My beautiful and wonderful family!

My beautiful and wonderful family!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Kids...gotta love 'em!

Well, school has been a lot more intense than I had originally thought it would be. It's actually been a little stressful, and I'm definitely not complaining (it's good to be challenged!), but work has become a type of sanctuary from the rest of my crazy life. I actually look forward to being there and having fun with all the little kids that come in! I have one little girl who is there every single day i work except for Saturdays. Her name is Cassandra. She is 5 years old and she is so much fun! She LOVES to make me laugh! Her favorite thing to say to me is, "Brittney, you are such a laugher!" It makes me laugh even more. She is very extroverted and so she automatically assumes that other children should be just as friendly as she is. We'll have some really shy kids come in and she has a hard time with them not wanting to talk or play with her, so she'll come and ask me what to do about it. So I'll usually make a suggestion of playing a game or playing "tea party" to help them start playing together. It usually works and Cassandra always wins them over in the end. It is fun to be around her! Her favorite game is "Cooties". Did you know there was such a game? Well the condensed version of how to play is that you build bugs. She loves it and we have to play it every time she comes in. I always make mine with a tongue that sticks out. After we're done building them I try and make the bug "lick" her. She thinks that is the silliest thing and she just laughs and laughs so hard. Another thing she likes to do is see if she can scare me. She'll try and be sneaky and come up behind me and say "BOO!" But most of the time I'll turn around and scare her before she gets the chance and she'll get these really wide eyes and start laughing hysterically. I love it! She is just a bundle of fun! Her Grandpa (who is grumpy a lot of the time) came to get her right as we were laughing about something and he started laughing too. I had never seen him do that before!! He told me, "You are having just as much fun as she is aren't you?" I told him I most definitely was and he just nodded his head and said, "I like that!" It was funny that that made me so happy but I really was having so much fun with her!

A little boy came in to the cub house and his mom told him that he needed to watch out for his younger sister who was also coming in. He is probably 4 years old and his sister is 2. So anyway, he walks into the Cub House and he is so excited. He can't even get the words out of his mouth because he is stuttering so much. Can I just say adorable?! I'm sorry but I think that stuttering is so cute, I can't help it! He wanted to do the project so we sat and did it together while his sister colored a picture. Now, the project that day was "Edible Dirt" so every kid that came in was excited to make it. So I got him a bag with two graham crackers, and a couple of oreos. Then I got him a roller (more like a thing to use for hammering!) to break up the cookies to look like dirt. He loved it! He was goin' at it like no other. Then he told me that he needed to do his sister's for her because she told him she wanted him to (ummm...OK, seeming how she hasn't even talked to you the entire time she's been in here, but OK...), so he did hers too. After they smash up the "dirt" they get to stick in a couple gummy worms. He was just so excited about it he asked me if he could make his mom and dad one too. I just laughed and told him we needed to save some for all the other little kids that were going to come in later. He looked so sad when I told him that, so what do I do? I give in!! Who in their right mind could make a little kid sad like that? :) Anyway, so he did two more and then he wanted to start in on grandma and grandpa's dirt too. I finally had to draw the line, but it was so fun to see him get so excited about something so simple. That is the coolest thing about kids! They like the little things. I think that the most popular toy in the cub house is the birthday cakes. They are these little plastic cakes that have holes in the top for candles. That is the first thing to be pulled off the shelf, they just love it, even amidst all the really cool toys we have in there, they just want to play with the birthday cakes.

I love being with those kids! They teach me new things all the time. They teach me how to be silly and have fun, they teach me patience and understanding, and they teach me that sometimes less is more, the simple things are the best things. I just love being with them! They are all my little buddies and I love them to pieces!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Yesterday I got a phone call just as I was going out to lunch with some girls in my jazz choir. It was a guy from my ward, Sam. He is the ward mission leader. I have gotten to know Sam a little bit and he just a really super neat guy. Very happy all the time, and he is very intelligent so it's fun to talk to him about things. Anyway, he called me and asked me if I was the visiting teaching supervisor for a girl in our ward who just got baptized. I was and so he asked me if I could help find a couple girls who might be able to go to a new member discussion that evening at the church, since she can't be alone with the missionaries. I told him I would so I got home from school with about 20 minutes to spare before I had to head to work. I started calling all the girls in my visiting teaching group and none could go, so I was trying to think of anyone and everyone I knew in my ward who could possibly go. I left lots of messages and told them to call me and let me know if they were available. I had to get back to Sam soon if things weren't working out, but I was determined to figure it out. I got a call from one girl saying she could go, and then a text from another girl. I was so happy that things were coming together for the discussion that night. I called Sam and left a message on his voicemail telling him not to worry and that I had it all worked out. He almost instantly called me back. I answered the phone and he just said, "Brittney you are my hero!" I just kind of laughed because I was just doing my calling and trying to help him out but he appreciated it so much. He just kept thanking me and then I told him that I would be more than willing to help him out anytime he needed something. For some reason that impressed him. But the thing that I got from this experience was the importance of sustaining others in their callings. We all need each other, that is for sure, but I haven't ever really recognized me helping others out as "sustaining" them. It was just kind of a cool realization for me. This is an incredible work that I am apart of and I am just happy to do anything it requires of me, because in all reality I'm getting more from it than I am ever really giving.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

An AMAZING birthday!

WOW! Talk about fun! This birthday was definitely one to remember! I'm now 22 years old! Holy Cow! It seems so weird to think I am that old! And looking back on things that have happened in these last few years since high school I have realized that I have done a lot! I have experienced many things and I am so excited to experience even more!

Anyway, my birthday was last week on the 3rd. The night before that I was a little sad I must admit. No, not with pre-birthday "oh-my-goodness-I'm-getting-old" blues, but I was just a little sad because I hadn't heard from Josh. I really wasn't expecting anything from him (he's on a mission for heaven's sake!) but I was still just missing him like crazy and wanted to hear from him. So I went to bed that night and my wonderful sleep was soon interrupted by a phone call at midnight! What in the world?! So I got up, rather groggily, and I saw that it was a number I didn't recognize. Hmmm...should I just ignore this call? Well I answered it and the conversation went something like this:

"HI! HOW ARE YOU?!" It was a guy!
"Uh...I'm are you?"
"I'm great! Is this Brittney Chapman?" At this point I could hear a very heavy French accent...
"Yeeesss...Who in the world is this?"
"This is Elder Cheung!"
"WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?! Are you serious?!?!?!"
Lots of laughing..."Yeah!" Now an important thing to know is that Elder Cheung was a "mini-mission" companion to Josh. He was only with him for about two weeks. He is a convert of about a year and a half and he lives in France.
"Oh my gosh! I can't believe this!"
More laughing..."Well Brittney I have a message for you. I just left Josh today from being on my mini-mission with him and he made me promise him that this would be the first thing I did when I got home. He was very adamant about it. He wanted me to tell you that he loves you and that he feels really bad because he wanted to send you something but he knew it would never get there in time because the mail system is so slow here in France. He said to tell you that he hopes you have a wonderful birthday."
I was in complete shock! WOW! For Josh to even think of having him call me was so thoughtful! I couldn't even believe he had Elder Cheung do that! I just kept telling him thank you over and over. We had a great discussion about some of the things he had experienced while he was with Josh, and while we were talking he said, "Brittney, your brother is the man!! He is amazing!" I told him I knew that. I said, "I don't know if Josh has talked to you about his relationship with me but we are pretty tight and he has always been someone I've looked up to. He is amazing!" He told me about a girl that was baptized just that Sunday before, that Josh had baptized her and that everything he said was absolutely perfect and that everything went the best it could have possibly gone. He just kept telling me how wonderful Josh had been. It just made me so happy to be able to talk to him and to feel of the excitement he had. It was so neat! What an amazing way to start my birthday huh?! I was set! I felt like I was on top of the world and I was just so happy! My birthday was already perfect as far as I was concerned! I was so excited I ran into my parent's bedroom after the phone call and told my mom all about it! Of course she was way excited too! It was just awesome!

Then at 6 in the morning I woke up and had breakfast with my family, scrambled eggs with bacon in them, and English muffins! Yummy! Then I opened presents which was fun!

As I was walking out to my car later that morning to go to school I saw my car and wow! My friend Jillene had painted all my windows! It was so fun! It said things like "What a Babe!" "Honk I'm 22!" "Happy Birthday!" And then I had a "frame" painted on the driver's side of the windshield. It was so cute and how special was I?!

Then I got to the school and somehow everyone knew it was my birthday! Holy cow! Everyone was coming up to me and wishing me happy birthday and giving me hugs and making me feel so special! It was so neat! We started jazz choir that day so I went to that and we had a blast in there! Right before class I decided to treat myself and buy a "Naked" juice. Oh my! I love those things! Way too addicting! Anyway, so I went and got one of those, and was talking to everyone in the room before class started and one of my friends started to walk into the classroom. I was so excited to see him I yelled hi to him before he walked in and he smiled at me and kind of motioned with his finger for me to go outside with him. He was hiding something behind his back and he pulled me behind the door (which was open by the way). He said "Happy Birthday Brittney" and then he pulled these gorgeous flowers out from behind his back! What?! This doesn't happen to me! How sweet is he?! I couldn't believe he was giving me flowers! WOW! I just kind of half screamed half gasped in shock and just wrapped my arms around him and gave him a big hug and just kept saying thank you and that I appreciated it so much! He just kind of laughed at me and said "You're welcome" and we walked into class together. As I walked in I realized that everyone's eyes were glued to the door. Remember that the door was open? Well they pretty much heard everything I said and at least saw half the "action" I was giving him behind the door. I almost just started busting up laughing when everyone just looked at us like something was up. Ha Ha! Believe me! It was nothing! This guy was actually my husband in a play I did this summer and we had just grown to have a really neat friendship. Anyway, for some reason during class I was just on this super big high and I was just a crack-up if I do say so myself! I was just plain goofy! Even more so than normal, but it was fun! We had a great time in there and everyone sang me happy birthday. I just felt so special! Then I came home and my mom asked what I was doing the rest of the day. I didn't have plans til that evening so she asked if I wanted to go get a pedicure for my birthday. FUNNESS! My mom got me the deluxe package which came with amazing bonuses during the pedicure. It was amazing! We had 4 different massages on our legs! We had a salt scrub, a mask (it smelled like chocolate!), then they put massage oil on our legs and used hot rocks (oh my gosh! That was one of the greatest things ever!), and then they rubbed in lotion too! I definitely felt pampered! Then of course they did my toenails and painted on this amazing flower design with glittery stuff. They were just so cute! Then I also got a manicure! I can't even remember the last time I painted my nails! So that was a fun treat too! We had a great time together! Another fun part about it was that my mom had never gotten one before so it was a first time experience for her so it was great to be with her for that!

After that I had to hurry home and get dressed up. I was going to dinner with one of my best friends that night. Cassi! She wanted to take me out so we got all cute and dressed up really nice and I told her I wanted to go somewhere I'd never been before so she was going to surprise me. We went to "My Big Fat Greek Restaurant"! It was AMAZING! WOW! They had these huge tumblers that our lemonades came out in and then we had an appetizer. Greek Fries! Can I just tell you that it was a completely new taste experience for me! It had this sauce on top of it that we figured out was vinegar and a melted sharp goat cheese. It had garlic and fresh oregano and feta cheese on it too. Really good! Then I ordered the "Award Winning Greek Platter" which was slivered Gyro (roast lamb) with lemon pepper potatoes, fresh squash, pita bread, and a sauce for the lamb to be dipped in. It was amazing! There was so much food though! I hardly put a dent in it! Cassi got Mousaka (if you've seen 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' you'll definitely remember the line "Moose Caca?!" Yeah, it's the same stuff!) It was layers of eggplant, zucchini, a spicy meat, and sauce with a hugely thick piece of cheese melted on top. She liked hers as well! We were both so full that we were dying but our waiter came and brought us two completely new silverware rolls. He said, "You are going to need these. I'm bringing you out a special treat!" I looked at Cass and she just put up her hands in surrender and said, "I promise I didn't tell them it was your birthday!" Anyway, he brought out Baklava. Oh baklava, how I love thee! It was seriously one of the most amazing desserts I have ever had in my life! It was like 27 layers of philo dough with layers of hazelnut, chopped almonds, honey, and cinnamon in between. It was all melted together atop a platter drizzled with honey in this criss cross pattern, with two dollops of whipped cream on either side of the platter containing a mint leaf for garnish. It was so elegant looking! WOW! Anyway, it tasted just as amazing as it looked! We were both in heaven! It was AMAZING! Then we came back to my house and we both fell asleep on my couch waiting for our friend Jason to come over to my house after he got off work at 11:30. Once he got here we talked for about 45 minutes and then we all decided we were too dead to be awake any longer, besides the fact it was a school night!

All in all it was an amazing birthday! I had the greatest time with my family and friends! I also have to say that my family and I had celebrated my birthday early since there was a holiday weekend, and we went out to eat and went to the movies so that was a lot of fun! And then we also had a big family party on Saturday night! It was so much fun! I really enjoyed being with everyone! We celebrated my little cousin's birthday too! She is turning seven this month and so we combined our birthdays. She is such a cutie! She was even sweet enough to let me blow out the last candle on our birthday cake! She is so cute! We had a fun time! I just love my family! They are just the greatest!

Well there we go, my birthday update! Also I have to thank everyone who wrote on my facebook and gave me a call! I had so many people do that for me and I so appreciated it! It was just so great to feel so loved all day! What fun I had! It was definitely a great time!

Monday, September 1, 2008

A Call To Be Better

At the moment I am feeling a little chastised, but out of complete love. Today is Josh's P-Day and he wrote an e-mail to our family. It was full of wonderful things! He had his first actual Baptizing experience on his mission and it was a beautiful service full of the spirit and it brought so much peace to everyone present.

Well in the end of his letter he began to chastise me a little. He reminded me of some things that are definitely important that I need to do better. I wasn't at all bothered by what he said but I definitely felt the heat! I am so grateful that Josh loves me so much! He really has been such an incredible example to me of what's right and what is worth pursuing and acheiving. I love him for that!

So now everything is in my hands. I get to decide how to make some things work better in my life. Perhaps I will update everyone on my blog in the future and let you know how I'm doing, I know that everything he talked to me about is important and I know I can do it! It will all work out the way it should. I am going to be a better person and I am going to learn A LOT! Thus starts the endeavor...