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, 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!