Month: September 2014

Mmmm: Liquid gold

Mmmm: Liquid gold

When the grapes are ready, and they are practically falling off the vine for ripeness, we simply have to make time to make homemade grape juice. We pull out the shiny steamer juicer, the old black enamel water bath canner, and carry up the half-gallon 

FF: Teen parties

FF: Teen parties

One of my daughters had a team party over here this weekend. I was impressed to see how responsible they were: they bought their own pizza, purchased and picked it up (each player pitched in on the cost) and brought it over, and made food 

SOS: The adult

SOS: The adult

family-prayer-376625-tabletSometimes the hardest thing about being an adult is remembering to act like one.

During moments when I don’t want to be the adult or act like one, I’m grateful I can go to my room and talk to my Heavenly Father. I’m SO SO SO grateful that I am still His child, and that He won’t be angry with me when I am struggling to be the parent, the leader, the spouse, the friend, or whatever role I’m supposed to be.

I remember one Sunday when I was quite pregnant with (if I’m remembering correctly) our fifth (?) child. We finally got everyone ready and to church. Lane was in the bishopric and sitting in the stand (up in front of the church congregation), while I sat in the pews trying to corral our children (around ages 2, 4, 6, and 7). By the end of the hour, I was so frustrated and angry, that as soon as I got the children to their classes in Primary and nursery, I left for home. I was supposed to teach the third hour, but I knew that I did not have the Spirit with me then. I decided I had better go home and pray and have my cry and then come back and teach.

I did that, except that Lane saw that I was leaving and followed me home.

After I had prayed, he asked if I would like a blessing. I said I would.

In that blessing, I remember distinctly the consolatory phrase that said that sometimes when we are feeling lowest and we reach out in prayer to Heavenly Father, that those are our best times. I was surprised by that.

I also remember a phrase in which I was told that when I felt out of patience (which frankly, is frequently enough), I could “dip into” the Savior’s bottomless “well of patience.”

I like remembering those two parts of those priesthood blessings. I need the Lord’s help. Sometimes being an adult is hard. So I am grateful to still be able to a child in the Lord’s eyes and get help when I need it.

Happy Praying for Help,

Liz 🙂

Psst! My heroes

Psst! My heroes

I just finished listening to a talk from last general conference while cleaning the kitchen.  I loved President Eyring’s story about heroes and Joe DiMaggio’s swing. President Eyring and all the members of the First Presidency are some of my greatest heroes. I love how 

A bit of butter with my bread

A bit of butter with my bread

(This young girl with her own dear accent and delightful style does an impressive recitation of “The King’s Breakfast” by A.A. Milne.) At dinner tonight, we were eating some delicious French bread a friend gave us, slathering it with soft butter, when a poem from 

Ideas for what you could read aloud to a first grade class (September)

Ideas for what you could read aloud to a first grade class (September)

hip hip hooray annie mcrae

A dear friend recently asked me for some suggestions of what to read aloud to her daughter’s first grade class. When I read in the classroom, I enjoy choosing books that are related to nature/the seasons,  history, holidays, the children’s stage and age, “musical” books, character-building books, art-related books, and books that are simply fun!

Here are some that I might read in September:

It’s the First Day of School!  by Charles M. Schulz

The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash by Trinka Hakes Noble

Hip, Hip, Hooray for Annie McRae! by Brad Wilcox

Look What I Did with a Leaf!  by Morteza E. Sohi

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World  by Marjorie Priceman

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood

How Do Apples Grow? by Betsy Maestro

Why Do Leaves Change Color? by Betsy Maestro

The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant

Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey

Flicka, Ricka, Dicka and the Strawberries by Maj Lindman

Go In and Out the Window: An Illustrated Songbook for Children from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (ed. by Fox and commentary by Marks)

The Ox-Cart Man by Donald Hall

Spuds by Karen Hesse

Quick as a Cricket by Audrey Wood

And you know, if you are going to read a book to a child, you’d better make it worth their while! I learned from my parents that using voice inflection, some added drama (such as different voicing for different people), and even laughing or snoring on cue makes it so much more fun. (My dad was the best at making children laugh whenever he read The Laughin’ Place, and he had the best voice for Brer Rabbit and Brer Bear. I think I learned voicing from him. He is the champion children’s book reader!)

The great thing about reading to children is they don’t care if you make mistakes or if you do the accent wrong. If you are having fun, they will have fun with you. Which means it’s fun for everyone!

Then you can ask them questions and let them contribute, too, so they don’t just have to sit there the whole time being perfectly quiet, which is what they have to do so much of their school day. I do demand respect, but I try to ask a question here and there to keep things interesting and let them share the experience a little more.

You are one lucky adult who gets to read to a group of children!

Happy Reading,

Liz 🙂

P.S. And heavens! This list is surely by no means exclusive. There are so many great books to read to children! These are just some of the ones we have loved in our home.

FH: Morley coat of arms

FH: Morley coat of arms

Today I learned from Wikipedia that there is a Morley coat of arms. Awesome! This family history stuff is getting more and more interesting by the day! Someday I’m going to go to England to learn more firsthand. Until then, the internet is definitely taking 

Mmmm: Cinnamon stick straw (FALL!)

Mmmm: Cinnamon stick straw (FALL!)

Fall is here! Officially! And with the rainy day yesterday and cool morning today, what did the children get out of storage? Apple juice and cinnamon sticks. It is hot apple cider season at our home! Happy Sipping Cider through a Straw, Liz 🙂

FF: The Giver (movie)

FF: The Giver (movie)


Sarah and one of my children’s teachers recommended this movie to me, so for a date night recently, I asked Lane if he wanted to go see it. (I don’t often ask to go to a movie in the theaters, so I think he was a little surprised.) He asked me if I had seen the trailer. I hadn’t, so I got online and watched.

Ugh. After watching the trailer, I wasn’t super excited to go.

But I kept thinking about those recommendations, and I went with my gut feel.

We loved it. (Phew!)

There are so many timely messages from this movie. One: Do we consider how important agency is in our everyday lives and in the way our communities and country are run? What are we doing to protect free exercise of moral agency, life and liberty?

Two: How important is history? How are we doing at passing on the lessons learned from the past?

This week I re-read The Giver, and I really enjoyed it. The movie is surprisingly close to the book. I recommend the book for teen readers and older. There are a few places with topics that are good points for discussion with parents, and I’m looking forward to having that discussion with my children who read the book at our family book club soon! I also wouldn’t recommend the movie for anyone younger than teens.*

Watching and re-reading The Giver reminded me that there is so MUCH I take for granted every day! Color, for example! Can you imagine not being able to have color in our lives?

I appreciate Lois Lowry and Jeff Bridges getting this book into film. Definitely worth seeing, in my opinion.

Happy Watching (and Reading),

Liz 🙂

*When we watched this later at home with our children, we didn’t let them watch the violent war scene or the baby releasing scene part.

P.S. Here’s a quote from the book that I wanted to remember: “[Jonas] lay on the bed, aching. ‘Why do you and I have to hold these memories?’

” ‘It gives us wisdom,’ The Giver replied.” (p.111)

“Jonas did not want to go back. He didn’t want the memories, didn’t want the honor, didn’t want the wisdom, didn’t want the pain. He wanted his childhood again, his scraped knees and ball games. He sat in his dwelling alone, watching through the window, seeing children at play, citizens bicycling home from uneventful days at work, ordinary lives free of anguish because he had been selected, as others before him had, to bear their burden.

“But the choice was not his. He returned each day to the Annex room.

“The Giver was gentle with him for many days following the terrible shared memory of war.

” ‘There are so many good memories,’ The Giver reminded Jonas. And it was true. By now Jonas had experienced countless bits of happiness, things he had never known before.

“He had seen a birthday party, with one child singled out and celebrated on his day, so that now he understood the joy of being an individual, special and unique and proud.

” He had visited museums and seen paintings filled with all the colors he could now recognize and name.

“In one ecstatic memory he had ridden a gleaming brown horse across a field…

“He had walked through woods, and sat at night beside a campfire. Although he had through the memories learned about the pain of loss and loneliness, now he gained, too, an understanding of solitude and its joy.” (pp.121-122)

” ‘But he lied to me!’ Jonas wept….’What about you? Do you lie to me, too?’ Jonas almost spat the question at The Giver.

” ‘I am empowered to lie. But I have never lied to you.’ ” (p.153)