they got a table, and they got to meet Romney, and they got on National TV. How cool is that? =)

We hadn't recorded it on the DVR, dang it, so Bert had the brilliant idea of recording it on our cell phones to show them later (they missed it). Once I download the video I'll stick it in my blog. It's terrible quality...but it's fun to watch nonetheless. =)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Sunday Scripture

1 Nephi 9:6

But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men; for behold, he hath all power unto the fulfilling of all his words. And thus it is. Amen.

Exercise on a Sunday

I have a question for y'all!

Church is at 11am this year for us - nice for adults but not so good for toddlers as nursery starts right at lunch and nap time ugh.

Anyway, so we had a relaxed morning and I was about to go upstairs and exercise and then take a shower before church. I told Andrew this so he wouldn't wonder where his Mum had gone to. Emily was in the room and said "Is it ok to exercise on a Sunday?"

This gave me pause. Huh. I don't know.

I looked on LDS.org but couldn't find anything.

What do you all think? Is it ok to exercise on a Sunday or not?

Friday, February 01, 2008

Confession Time

I confess that I have allowed my 2 year old to wear his pajamas all day for two days straight. I even took him out in them.

Funnily enough, even though I'm sure I should have guilt about this I really don't (much). (Well, maybe a little, but not enough to make him change. His pjs are so comfortable.)


I'm tagging people!!!! If you've read this post, you're tagged! Now go make a (mild, not so deep or hideous that it will make people scream) confession on your blog! =) And tell me about it so I can come read it. =)

Glen Beck Tribute

Over at the Keiser Family Blog I found this wonderful video. What a beautiful tribute.