Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Creative Genius

I am NOT a creative genius.

I have tried to Scrapbook, sew, knit, decorate, etc. I really want to be able to do these things. I have friends who are awesome at them.

This is a scrapbook page one of my friends made with pics of kiddo numero uno and her buds. When I try to do something like this, it takes me 4 hours to complete one project. And in the process I destroy several pictures, a lot of paper and use a whole bottle of glue. (Are you even supposed to use glue???) I'm horrible. And my friends are great at things like this.


So my new goal, since I'm going to have more free time on my hands is to start small and make some preschool projects with my girls. Maybe if I start there, I can learn to be creative and do things other Moms do. My daughter wants to make a pretty ladybug. I think I might be able to do that. Although, I'll probably have to call my freinds for tips. So wish me luck on this new adventure.


I'm also going to start cooking more. I LOVE to cook. I just don't ever have enough time to do the things I really want to do. I've always wanted to make homemade cinnamon rolls. You know the ones just dripping with goo that runs down your fingers.


So starting in March, look for more cooking ideas on this little diary. And feel free to share any awesome recipes that I can try. I'm gearing up to tie on an apron and get started : )



P.S. I don't really wear an apron; actually I don't even own one. What kind of Mom AM I?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Fashion Fever

Kiddo Numero Uno loves clothes. She is a self proclaimed "style girl" One of her favorite shows to watch is America's Next Top Model. She loves it!!

She now poses whenever I try to take a picture. I can't get any "natural" pictures of her playing any more. As soon as she see the camera, she does this....















And this...
The first thing she does when we get home is change in to something MORE stylish because the clothes Daddy put on her that morning are just not cute enough.
Imagine how she'll be in a couple years..
SCARY!!!

Let it snow ~ Let it snow ~ Let it snow

It's snowing. ALOT!! We've gotten about 6 inches of new snow this morning and it's still snowing.

Today would be a great day to sip hot cocoa and watch a movie under a nice snuggly blankie.

Unfortunately, I'm at work. Watching it snow and thinking, "I'm going to have to go shovel that soon..................BRRRRRRRRR"

It's really pretty though...

I'm just glad that we have the bulk of our stuff moved, because this would be horrible to try and move in.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Growing Up & "Stuff"

I grew up in a small town. We had a cafe, a small "general" store, a post office and a high school.

That's it.
We didn't pay attention to "brand" names and most definitely didn't have the budget for them anyway. I was excited if I was able to get clothes at Maurices, the only "cool" store in the town 12 miles away. My coolest item of clothing my freshman year in high school was my "BUM" sweatshirt. I loved it, and I know it was such a sacrifice for my parents to get it for me. Do any of you remember "BUM" clothes and were they really as cool as I thought they were??

Probably Not ~

My most wished for item was the "cool" shoes for sports. When you live in a small town, you play everything. I lived for volleyball, and played basketball in the off season because everyone else did. But, I never did have the really nice shoes I wanted. So now, I tend to spoil my kids with nice shoes. I've paid way too much money for a nice pair of Fat Baby boots for my daughter that she grows out of too quickly, but I can't seem to help it. She loves them, and I love to see her wearing nice shoes. The ones I would have wanted if we could have had them.

The funny thing is, I didn't realize how hard it was for my parents to make ends meet. I took for granted the things they did for us, and never really realized how they must have juggled things to provide for 3 kids on one income.

So as we head in to the next chapter of our life, I'm happy that we'll still be able to get our kids the things they want and need.

We'll just have to drive a WHOLE LOT farther to get them : )
Oh Yes, that's a big 'ol mess of boxes and toys behind the girls, please ignore that. : )

Sunday, January 27, 2008

We're BACK!!

We made it there and back in two days. What a busy, crazy week-end. Thanks to several friends and two horse trailers, all of our stuff is out of this house (except the computer............we're addicted). We got everything unloaded and even had time for the boys to have a few beverages and go look for waskily wabbits. They didn't have much luck though......too bad.

We got really lucky and had pretty mild weather yesterday, but decided to come back tonight because there was a small blizzard here. We left yesterday with snow melting and came back to about 8 inches of snow.
Crazy Weather!!

I sure wish we had time to get everything unpacked, it's going to drive me crazy until it's all done, but not much we can do about that now. Oh well.....

Well, I hate to cut this short, but I'm exhausted and the kids and I need a bath. And we need to set up the bed on the floor that we'll ALL be sleeping on for the next week while we get things wrapped up here.

I'll try and get some more pics up tomorrow. Here's to happy dreams : )

Friday, January 25, 2008

Will it never end???

















It seems as if we have been on the verge of moving for months. Our house is completely torn apart and we've eaten our last three dinners out. I hate that!! I'm dying for a home cooked meal.

Tomorrow's the big day ~ We have two horse trailers and several trucks all set to move us out to the ranch. I'm a little bit nervous about doing it this way. The last couple of times we moved, we've rented a U-Haul trailer and done it easily in one trip. I hope the trailers can fit all of our stuff.

It's amazing what you can accumulate in such a short amount of time. I had such good intentions of sorting through everything and sending stuff to Goodwill and a consignment bookstore and consignment kids clothing store, but alas it's all been stuffed in boxes and is moving with us. So now my good intentions are going to be to sort that stuff out as we unpack. I'll let ya know how that goes.

Things I'm looking forward to doing..............

1. Spending time home with my kids and husband!!!
2. Riding horses
3. Spending time with kids
4. Planting a garden
5. Trying some new recipes and adventuring beyond my normal 30 minute to meal time routine
6. See #1 and #3
7. Teaching my daughter her pre-school lesson and crafts
8. Teaching kiddo numero dos some songs and crafts
9. Going to a small town church and getting to know the "folks"
10. SPENDING TIME WITH KIDS AND HUSBAND

Notice the pattern???

Well, wish us luck. I probably won't post again until Monday because we are going to be pretty busy. (Plus, I haven't set up our Internet service out there yet)

These pictures were taken by my husband today. Enjoy : )

Thursday, January 24, 2008

It's the final countdown

Yep, I now have that song in my head. I just googled it because I didn't even know who sang it. And who the heck is Europe??? How can I know the song and not remember ever hearing the name of the band??

Weird.

Anyway, we're a day away from move day. We're feeling pretty confident that almost everything is packed up except the neccesities. I know from LOTS of experience moving that I will be scrambling to throw stuff in boxes while my husband and his friends pack the big stuff in the trucks. Just think good thoughts of clear roads and clear skys for us on Saturday.

This is a picture from our drive home at Christmas. YUCK!! We don't want to see weather like this again on Saturday.

So as of the end of this month, the girls and I will be homeless.

Well, not really, but we're not moving to the ranch until March. So, we will be staying in an apartment my boss owns (or with my brother) during the week and going to the Ranch on the week-ends. This feels a little odd to me, but I promised my boss I would work another full month before I go to part time. I feel so blessed that I will be able to continue to work even while living on the ranch, so I can't complain.

We are so excited to get started on this adventure, but I know I just have to be patient while God works the details out. We're almost there and our dreams are about to come true. So now I've started to think about what to do with all of that free time. I'll share my list of things I want to do in the country and with all of my free time tomorrow.

Let me know if you have any great ideas......

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Funny things my kids say - Part Deux

My daughter loves to sing. She gets great joy from singing and I get great joy from listening to her sing. She started singing before she was two and her first song was "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." She then graduated to the ABC song and she hasn't stopped singing since. I've always said that she was born with a song in her heart.

Our family listens to a lot of country music and now kiddo numero uno can sing most of the female country musicians popular music. One of her favorite songs to sing right now is "Stay" by Sugarland. I'm glad she doesn't understand the lyrics, but I love to hear her try to harmonize with them. She also likes to sing "Fall" by Clay Walker, which is also very cute.

So tonight on our way home from getting more packing tape, kiddo numero uno was singing along to the radio. I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention to her since this is a daily occurrence until I heard her yell "HELL, YEAH!!"

I was shocked.


I mean we don't swear in our family. Not even every now and then. I don't think my husband even says anything worse then "Crap," at least in front of the girls.

So where did she hear that???

Yep, she was singing "Redneck Woman" right along with Gretchen Wilson and when Gretchen shouted "HELL, YEAH" so did kiddo numero uno.

So lesson learned, country music isn't even "safe" anymore.....but it was pretty darn funny!!


"HELL, YEAH!!!"

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Life in the Country


We had a fabulous white Christmas this year at Grammy and Papa's. The girls really enjoy riding the four wheeler at their house.


It's funny the things you take for granted when you have them all of the time. I never realize how much I miss living in the country until I go back home. I love the slower pace, I love the outdoor activities, and all of the special time spent with my family. We have been living life in fast forward for the past several years, and I'm looking forward to going back to what I truly love and sharing that with my girls.


Look at the pure joy on their faces!! These are the expressions that I live for. There's nothing better that a great big genuine grin!! I mean seriously, look at numero dos's face from our camping trip last year. PURE JOY!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Love at First Sight!!


We saw her across the room and it was love at first sight!! We fell for her instantly. We can't wait to bring her home with us!! They're going to bring her back on Saturday, right before the big move. I think everyone was heart broken when they took her back home until we're ready for her, but it will definitely come soon enough since puppies are like babies. We're going to have to get up in the middle of the night again. ARGH!! But it will be worth it!!

My husband named her Remi and it's so cute to hear the girls talk about "Remi" and what they're going to do for her and how they "promise" to take care of her. Of course, really that's just kiddo numero uno since dos only speaks one or two words at a time, but I can tell she really wants to say that too!!

She's going to be a worker too. My husband insists that she's going to go everywhere with him and that she's not my dog, just his. Little does he know that I'm going to slip her treats on the side..............Lets see who she likes best then. Alls fair in love and war right???

Puppies, puppies


We're heading out in a few minutes to check out some puppies. I'll take some pics and post them as soon as we return. Wish us luck!!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Birthday Parties and Anniversaries

We have had another busy week-end!! Yesterday was our anniversary and we had two birthday parties to go to this week-end. We had a great time with all of our friends at both parties and a nice QUIET dinner out without the kids for our anniversary. YAY!!

We have been married for five years now. In some ways it seems like forever and in others it just seems like yesterday that we were in Reno exchanging our vows. Yep, I said Reno. Not only that, but we met in a bar. So we are beating the statistics and things are still going great!!

We are excited because we are finally getting to live the life that we've always wanted to live. We had a goal to live in a smaller community and in the country before kiddo numero uno started school and we are excited to be moving in that direction. We've always wanted a small town lifestyle and wanted the girls to grow up in a small town in the country. YAY!! We're almost there.

Thanks again for sharing this adventure with us. We're so anxious to get started!!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

It's our Anniversary!!

Today was our anniversary and we have been out and about all day. I'll try to post about it tomorrow. Sorry for the delay.............

Friday, January 18, 2008

Gift Cards

This Christmas my husband and I decided that for several of our family members we were going to just give them a gift card. It's probably not the most thoughtful gift, but we actually did put quite a bit of thought in to it. We thought and thought about what each of the family members needed, what they wanted, and what we came up with was stupid, cheesey gifts that would have either been re-gifted, taken to Goodwill, or sold at a yard sale. So with all of that thought put in to it, we decided to get each person a gift card for their favorite store. That way they could buy what they wanted instead of making a trip to the thrift store later in the year.

So because I had to leave for Texas on business on a Sunday night right before Christmas, my family and I spent that whole Saturday going to each of the stores and buying a gift card for several people.

Before I left for Texas, I took the cards out of my purse and put them on the counter, so we wouldn't lose them or forget about them because they would be right in front of our faces. Then I headed off for the airport to fly all day on Sunday and spend two days of intense training for an investment product we're selling.

When I got home, I was pleased to see that my husband had done a very thorough cleaning, the house was spotless. The girls were all shiny faced and smiley and my stress level was at a minimum.

"What a great family I have" I thought to myself.

So two days later, I had to start packing all of our stuff to go to Grammy and Papa's for Christmas. I was wrapping presents like a mad woman, doing laundry and packing bags. Making sure that everything was accounted for.

Clothes.........check
Blankets (my girls would positively die with theirs.............really)...........check
Coats, gloves, mittens, etc.......................check
Presents........................Check
Gift Cards................................Uhhhhhh.........."Babe, where are the gift cards"

He couldn't remember. He knows he put them somewhere safe so that they wouldn't get lost while I was in Texas and he was cleaning like crazy. But for the life of him, he can't remember where they are.

We turned the house upside down looking for those cards. We looked in our junk drawer (scary!!!), dressers, wallets, kids toy box, everywhere we could possibly think to look and couldn't find them anywhere.

So, what were we to do??? We couldn't show up without gift for everyone....so yep, we had to go back out and replace 3 gift cards. Luckily, one was an old fashioned gift certificate so they could just void one and replace it with a new one. The others we had to buy though. Such a bummer.

So a couple of days ago while packing up for this move, I reached in to the cupboard that we keep coffee and baby bottles in (I really needed to clean those bottles out months ago) and there they were. Tucked up against the side of the cupboard where you wouldn't notice them if you were robbing our house, but if you remembered where you put them for safekeeping, they jumped out at ya.

Needless to say, I got a new sweather at REI last night because we had an extra gift card. YAY me!!! Ha Ha!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

New family member

In the next couple of months we will be in the market for a new family member. We are looking for a shorter four legged friend who loves kids, wants to work with their new dad and be a part of our family.



How am I supposed to decide when I see things like this...

This is Bruneau..............I mean really those eyes, what are they trying to do to me......we can't bring our new friend home yet. We have to move first and get settled and everything.





This is Diggy. Same thing, it's the eyes. I'm such a sucker. I would take them all home if I could.






This is Dot. She is such a cutie and she looks like she probably knows her way around the ranch. Might even be able to round up a cow or two.





This is Splash. She looks like she might be a good worker too. This is a working Ranch we're going to be living on ya know ~



I don't know about Izzy Jane. She looks kind of lazy, but I couldn't resist adding her because she's all wrinkled up. I love wrinkles. Well puppy wrinkles anway..... the wrinkles forming around my eyes. UMMMM Yeah.... Not so much

So who is your favorite?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Funny things my kids say

Do your kids ever say things that just crack you up, or worse totally embarrass you?
Last night we hauled the whole family down to our local Macy's Department store. I have a gift card from Christmas that we've been trying to use. Only a few minutes after walking in the store, while I was checking out the make-up at Clinique, the friendly sales lady asked if she could help me. "No, thanks" I said, "I'm just checking stuff out" And here's the embarrassing part.....

My sweet little innocent four year old girl in her most clear and LOUD voice asks me...


"IS THAT A MAN OR WHAT?"


She looked (kinda) like a lady with pretty short hair, but her voice, her voice sounded like Jon Heder. You know the guy from Napoleon Dynamite? Just like him.
So I just looked her in the eye, gave her a helpless smile and shrug, whispered "Sorry" and walked away. What could I do? Tell my four year old that even though the lady sounds like a man and kinda looks a little like a man that she's a she and she should apologize? I was soooooo embarrassed and I think the sales lady was pretty embarrassed too.
The funny (and embarrassing) things kids say!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Home ~ Sweet ~ Home

Here are a few pics of the new casa...


From the road out front
















Our Entrance...















We have a small barn that I'm absolutely in love with...














The corrals out by the barn. I'm assuming that we will be doing a lot of sorting cattle out here.


















Home ~ Sweet ~ Home



Monday, January 14, 2008

Blessings

Our family has truely been blessed in the last year. I just found out that I'm going to be able to continue to work part time while living on the ranch. We had adjusted our budget so that we wouldn't need my income, but it cut out a lot of extra spending. So now, I will commute in to town two days a week and work from home part time the rest of the week. Still leaving plenty of "at home with the kids" time but also giving me and them some time to socialize and get out of the house plus being able to keep our current lifestyle and continue to save.

This whole move seems to have God's hand in it. In June of last year, I left my Fortune 500 company and chose to come work for a small independent broker not knowing that we would be presented with the opportunity to live and work on the ranch. If I was still with my past company there would be no option to telecommute or work part time. We would have had to just make due with what we have, but now, we will be able to live very comfortably. It's amazing the opportunities that God presents to us and how we may not always understand the reason for change, but God is in charge of the big plan.

I'm excited to continue to work because I really enjoy my job and I really like the people I work with and the industry as a whole. I will be home with the girls five days a week and working two instead of working five and home two. Seems like a great deal to me!!

Please remember to have faith in God and let him lead your life. He knows what's best and remember it's not always our timing or our plan, but his.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Goldfish and more packing

See Anything?















Are ya sure? Might want to look again....


Ok, you're right there's nothing in there. But don't tell kiddo numero uno.........she'd be crushed that you didn't see her goldfish. She wants to make sure that it makes it through the move. She specifically told me not to dump the water out, cause her goldfish would die. She's verrrrry dramatic!!

We've been working some more on packing...please ignore the mess. (imagine the wizard of Oz). Don't look behind the curtain...





Notice in picture number 2 that smiling face down at the bottom? She can't resist........she's like a magnet. The camera comes out and she starts posing. I can hardly get any pictures of kiddo numero dos without uno popping in. She's so sly too, if I'm trying to get a shot at dos she wants to "give her a hug" Of course the whole time they're hugging, she's smiling for the camera.
And what would we do without digital cameras. As soon as I've taken the picture "Can I see? Can I see? Remember the days when you had to wait weeks to get the pics back and most of the time your parents forgot to take them in at all. Oh progress, how I love you!!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Beginning of Chaos

Yep, it's starting. We are officially in the midst of moving. Our house we're in now is complete chaos with boxes everywhere and I can't find anything. And our new house is now officially ready for us to move in to. We spent the whole day out there today cleaning, shampooing carpets, scrubbing toilets, sinks, etc. This moving stuff is hard work!!!


The girls had a fabulous time. We put them in their mucky boots (rubber boots) and let them run free. The boots were covered in mud and kiddo numero uno was thrilled to be able to splash in the puddles without getting in trouble. In fact, she kept looking at me like she was afraid I was going to get mad. This whole living in the country thing is going to take some getting used to for everyone. Our kids are not going to be clean all of the time. Actually, they'll probably be dirty more then they're clean. It's going to be great!! and I'm going to have to figure out how to do tough laundry. So let me know if you have any good ideas!!


We saw some great wildlife while we were out there. We saw a bald eagle perched on top of a dead cow...........(sorry if that's too graphic for some of you), a coyote and a little herd of deer. We're excited to see what other new adventures will happen. Oh, and the girls are loving it.........they didn't want to leave. I think they're going to fall in love with their new home.

Friday, January 11, 2008

My Big Sis

I know this is supposed to be about my journey to the country and ranch life, but I had to pause for a moment and write a little something about my sister. I want to share the comment she left for me yesterday.....

So you did decide to move to the country. It is amazing the values our parents instilled in us. Since both of us desire that country living. Slowing down, growing your own things whether it be children or vegetables or animals. I pray that god bless you in this adventure. Don't give up when the going gets rough. You are going to have culture shock to the country. I think this is the best thing you could have done for your family. You are always in my prayers.~your big sis

It's funny. My sister and I have always been total opposites. I have always looked up to her so much, but there was a time in the past few years where we barely talked. She was living in New Mexico, and then South Korea, and now she's in Canada and our paths have barely crossed. But seeing the comment she left yesterday just cemented exactly what she said. Our parents instilled strong roots and strong values in us. We came from a small town in the country and now we desire to raise our families the way we were raised. And above all else family is the most important thing.

So I know I don't say it often enough, but I love you sis!! And I admire the accomplishments you've made in your life and I'm so darn proud of you. I think we've both come a long way from the girls we were into the women we are today. God Bless you and you're family.

Lots of love - your little sis

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Best Buds

These are my daughter's best friends. They have known each other since they were babies. They have been the constants in her life whether it's a Halloween party, camping, birthday party or just a play date. These are the girls she hangs with...........................and the ones she's going to miss the most when we're out in the country!!!

Please best buds Mom's please continue to include us in your activities, we'll drive in. I promise.................so that our girls can continue to build the bond they've already started.
Plus, now your girls can come to our house and ride horses, plant a garden and shovel cow and horse poop. Sounds fun, right??

They really like to trick-or-treat









And they like to go to the pumpkin patch










And they say good-bye like they're never going to see each other again.









They've been friends for a reallllllllllly long time. (like 4 years)








We're going to miss seeing you so often, so we'll just have to make our visits count. So tell your girls no hair pulling or hitting, pinching, no crying...........nothing. They better all behave. These visits have to be good. Don't worry, kiddo numero uno has been warned. She only gets to play with her friends if she realllly makes it count. Ha Ha!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Getting Started

Ok. Here we go. We're just getting started. I'm trying to get this all figured out, so bear with me while we figure out the technical stuff. Let me tell you a little about us and why we're here. Hang on.... Here we goooooooo!!


My husband and I have decided to make a HUGE change in our lives. We are scared, nervous, anxious and most of all excited, and we have decided to give up our two fairly successful careers and move our entire family (including Jack the cat) 80 miles away to the ranch and a small town of about 300 people. Why would you do that, you might ask??? It's all because of these two little girls


We have decided that we would rather have them grow up in a small town, with small town values, riding horses, planting gardens, feeding cows, taking care of chores, with a Mommy who's almost always home and a Daddy who isn't at work until their bedtime.

So what are we giving up? Easy access to shopping, friends and coffee shops, one whole income, our girls being raised in daycare, parents who are at work more than at home, neighbors a few feet away, hospitals just a few blocks away, our spring and fall softball and so many other things.

But.........we think the trade off is worth it. We will get to spend more time as a family. Our girls will have a Mommy at home with them most of the time (I still might work a couple days a week) Access to lots of hunting and fishing for my husband. A much slower lifestyle.

So, is it worth it???

We think so, and we would like to invite you along on our journey from living in the city to on the Ranch. We think we'll probably have quite a few adventures along the way to share with you and we'll try to take lots of pictures so that you can see what we've chosen to do.

Hope you enjoy the ride : )