Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Halloween I love

The van had broken down earlier in the day so a lot of time was eaten up trying to get the tow truck to get the van to the shop.  Then more time to check on it and it still hadn't been picked up.  I had the youngest 3 with me to check on the car and I told them we'd do a little trick or treating on the way home.  L was asleep by the time we left the car unattended again because it was getting so late.   

A friend told us about a very nice neighborhood to go visit.  Our piano teacher had invited us to come to her neighborhood but with the car trouble we didn't think we would.  But as it was on the way home and our piano teacher has said that people on the end really liked getting trick or treaters, we drove by. 

I've judged people for doing the car thing while the kids went door to door.  I am sorry.  It's the best thing ever.  It's especially the best thing ever when a child is asleep.  Letting the children run up to the door alone is so good for them.  Watching their joy as they scamper up and down driveways is really great.

I love how Halloween can bring out the best in people.  Tonight as I took my middle children around their piano teacher's neighborhood, the children ran with delight up to the doors of strangers, and the strangers gave them candy.  We've instituted a practice of candy budgeting and the kids are pretty ok with that.  So the candy the 2 middles brought home was added to the stash after they happily shared some with the siblings that didn't go.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Tithing Settlement

On Sunday the Bishop gave an excellent talk.  He started by talking about the Widow of Zarephath and Elijah.  The widow showed faith before the blessing came.  The story of the Widows mite led to a discussion of tithing and how at this time of year we can meet with the Bishop to state that we are full tithe payers.  The Bishop talked about how we can have a sense of joy in fulfilling this obligation.  It was an excellent talk and I was so glad that we were going to have our tithing settlement that very day.

I'm barely getting a handle on paying a regular tithe and feeling sure that I have paid all I should.  Last year we attended tithing settlement with the Bishop late in the year.  We got settled up but the children had no idea if they were full tithe payers or not. 

This year we kept better records of their income but they didn't pay regular tithing.  Before we went to tithing settlement I sat down with each of them and totaled up their income.  They calculated their tithing based off of that. 

When we got to the bishop's office to meet, some of the children had actually paid during the year.  So they had a total figure and were able to subtract previous donations from that.  I felt really glad for them to be able to have enough money in their accounts to pay their tithing.  When the Bishop asked if they were full tithe payers, they weren't sure what to say.  I asked them if they paid what we calculated.  They could respond with growing confidence that they had. 

I don't think I ever kept record of my income until well into adulthood.  Like I said, it's only recently that I don't have some underlying uncertainty about my own status as a tithe payer.

I'm so grateful for tithing and for the inspiration to help the children develop this habit now.  There is joy in paying a full tithe as well as blessings.


There have been years where we took the kids to 5+ halloween events.  Between church, library, school, neighborhood, community and co-op, there's a lot to do.  I'm so pleased that this year we just relaxed and did a few events but it wasn't too stressful.

We have this incredible neighbor who put on a science party for the older kids last night.  I cleaned the house in anticipation that some families with younger siblings would come by.  At 6 I took the little boys over to the party at a local church, then we returned to the neighborhood to pick up the big kids.

Today was our neighborhood party and church party.  I decided last year that I was only doing the neighborhood party.  So I just hung out today and then at 2 helped decorate for the party.  M helped with balloons and got to have a great time.  My fun neighbor brought hula hoops and jump ropes.  I brought the parachute and tied the teather ball to a loop so it never went far.  L was at home asleep so I just got to hang out and help with jump rope or parachute.

The older 3 went trick or treating on bikes with their neighbor friend.  I went home and took B and L trick or treating down to the blind corner then back.  Our neighborhood passed out yard signs this year so kids knew which long driveways to go down for candy.  It really increased our feeling of confidence and it seemed like much more households participated this year.

When we got home the kids dumped out their candy on the dining room table.  In past years they gobble it up, start to fight and then I confiscate all the candy.  Last year we budgeted the candy and I know they were looking forward to doing that again.  I commented to P that it was taking them a long time to start fighting.  They never did fight.  They traded a bit, eat a little then started to loose interest.  I began gathering up the candy and there was no protest.  I told them we'd budget it out tomorrow.  I'm so thrilled that this was such a pleasant day.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Evil Empire

The Evil Empire never sees itself as evil. 
It sees itself at the dike holding back the
tides that would inundate.

Has there ever been a totalitarian government
that said all people should have rights?

Everyone wants to see themselves as the
persecuted minority even when they claim
this country has always been a white country
and should stay that way.

Black people weren't the only slaves they
claim.  All lives matter to them because they
refuse to see that some lives have been property
and that has left a legacy of poverty and injustice.

"The democrats sent those pipe bombs to
themselves." they say standing in line to
cast their vote.  

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

mid life

This year I am 38, not quite the middle of my life, but the middle section.  I watched Julie/Julia and appreciated my wonderful husband.  I am grateful for my beautiful children.  I'm grateful I had a chance to finish my bachelor's degree and teach for 2 years.  I've learned so many lessons over the years.  When I'm done teaching my children what will my next act be?

Having children is a wonderful journey and not available to everyone.  I bawled with Meryl Streep portraying Julia Child's agony about not having children.  I ache for women wishing for children.

Tonight L told me he loves me.  He also let me leave him in bed while he was still awake.

I am so blessed.

And I get to vote tomorrow!

The power of a new day

Today I woke at 7:30 and went on a walk.  I plan to eat stuffing waffles for breakfast.  Our sign day for the week is today and so far, we're signing.  It's easy to let the burden of past choices weigh you down.  But each day is a new day, a chance to make choices anew.  I'm grateful for this new day.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Media Choices

G is always hoping to be able to watch PG-13 movies.  When I read the parental guides for those movies, I'm never comfortable letting him watch movies with so much bad stuff in them.  To me PG-13 is "almost R".  In general when I have watched PG-13 movies, at the end I feel mentally dirty and wish I hadn't watched it.  "Failure to Launch" is an example of that.  I've actually seen rated R movies that were less sexually explicit than PG-13 movies.  I don't think the violence in R movies inspire every day violence the way implied sex scenes kindle the sexual curiosity that many PG-13 movies generate.

We haven't had broadcast TV for 7 years.  My children have grown up watching Dora, Wiggles, Backyardigans, Busy Town and other series from DVD.  On they've enjoyed watching Odd Squad and Arthur.  They have not been exposed to a wide variety of media. 

G recently watched High School Musical 3 at a youth event and that led to us all watching it at Grandma's.  P shows the older kids movies like Princess Bride, Star Wars (4, 5, 6) and someday he'll show them Harry Potter.  I look forward to watching Lord of the Rings with them. 

Watching violent or sexual content is not about being old or strong enough to handle it.  Sometimes Violent content can teach us about virtues like integrity or courage.  But sexual content never teaches about chastity.  Sexual scenes in movies leave you with a titillating feeling of wishing you could do the same.  Even when a movie shows that bad things came of the sexual activities, they still send the message that it was sexy.

I hope my children's lives are not full of violence.  I hope that they are able to marry and have sexual lives with their spouse that are not polluted by explicit images or sexualized drama.  Sex is an awesome part of marriage but it is literally not the most important part of marriage.  Friendship, mutual support, kindness, responsibility and loyalty must be present throughout the marriage.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Working on my ticket

I attended Woodbadge in the spring and am working on my 5 goals to get my training signed off.  One of my goals is to create 12 hymns that can be played like a guitar, with simple chords that repeat rather than a unique base line that you have to pay attention to as in Simplified Hymns.  I've been posting those hymns here at:

Sometimes I write the chord name below the chord where I like to see it and sometimes I write it above the melody which is more standard.

It's really fun getting these written out such that I can actually sight read them as easily as I can sight read simple guitar music.  I can only play about 6 chords, so I can play in 3-4 keys, IF they don't have chords I don't know.  I'm so anti growth!  No, I just am content with my ability to play many songs with a limited number of keys.  I don't think it's bad to be satisfied.  And by playing those things I'm comfortable playing, I'm getting better at the piano than I ever hoped. 

I think I need to add fingering in for the melody though.  That would help me a lot.  The trouble is that our piano is in the front room and the computer with Finale is in the office.  So I need to write down the fingerings on a printed copy, then walk back around and type them into the music.  Oh, so hard!  Just kidding.  P is going to buy me a midi keyboard!

Teaching sexual values

I recently read a seminar by Mary Flo Ridley about Guiding Children's Sexual Values.  I really appreciated how this seminar taught me that sexual relations are a gift from God intended for use within a marriage.  When used outside of a marriage, lots of terrible things happen for individuals, families and most importantly children. 

This seminar helped me embrace teaching my children about how wonderful it is to have a loving husband.  Sexual relations are God given for godly purposes.  Satan wants to corrupt that power and ruin our lives, and bring us into bondage, just like he wants to ruin our lives in every other possible way. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Church changes

I'm really excited about the new church schedule.  I'm fasting from social media for 10 days.  We'll read the Book of Mormon by the end of the year.  All good things.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

new manuals

The new manuals for Primary came and I'm really impressed.  Each lesson is dated, and very clearly laid out.  Each lesson had media references and a very nice coloring makeable page.  I think this will make teaching primary so much easier.  It will hopefully decrease teachers need to go find random other pictures of scripture stories.  It also gives specific lds media to show so you don't have teachers showing Joseph kind of dreams to their classes for 3 weeks, hopefully.

I'm really impressed with the resources the church is coming out with and how it standardizes the experience.  There are a lot of people out there creating coloring books and pinterest activities, and etsy sharing time lessons.  The church has created a fantastic manual that removes the need for that.  It may hurt some cottage industry that has been enabling the keeping up with pinterest craze, but there's still plenty of room for  people to go buy content outside if people want to.

The church has come out with this coloring book for the 4 standard works.  It's so affordable we can give it to the kids for Christmas.  I'm really happy about this creative and accessible item.

Monday, October 1, 2018

deaf ninja!