Saturday, April 30, 2011

in des moines

Starting our wknd at the pool. No fun at all. :)
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some stuff

*big weekend. by dad is being honored this weekend as one of iowas 100 great nurses. you can check out the website HERE. we will be going to des moines today and attending the ceremony tomorrow afternoon. so so proud of him! he deserves it. one of the hardest working men i know! and great at what he does. proves over and over that some people really can love what they do for a living!

*while we are in des moines, we are staying at a hotel. in that hotel tonight you will find my sister cutting and coloring my hair. multi-tasking is necessary these days.

*about multi-tasking....on sunday before the big event, my sister is going to take our family photos. we haven't had family photos taken since ayla was 3 months old! what?!? we need an updated one above our fireplace, no doubt. of course, everyone is very is excited about this. HA! well, i think jennie is as least. :)

*subbing subbing subbing. i was in a fourth grade classroom yesterday and will be in the same one on monday. in the morning i was telling them a little bit about myself. i said, "i have three kids." they said, "how old ARE you?" i said, "34." they said, "WHAT?!?! we thought you were like 20 or 21!" well thank you, dear children. you are now by FAR my favorite age level!! haaahaha! thing about 4th graders....i think they know how to work the subs!

*in regards to the above mentioned 4th grade class...they were DIFficult. it took about an hour to get to the point where i think they started to figure out my expectations and i knew a little about their behaviors. it was a rough hour. but once we got through it, i really really enjoyed them! and at the end of the day, even though it was one of them most difficult classes i have ever subbed for, i was fulfilled. it was awesome. not frustration. fulfillment. kind of confirms that this is what i was created to do. i love that.

*neighborhood spring cleaning today. so i need to head across the street to help clean the pool area and the common park area. so excited to see the benefits of having a pool 10 yards from our house this summer!!

*brigg has 11:00 soccer game. lots to get done before we head out this afternoon.

*oh happy happy weekend. enjoy!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Really missing my brother and his family tonight.
Today my nephew turned one.
Wish we could have celebrated with them!
Happy happy birthday Boone!
We love you!
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011


(Pictured above is Johnson, father of 3, and a farmer in Kenya. Johnson and his family were struggling to survive when he bought his first Kickstart pump. With it he expanded his farm from .1 acre to 3.5 acres, increasing his monthly income 10 times.)
Here it is!!!
The week Jody and Becky launched their 3rd campaign of the year...FROM AFRICA.
Now, I'm not sure I even understand what a HUGE undertaking it is to launch one of thes campaigns, but I do believe it is a 1000 times harder to do it from Africa.
It was an exciting day for them, I'm sure!

This campaign is incredible.
The Adventure Project is taking on Hunger.
Did you know...
Eighty percent of the poor in Sub-Saharan Africa are rural farmers, and 75% of their children go hungry?
It's true.
Those are huge numbers.
But there is HOPE.
And that is what I love about The Adventure Project.
They are out there, searching for the perfect partners to bring sustainable change to people who were once hopeless.

I have been in contact with Jody via text over the past 2 weeks and it's been so HOPEFUL hearing about what she's seeing.
She is seeing organizations that are restoring dignity to the people of these communities and witnessing change from the inside out.
Which is sustainable.
Which is the goal!
No handouts.
No shame.
No embarrassment.

I love it.

Kickstart is one of these organizations.

Kickstart has developed an enterprise that sells affordable irrigation pumps. These pumps greatly increase a farmer’s yield, which means food for their families and a surplus they sell to generate income.

To support these farmers, we found the perfect gift – plantable greeting cards. That’s right. After you read it, you plant it, water it, and it blooms in 3-4 weeks. Now you can “send flowers” for Mother’s Day (May 8th), and support a farmer in Kenya. Get yours now!

How exciting is this!!
The perfect mother's day gift!
But you need to order them SOON.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the project.
And CLICK HERE to order your card today!

If you want to read more about Jody, Becky and Esther's time in Africa, head on over to Jody's blog.
The work they have been doing is amazing.
And they are just getting started.
They were featured again today in The Huffington Post.
You can read that article HERE.

Lots going on.
I hope you join in on the action!
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More Easter

The kids and Grandpa....

We silk-dyed eggs again this year.

The Easter Bunny made an appearance.
Note the missing 3 year old in this photo...

Followed by the present, and super-angry-about-being-forced, 3 year old in this photo.
Oh Ayla...
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just a regular wednesday night

I subbed today.
1st grade.
My sister and mom watched ayla while making hundreds of cookies for a friend's wedding.
Kids had piano lessons.
Lani picked out a song for recital.
Paul has a home inspection.
Mom took us out for supper.
My dad had men's night.
We ordered supper to-go for Paul.
Came home and tossed the tennis ball to willow a million times.
Garden beds are half done.
Kids jumped on trampoline.
I started a load of laundry.
Kids went down in woods.
Apparently lani and ayla got stuck.
And ayla had to pee.
So she went in the woods.
(We've taught her well.)
She said "mom, its NATURE."
They are now in the bath/shower.
When they get out we will read our nightly chapter of "The Long Winter".
I'm preparing to do the first night of Jillian Michael's "Banish Fat Boost Metabolism" and then get a cup of hot tea and finish my AWESOME book "The Help" while Paul types up his inspection report and eats his sandwich and the kids sleep hard.
And THAT is just another Wednesday night at the Burback's.
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Monday, April 25, 2011

Ayla on the hunt...

with blue lips from her ring pop....

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Just some explanations...

So. I wanted to give a little more specific info about The Adventure Project.
After my open house last weekend, I found several common questions popping up over and over. Thought I would answer them as best I could right now before I post about the new quarterly campaign.
Which brings me to the first question...

1. How many projects will there be?
There will be 4 projects a year. There was the coal prject over Christmas time. Then there was the water campaign and today The Adventure Project is launching their latest project which is combating HUNGER with a focus in Kenya. (More to come on that today! It's so amazing!)

2. What if I want to give to a project that has ended?
You can give to any one of The Adventure Project's campaigns at any time. I know there are several of you out there who have a passion for ending the water crisis. So if you are particularly connected to one of the projects, they will make sure your donation get to that project.

3. Do I write my checks out to The Adventure Project?
Yes! It is a bit confusing if you are just learning about this organization. The idea is that The Adventure Project partners with organizations in-country that already doing amazing work. With the stoves they partnered with International Lifeline Fund. They partnered with WaterAid for the water project. And for this most recent campaign, they are partnering with Kickstart. They actually go out into the field and meet with organizations to decide which ones are a good fit and are making the biggest sustainable impact. They are in Africa RIGHT NOW and have launched the Grow campaign from Africa today. Incredible!

4. (and a question specifically for ME regarding the open house...) Why did you decide to have this open house instead of just donating the money you spent on this to the organization?
Simple. I care deeply about the water crisis. I know I cannot solve the problem alone. I know I have a very generous group of family and friends who are just looking for a reliable place to GIVE. And I love how my time and money can be multiplied by doing something like this. Plus, it's FUN and I get to tell the story of incredible people like Ram Rati. Passion spreads when people have the opportunity to share their hearts. I didn't have $2000 to give to this campaign. But by putting my money towards the open house, we were able to raise that much in one afternoon. Exciting!! You can read more about the open house (and see photos, too!) on The Adventure Project blog HERE.

5. How can I become a part of this grass roots effort?
What I really love about The Adventure Project is that you can become as deeply involved as you want. I am specifically a "Chapter Leader" and board member. You'll be hearing lots about the organization from me. But you don't have to be that involved. There are also "Tribe Members". TAP loves the idea of getting anyone involved who cares about ending global poverty. You can email them HERE if you are interested in becoming a tribe member. You will receive regular updates (even from the field!) about the projects and be included in emails discussing upcoming projects as well. It's such a neat community!

All this to say that I believe deeply in what this organization is doing...
Working together to educate and advocate while raising awareness and funds.
Creating jobs and dignity.
Fixing problems and saving lives.
Finding low-cost, high-impact solutions that can transform communities.

So you know I'll be talking about this more.
And I can't wait to share about the lastest project.
Are you ready?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter 2011

My grandpa, uncle kent, aunt cathy and uncle steve and their 2 boys, drew and brent joined us this weekend for our easter celebration.
it was busy and fun!
saturday brigg had his first baseball tournament of the season. (see photo to right under my twitpics)
i forgot my camera.
when we left our house is was sunny and gorgeous.
when we got to eldridge it was FREEZING and WINDY.
and we were NOT dressed for that weather.
i was able to round up 2 blankets in my trunk and the girls literally covered their whole head with them.
2 innings into the first game (they played THREE), paul scooped the girls up and left.
lesson learned.
we'll dress/pack better next time.
the boys lost all three cames.
it was fairly brutal.
but lots of learning going on. :)
we'll do better next time.

we headed over to my parents after the games for a late supper and lots of laughs.
i love my family and am so thankful that we get together as much as we do.
never a dull moment.

this morning was the easter egg hunt.
and it was so gorgeous out!
we ate all day long.
the kids played wiffle ball and blew bubbles and jennie and i played cards with my uncle kent and grandpa.
of course...more laughs.
and lots more food.

the kids have tomorrow off school.
thank goodness...we have some catching up to do in the sleep department.

oh...and late friday night i decided to start peeling wallpaper off my bedroom walls.
why to i make rash decisions like that?!?
now i have a huge project on my hands.
oh well...i'll be so happy when it's done.
that wallpaper was not pretty.

some pics to follow.
my camera died as i was downloading them, so there will be more tomorrow.

so much to be thankful for today.
almost too much to wrap my brain around.
"thank you jesus" just doesn't seem to be sufficient.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

missing it...

the freedom of vacation.
the sunshine.
the warmth.
the beach.
my brother and his family.
missing it all as i look back through these pics.
the weather STINKS today...and for the rest of the week.
i'll relive this week in my mind over and over...

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They might just keep coming...




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SEE! i really WAS in florida

almost all the pics of ME in florida...
thank GOODNESS i'm usually behind the camera!

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testing out picasa.
is it working??

we watched the sunset a couple nights while in florida.
this was the first night.
the kids were in awe...

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

This is it!

Here we go!
Paul and I drank a glass of wine and then I sent him and the children on their way.
They have all been awesome. The kids were excited and they'll be back shortly before it all ends.
For the fun part...when mommy is relaxed...and has had a glass or 2 of wine. :)
It'll just be more fun that way.
Dad just dropped off all of mom's baked goods and the cake pops.
I'll have a continuous slideshow rolling of all The Adventure Project pics.
Wine, cheese, crackers, nuts, WINE. Did I mention WINE?
So I'm ready.
And the sun is shining.
So all is well.
Come on...ya know you want to join us!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

he's something else....

Ok...I need to brag on Paul for just a moment.
He certainly doesn't get enough blog-time or credit here.
I am crazy.
Sometimes I am totally insane.
And he is NOT.
Which makes us awesome together.
When I tell him I am going to send out 110 invites and also post on FB for my 569 "friends" to show up at our house on a Sunday afternoon to raise money for a project in India, he says "Ok."
Who does that?
Paul...that's who.
He picks up a paint brush and starts painting.
He MOVES lights.
He gets up in the attic with a mask on his face and ADDS a light to our living room.
He REWIRES our whole upstairs living room.
And when I say we need to rearrange the whole living space and move the television across the room, he runs yards and yards of cable somewhere and drills through the house and doesn't blink an eye.
He stays up until midnight on weeknights to make sure it gets all done.
He hugs me.
He tells me he's proud of me.
He tells me I'm doing great.
He watches the kids and dog while I go pick up bottles and bottles of wine and packages of cheese.
When I have tables set up and tablecloths covering all of them and it's suppertime the night before the big event he says, "Let's just go out to eat so we don't mess everything up."
He looks at me with sweat rolling down his face and says, "What do you want me to do next?"'s amazing.
And he'll leave tomorrow with all the kids and never expect a thing in return.
I certainly don't deserve him.
I certainly am BEYOND grateful that I get to spend my life with him.
Thank you, Paul.
I love you....

working working working

That's what we're doing today.
I went and picked up a case of wine from Ardon creek.
Love them. Love their wine. 8 different kinds.
I have large photos hanging all over my living room. I'm humbled that ram rati is gracing the walls of this house.
She is beautiful and I'm so thankful for the opportunity to help create jobs for more women like her so the people of northern India have access to clean water. They deserve it as much as we do.

Honestly, I'm just hoping people show up tomorrow. :) I have really put my heart and soul into this day. And I know many others have as well. I believe in it. And I'm just praying we adequately represent the adventure project and what they stand for. They are doing amazing work RIGHT NOW. I am sending them pics of the preparations as they meet with new partners in Africa this week.
So please come. :)
Bring your friends. And their friends too. :)
Its going to be awesome.
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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Drew's Baptism

This weekend was Drew's Baptism.
It was a super quick trip...just a few hours there.
So much going on right now.
But we are so glad we got to be a part of this day!
Paul is honored to be Drew's godparent and it was awesome that he got to stand up with them.
Drew was adorable...of course.

Afterwards we went back to Luke and Erin's for lunch and a mini photo shoot.
A few group shots.
Not too shabby for a million people...

And the grandparents with all their grandbabies...

Loved this pic of Erin and Luke.
Partially because they look awesome and partially because when I snapped this I was playing peek-a-boo with Drew to get him to smile and I think it made Luke smile bigger than Drew.
Cracks me up...

Geez...are we blessed or WHAT?!?
So thankful for amazing in-laws. SO thankful.