Monday, December 15, 2014

Barnes Christmas Letter

Hello Friends and Family -  - last year I didn't get the chance to send out cards and barely managed to this year - and even so only a few were printed because yikes! that is expensive! i usually DIY them but decided to check one item off my list without a big production involved. I am saving my energies mainly this advent on our Jesse Tree lessons. Every day in advent we read a story in the Bible and by the end of Advent we will have gone through the story of the Bible up to Jesus' resurrection. We try to do every day, but in reality it is more like every other day - so I like to make it special and have an activity that corresponds, or a coloring page. This year some highlights have been...a rainbow pillow the boys made by cutting felt rainbow pieces and pinning them on a background (Bryson helped sew his!)...the boys re-enacted the story of Joseph getting sold by his brothers (complete with sword fight) and then Joseph forgiving them later...we made gingerbread Jerichos after learning about Joshua and Jericho (they used their halloween candy to decorate, ha!). I really enjoy doing this for them because I am hoping it counter-acts all the shiny stuff and remains the consistent background to their Christmas. So that is where a lot of my energies go during the holidays and I am very satisfied with that...however, some of the other little things get left behind. I love sending out cards and newsletters - it is great for me to re-cap our year - and I love the chance to reach out to people that maybe I don't get the chance to as often as I would like. So - here is a little recap of our year by the people in our family:

Bryan - Bryan has been keeping busy as the main coach in the family - he helps out with all the sports activity in this house (which is a BIG job) - he has helped with all the team sports for Bodie and Bryson - basketball, baseball, soccer and golf. He spent a lot of his time working with Bryson and getting him ready for Pinehurst. Being a caddy to Bryson is not an easy job...and Bryan handles it so well - I admire his patience and his love for his son. His main goal is to make sure the boys LOVE golf - I am sure it is partially selfish because he wants to be able to play with them when they are older - ha! Bryan also booked a GM/Credit card commercial (you can see it here if you haven't yet) - it has been a while since he booked one that actually aired - so we are of course thrilled about it!

Carlee - For me, I decided to stop doing Zoodies this year. I have been trying to sew other things and also to not do anything unless the creative bug hits me and that has been nice. I also decided to home school Bryson so for the past 4 months that is where a lot of my effort has been going. I had to shift my work schedule and it has been challenging - i went from 3 days in the office to needing to make up those extra hours kind of has me constantly behind. Things are a little easier now that the winter has hit finally here...but I am consistently playing catch up. I felt the shift this year in raising kids go from baby/toddler to carpool stage. We traded in our stroller for a wagon...which you can find filled with either beach stuff or sports equipment. I find myself in that paradigm shift and trying to find my new normal. Trying to be okay with not having babies anymore and trying to find the joy in the team sports practices and games. I did not grow up doing sports so this is a new experience for me and I am learning how to love it. I recently had a conversation with a mom who expressed her sadness of her 17 year old possibly moving out and one thing she was going to miss the most was the conversation in the I have been trying to be intentional about turning off my radio in the car and start talking. I also took some golf lessons with Bryson to try to get better because I know this is a way to hang out with my boys when they get older.

Bryson - Bryson had quite an amazing year in golf. He scored high enough to be accepted to the Pinehurst Jr. World Championship and came in at T63. He has worked tirelessly this year to prepare for the tournament...on top of everything else too. He is a very competitive person and also has the drive and focus to do what it takes to get there...not to mention the raw talent that doesn't hurt either. I never had that passion or that is exciting to see it in him. Right now he is taking a break from golf - he says that he wants to do it in the spring, but we will see. He is also enjoying homeschool. I think he likes that it doesn't take as long and that we do a lot of stuff outdoors. This kid needs to be moving ALL the TIME.

Bodie - Bodie did T-ball for the first time this year and just finished soccer. He has his first basketball game next week. He also has been golfing with Dad at Heartwell and made 2 birdies!! He is such an athlete and he loves every sport. Whatever one his is in is his favorite. He started Kindergarten and has the same teacher Bryson did and we love her. He has been struggling a little...but every time there is something that needs to improve- he works extra hard. I am so proud of him.

Bobby - Bobby is wanting so bad to join his brothers on their teams. He will be on Bodie's T-ball team next year and we are excited that he is able to do that! His thing right now is skateboarding and Grandpa and Grandma got him a skateboard for Christmas and he learned how to do an ollie yesterday and he is just giving me heart attacks right and left. He is such a silly sweet boy and still just exudes joy to everyone around him.

We also experienced tremendous loss this year. My Grandpa Wally went to be with the Lord - as did Bryan's Grandma Pearl and his Auntie Tang. They are in our hearts every day.

I have been trying to update on the boys in this blog - you can see the rest of the year in more detail if you scroll down. I hope you are well and you can find joy and peace in this Advent season. Here is to the year to come!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Barnes Boys - Where They At?

Dern it! I was doing so good...alas...the last time we were together in this space it was is it already DECEMBER??? so insane. so let's see...

In October we spent a weekend in San Diego and had a bit of a family reunion - so much fun! Here is a coveted picture of the boys and the Waffle King - the restaurant was in a Travel Lodge and it was so packed they put us in the overflow restaurant, which was the Mexican Restaurant also in the travel lodge - so not only were we eating waffles in a travel lodge...we also had the lingering smells of nacho cheese in the air...classic. The family went on a sailboat ride and then later had a bonfire with pizza and s'mores. The next day we all met up with my Grandma June at Jolly Rogers. It was so great being able to connect with everyone over the course of a couple of days - not the pressure of an evening like we normally would on a holiday. Big fan of those family reunions...especially ones that include a waffle king and a bonfire!!

Halloween - gone are the cute costume days - now everyone wants to either be scary or dangerous. So we had a zombie, Karate Kid and a bat - i was a little under-inspired this year. I dont know if it is from making zoodies for so long, or what it is, but Halloween does not thrill me anymore! i think my problem is that i start thinking about it too late...get all these great ideas...with no time to see it through...then go through their costume bin last minute and see what i can find! it is more important to me that my boys dress up on a regular basis than on that ONE DAY of the year...i dunno. that was kinda debbie downer on Halloween...but it's where i am at. so there you go.

My birthday! In November I turned an age I had so long ago thought meant you were "old" and "uncool" - look at how i proved myself wrong! I successfully stretched my birthday out this year - threw a fabulous party with my friend Becky, went on an amazing horseback ride up and around the Los Angeles mountains and also happened to land my book club meeting on my birthday and so i happened to have around 10 amazing women in my home on my birthday - so much fun! I am mostly bummed it is December because that means i can't milk my birthday anymore.

Bryson's Birthday - we spent Bryson's birthday in Monterey for his very last golf tournament of the year. He didn't play as well as he hoped (we were insanely proud of him) so that was a bit of a bummer- he placed 13th of 23 kids - but this was an invitational - so it was a huge thing to just be invited! Monterey was so gorgeous and Bob and Kathy joined us and made it extra special. We went to the most amazing sea food place...Phil's? Nick's? it is in the docks and you order and then sit down and you have to get there before 5 because the line is bananas...i think its Phil's...ill have to ask Bob for you. either way - just go there to that place. bryson had clams, clam chowder, crab meat - insanely good - all of it! 

Bryson's homeschooling is going well too! we have been trying to explore as much as possible and i can already see such a change in him on what learning is and opportunities to learn. i never thought i would get such a kick out of watching him learn...i was too scared about how i would do teaching. I do have plans to get him assessed though at the mid-mark- i want to know if i am "doing it right" - I can't help but be a little nervous that this is too easy? 

Bodie Bear! Bodie is so funny - he is such a different learner/student than Bryson - he is sounding out words and sounds all the time - he really gets serious about his homework - he is done with his homework homework in like 5 minutes, but it is not enough, so almost every day i make up stuff...which is like the exact opposite of bryson i could just laugh. he is loving his teacher and has made quite a few friends in the class. 

Oh Bobby - just as sweet as ever. This kid LOVES his mama! he is going through a major mommy phase right now...which of course i am loving every bit of it - the narcissist i am...but also it really breaks my heart when he cries when i go in the office...i don't suffer mom guilt all that much (yet i am sure) but for sure when that happens...ugh...i feel like i am harming my child and psychologically torturing them....then i remember bodie and bryson both did this too and they arent all too damaged (yet i am sure) - anyway - i think that about wraps it up for this go round- hoping to pop in here a little more regularly - i do so love documenting these guys and their shenanigans!