August 18, 2009


We have found a new way to be lazy. Now, when our phone rings, the caller id shows up on the TV. We don't have to get up to screen our calls! It even gives you the option of pausing the program you are watching. Woo! Hoo! for couch potatoes!

What to say!

Parker and Anthony have been wanting a specific X-box 360 game. We don't have the money to buy it, so I surprised them and rented it. Parker had some problems with his attitude and as a result, lost the privilege of playing the rented game yesterday and today. Last night he came to me and asked me to "please give me mercy." I wasn't expecting that one! What do I say to that?!!! I was floored!

So, I had a decision to make. Do I keep the punishment to make a point about consequences or do I show him mercy and give him what he does not deserve? What is the right decision for Parker? Which one will have the most impact on him? Where is the answer key?

Brian and I decided to grant mercy. I used the opportunity to talk about God's mercy and how we are still responsible for our actions. I pray it was the right way to go!

August 17, 2009


how is the dog not bald? There is so much dog hair everywhere!!!!!!!!

August 16, 2009

The rest of Vacation

We just hung out and relaxed the last few days of our vacation. My Dad kept making delicious meals and I kept eating them. Any weight that I had lost at camp has now been regained!

Monday and Tuesday we took the boys to the Boardwalk. They rode rides and played games. On Tuesday afternoon, Brian, Anthony, and my Dad went golfing. Wednesday the boys played down at the creek that is at the back of my Dad's property. Wednesday night we went to dinner with my friend I have know since kindergarten. It was great to catch up with her and her family.

Thursday came and it was time to make the 12 hour car trip home. None of us were looking forward to it. It was sad to leave vacation but we were excited to come home and see our puppy dog. The boys were X-box 360 deprived for two weeks so they were all over that! We arrived home safe and sound and now the chore of unpacking and laundry begin!

August 15, 2009

Santa Cruz Saturday

We said goodbye to my in-laws and drove the 10 min drive to my dad's house. He bought a really run down house a few years ago and has painstakingly remodeled it. It looks like it came off the pages of Pottery Barn! He did a great job.

I spent the day with him in the kitchen, learning to make my favorite childhood meals. Dad made spaghetti sauce (it has to simmer for a long time), but the main event was the pork and knaddles, with sauerkraut. YUM! This is a family recipe that was brought over from Austria with my great-great grandma. For those who are not Austrian, a knaddle is a combination of mashed and grated potato, made into balls and then boiled. Naturally, my boys didn't eat it, but I was so thrilled to have them again!

We spent the rest of the night catching up and talking. That is the best part when my family gets together. We were all still exhausted from camp, so we went to bed early.

August 14, 2009

Camp Saturday

This morning was our last at Mt. Hermon. We woke early for our last breakfast. After that, Brian and I packed up while the kids played for the last time in the forest by our room. We said goodbye to Uncle Brad and Grandma and Grandpa and headed over to my Dad's house in Santa Cruz. Tonight he is making Pork and Knaddles, my favorite. It is an old family recipe that was brought over from Austria. It is delicious! I can't wait!!!!

(3 generations of Burmans)

Camp Friday

(This posting is a wee late! As camp wore on, the more tired I got! I went to bed instead!)

Friday was another beautiful day in peaceful Mt. Hermon. This is our last full day at camp. We started the morning with a special breakfast at Pancake Ridge. You hike up the mountain for about a mile. Let me tell you, it is a HIKE! We had pancakes (as the name describes) and then they had a pancake flipping contest. Tyler came in 2nd!

During our free time we went creek walking. Brian and my brother-in-law (although I consider him my brother) are veterans of Mt. Hermon, so they knew where to take us. It was so pretty and quiet down in the creek. It felt like we were the only people there. They had leaf and flip flop races downstream. There were a lot of places we had to climb over fallen trees. It took a lot of energy out of the boys! (The picture on the bottom is of a rock that the boys thought looked like a Manta Ray. So, Tyler wanted me to take a picture of him running away from it!)

We had dinner as usual and then went to the amphitheater like fire pit. A lot of people shared what the Mt. Hermon experience meant to them. Later we took communion. One of the staff is Jewish and he shared with us what it would have sounded like when Jesus spoke at the Last Supper. That was moving for me. The speakers then served us communion.
After that the kids put on a show for us, showing what they had learned that week. Afterwards, there was cotton candy, snow cones, and popcorn to eat. Perfect for getting the kids to bed!

August 7, 2009

Camp Thursday

Up and at 'um for another beautiful day! Today is the Sequoia Ropes Course! It is a rope course up in the redwood trees! It is gorgeous up there but once you get up there it feels very high!

Parker and Tyler are too young, so it was me, Brian, Anthony, and Uncle Brad. Once I got up there, I chickened out! I just stood on the platform paralyzed with fear! Anthony did an awesome job and went on the hardest part of the whole course. I was so proud of him. He was extremely nervous but went for it anyway. To get off of the course you have to go down a zip line. The first step was nerve wracking, but the rest was so fun! Parker was the photographer and photographed us from the ground.

During our free time we played badmitton with Uncle Brad.

For dinner, we had a special adult only dinner. It was rather "interesting." They had the fancy weed looking salad with mystery dressing. Then there was summer squash, purple potatoes, some sort of corn concoction, roast beef, and shrimp. I left dinner hungry!

We are off to bed early because we have to get up early to go to a special breakfast at Pancake Ridge.

August 6, 2009

Camp Wednesday

Today is Train Day at Mt. Hermon. We get on an open boxed train from our camp, through the redwood forest, and it drop us off at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. We got to "pack" our lunches at the dinning hall. The lunches were pre-made and you just had to choose turkey or ham. We were all set and headed off on the hour long train ride. The redwood forest is so beautiful. We really enjoyed that.

We got to the beach and sat down for lunch. As we started unwrapping the meals they gave us we found 4 out of the 5 items had expired! That was disappointing to say the least. The boardwalk food saved me and the boys though. Anthony and I got apple chips. They take a Granny Smith apple and slice it up and place it in a bowl. They then spoon caramel all over it and top it with whipped cream. DELICIOUS! The twins had snow cones. Very refreshing.

We hopped back on the train for the return ride. When we arrived back, Anthony, Brian, Tyler, and my in-laws went out on boats. (Parker is afraid of boats) For the afternoon free time we played badminton with Uncle Brad.

We had the evening speaker and then smores afterwords. We went to bed fairly early. Camp makes us all really tired!

August 4, 2009

Camp Tuesday

Tuesday came too quickly for me. I woke up at 2am and couldn't go back to sleep. I am horrified to say that at the morning meeting I fell asleep. That is the first time in my life I have done that. Brian and I have always found it funny when people fall asleep while he is teaching. Now, I am one of those people! So sad!

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. During our free time everyone but Anthony took naps. Anthony went with his Uncle Brad and entered a foosball and ping pong tournaments. They came in fourth in foosball! Too bad the rest of his family slept through it!

Tonight we continued with Ruth and I found it very interesting. I am enjoying reading through that book.

Now, we are off to bed and hope to all be re-energized tomorrow for our trip to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk by train!

August 3, 2009

Camp Monday

We have started our week of family camp at Mt. Hermon in the Santa Cruz mountains of California. The Burman side of the family is very connected with the camp. Brian and his siblings all have worked here for many summers. My connection to the camp is having attended some of the different camp programs they offer over the years. Brian is enjoying showing the boys a part of his young adulthood.
The adult morning speaker is fantastic. She is Jill Briscoe and she has a way with words and an ability to paint a picture for you. The evening speaker, Gary Gaddini, is just as great. We are going through the book of Ruth and I have learned some things I hadn't noticed before. There is day camp for Parker and Tyler and Anthony goes off to the middle school program while we are listen away.

We have a bunch of free time in the afternoon to spend as a family. It has been going good so far. Today we did archery. They have a new life skill now! They could probably do more damage by just throwing the arrow at someone, but a life skill is a life skill!
I am exhausted now from going up and down hills and stairs. I will be very disappointed if I don't lose weight from all this exercise!

August 2, 2009

Good shoot'n Tex

Our last day at my in-laws and the boys had another fun activity. Brian taught them how to shoot a bb gun. The kids made robber targets to practice with. I feel safer already!

A day at the lake!

Today was a beautiful one. It wasn't too hot and there was a breeze. We took the boat over to the marina and the boys went right to the water. The lake is 80 degrees and felt good. The boys played monkey in the middle almost all day. How that doesn't get boring I don't know! We ate lunch and enjoyed some ice cream treats. Tyler couldn't eat his fast enough!
We were the only florescently white skinned people there. Anthony got a little sunburn that should turn into a nice tan for him. He will bring a little part of California back with him!

Golf Mania!

We are visiting my in-laws for the next couple of days. They live on a lake in Northern California. The community they live in also has a golf course. Yesterday, Brian, Anthony, and my father-in-law went golfing. This was Anthony's first time on a “real” golf course. What I mean by “real” is a full sized, 18 hole golf course. Up until now they have been playing on a children's course.

Anthony had the goal of shooting 150. It was a hot day and I was praying that he would have a good experience. They got home and he looked exhausted. I saw them through the front window and I was nervous that the experience wasn't a good one. I was preparing myself with how to comfort him when he broke into a big smile. He shot a 123, well below his goal! He also beat his
father on the last hole! Thank You!!!