Friday, October 22, 2010

Thank You, Isaac

Before leaving for San Angelo, my grandma insisted that I borrow and read a book called "Remembering Isaac, the Wise and Joyful Potter of Niederbipp" by Ben Behunin. I told her it would probably be a while before I got around to reading it, but she forced me to take it. This week I started reading it and have been so blessed. I won't tell you too much about the story, just that it is embedded with nuggets of truth and wisdom on how to find faith and joy in this life. I hate putting it down but always feel happy when I do. This book just confirms to me that life is wonderful, all people are children of God and worth our love, and that one person's humble but willing heart can make a big difference in the world. Thank you, Isaac, for the lessons you are teaching me.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Just Plain Happy

Today I'm just plain happy. I am grateful to have 3 jobs I love, a church calling that is both challenging and fun, a husband who makes me laugh and lets me be silly, and lots of tender mercies that make me realize how wonderful life is.

School was great today. There is a particular girl at the high school who I have been praying for. She is the sweetest person I have met here, yet she has some huge challenges in her future... ones that will be rewarding if they work out right, but could cause a lot of trials as well. I have been trying to be a kind face that she knows she chat with when she need a friend and turn to when she needs an advocate. Today I had an opportunity to help her out, something really small but that made a big difference to her. A few minutes later she came up to me and asked what church it was I went to. (We had briefly talked once about how she and her boyfriend are looking for a church and I invited her to come to ours any time.) I wrote down the name, address, time, and my phone number and I really think she is going to come. I know Heavenly Father is watching out for her, and even if she doesn't come to church I'm so glad that I'm having an opportunity to be a mini-missionary, and even more importantly, a friend.

Now I'm off to collaborate with Elena, the director for Annie Get Your Gun. She has been so fabulous to work with and has made me feel more confident about my ability to choreograph for this show. Plus, she reminds me of dance professors at BYU: passionate about what they do, full of energy, willing to mentor. I love artists.

And finally, I can't wait to top of the night by baking yummy treats with my best pal Bret and delivering to some church friends for FHE. Not only does that sound great because I get to spend time with Bret, but I'm sure we'll consume our fair share of fat and sugar in the process, which sounds FANTASTIC right now. :)

Autumn is in the air, blessings are everywhere I look... I know I'm a cheese-ball but I just can't help but share my happiness. To anyone who reads: I wish you a very happy day, just because.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

HoT sAuCe!

(and other random happenings)

Ashley has an admirer. His name is Hunter. He asked her out on the bus last week. She didn't have her dynavox so she couldn't really answer him, but when she told me about it she just said she felt so bad that she couldn't date him. I asked her why she couldn't. She so sweetly said, "He's special needs." This coming from my dear, special needs Ashley. I pointed to my head and asked, "This kind?" Yes. And he's a freshman. Two strikes.

Turns out Hunter is a little mentally challenged, but most of his difficulties are in his speech and communication. It can be difficult to understand what he's saying, and if he gets excited he'll repeat himself over and over. I have met Hunter twice. Both times he has asked me, "Is Ashley hot?" "Yes Hunter, Ashley is a pretty girl." "No, is she HOT? She IS hot. She's Hot Sauce!" Today he asked Ashley if she like him. She smiled and shook his hand. Then Hunter asked me, "Miss, does she like me? Does she like me? I like her. I like her a lot. A lot. She's hot. Tell her I like her. Tell her she's pretty and beautiful. Tell her I like her. Ok Miss? She is pretty and beautiful. Pretty AND beautiful. Will you tell her, Miss?".... on and on and on. Funny, but really sweet.

Then Ashley spent the next 10 minutes periodically saying, "I feel so bad. I just feel bad." Isn't it interesting to think of how those two cute kids have those same desires to date just like everyone else. They get nervous to talk to each other just like everyone else. They don't want to hurt someone's feelings, just like everyone else. Its times like this when I love my job.

Other random happenings today:
*I took a jazz class at the ballet studio and it felt so good to dance (in a class I wasn't teaching). I got really dizzy doing pirouettes and fuetes (sp?) - that was a weird sensation!
*I locked my keys in my car at Walmart - and the spare doesn't open doors, apparently it just starts the ignition (my mom called it a vallet key). The good news is that I learned how to call the insurance company and ask questions. Turned out they provided a locksmith totally free in 15 minutes. Woo Woo!
*My wonderful husband found out that it is National Dessert Day (I thought he was kidding but he googled it for proof!) and made pizookie for us to eat while we watched an episode of "the Office". Mmmm. What a sweetheart! He's "HoT sAuCe"!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tender Mercies

My last post (which was much too lengthy) was about the little moments that make us realize how blessed we are. Today I had some more tender mercies. Yesterday a lot of responsibilities/projects landed on my plate... things I was already planning on doing, but deadlines got bumped up and related work appeared. I didn't get as much sleep as I should have and was stressed about finishing the choreography I needed to teach at tonight's Annie Get Your Gun Rehearsal. I just prayed that I could feel calm and find a way to maximize my time to finish the choreography while at work. And...

Someone came to work on Ashley's dynavox for 40 minutes so I got to sit there while they worked and choreograph in my head.

Ashley had a GREAT, playful attitude today, even though she felt like poop.

Ashley decided to go home after lunch, and although I tried to assist other teachers, it gave me some down-time and think time that added to a calm, confident feeling.

MY DANCE CLASSES WERE WONDERFUL! My Tuesday classes are always easier than Wednesdays, but today I just enjoyed every minute with them and felt so lucky to work with these sweet children.

The musical rehearsal ended up going well. We didn't even get to the piece I was so worried about choreographing!

I'm grateful that God sends us tender mercies, whether they are packaged as a few extra minutes, a good laugh, or a three-year-old in tights. He knows us and blesses us in small but generous ways.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Living for the Little Moments

This week's "Little Moments" that made me smile:

1. A girl at Lake View named Marca came into class today and said, "Miss Cami, someone told me I look like you and it made my day." Marca, YOU made my day. Thanks for saying that. (By the way, all of Ashley's teachers and their students refer to me as "Mrs. Wardle" EXCEPT for one class in which the teacher must feel I am too young for such a title and consistently calls me "Miss Cami". My 4-year-olds call me Miss Cami. It's kinda weird at the high school.)

2. Last week Michael was working on his picture for art class during activity period. I asked him about it. This week he proudly caught my attention during 4th period to show me his completed picture. He was so proud. Today I asked him about his plans for college, since I know he is one of the few kids at this school who is really serious about going AND succeeding. He was excited to tell me that his goal is to beat his sister and be the first in their family to get a college degree. He wants to go into architecture and business. Way to go, Michael. Set your standards high!

3. At lunch some teachers told me how wonderful they think the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is. I agree and am grateful for the chior's ability to do missionary work through music.

4. Teaching my Creative Movement class today was NOT a fun little moment. At the time I wanted to cry, but looking back, it was rather comical. I have two DRAMA queens... whiney, crying, pouting, drama queens. They play off each other and it is very obvious that they do it all for attention. I can't adequately discribe how abnoxious they were today. "Miss Cami, [erupting into immediate tears] I want a turn!" "Lauren, you just had your turn." "But but but I don't know how to have high knees [or something ridiculous like that]... waaaahhh!!!!" "Wow Lauren you're standing with a tall back though!" She stands up tall and is ALL SMILES. The next girls' turn begins and immediately, "Miss CAMI!!! [tears]. I'm not good at tip-toes... waaahh!!" WHEW! The best part was after class she got her sticker and was TOTALLY HAPPY, then ran out wailing to her mom, "Dance is OVER... I don't want to be done... Baaahhh!! WAAAHHH!!!" This from the girl who pouted, screamed, and cried through the last 45 minutes of ballet.

5. Yesterday the mother of a student in the musical came up and said that her daughter always comes home happy on Tuesday nights and said that I make her feel good about herself and life. I don't know how that is possible, as I am a spaz at musical rehearsals, but I sure love those students and was so pleased to hear that rehearsal was a bright spot in her week. Its a bright spot in my week too.

6. Bret and I had FHE on Monday and spent a half hour talking about birthdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Yay for holidays to look forward to. Then we had a great discussion about conference and ended with ICE CREAM!

7. A tender mercy: I needed someone to cover my afternoon hall duty and was a little stressed about it. I planned to ask a teacher who I had helped study for a dance ed certification test last week but was nervous to impose on her time. Who pull up right next to me at school that morning and ask for a favor? That teacher. I was able to get up the guts to ask for her help in exchange. Heavenly Father knew I'd need some extra help and provided it.

8. Last night I had an idea for the dance lecture demonstration I'm planning. Finally out of my stump and excited to get going on this project!

9. This weekend my friend Maddie (one of Bret's classmates) called and invited me to go on a walk. We don't see eachother often, but feel a common respect and appreciation for one another. Our walk was just what I needed and we ended up having a great conversation about our religions and faith. It was the first time I had really tried to explain some gosple concepts to someone who truly didn't know a thing about the church. I was nervous but was grateful for a friend who let me speak openly and share my feelings. Thank heaven for good people everywhere who exercise their faith in Christ and try to emmulate His light. She is a light to me.

10. General Conference! Need I say more?

Those are the ones that come to mind right now. Counting the little moments of joy (or humor) in my life always makes me realize how blessed I am. What have been your little moments this week?