Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Halloween was so much fun.  We made sugar cookies, carved pumpkins, and hit up the ward trunk-or-treat.  Stratton made such a cute cowboy, and Matt and I made an attempt at John and Yoko.  Although throughout the night several people asked him if he was Brad Pitt...  Stratton quickly mastered the "trick-or treat"= candy drill.  He still comes up to me throughout the day and says it in hopes of getting something yummy.

Friday, October 2, 2009

A Great Summer

We had such a fun summer.  We survived the Arizona heat until the end of June, and then we hit the road for cooler weather.  We went to Idaho for our Barnes family reunion.  We had a great time camping in the mountains.  Our camp theme was "Survivor" so each little family had a team color and wore matching bandanas.  We played lots, competed in team challenges, and had tons of food.  W did not vote anyone out of the family though.  

After camping Matt, Strat, and I headed to Colorado for 3 weeks of art shows Matt was doing.  This was our first time doing an art show.  We sort of felt like gypsies.  We slept in a tent for 11 nights at a campground, it was really just a field by the river but at least there were showers and bathrooms.  The art shows were only over the weekends, so during the week we got to see some really fun things and play lots.  The first 2 shows were in neighboring ski villages, it was so amazing there.  The towns had a european feel with cobblestone roads, beautiful buildings, and delicious creperies.  We found some fun free things to do like a tram ride to the top of the ski hill (about 12,000 ft elevation-it was breathtaking!) and a Queen tribute concert-Stratton is now a big fan of "We Will Rock You".  Our last show was in Boulder (where we binged on a hotel for the last week-thank you matt!) and then we headed back to Idaho.  The shows went really well, we were excited that so many people liked Matt's paintings, and that we were able to sell some!  

When we got back to Idaho, Matt and the other Sievers menfolk left on a fishing trip to Washington/Vancouver.  They spent a week covered in fish guts, saw whales while they were out fishing in the ocean, and brought home a ton of fish.  I know they had some great (hygiene lacking) man time.   I spent the week canning garden food and making jam with my sisters and step-mom.  We even taught the toddlers how to snap beans, sort of.  We were able to spend a couple of days camping with Sievers right before we had head back to AZ, and it was lots of fun.  We had a great trip, I'm already planning next summer vacation :)
We got a flat tire on the freeway in So. Utah, Strat was happy to get out of the car for a bit and chill in his camp chair.

Barnes Reunion, sort of a goofy bunch I know.

Stratton shared his birthday with his 2 new baby cousins' blessing day.  It was a fun day surrounded with all sorts of family and in-laws from me and my sisters fams.

This about half of the art booth.  It took us  almost a full day to set it up for each show, and then we would have to take it all down at the end of the show 3 days later in the dark.  I haven't done that much manual labor in years...

Breakfast at the camp site.  Stratton takes a little while to wake up in the morning.  And I think he was mad about all the mosquitoes keeping him up at night.

Grandma Sievers had some kittens that became Stratton's favorite thing.  And the kittens handled the trampoline surprisingly well.  

We drove about 30 min out of the way in CO. to see this dinosaur fossil area.  I think as soon as we got there and saw this sign, we should have known we were about to be seriously disappointed.

Stratton's first horse/pony ride.  He was totally freaked out, but at least we got a picture before he bailed.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Knott's Berry Farm

Last month we were able to spend a few days in California with Andy (Matt's bro) and his wife Lauren.  We went to the Aquarium of the Pacific which Stratton loved.  They had an entire tank full of Nemos and he just sat and yelled "fish! Nemo!"  We also went to Knott's Berry Farm.  For those of you that don't know, Knott's is one of California's most under-appreciated theme parks.  It is much MUCH cheaper than the other big name parks in CA and there's hardly ever any lines.  We used to go there every Disney Land trip growing up so it has lots of fun family memories for me.  It has a great kids area with miniature roller coasters, rides, and activities that were perfect even for kids as young as Stratton.  It also has lots of great roller coasters/rides for us big kids plus the usual shops, shows, and theme park features.  So there's my plug for good ol' Knott's.  Anyways, this is a picture we bought of us on the log ride.  Stratton has a really flighty stomach (i posted previously about how much he hates the swings).  So, even though he didn't cry, I think he face says exactly how he feels about thrill rides...(if you click on the pic it should zoom in so you can see better)  

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


A couple of weeks ago we ran up to Sedona and stayed a night- It was beautiful, not to mention it being 20 degrees cooler than Phoenix. We did a lot of really fun things- one was an African park where they have all the large animals. But our favorite was this spot- an information worker gave us the idea to come check this area out and it is one in a million. Cool water and soft stone with breathtaking views. We are gonna go back here again just to picnic along this river.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

2 New Paintings

24"x 48's

These are so fresh off the easel they may change some yet but I wanted to post them so Amy could see what I was up to while she is in Idaho. I am really excited cause these are my first water paintings and I think they are great- but there are so many places to go from here. Some places are kinda flat like the blue shadows look chalky but once they get dry and jessoed they are gonna pop- hopefully right off the wall and into someone's home. I am painting like mad cause I had applied for art shows in Colorado through July and felt rather prepared and took some vacation time while Dad maned the gallery and before I knew it all my large paintings were sold and I feel some serious pressure- I think that is one reason I went so loose with the water which helped me fall into this look that I am loving.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Back at the Lake

Stratton posing.
Matt, Amy, Stratton, Lorin and Andy- posing.

We really love this lake, probably because we grew up with Rigby Lake- YEAH! Arizona gets kinda ridiculous in the summer and you have to find ways to keep cool- this trip was a lot nicer then last too. Last time Nathan my bro in law and I collided our rentals and had to pay through the nose to get them fixed. This time we just unloaded them and took a photo and then put them back on the trailer- so fun! Actually we tried to get dangerous but it is hard to compete with a south boy.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Botanical Garden

We were able to go to the Botanical Garden a few weeks ago and it was amazing!  It has blown glass structures from the artist Chihuly that are arranged throughout the Arizona scenery with crazy shapes and colors.  

This blue chandelier and this massive curly tree are so tightly pieced together and so well done.  You can't see any armature, it looks like one solid piece of glass that lights up at night.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A promise to Emily and proof that I'm crazy

I promised Emily this week that I would that I would post by tonight...It has been months since I've updated our blog, and this entry is really just so that I'm not a liar. I lost my plug-the-camera-into-the-computer cord and haven't been able to upload any new pictures. So this photo is actually from January, but Emily said she was really missing us and needed to see some new pics. This picture is of a day that we went to the zoo with my mother-in-law. I sort of get "season shock" living here, grass is not supposed to look like that in January, so sometimes I forget what time of year it is. For example I'm mentally gearing up for summer and 120 degree heat so we are trying to spend as much time outside as possible before summer comes. I find myself feeling like its almost time to close up all the windows and stay inside for 3 months. Sort of like in Idaho as the last beautiful fall days transition into blizzards and sub-zero temps. I don't know if that makes sense...but there it is: green grass in winter has slowly made me crazy.

Monday, January 26, 2009

I know amy already mentioned our trip to me-HEico, but I though I would add a few other photos that Dad took. We got up early to watch the sun rise over the ocean, later Dad got up and took these photos as the sun became blinding.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Holliday Happenings

I'm sorry it has taken me so long to get these up, but here are some pictures and updates on what our little family has been up to this last month!

We had a great Christmas. It was our first Christmas with just the 3 of us. I was worried that it would feel a little lonely without our families around, but it was quiet and cozy and really nice!

Here is Stratton enjoying some of his presents. He loves to color, and he can't get enough of his little 4wheeler. He played hard all day, and by the end of it all, he was pretty tuckered out.

After Christmas we were able to have lots of family time. Matt's sis Aubrey was in town at her in-laws, and we sort of joined the Carter family for a few days. They fed us and made us feel really welcome (and not so homesick). Matt's bro Andy and his wife also stopped by for a couple of days and it was so great to spend some time with them. Then Matt's parents and his sis Liz and her fam came down. It was a full house for a couple of days, but I loved getting to see everyone. Then Matt, Stratton and I headed out on New Year's Eve to Idaho. Talk about weather shock! It's so weird to go from palm trees to snow drifts in a few hours.

Stratton loves the snow. It was so cold outside, and he would beg to go out. Then it was a battle to make him come back inside. His little nose would be running and his cheeks freezing but he'd want to stay out longer.

We got together at Emily's for New Year's Eve. We played and ate a lot (a common theme for our family). Everyone joined in on some Rock Band. We even got Bridger and his shy little girlfriend to do vocals. The babies all loved to dance during the music.

Stratton wants to be a rock star. He loves the drums the best.

This is the trike that Samuel got for Christmas. We walked into the kitchen and they were all sharing it. I think Jaxon got the best seat.

We rented a cabin on Henry's Lake for a few days with all my family. It was beautiful. We took up a few snow machines, a ton of good food, and lots of games. It was great. Except for a few little things like a round of stomach flu, Nate getting frost bite on his cheeks, and Matt wrecking dad's snowmobile. I think Barnes get togethers all have to have a touch of humorous disaster. Check-out Melvin's blog for more icky details. But all that aside, the cabin was a lot of fun! Here the boys are enjoying some tasty Ramen noodles.

View from the cabin

After a week of beautiful winter, we headed back to sunny Arizona. We had traded a painting with a client for some time at their Mexico beach-front condo, and decided we should squeeze in a quick trip south of the border. Greg and Debbie came with us, and we spent a great weekend at Rocky Point. It's only about 5 hours away, and has little tourist shops and fresh fish markets. We had our fill of shrimp and fish tacos and some amazing flan. We were walking down on the beach and I thought how crazy that only one week before, we had been playing in the snow!

This is the view from the balcony. Matt and I got to watch this beautiful sunrise from a cozy lounge. That evening we saw a whole school (herd? flock?) of dolphins swim by! It was amazing!

Stratton looks like he has a halo...though sometimes he's not much of an angel...

It has been a really great month. I'm so grateful that we were able to spend time with our families! Now we're starting our (hopefully) busy season with the gallery and have to buckle down for a few months!