2018 Family Moto

35 They were desirous to be baptized as a witness and a testimony that they were willing to serve God with all their hearts; Mosiah 21:35

"Make sure they remember joy yesterday, experience joy today, and anticipate joy tomorrow."

Motherhood Mission Statement

To provide a loving environment that is centered around God and His commandments while effectively teaching my children to love, honor, and respect all Men no matter the race, creed, or background.

Click on Nolen's name to hear our amazing journey through autism.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

It gets better every year

I should really save this post for my birthday, however, it is on my mind tonight. I was thinking about how much I really appreciate time. Time gives me a beautiful perspective on life that I love. I thought I knew so much when I was a child. I was a critical deep thinker.  I thought a lot about life and death. I had messy long dish water blonde hair that went down to my waist. I laughed a lot. I had such a loud laugh it would often drive my mother crazy when we were in the car.  For the record, I was not a beautiful kid. I was average. I had big teeth, freckles, and glasses. I wore hand me down clothes and smelled like a horse.

 I moved to Kingman when I was 10. That was when I was first introduced to how average I really was.  All my friends wore the latest styles and I think my mom shopped at k-mart or may have even made some of my clothes. My teens were not much better. Although, I have always had a high self worth, I knew I was still average. I had crazy horse hair that was completely unruly and I loved to wear tight wrangles to school. I thought I was so pretty. 

In my twenties, I thought I had it all figured out. I knew everything. I was a cross between a preppy goth cow girl. It’s hilarious to me now.  I loved my style. I loved being loud and funny. I loved driving crazy and saying things that no one else would say. I had a zebra jacket and wore my hair in corn rows. I drew two big thick lines of eye liner on my lids. I was chubby and funny. Ah, but life was so good in my twenties.
A lot of people talk about how they would love to go back to when they were a kid or when they were in high school or when they were on college, but for me, every year gets better. I still have that crazy high self esteem, although, I dress a bit better, I take much better care of my skin, I stay out of the sun, and I love my self more. I used to pretend to love myself in my teens and twenties, but in my late thirties I have found a person deep inside myself that I love. I know this sounds crazy, but I can’t wait to get older. I have learned so much about myself and I am so happy with who I am today. I love my quirky sense of style, I love my sweet family, I love crazy unruly curly hair that has a streak of grey. I love my long legs and short torso.  I love my straight white teeth. I love that I am still a little chubby. I love what I have learned as the decades have come and gone. This year I’ll turn 37. I am so grateful for the things life has taught me.  I grow as a person every single day. And if I can just add, I absolutely love my husband. Every single thing about him.  Every grey hair, every cricked smile, and every time he snores at night. I love his long legs, his determination to do everything himself, and his ability to always make me smile.

If you walk away with anything from this post, please know that you are amazing, too. Stand in the mirror today and point out all the things you love. I know it will out way the things you don’t love. It may even make them go away. 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

12 Years with the Man of my Dreams!

Twelve years ago, I married the man of my dreams in the San Diego Temple.  We were the last ceremony of the evening.  We flew to San Diego with my parents and Stephen's parents earlier that morning.  We checked in to our hotel then preceded to get ready.  We rode to the temple together and then separated so that we could get dressed.  I remember putting on my wedding dress and crying with my Mom in the bridal suit.  I met Stephen at the grand stair case in the temple.  It was beautiful.  We cried and then Stephen stepped on my dress and busted the bustle.  The temple has some very strict rules about what you wear and you can not have a train on your dress.  So, someone had to find a safety pin to pin back up my dress.  I wasn't a big fan on the train on my dress, but that is how it came.  We were sealed for time and all eternity in front of just our parents and the temple worker.  It was beautiful.  It was everything I ever wanted.  Afterward, there was a bit of a mix up and the temple workers wouldn't let me go out side with out my Mom, who was outside waiting for me.  HA! I waited an hour for her to come back in but she never did.  As all of the chaos was happening, the sun went down and it started raining.  I was finally able to go out side and we took a few pictures before we headed out to dinner.  I don't even remember where we ate, but it was delicious and fun.  The next morning, we flew back to Arizona to celebrate with our close friends and family.  

There are so many things that I love about my marriage. In the last 12 years, we really have been through some hard things.  I could not have gone through these things alone.  Some of these things, we have brought on ourselves and some things just happened to us.  Stephen has been by my side for everything.  He is my best friend.  He is my silent partner in life.  We understand each other.  
Our first year of marriage was difficult.  We had a hard time adjusting to married life.  We had been on our own for 25 years and joining two lives wasn't as easy as everyone (or the movies) made it look.  We fought. A lot. I have been told I am difficult. Ha ha ha! 

After three years of figuring each other out we bought a house, we moved to New Mexico, we pushed each other to get through school, and we added two sweet baby boys to our family.  We short sold a house, we bought another house, we had to come up with a new plan after the  helicopter school Stephen attended declared bankruptcy.  We borrowed lots of money, we made new friends, we laughed, I was diagnosed with cervical cancer pre-cells that just wouldn't go away, Nolen was diagnosed with autism, Stephen went through a very traumatic incident at work, and we borrowed more money.  Stephen stepped away from the church, I started a business, we worked tirelessly together to adjust to our new normal with a child with autism, we followed all the promptings from God to help Nolen learn, we have taken tons of fun family vacations, we have played freeze tag more times than I can count, we stay up late watching television, and we learned how to fight with grace. 

There are so many things that have happened in the last 12 years that are worth mentioning and some things that are private; however, the most important thing that I have learned over the last 12 years is to love more.  

I love Stephen. 

Twelve years ago, I am unsure if I really understood what it meant to truly love someone.  I knew I loved my parents.  I knew I loved my siblings.  I knew I loved my friends.
I knew I was capable of loving someone, but I really did not know what that meant. I am sure I will continue to learn what it means to love someone unconditionally as the years roll by.  I am so glad I get to love Stephen. I am so glad he chose me. 

I choose him every single day.

No matter what, I choose him as my partner in life.

I love you, Stephen Barnes.

 We celebrated by going out to eat at Los Poblanos farm and then getting tasty gelato.

Friday, March 16, 2018

The Montessori Elementary School 2018 Gala!

This years gala was a true joy!  Edward and Nolen both worked so hard to learn their songs so they could perform well at the gala.  Edward has been taking private cello lessons for the last year and a half.  He finally hit a place where he could hear that he was playing the right note!  He works so hard every night after school learning new songs.  He also loves trying to play his cello songs on the piano!  Music to my ears!  I try not to push them too hard when it comes to music because I love it so much, but part of me really wants them to love music as much as I do.  
The school this year has been great in so many ways and then not so great in so many other ways.  Edward has really struggled with his 3rd grade teacher.  Nolen, on the other hand, has flourished.  I to back and fourth on switching school, staying at this school, or home schooling.  I have been trying to ponder and pray on what the best choice is for my children and I still do not have an answer.  Right now, I am just doing what they want to do: stay at the school.  I just keep hoping things will be OK, but some times hope is just not enough.  Anyhow, I made some great videos of the gala.  Enjoy!

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Susan's Visit

For the last two weeks, I have been host to my amazing mother in law.  I am always so grateful when family comes to visit.  I feel like the last 9 1/2 years of living here in Albuquerque I have been constantly begging people to come visit.  We live about 6 hours from family in Phoenix and Kingman, Arizona.  It is just far enough away that a visit must be planned in advance, but just close enough that we can pop over to Arizona for a weekend.
Susan came to stay with us for Edward's birthday and stayed for two weeks.  It was so fun!  We talked and talked and talked.  I don't usually have someone I can just talk to all day every day.  We accomplished a lot of my crazy to do list items.  I wanted to go through the boys papers and photos so that I could put them in to their own keep sake chest.  For the last 9 years,  I have been putting their keepsakes in my chest.  Their stuff finally became over whelming.  We also finished decorating the piano room.  I still have a few things left to do in the room, but we really made a huge dent in the decorating project.  I love how it is looking.  It is truly a little retreat.  I teach about 16 hours a week and it is nice to be in a room that I absolutely love and that is inviting for my students and their parents.  
Susan and I also did the 5 day detox by Tone it up while she was here.  I have sort of been eating what I want the last few months and it was nice to get back on track.  I have found that Christmas is really hard for me to stay on track.  I also have a hard time getting back on track after Christmas.  I teamed up with my friend Melanie Iverson to train for a triathlon.  This has really helped with my motivation.  It has been so fun to train with someone and have a fun race to work toward.
I wish we lived closer to family; however, I know we have about 15 more years in here in Albuquerque.  This city has become our unexpected home.  All I can do is continue begging family to move here or just come for a visit.  I am so glad Susan was able to come and stay for a while.  We love her so much!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Eliza R. Snow

This last week, I was in a wonderful Relief Society program as Eliza R. Snow.  She sings a song about Emma Smith that is so powerful.  I would practice this song in tears just thinking  "How much can one heart take?"  I think all too often, we as women as asked to bare many burdens that we do not feel we can handle.  It is a welcome relief to know that Heavenly Father has a plan and we allow Him to, he will help shoulder the load.  To all the women who are suffering, heavy laden, and filled with grief take a moment and listen to "Emma" from a Nashville Tribute to Joseph Smith.  Know that you are loved and we as women should stand together to help build up this beautiful nation.  

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Class Pictures

These photos were taken back in October.  I finally got them from the school.  At least, I finally have them!  

Monday, February 19, 2018

His 9th Birthday!

He's nine.

Yes, he is really nine.
In just one year (that I am sure will just fly by) my sweet, precious Edward will be TEN!
I just can't wrap my mind around how fast kids grow up.
I love him.
Today, we woke up super early and ate eggs for breakfast.
Then we headed out with some friends and sprayed each other with silly string in the Bosque. 
We came home and opened up presents.  Edward wanted lego's and nerf guns. He is all boy.  We planned a big party with 16 of his very closest friends at "All out zone" in the mall at 2:00.  We mostly just played around all morning until the party.  We picked up pizza at Dion's and brought some cupcakes for food to munch on at the party.  All the kids had a blast!  It was so fun to shoot each other with nerf guns, play Virtual Reality, and roll around in the big bubbles.  
Edward laughed and laughed.  He had so many great friends join him at his party.  He was so happy all day long.  He told me this was his favorite birthday yet!  
Edward is kind.
Edward is smart.
He loves nerf guns.
He loves minecraft.
He loves playing computer games.
He loves math.
He reads.  A lot.
He loves his brother. 
He is silly.
He is smart.
He has the most precious freckles.
He is on swim team and loves to run.
He is my heart and soul.
I love this kid to the moon and back.
My heart just bursts when I see him.
I love him.
He will eat any food you put in front of him.
He still loves fruit more than anything.
Edward is sweet.
I often describe him as my sweet little Edward because he really is sweet.
He is so so amazing.
I love watching him learn and grow and I can't believe that he is mine.
I love him.