Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Rainy Day Recipe for Creamy Celery Soup

We have seriously been having the best kind of weather these past weeks. And yes, I am talking about thunderstorm weather. The days start out bright and sunshiney with a wind that makes it seem like summer is blowing away. And then out of nowhere you hear a rumble of thunder, and the next thing you know its pouring. The earth is literally being pounded with big, fat, raindrops.

I love it!

And I love to have soup when it rains. A comfort food for staying in and wearing pjs and watching Bones.


6 strips bacon
1 tablespoon butter
5 cups chopped celery (stalks and tops) (approx. 1 big bunch)
1 medium onion, chopped
2- 2 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon thyme
1 medium potato, cubed
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 cups milk
salt and pepper

Cook your bacon in a frying pan until its nice and crispy and easily crumbled. Pour some of the grease into the bottom of a large soup pot, and add butter, celery, onion, thyme, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables are soft (15 minutes or so).

Add the potato, stock, and milk to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potato is very soft. 

Puree the soup in a blender until thick and creamy. Serve with crumbled bacon on top.

Mmmmm. Now go put on some pjs.

Journalings of a Primary Teacher {8-25-13}

The kids in my class are totally, completely, 100% the CUTEST kids in the whole universe. 

When asking them how they would feel if Jesus put his hands on their heads to bless them, we got mostly answers like, "Happy, I guess," and "Um, good?"
Except for one boy. Who bluntly stated, "Honestly, I think I might faint."


Later on, we were discussing whether anyone in the class had ever felt a peaceful feeling after they prayed. One girl shared this fantastic story:

"Sooooo once upon a time we had to take one of my friends home at night after it was dark. We were so nervous, and scared, actually really scared, so we said a prayer, and then we like felt something inside, like this peaceful feeling....And we felt like we'd be safe. But we took a baseball bat just in case. And then everything was fine."

And in my husband's class, he was sharing the story of Joseph Smith rebuking the men for their language while he was in prison. After listening to hours of filthy language and even filthier deeds, Joseph Smith stood up and said, "Silence ye fiends of the infernal pit!....I will not live another minute and hear such language..."

Later on, Chris was sharing a story about how sometimes the people around him at work also use bad language and swear. One girl raised her hand and asked, "Well why don't you just say to them what Joseph Smith said? I'm sure that would shut them up."

Its good to have such pragmatism in the world. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Journalings of a Primary Teacher {8-11-13}

Journaling has always been hard for me. Which is weird, because I'm an English major, which basically means I was writing ALL THE TIME. But for some reason, I never liked keeping a journal. 

When I was called as a primary teacher, I was very specifically advised to keep a journal. That's part of the reason I started blogging about my experiences in primary. And I'm glad I did, because I love going back and reading the hilarious antics of 7-year-olds, and one day, maybe when I'm trying to teach my own kids, I'll go back and remember all the things I learned. 

This week was just me and 7 kids. Was I a little nervous? Yes. Phew. More like A LOT nervous.

Like, nervous enough that I had a terrifying dream the night before that I showed up to a room full of 12 kids all throwing pens at each other and wildly screaming like jungle children. 

Thankfully.....real life was much, much better. 

I got to meet one of our students who had never come to church before. He's this sweet, quiet kid who looks like he has no idea what to do, and he has absolutely heart-melting blue eyes. At the end of class, each child got a 'faith rock,' on which they wrote the word 'faith' and then got to decorate with markers. This adorable boy wrote 'faith' on one side, and then came up to show me what he had written on the other side. It was 'giraffe.'

I have no idea how he got from 'faith' to 'giraffe, but I had to chuckle. He was just so proud that he knew how to spell 'giraffe.' I  get jumps like that all the time. I'll be teaching about the Holy Ghost, and one boy will raise his hand and say, "Did you know that killer whales EAT dolphins???!"

And I'm like, " Oh, how nice. So back to the lesson...."

And then a girl will pop up out of her seat and come right up to me in the middle of my next sentence, and say, "Um, did you know that, um, I have 4 cousins that are girls?"

There's a lot of pressure here to keep the lessons entertaining--- you can see why.

The other rocks were pretty great too. One girl wrote 'faith' in teeny-tiny letter on one little corner, and then furiously began scribbling with a blue marker all over the entire rock. Another boy wrote 'faith' on one side and then drew a snake on the other side {which I quickly learned was an asp-- like in the scriptures} {at least he's remembering something, right?}. But there was one especially that tugged on my heartstrings: One little girl came up to me to show me her rock, and pointed out to me that she'd even written 'faith' in brown! When I asked her why, she said, "Because faith is like a seed, and seeds are brown. See--- I even drew flowers growing out of the faith!"

The reason I brought 'faith rocks' was to help them internalize the story of the brother of Jared, who took clear stones to the Lord, and when the Lord touched them, they gave off light. The point I was trying to ingrain was that in the story, the brother of Jared had so much faith that he knew the Lord would make the rocks give off light. So you can kinda see how rocks and faith come together here. So after 50 minutes of teaching, telling stories, drawing pictures, and coloring rocks, I felt pretty confident that they'd absorbed at least the basic idea. 

Until we were out in the hallway, and a member of the bishopric happens to stop to visit. 
"So, what'd you guys learn about today?"

And I'm all like, come on kids....come onnnnn......

And one pipes up, "Faith!" And I'm secretly fist-pumping the air, thinking, they learned!

Then he asks, "So what do your rocks have to do with faith?"

And all 7 kids are staring at him, dead quiet, at least 4 of them with their mouths hanging open.


At least it wasn't as bad as the time the kids all came out of the classroom throwing paper airplanes at each other.

 I can't even remember how that happened. 

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