July 20, 2014

June 11, 2014

This was a life changing day!  It was our last day as Oregon residents.  It was the last day of middle school for Parker and Tyler and it was the last day of a grueling junior year for Anthony.

Our house had been packed into the moving truck the day before.  All that was left to do was finals for Anthony and a promotion ceremony for Parker and Tyler.  When that was over we went back to our house for the last time and packed our remaining items into the car.  Brian had us go into our now empty rooms and share our favorite memory that was made there.  Then we were off.

We drove 4 hours the first night and 10 hours the next day in 2 cars with a dog.  Good times!

Parker and Tyler are now officially in high school!
The moving truck 

Tyler's memory
Anthony's memory
Parker's memory
Three boys excited for 14 hours of driving!
Rolo waiting for the moving truck in Visalia.
I got the kitchen and my shoes unpacked the first weekend.  Priorities. 

April 22, 2014


Today was the first day since our move chaos began that I got out with my camera.  It felt good.  Enjoying the rain while I can!

April 1, 2014

Growing older

So, yesterday was my birthday and the best part was that my boys had the day off from school so I got to hang out with them all day.  After my morning workout (because I'm not 29 anymore!) we went out to breakfast.  We then went and saw the movie Non-Stop.  Parker and I should really not see movies like that.  If Liam Neeson ever gets on my plane I will be getting off it.  (I saw The Grey too.  He doesn't have great luck on airplanes!)

When I am on Facebook I see friends with their cute little babies or toddlers and for a moment I long for the days of endless hugs and kisses and "I lub yous."  When they are teenagers they vocalize their displeasure with you more than their love for you.  Yesterday reminded me that the ability to put your feelings into words is what is wonderful about your kids growing up.  The "cards" my boys got me for my birthday melted my heart.  Here is what Parker wrote me.  (Parker is a huge comic book geek!)

"To my Beloved Mother,
Mom, I am giving you this note instead of buying a meaningless card and writing "I love you" because I think this is more meaningful.  Mom, you are like the Justice League because you have their strengths and weaknesses. (not necessarily bad)

Superman-You defend those weaker than you
Wonder Woman-You are a brave warrior/woman
Batman-You help people even if you have to sacrifice things
Green Lantern-You construct brilliant things with your mind
Flash-You help people really fast
Cyborg-You believe that humans are better than machines
Shazam-You have the wisdom of Solomon
Aquaman-A fair ruler of this house

Superman-You are my kryptonite
Wonder Woman- You don't turn into Wonder Woman when you spin
Batman-The Pee-Wee Herman tragedy drove you to help people
Green Lantern-You never give up
Flash-You can't run at the speed of sound
Cyborg-You don't have a gadget for everything
Shazam-There is only 1 of you
Aquaman-The house has no swimming pool for you to rule

Mom, You are my Justice League
Your loving son,
Parker Bailey Burman"

While what he wrote is creative and sweet it is the little things in it that only we know about that make it so precious to me.  For instance, Parker was named after my beloved grandfather.  His middle name is my grandfathers name but Parker never uses it because there are several girls in his class named Bailey and Parker gets made fun of for having a girls name.  He made a point of putting it in because he knows how much that name means to me.

Then there is Tyler.  He is always trying to give me money for things because he doesn't want to be a "burden" on anyone.

Tyler: "I'll pay for my lunch."
Me: "I got your lunch.  You keep your money and save it."

Tyler (handing me money): "This is for the donuts you bought me."
Me: "I don't want your money.  It was a treat.  You keep your money and save it."

Following is an excerpt from his card:
"I want you to know I love you.  Enclosed is a moderate sum of cash.  I don't care if you don't want it, but I want you to keep it.  You could take a day off at the spa, or contribute it to your shoe fund.  I want you to keep it because I want you to know I love you.  You are a strong woman and a great mom, and the world is a better place with you on it.  I love you so much.  Happy birthday, mother."

His thoughtfulness makes my heart happy.

And Anthony, a man of very few words, wrote me a very sweet note as well.  A whole paragraph!!

While the "I lub you" was great, this is far greater!

March 28, 2014

Moving from liquid sunshine to actual sunshine

It is after much prayer and faith in following God through the doors He has opened, that we have decided to leave Oregon and move back to California.  God's timing doesn't always makes sense to us.  God's timing can be downright inconvenient to our mere mortal plans, but God's timing is perfect and when He calls, we need to follow.

We weren't looking for this opportunity.  There was no reason to.  Our church is doing great. Anthony will be a senior next year, the twins will be freshman.  I have a job that I love.  Life is good.  God's timing doesn't always makes sense.

Brian got a call one day from a pastor that he planted a church with back in California in the 90's.  The church they planted was the church I started attending.  It was the church where I met Brian.  This pastor was the one who married us.  There was an opening for the senior associate pastor at their church and they offered the job to Brian.  There was no search committee.  No long interview process.  If Brian wanted the job, it was his.

So Brian brought the offer to the family.  We went our separate ways and prayed about it.  The only way we would start considering a move is if God laid a yes on each of our hearts separately.

I truly feel that God has called us to be in Oregon for the last 16 years.  In terms of family, it feels like we have been away on a mission field.  Apart from my sister, our entire family is in California.  Grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.  This opportunity we were presented with was the first time I have felt God telling me that I could go home.

That is not to say that we don't have family here in Oregon.  God has brought us a "surrogate" family to care for us and we are so thankful for them and will miss them more than words can say.  With Brian's job being what it is, I know that life on earth is not guaranteed.  One of our surrogate grandparents died very recently.  For me, that only deepened my desire to be home.

I came back to the table with a yes.  I won't speak to Brian's thought process as that is his to share, but he came back with a yes.  Last was Anthony.  We gave him full veto power.  We would not ask him to move his senior year if he didn't want to.  We actually asked for his vote first so he wouldn't feel swayed by our answers.  He was a yes. Parker was a yes.  Tyler was a yes.

God has been leading us forward since we all came together with a unified heart.  It hasn't always been easy but following God rarely is.  It is a step of faith.  Someone described it like the scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where he is standing over a deep chasm and he has to take that step, not knowing if there is something there to stop him from falling.  Faith can be terrifying but the reward is thrilling.  I don't know what God has planned for us in California but I do know that I'm going to need to invest in sunscreen.  Lots and lots of sunscreen!


February 27, 2014

Guest Author, Parker Burman

Sanitation Over Profitization!
By: Parker B. Burman Period 3
Many Local Sustainable farms use manure to fertilize grass, even though many people find manure to be gross. But the manure is a natural fertilizer that is healthier for the grass. In The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan identifies that Local Sustainable is fresher and healthier than organic, it is “Beyond Organic!” Some may believe the local sustainable meal is a more expensive way to feed a family, because farmers usually charge more for quality. People should eat Local Sustainable because it is more sanitary, healthier than other foods, and it is generally easier to get than the other three types of food.
The first reason people should eat local sustainable food  is because it is more sanitary. Local sustainable is more sanitary because the chickens are cleaner. They had a lab do a study on their chickens vs. other chickens sanitation, and Polyface won!(Page 174) The chickens live in a cleaner environment. On page 150 it says that supermarket chickens are raised in a “Ten-Thousand-Bird shed that stinks to high heaven,” Except Joel’s chickens don’t, Joel is the owner of Polyface farms, which is in Virginia. The chickens clean the farm. The chickens eat larvae and grubs, which according to page 147 cuts down on bugs and parasites. Local sustainable is more sanitary because they use animals to clean instead of pesticides, in fact Polyface food is also healthier.
Food that comes from farms like Polyface is healthier than the other three types of food, like Industrial, Industrial Organic, and Hunter Gatherer. According to page 150  Polyface farms does not use any pesticides. When farms do not use pesticides, their food does not have any dangerous chemicals. Local sustainable cleans their chickens after they gut them.(Page 179) They gut the chickens in the most sanitary way possible, in a clean environment. According to page 162, Polyface uses natural materials to fertilize the grass. Using natural resources makes it easier to acquire and it is natural. Local sustainable is much healthier compared to the other types because it does not use pesticides. Additionally, it is easy to get.
Local sustainable is generally easy to acquire. Polyface only ships to places less than 150 miles away.(Page 183) Shipping close to Polyface means the food stays fresh because it is not on the road for very long. According to page 184  people also find it easier to drive there. People can easily drive there because it is local. Some people don’t like local sustainable though. People worry that because they don’t use pesticides, the food will have bacteria. They also don’t like the additional cost.  Local sustainable is local and easy to get. All in all, Local sustainable is healthier.

People believe that even though it may cost more money, Local Sustainable food is healthier and generally better for you. A good way to overcome the Omnivore’s Dilemma is to eat Local Sustainable and have a healthier diet, even though it may affect your wallet. Local sustainable is healthier, it is more sanitary, and it is easier to get than food from other countries, when we can just grow our own food here. When people think about the food we eat, people really only care about the taste, but we as people need to see our food for what it is, people need to know what is in their food so people can choose our diets wisely.

January 14, 2014

California Sunshine

For the second half of Christmas break we flew down to California for 8 days.  We flew down to San Jose and the flight was uneventful.  With this horrible flu going around the twins and I were very cautious and wiped everything down with antibacterial wipes.  Brian and Anthony were 5 rows behind us and risked the germs.  (Luckily, no one got sick!)  I taught the twins to count the number of rows between us and the exits.  I doubt in a moment of panic that I would actually remember how many rows but it doesn't hurt to try.  (You want to know how far to the exit because most likely the cabin will be filled with smoke and/or dark and you won't be able to see.  You will need to count the rows with your hands.  A lot of people will pass an exit because they can't see and just head for the front or back of the plane.  It could save your life!)

We went to visit my dad in Santa Cruz first.  We had delightful weather and a great visit.  It was 65 and sunny in Capitola on New Year's Eve.  We watched the surfers, had coffee/tea/Italian soda at Mr. Toots, and walked around the shops.

Next we drove up to Brian's parent's house in Groveland, which is just outside of Yosemite.  We did some hiking and played a lot of board games.  Parker crushed us in Monopoly and Anthony and I dominated in Settlers.  Also played was Skipbo and Garbage.

We also went to Central California where Brian guest spoke at a friend's church.

Our flight home was fun.  Brian had another commitment in another town so he wasn't flying home with us.  He dropped us off at the airport and we got all checked in and our flight was scheduled to be 3 hours late.  We get settled at the gate and we ask why the flight was so late.  The lady at the gate says she doesn't know.  I ask her if our flight will be a continuing flight.  I asked this because we were flying Southwest and we forgot to check in in a timely manner so we were in the B boarding group.  I like A group because I like sitting towards the front of the plane.  That wasn't going to happen with a B group so my next thought was we need to find two rows together because 737's are configured with 3 seats on either side of the aisle.  With a B group boarding we still had a chance of finding two rows together unless it was a continuing flight, meaning there would already be people on the plane when boarding started.  So, my question seemed to confuse the lady as she told me, "Of course the plane was coming from someplace else."  I said, "I realize the plane is coming from somewhere else, but is everyone getting off the plane when it lands?"  She couldn't answer that.  Whatever.  Anthony and Tyler stay at the gate while Parker and I go to find food.  When we come back Anthony says they made an announcement and said our plane was coming from the east coast and was delayed because of weather.

Side note.  When Anthony relayed the announcement to me he left out one part.  They had said it was an operational issue.  He took that to mean an operational issue with the plane and not an issue with the operation of the company.  He wanted to spare me anxiousness.  I love that kid!  He is so thoughtful.  As it turns out, our plane came from Chicago and the intense cold had caused some of the rings in the fuel trucks to freeze so the Chicago airport only had 2 fuel trucks for the entire airport.  There was a long line at the pump!

We finally board and we find seats at the back of the plane.  Boo!  Tyler and I sat in one row and Anthony and Parker sat behind us.  The flight was a rough one.  There was turbulence and several drops.  The flight attendants sat down.  I kept turning around to make sure Parker was doing ok because he hates to fly almost as much as I do.  He said, "Yes, I love feeling like we are going to crash at any moment."  Me too!

It was a great trip.  Lots of memories made and we are ready for the new year!

December 21, 2013


For Thanksgiving this year we went out to the coast for a few days.  It was great to get away and it just reinforced how thankful I am for my family.  For dinner we went to the Chinook Winds Casino for their restaurant's Thanksgiving Buffet.  The boys loved it!  A lot of dessert was eaten!

They actually enjoyed each other's company!


Anthony enjoying the free drinks while we waited in line.

Anthony called this "soup for young people!"  
Or we would call it marionberry cobbler with soft serve ice cream.
He had 4 bowls of "soup."

December 9, 2013

Bert and Ernie

I think this photo completely captures the relationship the twins have.  Parker is generally the goofball and Tyler is usually sighing over Parker's antics.  I love my Bert and Ernie!