Monday, March 30, 2009

Small Acts of Kindness

I am sure we have all heard that small, habitual acts of kindness are the greatest acts of all. Well I just thought I would testify that I believe that. A little note, a smile, or simple small gift for no apparent reason....those are the greatest acts of kindness of all. It is the smallest things in life that bring the greatest encouragement and happiness to the life of another. Well all that to say, that Saturday night Paul gave me these beautiful flowers for no apparent reason at all. I think they are absolutely beautiful!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bowling Blast!

March 24th was a day that 4 happy dating couples have been looking forward to with much anticipation. At 6:00pm the 4 some: Alex and Shantel, Julian and Liz, Paul and I , and Tyler and Mary piled into a van and headed to Inmans.

We had a great time. We played girls against the guys. It was actually pretty close, but I am sure that was just because the girls had bumpers and the guys didn't. But, hey, nothing is wrong with helps build my ego. You know, I never got one gutter!

However, the guys did still beat, Liz, Shantel, Mary, and I. From the looks of this picture, I think they were pretty impressed with themselves too.

After bowling two games, we went to Culvers to eat. Sorry Paul, but I have just got to share with everyone what you did....yes, Paul Hoover dropped an ice cream cone right in my lap; I had ice cream all over my skirt. He felt awful when I showed him what a big spot he had made on my nice clean jean skirt. However, what Paul didn't realize was that just 2 minutes before, while he was getting a drink, I had already spilt ice cream all over my skirt. I quickly tried to clean it up, but it just wouldn't come out of my skirt. "Oh man" I thought. "This is so noticeable what am I going to do? Paul is certainly going to notice this right away." But, low and behold, Paul came and spilt ice cream on my lap. Truthfully I was kinda glad he did, now I had someone else to blame it on. He wouldn't even know about my clumsy moment.... So thank you Paul for spilling on me. :)

After, eating, Mr. Armacost took us over to his house. We played Taboo. Once again the girls against the guys. However, this time, no matter how hard the guys tired, no matter how much the guys cheated- the girls won. Girls are naturally better at games that involve talking... At 11:00 we said our goodbyes, and four couples went home happier than they arrived.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I'm praying for you

Have you ever come to a time, when you feel completely at loss of words? You want to say something, but what should you say? I have helped on a bus route for about 4 years now. I love my bus route. I have learned so much from working with the kids that come into church. Well, one family in particular, has captured my attention. The oldest boy's name is Robert. He is about 13 or so. He is a riot. He is a good boy, he liked to help lead the singing etc...on the bus. You see, he was just too old to sit with the rest of the kids, he was a helper not a "bus kid." The second child is Nyah. She is about 10. She has always been one of my favorites. She is really sweet and funny. The youngest, is Marley. Who is 8. Well, several weeks ago, these children's father shot himself in the head, right in front of young Marley. I'm sure you can only imagine the problems these kids are now going through. I still have not seen Robert at all, so I do not know how he is handling it all. But when Nyah and Marley began riding the bus again, I have to admit, I was kinda nervous. Should I act the same to them- should I continue to be the funny and cheerful Miss Brookey they have known me as, should I tell them I am praying for them. should I asked them how they are really doing? I decided to just be the same. It was the easiest thing to do. Well, just the other day, Nyah came running up to me all excited. Miss Brooke! Miss Brooke! Guess what! I am going to choose one person ,and start really praying for them. "Oh you ,who are you going to pray for Nyah?" Well, Miss Brooke...I'm praying for you! I was taken back. After all this girl had gone through... she was praying for me? Tears weld in my eyes. "Well Nyah, I am certainly praying for you too!" I learned an important lesson, from a child who rides my bus to church. A child who has only been saved for a few short months. A child who was a real encouragement to me. If I am ever at loss of words, just simply say "I'm praying for you." It means more than I can ever imagine. Those four words, bring such comfort. Next time, I am at a loss of words, perhaps someone is going through something hard, the best thing to say is , "I'm praying for you"

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My 4th Grade Sunday School Teacher

My 4th grade Sunday school teacher was an amazing woman. I will never forget the many contests she had. If I could go for 3 months saying my verse every week and bringing my Bible etc..I would get a book. I still have several books from her. She helped me learn the importance of memorizing the Bible and hiding God's Word in my heart. She taught me that God's Word is the most important book in the whole world, but she also encouraged me to read..GOOD books about GOOD christian people. I will never forget some of her simple Bible stories she taught. I remember her teaching about Jacob and Esau. The story of when Esau's birthright was sold for a bowl of "stew." She then brought a pot of stew, and we all got to eat it. I thought that was awesome! On another occasion she brought breakfast for the entire class. She definitely won my heart through the food! But as I look back over all my Sunday School teachers, my 4th grade teacher was definitely the most influential. She was not deep, she was a very simple teacher. But she definitely got her point across to me. God's Word is the most important book! Tomorrow I will attend the funeral of my most beloved Sunday school teacher. A woman who truly loved her class of 3o girls. A woman who gave her whole heart to her students. A woman who now with Jesus...looking down from heaven cheering me on.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Just one of those days was definitely just one of those days...those days where I sit back and wonder whether it would have been best if I would have just stayed in my bed. I started off the day in Biological of my favorite classes this year. I sat between my best friend and Paul....a perfect scenario...what could possibly go wrong. Then, low and behold, I look down and see it... Yes, indeed, I had one brown clog on and one brown high heeled shoe on. I was in shock...Earlier that morning I had tried both shoes on to see which looked better with my outfit, and apparently I forgot to come to a descion of which I liked I wore one of each. Christina, Paul, and I could not help but crack up laughing. After school, I went straight to work, what could go wrong here? I have the ideal job. However, while at work, I managed to get tackled by Grace, loose by balance and fall on my knees, get stepped on my Even, and get dis-invited to um...maybe 5 birthday parties. Then some how in the midst of the day, I must have breathed on Sarah. (my bad) "Miss Brooke, you just breathed on me....Stop breathing" I went on to explain that if people stop breathing they will die. " Miss Brooke, I think I know that... now stop breathing would ya!" So yes, today was definitely just one of those days.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Nicole

On March 15th, twenty-two years ago, Nicole Elizabeth LaBate was born. And I am so glad she was. :) Nicole is the best big sister anyone could ever ask for. She is all that I ever wanted to be and more. She definitely got the brains in the family. Her nick name if "Miss 4.0"...yes she has gotten a 4.0 grade point average (and if you wondering the answer is NO- I haven't) But beyond her brains and beauty she is so much more...she is my best friend. Nicole has always been there for me, through thick and thin. I can recall many times when someone would hurt me or saying something bad about me...Nicole without thinking would go marching over to them and give them a piece of her mind. That is Nicole for you! She is so much fun. When we are together we can laugh and laugh for hours upon hours. I remember looking forward, with much anticipation, to the nights when I would get to sleep in her room. Those were definitely late night full of giggles and secrets. I no longer sleep with her in her room. However I still look forward to every chance I have, to sneak in her room and just talk to her while she goes about her regular morning routine. I simply love everything about Nicole! I remember when I first entered the youth group how scared I was. Everyone was so much bigger than I was. I was so shy and awkward, how would people treat me? I soon realized I had nothing to fear, after all every knew I was "Nicole's little sis" and surprisingly they treated me well. They knew better than to pick on me. Even the teachers called me "Nicole", or "Nicole's sister." In high school I remember one of my good friends telling me she wished she had an older sister like Nicole. I was at that time that I truly began to realize how lucky I really was. It is not every day that the best big sister in the whole wide world is born, you know. Today, as I look back over my life, I see through everything, good and bad times alike, a big sis standing there beside me. Whether I fell skiing and twisted my ribs, or I was to scared to make my store purchases by myself, or walking into a classroom getting ready to give my first sister has been there through it all. Quite frankly, I have never done much of anything without her. And I like it that way. I am very proud to be "Nicole's little sis."

Happy 22nd Nicki

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Day at Work...Sarah

I am a teacher at Wee Care Child Developement Center, and I absolutly love my job. I love everything about it, I love reading to my kiddies, doing art projects, singing, and just listening to them talk. I work with the 3- 5 years olds. They are all so energetic, and full of life. I adore them all. Now, I don't know if it is wrong for teachers to have favorites. I personally don't think it is wrong, I mean, I really can't help it. I am naturally drawn to some kids over the others. Of course I would like the naughty, cute, energetic kids, over the good quiet ones. Some of my very favorites include, Sarah, Olivia, Gracie, Julius, Evan, and Faith. But today, I would like to introduce you to Sarah. Sarah is 3 years old; she claims to be 4, but as the teacher....I know otherwise. She is the most interesting child I have ever met. She is not a typical 3 year old, to say the least. She does something everyday to make me smile. If I am ever having a bad day, Sarah is always there to cheer me up. She is very blunt, (she will say what she thinks, and sometimes it is not in my best interest. She has told me on more than one ocassion that I look fat in my outfit or I don't look too cute today) ,but she is also very sweet (she will just come up to cuddle and say I love you.) Let me give some examples of my little Sarah. We were coming in from playing outside one day, she was taking her sweet little time coming in, so I picked her up, "Come on Sarah!" "Miss Brooke, my name is not Sarah, I am a little pig...and this little pig is going to bite you!" Yes..that is Sarah for you. Or I could tell you about the hot day in August when little Sarah brought mittens to school , and insisted on wearing them all day, yes, even outside. Well today, Sarah was crawling around the room; she insisted that she was a cat. She was traveling along meowing and rubbing up against my legs, seeking my attention. I proceeded to get out my camera out to video tape her...then it happened...Dominic came over grabbed her little face and then he gave her a big ol' kiss. She was in shock at first, then she looked at me in terror as if to say, "Miss Brooke aren't you going to do something about this?" I shut off the camera ( if only I had kept videoing...) Then little Sarah burst into tears, "Miss..Miss Brooke, Dominic..he..he just kissed me....get away from me Dominic..get away." Today, was just a normal day at work...but every day, the kids give me a reason to smile. They help me to see the joy in little things. I love my job!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Volleyball Marathon

Wow- I cannot believe it. My first VBM is over. I had been looking forward to it all year, and now it is over. I had a great time. I only played app. 45 min. of volleyball. You see, I have never been much of a volleyall player, but I was greatly discouraged from playing, when I was plowed over. Both I and another guy decided to run for the same ball...he got there faster...he hit the ball swung his arm back and hit me right in the neck. Yep- He pretty much cut off my circulation for about 30 sec. And that pretty much helped me come to the conclusion that I would spend my time doing other things. And I did just that...who says Volleyball Marathon has to be spent playing volleyball? From then on I spent the night playing games, playing ping pong with Paul, or just talking with my friends and Paul of course. :) I had a lot of fun. ALOT! My shift was from 8:00pm- 12:00am. For those of you who know me know that I am NOT a night owl. I am definitely a morning person; I usually tend to get alittle cranky at night. However, I don't remeber ever being tired. I was having too much fun to be tired! In matter of fact, I don't think I was crabby at all either...I don't think I was, but then again you would have to ask one of my friends.... This past week was one of much fun, excitment, and learning. I am also very glad I was able to spend my first VBM with Nicole, she always makes things a little more exctiting! I am already looking forward to next year...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Close to My Heart

If you only knew how long I have wanted my very own blog. I have been talking about starting one for almost a year now-and now I finally have one! I thought for a while what my very first post should be could be about an interesting day at work (working at a day care, every day is interesting). It could be about my friends, or possibly about school, but I have decided to write about the thing closest to my heart family. I have the most wonderful family in the whole world. I have great parents and two awsome sisters. I do not express my feelings very much and I rarely tell those I care about how much they really mean to me. But, that does not change the way I feel about them. I thought I would take some time to talk about each of my family members:

My Dad: I have a great dad. He is hilarious! He's always there to cheer me up when I have a bad day. He is so much FUN. But more importantly, he is a great leader and example to me. He is a quiet leader. I just look to him, to see what I should do next. He is the kinda man that leads by example. I admire my dad more than any one else on earth.

My Mom: I have a great mom. She is amazing! She is just the type of mother, wife, and lady I want to be like one day. She has a completely opposite personality than i do -she is so sanguine! :) However, all in all I can simply describe her as the Proverbs 31 woman- now than I am getting older I can certanly rise up and call her "blessed."

My Big Sis: Nicole. Nicole is 3 years older than me. she has always been there for me. I remember several times in my life, when classmates were mean to me, she would always be by my side ready to defend me. Over the past two years, Nicole and I have gotten extremely close. She is more than a sister, but my best friend.

My Little Sis: Lauren. Lauren is 3 years younger than me. To sum up Lauren's and my relationship it would be, at times I want to strangle her, but I know I would kill for her." I love lauren so much. We disagree a lot, and we rub each other wrong a lot, but the moment someone says something bad about my little better watch out- they will get it. She is a unique person. She is so energetic, and has a lot of potential.