Friday, November 29, 2013

More Visitors

Earlier this year we had my sister and her family come for great visit.
We went to Tulie Creek.
The boys.

The girls...not too happy about getting their pics taken.

Auntie (me) and Beautiful niece.

The kids were going to go down the Poop Shoot, but it didn't work out.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


My grandma and mom came for a short visit.  We had such a good time.
Here's what happened.
Four generations.  
We drove to the mountains and stopped at The Old Apple Barn.  Great place for photo shoots.
Hubby (being hubby) and my mom.
Family shot.

Grandma was nervous to go all of the way out on the look out.  Hubby convinced her to go and she wasn't disappointed.
Hubby is such to jokester acting like they are falling.

Monday, November 25, 2013

22 Things I Love About my Hubby

This month Hubby and I celebrated 22 years of marriage.
Here are 22 things I love about being married to my hubby:
1. He is always funny, always.
2. He is so ever patient.
3. He has given me a sense of adventure.
4. He is a wonderful dad.
5. He loves God.
6. He likes me just for me.  No pretending needed here.
7. He loves to cook and even clean afterwards.
8. There is always someone to talk to, who will listen.
9. Our walks, all of them, long and short.
10. He is affectionate.
11. He gives a different perspective on life that is very needed at times.
12. He REALLY balances me out.
13. He is rather cute, handsome and ...good on the eyes.
14. He helps around the house.
15. He is a very hard worker.
16. He helps with the kids.
17. He has been by my side through some major times and I know he will still be there for those to come.
18. He is out-going.
19. I have done, seen, tasted things & gone places I would've never tried without him.
20. He warms my side of the bed on cold nights, then rolls over to his cold side when I come in.
21. He knows me like no one else.
22. I can trust him.

That was probably the easiest list I have ever wrote. I could really go one and on.

Looking forward to 22+ more years with my best friend!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Where Have I Been?

How does one encapsulate almost 20 years of being a housewife/stay-at-home mom and two weeks of going back into the workforce as a special ed assistant in a blog post?

I honestly don't know, but I am going to try.

It was time.
Time for me to go back to work.  I have to say right up front that I have never been one to want to go back into work.  I LOVED staying at home and almost all things domestic.  However, with one kid done with school and working full-time and one back in public school and hubby and one or two other was time.

After many applications and three interviews, I got a job at the high school as a special educational assistant.
Boy, was I excited!  And a bit not knowing what to expect.
This job is such a mixed bag:
*I haven't loved and disliked a job on such a level before.
*Some days, some minutes, actually some seconds you can feel so content and full then feel frustrated and mad the very next.
*Some kids make your day, not matter what.  Other get the picture.
*I have felt to humbled by the intensity of the job and at the same time empowered.
*I don't see certain "duties" as a bother at all anymore.

The first week I was sorta tossed into it.  Thankfully there was a lady that start the same day.  I felt so much like a fish out of water for two days.  Now I feel like I have been there much, much longer than two weeks.  I have had so many great, funny conversations with a nonverbal student, changed teenage boy diapers, pushed and pushed wheelchairs around (my poor hamstrings screamed on day 3), broken up a few fights, ran after a couple of "runners", been hugged, kissed, drooled on, pinched, scratched, bruised (sometimes all in the same day), cooked with them, cleaned with them, learn more things than I thought I'd ever learn at this job.

I feel tougher.  I have felt broken down.  I feel fuller.  I have felt like giving up.  I have gotten so connected to the students.  And yet when one or two of them are absent golly, it is so much calmer.

I really like the the people I work with.  I love the kids in our class, even the hard ones.  I do miss being at home, but am getting a routine.  I don't know how long I am going to work, but man do Fridays take on a-whole-nother meaning these days.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Dear Social Worker,

Dear Social Worker,

I know you don't know me, but I would like to tell you a few things about myself.

I am a mom of two kids.
Two kids whom I had to have a special  procedure done to carry them to full term.
Many sleepless nights I have walked the hall humming, rocking, cradling my children to sleep, comforting them through teething pains and something's-just-not-right pains.
Countless messes have I cleaned up, from simple spills to vomit covered bedding to bloodied bathroom floors and clothes (from bloody noses).
Numerous trips to the doctors in and out of town have I driven.  Hours waited in the waiting rooms for routine check ups to more serious diagnoses, x-rays, therapies and treatments.  Countless prayers have been sent to Heaven for healing and care for my little ones and teens.
A library's worth of stories read, a tree's worth of coloring pages colored, store's worth of sticky notes used as friendly reminders and little love notes.
Untold hours devoted to developing who I am so I can better mother my children and raise them to be good, honest, productive citizens.
So very many precious moments, listening, comforting, advising, correcting, sharing, laughing and crying.
Cringe worthy driving lessons, ear-piercing drum playing, guitar playing, singing lessons.
Countless...sacrifices.  Sacrifices I would never take back.  Sacrifices I don't regret.  Sacrifices I so want to make for someone else's child.  Sacrifices I am so willing to make for a child in your care.

Now please, dear social worker, tell me why you won't do extra paper work to send a child in your care out of state.
Dear social worker, please tell me why you won't even look any home study, any family not in your area, not in your district or city.
Tell me dear social worker why you don't know more about the "condition" the child in your care has so you can better "treat" that child and find a family who does.
Please tell why you won't answer calls or emails.
Why don't you care enough about that child in your care to sacrifice?

I will fly to the ends of the earth for my kids and for children whom we would like to adopt... please tell me why you don't want to do a little extra work.  Are they not worth it?

The child in your care's potential mommy.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Back to School

Today is the first day of school.  Son went back to public school!  His first time since 4th grade (which he only went to one week of).  I think he is going to do great and like it a lot.  It was the right time all of the way around.  (you can read about it here.)  I took him for his first day.  He was nervous and had to find out where two of his classes were.  Sending him to school was different this time.  In elementary he liked it, but also had a lot of rough patches, especially in 1st grade.  (Teachers can make or break the school year.)  He did well in school, made friends, etc. but did better at home on many levels.  However, this year he is more than ready.

When we started out homeschooling him the plan was to get him caught up and send him back in, say in 6th grade.  After a month I LOVED it.  He LOVED it.  I taught Son at home for the 4th grade year and then kept Daughter at home as well.  Teaching them both felt so right.  We had SO much fun, did So many things and a home schooling family.  I even had a home schooling blog.  Those were good times.  Times I will cherish always.

However, Son grew and really needs to be out, and learn from someone other than Mom.  I have no real concerns, no what will he do if...thoughts.  I know him, and I know he'll do good.  This is a big point in his life that he will succeed at.

Monday, July 22, 2013

They're Chicken

So the other day we had a rather eventful chicken day.

It started out with Little Joe crowing...FOR THE FIRST TIME!!
It was rather cute, like he had a sore throat.
We are going to see how much and how loud he gets.  We may have to trade him as we aren't supposed to have roosters in the city.


A little later in the day one of the hens, Cheeky AKA Cleopatra, fell into an empty trash can and FREAKED out!  When one freaks they all freak.

The same day, they are out free ranging and I hear them making "scared" noises.  I look out just in time to see a hawk swooping down.  Scared that bad boy away, only to see a hungry cat right next to our wall a little while later.  I kept them in their coop for like two days.

I really think they got shook.  When they come out to free range they don't hardly go anywhere.  They really feel safe in their coop.

The Zoo with my Brother

 You may or may not know that my brother and his family are missionaries in America Samoa.  We haven't seen them for 2 1/2 years.  We had a very nice (short 2 days) visit with them.  We took them to the zoo.

 Here's our son narrating  for you all.

 There was a pigeon with a stump leg.  Our daughter really felt for it.

 Our son seeing how far he could jump.  Not too bad
 My awesome brother and his family.  Miss them tons.

 I think I got everyone, except me.  We were all looking at the bears.

My brother was really into these birds.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Grad Party Photos

Our daughter graduated from home school a year early!!

 The card box made by moi.

 Pre-party set-up.  I couldn't have pulled this off without all of the help I had!!

 Idea from Pintrest.

My mom (who was  BIG help) and I having FUN!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Indepence Day

We like to go watch the fireworks in different places every year.  This year we went on Hang Gliders Ridge.

 Our ride was a bit bumpy.  Oh, and my voice doesn't sound that high...I hope.

 View from our spot.  Not very clear, but you get the idea.

Chicken Photo Dump

 Little Joe and me.

 Dust bathing beauties.

 The two Barred Plymouth Rocks.

 Their newest favorite hangout.  There is about a week difference in time in the above set of pics and these.  They really do grow very fast.

 We seriously did just wash our windows.

Nap time inside and out.

Next post...Non-chicken.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Fast Forward

Today we got some really good news that lifted a weight off of my shoulders.

When we started out on the home school journey, we were just going to get our son caught up then send him back into school. 
That was fourth grade. 
We ended up loving it and wanted to home school both of the kids until 12th grade.
Picking curriculum is half of the work done as a home school parent.  The legs of your school.

(chicken photos are just to give you something to look at.)

Fast forward to 9th grade.
The distance schooling we tried just didn't happen for a few reasons.
We tried to put son into public school, but were too late.
Son busted out the credits we were told he needed to get into 10th grade with not much problem.

Fast forward to end of 9th grade.
The high school is still giving us a hard time.
Long story short...he had two choices, go into high school as a 10th grader who will be behind and would have to take extra classes that cost pretty big $$.   Or go in as a 9th grader and be ahead.
There was just no going around it.  They don't do things like they used to.  I felt like this chick.

(look at those claws, talons...not to cool when we get scratched now.)

Today son got into an alternative school with NO problems!!!
There is normally a waiting list for this school.
No waiting.
No begging.
No rearranging schedules.
NO 9th grade!!
No cost!
Now we are getting somewhere.
(SOOO hard to get a still shot of these gals.)

This school is small and really works one on one with the students.
He will get caught up.
There's no drama at this school either!

This retired home school mom is so relieved to have her son be able to get things straightened out.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Coop De'Ville or Coop De'Redneck

We bought a used coop with run a couple of weekends ago from some very great people, I mean super nice.  Since we had to dismantle it anyway we figured we'd make our own out of the pieces.  Plus we were able to use up some of the pieces in our yard.

Here's the old:

Here's ours this far:
 Please excuse the mess...we are still in construction mode.  It has taken us about 24+ hours to get this far.  That's just counting since we brought it home.  Taking off the chicken wire, the screw, nails, etc...

We cut the old nesting box in half.  We will be putting the other half on top of these three.  Under the boxes we will put their food and water.  There will also be a ramp from the ground to the boxes on the left.  For now our coop is open.  It is so hot here that we wanted to give them as much air as possible.  We'll play winter by ear.

Resting on the chair is the perch which will go along the back side.  The chair...well, I put the chicks in the coop and watch them.

The top is all from the old coop.  We left the siding over hang to give the hens more shade.

There are a few more areas we need to tighten up and staple down.  But for the most part it's just about there.

Oh, the girls...they LOVE being in there future home.  They are already dust bathing, foraging, exploring, etc.  We let them out more than some folks from what I have read, but then again, those folks have hens that are much older who don't dust bathe, etc.

For now we had to upgrade their indoor home to this...
 They are in the office now and love the extra running space.

Flying the coop!  Red is always the first out of the box!  You should've heard the other two inside itching to get out.