Sunday, August 30, 2009

Battle of the Binky

The first pacifier we gave to Al was a HUGE orthodontic style. It was so big, but the package said 0+ months. We have already lost one, and I hate it when a pacifier isn't readily available when needed. We need more pacifiers, we only had one left. The problem is I can't find the exact same size and style. Everything I try giving Al is just not his thing. We have finally found another pacifier that he'll take, but every time we put it back in a few time before he gives up and just uses the one we give him.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Reviewing Songs: Dice

To review this week I made a dice. I wanted it to be larger and more eye catching than a normal white game dice (which is another thing that is often found in a ward library). But if all you have is a normal dice, go for it, there is nothing wrong with it and that was what I was going to do anyway.
I got an extra large peice of construction paper from the library, measured out the squares (3.5 inches), colored a picture with 1-6 things on each side, cut it out, and then glued/taped it together. At some point I plan to remake it, something more sturdy. My husband suggested that I sew it and stuff it so the dice is a large square pillow of 6 sides. Its not a bad idea and if I ever get around to doing it I will post it on my blog with directions on how to make one yourself.
I assigned each song a number, picking the 6 songs I felt the children needed to work on the most. When I started I explained to the children the idea of the dice and wrote on the board the songs with their assigned number (I called it our Key).
  1. I Lived in Heaven
  2. How Firm a Foundation
  3. My Eternal Family
  4. My Redeemer Lives
  5. Seek the Lord Early
  6. The Family is of God
Each time the number was rolled we sang the song. We ended up singing "How Firm a Foundations" three times. Granted the 3rd time we only sang the 3rd verse and we sang I lived in Heaven twice, all the other songs once. We did sing each song more than once on a roll. If they didn't sing the whole song well, we'd review the part that was less than quality. This can be used over and over again, rearranging and assigning new songs to each number.
Did this last Sunday with JR for the first time, and then for the 2nd with SR primary. We changed the order around and I put some paper towels into the dice to make it roll better. The JR primary really enjoyed it, and when I told SR primary that we were using the dice again- they cheered.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Every Burden is a Blessing

To start I have this "thing" about the fortunes in a fortune cookie. I'm not one to read my horoscopes. But I have had some strangely correct and foretelling fortunes from cookies. Because of this I always read the fortune in my cookie.
Two weird examples of correct cookies:
  1. Once on my mission it was transfer night, a member took us to a Chinese buffet. Although it was transfer night (get the call of who is going and coming), we didn't think we were being transferred because the area had just been opened. My cookie's fortune said be prepared for change change is coming your way, I though okay and stuffed it in my pocket. We got home from dinner and got our transfer calls, they were putting elders in and we were being sent to other areas. I had already forgot about the fortune, but the next day while packing I found it in my pocket and thought about how creepy that was.
  2. It was middle of snow and winter in Provo, UT while I was attending school at the Y. I was flying home for the weekend for some family things and was leaving after work to drive to the airport. I ran over to the Chinese place to grab some lunch, my fortune read "you are heading to the land of sunshine." It was in the mid 80's in Arizona, and everything was covered in snow in Utah. Weird
I opened the above fortune cookie this past week, some background. So this last week we watched the children of some friends of ours. They have 5 children + 1 ours= 6 children in our care. In many ways we were apprehensive about if we could handle that many children. Also, I don't regret having Baby Al, but having someone to take care of 24 hours a day has been a huge adjustment for my extremely independent personality, to the point I wonder do we really want a large family. Could we really be okay as parents of many children. Well the Lord has different ways of teaching you and directing you in various paths. We feel that he wanted us to accept the task of taking care of these children, it was a learning and growing experience for us. What did we learn? That we can do it, I can do it. I showed me that my days feel more fulfilled than most of my days with just Al. We do know how to raise children, we can lead a household with many children. And the best part- it wasn't anywhere near as bad as we dreamed it would be. This last week has been a looking into the possible life of our family in about 10 years, and yes its not that scary.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Singing Fish

I used these a few weeks ago for a sub. And just got them back to blog about them. They are just an average match game. One side is a fish and the other side has a song name. I picked a few of the songs we are learning right now and then a few old goodies (mostly for the sub who hasn't been in primary since their childhood). This can be done with any shape and the children always love it. Match games never get old and never have to be complex. Quick and easy to make and for you or a sub.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Baby's First Swim

We don't have a pool and neither do either of our parents. That is probably the biggest reason we haven't taken Al in the pool yet.
Yesterday we went to a cook-out/house warming party of one of my husband's co-workers. They have a pool and we went swimming. Al really handled it well. We never put him all the way under, we'll save that for another time. But he enjoyed the water. Hasn't quite figured out that splashing thing yet, but he's still learning.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Raid the Library

There are all sorts of things that end up in the ward closets and the library. When I was a child my mother had made one of those elephant nose chorister things (totally wish I had a picture to show everyone, plan on making one at some point). When she was released as the primary chorister she gave it to the library for everyone's use (too bad it died when the church building burned down). The whole point of the story is to go to the library and look through the closet and see what is available to you. It just might surprise you what is there. And if there isn't anything already for you, often there are supplies like scrap construction paper. Our librarians are thrilled when I take construction paper, they dream someday the pile will stop growing more than its being used.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Rainy Days Thank-You Monsoons.

Monsoon storm clouds covering the mountain in our backyard.
Monsoon season is probably my favorite time of year. Sure I love Christmas, who doesn't, its so.... Christmas-ee. And I love Halloween, when else can I ware whatever and it doesn't matter. But I love rain. I love storm clouds, I love overcast days, I love fog. I love how fast the weather changes. since I live in Arizona we don't get a whole lot of those, except during the monsoon season. Maybe I love them so much because they are so few... I don't know.
The mountains on a normal Arizona day.
The other night (Wends) the clouds rolled in and around bed time, it began to rain really hard. We have a baby monitor in Baby Al's room and every time I awoke to listen for Al I heard rain- all night long. When I got up on Thursday morning it was still raining. It continued to rain almost all day and then cleared up around 5:30ish pm. I have had a rainy day like that in years. A really cool part of the storm was the clouds hovering around the mountains in our backyard. At times I couldn't even see the mountains.
I think a big reason I love the rain, is the desert is so beautiful after the rain. It makes the other 362 days a year worth it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

"The Family is of God" song

I know most of the primaries around the world learned this song back in January, if they were going to learn it. But in discussing the Primary Program we decided we wanted something different to open the program with, something not really know, but would be a strong opening. I had suggested previously that we could use "The Family is of God" for a special musical number, and at this point renewed my suggestion, and added we could teach the 1st verse to the whole primary. The presidency thought this was a great idea. So now we are going to open with "The Family is of God" before anything is even said.
This left me with two songs to teach this month, "Families can be Together Forever" and "The Family is of God". I had already started to teach "Families can be Together Forever" and the SR primary already had it down. So this past Sunday I started teaching to the SR primary "The Family is of God". I was surprised how many of the children already knew it (1-we gave them a CD with all the songs on it at the beginning of the year 2-we have a semi transit ward seeing how we are near an army training post). I agonized all week over how to teach it and after checking out some other blogs and also talked to my sister who is the chorister in her ward and they already learned this song. I was still not feeling anything. Saturday night I was getting ready for bed and I remembered that the Friend's web page has lots of coloring pictures of families. I went to the computer and was able to find some great pictures to teach the song. I wish there were more clip art picture and coloring pictures on the Friends site. There are already a good number, they are so helpful, especially if your stake is strict on ONLY using Church approved pictures. I just always wish there was more. I don't have old copies of the Friend and I don't want to cut up my current Friend.
picture 1-Our Father has a family, It's me, it's you, all others too: we are His children.
picture 2- He sent each one of us to earth, through birth, to live and learn here in families.
picture 3 (chorus)- God gave us families to help us become what He wants us to be-
picture 4 (chorus)- This is how He Shares his love, for the family is of God.
I quickly colored them and glued them to a background. To put them in my book later I typed out the words too. I was so grateful for the bit of inspiration that worked best for me.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Monthly Trip to Phoenix

We went this last weekend for our monthly trip. I think half our ward did too, partly because it was the youth baptism trip, but there where a good number of us there who didn't have anything to do with the youth. Everyone who saw us asked "Where's your baby?" Well obvoiously not in the temple since he doesn't have a recommend. "My mother of course." Since she lives only 10 minutes away. Growing up so close to a temple and now living so far (I know its isn't that far, only 3 hours) is a big change for me. I use to get off work and run over to the temple. While my husband and I were engaged we'd go to the temple together once a week.
Gila Valley Temple sketch picture
I am looking forward to the temple that is being build in the Gila
Valley. But I'm having trouble getting excited over it. Afterall its only 1 hour closer and there is nothing there.
Brother Ted
At least if we drive the extra hour to the Mesa Temple we have my family for babysitting, entertainment, a free place to stay and eat, and anywhere I want to shop within 30 minutes to us.
Brother Von
Going up for the weekend (overnight) always feels SO SHORT, yet it is so worth it to see my family.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Aug Song and the continual quest for a reverent wiggle song

The Aug song is "Families Can Be Together Forever". I had each child draw a picture of their family and then hold it up when you sing the word "family" or "families". It worked well, especially for JR primary. They enjoyed holding up their picture and show it off. The only problem with this is that the 2nd verse doesn't contain the word "family" until you get to the chorus, and the 1st verse only has the word once. But they all hold their picture waiting for that word. The idea came from our Stake Primary music leader. Her suggestion was to have each child bring with them a picture of their family. Yes this would be better in that it would not take any time away from Singing Time, but I don't want to be only the phone all day on Saturday trying to remind them to bring their picture, and what if they forget or their family doesn't have a current picture. Also I really really dislike (wanted to use hate but I guess I don't hate) making phone calls, and our primary is HUGE, making phone calls to all those families would not be fun. Also growing up I never got the feeling my parents were too happy to have to remember to bring stuff for us, I don't want any parent to feel overwhelmed with it. This way no has to remember anything but me.
In the ever continual quest to find a reverent song that is good for the wiggles and yet calming rather than riling them up, today we did 'Head Shoulders Knees and Toes" But instead of doing the song faster each time (which I'm being to hate because the children are so rowdy after the song is over), this time we sang the song slower and softer each subsequent time until we only moved our lips and were moving in almost slow motion. Then I had the children sit back down on their seat and be quite and reverent. And guess what-they were. Yeah for a good wiggle and quite song.