Friday, December 25, 2009

happy birthday Ashley!

Happy 19th birthday to my Ashley!! I love this girl so much and hope she has had a great day! It's not easy having your birthday on Christmas... she has never complained about it! I will never forget the day she was born! it was magical... except the part where the anesthesiologist was on call at the hospital and she had just gone home... she walked in the room seconds after I had Ashley... oh well, she was worth every ounce of pain!

I love you Ashley Noel! Thanks for being such an amazing daughter. You brighten my life so much.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I love Christmas traditions! They make the holidays so memorable. We have a few that I thought I would share today...

First is getting a picture with Santa every year. It's something that I did as a child and I have such fond memories of it. We would bundle up and go to Downtown Seattle, walk around and see the lights and window displays and then go into Frederick and Nelson's Department store and get our picture taken. It got harder and harder over the years to fit all of us on Santa's lap... but we did it. I'm not sure why we split up boys and girls on this one... there were only 5 of us then...

I loved Santa pictures so much that I was a Santa's helper at Frederick and Nelson's one year when I was home from college. It was so much fun!

So, i have been trying to find a way to display my Santa pictures so you could see them all at one time... I found this cool picture hanger at Pier 1 and made these cute little pages and Look! I love it!! I have them hanging by my door.

Second big tradition at the Barnes home is the train set. John inherited a train set from his dad and we set it up every year and have 2 open house nights to show it off. Tonight is the first one and you are all invited to come!
Third tradition is a picture Christmas card. My mom always sent out a photo Christmas card, so I have kept that tradition and added a little twist. We always create our own and have some sort of theme to the card. I put together a little scrapbook this year of all the Christmas cards over the years. It is pretty cute! You will have to come over to see the album...

I found this picture... it was used to make one of the many Westra Family christmas cards. I totally remember taking this picture. It snowed and was melting fast... so we went over to Grandma and Grandpa's house because their snow was untouched! And we took this picture. It is one of my mom's favorite family photo's because it is the whole family before it started to change with missions, college, weddings and etc. (you got to love the red cords!)

Here is this years card. (Not a very good scan... sorry. click on it to see it bigger)

I would love to hear what some of your traditions are! Leave me a comment...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Watch this....

This will help you get in the right spirit if you are having trouble...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's beginning to look like Christmas...

I think this is the latest that I have ever gotten my tree up! Not sure why?? But it's up and I am finally in the Christmas spirit. We were at our ward Christmas party (which was wonderful!! The food, decorations, music, program... it was all amazing!!!) and the gym was decorated with live Christmas tree's and I immediately wanted one!!! In Spokane we had the tradition of going up to the mountains and cutting our own tree down and I have missed that!! So when I saw a gym full of "MY" kind of tree's I got excited!! Luckily I hadn't put my fake one up yet... for once procrastination paid off! The Dye's let us take one home and I LOVE it. The kids think it's ugly... but oh well. Tanner doesn't remember what real forest tree's look like... It's a little Charlie Brownish, but all decorated it looks great. And it makes me happy!!!

I missed Ashley while I was decorating it... the boys wouldn't help me... It's strange being the only girl in the house... I miss her!! She will be home soon!

I bought the new Andrea Bocelli Christmas CD and love it. I listened to it the whole time I got the tree decorated! It totally got me in the spirit of Christmas. I love this time of year ands I am doing my best to relax and enjoy the season. If my cards get done, that will be a good thing, but I'm not stressing over it. For some strange reason I'm not uptight about it all... John on the other hand is very stressed about getting the train set done. It always takes longer than he expects. It's looking great and we will have a party when it's done!!

I LOVED the First Presidency Christmas Devotional. It was a great reminder to what Christmas is all about. I hope we can all remember our Savior and think about him through this time of year.