Christmas 2011

Christmas Day in Utah with family and friends!

Ryan's Play: "A Christmas Carol"

Our homeschool group has been working the past few months on putting together a play.  Ryan played Bob Cratchitt in Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol, December 2nd.  It was a lot of hard work and all of the moms and children did an amazing job.  I'm so proud of Ryan.  I'll post the videos below.

Act I Opening: Greeting by Ebenezer Scrooge

Act II Meeting Ghost of Marley

Act III Ghost of Christmas Past

Act IV Ebenezer as a Working Man

Act V Ghost of Christmas Present

Act VI Ghost of Christmas Future

Act VII Christmas Day!

Halloween 2011

Ryan wanted a BOX for his costume this year.
Ryan knew exactly what it should look like.  After buying a $3 box he cut out a hole to see.
Then he cut out one hole for his arm.
We had fun Trick or Treating with his cousins.  They went to every house in their subdivision.
All this candy and Ryan is eating a bowl of peas and carrots the day after Halloween.

Faithful, Fit and Fabulous: Get Back to Basics and Transform your Life in Just 8 Weeks!

I just bought this book a week or so ago.  It's an easy read with clever examples that have given me a lot to think about in evaluating what is most important and what I want in my life. I'm excited to do one weekly goal a week  and get back to basics in the eight different areas: 1. Establish Holy Habits 2. Create a Life Plan 3. Discover Joy in Womanhood 4. Feel Fit and Fabulous 5. Find Balance in Motherhood 6. Get Organized! 7. Create Healthy Connections 8. Establish Financial Peace & Prosperity.

Ryan's Scout Hike

Ryan and his dad went on a hike with the 11 year old Scouts

The "Hulk"
Dad is happy it's sunny and there is no rain.

The waterfall they were hiking to.

They had a great day.

Classic Moms Paper #1: Who I want to Become?

I believe there is "Ultimate Truth" in this world and that truth comes from God to those who sincerely seek it in faith. I have been praying to receive knowledge and wisdom in order to answer the question, "Who I want to become?" I have had many thoughts come to me about "Being" instead of "Doing." In the scriptures God describes himself as the great "I AM." "I am," is a powerful statement. It is a statement of creation and purpose.

I have been led and guided to study the words of Julie B. Beck. She has often repeated two things that I feel are true and important for me personally in knowing who I want to become. The first is that "The Lord wants His daughters to increase faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and seek out and help those in need."

The next statement is: "The ability to qualify for, receive, and act upon personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life."

Julie B. Beck
As I have thought about these two statements I also attended a church meeting where a leader gave a talk about a man named Nephi who was commanded to build a ship to cross the ocean. The scripture is in 1 Nephi 18:2-3: Now I, Nephi, did not work the timbers after the manner which was learned by men, neither did I build the ship after the manner of men; but I did build it after the manner which the Lord had shown unto me; wherefore, it was not after the manner of men. And I, Nephi, did go into the mount oft, and I did pray oft unto the Lord; wherefore the Lord showed unto me great things.

This leader explained, "Nephi didn't build after the manner of men. He built after the manner of the Lord. What ship are you building? Is it after the manner of men or after the manner of the Lord? Your challenge in this life is to do what the Lord would have you do and build the ship for you, your family, and your children with the Lord. You'll still be on the ocean, you'll still go through storms, BUT you get to choose your ship. Some will say, 'I don't like the storm!' We can't change that, BUT we can choose our ship."

I have been striving daily to be able to qualify for, receive and act on personal revelation from God in order to increase my faith and personal righteousness, strengthen my family, and help those in need. I have good intentions and many days I get up early, pray, read my scriptures, write in my journal, and receive guidance for my day. But there are other times when something interrupts, or I have a late night, so my morning starts later and I don't do what I should in order to have the spiritual guidance I need. I know my days go better when they start with putting God first. Those are the days that I feel guided to call someone or they call me, to do something unusual that I hadn't considered before, or change my plans and follow a different path. Those are the days I have more patience with my family. Those are the days when I feel peace even in the midst of chaos. I know that with the guidance of my Heavenly Father I am becoming who He wants me to become, serving those around me, and being prepared for the future.

To be worthy to receive, understand and act on truth is who I want to become. I know that as I seek to know and do God's will I am blessed and guided in my daily life, and I allow God to use me as an instrument in his hands for good in the lives of those around me. Who do I want to become? The following two quotes sum up my answer to that question:

"Our wills constitute all we really have to give God anyway. The usual gifts and their derivatives we give to Him could be stamped justifiably "Return to Sender," with a capital S." Neal A Maxwell.

"God, I offer myself to Thee--to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!" Big Book p. 63

Other Classic Moms posts here.

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See my before/after here.

What Type are the Republican Presidential Nominees?

Using Energy Profiling you can look at someone and assess their body language and facial features to understand their nature, personality, and behavior.  You can learn the Energy Profiling System in the book It's Just My Nature.  (Read my book review here.)
Energy Profiling is a simple system that categorizes people into one of four groups: Type 1, Type 2, Type 3, and Type 4. 

Here is a quick overview of each Type:
Type 1: The bright, animated person who has a gift for new ideas and possibilities. The Type 1 expression is naturally upward, light, and upbeat. 
Type 2: The soft and calming person who has a gift for gathering details and making plans. The natural movement of Type 2 is fluid and flowing.
Type 3: The swift and dynamic person who has a gift for moving into action quickly to create practical results. The natural movement of Type 3 is active and reactive.
Type 4: The structured and exact person who has a gift for looking at the world through a critical eye and perfecting it. The natural movement of a Type 4 person is constant and precise.

This is a great video that identifies the Energy Types of 7 the Republican candidates:
  • Ron Paul
  • Michele Bachmann
  • Herman Cain
  • Mitt Romney
  • Jon Huntsman
  • Newt Gingrich
  • Rick Santorum

Discover Your Energy Profile!

Classic Mom's Book Discussion

We had our first book discussion last night about Carry On Mr. Bowditch. a fictionalized account of the real life of Nathaniel Bowditch who lived in Salem, Massachusetts during the Revolutionary War. 

Nathaniel Bowditch had to deal with poverty, death, lack of freedom and many disappointments in his life but he never gave up.  When he was young he showed an aptitude for math and dreamed of attending Harvard. His father didn't think Nat would be good sailor because of his small stature, and when his mother and grandmother died, his father bound Nat into a nine year indenture-ship to work for a ship chandler store (selling ship commodities.)

Nat felt unhappy about his situation but on his first day there one of the other workers told him, "Only a weakling gives up when he's becalmed! A strong man sails by ash breeze!" (Definition: When you get ahead by your own "get up and get!" Using manpower to move the ship when there is no wind.  Back then oars were made of ashThat simple statement changed Nat's perspective. Rather than letting his new life depress him, Nat began the process of educating himself, learning mathematics, astronomy, navigation and three languages.  He would create notebooks for each subject he learned that said just enough to explain things to himself.

Nat was twenty-one years old at the end of his indenture when he left the chandlery and became a surveyor around Salem. Success with this job gave him the opportunity to sail on a ship. This began several trips across the ocean and around the worldAs first mate he taught the other sailors how to navigate using mathematics.  He felt all men could learn, but teaching wasn't so easy.  Nat had always had a 'quick' brain and would get impatient when someone couldn't understand something he was explaining.  But he always remembered what Elizabeth Boardman (his first wife later on) had said to him, "Your brain--it's too fast.  So you stumble on other people's dumbness like a chair in the dark.  And you want to kick something."  So Nat created a new notebook--writing down the explanations that made sense to the men.  That way he wouldn't forget if he ever had to explain it again. Nat's mentoring and teaching changed the men who sailed with him.  Sailors that had previously been trouble-makers now took pride in themselves and their accomplishments.  Many went on to become ship's navigators themselves.  Teaching helped prepare Nat to write a book that would help all seaman.

Back then every ship depended on Moore's Navigator to know where they were in and about the ocean.  
Nathaniel Bowditch found errors in the book and decided to check each computation so that corrections could be published. Because of the mistakes found in Moore's book many ships and sailors were killed at sea. After a while Nat was thoroughly disgusted with Moore's navigation.  He said, "Do you know how many errors I've found so far? Eight Thousand!  I'm going to write a book of my own." 

Nat wrote, The American Practical Navigator, and included three things the other books didn't have. 1. Correct tables. 2. Definitions of every sea term and maneuver. 3. Tables so any seaman could solve problems in navigation.  Using his book everyone would be able to
 navigate confidently if they could follow the instructions, read the charts, and do simple addition and subtraction. When Nat was asked why he was slaving over and checking every table published he replied, "Because they ought to be right, that's why! Math is nothing if it's not accurate!  Men's lives depend on these figures!"  

Nathanial Bowditch first published The American Practical Navigator in 1802. During the last two centuries over 75 editions, almost 1,000,000 copies, of Bowditch have been published by the US Government. Bowditch contains numerous tables which have been valued for years by practicing navigators. Bowditch is carried on the bridge of every U.S. Navy ship.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:
  • The press is dangerous in a despotic government, but in a free country it is very useful, so long as it is FREE; for it is very important that people should be told everything that concerns them.  If we argue against any branch of liberty, just because sometimes people abuse that liberty, then we argue against liberty itself.  In a free country, the press must be free.
  • The best way to stay at peace is to be prepared for war.
  •  "You know the anchor won't hold if the cable's too short. A man always needs another shot in the locker." About being a proper mariner's wife
  • "To an active external commerce the protection of a naval force is indispensable...  it is in our own experience that the most sincere neutrality is not a sufficient guard against the depredations of nations at war. To secure respect to a neutral flag requires a naval force organized and ready to vindicate it from insult or aggression. This may even prevent the necessity of going to war." George Washington, Eighth Annual Address

Nathaniel Bowditch is a wonderful example of the Phases of Learning contained in the Thomas Jefferson Education model.  

  1. Core Phase (ages birth – 8 yrs.)  This consists of the lessons of good/bad, right/wrong, true/false, and is accomplished through work/play.
  2. Love of Learning Phase (8 yrs. – 12 yrs.) Children in this phase study whatever they are interested in—and most of the time, it does NOT LOOK like “study!”
  3. Scholar Phase (12 yrs. – 16 yrs.)  A time to study “everything under the sun,” to read, study science and math, practice art and study the great artists, and cover every topic and subject in a spirit of passion and excitement for learning.
  4. Depth Phase (College or equivalent) Is characterized by a profound hunger to prepare for on-coming responsibilities and future contributions in society. The student digs deeper into the great wealth of learning available. A mentor is required to personalize the course of study for the individual mission of the student, filling in gaps and exposing weaknesses that the student must address.
  5. Mission Phase (Change the World) Mission Phase is when an individual transitions to adulthood, and begins the all-important task of building two towers: a family and an organization.  On the Leadership Education path this begins the new era in which a person passes on the wisdom and experience he or she has gained and seeks to make the world a better place.
What is Classic Moms?  Check it out here.

Classic Moms class with Abigail Adams Academy

I'm so excited to start my own educational journey this school year with Abigail Adams Academy. I have registered for the "Classic Moms" class. Every month we will have a lecture and a book colloquium to discuss the assigned book for the month. I will be posting new insights and ideas from my classes as I go along. The theme for this year is "Transformation." I will be asking myself, "Who do I want to become?" In the books we read we will be asking, "How do the characters in the books we read grow and transform?"

Learn more about Thomas Jefferson Education.

End of Summer Vacation--School starts too early in Georgia

It seems strange to have such a short summer.  School started August 8 here in Georgia.  It's still hot as blazes, but for some odd reason Georgia feels the need to get all the kiddos back in school.  

Ryan and I homeschool so we don't have to worry about the school bus.  Ryan is learning Spanish this year through Rosetta Stone.  His Math program is called, Teaching Textbooks.  Both Ryan and I LOVE this program because the math tutor is built right into the interactive computer CD-ROM.
For History and Language Arts we are learning American History using a curriculum from Sonlight. Sonlight uses literature instead of textbooks to bring History to life.  I love it because I am learning new things right along with Ryan as we read to each other.

My Favorite Visiting Teaching Handouts for Relief Society

This is my favorite website for visiting teaching handouts! Every month she has creative and fun ideas.

The visiting teaching message for August is entitled, ' A Society of Holy Women '. Silvia H. Allred said,  "The work of Relief Society is holy, and doing holy work creates holiness in us."  Here's the link to the Inkablinka website: See Me Visit Teach.
The April 2012 Visiting Teaching Message is how to love, watch over and strengthen our sisters as visiting teachers. She made some jelly bean bracelets to go along with the nine suggestions in the message.

Dyeing clothes with the Dressing Your Truth Program

The Dressing Your Truth program has all the instructions to help Type 2's create the perfect tone and Type 3's the perfect shade for their clothes using dye.  I tried dying some old things about a year ago, but I didn't follow the directions like I should have and the clothes turned out spotty (ALWAYS dissolve the dye in 2 cups of water beforehand).  The other day I found a great flowing Type 2 skirt, but it was white.  So I decided to try my hand at making it the right color by dyeing it along with some other white things I had been saving in my closet.

I used a top-loading washing machine and this time I REALLY followed the directions on the Mauve Rit Dye package.  I kept the wash cycle going for about 30 min (I had to keep restarting the agitation cycle before it reached the drain cycle).  When the clothes were done they were the color of the shirt above.  That wasn't the exact color I wanted so I used a package of Pearl Gray Rit Dye and dyed the skirts and a shirt again.
 This is a sweater that I left in the mauve dye for less time.
This is the final color of the skirts and shirt.  I like the more grayed effect of the mauve color.
I really love the drape of this skirt and it's hemline.  
I bought the shirt at Charlotte Russe and the skirt at Marshalls.
It's been so much fun to discover my Beauty Profile (Type 2) and Dress My Truth!

See my Before & After Dressing Your Truth photos

Fun video about Prince Harry and Pippa

Carol and Sarah explain have fun explaining which of the 4 Types in the Energy Profiling system fit Pippa and Harry. Take a look at their pictures in the video and see if you can tell their Type from their facial features and other telling reasons they share with you.

Facial profiling is an important and fun! part of the Energy Profiling system. When you know which features show up in the faces of the 4 Energy Types, you can better understand other people more quickly, and honor them in living true to their nature.  I'm a Type 2.  What is your Energy Profile?

Here's another post about Energy Types.

Wearing Nothing New--Type 1 thrift store fun

This lady is pure Type 1 with her outfits and fun ideas!  
All Four Energy types can find wonderful clothes and accessories at thrift stores.  
I'm Type 2.  What Type are you? Find out more about the Four Energy Types here.

Tour of Biltmore--America's Largest Home!

We went on a tour of the Biltmore in Asheville, NC, on June 21st.  It was AMAZING! I would have loved to show you the inside, but no photos were allowed.
The Biltmore is the largest privately owned home in the United States 
at 175,000 square feet (16,300 square meters).  It was built by George Vanderbilt.
Ryan and Marc on one side of the house by a Lion waterfall

A New World Ch√Ęteau

Architect Richard Morris Hunt modeled the house to look like a 16th-century French chateaux. It features 4 acres of floor space, 250 rooms, 34 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces. The basement has a swimming pool, gymnasium and changing rooms, bowling alley, servants' quarters, kitchens, and more.
Inside the Biltmore.
After the house tour we went on a tour of the gardens.  They had a huge vine covered awning.
Going towards the Conservatory
The Conservatory Building with all the tropical plants.
Walking back to the house, Ryan had to take a break  It was really hot and humid.
Can you tell that Ryan was tired of walking and tired of photos.

In front of the house
Tour of the Winery--it used to be the estate Creamery.

Vanderbilt's 1913 car
Has anyone else toured the Biltmore?  What did you think?
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