Monday, December 19, 2011

Gonna miss my Dallin...

I am supposed to be packing right now... We are getting ready for a trip to Missouri. mom is moving up this week, so we are going with her to help out AND have a little vacation in the snow. I am sad because we decided that Grammie cannot stay there alone. We are leaving Dallin there to keep her company.

I have mixed feelings...

I know he'll be fine and so will we. And I am glad that he is so excited about starting school up there. He has had a hard time in school here with bullying. We are hoping that a move to the country will help that. A little extra time with Grammie alone would probably be beneficial for him, as well. She is good with him.

But, he's my (very large) baby. And I will hate being away from him.

For now I am trying to find him some warm clothes and pack up his belongings. I still need to get a warm coat, boots, and other things together. Not fun. But necessary.

Wish me luck!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Moving to Missouri...

Dan's company was planning a big move to Phoenix, AZ next summer and we were supposed to follow. But we had doubts. We had been wanting a farm, a lush and green farm, for so long. Moving to AZ seemed too far from what we wanted. So we bought a 40 acre farm in rural NW Missouri. Naturally. (Mom was in on it, too.)

We (Mom, Dan, 3 kids--2 stayed at Grandpa Segovia's--, and I) drove throughout western Missouri for a "trip" in October. Basically we just wanted to look at some of the properties we had been looking at online. One particular property caught all our eyes. Gentry, MO. We just needed to know if it was truly as nice as the pics and worth the asking price. (2500 sq ft home on 40 acres, listed at $115K)

It was love at first sight! We visited the property and knew we wanted to make a bid. Thank goodness the bid was accepted! We closed in November without any problems and currently are owners of a farm. Now we just need to move out there.

Dan is taking another position within the same company that will allow him to work from home with some travel. That will allow us to be in such a rural area (town with a population of 99). He needs to stick around in TX for a few more months to smooth things out. I think the kids and I will move over Spring Break (mid-March) before heading out. Mom is going ahead the end of this month. Dan may need to stay behind a few weeks after we go. Not sure yet...

Okay. I am super excited to have my dream farm! The house is in good condition, just needs decorative updating (stuck in the early 70s). There is a barn and nice garden setup. There is also already a hen house/run. I am drooling over my garden area (approx 5000 sq ft) and all the animals we will be able to have. Dog, rabbits, and chickens first. Then milk sheep, pasture pigs, and a milk cow. Maybe even some milk goats. Must. Wipe. Drool.

Self-sufficiency! Finally!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Preparing My Garden...

The last few days I have been getting my exercise the good old-fashioned way. I have been doing a lot of prep work for my Fall garden. Lots of digging, weeding, hoeing, and mulching in our super hot weather has definitely caused me to sweat. But it feels good to be so productive.

I have a new compost bin started that I feel proud of. I was able to find some nice shipping pallets (for free) to make a 3-sided box with. So far I have just put some old grass that has been up-rooted and some newspaper in the pile. I still have a basic yard debris pile that I need to go through and get the good stuff put in my mulch bin and the woodier, larger pieces put in a separate pile. I am debating whether I may rent a mulcher/shredder for that stuff.

I have my garden bed hoed and mulched so far. I want to add some more mulch in the next day or so, though. It just still looks too sandy. I am probably going to start a shadier bed for my peas, cucumbers, and some of my herbs closer to the house. I need to get that set up.

The heirloom seeds I had ordered came in last week. I also purchased some herb and edible flower seeds, as well. I cannot wait to start sowing! I will be starting a few things indoors and a few things in the bed the week the kids go back to school (Aug 22).

I hope that I can get a good yield. I have been reading all about raising the veggies and herbs I have selected. I plan to do crop-rotation, companion planting, and square-foot gardening techniques. I've got my nerdy garden journal started with all my dates and mapped out plans. Wish me luck!

P.S. Emma has already been praying for our garden. Hope that gives me an extra good start. :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Current happenings and obsessions...

I got the test results back from the biopsy and it is benign. Good news! I have not be working too hard on exercising and dieting, but I haven't been "bad" either. Not really losing too quickly, but definitely not gaining. I need to rededicate myself to being more diligent. I will try harder.

I have a naughty habit of being "obsessed" and/or "focused" on one subject at a time. I don't know why I do that. So right now I am "focused" on self-reliance.

First obsession: I badly want to build a chicken tractor and house about 4 to 6 hens. Our HOA does not allow it, but I know a few families in our neighborhood have some and have yet to be warned or fined. So I am thinking about trying it out. I wanted to build an A-frame, like the one pictured below. This would be sufficient protection from predators when caged and would allow me to be able move it freely throughout the yard as needed. I would also be able to let them 'free-range" in the day outside of their cage. I am wondering if I could use either used pallets or our old swingset for lumber. Hmmm...
Next obsession: I cannot wait until it cools off a bit, so I can get my fall garden going. I want to get more production from our garden than we have been doing. I am debating whether we need more garden beds. I need to build a new compost bin, because we only have a pile right now. And maybe start a worm bin...

Final and worst obsession: FOOD STORAGE! I feel like such a loser because I am so far behind! I recently read a book that scared me into action. One Second After by William R. Forstchen. And yesterday my cousin Christen loaned me some literature on food storage. After reading some of the doctrinal information on preparedness, it is apparent that I need to repent and get into action. Or else I am not following the prophet.

I am trying to make up my lists of what I need, how much, and what it should cost to obtain a months worth, 3 months worth, and a years worth. I also have recently obtained more canning supplies and a dehydrator. Now I just need to buy a wheat grinder. Ugh! How will I find the money to buy these things?! I am so frustrated with myself! If I was more careful with money and purchases, I should be able to get it together. In time. My worry is that I may not be able to get it all together in time for a disaster.

So, basically today I feel like a nervous wreck!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Bit Bummed...

Today I go in for my biopsy. I am not looking forward to it, but I am confident it'll turn out fine. I guess it'll be good to get it over with.

I am not exactly pleased that several of our appliances are not working. Our washing machine, dishwasher, and garbage disposal are all on the fritz. Not cool. Basically I spent 2 sweaty hours and $25 at the laundromat on Monday. I still didn't get it all done. And doing dishes is not fun. The disposal isn't working, so I have to keep clearing out the drainage in the sink. Or else it will back up into the dishwasher and flood the floor. Keeping up the house is much harder without these modern conveniences.

When will we get them fixed? Hopefully soon. We are broke from the master bedroom and bath remodel, as well as fixing our van. Dan gets paid on Friday. Maybe I'll have working appliances next week. Maybe.

When I am in a better mood I'll post some pics of our remodel. It looks awesome!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Minor medical issues...

I have been feeling a bit bummed due to some minor medical issues that I have been having. I went in for an ultrasound to check for possible ovarian cysts (had one, but it has since burst) or other "issues". I found out that the lining of my uterus is abnormally thickened, endometrial hyperplasia. Not good. No wonder I haven't gotten preggers yet! I have to schedule a biopsy before the doc decides what action to take. I will likely either be put on birth control pills temporarily or have a D&C. But if left untreated, it could progress into endometrial cancer which would mean a hysterectomy. Awesome.

More awesome news: it is caused by too much estrogen and not enough progesterone. People with these problems are usually overweight, genetically prone to diabetes, have irregular periods, and often have polycystic ovary syndrome. I qualify for all.

I know its not really a big deal. I am just bummed because I will likely have to wait longer to get preggers and its gonna cost some $ to get the treatment done. Ugh!

I am worried about something else, also. Dallin went in for a camp physical (he's at Scout camp this week) last week. All was fine, but the nurse said she saw signs of Acanthosis nigricans, which is dark, velvety skin on his neck, armpits, and groin. She explained that it is usually a sign of insulin resistance and often is associated with obesity. It is typically a red-flag for the onset of pre-diabetes.

I have had this faintly for the past decade and had absolutely no idea! I thought it was a hormonal imbalance. I am frustrated that not only am I obviously at risk for diabetes at my current weight, but my child has the same problem. I know it is hereditary (my dad's side), but it is also due to excessive weight. Basically Dallin and I both need to lose some serious weight!

Good news: I have lost 17lbs and am still losing. I really cannot see any signs of acanthosis nigricans on myself right now. Dallin has been losing a little weight and has committed himself to working harder by exercising and watching his food intake. We both need to keep it up and watch our carbs. We don't handle insulin well.

Not the end of the world, I know. Just frustrating that I have allowed myself AND my son to have gained so much weight. I know that I have given the poor kid my genetic issues and a very bad example to follow. Just got my big "kick in the pants"!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Summertime Fun

The kids and I have been enjoying our summer so far. We started our summer vacation off with a definite treat. Grammie and Grandad came to visit! Woohoo! They came to do a little visiting and to see 2 of their grandbabies be baptized.

Zoe and Carlee, cousins, were baptized on Saturday, June 4th.

It was so much fun to have them celebrate their big day together and to have both sets of grandparents (for each child) able to attend. Afterwards we went to lunch for some gourmet pizza with our group of 20+. FUN!

The following Monday we went to the beach with the Arnolds (cousins) and Grammie and Grandad. We had a BLAST! The bigger kids played in the water with, which was surprisingly calm, with the dads and Grandad. The little ones hung out with the mamas and Grammie and Carlee's grandma Jackie near the shore.

I think the most memorable part of our trip was when a fisherman caught and reeled in a 4 1/2 foot long SHARK!
Needless to say, we left the beach shortly after the man released the shark back into the water! EEK! I was completely freaked out!

Since Grammie and Grandad left, we have been keeping busy. We have been doing alot of swimming at our local YMCA and neighborhood pool. We've also been visiting the library and recording in our reading logs.

Cole turned 6 yesterday! We had a fun eating contest for dinner. The kids ate their spaghetti and meatballs while wearing trashbags, eating like dogs (no hands). Dallin won, with Zoe in second place.

Dallin made Cole a yummy Oreo cookie cake (Sorry, Grandad! We must repent! Remember, I was raised in a heathen household! But seriously... since there is no longer a suitable substitute, like Hydrox, what are we to do?) that Cole absolutely loved. We also flew kites last night for fun. Cole will be having a fabulous birthday party next week!!!

Despite all the fun, naughty food, and the yummy cake, I am still losing weight, albeit slowly. I am currently down 15 lbs. I am gonna have to get myself back on track with my diet and exercising. Hopefully I can accelerate my weight loss!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Slow Progression

I have still been doing well with the diet and exercising. I have lost 8 lbs, but gained muscle. I must admit that I feel a little bummed that all this work has only affected the scale this much, but I have lost fat off my waist, thighs, bum, and arms. I am much more toned, but still rather fluffy. I knew it'd be slow going.

At least I feel more motivated to exercise daily and eat right. I still do not like to be around treats (like cake, cookies, brownies, etc.), but the desire is definitely not the same. And my stomach capacity has shrunk. I do not eat as much as I did and simply do not need to.

I just wish it didn't take so much time and effort to get it off. But it took time to gain all this weight, right? So it'll take time to take it off. And I shouldn't be so worried about appearances. I need to stay focused on improving my overall health... Sigh!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

One thing I got from Time Out For Women:

Kris Belcher was one of the speakers on Saturday. And I love her attitude! She was born with cancerous tumors on the back of her retinas and had aggressive radiation treatment (in the 1950s) to irradicate it. The result of the radiation caused her skull to grow irregularly where the radiation was fully applied, but the cancer seemed to be gone. Through childhood she had very limited sight. Then in adulthood, the cancer returned. She has since lost all remaining sight. She has had to have one eye and all connective tissues removed. She now lives in the dark and has learned to adapt to her new life.

She said something I will never forget:
She detested when people say something akin to "the Lord will never give us anything we cannot handle". She said that this is false. We will be given trials we cannot handle. This is when we are humbled and turn to the Lord for his help. Then and only then are we able to rise above our trials. It is through the Atonement that this is possible.

Thank heavens that we have a Savior that descended below it all! Otherwise the Lord would not truly know our suffering and how to succor us, to make us whole again!

If you are a fan of hers, like me, here is a link to her blog.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dieting and Exercising... again.

I had posted a year ago about trying to lose weight. I did. But I didn't keep it up. So here I go again!
I have a long way to go, but I am going to plan for "slow and steady" and not give up. I feel better when I eat right and stay active and I am setting my goals at fitness, not hotness. I plan to lose 20 lbs by July. And in July I will set another goal for more. I have taken an extra step at the weight loss by rejoining the YMCA. Paying for that monthly charge is another motivation to workout regularly. Because I am cheap. LOL.
I have done an excellent job so far with my eating habits and for the first time ever I do not feel deprived. That's amazing. I don't want that junk anymore because it got me where I am now... in trouble! I still have been allowing myself a treat, but it just doesn't consume my thoughts like it did. I have been kinda counting calories and fat and carbs. And watching my portions. But mostly just using the 1/4 protein, 1/4carbs, 1/2 veggies and fruit thing. I feel so much better and I get to eat stuff that actually tastes good!
My mind is set and I am working hard. I feel like I can stay focused and make this a permanent habit this time. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...


I haven't posted in some time. I am trying to do better once again. It is now May, which means the kids are nearly finished with their current school year.
Dallin (12) is in the 6th grade at Victory Lakes Intermediate. He has been taking Pre-AP classes in math, social studies, science, and language arts. Lets just say its been a busy year with LOTS of homework.
Aubree is currently in the 4th grade at Gilmore Elementary and doing a fabulous job. Her current progress report had an 89 and she was so distraught. It is not uncommon for her to have 100s on her report card! Obviously she is a very diligent student.
Zoe is currently in the 2nd grade at Gilmore. She is a very good student and works very hard. She is doing much better at reading and just turned 8! Woohoo! Her baptism is scheduled shortly with cousin Carlee! And might I add we have a good chance to see Grammie and Grandad there...
Cole is finishing up his year as a Kindergartener. He has proven to be a very good student and has been blessed with the best teacher ever! I am so glad that his school career has started on such a postitive note. He rarely comes home with behavioral marks! And he truly loves his teacher.
I am one proud momma, all around! My babies have done well this year and never cease to amaze me with their goodness!
Dan is doing well at work... really well! He was just promoted to the Lab Manager with a nice pay raise! He has also just found out that the lab he works in is being transfered to Phoenix, AZ sometime within the next 2 years... that means some serious changes for these Texas Haddocks. But we say... BRING IT ON!

Time Out For Women 2011 -- San Antonio, TX

I had the priviledge to attend the TOFW in San Antonio this past weekend. Thanks, Dan! It was a blast! I went with some friends from my ward, Amber, Marby, and Jenn. It was so wonderful to have girl time and to hear inspiring words at the sessions. We were also able to do a little walking on the Riverwalk, as well as see "Water For Elephants" at the theater. What a fun and relaxing weekend. I now feel reenergized and ready to try a little harder at being a better mother, wife, daughter, and sister. What a blessing!