Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sunday Scripture

Oh heck, the scriptures at lds.org are out of order, so I have to do one from memory as I'm too dang tired to get off my...um...I'm too tired to go get my scriptures.

Proverbs 15:1
A soft answer turneth away wrath, grievous words stir up anger.


With Ben rapidly becoming a teenager, I REALLY need to learn the wisdom of that scripture.

various stuff

Is oatmeal like rice?

You know when you get arborio rice, and keep adding a bit of cream at a time and end up with mind-blowing risotto? If you cook oatmeal on a stove top and stir it constantly, it ends up being this amazing creamy concoction that's just DELISH. It's not the same if you microzap it, and it's not the same if you use that hideous instant stuff.

I'm currently having stovetop oatmeal with dates and a drizzle of maple syrup. If I had walnuts, my life would be complete, but I had about two seconds to dash around the grocery store and I was carrying a very cold gallon of milk that was killing me, so I never made it to the nut aisle. Pity.

Oooeee, but it sho' does make ya thirsty.



In other news, Carrie had a brilliant test on her blog so I did it myself and this is what I ended up with:

INFJ - The “Know Thyself” Mother
(Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging)

“I believe the joy of motherhood is self-discovery—for them and for me.”

* Sensitive and family-focused, the INFJ mother looks for and encourages the unique potential of each child. Self-knowledge may be her byword. Her aim is to help each child develop a sense of identity and cultivate personal growth. In fact, she may value the mothering experience as a catalyst to her own personal growth and self-knowledge.
* The INFJ mother spends time observing and understanding each child. She is drawn to intimate conversations and seeks a free exchange of feelings and thoughts.
* Sympathetic and accommodating, the INFJ mother strives to meet the important yet sometimes conflicting needs of each family member in harmonious and creative ways
* She is conscientious and intense as well. Probably no one takes life and child-raising more seriously than the INFJ. She approaches mothering as a profession requiring her best self.

This is all so true, it's spooky.

In other news, my mother had a hideous operation on her thumb today. For those of you who are REALLY INSANE and want government controlled health care, let me tell you that this is a fairly big operation - it states in the directions that THE INJECTION WILL BE VERY PAINFUL - just like that - in capitals and everything. Anyway, it's a biggie, and they're doing in the doctor's office under local anaesthetic and then my Mum will be sent home. Excellent.

I tried calling my Mum this evening, but it was just after 5pm my time, and I think they may have all been in bed as no-one answered. I'm dying to know how it went.

If you're reading this, Mum, I love you! And I hope it went well. Talk to you tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Oh yeah, baby!

Dude! I could do with a fraction of his spondoolicks to pay off some mortgage and send the daughter (and myself!) to college.





Your 80s Hunk Is



Bill Gates




Awesome! I love the result of this test. Soooo cool. =)

Errr...you what?

Yes, yet another reason why, if I have anything to say about it, my younger children will never see the inside of a public school. Or, in Ben's case never again.

Everytime I think about sending Andrew to preschool, I'll remember this story.

Alex, a five-year old kindergartener, was hauled up in front of his class by his teacher, who encouraged the children to say exactly what they thought of him, and then held a vote. They voted 14-2 to kick him out of the class. He spent the rest of the day in the nurse's office. (Uhhh....why weren't the parents immediately informed?) The mother says he's never going back, because she obviously has brains. He screams every time she drops the other children off at school. He says he's sad and repeats "I'm not special" over and over again.

Ok....I've been around some really intensely annoying children in my life...but none of them deserve this kind of treatment. Oh my gosh. Can you imagine what this has done to him? How can that teacher think this is an ok thing to do? What have the children in her class learned about being kind? Or not, as the case may be.

Ok. The world is officially nuts.



In other news, I've been thinking about Andrew and how he needs some playmates, when out of the blue one of my friends said "Hey, (another friend) and I were thinking of getting an informal preschool together, would you like to join us?" Would I ever! Awesome! =)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Subway goofs

What a bunch of noobs

I mean, seriously. Could they have at least checked their SPELLING before sending out the ad?

Oh well. Whatever. It's irritating...but it's more like a splinter in the foot than a head injury, you know? My thoughts are more in the range of "Get a CLUE people" rather than absolute outrage.

Defensive Driving

This morning I received a letter from my friend. Please feel free to pass it on.

Dear Friends,

Every day since around 7pm on this past Wednesday when I called my husband at work and asked him how his day was I have wondered and prayed about how I could do something that may make the difference in someone's life.

You see my husband is a paramedic - his answer to my question was "not good". He had been on scene of a 5 year old little girl whose brother accidentally backed over her in the family driveway. My husband was so upset. They tried everything in their power - but the child was pronounced dead at Vanderbilt Children's after being air lifted to Vanderbilt. He will never forget that sweet child's face, the dress she was wearing (not unlike one that our daughter owns), the father and the brother praying, begging for a miracle...

We found out later that night - it was Steven Curtis Chapman's daughter. My husband never put two and two together..

The Chapman's lives will never be the same.. Her poor brother ... May God help him one day find some peace..

Another child was run over earlier in the week in Fairview by his father...And yet another one in Clarksville earlier this month.. Lives changed - I pray for them daily. I can not imagine the pain they must be going through.

We need to educate our young drivers, our friends our children on driveway safety. I do not know how to do it - but we need to petition congress or who ever to make back up alarms standard on new models of cars.

On our home front we need to make family rules that are rock solid - no exceptions and pound them into our children's heads.

At our home children must stand near a tree in our front year and not move if a vehicle is to be moving in the drive way. We count heads before moving and make sure everyone is where they are supposed to be. When our children were younger we just put them in the car with us if we had to move the vehicles - that way we knew for sure where they were.

Another rule is NEVER walk behind a parked car - you never know when it might move unless an adult is with you. My 12 yo son is still short enough that a person in a SUV would not see him if he was behind the vehicle.

If you have to back up a long way - or there are a lot of kids around - have someone "spot" you. Physically be out of the car walking beside the car and visually checking for children as you back up.

Yes we are all in a hurry - but if the worst should happen - you would wish you had done it..

All accidents can not be prevented. You can do everything in your power to prevent them and they still will happen. But we can reduce them by making ourselves and those around us aware of the dangers. If only one life is saved - that is worth it.

May God be with us and may we never have to walk through the trials these families are going through,

Chelsea Shay

PS: If you feel this is message needs to passed on you have my permission to do so.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day

I am so thankful for those who fought and died so that I could eat kielbasa and go swimming today....and so that I could go to church on Sunday and not worry about the govt. bursting in and taking away my children and imprisoning me....and all the other many many freedoms we enjoy.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Ten habits of a happy homeschool

Ten habits of a happy homeschool
by Linda Johnson

As I've reflected over the last ten years of teaching my children, a few habits we have developed over time have come to mind that have helped our home to be a happy place of learning.


1. I rise before my children and have at least 1/2 hour to myself and I dress and make my bed first thing and greet each child with a "good morning" and a smile. This doesn't come natural for me because my dad was a night owl and I followed in his footsteps. The change was not easy, but has been very rewarding.

(The Lord has let me know that the schedule I drew up for myself rising at 6am every morning no matter what to read scriptures, journal, exercise etc., was inspired by Him and is something I need to be doing so get to it already Keeley! =D)


2. We have a general routine that gives my children a map for their day. They feel secure and happy knowing the day's general plan and their duties.
(Our days go SO much better when I write on Ben's whiteboard what he needs to do for the day. It's mostly repetitive with a few changes in the details depending on the day. He feels a great deal of security when it's all written on the whiteboard, and derives great satisfaction from wiping each item off.)


3. Every afternoon I have one hour to myself. No interruptions allowed *unless a child is bleeding to death!). My children are required to be on their beds at this time reading or writing what they wish, but no noise allowed. We've done this since they were toddlers and call it quiet time.
(Oh beautiful quiet time, how I love thee! We've fallen off the quiet time wagon, but after reading this and remembering how wonderful it was, I'm determined to get back up on it. =D)


4. I continue to educate myself as well as keep up a hobby. I consider this very important for ALL mothers


5. I keep four books going at all times by my bedside and read 1/2 hour before bed, choosing whatever book I am in the mood for at the time. (Fiction, spiritual, nonfiction and a child's book I am proofreading)


6. I purpose not to yell and try to be pleasant when correcting, remaining firm, but kind. I am still learning to do this, but see the improvement and it makes everyone's day go well since mom sets the tone for the day. What a great and wonderful responsibility given to mothers!

(Oh boy, I SO need to do this, especially as Heavenly Father told me multiple times last conference to quit yelling.)


7. The children play outside at least two hours a day whether they want to or not. We also sharply limit unattended playtime with other children. The TV is in our bedroom so is virtually unused except for news and the occasional carefully chosen video or DVD.
(What a great idea! I shall have to ponder how to best introduce this into our family. It means I need to be outdoors for at least two hours every day. That's going to be an interesting change.)


8. We eat supper together in the evenings and we speak of worthy subjects. Often the children narrate to dad stories from the day's lessons. It is a happy time.
(Bert's never home for dinner, so the Dad bit is a bit difficult. I think I do need to do a better job of having proper mealtimes even though Bert's not around when we have them. We do have a "discussion jar" that I got from organizedhome.com Actually, it's their off-shoot site, organizedchristmas.com I used their journal jar printables, put them in a mason jar and put them on the table. A person picks a slip of paper and answers the question. Everyone else then answers the same question, and the jar moves on to the next person. We've had many-a visitor who has come a second or third time and been so excited to see the journal jar on the table again. =)


9. We have a bedtime routine that includes mom or dad talking and praying with the children before bed and we make sure that they are not sad or angry while drifting off to sleep.
(I actually only do this with Andrew. I think the others would be weirded out if I did it with them. Well...maybe Ben wouldn't, but Emily certainly would. I wish Andrew would listen more instead of chatter about non-related things when I'm trying to read the story. Maybe I should just shut up and let him chatter. I'm wondering if I shouldn't make it a training thing "Ok, you need to learn to be quiet for the five minutes I'm reading" type thing. I vacillate between letting him chatter or not. Lest you think I don't listen to my child, he chatters on a constant basis.)

10. One evening a week is reserved for Family Fun Night even if it means saying "no" to invitations elsewhere and one evening a week is Date Night for mom and dad - - even if it means staying home and putting the children to bed early.
(FHE is Sunday night (Bert's home too late in the evening during the week for it to be on Monday) and Date Night is Friday night. It's a beautiful thing.)

Proverbs 31

Proverbs 31
Expanded and Updated for the New Millennium
by Dana Gage

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than diamonds, stocks, or blackberries. The heart of her husband trusts in her, because he knows that she has his best interest in mind. Every day of her life, she will benefit him and he will never be sorry he married her.

She plans carefully to be sure her family enjoys delicious and nutritious meals. She even drives a long way to get the best deals at the supermarkets. She makes everyone's favorite meals and she keeps the refrigerator stocked with yummies. She gets up, sometimes before sunrise, to make breakfast for her family, pack lunches, and makes sure that everyone gets to their appointments that day. She does all this without the help of one single maid.

She has a small garden where she grows tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions. She plants all sorts of pretty flowers around the house and keeps the shrubbery looking nice too. Her arms are strong, but her nails look terrible because she spends several hours each week scrubbing the bathtub and washing dishes. The lights in her house are on late at night because she is busy helping little children with their homework and ironing clothes for the next day.

She makes meals for the sick and elderly at her church and she takes in visiting ministers and missionaries. She writes letters to her church's missionaries and sends them special gifts at Christmas. She takes care of her parents and tries to remember the birthdays of her nieces and nephews. When shopping, she buys baby clothes for a new mom she knows that doesn't have a lot of money. When she goes to church, she works in the nursery, teaches Sunday School, and makes great dishes for the potluck. She never complains and everyone appreciates her work.

She is not afraid of the coming snow, because there are several blue plastic bins of last year's Winter clearance tucked safely in the garage. She searches for all the best deals on clothing, bedding, and linens, so her family always looks great and her house is clean, comfortable, and pretty.

Her husband is successful and well-respected because he never needs to worry about his home and children - they're in good hands. She finds clever ways to provide extra income for the family. She sells things on Ebay, transcribes medical transcripts, teaches piano lessons, babysits, sells Pampered Chef, and does freelance writing. Her friends make a lot of money working at full-time jobs, but she doesn't feel inferior because she exemplifies strength and dignity. She is irreplaceable. She knows that anyone can manage a business, but only she can manage her home.

With the precious few minutes of quiet time that she can find, she reads and prays, acquiring wisdom for herself and her family. She speaks with kindness, never gossiping or complaining, and she is a beloved mentor to younger women. She considers carefully the atmosphere at her home, and she guards it from bad behaviors and attitudes. She plays beautiful music and keeps good books accessibly. She is always busy working, and she rarely has time to watch TV.

Her children are not disrespectful and they love her. Her husband cannot help but praise her. Many women are good wives, but she surpasses them all. She is not deceived by the craze for youth and beauty, and it doesn't bother her, that after having four children, her figure doesn't make the cover of Self Magazine. She knows that the crazed obsession with outward appearances and self fulfillment are silly and empty. She is confident because her life is founded on the fear of the Lord and she knows that her work is meaningful.

Don't believe me? Look around. See all that she has accomplished and the people that she has nurtured. She really doesn't need anyone's approval because her own works give her lasting joy and fulfillment, but nevertheless, she will be praised because her work and character are self-evident.

Sunday Scripture

Mosiah 16:8-9

But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.
He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death.



One morning, a few days ago, Emily had the country music channel on...and lo and behold there was Steven Curtis Chapman. I pointed him out to Bert "He lives not far from here" I said.

After Bert left for work I checked my mail...and there on the local yahoo news saw that there had been a terrible accident. Chapman's 17 year old son had hit their five-year old daughter while backing out....and she had died. Oh my gosh. We were horrified; our hearts broken for them.

We had several friends over yesterday, and when the mother of one came to pick her son up she obviously needed to talk. Her husband, an EMT, was the one who was called out to the Chapman's home as a first responder. I won't go into details. It was pretty bad.

A few weeks ago I was talking to my friend's husband, asking him how he coped with the stuff he encountered in his job. He said for the most part you're able to separate yourself from it, but sometimes a case comes along that is really really hard to deal with, and it takes a while to recover from it.

I'm guessing, after listening to his wife describe how upset he is, that this was one of those cases for him. He's really cut up about it. It broke his heart when he got there and saw how bad it was...and tried so so hard....and he could hear Chapman and his son kneeling and pleading with the Lord...just pleading with him...

It makes me cry so hard. The poor 17-year old. It was a pure accident. He checked! He looked all around and checked where the children were playing and was so careful...but Maria was around the blind bend and he didn't see her. Oh man.

Our children are so precious. As I get older I am more and more aware of the fragility of human beings, and of life on Earth itself.

There is no fragility in Eternal Life. Our Heavenly Father loves us and has provided a way for us to live with him again forever. How grateful I am to Him, and to the sacrifice of His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. I encourage you all to learn of Him, lean on Him, know that He is your Saviour who loves you so much he lived all his life for you, gave his life up for you, then took his life again for you.

May the Lord bless the Chapman family - especially their son - at this heart-wrenching time.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Tag I'm it.

I got tagged by Ritsumei Hooray! =)

So here it is:

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
I was named after a singer called Keely Smith. (That was my maiden name)

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
I can't remember. Oh yes I can. I was looking at the Rod and Staff stuff at the curriculum fair and was browsing through a story book for little ones and it was so sweet I cried. I hid it pretty well though; kept my face in the book and my head down until I'd quit looking like such a moron.

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
Oh my gosh, no. My teachers used to say "it looks like a spider was dipped in ink and crawled across the page". =( It hasn't improved much.


4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
Ew. I prefer hummous. Or tuna. or just cheese. Or something.

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
Yes, a 17-year old, a 12-year old and a 3-year old.

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
My gosh, no.

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?
More than I should. Sarcasm just isn't very nice, most of the time.

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS
Yes

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
Not on your nelly.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
Original Alpen, but I haven't had it for years. I make do with oatmeal and dates.

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
No, despite my parents telling me over and over and over and over and over and over and over.

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?
In some respects. More so when I was younger. I'm not so disciplined these days.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
Caramel Caribou. Or peanut butter. Or something nifty like that.

14. WHAT DO YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
Their body language.

15. RED OR PINK?
Blue

16.WHAT DON'T YOU LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF?
The first three I can think of:
1. I talk about myself too much, and it's really boring.
2. I'm really selfish
3. I have no self control. I had WAY more when I was younger. It disappeared as soon as we got a computer. I joke not.

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
The kids I don't have.

18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU?
I want the whole world to post a comment on my blog. =)

19. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
Blue capris. $5 lacy lavender tennies from payless.

20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
BLT. Just before that: 4 california rolls. Right before that: French Onion soup.

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
Emily's watching the end of "Hitch". Gag me.

22. IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?
Something purply. Lavender type thing.

23. FAVORITE SMELLS?
Babies. Clean cloth diapers. Lavender. Other stuff I can't think of right now because I'm sooooo tired.

24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
Ben, telling him his Dad is coming to pick him up.

25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU?
Yes, very much. Are we getting together sometime?

26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH
Gag me. OH! Where they do jumps and acrobatics on motorbikes! AWESOME! And skateboarding stuff.

27. HAIR COLOR?
Brown

28. EYE COLOR?
Brown

29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
Nope

30. FAVORITE FOOD?
Sushi. Middle-eastern. Indian. English. Mexican. I like food. I like sushi a lot.

31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
Happy endings for sure.

32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
Full movie: Meet the Robinsons - AWESOME.
Partial movie: Hitch. Yeah. Not so awesome.

33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
Black.

34. SUMMER OR WINTER?
Summer.

35. HUGS OR KISSES?
Both! Duh!

36. FAVORITE DESSERT?
I like "Sweet rice pudding" recipe that I got from this Jewish cookbook. I like brownies. I like cake and English birds eye custard. I like rice pudding. I like those date bars with shipping cream poured on the top. I like...um...sweet things.

37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND?
Um. Yeah, I suppose I should think about tagging people. Maybe I'll add that bit later. I'm tired.


38. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND?
The people who don't know my blog exists.

39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
Oh gosh, I can't even think about how many I've got on the burner. Lots.

40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
Winnie the Pooh. I think my sister gave it to us. =)

41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T.V. LAST NIGHT?
Look, I can't remember what was happening an hour or so ago, never mind what I did last night.

42. FAVORITE SOUND?
My children's laughter.

43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES?
Beatles.

44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
Home is wherever my family is, so I've never been far away from home.

45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
Not really.

46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree

Ben took the test. =)





Your Vote Score: 94% Republican, 6% Democrat



You fit well with the Republican party, and you should almost definitely vote Republican this election.

In fact, you're so strongly Republican, a political career (or at least some activism )may be in your future.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Captain Obvious




Your Vote Score: 86% Republican, 14% Democrat



You fit well with the Republican party, and you should almost definitely vote Republican this election.

In fact, you're so strongly Republican, a political career (or at least some activism )may be in your future.

Awwwww

What I found amazing in this whole set of photos was the END photo, which showed you the perspective. There are about five pages of cute little hummingbirds. =)


http://community-2.webtv.net/Velpics/HUM/

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

the economy

I was blowing my food budget every week, so this month I tried something different, to see if it would help.

1. Make a menu for the month, not the week.
2. Buy most of the month's food the first week
3. Divide my budget equally between the weeks - then take $20 from 2nd-4th/5th weeks and give it to the first week to pay for the *Big Shop* =)
4. Hope

This week's menu:
Sat 10th
Breakfast - oatmeal and dates with milk
Lunch - salad with a little lunchmeat and a tortilla. (I found if I give us only two slices of the deli lunchmeat, a $2.50 box on sale will last all week)
Dinner - Oh heck, I can't remember what we had.

Sunday 11th
Breakfast - oatmeal and dates w/ milk. I love dates.
Lunch - Spaghetti Bolognaise
Dinner - soup, 2 slices bread

Monday 12th
Breakfast - Smoothie: 1 cup milk, 1 cup yoghurt, 1 banana, 3 frozen strawberries. Makes two breakfasts.
Lunch - Tortilla, egg, a little mayo, salad
Dinner - Tortilla, black beans, salsa, fried onions, salad

Tuesday 13th
Breakfast - Smoothie
Lunch - Tortilla, hummous, banana peppers, salad
Dinner - loose california rolls: rice, cucumber, avacado, imitation crab, soy sauce piled in a bowl.

Wednesday 14th
Breakfast - smoothie
Lunch - soup, 2 slices bread
Dinner - Tofu stir fry: rice, tofu, peppers, edamame, onions

Thursday 15th
Breakfast - smoothie
Lunch - tortilla, hummous, banana peppers, salad
Dinner - homemade pizza. (homemade crust, spaghetti sauce, cheese, any leftover veggies that can be scrounged up)

Friday 16th
Breakfast - smoothie
Lunch - Tortilla, 3 oz tuna, a little mayo, salad
Dinner - Date night

I also have an orange each day. This menu gives us just enough veggies, fruit, dairy and grain each day.


We already had some of the things in food storage - which we are decimating at a rate that has me quite worried. I bought some things in the monthly shop, so only had to get a couple of things this week:

milk
yoghurt
soy sauce
honey
strawberries
bananas
cheerios (for the parts of the family that don't like smoothies =D)
imitation crab
tomatoes
cucumber
avacado
pepper
bread


Cost? $41

So. That's the end of the money for this week. *sigh*

How are the rest of you doing it?

Milk is $3.60 here. How about where you are? Bread was a steal this week though: $1/loaf. As I'm fast running out of wheat, I buy rather than make when it's this cheap. Especially as the honey I need for making bread is expensive.

The avacado was nearly $2!!!! Holy cow!!! It's a good job it's a treat for us. I read somewhere that someone had picked up avacados for $0.10!!!! TEN CENTS! Man, I wish.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Lord, help me help my stupid self

Song for the day!

Makes me cry every time. =Þ

Enjoy. =)



Rodney Atkins - Watching You

Monday, May 12, 2008

Fun giveaway!

Ship Full O' Pirates is having an AWESOME giveaway of one of the best books of all time - TREASURE ISLAND! =)

Enjoy. =) No need to thank me. I like to share the joy. =)

Joseph Smith

It just so happens, apropos of the concert last night talking (singing) about the pioneers, that we began reading Joseph Smith History for family scriptures this morning.

We pondered on the fact that this man had been persecuted from the time he was very young. It began at age 14, and never stopped, his whole life. He never knew a moment's peace. I'm so thankful to him!!!

"My gosh," I said "What hard lives they had.

We pondered on that for a while.

Then my heart swelled with relief..."Thank goodness my children are safe."

Yes, they're safe from being eaten by wolves on the trail....or dying from starvation or cold.....but the Spirit whispered that we face trials in this life too. We all have to endure our own Gethsemene. We all have to go through the refiner's fire.

But I'm still thankful my children are clothed...and warm...and full...and I don't live in fear that mobs will break into my house, destroy it, beat my children and rape me.


In other news, Ben is sulking because it's time for school. Whatever. Get on with it. =Þ I'm not feeling very sympathetic to his "hardships" today.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sunday Scripture

D&C 25:12

For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.




A poor wayfaring man of grief
Had often crossed me on my way
Who sued so humbly for relief
That I could never answer Nay.

I had not power to ask his name;
Whither he went of whence he came;
Yet there was something in his eye
That won my love, I knew not why.

Once, when my scanty meal was spread
He entered—not a word he spake!
Just perishing for want of bread;
I gave him all; he blessed it, brake

And ate, but gave me part again;
Mine was an angel's portion then
For while I fed with eager haste
The crust was manna to my taste.

I spied him where a fountain burst
Clear from the rock—his strength was gone.
The heedless water mock'd his thirst
He heard it, saw it hurrying on.

I ran and raised the suff'rer up;
Thrice from the stream he drain'd my cup
Dipp'd, and returned it running o'er;
I drank and never thirsted more.

'Twas night, the floods were out, it blew
A winter hurricane aloof;
I heard his voice abroad, and flew
To bid him welcome to my roof.

I warmed, I clothed, I cheered my guest,
I laid him on my couch to rest;
Then made the earth my bed, and seem'd
In Eden's garden while I dream'd.

Stripp'd, wounded, beaten nigh to death
I found him by the highway side;
I rous'd his pulse, brought back his breath,
Revived his spirit, and supplied

Wine, oil, refreshment—he was heal'd;
I had myself a wound conceal'd;
But from that hour forgot the smart
And peace bound up my broken heart.

In pris'n I saw him next—condemned
To meet a traitor's doom at morn;
The tide of lying tongues I stemmed
And honored him 'mid shame and scorn.

My friendship's utmost zeal to try
He asked, if I for him would die;
The flesh was weak, my blood ran chill
But the free spirit cried, "I will!"

Then in a moment to my view
The stranger started from disguise:
The tokens in his hand I knew
The Savior stood before mine eyes.

He spake—and my poor name be named—
"Of me thou hast not been asham'd;
These deeds shall thy memorial be;
Fear not thou didst them unto me."

Name Dropping. You never know when someone famous is standing right next to you.

Andrew played in nursery with a cute young guy called J. Davis. That was his name. J. Davis Deere.

His Dad was just...you know...Brother Deere. Actually, to tell the truth, his Dad was "J. Davis' Dad". =D =D

So there's this big concert at church tonight. It was AWESOME! And everyone was going on about how nifty it was that Jason Deere would be playing doing his Joseph and Trek thing and la de da. Ben's like, "Jason Deere? Is he Josie's Dad?" (Josie's a beehive; Ben's a deacon. You get the picture)

Yeah, he's Josie's Dad. And J. Davis' Dad. And...um....apparently quite famous...

He's the guy that wrote Joseph: A Nashville Tribute to a Prophet and Trek: A Nashville Tribute to the Pioneers

Apparently he's written a bunch of songs for people like SHeDAISY (their sister sang tonight too) and Little Big Town. Huh. Wonder if he wrote "boondocks". I love that song.

So anyway. Go figure! And here he is some famous dude, playing with a bunch of other famous dudes, right in our Stake center.

It's so FUN living in Nashville! You can't throw a rock without hitting a celebrity. We have a bunch of them in our ward...just hanging around being..you know...nice normal people that you'd never know were famous because they're just...you know..J.Davis' Dad....or the guy that can get our baby to stop crying by just looking at him.

I joke not. We moved into the ward at the same time as the Raymond's, when Andrew wasn't even a year yet. He was so fascinated by Brother Raymond that Andrew would stop crying as soon as Brett looked at him. It was AWESOME!!! Andrew would be wailing and I'd just plead, "Brother Raymond!" and he'd just come stand next to us and....the crying would cease. Every time. I wanted to hire him to come be our pacifier full time... =D =D The other thing that happened is that Andrew would stop whatever he was doing whenever Brother Raymond played the piano at church. He'd go absolutely still....and then bawl his eyes out. Not with sadness; he was just so touched by the music. AWESOME! =)

Anyway, but the main thing is, the concert tonight was fantastic and I cried a lot. J. Davis, Josie and Maddie sang and it was beautiful and I cried some more. I had to think about something else at the end of the concert; force my mind to wander because I didn't want to be bawling looking like a moron when the lights went up. =Þ

While I'm having fun name dropping, I'd like to drop a couple more. Because it's fun, that's why.

Tim Ross is the local weatherman. Emily only realized this a few weeks ago. To her, he was the guy that handed out programmes before church. =D One morning we were watching the news (an unusual occurrence in the morning at our house; tv usually stays off until homeschooling is done. Must have been a school holiday or something) and Emily goes "HEY! That guy goes to our church!" =D =D I visit teach his wife. She's AWESOME! She runs incredible distances that make me tired just thinking about it.

And Billy is one of our home teachers.

I just love Tennessee.

I'm sure I'm forgetting someone.....Hmmmm.......

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

A terrifying thing to hear

Andrew and I were at the sink washing his hands.

He said, "Mum, can I have a pair of scissors?"

I said, ungrammatically, "What do you want a pair of scissors for?"

He said "To cut my hair."

!!!!!!!!!!!

I said "Oh no, honey. You can't cut your hair. Only the hairdresser or Daddy can cut your hair."

Calmly, sweetly, with no defiance or anything he simply said "Why not? Why not I can't cut my hair?"


Oh boy. Hide all the scissors.

For Caroline

Many moons ago, Caroline wrote and asked for ideas for fun music to be played at the hoe-down after her wedding to Mo.

DISCLAIMER: I WILL NOT BE DANCING AT THE WEDDING!!!!
I will, however, sit around enjoying the music. =)

Here's my top choice. Turn up the volume and dance around. =) This track's also REALLY good to run to. So so sorry for the really stupid video. I'd advise NOT watching it, just listen to the awesome music. The video ruins the music.:


Darude - Sandstorm


Here's some other ones:



Jet - Are You Gonna Be My Girl?


Also, another song is Kylie Minogue's "Can't get you out of my head" which I'm not posting because the video is rude. I think it's bizarre I like that song. I mean! Kylie Minogue! So uncool! "Neighbours" for goodness sakes!


Then there's this one...the most AWESOME video of all time:


Ok Go - Here it Goes Again



One of Andrew's favourite songs:


The Vines - Get Free



Blast from the past:

Bowie - Hang on to Yourself


Awesome song which I must quote:
Well you can't judge a book lookin' at the cover
you can't love someone while messin' with another
no, you can't win a war while fightin' with your brother
you wanna have peace? Gotta love one another.

Hoo yeah! I want to play guitar like that.


Black Stone Cherry - Lonely Train


Actually now that I think about it, you can't dance to "Lonely Train", but it's a great song so I'm not removing it from this post. =)


Here's a couple of songs from the AWESOME bust-a-groove PS1 game which we can't play anymore because our PS1 broke and our PS2 refuses to play them anymore. *sigh* =( So so so sad. I wish PS would please re-release this game.


Bust-A-Groove - Robo-Z

The sound effects are so loud on this video that you can hardly hear the music, but I like the song anyway:


Bust-A-Groove - Gas-O

Another good song with a video I'm not posting is "S.O.S." by Rhianna I've never seen the video, and really don't want to based on what I've heard about it.

Oh! Oh, this next song is AWESOME! Andrew can really rock out to it.


Relient K - Sadie Hawkins Dance


Ignore the video, which is a trifle weird. Just listen to the song.

Soundgarden - Spoonman
Woah. That video really is just bizarre.


Other songs: "Toxic" by Brittney Spears. Ben is horrified that I like this song.

Ben says this next song is the only reason to buy Guitar Hero II:

Woman by Wolfmother


Ben says this next song is also a reason to buy Guitar Hero II. He says he can play this song on expert. It's not a song to dance to though.

Hangar 18 by Megadeth


I LOVE this next song...but it's not really one to dance to. It's just fun.


Smashing Pumpkins - 7 Shades of Black


Ok, now I'm just having fun. =Þ These next few songs probably wouldn't be good to dance to, but listen to 'em anyway, because they're AMAZING!!! =)

Living in beautiful Tennessee is obviously getting to me - I'm happily turning into a hick. Oh yeah. Josh Turner. Looks uncomfortable in the video, but just listen to that voice. Oh my. Oh my good gravy.


Josh Turner - Would You Go With Me?


Can't wait for the full game to come out

GLaDoS - Still Alive


And, of course, the best song you could ever play at the wedding...the most awesome amazing song...."The Ubiquitous Mr. LoveGrove".....

Dead Can Dance - The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove
I LOVE this song. =)


Anyway, Caroline, I hope all that helped. =)

Oh my....

Oh my goodness, this would be a dream come true for me. I've always wanted to pile the kids in the van and take a year or so to tour the US and Canada. I must have gypsy blood in me or something. Oh I wish I wish I wish I wish we could do that!

But oh well. There's lots of things in life that we can't do. Better just suck it up and teach math instead. Homeschooling is a different kind of pioneering journey for us... =)


In other news, I've been feeling sick for the past several mornings. You can imagine what I thought - because I drive myself crazy by thinking and hoping every month - but the pregnancy test was, once again, very negative. Why do I do this to myself? *sigh*. =( Maybe we're only meant to have three children.

Except I KNOW there's another one for us!!! Where is s/he?

Well, maybe that other child is just an intense wish, like the huge roadtrip I'd like to take. A wonderful dream, but unrealistic.


Man, that's depressing. Ok, I'm going to have to get out and do something today. I'm suddenly feeling sad and trapped.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Um, yeah, so if you thought my $8.29 bargain was a good one, take a look at this blog here.

What an amazing blessing. =)

The Windows of Heaven were open and pouring on that day....

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Used Currirulum Sale

$8.29




Today was the Used Curriculum Sale, at which I was buying and selling, so I was double booked there.

It was also the Laurel/Mothers conference...triple booked.

It was also Andrew's soccer game.....quadruple booked.

This is how we did it:

Ben and I went to the sale to set up by 7.30am. 7.30-9am, I shopped and bought whilst Ben watched the table.

Meanwhile, Bert took Andrew to his soccer game.

9.45am, I boogied on out of there to meet Emily at the Laurel conference, which was AWESOME!

10.30am, Bert arrives straight from the soccer game to help Ben sell. Yes, that means my 12 year old was alone, selling, for 45 minutes. He did fantastic! =) And he was lovingly watched over by the Hartfelders, who were so kind as to share their table with us which reminds me ACK!!!! I need to pay them for that! Not that they'll accept the money, because that's the kind of family they are, but STILL. I'd feel like I was taking advantage of them.

Maybe I'll bake them some brownies or something - they wouldn't refuse those. Except, DANG, Laurie is a FAR better cook than I am. I'd better think of something else.

I made some strawberry jam last week; maybe they'd accept that?

ANYWAY I'm going totally off-topic.

SO then I left the Laurel conference 10 mins early to help clean up at the end of the curriculum sale. I'd sold only a box of stuff, which was disappointing, but it was my first time ever selling and I think I was overpriced.

Bert took the boys to Burger King, and I just realized they've been there for an hour and a half, so what's going on there? =D


Meanwhile, I sat down and sorted out what I'd bought and what I'd sold and here's what I came up with:

Total amount of curriculum bought: $134.25
Total amount of curriculum sold: $125.96
Total cost of curriculum: $ 8.29

That puts a raaaather large smile on my face. =)

Here's another computation that made me smile:

Total cost of curriculum new: $520.30
Total cost of curriculum used: $134.25
Total savings: $386.05

Ahhhh yes, it's a beautiful thing. =)

What I bought:
Webster's Reading Handbook for Andrew
A-Z guide of Homeschool field trips for Andrew
What your 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th grader needs to know for Andrew....at $1 each. No kidding. And two of them were hardbacks.
Red Badge of Courage for this year
Last of the Mohicans for this year
Roll of Thunder, Hear my cry for this year
Little Women for this year
Spanish Curriculum for this year
War of the Worlds for this year
Adventures of Huck Finn for this year
Homeschooler's High School Journal for 9th grade
Rod and Staff 6 "Progressing with Courage" for 9th grade
Saxon Algebra 1 for 9th grade
Apologia Biology for 9th grade
Julius Caesar for 9th or 10th grade
Imitation of Christ for 9th or 10th grade
Heart of Darkness for 9th or 10th grade
Canterbury tales for 9th or 10th grade
Abeka Economics for 11th grade

Fun stuff for me:
Homeschooling: a patchwork of days
A survivor's guide to homeschooling
The Homeschool Journey
Help for the Harried Homeschooler
Homeschooling on a shoestring
Dumbing us Down - Gatto
and my personal favourite, considering TN is trying to massively shove through legislation REALLY FAST before the homeschoolers get wind of it:
One Year to a College Degree.

Yes indeed, hsers in TN found out just yesterday that there will be a vote on MONDAY (Yep, that's how fast they're trying to ram this through....they're sooooo mad because the massive turnout defeated their last attempt to shackle and harass us) to require all parents of high school age homeschoolers to have a 4 year degree. Despite study after study that shows it doesn't matter what the education level of the parents; despite the fact that homeschoolers blow away standardized tests. I'm so proud that my son is part of the amazing homeschool statistic. =)

Anyway. So I'm feeling the need to get a college degree pdq, though I doubt I'll make it in a year, I'm trying to get it asap so the govt. will get off my back and let me do my job.

I have to say it again because it's so wonderful.

$8.29







$8.29








$8.29






=) =) =)