July 24, 2014

Focused on Virtue

Last summer I attended an Educational Conference for a teaching methodology called Waldorf. While there, I learned of "The Virtue Project." And I felt it needed to be a focus in my parenting and teaching. This is a great perspective to take in raising kids or in education and developing them into more well-rounded citizens and people of character.

The Virtues Project was founded in Canada in 1991 by Linda Kavelin-Popov, Dr. Dan Popov and John Kavelin. It was honored by the United Nations during the International Year of the Family as a "model global program for families of all cultures". They create cards, affirmations, guides, etc. to help in various areas of life in which we can focus on bringing these virtues into play.

These are the areas of life they list for focusing on the virtues

It started when they sat down and studied and noted all the virtues they found mentioned in various major religious texts. From all the characteristics noted they found they were able to whittle them down into 52 underlying virtues. Click here for the website's definitions of each virtue.

The 52 Virtues

There are five strategies the use for the process of bringing these virtues into play in the various areas of focus in life. These are details for the first two (where I've been spending my focus), but the photo below has the summary of all five.

  1. Speak the Language of Virtue: I love that they focus on speaking virtues (instead of focusing on the counterpart (opposite, bad behavior). Instead of saying to your child "don't hit your sister, that's bad," say "was that being gentle to sister?" This helps the child realize where they fall short of goodness, without labeling them as being bad. And praise when you see good virtues practiced, so you don't have to wait until the bad virtues come out.
  2. Recognize Teachable Moments: If you notice your child doing something that isn't upholding positive virtues, use that moment to stop and help them evaluate. Like the example just mentioned. It's about asking the right questions and taking time to show a better way (without over-talking), rather than shaming kids and making them feel guilty or bad. As you practice teaching moments you will learn how to clearly and simply emphasize good over bad. 

I love the beautiful card set they sell, though I don't own a set. They had one at the conference and we each picked one and discussed it with our "neighbor." Each virtue card has the definition, picture, quote, statement of belief and a bullet list of ways one would show living that virtue. It's a great format for understanding virtues, whether of not you focus on all 52 (which is a lot and maybe a little overwhelming).

So, I started taking this concept and thinking about President Hinckley's 9 Be's. These 9 attributes of focus were a good starting point to work from. And for Gospel study I focus on the 9 Christlike Attributes: faith, hope, Charity/love, virtue, knowledge, patience, diligence, obedience, humility (and I added gratitude).

I will post more later on these as I try to see how to make focusing on virtues a more integral and defined part of my life and parenting, so my children have a simplified and defined view of the most important values of "being."

Teaching Your Children Values, by the Eyres has been a good place to start for ideas on how to teach some of the values. Then I will just need to keep practicing communicating positive virtues (so getting familiar with what they are and what they mean). And focusing on a few has been the greatest help, instead of trying to memorize and teach all of them (esp. when my child is only 4). The ones I focus on now are gentleness, responsibility, happiness, gratitude, thoughtfulness, etc.

This Week's Goal:
Why not pick one to focus on this week and try saying to your children, "you showed gentleness when you _____" so you acknowledge the child's postitive behavior, instead of labeling them as a person.

July 21, 2014

Homemade PlayDough

I love this simple recipe that doesn't need boiling water or cream of tartar. It makes four big balls. And it's awesome to have my kids make it with me and play with it, so they know where it came from and feel empowered to make their things they can play with.

1 c very warm water
4 c flour
2 T oil
1 1/2 c salt (this much, since there is no cream of tartar to preserve)
food coloring (four colors)

1. Get four bowls and divide 1/4 c water in each.
2. Add 1/2 T oil in each and add the different food coloring in each bowl as desired.
3. In a large bowl add the salt and flour together and mix.
4. Put 1 cup of the flour/salt mixture into each bowl and mix/knead each separately.
5. Store each in the fridge in a plastic bag--squeeze out air.

The consistency should be similar to playdoh from the store. :)

Winter: make playdough snowmen or Christmas trees and put out a bowl of trail mix (or candies) for kids to decorate as desired. They could even eat the dough--though it's super duper salty and not yummy at all! :)

Do You Have Candida? Part 1

Types of Candidiasis:
  • If it is in the mouth or throat, it is called oral candidiasis, oropharyngeal candidiasis, or thrush.
  • If it affects the genital area, it is called a yeast infection. In women, it may be called a vulvovaginal yeast infection.
  • If yeast infects the skin on a baby’s bottom area, it causes a diaper rash.
  • If the infection enters your bloodstream, it is called invasive candidiasis or candidemia.
Symptoms of Candida
  • Skin and nail fungal infections (such as athlete’s foot or toenail fungus)
  • Feeling tired and worn down or suffering from chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia
  • Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
  • Autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Multiple sclerosis
  • Difficulty concentrating, poor memory, lack of focus, ADD, ADHD and brain fog
  • Skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis, hives, and rashes
  • Irritability, mood swings, anxiety, or depression
  • Vaginal infections , urinary tract infections, rectal itching or vaginal itching
  • Severe seasonal allergies or itchy ears
  • Strong sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings
How to Test If you Have Candida
Step 1: Fill up a glass of water half way first thing in the morning without eating or drinking anything.
Step 2: Spit in the glass of water (about dime size)
Step 3: Watch it for 2-3 times (For over 45 minutes)
Does the spit sink to the bottom or grow legs into the glass of water?  If it does, that means that you have candida overgrowth. 
There are many ways to be Candida-free but effectively treating candida involves stopping the yeast overgrowth, restoring the friendly bacteria that usually keeps them in check, and healing your gut so that candida growth can be controlled.  Getting rid of the candida overgrowth primarily requires a change in diet to a low carbohydrate diet. Sugar is what feeds yeast, so eliminating sugar in all of its simple forms like candy, desserts, alcohol and flours would be ideal.
Also, eliminating all fermented foods and reducing to only one cup a day of the more complex carbohydrates such as grains, beans, fruit, bread, pasta, and potatoes will prevent the Candida from increasing in number. Using diet alone could take some time before the Candida is back under control. But it will free you from the symptoms that you are currently experiencing. Imagine waking up in the morning feeling energized, focused and revitalized!
**for recipe ideas that help discourage yeast growth, check out my nourishyourbody blog

Clean Media Idea List: On-going

I copied this extensive movie list from another blog post at purpose-driven-motherhood.com. I think it's a great list, but I haven't seen them all, so I can't verify them 100%. But I hope to whittle this down to my favorites too. 
I'd be interested in any others' recommendations. I will Bold the movies I've seen.

The LDS For the Strength of You outlines the following guidelines for what good media is:
  1. Uplifting 
  2. Helps you feel the Spirit 
  3. Encourages you to live righteously and make good choices
These are the media God says to avoid. 
  1. Vulgarity 
  2. Immorality 
  3. Violence
  4. Pornographic in any way
  5. Do not participate in anything that presents immorality or violence as acceptable
  6. Anything that drives away the Spirit
  7. Media that makes it look like breaking God’s commandments is acceptable and has no negative consequences for you or others
Others' Clean Movie Recommendations
17 Miracles - about LDS handcart pioneers
A Little Princess (BBC version)
A Man Called Peter
A Man for All Seasons
A More Perfect Union - about the Constitutional Convention, by BYU
Akeelah and the Bee
All Creatures Great and Small (BBC)
Amazing Grace - William Wilberforce ending the British slave trade (immodesty of time-period clothing.)
Amish Grace - about forgiveness after a schoolhouse shooting
An Affair to Remember
Anna and the King or The King and I
Anne of Avonlea
Anne of Green Gables
Any of the Mr. Bean movies, Mr Bean Takes a Holiday, etc., very funny, he's a MASTER of physical comedy.
Babette's Feast
Ball of Fire -  Gregory Peck (funny)
BBC Elizabeth Gaskell movies
BBC North and South
BedKnobs and Broomsticks
Belles on Their Toes -  the old version
Ben Hur - 1959 Charlton Heston
Black Beauty
Born Free
Braveheart (violence R-rated)
Brian’s Song
Bridge on the River Kwai
Buttercream Gang
Call the Midwife
Chariots of Fire
Charlotte’s Web
Cheaper by the Dozen - older version
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Confessions of a Shopaholic
Courage Heart of Irena Sendler - about a woman who saved many children from concentration camps
Courageous - about becoming a great father (a couple intense scenes may scare younger children)
Court Jester - Danny Kay
Cranford - has some medical stuff--blood, accidents--that we zipped through, otherwise very sweet family stuff
Cross and the Switchblade
David Copperfield (BBC version)
Dolphin Tale -  Ashley Jud Harry Connick Jr.
Driving Miss Daisy
Easter Parade -  Judy Garland and Fred Astaire
Emma - the Gweneth Paltrow version
Emma Smith, My Story
Ender's Game
Ephriam's Rescue - about LDS handcart pioneers
Evan Almighty
Ever After
Facing the Giants - faith-based football movie
Faith Like Potatoes
Father of the bride, part 1 & 2
Field of Dreams
Fireproof - about strengthening marriage
Fly Away Home
Follow Me Boys
Follow Me Boys
Forest Gump
Forever Strong - rugby player who has a change of heart (immodesty at a pool party)
Freaky Friday
Freedom Writers
Front of the Class - Hallmark film
Gandhi - the long version
Gifted Hands - about Ben Carson, famous pediatric neurosurgeon who pulled himself out of childhood poverty
Glory Road
God’s Not Dead - Christian college student being persecuted for beliefs
Going for the Gold
Goodbye Miss Fourth of July
Goodbye Mister Chips
Goodnight Mister Tom
Grave of the Fireflies - animation showing WWII affected Japanese
Gravity - Sandra Bullock
Green Mile
Hans Christian Anderson -  Danny Kaye
Harry's War
Heaven is for Real - based on true story of boy's near-death-experience
Heaven Is REal
Here Comes the Boom
Hobart Shakespeareans
How the West Was Won
I Remember Mamma
In Search of the Castaways
In the Name of God's Poor - the true story of Mother Teresa
Jane Eyre (certain versions)
Joan of Arc (Ingrid Bergman version)
John Adams miniseries - has a few short scenes you'll want to skip, you can buy edited version
Johnny Tremain - Revolutionary war time period
Joseph (Ben Kingsley version)
Journey for Margaret
Kiki's Delivery Service
Lark Rise to Candleford
Lassie Come Home
Lean on Me
Legend of the Guardians
Les Miserables (Geoffrey Rush version)
Letter Writer
Letters to God
Letters to Juliet
Liberty's Kids - animated Revolution series
Life is Beautiful -  Italian with subtitles, this should be viewed by older children since the thematic content is heavy, about the Holocaust
Like Stars on Earth
Liken the Scriptures - entertaining musical scripture stories
Little House on the Prairie series
Little Lord Fauntleroy
Little Men
Little Shop Around the Corner
Little Women (1949 and Wynona Rider versions were both recommended)
Living Scriptures - animated series about Bible, Book of Mormon, heroes in history, also documentaries about modern prophets and pioneers
Lord of the Rings
Love Comes Softly - faith-based series of ten movies set in the 1800's
Madame Curie
Man in the Iron Mask
Man of La Mancha
Mary Poppins
Meet Me in St. Louis - Judy Garland
Meet The Robinsons
Miracle on Ice
Miracle Worker - about Hellen Keller
Miracle - about 1980 US hockey team
Miss Potter
Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House - Cary Grant -  HILARIOUS family movie about buying and renovating a home
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
Mr. Holland's Opus
Mr. Magorium's Wonder Imporium
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington ( James Stewart)
Mrs. Arris Goes to Paris
Mrs. Miniver
My Fair Lady
My Name is David
My Neighbor Totoro
My Side of the Mountain
Nanny McPhee
National Treasure
National Velvet
Night at the Opera - best Marx Brothers movie EVER, very quotable
Nim's Island
October Skies
Old Yeller
On the Town - Gene Kelley, Frank Sinatra
One Good Man - about a new LDS bishop
Paper Clips
Parent Trap (old or new version)
Passage to Zarahemla  - intense but great for older kids and teens--the DVD contains two versions, one for younger kids
Pay it Forward
Perfect Harmony
Playing for Time
Pollyanna - Disney or BBC version
Prince of Egypt
Princess Diaries
Remember the Titans
Rocket Man
Ruby Bridges
Sarah Plain and Tall series
Saratov Approach - based on true story of missionaries kidnapped in Russia, intensity
Saving Sarah Cane
Scamper the Penguin
Scarlet Pimpernel
Schindler’s List (about the Holocaust) - R rated
Second Hand Lions
Secret Millionaires Club
Secretariat - Great story of dream, struggle, victory
Sense and Sensibility
Sergeant York (Gary cooper)*
Seven Alone
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Seven Days in Utopia
Shadowlands - based on true story about C.S. Lewis, the author of Narnia series
Shenandoah (James Stewart)*
Singing in the Rain - Donald O'Conner, Gene Kelley, Debbie Reynolds
Something the Lord Made
Soul Surfer - beach attire
Sound of Music
Stand and Deliver
Stand Strong - learning that family matters more than image, living within one's means, faith
Star Wars
Stone Fox
Support Your Local Sheriff
Surf's Up
Swiss Family Robinson
Tale of Two Cities
The Absent Minded Professor - 161 version Red McMurray
The African Queen
The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman
The Bachelor and Bobbie Soxer - Cary Grant, Shirley Temple
The Best Two Years - about LDS missionaries
The Bible in the Beginning
The Blind Side
The Book of Ruth
The Book Thief
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
The Chronicles of Narnia series - Lion, Witch and Wardrobe, etc.
The Elephant Man
The Emperor’s New Groove
The Father on My Three Sons
The First Grader
The First Olympics: Athens 1896
The Fox and the Child
The Glenn miller story
The Greatest Game Ever Played
The Happiest Millionaire (Disney)
The Hiding Place - of course the book is better (always, right?) but I just LOVE the Ten Boom family and feel inspired by their strength and faith every time I think about them
The Human Experience
The Indian In The Cupboard
The Inn of the Sixth Happiness - about an American woman missionary who saved many children at the beginning WWII
The Keys of the Kingdom
The King's Speech
The Lake House (not to be confused with LakeHouse)
The Letter Writer
The Longest Yard
The Man from Snowy River
The Marva Collins Story
The Mission - music by Ennio Morricone
The Music Man
The Other Side of Heaven - Disney about LDS missionary John Groberg in Tonga
The Power of One
The Pride of the Yankees: The Lou Gehrig Story
The Prince and the Pauper
The Princess Bride
The Red Pony
The Road Home
The Robe
The Rogue Stallion
The Sandlot - some swearing
The Secret Garden
The Son of God
The Spirit of St. Louis
The Story of One
The Swamp Fox - Revolutionary war time period
The Ten Commandments
The Terminal
The Testaments: of One Fold and One Shepherd
The Tooth Fairy - Julie Andrews
The Ultimate Gift (on Clearplay?)
The Ultimate Life
The Vow
The Work and the Glory series
The Yearling
The Young Victoria
Time Changer
To Kill a Mocking bird - Greg Peck
To Sir, With Love
Tuesdays with Morrie
Twelve Angry Men
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Victoria and Albert
War horse
We Bought a Zoo
What About Bob
What The Deaf Man Heard
What's Up Doc? -  hilarious & wacky Barbara Streisand movie
Where the Red Rern Grows
White Christmas -  Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye
Wild Hearts Can't be Broken
Wives and Daughters
Wizard of Oz
You Can't Take it With You - James Stewart
Yours Mine and Ours

Documentary Recommendations

Most of these ideas are from friends, which again means I can't verify whether they meet the LDS standards above.
  1. Agenda: Grinding America Down  - the documentary I recommend the most often to others. Watch it free here.
  2. America: Imagine the World without Her 
  3. For Our Day: Covenant on the Land info here
  4. Monumental: In Search of America's National Treasure
  5. Runaway Slave: Why Growing Dependency on Big Government is Destroying America 
  6. Unstoppable - by Kirk Cameron, about people losing faith over "where is God during tragedy" 
  7. Fires of Faith (a three-part BYU series about Reformation and King James Bible)
  8. Why Christianity 
  9. Captivated: Finding Freedom in a Media Captive Culture 
  10. Indoctrination: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity in America 
  11. Building the Machine – about Common Core. Watch it free here
  12. Waiting for Superman - very interesting documentary on public schools
  13. Privileged Planet
  14. Back to Eden
  15. Thrive
  16. Unlocking the Mystery of Life
  17. My Life as a Turkey -Joe Hutto mothered a bunch of wild turkeys from birth, then they recreated it as a documentary
  18. Nova episodes on PBS, I think our favorites though have been the "Making Stuff" series.  IE: Making stuff smaller, stronger, faster, etc. The host, David Pogue, does a great job.  Here's a link to one of them, It's the Making Stuff Wilder episode. http://video.pbs.org/video/2365105192/
  19. American Experience and Nature on PBS 
  20. Anything by Ken Burns, he's awesome.  He goes into depth on whatever he's documenting.  We have his civil war, baseball and National Parks documentaries that we recorded off TV when they aired.  
  21. We have used videos from izzit.org for the past couple of years. They send free DVDs once a year (you get to choose). They have teacher guides that come with them. The newer ones have the guides on the disc, but the older ones have booklets in the DVD case. Here are some that we have (the next six videos in this list): 
  22. Who Owns What (Property Rights and Regulations)
  23. Unintended Consequences: Eminent Domain
  24. The Road to Prosperity
  25. Yours and Mine- The Lesson of 1623
  26. 2081 - A short film adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's "Harrison Bergeron"
  27. Unstoppable Solar Cycles
  28. Everyone's Space
  29. Incredible Creatures that Defy Evolution 1, 2 and 3 - combats evolution 
  30. Forks Over Knives 
  31. The Story of US 
  32. PBS American Experience
  33. Ken Burns Civil War
  34. BYUtv American Ride
  35. Ken Burns The War (PBS) 
  36. The World at War
  37. American Presidents (available at the Davis County library)
  38. PBS.org has many of their programs for you to stream for free: Nova, Frontline, Nova Science Now, American Experience, Masterpiece Theater, etc. 
  39. Between the Folds – documentary on origami 
  40. How the Universe Works (series)
  41. Secret Life of Bees
  42. Blue Planet
  43. March of the Penguins
  44. Documentary on solving the mystery of Titanic (Netflix 7-11 yr olds loved it) 
  45. Drive Through History DVD's 
  46. Moody Science videos are very good. They have a wide variety of topics. 
  47. The American Heritage series is excellent. We just bought the sequel and a collection of single DVDs. 
  48. Wild Horse and Wild Ride – I just watched a really interesting documentary on the Mustang Challenge. It followed several trainers from the time they picked up their wild mustangs to the Challenge in Ft. Worth (one of several in the nation) 100 days later. It was really fascinating. 
  49. Farmageddon – about the FDA
  50. Business of Being Born
  51. Civil War - by Ken Burns 
  52. National Geographic: Inside North Korea
  53. Mitt - about Mitt Romney 
  54. There's a great documentary about Albert Schweitzer on You Tube. Very inspiring, and was filmed while he was alive, with the understanding that it would only be released after his death. What a great man with a divinely inspired mission!
  55. God of Wonders - on Netflix 
  56. How the Universe Works - on Netflix
  57. The Rise of Global Governance 
  58. Agenda 21: How Will it Affect You?
  59. Rise and Fall of Rome - by history channel
  60. What the ancients knew 
  61. What the ancients did for us
  62. Age of empires
  63. Horrible Histories (BBC)
  64. "Make Things (Faster, Smarter, Colder, Safer...)" episodes on Nova
Sources to watch movies and documentaries 

Most of these ideas are from friends. 
  1. Zion Tube is a great movie resource with an LDS perspective. Find trailers, full movies, documentaries, Disneys, classics
  2. Christian Cinema, is a Netflix-type company that only carries family and faith promoting movies. 
  3. Christian Film Database - It appears that you can rent or watch movies using pay-per-view.  They promote films with a Christian message, and claim to be the most extensive database of Christian movies ever. 
  4. Netflix
  5. Your local library 
  6. Youtube
  7. Discovery education has a wonderful website (was known as united streaming) has a plethora of videos.  
  8. History channel has some good stuff...sometimes you can find a whole episodes on You tube. 
  9. National Geographic
  10. History.com 
  11. Civilwar.org 
  12. BBC
  13. PBS.org 
  14. BYUTV 
  15. Mormonflix.com
  16. MormonChannel.org 
  17. LDS.org 
  18. Top Documentary Films 
  19. The YouTube channel "Disneytv4me" has some old, really fun Disney episodes that were on the weekly Sunday night TV called The Wonderful World of Disney. 
  20. I've been impressed with the list of recommendations at The Center for Social Leadership Oliver DeMille's site).
  21. Feature Films for Families
  22. I also like to watch Moody Science classics on youtube. Just do a search on youtube for that phrase. There are a little cheesy but hark back to a simpler time when life was cleaner, which makes me feel good. They focus on believing in God and science.
  23. You can get signed up at http://puritanpicks.com and have a service like Netflix that only stocks family friendly movies. A similar site is http://faithandfamilyflix.com. Cool!
  24. Izzit.org 
  25. Hallmark movies