Friday, October 31, 2008

Homeschool Memoirs

This is our homeschool picture for homeschool memoirs. The kids like to write to Nana and Papa, then I scan their letter and email it instead of sending it snail mail and paying for a stamp.

Click on the picture to see it more clearly.

An old cookbook

An old cookbook from the war effort...good stuff

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Explorer Song

This was from Juliana on LDFR

The Explorer Song
by Andrea Stewart
Bethany Elementary
(to the tune of "Battle Hymn of the Republic")

Prince Henry trained the Portuguese and sent them out in ships.
Dias went to Africa but half way round he quit.
Da Gama ventured all the way and India he found.
Magellan's crew did too by going all the way around.

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
That is what explorers do, yeah.
They want to cross the continent and trade with the other side.
And this is what they tried.

Columbus traveled west and landed on San Salvador.
Told Isabella it was Asia then went three times more.
Cabot went to Newfoundland and said he found Cathay.
Amerigo said, "No, you aren't far enough away."


The Spanish sent conquistadors to win them fame and gold.
Disease and war killed Indians before the could grow old.
Cortes wiped out the Aztecs, de Leon found Florida's shore.
The south had haciendas but the missions did much more.


Balboa tried to find a place where ships could travel through.
Hiked across in Panama and found Pacific Blue.
Champlain looked for the Northwest Passage after Cartier
France said you must start a fur trade if you want to stay.

Vegetarian Chicken Fried Steak

I got this recipe from

and I wanted to try it. Sounds yummy possibly.

Chicken Fried Steak

(minus the hen)

2 2/3 cups old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup dried onions
1 1/2 - 2 cups water
2 eggs

2 tsp sage
2 tsp Lawry's chicken and poultry seasoning, or 2 tsp McCormick Montreal Steak seasoning, or 2 tsp of another steak or chicken seasoning mix
3 Tbsp oil for frying

2 cans cream of mushroom soup
3 cups reconstituted powdered milk

Heat oil in a large skillet with a lid. Mix first six ingredients. It should be wet and stick together well. If it does not, add enough water until it does. Form into six patties, and fry both sides until browned. Lower heat to simmer. Pour gravy on patties and flip them over to coat both sides. Cover and simmer on low for 10-15 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure that patties don’t stick or burn. Serve with mashed potatoes or noodles. Serves 6.

Come What May

Here's a great family movie. I understand that it's free until October 31st but the website doesn't say anything about it as far as I can see. I'd watch it as soon as you can just in case.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I'm here to rescue you!

Click for more detail on the picture...Govt man says, "I'm here to rescue you, Up up and away"

Learn the 10 Commandments

This is a great way to learn the 10 commandments. Very cheesy in parts but we really did learn them in 10 minutes.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Freedom to Fascism

Meet the Fed

cerrect your spulling rrors

I don't usually pick on people's poor spelling (although I do cringe when I read it) but this one was just too funny...I do not claim perfection in the grammar and spelling area but my goodness...

This was sent on a homeschooling list telling mothers where to look for curriculum guidance.

"Often, People ask where do I start? Here is list that can help you asses just were your kids are at and what you feel they are lacking.
It is just another one of my checklists."

I would suggest starting with the correct spelling of "assess" and "where" and the correct use of the preposition "at".

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

lesson learned

Magnets do not work on aluminum frames....

Thursday, October 23, 2008

ooh ooh ooh=-a magnet

Ok, in looking at how to attach I just saw one that uses a magnet sewn in the corners to attach to a metal frame.

and another

I just read on someone's blog that she uses small metal hooks (I think like cuphooks) and screws them into the frame of her windows, then the quilt simply gets loops sewn on. When it's time to put them up she just hangs the quilt on the loops. I think you could also roll and tuck that way.

Here's some more

Lower Your Heat Bills with a Heat Catcher
One of the easiest ways to augment heat is to use southerly facing windows as passive SOLAR HEAT CATCHERS. This uses a plan similar to the outdoor hot box collectors seen at such sites as listed near the end of the article --but is done indoors and in an existing window. No carpentry needed! My super inventor husband thought this one up.

While outdoor mounted heat boxes do work, a much easier heat collector can be constructed with aluminum foil, tape and flat black paint using your south facing windows. We adapted the concept to fit a cheap budget. Just tape the collector over the window! If you want to leave the bottom of your windows exposed for light, just make your collector on the top of the window or vice versa!

With this method we have cut our winter heating costs (we have all electric heat!!!) by over one half. It is very simple to do and very inexpensive for the benefits reaped. And it uses free solar power! We have heat catchers in all our east, south and south-west windows placed in back of existing drapes and blinds.

a roll of heavy duty aluminum foil
duct tape or packing tape, tacks, string or other means of securing foil to the window frame
card board strips cut as wide as window frame (optional)
flat black paint
South facing windows (east and west windows are less effective in their solar gain but OK)

Take the roll of foil and tear to fit the window leaving a space of two inches at the top and two inches at the bottom open. If your windows are wider than the foil tear several pieces and lap fold together. Paint the more dull side of the foil flat black paint, and let it dry. Fold over a card board strip for ease of handling. Tie wire or string to the top section if desired.

Once the foil is dry, you tape it to the interior window frame -- Black side facing outdoors. Leave a space of an inch at the top and bottom open for the air to circulate. Or you can tie it on to the drapery rod to secure.

Your basic collector is done! You will feel that end of the room heating as the sun shines on the black foil. It will warm this end of the room as long as the sun shines. Cover the window to prevent radiant heat loss at night through the glass with a window quilt or solar shutters to make the system even more effective.

How it Works:
The collector works by creating sort of a thermosiphon. The cold from the room passes into the bottom of the collector and is heated by exposure to the sunward facing black foil. Remember -- black color attracts heat. Then since hot air rises --- passes out the gap at the top into the room heating it. My husband jokes that the way it helps with heating bills is to heat that top of the room so your paid heat doesn't have to do it. In any case, a circle of moving air is created pulling air if front of the black painted foil and heating it. It rises to the top of the window frame and goes out the gap warming the room.

You can save time by simply cutting a black plastic garbage bag or put a black piece of cloth over the window leaving the gaps at the top or bottom for air flow. This will produce some solar gain and heat in emergency situations, but is not as efficient as metal like black painted aluminum foil. Cover the window to prevent radiant heat loss at night through the glass.

If you want to build an OUTDOOR HEAT BOX check out these sites below:
Self Sufficiency:

Which sells solar heat boxes, but has lots of great photos.

If you look at these sites, you should be able to build an outdoor solar hot box with minimal building skills.

To Add to your ability to Keep Heat IN Your Home please see the articles below:

Winter Heating Success

Cheap Heating

Make A Window Quilt to Save on Heating

Window Quilts

Here's my new project
Our house is soooooooooooo cold in the wintertime. It just doesn't get above 65 and that's with the furnace running all day. Our windows are terrible. I think these would be perfect. My plan is to get huge quilts at the D.I. for $5 and cut them to fit and sandwich them between cute fabric. It won't be perfect but it should help us be warmer. I wonder if you can sew mylar emergency blankets inside the window quilt.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The evolution of wedding dance

This is so great...the evolution of wedding dance.
The first 30 seconds is boring so ffwd that part.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

from Ezra Taft Benson

And another about our current state of affairs...

From the Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson we read:

"The pending economic crisis that now faces American is painfully obvious. If even a fraction of potential foreign claims against our gold supply were presented to the Treasury, we would have to renege on our promise. We would be forced to repudiate our own currency on the world market. Foreign investors, who would be left holding the bag with American dollars, would dump them at tremendous discounts in return for more stable currencies, or for gold itself. The American dollar both abroad and at home would suffer the loss of public confidence. If the government can renege on its international monetary promises, what is to prevent it from doing the same on its domestic promises? How really secure would be government guarantees behind Federal Housing Administration loans, Savings and Loan Insurance, government bonds, or even social security?

"Even though American citizens would still be forced by law to honor the same pieces of paper as though they were real money, instinctively they would rush and convert their paper currency into tangible material goods which could be used as barter. As in Germany and other nations that have previously traveled this road, the rush to get rid of dollars and acquire tangibles would rapidly accelerate the visible effects of inflation to where it might cost one hundred dollars or more for a single loaf of bread. Hoarded silver coins would begin to reappear as a separate monetary system which, since they have intrinsic value would remain firm, while printed paper money finally would become worth exactly it's proper value--the paper it is printed on! Everyone's savings would be wiped out totally. No one could escape.

"One can only imagine what such conditions would do to the stock market and to industry. Uncertainty over the future would cause the consumer to halt all spending except for the barest necessities. Market for such items as television sets, automobiles, furniture, new homes, and entertainment would dry up almost overnight. With no one buying, firms would have to close down and lay off their employees. Unemployment would further aggravate the buying freeze, and the nation would plunge into a depression that would make the 1930s look like prosperity. At least the dollar was sound in those days. In fact, since it was a firm currency, its value actually went up as related to the amount of goods, which declined through reduced production. Next time around, however, the problems of unemployment and low production will be compounded by a monetary system that will be utterly worthless. All the government controls and so-called guarantees in the world will not be able to prevent it, because every one of them is based on the assumption that the people will continue to honor printing press money. But once the government itself openly refuses to honor it--as it must if foreign demands for gold continue--it is likely that the American people will soon follow suit. This in a nutshell is the so-called 'gold problem.' (An Enemy Hath Done This, p. 218.)" (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson p 639-640.)

Ezra Taft Benson, speaking of the upcoming economic crisis quotes Hamilton, but then also gives us hope to move forward and rebuild a monetary system and healthy economy which shall be a model once again for all the world. Benson states:

". . .it is even possible that some of the government manipulators who have brought us into this economic crisis are hoping that, in panic, we, the American people, literally will plead with them to take our liberties in exchange for the false promise of 'security.' As Alexander Hamilton warned about two hundred years ago: 'Nothing is more common than for a free people, in times of heat and violence, to gratify momentary passions by letting into the government principles and precedents which afterward prove fatal to themselves' (Alexander Hamilton and the Founding of the Nation, p. 21.) Let us heed this warning. Let us prepare ourselves for the trying time ahead and resolve that, with the grace of God and through our own self-reliance, we shall rebuild a monetary system and a healthy economy which, once again, will become the model for all the world. (An Enemy Hath Done This, pp. 220-21.)" (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson p 640.)

Dwight Eisenhower's Secretary of Agriculture, Ezra Taft Benson met with USSR's Nikkita Khrushchev and related:

Ezra Taft Benson“I have talked face to face with the godless communist leaders. It may surprise you to learn that I was host to Mr. Khrushchev for a half day when he visited the United States, not that I’m proud of it. I opposed his coming then, and I still feel it was a mistake to welcome this atheistic murderer as a state visitor. But, according to President Eisenhower, Khrushchev had expressed a desire to learn something of American Agriculture — and after seeing Russian agriculture I can understand why. As we talked face to face, he indicated that my grandchildren would live under communism. After assuring him that I expected to do all in my power to assure that his and all other grandchildren will live under freedom he arrogantly declaired in substance:

“ ‘You Americans are so gullible. No, you won’t accept communism outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism. We won’t have to fight you. We’ll so weaken your economy until you’ll fall like overripe fruit into our hands.’

“And they’re ahead of schedule in their devilish scheme.” (Ezra Taft Benson “Our Immediate Responsibility.” Devotional Address at Brigham Young University. circa 1968.”) [access the audio file on this page.]

An interesting quote

I just saw this quote and thought it was interesting in the light of recent happenings with the economy, the NAIS (National animal identification system) act, threats on homeschooling, etc.

“Their press and other
propaganda media are
therefore constantly selling
the principles of centralized
or federal control of farms,
railroads, electric power,
schools, steel, maritime
shipping, and many other
aspects of the economy—
but always in the name of
public welfare.”
General Conference—October 1961
Ezra Taft Benson

Sunday, October 19, 2008

If you give a mom a muffin

This is from my friend from LDFR...

If You Give a (Mormon Homeschooling) Mom a Muffin…

She will want some orange juice to go with it.
She will pour some orange juice into a glass, and go to put the pitcher in the fridge.
When she turns around, the 7 year-old will be drinking the orange juice.
She will say “Hey!”, startling the 7 year old who will spill the remaining orange juice on the table, chairs and floor.
She will get two dishrags and teach the 7 year old how to properly clean up a spill.
While she is wiping up the floor, the phone will ring.
She will jump up to get the phone, knocking the back of her head on the table.
The 4 year old will beat her to the phone (of course!)
(The four year old does NOT take messages.) (of course.)
While she is trying to get the phone from the 4 year old, the baby will begin screaming and the 6 year old will run and hide.
She will pick up the baby as the 4 year old hangs up the phone. (of course.)
She will begin searching for the 6 year old…in the linen closet….
She will find the stack of bills she has been looking for all week. (Huh? In the linen closet??)
She will remember that the utility bill is due tomorrow and go looking for her checkbook.
She will find that the 4 year old has dumped the entire contents of the purse onto the floor and is applying lip gloss to her eyebrows.
She will go to the laundry room to fetch a diaper wipe, and will slip on the remaining orange juice.
She will crash onto her rear and start the baby screaming again.
The 6 year old will giggle from in hiding. (the pantry?)
She will stand up, console the baby and head toward the laundry room for that diaper wipe.
She will find the dryer door open (with her shin) and full of wet clothes.
She will call the 10 year old to finish her chore.
The 7 year old will show up asking for help with a math problem.
The math problem is about hamburgers.
She will remember that she is supposed to take dinner to the new mother down the street.
She will get a pound of hamburger out of the freezer and look for her cookbook “101 Things to do with a pound of Hamburger”.
She will step over the contents of her purse (where is the 4 year old now??), carefully side-step the orange juice, and start going through the recipe books.
The phone will ring. Again. (of course…)
The 4 year old will beat her to the phone (of course!)
The 4 year old does not take messages (remember?)
The baby will ”explode” in his diaper.
The 6 year old will giggle again (the pantry?)
She will side-step the orange juice, step over the contents of her purse, and head back to the laundry room to change the baby.
Digging through the laundry basket for clean baby clothes will remind her that she is still wearing pajamas.
She will strip to the skin and find clean clothes for Mom too…
The doorbell will ring … (of course!)
The 4 year old will beat her to the door (of course!)
It is the neighbor girl selling girl scout cookies.
She will send the 10-year old to sort through the contents of her purse for money to buy some Samoas.
The 10 year old, the 7 year old, and the 4 year old all surface, asking to have some.
She says “Yes” so she can get dressed in peace.
The baby starts crying.
She steps over the contents of her purse, side-steps the orange juice, walks around the cookie crumbs and collapses in the rocker to nurse.
The phone rings. AGAIN! (of course!)
The 4 year old beats her to the phone (of course!!)
The 10 year old snatches the phone from the 4 year old and reports that it is Daddy.
Daddy wants to know A) why the 4 year old has been answering the phone all morning and B) if she can scan and e-mail the important document he left on his desk.
She will carry the nursing baby upstairs to find the document.
The 4 year old has drawn a purple family on the important document.
She will look for the white out.
Looking for the white out will take her to her desk where there is a post-it screaming – “BOOK CLUB!! DON’T FORGET TREATS!!” (Why did she let the kids eat those Samoas, anyway??!!)
She will head downstairs and gather all the children together and begin a lesson in “real life” math (aka doubling recipes). The 6 year old has finally appeared and is crying because he got no Samoas.
She will go to the pantry for the sugar and flour.
She will find the 4 year old eating sugar straight out of a #10 can and spilling most of it on the floor.
She will lay the now-sleeping baby down and fetch the broom.
She will sweep up the sugar!!! (YEAH!)
She will get the purse contents off of the floor and head back to her desk to write a check to the utility company… (DOUBLE YEAH!!) (where were those bills again??)
She will white out the purple family and scan and e-mail the document. (THREE JOBS DONE!! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT??)
The baby will wake up. (Does 17 minutes even count as a nap??)
She will taste the cookie dough that the 10 year old has taken charge of. Since it is only slightly too salty, she will put the first batch in the oven.
She will look around at the flour, sugar, and chocolate chips all over the floor and decide it can stay there with the orange juice until after lunch.
She will decide to start some read-aloud.
The phone will ring (of course!)
The 4 year old will beat her to the phone (of course!)
(The 4 year old does not take messages, remember??)
She will take the phone off the hook.
The cell phone will ring. (It’s Dad’s ring)
Dad wants to know A) why the house phone is busy and B) if she ever sent that e-mail.
She will head back upstairs to try again.
The doorbell will ring. (of course)
It’s the neighbor. (She will remember she offered to watch the neighbor’s toddler for an hour)
The neighbor asks if something is burning and will look skeptical about leaving her toddler.
She will feed the first batch of cookies to the dog.
She will put in a second batch and gather all the kids around for a good book.
The baby will start screaming.
She will ask the 10-year old to turn pages while she nurses and reads.
The phone will ring. (HUH? – she thought it was off the hook)
The four year old will beat her to the phone. Again. Of course.
The 7 year old will wrestle the phone from the 4 year old.
Did she try sending that e-mail again?
(She will say a very mild swear word, but only in her head)
She will head upstairs to e-mail the document.
The neighbor’s toddler will scream. The 6 year old will run and hide.
She will feed the second batch of cookies to the dog. (She will set the timer for the third batch.)
She will head upstairs to email that stinking document.
She will hear the cookie timer and race downstairs. She will see that it is already 2 O’closk. She will feed the kids cookies, dried apples and yogurt for lunch. And she will pour them some orange juice to go with it. While she is at it, she will pour herself a glass of orange juice and go look for that muffin….maybe it is in the linen closet…..

Polar Star Studies

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A great talk

Elder Boyd K. Packer
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

There is a recurring theme in the revelations having to do with learning. And, from the beginning, Church leaders have counseled us to get all of the education we can as a preparation for and as an improvement of our careers. For example:

“Seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.” (D&C 88:118; italics added. See also D&C 90:15; D&C 109:7.)

Learning is to be accompanied by faith, and as the Book of Mormon teaches us, learning “is good if [we] hearken unto the counsels of God.” (2 Ne. 9:29.)

There is one thought that must come at the very beginning of a discussion on occupations and careers in order to establish it as preeminent, and it is this:

Do not ever belittle anyone, including yourself, nor count them, or you, a failure, if your livelihood has been modest. Do not ever look down on those who labor in occupations of lower income. There is great dignity and worth in any honest occupation. Do not use the word menial for any labor that improves the world or the people who live in it.

There is no shame in any honorable work, and the principle of faith, which the Lord connected with learning, is precious above the technologies of man.

There will be many who struggle through life with small ownership and low income who discover, because they have been decent, the meaning of the scripture, “He that is greatest among you,” let him be “the least and the servant of all.” (Matt. 23:11; D&C 50:26.)

While schooling and education generally go together, there are kinds of wisdom which are not usually taught in school classrooms.

To illustrate, I begin with the Old Testament record of Naaman who, as the commander of the armies of Syria, had “given deliverance” to his country. He became a leper and the king of Syria feared he would die.

An Israelite slave girl who served Naaman’s wife spoke of prophets in Israel who had the power to heal.

The king of Syria sent a message to the king of Israel saying, “I have … sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy.” The king of Israel suspected a plot and complained, “He seeketh a quarrel against me. … Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy?”

Elisha, the prophet, heard of the king’s distress. And “he sent to the king, saying, … let him come now to me.” Elisha would heal Naaman, and he told why: that “he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.”

When Naaman was near, Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in Jordan seven times, … and thou shalt be clean.” Naaman was angry. There were rivers aplenty in Syria, as good, he thought, as the Jordan. He had expected Elisha to perform some impressive ceremony like clapping his hands upon him. And he “turned … away in a rage.”

But one of his servants (it seems there is always a servant) courageously chastised the general and said, “If the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it?”

Humbled by his servant, Naaman “went … down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: … and he was clean.” (2 Kgs. 5:1–14; italics added.)

Human nature hasn’t changed over the years. Even today some of us expect to be bidden to do some “great things” in order to receive the blessings of the Lord. When we receive ordinary counsel on ordinary things, there is disappointment, and, like Naaman, we turn away.

Let me give you a modern-day example. President Kimball has been President of the Church for eight years. In virtually every conference sermon he has included at least a sentence telling us to clean up, paint up, and fix up our property. Many of us have paid little attention to the counsel.

Question: Why would a prophet tell us to do that? Has he no great prophecies to utter?

But, is that not a form of prophecy? For has he not said to us over and over again, “Take good care of your material possessions, for the day will come when they will be difficult, if not impossible, to replace.”

Already there is a fulfillment. Families who might have afforded a home when first he spoke now despair of getting one.

For some reason, we expect to hear, particularly in welfare sessions, some ominous great predictions of calamities to come. Instead, we hear quiet counsel on ordinary things which, if followed, will protect us in times of great calamity.

It was Alma the prophet who said, “By small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.” (Alma 37:6.)

Now, all of this was to prepare you for the fact that the counsel I will give may seem ordinary, even trivial to some of you. But it will be consistent with the doctrines and principles announced by the First Presidency when the welfare program was first introduced:

“Our primary purpose [is] to set up, in so far as it might be possible, a system under which the curse of idleness would be done away with, the evils of a dole abolished, and independence, industry, thrift and self-respect be once more established amongst our people. The aim of the Church is to help the people to help themselves. Work is to be re-enthroned as the ruling principle of the lives of our Church membership.” (In Conference Report, Oct. 1936, p. 3.)

That emphasis, on self-reliance, suggests something about education. We cannot expect the Church to assume responsibility for the schooling of all of us.

One of the questions most often asked of General Authorities as we travel usually begins in this way: “Why doesn’t the Church … ?” And then there follows a description of some worthy project that would, if it should succeed, bring credit to the Church and benefit many people.

For example, why doesn’t the Church establish schools to prepare members for financial security?

Some years ago I was near our front gate splitting rails for a fence. A young man came to make a delivery. He had recently returned from overseas combat duty. He had falsified his age and left school to join the Marines. When I asked about his future plans, he didn’t know. Jobs were scarce; he had no skills to offer.

I counseled him to go back to high school and get his diploma. He thought he couldn’t do that; he was too old now. “If you do it,” I told him, “you probably will not exactly fit in. And the students will call you the ‘old man’ or ‘grandpa.’ But you faced an enemy in combat; surely you’ve got the courage to face that.’

The lesson is this. I only spent ten minutes with him, sitting on a log by our front gate. I did not build a school nor ask the Church to build one. I did not pay his tuition or prepare his lessons. What he needed was some direction, some counsel, some encouragement, and some vision. In this case he took the counsel and returned to school. Now he has a family and an occupation.

I only gave him vision and encouragement. It does not take additional Church budget to do that. That is the responsible role of every priesthood leader in counseling members on careers. We must help people to help themselves.

Several years ago a certain country was emerging from a long period of political and economic distress, and there was a need for skilled workers of many kinds. Some of our local leaders, sensing the need, conceived the idea of establishing vocational schools in our chapels to train the brethren in their skills. They could then upgrade themselves in their employment. It was a very appealing idea.

They pointed out that the money expended would be justified on the basis that these brethren would return in tithes more than the cost of the program. They were greatly disappointed when the Brethren did not approve their idea.

There were several things they’d not considered. The most important was that vocational training was already available to those who really looked for it. Classes to train new employees, and to upgrade the experienced ones, were offered by business and industry, and by their government.

What our brethren needed most was counsel and encouragement to take advantage of opportunities that were already available.

We ourselves are responsible to seek out and take advantage of every opportunity to improve ourselves.

Now, there are some things that the Church must do, for we are commanded to do them. We must preach the gospel. We must build temples. We must perfect the Saints. These things others cannot do. The many other good things (which are not central to the mission of the Church) must take second place. For we do not have the resources to do all that is worth doing, however worthy it may be.

While we cannot build schools for everyone, there is a most important contribution the Church can make to our careers, one that is central to the mission of the Church. And that is to teach moral and spiritual values.

There are ordinary virtues which influence our careers even more than technical training; among them are these:

  • Integrity.

  • Dependability.

  • Courtesy.

  • Respect for others.

  • Respect for property.

Let me illustrate one or two of these.

It is likely that our children, and yours, for the first part of their married life at least, will live in rented apartments.

I had a conversation with a stake president who owns a large number of apartments which he rents to middle-income families. As he showed them to me, he described the abuse of his property, not just the normal wear and tear, but outright abuse bordering on vandalism.

Such conduct is unworthy of a Latter-day Saint! We should know better than that. We should be willing to drive a nail or set a screw in a hinge, if it’s needed.

Our people should regard an apartment as their home and keep it inviting and clean and in good repair. Has not the prophet told us to do it? When they leave an apartment, it should be clean and essentially ready for the next tenant.

Now, what has this got to do with a career? Surely you can see the transfer of learning from our homes to our work.

Years ago my father, as a young married man with several children, went nervously into the bank in Brigham City to ask for a loan to start in business. He was asked about collateral. He had none beyond his willingness to work and some mechanical aptitude.

The banker, in turning down his request, happened to ask father where he lived. “In the old box house on First West,” was the answer. The banker passed that corner on the way to work. He’d watched the transformation in the yard. He’d wondered who lived there, and admired what they were doing.

Father got the loan to start in business on the strength of the flowers that mother had planted in the yard of a very modest adobe house they were renting.

We have raised a large family on a very modest income, and it’s likely that our children are going to have the same privilege. In order to prepare them, we’ve trained them to do ordinary, necessary things as preparation for their careers.

For instance, we have maintained an area (sometimes it’s the corner of a basement room) where there is a work bench, where projects could be left. There can be some paint or a little sawdust on the floor, without a problem. In spite of continuous cleanup, this area is perpetually untidy, but with a purpose.

We have followed another practice. Each Christmas, at least one of the presents for the boys has been a hand tool. When they were old enough, a good metal toolbox was included. When each has left home, he has had his own set of tools and some knowledge of how to use them. He can tune up a car, or drive a nail, or turn a screw, or replace a plug or a faucet washer.

The girls, in turn, have learned to cook and to sew, and each has left home with a sewing machine. This training is doubly important—first, in frugal living at home, and then in their value as an employee. They would, we hoped, be not only good, but good for something.

Now, I have an idea that some soul will be very upset with us for not providing our boys with a sewing machine and our girls a box of tools as well.

So I hasten to explain that our boys can cook enough to survive a mission and they can sew on a button. The girls in turn can change a faucet washer and drive a nail, and both of them can type and even change a tire on a car.

While many, many occupations suit a man or a woman equally well, I, for one, have grave concern over the growing trend for both men and women to choose careers which in some respects are against their very natures.

We have tried to prepare our boys for manly work and our girls for work that would suit the opportunities that womanhood will bring them. In defense of our doing that, I can only observe that in this Church we are not exempt from using common sense.

There are so few nowadays who are really willing to work. We must train our children and ourselves to give, in work, the equivalent of the pay we receive and perhaps just a little extra.

There are so few who will come a bit early to get organized for the day, or stay a minute after to tidy up the work bench or the desk for tomorrow’s work.

The attitude that demands compensation and benefits in excess of the value of labor has come near destroying the economy of the world. Now, however, many workers quite willingly accept reductions in pay just to keep their jobs. That spirit of doing a little extra would have prevented the crisis had it been evident earlier.

Family responsibilities and tight budgets sometimes prevent us from obtaining all the schooling we desire.

We can, however, improve ourselves. The only tuition required is the time it takes, the work required, and the desire to build into our lives the ordinary virtues so much in demand and so short in supply.

I hope you have not been too disappointed that I have not presented some “great thing” for you to do, some elaborate formula for career planning, rather than such ordinary things so obvious, so close to us, that they are often overlooked.

There is a formula. The Lord said, “Verily I say unto you, that every man who is obliged to provide for his own family, let him provide, and he shall in nowise lose his crown; and let him labor in the church.” (D&C 75:28; italics added.)

The gospel of Jesus Christ is the formula for success. Every principle of the gospel, when lived, has a positive influence over your choice of an occupation and on what you will achieve. The counsel to labor in the Church has great value. Living the gospel will give you a perspective and an inspiration that will see you successful however ordinary your work may be or however ordinary your life may seem to others.

God bless the members of this Church, that you can be happy with who you are and where you are, that you can improve yourselves. We pray that God will bless those who are struggling now with unemployment, with the loss of their employment, with the fear of that loss. May he bless us that we can build into our lives those principles of reliance and integrity that have been part of the gospel from the very beginning, for the gospel is true. Of this I bear witness, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

A homeschool family

This is for the homeschool blogger school post...The kids made it up and now they want to do a video...You'll have to use your imagination first. It's based on the video and sung to the tune of The Addam's family

Here's our version of the song...created by Alyssa, Adam, and Andrew

Our neighbors think we’re silly
They think we are hillbillies
We want to get a filly
A home school family

We’re dedicated Mormons
We drive a white Suburban
We’re really not that urban
A home school family

We learn about our nation
And Christian education
Some people say we’re brazen
A home school family


We have our own string trio
The violin and cello
Learned how to say “amigo”
A home school family

Get breakfast from an udder
Have recess in the pasture
And feed the chickens after
A home school family

The baby is a signer
Our boys are good inventors
Our daughter is a censor
A home school family

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear Ana, Happy Birthday to you!

Ana is one year old today!

She's singing a song on the guitar and wondering why the cell phone is flashing. (That's why there's no good pics lately, the camera is broken.)

Friday, October 17, 2008

my dog

Ever seen a 200 lb dog dreaming? It's pretty funny!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

raspberry whipped dessert

This one looks great, I would substitute some juice and gelatin for the jello.


  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 (6 ounce) package raspberry flavored gelatin mix
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can very cold evaporated milk
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries for garnish


  1. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in gelatin until completely dissolved, then place into refrigerator until cool (but not solid).
  2. Pour evaporated milk into a large bowl, and whip with a hand mixer until fluffy and doubled in volume. While continuing to beat, slowly pour in cooled gelatin. When all of the gelatin has been incorporated, pour the mixture into a mold or bowl and chill until set, about 3 hours. Once set, serve garnished with raspberries.

this looks...interesting

Frijal Colado - Sweet Black Bean Puree Dessert

2 cups dried black beans
Soak overnight in cold water

Drain, Place beans in saucepan, cover with water. Bring to boil and simmer over low heat until tender (1/2 to ¾ of an hour. Drain the beans , saving 1 cup of the liquid.

Put beans into food processor and puree until smooth.

1 tsp. ground cinnamon ½ tsp ground cloves
3 cups brown sugar (can use maple syrup) 3 Tbsp. ground sesame seeds
1 cup evaporated milk or 1 cup soy milk or 1 cup cocoanut milk

Bring the reserved liquid to a boil, add cinnamon, cloves and sugar and mix well. Add the pureed beans, milk and the ground sesame seeds, simmer, stirring continuously until thickened. Let cool to room temperature.

This sounds like the right filling

This sounds like the right filling for the papas rellenos (don't know if I'm spelling that right) and it's called rocotos rellenos so I'm thinking this recipe is just stuffed inside of a pepper instead of potatoes.


  • 8 rocotos
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp vinegar
  • 4 tsp crushed garlic
  • 14 oz (400 g) ground chuck
  • 14 oz (400 g) ground pork
  • 4 cups red onion, finely chopped
  • 8 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped fine
  • 4 oz (120 g) raisins, soaked
  • 4 tbsp ají panca paste
  • 8 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 8 black olives, pitted and chopped
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • Grated cheese for gratin
  • Salt, pepper and cumin

For the crema de rocoto:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp rocoto paste (see Salsas)
  • ¼ cup white wine


Heat the oil in a large skillet and sauté the onion and garlic over medium heat until golden, about 5 minutes.

Crumble the ground pork and beef into the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring often until meats are browned. Spoon off as much excess fat as possible.

Add the ají panca paste, tomato, raisins, salt, pepper and cumin and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and add the olives and hard-boiled egg. Cover and keep warm.

Carefully slice the tops off the rocotos and scoop out all seeds and veins.

Add 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp vinegar to a large pan of water and bring to the boil. Blanche the rocotos and their tops in three separate changes of water, adding 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp vinegar to each change of water. This will reduce their spiciness.

Drain the rocotos well and fill with the meat mixture and cover with grated cheese. Replace the tops.

Place under a broiler until cheese is melted and golden. Serve immediately with crema de rocoto.

To make the crema de rocoto:
Reduce wine in a small pan over medium heat until almost totally evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add cream and rocoto paste. Lower heat and continue cooking until the sauce has reduced to a thick pouring consistency.

Do I dare?

Russ went on a mission to Peru and I've always wanted to learn how to cook Peruvian food. It's very simple, seems like a lot of potatoes, eggs, and olives. He HATES olives. The missionaries called them "gringo killers" there because they were so potent.
We knew a lady for a short time who was from Peru (the rich part) and she cooked us a meal before we moved here. It was mashed potatoes with egg mixed in wrapped around a meat mixture of ground beef, hard boiled eggs, olives, and ketchup (edited to add raisins also) . Then you fried the whole thing to look like a baked potato. It was so good! I've tried and tried and could never make it taste the same.
Russ likes to cook rice and put a soft fried egg on top. When you break the yolk it makes a sauce for the rice. Peruvians seem to put a fried egg on everything if they didn't already put a hard boiled egg in it, LOL.
Just today I thought I'm going to find a peruvian cookbook. Boy they're few and far between but I found this and it's actually free and online. Now, lets see if I can find something good.

extra care

This was sent to me and I had to post it.

I was due for an appointment with the gynecologist later in the week. Early one morning, I received a call from the doctor's office to tell me that I had been rescheduled for that morning at 9:30 am. I had only just packed everyone off to work and school, and it was already around 8:45am. The trip to his office took about 35 minutes, so I didn't have any time to spare.

As most women do, I like to take a little extra effort over hygiene when making such visits, but this time I wasn't going to be able to make the full effort. So, I rushed upstairs, threw off my pajamas, wet the washcloth that was sitting next to the sink, and gave myself a quick wash in that area to make sure I was at least presentable. I threw the washcloth in the clothes basket, donned some clothes, hopped in the car and raced to my appointment.

I was in the waiting room for only a few minutes when I was called in. Knowing the procedure, as I'm sure you do, I hopped up on the table, looked over at the other side of the room and pre tended that I was in Paris or some other place a million miles away. I was a little surprised when the doctor said, 'My, we have made an extra effort this morning, haven't we?'

I didn't respond.

After the appointment, I heaved a sigh of relief and went home. The rest of the day was normal ... some shopping, cleaning, cooking.

After school when my 6-year-old daughter was playing, she called out from the bathroom, 'Mommy, where's my washcloth?'

I told her to get another one from the cupboard.

She replied, 'No, I need the one that was here by the sink, it had all my glitter and sparkles saved inside it.'

Never going back to that doctor. Ever.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Michelangelo Kids

Today we learned about Michaelangelo in K12 History. I've been wanting to have the kids do this since we heard about it in a chat session.
We taped paper to the underside of the table and had the kids draw like Michelangelo. They chose a story from the Bible to illustrate. They wanted to paint but I wasn't that brave yet. Maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


ewwwwwwwwww! I just went to type and was slimed. The dog was here! My keyboard is soaking wet.
It was the first snow since we had her and we had to go to a birthday party at Grandpa's house. So, we left her in the barn with the door open just in case she needed to go potty. Well, she freaked out and ran all up and down the fence with big prickly burdock plants and now has at least 100 burrs in her fur.
Every time she brushes up against us we get them too.
I'm not sure what to do with her yet. We'll have to make a plan and make it fast.

Health is a Blessing

This was a great book that I've had sitting on my shelf for a while and I just found he's put it online so we can all read it.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Cute apron pattern

This apron is too cute. I'm always ruining shirts with a sink line (where the sink hits my shirts) and I thought maybe I could make this apron and use PUL for backing so it's waterproof.

A great devotional

I just saw this on byutv and had to share. It was by Lynn Scoresby and the title is Family Leadership.

He talks about the problem then discipline cycle and compares it with how Christ teaches us. It was wonderful and I'm going to listen to it with my hubby, then work on his ideas with the family.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

HA, another Sadie addict!

Today my husband was whistling while doing the dishes...guess what he was whistling? Sadie the cleaning lady!
He was very embarrassed when I caught him and told him what song it was.

A funny comic

Sorry so on the picture to make it bigger. I don't know why I couldn't get it large on this post.

It says, " I asked my parents if I could be homeschooled-like Whoopi Goldberg, Gloria Steinem and Jennifer Love Hewitt. Y'Know, Learn at my pace in my space

Yeah, and?

They said I'd miss the benefits of social interaction

There are benefits?

So they say

Monday, October 6, 2008

music theory for kids

Wow, I just searched for music theory for kids and came up with a great site.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Things you don't say to your wife

My favorite Bible verse

My family

I'm going a little crazy now that I know how to post videos!!!

This is my family on my mom's side...we were taking pictures and I wanted them to sing their song.

beware of the homeschoolers

Not so funny as others but worthy of a short post...
Beware of the homeschoolers

Doggie pics

Saturday, October 4, 2008

My Saturday morning goals

The two things from Saturday morning conference that I'd like to work
on are Simplicity: food, water, shelter, the basics. I don't want
"stuff" cause it messes up my life.
I realize when I keep it simple how much better life is, how much more
we can focus on family.
Usually for conference we do big meals, fun treats, and I'm stressed
out. I decided I didn't have time for that this morning and just made
my usual great big batch of bread. (It also contains bean flour for a
complete protein so don't worry, I'm not starving anyone).
For breakfast we had bread and butter and for lunch we had......bread
and butter! LOL. It was one of the best conferences. I could just
sit and listen and not worry about anything I had to do.

and...behavior at church, reverence in Sacrament meeting. We've
fallen into the bad habit of going out with the baby and taking the
youngest with us. Then he quietly plays around. Not extremes or
anything but enough that we forget the sacred nature of the sacrament.
I don't know quite how but I'd like to work on that also.

Hey, it worked!

This is just a test cause a friend said to just copy the html here and the video would show up...lets see...YAY! Now you can all watch my favorite video to start the day.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

burglery! Glad we got the dog

Well, there was an aggravated burglary across the field and the description matches the guy that was behind our barn. Glad we got the dog!