Archive for February, 2007


What Was I Thinking?!?

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

OK, so it really wasn’t that bad, but I still need to think things over a little more carefully next time. This Liberty Girl semester we are learning about WWII era in history. One of the things that happen in the books which we use for our reading materials is a group of girls getting together to knit. So, I decided to teach 12 girls how to knit. With a co-advisor who doesn’t know how as back-up. My co-advisor ended up being sick today, so she wasn’t able to come. Thankfully 2 of the girls knew how to knit already, so they were able to help me show the other girls how to do it. Thank Heavens for those two! All in all it did turn out alright, I think. And it gave those two girls a chance to shine, which is great. Paricularly since one of those two in new and extremely shy. This really helped her come out of her shell a little, and be confident in the situation. I am always thinking of how to find the balance between letting them try new things, and not making it too hard that it just frustrates them. I remember my mom teaching me how to knit when I was about 5 or 6, so I thought this would be a good idea. She even taught classes on it. I just don’t think her classes were 12 girls. :)

Stand for Something.

The Martyr of Venice

Monday, February 26th, 2007

Oops! I meant The Merchant of Venice. There are a few lessons in this play. The largest is Mercy. So much time is spent discussing mercy, explaining it, begging for it, and yet not bestowing it. Shylock the jew is cast as the villain in this story. At the time Shakespeare wrote this jews were not able to legally reside in England. There was a christian religious group of people who acted as Shylock does in the story, though, and some think that he was poking at them through Shylock. I wonder if he was trying to make people look at themselves and see how christian they truly are. What is true mercy? Is it really merciful to make a man give up his religion and leave all his money to a daughter who betrayed him and stole from him? Looking at what life would have been like for Shylock after such a demand does not seem merciful at all. He is no longer a jew, so he will no longer be accepted by his friends. He is not voluntarily a christian and will never be accepted by the Christian society. He is now friendless, how merciful is that?

Antonio seems to be set on misery. He continually sets himself up to be the willing victim. There were plenty of others he could have borrowed money from, yet he chooses to borrow from someone who wants a pound of his flesh. He can’t really believe that this man he has spit on, kicked, called a dog, etc. really is saying “let’s be friends” out of the goodness of his heart. Especially when he has just said he would do all of those things to him again if given the chance! He does that which may appear generous and unselfish, but you can best judge a man by how he treats his enemies, not just his friends. Antonio tries to make himself out as a martyr. A role he doesn’t do justice.

This play is fraught with characters with major flaws. The couples all have serious issues to work out. Take Jessica and Lorenzo as an example. She steals from her father and then runs away with Lorenzo. A recurring theme in Shakespeare has girls running away and eloping. How is a man to trust his wife when she so willingly betrays her father, and in this case steals from him? How will she in turn treat her husband? By the end of the play you can tell from their conversations how on edge they already are with each other.

We don’t have any black and white hero or heroine in this play. We don’t always have those in real life, either. I wonder if that was part of why he wrote this play in this manner. There is a lot of hypocrisy that is overlooked in this play. Perhaps a closer look at my own life to see the hypocrisy I might be overlooking is where I need to go next. In what way might I be a Portia, Nerissa, Antonio, Shylock, Jessica, Lorenzo, Launcelot, etc.?

Stand for Something.

Donate Bridge to Hospital or “Down Goes Frazier”

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

The first title was my final decision, and the second was my husband’s recommendation.  Of course, my first decision was “To Blog, or Not To Blog?”  I decided to blog.

Yesterday Sione had the day off to celebrate President’s Day.  Which means he only went in to work for half a day instead of a full day.  That’s my man, he just can’t take time off.  So he called me up to say he was on his way home, and to get ready to go out at about 11am.  He came home and said that he was going to donate blood first.  I hadn’t heard that there was blood donating and so hadn’t made sure to eat/drink right for it, but I thought I had eaten enough food, and drunk enough water and I like giving blood.  Well, I don’t really like it, but I feel good about doing it. I’m also an O blood type and they are in dire need of that right now.  So Sione and I went over to give blood.  I finished before Sione, so I sat reading The Merchant of Venice while I ate a little bag of chocolate chip cookies, and drinking a can of apple juice.  I started in on a packet of PB crackers as Sione finished.  We got in the car and went home to pick up the kids for lunch and movie.  I was feeling a little funny, so I asked him to drive.

We got to the theater and I bought tickets to Bridge to Terabithia while Sione went to sit down with the kids.  Then I went over to get some pizzas for our lunch.  I was waiting for my last pizza when I felt suddenly very dizzy and I almost tried to go sit down.  I don’t think I would have made it, but who knows.  Instead I turned back to the counter and thought it would only be a little bit before I got my last pizza, and then I could go sit down with the family for a minute.  In my mind I said “Heavenly Father, please don’t let me pass out right now,” and the next thing I remember I’m waking up flat on my back with a bunch of people surrounding me lifting my legs, and getting something under my head.  They were talking about me having a siezure (I didn’t.  I know a little about it and know that I didn’t.  The doctor confirmed it later) and hitting my head hard “the first time” which lets me know it must have been quite a sight for them.  When I heard them say I had a seizure I said “no” and I heard “I think you had a seizure.”  I said “no” again, because I didn’t quite feel like going into a lot of detail.  I just added “I gave blood today.” That helped clear it up for them.  The kept asking me if I wanted medical attention and I kept telling them no.  I just wanted my husband, and after a minute I said “my husband is here.”  Aahh, the relief in the voices as people repeated “her husband is here!”  People actually stood up to look around before they realized that they had no idea what my husband looked like.  They asked what he was wearing.  Now, some people may pay close attention to what their significant other is wearing.  I am not one of those people.  It’s a good thing I didn’t tell them what I was remembering because it was what he had been wearing 2 days before.  That would have really thrown them!  LOL.  I told them he had 6 kids with him and pointed in the direction they were sitting.  Of course from my flat on my back perspective I probably just pointed to the entire crowd that was milling through their food court.  They asked me again what he was wearing and I chuckled a bit as I said “He’s a big man with 6 kids.”  The woman chuckled and repeated “he’s with 6 kids.”  I didn’t think I could help them any more than that unless they wanted me to start explaining that they just had to look for a group that had the most amazingly beautiful baby girl in the world, and that her 5 older siblings are just as good looking, and you can tell that they get that quantity of good looks from the big man who is sitting with those 6 kids.  They started helping me up as they gave me some sprite in a cup.  With no lid.  With a straw.  To a woman lying flat on her back.  :)  I thought that was funny.  I still had the tickets in my hand, but apparently had let my credit card go flying.  Well, at least even while out cold I had my priorities straight.  *grin*  They got Sione as I was being helped over to them.  I got my credit card back, and they helped bring over my pizzas.  As I was almost to the tables my kids started asking my what happened.  Sione told them “Oh, your mom just wanted some attention.”  I laughed and told him he knew me too well.  Then the manager brought over the paper work for me to sign, and I’m just thinking “How embarrassing!  And now my kids are going to miss the movie!”  Well, the paper work didn’t take long, thank heavens.  The manager walked us into the movie and helped us get seated.  Great timing, too, because just after we got comfortable the previews started.  My head hurt, and I felt a little funny still, but we enjoyed the movie.  It was very good, and very much like the book, which I wasn’t really sure it would be.  When the movie ended we went home.  I told Sione I wanted him to check me for a concussion because I was feeling a little nauseous, and to check my bump because it felt a little strange to me.  I thought I might just be imagining things with the bump, so I wanted his opinion.

We got home and Sione wanted to take me to the hospital.  I really didn’t want to go.  I was still quite embarrassed and didn’t want to expand on that.  I had to admit, though, that I was still very unsteady on my feet, feeling dizzy, and sick to my stomach, and I know that you don’t want to take chances with a head injury.  So we gave Julie instructions for babysitting for the evening, and took Tarina with us to take care of Losahina if we needed it.  We stopped at Tamra’s so Dave could help administer a priesthood blessing before going to the hospital.  Dave offered to let Losahina and Tarina stay there, and he would bring them over if we needed him to.  They are literally 5 minutes away from the hospital, so we decided to take him up on the offer.

At the hospital we actually got in faster than I thought we would.  I guess a head injury gets you in faster.  One thing I noticed was that people didn’t seem to want to laugh at any jokes.  I prefer to laugh at difficult situations, it helps ease the tension I think.  I don’t think it’s always appropriate, but I figure if I’m the one hurt then I can laugh if I want to.  These people did not laugh.  Sione is like me in this respect.  For which I am very grateful.  Sione and I were cracking jokes here and there, and I am telling you they completely flatlined!  It just put a bit of a damper on the whole experience. They were also completely caught up in why I fainted.  I knew why!  I had donated blood, and I hadn’t made sure to eat and drink what I should have before hand.  I have learned my lesson.  I will do better next time.  My concern was regarding the bump on the back of my head.  They kept telling me that pregnancy can cause fainting and nauseau.  No Kidding!  I am a little familiar with pregnancy symptoms, and ya know!  I have never had my morning sickness brought on by having my head smack a concrete floor after I fainted.  Actually I have never fainted before.  Or had my head smack on a concrete floor to my knowledge.  So maybe I’m not giving them enough credit.  Anyhow, the test came back negative.  Although they failed to tell me.  I figured that when they took me in for the CT scan it must have been negative, though.  The CT scan was fine, apparently, and they released me.  After another lecture about how fainting and nauseau can be caused by pregnancy.  Ummm, maybe they didn’t give him the test results, either.  All in all, I’m ok.  I have a new embarrassing moment for my vast collection, I get to take it easy for a few days, and I have an amazing whopper of a headache.  I am very grateful that is the extent of it.

Stand for Something.

“I Cried The Whole Time!”

Saturday, February 17th, 2007

Those are the words Alena used as she talked to the swimming teachers while they showered after class. Of course they all knew this bit of information already. She wasn’t exactly crying softly or quietly. Let’s face it, this is Alena. Everyone who was at the pool knew she was crying the whole time. Now add in a rather pleased tone with her five year old high pitched statement and you can understand that I am not really happy with this turn of events.  She was perfectly happy the whole time on Tuesday. What brought on the change? Perhaps the change in class. She was in a class of 6 on Tuesday, then I switched her to the next class where there were 3 signed up, and only her 2 best friends showed up. So on Tuesday she had most of the 1/2 hour class to cling to the side of the pool and talk. And talk. And talk. With so many kids there wasn’t much actual one on one instruction with her. Then yesterday she had a lot more one on one, and suddenly she was afraid of “draining” which I understood as drowning. She got out of the pool at one point to go to the bathroom, and when she came back she was crying even harder than when she had left. Yup, that’s my girl. She loves to cry. She doesn’t think she does, but she is very dramatic, and likes to work herself up into a frenzy of tears when she gets a chance. So, I need to figure out what I can do to help her not be afraid. The poor teacher. She did a good job of hiding her frustration, though.

Stand for Something.

She’s Registered!

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

I just finished registering Julie for the Youth Forum at the Thomas Jefferson Forum.  Wow!  I am so excited that I feel chills just thinking about it!  She won’t be 12 until June, but it’s close enough that I was told she could come.  She is excited about going to the Forum in March and about doing Constitutional Convention in May. She will also be starting Statesmanship Club in the fall, and I have heard of a group called Leadership For Greatness that takes place the same day, same place, but different time, so they can just go for both.  I need to learn more about that.  From what I have heard it sounds great.  I have looked forward to her being able to be a part of some of these for years.  I have also wanted to make sure I don’t pressure her.  I am sure that she has sensed my enthusiasm, but she definitely has a good measure of her own.  Last year when I volunteered to help with Con Con I took her with me.  I was helping serve lunch and after it was over I let her go sit down to watch and listen while I helped clean up.  She really enjoyed it, and got even more excited to go.  Sneaky me.  :)
I also registered  us for the Family Ball which is in the evening after the Forum.  Now I need to start thinking about what all of us will be wearing to it.  Julie got a really pretty dress for Christmas that I think she will use.  Alena did, too.  I am thinking of sewing cummerbunds for my boys, and maybe bowties to match.  That would be fun.  I will need to look at what Tarina and Losahina have to wear.  Maybe I will have more sewing to do.  I think I will look into getting myself a more comfortable pair of shoes for the evening, too.  Ah, shoe shopping.  I don’t see what others see in it.  Maybe it has something to do with not going with a bunch of little kids who are trying to run around while your feet are occupied in such a manner that you can’t run after them.  Hmmmmmmmm.  I think I will try it solo next time.

Stand for Something.

Uh Oh! Oreo!

Monday, February 12th, 2007

Tevita likes to eat just the filling in the oreo cookies. I don’t always know when he has gotten ahold of one, either. The discarded cookie parts are inevitably left on the floor where he drops them for me to find and regret the waste of such delicious, bad for me treats. Losahina has been becoming more mobile all the time. She isn’t crawling yet, but by rolling and backward scooting she can move quite a bit. Well, she just found one of Tevita’s discards and has thoroughly been enjoying her first taste of chocolate. *sigh* Alena got ahold of some chocolate chip cookies while we were camping when she was about the same age. I wonder if she will now be as much of a sweets fanatic as Alena is. We will just have to wait and see.

Stand for Something.

Laddie

Monday, February 12th, 2007

I finished reading Laddie by Gene Stratton-Porter today.  Aahhh!  I love that book!  It is the one book from the Five Pillars list that I don’t own…and oh! How I wish I did!  I will be looking at getting that one the next time I have book money.  This book makes me dream more than ever for some land of our own.  I am aware that it would be a lot of work, but this book makes you crave that good hard georgics type work.  If nothing else it helps encourage me to work harder at the jobs I now have before me to do.  This book so sweetly encourages hard work, praying to and believing in God, understanding the importance of family, and life long love of learning that I want to buy it for everyone I know!  At the same time it is entertaining and hard to put down.  It’s just such a wonderful book! I can’t recommend it enough.

Stand for Something.

Alena Steaks

Friday, February 9th, 2007

We just bought a cow.  We happen to know a guy who raises cattle and now and then we buy a cow from him.  He takes it to the butcher where they put it into nice labeled packages for us.  Then my husband picks it up, brings it home, and we fill up our freezer.  And this meat is GOOD!

So, We bought a cow, and 2 of our friends split another one.  After putting ours in the freezer we were splitting the other up.  We were getting all the different cuts into piles so we could just do the “one for you, one for me” style of separating.   Sione was pulling out the steaks and saying what they were.  He happened to be pulling out the T-Bone steaks while Alena was standing beside him.  After he had pulled out a few we heard her say “Where are mine?  Can you find mine?  Because I want to hold it.”  We never did find the Alena steaks.  Tevita wasn’t even paying attention.  I wonder if he maybe had looked at first and then saw that Sione wasn’t talking to him, so had just decided to ignore it.

Stand for Something.

Wuthering Heights, The Lonesome Gods

Thursday, February 8th, 2007

Last week I finished Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte for the first time.  It was a very interesting book, I had a hard time putting it down.  Not a real pick me up type of read, I must admit.  I think part of the struggle some might have with this book is that for the first half of the book the “hero” and “heroine” are not the type of people you really want to root for.  To me the real hero and heroine seem to be downplayed in a manner so you can keep focusing on the first pair and miss them if you let yourself.  It was an interesting look at the extremes in human nature.  At the beginning I wanted to root for Heathcliff.  I wanted him to rise above the treatment he received, and be the better man.  I was also looking for the same in Catherine (the first).  As they grew I found so little in them worth respecting.  I was frankly disgusted with Catherine and horrified by Heathcliff.  Edgar seems on the surface to be such a noble sufferer, yet he chose his suffering knowing what Catherine was like.  His sister likewise did the same with Heathcliff.  They both had proof and foreknowledge that they would not be truly happy with the one they wanted to marry.  They both chose to ignore it.  Childishly in my opinion.  There is greatness of character in this book.  Children growing to become more than they might otherwise become.  It is only really shown us at the very end, but it is there.  Hareton and Catherine (the second) are the true hero and heroine of this book, rising above what circumstances they have been thrust into. As a side note I enjoyed the parts regarding education.  Particularly I enjoyed the part when Catherine is trying to get Hareton re-interested in reading.

“…She would bring some pleasant volume and reat it aloud to me.  When Hareton was there, she generally paused in an interesting part, and left the book lying about: that she did repeatedly;”

Today I finished The Lonesome Gods by Louis L’Amour.  I really like this book.  I am rereading it for The Five Pillar Certification which I have decided to restart. The mantra of the young child, and then of the man “I am Johannes Verne, and I am not afraid” does remind me of The Princess Bride quote “I am Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die,” I admit.  Although I am pretty sure that The Lonesome Gods came first.  Back to the book.  Education and good classic books are brought up often.  They help make the good guys even better.  They help the good guys to become leaders.  Here are some quotes I liked.

“Our world today is growing small.  At any time ome faraway country may become important to you, to your country, and to your business.  Above all you must learn to be a good citizen, and that means you must learn how your government works and how to go about getting things done, either in government or business.

“The one thing we know, Hannes, is that nothing remains the same.  Things are forever changing, and one must understand the changes and change with them, or be lost by the way.

“You have come into this world with good health and a good mind.  The rest is up to you.”

and

“For it is not buildings that make a city, but citizens, and a citizen is not just he who lives in a city, but one who helps it to function as a city….There is no greater role for a man to play than to assist in the government of a people, nor anyone lower than he who misuses that power.”

Stand for Something.

Sir Collin, Knight of Generosity

Thursday, February 8th, 2007

The knighting ceremony was so neat!  Collin was so excited to be there, I am so grateful to Lady Melanie, Lady LaRayne, and Lady Cindee for the great job they are doing.  He didn’t win the race for Lord, but thankfully he seemed fine with it.  He wants to run again next semester.  We have already started discussing what his strategy might be…..his treat strategy that is, lol.  He has until September, so right now it’s just fun to talk about it.  It’s also fun to call for Sir Collin.  Ah!  I can sleep soundly tonight knowing that I have my own personal knight to protect me!

Stand for Something.