The Cure is on your plate!

The Cure is on your plate! Back in the Nixon Era, war was declared on cancer. Strangely, even though a prevention and a cure has been found, the powers that be still fund and fight this war. Obviously, the conflict of interest and motive is profit over health. The China Study and practically a zillion others have found the answer. Cancer, like ALL other degenerative disease, is a food born illness curable by consuming greens, fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. The healthiest people in the world eat little or no meat. Likewise, God's Word teaches that plants are the best foods for man. It's an issue of perspective. You can't exercise away a dirty diet. Is your body a garbage disposal or a temple?

Paradigm Shift

"When people make comprehensive lifestyle changes, including a plant-based diet, they often feel so much better, so quickly, that it reframes the reason for making these changes from fear of dying, which usually is not sustainable, to joy of living, which often is," Dean Ornish.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

maybe forever

Hi Claire!

We hope you are happy, healthy, and love life. With so many interesting things to do and see and learn, life should never be boring. I’m always amazed when people say they are bored. If I start to feel that way, I get out art supplies, sewing stuff, or computer to create something. Or I take a trip to another place and time by reading a book. Or I take a walk or play with my puppy. Or I ride my bike. Or I play chess with Papa. Or I make music. Or I read scriptures. Or I write a letter to someone I love. Life is good.

It is sooo fun to have a puppy. She is so smart and loves to learn new tricks. Right now I’m working on down-stay. Because she gets so excited, it’s hard for her. Since she really wants to please me, I’m sure she’ll catch on before long. After I found a treat that she likes, training has become much easier. Smelling like some heavenly cookie, the treats are made from blueberries, pumpkin, and oats. I’m not going to try one even though they are enticing to Dash. She just goes crazy for them, and I’m already crazy enough.

Now that you’ve been attending first grade for a while, I hope you enjoy it. Do you like reading? Do you love writing perfect letters? Do you like playing outside? Do you like painting and drawing? Do you like learning math? Do you like singing? I bet you like them all. I teach 4 and 5-year-olds to read and write. Although I know you are all six, I imagine the children to be you or Quinn or Gracie. The children get so excited, as they unlock the secrets of phonics or write perfect letters. With sparkling eyes, they proclaim, ‘I did it.’ I imagine you are the same way.

Just yesterday one of the teachers asked me why I don’t work at the school full-time for money. Sure, it’s ok to do that, but I teach children to serve. I love Him, want to serve Him, and want to be like Him. It will be a long time before I can say I’m like Him; maybe forever. Nevertheless, the more I serve, the more I love His children, and the more I understand His ways. When we love and serve others, it helps us stop wallowing in our problems and help others solve theirs. That’s why Jesus said. “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it,” Matthew 10:39.

The coyotes are a real pain. I thought they were all gone, because we haven’t seen them for a few weeks. Walking Dash the other morning, I had to act fast. Dash growled. Turning to discover her problem, I saw three of them stalking us. Quickly, I picked up the puppy and began screaming at them. I also picked up a pretty large rock just in case. Although it was easy to scare them off, I’m getting some pepper spray and a big automatic umbrella. Still, we can’t get mad at a coyote for being a coyote. Since our house is less than a mile from the river on one side, just over a mile from the desert on the other side with a golf course full of rabbit dinners and fresh water ponds, it’s more like I am the invader. I need to adapt, which I’ll do with the spray and umbrella.

We sent B is for Betsy, part of a series written for young girls many years ago. Since I’m not sure where you are in the learning to read process, I’m not sure if you will be able to read it alone or not. For sure you can co-read it with your mother or Oakley. Either way, I know you’ll love it.

Every day, I pray for all my dear ones, that you will discover a love of learning and a deep abiding faith in Jesus Christ. When it is your turn to be grandchild of the week, I think and pray specifically for you. I pray that you will learn the joys of obeying God and your parents. I pray that you will love God and your neighbors. I pray that you will be safe, secure, and sweet. I pray that you will never know hunger or need. I pray that you will always love others and never be sneaky or untruthful. Always remember you are a very special girl to us, to God, to your parents, and to many other wonderful people. We love you.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

look what they did to Him

 Hi Tyson!

We hope you are happy, healthy, and enjoying life. We hope your faith and love of learning are growing.

We went on a trip not too long ago and stayed in the cutest little cottage ever. Ever since I was a girl of nine, I wanted to build a tiny cottage. When I was nine, my friend’s older cousin and his two children moved in with her family. My friend and her other little roomy evacuated their bedroom so the cousin, his wife, and baby could occupy it. In the back yard, her father and cousin built a little cottage for the now three little girls with a tiny table and chairs, cute curtains, two little side tables, and three beds. Pretending all the while we were Anne Shirley and her chums, we pretended we were old enough to live on our own. Now that it’s just Papa and I at home, I want a cozy cottage that’s a bit bigger than my friends backyard bedroom. Our trip confirmed this desire. So, maybe someday I’ll get to build a cottage of my own.

In the past, I told you about eagles, hawks, and owls I've seen. Well a couple days ago, I had a similarly amazing experience. Each morning and evening I walk my little Yorkie, Dash, about 2 miles. Just before dawn on morning, a great horned owl swooped and landed on a tree not ten feet in front of us. As we inched closer, I observed it carefully. Finally, it flew away, when we were about a yard away. God’s creation awes me. Sure, there have been billions of people on the earth and I am as a grain of sand on the beach. However, I know God created all this beauty and variety to bring me joy. Because He loves you, He did it for you, too.

Dash is the sweetest little dog ever. Of course each time I get a dog it is the sweetest dog ever. Well, I’ve had a few that didn’t work out for one reason or another, but usually I like dogs. Even so, I want them trained for basic obedience. Since June I have kept Dash by my side, so she would learn exactly what I want from her. She comes when called, potties outside, walks nicely, submits to grooming, chews only her toys, and rarely barks. If a dog can’t or won’t learn these things, they can’t stay.

I think that’s the way it is with the atonement and our life on earth. Heavenly Father teaches us what we should do and gives us time to learn. In the end, if we won’t humble ourselves and submit to His will, we have to go to the other place. I sure don’t want that for you or for me. It’s easy to know what He wants, because we have the scriptures and modern prophets. We don’t have to guess. We’re told to be kind, read the scriptures, follow the prophets, pray, forgive, repent, and serve others. Yes, there other little bits and pieces, but all in all they pretty much fit in those categories. Will we mess up? Of course we will, but Heavenly Father gave us Jesus atonement for that. So, we’re set. Just do your best every day. I will, too.

We wonder what you do these days. Are you still a karate kid? What is your favorite subject in school? Do you enjoy team sports or do you like legos and reading more? Do you still ride your bike a lot? Don’t forget to wear your helmet!!!! Brains don’t fix. Whatever you choose to do with your time, make sure to be a good sport, have fun, and be safe.

I volunteer teach reading and writing at a local school and love it. Today, I worked with a large, kind of clumsy, but wonderfully sweet, five-year-old boy. The head teacher said he is ready for four-digit addition, but can’t write his numbers. I discovered he doesn’t hold a pencil correctly. Because of this, this bright, little boy fell behind. I’m so glad we caught this problem early. I’ll work with him every day for a week or so to right the issue. Because we work with manipulatives until this point, the problem wasn’t caught earlier. Anyway, helping children excel is quite a rewarding service.

We hope you enjoy Stuart Little. Uncle Spencer and I read it together, when he was seven or eight, enjoying it very much. It's kind of different. I think he liked it because the boy/mouse is different or handicapped. Spencer has some physical handicaps that are frustrating and painful. As a child, he couldn't do a lot of the things other children could do like running and walking long distances. Over time he learned to accept the pain and adapt his life so that he can function pretty close to normal. Stuart and his family learned to accept his limitations and adapt the environment similarly. It's important to be accepting and understanding of others. Many limitations aren't visible. People get upset when seemingly normal people act odd. Sometimes they are in chronic pain, have physical limitations, or see the world a bit differently. Patience with all people is a good thing, because we just don't know if someone is differently-abled. Of course Stuart's problem is quite obvious.

Do you know anyone with physical or mental differences that you might choose to treat with kindness instead of impatience? Perhaps, you get frustrated with your own shortcomings even though you are practically perfect in every way. Please, remember, there has only been one perfect person on the earth and look what they did to Him.

We love you, Tyson, so do Jesus, Heavenly Father, your parents, and, believe it or not, your sister. With so many people that love you, you always have someone to turn to in troubled times. Don't forget this.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

mad for pad

Praying For...Tyson...that he will gain the gift of eloquence and not be slow of speech or tongue...that he may become comfortable with people...that he may become a great witness for Jesus's not that he is slow or awkward but that I feel inspired to ask this blessing for him. addition to reading scriptures, I'm re-reading Plato's Republic as part of a Hillsdale course I'm taking. I find it amazing that they offer these great courses for free to anybody willing to spend the time. They started with Constitution 101 years ago and have been building their offerings little by little. Re-reading Words of Delight, a Bible as Literature textbook that isn't textbook-y. Also found a wonderful old phonics program, Professor Phonics, that I wish I had known about when Quinn was here this summer (and when I tried to teach my dyslexic son to read). Quinn and I worked hard but didn't get as far as I would have liked to have done. It's so concise and intensive and sensible. I may offer free tutoring again in the evenings, since I love watching the miracle of people learning to read.

Cucina Fresca...I made a sort of unsweetened Pad Thai. When I drove by myself from Seattle to Phoenix last spring, I stopped at a Thai place on I-10. They had the most delicious, un-sweetened mango juice AND unsweetened Pad Thai. Now that I'm eating so many salads and vegetables again (LOVE IT), I wanted something that fit that category but was still low in salt without sugar similar to that memory. This is pretty good but not quite Pad Thai.

Mushroom Mad Thai For One

1/2 lb. asparagus, cut in one inch pieces 45 calories
5 oz shitaki mushrooms, sliced 79 calories
1/4 yellow onion, thinly sliced 17 calories
1 clove garlic, pressed 4 calories
1 tomato, small dice 16 calories
1 T coconut aminos 15 calories
1 T white miso (non-soy) 40 calories
1/2 t minced ginger 1 calorie
1/2 t sambal oelek 0 calories
2 oz Tinkyada brown rice Pad Thai noodles 210 calories

427 total calories

Prepare vegetables. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, put onions in a large frying pan on high heat. When they begin to sizzle, turn down to low, add tomato, and cover. Mix coconut aminos, miso, ginger, and sambal oelek and set aside. When water boils, put noodles in and set timer for 8 minutes. Remove cover from onions, add garlic and mushrooms. Turn up heat to medium high. Add some water if the onions or tomato stuck to deglaze pan. Cover and turn down heat to medium low. Open and stir occasionally. Add asparagus one minute before noodles are done and cover. Drain noodles, reserving 1/4 c water. Add sauce and water to veggies, stirring to combine. Stir in noodles and serve. This is very oil-free, plant perfect, filling, and delicious if not quite what I was going for.

Sound of Music...I so enjoy playing my violin these days. Although I can read music just fine, I prefer to play by ear. My problem is that I can't remember the names of the songs, so I made a list of the hymns I like to play to jog my memory during my playing sessions. If I can hear the first line in my head, I can play it. All the days of my life and throughout all eternity, I'll be grateful to Mrs. Jean Davis for instilling the love of music in me and to my parents for funding the adventure.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

great pay check

Praying For...Oakley...that she will come to know the joy, peace, hope, and help found in scripture studies and prayer.

Bibliophilia...reading all the Open Court readers I acquired this week. Why don't elementary school books contain classic literature anymore? Also sent The Princess and The Goblin by George MacDonald to Sammy and a very cute book, A Mouse Called Wolf to both Sammy and Oakley.

Cucina glad to get back to my own kitchen, where I can cook real food. Lately, I tried Chef AJ and Dr. Klaper's 'only eat when hungry' idea. I guess my 'hypoglycemia' was more an emotional dependency than a true medical condition. After listening to my body, I've discovered I'm not truly ready to eat each day until about 12:30. Instead of immediately thinking my discomfort is hunger, I drink 16 oz water. Then I ask myself if I'm really hungry or is some sort of emotion driving this need to eat. If I find it is actual hunger, I eat beans, oats, fruit, salad, or pizza crackers. At first I lost seven unwanted pounds that crept on during my mission; now it's leveled off. AND I feel pretty great unless I don't get enough sleep.

Pizza Crackers

2-4 Lundberg Organic Thin Stackers Puffed Grain or Rice Cakes
1-2 T tomato paste
dried Italian herbs
cayenne pepper
garlic powder

Spread tomato paste on all thin stackers. Sprinkle with herbs, cayenne, and garlic. Enjoy with a tall glass of water.

Teaching Little Children...I can't get enough of those sweet little people. In June I began teaching one tiny, 3-year-old girl letter sounds with sandpaper letters. Friday, I gave her the first reading lesson with three-letter, short-vowel words (If I hadn't taken July and last week off, she would have reached this place a month ago). A 4-year-old little boy who only knew 6 sounds in August, is now reading and spelling three letter words with ease. Another darling 3.5 year old boy who learned his first sound in August begs me daily for sound lessons and is on the brink of being ready for his first reading lesson. However, I do believe my greatest satisfaction comes from a kindergarten age boy, who just started school with us in August. He has worked and worked to learn his sounds. Friday, I gave him his first reading lesson. He gave me a great pay check, when he said. 'Reading is fun. I love school.' Until Friday, he always squirmed as if he felt awkward and out of place. As tall as he is for five, it's understandable that he was uncomfortable. As we worked together, I saw him relax for the first time. His math is going crazy, too. Although I love Montessori in every area, I think math most profoundly influences these children (oh, but home arts, botany, biology, and geography are so beautiful, too). Four digit addition and subtraction is way above state standards for kindergarten. Yet, I see children as young as 4 doing just that. Friday, two five-year-old girls learned to skip count by eights. In another week or so, they will be shown how to square and cube eights. Then they will have in their store of knowledge the square root, square cube, and times table of eight--at five! Yet, they see the lessons and materials as the most engaging toys and play of their lives. Montessori math is why my oldest finished algebra and geometry in one year as well as breezing through college calculus at 16; pretty much it was all in her head before age 6.

Puppy Prattle...We cute Dash's long hair off, or the groomer did. Although pure bred Yorkie, she has the cottony type coat instead of the silky type. Gucci was the same. It is sooooo hard to groom. After she reached back and bit the brush, I knew her pretty long hair was not worth the price. Both of us are much happier with two minute grooming sessions instead of fifteen minutes of her crying and me feeling guilty. We love our pre-dawn two mile walks. When we don't get to it, she is less content during the day.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

happy b-day Cole

Happy Birthday Cole!

You are nearly a young man. Where did the time go? We remember you as a tiny baby, looking like a twin to Uncle Spencer. Now you prepare to receive the priesthood. A lot of responsibility and blessings come with the priesthood, but your parents and primary teacher will teach you about all that.

When I write these letters, I try to imagine myself at your age. What advice to my eleven-year-old self might have made a difference, might have helped me make better choices, might have made me happier? Probably, my biggest childhood regret is not living up to my intellectual potential. In my family, education wasn't valued much; we spent our evenings watching television. Apathy was the attitude toward homework from both parents and children. As a convert to the gospel of Jesus Christ, I didn't understand that gaining knowledge is a commandment.

"be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand; Of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms," Doctrine and Covenants 88:78-79.

Not only does Heavenly Father expect us to feast upon His word to gain spiritual wisdom; we are to learn history, government, science, literature, languages, mathematics, logic, and all academics generally available at school. Even after we are too old for school, He expects us to keep gaining secular and spiritual knowledge and wisdom.

We can either follow this commandment as part of the way to be happy, or we can ignore it according to our free agency. However, we will reap the consequences of all our choices, good or bad. It's so interesting how scientists study this and that, which always prove the word of God (well, some scientists are paid by designing men to lie about data, but that's a different story) Studies that support this commandment tell us people with active minds, keen interests, and good education have more happiness than those who settle for mindless entertainment (TV, video games, surfing the net, etc). Those with strong religious beliefs and active family life have more success and satisfaction, too. In short, an engaged mind makes for a happy life. So...if you have a bad attitude about school and homework, decide to change it now. Make learning a game and become a math or science or history whiz. Do the same with scripture study. I hope you experience, as I now have, that learning makes life more meaningful, interesting, and exciting.

Coyotes remain a huge problem. Papa put in a dog door. One morning Dash was out on the patio, while I was studying my scriptures at the kitchen table. Madly barking, Dash bolted into the kitchen. As she continued her unquietable barking, shaking, and growling, I heard a scream. Looking out the window, I saw what made Dash so upset. Three nearly grown coyote pups 

chomped on a rabbit. Needless to say, I shut the dog door until the stream of golfers started coming by the fence. Golfers scare coyotes, so we don't see coyotes and golfers at the same time. A couple days later, Papa and I were out walking at dawn. We saw the pups and two full-grown coyotes. When I saw them eying Dash and creeping our way, I picked her up. Some other people walking on the other side of the street came over and helped run them off. Even though I wish we could find a way to relocate these menacing pests, I think coyotes are beautiful creatures. 

We've struggled with what to send you for your birthday. You are moving past the age of toys. Snap circuits are likely too easy now. We hope you enjoyed those experiments. Even though I never did homework, I loved building batteries and mixing chemicals in school. So did Papa. I looked and looked for a chemistry set, but they simply don't make good ones anymore. Probably, a couple science experiment books won't be as thrilling as unpacking a cool chemistry set. However, if you give them a chance, they will be as fun and interesting as one of the sets back from the 1970s. Plus, we sent The House of Sixty Fathers, a very  exciting story that you will love; everybody I know who has read it utterly enjoyed it. Did you like Watership Down as much as we hoped you would? 

Cole, we hope this year is your best one yet, full of fun, learning, happiness, and good health. We hope you make good choices to ensure a bright future.