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, December 26, 2013

Christmas 2013

This Christmas was a good Christmas! Santa brought the kids real bows and arrows. I don't know what he was thinking, except perhaps that the kids are finally old enough not to kill each other, and we want to hunt. These pictures are from the first day of use, and the kids picked it up pretty quickly. They have a straw bale to shoot at, and Ryan recently made them move farther back. I think they get discouraged a little sometimes, and they love to have competitions to see who can shoot the farthest. They will get it, I'm sure of it!

Santa left clues (again!) because he hid their stockings and the bows. Those clues can be a little tricky, but the kids all figured them out. 

All in all, I think it was a successful day. We ate a really delicious dinner, had dessert over at my parents... and I got the coolest portable Bluetooth speaker as a gift. I wanted one that was fairly small so I could take it back and forth to school with me on Fridays when I teach music. My parents found a JBL Flip speaker, and it is amazing. The kids think I should bring it in the car since my little car is pretty much without music.

We are enjoying our Christmas vacation so much! It's nice to have the kids home. They have been busy building forts in the bushes...and the weather has been so warm for this time of year! We had that freeze a couple of weeks ago, and now it's almost tropical with highs in the 60's. We are enjoying it!

The Christmas program at church happened, and is but a fading memory now. Yay! 

I didn't do Christmas cards this year. Again. Pathetic. Maybe I will do Valentine's. That would be...weird. And, fitting! We shall see.

Friday, December 20, 2013

It's Almost Christmas!

The last day of school before Christmas Vacation. Yipee! I love my kids home. I also love them gone. The house stays cleaner and it's quiet. But Christmas vacation is my favorite. The kids are excited to be home, they have new stuff to do for the days after... because lets be honest, here. My kids get bored at home. They LIKE school. Maybe they are like me a little that way. Vacations are awesome, I appreciate them, wish I could take more, but after a day or two, I'm done. My brain needs stuff to do. Things to learn, think about, ponder, consider, etc. Which is why I'm an Analytical thinker, according to a personality test. Whoop-ee!

Today is the Christmas Concert at school. I had a major self-inflicted panic attack (not a real one, I've had a real of those and those are almost medical emergencies). I just wanted to stay home. I was shaking, and my heart was wanting to come out of my chest. All to do with the piano, by the way. Same as always. It's my kryptonite. I fear playing in front of people. I hate it. And the pressure was on. 12 songs. 14 today. Accompanying little kids who like to go their own pace. (Don't we all?) And Wednesday was SUCH a bad piano playing day for me. I was seriously considering the fact that I may not know how to play at all. Easy songs were difficult! But it all came together yesterday just fine. I only messed up a few times, and most of the weren't recognizable to the regular ear. Once was though. Why was there a kid mooing during one of the songs? I thought that was so weird. A kid on stage was totally making these weird noises instead of singing. He had shown no signs or indications he was prone to that behavior before, so it totally through me off.

Not today, baby. I'm going to go practice a bit right now, drink a diet pepsi, and call it good. Sure there will be tons of parents there. Sure I profess to teach music to kids, which would indicate I would be a musician. But really? I'm more of a teacher who knows about music. Not the other way around.

Can't wait for Christmas...the kids are so excited! They can't wait, and it makes me remember that anticipation. Fun! Now, if I could just find some tape so I can wrap a present or two. (Or four. Don't tell the kids, but we kind of went all out this year. Meaning, we actually bought them a gift. I bought them new jammies because they all look trashy right now in their too short, holey ones. I also bought them a pair of pants and a shirt. Plus, Santa got them a few stocking stuffers--so hard to smell chocolate and not open it--and they each get their own bow. And some arrows. They are going to flip out.)

But where's the tape?

Don't answer that. It was used up long ago along with 30 pieces of paper, a ball of yard, and a hole punch.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Busy Week...It's Almost Christmas!

And...we still don't have a tree. Oh, well.

We are very busy this week. And when I say "we," I mean, "ME." I am very busy this week.

I'm doing all those mom type things. I'm making cookies for class parties (because my boys insist I make the best chocolate chip cookies in the world, and they've told all their friends, and now I just hope they turn out). I have finished all the shopping. (We went easy this year. Not a lot of wrapping, and family group gifts are the bomb!). My house is clean. My kids are fed. I will be at the elementary school the next three days (along with Mindi, who is doing the exact same things), because we are doing the Christmas Musical program. We have final practice today. Tomorrow is the dress rehearsal with the Women's Club and the Middle School kids to come watch. And then Friday, it is the real deal. I am a little nervous, since I'm playing the piano for all of it. Mindi is the chorister. At least I can kind of hide behind the piano a bit. Just hope my nerves cooperate with me and I don't get too nervous!

Our kids are getting better at singing! They truly are. They are no angelic choir by any means, but they are modifying their voices by singing notes! And the older kids are doing even better. We've been doing this for almost a year, and we figure that the longer the kids are exposed to it, the better they will get. It really is fun. I do it so I can act like a kid, I guess. And, I like teaching. I hate the government rules, and I detest parents who don't parent and then ask why their kid is failing... but with this class, we don't have that! Beauty of volunteering, right there.

I am playing the piano for three songs in church on Sunday, and singing in a quartet for one. I had to rewrite (simplify) one of the songs. Took me forever, but it was just too hard for my little pea brain. Four sharps. Who does that? It still has four sharps, but fewer notes. I used the free software MuseScore. It looks all professional! Just hope it sounds good. The original was beautiful, but just too much for me. The song is "And His Name Shall Be Called Wonderful" by Sally Deford. Sally is very talented and plays much better than I do. Apparently.

Tonight is Cubs. Not ready for that yet. Tonight I have to rehearse the song I just talked about. The Mason's are coming to fingerprint kids. There is a memorial service for a school employee after school. Music. Staff luncheon I'm invited to, but don't have to prepare for. That's Mindi's job. Tomorrow is a district open house. The dress rehearsal. Get a tree? Friday is the concert. A minimum day. And then TWO WEEKS VACATION! Yipee!

Oh wait, there is still Sunday. After Sunday I can breathe again. That's when I'll pick back up everything I normally do!

PS- Jessie still has NOTHING to do with sitting on Santa's lap. The girl is almost 6. From the first Christmas until this month, there is no going for Santa. Not even close.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Day in the Life...

Will, age 9, showing me (and telling me in great detail) about the tri-plane he made out of Legos.
This is not a complete day in the life of me. No way. Who has time for that? Or the desire? But today I would like to record that my plans were foiled for catching up on sleep last night. Jessie woke me up to tell me she threw up in her bed. Switched her to the other side. Good thing Kacy was over at McKenzie's house for a sleepover. Then she woke me up later, asking if she could sleep in bed with me because she had a bad dream. Negative! Sorry honey, but I will be more than happy to find you a flashlight and give you a hug and walk you back to bed. While I was searching for my little flashlight, she was standing there with me, and she says, "Oh, I need to go to the bathroom!" And then she immediately puked all over the floor. It was lovely. Poor girl got in in her hair. Poor mom had to clean it all up. Yuck.

I didn't get to sleep in this morning. And I've been so tired the last two weeks! Like, pregnant tired. I remember those days. Except I'm not pregnant, so there's no light at the end of the tunnel good thoughts. Instead I think I'm fighting away being sick. So I feel fine, but not great, but not sick, but kind of just a little. What a mess!

Jessie hasn't puked since she woke up, and she had Top Ramen for lunch. She is currently napping on Ryan's side of the bed. I joined her for a little bit. A little nap was great! I just finished a little bowl of peanut butter and chocolate chips for a snack. So healthy, I know. I am a health loser. (I'm okay with that. Can't be perfect at everything, lol.)

So now, after doing three loads of laundry (one of them full of last night undigested dinner from Jessie's belly), taking a short nap, eating some power food, cleaning the kitchen, vacuuming, and doing something else I just know it... it is time to get down to business. So I sit down in my little office area and here comes Will...every single time. He is famous for coming up right beside me and saying, "Hey, Mom, look what I made with Legos." And then he goes into great detail about all the parts, how he did it, and what the plane (or ship, truck, mansion, fort, armory, etc) will do. So funny. And let's be honest here, sometimes boring. Because as cool as his Lego creations are, it's a little like some one else's family photos. Sure, they are interesting to look at for a second. You can appreciate them. But they aren't your family, so they don't mean as much to you as they do to the people they belong to. That's Will and his Legos. They will always mean more to him than to me. 

Please notice my bulletin board in the background. I have a messy small space just begging to be straightened up today. But that board? It was once going to be my center of organization. The hub of my office. Now, it is the center of my kid's artwork that they insist they made just for my space. Just for me. Most of it is Jessie's right now. So funny. My hub or organization is now just a bunch of Post-its stuck to the wall in front of me. 

It works.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Kids Who Don't Watch TV

We don't really watch TV in our house. We have Netflix movies come, and we own a ton of movies. But, we can go days without turning anything on. We aren't anti-television, per se. I would never say that TV is horrible. But, I will tell you that kids who don't have a lot of "sit down and veg out in front of the TV" (or video games) time will find a lot of opportunities to be creative. This Tee-pee built just prior to Thanksgiving? The result of no TV. That, and we have tons of scrap building materials laying around.

This creativity is great! It's awesome! It builds team work most of the time! But let me tell you what- it also builds a huge mess, all the time. That tee-pee? Before they could dismantle it, a huge wind storm with 50 mph gusts cam through and the tee-pee is no more. It is spread all over tarnation. The kids' bedrooms? DISASTROUS. A complete mine field of Legos, dirty underwear (really?!?), and socks. Clean clothes and dirty clothes mixed together. It's like the last days! It is an unnatural and unholy mess of kid debris. 

To be honest, I tolerate a small amount of mess daily. It doesn't have to be perfect. But this morning I went in to each bedroom because amazingly, no one had any clean clothes to wear, and one couldn't find her shoes. I took a good look around and made an executive decision right there: throw everything into the middle of the room. EVERYTHING. Oh, do they have some organizing to do when they get home today.

While we were in the car waiting for their "bus" (thanks Mrs. Gibson!), I told them it was time for family prayer. (We do ours in the car. Sue me.) I had just got done laying into them about helping around the house, mom doesn't get time to "play" and so forth. I told them they would be spending today, tomorrow, and Saturday cleaning up their mess on the inside and outside of the house. No Duck Dynasty episodes (we just started watching season one- so behind, I know), no movies... nothing. They were all silent. I ask Ed to say the prayer. It went like this.

"Ed, will you say the prayer?"
"I can't." He is sniffling. He had tears in his eyes. This surprised me, because while I was chewing them out, I wasn't mad or mean about it. Just very stern and serious, and they knew I meant business.
"Why can't you pray?" I ask.
"Because of what you said."
I am running my lecture through my head looking for something totally offensive or contentious that I said. I'm coming up empty. So I ask him, "What did I say?"
He sniffs again, and says, "About the cleaning! I can't clean for that long! That's just too much." 

Oh my goodness, I cracked up. Belly laughing. I am going to  convince myself that those were tears of empathy. Because I can't clean that long either! 

I love my kids. Mess and all. (They will still have to clean up though. Messiness makes me stressed out, man.)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Shhh... It's a Secret

So, here is one of my secrets.

I like to write stuff.

Ha-ha! "Stuff." That is like when you ask your kids how school was, and they are all, "Good." And that's it. Lame.

I have started writing a book. Of course I think it's pretty much garbage, and who would want to read it, any way? But started one, I have. It's about our life in the trailer and building a house. I think I can do it. I have started three other books, sort of. A churchy type book, that I quit because my voice was getting lost, and I thought, "Who am I to write a book?" I started writing a music curriculum book for grades K-4 because there aren't any decent ones out there. I have 12 lessons done, and it has taken longer than I thought. But again, "Who am I to write this book? What authority do I have?" For fun I started writing a book of silly poems to go with pictures I've taken. My kids think it's hilarious. But again, the same thing. Who am I to write that? I don't have time. It stinks. (I think it's funny. I have a hilarious poem about mustaches. And a fun one about the beach. And a catchy one about having dirt on your face. My mind is way too active, now that I think about it.)

But I have to confess that I have been told more often than not that I should write. That the words that flow from my brain to my fingertips are "good." I do have stories to tell, and this blog has been a good source of note taking. But still. Who am I?

So anyway, just thought I'd get that off my chest. I am having a hard time organizing it into a coherent structure. Maybe I'll try to publish it! If I do, anyone who reads this blog is now obligated to share it. Just kidding. I thought only my grandma read my blog, and she just passed away. Someone surprised me the other day when they said they read it. Was it cousin David? I can't remember! I think my mom might still read. (Hey, Mom!)

Anyways, other than wondering the best way to organize it all, and trying to convince myself that it is a task worth undertaking (and not quitting like the other books), some pretty funny stuff has happened in my life. Even if it wasn't funny at the time...it sure is funny now! At least, to me it is. But who am I? Just some crazy woman. No longer a girl: girls don't have gray hairs coming in. *Sigh* I am a woman now. And I'm easily amused. So my opinion on what is funny may not count.

But I thought this was funny:

Riding in the car, Will had a bendy skeleton that he was making dance and making his own music for, while we were driving to the Ward Christmas Dinner. We heard Ed bust out with, "Ease up Will! It's not Halloween, it's Christmas!" He sounded all exasperated. The next day he told Will that "Size matters not." I have no idea what they were talking about, but his wisdom and Yoda style cracked me up.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Someone, Please Locate My Brain Already!

This picture? ^^^^

I heard this on Pandora, and I liked it. Who is this Reverend Horton Heat? Is he really a reverend? Does he really smoke what he has? He has a catchy song called "Eat Steak." I'm a fan.

This week I left my purse at the church building. Didn't really realize it until the next morning.
I forgot a presidency meeting (that I scheduled and talked about THAT MORNING) yesterday.
I texted Mindi (my music teaching co-conspirator) AGAIN "What are the second graders singing for the Christmas Program?" 
I watched Kacy play in a little fifth grade basketball game, and she was actually pretty decent, all things considering. (Like it was her first real game, she had an 8th grade coach, she's timid, etc.) So now I totally want to help coach her team next year. It would be SO FUN.
Being a den leader for Cub Scouts is like herding cats.
I cannot focus today, I feel the winter fat blues coming on, and I'm a little tired. 
The snow day that was promised was a big, fat, lie. It did snow a little, but now it's just freezing cold and windy. The rain (which is awesome, don't get me wrong) washed all the snow away. 
All in all, I'm ready for some sweatpants and bedtime! 

PS- my left eye has not stopped twitching for at least a week. That is what it does when I'm stressed or whatever. 


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Brotherly Love, and I'm a HERO.

Here's a story for you: Last night we came home from Wednesday night activities. Will and Ed share a queen bed. Ed was already asleep when we got home, and when I went to go check on Will to turn out the light, Ed had a huge pile of folded blankets on his head. HUGE. FOLDED. PILE. I look at Will, squint my eyes, and say, "Did you do that?" He just starts snickering. He admits that he did. I give him a dirty look and start taking the blankets off one by one, and by the time I got to the fifth blanket, I start smiling (trying not to laugh!) because I still haven't found Ed yet. I tell Will that it's not funny, even though I think it's hilarious. I remove two more blankets and a pillow, and there was Ed: all snoring and oblivious to the fact that his brother had piled a bunch of crap on his head. 

I was like a HERO last night, saving my child from whatever disastrous consequences might happen when a huge pile of blankets and a pillow are heaped on your head all night!!! Suffocation? Sweaty head? Can a person die from their own carbon dioxide poisoning? I have no idea.