Welcome to my little ol' blog. I'll be upfront about it: I don't blog very often any more. If you found your way here because you read my book "Trailer Life," have a gander! But it's easier to keep up with me on Instagram or on my Facebook page. I have this long, drawn out theory on why I'm a terrible blogger, but that is a story for another day. Enjoy the ramblings of my life from the last 8 years or so.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Swim Lessons: My Predictions

We are forunate enough to have a community pool nearby- truly a treat, as it's the only one I know of within at least 60 miles. I bit the bullet and signed up all four kids... I'm both really nervous and giddy all at once. Here are my predictions- and since I signed them all up for Level One, in a group setting without parental involvement- I get to watch! I hope. And I hope I can bring my camera. It's going to be priceless.

Kacy- hates the water, and is terrified of drowning. "What happens if I drown, Mom?"

"You won't drown. That's why you are taking swim lessons. To help avoid that."

"But what if I drown DURING the swim lessons?"

She is actually my biggest concern... but because she wants to be the best at everything, she'll hang in there. I think she'll complain and be anxious for the duration.

Will- thinks the water is "okay." Usually has a huge smile on his face while in the pool, so is also contantly swallowing pool water. I think he'll do just fine, and have fun. The first day he'll be nervous, but I think he'll warm up to it and have fun.

Ed- Oh boy. He is the same as Will as far as water is concerned, although he does hate the shower becuase it's "too wet." He will already go under the water if no one is looking and it's his own idea... I'm curious to see how he does. I think he'll be spastic and very Ed-like the first week. The second week I think he'll do well, and maybe enjoy himself.

Jessie- She LOVES the water and is relaxed in the pool. (Seriously- the other three are stress cases in the water. She's the only one who enjoys it!) As long as she trusts the teacher, she'll be great. I think she'll enjoy it.

Our Red Racer Doing His Job. Her Job?

So. This afternoon I went outside to get my ice chest. You see, an RV fridge doesn't defrost itself, and ours is past due. As I am getting the ice chest out of my car, I hear a "squeak, squeak" noise. Except, it sounds more like "Eeeeeek! Eeeeeek!" I know it's a mouse/rat/chipmunk dying. And the noise is coming from the bed of Ryan's truck.

Interesting. Why is a mouse/rat/chipmunk in the back of Ryan's truck? What is causing it's demise? While walking over to the truck, I see it. On the ground. It's our Red Racer, and the noise is coming from it.

There it is! I would guess "he" or "she", but I really don't want to be that good of friends with it. It's head is in the wheel.

Here it is eating the noise- DIE LITTLE MOUSIE! DIE!

Okay, that felt good. Because last night I awoke to a pitter patter on my leg. Now, I may have been dreaming, but it was so real, I KNOW A MOUSE CLIMBED ON MY BED LAST NIGHT. And for sure, for reals, a mouse was in my oven making all kinds of racket. I tried to find it, but they are so fast and stealthy, and honestly, I can't see straight at 3am. Below is a closer shot, where you can see the mouse in his mouth.

My lens only went to 135mm, and I didn't feel like getting too close. I was thinking of the snake and indigestion. I was not thinking of myself at all, of course. I'm still curious as to why the mouse and snake were where they were. Tires? Wheels? Was the mouse living near Ryan's truck? It was four o'clock in the afternoon. Oh well! One less mouse in my life!

I went in the house to help Jessie, who needed a freezer pop. When I went back outside to check on the snake, I could not see it. And then I'll admit that I got the chills and scanned the area thouroughly. Then, I saw its head peeking out. It was in the leaf springs. And this reminds me of my friend Dany's husband (JIM!) who reportedly won't run over snakes in the road for a mild fear that the snake will flip up into the wheel well and just be there. I always thought that was kinda funny.... until today.

And, I'll let you know that:

1) I am afraid of opening my car door and seeing a snake RIGHT THERE where my foot should go. Or worse, stepping on one.

2) I hate mice in a lethal hunter of rodents kind of way, have yet to find a good trap, and have been known to use my kitchen tongs (a set dedicated for the purpose) to corner, remove, and then fling the nasty beasts into the bushes.

3) I wish snakes wore bells or whistled or something, so they can't be so sneaky.

4) This Red Racer wanted nothing to do with me, and acted quite relieved when I left. EXCELLENT! As long as we both know our places...


5) Although not officially scared of this encounter (I believe I'm being desensitized), if I were to take up wild life photography for reals I'd need a bit longer lens. 800mm?

Saturday, May 29, 2010


*Will learned to ride a bike! I made him get on Kacy's, and he pretty much took right off. He has not been interested because he was afraid of falling (we don't do training wheels), and because her bike is pink with white wheels and says "Starburst," which is so UNCOOL for a five year old boy. Once he realized he could do it, he had the hugest grin on his face. Then he wanted to try "the hill." He cruised down the hill with his feet straight out to the side whoopin' and hollerin' the whole way down. He's hooked. Now, he wants a more manly bike. This is a dream come true- now Kacy and Will can ride bikes together around the property and go exploring!

*I made no-bake cookies and overdosed. Again.

*Today was the first day I didn't have a fever and feel like crud. I had two bright spots in my week: a three hour respite on Tuesday, and a 20 minute break on Wednesday or Thursday. Other than that, I've been pretty useless and brain dead. But today I made up for it- the house looks good, the laundry is all caught up...

*Ryan got the kids' closets all framed up. We decided not to put closet doors on them in favor of mounting a full length mirror in the room instead. All the closets will have organizers and drawers. By not having doors, I think we'll eliminate two things: fighting over who gets to get their clothes first, also known as access issues. Also, a lazy person won't put his shoes away if a door is blocking the way. This way, there will be one less obstacle to cleanliness. (I may be only dreaming.) It also gives Kacy a place to hang her groovy beads that she wants.

*The kids played with Play-doh for over an hour without fighting. I won't mention what happened at one hour and ten minutes... but it involved putting all the supplies away and saving it again for another day.

*For lunch we had a steak and bleu cheese with roasted asparagus salad. It was AWESOME!

*Ryan is working all weekend because of the holiday. He's had one Memorial Day off since we've been married, and it was four years ago when Ed was born!

*The weather today was PERFECT!!!!!!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Square Foot Gardening: My Last Attempt

I will never, ever, EVER garden again.


I spent an entire day building. Moving cinder block. Using the tractor. Moving LOTS of cinder block. Building a critter proof garden.

Guess what?

It wasn't critter proof.

SOMETHING likes greenery, and ate both of my tomato plants down to nothing, my pepper plant has one leaf left, and all my cute little pea plants that sprouted are gone. This something can climb a three foot wall and leave no trace.



Flying rabbit?

Whatever it is, it won't get my efforts or wasted money again. Looks like I will not be gardening again until I have a greenhouse. I fear it's the only way to keep out the fierce spring winds, the kids, and all the critters.

Happy Birthday, Ed!

Dear Ed,

It's a miracle! You made it to another birthday party. I personally congratulate you. Here is a bit about what you do right now:

*Say you see me eating an apple. You are hungry. You say (without fail...), "Mom, I'm hungry for something fruity and sweet." And then you stare at me. Fruity and sweet, crunchy and sweet, frozen and sweet... my two favorites have been, "Something warm and pizza-y." And, just yesterday when I told you that we were going to stop at the gas station, without hesitation you say, "Mom, I feel like eating something crumbly." Crumbly? Like the crumb donuts? *You have been watching "Backyardigans Robot Rampage" at least twice a day this week. I've been sick, so I don't feel bad about it, but holey moley boy, we're gonna have to wean you off that one. *You don't like milk in your cereal. *You can remember the lyrics to songs almost the first time you hear them. *You can't sit still to save your life. *You finally learned to buckle your own seatbelt. *You prefer to wear your cowboy boots everywhere over any other footware. *You still hate stink bugs. They are the only things you are afraid of. *Your reputation precedes you... and most everyone thinks you are SO ENTERTAINING. These people are mostly from church, where you are always in fine form. *I picked you up from Emily's house the other night after 4-H. You got into the car, buckled your seat belt, leaned back and sighed, "This was the best day ever! I got to play on the trampoline!" You just sat there all dreamy and happy.

You are a funny kid. Full of energy, always moving, loving dinosaurs, robots, anything that transforms, you still do not use your silverware properly. You frequently get into trouble, but you are very sweet at heart. You don't want to get in trouble, and you don't really try. (Face it, it's easy for you...) You want to make us happy, and for that we love ya, Ed-masaurus.

Love, Mom

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Summer To-do List

Memorial Day is fast approaching, and with it, my thoughts for summer. I have been wondering what to do this summer, with only two field trips planned for sure. I want to work with my kids a little on academics so they don't get behind, but it's SUMMER VACATION, so I don't want it to be a drag on any of us.

With that in mind, I came across a post by Angry Chicken, who homeschools her kids. She uses the "Magic Tree House" books to launch informal research and projects. I looked at the titles, and the series seems to be perfect in the variety of topics that will interest all of my kids. (Kacy and Will are a grade apart in school, but miles apart in tastes.) I think we'll be heading to the library as soon as school is out, we'll try a book a week.

Kids individual goals:

Kacy: swim lessons, beginning Latin, read two American Girl books by herself, Magic Treehouse series.

Will: Swim lessons, use of "Bob" books for fluency practice, lots of drawing and writing for fine motor skills improvement, MTH books.

Ed: swim lessons (maybe... I may try to work with him myself at my mom's pool), MTH books and projects, safety rules of parking lots (ongoing...), lots of drawing to improve fine motor skills. Maybe he'll learn to write his name. If only he would sit still long enough.

Jessie: Recognizing ABC's, numbers, and colors. She's almost got her colors down. So weird- this girl knows all individual sports (baseball! basketball! soccer ball! football! and we aren't a very sporty family) but can't/won't remember all her colors. She'll get there, I just think it's funny.

Group trips: train ride, day trip to beach, day trip up the mountain.

Lots of playing in the water and eating of Otter-Pops.

Me: Carry-out said plans, while trying to fit in exercise. Also, help Ryan work on house as much as possible so it can get finished. Not much I can do right now, but finish work should be starting about July, so things will get busier for me. Thrilled, I tell ya.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

When You Don't Have Pockets...

... you have to resort to storing your cell phone in your Dora undies.

*Please note and then disregard the mess that is Sharpie on my leather sofa. That was mine and Ed's fault. Mine for buying one and having one in the trailer, and Ed's for being himself.*

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Slip N' Slide Fun

At the May birthday party, Kendra set up the slip n slide. It was quite warm, about 90 degrees that day. (As I'm writing this, I can't beleive it's 45 degrees at my house with a slight chance of snow...)

Kendra helped the smaller kids-

Can you tell Jessie had fun?

As Seen on TV: P90X

Because I have gotten REALLY out of shape, and because Ryan wants to shape up, we ordered P90X. If you watch the infomercial at all, you just sit there (with a bowl of ice cream...) and think, "Wow! I can't believe the difference!"

So we bought it.

But, we bought it for for three specific reasons. One, that informercial. Two, Uncle Randy has been doing it, and he looks great. And three, we have the P90 that we bought seven years ago, and that worked really well, so we trusted the company (Beachbody).

We have spent the week sore, tired, and wincing everytime we move. The first workout of pull-ups and push-ups got Ryan. It didn't hurt me because I'm so lucky as to not be able to do a pull-up, so mine were all assisted, and I also have a lovely case of tendonitis in one wrist, which I found out meant that I could only do a few push-ups. (Tendonitis getting better after a course of Advil and an ugly wrist brace. Another week and it should be gone! I hope.) After the pull-ups and push-ups came the "Ab Ripper X" and I'll just tell ya strait up that I spent more time laughing at myself than doing any of the exercises. The next time I was supposed to do it, I turned on the DVD, laid on my mat, and then just busted a gut laughing because I felt like I was going to bust my gut for reals. I skipped that one becuase I was too sore. My favorite workouts of the week have been the plyometrics and the Kenpo X. I think yoga would have been there, too, but I skipped it because of my blasted wrist. I hope to get it this week though.

I took before pictures.

I'm NOT sharing those with any one.

Week one down, twelve more to go!

I wonder if I ate healthier it would help? (Okay, I know it would. But I like my carbs.)

Friday, May 21, 2010

My Kids are Becoming Good Workers! Most of the Time.

On May 8th, our ward had a service project cleaning up a local park. We hauled off lots and lots of tree trimmings. Our area is a big fireplace/woodstove for heat area (hello, mountain life!), and we store firewood any chance we get. Needless to say, the biggest pieces were saved and loaded into our horse trailer. (Our horse trailer is used right now for holding our trash, until we take it to the dump.) The trailer was stuffed to the top and all the way to the gate. While at the park, Will worked the hardest of all the kids. He really surprised me! He's not a "natural" worker, like most kids. But he goes the extra mile to look busy. He seems like he's working, but if you really look, he's doing nothing at all. But that day, he was awesome! And then, when it was time to unload, he stepped up again and did the most work. The kids' job was to put the small and medium sized pieces into piles, while I was in charge of the largest ones.

Kacy was wearing flip flops and her backpack... and she needed a few drinks and bathroom breaks.

Ed and Jessie alternated between getting in the way, climbing on the horse trailer, and poking stinkbugs with sticks.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Happy Birthday, Kacy!

Dear Kacy,

Where to begin? You are almost done with first grade, and I can't believe it. You want to be a teacher when you grow up, just like I was, and at the rate you are going you will have no problems with that goal at all. You are a great student, and as always, I am so grateful you are my first child. You were able to ease me into motherhood with no great shocks or excitement. You have been a stable influence in our family, which is why I am going to squish the drama right out of you! You recently have started doing this throwing of your hands in the air, being all exasperated and raising your voice saying "OH MY GOSH! WHAT...?!?" with some long ol' tirade going on. I pointed out that this would be drama, and that we don't do drama in our house, and you said, "Oh. Okay." Now, all I say is, "Kacy. Drama." and you quit right away. Your teachers want to adopt you. You are reliable, smart, kind to others, and a leader. You tend to care too much what other people think, which makes me a little nervous for your teen years. You love to write, and last week you wrote two songs. Dad and I were very impressed. I hope you keep up your artistic/expressive side. This expressive side means your room is a mess- you can't keep track of your personal belongings. You are always thinking and asking questions. Your whole entire family loves you! (Especially me and dad!)

Love, Mom

Saturday, May 15, 2010

May Birthday Party, 2010

Because my side of the family has five May birthdays all fairly close together, we had one birthday party today!

The birthday honorees!

My grandma. She is turning 52 again.

My brother. This month he'll turn the ripe ol' age of 29.

Kacy is soon to be seven!

Ed is turning four.

Charbella is one!

We had a fun party with a bounce house, wading pool, slip n' slide, and good food!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Spring seems to be here to stay! Spring in these parts means:

*ladybugs are EVERYWHERE. Including my trailer, where Ed insists they come in so they won't be lonely. He is rarely without a ladybug if he's been outside.

*it's cow season. That means we have to watch out for the cows and calfs all over the place, especially while driving.

*the snakes are coming out in full force. Once it get's hotter, they'll hide in the shade. Since a mouse moved in last night, I'm trying to convince myself that the snakes are indeed my friends.

*the wildflowers are almost all gone! There are a few splotches of poppies out here, almost a second season. Some of the flowers are long gone, and others are just coming out. Still so beautiful.

*our poplar babies are growing up, and it's time to plant 100 more.

*George, the Great Pyranees, is shedding. He sheds so much chunks of his undercoat float around. Ryan came home once and said that it looked like a rabbit got ran over by a lawn mower.

*the kids are forever dirty. They have such a good time in the fall and spring, when the weather is PERFECT for playing in the dirt, climbing on hay or the wood pile, or looking for ladybugs!

*it's the beginning of running season! Yay for a more in shape me!

*strawberries, soon to be followed by watermelons and corn and tomatoes... yum.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Hydroponics Shop

Besides Walmart, Office Max, Winco, my grandma's house, and unloading firewood (AFTER backing up Ryan's truck and our horse trailer without incident!), I had the pleasure of going into a hydroponics shop. We needed 100 more nursery pots because we ordered 100 more poplar cuttings. What better place to get pots, than the pot shop? Now, they technically have nothing to do with pot, but let me state for the record that there were some VERY stereotypical looking people there. One group: hippy-like. Another group: gang-like. Then, there was me, Ed, and Jessie. I was wearing a BYU-Hawaii shirt, buying 100 pots, with authority! The gang looking folks were a little scary. The hippy looking folks were great and very helpful. I had the sensation that we were a novelty... they had as much fun people watching part of our fam as I had people watching them. They had a magazine rack there, and they didn't sell a single copy of "Better Homes and Gardens", or "Western Gardener". They did sell a magazine called "Rosebud" though, and based on the cover, it had nothing to do with roses.

Seriously though, that shop will be a great resource when we start our fodder shed. That will be after we actually get animals, though. And THAT will be after the blasted house is finished. First things first, one step at a time. (Fodder: I will probably write about that in the livestock section soon.)

PS- talked on the ham radio with Jocelyn (I got on and said I was "mobile," which took me forever to decide to do because all of a sudden I was nervous about it). She called me, and I was so excited someone called me! But then, as soon as I answered back, I got all weird in the brain because I realized that people were listening. It made me feel so... nervous, strange, and nerdy. I didn't say anything right. And then I thought about the old guys listening thinking I was a freak, and that made it worse. I felt awkward for a few hours, until I heard a 15 minute conversation about an 80GB hard drive and some technical problems with it. I suppose ham radio will have it's different aims, and if Jocelyn and I talk about a soon to be 7 year old's birthday party, so be it. Still... I wonder if next time we should say something technical? ;)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

My annual mother's day picture!

I have a love/hate relationship with motherhood. I mostly love it. Really fast, the thing I hate about it, is that is often times makes me feel inadequate. I suppose it's a humbling experience, but some days I don't want to be humbled, or I feel that if I'm humbled any further I just might crack. I just want to be a good mom.

What I love:

My kids are hysterical!

Kacy is so concerned with everything. So conscientious. She's ready to babysit, but she's only 6. (Seven next week, she would be sure to remind me if she were to read this.) She is so protective of everybody, and is Jessie's second mom. If Jessie gets her feelings hurt, and I'm the offender (like when I deny her her ninth cup of juice in less than an hour...) she'll run to Kacy for a hug. Kacy has a serious type of personality. She likes to have fun, but she reminds me of how I think I used to be at that age. A little reserved, likes to play outdoors, watching every one and taking mental notes. She's a good girl, and the perfect first child. She is way more feminine than I ever was... she loves romantical type movies and has been wondering who she's going to marry since she was four. Oh well.

Will is so goofy, and so stubborn. We butt heads often. I hope it's not because we are alike, because he can be so ornery! (Okay, so we are alike?) He has a great big smile and a very sensitive personality. If he gets excited or mad, he has a hard time spitting out his words, and last night he related a dream he had about skeletons driving a train, and the "caplice's" came and put the plastic skeletons in a cage made out of bananas... He is turning into a good worker. On Saturday we had a church service project to haul away brush from a park, and Will worked the hardest and longest of all the kids. Yea!

Ed could have his own book written about him. He does have his own category on the blog... because he is the one who says and does the weirdest things. He is starting to grow up- my biggest concern with Ed has always been keeping him out of the hospital and alive. It has been a miracle that he has not been hit by a car in the parking lot yet, or that I haven't had to call Search and Rescue. His life isn't over yet, and I'm sure I'll meet the S&R crew someday, but so far, so good. He is a child who could be raised by wolves and come out the better for it.

Jessie is a sweet way to wrap up having babies. She is mostly so nice, and everyone seems to love her. She is very helpful, and cleans up after herself. She loves her momma. After having the boys, she is a refreshing breath of girl-ness. She likes to do things for herself. She knows when I'm upset, and tries to comfort me.

Both my boys have an, "it's too hard, can you do it for me?" attitude, and both my girls have an, "I do it!" attitude. Ask them to put shoes and socks on, and the girls have not only put theirs on, but have found the boys shoes and are telling them to hurry up and get dressed. So funny. My kids love to help in the kitchen, which makes me a little sad right now because our trailer kitchen is so small they can't help. It's too dangerous for 99% of what we do. I can't wait to have a BIG kitchen. (Don't tell them that part of the reason I want to cook with them is so they can start cooking and baking without me... what's better than cupcakes you didn't make?) I'm about ready to say "Okay! Stop growing up now!" But, at the same time, I can't wait to see how they turn out. It's a little sad to watch your kids grow up, but I also love it. I would hate to have the power to stop them from growing, because I would have killed my parents if they kept me as a kid forever. I prefer being a grown-up! I am thrilled to be entering the next phase of our parenthood, homework and all. Just kidding about the homework part- ugh.

Some special mother's day moments:

*Will got in trouble for spitting. On Jessie. He's got great aim, and spits like a boy (I spit like a girl, where the spit flies all apart and everywhere), and he got busted. So gross.

*The spitting incident aside, the kids were really well behaved! It was probably the best Mother's Day I've had since becoming a mother!

*Got to watch Spencer (one of my nephews) play with a puppet kitty in a most hilarious way- the cat gave birth to "kitties" who were actually lots of "My Little Ponies," and they were lined up nursing on the kitty because they were hungry. I think Spencer was really born to live on a farm, since he seems to LOVE animals, and had a three year stint as wanting nothing more than to be a cowboy. He's also a really, REALLY good reader- like he's ending the first grade but reads (and understands) at a fourth grade level. I can see him coming to stay with us for the summer when he gets older and we have horses, mules, and every other manner of beast. He can be a guide!

*Spent time with my mom and Ryan's mom.

*Got to squeeze the fattest baby thighs I've ever seen on my niece Charlotte. Pictures soon to come.

*Listened to the youth in our ward (church) get up and say nice things about their mothers. Two boys in particular nearly killed me with their sincerity.

*Got to see three of my kids sing with the primary. Kacy and Ed went up without hesitation, but Will had to be convinced. The women in the ward got chocolate and a bookmark! Very nice.



I have a niece. Her name is Charlotte Isabella. Every one calls her Charbella. She has the fattest legs and arms I've ever seen on a baby. Her two older sisters were petite babies, so the fact that she is taking after her brothers is super amusing to Kendra and me.

I submit my evidence, exhibit A. I should have put something for a scale reference. She weighs 30 pounds, I think.

We aren't sure what she's doing here... she was hamming it up though.

Rear view- cute bloomers!

I think she looks an awful lot like a Cabbage Patch doll.

Her pirate face?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Red Racer: Our new "Pet"

Last week we saw a red racer just like this on our gravel "front yard." The "front yard" is in between our trailer and sea-container shed, aka "the red box". He came from under the trailer, went across the gravel (20 feet) and then sort of disappeared near the end of the red box. This afternoon I went out to water the trees and garden, and out of the corner of my eye, I spotted him about 10 feet from me, coming my way.

I mananged NOT to scream or swear.

I DID get goosebumps all over my legs and stood on my tip-toes, water hose at the ready. He passed me, made his way over the red box again, and now can't be found.

I was on edge the whole time I was watering. Eyes constantly scanning the ground for snake-like objects. We have lots of PVC pipe and hose pieces in a pile where I last saw him... even sticks had me nervous. George snuck up on me and his nose touched my leg and I jumped a mile. I don't like snakes. However, I don't like mice/rats even more, so if this thing can help the rodent population under control, I suppose he can stay. He just makes me so nervous! Snakes aren't natural. (Neither are spiders... it's the legs. too many... not enough...)

Here's what the Internet said about the snake: (image and information from Digital Desert)

Red Racer

Coluber constrictor

This is the most commonly viewed snake within Mojave Desert. (And where I live!)It can be seen on many of the roads sunning itself in the early to late morning hours. It is the fastest snake in the desert moving at up to 7mph (Can I run that fast?)and can reach up to 6 feet long with a slender, whiplike body. Coloration may vary from gray and tan to pink with black crossbars always present on the neck. As the snake gets older it begins to take on a more distinct reddish appearance. It’s diet consist of lizards, small snakes, mice and birds. (Eat the mice!!!)It is very mean tempered and should not be handled. (Great! A mean snake?!?) Although not poisonous its bite can tear the flesh and should be avoided.(Oh good. So although I won't die, I'll have a bloody gash and an irrepairable fear of snakes. And I've come so far...)

The question is: how do I educate the kids about snakes without passing along my hatred of snakes? All fleshy wounds aside, I'm wondering if being scared of snakes is actually good. Survival and all. (I can't even bring myself to touch one though, dead or alive. Not one little touch with a finger tip... I don't want my kids to be that freaky about it.) A healthy respect would be nice.

I wonder if we should name him?

I'm not getting close enough to know if it's a he or a she, so maybe a nice gender neutral name.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Plight for Socks

Please note the conspicuous lack of socks in the photo below. One dad size sock, one black kid sock, and one white kid sock. The dad size and black sock don't bother me a bit as their mates are waiting for them.

The part that bugs is the lone white kid size sock. I noticed that as the week went on, there were fewer and fewer socks on the line. This morning, Kacy and Will each wore one clean sock, and one sock found from the ground, previously worn of course. (That way is was totally fair, and no one had to wear the dirty pair...) When I noticed that there would only be one clean sock for six feet tomorrow (Jessie has her own socks), I gathered the kids together and did the only thing I could think of, short of looking for the nasty socks myself.

I bribed them with candy.

"Hey, whoever finds the most socks gets a piece of candy!"

It totally worked, of course.

They found 19 socks.

Kacy won.

But, because I'm a self-preserver and often speak before I think (IE: "Ed, if you can't eat at the table the right way, you can go outside and eat with the dog!" Ed: "Okay! I love George!"), I gave each kid one piece of candy, and Kacy got two.

I'll be buying more socks soon. And maybe some stock in Hanes.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Kid Stuff

Newest kid news first:

Will received an award from his teacher during the monthly Kindergarten-first grade assembly. He got the "Most Outstanding Reading" award. I was shocked. I was thinking he'd get an improvement in behavior award for not getting his card pulled for at least two weeks... I was thrilled. She gave an example of his reading skills, and she said she put up their newest theme poster and asked if anyone could read it, and Will was able to read it in his head first (most kids this age read aloud, and she said most of the kids were sounding it out), and then read "A World of Animals." Go Will!

A couple of days ago, Kacy came up to me and asked, "Mom, can an orca eat a shark?"

"I don't know Kacy. Like an orca whale? A killer whale? Are they the same thing? I don't know. We'd have to look it up."

With her hand on her hip, she replied,"Um, Mom. Didn't you go to college?"


"Well, why don't you know the answer?"

"Because I studied children, not whales." She was so disappointed in me. She just shook her head and left saying she'll ask her friend Rayn at school.

Ed is still his regular old self. He's so "regular" that he has to go every Sunday at the same time. I make sure all the kids use the bathroom before we walk into the chapel, and without fail during the first speaker, Ed needs to "go" again. He also goes around singing Sharpay's song "I Want it All" from High School Musical 3.

The other day Jessie saw some dirt on the floor, got the broom, and swept it up. Of course I was estatic and made a big deal about it.

Different note: another fire today, this time near the kids' school. It's bigger... and our county fire crews rock! I'm going to try not to worry ahead of time for the summer, but we've had a lot of rain which means a lot of grasses and flowers. Everything is still green, too! Hopefully this will be it for the season.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Square Foot Gardening: My Second Attempt

I'm not a very good gardener. I want to be, hence the retry. I tried a square foot garden before, in a container, but it didn't turn out so well. Most seeds didn't sprout, the ones that did, the kids picked when they looked like little blades of grass, and then we had a horn-worm infestation on the tomato plants. Let's not forget the bunnies- the bunnies finished off what was left, eating the tomato plants down to a stub.

I'm tring again this year! I'm using the space where our poplar cuttings were. I'm reusing the cinder block for paths and a wall.

I have room for four 4 foot sections. (Anyone notice I had to use the word "fo(u)r" three times in a row? Awkward!) I will be planning out my sections tonight, with the help of Mel Bartholomew's book "Square Foot Gardening." I bought some starter plants today, and some seeds. The seeds include pumpkins, peas, and carrots. I have two tomato plants, an Anaheim chili, a watermelon, and a rosemary bush. The rosemary will get huge... I'll have to either eats lots of it, trim it and take it to church to give away (dried, I think), or else just trim mercilessly.

This is my old container garden. I planted some mums last fall, and half made it through the winter with no help on my part. I bought chives, oregano, and some flowers to make it pretty. I love containers for plants; you must water them more, but they make growing things more manageable.

I would be thrilled if anything grows, and positively ecstatic if I can eat anything out of the garden.

P.S.- I heart my tractor. I finally learned to use it, and it's so much fun. Moving the dirt into the square sections would have taken hours. Instead, I filled the bucket on the John Deere several times (five?), and the dirt was moved!

A Baptism Story

This is me. I had just turned eight, and my aunt CarolAnn had made this dress for me. See how tan I was? I'm jealous of myself! Anyway, this dress was the dress I wore after I was baptized.

Here's the story.

Once upon a time, I turned eight years old, and was going to be baptized! Woot! Good times. Our church baptizes people by immersion, which means we dunk 'em all the way under the water. We also wear white, a symbol of purity and cleanliness. During the baptism, if any part of you comes up, you have to do it again. Seems like everyone has a story about watching someone in their family get baptized three or four times because a ponytail floated up, part of a dress, or a toe. That would be my sister, Kendra. I think she had to do it three times.


I wore purple underwear.


My mom told me to wear white underwear with my dress. I thought she meant my special white dress, the one pictured above. The one I changed into after I got dried off. I only had one pair of white undies, so I saved them to change into with "the dress." After I came up out of the water all smiley and warm, I went straight to the changing room where my mom was there to meet me. The first thing she said was, "I thought I told you to wear white underwear!!!" It only took me a second to realize that the only reason she knew I had purple undies on was because when my jumper got wet, it got slightly transparent. No big deal for white undies (beige or yellow or even pale pink...) but purple ones didn't stand a chance.

Moms: physically check your soon to be baptized child choice of undies. It's just better that way.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Where There's Smoke...

There is a cool helicopter to put out the flames!

A fire broke out today just before the kids got home from school. We thought it was a controlled brush burning, until the bus driver told us otherwise. The wind was pretty good... I was only slightly put out that I had just hung some laundry out to dry. Now, they smell like they've been hanging over a campfire. All I'm going to say is that there is a reason fabric softener somes is scents like lavendar and such.

The kids thought it was cool. Some ash was falling from the sky.

Not because we are nosy or anything, but we had to check out the fire. For safety reasons, of course. In case we needed to evacuate. In which case I told Ryan that if our trailer caught on fire we would live in a tent until the house is done. A tee-pee. Kacy that was not possible because snakes might come in through the bottom. She's not a big fan of critters.

Filling up in the pond. Ryan said that maybe we shouldn't put a zip line over our proposed pond in case the fire guys need to fill up. I think he might be right.

Puttin' her out!

Going, going, gone!

Hi all! I decided to delete this blog this weekend. So I did. But then my mother email me, telling me she needed my new blog address, because the old one was gone... so here is my fair warning, I guess. I'm not much one for clutter, and two different blogs with the same content seems like Internet clutter to me. So this on is going, going, gone!

My new blog is hosted at http://www.mulesnhoney.com

If you want to add my blog to your feed reader, you can click on my right hand side sidebar to the RSS feed links, or add my sections individually. The section that is most up and written on is "The Family" found at http://www.mulesnhoney.com/journal

See ya at my new place! (And I can't wait to be able to say that about my home!)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Last Night's Dinner... with some Cheese!

Last night I served the kids berries and cake for dinner. I didn't feel like cooking, and they didn't complain one bit! I used Splenda to sweeten the strawberries, and the blueberries came from the freezer section. The only thing missing was cream. I forgot it. And, I live MILES away from any store... so there you go.

The cheese is brought to you compliments of Jessie.