Friday, May 28, 2010

Is Fascinating Womanhood a Bent Book?

Recently, the book Fascinating Womanhood has come to my attention. I read the companion book, Fascinating Girl, over 20 years ago, before I went to BYU, got my degree, got married, or had children. I have read parts of Fascinating Womanhood. Keri Tibbetts, the author of an ebook about how to give your child a classical education, "Headgates" (see headgates.org) lists this book in her appendix.

One of my homeschooling/georgic friends read Headgates and said she doesn't agree with all of it. She also says that Fascinating Womanhood is a bent book. Wow. I don't know if I would go so far as to say that it is bent. Another homeschooling friend of mine who is well-known in the TJED world says that is one of the "stupidest books" ever. Double wow. If you go to goodreads.com and read the reviews you will find a fun mix of strong feelings about this book, including a review by a granddaughter of Helen Andelin, the author.

What are your opinions, dear sisters? Anybody itching to say something about this book that was written in the 60s or so to swing back the pendulum of the sexual revolution?
Please go to treeoflifemothering.com, sign up, and then go to the discussion group on wifing. I would like to hear what you all think!

Face to Face With My Self-Deception





You know how sometimes you have this big event planned and you look forward to it for a very long time, and then it comes and disaster happens? You have this grand picture in your mind of how it will be and you just figure that everyone in your household has the same picture. You just think that all elements will swimmingly move into place with simply a nod of the head from you, even rascally little boys who only want to play in dirt all day.

Last week was my oldest son's big deal graduation from TJYC. That stands for Thomas Jefferson Youth Certification. He was been taking classes from the LEMI Commonwealth Schools here in Davis County for five years, and the TJYC is the last class. (see http://thelemi.com/apprentice-scholar) I have been looking forward to this time for years. Every graduating class has a night with speeches from each of the TJYC students about what they learned over the previous semesters. TJYC is usually three semesters but his mentors love the work so much they made it into four. The course is so grueling that half of the students usually quit. The students who finish can receive one credit of work at George Wythe College. They study literature, history, leadership, worldviews, and Supreme Court cases. It is a huge accomplishment to finish. So we have been looking forward to this celebration for years. After the speeches, the families go out to a dinner to celebrate and visit. We have been to previous years' speeches to inspire him and now it was his turn to be inspiring.

I thought we would be to this event on time, and walk in with each of my children looking perfect. It didn't quite happen that way, but the night still turned out. You can read more at my other blog at treeoflifemothering.com under "blogs." I've started this site as a social network for LDS, AP, homeschooling, crunchy granola moms. Please join and spread the word.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Liberating Ourselves from Those Conspiring Men








My last post was so long and doesn't have any personal pictures. I am sorry about that. I know how hard it is to read lots of plain type with no pictures. I have some really great ones of my baby, our trip to the Homestead crater, the walk we took of downtown SLC to see Brigham Young's grave, and of my younger children on Mother's Day. I kept meaning to add some but my camera and computer were making it hard because their dates weren't in sync. Let's just say that when my scholar phase children have lots of Shakespeare play practices during an infamous "heck week" (the week before the performance) my tech help is gone. When they are home and I can ask them questions I feel guilty for pulling them away from studying.

So I put some fun photos of me and my children that I can actually access in this post even though they don't have any thing to do with the topic, other than they are of me and my kids and I am writing this.

From the title of this post you might think I am going to spout traditional feminism. I'm not. I am going to talk about liberating ourselves from the people in the food industry who want to make money off of us when the food they are selling actually causes us to become sick, namely processed food, including pasteurized food. Even if we think we are OK by eating raw or whole food, we might need some added knowledge to get the most nutrition out of that food.


I am so excited to go this Saturday to my girlfriend Shauna's house to watch Caralee Ayre teach her Nourishing Traditions secrets from her own kitchen. She is giving a cooking class. I kept meaning to advertise it here but then Shauna sent an email saying that 40 women are already coming. Guess it doesn't need any more advertising! But Tara's class is coming up in the summer and she is mentored by Caralee so if you are on the Wasatch Front and miss Caralee's you can come to Tara's. (see happyinthekitchen-withtara.blogspot.com)

Nourishing Traditions:  The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

Caralee sent us some email links so we could do some homework to prepare. Here is what she sent:

http://www.westonaprice.org/Plants-Bite-Back.html

http://www.westonaprice.org/Living-With-Phytic-Acid.html

http://www.westonaprice.org/The-Role-of-Oxalates-in-Autism-and-Chronic-Disorders.html

http://www.westonaprice.org/The-Ploy-of-Soy.html

http://www.westonaprice.org/Broth-is-Beautiful.html

I have been reading the one about phytic acid. As my girlfriend Shauna says, "These are written by PhD's and therefore lengthy. Caralee will condense all the blah-blah-blah into the most salient points." Thank goodness! This info is so overwhelming but so incredible and critical to understanding for your health and your family's health. Especially if you are into whole foods like I am. It basically says that plant food (whole grains, nuts, and seeds) has this thing called phytic acid which is made up of phosphorus. The phosphorus binds to minerals and makes it so we can't absorb the minerals we are eating. It also inhibits the production of enzymes in our stomachs and intestines which helps digest food so we can get stomachaches from eating improperly prepared whole grains.



If we don't properly prepare the whole grains, nuts, and seeds then even if we are eating them and being smug about being on a whole foods diet, we can become sick with digestive problems and mineral deficiencies, like osteoporosis and tooth decay. The article says that your neighbors next door could be eating Wonder bread and white rice and feel healthier than you. It's because they are eating food that has zero phytic acid, while your whole food does. Wow, finally an excuse to eat some white bread and white flour besides the fact that they taste better!



This info on phytic acid is overhwhelming to digest and even think about putting into practice. I have been soaking my grains for a while but not my flour. And I haven't been soaking my grains in yogurt or whey, which is what NT recommends, just water. I have not been soaking my nuts and seeds and now I am wondering how I am going to deal with peanut butter since that's a staple and it's made from unsoaked nuts. I guess this means granola bars are bad and fresh nuts and seeds and...oh, boy, is there anything fresh that's safe to eat besides rabbit food? I am eager to learn the "how-to's" of all of this with a big family to care for...so enter Caralee, mother of six, going on seven, who also homeschools and knows my time demands.

Every woman, especially a mother, needs this information! When you are armed with correct information, you can make the best food choices for your family. You can be independent of the "conspiring men" that God mentions in Doctrine and Covenants 89. You can have the fullest health possible. I used to think that these conspiring men were those of the tobacco industry, but now I think it includes anyone who is willing to put profit before people's health, including those behind lots of food at the grocery store and even so-called "health food" at the health food store. Let's not get sucked into buying food that is actually bad for us.

Also, let's not get sucked into the lines of the "diet dictocrats" as Sally Fallon calls them. These are the people who say that animal fats, the good fats from from raw milk of pasture-fed cows and eggs from pasture-fed chickens, are bad for you. Cholesterol has a purpose! Veganism and vegetarianism have a place, for those who want to cleanse for a time. But they are not diets that can be sustained for a long, healthy, fertile, growing time. A mother, especially one who is in for the long haul of bearing and nursing many babies, and growing children can't thrive long-term on those diets. When I was still vegetarian with my fifth baby, I remember my midwife practically ordering me to eat some meat. She said that she had studied the issue and was aware of women who had problems with their births and their babies because they were long-term vegetarians. If you want some great recipes that involve animal fats and whole foods (although I don't know if it's totally NT correct) check out the Diet Rebel's Cookbook at gettingrealwithfood.blogspot.com.

Every mother, from the time her baby is in the womb, is the link between food and her family. Since food is the biggest determining factor in health, you are the link between your children and good health. The diet of a pregnant woman can lower the chances of the baby having low birth weight and premature birth and the mom having toxemia. See blueribbonbaby.org. The Weston Price people have even more specifics for a pregnant and nursing mom's diet and say this diet can prevent birth defects. See westonaprice.org/Diet-for-Pregnant-and-Nursing-Mothers.html (I am not thrilled about the liver recommendation but next time I'm pregnant I want to do their diet. Hey, maybe I should start now since I am nursing.) Then when the baby comes, mom gets to choose between her milk or artificial milk. Artificial baby milk increases the risk of your baby getting sick and you getting ovarian and uterine cancer. Your milk makes your baby smart and healthy.

I know this position of responsibility and attachment to your children through food can be overwhelming to think about, but it's also a great, God-given honor and one that, with God's help, we can embrace and fully live up to. It does say in the LDS Church's Proclamation to the World on the Family that a mother is primarily responsible for the nurture of her children. That's true women's liberation, to live up to the role God gives, and be liberated from conspiring men who don't care about your or your babies' health.







Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Quick Getaway With Baby and He Left Her Speechless

I hope you all had a Happy Mother's Day. I did, complete with s surprise breakfast in bed served by my sweet husband. He even scooped my eight month old baby out of our family bed at 7:30 AM when baby woke up. Then he went to fix the breakfast, and I was left to joyfully sleep in with no baby noises, the only day so far of this baby's life when I have been able to sleep in past my baby's wake time. That was the most luscious Mother's Day gift of all.
Add Image
So much happened in my life last week that I am still processing it all. We had a marriage retreat, our first night of leaving our oldest in charge overnight, then we we went on a walking tour of SLC with some friends, and then my firstborn went on his first date to go ballroom dancing. Wow! Then it was Mother's Day, with all of the emotion that accompanies that day.

It occurred to me that I haven't said much about AP (Attachment Parenting) since I started this blog, even though I mention it in the banner. I guess that's because after having seven babies, it comes very naturally to me and it just seems like the default, de facto way of life. Some would say it ties a mother down even more than normal mothering does. I say it liberates a mom because it gives her peace of mind in her parenting, knowing she is giving her baby the best start possible. It also liberates a baby to rise up to her full potential because it meets all of the baby's needs in the most physically and emotionally intimate way possible.

The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from  Birth to Age Two (Revised and Updated Edition)

I first heard about AP when I was pregnant with number one and was working at the U of U med school. I stumbled across the book that first laid out AP, The Baby Book, by Dr. and Mrs. Bill Sears, at the U of U bookstore. I consider it providential that it was first published the year I had my first baby in 1993. I bought the book and brought it home and announced to my husband that I really liked this philosophy of parenting and wanted to do it. He read about it and liked it and we have been baby bedding together, babywearing, and baby bonding ever since. He even bought our first baby sling. If you don't know about AP, click here http://askdrsears.com/html/10/t130300.asp

Since then I have been able to hear Dr. Bill and Martha speak a few times in person at LLLI conferences (see llli.org) and have become enamored with them even more. Martha is even an LLL Leader, like I am, so that just makes her feel like family to me. I even got so close to Dr. Bill that I could have gone up to him and spoken to him like a fawning groupie but suddenly my shyness took over and I just didn't want to. My shyness didn't overtake me with Martha however on a separate occasion and I asked her a question. She was so friendly, she even gave me her phone number so I could call her and ask more questions!

AP just seems so natural to me. It's a no-brainer, the way babies and parents are supposed to live harmoniously together, with the least amount of tears, fear, and anxiety. My LDS faith (lds.org) with its belief in eternal families gives me the "why" for attachment. We can't have a fulfillment of happiness, heaven, or even love, unless we are eternally sealed to our husband and our children, as well as to the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. AP gives me the nuts-and-bolts, "how-to" of family attachment in the real, everyday world. Physical attachment with my babies facilitates and precedes emotional and eternal attachment as they mature. At one of these LLL conferences I heard someone quote an old Jewish proverb, "If you get up with your children when they are young, they won't be getting you up when they are old," meaning, respond to your babies' cries when they are little, and chances are that they won't be causing you to get out of bed when they are teenagers. Of course, free agency is always at work and I do know some families who practice AP who still have wayward children but the risk of that happening goes down. At least these parents have peace of mind knowing they did what they could for their children when they were young by practicing AP.

Some people say that AP takes too much time and makes the baby spoiled and manipulative. I disagree. It is an investment in happy, mature, peaceful children. I don't have time to go into all the tangents that AP can get me off on, like gentle discipline and no circumcision. But I found a great blog, drmomma.org, that pretty much sums up my views. Yes, you can still have obedient children, a life outside of children, a passionate marriage, and not go crazy if you practice AP.

Whenever I read about suggestions to leave your baby for a marriage-building retreat, I cringe. You can just take your baby with you! Last Thursday I got to have a quick overnight getaway with my husband. We left everyone home but the baby. I don't even like reading that you have to leave your baby to go on evening dates with your husband. I do remember a line from Sheila Kippley in her eco bfg book that suggests you take the baby with you and that's what I do. At one of the first LLL meetings I went to I heard from a veteran mom (this was when I only had two kids) that as long as you leave the big kids home, it feels like a date, even if you bring the baby. I totally agree. Ever since then I have been bringing the baby with me on dates and overnighters. Once they start walking then I leave them home.

We used to leave our oldest home all the time when he was a baby to do dates and business meetings and I regret that. It would have saved a lot of stress on me to just stay home with him or bring him with us. Despite all the separation I did maintain my breastfeeding relationship with him until he was a year old, by pumping and leaving him a bottle. When I see moms leaving their babies for overnighters or days at a time, I feel sad. Forget about saving the earth, save the breastfeeding you have going with your baby. I've since repented and now take my baby with me or stay home.



Every year my husband gets two free nights of a hotel stay to go participate in a conference for his work as a parental public defender attorney. Out of something like seven years since he's been doing this, this was only my second time to go with him. It's a great free marriage-building retreat so I would love to do it every year. Last time it was at the Homestead when I went (fiver years ago) and this year it was at the Zermatt. Usually I am too busy with carpooling duty or momschool teaching to go. But this year we figured out how to sandwich my escape between chauffeuring my oldest child to his leadership education econ class and his speech and debate class the next day.

We had such a delightful time away! We had some great conversation and watched the movie Fireproof. Lately my baby has been crying a lot in his car seat on car trips, which is so nervewracking for an AP mom. I got the brilliant idea to stop and buy a teething biscuit after I dropped my scholar son off in Bountiful and that was just the ticket to a blissful baby car ride. (Blissful baby = sleeping baby = happy mommy who can listen to de Tocqueville wax philosophical about liberty of the press in Democracy in America as I drive through Parley's Canyon). So I got to Midway with no screaming. We took a walk in this freezing cold Utah sprinter (spring + winter) to the Homestead across the street. We went through the tunnel to this hollow crater on the Homestead property that has a hot spring where people can scuba dive. Then we went shopping to buy our dinner. On the way back to the hotel I nursed baby with him still buckled in his car seat.

He fell asleep on this ride home. Hooray! It was 8 PM. Now we could have some time alone without tending to any children at all. He stayed asleep the rest of the night. (He did wake up to nurse a few times in the hotel bed but then went back to sleep so I still count that as "sleeping through the night." Yes, you can cosleep or bedshare and still have a baby who sleeps for decent chunks of time and doesn't "nurse all night long." More on that another time.) We had a lovely visit talking about almost nothing that relates to our shared household, our children, or homeschooling, as we dined. I didn't even feel guilty that I was missing the end of year meeting for the north Davis county commonwealth school that my two scholar phasers attend. We did talk about who we thought would be elected to next year's board for the school. Then we watched Fireproof, a movie on DVD starring Kirk Cameron, which we hadn't seen yet even though it's ages old.

Fireproof

Yes, I pretty much live in a cave when it comes to movies. I just shun most of what the Hollywood conveyor belt churns out, because it's mostly garbage. But Fireproof doesn't come from the typical Hollywood studio. It's made by the people who did Facing the Giants. See fireproofthemovie.com. If you haven't ever watched Fireproof, do it for your next date night. It is a fabulous movie and totally clean! Not only that, it's based on faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthens marriage by encouraging people to turn their marriages over to Christ. Every married couple should watch it and discuss. (I thought the acting was great but missed reliving the glory days of late 1980s primetime TV with Kirk Cameron since my husband is a baby boomer and barely remembers Happy Days. )

My husband told me a story that put a smile on my face. He left a lady speechless with something he said. At the same his conference was going, so was another. It was for some association of perinatal social workers. So in the vendor display area there were booths and tables for vendors selling things for babies and those who are social workers for babies. One of the booths was for Abbott Labs, one of the main ABM makers. (ABM = artificial baby milk, or SIN, synthetic infant nutrition). My husband said, "You know, my wife is a La Leche League Leader, so babies and nursing and breastmilk are very prominent in my home."

One of the vendors for Abbott Labs smiled and said, "Oh yes. We here at Abbott Labs are very much in favor of breastmilk. We promote it all the time." (Yeah, right....as long as they have their foot in the door, or their pricey can of ABM in your "free" hospital diaper bag, offering it "just in case breastfeeding doesn't work," and then they get you dependent on it. See banthebags.org) To which my husband deftly replied, "Oh, well, my wife would slash your adversting in a heartbeat because it violates the WHO Code of Marketing Breastmilk Substitutes." The vendor opened her mouth but nothing would come out, and her sales partner next to her patted her arm and said, "He's got you there. Don't even bother going down that path. " My husband told me the story and it got me thinking about the WHO Code. I have become less in favor of the UN and government regulation in general lately since reading Richard Maybury. I am going to have to ask my LLL Leader friend who is also a John Bircher how she reconciles the two.

I could just picture myself angrily tearing down their posters and throwing their cans in the garbage. Not my style! My dear husband sometimes translates my zealous opinions into militant action. I'm generally not that assertive. Just for the record, you can be an AP mom and use ABM, even Dr. Sears says so, although it does take conscientiousness to be an AP bottlefeeder. ABM does have its place, especially for babies who simply have no access to a mom or a milk bank, like these poor babies helped by perinatal social workers probably. But I agree with Dr. Jack Newman, a medical doctor who specializes in breastfeeding (drjacknewman.com), that ABM should be treated like a drug that requires a prescription. It has risks to both baby's and mother's health and side-effects. Breastmilk from the mother while nursing, then pumped milk from the mom, then pumped milk from other moms, then ABM is the hierarchy I follow. Wouldn't it have been cool if there had been a booth at this perinatal conference for a mothers' milk bank, LLL, or the people at asklenore.com who help adoptive moms with breastfeeding?

The next morning I got to go to breakfast with my husband as part of his conference. Lo and behold, who should we end up sitting with but Joyce Kinmont, one of the speakers from my conference last year, homeschooling mom guru and founder of ldshea.org. She volunteers her time helping parents who are fighting DCFS and likes to go to conferences like this. One of the guys who shares office space with my husband, Don Redd, was also there. Don's wife Karen was there at the breakfast table as well, and she is one of my heroines. Here is a woman who has borne 15 children, yes 15!, and looks not only perfectly normal to be a mother to so many and a grandma too, but still beautiful as well. She just retired from singing in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I look at her and what she is doing in her phase of mothering now that her youngest is 12 or so and it reminds me that there is a season for moms to develop their talents with more focus than in interrupted blocks of time.

The breakfast table discussion fascinated me. It was attorneys mostly talking, along with Joyce and two of the wives. They were basically saying that the state system that professes to protect families actually breaks them up. So then the talk went to, well, it's not just that the system is messed up, it's the culture of today with the broken families. One attorney there said that families are going down the tubes, especially since moms are no longer home all day. He said that moms don't even have to eat breakfast with their children, they can just send them to school for free breakfast. Then they have free lunch, and then at night (I thought to myself), a lot of kids don't eat dinner with their family either. The forage for their own dinner of cold cereal or microwave food and eat in front of the TV. It's sad when women outsource the feeding of their children, starting with ABM and then as they grow older turning it over to others constantly. If you want some inspiration, go to thefoodnanny.net.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

We Can Build Zion From Our Kitchen Counters!



At our stake conference last Sunday, we got to hear Sister Julie Beck of the General Relief Society Presidency of the LDS Church speak. She said that a righteous woman is like a "lioness at the gate." She is fierce about what she doesn't and does let into her home. She categorizes her desires into "essential," "necessary," and "nice to do." Sister Beck stated that a righteous woman will see mealtimes as an opportunity to gather her family around and share the gospel and bond. She didn't come right out and say it, but she was basically saying that mealtimes together are essential to a loving, eternal family, not just nice to do.

I feel so happy that she brought that up. I have seen the power of mealtime in my own family. We used to live in a very small apartment with five children and my husband commuted an hour and a half each way to work. Having a tasty homemade dinner when he came home really helped ease his stress and mine too during this hard time. My mother used to always have a hot homemade dinner for us every night, even when she started working full-time as a kindergarten teacher. Perhaps this is part of the reason why we all turned out so well. All five of us went to BYU, graduated, got married, and have happy families of our own. Mealtime is part of a mother's secret weapon to teach and train her children. It is a time to please your family with great-tasting food and delicious, nourishing mind food as well. I have done a lot of stealthy gospel teaching and homeschooling at dinnertime, it's just a natural time to teach.

I read this terrific book recently that I saw in the Chinaberry catalog, The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner. In this book, an LDS mother of seven shares her great secrets on how to overcome obstacles to having family dinner. Her name is Liz Edmunds and she is now a grandma. She says anyone can learn to be a great cook. Her book is sprinkled with references to Mormon culture, such as the pictures of her wall with plaques of LDS sayings and a Family Home Evening chart. She has even hit it big with a show on BYUTV, which you can watch on Thursday nights. See byutv.org. This book is a great inspiration! She has yummy recipes that must be the best, coming from a woman who has the great heritage of Utah/Relief Society cooking (think, dinner rolls with roast beef, comfort food with lots of fat!). With her years of cooking pleasing food for a large family she is now an author, Internet celebrity, and consultant for the restaurant Sur La Table. After reading her book I felt so inspired I whipped up some pizza for my family dinner, a first for me. I usually avoid homemade pizza dough and just use pita bread. But I am wanting to avoid commercial bread as it is so full of preservatives, probably petroleum-based.

If you go to my website treeoflifemothering.com and click under "The Library" and "Home Cooking" or "Home Dining" you can get a free pdf file I wrote with more ideas from her book, including the list of the "theme nights" she uses to plan her menus and some of her questions that spark conversations at dinner for family bonding. I also share some ideas for gospel teaching at dinnertime, with quotes from Elder Bednar, Truman Madsen and Elder Holland.

Dinnertime is the time for power nurturing! Sisters, as my girlfriend Jonell Francis says, "We can build Zion from our kitchen counters!" (You can order the talk from my LDS natural moms conference that contains this quote from my web site under "Recordings." She tells her story of healing from fibromyalgia by changing her diet.) As my girlfriend Tara says on her blog, quoting Jacques DeLangre (I have no idea who that is, anybody know?), happyinthekitchen-withtara.blogspot.com, "When a woman stays at home and cooks with good judgment and understanding, peace and happiness result. She thus controls the family's health and destiny, also her husband's mood, disposition and feeling, and assures the futures of her children."

This is one of the great powers we have as women and homemakers! When we assume this honor, we and our families are liberated from illness, overbearing stress, and tension. Our life won't be perfect, but we will have the nourishment, both physical and mental, to cope with our trials. This is part of the true women's liberation. Sisters in Zion, unite, and have homemade family dinners together! (Tara is going to give some classes on how to prepare super-nourishing family meals by soaking grains and using lacto-fermented condiments. I am so thrilled, go to her website to learn more!)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Falling in Love with Those Gorgeous Greens

Do you avoid eating greens? Especially the sturdy ones like collard and kale? I used to, even when told to eat them when pregnant, because I didn't know how to prepare them. I thought you were supposed to eat them raw. I remember dutifully buying them when I was pregnant because "dark leafy greens" were on this list of what I Was Supposed to Eat. I brought them home and took one bite and, Ugh! It's because I didn't know how to prepare them. Occasionally I will have them raw, torn up into bits and pulverized into a smoothie, but if you are going to serve them by themselves and relatively whole, this method is the way to go.

I remember taking a macrobiotic cooking class from a darling older lady in Salt Lake City. She would often say, "Greens are my friends!" Unfortunately greens were not part of the curriculum, so I never learned how to prepare them. But she had the most beautiful skin, very smooth, and she was over 60.

Maybe her skin was smooth because of all the greens she ate. Greens are one of the most nutrient-dense foods of all. They help your skin be young and smooth and keep your body young with all of their anti-aging antioxidants. I found this great web site from one of my favorite whole foods cookbook authors. She has lots of videos on how to prepare whole foods meals. (And no, it is not Sally Fallon.) Go to my web site treeoflifemothering.com/video/yes-greens-can-taste-great and you can watch it. These cooking videos are so much fun! They have a sense of humor and show real life cooking in a kitchen with kids and people coming to the door interrupting you or fix-it people working in your home. Now I love to eat my greens! I like to go to this web site (found on the video) when I want some inspiration for a dish to take to a potluck gathering or even for dinner. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

In Harmonious Vibration With Eggs

Be careful what you think about, it just might come true.

Two weeks ago I went through my dresser drawers and closet. I got rid of a bunch of clothes I have had for over ten years. I thought, I need more clothes. These clothes are out of date. It's scary to get rid of them though because I don't know where more will come from. Maybe my sister will give me more clothes. Leslie Householder teaches that if you want something, create a vacuum for it and then the new thing will come. She tells the story of how she and her husband wanted a new car, so they got rid of the present car her husband was using to commute in, and within a month they had the car they wanted.

Sure enough, the following Sunday at our family dinner in Highland at my parents' home my sister announced she had some clothes to give to me. Hooray! These clothes included two pairs of denim capris that fit perfectly and three stylish tops for summer. I just won't think about the fact that they are probably her "fat clothes" and she is losing weight much faster than I am. We both have the Sudweeks' genes that holds on to fat instead of the Shurtliff genes like our other sister, our mom, and one of our brothers, which allows one to burn all fat ingested, including however much ice cream and brownies taken in. She said that if I didn't want them she would give them to her friend. I thought, whew, I guess my thinking about wanting clothes sent the vibes to her to prevent her from giving her friend first dibs.

So last week for lunches I was thinking how I like to fix scrambled eggs and wishing we had more eggs. We went to the wedding reception for our nephew James on Saturday night. This complete stranger came up to my husband and asked if he likes brown eggs. She said she had lots of extra eggs from her chickens and would he like some. Then she produced two dozen eggs in cartons and handed them to Dan. (This urban chicken keeping thing is amazing. Everyone is getting in on the act. I went to pick up my son from his friend's house and they had baby chicks in their living room!)I had been on the phone with my girlfriend Tara talking about Leslie Householder's teachings. Tara said that awhile ago she was thinking that they, her family, hadn't been to California in a long time. She wished they could go. A few days later, her mom-in-law called to announce that her brother had died and invited them to go to the funeral in California. Her wish came true, and they went off on their trip to see family and reconnect. Another day she was wishing she had a mixer and a few days later one showed up in the mail, I think from her mother-in-law.

So I am visualizing a bigger home while generating positive, grateful emotions like in the book Jackrabbit Factor by Leslie. I am also dejunking and packing things up, to prepare for this move that I am attracting. Maybe it's time to listen to Leslie's CDs again too. If anyone wants to buy the set of seven CDs where she explains the laws of success, let me know. I have an extra set and would like to sell them for $75. They are sold out of the CDs, but have them as mp3 files for $99 on her site thoughtsalive.com. Contact me at celestia_shumway@yahoo.com if you want to buy my set for $75.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Blessings are Flowing...Homeschooling is Working

Yesterday was a GREAT homeschooling day. The DeMilles (see tjedonline.com) say that one out of every ten days is a perfect day according to schedule and that's how yesterday was for us. Ever since my baby was born it's been a struggle for me to get my exercising in before our family scripture study at 6:45 AM but yesterday I did it! I woke up at 4 AM to nurse the baby and after he went back to sleep I stayed awake miraculously. It's because I was in bed by 10 the night before.

I had fun exercising while I listened to my Constitution class with James Ure. I am so impressed with his knowledge. I am learning so much about law and government in my leadership education. I passed the AP Government and Politics test in high school but this time around in my study of government I feel like I am actually learning important facts from a Godly view. Then I blogged about my new recipe for buttermilk ranch dressing (see last post). Then we had family prayer and scripture study. The kids did their morning chores diligently and we had breakfast. My husband drove the two scholar phase children off to their youth conference for NSSA and SDLA, the two commonwealth schools of Davis County that they do scholar projects with.

I played the piano after breakfast and sang songs with my children which is something I used to always put off thinking, "There's so much work to do! I don't have time to play the piano." Then I realized that I was neglecting a great blessing, my ability to play for my children, and the gift of having a piano around. I listened to one homeschool mom in my moms as mentors group talk about how singing increases your vibrational frequency. If there's any time of day when I need an increase in my frequency, it's right after breakfast when the load of the day's work faces me. So now I play the piano and sing with my core phasers while the two love of learners/core phasers do the breakfast dishes. We always sing Dr. Seuss' song, "Let Us All Sing" from the Dr. Seuss songbook, a treasure I found at D.I. That always puts me in a great mood! Then we sing Primary songs and Brite music and I just feel ready to conquer the day.

My baby had a terrifically long morning nap. Yay! I helped my two core phasers do their folding of clean laundry and putting it away. I dug into an organizing project of taking care of two drawers full of learning card games. They were all mixed together. My two sons, the core/LOL (love of learning) helped me with the project. One of them did his math schoolwork and actually did it quickly! My two little core phasers, ages 4 and 5, found a Bible card game featuring Bible characters. They were enamored with it! Their enthusiasm for Bible stories was so endearing. We made up a game of finding the character after telling the clues. They loved it and even my core/LOL age 8 joined in, begging to play with us.

The time for the two Core/LOL to go to their Knights of Freedom love of learning class was fast approaching. I didn't want to bundle everyone into the car to drive them since the baby was still asleep and my scholar phasers weren't home to tend so I called and asked my husband to drive them and he agreed.

It occurred to me that my life was flowing beautifully. The blessings are pouring in. Homeschooling is hard, but it does work and it's working for our family. It was four years ago this weekend that my husband and I journeyed to Cedar City to attend our first TJED convention. We had moved to Davis county the previous fall from Provo. I know that God had a hand in the move, to get me to a place where I would be mentored in the TJED philosophy. He brought my dear friend Kelli Poll back into my life (I had met her five years prior when I lived in Provo. That's a story in itself of how I found her exactly at that time, without phoning or emailing her. )

She had just started a moms as mentors group which I was able to join right as she started it. The timing was just perfect. She had friends in her neighborhood, as well as her sister-in-law, who were just starting their homeschooling journey. I was a veteran homeschooler of six years or so but did not do TJED. I had heard about when I started homeschooling in 1998 but did not embrace it. I heard Oliver DeMille speak in 1998 o1999 and slept through most of it. I bought his book and it sat on my shelf untouched. I needed to move to Davis county to find the mentors I needed to put it into my life.

The past two Saturdays I administered an ACT practice test and boot camp with my friend Ann Meeks, who I met eight years ago at one of my Veggie Gals lunches at my girlfriend Becky Edwards' home. Ann is amazing! My son took the practice test with her and got a high score, even though he is only 16 and has not studied for the test or taken trigonometry or finished geometry. Homeschooling works, at least for him. I have to confess though that he was not raised on TJED homeschooling. We started that when he was 13, although he started his TJED scholar projects at his commonwealth school when he was 12. I did require him to do math every day out of a (shhhh!) math workbook/textbook, much before he was in scholar phase. I will have to write more about this ACT boot camp another time. I learned so many things and am so grateful to Ann for putting all these ACT secrets into one package. Ann and Cyndi, teachers of the ACE the ACT course, both veteran TJED homeschooling moms with children either at college or accepted into college, admit that math is the exception to "inspire not require," unless you count using sugar as inspiring.

It was a year ago that I wanted to get my son to take this ACT class and we couldn't afford it at the time. I started fantasizing about him taking it and contacted Ann and found out that if I organized one and got enough people to take it, he could take it for free. So I put the work in and now I am tasting the success of seeing not only my son, but my daughter, as a bonus, take it and learn about it from a mentor. I am feeling so grateful! My son and daughter, ages 14 and 16, are motivated scholars. They like to study and put the hours in. I can see college scholarships in their future. My other children are growing and happy. I have made peace with my two core/LOL over doing math every day. (They are doing it, with some bribery.) Best of all, a blessing I have waited for a long time has happened and I have much greater hope for the future. Praise the Lord! Tomorrow is stake conference and I get to hear Sister Julie Beck and Elder Hales speak. Hooray!