Friday, September 28, 2012

Crossing Guard...

So I am temporarily one of the crossing guards for my elementary school, since the sweet older man that normally does this corner is having knee surgery. Anyone who knows my school district well, knows that temporarily could mean a couple weeks... or months...
Guess i will find out.
I knew this going in and still said yes.
The fact that Bentley and I live right across the street, and the guy is having surgery made me feel super obligated! Otherwise I wouldn't normally wake up to stand outside for an extra 45 minutes in a dense, rainy fog, wearing a neon yellow cal-trans vest holding a gigantic stop sign.
All I am missing is a hard hat!

Can you tell I was NOT too stoked when my principal asked me?!

But, I was a little too quick to judge what seemed to be a most unfavorable position. I have had some of the best mornings this week because of funny little happenings on my crosswalk.

  1. Countless mothers showing their appreciation for watching after their 'babies' cross the busy street.
  2. kissing my hubby on his way to work, after he crosses the street of course! I wonder what people driving by think!?
  3. The most darling toddler told me I am 'so pretty' :) 
  4. Another toddler asked her mom 'why is her hair SO BIG?' just as funny and noteworthy as the first comment in my book!
  5. A very happy golden retriever jumping up to say hello and kiss me on his way home...
  6. Seeing kids faces (that know me) light up at the fact that they know the crossing guard; turning back to smile, look, and wave about a million times before they are too far to see me anymore. I love that simple pleasure in children.
  7. And last but definitely not least, the old man stopped at the light, blowing me a kiss and saying "YOU are such a CUTIE!"

Yup, those sweet elderly men get me every time! 


Crossing guard has been nothing but smiles, friendly honks, curious kids, and lots of Pandora Music! :)


Have a great weekend 
xxxxooooxoxo
 

Monday, September 17, 2012

besos en preschool :)

Mondays are a late start in our school district.  I LOVE IT!
Staff still goes to school at the regular hour but the kiddos don't come for another hour. We use our extra time prepping crafts and curriculum, staff trainings, and sometimes have an occasional staff breakfast together :) It is the best way to start the work week after a nice relaxing weekend, in my opinion.

Today was extraordinary 

I was greeted by the usual "Hola Maestra, como estas? Quieres leer con mi?" surrounded by smiles, and little hands tugging at my sides. Oh those adorable hands.
(there are so many spanish speakers in our morning class you would think you were in another country)
I am so thankful for my 3 years of high school spanish and one semester at college thats for sure!

We were having an extra long circle time this morning because there was a scheduled fire drill about to take place and we needed to explain extra carefully what was about to happen. Bentley even translated everything in spanish, something we dont normally have done since they are supposed to be learning english. But a fire drill is obviously really important. (Yes Bent and I got to work together today, but thats not what made it extraordinary, sorry love)

Then out of no where, in the middle of circle time this one little chica [who I have taken to since the first day of school, we are one in the same, with just a language barrier] whipped around, grabbed my cheeks and went in for a BIG ole' kiss!
I had to turn slightly so she would catch my cheek in stead of my lips, something about kissing on the lips in school doesn't seem appropriate... right? haha. 
Either way I absolutely melted. 
That was like giving my heart the best kind of hug known to man.
I love the fierce and feisty love of a child.
There is nothing like it!



I will be living on the love from that chicken peck for the next week thank you very much.

Happy Monday 
xxxooo xo

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Post



There is nothing like getting some beautifully artistic snail mail from a dear friend.
I love post.
I also love bronze, gold, and yellow.
 Today, I hit the jackpot.
This was a nice surprise in the PO Box!

Could she get any cuter?

Get a load of that golden goodness right there!

I love, love, LOVE her hand writing...


To my dearest Jordie, congrats!
You did it!!!
All the hard work, late nights, BS classes, teachers & coffee was well worth it. 
 I knew one of us was tough enough to stick it out at Long Beach. I am so happy for you, and excited to see where you will go with this under your belt accompanied by all of your ambitions. 
Your passion and creativity is an inspiration, but what I think I admire most is your eager heart.
Not all are blessed with such desire.


We are growing up too fast! But not growing up at all, at the same time :)
You are my kindred spirit, and I miss you so much.

XOXO

My Journey to Preschool

I love my job- that is no surprise. I feel like I say that often :)
Ever since I went on my first mission trip in high school and worked with little kids in Mexico and Guatemala, I knew I would NEVER, EVER spend a single day of my life doing anything less.
My life felt intentional- 
I  found a reason, my reason 
(purpose seems too heavy a word here, for I believe I am here to be a mother)
Isn't that we are all searching for in some shape or form? 
Pretty deep thoughts for a 15 year old; but I have always been an old soul, or so I'm told.
My only question along the way has been by what means will I fulfill my goals, my dreams, and  provide the service I long to give children? In this ENTIRE world, what facet of upbringing a little soul should I focus my education on, build a solid foundation in, and work towards?
hmm.... I contemplated...

Music
youth (teens)
early childhood
Nutrition- specifically the alarming rate of type 2 diabetes in children under 12
foster youth
child abuse prevention
special ed mild, moderate, severe?


I mean seriously, who doesn't want their daily routine "job" to be something they truly, genuinely love?! I was determined to make a decision and stick with it. It only took me a few years, changing majors more than I care to tell, 3 colleges, and 2 pivotal jobs, to figure out what exactly I wanted to go to school for. Ironically, I landed a wonderful job in the school district before most of the schooling. 
Things don't always go according to plan, at least not my plans. 
Thank heavens for that :)

It is my current job that has made it ever so clear to me what I want to do, educationally. Not only will it benefit me in the work world, but also tremendously as a mother. Which as I mentioned before is priority number one! You see, I am a Para-educator, an aid for kids with special needs of all kinds, a behavioral analyst. 
We use a method called Applied Behavior Analysis primarily for students with autism, but it is used for a wide variety of students. Autism is what I have been working with most.

Behavior analysis focuses on the principles that explain how learning takes place. Positive reinforcement is one such principle. When a behavior is followed by some sort of reward, the behavior is more likely to be repeated. Through decades of research, the field of behavior analysis has developed many techniques for increasing useful behaviors and reducing those that may cause harm or interfere with learning.

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the use of these techniques and principles to bring about meaningful and positive change in behavior.


I have the pleasure of engaging with 3 - 4 year olds all day and positively reinforcing them for every good thing they do; and simply ignoring the undesired behaviors, or 'attention seeking' behaviors. Unless of course what they are doing is about to harm themselves or another. It is loads of fun, however some days are more... onerous than others. Ignoring a child hiding under a table whistling at you and yelling "yoo hoo look at me where did I go?" can only be done with grace for so long...  
My patience threshold has quadrupled, I will shamelessly admit my patience is admirable.
It is a trait I have always treasured, and now I know why I was given it.

The good lord knew I was going to need it!


I start my Bachelors and credential program on October 1st. I couldn't be more excited! No decision has been as effortless and easy as this one, well, except for when Bentley asked me to marry him.
I am so passionate about the importance of this age with all that is developing in our brains. I am predominately fascinated by Italian Philosophies on Early Childhood Ed. having gone to a Montessori preschool myself I have a little first hand experience :) 
I cant wait to keep learning about it and see where my adventures take me!

More to come on my journeys in Preschool and online credentialing!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Better Together


Better Together

***Just to make this very clear,  my sweet sweet husband wrote this entry on his website under the journal tab found here! I love his way with words; it's what makes him such a wonderful musician, speaker, communicator, and friend.***

Having just celebrated our 1-Year Anniversary, "Better Together" has definitely been on my mind… And not just Jack's song, but the concept in general… Personally, I have found how true it really is… The fact that we are better in pairs. We are better people, when we have someone lifting us, who will in turn need us to lift them from time to time. Just like it reminds us in many of the verses of Proverbs and Psalms, everything is better when we stick together. My smile could not be any bigger right now, knowing what "Together" means for me and my wife, Michelle… But not "Till Death Do You Part"… I'm talking about the knowledge that our marriage is an eternal one… Signed, sealed, delivered… We're together. =:o)
Much Better TogetherIn early October, I have the great opportunity of performing the song "Better Together", for the directors of all the major Non-Profit Organizations, Churches, Service & Humanitarian Aid Companies and Businesses in our fine County of San Luis Obispo. The Event is called "The SLO Public Affairs Luncheon", and I am deeply honored that they would ask me to cover the music during their slide-show for all the "movers & shakers" of the County.
While preparing for this event, I realized that although the song they chose has the perfect theme in the chorus, the verses don't go with the atmosphere of a County coming together to help each other. So I rewrote the majority of the words… Hope Jack doesn't mind. =:o)

"When it comes to me and you, and all the things we have to do, I believe it can be true, that we can help each other through.
As we watch our children play, embracing each new day, we can lead them on their way, by all we do and all we say.
Yeah, It's always better when we're together! We love to live & work & play & stay together
Yeah, it's always better when we're together! Yeah, it's so much better when we're together!"

"If we look, we'll always find a way to improve the lives of others, to bring some joy to all our Sisters and our Brothers. 
So look within to find the tools you'll need tomorrow, cause you never know just what another will need to borrow. 
Yeah, It's always better when we're togetherWe're movin' on & building bridges here together!
Yeah, It's always better when we're together! Yeah, it's so much better when we're together!"

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Murdock Family Reunion

better late than never :)
The Murdock Family Reunion was a blast. I am so so happy to be in this family. 
The quality and quantity of people are astounding, seriously!

Let me break it down for you

2 wonderful parents- Mama Mimi and Papa G gave birth to
8 boys
1 girl - Melynne (sis in law, is one tough girl)
9 spouses and
28 grandchildren later with more to come! (2 of the Murdock families havent even STARTED having kids yet, Bentley and I included.)
a couple ATV's, guns, bows and arrows, a razor, mud, face paint, birthdays, music, home cooked meals and some hot chocolate in the great outdoors. . .
= a recipe for one heck of a good time if you ask me :) 

My family is very small, one brother, nana and papa, a handful of cousins and a few aunts and uncles. I can comfortably say that changed the moment I married my Murdock Man! I am now an aunt and a sister to other sisters for the first time :)

His parents have a beautiful cabin up in Duck Creek Utah, thats in souther Utah near Cedar City. It was custom built by the previous owners to be their little retirement home, but some things happened to them and their plans changed. That is how Mimi and George landed such a wonderful cabin in the woods. Since there are so many of us they rented the cabin on either side of thiers' to house everyone, and keep us a short ATV ride away from one another. 
It was a full on block party! 

Mimi planned this for months, she even set the date a year out so everyone would be able to make arrangements with work and get the time off. She is wonder woman, ask anyone! Meals, food and activities for little ones were well thought out and prepped. She put together an itinerary to let everyone one know who was responsible for what, when, and where.
with this amount of people an organized plan is a necesity! 
Mimi is no stranger to organized Chaos :)
life story?
 'Croaky' the Horny Toad

 living room

 saddle up :)


 THE RAZOR... aka golf cart on roids




splittin' wood


 fleece blanket making for a homeless shelter for women in Vegas, one of Mimis' wonderful ideas

 face painting with Alana

 gun safety with Mckay

 final product after a busy morning choppping

 
too many July birthdays to count :)

 


I melt at moments like these.... 
and thank heavenly father for moments like these....

 
Bentleys surprise birthday dinner upstairs 

 my first swiss army knife, thanks bentley, you are such an eagle scout :)

 more birthday goodies...


 
Atticus, seriously cute 

Sloppy night- no utensils with dinner, the kids were looking forward to this forever!!! 
Grayson took full advantage of the opportunity.

Baby Asia, newest addition (at the time) we have had another birth in the family since the reunion! :D





Malia, gorgeous girl.




Too many 6 packs to count! Where do they put it all?




cant get enough of these guys!

XOXO

Monday, September 10, 2012

365 days of happiness



Our first anniversary  
wait, what?!?
this has been the fastest & funnest year of my life so far-
Thanks Bent
for all that you do
all that you are
all that is
ours



you wash the dishes... all the time :) seriously thank you for that!
rub my feet
take care of A LOT of busy work I don't like to do
go above and beyond to show me your appreciation
tickle my back
play with my hair
bring home flowers for no reason, often :)
you sing me to sleep- LOVE LOVE LOVE that!
remind me to be nice to myself when I am being too self critical...
leave me sweet nothings in the form of love letters and art all over the house


you open my eyes everyday to this reality we call our life, I still feel like is a dream
How did I get so lucky?


typical bentley and michelle right here. 
G. Brothers Smokehouse BBQ to go (they catered for us), fortune cookies, and limonada con soda under the Gazebo at Mitchel Park. 
Our little space in SLO, the one where we held our ring ceremony.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Love, weddings, and our very own special day!


Tomorrow is our one year anniversary! I can not believe how fast time has flown by. A year ago today we were landing in Honolulu, rushing to get our marriage license to be on our merry way to the temple the following morning :) 

I remember thinking, wow even BORING buildings like the health department are gorgeous! 




















I always wanted to get married on one of the hawaiian islands; my parents were married on Kona in flip-flops, a flowery print dress with only a stranger as their witness. I always hoped my wedding would be something like that when I found my other half. 
Simple, Small, and Sunny :) 

We fortunately had bentleys parents with us to celebrate our union!
We had all the sunshine anyone could have asked for.
I even wore my mothers flowery dress, 
and her white temple dress from her sealing.





Oh and don't think we missed out celebrating with friends and family as well!
We had TWO receptions (we know how to do it right!) one in Utah and a ring ceremony/reception in Cali





We are so blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives, they made our receptions possible.























This month we had the pleasure of going to two weddings back to back already! 
Nothing like celebrating the commencement of loved ones' marriages to remind you of your very own special day.

yes we know our kids will have crazy curls!

Looking forward to tomorrow, reminiscing all day long with my best friend.
Photo credit to Mike Prior !

Monday, September 03, 2012

there really is no better way to start the day

I am all snuggled up on the couch with some hot apple cider vinegar, honey and lemon enjoying this beautiful Labor day monday morning. My husband and I hiked Bishops peak again, this time for sunrise. We prefer the sunrise hike more than the sunset hike. It is just a little more rewarding :) 
AND I don't feel half as lazy for sitting on the couch in jamies at 10 
(which is rather late for me) 
I feel more like I earned it :)


Is this seriously where I live?!

April Dean Instagramming away :)

 tripod pose

Somebody Pinch ME!



Being above the clouds, fog, and everything else for that matter truly feels magical. 
Like being in an airplane as a kid for the first time. 
Bentley and I LOVE this hike, not too long but not a quick one either. Before we started 'officially' dating we hiked this nearly four times a week! 
Don't get me wrong its an awesome trail, but I know we were just crazy about each other and wanted any excuse to spend as much time with one another as possible.


Here we are almost a year later,
No excuses needed...



Happy Monday 
XOXO