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.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"I'm Sorry, Mom."

You know this is never a good start to a conversation. Especially when it's Ed.

A week or two ago, we made a quick trip into our favorite desert town. My somewhat new, but heavily used, Mazda 5 gave me some weird problems. When I pulled up to three different stop signs, the CD player turned off, and all my warning lights came on. Then, when pulling into the WalMart parking lot, I lost my power steering for about a second. I parked, grateful we were at least at WalMart, where they have bathrooms and sell about everything you could ever ask for. Anyway, nothing ever came about with the car. I made it home, it hasn't done it since.

As we were driving to our bigger favorite town the other day, Ed says:

"Mom, I'm sorry. Really, really, sorry Mom. I didn't mean to do it."

I turn off the music. I'm not feeling surprised, but rather VERY curious.

"What are you sorry about, Ed?"

"Well, last Saturday I pulled some wires." Now I'm nervous.

"Which wires did you pull, Ed?"

"Well, they were some wires on your car. I did it last Saturday, and I think that's why your car stopped working at WalMart." (What?!?)

"Ed, which wires did you pull? Where were they?"

"Oh, just on your car. Maybe underneath? Or on the side? I don't know. I'm so sorry Mom."

This is where I say "Don't touch any wires, ever (young man with first and middle and last names used), because wires are dangerous and can hurt you. The weird thing is, he's LYING. He was making it up. There are no wires to touch on my car. It's so low to the ground, NO ONE can get under there. I know Ed can't, because once there was a toy of his under my car and he TRIED to get it, but couldn't. He sometimes apologizes for random things that happened "last Saturday." Making conversation? Guilty conscience? Practicing for the future?

I'm not sure.

But it makes me nervous.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Piano and Me

I sat down to play the piano in church for Mindi, and I noticed my cousin April sitting at the other piano. She plays beautifully, and without wrong notes. She sat down and said, "This looks easy" and began to play the introduction of my song. The piano I was at didn't have that place where you put the music, so I had to lay my music flat on top of the piano, where I couldn't see it. I tried playing a note here and there, hoping to blend in with April. Mindi was singing the song, and doing a really great job. Everyone in the chapel was listening attentively. All of a sudden, April stops playing, and looks at me with arched eyebrows, like "It's all you now! Go for it!" I attempted to pick up where she left off, but I had no idea where she was. And remember, my music is laying flat on the piano, so I'm half standing to see it. Mindi turns around at the microphone to look at me, and she had this look of panic and a "Why aren't you playing?" expression on her face. I turn the page, and my music falls to the ground. I scramble to pick it up, and Mindi tells me, "It's okay, we're done." I reply "No, we're not. You only sang half the song!" Everyone in the audience was kind of shaking their heads.

Then I woke up. And was sweating. And I was in a panic.

It was the middle of Saturday night, and I hadn't really played the piano yet.

When I woke up for real on Sunday morning, I started getting everything ready. The kids were normally behaved, but we seemed to be running a little late despite my best efforts. To add to my self-inflicted drama, I couldn't find my shoe yesterday morning. The kids were ready for church. We had to leave a little early so Mindi and I could run through the song a couple of times beforehand, and I could not find my shoe. It was like the straw that broke the camel's back, and I thought I might be having a heart attack. The kids were looking everywhere for it- funny how I live in a very small trailer, shoes can't hide very many places. And the fact that the kids were playing with my shoes... and now one was missing... and we were going to be late... and I needed to practice... oh, it was not pretty. I'm pretty sure my I scared my kids with an inhuman growl of "Find my shoes, now. Or we will not be going to church today..." I was moving furniture, throwing things around, emptying drawers... all in search of my flat sandals. I learned awhile ago that flat shoes are much better for playing the piano. When the shoe never appeared, I sent the kids to the car, and sat down on the bed and hyperventilated. Ryan calmly asks what is wrong, and when I gasp, "I...can't...find...my...shoe..." he says, "Um, can't you wear a different pair?"

"Yes, I could, but it's not the same." Then I knew in my heart that my dream of not being able to play the piano hinged solely on my footwear.

I put on some heels and drove to church, knowing that I was going insane.

15 minutes later Ryan came into church with my missing shoe. It was under the trash can.

I played. And, not well. But the music didn't fall on the ground, Mindi didn't quit singing in the middle of the song, and my shoes only helped.

Moral of the story: Shoes ARE important. And, I might be mental.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Quick Trip to the Snow

Friday after Kacy and Will got off the bus, we headed for the mountains behind our house. We have a family friend who is selling some property up there and he wanted to know if a 2 wheel drive vehicle could make it in. Turns out it can't, and a four wheel drive can't make it all the way either. We came across our favorite lumberjack up there, and saw some beautiful country. We'd like to eventually run livestock up there on gov't land, and maybe find some place to stay. Almost all of it is unaccesible during the winter months. In fact, it's still winter up there. We are looking at lots of wildflowers in the area where we live, and 20 minutes away, it's still winter. Luckily, someone cleared the roads with a bulldozer and we were able to drive (in four wheel drive) fairly far. The kids weren't really prepared for snow. I was wearing running shoes. That was dumb, because they are meshy-vented. Anyway, he had a good time, except for the constant "Where are we going?" and "Will touched me!" and "Get your hand off me, Kacy!" Kid bickering... not so much fun. They enjoyed the 4x4 parts of it.

Jessie throwing a fit because the big kids left her behind, and she fell. Her hands landed in the snow and they got cold fast- she's not a fan of frozen fingers.

See how misty and eery it was? It kind of freaked the kids out. "Why is it getting dark?!?" "This is weird!" There were no clouds in the sky, but it seems that we drove right into one. We were about 6500 ft elevation, if I remember right.

The boys. Will found a stick and exclaimed, "I'm going hiking!" and Ed followed. So did Kacy. I stopped them, and they protested! Amazing. How easy to get lost in the uninhabited forest when you are 3 or 5 or even 6 years old. They were so offended that I wouldn't let them hike. Will tried to convince me that I could go with them, but I'm not stupid. If I can't see the truck, and all I have is a camera, I'll be lost.

I think I'll decorate my back bathroom with pictures of outhouses that I take myself. Here's my first one. This biffy had the best view! Nobody used it, but if you stand just in front of it and look out, the land drops down quite steeply, and the misty sky surrounding the trees is all you could see.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Community Service: I Donated Blood

image from www.clipartheaven.comThursday I donated blood. Kendra and I met with each of our two youngest children in tow. I hung out in the parking lot/car/grassy area while she went first. An hour later she came out and took my kids with her so she could pick up Gracie from preschool. I was nervous about going in. I've donated blood once before, about 13 years ago. There was a whole bunch of questions about AIDS. Lots. There was the finger poke. No wonder Kindergarteners don' t like their physicals- that sucker hurt a little! My iron levels were great- 41%. It's supposed to be between 35-55%. Next was my blood pressure and pulse. Pulse was 72, and then she took my blood pressure. Before telling me what it was, she asked "What's your normal blood pressure?" I told her it was usually around 100/70. Thursday it was 90/60. After all the AIDS questions and risky behavior lecture/questions I went bank to the big donating room. I have to say the chairs are very comfy. The actual blood drawing part only took about five minutes. The pre-drawing and post waiting to make sure you don't faint part takes the longest. They had free donuts, by the way. And juice. The blood bank was having a drive sponsored in part by the local hockey team. I had no idea! I got two free car wash vouchers for my favorite car wash place. What a nice bonus!

When you are all finished donating, they give you a receipt that tells you your donation number and vital stats. It also has this warning about calling them within 24 hours if you get a fever, cold, etc.

I got a fever that night.

I gave tainted blood.

I woke up in the middle of the night sweating. I thought maybe I left the heater on too high. I got a glass of water, and while lifting the glass to my mouth, the world started getting smaller and quieter. And darker. So I squated down and put my head between my knees. The feeling passed, and I crawled back into bed. I woke the next morning feeling very tired and hot and then cold. Around 9am it all went away. So weird.

My question is this: was I on my way to getting sick before I donated, or was the blood letting somehow connected to the fever? It doesn't seem reasonable. I guess I'll have to donate again and see what happens. (And, I'm somewhat fascinated with "blood letting" and that it used to be deemed a healthy way to get the sicknesses out. And leeches... I'm grateful for modern technology.)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Lazy Day

Kacy stayed home from school today, and even though it's only noon, I'm calling it a wasted day. I did cook breakfast (sausage and egg burritos... yum!), and I have checked my email. Wait, that doesn't count. Um... I did the dishes. I'm still wearing my "almost dressed" clothes. These are my track pants and sweatshirt, an in between outfit that I put on to take the kids to the bus at the unhealthy time of 6:45am. It's time to get dressed though. I plan on wearing my work clothes- a pair of old nasty denim shorts and whatever tee shirt I can find. I only have 16 trees left, and then I'm finished! Until we order 100 more cuttings next month...

Looking at our mini-nursery, we decided we could try a garden again this year. I have a self proclaimed "black thumb of apoplectic death" but will try again. Our gardening challenges include, but are not limited to: children who pick anything green, rabbits who eat anything green, underground varmints, and a supply of water. It's not like we moved into a house with hose bibs every where, or sprinkler pipe already in. Any water we use comes from our well, and of course that means laying pipe for a few acres to get to the right spot. Not impossible, but not "easy." We have water (and soon, a fence) in this one spot, so I get to try a veggie garden again! I'm excited, yet nervous. I want tomatoes. Lots and lots of tomatoes. Carrots would be nice, as would onions. I'm not sure what else.

I told Ryan that when I get a green house I want it big enough to have two orange trees and a lemon/lime tree. If I'm going to dream, dream big, right?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hybrid Poplars: Transplanting Our Cuttings

This week we (I) have been transplanting trees. Our hybrid poplars are ready to bud out again!

Remember we ordered cuttings and we put them in this cinder block craziness? The cinder block worked really well for keeping the hybrid poplar trees moist during last summer. The bottom of the area is lined with plastic to help hold the excess water from the sprinklers, and the cement was able to absorb water for the trees. The trees had great root systems! But, it's time to move them to a bigger pot so they can grow some more. (There is a whole other story about getting pots from the Hydroponics store, but you'll have to ask Ryan. It involves lots of signs in the store saying "Don't talk about pot!" and gang type people in there, and Ryan with his cell phone ringing with the tune "Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?" from the show COPS.)

The tools: A chisel to help get the block apart, a jig that Ryan made, and a dead-blow hammer. Not pictured: Band-Aid brand flexible knuckle bandages. Those are very important for keeping dirt out of bloody knuckles. So the process, which I couldn't take pictures of, because I'm doing the work... is that you get the cinder block you want to work on, separate the roots on the bottom, and then put the block on top of the wooden jig that Ryan made. Then you get to beat the heck out of the block with the dead-blow hammer, loosening the dirt from the sides. Then you tip the block over, and carefully slide the whole rectangle of dirt-roots-tree out and put it in the new pot. Most come out fairly easily, and others you need to use the chisel to loosen the roots from the sides.

I put the reccommended dosage of Osmacote slow release fertilizer in the dirt before I put the cube o' dirt in there. Then, I filled it up, and hefted it to our new area of trees. As of right this minute, I have done about 115 trees. I'm on my last set of 50. We decided not to transplant the black willows and to concentrate on the faster growing and shadier hybrid poplars.

We are using the black plastic on the bottom again to catch excess water. In talking about getting a new batch, we are thinking we will skip the cinder block this time, and just put them in a size 5 pot. This is based on the fact that two trees broke through the plastic and their roots got into the ground. These two trees were the biggest by far. We can't put the cuttings or baby trees straight into the dirt because of our rodent problem. The trees need on more year being babied, then we'll put them in the ground with a drip system. We are going to order another 100 trees. This will yield at least 80-90 trees. Some just don't make it, for whatever reason. We order the cuttings from hybridpoplars.com.

Our Deere Pool

While I labor away (slowly, oh so slowly) on the trees, I fill up the bucket of the John Deere with water and let the kids do WHAT-EVER. If that includes kicking their boots off, wearing PJ's, or only their undies... so be it. They have a blast!

***Unrelated, but pertaining to our dear Edsel:

"Hey Ed, what are you going to do for the talent show at church next month?" I ask Friday morning.

"I'm going to show them my moves." he replies. What?!? I expected him to say something like What's a talent show? or I'm not doin' anything!

"Your moves?"

"Yah, you know the song that goes We will, we will, rock you? Well, I'm going to show them my moves to that song."

Ummm... alrighty then. I didn't know he had moves, or that he had a desire to show them off on a stage.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Today: Thursday Edition

Today I:

***planted only ten trees because my body was tired. It's like a workout!

***took a nap.

***went to a Primary Leadership meeting in Bakersfield. Ryan is working, so I took the kids and Sierra the "girl home from college baby-sitter" with me. She watched the kids while I was in the meeting, and in return I bought her dinner and ice-cream. On a side note, Jessie+ice cream sandwich late at night= A HUGE MESS IN THE CAR. But that's okay, because once again my car smells like dogs and feet, so it is due for a cleaning and airing out. (Four sweaty kids are gross smelling. It's incredible!)

Today was much more calm than yesterday. My favorite part was the nap. Here's an inside secret to my life: I drool when I take an afternoon nap. I NEVER drool at night. But it seems that without fail, I drool during the day. Gross! I wonder why...

Monday, March 15, 2010


Today I attempted to transplant some of our trees. While leveling out a high spot in the ground, I told Ed to move so that when I threw the dirt, it wouldn't get him all dirty.

"You're throwing dirt? I'm great at that! Can I help?" I let him help. He had a blast.

-Yesterday two of my children had a hard time keeping their clothes on in their grandparents backyard. Ed lat least kept his dingy undies on. And, he only took off his pants because they had gotten all wet and dirty. Still, he had too much fun in his undies. Jocelyn had an extra pair of PJ's that looked like capris. He wore them, and this morning he was calling them his "Smartypants" like on "Between the Lions." Jessie on the other hand had no good reason for her buck nakedness. And the reaction she got from a bakcyard full of boys who think potty talk is SO FUNNY (you know the age...) only made her want to do it again. And again. She finally got a time out in the house and was told she couldn't go outside unless she kept her dress on.

-Saturday Ryan and I went to the Fresno temple. The drive was nice! On the way to my mom's house to drop off the kids, the kids all opted to ride with Ryan in his truck. They kind of bombarded him and didn't give him much of a choice. There was no way we could've divided up the crew into two cars, because whoever had to ride with me would have flipped. I had a nice hour and a half drive all to myself! It was weird. But, I could sing as loudly as I wanted to, to any song I wanted, without any one complaining.

-I got a handheld radio. And I wimpped out when it came time to talk on it. I am *this far* from saying "KJ6FIU, CQ" just to see if anyone answers. I even practice saying it aloud. But I get really nervous about my voice sounding right, and then if it does, what if someone answers me back? Then I think I'll just reply "Ok, so my radio works! Thanks! Bye!" I fear small talk, and I'm not very good at it. Ham radio is a lot of small talk. I'll get over it in a few days. Maybe.

-I am cooking brownies in a crock pot. I am wondering if they'll turn out.

-All the light bulbs but two in have gone out in the trailer in the last two weeks. A trailer would last FOREVER if it had normal use. Our is holding up pretty well, all things considered.

-I've been doing some genealogy research into both sides of my dad's family. He's got some cousins he didn't know about, and my g-g-grandfather on my grandma's side has LOTS of family members. I am in correspondence with someone from my dad's generation. I like geneaology research. I could spend hours looking on the Internet, in the library (I need to go to our local library... they've got a great collection of reference books for marriage records and such!), or at a microfilm booth. Weird, no?

-I saw a T-shirt in a catalog that read, "I before E, except after C. Weird?" Now I know how to spell!

-Wednesday is a minimum day and parent-teacher conferences. I can't believe the year is almost over, and I'm excited for summer vacation! The kids are taking swim lessons, we have a few day trips planned, and I hope (hope! hope! hope!) we get to move into the house.


Which Animal Would YOU Be?

Ryan was once asked this question in an FFA interview of some kind. I think it's supposed to be some psychological indicator. His answer? A badger. That's bad, no matter how you look at it. He said it flew out of his mouth without him really thinking about it.

I've never been asked that question, and I'm not sure what my answer would be. If I were asked which animal I'd like to be, I'd say a duck. A mallard duck that lived in a campground with streams running through it. They can fly and they can swim! And they don't have feeling in their legs, so technically their feet never feel cold! They just bob along in the water all peaceful like. If I couldn't be a duck, my next choice might be a sea otter... but they seem kind of vulnerable.

I don't think Ryan is anything like a badger. I'm not really sure what he would be.

What animal would you identify best with?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Mexican Vermicelli

I found this in the February 2010 "Western Horseman" magazine, page 93. It was submitted by Judy Howell of Morill, Nebraska. I am immediately drawn to it because it is Mexican food (kinda) and the instructions are short. Plus, it takes mostly pantry items and only one skillet. YES!
Mexican Vermicelli
2 tbsp shortening (I'll use olive oil)         
2 cups onions (no onions for me, because I'm out)
1/2 pound vermicelli (I'm using angel hair)
2 cups celery
1-1.5 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped (nope- kids hate 'em)
8 slices of any type of cheese (so flexible! and cheesy!)
1 pound can of stewed or diced tomatoes
1.5 cups whole kernal corn
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt (I'll use garlic salt)
1 tsp chili powder
1 cup water
dash of garlic powder (see "salt" above)

***Brown vermicelli in shortning, breaking the pasta into sall pieces. Stir in meat and brown, draining excess fat. Add remaining ingredients and blend. Cook on stovetop over low heat for 25 minutes. Prior to serving, place cheese slices on top and allow them to melt.***
Making this tonight. I'm adding olives! Wish I had an onion or two, but the kids will probably thank me for it. I'll also make cornbread in the slow cooker. I recently discovered this can be done. Who knew? It doesn't take as long as the Internet recipe I saw said it does. It said "High" for three hours. Mine was getting crispy after one! I like to use the Jiffy mix (cheap! easy!) with a handful of whole corn mixed in. If I didn't want to share with the kids, I'd put in a small can of Ortega Chili's, too.
Ever since I found out corn is not a vegetable, but indeed a grain, I can't bring myself to serve it in place of a real veggie. With this meal, I'm thinking raw carrots with dip will be set out before dinner for the kids to munch on while they wait.

House Update: A Bit of Plumbing and Our Flooring

Stuff is still being done on the house... I just didn't feel like taking pictures of it. Until yesterday, that is. The wind stopped blowing, the temperature warmed up a bit, and I felt like venturing outside.

Ryan has started some plumbing. These are stub-outs. That is where the PEX tubing will come in, and lead to traditional plumbing thingies.

We've got our flooring. Ryan and Michael picked it up yesterday. We ordered it from our local lumberjack. He got the logs from the mountains right behind our house. They are cool because they have the saw-curf (saw-kerf? who knows) marks in them. The marks are made from using a circular saw to mill the wood. That's old fashioned- most wood is cut with a band saw type of saw. It's all rough and will require finishing by us, but for the price we got it for, it can't be beat. It still needs to dry a little, but with our warming up and very dry climate, that won't take long.

We have also been "Spring Cleaning" the house. Moving lumber piles, throwing away bits of stuff... the wind out here can be ferocious. It blows away anything that's not tied down. I would say that I can't wait to landscape... but that would be a lie. I'd live in this house with nothing in front of it for several years without complaint.

Ryan has been working on the "Iron Chicken" at his parent's house. This chicken is actually a rooster, and a weather vane. I haven't seen it yet, because I want to be surprised at what it looks like. I'll probably laugh. But I'll love it, because Ryan took raw metal material and fabricated and chimney topper. Besides looks, it functional because it holds the chimney in place.

What We've Been Up To

Ryan: House, work, church, radios, and work. Looking forward to our little getaway next month. Trying to get the house done by July/August.

Karrie: Sick but better (!yay!), kids, laundry, cleaning up, genealogy, helping Ryan.

Kacy and Will: School, homework, arguing, field trip yesterday for a wildflower hike.

Ed and Jessie: Staying home with mom, playing, arguing, getting dirty.

It's a beautiful day and I'm going outside to clean out a storage shed. Fun, but not fun. I may even plant some trees... our little forest needs replanting before it gets too warm.

Motherhood Mojo: Found!

I forgot to mention that my mommy mojo is back. Writing things down often helps me clarify my problems, and lets me step back and see them more objectively.

My kids are behaving no differently.

But, I found out one of the biggest reasons for my ignoring them: and it's not ALL the trailer's fault. EVERY TIME I tell me kids something, the response is, "But Mom..." or "Mooo-ooom!" or similar. It is never "OK Mom!" They don't even give me silent reluctance. It's always an argument. It starts to wear on my nerves. Then I start taking it personally. (Don't ever take it personally. They'd do it to any mom they had.) I start thinking, "Why am I even here? I'm like an invisible entity that spurts out advice, admonitions, and commands which everyone ignores. The only time I'm important is when somebody needs to eat drink, or have their tooshie wiped." From there, it's a slippery slope of selfishness.

Although, I still maintain that I need 30-45 minutes a day for some solo exercise time. I'm doing my best to hold out for warmer weather, daylight before 7am, and a house with a room big enough to do a video every now and then. (P90X is on my list... but I think I'll start with the P90 I already have!) Exercise is good for the body AND the brain. Some of us female types need more endorphins for the brain for better mood balance, and I'm one of them.

Anyway, identifying the main problem is the important thing. Now, if anyone can tell me how to extract the unwillingness from my kids...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I'm in a bit of a motherhood funk. I need some kind of inspiration to be a more fun mom. I feel like 99% of the time I'm telling the kids to not do something, or to put something away, or asking them "What were you thinking when you did that?" I think living in the trailer doesn't help: all the fun things I think would make me the "fun mom" that I want to be involve things like a table and chairs to sit at (games, coloring together, crafts), a kitchen (cooking with the kids), or floor space (playing with toys). And because the kids are seemingly always in my face (literally- the trailer is very small) I have been using my computer as a mental retreat. That's not always a good thing. I tend to ignore them, and this last two weeks have been filled with TV watching for them.The weather has been so twitchy lately; last night it snowed, and was so windy. It's been too cold for them to play outside. I am looking forward to the time change for the evenings, and a little warmer weather. I have plans to help me be more active in my children's lives. Don't get me wrong, I am VERY proactive in telling them to put their underwear on the right way and whatnot. I just don't spend a lot of time interacting with them in a fun way. I used too... I guess I lost my motherhood mojo.
Here are my plans:
1)Find my patience.
2)Purchase a soccer ball and teach my kids how to kick.
3)Purchase gloves and a ball, and practice throwing and catching.
4)Practice roping our fake steer.
5)Turn off the computer in the evenings, limiting myself to an hour and half in the mornings when Sesame Street and Chuggington is on.

I need to be more mentally present. My kids need more smiles from me. Coming across blogs where the mom does all these wonderful things like decorating and crafts, with their kids looking perfectly presentable doesn't help my brain. It's just one of those times when I'm going to have to hitch up my boot straps and hang in there for six more months. One day at a time. Then, I have a feeling things will ease up a little. The house should be done. I'll have a husband with one full time job (instead of two) back. I'll have room to move around, and the kids will have room to move around. We'll have a table to sit at as a family. An oven. A full size fridge and freezer. Laundry. A filing cabinet. And the best of all: closets. Ah, to have a closet...

If you want to know what it's like living in an RV trailer with four kids under the age of seven, go section off a 10x30 area of your home. Include the bathroom, but don't use a full size tub. Put all your kids' toys as well as everything you need for living in that space. Don't forget a hot plate to cook on! Now, multiply by 1642 days. Woot! There's the trailer life for ya. (Actually, I have two burners.)

182 more days to go...

Friday, March 5, 2010

My Grandma and Grandpa Sorensen

Here are my grandparents on their wedding day. Just typing that reminds me that I want to ask how they met! I have no idea. My grandpa passed away when I was in the sixth grade. He was a man of very few words. Those who know my dad think he's pretty quiet... all I'm going to say is that you should have met my grandpa.

A few memories I have of him: he would take us for rides on the three-wheeler (quads hadn't been invented yet...I think) to change the HUGE sprinkler on the ranch. He would take Kendra and me and park the thing just close enough that he didn't have to walk too far, but far enough away we thought we were safe from being sprayed. I'm not sure why, but the HUGE sprinkler head was scary to us. Without fail, the thing was always aimed at us when it was turned on. Now that I think of it, I'm positive he did that on purpose. As a kid, I always thought it was just out to get me. A cool deluge of water on a hot day was always nice. But the sprinkler was scary. I can't wait to do that to my kids! I remember him getting up to change the channel on the TV, and dialing the station in just right. He smoked Marlboros. It seemed like he ate a steak and corn for every dinner. I could definitely be wrong on that one... but I think I'm right! I remember one time specifically spending the night with them, and Star Search came on. For some reason the song "Solid as a Rock" (you know.... Solid! Solid as a rock, ock, ock, ock! That's what our lo-ove is! And that's why it's hot-hot-hot-hot-hot!) came on, and I started busting my Solid Gold moves. He didn't say anything. But he did shake his head and then at his earliest convenience turned on the Laurence Welk Show. I remember vaguely the end of his life- he died of cancer. I believe it was a melonoma that then somehow went to his lungs. I always enjoyed going to my grandparents' ranch in Woody, CA. I loved it! I think that's why living where I do now is so enjoyable... I inherited a love of wide open spaces with very few people or amenities.

My grandma is still alive and kicking! (She's not that old.) She has since moved from the ranch into the big city. She misses it, though. She still drives up to Woody to attend church every Sunday. Her church is called "Elberon Christian Church" and is non-denominational. We were talking about the church the other day, and it's come along way since I was there as a kid. It used to have a pot-belly stove, and we'd go early to light it and set up chairs. The kids would be taken into the little kitchen area for Sunday School. It had pit toilets. Now, it's been renovated- it even has flushers! When the church needed a pianist, my grandma started taking lessons. She was in her 60's and always told me that I was lucky to be so young and learning, and to never stop playing. My grandma is the one that taught me that you can cook anything if you can read a recipe. She had us practice reading recipes by allowing us to pick her zucchini and making zucchini bread. I also remember her reading to me at night, specifically the story "The Teeny Tiny Woman." Kendra and I would stay and visit for a week in the summer, every summer growing up. We'd make bread, play with play-doh, swim, and play on the three-wheelers. Good thing we liked the outdoors- we were in heaven!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Random Thoughts

I'm more than ready for skinny jeans to be out of style. I received a JC Penny's ad in the mail today, and to my severe disappointment, skinny jeans were still all the rage, as well as flowy, one shouldered shirts. Bummer.

-I think Jessie has an ear infection. She's prone to them when she gets a cold, and sure enough, she woke from a nap in the car (on the drive from the big city to the mountains...away from the dr) with a fever. One ear is hotter than the other, according to my ear thermometer. Here's to some children's motrin and a good night's sleep. I may be traveling to the big city for the dr tomorrow. I like to get her in fast, since her eardrum was once perforated.

-I can't wait for the house to be finished. You can probably guess that, though. We didn't celebrate our four and a half year anniversary in the fifth wheel. I hope to celebrate the fifth anniversary by moving into the house. Cross your fingers and send good thoughts our way, please!

-The weather up here is alternating between very nice one day, and FREEZING cold the next three! I'm looking forward to spring- I have plans on taking my kids' photos in the wild flowers. We'll see. I do NOT look forward to the time change. It's now light when the kids go to the bus stop. When we change time, it will be dark again! And, I'm waiting for the time when it's light enough to walk/jog/run in the mornings before the kids wake up. When is that going to start? Four weeks? Six weeks?

-Ryan is starting to plumb and wire the house. Yipee! I should really post something over in the house progress section. Sometimes I get caught up with the mundane, and forget that in the future I'll want to know what went down. Sometimes the whole "Let's build our own house!" thing is exciting and fun and cool. Other times, it seems SO OVERWHELMING with all the things that have to be done that you just can't see straight.

-Last night we went to Pizza Hut with the kids. The host gave the kids some crayons and placemats to color. Ed was overheard talking to himself. "With this green crayon, I can do ANYTHING!"

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jessie!

Two years ago today, Jessie was born!

Labor was not long enough... just glad we made it to an "almost room" and that she was healthy! She was my smallest baby, and has continued to be my smallest child. She weighed something like 7 pounds, 5 oz when she was born. Which reminds me, I need to schedule her 2 year Dr. appt.

Dear Jessie,

You are two today! You are fully potty trained, and for that, I thank-you. Your favorite food is hot dogs (ewww!) and you don't like bean burritos. You are addicted to "juice momma" (Crystal Lite and a sippy cup). You say lots and lots of words, and it's not uncommon for you to yell at us if you don't get what you want. Last night you walked past me and said, " 'Cuse me, momma. 'Cuse me." You love babies, with Charbella being your favorite. Your cousin Levi is probably your best friend. You love Kacy, and I think you tolerate the boys. You LOVE your dad, and for every red truck you see, you shout, "Dad here! Yea!" Yesterday you clapped and cheered for him while he was driving the tractor. You are not afraid of heights, and have been removed from the top of ladders and scaffolding a few times. You LOVE going to nursery at church, which is SO NICE for me. Ed was rather a stinker when it came to going to the nursery, so you taking yourself and saying "Bye, momma!" is great. You love to have the window down in the car so it blows your hair around. You also love hats. Any hat. That's a good thing, because you hate having your hair done. I do it, and 10 minutes later it's out. And worse than before. You want a horse (for your next birthday maybe?), and call our big house "Daddy's house." I appreciate your mostly mellow nature.

I love you Jessie!