2016 Family Moto


12 And also, the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do.
2 Nephi 31:12
"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.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Montessori Elementary School Carnival

This last Saturday, our school held their very first carnival.  The boys had a fun time and tried out nearly everything the carnival had to offer.  








Saturday, September 17, 2016

Chasing the Harvest Moon

Last night, there was a beautiful Harvest Moon in the night sky.  I grabbed the boys and we drove up to the Volcano Cliffs to watch it rise over the Sandia's.  It was magnificent.  We turned to look at the sunset as we waited for the moon, it was just as beautiful.  These two boys put their arms around each other and I snapped a picture.  My heart melted.  I love them.  






Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A true hope

Two years ago, I met someone who changed my life.  If you have known me for an extended period of time (or really any amount of time, let's face it) you know that I have a temper.  I do not disguise my attitude.  If I do not like something, more than likely, you know it.  I do NOT like this about myself.  I have worked endlessly on my temper.  I know too many people that have been on the other side of it and it is not a pleasant experience.  
When I had Edward, seven and half years ago, my patience was tested.  EVERY SINGLE DAY! I tried taking deep breaths, counting to ten, and leaving the situation.  It was all a band aid.  The real problem lies deep inside my soul.  I used to blame it on my red hair or my parents or my firery attitude.  All not true.  The issue is chemical.  Once I came to terms with the real problem, I could actually work on fixing it.
My entire family has issues with controlling their tempers.  I used to think I was the mild "Skousen" until I threw a bat at my grandpa.  AH!  Seriously, Julie.  Get it together.  Well, two years ago, by chance, I met someone who introduced me to a product called True Hope.  They offer products for ADHD, Autism, and Depression. They also offer personal counseling to all who take the product.  It has been a game changer for me.  No, I don't sell it.  Nor do I get paid for mentioning it.  True hope is a supplement for brain health.  I first started giving it to Nolen to help with his autism symptoms.  Then I started giving it to Edward when he started having a hard time at school.  I saw how drastically it changed their lives so I had to try it.  
I have never felt better.  Today, as a testament to my true change, Edward tried to test my patience.  He was suddenly upset about accidently hitting Nolen in the eye with his blanket.  He was going to run away.  I was talking to him nicely and he said, "I need mean Mom. I don't listen unless you are mean Mom."  I would have, two years ago, just yelled at him uncontrollably.  NOT TODAY!  I growled with a silly low voice and said, "Mean Mom is here to tickle you.  Seems like you need more love in your life."  Then he exploded with anger.  I picked him up to simulate the explosion and crashed him to the ground.  Then I tickled him.  We both began laughing.  I love this kid.  I can't react.  It's my job as a mom to keep my cool and SHOW him how to act in a situation that isn't ideal.  
I know I have a long way to go but the real signs of love and the type of mom I want to be are coming out.  I can control myself.  I am in control.  For the first time in my life, I have the control over my emotions.  Not the other way around. 


Here's a cute little video made about lizards and snakes.  Enjoy your Wednesday!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

A Day Date

Somewhere, along the way, I lost sight of the importance of being a parent.  I easily get wrapped up in the things that need to get done rather than getting wrapped up in my children and family.  As mentioned many times before, I love checking off lists.  I love "to-do" lists.  I feel so accomplished once I check off all the items on my list.  After 8 months of cutting out all the unimportant things, I have started to add in more important time with my children.  
Recently, Stephen and I have started taking our boys out for one on one time. I feel like this has been missing from our children's lives for the last 5+ years.  I ask each boy what they want to do, then we go do it. I have been trying to do active things with the boys but the activity doesn't necessarily have to be active.  I would rather the activity involve a lot of talking.  I feel like I don't listen enough when my children talk.  I love taking the time to get to know them.  To be their Mom.  To be a good listening, not only to my friends, but more importantly to my children.  
Yesterday, I took Edward on a bike ride along the Bosque.  A few weeks ago, I took Nolen on a bike ride around the duck pond.  It was stunning.  Albuquerque is really beautiful.  Bike riding also gives me a chance to just talk and talk about what they love to talk about, nature.  My heart is full. 






Friday, September 9, 2016

Grandparents Day

This past weekend was Grandparents Day at TMES.  Now that both boys are attending the school, I thought it would be nice if both my parents could come to see their classrooms.  My parents rode the train on Thursday night and arrived here on Friday morning.  After a quick lunch, they drove over to the school.  My parents decided to split up their time with the boys.  They each spent half an hour in the classroom with each boy.  The boys begged them to go to frozen yogurt after school.  Actually, they had been begging me all week to go to Menchies but I told them they could go with my parents after school.
Saturday, I had a photo shoot with 35 people and I asked my mom to come along.  She was the best assistant.  She was so kind and did everything I needed.  She brought in all my gear and posed the group.  She was amazing.  
While we were at the photo shoot, the boys went to drive Traxxas cars.  When they arrived, they were told the track was only open to people who owned cars.  So, they bought cars.  The boys have been driving them all week.  They have had a blast.  Too bad the batteries only last 15 minutes.  HA!
Sunday, we went to church and I helped my parents pack up.  Just before we were about to leave, my Dad had a kidney stone attack.  Instead of driving to the train, we went to the emergency room.  My Dad spent the evening in the hospital then came home and rested.  I put my parents on the train on Monday afternoon.  Tuesday morning, my Dad was already back in the hospital for his kidney stone.  He spent two days there trying to pass the stone. 
It really was quite an eventful weekend.  I am so grateful to my parents for their sacrifices.  They have always taken time out of their schedules to visit my family.  They are truly amazing.  My Dad retires in one week!  He still hasn't passed the kidney stone.  AH!  
I truly believe memories are more important than any gift.  Time spent with family is worth the sacrifice.  (Even if the sacrifice is a kidney stone!)  I love my parents.





My Mom wrote this blurb about her day at TMES.
 "We went to grandparents day at TMES for Edward and Nolen. We road the train Friday Morning on the 2 and arrived about 11:30. Julie picked us up and took us back to her home. We went to TMES and listened to the beautiful violin music playing   Two young students played their instruments with care and with feeling. Soon classes began to emerge from the building their eyes were moving from left to right searching for the right Grandma and grandpa. Smiles spread across their faces as they recognized their loved one and ran up and hugged them or grabbed their hand to take them to thei classroom. We had already decided that grandpa would go with Edward and I would go with Nolen  then we would switch at the 1/2 hour. Edward came out first. He smiled and gave us both hugs. Grandpa and he went to class. I waited and waited for Nolen. I began to worry that maybe I should go into his classroom. As I entered the school through the midst of grandparents I noticed a teacher with little ones following her. About midway I saw that beautiful smile. He had a hat on with a big round circle. What is this I asked. It is Jupiter he said as He ducked his head for a moment and then told me to follow him. All the students in his class had hats on with different planets. Some even has the sun and some had the moon. We went outside and walked in the normal kindergarten line and then circled around as the students looked for their grandparents. Back inside we went. Nolen took me to his desk and we talked about the papers on his desk. It was an outline of a pinwheel with directions on how to make it. Shortly his classmates sent to the front of the classroom and began singing. I asked him if he wanted to go. He just continued cutting out his pinwheel. The students were singing a song about the planets and making hand movements as they sang. I asked again and Nolen didn't say a word. Both boys were making pinwheels. After they cut them out they read the directions to pin it to a pencil. After it was pinned they could blow it and watch it spin. Nolens class performed songs about planets. Nolen had a headband with his favorite planet, Jupiter the largest planet in our solar system. It is made up of gases. It rotates the same way as the earth. About a half hour passed and Nolen and I walked to Edwards classroom and Nolen took grandpa back to his room. Edward was still coloring geiko on his pinwheel. Finally he completed his project and we tried many times to get the tack to keep the pinwheel in place. It kept falling off. We even tried to do it on the bottom of the eraser. It fell off again. The teacher announced that we were to put the pinwheels in the ground outside on the hill. Edward and Nolen took theirs out to the spot designated for the pinwheels and stuck them in the ground. They were so proud of their pinwheels. We hurriedly went to the car so we could avoid the rush of cars leaving the parking lot. About a half mile down the road we went to an ice cream store called Menchies. They have soft serve yogurt for .55 cents an ounce. The boys made their creation and ate them with haste. They must have enjoyed the glaciers they chose. We left there and found a pet store with lots of fun looking lizards, geckos, birds, hamsters etc. we got to pet them. We took lots of pictures of the different pets and then headed for their home."

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Growing up a Barnes Boy

These two... they are the best of friends!

2010
 2011
 2012

2013
 2014
 2015
 2016


I love watching them grow up playing together.  They are seriously the very best of friends. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

7.5 never looked so good...

This sweet little man is 7 and a half today!  He absolutely loves school this year and seems to be feeling a lot better about life.  Edward loves snakes, lizards, and bugs.  He has just started liking magic.  So cool!  
Edward is magnetic.  He has made new friends at school and has been excited to learn new things.  This last summer did magical things for Edward.  He loved swimming so much that we are putting him on the winter swim team.  This year in school, Edward is starting the cello.  He was so excited to get sized and pick it out.  
Edward has been very helpful with Nolen.  He has been so kind and generous with his toys.  They both play and play together.  
Today, I picked the boys up from school and we stopped by Hastings to pick out a book. Then we went to Dairy Queen and had an ice cream cone to celebrate 7 and half years of life.  
I love this boy.