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, December 29, 2010


Thanksgiving day, I tried my hand at panning. Panning in photography is when your subject is in focus, but moving, and the photo shows movement. I'm not good at it, and I'm not sure I understand it all myself. The effect can be cool- but maybe best done when your subject is moving, but relatively still. Like a skateboarder cruising down the street, or a cyclist, or a sporty car that has no flailing arms and feet (and head) like my boys. Here are the best attempts:

Not so good. But it was fun trying.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Grateful for Health

Warning: Do not Google "puking" images. Just don't.

I have some relatives that are puking- yuck!

Last night I joined them. Except I think it's not related- mine definitely feels like I had a germ on my hands, and then ate pizza with my hands... It was over before I knew it, and one of those "I felt better as soon as I puked" kind of things.

The worst part? Besides tasting regurgitated pizza? The fever. The body wracking, freezing cold, uncontrollable shaking fever. Then of course, the sweating later.

But, after that was all done, the sweet relief of sleep was awesome, and knowing I could make it through the next day. It's bad to be a sick mom. Super hard. It was also nice to know the kids wouldn't get it. Not having laundry right now would make that B-A-D. I've done it before, and never want to do it again.

Feeling better, and grateful for it! I love my and my family's health!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Photo by me, but last year. What a slacker, I know!
Christmas this year was great! Here is what some of the Christmas season brought us:

The local Christmas parade. The one where Ed got lost. We'll never forget that one!

Breakfast with Santa! Kacy asked for a binder so she could organize her papers. Will wanted a Lego set. Ed asked for an Ironman helmet. Jessie cried/screamed. Before I put her on his lap, she tried to talk me out of it by saying Santa is mean.
On that same note, I eavesdropped on the kids to see what they wanted from Santa, and I had told Ed that if he asked for an Ironman helmet (the kind that makes noise- just like his Transformers Bumblebee helmet that he never plays with) I would tell Santa no. He comes up to me after he talked to Santa and says, "Hey Mom! I asked Santa for an Ironman helmet. SOR-RY!" all happy. Stinker!
For the record, he got an Ironman figure on a quad. And Jessie got a new baby. All her happy!

We don't get our kids a lot. They got what they asked for (sort of- ED!) and then Santa brought a group goft of Play-doh toys and lots of Play-doh. The kids were so happy! And so was I, because it wasn't tons, and they don't have high expectations. Ryan and I have decided that when they get older and get more expensive tastes, they won't get those things for Christmas. They will have to work and save money and buy them (with or without our help), and we'll save Christmas for those fun things/little things. Hopefully they'll take more pleasure in participating in the season, and not get so caught up in asking for things that cost hundreds of dollars. We'll see!

We got to visit with friends that we don't get to see enough due to distance and conflicting work schedules. Good times with good people- we miss our old friends and can't wait for the house to be done so we do some inviting. We have newer friends since moving that we would like to hang out with more, but again, with the lack of space and all, we can't do any inviting.

On that note, Ryan is making more and more progress on the house. It can be depressing because he can work all day and it looks like nothing got done. For example, on one day he wired the entire kitchen. That's a good amount of work, drilling holes, pulling wires, installing boxes... but if you stand in the kitchen, it doesn't look much different. Oh well, slowly but surely.

We also had a killer rain storm. It rained about 5 gallons at our house in three days: a 5 gallon bucket we had outside was filled to the top. The storm has closed our usual route to Bakersfield, causing us longer travel times. It also washed away our usual street we take home. We are grateful for alternative routes. We had no personal flooding problems, because our property is way above grade. There are several spots in our valley (and in Bakersfield) that have major road damage. It was a LOT of rain in a short time.

Some gifts received this year: Santa brought the kids what they wanted (hello?!? A binder that zips and has pockets on the outside to organize stuff with? How can he NOT bring that?), and the grandparents and cousins did not disappoint. PJ's, books, more books, little flashlights, the boys got a little RC car, some magnetic building things, gift cards to McDonalds... they were thrilled. Ryan and I got a Wii (from his parents), a dutch oven that I am claiming for my own and might practice with SOON, a night out with food, and some gift cards! My mom supplied me with hair care products that I won't buy for myself and the best shade of black-purple nail polish. The gift of beauty is always appreciated!

I procrastinated my Christmas shopping until the last minute, and I loved it. I think when we have a house and a place to store the goods, I'll try looking year round for gifts so that I can take advantage of sales, but for the most part, it was great!

The sad part of the whole season? As much as I love it, I'm afraid it'll be here again before I know it. When I was a kid it seemed like it took FOREVER to get here. The older I get, the faster it comes. It boggles my mind.

And, why no pictures this year? I had my camera, with my new cool manual flash, which I've figured out, but with so many people and so much action, coupled with my fear of annoying people, the few pics I took ended up being a mass of people with half of them with their backsides to the camera. No one wants their butt on the internet. At least, no one I'm related to. (Your welcome, familia.)

Friday, December 17, 2010

*friday photo fun*

What do you do with a six hour power outage at night, when your kids are not to be trusted with flashlights?

Get them glow sticks and show them what a light trail is on your camera. Guaranteed good entertainment for at least 15 minutes. Then, you send them to bed early because there is nothing else to do in the pitch black, no moon, freezing cold country evening in December.

Monday, December 13, 2010

An Eventful Day for Ed at Church

Yesterday in Sacrament meeting, Ed leans over and says, "Mom, you are giving me a headache. I'm tired of you." 
"Whatever, Ed."
Then he hits his head on the bench in front of us and I think, "Ha! There's a real headache for ya!"
"Ouch. Now my head hurts for reals, and you are just giving me a head ache. I'm tired of this." He was pretty diplomatic of the whole thing, not really whining.
"Fine. Go sit with your dad, then." (Dad is in front...)
"No, I'm tired of him, too. I'm tired of every body in the whole world. Except for Marcie."
(except he pronounces it "Mah-cie.)
"Whatever, Ed. Sit and listen."
"I'm tired of you! I wanna sit with Mah-cie. I like Mah-cie."

She motions him over, and he proceeds to go sit with his woman. He snuggles up against her, sits on her lap, gives her lots of hugs... Marcie was good to let two of my kids sit with her family. And she likes Ed, and right now Ed needs all the adults he can get that like him, because he can be so wild and obnoxious sometimes. He particularly struggles at church. 

During Primary singing time, he kissed Lili on the cheek. She was not happy about it, poor girl. I called him to the back of the room and said, "Ed, you can't kiss girls like that. Girls don't like to be kissed." 
His reply: "How about moms? Do moms like kisses?" And with a big ol' grin he landed a big smooch on my cheek, turned, and went back to his seat.

Later, after church was over, he got mad that he didn't get a chance to get Jessie from the nursery. He stormed out the door. When I went to go get him, I found him with his pants around his ankles peeing in the bushes. Only a few had to witness this fine act of boyness, and Marcia K., who was in her car and had a front row seat, was red in the face from laughing so hard. 

The rest of the day was very boring for Ed. It's like he got it all out of his system in a short three hour span. Can't wait to see what next Sunday brings. He's having a substitute, and the last time he had a substitute, the poor teacher asked him  and the little boy in his class what they learned, and they replied, "Killing prophets!" (They didn't learn that, FYI.) He also sat on his teachers lap and played with his face for like 15 minutes.

I'm truly grateful for the adults that help me with (put up with) this crazy boy and his antics.

Family Picture

Friday, December 10, 2010

*friday photo fun*

One of the shots I took last Saturday... right before all heck broke loose and they scattered in every direction.

Can you sense the impending doom? 

Doom might be a little too strong of a word. Mayhem would be better.

I couldn't. I was more focused on Will's "Captian Morgan Rum" pose. Ed's surprised look. Jessie being blurry. 

We are going back for more mayhem tomorrow. They LOVED this place, and since it's practically in our backyard, I have no problems going again. Except this time, the camera will be secondary. I won't care (too much) if they fall in the stream. And we'll go see what's over the top of the hill.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Photography- So MUCH to Learn

My friend Mindi asked me to try and take some pictures of her girls. Her baby was the very first (on my very short list) newborn to take pictures of. Her girls are are nearly 3 1/2 and 6 months. I did it, but only because she is a friend who would still talk to me if they came out horribly. And, because she knows I'm practicing. (For what? I don't know.) Seriously, I could never do this and get paid. I just don't feel like I know enough. 
I'm still trying to figure out my style. Everyone has a look they like, a look they are drawn to. Ryan says my lighting is too harsh. I "sometimes" think that, but then I've come to terms that I kinda like that look. He prefers a very even lighting on faces. I am drawn to fairly high contrast portraits that focus on the face. One photographer whose work I enjoy is Ken Sharp. I like it because in my mind, it seems very simple. There must be other things I like about it, too, but it's hard to find the words. And therein lies part of my problem: I can't define what it is exactly I like. It's part of ART: it's subjective and sometimes there are just no words. (I'll mention now that I'm more of a math person. I'm very comfortable with concrete answers.)  In photography, a picture could have everything right and you still might not like it. It doesn't mean it's a crappy picture per se, it just means you don't like the style. As I've been kind of studying photography more, I have come across some photographers that I'm drawn to, and others... not so much. Reminds me of my art history class, where some great classic paintings were beautiful, and other I thought "So what?"
 I had some focusing problems (just a little!) yesterday. Mostly with the little one here. I don't know what was up, as I've never really had that before. Like in this shot, her face isn't as sharp as it should be. Or, maybe it is and I should just say I was going for a soft look. Ya, that's it. Soft.
 We were both stressed a little doing this. She wanted her girls to cooperate, and I wanted to do a good job. We had to do team work. But now, 24 hours later, my stress has changed it's focus. What if she's disappointed? Okay, that's not it. I picked the best shots, processed them in three different ways (black and white, color, and a vintage/muted look) so she'll have to like some of them. There are at least 18 or so poses that I liked. I think it's just because I DON'T KNOW.  I'll have to mull them over some more, and after she sees them I'll post some of my favorites to Flickr.

So, if you are still reading this and thinking, "I could totally do that!"  you are probably right. Clean the snot off your kids (What? Please don't tell me mine are the only ones perpetually gross!) and find some window light. Don't stand in front of the window to block the light, but rather have the window on the side. De-clutter the background if necessary so the focus is on the kids, not the background. Shoot. Make sure the flash is off, the f/stop isn't wide open (you want the whole face to be in focus- something I didn't do at Thanksgiving...). Bribe kids. Beg kids. Make silly faces and jump around. Pray you get a few. Easy! Right?

If I were to do it again, I'd make sure my focus dots (in the viewfinder) were set so that only the center one was on. I had them all on, thinking it would increase my chances of it being in focus, but unfortunately, the camera focused on a shirt rather than a face sometimes. Not cool when shooting little ones. I'd also learn how to use my flash, or something. Lighting is a huge deal in pictures. HUGE. 

I have so much to learn.

*Update* I showed them to her last night and she loved them. Stress relieved! Whew!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ed the Therapist

Today when Will came home I asked him if he remembered to bring home his jacket and his sweatshirt. It's the second day in a row that he forgot. He told me his sweatshirt was in the lost and found, and his jacket was in his classroom. I chewed him out... "We don't live next to a store... that jacket costs lots of money... if you don't have warm clothes to wear you are going to get sick and then you'll have to go to the doctor and that's an hour and a half away... time.... money... sick... blah, blah, blah... get in the car we are going to the school right now to get that swear shirt out of lost and found..." And, I said all this, not in a kind, lecturing way, but in an elevated voice/ yelling kind of way.

While driving to the school,  I let out a big ol' sigh. Ed, who was in the front seat, says, "So what's the problem, Mom?"

Me: "I'm frustrated because I am trying not to yell at you kids so much because it's sounds awful and no one likes it. And, I got angry at Will and then I yelled at him."

Ed: "You don't like to yell?"

Me: "No, and it's become a bad habit for me. I don't like to get angry."

Ed: "So, let's get this straight. Why do you get so angry?"

Me: What the heck? Who is this kid? Good question. "I don't know why Ed. There's no good reason to act angry."

Ed:"Maybe it's because the kids do bad things. Or they don't listen. It's okay, Mom."

Me: " No, it's not. I need to do better."

And, I do. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who sometimes wants to eat their young, but it's not a good habit I have and I want to do better. It doesn't matter why this habit started, it just matters that I keep myself in check and getting better. Being a mom is hard work! I'm grateful for friends who make me feel normal and encourage me to hang in there. Seems like I've had a few conversations with different friends recently saying how frustrated they get, and afterward they think that the thing that bothered them really wasn't that big of a deal. I will work on this. Unfortunately, I feel like it might be a life long quest because as long as my kids act like they are participants in some Lord of the Flies unruly circus, I'll be tempted to act the part of the ring leader, yelling into my megaphone for order and safety. 

Luckily, I have a friend who feels like I do, and we are going to help each other. It's nice to have someone to vent to and not have them think you are a terrible mother because you sometimes had a bad week with your kids and threw a mommy tantrum. You know the kind, where you rant and go on a rampage of cleaning, while saying things like, "This house is a mess! Why can't you put your shoes away? Let me see your hands. Yup, still there, both of them. If they can play with toys, they can put shoes away. Good grief, I'm going nuts. You guys are slowly killing me. If I trip over one more shoe, I might literally fall down and die. I'll hit my head on the bed and be dead. Then what would you do? Who would fix your dinner and wash your underwear? You would be dirty and gross and dad would make you eat the pickles the come on your cheeseburgers." The kids just usually look at me like I'm nuts because I've become very dramatic and I'm putting shoes away with gusto, and I'm usually throwing things away that they had intended on rat-packing away.  Remember Yosemite Sam, the cartoon? He would get mad and say "Russ-a frussin mumble mumble..." 

That's what I do.

I'm sure the stress of having four kids in less than five years, living our in Nowhere, CA, and living in a 320 square foot trailer with a husband who works two jobs might have something to do with it. (His paying job, his working on the house/church stuff job) But this is what I choose and I must conquer this. No excuses.

What I'm going to do:
Quit caffeine. Caffeine increases anxiety and irritibility. Two things I have plenty of already. So long, Diet Pepsi and Vanilla Diet Coke. I'll miss you, because you are so tasty and fizzy and I love you out of the fountain with crushed ice and a straw... but perhaps we'll meet at special occasions like at when I eat pizza or have a cheeseburger, because those things are just not the same without you. 
Get some form of aerobic exercise everyday, by myself. Runs are good, but since I'm not a great runner and the weather is cold and rainy./snowy/windy right now, I'll settle for walks! I always feel less stressed after I run. (Unless I think about how slow and out of shape I am, then I stress about that. What can I say? I'm a head case.)

Keep perspective. I will not die if the kids don't put their shoes away. I will not crack up if they spill their drink again because they are playing at the table during dinner time and not eating. Okay, I actually might. But I will try not to exaggerate the situation and keep my cool. I will remember that although it sometimes seems like a "them vs me" situation, we are a team and they don't intentionally want me in the loony bin.

Right? Right.

Now, I'm off to make them their favorite dinner: noodles with garlic salt and Parmesan cheese. Eww. We are having family night, and we have decided to have movie mix: popcorn, marshmallows, and M&M's. We are out of pretzels, or we'd have those, too.

And, thank-you Ed for talking to me today. Today you exceeded you age by about forty years. It was weird. But I needed it, and appreciated it.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Taking Pictures of the Kids


There's more to this story, including a wet foot in the stream and the building of a bridge. 

I did manage to get a few good shots, as the lighting was great. It was almost noon, but overcast. This session might have to do.

Friday, December 3, 2010

*friday photo fun*

The only picture I took this week? *ahem* TODAY. But only because I am trying to find a backdrop to take kid pictures. Preferably without driving too far. With a little interest. I met Will at the bus stop and made him stop at our well house. This is cute of Will, but I just don't like it. T-shirt aside, it looks so... plain? Boring? Zoom out and get the whole body? Sit him on a log in front of the wood? Find a new place? I will contemplate this tonight, and do whatever comes to mind TOMORROW because although I am procrastinating gift shopping this year, photos are not an option. I should have had them done last month already.

I got a flash for my camera! I have no idea how to use it! I'm so excited! I read the manual and know how to work the flash, but need to experiment and practice, practice, practice. My big hopes for a flash is better lit indoor holiday photos, and better lit outdoor "I missed the Golden hour" or "it's dappled sunlight" or "the sun is great back lighting but your face is in a shadow" kind of pics. All I can really say is WE SHALL SEE. Just another thing to learn, when I haven't even cracked the photography thing!

On the house front- Ryan is chiseling away at projects. Wiring is almost complete. Do I even need to say that we both need a house and can't wait for it to be finished. Pretty soon (right? RIGHT??) I should be able to take pictures of the fun stuff! Inside stuff. We just have to get through the mechanical inspection.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ed Went Missing

This boy nearly gave me a heart attack this Saturday. While I was paying the check out lady for our donuts, Ed decided to leave the building. So grateful for a small town where I knew someone behind me in line who sat with the kids while I hunted for Ed (Terri B), and when I still couldn't find him, called her husband who is a retired CHP sargeant and who was in the parking... who in turn called Ryan's sargeant... and I couldn't get a hold of Ryan... and I called Marcie in tears saying I lost Ed and I'm at Vons and she replies "I'm on my way."...and she showed up in her jammies with her hubby right behind her in his truck starting at a different end of the road... and she called Michelle who was down the road the OTHER way to watch for Ed... and then Lindsey found him in the parking lot and tried to call me to let me know but I didn't answer my phone because I was spastic and thought "I don't have time to talk right now"... and Krissy who showed up and came into Vons to let me know where he was. I did ask the Salvation Army bell ringer if he saw a small boy wearing a navy blue sweatshirt, wranglers, and cowboy boots walk by and he said no. Anyway, it was the longest 20 minutes, since I don't count the first 5 minutes when I thought he was just around the corner like usual. After we were "reunited" I didn't want to talk to him until my nerves came back into order... on a freezing cold morning I was sweating and my heart hurt. 
Ryans's mom once couldn't find him for several hours when he was about 8 or 9 because dates got mixed up and his aunt picked him up on the wrong day, and this was before cell phones. A simple miscommunication that was really traumatic. I told Cherie last night I would have needed a tranquilizer if that were me.
I still haven't had to call search and rescue... but I'm waiting.

Friday, November 26, 2010

*friday photo fun*

She wants this made into a poster with a "Stay Out" warning on it for her room when the house is done.
I think she's practicing her mom face.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Kacy is thankful for "everything and everyone, especially my family."

Will is thankful for "Christmas and all the rest of the holidays."

Ed is thankful for "reading and playing and drawing on the dirt."

Jessie is thankful for "go to sleep and playing on your computer. Again. I said again. Peas?"

I am thankful for potty trained children, kids who do their homework, diet pepsi, and Reese's peanut butter cups.

Ryan is thankful for me because I'm the bestest, funnest, most adorable person he knows. And yes, he totally said that. (I'm also grateful he doesn't read this blog to dispute this last statement.)

Friday, November 19, 2010

*friday photo fun*

...with NO PHOTO. What's this world coming to?

I didn't use my camera this week. At all. I have been REALLY busy this week. You know, I really like the slow life. I like to accomplish things, but I hate being so busy that my nerves get shortened even more than my spastic self already is. Luckily, I had a successful shopping trip to Kohl's with my grandma (who pushed Ed around in the stroller shopping cart while he popped some bubble wrap he found on the floor). She bought us lunch afterward. I love my grandma. So calm and sensible. You just have to give props to a woman who is 87 years old and been through a lot. Her favorite saying, "This too shall pass." She knows it!

Anyway, the trip was successful because I was able to get clothes for our upcoming family pictures. And, find Jessie some winter cloths without spending a fortune.

Right now I'm listening to Christmas music and I don't care who knows it! ;) Ryan's dad has a tradition of playing his collection of a bazillion Christmas songs on the stereo where everyone can hear it in the background, and I'm going to be a copycat. Which reminds me... I need to talk to Ryan about the possibility of putting speakers throughout the house? Do I want to inflict my music on everyone else? (Or, have the kids in the future inflict theirs on me?) A thought.

Listening to Christmas music always makes me wish I played the piano better and could sing well. I can sing... sort of. But not high notes, and not in front of adults other than my good friends in primary. No one would want to hear me though. I'm totally cool with that. I have a choir voice, not a solo voice. Maybe when I get my piano out of storage and tuned up, I'll practice. I'll just have to make sure no one is home.

Tonight is our ward Thanksgiving dinner, and I'm totally experimenting with a dessert. In theory, the BBQ apple sweet bread should be good. If not, Vons is always open, and I'll use the "I don't bake because I live in a trailer" card. Is BBQing dessert considered baking? I think it might be.

Kids progress reports: Will is excelling, quirks and all. Kacy still needs to memorize her math facts. For the record, Ryan and I never memorized our math facts up to 20 either. I'll have her make flashcards, and if that doesn't work, we'll blame it on genetics. Easy!

Enough rambling. Oh wait- a bloggy thing: on Facebook (or here) please tell me one or two songs or albums of Christmas Music you think is awesome. Thanks!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Birth Announcement I Made

This one was my favorite.
I bought a black and white backdrop specifically for this reason. I really, really like pics with a more natural background, but for announcement purposes I like the plain backgrounds. I think that's because of the style of announcement I lean towards. I did this as a gift for my friend. I'm out of infants to photograph.

Next up is the holidays, and I'll be practicing using a flash indoors and getting candids of the family. I'm patiently waiting for a flash from China. One more week to go!


That's the only word to describe an event that has affected Ryan and me. Ryan more than me, because he is closer to the situation and the people than I am. To fail to mention this would be a disservice to both the event and how it's impacted us since it happened. One of Ryan's friends/co-worker's sons committed suicide Tuesday night. He was just 16. It's the second suicide in our small area in less than a month, and this one was too close to home. Ryan's sergeant called when it happened, and I heard both sides of that conversation. I will never forget that short conversation. We were up tossing and turning, unable to sleep Tuesday night. It peppered my thoughts all day Wednesday. I refused to think about it today, and I was great until Ryan came home and told me the details of what happened. It's a horrific story, worse than what I had imagined the night it happened. It makes me sick to my stomach. As a parent it just breaks my heart. I'm worried about the family. Simply put, it is every parent's worst nightmare, and I hope it never hits any closer to home than this.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


...if I can get my act together, I will prepare for 4-H on Tuesday, print out some legal/political information concerning California and Education, and maybe, just maybe, clean up my kids and take them to a "fall" place by my house and try some pictures.

Which one is the most difficult but could be the most rewarding?

The pictures. Always the pictures.

I will also finish the laundry. And stare at my house. And think about how nice it will be to live in a house again. And what might it be like to have kids in their bedrooms? And a kitchen to cook in?
But I won't think about it too much, because I need to keep my focus on RV living and staying sane and happy in our trailer.

A full day! ;

Friday, November 12, 2010

*friday photo fun*

Baby T. 
When I first thought of doing this "friday photo fun" thing, I thought it would be easy to post a favorite picture from the week. Unfortunately, some weeks I haven't even used the camera! This week I did once, to take some announcement shots for a friend. (That's a whole other post after she decides which announcement to use and sends them out. Coming soon.)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Beast

Meet "The Beast."

A 1975 Ford 4x4. It's Ryan's new daily driver to save wear and tear on his red truck.

One day, about Thursday September 30, 2010, we decide we need to go to The Home Depot. We take the beast and go over a certain mountain pass that separates our house from our favorite desert city. Miles wise, it's much shorter. Time wise, it's MUCH longer. But really fun!

We saw rare sites! Like a golden eagle flying right over the hood of the truck with a bunny in it's clutches. A bird's eye view of our little valley. The place where the Pacific Crest Trail crosses near our house and someone fills up gallon containers of water and leaves them by the trail with candy bars for the hikers.

We found out that the truck only has a 12 gallon tank. 

We did run out of gas, but it wasn't horrible. We were in town, and the truck was making a funny kind of noise. Ryan wasn't sure what is was, so he dropped us off at the Pizza Hut and headed for the gas station. He ran out of gas. The kids and I ate lunch while he called his friend who brought him gas. Because the truck was still new to us, and was still making an unidentified weird noise, we opted to rent a car for the long cell phone free ride home. We left the truck in the Home Depot parking lot, and drove home in a brand new Expedition.

When we went back the next day to get the truck (on the back of our trailer), Ryan got two offers to sell the truck in less than 15 minutes. Sweet! It's not for sale though. It's fun! The kids LOVE it when Ryan spins donuts and takes them 4x4ing. Plus, he has plans for it. 

He found the funny noise and it was no big deal. Whew! We like easy, minor fixes!

And although the Expedition was really nice, and we had more room, I still want my own truck. Flatbed. Gotta load stuff and I want my future mean dog on the back.

House Progress

Ryan has had the month off (so far) and is making excellent progress on the house. The plumbing is 100% done. The ducting/coolers/heat/chimney/fireplace/air exchanger stuff is done. Lathing the outside is almost done... I'm going to take the job of putting in enough screws to meet manufacturer specs. Only 2000 more screws/washers to go!

The Iron Rooster! Ryan free-formed this thing. The pieces above are all part of the Rooster. The cage is upside down, and the expanded metal will wrap around it. The Rooster weather vane will go on top- and it's fully functional. That'll wait until the house is done.
Evidence of our wires! Ryan's dad came up and help get the wiring started. Ryan was glad to have someone who knows what they are doing to help him... when I help I have to be told what to do. I'm a great listener, but it's easier when your help has a clue.

Working towards the big mechanical inspection. After that inspection we will be ready for interior insulation. Then, lickety split, DRYWALL and exterior finish! After that, it'll all be weekend warrior type stuff.

There is possibly a light at the end of this tunnel!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I'm the One Causing Trouble

Today the kids and I went to the older kids Veteran's Day celebration at the school. Jessie sat on the bleachers with me in the gym and watched. Just like the other kids around us. Except for Ed. Who, at one point, was in a head lock. It started out as a hug, then a squeeze, and then, a head lock. (Maybe a choke hold...)
He kept struggling and struggling and wanting to RUN around a gym full of Veteran's and the entire school and lots of parents... not cool. I tried all my tricks: ignoring, bribing, threatening, poking, hugging... and not necessarily in that order.
At one point, I hissed, "Ed, will you just sit down?"
Ed loudly replies, "I would sit down but you are the one causing trouble!"

Saturday, November 6, 2010

This Week

Since I've last posted:

I have driven approximately 1000 miles.

I have been to the Urgent Care center 3 times.

I have witnessed my boys get chest X-rays 3 times.

I have administered numerous doses of antibiotics.

I attended a PTC volunteer thing where I attempted to fill goodie bags. This was fine until Ed stole a peice of candy and hid in the bushes. I spent 10 minutes looking for him. (Five by myself and five with the bus driver.)

I won a position on the school board.

I attended a fall festival.

I placed an order for tankless water heater venting pipe, and when I went to pick it up, it hadn't come in. I let the man know that I had to drive and hour and a half to get there, and would he please call me when it comes in for sure next time? Frustrating.

I took one nap.

I cleaned a construction site. Ah, home sweet home.

I've been to Home Depot and/or Lowe's three times.

I took the kids to playgroup.

I treated myself to a "smovie" at Juice it Up. Big Berry Combo, I think.

I have managed to keep up with the laundry, thanks to the beautiful weather we have had. Almost too warm... but I'll take it for housekeeping purposes.

I have been cooking dinner. It's cooled off enough to actually cook in the trailer. We've had some interesting concoctions a la Karrie.

I read a novel, "A Spoonful of Poison" by MC Beaton. A quick, easy "whodunit."

Notes for posterity: Last Saturday I took Will and Ed into Urgent Care. Will was diagnosed with "not quite pneumonia" and Ed had a cyst drained from the back of his knee. The cyst came showed up Friday morning, about the size of a golf ball. Will got meds and got better pretty quickly. Thursday after I ordered the venting pipe, I took Ed and Jessie to the Urgent Care. Jessie has a double ear infection, and Ed had Bronchitis. They took x-rays of Ed that day to double check. Friday, after I found out the venting pipe was not on the transfer truck for some reason, I took Ed in again because he was wheezing so badly. They gave him a breathing treatment, took more x-rays, and upped his meds to include a stronger antibiotic, steroids, and a spacer for his inhaler. More X-rays revealed the mucous in his lungs had, in a 24 hour period, migrated deeper in, and he had a spot of pneumonia. He's getting better now, and sounds much better. Poor boy inherited weak lungs from my grandma and me. I'm now supposed to make an appointment with our regular pediatrician to see about her maybe needing tubes in her ears, and for Ed to check back on his Baker's cyst that refilled the same day it was drained. There goes the money I was going to use for a camera flash...)

Friday, October 29, 2010

House Update

I need to take some pics of the house. And I will. AND... I'll share.

We are super busy, as Ryan has started a long stretch of days off, and we are both feeling the urgency to get this thing DONE.

Soon. Pictures soon. And maybe a house soon. Coming up are inside decisions... the ones we'll look at everyday. Framing and wiring... and all those covered up decisions like which type of insulation to use... how to make our house energy efficient... none of that is "seeable." Important, but not really photographically exciting.

On a bad note, Ed spray painted the ONE door we already installed. Bright orange. Just a spot on the jamb and adjacent pre-finished stained door frame. I cried. But only for a minute. It's just a house. (It's just a house... It's just a house...)

*friday photo fun*

Stop the presses- I took a picture this week! Jessie and her Halloween costume.

At playgroup this week we had a Halloween carnival. I wasn't sure if we were going or not because of the rotating sickness that was in our house for 10 days. So, on Tuesday morning when every one was healthy, we went. But I didn't have any games ready. So I brought my camera in the hopes of having a photo booth. I took pics of the kids in their costumes and then printed the out as 4x6's at Costco. I had fun. The lighting in this one would have been better if her face was lit, but what can ya do with a two year old who sat for 20 seconds and a window with natural light. Thinking of getting a flash...

Jessie loved her princess costume. That's what counts!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween 2010

A no-sew Halloween.

Tutus for the girls (mine included). Jessie is a princess, Kacy and I are Halloween witches. Will is a skeleton  Ed is Bumblebee from Transformers.

There is a commercial right now for Target and their Halloween costumes. A mom finished duct taping a light to her sons chest and says, "What's up, Iron Man! Let me get my camera." She leaves and the light falls off. That's Ed's costume. But the important thing is that HE loved it. Right?

Our ward had a carnival last night. Really fun, and I liked it WAY better than the trunk or treats from the past. The kids played games, and then later went from door to door inside the church. They had a blast!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Parent Teacher Conferences, Halloween Costumes, and a Father-Daughter Conversation

*Yesterday was parent-teacher conferences. Good news all around, although Will's teacher and I are still trying to figure Will out. He's on grade level and doing well, but he's got some "quirks", among them lack of organizational skills and focus. He is better behaved in school this year. I attribute that to two things: he has grown up some, and he interacts better with his teacher this year. Kacy's teacher wishes he had more students like her. But, what can you expect from such a serious girl who wants to be a teacher when she grows up. My favorite comment from her teacher, Mr. D., was that he enjoys her "dry sense of humor."

My least favorite thing: finding out the the middle school no longer has any electives because they are a low performing school. I don't know if the district decided that course of action or the state made them do it, but it's wrong. So, so wrong on so many levels. I'm not happy about it.

*We have our Halloween costumes all figured out and almost complete. At 4-H on Tuesday night we got to wear our costumes. Will won an award for the "scariest." Good thing, because after Ryan got done painting his face, Will looked in the mirror and scared himself. Seriously, a pee in your pants parent moment when your son looks in the mirror and goes, "Ahh!" and then turns and says, "Not that scary Dad!. Not like that!"

*Last night Ryan missed the turn for Taco Bell. From the backseat we hear Jessie: "Why is dad going this way? This is the wrong way. DAD! Why you going this way? Taco Bell is THAT way!"
Ryan: "You talk a lot, little girl."
Jessie: "Well, I'm talking about Taco Bell, Dad. Ya, right there. That's what I'm talkin' about. There ya go."

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Recap

Wednesday: Will had pink-eye. (Fever Monday night, fine Tuesday, stink-eye Wed. It's a pattern!)
Friday: Jessie throws up three times first thing in the morning. That canceled my planned Halloween supply gathering trip to Bako. Good thing, because the school called about 11am saying Will had an accident "out the back end." I take him some clothes to change into to find that the "accident" was actually horrible sickness. He said he asked if he could use the bathroom but was told no. (I have been on both sides of the teacher/student bathroom thing. I know. I came to the conclusion that you always let a kid go, but give them a detention or something to discourage those kids who would abuse...) I pulled up, and he was sitting outside the office with his back pack, and as soon as he saw me he just started sobbing. I cried for him behind my sunglasses. How humiliating for him. I put some plastic on the back seat and we drove home with the windows rolled down. His issue wasn't much of an issue once we got home and he could use the bathroom when he needed to. Friday night Ed laid down on the bed while we were watching a movie. I asked him what he was doing, and he was "just relaxin'!" Ed never "just relaxes" so I grabbed the thermometer. He had a fever of 102.
Saturday: Every one woke up fine! No fevers, no illnesses. We went to Bako to get the Halloween costume stuff. we ended up eating dinner with my fam for Karen's birthday.
Sunday: We get up and go to church. I notice Ed's eye is looking a little "pinkish." I ask Marcie her opinion and she agrees, but says he should be fine for the rest of church. ;) Jessie's eyes start looking that way too, after we all took a nap.
Monday: It's only been Monday for me for about two hours (since I woke up). Eyes were a little crusty and it's cold. I have no socks to speak of. I have no idea where they are. I need to wash bedding to help kill the stink-eye germs, but as it's supposed to rain today, I can't use my clothesline. My other option is the laundromat. I really didn't want to drive 100 miles today to do laundry, but I think I'll have to.

Side note: I drive a Mazda 5. I used to drive a 12 passenger lifted Ford E-series. The van LOOKS much more stylish, and has some features that are better for where I live. However, I have 80,000 miles on my almost two and a half year old car. We figured the gas money, and I've already saved enough in gas money to pay for the car. Looks like it's a keeper... even if I have to get tires all the time AND it's small AND it's not a truck AND it's not four wheel drive. (I still need one of those... a 4x4 pick-up, diesel, with a flatbed. I'll get one when the house is done and I start my farm. Can't put my dog or a bunch of feed in the Mazda.)

Friday, October 15, 2010

*friday photo fun*

Another week has gone by! I'm getting old, because it seems like just a month ago I was planning Christmas gifts for the fam. And now it's time to do it again.

Here's my favorite picture this week:
This is my niece, Sara-Jane. She is only three weeks younger than Ed. We were at her brother Benjamin's birthday party.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Making Bread

I've been making bread lately. I have my moms' old bread machine from when the fad first started back in the 90's. With some help from some Facebook friends (see? FB is good for something), I learned that adding some wheat gluten flour gives the bread a better texture. I've been mostly making wheat bread, although I experimented with a loaf of "Cinnamon Roll Inspired Bread." I drizzled a sugar glaze on top... it was GOOD! Here is my wheat recipe:
1 1/8 C whole milk
about 1 tsp salt
about 2-3 TBSP butter
2 TBSP sugar
2TBSP wheat gluten flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
2 tsp yeast

Today I bought two unglazed clay tiles at Home Depot. I put them on the grill, and proceeded to experiment.
 One of the tiles had bird prints in it! Ryan says that's good luck. That's cool, because I need all the help I can get. I had picked up some pizza dough mix from Winco out of the bulk bins to try it out. I mixed it according the directions on the little card that I thought I had... I think it was 3 cups mix, 1 cup water, and 1 packet yeast (about 2 tsp). I used the bread machine to do the mixing and kneading. That part went pretty well. The part that I couldn't do was roll it out. I spread it out as best I could and then I put some pizza sauce, chopped olives, and diced garlic on there. I rolled it up like a jelly roll, through it one my clay tiles over a pre-warmed BBQ set at medium-low, (forgot to put the cornmeal on there...but did remember to oil the tiles first!) and baked for about 20 minutes.
It worked! 
The bottom was more done than the top. Burnt, without the blackness. So, burnt in texture? The next time I try this, I will turn down the heat and cook for a longer time period. I will be on the hunt for a rustic bread recipe. Mmmmm.

I like the idea of being able to use my BBQ as an alternative to an oven. (Because I don't have an oven.)

Going Ons

We have been busy with regular ol' life stuff. This week, Will had pink-eye. He missed only a day of school, as it wasn't too bad and I put drops in right away. That's good, because Ed was a stinker with Will home.

Jessie is going through this phase where she asks me, "Mom, are you happy, or not?" or "Are we going home, or not?" She is very verbal. I suppose that is what happens when you are number four with some vocal siblings. Today at Home Depot we were presented with some plumber butt. I saw it and quickly looked away as we passed. Jessie saw it, pointed, snickered, and said "Ha ha! I see that man's butt. That's so funny!"

Ed has done a little growing up, and because of it, my life is getting a little less stressful. It's little things, like using a fork when he eats, not running into the middle of the road when he gets out of the car, not running down the isles of the grocery store. You know, little things

Today when we got back from Home Depot (buying some recessed lighting), we saw a bounty of veggies! Thanks to some certain someones who drive a 4x4 tan Blazer...
Pumpkins, butternut squash, eggplant, tomatoes (WOOT!), pomegranates, and some winter squash. I wish we had some indoor storage room- I need to find some place to put all these things so the mice/rats/rabbits/other critters don't eat everything. I had a well meaning neighbor bring over some apples and pears from his garden and when he came over again a few days later (we need locking GATES), he was upset that the apples were still outside. Hello?!? My name is Ms. No Counter Space, go away. Again, gates. Fences. 
I'm not sure what to do with this loot though- Because of a previous "pumpkins our for Halloween that the critters ate through in two nights flat" I'm nervous it'll be a mess by tomorrow morning. I'll go out right after this and try to find a somewhat secure spot. (My garden maybe?)
 Jessie picked out her pumpkin right away.

Kacy's Glasses

Kacy got her glasses! In a Kindergarten screening she came home with a sheet that said the was 20/40 in her left eye. I finally made an appointment at the eye doctor, and sure enough, the girl needs specs. Something about being farsighted and an over correcting thing. She loves wearing them, and was amazed how everything seemed "brighter" (in her words). They are transition lenses (sunglasses in the sun), and she loves that, but I don't. She just looks too young for sunglasses. But, since she has to wear them all the time, we tried them out.
For the record, her prescription card reads: Distance: Spherical OD +1.50 Cylindrical DS, and Spherical OS +1.75 Cylindrical DS.  I have no idea what those things mean, but I have a card with that info so I can look up some cheap glasses online for back-ups.
Also, Kacy got an award at the awards assembly for having 100% on all of her spelling tests and then another award for "Outstanding Academics."  I love that she loves school.

Friday, October 8, 2010

*friday photo fun*

Has it been a week already? I need to catch up on my blog: Will lost his first tooth last Sunday and Kacy got her glasses! Also, I got my sample voter guide in the mail, and my name is in it! So Weird! Here's the week's picture- we've got a busy weekend coming up.
Have a good weekend!

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Photoshoot With Clara. She Wasn't Happy.

Yesterday after Conference was over, I tried to take some newborn shots of Clara. She wasn't haven't it. She is a bit like Kacy used to be as a baby: wants to eat and isn't happy unless she is eating from late afternoon until bedtime. Plus, we had helpers!
Clara is crying before we even start! But check out the motley crew of kids. They were so EXCITED that I moved a couch and hung up a backdrop.
Seriously? How can you look at this picture and NOT FEEL RELAXED?

Jocelyn was able to borrow some very cool props.
 They went unused yesterday. Maybe another day?

I was disappointed that I didn't get lots of good ones for Jocelyn. Here are a few of my favorites. For more, check out my Flickr account.
 She did this when she wasn't eating. She is NOT an evening person, something we have in common!

Disclaimer: I have no desire/ambition for becoming a professional photographer. (Heck, a professional anything!) I like taking pictures, and am happy when they turn out! But I know my limitations. :)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Using A Clothesline

I use a clothesline. It saves us tons in the propane use department. 
(Our dryer is broken, which is WHY it saves us tons of propane.)
With our sunny days and slight breezes (and sometimes horrible wind!), a clothesline is a no-brainer.

I'm a little tired of it, truth be told. It takes longer than throwing clothes in the dryer. The lint stays on the clothes. There are clothespin marks in the clothes. Denim and towels are unforgettably stiff.
But mostly I don't care for how the sun eats up our socks. The elastic just breaks down, and everyone's socks end up around their ankles. It takes about a month for a brand new sock to start to lose it's elasticity. Two weeks later and you need garters.

So glad I live in a time where garters are NOT necessary. How ridiculous would garters look with my cargo shorts and running shoes?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fun in a Basket: Cooking Around a Campfire

A weekend or so ago, my parents and sisters and their families came camping in our area. The kids and I went to visit them on the Friday night, and we just hung out. The kids were thrilled there was a fire, and my offspring wanted to know where the marshmallows were. They have some very specific ideas pertaining to camping, and marshmallows and fires go hand in hand. I told the kids we could go pack to that camping spot and have a fire and s'mores. They were so excited. I was a little nervous because there isn't a bathroom around for miles. (Or a tree or bush...) Then I slapped my forehead and chided myself for being an idiot... we have a fire ring at home. And a bathroom. Seriously, a major lapse in common sense on my part. (Still shaking my head...)
In the basket: 
  • One box Capri Suns
  • Bottle of ketchup and mustard
  • Two packages hot dogs and buns
  • Chocolate
  • Marshmallows
  • Grahams
  • Hangers
  • Fire Starter Log
  • Handy Dandy Clicker (The fancier-than-a-match lighter thing)
  • Scissors to cut open packages
  • Wipes
  • Phone (So I wouldn't have to run back to the trailer to answer it should someone decide to call.)
 The kids helped me make a log cabin to start the fire. They were more than ready to add the kindling. In fact, they started dismantling a bale of straw for the occasion and had a five gallon bucket almost full.
Not wanting to wait for coals, we got the hangers ready and put the hot dogs on. Hangers are *okay* in a pinch. We will be doing this kind of thing a lot, so I'm going to go get some good roasting sticks. Ones that don't sag under the weight of food. The hot dogs were gross. Slightly warmed up (possibly just by the setting sun...) and burnt to a crisp on one end. The kids still thought it was fun, although no one wanted seconds.
S'mores! The kids enjoyed the marshmallows the best. Turns out though that none of them really like s'mores. They all ate one, but then requested "just a marshmallow" or "a plain cracker." I, on the other hand, ate a ton.
(It could have possibly been the dirt that was on their hands that tainted such goodness. My wipees were insufficient. A fire hose would've been more appropriate, I think.)

We will definitely be having more campfires in the near future. It is an easy, fun, and cheap thing to do with the kids.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What Are You Doing, Anyway?

I now know the name of what it is I am doing, anyway. This whole "moving from the suburbs and into the mountains to build our own house" thing. It started six and a half years ago, when I was pregnant with Will. That's when we began to look at property all over Kern County. ALL OVER the county, while pregnant and peeing all the time. Why? Because, among other things like having no neighbors and raising kids in the country, Ryan and I wanted to have a bee business, and in order to have 500 hives we thought it best to have some ag-zoned land. On ag land, you can have an apiary (apiary being the real term for lots o' bees). Will was born, and shortly after (seriously, I think he was a month old), we ventured into the part of the county we currently live in. By the time he was six months old, we had purchased our property.

A few months later, we started the process of selling our house in the 'burbs and planning for the future in earnest. We gussied up our house (decorate to sell? Too much HGTV), we bought a truck and RV (to live in), put in a transfer for Ryan's work, and let it all unfold. Ryan was transferred, our house sold in three days, and the day after Will's first birthday we had a birthday party and then moved!

Five years, two more kids, an almost finished house, countless country life experiences, and only now do I have a name for what we are doing. A name for our goals and ideals and vision for our future. Ryan and I talk about it all the time: what we want to do in the future, and if what we are doing now is both enjoyable and conducive for getting us where we want to be.

We want to farmstead. It's not homesteading, as that seems to involve are more "living off the land" while building your house. Like, go chop down your own trees and mill your own lumber... with very few trips to the hardware store. We aren't doing that. (But you know? We're *this close* sometimes.) Our ultimate goal is to be self sufficient. Financially, housing, food, energy... and fun! We still have our eye on an apiary. I want to get some dairy goats for milking and making cheese. I'd like a lamb or two in rotation for meat. A sow. Chickens. We are getting horses and mules for packing. (We get to get a real, live donkey! So cute.) We are going to have a greenhouse so I can grow stuff without the critters eating everything. We want a few fruit trees. A pond stocked with some fish. (Okay, so fish are nice, but the real reason for the pond is for the kids and a canoe, swimming, and a ZIP LINE that you can jump into the water with! And, as a source of fire water for the helicopters.) We want to use wind and solar energy for various things around the property, and want to be completely off the grid. 

We have so many plans, most of which are chuckled at when shared with others. Like we are C-R-A-Z-Y. Probably because right now we still have to finish THE HOUSE. That do-it-yourself project that is slowly starting to bring us both down. The time has come for it to be finished soon, for many reasons. It's "Phase One" of our possibly ten phase plan. After phase one, everything else will be easy and fun! (Even the twice daily milkings of the goats I'm thinking about getting... and all the daily chores!)

The house will be finished soon. On some days, it's not soon enough, but it will be finished soon. How soon? I'm not sure. Ryan doesn't know. Every time we set a goal date, something comes up. Court cases, wildfires, daily life. It will be finished though. Then, we can begin our farmsteading in earnest! We'll have the mules, the honey, and so much more.

And I already have my cheese tasting party all planned out.

Friday, September 24, 2010

*friday photo fun*

A blog I enjoy reading and find quite useful is The Coffeeshop Blog. Free PSE actions, helpful blog designs tips and tricks... a good resource to have access to. Coffeeshop blogger Rita is doing a "Friday Photo Bliss" post every Friday. I think I'll do the same, in the spirit of being unoriginal in my own ideas and as an attempt to focus on my new hobby. The "rule," so to speak, is to post one picture that you have taken this week, that makes you happy. Leave a comment if you end up doing the same. That's it! I can do one picture!

Toothless and Happy

Monday, September 20, 2010

Another Day Trip!

Saturday the kids and I picked up Amy and headed over to the coast for a day trip to visit our friend Kibbe. Kibbe has been really busy this last year getting a Master's degree and working. Crazy! It was good to catch up. Amy took us to the tide pools near/in Montana de Oro State Park. I couldn't find my way there again without her, so no details on where it is exactly. It's not marked. You just have to know where it is. (And, I do not.)
Amy took this picture, with the aid of a self timer and a rock. In all of the pictures we took at the tide pools, the horizon is totally crooked. But the ground is not! It's because of the slant of the rocks. There was some very interesting geology stuff going on. I can't believe all the kids are looking in the right direction.
My kids like hiking (or, at least they are used to walking around a lot), and they were troopers once again. We only had a small problem at the very end when the boys took off to the car without us. Before we even started the hike we had a talk in the car about how Amy is our tour guide leader, and it's important to stay behind her, and even more important not to run because if you run you will fall down and bleed from your face. I have found that if you say, "You might get hurt." the boys think along the lines of "Well, I've been hurt before and it's not so bad..." . But if you say something like, "You will bleed from your face." it's much more graphic and understandable for them. With the exception of a small scrape for Ed and a sting for Zack, we were all safe.
After the hike, we went to a really awesome park. SO AWESOME. A three story play structure and this teeter-totter thing. The park is in Morro Bay, and I could get there if I needed to, but can't tell ya how to get there myself. The toys were in this dish, and we could park our booties and sodas on a hill that overlooked the whole thing and chat while the kids played. It was clean! The kids had a blast! And we had a good time visiting.
The day included a LONG drive, a picnic lunch in Kibbe's very child friendly, nicely done backyard, the tide pools, the park, and dinner at In-n-Out where Will pounded two cheeseburgers like a man. Very impressive.
All in all, a great day.

Monday, September 13, 2010

An Ed Update

Some "fun" things about Ed.
*He told me in the car last week that he NEVER wants to be an "old man." I asked him why, and he replied, "Because old mens are cwazy!"
*He LOVES to jump off the side of my mom's spa and into the pool. He got his start at the Kent's house by sliding down the slide, and then venturing onto the diving board.
*He is our middle child. Technically he's in a tie with Will, but because Will and Kacy are so close in age and such good friends, Ed is often left out. This results in tears, and to get the kids' attention he'll annoy them. I keep trying to tell him that throwing cars at them, or messing up their stuff won't help the situation. He'll get it eventually, I hope.
*He is so active and curious and has a hard time sitting still and listening. Primary is often a challenge. He's a "Sunbeam," the youngest group in there, and he's with two girls who are, well, GIRLS. They like to sit and listen to stories and color. Ed is a stereotypical Bunting boy, and has to move around lot. Doesn't make for a good mix. Again, he's gotten so much better than he was in January, but he has a way to go.
*He's counting down until he turns five and can go to school. We've gone from a full nine month until his birthday to eight and a half... whenever he asks and I tell him, I get an "Oh, dangit! It's taking so SLOW!!!" He's got it planned out already. He wants to invite everyone from church. Race car cupcakes. Little cans of soda. Presents. Meat.
*His favorite color is orange, and favorite show is "The Upside Down Show." He likes country music and riding in dad's 4x4.
*He no longer wanders off, and can be trusted to play outside by himself! Mostly. Ah, that's SWEET!!