Wednesday, August 31, 2016


There have been  lots of adjustments and new happenings going on over here at our house.  One of those big things is fully accepting the fact that I have a daughter in the 7th grade.  I don't know how to handle this fact, because I don't know what to expect.

12 years ago, when I first found out that I was pregnant, I didn't have to panic about this phase of my life because my brother Kimball and his wife were also expecting a baby, and we were due within 6 weeks of each other. 

We fought about who had the rights to the name "Spencer".  I had that name chosen when I was in about the 3rd grade, but he claimed he should name his baby Spencer because, duh..."Spencer Kimball"... (for those unfamiliar with Spencer Kimball, he was an LDS Prophet in the 80's).  I thought that was a terrible argument.  Luckily, both of us had girls.  

Kimball and I had big plans for our babies.

This brother of mine and I decided long ago that our girls would be the best of friends.  Kimball and Ace would get jobs at a golf course (eventually, they'd design and build their own...but for the time being, they'd start small, and just work at know, to learn the ropes and such), we'd have houses close together so that our girls would always go to school with each other. They'd keep each other on track, and they'd help each other.  Junior high and high school would be a breeze because no matter what, they'd have a good friend.  

In that first year of our girl's lives, Kimball and I made sure they were close.  They played together at grandpa and grandma's.  And by play, I mean they laid next to each other.  They were blessed on the same day, and they spent lots of time meeting milestones together.  

Everything was going according to plan.

And then, Kimball passed away.

That was NOT part of our plan.  

Our girls were only a year old.  

Throughout the 11 years since he has been gone, his sweet wife has made the effort to help fulfill our plan.  Although we haven't lived close enough to each other for our girls to attend the same school, they have become the best of friends despite the distance.  

Don't mind the height difference.  Kimball hogged what was left of those genes, so I was left with nothing. ;)

There is still hope that these two will fulfill the final phase of the plan and team up with our other 2004 baby girl cousins, Kinley and Anna to room together at college.  

Of course I miss my brother every single day.  I wish he was here today so that I could give him a hug and tell him Happy Birthday.  

Thankfully, there is One who has a more realistic and perfect plan for each one of us.  I know that our Heavenly Father knows each of us, and knows exactly what we need.  When things don't go the way we desire, God blesses us and strengthens us as we accept His will.  I will be forever grateful for the perfect plan that allows us to be together forever as families.  Death is not the end.  This life is not what we live for.  There is so much more. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

In our family...

This is how we handle losing a friendly competition.

He comes by it honestly.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

1st Day 2016-17

Welp.  The first day of school came and went and we all survived.  Gimme rocked her first day of Jr. High, and only got lost once.  She thinks she's going to love school this year.  

Birdie was super excited about her first day, but was disappointed that there will be no homework.  Only reading books and Scootpad.  She's already making sure she stays in first place.  Mulligan was the same way last year.  Hated coming in second for anything.

Mulligan has lots of great kids in his class, including his BFF, so he's ready for anything.  

I'm hoping this momentum stays with us for longer than the first week.

On a side note, I got a killer deal on their Nike shoes.  And...Mulligan's shirt is my favoite.  I want one that says the same thing that I can wear.  It says NIKE or NOTHING.

(We're back to Nike backpacks too. Phew!)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Here's the thing...

When I was growing up, Christmas Eve was a highlight of the year.  Our family, including my mom's brother and sisters and their spouses and children, met out at my Grandpa & Grandma Barrus's house.  There was a huge meal, singing, stories, and of course a visit from Mr. Clause.  I loved being with my cousins!

Another highlight of my childhood was going to my grandparent's house for sleepovers.  The weekends that I spent there with some of my siblings, or with my cousins, were the times that I bonded with them and my grandparents.

We fed their horses, played with the dog, and waded in the small ditch that ran along the pasture.  We played games like kick the can, spoons, and murder in the dark.  It was always a treat if we got dropped off at the Rainbow Cafe (my Grandparents business), on Friday night because that meant we got a burger and fries for dinner.  Grandma and grandpa always made sure our breakfast was as filling and fancy too.  Hot cakes, eggs, and bacon.

As the years trudged on, the Cafe closed.  All the cousins grew up and we went our separate ways--Christmas Eve's had to be spent in the church gym because there were  added generations.  In the years since Grandma and Grandpa Barrus passed away, it's been more and more difficult to get together.  Those cousins that I spent summers with at Grandma's became Facebook friends (That's not a horrible thing.  It's been perfect to at least be in touch!!).  Our reunions became sporadic , and we mostly convened at Walmart.

This past weekend, as a one last "hoorah" for summer, we got together for an official reunion.  My mom and her siblings reserved Darby and the cousins came...from PA, from Boise, from Driggs, from Shelley, from Pocatello, from Rigby, and from right here in town.  I was able to introduce my children to my cousins children and they played together.

As adults, we picked up right where we left off--reminiscing, talking, and laughing until the sun went down.

We played games and learned more about the grandparents that created this branch of incredible people.

It's a Barrus thing...

Monday, August 1, 2016

Great Summer

It's a known fact by now that I am a huge fan of my familly.  I mean, I grew up with the funniest, best, people surrounding me, and it just so happens that my children get to grow up with their children, which is a major bonus, because that pretty much means parenting just got easier.  My kids are now surrounded with funny, good, people.  They adore their aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Every summer when my oldest sister from Oklahoma (...where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain...), comes, we all get together and bask in our hilariousness.  Generations of humor combine to create of force of happiness.  It's much like what I imagine heaven to be like.

So, this summer visit did not disappoint.  In fact, we were able to celebrate a new generation of hilarity. I'm now a great aunt.  That's a big deal (in case you aren't already on your feet applauding).  I got to hold and snuggle and fill my new baby needs.  (Phew.  Now I don't feel like I need another one of my own.)  Don't think for a moment that it stops there.  No.  No.  Being a great aunt doesn't just happen once over here.  Come November, I'll be great again.  A little baby boy decked out in Nike--just my style--is on his way.  

You'll have to bear with me as I post a bunch of photos of aforementioned awesome family. Because really, I have to document another home imporvement project completed by the Bean family.  They now know how to install vinyl siding, they can lay sod like a boss, and hanging sheetrock is a breeze for them--they don't even need a ladder.  (We always seem to have some huge project going on and our family always comes to our rescue.)

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Birdie's Baptism

Our youngest daughter turned 8 earlier this summer.  It was an exciting time for her because she's known for a while that she wanted to be baptized a member of the Churuch of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

On July 23, it finally happened.  She was able to have her own special day.  Lots of our family members came and it was an extrordinary day.

The program was as follows:

Opening Prayer: Hallie (cousin)
Opening Song: Baptism
Conducting: Kinley (cousin)
Accompaning: Grandma Hart
Talk on Baptism: Caddie
Baptism of Birdie--Ace
Special Musical Number: I am a Child of God--Birdie & her two 8 year old cousins, Madison and Jacob
Talk on the Holy Ghost: Mulligan
Confirmation: Ace
(in the circle: Ace, Bishop Seedall, Grandpa Hart, Papa, Uncle Matthew, Uncle Ryan, Uncle Mike, Uncle Howard,  Jake, & Jourdon)
Remarks: Bishop Seedall
Closing Prayer: Jourdon (cousin)

Birdie has a clearer understanding of the gospel than I did at her age.  She has a budding testimony, and is so aware of right and wrong.  She is such a blessing to our family, and I am so grateful for her example.

(The three 8 year old cousins)