Seminary was canceled on Thursday due to the extreme flooding in the area. Since I do my lessons based on the reading that the kids are doing, we ended up skipping Exodus 29.
Friday’s lesson was on the symbolism of animal sacrifice in the Old Testament. The lessons in the manual were so boring I was dozing off studying them, so I made a little handout to go with the lesson. It is a cut and paste type activity. To my astonishment there wasn’t one complaint. Some of them weren’t into it — who can blame them — but at least no one openly rebelled. While they cut and pasted (some even colored), I read to them from the chart in the Institute manual about the sacrifices. Pages 162-3 as I recall.
Since Monday was a free day, I had planned to show the kids part of the new miniseries from BYUtv Fires of Faith. I was planning to show them the second of the three parts to help them understand some of the origins of the Bible history. We have a running joke that we’re going to watch Strange Brew, and so of course, they begged to watch that or Monty Python (uh — NOPE). Finally one of the girls suggested Prince of Egypt. I figured that would be fine, so I negotiated. If each kid would come with a scripture mastery jedi memorized and ready to pass off, I would let them watch Prince of Egypt. Sold.
I could tell one kid was going to skip class on Monday. No way was he going to get up at 6AM to repeat a scripture mastery and watch a kiddie movie. :) Turns out he did cut class.
I wrapped up this lesson by pointing out that the Israelites were caught up in performing their rituals perfectly rather than focusing on the purpose of the sacrifices. I asked if we were sometimes like the Israelites — are we sometimes so caught up in how the Deacons are messing up that we forget why we perform these ordinances? That actually caught a few of them off guard and got that “oh, yeah”. Score one for me.
So, today was the free day. Everyone came with a scripture mastery memorized except the boy who was absent on Friday. I totally forgot to let him know what we were doing, and so we didn’t make him try to pass one off.
Everyone else passed their scriptures off pretty easily, and we watched Prince of Egypt with the surround sound and subwoofer so loud that it woke my DS. They got about 25-30 minutes of the movie in and they want to finish it later. I don’t think we’ll be able to get to it until March, however.
Last night I went over to the new kids’ home to give them an orientation. I wish I had been able to do it last Sunday, but it just didn’t come together. Anyway, they are a great family and the boys have fit right in to our class. They are likable and have strong testimonies, even at their young ages. And THEY SING! Bass!!!!! They are really upping the ante on the singing, and the girls love it.
Today my DS was home sick — he came down to tell me how miserable he was when the movie woke him up. He’s been here all day trying to get worked up about his terrible sickness and high fever of 99.6. He keeps reading the backs of the medicine bottles and getting nervous. He’s not doing too much better this evening, so I think he’ll be home again tomorrow.
The DD is her usual chipper self. Her room is such a mess that she can’t find any clothes that aren’t summer clothes to wear to school, and I won’t wash them unless they are down the laundry chute. She tried to go to school today with just a t-shirt on, but I stopped her.
Saturday Jared and I put up the lights on the outside of the house. By we, of course, I mean he. I climbed up the ladder to try to stretch out the lights (they were fresh from the box), but I FLIPPED OUT and couldn’t get back on the ladder to get off. Seriously. Vertigo. Like a baby.
DS stopped painting the fence to hold the bottom of the ladder and Jared held the top, and after about 20 minutes of freaking, I finally got down.
Never again tho.
The house looks good. I think we need two more strands of lights. I was planning to buy them today, but I stayed home with DS and chatting with Joan, who came to clean house. I also wrapped a bunch of Christmas presents and finished up three of the lessons for this week. Friday’s lesson is going to take a little more work.
Saturday was a surprise birthday party for my friend Paige. I made her a Bauhaus-style washer bracelet. It was not really anything fancy, but I knew she would appreciate it since she’s studying interior design. I talked to a couple of Seminary teacher friends at the meeting. One had asked me if this was more or less work than being RS president. LESS! By far! Her sister told her it was *more* work. The other teacher said it probably had to do with the amount of need in a ward. Plus, I won’t lie — Seminary work is a lot more fun than Relief Society president work. RSP is fulfilling, but it’s a hard slog. Seminary is as fun as I want it to be.
Oddly enough, I’m ahead of the Utah class my new kids just left, AND ahead of the local Seminary classes that started the week before ours did. The other Seminary teacher in our ward is ahead of me by a few lessons. I’m not sure why, exactly. I suppose they are probably spending more time in some of the earlier stuff that appeals to them. It’s very easy to get bogged down in all the goodness and want to teach it all. Because I am keeping the kids all together on readings that correspond with the lessons I am limiting my flexibility. But I do think I am maximizing the amount of time that I spend planning lessons, too. Because I am sticking pretty carefully with the lesson schedule I wrote over the summer, I don’t have to spend any time figuring out what to teach. I know what the material is, so I’m not reading a block of scripture and then reading the lessons trying to figure out where to split up the lessons each week. That’s already done. I also know what the kids are going to be reading, and that makes the lesson prep easier, too, because all I have to do is plan activities that let them share. I don’t have to spend time explaining stuff that the kids have never heard of. It works for me anyway. I’m sure they all have ways that are working for them, too.
Friday a cousin came to the house visiting from Guatemala. His boy is about DS’s age, and they had a great time getting to know one another. We think that we solved a family mystery about the date of a family reunion trip to Gettysburg in 1916. This cousin wants to arrange another similar trip next year for the 150th anniversary. We are happy to help. He also wants to be buried here at the farm, and ASL was happy to let him do that.