Brace Yourself!

Miss Emily Grace Burley invites you to experience the glory of her amazing tin grin.

In addition to her amazing abilities on the Westside church of Christ puppet team

she also is a stellar member of the Bible Bowl team.

(Even though they were slightly confused by I and II Corinthians.)

She has her mother’s laugh

and weird sense of humor.

All in all, she’s one cool chick.

Except that she’s camera shy. We’ve really got to work on that. 🙂

A study in contrasts

Last night was the last choir concert of the year for SHS. This is always a very emotional event and all of the kids I raved about yesterday were involved. Two of them had solos. The two weepiest parts of the evening are the senior slideshow during the singing of the song “Roots and Wings” during which the seniors deliver roses to their moms. SOB! Then they sing the song “Home” from the musical The Wiz. Here’s last night’s performance of “Home” with two of “my kids” singing solos. Sorry it’s blurry. I was crying and my hand was shaking so the camera couldn’t really focus.

Since you asked . . .

Here are some pictures of the boys. I’ll do a whole separate post on Emily. She got braces this spring so we’re trying to chronicle it with regular pictures. She’s keeping a scrapbook called “Brace Yourself,” and we take monthly pictures of her tin grin.

I’m actually double-dipping with this post. I’m not only showing you pictures of the boys, but I’m also bragging on Rebecca’s friends. In the two years we’ve been in Searcy I’ve never seen one of them treat Caleb or Daniel like “little kids.”

They talk with them, play with them and Caleb and Daniel love them because of it. Since our life has been dominated by Senior Events lately, most of these are pictures of the boys with Rebecca’s friends, but understand that the friends sought out the boys to have their picture made together. These are remarkable young people. Smart, funny, and yet kind of considerate. They amaze me. The world will be blessed by their presence.

You’ll have to wait until tomorrow for the video of two of Rebecca’s friends tossing Daniel through the air. And I’ll also throw in some pictures of Caleb at school. Soon, I’ll have Tae Kwon Do pictures, but for now enjoy the goodness of Rebecca’s friend Brittany who took time out of her prom pictures to comfort a seven-year-old who was feeling left out.

I’m really going to miss these kids.

When did this happen?

When did you grow from a curly headed toddler to a beautiful young woman?

When did you get such a wonderful sense of humor?

And when did you find such amazing friends?

Like the blog name says, “God is good.”

My sweet girls

Last night was the Choir Banquet at Searcy High. Noelle had an out-of-town softball game and got back right when things were wrapping up. Keith and I thought it would be a great chance to get a picture that captured the very different interests and personalities of Becca and Noelle. This is their “I can’t believe Mom is making me do this” pose.

After this picture, Becca was going to put her arms around Noelle and kiss her on the cheek. When she did, we heard this big, “EEWWWW!! You’re all wet!” from Becca. My answer? “Yes, dear. I know you’re not familiar with it, but that’s what sweat feels like.” They settled on this pose for the kissy picture. 🙂

Fifty things you don’t know about me

1. I have friends who have done a list of 100 things on their blog.
2. I’m not going to do that.
3. I’m very good at procrastinating. Like now? I should be studying.
4. When I was five I went with my family to do a VBS at an Indian reservation in Gallup, NM.
5. During the trip, we made a stop at the Grand Canyon.
6. I was tired and stayed in the car.
7. I went to one school for all twelve years of elementary, junior high and high school. Not one school system. One school.
8. There were twelve people in my senior class who started first grade with me.
9. I edited my high school yearbook.
10. I went to student congress two years in a row.
11. I made a deliberate decision to make OK grades and have fun instead of studying all the time.
12. I was still an honor grad.
13. I was in chorus and traveled all over the US with my friends.
14. I went to New Hampshire two summers in a row to do VBS.
15. I spent one summer cleaning dorms on a college campus. Yuck.
16. I worked at Wal-Mart.
17. I told my high school history teacher we should “let the dead bury the dead.”
18. Now I love history.
19. Along with several other honor-grad friends, I rolled my 12th grade English teacher’s house.
20. We ran into one of our moms in the store while we were buying toilet paper.
21. Our teacher was hosting the football party that night.
22. We told the mom that we were buying toilet paper for the party.
23. I wear a toe ring all the time.
24. My toe rings makes me feel young.
25. I’m not young.
26. I love music. LOVE music.
27. Some days I very much want to run away and be a groupie for a Christian rock band.
28. I had four of my babies at home with a midwife.
29. I was continually nursing or pregnant (or both!) from September 1988 to March 2001.
30. I seriously considered throwing a party for myself when that was over!!
31. We homeschooled for 8 years.
32. I learned more homeschooling my own children than I did in college.
33. I think formal education is just means of jumping through society’s hoops. Real education comes from life.
34. I read Huck Finn in 4th grade.
35. I was a light, light blond as a child.
36. I would’ve been a Jesus hippie if I’d been born in time.
37. In high school biology, my frog was full of eggs. I didn’t have to dissect it any further than that.
38. I will probably always love rock music.
39. I had to miss a Chicago concert in high school because of a yearbook deadline.
40. My friend bought a t-shirt for me.
41. There’s a picture of me in the yearbook with that t-shirt on. In the yearbook office. How ironic is that?
42. I make mean chocolate chip cookies.
42. And pot roast.
43. I rarely have time to cook anymore.
44. I’ve been to the football hall of fame and the baseball hall of fame.
45. I wasn’t really impressed by either.
46. I cried when the Old Man in the Mountain fell. It’s a New Hampshire thing. Look it up.
47. When I took language study, I did my semester project on the Elvish languages in Tolkien’s ring trilogy.
48. I wear heels a lot.
49. I went to a Air Supply concert in high school.
50. I’m going to bed now!!

SRT Update #2

Well, I finished Memoirs while I was in Nashville and still hadn’t checked out Perelandra so while I was cruising around the mall, I stopped by Barnes and Noble. I went to the B&N classics section and found ONE copy of a book I’ve been wanting to read for years. It’s a Charles Dickens, but not one that’s read quite as often. Most are familiar with the titles Oliver Twist and Tale of Two Cities but not as many are familiar with Nicholas Nickleby. I saw a movie version of it a few years ago and have wanted to read the book ever since.

OK, I know I work in a library. I know I have worked in libraries for quite a while now. I know I could’ve checked the book out of a library at any time and gotten it read. Confession: I don’t just love to read books. I love to buy books. I check out lots of books for work and school purposes, but I like to buy the books I read for fun. Even if I wind up giving them away in a year or so, I like to own them when I’m reading them. I have no idea how much I spend on books. Buying books is an amazing thing.

But I digress. I bought the book and am now battling my conscience: do I pursue the reading of a book not on my SRT list? Or do I set it aside and carry on with Mr. Lewis in space? Decisions, decisions!! What’s a book-loving, book-owning (yes, I bought the space trilogy too and have no excuses for not reading it) girl to do? Help me Great Reading Guides! Guide my decision!

What’s that? I should be reading Foundations of Library and Information Science? I should be studying? Preparing for finals?

Oh. Yeah. I should.

So shelve the fun stuff and get back to work. Classes will be over soon and you can resume your quest to save either the orphans of Victorian England or the inhabitants of Planet Earth.

to be continued . . . . .

Thoughts on Easter Sunday

For the past two years I’ve spent Easter weekend at a leadership conference in Nashville with a group of kids from on our church. Rather than attending the HUGE service associated with the conference, we use Sunday morning as a time to meet with our group and enjoy a worship service together. This year, our speaker was Mark Elrod, a fellow church member and Political Science professor at Harding. He had two main points about communion. The first one I’d heard many times, but the second one was a new thought to me.

First, we need the communion service as a memorial. God doesn’t want us to do it just to keep us busy, but we need the constant reminder of his death, burial, and resurrection. In the church of Christ, we traditionally have a communion service every week. I know that many people think this would make it too routine, but for me? I need that weekly reminder of how dependent I am on God’s grace and just how far he went to extend his grace to me.

Second, God gave us a portable memorial. We are not dependent on a particular place to serve as our reminder. We are not dependent on a particular person to oversee our reminder. Anywhere we are — with just a bit of planning ahead — we can share communion with our friends. As a group, we can collectively remember our humanity and Christ’s deity. We don’t have to travel to Jerusalem — although I do want to someday — and neither do we have to view a certain structure which may be destroyed.

The internal nature of faith is an amazing thing. We are not called to fulfill a set of rituals, but to give our minds and hearts to God. The actions are merely a reminder of much deeper things.

May you have the spirit of Easter with you each Sunday!

Spring Reading Thing Update

Over the weekend I finished reading Out of the Silent Planet. It was good, but it’s not my favorite piece of fiction by Lewis. Probably because I’m not much of a science fiction fan. I didn’t have the second book of the trilogy with me (I was on an airplane on the way to Baltimore) so I started reading Memoirs of a Geisha. So far, it’s fascinating. I discovered Pearl Buck a few years ago and it’s been interesting to see how many similarities there are between the Chinese culture represented in The Good Earth and Memoirs.

Reading books like these make me very thankful to have always lived in a culture so heavily influenced by Jesus. I’ve never been treated like property, never been sold into slavery, and never been considered less of a person simply because I’m female. I tell my daughters regularly to be thankful they were born to be women in America today. Any other time and culture and it’s very possible that they would already be “married” to someone twice their age.

Not with Jesus. Jesus treats women as individuals. Jesus sees no difference between men and women. He blesses each with gifts to use for his service.

Jesus is good. God is good.

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