Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Grandma and Grandpa B.

I have had the strongest feeling over the past couple of days to make a trip to Salt Lake to visit my grandparents.  I decided on Sunday that today would be the perfect day.  I left school at 12:15 on the dot so that I could have as much time as possible to spend with them.  I was really excited because I got a text from Carli this morning and found out that she would be able to drive down with me.  It's always fun to travel with someone else!  We made a quick stop at home and then headed over.  It was SO good to be able to sit and visit with them for a few solid hours.  At 6:00, Brooke and Derek and their kids and my Dad showed up for dinner.  We enjoyed hawaiian haystacks and corn on the cob.  It was so much fun!  Carli and I helped clean up and then we had to head out.  We got back to Logan at about 10:00.  I am thinking that I want to make it a monthly tradition!  I love them so much.
 Brooke and Derek
 Dad (it's a good thing that he doesn't check my blog...I don't think that he would appreciate this picture:))
 Grandma B.
 Grandpa B.
 Chopsy aka Carli

Sunday, September 23, 2012

What do you think?

I have been doing some thinking.  It all started at choir.  We started practicing some new songs tonight that the stake has chosen for stake conference.  As a stake choir we will be singing "This is the Christ" and "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul."  Before jumping into the technicalities of singing I really like to become familiar with the songs.  I feel like they mean more that way.  I introduced "This is the Christ" tonight.  I showed the last 10 minutes of "The Testaments" where Christ appears to those in the Americas.  It portrays exactly what the beginning of the song is talking about.  Before watching the clip, I asked those that were there to think about two things: (1) How they would feel if they were there and (2) How they know that Christ is their Savior.  I showed the clip and then I opened it up for discussion.  Someone said that if he was there he would know with a surety that Christ is the Savior and that He lives.  A few others agreed with that comment.  I don't know if I agree.  Now, I am not one to disagree or debate but I am trying to figure it out in my mind.  I think that the people who were there surrounding the temple already knew that Jesus is the Christ and that He lives.  That's why they were at the temple.  I know that I don't  have to see Him to know that for myself because I have scriptures, living prophets, prayer, personal revelation, and the gift of the Holy Ghost.  I think that it is a matter of faith.  I do have to say that I am looking forward to the day that I will get to see Him.  It would have been amazing to be those that were surrounding the temple as he performed miracles and blessed the people and taught.  But it is not necessary to see Him to believe in Him.  What kind of a difference do you think it would make for you to actually see the Savior?  Would it change what you know of Him already?  Would it strengthen your testimony of Him?  Please, feel free to leave your comments.  I would really love to hear what you think!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Yay for Visitors!

Brooke, Carter, and Lincoln came to Logan to spend the night!  They arrived at 5:30 yesterday.  I didn't get out of a district meeting until 3:45 but it was really hard to wait until 5:30 to see them!  Brooke, Lincoln, and Carter have just discovered/are in the process of figuring out that they all have a gluten intolerance so they are eating gluten free.  Do you want to know how tricky that is?  Everything has gluten in it!  Luckily there are a few restaurants that save the day with their gluten free menus!  Pier 49 Pizza serves gluten free pizza so that is where we headed.  It was delish.  
Afterwards we came back to my apartment and just hung out.  We got in our pajamas and played the night away!  The boys brought their favorite toys (trains and planes) and we turned Finding Nemo on.  
Carter made himself a little bed on one of the chairs.  
I wanted the boys and Brooke to have some yummy treats to eat while they were visiting.  I bought things to make caramel popcorn and muddy buddies.  Sadly I didn't get them made before they arrived so they helped out!  We had plenty to snack on!
All 5 of us slept in my room.  We made it to bed way later than we should have but we were having too much fun!  This morning we woke up in no hurry.  The boys built train tracks throughout my apartment and had a ball.  They kept begging us to take them out to my classroom so after we were showered and ready for the day that was our first stop.  
 They love playing with all of the toys in the classroom!
I don't think that I have ever put picture of the water table up.  My mom and I made it at the beginning of the summer for my preschool.  I brought it up to my classroom thinking that I would use it every once in a while but I have used it every week because it provides so many hands-on, exploratory learning experiences!  This last week we learned about the letter G and so I made up some Knox  gelatin (gelatin starts with G) in different containers and put letter beads inside of the molds.  The kids loved playing with it during centers.  I had one more container still in the fridge that hadn't been used so I pulled it out for Cart and Linc.  I added some tools and plastic utensils and droppers and food coloring and they were busy for a long time.  As you can see, the picture on the right is the before and the one on the left is the after.  
While the boys were playing, Brooke helped me hang some student work out in the hall.  What would have taken me 3 hours only took us 1.  She is a lifesaver!  
When we left the school we were all hungry so we stopped at Costa Vida because they also have a variety of gluten free items on their menu.  
After eating it was time for the crew to head home so they could make it to a family birthday party.  It was so sad to see them go!  The weekend couldn't have been better!  Man, how I love these little dudes and Brooke!  Thanks for coming!  Hope to have you again soon!
By the way, here is a not so great picture of my newspaper nails.  I am definitely no hand model.  But they are fun and different.  Jami just brought home a whole newspaper so we are going to do some more experimenting soon.  Pictures will follow!

Thursday, September 20, 2012


I had the highest of hopes for today that I would be feeling fantastic!  Yesterday I was really nauseous and had chills and aches.  I figured (hoped) that it was only a 24 hour thing but when I woke up at 2 this morning feeling 10 times worse I was a little bummed out.  I tossed and turned from 2 until 3 wondering if I should just hope that I would be feeling better to go to school and teach or if I should give in and arrange for a sub.  I prayed really hard and decided that it would be best to take the day off. I worked on a very detailed lesson plan from 3 until 4 when I called the services that our district uses to get a sub.  Besides arranging for the sub I knew I would need to go into the classroom for about 20 minutes to set a few things out for the day.  I didn't know how I was going to make it in because I could hardly roll from one side to the other while I was lying down, let alone sit up.  I tried to call Carli about 7 times between 4 and 5 to see if she would come with me but I couldn't reach her.  All this time I kept praying and praying that something would work out.  I came to the conclusion that I would have to just go by myself so I grabbed a bucket and went out the car.  I figured that with getting there so early I wouldn't see anyone else, but the janitor decided to show up extra early today as well.  I looked awful in my sweats with my hair in a ponytail and no make-up but I did not care a bit!  I just wanted to get things ready and get back home.  I made it and went right back to bed once I was home.  I slept from 7:30-3:00 and I was maybe awake for an hour in that time.  The sleep really helped me feel better and by 3 I was up to showering and getting a few necessary things done for the day.  Remember how my car registration was expired?  Well, I have been working on getting things done with that but it has been quite the process.  I had to have the safety test done on my car and I was REJECTED because of the massive crack in my windshield.  Yesterday I got a new windshield so I went back and I passed the test.  I then had to go to the county office to finish up my registration and then to the courthouse to take care of the warning.  $530 later I am good to go!  Carli was nice enough to drive with me all over to get these things done.  We made dinner together and Jami and Tish joined us to paint nails.  We finished off the night with Princess Diaries.  Looking back on the day I could have said it was pretty crumby but there were so many angels that made it a day full of tender mercies!  Carli, Tish, and Jami were angels, as well as other family members and friends who sent texts or made phone calls even though they didn't even know I wasn't feeling well.  I am so thankful that Heavenly Father answers so many of my prayers through others!  Thanks to all of you angels out there!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Lately I feel like I have had a lot of time to ponder.  I love pondering.  I feel like so many answers come as I quietly sit and think with a prayer in my heart.  The topic I have been pondering about the most lately is that of loneliness.  We all experience loneliness at different times.  It always comes as a surprise to me that sometimes when I am surrounded by a lot of people I can feel the most lonely.  Different experiences and situations can cause us to feel lonely.  None of us are exempt from feeling lonely.  I have found that if I react positively to feelings of loneliness I am always brought back to the one who never leaves us alone-the Savior.  He knows more about loneliness than any of us will ever experience. On Sunday I came across this quote that is one of my favorites.  My roommate shared it with me my freshman year and it has been a great reminder many times since then.  I want to share it with you.  Maybe you are not feeling lonely now, but I can guarantee (although I do not wish it upon you) that there will come a day that you will feel lonely again.  I hope that you will remember that you are never alone and that those feelings of loneliness can be taken away-maybe in an hour, maybe in a day, maybe in a month, and maybe not until after this life-but they will come to an end.

Well, my dear sister, the gospel is the good news that can free us from guilt.  We know that Jesus experienced the totality of mortal existence in Gethsemane.  It's our faith that he experienced everything-absolutely everything.  Sometimes we don't think through the implications of that belief.  We talk in great generalities about the sins of all humankind, about the suffering of the entire human family.  But we don't experience pain in generalities.  We experience it individually.  That means that he knows what it felt like when your mother died of cancer-how it was for your mother, how it still is for you.  He knows what it felt like to lose the student body election.  He knows that moment when the brakes locked and the car started to skid.  He experienced the slave ship sailing from Ghana toward Virginia.  He experienced the gas chambers at Dachau.  He experienced Napalm in Vietnam.  He knows about drug addictions and alcoholism.  Let me go further. There is nothing that you have experienced as a woman that he does not also know and recognize.  On a profound level, he understands the hunger to hold your baby that sustains you through pregnancy.  He understands both the physical pain of giving birth and the immense joy.  He understands about rape and infertility and abortion.  His last recorded words to his disciples were, "And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world."  He understands your mother-pain when your five year-old leaves for kindergarten, when a bully picks on your fifth-grader, when your daughter calls to say that the new baby has Down's syndrome.  He knows your mother-rage when a trusted babysitter sexually abuses your two year-old, when someone gives your thirteen year-old drugs, when someone seduces your seventeen year-old.  He knows the pain you live with when you come home to a quiet apartment where the only children are visitors, when you hear that your former husband and his new wife were sealed in the temple last week, when your fiftieth wedding anniversary rolls around and your husband has been dead for two years.  He knows all that.  He's been there.  He's been lower than all that.  He's not waiting for us to be perfect.  Perfect people don't need a Savior.  He came to save his people in their imperfections.  He is the Lord of the living and the living make mistakes.  He's not embarrassed by us, angry at us, or shocked.  He wants us in our brokenness, in our unhappiness, in our guilt and our grief.  You know that people who live above a certain latitude and experience very long winter nights can become depressed and even suicidal, because somethings in our bodies requires whole spectrum light for a certain number of hours a day.  Our spiritual requirement for light is just as desperate and as deep as our physical need for light.  Jesus is the light of the world.  We know that this world is a dark place sometimes but we need not walk in darkness.  The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, and the people who walk in darkness can have a bright companion.  We need him, and he is ready to come to us, if we'll open the door and let him.
Chieko N. Okazaki, Lighten Up!


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sweet Sunday

Today was one of those amazing Sundays that I didn't want to end.  It all started out with baking and then a brunch with this fabulous couple:
 This is my cousin, Becca, and her husband, Brian.  They got married a month ago and it was so fun to have them over for a little bit!  I never did post about the wedding so I figured I would throw a few pictures into this post.  Here is the official "Cutie Club".  We are all cousins born within a year of each other.  We were so happy to be able to celebrate the big day with Becca!  It was a wonderful day.
After brunch, Tish and I made a quick stop to say goodbye to Carolynn before she headed back to Salt Lake.  It was so fun to see her and go to Lava Hot Springs with her yesterday (that will be posted about later).  She is a gem and we miss her a lot here in Logan!
 We made it to church by 12:30 to have a quick little choir practice before church started.  Church was fantastic as always.  I really loved the Relief Society lesson about staying on the Lord's side of the line. We sang as a choir for the first time since I have been the choir director.  I was a little nervous because we have been low on numbers but we had 22 sing with us!!!  That is the most that this ward has ever had in its choir.  It was absolutely beautiful and the spirit was so strong.  I am so thankful for all of those who were willing to share their talents and sacrifice their time.  After church we had a linger longer and then the home teachers came over.  We have amazing home teachers!  They are so on the ball!  We went to a fireside about family history work at 6.  It was phenomenal and so exciting!  I am really feeling the urge to get involved in family history work and this just increased my desire.  At 7:15 we had all of the choir members over for dinner, hence the 6 foot sandwich:
 We did eat 3/4 of the sandwich and had a great time together.  I love this ward!  We went to ward prayer at 8 and then came back here to settle in for the night.  I just finished writing a letter to Corb and I will be asleep within 5 minutes of posting this.  My heart is so full of gratitude for all of the events that took place today.  I am one lucky and very happy girl!  And I am so looking forward to starting a new week tomorrow!  I have plenty to do in the morning so it will be rise and shine at 5 for me, but it is all worth it!  Happy beginning of the week!

Thursday, September 13, 2012


No special thing to blog about tonight, just some thoughts that are running through my head.  I feel extremely blessed with all that has taken place today.  Nothing spectacular or unusual.  Life is good and every moment I am reminded that Heavenly Father is aware of me and loves me very much.  I am so thankful for the good and uplifting family and friends that I am surrounded by.  I am thankful for hard things in my life that allow me to learn, grow, and trust more fully in the Lord.  I am thankful for tender mercies that remind me of His love.  A couple of weeks ago I heard this song on the radio as I was driving back up to Logan on a Sunday morning.  I absolutely love it and tonight I found the music video and it made it that much more meaningful.  I am thinking that I want to do my own little tribute to my mom with it (shhh, don't tell her).  I hope that you are all having a great week.  Thanks for being examples to me!  I hope that you enjoy the video/song:)  Goodnight.

Monday, September 10, 2012


Today I learned a lot about perspective.  I started the day off really early.  Because of different situations that arose over the weekend I was not able to make it into my classroom to prepare for this week.  I knew I needed a few hours of preparation under my belt just to get today started so I went to school really early.  I DO NOT like to be in the school alone...I think it is so eery!  When I arrived this morning it was still pitch black outside.  I used my phone as my flashlight as I made my way down the dark hall to my classroom.  I was trying to be quick and efficient with my keys so that I could turn some lights on but the harder I tried the more flustered I became.  I don't know what I thought was going to get me in the dark hall but I was sure something would!  The morning went well but time when faster than I would have wished and I was still a little flustered to start the day out.  The kids were great today and I should have focused on them more than the fact that I didn't feel 150% prepared.  It wasn't until after school that things were put back into perspective for the first of many times today.  A mom of one of my girls came in and told me the cutest thing that her daughter said over the weekend.  The girl was talking to her brother who was quite concerned about something.  She turned to him and gave him some of her 5 year-old words of wisdom: "My primary teacher taught me that you can pray and Heavenly Father will help you.  And Miss Sharp taught me that after I pray I need to tell myself, 'I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!'"  Yeah, it is not about having the perfect lesson plan but it is about helping the little kiddos understand that they are of worth and they can do many things.
Once the school day was over I zipped out of school to finish up this project.  
I bought it from a KSL ad for $10.  Tish needs another storage unit in her bedroom and I thought it would be fun to finish it and surprise her with it.  I worked on it most of the day on Saturday with a lot of little kinks.  I had just enough time today to finish it before she got back from a long weekend of being home.  After picking up some tools and supplies I was ready to get to work!  I was driving home on 200 east and I was most definitely following all traffic laws.  I passed a police man and thought happily to myself, "I am thankful that I am going the speed limit."  He did pull out behind me but I figured he was just changing positions.  Nope.  When we got through the stoplight his lights went on.  I went into a panic!  What did I do wrong?!  As he approached my window I was just dying.  He said, "Miss, do you realize that your registration expired at the end of July?"  What?  WHAT?!  Where have I been!  No, I hadn't realized!  Ahhh!  He gave me a warning and sent me on my way.  My first stop was the county building to get the registration rolling.  I feel so clueless...registering my car was the last thing on my mind.  I finally made it home and things were going good.  There were a few parts that needed some paint touch-ups.  Since they were only touch-ups I figured I could throw down a plastic drop cloth on my bedroom floor and do it right there.  I was right on time to be finished at 4:15.  Suddenly, I felt something cool on my leg and looked down to find the whole quart of red paint tipped over and gushing out.  I still don't know how it tipped over but I think I just watched it in utter shock for 10 seconds before I could think to do something.  Luckily the drop cloth caught it all, as well as my favorite pair of skinnies!  I was devastated.  I soaked them in some water and soap for a few hours hoping that some miracle would occur but this is what they still look like.  There is no hope for these things.  I may just wear them as they are because I love them so much so please don't laugh at me:)  By this time it was 4:25 and I was supposed to be to the doctor by 4:30.  
I hopped in the car and sped over.  I figured I would have to get my blood drawn to test muscle inflammation and I did.  This was the one plus of the day...only two vials of blood instead of the normal six!  Wahoo!  
 I rushed home once again and put the finishing touches on the dresser/shelf/whatever you want to call it.  I rolled it into Tish's room, still thinking about the stress of it all and my ruined pants, etc., etc., etc.  And then things were put into perspective again.  I was reminded why I wanted to do it all in the first place!  Who cares about the time and the messes made because it should have been all about love.  Tish was so grateful and that put me back in my place.  I needed to be more grateful too.  Up to that point in my day, all I could focus on were the things that were going wrong.  I needed to be more grateful for the things that went right.  Perspective.  

 To finish off the day I went to the Brigham City Temple Open House and that really put things into the eternal perspective.  Oh my goodness, that temple is beautiful!  I am secretly hoping that I marry someone who has some special ties to Brigham City so I have a legitimate excuse for getting married there:)  The spirit within the temple was overwhelming and all of a sudden my horrible day turned into a magnificent one.  Thanks for the change of perspective.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Day with Dad

Last night I was feeling a little overwhelmed with teaching and health and many other things.  It was like it all hit at once!  My Mom called and I was talking to her and was on the verge of tears but was able to hold back.  I love when I succeed at not crying.  But she could tell something was bugging me so only a few minutes later my Dad called back and I lost it.  Even though it is frustrating to cry, sometimes it is necessary and just helps relieve all of those things that are built up.  He was such a good listener and then said, "Well, can I come up and spend the day with you tomorrow?"  I replied quickly, "Dad, you don't need to do that!"  To which he responded, "I know I don't need to, but I really want to."  And that made me cry even harder.  Dad's can be so sweet and do that to ya!  So at 11:00 this morning he showed up and I couldn't have been more excited!  Carli came over shortly after and we all enjoyed breakfast together.  We went to my ward at 1:00.  It was fun to have both him and Carli there.  Since he hadn't seen my classroom yet, we took a little drive out to Richmond.  By the time we got back it was already 5:15 and we had to be to the CES fireside by 6:00.  Carli and I whipped up some dinner and let my Dad rest for a sec.  We made chicken, potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and green beans just in time to eat it and run out the door!  The fireside was fantastic!  If you didn't get to listen to it, I would recommend that you look it up at lds.org.  I know that I will be reading it a number of times.  Elder Holland is so powerful!  Carli and my Dad dropped me off at the church for ward choir.  I am loving choir these days.  We had 17 people come out tonight!  WAHOO!  The numbers keep climbing each week.  I may be using a little bribery (desserts every night we have choir practice and dinner the night after we sing in Sacrament meeting) but at least it is helping.  Next week will be the first time that we sing together.  We are doing a medley of A Child's Prayer and Did You Think to Pray?.  You know, we are not the Mormon Tabernacle Choir but we try to have the Spirit with us when we sing and that makes all of the difference!  After choir I met Carli and my Dad back at my apartment.  We chatted for a few more minutes and then it was time for him to head out.  It was such a memorable and special day with him.  I am always overwhelmed at all of the things that my parents are willing to do for me!  Love you Dad!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

My classroom

Here are some pictures of my room, as promised.  There are still so many things that I would like to do but that will have to take place over the course of the school year.  I just have to roll with it now!
 Here is the door to the classroom complete with pictures of all of my little kiddos.  Adorable?  They sure are!  My "theme" this year is "The Little Engine that Could."  
 Attendance nametags
 Backpack hooks
 Student work and my favorite little water table on top
 Cubbies, Star Student board, and sink area
 Storage and birthdays
 My desk and the reading rug
 The whiteboard complete with the job chart and motivational strategies
 The rug area
The birthday spotlight area

Well that is it for tonight.  I am too tired to say much else.  Goodnight:)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Another project...

Compared to the project that I posted about yesterday this one is a little more vain, prideful, worldly...whatever you want to call it:).  I do have to say that I love jewelry and I especially LOVE easy storage and access.  At home I have a full-length mirror that opens up and has hooks and knobs to hang jewelry but I couldn't bring it to school because of the screws and supports that must be attached to the wall to hang it.  Every other year at school I have just lived out of two jewelry boxes but it was a little hectic and messy.  I bet you are thinking that I am crazy for caring that much about the storage of my jewelry but it is makes such a difference to me!  Organization makes my world a happier place:)  So this is what I came up with:
 A few years ago I received two black shadow boxes for Christmas but it wasn't until now that I found the perfect thing to use them for!  My mom helped me out by putting the screen inside the box.  The earrings hang so easily!  And there is also the nifty glass door that is magnetic on the front.  Right now I only have one of the two hanging and in use because the glass to the other one broke...but it will be fixed shortly!
 I still have to use one of my jewelry boxes for the earrings that won't hang and for rings.
 The inside of the jewelry box is also full of bracelets and
 glasses and watches and backs to earrings.  It works.
 And this is my necklace collection.  No more tangled necklaces for me!  I bought the hanger at Home Depot for only $7 and it is a purchase that will never cease to satisfy me.  
So that is all folks!  Another project (almost) finished!  Stay tuned for tomorrows post!  Pictures of my classroom coming right up!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Newest Addition

I wish I was talking about a baby or something way awesome like that as the newest addition but, no, just a new project completed for my apartment:)  I thrive off of staying busy and so projects are a good thing for me.  They relieve stress and make me feel somewhat accomplished.  Last Thursday I made a quick stop at DI on my way home from work and after a little searching and $20 spent I came home with 16 picture frames and a way cool old book.  I absolutely LOVE the hymn "More Holiness Give Me" so I used it as the foundation of the project.  I tore out some of the pages of the book, downloaded some amazing vintage fonts, printed the phrases from the song on the book pages, spray-painted the frames black, and arranged them on the wall (all with the help of my Mom)...and this is how it turned out:
Arranging the picture before hanging them

One of the finished frames with the BEST phrase of the song.  I love how the pages from the book tell the story of the life of Christ...gives it that much more meaning!

The finished product.  I wish I could have caught it from a different angle but this was the best I could get in the hall:)
 It was really a lot of fun and now I am looking for my next project.  I am open to any ideas!  You may be wondering how I am finding time to do projects when I am teaching kindergarten and taking graduate classes.  Oh, I just dropped the graduate classes:)  Last week was kind of hectic and caused me to do some reflecting, major praying, studying, and pondering.  I started that medication last week for the muscle inflammation and I thought that since it was a steroid it would boost my immune system. WRONGO!  Not even 24 hours after starting it I came down with a nasty cold.  Come to find out, the steroid provides things that your body would normally produce so the immune system is slowed down. Good to know.  It was also my first week of teaching all 20 students and assessing each one, as well as starting my classes.  I started to feel a little overwhelmed.  I made the classic pros-cons list and found that the main reason that I want to get my Masters is to become a better teacher.  It is not about the pay or the extra letters after my name.  I realized that I wouldn't be the best teacher by just getting by while teaching kindergarten and focusing most of my time on my other classes.  Maybe I will start graduate courses again next semester when I feel I have a little more of a handle on things...or maybe in a year...or maybe in five years.  I guess it just depends on when it feels right again.  So my plans changed and I am totally stoked about it!  This semester is totally focused on teaching, my calling, improving health, getting to know others better, family history work, projects, service, etc.!  Oh, yes!  I did sign up for a family history class tonight and I am beyond excited for it!  If any of you are genealogists or trying to become one, let's be buddies!  And remember, projects are more fun to do together!