Thursday, October 30, 2008


THEN (2002):
I impatiently waited for the day that our first child and son would be born. I had dreams, hopes and envisioned a beautiful experience..... then, Nathan was born. OUCH, that hurt more then I thought it would =) .... and then he came home. And he cried, and cried, and CRIED. He was pretty colicky and literally cried everyday from about 6pm to midnight. I didn't know why, and I was a basket case! Motherhood gave me a great shock, and a large smack in the face. I was so stressed out dealing with a little someone that depended on me for EVERYTHING. I was worried sick about him, and couldn't imagine ever having a free second again. I was so wrapped up in one little baby, and always holding him, worrying about him, etc.

NOW (2008):
I had a very enjoyable evening last night with one child. David gave me the opportunity to go to a piano concert by Jon Schmidt with Emily. She is my three year old, and is such a joy. I felt so FREE! I only had ONE kid to keep track of!!!! What a relief and blessing it was. It was fun, and she was so fun. I relished every moment watching her dance to the music, clap her hands in joy, laugh out loud, and finally, cuddling up in my lap and falling asleep in my arms. I don't get the chance very often to just have ONE anymore. Having five very young, needy children makes the time with one so precious! In fact, I sat there at the piano concert, holding my one beautiful girl, crying into her hair, because I knew that she knew that I loved her..... individually and completly seperate from her siblings.

Now that I have the perspective of FIVE, I think that ONE is freeing and joyful, and E A S Y. Yet, I remember back just a few years ago, when ONE was stressful, life altering, and SO time consuming. And with that, I don't have the understanding of what 6, 7, or 10 for that matter would be like. Perspective is an amazing thing.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Our "new to us" kitchen remodel

About a year ago my mom and dad told me that they would be re-doing their kitchen, and that they were offering their old cabinets and appliances to us! I quickly said yes, and we have been dreaming, planning, and now preparing for the huge change that is going to be happening in just three days. A quick note- our house was built in the early 60's, and the original kitchen is still in place! YUCK! I hate tile counter tops, no dishwasher (until last year...portable), filthy cabinets, and a tan fridge, older then me. Not to mention the lovely color-scheme of browns, white and light blue--no, I'm not kidding. There are plumbing spicots in the middle of my kitchen where a washing machine used to sit. I will post a picture...... when my kitchen is clean. Yes, its about time for an update.

Now, with me being sick, and mostly just being a mommy to five very little children, getting around to packing up my kitchen, rearranging the office for the "temporary kitchen set-up" and the demo of the cabinets had yet to happen. Yesterday, after I had begun feeling a little better, I began the office clear out, rearranging some large furniture, and packing up a little out of our cabinets. So now we have a table and chairs, a microwave and a toaster in the office. There is a fridge in my family room, and all our DVDS and bookshelves had to move back to our bedroom. Yes, quite a feat if I say so myself! I moved everything by myself, with the help of Aubrey....and yes, she is only four. She is actually quite strong, something I already knew, but she made it very clear yesterday while pushing a seven foot tall bookshelf down the hallway.

What seems to happen when remodeling, is that EVERYTHING is an absolute disaster now. My office, which has NEVER been particularly clean, is now impossibly unclean. I am planning on working on it today, so we have some more space to put all my boxes of kitchen stuff. After I get that done, I will keep packing up the stuff in the cabinets, and hopefully start demolition on Friday. We will see....

We are then heading down to Mesa for a quick visit, and to pick up my future kitchen. We are taking a very large dump trailer, and a truck so we have the space to put everything. We are getting a flat top, nice range with double oven, and a white fridge that actually has shelves in the door! I am super, SUPER excited to see an update for my kitchen. David and I have been out shopping last weekend at Lowe's and Home Depot for our counter tops and a built-in dishwasher. We also shopped for flooring and a back splash. It is really fun to see what is out there and let myself dream of the possibilities. Everything will be on a pretty tight budget, but at least I won't have a 50+ year old kitchen anymore!!!!!!!!!

More updates with pictures after I get the office and kitchen clean.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

My silver lining

I am in no way, shape, or form saying that being sick is a blessing; but today, it came pretty close. I am pretty much as sick as a dog. I have got the horrible chest cough, runny/stuffy nose, sore throat gunk. So, I took it upon myself and stayed home from church today. I always hate missing church, and really felt bad today because I have been hit and miss for the last month or so. For Davids sanity and sake, I kept Jay and Betsy home with me, given that it is their normal nap time anyway, so they slept almost the entire time for me.

So on to the "blessing" part of being sick. For the past few weeks I have tried, thought about it, attempted it, and failed miserably at getting around to finally watching the final session of conference. I was lacking the Saturday afternoon session, and I still hadn't gotten around to it. So I was resting comfortably on my couch, in my quiet house watching BYU-TV. And the first talk that came on happened to be one that I remember well from a year or so back, while my parents were gone on their mission to the Philippines, titled "Oh be wise", which is one of my moms quotes she always said while I was growing up. It made me excited, and grateful for a refresher. And lo and behold, the very next show on was the Saturday afternoon session of conference! I sat there in disbelief, said a quiet prayer of thanks for the opportunity to actually SEE it, and all while in a silent house. Heavenly Father was answering my silent prayers and righteous desires of my heart. I was all choked up, and relished every talk. What a great blessing in being sick!

Sometimes we get bummed and angry about things in our lives, like getting sick, and yet I think that being sick was part of the plan, so I could be able to stay home from church and enjoy fully the messages of the Saturday afternoon session. It taught me a lot about how there is always a silver lining if you take the chance and look for it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Heber Cabin

In the past, the Barton clan have planned a summer camp out of sorts for all the siblings and grand kids. This year our family cruise landed about the time we would have done a camp out, so in lieu of that, we planned a cabin retreat in the fall instead. We all arrived on Friday during the day and evening. Now, if there was ever a place that was completely and utterly set up, that was the place! There was more food, bedding, supplies, port-a-cribs, blankets, clothes, etc. then I could ever imagine. In fact, if we hadn't packed a thing, we would have been absolutely fine. What a spectacular place it was! Seven bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, many open large family areas, a game room, the biggest kitchen I have ever seen! And that was just the inside! The outside had a firepit, volleyball court, large playground, and a zip line (this was a favorite for most of us!). Many hours were spent around the big kitchen table playing Settlers of Cataan and Ticket to Ride, and also outside playing badminton. It was a good time for all. The grand kids had fun exploring, staying up till all hours of the night, riding the zip line, and running wild through the large 5000+ square foot cabin.

Friday was spent picking out our rooms, settling in, and having a weiny roast outside while singing campfire songs. Aubrey treated us to her version of "I love to See the Temple", where she substitutes the words 'the temple' for My Heart. It was super cute! In this picture, going left to right, you can see Justin, Abi, Kyen, Heather, Shaylin's leg, Brenan, Aubrey, Nathan, my mom holding Betsy, and my dads arm. That was about half of the group. We totaled 24 people!

Saturday was filled with playing games, playing on the zip line, playing badminton..... hey, we just PLAYED, and played hard! We ended the day with s'mores by the camp fire, and baths for Sunday.

On Sunday we went to the local ward in Heber, and attended the 9 am Sacrament Meeting. David had to come back to Snowflake for Elders Quorum stuff, so I winged it alone. My parents were a great help, and half of my kids actually SLEPT through the meeting. It was pretty nice! We spent the afternoon relaxing, playing some more, and generally kicking back. Heidi, Wynn, their kids, and Jacob had to leave that night for work in the morning. After they packed up and left, we went on a little nature hike. My mom and dad passed out little flashlights for each kid. I know my kids just loved it and are still carrying around their flashlights!

Monday was mostly spent cleaning and packing up. We sat around a little bit, but not much. We all left by about 4 pm. It was a good weekend, and we all made some fun memories. By the way, Jay's hands are 100% again, which is great, and they healed up a lot faster then I thought they would! A few of us are starting to get bit by a little sick-bug. I am not looking forward to that.

I can't believe the week is nearly over! Nathan is back into the swing of school after having last Thursday and Friday half-days for Parent/Teacher conferences (Nathan is doing GREAT!!!!), and Monday and Tuesday off for "Fall Break". My washer is still not working, my kitchen is getting a major face lift in the next few weeks (more on that later!), and we are all surviving okay. I would rather have nothing spectacularly exciting happening, because that means everything is just fine.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Jay's rough week....

Jay has had a pretty bad week. First off, he turned 10 months old on the 15th, and I can't believe that he is so big already! And this is how he celebrated.....

See his poor face? Ouch. Yeah, so Nathan decided to be "helpful" by basically dropping him on his face into his pile of toy cars and Lego's. Nathan felt terrible, and cried even harder then Jay. I wasn't happy, Jay wasn't happy, and some new rules were quickly made about carrying Jay. =)

On to this morning.... he decided to pull himself up on our wood-burning stove.... and yes, there was a fire inside it. I have never had a child even try and touch the stove, much less pull themselves up on it! He was screaming bloody murder, and I swooped him up, ran to the bathroom, soaked his poor little hands in ice cold water for about 2 or 3 minutes, slathered them in burn gel, and wrapped them up. I didn't even get a chance to really look at them. I called the doctor right after that. So here he is now......

We went straight into the doctors office, and the doc said that he had a second degree burn on his right hand and his left hand was burned, but not blistering. His ear also got a little burn, and a small spot on his head. I felt awful for letting my baby get burned, and told David that we will promptly be setting up a gate of sorts around the stove. I was happy that Dr. Dewitt was not upset with me. In fact he told me that my quick, responsible actions were what saved his hands from being burned a lot worse. He was impressed that I knew to do any of that.... I give credit to my mom, the registered nurse, for some knowledge that she passed on to me. So now Jay is sleeping soundly, looking like a boxer! Hehehehe =). He has to keep the "gloves" on for the next day or two, and then we have to keep some Neosporin on it until it looks completely normal, and not hot feeling.

This weekend will be fun; we are all going down to Heber to spend a few days with my parents, my siblings and everyones kids. My parents rented out a HUGE cabin and we are having our "family camp out"- which usually happens in the summer, a little late this year, in a cabin. I am looking forward to it. I will take lots of pics and have a post on it when we get back Monday afternoon! Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Uplifting and life changing....

General conference got tangled up in our camping trip weekend, so it has taken me a while to get it all watched, and I still haven't finished the Saturday afternoon session yet. I promise I will get there. We were able to watch both Sunday sessions on BYU-TV. It was wonderful. Many talks were good, many were great, but one stood out like a sore-thumb for me; like he was talking straight to me. The Lord works in mysterious ways, and He knew what I needed to hear. Our prophet is an inspired man, a man of God. He was speaking about finding happiness and joy in our current situations, and he spoke to ME. He said, "If you are still in the process of raising children, be aware that the tiny fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface, the toys scattered about the house, the piles and piles of laundry to be tackled will disappear all too soon and that you will—to your surprise—miss them profoundly."

I found myself in tears. As I looked around my family room, with toys scattered, the laundry pile in the corner, and fingerprints all over the TV screen and entertainment center, and I knew he must have been looking into my home through a window or something. I sat there for a few minutes reflecting on how much I truly love my children. How I spend too much time refereeing, observing, yelling, cleaning, etc. I felt like our wonderful President Monson knew just what to say to the mommy's in the world, that are overwhelmed and under-appreciated. And he spoke to my heart. I love my kids so much! I am so grateful for the opportunity that my Heavenly Father has given me to raise these children, and the trust that He places in me to tend His precious spirits.

I love my job, no matter how tiring, how monotonous, and how stressful it almost always is. I learn and laugh out loud everyday, every hour, at the wonderful personalities of my five little angels. And I wouldn't trade my babies for anything in this entire world. THEY are my world.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Complaining, and more complaining.

There hasn't been much going on these days. We all had an.... interesting day at church yesterday. Almost weekly I ask myself why I even bother going to Sacrament Meeting with my kids in tow.... but the point is, that we do go. I just feel super sorry for the nice couple that sit behind us. I swear they don't hear a thing. Hey, neither to I most of the time. =) I just don't know how to teach my kids to sit down and be quiet..... HOW?????? I think the bishopbric get a good laugh each week watching the circus act on the second row.... I take pride in know that we are the comic relief! After we barely survived Sacrament Meeting, I subsituted for nursery. Yikes! There are 23 kids in that nursery, and everyone one was there plus a few visitors. Luckily there were five other adults helping. I am grateful I don't usually have that calling. Betsy kept eyeing me, wondering what the heck I was still doing in her class... it was funny.

Today I was tired of my disaster of a house, and did a super duty clean on the family room, kids rooms and bathrooms. I am pooped! My kids were pretty good sports, and helped out quite a bit. They thought it was a game, especially when I started moving furniture around. I am pleased to say that most of my house is pretty much spotless. Minus my kitchen and my bedroom (that is for tomorrow... hopefully).

The weather is changing dramaticlly. Just this last few days it has turned from fall temps to almost winter temps. The high was only 55 today and it froze last night.... my poor flowers! Everything is dead now, and my tree is looking pretty crudey. Official jacket weather. I am bummed, and can feel the depression of the season start. I am not looking forward to being trapped inside this small house for almost six months with 5 small kids. AAAAHHHHH!!!! I have been feeling constantly COLD for almost three days straight. Did I mention that I hate cold?!?!? Gosh, I complain alot! I need to find a hobby, so I have something to look forward to this winter. Any suggestions?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Our new look

Thanks to one of Davids cousins blogs that I read, I learned how to change up my backgrounds. Thanks Christine! This new background messed up the spacing of the pictures and text in the former blogs....sorry! So anyway, my plan is to change my background monthly, or maybe just seasonally... we will see how life goes.....=) I hope you enjoy our new look, and have a very happy Autumn!

Before and After

A couple days ago David came home with a prize for me. At work they had replaced a light in someones house for a ceiling fan. The light was still in great shape, and just my style, so David brought it home, and installed it for me all in the same night. What a good guy! So here is what was there before....... yes, I know, UGLY!And here is our new light. It sits over our table, and gives quite a bit more light. We are going to replace the huge light bulbs, but it was what we had on hand at the time. Quite an improvement, if I say so myself. =)
My kitchen is still in need of a MAJOR renovation, but every little bit helps --especially when it is a free find and just what I would have probably picked out anyway. The picture doesn't do it justice, and we still need to patch and paint the ceiling, but I am thrilled at any improvement in the kitchen.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Cutest baby on earth

Just thought I would share some super cute pictures of my boy, Jay. What a sweet little guy! I just took these this morning....

He was curiously playing with Max's feet and was really interested in his nails. Max was patiently trying to nap on the couch. Jay was using his relatively new talent of pulling himself up on furniture. It was really sweet to see. I love my Jay baby!

PS- I am happy to report that after a little T.L.C. and tinkering, my camera is now up and working again. I am so blessed with a very good hubby and I love him too!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Our weekend....

This will be a long blog.... just a fair warning. So, we had planned on leaving on Thursday early afternoon. I was getting everything packed and ready when Emily woke up from a unusual nap, and she was feeling rather warm, and she was complaining that her foot was hurting. So I took off her sock, and lo and behold her second toe was red, swollen, hot and hard feeling. The day before she was playing barefoot under an acorn tree, and I thought that she had just hurt her foot by stepping on a fallen acorn. I didn't make a big deal out of it, and actually was annoyed a bit at her crying so hard over stepping on an acorn. So, right after David got home from work, I took her into the walk-in clinic. By the time the doctor saw her, her foot was swollen up to her ankle. I was getting concerned. The doctor said that she had definitely been bit by a spider, probably a Brown Recluse. So they gave her a shot of medication. The nurse warned me that the shot would hurt worse then the bite, and that she would not be able to walk very well for a couple days. Needless to say, Emily did not like that shot. We ended up staying home that night, and we left for the camp out Friday morning, after the pharmacy opened, and we got her medication that she will be on for the next 10 days... every 6 hours. Ugh. Her foot is fine now, and she is now walking without a limp. The only sign of the bite is the scratches that have come from her itching it randomly.

So on to the camp out. We arrived at a beautiful campground north of Sedona, called Oak Creek. It was a very nice place, and got pretty crowded by nights end. The Stradlings, the family who invited us to go with them, came the night before as originally planned. We had a great time. The kids really enjoyed playing together. This picture is of Jay, playing with their twin daughters, Moriah (redhead), and Moira (brown hair). They are the sweetest little girls! And by the way, that blanket-idea didn't last long. Jay was off it, soon after this picture and crawling all over the camp sight. He was a mess... and ate his fair share of dirt. Yum.
Later that night, we all roasted marshmallows, struggled in getting the kids all to sleep, and then enjoyed an hour or so of some good adult conversation together by the fire. In this picture is Nathan, Aubrey, Saxon (their son, almost 3) and Emily. These four kiddos had a blast playing together. They were running all over the place, laughing and exploring everywhere. It was a good time for them.

And last but certainly not least was Betsy. She was too old to play with the "babies" and too little to keep up with the older four, so she was content to keep herself entertained with the Stradlings huge chocolate lab named Rocky. He is a good dog... and put up with much torment from all eight kids. Here is a shot of Betsy riding Rocky. Now for those of you who don't know, just 3 months ago, Betsy was absolutely petrified with fear when it came to animals. We don't know where the fear came from, but we wanted to remedy it, so she didn't have a abnormal phobia to deal with in her life. It was one of the reasons we got Max, our dog, and it took a couple weeks, but she finally relaxed with him. And soon after that she started accepting other animals. And now, here she is literally on top of a dog that is taller then she is, standing! We are very happy to see her reacting good with animals now. It is a relief.

Saturday morning, we all broke camp, and headed up the road a few miles to Slide Rock. It is a river that flows through some slick rock. In the summer is is packed with people, riding down the rocks; a fun natural water park. We did not get in the water (for heavens sakes, its October, overcast, and rainy!) There actually was one crazy guy that played polar bear, and jumped in. He was nuts! Brrrrrr. The kids had fun running and playing on the rocks. It was a good time, and I had never been to Slide Rock, but had heard about it quite a bit as a young girl. I think we will be going back next summer for camping and playing in the water.

We got home just in time for David to get to Priesthood Session. He went to the church, I stayed home and bathed all five little darlings. Talk about dirty!!!!!! I had to refill the tub after each child. Yuck. We missed the Saturday sessions, but I have already watched the Sat AM session on the Internet, and will promptly be watching the afternoon session. Good messages..... and I will blog more on that later. It was a very fun weekend and we had a good time getting to know the Stradlings better. Now I am living in LOADS of laundry that smell just like a bonfire. Yum. I have it all sorted and will be heading up to my friends house later today. I am looking forward to that.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The generosity of others

Last night I had the opportunity to be offered help, and also be given a few fun evenings out. So, I was chatting with a friend of mine. Our kids play together almost daily, so we are really beginning to click, and are becoming close friends. I mentioned to her my plight of the laundromat, and she most generously offered her washer and dryer at her house to use. I warned her of the amount of laundry my family goes through each day (1-2 loads) and she said, "The more the better". So I will now be hauling my laundry up the dirt road hill behind my house, to a great friends house. I am looking forward to it, because, who can't help but enjoy a little girl talk, and adult conversation while the kids play together?!?

Soon after my chat with Megan, we all loaded up in the car and went to a great production put on by the Silver Creek Performing Arts Association. Due to the generosity of my in-laws, we now have obtained season tickets for the rest of their concert series. Last night the show was done by the Chinese Acrobats. Have you ever seen acrobats perform?!? Good grief.... It sure was a great evening out, and a talented group of people. The daring, precise amount of strength.... The kids all really enjoyed it too. I had my reservations about bringing the kids along, but they all really had a good time watching the acrobats. I had to keep reminding Nathan, and especially my sweet adventurous Aubrey, that we don't try this at home. We will see how long that lasts.....

On to our plans for the weekend. There is a great family in our ward that have invited our family to join them, and head up toward Sedona for a family camp out. So we will be leaving Thursday evening, and will be breaking camp and heading home Saturday morning. We will catch the morning session of conference in the car, and be home in time for the afternoon session. I am really looking forward to our camp out. The family is great, and we have a lot in common. And since I enjoy being outdoors, and find a certain amount of fun in camping, I can't wait!

Note to the readers of this blog...... as soon as a little money gets freed up, I will be able to buy a new digital camera. No, I didn't end up getting one for my birthday =( ! So if any of you have any suggestions on good, yet not fancy (I am a point and shoot type of gal), please send some advice my way.....