Sunday, November 25, 2012


Thought I'd share my thoughts on these two books that I just finished.  I'm a mom in the "six's club" with six little angels filling up our home with noise and life.  Big families have an identity of their own and reading these books gave me a few insights into this supersize home.

Things I liked:

1.  The four characteristics of obedience they teach their children:
  • Instant (if it doesn't happen instantly, it's not obedience)
  • Cheerful ("Yes ma'am. I'd be happy to.")
  • Thorough (We make sure they're looking us in the eye when we make a request. Then we wait to hear "Yes ma'am" or "Yes sir" in response.)
  • Unconditional (without argument)
Resources they suggest in the book
  • Bill Gothard's Operational Definitions of Character Qualities 
  • Steve & Teri Maxwell's Managers of Their Homes and Managers of Their Chores
  • Emilie Barnes' Survival Book for Busy Women
  • Sing, Spell, Read, and Write
  •  (Phonics homeschool program)
  • Engelmann, Haddox and Bruner's Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons (homeschool materials)
  • ACE (Accelerated Christian Education)
  •  is their homeschool program of choice as is Alpha Omega's Switched-On Schoolhouse (SOS)

2.  Conferences and Seminars they enjoy

3.  Their chart of operational definitions of character qualities.

4. Sam Walton's 10 Rules for Building a Business

5.  The chore wall system they use to keep track of all the "jurisdictions"

6.  The Duggars have some emotional and behavior goals they have set for their children and for themselves:

  • Always use soft words, even when you don't feel well.
  • Always display kind actions, even if you have been mistreated.
  • Show joyful attitudes even when no one is looking.
  • Have sincere motive with no thought of self-gain.
  • Think pure thoughts.
  • Always give a good report of others. (Never tale-bear unless physical harm will come to someone -- Matt 18).
  • Never raise a hand to hit, a foot to kick, an object to throw, a voice to yell or an eye to scowl.
  • Use one toy/activity at a time.
  • Never let the sun go down on your wrath.
  • J.O.Y. (Put Jesus first, others second, yourself last.)
7.  They keep all of the families clothes in a family closet in the laundry room. This cuts down on steps as you don't have to move the clothes from the laundry room back to the bedrooms and then back to the laundry room.  I've done that with my four little boys.  

I also wanted to mention one of their episodes I saw where they invited over their friends who had a premature baby in the shared room with their premie, Josie.  One time the friend's little one had lots of alarms go off and the mom was immediately frantic as she saw a team of doctors and nurses rush in.  She thanked Michelle Duggar on the episode because she remembers Michelle in the corner of the room praying outloud when this happened and all she could think at the time was, "Please God, hear her prayer."

I pondered this that night after watching a simple TV show.   How often I feel weak and how other people's prayers are so real.  I can rely on them when I don't have the words.  Does "ditto" work on prayers?  Perhaps not in those exact terms but I do believe that I can latch on to another's prayer as though grabbing hold of the end of a balloon string.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Here's a cool clip I've always loved that shows a chemical change.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Classroom Birthdays

The Birthday barn I saw in a 5th grade classroom with the names and dates of class members stuck in the hay.  CUTE!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Heaven Is Here

Just finished reading Heaven is Here by Stephanie Neilson.

LOVED IT!  The woven theme of motherhood is truly inspiring.  I felt like her life and my life have been an inch apart and yet miles apart as well.

I was in AZ miles away from her plane crash when it happened.  In fact, it crashed in the backyard of a friend's relative.

I had just begun blogging and heard from a blogging friend about the little family who needed help the day after it happened.  I would read the updates on her from her family and saw the countless paypal and charity options in our area to help.

Reading her thoughts, I related to her love of Elder  Holland, Cafe Rio and motherhood as the ultimate joy.  She spoke my language.

I still follow her blog at to see what her family is up to.

I admire her honesty and courage.  Read it!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Timpanogas Storytelling Festival

We went for the second time to the famous Utah Storytelling festival.  This year it was my son, Carter, my mom and grandma.  It was just as fun as last year.  We got in, chose our first storyteller to see, and then got seats.  But wait!  We forgot to grab the awesome cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate!  Carter and I went back to get some and I saw one of our favorite authors reading a graphic novel quietly at a table. I told Carter, "That's Brandon Mull!"  (author of Fablehaven series and Carters favorite...The Candy Shop Wars).  I approached him to chat and introduce my own little author.  Mull was very gracious and let us take a pic and gave some writing advice.  We asked which teller he was here to see and he answered...his daughter.  His wife and kids arrived to the table and we talked with them for a few minutes.  They invited us to see her perform in 15 minutes.  So Carter and I ditched the grandma's and went to see Brandon Mull's daughter tell "Pinkalicious" with accents and everything.  She was very good!  We congratulated her as she came off the stage and went back to meet our party.  Yea...that's right.  We hang with the Mull's  now! :)

There were some awesome puppet shows this year.  

The theme this year was about quilts being an art form of storytelling.  

This quilt was cute with pictures of a grandpa with each grandchild eating cookies. 

During lunch, we were entertained by renaissance-type jesters

Here's the monkey puppet we enjoyed.  Playing with the puppets is one of our favorite things to do.  

The ever famous teller, Donald Davis

The monkey puppet we ended up buying.  He kept getting into trouble, silly monkey!