Whose we Are

We have had our share of adventures lately, including my son finding a ward member dead in his home when he and his friend went to do their priesthood duty by administering the sacrament.to a shut-in. How coincidental that it was Halloween.

I took my younger kids to the Tree house Museum last week and that is always fun. If you haven’t been yet, google it and go. It is the best-kept secret for moms in Utah.

Sometimes I think that if I ever live through life with seven kids it will be a miracle. Maybe Maria von Trapp felt the same way. So many things happen at once all day every day in our homeschooling life that I feel like I need to put up a traffic light in my home to regulate events, including conversations, temper tantrums, and tears. Thoughts go into my head and then promptly out. I feel so grateful to God that the gloomy, stormy weather hasn’t kicked in. This fall weather is gorgeous! We finally picked our huge pumpkin from our garden today, even though it still has a little bit of green on it. No we just have to figure out how to get it inside and when to process it. It is heavy!

I hosted an online colloquium to discuss a paper written by my friend’s son about the myths of Abraham Lincoln. Secession was not illegal, the South was totally
provoked by Abraham Lincoln to fire the first shot, and the war
wasn’t about slavery, but money and power. I don’t think Lincoln was
evil, just wrong. I even found this great quote by him, towards the
end of the war, where he admits that the war didn’t turn out the way
he wanted it to (meaning, “I made a mistake.”) and he feared more
for his country than ever, even though the war was almost over. He sold his
soul to the radical Republicans. The unconstiutional things he did
greatly expanded the idea of our nation being an empire of doing
whatever the President says, not a republic of law. We suffer from that today. I am doing a monthly online discussion about this with readings. If you want to join, let me know.

A few weeks ago we surprised the kids by taking them to Toy Story 3. We hardly ever go to movies so this was a huge surprise for them. I noticed at least two lines that were off-color but I am sure they went over kids’ heads. Christian symbolism: In the movies, the characters that are toys get their value and self-esteem totally from
their owner. The toys that are cast-off at yard sales or left behind
feel worthless. The value of the toys is not necessarily how often
they are played with but whether or not they have an owner who cares
about them. To be unattached is a fate worse than death. Not only
that, but the toys realize that it’s an unwritten law that they
should follow their owner’s wishes. Woody is even willing to be put
away in a box of memorabilia, instead of staying with his pals,
because that’s what his owner Andy wants. If only we as people could
get this! Our value comes from our owner, who is Christ. He bought us
with a price, his atoning sacrifice. It’s OK to do what He says to
do, that doesn’t diminish our value any, contrary to popular opinion.
Woody has his owner’s name written on his body, and we should
figuratively have Christ’s name written on ours, in the form of how
we dress and behave.. So after seeing this I went to a meeting with
my homeschooling friends and it was all about Christianity and the
Constitution. My friend Lynda, pointed out that Christians can’t be sold
into slavery because they already have an owner. As Truman Madsen
says, “We can’t know who we are (that would be our value) until we
know WHOSE we are.”

One of the greatest things about homeschooling is that I get to learn all the fabulous things that I didn’t get to in public school, (when I was a wandering nomad
learner without a mentor for a guide), such as how beautiful and
peaceful Gandhi was. I remember my brother watching the movie about
Gandhi when I was 13 or so and it just seemed so long and boring, about some
esoteric guy who wore a diaper. My daughter’s TJYC class is studying
him this week and we got to watch the movie at her mentor’s home last
week with her class. Gandhi is so incredible with his peaceful ways.
Ben Kingsley has nice eyes. I never knew Candice Bergen had a role in
the movie and I had forgotten how pretty she is.

Sunday night we went to my husband’s cousin’s home for a family fireside. Here’s the depressing news. A shirttail relative actually asked me if I was expecting or just
putting on weight. UGH! The natural woman in me wanted to either burst into tears or slug her. And this, after months of going running
almost every day and building up my time. Maybe I have a metabolism
that just won’t budge. It’s time to get those HCG drops like my
daughter’s TJYC mentor did, causing her to lose 30 pounds.

Anyway, at this fireside, the speaker was a filmmaker from Utah County who is making a movie about saints at war. It’s all about the wars of the world and how they tie into
the Mormon idea of the pre-earth life, and now earth life war against
Satan to preserve our agency. He isn’t done making the movie. Thank
goodness. I agreed with a lot of it, but towards the end he implies
that World War II and the Iraqi war were fights for freedom. I am
hoping he will get a bigger picture and learn that since the Spanish
American war the U.S. has taken the role that Great Britain had in the
revolutionary war, that of wanting to expand its empire and force its
way, abusing people’s rights. . I want this guy to read Jack Monnett’s books and do some more
research before he finishes. Positively providentially, the next day I found out
my friend Shauna read my mind and set up a fireside with Jack Monnett
as the speaker at her home on November 18. Get the details at an
upcoming blog post. I am going to invite this guy to come and hear
Jack.

Williamsburg Academy is really cool! My son is learning a lot, although I wish his physics class were a lot harder. I need to bug them again about giving him more story problems. The really cool thing is that James Ure and Andrew Groft
mentor the parents on how to mentor the students. We are required to
have weekly mentor meetings with our students where they set
commitments and goals and we hold them accountable. Can you imagine
how much you would grow and learn if you did this every week for the
rest of your life? Maybe that’s why we have God and friends, but we are afraid to use them as mentors.

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