Saturday, March 29, 2014

Dear Grandparents! I seem to have forgotten how many goals I've set and left unattended. I'm making you a promise now that I'll be better at keeping you all up to date on our lives. Here's what has been going on most recently for us, interspersed with some photos of all your favorite grandkids and great grandkids!

Tomorrow a couple in our ward is singing my arrangement for "I Feel My Savior's Love" and I'm so excited about it. I  have a recording I'll try to attach to this post. It is by no means professional but it will give you an idea. I love this arrangement. I love making arrangements about songs that teach gospel truths because it builds my own testimony and the words of these songs become more sacred to me. I'm in the middle of writing an arrangement for Carsen's baptism which is coming up on May 31st. It's going to be a mix of the hymn "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" and the primary song "When I Am Baptized".  Grandma Ester I know you're not familiar with these songs so expect a separate email from me that has the words to these hymns included. Here's the audio file for my arrangement. Click the link, then click download, then be patient. The first 22 seconds are blank, so after you click download, it will take about that much time before you hear anything.

My little Carsen was in last week to the eye doctor to check on how well his eyes are able to cross. I forget the specific term that is used, but basically Carsen's eyes are slightly turned out in their socket so we've been doing therapy with him for the last 6  months to work his muslces so he is better able to cross his eyes to see things up close. It has taken a lot of work, but when I look at his eyes directly I can see a significant improvement and the headaches that he used to have very frequently seem to be getting better. The doc says the headaches, being in the front of his head, are directly related to how hard he has to work to get those eyes to cross when he is doing close up work. Fortunately he says the best thing to continue for Carsen is to make sure he reads and the smaller print, the better. I guess it's a small blessing that Carsen loves to read. In fact, I catch him in bed with a flashlight more nights that not (who does that remind you of Mom? ;)

Ammon has decided he loves the new nickname Carsen has given him "Amsterdam" (the capital of the Netherlands) and now he has given Carsen his own nickname: "Carsendam" :) You gotta love the mind of a three year old. Ammon has also been struggling with being more naughty than usual. This past week I found marker scribbles on the walls and urine in the bathroom drawer. Ammon is a sweet boy but loves attention of any kind and I'm afraid I've been giving him too much negative attention lately. Travis and I are trying to work to tell him what a good boy he is and that sometimes he just make bad choices that make us sad. Seems to be working (at least yesterday it was!). My favorite time of the day with Ammon is when I put him down for a nap. I know it's uncommon for 3 year olds to still take naps but you have to understand Ammon wakes up shortly before 6am and hits the ground running so by 1:00 he usually is worn out enough to take a nap. I read to him while he lies in his crib, which he's rapidly outgrowing, and he reaches out to make sure one of my hands is resting on his head. Then he will fall asleep.

I've started going through an old high school biology textbook with Carsen and he loves it. This kid is going to change the world someday. I feel so incredibly lucky to be his mother. Grandma's I don't think I've shared this with you but when I was pregnant with Carsen and on bed rest, I had some very unique experiences. I had made a habit of studying my scriptures and I felt like that put me in the right frame of mind to feel promptings from the Holy Ghost more frequently. After studying and praying I felt a witness that the baby that was coming would be a very strong spirit and that he was coming to me for a reason. Throughout the rest of the week I continued to receive promptings about what that spirit would be like and what he would need from me as a mother. Very smart, sensitive, intuitive. Needing love and affection as well as needing to be taught the gospel and the things of the world. It was a very unique experience for me and because of it, I feel very much that I will be held accountable to my Maker for how I nurture Carsen's talents. I assumed almost 5 years later when we finally got pregnant with Ammon that I would have a similar experience with him. That didn't happen :) which after getting to see Ammon's personality just makes me laugh all that much more. Travis and I joke with each other that we have a genius and a jock. We couldn't be luckier that's for sure.

Travis is great as always. He has such a mellow personality which I am so grateful for seeing that I am so high strung. I know that may be hard to imagine given how laid back my own mother is. :)
My favorite times with him this week are listening to the advice he gives me in the things I struggle with. He has such a clear way of articulating a problem and it's solution. It reminds me of my own Dad and makes me very grateful. He reminded me of something I shared a few months ago with him. It's from Richard G. Scott who references the scripture in Proverbs 3:11-12.  He says when the trials we face are not consequences of your own disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more and he gives you experiences that will stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit. He goes on saying "To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain". Travis reminded me that I myself have been praying for growth and to see my own experiences as an opportunity for that. Travis is right more often than I let him know it and this week he definitely hit the nail on the head. Here's a pic of Travis playing golf with my brother's in Arizona. Fake wig, fake mustache, and he's still the best looking guy in the bunch!

We love you all and look forward to seeing you again. In the interim, hope you enjoy these pics and updates!

Friday, August 3, 2012


Travis bought me a little baby grand today. I can't stop smiling and telling everyone that I have the best husband EVER!

I initially titled this post "My Happiest Day" partly because that sounds like the title of a Scrubs episode and we are currently in season 5 of our rerun schedule. However, I didn't want people to judge my happiest day to be something other than the traditional - Wedding, child's birth, or the day you convinced your mother to buy you a pair of jeans instead of corduroys.

Anyway, I just can't tell you how happy I am. H-A-P-P-Y HAPPY! I just finished this awesome arrangement of I Believe in Christ and I've been going over to the church house for the past few weeks just so I can play it on a baby grand. Now I don't have to! Or won't have to in a couple months when it gets delivered. I'm so happy.

My FIRST piano has been my little Clavinova which Travis also bought for me a couple years after we were married. That is a pretty sweet memory also.

~Cue nostalgic music~

I was pregnant and student teaching in Indy and had been practicing my violin a lot to get my fill of music. I remember crying a lot - but hey I was pregnant. I cried because I enjoyed playing the violin in an orchestra not by myself but mostly I cried because I had no piano to practice and I missed it a lot. Anyway, the weekend before my birthday in February Travis surprised me with having all my birthday presents wrapped up and ready to be opened when I got back from school.

One package was HUGE. I modestly unwrapped the first gift (a smaller package) and it was a pair of camouflage cargo shorts for Travis. I laughed.
Second gift: A Hurley t-shirt. Also for Travis. Although at first I thought this was a maternity shirt for me (I had adopted wearing Travis' clothes). I smiled.
Third gift: A baby blue baseball hat. Also for Travis. I was a little mad.

After opening some other gifts for Travis I was pretty frustrated. I payed the bills then and all I could think about was how selfish Travis was for buying all these pricey clothes for himself while he was going to Dental School. Then I got to the big package which turned out to be the box our baby stroller came in. When I opened the box, inside was the bench to my electric piano. I cried. It was the best present and has been the one gift I've gotten the most use out of hands down. We've talked in the past about upgrading the Clavinova to a newer model but it holds a lot of sentimental value for me so we've never done it.

I'm going to wait to post this until Travis gets back and he can add his comments. I'm not sure anyone reads our blog anymore but maybe one day our kids will laugh at it. Here's how I predict it will start:

Travis: "That does sound like a Scrubs episode. And you're typing sounds a little like JD. Did you notice how you complimented yourself?"

Vickie: "That's right. You know I like compliments. It is awesome. I'm awesome, didn't you know?"

Travis: *smile with precautionary look* that really means, reign in your crazy.

There's Ammon. Gotta go before I have to wash that crib sheet for the 300th time this week!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Potty Training

Ammon's first day of potty training was today. Here are some highlights:

Mess on the air vent
Slippery mess on the wood floor
Bruised bone under his eye
Mess on Mommy
Learned how to say "GOSSHH" in a growly, frustrated voice

It wasn't the greatest day.
But he sure is cute.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Kid thoughts

Yesterday I was explaining to Carsen the meaning of the word "inhibit". After some explanation I asked him if he understood and he thought for a while and said: "I suppose you could say: Mommy inhibits Ammon's mischief!" then fell into a fit of giggles. It was absolutely adorable and I couldn't stop laughing myself.

He bore his testimony for the first time last Sunday. He had been asking about it for a while but Travis and I had been hesitant to let him go up where he is so young. Last month a little girl in a younger Primary class got up so he came home insisting that it was his turn. I was super nervous because he wouldn't tell me beforehand what he wanted to say. But, he marched up after the first counselor opened the meeting up for testimony's and said:

"I feel the Holy Ghost when I sing and I know the Holy Ghost teaches us things that are true. In the name of Jesus Christ amen."

It was so sweet and made sweeter by the fact that anyone who sits in the Chapel on Sunday's can pick out Carsen's loud little voice as he belts out the hymns. I love my buddy.


Ammon may not be the monster I was worried about after all :) Yesterday when I put him to bed after a story and drinking his milk I asked him if he wanted me to sing him a song. He said yes "Yesh" and I asked him what song he wanted me to sing. "I Beeve" Which would make sense had you been listening to our home life for the past couple weeks. He was asking for an arrangement I just put together called "I Believe" and hearing him ask for it was one of those sweet moments that nowadays seem few and far between when I feel like I'm not that inadequate as a mother after all. Also Ammon mostly communicates in grunts so it is still new and exciting when he actually says something that is semi dephipherable. Oops. Guess that's not a word - you know what I mean.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Daddy's Girl

Ok. The next several posts are just a bunch of pictures from the past couple months that I've failed to get up in time. Sorry if they're disjointed.

Here we go. Biggest most exciting thing of our lives right now? OUR BOAT!!! Brian the only pictures I have are on my phone and I can't upload them to the computer. I'll take some of the boat the next time we're out.

Here's something you should know about Barton's and boating. Something always goes wrong. So in the tradition of my maiden name's sake, our first trip out to the lake we drove over an hour, got the boat all ready and realized we forgot the keys. About 2 and a half hours later, we were out on the lake having fun.

Second trip out. Everything went smoothly. Everything except the murmurs from the men who thought it was crazy to take a boat out at 5:30 in the evening, in crazy cold wind and choppy water. Carsen got bounced out of the tube (no worries, after Ryan pulled him out he said he wanted to go again; climbed back in with mom, and told me it was my job to protect him). Everything went fine until we got a flat tire on the boat trailer. Surprisingly, everyone still deemed the trip a success and we went home happy.

Third trip, well it hasn't even been a week since we've had this awesome toy so we'll keep you posted.

Are we crazy for going boating in October? YES!

Was it so much fun? YES!

Does Travis look hot behind a boat wheel? YES!

Is Vickie better at driving the boat than Travis? YES!

Did Ammon find a special way to get warm? YES!

Was it as cold as it looks? YES!

Santa's Village