Monday, October 31, 2011

Things I Love Right Now

1. I went to a missionary homecoming yesterday, and my homemade salsa was very popular. Plus, I got to see Tanisha again! (and eat tons of yummy Mexican food)

2. It's Halloween, one of those holidays with zero "reverent" celebration. No one can blame me for not doing anything worshipful or serious today. (Not that I mind that, but it's nice not to get a lecture about not celebrating the "true" meaning of Halloween, you know? And no one is going to say a 10-minute prayer over dinner either.)

3. I don't have to worry about another piano recital until December. The one I did yesterday went well. We had delicious pie afterward too.

4. Joseph did not wake up in the middle of the night last night. He had 3 days in a row where he did, and that affected my sleep very negatively, because I have that crazy pregnancy can't-go-back-to-sleep insomnia if it's any time past 4:00. I slept 9 hours last night, and it was not too much.

5. Aunt Ruth's Halloween party tonight! She goes all out with crazy-named "gross" foods that are quite delicious. I'm taking monster eyes (deviled eggs) and dressing up my baby as a pumpkin. He is adorable!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

5 Minutes

Teaching a Primary class really makes me wonder sometimes how much of a difference it really makes. I don't know why it's so difficult to teach five 8-year-olds when I should be able to handle twenty-five, but it is. I've realized that nobody has a perfect class. When my dad was visiting, he taught the class with James while I subbed for piano in Sr. Primary. His remark was that about five minutes of  total class time is spent making profound comments, because general chaos rules the rest of it.

God must feel that way about teaching us. How often are we too busy doing something else and not listening to a thing he's trying to tell us? During those "5 minutes" when we're actually paying attention, we can make great progress. If we're not paying attention, we miss out.

I know I could always be a better teacher, but the Holy Ghost already is a perfect teacher. Having a perfect teacher is still no guarantee that the "student" will learn anything.

Those "5 minutes" are worth the other 40 that I spend teaching those boys. They are learning the Gospel slowly, but surely. They know more about the truth than 99% of the world's adults.

Every calling, no matter how small (or unofficial), makes a difference. I'm glad to be a Primary teacher and part-time pianist. I've learned a lot this year, even though I should already know the stuff I'm teaching!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Uncle Mike's Funeral

We went to Utah and back today, so it was a long day! We left at 6:00 a.m. and got back around 8:00 p.m. The  funeral started at 11, but there was a family prayer meeting before that, led by Grandpa Head.

I hadn't been to a funeral since 2000 when my grandma died. I guess I didn't remember much. Mike's children gave very touching remarks about him. I learned a lot more about him, since I never knew him extremely well. He was a great guy. It was really great to meet the rest of his children, the only cousins that I hadn't met, since they live far and wide.

I have sort of mixed feelings about a day like this. It's completely heartbreaking for the close family, especially Aunt Derin. Yet at the same time, it felt like a family reunion, minus one person. We even got to eat a nice family dinner together (complete with funeral potatoes) and talk as if nothing were out of the ordinary.

I'm starting to get even more excited about having another baby after seeing all the babies there. It's not that I'm not already excited, but I don't show it very much, I don't think. I have my moments when I doubt if I'm ready for another newborn, but then I see one and am reminded of how amazing kids are. Joseph was a really good sport during our almost 8 hours of driving. I love that little guy. We are blessed to have such an even-tempered, smart little boy. When we got back, he went straight to the bookcase and started looking at his books. I can't wait to teach him to read!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My Philosophy of Education

I have been thinking about homeschooling for a couple of years now. As a kid, I never liked the idea much, because I knew only a few "weird" homeschooled kids that couldn't read very well, even at the age of 10.  Then I came to college. Of my 4 closest friends, ALL of them were homeschooled for a significant amount of time. I think there's a reason that I married one of them.

I want to homeschool my kids. I didn't come to this conclusion because of the arguments I've heard about homeschooled kids being somehow better, smarter, or untainted from the world. Homeschooling is definitely not for everyone, but I do think that it's for my family. I have a degree in education, so I am well aware of the flaws of public school. Some part of that is due to a few bad teachers, true, but I know that most teachers work extremely hard at a job that is nearly impossible: educating 30 kids with parents who may or may not care at all if their children learn anything at school, while trying to please the government's poorly-written state tests and trying not to go crazy from not getting paid a lot.

I think that the idea of homeschool had to come to me slowly. It's a real paradigm shift for an education major that attended public school (and really good ones, at that.)

I want to give my children more than what I had. By more, I mean the Gospel, intermingled with every school subject. The only place I experienced that was at BYU-Idaho, which was my greatest time of learning. There is no room for teaching religion in public schools, and there's no denying that. There is also no better place than home to teach my children Gospel principles, so why not teach them everything together?

Joseph is a very intelligent boy. I feel that he could easily get bored in a public school setting. I was. When I had great teachers, I had fun, but the content was never challenging, not until high school.

I love to learn about everything. I've been reading a book about homeschooling that reflects on the philosophies of Charlotte Mason. It's what I've been looking for. It sort of scares me to think of teaching my kids everything on my own, but I really won't be. If this really is my calling, I will have plenty of help! I'm being prepared for it right now. I can feel that.

I finally have a real philosophy of education. Here it is.

1. The Gospel is the foundation of all knowledge, and all truth can be learned from the Holy Ghost. All earthly subjects are inseparably connected with spiritual ones.We are commanded to study them all. (D&C 88: 78-80)

2. No matter where children get their secular education, the home environment founded on the Gospel of Jesus Christ is where the most important lessons are learned. Parents and other family members teach by example. The home should be a haven from the world. (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)

3. People learn about things that they love. They must be provided with opportunities to find out what those things are and spend their time building both talents and spiritual gifts. (Gospel Principles Ch. 22: The Gifts of the Spirit) and (Ch. 34: Developing Our Talents)

4. Parents should lead the way by continuing to learn themselves. They should take time to develop their own talents, but also to help their children discover and build on theirs.

5. Learning comes from "the best books". (D&C 88:118-119)

I don't know how all of this will work out, but I'm excited for the future.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


I have been incredibly hungry these last few weeks, especially mid-afternoon. It's a good thing that I went grocery shopping today so we'll have some food these next few weeks. :)

This has been a great pregnancy so far. I'm 15 weeks along now, not showing yet, but steadily gaining weight whether I want to or not. The little nausea I do get is usually a result of eating something foolish, like Cheetos or fake brown gravy. I have an appointment today, and my next one (in 4 weeks) will be the ultrasound!

Joseph is walking all the time now. He got his 1st ear infection...poor little guy. Luckily, he only had one grouchy day before Grandpa diagnosed it and put him on antibiotics. Maybe I'd wait a few days if it wasn't a bad one, but Joseph's been fighting infection in general for a month. He got a cold a month ago and had finally stopped coughing last week, then now this ear infection. He's a trooper though, and he takes his medicine without complaint. He has almost 12 teeth now, so over halfway there! He's also started "flirting", and it's the cutest thing I've ever seen.

I harvested my little garden patch and got 10 lbs. of carrots! They are quite tasty.

The Primary program is next Sunday. I'm glad that I'm not playing for it, because I want to sit with our class while James goes out with Joseph. My mother-in-law is making me do 2 recitals before the end of the year, one on Oct. 30th and the other in December. She is also going to start teaching me the organ. Hopefully I can learn something within 2 months that will let me continue learning on my own.

Other than that, not too much new is going on. Anything new I cook goes on the blog.

Once my sewing machine is fixed, I'm hopefully going to make a jean quilt. I have no idea how, but I have 100 squares ready with 9 pairs of jeans to go! I hope to make a quilt for Joseph's bed once he's in one.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


I read a book this week called Faithful, Fit, & Fabulous that I borrowed from my mom-in-law. It's targeted at people who need revitalization in their lives, so I thought I might as well read it since it isn't too long.

I love to make goals. I am the person who always has some kind of checklist. It has to be on paper so I can cross things out with a pen. If I'm really glad to have gotten something done, I cross it off very thoroughly. :) Thanks to this month's General Conference and this book, I feel that I have some great things to work on till the end of the year.

Basically, the book has you make 8 goals in different areas of your life and accomplish one each week. Ironically, the hard part for me isn't making or achieving the goals. It's in rewarding myself. I guess I can be a harsh judge of myself sometimes, and I don't feel that I deserve rewards unless I'm doing perfectly. I'm okay with other people giving me stuff, but I have a hard time doing that for myself. (No "retail therapy" happens in this house.)

I'm cheating and doing two goals this week: limiting my intake of sweets and starting a scripture journal. So far, it's working great. I really love having a scripture journal, but I've been slacking for the past year. The Conference talk on scriptures really pushed me to make my study time more meaningful. I'm glad to say that there is something be learned from any passage of scripture, no matter how dull it is to read! Of course, I'm not trying to lose weight by limiting sweets, but I do feel a lot better than when I was eating them every day. My rewards will be to watch a chick flick and try a new, exciting recipe.

I'm glad for goals. I am glad that the Lord has such high expectations of me that I can always improve! Perfection is definitely a long way off.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Hello, Monday

I woke up today with no motivation to do anything. Is is because it's Monday? Maybe, maybe not. I was a little discouraged to feel so out of breath while working out when it used to be so easy. Now, a few hours later, it's hard to feel glum when I have the smell of bread baking in the oven, a sleeping baby (even though it's probably the only nap today), and the hum of the dishwasher in the background.

I have to remind myself that it is okay to wake up tired after a good night's sleep, to eat lots of snacks, and to take a break. I'm now 14 weeks along, so in the 2nd trimester. I've felt great, just a tiny bit of nausea (and mostly from being carsick - yuck.) My other baby looks adorable as he toddles around. "Toddle" is really the only way to describe it. He puts his hands up in the air as if he is accomplishing some great victory. After 16 months, I would say that he is. Maybe it will be time for shoes soon. That boy has some tiny feet!

I really enjoyed Conference this weekend. I'll admit that it's taken me years to really appreciate all that is given to us during those wonderful hours of counsel. I've been feeling that my goals needed refreshing. Now, they have been. I have plenty of things to work on for the next 6 months. I'm already feeling good about it, too.

As a side note, I managed to stay awake during all of Conference somehow. I started a blanket and a scarf. I still have a goal to finish up all that white yarn by the time the year ends! We shall see.