Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sophie Turns One!

On Saturday at 2pm, friends and family gathered in Alma, Kansas United Methodist Church to celebrate Sophie turning one year old. Technically, she doesn't turn one until Monday, November 30th, but it worked out great to celebrate while we were in Kansas on Thanksgiving weekend. In honor of the event, I baked about 60 cupcakes in a variety of flavors (including chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry) and brought out the chocolate fondu fountain!

Sophie got to see both her godparents, both sets of grandparents, almost all her aunts and uncles (especially got to meet her Uncle Nick and Aunt Amanda for the first time), and various friends and family. Sophie was quite enamored with Jorie who was the closest attendee of her age. Sophie had a great time and got to eat cake for the first time! And... she got to eat cake INSTEAD of having nap time! (Isn't that just the most awesome thing at her age?).

"Look Mom, I'm not taking a nap and I'm going to get lots and lots of sugar... and you aren't going to do anything about it! In fact... you'll encourage it!"

And similar to our early Christmas, she got lots and lots of presents. So much in fact, that her parents were struggling late into the night trying to load all of her stuff into the car. Thanks to Brian's careful manipulation and packing abilities it all fit! (We did leave some things in Alma, but none of them were any of Sophie's gifts or toys- so that doesn't count!) And it took several trips to just unload the car of Sophie's gifts and place them in her room, which eventually were taken out of her room by Sophie herself who wished to play with each and everyone of those items she received! Agh! (that was irritating for the Momma).

Anyway, again... we'd like to thank everyone who came and spent time with us to celebrate Sophie's birthday and the gifts she was given. I would personally like to thank Suzi Barton for the bouncer thing (not because Sophie loves it and thinks its the coolest thing) but because it was the hardest damned thing to pack into the car! Love you Suzi.

Christmas Comes Early

This weekend has been extremely busy trying to cram in 2 holidays and 1 celebration into 1 extended weekend! First, we celebrated Thanksgiving on the designated Thursday with Brian's family. During which time we learned that Sophie likes pumpkin pie!

Then because we would not be spending Christmas in Kansas, Christmas was celebrated early as well with the Oney family on Friday evening (the afternoon was spent shopping, getting Sophie's pictures, and baking cupcakes). And needless to say, Santa Claus was very very very generous to Sophie! While the rest of the family had a paltry pile of presents... perhaps 5 packages... Sophie had probably close to 20 packages. She received lots of cute clothes (including monkey pjs, a sailor dress, and 'My Aunt Loves Me' outfits). As well as tons of toys which have enough lights and noise to thrill Sophie and cause Brian to shudder at the thought of the accumulating expense of batteries. And... she got shoes... pink and purple crocs to be exact. Sophie LOVES shoes! She's always grabbing our shoes. And now she has her own pair. However, poor little girl will have to wait a little bit before she can grown into them, but it shouldn't take too terribly long. But she was so happy with that gift.

However, there was one particular gift which made Brian extremely happy and made me shudder. Sophie's Great Aunt Rogi from Nebraska saw fit to give Sophie a "Herbie the Husker book"and other bleeding red Husker items! As if I wasn't tired of having a separate laundry pile for pinks and reds, that pile just got bigger! *sigh* Sophie's Grandmother LaNelle also added to this assortment, by getting her, her first Husker cheerleading outfit. And since Nebraska is playing the Texas Longhorns on Saturday, Brian insists that it is the perfect time for Sophie to wear the cheerleader outfit. So, be prepared on Saturday to view painfully red pictures of Sophie in her newest Husker gear.

Anyway, Sophie has enjoyed her weekend in Alma (this one probably more so since we returned to Arkansas with a car-load of toys) and we'd like to thank the various 'Santa Claus'es for their contributions to Sophie's entertainments, dress, and fan apparel. As well as thank our own 'Santa's' for the various gifts Brian and I recieved as well! Thank you!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful for 2009

In the spirit of Thanksgiving... here is my top 10 list of things I'm thankful for this year.

1. For Sophie growing up healthy, smart, and beautiful!

2. For a husband who is willing to help out with Sophie and allow me to be the person I am (even if it's being a crazy person)

3. For Brian having a job... even if it is 10 hours away from family.

4. For the trips we have been able to take to see our family, and those times when they came to us.

5. For a great family renting our house in Newton

6. For the wonderful 'life long dream' trip to Nova Scotia and PEI, Canada.

7. For Lindsay who watches Sophie in Camden and allows me an opportunity to work.

8. For the opportunity to travel to Washington, DC and NYC for Christmas

9. For my friends who allow me to be myself without boundaries! (Scary... I know! Love you Melissa!)

10. And for God who continues to bless our family in ways which we never expect!

So much has happened and changed this year... some bad... but mostly good! But for all the changes we are truly thankful, because those changes have helped us in unexpected ways and opened up unexpected opportunities for us. This Thanksgiving I did not get an opportunity to spend it with my side of the family... however... know that I thought about every 'Barton' today. (Probably because we are so unforgettable!).

I was hoping to have some Thanksgiving day pictures, but my camera batteries won't hold a charge (I think I've used the rechargeables one too many times and they seek retirement). However, batteries will be purchased tomorrow and photos will be taken. I promise to post more in the following days of family and Sophie. Until then, I go to bed thankful for another year of life and a year with the little blonde baby girl sleeping beside us with her butt in the air.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


We are back in Kansas once again... and it feels good! On the trip here I spent some time thinking of all the things I have missed in Kansas. Here is my list of 'favorite' (Kansas) things.

1. Great roads along highways and interstate. Hardly any potholes!

2. The sunsets! The way the clouds are light blue lined with pink, and the colors of earth look serene as if they too are preparing to sleep.

3. I miss the dirt roads and the quietness of the country.

4. Except for the few, they can all speak correct English! Little to no ebonics here folks!

5. The farm mentality. Where people aren't afraid to get dirty and hard work is something you are proud of!

6. Love of our family and friends, who always remember to make a priority for you!

7. How winters feel like winter! And if the temperature doesn't make it cold... you can bet the wind will!

8. People are simple and mostly uncomplicated! They take enjoyment in the simple pleasures and don't need expensive things to make them happy.

9. I'll find out what the teenage pregnancy and literacy rate is... but ... yeah... I'm thankful that it isn't as low as what it could be!

10. For churches. They are the backbone of the community.

11. For STRAIGHT roads that follow latitude and longitudinal lines. Curvy roads are overrated.

12. By November all mosquitoes are dead and will not return until April. It's a wonderful break from those bloodsuckers!

13. Trucks that are used and that are dirty. Trucks are not made to be "pimped"!

14. Vegetarians are a disgrace to the farming... beef producing... families.

15. For all those prints of John Wayne that hang in homes. They remember and reflect on what it means to be a 'real man'.

Anyway... we are back in Kansas! Hurray! We arrived in Alma at 3:30 am by way of Fayetteville, AR; Joplin, MO; and Kansas City, MO. Sophie has walked all around the house at least 3 times over exploring every room and walking to her grandparents with open arms. I also got some free time this afternoon to go shopping and I purchased a Christmas dress for Sophie! Can't wait to see what else awaits us in the next few days. I'll keep everyone posted. Have a blessed Thanksgiving day tomorrow!

Friday, November 20, 2009

92 Men in My Kitchen

It's 11pm and I have 92 men in my kitchen. About 20 of them are happy, 20 of them were shocked and scared, 8 of them were angry, 8 were sticking their tongues out, and 4 of them had vampire teeth in honor of the New Moon movie that came out recently. But most of them, were expressionless without eyes or mouths. And all of them were their because I wanted them there. Yup... I made gingerbread men tonight... 92 of them to be exact. 40 of them are Sophie's contribution to Christmas gifts, the rest will become ginger-sacrifices to the bubbling cauldron of chocolate fountain for her birthday. So for those that are going to be in Alma for Thanksgiving and/or Sophie's birthday party, and are in need of a date... we can provide!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Promoted to Librarian

After a month or two of being the full time substitute, I was recently promoted to the long-term librarian for the 2009-2010 school year! I've been in the school library for a week and this job is amazing! A perfect fit for me right now! My mornings are spent in the companionship of books either reading, decorating, or creating lesson plans. In the afternoon, I get 4 different classes for 40 minutes, in which time I read a book, discuss the book with them, and then find myself behind a counter checking-in and out books. And at the end of the day, I find myself with 30 more minutes in the silence of the library, returning books to their rightful places without the interruption of children. This is amazing! And I also received an increase in pay as well as my very own office!

As soon as the previous librarian removes her things from the office, the first thing that will be placed in their is my Green Belt award and glass orb! I told everyone at Cessna, when I got the opportunity, I would make sure I'd flaunt and use my Six Sigma knowledge and certificate! When I was a substitute and always hopping from classroom to classroom, it did not make sense to carry the orb or the certificate with me, but now that I have a permanent position and office, my glass orb will soon be relocated from the living room entertainment center and to a more appropriate area. Also to the approval of my Cessna Black Belts I fully intend to 'Lean the Library' and post my findings and tools (hopefully) on the blog. Let the DMAIC process begin!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Literary Memory Lane

There are certain times in your life where you remember things in vivid detail. And along with other general memories of soccer, school, and family; I also remember the first time I've read some books, particularly Anne of Green Gables. I remember falling in love with L.M. Montgomery and her "Anne books" in 6th grade. I also remember discovering and devouring her other books including Story Girl and Emily of New Moon. In addition to these books I remember reading Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice in 8th grade and the day I was so 'pissed' at Darcy after his first proposal to Elizabeth Bennett. Similiarly, I remember also reading 'Jane Eyre' in 8th grade and being unsure about Mr. Rochester because he was 'shifty' and not exactly enamored with Jane because she seemed to have no 'spunk'.

But I think, if I am truly honest with myself, L.M. Montgomery's books have had a bigger impact on my life and my personality than any other author has. And this summer I finally got an opportunity to go to P.E.I. (home of L.M. Montgomery). The reason I bring this up, is after taking out trip to P.E.I. I've been rediscovering my love of her books by re-reading the Emily of New Moon series. And her works seem to even now be 'timeless'. Anyway, I thought I'd share this with you, as well as a slideshow of P.E.I.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pucker UP

Sophie does these adorable little popping noises with her mouth... kinda like kissy noises. They are adorable... and the funny thing about them is that she prefers to do them when she is taking a tub. Sometimes I can coax one or two out when she's not naked or wet, but she will do ten in a row if she's in the bathtub. So after vainly attempting to get her to do it when she was not naked or wet, I ended up having her do it while she was in the tub. Please forgive me for posting two naked Sophie pictures in one day. My only defense in doing it was that it was adorable and doesn't really show anything (except her butt on the previous video).

Not Me

No longer may it be said by Brian, "Where did YOU put ____?" I am not the only one who picks things up and moves them. Sophie loves to pick things up, walk with them, and then drop them when she finds something infinitely more interesting (and then the process begins again). Sophie loves to walk and crawls occasionally when there are things on the ground nearby that she wants to play with. It's quite cute and she's doing very well it. Don't believe me... see for yourself!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Obituary for a Pumpkin

Jack Schitt, created on October 26, was found dead at his residence in Camden. Jack suffered from a skull fracture after falling or being pushed from the top of the stairs. The police suspect the postalworker may have pushed him aside and off of the steps to get to the mail; however, this possible homicide/suicide will be placed on hold for several months as a result of budget cuts. However, plans to resume this pumpkin investigation may begin sooner than planned, say Chief of Police, should they recieve bailout money from the Obama administration. Until then, Jack Schitt's case remains on hold.

Jack Schitt was succeeded by his two creators- Stacey & Sophia Oney. He had no children or sibilings. Funeral arrangements are being held Monday morning where Jack will await by the side of the road, before his funeral procession in a dump truck to his final resting place at the landfill.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Per Request

Per Aunt Kayla's request... here is another video of Sophie walking. Forgive the television noise in the background.

Kansans in South Arkansas

It's amazing the people you meet when you are far from home. About 2 months ago, Brian and I were in church in the cry room, when another lady joins us and is wearing a KU-shirt! I did a double-take (because just about everyone here is a Razorback fan and have never heard much about KU) and we started talking. Lorraine is also from Wichita, and moved to El Dorado, Arkansas with her husband and his family. It is so nice to find someone who can relate to the change... and of course pronounce "AR-Kansas" correctly, and without a southern twang. 

Tonight we went to a dinner party at their farm in El Dorado. It was so nice to just relax and hang out (someplace other than Camden) and meet others. It was a much needed break and nice to meet other people who don't mind letting their kids run around while they relax a bit and enjoy a beer (or something stronger), while chowing down on BBQ. Anyway... no pictures for this post. But I'm so grateful God sent Lorraine from Kansas as well to keep us company here. Hurray for fellow Kansans!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hiking in Hot Springs

Today we went to Hot Springs, partially to get Christmas presents for Brian's family, and also to get away from Camden for a little while and see the sights Hot Springs has to offer. One of the things on my Top 10 list was to explore the Hot Springs National Park some more... and today we did. The weather was a perfect 75 degree sunny day with a cool chill in the air which made the colorful leaves float through the air. It was an absolutely gorgeous day for a hike! So with Sophie in a stroller and me in my flipflops we made our way up the brush-covered trail to the observation tower up top. By the time we were half way there I was sweating and considering leaving the stroller and all the contents in it (other than Sophie of course) alongside the trail and continue up without it. And on top of it all, once we got to the top to the observation tower... we saw that we could have driven up there instead of taken a mile long hike up! And the damn thing cost $7 per adult just to walk up the 10 flights of stairs to the top. I couldn't believe it! So Brian and I just took a picture at the base of the observation tower to document that we made it up there.

Anyway, it was a wonderful day for a trip and I was glad to go exploring. And, hopefully during the process, I lost weight from all the hiking on the incline up!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Change in Perspectives

Dear Abby,

My little sister gets everything! She gets meats and vegetables and fruits, while I get dog food. Sure, she occasionally shares with me, but Mom and Dad won't let me have the good stuff. She get's her own bed, while I'm stuck in between Mom and Dad. Mom likes to hog the covers and Dad's occasional farts clear up my sinuses in a not so good way. She gets to poop inside the house with a diaper, that they willingly change. I poop in the house and I get locked in a closet. No... I have to go outside in the cold! You know how hard it is to do your business when you are freezing? I love my sister. She plays with me and always makes sure she throws down some of her food for me to eat. But now I don't think I can take it anymore, because she's taller than me! I used to have the advantage over her. Sure I can still run faster than her, but now she towers over me. It's just not fair! Why does she get everything?

One Sad Wiener

Dear One Sad Wiener,

Sounds like it's just "dog-gone" bad luck. However, now that your sister is older she will be able to do more things with you, like playing tag, frisbee, and going on walks. And I'm sure, she will still take the time to feed you and love you no matter how tall she grows. And if that doesn't cheer you up, remember that you haven't been neutered yet so things could be a lot worse!


Monday, November 2, 2009

Every "Walking" Moment

Sophie is quickly catching on to the "walking" trend. On Sunday she took 9 consecutive steps; today it was 11. She now wants to be walking or standing most or all the time. She now reaches an adorable 1 foot when standing. And this is a big improvement since Oscar now has to look up when she's standing. Plus, it makes it difficult for him to give her kisses when her face is higher up. We are quite proud of her and her accomplishment!