Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Carter's New Glasses!

Last week Carter came home with a note from the school nurse. The school had just finished their routine screenings and Carter seemed to be having a hard time with eye charts:)
So, this afternoon we headed to the eye doctor and now Carter is sporting these new shades!
He's not too sure about them yet.... but he keeps taking them on and off saying, "I can see that better!" (as he points to some far off place) Here's a picture of him picking out a new toy (yes, I bribed him to go to the doctor..... you have to remember that this is the kid we need to sedate to get his teeth cleaned!! I'm just thrilled he sat in the chair!) Whatcha think???

so you had a bad day.... sing with me

Yesterday was one of those days you just wanna throw in the towel.... I almost posted on this yesterday but I am thankful I waited until now to write. I'm pretty certain the entire post would have just been a huge pity party for myself..... at least today, I am able to see things a little clearer and I'm not nearly as emotional. As many of you know, Ridge Church is a strategic partner of North Point Community Church in Atlanta. We were able to start Ridge with funding from NPCC and some amazing people. Well, it's been over a year and we are now standing alone as a church ( financially) and I would be lying if I said it was an easy task. Yesterday was one of those days where it really sank in... how unpredictable everything is and yet, how blessed we truly are. Such mixed emotions.

then.... to add to my emotional whirlpool, I was in a car accident as I was leaving work yesterday afternoon. Just a minor fender bender (well, at least minor on my part) that broke a tail light and crushed in my bumper. No biggy~but enough to raise my blood pressure through the roof....
Again, mixed feelings.... frustration with yet another bill to have to pay and thankfulness that everyone was safe.

then.... as if I was on some weird reality show called, "Let's See How Long It Takes for Tina to Meltdown?", I had missed a call while I was dealing with the accident "stuff". I get in the car and check the missed message. It was my mom, calling to tell me that they think my grandmother had had a heart attack and was in congestive heart failure in Ft Myers..... A flood of emotions came over me.... why am I so far away from my family?? if I head to FL, will Rusty be OK with work, church and the kids?? can I make it home without "Emily" our GPS (she was GPS-napped out of our car last Sunday:)? Why Lord, do things seem to always happen when you feel the most beaten down already??

Then I remembered a piece of paper I put in my purse after church on Sunday. Chris is preaching a series called, "FEAR", and everyone received a copy of 9 verses from scripture about fear. When I got home, I pulled it out and read them all out loud, in an empty house. In the beginning they were more of a way to convince myself that I believed what I was reading... but by the time I got to the 4th verse, "Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you." Deuteronomy 3:22, I was claiming them! Fear can be so paralyzing, it can make you hold on to things that aren't yours and allow you to make decisions without praying. That was me yesterday. Scared to death about what was going to happen next.. waiting for that other proverbial ball to drop. I'd be telling a big fat lie if I said, I woke up this morning without a care in the world, but I have decided that the 9 verses from Sunday are my claim to sanity. I know my Father knows what's best for me, my family and my grandmother. I also know that I will praise Him for all the blessings in my life, and not be fearful about what will happen next. There has not been a day in these past 16 months where I haven't known that I am exactly where He wants me to be:) We serve a mighty God and I am so thankful that I am able to serve Him here.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Let me introduce you...

Kenya the Kat, this is everybody. Everybody, this is Kenya the Kat. No, Debbie, she's not OUR cat, she is a barn cat. We live across the street from the riding stables and there are two dogs and two cats that call the barn their home. Kenya comes to visit our house almost everyday (much to Abby's delight!) and has now been comfortable enough to come inside and play with the kids. For weeks she would come after school (as if she knew when the kids would be home) and sit on the porch until one of the kids came out to play. Now she comes to door, walks right in and hops on the couch with us! She is the sweetest thing I've ever seen and Abby is in love with this cat:) Lucky for us, we don't have to feed her or pay her vet bills, but the kids think she's theirs!! Last night Rusty came into the living room and Abby and Kenya were curled up in the big chair together... it was so sweet. All I heard was Rusty murmur under his breathe, "We need to get these kids a pet.." I'm getting closer.... I can feel it! Maybe Santa will finally bring my puppy????

Friday, October 24, 2008

mama bear

yesterday and today, the little one's school celebrated, "Grandparents/Special Person's Day". Being that both sets of grandparents live 12 hours away, Rusty and I played the part for the festivities. Carter's went off without a hitch, but Abby's was a whole 'nother story.... Here's where the mama bear part comes in...

Rusty and I arrive in Abby's class and her teacher, whom both Abby and I adore, pulls me aside and asks, "Have you spoken with the principal yet?" I say, "NO, why???" She then begins to tell me that she was told a few days ago that Abby was being moved to another classroom this coming Monday. Needless to say, I was pretty upset... The kids have been through a lot of transitions these past 16 months and the thought of another one for any of them sent me over the edge. Rusty and I headed (or stormed... however you wanna look at it!) down to the Principal's office to see if we could sway her decision. Unfortunately, we were unable to change her mind:( I was so angry, frustrated, ticked off, sad and confused all at the same time. Those that know me well, also know that meant one thing~I cried like a little baby. I was so mad at myself for becoming emotional, but all I could think of were all the changes the kids have made since the move and the ones I know they will have to make again soon. It was overwhelming... I really wanted to take the woman out, but in the back of my mind I knew that it wouldn't help (although I'm pretty sure it would have made me feel a whole lot better!). The worst part was the fact that we had just spent and hour in Abby's class listening to her talk about everything she loved about her friends and school! She had no idea what was about to happen... Every time I thought of it I cried. So we left and waited the long 2 hours until school let out. I prayed in the car when I knew the time was close for her to find out and then I had no other choice but to wait, and trust that her heavenly Father knew what was best for our Abby.

2:00 rolled around and her and Carter got into the car and her face looked so sad... I started welling up again (for like the 25th time!). I hated that she had to go through that, and that we couldn't be there for her when she found out. She is such an amazing child and has a heart that just blows me away.... she was sad, but OK.... We explained that this was not what we would have picked for her, but that we can only see the little picture, but the Principal had to make a decision for the entire third grade, not just for the Burchard family. She seemed to understand. It was a good reminder for me in what we've been through lately. Sometimes we can only see a fraction of God's plan for us. Sometimes He reveals more, but most of the time, we see just tidbits, and if we're lucky, only later, sometimes much later, are we able to get that big picture view. Well, there you g0~Life lessons from momma bear and the third grade!

Monday, October 20, 2008

toto, we are not in FL anymore...

It was 33 degrees when the kids headed off to school this morning:)
Fall is here!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

aw shucks

Making our way through the maze
We're almost there....last sign to find before the end!!

me and my honey
All 7 of the kiddos
My little buddy:)

With temperatures in the low 60's all day, we decided the best way to celebrate the first cool day of Fall, was to head to the pumpkin patch. We went to 'Aw Shucks' to ride the wagon, pet the animals (never made it to them though:), pick pumpkins and try our navigational skills in a corn maze. This is the first time our family had never been to a corn maze (don't have too many of those in Florida!) so the kids had a great time trying to find their way out without getting lost.... although I have to say, it appears all three of our children inherited their sense of direction from their momma.. that's not a good thing:) Thank goodness for Rusty~ he saved the day and lead the 12 of us out in record time! If I'd been left in charge I'm sure we'd still be wandering around out there!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

a sneek peek...

I've been itching to have some family pics done for quite some time but couldn't quite find what I was looking for. I knew what I didn't want was the standard 'Sears' family portrait, but I also wasn't sure of what my other options were.... Much to my happiness, I met Kristen! She is an incredibly gifted and amazing photographer. Our photo shoot was this past Monday afternoon and today she posted a few of our shots on her blog. If you wanna sneak peek, here ya go!

Friday, October 10, 2008

photobooth fun :)

What happens when the kids get a hold of your mac...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

letters to the next president/GL

The White House (yeah-that's a drum set in front!)
Secret Service Agent Don
I had to have "special clearance" to get this close!

On Sunday morning we began a new series at Ridge called, "Letters to the Next President". If you weren't there, check out the message here, so you'll be caught up for this week. Trust me, if you missed last Sunday, you'll want to make sure you're there this coming week! We had a White House on the stage! Yes, the White House!!! *could my husband be any more talented?* A limo out front and the secret service to greet you..... you just knew someone important was watching from behind that tinted glass! The band was amazing and the message was so important, especially now, in this day and time. You won't want to miss this week!

Then on Sunday evening, Ridge Church held our second "Group Link". If you've read this blog for any amount of time, you already know how I feel about group life.... It is amazing, it is one of the best things that has happened to our marriage, we've met some of our closest friends in groups, and it's one of the main reasons I am so passionate about Ridge. There is just something about 'doing life' with a group of people. Something you can't get sitting in rows of chairs with 40 other people.... something intimate, life changing, something I think everyone should be involved in. Group Link is a get together we offer if you are interested in joining a community group at Ridge Church. We had pumpkin pie, apple cider and some great fellowship. (I know that's such a churchy word~but I'm not sure how else to say what I mean:) It was a long day @ Ridge, but so worth it.... Don't miss out next week and if you still haven't joined a community group go here and check it out! See ya Sunday....

Monday, October 6, 2008

I have a confession to make....

OK, I'll be the first to admit that I have a problem.... I am addicted to Facebook.... I guess there are worse things to be hooked on, but either way, I can't quit! I joined a little over a year ago to keep in touch with friends from Florida when we moved to North Carolina. That was my only goal, I promise. But just this week I have been able to reconnect with 7 friends that I haven't spoken to in years! This morning I found three people from my junior high days and it totally made my day! It is so very easy to lose track of friends, even great ones. People marry, move away and go off to college (maybe not in that order~but hey, whatever works). It's easy to get disconnected and lose touch with each other. This past year I have reconnected with some amazing friends through this crazy site and with todays new "friends" I would have to say, I am even more hooked! If you get a chance, join up, add me as your "friend" and happy hunting! I'm sure it won't be long until you're addicted too!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Love Dare

It's probably not a big surprise to those of you who know us well... but there was a point in our marriage where Rusty and I hit a pretty rough patch. I'm sure our story is not too different from many of yours, or the people you may know~too much effort put into work and the relationships there and the exact opposite happening at home. We started to grow apart. We weren't fighting, we just didn't have much to talk about. I went to work at a job I loved, teaching kindergartners, and he went to work at a job he had grown to feel was suffocating him. I didn't want to hear how unhappy he was and he didn't want to hear how happy I was. It didn't happen overnight~it was a slow, silent process. Looking back, it was purely just a lack of being very intentional with our time with the Lord and with each other. Thankfully, we were able to spend a lot of time figuring out what we wanted for our marriage. We knew we wanted a marriage that glorified our Father above all else. We also knew that we had fallen madly in love with each other so many years ago and that we had missed that more than anything else. God has been so good to us. He has used some of the most amazing people, some who have no idea how they have blessed us, to bring us to where we are now. We are so grateful!

One night last week, Rusty and I had a date night and went to see the movie, "Fireproof". It was an incredible movie and I recommend everyone go see it if you get the chance. In the movie there is a book called, "The Love Dare" that is used and it completely changes the marriage of the couple in the story. It inspired us so much that we began doing the love dare ourselves.

One of the things Rusty and I are committed to doing is praying and doing a devotional together every morning. The Lord has used this time to bring us closer than we have ever been and it always amazes me how He can take the words on a page and make them so pertinent to your relationship. We are now on day 8 of "The Love Dare" and it has been incredible! For those of you who don't know what the book is about... each day (there are 40) has a message and scripture to read and then at the end of the passage, there is also a "dare" for you to do for your spouse. Some days have been easier than others and some have sparked conversations we have been putting off for years. I highly recommend, whether your marriage is stronger than it's ever been (like I believe ours is today!) or whether you are struggling each day to find the reasons why you got married in the first place (like I felt at one time) that you check out this book. Happy Reading!