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, April 26, 2013

Once a Month Shopping... I think I'm going to try it!

Ya...sorry if some search engine brought you here because you wanted info on Once a Month Shopping. I'm writing to get organized.

So, now that we have a house, we have some BIG PLANS. Things didn't work out exactly how we had hoped for financially... don't get me wrong, we are doing so much better than we were for the last two years. Let me just say that building a house is rough. Oh, it starts out all great and fun, but it gets spendy, fast! And living in the RV, with a teeny, tiny fridge and all that... well, now it's time to try a new tactic. Anyhow, we have some business oriented ideas and plans, and that saying, "it takes money to make money" is fairly accurate.

I am going to try and squirrel away some money, something we were unable to do before. One area where I think I can improve is in my grocery shopping budget. I am not very good at grocery shopping. I hate it, actually. I hate it, AND I'm not good at it. Double whammy. I end up throwing food out, which is just a waste. Now that I have full amenities, it's time to bring on the food creativity. (Almost full amenities: both my blender and my crockpot are broken.)

So, I've been researching the whole "shopping once a month" idea. I was close before... I would go twice a month. When the grocery store is so far away, and it takes forever to get there, only going once a month would be a benefit. Plus, it would save me gas money! And honestly, the gas money I save would just to go my other car (the Bronco), for our family trips into the mountains and stuff. Love that gas guzzler!

I hope this isn't too crazy. I think I can do it. It's going to take some serious planning on my part. And some patience in the grocery store. I will have to find a balance between being super frugal in the store, clean eating goals, and not slaving away in the kitchen all day. I really want to get away from preservatives and ingredients I cannot pronounce.

Here is what I've gathered from the net so far:
1-Meal Plan for the Month
2-Inventory my food
3- Make a Grocery List
4- Portion Out Food When You Get Home
5-Use Your Freezer

I'm off to plan. First, shopping once a month. Next, maybe making a few of those freezer meals I've seen around! Let the saving begin!

A Recap of the Week

I have to say, this week has FLOWN BY. Where did the time go?

We got a drip system put on our many, many trees. This saves me about 6 hours a week of watering time...time I did not have before.

The boys went to the eye doctor on Monday, and both see really well. Whew! Kacy got her new glasses yesterday. She is super excited.

Kacy gave a power point presentation on Mission Santa Ines. (Note to self: blog that, sister.) She did a great job, and while I used my laptop to put the pictures in and type up a few titles, she chose the pictures and wrote her own note cards. No child is allowed to touch my computer! I felt really, really bad though. Why? Because I went to see it, and several other kids did the extra credit project as well. Kacy was the only one who went to her place (over achiever!!!). Another kid did a report/model of the Carmel mission. When his teacher asked if he thought he might visit there, he said, "No, our car can't make it that far." Now, I know I am blessed to drive a falling apart Mazda that gets good gas mileage, and it isn't falling apart that badly. We were able to take a trip with the kids. Sure, we packed lunch snacks, but we were able to afford the gas, the late lunch/early dinner at a restaurant, etc. Kacy was able to GO and DO. If I could take all the kids to see a mission, or Death Valley, or whatever it was they were studying, I totally would. I can see the disparity in education already. Kacy has opportunities that other kids don't have. Most of the kids in her class will struggle. They are missing out. That's not fair. But then I think: Life isn't fair, last time I checked. However, with my professional background, I just can't help but think that if more parents made their kids a priority, and found things to help their brains grow, school would be a better place. I don't know where this is going... all I know is that I felt awful. Almost like a snot, because we were able to schedule a trip. It was a reminder that I should be grateful for what I have.

On that note, music class is going well, I think. Mindi and I have fun doing it, and I cannot begin to express how satisfying it was a couple of weeks ago to see the kids READING MUSIC. All of them. Reading rhythm on a staff, complete with eighth notes, quarter notes, and quarter note rests. They are learning things like bluegrass, blues, classical, romantic, baroque, metronome, allegro, presto, adagio, beat, tempo, rythym, staff, treble, bass, signature, measure, different instruments... plus their singing is getting better. They are catching on faster and faster. We split the time between singing and rhythm. We have a field trip scheduled in May to take the K-4 to the high school and hear their music program. I'm looking forward to it. The best part is the way the kids look forward to Friday afternoons. Some of them just love it.

Hi, my name is Karrie, and I am a dieting failure. Oh, yes. Yes I am. So I quit. I am instead looking at this awesome weather we are having and I am loving it. I am going outside more. Moving my body a little more. That is the key for me. Movement.

I am SO looking forward to summer vacation. Let the countdown begin!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Simon Says Master

It is fascinating to watch the kids take their turns at playing Simon Says, and being in charge. Personality traits just shine through! For example:

Kacy is so preoccupied with being the best Simon that she she takes FOREVER to think of an action and commit to it.

Jessie is not a good listener, so she didn't get a chance to be Simon. (Sorry, honey. This mom doesn't award mediocrity. Maybe next time...)

Ed is fascinated with "Do the Disco!" when he is Simon. Single disco, double disco, disco to the left, disco to the right...it goes on and on. That's what the kids are doing in the picture. The "double disco."

But Ed is nothing compared to Will. You do NOT want to play Simon Says with Will. His first command was, "Simon says, Use your foot as a cell phone!" It was MOST entertaining to watch the kids try to put a foot to an ear. Turns out Jessie is the only one who can!

By the end, he had the kids scratching their heads, tapping their elbow, rubbing their belly (with their elbow), all while doing the Cha Cha. He's like a Simon Says evil genius.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

First Coke, ever.

The kids got their first taste of Coke tonight at Ben and Alexis' wedding reception. They all thought the glass bottles were so cool. Ed loved the drink itself.

Humble Pie

I have been served a good dose of humble pie. I ordered it, based on something I said several months ago. Let me tell you how humble pie tastes. It's salty. This is due in part to the tears that are shed. True remorse is so unpleasant...but at the same time kind of liberating. Although one weight has been placed on my shoulders, another one has been lifted. The new weight is lighter. I know the weight will get lighter with each bite I swallow of my humble pie. It also tastes bitter...very unpleasant.

You know, I don't wake up in the morning thinking, "How can I hurt someone I love today?" But it happened. And I felt wrong about it when it happened, but I thought it was so isolated that it wouldn't matter to anyone but me, and that I would have to live with the burden of knowing what I said. [Read: my mouth got the best of me.] But no, that's not always how it works. And today, oddly enough I am grateful for it. Because it is an excellent reminder of what is important. Because some things are important, even if you don't always realize just how much until those things are hurt or gone.

I will be okay. I will repent, I have apologized. I have confidence that I will get over this, that I will stop feeling so horrible in due time. I hope the someone I hurt (and this is just the one I know about. I am sure I have much apologizing to do in general... hello, hubby!) won't hurt for long, because that just seems inexcusable on my part. Am I hard on myself? I don't think so. I have high expectations, and I didn't meet them. Right now I feel like the best place for me to be is under a rock, hiding from everyone. I can't do that though. I'm claustrophobic and I might die. [Side note: I can be slightly humorous even when I feel miserable and I can barely see through the tears. You either laugh or cry through life, and my preference is to laugh. Now that I'm crying, the laughter (really, a small smile) wants to creep through.]

A small part of me is glad I screwed up. It is a good reminder of who I am...and I am not perfect. It just sucks that someone's feelings got hurt in the process.

I want to give myself a pep talk, saying clever things like, "The only direction to go from here is forward... and up."  "Live to a higher standard, dear, because you are better than that and you know it." And, my favorite, "Don't be a jerk."

Will do, self. Will do.

[If anyone besides myself reads this, I won't give details. So don't ask. Don't call. I don't want to discuss. And although I have shed tears today, and I am an ugly crier and do my best to never, ever cry, I have today. And, that's okay. Don't feel sorry for me. I'm not writing and asking for a pity party. You might see me smiling tonight, or tomorrow. Because life does go on, and I can live it while working on my troubles in the back of my head.]

Little Brother For Sale

We went to Solvang, CA. While in a pastry shop, Ed signed the chalk wall with that yellow stick man and his name.

Will's handy work is the red arrow.

New Car!

I bought a new car! It's a 1979 Ford Bronco. It is a gas hog (worse than I thought...doesn't even get double digit MPG) so we don't drive it a ton. It seats all six of us, has a great sound system, and most importantly, it is just super cool in my world. 

We will probably replace the motor with something else... rumor on the Internet is that you can squeeze 20mpg out of a straight 6 motor with some work. We shall see!

Who Is That Baby?

Sooo..... I was organizing all my paperwork last Saturday. I just had to, okay? I sat down to work at my desk, and I couldn't do it with my piles of stuff everywhere. During the process of organizing and cleaning out all my files, I came across this baby picture...and I didn't know who it was. Now, because I'm extra brilliant, I knew it had to be one of my boys. (Brilliant, see?) But I could tell which one! 

Luckily, I later decided to look in the folder where this photo came from, and I found a receipt with a date. Drum roll please.....

It's ED! I can totally see it now. (But only because I know.)

Us Girls

We took this picture because we are one rockin' girls club. I love my girls! Kacy brought home these sparkly sequined headbands, and we modeled them for the camera.
Kacy is so awesome. She is definitely entering that middle school awkward phase. She's a little clumsy. She vacillates between being a child and having moments of "almost adulthood." I love that she has some confidence in herself, and that she doesn't really care about what others think. She still gets really good grades, and she still loves to create stuff. 
Jessie is a kick in the pants. She is hilarious and seems quite grown-up (sometimes). She has a good perception of people. The other day the three older kids were doing something that I can't remember, and Kacy said, "Jessie you can't do that. You aren't old enough." Jessie very quickly shot back, "OH YES I AM!" with her hand on her hip. She didn't even hesitate. 

My girls are so different from each other. But, they get along, and we have great times together. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Happy Anniversary

Happy 13th anniversary to US.

Marriage isn't easy. I say that, but I'm not sure ANYTHING is truly easy. At least not anything that is worth it.

Have kids. Babies are cute, they say. They smell good, they tell you. You can sit in a rocking chair and hold them while they sleep, and you look lovingly into their sweet little faces! Nothing is better than a little kiss from a little person... covered in snot and dirt! Okay, so maybe that last part is true. But having kids is not "easy." Adventurous, fun, frustrating, trying, awesome, exhilarating, and tiring, all in one. 

But I'm not here to talk about child raising. I'm here to talk about how happy I am with Ryan and our marriage. Is he perfect? No. Because I'm not. I figure we are pretty much male and female equivalents of each other. Is our marriage perfect? Almost. Just kidding! Just kidding. But, I think it's pretty darn good, and that's half the battle.

We have led a crazy life together, and we share the same goals for our family and for ourselves. That is the glue that holds us together, really. These goals are rooted in family and in the gospel of Jesus Christ, so I figure we are all set! 

I do have to say one thing: that more recent picture of us on top? You know, the one where Ryan looks incredibly handsome, and I look incredibly bloated? I don't always look that way (I hope). I was assured that it was a bad picture of me. It did encourage me to try to lose some weight, though. I don't look so good. The editor of the local paper took that when Ryan received the "Officer of the Year Award" from the local Exchange Club up here. That was an interesting event. I should write about that.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The World I Live In...

Sit down at the desk to do some work, and this guy is here. His brothers are strewn about the house constantly, and Catwoman made her appearance not too long ago.
What can you do?