Welcome to my little ol' blog. I'll be upfront about it: I don't blog very often any more. If you found your way here because you read my book "Trailer Life," have a gander! But it's easier to keep up with me on Instagram or on my Facebook page. I have this long, drawn out theory on why I'm a terrible blogger, but that is a story for another day. Enjoy the ramblings of my life from the last 8 years or so.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Forest in a box update

TaDa! We have foliage. The trees to this point are doing very well. A couple haven't done anything yet, so I moved them into the sun better. They may not have gotten enough hormone on them, though. But, it's only a few, so the other 100+ trees are still something to be happy about.
Hybrid poplars- Ryan said these are the gender that don't leave a white cottony mess in the spring. (Must be females...) I remember a song from a commercial during my childhood, mybe sung by John Denver that went something like this: "Plant a tree, for your tomorrow. Plant a tree, it clears the air. Plant a tree, trees for America, and show the world you care." I sing it every time I see my trees. (Just like I sing "Let's go fly a kite" from Mary Poppins every time I fly a kite. Just can't help it.)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Ed!

7 months
Happy birthday to Ed- a boy who is tough, gross, loving, and happy. He has had more injuries or SHOULD have had more injuries than his siblings, but he's so tough he doesn't complain. He's gross because he still eats dog food and doggie treats, and is excited about it. ("Look mom! Dog food!") He also eats ants, bugs, dirt, marbles, craft foam... He is loving- he always comes up to me and wraps his arms around my legs and says "I love you, mom." He loves his brother and sisters. He is happiest when he is running far, far away from whoever is calling his name. It makes him happy to eat crackers, play with ant hills, poke bees, hide from mom in the store, run fast and far away (I know I said that already, but it is his FAVORITE), be dirty, and be with his family. Happy 2nd Birthday!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Here is all my parent's grandkids. With one on the way, via Karen.

A Day in the Life

My day is just not complete unless it involves blood, sweat, and tears. This is just this morning: Jessie wakes up at 4:50 to eat. No big deal, she's been asleep forever anyway, and it's a little cold in the trailer. I take care of the girl, and then put her in bed with me because of the chill. This is at 5:30. At 6:00 am, Ed wakes up all cheery and happy, playing with my feet. I dutifully get up, grumble that it is TOO early to be awake, and turn on cartoons and get him some Reece's cereal, dry of course. I go back to bed, when I hear Kacy get up. I think I can relax now, because she is up and can watch for major disasters. My "mommy sense" is tingling and I get up to see Ed climbing on the kid's table, reaching into the kitchen towards the knives. I yell "No!!!" and he stops (because the other day I came out of the bathroom and in the 20 seconds I was in there, he had grabbed our French knife. By the handle... thank goodness. Freaked me out, my active imagination envisioning Ed running with said knife in the opposite direction and all the gory things that could happen. I don't do blood.) Anyway, my scream of "No!!!" gets his attention, and wakes up Will. I still attempt to get a few more minutes of sleep (How thick can I be???) when I hear water. Not running water, but puddles. I sit bolt upright in the bed, get out, and lo and behold, Ed dumped out my ice chest full of melting ice water from our grocery excursion last night. (That's what you do when you don't want your milk and cheese to taste funny- you take an ice chest when you live in the middle of nowhere.) Kacy is being very nice and trying to reach the paper towels to clean it up. I tell her "Thanks, but please go stand over there so I can do it." and I grab two dish towels. Then I grab two bath towels. Ed slips in the water. Because he was dancing in it. "Funny, mommy!" "Not funny, Ed!" We go about our morning. It takes Will over an hour to get dressed. AND Will is in my face all morning being very defiant and rude. Then, I have one of Ryan's friends pull up to the trailer, and at the same time I have my friend Marcie return my phone call and I needed to talk to her to find out where playgroup was. I felt like I was being rude to both of them. I asked Marcie to hold on, even though she JUST called me. I had to tell Tim that Ryan was getting ready for court. I had to tell the kids to get in the car... a hectic 5 minutes. We go to playgroup- not before running over the ice chest that Ed had emptied and that I threw outside. We went to a camp ground and did a nature walk and had a camp fire- even with the fire it was still fun. No one has bled yet today, but there has been plenty of sweat (mine) and tears (Will's Ed's, and almost mine) Everyone is napping now, so I am feeling the love again.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Kacy's Kindergarten Physical

Kacy had her physical, and everything went well, except that she failed the hearing test in one ear because of an ear infection. And the shots... she was so nervous and would not take her eyes off the needles. She was great for the finger poke and has great iron stores. She did okay with the TB test, although she was TENSE! I tried to make her look at me, but she is strong and watched the needles the whole time. She got four additional vaccinations, all of them in her arms, and one of them made her cry because it hurt. Which made me get teary-eyed, because I could tell it hurt her. She is 44 1/2 inches tall and weighs 48 pounds. Now she is ready for school. Yea!

Forest in a Box

We ordered a "Forest in a Box" of hybrid poplar trees. For $63.00 plus shipping, we got 110 cuttings and everything to make them grow. If all goes well, in just a few short years we will have a nice privacy screen and lots of shade. Right now they are locked in the dog's cage so that the critters can's get to them- but wait! One is missing! Seriously, now we only have 109 trees, and the missing tree went missing on a day the kids were not outside. And on a gardening note, my garden is in ruins, as George ate my grid, dug up the onions and carrots, and Ed pulled out all the little bean plants that had sprouted. It will be electrified shortly.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Call me crazy...

I posted awhile ago that when I turn 50 my goal was to buy a ridiculously impractical car that goes fast from the Barrett-Jackson auction. Just for fun. Then I posted about opening an after school center. Well, I woke up this morning with the the idea that I need to start working on my after school center NOW. I have no money, no "place" to put it, and am working out the technicalities like licensing requirements if any, grants/funding, how a non-profit 501 (c) 3 is set up, what programs (vocational/safety/health/tutoring...) to offer, how to recruit volunteers, my goals/objectives (mission statement), and anything else that keeps popping into my head. I want to serve high school students for sure, and middle school students if I can (licensing stuff...). So, if any of you know anything about what I want to do, please share. If you are in my area and know of land/buildings to lease/rent or some wealthy older people who want to donate and have the center named after them (I'm totally serious about that- you never know unless you ask) let me know.

Pictures and info about the fam to come later.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Kacy

Two and a half
18 months
Six months (or so...)

Happy Birthday Kacy! We love you! You are smart, a good helper, and kind to your brothers. You have grown up so much and pretty soon you will start school! (We are both SOOOO excited.) You are a good girl Kacy!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

My week in Pictures

"Heeere mousy, mousy, mousy..." This is a drowned woodrat. It's a rat but kind of cute like a mouse. In my washing machine. I came into the trailer and told Ryan I had a "man job" for him to do. He said I was a wimp and should do it, and I said "Okay, you change Jessie's poopy diaper" and he left to get the rat out of my machine. He used pliers to fling it into the bushes. (LOVE having bushes where things can be flung to...)
We have an insane amount of butterflies right now. After I water my garden, they come out in full force for a sip of water. Will is fascinated by them.
Close up of one of the butterflies- they make me happy.
Ed and his trail of stuff. Just when the trailer is perfectly clean...
Jessie is awesome. I couldn't ask for a better fourth kid. She had her two month appointment earlier in the month, and here are her stats. She is our smallest kid yet! Jessie- 10#15oz, 23 inches. Kacy-14#08oz, 25", Will- 13#10oz, 24", Ed- 13#03oz, 25 inches.
We went to Murray Farms for playgroup. On the plus side, there were no field trips so the place was relatively empty. That was really relaxing. On the downside, we paid $7.00 per person for the group tour which included the petting zoo, the hay maze, and a tractor ride for fruit picking. We got to pick 2 peaches each. That's it. Last year we got to pick blueberries, a peach, a nectarine, and an apricot. So, we were all disappointed and since this is our third time going, and the last two times weren't great, we won't go again.

We had other stuff happen, too. My visiting teacher/friend Jenny came over with pizza and an ice crushing machine and the kids had fun. We went to Ridgecrest Thursday night because it was hot, I didn't want to cook, Home Depot needed more of our money... the kids were belted in, given Taco Bell, and were fabulous. It was almost like a date! (What are those???) I added three more blogs to my list: Jimmy Bunting, Maryellen and Brandon Hess, and Angie Thompson's. The week wouldn't be complete without three colds, one fever, a goose-egg on the forehead, and a split and bleeding lip. 90% of those injuries are Ed's.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The "more or less" diet

I have been "dieting" since I had Jessie. I am on the "more or less" diet. I try to move around more and eat more veggies. I try to eat less sugary foods, less high fat foods. And I follow it, more or less.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

You just can't win

Just a thought for today- I wonder why people are so concerned about how many kids you have or don't have. It goes both ways. Random people in the grocery store look at me like I'm crazy (serious looks- hard to ignore the looks) and MOST make comments about my kids being "all yours? You've got your hands full!" If I had a dollar for how many times I've heard my hands are full I'd own my own small country. Almost. And then on the other end are the people who say "When are you going to have the next one?" and when I give them a look of terror and shake my head "no" (or if it's in a good moment, my eyes just get really big and I say (calmly) "We're done", do I get the "silence of surprise" like they are disappointed, followed quickly by "Why?". And if I'm super lucky I'll get the "tisk, tisk, you shouldn't use birth control. EVER" (Seriously... heard it.) I have friends who think two kids might be enough for them, and friends who plan on having kids until they physically can't anymore. Which one is right? BOTH of them are, because we do what is right for OUR families. Not the random ladies/men in Vons, not our friends, not our relatives. Now, if you ask me if we are going to have more kids I would tell you. But if you tell me my answer is "wrong", I might pull out my sassy attitude and give you the "what for". Anyone else experience this?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day! Here is my annual Mother's Day photo. Note how funny I look, and that I didn't take Jessie out of her seat. This was right after church, she had just eaten, and we had a good hour and some minutes in the car ahead of us. I didn't want to wake her up. At least the kids are all looking at the camera. I have another shot of us where I look decent, but the kids are all looking at the ground. Figures. My Mother's Day started at 2:30AM with Ed running up to our room and me putting him back to bed. Jessie heard us and since we were both awake, I fed her, not for very long though, as she fell asleep pretty quickly. At 4:50AM she woke up "for reals" and I fed her again, and then kept her in bed with me for an hour because it was cold and she kept kicking off her blanket (even with the swaddling-which works SO well to help little ones sleep...) Then at 7:07AM I get up with Kacy and Ed and make pancakes. Kacy says "Mom, what would we do without you?" and I reply in a very sleepy and a little sassy tone, "You would be wearing dirty underwear and be covered in bugs, I'm sure." We get ready for church, and on the way to church Kacy says "Mom, you sure are lucky to have four kids." At church Ryan is speaking, so while he sits up front, I'm in my bench with aforementioned FOUR kids by myself. Sacrament meeting starts at 10:00AM, and at 10:01 Will tells me he has to go potty. I leave Kacy and Jessie on the bench with the lady who sits behind us, Nancy, watching them. Will, Ed, and I go to the bathroom. (Ed HAS to go because he won't sit with anyone else. Fun!) We get back to the chapel just after the opening hymn started. I missed all the announcements. Ed is in fine form since I took the Jolly Rancher that Will gave to him away (he swallows them whole.) Tantrum. Fits. Wailing and gnashing of teeth. I throw the guy some marshmallows. He is still rotten the rest of the time as he sits on my lap. The bread and water are passed around and we go through our "More bread! More bread, Mom!" routine. Meanwhile I'm watching Jessie sucking on her hand and being all alert- two signs she's working up to a feeding. We listen to two speakers, listen to the Primary kids sing their Mother's Day song (which my kids refused to do... punks!) and a flute/piano duet. Ryan stands up to give his talk on "the divine role of motherhood" while I stand up to leave with Jessie who had started to fuss. Will went with the family in front of us, Kacy was farmed out to Dany and Jim in the back, and Ed, Jessie, and I went out. I didn't hear a word of Ryan's talk, which is too bad because he is a great speaker. One of my favorites, right after Jeffery R. Holland. But I digress. Our meetings were canceled after that (as a side note- I think it's a bit of a punishment really, to cancel the last two hours of church in the name of motherhood. I kinda like the little break I get for two hours when Ed is in the nursery and the other two are busy with singing and learning...) We went to my mom's house and visited for awhile, and then went to Ryan's mom's house and did the same. It was a fun day.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


5150- That's fuzz talk for "criminally insane" or just plain "crazy". I saw a lady on my way to the library that maybe could have been 5150- she was talking to the cars as they whizzed by her. But that's besides the point. I think I am crazy. I need to get my head checked, quite possibly. I took the kids to story time at the library today. Kacy was great, Will did better than expected, and Ed was awful. Jessie was awake in her seat. On the positive side, I didn't need to feed her the whole time we were there. Kacy and Will(mostly) sat on the blanket and listened to three stories about bugs. They listened to the songs. They actually looked a little scared. Ed had to sit on my lap and kept whining. After the whining came "Help! Help! Mom, stuck! Help!" as I was holding him down, trying to keep him quiet. Then came the craft. Kacy was marvelous, Will needed a little help, but did pretty well with scissors. Ed liked coloring. All of a sudden, Will needed to use the bathroom, and Jessie had a MAJOR blowout. Oozing diaper mess. I take Will, Jessie, and Ed to the bathroom. The library lady said "See you next time!" and I said "Oh, we'll be back..." We come back. A dirty kid of about 8 or 9 was playing with Jessie. His mom told him not to touch her because he was so filthy (her words) and I was grateful. Then two little ones kept touching her. I let the kids pick ONE book each and both Kacy and Will said "Where's MY book mom? The one about..." because they both check out the same book every time. We finally locate the books, and then I had the audacity to try and find a book for myself. I attempted to find the self help section. Looking for anything on parenting Will. Find "It takes a Village" by Hillary Clinton. No thanks- she had like what, one kid? And Chelsea probably spent most of her life with an adult other than her parents. Some books about dealing with your kids' ADD/ADHD. Nothing I wanted. At this point I would have almost picked up anything. Almost. The kids are getting restless, Ed wants desperately to run around the library. The filthy kid I mentioned earlier was chasing Ed with a toy snake the library has, and Ed was screaming at the top of his lungs "Mom! Nake! Nake! Monster Nake! AHHHHHHHH!" Until I caught up to him and whisked him away. I was slightly embarrassed ONLY because there were people in the library who looked like they were not amused. But you know what? They need not come during storytime then, if they are going to be that put out by the obnoxious kids. I will probably go again (WHAT????) only because it is so good for them all to get out in the world and learn.

This year's garden

I am going to try doing the square foot garden this year- only in a container. We have so many deterrents to gardening in the earth- mostly the four-legged kind. So Ryan bought me this feeding trough, I made my little squares, and I have planted two tomato plants (one determinant, the other indeterminant) some onions, carrots, and bush beans (green and purple). I am going to plant some more in a week or two to stagger the crops. I have never grown a garden. Maybe once or twice as a kid we had one, but that doesn't count. Kacy and Will each have their own square. They planted carrots. Ryan is going to weld up some vertical supports for my vining plants. Seems like everything I truly love in veggies is a vine and takes up lots of room. So, vertical gardening it is. (Or at least I HOPE it is. I'm a bit timid about the whole thing, even though I saw on TV a whole rooftop greenhouse devoted to the vertical raising of tomatoes.)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Jessie's Blessing

So typical- I try t get a group shot of the kids and 99% of them look like this one.
The nicest group shot I could manage before they usurped my authority and fled the scene.

Yesterday was a great day. Both Ryan and I agreed at the end of the day that we were both really happy about the whole thing. Yesterday Ryan blessed Jessie in church. Our entire immediate family was able to be there, and well as one of Jessie's great grandmas, Ellen. We disrupted several people's Sunday's by taking up several pews, which is always funny to me. I've been on both ends of the "that's my bench!" phenomenon. We are such creature's of habit. After church my side of the family came out to our property to see it and the house. Kendra and Michael (and kids) were out here a year ago for Spring break camping, my parents had been out here three years ago before we moved, and Steven, April, Karen, and Jason had never been out here. We had a picnic- kind of. Sandwiches, chips, drinks. It's hard to have people over because mostly you just stand in the dirt. The weather was perfect. After they left, we left and went to Bakersfield for Jocelyn's birthday. We had ribs. Yummy! The kids all played outside, and with a few exceptions, they were good! (My kids were the bad ones.)
We had a busy week last week, and I will post more pictures of it later.