And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith. D&C 88:118
Monday, September 30, 2013
Monday, September 23, 2013
Almost every year, Tiger has gone camping with B. He looks forward to his Father/Son campout. Last year, Butterfly told B she wanted a Daddy/Daughter campout too. Unfortunately, I was too sick at the beginning of the pregnancy so they never got to go. This summer, B took the girls camping. I don’t have any pictures except the two when they came home.
They came home so excited though. Butterfly says she wants to do it once a month at least!
They had so much fun, Strawberry came home like this:
Saturday, September 21, 2013
Last week Little One turned 6 months. I can’t believe how fast time has flown. He started crawling 2 days before he turned 6 months. A week later he was sitting on his own. He is so cute, when he wants to sit, he kicks his little feet until they tuck up under him and then he sits proud as a peacock!
This was last week on his half-birthday.
My sweet little guy is so happy. He grins all the time. If someone talks to him, he smiles. He is extremely busy and doesn’t want to be held unless he is sleepy. He is usually just content. He loves people. Yesterday at co-op, I was cleaning up just before it was time to leave and I put him in the stroller. It was facing the window. There were children just outside cleaning up the toys. He was happy until they came inside and he couldn’t see them any more. As soon as I turned him around where he could see everyone cleaning, he was once again happy.
I recently received The Presidential Game to review. The Presidential Game is designed to teach how the electoral college system works as well as various aspects of campaigning for office to gain control of the needed votes.
Intended for 2 teams (minimum 1 person per team) of players ages 11+, the game contains blue and red chips, a game board, Politics Cards (80 pre-printed and 40 write-your-own), Vote Republican and Vote Democrat cards, red and blue dice, a score sheet, directions, and an access code to the online interactive webmap.
There are a couple of interesting features of this game- the Politics Cards are a deck of cards which are used when fundraising. These cards contain little statements like: “You give a speech in Montana and announce your opposition to logging in national parks like Yellowstone. Add 5 votes to Montana.” or “A top DC lobbyist who your opponent befriended while in Congress is indicted. Your opponent loses 3 votes from the state of your choice.” A couple of the cards are definitely more appropriate for the more mature audience and might be offensive to some families. These include a couple that deal with alcohol and one states you favor legalizing marijuana. These cards could easily be removed from play if they are offensive to your family. There are also some blank cards so you can write your own Politics Cards. The other feature is the interactive webmap. Instead of keeping score manually on the tally sheets, the map is used to show which states are controlled by whom and what the total tally of electoral votes is. Below is a picture of the webmap during the beginning phases of a game my family played.
This game was a lot of fun. It was very interesting to see how some states really were a battle ground with gains and losses. They weren’t necessarily the ones that are battle ground states in real life, but the game creates a dynamic of states to fight over. As we played, I spent some time talking about why various Politics Cards had the effects that they had. For example, why would it matter what baseball cap a candidate was seen wearing in a given state? Why does it matter who your friends are? What effect do endorsements have? etc.
I played with all of my children from 7-11. Through playing the game, I think my children began to realize what a balancing act running for president is. They also began to see how much strategy with a little luck is involved too. At one point near the end of one of our games (Tiger, Butterfly, and Pumpkin Pie against mom), Butterfly was lobbying Tiger to leave CA alone since I only had it by a couple votes and go campaigning in several smaller large states. She rationalized that I would just come back and regain it and their turn would be wasted but if the gathered some other states before coming back to CA, then they would be further ahead. I loved listening to them strategize against me!
After playing the game a few times, I realized we were making a few errors in our game. I discovered that the instructions have been updated to be a little clearer. An updated election rules is available on the website. One of our errors, which you can see in the picture above is how we were allocating chips to the board.
It would be interesting to have an optional 3rd color to work with a 3rd team and see how the strategy and dynamics changed with an additional possible candidate and how that would affect our electoral system.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Little One is on the move. I put him down in the grass the other day at church. I put him a good 6 feet from the dirt pile and figured maybe the TALL grass would slow him down. Well… not so much. B and the kids let him crawl over to the dirt. When they brought him to me, he had a fist full of dirt and a mouth full too. B said that at least it was holy dirt.
Monday, September 16, 2013
Sunday, September 15, 2013
Our Stake participated in the National Day of Service this past weekend. We collected donations at grocery stores and from individuals, sorted, packed, and sent off a truckload of food and toiletries to the Ronald McDonald House in Seattle. The girls were camping with their dad and didn’t quite make it back in time, but Tiger and I went to help sort. We also added handprints to the quilts of blankets that were going to be donated. Even Little One helped…
The week of Labor Day, our family always goes to family homeschool camp. We have gone for 6 years and already have reserved our cabin for next year! We love it- a week in the woods in cabins with homeschooling friends. The kids love to play with their friends, learn new things, play in the lake, and have campfires. It takes a lot of work on the part of the parents to put on homeschool camp, but it is worth it.
Back in college, I took psychology 101 and loved the portion on personality. I personally think looking at and analyzing personality is fun. When the opportunity to review products from People Keys was presented, I jumped at the chance. PeopleKeys offers many different types of assessments from career advice, adult assessments, to children’s assessments. Some are online and some are physical books. I was offered the Children's Profile, a 25 page profile designed to be given to children ages 9-13. The Children’s Profile costs $15 and is designed to be an introduction to personality. It is intended that the the parent goes through the assessment with the child to discuss and facilitate its use.
The Children’s Profile is presented step-by-step with clear instructions. The first step is to answer a short 20 question list of comparative questions like “I like to” followed by 4 possible answers. The idea is the child will select the answer that most feels like themselves. Step 2 involves created a graph of which category received the most responses followed by next and eventually the least responses. After graphing responses and determining the predominant personality type, the booklet contains more in-depth analysis of each personality type. Under each of the four personality types, there are 4 pages. The first is a bullet point profile of the style child, then how to communicate with that child including the interactions between that style and other style adults, how to interact positively, and finally a page to write down people you know who are a certain style personality. The last two pages include an action plan for getting along better with others.
Butterfly and I have very different personalities, so I decided to use it with Butterfly. We went through the assessment together. In the end, the assessment gave an idea of what one aspect of her personality was, but her graph was pretty skewed showing only 1 predominate style. It really wasn’t her, although parts were. There were some questions she answered polar opposite to how I have seen her behave. Later after asking all the questions, I asked her why she chose certain answers. In the end she chose them because she didn’t really understand the question or the answers. When we discussed all the personality aspects, she didn’t feel like the assessment really described her personality either.
Despite feeling that the bullet points analysis of Butterfly’s personality type were not extremely accurate, the portions regarding how to interact with that personality type child were helpful. For example, Butterfly’s type tends to not be concerned with time or structured. One of the suggestions was to make charts to allow the child to earn rewards. I don’t normally do this type of thing because it is not part of my personality, but I have seen how making charts and stickers and rewards help Butterfly accomplish things and desire to move forward.
After looking over the questions and the assessment, I think it can be helpful, but I do believe that 9 may be a bit too young for this assessment, especially since the questions were harder for Butterfly to understand. Butterfly did like talking about personality and deciding what personality type I am vs. her dad. She also enjoyed trying to pick out her siblings.
Later, because I was trying to determine if the questions would work with an older child, I asked Tiger the questions. Please note, this workbook is intended for 1 child as it is consumable. Tiger did not fill out the workbook nor did I copy it. I did make a note in the margins for analysis, but Butterfly had consumed the book. I noticed that the questions made more sense to him and he quickly flew through them. Just listening to his answers, I could see that the assessment demonstrated his personality type very effectively. He later read through the booklet and laughed to see the advice to a child of his personality type. All the advice included in the book are all the things that B and I tell him ALL THE TIME!
PeopleKeys offered many different products to the crew, so be sure to check out the other reviews by clicking the banner below. Personality assessments are one way to help you understand your child better.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Little One is almost 6 months. He spends his days smiling, eating grass, dirt, or paper, and cruising all over the house. Nothing is safe anymore!
Strawberry will be 4 at the end of the month. She pretends to read, smiles a lot, bosses everyone around (she is the biggest back seat driver), plays dolls and other toys, and gives LOTS of hugs and kisses.
Pumpkin Pie is 7. She has a mouth full of holes (she lost yet another tooth the other night!), loves karate, is reading better and better, loves math, loves karate, loves to do her hair creatively and pretends to put on makeup and earrings with water and stickers… oh yes, did I mention she loves karate? I think she would go every day if she could!
Butterfly is 9.5. She loves to read. She is often found escaping from family work and hiding somewhere with a book. She loves art- anything from painting and drawing to sculpting. She also enjoys embroidery and wants to learn to sew with a sewing machine. She is a fabulous big sister and cares so well for her younger siblings. She is playful and has decided she needs more goals and to work harder in learning. She recently completed half a year worth of math in 2 weeks because she wanted to.
Tiger is 11.5. He loves learning. He spends many hours each day learning, reading, and doing projects. He is currently attending an online private school for most of his studies, but he still has time for his other interests: boy scouts, karate, and board games like Dominion. He is a huge help around the house and loves to cook and bake. He is still over the moon for his little brother and is always available to hold him or play with him.
A few years ago I took a picture of the children running up the porch to the house for school… they have insisted I do it again every year. So, for the sake of tradition, we are headed to a great year of learning!