Saturday, 21 August 2010

Good Thing For Little Brothers!

Funny story from while we were at the funeral yesterday. J&P decided to go for a bike ride and hunt for grasshoppers. Jill was the one who relayed the story to me. They had a great time and biked a long ways. They found tons of grasshoppers too and decided to bring them home to put in P's bug cage.

Me: How'd you get grasshoppers home?

J: I told Peirce put them in his pocket. That's what little brothers are for, don't you know?!

Nice. Can't wait for laundry day!

Friday, 20 August 2010

So blessed

Yesterday Allen and I helped pull off a funeral. It was for someone we'd never met. Allen was asked to conduct and I was asked to play the organ. As the day unfolded I realized how therapeutic it was for me to help someone who has lost a child. Our situations are quite different - but I think the feelings are very similar. I was surprised at how emotionally draining it was for me, even though I didn't even know their son.

His name was Keith and he lived in our ward but we had never met him. He was 35 and engaged and led quite an interesting life. After listening to the stories about him I wished I had met him! He was a really great guy. Lots of fun and full of adventure. He died in a car accident. He was engaged to a girl from Connecticut that he had met in Mexico (he loved to travel) and was planning to go back to school this fall at Royal Roads, a military academy. He loved to golf (like REALLY loved to golf), and came from a big family. He bought a theatre when he was in his early 20's and ran that for a while, then worked in the oil fields, and I think his next venture was to go into something with golf course management of some sort. His fiance had been here in July for 3 weeks. A week after she left he was driving somewhere and got hit by a semi truck and was killed in the accident. What a tragedy. My heart just broke for his fiance, and for his family.

We were there early to help set up. They didn't have a funeral home helping with the funeral so we tried to think of things we could to that they would normally do. After they had a luncheon. It was catered by a hotel (the hotel had donated all the food as his brother works for the hotel chain) and just needed a little help with knowing where things were, keeping punch pitchers full, etc. Someone else from the ward came and helped with that. The High Priests set up the tables and chairs for them and the Elders Quorum came after and took them all down. It was really a team effort. The parents are divorced and both are remarried. One lives in Victoria, BC and one lives in Halifax - so they were both trying to pull this off not knowing anyone here at all. I think it all came off without much of a hitch.

After the funeral was over his step mother came up to me and grabbed both of my arms and said thank you for all the help. She said, "Isn't the church wonderful? Who else could pull off a funeral and have things go so well and have so many people helping when they don't really know a soul here?"

That has stuck with me all day. She's so right. We are so blessed! While I played the hymns for prelude and postlude my heart was full. Hymns can really stir up some emotion in me and they sure did yesterday.

She's right.
We are so blessed.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Magda Visits Our Primary

For Sharing Time this pat Sunday I did the one about miracles and the Savior's power over death. I first worked on the song for the 10th article of faith. We sang it last week and it was T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E. So we worked on the first half of it - and they did quite well with it. I told them we'd sing until our "special guest" arrived. Half way through the song I said, "Oh! She's here. Hold on" and I went out of the room...and then came back in with a scarf over my head like someone from the middle east.

I told them my name was Magda and that was short for Magdalene - but since I was friends with Mary Magdalene and hung out with her all the time they came up with a nick-name: Magda (I work with someone named Magda....I think it's a beautiful name). I told them I had been a part of the crowd that hung out with the disciples and with Jesus and I told them of some of "my experiences".

I talked about how Christ has power over death and told them the stories the Sharing Time guide recommends (raising Lazarus, Jarius' daughter, and the widow's son). The last one is to talk about the greatest miracle of all: the resurrection. I tried to kind of tell it verbatim from the scriptures (not sure I did that so well - but I tried!) I tried to talk kind of sweetsy and biblical (blech) and I acted like I didn't know anyone's names. At the end one girl said, "What does resurrected mean?" and so I talked about how we're all sad when someone dies - but just like Jesus died and then lived again through resurrection, we'll all live again and be resurrected. I asked if anyone had known anyone that had died - and tons of kids had someone....I so I asked each who'd died, until I got to one little girl that is about 4. She said her big brother died and she said it makes her really really sad and I said, "Oh! That must have broken your heart!" and she nodded and told me it really did, and then I said, "The wonderful news is he will be resurrected, and so will you! And you'll be together again!" It worked so well. It was one of those pin-drop moments. Acting is something totally out of my comfort zone, but I'm glad I did it because they sure listened!

Then I said, "Oh! I've stayed too long. I'm sorry! Sister Ackroyd asked me to only take a few minutes." and I walked out the side door and then into the back door without the costume on.

When I walked in all the kids laughed and they were saying they knew it was me....I just went into closing exercises, but now thinking about it I should have asked them about what happened and who was there and how they felt.....missed a teaching moment. Oh well! I'll get better!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Joy of Service

Today I stopped in nursery to see how our newly called nursery workers were enjoying their day. One brother in there kind of sighed and said, "It's a busy place!"

My response was, "Yes, but it's a happy place!"

He said, "Oh much joy it about knocks me out"

That's when it hit me. People in the Book of Mormon were always passing out from joy. I've always wondered about that. How exactly does that happen? I didn't think I've ever felt that.

Then it hit me - about every Sunday, an hour after church is over - that is about how I feel! I'm full of joy - but man, am I worn out.

Ammon must have been serving in the primary. :0)

Alma 27:17 Now the joy of Ammon was so great even that he was full; yea, he
was swallowed up in the joy of his God, even to the exhuasting of his strength;
and he fell again to the earth

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

More on Bread

I have a friend who was doing some figuring today. She calculated that it costs her about 30 cents to make a loaf of bread, and 50 cents to make a dozen buns.

My family can eat two loaves a week (that's probably a conservative estimate because there are days they eat a loaf a day - but I try to discourage that!)

In the grocery store, I've found the bread I prefer to buy is around $2.50 a loaf.

$0.60 X 52 weeks = $31.20 a year

$5.00 X 52 weeks = $260 a year

So, making bread saves us around $250 a year! And my guess is that that is a conservative estimate. $250 goes a long ways to a Christmas that is a lot more fun! I should put the money in a jar every time I make bread and use it at Christmas.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010


This past year or so has been an interesting one for us. We've felt the brunt of the market issues. The interesting thing for me was that although last year was not a good year for us income-wise, we probably have a better food storage after it all than we ever have! How does that work?!

Tonight I noticed an article that got me thinking about this. It was a CBC article that said that wheat is going up.

I joined a co-op this year where we buy things in bulk at a (hopefully) reduced rate. It's been a great experience. A few months ago the guy who sends out the emails said he was worried about the grain crop this year with all the rain we'd had and wondered if it wouldn't be a good idea to order flour before his prediction of higher prices came into play. It made sense to me - so we ordered 40 kg of flour to add to what we already have.

And now the article. It said there's a wheat shortage in Russia that will push up the prices of bread in Canada - by perhaps 20% over the next two months.

There is comfort in being prepared!

Monday, 2 August 2010

I knew when I met you an adventure was going to happen...(A.A. Milne)

I don't know why everything seems so fleeting this summer. It feels like our kids have really grown up. They are more independent this summer and it seems like we're at a real phase of change.

Peirce got baptized this Spring. I don't know what it is about the age of 8, but it's kind of magic. He just seems more responsible, more grown up, and more reliable suddenly.

Then there is Jill. Soon she will be 12. This summer she has started riding her bike to all sorts of further places than we ever allowed before. She works out every day. She has focused on her Faith in God goals and now has that finished. She also decided she wants to memorize all the Scripture Mastery scriptures for seminary before she's 14. And she is so excited to go into Young Women's! I think YW and Jr High will be really great for Jill. She's a great girl and will have a lot of fun with all the new things she gets to do.

Meanwhile, though, I stand back and am amazed my kids are growing up so much. I have never really been one to cry when they reach certain milestones. I was always happy for them that they were getting to those next phases as they were usually always very keen to get there. That being said, I really get it now. It does go fast. In six years Jill will graduate. That will go by so quickly! In 10 years Peirce will be getting ready to go on his mission. Time really is flying by! I'm excited for the adventures to come.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

No One Needs To See That!

Today I got to teach a primary class....not something I get to do that often! It was a last minute thing so I didn't have a lot of time to prepare (i.e. grab a manual while they're singing the opening song, flip through it while someone's doing the scripture and stuff like that, then teach!).

The lesson was "I can be kind" and we were supposed to learn about the story of The Good Samaritan as well as a few other things, but in the limited time I had to prepare I figured that The Good Samaritan could be our main focus. I read it to them out of the Bible, stopping as I went to explain things. Then I had them tell me the story. Then we acted it out. It was funny: No one wanted to be the Priest or the Levite. They didn't even want to be the robbers! They only wanted to be the good guy. Those are good little 5 year olds :0)

I read from John 10: A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho (and we talked about different trips we'd all been on) and fell among thieves (and we talked about bad guys and how to stay safe from bad guys), which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

I explained that raiment is clothing. One bright little girl said, "They took his clothes? Oh great! Then I bet everyone saw his penis. No one needs to see that!"

However, one boy, who'd obviously been told the story before was quick to add that he saw the picture, and he knew the guy still had his underwear on. We found the pictures in the manual, and sure enough! PHEW!! He did still have his underwear!

She's right. No one needs to see that. :0)