28 March 2011

Being an Aunt, Part 2 (the real deal)

First - a word about technology glitches - they stink! I was having one last night and so a couple of other posts with this same title popped up on Google Reader. They are not the real deal anymore (which you will quickly notice as you read them) and I say darn those stupid gremlins! THIS is the real deal! So read away, and enjoy!

Did I mention before that I wish all my precious my nieces and nephews all lived closer to me? Oh, I did? Well, let me mention it again: I wish all my precious nieces and nephews lived closer to FW!

When Miss E was little bitty she lived closer to me and I really wish I would have taken better advantage of seeing her regularly, but you know, I figured that they would be here for awhile. After all, my brother had started up his own company and was moonlighting for a local company as one of their tech guys, but then he went and moved his family out to the East Coast so he could go back to school for his MBA. The nerve of that kid, I tell ya!

So, when they leave, my brother (love ya, Chrissie-poo!!!! Ha, ha! Take your family away from me, will ya!), my sis-in-law that I love, and cute little bitty Miss E load up and head out of town for two stinkin' years. They get settled in at Rochester University, where despite some amazing experiences and opportunities because of my brother's hard work and dedication, they face some pretty big trials.

Of course, after the storm comes the sun, and in this instance, after the painful and scary trials they faced came the little charmer - WCS - and WHAT A BLESSING! He is so cute, so happy, so easy to be around (well, he was the last time I was around him, that is), and he has one of the best smiles around!

I wish I could jump on my private jet and whisk away to visit these cutie-patooties, but our private jet is currently on loan to the Travolta's 'cuz we're nice like that! Even though my time with Little Miss E and WCS has been limited (which is why I had to lift pics from my SIL's Facebook account for the video at the bottom!), I love knowing what is going in their lives and I am grateful for modern technology that makes the distance seem smaller.

But, you can bet that as soon as the Travolta's are finished using our private jet, B&K will be on their way to the East side of the USA!

And now, for those cuties....

Note: The video won't open in Goggle Reader - don't know why, it just doesn't. If it doesn't open from the blog directly, try refreshing your computer. Or if all else fails, visit this link:


26 March 2011

Being an Aunt, Part 1

I love being an aunt and I simply adore my nieces and nephews - all 13 of them! Over the next few days, I am going to do different posts focusing on each family branch from which all of these precious children and youth who range in age from 1 years old to 19 yours old spring.

I am going to start with my niece and nephew that live the closest to me.

Just a sidenote: I wish all of my nieces and nephews lived closer (hint to my siblings and sibling-in-laws that live away: you should move back to FW!).

Some of the qualities I love about each of them include:

  • M - extremely polite, loving, kind, creative, and fun
  • H - happy, snuggly, fun, and I got to be there when he was born!

I have been blessed the last couple of months to see M & H several times and have had the chance to take them different places and even had a sleepover with my little niece (fun, but exhausting!).

Both M & H make me so happy! I love how excited they both get (or seem to get) when I come around and there are always lots of hugs, kisses, and I love you's!

Check out some of the fun I have had with M & H....

Note: if the video player doesn't load up right away, hit the refresh button on your computer, or visit this link: http://www.onetruemedia.com/my_shared?z=307ed26d6607fe53056e65&utm_source=otm&utm_medium=text_url

08 March 2011

Hope for the future

I know some AMAZING teenagers and they give me hope about the world in which we live!

Now these high schoolers (19 of them) act just like normal teenagers in many aspects: they are involved in school, they participate in extra-curricular school activities such as sports and band, they work, they date, they hang out with friends, and once in awhile (just once in awhile), they throw down a bit of attitude (but hey, don't we all!). However, in spite of the similarities they have to your average all-American teen, there is nothing really average about this group of teenagers at all.

You see, these teenagers (and hundreds of others around the world) are striving to live by higher standards than what is necessarily "cool" in the world. They attend church each Sunday, they accept responsibilities of leadership in their youth organizations, they join their families for dinner, they pray regularly, they fast, they pay tithing, they dress modestly, they seek to be morally clean, and they get up before the sun every Monday - Friday so that they can attend a class to study the scriptures and learn about the life, the teachings, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ before school. You see, there is nothing really average about them at all!

You may be wondering how I know this about these high schoolers who range in age from Freshman - Seniors. Well, every morning (Monday - Friday) I wake up, I get dressed, and I leave my house by 5:20 am to teach this early morning scripture study class for high school students that begins at 5:45 am. That's right, I get to join these high schoolers at church each morning before school (wayyyy before school!) to study the scriptures and learn more about the teachings of Jesus Christ.

For all those who know me, this seems a bit ironic, all right - comedic! After all, even though I value the adage, "early to bed, early to rise," I'm not one who actually lives by it! I am much more likely to still be awake at 5:00 am then to be getting up at that time to go somewhere. So I see the humor in me being the one asked to teach this class. But, God works in mysterious ways, and this last year of teaching early morning seminary has proven that to me over and over and over.

I will admit that there are some days when I bring a better A-game to the classroom than others, and there are some days when the students bring a better A-game as well, but it is amazing how blessed we are by the Lord for our efforts to make time each morning to study the gospel. The fact that I am actually able to get up, get there on time (dressed, too!), lead the class, then go on to a full-day of work when I typically don't get enough sleep, is proof of the Lord's hand in this experience. The fact that a group of high schoolers with busy lives can be engaged in great discussions and learning activities that early and that we can feel His Spirit, is proof of His hand as well.

Even though it is really hard to get up when that third alarm goes off, I know that I am blessed for my diligence and obedience and I am the recipient of so many great things because I am teaching this class. First of all, my testimony of Jesus Christ, and my love for Him has been strengthened tremendously. My understanding of His teachings and my knowledge of His sacrifice has grown incredibly. My appreciation for the daily blessings and miracles in my life has increased exponentially and my eyes are opened to the tender mercies given me by my Heavenly Father and my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.

I love my Father in Heaven. I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I appreciate all that I am blessed with in my life and I love these students that I have the privilege of teaching. They amaze me and they give me hope for the future. After all, the Lord blesses them for their diligence and sacrifice in attending this early morning class, and I know that He is strengthening them so that they can be the great leaders of tomorrow (even if this strengthening has to be done really, really, really early in the morning!).

How awesome is it that I get to be part of that amazing experience (even so early in the morning)!

Online links about the seminary program of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints:



02 March 2011

Wacky and Tacky - on purpose!

It's Seuss Week!

What exactly is Seuss Week, you ask? Well, it's a busy and fun week long celebration of the fantastic children's author, Theodore Seuss Geisel (aka: Dr. Seuss).

You know Dr. Seuss... he wrote The Cat in the Hat, Horton Hears a Who, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and 44 other fantastic books for children.

Now, what you may not know about Dr. Seuss is that as a child his mother let him draw on the walls in his bedroom (don't try this at home!), and that one of his first jobs as an adult was drawing advertisements for bug spray. It might also be a surprise to you that it took him more than 20 tries before a publisher accepted the manuscript and illustrations for his first book, And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street.

So, why does Seuss Week get a spotlight here at B&K? Well, as the school librarian, K hosts Seuss week, and B gets to hear all about it! There is lots of planning (seriously, lots of planning!) and lots of talking about the planning. Then, during the week of Dr. Seuss's birthday (March 2), as K hosts different activities and events at her school each day, there continues to be a lot of talk about Seuss between B&K (and I mean a lot of talk about Seuss!).

One of the fun things about Seuss Week is celebrating a book by Dr. Seuss everyday and dress-up to go with that book. So, "crazy caps" to celebrate The Cat in the Hat, "silly socks" to celebrate Fox in Socks, "favorite colors" for My Many Colored Days, favorite places for Oh, The Places You'll Go, and the most fun of all... "outrageous outfits" to celebrate Wacky Wednesday.

It's because of Wacky Wednesday that today things are, well, WACKY (and a bit tacky).

Case in point... Ms. Wacky-Tacky (all the way from Ar-Can-Sauce):

Yep, that's me... aka: Ms. Wacky-Tacky in all my "whacked out glory" for Wacky Wednesday! The only thing missing are the big ol' Bubba teeth that really make me look strange. It is so fun to become this character and to see the wonder on so many faces of the precious children that I work with as they try to figure out if it's really me behind those glasses and fake teeth.

I always set them up to think that I will be gone to a workshop on Wacky Wednesday (and my awesome teacher friends play along and help me with this ruse!). Then I tell the students that my "distant cousin," Ms. Wacky-Tacky from "Ar-Can-Sauce" will join them for the day (NOTE: Even though I have no cousins that look this wacky in real life, I have to give the children some reason for why Ms. Wacky-Tacky and I look so similar!). Then I show up in my "whacked out glory" and watch for their reactions. All I can say is... Priceless!

There are some children who just aren't sure if it's really me or my "distant cousin," and it's fun to hear them defend why they think Ms. Wacky-Tacky is a different person from me. My favorite this year came from a kindergartener who told one of his friends: "It can't be Mrs. Murphy. Mrs. Murphy doesn't have a brown pimple on her face. It has to be Ms. Wacky-Tacky." In case you were wondering, Ms. Wacky-Tacky doesn't have a brown pimple either, it was a "mole" that I drew by my mouth with eye liner, but I loved his logic!

Wacky Wednesday is one of my favorite days. It is such a fun way to cut loose and celebrate Seuss and it forges a bond between me and my colleagues and students built on fun, laughter, and enjoying a good book. What a great way to strengthen relationships (and a great reason to throw together your own "outrageous outfit!")

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