Monday, March 30, 2009

more from sunday...

after the non-hunt, we headed over to the art museum.
the elementary schools in the district were having a mosaic display,
and were holding a reception for all the kids.

they looked really cool, all together.

steve and i were feeling like very responsible parents, taking our kids to the art museum and all...
so we decided to take the afternoon off.

emily was fine with hanging at home, since she had spent the night at a friend's house the night before.
so we headed to buffalo wild wings, and watched the mariner's game.
i guess we got a bit distracted.
we were talking, and watching, and well...
i got a text from emily that said,
uh... do you want me to put everyone to bed?

i looked at the clock.
it was 8pm.

uh, yah, that would be great em, we will be home in 45 minutes.

we suck as parents.

apparently april fool's day comes early here in iowa.

this is what we woke up to yesterday morning.
i don't think it's really all that funny.

and we were supposed to go to an easter egg hunt, for steve's work, in the park.
but there was too much snow.
so the easter bunny just handed out bags of stuff.

micah said, sweet... it's like getting a free point!
when i asked him what that meant he said,
you know when you are playing a game on the computer, and you don't do anything, but they give you a free point, it's just like that!

except that's not how it is supposed to be.
easter egg hunts are supposed to be warm, and done in flip flops and sun dresses.
not snow boots.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


like the sound of the waves serves as white noise so often,
so does water in my mind.
i cannot escape it.
everywhere i turn, everywhere i go,
no matter what i do.
and to have none?
it is unfathomable.
and unfair.
and preventable.

it just takes everybody doing a little.
little sacrifices
add up to big sacrifices.
give water.
give people knowledge about the lack of water in liberia.
share what you know.
and give what you share.
because you have.
to whom much is given, much is required.
it's such a simple thing.
but it means a life.
brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers,
daughters and sons.

this just in from micah:


it's hard to think nothing.

unless you're dead.

Monday, March 23, 2009

sand is way better than snow.

except of course, when you get it in your eyes.
or you have to wash the suits and towels.
and the little boys,
whose hair will most likely have sand in it until next spring break.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


three thousand two hundred ninety six miles.

that is what we logged in 8 days.

that is a lot of togetherness.

and we all came home alive....

oh, and peeling. :)

yes we did.

we rode the tram, if you can call it that, to the top of the arch.
the view was great.

the line, however, was long, and hot.

walking back to the car for the drive home...
only a 5.5 hour drive ahead of us.
that's nothing.

day 8, friday.

after a morning swim,
and a trip to costco,
we went to see the st. louis arch.

i had never been to st. louis, and so i was very excited to visit.
it was another beautiful day.

day 7, thursday.

woke up.
got in the car.
12 hours to st. louis.
arrived in the hotel...
which happened to be across the street from a costco (a dream come true for steve)
at 10:30 pm.

day 6, wednesday.

this was the day we were supposed to pack up and drive to new orleans, and up to spend the night in jackson, mississippi.
but it was a bit too perfect in alabama.

so we decided to stay another night instead.
it would make for a very long car ride on thursday...
but what's another long car ride?

tuesday morning

a morning walk on the beach..
it was perfect.
that's all i can say.

day 5, tuesday.

when we arrived at our hotel in orange beach, it was dark, so we didn't really know what to expect, as far as where our room was in relation to things...
this is what we found when we awoke on tuesday morning.
right outside our sliding door.

and this is the view back toward our room, from the beach path.
our room is the one on the lower left, with the red blanket hanging on the railing.
it could not have been more perfect.

day 4, monday.

monday, before we left tampa, we hit the florida aquarium.
it was a great way to begin another long day in the car.

they have a super cool outdoor water area, where the have all sorts of misters going. it was warm, and sunny, and hard to leave...

unless of course your name is emily.
she was not thrilled with the kiddie water area.

we spent another 8 hours driving,
and pulled into our hotel in orange beach, alabama at around 10:00pm central time.

day 3, sunday.

we had such a great time at the beach,
that we went back the next day.
even though it was over an hour away from our hotel.
totally worth it.

and here we have some very tired, very sunburned little people.
it has been a while since we have spent so much time in the sun.
it wore us all out.

more from saturday at the beach...

day 1, friday, and day 2, saturday.

i had the car packed and ready to go by 2 pm, which is when i wanted to leave.
but steve didn't get home until then... work is never done.
so we pulled out of muscatine at 2:45 pm central time.
and we arrived at the burback's favorite beach, in siesta key, florida, at 1:30 pm eastern time.
22 hours of driving.
and it wasn't all that bad.

and much like labor and delivery, once you are on the beach,
the drive is completely forgotten.

i was so glad that cassie had her camera, i was a bit frazzled, and my photos were not nearly as good as hers.

how amazing really.
an afternoon on the beach with good friends.
22 hours from home.
we are blessed indeed.


which is where we are.
we had such an incredible time...

one that can really only be described with images.

so i will attempt to put some up.

but i have a lot.

so it will most likely be an ongoing process.

do you think if i post photos of 80 degree days, every day, that it will make those days come quicker here?

it's doubtful, but worth a shot.

Friday, March 13, 2009

for real.

i just decided about a minute ago
that i am not going to bring my laptop
on our trip.

i need a break.

and so, i am officially taking one.

see you next saturday.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

spring break...

Spring break officially begins tomorrow,
and we will be taking full advantage.

We have been wavering back and forth on whether we should pack up and go somewhere for a while. So late last week we decided we would drive down to the Gulf Coast, to Orange Beach, Alabama for a couple of nights. That way we could show the kids around the area we lived in when Emily was only a baby, and Steve was getting his Master's Degree.

We figured we would drive straight down, (16.5hrs) and spend Monday and Tuesday nights there, then head over to New Orleans for the day on Wednesday, make the turn north, spend Wednesday night in Jackson, MS. then Thursday night in St. Louis, and home on Friday.

Well, yesterday Steve and I saw that the weather doesn't look the best for Monday and Tuesday, thunderstorms likely. What fun is the beach if you get struck by lightning? But we couldn't change our hotels because we went the cheap route with Priceline.

So after about five minutes deliberation, we decided to leave Friday afternoon and drive straight to Tampa (20hrs) and spend Saturday and Sunday night there, before heading over to Alabama on Monday.

The weather in Tampa is supposed to be in the mid 80's.
And we leave tomorrow.
For a 20 hr. car ride, with 7 people.

And I can't wait. :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Steve!

Today is Steve's birthday.
(yesterday was my mom's, but she's out of town.)
The kids are so excited to spend the evening with him,
as last year he was in India.

I'm not going to say how old he is...
But all of these pictures were taken the summer after we met, 15 years ago.
We met two days after Steve's 22nd birthday, during spring break at The Master's College.
The next birthday his 23rd, we had already been married 2 months. :)
I love living life with you Steve.
Have a great birthday.

Monday, March 9, 2009


hey mom,
this spoon is from when i was born in africa.

*maybe we should start talking a bit about seattle.

Bugsy Malone The Muscial

Emily has spent months at rehearsals.
This weekend was the real deal.
They had two daytime performances on Thursday, and performed at night, on Friday and Saturday.

The kids did great. At times, it was easy to forget they are just sixth, seventh, and eighth graders.

Emily didn't have a big roll, but she was happy to be a part.
I think the theatre is definitely her niche.

We took all of our kids on Saturday night, and they loved it. Sat thru the whole thing, and didn't ask once when it would be over!

Tonight, is Isaiah's band concert...
Let's hope the outcome is the same.

and also important...

spongebob pyramid.

big news

there is a lot of things going on in these parts.
most importantly, as you will see in the sidebar,
we have a new and improved official image and website for
water 4 christmas.
you will find every thing you need there, in a streamlined,
all inclusive site.
if you want to donate, purchase t-shirts, join 300 voices, or just learn a little more about the water 4 christmas campaign, you can do it all there.
jody and kari spent a crazy amount of time putting it together, and they did an amazing job.
go check it out.

and next, the thank you bags (if you signed up to be a 300 voice donor) are in the mail! so exciting! they are adorable, and big, and i take mine everywhere!

oh, and be sure to get a t-shirt over on the wfc site, i had mine on this weekend, at emily's musical, bugsy malone, and someone said, "Oh, i wanted to see those shirts in person before i ordered one... love them."
Show your support, and commitment to bringing fresh water to the people of Liberia.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

seventy three.

as in, finally a warm day.
we took full advantage and headed to the park.

lots of room to run, and run he did.
it was so nice to be outside.
fresh air.
and more importantly, no snow.

i do believe we even came home with sun pinked cheeks!