Tuesday, March 24, 2009


The week has gone really quite well and I've been able to accomplish a lot more than I ordinarily would have. ALRIGHT! So obviously this new schedule is working for me. =)

Andrew gave a talk in primary on Sunday - he read it himself! We were so proud of him. =) Here it is:

I help my family by helping ot pick up my toys.
We have fun and play games together.
I love my family.
I love God and I love Jesus.
In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

I went to goodwill on Saturday and happened to check out the bread machine section - and found one that didn't look too bad for $7!!!! $7!! So I bought it, found the manual online, and ran a test loaf - it turned out wonderful! Who'd'a thunk? Yesterday I made some marmalade in it and it's delish! =)

Menu for this week:
Sat: Peppers n eggs, poorman's feast
Sun: No spog bol because we had Linger Longer at church. I took along the "hide the veggies" soup, and then gave the leftovers to the missionaries.
Mon: Spaghetti Bolognaise
Tues: Tacos
Weds: Beans, rice, cornbread
Thurs: Bacon and egg butties
Fri: Date night! Children will have mac n cheese. Bert and I, if I get my wish, will head over to Taco Express. Actually it's recently changed its name to Oscar's Taco Shop. Pity. I preferred Taco Express.

Made some more yoghurt. Yum! =)

Uhhh, that's about it really. It's warming up nicely in TN - it'll soon be time to put away my sweaters. Hooray! =)

Andrew's soccer season started up again last night. He's certainly come along quite a bit since last month and is now the best on his team. =)

And now I must go to take him swimming. No rest for the wicked and unfortunately I am, indeed, very very evil.

Oh! One interesting thing, Andrew woke us up in the middle of the night saying he'd had a poo-poo. I thought that was rather odd of him and off his schedule. Then we went into the bathroom and I realized why...the poor child had had really bad diarrhea all over the floor. He didn't seem bothered by it, thank goodness.

And on that lovely note, I will depart until next week. Wicked, I tell you. Wicked.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Trying a New Schedule

Inspired by Jenny, I am attempting to institute a new routine.

It will be interesting to see how it works. =D Because, let's face it, I'm addicted to the internet and that's NOT GOOD.

The Lord has been telling me for MONTHS - nay, YEARS, to get off the computer, get out of books...to just quit distracting myself already, and be THERE for my children and my home.

I've ignored it because
a) I don't like taking care of my home and
b) I'm easily distracted and
c) I'm lazy.

Ooooooh, that's not good, is it? =(

So I need to repent and ask the Lord to help me overcome my easily-distractible addiction....which includes the computer.

Thus, for the very few weeks of Joy School we have left, I will attempt to stay off the computer EXCEPT during times when the children are not here, ie, Wednesday mornings when Andrew's in Joy School.

Uh huh. Yeah. I know. Who knows how long it will last. But I believe my family and home are worth the attempt.

Wish me luck, and please pray for me that I'll be successful. =)

Are You Your Own Worst Enemy?

Joanne Calderwood wrote an AWESOME article in 2009 March/April issue of Homeschool Enrichment Magazine.

She talked about trying to feel "In control", especially as homeschool Moms.

"While neatly organizing your children's educational timelines, you also manage your physical household, which undoubtedly requires much thought and energy in order to keep things running smoothly. While most days you may not FEEL amazing, I want to look you right in the eye and tell you, remind you, that you ARE amazing."

Oh what a lovely, uplifting thing to say. =)

"I suspect that you may be just a little weary from carrying burdens day after day after day. Perhaps things have gotten more than a little out of control in your life right now."

And how! You said it, sister!

Joanne goes on to talk about being hit over the head with Isa 50:10, which reads:

"Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God."

Joanne says if we claim to be Christians, but are not relying, trusting, leaning on God and being confident in Him, how can we say we TRULY believe God? Surely the evidence of our faith would be that we DO rely on Him in ALL things?

She goes on to say that God is VERY concerned with every detail of your life and wants to you REST in Him.

We all have problems and worries, especially in this economic climate. Maybe we're praying about it and then worrying some more. The idea of praying and resting in the Lord is GIVING UP those worries to God. Not that we then sit back and do NOTHING, but that we ask for help - then go out and do our very best, and trust in the Lord to work all things for our good.

"Stop the craziness" says Joanne. =)

Now here is the absolute kernel of brilliant light in her article; the jewel in the crown that struck me so deeply when I read it.

"Get a journal. Decide for one month that you are going to take God at His word. Commit your worries and concerns to the pages of your journal each day for 30 days, and read Isaiah 50:10-11 each day. After you have laid our your cares in the journal, in your mind's eye picture yourself leaning against the Lord, resting on Him and refusing to pick those burdens back up just for that day. Before you leave the solitude of your room or wherever you are writing, determine that you are not going to worry JUST FOR THAT DAY.
What you will find is that when you refuse to fall into the old patterns of working things out yourself, the Lord will meet your needs in ways you couldn't imagine. God will make a way where there seems to be no way. When He meets those needs, and as you see how He walks with you through the day, record that in your journal the next day. Leave a trail of answered prayers that you can look back on and reread when your faith falters. Give the Lord an opportunity to be the one in control, just for today. Eventually, even after just one month, you will be living within the parameters of a new mindset! you will be more joyful and relaxed, which will carry over to the homeschool realm most certainly. Moreover, the Lord will do things His way, which is what we truly want, isn't it?"

WOW! What a simple thing, yet how effective!

Sooo, I'm going to try it. =) It will be interesting to see what happens.

Homeschool Enrichment Magazine

I somehow ended up with a subscription to Homeschool Enrichment Magazine I think I must have somehow got it free; I have no idea how. My paid subscription this year is to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine because I got a stellar deal on it. I think it was like $10. No it wasn't. It was $6 or something like that. I don't know. RIDICULOUSLY inexpensive in any case - I feel the magazine is certainly worth more...but I can't pay more so I was very grateful for the deal.

ANYWAY, the only way I could possibly have got the Homeschool Enrichment magazine is if it was free. I get one magazine sub. per year, and The Old Schoolhouse was it.

I have to say, Homeschool Enrichment magazine is:
a) WAY more overtly in-your-face Christian (Evangelical/Baptist or something) than I'm comfortable with


b) WAY more impressive and helpful than I thought it would be.

I really am uncomfortable wearing my religion on my sleeve. Maybe it's something to do with being English and being emotionally reserved (not blocked; reserved. There is a difference). It's difficult for me to follow the church's teaching about talking to people about my religion because...well...one just doesn't DO that, you know? It's gauche. =) (That's definitely the English bit speaking).

I'm WAY better at just doing my best to live my life as well as I can; trying diligently to be Christlike. I fall down a lot. I'm sure many people could point out where I've not succeeded in that goal. =D But I keep on trying. That's all we can all do, right? Just the best we can.

But I prefer being quiet about it - and waiting for someone to ASK me questions. I'm happy to answer - THRILLED to answer - but uncomfortable initiating the conversation.

SO ANYWAY this all comes back to my feeling that WOAH Homeschool Enrichment Magazine is WAY in your face with the Christian stuff. But that's ok, because I cannot BELIEVE the amazing articles in it. I'm enjoying it at least as much as Old Schoolhouse Magazine.

Brief Overview of this issue I received:
Crazy about my kids by Tina James - Having fun loving on those cute children. =)

ABCs of Parenting by Dr. S.M.Davis -
A) Always win in training the child to obey (that one makes me uncomfortable.)
B) Be Gentle (That's more like it! =))
C) Consistently be Consistent.
This article really got me thinking. It's the firmness of A combined with the gentleness of B AND the consistency of C that makes for a wonderful childhood. It's really had me pondering on the fact that it's WORK to consistently expect what's right from our children. One of my children has been lying to me lately, and I've been tempted to brush it off because I don't want the explosion when I confront this child. HOWEVER, Andrew lied to me the other day, and I called him on it, instituted a punishment, he cried for a bit...and then that was it. He accepted it, was happy, and learned not to lie. Of course he's going to do it again, but it was a testimony to me that we START YOUNG. Do the difficult parenting when they're little, and you won't have the really nasty stuff to deal with when they're teenagers. I hope.

Getting History Right by Tara Ross and Joseph C. Smith Jr.
FABULOUS article talking about George Orwell's 1984, comparing the direction the US is going with Oceania. Absolutely brilliant and got me thinking deeply.

Learning from the Journey
by Tamara Sinclair - Parents learn from homeschooling as well as children - and I don't just mean the academic stuff. =)

The French Defenders of the Faith by Amy Puetz - Fascinating article on the Huguenots.

Aspirin: The "Wonder Drug" by Ray and Gale Lawson - in a HOMESCHOOL magazine! I can't believe how much I learned from reading this issue.

All about Allergies by Paula J. Miller - a unit study. Vaguely interesting, but at this moment I'm not interested in unit studies.

What's in the Wind by Melissa Pinkley - WHY didn't I have this article when Ben was completing his weather badge for Boy Scouts? It would have been invaluable. If Ben was still homeschooling we would have done these experiments for sure, because they looked just so FUN.

Minding your Accents and umlauts by Peter Groth - this one just made me sad Ben wasn't still homeschooling. *Sigh* =(

Are you Hindering your Homeschooling? by Carmen Rockett - Very interesting article on how diet affects brain function. Not sure I agree with some of the conclusions she came to, but it was extremely interesting to read.

The Lord is my Light and my Salvation by Anita Mellott - Trusting in the Lord in all things, including Homeschooling. He IS Lord and is in control. We CAN trust Him, and rely on Him. In fact, frankly, if you're a Homeschool parent I don't believe you can succeed WITHOUT the Lord's help.

Homeschoolers: Changing the world one movie at a time
by Matthew Lewis - an article on the movies homeschoolers produced for the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival. I found this article vaguely interesting because I'd heard Chuck Bentley from Crown Financial Ministries talk about the films they produced that were shown there. I must admit, I just skimmed through it though.

Confessions of a Former Housework Hater by Cindy Puhek - this was the article I was DYING to read. How did she get over hating housework? She cleaned her house with God in mind, and dedicated that service to Him. Huh. Wonder if that would work for me?

Another Tale of a Famouse Home Scholar From the Past by Katharine Trauger - Can I boast here? I read the first paragraph and knew who it was, thanks to my History Teacher when I was 14 or 15. Mrs. Thomas, you taught me well. =) I'll type in the paragraph here and see if you can figure out who it was:

"Imagine yourself as Maria, wife of a famous Jew, whose family has made and lost fortunes many times. They were forced to leave Israel during the Roman destruction and Spain during the Inquisition. Having arrived in England via Venice, your husband is wealthy and a famous writer, admired by Lord Byron and Sir Walter Scott before you married him. Now you are facing anti-Semitism in England. It seems you can find acceptance nowhere, and your son begins to need an education."

The keys here are "Jew" and "England", and since it's someone you might know about, it must be a famous Jew in England shortly after the time of Byron. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. =) Can you get it?

Gentlemen, start your engines by Melanie Hexter - how Dads can become involved in Homeschooling.

Felt Board Fun by Susan Lemons - Ritsumei, you'd love this article. =)

How to inspire the writer in your teen by Kim Lundberg

The Plague of Word Fads by Ruth Beechick - interesting and humourous. So why does Ruth Beechick irritate the living daylights out of me?

Are you your own worst enemy by Joanne Calderwood - I loved this article so much it's getting its own separate post.

Sharpening the Saw
by Marcia Washburn - Taking care of the homeschool Mom

Embracing Motherhood by Kari Lewis - Lovin' on those babies. =)

Leaning into the Wave by Suzanne Broadhurst - What is the value of a man? "What is the value of a man? What is the value of a child? Maybe they are like the strap on a boogie board. Sometimes they may look like they are getting in the way, but they are a lifeline to the future."

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable, uplifting magazine, and I highly recommend it if you feel you can get past the preaching. =)

What was for dinner?

It's been a while since I've put up a menu. Sorry about that. Here's what we ate last week


Breakfast - Cocoa Krispies and Milk
Lunch - Leftover Mexican food from Date Night the previous night
Dinner - Tofu and veggie stir fry and rice.

Breakfast - Homemade Yoghurt
Lunch - Egg mayonnaise sandwich and green smoothie
Dinner - Spaghetti bolognaise, garlic bread, chocolate cake and ice cream, glass of milk

Breakfast - Don't remember
Lunch - Don't remember
Dinner - Corn Chowder soup with homemade bread

Breakfast - Fruit Smoothie
Lunch - Sushi from Trader Joes. I bought the smaller packet and it wasn't as disgusting as last time.
Dinner - Chinese food. It was supposed to be beans and rice. It cost $30!!!!!! $30!!!! That's more than the rest of the week's food combined! Well, ok, maybe not quite, but ALMOST! It blew my mind and made me think, "HUH! No Chinese food for US from now on. Especially as......

Wednesday: .....this was the day Nissan announced no pay raise, no bonus, reduced 401K matching AND a pay cut. Ohhhh I felt REALLY bad about the Chinese food then.
Breakfast - Trader Joe's flakes n chocolate with milk, strawberry banana smoothie. Those Trader Joe flakes n chocolate were AMAZINGLY delish! And they only cost me $2. How can you beat that for a chocolately treat? =)
Lunch - Leftover Chinese food
Dinner - Leftover Chinese food, milk

Breakfast - Green smoothie
Lunch - The last of the Chinese food. =( I really stretched that stuff out and definitely got my money's worth. =D Milk
Dinner - Cheese Enchiladas

Breakfast - Croissant with butter and marmalade. I found a great deal on croissants at Kroger so bought 'em for a treat. =)
Lunch - Ham and cheese on rye with mayonaise. Chocolate milk.
Dinner: Date Night! =) Veggie burger, onion rings, a couple of fries, water.

Breakfast: Trader Joe's flakes and chcolate. Chocolate milk.
Lunch: marmalade croissant
Dinner: Leftover Cheese Enchiladas, salad

Breakfast: Green Smoothie
Lunch: Skipped
Dinner: Spaghetti Bolognaise, garlic toast, oreo peanut butter milkshake.

Corn Chowder
Bacon fat
1 medium onion, chopped
2 ribs celery with greens, chooped
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 cups chicken stock
1 or 2 potatoes, cut up
bag of frozen corn
A sprinkle of thyme or rosemary or both
salt and pepper

In a large pot over high heat, melt bacon fat. Add onion and celery and cook five minute.
Add flour and cook a minute more.
Add milk and bring to a bubble, then stir in potatoes, corn and seasonings.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 mins until soup is thickened.

Keeley's amazingly delicious homemade bread

1 stick butter, melted
2 c. milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp yeast (or a yeast packet)
2 eggs, beaten
3-4 c. flour
3-4 c. whole wheat flour
3 TBSP vital wheat gluten if you have it

Dump it all in a large mixer bowl and mix with dough hook, or mix in a bowl
and knead until smooth. Cover and let rise until doubled. Form into 2 loaves.
When risen to just over the edge of the bread pan, place in a 350 oven for 25-35

Cheese Enchiladas

1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp oil
15oz can chopped tomatoes
8oz can tomato sauce
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 cup yoghurt or sour cream (it's SOOOOOO good if you use the homemade yoghurt recipe)
3 cups shredded cheese
12 tortillas

In a two-quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic to the hot oil and saute for a minute or two.
Add the canned tomatoes and tomato sauce.
Add a little water if you like - about 1/4 cup.
Simmer over medium heat.
Add chili powder, cumin, oregano and pepper.

While the sauce is simmering, combine yoghurt and cheese in a medium bowl.
Soften tortillas in microwave on on a hot, dry skillet for a few seconds.
Place a large spoonful of cheese filling in the middle of each warm tortilla and roll it up. Place it seam side down in an oiled 9x13inch pan.
Pour the enchilada sauce over them and bake at 400f for 20 minutes.
The dish may be prepared ahead of time if you like and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. If you are cooking it cold from the fridge, bake for 30 minutes.
Serve hot with beans, rice and spinach.

Oreo Peanut Butter Milkshake
Put in blender:
1 cup milk
large dollop of vanilla ice cream
large dollop of peanut butter
a handful of Kroger-brand oreos - 6 or 7 or something.

Whirr it up. Drink it with a straw. Have a glass of water ready for afterwards 'cos it's RICH.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Let's be clear

Let us all be absolutely clear about what is happening here.

Firstly, the reason why Big Love is showing a sacred ceremony is because Tom Hanks and his fellow Californites are FURIOUS that Gay Marriage wasn't passed and blame it on the LDS church. Even though, honestly, the reason why it didn't pass wasn't because of the incredible efforts of the church members in California, rather because of the large amounts of blacks who came out to support Obama. THEY voted against Gay marriage. But, of course, it's not politically correct to diss Blacks, and the LDS church is a really easy target and won't fight back. Thus to PUNISH the church, Tom Hanks and his cohorts went DELIBERATELY out of their way to offend them as deeply as they could.

Can you imagine if they did this to Jews? Woah! The outcry would be immediate and vociferous!

Secondly, The California Supreme court is trying to say that the people altering the constitution is unconstitutional. Uhhhhh.......
That is why the right to bear arms is so absolutely vital. When the government openly and willingly disregards the constitution, the people, according to George Washington, have not only a right, but an absolute DUTY to rise up and rebel. If the voice of the people is openly disregarded in this matter, I predict violence. Wait and see.

Thirdly, on September 11th 2001, terrorists attacked America. And American declared war on them. A few days later the IRA said "uhhh....ok, we give up" and nothing was heard from them. =D They stayed quiet the whole time Bush was president.

A couple of weeks after Obama's election, they're baaaaaaack.

Obviously, terrorists believe it's once more safe to be a terrorist - Obama's so weak, they know he's not going to do anything at all.

Did anyone else see the connection there, between Obama's presidency and the resurgence of the IRA?

1. The USA is turning its back on God and cruelly, deliberately, hurting and offending His followers..
2. The USA is turning its back on the Constitution - which was inspired by God.
3. We are seeing the resurgence of terrorism.

Yes indeed, we are right now in a handbasket. Are you enjoying the ride?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Various Happenings

Soooooo what's been going on? Went to see The Gruffalo with Andrew yesterday. It was fabulous. Went to the Discovery center in Murfreesboro today for Joy School. It was fabulous too.

Bert's sicker than a dog. Poor chap! He even came home from work he's so poorly.

Here's a couple of things i found interesting:

Carville and fellow democrats wanted Bush to fail. Media didn't report it. However, they're ALL over Limbaugh's comments.

Best Quote on that one:
"Carville told Politico that focusing on Limbaugh is a deliberate strategy aimed at undermining Republicans.

"The television cameras just can't stay away from him," he said. "Our strategy depends on him keeping talking, and I think we're going to succeed."

Greenberg added: "He's driving the Republican reluctance to deal with Obama, which Americans want."

In 2006, 51 percent of Democrats wanted Bush to fail, according to a FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll."

Would You Walk Away? is an article featuring four homeowners in a bad way. Two won't walk and let the country shoulder the debt; two are considering it.

Best quote by Rich Foretich:
"I borrowed the money. I built the house. I owe the money. As long as I have the means to pay it back, I plan to do so. I believe it is sad that people see an easy way out and simply do not lie in the bed they made. I believe I am a classic case for a walk-away, but what's `right' about doing that? I could have easily walked away and contributed to the economic mess we are currently in. This would have helped my family out financially but it's not the right thing to do."
How I wish others felt this same way.

A wise woman builds her home talks about "The Controlled Mother". Absolutely beautiful post. I really need it right now. In fact, this absolute precise minute.

How can I choose a "best quote" from it? It's all wonderful. Let's just try the beginning paragraph:
"Be gentle. That does not mean to spiritless. It means to be the opposite of violent, irritable, ill-tempered, and moody. Study to be so, for your own soul's sake, and as if you lived in God's presence, always keeping down every movement of anger, irritability, ill-temper, or moodiness. And be gentle,--precisely because you have much to do, much to bear, many cares to burden you, many things which continually try your temper."

Britan's not happy with Obama, as Iain Martin points out in this editorial. The comments are BRILLIANT!

Best Quotes:
Comment from Strangerinbluesuedeshoes: "Well said Iain, As much as Brown is a prize one, Obama is rude and arrogant.
As they say. It's not the man you salute, it's the rank. "

Comment from Sheumais: "Obama is a foreigner to us and under no obligation to be our friend, just as we should not be obliged to be his. He is not the Messiah and I remain to be convinced he is actually an improvement over his predecessor. "
Comment from Mikea: "Actually I think Obama is going to fail anyway - you cannot spend you way out of a Depression and put future generations in hock as leftish Obama is doing. But that is another story for another day....... The USA has been failed by all Presidents since Ronald Reagan. I like the Yanks - they deserve better as do we over here. "
Comment from Rinpoche: "It could be down to both men being socially inept in their different ways - GB being simply clumsily inept, BO essentially patrician and aloof." Hahahaha! =D =D

Anyway. That's all for now.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The separation grows

Candace has written a blog entry about Big Love

It's so sad. I thought Tom Hanks was a great actor...such a pity he's not a nice man. =( Instead, he's spreading lies through this programme in order to defame the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints because of its pro-traditional marriage stance.

What does he expect will happen? That the Lord will change His mind about marriage because the great Tom Hanks thinks He should?

Monday, March 09, 2009

SO not funny.

Ok, whose bright idea was this?

Found this on Tristi's Blog

You Are Intense and Courageous

When You Are Comfortable:

You are bold and dramatic. You have confidence in yourself, and that's enough to get you through anything.

People see you as capable and goal oriented. You have your eye on the prize, and others admire that about you.

When You Are At Your Best:

You are a glamorous, social person. You love being the center of attention and an object of adoration.

People see you as charming and charismatic. You are naturally dazzling. You are ambitious, and find it easy to get ahead in life.

When You Are in a Social Setting:

You are a shy, quiet person. Underneath your shell, you are compassionate and giving.

People find you to be friendly and welcoming. Your home is a place of comfort to them.

I have to say, of all the info on this silly test, the bits I like best are the last two sentences. I think my home it too messy and disorganized right now in order to be comforting, but that's my goal.

Sunday, March 08, 2009


So, Cristina had this marvelous meme on her blog. And so I stole it, even though I haven't yet received permission to do so. Sorry! Hope she's not mad. But it's awesome!

I interviewed the kidlets separately:

1. What is something your mom always says to you?
Emily (age 18): Don’t let your head explode. (I’m talking about keeping yourself safe so when your homones rage you don’t get into trouble)
Benjamin (age 13): Don’t do that
Andrew (age 4): I don’t know

2. What makes your mom happy?

Emily: When people are nice to her and we do what she says.
Ben: When I’m kind (His original response was “When I don’t talk”. =D)
Andrew: Jumping on the trampoline. (That’s what makes HIM happy. =D)

3. What makes your mom sad?
Emily: When we don’t do what she says.
Ben: When she doesn’t get to play her bloons.
Andrew: Not jumping on the trampoline.

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
Emily: I don’t know. She just does.
Ben: Her cheekiness
Andrew: Talking about funny things.

5. What did your mom like to do when she was a child?
Emily: You liked to paint, didn’t you? I don’t know.
Ben: She had to walk up hill both ways to school. (Actually, that’s true, I did, though I didn’t necessarily like it.)
Andrew: I don’t know!

6. How old is your mom?
Emily: 39
Ben: Nine million. Old enough to see the dinosaurs.
Andrew: 13 or 3 or 16 or 41.

7. How tall is your mom?
Emily: 5’ 2 ¼ ”
Ben: Negative 90 feet 3 inches.
Andrew: I don’t know. Maybe 100.

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
Emily: Make lists
Ben: Sit on her bum and eat chocolate.
Andrew: Jump on the trampoline and play games. Later: Teach Homeschooling

9. What does your mom do when you’re not around?

Emily: Work.
Ben: I don’t know, I’m not there!
Andrew: Nothing, she just gets mad. (??!!)

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
Emily: Her views on politics or How Not to Spend Money.
Ben: She’ll probably get a guiness world record for most amount of lectures in three minutes.
Andrew: I don’t know. (Actually, it’s more like a “I ‘an ‘o”)

11. What is your mom really good at?
Emily: Being a Mom.
Ben: Stuff. Being a Mom. I dunno.
Andrew: Games and jumping.

12. What is your mom not very good at?

Emily: Uhhh. Uhhhhhh. I don’t know. What aren’t you good at? I have absolutely no clue.
Ben: Letting me do what I want. However, sometimes the stuff I want to do is not exactly exemplary or appropriate.
Andrew: I an o

13. What does your mom do for her job?
Emily: Everything.
Ben: She’s a SAHM
Andrew: Work on dinner

14. What is your mom’s favorite food?

Emily: Do you want me to list them in alphabetical order? (No) Uhm. Curry, Taco Express, Chinese food, Uhh, soy sauce chicken, chocolate, sushi, ethnic food.
Ben: Anything healthy.
Andrew: Lunch and dinner

15. What makes you proud of your mom?
Emily: You raised me and you’re still alive and slightly sane.
Ben: She’s cool and smells nice after taking showers.
Andrew: I an o

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?

Emily: Wanda from Baby Blues.
Ben: Hold on, I gotta think. The Mom in Foxtrot.
Andrew: I an o

17. What do you and your mom do together?

Emily: We talk a lot.
Ben: We used to homeschool. Now we talk n stuff.
Andrew: Play games and jump on the trampoline.

18. How are you and your mom the same?

Emily: We both think we’re right all the time.
Ben: We think a lot alike.
Andrew: I an o

19. How are you and your mom different?

Emily: We look at stuff and come to completely different conclusions.
Ben: I’m a lot more carefree about stuff.
Andrew: I an o

20. How do you know your mom loves you?
Emily: She hasn’t killed me yet.
Ben: She tells me so.
Andrew: She gives me hugs and kisses.

21. What does your mom like most about your dad?

Emily: His butt.
Ben: Apparently, he’s very hot.
Andrew: I an o

22. Where is your mom’s favorite place to go?
Emily: The parking lot. No, I’m kidding. Sake. (A sushi restaurant.)
Ben: Bed
Andrew: Go to place where they have pizza.

I love Peter

2 Peter 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

You tell it like it is, my man!!! =)

Sunday Scripture

I thought for Sunday Scripture I'd post the talk I gave in church today. The topic was "Apostasy and the principles of the true church."

As you can see, I write out my talk in full - silly jokes included - because otherwise my brain would draw a complete blank. =D I read the talk to Bert before church (he's sick with the flu so couldn't come). He had three comments: 1. The beginning is really depressing. 2. It's really long and you might run out of time 3. It's great! =D

So I marked in bold the sections that I really wanted to say and left unbolded the sections that it would be ok if I missed out. It turns out I only read the parts in bold and finished my talk exactly on time. Awesome. =)

The topic I’ve been asked to speak on today is “Apostasy and the Principles of the True Church.” So what exactly is Apostasy, and what are the Principles of the True Church?

According to the dictionary, Apostasy is “A total desertion of or departure from one’s religion, principles, party, cause, etc.”
Related words are “Defection”, “renunciation” and “tergiversation”, which is an awesome word.

Joseph Smith defines Apostasy in this manner: “That man who rises up to condemn others, finding fault with the church, saying that they are out of the way……is in the high road to apostasy.”

Herber C. Kimball reported Joseph Smith said that apostasy commenced with losing confidence in the leaders of this church.

Wilford Woodruff quoted Joseph Smith saying, “The moment you permit yourselves to lay aside any duty that God calls you to perform, to gratify your own desires, the moment you permit yourselves to become careless, you lay a foundation for apostasy.” Also “any…in this church and kingdom, who…neglected any duty God required at his hand in attending meetings, filling missions, or obeying counsel, he laid a foundation to lead him to apostasy….”


To reiterate: Apostasy is a total desertion of or departure from one’s religion, principles, party, cause, etc. It is finding fault with leaders. It is condemning others. It is losing confidence in the leaders of this church. It is laying aside your duty. It is not attending meetings. It is not filling missions. It is not obeying counsel. Scary stuff.

Peter defines those who apostatize as ungodly. According to Peter, the ungodly are those who
1. are lustful
2. despise self-discipline and God’s Laws
3. Do what they want – are Spiritual anarchists
4. Say nasty things about leaders of the church
5. Say nasty things about stuff they don’t understand
6. cannot cease from sin
7. deceive unstable souls
8. have a heart filled with covetousness
9. are “Wells without water”
10. promise liberty, but are the “Servants of Corruption”
11. “Shall utterly perish because of their own corruption”

There have been a couple of historical Apostasies. The first was in the early church. Peter said of those who apostatize, “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than after they had known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.”

Lovely imagery there. Peter didn’t think much of those who Apostatize.

Another apostasy was in this dispensation of the fullness of times. Joseph Smith was persecuted to death, spurred on by apostates. He said before one joins the church one is on neutral ground and can go either way; either to serve God or Satan. If you join the church and serve God, you have left neutral ground and can never get back to it. Therefore if you leave the church and the service of God, who then do you serve? And will that satanic master allow you to remain silent in regards to the church? No, at his instigation you will fight against it.

A third apostasy is the little apostasies we each commit each day. Do you skip your morning prayer? How about scripture study? Do you doze in sacrament meeting when a nervous Sister Brooks is waffling? Do you skip Family Home Evening? Do you think “Brother or Sister whatsit has NO idea what they’re doing.”? Do you have the occasional cup of coffee because it’s just a little one? Do you say “Oh, I’ll pay my tithing next month”? How about “I’m too tired to go to church today” or “I just really don’t want to take a meal to sister so-and-so”?

In short, apostasy is like black, sticky tar. Has anyone here been to Cumberland Caverns? Do you remember the one particular part of the cavern that is really muddy? And the mud is so sticky that it will suck the shoes off your feet? That’s what apostasy is like. Dark, icky, gross,

However, it easy possible to get clean. Let us leave this dark icky topic of Apostasy behind. If you turn your back on darkness, what are you facing? Light. So let us take a deep breath of relief and turn instead to the true happiness and peace that comes from living the True Principles of the Gospel.

What are the True Principles of the Gospel?

The fourth Article of Faith states, “We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Alma said – and all seminary students, recite along with me – “Now as I said concerning faith, faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.” (Alma 32:21)

Paul said, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)

To quote mormon.org, “Faith in God is more than a theoretical belief in Him; it is a principle of action and power. To have faith in God is to be willing to act on your belief in Him.”

So Faith is action.
If apostasy is a total desertion of or departure from one’s religion and principles, Faith is a tight holding to the iron rod, following with exactness the commandments of God.
If Apostasy is rising up to condemn others, Faith is uplifting others and helping them.
If Apostasy is finding fault with the church and leaders, faith is following their counsel, praying for them, and uplifting them.
If apostasy is laying aside your duty in the church and neglecting meetings, then Faith is going the second mile, being awake and engaged in meetings. =)
If Apostasy is covetousness, Faith is a love of others rather than things.
If apostasy is despising self-discipline, Faith is exercising self control
If Apostasy is unable to cease from sin, Faith leads to sincere repentance

Faith leads to action: listening to our leaders, reading the scriptures, following counsel, sincere prayer and repentance, love of our families and our fellow men.

Faith leads to one of the greatest gifts in the world. Because of the Atonement we have the privilege of repenting. How grateful I am for this principle! Sin is heavy and dark; repentance allows us to ask for forgiveness, and lay our sins and shortcomings at the feet of our Saviour, who willingly took upon himself those burdens. It’s like going on a long backpacking trip with a 75lb backpack cutting into your shoulders and making your back ache….and then there’s the Saviour saying “Hey, I’ll carry that!” and he does, and you can straighten up and admire the beautiful scenery and help others with their burdens.

When we were baptized, we received a remission of our sins. We covenanted to accept Christ as our Saviour and to follow Him and keep his Commandments. We were washed clean. The Sacrament is a powerful reminder of those covenants. Each week we have the privilege of renewing those covenants and signaling to our Father in Heaven that we have Faith in Him, that we repent, and that the following week we will do our best to follow Him and His commandments.

The Gift of the Holy Ghost is one of the most precious gifts from our Father in Heaven. John called the Holy Ghost the “Spirit of Truth” and said “He will guide you into all truth..and he will shew you things to come.” (John 16:13)

Moroni said in Moroni 10:5 – Seminary student recite along with me – “And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.”

The Holy Ghost lets us know what is right, through him we can know what is true. If we choose the right, then our faith grows – and so the cycle continues.

So, how can we avoid apostasy? We can avoid it by following the true principles of the Gospel. We can have Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Repent of our sins, Be baptized and take the sacrament, Recive the gift of the Holy Ghost and follow its promptings. This will lead us to greater Faith.

To avoid apostasy, follow the Lord’s teachings in the scriptures and the teachings of His appointed leaders. Help others along the way. Do our duty.

Joseph Smith said, “I will give you a key that will never rust, - if you will stay with the majority of the Twelve Apostles, and the records of the Church, you will never be led astray.”

Brothers and sisters, we stand always at the intersection of choices. You do not want to chose the path that leads to the mire. We have all had our personal dealings with that place. It is sticky and black and dark and depressing. Turn in your mind’s eye and look to the other path; clean, light, pure, love, joy, redemption. The world wants you to think they are so happy in the mire and how cruel you are to walk away from it. This is a lie. Do not believe them. Pull yourselves out of that sticky darkness even if you leave your shoes behind. Leave it behind, take “The road less traveled”, take that Pearl of Great Price, that road that leads to truth and light and love and peace and joy.

As Peter said, “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be Glory both now and forever.” (2 Peter 3: 17-18)

Deodorant update

Update on the deodorant.

Yesterday and today were really hot for this time of year; 70f or 75f. Today we have the windows open to create a breeze because it got SO hot in the house.

Both days Bert was sick so I was chasing Andrew as well.

Yesterday I was rushing around in the usual Saturday frenzy. I also attended a wedding.

Today I was up and about rushing to get ready. I had a talk in church today, and a memorial service this evening, as well as needing to feed 4 missionaries and I was also conducting in Relief Society - so it was a looong, busy day. Keeping in mind that no-one was expecting the warm weather, the church wasn't exactly breezy.

So how did my deodorant stand up in this hot, busy, stressful environment?

It did great! My armpits were damp during the worst of the heat and stress, but my goodness I still smell as fresh as a daisy. =) Who'd'a thunk?

Saturday, March 07, 2009

A republic Ma'am, if you can keep it.



So, being, as my husband calls me, "a hippie" or "crunchy mama" =), I have a hankering for homemade non-chemical things.

For example, I think sugar substitute is EVIL and is one of the causes of obesity in our generation. I think Rumsfeld will have to answer to a higher power for pushing nutrasweet onto an unsuspecting public.

I have also been having a problem with buying meat from the grocery store these days. I look at the chicken thighs that I can afford and I think, "I KNOW how you were treated. I know what your life was like. I know you suffered. How can I support that abuse by buying you?" and so, today, I didn't. We'll have corn chowder instead of the soy sauce chicken I planned because I can't afford the chicken that has been treated humanely.

Have you SEEN the videos??? They will make you wail in pain that you supported that abuse because you bought the meat.

So, anyway, not that deodorant has ANYTHING to do with meat. =D =D But Mother Hen talked about making homemade deodorant from a recipe she found on Little House in the Suburbs.

I was intrigued. I use secret deodorant - it's the only one that works for me - and just lately they've got this new recipe or something that: a) stinks to high heaven and b) irritates my skin something chronic. Also, I developed a tender lump under my armpit. That wasn't much fun. Lasted a couple of weeks, and was enough to scare me a bit.

PLUS!!!! I'm a) into experimenting and b)frugal

and was just plain interested in the whole thing.

So today, I whipped up a batch of homemade deodorant.

Recipe 1
According to Mother Hen, you can use straight coconut oil. Who'd'a thunk?

Recipe 2
1/4 cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder
1/4 cup baking soda
couple of tablespoons coconut oil (I just schlepped a spoonful out of the jar)
Mix it up.

Recipe 3
1/4 cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder
1/4 cup baking soda
couple of tablespoons coconut oil
10 drops tea tree oil. Or lavender oil. Or your favourite scent. I used tea tree because a) it's antibacterial and b) it's what I had. =D

I used recipe 3. Mushed it all up. Took a shower. Put a small dab on the end of my finger and rubbed it on my armpits.

Several hours later I am:
1. dry
2. very non-stinky
3. feeling amazingly soft under my armpits.

This is astonishing to me, who used to have to use MAJORLY strong deodorant. I'm interested to see if I'm still non-stinky tonight and...here's the real test...if I'm non-stinky in the morning.

Easy to make
Good for your skin
Good for your body
Good for the environment
Works amazingly well
What's not to love?

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Just Love them LoLs

Star Trek Edition....

Obama's Broken Promises

Obama’s Top Five Broken Promises

By Phil Kerpen

Director of Policy, Americans for Prosperity

Promise #5: Sunlight Before Signing.

What he said:
“Too often bills are rushed through Congress and to the president before
the public has the opportunity to review them. As president, Obama will not
sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an
opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five
days.” (BarackObama.com campaign Web site)

What he did:
Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter bill, the SCHIP/cigarette tax hike, and the
stimulus bill all with far less than a five-day waiting period that he
promised–and continues to promise–on his campaign Web site.

Promise #4: Lobbyist Revolving Door

What he said:
“No political appointees in an Obama-Biden administration will be permitted
to work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to
their prior employer for two years. And no political appointee will be able
to lobby the executive branch after leaving government service during the
remainder of the administration.” (BarackObama.com campaign Web site)

What he did:
Obama appointed Goldman Sachs lobbyists Mark Patterson chief of staff at
the Treasury Department, where he directly oversees his former employer, a
recipient of $10 billion of taxpayer funds from the TARP. Obama also
appointed Raytheon lobbyist William Lynn to be an undersecretary of

Promise #3: No Tax Hikes on the Poor

What he said first:

“I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than
$250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not
your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.” (
September 12, 2008, Dover, N.H.)

What he did first:,
By signing H.R. 2 into law, Obama happily signed onto the idea that smokers
should pay for a $35 billion expansion of the State Children’s Health
Insurance Plan (SCHIP). Cigarette taxes are going up 61 cents a pack
starting April 1. Obama signed this bill knowing that the majority of
smokers in the United States are working poor, and one in four lives below
the federal poverty line.

What he said next:
“If your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your
taxes increased a single dime. I repeat: not one single dime.” (February
24th, 2009, Address to a Joint Session of Congress)

What he did next:
Ignored the already-hiked cigarette tax at the time of the statement and
then this restated promise was broken just two days later, when the Obama’s
budget proposal was released. His new budget raises 45 percent of its
revenue from energy taxes that will be paid by everyone who fills a gas
tank, pays an electric bill, or buys anything that was grown, shipped, or

Promise #2: Pork Barrel Earmark Reform

What he said:

“The system is broken. We can no longer accept a process that doles out
earmarks based on a member of Congress’ seniority, rather than the merit of
the project. We can no longer accept an earmarks process that has become so
complicated to navigate that a municipality or non-profit group has to hire
high-priced D.C. lobbyists to do it. And we can no longer accept an
earmarks process in which many of the projects being funded fail to address
the real needs of our country.”
(Statement on Earmarks, March 10, 2008)

What he is expected to do:
The White House has signaled that it intends to sign the $410 billion
Omnibus Appropriations bill, which according to Taxpayers for Common Sense,
contains 8,570 earmarks totaling $7.7 billion, including dozens of wasteful
pork-barrel projects. These earmarks were awarded based on seniority, not
on merit, and were mostly the result of high-priced lobbying, precisely the
process that Obama promised to end. When the omnibus reaches his desk later
this week or next week, we’ll find out if this is one more broken promise.

Promise #1: Big Government
OK, so this one is more of a statement than a promise, but it’s the biggest
whopper of all.

What he said:
“Not because I believe in bigger government — I don’t.” (February 24, 2009,
Joint Address to Congress)

What he did:

Obama proposed a budget that is breathtaking in scope, a blueprint for the
biggest permanent expansion of government in history right on the heels of
a sweeping trillion dollar stimulus plan. The budget lays the foundation
for a government takeover of the health care and energy sectors and
dramatically increasing spending across the board, other than defense
weapons programs. Spending as a percentage of the economy under this budget
will reach the historic level of 27.7 percent this year. The deficit as a
percent of the economy, at 12.3 percent, is set to be the biggest in the
entire history of the country outside of the four peak years of World War
II. Anyone who offers such a budget can only fairly be described as a
believer in bigger government.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


For some strange reason while writing in my journal I decided to write all the things we would need to grow/raise in order to be self-sufficient in our food. Why? I do not know why, the thought just occurred to me so I ran with it.

I looked back over a couple of weeks worth of menus and this is what I came up with from those two weeks only:

Well water
plenty of firewood or whatever
A way to finely grind stuff
noodle extruder

more tomatoes than I can even imagine
banana peppers
more con than I can even imagine for fresh corn, whole corn, creamed corn, cornmeal etc etc.
sweet potatoes

strawberry bushes
grape vines
blueberry bushes
blackberry bushes
orange trees
bananas (this one would be an impossibility)
apple trees

wheat (how many acres do you think we'd need?)
peas (dried)
white beans
pinto beans
sesame seeds (for tahini etc)
butter beans

Chamomile flowers
black pepper
how do you make curry powder anyway? I'd need the herbs for that, whatever they are.

several cows (for milk, butter, cheese, yoghurt, meat etc)
lots of chickens (eggs and meat)
pigs (ham, bacon etc)

Things in which I have no idea how we could be self-sufficient:
vinegar (how on earth do you make vinegar anyway?)
Tuna fish
sugar cane
baking powder
yoghurt starter

How do you make soy sauce?
How do you make mustard?
What is baking powder made of?
What is shortening? How is it made?

I'm sure there's tons I'm forgetting.

My thoughts: This is an overwhelming impossibility. Anyone know anyone who's done it?

Mother Hen Strikes Again

...and hits a home run.

How is it POSSIBLE that I missed this website created by Mother Hen?

Some of the stuff has me drooling, but since I just started on the No S Diet I have to wait to eat them until Saturday.

There is one particular recipe I can't wait to try - the Apple Tortilla Pie. I'm allergic to apples and can't eat them unless they're cooked - and I bought half a peck of apples on Saturday from the Farmer's Market - so I can't WAIT to make that recipe and gobble up the apples. Mmmmmmm. =) =)

Anyone know of a good apple recipe that doesn't include added sugar?

Depression Cooking with Clara

A lovely 93-year old lady recreates food from the Depression. (She was 91 when she made this particular video)

It's absolutely fascinating. =) I'm so grateful for her great-grandson for making these videos.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Happy Birthday Andrew!

It's Andrew's birthday today! =) He's four. What the heck? It's ridiculous how fast time flies.

Happily, we resisted getting him the "Leapster" - a DS for little children - and instead opted for thinking/active gifts. He recieved:

My Little Book about God

Wow Wow Wubbzy puzzle

Tool set



We pooled money from everybody and then added a little more than we usually give for birthdays to pay for the trampoline. This is because I know the older children will be on that thing perhaps more than Andrew until he's older. =D They are Sooooooooo excited about it. Ben was saying, "Will it be set up by the time I get home?" Emily's reaction when she heard what we were getting was, "OOOOOOOOH!" and then "Oh MAN, now I don't want to go to college." =D Thus we felt quite justified in spending a little extra. Plus we got a good deal on it from stuffmart. I'm so sad we bought it from stuffmart. Every other place was uber expensive though.

He also received a Cars cellphone (pretend, of course), a white shirt (I can't even tell you how much we appreciated that one; Andrew really needed a shirt), a jumper and some Mr. Men underpants from my parents. =)

Bert's studying how to put up the trampoline right now. Andrew's playing with his toolset, the older children have just left for school, and I'm about to take a nap because of the residual Nyquil in my system. =Þ

Later this morning we're going to Chuck-E-Cheese because Andrew has been asking to go on his birthday for WEEKS. Then we'll come home, eat spaghetti and have cake. I've also wrapped some gifts for pass-the-parcel and bang the pot etc. Should be tons of fun. =) =)

Pictures to come later.