Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Music While We Wait

I was waiting on hold to talk to a government agency this morning, and found my ears assaulted by some loud, clangy, and very repetitious music. After completing that call (unsatisfactorily, but it wasn't entirely their fault), I put in a call to Lampstand Press (creators of the Tapestry of Grace curriculum, which is truly delightful); again, I ended up on hold, only this time I got to listen to "Be Still My Soul", which certainly deserves a place among my favorite hymns. Ahh...
Now here's a question for you: which group of customer service representatives do you think ends up with more cheerful customers on the other end of the line at the end of their wait?

And for those of you who like loud, clangy, and repetitious music: I feel truly sorry for you...

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Tribute to the life of Ezra Taft Benson

I just listened to a delightful and touching tribute to Ezra Taft Benson given by his son Reed Benson. The talk was give just a few days after President Benson's death, the day before his funeral, in fact. Reed Benson had been scheduled to speak at an LDS Home Educators Association conference that week (he and his wife were pioneers in the LDS homeschool movement). In light of his father's passing, he spoke about him.
Ezra Taft Benson was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for many years. Eight of those years he also served as the Secretary of Agriculture, appointed by President Eisenhower. In the aftermath of World War II, Elder Benson was sent to Europe with the responsibility to re-build the Church organization there and coordinate the distribution of humanitarian aid. The story of that mission is told in the book On Wings of Faith by Frederick Babbel (who accompanied Elder Benson on that trip).
In 1985, Ezra Taft Benson became the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. As a youth I looked to him as the Lord's Prophet, called to lead His church in our time. He passed away in 1994, when I was 16 years old. I was touched listening to this tribute to his life and work given by his son Reed.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Put away that camera, mom...

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Heron--I watched this fellow alight on a tree outside early in the morning

Alum crystals

We grew these for about 4 weeks. We used regular rocks as a substrate for the crystals to attach too--that's what you see in the top picture.
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Spelling Lesson

Lily and Luke both enjoyed this game--I wrote letters on post-its, stuck them to one wall, then told the children to go find the letters for a word (say, "bat"), and build in on the other wall. Luke even helped write some letters (you can see them in the top picture). I haven't had much luck getting Luke interested in reading before, so I was happy that he enjoyed this game--and seemed to "get it" :-)
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More Foster Babies...

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They were soldiers, I was told...

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Another Doll

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Pipe cleaner doll

We made these dolls today out of bead heads and pipe cleaner--it was a fun, quick craft.
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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Update on Life

We started school a couple of weeks ago--homeschool, that is. Despite my best efforts, I can't understand the excitement of my friends over sending their children off to kindergarten for the first time. Really I've tried, I just don't get it!
I'd hoped to post a few pictures here, but my camera is (not surprisingly, if you know me!) missing in action. When I find it and get the pictures onto my computer I will try to remember to post them. We've been doing lots of science (because it's fun of course!)--growing alum crystals, examining rocks, pulling iron dust out of the playground sand with magnets (turns out our sand is full of iron!). We're about done with studying Egypt, Sumeria, the Hebrews, and Ancient India, and ready to move on to China, Greece and Rome. I've started reading Farmer Boy to Luke. Violin group lessons start in a couple of weeks. So we're busy on the home front.
I'm busy too with my own school--I started a Masters program in Literature and Composition last week. I'm in class two evenings a week, with reading and assignments in between. Hopefully I can create a workable balance that won't stress my family too much. So far, I'm enjoying being back in class.
In view of starting school, I'm cutting back on other activities including blogging. I'll post occasional updates but have to limit the time I spend.