Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My new "normal"....

I have been patiently (okay, so actually pretty impatiently sometimes) waiting for life to stop running at top speed, and let me have things back to the normal that I had grown accustom to.


In about mid-November, life kicked into "holiday mode", and I feel like it is still there. It feels like every moment is FILLED with things, kids, projects, activities, etc. EtC. ETC!! I have finally come to the point now where I realize that this may just be my new "normal". I am having a hard time adjusting to this idea.

The hardest part about it all, is that I have often heard, from nearly all women further along in life then me, that once you start having kids, things just get harder, and busier, and more insane as the years go on. So, if I am struggling now to keep up with things, what does that mean for me, in say 10 years, when they are ALL teenagers? YIKES.

BUT, I don't mean to sound ungrateful. Because I am not. I am grateful for my husband and his willingness to step up and do what he needs to, even if that means I spend some time playing "single mommy". I am grateful for my children. They are all healthy, happy, well-adjusted kids. They all try to do whats right (most of the time =}), I am grateful for my home, even if it is tight quarters. It keeps the weather out, and keeps us warm and safe, and I am grateful for David's job, even if we are often pinching pennies, at least we have a job.

And finally, I am grateful for the blessing it is to have the life I have... even if it is CrAzY!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tomorrow night at six...

We went up to St. George, Utah from Wednesday through Friday for my Grandpa Bartons' funeral. It was a good drive there, the kids did just great traveling (I am very blessed to have five kids that travel well) and it was a wonderful time seeing family that I don't get to see very often. It is amazing how much one person can do in their life, and how very much I didn't know about my grandpa. He was a wonderful man that I love and miss. Here are several pictures from our trip to St. George....Loaded up, and on our way early Wednesday morning.
Some wonderful views from our drive.

The viewing and funeral...L-R; My gramoose, my dad, Aunt Jo-Lynn, Aunt Kaye, Aunt Robyn, and Aunt DaNell. The pallbearers were all my male cousins, and my brother. L-R, Danny, Justin, Josh, Brandon, Chad, Jeff, J, and Andrew. Jay, standing next to the casket. A very sweet moment to capture. Jay Blayne ..... Jay Clayton. My pine tree at my grandparents house. When I was about 10 or 11 I gave my grandparents a tiny, sickly looking twig of a pine tree. They planted it, transplanted it with each move, and placed it in the back corner of their home they have been in for 17 years. Look at it now! I took a pine cone from my tree on Friday, and plan on planting it one day soon. A picture of by far the prettiest place on Earth. This is the Vermilion Cliffs. I love the red rocks, and I LOVE the Vermilion Cliffs. (MUCH better in person). They are between Jacobs Lake and Marble Canyon. Seeing them is something that should be on every one's 'Bucket List'. Just a suggestion....

It was a nice trip, and a reminder about how important family is and the relationships you share with those closest to you. Love you Barton family, and miss you Grandpa Bear!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


We went to Mesa on Friday- Sunday to be with my parents one last time before they leave on their mission to Nauvoo next week.

My grandpa Barton has been battling with dementia for almost a year now. He was near the end and was surrounded by his children and wife the following week up in St. George. He took his journey back to his Heavenly Father early Saturday morning, January 8th. My dad was there, with his father when he passed. It was a very bittersweet thing. I will miss my grandpa Bear so much. My dad then drove back and joined us in Mesa late Saturday evening.Saturday afternoon many of us gathered a Sheepherders Park in Mesa and had most of the cousins play together for a couple hours at the park while we enjoyed each other, mostly laughing, a little bit of crying, and spending some time together.

It was my parents un-farewell talk on Sunday and I got to be with all my siblings their spouses and every grandchild at church in the 46th ward. It was such a wonderful time being together again in our home ward. It brought back a lot of memories... although the last time we were all together at church in that ward, none of us were wrestling children! =) Justin and his family had also just moved back into the area, and subsequently, back into the ward, so their records happened to be read it while we were all there.

My mom spoke on service, and how we can accomplish service in every season of our lives. She even mentioned the service that we can do on the other side, emphasizing grandpa, and of course, caused me to cry... again. I was VERY emotional on Sunday. She did such a wonderful job.

My dad spoke about righteous family traditions, and filled his time talking about many memories and things that we have done as family. Family meals, prayer, Christmas traditions, temple trips, family home evenings, etc. It was a great talk focused on all the many good times I remember from my childhood.

It was a nice, emotional, enjoyable trip to Mesa. I love my family so much and proud to be part of them!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Okay, you've stayed long enough, It's time to go, NOW!

So, for anyone who has read my blog or has known me for more then about 12 seconds, knows that I HATE cold. HATE winter. HATE snow. And yet, here I live in one of the coldest places in Arizona (yeah, so I thought "Cactus + desert = Arizona.") freezing my little bottom off. That snow that started falling last year is STILL here. And it has passed the point of 'a beautiful freshly fallen snow' to a 'brown, slushy, icy, ugliness snow'. And the temperatures are not raising high enough yet to really allow for much melting. I am impatiently waiting for this stuff to melt, so I can send my kids to school and outside without a massive undertaking bundling up... (think A Christmas Story here). Well, enough complaining, I just needed a moment to vent. That is all.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Catching Up

This will be a NOVEL. Proceed with caution!

So, I have obviously been quite the blog-slacker the last couple weeks. And here is an incredibly quick, fun and BUSY recap of our celebrations....

Nathan, Aubrey, and Emily all had Christmas programs during the last week of school before break.
Emily's program was first in the week. They had all the lights off, but the stage lights, which were behind the kids, so during the whole thing so you couldn't see anyone or anything....bad idea. It was sad that no one could see their kids performing. (NO good pictures). She had a speaking part, "Our teachers taught us that we are walking, talking miracles. " I thought it was pretty applicable for her to say that. And here she is at home for her picture. She got that gift from Mrs. Tanner.
Aubrey's program was next in the week. Her grade did a wonderful job, and even made me get a little teary over one song, Innkeeper. They had the nativity acted out, and the last line was so powerful. "Innkeepers all. Do you have room for the Child?" Aubrey had the speaking part "Family traditions are dear to our heart." My parents came to visit for the day, and were able to come to Aubrey's program. It was a nice treat for both Aubrey and my parents.
Nathan's program was super funny and neat. They had funny lines, and a awesome square dance by the kids in the class. Nathan's speaking part was, "But the bad part about Christmas is Aunt Mabel is invited." Then the 3rd graders tuned off ALL the lights, put on white gloves, used black lights and "danced" to 'Little Drummer Boy'. It was so awesome, that I admit that I got a little chocked up. So neat! We sat in such a bad spot, that I couldn't even see him the whole program, so no good pictures for him either. But this picture is him, in his classroom, after the program.
I put on a little family birthday party for my December babies on the 14th. We had a Mexican themed dinner, cake and ice cream. We made 3 different cakes, one for each child. It was a fun night.
This just happened to be when my parents came to visit (same day as Aubrey's Christmas program), so this is the last picture I will have of my parents at my house for about 2 years, because they will be on their mission.

Just a few days later (17th and 18th), we traveled down to Mesa for our Barton Christmas Party. The weather was wonderful, and we had so much fun with cousins and family. Here are a few shots of the weekend....Traditon of the Nativity scene. This year we had 5 angels, 3 Marys, 3 wise men, 2 shepherds, 1 lamb, and Uncle Justin as the donkey. =)
Playing in the leaves in the retention basin with cousins. The tradition of gingerbread houses for all 14 grand kids.

Santa came and visited us at our house on Christmas. The kids had a pretty good day getting lots of gifts, and playing with family. Here are some pics of our day....

Nathans big gifts were, a BB gun and a globe.Aubrey got a fun bag that she got to color and design all by herself.
Both Aubrey and Emily got actual jump ropes, which is better then random rope, or my robe tie, or daddy's ties....Emily got the biggest gift of all, a bicycle. She loves it!
Betsy got a fun little tricycle and a Dora backpack. If its Dora, this girl LOVES it.

And this is how Jay spent his day, poor kid. He was SUPER sick, and even had a bloody nose upon waking up Christmas morning. He was so easy to hold and rock though...
My prizes that I got were, a !!MixMaster!!, a Air-popper, and some antique dishes from Davids' grandma, June Pew. They are beautiful.

We had a great time with the Adams family, eating a delicious meal, doing a hilarious White Elephant gift exchange, playing games, laughing, and staying up late enough (or early enough, I guess) to sing happy birthday to Kara! No pictures, sorry...

On December 29th, it started to snow, and snow and SNOW!! It has caused icy roads, below zero temperatures, and a very cold me. We did have fun playing in the snow, but got STUCK in our van twice all in one day. It was not a time to be driving around, I promise. We were snowed in, out at Davids' parents house, so we made it a slumber party, stayed up late playing games, and all slept there. It was actually pretty fun.
Well, I can now cross off my first goal of the year!
#1- get the blog caught up.... CHECK.

If you actually made it to the end of this horrifically L O N G post reading, not skimming, you are a trooper! Either that, or my mom. =)