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.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

On a First Name Basis with the Principal

Just got another phone call from the principal's office. About Ed.

Yesterday he got punched in the face and had a bloody nose on the bus. The kid got in trouble with a bus referral, which kicks him off the bus for a day.

Turns out the kid punched Ed in the face because Ed tried to give him a wedgie.

So now Ed is kicked off the bus for a day.

I am not happy. Me driving him to school is no big deal, except that I know he will love it, and so it will defeat the purpose. What am I going to do with him? He's been SO GOOD (at school).

He's supposed to be getting some kind of special award at school tomorrow. I hope it's not for most improved behavior. Maybe she'll change her mind, and call me and cancel the award.

If he wasn't my kid, this would be funny.

Monday, September 26, 2011

House Update with Pictures

I dusted off my camera, and it still works! Well, of course it still works...it's still fairly new and in awesome condition. What I should say is that I remember how to work it! That's more like it.

Here are some shots of different parts of the house.

 Our bathroom vanity...

 Boys' room...

 Fireplace...the rocks are local. Ryan made the hearth cap from cement. The timbers are from the mountains behind our house. The actual fireplace is a Napolean 3000, I think. It should heat our whole house. You can see on the left side what looks like stairs. It's paint, so we know what angles and lengths and what not to make it easier once we put in the stairs. That's the last somewhat difficult project. The plywood sheathing will be covered in wood, board and batten style.


 Girls' room. Ignore the blue line- that's my painter's tape I haven't taken down yet. One more coat... eventually.

 Part of our closet, where Ryan keeps his hats.

 Kids' alcove, looking into their bedrooms. On the left wall is the door to the kids' bathroom. On the right where the saw is will be a built in bookshelf. (That's after the stairs and floor.)

Looking into the kid's bathroom. The toilet is on the left of the vanity, with a window above it. You can kind of see from the reflection in the mirror, as well as part of the shower. The glass shower door is reflecting a lot of light, too.

That's it for now. I will post pictures of the finished fire place and maybe my closet soon. The bathrooms and closets are all finished! It's wonderful to take real showers and do laundry at home. Speaking of... I need to put some wet clothes in the dryer.

Friday, September 23, 2011

I quit Facebook

Yes, yes I did. This morning. I quit for several reasons. There are a few things I will miss about it, but I estimate my time and blog will only improve.

I quit because I hate how they always change things. I hate how it sucks me in and chips away at my day, ten minutes at a time. I hate the drama that can crop up, either deliberately through posts, or inadvertently through misunderstood comments.

The biggest reason I quit though, by far, is because I'm addicted to the hot sheets. I want to have something to talk about when I see people. I want my time back.

I may have to get back on to organize my rafting trip for next summer though.

I love rafting. ;)

Anyhow, I'm a quitter. In this regard, at least!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I Own A Camera, Really. And, Thoughts About Priorities.

I do own a camera. A nice one. But you wouldn't know that, reading my blog the last six months or so.

Some things that need a picture and some memories: Ed turning five, Will turning seven, progress on the house, and...

Well, I'm sure there are other things.

You know what I've been thinking about lately? Priorities. Like, what's first? If I had to only choose ONE thing, what would it be? If I had to drop something in my life, what would go first? And, are my choices in line with what I desire and what I know to be right? And are those two things the same thing?

This has been on my mind because we have been so busy lately. The house, the kids, church activities, school stuff, fun stuff... We are spending a lot of time on the house. We are all looking forward to it being finished so we can move on with our lives. As the kids get older and we talk about what activities they might want to do, what sports they might play, what extra stuff they are going to do, we always come back to asking ourselves, "Why?"

Why are we doing this? What benefit will come from this? Our long term goals, the thing we want the most, is to to have happy children who live the gospel, love God and Jesus Christ, and who are kind to others. Oh, and have a good work ethic.:) So, with that in mind, as we talk about activities and the things we do. Right now, Ryan and I both struggle with spending time with the kids. It seems like we have a lot of moments where we say, "When the house is done..." It got so bad that Kacy noticed it: A few Sundays ago, Kacy had a minor meltdown in the car. Something along the lines of, "When the house is done, when the house is done. That's all I ever hear. I'll be glad when the house is actually done..." Ryan and I both looked at each other, and we weren't thrilled. :(

We not only think about what we want for our family, but for ourselves. Where do I want to be in five years? Ten years? Am I on the path that will get me there?

Deep thoughts. :)


So, the house is done!

Just kidding.

But, all the bathrooms are finished. So are all the bedrooms. The kids' rooms need flooring, but everything else is complete. We are now working on the great room/loft/kitchen. Staining beams, painting, trim, putting up the ceiling, building a staircase, and finishing off the chimney. After those "few" things, we will do the flooring and cabinets, and move on in!

Oh, and we need to stucco the house. And put the wood siding on.

After all that, there is a LONG list of projects that need to be done. That part will be fun.

I feel like I've been too busy to take pictures. But just typing that sounds lame, so I will maybe bust out the ol' camera and give a pictorial update. But, I make no promises.

Ed's First Trip to the Principal's Office

Last Tuesday, while waiting at the bus stop, Ed said, "I wonder what is going to happen on the seventh day of school?'

Tuesday was the seventh day, and it was NOT a good one.

Ryan, Jessie, and I were running around doing stuff, and we were at Lowe's getting stuff for the house. We get home just a few minutes before the bus, and when Ed gets off the bus, the first thing he says is, "I'm sorry for all the bad things I do,"

We drive to the house and start talking to Ed. (Kacy helped fill in some details.) Ed was so bad that day! I expect him to get into trouble, to be that kid who breaks every rule he doesn't know about. Like, the kind of trouble where the school starts thinking about making new rules to cover all their bases. But, what Ed did went above and beyond "typical Ed."

The worst parts: he didn't listen to teachers, and he lied.

He got in trouble with four different adults at the school for blatently disobeying: they each asked him do do something (or stop doing something) three times. His teacher, the first grade teacher, the bus driver, and even the principal. And, he did something dumb, but lied about it. He loaded his mouth with water and then spit the water all over the tables outside. Dumb, but mostly harmless, right? But then a teacher asked him if he did it, and with his cheeks FULL of water, he shook his head no.

Anyway, his teacher left this big ol' long message on the phone. On the plus side, Ed was fairly forthcoming with his indiscretions. We made him take a shower and he went to bed. At 4pm. He was NOT happy. He was allowed down for a quick dinner, but remained on his bed for the evening. The next morning, I drove him to school, and made him apologize to the first grade teacher. Then, we had a pow-wow with his teacher and the principal. It was hard to be the parent that morning: knowing your kid was so disrespectful, and even more painful was watching how painful it was for Ed to apologize. He was contrite.

The punishment worked for the remainder of the week: he was great the rest of the week. I hope it sinks in: we will do our best to make sure he knows it is unacceptable to be disrespectful, and that if he gets in trouble at school, he will be in bigger trouble at home. Keeping him on his bed with no toys or books nearly killed him. It was an effective punishment for him. (He hates being confined.) We made sure to make a big deal out of good behavior the rest of the week, and his teacher did the same.

Gotta love our Edsel! (I think he was pretty good in church today, too. He's got a patient teacher (thank-you Krissy!) who makes her lessons fun and age appropriate.)

Cant's wait to start volunteering in all the kid's classrooms. I missed it last year. This year, with only Jessie, I'm going to be able to do it, and I'm going to do it regardless of what is going on with the house. Ah, the house...

Rapids and Rattlesnakes

So, I have a lot to blog about. Like everything else in my life, I am behind, possibly never to "catch up," and I'm okay with that.

There has been much that has gone on:

On August 08, I went rafting again. Had a blast. Fell out of the raft shortly after I had said I had never fallen out. Ha! I have three images burned in my mind about falling out and "swimming" through the White Maidens rapid: Hitting the rapid and seeing everyone lurch forward (I was in the back of the raft this time) and as I lurched forward, seeing my legs and shoes. One should NEVER see ones shoes so clearly, as one's shoes should be tucked in nicely to keep one's body in the raft. I immediately think, "oh-no!" Then, the next image is white and green and brown water all around me, and feeling very cold, and swallowing lots of water. The next image is one of a boulder in front of my face. On the plus side, it was a good experience for me, because a part of me wants to kayak, and you can't kayak unless you can keep your head, so to speak, in a kind of scary situation.

While in the water, I had time for some "deep thoughts:" I thought life jackets were supposed to keep you above the water?!? Hey, I still have my paddle! Yay, me! Where is my raft?

I reached out my paddle (just like a good girl who listened to the safety talk beforehand!) and Marcie pulled me back in. I took three crazy deep breaths, and then I was fine! I was exhausted, and for some reason the fingers on the hand that held my paddle were numb. I forgot to ask Marcie why, but she noticed and said it's normal.

I also had an adventure on the swim rapid, which was quite a bit more than the swim rapid I did last summer in Bakersfield. And, I somehow got in front and was being directed by Teasha and Marcie: "Go to the left! Swim to the left Karrie! K, you're good! Swim to the right!" I had no idea why at the time, but I'm very obedient and did what I was told. (It was to avoid holes.) Then the yelling stopped because everyone was swallowing water. The rapid timing was just off enough that you couldn't catch your breath.

Needless to say, after being in the water (mostly under it) twice, I was tired. But what an awesome adventure. And no, we didn't find the dead body, but we did see some naked people and some deer.
(Dead body? Naked people? The mighty Kern River has A LOT of deaths, 13 this summer I think, and at the time of our trip, one was still missing. Naked people: there is a hot spring that hubby has dubbed "Hepatitis Hot Spring" where nasty people get naked and stand in the warm nasty river water.)

On that trip, a part of our conversation was about snakes, and I stated that we don't have rattlesnakes at our place, because there is no place for them to hide. (Remember, this is the trip where I also said I had never fallen out of a raft!)

Well, the next day, the girls and I came home from the grocery store, and the boys came running over to tell us about the snake they found on the porch. I go look at it, and I ask if it had rattled. They said no, but I'm curious because it had diamonds on it's back. But it was hard to tell because it was all curled up and hiding under some flashing on our house. I tell them not to poke the snake (they both had sticks in their hands) and go into the house to say hi to Ryan. I ask Ryan if he heard about the snake, and he said yes. I told him he should check on it, so we go out, and sure enough, it's a young Western Diamond Back. We stare at it a bit, talk to the kids about snake safety, and then discuss what to do with it. It wasn't budging. I told the kids about my grandma who lived in the hills and kept a .22 rifle next to the door, and she would shoot any and all rattlesnakes that came near the house. Her nickname is "Dead-eye Dorothy." Good times, good times. We disposed of the snake, showing the kids it's fangs, telling them about venom, and a guy I went to high school with who was bit by a rattlesnake a few years ago, and it hurts... and that we respect snakes, we don't bother them, they are good because they eat mice, don't poke them, don't hurt them. We only got rid of this one because it was a rattlesnake right next to the house and it was dangerous for our family.

Speaking of respecting snakes, I was sitting on the edge of our porch, talking on the phone, and had my right leg tucked under me, with my left leg over the side touching the ground. I was wearing flip flops. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a black head slithering in between my nearly bare foot and the porch, only three inches away from my foot! Seriously, I jumped up and did this "got the willies" kind of dance, while I watched the snake go about it's business. It was a red racer... I think. It may have been a red racer crossed with a king snake. We have some weird interbreeding going out here in the hills. ;)

We have had A LOT of snakes this year. A lot of bunnies, too. And mice, and rats...