Sunday, August 29, 2010

2010 Primary Song Review Activity

Wanna see a picture of me in scrubs?
I didn't think so. Oh well, read on anyways.

Today we started reviewing the songs we've been working on learning in Primary this year. Each year in primary the children learn 8 different songs which teach about gospel principles, as well as the love that Heavenly Father and Jesus have for each of us. In conjunction, there is a monthly focus on a gospel principle. In the fall, each primary throughout the world shares a primary program during sacrament meeting on Sunday. During the program, the children share what they've been learning about throughout the year and they get to sing the songs they've been working on all year.

I've been our ward's primary music leader for two + years, and I am preparing for my third program. In truth, the primary music leader's job is tough. You can't ever repeat the same thing you did the week before because the kids get bored, and you generally only have about 20 minutes for 4 weeks in a row to teach the children the songs so that they know them, understand the message of each song, and are mostly ready to perform them. AND you have to keep it interesting and engage the children too!

While a tough responsibility, the music leader also has a lot of latitude, and can do fun and zany stuff once in a while as well. I've been waiting for over a year to try out the activity we did today. It was very rewarding and helped give me the information I needed for the upcoming weeks of review.

Today, I walked into singing time dressed up like this. I was also wearing latex gloves, a stethescope, and a facial mask.
(I know, those poor children!)

I had a chart with all of our songs that we've been working on which I'd titled our "Song Ometer". I introduced myself as Dr. Lettuce Ing (say it fast, you'll be amazed at how clever I was coming up with that name).

We talked about why we go to the Dr...sometimes because we are sick, and sometimes just for a check up. I explained that all of our songs needed a check up so that we would know which songs might need a little more work.

On the chart were check boxes of the things we needed to check.
Words, Rhythm, Message, Expression, Dynamics, and finally a spot for our final diagnosis.

I put on my gloves and we went to work. The kids sang each song (as many as time would allow) and then I chose physician assistants to come up and help me figure out where the ailments were. They got to put a red dot sticker (fever - VERY sick), a yellow dot sticker (needs a little more exercise and care), or a green dot sticker (clean bill of health) next to each checklist item depending on how they felt we did. I then got to give a final diagnosis. If the song was perfect, I gave it a blue dot sticker. If it wasn't 100%, it got the green, yellow, or red sticker.

Now, I know which songs the kids need to do a little more work on, and so do they!
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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Yard Scenes

Here are a couple of shots from around our yard today.
Our roses are in their second bloom cycle this summer. I've learned that as long as I dead head them after their first blooms, a while later I'll get another crop of gorgeous blossoms and they seem to last through the summer

Here are some blossoms from the climbing roses plant a friend gave me for my birthday last year

Here is a blossom from the bush some friends gave us for a housewarming present when we moved in - beautiful!

Here is our mighty huntress
This week she caught another chipmunk (she already brought another one in the house this summer). Last week she caught a lizard...she gets so offended when I start to panic and shout when she brings in her live friends...she just can't understand why we get so upset. :)
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A few more from the local state park

The View

A couple of girls with their daddy

One of my favorite spots - no matter what time of year this area is always SO picturesque
Our jackolantern smile
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Playing "Pooh Sticks"

If you've ever read Winnie the Pooh, you know what Pooh Sticks are...drop something in the water, then let your sticks (or weeds or whatever it may be - except rocks don't generally work) race to see which one passes by the other side of the bridge first.
Dropping it in

Watching for the winner

The girls - ain't they cute?

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State Park

Today we went for a Sunday drive and ended up at our favorite local state park.
Here we all are in front of a gorgeous sunset that lasted less than 1 minute just before we headed home

Self portrait of my husband and I

Fly fisherman's paradise...too bad it was Sunday, and we don't fish on Sundays! Look at all of those fish rising!

Our favorite fishing spot
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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Singing Time Butter

Yep - I had fun in primary again today. Thanks so much to my sister for this really turned out well.

A little history 101:
In July of 1847, the first Mormon pioneers arrived in Utah (Mexico Territory) and determined that "this is the place" where they could settle and live - safely cocooned in the Rocky Mountains, and mostly out of everyone's way. It was a time and a place to heal. In Utah, the 24th of July is the state holiday which celebrates the pioneer heritage and Utah's eventual statehood. We look back on the early Mormon pioneers and recognize the sacrifices that many of them made - leaving their homes, families, possessions, even losing their lives or loved ones on their trek west. Now days it is difficult to imagine how great these sacrifices were. They were made however, by a people who had been seeking for the gospel of Jesus Christ, and when it was restored on the earth through Joseph Smith these people recognized it and were willing to give everything to receive the blessings of the gospel.

In primary last month the children learned several different pioneer songs - songs which narrated how the pioneer children walked and walked and walked...(you get the picture). Today in primary, I thought we could take it a little further and tie our review in with the Church's pioneer history.

I had a chart on the board depicting different ways to sing a song. FF, pp, stacatto, lento, presto, and maestro (the last one is not a musical term by the way) - each musical term tied to a number on a die (dice).

We talked about how difficult it might be if you were walking all day to prepare a good meal for dinner. We then talked about how the pioneers were able to make butter by pouring the cream from their milk into containers and hanging it on the back of the wagons. As they traveled all day long, the movement would 'churn' the butter as they went and they would have butter at the end of the day for their dinner.

I gave each class a jar with some whipping cream in it and told them that we were going to work on learning the Crusader's Hymn - Beautiful Savior which they've been working on all month.

A child got to roll the die to determine which style we would use to sing our song and then 1 class member got to 'churn' their butter as they sang. If it was a presto song, they got to churn like speedy gonzales. If it was piano, they had to do it softly etc. If they got 'maestro', then the teachers had to sing, and the kids only got to churn as well as their teachers sang - they loved that! After each verse, we'd go for another singing option and the kids would pass the jar to their neighbors.

After we were done, during sharing time I dumped out the extra liquid, added a bit of salt and buttered up some rolls for the jr. primary kids to eat with their butter. I let Sr. primary take care of their own. The kids LOVED this activity and it definitely helped move our review right along!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


We recently celebrated my husband's birthday.

Here are the "Darn Tough" socks that he LOVES and was so excited to receive

Our daughter gave him a baseball bat and some baseballs...she had a hard time figuring out how to wrap it and so she wrapped it in the ever convenient 'blanket' wrapping paper

My husband's parents think of everything...this gift was the coup de all presents!

(dehydrated water)

The girls and their daddy
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Monday, August 2, 2010

Recent Quilts

Well, its been that time of the year again and our county fair just ended.
I decided last year that I had so many projects, I couldn't take on too many new ones (hah) until I finished the old.

I decided to finish up several of the quilts I've had laying around (I also found a fairly inexpensive quilter who does a great job!)

I started this one probably 4 years ago. It has been hanging on my wall in our loft (unfinished) for a very long time. It is the first quilt I've ever personally machine quilted on my own. Not amazing, but I finally put the binding on it and really finished it up.

This is my retro quilt I started last fall. I love the bold funky has a spider web quilted design on the front because the entire backing is spider webs.

Here is my 5 year project! Boy did this one take a long time. 2" squares all throughout it around the stars. I finished it a LONG time ago, but had made a glaring mistake on the very first block. It took me a while (yes, like 5 years) to actually feel confident enough to pull it back apart and fix the error. Hallelujah, it is DONE! I love the contrasting colors and the light and dark. I also love that this is all batik. I've been thinking about making another one of these, to see how far I've come in the past several years. Maybe ALL of my lines would match up this time!

For the record, the quilt that I made for my mother's birthday took Class Champion at the fair!
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Skirts, Hats & Bags

The girls recently finished knitting some hats...well, they finished them in May, but we weren't 100% sure how to finish finish them. It took a whole 10 minute to finish once we figured it out. Here they are modeling them.

Here's the messenger bag our daughter made last week for the county fair. She did a great job and loves her bag!

Here's the skirt our daughter made for the fair. She was disappointed - they only gave her a ribbon for participation because she was too 'young'. It turned out great though, and she can't wait to wear it next week to church!
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Sunday, August 1, 2010


I really wish these photos turned out better than they did, but considering it was after midnight, it's the best we got.

Here's our painting progress. We were amazed to find when we put our new paint color next to our old paint, that our old paint actually looks green. Yes - VERY minty green. Very bizarre. I know that everything here looks a deathly shade of yellow, but imagine it cream with a very minty pretend green as the old paint. You'll get the picture. If not, when you come to my house, you'll see and FEEL the difference (oh, and smell it too!)


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Because my sister yelled at me and because she needs instant gratification, here are few photos and things that have been going on around here lately.

We spent some time at the temple last week and here is a shot of the girls while they were waiting for me.

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In case you weren't Sure

I saw this sign at a recent community activity.

While we live in a rural area, I never thought that they'd really have to say it out loud.
Please, DON'T bring the chickens or goats!
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Tidal Wave

So we've been busy (as always) with a new project this week.
If you've ever been to our home, you know that we have VERY high ceilings. We've always had a concern over how we would clean them should we ever desire to do so.

Well...we decided to paint the inside of our home. We figured out how to paint the ceiling and we started in the front room. We put many hours into it (late, a.m. hours) and last night were able to start taking the tape from the floor and from around the windows. We figured we needed to just go room by room and try to keep as much semblance of normal as possible.

So, last night was we were busy working trying to get things back into their places, our youngest daughter asked me if she could take a bath.

My response was "sure". A short while later, I heard the water running in the bathroom. Quite a while after that, I realized that I was STILL hearing the water running in the bathroom. I mentioned it out loud and my husband went off to investigate. One of the things I love about him is that he's usually pretty even keel - it takes a LOT to get his goat. I heard the water shut off, and he returned and we resumed our work.

Later, just as I was turning off the lights and locking up, I stepped in the bathroom to turn off the light.

There, propped up against the counter was a Boogie Board.

Someone had been boogie boarding in the bathtub.

What can you do in such a situation besides laugh?