Not really! I've been working diligently on my storage room for the past two weeks. I have about two hours of work and about 8 oz. of sweat left.
You may ask..."What the heck is taking her so long?" Well, my answer is that I am going through every.single.nook.and.cranny in that place. I have pulled each and every item out of it's bin, looked at it, turned it over and over, cleaned it, then decided:
If I keep it, it must be super special and needed! I mean business as I clean. Once the bin is empty, I wash the inside out. Then I wash the outside and lid. Then I put a lovely label on the outside. I have never been this thorough in my organizing of the storage room. I have removed approximately 10 large trash bags of garbage. I've made no less that four trips to DI.
So, if you come for a visit, don't be surprised if I make you go to the storage room and tell me how GREAT it looks!
My last post about my beloved childhood book got me thinking about other books I loved as a child. I know that I read a lot AND was read to as well. My older sister Donna used to sit with me and read and read. (me=2 years old. Donna=17 years old). Plus, I remember both of my parents reading to me often. I loved it.
So, here are five of my very favorite books from my childhood (0-8 years old).
I've been working hard "de-junking" my life. Currently I'm working on the storage room. Boxes and boxes of memories. Not only my memories but Terry's, Melissa's, and Erika's as well. Needless to say, there is a ton of "stuff" and wading through it is quite a chore but I'm determined this time. I'm taking time and really saving the treasures and getting rid of the rest.
It's funny how finding just one simple item can transport me back in time so vividly. It has happened several times so far in this clutter ridding process. But my favorite "find" by far thus far has been a very special book with a very special story of how I lost it and found it then lost it and found it once more.
When I was a child, my parents bought me a book published in 1955 by Dandelion Library. The company had published a series of readers with one story on one half of the book then you flip it over to read a different story. The book that my parents gave me was Alice in Wonderland/Peter Pan combo. Oh how I adored and loved this book. I would sit for hours looking at the beautiful illustrations. Turning the book over and over in my hands. I loved it. I carried it with me to church, to my swingset, to the garden...everywhere.
Then, I lost it. It was there one minute and gone the next. Heartbroken though I was, my life went on.
At my wedding reception (the first one...ha!) in 1986, my first grade teacher came through the receiving line. I was so excited to see Mrs. Pitts. It had been years and year (obviously) since I'd seen her last. I didn't even know she was still alive! When she reached me and we had exchanged hugs and a few tears, she handed me a little wrapped gift. She told me to open it later when I was all alone. So, between lulls in the receiving line and leaving the church that evening I sat down and opened the gift. It was my book! There was my beloved Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan that had gone missing so long ago. Wow! With it, she had written a note.
I've had your book for a long time. You probably didn't even notice it was missing. I've meant to return it to you but never did. I'm so sorry. Here it is now. Though you are older and and your life is moving faster, you must still cherish reading. You've always been good at it. Remember the lessons from Alice and Peter and you will always be young.
Love, Mrs. Pitts
Wow! Just wow! What a sweet thing for her to do. You can bet I am never losing that book again. Never. I've been thinking a lot about the story of Alice in Wonderland throughout the week. So many thoughts and not enough space to write it all down. I've decided to spread my thoughts out to several posts. They can't stay in my head much longer. So, if you are interested, there will be more to come.
Oh, and, if I've ever borrowed a book from you, I WILL return it in a timely fashion! I love you Mrs. Pitts...wherever you are!)
About a month or so ago, my nephew Brant came to me with a very special proposal. He is a producer for the Mormon Channel.
The Mormon Channel is a radio station which produces several programs having to do with topics that are important to members of The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints (The LDS church also known as the Mormons). He asked me if I would be interested in hosting a children's radio program called "Scripture Stories". HECK YA!
So, after accepting the calling, I was then asked to choose five children as cast members. I really felt that I needed children I knew and felt comfortable with, and who felt comfortable with me as well. Immediately I thought of one of my current students, Katja. She is such a special little gal who is precocious and amazing. Along with Katja, I just HAD to have her little sister Chloe. What a cute little girl. She is only five years old but reads like a sixth grader with the sweetest little voice that sounds like a three year old. Absolutely amazing and so very adorable.
Next, I needed to think of three more children. I decided to just let the names "come" to me. I honestly couldn't stop thinking of three little children who attend my school. I taught two girls a couple of years ago when they were in first grade. They are sweet little twins named Emilyand Lizzy. Along with those two beauties it made sense to have their big brother, Alexas our fifth cast member. You can check out their beautiful family blog here. (I stole all of the photos from their mother. Thanks, Amy!)
What is it all about?
Well, if you check out www.radio.lds.org. On the top bar, choose "Programs". From there, scroll down and choose "Scripture Stories". Currently, there is only last year's recordings which were a study of The Book of Mormon.
This year, we are studying "The New Testament Stories". This is the program which I will be hostint. The program is set up for children at home to follow along in this book:
They are the Illustrated stories of the New Testament. The program is scripted...mostly. The part that is not scripted is the questioning part. I have specific questions I ask and then I direct a discussion with the children about the answers. There has been a lovely spiritual feeling in our little recording studio! I love these children who obviously love the Lord and have such faith. They are teaching me to be humble, faithful, and loving with each meeting.
I am so very new to the whole experience of production. Every script as well as every episode is sent to the church curriculum department for approval. It is a much longer process than I thought it would be. This is why the first New Testament episode hasn't been published yet...SOON though! I'll let you know. I am very blessed to have this opportunity to be a part of this special adventure. I'm on board for 40 episodes. The cast of five children are involved in 10 episodes each. Then, we switch. My second cast includes: Kate, Calvin, Talia, Ky, and Maya. The third cast is: Chloe, Julia, Charlotte, Dylan, and Alicia. (I hope) Then, for the last 10 episodes, we return to the original cast of Katja, Chloe, Alex, Lizzy, and Emily. I'm so excited yet humbled at the same time. The program should be ready for your listening pleasure (haha) very soon.
In the meantime, I can show you how it looks in the recording studio.
Here I am with my new best friend, Mike!
I love this round table...oval actually.
There are just the six of us in this little, quiet room.
Usually I am wearing earphones to be in contact with the engineer in the
sound booth. We are just having a little conversation before
the recording begins.
Here's our little cast.
Chloe, Katja, Emily, Lizzy, and Alex
This is how Emily looks from the "parent's side"
of the glass.
There are two large windows looking into the studio.
Behind one window is the sound booth and behind the other are the parents who can
watch and listen in on the recording.
The sound is piped into the hallway. If they move around, it totally
messes me up and I have to start again.
I guess I'm more distractible than I had previously thought.
Lovely little Lizzy.
(Emily is looking on in the background)
We got to go into the empty Conference Hall after the recording.
What a treat.
But, that is for another post.
So...what do you think of my new project? I can't even express how happy this makes me. I love every second of it. I can barely wait for the next recording.
I absolutely loved this book. Perhaps it is the Canadian-living-in-the-states self talking here, but it made me long for my home in Southern Alberta. Growing up, my father was the maintenance supervisor for the schools in the area. This included the school at two or three of the Hutterite colonies in the area. He would often take me with him on his visits to the colonies. I loved it there and was mesmerized by every nuance of the colony. The baking bread, the chickens roaming free, the homes, the smells, the polka-dots, the braids. I loved going with him. My mother made trips as well. We would often go to purchase eggs, knitted booties and slippers, pick up newly upholstered furniture, and chickens. Every time, we were invited into someone's home to sit down for a visit. Secretly, I wanted to BE a Hutterite just so I could twist my hair back and put on a handkerchief. This book was a trip home for me and I adored it. Mary Ann Kirby is a gifted writer who was able to capture growing up on the colony and later outside of the colony in a way I will not soon forget. I can't wait to make the drive to Canada this summer and visit a colony.
Reading Right Now...
The Alloy of Law: The fourth book in the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson. Something tells me it isn't going to have the same effect on me as the trilogy!
The Kitchen House
Just Finished Reading
Oh my goodness! I owe Jessica Romney a HUGE thank you for recommending this series. I was skeptical at first. But, am so glad I chose to give the Mistborn series a try. Brandon Sanderson is an amazing author. I am now open to a new genre...fantasy. This series though, had even more than fantasy. I felt some strong spiritual undertones throughout this particular (#3) book. I even got a little "misty" at the end. I loved these books. Thanks, Jessica. I owe you and will never question your recommendations again! :)
Also Just Finished Reading...
The author, Sue E. Peterson, is a friend of mine. She sent me this book shortly after the heartbreaking loss of my own husband. It had many wonderful points for me to consider as I read about death and making sense of a new/different life. I appreciated so much of what she said and the metaphors regarding "running" throughout the book. I've never read a book by an author I know (and know very well) personally. Nor, have I read a story based on a person I know and have had conversations with. It was an odd feeling in some respects. Reading different names for each character and each setting sort of messed with my brain a bit. Finally, I put that out of my mind and read with the purpose of gleaning insight about losing a spouse and recovery from grief. I have many turned down pages I'd like to revisit as a result. Thanks for the book, Sue!