Friday, May 30, 2008

A Day @ the Beach

Carter was a little nervous... He would run into the water and as soon
as it got above his knees, he would run back to the beach!
She is getting so big! She is so much fun to be around!
Isn't she beautiful? It's hard to believe that's my "baby"!
This was Gaby's first visit to the beach.
She loved every minute!
Sofie running from the waves!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

trip down memory lane....

The resort we stayed at this past week was about 10 minutes from the neighborhood where I spent the first half of my life, so I decided to take the kids on a trip down memory lane.

First we drove to the house I grew up in.... Rusty told the kids, "This is where momma lived when she was little like you" and Carter, in all his wisdom and tack, says, "And it's still here???" Nice to know the kids think I'm old as dirt!!

Then we drove down the road to see the middle school I went to
(or mostly didn't go to....if you know what I mean!) The neighborhood had changed so much that even though our GPS was saying that we were on the right road, I didn't recognize a thing.

Then we went to lunch at Mario the Baker. When we were kids, whenever we had a special day.... such as a good report card (well, when Samantha or Johnny had a good report card!) or when we had done well in a gymnastics meet or baton competition.... this is where we went to celebrate. They had the most amazing garlic rolls and it was pretty cool how as soon as we walked in the door, my sister and I looked at each other and said, "I remember that smell!" The kids thought it was awesome to sit as the same table and eat pizza and garlic rolls just like momma and Aunt Sam did, so many years ago!

On the way home yesterday, I was telling Rusty how even though a trip down memory lane was fun, it made me ever so grateful for the path the Lord has put me on. Had I not had such a crappy time in middle school, I wouldn't have had any reason to move to Clewiston to live with my grandparents, and if I hadn't moved in with my grandparents, I would never have met the sweetest trumpet player I had ever seen, and without meeting him, I wouldn't have met the group of guys that sang Southern Gospel music named HIS Quartet and without them I wouldn't have been at that Cathedral's Concert in West Palm on January 18, 1992. If I hadn't been there that night and given my life to Christ, there is no telling where or what I would be doing now. A trip down memory lane was nice, but not nearly as exciting as the road I'm on right now!

where's my camera???

This morning I decided to get my camera out and upload all the pictures I took this past week. When they were done loading, I started going through them to delete any pictures I may not want to keep (like those of me in a bathing suit!!) and found this lovely video that my kids made with their cousins. If you get a few minutes (it's about 3 and half actually!) and you want a good laugh, you'll have to check this out! I'll be posting more pictures soon of all the fun this past week!

Notice the sisterly love coming from the Abster......

Saturday, May 24, 2008

We Made It!

It was an eventful trip, but we are finally here!

We stopped in Port St. Lucie and visited Rusty's family on Friday. We had a wonderful time. Being away from all our family has been probably the hardest part of moving, but it was great to get back together, even if it was only for 24 hours! As we were getting ready to load up to leave Rusty's brother's house to head to the beach, the car started making horrible noises. Of course it does..... we are 12 hours from home, with little extra money, and still two hours away from the hotel where Rusty is expected to be that night!! It wouldn't be a Burchard trip without a little drama!! Rusty, being the amazingly creative guy he is... managed to fix the part with another part (we couldn't find the part he needed and it was 6:00 on the Friday night before Memorial Day Weekend!) and we were on our way-2 hours late, but on our way. This morning the kids and I spent the day at pool and then we met Rusty for lunch at a little pizza place on the beach.

After a little snooze we spent the rest of the afternoon at the beach.
It's been awesome!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Big Win!

Every Sunday, about halfway through our load in process, Chris takes a few minutes to catch everyone up to speed about what's going on at Ridge, to encourage our volunteers and to share our "wins". We talk a lot about what we consider to be a "win" as a church and we try to celebrate those each week. Sometimes a win is as simple as someone feeling that our service was an easy invite, sometimes it's a story that someone shares about a family that hasn't been to church in a while (or ever) and really felt comfortable at Ridge. Sometimes it's the life change that is happening in UpStreet or in our community groups. These wins matter more to us then how many people we had in service that week or what our tithes and offerings were. This is why I love my church! This past Sunday, Chris read an except from the blog of a woman who had visited our church the week before with her family. If you have a minute, you really need to check this out....... This is a HUGE win for Ridge!! This is why we do the things we do and why I am so completely sold out to serving with a community of people that seek together to leverage their time, influence and resources for a common purpose. That purpose being creating environments where people of all ages and backgrounds can connect with our Savior!

Monday, May 19, 2008

My ADD and Me!

So those of you who know me well, also know that I have struggled with ADD most of my adult life. I usually make jokes about it and do OK managing it. Today, I am struggling. Today is the first day of summer break for me and like I said in my last post, I have a list of things I really wanted to complete before we leave for Florida later this week. They are simple things like getting all the laundry done and put away (a feat in itself, I promise you!), paying the bills and balancing the checkbook (another feat!), cleaning and organizing the bonus room (I gave up this morning and just brought out the garbage bags! If Carter asks where his fifty dozen McDonald's toys went-just pretend you don't know!) and getting our office and all my scrapbooking stuff organized. Not that many things, right?? My problem is that in my head, I told myself (don't laugh-you know you talk to yourself too!) I had the plan of tackling one or two of these each day. The problem is it's noon on Monday and I have about given up! Instead of the logical way of "one at a time" my ADD has kicked into overdrive....

Here's how my day has gone so far -

I finished all the laundry and started putting it away-walked into Paige's room to put clothes away and noticed her floor needed vacuumed. Went downstairs to the closet to get the vacuum and noticed the foyer needed a major dusting.... took all the pictures down and dusted and mopped... put all that away and went back upstairs- then I went to put away the towels in the kid's bathroom and noticed that their linen closet was a disaster.... organized that and then went back downstairs.... mopped the kitchen and dining room and then heard a robin outside, looked out the window and noticed that the back yard needed mowed. Went to garage to get the lawn mower and then my phone rang.... I went in, answered the phone and then came to the computer to check out the website my friend was calling about and this is how I ended up here..... Oh my goodness.... It is going to be a long week!!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Friday Five (a day late!)

Lots of stuff going on in the Burchard household... here's the top five.

1. Rusty and three of his buddies are spending today at the Lowes Motor Speedway taking in all the fun! They have pit passes and tickets to dinner and a concert, so I'm sure they're having a great time (Only wish I were there too!)

2. Tomorrow night is the 2nd part in our "Parental Guidance Required" series at Ridge and I am looking so forward to it! The first part was pretty insightful and I can't wait to see the rest of the series.

3. Heading to Ft Lauderdale in a few days to hang out at the beach with my sister and the kiddos. I am so excited, I have missed my sister so much! Laying by the pool and not having any place to be will be heaven, even if it's only for a few days!

4. Rusty and celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary on Tuesday and finally got to go out last night. Rusty picked the restaurant (Sticky Finger's, of course!) and I picked the movie (Baby Mama). I love spending time with him and I am so very thankful for nights like last night.

5. Thursday was my last day at work for the summer. I already have a To-Do list a mile long for myself and I only have 10 kid-less days to get it all done in! I'd better get started!!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Writer's Celebration

This morning we were invited to Carter's class to help celebrate the last "Writer's Celebration" of the school year. Every month his teacher's throw a party to help celebrate the accomplishments the students have made in their writing skills. This being the last one, all the parents were invited. We had a marvelous time! Cake, goldfish crackers and punch were served and we had a chance to meet some of Carter's buddies and their parents. Carter showed off his portfolio of writing projects from the school year and also surprised us with a hard cover, "published" book that he created. His assignment was to choose his two favorite activities from this past year and illustrate and write about each one. He chose our family trip to the Kennedy Space Center and his trip to Monkey Joe's with Miss Megan to write in his book. Here are some of the pictures of the celebration!Carter and Mommy sharing a hug

Carter reading to Daddy Carter's Portfolio

A page from his "published" book (It's about his trip with Miss Megan!)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

13 Years!!

It's hard to believe that today marks the 13th year of marriage for Rusty and I... I am so blessed to be married to, not only the love of my life, but also my best friend. We have been through so much together and I can't wait to see what the next 13 years holds for us.... I was thinking about what I was doing exactly thirteen years ago today... I was getting ready to walk down the isle right about now.... Rusty was working at Florida Atlantic University and I was a technician with Eye Centers of Florida.... We were living with Rusty's parents and waiting on a call from McGregor about whether or not we would be moving to Ft. Myers. It dawned on me today how little we knew about what it took to have a successful marriage... We thought we knew it all!! Then I thought of what we might be doing thirteen years from now... I have no idea what the future holds for us, but I do know that by then we will have three children in their 20's and that alone is enough to make me want to crawl in a hole! This year has been a year of such tremendous growth for Rusty and I, both personally and spiritually. We have learned so much about each other and been more dependant on each others strengths then we have ever been before. God is so good and I have never been prouder to be married to my husband! I love you, honey! Happy Anniversary!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Parental Guidance Required

Tonight we started a new series at Ridge called "Parental Guidance Required". It's a 4 part series and if the other three are anything like tonight, you won't want to miss this series! (It should be up on the Ridge site by Monday afternoon) We've all heard lots of parenting advice, some we can use and some we wish we'd never heard, but Andy seems to always have a way of unpacking the scriptures so they're practical and applicable to my life. He talked a great deal about how many of our children (mine included) are experience rich and relationship poor. How we are so busy making sure they get to karate, ballet or piano, but how we don't spend time teaching them to build a relationship with their heavenly Father. He also talked a lot about the relationships they build outside their home and how important those relationships are to the person they will become. Made me think an awful lot about how grateful I am to the many people who have poured their love into my three kids. If you are one of them (and I'm sure you know who you are!).... From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for helping us to shape the adults my precious kids will grow up to be! Below are some of the pictures of tonight's set and foyer set up. Since the title "PG Required" made us think of the movies, we kind of ran with that theme. It was a blast! Popcorn and coke, big boxes of candy, a movie marquee (man, is my man talented!) and even a red carpet! I couldn't think of better way to end my Mother's Day.

Popcorn and soda , Rusty and the crew setting the stage , A shot of the stage (Look at that marquee!)

This is where my kids get to hang out! UpStreet, Another view of the stage set up,Shot of the Foyer.. complete w/movie posters!

Mother's Day Thoughts

I was just sitting here thinking about all the moms that I've known over the years. Some have served as fantastic examples of what to do right and others have shown me the things I should try to avoid. But all have shaped my parenting style in some way or form. I remember being pregnant with Paige and how unsure I was about everything. I asked tons of questions and read all the books. I was still so nervous about the birth, about breastfeeding and about being a good mom. With each pregnancy I worried about different things. With Abby, I worried if I could love the second as much as the first. With Carter, I worried that Abby was still so young and she wouldn't understand. I'm not sure if I'll ever get it right, but there are things I have learned from each of my precious children and new things I learn from them every day. I pray that I am always open to learning new things and that I never forget how much they still need me, even though they seem so grown up. I was thinking this morning how much I enjoy spending time with my kids... Not just taking care of them-making sure they eat, are dressed in clothes that match and have brushed their teeth, but just being with them. I love sitting on the couch while Carter reads at night, talking with Paige about her day at school on the drive home, and listening to Abby tell jokes at the dinner table... I am so blessed-I have the best job in the world!! I love being a mom!! Happy Mother's Day to all of you Moms!

Friday, May 9, 2008

There have only been a handful of places that they don't have here in Charlotte that I have felt like I couldn't live without.... Probably the one that I have missed the most is Publix. I know it's weird to miss a grocery store and I know those who live in Charlotte would argue that there are plenty of stores here to choose from, but I haven't found one I like nearly as much. While we were in Atlanta this past week, Rusty was so wonderful and let me run in and stock up on the few things I can't seem to find anywhere here in Charlotte. I got to the register with 4 candles (I love the smell-Carmel Creme') and 8 bags of Mueller's fine egg noodles ( I need these to make Rusty's fav dinner!). The cashier looked at me like I was purchasing bomb making material! I guess it's pretty odd looking to only buy candles and noodles??? Anyway, she finally asked about my purchases and I explained that we have moved from Florida to North Carolina and that we don't have Publix there. She looked at me for a second and then said, "You drove all the way to Georgia for a Publix??" She must have though I was nuts!! All I know is I'll be stocking up for the year when we visit later this month! Anyone wanting to send me a care package-now you know what to send! Ha Ha

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Back from DRIVE

Well, we are back from the Drive Conference at North Point in Atlanta.... It was three days of my brain being filled with the knowledge of how and why we do the things we do and my heart being filled with a passion for serving like never before. I keep trying to think of what to say in this post about the conference, and all I keep thinking is, "WOW!" It was amazing to sit in the main sessions, walk around the campuses and participate in the break outs and think how awesome it is that we get to be a part of what God is doing through NPCC. We had tons of fun with our roomies for the week and got to spend some time with great friends in between the sessions. Worship was phenomenal-It was so special to see Rusty getting to enjoy worship.. For as long as we've been together, he has always been behind the sound board; it was great to see him being able to worship without any of the responsibility. On Tuesday night, they told us there was a "big surprise" for all the conference attenders. They told us to make sure our cars were topped off with gas and as we left the last session of the afternoon we were handed a card with a scavenger hunt and directions to Brown's Bridge (one of NPCC's three campuses). When we got there they had burgers, dogs, ribs, cotton candy and funnel cake to enjoy! At 6:30, the doors opened and we enjoyed some music from a blue grass band. Much to our surprise, when the band was done a car drove out on stage and out jumped Jeff Foxworthy!! He was hysterical! Big, big fun that night!!! We ended the evening with dinner at Cracker Barrel with some great friends. Yesterday was a LONG day.. We started off at 7:00 with a special breakfast for the partners and then a full day of breakouts and a main session that just about blew my mind! I am exhausted and ready to get back into the swing of home life again... Laundry and parent pick up line-here I come!!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Headed to DRIVE

In the morning we are heading back to Atlanta (North Point) for a few days for the Drive Conference. I'm so excited - It should be big fun! Tonight, I'm packing and getting things ready for Megan and all the kiddos and spending way too much time on the computer!! Chris spoke tonight at Ridge and did an awesome job of challenging us to leverage our relationships for the one thing that really matters... someone's eternity. Great stuff!! The night was amazing and you'll have to check out Rusty's blog for the story of who led worship tonight. They were fantastic.... Again, great stuff!!
I know I'm always bragging on how I'm married to such a talented and wonderful man.... but, I'm sorry... I have to do it again! Here are a few pictures of the set he created for tonight's sermon-LEVERAGE.... It amazes me the stuff he comes up with! Some people can dream it, some can create it, but he can do both! He is so gifted at what he does.... I love that the Lord provided him the outlet in which to do what God has given him such passion for!
Create for Jesus

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Snakes on a Plane!

Well, actually it was the playground, and really it wasn't "snakes", it was just one snake.... But it still scared the heck out of me! Today has been the first warm day all week and the first day I could take my class to the playground outside. We walked out to the playground and all my little kiddos ran in and started playing. I happened to glance at something about 5 feet from me laying on the ground in the mulch. In a flash, I thought, "Crap, that's a snake!" and then I thought of my nutty two years olds playing about 5 feet away and I tried to think of how to get it as far away from them as I could. I started walking toward it and it slithered (yuck!) through the fence and decided to position himself right in front of the gate that lets us OUT of the playground!! Now I decide to do the most calm and rational (me? rational?? ha ha) thing I can think of.... I start throwing every pine cone, rock, large piece of mulch and all the kids play balls at the snake!! He is jumping and snapping at every thing that came his way, but still won't move! So now we have a completely ticked off snake and a preschool teacher about to loose her mind!! Good combo, huh?? I finally start to calm down and call the 4's teacher Caron on her cell phone and explain to her the predicament. She decides to call the pastor of the church and tell him to come take care of the snake.... He comes outside carrying the largest shovel I have ever seen and then proceeds to tell us that he is petrified of snakes!! I explain to him that he has testosterone and doesn't shave his legs so that makes him the "snake charmer" for today! He raises the shovel and believe it or not, the snake jumped off the ground trying to bite the shovel!! I'm now freaking out and the pastor is about to wet his pants and the kids have finally noticed the snake and are all lined up at the fence saying, "What's Pastor Bruce doing with the shovel??" Long story short.... he finally manages to pin it down, chop it in half and come to the decision that it was more than likely a rattlesnake!! A rattlesnake, are you serious??? All I know is that I am glad I have a long weekend to get my blood pressure back to normal!! was your day??