Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Fun Meet

How can you not love that face??

Peirce had another Meet. I dont' know if you can tell from this picture, but he hardly enjoys it at all.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Jill's Garden

Jill has carved out a little space in the back yard that is her garden. I should follow her example and do a little gardening!

Little Britches Rode Parade

Today we decided to go to High River for the Little Britches Rodeo parade. We met up with some of our favorite people: Susan and Cole Russell, and Cathy and Brian Anderson!

The parade was a lot of fun!

We came across a cute little ice cream shop after the parade and couldn't resist stopping in

Is she not just the cutest girl?!

Oh Peirce!
After that we went over to Cathy and Brian's for lunch. It was great to visit with Uncle Jim, John, Tuesday, Cathy, Brian, Susan and Cole! Great day!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Sunday Fun

I heard cries of help from the living room today while I was cleaning up dinner. When I arrived to help I decided the best approach would be to video tape the escapades.

I'm not quite sure why they were bugging him. Something about him growing a moustache...

It makes me smile everytime I watch this. He's a good dad. :)

...And just to be clear, the cries of help that I heard were coming from Allen. He had been trying to have a nap.

I was impressed that he in fact hadn't killed anyone for bothering him so much while trying to have a nap :)

Greek Lentil Salad

I have a new love! Greek Lentil Salad. So good! I'm always trying to figure out new things to do with lentils. This one is a definite keeper!
It has olives, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, cucumbers, feta cheese, and lentils. The dressing is just 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice, and 1 tbsp of oregano. So good!!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

In The Jungle, The Lion Jungle, The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Maybe this is a little over the top....but I love these videos!!

I had agreed to sub today, and then later found out that Peirce's class was doing an assembly. Oh the heartache! I was so sorry to miss it (can subs call in sick?) Instead I sent Jill to school with my camera and admonished her to video tape as much as possible and take lots of pictures. She did a great job!

They were all on a safari! Peirce was a zebra. He took some black electrical tape to school and striped up his friends.

I love it that he still loves pretend play!

Zebras unite!
Peirce was nominated for a Circle of Courage award for being generous. They said he made everyone feel welcome to play wall ball with him. So proud of him!

And now for the videos!!

When I grow up....

I have a secret. I've always wanted to be a writer. However, other than this blog, I really don't do much writing.

Yesterday I subbed in a Gr. 4 classroom. The truth is, the plans had changed since they had booked me and when I arrived they had quite forgotten I was coming. They quickly scrambled around to find a couple teachers that needed a little time away from their classroom, and whipped up a quick assignment. I ended up doing a writing lesson for a Grade 4 class. The teacher came to me and verbally gave me the gist of what they wanted to happen during the class - and off I went. My first thought was, "You can't just ask kids to whip up a story in one hour." However, that was the assignment so off I went with it.

It was an interesting exercise. They wrote in pairs. Some started by making a plan, some simply started writing, some discussed and then wrote, and some couldn't get past the discussing to get something down. It really made me miss my days at Global Learning Academy with our Community of Learners approach. The kids there would write every morning. There were no rules about what they were to write about - they just wrote. At first they didn't know what to write, but it wasn't long until they really didn't need any direction and would just come in, sit down, and write - and they loved it. Our desks were all in a circle and sometimes one student would stand and ask for everyone's attention because they needed ideas, or just wanted to share, or just didn't know what to write about. I hardly said anything to the class as a whole during those times. The kids would ask and answer questions and it all worked beautifully. I really miss those days!

And it makes me think, how could I get my own Community of Learners, so that I can work on my own writing skills....hmmm...

If you have any ideas let me know!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Family of 5? 4? 6?

Lately I've been thinking a lot about Destiny. I think it's probably because when I sub often the children ask about the necklace I wear every day. My mom and dad gave it to me after Destiny died. It is a heart with five little diamonds in it, each one representing each person in our family: Allen, my, Jill, Peirce and Destiny. Now that last little diamond represents Destiny and our next loved and lost baby.

Tonight Allen looked after taking the kids to swimming so I could have a much needed rest. After my nap I got on google reader and was trolling a few blogs. I was introduced to Design Mom by a couple of Allen's cousins. The author if the blog recently had a baby and has had people write birth stories. I browsed through a few until this one caught my attention. All the stories got me a little teary as I think of the baby we recently lost, as well as Destiny. Destiny would have been by 3 now, enjoying nursery and life as a pre-schooler. It's still amazing to me how tender those feelings. It's funny the little things that it makes difficult: like what number do you put on your wall? And will I always cringe and quietly whisper, "Sorry Destiny" when I answer "two" to the question of how many children I have?


This is one of my favorite family pictures. My sister made it for me. When she made it she told me that the pink balloon represented Destiny. I think it's interesting that she actually put two balloons in the picture. I always thought this last baby we were having was going to be a boy. Now he's represented in the blue balloon.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Peirce Paints God

Today after school I told Peirce that he was in charge of the FHE lesson. He was excited about that and got busy right away on his lesson. He decided he'd paint a picture of God and Jesus and have us write down things we know about them. He said this was one of his Faith in God requirements.

The picture didn't go quite as well as he'd hoped it would. He's been wanting to paint on a canvas so I finally let him tonight. He was a little disappointed in the finished product but when he explained the picture to me it all made sense. Most of all though I loved the process! We had a great conversation.

P: What do you think God looks like anyway?
Me: Well, when Moses saw him he said he had a face. And the Brother of Jared said he had a finger. And Joseph Smith said he wore clothes and had hands and feet and a chest and stuff.
P: Oh! That must mean he looks like us. Okay

P: Why do you think Jesus always wore sandals?
Me: Well, probably because it was really hot where he lived.
P: Where did he live anyway?
Me: In the place what we call Israel now.
P: Oh ya! I saw that on the news when it was Easter. I'm going to paint him in the desert in Arizona.

P: Why do you think God is always shiney?
Me: The scriptures say he knows everything, and knowledge is light, so there must be a lot of light that just shines around and out of him
P: Oh ya...I know that.

P: What do you think the Holy Ghost looks like?
Me: We don't really know. He doesn't have a body. If he did he couldn't do it job.
P: Oh. Okay. Do you think the Holy Ghost is the same as God?
Me: No. They're 3 different people: God, his son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost.
P: Oh ya...I know that Article of Faith

And on and on it went. We had the greatest conversation while he painted and I made dinner about the nature of God, and seeing God, and the Godhead. It was terrific.
The yellow around God is him glowing. He took great care with the bottom portion of the picture to make it look like a desert. The white clouds represent the Holy Ghost.

During the lesson Jill and I wrote down things we knew about God. He wouldn't let Jill see things I was writing down (didn't want her to cheat) and when we were finished he graded us. It almost turned into a fight - but something must have touched Peirce's heart and instead of having me be first place and Jill be last place he gave me a red ribbon and Jill a blue ribbon. Phew!

I tried to find the place in his Faith in God book where it says to go through this process - but I couldn't find it at all. It was a great lesson though!

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Calgary Temple!

Today was the ground breaking for the Calgary temple. I can hardly express how excited I am that we will have a temple right here in Calgary. I just wish they'd get building a little faster!

Not everyone could go to the site where they were having the ceremonial ground breaking. I went to our stake center. It was not the greatest. Some of the time the audio was available, and some of the time the video worked, and mostly it cut out a lot and we'd listen on someone's cell phone that he held up to the mike. Despite all that, it was amazing to me the spirit that was there. It was a wonderful experience.

Friday, 7 May 2010

How to Wreck Mother's Day 101

Allen took the kids shopping tonight for Mother's Day. He emailed me this picture with a Happy Mother's Day note attached.

He wouldn't!!! (Would he?!!)

Sorry Beyonce....

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Girl Stuff

Jill is growing up. She is looking forward to Jr High, Young Women's, and Girls' Camp this summer! The word is out that she babysits too - and she loves that! She has recently started wearing mascara and experimenting with her hair. Some experiments are more successful than others. We also have differing opinions on those successes. Here is one of her recent favorites (I shall remain silent on my opinion) LOL

Part 2 Operation Clean Drawers

He did it! Worked like a charm. And tonight there's another note:

He is going to be so happy in the morning. The House Fairy went and stocked up on Dollar Store gifts!

House Fairy

This morning I found Peirce's room not quite as put together as it normally is. He's pretty good at keeping his room clean...on the surface. If you open the drawers or the closet you sometimes get a sorry surprise. He's been asking why The House Fairy hasn't brought him anything lately and I told him the drawers are probably the problem. This morning I found his room like this:
There was a note on his desk:

It said:

So of course, the House Fairy wrote back:

We'll see if it helps! I think he was hoping she'd clean the drawer. But that's not really her style.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Geronimo Stilton to the Rescue!

Peirce likes to read.

Well, not really. He prefers to be read to. He'll spend time in books, usually non-fiction books - but really doesn't get absorbed in novels.

Every now and then I think he's about to take off and really start getting into books. I feel like my work as a mother as far as reading goes gets wrapped up when they learn to really love reading: - when they'll sit for hours and bask in the enjoyment of a book. For Jill that happened in about Grade Three with Roald Dahl. She decided she was going to try to read every Roald Dahl book - and I think she did! After that she always had to have a book on the go. We've often had a heated discussion after swimming practise when I want to go home and she insists that we MUST go to the library because she is in crisis mode and doesn't have a single book she can read that night. I pretty much always relent. Who can turn down a desperate need for a book!

Well, I've never really been able to find anything to do that for Peirce. We bought a book at the church bookstore in Cardston a while ago and I thought that one might do it - but he was into it for a while and then it slowed down. I've tried Frank Zipzer books. I've tried Roald Dahl. I've tried The Magic Treehouse. I've tried Harry Potter. He loves them all - but he wants me to read them to him. I'm happy to do that - but I really want to find something that will get him on fire with reading.

On Saturday we went out for dinner with some friend's. Their kids are close to our kid's age, and their son had borrowed some Geronimo Stilton books that day from a friend. I think he had borrowed three books, and when we arrived at their house he had just finished the second one for the day, and wanted to get into the third one. He played with Peirce while we were at their house - but when we went out for dinner he brought his book along and during dinner he did some reading. After that Peirce wanted to read Geronimo Stilton too. The next day they brought a couple books to church for Peirce to borrow. Last night we started reading one of them while we were waiting for Peirce's turn for swim practise, and then some more at dinner - and when he went to bed he wanted to read some more. This morning he got up and came into our bed and wanted to continue reading. He had almost finished the book!! YEA!!! I think we've got it! He asked me if we could go buy him a bunch of Gerinomi Stilton books. I think we just might! Have to feed the hunger while his stomach is growing!

Monday, 3 May 2010

Body Worlds

On Saturday Jill got to go to the Body Worlds exhibit at the Science Center. The exhibit is real bodies that they have plasticized and cut in different ways so you can see the human body in different ways. The website says that it has over 200 authentic human specimens including whole-body Plastinates, organs and translucent body slices, and features a special presentation on the brain highlighting some of the latest findings in neuroscience on brain development, function and disease.

Jill hasn't stopped talking about it since she was there. Every day there has been something that comes up that she can give us some expert info on. Things from how long all the blood vessels in our bodies really could be, to what the human heart really looks like, and why we should exercise, and what a baby looks like as it develops before it's born. It's been really interesting to listen to her! She really learned a lot there! And she's been jogging every morning since.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Sunday Seven

1. Busy Busy Lives- Yesterday was a busy busy day for us. We had soccer, then Jill had swimming, then we did a bunch of errands as a family, then we stopped by some friend's house, and then we ended up going out for dinner with them - and man, was I tired by the end....but it's a great feeling to have a full and productive and fulfilling day. I love days like that (as long as I get a few to rest inbetween!)

2. Testimonies - Today in church Jill bore her testimony. She's such a good girl and her testimony is growing. I am so grateful to have such a great girl as my daughter.

3. Scriptures - Peirce received scriptures for his birthday - and each day when we read scriptures as a family instead of using the old ones we keep in the kitchen he goes and gets his new scriptures. He is much more interested in reading scriptures and is especially proud to have a Book of Mormon and a Bible. It warms my heart!

4. Subbing - I had three days of subbing this week. It makes my life a little crazy, and is tiring - but it's fun too. I come home from subbing and feel excited about the things I was able to do that day....rather than having tight shoulder muscles from stress which is often the case with my other job! (Although, I am grateful for that job too)

5. Friends - today we had a few friends over for a pot luck dinner. Allen invited everyone and I really wasn't sure who was coming and what they were bringing, or if they were bringing anything...but it all worked out perfectly. No one brought anything that someone else had brought, and we even had dessert! And best of all we had a great time visiting together. It was really great.

6. Warranties - the past little while the transmission in Allen's car has been acting up. He had had it worked on a while ago and so he went back to the same place. Lucky for us it was something that they warranty and so while it was in the shop for three days it didn't end up costing us a dime. PHEW!!! So grateful!

7. Fast cars! Just have to add this. Since we were having people over for dinner today I was anxious to get home rather than wait for Allen to finish with setting people apart, doing tithing, and whatever else seems to take an hour after church. We got a ride home with the other counsellor in the Bishopric and he has this fancy, black, fast, convertable car. It was so fun to ride home with him! The kids and I loved it. We're thinking we might get him to drive us home every week! LOL (Just kidding! .....kind of)

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Soccer Saturday

Our Stake President has passed on a message from the Regional Representative for this area asking us all to step up and do more missionary work. We are getting a temple and the goal is to have two new stakes in Calgary by the time it is built. Every week those in leadership callings report on what they did that week - and there's no 'I left a Book of Mormon on the bus and this guy said, "Is that your book?" and I think he felt the spirit.".....they want to know who we had over to our house or to church. To help us do that he's asked us to have some sort of activity each week in our church building. The primary decided that we would have bitty ball on Saturdays. We are starting with Soccer - and today was our first day.

I have to say, I was excited about it to start with, but as the day approached I found all sorts of reasons why we shouldn't start just yet. I made the mistake of letting my kids (well, all the primary kids) know about it and when I started saying maybe we won't start this week they disagreed and let me know quite clearly. So, we went ahead.

I emailed all the primary families on Friday night. I got a few responses - but when we got there Saturday morning at 8 am no one was there, except for us and our token non-member. After about 15 minutes a couple kids on bikes showed up, then one more, then another and another - and so we said, "Let the game begin!"

I think they had a lot of fun. I know my kids ran pretty hard for an hour. We had to leave right at 9:00 because Jill has swim practise on Saturdays. Peirce and I went and did errands. He was awfully quiet. When I asked him if anything was wrong he said, "Oh, I'm just a little tired." While we did errands he just sat quietly in the back of the car. I decided that is a great way to start every Saturday...and gee, maybe every day! I think school would be a lot more enjoyable for Peirce (and easier for his teacher) if he could play soccer for an hour every morning.

So, in the end we had 10 kids there. I figured that was a pretty good start. Hopefully next Saturday we have even more. Time will tell!