A lovely date with my Engineer

A lovely date with my Engineer

 

This little bundle of flowers was given to me just the other day from my best friend and dearest husband.

He knocked on the door, and though one of the children couldn’t keep the surprise and told me it was Dad, it was so fun to go to the door with a ‘courter’ on the front step.

I burst into a joyful laugh because I thought to myself, now this is the most clever way to pry me away from house and home (as I was right in the middle of a homeschool lesson.) And I threw my arms around him and gave him a hug.  The children were all around me and it was one of those moments I could feel angels enjoying too.

Snaggle pinky nail!  Oh well, such is my life!

Hubby had been excited for the date all day, and I had too, except when I thought about all the things I could have been getting done.  A diamond had fallen out of my ring, and the Engineer and taken it in to get repaired.

It was exciting to see my ring shiny and fixed, and for it to happily return to my finger holding a temporary ring made by Paul Bunyon my inventive son, who wound some copper to make me a piece of jewelry.

The Engineer was so sweet and bade me look around for fun dreaming purposes.  Originally I had told him to choose my setting, when in fact I later found out that I really should have gone shopping with him before hand to atleast point out my favorites.  I do love my ring, but this is what I found, while ‘dreaming’.
Simple, but delicate, charming, romantic, feminine and in a word, dreamy.

After this we found a great Ma and Pops shop that sold sandwiches.  We stepped in JUST in time before their closing.  The owner was sweet and talked to us all about the origins of his shop.  Loved it.

Then, as luck would have it, we found out that the town was having a gallery walk!  Yipee!  As we walked around together, we got to enjoy free delicious chocolates and treats, crackers and cheese.  One place had home made candies!!!

Our gallery walk began!

It was so fun because my sixth is just so content, and he loved being given a little cracker or treat here in there while he got cuddled by his Dad.

The art work was lovely to see, and finally I got the idea for taking pictures!

This one was especially special to us.  My husband said, doesn’t this one remind you of our friend?  It really did, and it was so sweet and thoughtful for my Dear to notice that.

I recently went to the funeral of my friend’s little, dear son.  He  was born very prematurely, but lived 17 days.  Because they could feel the spirit of their son so nearby, they had their children and anyone who wanted to, to hold the baby.

The sweet daughter had the dearest tenderest frown as she lovingly held her little brother for the last time.

Her Brother’s Keeper By Trent Gudmundsen

The Title was so appropriate too. 

This next painting reminded my Engineer of our son, Paul Bunyon.  So we then hunted for artwork that reminded us of our children.

The sacred temple, or house of the Lord, that we saw in several paintings was lovely!

And this montage of pictures, oh how I felt the spirit!

Hands of the Master by Doc Christenson

Last, we bought some chocolate, to take home to our little monkeys!

This was one of my favorite dates I’ve ever been on!!!  Here’s to many more!!!

 

I Need Something New, do you?

I Need Something New, do you?

photo credit

Lately, I feel like emotionally I’ve hit, a huge wall!  But luckily, in September, I have energy for opening my heart and eyes to new systems, better ways of doing things.  So I make new charts and systems that I can’t live up to, but shooting for something, helps me feel better!

So I went to Tale of Our Quest, for the rescue.  We are now using her system of zones, for our cleaning and I copied and pasted many of her charts, then went to Pinterest, down loaded some cute fonts, and modified them.

Our zone papers are in sheet protectors for the kids to check off as they go.  Day 1 of the new system, check, now we are on day 2~  Here we go!  Here we try!

I am sorta pleased of what I modified our family rules to be.  LaDawn Jacobs originally inspired me to making rules, and then at church a lovely lady, she reinforced this, and so I knuckled down and wrote some rules.  I hope to read over it once at the beginning of the month or just leave out on the table for people to pick up and read, hopefully!  I start feeling like a drowing dog when I forget my rules into a blur of emotional catastrophe!  Here’s to remembering our rules.

So to take a peek into rules, charts and what not, Here it is.

zones, schedules, family rules 2014

 

Peace out Napolean.

September 2014 Memorizing Scriptures and Poetry

September 2014 Memorizing Scriptures and Poetry

From the example of many wonderful mothers, I learned about using memorization as an important teaching tool in our children’s lives that keeps on giving through the years.  I have a dream of having adorable little ebooks, but as I am not there yet, here’s a step I’m really floored I actually buckled under and did.  The Lord gave me no church calling for a few months, and I guess I got stir crazy, but,  I am putting together something as a gift for you to use if you feel it would bless your life…yes, us Moms like cute things, but we rarely get to making things ‘cute’ too, so here’s to adding one little bright spot as you work on scripture memorization and familiarity with your family.

Since its a word doc, its customize-able!  Just plug in your own scriptures and poetry, into the text boxes.  If I had a very young family, I would choose ONE small scripture or two per month, so this is a smorgasbord of sorts.  Many of the poems, quotes and scriptures, are from a compilation of LaDawn Jacobs, mother of 11 children.  I bought her memorization collection (very cheap, basically for the cost of the paper) at a copy store, if you are interested in buying that instead, please let me know in a comment and I will email you the name of the copy store.  I am not sure how to purchase it otherwise.  She also has a book of Holiday collection celebration ideas that are very enriching.

 

Here is September’s memorizing collection.   Enjoy!  We pull out when a fight crops up….we shoot for breakfast time.  But maybe I should put it in the car as a car book where even more fights break out!

September 2014 memorizations
And here is something I just bumped into, too, for free customize-able hand writing sheets! Zaner-Bloser sheets.  And then I saw this, linked from “A tale of our Quest”, wow, this looks drewlable with a fantastic scripture guide and place for memorizing and writing them.  Discover the Scriptures  one Memory at a time.  Maybe Easter time presents?

Tell me in my comments more fantastic resources, if you have a minute, that you have treasured!

Falling from Grace~and Capturing again!

Falling from Grace~and Capturing again!

photo credit

There are many times I hit that stage where I feel…that I am at the end of my rope…and I can’t go on.

I am thankful for a new school year as a homeschool mother, because its when I am most open to change that can bring answers.  So finally getting to the computer and re-visiting family rules and tightening them up again, making some more, gaining some ideas of vision for goals and tweeks in the system, gives me hope that I will live up to my ideals.  I feel more hope, more sanity.

And yet, when it comes right down to it, I realize I just need more Christ, I need more grace, more of his Help, Insight, Love Light, Guidance, Patience, Ability, Strength.

In my religion, we tend to use words like the Enabling Help from the Atonement…this is His Grace.

I hit these rope ends in pregnancy, when I can’t move one more step.  I hit them post partem, when I can see the jaws of depression wanting to swallow me up and I am at the threadful edges of a jagged slippery cliff.  I hit them in life when life Intimidates me, Overwhelms me, and my nerves are raw to the silliest of things.

I learned to capture grace, I think, really during pregnancy or post partem of my fourth child.  I knew and felt the blessings that came from striving to keep the commandments and studying his scriptures, and I thought I was trying to get help from above for babies one two and three, but then I Realized, how a.l.o.n.e. I was really mustering my life out of sheer grit.  I wasn’t as capable, happy, or successful as I could be, if I just got more help.  I needed more belief.  I needed more relief.

I learned from the example of a wonderful post alcoholic, who fell on his knees EACH morning of EVERY day and who PLEAD, dear God, this is the day I could fall from grace. Never did his bosom swell with false pride that he could make it…no, he just implored the Lord in the lowliest place and then as he faltered with just those shreds of belief, the Lord Rescued him, Enabled him, and Strengthened him, and he…was Strengthened like crazy, to not touch the bottle for false comfort, and He was sober each day for 14 good years.  His eyes shone, and BLESS his soul for sharing His story that day, it burned into my soul.

(I felt like a great person in my life up and until I had 2 children.  But the third, mixed with some complicated and unwanted life situations, with sleep deprivation, hormones and child strains mixed in, had put me at an emotionally unstable place.  My good husband led me to these great meetings….oh the first class was the scariest place I ever went: yes, I had started to go to a 12 step meeting just to help me control my emotions for my temper that I might not say or do what I was afraid might grab out and ensnare my love ones by my impulsive wrong choice, and wreck all the time and effort I put in to building my children.  My mother had taught me STRIKE 1, STRIKE 2, STRIKE 3, in baseball, you are out.  I had 3 situations heated and too uncontrolled, that led me to realize, I was OUT, and I needed help…)

The group support and their messages, as well as the manual with its scriptures and scrip, it was my ticket to learning how to implore more grace in my life, my ticket to believing enough to feel the difference, feel the connection and receive the help…LDS Family Addictions Recovery, the manual.  The meetings.

Yes, I had a problem, I got to step 3 in the program when I realized I had to start over…to step 1 where you realize you have a problem.  If you can’t accept YOU really need help, you CAN’T access grace. I couldn’t handle life’s situations without time and time again responding emotionally rather than with thought out gaining of good knowledge and reasonable responses that led to the best solutions.  It was an emotional addiction.  Yes, I needed help to change.

And now, I recognize this end of the rope feeling just means although I’ve been praying diligently, I just need to pray with more intent, not on the oblique so to say, where I’m not direct enough, or not pleading enough, too rote, too brief and passing, or not Believing enough, and I know I’ll firm up my hand grip with Him, and I will have the hope, and joy and strength and patience and guidance and answers I need.

Or sometimes it means I need to go back to my meeting which helps bring me the humility I need to access his help, which other’s examples and the sacrifice of even going alone, helps me with.  Or sometimes I’m reminded to take the time to work through my manual again.

He continually guides me to new skills, and He continually helps to sink true principles in my heart, so each time I reach the end of my rope, I’m a better person over all through Him, He’s changed some old character, making life’s challenges easier….yet at any point, I think I’ve got it, I’ve got it made, I’m done.

Continually, as the 14 year sober man, each day I need to remember How Much He is Helping Me…and that I do need more Help, as my grip begins to slide, slide, slide…now Caught!  Or a failure, and prayer, and grace and repentance, and Caught!

And each somewhat ‘successful’ feeling day, even on my best shiniest days, or moments, I still need to implore the grace of His finishing Atonement, because when it comes right down to it, I am a toddler who can’t see most of what I’m doing less effectively, and He needs to Finish my efforts to make them really effective, to make them really Shine.  Oh thanks be to the Good,Good Lord.

Oh the vulnerable journey.  Amazing Grace, How sweet the Sound that SAVES a wretch like me.

 

Sew your own Modest Swimsuit: Flattering and Tug proof!

Sew your own Modest Swimsuit: Flattering and Tug proof!
Its here! My classy -comfy swimsuit of the year!  Freshly sewn, and my 10 year old has reluctantly done a photo shoot for me…

 

 

 

…And me…not pregnant for a second!  I’ve been dreaming this suit up for years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swim clothes.  Not to replace your lap swimming needs…just a fun alternative to cut off jean shorts and tees or board shorts and shirts for worry free, casual fun swimming and water play.  (Personally, I would remove just the skirt in swimming for exercise, and would be able to swim comfortably.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…For those of us who want to have all the fun!  What stops us from making water memories?  Is it the vulnerability that tugs, flips, stretches, or a few more pounds, scars or stretch marks than we want that may frighten us away from fun in the sun with our friends and family?

 

 

 

Or maybe some of us feel we are really hot ladies, and we deserve to shine!   I believe modesty is shading some of our glorious glory for the benefit of ourselves and others.  Though our beauty blesses others, we send the message we are more than just our outer shell, when we choose to dress modestly.  I feel like such a lady when I’m feminine and covered, not in a bag, but in something flattering but discreet…plus I have my share of things I like to hide, a bit! :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sewing opens the world of possibilities….and swimming with spandex is not nearly as hard as we fear it to be….just heed a few tips and you’ve got it!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So bring on the wind, the waves, the sun, the kids–forget the pounds that won’t budge, and come have some fun!

Don’t sew, or no time?  With just a desire,  (the Lord) will float into your life the creativity and pieces you need for your covered needs, without any sewing, or maybe just a little modification needs!  I’ve even employed a tailor to help me make those modifications, when I wasn’t confident of my abilities.

Do sew, but don’t think you can?  Well, you really can!  I’ve had the dream to sew atleast one duplicate of my swim wear of the year and sell it on Etsy, but since I’ve not ever got that far, then I can atleast blog my little adventure and inspire those seamstresses out there, it really is so much fun!

So bend, reach, move, tube down a river, dive in a creek, and have fun with those friends, spouses, children, or even grand children, without feeling self conscious.  Yes its true, at first I felt self conscious  for looking different, but very quickly I felt less self conscious over all, for having more on buys self assured-ness.  And pretty soon, I didn’t feel self conscious at all,  but just great…happy, comfortable, and pretty too!

Spandex Sewing Tips

Here are my nutshell tips which I got from Creative Chicks and Olivia’s Swimsuit Ebook:  I think a little research here will really set you up for all your spandex sewing needs.  If you want a suit similar to mine, Olivia’s ebook is a must have, I refer to it each year before sewing a new suit!

Needles: Stretch or ball point

Stitch:  Always do one row of baste first, you won’t regret it.  Then if you are sure its good, go over it with the straight stitch next to the 9/10 on my machine which goes backwards every few stitches.  This will make a stitch that won’t pop.  Creative chicks also has suggestions for pretty stitching if you don’t have a surger.  I’ve had really nice success with her suggestions.

Edges:  Bottom of skirts look better just cut, make sure to cut sharp.  Sleeve edges look well with a normal hem, fold it 1/4, baste it down, and then 1/4-1/2 again and do 2 lines of sewing with the afore mentioned stitch that goes backward and forward, or follow Renee’s suggestion with a wavy line.  If doing a double line, make sure to follow the foot or markers precisely.

Rule of thumb:  Don’t stretch too much while sewing, but a little stretching when you need to match a seam is what makes this fabric easier at times.  Sewing a detailed spot, really get your hands in there to hold the fabric, but it will slip a little.  Olivia says don’t sweat perfection…often picking out will ruin your fabric anyway especially if you didn’t baste first.  Its true, often for your sanity and the cuteness of the garment, let well enough be.

Fabric: Olivia suggests Spandex House.  So much variety!  My two cents is, for more covering swim wear, you want two contrasting fabrics.  A wall of the same fabric is a little frumpy to my mind.

Under Support:  A sports bra with a nursing pad in it can work, you can purchase swim bras, and Olivia’s Ebook mentioned before is awesome for figuring out your support system, and sewing it too!

Instructions for a sweet heart neck top:

 

1-Start with an inspiration or two, to make your dreamy suit come true.

 2- Combine a few pattern yes’s to create your new pattern.  If combining patterns, make sure that your shoulder seams will match up front piece to back piece on your top.  

 

 

 

 

 

(I used the ‘shirt of inspiration’ shown above, to make the neck line, but skiffed it up just a titch as to have absolutely no bending down problems, and used the shoulder, arm hole seams from a t-shirt pattern, and the bottom piece comes from my previous raglan sleeved swim pattern.  To make sure my shoulder seams matched up, I made sure the back pattern used the same t-shirt pattern at the shoulder/armhole seams.)

3- If you have combined pattern pieces, for your own sanity, draw a new pattern piece.  Treat yourself to medical exam paper.  You won’t regret having a roll!

(Any medical supply store will have it)

(My son erased the better picture of my newly made pattern pieces, both front and back).

(If you are putting rusching on your suit, cut it a lot lot longer.  Mine will be just long enough to go to my hip line but on the sides it will be shorter, too short to not show my midriff when lifting arms, but I have a one piece I am wearing underneath for bra support, so if you want one that is long enough to wear just a bra with, and still reach up very high with your arms, but not show your midriff, put 7 inches off of what you see mine to look like.)

 4- Get cutting and sewing!  Always baste first before you do a wickedly hard line of sewing that is impossible to pick!

Here’s my cut out front piece:

I cut out a tiny facing for the neckline that matched the sweet heart shape, its about 1 1/2 inches thick.

Here that facing is, cut out of the swim fabric, and pinned on, right sides together.

You can see me sewing this seam, it was tricky because it was slipping so I kept my fingers close holding it together best I could.  It still slipped a bit off but I tried to compensate for the slipping by still sewing the correct sweet heart shape. Fudging a bit you know.

Here that is, remember I basted it first incase it turned out terrible.

Here it is, sewn again with the afore mentioned backward forward straight stitch.

Clipped the seams at the points and trimmed to tiny, like 1/8 inch.

 

 

 

 

 

Turn this facing to the back side, iron seam gently with a synthetic material setting, and top stitch 1/4 inch from edge carefully with your top stitch of choice.  Woops I didn’t top stitch.  But it would have made the next step easier.

Cut four pieces that are longer by about 2 inches than each side.  Cut widely enough to be about about 1 1/2 wide when folded in half.  They will be layered one by one on the sides of the sweet heart neck. (My son deleted the picture of the four little strips).

Here is the first piece that will slide into place half way under the sweet heart neck.  This is a close up of one of the sides of the sweet heart neck.

And here I am sewing it on:

Stop before you get about an inch to the next corner.

I actually went too far and the new piece wouldn’t slide in, so I had to back up and pick out.  This is no big deal because I first baste!! :)

If you look reeeeeally carefully, you can see I’ve stopped about an inch from the first sweet heart corner to tuck and pin in the next piece.

All four sides are now sewn on:

I’ve done two rows of finishing stitches across this front piece.

Turn it over, and trim the facing up a bit:

Now, measure your back neck hole.

Mine measured 9 inches so I cut 10 long, for good measure, along the bias.

I cut mine 4 inches wide, also for good measure.

Fold it in half and pin it on, baste it, and sew it securely.

Just trim off the extra funny length, you see on the right side.

Trim the seam and clip if you would like, I forgot to clip and should have.

Iron it up like a collar.

Now fold it over to the back side and pin it down.  I folded and sewed at the same time, which I think would have been better if I pinned.  Pinning does save time in the end!

Again, all the better if you’ve basted it first.

Sew a finishing stitch over the right side.  Since mine looks a little lop sided, I put in another row of stitching, that didn’t really help.  Again, I think I should have pinned instead of folding the binding to the back as I sewed along.

Here’s what it looks like on the back:

It being 4 inches wide gave me flexibility for it to not have to be re-sewn because if your strip is more narrow, it wont catch as well on the back side, and you’d have to pick it out.

Sew the shoulder seams.  Baste that first, just to make sure you lined up the neck line in front and back well.  That seam matters that its right together.

I sew my sleeves like this.  A flat thing is much easier than sewing the sides up first.  Besides we are going to put rusching in on the sides.

My arms are now inserted, and you can see I also put in the hem.  I think its easier to hem them first.

I folded up 1/4-1/2, and basted it up, then folded it again and neatly did my backwards forwards stitch to neatly sew to rows.  Not stretching it as I sewed, or this will make it wavy.

That is my arm hole hem.
With the side seams of your shirt still open, its time to put elastic on them.  Keep your elastic long, cut it once its on.

Tack it on up by the arm pit.

Now I’m showing how you stretch the tar out of the elastic while zigzagging down the side edge.

Put the elastic on all four sides, baste the sides up, then securely sew, and do the hem just like you did on the arms.

 

 

 

 

 

This suit I found at the thrift store.  It will be my support system underneath.

 

 

 

 

 

My under support suit has princess seams down the bosom.  I picked out the seam for nursing, and cut a hole in the lining.

I will post a few hints on how to make the bottom in part 2.


 

Sew…for the seamstresses out there who have a little swimmy dream, like me, go ahead and make your dream come true, whatever that may be, that you can swim pretty and sure!

 

Getting Goats

Getting Goats

By Fairy Princess

A really, really, really, long time ago almost a month ago, we got our goats their names are, Marguerite Rose, and Swanili Fleur. (Marguerite means Daisy in French, Swanili means little swan in German, and Fleur means flower in French.) Their last name is Grogan. (because if we get a boy we are going to name him Bill Grogan after Bill, in the song Bill Grogans Goat.) Marguerite is an Oberhasli so she is black and white, Swanili is a Saanen so she Is just White. 

The goats are really funny, We have a swing-set and the steps leading to the slide are made to look like rocks, The goats climb up the stairs and then jump down, Some times they go down the slide! One time I found the goats in the garden, As soon as I saw them they ran out of the garden as fast as they could go! it was like they knew they weren’t supposed to go in the garden! The goats are really fun to run with, The only problem is that they stop when they see some grass that looks really yummy, and there is yummy grass in a lot of places!

Goat always want to be with people! One time the goats were playing on the play ground and the whole family was watching them from the window, as soon as they saw we were watching them they left the play ground, and ran to the front door so we would come out side and play with them! Some times when they sit on the steps by the door and when we open it they try to come inside! The end.

 

 

A Farm girl gets farming

A Farm girl gets farming

I’ve been so busy with my ‘farming’, that I haven’t shared even a bit about it.

The Engineer rented a tiller, that broke as it mounted the tangle of dandelions, and tenacious alfalfa plants across our field.  The second tiller spanned the portion we had tilled, but for the needed third till, it capooted too.  I was sad when I blamed The Engineer, “What is it with you and tillers?”  I hate when I say mean things.

The Engineer needed to get back to engineering, so not wanting to wait till the weekend when we could till again, and invest another 60 or so, I got out my shovel.  It was intimidating, I’ll tell you that much, looking across the brown earth that stretched off in the distance.  What do I do, where do I start?  And then…I just started.  I made a furrow, just trying to get a row with plants less established, shoveling across the garden making rows for us to plant.

The first day that I went to buy my seeds and plants at local nursery, the Engineer said, “You love this, don’t you!” I was so happy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We did some research on the internet as we planned our garden as we went, and due to the mere size of our garden, we didn’t buy lots of maneur or planting fertilizers, we just plain dug and planted.  Apparently our old owners had pigs a year ago or so, so we dug off the first layer of dirt and weeds over in the pig pen hoping for some aged manuer, and got started.  The first four rows we planted were corn.  Fairy Princess and Hoppity planted while I dug and dug more rows, freeing the dirt where we would plant from as much grass root, while Paul Bunyon and the Engineer, as well as Hoppity got me wheel burrows of hopefully aged manuer, though it just looked like rocky soil with some weeds growing from it.

We next got a couple rows of onions in, Hoppity and I planted those rows.

The next week or so, we saved some rows for heirloom corn coming in the mail, skipped over, and planted our tomatoes and peppers.

In about a week when we had these all planted in, we proceeded to our cucumber hills and started some potatoes.





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last, we began our pumpkin troughs and pumpkin hills.  Watching you tube, we found two techniques to experiment over, one was making a hole and filling it with fertilizer, and planting the seeds, these we call our pumpkin troughs, and the other was just a basic mound of dirt, the difference being we mixed the pig poo (maybe, if that is what it is), and alternated with some ash from a camp fire, which we heard is helpful, and plain dirt.

Paul Bunyon loves to dig, but unfortunately I was having a hard time getting him to dig when the joy of it is gone if it needs to be done.  But one day for discipline, he lost outdoor privileges unless he was doing a chore, and on this day, I had his chore be, making pumpkin troughs and mounds.  He felt so happy working so hard and completing things he had started, and sweating and using his muscles to worth while effort.  It was then that  I was glad my homeschooling discipline could be such a positive identity building experience.

John Henry then wanted to help in the next few days with planting the pumpkin seeds, so that was really cute.

Our beans came in last, after the first two rows didn’t come up, and little Bubsie helped me re-plant practically a whole row.  As it took longer, I remember being tempted to just get it done, as I sat with my little boy and his “shupple” and his dirty fat little hands patting soil, picking out seeds with fine motor skill and dropping them in, I knew that this was the whole reason we undertake such endeavors, to spend this kind of time with our little ones…and I was amazed at how long his attention span stretched.  Of course when it expended, he dumped all the remaining beans into one spot as a final hurrah to patience and effort.

 

 

And so goes the garden, watering and weeding never ending, like life, we water, we nourish with fertilizers, and we weed, or repent and correct as we nurture our own lives and that of our families.
I love my garden and I chagrin all the other work I have to do for normal life.  That can be daunting…either some house work gets left undone, or we get more efficient, both difficult prospects.   But the fresh air, sunshine, and hard work that come from a garden, it feels like coming home when I enter there.
Also its a good time to achieve alone time because if the kids do join with weeding, they don’t last forever, and pretty soon you’re all alone with wind and dirt and sun and God, and that is bliss.
I hope you enjoy your gardening.  Tell me any garden stories or tips!  We aren’t pros by all means, learning a lot!
One we found I will leave with you…is Garden Tone and Tomato Tone.  Hints from our favorite Minnesotan nursery, and a real help for lush plants.  Though we didn’t condition the dirt before hand, we are placing this awesome stuff on as it instructs, 2 weeks after planting and every 2 -4 weeks thereafter.
Again, good luck and happy gardening!

Who is my Mother?

Who is my Mother?

Mother’s Day Musings

I like this book title because it explains how I’ve been feeling.  Who is my Mother?  And how can I become like her?

No, I’m not adopted, let me explain.

The lesson I heard in church last Sunday during our all women’s portion of the meeting, known as “Relief Society”, got me thinking all week long.  A story of a mother was read, who rescued her baby daughter in a fire, but lost her husband and was left to raise the child alone.  While raising her daughter, this private and brave woman, kept the story of the rescue that explained her gimpy limp, her thin hair and red ruddy skin from the fire to her self.  The daughter is embarrassed of her mother’s appearance and awkward walk, until someone tells her of the sacrifice and love her mother went through for her.  This beautiful woman, in great sacrifice, assumed an altered physical form to be able to raise her daughter.

But what stayed most with me, was the fact that the woman giving the lesson said, “On Mother’s day, I like to think of my Heavenly Mother.”

Underpinnings

Yes, in our religion, we believe the family on earth is patterned after our eternal family.  That is why marriage between man and woman is so sacred, in my religion.  While I digress from the topic of this post, I feel it important to make clear my beliefs in the roles of men and women, and hope knowledge of what makes a union sacred will even enhance the topic at hand, even the subject of my Heavenly Mother.

My interpretation as follows, is stated prophetically in our prophet’s monumental document, A Proclamation to the Family,

If God himself is perfect, and He commands marriage to be between man and woman, then he Himself is married.  Marriage then, between unselfish man and woman, is what will bring the most happiness to mankind.  We believe in marriage, a binding contract, between man and woman, to be blessed and ordained by God, and to be the highest and holiest path for happiness.  Within this contract, both individuals make sacred promises of loyalty, and strive to create a family together.  If they are blessed with children both naturally, or equally through adoption, they sacrifice continually to raise these children unto the Lord.

This union and self sacrificing service and loyalty being so important that it supersedes feelings of attraction, and results in feelings and relationships more important and happy than mere attraction could create.

Studies have shown that some people literally are wired to constantly experience attraction to many different people of the opposite sex during their life, while others are wired to easily be loyal to one person.  But even those who with much difficulty make sacred promises to a spouse, can ‘bear up their cross’ by taking these feelings to the Savior, allowing His help in subduing their passions to many, can faithfully stay loyal to a spouse of the opposite gender.  Following this course will, in God’s ultimate plan of happiness, bring the greatest joy.

Alternatively, some individuals are attracted to the same sex, and still, we believe that their greatest happiness in life will be found by adhering to the laws of chastity as disclosed in the scriptures and the said document, A Proclamation to the Family, and can also find greatest joy by obeying the laws of chastity as given in this life, and if possible in finding a conceding spouse of the opposite sex who will support them in their efforts to subdue their feelings through the loving help of the Savior; while choosing to serve and love that companion of the opposite sex all their days, and rearing children together in sacrifice and love.  See Same Sex Attraction.

Each of us need the Savior, no matter what our imperfections are.  We wrestle the natural man every day, with Christ’s help, that we may become holy and happier.

I want to become as my Heavenly Mother

To me, it is wonderful to know I have a Heavenly Mother.  This week, when I went out to my garden, I realized how much I wanted to pattern my life, after Hers.  And I realized that I could only do that, if I perfected myself through the help of the Savior, as she, Herself, is perfect, and I am far from.

The Savior is my Hope and Joy!  He makes it possible that I can become someone as lovely and as noble as She.

Who do we pray to?

But in my religion, though we are taught we come from Heavenly Parents, we hardly ever refer to her directly, though we speak of Heavenly Parents frequently, and we certainly do not pray to our Heavenly Mother.  I learned why when recently I read a talk by former prophet, President Hinkley, entitled, “Daughters of God.”   He taught us that Christ himself set the pattern in showing us by example, that we pray to the Father.

…“The Lord Jesus Christ set the pattern for our prayers. In the Sermon on the Mount, He declared:

‘After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.’ (Matt. 6:9; italics added here and in following references.)

“When the resurrected Lord appeared to the Nephites and taught them, He said: ‘After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.’ (3 Ne. 13:9.)

“While He was among them, He further taught them by example and precept concerning this practice. The record states that ‘He himself also knelt upon the earth; and behold he prayed unto the Father, and the things which he prayed cannot be written, and the multitude did bear record who heard him.’ (3 Ne. 17:15.)

“Furthermore, He said: ‘Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed.’ (3 Ne. 18:21.)…”

But Why?

Now if we were to look at this with earthly reasoning, we could think, why?  This could seem altogether strange and unnatural to only approach our Father and not both of our parents.

Interestingly, though I don’t know all the answers, and what I know may not be all the way correct, I ran into something to make me ponder even more in helping me to realize, we just don’t understand the full picture when at face value it doesn’t make sense that we pray only to our Father.  I ran into a chapter in the Bible, that states, that the Egyptian women began to walk in haughtiness.  They began to pray to the “Queen of Heaven”, which in title sounds lovely until you read, that they were walking in pride, that they began to disobey God’s laws, and worst, deny the Lord.

 16 As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the Lord, we will not hearken unto thee.

 17 But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil.  Jeremiah 44

Because I am the author of this blog, and can, I will take the liberty of interpreting things in the light I see them.

Throughout Greek, Egyptian, and Roman history, you learn of a people’s belief of many gods.  Personally I think those fantastic, interesting and fairy sounding tales were founded in truth, and that gods such as Isis and Osiris for example of Egyptian descent, were founded in knowledge of our own true God, and His sacred wife.  From my own study, I believe each of these cultures took this knowledge or inference of Heavenly Mother through given knowledge of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Parents, and began to run with it.  Perhaps people from these cultures would take a problem to God and when it wasn’t answered in the way they wanted they would take it to the other parent, like a child does between his or her father and mother.  Pretty soon these Gods were pitted against each other in the individual’s mind, and these gods became patterned after themselves, with weaknesses full of jealousies, deceits, and lasciviousness, as the gods they created and worshiped justified and enabled each individual in the walk he or she wanted to take.

Profound Trust with the Male Patriarchal Paternal Link Crucial to our Intimate Essential Connection with Christ

But most of all, I believe our Heavenly Mother is so modest, that she understands that if we come to her as Mother, and who wouldn’t rather run to mother for a hug and empathy, rather than father; In coming to our mother, we could bypass the most important individual of all….our Savior… as we see happened in the case of the Egyptian women depicted in Jeremiah 44 who rejected their Lord…” verse 16 “As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the Lord, we will not hearken unto thee…”

I believe She knows that while she can mourn with us, it is crucial that we come to our Savior who only felt each of our pain and sin, from our perspective, personally and intimately, and He only can redeem us physically and spiritually.  She knows that it is only through Him, that we can find salvation.  And once we begin to relate to the tender womanly side, there is a good chance that many of us, especially those many of us abused in some way by men, will close our minds to the crucial male author of our salvation…even Christ the Lord.

I believe that ultimate trust must be established between our Patriarachal Father, even our Heavenly Father, that we might be able to make the intimate relationship with Christ who is male, even our only gateway to Salvation who suffers our sins for us that our fallen state can’t keep us from returning home to God, if we choose to repent.  This is so crucial, this trust in a Patriarachal source of love, that She sacrifices us knowing very much about her.  But we will one day, know her like the back of our hand and exult in her every quality.

These thoughts are of course, my own opinion.  Sculpted after thought, studying, pondering, and discussions with my husband.  But this much I know and believe.  Christ is the champion of women.   Said James E. Talmage, “The world’s greatest champion of woman and womanhood is Jesus the Christ.’ (I heard this beautiful quote from the blog: Women in the Scriptures) It was Christ’s mother whom he last looked after tenderly before death; it was Mary a woman, he first visited as resurrected Lord.  (For more lovely examples see The Women of God, by former Apostle Neal A. Maxwell)

Though our Mother in Heaven is queen of all Modesty, and heaven knows if she wanted to be more known because it would be for our greatest good, she would make a way, she is a Goddess after all….and yet, I believe she sacrifices this abundant knowledge of her for our greatest good, to ensure that as many as possible might come to our Lord, and Savior, the Mediator between Justice and Mercy….even Christ, that we might be saved…and thereby come home to our Heavenly Home, to live with our Heavenly Parents once again.

For a brief moment, she allows us to come to her through the Father that we might find the Champion of our Salvation of Christ, that we might become like her, and soon, so soon, back to her loving bosom and shining graceful, delightful, endless beauty.

Though modest, she is not lost.  Though sacred, she is not absent.  Who is mercy in scriptures?  Mercy seeketh her own.  Who is Justice?  Justice makes his claim.

Alma 42:24

For behold, justice exerciseth all his demands, and also mercy claimeth all which is her own; and thus, none but the truly penitent are saved.  

And who is Zion, Zion being the place where the pure in heart are gathered?   She is.

Isaiah 51:3

For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.  

And who is earth, the abundant beautiful giver of life?  She is.

Ezekiel 34:27

And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them.

I can only find her, and become as she is, by finding Jesus Christ.

Sacred Personal Experiences, with accompanying background

I want to share some personal occurrences with you…and I share only because I want this for you, reader, woman and women, wherever you are, to know…be it one woman, be it a handful, be it as many as possible…that you can have similar experiences for your own self, but tailored to you.

I take alone time as the rare opportunities present themselves, just to take some time to heal with the Lord.  Who knows what the issue might be, but I pray it will come forth.  Sometimes I need to repent and God bless repentance, its real!  I feel so much better and the Lord wipes away my guilt and then gives me insight into what needs changing and ability to change it!

Sometimes when I treat myself to healing, I pray for whatever needs to come forward, to come forward.  Sometimes memories come forward, sometimes incorrect beliefs come forward, and I take them to the Savior and heal in them and let the light of his love help to change those incorrect feelings and thoughts, sometimes caused by the memory.  This often brings tears, in-fact usually does, and though experiencing a painful memory or realization of a source of pain, may sound scary, in all truth, when its healed in Him, the result is less and less pain, as the onion layers of my life are turned over to Him and healed.

I tell you all this to take you to an issue that has come up multiple times, and from multiple angles…whether or not I was pretty.  I suppose this could sound like a vain desire to know, but though the world pollutes beauty, and commercializes it, I believe it is a righteous and fitting need and desire, to be and feel beautiful.

Once when I took this little healing session to the Lord, (and I realized I needed these healing sessions through a book called Healing Codes which says that healing is best achieved when approached and vehiclized through God…but I knowing that the Savior is our Healer, work through Him to approach God and healing…) I experienced a glorious and wonderful outpouring of love.  I had a memory that came forth that was a painful one from the past.  In it some good was said, but some crucial things were not said, and in not being said, was bitterly painful.  In healing, I said the correct words to myself that I should have heard.  I then asked my Dear and Good Heavenly Father, if he thought I was pretty.  And in my own thoughts it seemed, but with Heavenly Light, and a certain feeling pouring from heaven of love, came the thought, that I was beautiful to my Heavenly Father and that I was in-fact beautiful like unto my Heavenly Mother.  And that I was patterned after her.   Tears were streaming down my face that this could possibly true….I cry as I write it.

Then, later that day, in case I felt this was all my own creation as the words came to my own thoughts in my own head voice, and while watching a little program on television unrelated to the topic, the thoughts came pouring down from heaven again, from my dear and good Heavenly Father once more.  Pouring down as if it were light and hugs all at the same town, “You are so so so so beautiful, you are patterned after your Heavenly Mother.  You are so so so pretty to me.”

Though this experience came to me, I know it applies to you, and can be yours if you seek it, but given in just the way you need.  I know that all women are beautiful as they heal in Christ and feel His love.  Does that cheapen it that everyone is beautiful, does that make it a generic phrase?  No, not at all.  Have you seen an ugly flower, oh no, all different but all beautiful in their own particular style…and I believe flowers are an archetype of women, and women are each truly beautiful as we discover our true identity, heal in Christ, and begin to live after Him, we begin to shine, and the scales of ugliness or darkness or hate fall away.  I know that we women who seek pureness of heart, who seek to keep our hearts tender, and who seek Christ, will gain beautiful feet.  Beautiful feet?  Let me explain.

Photo Credit

Mosiah 15: 15-17

 15 And O how beautiful upon the mountains were their feet!

 16 And again, how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that are still publishing peace!

 17 And again, how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who shall hereafter publish peace, yea, from this time henceforth and forever!

So you see, its a figurative phrase describing the active role of a disciple in God’s work, and they are beautiful beings.  Yes, sometimes, I see my God given beauty, but many times, I just can’t believe that I’m beautiful, but I do know pure eyes are beautiful and I can hope that even stubby, fat, hobbit feet such as mine can be beautiful when they are choosing the right, and one day I will be glorified and receive all that is our’s eternally physically and spiritually;

Yes, if we women live each day seeking Christ, we will one day hug both our Heavenly Father and our Heavenly Mother, and in Christ become glorified in any physical set-backs we may carry in this life in our temporal weak existence; and in that day know that we are as beautiful, glorious, shiny and wonderful as our Mother…but you see, our God sees us in our eternal glory even now in our imperfected state, and so, we can believe fully when He tells us we are Beautiful, that we in Fact, Are, even in our Eternal Identities.

Of this returning to our Home, poetically stated by deceased, apostle Neal A. Maxwell, in
The Women of God:

“Finally, remember: When we return to our real home, it will be with the “mutual approbation” of those who reign in the “royal courts on high.” There we will find beauty such as mortal “eye hath not seen”; we will hear sounds of surpassing music which mortal “ear hath not heard.” Could such a regal homecoming be possible without the anticipatory arrangements of a Heavenly Mother?

Meanwhile, there are no separate paths back to that heavenly home. Just one straight and narrow way, at the end of which, though we arrive trailing tears, we shall at once be “drenched in joy.” I so testify in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.”

Seeking Christ, we become as is our destiny, to be like unto her, even our Glorious, Dear, Kind, Gentle, Strong, Beautiful, Brave, Faithful, Loving Mother, of whom we will return to both of our Sweetest and Mightiest parents.

Cell model study tomorrow

Cell model study tomorrow

                                                                 image credit                                                                          image credit 

For homeschool study tomorrow:

Plant Cell model

Animal Cell model

Animal Cell Model, complex model, but some good idas

I think we are going to try making some cell models tomorrow.  I think I will make some play dough and use rubber bands, marbles if we can find any, pipe cleaners and some food coloring to make a few colors.

Voyage inside a cell

How a cell works video 6 minutes

More complicated videos if there is interest, for my oldest, all about 14 minutes long:

Cells

Photosynthesis

Cellular Respiration

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Yeah!  Its Friday fun day…and I actually am way excited to learn something fun!!!  (Sometimes when I treat us to learning art together, but today its science!) When my life gets extremely busy, whatever the huge interrupter is, becomes the curriculum.  My brain can only stretch so much you see.  And I feel that is legit because the children all learn from whatever that life circumstance is.  I keep a record just for the obsessive compulsive corner in me, so that we can ‘make’ up that time later.

When my life is SUPER busy but not all brain draining consuming, I have the kids do atleast reading writing and math everyday.  This is quite knee jerk and the kids can all work fairly independently at this…they always go much further in their own projects and imaginative games, and when I see that their project is much better than the minimum, then that supplants the daily requirements.

But when my life is Full, but not unusually so, I follow a teaching schedule too, and bring out a book on history say, on Wednesdays, and a sciencey book on Thursdays, Tuesdays we do Montessori activities for the said reading, writing and Math, Mondays is always traditional, back to the grind in chores and school.  And always the children have self directed learning time, because I have six children…and there is always time while I am consumed with other things that my children’s imagination can sore and explore.

And then when I am just really into my homeschool, we add the icing, language study on Thursdays and some grammar on Tuesdays too.  The writing requirement has little focuses, Journaling Monday and poem copying, poetry Tuesday, History write up on Wednesday, Thursday story writing or science chart write up.  The icing doesn’t all happen, every week, thats just a fact, Jack.  But, because the children love writing now, thats ok.  Fairy Princess for example has written an article on some of our ancestors this week…for our Family Friend.  This was ALL her idea! Homeschool can be really cool.

So because Paul Bunyon cut his leg this week while running free and tripping hard, we brought out the body book yesterday just briefly at lunch to study the layers under our skin, with fat, muscles and bone…no it wasn’t that deep, but it was a pretty nasty icky cut.  We saw some neat pictures of cells around the body with fat cells, etc, and saw a neat model picture of a cell which led me to thinking it would be fun to learn more about cells and make a model of one.  Unless some crazy overpowering disciplining needs swipe my momentum, we should have a lot of fun today!! I’ll post our results.

(Easy now that I have a cell phone.  Before, it hardly happened because by the time I got my camera loaded on the computer I practically forgot about posting our homeschooling results!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rawl also made his own DNA model here with pipe cleaners because the clip we watched taught about DNA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bridger helped make a royal mess!  He enjoyed being included.

Mom helped George a wee bit. ;)

It was really such a fun day…I hope I do this sort of thing more often!