My Deal with a 5-year-old Pt 2

Quick update and Allison’s dream to be a flower girl…

Two of my most amazing friends, Brad and Leah (who happen to be getting married in January) had already planned on asking Allison to be their flower girl!  So when they read the post below, of course they knew it was going to make her day!  Yesterday was the big day for them to ask and with wide eyes…she said, "Yeah!" 

They talked with her about it and they all agreed that they would still pray for me, even though Allie was going to have her dream fulfilled.  My intercessory prayer team is growing!! 😉

**As a side note, I hear that Allison said if Miss Katie was still alive when she (Allison) got married, that she wants her to be a bridesmaid. 🙂

Finding Our Way

My friend, Dana, and I drove up to our yearly staff retreat the other day.  Crystal Mountain is a beautiful resort to visit, and that’s where we get to enjoy some professional development, time to hang out with the staff, and competition with the other TRG schools.

A little bit of background knowledge on Dana is that she has many, many strengths in the different roles that she plays in life.  She was my unofficial mentor when I first started teaching.  She’s a great teacher, and the GLCE Queen.  But one of the first things I learned about Dana when we began teaching together, four years ago, was that her sense of direction was almost at a negative factor.  This is especially evident when she’s driving in downtown Detroit…I’ve experienced this several times.  It seems as if she’s gotten better at her survival skills when lost, although we have definitely had some close calls in the busy city. 🙂  It’s kind of adventurous when we have her drive us places…we never know if we’ll actually get to our destination in a reasonable fashion, or timeframe.

So, back to the other day…we were driving up to Crystal Mountain, and we were on US 10W, anticipating 115/Cadillac.  Let’s just say I turned my head for a few seconds, returning my head to it’s forward position, to see the back of an exit sign along with its exit. 
I said, "Wait, was that 115?" 
Dana replied, "No, it said, Cadillac." 
"But did it also say 115?  We’re supposed to get off on 115/Cadillac!" 
"No, it just said Cadillac." 
"Are you sure?" 

Many minutes later I noticed a US 10W sign and immediately scrunched my eyebrows.

"Dana, I think we’re on US 10.  If we’re on 115, we’re not supposed to also be on US 10.  I think we missed our exit."
"Are you sure?  That exit said, Cadillac."
"We need to stop and ask."

So she drove until we saw a gas station/mini mart and we went in.  Entering the store we were greeted by Darla, to whom I smiled brightly and said, "Darla, are we by chance on 115?"

"Oh no, dear, you’re not.  That’s 30 miles back that way!"
"That’s what I was afraid of…Would you be able to help us find our way?"
"Absolutely!  Where are you going?"
…and she proceeded to give us directions.Crystal_mountain015

Somewhere in there, my friend asked, "So, Darla, where the heck are we?"
With great pride, she replied, "Evart, Michigan!"

We got a picture together and then Dana and I were on our way.

It made sense that we would get lost and no one from Hanley was surprised that it happened!  But thanks to Darla, we found our way.

Hangin’ @ Mr. B’s

Tonight I hung out with some friends from work, at Mr. B’s in Royal Oak.  It was Owens’ (the other redhead’s) birthday.  It was fun-not the wild crowd this time around:)  The girl sitting next to me is Candice.  She joined us in May as our new Office Manager at Hanley.  I just recently have had a few opportunities to work next to her and help out.  We’ve hit it off-she’s a great girl.  Plus, God is just so incredible, in the way that He places like-hearted people around us!  He caused us to end up parked by each other, which meant that we walked out to our cars together and we ended up talking about the Lord and how He is moving His hand throughout this city…I love my new friend!  And I get to work with her!  God has such powerful plans for the people of Hanley-kids, staff, admin, parents…all of us!  Life is good:)

Here we have me, Candice, Owens, Glover and Krick (I referenced her yesterday:)

Krick and Tony switched spots and he’s in this one.

Happy Birthday Stephanie!!

Can I just tell you about my sister-in-law for a minute?  Her name was Stephanie Sue Hafner, until she married my big brother, David, 13 years ago, and became a Burton for life:)

She first got to know me during my most awkward years as an early teen, and she definitely knew me during my brattiest years.  At first I didn’t want to get to know her because Dave had just broken up with his high school sweetheart, whom I’d adored, and I was just so mad at him for that!  I didn’t want to give this new chick a chance.  But eventually, once she showed me how much she knew about nails and makeup, I was hooked on her (and let me tell you, she knew how to pile on the makeup and do her nails:)  It’s ironic because she’s isn’t even high-maintenance about those things anymore! 

Stephanie was my first sister-in-law, and the only sister figure I had during those teen/college years.  She bore me my first 3 nephews, and I get to hear all her wisdom as a young mom (still young at 37, Steph:)…I’m so grateful for that.  She’ll do anything for her kids, or for her husband. 

She’s a woman of God who is continually giving the Holy Spirit room to change her.  She  challenges me deeply.  Steph’s one person that has the right to speak into my life at any time and kick me in the butt about anything.  There’s nothing that I would hide from her or be ashamed to tell her…she knows me well.

We love to talk about kids, Jesus, change, ministry…She’s quite the confidant to me.

I could go on and on and on about what Stephanie means to me, as my sister and as one of my very best friends…but that’s not even possible to do right now.  I absolutely love her deeply and and I am so glad she’s been in my life all this time.

Happy Birthday Stephanie!

This is a funny picture of her at Ryder’s baby shower last year…

This is a better picture of her pregnant with Ryder last year…(so beautiful!)

And this is Stephanie with David…I love this couple:)


I’ve gotta throw a recent picture of Ryder (the offspring:)  Isn’t this kid hilarious?  I love his "alternative" hair style.

So, you’re off for the summer..

I’m a teacher.  And because people are kind and interested, they ask me what I’m up to this summer, since I have no school.  It’s a valid question, and one that I must answer quite often. 

I’ve already been to Philly to visit family, and Guatemala for a missions trip.  I’ve hung out with three really fun and amazing interns too.  There are projects that I’m working on, both for school and for church…I’m not bored.  My last couple weeks have kept me pretty tired, although I’m not completely sure why.  Life, relationships and projects haven’t all gone on without a hitch, but nonetheless, I have been having a great summer.  Dsc03570_3

I did a 5K (there’s that word, "did", again)…you can read Katie’s version of that marathon here.  Esp
ecially if you know her, It’s the kind of funny that you might end up saying, "I almost peed my pants!"  Here’s the picture of four of us who were there that day.

The 4th of July was spent with some really great friends…including my roommate, who turned 28 that day. (Happy Birthday, once again, Jen!)Dsc03576

Oh, and I can’t forget my two great PA friends, Jamie and Leah.

This past weekend I had the honor of being with my friend as she got married.  This is Christina, Jen, Anne Marie and me on the big day.

Monday night I treated a group of friends to a free meal at Chipotle…I won a contest by putting my Altar
Worker business card in the little bowl at the register!  So we celebrated JT’s birthday too.  (I was without my camera…so my phone had to do)


I’m a fan of many things including:

  1. my church
  2. ministry
  3. my pastor’s preaching
  4. my friends
  5. blogging
  6. jogging
  7. teaching 4th grade
  8. Hanley International Academy
  9. my family
  10. caribou coffee

…and I’m going through withdrawal of several of those things.  Can you tell on #5?  This is my 4th post tonight!  up until today i went through withdrawal of #10.  i feel like i haven’t been at #1 in forever…and i always miss #3 when i’m gone (good thing I can get the podcast;)…to the #4’s who read my blog, let’s do coffee when I get back…and i already can’t wait to get back to school the Monday after i get back (isn’t that insane?)…i miss #7 for the moment…and as for #9, i got a quick fix this weekend, but i definitely miss my boys in chicago.

Philly Weekend

This past weekend I spent some time in Philadelphia with my parents and my brother and sister in law.  Congratulations to Tiffany for getting her Masters Degree!  …and a 4.0, at that!

It was Father’s Day and the Tigers were playing the Phillies.  What a great day for me to take my dad and mom to a game!  To top it off, the Tigers won.  Dad wasn’t as happy…but I think that the sting of watching his beloved team lose was at least a little less because I was there:)
This is my dad and me outside Citizens Bank Park.

This is us with my brother, Todd.June_2007_272
I was told that I looked like I was confused…wearing my Tigers shirt and my Phillies hat:)

This is mom and me, right before I left.  She’s the one that kept elbowing me when I would scream for Pudge at the game, Sunday.  She tried to kick me out of their row!

And as an added bonus, I got to see a good friend from college, Ryan, who’s working in the culture of Philly.  It was also great to see him.

And just because I wanted to take a picture of the beautiful scenery of Pennsylvania…while I was driving…dad, pretend you didn’t read that:)

“Chase the Lion” Lifegroup

Tuesday nights @ 7 I get to spend time with a really awesome group of people at the Southfield Public Library.  They make up my Lifegroup.  Although I would have never just randomly put these people together to just "hang out", for some reason this group makes sense and is so great!  A couple of people were new tonight and a couple of people were out tonight…they were missed.  Put everyone together and it’s so much fun!

Tonight I started my group off with a KWL chart about fear.  KWL is a "before reading" strategy that teachers teach kids to do…write what you Know, what you Want to know, and then what you Learn.  I wasn’t too sure how my group of adults would take to my "classroom" strategy, but it actually seemed to go as well in our group as it does in my classroom!  Yay! 

Then we started off our book together-Mark Batterson’s, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy DayBrad actually51np15gza0l_bo2204203200_pisitbdp50
preached on fear two days ago, and it led perfectly into our discussion tonight.  (Thanks, Brad!:)  We had some great, authentic discussion, and it whetted my appetite for the discussions that we’re going to have these next couple of months, as we wrestle through this together.  It pumped me up! 

We ended our night by doing something that I used to do as a Discipleship Leader, back in college…and we did something similar a few weeks ago, too…we wrote to ourselves.  We wrote down fears that we have about our current life, and fears that we have about the future…things we want to overcome.  We sealed them up in labeled envelopes and I’ll return them in a couple months-or perhaps the fall. 

Community is built through times like these-or at least they start in times like these.  I thank God for Sylvia, Joi, Cheryl, Stacey, Mark and Don….and Jayne when she can make it:)

I may come back to jot some thoughts down about fear, as we go through this book together.  I already added some things to my "L" column on my chart! 🙂

I’ve Got the Joi

There’s an old song that I used to sing with some friends in high school…

I’ve got the joy (joy) joy (joy) joy (JOY)….Down in my heart…Img_2290

I just realized you can’t reenact the song simply through written words, but this is a little song I always like to sing to my friend, Joi.

And I just want to announce that she just got hired to work at my school today!  Woo hoo!  God is so faithful and I love being a part of His family.  To my sister, Joi, congratulations!  You’re right where He wants you to be.  Hanley kids are gonna love your smile. 🙂

Jingle Bells

Friends are so great!  This past Sunday night I got to hang out with
some of my coolest friends-and I even got to make a new friend in the
process.  We had our annual CotK Christmas Challenge and our team was
"Jingle Bells".  We did a picture scavenger hunt around Southfield and
our team didn’t do too bad-we came in 3rd place.  We definitely had a
blast though.  Here’s a recap:

Christy, Mark and Chris-sportin’ Michigan State gear (good thing Mark had his State hat with him…even though he goes to UMD)


Here we have Brad, Eddie, me, Andrea and Mark-with 12 reindeer When I first saw this picture I
though, "Wow, I’m really short!"  Then I realized that I was crouching down for some reason.  Perhaps I thought my head would be cut off if I didn’t.



Jason and Richie are "on Santa’s lap"…I’m not sure if actually got points for this one.


                                                  Richie, Andrea, Christy and Katie-all piled in (and ON) a buggy…otherwise known as a "shopping cart", outside of the Metro Detroit area


Mark, Jason, me and Brad-we’re standing in a puddle…really, we are.  I’m not sure why I was making
that face-probably telling someone how to use my camera:)


This is everyone on our team except Andrea, who took the picture.  If you look closely, Brad’s the baby Jesus, Chris is a sheep, Christy, Mark and I are wisemen, KT is Mary (or is Eddie, Mary?)  I think Richie and Jason are shepherds. 

Sometimes I wonder if Jesus just sits in  Heaven and laughs at us, with the crazy things we do.  🙂 He’s up there sayin’, "Yep, that looks just like what happened!  Hehehehehe, those are my silly kids."


Here we are at the after-party-me and my Khalil…those cheeks!

What an incredible and memorable night spent with some of my favorite people!  Thanks for a great time!

****My disclaimer-I’m sorry the captions don’t line up with the pictures too well.  I have had to reformat this thing over and over again for the past 20 minutes (aka-way too much time to spend on this:)  Maybe God’s trying to teach me something about my desire for perfection?