Wednesday, December 26, 2012

a very merry christmas

There are just too many things I want to remember from this year.  I can't possibly write about everything so I'm just going to record key words to help me remember.  This Christmas has probably been my favorite that I can remember since I was a little girl.  Each Christmas has something that makes is special and unique but this one was special because of my children.  I feel so blessed.  Jackson was old enough to remember things from previous years, anticipate it, and get really excited about it.  Because Jackson got excited without us telling him to be, Sam got really into it as well.  Of course, Eva was too little to know what was going on but just having her around helped contribute to the "family" feel of things.  Us Barnes' are growing in numbers.  It makes me happy to share time with and create traditions that will continue to unite and strengthen us for years to come.  I feel like this Christmas we enjoyed old traditions and started some that I hope we will keep up for years to come.

I want to remember... the advent calendar.  the little people nativity set.  sam being able to answer very basic "what is christmas about" questions.  the santa hats--both on heads and as decorations.  dr. seuss's The Grinch.  Jackson playing "Jingle Bells" in chords on the piano.  making the tongue sound after singing jingle bells like in the christmas story movie.  jackson looking through the toys catalog and circling almost everything--one time he actually exclaimed "wow, I want everything on this page!".  Sam looked at the same catalog and asked for 3 things, one of which he already had.  the reassurance we felt after deciding that we would give one toy and santa would give one toy.  wanting to buy every toy we saw.  buying grandma's gifts to the boys and santa's gifts on black friday online. standing in line at walmart for a new tv for mom and dad on black friday.  carts full of crock pots and tupperware clanging through the aisles.  the screams of shoppers trying to fight for their items when the sale started at 10pm.  rachel running out the door victoriously holding up her printer.  the christmas lights brent put up on our house.  the empty hooks left on our advent calendar as the days passed.  the oak ridge christmas parade with all of its candy glory and its meager "floats".  having the house really clean for Kate Blocher's baby shower.  moving the third couch into the living room and feeling like the room doubled in size.  muddy buddies in mason jars for friends/neighbor gifts.  when we felt like we were skimping sam, asked him what he wanted for christmas and he told us two things we were getting him...mater and a ride on a train.  sam changing his mind what he wanted for christmas 6 days before to a captain 'merica shield.  rejoicing when brent said ok to getting the 'merica shield.  jackson changing his mind of what to ask for santa to something we had already purchased.  super cleaning the house for my family to come up.  forgetting to buy food when my family came up.  going to dollywood. eva's "snow bunny" suit.  jackson seeing the tram and saying "well mom, i really thought there would be more rides than just this one."  realizing sam sulks when he's really cold. riding the train at dollywood and mom and i began to cry at the "magic."  proving to the family that carousels make adults sick.  brent and jackson in the bumper cars.  jackson and sam riding their first roller coaster.  the lights.  the lights. and more lights.  eating dinner at granny's all you can eat.  santa visiting our table.  feeling like dollywood at christmas should be a yearly tradition--it is amazing.  kissing brent in front of the dollywood sign.  sacrament before christmas meeting was  very spiritual--becca on the violin and the marlowe's singing.  sevierville condo.  sam and hannah tearing through every room exploring and climbing and laughing and jumping.   the aquarium.  the turtles and sharks swimming above us.  ice skating.  sam pushing his skating walker away and saying "i don't want to ice skate anymore" then quietly sulking the rest of the time.  jackson quickly getting back up every time he fell.  christmas eve dinner.  christmas eve singing and scriptures.  laughing with the boys watching home alone for the first time.  hurriedly putting out santa's cookies and rudolph's carrots. wrapping 15 individual hot wheels and 15 individual pairs of socks.  watching "It's a wonderful life" in color.  walking in the boys room christmas morning and them both immediately sitting straight up and saying "santa came" "Its christmas!".  Jacksons disappointment that santa gave socks, again.  sam hugging every gift he opened.  the victory jumping after every race on the hot wheels 6 lane raceway.  skyping with brittany.  watching bryant open his gifts on skype.  singing to sister flambers with the youth and trying to convince jackson that it was worthwhile.  watching a christmas story.  falling asleep on the couch as soon as the boys went to bed.  realizing i wasn't awake enough to drive home.  walking into the bonus room and finding them playing with their old toys.  building a car with jacksons lego city gift from grandma dee--so many tiny pieces!.  loading up the nerf guns and wanting nothing more than to start shooting the boys but i didn't.  pondering on my happy happy happy memories.  writing a blog that i'm sure is longer than what anybody wants to read but hopefully will help me remember another day.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

i'm so torn between whether i should record things on facebook or here.  more people see it on facebook and i like the validation that my kids are funny. but i feel like i will have the blog longer to go back and look at.  i could be wrong about that.  i will say.  when i think i'm going to post something on facebook i tend to remember the funny thing better.  here are a couple i've recently posted on facebook.

i caught myself saying "sam eat with your hands not with your... mouth."

sam was in the car and said "i'm singing in the rain"  i said wow sam i didn't know that song.  how did you know that and he said, "its raining.  i'm singing."

sam was whining that his tummy hurt and that he needed more candy.

sam put on a spider ring from the halloween bowl and started trying to bite it then said "i can't figure out how to eat this!"

so odd, that's a lot of sam.  normally its jackson that says that kinda stuff. i suppose the stages they're in are transitioning.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

i'm reading this book by jennifer fox called discovering your child's strengths.  there are so many things i want to remember.  i picked it up thinking it would be written more for a parent but i see now its written more for an educator but includes parents.   i am actually fine with that and kinda loving it more.  i really enjoy reading about educational theories and laws.  This book is interesting for so many reasons but something i read stuck out to me for a different reason all together.  she was addressing the adolescent rebellion and explaining why teenagers make the extreme choices they do.  she said "adolescents seek out powerful experiences to provide them with profound memories."  now she was trying to calm down the worried or angry parent or teacher for rule breaking or whatnot.  what i thought of though was my kids in youth.  i think about what my children will be doing when they're teenagers and how they will be different.  i think about what makes good kids from good families stay strong and what makes good kids from good families fall away from the church. i know that my children will make their own choices and that is their agency.  i also look for ways that i can have influence.  if i can understand and remember this principle maybe, just maybe, i can help my kids seek out powerful spiritual experiences to provide them with profound testimonies."  i know my father in law is down on things like efy.  i believe he calls it money changing in the temple or something.  but for me efy was one of many powerful spiritual experiences.  i felt genuinely and strongly moved by the spirit i felt there.  of course there are 1,001 free ways of creating and recognizing these powerful experiences as well.   oh i just pray that i can recognize the spoken and unspoken needs of my children.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

unspiritual moments

jackson was throwing a crying fit upstairs so brent went to go check it out while i waited downstairs with the sister missionaries.  they had just shared a spiritual thought about praying.  the sister missionary told a story about a stormy night when she said a prayer and felt better.

when brent asked jackson what was wrong he said "the hallway was dark and scary so i said a prayer BUT IT DIDN'T WORK!!"

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

jackson:  you're always in last place sam.
mom:  jackson i don't like mean talk.  tell him something good about him.  (multiple promptings.)
jackson:  sam you're so good i'm glad hot lava didn't lava you

parenting fail #11,242

Sam eats his boogers.

Come on Sam!!

That's gross.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

jackson 5.5

i miss you jackson.  i mean ive had a lot of one on one time with viva and sam since you went to school but im just giddy when you get off the bus.  when i see you sorta fall down the too big for you steps i think "funny how jackson is pretending to be a big kid"  but you are.  you're so smart and independent.  somebody once told me that parenthood is from the beginning, constantly letting go a little more and i've definitely had some hard lessons in that since kindergarten started.  i feel myself fighting urges of being a super hovering parent.  i really dont know how i'm doing.  i get so excited to go through your backpack for clues about youthtr day.  how much lunch you ate, what color on the discipline chart you were.  what your special activity of the day was.  i even bribed you with candy to be able to tell me the names of other kids in your class just to prove that you really were going and to see if you were making friends.  you are.  i get the feeling that everybyody wants to be your friend.  kylie, my spy, told her mom that she didn't sit next to you because other kids wanted to sit next to you at lunch.  yay said a helicopter mom internally.  i have so much confidence in your reading.  you always try new words everywhere you see.  it started hn dad had you read the last bit of scriptures.  i thought he was crazy but as you tried out words that wre obviously too hard for you you learned that sounding it out could get you pretty far and close.  somewhere in there are also started sounding out with your writing.  today, you wrote a thank you note to your teacher.  well dictated.  but at the end you drew a picture.  i went to put eva to bed but when i came back next to the picture you had written "me en u hot air buloon."  kindergarten?  what!?  thats amazing.  another trait of yours that i'm thankful for is your fear of being late for school.  you have little problem waking up early and hurrying to the door in order to be on time.  you'll fearfully ask when we back out "are we late?"  you have lots of things in common with your dad (that im very thankful for) but that is not one of them.  i remind you of the time but i never feel like i'm nagging you to hurry.  phew.  thanks.  you are so inquisitive and thoughtful.  on the way to school you told me you were excited to go to college to learn about those poles under the bridge. what!?  those rides in the morning when its just the two of us are the best.  we talk.  we talk about how pretty the sky is.  you ask me about math questions.  i thought who does this until brent confessed that he did as a kid too.  you're slightly obsessed with the concept of a google and googleplex.  i laugh when you talk about it with adults who don't even know what it is.  one day at fort sanders kids were playing with a ball on a parachute.  mr. jeff asked why the ball went down in the middle.  i'm not sure what he was expecting but you certainly stunned him when your answer was gravity. ahhh... the things curious george has taught you.  you certainly won a few people over at fort sanders.  they all considered you a leader.  i had never thought of that but you certainly are.  you have a natural yet not bossy way of leading people.  one day we were playing at the park.  you often went to build a bridge in the ditch.  on this particular day we'd gone with friends and i look up to see you as the head engineer.  at one point all seven of the kids were carrying one giant limb over to the "bridge" area.  happily working.  you've been trying to earn money for a while.  i would say its now been one year of saving for disneyworld.  it has made me and dad so grateful to see you so committed and diligent towards a distant goal.  we have bragged and will for a long time.  its just so important to learn to work for things that don't have immediate results.  i love that you seem to have taught yourself that.  you're good at toeaching yourself.  you can be particularly stubborn about doing things your way.  you dont like being told how to do things.  when i got so mad at you last summer about not doing what i wanted you to do to learn how to swim i quit.  i said fine.  i'm done.  then you taught yourself how to swim.  its that courage to try for yourself that gives you confidence.  yeah, sometimes you fail and you need people.  but you want to prove it to yourself first that you need people before you just toss your hands in the air and ask for help.  ive also been super impressed with your dedication to practicing the piano this year.  i was dreading, DREADING, this year because i knew that there would be significantly more practice time.  i know how you react to being told how to do something.  i was afraid of a daily fight.  not only have you been willing to practice but you've been doing really good and getting better everyday.  i can't believe how fast you've learned new skills and seemed to really enjoy the process.  as hard as its been to let you go this year, i think kindergarten's challenges have made you a happier person.  you're getting time away from me which unfortunately for me is a good thing for you.  you've been so successful at making friends, listening to your teacher and following rules (you seem to earn a star every day), and being more patient.  your siblings are obsessed with you and see you as the prize at the end of their day.  last night as you said your prayer you said "im thankful that i have a great family" and i just wanted to yell how thankful we were for you.  thank you thank you thank you for being so forgiving, and kind.  grandma jan told me once that she was impressed with your kindness.  you enjoy making other people happy.  you try to please them and be everybodys friend.  i love you.