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, July 27, 2009

Jimmy's 2nd Annual Mustache Party

We attended cousin Jimmy's 2nd annual mustache party on Saturday. It was a hit. Here are some highlights I caught with my camera, minus a picture of the host. I will have to get a picture of Jimmy (I may have to steal from his blog). Jimmy can grow a full mustache and beard in a week.

Jessie, her mustache, and her belly. She's so proud of her belly.
This one is for you, Grandma! Me and my cousin Caley (who is leaving for BYU-H soon).
The whole family had different 'staches. Ed's and Ryan's are similar, Will was given a fu-man-chu (spelling, anyone?), Kacy requested hers was fat and curled at the ends like a real cowboy, Jessie got the German/Russian style, and I got the evil cartoon villian 'stache. Ryan's is real, of course.
Will found the guitar and was rockin' out with his own "special" dance moves. White boy can't dance... like his mother.
Aack! Twins! Jocelyn and Ryan.
Even the dessert was in on the action. The famous Smith Bakery Ice Cookies were wearing mustaches instead of their usual smiley faces. Yummy! The other treat there were Jake's Tex Mex chocolate sheet cake, some deli plates, and lots and lots of different kinds of bottled root beer.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Camping Observation

After spending the better part of the week at Girls' Camp, I made the following statement: "The one thing I learned at camp this year is that some people have a sense of humor, and some DO NOT." Ryan replies, "Camping is like beer. It really brings out people's true personalities."

Seriously- some people were just having a hard time in the fun department. I'm not all into the silly songs they sing with the hand movements and bootie shaking, but I still think it's fun. I'm just way too self conscience to participate (I'm a dork! Everyone will know!). That's my own personal problem. However, I do enjoy watching the girls have a good time, and who knows? Given the right mood, I might join in. Maybe. But, you don't have to shake your bootie to have a sense of humor... luckily I was surrounded by foodies who were funny and easy going. I hope they ask me to do it again next year!

I worked in the kitchen with Ryan, and had a really good time. I think it's safe to say that the kitchen crew works the hardest (besides the unnamed souls who venture up and stack all the firewood everywhere-) but have the most fun. I helped some great ladies, and of course Ryan and Karl where there, manning the grill. The ladies prepped, the guys did the hot cooking. It was a system that worked out really well. The crew consisted of Gaye G. (the menu planner/shopper... aack. She did a great job, but I can imagine the stress.) Mary R., (her right hand woman), Debbie R., myself, Jason and Maribel P., Bishop Marsh, Ryan, and Uncle Karl.

Ryan and I decided that next summer will be a good summer to start camping as a family. I have refused to do it so far because of babies, because we have been a 1/2 step above camping for almost a full four years anyway, and because of babies. Our babies are growing up, and I'm having faith that next summer Ed will be slightly more mature and would stay in our camping area and not go chase cows or coyotes. It's kind of a safety thing with Ed. And if you think I'm slightly paranoid about the capabilities of Ed, let me remind you that my Search and Rescue capable, mountain man, cowboy, packer husband doesn't think we are ready for the mountains yet. Ed could survive on his own, but as parents we are not ready to lose a child to the wilderness. Ed is the one who went chasing after a coyote when he was 22 months old and went a half mile away from home in the bushes tracking the thing. Ryan spotted him (after he climbed on top of the trailer) and quickly decided he needed to be followed. Ryan followed him in stealth and finally decided he'd gone too far. He brought him home, carrying him because Ed wanted to get the coyote.

I came home early and am getting cleaned up before I go retrieve the kids from the grandmas. The only bad thing that happened (that I know of, so far...) while we were away is that our dog ran away. He was here on Thursday when Colton H. came to check on him, but he has since dug out. He's probably five miles away by now, or possible across the road and up the hill at the biologist's house wishing he were with his girlfriend.

***Update: George was hanging out across the street with the neighbors, who kindly kept him in a kennel and took him for a walk. He showed up at their house around dinner time on Friday. We have bought him a collar and took him on a walk with a leash, and he seems to be doing well with it. I'm surprised. We will keep working with him. ***

Monday, July 20, 2009

I'm not a princess, but I'm thinking of converting...

As I was hammering a board while standing on a ladder five and a half feet above ground in the 104* heat, I had the thought "Maybe I should be more feminine. Wear more make-up, shave my legs daily, buy some heels... but that's dumb." I am feminine, to a point. For example, I can't lift heavy things high above my head. I don't hawk and spit lugies in front of Ryan. I only swear at inanimate objects that I have to fix in the heat, and at my dog who is so stubborn it's ridiculous. I don't change the oil in my car myself. I wear eye-liner and mascara to church and to most public outings. My hair is long-ish and curly- that should automatically count as something. AND, although I hate shopping, (it's the bane of my existence), I do keep myself reasonably presentable. Other than that though, I am much like an androgynous little twit. I prefer to wear boy clothes. I see the value of a tool belt and am threatening to get my own (only with a Karrie sized hammer and not a Ryan sized hammer...). I like to shovel dirt. I can hold down the homestead while Ryan is away... even if I don't like to. I had the thought that Ryan is ONE LUCKY GUY to have married such a capable and mostly whine-free woman. But then I thought, "Maybe he'd like a princess better." Then I snorted out load and finished the job of fixing the stacks of insulation again, and hopefully for the last time. Because I'm really not that capable. And a princess wouldn't survive out here for more than a week.
In other news:
  • I caught/killed my 17th mouse in a month. Trust me when I say I believe that a dead mouse in the trap is SO MUCH BETTER than mouse poop in my cupboards.
  • I had a meeting today with the new superintendent/principal and a teacher from the other school district because we are writing a grant. "We" is a loose term, as I gave some input and wrote a few pages, but my part in the grant writing process is rather small. I'm just not feeling the love for the grant writing, and a lot of it is technical stuff that the district knows. My role is that of Child Development Center Consultant, I suppose. Rough budgetary needs, supplies, equipment needs, licensing requirements, and curriculum/child development stuff. I like my role, and am grateful for the work of the others. I hate administrative stuff that is law related. And financials? Blech! If we get the grant through First 5, then we will be able to fund a preschool for 15 children (free for them!) for three years. It is so needed in our area.
  • The kids were horrible for our meeting. Ed bit me. He bit Jared yesterday. He's way too old for biting... it's all calculated and mean. Little kids will bite out of frustration and self defense (perceived or otherwise) and those children are usually non-verbal. Ed? Ed told me he bit me because I was being mean to him and not letting him go. After the meeting we were walking to the car and the cafeteria lady came out and offered us free lunch. We went in and the kids got burritos! It was great! No cooking, no cleaning... and they were happy. I'm still upset about Ed... I'm not sure what to do with him. I feel like I usually know the answers to all my parenting philosophy problems, but he is stumping me. He is so active. He is very smart. He is very unruly. I shall ponder the subject while at Girls' Camp this week.
  • Yesterday in church I was solo in Primary. No pianist, no chorister, no other presidency leaders. Krissy is at a family reunion, and Marcie had to go into the nursery, because for the sixth Sunday in a row, new help has not be called for. She has her little one in nursery, I have Ed who hates to stay in... so she took Jessie, too, and helped out in there. That actually made it so much easier to run primary without babies in there! The walking around, snacking, climbing on chairs the little ones do are awfully cute, but they are VERY distracting. The kids in primary were really good yesterday. So, even though the idea of being by myself sounds scary, it actually wasn't terrible. I would have to say though, a pianist and music leader are indispensable. We sang to CD's, but I didn't like that. Oh well, you gotta do what you gotta do.
  • Going to Girls' Camp to help with the kitchen stuff. The girls are staying with my mom, and the boys are staying with Ryan's mom. Both wanted to keep some, and how convenient that we have two of each? And, since my mom's house is under construction and had a pool, the girls are a safer choice for her. Kacy won't go outside without permission, and Jessie can't. Ed and Will? No way. Ed would escape outside and head for the pool. At Ryan's parents house, Ed will escape outside, and he'll head for the chickens. Much safer. This is the third time Ryan and I are leaving the kids. The first time was for Girls' Camp two years ago, when Kacy and Will stayed with Ryan's parent's and Ed stayed with my mom. Then, this January Ryan and I went to Los Angeles for a long weekend. The girls stayed with my mom (again, that pool. And the girl cousins- Kacy likes to hang out with her girl cousins every now and then) and the boys stayed with Ryan's parents. Maybe next year I'll farm them out further- to grandma's and aunts/cousins! One to each place... have to think about that one.
  • I am opening up bank accounts for all my nieces and nephews when they turn 8. I'm late for Benjamin, so I'll do his next week, too. Instead of buying birthday presents, I'm going to put money in their accounts. That way when they turn 18 or 19, they'll have several hundred dollars to spend on college text books or suits for missions. Shopping for gifts from where I live is just too much of a hassle, and then they end up with toys they don't play with or their mom's have to clean up. So, a bank account it is.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Missing: My common sense

Today we:
  • Went to Joe Kent's memorial service.
  • Went to the dollar theater to see a movie.
  • Went to storage to find my pants and boots.
  • Went shopping for clothes for me.
  • Played at Del Taco and had dinner.
We had a GREAT time.


Today I:
  • Took the kids with me to Joe Kent's memorial service. We got there 30 minutes early to get a seat. They were mostly good, until the last 15 minutes when Ed started singing "POP! Goes the Weasel," alternating between singing the words and saying "ahn, ahn,ahn-ahn, ahnnnnnnn." Jessie is a screecher and was not fun. To add to the stress was the fact that we were sharing a pew with a couple I didn't know, and I was locked in. I could have gotten up, but my behind would have been in their face, and I would have stepped on toes. The service itself was excellent- one of the best I've been to. The people who spoke were great- Dylan, Maughn, and President Russell. A men's choir sang "Called To Serve." The kids and I ate a picnic lunch on the grass afterwards, and then went in to the cultural hall to say hi/bye to the family. The picnic was a success.
  • Since we don't have air conditioning, and practically no insulation in the trailer, we went to Bakersfield and tried out a movie. We ran into Eliza, her kids, and her mom. We started watching "Night at the Museum, 2." We got some $5.00 popcorn and a $4.00 soda and that held over the kids for less than an hour. I left Will and Kacy in the theater while I ran out to get the food. Ed went with me, and Eliza offered to hold Jessie. While in line to get the food, a woman and a couple of young boys came up behind us and I wanted to cry because of the way she was talking to her kids. I feel like I'm a mean mom. I say no. I'll grab ya fast and drag you back to where you need to be if you can't get your own body under control. But I will never call my kid a horrible word that rhymes with maggot and ask him where his "mojo" is... and on and on with homosexual slurs and F-bombs all over the place. The kid couldn't have been older than 10, and didn't seem to appreciate the conversation. It seemed like he participated because there was nothing else to talk about. Icky. When Ed and I came back, Jessie was NOT happy. I was then one of "those people" with the crying kid in the theater. The movie had already started, we settled down, (even Jessie, who took a few minutes) and we ate popcorn and drank a soda that both Kacy and Will said was nasty. More people came in and sat behind us... and all I'll say about that is: Between them and Ed getting too, too wiggly and wandering, we left early.
  • I'm going to Girls' Camp next week and need something to wear. I went to storage to find my old Wranglers and to see how they fit. Everything seemed to alright there... but that's because everyone was in the car with seat belts on. I think I forgot my belt though...
  • I went to the Boot Barn to look at some pants and shirts, because I wanted to. Found some really cute, simple button up shirts... but that was it. I found them... and walked on by. I thought if I got the kids a little animal toy, they would sit on the floor and play quietly... instead they walked around the store using these really high-pitched pretend voices... "meee-ow, ruff-ruff, neigh... hey lets go look at these boots, meow!" Kacy tried to be helpful by picking out shirts full of sparkles! Whew! I tried to explain to her that my idea of pretty is something that is not shiny.
  • Didn't want to go home because of the heat, so we went to Del Taco and had dinner. They have an indoor play place, and the kids had a blast! We had dinner, played some more, and then made it home. Where it was 97* inside the trailer. Turned on the A/C where it ran for about 20 minutes before it tripped the breakers. It's now only 93*... can't wait for Ryan to get home and put in our other AC... yesterday we spent the afternoon/evening in my mom's pool.
I may need to get my head examined. It quite possibly is empty.

Beating the Summer Heat

Will July 17, 2009

When summer comes in full force, and we aren't quite prepared for it, we head out. After Joe Kent's memorial service we went to Bakersfield, where the kids had fun at Del Taco for dinner. The East side Del Taco is never crowded, and the play area is fairly clean.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

To the LAKE!

Picnic-ing in the back of the car! (And saying "cheese" with pizza in their mouths!)
Jessie LOVES the water. And apparently, she loves the mud, too. She had mud in places no baby should have mud in. She had a nice long bath when we got home.
"Hey kids, let's go to the lake! Um, that's not exactly the lake..."

While, not exactly spoken that way, we did go to the lake because we were in town, and our AC doesn't like to work when it gets hot. We donned swimsuits and sandals, picked up some pizza, and went to the lake. (I dare you to cook inside, or even make sandwiches, when your trailer is 95 degrees inside. You would be a hardier soul than I.) We went to a little cove that was mostly deserted. On the plus side, there was no glass or nails to step on. On the down side, there was plenty of mud. There is no beach at our lake. It's a reservoir, and it's volume changes so much that the shoreline alternates between grass, mud, muck, and finally water. My kids picked this fine mud hole to play in. The real lake was kind of weedy on the shore, and after one slimy weed touched Kacy and she screamed, "Eeew! Seaweed! I hate seaweed!" while marching ashore, the kids decided the mud hole was great. We nearly lost Jessie's shoes. There were no real bugs to see. It kept them occupied for an hour... so in my book, despite the nasty mud, it was good! The three older kids didn't get too muddy except for their feet. They mostly threw rocks in the water and slid on the mud. They also made muck-pies, and started rhyming words with "muck." It started because we have a book called "Stuck Truck" and the truck gets stuck in the muck... you can see where this is going. Luckily, it didn't go there, and I'm grateful.

Sleeping on the couch...

I am biased, but this is the cutest thing I've seen all day. Jessie was sitting on the couch, playing with some toys (they are stuck under her legs!) and all of a sudden she just kind of plopped over. She's got her "blankie" wrapped all the way around her. She's got two blankies- a white and pink one that Krissy T. gave me at my baby shower, and this one, made by my grandma Mayhall. Both are crocheted. (Say it with me: crow-shayd. NOT CROTCH-EH-TED. Yes, I taught Junior High Language Arts, and am fully aware of words that make people giggle. And yes, I rarely edit my blog. I'm aware.)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Hurray for Better Days!

...all is right with my world.

  • Going to run "not on the two mile loop" around my house, but I'm heading for the hills. Literally. Ahhh...sweet freedom.
  • Was able to travel to Los Angeles and attend the temple today... that quiet time was MUCH needed. A big thank-you to my cousins and Aunt (and Grandma!) for watching my kids while I was away. It was a LONG day, but worth it. Was able to get some thoughts fixed in my brain with all the quiet thinking time I had.
  • Ate a cheeseburger from In and Out (In N' Out?) with grilled onions. YUM. French Fires? not so great. Later I had a Nestle Tollhouse Ice cream sandwich. That hit the spot.

Friday, July 10, 2009

"This isn't a bad day, this is what you'd call 'EXCITING'!"

So says Ryan when I tell him I think this is the worst day of my life to date.
He continues with, "It's not like anyone if the family died or got seriously hurt." True, true.

But my day has been thus so far:

Wake up at 5:30 am to go for a walk. A walk, rather than a run, because I am taking a break. I take our stupid dog, George the Great-stubborn-Pyrenees, because he likes the exercise, and I like the mountain lion killer instinct in him. We meet up with our biologist neighbor, again, with his female dog (IN HEAT) and George, the "I weigh more than my owner and and have a brain the size of a pea and am so stubborn I should be a donkey" dog is done following me. No, he's not on a leash. Yes, he will be next week. Anyway, I have been getting up before dawn to run because it's the only time I have to myself. MY ONLY OPPORTUNITY. This week I ran into this neighbor TWICE. Haven't seen him all summer, yet this week, he's out walking again! You know what? He doesn't have any kids, and he doesn't need to taking his dog out for a walk when I'm out running! But the best part? (The part that is rational, the just said part is all emotion-feel-sorry-for-myself-I-hate-people...) He stops me and asks me if we are going to put skylights in our house. WHAT?
"Oh, you should come by and see our skylights. They are triple glazed, and so efficient."

Me (while trying to hold a 100+ pound MALE dog back off his cute little Kelsey) "Oh. Um, no, we don't really care for skylights because of the energy transfer of heat and whatnot. Plus, our floor plan is almost completely open with numerous windows for the main living area. The bedrooms are a little dark, but since we sleep in there, that doesn't really bother us."

"Well, you should consider it. It's really nice not to have to turn on a light in the daytime. Plus, you have that 12 foot porch all the way around your house, it must be dark in there. Are you going to run a swamp cooler?"

"No, we are going to go with air conditioning." (My trying not to kick my dog who is being truly obnoxious and scaring the other dog.)

"Really? You know, with this climate, AC just sucks what little moisture out of the air. A swamp cooler would be much more efficient. And with our straw bale walls we have an R-value or 60 and our roof is an R-value of 38."

"Ya, well, we are putting in TWO air conditioning units so we can control different zones in the house." ("So there! And damn your environmental save the earth views!" Do I need to say I was eye rolling by now, wishing he'd just take his dog home already and leave me alone? He makes me want to plow my back 20 acres into alfalfa fields. That would make him really upset. Oh! See? I'm a fighter, not a lover. That's bad.)

After a few more exchanges about how nice his skylights are, he finally notices (?!?) me struggling with my dog and leaves. I hold George until I think they are far enough away, and as soon as I let go of George, he bolts for the cutie dog. I bolt the other direction towards home and sprint (Aack!) into the trailer where I start to wash my arms off of dog spit and fur. Did I mention when I am holding George that he doesn't really appreciate it? And that his mouth envelopes my appendages? Not like he's biting me, but kinda. I wake up Ryan and tell him the situation. I grab a hunk of salami and get into my car to try to retrieve the stupid dog. I find him, with the neighbor and his dog, and we go through the EXACT SAME THING. "You really ought to consider those skylights..." and me sitting on my dog after the salami wouldn't work. I again wait and wait until they are across the street and a quarter mile away... I can't believe how fast "stupid" can run when he wants to. I came back sobbing hysterically because my sitting on the dog cranked up a lot of adrenaline and produced many scratches and a bruise from a tooth (again, not a really bite, but my leg was in his mouth...) AND I felt like this guy and his dog were invading my personal space and my personal time. Ryan went and got him for me.

I think I might need some therapy as to why my running time (with no interruptions) is so danged important to me.

I shower. The kids wake up. We get ready to spend some time with Ryan because the kids haven't seen him in days, and he's going to be gone all next week. Can't find Ed's shoes. ANYWHERE. He wears Will's. While driving we see a Great Pyrenees running amok in a field and Ryan says, "Looks like someone else has the same problem." We leave and get donuts for the kids. Jessie has a nasty, smelly, leaky diaper problem that gets changed in the parking lot of the donut shop. Now she looks totally white trash because she has no pants. We make it to the big city and go to Lowe's for some house wrap and more wood stain. The kids were the WORST behaved I have ever seen them. They have been so good lately, and they regressed terribly this morning. In the stress of that (IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE A GOOD DAY WITH DADDY!) I left my purse at Lowe's. In the parking lot. With my wallet. With our grocery money for the rest of the month. Credit cards. I discover this about 10 minutes later, we turn around with me having a full fledged anxiety attack. I couldn't breathe and I was like a leaky faucet with my eye balls. Last summer (summer before?) when Ryan dropped his cell phone at the movie theater, some guy picked it up and in less than 24 hours racked up $1300.00 worth of charges. I was thinking of this and imagining the worst. All my credit cards maxed out, our house money gone... I run into the store when I see it isn't where we parked and asked the lady at the counter if anyone had turned in a purse. She said, "I'm not sure, let me ask..." I seriously thought I was going to fall over. A guy came over and said, "Oh, ya. Let me go get it!" It was locked up in the back. Nothing was touched. Maybe it was the poopy pants I had stuffed in there that acted as a deterrent (they were wrapped in a paper towel! I thought maybe I could put them back on Jessie if they were just wet, but in the store I discovered they were MORE than just wet).
Actually, I met the man who turned it in. He had a Lowe's shirt on, and was walking in the parking lot and saw me with it. He said he had found a brand new cell phone just the other day in about the same spot. I thanked him profusely. I hope it was profusely... I was still having my anxiety attack. I couldn't see straight... I'm grateful for honest people.

After another 10 minutes of sobbing and no air, I was able to calm down. We went to the fabric store and made it home without incident. So, it's been better. Now I feel emotionally drained, and I'm pretty sure my new Scentsy wax melter thing gave me a headache. I'll be glad when today is over so I can start again.

As for George, we are going to get him a choke collar, a fun and dandy new leash, and some serious doggie lessons. Ryan said I should write to Cesar who-ever, the Dog Whisperer. I'm thinking I wish I'd had a cattle prod. Just one little poke. We'll keep George. But my next dog is going to be another German Shorthair.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I have a problem...

I want to sew. Bad.

I want a dress form.

I want some fabric.

I want a sewing room.

BECAUSE I'm tired of bugging Jocelyn every week with the question, "So, have you done any sewing this week?" in the hopes that she has done something. Because it might fulfill some weird void in my life.

BECAUSE I saw the cutest, most wearable, most orange linen dress that cost a lot of money, that I KNOW I COULD MAKE MYSELF.

I'm not sure I remember how to sew. Yet, I do... I'm just out of practice. I know I forgot how to use my serger and will have to re-read the instructions.

One more reason that I can't wait to have my house done!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Potty Training?

My name is Jessie, and I want to use the potty. Thank-you.

Jessie is 16 months old, as of last week. She is currently fascinated with the potty. She calls it "pah, pah." She takes off her diapers and brings me new ones. She has taken off clean diapers and gone properly on the toilet. Now, she is very young. I'm not going to stop her though- that would be dumb! What am I supposed to do? Tell her, "No, you wear diapers." I think not! It's really no wonder about the potty- we practically live in the bathroom. We travel just long enough to where we have to use the potty before we leave and when we get places. We crowd into the handicap stalls in restrooms (so cozy!). She is getting a first rate education in all things potty! I do have to say that putting her on the toilet every time she goes to the bathroom door saying "pah, pah" only to have her sit and smile and point at everything can be inconvenient. But short of duct-taping her diapers on, I don't really see an alternative. You go ahead an save me that monthly diaper expense, Jessie. I won't mind at all.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A day full of events!

Sunday we got up early and headed to my sister's ward for Charlotte's blessing. Ryan was able to make it for the blessing portion of it, and then he headed up the mountain back home to work. The kids were well behaved, even with cousins around. Kendra and Michael don't like their kids climbing all over the place, and neither do we, so it was understood on all sides what the expectations were. Makes life lots easier that way. After church we went to my Grandma's house to have a little picnic. She lives right around the corner from the church, so it was an easy drive when we went back to church for Riley C.'s baptism. Ryan's cousin Jeremy and his wife Eliza were in town. It was fun to visit with everyone. My kids were once again fairly well behaved... I wonder- might they be growing up? Just a little? It's promising. Jessie was smokin' tired though. I felt bad for her. Ed managed to pee all over his pants twice (once at the fireworks, and twice at church). Not pee IN his pants, but rather ON his pants. It happens like this: Little boy needs to "go." Mom sits little boy on toilet, and before we can make sure all parts are pointed in the right direction, boy "goes." Stream of urine comes up and out of the toilet and onto Mom's leg, or come through the crack where the seat and bowl are. I'm going to end this by saying I'm thankful he was well hydrated so it was more like water.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independance Day

Not OUR fireworks, but pretty anyway!
For the Fourth this year we went to the "Law Enforcement" party. I've only been once before, and after talking to Ryan, we agree that there were fewer people there this year. It was still fun! We got there at 5:30 pm. The kids ate food, played on the grass, and bugged the Reiswig boys. My boys thrive around other boys. They become different animals- Will especially. I guess that's the time he gets to be "all boy" because all of a sudden he's karate chopping and punching with the best of them. Nearly FOUR hours later the fireworks started. They were great. I rarely get all patriotic feeling because it's so hot and late in the day, but seeing the ariel fireworks over the water made me think of canons and ships and how grateful I'm not in battle right now. I'm glad to live in America, where I can get my meals supersized if I want to. Well, that and all the freedom of speech and religion and all that! (No, really- I love that last part more than the supersizing. I never supersize my meal, because I'd get unhealthy fast! But I'm grateful that I can if I want to!)

The kids had fun- There were a lot of ooo's and ahh's and "Bingo!" That would be Ed. Ed also sat next to a friend of a friend. This friend was probably 10 years old. Ed would say "Whoa! Did you see that one, Bobby?" And, "Bobby! That was awesome!" I leaned over to Cori and asked her if the kids name was Bobby. It wasn't. It was Josh. And he never corrected Ed. Good sports with my punks, I tell ya!

Oh, and the labeled shirts? We all wore yellow. The kids had our last name on theirs. It made it easy to keep track of them. Next time I am NOT wearing my matching yellow shirt (it doesn't have my name on it...) because I figure the next time my three year old drops his shorts so he can show his friends his cool Thomas undies, I'd rather hide.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Harris Ranch- ah, the memories!

Ryan and I went up to Harris Ranch near Coalinga to meet some friends for dinner. We hadn't seen Dave and Melissa for eight years! We were both in Coalinga as CHP families, and they are also LDS. That's always nice to have other LDS CHP friends because they "know." Know about graveyards, afternoon shifts, blood, beer, and bad guys. We had a good dinner in the Ranch Kitchen. You can also eat at the steakhouse, but that costs more money AND it's the same beef. Mostly. Unless you order the fanciest cut, which they don't offer in the Ranch Kitchen. Anyway, after dinner we played cards. I haven't done that in YEARS. It was fun. We stayed the night and I woke up early and went for a swim. They have an Olympic distance pool (the full 25 meters) and the pool kicked my butt. I can run five miles without stopping really comfortably. But I struggled swimming 440 meters (about a quarter mile). My form was terrible- I could feel it. Granted, I haven't truly tried to swim in about 10 years. I was not happy with myself, but still fairly happy to be in the pool at 6 in the morning with only the pool guy sweeping the edges.

I used to work at Harris Ranch. It's what any self respecting, recently graduated college, barely married, living in a smelly rental house with no children would do. I got a job working their events. It was fun! I had to work a lot of Friday and Saturday nights, but I attended many wedding receptions that were done up to the nines. Cakes that looked like gifts, dancing to fun music, guests that were mostly very happy and so grateful when you brought them another Margarita. There was no real waitressing, just balancing huge trays full of heavy plates- it was perfect. I learned how to fold napkins and set a proper table. I don't remember the details of that anymore. It was a long time ago, and we don't have a table to set! But we will. Oh, yes. I will have a table to set someday. And I will set it nicely. Actually, I'll make my kids do it. I quit working there when I was hired to teach Jr High Language Arts. I loved almost everything about Harris Ranch- the $2.00 break meals, the leftovers (seriously), and discovering the cheese and almond bar. The cheese/almond bar was done for events that wanted wine but no meal, and it was great! I did not like the really immature attitudes of other workers- a lot of high school type stuff going on about who was making out with who, and a lot of swearing (you know, the unnecessary kind. I'm sure some people will think there is no appropriate time for swearing- I'm not one)... I'm an old lady at heart, I guess.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Jessie at 16 months

Height: 33.5 inches (100 percentile)
Weight: 25lb 04 oz (60%)
Teeth: 12 (getting two right now)
Hair: nasty patch in the back that gets dread-locked in the carseat.
Favorites: her crocheted blankets, her sippy cup, screeching when she doesn't get her way (ugh), playing in/swimming in water
Words: Mom, Dad, muh,(more, like when she walks over the the fridge with her cup and shakes it while pointing and saying "muh! muh!", bah (ball, apple, balloon- all round things!), and cat. It also sounded like she said "diaper" and "cake", with "cake" being the most plausible as it pertains to the clarity, context, and frequency in which she uses it.
Foods: scrambled eggs, cheese, crackers, apples, french fries, and all things liquid (except water)
Funny things: She fights with Ed. He is nice to her, but if he takes something of hers, or gets in her way, she whacks him good and screeches at him. He only retaliates by saying "JESS-ie!" She's lucky right now- I don't know how long he'll be so tolerant. She loves the slide and is fearless in climbing. She likes to just hang out, and finds any spot near Mom in which to snuggle into.

100 Giants

Tuesday after a slip n' slide playgroup, we went to the Trail of 100 Giants. It was fun! We stopped at McNalley's burger shack and got some expensive burgers and fries. (Read: the cheap girl in me thought it took too long to get a burger that cost way too much for what it was...) Then, on up the mountain towards the giant trees. They were beautiful! And so, so huge. Duh! The kids had a good time. The trail is paved, and Ed wanted to "Go fast on the race track like Lightning McQueen!" and tore off. By the end he was running out of steam... everyone had a buddy, and Ryan R was assigned to Ed. Poor guy... he did a great job and I'm grateful for his fast legs to chase my speed demon. Will took the post as leader of the pack... very independently being the first. I had to yell at him a few times to stop and wait for the rest of the group. Kacy hung out with everyone, walking along and taking it all in. Jessie took turns riding in the baby-backpack, walking, and being carried by Tayah B. I was exhausted... I have decided that I was so tired because I was dehydrated. There was a lot of sweating going on prior to the trip, and it wasn't exactly cool up in the trees. All in all, it was a good trip. I'd like to take the kids again when they get a little older, and when it's just slightly cooler. The winding road wasn't too
bad, but we do drive the canyon LOTS, so my kids might be immune to curves. What I learned: next time, bring regular backpack with drinks and little snacks to keep kids from whining, and also bring bug spray/sunscreen.