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.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


I know I'm the world's most boring blogger.

I like FACEBOOK. And INSTAGRAM. There, I said it.

I keep up on all my weirdness over there, and I LIKE IT.

I am not a blogger. I never have been, I tried once upon a time, but I never will be.

Phew. Glad I got that off my chest.

In other news: I have a car conundrum and think I have figured it out for the meantime. I need a more comfy car that seats 6, but don't want a car payment. Reason one for no car payment: I can't really afford one. Reason 2: I kind of like having things paid for, even if they are trying to fall apart on me.

So, we are going to stop neglecting my super awesome Bronco and drive that more often. Especially when we are all together.

All I want is a car that we can take trips in. Just short trips, you know? Oh, and a little elbow room. But for now...I am grateful for the cars we do have that still run...even if every single one needs some work.

And one smells like a foot. A stinky foot.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Another Flat Tire

Nothing like walking out of Music Class and having a flat tire. The perks to this flat was that it was just a nail, and I happened to have been on asphalt, so it was easy to change. I had a lug cross thread with the lug nut, which meant that I had to shear off that lug to get the spare tire off. Two really nice men tried to help me...I think they felt obligated since I was a girl with children. They ended up slowing me down...one repositioned my jack three times before he put it back where I had it...but I could see why he thought I had it wrong. Part of a trim piece was bending a bit. I pointed out that other pieces of my car are already falling off, lol. Seriously, my car. See? ⤵️

I hit 190,000 miles this week. Only 10,000 more to go! We are going to throw a party for my car when we hit 200,000 in a few months. Shouldn't be hard to do since I am already looking at multiple trips to town this week. Ed has a case of Pink Eye. Yuck.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Ed's Ear Injury

The front of the ear.

The back. His ear stuck out funny for an entire week...then slowly went back to normal.

Healing up: This was while school shoe shopping. It was discolored for awhile, and tender, but it healed up on its own.

So Ed was cleaning out our train water tender car and as he lowered himself in, he banged his head on the side of the car. It dang near took his ear off, and he was so fighting the tears. I know when it hurts Ed because he has a super high pain threshold. He was doing the whole, "Ouch! It hurts, it hurts, oh wow, my ear hurts so bad!" An hour later when he got out of the tank, I finally saw what happened and I flipped out. It was so disgusting looking. I put some ice on that thing. I texted my Aunt the nurse. "Does this need treatment?" (No.) After another two hours it doubled in size again, and the all knowing internet cautioned against developing cauliflower ear. I don't a kid deformed at the young age of 8 if a simple procedure can fix it...so I took him to Urgent Care. They gave him antibiotics, and sent us to an ENT. Jessie's ENT was on vacation, but there was one downtown that could get us in the next day.

He looked at it, and said it didn't need to be drained (the swelling had already gone down from the previous day) and sent us on our way. Whew! That was one of those "Better safe than sorry" calls on my part. We live so far away from medical care, and his ear was right on that edge of, "Is it just swollen, or does that bruising indicate a hematoma that needs to be drained to prevent cauliflower ear?" Note: cauliflower ear is common in wrestlers and rugby players, but it can form when the skin of the ear is pulled away from the cartilage. A hematoma will fill the space between skin and cartilage and then the skin will turn funky. 

Live and learn!  

Kacy For President

In May, at the end of the school year, Kacy decided to run for Student Body President. She didn't even tell me she threw her name in the hat! The school secretary told me about it!

So of COURSE I was like, "What's your plan?" And, "WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME?"

As a 5th grader, I had a feeling she wouldn't win and knew it would be a good learning experience for her. We made her buttons, and she wanted to pass out cookies. I helped her write a speech, and she used the letters of her name to deliver her message. She also used balloons. She got that idea from her cousin Spencer. It helps keep the students' attention when you pop balloons on stage. 

This was her flyer:

These are the things we had talked about together and that she wanted to change.

I have first hand reports from 3 teachers and admin that she totally campaign like I told her to. She passed out the packages, introduced herself to the kids in the older grades, and she recruited others to do the same. 

She lost to a 7th grader (soon to be 8th) by a few votes. I don't know the exact number, but apparently it was really, really close. The closest race the school has ever seen.

So, Kacy got to be a student body "Member at Large," and she was really excited because that meant she was still on the Student Council, but she didn't have to be in charge. She looked at it like an opportunity to learn the ropes and prepare for next year.

Turns out the Treasurer moved out of town, so guess who took his spot? Kacy! She gets to work with the secretary to keep track of the budget, and she is super excited to go to some Leadership Conference soon. Her best friend is the Secretary, so she is really having a good time.

Will said it was good that she was the Treasurer because you need someone trustworthy and honest to handle the money.

Jessie said when she gets to middle school, she wants to be the treasurer so she can steal all the money.

Don't vote for Jessie.

My First 10k

This was the starting line. I loved the glow bracelets and necklaces they handed out. It was fun!

This is my race bib. I came in 24/27 in my age group for my race. But you know what? I didn't even care! All I wanted to do was finish. My time was 1:16:34. Not too shabby for someone who was sick all week and had a fever of 100 while running.

I ran with Sara W. and she had a migraine. We made quite the pair, and what a debut for our first 10k. The whole time up to and after we were like, "What were we thinking?" The longest I had ever run at home was 5 miles. That extra mile does make a difference. 

The positive aspect to the race was that I didn't die, and the next week when I was healthier again, I was actually able to run at a faster pace.

Sara and I want to do another 10k. but first we want to kill a 5k. We both feel like we could train to do a 5k in under 30 minutes, easy. So there we are: that is what my next goal is.

I hit a turning point in my efforts today. Today I thought I would skip jogging because I had so much to do, but when I got home I felt like I should do it anyways...and so I did. That small change in attitude is really helping. I think I might be FINALLY getting in touch with my old self, the one who liked being active, the one who was happier with her daily dose of endorphins. I have no plans on becoming skinny again, as I have decided that is a relative term. I might be more fit looking as time goes on, but right now I am super thrilled just to have noticed an improvement in my level of fitness. 

I have to be able to keep up with my kids.

Plus, I sleep SO MUCH BETTER on days when I've been active. Sleep is very important to me right now!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A List of Things To Do

I am trying to get a bit more organized, and I need to blog about some of the following things:

Last May, Kacy ran for Student Body President.
People have had birthdays...I know it.
I ran my first 10k race...not quite at a snail's pace, and I am "just now" learning to like running again. Sort of.
First day of school.

I am sure there are more. All I know for sure is this: I am positive I have pictures to be uploaded. If you check my blog at any type of regular interval, there might be a day or two or three where there are only pictures and no words! I really, really need to put my blogging hat on on Sundays. That needs to be my day for blogging.

In other news, I am feeling slightly overwhelmed and am thinking I might need to quit something that I have committed to. The first thing that pops into my head is guitar lessons for the 5th grade at school. It is very likely the thing that will send me over the edge. Kids who aren't musical, given instruments... in a large group setting... headache!

I finally told my family about my secret, and so now I can document it here as well: I will be graduating law school this Spring. You will note a direct correlation to when I started (almost 4 years ago) and a sharp decline in my blogging (almost four years ago). I just need to make it through this last year, pass the bar in July, and then geek on my area of expertise until I get sworn in. I will be focusing on two areas of law that go hand in hand: divorces and estate planning. Crazy, I know. But I have a business plan and a marketing plan, with a ready made market of individuals...and it'll all work out. It will be an awesome career that I can do while still being home for the kids when I need to be. I will also be dumping all other law out of my head come August 1st (that is right after the Bar) so it will be useless to ask my any property question, criminal questions, or anything else. I intend to be an expert, and I will likely take out one of the two areas of practice, depending on what works best for my family and what brings a steady stream of clients and enjoyment. Now, if only time and homework would just fly by. I am tired of paying tuition and I need a new car.

My Mazda 5 has 190,000 miles on it. 10,000 more to go, and I will throw a party.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Girl's Camp 2014- And the Word of Wisdom

On our hike: the girls fell in love with the horses.

It was that time of year again...when Ryan and I dump the kids with their grandparents and head for the hills to help with Girl's Camp.

Ryan was our cook. He does a great job: the food always tastes so good. Of course, the ladies who buy it and prep it do a fabulous job, as do David and Karl and anybody else who happens into the kitchen.
The look-out point (shhh...there is cell reception here- don't tell the girls!).

Laura P. and I did certification. We worked well together- I like her! The girls seemed to enjoy it as well. We will be doing certification next year, and while this year was pretty good, we both think that next year will be even better. Last year it rained and rained...this year the weather was so perfect. Not too hot, not too cold. Kacy comes to camp next year. That will be weird! It's like a milestone. We have a kid old enough to come to camp. She wished she could go this year!

A few more things: our hike is 8.5 miles in one day. Not too shabby! The girls in general are terribly out of shape. I think it's a generational thing. PE is not really "physical" anymore. There are always a few girls who do well on the hike, but the majority are dying. 

I quit drinking sodas while at camp. I had come to a point in my life where I was consuming more Diet Pepsi than water, and that is just not healthy. I have also developed some bad nutritional habits over the last few years. I guess I can blame part of it on me being so busy with everything that I do: and I like to snack while I sit at the computer typing or while I read. But, NO MORE. As a family, we are going to try and follow the Word of Wisdom more fully. It's easy to do the "not haves" but sometimes very difficult to do the "should haves." We should be eating whole grains and fruits and veggies with a little meat. We are going to get away from refined grains as much as feasible and desirable. There are a few health things that I wonder will lessen or resolve themselves with a few of us (okay, Ed in particular!). He has sensitive skin and can't focus...and he also has visible reactions to high sugar consumption. I think I will still schedule in a monthly "waffles topped with ice-cream" for dinner night. Because it's so fun. But they will be made with whole wheat. Healthy, right? 

One hope I have for quitting soda and artificially sweetened drinks (this includes Chrystal Light/Lite type drinks) is that I think it makes me crave salty and sweet food to go with it. I never pop open a can of diet pepsi and grab some broccoli florets. I would, however, pop open a can (over ice!) and then grab some chocolate, or peanut butter, or some salty crackers and then eat in abundance. Yup...while not a completely nasty habit occasionally, my habit fell into the "more often than not" category.

The kids are worried I won't make cookies anymore. So, it's going to be a huge treat when I do! My goal is not to become some food Secret Service Nazi person...but to clean us up quite a bit. I want to grow old and be healthy, and not suffer some stomach, guts, or joint problems. I really, really believe that our diet dictates our health. And, I haven't been healthy, physically or mentally. 

Did you know caffeine makes me angry? Yup. My own anecdotal evidence tells me this. It boosts my anxiety levels "just so" and it makes me want to kick and scream really easily. I need to be more chill. So far, a week later, it is working. I figure the more time goes by, the better it will be.

Wish me luck! And wish my kids luck...they are going to eat so many healthier meals, they won't know what hit them.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Mom: An Acrostic Poem by My Children

The other night around the dinner table while Ryan was working, the kids randomly made up an acrostic of my first name. It was hilarious and flattering all at the same time. Here it is:

Awesome (Not Adorable? They said I'm not adorable. I'm way more awesome than adorable.)
Ridiculous (As in funny. I totally wanted clarification on this one.)
Expert Extraordinaire

Now, if they only knew how many other qualities I still hugely lack and am trying to work on.

So many.

And I was totally taken aback by Kacy's contribution of "invincible." I don't see myself that way AT ALL, so it was neat to see her perspective. My kids think I'm a walking encyclopedia, so the last one cracked me up. I get annoyed when they are all, "You don't know that, mom?" when I have no answer for them. I want to say, "Shut it! Holy cow, what do expect?" Lol. Anyway, I wanted to write this down so in thirty years I can look back and be all weepy about my precious children having all grown up and stuff.

Just kidding.

I want to use this as ammunition when they tell me how awful they think I am when they are 16 or 17 and I won't fund all their deepest material desires. :) How's that for awesome?

(PS- Dear Kacy, Will, Ed, and Jessie: You know I love you all.)

Knott's Berry Farm! My First Time...

Oh, it's all fun and games until you know you are going to die on a roller coaster.

See that portion of wooden monstrosity behind Amy and I in that picture? That is called "Ghostrider." It's at Knott's Berry Farm. I was all, "Hey, let's go on this wooden one. Wooden ones are really fun. It'll be like a warm-up!" 

We waited in line. We got up to the front. I watched a young boy, probably 9 or 10, get off and say, "I thought I was going to die!" His friends were all smiling and laughing and they ran off, ready for the next one. 

I thought, "Poor kid. Can't handle the roller coaster."

Then, the next car cleared of passengers, and a group of little girls with matching tee-shirts from a summer camp got off saying that was the best ride ever, and "That was SO FUN!" Again, they looked to be around 9 or 10 years old. 

Amy and I get on, buckle in, and get ready. I love wooden roller coasters! They are a little rough, but they tend to have fun ups and downs.

We take off, and on the first drop (from 118 feet...I looked it up later) I thought I was going to die. I grabbed on to Amy's arm and literally stopped breathing. You see, this roller coaster has a lot of "airtime" which I later discovered on the Internet is a roller coaster enthusiasts terminology for "butts out of seats" time. It is the weightless feeling. It is the feeling where you are pretty sure your guts are back up there in the sky, 118 feet back. This roller coaster has this "airtime" thing on 4 separate occasions! 

Turns out, I hate airtime.

You should have seen the picture they took of me. It was SO BAD that it was HILARIOUS. If I didn't know myself better, it almost looked as if I was near death, or tears, or that I was heading to my doom into a fiery pit of hell. I looked terrified. It was awful. But I couldn't stand there and check it out for long, because I was going to pee my pants. First, from the ride. Second, from laughing so hard at myself in the picture after the ride. 

I spontaneously burst into laughter the rest of the day just thinking about the look of terror on my face. If Knott's Berry Farm has some work party where they show a slide show of the most epic "worst pictures ever taken on a ride," I will be in there.

I should have started in Camp Snoopy.

What has happened to me? I "used to" do all the roller coasters, and enjoyed them. Granted, the last time I went to Magic Mountain and rode Goliath (it was new then), I thought I was going to pass out and the world got a little dark and then it was over...and I didn't love that feeling. I still went on all the classics...I have no problem going upside down...but that weightless feeling nearly put me into a mental state of permanent looniness. 

We rode other things as well, and we scoped everything out because we want to take the kids in January. We rode Coastrider (fun and a bit "leave your belly back there" just at the beginning), the log ride, the Calico Train Ride (not at all scary unless you hate mannequins and animatronics), the Dragon Swing (where while we were "up" Amy caught of glimpse of a Claim Jumper down the block, and that's where I later downed 4 cheeseburger sliders for dinner...), the "swings" like they have at carnivals (barf! Got a little sick on that one...) The Jaguar roller coaster (no sudden drops, but lots of speed and turns. We liked this one a lot and thought it would be a good introductory "real" coaster for the kids.), The Pony Express (very short...worth it if the line isn't too long)...and I think that's it! We looked at a lot of the rides, and on a Friday during summer vacation, it was a little crowded. Not Disneyland crowded where you are shoulder to shoulder the whole time, everywhere you are. Breathing room! But, there were still some lines that were fairly long to wait in, and it was hot.

Two observations: everyone there was polite. I didn't see a lot of cell phone use. No, really. I was totally surprised by the lack of cell phone use, especially while we waited in lines. It was...shocking. Also, everyone was pretty much dressed decently...I wasn't uncomfortable once with barely their clothing. I don't know why I even noticed this...maybe it's because where I live, there is a large segment of the population that dress in really, really short shorts (where you see butt cheek) and barely there shirts. Women AND men! Yikes! Also, I seriously heard two boys swear the entire time I was there. There was NO SWEARING, or people taking about how their ex did this and that...blah blah blah. I even said something about it to Amy, and then 5 minutes later those two boys behind us laced their conversation with some foul language. They stopped though...maybe because everyone around them looked at them when they did it? I don't know. I was pleasantly surprised by everyone's behavior and etiquette...but I was also kind of like, "What world am I in today?"

We are going back in January. On a school day! Yes, we will totally ditch. I'm glad I was able to go check it out WITHOUT kids before I take kids.


  • There are plenty of well placed bathrooms. It was awesome! They were clean, as well. 
  • You can bring your own water bottles in and refill them at the drinking fountain, or you can pay a small fortune for drinks there. Especially crucial in the summer when you are sweating bullets while you wait in line...drinks are important.
  • There are plenty of places to eat, if you want to sell a child first so you have enough money. No seriously, if you eat a meal in the park at a BBQ place or even Panda Express, be prepared to spend about $20 a person. Maybe more. Not likely less.The parking lot is not far away, and you can re-entry if you go out to the car to eat snacks for a few minutes. Save your meal for Claim Jumper Sliders! Yum. We had a baked potato for lunch and bought the refillable soda cups which gives you free refills for the entire day. The meal cost $36 for two. Those soda containers were handy! I did see a promotion while waiting in line for $20-something dollars person that allowed a food pass for all day pre-paid eating. So, for somewhere between 20-30 bucks a person could eat several times. I might look into this for when we go.
  • There are cubbies to stash your stuff in on the rides. I was all paranoid about someone taking my stuff...but of course no one did. 
  • The park isn't that big. It seemed overwhelming to me at first, but it really is easy to navigate. The old Ghost Town Section is fun to look at. 
  • There is lots of shade and trees. Sturdy planters to sit on if you need to eat a baked potato and the tables are kind of full.
  • It is not Magic Mountain, and it is not Disneyland. But it also isn't in the same price bracket (at all) and for that, it is perfect! You can do the whole park in the time they are open. If you want to. If you don't love the big coasters, you'll be finished even faster! But don't get me wrong. It would be a very satisfying experience for even the people who LOVE big coasters. There were a handful we didn't even go on. Amy isn't the biggest fan of roller coasters, and we were both traumatized by Ghostrider, lol. Yea...there were like 7 big ones we didn't do. There is one that I will never, ever do. And I'll never go to Magic Mountain again...because now I'm old or something! 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Ed Was Baptized

Nathan D. took this photo...and a few others...and I was talking. There were no awesome pictures of us!

On July 05, 2014, Ed was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I think he thought the most exciting thing was not wearing shoes in the church building...he kept giggling about that while he was wearing his white clothes. Sara-Jane was baptized with Ed, and he was excited to share his special day with his cousin. 

Afterwards, the entire family drove over to the dam for the annual fireworks show and BBQ. This year, the fireworks went bust when a few fell over and exploded on the ground. Then the hill caught fire a bit...and the show was over. What a bummer! The kids thought is was still cool though. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Play Ball! Reflections On the First Year of Little League

The first season of Little League is over. If I had to share advice with someone considering putting their kid in Little League, or someone who did and wasn't happy with it, this is what I would say based on what I learned over the last few months.

1.) Your kid is not a star, so the diva parent thing is a no-go. No, it's true. While your child may have talent, a natural propensity for the game, and maybe even he puts in a lot of time at home honing his skills... chances are he will not make the MLB. And guess what? This is GREAT. That means he can relax and have fun while he learns. Yes, your child should take it seriously enough so that it's not a waste of your time and gas money. But, they are just kids. If you really want to take baseball seriously, go play or something. Put your inflated sense of "When I played ball..." on a shelf somewhere. I met some diva parents. They are nice enough people. But they can be unpleasant around their child's sports events. You know you are a diva parent if your question the coach as to why your child is not in a certain position at a certain time, or you get mad at other players for messing up, or you gripe and complain about everything you see going on around you.

2.) Your ego and reputation do not hinge upon your child's batting average or awesome catches, or the lack thereof. Um, really. I want my family name to be positive in every way possible..."Hey, that Bunting kid is pretty good..." but when it comes down to it, it just doesn't matter. I would rather hear, "Hey, that Bunting kid sure tries hard..." or, "Hey, that Bunting kid is a great sport." My nine year old not having a clue how to defend home plate as a catcher does not mean I am a horrible parent, or that I am a horrible ball player. (Even if I am a horrible ball player.) This was kind of hard for me. Ryan and I truly do the whole, "We are the Buntings. We do this and that. We don't this and that." Like a family pride thing. Most of the time I see that as a positive. It became a negative for me during Little League. I had to check myself. I still do. It took me a few months, but I got over it.

3.) Kids learn so much more than we see, without us. It's okay to step back. We get so caught up in this coach doing this one thing, or not doing something how we would do it, that we are forgetting that the best thing about being on a team with a coach is that our children learn from other children, and it is great career practice to be able to take direction from people with different styles. You will love some coaches, tolerate others, maybe even wonder what they are thinking sometimes...but they are just like you, except for one difference: they stepped up to the plate and volunteered to help out. Put up, or shut up. Those kids on the field and in the dugout? They are learning all the time. Unless a coach is verbally abusive, let it be. Know why? When your super star does make college ball or the MLB, the last thing you are going to do is correct the coaches and managers. It's hard to cut those proverbial apron strings. Practice now.

4.)Every game is a good game. Lower your expectations. Trust me. The game becomes a lot more fun when you expect them to lose, but encourage them to play and have FUN anyways. Even if the umpire makes a wacky call...so what? It's not like there is some permanent record that follows your kid around to college that says he struck out on Saturday the 8th @ 11:32am when he was 12 years old.

5.) Let the kids be kids. We want our children to do the best they can in everything they do... being a good citizen, getting good grades... and being a good ball player is no different. But think way back to your second, fourth, or sixth grade year of grammar school. You were clueless. Let your children be clueless, too. If you choose to work with them at home, great. But if you suck the fun out of it, they'll quit before you know it. Then you'll be watching other people's children play.


I write that based mostly on the last two weeks of the Allstar tournament. My expectations didn't match what I saw. I got a little frustrated with it, at first. But then, a wonderful thing happened. I stopped caring! It was so much more fun when we were getting our fannies whipped by the Tehachapi team. We lost like 21-3 or something. Which is better than what I had heard...at the second inning I swear I heard that the score was 32-3! I knew it was going to be tough for Will, with his lack of experience and his social shyness. He was intimidated by the older boys and the new coaches. He didn't play catcher once in any practice, so he was out of his knowledge and comfort zone. He did volunteer to catch several times, but was always turned down. In one of the tournament games he volunteered to warm up a pitcher out on the field, and they let him. Of three pitches, he caught two, and dropped one. Did I care? Not really. I was thrilled though, because he didn't give up. The tournament was so different than our really "happy" experience during regular season. Not that it was so awful, but it definitely had a different feel to it. The little boys were all kind of depressed. Hey- it was like being a freshman in high school! It stinks to be the little guy. Once I realized there was only four of them, I knew it was going to be that way, and I thought I was okay with it. It hurt my pride a little though. But you know what? Every game is a good game. Any time Will gets to play and practice is a good thing, because he is always learning something.

Did I struggle with my advice above? Actually, at times, I did! I can be all like, "Don't tarnish the family name!" Lol. Mostly with the quit attitude...Bunting's never say die. Wait, that's the Goonies. Same thing, though. Did I sometimes think Will should be better than he was? Yup. I found myself wondering, "Why can't he just catch that?" or, "When will he get the whole batting thing down?" The parents during regular season were all pretty great. The only parental complaint I heard was about the weather. I got to be around Allstar parents this month. They were different. I complained to Cori in Bakersfield, whose boys play ball there, and she patiently said that my experience sounded perfectly normal to her for Allstars. Which cracked me up. It made me feel better. Cori and I are similar in that we don't get worked up about stuff very often, so it was nice to have someone as a sounding board. After being frustrated after the first two practices, she didn't judge me, and made me feel normal. I learned very quickly that sometimes it is the nature of the game, and that the GAME is a lot more fun when you lower your expectations!

I will not lower my expectations of having Will try hard, hustle, be respectful, and be a good sport, but when I stopped worrying about him, I enjoyed the game. When I let go of the responsibility of his feelings and attitude, I enjoyed the game. It is hard to watch your kid be upset with disappointment because he feels like the worst player on the team. But it is wonderful, when two days later after losing yet AGAIN, he says, "I had a lot of fun today. I got to bat, and I got to play right field for two innings. It was fun."

That's the point, isn't it? To have fun?

And speaking of fun...I am seriously thinking about volunteering as as assistant coach for the minors. I had such a good time working with the boys at practice. And, I like to think I have a talent for making learning kind of fun... so I could totally be practicing with the outfield while others are batting, and you can catch us listening to appropriate music (my kid baseball playlist, anyone? Hello, Elvis.), singing, and playing ball. They would have so much fun, they wouldn't even realize they were doing drills. Only problem is...I kind of need a coach. Who wants me?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

I Love Music!

Hahaha... while I really do enjoy music...playing, singing, and especially listening to it...

...I do especially love it when your 8 year son figures out the theme song to the LOTR movies on the piano and plays it over, and over, and over again.

I say it's the Lord of The Rings theme song because he tells me it is. I never really listened to the movie song that closely.

I do love it when he busts out into song at random moments though. Gotta love Ed!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Just real fast...

It's my birthday. Yay me. We went for a hike, which was awesome. We have practice. Laundry, dishes, meals to make... same ol' same ol', except now I am officially older. But, I'll write more on that later.

Will isn't really enjoying Allstars. Neither are we. I still think it's great practice for him. Found out the only reason there are four 9 year olds on the 9/10 team is to make the team legal for the tournament. In larger areas, their is the 6-8 year olds, 9-10, and 11-12's or something like that. Not here, because there aren't enough boys. So basically, he is a filler spot. There has been a bit of politics, too. Not that big of a deal, but it's still painful. I keep reminding Will (and myself) that he only started in the middle of March. Three months ago we bought him a glove and some balls. We were not a baseball family (who had the time?), so he is still doing well considering. But, he is definitely not the best on the team by any means. I was talking to the first baseman's mom and asked how long he had been playing...7 years. Yikes. The great thing that has come out of this? Our whole family is a little more active because of it. We play "Pickle" together. Ryan and Will spend time together. Ed is determined to master a skill and play next year. He will be SO FUNNY. I have a hard time picturing him playing right now. He'll be a great daisy picker...

I just took a quiz to find out which "Golden Girl" I am. I'm Sophia. The old one. Hahaha! I love her.

My guitar skills are...well, let's just say I'm working on building up my callouses. And, I tried "La Cucaracha" for Will. I'm teaching my "Peace in the Valley" by Elvis. It's been 6 days since I started, and this is where I need to be patient with myself. I get frustrated trying to change chords and having to take forever to do that. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

I am training for a 10k and need to lose a little weight. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Life Lessons

One, Kacy and I are going to a free guitar workshop at the library today to begin to learn how to play. I also asked FIL (father-in-law) David (dad#2) to teach me. I will learn how to play this summer. I don't aspire to anything great...I just want to be able to strum chords and do little sing-a-longs with the kids at school. Plus, the school has some guitars, and I would like to pass whatever I learn along to the kids.

Two, Will's Allstar experience is great. He is one of four minor league players brought up with the younger 10 year old "big boys." He is not going to get to play catcher. They already have three boys who are pretty good. He was playing first yesterday, and he wasn't horrible! Lol. Hey, lets be honest here, the boy just started playing in the middle of March of this year. No catching or batting practice or anything, so the mere fact that he is playing on the Allstars is great for him. We have no great aspirations (delusions) for him playing MLB or even college ball. My goal for Will is to learn how to practice something, train, be disciplined, work as a team, and have fun. He is going to learn a lot in the next two weeks. He has some good coaches right now, and I like how they teach him. Part of me wants to say, "Hey, this is his first year, just so you know." Then the other part says, "What difference does it make? He made it this far..." The coaches know we won't be playing on Sundays, which probably won't be a big deal anyways because we play Tehachapi first, and they have a reputation for being awesome. They have a large pool of boys from which to choose, lol. So, if we lose the first game, we don't play again until Monday.

Three, Operation Do Your Chores is starting to pay off. We rotate a chore every week, and the kids are getting used to the idea, and they are getting better at it. So nice. I refuse to do the dishes this summer. I still have to help Jessie with her chores, and Ryan banished Ed from using the vacuum due to some wacky and dangerous maneuvers he performed once, but all in all, it is going well. Always room for improvement though!

Four, apparently I made the newspaper again with my picture in it. Again, I look mean. I will have to buy a copy and post it. My thinking face is also my mean face. Better than a silly grin though, I guess. I don't know if I would trust a board member who had a fake, empty smile stuck on her face. That's what I'm telling myself. I'm garnering my reputation for being "serious."

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I took this picture...

Because I think this is funny. That is my brother Steven's arm and goatee hair in the background.

Steven's girlfriend is expecting identical twins this fall. She finds out soon whether they are boys or girls. Steven in the last "Sorensen" in the line, so my mom would like them to be boys. Me? I don't care one way or the other. At this point in my life, I have come to view all births a miracle, so I just hope they are healthy. And, that Steven and Ashley stay together and are happy together. I tell you what, I'm about depressed with divorces and separations and broken families. It hurts. Anyways, it'll be fun (and confusing) to have two little identical kids around. If they are boys, they are thinking of the names Zander and Zane. If they are girls, they are thinking Kendall and Kelsey (Kelsi?). Having more K names would be hilarious! 

This dog cracks me up. It is so clingy with Steven. My dad has Henry the brown weenie dog that follows him everywhere. Steven has MooCow. I have big ol' dirty Pearl, who wishes she could follow me around in the house, lol. I don't love dog dirt in the house, though. We need grass, that way she (and the kids) can stay cleaner when they do go outside. Then maybe she can come in more. 

Although, she LOVES to come in in the afternoons to nap. Lazy dog.

Wait. I like to nap sometimes, too. Nah- she's still lazy. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Epitome of Random Blogging: Kids, Smoothies, Trains, and Cold Rooms

This week we acquired an old railroad water tender car thing a ma do. This is a shot of the kids on top of it. I just love these kids, and this candid picture Ryan took just cracks me up. Their personalities show through this shot. Jessie is trying to find her place in the family. She can finally read (she has been waiting forever), and she alternates between feeling like she's big and grown up, and wanting to be my baby girl. In Home Depot we made a trip to the bathroom together, and we held hands as we walked down the aisles. As we got closer to the bathroom, she said, "This is like the good old days when it was just me and you. The kids would go to school, and we would hang out and make cookies and stuff. We should do something together, just me and you."

We need to make cookies, and SOON. My baby girl needs some mom time!

 Can I just say it was smoking hot the day we got it? Ryan worked out in the heat all day, and then the next day while we were putting in the just the right spot, we all got a little sun in just an hour! For some reason the boys want to climb into it and clean it out so badly. I keep talking to them about "priorities," and how their priorities involve cleaning their bedroom, and the family goal of getting some refrigeration for our food.

I have been without a fridge since April 30. This has happened before. Two years ago it happened, and I can honestly say I'm not as patient as I was before. Buying ice is expensive. Using two liter bottles of ice I can freeze in the big freezer is "okay" but doesn't really work that well. Finding leftovers all soaked in water stinks. Gratefully, we went to the Home Depot and got some supplies for our cold room. The door is installed already, but it leads to the outside porch right now. 

I want refrigeration. 

In other news...I planted some more baby trees that didn't look so good in their pots and within the week I can see new growth. Those babies just needed some room to grow! I think I will plant some more tomorrow. 

I exercised yesterday. Nobody panic! The world is not coming to an end, nor did Hell freeze. I have made a great discovery, and it is this: if I do not get some physical exercise in my day, I do not sleep well. This can lead to a vicious cycle of no sleep- no exercise.

Oh- and I make the BEST smoothie protein shake in the world according to my tastes. I look forward to getting my PB2 so it cuts back on the calories. For now I mix some milk, ice, a Carnation Instant Breakfast packet (vanilla), 2 TBSP whey protein powder, and a scoop of peanut butter in the blender. I also add some Fiber One cereal and ice. Tasty. I went for a dessert shake today and added Nutella and PB chips. 

Happiness is sucking up a piece of PB chip through your straw.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


This GIRL. I'm pretty sure she is partially deaf right now.  We have an appointment next week with the ENT. We were hoping to avoid another set of tubes in her ears, as she has had three already. At the last visit, Dr. saw slight improvement with fluid going away, and she is right on that age bubble where if a kid is going to outgrow tubes, the time is now.

But I think she will need another pair. Hopefully, her last.

She is a firecracker. That is the polite way to say that she can be a pain in the butt. She is spirited, and that spirit can be awesome to watch from a distance, but annoying if you are on the receiving end of it. 

She is VERY social. She talks to random kids in the park and makes friends easily. She hated 90% of her kindergarten classmates, but loved her first grade classmates. She had been attending the first grade class for 75% of her day (along with four other Kindergartners) since after Christmas vacation. In May, her two teachers and I decided to try her out in first grade full day. She passed all the end of year first grade benchmarks with a 90-100% average. So, with her desire to be all scholastically inclined, plus her social issues with the kids in Kindergarten (this was a huge motivating factor for me...much more so than the academics), this girl is going to second grade next year. This allows her to keep on keeping on with her school work, AND she will be with her friends and peer group all day. 

And, it allows her to be a Freshman in high school while Ed is a Sophomore and Will is a Senior. At first I was like, "Oh. good. The boys can watch out for her and protect her." Now I'm like, "Oh, good. The boys can spy on her and make sure she behaves!" 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Ed is 8!

This kid is now 8. 

Oh, how I love him.

Sure, he still eats like a caveman, and is the most aloof person I know. Sure, I sometimes wonder if he is a total weirdo because he is forever talking to himself, muttering things to inanimate objects.

"Hey, Ed! Were you just talking to that tree?"


Some things about Ed: He is VERY loving. He does very well in school, and according to his teachers, it is without effort. But, he doesn't do anything "extra." He's good with what is required. He wants to be a mad scientist when he grows up. He is fascinated with dead animals and their parts. In just the last few months he has had a bird heart in his pocket, followed by a dead lizard, and a dead mouse he was saving for later in his hygiene bag. He is begging me for a pet. He doesn't care which kind, but he needs an animal to take care of. His favorite food is chicken legs with a side of macaroni and cheese. He hates pot roast. He loves to read silly books, and LOVES to watch the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. (He loves Star Wars, too. Those take second place.) His favorite color is orange, and he owns three orange tee shirts that he rotates through the week. He loves his bow tie he got a few years ago for his birthday. He still wears it and prefers a bow tie to a regular tie. He loves his mom. He has a hard time being hungry. He must be fed at all times. He has a great singing voice, and he considers whistling to be his best talent. His favorite sibling to hang out with is Kacy, because they "talk together a lot." (Let's face it: Will is great to play with, Jessie is Jessie, so if a guy needs to talk, Kacy is your girl.) Ed loves bacon. He wants to play baseball next year. He has a kind heart. I no longer worry about losing Ed (so much). 

All in all, he is a great kid, and he can't wait to be baptized with his cousin Sara-Jane.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Online Images

I started thinking today. Not like, "I have never had a thought before, and today I began!" But rather, I started thinking about online images. Online perceptions. Online personas.

Facebook and Instagram. No one ever posts a selfie where they look like crap. I guess we save that for our friends to do? No one ever posts about the horrible, rotten, no good, very bad day they are having. Occasionally I catch a glimpse of realness. I can think of one person I am friends with on the ol' Facebook who keeps it real.

Do I keep it real? Do I only post those things and photos that make me seem awesome-ish?

I'm not sure. I know I do about 10 weird things a day, and since school is out, that will go up to 15 because the kids are around me more.

I know I can also be incredibly boring. Hello, laptop and typing stuff. How do you do? I know I am a mediocre cook. I really prefer Ryan to cook for me, but I never post pictures of the meals he creates for me. (Too busy enjoying them?)

It is interesting that sometimes people perceive others based on what they post online. Always smiling in your daily selfies? You must be super happy. (And confident with your face.) Only post pictures when you are out and about in fun places like the beach or Hawaii? You must have the time and money to travel, and enjoy it. (And your home life is so boring or your house is messier than you like so no photos there.) Post pictures of all the beers you drink? You must like beers...and maybe you are a lush.

See how that works? So, now that I'm thinking of this, it makes me want to go through my Instagram photos and see if there is a theme, and if it accurately depicts who I am. Or at least, who I think I want to be.

For example, while I shot a rattle snake and chopped off its head with a stupid blunt shovel, AND cut off its rattler with a hatchet, I STILL NEVER TOUCHED THE SNAKE. So some people think it was kind of "tough" of me to do that, and part of me what like, "Look what I did! Who would have thought I could do THAT?" another part of me was remembering my tough grandmas, and thinking women do this thing all the time in one of my circle of friends, and really...what am I trying to say by posting this picture?

I took a picture of my boys engrossed in observing this easy science experiment they did. I posted it, with the idea that 1) both my boys were it in, and I love teamwork, and 2) if anyone else I know was interested in doing it, I would share the recipe. (I get lots of ideas from social media, and I appreciate it.)

But then, I MAYBE over-analyzed it. I thought maybe my picture gave off an aura of "Look what a great mom I am, making my kids be smart and do homework over the summer." That 20 minutes might make some think I have it all together and that I am THAT MOM. When I am not.

I am that same mom who makes her kids wear dirty socks when they can't find clean ones. I feed them boxed mac n cheese sometimes, and call that a meal. (No veggies. No protein. Maybe soda as a drink!) I let my kids watch a movie or two every day during summer. I yell at them to clean their rooms. Sometimes I wish I had a cattle prod to give them that little "poke" when they ignore me.

Anyway, what I think I am trying to say, is that I hope my pictures and posts don't paint an image of me that isn't accurate. Since I don't post my running times and distance, I'm pretty sure my online image is spot on. Because I don't run, so...

But I do get excited about certain foods, laugh at some things my kids say and do, and I do have random semi-entertaining stuff happen almost every day!

Up next today: baseball game and a crock pot chicken dinner. Except for the fact Cousin Jimmy let me borrow his super fancy long lens (EEEKKK! I am SO EXCITED about that!), it's just another normal day.

I'll post any good pics later. (Q: But will people think I think I'm a photographer?!? A: I'm not sure I care!)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Little League 2014

This is Will's first season of baseball, and he volunteered to be catcher. At first, I was like, "But honey, you can't catch!" However, the boy has improved by leaps and bounds. He is actually a pretty good catcher now, all things considered. Next year he moves up to the "majors" and will be catching with a real pitcher and not a pitching machine. His eye for the ball has developed, and he is hungry to tag someone out at home. Oh, and at his first game as catcher he just sat idly by, holding the other team's bat for them while the runner ran around the bases. He had no idea that home was his. Anyway, we all love to watch him play. I love the fact that it gives Ryan and Will a chance to hang out and do stuff they like to do together. Ryan is a good coach. 

My favorite thing about Little League so far is watching how much each boy has improved. We cheer so hard for that boy who struck out every practice and every game for the first month when he finally makes contact and gets on base. And the smile on their face when they do this is just too much for me to handle. It literally makes me so happy to see boys (anyone, really) practice and work hard and see progress. I love it.

Ed wants to play next year. He's so goofy, it'll be interesting to see what he does. Case in point: he has been known to have harbored no less than 4 dead animals or animal parts in his pockets this month, and today he found a rock to bring home from school. The rock is the size of a basketball and weighs 40 pounds, but he said it might contain gold, so he brought it home. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Occupation Question

Occupation: Mom
Employer: My Family

I am a mom. I'm a whole bunch of other things, too. But, over the last decade, the bulk of my time has been mothering my four children. Some days have seen me as the best mom ever. Other days didn't end soon enough and I was the worst mom ever.

Here I sit, having just filled out a Little League volunteer application. I have to fill this sheet out if I want to step any part of my body in the dugout or field, which I understand. They want to make sure I'm not a creeper. I support this background check 110%.

I started filling out the form. Name and address? Check. Birthday? Hey, I know that! And then shortly below my email address is the line of confusion.

It simply says “Occupation.” With a little blank line after it.

What do I write? Unemployed is the first answer that pops into my head, because I earn zero dollars and have no “boss” and I don't have to keep track of my time. Then I snort in contempt at that last thought, because like a bad 1983 music video, the faces of my family fade in and out of focus over my head. It's not because Ryan and kids are bossy. Not at all. In fact, when the rubber meets the road, I am very much the boss. And, I'm scarily good at it. If I were to suddenly die, from an overdose of cookies maybe, my entire family would fall apart. Who would find their socks? Who would make them cookies? Make sure the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed?

And while finding clean socks for everyone sounds trite, everyone is always so grateful for those socks when I do find them.

Occupation: Master Sock Finder

No. Because I do so much more than that. I don't get paid. I have plans to enter the paying work force within the next two years. But even when I have a title again, which will come first?

I first ran into this conundrum four year ago while filling out an election packet when I ran for a seat on the school board. I could use three words under my name on the ballot to describe what I do. Mom? The election board suggested “homemaker.” The word homemaker and I have never gotten along so well, because I'm not very good at fulfilling the picture of a homemaker in my head. I tried “retired teacher.” The elections office looked at my age and said I was too young to be retired. They said “educator” would work. I choose two describing words for the ballot: educator and parent.

Except I had them put parent first.

But sometimes I wonder: What will the people who read my little application see the word “mom” as my occupation think?

Will they know that I can perform both mundane and routine tasks for years on end while simultaneously find creative ways to motivate my crew? Will they recognize that I can both focus solely on one person's problem, or I can multitask the issues of many, oftentimes mitigating conflicts between my kids? There are so many other great “work related” skills I have developed holding the title of “mom.”

My Facebook job description says “CEO of Home.” Because I am. I am very much the CEO of this little corporation that is our family. I manage the income and the outcome. I invest our money. I consult with my co-director and the shareholders on a regular basis concerning the path we are taking and to check to see if we are meeting our family goals. I make sure the underlings are being trained to someday manage their own corporations. If I fail, the corporation would likely implode, and that I cannot bear to think of.

I am happy to be a mom. Sometimes it gets old and sometimes it is head banging against the steering wheel disastrous. Other times it is hysterically funny and heartwarming. I have truly, truly enjoyed and have been grateful for my full time mothering years, and I can see a transition happening. All the kids are in school now. I will never not be a mother, but the job is changing as the kids get older. This is neither extremely exciting nor depressing in the least. It is the natural progression of things, and I do love progress.

But still it nags me. The “occupation question.” Maybe instead of asking what we do, there should be a question asking who we are. Because I'm pretty sure we are all more than a title.  

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Little League Tryouts

Will had little league tryouts yesterday. He did awesome for not ever having played before. It was simple: three pitches with the machine, three grounders, and three pop flys. He'll be playing with the pitching machine...can't wait to watch his progress!

I hope they sell hotdogs at the games.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

I just had a crazy idea. Like, one of those ideas that gets you all excited, but requires effort, but could be fun...and so you start with step one and two, and remember you had this idea before, but never carried it out because of all the negative thoughts in your head...

And, cue the big deep breath and take a chill pill.

I will consult my inner circle and give it some time. Then, if it's not totally whacked out, I will share.

Hmmm... all because I want to make a little money, money, money. Even if it's not about the money, money, money. (That's a song.) 

And, since I'm pretty sure I wrote a book, I need a platform from which to sell it. And since I kind of started a music curriculum, that needs a platform, too. Crazy, right?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Well, well, well...

Lookey here!

It's been a whole month since I've visited my own blog. No surprise there, right?

Been up to: stuff. Normal, everyday, stuff. Most days end with, "What exactly did I accomplish today?" thoughts. Most days start with, "Here we go again!"

I did get a pantry. It's pretty awesome to have storage space for food. Now I feel like I need to stock it all up though.

I went to Costco and spent WAY too much money. I have have large amounts of ketchup, mustard, and chocolate chips in my pantry! You know, the "essentials."

I keep not buying bread products, telling myself that I'll make them all. And, it'll be wonderful. Instead, I end up throwing whatever I can find into the kids lunches, or telling them "we don't need bread." When, in fact, "we" do.

Ryan has been low carb dieting and he looks great! I tried low carb dieting and the only thing that happens to me is that I get sick to my stomach and super-duper grumpy.

I have been writing. I think I wrote a book. Whether it's any good or not, I have no idea. A couple of parts make me crack-up, which I realize is sad. I literally crack myself up, and I usually do this over things other people around me don't find humorous. I'm going to send it to my editor shortly. "Editor?" you say? Yes. My cousin has a Master's in English or something, and I only dabble in the stuff. So, after I red-ink it up myself, she said she would proof-read it and mark it up for me. Because I need help.

Today I have a fever. Mild, but a fever and sinus thing nonetheless. I don't feel awesome.

Good news: Jessie may NOT have to have more tubes put in her ears. She responded to medication slightly this last ear infection. It's only been like 8 months or something since she had them in last, and they are already out. Because of her age and because they got slightly better, Dr. said we could wait a month to see. Bad part: three days later she came up to me in her classroom and said her ear popped and it hurt. :( She likely had a burst eardrum again, but I won't know because even if she did, there is nothing a Dr. can do about it. So I gave her meds at home, and her pain wasn't severe anyway.

I want a gun. I also want a car. I could say I NEED BOTH. Like, I "need" to be able to protect myself when I'm out and about in the wilderness taking walks with Pearl. And, my car is SO UNCOMFORTABLE it is ridiculous. Still driving the Mazda. I kind of pride myself on driving a car that is almost 6 years old and currently has 174,000 on it. Maybe I'll just clean it really well and try to get the foot smell out of it. And, I'll get new back hatch struts so I can access the back easier. Still...and Expedition would be lovely. Too bad I don't have $30,000 to go buy one. A new one costs much more than that, but I kind of refuse to pay full price for a car. I did for the Mazda, and it's been great for what it is. I put every mile on this thing. But, I don't feel comfortable taking it farther than the big city. And my butt protests that far, because it was made for short trips. I just need to find 30 grand somewhere.

Maybe I can sell the book I wrote! That would do it. I wonder if I could sell enough copies over the next year to do that? That would be awesome.

Ryan got his transfer to Mojave. He's super excited. The kids are plugging away at school, and they are enjoying it. All of them. This is a good thing.

I am thinking about taking up running again, like I did once upon a time. But, I was reading a bunch of my old Facebook posts, and apparently I think about running often. But I never actually do it. There are common threads in my life: kid funnies, kid frustrations, cookies, peanut butter, and how I should exercise. Hey- at least I'm consistent. I guess.

I'm going to go take a nap now. It's almost 9am. I think I'll stick all my blankets in the dryer and warm them up first. That sounds cozy!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

One Hour-ish Bread

I got this recipe from the Internet, somewhere. If I come across it again, I'll post who gets credit for it. I've only ever made up one recipe in my entire life...and this isn't it.

But, it's fast, easy, and delicious. You can sub whole wheat flour for white, and I when I do that, I sub 3 cups whole wheat with 2 cups white. Great texture that way.

Mix these dry ingredients (I use my stand mixer with a dough hook): 5 1/4 Cups flour, 1/4 Cup sugar (or honey), 1/2 Tablespoon of salt, 1 1/2 Tablespoons yeast.

Stir those up for a minute, and then add 2 Cups hot water (not too hot...you don't want to kill the yeast), and 3 Tablespoons oil. I get my hot tap water and then add the oil in with it before I pour into the mixer. Turn the mixer on while adding it, and just pour it in a steady stream while mixing.

Mix for 5 minutes. If your dough is wet and not forming a ball, add more flour, a little bit at a time. If it's not coming together into a ball because it's all powdery up in there, add a teensy bit more of hot water. I add this tip because in the summer when the coolers are on, our humidity level in the house is a lot higher than in our extremely dry winters. Sometimes I have to add more flour. Sometimes it's just right. If I have to add more water, that probably means I measured wrong.

Anyway, mix for 5 minutes, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and pretend to knead it. It's mostly kneaded by the mixer at this point, really. Shape it into two loaves, place in sprayed loaf pans, cover, and put in a warmish place. In the winter, that usually means the inside of one of my cars. Let rise for 25 minutes. While it's rising, turn your oven on to 350 degrees (325 for a convection).

Take off the plastic wrap and bake for 25 minutes (18 convection...and remember to cover with foil the first ten minutes). I always check on my baked good about five minutes before they are supposed to be "done." When I use my convection, it's earlier...that thing cooks fast.

OPTION: add vital wheat gluten if you have some. I use a quarter cup or so...when I have it. The last six months I've been without and the bread is still great. I get VWG from the bulk bins at Winco. This was not in the original recipe, but is my own tweak.


5.25 cups flour
.25 cups sugar
1/2 Tbsp salt
1.5 Tbsp yeast
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Cups hot water

Mix dry ingredients. Add oil and water. Mix 5 minutes. Spray bread pans with nonstick cooking spray, add shaped dough into pans. Cover and let rise about 25 minutes. Bake at 350 for 25 (regular oven...convection do 325 for about 18 minutes and cover with foil the first 10 minutes or so).

Friday, January 10, 2014


A whole week went by, and here it is, Friday again. Funny how that happens.

It was the first week back to school... and it was just "okay." For all of us. Just when I got my house all spic and span...we started some construction projects. All projects are majorly awesome, by the way. I'll post a whole bunch of photos when we are finished. The projects are baseboards and window trim, trim around the stove (if you can call 6x6 posts trim...that seems pretty hefty for trim), a finished TV wall, and a finished pantry! Woo-hoo!

Today Will came in from outside with a parrot stand that he made himself. Wood scraps and some nails...and it's totally self standing and looks LIKE A PARROT STAND.

We don't have a parrot.

Jessie told a boy in her class that he was going to be arrested this weekend because he wasn't doing what she told him. He was scared. Jessie is a "table leader" and also a tyrant, I guess. I reassured him that he was not going to be arrested this weekend, or ever. Then I leaned into Jessie and whispered in her ear that if she ever said anything like that again to anyone, I would take her outside and spank her butt.

And then, after five minutes, she started to cry. So I went back over to her table and asked her what was wrong...and she was worried that I was mad at her. To which I replied, "I'm not mad at you. I am unhappy that you told him he would be arrested. That's not true, and you shouldn't threaten people with that. Just don't say it again, and it won't be a problem." Then I gave her a hug and we called it good.

Okay. I gotta go cook dinner before the family revolts. I don't wanna be in trouble. I might get arrested!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

I'm Fancy! (And gift cards are the best!)

Look at those aqua gel nails! 

Here's the scoop: I've never had gel nails before. I usually do my own nails, which means they are either bare or chipped up in differing shades of dark purple or bright green. My mom got me a gift card to the nail-doing place, and instead of saving it for a summer pedicure like I usually do, I went in there, got my eyebrows waxed, and asked for a manicure.

I don't like the nail place. I mean, I like this one: it's clean and stuff. They do a good job. But I feel so out of place there. It was like an alien planet, and I was fascinated with the fake fingernail process going on around me. I found out I can't just sit there for an hour while someone does my nails. Seriously- what a time investment for those ladies! I went in there with my chipped up polish on, and the girl gets out what looks like a Dremel tool with a sanding head on it. I say, "I don't want fake nails." I was a little panicky. She said something about gel nails, and I was like, "No, just a regular old manicure. Wait. How much is gel polish?" It was $25 and totally within my gift card, so I went for it. I had about 250 options of colors and styles, and when in doubt, go with the color of your first car, right? Aqua it is. I am so curious to see how long this lasts...and if it lasts a month or more, I could get into it. Like, I could save up $25 a month to have my digits look put together! Maybe. And I'm still tripping out about the Dremel and the Easy Bake oven with the lights that you stick your hand in. I do LOVE how the polish is all dry when you are finished. I hope I didn't ruin my nails by doing this type of polish.

At least I knew no one was talking about my feet. I don't understand the workers when they launch into their native language, but I get all insecure that they are secretly making fun of my feet. Or saying something like, "She's so gross! There is this hairy patch on around her ankle she forgot to shave!" Plus, pedicures just tickle too much. I'll just do those myself at home.

I was able to meet Amy for lunch yesterday...also on a gift card! How sweet is that? I haven't seen the girl forever! It was a good visit. We need to get together more often. 

I went to Target and shoe shopped. I know what I want, and they didn't have what I liked. That's okay. I'm thinking I'll just order some Converse All Stars online. Target had Converse One Stars,  and I have to say, they were a little different. I don't know what it was. They were a good price, but they were... different. My Vans are looking dirty and trashed. My slip on Mocks from LLBean are awesome, but sometimes I was something a little more dressy. (Yes, I think Converse are dressy. Plus, they are an athletic shoe. So I can launch into a sprint really easily if I need to...)

I was so girly yesterday! Sure I felt out of place getting my nails done, and sure I was in the men's department looking at shoes. But I did it. 

And at least my nail polish isn't looking so horrible anymore. I'm so curious to see how it wears off...

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

I love the New Year. I think it's because I'm a goal oriented type of person, or maybe I like official "start" dates. But one thing I do know, it that I love the New Year! It's a time to:

-reflect on everything that has happened and how far we've come

-look ahead and see all the options before us, and decide where we want to go

-organize some stuff

-count your blessings of the past year

-forge a path for the new year

Yup, that's me. A path-forger.

Not really. And looking back over the years at this blog, I have realized I have set many goals and have had many ideas. A lot of them were quit...sewing business anyone? Hello! I don't even remember how to use my serger. Reality sometimes bites me in the butt and reminds me of what is really important, and I think in my sleep deprived younger motherhood years I wanted to be ambitious and do it all. Now I know I can't. And, that some talents are easier than others...and let's face it, I'm an ever-evolving person who is still finding her niche in life. I think I've got it, and it only took about 15 different people over a few years to repeatedly remind me of some things.

Here's to a New Year!

Fun Conversation of the day:

Jessie (age 5 1/2) was picking at her big toe nail. I ask her, "Are you picking your toe nail?"
"Eww. That's gross," is my reply.
"Well, at least it's not with my mouth."

She's a little gross. She's also the one who saw my tile scrubber in my shower and asked if that was "a special scrubber for Dad, so he can clean his hairy armpits?"