Sunday, January 17, 2016

Big Things

Big Thing #1: I feel like there's been some big things going on for our family lately. The first is that we got rid of the chickens. I think I already mentioned it, and I realize that it is the very least of what we've been dealing with. But it was sort of a big pain in the butt and we're all glad to be rid of them. They were so expensive during the winter, and just not worth it to us. Not right now, and not here. It was a good experience though, and I don't regret doing it. But I'm also relieved to have one less thing to worry about. We just sold them on craigslist. The couple that bought them was Russian, and spoke little English. They had paid us in cash earlier and didn't come get them for a while. They had said they'd be here on a Saturday, which would've been great because I was hoping Kenny would be there to interact with them and help with the whole thing. But they didn't show up. Then the next Monday rolled around. Kenny was also selling his truck at the same time. Some guy called and wanted to come see it on during the day on Monday. Which obviously meant I had to do the whole transaction, which I was totally not comfortable with. I know nothing about cars, especially that one, and I didn't want to barter on the price or anything. But I had to, so Kenny showed me how to transfer the title, etc. That took up quite a bit of time where I had the kids sit inside and watch a movie, and get Briggs from his nap when he woke up, and I basically just neglected them for over an hour while I was outside shivering and waiting for them to look at it, test drive it, then go get a cashier's check and then finally it was done.

Later that afternoon, this Russian couple calls and says they would be there in an hour to get the chickens and their coop with a giant tow truck. I immediately called Kenny and asked him to come home. He could've taken the early bus and been there for it, and I really didn't want to do it. But he didn't think he'd be there in time to be much help anyway, so he didn't. I was upset that he wasn't even making an effort to help me out when I knew that if he did have work he could've brought home his laptop and finished it up later at home. Well they didn't come when they said they were going to, and we kept waiting and they still weren't coming. So I went ahead and started dinner. Right when we were about to eat, they showed up!! I was a little annoyed by that but I had to be out there to make sure the massive tow truck stayed on our property and didn't run over any of the pipes in the yard (water and sewage pipes I think. I don't know what I was protecting but Kenny made sure to let me know it was a big deal to not ruin them!). It was pitch black by the time they got there. It took a really long time, and a whole lot of work. I didn't do much except sit there praying that the whole thing didn't collapse and injure and kill all the chickens. I didn't know what we would've done if that did happen. It was very possible, (some pieces did break actually and they'll have to make repairs.) It's not like you have any good contracts with these craigslist transactions. So if something did happen I didn't know what we would do. not to mention we could hardly communicate. Even the tow truck drive they hired was Russian (though he communicated better than the other two). As I mentioned before it wasn't really built to have to move. And it was at exactly the wrong angle so it couldn't be pulled onto the truck without first turning it 90 degrees, which was really difficult. I don't know how to explain it all, but it was a stressful time and I was wishing so badly Kenny were there. He is the one that built it, he's incredibly strong and that would've been helpful, and an excellent problem solver so I know he could've come up with some helpful solutions. But of course he pulls up right as they are pulling out of our driveway (after being there for well over an hour). I finally finished/reheated dinner and we ate late.

Those two experiences that day helped me to realize something about myself. I like to think I'm pretty tough and that I can do lots of hard things. But the truth is that I've led a very sheltered and comfortable life, and that I really depend on Kenny a whole lot. Even though I was upset that he didn't come rescue me, I think it was good for me to put on my big girl panies and deal with uncomfortable/unfamiliar situations and people. I love Kenny a lot and I'm grateful he is patient with me as I slowly "grow up".

Big Thing #2: Kenny has been applying and interviewing for jobs A LOT the last few months. It started when they had their big lay-off at his company back in October. He has turned down several jobs, but kept looking. It's not that we are in a bad situation here. Of course the commute stinks, but it's not the end of the world. We chose to live out here. Mostly it's just that he doesn't feel like he has a future with this company. There's nowhere really for him to go up (not far anyway) and they have no plans of ever moving us out of Alaska. We'd like to a) have him in a job that he enjoys and b) be closer to family! So with those two things in mind we kept searching. This last weekend he flew down to interview in Texas, with a company we'd really like! We were feeling so hopeful and excited about it. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted it to happen. I would be an hour and a half from my mom and one of my sisters and several cousins live in Texas too. It would just be such a dream to be so close to family after being so far these last 5 years. They were supposed to have made their decision and let us know this last week. Every day was just full of anxiety wondering if that would be the day they'd call and we could finalize plans and move forward. But each day we kept waiting until Friday afternoon they finally called, and didn't even have good news. They said it was inconclusive, and they need more time to discuss and think about it. I'm sure the fact that they'd have to spend so much relocating us is a big hold-up. I wish we could call them up and tell them that we would gladly take the job even without a relocation package! We'd just sell everything and move down there ourselves. But anyway, we have to keep waiting. We better know by the end of this next week. I was pretty upset and emotional when I heard their response. But the more I've thought and prayed about it, I feel like either way we're going to be just fine. I just need to trust in the Lord's plan for us and trust in God's timing, too. Things will work out and we can be happy either place. I'm sure Kenny will continue to look for a new job even if this doesn't work out. But anyway, that's been a big deal the last few months as we are constantly discussing different places to live, various opportunities and companies and positions.

Big Thing #3: I'm pregnant! Baby #6 is on it's way and we are excited. I'll probably feel more excited when I get out of this crappy first trimester. I'm over 11 weeks though, so we're getting closer!  I have my first appt. coming up this Friday. It's made this depressing winter that much harder on me. Not to mention I'm not in the best emotional state to deal with all the ups and downs of this job hunt. I dream daily of sunnier days with longer daylight hours and warmer temperatures.

Big Thing #4: Speaking of warmer temperatures, Kenny and I are going to Cambodia! We are also taking Tyler and Brynlee along with us! My sister, Kim, lives there with her family, and they're only there for a year (their time is up in April) so we figured we'd better take advantage of this really unique and awesome opportunity while it's before us. We are flying my mom up (bless her soul!) to watch the 3 younger kids. Hopefully this will be a good and memorable experience for Ty and Bryn. And we are praying that Bryn's passport gets here in time. There was an issue with the first photo taken (thank you idiots at the post office) so it had to be re-done and I'm hoping it gets here SOON. We are super excited for that adventurous trip and I'm praying I'm not sick and have the necessary energy I need to enjoy it by then. We'll be gone the second half of February. The line from Little Mermaid often comes to mind, "what would I pay to spend a day warm on the sand?" haha obviously we're willing to pay a lot for some beach time! ;)

Bravo to you if you made it to the end of this long, wordy post. Now I'm caught up on what's going on aside from the daily activities. And hooray for January being halfway over!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

2015 Review

I know a lot of people do their year-end reviews and I always enjoy it. So I thought I'd make one for our family's 2015. It's been a great year and we've been so very blessed. I love seeing how much the kids have grown up in the last year! 

 January: Nothing ever to report in January. We just get through it :).

February: My birthday, Bryn turned 6, Tyler turned 8 and got baptized on Kelsey's 3rd birthday! Grandpa and Grandma A. came up here for the big day.

March: Kenny and I went to France! Grandma W. stayed with the kids.

April: Bought chickens! 

May: Spending a lot more time outside. Trip to Talkeetna, Kenny built a chicken coop, family hikes, clearing land in our backyard and planted grass.

June: More hiking and enjoying outdoors. Kenny and I conquered our first half-marathon! Kenny installed a zip-line in the backyard.

July: Hosted 4th of July. Kenny put up a huge swing set in our backyard. Our long trip in the lower 48 began. We had a Weston Family Reunion in Utah and vacationed as a family on our way down to Texas. Saw and did a lot.

August: Lots more travelling just me with the kids. Saw a ton of family and got to be there for Tim and Lauren's wedding in Utah before flying back home. Brigham turned 1 year old!!

September: School and schedules took over. We soaked up all the fall we could. Kenny's birthday!

October: Bought our little puppy, Cato. Enjoyed the last of the warm days.

November: Loved hosting Thanksgiving. Darker, colder days.

December: Madison's golden birthday. Wonderful Christmas season.

New Years Eve, etc.

I don't think I've mentioned yet but Bryn started taking piano lessons from Sister Hunt, same as Tyler. I drop them both off and they listen to each other's lessons and so they're there for an hour. Anyway Bryn really loves it. She's been begging to take lessons for a long time but their teacher is pretty firm on the "7 year old" rule. Bryn will be 7 in Feb. and she had a few students drop so I think she was grateful to have her start a little early. It's been fun to watch her work at getting her fingers to do what she wants. She loves music. 

It was a pretty lame and boring week. I don't have much motivation to do anything I should do. Winter blues. So on Wednesday I decided that we needed to have a party on New Year's Eve or I might just cry at how lame the whole "holiday" week was. So I texted some families in the ward the day before and got it together. The kids helped clean the house on Thursday and I made some treats. It ended up being super fun and I was so glad! Of course I failed to take any pictures, but we had the Cooks, Christoffersons, Vandikes, and Larsons over from our ward. And Andy and Shalee came with their kids too. They also stayed the night and most of the next day. We had so much yummy food! Lots of appetizers and desserts! We started playing the game, 4 on a couch. But the kids caught on that we were having fun and so they all came in and wanted to play with us. It's not really a kid game and we didn't have enough chairs anyway. So after only a couple rounds we changed our game to Pictionary so all the kids could participate. They loved that. We chatted and had fun getting to know each other a little better. Everyone went home around 9 p.m. We put our kids to bed and their cousins too. Then we stayed up way too late with Andy and Shalee playing Headbanz and just talking. Thanks to our neighbors we had a good fireworks show at Midnight! We toasted in the New Year with sparkling cider. 

Oh good news! I sold the chickens this week. We are not enjoying how much it costs to keep them warm and fat and happy in the winter. The cost just isn't worth it. If we lived somewhere warmer where they could be free range and not require heat lamps for so many months of the year, we would definitely do it. But up here it just doesn't make sense. So anyway I put it up for sale on Craigslist, coop and all. I had someone over here looking at it within a few hours and several more calls that same day. It was a good price. So they bought them, but haven't taken them off our yard yet. I think they're trying to figure out how to move the coop. I wonder the same thing. It's pretty darn heavy and wasn't built to transport. So good luck to them haha. 

Saturday night we all needed to get out of the house so we went to McDonald's for dinner and let them all play on the play place for a while. After baths and bed time Kenny worked on his lesson and I got a bunch of stuff ready for the first week of Primary this year=CRAZY. Kelsey is no longer in nursery and has now joined Sunbeams and feels like a big girl. The only problem is she wants to be with me the whole time and not sit with her class. She said to me, "Why don't you come sit by me, Mom? Don't you like me?" haha. So manipulative. :) Oh and 6 more weeks till Briggs is in nursery and that will make everyone's lives better!