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.

Friday, October 29, 2010

House Update

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

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

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

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

*friday photo fun*

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

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

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

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween 2010

A no-sew Halloween.

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

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

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

Thursday, October 21, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Recap

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

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

Friday, October 15, 2010

*friday photo fun*

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

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

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Making Bread

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

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

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

Going Ons

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

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

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

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

Kacy's Glasses

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

Friday, October 8, 2010

*friday photo fun*

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

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Photoshoot With Clara. She Wasn't Happy.

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

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

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

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