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, January 27, 2010

Ed-masaurus Rex

Ed is going through a dinosaur phase right now. His favorite show is "Dinosaur Train" on PBS. (Of course! Dinosaurs AND trains? Who was THAT genius??? Actually, I think it's the Hensons. I'll check on that.) He calls himself "Ed-ma-saurus Rex." The rest of the family has a name, too. Mine is Mom-a-saurus, Ryan is Dad-ma-saurus, and on and on for the kids. He says he is NOT an herbivore, and NOT an omnivore, but only a carnivore because he likes to eat meat and fish. (In real life, Ed is my one of my kids who will eat peas, carrots, and broccoli...) He does a lot of stomping around.

He is STILL making robot/transformer noises as he goes about his daily life. Lifts an arm? Makes the noises. Lifts the other arm? Makes the noises. Puts the arms down? Makes the noises in the reverse order. I should find the Transformers Dinobots episodes for him. He's be thrilled!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Jared is Four!

Happy Birthday Jared!
Jared ended his week of birthday festivities at grandma's house. He requested a robot cake.
Jocelyn put this cake together. One 8x8 cake for the body (cut two little squares out for the head/shoulder area), 10 cupcakes, some Skittles, and some chewy Lifesavers, and voila! A robot cake. This cake was semi-healthy, too. The frosting was whipped topping (Cool Whip). Hers was a jello cake (Yummy! Refreshing!), but you could whip this up using a white cake mix, egg whites, and applesauce, and then use the whipped topping... or not. You could make this very unhealthy, too. Either way, the kids loved it!
Spencer could be calculating how to sneak some skittles without his mom knowing. Or, he could be contemplating the universe. You decide.
Outside, Jessie wanted an mandarin. Grandma was happy to share!
This is Uncle Karl. He's cool. He is a conductor for the Union Pacific, and is pretty laid back. I like this picture because he was playing with his granddaughter Sarah. I also like it because Aunt Gaye (his wife) is smiling in the background reflection.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Glimpse of the Future (House, that is...)

This makes me feel all warm and cozy. It snowed today, and Ryan was out at the house working on the window trim. Each window requires 56 cuts for the trim. This project is taking some time, but Ryan keeps plugging along.

As for the snow, it was a really wet snow, and we got less than an inch. Pretty to look at, but not fun to play in. It's supposed to snow again tomorrow... maybe there will be enough to play in. (Although I doubt it, as it's a warm snow, and when the snow is warm, you just get soaked. And then freezing. And an inch isn't enough. But, we'll see!)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Ryan and I have a couple of projects going on right now.
Ryan has moved on to building the window trim. It's gonna look cool! It's out of beams, with a dovetail joint.

The weather hasn't really slowed him down much... he's at least dry. It's been raining off and on all week, and we expect snow tonight. I am in a cooking meals rut...I'm usually pretty good about what to make for dinner. But, the last week or so has been more of a "Oh no! It's dinnertime! What are we gonna eat?" than the usual, "What do I feel like cooking today?" Tonight I will spend some time planning some meals for next week.

Being in a 300 square foot trailer with four children for a whole week of rain is... FUN!

F - Fairly Interesting
U- Unbelievable Amounts of TV
N- Never Picked Up- a trail of toys

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Gracie's Mentos Birthday Party. I mean "Princess Party"

It was a party today, complete with bounce house, pinata, and a very cool science experiment. Jessie had a blast with the bounce house...
...and then running to this guy. She was my dad's best buddy today. She spent the better part of the party climbing out of the bounce house, giving my dad a hug, and then running back. (And repeat.)
Everyone has that one uncle... and this is my kids'. This guy like blowing things up. (Think watermelons for July Fourth, and I'm pretty sure I heard something about a pumpkin...) Enter the Mentos/Soda fun. He found out today that 20 Mentos in non-diet cola (generic dollar store soda was used) worked the best. Fill the PVC with said Mentos (the minty kind... not sure if this makes a difference), insert stopper (a nail or piece of metal hanger through a hole), get pusher ready (wooden dowel) by inserting on top of Mentos in PVC, and let 'er go!
Remove the stopper, use the dowel to quickly push the Mentos in, and then run. Will thought this was especially cool. So did I.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Swing Set for the Kids

Our kids resorted to making a swingset with the old hand-me-down (and so-not-safe) slide. They found a spare tire to a retired jogging stroller, one of Ryan's tie-downs, and voila! A tire swing!
My parents bought them this for Christmas. It was assembled today, and they love it! So do I! We put it out behind the real house thinking that they could play while we worked. (It's not so I can't hear them fight...)
All I'm gonna say is that I threw out my back Wednesday morning, and am grateful to be hobbling along right now. Wednesday I was crooked and in pain, today I am mostly sore, and can't walk downhill, or run.

And, I'm grateful that my weird computer problems seem to be fixed for today.

I suppose I'm grateful for conversation hearts, too. I'm pretty sure my teeth are not happy, nor my hips, but that's cool. As soon as my back is normal, it'll be some good ol' jog time for me.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Another Ed Story

Last week I picked Ed up from preschool. We got in the car and started driving, and I asked him, "Hey, Ed! How was preschool today?"
"Good!" he replied.
"What did you do today?"
"I said 'poop'" was his answer.
"You went poop at preschool today?" GROSS! To much information, but if you think I need to know...
"NO! I said 'poop' to Max today. He thought I was funny and he laughed. POOP!"

This is where I laughed to myself and shook my head in disgust... and tried not to let him see me do it. Then I had to give him the "we don't use potty talk unless we are in the potty" talk.

The best part was that Ryan asked him the next day how preschool was. It was a repeated conversation, with Ed being so pleased with himself that he made a kid laugh at school. Ryan had the same reaction I did... laugh quietly, and tell him it's not cool. (Even if it is kind of funny...)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Our Metal Roof

Ryan needed my help on the roof today. I hate heights. I climbed the ladder and my heart started pounding really fast, and I started laughing nervously, and thinking, "I am such a wimp. Just work through it. Ryan and Michael and Josh do this all the time. Look at the sky... holy crap, I'm gonna die!" And then I got stuck on the ladder. And my nervous laughter that made my eyes water quickly turned into sheer panic. Sheer panic=crying for me. I just couldn't do it. I ended up "helping" for five minutes (not on the roof), getting him a razor blade and a hammer. While looking for the razor blade, I calmed down and thought about how grateful I was to be on flat ground. Being up high hurts my heart, literally.

Our roof is 98% done, and should be completely finished Tuesday afternoon. That's a huge accomplishment. My favorite thing about the roof is the conversation I had while ordering the materials. I called Home Depot (they were the cheapest) to order it, and this is how the conversation went. (I had ordered from these guys before, and they remember us.)

"I need to order some corrugated tin roofing."

"Okay. What length do you want?"

"Eight foot lengths."

"How many?"

"Six hundred and sixty."

Then there was the pause. "What?"

"Six hundred and sixty."

"WHAT are you roofing?"

"Our house."

"How big is your house?!?"

"Um, well, it's got a lot of roof because of a wrap-around porch..."

"Oh. Okay. Six hundred and sixty. Wow. Okay. That'll be in in three weeks, we'll give you a call."

Fun facts about our corrugated tin roof:
*it's Energy Star rated
*it's good for like, 100 years
*it cost as much as any other roofing material, but is very labor intensive. VERY. So a metal roof is expensive if you want someone to put it in for you.
*it took 11,000 (eleven THOUSAND) screws to install it, minus the ones that fell out of hands and slid down, down, down into the dirt.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A date, Ropin', and the Devil Child

Here's my sweet, sweet Jessie, who is normally so adorable and nice and easygoing. She's had a rough 24 hours, and actually, a rough few days. Ryan and I went on a date last night to our favorite restaurant with Krissy and Dylan. The kids stayed with my mom, and since my mom lives the farthest away from us, and it was going to be a late night, they stayed over. Jessie kept my mom and dad up most of the night, SCREAMING. Like she was a banshee. My poor mom. She was up a lot. She would rock Jessie to sleep, Jessie would be snoring, she would lay her down, and BAM! Not crying... screaming. My mom finally put her in her bed and she was fine. Which is so weird because the girl NEVER sleeps with us. Jessie treated us to her new "fun" self on the car ride home. Here's hoping to a short passing phase and ends like, right now. (Thanks Mom! And hopefully you get to bed early and get to sleep in tomorrow morning!)
After dinner (which was oh-so-good), we saw the movie "Sherlock Holmes." I've read the entire Sir Aurthur Conan Dolye collection, and I'm a fan. We liked it. The banter between Holmes and Watson was great. Anyway, the movie got over well past midnight, so we got a hotel room. Nothing like sleeping in with no children and being able to take an unlimited hot shower. Here in the trailer we get short warm showers (like 4 1/2 minutes) in the winter. It's not nice. The hotel had a small fitness center (which I used)! And breakfast (which we ate)! On the way to get the kids, we stopped at one of our favorite stores, Tractor Supply. Ryan made the observation that if there were only two stores on the planet, TSC and a super Walmart would be all you needed. TSC has everything! We went in for some ropin' supplies, and walked out with that, and...drum roll please... jeans for me! It's a miracle!
Here's our new toy. The straw bale has been around for awhile, but I told Ryan that I wanted to learn how to rope, as it seems a handy skill to have. I mentioned we should "get one of those fake cow head things" and let the kids practice roping it. This is a fabulous outside activity. I practiced a little, and it was hit and miss. Literally.
Ryan showing the kids what he can do. (Nice big huge scrap pile in the background, no? And the homemade straw bale jungle gym? Made by our kids, of course.)

Nice belly, Ed!
Of course they wanted to ride him, and Will was "steering" with the horns. Ryan roped two kids and the horns...
And here is Ryan showing Kacy how to do it. She was the most interested in it. We only have the one kid rope, and the boys' short attention spans had them pretending to ride the quads. They did enjoy it when Ryan practiced roping them. (Ropin' them?) Now, we just need our swing set up here and set up, and our kids should be set for awhile. I'm thinking a couple of soccer balls and a goal net will appear later this spring, too. Oh, and some livestock to practice on. And a horse to ride. That will be next spring, after the house. Can't wait!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Painting the Well House

Thursday went by like a blur. I know I was in Bakersfield. I know I came home, threw the groceries on the counter and left to practice the musical number for this Sunday. After that, I don't really remember. But Friday? I remember Friday. I painted, among other things.
Our mostly completed well house. Ready for spring, when it'll get stucco. The inside still needs some work. My job is to paint it. I'm the designated painter of the family. I don't mind.
Here's the inside, with the cut-in done. I used "Kilz build up." Painting OSB is no fun. (OSB= oriented strand board) The silver tank is a pressure tank. It will be gone when we put a new system in consisting of some smallish storage tanks, filters, and a pressure pump. The actual well is the white pipe with the silver box on top. So glad not to have frozen and busted water anymore!
My "helpers." I can't wait until they can actually be helpful. I let them play with all of Ryan's tools. Well, not the sharp ones... those I took away as soon as they found them. But everything else was fair game. They were fully engaged with a socket set as they took out all the sockets and tried to fit them back in.

I got the first coat finished. After this, I took a shower, answered two phone calls, made a phone call, packed the kid's stuff, and then left for a date! It was a very busy day.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

If you need a good laugh...

...interpret your dreams.

My elevator dream? Check it out:


To dream that you are ascending in an elevator, suggests that you will quickly rise to status and wealth. You may have risen to a higher level of consciousness and are looking at the world from an elevated viewpoint. Descending in an elevator, suggests that you are being grounded or coming back down to reality. It also signifies setbacks and misfortunes.

The up and down action of the elevator represents the ups and downs of your life. It also symbolizes emotions and thoughts that are emerging out of and submerging into your subconscious. Alternatively, the dream may have sexual connotations.
[Of course! Because everything in pop psychology has to do with sex, no?]

To dream that the elevator is out of order or that it is not letting you off, symbolizes that your emotions have gotten out of control. It may be a reflection of your life or your career. You are feeling stuck in some aspect of your life, whether it is your career, relationship, etc.

from: http://www.dreammoods.com/dreamdictionary/e.htm

The fact that the elevator does it's best to imitate a tilt-a-whirl, going up and down and up and down (but always up) and it's always in a dorm room type building, has NOTHING to do with us living in a trailer and building a house. The good thing about this interpretation is that although the elevator tries to throw me around and not let me out, I continue to use the elevator over and over again to get where I need to go, and I'm always able to jump out to safety. I guess.

No more dream interpretations for me. I don't want to know what it all means. Unless it helps me to stop dreaming. I prefer a solid 8 hours of darkness.

For the record, I took Ed to pre-K and then proceeded to drive ALL OVER town running errands. I left my house at 6:45am, returned at 3:30pm, left at 4:15pm, and returned at 5:15 pm. I'm tired and ready for bed... tomorrow I am scheduled to paint the interior of the well house. I am falling behind on my project 365 already... but I've got some things planned for the next two days, at least.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Some things I have been thinking about in the last 24 hours:

-My career. Specifically, my "getting paid" career. I am grateful to be able to stay at home and not have to work. I'm lucky, I know. But sometimes I wonder. Which direction to go, which career path to pursue. I'm not sure if the Superintendent/principal expects me to apply for a preschool position, if she thinks I want to, or if she wants me to... and I've going back and forth for over a year whether or not I should. Jessie would most likely be at a babysitter. Ed would go with me. The following year, Jessie would go with me, too. Ed will be in Kinder. Jessie could stay with Dad on the days he didn't work. But do I want to even do that? The extra money is always nice, I'd be good at it, but I don't know if it's the right thing. I could wait and then substitute when the kids are all in school and wait further until a teaching position opens up. I could work towards getting a credential in English so I could possibly teach at the High School level. This would mean a few more classes for me. Or, I could just stay home. I'd love to volunteer my time at the kids' school (see below).So many choices and possibilities.

-Getting the house done. Can't wait for that one! Maybe by my birthday!

-Volunteering to be the librarian at my kids' school because they don't have one. And maybe teaching the third graders the recorder/flutophone. And how to help those kids have music at the school. I'm mildly musical myself, so I'm not sure how teaching it would be. Mildly. Think of the thermometer on salsa bottles. Hot is at the top, then medium, then mild. I'm good enough for what I do, but that doesn't mean I have the skills to teach others, you know?

-I don't believe in this much, but I might have to look up my dreams and analyze them. Only because I have a reoccurring theme. I'm usually at a college, and I get in an elevator. The door closes, and without fail the dang thing starts tilting all directions, trying to spill me out. I usually have to make a leap out the partially open door to safety after the ride of my life. Last night when I had this dream, I was not feeling scared, but rather annoyed, like "Here we go again!" I'm thinking it must mean something.
I know the dream I had last night about my Aunt Diane flying the kids and I to Texas was all about how I need to clean out my purse. The conflict in the dream was trying to pack for everyone, and everything was all over the car, and we forgot stuff... then I was almost missing the flight, and the kids were on the plane already, and... well, I've been having purse problems lately, and everything is a mess.
And the dreams I had for 8 years about being back in High School, having to take all my classes over again because I never graduated... I'd tell the teachers, "But I can teach this class!" and they'd just laugh at me and say "Don't be silly. Sit down and get out your papers." I'd wake up knowing I graduated HS, but wondering about college. Those stopped when I started taking a class here and there.
But the shifty-lopsided-too fast-too slow elevator ride? Who knows.

-Yesterday I ran. "I ran so far a-way-hey-hey." (That's a song!) I ran 1.5 miles and walked/ran the last 1.5 miles. I went to bed early. It was NICE.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Well House- DONE!

Ryan and Michael put the metal roofing on, and it's ready for stucco. We can't do the stucco until it gets warmer. The inside needs to be finished with insulation, interior sheathing, and the rest of the tank/filtration system. Ryan made those cool doors himself. I helped a little- like, I lined up a few of the boards for one of the doors.
I try to be helpful. Really.