Monday, November 29, 2010

"Music Librarian" is an understatement...

Today I celebrate my job at Arts Incorporated (click to go to the website).  My trumpet professor owns this arts management business and graciously offered me a job a couple years ago.  I filled the position of “music librarian,” but have also been asked to complete the following tasks:

-give the birds a bath
-feed the birds
-feed the fish
-give the birds medicine
-entertain the cats
-locate the cats (usually followed by disciplining them)
-take the smashed and soggy box that the no-longer-living fish came in to the post office to see what they can do about it
-water plants
-take videos and photos of various events
-record official office voicemail greeting
-help create inserts for CD’s (professionally recorded ones to sell)

These, of course, are in addition to tasks such as creating music lists and folders, repairing parts, filing music, organizing the music libraries of the various ensembles, etc., etc.

I feel like I’m living the quote, “Variety is the spice of life!”  I love all the unique experiences this job presents.  My favorite random task is playing with the cats (yep – I’m a cat person).  There have been instances in which I was unable to work because a cat had decided my computer keyboard is the "purr"fect spot to roll around and get attention.  I don’t complain…  : )

Sorry it's blurry...hopefully you get the idea.

: )  He found this nap spot all by himself.

Hope you've enjoyed hearing about this wonderful workplace!  Let me know if you have any questions... 

Spicily (is that a word?),

Favorites of the day:
the 99-cent clothing sale at Goodwill (I forgot to mention it this weekend)
not having to worry about finals!  (don't mean to rub it in, dearest student readers)
the young adult Bible study I attend!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Decorating the Coop

I'm so thankful to have such a great family and to be able to spend time with them during the holidays!  It was a wonderful Thanksgiving full of food, football, music, and games!  We're a big game/card-playing family, and we all laughed so much it hurt on more than one occasion the past couple of days.  : )

Here is a picture of my first Thanksgiving decorations (I inherited them from my grandma's cousin this weekend):

I'd planned on putting up Christmas decorations when I got back to my place today, but much to my dismay, I don't have many decorations of my own!  I should've had mom and dad bring some of mine from home this weekend, but even then, I don't know that they would do the trick.  I'm used to having 3 other roommates to contribute decorations...not the case this year!

SO, I ask you, dear readers: Where should I look to build my decoration collection?

This is the perfect opportunity to give you a glimpse into my coop!  I'm living in a refurbished chicken coop on my aunt and uncle's farm-ish property north of town.  They added onto and refurbished the existing chicken coop a few years ago and have been renting it out to people ever since.  I'm so glad they saved it for me after the last tenant moved out - it's perfect for this time in my life!!  Take a peek:

Here's the south side.  You can see the original coop - it's the shorter roof at the back. 
The front side in this shot is the "new addition."

This is the kitchen.  You could've probably figured that out on your own.

The view of the living room from the kitchen.  This room has changed since the picture was taken - now, there's a bigger TV, the couch and table are at a diagonal, and there's a large plant by the window.

This was taken from the north end, so it's the original coop.  Yes, that is a wood-burning stove.  I have yet to use it.  Also, notice the music corner - it's grown since this picture was taken.  : )

Yes, there's more to it, but you get the idea.  If you want to see more, you'll just have to come visit!  Now that you've seen the place, maybe you can give me some ideas on how to decorate and with what.  Thanks in advance!


Favorites of the day:
college football (namely, Husker football)
the holiday season

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Out of the mouths of babes...

One of the jobs I've been blessed with is to nanny (once or twice a week) for a 1-yr.-old girl (MA) and 3-yr.-old boy (JP).  They are part of a wonderful family, and I'm so thankful they have welcomed me into their home and lives.

A day spent with JP, especially, is never dull.  I've kept a list of some things he's done and said, and would like to share them with you! 

  • While we're stopped for a snack on our walk, he said, "When you love your best friend, you kiss them!" and proceeded to kiss my hand three times.  (It's moments like these that more than make up for some of his less desirable actions.)
  • hangabugers = hamburgers
  • I was listening in on him playing with some animals.  It was time for them to go to bed, and his narration went as follows:  "When the sun settles, they all have to go to sleep." (pause) "SUN’S UP!!"
  • “for your shirt can’t get dirty” = apron
  • As we’re making cherry turnovers, he leans in, gives me a side hug, and says, “I love my Kensy!”
  • Conversation while we were "cooking" in the play kitchen on my birthday:
    JP: Are you having a party later at your house?
    Me: Umm....maybe.  (I wasn't, but thought that might rock his world.)
    JP: You GOTTA have one!  Here - I'll make you a cake and we'll have a party.  (They have a plastic birthday cake, but he really "made" me a cake by stacking other random pieces of plastic food.)
  • fishing wand = fishing pole/rod
  • As he’s bringing out the Mr. Potato Head box, “Want to play Mashed Potatoes?!”
  • Uncle Donald's = McDonald's  (No, he doesn't have an uncle Donald.)
  • Conversation as we were playing cars ("racing" them, actually):
    JP: What's this?  A milk truck?
    Me: No, it's an ambulance.
    JP: What's that?
    Me: It takes sick people to the hospital.
    -about 5 minutes pass...we're still playing cars-
    JP: (urgently) Get your people in the amblience!
    Me: What people?
    JP: The people in your cars!
    Me: Why?
    JP: They're sick - they need to go to the hostipal!
    (Please look closely at the bolded words.)
  • 1-yr.-old MA just as precious, she just isn't talking, yet.  She's getting very close, though!  Examples:
    • I mentioned she's started saying "Ta-da!" which comes out as "Ba-Baa!" with the proper vocal inflections.
    • She'll instruct you to "Shh!" when her babies are sleeping, complete with a finger raised to the mouth.
    • For "yes," she says "Mmm hmmm!" with the pitch of her voice escalating at the end of the "hmmm!"
  • While I was doing a floor puzzle with JP yesterday, MA walked over and started rubbing my back and peeking around to smile at me while she did so. 

Needless to say, I love spending time with these children.  It makes the wait till I have my own much more bearable.  haha  : )

I hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving with lots of food, fun, and family (and safe travels and football and no conscience about calories)!


Favorites of the day:
the fact that my family is on their way to pick me up on their way to g'ma and g'pa's farm!
friends, new and old

Monday, November 22, 2010

Harris Music Studio (and more!)

What a weekend! 

A dear friend was in town for the music educator's convention, so I got to spend some quality time with her, AND I got to spend some time with a few NWU trumpeters, because I played herald trumpets with them for the Elizabethan Feast the Wesleyan Chamber Singers (and company) put on each year.  I've done this for the last 4 years, and they needed extra help, so of course I agreed to take part in it (to be with friends, yes, but also because we get to partake in the feast when we're done!).

Perhaps the most noteworthy event, though, was the Harris Music Studio (this is a different color because it's a link to the website - check it out!) Second Annual Faculty Recital.  I feel so blessed to be a part of this group of people for so many reasons.  This blessing was affirmed in the time we spent sharing our talents with each other, our students, and the rest of the audience.  (Before the faculty recital in the evening, we gave a "Wedding Preview" recital of musical selections commonly performed at weddings.  If you're interested in finding out more about this, let me know!)  I wasn't sure how many of my students would be in attendance, but was pleasantly surprised to see the majority of them there! 

I played a piano and flugelhorn solo (not at the same time) and the bass part to a cool jazz flute piece on keyboard.  It was great to have a reason to get "back in shape" and perform!

It was also nice to be able to converse with the faculty and continue to get to know everyone.  We don't get the chance to have much conversation past "Hi!  How are you?"  "Good, and you?" when we see each other between lessons, so the opportunity to have some real conversation was appreciated.

SO, there you have it - a glimpse into my life for the past few days!  : )  I hope your weekend was wonderful and the week is off to a great start!

Musically yours,

P.S. The spell check said "flugelhorn" was spelled wrong and suggested I use "flagellation" instead.  I'm a little bit offended...

Favorites of the day:
the $9.99 Friends seasons on DVD I just got on (there are some great pre-Black Friday deals there!)
Oprah's last "Favorite Things" show - yep, it was on today
Pillsbury crescent rolls 

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Well, I didn’t receive any calls or cards in the mail commemorating the 1-week anniversary of my blog, so I guess I’ll have to eat this celebratory cake I made all by lonesome:

haha - just kidding.  : )  I would, however, like to thank you who have been reading!  Let me know if there's anything in particular you'd like to hear about!

Something I would genuinely like to celebrate today is the school where I did my student teaching, Lincoln Christian School.  I feel sooo blessed to have had the opportunity to fulfill my student teaching experience there, and am even more thankful to be able to continue my relationship with them as a substitute teacher!  I was there today filling in for the music teachers and had so much fun!  During one of the periods, I had part of both the high school band and choir.  We had an awesome rehearsal of the Christmas piece they'll be performing for the finale of their concert in a month.  Plus, it was a teacher food day (once a month, teachers all bring food to share for lunch)!  By chance, I have subbed on every teacher food day they've had this year.  What could be better?!

I hope you are able to find a reason to celebrate each day!


Favorites of the day:
LCS students and staff
NMEA Music Educators Convention bringing friends to town!  : )

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Growing Up

I don’t know if it’s due to my recent college graduation, my age, or what, but lately I’ve been inundated (anyone remember the day Mr. Stahly discovered that word?) with “adult” experiences and the feeling that time is passing faster than I can handle.  Don’t worry – I’ve come prepared with examples to validate my statement:
-       I did the math the other day (in my head – it took like 2 seconds), and realized I’ve lived a quarter of my life. 
-       The newborns I once baby-sat are in middle school.
-       Other youngsters I baby-sat are now baby-sitting the babies I used to watch (whose ages are approaching double-digits).
-       I attended 4 weddings this summer/fall…the couples getting married were my classmates.
-       I’m pretty sure some of the parents of the preschoolers in the music class I taught this summer were my age…or younger.
-       About half of the young adult Bible study I joined this fall is made up of married, engaged, or seriously dating couples (no, I am not in this half).  Don’t get me wrong – I love it – it’s just much different than the college-age Bible studies I just came from in that we discuss topics such as money, finding jobs, and starting a family rather than homework stress and busy schedules.
-       I no longer introduce myself as “Kensy, a (insert college grade level) Music Education major from Topeka, KS.”  Instead, people ask what I do for a living, if I’m married, and if I have kids.
Don’t get me wrong – I love and am content with where I am in life right now, and I realize this is how life goes.  I’m just making some general observations and though I’d share. 

It’s interesting to think back to what I thought my life would look like at this age when I was younger. For example, when asked in 6th grade where we saw ourselves in ten years, I answered “done with college, married, starting a family.” I’d accomplished one of those goals within the time limit. In high school, I think I still assumed my 6th grade prediction would come true, but I was more concerned with graduatingand “starting a new chapter in my life.”  About this time last year, I had no idea what the next fall would bring.  Throughout my senior year, I went through phases of being ok with the unknown and being very worried/concerned/scared about what would come next (those closest to me can definitely attest to this).  I kept reciting Matthew 6:34, though, and fully trusted that God had it all under control.  Surprise! – He did.  : ) 

In honor of this post, I’d like to invite you on a trip down memory lane with me. I’m sharing a link to the website I created in our Music Tech class at the beginning of my senior year at NWU.  On it, you’ll find videos and recordings of some of my performances, various college papers and narrative about them, my (old) résumé and future plans, my senior statement, etc.  It’s so interesting to look back on things like this, even though I created it all fairly recently.  Let me know if you have any feedback!

May you always be young at heart,

Favorites of the day:
Making chicken noodle soup and having a good ol’ family dinner with great friends last night
My electric blanket

Monday, November 15, 2010

Gooey Bars

I had a little bit of an epiphany about my passion for grocery shopping:

My family almost always ran errands on Sundays after church.  Our first stop was usually Sam’s Club, where we pretty much had a lunch of samples.  We had fun trying to make mom deter from her list – haha!  It was also a ritual to go through the Sunday ads and find coupons, etc.  These are such fond memories – perhaps I’m subconsciously trying to recreate them in my own grocery excursions.  : )

Ok – as promised, the recipe.  I think this was originally my grandma’s (on my dad’s side) recipe, but my mom makes them enough that I may end up attributing it to her.  Either way, they’re delish!  Even my cream-cheese-disliking brother likes them (and he even knows what’s in them!):

Gooey Bars

1 box yellow cake mix
½ c. butter
1 egg

Mix together and press into a greased 9x13 pan.

1 8-oz. package cream cheese
2 eggs
3 ½ c. powdered sugar

Blend together and spread over cake mixture.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Hope you enjoy them if you try them - let me know!


P.S.  I’ve decided to wait on the detox thing.  I WILL do it, eventually, but after seeing the grocery list and my schedule for the week, I’m going to hold off till I have a little more flexibility (and money for all those healthy foods).

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Grocery Shopping

I love grocery shopping.  Really.  I don’t know what it is about it, but I genuinely enjoy going to the grocery store (namely HyVee).  I’m a coupon-clipper (thanks to my mom), and peruse the ads before stepping foot into the store.  Call me crazy, but I find great satisfaction in getting something I need (or a treat) for a fraction of its original price.

Did you know that you can sign up for “mobile alerts” from HyVee?!  So far, these alerts have been amazing coupons.  Last week was a half-gallon of OJ for $.49, and this week was a pound of hamburger for $.59.  You should sign up!

By the way, while we’re discussion my love of bargain shopping, I got flip-flips at Old Navy yesterday for $.47!  Nope, that is not a typo – I really got them for forty-seven CENTS!!  Now, I don’t feel bad about throwing out some of my old, grungy pairs.

In honor of the season’s first snow (it happened a couple days ago), I’d like to share a tip I read my Rachael Ray magazine last month.  I haven’t tried this, yet, but I sure hope it works:

Mix 3 parts water with 1 part white vinegar, pour into a spray bottle, and spray on your windshield at night to ward off the morning frost.

Speaking of the Rachael Ray magazine – I LOVE it!  If you haven’t checked it out, and you like fun (and lots of other great adjectives) magazines, you should look it up or ask me if you can borrow a couple of mine!  It’s a cooking, travel, life, shopping, and lots of other things magazine all in one!  I also just love Rachael Ray (and the Food Network!!!).  In some class, at some point in my education, we were asked to name a famous person as our alter ego.  I chose Rachael Ray.  I don’t know that I fully understood what “alter ego” meant – all I knew was that people told me I look and act like her…and I love to cook (and bake, which she doesn’t really like to do).  In fact, I’m making a dessert for a luncheon tomorrow…I’ll share the recipe once I decide what to make!

Here’s a link to Rachael’s website:

That’s all for now.  Enjoy the rest of your Sunday! 

To God be the glory,

Favorites of the day:
Fresh raspberries (yep - they were on sale)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Share and Tell (or Tell and Share)

Have I mentioned that I love what I do?  Part of this love stems from the fact that on a cold, rainy day like today, I can stay curled up under my electric blanket till I'm fully ready to brave the chilled air outside of my cocoon.  (No, this does not happen every day, but I sure take advantage of the days it does!)

Today I'm nearly bursting at the seams to share a couple of my favorite Youtube videos.  I know everyone and their dog share countless Youtube sites and videos every day, but I've run across a few in the last week that are definitely worth jumping on the bandwagon for!  (I know you're not supposed to end a sentence with a preposition, but I'm going to leave that one as is.)

I've recently become infatuated with the music (and lead vocalist) of the group Boyce Avenue.  They seem like truly genuine guys, and their talent is real.  I also love their covers (especially Just the Way You Are, Teenage Dream, and Dynamite).  Check them out!

Now it's time for a confession:  I watch Glee.  I'm not impressed by the moral structure of the show lately, but the music keeps me watching.  I nearly swooned at this:

I could listen to (good) a capella men's voices for the rest of my life...

A good friend shared the following video with me yesterday, and I honestly think it's my favorite of all time!!  I love little/miniature/cute things...that's the only reason I can come up with for liking this one so much.  It's funny, too...and sweet...and endearing...just watch it.  : )

And last, but not least, here is something I'm going to challenge myself to do.  A friend drew my attention to this FREE opportunity (you'll quickly learn of my love of free things), and I'm going to try my best to take advantage of it.  I'm posting this not only to hold myself accountable to doing this (maybe not exactly on the dates it's being offered, but SOMEtime), but I also wanted to give any of you readers the opportunity to sign up before the deadline, in case you'd like to try it, too!

Okey dokey - that's all for now!  Have a lovely weekend!

Favorites of the day:
These videos (duh)
Chocolate milk (it was on sale this week, so I treated myself)

Thursday, November 11, 2010


The 1-yr.-old I nanny for just started repeating "ta-da!" whenever anyone says it, and I could just hear her exclaiming it as I typed the title of this post.

Anyway...Hello, my name is Kensy!   I've decided not to use this first post for introductory purposes.  Instead, I hope you will get to know me through my future posts, etc.  (I also created a profile that tells a little about me...I think you can find it to the left of the page.)

For those of you who already know me, blogging may seem a little uncharacteristic, though I've been known to do more surprisingly uncharacteristic things.  I don't really have an explanation or reason for starting this, except that I just want to try it!  I'm not an avid blog-reader, nor have I ever written one myself (unless you count Xanga...and I wouldn't, considering I used it for probably a month in 7th grade, and it's now lost in cyberspace because I don't remember my username or password).  I do, however, feel that I express myself best through writing, though I don't currently do so on a regular basis.  Also, I'm not the best at keeping in touch with long-distance relatives and friends, so I think this might be a good way to keep them updated on what's going on in my life.

Because every day brings new and different opportunities and experiences for me, I'd really like to share them with as many people as possible.  Perhaps not everyone will find value or meaning in the same things I do, but the possibility that someone will is reason enough to share, in my opinion.

SO, welcome to my blog, thanks for reading, I appreciate you, etc., etc.  I'm excited to see where this journey leads!


P.S. I often ask my students about their favorite part of the week/day, etc.  I'd like to include something to that effect in each of my posts.  Here's the first:

Favorites of the day: 
Bath & Body Works' "Cranberry Woods" candle
Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese