Monday, 29 June 2009

Teaching Scripture - backfire!!

There's a funny thing about me....I don't get hungry like the rest of my family does. It's always driven Allen nuts that I can go for hours without thinking about eating (and it makes me wonder why it is I have a weight issue!). Apparently it also drives my kids nuts. The last two days they've complained that I don't feed them on time. This morning I was enjoying our first day of summer break and lounging in bed longer than usually when the cries of, "We're hungry!" started. I continued to ignore them until Jill finally came into my room, and stood, with her hands on her hips and declared, "Mom! You're not supposed to suffer that your children go hungry! Isn't THAT your favorite scripture!"

I laughed out loud. I have often quoted that scripture to my kids - but not focused on the part about feeding them. I usually rush over that part. When they're quarreling I sit them on the stairs and pull out Mosiah 4:14 and loudly proclaim: "And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness."

And then, with even great vehemence, I continue on with the next verse: But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another. "

...and then I make them come up with something they can do to show love and to serve each other.

Well, I thought it was pretty funny that she should use that scripture on me.

You're right my dear Jill. I'll repent and try to remember to cook for you on time. hee hee

FHE - Forgive and Forget

One thing I've learned is that FHE gets easier the more regularly we do it. It isn't always a beautifully heart warming experience - but it does become a habit!

Yesterday in primary Sharing Time was about forgiveness. Sister Payne played a game with the children called Forgive and Forget. Peirce was clearly engrossed and when it was over he came to me and said, "Can I do the lesson in FHE tomorrow?" He scooped the game board and brought it home and we played that for FHE.

It all devolved from there. Peirce then decided should have colored marshmallows for our FHE treat. Then since Allen doesn't like colored mini marshmallows he decided to stick it in his nose and see how far he could blow them. life....isn't it heart warming.

I guess I'll have to forgive Allen for his leadership on this one and just forget about it! LOL

Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear (Andy Stanton)

This is a story of a mean man named Mr. Gum who makes a bear dance. The bear is unhappy so a little girl helps him run away. We did enjoy the principal that was actually a Gingerbread cookie...a fleeting almost funny moment. That's about it.

Peirce found this book at the library and with the great reviews on the back it sounded like a winner. It claims to be laugh out loud funny and one of those books adults and children can enjoy. The author is acclaimed as the current Roald Dahl. Peirce LOVES Roald Dahl so I figured this would be a hit.

There are some funny moments....but far from side splitting funny.

Peirce never laughed out loud once. And I sure don't want to read it again. As a matter of fact, I don't think we'll read a Mr. Gum book again.

Maybe it's a British humor thing. I don't know.

Sunday, 28 June 2009


Last night I was putting away a crock pot full of chicken stock I'd been working on all day. It was going to be lunch on Sunday. There's nothing like chicken soup made from scratch.

I've been really really tired this week. I seem to work every night until 1 am...and then I can't seem to sleep past 6 am. I'm truly an 8 hours a night person so after a few nights of that I start to really drag. Well, that was exemplified tonight when I went to put the crock pot in the fridge...and instead dumped it all over the floor and on my foot. I have a nasty nasty burn on my foot. I did it last night at about 10:30....which was when I really needed to go to sleep. Instead I sat for an hour on the edge of the tub with my foot in cold water. Once I couldn't sit there anymore I got a bucket and had my foot off the side of my bed soaking. I'd put it up on the bed with ice when I couldn't stand to lay like that anymore. It took until 2 am before it stopped burning so intensely that I could finally go to sleep.

Allen has been gone to Toronto. I did quite well today I thought, considering my lack of sleep all week. It was interesting to me that once we picked him up at the airport I was suddenly so tired I could hardly do anything. I came home and went to bed. I don't even really remember lying down. I think I fell asleep before I was even lying down to be honest!

And my poor foot. The bottom is a little burned and so it hurts to walk. My big toe and all down the side of my foot is red and swollen and very tender. No blisters though. I was lucky. And best of all, my crock pot didn't break. PHEW!! I use my crock pot 3 or 4 times a week. I don't think I could function without it! My foot is one thing...but not my crock pot!

Friday, 26 June 2009

Let the Summer Fun Begin!

That's it. We're done. Today was the last day of Grade Five for Jill and last day of Grade One for Peirce. I think it's been a wonderful year for all of us. I'm looking forward to my kids being able to relax and have fun and have time to figure some creative play.

We got the report cards today, of course. I'm really amazed at my kids and how well they have done in school. I don't think I've ever seen a report card as good as Jill's, to be honest. She'd have to get 100% in all subjects in order to do much better. Her teacher this year has recognized the brilliant girl she is! :0) Peirce's report card is also really good. He's not one whit behind his sister in things pertaining to school! LOL

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Swim Week!

The last week of school was swim week for our kids. It is so fun! The pool is within walking distance and the kids love it. Peirce wanted me to be sure to come and take pictures of him and his friends swimming. He's seen pictures of Jill and her friends during swim week so he needed to make sure he has some pictures too.

Grade One has been a really great year for Peirce. He is no longer my shy quiet little boy. Now his report card has comments that confirm he is my son: Peirce tends to use gym time as a time to socialize. Peirce needs to remember to socialize less when it's time to get his work done. Peirce needs to take more care with his work and stay focused.

I guess we'll have to work on that for Grade Two!

I have to say, I'm not that bothered by it. Peirce was always such a serious little boy - it's nice to see him lighten up and have a good time!

Anthony, Anaya and Peirce
Stiller, Peirce and Hazel
Stiller and Peirce
Teagan and Peirce

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

This Is How I'd Like to Live Life

Wouldn't it be fun....if you're in a train station and this happens? Would you join in? I would!

Monday, 22 June 2009

What My Children Are Reading

Jill is re-reading The Invention of Hugo Cabaret. Such a great book! There are some great things about this book. It's built around a great true story, and best of all, the book is really thick...probably four inches thick! More than half the pages, though, are pictures - so it's a really quick read (very satisfying for a child who has watched her parents read fat fat books for days on end). I really should buy this book for Jill. She's taken it out of the library numerous times!

Tonight I could hear Peirce downstairs talking talking talking....kind of like a robot. After about 15 minutes he came upstairs and triumphantly told me that he has read 3 pages of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!

I love that! A while ago Peirce told me his goal this summer was going to be "to learn to read as good as Jane" (a girl in his class). I guess he's serious about that!

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Sunday Seven

1. My dad! Happy Father's Day! He's always been hard working, fun, and always up for a party! (Well, as long as it doesn't go too late) I'm so happy that his cancer treatments are going well. This whole experience has been life changing for us all.

2. My wonderful husband....happy Father's Day to him! I couldn't have a better dad for my kids

3. Rice Salad. MMMMmmmm! I love rice salad. I got a new recipe for rice and nut salad a few months ago at a Provident Pantry workshop and it's become staple food in our house. Love it!

4. Example of valiant service - we have some amazing primary teachers in our ward. I'm so grateful for them!

5. Primary....I love primary. And I'm grateful to be able to serve in primary.

6. Babies!! We have a new niece this week: Raina Emma Lee. She was born on the 16th. I now have 17 nieces and nephews...and one more on the way. We were hoping the next one would be born last night but no news yet.

7. Quiet time. This morning I was supposed to go to ward council - but it turned out it was canceled today and they forgot to let me know. I decided to stay there and get ready for Primary and have a little quiet time. What a delicious experience! I should do that more often!

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Year 1 of Competetive Swimming in the Books

Tonight was the Swim Club's year end awards banquet. This is Jill with her coach, Mat. She got a training award - for always working hard in practice and for near perfect attendance. Yea Jill!

Friday, 19 June 2009

It's Great to Be in Grade Five

One of the greate things about Grade 5 is Jill got to be a bus monitor. They check off kids as they get on the bus to make sure they don't forget anyone. Jill has taken great ride in learning all the kids names. Today I waited while she did her bus monitor duties and it was fun to listen to her interact with all these kids. She has a great talent in dealing with kids younger than herself. Our school has a over abundance of Kindergarten, Grade One and Grade Two kids and so she gets plenty of opportunity to interact with younger kids!

Today was the Grade Six farewell and Jill got to be an MC for the event. She did a great job!!

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Learning Through the Arts

Our kid's school makes a concerted effort to involve the arts with learning. Today they had a 'sharing assembly' where they shared some of the things they'd learned with one of my favorite Artist in Residence people: Debra Gablehouse-Maloney. This woman is amazing! She is uber-talented. I'm amazed, every time I've seen her in action, at what she can get these kids to do. I watch her and my throat swells up and my eyes water because there's truly something magic that happens when curriculum learning and music are mixed together. It's stuff I just dream of doing!

She worked with the K, Grade 1 and 2 classes this time. In this first video below they're singing a song about friendship. They sing it in a bunch of different languages that children in the class speak. You can only see Peirce in the first few seconds of it because they do it in a round and he ends up going round to a part of the circle where we can't see him so well.

This one incorporates some things they've been doing in Science. They've been learning about insects and this song has some facts they've learned and some poems they wrote.

DEBRA'S STATEMENT ABOUT ARTS INTEGRATION: "With our changing world many of today's' children have become part of a generation that is unfamiliar with the basic art forms. Music is such a wonderful gift that should be part of all of our children's lives. I want to share this gift of music. It can be such an integral part of their language arts experience. We can all learn so much from each other as we enter this new chapter of learning and explore the many possibilities and opportunities to integrate the arts into the children's programs.

"Music must reflect the culture of the students we work with. As teachers, we must be creative enough to meet the needs of all of our students and provide them with the opportunity to grow. The 'magic' of music has the power to train the child's social behavior, independence, emotional development, and communication skills. Very importantly, music has the ability to develop expression of feelings and experiences. With constant exposure to quality music and movement these things will happen as music is an essential vehicle to aid the direction of important behavior patterns."

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Sunday Seven

1. An amazing presidency. I'm so blessed to work with the women in Primary that I get to work with. They're all so diligent and inspiring and amazing. I love them!

2. Cousins. We're lucky to have cousins that live close really close by. This weekend we got to have them over for a sleepover. It all gets a little crazy - but in the end we're always glad to be able to have them over. They're just plain old great kids and we enjoy spending time together. We just don't seem to get to do it enough actually!

3. Healing! My dad is doing well with his radiation treatments for lymphoma. Hopefully this does the trick!

4. Reading.....have had a little more time to do some reading. Love it!

5. Nice weather. It looks like spring has broke through the thick layer of winter. YEA!

6. Summer's almost here. Can't wait!

7. Love. Life. Happiness.

I Hope They Call Me On a Mission

Peirce couldn't wait to go ride his bike after church. Didn't even change! I think it would make a good "I hope they call me on a mission" picture.

Friday, 12 June 2009

What My Children Are Reading

Peirce has really been into The Encyclopedia of Immaturity. Luckily he still prefers me to read to him, and so I can skip key pages like how to make farting sounds with your hand in your arm pit, and other wonderful pages in this book. That being said, I'm sorry to say that this book can cause a parent to find their seven year old hold up quiet in his room reading by a little light. Not sure if that's good or not. It has all sorts of wonderful things like: How to Skip a Stone, How to Do a Wheelie, How to Hang a Spoon from Your Nose, and How to Really Annoy Your Older Sibling. Right up a seven year old's alley!

This week Jill has been reading the fourth book of 39 Clues: Beyond the Grave. The website says it is by award-winning author Jude Watson. I had to google Jude Watson to figure out who she is. Turns out she writes under a different name and has a prolific list of Star Wars books. Ya. That's why I've never heard of her. Not really into Star Wars! That seems to be her only books, besides this 39 Clues book.

It seemed like a good idea to buy the book. We tried to go buy it on our way out of town last week after visiting grandparents, but couldn't find it. Then the next day was Sunday so we couldn't go buy it that day - and so Monday we just had to go get it. I'm not sure this one is getting the same star reviews that the previous 39 Clues books have received from Jill. She's enjoying being on the cutting edge of new books though. However, I noticed that tonight she had a new book she had borrowed from a friend at school. Oh oh....looks like Beyond the Grave isn't holding her interest.

And he's off!!!

This is Peirce's week to shine I guess. Yesterday the yo-yo. Today the bike!!

Peirce has been trying to learn to ride a 2-wheeler for quite a while. We decided about a month ago that we parents needed to take matters into our own hands and MAKE this kid learn to ride a bike.

Ya. That didn't go so well. Peirce just isn't a kid that you can force into doing something if he's determined that he's not ready. As a matter of fact, it all deteriorates very quickly. So, after a night of attempting to make him ride a bike, and him crying and carrying on until he was basically in a wet-noodle state, we apologized and told him we wouldn't make him do it and he could just learn on his own. To his credit, he spent a lot of time trying. And truthfully, I didn't think he'd ever get it.

Well, I'm wrong again!! Tonight Jill came in to tell us to hurry out because Peirce could now officially ride his bike on his own...and sure enough, he can!

He spent a lot of this evening riding around and around and around and around our block. He went to bed really easily after all of that!! I think this summer could be a lot of fun if he can enjoy bike riding!

We decided to celebrate by making cinnamon buns for lunches tomorrow. YEA!!! Now that's how I like to celebrate!

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Soy Nut Butter

Tonight I tried my hand at making soy nut butter. I got the idea from a friend and decided I could give it a go.

I had some soaked soy beans that I baked to turn them into soy nuts. Then I ground them up in the Bullet and added in oil, icing sugar and cocoa. It really does taste like Nuttella....only mine was a little gritty. I'll have to try again to see what I can do to make it smooth.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Ma! Yo-Yo!

Peirce has been interested in yo-yo's for a long time. He's finally reached some magical milestone and can yo yo now!! He said he practiced all day at school (hmmmm....have to ask the teacher about that one) LOL

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Reader's Theatre

Today we were invited to Peirce's class to go watch a Reader's Theatre. So fun!! Peirce was the witch in Snow White. He told me it took a long time for him to "find his voice" to make a good witch. I thought he really did a great job. I think we're going to have to find some drama classes for this boy to be involved in. He seems like a natural! It's interesting to me that Peirce was such a shy little boy for so long...he's sure come out of his shell!

If you ask me, the best parts are the first 30 seconds and then scroll up to 3:30. Peirce has two GREAT lines! :0)

Monday, 8 June 2009

Strong Links

Today we did the FHE lesson that our kids got from primary last week. On the 5th Sunday we decided our primary would do a Sharing Time on FHE and give the kids a lesson they can do for FHE that week.

The lesson was about being a strong link. We made a chain and we wrote things on each link that make our family strong. Things like: scripture study, family prayer, sacrament meeting, and we even wrote each other's names because we all make each other stronger. It was a good lesson - made me think they're really starting to get the whole gospel thing.
....of course, now and then they have to steal something from the teacher's desk, or something like that just to make sure it's front and center in my mind that they're still normal kids!
After FHE we went to the mall...and I drove the van! We've been having trouble with it for a week. Now it has a new starter, a new battery, and we figure what was wrong may have just been that the battery cables weren't connected properly. LOL It sure starts like a charm now though! I guess that's what we get for thinking we could fix it ourselves.
At the mall Jill bought the new 39 Clues book that she has been waiting for. We tried to get it in Lethbridge the other day when we were on our way out of town and they hadn't heard of Jill was quite disappointed. She was ready to read it all the way home! Then she had to wait until today to be able to get it. I had to go tell her at 10:30 that that was enough - and she had to shut the lights off.
Peirce bought a Fly Guy book. It's so fun to hear him read to us! He's really good at it!

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Peirce's Muscles

Peirce has been telling me he's working on sprouts. I could hear all this clunking downstairs and couldn't imagine what in the world was going on so I had to go check it out. Turned out Peirce was exercising (and dropping dumb bells on the floor). He was quite proud to let me know he has some sprouts!

Sunday Seven

1. Snow in June! Yes. We had snow in June. I keep telling myself I'm grateful for it. Will that help?

Truthfully, I've decided to not rail against the weather anymore. I give up. It's been a long hard winter. Does that mean we will get a beautiful summer?! Time will tell!

2. Primary - I'm having a great time serving in Primary. Sundays go by so fast!! I'm also starting to wrap my head around all the moving parts of this organization - and there seems to be a lot. Sundays are never dull. I'm enjoying serving there

3. Relief Society - this weekend we had a quarterly activity. We learned about freezer meals, gardening and canning tomato sauce. Truthfully I could have taught two of the classes - but I'm so glad I went all the same. I was inspired just by the discussions. When I look back over this year I really have learned a lot and have changed my approach to groceries and food storage - and it's all been good. Each time I've gone to a provident pantry workshop I've tried to incorporate one thing I've learned there. My latest thing is sprouting!! I'm still very much a beginner on that. Here's my first attempt!

4. My dad is on the mend!! A couple months ago we were told he had cancer. He started treatment right away and they're very optimistic that things are under control. What a relief!

5. A new calm approach to trials: Our van died last week. We have a dear friend who has helped Allen figure out what is wrong with it - and each time they thought they had it conquered they found out they were wrong. The darn thing is still dead - but you know, that's okay! Normally I'd fret and worry....but I figure it'll all work out. If nothing else, this is probably the best time of year to be without a vehicle!

6. Students: We have a student staying with us right now and he's really a great guy. We enjoy having him. He's easy going and an all round nice guy.

7. My mission! I have been thinking about missions a lot lately. One of the boys that Allen worked with in YM in our previous ward is leaving on his mission soon and he's going to the same mission I went to! (I always knew there was something great about that kid!) LOL My mission was a pivotal experience in my life and I'm amazed at how often I think about the people I met and the experiences I had there. Truly life changing. I think everyone should go on a mission!

Peirce at Play

I love to sneak and watch my kids play. Peirce loves to build his own "nest" and sit and watch TV. Here I caught him with some spaghetti in the family room.

Jumping on the trampoline:

....not exactly what I'd have him do with the lilacs, but oh well!