Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

I hate to do our holiday greetings this way, but it's been a busy time (when isn't it). So I resolve to post our well wishes and updates on our blog, instead of not at all. I hope this makes it to most of you! This has been an interesting and full year. We have packed up and moved twice. First to an apartment in Plymouth and then to our first house in New Hope that we rent from some good friends. It sure is nice to live in a house with a yard and some extra space. Joseph loves his new school and teacher. And I have enjoyed helping in his classroom most weeks.

Our littlest girl Gretchen is 2 and far from a baby now. She talks all day long and says the funniest things. She is all about pretending now. It's fun to see her develop those skills and concepts. She love princesses, babies, fairies and anything her sister does. She is our dare devil who is afraid of nothing and will try most anything. She is such a joy to be with! We are working on potty training and hope it comes quickly.

Lorelei is so imaginative and kind! She also has a new school and is excited about kindergarten next year. Her teachers tell us how they love her and how they have to think of new things for her to do because she knows the things the other kids are learning. She loves to learn and is very inquisitive. She loves to tell stories and have stories told to her. Just ask Grandma G. At 4, she thinks she's 16. She has also suffered from chronic HIGH fevers and leg aches for the last 2+ years. She has seen a specialist this fall and winter. He has determined that it is all caused by her tonsils. He is still hoping she grows out of it, but we are doubtful. He has told us that we will remove her tonsils after the next fever or two. Something else to look forward to for 2009.

Joseph is a comedian as always. One of his prize presents this season was a joke book. When you see him ask him if he knows a good joke. He is very active and loves to make friends. He loves his Legos, and has MANY. He turned 7 this year and I can hardly believe I am the mother of a 7 year old. He loves his bike and scooter and looks forward to mastering roller skates. Thank goodness for helmets and knee pads. Oh, and the concept of spelling words out at home so the kids don't know what we talk about is over. Never-fail, he will blurt out whatever was spelled. I love that kid!

This year I got a new sewing machine (which I LOVE). I have had fun experimenting and making new things. I have become obsessed with following crafty blogs of people I don't know. I get lots of great ideas and it's fun to see what others make and the creativity of my other spirit sisters. I am busy with my work at church in the Relief Society, raising a family and trying to get my creative juices out. I hope 2009 brings a website and more exposure to the things I make so I can supplement our income and share the things I make with others out there. I have fun thinking of new things to make and am glad my family usually likes what I make too 'cause they get the prototypes. Then I figure out how to make them better.

Braden has been done with school now for a year and has been working for TCF Bank. While he still seeks a more fulfilling career, we are hopeful that it will come soon. Here's to 2009! I am grateful for all the hard work Braden gives our family, and remember those cold mornings when I used to wait in below 0 temps at the bus stop. He sacrifices a lot for our family. Two of my favorite things about my husband is when he teaches something to the kids. He is SUCH a good teacher. I also Love when he makes up a story or song. He usually lets the kids pick an object, or name of the character, to create the story and then the magic happens. And his stories always have a crazy twist or something. I keep telling him to write them down so I can illustrate them for the kids and we can tell them over & over.

2008 is nearly over, and I look forward to 2009. I enjoyed growing and learning with my wonderful family. I hope you had a good year and will have an even better year coming soon. I will add a photo when I get our family shots back.

Love the Barnharts
Braden, Tana, Joseph, Lorelei, & Gretchen (Gigi)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My 2 girlie girls

I have t he cutest girls (and boy but this post is about the girls)! They play so well together (most of the time). They both love to dress up and pretend. Grestchen's new thing is singing princess songs. Her favorite is "I'm wishing" from Snow White. She sings it over & over in that high voice like in the movie. We had to take her out at church last week because she wouldn't stop. It's adorable! Lorelei is into the princess or character of the moment. We went to the Lion the Witch & the Wardrobe last week at the Children's Theater, and she wants to act out her favorite scene's all day long. Here are the girls on day after their baths singing and dancing. And also sitting together just hanging out and being cute.

Joseph is 7 and sings publicly

Joseph turned 7 (a month ago) Happy Birthday Joe!! Just before winter break this year Joseph's school had a fundraiser at Barnes & Noble. They had the entire 1st grade sing some Christmas songs. It was pretty fun. Go Go Joe!

Ode to the "auntie under the blanket"

We said goodbye this week to one of the kids' Aunties (not by blood, but by spirit). Auntie Emily got a great job teaching nursing at BYU and just left us. We love her very much and will miss her. This was the day she said goodbye. Gigi had just woken from a nap and was NOT in a photo shoot mood. This is what she was doing while she refused to sit with Emily.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The coolest thing I've ever made!

This is what Gigi will open up on Christmas morning. I'm really excited about it and think it's most likely the coolest thing I've ever made. I follow several blogs of people I've never met, and have gotten LOTS of amazing ideas from them. But one of my problems is I can't do anything simple. I do things that are beyond my ability. Sometimes I do great and other times I just work my way through it. Knowing the way my kids play I didn't want to just iron on some window frames and use paints to fill in details so I appliqued the whole thing. Even adding some shading on the woodwork with different thread colors. I hand drew and planned out the whole thing (except for the basic shape and instructions for the frame - but I even changed that a little and made it bigger ect.). I was going for a family cottage in the woods. I wanted to try a german or European feel with the dark woodwork ect, but couldn't get it out except for the sides of the roof. I wanted animals and jewel toned fabrics. I used everything I already had. I had great plans to make awesome spool dolls representing our family and got 20% through and had to work on a ton of other stuff, so that will have to be a project for a different day. Anyway, enjoy. I hope my girls like it as much as I do. Here is a link to the site I got the directions from.

Here are shots of the sides and back. My shots look a little blurry 'cause there were kids trying to get in the door as I taking pictures. I had trouble with the gnome, but he's OK. I had grand ideas of tall flowers and or a laundry line, but I had trouble with execution and timelines. I just couldn't get the ideas from my head to the fabric. Don't get me wrong, I am pleased with the outcome, but when I vision something and can't get it out, I get disappointed. There's always next time.

Here is the interior. The walls look VERY blue, but it's really not overwhelming. The house comes with an indoor cat, a pet bird, a portrait or famous painting. I showed Braden and he said it looked a little barren inside. I immediately scrunched up my face and defended my work. Then I added an oval rug and a picnic blanket. I guess I could have added a fireplace or grandfather clock, but I ran out of time. Anyway I'm really pleased with my work and had a ton of fun with it! I don't know when I'll make another, but I have a ton of more ideas and things to try. Maybe a gingerbread house, or shop of some sort.