Sunday, 29 January 2012

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about people and reading and people who do not read. Here are a few vignettes that have made me pause and have brought me here:

- I have enjoyed the book club at school with the Grade Three's. One mom, who I am friends with, has needed some, shall we say, encouragement to get the book for her kid. Having to get the book for her child has forced her to learn to use the public library website (a bit of a painful process for her, so it seems!) and it has initiated some good conversations about reading and being a facilitator to help kids get access to books that inspire them. It was particularly interesting to me when I sent out the email announcing the next book the kids had picked....she wrote back: "Nooooooooooooo!!!!!" I was a bit worried initially that she didn't like the book choice. Rather, she was saying she didn't want to have to go to the library AGAIN!" Since I go to the library a number of times a week, I was a little stumped about how to address that one. In the end she found the book in our school library, so the problem was solved.

- One of my co-workers who says she is an avid reader told me she doesn't have a library card. I was stumped again. Not sure how we would live without the library. It is the best $12 I spend all year!

- At parent-teacher conferences a parent whined that her child still hadn't got the book club book. As we got talking it came out that the child has a bunch of fines and mom insists they must be paid from her child's own money..... so she can't take the book out. She ranted on about how irresponsible her child is with books and how she accumulates fines all the time....end result: this kid won't be getting the book, nor participating in our book club meeting...and will continue missing the opportunity to feel the spark she might need to develop a love of reading. Seems like a strange parenting hill to die on, if you ask me. I can't tell you how many times this parent has complained to me that her child doesn't read. Sometimes I really don't know where to start in conversations with her.

- A well educated woman (teacher with a masters degree) and a parent of young children that I know, was talking about how her sister is in a book club. she reiterated a conversation wither sister where she was aghast that these people meet EVERY month, and they also actually read a whole book EVERY month. She said, "Who has time for that?" Allen was standing there when she said this and he just kind of looked at me and smirked. We didn't bring up how many books Allen reads in a month (often 4-8 books, as well as reading The Book of Mormon in it's entirety)

It really got me wondering why it is people don't read. I have a secret mission (is it still a secret if I declare it here?) to get people reading. The question is: how is that best done?

Saturday, 28 January 2012

The Circle

The play we went to see today was sandwiched with service. Before the play I went and helped get food ready for a dear friend's ex-husband's funeral. After the play we went to the funeral and helped with the food for the reception after. They were all very grateful, and it was a wonderful experience to be able to give that service. I couldn't help think often, as the service wore on, about how people did this for me when Destiny died. It gave me a feeling of reverence to be able to do the same for someone else. I suppose that is what this life is all about. We help each other through the hard times, and together enjoy the happy times. All I know is I was sure happy to be able to give that service for a friend. Peirce and Allen were there too (Jill was babysitting) I think Peirce felt the spirit of service too because I didn't hear any complaining from him for the long hours we spent. He wrote an amazing note to my friend's son to say how sorry he was that his dad had died and how he knew a little bit about how it feels because his sister died. Tonight he even told me he liked being there. So glad to be able to give that service together. Life is good.

Munch Ado About Nothing

Today Peirce and I got to go to Storybook Theatre and watch Munsch Ado About Nothing. It was really quite a hoot. They totally changed the theatre so it was facing a new direction, and turned it into a circus stage. Shakespeare and two friends told Robert Munsch stories. It was a great way to introduce Shakespeare to kids - to do it with stories kids already know and love. We loved it!


Friday, 27 January 2012

Reading At Recess Lives On

I used to sit around and chat with other moms at the pool while my kids were swimming. I found myself getting sucked into a vortex of negativity and gossip so I decided to quit hanging out and talking. Today I didn't feel like going to try to find a quiet spot to read or mark or meditate or pray. Fridays the library closes at 5pm and so my usual hiding spot was out. So I decided to be brave and hang out at the pool. Only I just sat and read while the other mom's visited. At first I felt a little awkward. I felt pressure to just sit and visit....but I held strong and kept my nose buried in my book. It was so great! I like all those moms....don't get me wrong....I just find idle chatter really taxing sometimes.

The great news was that I read some stuff for school, did a real good skim through a new Kagan book I just got, and read half of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, the Grade 3 book club book for this month! Ah yes. Time well spent!

The irony was that the Kagan book I had was called Silly Sports and Goofy Games. The intro is all about how important play is.

Is it okay if I don't want to play with the other moms? Truth be told, as a kid, I loved reading at recess too.

Don't get me wrong, I do like to play....I just never have really enjoyed idle chat for too long as it seems to too often devolve into nasty negativity.....and sometimes I still have trouble figuring out how to get out of that bucket gracefully.

My nerdiness has really stuck with me through the ages.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Longest. Day. Ever.

My day:

4:30 am get up
5:00 am take Jill to the pool
8:00 Craziness of school begins. Thursday is my busiest day with only 1 prep. Today during that one precious prep I had to run home because I took Allen's keys with me by mistake and he was stranded at home, Ugh!
3:20 pm school ends....10 minute reprieve until interviews start. Oh wait....,first one arrives at 3:20....let the fun begin!
8:00 pm Almost done. Phone rings....last family is running late. Can't come tomorrow so they will get there ASAP.
Sit around and wait......they finally arrive at 8:45. Should be quite quick because their child is a star. Nope....they want to discuss how we can challenge this child more. Isn't practically perfect good enough when you are arriving 45 minutes late for your appointment?!

Finally, 9:30 pm I arrive home to find out my kids in fact didn't wash out their lunch bags and clean up after themselves as I had specifically requested.


Good thing tomorrow is only a half day!

These interviews were student led conferences, so most of the time I hang back and let the child show their patents the ropes. Translation: try to look busy but don't get too involved in anything so you are available when they have questions. It reminded me of my 3 days of employment at K-Mart, standing around with not much to do. I think I would rather run all day and all evening than stand around. I think standing around idle is harder! Good night world!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Grace by Richard Paul Evans

I actually read this book over Christmas but am just now finally getting around to reading it.

Grace is a girl who runs away from her family because of abuse by her step father. She hides out at in a treehouse of a school mate. He knows she is here, brings her, food, and helps her be comfortable. It is a heart warming story with a sad ending that really makes you think about kids and what we do to help or hinder their safety.

I find myself fascinated by authors who are able to spring to wealth by writing a book that gets made into a movie. He has done that with more than one book. That is the life I really want!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

So Sad

I have a friend who has has a tough year helping her dear friend recover from a terrible motorbike accident. This weekend she had another tragedy. Her ex-husband, and father of her 7 year old son suddenly passed away. For various reasons she is the one that will plan the funeral and have to do a lot of the things immediate family usually does. Situations like these really make me sit up and realize how small my problems really are. I feel so bad for her little boy. Losing your daddy is never easy. I know. Hugs!

Monday, 23 January 2012

Kids Say the Darndest Things

The other day in school we were talking about moms being tired. One of my students had this to say:

My mom's job really isn't appropriate for me to talk about at school. Sometimes she has to leave at midnight to see her clients and she's gone all night so she is really tired.

Hmmm....had to wonder what her mom does!

Her mom came in to volunteer so I had to ask her. Turns out she is a birthing doula.

Sure had me wondering for a while!

Reminded me of a picture I've seen passed around by email:

Dear Mrs. Jones,

I wish to clarify that I am not now, nor have I ever been, an exotic dancer.

I work at Home Depot and I told my daughter how hectic it was last week before the blizzard hit. I told her we sold out every single shovel we had, and then I found one more in the back room, and that several people were fighting over who would get it. Her picture doesn’t show me dancing around a pole. It’s supposed to depict me selling the last snow shovel we had at Home Depot.

From now on I will remember to check her homework more thoroughly before she turns it in.


Mrs. Smith

Sunday, 22 January 2012


The Saturday evening adult session of our Stake conferences are always a spiritual feast. Tonight was no exception, the topic was miracles. A number of people spoke about miracles in their lives:

One sister talked about how her stake president had challenged their stake to attend the temple four weeks in a row. She had health issues involving chronic pain that made a trip to Cardston very taxing. It would usually wipe her put for days. She decided to take the challenge though. As she attended each week she found she was able to be limber enough to do all she was required to do driving o, at the temple, coming home from the temple, and in her personal life after returning. Her pain totally disappeared and she was healed. A true miracle.

Next was a new convert to the church. He talked about how hislife had changed since being baptized - all miracles. He talked about how great it was to be part of a church family where people greeted him and cared Bout him and where he could visit with people in their homes. He talked about how is relationships had improved and how he was more patient and tolerant. All miracles.

Then a man got up who had had chronic back pain. Over six years it got worse and worse until he was bedridden 95% of the time. He had someone he had promised that if he read the Book of Mormon with him every day he would be healed and they would go on backpack hiking trips together....something absolutely impossible and absurd at the time. that was in 2011. Over the year they did read together and he was healed. A true miracle. Now he works out daily. He can walk and run and skip, and he does!

A lady spoke who is a single mom. Her husband died when her oldest was ten. She talked about the struggles of being a single mother, and how her children struggled too. She talked about how the oldest got reactivated and went on a mission and was called to the place his father had said before he died that he would. When he got his call it was to a neighboring country to what his dad had named as his mission, but the call got changed and he did end up serving whe his dad had said he would. Her next son has also been called on a mission.

The music tonight was amazing. The opening hymn (The Lord is My Light) set the tone. The intermediate hymn was a special musical number and was amazing. One line was: let me lve and serve and teach those that come within my reach, for that is where miracles begin. After the stake presidency spoke we departed from the planned hymn and stood and sang The Spirit of God. It was amazing!

President Rausch talked about his daughter Emily. When she was 8 she started having seizures. It started with just falling down. She said her leg got tingly and she fell. This stated happening more and more until she was having 40 or more seizures a day. She couldn't do things other kids did because there was always the worry she would get really hurt while having a seizure. They went to all sorts of doctors and no cure was found. A couple years later at the beginning of the school year she was told in a Father's blessing she would ge healed by he end of the school year. A new neurologist came to the Childre's Hospital and found something in an MRI none of he previous doctors had noticed. A surgery was scheduled for July. That wasn't the deal though. She was to be healed before school finished that year. Sure enough an opening came up at the beginning of June. Since mid-June of that year, now ten years later, she has not had another seizure.

President Zemp talked about a friend he recently ran into. Is wife has had severe mental health issues and there has been nothing over the past 20+ years to heal (or help?) her situation. The miracle there has been the husband. He has been blessed with an amazing ability to love and hlp his wife through her struggles. A true miracle.

President Thomas spoke last. He challenged us to trust God and allow him to perform the miracles in our lives he can. He said God has much more in store for us than we can ever imagine.

It was an amazing evening. Just what I needed! I have seen many miracles in my own life and know they are God's grace. I am grateful for miracles and will continue to watch for them in my life.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Calgary Temple

Hundreds of people took time this morning to go see the Moroni statue get added to the Calgary temple. It was very exciting!

Even Allen, Jill and Peirce played hookey from school and work and were there!

You can read more about it here.

We are sooooo looking forward to this summer when the temple is finished!