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.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

My Kids Got Sent to Their Rooms Today!

Not really, as they don't have rooms, or even a "room". But, they were caught playing "house" on our house, and they were in their "rooms". Yesterday we outlined where all the walls are going to be. We made a few decisions: the interior walls are going to be 2x6 as well (the exterior ones are already going to be). A few interior walls were going to be 2x6 because they were "wet walls" where there is going to be a whole lot of pipes, vents, and water lines. A 2x6 wall gives more room for all those pipes. Then, we looked at how many walls were remaining, decided that there weren't that many, and we might as well make them all the same. It'll do a few things (besides raising the price slightly): it'll make the buying of wood a tad easier ("Hello. I need 4000 2x6's. please." Just kidding, I don't know how many we need.) Also, it makes the walls thicker (duh), and that just looks cool for door jambs and window openings. We also made two door openings bigger. Ryan is going to take a Sharpie to the white paint and mark all the window openings and sizes and what-not. It was a long project- building a house is so "technical". Whenever Ryan starts asking me something involving numbers, my brain starts to kind of hum to itself and my eyes start wandering. Don't tell him.

More gray hairs:
Last week Kacy came out of the bathroom and said, "Mom! Give me my choices of who I am going to marry." Last night she got out of the bath tub and said the same thing: "Mom! Give me my choices of who I am going to marry!" I said "Let's wait until you are 30."
"30? That's so old, mom!"
"Okay, how about 18?"
"That's much better. Oh! I am going to get married, and I need to start practicing changing diapers. Mom, can I change Jessie's diapers so I can practice? I really need to start practicing now. I have so much to learn!"

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Maybe I Will Homeschool

-because I'm pretty sure Will and Ed have no desire to call Kacy on the phone, and because I know they don't care about having Kacy over for sleepovers.

-Please tell me what the rule is in your house regarding phone calls and sleepovers. She just got off the bus and is eating a snack. Already I have had to tell Kacy (today!) that she needed to be 8 years old before she had a sleepover, and that I have to meet the parents first. I don't know why "8", except by then she'll be older. Good logic, eh? And for social phone calls?
(Maybe I'll tell her to give out my cell phone number. It's long distance and I don't get reception at home. Am I evil, or what? I wonder if Ryan can run a background check. I think it's against policy/unethical though, so that's a no-go. Ah! I'll make HIM go meet the parents, on his way to work, so he'll be all in uniform with a gun and patrol car. Good, honest people will not be intimidated. Shady people will, though. It's perfect!) I'm not ready for this yet. Girls! Aack!

Some of the Reasons I'm Not Going to Homeschool

This is some of my reasoning in making the decision of whether or not to home school. I have very little against homeschooling. If you home school, more power to you. It's just not for me. I have considered it. I've read lots about it. But, I'm not going to right now. (I'll leave the door open for later though, because you never know what changes may appear). Here's why:
For HS: customized curriculum for your kids. If they need extra help, you can spend more time on something. If they are ahead of the game, you can speed them up so they aren't bored.
Against: When a child grows to be an adult and gets a job or becomes a parent, there are times when they will need to step up the pace and do the boring things until they are complete. I figure doing that in school is a way to help my kids "just deal with it" that sometimes life is boring. Also, as a parent, it is my job to tutor my children to help them catch up. If they are ahead, I would encourage them to do something to stretch them. Plus, our school does a "classrooms without boundaries" type of thing so that if your kid is strong/weak in something, they can go to another grade for help.
For HS: My own schedule! I hate having bus stop times! I guess I'm spoiled now.
Against: None. I love the idea of not having 7am pick ups and 3:30 drop offs.
For HS: Study whatever you want. No teacher saying "And now Kacy isn't going to read with the class because I need to hear the rest of you." and "Kacy is not going to help you with the calendar today because she already knows her numbers..." and if Kacy already knows all of this, than it would be nice if she could move on to the next subject. Basically, there is a ton of time wasted in school if you are kid who "gets it" the first or second time.
Against: I've met lots of people who don't "get it" in adulthood the first time, and require more patience. The workforce taught me that. Plus, it's good to have my kids learn to help other kids while they are young.
For HS: None of the social junk- lying, cheating, bragging, self confidence issues, most popular, skinniest, smartest, all the "-ests" you can think of. No "bad" influences.
Against: I don't want my kids to be sheltered from the real world. Just based on a life experience of mine: I went to Utah State for 18 months. It was a culture shock. Not only could I not find a decent tortilla, but I found most (please note "most". Not all. Not everyone. Just, "most." Thank-you.) of the people there to fit into three main categories: The LDS people who were very narrow minded (in that really bad way- not the "I don't believe in drinking beer, so no thank-you", but the "I can't believe ANYONE would even drink a beer. They are bad people."), the LDS people who were very rebellious, and then the non-LDS people just trying to survive a dominant culture that could easily present itself as "the only right way". Well, being from CA and never in a majority, this disturbed me. I think it's great my kids will be confronted with choices to make and different people to deal with. I will not hide them in my home from all the crap, rather I will teach them what we believe and why. For example: Ryan and I are traditional in the fact that we believe boys shouldn't pierce their ears. It's a girl thing. Kacy came home and said in her most scandalous voice, "Mom! There is this boy at school who has his ears pierced." I said "So?", to which she replied, "But Mom, boys aren't supposed to get their ears pierced. It's only for girls!" My reply to her went something like: "Kacy, don't you dare go tell that boy that only girls are supposed to pierce their ears.(Because she would...) He and his parents must think it is okay to do that, and it's not against the law. In our family, the boys will not pierce their ears, and if they do they will be in big, big trouble. Some families do different things. It's what YOU do that matters. Okay?" And as for self esteem issues, I think parents can help with that LOTS and LOTS.
For HS: Spending hours and hours engaged in deep philosophical conversation with your children.
Against: What? Hours and hours? And hours? Um, maybe not. :)

So basically, my academic reasons are weak. I will supplement/study with my kids anyway, after hours, on weekends, and especially during the summer. My social reasons won out. And, if you really want to refute my arguments, do. But, I'm not going to change my mind. I want my kids to be great leaders, and I will do what needs to be done to help them grow into confident, productive people of noble character. I think that they can do those things even while in public school, despite what the Internet says.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

This Week

Kacy got her ears pierced on Thursday. On her way to her art lesson we stopped at the mall and did it- she got quieter and quieter as she climbed into the chair. I picked out the little studs for her ears, as I did not give her a chance to pick out the sparkly fake diamond flowers they had. They pierced both ears at once, and she jumped when they did it. About a second after it was over, she looked so relieved and said, "Ow, that hurt a little!" The lady who did it asked Will if he wanted to get his done, and he gave her a crazy look and said "Nooo! That's for girls!" Then she asked Kacy if Jessie was going to get her ears pierced, and Kacy told her, "Not until she can decide for herself."

Jessie learned to climb our stairs this weeks. We have a total of three steps, and they are rather steep, and she is like a mountain goat in her skills. I hate it. See below.
The girl is not so skilled while sitting up the stairs. She turns herself around and sits her bottom on... nothing. She has fallen down badly three times. Today I saw her bounce down...I've nearly had a heart attack every time it's happened so far. (Twice yesterday, and once today.) Ed did the same thing, and Will did, too. PS- The laundry was clean and folded shortly after, and the gallon of water is in case another part of our well falls apart. It seems that cast iron will crack wide open under just the right circumstances.
We got some cement poured today with the "help" of Jimmy and David. I say "help" because when I went out there they were arguing over dumb things and calling each other names. It's good entertainment. They also "helped" my second child eat cement: they told a four year old, who idolizes them, that cement tasted like chocolate. (Dear Jimmy and David: Your deeds are being recorded and will be repaid in full. Sorry, Lindsey.)

In other news:
  • I've been reading this week, and ignoring my blog. I still haven't fixed it yet to my liking. I haven't even attempted.
  • I have decided against homeschooling. I always make lists, and use pros and cons. The pros to homeschooling were very enticing and numerous, but the weight I assigned to both the pros and cons weighed the short list of cons as the winner. So, without going into my deep philosophies, I will say that our children will attend public school, and for my own amusement and their development, we will study at home and take lots of field trips. For example, I want to take them to the Trial of 100 Giants. We will learn about the trees, study a few words to enhance our vocab, and then go see them. We will do the same for trains as we are going to Sacramento this summer to meet with an old friend of mine and her children. We'll probably study shells before we go to the beach. Or something like that. And then, when they are all in school, I will sit in front of the TV and watch Days and eat Bon Bons. Just kidding. I'll be busy doing laundry and running the hills.
  • I got my knee brace and new running shoes yesterday and gave them a whirl today. I have not run since I found out I was pregnant with Jessie, when I got nauseous and it was 110 degrees. It's been almost two years (Aach!). I love it. I'm not good, and my knee brace was hard to get used to. But, I'll get better with time. If I can find the time.
  • The books I read this week? A Thomas Jefferson Education (and I skimmed the two accompanying books) and Eldest, the second in the Inheritance series. I read Eragon last week, and hope to read the last title this week. I love to read more than I love running, and I particularly enjoy a good fantasy book. The books have dragons and magic and elves and whatnot, and I like that, because it's NOT REAL. It's a good escape from realism. I know, there is some eye-rolling going on, thinking "Ew! Sci-Fi? Fantasy? What a nerd!" Yeh, so what? I ALMOST make being a nerd cool. Almost. Which reminds me of my hair appointment:
  • I got my hair cut this week and while sitting in the chair with this new-to-me hair dude, I had old insecurities try to rear their ugly head. Like, when he made the connection that I'm related to Jocelyn, he launched into the "Oh, I had a few friends that were Mormon" thing, telling me about how he hung out with them and what they did, like they were so different than anyone else. I don't know, maybe they were. Also, he went to a completely different high school I did where there was a sizable amount of "Mormons", so it was completely different from where I went. There were 4 of us in my year, one boy, a girl I didn't know who went to church in Wasco and went by two different names, one for church and one for school, which I thought was weird, me, and the girl who hated my guts. No, really, she hated me from head to toe. Ask anyone. Also, I was reminded I'm a "natural" girl who doesn't wear a lot of make-up, and in that salon that day, it was a negative. AND the guy cutting my hair was way too flattering. It made me a little uncomfortable. But, I guess I like my haircut, and that's what counts, right? I just feel flustered when I feel like I will have to apply more eye-liner so as not to call attention to the fact that I'm "natural". I'm okay the way I am, dang-it! I am, I am!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Help, I need somebody! Help! Not just anybody! Help! You know I need someone, HELLLP! (The Beatles)

1) HOW do I center my header? On my screen it's off to the right, and it totally bugs me. I've Google searched/troubleshooted, but to no avail.
2) Is there a relation between eating chocolate and anger/severe moodiness? Um, no reason. No reason at all, just a hypothetical, "I wonder what would happen if someone ate a good amount of Dove Dark chocolate hearts yesterday, and now today that someone nearly ate her young?"

And, not that I want an answer for this exactly, but why can't someone just predict the weather and be right? Friday Kacy's school got let out early because of a snow storm. There are not enough snow plows for all the miles up here, and since the CalTrans guys have to take furlough days for the state budget, they basically said "Oh, sorry! I'm furloughed today. Good luck with the road conditions!" And I don't blame them one single bit. I'd do the same. I purposefully didn't go to Bakersfield because I didn't want to drive in the snow and/or get stuck down there. And IT DIDN'T SNOW. I could have gone. Play practice got ran a little late though, so I guess it all worked out. I can't wait for spring.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Ryan: "What are you reading?"
Me: "Stuff about homeschooling."
Ryan: "Maybe you should take up whittling or something."

Preschool- yes!

  • I went to the school board meeting last night, and they approved the moving forward of the preschool. Unfortunately, the principal/superintendent I'm working with is leaving. But she said she's commited to make sure this happens for the school. So, onward we go. Next step for her is to start the licensing process. Next step for me is apply for grants, get estimates, and prepare some financials.
  • I also talked to the board about starting a 4H club and they were more than willing to let us use the school facilities for free! And they pointed me to the two ladies who use to do it once upon a time. So I'll be calling them soon, too.
  • I sometimes read homeschooling sites and think "Oh! I should do that!" because it looks like fun. Then I look at my kids and think 'They are still in their PJ's and we've been up for nearly three hours already. And I have a baby. And then there is Ed. But, it would be nice to not have to worry about the bus. But this and that and the other way... blah, blah, blah." I go back and forth- luckily, the school they go to is good so far. And I've always thought that education is primarily the parent's responsibility anyway, so if the teacher is not good, I'll just supplement that year. And I'm providing my own extracurricular activities... WHAT IS MY PROBLEM?
  • Kacy is going to take art lessons twice a month in Bakersfield. I gave her a choice. We were walking home from the bus stop and I said "Hey Kacy, what would you say if I was thinking about letting you take a ballet class?" She said, "Maybe when I'm a teenager." (which is when she also plans on learning how to swim...) So, I quickly follow up with "Well, what would you think about art lessons?" And she immediately replies "Oh Mom! I would love it! When can I start?" So that's that. We are going to start art lessons soon, out in Rosedale. I figure I'll make those two days a month when I go shopping at Winco, which I should do anyway since I'd save more than the gas money to get there.
  • I am working on making my blog look "just so." But I'm not sure what "just so" looks like for me yet, so it's taking forever. Jocelyn is going to help me, as soon as I decide on the look. I've messed with HTML code before, and was successful, twice. The third time didn't work out so well and I quit. Not something I'm going to study...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Ellen

Happy 96th Birthday Ellen Bunting!

Kacy, Will, Granny, Jessie, Ed, and me. Never mind my maniacal look. It's just the kids, and I'm sure they can't be this "energetic" for three days in a row. Can they?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ryan Says I Write Too Much

- well, his exact words were "Wow, honey. You write a lot." To which I reply, "Well, it is a journal. I don't care if other people read to the end. And you know, 40 years from now you will wish I had written more."

So much for brevity.

*I had play practice today, and I was less nervous about the singing. And, I improved in the area of "drama" ever so slightly. Wait, my eyes are rolling to the heavens as I think of what I look like on the stage. Another few weeks and I'll warm up enough to the reality of having to do this thing and then I won't care. And that's a good thing.
*Yesterday I had the most HORRIFIC experience with my children. It involved me playing the piano for a baptism and my children running around like monkeys. One of the girls took the older three out just as I was ready to burst into tears (while playing the piano and threatening my children). Two seconds later my "perfect baby" who is growing like a weed pulled herself up to the piano and started helping me play. Marcie came and got her for me. The baptism was after a morning filled with much stomping, throwing, fighting, and yelling. By the kids, not me. Until just before we left.
*Then we went and visited Amy and Gabby. The kids were "okay" there. After Amy's we went to Michael's Arts and Crafts to get some Valentine supplies, and then to Winco for a few things. After that we came home, where the kids laid around on the couch and played quietly with toys. Figures.
*Ed had a great day in the potty dept. He stayed dry all day, and even told me when he needed to go, twice. Now, if he would just find me for the "other" part.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Sketchy Laptop Use- and What We Are Up To

My power cord to my computer got fried yesterday when I noticed a kink in it and tried to straighten it out. The kink also had the protective plastic coating broken so you could see the wires- it made a pinkish-bluish arc of a spark that freaked me out, and then it quit working. I am using a different cord that belongs to Ryan's work computer, but I'm not sure I'm allowed. :) So, I'll be taking a big break while my new cord comes in. This will be the third cord in less than three years! In other news:

  • Everyone is doing much better. Jessie looks and feels great, although she still has to take medicine and has a residual cough. But, she feels better, and I'm so happy about that!
  • Ed is "potty training" and I hate potty training boys. He is so inconsistent, it's ridiculous. On a good note, he now freaks out when he's wet. A few months ago he would walk around wet and just not care. Now, it bothers him. It's a step in the right direction. He is SO funny, he cracks me up with the things he says and sings. He started being really mean this week though. He tackles Kacy. He pulls on Will. His entire aim appears to be to get them on the ground so he can sit on them. When he is particularly angry- watch out for him. I'm going to keep an eye on him. A little rough and tumble is okay, and I like to let my kids try and solve their own problems. But when he's so big and "tough" (really- he's a tank) it can get out of hand.
  • Will, on the other hand, is driving me nuts the last two weeks because he started his "crying at the drop of a hat" thing again. And, he is so stubborn. For example: I took the kids to Kacy's school so I could measure some areas of the playground. The boys played on the equipment and were having a great time. I gave him the "We are leaving in five minutes!" warning, finished my task, and then gathered up the boys. Except Will, who put his head over to his shoulder, rolled his eyes at me, pouted his lips, and said "uh-uh" as he walked away from me, checking over his shoulder to see what I was going to do. AUGH! My hands are full of measuring equipment and a digital camera. Jessie is in the baby-backpack. Ed is bouncing around me. And Will is walking off into the sunset, being as belligerent as ever. I say, "Good-bye Will. I am leaving." We start walking off, and he keeps going. After I walk about 15 feet, I turn around and yell (but quietly, because there are children in classes who don't need to be distracted) "Will! We are leaving right now. Get over here." My mean mommy voice worked because he kicked the ground and came, with his mean face on. I keep threatening him that he will NOT go to Kindergarten next year if he is going to cry every time he has to do something he doesn't want to do. It's only a half empty threat- I really want him to go. But, I am a little worried about his maturity.
  • Kacy talks a lot. I know this. Her grandparents know this. Now, her school knows this. When I took the kids to school, I had two different teacher aides come up to me and say "This must be Will, Ed, and Jessie. She talks about them all the time." This week she got an address book out of the "goodie box" at school, and went around to every adult she knew and got their addresses. So funny!
  • Ryan is plugging through work. It's fairly uneventful, especially in these next few months. Summer is more busy when the tourists/campers are out in full force. But in the winter, the locals seem to hunker down for the most part. It's raining today, and he is supposed to go build some forms for our 30 holes. Seriously, being a ONE man show for building a house is hard. Maybe not hard, but painstakingly slow. And the dirt work! He said he's done with dirt work now- there should be no more. I kind of remember saying that before... but this time looks to be true.
  • I am hanging out with the kids. I am doing my housework. I like housework, but hate doing it more than once in a day. It wouldn't be bad at all if I picked up a bucketful of Legos once a day. I lose my happy-cleaning-mojo at 8pm when it's the fourth time I've done it. I am still plugging along with the preschool project. The plan is written and sent off the the principal. It will be presented to the school board this next Tuesday. I am going to try to go for that part of it, if I can. The playground amendment is complete. The school was going to apply for a playground waiver so the kids could use the same equipment as the older kids, just at different times. But the equipment is rather tall is some places. So, my job earlier this week was to propose and design a playground that is cheap and friendly. The thing is, you don't need a fancy climbing structure for four years old- they are super happy with a sandbox and trikes. Outdoor games and manipulatives, and a bit of space to run is all they need. I also am looking seriously into running for a political office. But not now. I am making a timeline of little projects and volunteer opportunities in my county that won't take up too much time. Then, in 15 years, I'll have lots of community experience and knowledge. This preschool is first. Next might be a 4H club in my area. I'm not opposed to driving to Bakersfield or Ridgecrest for a year or so to familiarize myself with the program, but I'd like to see one up here. I want my kids to participate in it. I don't have time to lead a program like that this year all by myself. My friend Angie is interested in it too, but she has the same conflict of interest I do- a whole mess of little kids who need us. I am putting 4H on my to do list. Also, there are some county committees I could apply for. During a political conversation (all typed of course!) my friend Willow said something like "People like the idea of helping, but no one wants to serve." That is so dead on and just stuck with me. So, instead of wishing and complaining, I'm going to do something, however small it is. Then when I complain, it'll have some merit? Actually, I'll be too busy to complain! Complainers are so boring. While talking to my friend Angie, she was telling me about a seminar she went to, and a lady there had done all kinds of wonderful service type things, but she waited until her kids were grown up. I sometimes forget that there is time later- like, someday I'll be forty. And fifty. And sixty. And for those whole 30 years, most of us are still fully capable, if not MORE (that whole wisdom and experience thing) of doing great things. And that I don't have to do everything RIGHT NOW! Hmmm... today the possibilities seem endless. Then I see all the snot around me, the poopy diapers I have to change (one is waiting for me right now, I suspect), and the fact that we have no more propane for our trailer. And it makes me happy. All of it. It'll do nothing but make me a better person.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sorry State

Dear Arnold and state legislators:
I'm sorry. It seems that I overspent and just don't have the money to pay my taxes this year. In order to remain solvent, I am instead going to pay my overdue bills. I'm sure you'll understand.

***Go ahead and keep my refund until May- then you'll owe me 5% interest (and still won't pay me).
***California is a wreck right now financially. I will maybe research how to make central California the 51st state. Unless DC is, because they have their own Miss America. So does Puerto Rico... so the 53rd state? And, instead of complaining, I decided today that I want to run for something. I think I'll start with school board, then county supervisor, and make my way up. The only problem is I'm too conservative- sort of. AND I hate meetings that go around in circles with lots of BLAH BLAH BLAH and no action. And, well, I'm ornery and stubborn. But I do listen to other people, and I appreciate a good argument, even if i don't agree with the premise. But I don't like meetings...oh, the things that run through my mind while driving in my car. I spend to much time there.
***I took Jessie to Urgent Care today for her goopy eyes, green nose, cough, ear infection, and 102 fever. Turns out an ear infection with a snotty nose clogs up your head and makes your eyes leak snot. And then your tear ducts get infected and cause a high fever. I am hoping she sleeps through the night tonight. (5am is too early for a spoiled mommy...)