Thursday, December 25, 2008

Catch up

I'm going to post about a few things because I forgot to post some pics of recent events. First, Thanksgiving weekend. We went to San Diego for Tommy's wedding and had a good time seeing everyone there. Erin did my hair while I was there and it turned out great. She just trimmed my hair, so the style wasn't different, but she did some highlights and I thought they turned out great. The best part? It was FREE!



Tommy & Lauren. Aren't they so cute?

Next was Kurtis' 7th birthday. I know, it is hard to believe that he is 7. He has such a sweet spirit and is such a tender-hearted child. I don't know what we would do without him in our family! Kurtis wanted to go to IHOP for his birthday dinner so we braved the snow storm and went out to dinner and he got to open his presents at IHOP and our waitress even gave him a free sundae! Does life get any better? I don't think so. We had a good time and according to him it was the "best birthday of his life!"

Lastly is Christmas. We sure did have a good one. The Sunday before Christmas we did our Secret Santa delivery to a family in our ward who was in need. It was a great family night. Kurtis and Jake did the drop and hauled it back to the car. Then we sang Christmas Carols in the car on the way home while looking at Christmas lights in the neighborhoods around our house. Then Christmas Eve I made a turkey dinner. We had some good friends over with their kids and we all had a good time. After dinner we played games and then dressed the kids up to recreate the Christmas story. Even though Sean was dressed as the angel, he was a mean one. He kept pushing the shepard out of the way, grabbing at her head covering and when my friend put him up on the chair to declare glad tidings to the shepard, he whacked her on top of the head. We all started cracking up at that point. The kids were really cute.
Sean - the angel

Meghan - the shepard with her "flock" Bear-Bear & Puppy

Kurtis - Joseph

Micayla - Mary

Ryan(Micayla's Dad) - Donkey

Jacob - The Narrator

The baby Jesus (yes, those are pink pjs)

Declaring good tidings of great joy! (Before he hit her. Maybe he was trying to get her attention.)

The shepard coming to see the newborn King.

Then Christmas morning came. I woke up with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for what I have been given. I have a wonderful life. I have an amazing husband and beautiful children who love me. My husband has been blessed with a good job so I can stay home with our kids. I have a Heavenly Father and Savior who love me so much and give me more than I deserve. I am so grateful for all that I have been given. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I look forward to reading all about them!

Me and my boys!

Kurtis & me out in front of the movie theatre. We went and saw Bedtime Stories. It was really cute! Thank you Grandma Shiela for the scarf, gloves and hat. I love them!

With all our love to you and yours,

The Barnums

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Shoveling snow and RUDE nieghbors!

I awoke to a winter wonderland this morning. Last night's storm had left a 2 foot blanket of lovely snow. All ready and waiting to be shoveled. My chivalrous husband graciously left the shoveling to me this morning as he was in a hurry to get to work and, hey he was using the 4 wheel drive vehicle, so shovel shmovel. I knew I had to do it sooner or later. With a snow day called Kurtis and Sean were home with me today. Kurtis was watching cartoons and Sean was still sleeping. I figured now was my chance. I donned my snow boots(thank you mom), gloves, and marshmallow-like snow coat over my pjs and opened the garage door. I grabbed the shovel, it's handle familiar to my hands since I had just shoveled last night. I began. At first it was just powder and was coming up easily, until I hit ice. CURSES! This was going to be harder than I thought. I threw my back and arms into every thrust and every toss. Our driveway was becoming more visible, but my resolve was fading. Maybe I should wait to shovel. No, that would mean more work later! I had to press on. As my work became more intense, my glasses fogged up making it difficult to see. I was sweating underneath my layers and I was getting hot. I threw my hair up into a ponytail and pinned back my bangs. I took my glasses off as well as my hood to let myself breathe. "I can do this!" I told myself. At this point my neighbor came out and started shoveling his drive. I paused to catch my breath and glanced at his driveway. INCONCEIVABLE! His was perfectly shoveled and I was not even half done! I would not allow myself to be defeated in such a way. I had to finish it now! I couldn't give up! Finally I began to see the end of my back breaking(literally) labor. It was beautiful, and it was mine! I had done it, me, Me, ME! No one could steal my glory now! Snow you will not triumph over me I say! I looked over my work and saw that it was good.

Now onto the interesting part of my day. Kurtis had been playing outside in our front yard and had just come in for a time. A boy from down the street came over asking if Kurtis could play. I told him he could play out front. Kurtis opened the garage and started to put on all of his snow gear. I then heard a knock on the door leading from my garage to my kitchen. I thought it was Kurtis. I went over and opened the door and there stood a tall woman with darker hair and she looked very unhappy. I pleasantly greeted the woman and this is what she said to me,
"I live across the way, and last winter this kid,"she gestured toward Kurtis' friend, "used our snow banks to sled on and he completely ruined our snow banks. I don't want to see any children from THIS house on MY property for the entire winter." I then said, "First of all that child,"gesturing to the friend,"isn't mine, this one is,"pointing to Kurtis,"and second I would be more that happy to keep my children off of your property." She replied,"Good. Then turned and walked away." I was FLOORED! I thought for sure this woman could not be a mother. You just would not speak to another mother that way. Especially one that you didn't even know and had never met before! I was sitting in the house stewing about what I should do. The Frank Browning in me would have said to the woman after her rant, "Oh, well then I will just unleash these children on your property in the spring." But I knew that would have made it worse. I was cursing the woman in my head and then realized she had made a huge assumption and acted on it in the worst way. And we all know what they say about assuming. Except in this instance she had only made an ass of herself. Well I took Sean out front with the other boys because I had to shovel yet again. I saw this same woman shoveling her drive a few houses down. It was all I could do to go over and rip her a new one. Then I realized I should, "kill her with kindness" I know that is so cliche, but it worked. I grabbed an extra loaf of banana bread out of the pantry, licked the top of it and wrapped it back up. NO, I'm just kidding I didn't do that! But I did get the loaf and took it over to her. I told her that I was sorry that that was the way that we had to meet and that I would be sure to keep Kurtis off her property. Then I see she has a little boy who was only a little older than Sean! As I continued to talk to her I come to find out, she doesn't even KNOW who had been sledding on her snow bank last year because they never caught the kid(s). I can't say for sure it wasn't Kurtis, but I had talked to him before about staying off other people's property and he was very good about staying only in yards of people he knew. The fact that she didn't even know who had been sledding on her snow banks made me all the more appalled and made her look even more foolish. All I know is, if this woman comes to my home again accusing Kurtis of any wrong doing, I will ask, "Did you see him do it?" and if the answer is no, she will get the door slammed in her face. Would that be wrong? What do you think?

Monday, December 15, 2008

I'm a mean mom!

Having children that speak is a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing because you can finally understand what they are saying and it's a curse because you can finally understand what they are saying and some times they just won't shut up!

About 6 months ago I was in Old Navy with Kurtis to pick up some clothes. Before going there I had bought a treat for Kurtis that he could have as a snack later. Before entering the store I went through the usual expectations. "Don't run, don't hide in the clothes, stay with me, don't ask for anything and listen to mom." You would think he had this down.

This is how it went once we got inside the store. "Kurtis, stay with me! Kurtis put that down! Kurtis stop rolling around on the floor! Kurtis stop that! Kurtis, where are you? Stop it, STOP it, STOP IT! Kurtis stop running! No you can't have that! Get over here NOW!"

At this point Sean was screaming because he was hungry and tired and I was on the brink of insanity. Finally, I got so fed up with Kurtis that I said, "Kurtis that is it, you can't have your snack." With desperation in his voice and his eyes brimming with tears, he cried, "NO! Mom, please, just give me one more chance PLEASE!" To which I simply stated, "Nope." "BUT MOM! PLEASE JUST ONE MORE CHANCE!" "I already gave you lots of chances, the answer is still no."

The scene continued to unravel in the dressing room as his desperation turned to anger. As I left the dressing room, I handed the bewildered dressing room attendant the clothes I had brought in. I looked at her frightened eyes as she watched Kurtis' melt down and I said, "I'm a mean mom." Kurtis cried as he left the dressing rooms, "You are mom, you REALLY are!"
I turned my head away so he would not see me laugh. A laugh would surely add insult to injury.

So, it's official, I'm a mean mom! Isn't it great?

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Here is our fun movie-going group! From left to right is: Carrie Meredith, Me, Brieanne Martin, Rebecca McCaleb and Tiana Williams. We went to the 10:20 showing last night and we had to wait in line for an hour outside in 40 degree weather! Yeah it was cold! But luckily we got great seats in the theatre so it was worth it!

Rebecca was wearing the cutest jean jacket! The picture doesn't do it justice! When I commented on her jacket, she just laughed and said she had a great story about it. The story was too funny not to share. So Rebecca went to a garage sale and was looking at buying a couple of bikes for her boys. She then saw this cute jacket. She asked the guy about it and he said it belonged to his 14 year-old daughter. The girl said that she would sell it to Rebecca for a buck! So, of course, Rebecca bought it. She brought the jacket home and noticed that it smelled funny so she decided to wash it. After washing it, she took another whiff to be sure the smell was gone. Then she realized that it still smelled and the smell was marajuana. The smell was coming from one of the pockets and Rebecca reached in the pocket and when she pulled her hand out, she had a hand full of marajuana leaves! So she got a REALLY good deal on the jacket! Ha Ha! We were telling her whenever she is having a stressful day all she has to do is sniff that jacket to mellow out!

I love my friends! They are so much fun! We talked and laughed the whole time we were waiting. It was a great Girls Night Out!

I give it 3 1/2 stars!

I went to go see Twilight last night with some friends. I was satisfied and disappointed at the same time. I was actually surprised about how much I liked who they chose to play certain characters. With the exception of Eric. Hello? He was WAY too pretty! He's supposed to be some chess geek with acne, not some good looking kid who is head of the school newspaper! Also Bella was just a little too sure of herself and composed in places where she should have been falling apart. Other than that I liked all the characters. There were some really good scenes too. For example, when Edward and Bella have their first kiss. If that doesn't get your heart going then check your pulse! It made me want to go home and make out with my husband like that! I also thought the first time you see the Cullens in the movie was more dramatic than the book.
I was disappointed how they over developed the threat of other vampires in the area and did not develop the characters themselves and their relationships with each other, like the friendship between Bella and Alice. I am trying not to give things away, but I was very disappointed at the lack of character development. They tried to cram everything in toward the end so it felt rushed and was not as suspenseful as the book was. You will miss a lot if you have not read the book before going to see this movie.
Would I recommend this movie? Yes, but only if you've read the book because there will be too much that you won't understand. Would I go see it again? Yes, because let's face it, Robert Pattinson is HOT in this movie! Will I buy the DVD when it comes out? Yes, because I won't be able to help myself.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I'm a bad person!

I was going through previous posts and realized that I never posted pictures of Jake's surprise birthday party. He was totally surprised and believe me, it was hard to keep it a secret. I could NEVER have pulled it off without Lynne and Alli's help! I know I said it before, but thank you again! Jake was so surprised!

Melinda, Erin, Rachel and Me

Whoa! Blurry picture of Jake! 29 candles! Someone call the fire dept!

Visiting and eating cake.


Having fun in the spa!
Thank you to everyone that came! Jake had such a great time and I know it was because he got to see so many of our friends and family that we have missed so much!

2 new recipes!

I know, it is unbelievable that I would post 2 new recipes, but I have. So check it out!

The Deer Farm

Petting the goat.

Kurtis feeding the deer.

Sean feeding the deer.

Kurtis and mom in front of the camel. Thank goodness he didn't spit at us!

Yesterday, Jacob finally had a few hours off work. Yes, I did say hours. He hasn't had a full day off for the past 3 weeks! Insane, and it's not going to get any better until he leaves to go to CA on Wed. the 26th. So we took those few hours and went to the Deer Farm in Williams, AZ. We fed the deer, saw goats, buffalo, camels, peacocks and a bunch of other animals. The boys had a great time. Sean loved walking around and looking at all the animals and petting them. And according to Kurtis, yesterday was, "The best day of my life!" So it was a good day!

Saturday, November 8, 2008


So some of you know that I have been taking Reliv nutritional products for my MS. I have had great success using these products and most days I am symptom free. Today Reliv just announced a new product that has gone through numberous clinical trials to make sure it does what they say it does. The new product is called glucaffect. It has been proven to help those with diabetes, insulin resistence, metabolic syndrome and obesity! During the clinical trials those given Glucaffect saw a reduction in blood glucose levels by up to 30% after only 8 weeks! Users also saw significant wieght loss, up to 15 pounds lost in 8 weeks! Can we say "Whoa!"? I am so excited about this product! If any of you would like more information for you or a loved one about this product or about Reliv in general, leave your comments and I will get back with you as soon as I can!
PS. Don't be surprised if I call to tell you about it! This is so amazing that everyone needs to hear about it!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Kurtis was Raphael this year!

Sean was the cutest monkey! He really is a monkey, so mischeveous and he climbs anything and everything! He looks so cute!

This Halloween I was the scariest thing I could think of. I was an NAU student! AHHHHHHHH! No really, in all seriousness I loved going to school, but it was so stressful that I am not anxious to return. However, my voice teacher is trying to talk me into doing my Masters. I know I want to, but not now.

Start Commenting Already!!!!!

I know I don't post on my blog very often anymore and the reason is simple. I hardly ever get comments, so that makes me think that no one is reading the blog. So, for those of you who bug me about posting more on my blog, why don't you show me you are reading it and I'll be happy to post more! Okay, I just had to get that off my chest. I'm better now! :)

Okay, I'm pathetic!

So I finally relented and read the Twilight books. Oh my GOSH! So good! I read them all in about 5 days. I am now waiting on the edge of my seat for the first movie to come out. Although I already know that I won't like it as much as the book. There is something about reading, for me, that takes me to another place. I can see and feel what is happening and a movie just cannot, for time constraints, include the kind of detail that I see in my mind. That being said, I will go see it anyway, and when it comes out on DVD I'll buy it because I have become addicted. So, it's official, I'm pathetic.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Last recipe

I posted my last recipe on my cooking website, if anyone is interested.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Family Pics

When we visited CA in July for Stu's wedding we had family pictures done at the beach. Here are some candid shots from when we were there.

Kissin' cousins
Yummy sand!
Sean LOVED the water even though it was FREEZING!
Now, it looks like he's throwing a fit, but he was rolling in the sand.
What are you lookin' at?!

Lava Tubes

Cute baby!
Dirty car picture!
Dirty car from the huge puddle!
Big fat heavy baby on my back!
Inside the tube!

We live near dormant volcanos and so we have some really neat geological features near us. One is a lava flow tube. This is the coolest place!!! You hike down about 100 feet into this lava flow cave. The cave is a 3/4 mile long. The whole time you are walking through a tube of solidified lava. It is really cool! It had been monsooning a few days before so there was a HUGE puddle so Jake couldn't resist using our 4 wheel drive.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

We're still here!

So I thought I would finally post to let you all know that we have not fallen off the face of the earth. We are all alive and well.

Jacob is still working hard at Purina and is still the best husband and father. He loves playing with the boys and is so supportive of me and everything I do.

Jessica is doing really well. She has been taking some new nutritional supplements that have really been helping her manage her MS. She feels really great. She is taking voice lessons again and is so glad to be back doing music. Her teacher is having her try some graduate level pieces so she is hoping she is up for the challenge.

Kurtis is now in 1st grade and continues to love school. He is so smart and just loves learning. He has started piano lessons and is improving. He doesn't like practicing so much, but mom made him a special practicing chart and so now he is more motivated to practice. He has even practiced without mom reminding him. He loves playing with his brother and is a great big brother.

Sean continues to be as cute as can be. He is starting to say more words. He seems to be able to communicate with mom better, which helps everyone be happy. He loves playing outside. Mom has caught him outside in the backyard sitting in the dirty, freezing, rain water in the kiddie pool. He just felt like playing in the water. So what that the water is freezing and dirty. He is so fun. However, mom can't wait until he is old enough to go into nursery so she can enjoy church again, instead of walking the halls the whole time.

I think that is just about it for us this time. I will try to post more often. We love you all.

Jessica, Jake, Kurtis and Sean.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Check it Out!

I just posted a new recipe on my other blog. Hope you like it!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

"If you have any poo fling it now!"

That was exactly the phrase that came to mind when I opened the door to Sean's room a couple of days ago. Sean's gotten into the nasty habit of taking off his diaper in the morning. Well this particular morning he took off his diaper and then pooped in his crib. He then proceeded to smear the poop all over his crib and throw it on the carpet below. When I came in it was EVERYWHERE! Needless to say the first thing he got that day was a bath! For the first time I was thankful for my sinus infection and I couldn't smell anything. That was probably the most disgusting thing I have ever had my children do. What a stinker, literally!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Cough Balls & Yogurt

Kurtis has had a cold that he is getting over and he had a nasty cough that came with it. I told him every time he coughs and something comes up to spit it out and not swallow it again. Well he had swimming lessons yesterday and at the end of swimming lessons this is what he tells me.

"Mom I had cough balls when I was swimming, but I couldn't spit them out, so I had to swallow them."

I just started cracking up. Then later on that day the boys were having yogurt for a snack. Kurtis watched Ni-Hao Kailan earlier that day and in the show they taught the Chinese word for snow. So this is the conversation we had,

"Mom, how do you say yogurt in Chinese?"
"I have no idea."
"Yeah, me too."

And that was it. So if you know the Chinese word for yogurt leave a comment so I can pass it on to Kurtis.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

New recipe!

Check out for a new recipe that will be in my cookbook!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

New pictures!

So I took the boys to get some pictures taken for Sean's 1st birthday, I know it's late, and to get some updated photos of Kurtis and because I wanted to give Jake a nice picture for Father's Day. Sean did surprisingly well. He only lasted about 20 minutes, but we got some great shots in those 20 minutes. Hope you like them.

Kindergarten Graduation!

Kurtis just graduated from kindergarten. I can't believe that he will be going into first grade. He has learned so much I was so proud of him. He had a little speaking part at his graduation when he talked about what they learned this year. While Jake and I were filming him and taking his picture during the ceremony he kept looking over at us and trying not to smile and look too proud of himself. He was so cute!
Smiling big, ready for my part!
Singing a fun song.
With his teacher, Mrs. Roberts.
With Mom.
With Dad.