Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snow Day!

Here are some pictures of our beautiful snowfall. It is very uncommon for us to get snow like this in the wintertime. It tends to shut everything down but the kids love it!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Tony & Hannah and family.

Hannah is our 4th child and second girl. She is married to a very special guy and has been blessed with 3 beautiful kids. Hannah and I spend a lot of time together and share many similarities. Our life stories are the same in many ways and we are much different than we used to be. That is God working in us and blessing us despite who we are. Hannah is a friend and she inspires me to grow in my faith and become better than I am. I am glad that my girls are my friends as well as my daughters.

Tristan and the girls.

Tristan and his 2 daughters just happen to live next door to us so we see a lot of them. Tristan is a very gifted man who we know is destined for greater things! He is an Artist and can take most anything and make something beautiful from it. We pray that someday he will know how much God loves him and maybe love himself a little more. He has a very sensitive heart and feels things deeply. He was the best little boy and we are so thankful for him.

Pat & Brianna and the boys!

This is my daughter Brianna and her little family. She is my firstborn girl and has been a delight to my life from the start. Brianna has always been a high achiever and everything she does seems most excellent. Her life has not been without heartache and yet I know that God has been at work in her.....teaching her life lessons and building character. Like all of us know it is an ongoing process that never stops. One that is necessary if we are to become more like Him.

Joshua and Kathleen and the boys.

This is our oldest son Joshua who turned 30 a few days ago. How strange it is to think of him as a 30 year old. I can still remember so clearly the first time I held him as a tiny baby. He was a most wanted child and I was so happy to be his mom. I was only a girl myself at 19 and yet I had imagined him for so long! So much has happened in the intervening years. So many changes and so much joy and pain. But God has blessed Josh for his faithfulness by sending him a truly excellent wife and a healthy group of boys! And he is a very happy man!

Our Family

We celebrated Havalah's 17th birthday last week and since we were all together I thought we should get our annual Christmas picture. This is much easier said than done. The noise level during this process is quite high and it is no easy task to get 16 kids 10 and under to sit still and all look up at the same time. I know that eventually this will be an impossibility as I still have 8 kids to marry off and the grandchild count will be too high to even fit us all in the same room. Sometimes I wonder what we were thinking when we decided to take God's word literally when he says that children are a gift and the more the better!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pretty Little Leni!

This is Alaina (Leni) Maria. She is wearing one of my favorite hats to knit. It's a Little Turtle Knits pattern and I make them for new baby gifts. They are so adorable and warm. Is this not the sweetest little baby girl?

A New Grandson.

My oldest son Josh and his wife Kathleen gave birth to their 6th baby boy on tuesday 11-11-2008. He weighed in at 8 lbs 8 oz and was born in the privacy of their bedroom. I was the official "baby catcher" and was assisted by Jim's mom and my daughter Hannah. He is beautiful and so far seems to be a pretty easy baby.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Harvest Party Pictures.

We went to our churches annual Harvest Party at Jim's brothers house and the weather was absolutely perfect! I won second place in the Mexican food catagory and Judah brought home a cake from the cake walk. Took lots of pictures of the kids and grandkids. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Celebrating Homecoming!

This is my son Noah and Joy, his date for the annual Homecoming celebration. Noah is my 5th son and he is a pretty awesome kid. These 2 are good friends and they also went to Tolo last year together as well. The night will be spent with a big group of kids and dinner at the Olive Garden. Afterwards they will attend the dance and then part ways and head home to bed! Noah has to milk the cow in the morning:) Oh, do these years fly by, I can remember being 15 and attending dances with my friends. Enjoy your youth Noah, it is certainly fleeting.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Very Special Father-In-Law.

This is a tribute to my Father-in-law, who was recently diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer. The prognosis is not good and it makes us all feel very sad. You know, when I first heard the news my first thought was that 33 years knowing him was not enough....I want more time with him. But I will assure you that this man's faith is very strong. He has a very close and personal relationship with Jesus and really lives it. When you call and try to lift him up he is the one who ends up encouraging you! He has spent his whole life as a pastor in the Evangelical Free Church and though retired he still serves as a chaplin in our local hospital. He has been the best of fathers and my husband is lucky to have been raised by him. He is not without his own flaws, but he really loves people and always tries to find the best in everyone. He has been a counselor as well for many years and has probably impacted more people than anyone I know. So if you get a moment during your day, send a little prayer up for him. We would sure like to keep him around for many more years to come!
ps. The beautiful woman with him is my even more special MIL Claudette who has been married to grandpa for 54 years!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

My Best Friend Jim.

I have been married for over 30 years to a truly wonderful man. We came from very different backgrounds and yet somehow we found each other. I was 16 and Jim was 20 when we met at his dad's church. I just happened to be visiting that sunday and saw him across the room and was instantly smitten. He came from a strong and loving Christian family, his dad is a pastor in the Evangelical Free Church. I grew up in a home where faith was not present, only an abundance of alcohol and anger. I found a job for the summer with the Youth Conservation Corps and was introduced to Christ in a new and very personal way. So when I went back home I decided to go to the church closest to my rural home and well....the rest is history. I really believe that God directs the steps of His children and have seen it many times over the years. We have had some difficult years and also many good ones. Jim has always been the best one of us and he is a very kind and generous man. As the years pass we become better friends and our commitment to each other and our family is rock solid. I thank God every day for my family and especially for Jim, whose love is steady and sure. And that is a rare thing in the world we live in.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Bittersweetness Of Down Syndrome.

Well, while Gideon was getting his teeth brushed this morning one of his lower front teeth fell out! To say that we were surprised is an understatement. You see, Gideon has a pretty small single word vocabulary so he did not inform us that he even had a loose tooth. As parents of 13 we have always made much of the losing of the teeth. I have kept every tooth each child has lost and stored them in a pretty little tin. And of course the excitement of seeing what the Tooth Fairy (aka Mom and Dad) has left under the pillow! know what I am talking about here. So Giddy got lots of hugs and cries of exclamation but I don't think he grasped what the fuss was all about. It made me feel really sad inside. He does not understand about lost teeth or money under his pillow. And I felt a sense of loss in that. I think there will be many things in the days ahead that Gideon will not understand, and though there are so many days when he seems more like a typical is moments like this morning when I am reminded that he isn't. So here is a picture of my sweet little boy missing his first tooth. I love you Gideon.....for who you are and I am so thankful to God for giving you to us!

Friday, September 26, 2008

My Favorite Fall Recipe

Well, I would have to say tomatos and sweet corn. They are the sweetest harvest out of my garden. I typically plant at least 5o or more tomato plants. This year they are all heirloom plants and they are perfect! Not a blemish on them. My corn did terrible, but the cows will love it. I will share my favorite dish that I prepare with the tomatos.
Wash and chop tomatos into chunks.
Add thinly sliced sweet onions.
Crumble generous amounts of feta cheese and add to dish.
Add blue cheese dressing and mix everything up.
Salt and pepper to taste. I use kosher salt and fresh coarse ground pepper.
You can add green peppers if you like. Or you can make the same dish with cucumbers instead of tomatos. I serve this with some croutons sprinkled on top. It is absolutely wonderful.
This is my version of a German salad my mom always made:)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Milking Time!

This is my son Joel who is 14. He is one of the kids who is trained to milk Rose, our 3 year old Jersey Holstein cross. Noah and Joel milk in the mornings before school and Joel and Gabe milk in the evenings. I help out when needed. Rose gives the sweetest milk which also supplies us with butter, cream, and home made cheese on occasion. She is a big responsibility though as she gets milked two times a day 10 months out of the year. Holidays and sick days included. She is due to have her second calf the middle of February so we will stop milking her the middle of December. This gives her a rest time and us as well. Rose is the most valuable animal on our farm and more than pays for herself in what she gives us.

Summer's Bounty.

Some of the tomatos from my heirloom plants. Pears from my pear tree. I love this time of year. Everything is ripe and ready to put up for the winter. My apple trees are loaded this year and I have been sharing with my mom for applesauce. This years tomato crop is beautiful, not a trace of blossom end rot on a single tomato. I planted over 30 plants and am hoping for a large crop for canning. I use tomatos in soaps and stews and sauces. They are one of my favorite things to grow.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Amazing Lace Swap.

elizabethso sent me a skein of Woolen Rabbit lace in the color moroccan spice. Beautiful!

Falling For Ewe Swap.

I was pleasantly surprised to receive both my Amazing Lace and Falling For Ewe swap boxes on the same day. The Falling For Ewe swap is a secret swap and here is what I got from my person.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Blue Sky Alpaca Swap!

I got a beautiful swap package today from wizgirl!

Yale Lake Family Photos

Ethan, our oldest grandchild holding Leni our youngest grandchild. Ethan is 9 and Leni is 3 months. There are 10 more in between them!

Our oldest daughter Brianna and her husband Pat.

Brianna's baby Gus and Hannah's baby Leni.

Day At The Lake

Celebrated two birthdays at the lake yesterday. Joel turns 14 and Gideon turned 6! Gorgeous day. Warm and beautiful. We are happy owners of 2 acres right on the water at Yale Lake in Washington. We have an outstanding view of Mt. St. Helens and the drive is only about 40 minutes from our home. We plan on building a small vacation home one day and spending a lot more time here. Its a clean and very large lake, our family loves to water ski and swim. Enjoying the last warm days of summer!

Monday, September 8, 2008

My Favorite Things About Autumn.

Well, I think autumn is my most favorite time of the year! The heat of the summer is coming to an end and there is a definate chill in the air. I love that the kids are back in school and there is once again order to my days. I love the colors. After all they are my favorite colors of all. Reds and oranges and browns and yellows. Love them! It is also harvest time for my garden. My tomatoes are starting to turn ripe and everything is winding down. Making applesause and apple butter, canning up my tomatoes. Planning for the holidays, getting Christmas gifts going. Which includes some knitting too. This year I have a turkey or two that I am fattening up for our Thanksgiving day celebration. Also, some of the sock clubs I joined will be starting up too! I look forward to new yarn and goodies in the mail. Time to get my wool socks out and fill up the woodbox. There are lots of wonderful things about this time of the year. I could go on and on! The picture was taken at Cannon Beach, on the Oregon coast. It is our favorite beach spot. We are only 2 hours from the ocean from where we live.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Wonders Of Autumn.

Well, the kids are back in schools and I have a small part of my day free. It is lovely and I look so forward to mondays. The leaves are starting to turn and there is a sweet chill to the air. This is my most favorite season of all. I dyed up some roving in the crockpot this morning before church. I used blue, green and brown and it looks beautiful. I am dying it for my swap partner in the Fibery Goodness Swap as her favorite colors are jewel tones. Then I will be spinning it up on my Schacht wheel. I am also getting my goodies together for the Amazing Lace Swap that I started on ravalry. I find myself quite addicted to this swap thing. Some of my packages have been wonderful ,yet sad to admit but some have been awful. But what fun to get a box of goodies in the mail. Its like my birthday when that happens. I will be posting pictures of another swap box that I am expecting this week. Til then, enjoy the beauty of the season!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ravelry Swap On A Budget.

My Swap On A Budget box came this week and it was such fun to open!
I got some Werther coffee nips, a ball of Rowen Kidsilk Haze in orange, a beautiful handmade shawl pin and some stitch markers. Plus a pack of note cards, a small journal and a handmade bag in a cherry fabric also some Burts Bees goodies. Also included were 2 small bags of coffee. I love the thought that went into this swap, colors and things that I really like. I think swapping is such fun!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

BBQ Swap on Ravelry.

My box arrived from my awesome swap partner in the BBQ swap. Wow! She put so much thought into this and I am so thankful for her thoughtfulness. We had a lot of good conversations along the way as well, getting to know each other a bit. Thank you so much! I love everything.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Day At The Beach.

We decided to head to Cannon Beach, Oregon when the weather hit the 100 degree mark. Some of the older kids decided to come along for the day and it was absolutely perfect weather. Here are some pictures of some of us!

Falling For Ewe Autumn Swap.

Please post these questions, with answers, to your blog. Thanks!
Do you knit or crochet? How long have you been at your craft? knit, about 5 years.
Do you spin? What type of spinning do you do? I spin mostly fingering to sport weight yarns.
Are there any other crafts that you participate in? Would love to try my hand at making stitch markers or beading.
What are your favorite yarns/fibers? natural wools, wool silk blends. Fingering weights and lace for shawls. Prefer semi solids.
What are your LEAST favorite yarns/fibers? No acrylics, not crazy about cotton or tencel bamboo blends.
Are there any types/brands of yarn that you are dying to work with but haven’t gotten a chance? Mama Blue and Yarn Chef. I love shinier rather than dull yarns and prefer a tighter twist.
Favorite colors: Reds, fall colors, winter colors and primary colors.
What are your favorite types of projects to knit/crochet? stoles, shawls, scarves, socks, hats.
What are you currently working on? Anything you plan to start this autumn? a scarf, socks and a stole.
What is your favorite FO? (Please, post a picture if you would like.) Wing O' The Moth Shawl.
What is your oldest UFO? A prayer shawl I started a few years ago.
Are their any knitting/crochet techniques that you would like to learn? steeks and short rows.
Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? yes, I use 2 circulars. Size 9 feet. Would love to try any of Knitspots sock patterns!
Do you have a yarn winder and/or a swift? Yes.
Where/how to you keep you needles/hooks? In a plastic bin.
Do you collect anything? Stitch markers, Shawl pins, cool coffee mugs, beads for shawl knitting.
What is your favorite type of music? Are you MP3 ready? Christian soft rock. Bluegrass. Love Alison Krauss, Newsboys. No MP3.
Do you like sweets? What are your favorites? Milk chocolate with almonds, Ritter Sport bars. Love tropical gummi bears from Germany. Am an avid coffee drinker. Love good local coffees. Regular not decaf!
What is your living situation like? Any pets? Children? 8 kids still at home, a small farm and 2 outside kitties.
Are you allergic to anything? no.
Do you have an online wish list (Amazon, Etsy, Loopy Ewe, etc.)? Please include links for your swap pal. I love knitspots patterns and would love the Morning Glory.
Would also love pretty rovings for spinning
Are you having a birthday during this swap? no
What is your Ravelry ID? bartons15

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

School Is Fast Approaching.

We are only 14 days away from the first day of school. I must say I am ready for it! I think by the end of the summer the kids are starting to need a little more structure to their days. And I am certainly ready for a bit of alone time. With a big family that is something that I rarely get. This year I will have kids in kindergarten, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 8th, 10th and 11th grade. And my 20 year old will be attending our local community college. I also have a son who will be leaving soon for the Air Force Reserves to start training as a PJ. So lots of transitions in the days ahead. We have never done much in the past with sports activities but I will have 2 kids playing flag football, 1 in wrestling, and 2 trying out for volleyball and basketball. Thank God for a husband who is self employed. This year will mark the first year that all my kids will be in school full time. Gideon has attended a special education preschool for 3 years now, but this year he will be in a full time Life Skills class. There are an abundance of teachers and only 9 kids K through 6th grade so he will get a lot of learning time. He is a very social little boy and loves school. He has no fear of strangers and has always loved getting on the little yellow school bus. So this is a mile stone year for me and I know I am ready for it. I have been raising kids for nearly 30 years and homeschooled my oldest 6 exclusively and needless to say I am ready for some space in my day. But don't start feeling sorry for me, I do a lot of watching the grandkids and so I guess we move from one phase of life to another. Thank God for His blessings!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Anne Hanson at Knitspot.

I not so recently discovered the wonderful patterns that Anne Hanson at Knitspot has designed. I have bought quite a few of them and they are awesome. I am a fairly new lace knitter and her patterns guarantee success and make you feel like you are an expert! I am a line reader and she has that option as well as charts. They are so gorgeous and I can't say enough about them! This is my daughter Emily modeling Twinings which was knit in Dream In Color Baby in Some Summer Sky, and Fiddlehead Scarf knit in Dream In Color Baby in Spring Tickle.