Thursday, 30 June 2011

Mount Laundromatus

I told my kids we would have an adventure every day. Today: Mt Laundromatus. We didn't quite make it to the summit, but almost! I gave the kids the challenge to conquer the wilderness of their bedrooms. It wasn't easy. Sometimes their courage faltered. But in the end they conquered the monsters!

Today I worked my first Vipers game. It wasn't very glamorous, but it was fun, I love the ball diamond atmosphere!

After I was finished I packed within minutes, jumped in the car with my family, and now we're off to Grandma's for a more exciting adventure!

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

It's Over!

All year I have dreaded the end of this contract. I imagined standing in the middle of my classroom crying, "it's oooooovvvver!" like the guy at the end of Just For Laughs. However, it isn't over, and I am soooo happy about that. I am so excited to have a real holiday, and to be able to go back in September.

Today was an Organizational Day. We had breakfast at 8 am at Coras. Delicious!! We talked and laughed and ate until 10 am. Then we had a meeting at the school at 11 am. There was some business to go over, and then a testimony meeting of sorts. We shared our highlights from the year. Amazing! This is a bunch of people that truly love teaching. Lots of laughs and lots of tears.

Then I spent the rest of the day getting organized. I had so much work to do! I was cleaning up, but lots of others were preparing for September. Ack! Now I'm already behind!

So, now the holidays can begin. I am not sure I have ever had a summer off. Well, that's not true. My last year f teaching, when I was pregnant with Jill, I didn't work. Other than those 6 weeks, I have always worked in the sumer! I started working in summers when I was 12. I always started as soon as school ended. In University I would add a part-time job to my full time job. Even when I taught I worked in the summers prior to kids. Then after Jill was born I started working as a mystery shopping scheduler and never took time off. This is going to be bliss!!

Tonight Peirce and I went and spent some of the Chapters gift card I got from parents in my class, then did my visiting teaching.

Now the next order of business: SLEEP!

Monday, 27 June 2011

My Great News!

So excited to finally be able to share this!

On Friday I was offered another contract to teach Gr 2 for another year. I am soooooo excited and feel so blessed!!

Saturday, 25 June 2011


Tonight was the year end awards banquet. So proud of Jill yet again. She won the aggregate trophy for 11 and 12 year old girls. Pretty good for a girl who never swims Sundays!

Friday, 24 June 2011

Crazy Weekend Life!

Most people love Fridays because it's the start of rest and relaxation. Personally, I find I have to take a deep breath and get ready to get my crazy on. This weekend is no different. Tonight Peirce and I went shopping to get ready for his party. It was really quite fun.

Allen and I even had a little time to hang out....that was a nice change!

Jill had swim Practise then babysat. She fell asleep though so we went over to drag her home (besides we always like a good excuse to go visit with Nathan and Becky)

Tomorrow's schedule? Hem dresses, clean the house, party with 9 year olds at Calaway Park, go to an awards banquet for swimming, then fall into bed so I can get to my 7 am meeting on Sunday.

Yup. Deep breath! Here we go!!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Before There Was Mozart by Lesa Cline-Ransome

This is a really beautiful picture book. It is the story of joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-George. He is a boy whose mother was a black slave, and whose white father was the plantation owner. It's a story that I think happened many times over - but this is the first picture book I've ever read about a story like this. Joseph Boulogne became a famous violinist who even played for the King and Queen of France (quite unheard of when you're a Molatto).

What was most interesting was reading the book to my students. The idea of people being slaves, or people being treated differently because of their color is soooooo foreign to them. I'm so grateful for that.

I skipped parts of the book. There's some things that just hurt my heart and feel uncomfortable to talk about, even though they're part of history.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Missionary Life

I was listening to a program on The Mormon Channel called Enduring It Well. It was an interview with Elizabeth Smart's parents. There was a lot on the program that touched me - but the thing that prompted me to write on my blog was a little bit at the very end of the program. When the interview was recorded Elizabeth Smart was serving her mission in France. Her parents said that she said serving a mission was the hardest thing she'd ever done. They responded with, "Really? The hardest?" They went on to say she said it was the most rewarding thing, but really the hardest thing she ever did.

Isn't that amazing??! Mission are wonderful. Even though it is the hardest thing, it is the most wonderful thing to. I am not sure that there is anything that has impacted my life as much as my mission.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

So Proud of My Girl

This weekend was the Age Group Challenge swim meet in Medicine Hat - also known as B Provincials. Here's the summary from what I said on Facebook:

She got silver in 50 back, made finals for a bunch of races (8 swims in total yesterday) and shook off a real disappointment in 200 fly and kept giving it her all in her other races. She was 30 seconds ahead of everyone else, but got DQ'd. ...She does this weird thing where she skips a stroke. Didn't get DQ'd in any of her other races for it (she did all the fly races) but in that one the S&t guy said no go......she was so sad. It was her tkt to A's. The finals for 100 fly were today but she decided she wasn't going to swim on Sunday....and she was 1sec off an A time in that one. I told her we could stay if she wanted to swim it but she was pretty sure she'd get blessed more if she didn't swim on Sunday. *sigh* So really, she did a lot of great things, just hoped for some metal to show for it. She's decided though she is going to work out all summer and start the next season stronger. Maybe next year will be her A year. She was hundredths of a second off an A time more than once. Bitter sweet. I am sure she will get rid of her weird skip a stroke habit she does now too. :). Nothing like a big disappointment to give one BIG motivation. I told her there isn't anyone who accomplished something great that didn't have to fight through disappointing results. She gets it.

She had six races this weekend and made finals for 5. The one she missed was hundredths of a second differences. :) watching it all totally wore me out. LOL stressful!

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Stake Primary Activity

The stake put on a primary activity today. Planning an activity for 180 kids is not for the faint of heart! I admire them for what they pulled off!

The theme, of course, went with the theme for Primary this year: I Know The Scriptures are True. First the kids were all divided up into the 12 tribes of Israel. Peirce was in Reuben's tribe. We went to the primary room to learn about people from the Old and New Testament.

First we learned about Peter. President Zemp was dressed up as Peter. He said he loved fishing, so if any of the kids guessed wrong about who he was they would have to eat a raw fish. He also said he liked to eat locusts. There were lots of wrinkled noses over that comment. He was also the only person, besides Jesus, to ever walk on water.

Then we learned about Daniel. He taught a poem:

Wherever I am,

Whatever the day,

Heavenly Father is

Only a prayer away.

We met Noah next. He brought some of his animals too!

After that it was Adam and Eve. They ate an apple too! (For old time's sake?)

Last of all, in that room, was Esther.

The next room we went to was where the kids got to do a craft. They took pictures from the scriptures and made their own mini scriptures.

Here is Peirce doing the craft.
After that we travelled to a room where we learned about people from the Book of Mormon.

This is Sam, I mean Alma the Younger! (Sam is Allen's cousin) He did a great job talking about how remorseful he felt that he was such a problem child while his dad was the prophet. He talked about how he even saw an angel! After that he repented and became a great missionary.

This is Mormon. He even brought along some gold plates!

Next was Captain Moroni. He teasedthat he was Tin-Foil man - but the kids knew better.

And there is the Title of Liberty!

Last of all was Ammon. He told about how he just wanted to be a good missionary and so he didn't marry the king's daughter. He loved sheep, and went about doing the things the king asked. He even had an arm he had chopped off when the robbers came to scatter the king's sheep! Ewwww! That was a big shock! :)

After that we went into the gym. All the kids sat in their tribes. Pharoah was sitting there looking over everyone (or something like that!)

Soon, in walked Moses and Aaron! President Thomas was dressed up as Moses, and President Rausch was Aaron.

They told us the stories of trying to get Pharoah to let the people go. There were plagues and everything. Soon it was time to leave. We went through the Red Sea that Moses had parted!

We wandered in the wilderness for quite a while. The weather was not great. However, while we travelled we received mana from heaven! (Well, actually it was popcorn) We learned about how they received enough for each day. If they tried to keep extra, it rotted. But the day before the Sabbath they received more, and it stayed fresh for the Sabbath. A miracle for sure.

It was kind of chaotic and slow traveling through the wilderness. Sometimes people complained.

While we were traveling in the wilderness we got very thirsty. Moses struck this rock with his staff and water came out of it!

We also saw miracles! Moses put a serpent on a stick, and when people looked at it, they were healed! They taught it that this was to teach the Israelites about Jesus Christ as we just need to look to Jesus to be healed.

This is President Rausch, I mean Aaron, teaching us about the snakes. Moses didn't do a lot of talking. Aaron was his mouthpiece most of the time.

We were all happy to finally get to the Promised Land, even though Moses and Aaron were not able to come with us. The Promised Land was full of hot dogs and chips and millions of cookies! A blessing for sure!

Friday, 10 June 2011

Food Storage Day!

I love the Airdrie Provident Living Co-op. Today we got big bags of wheat, split green peas, and soy beans. I love filling up our food storage room! I guess I will have to get searching for things to make with split green peas besides just ham soup.

The lady who was there handing out the purchases when I picked up the soy beans asked what I do with them. I told her my husband can't eat any milk products so I make soy milk. She said her husband can't either and she had looked that up on the internet but it looked way too complicated. I told her I don't do it in any complicated way at all. I bought a soy milk machine and it works lickety split! Honestly, I think it's my most loved small appliance in the kitchen. I think it saves us hundreds of dollars every year.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Video Game Influence on Story Writing.

We have finished a book that the kids work on every morning in my class, so I had to figure out something else for them to do. I figured the best choice would be to have some time to do some writing. So each morning when they come in their books are on their desk and their job is to write write write. They can write whatever they want: poems, stories, journal entries, etc. They also share with each other. I have tried to set it up like Anne and Don Green's Community of Learners (well, except our desks aren't in a circle). I have really enjoyed it, and the kids seem to really enjoy sharing their stories. We use something someone has written each day for a little Language Arts lesson. It's a lot of fun.

While we have seen some jokes and some poems and some journal entries. The topic of stories is surprising to me. Everything is about video games! I really encourage them to write stories, and it seems that is always the first choice - a take off from a video game.

Should I be alarmed? Saddened? Or is this just how it is with kids these days. Maybe this is what they pretend now? Or is it simply because they spend way too much time in front of screens? Not sure. We'll see if overtime there is more variety in their stories. Somehow though, I think they're pretty dedicated to the genre. *sigh* I guess I can work with it. Perhaps they'll be more interested in writing and editing and learning about punctuation and capitalization if the stories are things they love. I'll go with that for now.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Not Worrying Anymore

I think it's an issue of perimenopause. The last year or so I have been a real worrier. I don't just worry. I get panicky feelings. I have started to feel that lately with my teaching job. I applied for some positions for the fall but haven't heard anything yet. I tell myself not to worry....but I do. A lot.

Yesterday while I was spending some time in the morning praying and studying I asked Heavenly Father to bless me to not worry about it anymore. I do trust that whatever is right will work out - I just have to be patient in the meantime until I find out what is going to work out. For a number of weeks I've been so focused on it it has almost driven me crazy. I realized today that I haven't even thought about it for the last two days. I don't think that can be anything but a miracle.

I believe in this scripture:

28¶ Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
(Matthew 11:28)

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

No Baseball Games for Me Yet

I wrote previously about spending the summer at the ball park. The gig actually starts in June. I was nervous to sign up for it because it knew it would be really hard to do it in June. So far it has worked out because we keep getting rained out. I was supposed to be there tonight. Happy to say that I'm snug in my bed. It would be nice to be making some money for swimming for next year, but alas, what can you do when you live in Calgary in the Spring?!

This is why we don't do Spring soccer. We did it once. What a horrid experience. I'm glad my kids are still swimming and it really isn't an option for us :)

Book Club's Last Days

We had our book club meeting today. I sure wish I had started this book club thing sooner. We have new kids joining each time we meet. And they're really excited about the books!! There are a lot of things I love about teaching, but seeing kids get really turned on to books really is exciting to me. These are the moments in teaching that just warm my heart. Only one more book club meeting left!

Monday, 6 June 2011

Organizational Day

Today was an Organizational Day at school. No kids. Lots of meetings and tasks from my own to do list and tasks given to us by Admin. I loved having some time to get organized. We also talked about classes for next year. The teachers give recommendations based on their experiences in the classroom. It was a good experience.

I really feel like teaching is the place for me because I love so many things about it.

I love being in the classroom with kids.
I love preparing for lessons.
I love learning with them.
I love hearing their little epiphanies.
I love the funny things they say to me each morning as they arrive (I really should keep a running log of those would have to chuckle)

Sometimes I even enjoy marking (still can't say LOVE in that sentence though)

Sunday, 5 June 2011


Since I'm the Primary President I get to meet one on one with the Bishop once a quarter. Today was one of those meetings. I have to say, I really think our Bishop is great. We had a great visit and it helped me to feel great about our little primary.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

New Perspective

Today we had the missionaries over for dinner.

I always looked up to missionaries. I remember when I became the same age as missionaries. It was so weird! Then I became a missionary, and that was even weirder!

Tonight I realized I am at a whole new place. It came up that I served a mission. They asked where. I told them. One of the missionaries said he had an uncle who served there and asked when I was there. Turns out missionaries these days weren't even born when I was on my mission.

Eeeesh! How did I get this old?!

Friday, 3 June 2011

Long Week

My message for today: Unloading the dishwasher does not cause brain damage.

Dear family: try it some time!

....yes. I'm still tired....

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Thursday Night Up in Smoke

Thursday night is usually our busiest night: cubs, young women's activity night, primary presidency meeting, and bishopric meeting for Allen. This week was a quiet one though - just YWs and bishopric meeting.

The young women made collages. Here's Jill. I love it!

While Jill was at YW I went into the mother's lounge to hide so I could just read. It was divine. Well, I read until the fire alarm went off, that is. I continued reading for a while but then decided maybe I ought to go see if I did have the potential of getting burned alive. Turned out the young men had a smoke machine in the gym. They were playing volleyball in the smoke! However, they got it going a little too much and the alarms went off. Oops!!

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

No Rest for the Wicked

My life seems to be on spin cycle lately. No rest! Today was a busy day at school. Then we had a baby shower after school. Jill had swimming, so I picked her up, came home and made dinner, did a bit of cleaning and got the kids to do some too, and now I shall get to bed because I have to get up at 4:30 because Jill has 5:30 am practise tomorrow.

I'm just plain worn out.