Thursday, April 30, 2009

Preparing for the Program

In preparing for a sub (especially a sub who might not know all the songs we’re learning this year), I went back to the idea I had for “I Lived in Heaven” and a suggestion that another chorister on a blog had- to make a binder with all the songs for the year in it. I figure if I use the same pictures that I used to teach them with that when it comes time to review they will be quicker to their memories. Last year I was so stressed with re-teaching songs because it was as though they had forgotten all the songs they learned at the beginning of the year (I was put in this calling in Aug). This way I can pull it out throughout the year and remind them, and then use it to quickly re-teach when it comes time to review. I hope that having a game plan will make it less stressful. So while preparing for a sub while I’m out for maternity reasons, I’ve also been spending a great deal of time recollecting and printing all the pictures I have used to teach songs to put into this binder. I still have to not completed “My Eternal Family”, but I’ve put together my pages for April’s song- “My Redeemer Lives”. For “How Firm a Foundations” I gave up trying to find my own pictures since I hardly had any pictures anyway, but instead printed another chorister’s flip chart from her blog. So far the pages look really good. I kept this in mind also while I was making the pages for May’s song “Baptism”. I foresee this book being really handy to hand a sub, and throughout the year for relearning when needed. Also I copied/printed all the songs for the year out and placed in sleeves, into the front of the binder. I use them rather them rather than the primary book to learn the songs myself while preparing, and for leading the music in front of the children.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Planning Ahead for the Inevitable

Planning ahead can be a burden. I try to normally plan ahead so that I can share my ideas, but my mind works best the closer I get to something. I don’t know how many Sundays I’m going to be out after having this baby. I’ve planned out the whole month of May –just in case.

April 26th (today)- I’m putting today on here because it was a good focus activity idea and I totally didn’t think of it myself but a former primary chorister told me it was her old stand-by, and after she told me I had a “duh moment”, play hot and cold and sing that month’s song over and over. The down side was that they were so rowdy today that we stopped playing the game early, it wasn’t the game, it was just something about today.

May 3rd- Start teaching May’s song “Baptism”, and continue working on our Mother’s day song. Since I’ve already posted how I’m planning on teaching “Baptism” I’m not going to waste space here. Instead please refer to my post on Thurs April 23rd.

May 10th- Review May’s song “Baptism”. After the song has been reviewed sufficiently, play hot potato/ quite mouse while singing the song. You can only pass the bean bag to someone singing well. If you are not singing (including talking or hollering for the bean bag) or if the bean bag is in our hands when the song ends, you have to sit down and sing from your chair.

May 17th- Maze game with Verse Challenge: Back in November I made a maze, I suggest to everyone to make their own maze and have it laminated (check with your local Staples-like-store for the max dimensions they will do, also sign shops have larger dimensions if you want a larger maze, I took mine to a sign shop, I wanted it was large as possible). I originally made the maze to have multiple ways to get through it because I wanted the children to be able to choose different paths. This time I made little envelopes (found a sample small envelope, traced it onto construction paper, cut it out and glued it). In each envelope is a verse of a song we have learned so far this year. As the children travel through the maze they come to an envelope and get to identify what song the verse belongs to, then everyone together gets to sing that verse. I would suggest that if you still have time after one pass through the maze, take all the remaining envelopes, move them around in the maze and start at the beginning again. This can also be done by taking any picture, having a line from a song, a number that will identify which song the piano is to play for them to guess, or just the name of the song. For going through the maze I have a little boy and a little girl with magnets on them, but any picture or toy that the children will identify as something that can move will work (car, train, stroller, or bee/bug). Again I highly recommend the maze, the kids respond well to it and it’s the easiest stand-by activity to hand a sub.

May 24th- Tic Tac Toe: I originally was going to put the verses on the back of the tic tac toe pieces but then decided they would go better in the maze. How we are doing tic tac toe- I just made a large tic tac toe board (16X16) along with some X’s and O’s. On the back of each X or O, I wrote a song name that we’ve been working on OR just a fun song to sing. I am going to split the room into two (most likely left side vs. right side), I’ll have a child come up and pick one of the X’s or O’s depending on which team they are on. They will then get to place it on the board, and everyone will sing the song that is on the back. If you wanted to make it more competitive, you could have them name that song and if they don’t get it right the other team gets to try to name it. But again I am trying to keep it simple for the sub.

May 31st-I lucked out its Stake Conference.

That takes me to June, and I’m already starting to work on preparing to teach “Seek the Lord Early.” Maybe if this baby comes closer to my calculated due date then I’ll be able to plan it before this baby comes. I’m not planning on taking all these Sunday’s off from church, but I will need to take off at least one or two for healing, and if there are any complications I might need more, so it’s best to try to be prepared. After all we are promised if we are prepared we have no need to fear. My next goal is to make some meals that will store well so I won’t need to cook or relay on someone else to cook. But first things first. My plan is to take the lessons and put them in the primary closet so they are already at church for the sub.


Yesterday I went to Sherman Williams picked out a paint color (Jamaican Bay) and painted 4 fish on the wall. I was quite proud of myself. I couldn’t find a stencil that I liked so I bought a blank stencil sheet, traced on a fish and cut it out with a razor. They turned out really cute. So I am one step closer to being ready for this baby to decide he is ready.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Teaching: Baptism (May's song)

I'm trying to get things prepared for while I am out after having the baby. I've been meaning to do this for a while but between packing to move, moving, and unpacking- I haven't had a chance to get ahead. For May we are doing the song baptism. I know its a cheating but we are only going to do the first verse. I am suggesting to the Primary President that they make the other verse, special numbers for maybe a class to do, but as an entire primary we are only learning the first verse. I'm trying to keep it simple, especially since I may not be teaching it myself. I am going to put them on the board, and move picture of Jesus along from picture to picture. I've considering putting all the pics on a poster board and creating a track for the pic of Jesus to follow the path. I've even considering putting the pic of Jesus on a Popsicle stick.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

No Baby Yet- not concerned

I had my appointment yesterday, I'm dilated to a 4 now. The doctor seemed surprised that I'm at a 4 and not in labor. He asked me a few times if I was having contractions. He then wanted me to schedule in a week, at least he didn't want to see on Thursday again. He did say his "unless we see you at the hospital before then." I honestly think that he believes that to be the case. Being told that I'm mostly through "early labor" and I having everyone else so concerned about an early baby- has made me start to feel that this is more real. At least it motivated me to work on the crib bumper that I've been planing to make. Its just a cover for the bumper we were given. I will still be surprised if this baby comes before the doctor's due date of the 30th, but only time will tell.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Singing on Mother's Day (no baby yet)

So I have not gone into labor yet. I'm still not concerned or even worrying about it yet. I think this baby will come closer to its due date and not early like the doctor keeps saying. He wants to see me again on Tues (he just saw me on Thurs) unless quote "we see you at the hospital before then". Yeah yeah, whatever.
Mother's Day
As with most wards, our primary children are expected and are on the program to sing in Sacrament meeting on Mother's Day. Again if this baby is born on its due date I will not be in church that day but in the delivery room having this baby, but I still have to make plans for sacrament meeting and my children. I looked for a nice arrangement of a few Mother's primary songs, only to be disappointed. I also tried the key changes on the church website in order to make my own, but couldn't seem to find common keys that were in good ranges for children voices. In the end I decided just to do the one song, nothing fancy. We are singing: "Mother, I Love You." To make it a little more special, we are going to take the last line "Mother I love you, I love you, I do." I sign in. (just sign along with the I love you's). I also considered the week before having the children my Mother's day cards that were just hearts for their mother's and having each teacher have them and give them to their class when they are getting up, then on the last line they would hold up their hearts. I think it would be cute and sweet, I just don't know how well it would actually work. I wish I had some better ideas, and figured out something fun that would work, but maybe its all for the better considering how close it all is to my due date, I don't want to leave a mess for someone else to deal with.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

More Baby

I'm so not the first-time-mother who is totally ready, just can't wait, thinks every twing might be the beginning of being "time". In fact, I'm quite the opposite. I still have a hard time believing this is really happening, I am not counting on it until I get much closer to my due date, when everyone says I look ready to go I say I'm not ready yet, and I haven't even set up the nursery yet. All the stuff we got is just sitting in what is going to be the baby's room. At my last appointment my doctor was so optimistic that it could be any day. He told me to pack a bag and not to leave town. I informed him that I am going to a wedding in Phoenix next weekend. He said that if I start having any contractions I am not to go up to Phoenix. I'm not worried or concerned. His optimism comes from that the baby is head down, he says that the baby has dropped, and that I am dilated to a 2. I'm 37 weeks- so technically it could be any time now. But again I'm not quite ready and I really don't think it will happen early. I really don't want to be past 40 weeks (May 10th), but that is for selfish reasons, we are planning a trip and if the baby comes after 40 weeks we are going to have to scrap taking the trip because the baby won't be old enough yet and we are concerned that I won't be healed enough to go. But if this kid is born "on time" we can still keep our plans. So again I am not concerned about an early delivery. For the most part family history plays a big part in when the baby comes. Yes every women is different, but if the baby is "early", "on time", or "late" is more probably if you have a family history of it. All of my mom's babies, including baby number one came right on the 40 week due date (38 weeks from conception). Apparently it is the same story with my aunts. Since my dad's mom has passed away, I called my Great Aunt Dorothy to ask about my Grandma and her sisters. Aunt Dorothy said that Grandma had all her babies right on her due date or just a few days before-none came after her due date. Same with her sisters. So I feel confident that I have a good family history of babies coming "on time". Also the house we just moved into, across the street lives a midwife who has a birthing home next to her home. They have a birthing tub, an ultra sound, a heart monitor, and all the other basic convinces. I feel comfortable with whenever I go into labor because we are planning to labor with the midwife in the birthing home until I'm fully in labor, and fully dilated to an 8. There a lot of reasons for this choice, one I don't want to go to the hospital only to be sent home, I don't want to be at the hospital in labor for more than 3 hours, and I don't want have a c-section (although there is no direct correlation to any one factor, there is a data to so that the longer you are laboring in the hospital the more likely you are to receive a c-section, this doesn't me causality, but I am willing to do anything wise and reasonable to have a healthy baby and a healthy recovery.) Before I was expecting I had no intention of using a midwife, I have met too many "crack-pot" midwives. But after doing a lot of research and meeting Darci and how down to Earth she is and how educated she is, we feel really confident that this is the best choice for us. Since I'm getting this close, I guess I better start getting ready.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Sunday Singing Time

I wanted to do something special for singing time and Easter. But I really struggled finding something that would still allow me to continue teaching "My Redeemer Lives" (Hymn 135, our choice for the April song). We already lost one Sunday for teaching because of General Conference. So I didn't want to loose another Sunday just doing something fun for Easter. So for the last two weeks I agonized over what I should do. Well, I had started to resign myself to continuing teaching the song, after all I only taught the first verse in JR primary (not because they were having a hard time picking up the song, but sacrament meeting really ran over and we had such little time we only learned the one verse) and in SR we learned the 1st and 2nd verse- but that was two weeks ago. Saturday night, really late, I came up with an idea. Easter Idea
  • Take a picture of Christ, and made a puzzle of it. I printed it off of the church website. I printed 2 pictures- one for each primary group.
  • For JR I made only the puzzle of 5 large pieces. SR primary I made the puzzle with 9 pieces.
  • Each puzzle piece had a song written on it and was put into a plastic Easter egg.
  • Each egg was taped under a chair in the primary room.
What songs did I use?
  • My Redeemer Lives, JR- had an egg for the 1st vrs and an egg for the 2nd vrs. When we got to the verse I had not taught yet-we learned it then.
  • Popcorn Popping
  • How Firm a Foundation- only the first verse
  • I Lived in Heaven- 3rd verse only
  • For SR we did a few more songs and verses.
I know this is too late for anyone else to use. Maybe ya'll can find a way to use it without the eggs later. I was just grateful to finally receive inspiration of how to make it an Easter activity and still find an opportunity to each the next verse of April's song.