Out of eight siblings I have one who lives close to me.
And we love having him close.  
He drops anything to help us out (he is so dang patient helping us with all our electronic problems), we love having him for Sunday dinners, and there’s just something good about having your brother close.
He is s spectacular teacher.  I know I’m biased, but really, he’s kind of a legend at his school.  I run into people all the time who adore him.  I get emails from strangers asking for advice in how to get their child in his class.  The principal told Dave that there are 92 third graders and 84 of them requested Josh as a teacher this last year.  And that the ones who didn’t request him were new and simply didn’t know him…yet.
In May Grace and I got to accompany him to an awards ceremony.  He teaches at a charter school.  I think there are eight of them in the West and it was to honor outstanding leadership.

 (Dave was in China and was sad to miss, but I was so glad Grace could be there…we loved it.)

When we sat down for the actual awards ceremony I ready this little blurb about him in the program:

 …and it made my eyes well up with tears.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, he does so much for these kids.  He’s taught 374 kids in his teaching career and sitting there thinking about the ripple effect of his efforts and the impact he’s had in their lives made me just well up with so much gratitude and love for him.  I come across people all the time who’s praise for him is just gushing.

There were nine categories of awards.  “Teacher of the Year” was near the end.  And as they went through each category I just felt more and more love and admiration for that brother of mine.

Finally they got to that category and yes, Josh won.

He was so incredibly gracious accepting that award.

 …and Grace and I sat in the audience hugging in tears.

Here he is with the other winners:

We went home and had ice cream and just basked in the wonder of such a great night.

The next week Lucy had a daddy-daughter date for Activity Days at church.

She was SO excited.

…Until she realized Dave had to be in China that night.

She asked Josh first if he could be her substitute date, but he had some conflicts with school.  We asked around a little…her Grandpa (Dave’s Dad) was out of town too…the Bishop had meetings, even our neighbor was gone.  I told her I could be a good Dad substitute but she told me that just wouldn’t work.  I was a girl after all.

So she opted to take Bo.

Who is a girl too, but somehow in dog form that was ok.  HA!

But I explained that of course Bo couldn’t do the hoedown dance with her and couldn’t be trusted not to wreck havoc on the daddy/daughter night.

At the last minute, that Josh came through for the win.  I guess he rearranged things so that he could be there.

And that Lucy girl glowed with wonder and excitement about that little fact.

 The leaders sent me these pics. of this cute duo:


The third thing I wanted to talk about concerning Josh is is big end-of-the-year party.

He always throws it at our house, and I love it because the parents come with the kids and it is a PARTY I tell you!

 They swim, have a bbq, eat dinner…

…where everyone brings something to create quite a feast.
And then they watch a quite spectacular slide show that Josh puts together (I’m sure it takes endless hours…it’s always so beautifully done).

I love that he totally swims with all the kids.

It’s so fun for my girls (and me) to see him in his element.  

The best thing is how he’s trained these kids so well.  Every single one of them came up to me at some point in the night and shook my hand and told me thank you so much for hosting.

Seriously every single one.

And it’s so fun to get to know the parents who gush on and on about how that brother of mine has changed their child’s life for the better.

Sure love that guy and the impact he is making on the world through teaching.  I know it takes so much patience and work and sometimes frustration, yet he claims it’s the best job in the whole wide world and puts his all into doing the best job he can.

I sure love him.


  1. I always wanted to be either a 3rd or 4th grade teacher…still have regrets about not following through with that. Teachers can make such a positive (or negative) influence on a child's life, he seems like a great teacher. I just feel a little sorry for all the other teachers that all the kids will be disappointed if they get in their class 🙂

  2. What an awesome post and tribute to your Brother! The first thing that comes to mind when ready this is the word Love. He is a special teacher and a special soul that exemplifies love and charity. You are very lucky to have him!!!!!

    1. He's had so many blind dates I think he's "blind-dated-out" if there is such a thing! But really, if there is someone great you have in mind who is local I'm sure he'd be up for it.

  3. What a delightful event and what a blessing to all!!! I adore your wall of quotes! Any tips on creating/printing my own? Did you design it yourself?

  4. Lucky kids to have such a fabulous teacher! As a previous commenter said, teachers (especially those in the younger grades) have such an influence on a child's feelings about education and school.

  5. Out of 12 years of school we always have one teacher that made a huge difference in our lives. Mine was in 10th grade. About 8 years later I met his aunt and uncle out of the blue and I asked them to tell him what a difference he made in my life. We kept in touch, and they did tell him. I was so glad I had that chance to go back and thank that one special teacher. Josh is going to have many former students that will do the same. I know Josh Just a little and he is a great guy with a passion for many things and excels at them all. Tell him I said hello from Idaho! Congratulations on Teacher of the Year!
    Jamie Noto

  6. Hi Shawni…I'm a pretty regular reader of your blog which is a delight and just had to comment on this post as it's a pretty small world in which we live. I recognized the name of the teacher listed below your brother's name as we grew up in the same town and were family friends. I now live in Chicago with my husband and five kids…Keep up the good work in raising your family and sharing some of what you do with us. I also remember seeing your parents books in our home. Congrats to your brother as well, teachers are so important and when they are as involved as your brother seems to be that's something we as parents are thankful for as they stand in our place many times!!

  7. Well, I'm tearing up reading this wonderful tribute. I know how hard it is to be a teacher (have multiple friends in teaching) and how little recognition they get for all the effort and love they put in.
    My life was impacted by teachers who care. Who push, and pull, and inspire you to be the best version of yourself.

    Please thank Josh for being one of those unsung heros in the world today.

  8. Blame it on pregnancy hormones, or how absolutely BEAUTIFUL your tribute to your brother is, but I am sitting here all misty-eyed. I don't know any of the Eyre's, but this little post sure makes Josh sound like an AMAZING teacher. Well, he's the "teacher of the year", so of course he's amazing! How cool!

  9. "Mr. Eyre" is a hero in our house! My Ella had him this year and our twins were lucky enough to have him two years! He has been a huge blessing to our family over the years and has become such a dear friend. I cant even begin to say all the extra effort he put in to helping Ella overcome some academic things she was struggling with. I always tell people that he has a gift for building a child's confidence. Ella even recognized Grace at DQ in Showlow over Memorial Day and took a picture with her so that she could text it to Josh. Haha! She was pretty excited! Everything you said about him is so true! Poor Mr. Brown! So many requests so few spots!

  10. I don't even know what to say, but WOW and WOW!! He is amazing! The kids that have him for a teacher are so incredibly blessed, and your kids are incredibly blessed to call him Uncle. What a great post! Thank you for sharing…..

  11. Oh how all of this is so true!!!!! My daughter was lucky enough to have him this year & he is every bit of the word FABULOUS!!!!!!! I still remember the morning I read his e-mail telling us he would be her teacher & feeling like we had just won the lottery!!! That excitement never wained the entire year!!! He was so perfect & did soooo much in helping my little Ellie's confidence when it comes to school, he was JUST what she needed! Watching that change in her was the biggest blessing & I can never thank him enough for it! We adore Mr. Eyre in our house, he truly is the BEST TEACHER!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. This was really sweet. I've noticed your brother in a lot of your blog photos and it's nice to hear a little about him. Good teachers rock! : )

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