Friday, November 30, 2012

Experience Africa

The fourth graders spent the week learning about life in Africa. A man who is originally from Kenya, travels around the state and teaches children about his culture. Morgan was fascinated with the differences and suddenly thankful for her easy life here.

They learned African drumming and dance as part of the activities and then put on a show for their parents. Morgan practiced at home every night. (She has no rhythm but tried so hard.) She actually did fantastic in the performance!

 Getting ready to dance.

 Getting ready to drum. Morgan is in purple, sitting at the drum.

Each set of drums has their own rhythm so there were five groups each doing their own drumming. All together they sounded really good.

The Dance:

The Drums:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Deck the Halls with JOY

I tried something different this year when it came time to decorate the Christmas tree. I pulled out the ornaments I wanted on the tree and then walked away. Yep. I let the kids put them on all by themselves instead of dictating where and how. I even left it the way they had it, for a few days.

Then today, I was standing in front of the tree with a handful of candy canes when the bus dropped the kids off, early. Caught! Zane quickly asked what I was doing and pointed out that a few of the ornaments were not where he had put them. I explained that I was just spreading them out a bit and moving a few to the top where they couldn't reach. He was satisfied with my answer and ran off to find some food. Morgan didn't seem to really notice. Phew!

The kids have been learning songs at school for their Christmas programs. Morgan was singing "Deck the Halls" one night and then Zane started singing "Check the halls with lots of jolly!" So, our halls have officially been checked with jolly.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


What a busy month this has been. We've had lots of service opportunities with the ladies from church that have kept me busy. I love it! It's such a great feeling when someone offers sincere thanks for helping to lighten their load.

Feeling the JOY of service helped to lessen the saddness of not being with family on Thanksgiving. Traveling across Wyoming in the winter is just too dangerous. (Sometimes it snows on Elk Mountain in June.) Since getting to Oregon requires traveling over several mountain passes there was no way to make it happen. 

We were prepared to stay at home and sulk over our loneliness but good friends here would not allow it.  We ended up with several offers for Thanksgiving dinner. Scott had to work that morning, of course. But we joined friends that afternoon for a late lunch / early dinner. It was fabulous! They have kids the same age as ours and they all played so well together. (We had only one minor head injury when the kids were playing hide-and-seek in the dark.) Good food and good fun!

We finished the evening with a Skype video conference with the family in Oregon and Brittany in Idaho. Wow! Modern technology is awesome! It was fun seeing all my nieces and nephews being silly in front of the camera. Wish we could have been there!

 We did our traditional "Attitude of Gratitude" family home evening this month. The kids helped me create a thankful tree. I should have punched out more leaves because they kept thinking of more and more and MORE things they were thankful for.

We are so blessed!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

SMILE... It's Your Birthday!

It seems like I was just posting a Happy Birthday post about my favorite Brittany and here she is having another birthday. We've had 21 wonderful years together! She grows more beautiful, inside and out, with each passing year.

So many of my smiles begin with you!

Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

God Bless America!

The TV channels have been full of political ads and the kids have been learning about politics in school. That's just the way it is when it's an election year. I was amazed that even my children could tell the difference between the two main candidates. When certain ads would be on, Zane would turn to me and say, "He's really a bad guy." 

Zane's class got to "vote" yesterday and he said he voted for Romney. I asked him why and he said it was because Romney likes cold cereal and riding horses just like he does. Sweet innocence! Then I asked Morgan who she would vote for and she said Romney as well. I asked her why and she announced, without hesitation, "because he knows how to pray to God for help and he knows how to go to the temple too." So wise!

The kids struggled to go to bed last night because the race was so close and they desperately wanted to know the winner. Zane was up early this morning asking me who won. When I told him he growled in anger and stomped off to tell Morgan. She too was angry. And then we all cried.

The first thing I did when I woke up this morning was open my scriptures. They fell open to 3 Nephi chapter one and my heart was filled with peace as I read, "Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold the time is at hand..." 

I grabbed my scriptures and shared this with my children. We talked about how we know that God's "team" will win and we just need to make sure we are on that team. Even though our guy didn't win the election, we can know we did right because we voted for him. Even though our leaders don't always make the best decisions, we can stand up for what is right no matter what. I told them to always be willing to fight for what is right and never give in, even if it may seem like the bad guys are winning. The Lord will protect and bless those who follow Him.

We then had 15 minutes to eat, brush teeth, put shoes on, feed the cats, and get on the bus. And we made it!

I heard a reporter say that the Republican Party messed up big and picked the wrong guy to run. Really? I wanted to tell the reporter to read Mosiah 29:27.

God Bless America!