Sunday, December 13, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
I understand now when people have gone to school and other homeschoolers say that they need to de-school for a while. It would take a while to establish that mom was teacher and mom makes the schedule.
I'm having him write his schedule for the week like "normal" because honestly, I LOVE that he has a schedule now and that he's willing to do it all. He loves knowing what he'll be doing and he's happy to do it. I'll go for it.
I'll just have a slight mourning period here. It's not as bad as last week when he wanted more dinner so he said, "Mrs. Butterfield, may I have more?"
Ahhh, the pros and cons of life and choices...you can always know that I will voice both about anything I do.
Friday, September 25, 2009
School life is different than homeschool life. It's not "easier" per say but it's different. I still volunteer at the school constantly and the driving takes up time. Then, when the kids get home we still have homework but I don't mind it because it's great homework, not busywork. I thought I would be able to get more things done at home than I am able to do.
What I have been able to do is have more time with Ana. That has been a wonderful thing. I've been able to focus in and instead of always having the kids take care of a diaper or read her a book, I have had that opportunity. I'm back to my days of little ones and me. I get to watch Barney, sing head, shoulders, knees, and toes, and color with an 8 pack of huge crayons. I get to snuggle with a wakey-up baby and read while eating breakfast. It's been a joy. Life gets busy again at 3:00 when we have homework, Weber State Strings, Young Women's, Scouts, Family home evening, and all that jazz. Even with all that stress though I feel like I can focus in on the different times and different items.
Andrew is really enjoying his bass. He gets into it as he plays the music. He's learning do wah ditty right now. Adam is still on violin and has the best teacher EVER! Alyssa just started with a cello teacher and has only had one lesson. She seems nice so far.
Adam and Andrew enjoy school. When they pray in the morning they say, "thank you for letting us go to Oquirrh Mountain. Please bless our teachers." It made me wonder, what if all kids prayed for their school and their teachers. Would it make a difference? Do teachers need a prayer during the day? We always prayed for our learning at home, why not pray for our learning at school just the same? What if all 22 kids in the class prayed for their teacher?
Alyssa just enrolled at Oquirrh also. It's a challenge for her to learn the ropes and she feels like she doesn't have any friends yet but I know she'll get there. This is a big learning year for her. Not just new curriculum but, how to function with different teachers and how to turn in assignments on time. We're calling it "college prep".
I love all of the curriculum. All grades use Saxon math, K-3 uses Writing Road to Reading, the older grades use Institute for Excellence in Writing as well as Wordly Wise and Latin roots. For the rest of the learning it's based on the Core Knowledge Series from Hirst and has an American History emphasis.
Since Alyssa also got some electives she chose choir and journalism. Choir is amazing, they are singing a lot of traditional American songs and spirituals. She loves it and sings all day at home now. Journalism will be great once they're done with sports stories, LOL. That was interesting to pop into. Thanks to sister Jex she did know who the sun devils were.
She also gets to leave early on Wed and Thurs for ballroom and Advanced Acting with her homeschooling friends.
Well, time to get Ana up, snuggle for a while, and read "my daddy loves me" in Spanish. And, since we're going with the journal theme...see ya soon.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
I had to post these. Mom and I were at walmart and she started laughing so hard. She had to explain to everyone around that she read the title of this product as bum pits, like arm pits. It's supposed to be bump-its because they create that 60's bump in your hair.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
The boys each got new backpacks also as well as a big bag of school supplies each.
And, we've been cruising the thrift stores for uniforms.
It's been an adventure following along with two charter schools in their founding year. I think they're both doing amazingly well so far. There is so much to figure out, rules to follow, budgets, teachers to hire, so much.
We prayed this whole month that the boys would get assigned to the best teachers, teachers who would teach the truth and be excited to teach, teachers who would go home at the end of the day and tell their spouse what a great day they had because they helped someone. Everyone is allowed to have a bad day sometimes (I know I have) but most of the time I LOVE to teach and learn everything I can. I would hate to see that love of learning crushed in my kids because of someone who was not satisfied with their job.
Adam's teacher called us today and he sounded like he will fit this description. He sounded happy to have Adam in the class and to have school starting. And.....he didn't flinch when I said that he was previously homeschooled......LOL.......that's important.
Andrew has been running to the phone every time it rings. He wants his teacher to call too. He is so excited for school to start. He loves co-op and thrives on it. I hope that this will fit the bill. I'm anxious to hear from his teacher also. I think I'm more nervous about school starting than they are.
I volunteered to be on the library committee and that's been fun so far. I thought it would be much more frustrating to have to look at a bunch of twaddle and know that it was in "my" library but they're actually going to be very strict about which books come in. There will be many books that go along with the core knowledge sequence as well as classical literature. I love having our well constructed library here at home because the kids read what's available. Adam just finished Moby Dick and Treasure Island, Andrew's favorite are the science readers. I was worried that once they had access to the school library that they would quit reading good literature and bring home junk. Whew, looks like that was a worry I didn't need to dwell on.
The other thing that I heard at the meeting that I'm very happy about is that they're not going to do sales fundraisers. YAY, no happenings books!
Off to bed now, more prayers that it will all turn out well.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
We were in the paper! We're the ones with the goats, haven't seen a pic yet but the mention was fun.
Pioneer adventures welcome families
By Loretta Park
OGDEN -- The activities at the Pioneer Skills and Crafts Day drew more than 500 people to Fort Buenventura on Friday.
The 84-acre tract of land near the Weber River symbolizes a period of western history that brought Jennifer Jolley and her family from Sandy to celebrate Pioneer Days.
Jolley grew up in North Ogden and wanted her two children, ages 4 and 2, to experience some of what it was like to live in Utah when pioneers settled the area.
"They learned to start fires, which was fascinating," Jolley said.
Her 4-year-old daughter, Kiriana, also wanted to know more about how the mountain men trapped animals.
Paula Evans, of North Ogden, decided it was the perfect way to celebrate the holiday. She brought her daughter and grandchildren. Her grandsons, Joey and William Andrus, of Farr West, ages 9 and 11, couldn't wait to get into the canoes.
"That sounds awesome," said Joey after getting his hand stamped.
For Alyssa Ammott, of West Point, the skills day was a dream come true. The 13-year-old has attended the event for several years and learned last year that organizers would like to have someone bring animals. The Ammotts own two goats, which they milk every day.
Alyssa wore a blue dress her mother sewed for her, along with a bonnet and apron. She also wore a black and white beaded necklace her great-great grandmother made.
Asked if there was a trick to milking a goat, Alyssa said, "Not really. You just need to make sure the goats like you."
The two Nigerian Dwarf goats provide half a gallon of milk for the Ammott family each day.
Geraldine Fielding, of Riverdale, has been demonstrating how to weave cane chair seats for 20 years.
"You do get hooked on it," Fielding said.
Fielding said the most difficult part of weaving the seats is finding the chairs. She searches garage sales, thrift stores and anywhere else she can.
Christian Wardrop, 13, of Centerville, supervised three boys who were attempting to start fires using rocks, steel and tinder.
Six-year-old Christian Norman, of Bountiful, was not going to leave until he had started his fire.
"This is hard," said Christian.
"It really doesn't take long if you have good flint," Wardrop said.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
We're making some interesting plans for schooling next year too. The homeschooling convention this weekend helped me solidify them. We need to do what's best for our family at any given time and for each child. They may all be different and have different needs. Plans may change from week to week or year to year. And, what's great about being a family is that the whole family can make that decision together through logic, prayer, and fasting.
Alyssa is at her Simulations week in Mock Trial from 7am-7pm. She's staying with a host family in South Jordan during that time. It's interesting trying to find 5 good suits or dresses plus a formal to pack, LOL. She won a scholarship to this activity when she won the Constitution Bowl a while ago.
We found a wonderful product at the convention called Discover the Scriptures. It's printable workbooks that help kids go through the scriptures, life of Christ, or Apostles. It has thoughts, fun games, copywork, scripture memorization, and drawing pages. We love it. We're starting with the younger age Book of Mormon for the boys and the older Book of Mormon for Alyssa. In case anyone is interested she also has any Biblical workbooks reviewed by a "non-LDS" Christian for acceptability to all groups.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
I decided that we would think positively and we would pray together that the clip would come out. We prayed and then ran the printer just one more time and guess what? It spit the clip right out.
Praise and Glory to the Lord who cares about my stinking printer and my daughter's faith.
The little miracles sometimes mean the most.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
Blessed art thou woman
For thou shalt be called Mother
Yea, and thy chores and thy tasks
Shall follow thee all the days of thy life.
And thou shalt eat the bread of thine own baking
And Thou shall dwell forever in a
Filthy house, if thou doest not choose
To clean it thyself
Thou shalt arise before the cock croweth
And thou shalt say unto thine self,
“Where are the offspring
Which were given me? Yea, the sun
Has risen high in the sky, and the
Hour is getting late; wherefore, I
Have been long at my labors.”
And thou shalt go and find thy
Offspring prostrate on their cot.
And thou shalt say unto them, “Haste,
Arise and shine, for I have many labors
For thee to perform, Wherefore, I have
Been many hours already preparing the way”
And thine offspring shall linger in sleep
And shall say unto thee, “Thou didst
Not watch the late, late, late show
As I did last night and mine eyes are
Heavy and mine bones acheth.”
And thou shalt say unto thy offspring,
“get thee up from thy cot
ere I lay hand upon thee
and go ye hither and scrub a sparkling tub
for thou has left black rings upon its sides.”
And thy offspring shall say unto thee,
“I will go and do thy bidding—in a minute.”
And thy rage shall know no end and thou shalt weep and wail and knash thy teeth mightily.
Nevertheless, thou shalt scrub a sparkling tub thyself and glory
Shall be added unto thee, for thou didst
Not strike the lazy beast.
Thou art blessed above all others
And thy descendents shall call thee
Blessed, for thou preparest a table before them
Thou cookest meat and all manner of tasty vittles
And they shall sit at the table with thee
And partake with thee.
And they shall add glory to thy crown
For they shall let thee also wash the dishes,
If thou wilt.
And when the night falleth, thou shalt be pooped
And thy offspring shall say of thee,
“She is an old woman, wherefore
She neither goes dancing, nor does she
Watch the late, late, late show.”
Thy art and thy craft shall make thee called on
And thou shalt labor at many tasks in the kingdom
For whosoever asketh, thou do his bidding.
Thy back shall acheth with arthritis,
Thy cane and thy husband
Shall be thy support
Thy veins shall be varicose in thy aching legs
But thou shalt do thy labor with a smile,
Neither shall thou gripe
For in the day that thou doest,
Thy name shall be mud.
Nevertheless, thou art blessed for
thou art crowned with the angels
On the second Sunday of May on each
And every year.
Wherefore, thou shalt be blessed above
All others for thou art Mother
And thou shalt find peace and joy in
Thy offspring forever and ever,
If thou endureth to the end!
Monday, May 4, 2009
President Gordon B. Hinckley highlighted the "portent of stormy weather ahead to which we had better give heed" in an October 1998 general priesthood meeting address. He called on members to put their homes in order.
Now, more than a decade later, the storms are here.
"The economic clouds that have long threatened the world are now fully upon us," said Elder Robert D. Hales. "The impact of this economic storm on our Heavenly Father's children requires a gospel vision of welfare today more than ever before."
Speaking to priesthood and Relief Society leaders in a newly released DVD created by the Church, titled, "Basic Principles of Welfare and Self-Reliance," Elder Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve begins the discussion by sharing "a gospel vision of the priesthood principles of welfare."
Priesthood-based welfare principles are both temporal and spiritual, he said. They are eternal, and apply in every circumstance, whether rich or poor.
"This, then, is the gospel vision of welfare: to put our faith in Jesus Christ into action. We serve others as the Spirit directs," he said.
What, then, he asked, are these principles of welfare? How can we apply them as spiritual and temporal building blocks in our daily lives?
The first building block is to live providently. "This means joyfully living within our means and preparing for the ups and downs of life so that we can be ready for the rainy-day emergencies.
"Provident living means not coveting the things of this world. It means using the resources of the earth wisely and not being wasteful, even in times of plenty. Provident living means avoiding excessive debt and being content with what we have.
"We live in an age of entitlement," he continued. "Many believe they should have all that others have — right now. Unable to delay gratification, they go into debt to buy what they cannot afford. The results always affect both their temporal and spiritual welfare."
When we go into debt, he said, "We give away some of our precious, priceless agency and place ourselves in self-imposed servitude. We obligate our time, energy and means to repay what we have borrowed — resources that could have been used to help ourselves, our families and others."
To pay debts and avoid future debt requires faith in the Savior, Elder Hales said. "It takes great faith to utter those simple words, 'We can't afford it.' It takes faith to trust that life will be better as we sacrifice our wants in order to meet our own and others' needs.
"I testify," Elder Hales declared, "that happy is the man who lives within his means and is able to save a little for future needs. As we live providently and increase our gifts and talents, we become more self-reliant. Self-reliance is taking responsibility for our own spiritual and temporal welfare and for those whom Heavenly Father has entrusted to our care. Only when we are self-reliant can we truly emulate the Savior in serving and blessing others."
To live self-reliantly raises the question, "How do we obtain Heavenly Father's help so that we have enough for our own needs and also enough to serve others?"
Fundamental to the principles of welfare is the payment of tithes and offerings.
"With the payment of tithes, we also learn to control our desires and appetites for the things of this world, to be honest in our dealings with our fellowmen, and to make sacrifices for others.
"As our faith grows, so will our desire to keep the commandment to pay fast offerings," Elder Hales said. "Freely giving allows us to follow the pattern of the Savior, who freely gave His life for all mankind."
Some of the most important welfare building blocks have to do with preparing for the future.
Three areas of preparation for the future include:
Budgeting for the future by making a spending and savings plan, carefully making and keeping a family or personal budget, reviewing the budget in a family council allowing children to learn and practice wise spending habits, and to participate in planning and saving for the future.
Education for the future by earning educational degrees or vocational training and finding gainful employment. Work hard to become a valued, essential part of the organization. For those seeking employment, "This is an opportunity to rely on the Lord, to grow, and to be strengthened. If you are seeking a new job, increase your faith in the Lord's desire and power to bless you."
If necessary, change lifestyles, and possibly the place of residence, to live within your means. Above all, express your gratitude in prayer for all that has been given to you.
Spiritual preparation for rainy days. This comes by keeping the commandments, praying, reading the scriptures, and relying upon the Holy Ghost. "By our obedience we store up the faith we need to meet the vicissitudes and challenges of life.
"Keeping ourselves unspotted from the world — being 'good' in this way — we are able to do good for our brothers and sisters throughout the world, both temporally and spiritually."
Sunday, May 3, 2009
#1 priority has been decisions about Alyssa's schooling next year. She has decided to go to Open High School Utah, although "go" may not be the appropriate terminology. It's an online high school where we get to skype conference and use online lessons rather than go to a brick and morter school. She'll be able to get a degree and also take concurrent credits online via the college.
Exciting but definitely a big step for us. I think it will be great though.
My friend and I went to a board meeting last week and we were both very impressed by what we saw. The board members are all working hard to get it going and they all seemed like wonderful people. I have confidence that they will turn out a thorough program with a value system that is important to us.
They will offer the core classes this year and the rest of the classes will come from BYU.
#2 is deciding what to do for the boys. We have enjoyed the K12 online route but I feel like I am lacking in some of the things I'm teaching through K12. We may cut it down and do our own math this year. I LOVE teaching textbooks and although they're expensive, they're worth every dime.
They want to do an engineering class and I don't know a thing about that so we're going to try to find a teacher for co-op who is willing.
Besides their regular classes they have their orchestra instruments, Spanish, and Latin.
#3 is still trying to figure out the gluten free thing. Ana is doing much better since we figured out the celiac. Alyssa really wanted good whole wheat bread the other day and it started me craving also. We just can't do it here because of the crumb and dust factor. Ana also has a lump near her eye. We need to schedule a surgery and get it taken out. That's kind of scary but the dr. said that it should be benign since it hasn't grown much. We're hoping for the best on that.
#4 is exercise. I've been gone for 2 hours a day at the gym. It's worth it, I feel great, but it definitely takes a lot of time out of the day. Twice a week the kids come with me and we all go swimming.
#5-200, just the normal everyday stuff that keeps us busy...spring has sprung, we're planting our garden veggies and trees, keeping up with the new Nigerian Dwarf goats, and trying to get the yard in order.
Now off to bed so we can get a great start to the day.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
The above link is for books for boys and other children who would rather build forts all day.
There are also two audio files about writing here http://www.excellenceinwriting.com/index.php?q=free-downloads
Friday, April 17, 2009
Also, his teacher said for them to count to 60 and see if they had 60 bubbles filled in at the end. He was very proud to tell me that he had 62 bubbles. LOL
So, I guess those results just went out the window huh?
I thought that separate bubble sheets didn't start till 3rd grade so I didn't have him practice. Oh well, live and learn.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
"09 LC 94 1338
House Resolution 850
By: Representatives Setzler of the 35th, Loudermilk of the 14th, Casas of the 103rd, and Walker of the 107th
Requesting that the German federal government recognize the rights of parents to home school their children; and for other purposes.
WHEREAS, parents hold the fundamental responsibility and right to ensure the best quality education for their children, and parental choice and involvement are crucial to excellence in education; and
WHEREAS, members of this body recognize the importance of religious liberties and the right of parents to determine their child's upbringing and the method in which their education should be provided; and
WHEREAS, Germany infringes upon the parental rights of its citizens by forcing children to attend brick and mortar schools for their education and denying parents the right to home school their children; and
WHEREAS, the federal government of Germany justifies its policy against home schooling on a desire to prevent the emergence of parallel societies based on separate philosophical convictions; and
WHEREAS, however, home educated students around the world have continually exhibited high standards of academic achievement and citizenship; and
WHEREAS, many American statesmen and leaders, including George Washington, Patrick Henry, John Quincy Adams, John Marshall, Robert E. Lee, Booker T. Washington, Thomas Edison, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Mark Twain, and Andrew Carnegie were home schooled; and
WHEREAS, home school education offers parents the option of personalized learning opportunities for their children, customized to meet each child's needs and tailored to their particular learning style and strengths; and
WHEREAS, denial of the basic right of parents to choose the manner in which their child is educated goes against the ideals of individual liberty and freedom.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES that the members of this body request that the German federal government recognize the basic, fundamental rights of parents and allow their citizens to determine the educational upbringing of their own children.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Clerk of the House of Representatives is authorized and directed to transmit an appropriate copy of this resolution to the federal government of Germany. "
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
I was still left sad though, wondering if I'd done something wrong in the interview or something.
So, the next day I was looking up lapbooking information and came across someone who was LDS who did conference lapbooks. I was excited enough about that but when I looked at the comments there was a comment from someone in FRANCE who HOMESCHOOLS and is LDS and has TEENS! Woo hoo! Alyssa is now corresponding via e-mail and I think that she will learn so much about the culture and language from this. We were blessed with what we needed. She was so excited to get the first letter and look up the translation of the words she didn't understand.
I was amazed at what she knew after only a year of studying French on her own. She had to look up about half of the letter and I think that was great.
Thank heaven for blessings and a Savior who watches out for each and every little thing we need.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
This is a link to past General Conferences...
This is a link to today's General Conference...
Happy watching, or listening. I am so excited for today. The world seems to have gone downhill so fast since the last conference. I look forward to some uplifting messages.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
This is a friend from my neighborhood...a great gal. She's sponsoring a contest for a free photography session. See her blog for more details.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
First Presidency Message
Guiding Principles of Personal and Family Welfare
By President Thomas S. Monson
Second Counselor in the First Presidency
Thomas S. Monson, “Guiding Principles of Personal and Family Welfare,” Ensign, Sep 1986, 3
Fifty years ago this year, on Sunday, April 5, the prophets, seers, and revelators of the Church of God on earth at that time met in a very significant meeting. Presiding was President Heber J. Grant, with his counselors, President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., and President David O. McKay. Out of the meeting came a modern day application of eternal principles in what has come to be known as the welfare plan of the Church.
President McKay declared, “This organization [the Church] is established by divine revelation, and there is nothing else in all the world that can so effectively take care of its members.” President Clark added that the Lord “has given us the spirituality. He has given us the actual command. … The eyes of the world are upon us.” And then he added, “May the Lord bless [us], give us courage, give us wisdom, give us vision to carry out this great work.” (In Henry D. Taylor, The Church Welfare Plan, unpublished ms., Salt Lake City: Henry D. Taylor, 1984, pp. 26–27.)
As I researched those watershed statements and the heaven-inspired counsel which came in that year of the creation of the Church welfare plan, I was impressed. As we prepare to move forward with a renewed emphasis on the eternal principles of Church welfare, I feel we should begin by reviewing those early teachings that they might give us the strength and resolve to move forward.
At October general conference during the same year, President Heber J. Grant read a statement from the First Presidency that explained the principles upon which the Church’s welfare efforts were based. Included were these familiar words: “Our primary purpose was to set up, insofar 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.)
Since those beginnings, we as a Church have continued to receive divine direction as circumstances have required. Programs and procedures used to implement welfare principles have been modified, and they likely will continue to change from time to time to meet changing needs. But the basic principles do not change. They will not change. They are revealed truths. Direct counsel has been given regarding the application of these revealed truths. I’ve topically arranged these guiding principles as follows: work, self-reliance, sound financial management, a year’s supply, caring for the extended family, and wise use of Church resources.
Work is basic to all we do. God’s first direction to Adam in the Garden of Eden as recorded in scripture was to dress the garden and take care of it. After the fall of Adam, God cursed the earth for Adam’s sake saying, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground.” (Gen. 3:19.) Today, many have forgotten the value of work. Some falsely believe that the highest goal in life is to achieve a condition in which one no longer needs to work.
Let us hearken to the counsel given by President Stephen L Richards in 1939: “We have always dignified work and reproved idleness. Our books, our sermons, our leaders, including particularly our present President, have glorified industry. The busy hive of the honeybee Deseret—has been our emblem. Work with faith is a cardinal point of our theological doctrine, and our future state—our heaven—is envisioned in terms of eternal progression through constant labor.” (In Conference Report, Oct. 1939, p. 65.)
Self-reliance is a product of our work and under-girds all other welfare practices. It is an essential element in our spiritual as well as our temporal well-being. Regarding this principle, President Marion G. Romney has said: “Let us work for what we need. Let us be self-reliant and independent. Salvation can be obtained on no other principle. Salvation is an individual matter, and we must work out our own salvation in temporal as well as in spiritual things.” (In Welfare Services Meeting Report, 2 Oct. 1976, p. 13.)
President Spencer W. Kimball further taught concerning self-reliance: “The responsibility for each person’s social, emotional, spiritual, physical, or economic well-being rests first upon himself, second upon his family, and third upon the Church if he is a faithful member thereof.
“No true Latter-day Saint, while physically or emotionally able, will voluntarily shift the burden of his own or his family’s well-being to someone else.” (Ensign, Nov. 1977, p. 77.)
Perhaps no counsel has been repeated more often than how to manage wisely our income. Consumer debt in some nations of the world is at staggering levels. Too many in the Church have failed to avoid unnecessary debt. They have little, if any, financial reserve. The solution is to budget, to live within our means, and to save some for the future. Nowhere is the oppressive burden of debt more clearly taught than in the graphic counsel of President J. Reuben Clark, Jr.:
“It is the rule of our financial and economic life in all the world that interest is to be paid on borrowed money. May I say something about interest?
“Interest never sleeps nor sickens nor dies; it never goes to the hospital; it works on Sundays and holidays; it never takes a vacation; it never visits nor travels; it takes no pleasure; it is never laid off work nor discharged from employment; it never works on reduced hours. … Once in debt, interest is your companion every minute of the day and night; you cannot shun it or slip away from it; you cannot dismiss it; it yields neither to entreaties, demands, or orders; and whenever you get in its way or cross its course or fail to meet its demands, it crushes you.” (In Conference Report, Apr. 1938, p. 103.)
There is another aspect of sound financial management, and it has to do with our budgeting and offering to the Lord a fast offering to bless those in need. We must cheerfully and gratefully apply this principle if we would perfect ourselves.
I remember as a young bishop receiving a telephone call from the hospital late one night wherein I was informed that a widow in my ward had passed away. I went to the hospital and there obtained the key to her apartment. A note had been left that this was the procedure I was to follow. As I entered her humble basement apartment, I turned on the light and went to the little table which was in the small living room. There on the table were two Alka Seltzer bottles with a note beneath them. The bottles were filled with quarters. This sweet little widow, Kathleen McKee, with no relatives surviving her, had written this note: “Bishop, here is my fast offering. I am square with the Lord.”
I think we simply need ask one another, are we square with the Lord? Remember the principle of the true fast. Is it not to deal our bread to the hungry, to bring to our own house the poor who are outcast, to clothe the naked, to hide not ourself from our own flesh? (See Isa. 58:7.) An honest fast offering, a generous fast offering, will certainly be an indication to our Heavenly Father that we know and abide this particular law.
Recent surveys of Church members have shown a serious erosion in the number of families who have a year’s supply of life’s necessities. Most members plan to do it. Too few have begun. We must sense again the spirit of the persistent instruction given by Elder Harold B. Lee as he spoke to the members in 1943: “Again there came counsel in 1942. … ‘We renew our counsel, said the leaders of the Church, and repeat our instruction: Let every Latter-day Saint that has land, produce some valuable essential foodstuff thereon and then preserve it.’ … Let me ask you leaders who are here today: In 1937 did you store in your own basements and in your own private storehouses and granaries sufficient for a year’s supply? You city dwellers, did you in 1942 heed what was said from this stand?” (In Conference Report, April 1943, p. 127.)
Undergirding this pointed call is the stirring appeal from our own living prophet, President Ezra Taft Benson, wherein he has given specific suggestions for putting these teachings into action:
“From the standpoint of food production, storage, handling, and the Lord’s counsel, wheat should have high priority. … Water, of course, is essential. Other basics could include honey or sugar, legumes, milk products or substitutes, and salt or its equivalent. The revelation to produce and store food may be as essential to our temporal welfare today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah.” (Ensign, Nov. 1980, p. 33.)
As has been said so often, the best storehouse system that the Church could devise would be for every family to store a year’s supply of needed food, clothing, and, where possible, the other necessities of life.
In the early church, Paul wrote to Timothy, “If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (1 Tim. 5:8.) It is our sacred duty to care for our families, including our extended families. Often we see what might be called parent neglect. Too frequently, the emotional, social, and, in some instances, even the material essentials are not provided by children for their aged parents. This is displeasing to the Lord. It is difficult to understand how one mother can take care of seven children more easily than seven children can take care of one mother. President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., gave clear direction on this matter: “The prime responsibility for supporting an aged parent rests upon [the] family, not upon society. … The family which refuses to keep its own is not meeting its duty.” (In Conference Report, April 1938, p. 107.)
President Stephen L Richards gave an inspired appeal as he rallied members with these sentiments: “How can sons and daughters who owe everything they have—their education, their ideals of life, their capacity to acquire independent living and their characters—to parents who have worked, sacrificed, prayed, wept, and striven for them to the exhaustion of their bodies and their energies be parties to a scheme which would make their fathers and mothers the objects of charity and cast the burden of their support on the community and stigmatize them with the loss of independence and self-respect. …
“I think my food would choke me if I knew that while I could procure bread my aged father or mother or near kin were on public relief.” (In Conference Report, Oct. 1944, p. 138.)
The final principle which I wish to stress is the proper use of Church resources. The Lord’s storehouse includes the time, talents, skills, compassion, consecrated material, and financial means of faithful Church members. These resources are available to the bishop in assisting those in need. Our bishops have the responsibility to learn how to use these resources properly.
May I suggest five basic guidelines: First, bishops are to seek out the poor as the Lord has commanded and administer to their needs. Do not suppose that someone else will do it. It is a bishop’s priesthood duty. He may call on members to assist, but he is responsible.
Second, bishops should thoroughly analyze the circumstances surrounding each need for welfare assistance. He wisely calls on his Relief Society president to assist in the evaluation. He exercises discernment, sound judgment, balance, and compassion. Church resources represent a sacred trust which becomes even more sacred as the bishop properly applies these resources in blessing the lives of others.
Third, those receiving welfare assistance should work to the extent of their abilities for that which is received. There are many creative ways leaders can provide work opportunities. With help from their welfare services committees, bishops will want to provide that work which will enhance the recipient’s efforts to become self-reliant.
Fourth, the assistance given by the bishop is temporary and partial. Remember, Church assistance is designed to help people help themselves. The rehabilitation of members is the responsibility of the individual and the family, aided by the priesthood quorum and Relief Society. We are attempting to develop independence, not dependence. The bishop seeks to build integrity, self-respect, dignity, and soundness of character in each person assisted, leading to complete self-sufficiency.
Fifth, we assist with basic life-sustaining goods and services, not the maintenance of current living standards. Individuals and families may need to alter their standards of living in doing all they can to meet their own needs. A church dole would be worse than a government dole because it would fail in the face of greater light. Church practices portray more honorable aims, more glorious potential.
Faithful compliance with these revealed welfare principles and practices have preserved lives in times of crises. An example is found in the response of Church members to the 1985 earthquake that devastated parts of Mexico City. Church members and leaders rose to the occasion, drawing on their own preparedness efforts to help themselves and others around them.
Another example occurred at the time of the Idaho Teton Dam disaster in the summer of 1976, when thousands of Latter-day Saints gave of their own reserves to those whose every belonging was swept away in the floodwaters. We remember also the massive effort of Church members following World War II when our own prophet-leader, President Benson, then a member of the Council of the Twelve, administered the distribution of more than seventy-five train-carloads of commodities to needy members in war-ravaged Europe. These outpourings of humanitarian service were made possible by the faithful adherence of Church members to the very principles we have just reviewed.
The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve have outlined that, commencing with the second half of this year, the Saturday evening session of stake conference involving all adult members will be devoted to teaching these doctrines and principles. Our forward progress in this great work is dependent upon a deeper understanding and a more thorough application of divinely revealed welfare principles. We have confidence that under the guidance of the Spirit, we can all come to a “unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God … unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” (Eph. 4:13.)
We want to be disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. May we be prepared as individuals and as families, may we teach, may we lift, may we build, may we motivate, may we be inspired as we seek to bring our lives into conformity with these gospel principles. I bear my witness that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, and that the program which we call the welfare plan of the Church came from God and is for the blessing and the exaltation of his people.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Some have to turn to public schools under need for jobs
By DAVID CRARY Associated Press
March 4, 2009, 1:25AM
When hard times reached the Schneider household in central Oregon, the longtime stay-at-home mom took action — getting a job at Subway to offset a drop in her husband’s earnings. What she didn’t do was also notable: She didn’t stop homeschooling her three teenage children.
Colleen Schneider works evenings so she’s home for her favored morning teaching hours. The family scrimps — more frozen pizza, less eating out. But an inflexible 9-to-5 job that would force her to quit homeschooling was not an option.
“I would fight tooth and nail to homeschool,” said Schneider, 47, a devout Roman Catholic who wants to convey her values to her children. “I’m making it work because it’s my absolute priority.”
Other families across the country are making similar decisions — college-age children chipping in with their earnings, laid-off fathers sharing teaching duties, mothers taking part-time jobs — with the goal of continuing to homeschool in the face of economic setbacks.
Before the recession, the ranks of homeschool students had been growing by an estimated 8 percent annually; the latest federal figures, from 2007, calculate the total at about 1.5 million.
While some families are giving up because of a stay-at-home parent’s need to get a job, the recession overall will likely be a further boost to homeschooling, according to parents and educators interviewed by the Associated Press.
‘We’re going to see continued growth,” said Brian Ray, president of the National Home Education Research Institute in Salem, Oregon. “The reasons parents home-educate are not passing, faddish things.”
Christopher Klicka of Warrenton, Va., senior counsel for the Home School Legal Defense Association and co-teacher along with his wife of seven homeschooled children, says hard times enhance homeschooling’s appeal as private school tuition becomes unaffordable and some public schools contemplate cutbacks.
“People are looking to homeschooling as an alternative more now in light of economic circumstances,” he said, citing its low cost and potential for strengthening family bonds.
At Allendale Academy in Clearwater, Fla., which provides resources for homeschoolers, enrollment has risen 50 percent over the past two years to about 900 students as families desert private schools, says academy director Patricia Carter.
“Often one parent has been laid off,” she said. “That makes private school tuition impossible, and they don’t want to send their kids back to public school.”
Her academy charges $65 per year to support students through 8th grade, $95 for high school students, compared to private school tuitions often running many thousands of dollars per year.
For frugal families, homeschooling can be a good fit. Used academic material is available at low cost; free research resources are on tap on the Internet and at libraries.
“Homeschoolers are pretty self-reliant,” said Judy Aron of West Hartford, Conn., who has homeschooled three children. “They’d rather cut back on other things. ...They very vehemently don’t want to see themselves as victims.”
Michael Marcucci, of Middlebury, Conn., is president of the Connecticut Homeschool Network, which has about 1,500 member families — including 34 who signed up in January alone.
“During difficult times, people tend to go back to basics,” Marcucci said. “I know a family with five children — the father’s been out of work 18 months and they’re still homeschooling.”
His own family, with three homeschooled children, got a taste of that challenge last year when Marcucci, a banker, was out of work for six months. His wife continued homeschooling, rather than seek a job, and he supplemented his job-hunting with teaching stints of his own.
“It was a chance to reconnect with family, to get to know your children in a different way,” he said. “I was excited about the opportunity to teach Greek history, to help out with algebra.”
Andrea Farrier, a mother of three girls from Kalona, Iowa, does double-duty — homeschooling her daughters and working part-time for her school district as a supervisory teacher for 23 other homeschool families. Several are struggling financially — in some cases because of a father’s layoff — but abandoning homeschooling so the mother can find a job is not their response, Farrier said.
“These families are already sacrificing — when times get tough, there’s no belt left to tighten,” she said. “These are families who homeschool because public education wouldn’t serve the needs of their children — it’s the last thing they’ll give up.”
Among Farrier’s colleagues — both as a homeschooling mom and as a part-time teacher — is Crystal Gingerich, 44, of Kinross, Iowa.
Her husband, Joe, used to be a self-employed electrician, but business dwindled and he’s now a truck driver whose routes across the Midwest keep him away from home except on weekends. That leaves her single-handedly running the household on weekdays, and teaching her four children ages 15, 13, 10 and 4.
“It’s definitely shifted the pressure load on me in terms of being a single parent when he’s gone,” Gingerich said. “But I’m doing what I love.”
In Michigan, among the states hardest hit by recession, April Morris, 44, of Auburn Hills remains committed to homeschooling even though she’s now working full-time at Target — a job she started after her husband was laid off from his computer job.
The three oldest Morris children have moved on to college, but 13-year-old Ben continues to homeschool, getting help from his father and older siblings as well as his mother, who works evenings and has Thursdays off to maximize her teaching availability.
“It’s an easier adjustment for him than me,” she said. “I still feel I’m supposed to be home with him all day.”
In Southfield, Mich., mother of eight Abbey Waterman says she’s able to continue homeschooling her four youngest children thanks in large part to support from the four oldest, who’ve been willing to chip in with earnings from caddying, guitar playing and tutoring.
“We’re used to making a lot out of a little,” she said.
So far, her husband, Kevin, has been steadily employed with a financial printing company, but the family takes nothing for granted.
“His company laid off two entire departments — so we’re not sure he’ll be laid off or not,” Waterman said. “If he was, my college-age kids offered to get jobs so we could continue what we’re doing.”
She said some of her friends have taken more drastic measures — selling their cars or even their homes — to keep homeschooling.
Shelly Mabe, a coordinator for a group of 250 Christian homeschooling families in Michigan’s Macomb County, said she hasn’t heard of any of them giving up homeschooling — but some have moved to other states where laid-off fathers had better job prospects.
In La Pine, Oregon, Colleen Schneider is still trying to adjust to the challenges that arose when a booming local real estate market collapsed and her husband’s earnings in drywall work plummeted.
Initially, she tried to work an early morning shift at Subway, but soon switched to evenings.
“I felt ripped out of my house,” she said. “When you homeschool, the morning is a very precious time. You greet your children, encourage them to get on schedule. ...Otherwise, the tendency to sleep in and put things off really creeps in.”
Schneider hopes to leave Subway soon to work as a caregiver for the elderly, but she’s intent on continuing to homeschool.
“I’ve seen too much good come out of it to change now,” she said.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I just thought I'd post this here. My friends were in a video and I think it's pretty cool.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
ARGH! The lady looked so shocked that I was trying to get it out of her mouth so I told her I'm sorry, she's allergic to wheat. She felt so bad. Then I felt sorry for her.
I'm frustrated though because there are so many places that she gets wheat. People don't think before they feed a kid. I need to create an outfit that says, "do not feed me!" to wear when we go anywhere.
Yeah, that would blend in well wouldn't it?
Now we get to look forward to the crying, cramping, and bloody poop. Gotta loce Celiac's disease.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Click this link to play it from the internet
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
She signs very well, and knows most words that goes with her signs now. I don't know if everyone would know what she's saying but we can tell the difference.
When she wants anything she says please please please please please
She's walking although wobbly and she falls down a lot. She does have crossed toes and that may have to do with her balance issues.
She wants to eat everything we're eating which is one reason we're trying to transition to gluten free so I can fix one meal that we can all eat. She loves bananas if they're very ripe. She's learned when she says cracker that it either means the yummy animal crackers or the yucky gluten free crackers we got at first. She won't eat the first ones now and I don't blame her.
We're stressing about nursery cause there's always food on the floor. I don't know what we'll do unless I go in first and vacuum and then take her out before they feed snacks.
Ana loves babies and tries to poke their eyes out lovingly while she says "eyes". She practices at home with her plastic babies. She also likes to feed them and give them blankies (i.e. smother them)
She loves balls and balloons of all sorts. Andy even has a big exercise ball that she pushes around the floor.
She loves shoes and socks and tries to sing the sock song from signing time while putting them on her feet "sock sock sock sock sock sock."
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
President Faust was calling someone to the Relief Society Presidency and she felt completely inadequate. He said, "Sister, we are all just normal people and who the Lord calls, he qualifies." I was so glad and grateful to hear him say that we are all normal people. I felt an overwhelming relief to hear that when the Lord calls someone, he qualifies them.
I've been feeling like such a failure as a mother lately. However, I feel like he has called me to this job on earth. I feel like he has called me to participate in adoption, homeschooling, and all the other things we've been doing. Therefore, he would qualify me to complete these callings.
I need to pray more for him to help me. He will help in all things.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Wow! Alyssa was quite the sneaky girl. She called me on the way home and I asked how she did at the Constitution bowl, she said, "oh, we did ok." So, she gets in the car at our meeting place and I see a medal, a banner, and a certificate...
She says, "oh yeah, WE WON!"
Wow! I'm so happy for her. She's been studying for this forever. It's a multi-state contest that is all about the Constitution.
They compete team against team, each team has 4 people.
Their team won every round. They were the ONLY team to win every round.
WOO HOO! GO ALYSSA!
She won a gold medal with ribbon, a banner, and a certificate worth $165 that is good towards any future AYLI event like the Constitutional Convention Simulation.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
Tools for Educators
Homeschoolers Reference Desk
Internet Public Library
New York Times Learning Network
How Stuff Works
To Learn English
Songs for Teaching
Lesson Plan Central
Time Savers for Teachers
Great Resource for K-8
The Math Worksheet Site
Cool Math Games
High School Ace
Preparing Your Child for College
Science for High School
NASA for Students
Astronomy for Kids
The Electronic Zoo
Smith Life Science
The MAD Scientist Network
Science & Technology Education
Arts & Crafts
Art Lessons for All Grades
Draw Your World
Scholastic – Student Activities
Online Writing Guide
The Write Site
Geography, History and Virtual Travel
Colonial Williamsburg: Electronic Field Trips
Natural Wonders of the World
Teacher’s Guide Virtual Field Trips
Global Online Adventure Learning Site
The Jason Project
Virtual Field Trips
Xpeditions @ National Geographic
K-12 Africa Guide
States and Capitals
Life in the Middle Ages
New Perspectives on the West
The American Civil War Homepage
The Civil War Homepage
The Oregon Trail
White House for Kids
Lewis and Clark
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Homeschool Buyers Co-Op
Homeschool Freebie of the Day
The Well Trained Mind
Teach With Movies
I Know That