Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Monday, August 26, 2013

Frosting Be Gone

I must not do a good job watching the kids.  On the other hand, Ryan was home yesterday too, and stuff like this still happens.  

When I went into the kitchen to make dinner, Rick and Kim's left-over anniversary cake looked like this:
I asked Annie and Maddie who was responsible for the licked off frosting, they claimed it was Daddy.  Ryan denied the accusation.  After dinner I asked again, saying how no one was getting any cake until someone 'fessed up.

Maddie admitted to the crime, with Elizabeth saying she had licked the frosting around the perimeter of the box earlier.  We'll get this honesty thing yet.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Changes and an Anniversary

 Yesterday was a busy one.  Well, let me back up.  This requires a little back story.

My in-laws decided that after 20+ years, it was time to move on.  My father-in-law is an Ag teacher and FFA guru (like Ryan), and his high school was slowly cutting their program.  Rick decided to find another position in a school that was actually excited about Ag and FFA, and he found one.  Rick and Kim will be east-siders like 3 of their 4 children (sorry, Brynne), and a whole lot closer to us.

They put in an offer on a short-sale house back in June.  Strangely enough, it is now the end of August, and there's no word from the bank.  (Short-sale is the biggest misnomer in the whole. wide. world.  If it wasn't for the fact that every once in a while you can get a good deal on a house, no one would ever put up with that nonsense.  It's awful.  Anyway.)  Well, Rick starts work Wednesday, and their housing situation isn't everything they would want, and they have to be out of their house at the end of the month.  So, we said, "Hey, we've got space.  You can store your stuff here until you have a place for it."

Guess what we did yesterday?  I'll give you a hint:
 Michael, Blair, and Simon came down Friday night and spent the night with us.  (I think we need to offer to put Simon in another room next time so his parents can get some sleep.)  Friday night was also load up time for Rick and Kim.  Brynne and Curt helped load and clean house until late, and then were back bright and early to help drive vehicles over.  It must have been quite the caravan- Rick in the moving truck, Kim in her car, Brynne driving hers, and Curt in Rick's truck toodling down the road.
We had some people from the ward come and help unload too.  PS It's worth being Mormon simply for the help you get when it's time to move.  It's amazing each and every time. :)
It took about an hour to unload the truck into our garage, and most of the furniture into our house.  The scrapbooks, musical instruments, and a few other things are also residing in the house.  Anyone want to see baby or gawky teen pictures?  I've got them now.  heh heh heh.

In the afternoon, Ryan and I froze 10 quart-sized baggies worth of green beans from our garden.  Rick and Kim took their truck back, Brynne and Curt left to go home, and Michael, Blair and Simon took naps.
As dinner time was approaching, I looked at the wall calender.  I noticed that Rick and Kim's anniversary was the next day.  I looked over at Ryan and asked, "Hey, weren't your parents married in '73?"  He replied in the affirmative.  We did some quick math and came up with 40 years.  His parents were going to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary.  We should do something.  

We sent Michael and Blair off to get a cake, got out the china plates and nice flatware, and had ourselves a celebration.  (With their two good children, Ryan and Michael, who remembered their anniversary.  :) )
Happy 40th Anniversary Rick and Kim.  What a wonderful accomplishment to make it to 40 years.  We are so glad we have you to look to as an example of a happy life together.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Happy Anniversary

Saturday Ryan and I celebrated our 12 year anniversary.  Ryan bought me a dozen red roses.
 And then we got busy with the our big project of the day.    We have this giant black walnut tree in our backyard that is half dead, and getting worse.  Rather than wait for some wind storm to take it out, we decided to be proactive in getting rid of it.  A 74-year-old friend of my father-in-law came for the day to cut down the tree.  Roger W retired from cutting down trees about 20 years ago, but still enjoys helping people take down trees.

The before picture.
 The girls and the chainsaws.
 Ryan helping Bro. W get hooked up to the tree.
 Here we have quite the mess accumulating on our lawn.
 Ryan invited the missionaries to come over and help.
 It was interesting to watch how the trunk was cut.  First a cut was made, then Bro. W pounded in wedges.
 Once the biggest wedge was hammered all the way in, the trunk was not in a hurry to come down.  So we waited, and waited, and Bro. W climbed down for a rest.

Finally it started to go.
 It was a really hot day, so we stopped there, and focused on cleaning up our neighbor's alfalfa field.
 Our yard was a disaster.  We have huge holes in the grass, and so, so many broken sticks and tree pieces laying all over.  We tried working on it as a family, and progress was being slowly made.

After I got the kids to bed, Ryan and I celebrated our anniversary with some bottles of Henry Weinhard root beer, and watched a movie on the couch.

Tuesday we invited all three sets of local missionaries (1 for our ward, and 2 for the Spanish Branch) over for an exciting dinner of hot dogs and chips, and put all of them to work.  The 8 of us adults worked for over an hour, and we got most of the big chunks of wood and the larger branches moved, and then spent the rest of the time raking the smaller stuff out of the grass.  Then we roasted marshmallows over a fire for dessert with the two sets of missionaries who didn't have an appointment to go to at 8 pm.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Grandpa Camp Pictures

Every year at Grandpa Camp, the kids/all of us go get pictures taken.  This year it was taken to a whole new level as we all had matching camp t-shirts.  All. Of. Us.  

PS It's worth "friending" a photographer on Facebook so you can see pictures of yourself being posted, even if you've met her all of three times. :)

First up (but certainly not in order), our family.
 Then there's me and Ryan totally goofing off while others were being photographed.  Didn't realize she'd snap a picture in our direction....
 The girls.
 Grandpa and his grand kids in order of their birth.  (Rick does not have 13 grand kids.  That's just the year.)  I thought it would be funny to put a number 08 on Blair's belly.

 Big family shot.  Kim's mom, as well as her brother Jon and his family were dragged welcomed to the photo shoot.  Just because no one had their fill of photos at Brynne's wedding.  haha.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Mommy's Helper

Maddie decided she would help me cleaning the bathroom.  While I was cleaning the toilet in one bathroom, Maddie cleaned a sink for me.  As we all know, soap equals clean, so most of a bottle of hand soap has got to get something really clean.

Or really sudsy.  

Later, after I explained the use of "special sink soap" for cleaning bathrooms, Maddie took it upon herself to refill the bottle of hand soap.

With water.
Look Mom.  It's all filled again!

I got to rain on her parade again.  All she wanted to do was help, and I got to explain that next time, only soap goes in the soap bottle.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Stuff Nightmares Are Made Of

Ryan had to help at the fair this morning.  The fair officially ended around 11 pm last night, so the sold animals had to be loaded to go to their various destinations.  Ryan's first sheep truck was to arrive at 6:30 am.  Between the sorting and loading, and taking down the FFA display, and cleaning out Willie's pen, I did not expect Ryan to join us for church until late, if at all.

We were off to a slow start, and we sorta skulked into the chapel after the sacrament.  I didn't do such a great job getting everyone all ready for church, so when Annie and Maddie claimed they needed to go to the bathroom, I didn't feel like I could say no.

Sacrament meeting was in all other respects uneventful (minus the part where the movie, "The Vow" with Channing Tatum was referenced in the high councilman's talk), and thankfully short due to our tardy entrance.  We made our way to Primary.  Our Primary presidency is down to two of us now, with Brittney being released 3 weeks ago and our secretary MIA for the last year or so.  Laura was taking care of teachers and visitors in Senior Primary when Junior Primary was supposed to start.  We had exactly 12 kids and 2 teachers, plus one substitute (yay- we had success getting a teacher to find their own sub!), and no pianist.  We were off to a great start.

I stood to start opening exercises.  We asked if anyone played piano, and the mom of one of the visiting kids (they were visiting from Ireland, no less) kindly stepped in to play in opening exercises.  Our pianist was out of town last week, so I had been in charge of the music folder/book and I had brought it to church with me today.  Our pianist did arrive for singing time.

During Senior Primary singing time, Laura (Primary president) told me that she had tracked down the bishop to discuss callings (aka teachers) with him.  (If you've ever worked in Primary, you would know this is a constant battle.  However, a Primary presidency with only two people in it is cruel.)  Sadly, he was available during Sharing Time (lesson), which Laura was in charge of today.  Would I be willing to do Sharing Time?  I had been there for Sharing Time for Jr. Primary, so I knew kind of what it was about.


90 seconds later, I was in front of a room full of kids and a couple of adults with 15 minutes of "winging it."  My absolute least favorite thing in the whole world.  If I had been in my underwear, it would exactly resemble a nightmare I've had.  I babbled.  I know I did.

That's when some one's phone started playing Carrie Underwoods, "Blown Away."  Everyone looked around.  Emma said, "Mom, is that your phone?"

While this song may be on my phone, I was utterly confused why it would be playing out of the blue.  The last thing playing had been piano music courtesy of Pandora this morning while we were getting ready for church.  I was absolutely bewildered why this was happening to me, because the strains of, "Blown Away" were definitely coming from the direction of my bag and phone.  Hadn't I put my phone on vibrate?  I was so sure I had.  I am really losing my marbles.  (I can really berate myself in the time it takes me to walk 10 steps.)

My phone was dark.  It was not playing anything.  But there was another bag a few feet away from mine- a teacher had passed her class of two to another teacher and had gone to Relief Society and left her bag in the Primary room.  It was her phone ringing.  I left it alone.  I figured it had to be about done, and it was.

When Primary was done, Laura came back.  The bishop had stood her up.  I'm sure there is a perfectly reasonable explanation, but we are still impatiently waiting to discuss those callings.

Fair Week

This last week was a hot one.  I wish they would move our fair forward a few weeks until the weather cools off, but I suppose September isn't a guarantee against a heat wave.  So, we spent our week outdoors sweating, and enjoying the flies.  By Saturday, I think every fly in the town had told nine or ten neighboring friends about the influx of animals, and we had a swarm.  It was gross.

Tuesday we packed Willie up for the fair.
 Wednesday morning the other animals arrived for weigh-in.  I brought the kids down with me at noon for a picnic and we stayed for Livestock Judging.

While Emma was off doing judging, I was hanging out in our 4-H cabana (we had a canvas roof, a couple of camp chairs, and a cooler), and my cell phone beeped at me.  I had really lousy reception at the fair grounds all week, but in a moment of signal, my phone had a voicemail message for me.  I checked, and it was my father-in-law.  He said, "You guys don't seem to be home, so I guess that means you are at the fair grounds.  I'll come find you."

Um, how did I miss that my father-in-law was coming?  Pictures of my house flashed through my mind, and it wasn't pretty.  But at that point, all you can do is laugh.  As I sought out Ryan ("How did we miss that memo???"), Rick arrived.

Hey, at least I had put clean sheets on our spare room bed the day before.  Woo.  Go me.

I left the fair with the twins a little early to go pick up pizza from Papa Murphys (and to quickly pick up the worst of the mess).  When everyone else arrived a half hour later to the smell of waiting pizza, I could pretend my house isn't always in a state of disarray.

Thursday's swine showing started at 7 am.  I trust you will all be impressed that I made it there with the kids in time.

 Willie was a pretty good lookin' pig.  He won Champion in his weight class.  Emma was delighted with her purple Champion ribbon.
Grandpa spent the day at the fair with us.  As another Ag Teacher, he stepped right in and helped with the shows.  The fact that he would be moving closer in a couple of weeks and knows the other Ag Teachers was in his favor.  His new school won't be in our county, but he'll be pretty close.  Ryan stayed plenty busy being the sheep superintendent (the dude in charge of the sheep).  
 Thursday evening after dinner we got to go back for the championship round.  Emma didn't win grand champion, and was bummed out.  (Willie had a nice "finish," but was on the lighter side of the scale.  The judge chose a pig quite a bit heavier.)

Friday morning saw us back at the fair.  I was there by 7:30, and had been beaten by Kim, who had left at 3:30 am to be there for Fitting and Showing.  (I had been originally expecting Rick and Kim at this time...)  As I was settling the kids in and saying hi, I overheard that Caitlin and her girls were also en route.  (Seriously, I missed another memo?  Gee whiz.  Somewhere between Ryan doing his masters degree school work, and all the fair stuff, maybe didn't quite pass along that communication?)

Emma got another blue ribbon for Fitting and Showing.  The pigs were all fairly grumpy and uncooperative.  The pig boards came many times over the course of the morning to break up pig fights.  Willie was more interested in finding a place to lay down than fighting, most of the time.
 We came home by lunch time.  I haven't been grocery shopping in over a week, so.... peanut butter sandwiches and canned peaches and pears for lunch it was.

Rick spent the day getting ready for his fair next week with his new school, but was back for dinner.  Caitlin had taken Kim out to go get a birthday cake and do some errands, while the cousins were all hard at work carrying the toys to the far reaches of the house.  (This is the only downside to having a big house.  There are so many more places to stash toys.)

We got to celebrate Kim's birthday.  Luckily I still had birthday candles stashed in the cupboard.
Walmart's bakery lived up to my expectations.  Supposedly this was written by the head of the bakery department.  I asked why in the world they had gone to Walmart.  I'm sure we've explained our impressions of the store, and we have two other grocery stores in town.

Caitlin and her girls left after dinner, and Rick and Kim turned into pumpkins soon after.  Kim was understandably tired from her early morning.

Saturday was the livestock sale.  Emma was #24, so the girls and I didn't have to stay the whole day like last year.  Her pig was bought by our dentist, for $2.50/lb.  Having not grown up with 4-H or any of this, I'm so impressed with how the community supports the fair and the kids who show.  Most of the people working the show are all volunteers (Ryan included), and then the community shows up to buy the kids' projects.  It is amazing, and we are thankful.

Rick and Kim left right after Emma's pig sold, but the girls and I hung out for the exhibitor and buyer's bbq lunch.  Ryan made it home several hours later, only to head back at 5:30 am this morning to see the animals off, and clean up.  He made it to church for the last hour.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Off To The Fair

It's fair week again.  Today we went down and helped Ryan set up his FFA display.  (His students were busy getting their animals ready instead of feeling helpful.  But that's ok; Ryan has us.)
Ryan found some old FFA banner from the '60s to use.  Back when it was actually Future Farmers of America.  
Afterwards, we loaded Willie up into a trailer we borrowed.  It was nearly 100 degrees (or 102 according to a reader board I saw in town) and it was every bit as fun as it sounds.  (Gee, let's try to get a pig to step up into a trailer he's never been in.  Right.)  We gave ourselves lots of time, and Ryan said it went about as well as could be expected.  I have to say, this was another first for me, so I have to believe him.  We were all filthy and sweaty, and Emma told Ryan after they arrived at the fair for weigh-in that he had poop on his face.

As Ryan and Emma were climbing into the truck to leave, Annie burst into tears.  We've been pretty up front about Willie's fate with the kids.  Annie thought she was not going to see Willie again, and she was grief stricken.  We let her say goodbye, and told her we were going to see him LOTS of times this week before the sale.  (Sale= bacon for someone.)

We also got Emma's record book and buyer's letters done today.  I am sure learning a lot about 4-H as an adult.  I was not adequately prepared for my life as the wife of the FFA advisor.  Good thing I can learn.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Back To School

Ryan began classes for an online master's program, and tonight marks the end of week two.  Only fifty-one weeks left.

We got the welcome box in the mail this week.  Ryan went from "interested" to "enrolled" to "started" in a matter of three weeks.  It was so fast, the "thanks for being interested in us" box arrived after his textbooks, and after school started.

The other school and program he was looking into wasn't going to start in September after all, and after talking to some other teachers at Ag Teacher's conference, and another teacher at his school, Ryan decided to go ahead with this program.  It is 53 weeks, beginning to end, and all online.  By next August, Ryan will have his Masters in Education.  

Then next year, the plan is for him to do his Admin Internship.

The madness has begun.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Willie B. Eaton

We weighed Willie today.  He is about 240 lbs.  It is a production to get him in the scale.
Then Ryan and Emma took advantage of Willie being trapped to wash him.  He looks so much better without all the dead skin from his sunburns and caked on mud.  He does have shade cloth over 2/3 of his pig pen, but the silly pig still fries himself in the sun from time to time.  Only a week until fair time!