29 December 2008

Fame and Fortune (with a twist!)

NOTE: click on the sound icon to hear the song and to turn it off.

At some point in our childhood we all wanted to be famous, right?

Well, we might not be cast in a big Hollywood box office sell-out, but we certainly star in plenty of our own FAMILY productions.

The lyrics to the song in the slide show perfectly describe our famous roles in those FAMILY productions...

When I grow up, I wanna be famous
I wanna be a star, I wanna be in movies
When I grow up, I wanna see the world
Drive nice cars, I wanna have groupies

When I grow up, be on TV
People know me, be on magazines
When I grow up, fresh and clean
Number one chick when I step out on the scene

Be careful what you wish for
'Cause you just might get it
You just might get it
You just might get it

Be careful what you wish for
'Cause you just might get it
You just might get it
You just might get it

Hope you enjoyed some of the "headshots" of our family.

They have not brought us any fame or fortune, but have provided us with some pretty good laughs!

22 December 2008

Great Holiday Reads

At Christmas, I'm always asked for good holiday books for children (might have something to do with my occupation or it could be that I am known to be a bit of a book freak!).

So I've posted some book suggestions that I think are great. If you have time, check out one or two (or three or four!) of these fantastic reads, cozy up on your own (or better yet with someone you love), and enjoy a good book.

Oh yeah, with my list comes a rule: the term "cute" is NOT to be used to describe these books. It's Murphy's Law (and now you know along with all my students). Cute is for puppies, kittens, and babies, not for books! There are way too many other descriptive words to use for such treasures!

Now, enjoy!

Picture Books
A Little Bit of Winter by Paul Stewart
A Shepherd’s Gift by Mary Calhoun
Auntie Claus by Elise Primavera
Auntie Claus and the Key to Christmas by Elise Primavera
Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson
Christmas Cricket by Eve Bunting
Going Home by Eve Bunting
Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo
Homeless Christmas Tree by Leslie M. Gordon
How Murray Saved Christmas by Mike Reiss
I Spy Christmas by Walter Wick
If You Take a Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff
Night Tree by Eve Bunting
Olive, the Other Reindeer by J. Otto Seibold
Room for a Little One by Martin Waddell
Snowballs by Lois Ehlert
Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner
The Bear Santa Claus Forgot by Diana Kimpton
The Christmas Candle by Richard Paul Evans
The Christmas Cobwebs by Odds Bodkin
The Donkey’s Christmas Song by Nancy Tafuri
The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
The Jolly Christmas Postman by Alan Ahlberg
The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen
The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell
The Mitten by Jan Brett
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
The Tale of Three Trees by Angela Elwell Hunt
The Twelve Days of Christmas by Jan Brett
Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto
Who Was Born This Special Day? by Eve Bunting
Wombat Divine by Mem Fox
ANYTHING by Robert Sabuda!

Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem by Maya Angelou
Christmas Is Coming by Charles Ghigna
Christmas Presents by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Do Rabbits Have Christmas? by Aileen Fisher
It's Christmas! by Jack Prelutsky
The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
The Night Before Christmas, In Texas That Is by Leon Harris
Under the Christmas Tree by Nikki Grimes

Chapter Books
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Christmas in Camelot by Mary Pope Osborn
December Secrets by Patricia Reilly Giff
Horrible Harry and the Holidaze by Suzy Kline
Mr. Putter and Tabby Bake the Cake by Cynthia Rylant
Nate the Great and the Crunchy Christmas by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
Nate the Great and the Snowy Trail by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
Santa Claus Doesn't Mop Floors by Debbie Dadey
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
The Case of the Christmas Snowman by James Preller
The Dog Who Thought He Was Santa by Bill Wallace
The White House Christmas Mystery by Carole Marsh
Who's Stealing the Twelve Days of Christmas by Martha Freeman

Christmas Parties - Blogland Style!

Welcome to our Christmas Open House!

Come in and look around.

After your visit here, check out these great spots for more splendid Christmas ideas:

Kimba's Holiday Open House
Julia's Hooked on Houses
Thrifty Decor Chick's Christmas Tree Par-tay

(Just be careful of B.I.C.S. You know, Butt-in-Chair-Syndrome).

The Living Room

ideas in the living room:
* create your own cloche with a cheese tray dome
* use large vases or jars for jingle bells or ornaments

The Kitchen

ideas in the kitchen:
* use a fun, non-traditional color scheme
* use a tiered serving dish as an ornament tree
* frame gift wrap and ribbon for easy wall art

The Den

ideas in the den:
* use children's literature in a variety of places
* have a central theme (ie: snowmen) throughout the room
* hang stockings on front handle of fireplace door

And finally...

Find ways to emphasize that Jesus Christ is the reason we celebrate this season!

Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

Don't forget to sign "the guest book" before you go
(This means leave a comment my silent friends and family!)

Merry Christmas!

15 December 2008

Brian Graduates!

WAHOO!!! This past Saturday Brian graduated with his BA in Criminal Justice from UTA!!!!

After 2 and 1/2 years of juggling work and family with school, he did it... and did it well!!!!

I can't even begin to express how proud I am of all his hard work and diligence, even when life got tough and threw some unexpected curve balls into our playing field.

Congratulations, B! I love you more than I can tell you!

09 December 2008

"Butt-in-Chair" Syndrome

Ok, so B is right (I hate it when that happens!)

He is right about the fact that I suffer from "butt-in-chair" syndrome.

Have you heard of it? It's a condition that I hope you can avoid!

Here's what happens:

  1. You turn on the computer...
  2. You get a coke and a bag of puffy cheetos (or whatever snack you choose)...
  3. You sit in front of the computer...
  4. You check your email (looking for comment notification)...
  5. You check your blog (yep, it looks the same)...
  6. You check your blog roll and start visiting...
  7. And visiting...
  8. And visiting...
  9. And visiting...
  10. And eating the puffy cheetos (it was a relatively new bag)...
  11. Keep visiting (one place leads to another, to another, to another)...
  12. Look at the clock...
  13. Realize that once again, time has passed quickly...
  14. Check the puffy cheeto bag and wonder "did I REALLY eat all those!"
  15. Type up a lame-brain post so at least there is something new on the blog...
  16. Try to move beyond this recent attack of "butt-in-chair" and actually get something done around the house (which will be the gathering spot for family in just a couple of days to celebrate B's graduation!).
  17. Realize that this syndrome (which could be contagious, but I'm no doctor) could strike again the next time you sit at the computer!

So, if anyone knows a good way to cure "butt-in-chair," do tell! I need a remedy!

06 December 2008


Canton + First Monday Trade Days + Family = FUN!

The plan for our adventure:

  1. Leave in the early am on Saturday

  2. Drive a little more than an hour

  3. Park in a field and start walking

  4. Look in all the cool booths

  5. Spend money

  6. Walk

  7. Make our way out to where the "treasures" are

  8. Look around

  9. Find items to be repurposed or used in projects

  10. Spend money

  11. Run out of money (and arm space!)

  12. Trudge back to the car (way out in that field)

  13. Load up the car (takes some skill)

  14. Exit the field

  15. Stop and eat

  16. Drive a little more than an hour

  17. Drop off familia

  18. Drop off purchases into the garage

  19. Drop off from exhaustion

  20. Avoid explaining my purchases to B
    (he just rolls his eyes anyway!)

The results of our adventure:

A day of fun with my seester and seester-in-laws with some great new "to-do" items.

Of course I'm sure that B was right when he silently wondered, "when are you going to actually get those to-do items done?" But let's not tell him he was right, okay! I am confident (ha! ha!) that someday I'll get them all done!

26 November 2008

Twilight: My Reaction, My Opinion

Last night was a girls night out (we missed you D!) and we headed downtown to see the highly anticipated movie version of Twilight. Being a staunch reader, I am ALWAYS (and I mean always) hesitatant when Hollywood puts a book on the big screen. Last night was no exception and I went with high expectations.

With that said, I admit that overall it was a good movie and the storyline was true to the book (a huge sigh of relief from this audience member). However, I had a hard time buying some of the people cast for certain roles. I just wasn't feeling it for a couple of those choices and they didn't sell themselves as the character I imagined them to be.

The actors that did get my vote for selling their characters included those who played Bella (Kristen Stewart), Charlie (BIlly Burke), and all three of the "bad" vampires: James, Laurent, and Victoria. Robert Pattison did a good job, he's just not who I envisioned for Edward, so I'm still working on that one.

The biggest disappointment for me was Jacob Black. In my humble opinion, Taylor Lautner (the actor playing Jacob) did not in any way, shape, or form pull that one off. It could have been the bad wig, the bad lines, or the indiglo white teeth that distracted me from believing that he could ever stand a chance at winning Bella, but whatever the case, he just didn't work for me (remember, this is my humble opinion). I guess we'll see what happens as he undergoes his own transformation!

Although the movie was good, if you haven't read the books, there is so much more to the story than what the big screen can show!

Most of all, I enjoyed a great girls night out at a quality movie, followed by deli-cious dinner! Remember girls, we decided to do this again!

20 November 2008


At this time of year we often stop and think of the blessings that we are grateful to have in our lives. My life is filled with blessings everyday (stay tuned for that list!), but today I want to focus on the gratitude I have for my friends Jennifer and Mary.

We have been working together as the presidency of the Relief Society in our ward for the last 19 months and what an experience that has been! I am so thankful for all of their support, their willingness to serve others, their kindness, their compassion, their patience (they have been working with me, ya know!) and their friendship.

Changes have happened in our organization (funny how the Lord moves you to something else when you are finally getting comfortable!) and Jennifer has been asked to work with the Young Women, while Mary has been asked to work with the Primary. I know that they will be AWESOME where they serve.

Meanwhile I have the chance to work with two more awesome women: Sarah and Becky - and I can't wait to get to know them better!

Although Mary, Jennifer, and I won't be in class together on Sunday (or meeting together on Wednesday), I now understand that Relief Society is the organization for all the women of the church, set apart by the Lord to strengthen us all, no matter where we serve.

Thank you Jennifer and Mary for walking with me so diligently these last 19 months. We have done a lot of good things and I know we will continue to do good things.

I love ya both and I know how much YOU ROCK (especially in pink camo!).

10 November 2008

It's A P.A.R.T.Y (and I'm going)!

Chris over at Just A Girl is hosting a great party all about gifts to give for Christmas.
(click on the picture above to get there).

Although I am "freaking out that Thanksgiving and Christmas are so close" (see earlier post), I did find some pictures of gifts I have given. So, I'm heading to the party and can't wait to see what other people have brought!

Idea 1: A Tad Bit Brighter Acrylic Frames
You need these:

Put them together to get:

Idea # 2: Meaningful Phrases
My seester (aka: my sister) made these first. They are great gifts!

You need these:

Put them together to get:

There are so many great gift ideas for Christmas! Head over to the party and see who brought what, and then add your own ideas!

What I'm Thinking (a random post of thoughts)

  1. Chilly weather makes me lazy... bring on the books, the hot cocoa, and the blanket!
  2. My husband is amazing
  3. I have a great family
  4. I need to keep praying for my family
  5. I am horrible about remembering birthdays... any suggestions on how to improve that?
  6. The FW 3rd ward is filled with awesome people
  7. I hate getting up and I hate going to bed.. Chris put it best, "I love the state I'm in"
  8. Sometimes texting is difficult (especially if you used to teach English)
  9. I am totally freaked out that Thanksgiving and Christmas are so close
  10. Plan of action = if it ain't up by Dec. 1st, I ain't puttin' it up! (and I used to teach English)
  11. My toes are cold, but I don't want to get up and get socks (told you it was random)
  12. Brian is a good editor even though he never taught English (he is standing over my shoulder correcting me as I type)
  13. Life changes constantly
  14. Our cat is getting old
  15. I love a good shoulder rub
  16. I have some really great friends
  17. Mondays are busy days at work
  18. The Lord stretches us
  19. We have the opportunity to grow when we are stretched, even when it's tough
  20. I'm trying to be better

And one last thing I'm thinking.... this list could go on and on and on!

05 November 2008

My Friend Lisa

So, I have been doing this 29-Day Giving Challenge to try to be more aware of opportunities I have to give to others each day.

I love sharing my experiences as I give , but today I want to share how great it feels to be the recipient of a give - especially one that is heartfelt and meaningful.

This give comes from my friend Lisa and it left me speechless and in tears (the speechless part is amazing, I know!).

It is a give that cost nothing but some thought and a little time, it didn't have to be wrapped or delivered in any fancy package, and it meant the world to me when I opened it.

What is this tremendous give?... An email that she sent me.

I can't even begin to tell you how much my heart is touched everytime I read what Lisa wrote, which is why I share it here. This is the perfect example of how something so simple can be so powerful in the day of someone else.

This was Lisa's give to me, which she titled:

"A few gifts that Kirsten has given me...just not in the requisite 29-day time frame"

Gift of Expertise/Professional Knowledge. Kirsten has often provided me literary guidance in referring book series, authors and individual titles to help foster my children's love of reading. Every recommendation has been a "home run" for my kids' growing appetite for books. Her knowledge (and passion!) for children's literature has made me a better & more informed mother (and saved me oodles of time).

Gift of Refuge. When our house was for sale this past summer, I often had to scrub it down and flee at a moment's notice (well, approximately 1/2 hr notice) when a real estate agent wanted to show our home. This also entailed packing my 3 kids into the minivan and finding a place to pass an hour or two. Texas in August is not a place where you can spend 2 hours in a park in the afternoon. One day, I called her while toodling about, and asked if we could possibly come hide out in her home (I was 8 months pregnant at the time, and the captain seat of the van wasn't particularly comfortable. She said yes, and then the kids and I got to spend 2 hours in the quiet, peaceful air-conditioned comfort of her home. And Christian became the 3rd Dansie kid to become a fan of Brian's Coke truck set.

On this same subject, Kirsten's home has provided "refuge" again and again for many of her friends. She thinks that we call her place "peaceful" and "an oasis" just because it is devoid of toy clutter and kid mayhem. But it is much more than that; it is because her home exudes beauty, comfort, peace, welcome, and order. For parties, showers, Conference Scholars, and casual, stop-by gatherings, it truly is a refuge.

Gift of Surprise. In August, Kirsten surprised me with a book. Not just any book, but "Breaking Dawn", within 36 hours of its midnight release. This gift entailed much more than the volume itself. It saved me the time (and related potential headaches) of packing my three kids to go to the store and stand in-line to buy it. It brought me the joy of a VERY unexpected surprise - it has been a long time since someone gave me such a thoughtful, meaningful gift, "just because". It gave me the gift of literary escape, as I devoured it (not until after the Sabbath was over). And perhaps most of all, it increased the gift of friendship which Kirsten has already extended to me - lo these many years - as she (perhaps, alone) fathoms the silly depths of my Edward issue.

Oh, there are many more gifts I could list, but I thought these were pretty good. So, as you pursue your 29-day goal, realize that there are gifts you offer along the way that perhaps you don't recognize.

Love ya,

My friend Lisa... an amazing girl that has been a HUGE part of me getting to the good place that I am now. Our friendship is definitely a blessing in my life, one that I am infinitely thankful for and one that has even survived a change in ward boundaries!

Thank you my friend, I love ya back!

29 October 2008

Sometimes He Lets It Rain

There is no doubt in my mind that our Father in Heaven loves each of us. As a matter of fact, I know He does.

But sometimes, He lets it rain.

Today is a hard day for my principal and her family. They said good-bye to Jessica - their precious daughter, niece, grandaughter, wife, and young mother of 3 beautiful girls.

Today in that family, He let it rain.

And even though the rain may continue for awhile, there will be a time when the rays of the sun shine through. That is because His Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, understands the pain and the sorrow of this rainstorm and He is there for each member of this precious family.

He is there for each of us - even when the rains pour. And for that, I am grateful.

I love you, Sandy! You and your family are in my prayers.

Learn more about Jessica's story here at The Kaylor Journey.

Learn more about how you can help eradicate breast cancer at the Susan G. Koman Foundation.

23 October 2008

A Different Kind of Tag

Joy received this tag and then passed it on to anyone brave enough to do some self-reflection.

Well, I'm pretty brave so I thought I'd try it myself and then issue the same challenge for anyone who stops by here to complete this challenge.

After you complete the challenge, leave me a comment so I can visit you and read what 3 things you have listed about yourself.

Here goes... 3 things that make me a beautiful woman:

  1. I can make others laugh
  2. I am comfortable talking to anyone I meet
  3. I have the ability to come up with an idea and pull it off at the last minute

So, what about you? Go ahead, give yourself some credit and share a few things that show how much YOU ROCK! I can't wait to visit you~

21 October 2008

D's Choice!

I decided that my give today would be a "choose your own" gift (kind of like those "choose your own adventure" books that are so much fun to read when you're a kid).

And since D (my SIL) is the one who got me started with blogging and keeps me on track with staying current, I decided that she would be the person I give to today on day 6 of my challenge.

So, D.... you get to "choose your own gift" from the choices below as my way of saying thanks for keeping me on track with my blog and for putting up with me when I mocked you about blogging. I'm glad we're family and you can see beyond my shortcomings!

And now, will you choose...

#1 Super Scrapper
(includes: paper, stickers, embellishments, mini scrapbook)

or will you choose:

#2 God Bless the USA
(includes: patriotic decor and pillows)

Claim your gift by leaving me a comment with your choice. The world eagerly anticipates your answer (by "world" I mean the small group of friends and family who stop in here at B&K every once in awhile!).

20 October 2008

The Gift of Giving: Day 4 and Day 5

Day 4 = Birthday bucks for my brother-in-law...

Day 5 = Fall decorations for a good friend...

Get the details at my 29-day challenge blog

19 October 2008

Books, Time, and Milkshakes



and Milkshakes...

...how do they go together?

They are great gives that make people smile!

Giving a gift every day has been so much fun already - and it's only day 3! However, it is even more fun when you are purposefully plotting and conspiring for good with others!

For example, my "see-ster" (aka: my sister) whom I call "Mabel" (there's a reason!) helped me out tonight and we had a blast!

Now, B and I are formulating plans for future gives. This is fun since we plot and plan well together (probably one of the reasons we have such a strong marriage!).

Check out the specific details for my Day #2 and Day #3 gives in my 29-Day Giving Challenge by going to my challenge blog.

And if you have any ideas for a great give, share it!

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