Wednesday, December 31, 2008

blogging break

I took a break..... It wasn't something I had planned on, but that's what ended up happening these past few weeks. Life has seemed to be in running on fast forward the month of December. I am still in shock that there are less than 2 hours left of this year!! Where has the time gone?!? We had a marvelous Christmas vacation in Florida and were able to spend a lot of time with our amazing family and friends. I have so much to share, but for tonight, I'm going to enjoy ringing in 2009 with the love of my life and three of the most precious "Christmas overloaded, non stop DS playing, been riding in a car for 12 hours and think they're stayin' up till midnight" children!


Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas

I wanted to share with you this video that Rusty put together for our Christmas service at Ridge Church.

I hope everyone had a very merry, Christ filled Christmas.

Friday, December 19, 2008

morning surprise

I have struggled the past few months with trying to determine how I would know if I was making an impact on my oldest daughter.... 13 is a tough age... I remember 13, and I would not do it again if I had the choice. Rusty and I constantly pray that we will never lose influence with her. That she will choose to make the right decisions, not out of fear because we are "older, wiser, have control of the $ and her phone", but because she loves and respects us and knows the expectations that Christ has for her. This morning she was on the computer before school. I thought she was putting the finishing touches on an assignment. After she left for the bus, I came in to check my emails and this letter is what I found. Made me cry.... made her daddy melt. I love that kid!! I am so blessed:)

Dear Mom,

Thanks. Thank you for being there through everything. I love you so much. Thanks for catching me when I fall, like the time when I got sick in the hospital. I am sorry you had to miss your trip to New York City. Thanks for cheering me up, like when we had to move from Florida to North Carolina. I was sad about leaving my friends, but now I think it was the best decision ever! Thanks for buying me things, like my new cell phone. I love it is it so cool! Thanks for being the best mom ever! I know a lot of people say their mom is the best, but you are the real deal! Thanks for helping me learn. (Even though I go to Dad for help with school:) I love you so much!!!!!!!!!

One more time Thanks!!!

Your crazy monkey,


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Traditions

While checking out her blog today, I found this fun survey and since I'm completely exhausted from all of the Christmas season running around, I thought I'd cheat and "borrow" this idea!!
Here it goes:)

1~Wrapping paper or gift bags?? Paper w/big bows and curling ribbon! It's way more fun to see someone struggling with ribbons then just pulling a wad of tissue paper out of a bag:)
2~Real or Artificial tree?? In a perfect world, without allergies or budgets, I would say real... but we actually put up our artificial pre-lit 7 footer in less than a hour and it was FREE!!
3~When do you put up your tree? the day after Thanksgiving... I would put it the day after Halloween if I thought I could get away with it:)
4~When do you take the tree down? sometime the first week in January
5~Do you like eggnog? No, yuck!
6~Favorite gift received as a child? when I was 15 I wanted a brown leather jacket with fringe on the sleeves... don't knock it, I rocked the leather!! My mom gave it to me after I had pretty much given up any hope of getting it.
7~Easiest person to buy for? My son, Carter. If it has Star Wars on it, it's a winner! I could buy him a Lunchable with Darth Vader on the box and he'd be happy!
8~Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, I have 2. A snowman set (I'm sure Baby Jesus with a carrot nose is a sin in somebody's world!) and a chunky little set that the kids play with.
9~Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail! Do people seriously send email Christmas cards???
10~Worst Christmas gift ever received? one of those roomba vacuum cleaners that just runs around the house by itself... a little creepy if you ask me and I had a house with almost all wood floors! Sorry Mom, but I love you anyway!!
11~Favorite Christmas movie? a tie between Chevy Chase's Christmas Vacation and the Peanuts Christmas.. Linus gets me every time!
12~When do you start shopping for gifts? Usually I start around October. This year I have done it all in the past two weeks!
13~Have you ever recycled a Christmas gift? you betcha! How many candles and lotions can one person use?? lol
14~Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? anything chocolate!! I really love chocolate dipped pretzel sticks and Deb's buckeyes (hint, hint)
15~Lights on the tree? ah, duh!! Does anyone have a tree in their house without lights???
16~Favorite Christmas song? Transiberian Orchestra's Christmas Canon and Sarajevo... love them. One makes me wanna cry and the other makes me wanna drive REALLY fast!!
17~Travel for Christmas or stay home? I have mixed feelings about this one. I would love to have all my family together for Christmas without having to travel, but I guess as long as we are here and they are there... traveling will be always be in someone's Christmas plans!
18~Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Yep
19~Angel or star on the tree top? neither, I have a snowman and man is he cute!!
20~Open presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? As a child we all went to church Christmas Eve and when we got home we could pick one presents from under the tree to open. I loved it! It always made me feel like I was getting away with something:) Now, we open them all in the morning.
21~Most annoying thing about this time of year? I get so mad that I sometimes allow myself to get caught up in the buying and wrapping and worrying and more buying and wrapping and worrying, that the real meaning of Christmas gets lost. There is a song out by Amy Grant, called Silent Night. It makes me cry every time I hear it, because that's how I feel so often during this crazy season.
22~Favorite ornament? I have all the ornaments that Rusty made as a child (My mother-in-law gave them to me a few years back). They are precious to me.
23~Favorite Christmas dinner? I LOVE turkey and mashed potatoes and all the traditional Christmasey sides.
24~What do you want for Christmas this year? a golden retriever puppy

OK, that's mine! Now I'd love to read yours:) Do one on your blog and link back here and here so I can read them!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

doing what i love.....

I love being a preschool teacher! I adore everything about it! I love sharing the bible story with them and hearing their sweet voices as we pray together each morning. I love the huge mess that is left on the floor every afternoon when they all leave.... my motto is 'a messy room means we had tons of fun'! I love watching them on the playground, playing freeze tag or hide and seek. But, I'll have to admit that one of my all time favorite things to do with them are crafts:) Usually the messier the better! I love crafts that parents can keep. My favorite part of putting up our tree at home each year is going through the special box where I keep ALL the Christmas crafts my kids have ever made. We have paper plate angels, Pringle lid photo ornaments and construction paper gingerbread men hanging on our tree. I really wanted to help my preschoolers make some long lasting keepsakes for this year. Being that this is our inaugural year as a preschool, we are on a tight budget. So I dug deep and found some very inexpensive Christmas crafts to do with my class. They turned out so cute, I thought I'd share some with you!

This one is my favorite!
I stole (I mean
borrowed this idea from Carter's kindergarten teacher)
Paint the child's 4 fingers and thumb white, set glass ornament into palm of their hand and have them gently squeeze. This will make 5 "snowmen" fingers. When dry, add name, year and details.) You can change the poem to reflect the year:)
Construction paper "Angel"
plastic spoon "Snowman" ornament
(plastic spoon w/cotton balls, felt hat and pipecleaner scarf)
Bowtie Pasta Wreath
(color pasta w/rubbing alcohol and food coloring~let dry overnight~then glue onto cardboard circle painted green)


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Not Picky....

I will pretty much watch anything on TV..... Any one day could bring anything between an episode of iCarly to a Dirty Jobs marathon. I'm not picky..... But there is one show I absolutely love watching.... Monday nights at 9:00, my butt is parked in front of the television waiting for "Heroes". I love this show! But....there is just one thing I hate to watch on TV...... SPORTS. It doesn't matter what kind it is, I can't stand watching it. I love being at a game, whether it's baseball, football, hockey or a race; but I don't want any part of day to include watching a televised sporting event. Now, I say all this because my favorite show was booted for a Panthers game! I know, I know, I live in Charlotte now, but that doesn't mean I automaticly became a die hard fan. I got up this morning and checked our local NBC affiliate's website to see when (or if) they were going to reair my missed, must see Thursday night line up.... and here it is:

Top Stories

NBC's Monday night programming rescheduled

09:42 PM EST on Monday, December 8, 2008
By NewsChannel 36 Staff
E-mail Us:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- NewsChannel 36 is airing the NFL game between the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night, meaning you won't see your regularly scheduled programming.

Instead, "Chuck" will air on Tuesday at 2 p.m.

"Heroes" will air on Wednesday at 2 p.m.

"My Own Worst Enemy" will air early Thursday morning at 3 a.m.

I guess my butt will be parked in front of the TV on Wednesday afternoon! I guess I should be counting my blessings that "My Own Worst Enemy" isn't on my list of favs!

Now all you die hard Panthers fans.... no hate mail please:)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Day @ the Zoo

beautiful birthday girl
3 monkeys on an elephant
my turtle lover and his little friend

Instead of birthday parties for the girls this year, we decided to spend the day as a family doing something we'd all really enjoy. So, this morning we headed off to Asheboro to the NC Zoo. It was 32 degrees when we left Charlotte and I think it may have made it to 41, maybe even 42.... needless to say, it was cold!! The best part was, aside from our family and the four groups of people we saw while on the trails, we had the whole zoo to ourselves! It was awesome! The kids had all the time in the world to spend at each exhibit.... so, we took our time, spent the day walking and talking, and just enjoying our time with each other. The funniest part of the day was when we visited the otters. There were two otters in the exhibit and one really took a liking to Abby! Their habitat is divided into two separate areas, connected by a tube, so they can go in and out from both sides. It all started when one otter ran into the tube and off to the other side......Abby ran to that side to see where he went and the chase was on! This started the most hilarious 15 minutes of the day! Abby would run back and forth and that crazy otter would chase her. Even when Abby stopped, he would stop and wait for her to start running again! You'll have to check out the video below of all the fun:) We had such a great time today, we even became zoo members so we could back again and see Abby's new friend! (hopefully when it's a little warmer!) She's convinced she has to wear the EXACT same outfit so he will recognize her next time! How cute is that?? She named him Jimmy, because in her words, "He's fast like Jimmy Carter!" To which I said, "I think you mean Jimmy Johnson???" She says, "Oh Yeah.. Jimmy Johnson, Jimmy Carter was a President! I'm so silly!!" ha ha ha, outta the mouths of babes!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Not sure where to start...

I really have no idea how to put into words some of what I've been feeling lately..... It has been a whirlwind week. I still feel like I'm trying to recover from it all.....I'll try my best to fill you in on the past few days. We left last Tuesday afternoon to drive to Port St. Lucie, Florida for the Thanksgiving weekend. We stayed there until Saturday morning, when we made the "what should have been a 9 hour trip", that turned into a 14 hour drive, home. We had an amazing time visiting with Rusty's family. There are 16 grandchildren and 7 of them are between the ages of 12 and 15, so the kids had a blast hangin' with the cousins:) We spent a lot of time eating (I think Rusty and I gained 6 pounds between the 2 of us!), playing poker (not me... I'm a self professed card hater!), spoons (OK, this is the ONLY card game I like!) eating some more.... and just catching up with everyone.

Janice & Larry with the 3 boys (I know it's blurry but I love the look on her face. love.pure love)

I guess you don't realize how much you miss being away from home, until you go back. We spent a lot of time visiting with Larry and Janice, Rusty's parents. Janice was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis last summer and lately has been having a real difficult time. The last time we saw Mom was this past June. So much has changed since then. In just the past few months, she has gone from being able to drive, walk and teach a 1st grade Sunday School class every week, to being in a wheelchair and on oxygen 100% of the time. Just getting up to do such simple things, such as get a drink or use the restroom, cause her blood oxygen levels to drop to half of what they should be. It was so hard to see her struggling for each breathe..... She has been such an amazing part of my life and I know that God placed her in my life for such a specific purpose. Janice has been my "other mom" since I was 15 years old, when Rusty thought I was cute and dragged me into her life. I was so screwed up at the time. So full of myself and having no clue what I wanted or needed. She saw through it all... through all my crap and my issues and showed me, little by little, what, or really, who, I needed. At a time when she had so much influence over Rusty.... for goodness sake, he was 16 and barely driving when we met..... she chose to use her influence to lead me and love me instead of encouraging Rusty to give me the boot. She never once tried to convince me that I needed Jesus... she lead by example.... just like she's done everyday that I've known her. I wanted what she had, I wanted to raise my children to be the kind and generous adults that her boys grew up to be..... and when I asked Jesus to come into my life and save my sorry, good for absolutely nothin' butt, I don't think she could've been any prouder than if I had been her own flesh and blood:) I think all of this has hit home and I feel like a big ball of mush....
Carter & Rusty

Abby & Baby

The kids had such a great time:) Aunt Diane took us all horseback riding on Friday. Abby grinned from ear to ear the entire day! The kids played football, had a sleepover every night, and just really enjoyed the freedom that comes with visiting Grandma and Grandpa Burchard. One of the coolest things that happened this weekend was between Carter and Rusty. Janice saves everything.... really, I mean EVERYTHING.... sometimes it drives me nuts, but most of the time, she'll pull something out and it will almost bring me to tears that she thought to save it all this time~instead of throwing it away. This weekend was no exception. On Wednesday morning, Rusty's mom and dad gave him his Construxs sets that he had played with when he was a boy. He thinks he was about Carter's age when he received them as a gift and now it was his turn to pass them on to Carter. It was so sweet! The two of them played for HOURS, planning and building cranes, space vehicles and everything in between. What an awesome memory! Thanks Mom and Dad for all you do and have done! We love you and are praying for you.... hang in there, Mom.... we'll see you at Christmas!