Thursday, June 13, 2013

Emily's Baptism

My sweet Emily is such a kind, happy peacemaker.  She enjoys peace and quiet, and her behavior is usually the same.  She LOVES all animals, and especially loves our dog, Max.  She tries hard to do what is right and is a great example to her sisters and brothers. 

Emily make the decision to be baptized a long time ago.  She asked at several occasions if she could get "bath-tized" yet.  We knew that her birthday and her possible baptism would fall during our Christmas vacation to Arizona.  We gave her the option of being baptized here in Laurel with her new friends and ward, but no family, or in Snowflake, without her new friends or ward, but with family.  She chose Snowflake.  After getting permission, we began planning the big day that would happen on the other side of the country.  First up, pictures!  Here are a few:

 This is the one that she chose for her program cover.  She insisted that Max was in it.  We settled for his ear... =)

She turned 8 on December 19th and was baptized 10 days later on December 29, 2012.  She got baptized at our old church building with several old friends from our Snowflake ward there too!  We had nearly all of her family, on both sides with us.  It was a wonderful, simple, special time for Emily.

I am so proud of my beautiful Emily, and her righteous, good, loving heart.  Such a great little girl full of great potential.  WE LOVE YOU EMILY!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Christmas 2012- Snowflake

After a wonderful chance to thaw out a bit in Mesa, we headed northeast to the best little town in the world.  Snowflake!  We spent a relaxing 5 days with lots of family and friends to visit.

The camera didn't get pulled out as often in Snowflake.  We were having way too much fun for pictures!  Here are a few that DID get taken.

 All the Peterson cousins!  In birth order.  When the oldest grandchild is a silly acting 10 year old and the youngest is a wee-thing 3 month old, a good picture is hard to capture.  But there they all are.  All 13 of them.  Phew...
 Just a cute shot with David and the three oldest.  They call themselves "the elders"! =)
 The one and only shot of the Peterson "Christmas morning".  The kids got spoiled rotten between gifts from Santa, mom and dad, 4 grandparents, and aunts and uncles, and various cousins!  It was a very squishy ride home.
And you absolutely cannot call yourself a Peterson if you do not spend at least 5-10 hours actively playing games!  We had games set up at the kitchen table, and a couple down in the rumpus room too.  We are a "game-playing-stay-up-way-too-late-eating-way-too-much" kind of family.  And I LOVE it. 
It was wonderful to go to our old ward for church on Sunday.  Our old spot was empty, so we even got to sit in the Peterson pew!  I found myself feeling completely natural sitting with my friends from 2nd ward.  A couple times I had to tell myself, "oh yeah, we moved last year".  Oh, how we miss that ward.  It was wonderful! 
While in Snowflake, we had to drive by our old house at least a dozen times for the kids.  They kept trying to see who our renters are that are living there.  We never did see any movement.  We had to convince them several times that we cannot go up to the door and invite ourselves in.  They were bummed about that.  Everything looked pretty much the same.  We dropped by and visited a few friends, but didn't have near enough time to see everyone we wanted to see! =(
The drive home was pretty uneventful.  We made it home in two days of driving.  I am so glad that my kids are all older, can feed and drink by themselves, and are potty trained well.  It makes traveling much more enjoyable.  They are all very good travelers, and other then one with motion sickness issues (that didn't rear its ugly face for the ENTIRE four days worth of driving! -Prayers are answered), we are a regular roadtrippin' family!
What a great chance it was to return to our roots, and our families!  How we miss them and wish we were closer.  My heart aches sometimes for Arizona.  BUT, Montana has proven itself to be a wonderful home for us.  It has been a place that has caused much growth for my family.  And it has brought us closer together.  For that, I love Montana.  And I am happy we are here, with our family.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Christmas 2012- Mesa

Yes, its a little late to be posting about Christmas.  Yes, I am behind, and yes, I have about a billion things I could blog about.  But, true to my nature of order and OCDish-ness, I have to go in order.  Yes, that means all the way back to Christmas.  Sorry. 

So, we had planned and saved and planned for a long visit back to our home state of Arizona all year long.  Money was tight, heck, when is it NOT tight??  But, we made the trip in record time, with no carsick tummies or vomit involved.  That is a good thing.  We drove the entire 23 hour drive in 2 days, with a ridiculously quick overnighter in Provo. 

We went to Mesa first to visit with the Barton side.  It was a wonderful time!  We had a quick birthday party for my December birthdays. 

Jay, Aubrey and Emily wait anxiously with their cake while we sing to them.
 My mom has a great tradition of making gingerbread houses.  We cheated a bit and bought the kits this year.  The kids all got to pick out their house and decorate it however they wanted.  It was a bit chaotic with the icing, and the candy, but the kids did great on each of their gingerbread houses.
 Christmas Eve had all the cousins and family come to grandma and grandpas house for our annual Nativity Scene, and poems read.  Here is many of the cousins posing. 
 And the very best part of the Barton Christmas tradition, it the reading of "Jest Fer Christmas" and "The Night Before Christmas".  My dad does the honors.  You can guarantee that these two stories are read every year.  It has been that way for the last 60+ years, and it is a tradition that I have continued with my own kids.
 A little wiffle-ball at the retention basin in the BEAUTIFUL weather.
 And Christmas morning.  A blurry pic of the crazy, chaotic, FUN morning that ensued.
Zoo Lights.  At the Phoenix Zoo.  Followed by apple/cherry fritters and hot chocolate. 
It was a fun, busy visit to see all my family.  We spent about 5 days in Mesa thoroughly enjoying the weather and family.

Friday, March 1, 2013

A view on Montana

Moving to Montana.  I was very excited for a new place, a bit of change, and chance to meet new people.  BUT, leaving our home, friends and family in Arizona proved much harder then I originally imagined it would be.  There were tears and doubts about our decision to move so far across the country for the first few weeks, and probably months, if I am really honest.  Yet, I have found that living in Montana has been a wonderful thing for my children, myself, and our family all combined.  We came here well over a year ago, and in that time I have seen my family grow closer to each other, to the gospel, and to themselves.  Moving to a place that was not saturated in LDS population was a shock and change for each of us in our own ways.  BUT, making this change has provided my children with many growing experiences.  They have been put in situations where they have proven themselves as little missionaries. 

It saddens me often that my children are hearing, learning, and seeing things far earlier then I ever did.  My middle schooler has come home asking about things I didn't learn about until college!  It hurts my heart to put my children out in such a world.  We live in a neighborhood that is not the best place.  We are surrounded by several broken families.  Several smoking, drinking, cursing-outside-at-midnight type people.  It is not a permanent place for us.  I do not want to raise my children in this environment any longer then we have to.  But, we are here.  We are supposed to be here in this double wide trailer.  And trying to figure out why, or what good will come of it is still a mystery of sorts. 

So, what have I learned by living here?  I have learned that young children are naturally attracted to happiness, kindness and love.  We spent much of last spring, summer, and fall (before the cold of winter forced most people inside) surrounded by the kids friends.  They come from all sorts of families.  Some wonderful, some not so wonderful.  I opened my home up to almost any of their friends, and began to see that they FLOCKED here.  Often.  Coming early in the morning and leaving when the sun went down.  In and out they went, and I loved it.  I love having my children around me, and loved having a small, but good, influence on their friends.  It was my way of being able and aware of what they were doing, and so I played the role of "cool mom", but also a supervisor to their many conversations.   

I have also learned that there are great, wonderful, friendly, GOOD people everywhere.  I have made friends that are forever.  I have learned that I have to be a friend to get a friend.  And I have also learned that you don't need family ties, blood, or relatives, to find people that feel like family. 

Our plans are not solid.  We both have a natural pull in our hearts that would lead us back to our family.  Back to Arizona.  Yet, there is a growing pull in our hearts to settle here.  To build our dream home and be HERE.  We have spent many hours and nights mulling over options, ideas, plans and dreams.  What-ifs, and what-if-nots.  I am finding myself happy here.  I find myself growing roots.  Small ones, but definitely roots here in Laurel Montana.  And I am okay with that. 

We had a family home evening several weeks ago where I taught about "establishing a house".  The kids were quick to point out that there is a big difference between a house and a home.  I asked them what they meant.  Nathan wisely answered, that a house is just walls and doors, but a home is where the family is.  So I asked them if they felt like they were home in Laurel Montana.  They each answered YES.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

December Birthdays!

December is a busy month for pretty much everyone.  But, I have probably almost everyone beat for busy in December.... 

I have five children.  3 of which have birthdays that fall within 9 days of each other.  And one more that falls less then a month before.  4 out of five birthdays happen within 4 weeks of each other....

So, here they are, my beautiful December babies:

Aubrey Sue Peterson was born on December 10, 2003.  Our second child and first girl.  This year she turned NINE. 
Emily Jo Peterson was born just a year and nine days later on December 19, 2004.  She is our third child and second girl.  This year Emily turned EIGHT!  She is being baptized next weekend in Snowflake! (Sorry for the random newborn pic.  This is what happens when all my pre-digital camera pictures are in one HUGE box. Piled up)  Note to self: organize your pictures!!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

This was the first year ever that I flew solo with the Thanksgiving feast. It was different not having extended family around, and turned out to be a pretty quiet day.  I had random homesickness waves pass over me, but, all in all, we survived, and ate well!

 Neither David or I are very big turkey fans, so, because we could, we opted for ham.  Neither of us really like pumpkin pie either, so we made lots of pecan and peach!  It was great. I did a lot of searching for recipes on Pinterest and other cooking blogs, and found my favorites. Our meal turned out fantastic. YUM!  I haven't seen my kids eat that good in a long time!
 The spread.  Sweet potatoes, ham, stuffing, rolls, mashed potatoes, green beans, french fried potatoes, 4 pecan pies, and 2 peach pies.  YUM!
 I loved Aubrey's expression in this one.  The kids 'helped' a lot with the food,
so she was READY to eat. 
 Pigging out!
And because we are thankful for our dog, Max got a small bowl of ham, stuffing, and mashed potatoes too!  He LOVED it (meaning: he pretty much inhaled the food)!

I am so thankful for my wonderful husband, great kids, and even, for that silly little dog.  =)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Betsy turned SIX!

My sweet, happy, beautiful baby girl, Betsy turned SIX on November 11th!  Time flies when you are having fun!

It was a very low key, no fuss kind of day. All she asked for this year was chocolate cupcakes for her kindergarten class. And so, that is what she got, plus a bit more!

Betsy has a smile that just radiates through every bone in her body.  The joy just oozes out of her.  And when she just can't keep it in, she starts hopping around and giggles and laughes!  It gets everyone else laughing too.  She has such a contagious, positive spirit and is such a HAPPY child.   I wouldn't trade her for ANYTHING. 

I love you so much my wonderful girl.  Keep joyful forever! I love you Betsy Boo.  Bugaboo bears.  Boo-boo-be-do.  Sweet sweet petunia.  Petunia pants.  Giggle bug.  The best bets.  You make our lives happy!  You make EVERYONE happy!  =)