Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Review Praise to the Man (Last Minute Sub)

We had gone to Mesa to visit my family, while there I felt impressed that I was needed there a big longer. So we stayed and I found a last minute sub to take over for me. I had to think of something quick and easy. Also using the supplies I had left in the closet.
I started with the maze I made. Its an easy visual with different applications for a sub to use. Then I remembered Kathleen's activity for the big words in her blog 'the Children Sing'. I started thinking about using the words in the maze. I told the sub to print/write all the big "hard" words that we had on the blue papers. Fold them up and put them into the maze. Have the children pick what way to go through the maze, when they get to a word, review what word's meaning and how to say it. Then sing the verse with the word and have the children stand up when they get to that word in the song. This will help the children recognize where in the song the words come and give them practice singing it over and over without just singing it.
I haven't spoken to my sub yet to see how it went but I'm hoping for a positive report.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Its official TWO GIRLS!

Thursday the 12th of May we did a 3D ultra sound with my husband there just before his leaving us on Friday. We did it through Peek of You in Chandler. It was the same place we went to see our son and learned he was a boy not a girl.
This time we learned that they are both very obviously girls. Baby A (the one on the bottom left) would show us not only what she was, but she was letting us see her sweet face.
 I am going to be the mother of two kick boxing champs. The whole ultra sound they were kicking each other in the face. Back and forth. This is a photo of Baby B (the one more on the top and right side of me) kicking Baby A in the face. Wack Wack. Some I felt but some I had no idea the battle of space going on in there.
 Here is Baby A stretching with Baby B's leg pushing against her face. Since I was almost 24 weeks they warned me that my babies have not gained much fat and would appear anemic and more fetus still than baby.
 It is very cramped in there. We are 24 weeks along. Each baby weights about a Pound and a half.
Can you tell where one baby begins and where the other starts?
This picture is easier than many of the others. It is crazy. Sometimes we know that a foot has to be the other baby's because there is no way that baby could bend that way, but there is everything everywhere. It took the tech a while to even be able to see the two sacs, I had to tell her how the doctor pointed it out to the tech who does my growth ultra sounds. They are super close together.
I am grateful that we were able to do this before my husband deployed. I'm grateful he was able to be there. Our toddler came to and he kept pointing to the TV and saying "babies" then he'd point to my tummy. I don't think he actually understands but it was sweet moments for our family. I am also grateful we were able to see both of their genders. Getting serious about any names have been really hard not knowing what they were. Not saying we have them picked out. We're still thinking- a lot!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Teaching: Praise to the Man Hymn 27

I know most of you out there have already started teaching this song and this will be of no help to you, but I started today (May 8th). I had a sub last Sunday the 1st and this was my first Sunday back. I had been dreading teaching this song due to all the BIG words that most of the Primary children don't know how to read let alone say or understand the meanings of. After looking at a number of other blogs for ideas and stewing over it a lot, of course prayer too. I decided that I couldn't ignore these words. Instead I wanted to emphasize them and define them and drill them into their heads. That is much more my style anyway.
To start I wrote the following words HUGE on blue sheets of construction paper (did not place definitions on the construction paper), definitions are what I used to explain:

  • commune --to communicate in an intimate way being in the same place and speaking face to face
  • Jehovah  -- a name for Jesus
  • anointed -- set apart, chosen by God, we anoint the sick, calling
  • seer -- a seer is a prophet, someone who can see more then others, sees what God wants them to see
  • dispensation -- a set period of time in the history of the world, each dispensation has a prophet who is the prophet of that dispensation.
  • extol -- to honor or acclaim as the best of what it is, recognize is high value
  • revere -- to honor or remember in high reverence 
  • ascended -- to go up
  • traitors and tyrants -- wicked evil people who betray and want power
  • vain -- pointlessly
  • mingling -- socialize, spend time with

Then all the other words I wrote on strips of orange construction paper. Then I tried to find as many pictures to go with words of the song as I possibly could. Here are some coloring pages I used. (I use coloring pages as to not use up all my ink, I can choose to leave them b&w or take the time to color them in or outline them). Many of these I cut down to be smaller, and some are not Church official pictures. As many as I could find I used from past Friends.
Traitors and Tyrants/ fight
commune, mingling
just brothers- revere
Jehovah, Jesus

I placed the pictures next to the words they went with.
To teach I started by having the pianist play "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" I had asked her to try to play it not exactly like Twinkle Twinkle. I had the children listen to the song and raise their hand if they knew what song she was playing. when I asked them to answer I got 3 different songs: "Twinkle Twinkle", "Baah Baah Black Sheep", and "ABC's". I asked the children to think and vote which song it was. Most of them were very confused at that point. I explained that this song was written by Mozart, but we have used it for many different  songs, just changing the words. WW Phelps did the same thing by using an old Scottish Folk Song's melody to write this song to remember the martyred Joseph Smith Jr after his death.
As I placed each line up, and we came to a BIG word on the blue paper, we defined and discussed the word. I had a couple teachers afterwards come up and say that it was even a good review for them because some of those words we just assumed their meanings but never really thought about it. I had the children practice saying each word correctly. We only got through the first verse (not to the chorus) but the children were really interested in the words and were trying really hard. I hope it sticks with them. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

April/May Family Vacation

Long post for a long week and a half.
When we learned that my husband was going to deploy I urged him to make time to visit his extended family in Iowa. He had a great granny with failing health already living past the doctor's expectations, and a grandpa who has had a number of heart problems over the past year. I felt it to be something important before he went overseas for a year.
Also before we had known he was going to get this job, and even before we knew it was twins, I had decided to attend BYU's Women's Conference the last weekend of April. I felt it was something I needed in my life, and with a new baby on the way, at least a few years before I could justify leaving my children to go. 
In light of everything in the end, we decided to go to Utah together, driving up with my mom who was also going to BYU's Women's Conference, and then fly from Salt Lake to Iowa, then from Iowa back to Phoenix.  Long trip but worth it was a whole family at this time.
It was a long trip. We first drove to Phoenix and spend Easter weekend with my family. While up there we took family photos, already posted in another blog post. We also did the Easter hunt thing with my sister's children and her friend's. In addition to Easter festivities, we had a Farewell Open House for our family and friends in Phoenix to say good bye to Cory. It wasn't a large showing, after all it was Easter night and some people still have family activities on going. But it was a good time for everyone who was able to come.
Tuesday we drove to Utah. I was worried how my body would handle being in the car that long. But it was fine. Each time we stopped for gas I would get out and walk for as long as I could handle it. Al did wonderful with the whole thing too, I think it was in part because of the walking around we did.
Wed. Cory and I went to the Salt Lake Temple. It was Cory's first time going to a live session. Utah was sooooo cold!!!! So so cold!! That afternoon we went to the Family History Research Library. My mom came to help. We were looking for records for Cory's family on his father's side tracing back to Massachusetts and all his French Canadian Ancestor's who immigrated there. Just while up in Utah he has been able to find so much information on a line that we had felt we had hit a wall. There is something so sexy about a man excited about doing his family history! Wed. evening we met up with some of my mission companions at a near by Cafe Rio. I have to admit that I was looking forward to eating Cafe Rio about as much as I was looking forward to seeing those mission companions. It was so great to see those girls. I miss them. They are one of the few reasons I almost wish I lived it Utah. But then I remember how cold it is and forget about it.
Thursday- my mom, aunt, and I went down to BYU for Women's Conference. While we were at Women's Conference, Cory took Al to the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake. Al had a wonderful time. He loved the animals, especially the monkeys and turtles. 
Friday- While us women were at Women's Conference, the boys went to visit Temple Square. After we were done at Women's Conference we met with Cory and Al at Spaghetti Mama.
Women's Conference was wonderful.  I am so grateful for the opportunity that I was able to go. There was no class that just spoke to me as I need to go to that class because of where I am in my life. But I tried to pick my classes by the Spirit and what were close together. I believe I went to the classes I needed to. Almost all of the classes I went to were not full classes. In the only class that they had to turn people away due to space I was talking about how my other classes had been to the sister sitting next to me. She said that maybe I'm just not as "needy" as others and I'm willing to learn what I need to in any class I attend.
Saturday afternoon we flew from Salt Lake City to Chicago Midway to Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN. Then drove 2 hours to Iowa where my husband's mother's side all lives. It was after midnight when we checked into our hotel. It was Al's first airplane ride. I didn't know if he was quite understanding that we were flying. He loves to point out planes in the sky, but comprehending that you're inside one of those planes is different. During the flights, both of which I was so grateful that he handled and behaved himself very well, I tried to get him repeat that we were in a plane. Nothing. He is not much of an on command performer. While we were getting our rental car, anyone who tried to talk to him, the only thing he would say was "plane, fly, plane". It was pretty cute.
Sunday- we had found online where the ward in Mason City met. Before church we met up with my in-laws and grandpa for breakfast at the restaurant next door to our hotel. I know that eating out on a Sunday isn't a sin, but it sure feels weird to me. Also it was fast Sunday and we had totally forgot that. Not that I fast right now, expecting twins and all. It was odd for me, and yet meeting family for breakfast was my idea because I was trying to think of ways we could maximize our time with family since we were only there 2 full days. Church actually reminded me a lot of my mission. Small ward, mostly older couples. The nursery only had 2 other children there that day. And it was so nice to go to Relief Society and be able to participate in an adult level lesson. Don't get me wrong. I love primary, but it felt good to talk about gospel principles on a higher level. After church the extended family had a Birthday party for Al. I met more of my mother-in-law's family then I had ever met before, and yet most seemed familiar to me because of facebook and stories I've heard over the last three years. None of them are members of the Church, but they are good people. I'm grateful I was able to meet so many of them this time.
Monday was laid back, visiting with a few more family members and spending time with Grandpa.
Tuesday we packed up, went to visit a family friend, and then headed for the airport, this time with a nonstop flight back to Phoenix. Al did well for most of this flight too. I'm grateful he handled it all so well. Actually he has handled the whole trip really well. I was surprised how my body handled the car ride better than the plane rides. All the flights were really hard on my body. The thing that was even harder on my body was walking around BYU and sitting all day in classes.
I'm so glad to be back home. It was a long hard trip. But I feel a very important trip for our family. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Al turned Two

Found a Thomas train at a thrift store- $1.30, used bread pans to make the carts
So we celebrated for over a week. He had three birthday parties. 
used candy for the trains to carry in the carts
The first 2nd Birthday party-- we had before we left town, we wanted to have a birthday party for him with his friends his age. I had a hard time trying to decide who we should invite. Last year we invited all our friends to his party, not that he cared he was turning one. This year I decided to invite all the children in his nursery class (there are more then 20 children in our nursery) and a few friends his age from our play group. I was a little nervous about how many would come, but it was a Thursday evening that we had it and we ended up with 8 children and a parent for each, plus my in-laws and Al's adopted Aunt and Uncle. A perfect sized group, not too big but still enough that we weren't disappointed that we picked such a horrible night to have a 2 year old bday party.
I felt so creative. I'm very proud of myself. We had decided on sub sandwiches and then macNcheese for the kids. I had looked into the cost of jumping castles and oh my that was too much for us. In thinking about it I thought that I could make a train out of large cardboard boxes. It turned out awesome and was a big hit. I had a few games ready for us to play, I was worried they'd be a little much for 2 year olds, but frankly between dinner, the awesome train, and cake we didn't need more. It was a great party.
all it is: large boxes, duck tape, and spay paint, cost about $10 in spray paint

Second  2nd Birthday party-- was small, Monday night in addition to Family Home Evening with my parents, my sister's family, and my single brothers. We sang, opened presents, and ate cake. That was all there was to it. Small, simple, and yummy. I brought up the birthday hats and everyone wore one.
Third 2nd Birthday party-- was in Iowa with my husband's extended family and actually on Al's Bday. My in-laws were also out there and upon remembering it was Al's bday they invited all the extended family over for a birthday party. We had pizza, cake, and simple presents that were all a super hit. And gave us new toys for the flight home. 
He was one spoiled kid for his 2nd birthday. By the third party he knew exactly what to do for the candle and  with those presents.  And he was as cute as can be for all of them.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Maternity Blouse from a Man's dress shirt

I posted this on my craft blog (scrapingarizonagirl.blogspot.com). I figured there are probably other women out there suffering from the lack of variety in maternity ware. I keep thinking about how good this is for weddings too, not just family photos. Men's dress shirts come in just about any color.
Here is the link to my tutorial on my other blog. Sorry if it leaves too much out. I'm not a very good teacher. But it was a really easy project.
This is a picture of the trial shirt I made
And here is the finished shirt for our family photos
Check it out on my other blog, I hope it helps someone out there.