Sunday, December 11, 2011

‘Tis the season for the annual holiday update!

Family Picture 2011
20011 has been a relatively quiet year for the Burson clan.
Gracie is 7 and in 2nd grade now.  She enjoys karate, dancing, singing, soccer, 4H, and anything else she can get involved in!  She’s a good student who works hard and is achieving everything she should at her age.  She’s also a good helper around the house and in the yard. She has enthusiasm in everything she does and is a good friend and encouragement to those around her.

Ian will be 6 in just 19 days!  He’s also an active kid and enjoys 4H, soccer, and baseball.  He’s a very studious kindergartener and will actually be starting some 1st grade work after the holidays.  He is a sweet sensitive boy who has found his sense of humor and keeps us laughing with his comedic timing and sarcasm.
James is about to begin his 9th year with his company.  He was invited into a leadership program there this year which was a great learning experience and should look nice on his resume.  He’s been working hard to expand his career in this rather tough market.  When not at his day job James has put in hours upon hours of work in our yard making improvements and doing fence work and removing trees in order to meet the needs of the people and creatures who live here.

I have been home again this year, serving as teacher and facilitator here at Burson Academy.  Kids and animals keep me busy!  Our little zoo now contains 2 donkeys, 11 chickens, 3 dogs, 3 cats and 2 fish.  I have recently decided to start taking on dogs for overnight boarding as well.  I am also still volunteering as a local group leader for Attachment Parenting International.  And of course I manage to get roped into almost everything the kids are involved in, it’s plenty to keep me busy!

So that’s us, in a nut shell.  There’s other stuff to read about what actually went on this year if you feel like perusing this blog or clicking over to my home school blog.  I’ve been a pretty negligent blogger this year though and most of what goes on ends up on facebook!

We wish you all very Happy Holidays and a wonderful New Year!!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

We have a good marriage and I’m not afraid to say it!!

Today is our anniversary.  9 years since we promised to love each other through thick and thin.  I have to admit that these 9 years have passed super fast.  And they have been good years.  The best ones of my life actually.

We have a good marriage. I wish I knew exactly why so I could pass on the secret.  The funny thing is that a lot of people would have thought we probably wouldn't have a good marriage.  We got married fast.  Like super fast.  Like less than 3 months after our first date.  For a lot of people that would create a lot of problems.  Also, I come from a pretty dysfunctional family, divorced parents who were apparently miserable for years before they finally ended it.  An ugly divorce with lots of lines drawn in the sand.  Not exactly the best example of how to have good relationships.  Also, James had never even had a girl friend before.  Yep.  Newbie to the whole relationship thing and he was a husband in less than 90 days.  To top it off I have struggled with a lot of resentment from the role religious beliefs played in my life until my mid-20’s.   A lot of issues that could have created a lot of strife.

Despite those things we have a really good marriage.  And honestly we've never even had a rough patch.  There has never been a day when we've wanted to call it quits.  Never had an argument that got out of hand.  I think we've fallen asleep still in disagreement twice in 9 years and it was smoothed out the next day.  Although there are a million little things that go into each and every relationship I think there are a few things that have really helped keep things working for us.

The first thing that has made a lot of difference is actually a set of circumstances that were entirely out of our control but made a huge impact on us.  It started 2 days after we got back from Vegas.  My dog was hit by a car and we had to make the decision to let her go that night because her injuries were catastrophic.  The next week James lost his job when the doors of his company closed without any warning during his lunch break.   A couple months later his grandmother passed away.   One of my uncles who had young kids passed away when Gracie was 3 months old.  3 years into our marriage one of my friends who was also married with kids the exact same age as ours was tragically killed in a car accident.  Her death was followed by an uncles 2 months later and then a step-cousin and her baby were murdered just 3 months after that.   There was a lot of tragedy and less than ideal circumstances in the first 3 years of our marriage.  For us these tragic situations only further cemented our need for and dependence on each other.  We went to each other for comfort and strength.  Every one of those situations made us stronger.

One of the things that I swore to myself when I got married and I have been 99% successful in is not being critical of James to anyone.  I am just shocked at what some people will say about their partner.  Open criticism, even in jest, can lead to really hurt feelings and resentment.  I decided right from the start that if I had a problem I would talk to James about it.  Not talk about him to whoever I felt would listen.  He has made the same determination for himself.  This isn’t to say that we are without faults, not at all.  This isn’t to say we don’t seek advice from other people, because we do.  Or, at least I do!  But we both work really really hard to not blame the other person and to see our own faults in situations and to fix it, not blame shift it.   Addressing the problem instead of complaining about it to someone else has really worked for us. 

We have also made ourselves and our kids a priority.  Pretty much THE priority actually.  We worked really hard to keep drama out of our relationship at the beginning and when we had babies and I think that was very beneficial.  We kept ourselves surrounded with supportive family and friends and let the rest fall to the sidelines and in some cases out of our lives entirely.  We like each other and our kids and we made it habit that we protect our little team of 4.  This isn’t to say that we don’t have friends, I love hanging with my girlfriends and James needs his time with the guys.  In general though, if we can choose to do something together or as a family we do.  We choose to keep it a top priority.  Family time is sweet.  Kids are only little for so long.  And as we learned early in our marriage, you aren’t guaranteed it will all be here tomorrow.  So we appreciate and protect our time together.

There are a lot of little things too.  We were each on our own and really ready to settle down when we did.   Attachment parenting has really helped both of us be better people and has helped us in a lot of our relationships, not just with our kids.   Telling each other we love each other (and the kids) every single day, many times a day.  Not using affection, or the lack thereof, to manipulate.  Working together towards goals.  Enjoying the intellect and insight of each other.  Never lying.  Watching a movie the other person wants to watch.  Letting them pick the restaurant.  Going to bed together every night, never letting the couch be an option for anyone.   Kissing good bye.  Kissing hello.  Hugging. 

I’m so thankful for what we have, I see people struggling with their relationships every day and I really wish I could help in some way.  Maybe my thoughts will be an inspiration so someone about to take the plunge or someone who needs a fresh outlook.   I wish everyone could just be happy.  Contentment is a good thing.

So those are my words of wisdom for today!  I am so thankful for James and the influence he’s had on me and for what we have built together.  I can’t wait to see what the future holds.  I know that as long as we keep doing what we have been it will all be good, no matter the circumstances.

I love you honey! 

And for anyone who’d like I’d love if you’d leave a comment about what has worked for you in your marriage or long term relationship.  There’s always room for improvement, right?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Molly's nose, one year after being bitten by that spider.

 I just received an e-mail from someone going through a spider bite with their dog who wanted to see pictures of Molly now, so here you go, just took these 5 minutes ago.


You can see here that the hair on top of her nose is not as thick as it should be, some permanent damage was done, but in general I think she looks pretty good considering what she looked like at the worst!
For the posts on what happened to Molly you can look in my archives from October 2010, what happened and how it all managed to heal is detailed there with photos that are not for the faint of heart. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Chicks and Ducks

I ordered 4 chicks a few months ago, set to arrive all feathered and healthy at 6 weeks old.  I’m so glad I planned to get them since the 3 chickens we had met a quick and untimely end at the hand of a coyote.  The chicks arrived a couple weeks after the unfortunate incident.  They are cute and were hand raised and I cannot wait to start getting eggs again.  Anyway, after they arrived I decided that I wanted to have ducks too, so after a search I found week old ducklings.  I didn’t really want to do the baby duckling thing but they were the only ones I could find at the time so I took them.  It’s amazing how fast they have grown.  It’s also amazing how much we have learned about raising baby birds.  FYI, ducks are messy and smelly.  But they are also really comical and soft and cute which kind of makes up for the smell.

Anyway, without any further delay, here’s our little flock.  The chickens are all hens, they will start laying around the end of August.  We don’t know what the ducks are yet, I won’t be able to tell them apart until their feathers are completely in without violating their privacy and I’m not gonna do that! Smile

All 4 of the chickens. The 2 red hens are Rusty and Rojo, they are hard to tell apart but Rusty has a little more white on her head, I think she’s on the left in the photo.  They are both red sex link chickens and will lay brown eggs.  The white and brown chicken in the middle is Buttercup and the gray chicken in the back right is Robin. They are both Easter Egger chickens and will lay green or blue eggs, time will tell!


Robin and Rojo.  You can see why I call her Robin, I think she looks so much like one!


Robin and Buttercup (and Jubilee in the background).


Robin and Buttercup again, with Jubilee getting curious!


The ducks, Quacky and Peeper.  Quacky is quite a bit bigger than Peeper but it’s hard to tell in the photo.  They are both a lot bigger than the chickens which is funny since they were so much smaller when they first arrived.  Ducks grow fast!  They are both getting their feathers now and losing their cute yellow baby fluff.  They are Pekin ducks and, assuming either of them is female, they will lay white eggs.  If one or both are boys they will be yard ducks, we won’t be eating these guys!


I don’t know which one this is but isn’t it cute?


Ducks and chicks together.


Quacky and Peeper.


Practicing diving.


Ducky swimming time!


Enjoying the pool.


And a picture of Jack (formerly Trinket, Ian renamed her), because I don’t want to ignore the donkeys!  They were mowing my lawn for me today, lol!


Friday, April 08, 2011

Friday Five!

My sister does this on her blog.  I have no idea if I'm doing it right or linking up right but I'm gonna try anyway.

1.  I swear.  A lot.  I think I was saving it up all the years I was in christian school and baptist church.  It's still trying to level itself out in my vocabulary. 

2.  I let dishes pile up for days at times.  I really need a dishwasher.  And a maid.

3.  James and I never fight.  Or almost never anyway.  I think I got all my anger out in my twenties.  I'm to tired to fight anyone anymore.  I do still have opinions, I'm just better about sharing them.

4.  I love to travel.  Anywhere anytime if I can make it happen I do.

5.  I wanted 6 kids before I had any.  Now I'm pretty sure if I had any more than 2 I would lose my ever-loving mind.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Waiting sucks!

If you are in charge of hiring in your position at work here's some advice from someone who is trying to ever so patiently wait on a potentially life changing work opportunity for James.

Don't do an interview the day before you are out of town and unavailable for 2 weeks.  Not providing this information until the end of the interview was somewhat cruel.

Do contact the person you interviewed once you are back in your office.  Not contacting them after the time you told them you would be unavailable is crazy making.

Do respond to them when they send you a follow up to make sure you haven't forgotten about them.

Don't say you will bring them to the office the week you return if you won't.

Remember any response is ok.  Really.  The market is in the crapper right now.  If the answer is no then do the person the kindness of letting them know so they can get on with their lives.  If you are just behind but still intend to move forward in the process then let them know that also.  A quick note will suffice.  Just enough to help maintain hope and sanity.

I truly feel like I am going nuts here.  This guy cold contacted James, they had a great interview, and then the guy told James he wouldn't be able to contact him til this week.  He said he would though, and that he wanted to move forward and bring James to the office to meet a couple other people.  It was all good!  And now nothing.  The interview was 3 weeks ago tomorrow.  The job would be awesome, it's where we want to move and it's full of only good things career wise for James.  It's in an area full of liberal home schoolers which is what I am craving.   I'm trying not to lose hope but it's hard after so many days.  We want this so badly.  But more now I just want an answer.  James has been applying for jobs for 11 months now without so much as a phone call back.  This really seemed like the reason nothing so far has worked out.  And I really don't know how to finish this post other than to say I am so frustrated and having such a hard time not obsessively thinking about all of this.