Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas pics 2008

Here are some pictures from Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Our Christmas Eve was spent at the Lords house. We had a great time with them. This has become a tradition for us and we love it. Keri sets a beautiful table and we usually bbq some steak and have crab legs. We always have those English poppers on our plate that we open before dinner... that's why we all have silly hats on! That's a tradition with the Lords, since Nick when on his mission to England.

After dinner the kids get ready for the Nativity... 

It felt a little different this year... and then I remembered that we were missing Adam! It was strange. 

I made my brother's famous Eggnog Cheesecake for dessert and Keri made an English trifle. Both were yummy!

Christmas morning! Ashley with her new coat...

Mitchell with his new guitar!
The family playing the new Guitar Hero World Tour...
Tanner loved his cash from Grandma and Grandpa!

Now the Birthday celebration after a delicious dinner... Scott and Jenn and Duece came to join us for the festivities.

Ashley was so excited about her new scriptures!
Her favorite dessert!
It was a great day! We relaxed and had a fun time with the kids, playing with their new things. I am so sad that it is over... I am going to try to do my best to keep the spirit of Christmas in our home all year! I'd write more, but I am really tired.... I'm off to bed!

Friday, December 26, 2008

My little girl turned 18 yesterday! How in the world did this happen?? Time has flown by! It seems like yesterday that I went to the Dr. for a routine pregnancy exam and he told me I would be having her within 24 hours! I was shocked. She wasn't due for another month and it was Christmas Eve! And to make it a little more exciting it was snowing like crazy. When it snows in Seattle, life pretty much shuts down. We drove to the hospital Christmas Eve around 7pm and had her at 12:30 am Christmas morning! It was an amazing night, holding my new little girl and watching the snow fall out the window. My first white Christmas!

Ashley is an amazing daughter! We love her so much! She's a great big sister, a great example to all of us and she's such a happy girl! Happy 18th birthday Ashley!!!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Christmas tradition #3

We always make our own Christmas card.... Here is this years....

Click on it to see it bigger.

I hope you are all having a Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas tradition #2

My second favorite Christmas tradition is taking the kids to see Santa and getting their picture taken. I have a wall full of pictures... I love to look at them. This tradition started when I was a child. I remember my parents taking the whole family (9 kids) to downtown Seattle to the Frederick & Nelson's department store. We'd follow the Grinch footsteps through the store to find Santa and then we'd get our picture taken. It was always a big scene to get all of us to fit in the picture. I loved this tradition so much that one year when I was home from college, I was a Santa's elf at Frederick and Nelson's in Bellevue square. It was so fun. Maybe later, I will dig out my pictures and scan them.

Anyway, we picked up the boys from the airport last night and went straight to Town Square to see Santa. I usually try to go early in the season to avoid the lines... but somehow it didn't happen this year. So, you guessed it, there was an hour long line! and to make it worse, it's an outdoor mall, so we were freezing inline. The kids were so happy by the time they saw Santa....
Luckily the professional shot turned out a little better.

The boys had a great time at the big game! It was 7 degrees at the game the beginning of the game, 3 degrees by the end. with a wind chill of -15 to -17. The coldest game ever in the history of Bears games and it went to overtime so it was longer than normal! Like 3 hours isn't long enough! Doesn't sound fun to me. John said it was cold the first half while they were loosing.... and then they warmed up when they caught up at the end. It was a pretty exciting game and the fact that they won made it all worth it! I'm glad they were able to go. I was especially glad that they made it home last night. Flights were delayed in Chicago and we got a little nervous that they might get stuck! They had fun spending time with John's sister and her family.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Early presents for John & Mitch

Mitchell and John both got early Christmas presents this year. Mitchell and John are flying to Chicago right now to go to the Monday Night Football game tomorrow night. The Bears play the Packers in Chicago. John was able to get the Chicago Tribune to give him free tickets for all of the advertising they do in that paper. It was kind of a long story, but in the end, he ended up with two free tickets to the game. We decided to surprise Mitch with the news of the tickets. We told him Friday night. He was so excited!! They were able to use frequent flyer miles to get there and they will stay with John's sister Annette. Its suppose to be like 6 degrees that night! COLD! JOhn was so excited that he could hardly sleep all week! It has been one of his biggest dreams to go to see a Bears game at Soldier Field. I am happy that he gets to cross this off his bucket list!

John has been asking me for a few years to make him a train scrapbook to display at the train party. I decided to surprise him with one Thursday night. It was a little crazy trying to get it done this week and get the Christmas cards done and get the house ready for the party.... but somehow I did it! He loved it!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Train Tradition

Its train time at the Barnes house... Every year John sets up his dads train set that he inherited. This is a train that John's dad set up every year while John was growing up and some of the pieces are over 50 years old. John starts setting it up the weekend of Thanksgiving and then he spends every spare minute working on it. We always have a little open house to show it off to people. This is our favorite Christmas tradition that we do. You are all invited to come! Here is the invitation...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Blinker fluid...

So we are all driving in the car today and we were talking about John's car needing an oil change and that reminded me that sometimes Ashley's blinkers don't work right in her car. So I asked her how they were working these days and she said that they work sometimes. Then she said, "Todd said I need to get some blinker fluid." John and I look at each other and bust up laughing. She looked so confused. I said there was no such thing as blinker fluid and she realized that her Uncle Todd had been teasing her! When he was here for Thanksgiving he ran an errand with her and her blinkers weren't working, so Todd, knowing that Ashley knew nothing about cars told her that she needed blinker fluid! We laughed for a good 5 minutes. When we got composer we called todd and told him that she believed him. He had a good laugh! We LOVE our Ashley!

This reminds me of last year when she was leaving for seminary and her windshield was covered with frost... she didn't know what to do. She came inside and got hot water and poured it on the windshield! Thank goodness the glass didn't crack. She told us about it when she got home from school and I asked her why she didn't turn on the defrost and she said "what's the defrost?" I guess that's what happens when you learn to drive in Vegas!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

lucky me...

I know I have written about this before, but I absolutely love my calling. I get to know so many amazing young women in our stake. It is the season for the Young Women in Excellence programs. For those of you not familiar with this, it is a program that celebrates all the value projects and and value experiences that the girls have worked on all year in the personal progress program. I was able to go to 4 of the 6 wards this year.... I would have gone to all of them but they were on the same night and I couldn't be in two places at one time. Anyway, I love these programs because you see and hear what the girls have been up to. These girls are so talented! Each ward does something a little different, they all did a great job. I couldn't fall asleep last night because I went to the Palmhurst wards program last night and the girls were so amazing. I couldn't stop thinking about them. (this happens with all the wards, but this one is fresh in my mind, so I am going to talk about it) Palmhurst ward is on of our smaller wards, they don't have a ton of girls, so they were able to let each girl get up and either explain some of the things they had done or some of them performed for us. A few girls sang and did amazing jobs. One little beehive was so dang cute, she melted my heart. I want to have her sing at one of our stake events or at camp next year. That's why I couldn't sleep, I was trying to figure out when I could have her sing, and then my mind went to camp and I was all of a sudden overwhelmed. Camp makes my head spin. Oh no, here it goes again, constant thoughts and questions, how are we going to make it as good as last year? who will our level leaders be, who in the world can we get to be our cooks this year and on and on....it never ends! Back to last night, one of the girls talked about how she started a blog as a project. She brought a computer and showed it to everyone. I came right home and read up on her life. She is hilarious, check it out, her link is on the right, her name is Alex. But if you think about it, blogging is so cool, it is a life history, it connects you with friends and builds friendships. I feel so connected to my ladies in the ward who blog! It's so cool. She made me think about how I blog and i realized I need to write more feelings and not just a travelog! Then a girl played the flute, it was great. There was a group of girls who sang together, some girls talked about their favorite scriptures, one girl read a beautiful poem that she wrote. I want a copy of it! Alex, can you get that for me? The a girl did a polynesian dance. She was so nervous, it was cute. Anyway, I could talk all day about the girls in our stake... Lucky me! I get to go enjoy all these programs. Thanks to all the wonderful YW leaders in my stake!

Just a side note, since I have been talking YW's. DId you know there is a new value being added to the YW theme? It is Virtue. So cool. You can read about it here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Weekend highlights

I've finally got all the pictures uploaded on my computer from our fun holiday weekend. I want to remember some of the highlights...
This is how I felt all day... wanted to be in on the action, but felt horrible!

Even the boys helped!

Not sure if grandpa was helping or snacking on the pies!

Ashley and Jenn showing off their masterpieces!

Friday morning some people got up early and went shopping, I was still a bit under the weather so I slept in! After lunch we all headed up to Red Rock for some hiking and climbing. It was such a beautiful day! The perfect time of year to hike up there! Some of my children weren't too excited to go....

They eventually liked it... seems to be the story of my teenagers... why can't they just start off happy?? It would make life so much better!

The happy family!

Todd's cute family!

Cute Grandma and Grandpa!

She didn't think I could do it!

We saw a tarantula on the trail! Of course the boys wanted to kill it! We wouldn't let them.

Love my man!

A trip to Vegas is not complete without a night at the Bellagio fountains and gardens! They are my mom's favorite! We have to drag her away... no kidding. Parking was a nightmare... 
but it was worth it. 
The gardens were amazing! 

To finish the weekend off I took the kids to the park on Saturday while everyone was off doing their own thing. John and Mitch went to the James Bond movie, Grandma and Grandpa got pedicures with Jenn (wish I was a fly on the wall there!) Todd and Sharolyn went Christmas shopping and Ashley went to the gym! For you locals, I found a new park on Cimmaron just south of Sahara... it was so fun. It's all about the Spanish Trail. It was very educational and fun!