Month: January 2014

FF: Snorkeling

FF: Snorkeling

I learned how to snorkel this week. It is REALLY FUN! On our honeymoon, Lane tried to teach me how to snorkel. But it was LaJolla, California. The day was chilly and overcast. The water was freezing. I was freezing. My teeth were chattering. If 

FF: Marbles

FF: Marbles

Last week I played marbles with Anna and Peter before bed. (I am determined to play more with my children this year!) I have never, to  my recollection, played marbles before. It was fun! It was easy! You simply try to knock other marbles out 

Psst! Magical Music Water

Psst! Magical Music Water

magical music waterMy amazing Primary-music-teaching friend did it again! She had this darling idea for engaging the children in practicing their songs last Sunday.

She brought “magical music water.”

(Aka Gatorade, I think.)

You can see from the labels what she wanted the children to focus on. If she wanted them to “sing it like you mean it,” then that’s what she would squirt in your mouth (if you were a child and were singing it that way).

Fabulous positive reinforcement!

Of course, the children sang their hearts out, all for a squirt of Gatorade. Genius!

Happy Positive Reinforcing,

Liz 🙂

 

RWM: Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties

RWM: Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties

I started a book this week, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2005). In it, the author describes a book he loved as a young boy called Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties by Daniel C. Beard, 

Mmmm….: Happy Birthday to my stud muffin son

Mmmm….: Happy Birthday to my stud muffin son

Nate’s turned 18 today. MY GOODNESS. He is what my brother Craig used to say, back when he was a teenager, “a stud muffin.” Back in the 80’s, that meant some seriously cool guy. Nate came to our family on his own time table, as 

RWM: Mysterious Benedict Society

RWM: Mysterious Benedict Society

mysterious benedict society

I have so enjoyed reading aloud in some of my children’s classes over the years. Previously, I have read picture books, short stories, story excerpts, and poetry. This year it has been particularly fun to go in and read a story over a series of weeks or even months. The way we do it is I read one day a week for about 25-30 minutes, and the rest of the days, the teacher plays an audio recording of the book. (I wish I could read every day; alas! I can’t.)

The first book I read this year was Miracles on Maple Hill, and we all REALLY loved it. That book has so much potential for related learning: connections to nature, geography, history, emotional development. Wonderful stuff.

The Mysterious Benedict Society is a completely different feel from Miracles, yet it also has great potential for connecting ideas (history, education, government, orphanages, social/emotional learning, even Morse Code). It is a delightful journey into a children’s lives and minds. (Visit the website and you will find more background and plot summary about the book.)

All of our family (who has read it) has loved this story!

Happy Reading,

Liz 🙂

Memorize while you brush your teeth

Memorize while you brush your teeth

This smart 8-year old boy brushes his teeth while reciting the scriptures that he is learning that week in his head. Memorization of small pieces of information creates the ability to memorize more, longer amounts of information later. And, as a child, you have the 

LOL: Tacky and the 13th Article of Faith

LOL: Tacky and the 13th Article of Faith

Are you familiar with the penguins in this delightful children’s story? They are named Goodly, Lovely, Neatly, Angel, Perfect and Tacky. Are you also familiar with the thirteenth Article of Faith? If you are, then you will enjoy what Eliza said to me today when 

SOS: Satan is real

SOS: Satan is real

pre-existence-people-white-robes-153673-gallerySometimes there is an extra portion of challenge in life that seems to press upon us, especially at the crossroads of a big decision.

Like when someone goes on a mission.

Right now, as Nate’s time to leave approaches, we have felt more adversity than ever in our family. Boy, it can be hard!

I remember when I was preparing to serve my mission, I felt a heavy depression that I fought against for weeks before. I had challenges with my family that tested our relationships. In some ways, it was awful! I got through it, and joyfully left to serve for 18 months.

Just knowing that Satan is real and that he is trying to make us fail helps me remember that we can stand against him and not give in to the feelings of anger and negativity that can arise. I need to go to the Savior more for help so I can withstand this junk that comes my way. Going to the temple yesterday strengthened my resolve.

Reading the Ensign for a minute yesterday helped. I read this line from President Packer’s conference talk: “Righteousness is more powerful than wickedness.”

Finding that encouragement led me to listening to his talk today, which is so encouraging, particularly coming from such a kind, wise father of 10 children. He shares this story:

Years ago, Elder S. Dilworth Young of the Seventy taught me a lesson about reading the scriptures. A stake was struggling with tensions and difficulties among the members, and counsel needed to be given.

I asked President Young, “What should I say?”

He answered simply, “Tell them to read the scriptures.”

I asked, “Which scriptures?”

He said, “It really doesn’t matter. Tell them to open up the Book of Mormon, for instance, and begin to read. Soon the feeling of peace and inspiration will come, and a solution will present itself.”

Make scripture reading a part of your regular routine, and the blessings will follow.

I have had such a hard time studying my scriptures on my own lately, and I can feel the difference in my happiness. I need to make it happen again.

the-archangel-michael-defeating-satan-guido-reni

 

(I saw this image in the January 2013 Ensign on the article on Adam. This painting is called “The Archangel Michael Defeating Satan” painted by Guido Reni [1575-1642].)

Knowing Satan is real changes everything for me, and I’m grateful that I know, so I can do what I need to be stronger against his influence in my own life and in my home.

Happy Knowing,

Liz 🙂

RTW: Taking tests

RTW: Taking tests

We’ve had a chance to enroll our children in the gifted-talented program that our district offers. (I figured it was a trade off for the homeschooling I had wanted to do.) In our district, you have to test to qualify for the class. We have