June 9, 2017

Conflicted

So it's been awhile.

Let's see: We keep trying to buy houses. It's not working. We keep getting out bid, and people here are paying OVER asking AND appraisal prices, and I shall NOT pay a dime more than what a house is worth. Plus, they're old, and wonky, and most require between $20-$50K in upgrades... We're talking plumbing, electrical, even foundation at times. We have a really solid lead on two homes though... And either would be perfect, we just have a few life things we need to work out first. (I know, I know, VAGUE, but maybe there's a REASON we haven't been able to find a local house.)

Also, school is over. We are doing some summer camps this year, but since we don't exactly know where we will be living in July and after, I didn't want to commit to events at the current address. In all likelihood, we will still be living in our tiny duplex, but it's not 100%. Besides, I do need SOME kind of break.

My new job is going great. School has been out for one whole week! It's nice, and not, all at once. I like paychecks, but I also like sleeping past 5:30 a.m. (Not that that's happening. I keep waking up, even when I don't set the alarm!)

Thaddeus leaves for scout camp tomorrow. He'll be gone 8 days. Then he gets back just in time to kick Blayne out for girls camp. She's excited. I also just remembered that she has to give a talk in church on Sunday... Probably should remind her. After that, Taylor leaves for cousin camp. It will be interesting this year, because my parents bought a farm. Well, it COULD be a farm. Right now, it's just a lot, a lor of land in Northern Arizona that's about to get a facelift.

In other news, I am in an eternal laundry fight with my kids. I have now decided that I will never launder another item of their clothing again. Never, ever, cross my heart. People have become increasingly more lazy, and I have had it. I cannot work all day, then come home, and do all of the house things. I cannot. So we have had quite a few "Come to Jesus" chats around here.

The only other thing I can think to write about at the moment is the garden dilemma. I haven't planted anything this year. My kale, lettuce, and onions have come back on their own, but I haven't started seeds or anything, and I am conflicted. The whole problem goes back to the moving thing. Are we moving? Are we not? When are we moving? Will things be ready to harvest before then? Will it just be a waste of time and money? But on the other hand, gardening makes me happy in my SOUL, but I can't justify a trip to the nursery if I'm not going to be able to see it through. I JUST WANT ANSWERS DEAR UNIVERSE. ANSWERS!

So in a nutshell: we are alive. we are breathing. we are also balancing on a teeter totter of emotional distress and tensions and tempers are high. YAY LIFE!

March 27, 2017

March Madness

I can't believe March is almost over! I know I've said it a million times, but life is just flying by!

For starters, Troy and I have been married for FIFTEEN YEARS. And as promised, we are in the midst of planning and prepping for our ultimate Disney Adventure! In fact, I double checked the school calendar for next year, and because of "fall break", my kids would only miss 4 days of school, AND we could potentially extend our vacation a day or two. It's going to be super fun, no matter what! And the whole Ellsworth side of the family is joining us, because my parents will be celebrating 40 years of marriage. Sarah and Jeremy will be married 20 years, come September, and my brother has been married for 15 years. It's going to be so much fun! And my kids are in hard core "Save All The Money" mode. I told them I would buy mouse ears, and food, and that's IT.

Meanwhile, it's spring break here in Los Alamos. It also snowed a few days ago, so, you know, #mountaintoplife. This week we will be deep cleaning one room each day. Except our house is small, so it will only take us 3 days. Less if we can work together without fighting! I told the kids that we would work for a solid hour every day.... I should have just told them I was going to rip out their fingernails, because I'm sure they would have protested less. It never fails to amaze me, the degree of laziness that we achieve.

Ooh! And BIG NEWS ALERT! I got a job! A real! Actual! Full-time! Gig!

Sadly, this means I could not continue to teach my preschool boys. *sniff* They were my favorite! Unfortunately, BECAUSE I have so many health problems, and BECAUSE I met the yearly deductible on January 28, I kind of needed to have a secondary insurance.

And I know what you're thinking! "But Caroline! Won't that be too much for you to handle? Can you even work that long every day?!" And typically, you would be correct.

However.

I am working at the middle school, as an Instructional Aide, in the Living Skills classroom. It's pretty much the most perfect job in the world for me.

  1. Some of the kids are medically fragile. They are all vaccinated. If they have even a whisper of an illness, their parents keep them home. 
  2. There are 7 students, and 5 adults. Everybody helps everybody.
  3. When we venture out into the wilds of the middle school classrooms, we are totally modified. I get to sit next to my student, and help them read, or understand what we're doing. And while we're doing this? I get to sit. So I'm walking more (Yay muscle memory!), but I also get to rest, which is glorious. 
  4. We have a private bathroom, that is cleaned 5 or six times a day. Lysol wipes and Clorox bleach after every use. MAGICAL. 
  5. The kids are so nice! And the parents are so nice too! 
  6. I have the same hours as my kiddos. We leave at the same time, and we get home at the same time. 
In all honestly, it's exactly the job I needed. I really do love it. And it makes me a better human being to be around. I'm just nicer and more productive when I'm working. I think it's because I establish deadlines. Before, if the house was messy, it was okay, because I'll take care of it later. That's what I was always telling myself, "Later. Later. Later." Except that later never came, because I can do it later. Now, I just do whatever I'm supposed to be doing, because later, I'm busy. 

Also, now that I'm working full time, my family is more willing to do their household responsibilities without complaint. Hey! We ALL had a busy day. We're all tired. Now shut up and work! (Except nicer. Usually.) 

At any rate, it's been a really good change for me. We WILL be doing some more summer camps this year. But I think we'll not do quite as many. This summer, we have scout camp, and girls camp, and cousin camp, and I feel like I'm missing something, but I can't remember. I need to sit down at the table and go through the mountain of paperwork my kids bring home from church and school. (It's ridiculous.) 

Oh! And I taught Relief Society yesterday. I think it went alright, but I only got half-way through the lesson! There's always SO MUCH to learn and discuss. My lesson was based on Elder Renlund's October 2016 conference talk titled: Repentance: A Joyful Choice. So, I think it was okay, and that's what I'm going with. 

Another new thing that's happening is Freezer Meal Workshops. A few months ago, I was showing 2 girlfriends how to make tamales, and we started talking about how nice it would be to do freezer meal classes. (We had all individually had the same idea. HA!) So we worked out the details and sent out an email. Every spot was filled in less than 4 hours. 

So NOW, we are doing freezer meal workshops at least once a month. This month, we're having 2 sessions. One on Friday night (Girl's Night Out, ya'll!) and one on Saturday morning. Classes are totally full. People are big fans, because we do all the shopping and lots of prep, and you just show up and assemble. It's a lot of fun. 

And now, I"m off to do some spring cleaning!