Sunday, June 7, 2015

When life comes full circle

   So, a little over a year ago I had the rug pulled out from beneath me, so to speak. I can't remember if I ever wrote about it here and am too lazy to go back and check. The farm got auctioned off and I was scrambling to find homes for horses, tell all my boarders, and tell my lesson kids, get everything packed up and sold or stored.  This was all less than a week post partum. It was a rough moment in my life and honestly, in hind sight, I feel that I live a pretty charmed life if that is my worst trial. I'm still not sure how but my mom bought it back from the new owners, much to pretty much everyone's chagrin. I was angry, worried and then just kind of had to let it all go. I was able to be a full time stay at home mom. I enjoyed Ezra so much, my big kids were so sweet to each other and him. I spent time trying out homemade recipes, looking for ways to save money and be better at budgeting, I cleaned the house. These homemaker skills are not my strong suit and normally would stress me out but for some reason I felt like I was finally hitting my stride in the mom department. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids but all the things that come with keeping kids alive and husbands happy have taken work.
    As Chops was thinking about going back to school I knew we would need to supplement our income if we didn't want to accumulate massive amounts of student loans. My first thought, of course, was to teach lessons. But I needed to make sure that the farm was securely getting the mortgage paid. I slowly, very slowly, started working at the farm again getting it fixed up and ready to rent out. There were a handful of horses there but not too many. I kept giving myself a deadline that I could never accomplish and would get frustrated. I finally just put an ad on KSL to see if anyone would be interested. I had a guy call and come out and as I was showing him around it sunk in how much more I needed to do. It was overwhelming to think about.
     I mentioned to my cousin that I needed to rent out the barn and she brought it up to her daugher's riding lessson teacher who was boarding at a barn (Moonridge-Rachel this is for you, you would not recognize it anymore, it's sandwiched in next to an Instacare and a Walmart!) that had 90 horses. It was pretty crowded to say the least so she was very interested to move somewhere more quiet.  She came to check it out and loved it, even in its slightly dilapidated state. I had some work to do getting it ready and enlisted the help of Chops. He finally was out of elementary school and had some time before scout camp. I am so grateful for his help. We fixed broken boards in the arena and every single stall in the barn. We still need to paint and spruce up but it looks so much better already.
    Yesterday she brought 15 horses over! The barn is full, the runs are full. I also had a neighbor bring a horse he just bought and another guy brought two more last night that had to hang out in the arena until we made a spot for them. We went from 9 horses (with most of those being oldies just hanging out not actually paying board...) to 27. Its insane. I'm sure there will be some growing pains and problems to be worked out but I am incredibly grateful to have this opportunity to see the farm back in business. It's kind of ironic, because all the work I've been doing, which I love the feeling of accomplishment has a downside because I don't get to spend as much time with my kids. I look forward to getting things finished so I can get back to hanging out with my crazy kiddos. They really grow up so fast and while I'm not opposed to working in the slightest I do appreciate a bit more the blessing it is to stay at home.


    I am adverse to change. I remember not really wanting High School to end, I didn't want to grow up and be an adult. I hate it when our ward splits (which with the growth in this area is often...) I don't like seeing pastures change to houses. I even have a hard time moving furniture around.  Chops switched up the garden boxes to one big box and I didn't like it, but of course now I love it. But I know that change is good, mostly, and I've got some changes I should probably document.
    I've been in cub scouts the past two and half years. I was called as the Assistant Cubmaster with no clue about how things worked.  I have three younger brothers so you'd think I would at least be familiar but I can't remember anything. I wasn't super thrilled about it. I don't really have anything against Scouting itself, it just always irked me that the Church spends so much time, resources etc for Scouting with the girls getting the shaft.  I felt rubbed the wrong way each time Friends of Scouting came around. Yep, perfect recipe for getting called into Scouts.
      I had a great Cubmaster and I honestly did not have much to do as she did it all (but seriously, she's amazing). I was thinking about how easy my calling was and I enjoyed it; next thing I know I'm getting called in and extended the call as Cub Committee Chair, aka a person that is in charge of keeping track of everything and making sure we do things by the book, uniforms in order, rules are followed etc.  I broke down and cried right then and there.  To be fair, I think it was right after I had Ezra and the farm was in upheaval but I knew it would be a change and more work doing tasks I am not inherently good at. The counselor told me to think about it and I told him I'd do it, but I wasn't happy about it.
    There was a lot of work, especially in the fall getting all the records straight and the last couple of months preparing for Day Camp but I was thinking, hey I am getting the hang of this gig. Cue getting called in.  I kid you not, the day I had my coming to peace with my calling I get called in and asked to be the 2nd counselor in the Relief Society. Our cubmaster was moving and getting released so I had assumed I would be in my calling for quite some time longer and did not have an inkling. Honestly, with the prep for day camp being quite extensive, my first thought was, yeah that's got to be easier :) Although as I thought later I remembered/was informed of all the duties I have ahead of me so we'll see. They also released the Primary presidency the same week though so I do not have a replacement in cub scouts so I feel like I need to keep up with day camp prep, I will be glad when that is over!  I am excited to be in RS again. I was with VT for quite a while and enjoyed going on visits. I have taught before and enjoyed it then although I am feeling nervous about teaching after such a long hiatus. My main responsibility is activities which is not my strong suit but I am great at setting up chairs. I have more big news but I think I'm going to make a new post.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Happy Birthday Ezra!!

So I'm still having technical difficulties in getting pictures uploaded to the computer so this may be sans pictures for a bit. Ezra turned the big 1 on the Saturday of Easter Conference weekend.  We had a mostly low key day because Chops family was out of town so we celebrated on Monday with an Easter dinner and cupcakes for the birthday boy. Both previous children have been somewhat surly on their birthdays so I had fairly low expectations but secretly thought Ez would be different. He did not disappoint! He was very excited that there was fire on his cupcake and the look on his face when we sang happy birthday was so cute. He knew this party was for him and he soaked it up. I love my little (big) one year old! He has four, almost five teeth and has regressed in sleeping to the point that I may feel like I have a newborn again (well, he was actually a great sleeper as a newborn so I guess I'm just getting it later) He is a speed crawler and often lifts up his knees and just crawls on his hands and feet. He likes to stand and has taken several tentative steps but when you try to help him he promptly sits down.  But I know he'll be off and running once he gets the hang of it. I think that some of Wyatt's roughness has worn off on him because he is getting some major attitude. He is still smily and sweet but not all the time. He definitely got the Dawson stubborn gene and the loud gene. I love watching him learn and grow and play with his brother and sister.  He is still a champion eater although he is slimming down. He's only in the 93% for weight!

Back to School!

So Chops has been thinking about going back to school to get his Masters in Administration and this year his Principal really gave him lots of opportunities for leadership and growth in that area. Chops applied to a couple of different schools and decided to go with the LPP program at BYU. It will be a 15 month program that starts in a week with him going to school after school and then full time in the summer with the next school year being three month internships at three different schools. He is taking a sabbatical from teaching while in the program. I'm super proud and excited for him but it is bittersweet. I've loved having him teach at Deerfield and he may or may not go back there. I feel that there is a need for male teachers that are committed to teaching. He can continue teaching after getting his masters but they typically encourage graduates to move into administration roles.  The kids love visiting dad at school and his classes always treat them like celebrities. I think Addie is going to have a hard time learning that kindergarten is not always class parties and celebrations like is the norm for when we visit dad. I also love his hours-he typically gets home at 4:30 except for Parent Teacher conference week, which is three times a year. So having him gone until 8:30 or so M-Th is going to be a bit of an adjustment to say the least! But I am excited for the new adventures he will be having and the papers I will no doubt be proofreading. I'm grateful for his hard work and I am proud of him.  There will be some major adjustments for the next little bit but we're off on a new adventure!  I may have to take a couple of vacations with the kids while he's busy at school :)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

We're back!

So, not long after Ezra was born our computer bit the dust. We took it in to get fixed and it worked for a minute and then died again....I kept telling myself I could blog from the Ipad or my phone but it never actually happened. I'm so excited to get back into the swing of things and hope that I can document most of the big milestones I've missed.
Ezra is almost a year old, time has flown so crazy fast. He is as cute as ever, four teeth and loves to stand up on his own but has yet to take a step. I know that once he starts he won't look back. He picked up crawling super fast and can crawl to the stairs or the toilet like greased lightning. I definitely think that he's my baby to get into the most stuff. But I could just be forgetting. He has the cutest smile and is a little charmer. I feel like Addie and Wyatt would often give strangers the look, but Ezra will smile and reach out for pretty much everyone. I took him to a relief society activity and he was cheesing it up for everyone. He brings such joy to our lives.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Three kids

I feel like time is racing by and I am missing documenting moments. I can't entirely blame it on having a hard time adjusting to three kids either. Ezra has been a great baby. He sleeps for nice long periods of time (as opposed to Wyatt, who I felt like only ever cat napped) and I usually have to wake him up to feed him. I never understood it when people talked about waking up their baby-let them sleep! But seriously, this kid sleeps for four hours at a time and would probably sometimes go longer if I let him. I try to wake him up every three hours during the day but sometimes by the time I'm finished with that last little thing I need to do its been longer.
The kids have been great older siblings. Addie loves to hold and burp him, Wyatt loves rubbing his soft little head. They have been great buddies to each other and for the most part play so well together while I'm busy with Ezra. We have started venturing out on walks again but I still haven't quite mustered up the courage to strap them all in the car without Chops going with us.
Little Ez is growing like a weed. At his two week appointment he weighed 9 lbs 11 oz and grew two inches (although I'm never completely sure how accurate that measurement is) the nurse put him in a newborn diaper after she weighed him and he looked rediculously too big for it. He was healthy and looking good. I have had some ongoing nipple soreness and the Dr checked to see if he was tongue tied. Apparently he kind of chomps more than nurses normally but I think I'll live. We are finally starting to get him to take a binky. I'm kind of torn, we've always had binky babies but in some ways it would be nice to never have to worry about weaning him off it.
I finally pulled out the big camera today and need to take some fun pictures with him. I've mostly just been using my phone.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Chickens, or, I swore I'd never do this again

So one great thing about Facebook is staying connected to people, it is also good for posting things for sale. A girl in my ward had a chicken coop for sale and it caught my eye. Maybe not for me because after the fiasco with Rocky killing two of three chickens last year I had vowed to never get chickens again, at least not while we had Rocky around. But my mom has plenty of space and was down to one chicken...
I told her I would check with my hubby and casually mentioned it to Chops. He totally surprised me and said, "yeah, lets get it." Um, wait, are you supposed to be the rational, level headed one in the family? So we picked it up, Chops got it all level and prepped for chicks. I researched what kind of chickens I wanted, cold hardy and good layers and went to the store. IFA was almost completely out the first time I went. The day of my procedure we needed to get out of the house and headed to Cal Ranch but they were pretty scarce and the help was non existent. We went back to IFA and they didn't have too many but the ones they did have were closer to a week old so in my mind, more sturdy. They weren't the breeds I wanted but after some research I think we lucked into some good ones.
The kids were super excited, even though they were all the same age they were three different sizes and of course Wyatt loved the fluffy smallest one. He kind of reminds me of the boy in Of Mice and Men...just maybe not as extreme. We kept them in the bathroom while it was still cold, which is by far the worst part but it is fun because the kids would wake up every morning (Wyatt sometimes forty five minutes early :/ but it helped make the transition to Daylight Savings time better...) Once they got a little bigger we put them in the top part of the coop with a lamp on. It has been super nice.
Chops knew I wanted an Ameracauna, which lays blue eggs, so he surprised me with one a week or so after we got the others. At first, I'm thinking, we just got out of the newborn stage! But its been fun and I think the kids will get a kick out the colored eggs. We also have a neighbor that has some acreage in the middle of the encroaching houses and they were looking to downsize their chickens. We picked up a couple of hens so we could start getting eggs sooner. One has been laying and its fun to go out and check for eggs.  Now that the little ones are getting bigger I think we may have to eventually downsize but I like our little flock.
One last chicken story: we let the big hens out to peck and have a dirt bath. They free ranged before so are pretty wild. I can't remember if the kids were trying to get close to them but one jumped up on our fence and over into our neighbor's yard. The neighbor with the Great Dane the size of a pony...Chops thought he was locked in the house so he jumps over and gets the chicken back over, only to discover that GD is not locked in and completely in guard dog mode since someone has intruded his back yard. I am not really afraid of dogs, but I was pretty scared that Chops was going to get mauled. I was trying to distract him without setting him off and was contemplating sacrificing one of the chickens. Addie brought me some doggy treats that were seriously like specks but I tossed them over and he came over to investigate and Chops made it out alive. I can laugh about it now but it was not funny at the time.

 Addie got pooped on after this and seriously had to take a shower, so gross!

 Black one at one point was Dora, Brown is Speckles or Freckles? and yellow is buttercup