Sunday, July 27, 2008

home sweet tank

We had a great time at the beach. Really. I cooked all week, saw Mamma Mia!, got a nice shade of bronze, and didn't drown. But, no matter how nice it is to go away, nothing beats coming home...unless you come home and then get to play a video game the size of a tractor trailer.

It was family day. We went to see Lt. John at the armory. They usually have a tank parked out front for the kids to climb on...but this year, they also had a humvee. Here, John gives us a tour of the vehicle he rode around Iraq in:

Then, I made everyone pose on the tank because I'm a sucker for a photo op:

The tank simulator was the best! It was huge, and I'm pretty sure it had enough computer power to control the free world. Rachael and I quickly discovered that tanks were NOT designed with women in mind. Here, I'm sitting in the gunner's seat and Rach is commanding the tank (where John usually is). There's also a 50 cal simulator above that seat:

The system wasn't all the way on when I was gunning. I just got to turn the turret. Rachael actually got to blow up a tank. I was jealous. Of course, the Colonel had to get in there and prove that he still had it. John commanded, and Rachael and I did the loader's position. I think there's something about tanks in the Burt genes...

Here's a shot of the drivers' seat. You're basically laying down. By far the most comfy seat in the tank. Unless, like my future sister-in-law, you're claustrophobic. She lasted a good 5 seconds, and then John had to pull her out.

All in all, a fun time. I'm SO asking for one of these for Christmas...

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Friday, July 18, 2008

vacation - take 2

OK...I'm almost ready to go to Oak Island. I may be in the middle of an OCD fit right now. I've made a packing list, double-checked the directions, updated the spreadsheet, made the menu, typed out the grocery list by sections, drug John and Jimmy to the Farmers' Market to buy the produce, made Jimmy help me make pimiento cheese and a double batch of sausage balls, done 4 loads of laundry, packed up the necessities from my kitchen, and am just starting to actually put clothes in a bag. I'm tired. I need to relax. But I can't relax until we get into the beach house, get the groceries and put them away, and get my bed made up. Then it will be vacation time. That is...until it's time to fix supper...

I can't wait!

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baby lauren!

Meet Lauren Tyler! She was born by an unplanned C-section Wednesday night. Jessica and Eric are doing well, and Caleb is excited that "his baby" is finally here. We just love her red hair!


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

vacation - take 1

Ocean Isle, here I come! (that's right, I'm going to the beach twice in the next three weeks) Shirley's family is down at the beach this week, and I am compelled to go. It's got to be genetic. I will go bearing a large container of pimiento cheese that I whipped up tonight. I'm just waiting for the dryer to finish so I can throw my clothes in the bag and then I'll be ready. We're leaving tomorrow morning, and should be back Friday night. Call the cell if you need me.

OH - just in case you didn't know...Hannah, Oozey, Frank, and I are getting a new roommate in a few days. Daniel's fiance Katie will be living with us until they get married in the fall. Katie will be staying in the room that Martha didn't know existed. Everyone come on over and say hello!

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Friday, July 04, 2008


OK...I feel like I post this every year, but I think it's worth taking time to read. It's entirely too easy to get caught up in hamburgers and sparklers (because, I mean, who doesn't love a sparkler?) and forget the reason that we celebrate July the Fourth. Take a few minutes today to read this article, entitled "The Americans Who Risked Everything," which describes the signers, the risk they took in attaching their names to the Declaration, and what ultimately happened to them. It is a sobering reminder of the cost of freedom.

Then, go have that burger and fire up your sparklers. It's a day for celebration, after all!