Tuesday, 29 May 2007

I'm making a butterfly this week

I Never Saw Another Butterfly is a collection of works of art and poetry by Jewish children who lived in the the ghetto transition camp at Terezin. The book is named after a poem by one of the children, Pavel Friedmann.

I Never Saw Another Butterfly

I never saw another butterfly . . .
The last, the very last,
so richly, brightly, dazzling yellow.
Perhaps if the sun's tears sing
against a white stone . . .
Such, such a yellow
Is carried lightly `way up high.
It went away I'm sure because it
wished to kiss the world goodbye.
For seven weeks I've lived in here,
Penned up inside this ghetto,
but I have found my people here.
The dandelions call to me,
And the white chestnut candles in the court.
Only I never saw another butterfly.
That butterfly was the last one.
Butterflies don't live here in the ghetto.

-- Pavel Friedman, June 1942

I Never Saw Another Butterfly is also the name of a one-act play by Celeste Raspanti. It is a true story about the life of a girl, Raja Englanderova, who survived Terezin. The play is a series of flashbacks in which Raja retells each segment of her life in Terezin, starting from when she first arrived at Terezin as a scared child and ending with a collage of voices in her memory.

Jaclyn is in this play tonight as one of the children in the camp. This picture of her at the dress rehearsal hurts my heart.
Here's something that heals my heart a little bit: The Butterfly Project :

"1, 500, 000 innocent children died in the holocaust. In an effort to remember them the Holocaust Museum Houston is collecting 1.5 million handmade butterflies. The butterflies will eventually comprise a breath-taking exhibition for all to remember.
Please facilitate the “
I Never Saw Another Butterfly” activity and collect as many handmade arts-and-crafts butterflies as possible. Send them to the address below:

Holocaust Museum Houston

Education Department

5401 Caroline Street

Houston, TX 77004



So you want a look inside my purse? Right now my bag is weighed down by War and Peace. I took Amy's challenge to read it (she's done) but I had a really hard time getting into it. I'm a one-book-at-a-time kind of reader, and because I wasn't enjoying War and Peace, I (semi) gave up reading for a little while there. Well, I'm not a quitter, and around page 400 I finally started to appreciate the book. The characters are now showing some growth, and that's making a big difference for me. I don't know that I'll whiz through the 700 remaining pages, but at least I feel like I'll enjoy them.
My self portrait this week is me at the high school convocation of 4 girls from my young women's group at church. I was very pleased to be invited, but I was expecting a long boring morning, and I thought I'd get in a little reading. As it turned out, the speeches from the class president and valedictorian were highly entertaining, and I had a really good time!

I didn't think of it till I looked at this picture I took, but where are the caps? I remember at my own high school grad we were under strict orders not to throw our caps due to concerns of injury from the pointy corners, but it appears they've been abolished all together at this high school. Do they still wear the cap with the gown where you live?
Annalisa, I added it just for you: my summer bag - light turquoise with red and tan trim.

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Mother Daughter Party

This weekend was our ward Fathers & Sons camp, and this year I planned a Mother-Daughter activity for the Friday night that the boys were camping. I thought I'd post about the party as soon as I got home, but I was exhausted and I went to bed without even cleaning up all the party stuff that came home with me!

I started with the invitations using my Cricut to cut the flower shape, and I used Festisite to print out the words in a spiral. I'm definitely going to have to use the spiral again, but as a snail shell next time - I just love it.

I put the punch bowl (well actually the punch bucket) inside a plastic flower pot, which turned out super cute, and my Cricut came in handy again to make decorations for the straws.

I scattered those plastic flower pots all over the place. I used them to organize the craft supplies with each pot holding supplies for a different craft.

I had this idea to cut up dollar store lei's and then pop the silk flowers over Christmas tree mini lights to decorate the gym. They turned out alright, but it would have looked better if I'd used brighter colors with no white in the middle of the flower, I think.

This party was mostly aimed at the younger crowd, though I had 5 YW come and they liked the pudding/Oreo crumbs/ gummy worm dessert just as much as the little girls!

We played a couple of games: Mother may I? and Rainbow tag.

One of the crafts we made were those wind chimes Kristi posted about made from fishing line and glass pebbles:

The karaoke machine was popular, and the performances got wilder and bolder as the evening progressed, which is what seems to happen at all karaoke parties.

I brought streamers, balloons, and paper flower shapes for the girls to decorate their bikes or scooters that they brought as well as crowns to wear so that we could have a bike parade in the parking lot. I'd planned the bike parade to be the final event at the party, but when it was over everyone went back inside to craft and karaoke for another hour and a half!

I had to talk to Carmen about her candy throwing technique during the parade. She was throwing the candy AT the moms rather than TO the moms.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

I don't need a time sheet summary to tell me I'm spending more time doing this:

(waiting in the school parking lot to pick up kids after extracurricular activities), looking at this:

(stern sign in the school bus loop) and wishing those were the only hours I ever spent in this parking lot.


Track and Field practises, team practises, play rehearsals, band rehearsals, late returns from out of town school trips, and on and on.


Today Carmen forgot to pass on the message from Jaclyn that the after school play rehearsal today was actually a dress rehearsal, and was going to be half an hour longer than usual. I sat stressing about the dinner that wasn't getting made and came to understand my mother a little better. She's a very punctual person, but she was always late picking me up after my activities. It bugged me, and I let her know it. Her response, "Better you waiting than me!"

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

SPT - but it feels like Monday

I'm just coming out of a long weekend here: Victoria Day weekend. We went away with our family down to Grandma and Grandpa's home away from home near Waterton National Park.

I took the kids to Waterton while Ken worked on a project back at 'the ranch'. I got in my self portrait with an old friend: Cameron Falls.

The kids and I hiked up Bear's Hump and went on a guided horseback trail ride, which was so fun I was grinning like a fool the entire ride.

Ken's project (creating a dog run for Flex) didn't take nearly as long as he'd thought it would, and it turned out he probably could have finished the dog run and still joined us in Waterton. Too bad for dad - he was mowing while we were horseback riding.
The last time we spent a long weekend at 'the ranch' I had the best surprise of seeing an old friend of mine at church in the nearest town. I was really hoping to see her again this weekend, and I wasn't disappointed! My friend Heather lived in Calgary a little more than 10 years ago, and I got to know her by serving as her visiting teacher and also I was her counsellor in our ward primary. Heather was really my mentor and example in those days, and just chatting with her in the lobby of the church this Sunday gave me a boost. I got her address and phone number this time, and I'm going to use them both. Hooray for National New Friends, Old Friends Week!

Friday, 18 May 2007

Teacher Appreciation Week Postcards

One of our projects right now on the school council is preparing for teacher appreciation week at our school. Last year we did daily treats (BTW: Skip to my Lou had the best ideas for daily treats for teacher appreciation this year) and a special lunch for the teachers at the end of the week. I felt like that showed appreciation from the parents on the school council, but this year I want to involve all the families, and I especially want to show appreciation to the teachers from the students.
I got the perfect idea from a friend of a friend in my google group. At her school she organized a postcard campaign from all of the students to their teachers, and then she gave each teacher a small 4x6 photo album to collect and store all the postcards as they arrived. Good mail to the teacher's homes would be fun, but I didn't think the teachers would be willing to give personal addresses out to all their students, so I made up simple postcards from white cardstock with a blank line for the teacher's name, and then the school address underneath. I'm handing out a couple of post cards per child with a letter explaining that the student is to write a note or draw a picture for their teacher on the blank side, expressing appreciation. Then the idea is for the student to use the second post card for a resource teacher or someone in the administration or office staff. I'm really excited to add this new aspect to our teacher appreciation week!

We're asking each family to pay for their own postage, partly because I don't want to be giving stamps away to families that don't follow through on the project, and partly because I don't think I have the budget to be buying all those stamps. Look at the perfect stamp I found:

(I never would have gone looking for the perfect stamp without the influence of a few good mail bloggers out there)

I downloaded the stamp image from Canada Post and put it in the upper right of each postcard, which turned out so cute. It will be covered with a real postage stamp, obviously, but I hope someone out there in my school community notices it and appreciates it!

Wednesday, 16 May 2007


  1. I always wear out the left knee of my jeans first.
  2. I wear a carpal tunnel brace on my right wrist at night.

  3. Sometimes I wear a night guard on my teeth at night to prevent clenching/grinding.

  4. I love the smell of wet cement, like how the garage smells after it's been hosed out.

  5. I usually wear dresses rather than skirts.

  6. I take an all or nothing approach to shopping.

  7. I buy one pair of casual shoes and wear them nearly every day till they're worn out, about 2 years, and then I buy another pair.

  8. I like graphic monkeys.

  9. I don't like real monkeys.

  10. I under pack for holidays.

  11. I've been bucked off a horse.

  12. I've been attacked by a dog. Well, O.K. I was scared by a friendly dog jumping on me as a child.

  13. I'm not really an animal person.

  14. We have a family dog.

  15. I'm the one that bought the family dog.

  16. I make many sacrifices for my children.

  17. I'm paralyzed by clutter. I can't do anything till the clutter is cleared.

  18. I got married when I was 19 years old.

  19. I've been married for 16 years.

  20. I'm a mother of four - three daughters and one son.

  21. I've had violin, clarinet, guitar, and piano lessons.

  22. I play the piano.

  23. I teach piano to my youngest three children.

  24. I'm a dental hygienist.

  25. I phone my own answering machine and send myself emails to remember things.

  26. A clean house boosts my mood.

  27. I clean my own house.

  28. I'm not so picky about having a clean car.

  29. I've never bought a wedding magazine.

  30. I'm on the school council as the kindergarten parent representative, but I mostly speak to junior high issues.

  31. I'm not that strong of a swimmer.

  32. I go back and add to posts, like this cake and birdie box update.

  33. I do a quick good bye at the end of a phone conversation.

  34. My favorite color is turquoise.

  35. I like muddy colors.

  36. I sometimes think words like I'm typing them - my fingers will even flicker along.

  37. My real typing is full of errors.

  38. My favorite movie is Emma.

  39. I drive the speed limit.

  40. Sometimes I go over the limit if it seems safer to keep up with the flow of traffic.

  41. I do like to speed when it comes to snow skiing.

  42. I'm a keener.

  43. I like a job well done.

  44. I'm not a perfectionist.

  45. I find it really hard to leave my kids with other people, especially over night.

  46. I often make multiple visits to other blogs before I'm ready to comment.

  47. I like Spearmint Certs (the green package).

  48. I just ate a whole pack of them in about 10 minutes.

  49. I got that from my mom.

  50. I'm a good sport.

  51. I can schmooze when I need to (a corporate retreat skill).

  52. I haven't exercised since June 2006.

  53. I'm taking the 2006-07 school year off exercising.

  54. July 2007 is coming up quick.

  55. I'm uncomfortable around foul language.

  56. I'm a better president than counsellor.

  57. I wish it were the other way around.

  58. I've spent that last few years mourning the end of having babies.

  59. I'm pretty O.K. with it now.

  60. I may never completely stop wanting another baby.

  61. My perfect date night is dinner and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.

  62. My husband reads my blog, and he's pretty good at taking hints.

  63. I am a child of God. So are you.

  64. I'm the oldest of 5 kids - I have 3 brothers and a sister.

  65. I have good relationships with all my siblings.

  66. I was nearly 10 when my sister was born, and I got to name her.

  67. I can sleep in.

  68. I'm not good at taking naps.

  69. I'm a fun mom.

  70. I'm self disciplined.

  71. I like getting older.

  72. My favorite flowers are lilacs and sweet peas.

  73. I also love bouquets of dandelions.

  74. I'm good in a conflict or like when there's a problem at school that I have to talk to a teacher about.

  75. I have a new interest in technology.

  76. I'm supportive of my husband's hobbies and interests.

  77. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.

  78. I like a little alone time.

  79. I often stay up too late just to get some peace and quiet in my day.

  80. I have poor eyesight. I've had glasses since I was 10 years old.

  81. I've never colored my hair.

  82. When I'm really into what I'm reading I don't hear or notice anything going on around me.

  83. I've lived in Edmonton, Lethbridge, and Calgary - all in Alberta, Canada.

  84. I'm 5'4.

  85. My middle name is Jane.

  86. I like ripple potato chips with philadelphia onion chip dip.

  87. I make the same face my dad does when exerting effort in some way.

  88. I make terrific rolls.

  89. I make a good pie crust, but not as good as my mom's.

  90. I grew up thinking I would eventually go deaf in my left ear.

  91. It took me 2 months to get this list done.

  92. In school my best subject was math.

  93. I have terrible handwriting.

  94. I'd like an ipod, but I don't like wearing earphones.

  95. To fall asleep I first start on my back in a yoga 'tree', then when I'm almost out I flip over onto my stomach.

  96. I can slalom water ski.

  97. I've finally found my style.

  98. I love leftovers.

  99. I want all the art in my home to have personal meaning.

  100. I'm happiest when I'm busy.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Let me introduce my sister

Actually, she can introduce herself! She's started off her blog with a bang: her 100 list!

SPT: Like Grandmother, Like Mother, Like Daughter

It is so interesting to notice the ways I am like my mother, and thereby, her mother. We have the same hands. I remember sitting next to my grandmother in church and playing with the veins on the back of her hands, and then noticing the same blue pattern on the back of my mother's hands. Now my hands are the same, and my daughter likes to play with my hands.

It occurs to me that this might be a little creepy to some people, so please stop here if you might be easily creeped out.

I can't believe I'm sharing this!

Here's what my daughter does, and what I so clearly remember doing to my mom and grandma:
She pushes the vein across my hand, where it will stay if I keep my hand still.

And then she moves my fingers, which makes my vein slide back across my hand to where it started.

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Thursday, 10 May 2007

Faith is knowing the sun will rise, lighting each new day.

Faith is knowing the Lord will hear my prayers each time I pray.

Faith is like a little seed:

If planted it will grow.

Faith is a swelling within my heart.

When I do right, I know.

I was out shopping with Chloe recently, and while we were at the store she spotted cotton balls and asked, "Can we make faith necklaces again?"

There was a time when I lived and breathed primary, and everything I saw had possible applications to my calling working with the children at church. I've made faith necklaces at stake achievement days (as they were called back then), I've made faith necklaces for sharing time, and I've made them for family home evening. I have a brother in law who is a pharmacist, and he was kind enough to order a bunch of pill containers in bulk for me the first time I made the necklaces. I must have ordered 200 vials, because I'm still using containers from my original order! I saw the idea in Family Fun magazine, and directions are here on the family fun website. The only changes I've made to their instructions are that I use a dry cotton ball in the bottom of each container to soak up the way over drenched cotton ball the kids inevitably put on top. Oh, and I also use 2 seeds between the cotton balls, just in case one doesn't sprout.

I wanted to share this craft because the theme for primary this year is:

I'll Follow Him in Faith

Sunday, 6 May 2007

I've got some happy mail to post:

My friend and former neighbor, Amy, sent a beautiful birth announcement and a thank you for a baby gift. This picture was definitely taken in her new house - I'd recognize those floors anywhere - so I'm thinking she took that photo herself. Beautiful baby, beautiful photograph.

Next I have a thank you from Kristi that I forgot to crop before I uploaded it. She's so good about using exact postage. I'll over pay postage by quite a bit if I don't have any penny stamps.

I got a surprise package from Kelly A. for winning a contest on her blog. Love the big pink envelope, Kelly. I knew I had good mail as soon as I opened my mailbox.

I've already put the pink envelope to good use: I folded and sent off my mom's Mother's Day present in this envelope bright enough to call wrapping paper. I have some thrifting to post, and the gift for my mom loosely translates as thrifting. I found it antiquing, actually. The main difference between thrifting and antiquing is the $$$, but the cost of antiquing is no more offensive than the odor of thrift stores, so I'm going to call it even.

My mom grew up in Raymond, Alberta, which has (had? is it still operational? i don't really know) a sugar beet factory. When I was antiquing during my corporate retreat trip I found this cloth sugar sack from her home town. The bag is about the size of a king sized pillowcase, and it is so cool. My dad has a rule about not giving them gifts that they have to store, so I often give tickets, but I figure this can fold up and fit in their linen closet quite nicely and painlessly.

When I was looking for corporate retreat dress up clothes at Value Village, I found this great cowgirl outfit. Too small for me, perfect for my girls. They go to a country school and have Western Days all the time.

My little girls like me to tell them this story, but we didn't have the book up until now. This copy closely follows the 'Barb' version, plus when I opened the book and saw the cute inside cover, I was instantly sold - 49 cents? O.K.!

Saturday I passed a garage sale in my neighborhood, and this old cruiser bike was a free give away. It is in perfect working condition, has a blue sparkle vinyl seat - all it needs is a basket! We don't lack for bikes around here, but Jaclyn and I have been sharing a bike which interferes with family bike rides. If she doesn't want to ride this baby, I'm happy to.

Friday, 4 May 2007

Mother-daughter date

Carmen and I took the train downtown after school yesterday to go to an opening reception at an art gallery for a friend of mine who is enjoying some amazing success. Actually, my mirror image SPT has a painting by my friend, Rachelle, in the background. Carmen loves getting creative and messy, therefore she loves art - she was the perfect date for this event.

Taking the train was also a draw for Carmen to come along - it's a real novelty for her.

Gotta get a picture of us together - I have lost all self conciousness when it comes to taking self portraits in public places.

Our destination - a building downtown that houses many galleries.

Rachelle's sister in law, and a closer friend of mine, had told me how much better Rachelle has become in the last few years (since she did the painting that hangs in my house) but I was still so impressed. To see more of her art go here: Rachelle Kearl, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click on artworks.

Spring Is Here #3 - 2007
acrylic on canvas, 14 in x 11 in
[part of tripytch]
Funky Flowers - 2006
acrylic on canvas, 28 in x 22 in
New Mother - 2007
acrylic on canvas, 36 in x 24 in
Carmen and I also had fun looking around at the other galleries - we saw paintings, sculptures, fabrics, and glass beads. I learned I had to take a quick evaluating glance at the door of a gallery before I walked in with Carmen. Why is so much art not suitable for younger audiences? I think I did a good job sheilding her without freaking out - I didn't want to arouse her curiosity about why we went in some galleries and not others.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Smaller than a deck of cards

With all the self portraits I've been doing, I'm a little embarrassed not to have one on the designated day - sorry! So Lelly's challenge was:
*Show & tell one of your most treasured items. the catch is (YES, there is a catch)... it must be smaller than a deck of cards!*
I want to show this paint chip card holder I made awhile back from the instructions on Design Verb. You should really let the original site do the 'tell' on how to make this. I will tell you that it took me a whole evening, which is why I've only made one, but revisiting Design Verb has me inspired to try again.
How is this a treasured item? It represents my return to making, building, creating, and crafting. All work and no play - no more!