Friday, May 27, 2011

from the garden tonight...

we're getting some rain.
and i went out to snap some pics in the garden as the sun was going down.
loved the rain on the plants.
and i'm not going to lie...i was trying to get some options for perfect backgrounds for pages. :)
so if you want me to set you up with one, let me know.
i just did two using my new pics.
they are awesome.

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FUN stuff!!

a photo from lani's piano recital.
she was SO scared.
but she did great.
so proud of her...

got TWO emails today wanting me to set up pages for them.
i love you guys.
thank you so much.

are you on FACEBOOK??
this is kind of silly, but i reeeeeaaaallllyyy have been wanting a nook.
and it's not going to happen anytime soon.
unless i win one. :)
our public library is giving away a nook to the person who refers the most "friends" to their facebook page.
if you so wish, you can go to their page HERE and "friend" them.
once they accept your friend request, you must post on their wall "referred by cassie burback" for me to get credit.
if you have a minute, that would be awesome.
if not...I UNDERSTAND. :)

also. so really great people that are part of the adventure project put together some fun videos.
THIS ONE shows you how to set up your page in 2 minutes flat.
THIS ONE is just a creative way some girls in virginia are getting people to sign up for the #oneto1000 campaign.
i LOVE it!! so much!
love this community.
love the creativity.
love the passion.
you should join us!!

we are not camping.
and i'm fine with it.
brigg's having a sleepover tomorrow night.
we'll have a campfire out back.
our swimming pool opens sunday.
can't wait for that!
and we have a long weekend at home with no plans.
it was just too temping.
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Thursday, May 26, 2011

giveaways galore...

this is so fun! now that i work all day everyday it's so fun to race around after school to all our activities, come home, tuck the kids in, get something to sip on and get online.
it's like a whole new world. so much happens during my work day! i love reading about it all at once at night!


so, i mentioned before that JENNIE is having a giveaway over on her blog. if you make an page, and leave her a message, she'll put you in a drawing for a free photo shoot along with some other really cute items. you should do it!!!!
and then today HOLLY decided to host a giveaway as well. a $50 giftcard to target! WOOT! can't beat that. you should go check them out.
the word is spreading. and it's so fun to see all the profiles popping up. if you have are reading this and you haven't yet created your own profile, let me know what's stopping you. i can do it for you! i'm pretty fast. it only takes about 3 minutes. for real.
and if you are reading this and you have already created a profile...will you do me a favor and find ONE OTHER PERSON to do one? at last count i think there were like 275 profiles. if everyone found 3 people, it could be done before the holiday weekend!! :) just sayin'.


ok. back to my life. i've been sleeping terrible this week. my mind is spinning. i'm cramming my brain with things like "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens", "A Model of Reading", and "Put Reading First". and i think it's all jumbled in my brain which is probably going to end up making things worse.


brigg's baseball team had a good win tonight. it was really their first good win in of the season. (and they didn't have many last year, either). so it was fun to see them enjoying it! they have lost gracefully all season and i was so happy for them tonight. just a random thought.


i only sub 5 more days this year and i'm DONE. YEEEEEEHAW!!
i'm so so so so ready to have my kids home for the summer.
to just hang out and enjoy them.
so ready.


we had a near tragedy last night. ayla snuck her blankies in to a restaurant with her and accidentally left them there. it was about 30 minutes from our house. we didn't realize it until bedtime. she had a short psychotic meltdown, but ended up surviving. i had called the restaurant and they said they didn't have them. i KNEW we left them there. so i figured they were gone for good. it made my stomach hurt. erin got one for her as a newborn and she's had them ever since. about 10:00 the restaurant called back and they had found them!! whew! it was a close call.


we decided to put a tent up in the backyard this weekend instead of spending a bunch of money to go camping. we have lots to do around here and we've been SO busy. i'm beyond excited about a long weekend at home. BEYOND.


because i've been sleeping so poorly this week, i have gotten all caught up on my dvr'd shows. GRAY'S...check
it's been a nice escape from reality.


off to set up a couple more profiles and continue my reading.
happy almost weekend to all!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

tuesday night update

looooong day. just got home for the night less than an hour ago. i'm exhausted.
but there are some exciting things going on that i want to quick post about while i'm watching my dvr'd American Idol and thoroughly enjoying the cool breeze blowing in my windows.
first of all, shout out to my sister-in-law and amazing friend lisa. she's turning like 21 today. (or something like that. give or take a couple years!)

also, AWESOME news on The Adventure Project home front. i texted Jody quick after work today and gave her a hard time. because she's stressed. and she makes me laugh when she's stressed. i said, "so, has bill gates emailed you yet? or perhaps lived chatted you on the website?" she told me to go away. (that's word for word). then LITERALLY one hour and 13 minutes later she texted me back: "BAM! gates tweeted us." hilarious and SO awesome. and honestly, i'm not a bit surprised. if you haven't started an page, you really should. so easy. 5 minutes TOPS. if you need help, please email me. i'll hook ya up. :) the number is approaching 2oo and we need 1000 by tuesday. no problem. right? go check out my sister's blog. she's doing a giveaway for anyone who sets up an page!!

my interview is scheduled. and i don't want to talk about it. it's stressful. a "panel" interviewing me. a lesson taught to students while the said panel observes. not awkward at all. nope. ugh. i'm sick about it. i'm not discussing it again until it's all over.

lani had her piano recital on sunday. so cute. she did great. pics to come.

willow got SHAVED. she had some mats in her beard and ears. we decided we wanted them GONE. so she's shaved. paul decided we can't take her out in public for like 2 months. she's hysterical.

house is trashed. i'm tired. more storms coming. supposed to camp this weekend, but not sure it's going to happen. we may just put a tent up in the backyard. our community pool opens this weekend and the kids are excited about that. and i could use 3 days at home to get our lives back in order. we'll see.

off to toss and turn in bed. i'm so unable to sleep. and it makes me crabby. dang interview!!!

Monday, May 23, 2011


Just got out of the shower and looked out my back window to find this beautiful rainbow. Somehow it brought peace to my spinning head. Hello Monday...
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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Super Awesome Opportunity!!!

Some of you may have already received an email from me regarding the latest Adventure Project Campaign push. If so, you may want to read this post for a little more organized information. :)
If you haven't heard about this yet, READ ON.
This is an amazing opportunity to be a part in helping farmers in Kenya without just breaking open your wallet!


Recently, Bill Gates posted a challenge on his blog:
“I need your help in making the case about why small farmers (in developing countries) are so important – in fact, I want you to share your best ideas and help spread the word.

The best ideas submitted by May 31st will be posted on The Gates Foundation website, and Bill will blog about the winners. We read it and shouted, “THIS IS US!”

So we worked night-and-day last week to create our One to 1,000 Challenge:

Launching today, we have set an ambitious goal. We have ten days to enlist 1,000 people in spreading the message about the importance of small farmers. If we recruit 1,000 people, and reach Bill Gates, sponsors will donate in support of our Grow Campaign! We need your help.

Eighty percent of the poor in Africa work as small farmers – and 75% of their children go hungry. All because they don't have the right tools and resources to grow more food. This is our chance for us to use our voices to support Kickstart irrigation pumps in Kenya, and tell Bill Gates why our Tribe is going to change the world.

Launch the site and become One of the 1,000 here.

So this is the deal.
We need YOU to create an page.
It truly is simple.
And page is basically an online business card.
Your name, a short bio, any links to blogs, websites, facebook or twitter pages that you want to share.
You can use it in your email signature if you want. Anything.
And honestly, it took me like 5 minutes to set up and register.

Simple simple way to help The Adventure Project in their effort to eliminate extreme poverty.

I believe in it so deeply. For years I have felt like there HAS to be a way to win the battle against extreme poverty. And I believe we can see it in our lifetime if we choose wisely the WAY we give. It's so important.

So I am asking for your help. You need to do 3 things.

1. Go to and sign up. It really will take you 5 minutes TOPS.
2. Go REGISTER your page HERE. This is important. We need to know who is connected to The Adventure Project. The will literally take 15 seconds. I'm serious.
3. Ask someone else to join us. Or help them sign up. Simply spread the word!

If you want more info, go HERE and read up on it. The directions may be clearer there.

And then if you want, tell me about it! I want to see all the fun pages!! We are looking for people to use farming or gardening or food-type pictures as a background. If you are looking for some amazing photos, click on THIS FLICKR SITE for same photos you can use. OR you can just use your own. Like MY page. :) You can see some examples HERE.

Let me know if you have any questions. And honestly, if you don't want to do this on your own, or are simply overwhelmed by the directions, email me and I will create one FOR you. cassieburback at gmail dot com.

And finally, Jody's blog post shows the heart of this push much better than mine. You should read her words. They are sincere. And I love her.
Thank you so much to those who have already set one up and listened to me talk incessantly about it. And thank you to everyone who continues to listen to my heart. I know these kinds of things can get old. But I truly believe that as a TRIBE, we can make a gigantic difference. Regular people like us...changing the world. And I love that. It gives me chills.
I hope you join us.
It's going to be awesome.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

saturday. in list form.

- there was supposed to be severe storms today. Hail. Lightning. Thunder. Damaging. Winds. Paul's mom was supposed to come watch lani's riding lesson and piano recital and brigg's baseball tourney. After much discussion she and Paul decided it was best for her to come another wknd. Its a long drive. She wanted to be able to get in on as many activities as possible. And of course....we have blue skies and sunshine today. So frustrating. Everyone is very very disappointed. :( but we have plans for 2 weeks from this weekend.

- Brigg only had 1 game this morning, so we are having a fun day. Got the kids signed up for the summer reading program through the library. I need something to hold us accountable!

- made a dirty banana today. Read about it on my friend Jenny's blog a while back and it sounded yummy so today was the day. 1 ripe banana, cup of ice, 1 shot each of Kahlua and dark rum. Blend. Yum. Oh....and I added some chocolate chips for fun. Deeelish.

- I applied for a job on Thursday and got called yesterday for an interview. Eeeeek. I'm scared.

- getting super excited to camp next weekend!!

- we live directly across the street from our community pool. It opens next weekend. Our lives are about to change! :)

- every single day we love it more and more out here. Its like camping all the time. Our neighbors across the street...who are it a little slice of heaven. And seriously we couldn't agree more! LOVE IT.

- and gosh....I'm totally emotional about the possibility of having my own classroom after being out of college for 10 years. Its crazy. I tear up every time I think about it. What a different person I am than I was 10 years ago. So ready for this. Praying its part of the plan. So thankful for the opportunity and for all the support. It is NOT easy to get a job in this district. What an honor to get a shot at it!

Happy weekend!
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

tis the season... go camping.
fa la la la la la la la la.

we popped the camper up for the first time tonight.
airing it out and taking inventory.
we are going to try and camp next weekend.
it'll be the first time for all of us together WITH willow.
could be interesting.
but will definitely be funny.
SO excited to get this season started!!
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4 more...

my mom doesn't appreciate willow nearly as much as willow appreciates her! :)

the kids and willow found a fun new play to hang out...

brigg and i on the train.
he kind of looks like me, right??
i've always thought he was paul through and through, but this one kind of looks like me...

and lani.
after softball last night.
i do believe this is the real reason she wanted to play.
after 3 years of following her brother around to sporting events and watching him get snacks and drinks after every one, she felt it was HER turn.
but in true lani fashion...she shared with her sister.
love her.

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Sneak Peek

just downloaded about 300 photos.
here are 4.
fun fun fun....

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I want into the laundry room to start a load.
I looked around and suddenly felt overwhelmed.
I sat down because I didn't know where to begin.
Ayla walked in with my phone and snapped a photo.
I had to laugh.
At the look on my face.
At the piles of dirty laundry.
And especially at the giant box of empty Busch light cans behind me.
(Although none have been consumed today, I'd be lying if I said it wasn't tempting here on the laundry room floor.)
I laughed hard enough to stop what I was doing right here on the laundry room floor and blog it.
Its me.
My life right now.
At this exact moment.
Not pretty...but real life.
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Monday, May 16, 2011

and the week begins...

saturday was brigg's last soccer game of the season.
i was ready to breathe a deep sigh of relief thinking things might slow down a bit.
fat chance.
checked my calendar and lani starts softball games today. (she HAS been practicing for a few weeks now, but games start tonight).

speaking of calendars...
i was thinking about this the other day.

i always used to want to be that person who had a planner with her at all times.
totally organized.
color coded for each member of the family.
meals, grocery lists, games, meetings, etc.
and for the past several years i have purchased a planner for the year.
january was always so organized.
february i started forgetting to add things and then i'd miss something because i thought everything was on my planner and it wasn't.
and by march it was tucked away in a drawer.
well those days are OvEr.
apparently when you get a job that is at a different location every day of the week and at different times and for different teachers along with 2 kids that are in 8 activities between them and a husband who has a second job with random times and you are the PTO president and a have a dog that is in doggy obedience school, you actually USE a planner.
i feel naked without it.
i am that person.
although i can promise you it is not color-coded.
and there are scribbles ALL OVER it.
but you will find meal plans and grocery lists and important events.
i put everything in it.
and i love it.

so i just got brigg all dressed and sent off to his baseball game with paul.
lani is now in full softball uniform and ready to head out the door.
it's amazing what goes into getting them ready.
clean uniforms.
water bottles.
softball/baseball gloves.
baseball caps.
and then snacks and drinks for ayla.
make sure the dog is fed and watered before we head out the door.
we LITERALLY have to eat supper at 4:00.
who does that???
all i can say is we didn't refuse our neighbor's offer of s'mores by the campfire tonight when we return.
we'll be starving again by then!! :)

and i subbed at the HS today. i think mine was the only minivan in the parking lot. which i found funny.
i feel 18 but yet i am a minivan traveleing baseball/softball/soccer/piano lesson/horseback riding lesson/football/basketball mom.
who'd a thunk it?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

im a master at public transit

First of all...the cardinals lost. Bummer.
There was an hour rain delay. It was coming down INSANELY hard. Fortunately I had purchased the very cheapest seats in the stadium. (And was teased relentlessly for it by my husband and son all night.) The most amazing seats were 2nd to the top row on the stadium. Thank goodness none of us are afraid of heights.
For real.
It was HIGH.
BUT it was also covered. So turns out we were protected when the torrential rains arrived.
And there was plenty of beer, soda and snacks on hand as we waited to finish watching the cardinals get slaughtered.
My boys were thanking me by the end of the night.:)
The severe storm passed and we walked home in nice weather.
Stopped at an awesome pizza joint and grabbed a pizza to go and ate it at midnight in the hotel room.
I had a big morning ahead of me.
This small town girl needed to navigate Chicago's public transit system.
My goal was to get to Leah's in the burbs from wrigleyville. I was up at 6:45 and out the hotel door by 735. Walked what seemed like 15 or 20 miles to the brown line. I was doing great. Figure I'd even have time to grab a coffee. Felt like a big city girl on the subway with all the morning business people. It was fun! :)
The we stopped and didn't move for like 10 min. Apparently we were waiting for a train in front of us. Ummm...I started to get a little nervous. I stilled needed to transfer to another train station and it was getting late. I needed to be at the other station before 8:40.
Got off the brown line and literally ran thru the streets of Chicago (with Keep igloo cooler over my shoulder...styling) and got to my last train at 8:41.
One minute late.
Missed the train.
2 hr wait until next one heads out to St. Charles.
In the mean time I had missed a call from my sub caller. By she had left a message.
So my heart is racing and a homeless man helps me find another train station and asks for some money.
Sweat is pouring down my face and my make-up OS running. I'm giggling kind of uncontrollably.
I call to get my messages and the one from the sub caller says "Cassie, they said you hadn't arrived at West yet. You must be running late. Call me."
Uuuummmmm....what?!? I'm jot subbing today! I'm in CHICAGO for heavens sake! Running around like a crazy person. I told you that!!!!!
So I called her and she apologized right away. She had forgotten to reschedule after I told her I couldn't do that day. But she got it taken care of. So I still have a job. :)
Got a hold of leah. She called and rescheduled her appt.
And I am now on a train.
With my fancy drink and a much better understanding of Chicago's public transit system.
I deserve that drink. Even got cool whip.
I couldn't make this stuff up.
Still love this place so much.
Off to wedding dress shop. Hope your day is much less eventful than mine has been so far!
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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

today. wednesday.

(the pic has nothing to do with anything. just wanted to post it so my post wasn't too blah.)

we pick brigg up at 11:00 and head to chi-town.
sounds like we'll be getting there just as the storms start.
strep cannot keep us away, but storms WILL.
so i'm praying for a weather miracle!!
if i chant it, maybe it will come true.
and although joy isn't in things, i kinda think it's in a cubs/cardinals game at wrigley with my boys. :)
so i'm hoping we get to enjoy it.
(but if not, we'll still be in chicago, so we'll make do!)

off to pack and clean up the house for jennie.
think warm sunny thoughts for us!!!
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Monday, May 9, 2011


no school tomorrow.
will be ok on wednesday for chicago trip.
glad we took him to said doctor.
is it wednesday yet?

this week.

it's kind of a big week for us!
we are so excited!
every year for the past few years we have taken brigg to a mlb game.
last year we decided we wanted to try to get to wrigley field.
but we are not cubs fans.
at all.
so the only way we could get brigg in that stadium is if the cardinals were also going to be there. :)
so we decided to try and get tickets to the cubs/cardinals game in chicago.
whis worked out AWESOME because leah recently moved to chicago!
and she recently got engaged!
and she now needs a wedding dress!
and someone to help her pick it out!!
and i'm available!!
funny how that worked out.
SO...i got to planning.
because honestly, i think i was a travel agent in a previous life.
i LOVE to plan trips.
i'm not kidding.
i find it theraputic.
anyway...i digress.
so i got to planning.
i saw that the cardinals played the cubs on wednesday night at 7 pm.
and then they play again on thursday at 1:20.
we decided to pull brigg out of school at noon on wednesday and head to chicago.
we found round trip train tickets into the city for all three of us TOTAL of $69. CANNOT beat that!
i researched the closest hotel to wrigley and booked a room there on priceline.
it's right by the EL train, so we can hop on the L when we get into the city and be dropped off right at our hotel.
then our hotel is less than a half mile from the we can WALK to the game.
and leah and jeff are going with us on wednesday!! it's going to be so fun!
we love love love hanging out with them!!
then on thursday i got 2 tickets for paul and brigg. we are going to eat breakfast at Uncommon Ground...which is now my favorite restaurant in the world! (thank you leslie!!)
and then leah and i are going to go wedding dress shopping while paul and brigg hit another game.
we hop back on the train at 5:45 thursday to head home.

one problem has come up....

brigg's not feeling great.
this took lots of planning and coordinating.
just hoping it's not ruined because brigg is sick.
he would be SO sad.
and so would we.
we have 48 hrs to get this boy healthy!!
and i also have 48 hrs to get all caught up on laundry...which may take a small miracle in and of itself.

moral of the story...if you need a trip planned, let me know. :)
but i can't promise your kids will be healthy for it!

happy monday...
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Sunday, May 8, 2011

a wedding

went to a wedding yesterday.
seriously stunning bride....

of course ayla had to pee during the vows.
i kid you not.
it was an hour and 15 min wedding and she had to pee during the 5 minutes of vows.
i wanted to scream.
we missed it all.
i was so sad.
but that's ok.
it's ok.
i has to be ok.
there's no other choice.

but really...could the bride be ANY MORE BEAUTIFUL?!?
i think not.
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Mother's Day 2011

we started our day off EARLY.
brigg and i were up at 6 am.
we needed to be at his baseball game for day 2 of his tournament at 7:30.
but we made it.
and it was gorgeous out.
perfect day for baseball.

they played 2 games back-to-back.
lost one, won one.
both great learning experiences.
and we were done before noon.
that makes for one happy momma.
the boys all wore pink wristbands in honor of their mothers.

also...just for the record...i cheer. LOUD.
as in YELL...loud.
so by the end of 2 games, i quite literally have no voice left.
which i believe makes brigg very happy.
he probably wishes he had another game, so he could play without his mother screaming in the background. :)

(encouraging screaming of course!!)

during the game i could tell something was wrong with brigg.
he was just acting weird.
so as he was walking up to me after the last game he says, "mom, i don't feel good."
he had a sore throat and a fever.
slept the whole way home.

he took a shower and laid down when we got home, but i did get him outside for one photo with his mother for mother's day.
pretty good fake smile, i must say!

we've trained him well...

paul had the garden beds filled with dirt when we got home.
i finished up our plans and we headed to the nursery to get our plants.
got them home and got EVERYTHING planted.

of course the girls were very very helpful.
ha! :)
it was definitely a family affair.

you can see my garden plans printed off above.
paul relentlessly made fun of me.
but that's ok.
i felt very organized.

and now we wait.
and weed.
and water.
and watch.
i cannot WAIT to see the fruits of our labor.

it was nearly a perfect mother's day.
if brigg hadn't been sick, it would have been perfect.
we couldn't have asked for better weather.
and my family is amazing.
love them so much.

happy mother's day 2011!
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ok....this is better

Love them. Perfect mothers day.
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cheers and happy mothers day!

Doesn't get any better than this! :)
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by far

being a mother is
my greatest joy.

happy mothers day to all you moms out there.

Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children, and no theories. ~John Wilmot
(or in my case, THREE...still very very true.)

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no idea how this happened

i have no idea how i happened to marry the man who had the other best mother on the planet.
but i did.
and boy am i thankful.
love you mom and donna!!
happy happy mother's day!
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Saturday, May 7, 2011

oh my heart...

this morning was one of those moments when my heart literally hurts watching one of my children.
we have been talking about getting lani horseback riding lessons for quite some time.
she's always had a love of all things horse.
she just has that personality and i knew she'd love it.
but's expensive....and another activity.
and we are busy.
i couldn't hold her off any longer.
last week we visited Webber Riding Academy and we set up her first lesson.
it was this morning.

she had been counting down the days.
and i was the obnoxious mother with the big camera taking pictures the WHOLE time.
because my heart was exploding.
i don't think i've ever seen her so happy in my life.

she was beaming.
and she did not want to leave.
she would have stayed all weekend.

her horse's name was urkle.
he's 20.
and about as calm as you can be and still be breathing. :)

she's in love with him.
smiling from ear to ear all day long.
looking off in the distance tonight before bed, smiling...and then turning to me and making some comment about urkle.
way too cute.

after her lesson she RAN to the car and squealed, "MOM! this was the best day of my life! (so far)."
and i kind of believe her.
she's not one to say that lightly.

she's taking 2 lessons a month.
two weeks is a long ways away.
i'm thinking she'll be having urkle dreams on a regular basis.

on the website for Webber Riding Academy there is a quote that reads
"There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man." (Winston Churchill)
and i do believe it to be true.
especially after watching lani today.

so happy for her.
i love her so much.
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