Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Star Prophecy by Joan Sowards

The newest novel from Joan Sowards!! Awesome book!! I was able to read this book in its original draft and was totally amazed at the fresh perspective on an LDS Book of Mormon novel. It will be like nothing else you've ever read. 
Check out Joan's blog and her blog train. She is giving away 3 copies so see her blog to find out how to win! This book is a must read and will be enjoyed by both men and women-(not just a chick book!!
You can purchase it at your local LDS bookstore or online at Amazon. Check it out!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy New Year

New Year, New Goals. Good times, Good times to come.
For New Years weekend we went up to Phoenix. We were able to attend the temple Friday (New Years Eve) morning, since it was open only in the morning. We had decided that if the temple was open Friday it was worth the trip to Mesa. Friday evening we went to dinner at Famous Daves at the Mesa Riverview with my parents. I had never eaten there before. I really enjoyed their appetizers Nachos.  That night Kristy and Christ came over, we watched the first 3 episodes of Avatar (cartoon series) with my brothers and their friends. We went out for ice cream and bought fireworks. That was New Years eve. 
New Years Day we said good-bye to my family and went to Casa Grande for my husband's family Christmas party. They traditionally hold theirs the first Saturday after Christmas. This year happened to be on New Years day. We do our family gift exchange (we all draw someone's name and there is a $20 gift limit). At PePere's house's there was a train. This is Al's newest interest. He spend the whole time at the party watching the train go round and round, and waiting for someone to turn it on.
After all the family festivities we went drove back home. It was nice to be home again. We bathed Al then put him to bed. 
Happy New Year.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Christmas at Our House

Christmas Eve Eve Al and I drove to Bisbee to go to the Chocolate shop, they have a site and will take online orders at Spirited Chocolate. Al really liked their homemade hot chocolate, can't say I blame him  it is my FAVORITE hot chocolate in the whole world.
Christmas Eve we started the day going out for breakfast at the Country House Restaurant with my in-laws. Then we went around town delivery our gift to our local friends, a small container of homemade Italian Sausage Seasoning. Sorry to all our out of town friends, I don't do shipping, but if you'd like to make it yourself here is the link to the recipe. Italian Sausage Seasoning, the key to the whole mix is to ground the fennel, you'll have all the taste of Italian sausage without the price or the fat. 
Continuing with Christmas Eve, we went over to my in-laws that evening and watched "Muppet Christmas Carol" -best Christmas movie and Muppet movie EVER! At bed time we took Al home and put him to bed.

We stayed home this year, didn't make the drive up to my parents. It was a nice and quite Christmas day with my in-laws. We got up opened our gifts, took Al long enough to notice the cool gifts sitting out. Then went over to my in-laws for breakfast Christmas Quiche. We then opened gifts over there. Uncle Justin won Christmas by getting Al the most amazing to him toy ever, a Thomas the Train  and track. Yes Justin won Christmas. 
We spend the rest of our day relaxing, eating at leisure, digital scrapbooking and shopping, and playing a LAN game of Civ 4. Great day.

Teaching: If I listen With My Heart-Continued

So today actually went so much better than I thought. Thanks for all of your comments and ideas. I don't dislike the song itself, I just don't feel it is a whole primary song, it would be beautifully done by a YW small group. Also I think the song had been on, but it was lost when they started to redo the website, that's about all I can think of.
First: With the loss of time from Testimonies going over, and all the confusion from the first Sunday of the year, we started really late. I had brought my 'SUNS' to welcome our new Sunbeams and do wiggle songs with them. While the Primary Presidency was trying to get everyone where they needed to go, we started having our new Sunbeams pick 'Suns'. When it was time for Singing time we did a couple more then learned the Chorus to "If I Listen With My Heart", in the end I put a short bit of ASL (sign language) to go to the chorus. The little children too right to it and loved it. I will film myself doing it and put it on the blog for anyone who would like to see it. We ended JR doing one more wiggle song with our 'Suns'.
Second: Teaching the first verse to the SR primary went so much better than I worried, still not great. It is a hard song to learn, melody and words and all. But they were troopers. And I tried to have a positive outlook and energy for them.
Third: Before primary I talked to our Primary President and the councilors and expressed my feelings and asked for their thoughts. I suggested a number of suggestions (make it a musical number, have SR primary do the verses and JR just do chorus, do only one verse...) We discuses it a bit and said we'd talk about it after church. They all saw me teaching it, heard the song, ect. After church we talked and came to what I feel is the best conclusion. I feel so good about it. We are going to start our program with this song, the first verse is going to be a solo, we have the young girl picked out and feel so good about it. This young lady has a speak impediment. For almost a year now has been taking private voice lessons as a way to treat her speak impediment. Her mother had mentioned to one of the councilors that it would be wonderful if she had a chance to preform in one of our program's musical numbers since she doesn't get recital to preform and that way she could have something in her voice lessons to work towards. The second verse is going to be sung by a small group of our older girls with the young lady who sung the first verse. On the choruses and the 3rd verse the entire primary will sing. So now I only need to teach the third verse to the entire primary, and that is a bit less daunting then the whole song. As we spoke we all felt so good about this choice. When I told my husband I just felt so comforted that this was the best choice and the choice that was right for our primary. I am grateful that the Lord answers prays and knows what is best. One of the councilors afterwards mentioned that maybe my feelings were more inspired than frustrated because if I had not felt this way we would have never come up with this wonderful solution.
Thanks again for all who read and for all who left comments. I too love to oo, la, bump, buzz, or moo to a song to help the children use the melody, we did that today.
I will record the chorus ASL and post is as soon as I can get it ready.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Teaching: If I Listen With My Heart

I am really at a loss about this song. It didn't show up on the church website until a couple of days ago, so I couldn't hear how it went (I don't have a piano). I can't seem to memorize this song for the life of me. I keep singing and singing and nothing is sticking with me, I can't even sing the tune right (with or without the music). I keep looking and thinking and praying for a way to teach it and I get nothing. I feel nothing for this song, but annoyance. Its a nice song, but if I can't sing it without needing words how can I expect my little ones to learn it. Each year I'm the chorister I'm becoming more frustrated with these new songs that feel impossible to have the children learn. My youngest never fully learned "I Know that the Savior Loves Me", the more I tried to help the children learn it the more I felt like it didn't matter because I was never going to have them sing this song ever again once the program was done. I even had many SR primary who couldn't get the song. So as I am trying to learn this song myself I'm a so frustrated I want to just say "forget it, we'll do something else" but that isn't my call to make. I seriously want to cry (and I don't cry). I got nothing!
As for people and ideas from others:
Jolly Jenn has a good flipchat that is about all I have right now. What I will probably end up doing is cutting up her flip chart, putting the pictures for each verse on a poster board and adding a few extra pictures (ie walk, earth, ear-listen/hear, mouth-say/words/speaks, scriptures).
Sofia's on Sofia's Primary Idea's blog has a few ideas about ways to introduce or get the children's attention. I am going to have a head band with hearts to over the ears (I live in Arizona and have never once in my life owned earmuffs), I might let a few different children ware them. Then I plan on having lots of small cut up construction paper hearts and having the children hold them over their hears when we sing the word 'heart'.
None of this do I feel strongly about. In fact there is a part of me that wants to just do something fun, welcome to the Sunbeams and to the New Year tomorrow and talk to our Primary President about my problem with this song and see if we can come up with a compromise. One idea that keeps coming to head is only teaching ONE of the verses to my primary and the chorus, and we'd have small groups of children do the other two verses. But again I have to see how my Primary President feels.