Sunday, October 31, 2010


I told myself again and again that I would NOT post pictures from Halloweens past, but as I was flipping through old pictures to find a certain one to show as embarrassment for my best friend, I couldn't resist.
HOWEVER, let me preface this by saying: Halloween has lost it's magic with me. I loved it growing up because one of my dominant personality is the one that screams "More lipstick!" and "Need glitter!" and "Your skirt doesn't twirl enough!" and on Halloween, I can make that girl very, very happy. But with that, I hate the scare factor of Halloween. I hate being scared or having cause to scream in terror. This year, more than any other year, I have noticed the scare factor and I'm not a fan. I also don't have the money to invest in the fabulous costumes that I want and I also am not a whore, therefore there is only a limited number of costumes for me.
Now, I am looking forward to seeing pictures of my niece in her ladybug outfit, and I hope that Hallelujah Night at my church goes well, and I can't wait for the day that I get to dress up my own kids, but my days are over for being a Halloween-er.
That being said, a small walk down memory lane.
A bridesmaid.
(age 10?)
p.s. i'd really appreciate it if you didn't notice the glasses and remove my pre-braces smile from your memory.
A Wolfpack Cheerleader.
(age 7?)

(age 4?)
Growing up--and still to this day--I am in love with certain Disney princesses. Meaning, Cinderella and Belle; the rest of them just happen to exist.
My mom slaved for weeks to make me the perfect Cinderella costume. I have another picture at my house (and unfortunately, not on my laptop) of me with the BIGGEST smile on my face. I'll have to find that one and put it up here when I go home on Tuesday afternoon.
To date, this is probably my favorite Halloween costume.
Some that aren't pictured include: a clown, a cowgirl, a bunny, a diva, an 80s girl, and a graduate.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Garner High School, Room 1003

I wake up every morning, probably later than I should, but still earlier than anyone else I know, only to hop in my car and drive to Garner Magnet High School, Room 1003.
My kiddos are great, and I love them to pieces.
They are incredibly creative and usually well-behaved.

One of my few pet peeves is that they can't seem to tell the difference between the "Turn In Work" and the "Graded Work" boxes.

But I always know that I have the power when I open up a folder on my desk... find the answer key :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

my haley girl.

This is my Haley.
Isn't she beautiful?

She is one of the most beautiful people that I have ever met.
She is one of the most beautiful people that I will ever meet.
I met Haley at the beginning of my sophomore year. She is currently a junior majoring in Engineering. She is in the other Junior Girls' Bible Study, but I call her mine.
Haley currently leads her own Bible Study of about fifteen sophomore girls. Haley, with her co-leader Rita, leads her girls without fear. Without fear of rejection or fear of what they may think of her, Haley leads her girls straight to Jesus. When she's not in their presence, Haley leads her girls to Jesus while she's on her knees praying for them, by name, daily.
Haley is an inspiration to me.
Where as I am prideful, Haley is humble.
I am strong-willed and overbearing, Haley is kind, gentle, loving, compassionate, and generous.
I am overdrawn and too busy, Haley has amazing time managment skills and manages to get everything done on time.
I look at Haley and I see every quality that I wish to obtain.

Over the past two years, Haley has never ceased to amaze me. Especially for the past year this has been more true. Haley's heart is the size of Alaska, but is as warm and beautiful as the Bahamas.
While the world around Haley was telling to "get out Raleigh to do something with your life," Haley saw the needs in Raleigh and began to put together a Spring Break service project together with Vintage21 church here in Raleigh. A small vision of Haley's soon grew into over 75 college students loving on the little people often forgotten in downtown Raleigh. By the time the trip had rolled around, the team with Vintage was having to turn people away because there simply wasn't space. Haley's small idea had turned into a movement.
Haley could have stopped there, as many of us would, but since she is Haley, she did not.
This year, Haley once again saw the needs right under her nose and moved into the International Dorm on campus. While spending her time there, Haley has started a small group Bible Study for a few of her Chinese friends and has even made friends outside of those on her hall.
When Haley had a birthday, she invited friends out for ice cream. Most of us would have stopped with long-time friends so that we wouldn't have to play hostess and could just enjoy the evening. Did Haley? No. Her friends from the ID came and met her other friends.
When Barn Party rolled around, Haley had enough responsibility to transport her girls and help transport her grandgirls to Adcock Farms. But did she stop there? No. Haley brought carloads of her International friends to come experience more fun things.

Haley loves Jesus. With all of her heart.
Her heart for Raleigh, her heart for North Carolina, her heart for the USA, her heart for the nations never ever cease to amaze me. Haley has never prayed a small prayer in her life. I listen to Haley's stories and just sit there in wonder.
Haley questions why God uses her because she's so small and insignificant in the big scheme of things...
To this, My Haley Girl, I say to you...
You are a light in a very dark place.
You are joy in a sorrowful world.
You are going to change the world...just by smiling at it.
You are the reason that people can still get out of bed in these times and believe that there is Something Good.
You make me believe in the impossible.
You make me want to strive for the impossible.
You are such an encouragement to my heart.
Haley, my love, I truly believe that one day we will stand before our Savior and He is going to show us all the faces of the people that we have impacted by our love and compassion. Haley, my darling, not only will I be in that line, but I will not be shocked to see that line circle The Throne many times over. You may think that you are small and insignificant, but remember, my dearest, that you serve a Mighty God. Remember, my angel, that you will be flown on the wings of eagles. Never forget, gorgeous, that you are this incredible because you humbled yourself before that same Throne and surrendered your life. Never forget who you serve, baby girl.
I am so, so proud of you.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

laura virginia.

I am home safe from one of the best weekends that I've ever had on college but I'm exhausted so I'm about to go to bed. However, a friend of mine is having a give-away on her blog, and I want to get in on it...

So everyone needs to go check out

it's fabulous! and i love her :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

be prepared :) :) :)

In about five hours, I'm hopping in The Reba and we're trucking it on out to Black Mountain, NC to meet up with my Lebanon family for the weekend!!!

When I go to big weekends like this, I either come home with 200 pictures, or 0. So, on Monday, I'll either be putting up a bizillion pictures, or just a bizillion stories.

I'm SUPER DUPER EXCITED to see my sisters...

Kim Tone

Erin Lynd & Ashley Swearingen

But most of all...

I'm excited for The Dream Team to be back together :)

(sorry these are blurry. i stole them from a fellow Dream Team-er's blog since i'm at school)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Finally! Pictures!

Here is my Senior Year so far in photographs.


One night at dinner, the most legit group of people sat down around me, and it was the best meal that I've had in all four trips.

All of my girls, grandgirls, and great-grandgirls that were at Fall Retreat.
This is my definition of joy: having my surround me.
(P.S. This isn't half of them)


One of my "step-girls" Megan.
(There's two junior studies on West Campus. I have mine and then I adopted another while their leader is studying abroad. I love them like they're my own but they're only on loan.)

Sarah Beth is one of my closest friends in Raleigh. She's a Meredith girl and neither of us remember how met, but I know that I'm sure glad that we did.

My baby girls, grandbabies, and great-grandbabies that we could wrangle up in five minutes.

Okay. I know that this is a very unattractive picture of me, but I have a point.
No seriously. I scrapbook and have a million picture frames, so to not be able to frame pictures because of some disrespectful idiot in the background pisses me off so bad. Jason and I had literally spent five minutes wrestling Alecia to get a good picture and I was so aggravated by this point. Now if you photobomb once and then move so I can get a good one, that's fine. Whatever. I'll put up with your immaturity for one picture. But seriously, grow up people.


(L to R) My Hannah, My Kelsey, My Rachel, and My Lauren at the Western game.

(L to R) My Lauren, My Kelsey, My Hannah, and My Sami.


Okay, I need to explain this one. A friend of mine threw a "classy" party. He and his roommates had canopied their back yard in twinkle lights, they had Michael Buble and Louis Armstrong and the like blasting from the speakers. They had candles lining the sidewalk and sparkling cider in the flutes. Everyone was dressed in their best and some smoked cigars and pipes and IT WAS one of THE BEST PARTIES OF MY COLLEGE CAREER. I am not even kidding. If I hadn't gone on two summer projects, it would surpass anything that I know.

Alecia (a former Oasis girl), Suzanne (another Oasis girl), and Brittany, "B.Knox" Knox (another of my step-girls.

And also, since this is my blog, so I can show off whatever I want...

Drum roll please...


I feel like I should explain this. Eden is my cousin Hannah's daughter. My family is super close and just love each other a lot and so we decided for my generation to be the next generations "aunts and uncles" instead of just cousins.
So this is my niece, and I'm her Aunt Rebekah.

Does she not have the SWEETEST smile in the world? She is honestly one of the happiest babies I have ever known. And she just LOVES to smile for the camera.

This is Eden with her other great-grandmother, Granny T. Eden and I share Granny P, not Granny T. But I just love this picture of little diva.

She's all sweet now, but little Miss Personality is coming all full force by the minute!

Eden's mom loves to take lots of pictures of her and so she decided to do a pumpkin photo shoot. I didn't think any of the pictures came out with the smile that I know of her but this one just shows her off! Cute as a button!!!

I went to go visit Eden about a week ago as I was heading back to Raleigh from a weekend in Wendell. I dont' get to see Eden much since my life is in Raleigh and her life is in Wendell (and I had also spent about 1/6 of her life in the Middle East), so I really wasn't expecting her to be comfortable around me or give me some good smiles. She had been under the weather so I wasn't expecting her to be a very happy little girl that day...BOY WAS I WRONG! I walked in the door and smiled at her, and she gave me the biggest smile! She immediately reached out to me and we played for the next thirty minutes. I "ate her belly" and she just laughed and giggledand smiled. We read the Wolfpack book together and I also read her the Colors book (she just loves pink, purple and green, just like her Aunt Rebekah!) She even showed off some of her rolling and crawling skills for her favorite aunt. Now, Eden is a baby that never. sits. still. (I wonder where she gets that trait from? Hmm...) However, a couple of times I picked her up and she just laid her head on my shoulder and just sat there for a bit. For such a go-go-go! type of baby, I considered this a big deal for her to trust me so much as to relax on me and just give me some love. It was a great day. She is just too cute for words.

Other than this, my life is filled with Student Teaching and topped off my cooking, Bible Study-ing, and sleeping. But hey, it's a good one.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I'm currently sitting in my "next door neighbor's" classroom proctoring the PSAT. Thrilling, I know. Although I'm incredibly glad high school is over anyhow, just sitting in this room with all of the tangible stress just gives me one more reason to be glad to have "been there, done that, bought the tshirt."
I keep saying that my next blog entry will have pictures, but most of my updates come from my school computer, and therefore, I don't have any pictures with me to upload. My internet has had a mind of it's own recently in my townhouse so I can't exactly trust it to deal with my precious pictures. Maybe someday...
Student teaching is still going well. I have taken over both of my freshman English classes right now, and I pick up the African American Lit class on Monday. That will make me full time. Eek! It's exciting and exhausting all in one.
I had a very interesting event happen with a student yesterday...I can't go into specifics, but let's say I might end up testifying soon. Whoo hoo. Other than that, I love my kids. I really do. I am beyond blessed to be at Garner. As much crap as my East Wake folks give me about being here, it's totally worth it. I've even told my principal that if he can get me a job here, I'll sign a Letter of Intent right now.
A few stories that I wanted to share:
Yesterday, after The Event with one of my students, I came back into the classroom and asked my kids, "Why do I want to be a teacher again?" All of them had some smart comment or another about 'because you get to have ME!' or something like that. A few of them came up and gave me a hug. One girl even said something to the effect of: "Miss Sanderson, does Mrs. Byrnes ever have to come back? Or can you just stay with us?" Cute little munchkins.
Another girl had an epiphany:
"Miss Sanderson! You're not really a teacher right?"
"Well, honey, I'm your teacher, but no I don't have my certification yet, no."
"So, that means that you're still looking for a real job?"
"Yes, love."
"You should get a job here! And then, since we're freshman, you can have us again! And we'll be just like the Freedom Writers!"
As cute as this was, I immediately began thinking about how I would have to plan new units every. single. summer. for the kids in order to stay with them throughout their careers. Don't get me wrong, I'd do it because I adore them, but heavens. That's a lot of work.
I'm missing my LTN girls like WHOA every single day. To go from this fabulous community every day, all day, to being by myself, it's no fun. I just wish that we were together for moral support or something. We still have our PR dates on Fridays, but Fridays are so incredibly far apart. If any of you are reading this, I love you, I miss you and I can't wait to see you soon :)
I had dinner with Whitney Ledford last night. We ate some fabulous (and cheap!) Mexican food and told all of our crazy children stories. While I've been having kids propose to me, she's been lighting her projector on fire. No big deal. It was so good to hear stories that I am actually going to make it through this insanity.
That's pretty much my life in a nutshell.
My next post will have pictures.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

freshman year flashback.

This past Friday was NCSU Crusade's Annual Barn Party. As all things in my life and in Crusade, it was super fun, but there was definitely a different vibe because I'm a sen-- well, I don't use that word, but you know what I'm talking about. As I was getting ready for the BP and putting the finishing touches on some pancakes, I couldn't help but think of my first Barn Party three years ago.

This was me back then. This was my first Barn Party. This was me freshman year.
This girl has no idea what was about to hit her.
Would this girl approve of the girl that I see in the mirror today?
Would she be okay with the decisions that I've made for her over the past three years?
I know that she definitely wouldn't be okay by how the numbers on the scale look in comparison to that day. She would probably cry over all of the boy stories that I could tell her. She would really enjoy the idea of packing up and going to Clearwater, but she would yell at me for going to the Middle East. I don't know how she would react to all of the Bible Study girls that she loves, because that was definitely not the life that she wanted back then.
I was on a mission with Sarah Beth after Barn Party to find an open Cook Out whose line was less than twenty minutes long. I was telling her about this idea running around my head about how Senior Year Rebekah measures up to Freshman Year Rebekah's standards. She asked me the question:
"If you could tell her one thing, what would it be?"
My knee jerk reaction was
because her life was about to go on a roller coaster that I could never explain to her.
I thought about warning her about Post Project Depression and all of the insanity that her sophomore and junior years would soonly brought. But, as I explained to Sarah Beth, so many lessons came from those horrible four months that I really don't think I could sacrifice them.
I've said many times that if I disliked my life I would change it, and since I'm obviously sticking to this path, I am not complaining at all. But it just makes me wonder if I'm making her proud.