Month: October 2011

  • The Debut of the Plum.


    The countdown is on!
    Wednesday morning we leave the land of cotton and peanut fields and head for the great Rockies.
    I’m excited. We’re excited! About what the Lord will do in us through our time at Ellerslie.
    I know it’ll be stretching, and thrilling, and growing…
    and we are so grateful to God for opening up this doors for us!

    One last post before we head out…
    I’m hoping we’ll be able to pick up Wi-Fi from someone else in the apartment complex,
    but that’s wishful thinking. :)
    If not, I’ll hope to pop in and out now and then to say hi!

    [a little autumn touch]


    [I love little lanterns]


    [some favorite toys ♥]


    [cookies from a friend]


    [little girls' bath toys]


    [fresh fruit]


    [auntie from far-away who do fun tea parties]


    [sets of piggies]


    [ a grouping of three]


    All these pictures had some common thread… anyone catch it? :)

    They all are groupings of three.
    Symbolizing, showing, hinting that….
    well, we’re thrilled and excited and humbled 
    that God has heard our hearts’ desire and has granted new life!

    I’m so humbled though,
    because I know I am only one among many women who have desired a child.
    Why God has chosen to grant our desire and withhold it from others is a mystery.
    I don’t understand it, but I receive with an open hand whatever it is He desires for our family.

    Beyond the excitement, I have been quite sick the past month
    [thus the real reason for my hiding my face].
    A lot of the time has been on the sofa or in bed.
    It’s definitely been a challenge with preparing to leave
    and with all that has needed to be done.

    Friends and family have been beyond caring and helpful, and I don’t know how to thank them enough.
    They’ve been Jesus’ hands and feet to me the past few weeks!

     I know the sickness will not last forever.
    But I will ask for your prayers the next few days with traveling and the many hours and miles to go…

    But sickness or no sickness, we are greatly anticipating Little Wee Baby next April!
    [or, as late as I go, it'll probably be next May :) ]

    [eleven weeks and counting]






  • The Family Vacation in Asheville.


    “The family.  We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ”
    ~Erma Bombeck

    It’s the last Saturday when Ben is working a long day, trying to finish up the last of the jobs before we head to Colorado… next Wednesday.

    Three months worth of toys and clothes and living will be packed into a white suburban and we’ll drive 24 hours out west where we’ll spend the next three months in a two-bedroom apartment. Exciting? Yes! Scary? Yes!

    There is SO much to do in the next few days. I’ve hardly begun packing, because there is so much I can’t pack until the last day or two. I keep asking God for a calm heart and mind, because it looks a bit overwhelming to get everything together in the next 3 days…

    So I took the girls to a local festival this morning – good, old-fashioned redneck country festival. It was great fun. :) Maybe just to escape the feeling of all that needs to be done. And then I sit down and blog. Why? When there is a myriad of things to work on? When I could at least bring in the laundry that’s been hanging out for the past, um, three days. Or double-check my packing lists, or…

    Well, for one, the girls are napping, and who wants to disturb sleeping children by packing? :)

    For two, I just found out this week that our apartment will not have internet access, so I suppose I’ll be going on an online fast of sorts. :) I’m sure I’ll run to a coffee shop or the library, but we’ll only have one vehicle, and trying to keep two little children quiet while I’m on the computer doesn’t sound like my idea of relaxing. So, I’ll be popping in and out, but not as often as before.

    So I had thought that I can just do some catching up online after we get to Colorado, but since that’s not going to be happening like I thought, I wanted to do two most posts before we leave. Here’s one, and we’ll see if I get the other one up. :)

    Going back a month again….  (thanks for not minding!) Family vacation in Asheville, North Carolina!

    We’ve done ocean vacations mostly, and that’s great fun. But we decided to do a mountain vacation this time – and loved it! The beautiful Smokeys were such a restful and relaxing place to stay for a long weekend. My parents rented a house (vacation rental by owner) on top of a good-sized range, and the view was beautiful from the long front porch!

    It had been 6 months since I saw some of my sisters, and 2 years since a family vacation. We just loved every moment of being together! Being with my family is one of my favorite things in the world!

    Most of the time was just spent together at the house… Plans were being made for hikes and such, but it rained one day, and was really hot another, and Barkmans can get long-winded when it comes to family time… ;)

    A few went to see the famous Biltmore Estate the last day, and I was really hoping to go as well, but had gone to bed with a terrible migraine that still wasn’t better the day of the trip, so we had to miss it. That was a bit disappointment. Probably the only disappointment of the weekend though, so it was okay. :)

    There is something so refreshing about being with family… when you know you can be you and be real, and don’t have to worry about how someone is going to take you, or if someone is going to hold a grudge against you, or if the weekend will end in chaos. I’m so blessed to be part of an imperfect, but loving family!

    So the rest of this will be long on pictures and short on words.

    We made cake pops…

    Barkman Family 009

    Barkman Family 019

    Barkman Family 014

    Little girls snuck food with their aunties on the kitchen floor…

    Asheville Family Vaca 550

    We played games until late at night…

    Asheville Family Vaca 559

    Evenings were beautiful on the front porch…

    Asheville Family Vaca 510

    Aunties taught neices how to make faces…

    Asheville Family Vaca 508
    Asheville Family Vaca 505

    Asheville Family Vaca 493

    Aunties loved on little neices…

    Asheville Family Vaca 406

    I think someone likes me… ♥

    Asheville Family Vaca 460-1Asheville Family Vaca 465

    Oldest brother, youngest sisters…

    Asheville Family Vaca 298

    Children ate uncontrolled amounts of candy…

    Barkman Family 026

    And we did a photo shoot one afternoon. One thing about my family – there are cameras everywhere!!

    At a sapphire mine, holding a sapphire embedded in a rock…

    sapphire mine

    Sister pictures were taken…

    Asheville Family Vaca 376

    Mother and daughters pictures were taken…

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    Brother pictures….

    Asheville Family Vaca 400

    Six-of-Us pictures…

    the 6ers

    Father & Mother pictures…

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    Attempts at family pictures were taken… goodness, it’s difficult with this many people!

    Barkman Family 216

    Zoe and Olivia snapshots were taken…

    Asheville Family Vaca 310
    Asheville Family Vaca 311

    Attempts were made at pictures of our little family of four. You’d think it would be no big deal, but just check out some of the pictures that made it on the camera…

    Barkman Family 241 Barkman Family 255
         “the floppy-knee child”                                          “the run-away baby”

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                                ”the hand-tugger”

    Barkman Family 239
                                “the case of the missing baby”

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                                          “in need of grace”

    And at last, a few that might be okay!! :)




    And we’re left with more lovely memories of family time and laughter and talks… God knew what He was doing when He created family!

    “Families are like fudge – mostly sweet with a few nuts.”
    - unknown

    “In some families, please is described as the magic word. 
    In our house, however, it was sorry. ”
    ~Margaret Laurence

    Today, enjoy your very own family – the quirks, the sweetness, 
    the wonderfulness that makes them YOURS!
    [even if you're in one of the above moments, "in need of grace." :) ]

    ~ clarita