My beautiful and wonderful family!

My beautiful and wonderful family!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Lots of thinking...

So today in our single's ward we found out that our bishop was just diagnosed with abdominal cancer. It was a HUGE blow to everyone. Even I, who haven't been in the ward that long, took it pretty hard. He is a wonderful wonderful man. I have really appreciated him these last couple months I've been in the ward. He will be having surgery on Tuesday to remove the cancer. We are all fasting for him. I was deeply touched today as our first counselor spoke about him and asked us to fast. There was an instant feeling of unity and love in that congregation. I was amazed at the concern everyone had for him and his wife. I was asked to give the closing prayer in sacrament meeting today and as I was asking for blessings on our bishop I was overcome with a great love for him and empathy for him and his family. I know what it feels like to receive news of a serious diagnosis like that. My mind was brought back to last year, a year from today to be exact, when I found out that my grandpa had terminal cancer. I started to understand today what it means to have your bowels filled with compassion. I know how his family must be feeling. It's so hard to deal with something like that. I just hope that this surgery is a success and that he heals well, that there will be no more concern after it is done. We shall see, but until then , my thoughts and prayers are with them.

Calling #2

WOW! So I seem to just be a calling magnet! I had two in my family ward and now I have two in my single's ward! CRAZY! I was just called to be the Relief Society pianist as I mentioned in an earlier blog, but I was just called to be a visiting teaching supervisor! So exciting!! I am very very very pumped about this calling! It should definitely be a learning experience for me! The visiting teaching is a little different in this ward because we have visiting teaching "groups" rather than one-on-one visits with the girls. So I have stewardship over a group of about 6-8 girls! I am still getting used to this new way of doing things, but I am already seeing some benefits to it. I am planning on doing a group activity at my house, or going out to eat so we can just get to know each other or whatever. I think it will be so great to get to know more people and draw closer together! I am just so excited about this!! (Can ya tell?) YAY!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I was thinking this morning about all the things that have been happening to me lately, all the things that I think are so exciting that I want to tell everyone about. There has definitely been a lot going on with school starting and whatnot, but there is always a common theme in my excitements...people! I seriously just love people! I love experiencing things with people, relating to people, talking to people, accomplishing things with people, meeting people, and spending time with people. It just makes me happy. I am truly in my element being back at school! I love it so much! I have had the opportunity to meet lots of new people in my classes. It is fun for me! Getting to know others and connecting on different levels. I am definitely one that enjoys being with others more than being by myself, although there are those times when being alone is a good thing, I would much rather be doing something with someone else. Even if that means just sitting in complete silence with someone while we both do homework or whatever. I just like it better.

I started my music theory class yesterday and everyone seemed to just be grumbling the whole class hour about how hard the class was going to be, how they were never going to pass it, and how they were just not excited to be there. I thought that was kinda funny, just because I was SO happy to be there. Yeah, I will admit, the class is definitely hard, but our teacher really does want to help us out and I appreciated that. Our teacher asked us yesterday if someone wanted to come to the board and finish up some chords and label them for the class. There was instant tension and everyone just looked down at their books. (Amazing how that happens when a question is asked, it's almost unconscious it seems...) Well I knew that I had somewhat of an idea of what to do but I raised my hand to go up and do it and it was fun! I kinda joked around with it and made it more relaxed instead of everyone freaking out because they forgot everything. Then other people tried too, and we all started having a good time with each other. I think I have definitely gotten over being embarrassed in front of a crowd. It doesn't bug me if I don't know something and I make an idiot of myself in front of a class, we are all in the same boat and learning the same things and no one really makes fun of you, maybe teases you, but it's not out of meanness. I find it rather refreshing to have discussion in a class. It brings people together and helps you connect more. Maybe that's why even going into a "hard" class like that doesn't bug me. I know that it's going to be hard, but I know I can figure it out, especially when people are open about what they don't understand. That may have all been a bit confusing to read, but at least I understand what I'm saying! Ha Ha! :)

Yeah, so people make me happy! I have noticed that my mood is almost directly linked to the relationships I have with others. Sometimes that's not such a good thing, but usually I feed off of people and their moods, and try to just make things better, whether they be happy or upset, it doesn't matter. I just love people! Aren't we all just amazing?! Pretty cool to think about how complicated each one of us are, and how we are each different, we each have different needs, we each deal with things differently. Yeah, pretty much I'm amazing...and so is everybody else! :)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ok, the 1st day of school update!

Alrighty! I made it!! I got through the first day! And let me tell ya it was as wonderful as I imagined it would be!! I didn't even have to start my day until 11:15 which was nice! So I started out with choir and we already started singing which was awesome! We're doing a motet by Palestrina which sounds amazing and we are also doing a song called "Afternoon On A Hill". It sounds so beautiful already!

After choir was done Ed (our choir director) has a tradition that we do "put-ups". He was going to give an example to all the new kids of what one was and he said, "Brittney, where are you?" I just thought, "Oh no! Something embarrassing is coming I can just feel it!" So I got up and he told me to come stand by him. He put his arm around me and told everyone my name. Then he told them that he looks for me everyday because there is something that I do that just seems to make everything better and makes him happy. He then turned to me and said,"Ok Brittney will you show them what you do?" I just started to laugh and then everyone else started laughing. He just hugged me tighter and said, "See! It's that smile! She smiles and it just lights up a room! It makes you happy!" I appreciated it so much! But that wasn't all! He then told everyone that he knew I was going to be in his choir before I was even born. And he had a picture taken that he was now going to give me. He hands me this picture, it's black and white, with three goofy lookin' guys from the 70's. I just looked at it and was like, "What is this Ed?" He then pointed to a guy and said, "Who is this?" I looked harder and realized it was him. I was right! Then he pointed to the guy next to him and asked who he was. It was then that I realized it was Dr. Lunt!! Oh my gosh! I was speechless! I just looked at him so stunned and he started laughing. I told him, "Thank you so much! I love it!" and then everyone just clapped for me! It was so nice! I felt so special! Then we had some of the voice faculty come in to talk to the choir. Afterward I went and thanked him again. It was so thoughtful of him to think of me! He gave me another big hug and told me he knew I'd appreciate that. I most definitely did! What a neat thing!

Here's the pic! The two in the front are who I'm talking about. The one on the left is my director right now, Dr. Edmund Hughes, and on the right is Dr. David Lunt.

After choir I had lunch with a good friend and then I had my psychology class. WOW! I was already excited about this class, but after meeting the instructor and going through the class period, I am definitely ecstatic about being in there! I am already so intrigued and it's just the first day! I am actually excited to read the chapter for Wednesday! I love it! Our instructor is half Puertorican, he teaches two of the psych classes there but he also has his own practice. I thought that was so neat because he is really right in the middle of all the things we are going to be talking about! He really brought the class together so fast for a first day! We were all so ready to talk and listen to each other and ask questions. It was impressive! And another cool thing he said was that he wanted and hoped that we would have fun in the class. He said, "Psychology is supposed to be fun! I love it! So we are going to have fun in this class." That was definitely a winning statement! He caught the class' attention that's for sure!

So today has been awesome! I am so excited for the semester! Things are really looking up and I am just so so so excited to get things really going!

"It's Raining, It's Pouring!"

This is what it looks like outside my house right now, but let me tell ya, this doesn't do it justice!! It is pouring!!

Holy Cow!! It is raining SOOOOOOO hard right now!! Almost deafening in my house!! I ran from the driveway to the door and I am soaked!!! I am glad to get rain, but wow! This is just insane!!

New Calling

I received a calling in my single's ward yesterday. I am the new Relief Society pianist. WOW! Talk about scary! I mean I did play for primary, but lets face it, primary songs are not even close to as hard as hymns! I am definitely nervous but I know it will be ok. I hardly ever get a chance to play anymore and so this will definitely be good for me! Oh, I have to confess that the scariest hymn for me to play is "True To The Faith", just the number 254 gives me chills because I'm glad I'm not the one playing it. Don't ask me why but that's just the way it is! So guess what I had to play for the opening hymn in Relief Society yesterday? guessed it..."True to the Faith"! I was so nervous it was ridiculous! But I pulled through and I don't think I did half bad! Phew! What a relief!

I think the thing I am most nervous about is taking away from the spirit. Have you ever had a pianist who was just really having a hard time playing and it was very distracting? Well I don't want to do that! When I was 12 years old I was new in Young Women's and they asked me if I could play the piano. I only knew a couple songs so they chose one of them. I had never accompanied anyone singing before and I was nervous and my playing definitely showed it! It was a disaster and I was so embarrassed. My mom was in the Young Women's presidency at that time and I remember talking to her after church. She told me (in a very sweet way) that maybe I shouldn't play until I knew I had it right so that I wouldn't distract from the spirit that the opening hymn is supposed to bring. That has always stuck with me and I realize now how important it is to be prepared to play.

So we'll see how it goes! I am really excited for the opportunity! I think I may be praying really hard every time I get up to play, but there are worse things right? :)

First Day of School

You know you have to get one of these on the first day! Say cheese!

Today is the day!! I start school again! YAY!! And no I am not being sarcastic. I am really excited to start up school again! I only have 12 credits this semester which is nice, but I still have 6 classes, so my time is definitely filled up!! Of course I have all my music classes still, like music theory, AP, and my two choirs, but I am also taking psychology this semester. I am super excited about that! I haven't taken a "core" class for a couple years now, mostly because I'm done with all my generals, but this class counts for my music therapy major and instead of having to worry about it next year at ASU I decided to get it done now. I am soooo pumped to start all this exciting stuff! I just love my life!! :)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Road show!!!!

Our Muscular Men!

Our world-premiere "Unwicked" cast

Preston and I

Silly girls!

Me and my silly girls


Last Saturday I helped out with a road show for my stake. I was an assistant director with a lady in my family ward. She is one of those amazingly fun people that you just love to be around. Anyway, our play was called "Unwicked". It was a play about a brother and sister who were moving to a new school and they were really worried about fitting in. They soon meet some of the "popular" kids in school. The sister (Abby) is in the girl's locker room and all the popular girls try to help her with her obvious popularity problem. They sing the song "Popular" from Wicked but afterward Abby meets this girl who is really nice and kind to her. Then it jumps to the boy's locker room. The brother, Connor, walks in to find a bunch of incredibly muscular guys. (All the boys wore muscle suits!) They were showing off with how many push-ups they could do and they start asking Connor about any cute girls he's seen. Then they all start telling Connor about how he can be popular and they do a parody on "Popular" with a song called "Muscular". Holy Cow! The boys totally got into it and hammed it up great! It was hilarious! then it shows Abby and Connor after school talking about their day and they end up making some really great friends. The kids on our group were in the 7th and 8th grades with a couple boys in 9th. I was so proud of all my kids! They did a fantastic job!

We had to build our own set and we practiced the songs all day. The cool thing our group got to do was they were able to record the songs before the performance. our director's husband has professional recording equipment and had them all recorded before. It was so fun for the kids to get to do that! They were pretty pumped about it! The whole thing just turned out wonderful and we got the "Goody-two-shoes" award! Ha Ha! It was so fun! I just loved all those kids! They were awesome!

Another really cool thing was that I got to be with Preston! He was in my group and he really enjoyed himself! It was fun to see a side of him I never get to see and I grew to appreciate him a lot more through this experience which was really cool! What a stud!

A Very Fun Night!

Curtis with the lovely polar bear on Main Street

Peek-a-boo! I see you!

Curtis just hangin' out!

Me balancing on some stones in the middle of the water


There were all these cool walls that had water on the top with a light shining through the bottom with all these cool colored stones. I liked the effect of this pic!

A timed pic with all of us. These tiers were pretty cool!

Curtis is much more sneaky than I am!

Just Me!

Curtis' powerful sermon!

The Hunt's begun! Ha Ha! (Total inside joke! Sorry I had to say it!)

This wall behind us lit up different colors. It was pretty much awesome!!

Oh cute little Julie in the pretty flowers!

Curtis on top of the big water wall thingy...sounds like a good name for it...

They do men's and women's nails! How exciting!

Julie and Curtis decided to look for jobs...

The lazy bums! Obviously that plan failed!

Curtis pretending to be like the cool climber guy...I think Curtis is a little cooler myself!

Julie and I playing an imaginary game of chess! It was intense!

I got to meet up with a wonderful friend, Curtis Gardner (who I knew from my EAC days), a few weeks ago and we had some fun times over the course of a couple weeks. On this particular night we were with another of our really good friends Julie Hatch. Oh I just love her! Anyway, we had a great time going to the temple, looking at the "Reflections of Christ" exhibit there, then taking lots of random pictures at the Mesa Arts Center, and then having a nice chat over Dairy Queen treats! It was such a fun night!! We all had a really great time together!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Lemonade Stands and Puppet Shows

Well, I was working in the Cub House today and there was a family that came in. Two boys and one girl. They were sitting at the art table, doing their craft for the day and I started to hear them talking about this "plan" they had. The little girl came over to me and said "Guess what?!" She was sooo excited! "What?" I asked. "My brother and I are going to have a lemonade stand!" Then her brother piped in adn said "Yeah, we're going to earn money for the family!" I thought it was so cute! Then their little borther who is about 3, and at least three years younger then his siblings, got really excited about the idea and said, "Me too! Me too!" The two older siblings looked at him a little disgusted and told him he wasn't allowed to. He seemed to be ok with that though. He just went about doing his thing. The whole thing just made me smile because I started to remember some times when I was younger that I would actually do those kinds of things. My brothers and I also thought that a lemonade stand was a genius idea at one point. In our little minds we were going to be rich and be able to buy whatever we wanted! If anything we'd be able to go to Bashas' and buy a doughnut or something. It was an exciting prospect! I remember multiple times, while we lived in Safford, setting up a "lemonade stand" with way too watery lemonade and sometimes even rice krispie treats or cookies we would make. We'd put everything by the road, stick a HUGE sign on the front, with our little kid scrawl on the front and patiently sit in our lawn chairs and wait. Well, more accurately put would be that we would try and wait patiently until we couldn't stand it anymore and we would either run to the neighbors house to ask them to "come see our lemonade stand," or we would get so hot that we would drink the entire pitcher of lemonade ourselves. We did usually have success though! We had some very kind neighbors and people that would drive down the street who would stop and buy lemonade from us. Oh boy, you should have seen how excited we got when someone stopped to get some! You would have thought we hit the jackpot, and to us, we probably had! We had paying customers and we were going to have money to get something we wanted. What fun we had! I loved those times as a little kid!

Another thing that was very popular for my brothers and neighbor friend to do was to put on puppet shows or plays. We would either write out a story line or we would do a play based on a story we knew. There were countless times when we would make a "set", or make stick puppets, or practice lines over and over again til everything was perfect, usually lasting most of the morning. We would then advertise our plays to the neighborhood by knocking on the doors of our neighbors and telling them what time it would start and then asking how many tickets they needed. (Yes, we even made tickets! Pretty fancy huh?!) Then we would usually hold the play in our neighbor's house or backyard. At the time of performance we would have someone taking the tickets and any "donations" they wanted to give. Everyone would sit down and we would announce the performance. We sometimes ended up with a whole room full of friends and neighbors! It was always so exciting! Then we would start the play and there would always be an intermission. (These plays usually lasted about 10-15 minutes, so an intermission was definitely necessary!) For the intermission someone would go out and start strumming a guitar and making up a song that had to do with the play. (Mind you that none of us knew how to play the guitar, but we did a really good job tricking everyone!) Then we would finish up and everyone would applaud us and we would do our bows. Oh it was so exciting! Then everyone would start to leave and of course compliment us on our job well done. We were all smiles! Then we would clean up everything and talk about "how cool" everything was and that we had really done a great job and we would get so excited about how many people had come to watch us.

Oh boy! Those are some wonderful memories! I love reminiscing about all those fun things I used to do with my brothers and friends. It's amazing the imagination we had when we were little! I definitely don't feel like it's the same now, but I sure am glad I had those experiences. It brought a smile to my face today to hear a brother and sister talking about that today. Little do they realize how important those memories and fun times together will mean to them when they're older. It's awesome!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Josh's Hump Day!

At the airport saying good-bye

The fam

The siblings (We just love each other so much!)

Yesterday was Josh's Hump Day! He has been out a whole year!! WOW! It seems so crazy! It feels like he just left! I was thinking about him a lot yesterday and I started reminiscing about memories I'd had with him to a wonderful friend of mine and we really had a great time laughing and remembering some of those crazy times we've had with Josh! As I was talking to her last night I just told her that I was so grateful that I have been able to have him as part of my life, to see him change and become this amazing guy. I miss Josh, I miss him a lot sometimes, but then I read his letters and I realize that he is blessing so many people's lives and that they need him there! He is doing so many incredible things. I love to hear about all of the experiences he's having and to see him growing more and more as time goes on! I have always known how amazing Josh is, but he is becoming even more impressive and he is so dedicated to the Lord and His work! I love it! It is such a wonderful blessing to see him grow so much!So it is celebration time!! One year down! Awesome job so far Elder Chapman! We are all so proud of you!!

First day in the MTC!