Monday, December 30, 2013

Best Christmas Present Ever.

This one will go down in the books as the best Christmas present ever.  Well, maybe not the best ever, but one of them.  Last January I started making a Family History Book for my family.  The whole project took 11 months, and hundreds of hours but in the end I would do it all over again if I had the choice.  It was not so much a history of our ancestors as it was a history of my immediate family.  Here is a list of what I included:

- The Family A Proclamation to the World
- A family history fan chart
- Information that my parents wrote about each of their grandparents (Our great grandparents)
- Information that my siblings and I wrote about our grandparents as well as a set of questions and   
answers that I had each grandparent answer.  Find the questions here.
- My mom's conversion story (to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints)
- The story of my Mom and Dad meeting each other from each of their perspectives
- Pictures of my parents wedding and a famous family story from their honeymoon

- A section about each of us.  I had each person fill out a questionnaire that I included and then pictures of them as a baby, currently, and at momentous times in their lives. 
- Dad's famous stories of him getting into trouble as a kid.  He always told them to us growing up.
- Stories and memories of each other.  I had each person write a story or memory of each person in the family.
- Kid's Say the Darnedest Things - this section is funny things that we said as kids that mom recorded.
- Mom's journal entries about things we did when we were young

- Places we lived (pictures of the houses and pictures of each place along with some things that some people wrote about the places we lived)
- Pets - pictures of them and a few stories
- Family traditions
- Quotes (funny things we say as a family)
- Recipes (A favorite from everyone)
- Funny stories and memories
- Other famous family stories
- Family Reunions (Told about them and put in lots of pictures)
- Family Vacations - A page and a few pictures from each place
- A list of all the places we have been. 

All together it ended up being 184 pages!  I used the website Blurb and was so happy with the result.  It is a hard bound image wrapped book, that I love!

It was so fun to see my family unwrap the books on Christmas and then to see them reading them for hours, smiling and remembering things that we have done as a family.  It was definitely worth all the work and will be a treasure to each of us for years to come! am I going to top this next year?  That's the questions. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Little Doll Boxes

My sister is currently serving a mission for our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  She has been assigned to serve in the Philippines Iloilo mission and will be there for a year and a half.  I know that she will help people to understand that they are children of a loving God who knows them and is involved in their lives.  She will help people to understand where they came from, why they are here, and where they will go after this life.  She will read the Book of Mormon with people which is another testament of Jesus Christ.  It is a record of the people in the Americas and Christ's visit to them after he was resurrected.    She will teach people that we have a living prophet on the earth today just as we did in times past.  He leads us and guides us in the things that our Father in Heaven would have us do.  Learn more about the church HERE.

Zanna is currently in Provo Utah at the mission training center learning the language that she will be speaking in the Philippines.  She leaves for the Philippines next week!  Since it is much easier to send her a package while she is still in the United States, I put something together. 

I thought it would be fun to send her something that she could give away to some of the children in the Philippines.  I remember seeing THIS idea on Pinterest a while back and I altered it a little bit to make something that I hope some of the sweet little children over there will LOVE!


Instead of Altoid tins I used small boxes that I was able to find at Hobby Lobby.  I also got some mini clothespins at Hobby Lobby that I painted and turned into dolls.  They are wood so they will be durable.  I used batting and glued it to the bottom of the box as a mattress, I used felt (stuffed with batting) to make pillows, felt for the teddy bear and paint for its face, and then scraps of fabric for the blanket.  I took a piece of ribbon and hot glued it around the lid to make the box a little more exciting from the outside.

I was so excited with the results and hope that some little girls in the Philippines will love these little doll boxes!  I sure do!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I Love Kids.

I am the luckiest to be a teacher! I absolutely LOVE kids. Their sweet spirits bring me joy each day.  I love their smiles and their funny comments, they are the BEST!  Since I am not married and do not have kids I feel especially blessed to have a job as a teacher where I get to be around kids and get to be an influence for good in their lives.  I get to teach them, I get to make them smile and best of all I get to make them laugh - that's my favorite (and it happens a lot in my class). 

I have to share a story with you so you can understand just how great this all is:

A couple of days ago our school choirs performed their show for the school.  Their theme this year was songs from T.V. shows.  They interspersed some short skits and acting with the songs.  One of the skits had to do with The Beverly Hillbillies.  A boy was getting in trouble for acting out in school.  His parents were reprimanding him when his sister spoke up and said "I know why he has been getting in trouble at school, it's because he has a crush on his teacher Miss Paul." (Yep. That is definitely my name, and yes all my students turned to look at me and were giggling) He then retorted with a comment about how beautiful the teacher was (one of my kids turned to me and said, "yep, you are.") and then another comment about how good she smelled. 

Good times in elementary school!  My kids kept looking toward me with sheepish little smiles for quite a while after that skit.  When one of my students who was in the choir came back to sit with our class she said "Miss Paul, I was just watching you that whole time to see if you were blushing."  I have to say I LOVE my job!

This year has been great in some ways and it has also been very hard in others.  It has been nice to be teaching for the second year and feel like I know what I am doing a little more.  It has been nice to have techs who have been miracle workers and have helped me so much!  I have some amazing kids in my class this year who have been so fun to teach.  My class this year thinks I am funny and the girls comment on my clothes and write notes to me telling me how pretty I am.  They also think that I am awesome at soccer!  I played with them one day ( my skirt that I had worn to school that day) and scored a goal.  One of my girls came up to me and said "Miss Paul, I didn't know you were a soccer player."  In my head I was saying "That's because I'm not".  But to them I am, so I am just playing along. 

As I am putting together the end of year slide show that I will give to my students on the last day of school tears come to my eyes.  I have come to love these kids and I am going to miss them.  They are a light and joy in my life!

I just have to remember that taking some time to take care of Katrina this summer will be good for me.  Sometimes I spend WAY too much time working because of the love that I have for my kiddos.  Time not teaching this summer will be therapeutic and it will only help me to be an even better teacher next year. 

There are 5 and a half days of school left and I am going to enjoy every single one of those days with my kiddos!  There will be lots of laughing and lots of smiles and maybe a few screams when I tell scary stories in the dark during our "2nd Grade Camp Out". 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Funny Funny Funny

Alright, picture this.  It is Christmas morning and things look about like this(except for not quite because this picture was taken before Christmas morning):

Everyone is sitting in the living room and we are taking turns opening presents.  All of a sudden a present starts to move around under the tree. YES. I said that a box was moving around under the tree. 


Watch this video:

And now watch this one:

Now, put two and two together.


The moving box was for me!  I opened it to find.....this:

I had no clue what it was at first, but soon came to find out that I was the proud new owner of my very own robot ball (aka Sphero).  It turns out that dad can buy pretty fun gifts.

You can do a lot of really cool things with it, but the best entertainment comes from trying to trick people.  Being the teacher of 26 students this was a lot of fun!

One morning I placed the Sphero under a metal tin on my counter.  While I was checking of the students spelling lists I sat at my guided reading table with one hand underneath on my iPhone controller and the other up top grabbing spelling lists and checking them.  I moved the robot.  the kid who was getting his spelling test checked was shocked! He couldn't believe his eyes.  He got the attention of the person behind him and told him to look.  I moved it again.  Within 20 seconds all 26 kids were out of there seats crowded around the counter.  they were SO excited and confused.  They wanted to lift up the tin to see what it was but I wouldn't let them.  I told them that they had to keep working.  I moved the robot periodically.  When everyone was done copying their spelling list I gave each student a blank piece of paper and had them infer (using the knowledge that they had and what they had already observed) what was under the tin.  A lot of them guessed it was a mouse, I also had someone guess glowing pink elephant (because they could see it glowing pink from under the tin).  when I told them that an elephant couldn't fit under the small tin they told me that it was a miniature glowing pink elephant.  Once everyone had made their inference and we talked about them and whether they were good inferences or not....I showed them the Shpero.  I rolled it all around the carpet and a few of them couldn't;t help but chase it. 

Good times!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Questions for Grandparents

In the past year or so on multiple occasions I have heard people talk about the importance of Family History work.  In D&C 2:2 it reads "And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the he hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers". This process happens through family history work.  When I think of Family History work as finding lost ancestors it seems like a daunting task.  When I think of family history work however as getting to know the history and stories of my parents and grandparents, it seems a lot less daunting.  I know that my parents and grandparents have stories and experiences that I could learn from and that my children someday can learn from.  All I have to do is ask them to share their experiences with me. 

I came up with a list of questions to ask my grandparents.  I have sent them the lists and look forward to hearing their responses.  I know that I will be able to learn from them and I hope that my own children will be able to be inspired by their great heritage and the stories of their  great grandparents one day. 

I thought I would share the list with you:

Questions for Grandparents
Tell me about your family growing up.
What types of things did you do for fun when you were growing up?
What was school like when you were growing up?
What was the latest and greatest technology when you were growing up?
What fads/fashions were popular when you were growing up?
What family traditions did you have growing up?
What is something that you learned from your parents?
Tell about meeting Nana/Papa.
Tell about your wedding and what life was like when you were first  married.
Tell me about my mom/dad.  What are some things that I might not know about her/him?
Tell about a hard time and how you got through it.
Tell about a lesson you have learned in life and how you came to learn it.
Tell me some funny stories.
What advice did you give to your kids?
What advice would you give to your grand kids and great grand kids?
What brings you the most joy in life?
Share some of your testimony with me.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Yesterday in school I celebrated Dr. Seuss's Birthday with my class!  We had a Read-a-Thon.  All the kids brought pillows, blankets, books, and snacks.  They all spread out on the floor and under tables and desks and read.  We took some breaks and I read some Dr. Seuss books to them which was great! I love reading Dr. Seuss.

Today, Saturday March 2nd, is actually Dr. Seuss's Birthday.  I have never eaten green eggs before and I thought it was about time.  Unfortunately I did not eat them in a train or a plane or a tree, I simply ate them in a house, but not with a mouse.

Here they are! Yum!

This is one of my all time favorite Dr. Seuss books!  I've had it since I was about 6 or 7, and the fact that it was a favorite as a kid, is probably why it is still a favorite.  If you haven't read it, you should.   I read it to my roommate this morning - it was great!

Here are some great quotes from Dr. Seuss:

"It's not about what it is, it's about what it can become."

 “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...” 

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” 

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It's not.”

Videos are fun to bring back some childhood memories too : )  We watched this one with the Second Graders yesterday.  I love the message of this story.

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss, and Happy Saturday to everyone else : )

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day!

Last week my students had a homework assignment to write a story about the best Valentine's Day.  There were a few that I really liked.  I saved them so that I could share them with you.

The first one is simply precious:

"I love my Valentine.  She is awesome.  I love her.  I like her. My Valentine is Mom."

Valentines from a girl's perspective: (In Elementary School)

"All the boys in my class gave me Valentines!  And some were poems, or chocolates.  On Valentine's Day we all gave each other treats.  At home I ate lots of treats.  But not the ones I can't eat.  They were good.  We ate dinner.  I went to bed."

"The best Valentine's Day I ever had was when last year someone gave me a chocolate pack.  It was weird.  He gave it to Ryland too.  But they were so good.  that was the best Valentine's Day I ever had."

My personal favorite:

"The best Valentine's Day ever would be if I could have a bath in cheesecake pudding and drink it up with a straw!  Watch four movies.  Get 60 boxes of low fat chocolate caramels.  And last of all get lots of Valentines!"

Happy Valentine's Day!  I hope that these made you smile as much as they made me smile.  Kids are priceless.  They make me smile and laugh every day and are truly a blessing!