Sunday, 29 November 2009
1. Recreational Therapists. I have marvelled for days, at what a wonderful surprise we got visiting my dad on Thursday this week.
2. In-laws who let us stay at their house so often these days. We go visit my dad every week and tend to stay at their house during our visits. They're so accomodating, and kind, and provide great food! :0)
3. Amazing Weather. I am stunned at how warm it still is! Up until now we've had no snow on the ground here...and most days my kids just wear a hoodie to school. It's a nice change after last winter! We got some snow Friday. How long will it stick around??
4. Flexibility. I'm so glad that we have flexible work schedules. Of course, that sometimes means that we work far most than most people, it seems. But on days when we can take the kids out of school and take off for the day, I'm so grateful for it! Just have to keep that in mind on those long working days I guess!
5. Christmas Lights. My neighbors have their Christmas lights up and on nwo and it's so nice when I'm working late at night to sit and look at the lights. I remember when Peirce was younger and was so crazy about Christmas lights. I think I'm crazy about them too! (Well, to be clear, I'm crazy about looking at them - but apparently NOT crazy about putting them up!)
6. Good health. I seem to be surrounded by all sorts of people with health challenges these days...and I'm so grateful that I've enjoyed good health. What a challenge it can be for some!
7. Skype. My sister made me download Skype a little while ago. I can't believe we didn't do this sooner! It's so fun to talk on Skype to my dad and mom and my sister and her family. I have a friend that is living in Australia right now and we talk on Skype too. Amazing little tool!! And the best part: it's free!!
Friday, 27 November 2009
This was all such good timing. Much better than having it on a Sunday night so everyone has a bad Monday. And good thing it came AFTER our trip to Lethbridge!
This is one of those bendy-buses in Calgary. (Thanks Sonja for the picture!)
A Friday night is a perfect night to stay home, make a cake and have ice cream with warm cake!! (And next time I make a cake I'll put the sugar in it....oops!)
Thursday, 26 November 2009
My kids are happy to take a day off school to go visit. We tend to not go on weekends because:
1. Dad gets a lot of visitors on weekends. Well, who am I kidding. He gets visitors every day of the week. Maybe it has something to do with having old people as friends (i.e. more open time!). I'm not sure....but it's always a good time there! Apparently though, weekends are even busier.
2. Weekends seem to be so crazy for our family! It's hard to shirk all our responsibilities at the office, with church, and with activities for our kids....and since we can do it during the week we try to do that. It's working well so far.
Sometimes though hanging out at the hospital is not that exciting for Peirce. Jill is getting to that age where she loves to sit and listen to the adults talk - but Peirce, not so much. Today he cried when we were heading there because, as he said, it's just so boring!!
Well, what a surprise we had today!! One of the hospital's Recreational Therapists showed up with a Wii, a number of card games, crafts and board games, and a DVD player....just for us to use!! It was so amazing! Peirce and Jill made crafts, played games, and played with the Wii to their heart's content. It was such a blessing! I don't know how we got on her list for this surprise, but we sure were grateful! I just wish I had taken some pictures!
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
I hate to be a Laman/Lemuel grumbler....but my first reaction was, "Oh no! I have enough to do!" And as the meeting went on that feeling only grew. It was interesting to me that the Bishop confessed that he felt the same way while attending the meeting with all the Bishops. He said that at the end of the meeting the Stake President asked him to say the closing prayer. Our Stake President is amazing and seems inspired in everything he does - even down to who he asks to say the closing prayer. The Bishop said as he prayed he felt the spirit witness to him strongly that we can do this and that if we follow the counsel we will be blessed and won't be overwhelmed.
I hope so. I'm sure feeling lately like my life is just a little too full and if I add one more thing there will be a big mess to clean up thanks to everything flowing OUT of the cup! I still tend to feel a little overwhelmed at the idea - especially since my husband is all gung ho! and wants to make plans to have people over and do social things to try and be better member missionaries.
As a missionary I had little patience for those members who felt like they'd done their bit as far as missionary work goes, and who had no time for missionary work. Now I'm one of them!!
I'll try to repent......
Monday, 23 November 2009
Sunday, 22 November 2009
With this week being Thanksgiving in the states, a lot of people on Facebook seem to be posting things they're grateful for. Made me think I need to get back in the swing of my Sunday Seven Posts!! This week's Sunday Seven has a family theme.
1. My dad.
My dad has not been doing well the past couple of weeks. He was diagnosed with cancer in the Spring. It's been a real roller coaster ride. The news, "You have cancer" really takes one back. But then they said that if you have to have cancer this is the best kind to have....and the roller coaster ride has continued. One day it's positive news, then a bomb drops and we get quite worried. Right now he's in the hospital with a big mass on his spine. A couple of weeks ago they told him he had 2-6 weeks to live - but he's determined to prove them wrong....and if you ask me, an attitude like that is 9/10 of the battle.
2. My mom!
My mom is amazing. She can do anything. I love her to death and I love to visit with her and I worry about her lately with everything going on with my dad.
My kids are blessed to have lots and lots of cousins. My mom has a sign on her fridge that says:
Grandma's House: Where cousins become best friends.
It's so true. The other day I was IMing with my cousin Nickee and we were talking about the fun things we remember doing on our Grandparents ranch. We had so much fun as cousins! I'm glad my kids enjoy their cousins so much and have such a good time with them too! These are pictures of their Jensen cousins:
They have three cousins on my side of the family, and 16 on Allen's side of the family!! That's a lot of cousins! I think they're very very lucky.
4. My siblings
My brother and sister are a hoot. Life is always a party when my sister and her husband are around, and it's just increased when Neil is around too. I'm so lucky! We really like Neil's new girlfriend, too. We're cheering for her to be officially added to our family!
5. My extended family
And this is just one side! This is my mom's side of the family a couple of Christmas' ago. It's so fun to get together with all of them!!
6. The family I married into!
I have been so blessed to marry into the family I married into. They're wonderful and I feel like I fit in quite well. I admire them all for so many things. They're all amazing people. Wish I had a picture to post!
7. My dear husband
Oh how I could go on! I appreciate him so much for his desires to do what's right, to work hard and provide well, and to be a good dad. We have so much fun together. Hardly a day ends without us lying in bed and ending up in a fit or laughter over one thing or another. It's a great way to end a day!
Saturday, 21 November 2009
Jill's strengths: She's got strong linguistic skills and actually has decided she wants to be a Linguist when she grows up. She's always been a talker and had good vocabulary. She loves to write and often journals and writes stories. She loves words games and reading. She also has a really good memory. She is very creative (one of the most creative people I know!) and loves drawing, clay, painting, etc. She also is very sensitive and good with people. She's not usually prone to peer pressure and tried to be a leader. She tends to be rather kinesthetic too and can't sit in one spot for too long! She's also very competitive...but she tries to keep that under her hat a bit.
What areas I'd like to see Jill grow: I'd like to see Jill be organized and take responsibility for her learning. She can really get into something if its somethimg that's peaked her interested. She can really shine if allowed to work on projects in her passion areas of interest.
What is Jill passionate about:
- the earth - she's a bit of a tree hugger!
- zen - she's conscious of her need for peace, creativity, etc.
- friendship - she's very social!
Is the Pope Catholic? Do one legged ducks swim in circles? Is the sky blue? Does a Big Mac have sauce? Oh ya...she will read for hours. (Especially if the hours are past her bedtime.)
She's very visual (art, drawing, puzzles, colors) and has very strong auditory and language skills. She also is often very logical/analytical. She likes to know how things work and likes to create/re-create her own version of something she's observed)
Does your child participate in any extra curricular activities?
Jill is in a competetive swim club. She swims 3 times a week and would like to swim more! I'd like to say she does piano too - but sh'es not as serious about piano (much to her mother's chagrin)
Do you have any areas of concern for Jill? Mostly I want Jill to enjoy school and be appreciated for the great girl she is. We sure love her!
What areas would I like to see Peirce grow? I would like to see him grow as an independent learner...and learn to LOVE reading.
What is Peirce passionate about?
TV (Ugh) - truthfully, Peirce seems to need a little time on his own to cave and TV seems to provide that for him.
He is passionate about what he perceives to be the rules/right things to do. He also really loves '"Boy's Club" (i.e. special time with Dad). He's passionate about having a good time...all the time!
He loves it. This past summer he's started to like listening to chapter books read by Mom, Dad or Jill...or on CD. He's becoming a great reader and is especially into joke books right now.
What kind of a learner is Peirce? Logical/Matmatical - he's always been obsessed about things being lined up and organized. Since being able to count he counts EVERYTHING. I think he is also quite kinesthetic (always squirming and loves to hold hands/snuggle, etc.) He enjoys quiet time alone and will play in his room for hours - but recently he's become a budding socialize too - so I don't really know if he'll learn best independently or working with someone. His language skills are really improving. Peirce talked really late and was on a PUF grant for speech at Providence Pre-school. He certainly shows no sign of weakness in that arena now! We read the Book of Mormon together every morning and there's rarely a word he can't figure out.
He swims at swim club two times a week and will go to two swim meets (fun meets) this year. He has a near perfect backstroke! He's also learning to play piano (just started)
Areas of concern: My greatest hope is that Peirce will be happy at school and feel loved...because we think he is priceless!!
Monday, 16 November 2009
Witches is the perfect example:
- It's scary - but kids seem to love it. At least Peirce seems to go at it similar to how people pass a car accident and rubber-neck. He seems to love to dabble in these seemingly scary stories
- It's bizarre - a cigar smoking grandma? Come on! Kids should never bath more than once a month? Eeesh.
- There are chapters that just seem thrown in there and don't need to be there at all...like the chapter called The Heart of a Mouse. It has nothing really significant to do with the story. Why is it there?
I don't know how he gets away with it. Somehow it works though. I think this was the third time we've read this book together. I tried to get Peirce to do more reading out loud to me - but he really balked that. He loves to just sit and listen to the store. He soaks it all in...and then he's scared and has to come get in our bed in the night. But when I threaten to stop reading it because my bed is crowded....he cries and begs me to continue.
What is up with that??!
Sunday, 15 November 2009
2. Primary - Have I mentioned lately how much I love my calling in Primary? I love doing Sharing Time. I love conducting. I love interacting with all the kids. I love working with the presidency we have, and the teachers we have. It's a great experience!
3. Healing - this past week was two years since we lost our little Destiny. I'm happy to say that I really finally feel like I'm able to think or talk about her without just breaking down in tears...although sometimes I do have to swallow hard. But I am grateful that those wounds do heal. I so look forward to the day when we can get to know her!
4. Soy Beans - I now have a year's supply of soy beans! I love our co-op and the difference it's made in accumulating a much better food storage.
5. Opportunities! I contacted a Charter School Board here in Calgary about subbing. I had also contacted the main school board but their sub list is closed. I wasn't that broken up about it because their application process is really arduous. I will still work on getting an application in, but in the meantime I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to do some subbing with the Charter School.
6. Allen - I so appreciate his desire to be a good husband, and a good dad, and a good Priesthood holder. We often have talks about what he's trying to do in his calling or what he's learning about in his personal study, or his desires to attend the temple often - and I'm so grateful to be married to such a good person.
7. Jill and Peirce - These two are so great. I can't believe I've been blessed with such good and kind and smart and darling children. They are easy kids to be a mom to - and I'm grateful for that!
Friday, 13 November 2009
Today we were all there to visit and see how he's doing. It's been really great to be here visiting with him.
Thursday, 12 November 2009
Sunday, 8 November 2009
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
L'ETOILE DE LA SEMAINE:
Twice a week Peirce goes to swim practice.
In this video Peirce is practising streamlining.
In this video you get to meet three coaches: Jello, Carmen and Tom. Carmen is Peirce's coach. Tom coaches the bigger kids. He swam in the Olympics! He is the only swimmer in Canadian history to win four Olympic medals in three different Olympic Games (1992, 1988 and 1984). Maybe one day we should invite him to school to show our class his medals!
Jill is a swimmer too! She doesn't like this picture though because she just finished doing butterfly and she was really tired!