Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Real McCoy: Authentic People

Authentic People Quotes Collection

Real integrity calls us TO BE and not To SEEM.

No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.  Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

A lie is any communication given to another with the intent to deceive.  ~Marvin J. Ashton,
(Ensign 5/80)

Who are you without your stuff?

Truth has a certain ring to it. ~Earnest Hemmingway

The Lord knows us for what we are, and eventually, everyone else does, too. ~Lorraine Henroid

...Never do in secret, what [you] would not do in the presence of millions.  ~Lucy Mack Smith

We never know when people have values until they are challenged.

I live on good soup and not fine words. ~Moliere

An honest man is the noblest work of God ~Byrne

Sin has many tools, but a lie is the handle which fits them all. ~O.W. Holmes

Honesty about our own weaknesses leads to a more compassionate view of others. ("A Change of Heart: Key to Harmonious Relationships," Ensign 2/84)

The chains of habit are generally too small to be felt until they are too strong to be broken. ~Samuel Johnson

Help me, O Lord, to be free not only of personal deceit, but grant me also the wisdom to avoid those who would damage me or mine through devious means.

Stand with anybody that stands right.  Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong. ~Abraham Lincoln

No virtues in the perfection we strive for are more important than integrity and honesty.  Let us then be complete, unbroken, pure, and sincere, to develop in ourselves that quality of soul we prize so highly in others.  ~Spencer W. Kimball, (Faith Precedes the Miracle, pp. 247-48)

The matter of trust is the principle taught in the Savior's parable of the talents.  You will recall that, in this story, an honorable effort, given to the full by the two honest servants, brought the same reward from the Master, even though the product of their efforts was not the same.  Deep within our own hearts we generally know when we have paid the price, when we have done the best our personal resources and abilities would have allowed us to do at the moment, regardless of the outcome of our effort or the way it may be viewed by others.  It is at these times that we know real peace, even though the product of our effort may not be all that we would have hoped it to be.  The full return on this kind of investment cannot always be determined at the next audit period.  When Jesus was crucified by his detractors, it appeared to all observers--even to his disciples--that his efforts had accounted for nothing.  But the Savior knew he had paid the price.  History has borne record to the quality of his investment.  ~Thomas S. Monson

He who lies is the servant of the lie.  He who tells the lie must live with the results.  Deacons and Beehive girls should be taught the evils of deceit.  Teachers and Mia Maids should be taught the importance of truth.  Priests and Laurels should be taught the pitfalls that accompany dishonesty.  Missionaries, to be successful and happy, must live by correct principles.  Primary children can learn that telling lies is not good.  Children in the home are entitled to see honesty taught by example.  Unfortunate is the individual or family who is taught that honesty is a policy rather than the proper way of life...We live in a world of law.  We may be able to avoid or skirt laws of the land, but the laws of heaven have an irrevocable effect on us today, tomorrow, and forever..."Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32)  No man will ever be totally free who is living a lie...We should ever bear in mind that a wrong isn't right just because many people do it.  A wrong deed isn't right just because it hasn't become visible.  (Marvin J. Ashton, "This Is No Harm," Ensign, May 1982)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Girl Scout Favorite Things

HJournal wishes Girl Scouts a HAPPY 100th ANNIVERSARY ;-)  (3/12) These illustrations are from the Girl Scout Handbook, circa 1949 and Cadette Girl Scout Handbook, circa 1963.  I was hoping this post might be of interest to fellow Girl Scouts enthusiasts.  It's kind of a collection of my favorite Girl Scout Memoirs.  I also like to collect old Girl Scout and Boy Scout books and memorabilia.  

I was in charge of the t-shirts for our local Girl Scouts.  They might be plain, but they hadn't made t-shirts in a few years and I really didn't have anything to go by.  We had them in time for the Peanut Festival Parade, Dothan, Alabama (fall 2000).  Our first parade was the Peanut Festival Parade in the fall of 1998.  Shown with Mrs. Alabama and in the second photo--our troop leaders:  me and Mrs. Lolley.

Then we moved north to Ozark and my troop and a sister troop sponge painted sweatshirts (a badge requirement of course!) for the Christmas Parade '01.

Thinking Day
My husband helped us by cutting the Eiffel Tower out of cardboard.  Then he lit it up with Christmas tree lights. It was a sight to behold in the dark.  I had my girls make the display for a homeschool project.  I found striped fabric with France's flag colors.  I helped with one Thinking Day '01 and made these "passports" for the girls to get stamped at each troop's booth.  Every troop had a different country.  I remember we did Ireland and France.  We actually had a girl from Ireland in our troop.  She was my daughter's best friend.  We gave a Bon Bon candy to each "visitor" to our France booth (Feb. 2002).

Patches and Badges

My co-leader, J. Lolley, came up with this cute idea for our Daisies' and Brownies for a simple uniform.  We decided not to use the Daisy smocks.  That's why I put all of Elise's patches on a banner (shown above).
One of the girls from our troop, actually won the G.S. card design contest for our district.  Woo Hoo :0)

I worked real hard with the parents to make sure the Try-its and official insignia were properly placed.  With kids, it's real important to receive badges as soon as possible.  It's not practical to have a full-blown ceremony every single meeting so we would announce at least two ceremonies a year and lock in the date.  Badges earned in between those dates would be recognized as part of a regular meeting and the girls could go ahead and get them on their sashes.

I really wanted the girls to learn to sew on their own badges once they became Juniors.  Occasionally we would use meetings to go over this.  The girls were given needles and corresponding thread and we would sit in a circle on the floor while I went around to show each girl how to sew them on and give them help if needed.  If there were a lot of badges to put on, I would sew them on myself rather than let them get lost.  I rarely had to reorder badges because of this.

Every year we asked the girls what they wanted to use their cookie money for and the number one answer was, "Go to the Beach!!!"  We never did do that, (except when we lived in Port St. Lucie-2000!)  but we did use the money for practical things like going to Girl Scout Camps as a troop to earn badges.  And of course we had parties.  We went on a trip to Florida Caverns State Park, Mariana, FL which is close to Dothan.  

Our troop did a lot of activities at Landmark Park in Dothan, Alabama.  My Daisies and I were actually asked to be in a Girl Scout commercial for Alabama and it was filmed at Landmark Park!  This was taken at Girl Scout Day at Landmark.  Little Brother was a tagalong to many Girl Scout functions.  We also gave service to Landmark Park '02 when we showed guests how to make Cornhusk Dolls.  In 1998, the Dothan troop planted daylillies  at the elementary school's garden (shown on bridge).

Making Corn Husk Dolls
Meetings were usually held at a church or a leader's home.  Most of the ones in Ozark were held at my home 2001-2002, but when we needed more room to make quilts for the children's hospital we held meetings at the local library's meeting room.

Swaps Collection
Swaps are small crafts that G.S. give as gifts or trade with other scouts.  They are sometimes referred to as potlatch.  Their origin is Native American.  POTLATCH is the ceremonial exchange of gifts practiced by Native Americans of Northwest Coast tribes. The custom stems from the legend explaining why birds have colored feathers.  As the story goes, two Indian girls plucked feathers of a magic bird and distributed the multicolored plumage to the colorless birds living in the forest.  From that time on, birds have had brightly colored feathers, and those gifts were remembered at potlatch ceremonies.
Swaps can be simple or complex, cheap or expensive, whatever the maker desires.  Each girl needs to decide how many swaps she wants to make.  This is the same number she will receive.  Larger troops may want to make several kinds of swaps so that the girls will have more opportunities to trade.  Probably 10-15 per girl is a good number to aim for.
Swaps can be made during a troop meeting, during a special meeting called for the express purpose of making swaps, or examples shown at the meeting, with the swaps to be made at home.  One suggestion,which might be helpful for younger gilrs, is to have a mother/daughter evening to mass produce the swaps in one night.
You can demonstrate some of the ideas listed below, or just provide an assortment of beads, ribbons, felt, pipe cleaners, etc. and let their imaginations run wild.  Or you may want to have your group plan a swap and then consider the cost, materials needed, how long it will take, etc.  Swaps are usually only an inch or two in size and attach with a safety pin.  Traditionally they are pinned on a swap hat.  This hat could be part of your troop identificationNall a certain color, with troop number decorated on with fabric paints.
On the day of the swap, each girl will come with a shoebox (or something) with her swaps in it, and will mingle with other girls, trading her swaps for others that interest her.  Hopefully, the swaps will have small safety pins attached and can be pinned to a swap hat or jacket.  Leaders may want to come prepared with a few extra swaps for girls who were absent when they were made.
Why swap?  To promote friendship.  To learn to talk to other people.  To have mementos of a good time.  To share our handiwork with other scouts.  Girls on wider opportunities and adults at national meetings swap patches and handmade items.  These often reflect the area the scout lives in.  Camp swapping is a great background for this.  (This was found on the internet many moons ago!)

I have a few more Swaps shown at my post: Some Favorite Campy Things.

First Aid Kit
Autograph Book

Bed Roll
Buddy Burner
American Flag
Friendship Knot
Mess Kit
Peanut Baby
Scottish Bonnet
Warm Fuzzy

Friday, July 29, 2011

Southern Reflections--camping, part 3

Mt. Cheaha, in Delta, Alabama, is where everyone camps when they go to the Talledega Speedway and why we are careful not to camp there at those times.  Those are some interesting folks!  Mt. Cheaha is the highest point in Alabama.  They have rustic cabins and chalets and a lodge with a pool with a great view and a really good restaurant.  I grew to love this state park because my crotchety, old Grandpa Jordan was a foreman for the CCC that built the park during the Great Depression.  I love the stone cabins and stone lookout tower as well as the stone walls and pavilions at picturesque points. Here's a picture of a (less-crotchety) Grandpa and sweet Grandma Jordan and Uncle Jimmy in front of the lookout tower at the top of Mt. Cheaha.  Grandma had 11 more children!

Blue Springs State Park is in Clio, Alabama which is fairly close to Ozark where we once lived.  We went one year for my son's birthday.  They have very nice campsites and an opportunity to swim in a spring-fed swimming hole.  Now that's an experience everyone should have at least once in their lifetime!  They also have fishing and paddle boating.  We have always loved deciding at the last minute to go camping, and Blue Springs is a perfect choice during a hot summer!

We have only spent day trips at Noccolula Falls in Gadsden, Alabama.  This is not a state park, however, they have very nice camping facilities basically right in Gadsden which is on a beautiful river.  The communities along the Coosa River are beautiful and make a lovely scenic drive.  Legend has it that the Indian maiden shown threw herself off the falls in despair over her lost love.  There is a very educational park for children with petting zoo and an adventurous hike.

We were drawn to Kolomoki State Park in Blakely, Georgia again and again.  It was not a long drive from our home in Dothan, Alabama and the kids loved to visit the museum to see inside a real-live Indian burial mound.  They have camping, miniature golf, boating, and fishing there as well.  We haven't camped there but we are going to have to make the trip this year--the kids are growing up fast!

Here is a third spot that we have gone to many times since moving to North Alabama for a day trip but have not had the chance to camp out!!!  There is so much to see in this area and it is not far from where we now live.  It is near Fort Payne Alabama--for all you Alabama fans!  It is a big park with cabins, a lodge, camping facilities and beautiful vistas.  It was also built by the CCC in the 1930's so there's a lot of history.  We especially liked the walking trail that led us to the magnificent view shown on my scrapbook layout above (bottom left photo).

As you can probably tell, I am very partial to the State Parks throughout the south that were built by the CCC and Monte Sano is one of them!  The lodge that housed the workers eventually became a place of entertainment.  Then it burnt down and when I married my husband 23 yrs. ago, only a shell was left.  Now it has been rebuilt in the original style and is beautiful and many wedding receptions take place here.  The road my kids are walking on was a very scenic drive that finally had to be closed because the road kept washing away.  It still open to biking and walking and is gorgeous!  There is a large playground and ancient pavilions so well-built and unique that they are still used and a sight to behold.  There are beautiful views of Huntsville, Alabama and I like to camp here year-round.  You can go to a planetarium on Saturday nights--it's literally walking distance from the beautiful campground.  They have made many improvements there lately and it is the perfect place to go on a hot summer weekend when you're really wanting it to be at least 10 degrees cooler!  See my post,  Some Favorite Campy Things, camping part 2 for lots more about Monte Sano Mountain State Park in Huntsville, Alabama.

Amicola Falls State Park near Dahlonega, Georgia is extremely picturesque.  The camping is very limited and I personally wouldn't want to camp there, but it's a must see when you check out the town of Dahlonega which is where my Grandma Jordan's Dad, Dahlonega Dyal was originally from.  Also pictured is the front of a candy store.  There are several of these.  This is the best little town I have ever visited!  I would love to spend time here. It reminded me a lot of how Gatlinburg was when my husband and I honeymooned in the Smokies over two decades ago.  Now Gatlinburg is too commercial so Dahlonega is a nice alternative.  I was pleasantly surprised.  Dahlonega is a short drive north from Atlanta.

It's really a shame in a way that certain camp sites have been such favorites for us such as Cheaha  and  Monte Sano because there are so many other places we should try, but they are favorite day trips for us nevertheless.  This trip to Guntersville Lake State Park in Guntersville, Alabama was an easy One Tank Trip to celebrate Summer Solstice. In the good 'ole Homeschool Tradition, every family trip became a "learning experience."  We learned about the longest day of the year and had a picnic and swam, toured the park, and sat on the lake and watched the sun go down.  There was a lot of people there who seemed to understand the significance of that particular day and is a favorite memory of mine.  (That's my husband diving off the pier).  Guntersville is also a CCC  State Park with a beautiful lodge, restaurant, cabins and camping facilities.  I didn't really like the camping layout and is probably why we haven't stayed there, but the park has been making many improvements and since the tornadoes came through in April 2011, the campsites have been closed due to damage.  Hopefully they'll make it better than ever.  The campsites are right on the lake, literally.  So they have a great view.  Guntersville is a wonderful town to visit.  We love to go and walk at the lake front park.  The downtown is very picturesque as well.

Cathedral Caverns off Highway431 north of Guntersville, Alabama.  1995 Disney film, Tom and Huck, was filmed here.  It was also filmed in Mooresville, Alabama, off I-65 (near Huntsville).  Mooresville along the Tennessee River, is a quaint town to visit.  It has changed little from 1800s times.  Be sure to wear comfortable shoes (long hike!) and bring a jacket.

St. Andrews State Park in Panama City, is very convenient if you want to be near the more touristy attractions found on the "Miracle Strip."  There's a Walmart right there too in case you forgot something!  Our favorite thing to do at this campsite is snorkeling.  You can rent the equipment or bring your own and take a boat ride to a good snorkeling beach.  The only drawback is having your children stand in line for the boat with women showing all kinds of body parts!  Beware!!!  The newer bathroom and campsites are further from the beachfront campsites and have laundry facilities and air conditioning.  I would prefer to stay in the newer sites, even though I don't have a view of the ocean.

Grayton Beach State Park, (Santa Rosa Beach) in Florida is a more secluded spot--not near a lot of tourism.  We have camped here at least twice and enjoyed it enormously both times.  There's great swimming and playing on pristine beaches.  My favorite memory is sitting on the beach at sunset and watching the sun go down behind the ocean and all of the sudden noticing that there were a lot of other people on the beach with us to see the show.  When the last drop of liquid gold melted into the sea everyone cheered and clapped.

We camped at Cumberland Mountain State Park, Crossville, Tennessee for Labor Day weekend in 2005.  This was one of our most memorable camp outs, (remember Cheesy)?  We especially loved the picturesque bridge and lovely wooded lake.  We had been camping since the kids were very young, but this was the first time I saw lots of families camping and using tents.  Before that, the noisy RVers had pretty much dominated the campgrounds.  There was a real "family" feel.  We went sight-seeing to all the local sights, but my kids and husband mostly stayed in the "hu-normous" pool as did many of the other campers.

I don't know what road we were on, but we were headed for Joe Wheeler State Park in northwest, Alabama.  There is a huge dam and a pretty picnic park on the side of the dam (that has some history), and you pass this store as you come to the park and dam.  I couldn't resist taking a snapshot!


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