Thursday, June 30, 2005

Kentucky Down Under

I can’t say that being in any part of Kentucky would ever make me feel as though I’m visiting Australia. The “outback”, “down under” and “in the bush”…all very Aussie and not at ALL Kentucky. Maybe it should be called “KentAussie.”

Whatever they called it, it was loads of fun for the kids and honey and I enjoyed ourselves too. We were all able to see, touch and do things that we never have before. What fun, especially for the kids. Days like that makes me wish I had more than two. I see them and am just amazed at the pure joy and excitement they have for EVERY thing. Watching them run, jump and discover things for themselves is the best fun ever. Well, for me anyway. Daddy feels a little differently about that but I let them do it anyway.

Michael is so curious and wants to be independent in so many things. He would run and find a path to investigate and yell “Mom, I’ll meet you at the other end.” Off he ran and sure enough he was at the other end, waiting. Daddy, well he was turning all kinds of red because Michael wasn’t strapped to my side…! THIS is why he has high blood pressure.

Mina, she so wants to do all that her big brother does and so off she runs. She is different in the fact that she wanted to take every single baby animal home with us. Nothing from the reptile hut though. She made it very clear that she had no use for any of them. Michael volunteered to house them for her……lol!

Well, I don’t want to bore you with anymore of the details other then it was HOT and we walked our legs off. Enjoy the pictures of our day Down Under……

Don't shoot....

Me either!

Panning for Gem stones

Um Dad, a little help here....

Please DO NOT poop!

"Who you lookin' at?"

Come here birdie, birdie!

The joy of my little girl

"Man, look at all these guys."

Mina touching a corn snake

Michael wanting to hold the corn snake

Mina with a baby...

I thought Mina was going to lay down with ol' Junior....that was his name

"Daddy this thing is heavy."

"You have some big ears, you know that?"

Mina taking a break with Daddy

Michael people watching

Mina milking a cow....

Michael not so much milking the same cow

"These guys are thirsty Tyler."

Mina, just one of the crowd

Headed home.....

Thanks for visiting mate."

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


On Friday evening at about 8:37p Mr. Burton past away. Surrounded by his entire family they sang him into heaven. Just that morning Mrs. Burton told him “to go ahead and put down your hoe and go walk the streets of gold.” He was a dear man that I feel very privileged to have known. Although, our relationship was not long nor was he in the best of health from the very beginning I fully enjoyed every moment I spent with him. I especially loved when he would ask where I was from. My response to him was New York and he would so boldly say “NEW YORK?” He would have the tone that suggested I should say any other place in the country but there…!

Mr. Burton was laid to rest Monday afternoon. The service was held at the First Baptist Church where he was a member. No more eloquent words could have been said that afternoon they made me proud to be a Christian and an American. I will truly miss him and feel very blessed to have known him.

I Loving Memory of
Joe Randall Burton, Sr.

“Just One Leg to Stand On”

Just one leg to stand on,
Since nineteen forty-five
He sacrificed for his country
To keep our freedoms alive

Just one leg to stand on
Yet a farmer he became
No task ever stopped him…
That was part of the Burton name!

Just one leg to stand on
With hands so big and strong,
We learned he could do anything;
He helped us all along.

Jut one leg to stand on,
Still in declining years
His faith and strength of character
We saw through all the tears

Just one leg to stand on,
But now the grand kids say,
“Pa’s got two leg in heaven!”
What a glorious day!

We’ll dance with Daddy in heaven;
He’ll swing us all around!
Two legs now to stand on!
God’s glory we have found!

By Dianna Burton Lewis
June 24, 2005

Mr. Burton’s oldest daughter

Friday, June 24, 2005

Another "Top Ten"

Hm, it seems that I’m stuck in this “top ten” mode. Yesterday was about the things that I really enjoy and today it’s about the injustices that really TICK ME OFF!!! It’s amazing to me that what I’m about to list really IS. I have discussed some of them with friends and feel very passionate about the issues and what I’m saying. However, I haven’t yet figured out how to go about rectifying any them. I also haven’t given up either. Surly I know that can’t save the world and am very limited with what I can change even in my small list. BUT, I will come up with something and when I do you all will be the first to know and will be recruited to helping in my effort……so get ready!

1. VA hospitals being among the worse health care facilities EVER.
2. Homes for the elderly across the country are in poorer condition then most animal shelters. AND staffed for the most part with people that could careless about what they are doing. It’s JUST a job.
3. Teacher salaries are less then that of our garbage men. Not at all that these men are bad people but lets face it they are just taking out the trash. NOT teaching, molding and preparing our children for their future. Heck, athletes are a better example of how twisted our pay scales are. At least the garbage men are performing a service.
4. Senior citizens are not able to afford to fill or refill prescriptions. WHY, WHY, WHY?????
5. People will have cars, clothes, and jewelry among other things far beyond their means but still they have them. Yet they are on state insurance and welfare. My question is HOW?
6. Parents that want the best for their children, re; education, athletics, even behavioral issues. Yet they refuse to participate on any level. Go figure.
7. People that complain about the cost of living but continue to buy beer, cigarettes and even drugs. Never mind all the other unnecessary crap that is purchased on a daily basis. Add all that up and then see where you are. Better yet QUIT before you open your mouth next time.
8. Parents who think because they worry incessantly about their kids they care more about them then say us NORMAL parents care about ours. Please, lighten up and let your kids enjoy being kids. You’ll see how much fun it is even for you.
9. People with the attitude that it is someone else’s responsibility regardless of the task. “Let someone else do it.” How sorry are they?
10. People who refuse to take responsibility for their own actions. Finger pointers.

Alright….I think I feel a little bit better. Some may not agree with what I’ve said but tough it’s my blog. If you want to have a say then start your own and you can list your top ten. Sorry, until then you are stuck with mine.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

My "Top Ten"

Not only have I given in to doing this blog thing I have apparently agreed to do this “Top Ten” thing too. I was told that I needed to do one and look I did it. Man oh man; you could almost think I don’t have a mind of my own…lol! It started out the top 100 but please I’m certain that I couldn’t do that. That is asking WAY too much, just ask Salena. I can barely bring myself to complete a questionnaire, ugh.

Although, it seems everywhere you look these days everything has a top ten or more. Hollywood, sports, designers, hospitals, vehicles and the list could go on and on. So why not add me to the list?

Well, here goes…… My Top Ten favorite things! They are NOT in order of importance.

1. Hearing my kids giggle
2. The smell of freshly cut grass

3. Hot showers
4. Seeing honey come in the driveway after a days work

5. Watching my kids sleep. (You should see ALL the pictures)

6. Clean sheets
7. Sitting in church on Sunday morning with my family
8. Spending time talking and laughing with Salena. (More laughing than anything)
9. Taking pictures

10. Finding places to volunteer my time

There you have it. Nothing compared to Hollywood and it’s best dressed but at least now I’m officially in the loop of all who compose “top tens.”

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Frogmen in action...

Today is the first official day of summer, yay! That means lots of sun and fun around here. What? I don’t know but I’m sure we’ll find something. I spoke to Salena who recently visited a part of the country that is in constant summer. Texas, New Mexico….all desert waste land as she put it and HOT!!! Well, she really said it was like Mars and how she knows this makes me wonder. She has sort of been acting like she is from another plant with this heat. Hmmmm, you never know!!

Talking to her I know I detected panic in her voice. She said “Vick I can FEEL the heat through the window” like there was a nuclear bomb just outside. I really think she thought she would melt or just explode if she stepped out for one second. “I can’t believe it, it’s 114.5 degrees and NOW it’s 116 just ten minutes later.” “I’m telling you I JUST saw Satan.” If you know Salena at all, you can hear her saying this and meaning every word. She was serious and sounded like someone who was on the brink of a heat-induced break down. I do agree that those temperatures are hot and there is no way that I would want to be there either. I’m happy to report that at this very moment she is probably in or very close to a place that is much cooler and GREEN! Thank goodness, I don’t think Eddie would have survived much more…lol!

Here happily it is not that bad. It’s warm and there is some humidity but nothing like the horrific heat my friend just experienced. Besides the kids and I, actually and Daddy too have been spending lots of time swimming here lately. So the heat is really not too bad for us people of leisure. The lake is very close by and we have several friends with beautiful pools and sadly no one to swim in them. They have all opened their places to us to use whether they are home or not… great is that? So, if you know me at all you know that I am taking full advantage of the invitation and why not? They offered.

The kids are completely enjoying themselves and are on the verge of becoming little Olympic swimmers. Maybe not Olympic swimmers but they are just has happy to be Frogmen! Man I just love them!!!

Monday, June 20, 2005

The Circle of Life

And so it is. We’re born, we live and then we die. The only things that really matter is what we do while we’re here because we truly all take the same path. No one lives forever.

It has become so clear to me this year while teaching my Vacation Bible School class. I have been working with the Preschool and Kindergarten age kids and what a treat it has been. I’m sure that they are my favorite age group. They are so innocent and so willing to listen and believe everything that you have to say. Just little sponges, sucking it ALL in. They are just beginning and have their whole lives ahead of them and need the help and guidance of all us adults. I do believe in the “it takes a village to raise a child” theory. They are all of our responsibility.

Before we know it they are teenagers in high school and working through all the struggles and temptations of being just that….teenagers. Again, we are to be there to guide and direct the best we can without stealing their independence. It’s very hard to find that balance. The fear of failing our kids can become overwhelming along with the idea of them being hurt can almost get to be too much. I believe, not that you care but it IS my blog so I get to say it anyway. I believe that the biggest part of all this is instinctual. Some how it’s gotten way off track with everyone having all this “higher” education. It’s NOT about anything that you find in a book.

Then we are ME. A 40 year old Mother of two with a wonderful husband, great friends and a terrific family. Just working everyday to make our way. All the time remembering that it’s what we do while we’re here that matters because we are now middle age and God willing half way through our lives. A good time to look back and see just what it is that we have done and what we may want to change in the second half. It’s funny, Salena and I just said the other night, “man there are things that I sure wish I didn’t do.” Well, we can’t change them just learn from them and go on. Now that “half-time” is over it’s time to forge ahead……….

I tell you just close your eyes for a second and you are in your “Golden” years with grown children and with any luck a couple of grandchildren running around. The very unfortunate thing about all this is that today many are not in good health. Bringing me to the point of this babbling blog.

Now that the loving parents that have cared for us all those years are older it is our turn. That’s right you heard me, OUR turn. Just like our children will one day have theirs. Believe it or not it IS our responsibility.

About two years ago I had the privilege of meeting a family that is in this very situation. They have become great friends and a wonderful part of my family’s life. Debbie’s Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's about three years ago. It has been a very rough road for the family and her especially. She decided to take the responsibility of caring for her Dad on herself and see to it that he has all that is needed for him to be able to stay in his home. Debbie has been the primary caregiver but has had the unfailing support of her husband, Mother and every other family member. She was willing to turn her life completely upside down to the point of relocating her family to be with her parents. She has taken on the role of parent to her Dad, I mean truly caring for his every need. Being a Mother of a young family this is no easy task yet she has made the sacrifice and total commitment to do it. I admire her for all that she has done and continues do. It seems that Mr. Burton is nearing the end of his journey and will be going home soon. And thanks to his loving daughter’s commitment and the love and support of his entire family he is able to spend his last moments in the comfort of his own home surrounded by the people that love him most.

Makes you stop and think, doesn’t it? What would you do? How would you respond to the people that did the very same thing for you at the time in your life when you couldn’t do for yourself? I know her rewards will be great and she will have the peace of knowing that she stood by her principals in spite of her own personal sacrifice.

What an example to us all.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Everyone on the count of three....

One, two, three cheeeeeese! Yes, that is the professional method used to get people to smile in a picture. A picture, that means there is a camera in the area, yeah a camera. I have grown to realize that these image freezing contraptions were the best things ever invented.

People have used them for years and years my family included. I remember my Dad having one that was a rectangle black box with the actually flashcube on top that turned when he took the picture. Those where all turned into slides so we never did get to see the pictures that were taken. However, Dad was great about having family slide shows regularly for all of us to enjoy. Then as I recall we upgraded to the Polaroid. Remember those?? Point, shoot and the pictures comes flying out the bottom. Then there was thing said like “don’t touch the print” “watch it’s still wet” and “hold it on the edges until it dries” and EVERYONE would walk around waving it in the air to help speed up the actual development. Not to mention that the camera itself was the size of a television being worn around your neck and the film, man the film was like putting a pop tart in the television. You needed a suitcase to carry your picture taking gear around with you. Man, how funny!

Well, since then thing have come a long way and I have completely got on board with it all. I enjoyed my 35mm cameras that I’ve owned and took plenty of pictures. Never really liked the whole development process though. How many of us have rolls and rolls around the house that have never even been developed? I know I had them.

NO MORE!!!! I have become a digital camera picture-taking freak. See, to me it’s more then a camera. It is a way to freeze a moment in time…any moment. It actually stops what ever is happening forever in your image. I mean how great is that? We all know that life goes on and stops for no one but we can all freeze and save little pieces along the way thanks to the camera. We look back on these pictures and tell stories that are related and are brought back instantly to the time of the event. It’s amazing how that happens. Taking pictures allows people that are not with you regularly or that are to young to remember at the time it’s happening to become part of the “moment.” To me there is nothing better. What a wonderful way to share your life with people that you love.

I have recently acquired a new digital camera from my wonderful husband for my 40th birthday. With the help of Salena they both devised a plan for the purchase. The final sale was made, a Fuji FinePix 5100 it’s beautiful and I LOVE IT!!! I have had a couple before this one and loved them both equally for the time that I had them. These digital miracles of technology are amazing to me. To be able to see the picture immediately after taking the shot and deleting if you want is just enough to twist my mine.

I have become so taken with this picture taking business that I almost feel like I should be seeking help for my condition. I go NOWHERE without my camera and have hundreds of pictures, most of which are of my kids but hey what better subjects to shoot.

I think by now you have an idea about how I feel about my camera and the absolute joy it brings me on a daily basis. I am not at all into material things and don’t put much emphasis on things that money can buy. However, I must admit that besides my Bible my camera is my most valued item.

If you don’t already have a camera and use it I encourage you to get one and start. It is unbelievable the fun and excitement that comes with it. Besides, how much fun will it be in later years to sit with your children and grandchild or others that are important to you and look back and remember when?


Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The "not so northern" Yankee!

Yes of course I am talking about our son Michael. Certainly you didn’t think I was referring to myself or worse yet my husband. We are truly “Yankee’s” and are reminded of that regularly.

Michael played ball this year for the first time and was placed on the Yankee’s. Naturally we couldn’t of been happier that he was representing our neck of the woods. You can just hear all the ribbing at the ball field now can’t you??

It was a great experience for Michael. He had a good season and was awarded the game ball four times for his performance and efforts. The team was the league champs and second in the tournament play. I believe he just may play again in the fall. For me?? Well, for me it was great fun. I was asked to be a “dugout” Mom because of my enormous enthusiasm for the game. I loved it. I cheered and jumped up and down like a lunatic and doled out more hugs and pats then I could ever count. Those little boys were amazing and just loved to be out there playing ball.

It’s not the kids that are hard to deal with. It’s the parents and the coaches that need to be reprimanded. I have to say I knew it happened and I expected it to a degree but man oh man. It is completely out of control. If you didn’t know better you would have thought these kids were in the World Series and it was the seventh gamed every night. I’m just beside myself with the behavior of the majority of people that are in attendance. It’s just NO GOOD! I want to know WHEN it stopped being about the kids and started being about the egos of the adults. See, I’ve learned that the kids could really careless if they win or not. It’s the coaches and parents that want the win and the star of the team because it makes THEM look good. The sad thing is that they do this ALWAYS at the expense of the kid. Seeing a 6 year old walking of the field crying because was tagged out and eye’s filling with tears because he “blew” a play is WRONG!!!! These little guys are out there doing their best and having a good time. They are cultivating friendship, learning how to be coached and how to play as a team. These are the things that are preparing them for the future NOT the screams of parents that have gone off the deep end, NOT whether they won a game at the age of 6 and NOT whether they popped out at first. Man, I just don’t get it. Why do these people not see what they are doing to their kids and why are they stealing all their joy of playing with friends.

I know we have many more years ahead of us with sports and other endeavors and that this is just the beginning. I plan to let Michael play whatever his little heart desires and do as I did this year. Be there to just dole out the hugs and pats and words of encouragement for him and any other little guy who may be in my reach.

After all it is just a game!!!

Monday, June 06, 2005

I"m Back!

It’s been a while hasn’t it? I have had company for the last week or so and aside from that I was way for the Memorial Day weekend. So now you see why you haven’t had any updates. Fortunately the most of you know that because you where there too.

So my houseguest left this morning. Not that she is a guest at all she is just another member of the family that stops by on occasion. Salena is off again with her Bo Eddie. It is back to the comforts of their18-wheeler and the beauty seeing the county. I have to say they DO need a bigger truck though. LOL!

For me, today I will be cleaning. I’m a firm believer that nothing is that important that I can’t take time to visit and have fun with a friend. It is perfectly normal for me to have lots to do after company but it is well worth it.

The kids are still sleeping this morning so I better take advantage of the time that I have and I really need some coffee.

By the way that loose tooth of Michael’s that I was telling you about, it’s gone. He was very excited to know that the tooth fairy would be visiting him. So this morning I can’t wait for him to find his loot.

Gotta get that coffee now.

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