Sunday, October 19, 2014

Tiny Homes

For several years now Randy has wanted to build a “Tiny Home.” It’s like a travel trailer but it looks like a real house…it even has a porch. He has spent HOURS thinking, researching, planning, dreaming and talking about building these Tiny Homes to sell. He’s even drawn up his own blueprints (that I love.) 
Here's what the Tiny Homes look like on the outside and inside. 

The problem is that it cost a lot to build. He has had someone interested in investing in the idea, but the catch was that Randy had to find a bank that would loan a buyer the money to buy the finished product. Randy went to several banks and came up empty. The banks don’t want to make such a large unsecured loan on something without a Blue Book value. This past year it seemed a few times that Randy was going to be able to figure out a way to get it valued but so far nothing has come up solid.
Well, a few months ago Randy came up with a different idea. He used to “flip houses” for a living. For several years that’s what he did. He bought houses, fixed them up himself (or with helpers) and then sold them for a profit. That’s now what he wants to do with Travel Trailers (or RV’s.) His idea was to buy an old Travel Trailer that needs a lot of work for a cheap price, fix it up super nice then sell it for a profit. Then, with the profit roll it into buying the next trailer…doing the same thing, and eventually having enough money to build his 1st TINY HOME. He knows if he can get that 1st one built and sold then he would be on his way to making them for a living.
Well, I’m happy to say that this week we bought our first Travel Trailer to fix up and sell!!! We bought it from a man about an hour away. We piled up the kids after school, bribed them to be nice to one another the whole way there and back and drove down curvy back roads. We finally made it to a kind man that had tons of land, some cattle and llamas and for some reason sold us an awesome travel trailer for a much lower price than he advertised it for. We offered him one price and he countered with an even lower price.
We were in the minivan so we had to pay and leave it there, but yesterday Randy, Melody, his brother and sister in law went back and picked it up. This morning I woke up to an empty bed. Randy is outside taking measurements and making plans. He’s so excited. He’s been carrying around a RV parts catalog like it’s a Bible.
I’m excited for him. He’s been dreaming and planning for so many years. Now he is getting to physically work on something. He’s on his way. It will probably take awhile to complete because he will have to work on it after work, weekends and as we have the money to restore, but he’s still on his way. Exciting!!!
Here are some BEFORE pictures of the trailer.

Don't Worry...Randy has seen a lot worse! : )

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

A New Blog Beginning...

So yeah, I haven’t blogged recently in a really long time. I mean a loooonnnnngggg time. I’ve been healing I guess. Last weekend would have been Miles’ 10th birthday. That makes it his 4th birthday in heaven. I woke up that morning with a heavy heart. I was in bed remembering him. Remembering his hair. Remembering taking care of his body. Remembering running around town taking him to therapies. Remembering what it was like to love him and be loved by him. Then I remembered my blog. I wrote so many details on there over a period of 6 years. Suddenly I had a deep desire to preserve them. That’s the way I spent his birthday…preserving those details about him and the rest of our family. I transferred my blog to a PDF. Anyway, reading over so many of those posts made me realize how much I missed blogging. After Miles died I just didn’t seem to get writing ideas anymore. It’s not like I wanted to write and couldn’t think of anything. It’s just that it was gone.
              I was talking to Randy about what in the world I would write about now. I have no idea. My houseful of teenagers probably won’t appreciate me sharing all their business on here. When they were young it didn’t seem to matter as much.
 I can’t talk too much about work because there are rules about that. I will say that teaching Kindergarten has been a huge part of my healing. I love being around young children all day. I feel like myself there. This is my third year teaching and it fits me perfectly. For that, I am thankful.
So, I’m not sure what I will write about. I’m not sure how often it will be. I just want to be open to allow that gifting The Lord gave me to rise up in me again. 

Tuesday, May 01, 2012


For Spencer's math class he was assigned to write 3 story problems. I think the assignment came at the end of last week and he had been thinking about it a lot, asking me some questions about it and adding details to ideas. He had decided early on that he wanted to make up a character named Jerry the Cat. He also decided early on that he wanted to do a play on  nursery rhymes. Well, like I said he continued to flush out his ideas and finally finished writing the problems last night. I'm a proud Mama! I just had to share them with you!

Obviously I haven't been able to read the other kid's story problems. Still, I  can't imagine them being as amazing as Spencer's! He could have taken the assignment and quickly written down some lame problems, but he put so much thought into it. Anyway, here's a copy of what he wrote:

Jerry the Cat was going to work one day when he came across Jack and Jill’s house. He was very puzzled when he saw Jill going up the hill. She explained that she was taking over Jack’s job of fetching the water because Jack has had a severe headache ever since he fell down the hill. Jill was confused because Jack told her to get 2 pints of water, but the pale went up to 5 cups. It didn’t say anything about pints. Jerry the Cat told her that a pint is two times as big as a cup. He told her that if she multiplied the number of pints you need by 2 then you get the number in cups. By doing that they figured out she needed 4 cups of water. She quickly put 4 cups of water in the pale and went back down the hill.

Jerry the Cat also passed Wolf and Pigs Deconstruction Company. Mr. Wolf was making a billboard. It read, “HAY and STICK HOUSES only $100.” The problem was he didn’t know what to charge for blowing down brick houses. He figured it was 4 times harder to blow down a brick house than it was for one hay or one stick house. To help Mr. Wolf, Jerry the Cat told him just to be safe to use proportion to get the price of the brick house based on the price of blowing down stick and hay houses. Mr. Wolf brought out a fan for blowing the houses down. He built the hay house then placed the fan on the first setting. The hay house blew away quickly. The same thing happened for the stick house. To blow down the brick house the fan had to be placed on the setting of 5 to blow it down. Mr. Wolf decided it should cost 5 times more to destroy brick houses than both the hay and stick houses. So he multiplied 5 times $100 to get $500, which was the price of blowing down the brick houses.

After that Jerry the Cat saw his friend March Hare who was running late for his appointment with the Queen of Hearts (as usual.) He did not know why he was always late until he realized that when going down the rabbit hole it became a different time zone. In fact there was 1 hour and 40 minute difference. March Hare needed to set his alarm clock 1 hour and 40 minutes sooner, but he wasn’t sure when that would be. So Jerry the Cat asked him when he usually wakes up. March Hare told him he always gets up at 7:30 so they had to subtract 1 hour and 40 minutes from that time. They said 1 hour earlier was 6:30, but they still needed to subtract 40 minutes from that. They realized after they subtracted 30 more minutes that they were still 10 minutes off. So Jerry the Cat said, “6:00 minus 10 minutes equals 5:50.” Then a very appreciative rabbit started to hop away while Jerry the Cat headed to work. He also figured out a way to get to work on time, which was to stop taking this route.

I love my smart and creative Red Head! 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easter Pictures

We took Easter pictures the other day (just like the rest of the people did on Facebook.) 

I could have posted all the perfect pictures with the kid's eyes open and everyone smiling and looking at the camera but that wouldn't be any fun for you to look at. are some Out Takes from our Easter Portrait session. 
(Photos taken by various members of our own family with my iPhone.) 

First up we have Randy with the girls...I kept making him stand up straight because he kept hunching over. Here Randy is over dramatizing the hunch. 

Who really knows what was going on here. We weren't planning on doing any Charlie's Angel's photos. What I do love here is the genuine laugh coming out of Joey. It cracks me up. 

And here we have a picture of Randy trying to imitate "Uncle Rico's photo shoot" on Napoleon Dynamite. I love it. This one is actually a keeper. 

 Here is Spencer later in the day trying to imitate Randy's "Uncle Rico pose." Eyes Shut
 Cracking up about not trying to crack up.
 Trying to keep a straight face. 
 YES! Here we go! Spencer's impression of Randy's impression of Uncle Rico. 

 This one is just a fail all the way around. 

This photo is what you call an ALMOST. Almost everyone had their eyes open. Now this picture happens to be Spencer with his eyes closed but it could have been any number of other photos with one of the other kid's eyes closed. Thank goodness for digital cameras! 

This one isn't so much of an out take photo. It's just that they boys are getting so tall that by next Easter I think I will be a front row girl and the boys will have to be behind me. 

This one is an out take! It wouldn't have been fair to put a whole lot of bad pictures of everyone without adding one of me. This is when I was trying to get Spencer into the right position and he began to wrestle me and pull my hair! 

This was not planned. I was trying to take a picture of the girls together when Spencer jumped in front of the camera in the last second. I have several of these sort of pics as well. 

Now here are some of the cute ones to bore you to death for you to enjoy. 

Friday, March 09, 2012

Spring Break!

Spring Break has officially started! 

I'm excited that we have no plans at all! I'm looking forward to hanging out with the kids and seeing where the week takes us. 

The girls have been home for less than an hour and they're already in the middle of a painting project. 

Hopefully this week will include: Sleeping in, watching movies, going to the dog park, coloring, taking pictures, crafty things, riding bikes, relaxing and lots of laughing. 

Hopefully this week will not include: Arguing, declaration of boredom and constant hunger. : ) 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Picture...

Something I really wish I had was one great picture of Miles and I together. I'm the picture taker around here so I don't have one. I have amazing pictures of Miles. I have some pictures I treasure of Miles with the kids and Randy. I just don't have one of me with him.

I would love a picture of me snuggled up in his bed with my head on his shoulder and my arm around him. That seems to be the spot I miss most. I loved the way his pajamas felt.

I wish there was a plain everyday picture of Randy and I working together in the evenings doing Miles's night routine. Years and years we chose Miles over our own exhaustion to do all the things he needed to survive. There were so many things that had to be done at night and we did them every night. Medicines ready, catheter, night feeds, breathing treatments and The Vest. I wish I would have thought to have the kids take a quick snapshot of us.

On the last Mother's Day he was here I kept thinking I wanted Randy to take a picture of me with all five of the kids. It ended up being one of the crappiest days and I never got him to do it. Miles died 2 weeks later and I don't have that picture with just me and my babies.

I wish there was an unposed photo of me in the hospital with Miles. One where I was just doing the stuff I had to do. One that showed how intense the situation was yet also somehow showed the peace I had. I have lots of pictures with Miles and Randy in the hospital and shots of Miles and the kids at the hospital, but none of me and Miles.  I was there almost every minute of every hospital stay. Not one photo.

I wish I had a picture of Miles and I at the waiting room in Dr. Wiley's office. We were there so often. Sometimes once a week (sometimes even more than that.) I would sit at the edge of my chair and have his wheelchair sideways in front of me. I would pat his chest and make him smile. If he was asleep I would prop my arms up on his wheelchair and read or play on my phone. I have that picture in my head now, but I know in time it will probably fade away and I want to remember it.

I would love to have a photo of me singing over Miles when he didn't feel good, in the hospital or after surgeries. I would often sing, "Jesus. Jesus. Jeeeeesssus. There's just something about that name. Master, Savior, Jesus like the fragrance after the rain. Kings and Kingdoms will all wash away. There's just something about that name." I would also sing, "Jesus' blood never failed you yet. Never failed you yet. Jesus' blood never failed you yet. This one thing I know...That he loves you so."

I wish there was a picture of us where we're both just happy and smiling. As heartbreaking as so many situations were during his lifetime there were infinitely more situations where love conquered all, where peace passed all understanding and the joy of the Lord was our strength. I wish I had a picture of us just enjoying being together.

With all my heart I wish I had a picture of Miles next to me at church. During worship I would hold his hand and lift my own. I was always praying for him and singing over him. I still feel so off balanced without him at church. For years I had his sweet hand to hold on to.

Lord, please help me to keep these pictures in my heart and mind to remind me of how fiercely I loved him.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Really? : )

A few times last week I noticed that Melody’s bra was riding up and making things look weird. She doesn’t wear real bras but little sporty tank top bras. Anyway, like I said I noticed that “things” weren’t looking right. I had to keep telling her to pull her bra down. She told me that she had to keep pulling it down all day long. I decided she must have outgrown hers and needed some new ones. When I was at the store I was looking at the little girl sport bras. I couldn’t figure out the right size so I decided to wait until Monday (yesterday) to take her with me to the store to make sure and get the correct fit.
Well, yesterday flew by and I never did make it to the store with her. Last night Jocie asked me if she wanted me to just let Melody borrow some of her bras until I got to the store. I told her that would be great, but Melody complained that she doesn’t like Jocie’s. I told her that she would just have to wear Jocie’s until I got to the store.
Last night before bed she came into the kitchen where Randy and I were. She only had her sleep shorts and one of Jocie’s bras on. She walked in and immediately I said, “Oh gosh! You’re right! Those do not fit right!” The fit was very awkward and pointless. Randy said, “Um, isn’t it just on backwards?”
I helped Melody turn it around and it fit perfect. It was on backwards! She insisted that’s the way Jocie told her to put it on…with the white side in the back. I went to Jocie’s room to talk to her and make sure she wasn’t wearing her bras backwards. Jocie said that she didn’t tell Melody that and she doesn’t wear them like that. So, I showed Melody some of her bras and asked her how she would put them on and The Girl Has Been Wearing Them Backwards!!! We were all laughing so hard.

When I picked the girls up from school today Melody immediately told me, “Man, my bra fits sooooo much better! I didn’t have to pull it down one time today!”