Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Present for DiAnn

DiAnn is one of my best friends in Edmonton. She is one of those timeless people, that it is hard to believe that she is old enough to be my mother. She is one of the kindness person I know. One of the fun things about her, is because she is finished raising her kids, she has money to do things and her husband travels for work, so she has time to do things. I have the benefits of having a single friend that can do things, but the benefits of having a happily married friend to give me hope. So trying to figure out a Christmas gift for the woman who has everything is next to impossible. One morning in the shower it came to me that my roommate and I should babysit for all of DiAnn's grandchildren, so she can go to the temple with all her children and their spouses and then for dinner. We told her in November to give DiAnn lots of time to coordinate everyone. Sadly the week before we were to babysit, DiAnn's mother died and our great gift turned into a relief of what to do with the babies during the funeral and then what to do with the older kids, so the adults could share memories without being constantly interrupted.

Here are some pictures of us with the kids. 11 kids between 18months to 10yrs. And the 18month olds are twins. There were some serious moments of "what were we thinking?"
This is Rachel painting a star. Each kid painted and decorated a star and then put their favourite scripture on the back. We hid them all over the place for DiAnn to find.
Jake after he woke up from his nap. He was having some issues with the paint brush so Alison is helping him.
Tommy and Sidney working on their stars. Tommy was very decisive about his scripture. It had to be the one about the "man who paid for the hotel for the man that was hurt". I thought it was interesting that he focused on that part of the story of the Good Samaritan. I made a comment about how well all the kids knew the scriptures and Sidney pipped up with "well of course, we read the scripture every day". To all the parents out there that question whether there is any point in having family scripture study given how hard it is, there is your answer.

Dianna and Heidi. They were such a big help. Heidi is the oldest of 5, with the twins as the youngest. She has in some ways born the brunt of that and but for the most part is very positive about the whole thing. Anyway, we were deciding on a scripture for one of the twins and Heidi asked if there was a scripture for "cry babies"? We put "Cry unto the Lord" for her.
Jake, Jack(31/2) and Tommy(3). Jack is a bit of a wild man, but he is also so kind and gentle. Tommy was having a hard time spelling his name, so Jack started to help him. It was so sweet. They had to double check about how to print an "M" and I was impressed at how willing they were to work together and there was no pride about who knew more or receiving help.

We did make your own pizzas and we let them drink pop. The older kids were loving the pop.
It was a fun and exhausting day, and I would definitely do it again.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Primary Gingerbread Party

This year I decided to have a Gingerbread Party for my primary class. It was lots of fun. In addition to having the kids currently in my class, I invited the two girls that moved to another ward part way through the year. It was so great to hear everyone cheer when I said they would be coming.

I had planned to make Gingerbread Houses first and if there was time decorate my house for Christmas and maybe some quieter games. I bought gingerbread kits from Ikea and I would highly recommend them. They are small and relatively inexpensive, the perfect choice if you want everyone to have their own. I decided to put the houses together before the kids got there but there were some construction issues. So my friend Jason took over the kitchen and I got the kids busy on decorating.

This is Jonathon and Donovan untangling the lights. Donovan has been the only boy in his class his whole life so this year I suggested we pray for another boy to join the class and Jonathon is the answer to our prayer. His entire family were baptized this September. And Donovan has made sure that Jonathon has felt welcome. Anytime he isn't at Church, Donovan calls to say he missed him, drops him off stuff from sharing time or our lessons. They play together all the time. It's been great!

We discovered that Jonathon is better at tangling than untangling. Maggie(she moved part way through the year) took over as she got frustrated watching Jonathon. Don't worry, Jonathon got to go in the kitchen and help with construction.

More untangling/tangling.
Zoe is a creative genius. She is one of the reasons I had no problem letting a bunch of 9 year olds decorate. As a matter of fact, I think they did a better job than I would have.
This is Dianna, another kid that left us part way through the year. When we finished decorating, the constructions were not fully resolved, so I pulled out this book call "The conversation piece". It has all sorts of questions, some serious, some silly and everything in between. Each kid got to pick a question to ask everyone and then everyone answered. There was a lot of laugh. Especially about the question about what two sports would you combine to make a new sport.
Maggie gleefully decorating her house. I don't think Maggie knows how to frown or walk. She skips everywhere laughing. It's wonderful how contagious it is.
Young Joo was very serious about her house and making sure she had the right candy. Her family immigrated to Canada 2 years ago and she is a shining example at how quickly kids learn. She reads as well as anyone in the class and she spoke no English before moving. This was her very first gingerbread house. She had lots of questions, because she wanted to make sure she explained everything to her family correctly.
This is Claire and the "little miss trouble" t-shirt explains everything. Boy is she fun. She was covered in icing by the end and it was like she thought she was the gingerbread house.

More serious Young Joo. This is soooo contrary to her true nature. Normally, I can't get her to stop giggling.
Jason helping Claire out.
Zoe was all about the thin layer of "snow".
So this is my friend Jason and the mess of melted sugar. The back of the boxes said to melt sugar, and instead of becoming gluey, just went mushing. It was a mess.
As a side note: please don't ask about Jason, it is very complicated and totally inappropriate for me to write about on a blog. But suffice it to say, I'm currently dealing with a broken heart.

Temple Worker Devotional

For the past five years, some friends and I have helped out with the annual Temple Worker Devotional. It's lots of fun because some of the people I don't see except at the devotional. The workers drop off the food and then while they are in the devotional, we get to make it pretty. The pretty food.

Mandy, the expert sandwich person.

Barb, the person who likes to think she is boss. We just do what we want anyway, so there is no point in letting her think otherwise.