Saturday, January 12, 2013


 I made a calendar for my parents for Christmas this year.  These are the pictures I chose from each month.  It's fun to look back at the whole year.




  It makes me feel good to be able to look back over the entire year and see that we were able to do so much.

Here are some more pictures from the last couple of months.

      Our poor girls had the stomach flu for Christmas.  Aydri had it Christmas Eve and Kendi had it Christmas day.  They were really good sports about it though.  I think I was more bummed about it than they were.  They were still excited for Santa.
     Kendi has asked a lot of questions about Santa Claus being real this year.  She reminds me of me when I was little.  I knew it wasn't logical, but it was still fun to believe.  I told her about how the Santa Claus Tradition started and that the tradition is real.  We decided together that whether or not he is real it's still fun to believe.  Kendi asked questions in front of Aydri and every time Aydri has responded, "Of coarse he real! Duh!"  They are so cute.

     Aydri has grown up so much throughout this whole year.  She joins in with Kendi's homeschool lessons most of the time.  We have included a lot of preschool for Aydri as well.  We've been using the Before-Five-in-a-Row curriculum with her.  Both of the girls love it.  We've modified the curriculum to fit into our homeschool days.  We read a classic children's book four days in a row (on the days we do preschool) and then do educational activities that have to do with things in the book.  It brings a lot of variety to our school days.  Aydri loves every part of learning.
     Aydri loves all things soft.  She insists on sleeping without clothes so that she can feel her favorite soft blankie as she sleeps.  If she has to wear clothes than she will pull her shirt up as high as she can so she can still feel her blanket.
     She also loves to give big hugs and kisses.  She is very physical and will climb up on people and drape herself on them.  She loves to be close.  She is very sweet and knows she can get anything if she talks in her sweet voice.  She also has a stubborn side and can get loud if she's frustrated.  I'm afraid we laugh at her too much because whether she is being sweet or loud it is very funny.  She also tries to negotiate when she wants something.  We have some funny conversations and she often surprises me with her logic.  She is so excited to finally be a sunbeam this year.

     Kendi is just as spunky and full of life as ever.  She has a lot of energy like her daddy and I have a hard time keeping up with them.  She is extremely bright and I love challenging her in school.  It is so rewarding to mentor a child who shows so much progress all the time.  My challenge is to keep her from getting bored.  Her favorite things to do are baking (especially mini cupcakes), reading to me, me reading classic chapter books to her, science experiments, art and anything new.  She says that when she grows up she wants to have a cupcake business with her sister and work from home to be with her kids.
     Kendi can bug her sister like no one else, but can also be very sweet and caring toward her.  I try to give the girls as much responsibility as they can handle and Kendi always rises to the challenge.  She takes good care of her sister when I need to take a nap or something.  She has a little bit of a shy side sometimes, but as long as we explain what is going on and that she can always ask us for help she is okay.

     I've been doing so much better with my health lately.  I found a naturophathic doctor that treats people for Adrenal Fatigue.  I feel the best that I've felt since we moved into our new house, full of fresh environmental toxins, a year and a half ago.  haha.  Adrenal Fatigue is also stress related so I've had to really buckle down and sort out all the things that wear me out on a daily basis.  Being diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue made me realize that it isn't normal to feel completely frazzled all the time and especially not show it.  And it's not healthy for you either.  It's okay to be happy.  People need to be happy.
     The treatments helped me reestablish my cortisol levels.  So instead of waking up feeling like a nauseous zombie and then not sleeping at night, I am wide awake with energy at 5 am and Jared says I still turn into a pumpkin at 7 pm.  I'm not much of a night owl, but I will take what I can get. I'm thrilled to have the energy to take care of my kids, get some housework done, play a little, have some hobbies and then sleep through the night.

     Jared started working full time a few months ago.  He was putting in extra hours anyway so now he gets paid for it. haha.  He loves his job and the company is great to work for.  They really appreciate him.  He recently received a generous recognition for his enthusiasm and for bringing new ideas to the team he works with.
     Jared is a really good sport about picking up my slack and forgiving my shortcomings.  He is always in a great mood.  He spoils me to death.  We feel so blessed to have the things we do and the means to get help with my health.  This year will be our ten year anniversary.  I swear we are not old enough to be saying that, but its what the calendar says.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Artwork by Jared Barnes

We have a new site up where you can buy religious art prints of Jared's artwork.  Go to to check it out.  Also, join the Artwork by Jared Barnes facebook page to find out about deals, promotions and exciting news about the artwork.  There is a sale running right now where you can get artwork for $1.  All the postcard size images and some larger images as well.  This is the last week.  Go check it out.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

One Last Hurrah!!

I'm sure this won't be our last hurrah, but we started school recently and fall is approaching.  Last week, we took the kids to Payson Lakes.  It was great fun!!  I'm ashamed to say that although my kids have been camping, we don't do it often.  They absolutely loved it.  Just last night Aydri told me that she was packing her bags to go camping again.

Despite Jared and I not getting a good nights rest because of the excessively hard ground, the kids slept like logs and woke up like happy little campers on the first morning.  We drove all the way to town the next day to buy an air mattress.  I think the older you get the harder it is to sleep on the ground.  I think my body is aged to about a ninety year old's.

 Kendi took pictures of us trying to cook breakfast over the fire. We had to figure out how to cook over the fire because our camp-stove wouldn't turn on.  Sometimes its easier to revert back to cave man ways rather than figure out new technology.  We were quite proud of ourselves for making an amazing breakfast of pancakes and bacon over the fire.  The only issue with campfire cooking was that the campground was picked clean of any wood that would burn. Not wanting to pay six dollars for one fire's worth of wood we started wearing an empty backpack on our trips to the lake and brought back wood with us.  For some reason we felt like we had to be sneaky about it.

We picked our campsite at random and ended up with what we thought was the nicest camp spot in the whole campground.  It was off the road more than the others and very shaded.  Our tent was back in the trees away from the fire.
Jared insisted on starting the fire like a cave man and I must admit I got a little impatient with him once.  We were HUNGRY!

There was a perfect little hike down the road called The Grotto.  We hiked about three quarters of a mile to a waterfall and then back.  This county is very different from what we are used to in Southern Utah.  It was beautiful and dense.  You could disappear very easily.

There were paths all through the little canyon we hiked up.  The girls always picked the path less taken.

 There were several bridges to cross.
 Aydri was very cautious and chose to crawl across the bridges.  She would say, "I am baby jaguar." And then when she would make it across she would make up a little theme song for herself and sing it at the top of her lungs.  She makes things fun.
 Kendi loved climbing up all the side-hills.  She spent a lot of time climbing from root to root.

We ate really well while camping.  Probably better than we eat at home.  hehe.

The lakes were small and there were lots of fisherman, but there was this little "beach" area for swimmers.  

 Kendi learned how to play Battleship while we were camping.  I don't even know how many times we played this everyday.  

Aydri put herself down for a nap in the tent one afternoon after swimming.

 There were actually paved hiking trails around the lake with old bridges that were fun for taking pictures.

We had lots of giggles over Kendi learning to blow bubbles with bubble gum.  She would grunt when she blew a big one and we would all turn and look just in time to see it pop on her face.  I think she had the skill mastered by the end of the camping trip.

The water was too low to jump off the pier and the pier looked a little rickety so we didn't stay on it very long.

As we were walking along the shore, all of a sudden, Aydri trudged out into the water with her shoes, socks and everything on.  We had a good laugh at that.
We really loved Payson Lakes and getting to know new mountains.  The kids cried the whole time we packed up camp to go home and we had to promise them we'd go camping again.  It was a great place to camp with little kids.