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?