Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Book Review - The 5,000 Year Leap

This is a must read for every US Citizen. Leon Skowsen has provided the world a great service by writing this book. My first thought upon finishing the book was, "How on earth did I make it this far in life wtihout ever having anyone lay out this information for me before?" This ought to be standard reading for every Jr. High kid out there!

Ok, a lot of the information was familiar. None of it was totally foreign, of course. I knew a little bit about every principle in the book. But never had anyone taught me the "whys" and the "hows" of freedom so clearly and simply as did this book.

I could list sevral things I learned from each chapter, and quote at least half the book for you (it was that good!). But I won't. I'll tell you about 3 things that come to mind right now that I've learned.

1. At the very beginning the author clearly defines the various kinds of government our world has experienced through out time, listing their characteristics and effects on the people they govern. I was shocked and sickened at how closely our current administration has aligned itself with the definition of total monarchy, and how close we have come to losing the gift our Founding Fathers bestowed upon us with God's help.

2. I learned why it is in accurate to describe America as a democracy (although we often do) and why we ought to be clear that America is a Republic. Remember the pledge of Allegance? Hopefully they still say it in schools. I know we say ours every day. Well, we say, "and to the republic for which it stands." There's a reason for that.

3. Separation of church and state does NOT mean separation of religion and state. While government is not to endorse any specific religion or show preference for any given faith, it is VERY much the obligation of governemnet to recognize the Creator's hand in all things and abide by the natural laws of heaven. This was huge for me. I finally have a concrete response to those who are all about removing GOd from every public place.

Those are just 3 of the many things I gleaned from this book. Overall, I have an incrased sense of awe and love for the men who sacrificed so much to build our nation and give us teh foundation for freedom. It is now our sacred responsibility to pass this knowledge on, to fight for its preservation, and oppose any effort to destroy these 28 principles of freedom.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Family Book Club - Indian in the Cupboard

First, I guess I should welcome myself back to the land of blogging after a nice long vacation. Hope it was a terrific Christmas/New Year for all of you. Lots of things going on here at home while absent from the blogosphere including house guests, toilet floods and plenty of "hanging out". This first week back in the groove was actually very refreshing and I think we're all glad to be back.

Anyway, last night was our turn to host the book club again (this was our fourth club meeting) and I think the meetings are getting better and better.

Here's how our meeting went:

I selected book discussion questions from this site:

From there, I could have really dug deep into Iroquois Indian life and explored that in detail. But we only had 60 minutes to work with so I chose to focus on the Three Sisters that formed the base of their diet: beans, corn and squash. I had chosen books from the library with pictures of a three sisters garden and we talked about Omri's lack of experience with squash. I had a butternut squash to show them.

Then, I had the kids put on blindfolds as I passed out samples of each of the three sisters. First I passed out small cups with a bit of corn and invited them all to touch and taste, but not to talk about it outloud. Then we set that aside and repeated the process with beans and squash. Then I asked them to guess which of the 3 sisters they had been fed first, second, and third.

After removing the blindfolds, we took votes to discovere which was the kids' favorite "sister". Turns out it was a tie between the corn and the squash, but I'll have you know I put in a generous amount of brown sugar and butter in the squash. Side note: I served the squash sample in a small cup with a popsicle stick so they wouldn't have to lick it off their fingers.

THat activity doubled as our snack. From there we talked more about the magic of the cupboard and its ability to transport the figures across time. I asked the kids to think about what time they would like to travel to if they could hop in a magic cupboard.

Each child was given an empty cereal box and scisors to create their own magic cupboard. Inside we colored pictures of a time and place that we would each like to visit if we could hop in the magic cupboard and go anywhere. OF course, the cupboard only worked with the magic key, so each child was given a laminated key with a red ribbon tied in it with the word "imagination" written on it. With more time, it would've beenf un to cover the box with paper and decorate it.

They each got a chance to show their magic cupboards to the group and explain the picture inside.

We had a great time and as usual, we are looking forward to the next club meeting!