"Beam-ectomy should precede all mote micro-surgery. Just saying." Ginger Conrad paraphrasing Jesus Christ.

Paradigm Shift

“The list of health problems I think it would very hard to live with is SO much longer than the list of foods I previously thought I couldn’t live without,” Merrill Alley.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

absolutely glorious autumn

Hi T!

We hope you are happy, healthy, and have a terrific time in school this year. We also wonder what you have been doing lately. Has it snowed yet this year? Are you still in Karate lessons? Have you begun piano lessons yet? We just don’t know. However, we do know we love you.

The desert is wonderful this time of year. Although we had a couple chilly days because of rain, it is mostly sunny and warm. No, it’s not hot at all anymore. When we lived in near you, we spent most of the cold winter indoors. That’s what we do in the summer here. Your place has a very long, snowy winter that lasts about 7 months. Our new place has about 3 months when it is just two hot to do outdoor things and 2ish more months of summer. Then we have 3 months of spring and 3 months of fall that are absolutely glorious. Scattered around we have about 2 weeks of winter, which is really more like your spring.

People ask if we miss the seasons. I can’t say I miss winter at all, especially slipping on ice and shoveling snow. Once Papa, Spencer, and I were out on a sunny, winter day in cold country. I slipped on a patch of ice and came down right on my head. I looked just like a cartoon person, whose legs flipped up to the sky. Maybe it was funny, but it hurt like crazy. After that I was always afraid to go outside. Even so I slipped quite a few more times. Some people really like snow for skiing and sledding. Maybe you do.

At the school where I work, one large 5-year-old is a big bully. His specialty is pushing the littlest children around with his big, fat belly. Although I like him quite a bit, I don’t let him get away with bullying other children. I caught him in the act the other day and talked to him about pushing. Afterward he was sent to apologize. The little, skinny boy he bullied wanted nothing to do with the big bully coming near him. Instead of cowering and running away like he has done in the past, he did the most beautiful sidekick I’ve ever seen a child do. He didn’t make contact, but the bully realized he was dealing with someone unafraid to stand up for himself. No, I don’t condone violence. However, I was pleased to see the former doormat gain confidence. In the end, we required both boys to apologize and verbalize their errors in behavior. Secretly, I cheered for my sweet, skinny friend.

Defending one’s self and gaining confidence is the beauty and true purpose of martial arts. That’s why I like it so much. If you are taught martial arts properly, you learn to avoid conflict and use non-violent conflict resolution until there is no other alternative. I think that’s what God requires of us as well. I’m pretty sure He doesn’t condone war unless we are protecting our homes, families, neighbors, liberty, or country. Other people disagree with this. Some day you’ll have to search the scriptures, read, ponder, and listen to inspiration on this and other topics, so you can know for yourself.

There are two girls in my class that read around the third grade level as well as multiply, square, and cube. I thought they were both kindergarteners. Last week I discovered they are both mature acting four-year-olds. I also work with a boy I believed was a mature acting kindergartener, who reads about the first grade level and adds four digits with carrying over. He is only 3.5. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are smarter or better than other children. They simply learn language and math easily. Some very intelligent people struggle with learning these things.

For instance, Albert Einstein’s school expelled him permanently. They told his mother he was unteachable, unable to learn anything. His mother took him home, taught him to play the violin, taught him school stuff, and let him loose with whatever projects caught his fancy. Later the world discovered his genius. Because he saw the world in a way that ordinary smart people didn’t, he discovered amazing scientific things about the universe. Usually, the people that discover and create genius things don’t fit in at school or don’t learn as other children.

I don’t know if you are like the quick learners at my school, like Albert Einstein, or somewhere in between. It really doesn’t matter as long as you live up to all the potential and talents Heavenly Father gave you and will bless you with in the future. Have you discovered any of your talents yet?

Like every other time it's your turn to be grandchild-of-the-week, we sent you a new book. Because both Uncle Spencer and Uncle Jason loved castles and nights and swords at your age, we decided to send a book of Arthurian legend. Probably, you will be able to read it with a stronger reader. Maybe you can read it alone. However, it is perfectly acceptable to use it as a read-aloud. However the story is digested, we hope you enjoy your journey into Arthur's world.

Did you hear about the Hawk and his mate who were stalking my little Dash dog? Well, she isn’t allowed to go outside without me anymore. After all she would make a pretty expensive lunch. Plus, I would be very sad if some predator ate her. We are going to build a covered dog run on the side of the house, where I planted apple trees.

The apple trees aren’t the kind that gets fifteen feet high. Instead they are espalier; this means they are dwarf sized and trained to grow against the wall. I also am planting lots of moringa trees and asparagus plants in that area. In this place, we have to provide shade for fruit trees. I didn’t understand that when I planted the apples, so one died this summer. Thankfully, moringa grow very fast, so they will do the job quite nicely next summer. I also can’t wait to harvest our own asparagus; it’s my favorite vegetable. Do you like asparagus? If you don’t, I think you are crazy!

Well, T boy, we will pray especially for you this week. Yes, we pray for you all the time, but this week it's different. We pray that you will be safe, secure, loyal, teachable, kind, cheerful, obedient, friendly, and full of joy, faith, hope, and charity. Please, don't forget that we love you; people need all the love they can get.

Maybe it's kind of crazy of me to keep sending these letters, since I don't know if you even read them. For now, I feel inspired by the Holy Ghost to continue sending books and letters. It's fun for me to imagine you and I having a little chat right here at my kitchen table. I try to recall my problems, hopes, and joys as an 8-year-old child. Maybe some of mine were like yours today. Anyway, I hope you enjoy these as much as I enjoy sending them. Plus, I will always follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost. I know too well the consequences of ignoring promptings and will never do so again.