Monday, 21 February 2011

The Titanic


Today was Family Day and a day off from school. We decided to go to The Science Center and check out the Titanic exhibit. It was quite interesting. One thing I didn't realize was that the sunken Titanic was discovered in 1985....the year I graduated from High School! That really wasn't that long ago.


I also realized I'm not that interested in artifacts and preserving old stuff. I don't get a real thrill out of "wow...that's actual stuff from the Titanic".


What really does touch me though are the stories of the people from The Titanic. When you go into the exhibit they give you a boarding card with the name and info on it about a real passenger. At the end of the exhibit you can find "your name" on the list of passengers and see if you died or survived. Peirce died. He also had a daughter and cousin on board, and they survived. Jill was not a survivor either....she was in a part of 8 people and they all perished. I survived, along with my daughter, but my husband died.


There was a quote at the end of the exhibit from a woman whose husband died. I can't remember it exactly but she basically said that they all were allowing the women and children to go first, in an effort to save them, not realize they were sending her to her greatest heartache ever as her husband did not live through the tragedy. It broke my heart.
It was also surprising to me how many people were quoted as saying they didn't have a good feeling about going aboard The Titanic. Funny how people have those feelings and don't always follow through. There were so many people that were so confident that it was unsinkable though. What a dilemma!
We also got to watch Shakelton's Antarctic Adventure in the Discovery Dome. Now there's a story!! Wow!!

In 1914, Ernest Shackleton set out with 27 men to be the first to cross Antarctica. When ice trapped their ship-and eventually crushed it-they lost all hope of crossing the continent. Yet they managed to survive two harsh years trapped in the barren, frigid Antarctic. This film tells their true story of heroism and determination.

Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure recounts a true story of epic proportions that is ideally captured in our giant-screen Discovery Dome Theatre format, where you will feel as if you have been transported back in time to experience the greatest survival story of our time.


Sunday, 20 February 2011

Sunday Conversations

Today the Bishop had a chat with me. We talked about a lot of stuff. One thing stuck in my head though. He asked me an interesting question about primary. He wanted to know if I felt like it was too much for our family for me to be serving as the primary president, and my husband to be in the Bishopric. It was funny. When I was asked to go talk to him I did the usual wondering......"oh no.....what does he want to talk to me for??" I really don't feel like I'm ready for a change. I found myself answering him though very honestly. Sometimes I do in fact think it's too much. I figure there are probably plenty of people that could enjoy the blessings of serving in that calling, and do a wonderful job. However (and it's a big however!) I really really love being in primary and really wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I hope he got that from our conversation!

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Perfect Saturday


Today was a blissful Saturday with nowhere that we had to go! It was so great. We did some housework, did some grocery shopping, and did a lot of reading. Ahhhh! Now that's the kind of Saturday I love!!

Friday, 18 February 2011

Storybook Theatre Blackout



Tonight we were supposed to volunteer at Storybook Theatre for their production of Les Mis. we got there and found out there was a blackout in that area of the city....no play tonight. Waaaahhhhh!! Miserable!



In the end it worked out though because Allen and I went out to celebrate our anniversary. Mwah!!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

17 Years??!

Today is our 17th wedding anniversary. WOW!! How did I get that number in my life??! I surely can't be THAT old.

Time flies when you're having fun.

One of Allen's aunt's posted a note on facebook:



I remember that day, Dick was in the hospital, it was a snowy dark night, and I didn't feel confident to drive myself so I missed the Reception! Felt really bad about it, 17 yrs later....... Congratulations to you both.






I remember people later talking about what a bad storm there was the night of our reception. Funny thing was I don't have any recollection of that storm.


It made me think that that is a great lesson in life. If only we could always be so consumed with and in love with what is going on in our life that we aren't bothered by the storms.



Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Vera Goodman on Reluctant Readers

It's kind of crazy that I am teaching at a school that appears to have such a bottom up approach to reading. My school teaches all the parts of language to teach kids to read. I think it works well. My real love as far as teaching reading though is more rooted in a top-down approach: Whole Language. Whole Language really gets a lot of flack (mostly from people who don't understand it) but I really really believe the approach has a place (and includes all the bottom up stuff!)

...and now for my nerdy confession: One of the authors we read a lot in University was Vera Goodman. I grew to love Vera Goodman. I thought she was absolutely brilliant.

....and guess what? She is my friend on facebook!!! (I really had to show some self-control to refrain from putting that all in caps!)

She posted a great article recently on reluctant readers....here are some of her tips that I nodded to as I read:




  • Reading is solitary and children want to be groupies. To read we need to be in a quiet place to have a silent conversation with a story and we need to love it enough to choose to be there.




  • The secret of hooking kids on books is to find a series that, like Harry Potter, pulls them into a compelling story – one they can’t put down. This involves time on a parent’s part to choose books from the library and then to read the first chapters to them aloud. When they find one that excites them to find out ‘What’s Next?’ you have the right book.




  • When I taught Junior High I had some reluctant readers. So I looked for a series that would interest them and that they were capable of reading on their own. I took time to introduce them to the series by reading the first chapter of the first book aloud and discussing it. When I found a book that grabbed them they would finish the series and look for another. My work was over!

  • You might choose to read at least this first book yourself so you can share the excitement and discuss the story and the issues with your reluctant reader. As adults we like to join book clubs to share a good book. Your child will enjoy doing this with you too, and it will engender a lifelong love of books.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Romancing Rachmaninoff

Lately Jill and I have been trying to have Girl's Club once a week. On Saturday we got to go to the CPO. I won tickets on the radio while stuck in traffic one morning....which sure made that whole traffic jam much more of a pleasant memory!!

The Calgary Philharmonic did a night called Romancing Rachmaninoff. It was soooo great!

Prior to the performance they have a 'fireside chat' where they tell you about the composer, his music, and what was going on in his life when he wrote it. I loved it. I was even pleasantly surprised to see that I knew some of the music!

I loved loved loved the piano concerto. It made me want to go back to practising the piano!

You can listen to it on You Tube here.

Here's what we listened to:

  • Marche from Cinq √Čtudes-tableau
    Rachmaninoff
  • Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18
    Rachmaninoff
  • Symphony No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 27

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Four Races Four Best Times

This weekend was a club hosted swim meet. Good time as always!

Jill's races all went well. Four races. Four best times.

Can't ask for much more!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Library Corner

I've started a new thing at this new school that I just love. I pick a great children's author and get a whack of books for our library corner from the public library. A while ago it was
Chris Van Allsberg. Lately it's been Bill Peet. It has been so fun to read a swack of Bill Peet books again!! Seriously. You have to go get one from the library right now!

I can't even begin to talk about just one. They're all amazing.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

And sometimes they teach us.....

Sometimes I am humbled to be my kid's mom. They teach me a lot.

A few weeks ago at a swim meet I was feeling bad for Jill that she had to miss out on everything on Sunday. Way back we decided she wouldn't swim on Sundays. At the end of the races on Saturday at the last meet I said to her, "Sometimes I think you should swim Sundays." In that moment, if she would have said, "Me too mom!" we would have stayed. Instead she looked at me and said, "Why?" I explained that it just is fun and maybe having more chances to race would be a good thing. She just looked at me in a puzzled way and said, "Oh mom, you know that would never work."

She's right. Thanks for reminding me Jill!

Then a while ago I was shopping. I ran across some purple shoes that were a great deal. However, I didn't know what size I should get - so I didn't buy any. On Sunday we were driving to church when I remembered. It turned out that Jill does wear the size of shoes they had there. I mentioned that maybe we should stop by there after church and snap them up because there was only one pair left. Both Jill and Peirce exclaimed, "Mom!!!"

Enough said.

They're so good.
Maybe that's why I get to be their mom.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Three Wishes: Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak


Another book by Deborah Ellis!

I've read many books she's written (you'll have to click through the books tag to see them all.....maybe I should make a Deborah Ellis tag actually!) and I'm becoming rather obsessed with the lives of children in war. I can see how people become peace advocates and fight against any wars.

In this book every story had something that amazed and saddened me. To get it all into one post would be impossible.

This book was made up from interviews she had with Palestian and Israeli children. Their parents and ancestors have fought for years over a very small piece of land. As a result, the children's lives have been hugely impacted.

One of the most memorable chapters for me was one from an interview with a girl whose sister was a suicide bomber. I never thought about what it must be like for the families of people who decide to do something like that!


The end of almost every chapter the children share what they'd wish for if they could have three wishes. One chapter is about an Israeli child, and the next is about a Palestinian child. In the quotes below I took out any reference to whether or not they're Israeli or Palestinian. I don't think it matters. I have just replaced the word with enemies.



  • I would become a doctor and I would be famous, maybe as a writer. And I would be able to walk.

  • I have just one. I want the war to end, so I can keep living in Israel and raise my children here.

  • I have only one wish. That is to go back to America and live with my father. I don't know what I'd do there, but I'd be with him, and it's a better place than here.

  • A volunteer who came here from Canada to help teach us told me therea re no checkpoints in Canada. People who live there can start to go somewhere, without soldiers stopping them and asking them a lot of questions, and keep them from going where they want to. That must be very nice. I would like to be able to do that and one day, just go and go and go and go.

  • I wish the fighting would end, so that we can just make music and have fun and not hate each other. Maybe we could even make music with the enemies one day.

  • I have only one wish. I would like to go to heaven. Maybe in heaven there is happiness, after we die. Maybe then.

  • If I had three wishes, I would walk again, I would play soccer, and I would go to see beautiful places.

  • I only have one wish. To get well soon so I can go back to fighting the enemies.

  • I would want all the enemies who are trying to take our land to be killed. I want to be a success in my studies. This will make the enemies nervous. They don't want us to study, and they often close our schools. And I want to build a family home that the soldiers can't destroy, and live in it with my family.


I'm stunned at the things these children have to deal with. The hopelessness that results from the war is heart breaking.


Surely something can be done.


I just wish I knew what. I guess just being aware is the first step. Listening to these children speak though makes it impossible to not do something.


Everyone definitely should read this book.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Making Dreams Come True

In my school they have a Principal's Wall of Fame. When someone does something spectacular, I'm supposed to send them down to the office to see the principal.

Today I got to do that. I had three little ones who did an amazing job on their spelling test. It was so fun to make a big deal of it. All the others really paid attention too! I'm sure I'll have some more amazing spelling tests tomorrow.

One little girl, upon her return, had the cutest thing to share. She said, “Mrs. Ackroyd, I dreamed of this day! And now my dream came true!”

...I love teaching.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Love...but not that much

Pierce: I love you Mom.
Me: I love you more.
Priest: No. I love you more.
Me: Then show me by cleaning up your room.
Peirce: Okay. Maybe you do love me more.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

WOW! How time has changed.....

This video really made me laugh.

I remember having similar questions.


I had some friends who started a really cool company. I worked there for a while and was so inspired by what they were doing. They put catalogs on CD Rom.....really cool stuff! But it kind of died because there was this thing called 'the internet' that everyone was going to put their catalogs on.



I thought, "Pfffft! That's crazy! These guys are just giving up too easy....what they're doing is really cool!"

I remember when I got my first job working from home online in the mystery shopping industry. One of the interview questions went something like this:


Interviewer: Which browsers are you familiar with?

*awkward pause*

Interviewer: Do you use internet explorer or
netscape navigator?

Me: Uhhhh.....both!


I had no idea what either was.

Oh how life has changed!!!