Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas Recap

No more pictures of Christmas, but I wanted to share what else we did. We left Jim and Aimee's house and headed North to my parents' house. They gave the girls dresses and Bo a handsome outfit from Old Navy. Justin and I got Visa gift cards and Texas Roadhouse gift cards. YUMMMYYYYY!!! We hung out they for the rest of the day and then at around 7:00 headed to my brother, John's house to play games. It was really bad weather, but I made Justin stay. We ended up driving home in a blizzard. The on ramp to the freeway wasn't plowed, so we had to plow through about 6 inches of snow in the minivan! AAAHHH!!! It was freaky! We made it home alright, but it wasn't without worry. We had a wonderufl Christmas and have spent every night since partying late into the night. I am so grateful for this time of year. I love spending every minute with my family and friends. I am grateful for my Savior, without whom, I would be lost. I am so grateful for my loving family and especially for my AWESOME husband. I am so blessed with my four BEAUTIFUL children. I love them with everything I have. They are perfect! Thanks for everything! You all ROCK!

Christmas Morning with the Barbers

After we finished at our house, we headed over to Jim and Aimee's for the Barber Christmas party. We always have breakfast and then open presents. This year the rule was "Homemade Gifts." So, here are a few pictures of us receiving gifts.

Mike made Justin this awesome fishing lamp. Yeah, I know! I totally thought they bought it! But, Mike made it by himself! Justin LOVES it!

Judd gave Bo a book and a blanket that he tied. Bo loves the new book and tries out all of the different ways that animals say goodnight whenever we read it! Thanks Judd!

Austin made Allison this "treasure box." It's enraved with an "A" for Allison! Inside was a kit to make some necklaces. She loves it. Thanks Austin!

Josh made Rachel a box, too. Her's had some teething rings in it. She has put them to good use. Thanks Josh!

Marianne got a "treasure box" from Kyle, too. Her's was pink with "M" on the top. She, too, got a jewlery making kit. She loves them both! Thanks Kyle!
I always love Christmas morning with the Barbers! It's such a fun start to a long day! This year, because the gifst were supposed to be homemade, I ended up doing it all, which was fun. We gave Joe a pair of pj pants, Cami, Sadie and Aubry got bracelets, Austin got a picture of his dog, Macy and some dog pj pants, and Brigham got BYU jammies and a BYU fleece blanket that I blanket stitched around. This year, I LOVED giving!

Christmas Morning

Let me begin by saying that I HATE that when you upload photos on Blogger, they get all out of order. I usually take the time to put them back in the order I had them, but I have too much to post, so bear with me!

I got up at 7:00 to jump in the shower and get ready before the kids woke 8:30! My parents, Dan and Lisa came to our house, too. My mom said that our kids are just fun to watch open their presents. They are getting to be at the perfect age! So, here are just a FEW of the pictures we got of Christmas morning.

Marianne checking out the stockings before we headed downstairs to open gifts.

Bo sorting through his stocking. He got some Matchbox cars along with all the junk. We really try no to go overboard on the candy. We do mostly crackers, juice, fruit, but we always throw in some chocolate for good measure.

The kids got a Little Tykes kitchen for Christmas. It is probably their favorite gift and it was free! Thanks Mike and Amy!

Allison going through her stocking. The girls got little gumball machines from the big man.

Opening gifts. Bo got this hammer and peg set from Justin and Bo DID NOT want to let it go. I felt bad that everytime he opened a present, we would just take it away and make him open another one. Word to the wise: have your kids open the boring stuff first. The clothes I got him were not near as exciting as the toys he got!

Here is Bo after we took his toys away to "make" him open more. He has been doing this "It's the end of the world" routine for some time now. I think it's adorable!

Rachel opening one of her few gifts. What do you get a 6 month old for Christmas?
We had a great morning. Here's what everyone got:
Justin: Electric Guitar Amp, BYU football, Monopoly, John Grisham book, socks
Joann: Mountain bike, pedicure kit, Glenn Beck's "An Unlikely Mormon" DVD
Marianne: Clothes, games, camera, "Horton Hears a Who," socks, underwear
Allison: Clothes, games, camera, "Wall-E," socks, underwear
Bo: Hammer and pegs, Matchbox rescue station, games, socks (I WISH underwear!)
Rachel: Clothes, toys

Christmas Eve

Every Christmas Eve we have a few traditions. Luckily we get to spend it with just our little family. I love that! We gave the kids a bath and let them put on their new jammies. Then, we headed downstairs to watch the original "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" while we wrapped presents for our family and friends. After "The Grinch" we sang some Christmas carols while Justin played his guitar. I love this part the most, especially now that the girls are getting old enough to sing with us. It is one of the few times every year that I get to hear Justin play his guitar that I got him for our first Christmas together. Then, we put the kids to bed and stayed up watching "A Christmas Story" while we wrapped the rest of the presents. We finished at about 12:30 am. Not too shabby, huh? I love our Christmas Eve traditions!

Marianne, Justin, Rachel, Allison, Bo and Joann in our Christmas jammies.

Arrington Family Christmas Party

My family's party was on the night of the 23rd. We had Bryan and Becky's family and got them "Family Feud" and lots of candy. My big sister Sharon and her family had us. They gave the girls a basket full of dress up clothes (totally awesome!), Bo some hacky-sac type sports balls, and Rachel a cute little outfit. I wanted to share the outfit that Rachel got. I love it!

When I showed my mom she said, "I don't think that's very funny." I guess it hit a little too close to home for her! Ha!


I know, I know! It's been almost a month since I last posted. Justin has given me a little grief, but I say, "It's his blog, too!" Anyway, here is what we have been up to for the past few weeks!

Allison's preschool program was on December 19th. Her teacher (Justin's sister, Jeri) asked the girls and me to sing "When Christmas Comes to Town." Allison had never sung it in front of a crowd, so I was a little worried about her. I basically thought she would just stand there while Marianne sang their part by herself. Well, such was NOT the case. Alli got ahold of that microphone and WOULD NOT let it go. Marianne and I had to practically yank it out of her hands. You can see that from this picture. Another funny thing is that I messed up on the words in one part. Of course, Marianne knows the song better than I do, so instead of just letting people think that I was doing great, she sat there and shook her head and practically shouting, "No! No! That's wrong!" Yeah, thanks, sis!

Marianne TRYING to share the microphone with Allison.

I put Justin's little brother, Joe in charge of our camera. I was pretty much counting on having one of these photos of his cute family! We love you Brigham, Lizzy and Uncle Joey.

Next was Santa's lap. Bo DID NOT enjoy himself!

Marianne, ever the big girl, couldn't wait to tell Santa what she wanted!

Allison, however, would just get close enough to whisper that she wanted a "present" for Christmas. I love this picture!

Thanks to Mrs. Eggett for being such a great teacher (and sister, and aunt, and friend etc....) We love you!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What's a Mother to Do?

Yesterday, Marianne had a little friend over to play after school. While they were playing, I heard Marianne use the Lord's name in vain. You know the one...the one kids hear EVERYWHERE; "Oh my".....yeah, that one. Well, the first time I heard it, I wasn't positive that that is what had come out of her mouth, so I put it to the back of my mind. Well, the girls were cleaning up the playroom before her friend was about to leave and she said it again. This time there was no mistaking it. So, I quietly told her that we don't say that. Then, after her friend left, I told her that we only talk about Heavenly Father in a nice way and we only use his name when we are talking to Him or about Him in a nice way. I told her that we don't use Heavenly Father's name when we are angry or frustrated, the way other people do. She seemed genuinely sorry that she had said it and said she was sorry. I told her that if I ever heard her saying it again she would get her mouth washed out with soap. So, tonight, we were brushing teeth before bedtime and she said it again. The thing that bothers me, is that it almost seemed like a habit. She just said it so flippantly. How long have I been missing this? Anyway, I took her downstairs to the only bathroom in our house that has a BAR of soap and Justin helped me wash her little mouth out with it. She wouldn't open her mouth, so I basically ended up making her bite it. Yuck! She was crying and crying and my heart was breaking! When we were done, I had Justin try to explain to her why we don't use that phrase; why we don't use our Father's name like that. She continued to sob all the way to her bed. Well, when she got to her bed, she didn't want to say her prayers. I told her that she needed to tell Heavenly Father that she was sorry for using His name the way she did. She just cried and cried and didn't want to have to say her prayers. I was really struggling to keep it together at this point. I told her that she would feel much better after saying she was sorry. I told her that Heavenly Father wants us to be happy and that if we choose the right, we will be. But, using His name the way she did was not something he wants us to do, so she needs to tell Him that she is sorry. How do you explain forgiveness to a four-year-old? Well, after about five minutes of coaxing, I finally got her to say a prayer. She asked Him for the things she needed; to be safe, to have fun, to sleep well etc. Then, I helped her to tell Him that she was sorry for using His name "mean." When she got to this part she could barely speak through her sobbing. I could completely tell that she felt sorry for what she had done. She asked Him to help her to not do it again then closed her prayer. It took everything I had to not break down into tears. I never want to see her hurt like that again! What am I going to do if and when she makes worse choices and makes bigger mistakes? How will I help her to understand the beauty of the Atonement? How will I help her to understand that Heavenly Father loves her no matter what she does? Tonight, I had a very eye-opening experience. It made me realize that no matter what I teach my children, in the end, they will make their own choices and all I can do is love them and try to help them understand that our Father in Heaven loves them as well. It made me realize that repentance is not easy. Sometimes it is difficult to tell our Father in Heaven that we are sorry. But, if we can do it, we will be happy.
After Marianne finished her prayer, I laid by her for a few minutes. I told her that sometimes she does things that make me angry or upset, but that I will ALWAYS love her. No matter what! I think if I can help her understand that, I have begun to be a good parent. If I can help her to understand that whatever she does, that just like me, our Heavenly Father will love her unconditionally, I am doing even better. I pray every day for the strength to be a better parent and for my children to know that I love them and that our Father loves them. I only pray, now, that that is enough to carry them through and help them to overcome those trials, large and small, because right now, that's all I can do.

Friday, November 21, 2008

All I Want For Christmas is a New Vacuum

I have always thought that THE worst possible gift to give a woman on any occasion, whether it be her birthday, anniversary, Christmas etc, would be a vacuum. Well, I am officially changing my opinion. After months of vacuuming with a vacuum that gets clogged at least three times while I vacuum my house, I am asking for one for Christmas. Now, some of you may argue my opinion, stating that a vacuum should be a purchase for the entire family, but I will share with you my argument.
I am the only one that vacuums at my house. I am NOT complaining. My husbnad works very hard at his job and this is the life that I have chosen; to stay home with my beautiful children and keep a home neat and tidy. Well, I am a woman that is easily frustrated, so when I have to declog the "joints" in my vacuum after each room is clean, I get very frustrated; mumbling under my breath, snapping at my innocent children, and slamming the vaccum down as hard as I possible can to get whatever is clogging it out. So, needless to say, I am NOT a happy mommy, let alone a happy camper. If I had a vacuum that worked, just think of the frustration that would be absent from my otherwise perfect life! I would be happier. Plain and simple. Also, I would have more time to spend doting on my sweet children, which I love to do. How, you ask? Well, instead of taking me 30 minutes to vacuum the house, plus the 20 minutes I spend cleaning it out, I would be done vacuuming in less than half an hour, with a brand new vacuum. What would I do with all of that extra time each week? Oh, one can dream, right? So, if you still think that asking for a vacuum for Christmas or any other special occassion where gifts are involved, please, by all means come and vacuum at my house, with my vacuum just once. I promise you, that is all it will take. So, for anyone that has an opposing opinion, I welcome your thoughts on the subject. If you agree with me, please, I am begging you, plead with my husband to give me the gift that keeps on giving...a new vacuum. Thank you, and goodnight!

(p.s. Yes, this post was written immediately after an hour of vacuuming just the UPSTAIRS of my house! Urgh!)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Not a political blog

This is not a political blog, and will not be used as one in the future. However, I'm so frustrated with how far away we seem to be getting from the Constitution and our founding fathers that I want to share just one thing. This is a quote from Samuel Adams, and it perfectly sums up how I feel, and how I wish our politicians would act. Feel free to comment if you would like, but I promise this will be the only political-ish post on this blog:

"If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”—Samuel Adams

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Well, Halloween came and went, and boy, was it fun! This year I made the kids costumes (again) and they were Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I have to say, I think they turned out fantastically! Here's how our day went!

Marianne was Goldilocks, of course. I was able to take Bo and Rachel to Marianne's school for the last 15 minutes to watch her Halloween program. Here she is with her class marching around the table in a "Costume Parade."

Marianne singing a few Halloween songs with some of the kids in her class. Everyone sang, but I spared you on the pleathura of pictures I took. They were so cute!

Marianne posing before school. Look how beautiful her curls are. I wish they would have stayed all day, but as you will see in later pictures, it just didn't.

Here's Golidocks and the Three Bears on Grandma's front lawn. Allison was Mama Bear, Bo was Papa Bear and Rachel was the Itty Bitty Baby Bear. Cute, huh?

Here's all the kids with their Daddy at his work. The kids got to trick-or-treat around the cubicles at Justin's work and they LOVED it! Everyone there thought they were adorable, too. Well, of course!

Rachel posing at Justin's work. Isn't she the most adorable Baby Bear you've ever seen?

Allison loved spinning on the chairs at Justin's office. What a sweet Mama Bear!

Marianne hiding under one of the desks. Notice how flat her curls were by the time we got to Justin's work. If anyone has any suggestions on how to get ringlets to stay, I would love you for it! She is still the prettiest Goldilocks on the planet!

Bo hiding in his make-shift cave under a desk at Justin's work. I have to say that the dark brown costume made his eyes look so amazing. I love my little Papa Bear!
We had a great Halloween. We started out going to Justin's office and showing off the cuties there. Then we headed to my parents' house to have some yummy soup and get some great big treats. We then headed to our own neighborhood to do some trick-or-treating. Our bishop's wife and another mom were making homemade donuts with hot cider. Another couple of families had a grim-reaper rigged to fly across the street to scare people. One of our Rock Band buddies had his garage transformed into a haunted house with smoke and scary music. Justin's brother and sis-in-law had goodies and Rock Band all night at their house, too. It was a fun night, but when Justin and I got home and put the kids to bed around 9:00, we wanted to stay up and watch a movie. We got one started but neither of us made it through. Halloween wore us OUT!!! But, is was a ton of fun! See all you ghosts and goblins next year!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I Want This!!!

Since Rachel came along, I have felt that my house is not nearly as clean as it was when I had only three kids to chase around. So, I found this doormat on the blog of on of my new "Pigs and Ponies" followers. I totally need it! Although, I think the picture would be more believable on MY front porch, as it is covered in dirt, spiders, prickers, leaves etc. etc. etc...

Monday, October 13, 2008

You're Killing Me!

Allison is at that stage where she says so many funny things. I made the mistake of not writing down all the funny things Marianne has said over her four years, and I don't want to do that again. So, thanks to blogging, I am sharing those "funnies" with all of you and getting them documented at the same time!

Today, while Marianne was at school, I was playing with Allison. She wanted to cut out some circles she had colored at school, so she grabbed the small scissors and started cutting. Well, she is only three, as you know, and the paper kept shifting so her circles were more like squares (or something?). She growled and said, "These scissors are killing me!" I asked her what she meant and she said, "Them aren't listening to me!" Ha! What a nut!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fabulous Giveaway!!!

If you have little girls, you need to know about this. There are a whole bunch of "Hair" giveaways going on right now, but if you love me, you will go HERE and enter to win $25 gift cerificate to "All Things Ribbon" and tell her I sent you. There are some unbelievably fabulous things there like bows, headbands and the most beautiful little girl dresses you have ever seen. Her prices are so fantastic that $25 is going to get you A LOT! Good luck!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Bo Bo Bo-dee-o BO

I know that everyone knows it, but I just love this little guy. He has a part of my heart that I never knew I had and I can't imagine life without him! He is such a little tease and he LOVES water. One of his favorite things to do it take whatever sippy cup he has and shake it until the water (or something worse) empties onto the floor, or couch, or table, or bed, or... So the other day we at aunt Aimee's house again and we borrowed a sippy cup for some water. Well, Bo made his way around the corner, where we couldn't see him and basically emptied out the red sippy cup he had. Stinker! So, we made him clean it up. Which he thought was the coolest thing ever! What a sweetheart!

Bo shows off his mess-maker!

Bo cleaning up after himself. Cute little bum, huh?

So, then yesterday when I was getting the tub ready for the three big kids, I had filled the tub and was getting their clothes and diapers ready before I got Bo in. Well, apparently I wasn't fast enough for him and he decided to climb in by himself. I had no camera because Justin had unknowingly taken it to work in the van. So, thankfully, Aimee lives close enough for me to call and ask her how fast she can be at my house with her camera. She got here in time to take these (and more) cute pictures of Bo in the tub...fully clothed! How can you possibly get angry at that ADORABLE face?!?!

Bo thinks he's the "stuff" because everyone is laughing at him.

Bo stading in the tub, soaked from head to toe. You can see his COMPLETELY filled diaper rounding out his bum. What a nut!

Rachel Just Snoozin'

On Monday nights, Justin has school, so we usually just have a little Mom and kid time and watch a movie or something. But last Monday, my bro-in-law, Jim was out of town leaving his wife and boys home alone as well. So, I asked Aimee if they wanted to have family home evening with us. We played RockBand for about an hour and then had ice-cream sandwiches. Rachel fell asleep on Aimee's couch in this relaxing position. I love how her fingers are intertwined. I thought it was so stinkin' cute that I had Aimee snap a picture! Isn't she cute?

Rachel snoozes at Jim and Aimee's house.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

"Butt Cakes" Anyone?

Today Marianne had school and "play day" at a friends house. She gets to do this every week, so I try to have something fun for Alli and me to do. Sometimes we play in the backyard, sometimes we bake, sometimes we go to lunch. It's really just a fun time for us to spend together. Anyway, today I asked Al if she wanted to make some cupcakes with me. She came running from outside to help/watch me. As we were filling the cup cake papers, she noticed that there were a lot of cup cakes. She so thoughtfully suggested that we, "Share our butt cakes with our friends." Isn't she nice?

Marianne, Bo and Allison Jo laughing because I told them to say, "I love butt cakes!"

Sunday, September 28, 2008

My Proud Mama Moment

Okay, so today was our ward's Primary Program and for the first time I got to have one of my very own kids sing to me! Marianne did such a great job! I had quite a few people come up to me afterward and complement me on what a great singer she was and tell me how impressed they were that she knew EVERY word to literally EVERY song they sang. She even said her part "I have Family Home Evening with my family," all by herself...with no help whatesoever! I loved every second of it and could not wipe the smile off my face! At one point, she was looking at her daddy and her eyebrows went up as if to say, "I'm doing pretty good, right?" Then, she gave a hearty "thumbs-up!" It was so dang cute!

So, then after Sacrament Meeting, the Primary met in the chapel for Opening Exercises. Well, my little 4 1/2-year-old Marianne got to do something so exciting! And it's because she is so brilliant! (Hee hee!) She got to cut off our Bishop's tie with a pair of (not so sharp) scissors! Wanna know why? This year our ward made a challenge to all the Primary kids to memorize all thirteen Articles of Faith. If they get them all memorized, they get to cut off the Bishop's tie. Well, little Marianne finished #13 this week and got to "snip snip," as she would say. I was so proud of her! The first counselor in the Primary Presidency asked her which one was her favorite, which is #10 and asked her if she would say it for everyone. She got a little shy at this point and didn't do it, but she sang a few of them after dinner to my parents, Justin's parents, and Aimee and her boys. I am so unbelieveably proud of her. She really is a smart little girl and she sings EVERY ONE of those Articles of Faith right on pitch. I don't know what I did to deserve such a wonderful, sweet little girl, but she really foots the bill!

Here's Marianne with our Bishop, right after she cut off his tie. It was pretty hard, but she got through all the layers! Way to go Marianne! I LOVE YOU!!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Hair Stuff Giveaways!

If anyone who has little girls is interested (I guess you don't have to have little girls), you should go to my Pigs and Ponies blog and enter the three giveaways there. Tell them all I sent you and I could win some cute cute bows! Thanks!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Nucklehead Alli

So, tonight I was getting the kids ready for bed. I had all of their jammies on and was brushing Bo and Marianne's teeth in the bathroom. When I was done, I went looking for Allison. She had found one of Rachel's night gowns and tried to put it over her own nightgown. Combine that with her hair that we had just taken out...I laughed OUT LOUD and ran for the camera. What a silly goose!

Allison's First Day of Preschool!

Today was my Alli's first day of preschool. She is such a sweetheart and will do amazing! Here are her pictures. Isn't she a doll?

Allison in her cute "First Day of School" outfit. I love her chubby little legs in these leggings. They are supposed to be about calf length, but she kind of a shrimp, so...ya know!

I think she looks gorgeous and smart in this picture.

Here's Allison with Mrs. Eggett (a.k.a. Aunt Jeri). She is the best preschool teacher out there!

So, here's my bragging section for Als. Read no further if you don't wanna hear it! Allison has been writing her own name for about six months now. It's just the A-l-l-i, but still! She wasn't even three yet! She is always such a great sharer. She doens't even have to be asked. If she sees someone that doesn't have what she's got, she will automatically tell them they can have some. She always shares her drinks with me. Allison has the best laugh of anyone I know. She sounds like those tickle smiley-face toys that giggle and giggle, only cuter! I love you, Al!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Rachel's Blessing Day

Well, the day couldn't have been more perfect! The weather was gorgeous, Justin did a great job with the blessing, we had many of our family and friends with us and Rachel looked beautiful! Here are some fun pictures from the day!

Rachel in her dress after evreyone left. What great big beautiful eyes!

Here's our family afterward. Marianne, Joann, Rachel, Bo, Justin, and Allison.

Here's Rachel with my adorable Grandpa Grose! Aren't they the cutest?

Here is Rachel at the end of the photo session. She had fallen asleep on her tummy and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to get a picture of the back of her dress. It was by far my favorite part of the dress, but definately the most nerve racking. Thanks to my big sis Shron for helping me so much! Couldn't have done it without ya! (Does that suffice?)

Thank you to everyone who came and supported us. It was only so wonderful because of all of you! I hope you know how much we love you all!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Marianne's First Day of Preschool

Well, the day finally came! Marianne has been chomping at the bit to start school. She is now attending a preschool just around the corner from our house with a couple of boys in our ward. She already loves it! She told me the other day that she was sad to not be in Jeri's preschool, but that she is excited to go to her new school. At least we get to see Jeri and her familia twice a week for Alli's school. Now, if we could just make next Tuesday magically get here tomorrow, Allison would be happy. She has been waiting and waiting for her school to start, which makes me want it to start yesterday! Anyhow, here are some adorable pictures of Marianne the morning of her first day of school! She is adorable and so stinkin' smart!

Marianne by the big old tree in the backyard. She looks so grown up in her babydoll shirt and flare jeans!

I LOVE this picture of my big girl! What a doll, huh?

Here's Marianne with the two boys from our ward, Brady and Joshua. The sun was very bright, so they were all squinting, but they are cute anyway. Brady tells his mom that he is going to marry Marianne. Ah, young love!

Marianne with her teacher, Miss Vicki. She loves her already!

I am the mom so I get to brag as much as I want. If you don't wanna hear it, stop here. When we went to preschool registration, Miss Vicki had all the kids trace their names for their box labels. Well, after Marianne traced her name, Miss Vicki asked me if she could write it herself. OF COURSE!!! (I did hold back, though. I did not tell her she could write Allison and Bo's names by herself, too!) She already knows the names of all the letters and numbers. She knows all of her colors, too. She is a great colorer and often colors pictures for people, puts them in a grocery sack and hands them out the next time she sees them. She is ALWAYS asking questions to learn more and more. She is a sponge, I swear and B-E-A-utiful to boot! Love you, babe! Have a great year!