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.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Decisions. You know, the tough ones.

Today I went to my second IEP meeting for Nolen.  IEP stands for Individual Education Plan, or something like that.  I have to say, it was terrible.  I cried.  I really cried.  Tears that have wanted to come out for months.  I cried.  I cried because I don't feel qualified to make decisions for little people who can't speak for themselves.  No, not because people were mean or because I didn't understand what they were saying, I would say, quite the opposite.  I completely understood what they were saying and they were extremely nice. 
Today is a day that I again HATE autism.  If you are reading this thinking, no she really doesn't mean that, YES, I do.  I do not like it.  I don't!  You can't make me.  This is the hardest trial I have ever been through. 
As a parent, we have to make decisions about our children's lives that may impact them for their entire life  How do I know what is right?  How does anyone else really know what is right?  Are we all just blindly stabbing in the dark at ideas we think we have spent time going over and over and over again only to find it was the wrong choice?  For those that believe in God, do you drop to your knees and pray for guidance, and if so, do you get an answer that is right?  For those that do not believe in a higher power, how do you find the right answer?  Through meticulous study and deep conversations with others and yourself? 
Today, I have to make a decision about Nolen's future.  Should he go to school?  Should he stay home?  Is he too little to be gone for 23 hours a week?  Is it a good fit?  Either way?  Am I a better teacher for him than a trained autism specialist at a school who is dealing with 8 other autistic children?  What do I do? How do I know if I make the right choice?  I wont see the consequences of the choice for years.  14 years, probably.
Is this the time old question humans have been asking themselves and haven't found the right answer?  Is there really such a thing as right?
I know this is more a theoretical question than just, "should I send my kid to preschool".  This is the ultimate question.  What is right and what is wrong?  In this case, the wrong answer could potentially put Nolen on a path of self destruction.  He could be lost in autism.
The right answer could have infinite possibilities.  So, what is right?
If you are reading this from a therapist, mother, father, grandfather, friend point of view, I really want to know what you believe the right choice will be for Nolen.  Would you send your soon to be 3 year old to a classroom or keep him home?  What are your thoughts on home school and disabilities?

*The mud pit

Monday, August 26, 2013

Just another day...

I have to say that my boys are actually playing together.  Like, really playing together!  It is amazing! They run around following each other doing things that I hoped they would do years ago.  This is how much ABA therapy has helped.  Nolen now understands how to "play".   Nolen follows Edward and doesn't just play next to him anymore, he plays with him!  This is a HUGE miracle.  These small steps give me a lot of hope for the future. 
Nolen still has a difficult time answering questions.  He doesn't understand that he needs to speak when someone is talking to him.  I get the feeling this may last a life time.  It will take a lot of training for him to understand the art of conversation.  I ask him every morning, "How was your night?"  Silence.  We still have a long way to go; however, I do see progress and that makes my heart happy.
My boys are healthy growing boys who love each other and I sure do love them!  They both got adorable (expensive) hair cuts the other day and they look more grown up and handsome. 

*As I was typing this, the boys made a mud pit.  More on that later.

Monday, August 19, 2013


Warning: This may be a picture overload as my 4 year old is adorable!

Seriously, Edward is adorable!
He loves life.
Edward is cantankerous, to say the least.
He loves preschool and playing with his friend Sapphire.
Edward is extremely kind to his brother, Nolen, and really seems to take the "big brother" role to heart.
He learned to swim this summer and loves to get in water any chance he gets.
He will eat any food from salmon to tacos to sushi.
Edward is an absolute joy to be around.  His attitude has changed tremendously in the last year.
Edward still loves Hot Wheels the most; however, he is starting to love Planes the Disney movie and can sometimes be seen playing with Thomas the Train.
Edward has started praying and wants to learn more about God.
He has started reading and can read three chapters in the "Dick and Jane" book.
Most of all, Edward is genuine.  He allows himself to feel every emotion and does not hold back in telling someone exactly how he feels.  He will tell you if you are wrong or right. Edward has a huge heart and tells me each night, "I love you, too, Mom". 
This little boy is so bright.  He can not be missed when he walks in to a room.
I love you my sweet Edward Forrest Barnes.
Happy 1/2 birthday!

Friday, August 16, 2013


Edward started preschool yesterday. I was not going to send Edward to school let alone preschool. However, last February, everything changed. I found out through Nolen's diagnosis that he would have to attend public school in order to receive therapy through the state.
I also found out he would have to start school when turned 3. That was another heartbreak. I wanted to homeschool both my boys and not until they turn 5. 
I had to come up with another plan. A friend told me about a preschool that allowed peer to peer tutoring. I signed Edward up for the same class that Nolen will attend in November. After waiting all summer to see if Edward got in the class, I found out a week before that Edward made it in the afternoon class. So, off he goes. Everyday to school to be there for his brother. A heavy burden to carry but I know he can do that for me. He can be with Nolen when I can not. My little boys are growing up. Love you sweet Edward. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Kingman in August

We took an unplanned trip to Kingman over the last week. It is always fun, overwhelming, and relaxing all at the same time. We really didn't do much but then again we did a lot. One week in pictures below.