Tuesday, December 30, 2008

That's what MAN do

We were at Grandma Houghton's the other day and the boys were trying to endure the cold outside and ride their scooters...Megan too was trying to rollarblade...a cold front snuck up on us so we were all unprepared....Travis scrounged up a little jacket and girly polka dot socks from the van...Megan tried to get the boys to give her any extra bit of clothing to layer up with (she of course could not find anything in the van) Jacob gave her a quick NO, but when she asked Travis, he quickly started taking his jacket off and gave it to her...surprised by his generosity, she humbly thanked him....he shrugged it off and simply said, "that's what MAN do (man- not men)" Travis is a sweetie:)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

My Christmas Wish...

In years past, I never really have something specific (or exciting) I want for Christmas.... A new outfit, perfume or decor for my house...although I have wished for paint and a new countertop...but nothing really interesting....Well, I don't know if it is b/c my children are a little older that has allowed me to get "out" more often or if it is b/c I have somehow "evolved" on wanting fun things...regardless, my Christmas list this year was long....(vinyl letter cutter, photoshop program, digital photoframe, new countertop for my bathroom) Jared surprised me with this beautiful digital photoframe....it is AMAZING!!! It displays up to 1000 of my photos (I have already uploaded over 200!!) and slideshows them....there is also the option to add music to it....Anyways, the whole point of this post is talk up the digital photo frame...I always have a million photos I want to display and now they are all being displayed in one frame (of course, now I want one for every room!!)...EVERYONE should have a digital photoframe...p.s. for those of you who still don't own a digital camera(Lori) some of my pictures were scanned onto my computer and then uploaded onto my flash drive...even those old family pictures are on it...did I mention AMAZING?!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

2008 Family Letter

I sent this letter out to loved ones who lived out of town...hopefully everyone got their Christmas cards in time, although I know there were a handfull that might be coming the day after-sorry!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
It sounds so cliché to say how time flies….but 2008 came and went in the blink of an eye! Now that our children are older, we have been busy keeping up with their schedule. So, here I am, putting a few things down for the record.
Jared… busy as always. He finished his fifth house this spring, and is hoping to get number 6 going this upcoming spring. He still serves as the Elders Quorum President, which keeps him busy as well. In his spare time, he golfs, golfs and golfs some more. He has started entering local tournaments-which he enjoys. He is getting a little close to the obsessive side- but not yet! His schedule always opens up for a game of basketball, a new episode of This Old House, paint balling, and a movie with me:)
Mandy… has been a taxi driver (ballet, soccer,baseball,football,school plays), a cheerleader, an after school tutor (home work, reading and spelling words), a baker (after school cookies and smoothies), a fashion consultant (getting dressed and out the door), a culinary genius (doing wonders w/ PB&J and spaghetti- not together though!), interior designer (made drapes for my dining room), and a book collector (don’t read as much as I’d like, but somehow found time to read the Twilight series). In my spare time, I do Achievement Days, Nursery, and the Activity Director (party planner) for the ward. In an ideal world, I would have more time to make cute signs, travel, write a few stories and eat as many homemade chocolate chip cookies with out gaining a single pound!
Megan…2008 has been a big year for her. Top 5: #5. Dance recitals #4. Going to Achievement Days with mom #3. receiving a trophy for soccer #2. raising (and selling) rabbits #1 turning eight and her special baptism day! There are never too many play days/girl parties with her friends, she LOVES to go shopping with mom and WITHOUT the boys. Painting fingernails, playing with makeup and “doing” hair are a favorite past time for her. She is in the bunny business, with a few very cheap employees (Jacob, Travis and even Chloe are more than happy to help take care of the bunnies for only a dollar or two!!) She loves to write music on her keyboard and play songs on the piano.
Jacob…Is a big 1st grader. He is constantly growing out of all his clothes- he has less than a foot to grow before he is as tall as I am! He has tried his hand at a few different sports this year: baseball and football. He says Golf is his favorite. In fact, he was telling me that a professional golfer can make more than a doctor and other top jobs- he might be spending too much time with Jared on the golf courses!! He never gets tired of riding the 4wheeler and catching/chasing bunnies. He holds the top score (108) for spelling tests in the Barton home (Megan held it for a while with 106). He looks forward to his special day next year when he turns eight and gets baptized like Megan.
Travis… would be most happy if he never had to wear shoes, climb trees all day and eat continually. Although he does like to take baths- sometimes as many as 3 in one day! He likes chocolate chip cookie dough, pizza w/mushrooms and bananas(not together). I often tell people his spirit is so big, his little five year old body is about to BURST! To know Travis is to love him.
Chloe… is a cutie, making tons of friends where ever she goes. She is still our little song bird, now she has a little move and groove to go with it. She talks up a storm and thinks Megan’s Barbies are lots of fun. She gets into tons of trouble with Travis, but he ditches her in a heart beat as soon as I come down the stairs, leaving her to fend for her self in the mist of trouble! Her big brothers and sister adore her- must be nice to be the baby of the family!
We hope you all feel of our Savior’s love and take the time to appreciate the many miracles that surround us all this upcoming year! Love,
Jared, Mandy, Megan, Jacob, Travis, Chloe

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Daddy Daughter Campout

Jared organized a Daddy-Daughter campout for the Priesthood activity.....I forgot to pack blankets for them, so I drove back to drop blankets off...what I found was all the "older" girls like Megan were all hanging out together.....
And the "little" girls were following all the daddies around....All of my campers had a great time....In fact, my kids could go camping every weekend and be thrilled!!

Megan fishing at night....
While the girls were with dad, the boys and I had a date at the skate park- actually a double date...we met up their friends and a mom at the skate park where they had pizza and we went to a movie- Madagascar...it was probably the most obnoxious movie in the world...but we looked at the boys, and they were rolling in the isle!!

Happy Halloween

I love fall and all the fun traditions that go along with it....

Sorry it is Dec and I am just getting my Halloween pictures up!!

Pumpkin Carving

This is little Chloe, with her pumpkin carving partner....
She liked the pumpkin guts the best....

Miss Megan, working on gutting out the pumpkin....

Travis is all smiles...carving pumpkins is his kinda fun....

This is Mr Jacob, his 1st grade class went to a local pumpkin patch, where he picked that pumpkin and brought it home...it was a nice looking and perfectly shaped pumpkin- good job Jacob :)

Happy Birthday Jacob !!

I will be the first to tell you- I am terrible at decorating cakes...I am sorry children...that is why I love cupcakes
We rented this bouncy thing instead of a pinata...and I much prefer the bouncy thing. This is some of Jacob's friends (and cousins too) at his party.

His party was on Halloween night, and so we loaded the wagons and drove the kids all over town trick or treating...it was fun...and to top things off he even had a friend sleep over....He had a very special day- HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACOB!!! (doesn't he look a year older- my big 7 year old)


Between Chloe's birthday, Megan's birthday and Jacob's birthday (23 day span)...My kitchen turned into Mandy's bakery, specializing in cupcakes. The chocolate ones are Jacob's-he love chocolate...
These pink and green ones are Megan and Chloe's....serious cupcake overload!!!

I did the math (w/cupcakes to parties, baptism luneon, class mates at school it came out to some ridiculous 12 dozen- did I mention the 23 day thing?)

Megan's Baptism Day

On Oct 19th, Megan was Baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, by her father Jared in Hondo Tx....it was a beautiful day- many, many friends and family traveled out there to share that special day with her....
Megan looked beautiful....

2008 Football Season

This is my big six-now 7 year old toward the end of football season....he liked it, but didn't love it...football is kinda complicated...
The Pop Warner program definately goes all out...it felt almost like a High School game...

Soccer Season comes to an end

The above picture is Megan, a Pink Flamingo. She was an awesome goalie!! All the girls on the team received a beautiful trophy (Megan has been coveting a trophy for YEARS!!).
This is a picture of The BLUE PANTHERS, we finished 2nd in our division( by one point!). The boys each received a bobble-head trophy....Travis had it just 48 hours (he just couldn't stop holding it) and the head came off- lucky for him his dad knows how to fix things!

Travis turns FIVE !!!

Travis has anxiously been waiting for his birthday for forever....and it has been especially hard watching everyone else celebrate a birthday before yours...so, with Dec 11th close approching, he let me take him to Miss Amanda's for a special BIRTHDAY haircut, for his special BIRTHDAY pictures, to send out his special BIRTHDAY invites to his party....
He was so excited to be taking his BIRTHDAY pictures, we had tons of cute shots in only a few minutes- he is so grown up!!

These last two are my personal favorites...HAPPY BIRTHDAY TRAVIS!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Don't be fooled

Just because I have a rudolph red background and carolers on my blog does not mean the Bartons are ready for Christmas...In fact I still have a giant plastic pumpkin on my front porch and mixture of Halloween/Fall with my Christmas stuff....Decorating is a major production, or I should say transitioning to a new holiday is a major production...I still have a list as long as Santa's naughty/nice of things to do hopefully before Christmas to get ready for Christmas....

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Bunnies for sale

Right now (it is 42 degrees outside), Jared and the kids are trying to catch a bunny....Someone stopped by to buy a bunny....if you have been to our house and tried to catch a bunny, you know that is no easy task...(we have tried to keep them in their house, but Chloe kept letting them all out)...anyways, a family showed up to buy a bunny, Jared some how talked them in to helping them catch one, so all my children, Jared and a whole other family spent about 20 mins (did I mention it was 42 degrees?) chasing about 20 bunnies in our yard (our bunny population has grown)....It turns out the father buying the bunny is the one who caught the bunny......I told Jared he should change the sign by our fence to say:
pay us $15.00
you can catch a bunny
we'll let you keep a bunny- which ever one you can catch!!


108.....no, that's not an address....nor is it a measurement....it is Jacob's spelling test grade....He spelled all the words on his list, PLUS his bonus words....for a beautiful total of 108......Megan thought she was safe with her top score of 106....but Jacob has set a new Barton Spelling Record!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The l.ittle things

Went to the Wal-Mart in Hondo today....gas was $1.55......can you believe that??? What a blessing...I am so glad gas is close to normal.....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Straight A's

Megan and Jacob recently received their first report cards for the 2008-2009 year and they both came home with straight A's- Jared and I were very proud....Yes, their both a couple of smarties....

Jacob the Hunter

We have been trying to catch the baby rabbits to put them in their house....Jared taught Megan and Jacob a rabbit catching trick...you know, the one you see in the cartoons....you have a large box propted on a stick with a carrot inside......as soon as a rabbit starts nibbling on the carrot- you pull the string that is attatched to the stick....Well, Megan and her friend Ashley had fun doing that for a couple of hours....but those rabbits are tricky....but Jacob can stay out there for hours...and has done so every day after school...he even made a blind to hide behind (he layed his bike in front of him, so the rabbits don't notice him laying down with the string....it is ver fun to watch out the kitchen window :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Soccer....a tie braker

Just before today's game, the ref came up to me to ask me if I knew I was tied for first place....She said, that next week's game will be the tie braker game....the team we play against is the only team we've lost to (of course we beat them, the next time we played them -by one point)...so, no pressure- of course! The true miracle in all of this is that I have a team made up of four year olds and five year olds....and for one hour each game day, they play positions, they play offense and they play defense....in this division-that is the biggest miracle of them all (let alone win at it!)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Election Day

Like many, I am glad that Nov 4th has come and gone....Living in a small town, our voting site is only a block away. I waited till my children came home from school( I first had to go get a new liscense... b/c with the other million ones I have had, it too was lost...and now there is a new Tx law requiring a DL when you vote-whats up with that!) We walked to the voting site together...talked about democracy and voting and government stuff and they were so excitied to be with me while I voted.....It was awsome to share that with my kids....

Friday, October 24, 2008

My Mom......by Travis Barton

Travis drew this picture of "me" on his new chalk board/magnet board....He told me this is my happy face when he cleans his room...and yes, we had just done the impossible and had jsut cleaned his room.....I was pleased that he didn't draw my frowny face when his room isn't clean.....I love Travis.....and I love my children's art work.

Pink Flamingos

This is Megan and one of her BEST friends, ASHLEY... they both play soccer this season, even though they aren't on the same team, they get to see each other and sometimes even play against each other on Saturdays....
Megan is on the front left, trying to steal the ball away...

Megan posing with her team on the first game day- the Pink Flamingos....one of her classmates, Zoe is on her team and she really likes that...

Blue Panthers

This is the Blue Panther's Team......Mr Travis is on the left end with his friends in the Under 6 boys division.....I have really enjoyed coaching Travis' team and Travis has gotten over the fact that mom is his coach....Now, our community is very die hard, wether it be football or soccer or even baseball.....I myself am not an athletically competitive person- in fact I wouldn't even call my self an athlete, but some how we have won all our games (but one) -not bad since I don't know ANYTHING about soccer....

Life imitating Art or Art imitating Life

I was walking by Chloe who had her arms full of Barbies/babies and happened to notice that she was "up to something" as I watched her I noticed that she was laying her barbies/doll and then copying their position...it made me think of the phrase " life imitating art or art imitating life".....Luckily my camera was close by and was able to take a few quick snaps.....She was actually content playing this " game " and did so for quite some time...Chloe is a cutie.....

Happy Birthday Chloe

Now, I realize that her party was way back in Sept...but better late than never :) This is a picture of the pinata line......

Chloe loves loves loves Miss Dora.....so we had a bit of Dora for the birthday girl.....
This is a group picture of most of the kids in attendance- I think every one is in the picture....

Here is my BIG 3 year old blowing out her candles with her first friends/family birthday party!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

THE FROG......By Jacob Barton

One Summer Day A Frog Plays with his friends.
And the frog broke his leg and his friends help him
go to his mom. And They took him to the doctor.
He says he has to wear crutches. Him and his friends
like his crutches.
The End

Saturday, October 11, 2008

We have baby bunnies

It is official...we have baby bunnies....they were just spotted today.... the count is 5 so far...3 solid white bunnies and two solid tan bunnies....they are the cutest :) Our bunnies don't live in cages, just our yard- they never leave, we have a shed that they burrow under, so that is where the cute bunnies have been living- until now...If you look out back, you will see the cute bunnies hoppin and jumping w/ their proud mom and dad close by.....The plan is to sell the baby bunnies....so if any one wants a cute bunny......

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fun on a Friday Night

A 100 years ago, Jared and I would have probably spent a Friday night going out...doing something fun or at least exciting.....Tonight....I spent the evening in the ER with Chloe Megan and Jacob....Chloe had stuck one of those tiny rubber-band like pony tails up her nose....she had messed with it sooo much evntually that it was out of sight....lucky for her I had examined her (she came to me upset that she had a pony tail up her nose)....and had actually seen it...b/c eventually it was completely out of sight....so, the ER we went...the only way they could find it was to use those special nose telescopes....after they tried and tried w/special EXTRA small and long tweezers....they then flushed out the side with out the pony tail and the water came out the other side, pushing out the pony tail...I told the DR my children would have thought that was a cool TRICK......so that is how the La Coste Bartons spend a Friday night...

Megan's Photo Shoot

Megan's BIG Day is fast approaching....She and I went to one of my favorite places to take pictures...the San Jose Mission...it has a beautiful back ground...and alot of versatility too!...
The mission was a little busy...while we were there, they were just finishing up with a funeral (it still has an operating cathedral) and getting ready for a wedding judging by the wedding party....so she was a little embarassed to say the least.....

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Did a Double-Take

I did a total double-take...then I had to rub my eyes to see if I was day dreaming or if it was some type of mirage....gas at the local Wal-Mart was $2.91!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I never thougt we would ever see gas below the $3.00 mark again....that was unleaded...but even diesel was $3.42......which is small change compared to the $4.09 a few months ago.....thanks to continuous price hikes in gas for the past several years- I am a synic( did I spell that right?)....I am sure there is some ties to the upcoming presidential elections.....oil companies want americans to be in a better mood about the economy so we can vote for the president who is in THEIR best interest...I am sure as soon as the elections are over...the price per gallon will go back up....or maybe, they realize that much of America can't pay thir bills if they spend their entire paycheck at the pump.....gone are the days when people used to talk about the weather....now we talk about the recent changes of gas prices......oh, and now which bank where has collapsed and the crashing stock market.....

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

National Night Out

I LOVE small towns....last night was the 2nd Annual... National Night Out.....Megan invited a friend and we walked over where the City of La Coste had LOTS of free hot dogs, hamburgers, sausage...tons of drinks- they even had door prizes.....They also had one of those large jumpy-bouncy things....a dunking booth where the kids got to dunk the local police officers.....My kids hung out with friends from their school and said hi to alot of their teachers who live in the nieghborhood.....It was sooooo much fun....I LOVE small towns...

Sunday, September 28, 2008


This year, was the first year with a CRAZY schedule...but when I committed us to these activities, it would only be crazy for a few weeks and then...things would settle down, well, Saturday was a collossal of a day as far as glitches in our scheduling....Saturday:
Jared had to work until 10:30AM
11 AM Megan's soccer game
12pm Travis soccer game ( I had to pass out shirts/socks prior to the game)
1PM Jacob had to be in San Antonio for a football game (Grandma was nice enough to take him)
1:30PM Jared's first golfing tournament started

I also had the Relief Society broadcast/dinner but Jared's tournament didn't end until 6PM and to be honest- I was dead tired!!! I think this crazy schedule is supposed to go downhill from there....
Just think, with every child...I spent my morning looking for soccer shoes, washing Megan's soccer shorts, making sure everyone ate their breakfast, had their uniforms, an extra pair of shoes to change out of, and got into the car...it was insane!!

2009 Mother-Daughter Campout

Every September, our stake holds a Mother-Daughter Campout (Father-Son is in the spring)this is Megan with a friend and some of her cousins (two tents down)...Now, I am not much of a camper and neither is my mom- yes, we ALL went camping (my mom, me, and Megan & Chloe) my girls love it though, so, we go camping....This year, though, it was in a new location, and I must say....I LOVED IT, it was a nice spot, even though we didn't get our own fire pit (smores isn't the same when you have to run back N forth from other campfires) I hope it stays at this location (Paradise Canyon) for futre campouts...
This is Chloe, posing w/ cousin Mc Kenzie at the river bank....
Megan with some of her friends from our ward...In all the photo shooting, then realizing, I had to break tent early, to make it to Jacob's first football game, I forgot the picture of my mom, myself, and my little girls- next year...