In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Schedule for end of year, including babysitting

2 & 4 No Vanguard-Spring Break!

9 Core/J-man Leadership-
Vanguard Jr. during J-Man

11 10-12 Leadership Master Class: Moore’s

12 8 am Parent Mentor meeting at Biesinger's
16 Core/J-man Geo-conquest

18 1-3 Geo-Conquest Master Class: Biesinger’s*
*Master Class Movie at 3 pm
“The Inn of the Sixth Happiness”
23 Core/J-man Eureka!
Vanguard Jr. during J-Man
25 10-12 Eureka! Master Class: Vances
30 Core/J-man Imaginative Arts
Hike: we may need drivers/bring lunch!

Outdoor activity: Ropes Course TBA

2 10-12 Imaginative Arts Master Class: Biesinger’s

7 10-3 Last day of class: Oral presentations and activities with lunch in the middle

End of the year Cultural Dinner: TBA

22-24 Family Pioneer Trek

Child Care for rest of semester:
19    Chanelle Jones
26    Lisa Brower

9     Natalie Jackson
16    Sherrie Hatch
23    Mindy Cook
30    Chanelle Jones

7    Natalie Jackson and Tracy Ressa will divide this, as it is a longer time.

Please review the schedule if you need to and print it up for your own use.  You will be minding the Gilberts and the Biesingers as Melinda transitions into a Core Mentor; a lot of kids, but we both have older ones in there who can help.  Thanks so much for doing this!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

How to determine if something is a principle?

Is it a Principle?

Here are some guidelines to check if the principle you found is a true principle:

Characteristics of True Principles (by Audrey Rindlesbacher):

Foundational idea upon which behavior is based
True for all people, all the time
Creates greater freedom for the individual and society
Enlightens the understanding
Enlarges the soul
Increases desire for good—in thoughts, behavior, environment and relationships
Generates growth, enlivens
Increases health and wholeness
Expands your mind, brings new connections and ideas
Creates win/win situations

To find evidence for your principle:

 Principle Checkpoints (by Audrey Rindlesbacher) :

God and/or Natural Law
Your scripture or standard of truth
Your experience—long term
The experience of others—long term

Monday, March 17, 2014

Recipes from year

Etiquette dinner:
from the Gilberts:
"Daddy's yummy pasta salad! (So original I know) 

Tortellini 2 packages (for our family) 
Salami (2-3 packages. The ones we buy are small)
Olives, black (2-3 cans)
Parmesan cheese, shredded fresh 
Caesar dressing 
Artichoke hearts (we usually buy the canned bottoms) (2-3 cans)"
Please put your recipes in the reply section! :)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Mentor meeting discussion March 8th

1. We discussed upcoming dates:
--Pioneer Trek info (please contact Angie with questions)

--End of year schedule:  One more month of lens-oriented classes, ending on April 23rd, then 2 weeks of oral presentations/end of year simulations/activities, etc.

--oral presentations: a summary of their education for the year...a look at where they are at. This is a good opportunity, even more than looking at specifics of what they have "accomplished," to look at who they have become through the course of the journey through the year.  They may present this by a power-point, bringing objects that represent who they are for the other youth to select and then the presenting youth will talk about the ones they select, a slide show of pictures of things they have experienced this school year, etc.

--cultural dinner: our culminating end of the year event, tentatively scheduled for Thursday, May 8th, where we do a slide show of the year, people bring potluck courses from "around the world," we give out awards recognizing each youth, present the new presidency for next year, and do some activities with our families.

2.  We discussed concerns and ideas with the service project developed in the Geo-genius Master class.  The youth brainstormed and selected an area of focus for service that they would like to do.  They thought it would be good to open it up to anyone who wants to participate. Here is a brief synopsis:
They set up a project with two purposes: gather money and supplies for specific groups in Ethiopia (schools and orphanages the presenter mentioned), and, second, to help youth do fundraising so they can go to Ethiopia for two weeks next year to actually deliver the supplies and spend two weeks giving service among the Ethiopian people.  There are a lot of details involved in that, but that is the general idea. The hope is that anyone who desires to help and participate in this project will be able to in any capacity, from making colorful items for orphanages, to participating in the fund-raisers for the specific targets (fundraisers like a carnival, car washes, bake sales, etc.).  Every little bit will help, and everyone's contribution will make a difference for those sweet people in Ethiopia.
 The latest development is summed up in an email I sent recently:

Hi everyone!
After different people's feedback and perspective, discussion with the youth already involved, and careful consideration of the purpose and spirit of this service project and Master class, we are going to go ahead and re-structure our approach with the service project.
The Master class set the ball in motion of this great idea...a project worthy of Master class!  Woohoo!  And now, the ball in motion will be a project for everyone!

This means:
--you do not have to qualify for master class to attend the planning and carrying out of any part of this project
--we will not be using Geo-genius Master Class to just work on this project
--we will have a separate time (after some class, before some class, etc.) designated to meet...I will let the youth figure that out :)
--I will continue to mentor the project
--as before, you can participate as little or as much as you want to and in whatever way! (Madeline, Rick specifically mentioned making bright colored things for the kids in the orphanages :)!)
Tomorrow, Friday the 14th we will meet from 10-11 to discuss and play the geo-genius game (without Tova, poor dear :)!), and then anyone who wants to come and plan/discuss/contribute to the project  can come at 11.  We will end promptly at 12, but you can bring a lunch to eat while we meet.  Weather permitting, we can meet out in my backyard to discuss it.
Next month, we will have a different activity/focus (not-project related) for Master class Geo-genius.
Thanks, everyone, for your patience, contribution, and willingness as we transition to this new, impact-ful stage of Vanguard!
:) Sister Biesinger

3.  It was brought up that people would like to do service on a local level.  I am all for that, and have had it as an intention to have monthly projects since the beginning of the year, but it has taken time to get everything running, right :)?  Sarah Vance had a great idea about working with a local organization called the Marshall White Center.  The following is her basic summary of the place (I hope she doesn't mind me directly quoting her :)!):
This is a community center. I believe they get government funding. The youth classes are taught by awesome people who are paid very little. It's basically a volunteer program.  You can tell the teachers care about the kids!  We also gathered winter clothes  in our ward to take there for the homeless. People take clothes and food there for others to take as needed.  I know they served a Thanksgiving dinner there last year.  One day, there was a bunch of food set out on a table by the front desk. I saw an older lady come in and pick up a bag of rolls and a bunch of bananas one day.  I remember thinking 'I love this place!'

I'm going there today. I'll ask about possible service opportunities and get back to you.
We are looking for people (youth and adult) to work on this.  If service is your passion, please get in touch with me.  You would contact the center (or help the youth do so) or other places where people have brainstormed about serving, set a project up, and then announce it to the youth.  In the past we have done things like:
-trick-or-treating for candy to send to kids in Africa (a real program, believe it or not!)
-tying quilts while doing movie night
-yard work for the church or building we are meeting at
-singing at rest homes
-gather supplies for local food banks

Someone suggested we get this started during the summer to make one less thing we are "starting" in the fall.  Service opportunities are something that everyone may not participate in all the time, but we have had enough participation to make each one successful.

I think that is basically everything we discussed.  Feel free to post comments or questions below.

NOTE: I am mindful that not everyone can make these and hope you do not feel pressured to come.  I have set them up as a resource for you, a (*hopefully*) power-packed hour for you to catch up and have better input on issues and needs of our group, but am mindful that it is not the most convenient time. Is there such a thing :)? 

Someone has mentioned the idea of holding it on a different day of the week once a month, like an early afternoon or late morning.  My concern is that there has been some father participation and I don't want to lose that.  However, if, overall, it would enable more people to come and would be more convenient to the majority, I am willing to move the day and time.  I would ask someone else to coordinate it, if we want to do it for our last meeting in April, or we can just look ahead and consider it for next year.  I would welcome your feedback in the comments and suggestions in the comments below (or via email if the commenting is not enabled for some reason).


Mentor Meeting agenda held March 8th with Overview for April

We read and discussed the following excerpts from an article (the whole thing is amazing if you have the time or inclination): 

Neil A. Anderson:
“We live in an important time in the history of our planet.

Let us remember that those who sit in your classrooms are some of the most spiritually sensitive sons and daughters of God that have ever entered mortality. I like these words from President George Q. Cannon, who served in the First Presidency: “God has reserved spirits for this dispensation who have the courage and determination to face the world and all the powers of the evil one, visible and invisible, to proclaim the gospel and maintain the truth and establish and build up the Zion of our God fearless of all consequences. He has sent these spirits in this generation to lay the foundation of Zion never more to be overthrown, and to raise up a seed that will be righteous, and that will honor God, and honor Him supremely, and be obedient to Him under all

The young men and women in your classes are these spirits. They are the hope of the future.
One of those singing said about her seminary teacher: “Brother Solomoni is a great man of God. He has taught me that how much we learn is not as important as applying what we know. The amount of knowledge is less important than what we do with the knowledge we have.”

FAITH:  “Spiritual understanding rarely comes from a lecture. It comes in classrooms where questions are welcome, where doubts and fears can be expressed, and where honest opinions are never dismissed. It comes from obedience, private study, and prayer. Spiritually, the classroom of faith becomes less like a lecture hall and more like a fitness center. Students do not get stronger by watching someone else do the exercises. They learn and then participate. As their spiritual strength increases, they gain confidence and apply themselves all the more.
The Savior taught by listening and observing. After teaching and healing the multitude, He fed them.7 To the woman caught in adultery, He wrote in the sand.8 Before He healed the daughter of the leader of the synagogue, He asked those who did not believe to leave the house.9 And to Caiaphas, the high priest, He said nothing.10
Elder Maxwell summarized effective teaching in these words: “Do not be afraid of repetitious teaching. Ask inspired questions. Typically, but not always, two-way dialogue is better than one-way monologue.”11
Use the scriptures; share simple stories, parables, and real-life examples; ask questions; invite students to teach and to share their feelings; encourage them to act in faith and to report on what they are learning.
HOPE:  “Symbolically, you are like a force helping young trees to grow in a very windy place. In nature, trees that grow up in a windy environment have compensating strengths. As wind whips a young sapling, forces inside the tree do two things. First, they stimulate the roots to grow faster and spread farther. Second, the forces in the tree start creating cell structures that make the trunk and branches thicker and more flexible to the pressure of the wind. You, like the forces in a tree, help stimulate deeper spiritual roots and a stronger resolve to resist temptation. VIDEO
As the world grows darker, the light of the truth shines brighter. As the hearts of men become colder, the warmth of the Savior’s peace burns stronger. As the noise of tempting voices shout louder, the still, small voice of the Spirit comes with even greater clarity. As evil increases in the world, the Lord sends the power of revelation and spiritual gifts for the righteous.
Teach our sons and daughters that there is an important work for them to do. You will remember the Lord speaking to Moses while he was yet a young man. He said, “I have a work for thee, Moses.”19 The Lord has a work for each of those in your classroom. To prepare Moses for his important role, the Lord showed him “the world and the ends thereof, and all the children of men which are, and which were created.”20 He saw worlds without number.”
CHARITY: Christ is our example, and we follow Him. We seek to love God and others as He did. In the new youth curriculum, the emphasis is to teach in the Savior’s way. I quote from the guide:
“He loved them, prayed for them, and continually served them. He found opportunities to be with them and to express His love. He knew their interests, hopes, and desires and what was happening in their lives.
“He knew who they were and who they could become. He found unique ways to help them learn and grow—ways meant just for them. When they struggled, He did not give up on them but continued to love them and minister to them.”28
I know this is how you approach your students, and I commend you for it.

Quote: Teddy Roosevelt
 “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Scripture: 1 Ne 3:7
Book: Charlie’s Monument
Outdoor activity: Ropes course

Week 1 Leadership Academy: What is initiative?  How does it help me be a responsible citizen?
-Word study on “initiative”: the ability to assess and initiate things independently.
Synonyms: self-motivation, resourcefulness, inventiveness, imagination, ingenuity, originality, creativity, enterprise;
-Max Lucado: Conclusion: Fixing your Eyes on Jesus.
-Synergy of the Mind activity: "Chopped"--Vanguard style
-read e-book Jack Rabbit Factor 
-study final 7 Habits chapters 
-Finish up fallacies (don't be afraid to do this for the first time!  We use the book "Art of Argument" to study this and you can borrow mine, if you need to)
-Civility project
-Finish up discussion on "Whatever Happened to Justice" excerpt
Quote: “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.”--Jack Rabbit Factor American or Farmer
-Final activity: TBA

Week 2 Geo-conquest:  A look at Initiative in responsible citizens in the world around us
Asia, Gladys Aylward
Core class: Asian festival: Kite-flying and Asian food!--led by Abby
-study Asia
-study Gladys Aylward
-Guest speaker
-read “Gladys Aylward: The Little Woman” by Gladys Aylward
(Vanguard will be providing each family with a copy, due to the lateness of this change. )
-Geo-conquest Game
*Watch “Inn of the Sixth Happiness”  in conjunction with this right after class

Week 3 Eureka!- Initiative to look for resources around us and in ourselves
Core:  "Looking at the seeds of greatness and potential!"
-study actual seeds and germination
-look at organizations and individuals and examine what "seeds" and "growing conditions" their success and accomplishments started with.
-Davinci Excerpt #8: Connessione: A recognition of and appreciation for the interconnectedness of all things and phenomena.
Journeyman & Master: Botany study and service project for church where we meet: planting things

Week 4 Imaginative Arts- Initiative to do something!
"The Happy Dromedary" reading during class (short allegory)
-“Way To Be” Ch 6: Be Positive 
-Finish discussing "Charlie's Monument"
-Go on hike with rock-stacking activity
-Study rock-stacking artist
-final composer
-reading: Robinson Crusoe 
-bring final nature art project! (or a picture of it)--it can symbolize something you learned or just be from things in nature that you have used initiative with to create :)!