Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Taking Matters Into My Own Hands

Before we moved here I was stressing about a lot of things due to the fact that we would be out in the middle of nowhere. One of those things was haircuts. I didn't know if there was a place around to get it cut or how far I would have to drive or if they would even do a good job. I decided to take matters into my own hands. I figured Lily's hair would be tricky and the boys would be a piece of cake but it turns out I'm pretty good with girls hair and terrible with boys. It is going to take lots of practice.(poor kids) I don't blame Jacob for not letting me touch his. This morning I even got brave enough to cut my own and I think it turned out pretty good. I cut off about 2 in. because it needed it bad.

I've always wanted Lily's hair to be shorter in the front and really long in the back without having it look choppy. I gave myself the same haircut because it was super easy.

This is what she would look like with short hair. I'm definitely not ready for her to have a chop anytime soon.

I think the back is nicely rounded. I was worried it wouldn't look right from behind.

As a whole, Jake's doesn't look too bad but if you start paying too much attention it's a sad story. I can't quite get it even on both sides and the back looks a little choppy. For a first attempt (actually it might have been my secoind) It's not too shabby.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Halloween and Superheroes.

Halloween on the rez was fun. Hundreds of people descended onto our neighborhood to get the candy. We ran out of our stash in the early evening, though the first trick or treaters came around 2pm. We stayed in the housing neighborhood, which was more than sufficient for our kids' needs. The highlight of the evening, for me anyway, was seeing two adults walking around in giant Minion costumes (see Despicable Me) and a small girl wearing Hit Girl (yes, I'm evil.)

Then today, Jake was in his Superman pajamas, and so I put my cape on him. Lily, not to be outdone (EVER), put her cape on.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

For My Own Sanity

I remember a time long ago when Sunday was the best day of the week. You could go to church and be spiritually enlightened, relax and take a nap if you wanted or read and visit with family. I loved Sunday. Sadly I do not feel the same way anymore. Sundays are now filled with rushing to get everybody ready for church, entertaining children for 3 hours of church, missing nap time for baby which means he's crying all day and whatever other daily stresses we deal with on a day to day basis.
I was already stressed out on Sunday's before moving here and now I find myself being completely overwhelmed when Saturday night approaches. Jacob and I have new callings. He is now the ward clerk which means he has to leave at 7:40am for meetings and I am left to get 3 kids and myself ready and out the door by 8:40am in order to be to church by 9:00. My calling is the primary music leader. This alone stresses me out beyond all reason. I am terrified of this calling. I feel completely inept to do the job properly and I can't stand the thought of everybody watching me and counting on me to teach these children the songs not to mention it is going to take much preparation in order to get the lessons ready each week. I already feel like I don't have it in me to do the regular weekly chores and tasks.
These callings will keep both Jacob and I busy during the church hours so I have no idea what I am going to do with Asher. He is going through a phase where NOBODY besides me can hold him so he will probably end up crying the entire time which will make it hard for me to focus on teaching the music. Also we don't even have a nursery half the time so I might have Jake as well.
After church Jacob has more business to do so we end up waiting for him every other week for over an hour. We have been getting home around 2:00pm. By this time kids are tired, hungry, crying and I'm about ready to lose my mind.
Jacob has been great about letting me take a Sunday nap every week but it's not always as nice as it sounds. I usually can't relax because I can hear kids fighting or baby crying because you can hear everything that goes on in this house and there's no way around it. I would like to fix a nice Sunday dinner but when I'm that tired my family is lucky to even get a grilled cheese in which case I feel guilty for such a lame Sunday dinner.
I know that I am not the only one to go through these types of difficulties each week which is why I have to ask myself why do we do this? We don't get paid to do our callings. We don't get anything spiritually out of it due to putting all our focus on keeping kids quiet and entertained so what's the point? My response to myself is always the same....

I believe in a loving Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ. Them alone is more than enough reason for me to continue going to church each week. No amount of sacrifice and hard work on callings will ever pay back my debt to them. They have blessed me with so much in my life and I can show my gratitude by playing my part in this church and doing all that I can to become a better person. My Savior Jesus Christ gave his very life that I may repent of my wrong doings and return home some day to my Heavenly Father.
I can't imagine my life without this gospel. It scares me to even think where I would be without it. I want my children to learn as I did and know what I know so that they too can have the happiness I feel in my life. I go to church so that they can learn and grow in this gospel and know of it's importance. I go so that they can see how blessed we are because of it. I know that some day when they have grown a little more that things will get easier. I may have many gray hairs and wrinkles at a much younger age than I planned but I won't look back and regret a single one of them.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Evolution of a Cover

Hey friends, family, fans. I thought I'd just put up a quick post about how Britta and I came up with the cover design. When Britta first read the book, we talked about color themes, schemes, basic images that came to mind. With those things from our initial discussion, Britta came up with some basic concepts:

Then we start finding elements we like and dislike. I usually consult with a few trusted advisers. From there, we start narrowing down what we like, then brainstorm some more. This time we added a new element still at the concept phase.

As you can see from these two options, we went with the first, and developed it further.

Then we made a few tweaks for the final product:

Monday, October 31, 2011

Psion series.

For those who follow mine and Kat's blog, you know I've been writing books now for a few years. I've self-published Psion Beta and Psion Gamma, the latter was released just a few days ago. I thought I'd put up a short post to let you all know how things are going, in case you aren't following Facebook posts about it.

1. Psion Beta has sold 2500 copies in the last 10 months.

2. It is currently the highest rated children's ebook on

3. It is currently in the top 20 of ALL ebooks on

4. It is ranked consistently in the top 10,000 in sales among well over a million ebooks.

5. It is also available in paperback.

If you haven't had an opportunity to check it out, read some of the reviews on Amazon and see what you think. After you've read it and loved it, tell your friends about it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Life On The Rez

Living on an Indian reservation in AZ has been an experience so far. We've been here a little over three weeks and I'm still adjusting to a few things. We are definitely living out in the middle of nowhere which has it's charms but is mostly just inconvenient. I have so many thoughts and feelings about my new home that I don't even know where to start so forgive me if they seem disorganized and don't make sense.
First I guess I will just say that the critters around here will take some getting used to. There was a snake in the front yard the other day and although I'm not necessarily afraid of snakes, I do worry about my kids coming across a rattle snake which is rare but could happen.
I had a battle with a giant Stink Beetle in my garage yesterday. I'm squirmy around little bugs but at least I know how to get rid of them. This was a challenge. You can't just squish something like this. As gross as it was I couldn't help but think of Kanab and my Grandma Crosby. The only other times in my life I have seen these beetles was at her home in Kanab (which I am not far from). I usually saw them while playing in her cellar in the back room. I miss my Grandma and I couldn't help but feel connected to her through this disgusting beetle and thought perhaps she may even be chuckling at me from above.
Some other critters we have are Prairie dogs. Lots and lots of them. There is a big field right across the street from our house which is full of them. The kids love to watch them poke there little heads out of the ground but we have been warned not to go near them. The Natives believe they carry a deadly plague and the only reason they keep them around is to watch them and if they all start dying off then they know the plague is going around.
There are many animals that roam these fields as it is an open range. You will find horses and cows hanging out in strange places such as the post office parking lot which is why were were told to avoid driving at night. With no city lights it is hard to see even with your brights on. (my friend hit a horse and totaled her car) Mostly you just have to deal with stray dogs. These dogs are EVERYWHERE. I am horrified I'm going to hit one or back over one or get eaten by one. (that's not a joke) some of them are vicious and they travel in packs. An 8 year old little boy asked me if I had a metal bat. When I said "no" he told me to go get one because of the dogs. I thought it was a joke but it was later confirmed by his parents that keeping a metal bat in your car is wise. The dogs in our neighborhood are nice but when you travel a few miles away they can be scary.
Church: Our church is about 15 minutes away and starts at 9:00. That has been a challenge for me. In fact it is a challenge for half the ward. Most people show up after sacrament meeting. I don't know why they don't just change the time because we don't share the building with anybody else.(it's way too small to share) Jacob thinks it's because they all want to get home in time for football. Sometimes the teachers don't even show up at all. The nursery teacher is gone a lot. We had to sub in nursery our first week because nobody else would do it. We were told not to eat anything at ward functions. All our friends here have gotten sick every time they ate the food. Last week they roasted a pig for the activity.
Date night: we can pretty much say goodbye to date night. There is not really anyone to babysit and even if there was there is nowhere to go. You get food poisoning from most of the restaurants. We have been told the Denny's is ok (I think it's owned by someone in the ward) but Denny's? Seriously? For a date? I'd rather stay in and watch a movie.
Another thing that scares me is apparently this place is like 80% sex offenders so pretty much our kids will NEVER play at others houses and they will never leave our sight.

(All of these pictures are terrible and hard to see because I was in the car but I did my best. You may have to click on them to see anything)
Prairie Dog poking his head out.

This is the entrance to our neighborhood and hospital that Jacob works at. He is literally a 3 minutes walk away which allows him to come home for lunch every day. I love that we see him so much more.
This is really hard to see but way out in the field was the oldest and cutest little house. I don't know how old it is but it's possibly from when the town was established back in 1851. There is so much history here and I love it. Some day I'll get a better picture of this house because it is darling.
random dog blocking my way. I saw two dead dogs on the side of the road just in one drive .
Another thing I love is the scenery. It is so open and clear. The sky is beautiful . This is just the scenery from a drive to the grocery store. We have a grocery store about 5 minutes away but it kind of creeps me out.(in fact my friend told me not to go there at night) We do most our shopping at the super Walmart that is 30 minutes away in NM. I am hoping to plan my food menu well enough to only have to make this trip twice a month. However all our Dr. appointments will be in this town as well and pretty much anything else we need to do. The tricky thing is planning it all out so that you can get home before your meat and dairy goes bad. We haven't tried ice cream yet. We have to take a cooler but there's only so much room in it.
Veterans cemitary: Most of the time they bury people above ground in a big mound of dirt. You are even allowed to bury people in your yard.
The famous painted wall: ok so it's not really famous but it's kind of cool and it goes on for a while.
Vintage looking 7 eleven sign: we don't get gas here because it's super ghetto.
I also love that we have a little park/playground practically in my backyard. I am standing in the park and my house is the first one on the right.
Here are the kids playing at the park. Lily thinks she is a champion when she climbs a big rock(and there are many big rocks out here) This is her shouting to the world that she is number one. I love that she has her arm around Jake. A woman walked by and said she thought it was neat that we were at a playground but my kids would rather climb on a rock.

The kids love it here. So far it's been good for all of us. Like I said I'm still getting used to a few things such as:
not being able to drink the water. I've never had to live off bottled water before. It's pretty annoying but I'm starting to get used to it.
People ask for money a lot. The Natives have the opinion that all white people are rich. In fact we are considered to live in the "rich" neighborhood only because we have paved roads. I have to get used to people approaching me and asking for money.
everyone stares. We are definitely the minority here and I'm not used to that. (it doesn't help that every time we go to the grocery store my kids draw attention either by being extremely hyper or crying about something) Lily could possibly be the only white kid in her class when she starts school next year. My friends little girl started coloring herself brown with a marker because she knew she was different. My other friend has a 9 year old boy who gets called stupid white kid and tortilla. (?) This kid is such a good sport though. In fact both these family's amaze me. We have made some incredible friends and I am truly grateful.

Living out in the middle of nowhere will definitely be an experience and when the time comes for us to leave I will be ready, but for now this is my home. Because it is my home I'm sure that when we leave it won't just be the middle of nowhere anymore but rather the middle of somewhere.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Very Disgusting Spider Story

Yesterday while sweeping the back porch, Lily started yelling "Mom there's a big ugly spider on the back door." I looked over and saw this giant white thing that looked like some sort of rock and said "That's not a spider."
Lily: "Are you sure because it has big legs like a spider?"
I took a closer look and about died. It was a giant red spider with a huge white ball thing on it's back. I don't usually eliminate creatures that are outside my house but this one was a little too close for comfort. I had Lily go get Jacob and course he thought we were pathetic but agreed to help us anyway. It took about 10 minutes of brain-storming just to figure out how to get rid of it. I wouldn't let him step on it because then I would have to make him throw his shoes away. We finally decided a rock would do the trick. Lily: "I hope it's not POISONOUS!!!"( I wonder where she get's her dramatics from:) I won't go into details because it's too gross but lets just say it was a messy one. That thing on it's back was some sort of white fluid filled sack. I didn't want the remains left on the porch so I had Jacob get a stick and move it. Jacob had the genius idea of picking it up with a stick then dragging it across the kids bucket of toys and of course it fell off right in the bucket. I was mortified. There was now a huge mess inside their toy bucket so I had to wipe it out and bleach the bucket and all the toys. Even still I'm not satisfied. I had the hardest time eating dinner because I could not stop thinking about it. I finally gave up and threw it away. I was literally sick to my stomach. I was afraid I would have nightmares about it but luckily I didn't. In fact I hardly thought of it at all today until I was making lunch. I was stirring a pot of mac and cheese when Lily came in and said....
Lily: "Mom how come it's white and not yellow?"
Me:" because it's white cheese not cheddar."
Lily: "And how come the noodles look different?"
Me: " Because they are shell noodles instead of regular macaroni noodles."
Lily: " Hey kind of like that spider from yesterday."
Me: "Well so much for lunch."

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Some Day I'll Laugh, But Not Today

We have needed several items of furniture and in order to save money I've searched KSL for used furniture that I could just repaint or refinish. My mom and I have been working hard all week long to strip down a dresser to bare wood and refinish it. We also spent a lot of time painting a TV cabinet that I got for a steal of a deal. We were literally out working all day every day all week long. Saturday was our goal to be finished and we were so happy we made our goal. We put the last protector spray coat over the furniture then came inside to wait for it to dry. What a relief. It was all done and it looked great. After two minutes of being inside I looked out the window and saw Jake with some sort of cleaning product. I ran out to find him spraying all the furniture saying "Look mom I'm cleaning." With a big smile on his face he continued to spray the TV cabinet. I ran over and grabbed the bottle and as it turns out it was a professional level orange citrus cleaner with a very strong solvent. I ran inside to grab a wet rag to wipe it all off but it was too late. The solvent had eaten through the protector coat and the paint. Needless to say we now have to resand and repaint all the drawers to the dresser and the TV cabinet:(

Later that night when Jake was saying his prayers he said "Thank you for my mommy that makes me happy." Now how can you stay mad at a kid like that?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hilarious video!

From last night's debate:

Friday, September 16, 2011

Making Progress

Jake has what's called a feeding disorder. It means he has extreme anxiety when it comes to eating food. He can't handle most textures and as a result he gags and throws up a lot when foods are placed in his mouth. When offered food he covers his mouth and almost has a panic attack of some sort. He is not a scrawny kid thanks to Pediasure but he is not a well nourished kid either. His diet consists of yogurt, pancakes, an occasional grilled cheese, crackers, pizza, frosted mini wheats and Pediasure. Over the past couple months my mom and I (most of the hard work credit goes to my mom) have been working with him. We pulled the old potty training trick and gave him a sticker chart. For every new thing he tried he got a sticker and after filling a chart with stickers he got a prize. We started slow and simple. VERY slow and simple. At first he got a sticker for licking the piece of food. It took a lot of bravery on his part to even do that. Then after a while we moved to putting the food all the way in his mouth and after a while of doing that we progressed to sinking the teeth in to the food. It didn't matter if he spit it out after each step as long as he completed the task. I am very proud to say that he now eats grapes, (loves them) apples with peanut butter, (even chuncky) meat balls, cheese, peanut butter and honey sandwitch, milk, (huge) smoothies, (including my moms green veggie smoothies) oatmeal, almonds, raisins, and most healthyish cold cereals. He now gets excited to eat and is happy rather than stressed out. I can't even begin to express my joy in this. It has been such a relief. He still has a long way to go but he has been more willing to try and is excited about his own progress.

Being silly while waiting for lunch.

I'd ask him how his yogurt tasted but I'm not sure he knows.
Eating meatballs and apples with peanut butter. I love to watch his eyes get big when he is putting something in his mouth. It shows his excitement about what he is doing.
WAY TO GO JAKE!!!! We love you and are so proud of you. (now if only we could have the same success with potty training. One thing at a time I guess.)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

At the Park (and playing dress-up)

The first two are from a couple days ago:
Awesome stuff, huh?
Jake is pretty funny here with that amazing hat.
But he has a pretty good time just doing whatever.

Couldn't help taking a few of Lily. She's too photogenic.
Case in point.
I think they spend more time climbing slides then descending.

As you can see, Jake was tuckered out.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

I Love My Girl

I was in the mood to take some pictures so I picked on my beautiful daughter to be my subject. She is such a good sport. I just love this girl.

This is a dress my dad bought her so of course I had to get a picture of her wearing it. Unfortunately my camera battery died so I only got a couple.