Monday, December 31, 2007

Paw Paw’s Visit

Paw Paw came to stay with us for a few days… this, unfortunately, is the only proof that we have!

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As evidenced above, we treated him to a little visit at the San Antonio Zoo! Paw Paw likes animals just like Ben, so we all had a great time! Thanks for coming to see us, Paw Paw! We’ll try to take more pics next time!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Ben at 18 months

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Ben has done a lot growing in the past few months… the biggest area being his language. He wasn’t really saying any words when he turned 1. Now, just six short months later, he has almost too many to count. Here is my best attempt at compiling a list:

Hi, Milk, More, Roux, Dee, Sit, Fish, Go, I Got It, Hair, Mouth, Uh-oh, Ball, Bye, Eat, Please, Sweetie, Tanner, Book, Banana, Truck, No, Eyes, Lips, Hello, Water, Mom, Night-Night, Thank You, Grammy, Help, Puppy, Ro-Ro, Ride, Home, Nose, Face, Shoe, Chair, Daddy, Bath, Army, Paw Paw, Hot, Duck, Wiggles, All Done, Paci, Ears, Tree, Bite, Cookie

Whew – he is one little chatter box. Things are definitely not very quiet around our house.

Along with his exploding language, Ben has also been developing his social skills. He has never met a stranger and he is not bashful IN THE LEAST. He’s had plenty of opportunities to charm the masses during our trips to see family, at home with the college kids, at school twice a week, in the church nursery on Saturday nights, and with his many friends during our play dates and outings. He also confidently navigates the halls of my office when he visits me at work… he knows exactly which ministers have jelly beans, animal crackers, or little toys in their office.

As Ben grows, I can see so many of his Daddy’s great qualities in him (his sense of humor, charm and good looks), as well as some of the not so great ones (Daddy, too, is a “talker” and he got into his fair share of trouble for being chatty in school when he was growing up). It will be fun to see all of the ways that he grows up to be like his daddy. :)

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas in Gilmer

We spent the Christmas holidays this year with Grammy & Grandad in Gilmer. Of course, the weather and the outdoors felt and looked a whole lot more like Fall than Winter. We didn’t complain too much, because we were able to spend lots of time outside enjoying the very comfortable temperatures!
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We took lots of family photos while we were there. Here are the 4 generations on the Barrick side.
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Not to be undone by the 4 generations on the Davis side.
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And a big group shot… though Grandma Evelyn must have snuck inside.
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There were some bonus extended family members, too! Ben was doted on all day by Katie & Lauren.
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Even Sweetie decided to come over from Louisiana and spend the holidays with us… she just couldn’t resist being with her Ben on Christmas! 
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Like I said before, Texas Winter aka Fall was in full swing. There were some of the hugest piles of leaves I’ve ever seen! I was a little worried Benji might get lost!
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He was not worried at all, and entertained himself forever throwing leaves here, there, and everywhere.
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He even talked Sweetie into some leaf pile fun. Throw them like THIS, Sweetie!
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We had yummy food, enjoyed a great church service at First Baptist Gilmer, and then we opened up presents in true Barrick style – on Christmas Eve. That tradition is going to take some getting used to! ;)

Brian looked pleased as can be that present time was finally here!
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I helped Ben open some of his presents.
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He got the hang of things pretty quick, and he was soon taking matters into his own hands.
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These blocks were definitely a hit! I don’t know what kind of silliness Grandad was up too, but Ben was grinning from ear to ear. Priceless!
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Grandma Barrick was also happy to oblige Ben with a little game playing.
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It was a sweet Christmas with both sides of the family represented! We are so that Jesus came so many years ago so that we can walk with him today and have his presence and blessings covering our family! Merry Christmas!

Christmas Card 2007

It’s time for the 2nd annual family Christmas letter ~ once again from Brian’s point of view. :)
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Dear Friends & Family,

This year has flown by! Benjamin is 18 months old and getting into everything. It’s been really exciting watching him change so much this past year. He starting to talk and spends his days helping Gabi around the house and playing with Army (our dog). He goes to Mother’s Day Out every week and loves playing and singing songs. As his Great G’ma Barrick likes to say, he can be a “rascal” like all the Barrick boys!

Gabi decided to change jobs in October. She is now a financial assistant at our church. She loves it and thinks that it may be just he career that God has in store for her. It’s very flexible and she can work around Ben’s and my schedule.

I’m still working at a county deputy. I recently got promoted to the Patrol Division, and I am currently in training for that new position. I worked in the jail for 3 1/2 years, so I’m definitely looking forward to a change of scenery. After working nights for the past nine months, it will be nice to work the day shift while I’m in training for a while.

This fall we led a Young Life small group on Monday nights for a group of college students. Gabi led Bible study and discussion for 3 girls, and I led a group of 7 guys. The meetings usually ended with Gabi having to kick them out at 11pm or so, because they grew accustomed to watching Monday night football and eating our food. We’ve also continued to attend our Wednesday night Young Families group at church. The semester we did the study “Experiencing God”, and we really enjoyed learning more about how God is working in and around our lives.

I managed to get off for both Thanksgiving and Christmas this year! We spent the week of Thanksgiving travelling around South Texas and Louisiana visiting relatives. Ben was not so fond of the nine hour drive home, and it took a couple days of coaxing to convince him to get back into his car seat. We will be spending Christmas with my parents in Winnsboro. We are very grateful to get to spend the holidays with our families, and the grandparents are taking advantage of every opportunity to spoil Ben.

We really miss all of you! Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you are ever in or around San Antonio. Please keep up in your prayers this year as I move into a patrol position with the Sheriff’s office, and please continue to pray for Gabi’s brother’s safe return from Afghanistan. (We are looking forward to him coming home in April!) We hope that you all enjoy celebrating the birth of our Savior this Christmas season!

Love,
Brian, Gabi & Ben

Dec Fam

Monday, December 17, 2007

Britt & Holly’s wedding

We had the privilege of attending Britt Duke’s wedding this past weekend. Britt was Brian’s best friend in High School. He was a groomsmen in our wedding, and now, it was Brian’s turn to stand next to him while he said his “I do’s”.

Sadly, I have not a single picture of Britt and Holly from their special day. I’m guessing because I was spending so much time chasing after this little guy while Brian was performing his duties.
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However, we did have the chance to get lots of family pics, as all of the Barricks were in attendance!

The brothers…
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…and their brides.
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Grammy was especially thrilled to get some extra Ben time!
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Britt and Holly live in Waco, so we were able to stay at Brad & Jess’s house. We also got to visit Brad at his Fire Station the next day.
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Climbing fire trucks is dirty business. I think this shirt is a goner.
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Thank you for including us in your special day, Holly & Britt! Your wedding was so fun and sweet and we are so excited for your future as a married couple!

Love, The Barricks

Monday, December 3, 2007

College Life

Young Life has been a part of our lives since Brian and I met. I joined the O’Connor team in the Fall of 2001. Brian and I were dating then and he was an honorary leader whenever he was in town. Bri joined the team full time in 2004 when he moved to San Antonio and we got married. It is just a fun ministry – no one does outreach to high school kids the way YL does. Amazing, life-changing stuff.
The Spring before Ben was born, I stepped into the role of a part-time leader and just helped with Campaigners once a week. (Pregnancy + working full-time + going back to school were all taking their toll and I was WORN OUT). Brian finished out the semester, continuing to go to club and other activities. Once Ben was born, we both decided to take some time to just figure out how to operate as a family of three. It was nice to have the extra time, but we really missed ministry and being around our high school peeps.

When Ben turned 1, we were decided to get back in the game, this time working with college students. “College Life” took place on Sunday nights, and we had a blast getting to know students. We were asked to be small group leaders, so we welcomed a group of guys & girls into our house one night a week, too. These kids were a blast. They completely made themselves at home and I often had to kick them out when it got so late that I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore! We finished out our first semester with a fun Christmas party. Ben stayed up for part of the festivities. There was yummy treats and lots of laughs – it was an awesome way to finish off our first semester of College Life!

Bailey & Christina were my helpful little elves in the kitchen!
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Andy was trying to spread some of his Christmas cheer to Joel, who looked a bit uncomfortable.
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Speaking of uncomfortable, I think Ben was completely over this Christmas party. We also may need to retire those jammies… such a chunk!
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It was so fun talking Jesus and life with these folks each week. It’s been a great semester!
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Taylor, Bailey, Brian, Liz, Caleb, Andy, Joel & Christina

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Cajun Thanksgiving

We left Ivanhoe and instead of going home, we headed to Louisiana to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family. We made a brief detour to Baton Rouge where we had dinner with some of my Aunts and Uncles and spent the night at my Uncle Wayne & Aunt Pepper’s house. The next morning, we drove the last leg down to the bayou. Instead of staying at Mom’s house, she arranged for us to stay at her boss’s house at Port Fourchon. It was great to have so much room (there were THREE stories). Ben loved going up and down the stairs and being right on the water. I was a little nervous that he might wander outside and try to take a little swim, but we kept a close eye on him and he did fine.
Mom cooked dinner down there for us on Thanksgiving day and it was YUMMY. Uncle Curtis and Aunt Cindy spent part of the day with us, and Dad was hanging around, too. The highlight was that we were able to have Gabe with us for a little while. He and Ben always play so well together! I wish I had taken more pictures while we were down there, but these are the best that we got!
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Sweet boys enjoying a game of golf
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All prepped out for Turkey Day
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A current favorite pastime - opening and closing doors
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Gobble, Gobble, Friends!
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I love this sweet family pic
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Not sure what we were looking at - buncha crazies
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The two most handsome fellas that I know!

Unfortunately, as soon as dinner was over we had to clean up, pack up, and head out. We drove straight home all the way back to San Antonio. Ben did pretty well. There was a little bit of whining, but that is to be expected when you strap an 18 month old in for a 9 hour drive. He did cry every time I put him in his car seat for a few days after we got home. Poor little guy. It was still a great little trip across Texas and South Louisiana and we were grateful that we got to see so many family & friends. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Ivanhoe

Every year, Brian’s family (on his Mom’s side) gets together in November for a family reunion. It takes place in the middle of the East Texas woods about 1 hour north of Beaumont. It’s always a good time to see everybody and catch up. The main (okay, only) activities are eating, talking, burning things, and playing washers. Good times are had by all!
Ben had a blast this year. He is the perfect age to enjoy the great outdoors and did his fair share of digging, rock throwing, and stick collecting. Thankfully, there is a strictly enforced age minimum for the burning activities. Whew.
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The campfire set up. This is where we spend most of our time. Cop stories
dominate the conversation, as there are 7 or 8 police officers in the family!
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There's always a crowd indoors, too. The TV is tuned in to football,
 or being used for video games. You can't see it, but the dessert table is
always over to the right and I must admit it's one of my favorite
parts of Ivanhoe. :)
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The big kids preparing their s'mores. YUM-MY!
It's a great time to visit and catch up with cousins that we typically don't get to see throughout the year.
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Katie & Lauren - Brian's 1st cousins
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Some of Bri's 3rd cousins - Samantha, Dylan, Harper & Hannah
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Ben giving hugs to Hannah!
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Ben spent A LOT of time being mischievous with Grandad - no surprise there!
There are four siblings in the Lee Family (Brian's Grandma Evelyn, Judy, Charles & Earl). The reunion attendees are their children, grand children & great grand children. Here they are with their spouses:


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Judy, Kenneth, Grandma Evelyn, Jonelle, Earl, Paula & Charles
Group pictures are a must-do over the weekend. Here are the pics of the Davis-Lees!

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Wayne, Ben, Diane, Uncle Mark, Grandma Evelyn, Bri & Me... I think
Terry & Linda & the girls (Katie & Lauren) were gone already. Brad had to
work, so he and Jess couldn't make it. :(

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Big smiles - we had a lot of fun!
We were lucky that Brian was able to get off for Ivanhoe this year... we had a great time! It should only take us about a week to recover from the over eating and smoke inhalation! :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

This was the first year that Ben could actually go trick-or-treating on his own and he had a great time! We ordered him a Yoda costume and he was AHHH-DORABLE in it. We took him to SeaWorld in costume to see their Halloween festivities and people kept commenting about what a cute little Shrek he was. Seriously?
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Yoda or Shrek? You decide.
The Ivankovich Family invited us to their neighborhood on Halloween night. It was fun to have some friends to trick-or-treat with. The kids looked great in their costumes, although Ben was a little out of place. (I’m not 100% positive, but I’m pretty sure Dorothy’s third friend was the Tin Man and not Yoda/Shrek).
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The Wizard of Oz... in a galaxy far, far away!

Ben turned out to be a trick-or-treating pro. He had no problems walking up to strange houses, and he wasn’t the least bit bothered by the older kids in (sometimes scary) costumes. I guess he figured he’d do whatever he had to do to get the candy. :)
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He looks so big walking with his Daddy!
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Our very first house - please excuse my rear end.
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"Everyone we know is just GIVING away candy?"
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Just checking... yep... candy is still in there.
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Keep on keepin' on
What a fun night it was! Thank you to Mimi, Aaron & Josh for inviting us to spend it with you!

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