Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas to All!!!

Warmest Christmas wishes to all of you!!! This picture was taken last week while on our vacation in Georgia. It was taken in the town square. Perfect props for a picture. After church I told the fam we were headed there for a photo shoot (thanks to Matt's Mom and Dad for being our photographer). If I get ambitious and have time, I'll add our family Christmas letter to this post. If it doesn't get done, we wish all of you a very merry Christmas and hope you enjoy this wonderful holiday season as we celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. We know that He lives, and are most grateful for him not only at this time of the year, but always! Love, all the Barlow family

Christmas Dance Recital


Micaela absolutely loves dance. She dances everywhere she goes. I wish I could see what she dreams at night. She oftens recites a dream of being a famous ballerina on stage! And I hate to brag, but she's pretty darned good! She's been doing 4 hours of dance this year. She had a Christmas recital this past week. She strutted her stuff and some great dance technique. She was grinning from ear to ear and is quite the little performer.

Micaela is so lucky to have the cutest teacher this year at school. She came to Micaela's dance recital. Micaela had told her about it earlier at school, then Miss Robbins called to get the details, and then showed up. It was so sweet and completely made Micaela's night. She threw her arms around her and said, "I love you, Miss Robbins!" (This teacher is seriously awesome! She totally goes the extra mile to do so many cute things. She used to teach in St. George. When they were doing their seasons unit, she'd drive to Cedar City and put snow in an ice chest and bring it to school so the kids could see what snow is like, because many of them had never seen real snow. Who does that??!!!) Thank you to Grandma, Grandpa, Grandma Mildred, Nana and Papa and Miss Robbins for coming to see Micaela. Thank you to everyone who supports and loves our children!!!

When the dance recital was over (Micaela did 2 dance numbers and then showed off her technique) she wanted to do it all over again!

And here's what AJ thought of the whole thing...........................................

And he kept asking every 5 minutes if we could go home yet!! Not sure dance is quite his thing!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Much to be Grateful For!

Happy Thanksgiving from our little Indians, and Pilgrim to you! We hope that you have a wonderful day with family and friends and reflecting and all that we have to be grateful for. (These three little ones and my wonderful husband top my list! I'm glad I get to spend the day with them!)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Try These Turkey Recipes

Micaela came home from Kindergarten today with a whole book of "recipes". This book comprised 28 Thanksgiving "Recipes" that came out of the heads of kids from Micaela's class. Remember, these chidren are 5 and 6 years old. Here's a couple that cracked me up:

Recipe for Turkey
"You get a turkey by killing it. You catch it first.....probably with a blanket. Then you kill it. You cut off it's head, and you take out the bones. You take the feathers off. I don't know if you put anything on it....maybe catchup. You cook it by putting it on the grill."

Another Turkey Recipe
"You shoot one. You cut the head off and the wings. take the feathers off. You cook it. You don't add anything. You cook it in the oven for 50 seconds. You eat it!!!!"
Aren't these so funny!? Micaela has the cutest, most creative K teacher. (She works so hard. Last night we drove by the school at 7 p.m. and she was still there at work.) Micaela said her teacher "interviewed" each one of them individually, asking them what their favorite thing to eat at Thanksgiving dinner was. Then asked them how to make it. She then recorded what they said word for word and made a book out of it. Each student were given a copy of the book to bring home. It's adorable.
So if you're needing a recipe for turkey dinner.........try one of these, if you dare!
(these pics were taken a few days ago at our house. All of these children are friends/neighbors who are in Micaela's K class. We're in a carpool group. Each mom takes a week to drive. On the Friday of her week to drive, she brings all the kids home with her after school, feeds them lunch, and keeps them for a playgroup. Last week it was at our house. We made kool-aid play dough. They had fun getting messy, and it kept them busy for a whole hour! Kindergarten kids crack me up. They have their own little sense of humor and tell little jokes that they all think are funny, but you don't really quite get. It's like they're in their own little world. Aaaahh, to be a child again! This particular day at their school, it was the day before the big Utah/BYU game, who are huge rival teams. The children were suppose to wear something to school that represented which team they'd be cheering for. Micaela chose to wear a BYU cheerleading outfit. In the top pick she's doing some type of cheer she made up, thus why her hands are in the air. The poor little girl in the Ute sweatshirt got shamed too death. She was outnumbered by all the BYU fans. By the end of playgroup she finally collapsed under peer pressure and said she really cheered for BYU, but her mom made her wear the Ute sweatshirt. Poor little girl. Luckily she has a strong personality, so she still went home happy, even though she was harassed the whole two hours about her shirt.)

Final Days of Nice Weather

I love that we live somewhere that has 4 seasons, because it makes me appreciate my two favorite seasons........Spring and Summer. Even though it's Fall, the weather has been unseasonably warm lately. The kids have been able to ride bikes, play in the yard, and go to the park. I know we have to enjoy it, because soon it'll be windy, snowy and cold. Uuuug! I know winter is looming. It's kinda depressing, actually:)

These pics are from a couple of days ago. When Micaela and Anthon got home from school I packed a picnic lunch and we headed to the park to enjoy the nice weather. We have to soak all the sun in that we can, so that we can make it to April.

Spider Man Sighting

Today I looked outside in the yard and this is what I saw!
The girls had friends over and went outside to play. AJ followed them wearing his spiderman costume. It cracks me up, he's so into superheroes right now. Spiderman and Ironman being his favorite. No matter what the girls are playing (American Girl dolls, Barbie, house, etc), Spiderman somehow has to be worked into their play, because that's AJ's favorite thing right now.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

When We're Helping We're Happy!

Today was Saturday. I woke up more ambitious than usual in hopes of a sparkling, organized, cleaner than normal home. My attitude seemed to rub off on the children, and even Matt. Micaela was the first to ask what she could do to help. Everyone had jobs they were doing, separate from their usual chores.
Lauren and Micaela took kitchen duty, and had fun working together. Next they tackled the baseboards, all the bathroom countertops, the playroom, and dusted hard to reach places.

The men of the house replaced all the lightbulbs and cleaned the fixtures as they went.

Hubby even tackled his own closet. Love the look on his face when this pic was taken. It's his "what the 'H' are you doing' look. Little did he know it'd wind up on my blog:) I really enjoyed our time together as a family cleaning. Unfortunately it doesn't happen enough that we're all together on a Saturday. (It seems that Matt is often gone.) It was nice to all be together and working towards one goal. Making our home beautiful.

It was nice to sit back after it was all done and admire all the sparkling glass, metal, walls, and floors. OOOOOh, there's nothing better than having a clean house. What a great way to spend a Saturday with my little family.....all of us working together. When we're all helping and working together, it really does bring happiness. that I know they're all capable, even the littlest one........I'll have to rethink my children's chore charts. Maybe add a few additional items!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

Okay, so my cousin tagged me the other day, to add 6 random things about myself to my blog. Since it's just random things, it's easy, right? Here goes.........

1) I like my children to be clean. They have a bath/shower every day. And they always have their hair done.
2) I like a clean and organized house. (not saying it's always that way!)
3) One day when my children are older I want to sing in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (don't laugh......I'm serious. So I guess I should start taking voice lessons now:) I need all the help I can get, so I better start now!)
4) One of my biggest pet peeves is when things go flying off the seat/dashboard/or go rolling around the floor of a car. It doesn't matter if it's my car and I'm driving, or if I'm in somebody elses car. I feel like I need to start gathering everything up and worry something important got lost under the seat. (I know, a little weird. But it really is one of my biggest pet peeves)
5) When I was little my brothers had a nickname for me; it was Leneybug. Some of my aunts, uncles and cousins still call me Leney or Shirleney.
6) I'm a bit of a control freak and perfectionist. But I'm getting better!:)
7) I love to do kind things for others.

(I know I only had to write 6, but hey, there's a bonus one in there!)
And I guess I'm suppose to tag someone, so I tag everyone who reads this. There ya go. Maybe you learned something new about me.......maybe not!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Lesson On Charity from a 7 Year Old

Today I took Lauren to one of her favorite friends baptisms. Afterwards I had to run a couple of quick errands, so I took Lauren with me. While we were driving through a large parking lot, there was a man on the corner holding a sign that read, ' Ran Out of Gas, Please Help'. I had noticed the man, but didn't say anything. When Lauren saw him she said, "how sad, that man needs help!" Then a minute later as we got closer to him she said, "I can't believe nobody is helping him. None of the cars that have passed him has given him any money." I ran inside the store to get what I needed. While I there I asked for change from a large bill I had. I then gave Lauren some money and said, "Should we help that guy on the corner?" As we drove out of the parking lot Lauren rolled down the window and handed the man some cash. I then praised Lauren for being kind enough to be concerned about the man, and told her how proud I am of the girl she is. Her kind and charitable heart made any doubts about what the man might use the money for escape my mind. I realized that my sweet daughter was teaching me how to love others unconditionally and giving me a lesson on how to truly be charitable.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!




This year Lauren was a witch. She saw her fun hat at the party store and new instantly that she had to be a witch. Micaela was a Queen. She acted like she truly thought she was royalty. And AJ was a knight. He finally realized that knights don't beat up the queen/princess, but they protect them. He felt like he had a special job as Micaela's very tough knight . They had a very fun day. I hope these memories last forever. It was a very busy day for me. Making sure everyone has every part of their costume, hair, make-up done. Plus Halloween school parade, and I'm Micaela's homeroom mother, so was in charge of her class party, and then helped with Lauren's class party afterwards. AJ came with me. So I was all day at the school. But I wouldn't change it for the world. These are the things the children will remember for a lifetime. And I'm glad I get to be their mother and spend this type of time with them.
Her royal highness during the halloween costume parade.
Lauren's classroom party. Of course little sis/best friend was there. Lauren with one of her favorite friends, Haley.

Micaela's Kindergarten party. The BYU cheerleader is one of her best friends, Janessa. Another friend, Hannah, and her teacher, Richelle, who is so fun and cute.

Trick or treating with friends Hunter and Halle

Monday, October 27, 2008

Life Can Change in an Instant!

On Friday night I was enjoying a girls night out. Two friends and I took our girls to see High School Musical 3. Little did I know that while we were enjoying the end of the movie, a tragedy was occurring just a few miles down the road on I-15.

Shortly after arriving home, I heard on the news that there had been a "fatal" car accident involving a Honda and a Semi. The news detailed the back-up on I-15 and the freeway being shutdown so that life-flight could take a victim to the hospital. Little did we realize that we would soon find out that we knew the two girls in the Honda.

The next morning my husband received a phone call from our bishop that gave details of the accident. It was such a shock as reality of this tragic accident from the night before that we heard on the news suddenly hit close to home. In fact, very close to our 'home'. The victims were two teenage sisters ..... our neighbors. Unfortunately the younger of the two sisters was killed on impact (the cute little blonde wearing red in the above pic). The other sister was flown to U of U. She is doing alright, and considering the accident, it's a miracle that she only has minor injuries.

This family is an awesome, fun, neat, family. The ones whose home is always the gathering place for fun summer/neighborhood parties. The neighbors who are always so kind, fun, and very thoughtful. Our family has been the recipient of many of their acts of kindness. I remember a couple of years ago that on a Sunday morning AJ burned his hand badly. Later that afternoon one of the girls was thoughtful enough to make cookies for us and deliver them. Both sisters are very kind. They have so many friends in this ward. Not only the youth of this ward, but also adults, and young children. My girls really look up to these two girls. They loved seeing them wear their formal dresses to church the day after a formal dance at their school. My girls would always comment how pretty they looked, and noticed that they were modest. They're both girls that you are happy for your young children to look up to and exemplify.

As we worshiped at church yesterday, I think everybody just felt numb. We all love this family. We can't imagine what they are going through. My cute Lauren said, "Mom, L must have been so special and Heavenly Father must have missed her so much, that he needed her to go home to heaven."

I know our Bishop told all of us to go home and hug our children. And hug them often. You never know what life will bring. It's important to cherish each moment with our loved ones.
(We love you....'S' family!)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sunday Dinners at Our House

Sunday dinner is one of my most favorite times of the week. Probably because this is the only day of the week where all 5 of us can sit down for a meal together. Matt isn't home at all during the weekdays to eat with us. And also, Matt cooks every Sunday. It's the best, and he's become really good at it. The kids will easily admit they enjoy Matt's cooking to mine. So every Sunday there is always great aromas in our kitchen from Matt's yummy cooking.
I also enjoy the conversation between all of us. Even Anthon gets in on it. Yesterday we were sitting at the table enjoying steaks, baked potatoes with all the fixings, and salad (later Matt made homemade soft pretzels) when Anthon announced that he learned a new song in his Nursery/Primary class. Before we could ask him what it was he broke into song: "The rains came down and the frogs came up....the rains came down and the frogs came up!" The rest of us instantly burst out laughing, especially Lauren. (For those of you who don't know the song it goes.....The Rains Came down and the floods came up.) I believe it was on a Sunday we heard his other version of a famous Primary Song. "Jesus Wants Me for a Sun-BEEP!) (instead of Sunbeam). One time during dinner too, there was a lull in conversation and so Anthon asked, "So, what do you want to talk about next.........Heavenly Father or Monsters,Inc." Don't know where that one came from. Gotta love a 3 year old's mind.
We have fun at our house. There's nothing greater than sitting down with all the ones you love and having great conversation, some laughs and great food made my someone who loves you.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Happy 6th Birthday to our Cutie!

(sleeping little newborn Micaela)
(first Christmas. Getting kisses from Nana)
(Sisters. Lauren 20 months. Micaela one week)
(Pre-school Halloween party. 4 years old)Micaela celebrated her 6th birthday a couple of weeks ago. We love our Micaela girl so much, and feel so blessed to have her in our home.
I had a couple very special experiences when pregnant with her and with her arrival. When it comes to spiritual matters, she seems wise beyond her years.
I realized I was pregnant with her the weekend of Lauren's first birthday. So they are 20 months apart. There was instantly a close bond between them, and they're still best friends. (Some days when Lauren gets home from school, she's disappointed that Micaela is off at a friends house, because she wants to play with her sister.)

* Her funny, carefree personality
* That she doesn't let anyone boss her around
* Her intelligence and love for books (As soon as she could crawl, she's crawl up the stairs to her bookcase and begin pulling out books one at a time and use baby-talk as if she were reading, and then turn the page. She'd do that for an hour.)
* That she remembers almost everything she reads and hears. This can make for some good comedic moments, when she throws out a line of a movie, or something she heard on a TV commercial. At lunch the other day I had prepared her lunch on a paper plate. She got excited, "Yeah, we're making it a Dixie day!!"
* Her blonde hair, bright blue eyes, and long eyelashes. Her cousins are convinced she's a Fairy. "Because she has fairy hair, and a fairy voice."
* The way she freely expresses her emotion and love to those around her.
* She gets so excited about everything in life.
* Her love for dance and her innate ability. That she loves to stand on 'pointe' without ballet shoes on. (Don't know how she does that one).
We love our Micaela with all of our hearts. We're glad she arrived 6 years ago!

Birthday Celebrating!


For Micaela's Birthday we had a "Boo Birthday Bash", a Halloween costume party. We did a couple crafts, games, had a Scavenger Hunt with all the lights turned off and they all had their own flashlight. We made witches brew complete with bats blood (fruit punch concentrate), swamp water (limeade concentrate) toad hearts (strawberries), and some other interesting stuff. They liked all the smoke from the dry ice, and I had an ingredient for each child to put in the witches cauldron. Then we had a costume fashion show down our back staircase with a strobe light. Micaela had so much fun and said, "Thank you mom, this was the best birthday ever". We're so glad Micaela is surrounded by so many great and fun friends.
Then the next day (her actual birthday) we went bowling as a family, and then had my parents to lunch. Micaela wanted an American Girl doll, which she got, but I warned that would be all that she'd get (cause they're so dang expensive). So she got the Elizabeth Am. Girl Doll (her fave because she read in the catalog that she was learning how to be a proper lady) and an extra outfit and accessories. Oh, and yes, I bought another rodent (we had a guinea pig already)! She got a baby teddy bear hamster the week prior. She's large, with orange/brown fur and very sweet. She named her "Cupcake". I bought her from an individual a couple weeks before her birthday. AJ spilled the secret, so it wond up being an early present.

Thank you to everyone for the cards, gifts, and especially for loving Micaela and being apart of her life.

Gotta Love Fall Weather!!!!!

So this is what we were doing just a couple of week ago.........

One day after school, I packed up my three children and a couple extra friends, and took them to a nearby park. There's a really fun playground, but who can resist wading in the irrigation ditch that runs through the park.

And this is two days ago......................

Yep, it snowed!!! In October. I guess not totally unusual for where we live. But it's always a shock when you go from warm weather, to freezing winter weather. These pics were taken after church. I had been out the day before to buy warm coats (everyone had outgrown theirs). They don't quite go with church clothes, but they liked them so much they wanted to wear them. There's was a lot more snow when we woke up. Part of it had melted when we got out of church. The kids were bummed because they wanted to go make snow angels. After we took these pictures Micaela spyed snow on the trampoline and thought it's be a great idea to make snow angels there. I told her not in her church dress!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Candid Self Portrait!!!

So I was sitting at a stop light on my way to taking Micaela to dance, and had the other 2 in the car with me. I looked over and saw the camera sitting in the middle console (there from taking pictures at a school event a couple of days earlier) and thought........what the heck. And I snapped a picture of myself. I'm sure the cars next to me thought I was a little strange. But heck, it seems like I am never in any pictures. And I never post anything on by blog just about ME. It's always about someone else in my family. So here is Shirlene, doing her thing. What I look like most days. You can see AJ in the back seat chillin' watching Shrek2. Even if it seems a little wierd, hey, I'm glad I included myself on my own blog!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Click on this link to see this fun and cute candy/dessert tables. Ya know I have a major sweet tooth, and I love to be creative, so these look so fun to me! (Thanks to my cuz Hilarie, who had this on her blog). I can't wait for an occasion to do this at--and put my own personal spin on it. Maybe Christmas, or for sure I'm thinking my daughters baptism that'll be coming up soon! (Thanks Hilarie! I love your blog!!!) Here's the candy table link.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Happy Birthday to our Little Man!!!

On Monday we celebrated Anthon's 3rd birthday.

It's hard to believe that 3 years ago we were at the hospital having Anthon. Our first little boy. He was the cutest little bug, and such a good baby. He has brought us so much happiness and changed the dynamic of our family.
I get very sentimental about my children growing up. And he'll probably always be the baby---so it's crazy to think of my baby as being 3 years old. He always reassures me though...."Don't worry, Mommy, I'll stay little."

To celebrate his third we went miniature golfing as a family. That evening Nana and Papa and Uncle Steve came over for dinner, cake and ice-cream and a pinata. Anthon was royally spoiled with presents(I don't know how else to do it!) and loved all the attention and playing with his new things.

Things we love about our boy: he loves to be in the middle of all the action, he likes to laugh and have fun, he still loves to cuddle, he's a tease, he gives great hugs and kisses, his curly hair and long dark eyelashes(I'm envious!), he's mommy's little shopping buddy, he loves BYU sports and even remembers some of the players by name in his prayers (something Matt appreciates), that his favorite people in the whole world are his family.

We love Anthon so much and can't imagine life without our little man!

First Day of School for Everyone!

Okay, obviously I'm behind on my blogging if I'm barely posting first day of school pics. School has been in for about a month for us. So life has been crazy busy! I feel like I have a second to breathe, so I thought I'd share some pics.
All three of our children are loving school!!! And I am too, I even get 2 and 1/2 hours all to myself, twice a week. (The only funny thing though, is I usually spend those two hours running errands for my getting birthday party presents, stuff they needs for school, etc. )!
Anthon is even taking a two day a week little 3 year old school in our neighborhood.
Micaela is in Kindergarten this year. She barely missed the deadline, so she's one of the oldest in her grades, and is already reading chapter books. She always comes home so wound up and crazy. The minute the carpool hits our culdesac you can hear them. They have the windows down and are totally screaming and yelling. The first time I heard the noise it kind of scared me, I thought for sure someone was dying or just got ran over.
Lauren is in second grade and is such an excellent student. We love the little girl she is turning into. She is so confident, is liked by everyone, very easy to get along with (but she also has a strong personality and does not let people push her around---we're glad for that!) and is very conscientious when it comes to her school work.