Monday, March 31, 2014

Let's go back to December

I'm posting about December, I know.  This is more for me than anyone else.  If you're still reading and have the slightest bit of interest in our family...thank you.  You're a trooper.  I want to remember these precious years with Graham and this seems to be the best way right now.  So, here goes.  I'm crossing my fingers that I'll post a monthly update until we're caught up.  Don't hold your breath.
 Christmas time was CRAZY for us.  We had multiple parties and activities and I was in charge of the big kids production at church.  Christmas with Graham was so fun though.  We started our tradition of Elf on the Shelf.  Cheese the Elf (G's pick) came right after Thanksgiving and stayed with us until Christmas.  Graham still asks about Cheese at least once a week.  We started our family tradition of a simple advent calendar.  This year, we just read a portion of the Birth Story.  It was sweet to hear Graham say, "The angel said, no be afraid!"  And Graham could tell you every character in the nativity scene.  So so precious. 
 Graham picked out Snickerdoodle cookies for Santa and apples for the reindeer.  He loved his gifts, but he seemed very concerned about where Cheese the Elf ran off to!  Sweet boy.  Santa didn't go overboard on him-but did bring him a big Mater Truck!  Don't worry though-he was quite spoiled by the grandparents....and other members of our church!  His favorite gifts were his Woody, Buzz and Bullseye characters from Toy Story, his fire fighter tent and gear and his house shoes like daddy!
 One of his favorite gifts was a shaving kit just like Daddy!  He had to try it out that morning, of course! 
Here's G in our little Christmas musical at church.  We had about 7 2-3 year olds stand on the stage and sing a little Jesus song.  Graham did it all by himself multiple times on "daddies stage," but when the time came for the big performance he was more interested in the sheep!  Oh well!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Graham turned September!

Ugh.  I've got that love hate relationship with the whole blogging thing too.  I want to do it, really I do.  But I make other things a priority.  Which some of the things are cooking dinner, playing with Graham, preparing Bible class etc.  But, some nights I just want to sit on the couch and watch Adam Levine on the Voice...ya know?  But, here's the deal...Graham turned 2 in September and I've yet to blog about it.  So, here goes!
We had our annual birthday breakfast at the donut shop in town.  Graham picked a pink sprinkled donut.  He LOVES pink.  He wants pink everything-pink ice cream, a pink bike, wanted to be a pink dinosaur for Halloween.  The list could go on and on. 

 We gave him a few choices of party themes and he chose a tractor party!  He loves tractors and everything about farms so away we went.  I love his birthday shirt and besides him saying, "itchy, itchy," all day, I think he liked it too!
 Our church has a great space for parties and we had just done a farm themed VBS-perfect!  I think I'll choose VBS themes based on what I think Graham might like for his birthday party from now on-free decorations right?!?!

 His friends played and dug in big barrels of deer corn.  It was quite messy, but quite fun!
 His favorite gifts....his dump trucks, back hoe, bike and helmet! 
 And why is it that he was the only child with cake ALL OVER his sweet face?  The boy can't eat cake without getting super messy!

So there ya go-the big 2nd birthday!  Happy Birthday, sweet boy.  Oh, and did I mention that he was wearing underwear for his party?!?!  A potty trained 2 year old-go Graham! 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Hay Day VBS 2013!

We had a great VBS this year!  It was my first "official" time to be in charge of it.  Other years we had a committee in charge, but since the church offered me the job of Children's Coordinator, this was my first year to plan it myself.  Since Altus is a farming community, I chose the curriculum, Hay Day VBS.  It was a great success and I'll let the pictures do most of the talking :)
 It was so fun to be the song leader, skit leader etc. for each evening.  I had some help from Sunflower Sam, the kids LOVED him.  He's a local farmer in town (a pretty good one, too), but he played the part of the farmer who didn't know how to farm.  He was great!
 The two evenings consisted of crafts, snack, games and the Bible lesson. 

 On the final night, we invited all the children's families to join us for, "A County Fair."  It was complete with hot dogs, watermelon, a petting zoo, hay rides, bobbing for apples, seed spitting contest, pie eating contest and lots of great fellowship.  Such a great way to end VBS!
 Oh-and turtle races!  How fun!
 And yes, my son and his BFF, Elle, got IN the pins with the animals.  Silly kids. 

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Learning to Lead

Y'all, 4 posts in one month, you're welcome.  Let's start off September on a good blogging foot ok? Ok.  Great. 
So, the week after we spent the week in Abilene for Kadesh, I packed up again and went to Learning to Lead.  It was SO GOOD for me to be there.  I primarily worked L2L during my time at Leadership Camps and now I remember why.  I'm always going back now, promise.  It's just where I belong.  I took 6 kids from our church with me and they LOVED it.  On the car ride down to Abilene, I asked each of them what they were looking forward to and what they were nervous about.  It was precious to hear what they were nervous about...the girls said things like, "What if I don't make any friends, What if my counselor doesn't like me, What if I get lost."  Serious things to girls.  The one boy that I took said, "Umm...what if my roommate snores."  Such a difference between girls and boys at this age, both precious.
A week before camp, I asked Melanie Fullerton to lead a group with me.  She agreed and I think it was one of the best weeks for her'll see why
During my first summer working L2L I got placed into the Orange group with a leader named Von.  He was hysterical and such a great group leader for the kids.  On the first night, he played truth or dare with his campers and counselors....of course, kids got the truth questions and the counselors got the dares.  Needless to say, I was dared to drink pickle juice-or so I was told it was pickle juice.  When I chugged the glass, I soon found out it was jalapeno juice!  HOT!  Melanie had Von two years later and had the exact same dare.  So, what do we do with our campers and counselors on night one??? Yep, truth or dare.  Poor Rachel got stuck with the jalapeno juice.  Kids LOVED it though and we were thankful for the good sports they were all week with our crazy antics. 
 Here's 4 of the 6 kids I took with me from our church; Jaci, Brianna, Tyson and Laura. 

 The awesome Navy Blue group.  Gosh, such precious kids.  They shared lots that week and I continue to pray that the Lord will bless them during their time in 6th grade.
 Mel and I might have been the only group leaders to participate in crazy hair day....hey, things you do for kids, right???
 So so much fun.  And so blessed that ACU Leadership Camps are a part of our lives. 
 Oh, and don't worry, little G was well taken care of by Pop and ReeRees.  It was my first time to be away from him for a whole week.  I don't want to do it again anytime soon, but I know it was good for both of us.  And he was just a little spoiled!  Thanks, Pop and ReeRees!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Kadesh 2013

We were so blessed this year to attend ACU Leaderships again!  We had missed the two previous summers because of little Graham, but we were ready to go back!  It was such a great week.  Clint lead a group of college freshman and I just got to be around and experience Kadesh with Graham.  Graham was quick to find his friend, Cora, who he adored all week!  He'd wake up in the mornings asking for Cora, Bob (Strader), and Jesus (more on that later). 
 Graham and I got to experience lots of fun things in Abilene too.  We were constantly busy and we both had a ball!  We went to the Grace Museum, the Abilene Zoo, Target, Hobby Lobby (yes, those are meaningful trips since we don't live in a town with them), and swimming in the ACU Rec Center.  It was such a great week for Graham, too!

 Goodness, the picture below just melts my heart.  I stood there in worship just reflecting on all my worship times at Kadesh.  My first year as a Kadesh camper, I sat in those devotionals broken hearted because Clint had just broken up with me!  (Don't worry, it all worked out!)  I remember my precious time as a counselor and how meaningful Kadesh worship was then, too.  Now, as an adult...with a, it was a sweet sweet time.  I only pray that Graham will get to have similar experiences as Clint and I had. 
 Every morning, we HAD to go see Willie the Wildcat.  We'd make our way into the KidQuest room and Graham would run through 50 KidQuest campers just to get to Willie, he adored him. 

 Here's the Jesus story.  Every morning Clint and I read out of "Jesus Calling."  Graham likes to flip through it and find the picture of "big Jesus," as he calls him.  It's just a picture of Jesus with long hair and a cross.  It's cute to hear Graham say, "There's Jesus!"  So.....we get to camp and during our first leaders meeting Graham spots Andrew Lang, the counselor below. Graham says to me, "Momma, Jesus!"  I say...."Graham, that IS Jesus!"  Andrew comes over and sweetly talks with Graham.  I clue him in that Graham thinks he's Jesus!  Then...cutest moment ever....Andrew is eating a cookie and Graham says, "Momma, Jesus eats cookies!"  Oh, melt my heart.  Andrew and I both could NOT handle it.  So, all week Graham would spot Andrew and say, "There's Jesus!"  We had to get a picture taken with him, but Graham got all shy when he got in his lap....I guess I might have too if I were in the lap of Jesus!
 Our youth group loved Kadesh!  And I was soooo glad!  We took 5 kids this year, but I know more and more will continue to come.  On the last day of camp, Clint baptized one of our sweet guys.  They had great stories to share and were thankful of their time at camp.  I got to speak at Kadesh on Monday night--it was actually my first time!  Overall, it went ok.  I criticize myself easily and know I could have spoken more slowly, said a few things differently etc....but I felt like my message was exactly what the Lord wanted me to share.  I probably gained more from sharing than any of the teens did from listening. have Clint who brings down the house every time he opens his mouth at camp.  I love the story he shared, love hearing him speak and love watching him in his element at Kadesh.  Goodness, we were blessed by just 5 days in Abilene.  CANNOT wait to go back next year!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Burns Family Vacation

In June, we spent the week with Clint's family in Buena Vista, Colorado at Young Life's Trail West Lodge.  I'll let the pictures do most of the talking, but we had a great time.  I went far enough to say that this was the best Burns family vacation to date--here's why--the camp staff plan all of your activities and meals for you.  All you have to do is show up.  Isn't that great!?!?  In past vacations, that's where all the stress comes from--trying to plan meals and activities.  Since that was taken away, the time together was much more meaningful and much less stressful! 
 Graham and Owen LOVED the watermelon-I'm pretty sure that's all Graham ate that entire meal.
 This happened a lot--don't you wish you were small enough to climb up in Clint's lap and have him read you a story?  These boys were in heaven. 
 Clint rode a horse one morning to our "cowboy breakfast."  Graham was ENTHRALLED by the horse.  Luckily, G got to ride one later that day too.
 Our sweet family at the Cowboy Breakfast.
 The entire Burns clan.
 Graham is waving to the horse he's about to ride.  He would say, "Hi Neigh (horse).
 He was a little skeptical at first, but loved his time riding, Cheese the Horse. 
 A little family game of Frisbee golf in the Aspen grove. 
 Even Graham got to join in the fun-I promise he's having more fun than it looks!
Lots of fun swimming time
 And one of the best parts----A Square Dance!  So fun!  Yes, I dressed up.  Boots and all, y'all. 
 Graham chowed down on some corn.
 Fun little park for the kids to explore.
And the family on one of the last nights.  Can you tell I'm the shortest out of the bunch??? Not pictured are our river rafting day (Clint stayed behind with the kids) and our ropes course day.  I got to zip line on the ropes course and it was SO MUCH FUN.  All in all-a great family vacation.  Seriously, look up Trail West Camp and spend some time there if you can!