Long Time No Blog

Although my time has been consumed by wikis and blogs lately, I haven’t spent much time here at all. In the past few weeks I have:

1. Spoken on the use of social internet applications at a conference for Christian School Librarians.

2. Coordinated and led a day-long continuing ed workshop on information literacy for local high school English teachers and librarians.

3. Had a girls’ weekend in Branson with some co-workers/friends.

4. Read more books, including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

5. Completed several assignments for grad school.

6. Worked on a template for wikis to be used as our subject resource pages for the library website.

7. Survived graduation activities in HOT July weather and BLACK robes.

Whew! I’m kind of tired looking at that list. Thankfully, I have a couple of weeks off from work. I’m hoping to clean out closets, get my kids ready for a new school year, get Becca moved into the dorm, paint a room or two. . . the list never ends does it?

Here’s a picture of my new favorite store in Branson. I welcome any comments on what this may say about my taste in clothing.

And here’s a picture of my business card that I left in Lambert’s Throwed Rolls Cafe. Harding grads show up everywhere, so I’m hoping someone will see it and it will make them smile. 🙂

I have to tell you — I’m extremely blessed to have the coworkers I do. We have so much fun together. How many people have the problem of not knowing whether they took a trip with friends or with coworkers? God has blessed me indeed!

When life gives you lemons

It’s round two of book review!

Make Lemonade is a much easier read than Book Thief, although its subject matter is also difficult. LaVaughn is a fourteen-year-old girl who needs a job and answers an ad that reads “Need Babysitter Real Bad.” Who placed the ad? Jolly did. A seventeen-year-old girl with no husband and no parents, but two babies and a job. Their apartment is downright disgusting, and there’s no other help in sight.

What would you do? As a mom, would you want your fourteen-year-old daughter to babysit under those conditions? Wouldn’t this almost be like the blind leading the blind?

One thing LaVaughn has that Jolly doesn’t is a goal. She’s determined to be the first person in her family to go to college. She wants out of the inner city. Out of the life surrounded by poverty and the violence that killed her father. She takes the job and although it’s very difficult, this determined and kind fourteen-year-old girls begins to make a huge impact on Jolly and her babies. They also affect her, giving her insight into a life she’s never experienced and causing her to have a new level of gratitude for things she’d taken for granted in the past. Along the way, she sees the heroic efforts Jolly has made to improve her own life. Her current situation may not seem like much, but it’s taken the same determination and resolve for her to leave her past behind as it will take LaVaughn to go to college and leave the inner city.

For those of us who have grown up in mostly stable environments, it’s eye-opening to read these stories. Stories that happen every day. Not far away, but very close to where we are. I saw a challenge in this book: are we as Christians having an impact on the daily lives of people in these circumstances? How would Jesus minister to these people? I’m fairly certain he would not wait for them to get their act together, buy some clean clothes and show up for church one Sunday.

Unlike a lot of books written for this age group, there is very little unsavory language. In fact, I don’t remember any but I’ve had to read so much of it this summer that I may not have noticed it if it was there. The subject matter is difficult. Jolly is one of those people that seems to wear a sign that says, “Take advantage of me!” and those situations are not glossed over.

Definitely worth reading. A quick read, but worthwhile.

Book reviews

This summer I’m taking Resources for Young Adults. Some of the books have just been so-so, but I want to tell you about a book I finished a couple of weeks ago.

The Book Thief is set in World War II Germany and chronicles the experiences of Liesel — the book thief — and her friend Rudy. Neither are Jewish, but neither are they from families that whole-heartedly support Hitler’s rise to power. This is not a book for the faint-of-heart and though it’s marketed as Young Adult fiction, it is a challenging book even for many adults. It’s over 500 pages long, is almost stream-of-consciousness, and is narrated by Death.

I read a lot and this is the first book that’s made me cry in several years. Not lump-in-my-throat-blink-a-little, but wet-cheeks-why-did-I-wear-mascara crying. It’s that good. It ranks up there with Poisonwood Bible, East of Eden, and To Kill a Mockingbird.

I’ll post more recommendations later.

A note from Becca

I lifted this from Becca. Check out the creativity of some wonderful young people!


I’ve finished uploading our 15 plays in 15 minutes sketch to YouTube! I’m posting them here in case any of you are interested! Each one is about a minute long, and I’m listing them in the order we performed them. Have fun!

Starring, written, and directed by:
Marisa Arnold
Allison Beatty
Becca Burley
Jacquelyne Jones
Aleigha Morton
John Sherwood
Tillie Stracener
Lynley Vire

Hello Dolly
Our Town
Plaza Suite
Greater Tuna
The Crucible
The Producers
The Curious Savage
Into the Woods
The Odd Couple
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat
Fiddler on the Roof
The Glass Menagerie
You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

From Lisa: The links will actually take you to YouTube so you’ll have to keep coming back here between viewings. Enjoy!

Lots of Love

I think I mentioned this, but haven’t shared pictures.

Noelle cut her hair for Locks of Love a couple of weeks ago.

Here she is signing in. Look how long her hair is . . .

This is the hairdresser measuring it to see where she needs to cut . .

The first big cut!!!! Noelle looked so serious through the whole thing I was afraid she was having major second thoughts!

But she loved it! Look how cute it is!!!!

I love the way it stacks up in the back. Isn’t it great?

I love the cute cut, but the coolest thing was her servant heart that showed through. This was her idea. She grew her hair out for a year to be able to do it.

I love you Noelle!!!

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