Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chicks Gone Wild!

Kathie Lee, Tiara, and Oprah
In March we went to CAL Ranch.  Probably to buy some work gloves.  While we were there we were beguiled by the tiny chicks peeping and running around their enclosures.  Reed asked if we could get some and I hemmed and hawed about how it didn't go so well the last time we had chickens.  (We were poor. . .  didn't get a coop in time. . . eggs all over the yard. . . chickens eaten by the Bichon Frise. . .)  He looked at me with a blank face.  "When was that?"  I began to laugh because he had been so little that he didn't even remember the chickens.  He was probably only two at the time!

Kathie Lee
 Big Red would not come out of the nesting box.
This is Izzy.  She is our meanest chicken- and the smallest, too!
Since he had never had the experience, how could I say no?  To be totally honest I wanted to bring them home as much or worse than he did- I just needed him to be the excuse when Ed looked at me in wonderment.  We decided we should look around first.  We drove to IFA and left with 6 chicks.  Three Americaunas and three Rhode Island Reds. 

We rigged up a brooding box in the laundry room and had a blast watching our chicks.  Sadly, a couple of days later the smallest, weakest chick died.  Reed wanted a replacement chick, so while he was at school I went to get another.  The lovely gentleman at the store would not sell one alone, so I had to get two.  I got a white leghorn and a Plymouth Rock hen.  Reed was thrilled.  Everyday we held each chick and started naming them.  Everyday a couple of chicks participated in dog training so that Lewis and Clark would learn that they could not touch or hurt the chicks.  I didn't think it would work, but it was worth a try.  As it happens, it DID work.  My two bird dogs bark at every sparrow and robin, but they wander among the chickens with no issues and are quite protective of them.

 Lewis watching the free-rangers

Now it is August.  The ladies outgrew the brooding box and moved into their first coop the first week of May.  After a couple of weeks in the garage, they moved outside into a dogrun- coop and all.  Last week they moved into new luxury coop that is on the outside of the run, but they have full access.  We are getting 4-6 eggs a day.
The new coop.  Colby helped me paint and shingle it.
The coop and run.  Our mini farm.  Reed's domain!
What?  You're leaving?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Back 2 School

Summer was much too short this year.  I guess it was all the marching band rehearsals, but it just seemed like there was no time to just chill.  We did have a fabulous vacation, though.  *sigh*

Anyway, time marches on and the Alpine School District is the Master of our Calendar.  School began last Tuesday for Parker and Reed and today for Colby. 

It is hard to believe, but Parker is a Junior this year.  He is 16, 6 feet tall, and loves driving this stylin' white Ranger.  The cab is decked out with camo gear to reflect PDog's personality.  The best part is the sticker on the back window that states "Don't Tread on Me."  So Parker.  This year Parker is taking English, Geometry, Physics, Adult Roles/Financial Literacy, Foods/Nutrition, Choir, Fitness, and LDS Seminary.  His Seminary teachers are a pretty funny bunch.  Check out the "Welcome Back" video that they made! 
Reed is a mighty 9th grader this year.  He is 14 and a half and is about 5'3".  In our school district freshmen are in the junior highs which is a little awkward.  Because he is in the marching band and plans to wrestle, he actually has two classes at the high school.  Every B day Reed goes to LHS for a 6:00am rehearsal that lasts until about 9:00 (through first period) and then the junior high kids are bussed back to their schools for the rest of their classes.  Wrestling will be A4, so that requires either Parker or Mom to go to LJHS and pick him up.  Reed is taking Band, Earth Science, PE, Secondary Math 1, Computer Technology, Wold Civilizations, English 9, and LDS Seminary.

Colby is starting his second year of college at Utah Valley University, but he doesn't have quite enough credits from last year to be considered a Sophomore.  He has dropped all his music classes, and is focusing on generals this year.  He has an ugly 5 credit English class, World Geography, American Government, and an online Health class.  He has all his classes on Tuesday and Thursday, so hopefully he will find a job soon that will allow him to work on the other days.  He saved a LOT of money this summer by working about 80 hours a week in Williston, North Dakota, so he isn't feeling too pressured to get a job.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Reed's Commercial

Link to the video of Reed's commercial for Rocky Mountain Power:

One thing that happened this summer that was really fun for our family was Reed being chosen to "star" in a commercial.  We got a random call from one of our friends asking if Reed played the tuba.  I replied that he really played the baritone, but that he could play a little on the tuba. . . and that we just happened to own one.  She told me that she had already shown his photo to the director (thanks to Facebook) and that they wanted to audition him. 

The following day we packed the tuba into the Prius and headed up to the audition site.  They were waiting for us and we passed by all sorts of kids with 8 x 10 glossy headshots.  The actual audition was about a minute and a half long.  Then we were on the road back home.  We just laughed about the audition and thought we would never hear anything. 

The following Monday I got a phone call saying that they wanted him . . . and me!  He was picked to be "Tuba Boy" and they wanted me as an extra.  When they called Reed was on TREK with our ward, so I was imagining him coming home with a horrible sunburn and a zillion bug bites.  Luckily he actually wore sunscreen and there weren't many bugs, so he looked great when he got home Wednesday afternoon.

On Friday morning we headed to Salt Lake to find the house where we were filming.  As soon as we got there they did his make up and chose an outfit from all the items we had brought.  The clothing was a little tricky becuase they didn't want any logo wear. . . and that's about all Reed wears!  We had a little shopping trip to Kohl's.

The filming took about six and a half hours.  Reed did exciting things like turn off a lamp 25 times and flipping a light switch 30 times!  The longest shot was of a fan.  Yup.  A ceiling fan.  They shot it from two different angles and that took about 2 hours.  That included cleaning the fan and after the shot was done, some panic while all the company people feverishly tried to determine if the fan that they had just spent two hours filming was Energy Star approved. I laughed.  Out loud.

One funny moment was when they were filming Reed unplugging an iPod.  It was staged in the boy's room.  His name was Nate and on his bulletin board there was a poster that some girl had made for him of doodles of his name.  I was watching the monitor in another room and I said, "Isn't the boy's name Steve in the commercial?"  I got told that it was.  I innocently said, "Wouldn't it be a little creepy for Steve to have a Nate poster on his bulletin board?"  All of a sudden a hand came into the shot and took the Nate Doodles off the buletin board.  Too funny.

Reed's favorite part of the day was the catering table.  There were lots of treats and cookies and drinks.  I think he cleaned out the gummy bear container.

So, now Reed is semi-famous.  At first he was VERY embarrassed when anyone brought it up, but now he loves it.  Especially when the junior high age girls recognize him and squeal.  It has been a fun experience.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I wrote a couple of months ago about my frustrations with finding a job and trying to trust in God's Plan for my life.  I really was doing pretty well despite the fact that things were getting exponentially worse. . . until the last couple of weeks.  To make a long story short, four jobs in my area have opened and closed.  I got an interview for only one which was a job that I have actually had twice before.  I did not get that job and I am confident that I was the best qualified applicant.  When being told that I was not being hired, it was made clear that the school district could not or would not pay for my experience and education.  That made me really mad.  And I am still mad.

It may not sound like a big deal.  So. . . I didn't get a job that I really don't need anyway.  But here's the problem.  If I am "overqualified" or perhaps "blackballed" and I can't teach music in my local school district, there is no way that my back-up plan of getting certified in English is going to work out.  Now I have lost my first and second job choices.  Unfortunately, I only had two.

Now what?

I have lost my career.  At least in Alpine School District.

I have lost friends because I can't trust people who aren't straight with me.  (There have been some downright nasty comments made by some and total silence from others in my circle of musical colleagues.)

I have lost hope because the doors keep slamming and I can't find a damn window.

But worst of all. . . I feel my faith slipping.

The strangest, most miniscule things sometimes hurt the most.  In this situation it was a Facebook post by the wife of the gentleman who got this last job.  (BTW, he is a very nice man and I wish him no ill will.)  She posted a thanks to people for their prayers that he would get the job.  Most people would not even think about it, but to me it was a stab in the heart.

What about my prayers?  What about the inspirations that I had received?  Why was it more important for him to get a "yes" than me? 

I have always struggled with the notion of my divine nature and individual worth and this has been a set back on that journey.  For the first time ever, I was mad at God.  I think I still am a little.  I can hardly even pray because the silence is deafening. 

I want to be still and know that God has everything in contol, but it sure doesn't feel that way.  I want to make a difference in the world. . . somehow. . . but I am thwarted at every turn.  I want to walk away from this situation and bury it, but that just means that it will happen to someone else and I should probably care about that.   I want to be busy, but nobody needs me to do anything- at least nothing that remotely interests me.  I want to be a great mom, but a depressed mom is not a great mom.

This is not how I envisioned my life.  And not what I want for my future.

So, I know what I don't want, but I have yet to figure out what I do want.  I hope I figure it out soon.