Thursday, December 30, 2010

just can't stay put.

Yeah, I went to see my family in Atlanta for Christmas.

Yeah, I ended up in Minnesota for three days.

Its just what I do. I go places.

I got to see a really great friend I haven’t seen in 2 years and 1 month…not like I was counting or anything…

We had fun reliving old memories and making some new ones! 

Old Memories


Minnesota State Fair.
Everything on a stick.
Yeah, it was closed, but driving around the grounds without the crowds was fun!


My old house..
Over 12 years of memories.
Pretty depressing that it’s not mine anymore. 


North Park.
I loved getting lost in the many passageways when I was 6,
 and getting lost in my inner child when I was 16.

New Memories

My time was short, but we did make it to the Como Zoo!

Somehow in my 18 years living in Minnesota I never went to this particular zoo.

I loved it!


We also stayed up all night talking about the many ways we’ve changed
and the many ways we are still the same two people.

 I never knew how much I really changed until I talked with someone that was my best friend, 
yet I hadn't spoken to in over two years. 

I felt like I was viewing myself in a different way than I ever had. 
A strange experience, but I’m glad I had it. 

And I’m glad for my friend…who never stopped caring. :)



Friday, December 24, 2010

the most wonderful time of the year


The most wonderful time of the year comes as the celebration of when Christ was born into this world so that one day he could die for us, so that we all could be saved. Each of us have been blessed by this marvelous gift he has given us.


Luke 2:

9. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 
 10. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 
 11. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
 12. And this shall be a asign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
 13. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.


And of course, I do have to put in a video of children. It’s just what I do. :)



Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

what teachers make.


I heard this poem a long time ago, and after searching and searching finally found it again. It describes my exact feelings on being a teacher. Watch the video, it is only 3 minutes long.

 And I hope that you never ever look at teachers the same again.

 

I am so proud to be able to join the ranks of the teachers in the next year. 
Why?

 Because I want to make a difference. Even if in the life of one child.

That child may be your son or daughter; your brother or sister; your niece or nephew...

So for that one child...it will be worth it.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

home.


so glad to be home.

i came in yesterday, sadly lost two hours of the day because of the time difference. 
that's the only sad thing that's happened so far. 

played with Lukie, my puppy. he was so excited to see me! 
he may be a dog, but that much excitement just to see me does make me feel good. 
pathetic? 
naw. i love my puppy. 

had a much needed talk with my mom.
it's nice sometimes to just unload on someone you know will never judge you. 

went to church this morning and listened to beautiful christmas music. 

spent the rest of the day just being with my family.

i even got to talk with my best friend, who has been away for two years!
 he's doing so great.
 i sure missed that guy!

haven't had to do any homework, or even worry about doing homework.

bliss.

what more can i ask for?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

walking in a winter wonderland


isn't it beautiful?

unfortunately, it was on the way to the dreaded testing center for yet another final.

just one more day. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Giving Helps the Giver, Part 2

I hope you read Part 1, it has a little to do with this post. 

Mosiah 4:21: And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the sub­stance that ye have one to another.

The Lord has blessed us, has blessed me, with so very much. Sometimes it’s embarrassing to think about how much I have, and how much I have failed to give to others.

After reading Brook’s speech, I can understand so much better why, for his birthday, our wonderful prophet President Monson did not ask for presents, but instead asked each of us to serve others. President Monson was giving us the gift of giving. I hope with these last couple posts, I have touched at least one person’s heart so that I can be giving the gift of giving this Christmas season. Along with that, I am going to try my hardest to not be a hypocrite. I realize that writing all about this is one thing, taking action is another.

 “Let it be a time of forgetting self, and finding time for others.”
-President Thomas S. Monson

Friday, December 10, 2010

best roommate. best friend.

The other day I was having a not-so-good day. I went to bed not-so-happy. When I woke up, still not-so-happy. I considered skipping class, or at least sleeping a little longer and being late (3 hour class, didn't matter that much, right?). But of course, I couldn't fall back asleep because apparently I drank too much water the night before. I went into the bathroom and this is what I found:





How could I go back to sleep after seeing something like that?? I couldn't. So I got ready for school and had some much needed scripture study time. Turns out my roommates and the Lord know exactly what I needed that morning. 

Thanks so much Jen for being so amazing! Love you!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Giving Helps the Giver



I’ve had giving on my mind a lot lately. For my job, I ask people to give. [Yes, I’m a “telemarketer” if that’s what you want to call it, but it’s not to sell, it’s for a cause, and I generally enjoy it]. At this job we talk about giving a lot. We watched a speech about giving. In church we talk about giving. Sunday night, speakers at the Christmas devotional spoke on giving.

So since it’s on my mind and I think its an extremely important thing, I’m going to tell you about it in two blog posts. This one is all about the speech we listened to at my work, called Why Giving Matters by Aruthur C. Brooks [no, he is not a professor at BYU; he is President of the American Enterprise Institute and a devout Roman Catholic].

Brooks decided to set out on a mission to prove that a statement her heard, giving makes you richer, was completely and totally false. As an economist he knew there was no way in the world giving money away would help you get even more money.

Well I am here to tell you that Mr. Brooks did not prove that statement wrong, he proved himself wrong.

“Specifically, here’s what I found. If you have two families that are exactly identical—in other words, same religion, same race, same number of kids, same town, same level of education, and everything’s the same—except that one family gives a hundred dollars more to charity than the second family, then the giving family will earn on average $375 more in income than the nongiving family—and that’s statistically attributable to the gift.”

Seems impossible right? Well let’s think about this. And actually, let me just sum up Brook’s hour long speech. Giving makes people happier. Giving and serving and volunteering give people what psychologists call the “helper’s high.” Research shows that giving literally makes people happier and reduces stress. And think about that. Think about it opposite. What happens when we are stressed? We can’t perform as well. We become overwhelmed. So when we are aren’t stressed, we perform better and we succeed.

Successful people can hold jobs better, they can progress in jobs better. Not only that but when people see that you are a giver, they see you as a leader.

So it’s true. Giving helps the giver. In many ways.

Now, with this holiday season approaching, we don’t want to be selfish right? We know that giving helps more than those that we give too, but how can we help people even more than that? This is what Brooks said:

“Now I’m going to ask you to take a pretty sophisticated understanding here of charitable giving. As Christian people we are taught that giving is important to help others. I’m telling you that the data say giving helps you, so if you want to help others, don’t just give to them—think about what you can do today to help somebody else to give. The main beneficiary of a charitable gift is the giver him- or herself.”

So how can we help others give? The most obvious way, ask them. That’s what I do at work, and that’s why I love my job. But depending on your circumstances, that just might not work. Brooks suggested simply being an example. As we give, others will see our happiness and want to become givers as well. In this way we are not only helping the people we give to, but we are helping others become givers, become happy, less stressful, and more successful along the way. 

image: https://anitagrant.com/images/stories/Blog/GivingBackjpgTxt.jpg

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Look What I Found

The organization that I volunteered with this past summer, a huge organization with a ton of different project opportunities in many countries all over the world, put my picture on their website! Of course, it is just the page for the specific preschool project I did in Ghana, but still way cool! Check it out [you may have to click on it to see it bigger, so you can actually see me]:


Pretty stellar. 

Also, look how adorable my kids are! :) 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

just me n' seth

love. after only 3 days. and only 4 days of the little one being here on earth.


dear seth,
i'm already wrapped around your finger.
love,
auntie kate


Friday, November 26, 2010

the day after

so maybe Thanksgiving is over, but that does not mean we should stop thinking about all the blessing in our lives. here are just some that people of the US (and I think just NYC) would like to mention.


What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

thanksgiving in the eyes of 7 year olds

I’m back to blogging! This past month has been pretty much most the most busy month of my life, but so worth it. I taught 2nd grade in Jordan (about 45 minutes away) everyday, came home and went to class at BYU, then went to work.

 I loved teaching. The kids were adorable and it was great to finally be able to put all my training into practice. I learned so much more while teaching.  In the spirit of Thanksgiving and to show how adorable my kids were, I am going to share one of the projects we did. My amazing co-teacher and I split the lesson into two days, and each taught a part. We assigned each student a letter and made a Thanksgiving ABC Book!

 Here are just a few of the pages:







[This one is hard to read. It says, “I am thankful for Unites States of America. because if we didn’t have states we wold not have houses and If we didn’t have crosing gords then we wold get hit.”]


At first I laughed at many of these, but when I read them again I was hit with how true they really are. These young children know what is important in life. Things that each day we keep for granted. Friends! Gravity! Water! Things we do not even think about, but what if they were taken away? The United States. Our houses. The men and women of the United States that work to keep us safe. I truly am grateful for all of those things. I wish I could say I came up with those things on my own, but instead I needed a friendly reminder by some wonderful 7 year olds.

I am so blessed to have the opportunity to work with these wonderful children. I am thankful for each and every one of them.

p.s. yes, I posted this from 30,000 feet in the air. I am thankful for the miracle of being able to fly and still be connected to my friends on the ground!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

on my mind.


I once knew a girl
In the years of my youth
With eyes like the summer
All beauty and truth
In the morning I fled
Left a note and it read
Someday you will be loved.

I cannot pretend that I felt any regret
Cause each broken heart will eventually mend
As the blood runs red down the needle and thread
Someday you will be loved

You'll be loved you'll be loved
Like you never have known
The memories of me
Will seem more like bad dreams
Just a series of blurs
Like I never occurred
Someday you will be loved

You may feel alone when you're falling asleep
And every time tears roll down your cheeks
But I know your heart belongs to someone you've yet to meet
Someday you will be loved

-death cab for cutie.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

time to blog?

nope. don't have any time. this is just a quick one telling you all that i have no time. if you don't hear from me for a month, don't worry. i am alive.

also. i love being a teacher. even though it takes over my entire life. yup. i love it!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Turning 63...

Jen, Leslie, and I are old. Real old. Together, this month we turn 63.

Oh my how the years have flown...

It seems like just yesterday we were mere children playing with silly string...
[oh wait, was that yesterday?]

Now we are old and about to graduate college. 

But we still know how to throw a good party!


And get nasty chocolate kisses on the cheek [aka attacked in the face by crazy boys.]
[Gross.]

I love you roomies! :)






Sunday, October 17, 2010

Homeless Coming

A few years ago my brother and his best friend decided they wanted to break out of the traditional homecoming activities and make one of their own. The dances were just too much. 

And that is when homeless coming was born. I've joined them in this activity for the past two years. We dress up as hobos, drive up into the canyon, have a bonfire, eat stew out of the cans, and have hobolympics. This year hobolympics consisted of hobo-soccer (milk jug substituted for a soccer ball), garbage can races, three-legged race (each partner's leg in a garbage bag instead of tying the legs together), and hobodines (sardines). 

Check. It. Out. 


Half of the Group

Eating Stew

Hobo Soccer

Garbage Can Races



Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Gay Mormon





A friend of mine posted a link on Facebook to a blog entitled "(Gay) Mormon Guy." Intrigued, I clicked on the link.

 I am so glad I did. 

This man has more faith that just about anyone I know. I cannot even imagine what he goes through each and every day, yet he still loves the Lord and has hope for the future. It makes me wonder if I would be as stalwart as he.

The first post of his that I read was a commentary on President Packard's talk from this past General Conference. He didn't even touch on the changes that everyone is freaking out about, instead he wrote on the content. I strongly suggest you got to his whole post (here) and read it, but at least read these few excerpts:

"The reaction was immediate and vehement, from all corners of the world and seemingly every walk of life. From the Church and without. From men, women, family members, and hundreds of others. Some simply disagreed with his statements; others wished for violence to befall him. Everyone seemed up in arms.

...

"President Packer was not claiming that we could change homosexual attractions... he was simply stating that each of us has the power to choose to overcome or give in to temptation.

...

"President Packer gave a clear, direct, and concise talk on pornography and other sexual sins. I don't know if he realized that everything in his talk could also be applied to same-sex attraction... or how painful that application would be. But I know that his final statements were heartfelt and true.

...

"As I read the talk again this evening, the Lord confirmed to me that I'm on the right path. I'm doing what I should be. I'm moving forward. And that is what matters.

Ultimately, as I go through life, it is my responsibility to listen with both my ears and my heart - to know when the Lord is speaking to me - and to follow Him. Then President Packer's promise will come true in my life. I will find peace and happiness... and the strength that comes through Christ the Lord."


I hope someday to acquire the faith that this man has. 

To read more of his blog posts (each one is amazing, I just spent forever going through many of them), click here to go to his blog. You won't regret it. 


Friday, October 8, 2010

kendra says it all.

I have never quite known how to explain the Elementary Education Program to people. I don't want them to think I am complaining, because I love it, but I also want to get across the message that it isn't just some cop out major and we all aren't in it just because we want to get married. In fact, this is probably the WORST major to be in to get married. I have ONE boy in my classes. And thats rare. Most girls in the major never see a single boy the entire time.

Anyways. That's not what I came here to say. PLEASE read what Kendra's post. I couldn't have put it better.

Kendra's Wisdom (click here)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Lunch with the Homeless

Yesterday I ate lunch with a homeless man. Actually, I bought him lunch. At the delicious Cafe Rio. The weird part of this all? I know the homeless man. I've known him for quite a while. Yes folks, it was my good friend Sean Donner. The weirder part of this all? He is homeless on purpose. Yeah, he chose to be homeless. Wonder why? The basics of it is he wants to write a book about what it is like to be homeless in America. It was really interesting to spend time with him and learn about what he has been up to since he has been homeless, and his thoughts on it all. To learn more about his reasoning and hear more of his adventure, check out his blog: seantheranger.blogspot.com




photo taken by sean donner, from seantheranger.blogspot.com 

Gread food. And great [homeless] company. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Just call me Katie Mechanic.



Yesterday I changed the battery to my brother’s car. With the help of two awesome friends—Taylor and Cody.

Thanks, guys.

Ok I’ll be honest. I didn’t real do a whole lot. I asked them to help and they pretty much took over. I did mix the baking soda and water solution, though. And cleaned off the wires with it (probably getting lead all over myself and according to Cody I’ll get cancer now). And helped hold cords out of the way as Taylor unscrewed the battery, put the new one in, and screwed it in.  

Close enough to being a mechanic, right?

Also, thanks to apartment 7 for letting me borrow their tool kit. You guys rock. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

oh hi.

Seems I’ve neglected my blog lately. So this is just a quick boring post about what’s been going on.

SCHOOL.

Yup. That’s basically it. I am taking 17 credit hours, which in the Elementary Education program actually means 21.5 hours.

The other great thing about the El Ed program? Projects. Lesson plans and projects. Aka. More Hours.
But who is complaining? Okay, maybe I am a little. Really though, I love my major. I learn so much every day, and things that are actually worthwhile. I learn about people, I learn about God’s children, and I learn how to teach God’s children so that they can reach their full potentials. Now what is more worthwhile than that? Nothing. That’s what. [sorry every single other major, i love you all, i just love mine the most :)]

If we want to add a little more complaining though, I also get to work 10 + hours a week (I pick my schedule so it varies up to 15 hours). Even there, I also get to learn about people, and give people the opportunity to give. I’ll post more on that later.

Random other things that I have been doing since being back at school:  missionary council co-chair responsibilities, wedding receptions, dance parties, ice blocking, movies, pillow fights [its ongoing, and I’m totally winning by the way], long drives [slc/midway…ok so not that long…], roommate late night chats, etc, etc. 

Now, back to my homework. 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Roadtrip and Eternity








11 hours. I drove in a car for 11 hours. To most people, this might be a typical road trip, or even a wimpy roadtrip. To me, its the longest road trip I've ever been on in my entire life. [Yes, I was spoiled from my airline employee father]. And, unless you count a couple 6 hour car rides I've been on, it was my first ever. So, to me, this was a momentous occasion! 



Not only was this the longest and only road trip for me, it was also the longest I have ever driven a car. Yeah. I drove 11 hours. All the way there. I'm awesome. [Let's ignore the fact that I almost collapsed from being so tired once we arrived at Leah's house.] 




I drove down with Carrie and Jason Akinaka. We entertained ourselves by music, homework, the GPS ["i think someone hacked in and is actually taking us into the mountains to kill us"], the scenery, the cities ["Penguich? Is that like a penguin sandwich?"], and delicious snacks. 

So why did I drive to Arizona?

 For my roommate of three years to get married and sealed for time and all eternity to the man of her dreams! Leah Marie was such a beautiful bride! 




I had a blast being one of her bridesmaids and being able to participate in the ring ceremony.

Love you Leah! So happy for you! 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Maa Lizzy's

My host mom owned a restaurant of sorts. In Ghana I believe it might be called a “chop bar.”
We simply called it the shop.

“Is Lizzy at the shop?”
“Oh, I’m just going to the shop real quick for dinner, then I’ll be back.”
“I’m gonna run down to the shop and talk to Lizzy.”

The shop was only a couple minutes walk from the house. You simply walk down the lovely dirt road until you hit the main road, and right across the street is Lizzy’s shop.

She pretty much only served Ghanaian dishes there, but she really tried hard to find things I’d like.

Here is “Maa Lizzy’s”:








The television (located in the corner of the shop on a plastic chair) was usually on all day. It was pretty static-y, and would become more so as big trucks drove by. Don’t ask me why a truck would affect the TV, but it did. Most of the time I was there the world cup was on. Ghanaians LOVE football [soccer]. (As a side note—the day Ghana beat the US was a very sad day indeed for me. I had talked up the US big time, and so I got a lot of “I told you so”s from my family and friends when we ended up losing...).  Then in the evenings, in addition to the TV being on, the radio was usually turned on as well.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My Favorite Part of the Day

The kids got a little sidetracked with the camera...but mostly this is how I was greeted every single day.

video

I love these kids. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"Uniqueen School, School my school!"


I already miss this school incredibly.

This little two-room structure that in American would never be called a school. 


Well, maybe Americans need to think again. You don’t need some nice, big structure. You don’t need air conditioning. In fact, you don’t even need glass to cover the windows or lights to illuminate the building. 



You only need children eager to learn.


And teachers giving of their time to teach them.








Uniqueen was nothing like American schools. I may not agree with how they taught or how they disciplined, but the important thing is that they taught. While not understanding quite yet the best way to carry it out, they realize the importance of education. That mindset will help them to develop the best tools and methods for teaching. In the end, that mindset is what really matters.




Monday, August 16, 2010

this is the way i live.

Unlike many other volunteers who live in Ghana, I had a very westernized home to live in. Running water. Shower. Air conditioning. Oh wait, scratch that last one. Just a nice little ceiling fan.

 Here are a few pics of my humble Ghanaian abode:

looking away from, and looking up to my house. i walked this way each day.
...and walked past this each day.
outside of the house
the living room
my bathroom

Somehow I didn't take any pictures of my bedroom. Oh well.

So there it is folks! Pretty nice, huh? And I only had to bucket shower a few times when my actual shower broke! I was so blessed. [And no, that is not sarcasm. I have friends who had to bucket shower everyday and did not have the luxury of a nice home.]



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