Saturday, March 28, 2009

Another "It happened"

J-Dawg and S-man both got their papers completed. Whew!

They have also finished the required service hours for Life scout in Boy Scouts.

And now we have snow. Blossoms a-plenty, leaves coming out, green grass, and a freeze on its way. Gross.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

It happened, it happened!

It finally happened. J-Dawg begged to do more math. You have absolutely no idea of what a major milestone that was!

The problem? He has 3 merit badges to finish up and a paper on the history of taekwondo due to his TKD master tomorrow so he can test for his blue belt. The merit badges have a few more weeks.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Across a Dark and Wild Sea

We have had a quiet week so far. Last week, all 3 kids were sick; this week, they aren't quite well and my daughter is threatening a second bout. I hope to avoid it!

Yesterday was all about the skeleton. Today we did a little more, but ran out of tape to put the models together so we moved onto history. I didn't feel like pulling out The Story of the World today so we read a bunch of library books depicting the Dark Ages and read them out loud. The kids loved it.

My favorite story was called Across a Dark and Wild Sea, by Don Brown. It is about Columcille, a prince, scribe, monk, and bard. It opens with him copying a songbook that its owner didn't want copied (remember, this is a time when there were very few books and those few were copied by hand.)

Here was a favorite paragraph of mine:
For thousands of miles in every direction, armies marched and battles raged. The Roman Empire, which once sat atop the world of Columcille's ancestors, tottered and fell. And in its ruins lay knowledge and education. All of it---empire and culture---was swept away like yesterday's dust by new rulers.

That theme reminded me of Farenheit 451. (not the whole book---it follows the life of the son of an Irish king about 521 AD). How grateful I am to be in the middle of plenty of books! Do we really understand what we have?

Back to this book though: It is a picture book but informative too. A wonderful read-aloud for parents and kids. One of my sons came around and read over my shoulder while my other two children were hooked listening. Don't skip showing the pictures---my kids are highly visual and artistic, and the pictures are worth studying.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Movin' on

Why do I wait until late at night to blog? I'm tired!

We finally finished The Story of the World: Ancient World, by Susan Wise Bauer. It spanned a couple of years, mostly because we stopped about 10 chapters early and did some other things. Like workbooks.

Imagine three children saying, "Boring!" Yup, that would be my three.

Added to that, my son kept waving the second volume (Middle Ages) under my nose saying, "When are we going to do this?" (I bought it two years ago.)

When my daughter started asking when we could do the silk road on p. 120, I knew we needed to hustle. So we abandoned Genevieve Foster which my sons hated and daughter enjoyed, and reverted to Bauer's book.

Last week we finished Ancient World and began Middle Ages, starting with Chapter 2 and Britain. We'd had enough of Rome. (Chapter 1 recapped the end of Rome that we covered thoroughly between the two books.)

Now we have studied the Celts as thoroughly as we are probably going to. In college terms, this is a survey course. In college, however, we would have covered the entire book in exactly one quarter rather than 2 years.

BTW, Usborne's Ancient World Encyclopedia does a great job of shielding kids from nudity. The Celts fought naked, and the internet is replete with those images. I decided to forego those. It was enough to read how they decorated themselves. We did get a chuckle out of remembering John Bytheway's quip in his talk, Righteous Warriors, Lessons from the War Chapters in the Book of Mormon, about how the Lamanites came out to battle: "Let's see, we're going to battle with lots of long pointy things. Yup, I think I'll wear the loincloth." (I didn't check that, and I don't have a photographic memory, and my kids who do are asleep, so this will have to be close enough.)

Now I'm wandering so I'll head off to bed.

Thanks for the visit!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Is it worth the struggle? (not a dire post)

After about an hour of struggling with my daughter to get her ready for school, I finally got her there.  She was all,  "I don't want to go!  Why can't you unenroll me?"  

Picking her up?  Much happier.  I asked her to remember that next week when she goes, and she said, "Okay.  (pause)  Well, I'll try."

This happens every single day she goes to public school.  No exceptions. 

Today the bribe was that we would go to the zoo after she got out of school.  That greased the works and she finally got ready.  (Normally there are no bribes.)

The zoo was nice.  Hot.  Too hot for March.  I hope we aren't in for a dry year.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Okay, I'm struggling with this blog again. This time, though, it's because it is linked to an old email account, one that is being swamped with about 100 emails at a time. I can't deal with it all! If anyone knows how I can swap it over to my new email address, I'd be very grateful. I don't want to forward my emails from one to the other because the first one has the aforesaid junk that I can't wade through any more.

A lot of those emails are financially tuned, and they are full of bad news due to the taxation issues presented by this lovely bail-out plan. I cannot deal with it. A bunch of the others are dealing with the effects of other of Obama's lovely plans that will infringe on religious rights of doctors and families. I can't deal with that either. I have things that I can affect much more effectively at home but are seeming overwhelming sometimes too. I look ahead and pray for leaders who can bring us through this mess, and find some real solutions that don't include bankrupting this country. I pray I can teach my children and help them to think things through clearly. That's mind boggling enough for me. Pray for me because right now I want to cry.

I've thought so often lately that when the Constitution can no longer protect the family, the people will suffer. I am concerned that we are building another Civil War. Undue taxation has always built revolt, and that is what we are building. When we stop safeguarding the family, the civilization is on its way out.

Our freedom lies in the principles embodied in the Constitution; it was built with wisdom beyond any man. We must return to it. We must read it. We must get familiar with what it says. And then we must act to throw out every single person from the government who is not protecting and abiding by the principles in the Constitution. The principles work. They have worked through the ages, and they still work. It is us who have forgotten. Truth is truth no matter what. There is the famous quotation that has gone around and around, "You can't break the commandments; you can only break yourself against them." Another truth.