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.

Monday, July 21, 2014

I'm Santa!

While bathing this evening, Nolen swished around in the bubbles and put his face through the bubble path then said, "I'm Santa!"
I am unsure as to where he heard this idea (it's clearly not Christmas) and we haven't really ever talked about Santa at our house in the past, let alone during the month of July.  His vocabulary continues to amaze me daily!  He has changed so much in the last 3 months.  I almost have him completely potty trained!  He is talking, a lot!  He is understanding things and wants to break the rules more, just like a typical 3 year old!  I am so happy!  Slowly, but surely, Nolen is growing into a typically developing 3 year old.

Nolen's vitamin regime remains close to the same.  I have added a few things that may have lead to his burst in vocabulary.  I started giving him cysteine, an essential amino acid that helps detox the body by creating glutathione.  I ordered this from pure formulas.  So currently, Nolen takes a Fish oil complex, probiotics that contain almost all of the essential and non-essential amino acids, iron, a multi vitamin, vitamin C, Calcium, a stomach enzyme, taurine, and a vitamin b complex. 
He still receives 2 1/2 hours of ABA therapy 5 days a week and has been going to occupational therapy at Kid Power 2 times a week.  This summer I enrolled him in 2 classes a week of gymnastics and 2 rounds of city swim lessons that meet 4 days a week for 2 weeks each.  He also gets a private swim lesson once a week.
When is his down time?  He really doesn't have much.  He still takes a 2 hour nap daily and has been eating better and better.  Food will always be a struggle for Nolen.  He has yet to ever eat meat.  He has; however, put a chicken nugget in his mouth and licked a pepperoni.  One step at a time, I say. 
He has changed so much since my last update.  He talks in full, complete, well thought out sentences.  He still has major temper issues but we are working to over come that.  As I stated above, he is just ONE step away from pooping on the potty.  He is currently pooping with his pull-up on while sitting on the potty.  He amazes me each day with his ideas.  He wants to just talk a bed time rather than sing 10 songs.  He talks about all sorts of things.
Honestly, if you would have asked me a year and a half ago who I thought Nolen would be, I would have broken down in tears.  I NEVER imagined he would grow so fast in just a year and a half.  He is loved by all of his therapists and usually has a sweet demeanor.  I caution people to be aware and stay away from his bad side, because, let's face it, it's bad.
He has his very own primary teacher whom he adores!  He can now go to primary with very little coaxing and can make it the whole 2 hours!  Who is this kid? 
A lot of time and patience have been put into him this last year and a half  and I certainly haven't done it alone.  I am so grateful to my parents, Stephen's parents, therapists, primary teachers, coaches, and friends who have helped us get to this point. 
If you are in need of any ideas about treating autism, please email me.  I have taken a very natural approach to over coming some of the symptoms of autism. 
I love you, my sweet Nolen!

A Summer of Swimming

We have spent the entire summer at the pool.  I loved to swim as a kid and I really wanted to pass that love of the water on to my children.  So far, they love it!  Edward can actually swim this summer.  I am not so nervous to take him swimming any more. He can jump in to the deep end of the pool and safely swim to the other side.  He can almost dive in!  He loves to see how deep he can go and try to touch the bottom of the pool.  We have the BEST neighbor (yes, be jealous) who let's us swim in her pool.  My boys have LOVED IT!  We have done private swim lessons through a lady in our neighborhood and she has been AMAZING!  I can not say enough good stuff about her.  Edward and Nolen have gained essential confidence to help them swim and be comfortable in the water. 
We had two swim parties this year with the city swim lessons.  We look forward to the swim party all summer because the boys get to go down the slides as many times as they want.  Usually, parents can not catch kids or go down with them, so this is a real treat!


Saying Good-bye

Last week, Nolen's therapist, Amanda, moved away.  She has been with Nolen since last August.  We have loved having her come to our home every Wednesday and Thursday.  She has improved Nolen's communication skills and helped teach him to cope with different situations that arise.  I am so grateful to have met her and have gained so much wisdom and insight from her.  We will miss you, Amanda!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Week 4 of Livin' the dream

My mom and I went up to see The Impressario and Le Ressingnol at the Santa Fe opera and it was magical!

This is my pre wig and make-up face back stage at Santa Fe. 

My sweet boys have been having an awesome summer playing with grandma. They are the joys of my life. I am seriously so happy. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Dreaming of Santa Fe

Week three has offered more than I could possibly dream. We had all night rehearsals and our opening night and my Santa Fe opera debut was Saturday night. This experience is truly a dream come true. Years of hard work have started to pay off. 
We were told that we can not post any pictures of us or the stage until the end of the show in late august, so I guess I will just post a few abstract things that I took pictures of this week. 
Flowers and chocolate from my family in opening night!

This is Elizabeth Barnes and she really looks like a Barnes! She is E. Barnes and I am J. Barnes. 
The sunset on opening night. 
My niece Amanda has been here helping me with the boys for the last month. She has been funny, kind, helpful, and most of all respectful. I am also so grateful to her for giving up part of her summer to help me. 

We saw a fire truck parked at the mall. Always cool to see something we pretend play with up close and personal. 

Heading to the final dress rehearsal for fidelio. 
The love of my life turned 34 this week  and he looks hotter than ever in this picture!
And, of course, we spend our evenings catching toads!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Take me away Santa Fe! Week 2

This week has been magnificent! I have learned so much and feel so connected to the developing story line. The stage director is brilliant! He has a way of allowing us to feel with out over acting. It is breath taking. I have been walking off the stage shaking after each rehearsal. This experience is truly a dream come true. I am blessed!With Denise W. behind the set if Fidelio. 

This is what the set looks like from the back. 

The mountains behind the stage of the opera. 

Awesome military jeep driving on set. 

My mom and Amanda seeing their first opera at Santa Fe!

In the women's dressing room with my peach pants. 

I count my blessings every single day. I love the Santa Fe opera. 

Friday, July 4, 2014


There was a time when I couldn't play the radio loud enough, now I seek silence in even the most quiet places.