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, November 30, 2012

Pinewood Derby

On October 12, our church had a "no age limit" Pinewood Derby competition. It was so much fun. We grilled cheeseburgers for dinner. When I say "we" I literally mean Ryan. I wrangled up all the stuff. Won't be volunteering to do that again, because guess who was outside not watching their kids race? Anyway... off to the good stuff: 

 All the cars. There were about 25 in all.
 The Bunting Family Cars. The kids had to draw out their design, choose their colors, and sand them all themselves. Their Dad cut them out for them and painted them while they were at school. 
From left to right: Jessie's "Dinosaur Car," Ed's "Racer," Will's "Thin Winner," Kacy's "Bumblebee," and Dad's "Secret Super-Duper Fast Car That Raced the Winner Afterwards And Won." His was kind of illegal according to some experts, and he didn't want to race the kids. He did it for his own satisfaction. He's totally satisfied.
 Ed's car got second place overall. Can you tell how he feels about that?
 A little photo shoot with the kids and their cars.
The TRACK. All aluminum, spring loaded release... a thing of beauty. We are going to order another section of flat track for next year. 

All in all, a great event. Will was upset that his car was too heavy in the back. The first run was FAST, but the second run and he was out because his car tipped back and came off the track. So, we learned from Ed's car, Kacy's (who came in fourth, I think), and the winner's (G.B.), that center weighted cars do the best. 

Next year, baby. Next year.

The Candy Bar Game

Last night we played the Candy Bar Game. I did not think this up myself, a certain young friend of mine taught it to me, and she learned it from her family somewhere. Thanks, Sierra, for showing me this game years ago. It's been a long time, and I have now introduced it to a new generation! 

Here's why I like it:
1. It involves candy bars.
2. It involves funny clothing.
3. It has hilarious photographic possibilities.
4. EVERYONE wins. (CANDY!)

Here is how you play The candy Bar Game
Supplies needed:
-A candy bar for each player.
-One spoon and one butter knife for each player. Real ones, not plastic. You could also use two spoons to make it more challenging...think grown ups.
-one pair oven mitts
-a silly hat, sunglasses, apron, etc.
-two die
-a table big enough for everyone, or a blanket on the ground. It can get a little messy. 

Jessie trying to open her candy bar. Age 4, our youngest.

So, here's how you play.Put all the "gear" in the middle of the table. You know, the sunglasses, hat, oven mitts, etc. Everyone should already have their candy bar and spoon/knife in front of them.

Someone is going to have to go first. Don't be a monster: let the youngest go first. If you are all the same age,  let the best looking go first. (Good luck with that one.)

The first player takes the die and rolls a few times. The amount of rolls can change depending on the age of the players, how many... we did five rolls each turn. The first player gets her turn and tries to roll doubles. You know: 2 fives, 2 ones, etc.  If she doesn't roll doubles within her five tries, then the dice get passed to the next person, and they attempt to roll doubles. This continues until someone rolls doubles.

When a player rolls doubles, they grab the gear in the middle, put it all on, and using only the spoon and butter knife, start trying to open and eat their candy bar. The other players are still taking their turns at rolling the dice, and as soon as someone else gets doubles, they rip the gear off the other player (who must STOP their attempts and be a good sport), put it all on, and try to open and eat their candy bar. The dice keep getting passed around, everyone wanting doubles... and so on, and so on. The first person to eat her entire candy bar (while wearing all the apparel) is declared the WINNER.

It usually takes several rounds for a person to finish a candy bar. (Continued below.)

Tips and tricks:

Be a good sport, and remind your small fry that they will get to eat their candy bar in the end.

Playing this game with teenagers is a blast. This is a great game no matter your age, and mixed ages work well. I love that part. (We helped the youngest a little...like helping them get the gear on fast.)

You want to be a fast roller.

Have a good camera ready. I had my old iPhone 3gs camera, and this game is so full of action, my shots were blurred. 

The kids are asking when we can play this again. Already. 

Who won our game? Ryan, of course. I almost had him beat, but he has a big mouth and can shove an entire candy bar in there no problem. Lol.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

First Quarter Awards and We Moved Some Furniture In!

So this is one of those, "My kids got awards for being so smart posts." If those make you gag, like they do me sometimes, skip this one. Years from now, when my kids are old and they are looking back at the blog book, they will say "Thank-you, Mom, for writing this stuff down." I hope.

I can't remember when the awards happened, except that it was at the end of the first quarter. I went to Ed's because his teacher told me he was getting an award. I didn't go to Kacy's, because I had no idea when it was, or that she was getting anything. Random: did I ever mention that Ed's teacher takes the kids to school for me? She lives really close, and offered to meet me a mile from my house (where our paths intersect) and they get in her Yukon and off they go. SO NICE. She is saving me lots of time and gas money!

Anyway, Ed got an award for reading. Something about being an excellent reader and helping other kids with their reading. Who knew? I knew he was a good reader, but he apparently gets assigned to other kids in the class and helps them with their reading. Mrs. G. is grateful for his help and his good attitude.

Kacy got several awards. Wish I could have been there; I heard from another mom that she was called up over and over again, and "it was amazing." She is pretty smart, but we also go to a small school in the hills, so... she's a big academic fish in a little rural pond. Just keeping it real here. She got an award for the highest GPA in her grade, highest AR points until the end of the quarter (132 or something... and the next kid who was highest had 15. Dirty AR secret: read the Harry Potter books. Mucho points.), Highest Reading, and Highest Math scores.

And, she almost got straight A's, except she got a B in PE. Darn that PE. That is where we are different. Lunch and PE were my faves. I liked being active. And eating.

Much is going on around these parts, and I am currently typing at my old oak sewing desk I had bought at the Goodwill, stripped, sanded, and stained. It still need some handles, but for now, I am pleased as punch at the prospect of having a little office. I do much office type work right now, and this is AWESOME. We also dug out our love seat (the matching chair and sofa are so ruined from being in the trailer), our coffee table (to see how big it is and what the best arrangement might be for furniture in the front room), and our bedside tables. It was painful. Literally painful... more so for my big, strapping, burly, hunk of burning manhood of a husband Ryan. He had to single handedly carry both our share of the weight sometimes. Because I am a wimp.

And honestly, because I was like, "What in the heck?" when we were trying to carrying out the oak desk I am sitting at, and I'm walking backwards and have the heavy end. Did I mention we were up in the back of a semi-trailer, with this narrow two and half foot wide walkway, with pallets jutting out into the walkway? So instead of listening to my whimperings of "It's SO HEAVY!" he just used his country strength and hefted that thing by himself. And lest you think I totally wimped out, I will have you know I carried my end of the loveseat (think big and leather) on my shoulders. Literally. And it was hard.

I need to work out. Now.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Halloween Morning

On Halloween morning, I had to go get the hotdogs and buns for our ward Halloween Trunk or Treat. Yay me.

So, knowing that I was making a trip to the big city, and knowing that I promised my littlest sister Karen that I would take pictures of her kids when he turned one, we got together at my mom's house and did the best we could.

We started off outside, which he hated. I have a couple of cute crying pictures to add to my collection of "I hate this lady taking pictures of me!!!!" crying baby shots. (I love those, personally.)

We went in, and his entire perception changes. Got him out of his Halloween costume and off the grass, and viola- he had fun. I got some really cute shots, if I do say so myself. My mom's living room was perfect for lighting. I think I uploaded some more to my Flickr account, if you want to see more.

(Grandma! This is for you. I will bring the files to your house as soon as I have them done. If you want to see a few more, look at the left side of my blog and click on the square with a bunch of pictures in it. Flickr. See you soon- and those glass jars you gave me look fabulous on my counter top! I filled them with stuff. I should blog that, too.)

Anyhow, I was just so glad they turned out and that my sister and mom were happy with them. Over time, I notice that I take fewer "bad" pictures, optimizing my time and what I'm going for. I think. It could be I just lowered my standards. Lol. Very possible.

Happy Halloween!

What a horrible picture from my iPhone! Aack!

From left to right: Will as Two-Face. Complete with half a shaved head and burnt shirt! He impressed many, many middle school kids that day.
Ed as a skeleton. He was going to be an Ewok, but the furry costume we had, while looking PERFECT, did not have any way for him  to come out of it once he was in. This would not work at school if he had to use the bathroom. So, a skeleton it was. I attempted to paint his face, but his rosy cheeks were so tender from the cold that the paint caused a burning sensation.
Kacy as Sarah Royce. Okay, so here's the story on this one. My dear little Kacy had planned on being Medusa all year. Fake snake hair and all. She almost convinced Will to be her statue. Alas, her grade had Biography Day that day, and she had to go in character as someone from California History. She had to do an oral presentation as well. She was bummed about NOT being Medusa, but still had a great time in her costume.
Jessie as a swamp witch. Not really, but since she was all grumpy, that's what I called her. That night for our Trunk or Treat she dressed as a princess ballerina: two tutus, hair all fancy, and some pretty make-up. She was cute, what can I say?

I dressed up as a clown. I was a happy clown, but I scared small children nonetheless. I wore my huge overalls, pink shirt, put my hair in pig tails with shower scrubbies as hair decorations (looked totally proportional to my huge pig tails), and then painted my face. 

Ryan cooked hotdogs for the Trunk or Treat. Yipee.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I.Am.Alive. Mostly.

Okay. Internet friend whom I've met once in real life because we live kind of fair away from each other but I like her like a "real" friend anyway because in my mind that's what we would be if we lived closer has called me out.

Carla! You made me laugh. ASAP updates...I might need to change the meaning of that acronym. Instead of  As Soon As Possible, maybe make it mean, Abnormally Swamped, Assistant Preferred?

I have been extremely "busy." And therein lies part of my problem.

I am a doer. I do. I do stuff. I am productive. I like it that way. But the last few weeks have begged the questions: "At what cost?"

So, after a bump in life, that I'll explain shortly, it is no less busy, but it is more manageable. Which is good, because I have a few projects up my sleeve that will be taking some more of my precious time. As long as my family does not suffer, I am good.

So, this bump. This bump is the house/trailer thing we've been dealing with the last seven years, two months, and 19 days. (Who's counting?) The house....drum roll please.... it technically FINISHED for habitation. we called the inspector out, and it was our favorite inspector, Aaron. Aaron is cool. He's not lenient, but his attitude meshed well with our attitude. He came out last Tuesday, was thoroughly fascinated with our ceiling and the trim work and the cabinets, and basically said, "Wow. No wonder it took you so long." You see, Aaron was our inspector when we first started the actual building process five years ago. He has since been promoted and works in the big city. He happened to be up here filling in for Steve, so the timing was perfect. He looked around, noticed we forgot CO2 detectors, we had to add two more motion sensors in two of the bathrooms, and I had to fill out Title 24 forms that basically asked for what materials we used to see if they match up with the Title 24 calcs done by the engineers. It was easy, since we installed everything ourselves. After we did that (that night), we called him out the next day, and BAM! Five minutes later he signed everything off and I drove straight to the homeowners insurance company to get REAL house insurance. This, I am finding out, it a big ol' pain in the wallet. I swear there is a conspiracy against people who live out in the middle of nowhere. Everything costs more money. Everything. Home owners insurance? TWICE AS MUCH. Seriously. And, we have to go through these special programs because of our distance from the fire department. Never mind we have a 5,000 gallon water storage tank fitted with for a fire hose, have fire hose, have Ryan who spent some time on a Hot Shot crew, have acres of brush clearance... oh well, what can you do? Grow my own food and drive less to make up the difference, I guess! :)

So, this last week we threw mattresses on the floors of the bedrooms, and we are sleeping in the house! Which was super good timing because it snowed last Saturday, and it was 36 degrees in the trailer. SO HAPPY! We are not "moved" in yet, and we won't be for a month or more. We need to finish the house to our liking first. There is "county approved and homeowner's insurance approved" levels of finished. Then there is OUR level of finished. Here is the list of things to finish. I am crossing my fingers and toes that the appraiser looks past this list and doesn't hold it against us that it isn't as finished as it's going to be just yet. We need some mo' money first.

-deck around the entire house. Right now it's dirt. Would make a huge world of difference.
-baseboards in the front room and dining/kitchen.
-window trim in same rooms. We have some...it's just not in yet. And, not sure we have enough.
-trim kids' closets. (this is really low on my list of priorities. Looks fine without it.)
-move my hunk of burnin' food love stove in.
-build the "built ins..."  two desks, a hallway book case, pantry shelves. I almost forgot: the laundry room, too.
-finish the "unfinished" bonus rooms. One will be an office, and one will be a workout (lol) and sewing room. I want to make clothes again.

That's it.

Not too shabby compared to the list of "things to do on the house" that was about a million things long. I'm only exaggerating a little. A million is pretty close.

So here is where I make the list of things to post about to catch up. And then promise myself I will work on at least three posts a week. Now that I have Internet at the house (mostly...the modem/router is still out at the trailer, can't reset the satellite just yet, and need to go wrap the router in plastic so it's more weather tight, I'm thinking I'll just stick it in a ziploc bag!) and I have a makeshift desk set up, life is feeling sweeter and more productive.

Things to post about sooner, rather than later:

*kids first quarter awards
*Paxton's photo shoot (oh look, I still own a camera! lol)
*Veteran's Day program
*Facebook Stuff
*The randomness that is me and my projects
*Ryan's shooting- 6 months later
*Adjusting to a real house with the kids

And, anything else my little brain can remember. I really can't have a blog about one thing, I can't focus on one thing long enough!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Whole Month!

An entire month has come and gone, and I didn't blog a single thing.

I will remedy that ASAP.

If I have my act together tomorrow, that would be a great day to play "catch-up." I'm not a big fan of that, but it looks like I'm at that point.

Supposedly going to call for the final inspection on the house on Monday.

Ryan got called out a little early to work today because of a bomb threat at the McDonald's. I reminded him to cut the red wire (or is it the black?) and he did not see my humor. He will actually be no where near the bomb (and if I hear otherwise he's gonna be in big trouble by me!) but rather closing down the road and getting yelled at by irritated drivers. Fun.

Anyhow, after a long time of not sleeping well, especially this month, coupled with sporadic internet capabilities and other stuff, blogging has been far from my mind. I'm going to blame it ALL on a sever case of Candy Corn overdose.