Everyday Happenings Of A Wife And Mother

Friday, December 28, 2012

Making Your House A Home - Part 2 - Marriage

Video 1

video


Video 2
video

Scripture references: 
Proverbs 31:12 - "She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life."Proverbs 19:13 - "  and a quarrelsome wife is like
    the constant dripping of a leaky roof."  

*Challenge For You*
- Compliment your husband today
- Spend time together doing something he enjoys
- Thank him
- Smile at your husband more
- Ask him what he needs prayer for
- Give him lots of kisses!

~ Get lost in your husband like you did when you were dating.  Remember the excitement you felt back then...relive that now by doing these challenges.~

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Making Your House A Home - Part 1 - (Video 3)

video

(sorry, would not upload on the other post...whew...this actually took more time than i wanted it to)

Making Your House Your Home - Part 1 - Yourself

*based off of Proverbs 31:27*
1) Taking care and working on YOURSELF
2) MARRIAGE
3) CHILDREN (Family)
4) Decor/Organizing...making your house homey



(i had to divide up the video...was too long haha!)

VIDEO 1

video


VIDEO 2


video

*THE REST OF THIS VIDEO IS ON MY NEXT POST*





Friday, December 14, 2012

Making Time...

Yet again, weeks have gone by since my last blog.  Not just because of the time of year, but also because i have been trying to spend as much time as i can with my little family.

God has really been working in my heart about ENJOYING life.  Christmas time brings so many wonderful things to enjoy, but it also brings the hustle and bustle of seeing all the things (mainly material things) that we lack.  I can't stand that!  But i admit, i have fallen into it.

The other night, after we got the kiddos to bed, Ryan and i were able to just sit on the couch and relax.  He is finally done with school and is able to rest his mind.  Well, that night, we began to talk about Christmas presents...which lead to things that need to be done around our house...which lead to the repairs we need to do to our cars....which lead to grocery bills...which lead to talking about all of our bills...which lead to how are we going to make it all work...which ultimately lead to unnecessary worry and anguish.  We had completely ruined a great opportunity to relax and ENJOY ourselves.  Don't get me wrong, you need to, as a married couple, to talk about budgets and money...but not at the sake of losing your peace of mind.  We should have just stopped right there and prayed together about all of our worries and needs.  I have found out that worry just wastes your time.  Time is valuable.
Luckily, we stopped all the worrying later on and made the most of the night together.  :)
Yesterday morning, during my quiet time with the Lord (in other words...getting prepared and ready for the boys! haha!)  The word Enjoy kept running through my head.  During those brief moments, i was able to just sit and think of all of the things that i am so thankful for.  I also thought about the things that we had lacked or had been working hard to achieve/get.  And those things (that we lacked) did not seem so important compared to what we were/are blessed with.
~I'd rather have the stable and passionate marriage that Ryan and i have than to have acres of land.
~I'd rather have healthy kids than carpet and a finished basement.
~I'd rather have the peaceful safe haven (our home) that we have than to have thousands and thousands of dollars in the bank.
~I'd rather have have all of our trust in our sovereign God than to have all of the control.
I want to ENJOY all of those things that God has given me!  Thank You Lord for my life.

That is my dare for you during this season...and every season.  To enjoy your life!  Love those closest to you.  Spend time and make time for your spouse and kids. Have fun!

Ok, enough preachyness from me. haha.

Here are some random things that have been going on lately:

We have had our house all decorated for Christmas.  I love James' reaction every single morning when he sees the lights on our trees.  Something so simple as lights to make that child happy. haha.
This year, i let James set up his own little manger scene that was given to us from Ryan's parents last year.  A while later i found James sitting by his train.  He had put all of the manger people in the train and was giving them a ride around the Christmas tree. haha!

That night, he helped me set up my willow tree manger scene.  As we were setting it up, i told him the whole story about Jesus being born.  (i acted out with the figurines haha!)  I was surprised how much he retained.  I asked him what Christmas was about...his answer "Jesus' birthday."  So sweet.
Ryan and i are all about giving our boys presents, but we don't want Christmas to be about just getting getting getting.  We decided when James was born, that we would give each kid 3 presents - representing the 3 gifts that the wise men brought to Jesus.
When it comes to Santa, we are not against him at all.  We just haven't really talked about him.  I really don't want our kids to think that Santa brought all of the gifts to them.  I want them to know that we get our presents because of their Daddy's hard work.  And that we are choosing to give to one another.
Please don't think i am downing Santa.  I used to leave out milk and cookies when i was little, but i really want our kids to know the true meaning of Christmas - Jesus' birthday and giving.
Whew. haha.

The other day, i wanted to do a simple Christmas craft with James.  All you need is felt and scissors.
I just cut out a tree, a stump, circle ornaments, and a star.  You can let the kids glue on the ornaments, but i did not...just so he could redecorate it later if he wanted to (keep him occupied)


You can use buttons and glitter too. (i just used what we had)


Wednesday we went to Gammy's school for their Christmas program.  It was so cute!  I can't wait to see James in it next year...i fear he will be a ham.  While watching the kids sing on the stage he kept asking to go up and sing on the stage.  Lord help us. haha!

Waiting for the show to start...he looks so much older. :(

The kids on the little stage...haha...the little girl as the star. Aww.


That same afternoon, after the boys were good and rested from their naps.  I decided to try to take some homemade Christmas pictures of the boys.  (it was so hard to get them to sit still!)  Though they didn't turn out as good as i hoped they would, they still are cute.




 Love those little faces!!

Well that is about all i have time for today!  I'll have to post some cute Christmas gifts that my friend Rebbecca and i came up with the other day. :)  And probably the next time i post, Ryan will be a graduate!  Yay!
Have a happy day everyone!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Catching Up

Sorry if this blog is very random.  I am running on low energy and time.  James has been sick since Sunday with a nasty cold, cough, and fever.  I have been trying to do everything humanly possible to keep Adam well.  It is quite a difficult task keeping them separated.  My hands are so dry from washing them and hand sanitizing them. haha!  But luckily i think he is on the mend.  Praise the Lord!
Even though it is exhausting and hard taking care of sick little ones, i am so thankful that i am able to stay at home with them at any time.  And that i don't have to move heaven and earth in order to be able to take care of them. :)
My sick little James 



Thanksgiving has come and gone so quickly!
I had such a great time with my family.  My older brother brought his wife and two kids from NC to Kentucky to celebrate Thanksgiving with us Kentuckians.  It is always so good to see them, but also makes me home sick.  I miss my Carolina home a lot!
James loved playing with Abbi and Sam.  They were together pretty much everyday that they were up here.  
I am so thankful for my family and the time we all got to spend together.  I only wish that there wasn't an 8 hour drive in between our families.  Maybe someday we will all live close. :)
Here are some pictures of us on Thanksgiving. (side note:  Anytime James has a picture taken of him he screams "Cheese!"...resulting in the face that you will see in most if not all of the pictures haha!)

Mom and Dad with the Grandkids

Siblings, Spouses, and kids (my brother Jake and his wife were not able to make it up from NC) :(

Thanksgiving is such a wonderful holiday that has started to lose some of it's meaning.  Especially this year with black Friday moving up to black Thursday.  Those poor people who had to go out and work on a holiday.  Sheesh.  
Thanksgiving always serves as a great reminder of how we need to be all year round.  Thankful.  I am so thankful for my life, my husband, my kids, my family, our home, our health...i could go on.  It is so important that we think upon those things that we are thankful for.  Have a thankful mindset will change our attitude and how we view life in general....for the better.  
My hubby's birthday was the day after Thanksgiving this year.  Even though i think he found it annoying that his birthday was so close to a holiday, i actually loved it. :)  I got to be thankful for his life and then the next day celebrate his life. haha.  
I love that man!  

Since Thanksgiving is over and the Fall season has started to come to a close...Christmas time has started!  That includes in our household. 
We have not gotten our Christmas tree yet, but the decor is slowly coming out.  
Ryan has really surprised me.  He has come a long way since we were first married.  You see, i am all about Christmas.  He always teases me by saying i am the Christmas spirit. haha!  And he....well...was not. haha!  Being in the military and being away from his family and home around the holidays put a damper on his view of Christmas.  
Our first fight was actually over our first Christmas together.  i wanted to get us a Christmas tree, and he did not see the point in getting one.  I left for work that night all mad thinking that he was killing my Christmas. haha!  little did i know what he had in store for me when i got home that night.  He had gotten a Christmas tree and set it up in our little apartment...with Eric Clapton playing in the background.  Long story short, we made up and got through our first fight and yes...had a great first Christmas together with a tree! haha!
Anyway,  Ryan wanted to put Christmas lights on our house.  And he did!  To my shock and disbelief we did it over the weekend.  Very simple, but enough to where James loves staring at them through the window.  

View from Front Door Window

Front yard view - James standing with his train at the door

This year, i really wanted to do our own Advent calender this year with James.  There are so many neat ideas online of how to make your own.  Ryan helped me come up with a cool little Advent calender.

I got clothes pins and mod podged some Christmas scrapbook paper on the front to give a little zing.  Then cut out the numbers (dates) in a circle.  And behind each number is a Hershey kiss.  (in honor of my Daddy Rhyne)  We used James art/craft display that Ryan had made a while back

Hershey kisses behind each number
It will be a cute thing for us to do with James everyday.  Plus that kid will do anything for chocolate!

                             I just had to post a pic of this little cutie and his new hat to end this post!  

Have a Happy Day!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Discontentment

Discontentment...we have all faced it one time or another.  It is a hard thing to face and ultimately difficult to battle. 
Have you ever had thoughts such as "I'll be happier when....?"  Like "I'll be happier when i have more money." or "I'll be happier when i get a new job."  even "I'll be happier when my baby sleeps through the night." I know i am not alone on this. haha.  
Discontentment pushes aside joy.  It is almost down right impossible to be joyful and also discontent at the same time.  Trust me, i have tried...many times. haha.  But i have also found on my journey to contentment that the more joy you have...the less room you have for discontentment.  
Contentment is not so much having what we want as it is WANTING WHAT WE HAVE.  To be satisfied with who we are, where we are, what we are doing, etc.  It is hard finding that balance of bettering ourselves while also being content.  Especially while the "American" dream has been mainly about wanting more and better.  It is great to better yourself!  Like getting healthy, education, anything to improve our life and well being.  
It is also sometimes hard to be content when things always change.  Newborn babies grow up to be teenagers, jobs change, we age, seasons come and go.  So we need to learn how to be happy where we are....every changing moment.  We always have an opportunity to learn to be content in whatever place or season we find ourselves.  
Sometimes i find myself looking too far ahead in the future.  I get too busy looking forward that i forget to enjoy the here and now of today.  True contentment is being able to say "I am happy right here where i am" and mean it regardless of circumstances.  

"Learn to cultivate the virtue of contentment - which frees us from forever wanting to exist in just one stage of life.  Contentment also frees us to savor the gift of the present and to know the joy God wants us to experience today."

There are somethings...categories, if you will, that i have found to lead to discontentment.

*Comparisons
Growing up i always compared myself to other girls and women.  Always thinking if i did not look or act a certain way then i was not considered beautiful.  That led me to be discontent with myself.  
You can compare yourself, your possessions, and anything else connected to you with someone else.  That can lead to two things - pride and discontentment.  
I actually recall an instance that happened to me...not long after i had given birth to my son James.  It was a very rainy day.  Ryan gave me some time to go shopping for some clothes by myself.  I was new into being a mother - i had not figured out how to take care of a baby and still make time to take care of myself...such as put on makeup or prettify my hair.  So on this day, i went to the mall in my overly comfy sweats, no make up, baseball cap on (to cover up unkempt hair), and glasses.  I was feeling so good to be able to have some time to myself and excited to get some new clothes.  Remember, i just had a baby not long ago, so i was trying to get used to my "new normal" post baby body.  I was having a great time....then walked in this creature.  I am never one to stare at people, but this woman...i guess was used to stares.  She had the most gorgeous flowing silk like hair.  No roots showing.  Perfectly groomed.  Her face was all done up and her teeth were so white that i had to squint.  She of course had a tall slender figure.  And she somehow managed to wear heels in the awful weather.  And not to mention her clothes showed off everything that she wanted to show off.  After i took one glance at her i looked down at my clothes...which were soaked from all of the puddles mind you.  She came over and started to look at the same piece of clothing that i was looking at.  She gave me one glance and gave a little "please. you know i will look better in this than you" kind of laugh.  Then she walked away.  
Granted, i was hormonal from having a baby, but my thoughts went to everything that i "lacked" that she had.  
When it comes to looks, women are so hard on themselves.  The world puts this point of view of how we must look and act.  To be tall, slender yet fit, DD sized cups, and always turned on. haha!  Well, that is not the case. 
Later on, God showed me that i should not compare myself to others.  That girl's hair was dyed, her teeth were whitened, and other areas (that i won't mentioned) did not grow on their own. haha. 
Anyway, (i didn't plan on typing all of this but it just came out haha) God made each one of us uniquely and wonderfully.  If we all looked the same...what a boring world that would be.  
We need to learn to NOT compare ourselves to others.  Embrace who you are!  Enjoy life...and love your life.  It was given to you for a reason.  

"I complained because i had no shoes - until i met a man who had no feet."  No matter what our situation, there is usually someone worse off than we are.  We don't see the whole big picture considering whom we are comparing ourselves to.  You only see on the outside from a distance.  

Comparing can ruin our self esteem and rob you of the contentment that God wants you to have.  
Stop comparing yourself to real or fictitious people.

*Commercialism

We all want more.  Everywhere we go we are offered something newer, bigger, or better.  Advertisers put a whole lot of money into this call to consume.  They want to make us discontent with what we have, help us discover needs that we weren't aware of, and compel us to spend money.  
There are so many times when i go out shopping, usually the grocery store, i go to get exactly what we need, and there, right beside the milk aisle, in Kroger is a clearance center.  All kinds of stuff that are marked down.  I have always tried using the excuse "If it's marked down then i can get it."  More than half the time i browse through that section, i spot things that i never would have thought of that i would need.  Sometimes i have the will power to walk away, sometimes i take a longer time browsing, and other times i leave the store with more than what was on my list. haha.
When we allow our "needs" to be determined by what we see in the mall, stores, or ads, we are letting our commercial culture influence what we buy as well as how we feel about what we already own.  
There is nothing wrong with wanting things...as long as it doesn't make you discontent with what you have.  It has been hard for Ryan and i lately.  Going from no kids to 2 kids is a tough realization financially.  We are strictly getting what we need.  Which i am so thankful that God has met our needs. Especially around the holidays, there are so many crazy good deals going on!  The other day, Ryan and i sat and looked through newspaper ads for the upcoming Black Friday.  We eyed so many things that we wanted...but not necessarily needed.  
(Try to take time and list all of the things that you have that you are thankful for.  Don't take those things such as a home, clothes, food, electricity, heat, cars, netflix, internet, etc for granted.)
Being thankful for what you have leads to contentment.  

*Circumstances

It is so easy to get under the circumstances of our lives.  
We tend to let our circumstances affect whether we are content or not.  When things are going great, we are content.  But when they change, discontentment can sneak in and try to take our joy away.  I'm not saying that we should accept damaging circumstances and endure them.  With those you should take bold actions to change those.  But most of the time, we can learn to cultivate contentment despite crummy circumstances.  All circumstances pass.  
We all have circumstances that come up everyday to throw us off guard and potentially change our attitude and outlook on life.  Try to embrace the circumstances (even when you don't like them) and make the best of them.  

Discontentment can paralyze you from doing what you were meant to do.  Be thankful for who you are, what you have, and through the tough times.
Thankfulness leads to contentment.  Contentment leads to joy.  And joy...well it's contagious!  
I challenge you, as well as myself, to make a list of things that you are thankful for.
Things that you are thankful for about yourself.
Material and non material things that you have that you are thankful for.
And try to find the good in the midst of hard times.  Be thankful during the tough times.  
I will be doing this as well.  I will be praying that you all will be able to reach a life full of joy, contentment, and thankfulness!
Love y'all!  

Monday, October 29, 2012

Responding

Ryan and i have been having a heck of a time with parenting lately.  This season in our life has been busy and a little chaotic - with Ryan in school and working.  Along with the busyness, throw in a 3 year old and a teething 5 month old into the mix and you get 2 overly exhausted parents.
James has been growing so much lately.  His vocabulary surprises me everyday.  But it seems that when they grasp new words and learn new things at 3 years old...an attitude comes along with it. haha!  It is crazy how a little one, whom you love so much, can really...tip the ice burg.  I just want to go back to when he was in his so called "terrible two's" and say to myself..."this is nothing compared to what's ahead." haha.  I am finding that 3 year olds are much more difficult.  At least mine is anyway.
Like i said, Adam has been teething, the poor thing.  Which has resulted in him waking up late at night.  (our son's have their dad's persistence) :)  Crying it out for Adam is...crying all night until parent's are too tired that they will give in. haha!  What makes the situation harder is that the boys share a room.  So of course, James wakes up, but luckily he doesn't get out of bed...he will just lay there.  But his lack of sleep shows up in the day time - by little fits here and there.
Lack of sleep and dealing with a stubborn 3 year old...can take a toll on you.  Your nighttime sleep and even your physical demeanor seem to yield to the situations of children.
Right now, both of my boys are napping. PTL!  I can think back on the day thus far.  My attitude has been overrun by my emotions of sleepless nights and a trying 3 year old.
Even though our kids, spouses, or other people get under our skin, we cannot blame them for how we respond.
Some of us are masters (myself included) at blaming others for "making" us feel a certain way.  We tell our kids they made us mad.  We tell our husband he made us feel unloved.  We tell people they made us feel embarrassed or insignificant. We end up telling that our feelings are other people's fault.
...and that is not the case nor true.
No one else is responsible for our feelings.  No one else makes us feel a certain way.  Our kiddos did not irritate us.  James tried my patience by not listening to me...and i chose to become irritated about it.  Our husbands did not upset us.  They did not do what we wanted and we responded by becoming upset.
You may be wondering, "What else am i supposed to feel in a certain situation?"  (Like when your child disobeys you for the hundredth time.

Answer: ANYTHING YOU WANT

You see, you are the one who has the power to determine your feelings.  Not your kids, not your spouse, not your friends. Nobody else but you.
Oh but your children, especially, will try to push those buttons....but how you respond is key. We have a choice of how we are going to respond.  It is so hard!  Believe me!  There have been so many days where i have taken on a negative attitude because of what others have done.  But i don't want to rot in bitterness.  That is no life.  It would be so much easier to blame others for how we feel.  The only thing we can blame others for is for their words and their actions.  I have to blame me for my response.

If you allow yourself to give into negativity and bitterness in your heart...you will become a negative and bitter person.  I don't want to be like that for my family.  (even though they are the driving force of it sometimes haha!!)  I am learning that how i respond to certain situations, especially if they involve my kids, will show them how they should respond.
As i have said before, your kids are your biggest fans, admirers, and "watchers."  They watch and mimic almost everything you do. haha, which can be scary.

So, don't blame others for how you feel.  Take control of your emotions and lean on the Lord to not give bitterness an easy access into your life. :)  Respond with how you want to Live.

Have a happy and bitter free day!

Monday, October 22, 2012

My Green Smoothie And My Little Roller

I finally have the time to post!

It's been quite busy in the Burkart household lately.  With Ryan in school Monday and Wednesday nights, we have been trying to get all the family time in that we can get.  Thankfully, he will be graduating in December!  (i'm so proud of him)

Today i am going to blog about my super green smoothie.  While i was pregnant with Adam, i was not very fond of vegetables. (with james i actually craved salads haha) With Adam, chocolate kept calling my name...not just in the middle of the night but all hours of the day.  York peppermint patties to be exact.  What's funny, i never like minty chocolate stuff, but now i do...except icecream. haha!  Anyway.  During my pregnancy i wanted to make sure i was getting the right amount of nutrients not only for me but for Adam as well. So i would make my green smoothie.  Doesn't sound very appealing does it?
Here is what you will need:
Spinach
Greek Yogurt (i like the strawberry flavor best)
Frozen Blueberries
Frozen Strawberries
Banana
Orange Juice
Sometimes i through in oats for the whole grain
A Blender


I know you are thinking "Spinach? Gross!"  You can not taste it at all!  It does make the smoothie green, however, you only taste the berry flavors.  
*Tip*  Frozen fruit can be pretty pricey.  I have found that buying just regular produce (strawberries, blueberries, etc) has the same affect...it just takes more time.  Usually when i get home from the grocery, if the kids are behaving, i'll wash the produce and stick them into freezer safe containers or bags.  That way they are ready to go when i want to make a smoothie.  
As far as yogurt goes, you can use whichever kind you would like.  I prefer greek yogurt to get the protein.  
You can use milk instead of orange juice.  I like OJ because it gives it more of a fruity flavor. 
It's fun to experiment with it.  I've got my hubby in on it as well.  He adds chocolate or sometimes protein powder into his.
Now that i have had Adam, i have continued to make and drink this.  It makes me feel good to know i am feeding my body good things...because i still cave into chocolate! haha!  
Like i have said before, for me, once i had kids my mindset toward food and exercise has drastically changed for the better.  I want to take care of myself so i can be there for my family as long as possible. 
I have been very blessed with two amazing nappers (kids who nap well...most of the time).  That's when i find time...or try to make time for myself.  Whether it's exercising, resting, making a healthy meal, showering, or reading the Word.  
So spoil yourself with something good for you!

*Another Tip*  Make sure you wash the Spinach, even if it is prewashed.  :) 

Enjoy!

Adam has been a "Roller" the past few months.  But now he is really rolling!

Today while i was making lunch, i laid Adam on his blanket on his belly to play. Next thing i knew he was completely off his blanket!  he must have rolled 3 times. haha!


Haha!  He is growing so fast!  he just turned 5 months and is wearing 9 month clothes.  So different from how James was.  Adam also said "Ma Ma" the other day!  I love this age...it's so fun!  But i hate how fast it is going.
I had a meltdown last week.  I had moved Adam's crib into James' room.  I did it while Ryan was at school...took me 2 hours to do. haha! (i couldn't get it to collapse - it wouldn't fit through the door frame)  I was happy that i did it - we have our room back, but it made me so sad to think the baby phase is almost over.  Ryan came home finding me crying in our room. haha!  It is so hard for me to "let go" at the small stuff...what kind of basket case will i be when they leave for school?  Or college?  Or when they get married?  Ahhh...can't even think about it. haha!
I am so thankful for my two healthy happy boys!  I am so in love with my family!
Have a happy day!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Home Projects

I just need to take some time to brag about my handy man at home.  Ryan can literally turn anything into an awesome project.  He is like the Rumpelstiltskin of wood. haha!  He is amazing!
Usually i am not up for clutter or extra hoarding things, but sometimes it is good to hang on to something that you may later down the road can use.  A couple of years back, we redid our bathroom. We had taken the old mirror in there and replaced it with a nicely finished home depot one.  Most would just get rid of the old mirror.  Not a Burkart man. haha!  We had used it for a while in the basement in our workout area. 
This past weekend, we really wanted something different above our fireplace besides the picture that we had.  I always wanted a big mirror above it, but mirrors are costly.  What does my hubby do?  he took the old bathroom mirror and cut out some wood to frame it.  It now hangs above our fireplace.  
Ryan looks at it he wishes it was a big screen TV instead.  I love it!  He did such a great job!
 Now i really want to paint our fireplace tile.  I'm not really feeling the pinkish color.  has anyone ever painted tile before?

This morning, while we were making breakfast, there was a gorgeous sunrise that i just had to get pictures of.  Little things like that can make you so grateful for another day of life.
                                                         The view from the kitchen.

Friday, October 5, 2012

In the beginning...

A few weeks ago, James and i sat outside one evening while Adam was napping and Ryan was at school.  I usually will sit outside while James plays outside, but this time he wanted to just sit on my lap and look around.  It was a beautiful evening.  James kept saying "look at that pretty blue sky, mommy." and "look at those trees."  I began to tell him that God had made those things for us.  That led me to think 'i should take the time and actually teach him as much as i can about the Lord.'  What better way to start then with the beginning...Creation.  

Everyday for 7 days (it was more spread out because things came up) i taught James about all that God created. 

The first thing i wanted to teach him was a Bible verse.  Genesis 1:1.  I wrote out the verse on a big piece of paper and hung it on the fridge right above his "poo poo" chart. haha.  Every morning we went over the verse.  (it's amazing if you use repetition - how much they remember at this age)  
I would let him point at the words as we would say them together out loud.



DAY 1: God made light.

This was James' favorite.  I let him hold a flashlight in the dark bathroom.  I said, "on the first day, He made LIGHT."  (when i said "light" James would turn on the flash light)

Here's a video of us in the bathroom with the Flashlight.
video
I found a website that had coloring pages for each day that God created something.  (they are kind of cheezy) After we went over the bible verse and let him do the flash"LIGHT", i let him color the page.


DAY 2: God made separated the sky and the water. (God made skies so blue) :)
The next day was luckily a beautiful day.  The sky was so blue.  I took him outside and we just looked at the sky.  "God made the blue sky."
I let him color the Day 2 coloring sheet.  Then we did a little craft.  I found some blue construction paper, white paint, and a little sponge brush.  James dipped the sponge brush in the paint and made clouds on the paper.  

DAY 3:  God made land. (God made land, plants and trees)
We went "exploring" in our back yard that day.  I told him to pick up things like leaves, grass, etc.
I drew on a paper a tree and he decorated (glued on) the things that he had found outside.

DAY 4: God made the sun, moon, and stars.
This one i wish i would have had more time.  I was planning on us making a little sun, moon, and stars mobile, but we were getting all set for our trip to Vermont, so we just did the coloring page.  We did, however, go outside when it was dark to look at the stars.  (that is always a real treat!)  

DAY 5: God made the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky.
I had a couple of books on animals that had fish and birds.  We also look online at pictures of birds and fish.  Another option you could do is take them to walmart or a pet store.  I took james to walmart to see the fish...but be prepared to explain to your kids why the fish aren't swimming there. haha!

DAY 6:  God made animals and people.
This one i really enjoyed!  We looked through animal book/pictures.  Then i got out photo albums of our family and we looked through them together.  I got to explain how God made everyone - our family.  I told him that God made him (james) and that he is so special.  Everything from his toes to the hairs on his head are all wonderful!  (let them know that God made them and that they are wonderfully made!)

DAY 7: God rested.
I took this day to go over everything we had learned.  I hung up all of his coloring pictures on the wall so he could see how much God had made....and that it was and is GOOD.  

This was such a great experience for me too!  It reminded me of everything that God has made...and that His works are good.  
Here's a video of all we learned.(everyday is "2nd" day haha!)
video



I know as a parent i will make many many many mistakes, but i never want to make the mistakes of not showing my kids enough love or teaching them about the Lord.  
Make each day count with your kids!  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Piano

I cannot believe i forgot to post about this!

When i was little and lived in NC, i took piano lessons.  I would go over to this little (older) lady's house where she would teach me one on one for about an hour or so. We would have piano recitals and even little piano competitions - where there were judges.
  My grandmother (mama jenna) was a voice coach/music teacher/ piano extraordinaire.  She would take the time and teach me piano at her house.  While it was a frustrating instrument to play...i loved it!  There is something about hearing the music of a piano - it can bring tears or make your heart happy.  
Growing up, my parents had put their HUGE piano in my bedroom.  It was neat, because i could play it anytime i wanted and also an annoyance because anyone else could as well. haha!  The piano was old and completely out of tune, and unfortunately my parents got rid of it years down the road.  
Since then i have always wanted to have a piano in our house.  To play, to teach our kids, and just to fill our house with music.  
Well, my very amazing husband decided to sell one of his beautiful guitars so we could buy me a digital piano.  I was very hesitant in letting him do this, because those guitars are his little "babies."  He assured me that he only needed one guitar. (he also used the excuse that it was our 5 year anniversary) So, he found someone on craigslist and sold it to him.  Right after that, he took me to guitar center and purchased me a digital piano that was the exact same price he sold the guitar for...and on SALE!  
It is so amazing!  It feels just like a piano...not like a keyboard.
I'm so excited to get back into playing it more...it's been years since i have played! If my grandmother were still here, i know she would sit right next to me and play her little heart out.
I still can't believe i have a piano!  I always wanted out house to be filled with music...we are well on our way!
  Here's the Little Beauty


Thank you Ryan for this amazing gift!  I love you!

Monday, September 10, 2012

5 Years...

The past week, James was sick with a throat virus.  It is very similar to strep throat.  He had all the same symptoms as strep throat, but the strep test came back negative....so, in other words, no antibiotics just time to bring healing. haha!  Poor thing.  He has never had a sore throat before.  He was very pitiful.  It was extremely hard to not snuggle with him, because i had Adam attached to my hip.  I tried everything i could to keep the two of them apart so Adam would not catch the virus as well.  Every morning i would lay out a bed sheet on the couch and have his pillow, blankets, and a tray of crackers and water for him.  It was to keep him comfortable, but also to keep him in that spot so i would not have to move Adam around...away from James.  When your little one is sick, you just want to cuddle and love on them all the more...praying that your love alone would heal him.  This was hard to do when your 3 1/2 month old is deciding to go through a big growth spurt.  I'm not kidding, Adam wanted to nurse every 2 hours or so.  The irony that his growth spurt fell upon the exact same week that James was sick is beyond me.  Needless to say, i was pooped.  With God's grace and strength, we made it through that rough week.  James is back to his chipper self.  Adam has not been nursing as much either.  (i wonder if they planned it - "let's see how much mom can take." haha)
Our wedding anniversary fell upon the tail end of the week.  Ryan and i were in need of some good quiet time alone to celebrate!
The day of our anniversary, Saturday, was like any old burkart family day.  On Saturday nights, i have been typically going to the grocery store - after church and when the kids are settling down for bed.  When i got home from the store, both kids were asleep, and Ryan helped me unload the groceries and he put them away for me.  Then he called me into the office where he wanted me to sit down.  He sat in front of me with his "trusty buddy" his guitar.  He sang me a song that he had written for our 5 year anniversary.  Of course, i teared up.  It was so sweet!  (i love his voice) I decided to give him his little gift too.  5 year anniversary is "wood."  I found a wooden box and painted it and put our initials on top. (kind of cheesy yes.)



This box is our "vow" box.  We decided when we were first married, that we wanted to renew our vows every 5 years.  The past 5 years have been filled with celebrations, 2 kids, losses of family members, financial struggle, military, 2 apartments, one house, a dog, renewed faith, financial victories, and heavenly experiences and lessons. That is a lot for just 5 years!  Needless to say, our marriage was stretched and refined in every way possible.  After all of these things that we have gone through together since we were first married...we have changed and grown as a couple and as individuals.  It just makes sense to renew our commitment to one another.
For our wedding we had written our own vows on paper.  For every 5 year anniversary, we are going to write out our new vows and put them in the box.  
                                      
                                                                    Box of Vows
Sunday, my mom was able to watch the boys so we could go out on a date and renew our vows.  Our plans kept changing the week before due to James being sick.  But Sunday was perfect!  The weather was gorgeous!  My mom came over about 1130am, so we went out for some lunch.  We had tried to make reservations at a restaurant on the Banks in Cincinnati, but since there was a Reds game that day, everything was crowded!  We decided to take a little simpler route.  We ate at one of my favorite restaurants Indigos.  It is over in Fort Mitchell, KY - where we used to live.  When we were first married, we had many date nights there.  It was a yummy lunch! 


Indigos
 We just had to eat outside - so pretty out!

After we were full from the delicious food, Ryan drove us to our very first apartment in Fort Mitchell.  It was crazy seeing that place.  A place where we had no heat and no air conditioning.  It was a difficult place to live at, but some of our best memories were there.  (you just have to have a sense of humor in those kind of situations)  I remembered sometimes our front door would get stuck to where i could not open up the door when i got home from work - i would have to sit and wait for Ryan to get home from work or ask our neighbors to help me push the door open. haha!  We did have an electric blanket (heated) that we had gotten as a gift for our wedding - what a blessing since we didn't have any heat!  On those freezing cold mornings it was so hard to get out of bed because it would be freezing outside of the covers.  Some mornings we could see our breath.  We would usually run and use the bathroom and hurry back in bed where it was warm.  Though that place was a real "challenge" it was where we had our first Christmas together and even our first fight....those two kind of came hand in hand. haha! (Ryan was never really into the whole Christmas thing - being away in the military...and well, he would always say i was the "Christmas spirit." haha!)  We will never forget that place.  It is an amazing place to really put into perspective how far we have come...how far God has brought us.  Not just in a material sense but also a marriage sense. 
Next we drove to Devout Park.  We probably spent more time at that park than we did in our actual apartment when we were first married.  We even had our engagement pictures taken there.  We found our little date spot - a quiet place under the shade of some trees.  

It was so peaceful...the only thing you could hear was the nice warm breeze.  Once we settled on our picnic comforter, we exchanged our wedding vows.  Renewing our marriage commitment and reassuring our love for one another.  Such a beautiful thing.  After we had our sweet kiss, we just laid there and stared up at the sky in silence.  Silence is a rare thing once you have kids.  It was so nice....relaxing...just what we needed. :)

The next thing we did was we went to one of our favorite coffee shops that we used to go to - Reality Tuesdays.  It was right across the street from our 2nd apartment.  Seeing that place brought back more memories as well.  James was 3 months old when we moved out of that place and into our current house now.  That same coffee shop was where Ryan had taken me back when i was 17 or 18 years old when he was on leave from the marines...he had no idea i was in love with him then.  :)

Sadly our date had to end because we had two youngens waiting for us back at home.  But it was such a perfect anniversary.

It is always so good to think back...and see how far you have come.  You will be amazed at all that God has brought you through.  Our marriage was tested and tried.  So many days we wanted to run away from the responsibilities as a spouse and parent.  I annoyed the crap out of Ryan and still can annoy the crap out of him just as he can get under my skin. But after 5 years of marriage, i can say that my wedding day was not the best day of my life....it lead up to the best days of life!  Days filled with tears, laughter, poopy diapers, date nights, foot rubs, Parks and Rec, prayer, peanut butter, and kisses.  The hard days can be the best...they make you a better person...a stronger person.
Being with Ryan has made me a better person.  He challenges me and encourages me.  I try to do the same for him.  I know that i could not love another man as much as i love him.  I am so thankful for all that we have been through!  I know we will go through so much more, but just knowing that we are committed helps me walk forward willingly.

I love you Ryan Burkart, my best friend and lova! haha.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Random Rachel

My life has been consumed with burp cloths and dirty diapers lately.  Along with wonderful cuddles and giggles.  The life of a mother is filled with the good, bad, and the dirty. haha!
Well, the road to potty training James is still a very....long...road. To say the least.  He is quite the stubborn child.  The typical first born.  It is basically going to come down to when he wants to do it.  Last week, we were given 2 tote fulls of hot wheels cars from our neighbors for James.  (we didn't let him see them) We thought it would be a great and sneaky way to get him to poo poo in the potty.  I wrapped them up and set the big wrapped boxes on the kitchen table.  That way he would see it everyday and hopefully be motivated to use the potty.  He tried...once.  The presents are still sitting on the table after 5 days.  I think James sees them as home decor now. haha! We remind him everyday that he will get the presents if he goes pee pee or poo poo in the potty.  His response is always "No thanks...I'm good." I am tired of cleaning man sized poop in a diaper! haha! At least i wrapped one of them in Christmas wrapping, because he may not be opening them until then. :) I need patience and more diapers. haha.

The weather has been gorgeous lately! We have been trying to take advantage of being outside or going to the park.

Adam is thriving so well!  He is in 6 months and some 6 - 9 month clothes now.  James was still in the 0-3 month gowns at this age.  He is our bubbly little child.  In the mornings, when he has gotten enough sleep, he'll lay there and just yell/talk until i go and get him.  It's not a cry just yell talk. It's cute....when it's past 630am. haha!
James is outgrowing his toddler bed.  In the middle of the night when i check on him, his legs are sometimes off the bed while his upper body is on.
Our boys are growing way to fast!  Life really is like a quick breath.  I'm trying as much as i can, no matter how tempting it is, to not get on the Internet until they are napping.  I want to make each moment count with them.  I know if i had an iPhone, which i don't, i would be useless. haha.

Today after i put james down for his nap, i got some one on one time with Adam for a bit.  I just love how joyful he is!

While i was pregnant, i started making Adam a mobile for his crib.  I found a cute idea with rain and clouds.  I just used felt and cotton.  The hoop was actually an embroidery hoop that i painted.  It was not expensive, but it did take a lot of time.  I finally got it hanging up today and hope that it will stay up. haha.


As i was making this i realized that Adam's crib set is Noah's Ark....a little morbid don't you think that i picked rain? haha!

I know i haven't posted much about exercising lately.  I have been working out everyday except Sunday.  I use Sunday to really stretch and rest.  (i love stretching!)
After only about a month of really working out, i have noticed my strength in my core is coming back.  I had a lot of back aches during and even after being pregnant.  Did you know that a lot of back pain is contributed to a poor core?  If you strengthen your core, your back will benefit from it.  Your posture is better and you learn to things through your core and your legs instead of your back.  Such as lifting heavy kids or groceries.  Even bending over.  Quite amazing.
Even though i don't have Jillian Michael shaped abs, i am noticing a difference in how i feel and even look since I've started exercising.
Today i actually did a Jillian Micahels workout.  It is called Banish Fat Boost Your Metabolism Cardio workout.  I just Youtubed it.  It is very long and makes you sweat.  She goes through each circuit twice.  Since i am crunched for time, i just did each circuit once including the warmup and a stretch afterwards.

Here is the link to the first Circuit:
http://youtu.be/tJ593Z7MKs8

*To continue on through circuits 2-7 (i think) just browse for them and they should pop up.  Each circuit is about 6-7 minutes long. Get ready to sweat! You don't need any weights or equipment.  Your body does ALL the work!  (James liked doing the kick boxing stuff with me)*

Sorry this blog is very random!  Have a Happy Day!


Friday, August 17, 2012

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

James has been...well...obsessed about rainbows lately.  (cutely obsessed) Last week we had gone to the Florence Freedom game - it was for military families.  As we were leaving the ball game, it had started to rain.  After we loaded up the kids, there was a huge, beautiful rainbow in the sky.  This was the first real rainbow that James had ever seen.  He was so excited, because we had been reading a book (that used to be mine) called Rachel's Rainbow.  He was able to see it in the sky until we drove closer to home.  
The next few days, James kept asking "Where's my rainbow?" I tried to figure out ways to tell him (in toddler words) how you need rain and sunshine.  It was not really registering.  Pretty much after i would try to explain the whole "rainbow" process to him he would then ask again "where's my rainbow?" haha!
I figured out an easy way to make him one that does not require rain.  All you need is the sunshine (or light) and a CD.
On the CD i wrote "James' Rainbow."
The morning i gave it to him, the sun was beaming in through the kitchen window onto the floor.  I made him sit on the floor and put the CD in direct sunlight and there was a beautiful rainbow on our ceiling.

James' CD in the Sunlight


The Beautiful Rainbow on the Ceiling




He Could Not Believe He Was Touching a Rainbow

Now James can see his "rainbow" anytime.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Organizing Clutter

I think i am still "nesting" from my last pregnancy. haha! I have been trying to de-clutter our house as much as possible.  I have been meaning to organize our important papers.  Since we've been married, everything from birth certificates, taxes, bill statements, etc have all been casually thrown into a drawer in our office.  We know where to find everything...in the drawer, but it was so un organized that it was hard to find exactly what we wanted/needed in the drawer.  I found a simple solution that i am in the process of doing now.

I found 3 binders (which i am going to get a couple of more) at Walmart for $1.74 each.  I also got some clear paper protectors too.  For 50 sheets it was somewhere between $2-$3.  I used baseball card holders for SS cards, insurance cards, military IDs, etc. I need to get another binder for Home/Auto and Bills. I always feel better after organizing chaos. 

                                                                  The Binders

Inside 


Friday, August 3, 2012

Satisfied in You

(I saw this video posted on my sister in law's facebook.) 
 This is such a great worship song.  It is based on Psalm 42.  Every time i hear it i just want to close my eyes and picture my beautiful Lord. I am truly only ever satisfied in You!


http://youtu.be/A7O7LQpQaoc

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Workout

http://youtu.be/u0PKdXig2CY


Just a little 20 minute total body workout video i did this morning.  You get some cardio through the strength training. Enjoy!

*We all want to look our best.  Exercise is a great way to do that.  But there is more purpose behind exercising and eating right besides just looking good.  Exercise also makes us feel good.
Here are some benefits (even though i am sure you already know them...just a reminder :) :
-Eases tension in joints and muscles
-Improves digestion
-Reduces blood pressure
-Decreases headaches, bloating, and cramps
-Fights cancer and boosts immune system
-Increases sex drive (haha...but it's true)
-Keeps bones strong (osteoporosis)
-Helps balance your hormones
-Reduces risk of heart disease
-And of course, helps manage weight

If we want to take care of our health...exercise is a critical component in doing so!

There are valid reasons why some women should not exercise, but most reasons are excuses.  Of course cardio and strength training are wonderful ways to exercise...but you do not need a gym membership to get the benefits of exercise.
- taking stairs instead of elevators
- yard work
- playing with your kids
- even house work
- going for walks

If you have access to the internet, there are plenty of exercise videos that you can do as well.
There are many options out there.

I think if our mindset changed to "i want to live a long healthy life" instead of "i just want to fit into my old jeans" (which can be a motivator) we will stick to exercising/eating healthy longer.  It becomes more of a way of living...a lifestyle.
If you have kids, get them involved too!  My son James loves to ride his little bike.  I push our 2month old in the stroller while James rides his bike at the park. (when it's not scorching hot haha!)
Make it a family affair.

Have a happy and motivated day!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Waiting



I started this book the other day.  I really was in need of a good...bible studyish book.  Something that would motivate me to get into the word and also that i could put into play with my life.  I found this book on Amazon.  I am only a few pages into it, but i am already learning a lot and feeling my heart reopen, once again, to God.
Here is a little excerpt from the book:


WAITING
"Desperately, helplessly, longingly, i cried. 
Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.
I pled and i wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently said, 'Child, you must wait!'


'Wait? You say, wait!' my indignant reply.
'Lord, i need answers, i need to know why?
Is Your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By FAITH i have asked, and am claiming Your word.


'My future and all to which i relate
Hangs in the balance, and You tell me to WAIT?
I'm needing a yes, a go-ahead sign,
Or even a no to which i can resign.


'And Lord, you promised that if we believe
We need but to ask, and we shall receive. 
And Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry;
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply!'


Then quietly, softly, i learned of my fate.
As my Master replied once again. "You must wait."
So, i plumped in my chair, defeated and taut
And grumbled to God, "So, i'm waiting...for what?"


He seemed then to kneel and His eyes wept with mine.
And He tenderly said, 'I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens, and darken the sun. 
I could raise the dead, and cause the mountains to run. 


All you seek, I could give, and pleased would you be.
You would have what you want --but, you wouldn't know ME.
You'd not know the depth of my love for each saint;
You'd not know the power that i give to the faint.


You'd not learn to see through the clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there;
You'd not know the joy of resting in me
When darkness and silence were all you could see. 


You'd never experience that fullness of love
As the peace of my Spirit descends like a dove;
You'd know that i give and i save...(For a start). 
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of my heart. 


The glow of my comfort late into the night.
The faith that i give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just what you asked
Of an infinite God, who makes what you have LAST.


You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that 'My grace is sufficient for thee.'
Yes, your dreams for your loved ones overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss! If i lost what i'm doing in you!


So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
THAT THE GREATEST OF GIFTS IS TO GET TO KNOW ME.
And though oft may my answers seem terribly late,
My wisest of answers is still but to WAIT."