Tuesday, December 8, 2009


As many of you may or may not know, my sister and I coach a high school dance team here in our hometown. Actually, we started this dance team at our alma mater Pleasant Valley a few years after we graduated and it has been SO much fun to watch it grow into the amazing program that it is. I very much enjoy my time with the team and it has provided me an outlet besides the studio for my passion for dance.

This year, our team has helped me check another item off my "things to do before I die" list. This list was created in my head when I was in high school and has evolved and changed as my life has changed and I grow older and dream bigger dreams. This year, at only their 4th appearance at the Iowa State Dance and Drill Team competition...WE WON!! We are the Class 5 State Champions in jazz!!! It has been 4 days and I still get goosebumps when I type those words.

I will never, in all my life, forget the looks on their faces. I will never forget the sound of them screaming and shrieking. I will never forget them diving over eachother to hug eachother and us. I will never forget the days following when they were completely satisfied - everything they had worked for, we had. Being a dance team, it is not often we get alot of attention in our school. It was SO heartwarming to hear all the positive comments and read the congratulations emails from teachers and building/district administration. It's so amazing to watch the girls be commended for all their hard work and dedication, even before anyone was watching them.

I am both humbled and honored to be able to be a part of such an amazing and life-altering experience in their lives. And as a self-proclaimed, type A, list maker....I am LOVING that I can cross another thing off my life-long list!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Engagement Pictures

As promised, here they are. Donna at Studio D Photography did a remarkable job. She is a good friend of Kevin's and we so enjoyed sharing this experience with her - she made us feel comfortable and was very easy to work with. Because Kevin is a photographer, we had a difficult time deciding on who to hire - but after meeting with her, I knew she was the one immediately. Her work is fabulous - and so is she! :)


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hi Friends

Just checking in to notify everyone that I'm still alive. To be honest, I've been so busy with busy work, I haven't felt like I have anything exciting to chat about. I've logged onto my blog about 5 times, but nothing speaks to me to write about. So, today I'm just giving a little update on anything and everything.

Wedding planning is essentially done, except for the tiny details now. I have a few decisions left to make, but for the most part everything is done. Here is the hilarious part of all of it, I am usually a very indecisive, go-with-the-flow person - sometimes to a fault. Our nights usually go something like this; Kevin: "where do you want to go for dinner?" Me: "I don't care" Kevin: "What sounds good?" Me: "Eh, whatever". It drives him INSANE. I've determined it is yet another direct result of this glorious career I have. I spend all day making every choice for the 26 cherubs in my room. Every. Single. Choice. Can I go to the bathroom? Can I eat my snack? Can I sharpen my pencil? Can I go to the library? Where is the lunch count envelope? Can I write instead of read? Can I call my mom to tell her I forgot my lunch? You get the picture. So, back to wedding planning - I really hate making decisions...especially when I don't really have an opinion on the choices. End of rant. In other news, we got our engagement pictures taken over the beautiful weekend - I will post some of them soon! They turned out really great!

Grad school is going to be the death of me. Between the 900 pages (no exaturation) of articals I need to read and write reviews on for one of my classes and the 30 page research paper I need to write for my other class - I'm literally going out of my mind. I just keep repeating this phrase to myself: "nothing lasts forever." "nothing lasts forever." As my dad always used to tell me when I was a little girl, "Kate, tough times don't last, but tough people do". So, as I stand here as an adult, I'll take that advice Dad...and I'll keep putting one foot in front of the other, hoping these tough times don't kill this tough girl.

Pictures coming soon, hope all is well with everyone -

Lots of Love,
Katie :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A new perspective...

So yesterday I was teaching math and one of my students was really struggling. The concept was adding zero's to find larger numbers (7x6, 70x6, 700x6, etc). Student L simply could not figure out what 7x6 was to begin with, much less the adding zero's part - so I made a suggestion I make daily during math. I said, "why don't you try to draw a picture". What I meant was, make an illustration that will help you to find the answer...draw 6 groups of 7 people, or draw 6 rows of 7 dots, or something to that effect. I made the suggestion, and continued pacing my classroom to observe other students.

I circled back to Student L only to find a rabbit, big as life, right there on his paper. I said, "um, what might that be?" He looked at me with such a blank expression and replied to me like I was the biggest moron on the planet, "it's a rabbit Miss D". I took a deep breath and explained to him that I meant to draw a picture to help him solve the problem and started such a picture for him to finish.

Lesson learned: say what you mean and mean what you say. Especially when it comes to math and rabbits.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Welcome to the Big Top

I love, love, love the circus. Except for the elephants. This year was especially fun because Kevin was chosen by one of the Clowns to participate! Here are some of my favorite highlights of our trip to the circus this year!

A cute little preview...

Here's an adorable preview of the wedding...

A Little Picture Update...

Hello friends! I finally found my camera cord and would love to share a little of our summer through photos. I hope you enjoy!

Here is Kaitlyn & I enjoying the Taylor Swift/Keith Urban Concert! Before the show, we were blessed with the opportunity to meet Keith Urban!! He hugged her and said "Hey Beautiful, what do you wanna hear tonight?" To which, she very promptly replied "Taylor Swift". Ohhh, the joys of innocent childhood. :)

My future neices, Rachelle & Kristina came to the concert with us. We had so much fun!

We had a great time with our dear family friends: Jenny, Mike, Emma & Aiden at the 4th of July at the Red, White, & Boom Celebration Downtown

The 4th of July was a rainy and kind of chilly day here in Iowa (notice our sweatshirts and jeans!) But, we have a long-standing tradition to have dinner as a family and enjoy the fireworks - this year was no exception

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Who's counting?


283 days until the wedding!

It seems so far away, but I know it's not. I am anxious and excited. I am nervous and stressed. But more than anything, I am so very thankful that God has given me such an amazing man to share this journey with. :)

How's your mom?

So last week, I received an email from a student's mother. It essentially informed me that she would be having surgery and would not be at home for the next couple of days and requested that I give her student a little extra attention if necessary. (As a teacher, I always appreciate these little heads up's)

So, the next morning, I am very proud of myself for remembering, and ask the student "How's mom?" He says,with a completely serious face, "Oh, she's fine. She just had to have her baby maker taken out".

Honestly. I couldn't even find the words to respond to that, nor could I muster up the ability to not crack a grin. It was so adorable and yet so inappropriate all at the same time. Just goes to show you, you should always be careful how much information to share with your children, because they will ALWAYS repeat it to the exact people you don't want them to.

Have a terrific Tuesday! :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

A little gem from school this week...

Student A chews up a piece of chicken from school lunch and decides it would be a funny idea to place said chicken in Student B's hair. Student B flicks it out of his hair onto the floor. Student A naturally picks the chicken up off the floor and places it back into his mouth, chews it up some more, and places it in Student C's hair. Student C freaks out, flicks the chicken out of his hair and immediately reports the situation to me. I stare at Student A in disbelief and inform him how completely revolting his behavior is to me. To which he responds, "Can you just kick me out of here yet?"

Student A, you are awesome. You increase my patience and my dependence on prayer to get through the day.

And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is why I LOVE MY JOB.

Hello, Old Friends!

Ok, I'll admit, I slacked off again. But...I do have what I would consider to be a few VERY good reasons:

1) I was enjoying my last month of summer with my family
2) I was trying to get my classroom ready to go back to school
3) I went back to school August 5th (TOO EARLY!)
4) The studio choreography kept me extremely busy this summer
...and perhaps the best reason of all...

Yep, it's true, I got engaged over the summer! Kevin and I are planning a June 5th wedding and I knew if I didn't get as much done as possible before I went back to work - it would never get done on time! I have my dress, I have the church, reception hall, photographer, florist, caterer, and DJ booked. I have chosen the bridal party attire, I have an idea for a cake, I have flowers picked out, I have a hair style in mind, invitations designed in my head - I'm pretty much set to go...and I've been engaged for just over a month.

Many people have told me I should just go into the business of event planning. Here's the secret though...I really don't like to make decisions, at least not big ones like this! My family kids that I have a small bit of O.C.D. in me and I'm beginning to think that might just be true. I'm not silly enough to believe that all of our guests will remember the small details of the day - but I WILL...and I want them to be perfect...or as close to it as I can get.

Over the next few months, I will be posting pictures and various details of the wedding planning process and am looking forward to seeing your comments or ideas!

In the meantime, enjoy this beautiful day and have a great weekend!

Much Love,
Katie :)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Tante T

I've mentioned before (here) how much I adore my nephew. He is such an amazing little human and I get more amazed with him each day as he grows.

Tonight, we were sitting at dinner and out of nowhere he says, "Tante, I tan tome to your house tonight?"

I should pause here to explain why he calls me what he calls me. When he was very small, he had a hard time saying Katie, so he would just shorten it to "T". After he got that down, it became "Aunt T", and now "Tante T". Tante is the German word for Aunt. In our family, our German heritage is very, very important. My sister, cousins, and aunts and uncles grew up calling their grandparents "Oma" and "Opa" - the German translation for grandma and grandpa. When I was little, not only did I have an Oma (my Opa died before I was born), but I had a "second Oma" - we lovingly referred to her as Tante Elsie, or just plain Tante.

She was the sweetest woman with such a dry sense of humor and the most loving and warm smile you could ever see. Her home was a warm and inviting place that always smelled of delicious foods and whatever fresh-cut flowers she might have in a beautiful crystal vase on her end table. I remember her as a woman who was never-tiring and always on-the-go...baking, wrapping, cooking, or tidying up her remarkably spotless home. However busy she was though, I always felt like the most important part of her day. No matter what she was doing, she would stop the moment I walked in the door, put whatever she was busy doing down and sit to ask "how are things going sweetie?" And not one single time that I left her house did she let me leave without a big hug, a kiss, and a "come back and visit me again soon". And that, I did.

So, Sam now calls me "Tante T" or sometimes, if he's in a hurry - just plain "Tante". And each and every single time, I say a little prayer that I can fill such big shoes.

"Tante, I tan tome to your house tonight?", I sent up my little prayer, put down my fork and said, "I would love nothing more than for you to come to my house tonight, Sam." Exactly what my Tante would have said, I hope.

Back to school I go...

I am officially a graduate student. I went through the entire paper-filling-out process, the loan application process, the loan acceptance process, the "will you please write me a letter of recommendation process", the waiting process, and finally the "congratulations, you've been accepted process". I then took a trip down memory lane as I pulled my car into the St. Ambrose University parking lot...haven't done that in a good 4 years. I took a deep breath and walked into the old familiar University Bookstore. I quickly remembered the smells and the adorable memoribilia in that store. I quickly remembered how to locate my books for the 2 classes I will be taking this summer. I quickly remembered where the checkout was. What I did not so quickly remember was how freaking expensive these dumb books are! ((Adult Life Lesson #326: Things are always far more expensive when it is your own money, rather than your parents...)) Yesh. $168.50 later, I was walking out with the THREE books needed for my summer course load.

After returning from this little adventure to the bookstore, I logged onto our on-line campus bulletin board/email system. Haven't done that in quite awhile either (as a funny side note, my student ID information is the same as it was when I was undergrad), once logged in I find my first course's syllabus. Now, this course is entitled "Visioning and School Administration: The School as a Professional Learning Community" - YIKES. So, I open the file, only to find out that it is a hefty 24 pages of reading pleasure. Perfect. I read on to find out that in the course of this 9 day class, there will be many papers, presentations, and much reading due. Excellent.

So, I am officially a graduate student. And I am officially terrified.

I am certain I will make it through, and I am even more certain that I will be a better teacher and someday a strong leader because of this coursework. But for right now, I'm just simply terrified.

Back to school I go.

Friday, May 22, 2009

I choose to be cheerful.

I have been less than pleasant at times for the past few months. Maybe even downright impossible to deal with. Just ask Kevin. I come home exhausted, frustrated, short-tempered, and just in an overall bad mood.

Let me give you a little look into a normal day in my life. I wake up around 7:00, I shower and get ready, I pack a breakfast and lunch, I am out the door by 7:30-7:45, I get my materials ready for the day, my students are in my room by 8:25, school begins by 8:30, I spend all day answering questions, putting out fires, and of course bestowing millions of brilliant ideas onto my precious students (or something like that...), at 3:10 they are dismissed, I spend from 3:10-3:30 cleaning up and putting things back where they belong, by 3:30 more days than not, I am headed to a meeting or a conference, if not, I am correcting papers or writing lesson plans. I leave school around 4:15-4:30 each day and head home to change my clothes and eat a quick dinner before I'm off to the studio for a night of teaching dance. I am often not back home until after 8:00pm and usually still have papers to grade, not even to mention spending time with Kevin or relaxing for a short while before I need to go to bed and begin it all again.

Now, please let me be very clear. I love my jobs. I love my life. Its just sometimes, it overwhelms me. Sometimes I forget that I chose this...all of it.

So yesterday I was browsing one of my favorite blogs (you can find it under Biblical Womanhood over on the right side of the screen in the "other blogs I like" section) when I came across this post. I was moved to tears by her beautiful words. This is exactly what has been on my heart lately.

Here is a very small (but beautiful) excerpt that especially spoke to me:
"As I've thought more on this experience, I've been reminded how little of Calvary Love I've been demonstrating in my life recently. Christ gave His all for me. He chose the beating, the mocking, the nails, the pain, the suffering, the thorns--for me. He did all of this not so I could live a life of selfish comfort and ease, but so I could follow in His steps and live a life poured out for others."

And so, my new goal in life is this. That I will make the choice every single morning to be cheerful. I will choose cheerfulness over grumpiness; I will choose joy over sorrow; I will choose gratefulness over jealousy; I will choose to use the blessings I have been so undeservingly granted to make the journey for someone else a little easier.

I want to live a life that will end with the beautiful sound of my Savior whispering "Well done, my faithful servent". That is my goal, to pour my life out for others with a cheerful heart.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Time sure does fly...

I have never in my life experienced how quickly time flies as much as I have this year. This was the year that my childhood dream came true. Since the moment I stepped foot in school, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I would play school in my house as a child, as a teen I collected things I might use someday in my classroom, I took mental notes of the kind of teacher I wanted to become, I studied long and hard in college to gain the skills necessary to do the best job I could, I endured struggles - both financial and emotional - to get to where I am. But, I'm here. Exactly where I've always dreamed of being. And to be quite honest, more days than not out of these past 177, I could be found wondering why on Earth I wanted this so badly.

This first year of teaching has been anything but blissful. It has been exhausting, frustrating, trying, and just down-right hard. I have spent many afternoons after school in tears and many mornings silently praying for strength and grace to make it through my day. It is a daunting job to be responsible for 27 people and their academic, social, and emotional growth for an entire school year. It is an enormous responsibility to spend all day taking care of everyone, besides myself. Many nights, I come home exhausted and in need of someone to take care of me for a little while. It has been difficult.

But it has also been exhilirating. As I sit here, we have merely 3 days left of the 2008-2009 school year. The dreadful "first year" is almost over. As I am gathering information for the district data we are required to turn in, I am realizing my students made enormous strides this year...in reading, in math, and most importantly in the kind of people they are and will become. It is indeed an awesome responsibility I have to help to mold and shape the kind of people they will grow up to be. I have spent countless hours teaching, then practicing, the re-teaching, and then practicing some more the life skills they will need to be successful teenagers and more importantly adults. How they handle anger, frustration, sadness, guilt, and dissappointment. How will they react when things don't go their way? And how will they react when things do go their way? It is an amazing thing, what teachers do everyday, and I say this with utmost humility, I am amazed at myself.

While they are far from perfect, they are indeed far from where they started. We have worked hard together. We have laughed alot together. We have seen our world change - a new president, a closer look at war, a study of our Nation's history, a clear view of ourselves and a very honest look at the things we need to work on. We have spent 180 days together, approximately 1,170 hours together, about 70,200 minutes together, 4,212,000 seconds together. It seems like a lifetime and a blink of an eye all at the same time. They are different people, and so am I - in more ways than I could possibly count. They have taught me to be patient, kind, honest, tough, compassionate, and humble.

If you were to ask any teacher, they would be able to say without doubt that they remember clearly their first class. And so, I too, join the ranks of teachers who will say, without hesitation that I will never forget these 27 children. I am both hopeful and confident that they will find success on their journey, but I hope that someday, some of them will look back on fifth grade and smile for a little while, knowing that they learned and laughed alot.

I pray that they will be quick with a smile, a helping hand, a thoughtful word, or a compassionate heart. Because for them to learn those qualities in human kind, is my biggest responsibility to them, and this world.

Perhaps I do have the greatest job on Earth. :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sam Michael

3 years ago today, my life changed forever. My only sister and very best friend in the world, blessed me with the birth of her first child, Sam Michael. It is the first time in my entire life that I fell in love instantly. The moment I saw him, my heart melted and we've been best buddies ever since.

Sam, I am so blessed and honored that God gave you to us. Your smile lights up my heart and your laugh is one of my most favorite sounds in the world. I am constantly amazed at how smart you're becoming and you keep me laughing with your funny sayings and jokes. I love playing tools, or football, or scrapbooking with you (whichever you're in the mood to play) - and I love even more when you crawl into my lap and cuddle with me.

I wish I could freeze time for a little while to slow down our lives. You're growing up way to fast, right before my very eyes and I know that all too soon, you'll be a "big boy" and won't want to play with me or cuddle...but for now, I'm loving every single second of it.

I hope you have the happiest of days full of laughter and joy and tons of presents that will spoil you rotton...after all, that's my job!

I love you buddy,
Aunt T :)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pennies make dollars

Yesterday at school we kicked off a fundraising campaign for a charity called Pennies for Peace. (You can click the link to find out more)

This amazing charity was started by a very humble man by the name of Greg Mortenson. Greg was visiting another country when he became very ill. The men and women of this country took care of him until he was well and as he left, he promised them he would re-pay them. As he spent time in this country, he saw many children writing in the dirt with sticks and no teacher. When he inquired about this, the children told him they had to share their teacher with a neighboring village because they could not afford the teacher's $1/day salary - so they had to split the time and salary. Greg saw a need, and stepped up to the plate. He returned to the United States and sent out over 500 letters of request for donations - he did not get one single donation. His mother, an elementary principal, granted him permission to kick-off a fundraiser in her building. This fundraiser raised almost $1,000 in just 6 weeks! And so Pennies for Peace was born.

We had an all-school assembly to kick-off this charity campaign in our building yesterday afternoon. Our librarian, who is heading up this wonderful cause, stood up and told the kids all about it - which got them very excited, but what she said at the end of her speech is what really impacted all of us. She said to them, "Boys and girls, it doesn't matter to me if you bring in a gazillion pennies or zero pennies. The most important thing you can do for this cause is to appreciate the education you are granted here at Mark Twain and in this country." You could've heard a pin drop in that room.

In the introductory video we showed the kids, one student being interviewed from the United States summed things up pretty perfectly. He said, "Here in the United States, well we have to go to school. It's a requirement. In Pakistan, and lots of other countries around our world, well, it's a privledge". How true those words are.

How often I forget the privledges I have been granted - not because of the kind of person I am, not because of how hard I work, just simply because I was blessed to be born in the United States.

If you are interested in making a donation, please don't hesitate to contact me. Our school goal is to raise $5,000 over the course of the next year. That $5,000 will supply one school for an entire year. Amazing.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Prayers Please...

Please pray for my Uncle Paul who had a heart attack last night and is still in ICU as of this afternoon. He is a very active business owner who has a pretty on-the-go-all-the-time lifestyle. He loves his family with his whole heart and is one of the most kind, gentle, and humble men I have ever met. He and his family are in need of prayers right now - prayers for comfort, peace, healing, and strength.

Peace & Love

Monday, April 27, 2009

Spring is in the air...

I have grown to love the season of spring. Everything is new again. New leaves, new flowers, new green grass...and now I have another item to add to my list...new fifth grade attitudes.

I mean to tell you, evidently when April arrives, 5th graders decide it's time for them to know everything. It was like a switch, seriously. Suddenly, they all want my job. "When are we doing this?" "Why do we have to do that?" "I think we should do it this way instead" "What time are we doing _____?" All. Day. Long. Today, I took the opportunity to remind them that I went to school for a long time to get to do my job. If they wanted my job, they'd have to wait a good 12 years. Sad for them.

Aside from this new item on my list, I have developed spring fever right along with my students. I find it easier to get up and going most days, I want to be more productive, I'm constantly cleaning/organizing something, I just am overall in a much better mood.

On another happy note, Middle Road is back to 2 lanes. That also helps my mood for the day. :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bad Start...

I'm telling you, there is nothing that starts my day out on the wrong foot than sitting in traffic for 15 minutes because Middle Road is down to one lane! To make the situation even more irritating, I finally get up to the construction which has caused the lane closure, only to see 1 man down in the hole working, and approximately 9 others standing there watching him. Honestly.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

John 15:13

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

People all around the Quad Cities have been captivated by the recent death of U.S. Army Cpl. Jason Pautsch - a 20 year old Davenport native. It has been on the news, in the paper, on the internet - everywhere we look, we are reminded.

Today, my class and I were discussing current events and this one obviously came up, as it is something that makes the war real to them. I have to be honest, it was really hard for me to discuss this with my students today. Tears formed in my eyes more than once hearing them talk about and realize the magnitude of life, or the loss of life. I have known since before I started this job that there would be many opportunities for me to help my students see the world through "new" eyes - but I was inspired by them today. I was inspired by their compassion for a man and his family - people they don't even know, and more by their respect for the sacrifice he made for our country, and specifically them.

They helped me to sort through my feelings and helped me to slow down for a minute. This war has been going on for so long that sometimes it just becomes "something that's happening an entire world away from us", "something that other cities, other states, other families, other communities have to deal with", "something that is part of life". In reality, that's not the case at all. My twenty-seven 11-year-olds helped me to slow down and remember that this war is something we all need to think about, and that the men and women fighting this war for us are making an enormous sacrifice so that we may live in safety.

I am more thankful than ever today for Cpl. Jason Pautsch and the countless other men and women who have fought this battle. As one of my fifth graders (we'll just call him T) said today, "It's just so great that someone else would put their life on the line so that I can go to sleep in my bed tonight knowing that I'm safe."

Pretty much sums it all up right there.

I'm baaaccckkk...!! :)

Ok, the past few months have been really kind of a blur for me. I can't really put my finger on what specifically has caused me so much difficulty, but it seems time just continues to fly by me and I can't really seem to catch up with it.

In any event, I have made a commitment to myself that I am going to update this blog on a regular (or at least reasonable) basis. There are so many amazing things going on in my life right now that I want to be sure to capture every single on of them.

I have lots of pictures to upload, but that will have to wait because they're not on this computer. So, for now I'll just give you a preview of what's to come: Easter fun, Dance competitions, classroom fun, and very soon some new Kaitlyn, Sam & Maicey pics!

Thanks for being so patient with me. I hope all is well with each of you. :)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Spring fever anyone...?

I'm telling you - if I make it through this week, it will be a small miracle! Anyone who works in close contact with children will attest to the fact that when large weather changes happen, strange behaviors begin to emerge. Behaviors that are slightly irritating and extremely difficult to handle! This Friday marks the beginning of spring break and I simply cannot wait!

Friday, February 27, 2009

I'm still alive...

So if you ask my parents I am a terrible blogger and they have stopped even checking my blog! Yes, I am still alive and yes I am still updating my blog! Things have been slightly flipped upside down lately - in the past two weeks I have packed, moved, and unpacked again! To top it all off, I have spent two of the past three weekends at dance competitions cheering on my girls! In fact, I'm in the car on my way to Chicago to competition this weekend. With my new phone I should be able to update much more frequently! Actually, I might even be able to update again this weekend! :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Yes, I'm still alive!

Seriously! I cannot seem to find enough minutes in the day to get everything done - and blogging seems to be at the bottom of my list! It has been a crazy few weeks - including alot of hours spent working, a weekend in Disney World with the high school dance team I coach, and moving. Let me tell you - I cannot wait for things to settle down, even just a little!

I hope to find some more time soon to blog - just wanted to give a little update! :)

Much Love!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

God Bless America

What an incredible honor it was to watch history unfold today in America! I have to admit, no matter which candidate you voted for, there is something exciting about Barack Obama. Something calming. Something reassuring. Something inspiring. There is nothing better than a living example of the "American Dream"...growing up, dreaming, and achieving - it reminds me of the power in dreams and inspiration.

Watching the inauguration today was even more special for me because I was blessed to be able to share the experience with my 5th grade class. The entire election process has been exciting for them. We spent alot of time discussing the candidates and their opinions on many different issues. We watched very closely on election day - and we celebrated when the results came in. And today, we watched as President Obama was sworn in. They clapped and cheered when they were excited, they listened very carefully and absorbed what they could of his speech, they stood and they sang - I have to tell you, I had tears in my eyes.

Again, whether I agree or disagree with the outcome of the election, it was simply amazing to me that those 27 students will never, ever forget where they were when they watched Barack Obama become the 44th President. They will never forget what they saw, or what we talked about, or how they felt...and I stand in constant amazement that I have been blessed with the opportunity to be a part of that...and that it's my job to be a part of it.

I have the greatest job in the world. :)

Disney On Ice

There is just something about Disney that makes the child in everyone come out. Yesterday afternoon Kevin, Kaitlyn, and I enjoyed Disney on Ice. We found ourselves laughing, clapping, and cheering for those silly characters. We especially enjoyed it because we are taking a trip to Disney World in Orlando this summer and Kaitlyn has never been ~ let me tell you, that child is beside herself!
In the meantime, Disney on Ice filled the small Disney fix...for now! :)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Happy Birthday, Maicey!

It seems impossible that one year ago tonight, we welcomed our sweet Maicey Kay into the world! Looking back, it's difficult to remember our lives without her big blue eyes and sweet giggle. She has certainly filled our days with smiles and love ~ and today we had the chance to celebrate all the wonderful things that are her! I count it among my greatest blessings that God has entrusted such a sweet baby to our family and I cannot wait to watch her grow as each year passes.
Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl! I love you to the sky and back! :)

Happy New Year! (...a little late)

Evidently I am a terrible blogger! I cannot seem to find the time to sit down and blog nearly as much as I'd like to - but here are some promised pictures from our New Year's Eve!

We began the night with dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, The Machine Shed. It is a down home restaurant here in Iowa that is known for it's family style fixin's...served family style! Each of the servers wear red and white plaid shirts with jean overalls - I must say I admire their bravery, because I would not be caught dead wearing something like that!

After dinner, we all headed back to my parents house for a "Wii are ringing in the New Year" party and family sleep over! I have to say, we had a great time! (If you look closely at the picture of Rob, you will see the shirts we made especially for the night!)

This New Years was even more fun because our cousins Kelly and Dale were home with their two girls - so we got to spend more time with them! We pray that 2009 will be filled with many more hours of laughter and love with our family and friends!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Let's Catch Up...

Ok, so evidently my two week Christmas vacation was not nearly as long as I had anticipated! This has become CRYSTAL clear after making it through my first day back at the "real life". School, Dance, the entire schedule is back in full swing!

Our break was simply fantastic! I so very much enjoyed hanging out with Kaitlyn for those extra days, sneaking some additional time with Kevin while we were both off work, spending quality time with family I don't get to spend enough time with during "real life", laughing until my stomach hurt, eating until I was certain I would burst, and just overall RELAXING. It was fabulous!

Here are the Top Five moments of my break:

5) Creating sweet goodie tins for family members with Kaitlyn4) Helping Kaitlyn make Christmas cards with her sweet stamps and handwriting3) Spending a peaceful afternoon with cherished family members whom I don't get to spend nearly enough time with! Aunt Judy was kind enough to invite all adult female members of our family to her house for lunch - it was an incredible time of fellowship, laughter, and reminiscing. I desperately wish I had been in my right mind and taken a picture, but I somehow forgot...!

2) Watching my brother in law and my boyfriend box and compete in other various sports on the Wii our family received this Christmas. (Please trust me, this picture sincerely does not do the situation justice!)

1) Being blessed with the opportunity to create a season full of magic for the children in my life - all to celebrate the birth of Jesus. :) I simply adore Christmas time!This last picture is one of Maicey's infamous "dirty looks" - yeah, I said it. She's almost a year old, and that girl gives looks that could kill! :)
Anyway, as you can see, our Christmas was just incredible and we are somewhat sad to see it go. But, we have many new and exciting things on the horizon of 2009...Perhaps I will get to New Year's Eve in my next set of free time!
Until then,
Katie :)