Notes from Week One

Well, we did it! We survived the first week of school. Becca seems to be enjoying her classes and even survived her first quiz in Latin. She has a pretty tough schedule because she brought some college hours in with her AND she’s a part of the Honors College so her classes are structured for a higher standard than typical gen ed classes. There will be no room for a typical goof-off first semester for her. She stops by my office almost every day after chapel (yes, Harding still has chapel every day) and I think I see her more now than I did her senior year of high school. Plus, I don’t have to wait up for her at night. Her RA gets the pleasure of doing that. 🙂

Noelle got thrown a curve ball with her schedule. The drama teacher moved to another school so Noelle’s English teacher is now teaching drama and they school hired a new English teacher. At first she was apprehensive because it was a fifty-some-odd-year-old man instead of a twenty-something woman, but then she learned he used to be a gymnastics coach. Athletic ability impresses Noelle so she gave him a chance. So far she hasn’t stopped raving about him and says that the concepts of English make more sense to her than they ever have. WOO-HOO!! She really likes her classes and teachers and has the same lunch break as her whole group of friends. Life is good in the tenth grade!

Emily was very nervous about starting junior high but she called me on the first day and told me that it was great. She remembered where all her classes were, was able to open her locker and — get this — even liked her school picture enough that she wants to order some. She knows someone in all of her classes and also gets to have lunch with her friends. A lot of her church friends who have been at Harding Academy have transferred to Searcy junior high this year so she has even more people to hang out with at school. All is well!

Caleb is in fourth grade and has really enjoyed this week. He gets frustrated because we make him read more at home than what his teacher requires, but that’s just tough. I’m a librarian. What does he expect? In a couple of weeks he and Daniel will resume going to Tae Kwon Do on Tuesday and Thursday afternoon so that will give him a little more structure to his time. I really like the self-discipline that’s encouraged in the boys’ Tae Kwon Do program. It makes him want to do well for the right reasons, not for a grade.

Daniel is having a great time in third grade! He has already finished two books and is eager for more. He is eagerly anticipating getting an “I majored in vacation” t-shirt like the one Corbin Bleu wore in High School Musical 2. Maybe so, who knows? If Wal-Mart doesn’t sell out before payday we’ll see if we can find one.

Speaking of High School Musical 2, I should let you know that it has viewed five times in our house since last Friday. Emily just said, “No, six! We watched it this morning.” I have the say the storyline is cheesy, much of the singing is nasal, and I haven’t either liked either of movies upon their first viewing, but the music is a lot of fun and I can see several of the numbers making their way into Harding’s Spring Sing productions. Besides, would you rather have your teenagers watching Troy and Gabriella or Danny Zucco and Sandy Whatshername from Grease? We tried watching Grease last night and — oh my! — I’d forgotten just about everything about it. I can’t believe my friends and I watched that when we were in fourth or fifth grade and knew all the songs by heart! We turned it off after about 20 minutes. Emily is still appalled that we even tried to watch it. Maybe I’m doing something right as a mom after all.

Hope everyone else had — or has — a good first week too!

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Just a few pictures from move-in week

We were busy enough this week that there wasn’t a lot of time for camera toting, but I wanted to share a few pictures from Becca’s move into the dorm.

This is Cathcart Hall, one of the oldest buildings on campus and the beginning spot for a remarkable group of women known as the Christmas/Underwood/Escue family throughout the years. Now we can add a Burley Girlie to this esteemed list!

A bit of Harding trivia the recruiters won’t tell you — this area is also known as the passion pit from the years of young men and women who have bid one another “adieu” for the evening here.

This is Becca and her suitemate Autumn. We’ve known her family for a long time and I’m so glad that Becca and Autumn are friends. Becca is wearing a vintage Harding University t-shirt that I bought in the bookstore around 1981. She loves it and has worn it very regularly the last several years. She always gets a lot of comments on how cool it is. I just thought it was an old shirt. 🙂

This is Becca outside her door. She and her friend/roommate Brittany made a cute sign for their door, but I don’t think you can see it very well. You can tell they’re both scrapbookers though! 🙂

What’s the most important part of getting part of settled into a dorm room? Why of course it’s setting up your computer! Not for homework, mind you, but so you can access your iTunes and facebook! Unfortunately, we had a glitch and she had to have DormNet come and pick it up. Bummer.

This is a happy Becca a couple of days later when she got her computer back from DormNet. Well, she’s happy about having her computer but not about me taking her picture again. La computadora es all ready to go but we need to buy some additional memory and speed it up a little.

This is the famous Harding bell tower. It still has a bell and it still rings every night at curfew. There’s also that tradition about what happens if you kiss someone under the bell tower, but that didn’t work for me . . .

I’ll try to add more pictures later! If you’d like to write her an old-fashioned letter or send a care package, let me know and I’ll send you her campus mailing information. Even the local kids LOVE the thrill of getting something in their mail box. Ooh — and she would love to get scribbly little handwritten letters from your children too! She loves those!

Tagged by Suzanne

My friend Suzanne tagged me in her post “8 Random Facts About my Marriage.” So here you go. Probably more than you wanted to know about Keith and Lisa Burley. 🙂

1. I don’t remember the first time Keith and I met. He does. 🙂

2. The time I *do* remember meeting him I remember thinking that he had the most amazing blue eyes I’d ever seen.

3. Our first date was to eat watermelon at the elementary school playground. I kissed him first.

4. By the time school started that fall, I knew that he would always be a part of my life somehow. Couldn’t stand the thought of him not being there. We dated off-and-on throughout the next year and got married the next May.

5. We got married the day before Keith’s birthday so he wouldn’t ever be able to forget our anniversary.

6. For our second anniversary, we took our brand new two-week-old baby girl Rebecca for a stroll around Harding campus.

7. That was a LONG time ago. We just celebrated our 20th anniversary and we’re about to go drop off our not-so-brand-new baby girl Rebecca on the same campus for college!

8. Even though Keith absolutely drives me crazy and gets on my very last nerve at times, he’s been a part of my life for so long I can’t imagine not having as a part of it. Besides, ALL of our children have his eyes so I’d still have to look into those amazing blue eyes all the time . . .

Just for Fun, but REALLY long

1. EVER BEEN GIVEN AN ENGAGEMENT RING?
Yes

2. LONGEST RELATIONSHIP?
Boy-Girl? I’ve been married 20 years so that would be it. 🙂

3. LAST GIFT YOU RECEIVED?
A little angel pendant from a co-worker

4. EVER DROPPED A CELL PHONE?
More than you’ll know.

5. WHEN’S THE LAST TIME YOU WORKED OUT?
Uhm — 2 or 3 years ago probably. Yikes.

6. THING(S) YOU SPEND A LOT OF MONEY ON?
Books. Groceries. Toilet Paper. Paper Towels. Gasoline.

7. LAST FOOD YOU ATE?
A sausage biscuit for breakfast.

8. FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT THE OPPOSITE SEX?
Don’t notice them so much anymore, but probably eyes, smile and laugh

9.FAVORITE SONG?
Beautiful Disaster by John McLaughlin (at least today, lol)

10. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
In the house I grew up in. We’re buying it from my parents since they built a nice new one and moved into town.

11. HIGH SCHOOL YOU ATTENDED:
Harding Academy, Searcy, AR

12. CELL PHONE SERVICE PROVIDER:
cingular (at&t?).

13. FAVORITE MALL STORE:
I’m still a sucker for JC Penney’s

14. LONGEST JOB YOU HAD:
I’ve been a mom for 18 years, but my longest stint as an employee has been this job — two years.

15. DO YOU OWN A PAIR OF DICE?
Several that go with board games

16. DO YOU PRANK CALL PEOPLE?
Just my sister occasionally and the joke only lasts for a minute or two because we know each other so well. 🙂

17. LAST WEDDING YOU ATTENDED:
Chelsea and Justin Cates

18. FIRST FRIEND YOU’D CALL IF YOU WON THE LOTTERY:
My sister Sheila

19. LAST TIME YOU SAW YOUR BEST FRIEND:
Too many friends to have one “best.” I’m really looking forward to seeing Jesus someday though. 🙂

20. FAVORITE FAST FOOD RESTAURANT:
i don’t particularly care for fast food.

21. BIGGEST LIE YOU HAVE EVER HEARD:
But my room is clean!

23. WHERE’S YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT WITH FRIENDS?
Doc’s Grill

24. CAN YOU COOK?
Shoot, yeah! Don’t have as much time to as I’d like, but shoot yeah!

25. WHAT CAR DO YOU DRIVE?:
Ford Windstar mini-van

26. BEST KISSER:
Daniel with his sloppy little boy kisses. LOL!

27. LAST TIME YOU CRIED?:
Lump in throat? yesterday. Boo-hooed? While reading “The Book Thief.”

28. MOST DISLIKED FOODS:
turnips, turnip greens, beets, liver, any animal part that’s usually thrown away.

29. THING YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOURSELF:
My laugh and my ability to make friends quickly

30. THING YOU DISLIKE MOST ABOUT YOURSELF:
My inability to get a grip on eating/exercise habits.

32. LONGEST SHIFT YOU HAVE WORKED AT A JOB?
Being a mom is a 24/7 job

33. FAVORITE MOVIE?
Fiddler on the Roof

34. CAN YOU SING?
yes.

35. LAST CONCERT ATTENDED?
Winter Jam — Steven Curtis Chapman, Jeremy Camp, Hawk Nelson, Sanctus Real, and Newsong.

36. LAST KISS?
Last night at bedtime.

37. LAST MOVIE RENTED:
Music and Lyrics. (cute, cute, cute!! You should see it!)

38. ONE THING YOU NEVER LEAVE THE HOUSE WITHOUT:
Keys, purse, lipstick.

39. FAVORITE VACATION SPOT:
What is a vacation?

43. LAPTOP OR DESKTOP COMPUTER?:
laptop.

44. FAVORITE COMEDIAN?:
Bill Cosby

46. SLEEP WITH OR WITHOUT CLOTHES?
depends on the night.

47. WHO SLEEPS WITH YOU EVERY NIGHT?:
Keith

48. DO LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIPS WORK?:
not very well.

49. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU BEEN PULLED OVER BY THE POLICE?
Three

50. PANCAKES OR FRENCH TOAST?
Pancakes

51. DO YOU LIKE COFFEE?:
In the winter

52. HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR EGGS?
scrambled

53. DO YOU BELIEVE IN ASTROLOGY?:
No, but I do believe that God has written things in the stars that we don’t understand. Somehow, those wisemen knew how to find Jesus at his birth.

54. LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?:
Meghan Adams

55. LAST PERSON ON YOUR MISSED CALL LIST?:
Meghan Adams

56. WHAT WAS THE LAST TEXT MESSAGE YOU RECIEVED?:
“No idea. They are few and far between and usually involve items left at home by children.

58. NUMBER OF PILLOWS?:
Two — one bed, one reading.

59. WHAT ARE YOU WEARING RIGHT NOW?:
Jeans and crinkle cloth shirt.

60. PICK A LYRIC, ANY LYRIC:
I said that I would never fall in love again, but then POP! goes my heart (from Music and Lyrics. It’s stuck in my head.)

61. WHAT KIND OF JELLY DO YOU LIKE ON YOUR PB & J?:
strawberry

62. CAN YOU PLAY POOL?:
Not even if my life depended on it.

63. CAN YOU SWIM?
Not well, but yes.

64. FAVORITE ICE CREAM?:
cookies and cream

65. DO YOU LIKE MAPS?
Prefer Google driving directions

66. TELL ME A RANDOM FACT ABOUT YOURSELF:
When I was in high school we took vocational interest inventories and mine said I should either be a broadway performer or a librarian. HA!!

68. EVER ATTEND A THEME PARTY?:
Do little girl tea parties count?

69. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SEASON?
Fall, followed by spring

70. LAST TIME YOU LAUGHED AT SOMETHING STUPID?
Monday night at the POP! music video in the movie Music and Lyrics.

71. WHAT TIME DID YOU WAKE UP THIS MORNING?
Wake up? 6:00ish. Get up? 7:00ish

72. BEST THING ABOUT WINTER?:
The lights on Harding campus.

73. LAST TIME A COP GAVE YOU A TICKET?:
Never

75. NAME OF YOUR FIRST PET?:
Our dog Penny

76. DO YOU THINK PIRATES ARE COOL OR OVERRATED?:
So cool

77. WHAT ARE YOU DOING THIS WEEKEND?
Celebrating Caleb’s 10th birthday and helping Becca with a yard sale.

78. BIRTHDATE:
March 6, 1968

79. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE:
Happy

85. ARE YOU ON A LAPTOP?:
yes.

87. ARE YOU SMILING?
More often than not.

89. DO YOU MISS SOMEONE RIGHT NOW
I miss all the Harding students, but they’ll be back at the end of this week.

90. IF YOU COULD GO ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD WHERE WOULD YOU GO?
Scotland, England, Italy

92. ARE YOU IN HIGH SCHOOL?:
Thank goodness, no.

93. DO YOU HAVE A CRUSH?:
Only on Colin Firth.

94. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE NAME?
Zoe

95. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR BATHING SUIT?:
Dark blue

96. DOES YOUR SCHOOL START IN AUGUST?:
Yes — starts Monday the 20th

97. DID YOU GO ON VACATION LAST MONTH?:
Well, I went to Branson with some girlfriends.

98. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN ON A CRUISE?:
No

99. DO YOU HAVE A SISTER?
One sister, two sisters-in-law and TONS of close-as-sister friends. I am blessed.

100. ARE YOU UPSTAIRS?:
No

101. ARE YOU IN LOVE?:
Love is a complicated thing, but yes.

102. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN THE HOSPITAL?
Five times — to be born, once with a childhood illness, once when we lost a baby, once when Becca was born, and one overnight trip when I was sick while GREATLY pregnant with Caleb. Other than Becca, our babies were born at home so I wasn’t in the hospital with them.

103. DO YOU WISH YOU COULD SEE ANYONE PARTICULAR RIGHT NOW?
Uh — Colin Firth? LOL! I’d love to see my sister before school starts. Or my lifelong friend Samantha who lives in Dallas.

104. WHAT JEWELRY ARE YOU WEARING?
Just a wedding ring, simple hoop earrings, and a toe ring.

105. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO AFTER THIS SURVEY?
Pack up my kids and head to the pool for the day! Trying to beat the 100+ degree heat!!

Convocation 2006

Here’s a peek at last year’s convocation at Harding University. You’ll notice that all the faculty members look absolutely thrilled to be there. I am not in the picture. Boo hoo.

I think most of us spend the entire chapel service thinking, “Why do I have to wear black on the absolute HOTTEST day of the year in Arkansas?” Either that or “I wonder who’s going to sing Climb Every Mountain this time. I hope they can hit the high note.”

Have I ever mentioned that Climb Every Mountain is probably the song I hate the most in the world? I’ve never liked it and it keeps Sound of Music from being my all time favorite musical. And now I hear it four times a year: convocation, December graduation, May graduation, and July graduation. In fact, last year the music teacher who always accompanies the singer asked me if I would consider singing it for convocation. It took a lot of self-control to not run away screaming, “NO!!!” but I managed to say something like “Oh, I really think that should be a student, don’t you?”

However, I had a very pleasant surprise at summer graduation this year. The student who sang it was amazing! She played the role of Belle when Harding did Beauty and the Beast a couple of years ago, so I knew she had a wonderful voice. I was sitting next to her uncle during graduation and when it was over I said, “Please tell Lyndsay that I hate that song but that she made even me want to listen to it. She was amazing.” So — Lyndsay Hoggatt — congratulations! I hope I can have a similar experience the first day of chapel.

Unrelated Thoughts

Today I did two things I’ve never done before.

1. I deliberately chose not to finish a book. It was a book that many people had recommended to me. A book that had been on my list to read for quite a while. A book I bought with money and didn’t borrow from a library. I got about halfway through it and just had no desire to read any further. The plot was lame and there was a ton of pretty explicitly described sex. So — I just chose not to finish it.

2. I opened a used book return account at our local Hastings. I took the above-mentioned book and several others — which were perfectly fine books, I just doubted I’d ever read them again — and returned them to Hastings for credit. Now I have $23.94 on a Hastings gift card. WOO-HOO!

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We have twelve more days before Rebecca moves into the dorm. She will be living in the same freshman dorm that all the other Harding-attending women in my family have lived in. That means that my mom, my aunt, my sister, me, my two cousins, a cousin-in-law, and two sisters-in-law all started our Harding careers in Cathcart. My mom, sister, and I all lived in Cathcart 2 short. Guess where Rebecca will be! Yep! She’s in the room right next to mine.

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I’m spending some of my at-home time cleaning out my closet and other areas of my bedroom. I may get rid of some shoes. What size do you wear? Let me know — I can send pictures of what I’m tossing and you can tell me if you want them for the price of postage. Most are size 8 to 9, depending on the style.

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My ongoing desire to add exercise to my life has been fruitless. I don’t know how to balance all the factors — time, location, lack of natural desire. Sigh. This is frustrating to me.

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I had to write a defense for including the book The Lovely Bones in a high school collection. It was a class assignment. My teacher returned it via email today and said it was “Outstanding.” That made me happy.

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On August 20th I will don collegiate gear for the third time in the last 3 months in order to participate in convocation during chapel on the first day of school. This particular exercise — the pageantry of the faculty in their robes and the parade of state and national flags by students — always makes me feel like I’m at Hogwarts. Hmm — I wonder if we could get a sorting hat for dorm assignments? If we’d been sorted by a mind reading hat, would all the women in my family have wound up in the same dorm?

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After convocation I will only have 2 (maybe 3) occasions of marching as a faculty member *without* a master’s stole. I will finish my degree at UT either next summer or fall. WOOT-WOOT! I haven’t ruled out getting a PhD, but that whole time and money thing is a pretty big deal these days.

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The other day I heard Dan Man walking through the house singing. I listened closely. It seemed to be one of his own compositions.
Oh yeah, I walk through the house and I shake my little tushy. I shake my little tushy while I walk through the house.

Two words: Oy vey.

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