Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Weekend in New Mexico

First of all, I have ZERO business sitting down to blog right now. My house is a wreck and this is going to be a very busy end of the week/weekend. (More on that later on)

It feels like I've been away from my blog a lot longer than I have. That is because I have been across the country and back since I last posted. Most of you know I used to live in Albquerque, I'm sure. My very good friend, Meg(who still lives there), called me several weeks ago and said her husband would be out of town for a weekend and asked if maybe I would want to come stay with her while he was gone.

Here is why she didn't want to be by herself for a long weekend-She has a 3 year old, 18 mo. old, and a 4 mo. old!!!! I just thought I had my hands full. I haven't seen her in 2 years and have never met her youngest two (both little boys). When I left, she had her little girl(Kate), and I had Ellie and Luke. Since then, our crew has doubled in size. So we packed our bags and hopped on a plane. "We" is Ellie, so she could visit with Nana and Poppy (and was actually quite a bit of help on the plane ride), and Andrew, of course, because I'm still his main source of nourishment.

It was such craziness-but such fun! We took TONS of pictures. Meg has my dream camera. A Canon XSi-is that right, Meg? She has also has my dream mini-van. A Honda Odyssey. I never thought I would be dreaming about mini-vans, but it looks like the day has come. Anyway, here is just a glimpse of the fun had by all...or most, anyway. As you can imagine, the weekend was not without a meltdown or two.

This is Kate. She and Ellie became fast friends.

Although, here Kate doesn't seem so sure.

I think she thought I was okay after I brought her a giant cookie from Whole Foods.

Sidenote: As I was typing this, Luke just yelled from his bed and said he had to go potty. (For about the third time). I told him if there was no tee-tee, I would be very upset. There wasquite a bit and as he went he said "That tee-tee was saying "Let me out! Let me out!" Yes Luke, I guess you were right.

Okay, back to Albuquerque...

Andrew did really well. Of course, he had a lot of people to watch.

For example, their little dog, Buddy. Ellie is usually very scared of dogs (even little ones). But she got used to Buddy and I think she liked that she could tell him what to do and he obeyed her. I know she wishes Luke would do the same.

This is Kai. He is 18 months and you can't take your eyes off him for a second. Here I think he is messing with the gas lines or something.
This is what he looks like when he plays dress-up. Isn't he too cute?

This is the newest addition, Corban. He doesn't spend much time on the floor because I think Kai might try to sit or jump on him. He must have been asleep in this picture. He's a big boy. Andrew and Corban can wear the same clothes. He's a great baby! The Lord knew Meg needed that.

I miss the beautiful Albuquerque weather. We went out in the backyard one afternoon. I think this is the first time Andrew had ever sat on grass. He didn't know what to do with his feet.

Did I mention that when we lived there, our house was one block away from Meg and Matt's house? They could see our front door from their back. We also had the exact same floor plan. (There are a lot of the same floor plans in that neighborhood.) I had a lot of deja vu moments. It tugs at my heart to think about our time there. We made so many memories and I brought two of my babies home from the hospital to that house. Here is a picture of Ellie when she was 10 months old, sitting in the grass, just one block away.

Time flies. Meg said it best-The days go by slowly, but the years go by fast.

It really was so great to go back and visit that which used to be my world. As with any place, there are things I miss and things I don't. There were a few things I "needed" to do while I was there. Eat some of the incredibly delicious, make your mouth water, (and eyes) chips and salsa, chicken quesadillas, (with guacamole, sour cream, and green chile). And for dessert, sopapillas (sp?) with honey. I thought I would never crave some of those things when I first moved there, but I have been thinking of ways that I could get one of those meals shipped right to my door. It was just as good as I had imagined.

Meg and I had a wonderful time, even though we were often yelling over children's voices. When things finally settled down at night and all was quiet, except for the hum of like four monitors, we kept thinking we heard a baby. I would say, is that yours? No, I think that's yours. We took them all out to eat one day and I'm not sure if people thought they were cute or we were just plain crazy. Maybe both. I would say the trip was a success. I even drug her into the blogworld. Check it out here. Thanks Wayne and Diana and Matt and Meg for the fun visit!

Now we are heading into Halloween weekend. Plus a tiny little shower for Laura Beth to welcome her new baby boy. (At my house-yikes!) So I have lots to do. I don't think piles of clothes on the couch is exactly the kind of thing guests want to see at a baby shower. I can't to see everyone's pictures from Halloween weekend...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Scary! (not a Halloween post)

We had quite a scare this morning. Here is what happened...

Steven takes Ellie and Luke to school every morning (Tues, Wed, & Thurs) on his way to work. This morning we were running a little late (as usual). I was helping them get out the door with Andrew on my hip. Steven had already turned the car on, and Ellie and Luke were buckled in the back. I walked back to the garage and realized the door was locked. I ran back to get Steven so I wouldn't be locked out of the house. He hopped out of the car and came to unlock the door. He was in the garage, I was standing on the driveway and I turned to see the car rolling off the driveway into the yard. I, of course, start screaming my head off "HURRY!!" -I think that is what I kept screaming. (kind of a blur) Steven makes a mad dash for the car, which at this point is past the yard, going downhill into the extreme weeded area, and quickly headed for the steep drop off which leads into a ravine-type thing (I guess that's what it's called-but I think you get the picture). Somehow-or because God sent His angels-Steven was able to get into the driver's seat and put his foot on the brake. Here are the pictures so you can get a better idea:

The driveway where the car started.

Where it ended up and where Steven was able to jump in.

This is how far the car was from the drop off.
The car might have been stopped by a tree? Not really sure.

Looking down the hill.

Looking back up towards the house.

So, there is Steven's ugly brown thing that I mentioned recently in a post. It's old, so when Steven pulled the keys out without putting the car in park, it let him, unlike a newer car.

So, from the time I saw the car moving until Steven was able to get in and stop it, the time that elapsed was probably about 5 seconds. It felt like 5 minutes (or longer). Ellie and Luke were definitely screaming and traumatized for a little while. But after we calmed down and they calmed down and I hugged and kissed their faces A LOT and stopped to thank the Lord for His grace and mercy(and haven't stopped all day long), I took them to school. They were eager to tell their friends and teachers about how daddy's car went "into the woods".

Steven stayed home to take care of getting the car out of the weeds/woods. I was sad Luke had to miss out on this. It was like a real-life Mater.

The tow guy (is that what they're called?) asked me if Steven was in trouble. You may be asking the same question. I couldn't get mad at him because...a very similar thing happened to me about two years ago. I think it was before my bloglife began, but I do have pictures. Wanna see?

No, this is not our house, this was our neighbor's house when we were living in a rental house. I managed to run the car into the side of their house. Thankfully, they go to our church and were very gracious about it, even though they had just painted the siding. I was not in the car, I was running beside it, trying to jump in-unsuccessfully, I might add. Are you wondering how this happened? I will swallow my pride and tell you. I was checking the mail and a spider jumped into my lap. I jumped out of the car. It went through the ditch, through a bush and into the house. Now you know why I had to keep my mouth shut today.

All day we have been saying, what if, what if? It could have been so much worse. It makes me wonder how many things God withholds from us during a day's time. Who knows why He allowed this to happen and did not allow something much worse to happen. Why did He choose to be merciful towards us? We don't know the mind of God, but we are so grateful tonight that He protected our family.

I don't want to be too dramatic, but Steven went to the visitation tonight for a man that has just passed away. And what he said when he got home is so very true. This life ends. It is fleeting. O Lord, may we lives our lives for the eternal, with our eyes fixed on the hope that is in Christ!

"Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away." James 4:14

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fun Fall Weekend

We have had a JAM-packed weekend full of fall festivities, and for extra fun Andrew and I have had a cold. I was starting to wonder when I would get one. I was due for a good one. But you know, moms don't get to call in sick. So we forged ahead as planned.

We asked for some fall weather, and we got it. It has been super cold around here. We have almost gone through an entire box of hot chocolate in the last two days.

So Saturday we bundled up and went to a fall party that one of my friends gives every year. It's when the weather really gets cold that you realize the clothing items that your children still need. For example, Luke has only his crocs and tennis shoes(that are pretty much too small). We have to stand him up and pretty much jump so he can get his heel into the shoe. And Ellie doesn't have a very warm jacket. But she does have a really, really cute hat. So I tried to take their picture before we left and this is what happened.

Ellie posing and making faces as usual... (Sorry for the extreme bluriness)

Then I ask Luke to scoot in so I can get both of them, but Ellie doesn't like that he is moving in on her photo shoot.

And finally, this is what we ended up with...

Then later this afternoon, our church had a fabulous fall festival out at the Brattons' gorgeous home. I'll have to admit, when I put Andrew down for a nap after church, I desperately wanted to crawl into bed with him (he fell asleep and I laid him down on our bed) and not get up for a really long time. But in spite of the cold (weather and illness), it really was a blast. The children's director put it together and had thought of everything. Ellie and Luke loved it, and did not want to leave even after over 3 hours of fall fun and quickly dropping temperatures.

Games and activities for everyone...

This is Ella Rose(left)-Luke's BFF from school and church. And Ellie's friend, Caitlin, on the right painting a pumpkin.

Luke and Dad doing the bean bag toss.

Lily Grace showing off her face painting.

Some of the cutest pumpkins you've ever seen.

And I'm not just talking about the kind you carve. Couldn't you just eat these two up? This is Shaw, Lily Grace's little brother. He is about six weeks younger than Andrew. They played a game too. It is called "who can get the can of puffs and keep it the longest." Shaw won.

Andrew says, "That's okay, maybe next year."

This is the "stuff the scarecrow as fast as you can" game. Each Sunday school class had a "volunteer". Gregory (Shaw and Lily Grace's other brother) was the 4-5 yr. old scarecrow. There was, of course, delicious food. The kind where you go back and eat more until you wish you hadn't. But because of my cold, I don't feel like I really enjoyed it too much. Sad.

Some of the adult scarecrows. Not as cute as a four year old scarecrow.
We had a hayride, marshmallow roast, and story time for the kids. But because it was getting so late and freezing, we opted out of the marshmallow roast and story, thus the meltdowns.
It was so much get in the car and turn the heat on!

This is completely unrelated to the previous post, but I have to share one last thing...Luke slept with me the other night and after I had already fallen asleep, he woke me up asking me why my legs were sharp. I was thinking, because I am sick, have three kids and didn't feel like shaving my legs. Then last night he woke at about 5 a.m. and we moved him to our bed. Steven said he scooted away from me saying, "I don't want to sleep next to mom-her legs are sharp". How funny.

Well, goodnight, I am going to go blow my nose and go to bed.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Long Day

Thanks for being excited with me about the swing. I was going to paint it today, but it rained a lot. My friend, Jodie, said she is having trouble reading my new font. If anyone else is, please do let me know. Don't want to cause any unnecessary eye strain. But I know a lot of people do google reader.

So today has been an exceptionally crazy day for the Barber family. If you came to my house tonight you would think Steven and I had been sitting on our rears all day while the kids ran wild doing whatever they pleased. This is mainly due to Ellie's "cooking", which I will get to in a minute.

I mentioned several weeks ago that since Luke turned three, he has become especially whiny and has many more meltdowns than what seems normal for him. It is not uncommon for him to be sobbing all of a sudden over something completely irrational. Which is exactly what happened today coming out of Wal-Mart. Or actually, it started in the check out line when he saw his new underwear being scanned. We still can't figure out what made him start sobbing, because normally you would think new Toy Story underwear would make a 3-yr. old boy excited. But all we could make out in between sobs was "buzz witeyear", and "woody". Handing him the underwear didn't help at all. It just made him more upset, because he couldn't get it folded back exactly the way it was in the package. He sobbed the entire ride home. And would say things like, "I'm so sad it's not my birthday" and "can I pwease get woody and buzz for my birthday" Of course, we said "sure, Luke" since his birthday is almost an entire year away. And through the sobs, he says "Thanks mom, thanks dad". When he receives any type of toy, or anything, such as the underwear, that comes in a package, he becomes almost more obsessed with the package. He gets very upset if the object won't go back exactly like it came. He wanted the underwear rolled up and taped, just like they were to begin with. Obsessive-compulsive?

He requires lots and lots of patience from me these days. And not because he is stubborn, but because he will repeat a question over and over and over in the same monotonous tone until it is answered. And since there are normally a thousand things going on at once and several different voices wanting to be heard, his question doesn't register in my head until the second, or third time. But he just keeps asking it until he gets his answer. Bless him. He kills me. Often, when I am not as patient, and I cross his sensitive line, his face breaks and he sobs, "I'm sorry, mom. It was my fault." He makes me melt.

While Luke has been having a rough time, Ellie has been doing really well lately. She truly is a help to me a lot of the time. She is always very eager to help and the other day she fed Andrew his breakfast completely on her own. I was like, "wow, this is good." She gets very busy pretending and playing. Super creative. And I think I have talked about her "pies" before. Today she was making a cake. And it was in a shoebox. When she makes food, it makes such an incredible mess. But it's fairly easy to clean up and she is so serious about it, so usually, I just let her cook. Sometimes the cakes and pies go in the oven and often into the fridge. I'm afraid one of these days I will pre-heat the oven and smell cardboard burning, or worse. Here is her cake chillin' in our fridge.

Does the Nike shoebox look out of place?

Here is the school situation. I'm not sure what's going on, but I think she has set out something for each student in her class.

We have been discussing Halloween costumes for a little while now. Luke said he wanted to be Dash from The Incredibles. He loves the movie. We have been told he looks like a Pixar character, in particular, Dash. We've looked around some on E-Bay, but tonight Steven found a Dash costume at CVS that was really on sale. So we spent the last 30 min. or so before they went to bed, playing dress up with Luke. We even put some hair gel in his hair to make it look like the real deal, but we'll save that for later. Here is a little preview:

Pretty close, don't you think?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Happy Anniversary

To us. Steven and me, that is. We got married 7 years ago yesterday. We have recently listened to the first two cd's in a series on marriage by Tim Keller. They are excellent. He makes the comment in one that one night he was going to bed after a long, hard day of marriage. haha! Some days are like that, aren't they? But he also talks about in a later sermon (I have listened to them all-Steven and I are now listening to them together) that marriage is meant to make us holy, and if we are usable, God will use us to make each other more into the image of Christ. I probably completely botched up what Tim Keller really says, but you get the picture.

He also says that we are to ever so gently, in love, reprove each other. This is where I fail miserably. I am not super sensitive and I can point out Steven's flaws in a second. He has flaws and goodness knows I have mine. But we choose to love even when it seems hard and we are in a covenant relationship. I am so thankful that God allowed me to marry a man who knows what this means and the seriousness of it. I am also so very thankful that he loves and has a passion for God's Word. That he loves our children and they have a Godly father to influence and play that crucial role in their lives. I am blessed.

We have some very dear friends, Ben and Esther, who so graciously allowed us to celebrate by going out to dinner in Huntsville. It was a treat, for sure. They don't have any children (as of yet) and when we got back I asked them if they had changed their mind about having any:) I think for the most part things went well. I know it sounds like we're becoming party animals and leaving our kids with sitters all the time, but this was very rare, really. I think things will be back to normal for awhile now.

Like I said, I'm very thankful for my husband, but I am about to share a few superficial things that I am very thankful for as well.

First....MY SWING! Can you hear my excitement?

Now picture it painted black and hopefully distressed a little, with a few decorative pillows. And not sitting on the garage floor, but hanging here:

Call it an anniversary gift, call it the fall weather just pushed us over the edge, but we bit the bullet. There is a man that lives not too far from here who makes swings and rockers. I hope some rockers will take their place on the other end of the porch at some point in the future.

I also bit the bullet and bought this:

Our dinners were starting to burn and stick to the old pan that you see on the left. I got it when we got married, so it's, well, 7 years old. It has served us well. It didn't take much convincing for Steven to be okay with this purchase. He's not much for burnt dinners.

And finally, my pansies. This is more of a happy thank a thankful. They just make me happy.
The orange is my favorite!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Gorgeous Saturday

If you're not on Google Reader, you will notice that I changed the title of my blog. I have a header over at scrapblog that I have ready to insert, but for the life of me cannot figure out how to do it. It makes me so very incredibly frustrated. I have given up until I can find someone with a bit more computer knowledge to help me. Any volunteers?

We are eating up this fall weather. Last Friday, we went to our homecoming parade. There were floats, candy, firetrucks, homecoming court, the whole nine yards. Ellie and Luke were a bit hot and tired of waiting for the parade to actually get there, but I think they would both say a bag full of candy was well worth the wait.

Steven headed off to the Georgia game today. And so while the Dawgs are hunkerin' down against LSU, we are hunkerin' down here at the house (he took the van and it's quite a feat to get all three into the back of his little ol' Subaru). Yes, Steven drives an ugly (don't know the year), little brown thing. We are not car people. Not that we wouldn't love something luxurious and big and new, we just would much rather spend our money on other things.

Anyway, the porch needed some attention (cobwebs and spiders are about to wrap up our entire house). So we got all "fixed up"-Luke especially :)-, and headed outside to soak up the weather and make our porch a bit more "fallish". One thing I love, love about my husband is, although he couldn't care less about his car looking good (inside or out!)-he does care about the house looking good. Yesterday he said, "Have you seen all those mums for sale in the parking lot at Piggly Wiggly? Aren't they beautiful?" I had already been thinking of ways I could spend less on groceries so that I could take a few home. He said, "Let's get some today." You got it. That's all he needed to say and I packed up all three and drove straight to the Big Pig.

I also swung by the produce stand and picked up a white pumpkin. Love it! I plan to paint a lantern on it and carve out the middle of the lantern so a candle will shine through. (Saw it in an old Country Living magazine). Ellie and Luke each picked out a few little pumpkins. The grapevine wreaths have gone back up with some new ribbon thanks to mom who picked some up for me yesterday.

The finished product

I'm not going to lie, even with the gorgeous fall weather, it's been a long day here with three. Andrew is very fussy-still no teeth-and Luke's whiny phase is still in full swing. I have a treat waiting for me tonight, though. I have been invited to go watch the Auburn/Tennessee game over at our good friends', the Brattons. Ellie and Luke are staying with a baby-sitter and I am taking Andrew along with a pack-n-play so I can put him down when he has had enough of the game. This is actually our first hired baby-sitter since we've been in Albuquerque. We are very fortunate to have always lived in the same town with grandparents. But my parents are going to watch the game as well, thus the baby-sitter. I'm hoping it will go well. She is a wonderful girl who goes to our church and Ellie and Luke adore her. It should be a fun night. Hope the Tigers do well! War Eagle!