Wednesday, December 31, 2008

a tale of two presents

Santa brought a new trampoline. With an enclosure, don't worry. It just wasn't assembled yet in the picture. He also stuffed the girls' stockings with craft kits he bought for $1 at Michael's. I know they were only $1 because he left the price tags on. Well, the pictured craft kit is one where you put the beads on the pegs, iron it until they all melt together, and then stick a magnet or key chain on it. Fun, fun. As fun as a trampoline? Apparently so. The "connection dots", as she calls them, were such a hit with Maggie. This is how conversations between her and enquiring adults would go:
Adult: "What did Santa bring you?"
Adult: "Wow! I don't even know what that is. What else did he bring you?"
Maggie: "Not a dog, Mrs. Claus won't let him bring dogs anymore."
Me: "What else did Santa bring?"
Maggie: "Um...Ratatouille."

Moral of the story....5 year olds are just as happy with stuff from the dollar store as they are wonderful presents that will provide years and years of enjoyment. So save your money.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I took the oldest three to Christmas at the farm tonight at Wilson-Rutlidge. I had to bribe the kids with M&M's to get them to sit on Santa's lap.

Even M&M's weren't enough to convince Lucy.

Santa's promise of a candy cane in addition to my M&M's was enough to get her to pose for a picture. But not enough to touch him.

When Maggie asked for a real dog and a trampoline Santa really came through for us by explaining that Mrs. Claus won't let him give pets anymore. She was just always worrying that the kids weren't taking good care of them. On the car ride home, the girls wondered how he got by with bringing them a goldfish last year. Hmmmmm......

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas card rejects

After falling apart last year on our way to our 4th party of the day, I vowed that this year would be different. No more over-committing ourselves and our children to the point that we don't even enjoy the season. You know what? It's worked! I am really enjoying the Christmas festivities this year. I can't believe that we have only 4 days left but I'm ready. The only area where I seem to be an utter failure is in getting our Christmas cards out. I really could of skipped it but the ole mama guilt took over as I realized that it is Daisy's first Christmas. So I finally ordered our cards on Friday. At Walmart because it would of taken too long to get them in from the website where I normally order from. I tried to get by with sending less this year but it has become clear that's just not going to work. So, looks like I'll be getting a few dozen more and sending them out this week, probably arriving after Christmas. Until you get yours, here are a couple of our reject pics.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

cooking 101

Out of the 22 parties and get togethers we have attended or are planning to attend leading up to Christmas, one of them stands out as the most anticipated. I've been looking forward to this day for weeks. We spent the afternoon soaking in Diana's culinary knowledge, talk about Titus 2 in action. She shared her recipes and her heart for young wives and mothers. Best of all, my freezer is now stocked with 5 delicious meals for my family. Mrs. Recipe Box, how about you hosting the next class?

Monday, December 01, 2008

I'm breaking my word

I know I said I would never speak of this again but I can't help it. There are a few deals out right now that I just have to tell you about. First of all...our local Kmarts are finally participating in double coupons, this week only. They will double your coupon up to $2.00. That means a $2 off coupon becomes a $4 off coupon. I'm heading out to get me a bunch of free stuff in a minute. Today is also cyber monday which is supposedly the biggest online shopping day of the year. I don't know if it lives up to all the hype but there are a few good deals to be found. Old Navy is 20% off site wide and there is free shipping at Gap, BR, and Old Navy. TRU is running some great deals, too. Just google cyber monday and you'll find a lot of sites running specials for today only. Finally, is all this deal seeking and couponing worth it? Well last month I spent $321.62 on groceries. My total before coupons would of been $849.73. To me, that's worth it!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving week

Turkey cookie making. Maggie singing in a can (name that movie). CVSing early Thanksgiving morning. They paid me $14 to take this stuff. Thanksgiving breakfast. Swinging with the 2nd cousins after lunch. Then off to dinner at my parents' house followed by a movie with friends. We have so much to be thankful for!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

When I was in the sixth grade, my family hosted an exchange student from Japan. She lived with us for about 10 months while she attended her junior year at Glendale. It was one of the highlights of my childhood. I finally had someone to share clothes with and fight for shotgun in the car. Yuka quickly became a special member of our family. I can still remember how sad I was when she left. I didn't know if I'd ever see her again. Since that sad day 15 years ago, she has visited us 4 times and we met up with her in Hawaii one time. We were so happy to have her and her parents with us the last 5 days. They are such sweet people. I can't wait until we meet again.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's official!

Congratulations to Sam and his family!!!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

We shall never speak of this again.....

Ok. By request, here it is. Call me Clay Aiken because I'm coming out of the closet. The coupon closet. I started this couponing thing last winter but I wanted to keep it quiet. I didn't want to be known as the crazy coupon lady who talked about all of her free toothpaste. Well, I have become that lady. I have 8 tubes sitting in my cabinet right now. I got all of them for free. Anyway, because I keep getting asked about it, here is how to embark on your own crazy coupon journey should you be so inclined.

First, let me tell you where I get the coupons. Online, Here is a great list of lots and lots of printable coupons. is pretty decent, too. The News-Leader's coupons stink so I buy 2 copies of the Kansas City Star every Sunday. I file them all in my really cool coupon binder that looks a lot like a trapper keeper. Except it's bigger.

Now on to using the coupons....I shop at CVS, Walgreens, Dillon's, and Wal-Mart. Here are the websites that tell me what to buy where and with what coupons. There is a whole art form in matching the sales to the coupons so you can get free or almost free stuff.

Is it worth the time and effort? For a lot of people it wouldn't be. That's the honest truth but for me it is worth it. I have to buy a lot of stuff for the 6 of us. I have 2 children in diapers. I just finished shopping for the whole month's worth of groceries. I spent $133.19. That included 2 packs of diapers, 12lbs of chicken breasts, 3lbs of ground beef, 3 gallons of milk, and lots of other stuff. My pantry is busting at the seams. Without coupons I would of spent $325.43. A savings of almost $200. I will, of course, go back weekly to buy milk and produce but that should only be about another $60 or so. I will also go to CVS every week to load up on whatever free stuff they are handing out. Other than that, we are set.

I have now bared my coupon loving soul to you, the blogging audience. And we shall never speak of this again...

Monday, November 03, 2008

weekend with the Brittons

Such a fun time. We trick or treated, ate, shopped, conquered my fear of propellers, spent an evening with Tre, ate some more, and shopped some more.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Best Halloween Party Ever!! Thanks Talburts!

Still true. MB

Thursday, October 30, 2008

St. Louis

Perfect weather. Wonderful food. Thanks Ed and Susan for a great weekend.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Palin power

So we get to the Sarah Palin rally around 8:30. We pass through security around 9 and we get a great spot by the stage. It's freezing so Tiffany and I spend the next 2 hours dancing to keep warm. There was music playing and we were standing right by a speaker so I'm sure we didn't look too weird. We are then treated to a concert by the Pierce Arrow Theater quartet. Awesome. The local Republicans running for office gave their speeches. Then it of the greatest surprises of my life. The MC says "Please welcome Naomi Judd." What!!?? I had no idea she was going to be there! I lose it at this point, I'm so excited! Tiffany and Rob have never heard of her so I'm trying to tell them who she is. I just love the Judds. I've read Naomi's autobiography and I have her cook book and I've seen the T.V. movie and I love their music. I mean really, who doesn't love their music? That's a rhetorical question. So she gives this great intoduction then Sarah comes on and does her thing. She was amazing. Then she walks around the stage to sign autographs followed by her daughters and Naomi. It was such a fun morning. Shout out to Chad for keeping all 4 kids for 5 hours so we could go. Thanks so much.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

progressive dinner

When we went to Ikea last year, we talked about planning a progressive dinner. 14 months happened. (Thanks to Holly!) It was such a fun night. You'll notice in the pictures that it was more of a progressive nap for Henry than a dinner.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


We spent Saturday evening at the corn maze and pumpkin patch. The maze took us about 30 minutes to complete and in that time I think my husband came up with every possible pun using corn. It really was a lot of fun.

Friday, October 10, 2008


The girls and I toured the Ozarks' Coca-Cola bottling company yesterday with our co-op. I took the camera for Maggie to take pictures with but it died 5 minutes into our tour. It was very interesting and informative. Some things we learned:

-The Ozarks drinks more Dr. Pepper than anywhere else in the world.
-Diet Sprite and Sprite Zero are the exact same thing.
-Diet Coke and Coke Zero use different sweeteners. Diet Coke is marketed to women (Tammy) and Coke Zero is marketed to men (Bryan).
-They make most of their money off of 20oz bottles.
-They use filtered, pure water to make their product so that is why fountain drinks sometimes taste funny. Our city water has minerals in it that affect the taste of the drink.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

MOH from Heaven

In addition to this being "the wedding week", I think this should also be "encourage Andrea to move here week!"

Friday, September 26, 2008

September in pictures

I really wish I would of taken my camera to Sam's 30th the other night. It was one of the best parties I've been to in awhile. Good job, Natalie. Also, Rick was kind enough to take the kids and Matt for a helicopter ride. I opted out, you know me and propellers. I really wish I would of had my camera on me. It was probably the best day of Oliver's life, no joke. He loved it.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


I took Daisy to get her pictures made this morning. They wanted to know her middle name so they could print it on one of the pictures. The only problem was....I had forgotten how to spell her middle name. Mandy was with me and we agreed that it was probably spelled Adaline. We met Matt for lunch and he agreed. Then I came home and looked at my Facebook and I spelled it Adeline. Which is right? I have no idea! How could I have forgotten how to spell her middle name??!! I will now go and find her birth certificate...if we have one. She was born at home and I don't really remember applying for it. Poor, poor 4th child!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Oliver and Gabes' party

Thanks to all the family and friends who celebrated with us.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

This kid

I wrote our adoption testimony tonight. The deadline for the Shoahannah's Hope yearbook is tomorrow. Of course I waited until the last minute to try and articulate our story. I wasn't sure how to condense it all into 3 paragraphs and 2 pictures. Writing it out refreshed my memory as to what a little miracle he is. I was reminded of how we know with absolute certainty that God called us to adopt from Korea. I fought it sometimes. Wasn't the need greater in China? Aren't the fees less in Africa? None of that changed the fact that our son was in Korea.
I wish I could write one of those great testimonies about how our child came home and fit right in and never had any problems. But I can't. I think that parenting him is the hardest thing I've ever been called to do. There is no guidebook. I'm his 4th mom. He was passed from birth mom to foster mom to other foster mom and then to me. He will be two in a few weeks. Insecurities abound in his little heart. Anger spews from him. Nightmares plague him. We pray for him and over him and with him. I know that God has something special for his life. I know because this whole adoption was God's doing. I can't wait to see what He has planned for Oliver Scott Burch. I know it's gonna be amazing.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

lots of pictures

Mandy grew a huge zucchini and Dana taught us how to fry it. So good.

How many swat team members do you know who can make the olympic rings out of jello and fruit pizza? Seriously, what can't Holly do?

redneck waterslide

Lucy telling us what she bought with her tickets at Incredible Pizza.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


Soooo.... JV lake day is on Sunday and I was to shop for all the necessary food and such today. I start to load the kids in the car after lunch so we can make our way to wally world. I had already shut our front door, which locks automatically when it is shut, when I realize I can't find my keys in the diaper bag. The kids and I wait in the front yard for Matt to show up with his house key. Maggie steps in dog poop at this point. Matt (and his parents, and his sister, and his niece) pull up. He lets me in the house and I look around and can't find my keys anywhere. He then remembers where he had left them the night the console of our van. We finally get on our way. I meet Crystal at Wal-Mart and it takes us a good while to fill our carts up with all the stuff that is needed to feed and water 50 middle schoolers for an entire day. Going grocery shopping with a whole bunch of kids in tow is always a good time. Especially when you are buying so much stuff that there is no room left in the cart for them to ride. Fun times. We finally check out and load up our cars. As I am pulling out of the parking lot, Cory calls. "You haven't bought all the food for lake day yet, have you?" Turns out it looks like lake day is probably going to be canceled because of storms so now we get to return all of the groceries. How funny is that!??

On a more positive note....on our way home from the store, we stopped at Ms. Tween's to preview her invitations and Daisy decided she wanted to stay for awhile. When she was returned to me she was wearing a new zutano outfit, playing with a new toy, and sporting her first tooth.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Chad and Skyler sitting in a tree.....

We love you both and we can't wait until the big day!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

3 blogs in one

What a great party! Brad and Mandy...we love you guys and we can't wait for October 4th. Linda...thanks so much for making the cakes. They were wonderful!!!!

We went to Jumpmania yesterday. Love it, love it, love it.

And.... a funny story. Today we were at the mall in the playplace when 3 Korean moms and their kids walk in. My kids mingle and play with them. After a few minutes, Maggie comes running up and asks me, "Which one is Oliver? I can't tell." Seriously. She couldn't tell which one was her brother. She later asks Chandler (who was with us), "Oliver is the one wearing green. Right?"

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

their first trip down the aisle

The girls were flower girls in Matt's cousin's wedding. I knew Maggie would do great but I was a little worried about Lucy panicking and not being able to walk down. They both did so well and Lucy even saved some petals in her basket for Mandy's wedding.

Friday, July 11, 2008

holy cow

As Mandy said..."Some people's pride is worth more to them than $5.88." Well, not ours. Today was cow appreciation day at Chick Fil A. If you dressed like a cow from head to hoof you got a free meal. If you only had one cow item on, you got a free entree. We went all out and it was fun. We will be reusing the spots and tails next year.

Monday, July 07, 2008

You know it's time to take the kids home from SDC when...

....they fall asleep sitting up.

scenes from the dance floor

Beautiful wedding. Super fun reception. Perfect night.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Gorilla costume plus kids on the trampoline equals fun

K1 turns 30

Guests were to come as people form the 30's (super cute idea, huh?). There was Superman and Lois Lane, Shirley Temple, King Kong, Ansel Adams, the Little Rascals, Amelia Earhart, and Nattie Gann just to name a few. So fun!


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Friday, June 13, 2008

camp or bust

Daisy and I are headed to JV camp next week. I'm so excited to get to know the kids (and fellow counselors) better. I'm worried about getting homesick but I'm sure I'll push through it and have fun. I am very sad that Mr. Linus will probably decide to make his grand entrance while I'm gone. If he could just hold on until Friday afternoon....

In other news, I'm teaching Holly to CVS (yes, that is a verb as well as a noun) tomorrow. If you want in, give me a call.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Going to the chapel and they're gonna get married

Mandy and Bradley, we love you both so much. Congratulations on your engagement.

Mr. and Mrs. Clint Bartley

Such a fun wedding. The absolute best reception food I've ever had. Loved the dancing. Thank you so much for letting us join in the festivities. You 2 make a beautiful couple.

Monday, June 02, 2008

slumber party

We had a really great, and I mean REALLY great, group of girls promote out of the JV class this past week. We celebrated their graduation with a slumber party and trip to the tea room. Even Daisy had fun, and she got her first pedicure courtesy of Crystal.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial day 08

I can't remember a more relaxing and fun weekend. I saw 3 snakes. Oliver tubed for the first time. I read a novel from cover to cover. We ate way too much but it was all delicious. Thank you so much to all of the Wilsons and Tuckers for allowing us to tag along. You are so generous with us. Thank you for loving our children. Our relationships with you mean more to us than you will ever know.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Steven Curtis Chapman is a giant in the adoption world. He has done so much for the cause, more than anyone else in our generation. We were blessed by a grant from him while we were in process for Oliver, as were the Demers and many other adoptive families. I've always thought of him as such a hero for all of the waiting orphans in this world. It was such a shock to hear of his youngest daughter's passing. Here is a blog they have set up to let others express their condolences.

Monday, May 19, 2008


I turned 28 today. I slept until 9 which I would like to say is sleeping in but that's my usual wake-up time. Went to lunch with Laura and my mom. Bought a fabulous new baby sling at Jellybeans. Grabbed Ocean Zen to go and took it to the park because it is gorgeous outside. I've always loved having a May birthday, the weather is usually great and peonies (my fave) are in bloom. Tomorrow night we celebrate with family.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

because blogs with pictures are more fun

How cute is Molly's face!

Ollie wearing Emily's pink jacket. I think it's his color.

Look who held the baby!

Cashed out.

Watching her baby graduate.