Merry Christmas from the Barrs!

Merry Christmas from the Barrs!

For the first time in nearly 13 years, we’ve decided not to mail out traditional Christmas cards.  Instead, we’ll save trees and money by posting a little end-of-the-year family update in the blogosphere. Ryan has been with E&J Gallo Winery for more than 13 years.  Currently, he serves as Director of Wine & Grape Supply and […]

Reuse, Repaint, Redecorate

Reuse, Repaint, Redecorate

Over the last thirteen years I’ve developed a love… then hate… then love-hate… and back-to-love relationship with our house.  Is it my dream home?  Not necessarily.  But right about the time I start to get irritated with living here, God presents me with the opportunity to realize we’re right where we’re supposed to be.  This house […]

Second Thanksgiving

Second Thanksgiving

For Ryan’s side of the family, Thanksgiving is a multi-day extravaganza.  Most of those in attendance travel from hither and yon so the celebration begins as soon as the first faction arrives. Festivities included decorating gingerbread men (because it’s never too early to celebrate Christmas, especially when the cousins won’t be together then)… and a […]

First Thanksgiving 2014

First Thanksgiving 2014

For the first time in a very long time, we were able to spend an entire day with my parents and my brother and his family.  And it was AWESOME!  We chose to celebrate Thanksgiving a bit early to make sure that we’d have plenty of time for cooking, eating, and enjoying each other without having […]

Magnificent Meatloaf

Magnificent Meatloaf

For the last few weeks, our small group has been working through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (which I highly recommend).  During our monthly Budget Committee meetings, Ryan and I have learned that giving each dollar a job involves a lot more than just writing down numbers.  It also means talking about our plans for […]

Homework Station = Creative Inspiration

Homework Station = Creative Inspiration

Technically, I’m still a credentialed teacher in the state of California.  So you’d think that I would have created a dedicated space for my boys to do homework long before Ryder was halfway through first grade.  Buuuuuuut you’d be wrong. After enduring yet another “Mooooooom, Evan’s distracting me!” argument, I’d had it.  It was the straw that […]

Happy Hallow-IN

Happy Hallow-IN

The last few months have rolled through our lives like a runaway freight train.  We’ve been surprised by one strange event after another, and at times it seemed as if there was barely enough time or space to take a breath. Amidst the chaos I began asking the boys what they wanted to be for Halloween. […]

Keeping Us in Stitches... And Staples

Keeping Us in Stitches… And Staples

I didn’t even realize it had happened at first because he didn’t fight back. As he often does, Lobo got a case of the “zoomies,” running back and forth and ’round and ’round and up and over – something Nikki haaaaaaaated.  Most of the time, puppy zoomies are entertaining.  But giant puppy zoomies can be dangerous, and […]

Another Sad Goodbye

Another Sad Goodbye

Just a few months after we got married, Ryan and I welcomed our first “baby” – who just happened to have four legs and a long tail.  (Read more about Toby here.)  He was only six weeks old when we brought him home, and clearly hadn’t been with his littermates long enough to learn proper […]

Success!

Success!

When Ryder started preschool, I had no doubt he would be confident and tear-free.  But I wasn’t so sure about how Evan would react this morning on his first day.  We’ve been talking it up, big time… about how much fun it is and how he’ll get to play on the playground, make new friends, […]