The cross is the greatest example of humility and devotion in the universe. Jesus put your needs ahead of His own. He considered you more valuable than Himself. - Chip Ingram

Friday, November 28, 2008

Down Memory Lane...........

I received an email from my friend, Chris and few weeks back. I saved the email and today seemed to be the perfect day to blog it! WARNING: Definately for the "Over 40" crowd!


You could hardly see for all the snow? Spread the rabbit ears as far as they go. Pull a chair up to the TV set, 'Good Night, David. Good Night, Chet.'

My mom used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread mayo on the same cutting board with the same knife and no bleach, but we didn't seem to get food poisoning.

My mom used to defrost hamburger on the counter AND I used to eat it raw sometimes, too.

Our school sandwiches were wrapped in wax paper in a brown paper bag, not in ice-pack coolers, but I can't remember getting e.coli.

Almost all of us would have rather gone swimming in the lake instead of a pristine pool (talk about boring)-- no beach closures then.

The term cell phone would have conjured up a phone in a jail cell, and a pager was the school PA system.

We all took gym, not PE, and risked permanent injury with a pair of high top Ked's (only worn in gym) instead of having cross-training athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors. I can't recall any injuries, but they must have happened because they tell us how much safer we are now...

Flunking gym was not an option, even for stupid kids! I guess PE must be much harder than gym.

Speaking of school, we all said prayers and sang the national anthem, and staying in detention after school caught all sorts of negative attention. We must have had horribly damaged psyches.

What an archaic health system we had then. Remember school nurses? Ours wore a hat and everything.

I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was allowed to be proud of myself.

I just can't recall how bored we were without computers, Play Station, Nintendo, X-box or 270 digital TV cable stations.

Oh yeah ... and where was the Benadryl and sterilization kit when I got that bee sting? I could have been killed!

We played 'king of the hill' on piles of gravel left on vacant construction sites, and when we got hurt, Mom pulled out the 48-cent bottle of Mercurochrome (kids liked it better because it didn't sting like iodine did) and then we got our butt spanked. Now it's a trip to the emergency room, followed by a 10-day dose of a $49 bottle of antibiotics, and then Mom calls the attorney to sue the contractor for leaving a horribly vicious pile of gravel where it was such a threat.

We didn't act up at the neighbor's house either because if we did, we got our butt spanked there and then we got butt spanked again when we got home. I recall Donny Reynolds from next door coming over and doing his tricks on the front step, just before he fell off. Little did his Mom know that she could have owned our house. Instead, she picked him up and swatted him for being such a goof. It was a neighborhood run amuck.

To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told that they were from a dysfunctional family. How could we possibly have known that? We needed to get into group therapy and anger management classes! We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills that we didn't even notice that the entire country wasn't taking Prozac! How did we ever survive?

Considering these economic times maybe it isn't such a bad idea to reflect on the past, realize how good life can be with "a little less" and then SIMPLIFY!


Thursday, November 27, 2008


Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

He's Done.

Well, it has finally happened. I knew this day way coming. I have tried to avoid it. I have pretended as long as possible, trying to be "on guard" at every turn. Yet, in was inevitable. It happened.

Last week, Mike, Trent and I were having dinner. All of a sudden Trent blurts out of nowhere "I don't want to go see Santa anymore." I immediately kicked Mike in the leg. Then he said "I think I have outgrown that. Those are all little kids and it is boring." At this point my heel was digging into Mike's foot. "Okay, I understand that...." I said. It felt difficult speaking over the lump in my throat. The conversation grew into ideas on his list that "I" could buy him. It sunk in that Trent is no longer believing in Santa. We never mentioned whether he believed or not. I never like to break "the truth" during the holiday, so I think we will breech the subject again in a few months. But, I feel sad. My VERY LAST child is no longer a believer. For a few days, it changed things. But, once I was finished feeling sorry for myself, I was able to get back into the holiday spirit!

May I say...thanks to Bakerella ( for introducing me to cakeballs! More specifically, thank you for introducing me to cakeballs that look like turkeys! I'm pretty proud of my tastey little project. I think it turned out pretty cute!!! Hopefully they will last long enough to be a centerpiece on the table.

More news.....Paige is almost 1/4 through her first year at Lutheran West. She finished her volleyball season last month. Although the team wasn't that strong, I thought Paige played well. Now, she has started cheerleading. She is cheering for the Lutheran West Freshman team. Good Fun!!! Did I mention that one of the best parts of cheerleading is the clothes. Yep, you heard it here first. The girl (I supposed like every other high school girl) is a clothes horse.

Sorry for the long "break." Every once in a while I have to take breaks for myself and I guess that includes blogging. But, I am collected and back!

Have a good one (if you are still reading this blog)!

Monday, October 13, 2008

No words..................

No words can express our sadness at the loss of our friend, Robert Bueck. Robert died on Friday, leaving behind a loving wife and two great kids. I have thought all weekend about how I can post this, what to say, will it express everything.................and I have no words.

To Jen, McKenzie and Ethan, we love you. Your family is a true testament to Robert's life.

To Robert, this world and it's people are better just because you were here. And HOW AMAZING that you have now seen the face of God.

All our love.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This Bears Repeatings.............

A few months back, my wonderful friend Barb sent me an email telling me about a wonderful blog called The Conversion Diary. It is one of those blogs that speaks to your soul EVERY SINGLE TIME you read it. I particularly liked the following post. It was something I needed to remind myself of and I thought maybe you would enjoy it to!

Earlier this week, I had a falling out with a relative. We haven't spoken since. I've been praying about this (though my prayers are admittedly along the lines of "DID YOU SEE THAT?! I am NOT going to apologize. I did not do ANYTHING wrong..."), and I keep getting this nagging feeling that I'm supposed to do something here, and it's not whine about it more to my husband. As much as it galls me to admit it, I think I'm called to humble myself and re-initiate conversation, even though some pretty bizarre/rude/untrue insults were said to me and it's my opinion that the other party is 100% in the wrong.

Interestingly, about a month ago a similar situation played out with this same person and I was actually able to immediately call them and offer an olive branch, even though, once again, it was my opinion that I'd been gravely insulted for no reason. The person admitted that they were just upset about something else and we had a beautiful, love-filled conversation about how much we cared about one another. But that was back before the spiritual dry spell. Now my attitude is that I have checked the "forgiveness and humility" box once and now I'm over it. Isn't that the way it's supposed to work? We turn the other cheek once to prove to God we're serious and then he'll prevent annoying things from happening to us forever more?Anyway, every time I try to forget about the whole thing and go back to sulking, this quote from Mother Teresa keeps coming to mind:

It is easy to love the people far away.
It is not always easy to love those close to us.
It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger
than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home.
Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start.
I'm sort of a living testament to the first part of this quote right now. I would happily go on a mission to feed the poor, to spread the Gospel in hostile territory, to state unpopular opinions for Christ, give gobs of money to charity (if I had it), defend the truth of Christianity to a group of atheists, write and talk and think about how great God is...anything, anything but actually showing love to someone close to me who is on my last nerve.
I think this is yet another manifestation of the "start by carrying the crosses you already have" lesson, one that Tienne was talking about recently. To act in humility, love and charity when you don't want to, when it's not fun, when you don't even feel God's presence there with you...that's hard! That's painful! That's inconvenient! ...And that's Christianity.
Well...didn't that just smack of reality? It is so me, but I'm gonna work on changing that!
Thanks Barbie, for thinking to send me this blog. It just fills me up!
Hugs! (oh....go and be loving be loving to someone close, even if you don't feel like it!)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

There's Your Sign

Many changes are coming to the Blackburn household, and the signs are everywhere! First, our lovely Paige turned 15. Are you thinking, well heck...that isn't a sign Val? You are right. It isn't. The sign would be continually hearing the following statement: "I can get my temps in six months." There's your sign. (Said in my BEST Jeff Foxworthy voice, of course!) Paige is growing up...quickly. Too quickly. And yes people, she is six months away from her temps. So let me just state this now.....FORWARNED IS FORARMED. I now relieve myself of all responsibility. hee hee

(Paige. Aka...The Birthday Girl)

As for another sign, there is this:

We are now the home of a Lutheran West Volleyball player. Birthday girl made the freshman team and is having the time of her life. One good thing about making volleyball your freshman year is that you can meet different people before the school year begins. That makes the first day a little easier. PLUS, she has a few friends on the team who played at St. Paul and were on her J.O. team. So, this should be a fun season! There's your sign.

This, dear people, is the sign of a working man:

I know I have mentioned to a few of you that Austin comes home dirty from work. Well....this is what I'M talking about. I love the filthy hands, but I think the smudge under his nose takes the prize. Yeah....that's my favorite. But, I must say this. The boy is demolishing houses and is earning every penny he makes. That makes me a proud momma. There's your sign.

Let me state for the record, that my "working man" has been using most of his earnings to pay for college and school books. ( proud!) This hasn't made his personality very pleasant. Next time you see him, you may want to mention how AWESOME his parents are and that he will appreciate what he has done FOR HIMSELF down the road. OR you may just want to avoid us entirely until the dust settles.'s not pretty!

God Bless Your Day!

Quote of the day: WHO are those kids, and WHY are they calling ME mom?

Monday, August 4, 2008

It's Not Often

It's not often that you get this kind of smile out of Trent.

If you haven't noticed, he is on the shy side. BUT, put this kid with his cousin, Kyle and he is all smiles. Today, Jane, Kim and I took the two boys to the Natural History Museum. We had the best time. Both boys had been to the museum when they were much younger, but they don't remember it.

We learned about a Barn Owl and an Opossum (named Polly Pocket) and even petted a snake. That darn Barn Owl had a little accident. (Notice anyone plugging their nose at the scent?) This whole petting the snake thing was quite an undertaking for Trent. Remember, this is the same kid that wouldn't milk the cow on his school field trip. Times are a changin'! Eh....and a little healthy peer pressure doesn't hurt either!

There was also a special "toadally cool" exhibit on frogs. (No I didn't come up with that. Give credit to the museum for that little ditty.) You know how us Blackburns LOVE frogs, so it was a hit. They even had a computer with videos of different frogs catching and eating insects. YOU GOTTA LOVE THAT! HA!

BUT, the things I loved most about this trip was:

1) Kyle was the "instructor." Honestly, Jane, Kim and I walked around chatting while Kyle explained all the exhibits to Trent; and

2) the genuine curiosity that comes when touring a museum.

Couldn't have had a better day!
Lastly, I have to leave you with this quote that I found. I wish I could have it made into a T-shirt. I simply love it.
Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says 'Oh No.....She's Awake'

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Oldest Bursley

I spent my weekend with these people:

(Wanna know my favorite part of this photo? Those two little ones with their arms around each other. Too cute!!!)

And here, my friends, is the oldest living Bursley to date. {{drumroll please}}

Yep, that is him. That is my Uncle Burt. He celebrated his 79th Birthday this weekend. He is so cute!!!

My cousin Bill and his wife, Carol had an awesome picnic at their house and we had such a great time. Before I ramble on, let me give you a tad of family history. My dad (aka Bill) and Burt (aka Birthday Boy) are brothers. These two brothers married sisters (my mom and my Aunt Ann). Therefore, I have four (count 'em) FOUR double cousins. They are Bill, Mark, Deanna and Michelle. I don't really see them that much, which is a shame. Mostly because we live so close. But MANY, MANY of my childhood memories involve this group! We always lived fairly close. We spent MANY holidays together. AND who could forget football season. So....let me introduce the cast of characters.

First off, these are two of the three crazy Bursley brothers. You probably can't tell by their faces that they can be a handful!

Next come these two rascals. On the left is my cousin, Michelle. She sings like a lark and has the patience of Job. I have never heard her yell. Never. Ever. I think there is some genetic flaw, because she IS a Bursley and we aren't necessarily known for being quiet. On the right side is Mark. He is the character of all chacters. He has THE BEST STORIES. I cannot even repeat some of them online! hahahaha....... He is also EXTREMELY good hearted. My dad has a total soft spot for that one! (Did I mention he was a total cutie when we were growing up? Oh and I remember him having a "thing" for Olivia Newton John. HA!)

Next are these two lovelies. This is my cousin, Deanna and her daughter, Jessica. Deanna is ....what I would refer to as...A HOOT! She is always laughing. But better than that, after living with her two brothers for years, she has the best comebacks EVER! She can spar with the best of them and it had me ROLLING when we were at Bill's house! And Jessica....what can I say? In all truth, she is probably one of the nicest young ladies I have met in a LONG time.

Before I mention the others, you may notice that the pictures have become more formal. That is for two reasons. 1) Most of the pictures I took at the picnic were not flattering, and 2) We were all in church together on Sunday. On Sunday, my Uncle's church recognized him (more like a roast) for his years of service. Being the indecisive Bursley that he is, there were EIGHT hymns my Uncle elected to have included in the service. Oddly enough, I think you can find these same eight hymns at most Bursley spiritual gatherings (funerals, etc.) We must all love the same hymns! HA!

Anyways, now to finish the introductions:

This would be my Uncle Burt with his oldest son Bill, Bill's wife Carol and their grandson. He may quite possibly be the cutest boy on the planet. He has a darling, outgoing personality and check out the spiked hair! Gosh, I look at Bill and all I see is my Aunt Ann. He looks so much like her!

Last, but most certainly not least, this is a picture of my dad and uncle with my Aunt JB. Yes people, I do have an Aunt as young and beautiful as JB. I was looking at her during the party thinking, "Man, do you age?" Funny thing is, when we got into the car and shut the door, Mike said, "JB looks EXACTLY the same. She doesn't age." thoughts exactly. The question is, "WHY DIDN'T I GET THOSE GENETICS?"

After returning home that evening I had a thought. This is family. You laugh, you argue, you share, you push eachother's buttons, you reminisce. But, in the end, you are still family. There is always a common ground to bring you back friends. And you know what? I genuinely love each and every one of these people. I can't wait until we can all get together again. I want to hear more stories from Mark, more comebacks from Deanna and I want to hear JB giggle. I don't want to miss anymore.

And to my Uncle Burt, you are glue. People like you are the reason our family keeps coming back together. And for that....I am thankful.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Squeezing the last little bit out of summer! I have been trying to get the kids to the pool each day. On Monday, Paige starts volleyball tryouts. That will be the majority of her day. It kind of begins the school year for her, because she will spend each day at the high school.

We are also working on finishing summer reading. Why oh why did God invent summer reading? It's not that I don't want my kids to read over the summer, but THE BOOKS they choose! It is like punishment! HA! We are working on summer reading at the pool (to hopefully ease the pain)! In addition, Trent and Paige were working on their pool "moves." Paige has taken to doing back handsprings in the pool and Trent is working on the back float. And Trent's back float is.............interesting. To say the very least.

And, yes, that IS Trent's back float pictured above!

Last evening, Austin was out with his friends. Paige went to Katie and Maria Bell's birthday party (God Bless, Biba! Paige said there were about 60 kids in attendance!) So, Mike decided to surprise Trent with a trip downtown for Brown's Family Night. We watched the Browns practice and there were fireworks. Afterwards, we went for a walk in the dark by the lake. BOY was there a lightening show!! It was beautiful. Oddly enough, we weren't the only people with this idea. We went to two different parks in Bay that were packed with people watching the storms roll in over the lake.

See that smile? Well, it didn't last long. You see, it turned to tears when he didn't get any autographs. Soooo sad. Soooo sensitive. Apparently, nothing in his life goes right (and I DO quote). And to top it off, his ears were too sensitive to withstand the sound of the fireworks, so we had to watch them from inside the car. (And I still have the stiff neck this morning!) Poor Dad. He really did try to provide an exciting evening!

And THIS, my friends, is one of the easiest, most yummy summer desserts. This picture does it NO JUSTICE, because it is that good...and that easy......AND, as I have mentioned before, I need a new camera. I am sure this would look WAY more delicious had I taken the picture with a...shall we say...a REBEL? (Had to get the plug in!)

I have decided to share the recipe with you, my most beloved friends. So....READ ON!


1 (3 oz.) pkg. instant vanilla pudding

1 c. milk1 (8 oz.) Cool Whip

3 regular size Snicker bars

3 Granny Smith apples

Mix pudding with milk; beat well. Fold in Cool Whip. Cut up the Snicker bars into small pieces. Add cut up apples with or without skin; add. Easy and delicious salad to make and eat!

(Just so you know, I added bananas and crushed walnuts. You can add other interesting items too such as marshmallows and cherries.)


Monday, July 28, 2008

Going Green...................

Well, it might not be what you think. We are going green in this house....with envy, that is. We have had so many parties at our house, between Austin and Paige, that Trent has been "going green." Back in May (WAY back in May, according to Trent) we had a small birthday celebration for Trent. Well, apparently that wasn't enough. AND when you are at the bottom of the heap watching everyone else can be too much for one jealous boy to handle.

Hhhmmmm......what to do? Well, we celebrate the birthday AGAIN. Cake and all. Trent and Paige both worked on the cake. It was delicious. It was a double-decker (chocolate and white cake), chocolate frosting in the middle and white cream cheese frosting on top. OH! And some "regular" white frosting for decorating....and decorator gel. Anything else?

The theme was baseball. We called over our Blackburn side for a last-minute, no-fuss cook-out and the green festivities began. He even received a few gifts and blew out candles....again. HA!

ANOTHER way our house is going green: Avon has FINALLY decided to get us recycling garbage cans. FINALLY! Trent and I are rather excited about this.

And lastly, I am green. I am wanting a new camera. Let me put the word out now...before Christmas (plenty of time to save), I am wanting a new camera. Did I tell you I want a new camera?

Have a good one!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

"ZZZZZZZZZ.... (Picture Heavy!!)

Can you hear that? ::crickets chirping:: Do you hear it? is me SNORING! Honestly, the last party is over and I am exhausted. So exhausted that I didn't fill my tank AT ALL this week. I didn't leave my house. At all. Okay, maybe a few trips here and there but no major trips. And it felt good. Really good. And now I am ready to join the living....again.

Austin's party went well. If you don't read Trish's blog, you may be interested in some of the pictures below. Can I tell you how nice it is to have friends that are photographers (although I am sure I have mentioned it before). I was so overwhelmed I didn't even think to take pictures of Austin's party. But Trish did...of course! Actually, I kind of enjoy watching her in action. She has her amazing camera around her neck, hanging by a very cool pink striped camera strap...snaping photos at every angle. Gotta love her passion.

Now for some highlights:
  • The rain stopped in time to have the party outdoors. All those days of worry were put to rest.

  • Austin was happy. He enjoyed his party and all of the people in attendance.

  • The Rodriguez Family was in town. I look forward to this EVERY summer.

  • I had an amazing fruit basket. I sounds weird, but it was a feast for the eyes. Seriously.

  • I got to see Katy Stifel after her first year of college.

  • Jason Stifel made me laugh. Period.

  • Evan Turay loves to play basketball and Griffin Turay sings the Applebees song like Kathrine Hepburn.

In all truth, I am so gosh-darn thankful. Trish was kind enough to make pulled-pork and it sent Austin's friends into orbit. For some reason HIGH SCHOOL BOYS LOVE PULLED PORK SANDWICHES. And, being the kind person she is, she loaned me tons of serving pieces, tables, etc. Thanks, girlfriend.

Next, JEN BUECK!!!! She is the maker of the fruit basket. Okay...and she didn't buy the fruit at a fruit stand...she went to Heinens! (ha....wink, wink) Jen is the kind of girl that will do ANYTHING for ANYONE. After she made the fruit basket, I called her to get her Mac N' Cheese recipe and she offered to make THAT! She is just a beautiful human being.

I can't leave out my sister-in-law, Jane. Actually, Jane is more like my friend. Jane spent a whole day with me making photo favors and paint cans for centerpieces. PLUS, she baked ....and baked cookies. Plus, she was constantly asking WHAT ELSE she could do for me. Gotta love her.

Last, but certainly not least, let me mention my friend TINA. Tina, creator of the bubble bottles. I asked her how she made the lables and she sent them to me. Finished. In five minutes. No lie.

So, those of you out there who are in awe of my creativity....don't be. Be in awe of my amazing group of friends. I am.

Now, feast your eyes on the fruits of their labor!
One yummy cookie tree!

Card box: Thanks for the idea, Trish!

M&M Favors: Again...thanks to Trish for the idea and Jane for the hard work!

Jane's yummy cookies. She is THE BEST at baking!

This is THE fruit basket. Now, if you could just deliver one each day.................

Tina's Bubble Bottles! Didn't they turn out cute???

Now, you go and have yourself a great day!

Monday, June 30, 2008

I have no desire.....

I was on twopeas today, and I read a post about not having any desire to do certain things. SO....I thought I would make a list of things I have no desire to do....ever. Maybe I will tag a few bloggers and see if they create a list too. Here goes..........

1) I have no desire to give birth again, although I love babies. I just prefer to get them from other people now!
2) I have no desire to go to Burbon Street in New Orleans again. Do the words Sodom and Gamorrah (I hope I spelled that correctly) mean anything to anyone?
3) I have no desire to take a cruise.
4) I have no desire to go to Vegas, although I know it's coming down the pike. That's what happens when you marry a gambler!
5) I have no desire to run a marathon. I used to "try" to run. I hate it. Period.
6) I have no desire to pierce anything other than my ears OR get a tatoo. I'm a wimp and I'm comfortable with it.
7) I have no desire to eat anything that has a shell. Blech!
8) I have no desire to get anything I have created in scrapbooking or paper crafting published. I do it for myself and my family. I don't really need the "pat on the back" from a bunch of strangers. Plus, I could care less if they like my work. (Charming, aren't I?)
9) I have no desire to meet celebrities. I'm not someone to be ga-ga over people in the spotlight. You MAY get my attention because you are rather spectacular looking....otherwise, nah. I'd rather spend time with my girlfriends than chase a celeb.
10) Lastly, I have no desire to ride a rollercoaster. **gasp!** How could she say that? She lives near Cedar Point! ...It's pretty simple: fear of heights. God intended for my feet to be touching solid ground.

Okay, so now that those cards are on the about Ten Things I Desire?

1) I have the desire to have a conversation with Billy Graham. I know I sound older than my years, but this guy has some MAJOR MAJOR spiritual wisdom....and he is cool. :) (oh..and for you Bush haters...Yeah..I would like to chat it up with him, too. I like my GDUB! HA! So There!)
2) I have a desire to rent an RV and travel across the United States with my family.
3) I have a desire to live in a small cabin, by a lake when I retire. Enough of the suburbs.
4) I have the desire to learn to knit and decorate cakes.
5) I have the desire to go back to school. I wouldn't mind doing something with special ed or psychology. I wonder why? Could it be that I already have life experience? Hhmmmm.... Okay, and I love school and I love to learn.
6) I have the desire to raise Godly kids, who have something to contribute to this life in a positive way. Korney....but true.
7) I have the desire to finish all my scrapbooks before I die so that my kids remember exactly how I felt about them and how proud they made me!
8) I have the desire to lose weight, although I don't think my body has the same desire. IT. ISN'T COOPERATING.
9) I have the desire to keep an organized house. I have always had this desire. It just hasn't happened yet! *channeling Marth Stewart here!**
10) Lastly, I have the desire to be a good person, good wife, good mom and good friend. I figure I'm gonna live a long time because I am not NEARLY ready for heaven.

Okay, flame away. I'm sure I will get some comments on Georgie Bush. If you are interested in playing along, I think I will tag: Jen Bueck, Trish, Jen Forbus, Tina and Pam (although she hasn't blogged since Christmas).

Thursday, June 26, 2008

8th Grade Graduations CAN BE FUN!

In all the hoopla, I didn't get a chance to blog about Paige's 8th Grade Graduation Party. I have decided that I am actually going to post the invitation pictures, because I like them. I am not a card maker and usually am uncomfortable posting my scrap work, but here goes.

And this is how the evening turned out! IT RAINED! We had to move everything, including the DJ inside. But, it worked out great. They put videos with the words on our dining room walls so the kids could do kareoke. It was so fun! Austin had a couple of guys over on the same night and Trent had Jeremy Geye sleep over. So everyone was entertained. The most impressive part of the night? Jesse, Austin's friend, danced for everyone. He showed them how the "two-step" is actually supposed to look like!

Paige also attended Lutheran West's Cheerleading Camp this week. Although she hasn't decided if she is trying out for cheerleading, it was a fun camp.

And lastly, I have an important introduction and a word of thanks.

At the end of Trent's school year he created Flat Blackburn. You may have heard of Flat Stanley....well, this is Flat Blackburn. Our "Flat Stanley" went to Florida to visit the Rodriquez Family (a.k.a. our old neighbors). Boy did Stanley Blackburn have fun. Chris (as usual) went the whole nine yards with super photographs of Stanley's adventures in Florida and sand right off of their beaches!

If you do not know about Flat Stanley, each child is asked to create a Stanley out of paper. They send them to a friend who takes them on adventures and reports everything back to the original owner (of course, when returning Stanley).

THIS IS A BIG EVENT. And, of course, Mrs. Fuch's class went the whole nine yards. Each student prepared a board dipicting their Stanley's adventures. Then, they had an open house so that parents could view all the Stanleys. It was complete with Stanley cookies! cute. Notice the happy faces?

MANY, MANY thanks to Chris, Angel, Nicholas and Elaina. You took such great care of Stanley and he had an awesome time in Florida. And thank you for the special treats you sent to Trent. You are the reason his day was so, so wonderful!