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.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Rat Butt, and some other randon stuff

Ed is obsessed today with "rat butt." He told me he wanted to eat some for lunch. I questioned him, asking "You want to eat 'wrapper" for lunch?" (That's what is kinda of sounded like, and I was hoping for the best.)
"NOOOoooo. Rat butt."
"Yup!" And then he laughed hysterically and started dancing around singing "rat butt."

I have no idea where this came from. Probably his own twisted invention. But, I'm blaming cousin Jimmy! ;)

Right now Ed is eating popcorn, kernals and all. He wants to watch "Meet the Robinsons." I made him wait until Kacy and Will got home from school. He said he didn't want them coming home. He likes it when they are gone.

I asked Kacy how it was today with her substitute teacher. She told me that her sub didn't excuse the kids one by one to go line up for lunch, but rather row by row. I said, "Well, she's not your teacher and she will do some things her own way."
Kacy says, "That what SHE said!"
"You told the substitute that she was doing things wrong?!?"
Kacy was silent for a minute. Then she said, "Well, she was."

Will didn't want to wear a sweatshirt to school this morning, even though it was 48* ad windy. He cried. Then he went outside to walk to the bus stop and he said he needed a hooded sweatshirt because his head was cold. He cried again. He is so full of tears when he is tired!

Jessie is the first kid of mine that will repeat me when I say, "Can you say _____?" If it's a hard word, she just nods her head. Like the word "dinosaur." But other than that, she'll repeat! The rest of the kids would NEVER do that. They talked when they wanted to. The older kids think it's funny to try and get her to say words... it wouldn't surprise me if rat butt was tried out.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Turkey Vulture Festival

Today the kids and I went to the Turkey Vulture Festival. It was a great time. Here are some of the many turkey vultures we saw. The kids were very good today. A combination of factors helped, I'm sure: it was morning, they were well fed, it was outdoors, and it was a novelty. Whatever else it was, it was great!
There were many booths set up, some were vendors, others were free information the the Forest Service, the Rescue the Condors people, and others. There was a lady who came and had crafts and stories for kids. She was my favorite! The kids made these caterpillars. Even Ed and Will... ah! Will was SO GOOD. He was the boy who refused to do any craft of any type at playgroup.
From left to right: Jessie's (and mine!), Ed's (he picked the eyes), Kacy's, and Will's. I love how the eyes and antennae are all different.
The fur quiz- you got to touch the furs, read the riddle, and then lift a page up to see what animal it was! It was great. Having very tactile kids, they loved this.

Almost the perfect group shot of my kids, except someone from the group is missing...
There were a few turtles hanging around, and a big one was in this circle. The kids loved watching it. They also enjoyed looking at the snakes, too. There were a few musical acts there. Very festival-ly - guitars, Native flute playing, a bow bass, and singing around the campfire type of stuff. We recognized a Merle Haggard song.

All in all, it was a fun outing. Ryan couldn't go because he's on a campout with the YM.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Here Comes Santa Claus!

I'm already thinking about Christmas. I know what I want to do for nearly everyone on my list. That is 90% of the Christmas battle for me. I'm going for handmade this year.

Anyone know how I can make my own DSLR camera lens?

I am going to break my rule for my little family though. I'm thinking ceiling fans for the kids, and toilets for us. Light switches for stocking stuffers. Actually, I might start on room decorations to hang up in their new rooms. I think that means I have to firm up my design ideas. Yikes.

If anyone up here is interested in my ideas for my mostly handmade gifts, ask me. I can't share because I have certain individuals who read this blog who will be receiving said items. And if you have any brilliant, EASY, and fairly thrifty handmade gift ideas please share! We could work on them together.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

In Honor of School Picture Day

He thought he looked cool.
She posed herself, and the pink cheetah print and fuzzy hair aside, she looks great! She said "Oh! You can even see my earring!"
She was having fun throwing straw in the air.
It could be worse... this could be a full body shot. He's wearing pink boots. And he's usually so photogenic. He's dirty, got a scraped up face and two swollen eyebrows. Yesterday he fell on his face on some wood at playgroup, and today he tripped on some diapers that someone drug out and hit his OTHER eyebrow on the wooden bed frame. But you can't really tell because of his out of control hair.

(If you are my family members reading this, I am going to actually print some of these. I need to redo the boys, but let me know if you want hard copies! I am not ordering school pictures this year. I found Kacy's from last year, untouched, uncut, and a bit expensive. So, Costco it is!)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Lazy with My Camera!

I have no new pictures. Funny how once you have a blog you feel obligated to photograph every event. I have come to terms with that obligation and kicked it lovingly out the window.

A few happenings:
  • Last week Will finished all his homework on Monday. For the entire week. Because it was fun. This might never happen again, hence the documentation.
  • Ed went to pre-K again, as is the Thursday custom. This time I was ready for it, and I stayed longer with him, while he kicked and screamed in my lap. As soon as the opening stuff was finished, his teacher, Miss Chrystal, said "Ed, do you want to sit up here by me?" and Ed was off and sitting next to his cute teacher and ready for me to leave. I'm beginning to think he doesn't like kids. Just a hunch. Based on observations... he's a little caveman and I'm working on him, okay?
  • I got my hair cut and then I colored it too! Carrianne cut it for me, and I will forever go to her as long as she'll have me, because the girl can cut layers into my hair without it being chunky. It's a serious talent that the last four hair people I went to didn't have. I do better than they did, and that's not very encouraging. She did great. I love it. It's short, for me~ shoulder length with layers. It looks a lot more healthy. My hair has changed so much, and I can only attribute it to having babies. My hair is LOTS less curly than it used to be. I''ll post pictures to prove it. But then that would mean dredging up the "ugly" years... I'll get over it. As for the color I mentioned, I used a semi-permanent brown to "warm it up" a little, and to cover a few gray hairs I have. It's a little darker than I anticipated, but not horrible. It'll fade a little after a few shampoo sessions. I wanted a color no one would outright notice, just a subtle "Did she get a tan? Or change her lip gloss?" Which only applies on Sundays, because I usually wear chapstick. But still. Now my hair matches my sisters' for sure!
  • My Thursdays in Bakersfield aren't working out the way I had hoped. I have a list of people I need to see, and only have time to see one a week. I'll work on this. I do like being able to grocery shop in the big city to save on my food budget. And oh, I can't wait to have a house with an oven! And counter space. Here's the realization I had not too long ago. Some have suggested I get a roaster oven. They can fit a 9x13 pan in there. But then it hit me: in order to assemble ingredients into said pan, requires some prep space. So, after the pan in sitting on my counter, I have zero inches left on which to work... hence the handy dandy one pot meals and microwave goodness we currently dine on. My kids are still growing, and they are neither over or under-weight. But I do miss me some homemade cookies. And brownies. And to be able to pull a pre-assembled casserole out of the freezer and put it into an oven... heck, to be able to put food on a table! That's living high on the hog right there, and if you can do that, you are high class!
  • Ryan is plugging away on the roof-still. It's almost done! The roofing, that is. Lazy with my camera, and no pictures of it! I should do that though...
  • Jessie is in a big girl bed now! We took down the crib and put it in storage. I've talked to others who have a hard time with this step in their lives, but for me, it feels just right! She is now sharing a bunk with Ed. So far, so good... Ryan asked me if I was ready to train her to sleep in a bed, and I replied, "I'm still training Ed!" Because I kinda, sorta am. He's a doozy, that one. He just loves his momma. A lot. So, he's a caveman with momma-lovin' issues? Sounds worse than it is. (But sometimes it's spot on!)
  • Thanks to my diligent study of all things Harry Potter, I get along swimmingly with our English neighbors. They even asked me, "You understand our accents?" and I do. They said most people get glassy eyed when they talk to them. So, when the sister who was visiting looked at my landscaping wagon and called it a "bonnie pram" I knew "spot-on" what she was talking about.
  • Last one- a certain sister-in-law, who shall rename nameless (JOCELYN) made and brought over some peanut butter fudge yesterday. In my world, combining peanut butter with fudgy qualities is just PERFECT. It was heavy on the PB. L-O-V-E-D it. I'll take a vat of that and a good book and be in heaven!

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Truth About Ed

Ed just gave me a hug and said, "Mom, I love you." (How sweet!)
I reply, "I love you, too Ed. I just want you to be a good boy."
Still hugging me, he says "Alright Mom. Maybe later."
"Ya, I'll be good later."

The Day is Just Not Complete...

...until you see Ryan kick a chicken across the yard. Here's why:

Yesterday went like this for me-

  1. While getting ready for church, Ed finger painted on the wall with peanut butter.
  2. While getting ready to walk out the door, I find that Jessie has found a green marker. Her teeth are green, she has green marks ALL OVER her face and into her ear. She keeps pointing to her ear to let me know it needs to be cleaned. Meanwhile, the other kids are waiting in the car. This makes us 10 minutes later than I needed to be...
  3. Get to church and set up chairs and activity, and start the Cub Committee Meeting. That seemed to go fine, except I felt like we were rushed the whole time and my brain wasn't quite where it should be.
  4. Go to the chapel and sit down, and try to keep Ed quiet. Sit there until it's time for me to speak. The Bushlings sat behind me, and Marcie and Kenny took care of the kids while I spoke. When I got back to the bench, all the kids except the babies were with Kenny- we let it stay that way and Marcie and I enjoyed the rest of the meeting! A picture would have been good!
  5. Go to Primary and do the sharing time. Whew!
  6. Go to grandma and grandpa Bunting's house. Watch crazy next door neighbor come out with a flyswatter towards Ed, who was tossing apples on the ground to the horses. Crazy lady looked like she was going to hit Ed with the flyswatter. For reals. Instead, she hits her dog with it after he started nipping the horses heels. She maintains that eating too many apples will make her horses sick. She doesn't tell the horses this, of course, as they eat at least half the apples off the trees themselves.
  7. Hear Jessie crying/screaming and turn around to see Ryan drop kicking a rooster across the yard. He had fine soccer form... he turned around and got another one. Jessie had followed the guys out back and two roosters started attacking her. She was on the ground screaming... she suffered a pecked finger and a slight bloody nose. And, she probably developed a healthy respect for fowl. I bet we have "chicken" for dinner next week!
Honestly, yesterday was one for the books. This book. Today I'm going to live a calm life, trying to figure out why an external hard drive is not working, and folding some laundry. The weather is cool (I have a sweatshirt on! I love it!) and cousin David installed Photoshop Elements of my new netbook for me yesterday. The netbook doesn't have a disc drive, so I couldn't do it myself. The external hardrive I have is Ryan's, and he says he doesn't use it. It's making a clicking noise and not being recognized by my computers. (Yes, I have two- my new one, and the reason for my new one- my old trusty laptop that is dying. I want to get all the info off of it before it dies completely!) So, some computer stuff, laundry, and I may even make some veggie soup! Sounds like a great day!

Friday, September 11, 2009

This is my MAD face... and more!

Kacy's mad face... she's practicing for when she has kids that don't listen.

What a cute little stinker! I took him and Jessie to the park before our Primary meeting and made them run around, play on the swings, and hike. I thought maybe it would settle him down and he wouldn't feel the need to leave the (large) room we meet in. It didn't work, so in my book, it was almost a waste of time because it just made my day longer. He is really photogenic, I don't think I have a bad picture of this kid. (Well, I have "my fault" bad pics because of my photographic learning curve...) Not my genes at all! And, I'm not as upset about his behavior right now as I was earlier in the week- but I'd still like some proactive strategies to help me cope with his activity and the fact that people don't really enjoy being around him because he's constantly jumping or running or poking. It doesn't bother him, but it totally bothers me.
Will went to the ENT yesterday (the same one that took my tonsils out when I was seven, and the one that has worked on Karen since she was an infant) and my biggest surprise was that the Dr. didn't seem that old! I was little when I saw him, but still, that was *gulp* 25 years ago. The result of Will's hearing? He falls within normal ranges, but with low frequencies he is at the bottom of the range. He suggested having his hearing tested yearly for a few years to monitor the situation. But no treatments are necessary! Will said, "See? I told you I can hear perfect!" The Dr. office was so cool, in an old fashioned way. Will asked me if there were ghosts in the building. The examination room we were in had five (5!) doors in it, and there were lots of little hallways and cubbies everywhere. It was complete with the hanging skeleton that I remember from when I was little. I did not like being put in a teeny tiny (not that tiny) sound proof booth with Will for the audiologists exam... the door closed, it was insanely quiet, and I had to focus on the little air vent. I kept thinking I could rip out the weather stripping on the the bottom of the door so I could let air in. (I'm not at all claustrophobic, can you tell?)
Jessie went to the Dr. yesterday as well. This is the look she kept giving the nurse. She is 18 months now, and she is 33 1/2 inches and weighs 25 pounds, 12 ounces, which puts her in the 75% for both. She is my petite one! All the others were 100%+, with the lowest being 95% for weight on one of them. I like to think of Jessie as my "normal" sized kid. I'm relieved to know they don't stay giants forever; they just seem to grow really fast for a few years. She got two shots, and knew they were coming. She went shopping with me and we went to Taco Bell... she was happy after that! She says all the family names, plus cat, dog, here it is, over there, shoe, and hat, with a lot of pointing and nodding her head "yes."

Me? I went to Bakersfield twice in one day. It wasn't horrible, but never again.

Ryan? Almost has the roof done. Pictures soon. I have three REALLY important things to do before Sunday, so I'm sure I'll be blogging soon. Because I procrastinate.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Looking Bad in Public

These are Jessie's feet. In shoes too small. Because I can find cute brown shoe A and cute brown shoe B, but not the twins to either A or B. And although you can't see it in this picture, there are chocolate stains on her shirt, and she has no shorts on. She's already doomed to repeat my fashion faux-pas.

Today we went to Bakersfield. Again. Unplanned... my family decided to throw my grandma a little birthday party at the last minute. Ryan needed some stuff from Lowe's so he can work on the roof tomorrow anyway, so off we went. I had planned on staying home all day; the kids and I went on a hike this morning, and I had been cleaning. I was (still am!) wearing shorts that ought to be retired and an unfitted tee-shirt one size too big. My frizzy hair is in a bun, with fly-aways from the wind up here. I should have blessed the public by putting a hat on, but I didn't. Ed was dirty from rolling (literally...) in the dirt from our hike. We drive down to Bako, and made out stop at Lowe's. Jessie pees rivers and lakes when she pees, so really I'm thinking "What's the point of diapers anyway?" as I pull her out of her car seat to find it, and her, soaking wet. We walk into the store and head straight for the bathrooms where I change her five pound diaper and put her wet shorts in my purse. She is now pantless- just like the last time we were there. We get our supplies (Ed was a disaster) and start to head out when I hear this "Karrie Sorensen!" (Me: Oh NO!) and look up to see a guy I went to high school with. I haven't seen him since graduation, and he is now a county supervisor. I'm not one who wants to impress anyone, but dang, I wish we had not looked like white trash. Dirty kids, nasty hair... and I live in a trailer in the mountains. I can honestly say I wasn't mortified, or even embarrassed. It was more of a "I should look in the mirror more often", and a "Make-up doesn't hurt" and a "He probably thinks 'That poor woman can't keep up with all those kids- they are so dirty!"... all I know is this: When I run into someone I haven't seen for 14 years, I'd like to not stink like yesterday's laundry and maybe have my hair combed. (But I'm thinking that's how he recognized me- I was never stylish in high school, and sported the frizzy bun more often than not. Just being true to my roots, that's all!) After I got in the car I called Amy to tell her about it, and she has a story just the same. And Jocelyn does too... WHY IS THAT? Why are you guaranteed to run into someone from high school when you look like you've been sleeping in your clothes for a week?

Photographing Children is a Talent... That I Don't Have

Ah... cute, no? Will, Jessie, Kacy, Gracie, and Sara-Jane. So, I think to myself, "Hey, I know! Let's get all the kids together and try this!" That was dumb.
Jessie is poking Charlotte, who doesn't seem to mind. Jack was crying and covering his face... no one really knows why. SJ and Emma and looking elsewhere, and honestly, the circle is so big, I can't get the right angle... a ladder might be required. Alyssa looks cute, Ed is not paying attention, Will still has his elbows up even though there were three adults telling everyone to put their hands down (in varying degrees of niceness). Then there is Benjamin, Gracie, and Kacy... not too shabby, but it's frustrating that this was the best one. By far. Maybe next time I'll line them up in a line, heads stacked on top of each other, kinda zig-zag. Oh well, what can you do? At least no one was picking their (or someone else's) nose.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Emma's First Birthday Party

My niece Emma had an early one year birthday party at my mom's house. We swam, ate hamburgers and hot dogs, and then left a little early to get Ryan's clothes from the cleaners and to get home and get ready for church the next day. This girl has some of the bluest eyes I've ever seen! Happy Birthday Emma!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Ed Started Preschool

The stinker.

I enrolled Ed in preschool down in Bakersfield. He will be going once a week, and this time will allow me to consolidate my errands into one morning, and only have one child with me. It benefits him because he is a stinker. I'm hoping a little time in a structured environment where he has to listen to other people's rules and obey will help him... cuz I'm about to sell him! He was doing so well; he seemed to be growing up and not running in the parking lot, and not running in the store, and not running up and down the trailer... being nicer to other kids, not running out of nursery on Sundays... and then the last few weeks have gotten more and more frustrating for me. There are moments when I wonder if he needs a pill of some kind to just calm him down a little. He is right on the edge of that fine line between active little boy and ADD/ADHD... he may even have his pinkie toe over the edge of that line. This picture of him was taken when I picked him up from preschool. He didn't want to come home. He is so excited to have a school of his own, and a lunch box. He just wishes he could ride a bus, then his dreams would come true. He escaped his classroom once, apparently it was before the school portion started. The director said "He has no fear, does he?" I used to work at this PreK while in college, and know some of the staff already. I warned them all. This boy is so smart, and so active... I'm not sure what to do about it. I thought maybe making him walk/run outside would help, but it doesn't. We walked two miles today, and he came in, had some fruit salad (yummy, yummy!) and was back in full force.
Maybe I'm the one who needs a pill.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Just last week I was saying that Jessie doesn't really talk very much. She has a few words, like ball, mom, dad. She nods her head yes. Today she was looking at a photo book of Kacy's and identified all the family members- "whoa", "ehhd", and a very throaty version of Kacy... I can't even begin to spell it. "Kcsheesee?" Close enough. And she says "cracker." Just like that.

I called Will's teacher to see how he was doing because he tells me he hates drawing because it's boring, and then everything else is just "good." His teacher reported that he does not like to color, but he does it anyway. (That's good!) He likes the math activities, and he is a typical boy, preferring the active parts of the day to the coloring part. She said he was really popular with the kids. The lady who answered the phone is also a play ground aide and she said he was doing great on the play ground and getting along with the kids. I was still a little worried about him going to school because I just wasn't sure how he'd do. I'm an advocate of keeping kids out of school a year if they need it, because I'd rather have a kid be a little tall for his/her age than struggle and grow to hate school. I sat on the fence with Will for a good two years about this because he was so slow to speak and emotionally immature. But he's grown up tons in the last 8 months or so. And, it sounds like he's doing great. Helping with his homework today he had to do some drawing things, and he CAN do it. He just needs some more fine motor skills practice. So, no more worries about him. She said he follows directions and pays attention- so he's all set! (The pros and cons of a degree in Child Development- I am constantly observing children, taking mental notes about their physical, cognitive, and emotional development. It makes me seem a little Type-A sometimes... but it's like it's just a part of me that won't quit. And then you have the playground supervisor part of me that wants to make sure everyone is safe and plays nice... I'm sure I drive people nuts!)

Ryan got called to be the second counselor in the Bishopric. Not sure how we feel about that... I feel a little young (even though I know I'm not... but I am.... but I'm not.... but...) and now I get to be a bench widow every Sunday. I'm not worried about it- I have lots of people who are willing to jump in my bench for me. Marcie B. just laughed and laughed (and laughed) when they announced it... her husband has been there, she's done that... seriously her shoulders were shaking for like five minutes. Stinker. I would have done the same though... it IS funny. The whole thing is just weird. So, ask me how I feel about it. Answer: "It's weird." The weirdest part was when people would congratulate me (or Ryan), like it was a position to be won. Our church is not a church of promotion, but of rotation. So Ryan has to sit on the stand now, but in a year he could be in the nursery with the babies... is one really MORE important that the other? Nope, just different. Some women felt sorry for me, but really, I'm not the first to have to sit by myself, nor will I be the last. I'm comfortable being independent (ask my mom...) and I'll do the best I can. There are women with lots more kids and less help than I have, so sitting in a bench by myself doesn't worry me. (I've done it a fair amount of times when Ryan has had to work late, or a holiday weekend, or was speaking.)

My cousin Caley is leaving for BYU-H soon. Not to be selfish, but there goes my temple baby-sitter! Whhaaaaaaa! She's going to have so much fun! I won't be able to visit her though, as I have this deathly fear of flying and leaving my children without a mother. Irrational, I know. But it's a thing I have. When they are all 18+ I'll be better about it. Maybe I could take them with me... better start saving the change in the bottom of my purse now!

Ed is going to start Preschool this week. Once a week, on Thursdays at a preschool I use to work for, Kendra worked for, and Karen still works for! They are fairly structured in the mornings and the women there are all very kind. He's excited, and I hope that it helps him to follow directions a little better. Yesterday in the grocery store, I was talking to the owner's wife (I think they own it- maybe the stare manager?) and I hear Ed say, "I tasted it! It's yummy!" and then I look up to see him licking a stalk of broccoli. (We then bought it.) At nap time I could hear him playing with toys, so I tell him to lay down and go to sleep. He tells me, "Just a minute Mom. I'm naked." Sure enough, he was without any clothes, laying there, playing with some Legos. He is SO excited to go to preschool.

Kacy has started giving me the silent treatment when she's mad at me. Good grief- she's only six. We had a talk (okay- it was a lecture) about how we are on the same team and I'm trying to help her be a good person and it's okay to have feelings and be mad at me but it's not okay to ignore me... aack! Baby girls are SO SWEET AND FUN AND ADORABLE AND MILD, and then BAM! They are girls! Just like me! Baby boys are so active and active and active and not listening and active! But I haven't observed them to stay mad at their moms. Ever. We'll see how my kids pan out...

Me... I'm not sure I have anything to say. I might try out another lens for my camera, a zoom lens. I'm watching Ryan put up our roof one tedious section at a time. I am looking forward to spending Thursdays in Bakersfield to do some food shopping, and maybe, just maybe, with one little girl in tow, I'll be able to do some shopping and look for bargains. Right now it's a grab n' go style of shopping- anything to get out of there faster. I'm going to be able to visit family and friends! And feel relaxed about it! (Ed!!!) I'm having a difficult time running- it's dark in the mornings (starlight dark, and out in the middle of nowhere, that can be just scary) and then it's 100* in the afternoon. Evenings are out because Ryan is working... I'll work it out- I have to. It's been four years in the trailer. A full 48 months. We are definitely on the down hill slide. YAY! (BTW- I am a pretty decent speller, even though I don't always edit. But I cannot, for the life of me, spell "definitely" right, without spell checker. And I use it a lot. "Necessary" is another one.