Monday, December 31, 2007

Tina's Top Ten (Things that make me Smile!)

In no particular order!

1. Abby's smile (forget about college $, we need a braces fund!)

2. Starbuck's Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha
3. The clearance racks at Kohls
4. Rusty's kisses on the back of my neck
5. Paige's big feet (Size 9 @ 12 years old!)
6. The way Carter still curls up in my lap
7. Talking to my sister while walking around Target
(while she's walking around the Target in Ft. Myers)
8. Sunday afternoon load in at Ridge
9. The way Rusty's hair curls up from under his hat
10. The smell of fresh baked brownies

What are some of the things that make you smile???

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Fun in Greenville

The 5 monkeys at the Zoo!
Four friends
Gaby Rose (my attempt at being artsy!)
Paige and Carter (another attempt)
Carter and Sofie
Abby enjoying ice cream @ Sticky Fingers

Today was supposed to be rainy and nasty here in Charlotte so we decided to travel southwest to Greenville, SC to try and outrun the rain. It was unseasonably warm, high in the sixties! Beautiful! We visited the Greenville Zoo and window shopped around the downtown area. The night ended with ribs and ice cream at Sticky Fingers. I love spending time with my sister (John and the kiddos aren't so bad either!). She is what I miss the most about Ft Myers. I am so glad they came to visit. Only 2 days left... they head home on Tuesday.... boo hoo

Friday, December 28, 2007

Half and Half

This morning, my parents, grandma and brother left to go back to Florida. We had a great time visiting with them. It's an odd thing being in the same house with your parents ,with you now as an adult. The roles are so different... now they are grandma and grandpa, no longer just mom and dad. I guess when you are together for just a few hours every couple of months, you don't notice it that much. When you are together for a week... believe me, you notice it! It was great though. I love to watch the kids interact with my parents and especially my grandma. They adore her! I know our time with her, even if it lasted another 20 years, would still be too short for me. She is so precious. The Lord used her to lead me to the Burchards and because she allowed Him to use her, I am so grateful. Now we are down to just half the company we started with - my sister, her husband and my two nieces! Let the real fun begin!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Chaos

Sofie, Abby, Carter, Gaby and Paige
Rusty putting together the Ping-Pong table.
(Santa said there were too many pieces for her, I mean him, to put together!
Gariela and Paige all bundled up to play outside
Burchards on Christmas Eve

The past few days have been a blur. Lots of food, family and fun! My mom, dad, brother, sister, brother-in-law, two nieces and 86 year old grandmother are all here for Christmas. 13 people under one roof and there is bound to be some chaos.... All in all, things are going great. Rusty, my mom, the kids and I all went to service at Southbrook Church on Christmas Eve. Later that night, Rusty and I were talking and realized that had been the very first time we sat, as a family for Christmas Eve service. So many changes this year.... all good ones! Our family is having a fantastic time just hanging out together. The kids have been playing with all their new goodies and Santa brought Rusty a ping-pong table. Now the "boys" only come inside to warm up!! (It's in the garage!) Here is a picture of us before church and a few others of the week.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Year in Review

2007 has been filled with all kinds of twists and turns. It's been a pretty wild ride. As I sit here putting these pictures of this past year together, I have to just sit in awesome wonder at the path our lives are on now! So much has changed and I am thankful everyday for the blessings He has given me. I saw this idea on a friend's blog and asked if I could steal her idea. (Thanks Debbie!) Here are a few pictures, one representing each month in the Burchard house. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed traveling down memory lane!
Have a Christ filled Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

In January, I was blessed with my own class of 22 kindergartners at Gateway Charter School!
In February, we purchased season passes to the Imaginarium. The kids loved the "Touch Tank"
In March we traveled to the Kennedy Space Center (Carter is a space nut!)
We spent a weekend in April hanging out with the family in Port St. Lucie
May was spent packing for the move and a few last trips to the beach!
We spent most of June in the pool!
In July, the Ridge staff traveled to Daytona Beach for BigStuf camp.
(the highlight of the trip was dinner with Andy Stanley!)
August marked new schools, new teachers and new friends!
September 9th, Ridge Church had our official launch service
October brought apples and cooler weather. This is in Henderson, NC.
In November we made the trip back to Florida for "Thanksmas" with the Burchards.
December brought lots of fun! Birthdays, ice skating, hats and scarfs!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

ridge volunteer christmas party

Patrick, Chris, Lauren, Melissa, Adam and Rusty

Last night Ridge Church had our Volunteer Christmas Party. It was held at the Charlotte City Club in Uptown. It was an amazing time of worship and it was great to just get to sit and talk with everyone. Usually we are so busy with load in and load out on Sundays that we don't get the chance to just sit and chat. The City Club is on the 32nd floor, and Chris asked us look out a large window that looked out over downtown Charlotte. It was a little (maybe a lot!) overwhelming to know that the Lord had brought together this team of people to reach this city. It was overwhelming to know that we are part of that team..... I was in tears during most of the worship.... We sang "How Great is our God" and all I could think of was where I was exactly one year ago; in my faith and in life, and how I am constantly amazed that He allows Rusty and I to play a small part in this.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Pancake Breakfast

This morning, I was lucky enough to be able to spend an hour and a half in Abby's 2nd grade class. Her teacher hosted a Christmas pancake breakfast for her students and it was BIG fun! I had forgotten how much I enjoyed volunteering in the kid's classrooms. It's been a whirlwind since we moved and between job and "life" I haven't been able to do much volunteering this school year. I'm glad that I was able to do it today! Her teacher, Mrs. Osborne made pancakes and a few of us moms brought in fruit platters, donuts and muffins. The kids had a great time and I doubt any one of them actually ate any lunch. They were stuffing pancakes and chocolate chip muffins in their mouths for an hour straight! 

Monday, December 17, 2007

Snowball Fight

Even if we can't have real snow (not yet anyway!), we can still have a ball!
Click here for a laugh....

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Math Homework

Paige had a homework project over the weekend for her Math class. It started out as the project from hell, with multiple trips to Walmart (the first one with me getting all the way to checkout, with groceries on the belt and then realizing I had forgot my wallet at home!) and icing that wouldn't firm up and a little brother and sister wiggling the table every chance they got! Needless to say, it was chaos! Rusty went to help with load-in and the little ones went to watch a movie and Paige and I trudged on.... I have to say, I am not the "project parent" in our house. That's usually Rusty's job. He is so creative and has such a huge amount of patience with these kinds of things... I, on the other hand, do not. Paige did all the decorating and I attempted to handle the building portion of the project.. Again, not my specialty!! I think it turned out great and Paige is very proud of the finished project..... Above are pictures of our homework fun!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Red or Brown??

Could he look any happier???... he hates pictures!
This one's better!

Help me, Help me! Red or brown?? What should I do with my hair?? I need advice, I'm in a rut.... (So is Rusty.... same hat....4 months between pics!)

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Happy Birthday Abigail Faith

It is so hard for me to believe that Abby is eight today! Abigail is our middle child, born 4 years and 4 days after her sister and 13 months before her brother (that was a CRAZY year!). She was born on "dress rehearsal" day for the Southwest Florida Christmas Pageant. The setting of the story was a fictitious town called Faith, Florida. Paige had picked out the name Abigail (her only request was that her sister have a name from the Bible!) a few months before, but we were still without a middle name. Since the pageant was such a big part of our lives, we chose "Faith" to always remember the crazy time in which she came into our family! Abby is an amazing child. She is outgoing, fun-loving and one of the most creative people I know (she gets that from her daddy!). She has a heart that is full of love for everyone around her. She is constantly making and giving gifts to everyone she knows! She is smart and witty and has such a great sense of humor. Hang around her long enough and you're bound to hear at least a dozen jokes and have 2 or 3 art projects to hang on your fridge! Abby is always ready for an adventure! She loves to try new things. She's always eager to try a new dish or make a zebra from a cereal box and wrapping paper roll! (she just came riding through the office on the zebra! really!) New challenges have always frightened me, the unknown is terrifying, but I guess with Abby by my side - I'm ready for anything! Momma loves you Abby and I have never been prouder to say you are my daughter! Happy Birthday sweet girl!

Friday, December 7, 2007

My New Best Friends

These have been my companions over the past few days. Somehow I managed to pinch a nerve in my neck over the weekend and was finally able to get in with the chiropractor this morning. I 'm not sure if I feel better or worse. The Motrin barely takes the edge off and the heating pad has been used so much I think I have burned it out! The doctor wants me back on Monday and hopefully she'll be able to "un-pinch" this nasty nerve. Anyone have any suggestions???

It's Cold!

Brrrr...... It's cold outside! Really, really cold.
I tried to make snow in the backyard, but all I ended up with was wet feet!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Our First Christmas in NC

We are so excited about all the new "firsts" here in our new home, but I think that Christmas is the one we are most looking forward to. Rusty and Paige worked all yesterday afternoon and finally had all the wreathes up and the house looks beautiful! The only thing to make it more perfect would be a layer of snow covering the front yard!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Happy Birthday Paigey Poo

In less than 24 hours my firstborn will celebrate her 12th birthday. I don't know why this birthday is so hard for me. I think it is because of the freedom that comes with each new year. Every year older is a year closer to driving, dating and all the disasters that most of us made (or watched our friends make) of our teenage years. I didn't come to know the Lord until much later in my teenage years and I know now that it would have made a huge impact on many of those decisions I made at that time in my life. I struggled with feeling loved, with self worth and self confidence during much of my teenage years. Paige amazes me and I have learned so much from her. She was (and still is!) my sweet baby girl who her dad and I fell madly in love with the day we found out she was coming into our lives. She is everything I was not at her age. She is loved by everyone who knows her and has such a sweet, sweet spirit about her. She is very self-confident and most importantly, she knows her worth in Christ. She is a child of His and there is no doubt in my mind that she completly "gets" that. Her dad and I are so blessed to have her in our lives and I thank God that He chose me to be her momma! I love you Paigey-Poo!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thanksgiving Weekend

Paige and Samuel Malavsky
David, Rusty and Todd (A scary crew!)
All 12 of the Burchard grandkids
Abby and Matthew Malavsky
Gaby wearing her Christmas stockings!
My dad and brother came to visit from Ohio!

We had a wonderful time during our visit to Florida for the Thanksgiving holiday. I'm not sure how we were able to cram so much stuff into 6 days, but I'm so glad we did! We started off at Rusty's parents house in Port St. Lucie. The kids had a marvelous time hanging out with their cousins (all 9 of them!) and Rusty and I were able to spend some time visiting with his parents and brothers and their wives. It brings a whole new defintion to the saying "quality, not quantity" when you know the next visit might be a year away! On Thanksgiving Day we headed to my sister's in Ft. Myers (home for the past 12 years) to spend the rest of our stay. My sister and I were part of the crazy nuts who went shopping at 4:00 in morning on Black Friday. We have done this the past 4 years and we always have a great time! It's so much more about being together than the great sales. (although we did find quite a few!) We went to church Sunday morning at MBC and it was great to catch up with old friends. I really thought the trip would make me homesick for Florida, but again, God is so faithful and I never felt more at home then when I saw the pear trees that line our street! (see post below...)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

It's Good to be Home....

It's always wonderful spending time with family and friends, but it's also great to be back home. This is what Rusty and I woke up to this morning. Isn't it beautiful? I so love this place!

Monday, November 19, 2007

One of the 1000 Reasons "I Love Megan Hunt!"

This morning Megan hands me three gift bags for the kiddos. She tells me that there is one for each of the kids for the ride to Florida. When I picked them up from school to get ready to head out of town, I let them open the bags. Inside were fun goodies all wrapped up with fun captions on each, like, "hungry?" with a snack inside and "to brighten your day!" with a booklight for reading tonight. All Paige could say was "She's so awesome!" and I would have to agree!! Love ya Meg! See ya in the FL!!