Wednesday, September 11, 2013

And so it's begun:

"Mom, can't we just homeschool and not tell him?"

It's a week into school. She likes her teacher. She's not being bullied (yet? Hopefully at all). It all comes down to being able to work at her pace.

The crazy thing is, it made me think I would try again. And I'm so done trying. The man was an absolute nasty jerk (with a couple of other adjectives I don't like to say) last time. Downright horrible. I'm done. It's time for divine intervention to happen. One way or another, it's out of my hands. I'm determined it'll stay that way. By now, the damage is done, and I don't want to have to pick up the pieces. I've made my desires pretty clear. She'll know it wasn't my end that fell through.

But I hate that she struggles so badly.

I keep telling myself, "At least she likes her teacher. At least she likes her teacher."

And I'm sure she'll survive.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Gift of the Holy Ghost FHE

Purpose: To help family members appreciate the privilege of receiving the Holy Ghost and to recognize its holy guidance.

Possible Songs: When Jesus Christ was Baptized, Children’s Songbook page 102; I Know My Father Lives, Children’s Songbook page 5; Listen, Listen, Children’s Songbook page 107; The Still Small Voice, Children’s Songbook page 106; The Holy Ghost, Children’s Songbook 105; Search Ponder and Pray, Children’s Songbook page 109; Let the Holy Spirit Guide, hymn 143; Thy Spirit Lord Has Stirred Our Souls, hymn 157; The Spirit of God, hymn 2

Possible Materials: picture from Gospel Art Kit of girl being confirmed, wrapped up like a present; An illustration of stairs for the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel (From the Fourth Article of Faith); a picture of Christ in America; Cards discussing the ways the Holy Ghost can speak to us from the discussion. 

Preparation: Begin with prayer. Ask yourself how often you have experiences with the Holy Ghost. Do you feel satisfied that these experiences come as often as they should? Do you feel that you receive personal revelation to guide your life?  Read the suggested scriptures and any articles listed in Resources.
Children: Watch the videos about the Nephites receiving the Holy Ghost. Have a parent or teenage sibling summarize Doctrine and Covenants 138 for you and to help you understand the scriptures given in the discussion.


Introduction: Whisper. Quietly say things like, “if you can hear me, blink your eyes. If you can hear me cross your toes.” Etc, until you have everyone’s attention. Talk about how the Holy Ghost is like a still small voice, and if we’re not listening, it’s really hard to hear.
            Then make an illustration of stairs going up with 4 steps. On the bottom step, write “Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.” Review Faith from the previous FHE lesson. On the second step from the bottom, write “Repentance.” Remind them about the lesson on repentance. On the next step, write “Baptism by emersion for the remission of sins.” Remind them that that was last week’s lesson. Ask the family what comes next (The laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost).
            Pull out the wrapped picture of the girl receiving the Holy Ghost. Ask the family to open it, and then to discuss why you wrapped it and what a gift is. Discuss that we do not have to open the gift, but that it is given to us so that we can open it and use it.

Discussion: Discuss how in a previous lesson, we talked about the Holy Ghost. Have the family talk about what they remember from that lesson. Briefly discuss who the Holy Ghost is and what is his role in the Plan of Salvation. Talk about how the Holy Ghost influences our lives if we will let him. It is by him that visions and dreams and prophecies usually become, but He doesn’t always speak to us in a loud voice, in fact he rarely does. He communicates with us by:
  1. Warning us of danger or evil (Remind the family of the story of President Harold B. Lee).
  2. Giving us our testimonies (Alma 5:46).
  3. Helping us know and choose the right (D&C 11:12).
  4. Helping us understand things (D&C 6:15).
  5. Helping us recognize truth (Moroni 10:5).
  6. Guiding us in important decisions (2 Nephi 32:5).
  7. Comforting us (Galatians 5:22; Moroni 8:26).
  8. Helping us remember things (John 14:26; D&C 6:22).
  9. Helping us know when we need to act for ourselves (D&C 58:26).
  10. Giving us words to speak. Helping us understand and communicate with each other. (D&C 84:85; Luke 12:12)
  11. Talking to us in our minds and in our hearts (D&C 8:2-3; D&C 11:13-14).
  12. Causing our bosoms to burn or giving a feeling of peace (D&C9:6)
  13. Causing a stupor of thought (D&C 9: 9)
  14. Weighing heavily upon our minds, ideas that won’t go away (D&C 128:1; D&C 6:23).
            Activity: Have cards labeled with the ways the Holy Ghost helps us and cards that have the scriptures. For really young children, tell of an anecdote describing each clue and have them point to the clue (I highly suggest taking quotes and anecdotes from The Unspeakable Gift of the Holy Ghost by elder Jay E. Jensen). For younger ages, have the clues already turned over, but flip over the scriptures. As a family find each scripture and discuss which clue it goes to. For older ages, have all clues and scriptures hidden.

From the Book of Mormon: Read 3 Nephi 19:9-23. Discuss how important the Holy Ghost is. They really wanted its influence in their lives! How did Jesus feel that they wanted the Holy Ghost? Note that they followed the principles and ordinances of the gospel. First, they believed and repented, and then they were baptized. Then the Holy Ghost could come upon them.

From Church History: Discuss what we need to do to feel the Holy Ghost in our lives. Remind the family that we can lose the spirit by partaking in profanity, uncleanliness, disobedience, rebellion, sin, and anger. Just as we can lose the Holy Ghost, we can choose a lifestyle that will bring Him closer to us. President Joseph F. Smith set a perfect example of what is expected of us before we can receive revelation or promptings from the Holy Ghost. Read Doctrine and Covenants 138. What pattern did he follow (Make sure to discuss pondering, asking, worthiness and alertness)? Explain that Heavenly Father has given us the Holy Ghost to help us live our lives successfully. He was not meant to be a reward for when we are perfect. Learning to be guided by the Holy Ghost is, in fact, necessary to help us reach perfection.
Activity: Show the family a small object you will hide for this game. Have a family member volunteer to leave for a moment while you hide it. When they return, tell them that he must listen to find it. Use a quiet noise, such as lightly tapping a pencil to show the child which way to turn to look for it. Make sure that the noises you make are very soft and reverent. Tap more quickly as the child moves closer to the hiding place. A variation would be to have a few family members constantly giving bad directions or just plain making noise while a quiet family member gives correct information.

Further discussion: The Holy Ghost is not the only source of promptings in our life. Satan can deceive us with his own voice. We must keep these basic rules in mind when we feel we have received revelation:
  1. Promptings of the Holy Ghost do not violate any gospel principles, including the agency of others.
  2. The promptings are in harmony with the teachings of the scripture and of the prophets.
  3. The promptings are in harmony with the order of the Church. See D&C 28:2,6-7
  4. The promptings bring peace to the soul; they do not raise doubts and questions. See D&C 11:12-14, 50:23-24

Challenge: Have each baptized member of the family write down and act on any impressions they have received from the Holy Ghost this week. For any members of the family not yet baptized, challenge them to memorize Article of Faith number 4.

Resources:   Primary 3 Lesson 12;  Come, Follow Me lessons on the Holy Ghost; Gospel Principles Chapter 21; The Unspeakable Gift of The Holy Ghost by elder Jay E. Jensen (the whole talk is amazing, but this lesson only focuses on the second half. The first half is covered in The Holy Ghost Helps Me).Family Home Evening Resource Book lesson 15; True to the Faith section on the gift of the Holy Ghost, starting on page 83;

Friday, August 9, 2013

School Blessings FHE

We have found that if we don't make a specific Family Home Evening night dedicated to Father's Blessings before school that they don't happen, so we dedicate one Family Night a year for that purpose.

A father's blessing is a special time. It allows our children's father to receive revelation for his children and it gives the children a feeling of comfort and peace before school starts. It also is a guaranteed time for everyone to build a relationship with our Father in Heaven, on an individual basis and as a family. And since we are building our family an individual at a time with blessings, we DO grow stronger as a family.

But what about homeschooling? Does that change things? Nope. Well, mostly nope. I am guessing it changes the things discussed in the blessing, because circumstances would be different, but mostly, we feel it's still important to grow as a family whether its public school or homeschool. And they will be studying and learning, and could use that extra reminder that God is proud of their choice to do so.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Battle of wills

We're currently on our way back from my  high school reunion (oh man, was that an eye opener), and jamming out to Hispanic music. Lest you think we actually enjoy it, let me explain:

I speak Spanish, and I think it's kind of fun to listen for words I actually remember. Ranger, however, can't listen without saying something about how it reminds him of circus music and changing the channel quickly. While we were flipping through stations on our drive and it tuned into a Latino station, I sarcastically said, " here we go, let's listen to this." Not to be outdone, he left it there. Well, I can't let him outlast me, when I'm the one that claims to enjoy it. And I honestly could probably stand it just fine except I keep expecting him to change it. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013


I've always disliked dairy. Especially some cheeses. It's not a lactose-intolerance thing, really, because it's usually not the heavy-lactose things that bother me. I have a huge problem with cheddar, but can handle powdered milk. that's totally backwards! Powdered milk is about 97% lactose, if I've done my google-searching correctly.I think it's a problem with the milk-fat. 2% kills me, but skim doesn't. Maybe something else, I don't know. At any rate, since I cut out cereal 6+ months ago (best decision!!! Haven't looked back), my daughter's been noticing that she feels so much better without cereal and milk. So, we struggle to finish a half gallon before it goes bad. As we were having rice for breakfast today, I couldn't help noting the types of milk we have in our lives! I have to buy so many varieties now!
  • we have powdered milk in our pancakes and for baking. And for cottage cheese if we ever eat it (SOO much better this way, I promise). 
  • we have almond milk or coconut milk for things that just plain need milk (like rice for breakfast).
  • we have 1% for my husband who REFUSES to join the "health kick." Little does he know he's being slowly converted. I haven't dared point it out, because that will halt all progressive change. 
However, instead of buying sour cream and yogurts and the like, we use no-sugar plain Greek Yogurt. Yogurts never used to bother me. But then I read the labels. Seriously! If you don't want to change your diet, don't research what some of the ingredients are. It's way too much of a catalyst for change. So that was enough for me to get over my desire for Yoplait. Now I can mix in my own fruit and honey at home. I used to hate plain yogurt with fruit on bottom or whatever. It was still nasty. But with honey and tons of fruit, I guess I just don't notice the difference. Either that or I've discovered what real food tastes like. And I do love that one container can fulfill so many needs like sour cream and yogurt and ranch and that sort of thing.

I know there are advocates for both sides of the milk argument. Some (like my friend Reta) think it's awful any way you swing it and are quite happy with their almond milk. Some (like news, media, and a ton of people with their own agendas and propagandas) say that milk is a required dietary need. I'd say I'm in the middle. I think most of our problem comes from pasteurization and homogenization, but I don't have any evidence to prove it. As a whole, I think that milk is enjoyable, but not a necessity. I count it as a blessing, not a need.

How do you view dairy? Are some things okay? Is it always good? Always bad? Let me know. (I know I don't have that many followers, but I was interested in whatever feedback I can get). 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Overhearing Songs of the Heart

I'm sitting at my computer right now giving my daughter some time to herself (she didn't feel well yesterday and I think I was being too involved as a parent. AKA hovering). One of my favorite things in this life is to listen to her when she has no idea I'm doing it. That is when I see her true self. She's so good at hiding herself, even to her mother. I can see through it, usually, but it still happens. When she's by herself, there's a peace and serenity. No one for her to impress, no one for her to fear. Just her.

Listening to her, I get such peace.

I see through people. I see what people try to hide from me. And when I find a true moment in a person's life, I soak up every ounce of it. Especially with someone I love as much as my daughter. I wish she could be this way all the time. I wish she wasn't so afraid of people. I wish she didn't already have a mask she wears. I love the girl behind the mask. It really cuts me deep when she hides behind it, when she sells out her core values in order to feel accepted. Ranger and I do it, too (me, not so much anymore. I'm working on it tirelessly), and I don't want that for her.

Right now, she's singing Primary songs, and my heart sings in response.

"Heavenly Father, are you really there?"

Yes, child! Ask that question! I want you to know.

"And do you hear and answer every child's prayer?"

I sure hope so. Especially your prayers you don't know you're praying.

"You are his child. His love now surrounds you."

Stay there, my daughter. Stay in His love. It'll go everywhere with you. Even where I can't.

"Of such is the Kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven."

Yes. Yes, it is. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


I've had the results from the Praxis for a couple weeks, but I haven't posted. It seemed that everything I was writing was coming out negative, and I took my mother's advice on letter writing and stepped back for a bit. You know, because I am good at taking breaks from blogging. ;c)

But the results are in, and I just wanted to share! First, let me give you some points of reference:

  • To become a teacher in my state, I need a passing score of 143. 
  • ETS (The test administrators) deem anything above a 181 to be worthy of their own elite honors program. 
I got 177. Four points shy of honors! 

The problem I was having was what to do with that information. But I think I know my course of action now. I have one more avenue I'm going to try, and then I'll resign myself to my fate. It'll be set in motion halfway through the month, and I'll know by the time school starts. Let's face it, though, it's a pretty slim chance. But, it's in God's hands. I needed the Praxis for something, so eventually I'll understand it.