Sunday, 31 March 2013

Easter Sunday

This month in Sunday School we've been focusing on the Atonement. There were 5 lessons in the outline, and 5 Sundays, but somehow I found that for today I didn't have any lessons left. Apparently I covered more than one of the topics one week (they seemed to nicely overlap).

I decided to bring my Easter Eggs and go through the story of the atonement and resurrection. I was really glad I did. I made this little lesson years ago and used it with my kids or with primary kids - but teenagers don't seem too old for it at all. I think they enjoyed it a lot. Each egg has an object and a scripture to go with it. It was a good way to read the easter story with them. I've really gained a stronger testimony of the atonement and the importance of turning not just our hearts, but also our heartaches, sorrows and needs over to Jesus.

Matthew 11:28

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

Photo: Easter lesson for SS today

It's been interesting teaching these lessons. In the adult lesson afterwards the Bishop went through the topics the youth have been covering the past few months. Sometimes I feel like I don't put enough work into studying and preparing - but when I listened to his lesson today I realized I have learned quite a lot and have retained a lot of the things I have read in preparation for the lessons I teach each week. I'm really glad to have this calling.

I decided I need to work on ways I can make the lessons more meaningful when working with such a big group. Today I had 16 kids in the class. It's hard to give everyone a chance to participate in that large a group. It's also hard to keep them all on topic. Sometimes teaching them is like herding cats. They get off on tangents all over the place. I'm sure there are some Kagan tricks I could be using to make the lessons better. I need to work on that!

Saturday, 30 March 2013

The Book of Negroes (Lawrence Hill)

I just finished reading The Book of Negroes. Stories like this totally captivate me. I find I get obsessed with the story. I can't believe we as humans can do the things to each other that we do! I blogged about it on my book blog. Check it out here.Can't wait to discuss it at book club this week!

Cue the Rocky Music!

I did it!

Okay. I know. I am the perfect example of a facebook "what it feels like/what it looks like" post.....but I'm going with the feeling today!

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Happy Birthday Mom!

On Tuesday we went to Lethbridge to see my mom. It's her birthday this week. Happy birthday to the greatest mom ever!

I loved her facebook post:

That's my mom for you! Always has a good time.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

I set a goal this month to walk 100 km. Some friends even decided to join me in this goal. I still do my walking alone most of the time though. I love the solitude!

I keep track of my walking on The closer I get to 100 the more obsessed I get with it. I love logging on each day to update my km's.

This is a screen shot of where I am at right now. I started walking last July. I think tomorrow I should do 10 km so I can finally get to this being my second best month ever by passing 80 km.

This month should be my best one yet if I can just continue and finish it out!

After this month I am going to see how many months in a row of 100 km I can string together.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Layover Visit

I sure am loving this Spring Break holiday!

Today I got to visit with my good friend, Carma.

Carma is one of those people who I have been friends with forever. We became friends in Kelowna. We lived together in Calgary. We even served in the same mission! We have a special connection. We understand each other.

It was so good to visit with her today. She was traveling from where she lives in Alabama to Kelowna and had a layover in Calgary. I went to the airport with her and we had a wonderful visit. It is good for my soul to visit with her. Loved it!

One problem though. I forgot to take a picture!! (So I stole one from Facebook. Hope you don't mind, friend!)

Monday, 25 March 2013

Bob Seger

Tonight I volunteered at a concert at the saddledome. Bob Seger! He had a band, but he didn't call it the Silver Bullet not sure the deal there.

I wasn't really cognisant of what songs Bob Seger sang. All night I kept saying, "Really? He did this song?"

The music was awesome! Nothing like a night of good music to fill your soul! Check out one of my favorites here.

And here's another great one!

I decided I'm a big Bob Seger fan!

Are You Listening?

In our school the kids are given a lot of tools for problems solving. They're taught to speak up when they don't like what someone does, they're taught how to apologize, they're taught how to talk through problems, and they're really quite good at it. It's quite impressive. I often think that there a lot of adults I know that could use some of those skills.

As a result of all this work we put into teaching these skills, after recess I sometimes have two or three kids come to me and say they need to solve a problem. Sometimes I get involved, and sometimes I just let them solve it.

The other day there was one that I decided to get involved with - mostly because there were a couple kids who are often needing to solve problems. It was interesting to participate.

Basically, two of the children didn't like it that another one stomped off when they came to join the game. When I talked to the stomper it turns out she doesn't like how one child, who had come to join the game, plays. In the stomper's words, this girl is bossy and controlling and likes to be the center of attention. The stomper said that it's just no fun when she joins the game because everyone else's ideas don't count anymore. I thought it was quite an astute summation of the problem.

We tried to talk about it. I encouraged the stomper to try to frame her concerns in a positive light: "I would enjoy playing with you if you let me choose the game sometimes."

The bossy one really didn't get it. She wanted the stomper to apologize for stomping off. I tried to help her see that perhaps there was a reason someone would stomp off and that she might want to consider that. She didn't get it. She isn't very good at looking at things from another's perspective. Hopefully that will come in time. Whenever the stomper tried to explain the reasons she didn't like playing with this girl the response was, "I do not do that."

It was a really tricky problem to solve. There was no convincing this girl that the things she does might be hurtful to her relationships. The Stomper was absolutely not willing to play with her because in her experience the girl absolutely does do the things she dislikes. She had a multitude of examples to back her argument up. What to do. We never did come to a good solution, except to decide that they don't enjoy playing together. Not everyone does.

I've watched this same thing unfold with adult relationships in my life. It's interesting to me when people have the courage to say, "Listen. I don't like it when you...." and the response is that they're wrong and how dare they misunderstand their intentions.

It really makes me reflect on how well do I really listen. Am I willing to hear it when people say I'm in the wrong? Am I willing to speak up when things hurt me? Do I think it's worth speaking up? Do I believe something will really change?

All these things really affect relationships. If we can't problem solve, relationships can't grow. The kids this past week decided they just wouldn't play together. I thought that was unfortunate. I thought they could find a way to really hear each other and play together nicely - but then again, not everyone has to play together. So maybe it's okay.

I try to not do that with relationships in my life. I don't believe in cutting people off. However, free agency is a bummer sometimes. You can't always control what the other person does. When you try to solve a problem and the tables get turned and suddenly you're the bad guy. When you're met with accusations of being misunderstanding and judgmental it's not easy to solve the problem. Just like the girl in my class, who couldn't see how what she does hurts people, sometimes you can't fix the problem if the other party won't accept that they might have made a mistake. Sometimes, to some people, being right is more important than the relationship.

Life is tricky sometimes. It has all been a good reminder to me though to self-reflect on whether or not I'm really listening to others, or just waiting to talk.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Spring Break!

Phew! I made it. I feel like the last month or so have been non-stop go go go. Finally, a bit of a reprieve.

In some ways, I don't look forward to Spring Break because it is one step closer to the end of my teaching contract for this year. I don't want it to end! I'll try not to think about that though and just enjoy the time I have.

I plan to do lots of walking, yoga, reading, housework, sewing and hanging out with my own kids!

Crazy. I know. It's the life I love though!

Saturday, 16 March 2013


Today has been a great day. It started off with lots of nothing....mostly resting. Now and then I really need a day like that!

Tonight has been fun. The kids went to Storybook Theatre. Allen and I went to a basketball game (4A High School Provincials....Cardston versus Bishop Grandin...Cardston won!), and then we went and watched UFC. I don't like UFC at all really. I tell myself to chill about it....but watching men beat each other up causes me to get all tense and stressed. I just do it to hang out with Allen.

The things we do!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Bonehead Moves

It has been one heck of a long week. I have never really thought the time change was a big deal. People complain about it and mostly I ignore it. However, this week I think it beat me up a bit. I have survived though!

This week I got my report cards back. Our admin reads them over really carefully. That alone sure made me nervous in the beginning! I was so afraid they would come back to me and say, "Uh, you can't be serious? You call these report cards?!" They have always been very kind and encouraging. That has given me a big boost and helped me feel much more confident about writing.

I don't care what any teacher says. I have never seen a school with report cards like ours. It isn't the report cards themselves - but the comments that are the most work. We write a page, usually 4 or 5 or sometimes 6 paragraphs for each child. They are quite detailed and unique to teach child. They are a lot of work. The more I do them though, the more I see the value. And, the more I do them, I think the better I get at them (although, maybe I should ask my admin if that is their perspective!)

One thing is for sure though. The more I do them, the more I don't mind doing them. I like being able to tie some things up. My teaching life is often scattered in many different directions and report cards are a good time to bring it all together and sift through all the comments and thoughts and grades and boil everything down to something of substance. The other thing is, I kind of enjoy doing the writing. Crazy. I know. It has been a great learning experience for me. It makes me want to write more!

However, this time I did a real bone head move. I finished my home room comments and printed them and handed them in. I then started in on the final editing of my math comments. Somehow I saved my math comments over top of my homeroom comments. Translation: The 20 pages of homeroom comments were suddenly gone. Poof! Just like that! Luckily I had a printed version. And even luckier I have an amazing AP who worked tirelessly to help find a way to retrieve them. Did you know there is a function that allows you to go back to a previously saved version of a document? There is! But we don't have that function. LOL Somehow though, she got most of it back electronically and I didn't end up having to do some editing. Phew!!

From now on, I will always save save save....oh, and print print print.

What a week!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013


I bet that title got your attention!! :)

A teacher I work with told me a funny story. (Names have been changed!)

She walked into a room where two of her students were looking at a book. One said, "Man! That is the biggest testicle I have ever seen!"

She figured she ought to find out what they were looking at.

It was a picture of an octopus.

She said, "Jason, I think you mean tentacle."

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Types in Scriptures

We had a great topic on Sunday School this week. We talked about how stories all through the scriptures can remind us of the Savior and the atonement. Everything is a 'type' to remind us and help us understand the purpose of the Savior's life.

I have to wonder if that is all done on purpose. I suppose I shouldn't wonder. I would think God is very purposeful in his teachings. But are we being too generous with the ties??

Here are some of the examples we found:

Abraham and Isaac - Could cause us to realize how God must have felt sacrificing his son
Joseph and his brothers - Joseph was the favorite, as Jesus was. He was persecuted and hated.
Jonah and the Whale - Jonah was in the belly of the whale for 3 days. Jesus was in the tomb for 3 days.
Noah - Everyone who followed Noah was saved. Everyone who follows Jesus is saved. God made a promise with Noah to never flood the earth again, just like God promises us if we follow Jesus we'll be saved.
Daniel in the Lion's Den - a rock was placed over the den and Daniel was in there for 3 days

This Week in Review

I got this idea of Pinterest. I figured it might be a good way to keep track of life! So here is this week in review:

It was a good. Busy, but good.

Peirce had some fabulous swims on Saturday. He was first overall in 100 free and 50 fly. He was third overall in 50 breast and 100 back, and his relay team won their race. A good day for sure! if he could just get rid of the cold!

Friday, 8 March 2013

Inch by Inch

I know I just said this, but I have to say it again. I'm at a new low! Okay. So it's only half a pound lower than my last new low - but I just have to shout it out! I've been walking every day this week, and it's totally wearing me out. It has snowed a lot the last 5 days and it's nasty walking in that stuff - but I've persisted and I am giddy over being down just a little more. It's lower than I ever was even doing the crazy diets (Dr. B and HcG). Real life is a much better diet. I'm slow as molasses at losing weight, but I am losing weight, and that is exciting!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Best Calling Ever

I have the best job in the church. I think it's my favorite one so far. I'm called to teach Sunday School to the 14-17 year old kids. My visions of how I'd like to teach each week are usually grander than reality - but I suppose the idea of these grand lessons keeps me inspired to continue.

The church website has these pictures of kids in Sunday School - they're smiling, their scriptures are open, they're clearly engaged and loving it.


 It doesn't look like that in my classroom. They're leaning back on two legs of their chairs, they are looking at their iPods, or their phones (I'm hoping it means they're looking at scriptures they've uploaded to those devices?), sometimes it's way too crowded and it's hot and the kids faces show it. Oh, and sometimes the other teacher doesn't show up, so the kids from the other class come into my class - so it's way too crowded - meaning some kids are squished together, some choose to sit on the floor (lay on the floor in the middle of the room sometimes too), and their are side conversations all over the place.


My principal would be horrified. Sometimes I am horrified. I know I could totally make it different. Better. Structured. Extremely purposeful! But then again, I also don't worry about it too much. Somehow I think it all works out.

It's interesting to teach kids this age. I find myself walking a fine line between being totally chill and wanting to make the class structured and productive. I think it's important to be structured and productive, but I worry that if it's too much so they'll get turned off and won't come - so I try to be kind of relaxed while squeezing in some important messages. Not sure if I do it very well at all, but I am grateful for the chance, and hopefully I'll get it right in time, without doing too much damage to their spiritual lives in the meantime. I decided I will try to blog about my lessons each week - and thus, the new tag: Sunday School Lessons. I'm hoping blogging will help me to organize my thoughts some and have better lessons. If nothing else, it'll help me learn!