Year of Big Birthdays for the Burtons

My family.  What a fun group of people.  

For over half of my life, I lived far enough away from my family that I didn’t see them all for birthdays.  Growing up, we always celebrated everyone’s birthday in our family.  It’s not to say that a huge party was thrown, or anything like that, but ensuring that everyone was celebrated at least once a year – that was a big deal.  We’d have the occasional birthday party (mine, of course, was my sweet sixteen), but for the most part we kept it low-key.

Adding people into our family, via my brothers getting married and nephews being born, added even more fun to the Burton birthdays. Until recently, I didn’t live by family for any of my one sister-in-law’s birthdays (Tiffany), nor my two youngest nephews’ birthdays (Ross and Ryder).  But I would attempt visits home to get everyone together to do a Burton Birthday Bash.  With the exception of Ross, whose birthday is in February, we have family celebrations from April through September, with most of them being in August and September.  Whenever we do a cake for a BBB, we’ll light the candles and sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to…everyone.  We all throw in different names when it’s time to name the person, or we’ll just say everyone’s name really fast, or sometimes we just end up saying, ‘everyonnnnnnnnnne, Happy Biiiiirthdaaaaay to you…’

So we get to celebrate each other in big doses, and we truly enjoy doing it.  It’s the whole Christmas concept of – it’s even more fun to give than receive.  My family does that well.  No one really cares about what they’re going to get – at least not as much as we care about how much you’ll enjoy the gift we’re about to give you.

My family does that well.  No one really cares about what they’re going to get – at least not as much as we care about how much you’ll enjoy the gift we’re about to give you.

I love that.

This has been an extra fun year for birthdays.  All of my nephews hit those milestone birthdays.  Ross turned 16.  Ryder turned 10.  Robert turned 21.  I’m pretty sure that my brother and sister-in-law didn’t plan it that way, but it’s fun to realize.  To top it all off, my mama is going to be 70 on Sunday.  Man, Ilove her.  I’ve been nothing but blessed since I moved in to hang with my parents for a short season, back in June, while I transition back to live by my family.  She’s amazing.  (So’s my dad…but we’ll get to him later.)

A few weeks ago we did a Burton Birthday Brunch Bash – brother, David, got a waffle maker for Christmas last year and I don’t get enough use of it, so I requested a brunch bash.  We brunched, and swam, and laughed a lot.  Ryder brought the fun, and we do a mini version of that this Sunday to celebrate a few more birthdays.


Dinner and…not-a-movie

Dinner and…not-a-movie.
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Tonight I had the extreme pleasure of spending time with three of my favorite people, who all happen to be Calvaresi's. We dined well and then spent the rest of the evening studying for an Honors Geometry test. Although I am happy to say that I won't be taking it, I am definitely prepared. 😉 I do not miss Geometry and have much empathy for high school students at this moment.  It's a tough life they live.  ;-)  They pay me to say things like that as a youth leader.

Oh…Chase just informed me we're only halfway done with the study guide. Gotta get back to work!

Love. Them.

Problem Solving in the Burton House

Probelm solving at its best at 11:15pm.

Last night, Ryder peed in Robert's bed.

So Robert is sleeping in Ross' bed with Ryder tonight.

Ross was supposed to sleep in the chaise in Dave and Steph's room, but instead fell asleep in Ryder's bed.

I was supposed to sleep in Ryder's bed, and am now on the couch.

A dog (most likely the hyperactive Bentley) apparently peed on Dave's side of the bed, so he's sleeping on Steph's side of the bed.

Steph couldn't find a place to lay her weary head, so I told her to pick up Ross and move him to the chaise, and she could sleep in Ryder's bed.

Whew!  Now if only Robert and Ryder would quietly fall asleep, a slightly tired Mim could find some zzzz's…

Great to be with some of my family.

Can I Pway fo You?

My nephew, Ryder, now associates my ice pack with my back problems…

So I just got up to get my ice pack, and when I got back he said to me, "Mim, can I pway fo you?"

"Yes, of course you can!"  I said.

"Dear Jesus God, thank you for Mim.  Pwease make her feew better.  Amen.  Do you feew bettah?"

"In so many ways, I do." 🙂  

Love this kid!!!

I Wuv You, I Wuv You, I Wuv You!

I remember when my oldest nephew, Robert (who is now 14!), would have sleepovers with me, years

ryder and mim  ago.  Most of the time he would lay on his stomach and say, "Scratch my back, Mim.  Under the shirt."  Then, if he was still awake when I was done, he would put his arm under my neck, kiss my cheek and say, "I yuv you, Mimmy!  Good night."  And then we would fall asleep like that.  I don't think I could pay him to do that now. lol…but that's okay.  

Ross, who is almost 10, didn't like sleepovers as much as Robert did.  But he would still get all cuddly and he also asks me to scratch his back for him.  He doesn't know this yet, but part of his Christmas present this year is a 10 minute back scratch;).  I can already see his eyes lighting up!

Ryder, who is 3, is at a very cuddly stage.  He's not as into the sleepovers with me yet, although we were successful once this past summer, when he stayed with me at my parents' house one night.  He had a bout of crying, but I got him to calm down.  The other night, Ryder slept in Robert's room, while I slept in his bed.  In the morning, he opened the door and quietly whispered, "Mim, ah (are) you awake?"  My eyes were closed, and clearly I was not awake, but I lifted the covers up and he crawled into bed with me.  It was such a precious moment.  We both fell asleep, until his hand accidentally smacked me in the face, but I just fell back asleep again.  

We woke up about an hour and a half later and immediately he wanted to read his bug book from the school library.  I had a blast reading this intriguing little book about "creepy, crawly, baby bugs".  We discussed big words and I asked him big questions.  We even talked about letter sounds.  (you can take the teacher out of the classroom, but you can't take the teacher out of the teacher…that doesn't sound as right when I try to write it out…you know what i mean)  

Later that morning, out of nowhere, Ryder says to me, "I wuv you, I wuv you, I wuv you, Mim!"  This was followed by a big hug and a kiss.

An awesome Christmas break it so far…yes it is. :o)

Final Chicago Trip

For the last 3 1/2 years, I’ve visited traveled the five hours to Chicago several times a year to visit my brother, Dave, and his family (that grew by one while they were there!)  It was so great to be with them so often, since I haven’t lived by family since I graduated from high school.  I loved having them so close!

A couple of weeks ago, Dave, Stephanie, Robert, Ross, Ryder and Lady (the dog) trucked back to the Philadelphia area, where my brother took another job.  I’m really happy for them, and for the rest of our families that will get to see them more often, so I’m so sad that I won’t see them as often (I mean, have you seen gas and airline prices?) 

But, on my way home, I did get to stop and see them one last time in Chi-town.  We went into the city for a couple days, over the 4th of July.  It’s always fun getting to know other people, and on this particular trip we went with some of their best friends from Chicago.  Here are some fun pix from that…
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We rode on those 6-people bike things…HULARIOUS!

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Of course Ryder was adorable!!

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This is Kayla…and her new friend:)

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I’m still not completely sure what Ross was doing here…but he decided his feet hurt and he sat in Ryder’s stroller for some fireworks.

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Me on the boat on the 4th of July…anticipating an exciting fireworks show!

More pictures of Ryder…:)My vacation071 
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My Mother-the Texting Expert

I’m so proud of my mom-she’s finally taken on texting!  When I was home for Christmas I took my parentsMotorolarazrv3cg
to T-Mobile for the three of us to get new cell phones.  My battery wouldn’t last more than 30 minutes on a call, and it was a miracle that my dad’s phone even worked…with all the cracks from dropping it all the time! 🙂  They just kept putting if off, to get new phones, but since I was going to go, I dragged them along and got them phones too.

So we all left with brand new Razr phones (yes, I got the same phone I already had, because I’m happy with that one!) and proceeded to play with them throughout dinner together.  My mom had sent a few text messages before, but now that she has this new Razr, she’s doing it all the time!  It’s great!  Mom has entered my world of communication:)

A Moment to Ramble

How do you even jump back into blogging when you haven’t done it in so long?  Wow.  It has certainly been a stretch these past couple of months.  Just when I think I’m about to start to really de-stress, something else comes along.  Eh, that’s life. 

I really miss writing, although I have been writing some-just not here for everyone to see.  I kind of felt the need to not write for everyone to see for a little bit and gain some of my own perspective on some life stuff.  You know, the stuff that only God can really help me with anyway. 

So here I am, rambling on about how I haven’t written for awhile.  Give me some time, I don’t have anything profound to share at the moment…or even really funny.  But I will tell you about the last week or so….

I did get to spend my Thanksgiving break with my brother, Dave, and his family, in Chicago.  Stephanie’s parents were there too, and that certainly added to the enjoyment.  Anthony and Angie Sorbo…one was a church planter and Bible school builder in Indonesia for 50 years and the other was a church planter’s wife for about 30 years, I guess.  Angie was also the Pennsylvania/Delaware District Missionettes Coordinator, and when I was a little girl, she was one of my heroes.  That’s an entirely different story, but nonetheless, I got to hang out with some heroes.  Good times. 🙂

Ryder is getting bigger and funnier, Ross is getting better at soccer and Robert is actually getting smarter…who’s 12 going on 16.  What’s up with teenagers anyway?  Today’s newest update is that Ross has a new email address, so we’ve already emailed several times this evening, and I’ve even introduced him to chatting online (did I mention he’ll be 8 in February?).

Mom gave us a HUGE scare on Thursday when my dad had to call 911 to rush her to the hospital because she wasn’t conscious.  It’s a long story, but PRAISE GOD, she got out of the hospital yesterday and she seems to be doing much better.  Her heart rate is a bit abnormal, so please pray for her complete healing.  She’s been working hard to get healthy…

Funny story about her heartbeat though…So she was telling me that when the nurse put her in her new room (from ICU), she had noted that she could see Target from the window.  My mom’s heartbeat immediately sped up when she realized that and the nurse said, "Well, I can see where you’d rather be today!"  My mom’s response was, "Yeah, the worst part about me being in the hospital is that I’m missing all my good sales!"  Well, folks, that’s my mother for ya!  I’ll be praying that God gives her even better sales than she would’ve had before.  He would honor that kind of stewardship, right? :0)

In talking with her today, she inspired me in a healthy way.  I’ve not been doing so well with all of my health goals…well, with any of them.  I get so discouraged and that really stinks.  I can actually sit there and read The Word and reject encouragement about my issues.  Now, that really stinks!  So I’ve been praying through this…crying through this…and coming up and down over this.  Then I talk with my mother today, while I was in the grocery store, and I feel inspired!  So I dragged myself back to the produce section, which I originally sped through, and bought some great stuff to make vegetable soup.  Well, it’s a start…again.  I wish I was as patient with my own failure as God is with me…then again, I’ll never quite reach God’s potential.  Still, it’s something to shoot for.

Lately I’ve had some tough walls to push through, and thankfully, I’ve pushed through many of them.  They have to do with several areas of my life, not just one or two, but somehow they all intertwine into ME.  I’ve seen sides of me that I don’t like and sides of me that I’m shocked by.  Moments of bravery and confidence have come out of nowhere and insecurities attack when least expected.  Let’s just call my life, Cedar Point, and hopefully that makes some sense.  Through every moment of sick desperation and ugly depression I want holy moments to arise.  I want missional moments to bring life to dead moments and I want to seize opportunities of hope.  There are few things more certain than hope, as it comes to life from the grave!  Deep hope and trust arise from deep places of gravity…but only if we allow them to.  This is key.  Staying in the deep places of gravity too long will lesson our senses to the true hope of the Cross.  We become numb to the Cross and it’s purpose in the world…in our lives.  It distorts our desire for community with others and fabricates something else…something that was never intended for us.

Jesus.  He is the focus.  Who He is…this is what draws us from the depth of our graves to the depth of the presence of the Holy Spirit.  Wait in His presence.  Wait.

Happy Birthday Stephanie!!

Can I just tell you about my sister-in-law for a minute?  Her name was Stephanie Sue Hafner, until she married my big brother, David, 13 years ago, and became a Burton for life:)

She first got to know me during my most awkward years as an early teen, and she definitely knew me during my brattiest years.  At first I didn’t want to get to know her because Dave had just broken up with his high school sweetheart, whom I’d adored, and I was just so mad at him for that!  I didn’t want to give this new chick a chance.  But eventually, once she showed me how much she knew about nails and makeup, I was hooked on her (and let me tell you, she knew how to pile on the makeup and do her nails:)  It’s ironic because she’s isn’t even high-maintenance about those things anymore! 

Stephanie was my first sister-in-law, and the only sister figure I had during those teen/college years.  She bore me my first 3 nephews, and I get to hear all her wisdom as a young mom (still young at 37, Steph:)…I’m so grateful for that.  She’ll do anything for her kids, or for her husband. 

She’s a woman of God who is continually giving the Holy Spirit room to change her.  She  challenges me deeply.  Steph’s one person that has the right to speak into my life at any time and kick me in the butt about anything.  There’s nothing that I would hide from her or be ashamed to tell her…she knows me well.

We love to talk about kids, Jesus, change, ministry…She’s quite the confidant to me.

I could go on and on and on about what Stephanie means to me, as my sister and as one of my very best friends…but that’s not even possible to do right now.  I absolutely love her deeply and and I am so glad she’s been in my life all this time.

Happy Birthday Stephanie!

This is a funny picture of her at Ryder’s baby shower last year…

This is a better picture of her pregnant with Ryder last year…(so beautiful!)

And this is Stephanie with David…I love this couple:)


I’ve gotta throw a recent picture of Ryder (the offspring:)  Isn’t this kid hilarious?  I love his "alternative" hair style.