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.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Steve's Eulogy

Jessie had enchiladas for dinner (for reals! Even if it looks like it is mostly on her body!) and was sharing an Otter-pop with Steve the cat. Steve disappeared on my birthday. We had three theories: 1) He hitched a ride in the Scnieder truck that delivered our insulation, 2) He ran away, 3) He became coyote dinner. Number one is plausible because he liked getting into vehicles. Maybe all the french fries on the ground trained him a bit to look for open car doors. He could have ran away, as we have a neighbor across the street and up the hill where he supposedly came from. Maybe he wanted to return home. But, I doubt it. Number three seems the most likely because last night when Ryan was tossing and turning (and tossing and turning... ugh) and he got up and went outside, there was a coyote RIGHT THERE. Like, by our stuff. We do have a lot of coyotes around here, so it's not surprising. But we are now thinking that our fluffy little killer was eaten. Too bad, as Steve was a great rat/mouse/snake/lizard/chipmunk killer. He enjoyed Friskees cat food (in small quantities so that he'd be hungry for mouse), and a little milk every now and then. He was annoying when he'd rub against my legs, but he was very tolerant of children. Such is the way of a barn cat... maybe he should've stayed in his "barn!"

(I don't really care about the cat, as he was equal parts cool and annoying. It's kinda just country life- and I don't think we'll get another one (even though Steve found us, as a stray) until we have a fence to keep the coyotes out. Now, if George died, I'd be more upset losing my running buddy. Plus, training puppies is such a pain, and George is finally NOT a puppy!)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Recycled Insulation and Attic Vents

See that black triangle I drew in there (with my mad photoshop skills...) near the peak of the gable? That is where our attic vent is going to go. There is one on the other side, too. And yes, you could buy attic vents from almost anywhere. But, one of our goals in building this house is to make it look like it's been here for 100 years. 100+years ago, they built their attic vents (if they had them at all). So, Ryan spent some time and built our vents. The first one took "all day" (a long time) and the second one took 30 minutes. Henry Ford KNEW what he was doing when he built cars on an assembly line...
Here are the two vents. That black line helps you to see that they there are two- they were laying on the floor like this when I took the picture. They'll go up soon.
Hey, it's my birthday present! It's big! It's in an illegal for up here length 53 foot trailer that came from Maryland via intermodal trasportation... it recycled insulation!
Basically it's like this: we want a REALLY well insulated house. There is a product called polyiso... poly icynene... poly iso-something (sounds like poly-i-so-nene) that has an R-value of 7 per inch, 6 after a few years (the chemicals stabalize or something). It's fairly expensive. So, Ryan found some online that was used for a decent price. Shipping was killer... dare I say? (Don't keel over... it was $2000.00). We are going to rip it on the table saw into pieces that will go into our ceilings, giving us an R-value of 48 or so. Or is it 60? I can't remember. It's also enough to go around our house under the stucco. (The bottom of our house, under the porch, will be stucco done in an adobe style.) That, couple with the interior wall insulation should make use of heat/AC minimal. This makes us environmentally friendly, no? Recycled materials and all... does the transcontinental shipping negate that? We ordered the insulation from Insulation Depot (click for link).
Wait until you see the deal we got on our siding and flooring...

Grape Soda, Anyone?

Jessie and Jayda at the lake, sharing a grape soda that was left unattended. They are funny together. They are not old enough to play "together", but they recognize each other and like to be near each other and hang out. Jessie LOVES the water. She sat down in the lake with water up to her neck and just loved it. Kacy and Will went on their first wave-runner ride. I haven't even been on one yet! Ed like digging in the dirt and eating snacks. Lots of snacks.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

They Say It's Your Birthday!

My most recent picture- what a self portrait!

I turned 32, and to commemorate the event, we had insulation delivered and then went to Carl's Jr so I didn't have to cook. We also went to the lake for a short while. I was hoping to tire out the kids- fat chance.

Some fun facts about me:
  • I have all my wisdom teeth. They are in, and they are straight. This, coupled with a weird thumb joint that makes it difficult to make a proper fist, puts me more closely related to the primates, according to Ryan.
  • I played one half season of rugby in college before tearing my rotator cuff, and then seeing one of my teammates get slashed across the face by a sharpened cleat when I was cleared to go back. That's when my vanity stepped in and I decided maybe I didn't want to be a Scarface for the rest of my life. Do I need to tell you that I hated being told I was too "cute" to play rugby? Puh-lease!
  • I was a fashion model. For a day. In a real fashion show. This was right before the rugby thing- Amy, Kibbe, and I were helping Amy's mom, who was working at a bridal shop at the time. It was fun, but not that fun. I don't think I'd do it again. But hey, now that I'm 32 and have had four kids, I think I'm disqualified. It was one of those things where you have to use all your mental skills to convince yourself that no one is staring at you.
  • I'm a fighter, not a lover. I'm working on it.
  • I like to shovel dirt. (No, I will not shovel your dirt unless you take super-duper good care of my kids, and fix me lunch. If you'll do that, we'll talk.)
  • My favorite cake is carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.
  • I never order a steak at restaurants, but Ryan does (very rare), and I always ask for a bite and then WISH I would have ordered a very rare steak.
  • I used to think I had no talent because my reading and being athletic didn't really produce a tangible product (like scrapbooking, or sewing, or being mechanically inclined, cooking, etc...), but I've come to appreciate the fact that I do have some actual, for real talent. I can sew, but it's not a talent. It's a skill I was working on (and want to again!), unlike Jocelyn, who can sew like a son-of-a-gun and has a way with fabric/colors. I can play the piano a little, but not like my cousin April who can REALLY play. Again, a skill I want to work on, and have to work on. It's not natural for me. Running and jumping? Natural. Reading everything I can get my hands on? Natural. Oh! I also have a talent for memorizing birth dates and phone numbers. Knowing useless fun facts? All me! Like this one: what one word in the English language uses all five vowels in order? Answer: facetious. Thank you to the Popsicle stick that taught me that one.
  • My favorite flower is an orangey-pinky-red gerbera daisy.
  • I love fresh, raw spinach.
  • My favorite shows growing up were The Cosby Show, Who's the Boss (I wished my name was Sam), and Jeopardy (But NOT the Wheel of Fortune).
  • My favorite color has always been blue, but I've realized I like different colors for different things.
  • I hate traffic and being busy with appointments.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer Update Happenings

*I am doing summer school with my kids. At home. We watch Mythbusters for science, and Dirty Jobs for career education.
*Kacy and Will can now go underwater while plugging their noses. This is a huge stepping stone on our way to water safety.
*When I asked Ed why he doesn't like nursery, this week his reply was, "Because it's too serious, Mom."
*I am running more and more- mostly because I only got to ride my bike once before I sheared off the threads of the crank set and had to hike my bike home. Ordered new crank set and now need the tool that makes the job easy to replace it. I am amazed how well my body is adapting to the running... I can now run 5 miles without stopping. I'm terribly slow, much like a tortoise. But, I always feel great afterward! I have a 10 minute per mile pace, erring on the side of 10 1/2 minutes. I'm going to start some speed work, and doing the exercises I'm supposed to do to get rid of my knee brace. I hate that thing.
*Jessie is quite the screecher... not so much fun.
*Ryan was released from his calling as YM president- I can hear the hallelujah chorus in the background! He's been in it for three and a half years... hoping he can change his work schedule for Sundays off so we can have a family day! (He works afternoons and had to have Wed. nights off for activities, so he had to work Sundays. Do I need to tell you how stinky it is to have a hubby home one night a week, and for a few hours in the a.m., but not really, because his second job is building the house? Or he wouldn't get home until 3AM (very common) and needed to sleep...It stinks.) Now he is the activities person... the party thrower! Yay! SO.EXCITED.FOR.A.BREAK.
*I'm still in the Primary presidency, and I have to say... I like it. I don't LOVE it because it always seems like there is something that is wonky (people placements are hard to come by, "I don't work with kids" seems to be a theme...) but I like the kids, I like the singing, and I like how simple it can all be. We've got some great families that have great kids. Plus, I get to work with some very cool people who put up with me! Hooray for tolerance for the crazy lady!
*I have put 3000+miles on my car in less than a month. My 3 year, 36,000 mile warranty is almost expired, and I've had my car for 53 weeks. That's one week longer than a year. I'm hoping since I've driven the heck out of my car in mountainous and city conditions that it is all broke in and not defective anywhere.
*I am enjoying having Kacy home for the summer, and look forward to sending TWO kids to school in the fall. I LOVE to see how much they grow!
*The weather has been really nice... I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts, even the days in the 90's. Days in the 100's are no bueno in the trailer. The trailer is a little like an oven that way. We are stocked with OtterPops. We are ready!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Runnin', runnin', runnin'...

...keep them doggies runnin' RAWHIDE!

So, sometimes I get random bits of songs in my head. And, when I run in the mornings I pass many a giant anthill, and see all those dead ants that have been carried out of the hill, and think "Bring out your dead!" from Monty Python's Holy Grail (I think).

ANYWAY, I am going to participate in a fun run on the night of July 11th. Howlin' at the Moon, it starts at 8pm in Bako. Go to the Bakersfield Track Club page for info. I am thinking of running the 10k... I haven't decided if that's crazy or not. That's only a mile farther than I go right right now. I think I can do it. Care to join me? (Not nessessarily the 10k part. Just the run itself! And if you will be in LA that morning with me, you can still do it! Because I am!)

Now, I just read a blog of someone I know who is training for an Ironman, and it makes me feel like such a wimp because I have a hard time getting up at 5:30am (even though it makes me feel so good when I do!~) and he gets up at 4:00am... wow. I'm pretty sure I have no aspirations to do an Ironman (the time for training alone!) and my goal is Olympic distance next summer, but still, it makes me want to get out and run. And get my bike fixed. And find a good hair-do for my nasty, oh-so-nasty, swimming hair I've got going on. N-A-S-T-Y. I'm going to need a hat.

Primary Activity Day

No pictures--- sometimes I forget my camera in the car...too bad this time, too. I took Kacy, Will, Nathan, and Spencer to the stake primary activity day. It was a good time there. They learned a little about Native Americans. They made fry bread, decorated paper canoes, and played some games. The best part was the ride over. Those four kids cracked me up to the point of tears. Oh man, Spencer was on one... which "one" we can't decide. On the way over Nathan randomly says, "Hey Karrie, you drive slower than Ryan. Remember when we were following Ryan to the play, Spencer? He was driving fast!"
"But you can't drive too fast or else you'll get a ticket from the complice." replies Will.
"But Ryan IS the police, so he won't get a ticket."
This is where Kacy tells a story.
"Nathan, one time my dad got pulled over for driving too fast in my mom's car. He rolled down the window and yelled, 'I'VE GOT A GUN!' and the police went back to their car and drove away."
Nathan looks at me with big eyes that narrow when he asks, "Aunt Karrie, did that really happen?"
"Pretty much." I shrug, trying not to laugh.

While we were in the gym waiting for the activities to start, I left the kids there for a minute to be shown where the bell ringer button was. That was my job, and of course I botched it up the first time by ringing the bell a full 10 minutes early... anyway, I come back and Cori R. was standing with her kids and my little group and says, "They don't have any sisters, do they." It was a statement, not a question. Spencer and Nathan were talking about wedgies and it looked like Spencer was trying to give Nathan a wedgie... Cori has four boys, so she totally knows.

About the cop story- Ryan finds it humorous to mess with his fellow officers up here- often speeding up when he knows they are watching... quite a few have been duped by him. The story Kacy was relating was when a Sheriff pulled him over for speeding because he was training a new officer. I'm not sure whether or not Ryan had a gun in the car (I fail to pay attention anymore), and there was a lot more conversation between Ryan and the officer, whom he has known since high school and has borrowed our tractor...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Will is ready for Kindergarten

Will is officially ready to start Kindergarten! (As soon as I find the registration papers I filled out and then turn them in...) He went to his physical on June 10, and I have no idea how tall he is or how much he weighs because while the nurse was doing that, I was turning in an update form around the corner. But no worries! I will ask when I have to take him to his follow-up appointment next Wednesday because he failed his hearing test in one ear. The other ear happened to be slightly infected, and his right ear was so full of wax they couldn't see it. They irrigated the waxy ear, and then out in the hallway I heard the nurse tell the Dr. "It looks like cobwebs in there- it might be perforated but it's hard to see." The Dr. came in and then looked and told me the same thing. SO... he is on antibiotics to clear things up, and then he has to go back and get his hearing checked again. When Kacy had her physical last year, she failed her hearing test in one ear because of an unknown ear infection. I'm hoping Will's in the same, and not something more serious because of his speech. It was a bit delayed, and even now it's not perfect. He has a weird thing when he says his "r" sounds- diaper is "diapuh", rabbit is "wabbit" and forget is "fuhget". He was a trooper for his shots. As per our rule of no screaming in the Dr. office, he got to go to Target and get a toy after he got his finger poke (he cried big ol' tears silently onto his tee-shirt), his TB test (he just HAD to watch, and then cried), and then his three immunizations. Or was it four? I lost count. The last one hurt the worst and he actually said "Ow, ow, OWW!" and then it was done. He was so nervous the whole visit, just anticipating those shots. Now, he is ready to go to school!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

More house pictures

Looking up under our porch...
Back of our house... gap in the middle will be french doors, with two windows on each side, and two windows on two other sides, for a total of 8 windows in the kitchen/dining area. Window up top shines into kitchen.
Standing just inside the kitchen from the french doors. The stairs are not in yet, and the metal cagey thing is still the fireplace. There is some temporary scaffolding/banisters up. From the back, once the fireplace is in you won't be able to see the front door, but it's fairly open. Two arched lead to bedroom area, other two lead to laundry room and to pantry.
Standing in pantry archway looking into the kitchen.
My dancing cage up in the loft... you didn't know I was that kind of girl, did you? Actually, this is a shot of the roof lines if you were standing at the stove area, looking to the loft. Looking at pictures of framing is weird, and it can be hard to visualize. I tried drawing in things, but it looked funky/bad. I want to play around with it so I can draw in stuff and see what it'll look like.
Ordered roofing material today

Monday, June 15, 2009

Computer is fixed!

Yay for Ryan's dad for being a computer genius and not only fixing my computer, but for saving me tons of money! He took apart my laptop, found the problem, tracked down the part (after talking to someone in India who recommended sending in the whole laptop for a new motherboard...), put the part in, put my laptop BACK together, and it cost $10 plus his time! Whoo-hoo! I do have to say that taking a computer break was nice, although next time I'd like it to be planned. Life does go on without a computer, and to prove it, I will post some pictures soon.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Mayday! Mayday! Computer is Down!

I repeat! Computer is down!

Have no computer. Withdrawals were brief. Have turned to paper and pen to document days. Will have blog overload when back up and running. Ryan's dad on the job. Will keep the faith. Must- hold- on.

(Tripped over my power cord, causing the power hook up thingie inside to break. Hard drive is perfect. Problem is trailer with no desk, so laptop sits perched on things. Am blogging from the in-laws house. Been since Thursday. Have read great book- will share with anyone interested- "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society." Feeling slightly out of whack knowing I can't blog about how Jessie was stealing strawberries out of the kitchen and then spitting the leaves on me, or how she was sharing her Otter-pop with Steve the cat, or how Steve the cat caught and ate a rabbit the same size as he is, or that Will asks me constantly how things work (I don't know!) or how every night for bed we do hugs and kisses, he says "Good night Mom, I love you and I'll see you in the morning. Oh, and I want to tell you this one thing: What are we doing after this long nap?" EVERY NIGHT, EXACTLY THE SAME, or how Kacy is driving me slightly nuts with her new attitude that includes the silent treatment, or how or house has made tons and tons of progress.)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

15 months

It's going by pretty fast- Jessie is 15 months old! She loves a good hat. This is her "cheese" face. She is so cute when she puckers up her lips (a trait from her Aunt Kendra). She's got the walking thing down, although she is still a bit Frankenstein-ish. She loves shoes and combing her hair. I am really excited that she is the first of my kids to enjoy the pool. I put her in a floaty and tugged her around the pool, and she splashed her hands in the water and had her feet up. All the rest of my kids freak out in the water- maybe she'll be my swimming buddy! Every time she sees Ryan she yells "Da-aad!" She also clearly says Mom, and cat. The rest sounds very foreign with a lot of T and hard G sounds. She likes to draw on paper, and she loves to take a ride in the baby backpack. She has developed a really bad habit of screeching at the top of her lungs when she is frustrated (doesn't get her way). She shakes her head no and nods yes when you ask her questions. That is so nice! She loves her brothers, but I think she loves her sister even more. Maybe it's all the pink... We all love Jessie for being the (mostly) mellow kid that she is!

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Power of Advertising

As we were waiting at an intersection on our way to Costco from White Cap, Will points to the sign and says, "Hey Mom! Is that the money you could be saving on your car insurance?"