Friday, December 13, 2013

Photo dump

I'm avoiding cleaning and the children, so here are some pictures for you.

 That one time there was a dead baby mouse on the floor.

That one time I tried to take a picture on the first day of school.

That one time Ethan accidentally wore his sister's too small, flare-legged pants to school.

That one time the mangiest looking cat ever came to live with us.

That one time my cousin came to visit from Georgia.

That one time we carved pumpkins.

 That one time the puppy snuck in with the kittens.

That one time my VMars Kickstarter supporter t-shirt finally came in the mail!

That one time the rabbits were almost burned alive.

That one time I tried to take a decent picture at the Halloween carnival.

That other time I tried to take a decent picture at the Halloween carnival.

 That one time my husband looked extra manly, trying to feed a dying kitten.

That one time the kitten looked dead, but wasn't dead, but then later was actually dead, but I didn't take a picture of that.


That one time I asked Tyler to get me some potatoes.

That one time Emma was super cute while she was sleeping.

That one time Spud was super cute while he was sleeping.

That one time Kylee was playing with my phone.

That one time my husband was covered with animals and looking extra manly again.

That one time the cat was hiding, probably from the children.

That one time we needed an exorcist because I swear the devil was possessing Trysta.

That one time it was super cold and there was like an inch of ice on the inside of our window.

P.S. In case it sounded like I was being sarcastic about my husband being manly, I was not. There is nothing sexier than a man taking care of a baby animal!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Cat poop

Oops, slacked off with the blogging again!  At least I have a valid excuse this time.  Since I last wrote we have acquired a plethora of cats, one of which has brand new kittens, which means she is living in our laundry room.  Since acquiring said cats, we have also acquired several piles of poop on the carpet and a vet bill for de-worming and antibiotics.  Good times! 

On the bright side, Jezebel (the cat with the kittens who I've been wanting to steal from my mother-in-law) straight up put the dog in his place.  We usually keep the door to the laundry room and the downstairs closed, but there are six kids, so shiz happens.  Anyway, Stryder managed to make his way through the door that had been left wide open, and discovered his worst nightmare in the form of a mama cat.  When I found him, he was hiding under the bed downstairs, whimpering, and Jezzie was standing guard, not letting him out.  He didn't think it was so funny, but I did!  I feel like this was payback for when he got out and went after the rabbits and I managed to scrape up my arm up trying to get him away.  My arm is now lovely shades of yellow, brown and red.  For the record, it's probably not a good idea to get your arm caught between a large dog hyped up on rabbit fumes and an old, wooden rabbit hutch.  Or any kind of rabbit hutch, for that matter.

Ethan's birthday party plans are coming right along.  I have acquired one decoration and thought about the menu.  Last minute frantic party planning is what motherhood is all about though, right?  I still have several days, so I'm sure something will come together.  In the meantime, I'm trying to get the house clean in anticipation of my parents' arrival on Saturday.  I know they couldn't care less what the house looks like, but I feel like I should at least clean up the animal feces.

Oh hey, in super exciting news, I managed to get the kids on the bus (and one on his way to school with his dad since he couldn't find his shoes in time) without yelling once.  Bam!

Friday, September 20, 2013

It's all in how you look at it

Over the last few months I've learned a lot about adjusting expectations and changing how I look at things.  For example, some people might say my yard is full of weeds and I should do something about it.  I prefer to look at it as we're going green and growing our own rabbit food.  We also have a huge pile of junk in the backyard that may or may not look slightly white trash.  Instead of focusing on the fact that it's a breeding ground for tetanus, I think of it as a pile of stuff that may one day save our lives because, as I was told last weekend, if there is ever a zombie apocalypse, we have an oil drum stand on which to put a barrel full of gasoline.  Nevermind that we don't have a store of gas lying around-we can siphon it from other people's cars.  So you see . . . you can choose to focus on the negative or you can change your perspective and be grateful for what you've got.  It's all about perspective!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

To do list

  • Stop saying no to everything.  Am I the only one whose immediate reaction to everything a child asks for is "no"?  I need to start looking for reasons to say "yes" instead.
  • Remember that I have a husband in addition to six kids.  Poor Tyler is not only on the the back burner these days, but he's on the back burner at some house down the road.  I saw him yesterday for about 10 minutes before he went to work and I was already in bed when he got home last night.  I did manage to wake up enough to ask him how his day was, but I have no idea what his answer was because I fell back asleep.  Maybe when harvest is over we'll be able to spend more time together.
  • Plan a birthday party for Ethan.  The little man of the house is turning 7 in two weeks.  I kind of want to do a Duck Dynasty-themed party.  He loves that show as much as I do, so we have mom-son bonding time while watching it.  Happy, happy, happy!  He also loves dinosaurs, though, so maybe a dinosaurs in camo party???  Hey, what about a dinosaur hunting party?!?  The kids can wear camo and "track" the dinosaurs.  I could make dinosaur tracks for them to follow or something.  Am I thinking too much about this?  Should we just have cake and ice cream and call it good?  Does every birthday party really have to have a theme and activities? 
  • Put sheets on the bed. I shouldn't be admitting to this because it just shows how lazy I am, but we've been sleeping on the mattress pad for three or four days now.  My reasoning is that when I took the sheets off to wash them, the dog got on the bed and now the mattress pad needs to be washed, but the dog gets on the bed every day, so if I wash the mattress pad now it'll just get dirty again, as will the clean sheets.  Yes, I realize how sad and pathetic my line of thinking is.
  • Get new bedding for the rabbits.  The mystery of the wheezing rabbit has been solved.  I put down extra bedding for them last night because it was supposed to be really cold over night, and Oreo was wheezing again this morning.  The last time he was wheezing new bedding had been put down too.  Apparently you aren't supposed to use cedar shavings for rabbits.  Good to know!
  • Do the dishes.  This item just permanently lives on my to do list.  The dishwasher is broken, so right now it's just being used as a very large dish drainer.  This means that everything has to be washed by hand and I swear the kids take a new cup every time they get something to drink.  We run out of kids' bowls and cups every single day.  I've tried having the kids help do the dishes but they just end up playing in the water for an hour.  I should probably put forth more effort to supervise them and teach them how to do the dishes properly, but I just don't care enough to do that. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


As a follow up to yesterday's entry, I would just like to announce that all of the kids made it onto the bus fully clothed with shoes and a jacket, they all had their backpacks with their completed homework, everyone had a full belly and everyone's hair was done.  Plus the dishes from last night and this morning were all washed.  Pretty much, I made this morning my b*tch. 

Now to move on to my observations on motherhood; both motherhood in general and me as a mom.  It's been an interesting transition from single to instant mom of six and these are a few of the things I've noticed about myself and how I do things.
  • I start out the day as kind of a cross between Michelle Duggar and Glinda.  (Are you a good child or a bad child?)  If I'm not careful, I finish out the day more along the lines of Mommie Dearest and Hannibal Lecter.  (If you don't go to bed right this second, I'm going to eat your face off!!!)
  • My mood sets the tone for the kids' mood.  
  • Because my mood sets their mood, it is extremely important that I take a little break and go elsewhere when I start to get frustrated.  One of the women I admire most in this world told me how she used to take her babies into the bathroom and lock the other kids out so she could get a break.  For me, it's more like leave the babies and take the dog.
  • Animals calm me down.  If I am going to be any kind of a decent mother, there must be animals involved.
  • I say the following things way too much:
    • Get your finger out of your nose.
    • Knock it off!
    • Come here, let me smell your bum.
    • That's too bad . . . life's hard.
    • What did I ask you to do?
    • Don't make me ask you again.
    • Put the shower curtain IN the tub when you take a shower!
    • Whose shoes/clothes/backpack/toys are in the middle of the floor?
    • Boy, it's a good thing you're cute!
    • Go to bed NOW!
  • I have got to start remembering that if I leave a sharp knife sitting on the counter or the table, it will be found and it will be played with and there will be blood.
  • Clothes can be washed, kids can be bathed, dishes will still be there later and anything clean will shortly be dirty again, but memories of fun times together last forever.  Or at least until dementia sets in.
  • I am horrible at following through.  I need to stop making threats that I know I'm not going to follow through on.  Four of the kids sleep downstairs and I'm always yelling down to them that if they don't quiet down and go to sleep, I'm going to come down there and when I do, they won't like it.  In the real world, I'm too lazy to go down there.
  • Rewarding is a much better motivator than punishing.  Unfortunately, it also takes more effort, thought and planning.
  • Even though they drive me crazy half of the time, I can't stand the thought of being away from my kiddos. 
  • The kids are much more forgiving of me and my faults than I deserve.
  • Whenever they ask if they can help do something, I try to always let them, even though it probably won't be done the way I want it and it would be quicker and easier to do it myself.  
  • As you may have noticed, bedtime is when I struggle the most.  By that point, I'm tired and just want quiet and to get in my own bed.  I'm more of a morning person, so I would rather have them go to bed early and get up early rather than vice versa.
  • Speaking of mornings, if my day is going to go at least somewhat smoothly, it is vital that I get up at least half an hour before everyone else.  
  • I am constantly telling myself that it's not the end of the world and they'll survive.  So what if the same load of laundry has been sitting in the dryer for two days now . . . it's not the end of the world.  So what if we still don't really have any toys here-there are cardboard boxes, my high heels and Tupperware containers for them to play with . . . they'll survive.  So what if I still have not gotten any thank you notes out . . . I have six kids and people will understand the delay-it's not the end of the world.
  • Money will always be tight in the farm world and we'll always be poor, but the kids couldn't care less.  They think it's awesome that they get free lunch at school.  Ethan would actually rather have hand-me-downs because it means that he gets to wear Colton's clothes and Colton is super cool.  I know that at some point they won't be so ok with these things and not having the new, fashionable clothes might be embarrassing, and they probably won't want all their friends to know that they get free lunch, but for right now, life is good in their little world and that's what matters.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Guess who has the internet again!!!

The internet is finally hooked up!  Hooray!

I just got the kids out the door to catch the school bus and it was a bit of a crazy morning.  Potato harvest started today so Tyler had to be out the door at 6am for a meeting.  This means I had to be up at 5:30 to get him out the door since he doesn't seem to be able to get up on time on his own, despite his incredibly annoying alarm going off every 15 minutes.  He left, then I had a few minutes of peace before I had to get the kids up.  We ran out of milk, bread and eggs, so the kids got yogurt and instant oatmeal (which they refused to eat) for breakfast.  I managed to do one child's hair before the dog, who had been bugging me to go outside while I was doing hair, pooped on the carpet.  Whoops-my bad!  I got that cleaned up and went to take the poop outside, when I noticed that one of the rabbits was wheezing like crazy.  No time to deal with it right that second, so I went back in to finish getting kids ready.  Unfortunately, the bus came early, so the kids ran out the door in the following state:
  • Ethan had yogurt all over his face, but he did have his backpack which had been missing for most of last week.  We finally found it on Saturday-it had been tucked into the pantry cupboard.  Why, I don't know.
  • Lily left with her hair unbrushed and wearing an interesting ensemble.  She put on a fancy black shirt that had sparkles on it.  She wanted to wear it with jean shorts, but I said it looked weird, and she needed to wear pants.  She went and put on white leggings, but the school doesn't let them wear leggings without something over it, so I told her to go get jeans.  She came back with brown jean capris, which looked funny with the shirt.  I told her to either change her shirt or her pants, but then the bus came, so she left with her black, sparkly shirt, brown capris and gray dress shoes.  Hey, at least she had clothes on and her backpack!
  • Morgan was actually dressed appropriately and had her backpack, but she had to take her shoes and put them on on the bus.
  • Kylee's backpack is now missing.  But her hair was brushed and she was dressed, although she too had to put her shoes on on the bus.  
None of them had jackets.  I still consider this a win, though, because they made it on the bus plus I didn't yell once this morning.  Victory is mine!

P.S.  Trysta had the nastiest poopy diaper this morning.  I was gagging and my eyes were watering.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

totally justified

The person who was attacked by a shark off of Maui last week just passed away.  I feel totally justified in not going snorkeling. 

Far too long again!

Alright, once again it has been far too long since I have blogged.  Here's what's happened . . .
  • I got married on August 1.
  • We went to Hawaii for our honeymoon and our trip happened to coincide with Shark Week.  This led to my decision to NOT go snorkeling.  Come to find out, shortly after we were there, a snorkeler had his arm bitten off about an hour from where we were staying.  Call it silly paranoia or the still, small voice . . . all I know is I still have all my limbs.
  • The day we got back from Hawaii, the kids arrived home from the fair with three rabbits.  Their names have changed about 50 times since the day we got them, but I believe they are called Oreo, Sherbet and Stormy.  Or something like that.  All I know is if Oreo/Wild Thing escapes and has to be chased down one more time, we're having rabbit stew for dinner.  I have no problem with the other two and as they are all boys, we will probably be getting some females so they can breed like rabbits.
  • Fixing up the house is moving right along.  My goal is to have it ready in the next week and a half so the kids can move in before school starts on September 4.  Here's what's left to do:
    • Come up with flooring for our bedroom.  (This can wait.)
    • Put the french doors back up that go into our bedroom so that people don't immediately see where the magic happens when they walk in the front door. 
    • Paint the ceiling in the living room.  (This can wait.)
    • Finish the trim in the kitchen.
    • Finish painting the kitchen cabinet doors.
    • Come up with flooring for the hallway and babies' room.  (This can wait.  We'll get some throw rugs.)
    • Paint the ceiling in the babies' room and kitchen.  (This can wait.)
    • Paint the laundry room.
    • The bathroom is still a shiz-hole.  Too much to do in here to list.
    • Decide what to do about the floors in the basement.  We pulled up the disgusting carpeting and pads and now it's just a cement floor. 
    • Sanitize and paint the downstairs.
    • Finish unpacking.
    • Hook up the internet and tv.  (This cannot wait!)
  • My mother-in-law's job ends today, so she'll be able to help me get things whipped into shape.  
  • Things are going well with the kids.  When we got back from our honeymoon, they all immediately started calling me mom.  Do all kids preface everything they say with Mom?  "Mom, watch this."  "Mom, did you see that?"  "Mom, can I have a drink?"  "Mom, I have to go to the bathroom."  "Mom, Mom, Mom!"  They did it before too with my actual name, but I guess since I'm not used to being called Mom yet, it's more noticeable.  Stop saying my name and just speak, child!
  • Tyler's parent's dog is preggers, so we'll be getting a puppy soon.  I'm also stealing one of their cats, who also happens to be pregnant.  Plus, since I didn't want a puppy, we're still going to get a nice, housebroken dog from the shelter.  Add in the rabbits and their inevitable babies, and we're well on our way to having a farm.  I don't know when we'll get the chickens-we need to fix up the hen house first.
  • When I started out with these kids, I wanted them to watch as little tv as possible.  Now I have realized the value of tv and movies.  I choose carefully what they watch, though.  Meaning, they are only allowed to watch what I also want to watch.  I've introduced them to all sorts of stuff from my childhood . . . The Neverending Story, The Princess Bride, Faerie Tale Theater, The Gnome Mobile, etc.  
  • I have started sneaking vegetables into their food.  I made meatloaf the other night and added pureed bell peppers to it.  I also added finely chopped cauliflower to their stroganoff.  This seems to be the only way to get them to eat something other than just corn.  Speaking of which, changing corn-filled diapers is nasty.  

Friday, July 12, 2013


I should be writing an actual post but there's too much to say and not enough time right this second.  Instead, here are some pictures:

Morgan (age 8) at the Fourth of July parade.

My sister-in-law, Ali, with her son, Daxton, and Ava (age 2) at the parade.

Trysta (age 1).

 My friend, Taryn, came over from Star Valley for the Fourth and we had an awesome time!


Later in the day we went to a grassy area by Wal-Mart to have a picnic and watch the fireworks.  There was must wrestling and playing around going on.

Lily (age 9)

Taryn with Trysta.

Watching the fireworks.

A canola field near the house.


The actual potato plants.

The fields around where we live.

I got a new phone and discovered that it has different filters.  Tyler hard at work.

I get to live here!

I did not do my hair or put make up on once the entire week I was up there.  Can you see the leftover spot from my nasty cold sore?

I cleaned up a lot of the back yard and then started a fire on my own to burn it.  Burn, baby, burn!  The pile of brush was about 7 feet high. 

This stupid pivot got stuck in the mud and Tyler had to dig it out.

Early morning snuggles with Tryst and Ava.

She's so stinkin' cute!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

weekly stressfulness update

I spent the weekend in Idaho again and I feel like I was at least semi-productive, so that's a start.  We did get all registered at Target and Bed, Bath and Beyond.  While there aren't a ton of things on our lists, we did find more than I thought.  We also got some more painting done, but not quite as much as I would have liked.  The house is really slow going.  I have realized that just because Tyler is capable of doing certain handymanish things, it doesn't mean he will have time to do them.  Normally work slows down for him around this time of year, before harvest begins, but this year has been crazy.  Pivots have been breaking down left and right.  On Saturday he was only supposed to have checked the water in the morning and again in the evening, but the pivots kept breaking down, so he ended up working pretty much all day.  For those of you who don't know what a pivot is (which included me up until very recently), they are the sprinklers that you see out in the fields.  Not the pipes that lay on the ground, but the ones that are suspended in the air.  They're called pivots because a motor slowly moves them around in a giant circle.  When Tyler has to go check pivots it means that he has to go watch to see if they're still moving.  They tend to get stuck in the dirt and he has to dig them out, or else they stop working and he has to try to figure out what the problem is.  He's gotten to be really good with wiring and electrical stuff.

Tyler's mom ended up getting a seasonal job that starts next week, so I am now going to be going up there to be with the kids after my last day of work on July 3.  Eek!  I'll have them all on my own, which could be really good or a really big disaster.  I'm going to stay up there for about a week, then come back down here for a couple of bridal showers and to move my stuff up there.  Fortunately my family is back in town for a little bit so we're frantically trying to get things done.  Hopefully invitations will be done by tomorrow and sent out this weekend, my wedding dress (that we are hoping and praying I like and fits since I ordered it online) will arrive next Tuesday and we're going to get clothes for the kids purchased this weekend.  Plus other assorted odds and ends.  At this point I have made peace with the fact that everything might not get done.  As long as the major things like a dress, invitations, etc., are taken care of, then I'm not going to worry about the rest.  Or so I'm telling myself!

While I was up there this weekend I had one child say I'm the best mom ever, another say I'm going to be the best mom she's ever had (which is both sweet and sad at the same time) and then I also made two kids cry when I punished them for hitting and pushing each other.  They were supposed to be cleaning up their bedroom, but then one of them hit the other so she shoved him back.  They both ended up in time out and had to clean up different rooms by themselves since they clearly couldn't work together.  I happened to be the only one home with them and I was trying to make dinner at the time, so I'm proud of myself for not losing my cool and handling the situation in an appropriate fashion.  Give me a few more months and I'm sure I'll blow up, but at least for now I'm doing alright with the discipline.  When Tyler got home he asked me if I gave them a swat on the butt.  My thought on that is how am I supposed to tell a child not to hit as I'm hitting them?  He does a half-hearted swat that he calls a spanking but it's kind of more to emphasize his point I guess, since they don't seem to phase the kids at all.  If that was the kind of spanking I had gotten when I was little, I would have just done whatever I wanted and taken the spanking!  I prefer to make the kids work or take away privileges, which seems to make them far more miserable. 

Oh and btw, no other McDonald's trays appeared on the deck.  I was slightly disappointed.  I also never solved the mystery of where they came from. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Registering and stuff

Tyler and I need to register for wedding gifts this weekend, but I feel weird about it.  Somehow it seems tacky, like we're saying you need to buy us a gift and this is what you're allowed to buy.  I guess it's not much different than Christmas lists, though.  And I get that it's helpful because people want to get you something that you'll actually use and they obviously have no idea what you have and don't have, but you're both assuming and expecting that people are going to buy you things.  Not that such a thing would be completely out of left field, given the situation!  I would probably be way more into it if we were a younger couple and just setting up a household, but I've been living on my own for years and he's been married before.  We have two already set up households.  Well, one and a half, I guess, considering most of his things are now either at the dump, being given to the ex or after all this time, need to be replaced.  And technically, while I do have an already established household, it is established for a small grouping of people, not 8 people.

Plus, and this is going to sound really selfish, I have nice things and I have carefully chosen these things over the years and spent lots of money on them and I know that they aren't going to last long with six kids around, so I really just want to not unpack them and hide them away until the kids are grown.  My decor, housewares, etc., have never needed to be kid-proof or kid-friendly, so pretty much they aren't.  I'm having visions of the heads of the dolls my grandpa bought in the 50's and 60's while stationed overseas being ripped off like Barbie heads.  What if one day I stumble across a cemetery of doll parts from around the world in the back yard?  Oh look, there's a head from Okinawa!  And there's half of the body of the doll from Peru!  And the legs of the flamenco dancer from Spain are just barely sticking out of the ground!  Ok, that may be a little bit dramatic (and slightly creepy), especially considering that all of those things have been packed up and in my parent's shed for the last 15 years, but you see what I mean!  Is my "Original Art Work Collection"* going to end up being drawn all over with crayons?  Is it silly that I'm even worried about it?  I think maybe this is just the way the fear of my impending complete 180 degree change in lifestyle is expressing itself.  But seriously . . . if my complete collection of 1937 Harvard Classics or my signed Amy Tans are destroyed, we're going to have some problems.  I feel like Mel Gibson in Braveheart . . . They may take my sanity, but they'll never take . . . MY BOOK COLLECTION!

*That is now its' official title.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The plot thickens . . .

One of the dogs was playing with yet another McDonald's tray tonight, so that explains the hole in the tray (both trays, actually), but where the heck are the trays coming from???  Here are the options I have come up with:
  • My brother, Mark, is infamous for finding and bringing home random things like a tetherball pole with a cement stand but no ball, and a broken down sled-type thing that he tried to hook the dogs to and make them pull it.  He's been in China since February, though.  
  • Someone knows I'm dieting* and is taunting me with thoughts of french fries.
  • The Hamburglar is real and really is stalking me.
The night before the first tray appeared on the deck, there was a strange and mysterious noise outside that set the dogs to barking.  I was too lazy to get out of bed and check, plus I figured if it was someone trying to break in to kill me, that would just mean that I wouldn't have to worry about planning the wedding.  So that's where things stand.  We'll see if any other trays appear. 

Also, a quick update on the herpes in my eye:  it's still here, plus my lymph nodes are so swollen that you can see them sticking out of my neck.  The cold sore is getting a tiny bit better-I started putting some doTerra oils on it just in case stuff like that works.  My throat is still killing me, plus I have a rash on my belly and a strange and itchy bug bite on my cheek.  Basically my body is mutinying.

*I'm down to what I weighed when I was in high school, which is totally awesome, but I was fat in high school, so it's not quite as awesome as it could be.  Still working on it, though!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

a mystery

When I let the dogs out this morning I discovered this sitting by the back door:

Keep in mind that the back door opens up onto a deck, so it's not like it could have just blown into the fenced in backyard and landed by the door.  And why would someone steal a tray from McDonald's?  And why the hole?  I think I'm being stalked by the Hamburglar. 

In other, unrelated news, I have pink eye.  I also have a gigantic, nasty cold sore, which is probably where the pink eye came from.  So basically, I have eye herpes.  At least it's getting me out of work for a couple of days.

I'm feeling less stressed about the wedding planning and the house.  I've decided that I'm going to eliminate a lot of stuff from the reception for the time being.  If, after I quit my job, I have time to do these things, great.  If not, oh well.  The world will keep turning whether or not I have a wedding cake.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

freaking out a little

There may not be a wedding happening anymore because unless something gives, I'm going to a.) lose my mind and be institutionalized, b.) physically assault the next person who irritates me and be in jail or c.) both.  I found out last night that up until the weekend before the wedding, my parents are going to be in town for a grand total of like a week and a half.  This means that I will have to do all of the following pretty much on my own:
  • Find a wedding dress, shoes, etc.  Find someone to do alterations.
  • Find someone to make the wedding cake and pick something out.  
  • Pick out and order invitations.
  • Address and send out said invitations.
  • Find matching fancy outfits for all of the kids.
  • Follow up on everything for the reception.  (Flowers, candy buffet, cake decorations, etc.)
  • Figure out what the heck we're doing for the ceremony.
  • Pack up my entire apartment.  Also, I probably need some boxes for packing. I could be doing the packing little by little every day, but I'm house and dog sitting for my parents instead.
 Then there's registering and getting a marriage license (which has to be done in Utah) with Tyler, who works 7 days a week.  Plus I have to actually move up there (my parents will be gone for that too) and hope that I have a house that is livable.  I have been assured that the house will be done by then, but unfortunately I live in reality and not the land of make-believe.  I also have to train my replacement and finish up with work.  Oh, and then there's planning the whole open house in Idaho, which doesn't even have a date yet.

So yeah, I'm a little irritable right now.  And I realize that I can have friends help me with some of these things, but stuff like picking out a wedding dress and cake and announcements and ceremony/reception plans would be nice to do with my mother.

This is why I wanted to elope and not worry about any of this.  I want to be happy to get married, but I don't see that happening any time soon.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Another fun weekend

I spent the weekend in Idaho again, but this time I took my parents along for the ride.  The meeting of the two families went really well, thankfully.  We spent Saturday morning taking engagement and family pictures and we got some really great photos.  I went and got coordinating outfits for everyone and I think it all came together really well.  When my dad finishes photoshopping them, I'll post some for everyone to see.  The rest of Saturday was spent getting to know each other and then we had a bbq in the fire pit in the back yard.  My mom was thrilled to do s'mores.  Apparently it's been years since she's gotten to roast marshmallows over the fire and she was in heaven.  It really is the little things, isn't it! 

Sunday was spent working at the house.  Things had not progressed as much (or at all, actually) as I wanted them to since last weekend, which sucked, but we did get quite a bit done.  Tyler borrowed the backhoe from work and finished digging the trench for the new waterline to the well.  The previous pipe had broken and it was all old, so he decided to just replace all of the pipe.  The water pressure also wasn't that great, so we're getting some kind of pressure tank that will help with that.  After a few bumps along the way, we got all the pipe laid down and the connections made.  We're lucky in that Tyler gets all of the materials to do this for free from his work.  The new pipe ended up not fitting through the hole into the house, which could have been a big issue, but we just ran down to the workshop and he cut off a piece of thinner pipe, then used their equipment to make the threads on the end.  That was kinda cool to see.  I mean who ever thinks about what it takes to make the threads on a pipe?  I certainly never did!  They also had all of the connecting pieces we needed.  I have a feeling this is going to be really handy as time goes on!

While Tyler finished up the piping, his mom and the kids and I worked inside the house.  We got the walls scrubbed down in two of the bedrooms and the hallway, so they're ready to be painted.  I also had to step into the disciplinarian role, which was interesting.  Ethan, who is 7, kept playing around and not helping out, so instead of getting to work with everyone else, I made him go outside and pick up pinecones.  He pouted the whole time, but next time hopefully he'll do what is asked of him instead of messing around.  In order for this family to work, everyone is going to have to help out and if they don't want to do the chore they're given, I'll be more than happy to find a different one for them to do!  I had to get on Lily (age 9) about helping out too.  It's interesting to see how I'm going to have to deal with each child differently.  Kylee (age 5) does really well when you praise her and I think that'll be the best motivator for her.  That's not going to work with Lily.  I don't think making her do extra chores will necessarily work either.  That's what they've been doing, by making her clean out horse stalls when she has a bad attitude.  I think losing privileges might be what will work for her.  We'll see as time goes on. 

I did a lot of bonding with the kids this weekend.  No one has ever sat down and read with them regularly, so I spent lots of time reading to them.  Even the babies (Trysta-1 year and Ava-2 years) were fighting to sit on my lap and look at the pictures.  My mom brought up little presents for everyone, including some books and Morgan (8 years old) sat and read a book to my mom.  There were lots of hard, foreign words in the story and she did surprisingly well.  She's an excellent little reader!  Even my mom, who actually teaches reading, was impressed.  Lily seems to need lots of physical affection right now, so I made sure to give her lots of hugs.  When we were saying goodbye, she gave me a huge hug and started crying.  She didn't want me to go and said she was going to miss me.  Holy cow, way to pull at my heart strings!  Despite having their grandma and aunt around, what these kids really need is a mom.  Taking them over to the house so they could see that it's being cleaned up and made into a home again has made them excited and they all keep saying they can't wait until the wedding.  Kylee did whisper in my ear, though, that Tyler and I aren't allowed to kiss until we get married! 

My ring was done being sized this week, so now I finally get to wear it:

Sadly I only took one picture this weekend . . . Trysta really liked her Jello salad!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Weekend in the 'Ho

I spent the weekend in Idaho, working my butt off.  You see, Tyler (the fiance) let his ex-wife live in his house for a little while after they split up.  Now I'm not going to say this was a stupid decision, but given the fact that she was (and still is) a drug addict who neglected her children and any form of cleanliness, it may not have been the best idea.  One of the reasons I love Tyler is that he is one of the kindest people I have ever met.  I fully appreciate that he didn't want the mother of his children to be on the streets, so instead of saying what I would like to say about this woman, I am going to choose to focus instead on how big his heart is.  Sometimes, though, a big heart leads to a house being destroyed and turned into a shit hole.

So that's what I spent the weekend doing.  We borrowed his brother's horse trailer (that holds 6 horses, mind you), and filled it completely with stuff to take to the dump.  And there's more still to take out.  The couches that were in the living room still need to go as they are disgusting and who knows what has happened on them.  All of the walls and ceilings have to be repainted.  We ripped up a bunch of carpet that was nasty.  Fortunately, in the bedroom that will be ours, there was wood that will look amazing after it's been sanded and stained.  In another bedroom we pulled the carpet out of, we expected to find the same wood but instead found a weird linoleum.  So . . . now we have to find new carpet to put down in there.  We're hoping that the carpet in the basement can just be steam cleaned and be ok, but I have my doubts about one of the rooms.  I guess we'll see what happens.

Part of the basement is also unfinished, so we need to put up a wall to close off what will be my gloriously large food storage area.  The ceiling also needs to be fixed in most of the basement.  When I say fixed, I mean that there isn't actually any ceiling up right now-it's just exposed beams and pipes.  There are also other things here and there that need to be done, so we're looking at a ton of work over the next month and a half before I move in there. 

One of the best things about the house (which used to be one of the nicest on the farm), is that we've got plenty of land to use.  There's another old house on the property that is falling down and I'm hoping that we can tear it down and use the materials for other things.  There are also several sheds, one of which will be perfect for chickens.  We're also looking at getting possibly a cow and pig.  We'll see.  There is also room for a massive garden, which will be awesome since there will be six growing children to feed.  The land needs quite a bit of work as well.  We walked around it yesterday and found several rhubarb plants, which made me happy.  Hooray for strawberry rhubarb crisp!!!  There's a fire pit right out back, which will be fun.  There's also a cool semi-hidden away area in the trees that will make an awesome fort area for the kiddos.  I was pretty excited about it-I may have to be a kid for a while and play in the fort too.  There are lots of lilacs and some peonies too.  The lawn desperately needs to be sprayed for dandelions and we need to reseed some areas where the grass is no more, as well.  Oh, and we're going to put in raspberry starts this year, so in a couple years I'm hoping for raspberries galore. 

Despite all the issues, the house and land have amazing potential.  I can't wait until it's all done (or at least the major stuff is done)!  The house is going to be super cute and cosy and I've always wanted to live on a farm!  His parents live just down the road, which will be great since I'm going to need massive amounts of help getting used to having six kids.  I think there's another neighbor somewhere north of us, but there aren't many people nearby.  Oh, and by the way, once you walk past the row of wind break trees in the backyard, all you see is acres and acres (like hundreds, maybe thousands) of fields.  I can't remember if it's hay or wheat right now.  The green is gorgeous, though.  I want to set up a little table and chairs back there so we can watch the sunset over the fields. 

I'll be going up again next weekend to work.  I picked out a paint color (everything is just going to be a neutral color), so I'm hoping maybe a room or two will be done by the time I get back up there.  If I'm really lucky, maybe my bedroom floor will be done too!

I'm guessing this will be the first of many posts about the progress about the house and land.  I did take before pictures of the disaster the house was, but I don't know if I can bring myself to post them, they're so bad.  And I don't want them to reflect badly on Tyler!  I know it wasn't him that did it (he and the kids weren't living there at the time), but still. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The ring

It still has to be sized, so I won't actually have it for another week or so.  Sorry the picture is kinda crummy-I took it with my phone at the last minute so I wouldn't forget what it looked like!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Fine, I'll do it!

I just guilted a friend into updating her blog and I didn't want to be a hypocrite, so lucky you, you're getting a blog post today!  I apologize for my utter failure at blogging about my trip.  One of these days I will post more pictures and tell you about what else I did while in Dublin and London.  That day isn't today, though, unfortunately.  Until then, here's what has been keeping me busy:
  • I'm engaged!  Surprise!  
  • Surprise #2 is that he's a farmer in Idaho and he has . . . wait for it . . . six children, all under the age of 9, and he has sole custody of them.  So in a couple of months I will go from single to married with six children.  That should give me plenty to blog about!
  • A few weeks ago I had surgery on my elbow.  I've had tennis elbow for a couple of years now and when they went in, they found that part of the tendon was bad (what that means exactly, I do not know) and part of it was detached.  They cut out the bad part and reattached the other part, then drilled holes in the bone to encourage growth.  I had a fun mummy arm for a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Europe Day 4

Well, I didn't do a whole lot today.  Somehow I managed to sleep in until 1pm.  I wasn't overly tired, so I'm not sure how that happened!  I quickly got ready and then headed into town again.  Tomorrow is my last day in Ireland, so I wanted to make sure I got to see things outside of Dublin.  I booked a County Wicklow day trip that leaves tomorrow morning.  If you're a fan (or just have watched) P.S. I Love You, Co. Wicklow is where they filmed the parts in Ireland, specifically that gorgeous scene where that one chick and Gerard Butler meet.  After that, I went to the Decorative Arts and History branch of the National Museum.  Instead of spending time figuring out bus routes and time tables, I opted to just walked there.  Turns out it was about two miles away.  Whoops!  Oh well, I got my exercise in for the day!  They had all sorts of exhibits there, from military history, to the history of Irish coins (super exciting, that one was!), to interior design, to clothing throughout the years.  Some of it was kind of boring (the coins), but some of it was pretty cool.  When I finished there it was fairly late but there were still a couple of places I wanted to go.  By the time I walked all the way over to where they were, I had kind of had it.  I was tired and I'm not a nice person when I'm tired.  I did walk more around Temple Bar because I wanted to have a pub meal, but in the end I couldn't bring myself to go in by myself.  Lame, I know!  Instead, I walked back towards where I catch the bus and grabbed a quick dinner of fish and chips.  The fish and chips were good, so all was not lost.  I then caught the bus back to the apartment.  I want to make sure I get to bed early tonight so I don't run the risk of oversleeping in the morning.  Somehow during the day today, my phone got all screwed up and the clock is off by about six and a half hours.  The calendar also says that it's December 31, 2004.  Not sure exactly what happened!  I'm hoping that once I get back to the States and take it off of airplane mode, it'll fix itself.  We shall see! 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Europe Day 3

I actually took pictures today!!!  Hooray!  I slept in again this morning (I am on vacation, after all!), then went back into the city center.  The first thing I did was stop and get a tattoo . . .
I had been planning on doing this for a while and had already picked out what I wanted, so I went prepared.  It didn't hurt as bad as I thought it would and it only took about 10 minutes to do.  After that I walked over to the Famine Memorial on the banks of the River Liffey.  This was one of the things I was most looking forward to seeing . . .

After that I joined up with one of the hop-on, hop-off bus tours.  I skipped the first few stops, but got off at Christ Church Cathedral.  The highlights of Christ Church, for me, involved dirty laundry and a dead cat and rat.  In the crypt of the church, they had some of the costumes from The Tudors, which had apparently filmed scenes there.  Seeing Jonathan Rhys Meyers' dirty laundry made this whole trip worth it.  Sorry the pics are so dark, but like I said, we were in a crypt.  There tends to not be a whole lot of light down there.

And here are the cat and rat.  I guess curiosity really did kill the cat!

Next I went to St. Patrick's Cathedral, which was the site of something else I had been looking forward to seeing; The Door of Reconciliation.  You can read the story below.

A few other pics from St. Patrick's:

After St. Patrick's, I hit up the whole point of the bus tour:  Kilmainham Gaol.  I won't go into the whole history of the place, but there were many political prisoners held there, including many who were executed for the Easter Rising in 1916.  Parts of In the Name of the Father (which is a great movie and book, btw-seriously, look it up!) were also filmed there. 

One thing about the jail that I thought was kind of interesting was that the prisoners could only use the spiral staircase.  They specifically designed it with that staircase because you can't run, get into fights, or otherwise cause problems as easily on a spiral staircase.  By the time I got to Kilmainham, the weather was starting to turn pretty cold and after being in this limestone, freezing-cold building for an hour and a half, I was ready to head home.  I finished up the bus tour, which thankfully let out close by where I pick up the bus.  I warmed up on the bus a bit, so I stopped at a Chinese restaurant around the corner from the apartment, and had dinner there.  I love that in Europe they always seem to have early bird specials where you can get a starter, main dish and dessert for a set price.  Given the price of decent restaurants in this part of the world, it makes things a lot easier on the pocketbook/credit card! 

P.S. For the record, I'm not going to be revising any of these traveling blog posts as I'm too tired by the time I write them, so I apologize for any errors they may contain!