Treasures from Heaven

Educating children's hearts and minds...True education isn't just about learning facts and figures, but developing character as well. History teaches courage; science teaches integrity; math teaches discipline; and composition teaches humility. Training minds and molding hearts are what parents do best, after all.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

San Diego, CA Family Vacation 2010

Our family vacation this year was in San Diego, CA where we participated in a couple of Homeschool Field Trips. We were able to visit:

-Mormon Battalion Historic Sight (great tour for kids) where we learned about our ancestor, Alma Zamira Palmer.
-The San Diego Temple grounds! We loved it! (Great bonding experiences!)
-Sea World (This was perfect for our kids' ages!)
-San Diego Zoo (I just love going to the zoo with kids)
-The Beach (Cold as it was my kids LOVED playing in the sand and water)

Where's Samuel? Can you find the picture where Samuel is hiding? We didn't know until we looked at the pictures....

The trip was so worth it. I was so impressed at how well my kids traveled. We LOVED taking this trip with our kids!!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My Truth

President Gordon B. Hinckley said: "Never forget that these little ones are the sons and daughters of God and that yours is a custodial relationship to them, that He was a parent before you were parents and that He has not relinquished His parental rights or interest in these little ones.

"Now, love them, take care of them. Fathers, control your tempers, now and in all the years to come. Mothers, control your voices, keep them down. Rear your children in love, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Take care of your little ones, welcome them into your homes and nurture and love them with all of your hearts.

"They may do, in the years that come, some things you would not want them to do, but be patient, be patient. You have not failed as long as you have tried. Never forget that" (Gordon B. Hinckley, address to the Salt Lake University 3rd Stake Conference, Nov. 3, 1996).

I read this and would LOVE to be perfect in all these areas. Unfortunately, my selfish ways get in the middle and I lose sight of what's important. As I've been reading about topic this week I've really tried to narrow down how to conquer my hardest bad habit. Raising my voice at my kids is hard to stop. Some days are better than others, but I'm trying to use more self-control to find the time to remember my truth. My own selfishness. I am also studying in the Real Love Bible Workbook by Greg Baer and came across the following quote which I need to read ten times a day and carry it with me:

"The people around me are doing the best they can. When they behave badly, they're just drowning. For me to insist that they do better than their best is foolish and selfish."

First day I tried I pretty much failed, but the second day I remembered and it was much better! I look forward to keep trying it. It reminds me that I'm not the judge of them and need to leave them in God's hands. With my children I remember the quote from Pres. Hinckley above. They were His before mine.

I love being a mother! It's hard, but I wouldn't trade it for the world!!!

Do I Undertand My Children?

So...this week I've been having fun telling Greg at night the neat experiences of learning about my kids' personalities.

LauraJo has just been showing us all lately that she can yell louder than the rest of us. This is typical in my kids, so we've been laughing at how she's finally standing her ground and gets her brothers to jump. Now we get to teach them the proper times to give in and when they don't need to! I'm amazed at how many letters she can already recognize and all the songs she loves to sing.....nice and loud in the car!

Orson is hilarious! In the book Little Britches young Ralph learns, “If you want to be a good horseman the first thing you'll have to learn will be how a horse thinks, and next to think the same way yourself.” Well, I'm still learning how my little horse thinks. During preschool we all (my sisters and I) chuckle to ourselves every time Orson gets a worksheet. He starts all excited and then without warning will viciously either tear it up or wrinkle it up and throw it behind him. Why? We never know. I just try to get a hug in to him before he runs off frustrated. He loves to cut, color, and glue! He's a leader of LauraJo and a follower of his older siblings with a touch of himself.

Lincoln is going to be a heart surgeon. Let me explain. Tell me what you think. His ultimate goal in life is to create a life-like Robot. Talking and breathing. When creating a Robot out of cardboard a couple of weeks ago it was all done EXCEPT for the heart. He searched all through my closet of junk (art supplies!) and found a small wooden heart which he then colored red and glued it inside where a heart should be. He was satisfied. Now, though, any bug that he comes across I feel sorry for! Really. He keeps them for a couple of days as a pet and then dissects them to find what??? The HEART!!! Tiny black beetles, caterpillars, and today was a grasshopper. We are so glad we are not bugs....

Samuel is 7 1/2. I can tell he's going through a growing spurt. He LOVES his Taekwondo class, even when the instructor makes them do push-ups till they are just about dead, makes them hold 1lb. weights for about 5 min. or more, and just pushes them HARD. Samuel is holding on and loves to go back and take this class. Today he just couldn't think of what he wanted to explore or learn about. We talked and talked and finally he sat down with 5 recipe books. We wanted to just experiment in my kitchen! Great! I didn't care. He decided on and made a great 1776 Flag Cake with the original 13 colonies. He read about it and taught his siblings all about it when he was done. He just loves to use his hands....

Hyrum is in the same Taekwondo class and even though he doesn't have the natural confidence about his strength his coach pushed him till I was expecting him to quit and break down. NO!!! He didn't. He was pushed to the edge and even further and he didn't break at all. I was so amazed and grateful to watch this first hand. I loved the confidence level that shot up as he realized himself what he could do. Hyrum's been really studious this week and always finding something creative to work on when he has his own free time.

Mary's latest passion is babysitting! The 13 books and 2 dvds that she's been immersing herself has been preparing her for this time. We hired her last weekend and she had another job today. We'll hire her again soon and just keep letting her practice what she's studying up about. I know she wants to do this, so I'm so excited to see her learn how to take care of children at a young age to prepare her to be a mother. Our relationship is changing as she grows up! I love having her around and having awesome experiences together. She always greets me with a hug in the morning!!!

We had fun taking our school work to the park this week. I can't get over how beautiful the weather is and it takes us outside all the time!!!

Do I understand my children? I can't say I know them perfectly, but I am sure enjoying the time I have with them to watch them grow up!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Letting Go....

I feel this is a great theme in my life. As I look back over my 34 years I have seen many moments when I've decided to let go of something precious to me to receive a greater blessing. Not all decisions have been easy, but I find that the stronger my faith is the more I can let go.

A song I was introduced to on my mission was that of Michael McClean's called "Let it Go". It was powerful as I worked through challenge after challenge. Here is the link:

Mosiah 3:19 talks about putting off the natural man to be able to be more like Jesus Christ "..submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him..." This is hard for me. My pride gets in the way. It stops my ability to feel the spirit or my being able to let Christ's unconditional love flow through me. Something to work on forever!

I have been making important choices this past couple of years and see myself more and more being able to let go some of this "natural man" and rely on Heavenly Father to guide me. For example, it was hard to let go of my beloved home in Maricopa. After I built a life in the Homeschooling and LDS community I knew that I needed to walk away from it and "let it go". I treasure what I've learned there and carried these teachings to our new smaller home. Now, as I let go of more treasured items I find myself having more strength to do it. Beautiful furniture, my prized piano, new bikes, and even my old ways of schooling to embrace the Thomas Jefferson Education philosophy. Why? I know it's what the Lord's asking of me. I hear Him asking me to "Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you." (D&C 88:63) How can I when there are things in the way?

Letting go? Yes, I've shed tears and I haven't always agreed to let things go before, but right now I feel at such peace. I know that in my heart it was the correct decision.

Greg and I attended an inspirational evening to listen to Dan Ralph's message this past weekend on Greatness. It was very inspiring to be reminded about what the Classics can do for us when we seriously study them. It's neat to be able to walk away with ideas of how to inspire our kids to also love the Classics and to love to learn!

THEN this amazing Easter weekend was filled with all the messages from General Conference! A Spiritual Feast! What an experience! We loved staying home Sat. and Sun. and allowing our children to feel the joy of listening to Latter-Day Prophets. I was impressed at how quiet they were for two days!!! I wouldn't have traded the time we had to spend with our children for anything. They asked the best questions of real life issues; pornography, marriage, family history, about the lives of some of the speakers, real unconditional love,and then about the scriptures and stories they've heard before. I love the moments where we can teach and bear testimony right then.

After the weekend was over I just felt an overwhelming gratitude in my heart for my Heavenly Father. Also, to be able to understand and love Jesus Christ more has helped me to increase my faith which in turn allows me to "let it go". As I am learning to apply the atonement in my own life my love for the Savior has deepened.

If you haven't seen this I hope you'll listen today! I know that Christ lives! I have felt it in my heart through the power of the Holy Ghost. Enjoy!
He Lives


A Glimpse into My Life

My photo
I LOVE LOVE LOVE being a mother!!! Married to my sweetheart, Greg, and bring in six amazing children down to earth has been the most wonderful experience! Our kids keep us busy with their curiosity and excitement for life. We laugh, learn, cry, read, and pray together all the time. The memories we are making as they grow up are ones I wouldn't change for the world!