Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Tale from the Franch

This whole Franch series is bringing back a lot of memories, some I have apparently tried to forget. That is precisely why I have my sister to remind me. Thanks, Rach. Here is a tale from the Franch that I had forgotten about. I shall dub this tale ‘A Close Call.’ One forth of July, Charlie and one of his buddies went to Wyoming to procure a bunch of fireworks. These weren’t your ordinary fireworks. No, they were illegal fireworks, you know, the fun kind that fly in the air and start fires. They wanted to put on a mini-fireworks-spectacular at the farm. Jeff and I were merely spectators to this debacle until things got out of hand. Super Jeff had to bust out his super powers and save the day. An errant bottle rocket flew over the fence and into the adjoining property, setting the dry grass on fire. It may be helpful to note that the adjoining property was a State Park. That added a considerable amount of urgency to the situation. With gazelle-like agility, Jeff ran full speed ahead off into the darkness toward the fence. Unfortunately, Jeff has only mole-like abilities in the vision department. I was afraid that he didn’t see the barbwire fence he was rocketing toward. The other guy who was running toward the fire stopped and climbed carefully over the fence. Jeff showed no signs of slowing down, or even seeing the fence. This is where his gazelle-like reflexes came in handy. With one giant leap, he sailed right over the fence and kept right on running. He got to the fire and quickly stomped it out. Phew! That was a close call!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

More Video...

Rach and Phil, I hearby dedicate this post to you, so you guys can have a peek at what your niece and nephew are up to. Ignore the beginning. I can't figure out how to fix it, cuz I'm S-M-R-T.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Monday, January 28, 2008

The Last Straw

...otherwise known as Why I HATE The USPS!!

Did I mention I hate the post office?! I had to go yesterday so I could mail a few packages and get some stamps to send my Christmas, uh, Valentine's Day cards. I have been putting off this trip for a while because going to the PO with two kids and an armload of boxes is a pain in the buns. I could have gone on a Saturday, but that never materialized. Anyway, I loaded Katie into the sling, got James out and put all five of my boxes into a large bag. I managed to get everyone in, along with the packages. Of course, the line was long. When I finally got up to the counter, I told the lady that I wanted standard parcel post, nothing fancy, no priority mail, nada. Just send the boxes. In my experience, you pay for priority mail, and it still doesn't get there on time, or ever. After telling her my preferences, she asked me with each box, 'would you like to send this Priority?' Uh, NO! The second time she asked me I decided to tell her my feelings about priority mail. I told her it never gets there any sooner and that it was a scam. I don't care if its only 85 measly cents, if it ain't gonna get there any quicker then I'm not going to bother. She kind of just looked at me. The other guy at the counter laughed. Then she told me 'Well, some places just never get there any quicker either way.' So, that just proved my theory that USPS stands for United States Postal SCAM! They take your money, knowing full well that your package probably won't get there in 2-3 days. Then, she asked me if anything was fragile. I told her one box was, but that I had tried to pack it well. She looked at me like you would look at a kindergarten kid and said 'Do you know what happens when you send a package Parcel Post? We throw it in the bin back there and we might drop a big heavy box on top of it and it might break.' Well then, isn't that nice? But seriously, do you really think that they are going to be any nicer to your Priority box? I think not. It will just get smashed by a big heavy Priority box. I told her I just wanted to send it Standard!!! Right before I paid, I noticed that she had charged me for Priority anyway. I asked her and she said 'Well I didn't push that button.' Hmmm. So she had to go back and fish my box out of the bin and peel off the stickers and fix it. After all that, I still walked out of there $44 poorer, and how annoying is that?! McWiggins, I am with you...I can't stand the postal service!! And keep you eye on your mailbox: you should be receiving a package sometime before Spring of '09!

Crazy Days

Does life ever slow down? I am beginning to think not. I feel like a clay pot on the wheel that's about ready to fly off and splat on the wall. How's that for a nice mental picture? This weekend was crazy and I am very glad its Monday! The following paragraph is basically just me venting, so feel free to skip over the whole thing. Its really pretty unimportant to the general public.

Saturday I went out in the morning to take pictures with my friend. That involved dropping Katie off at Mom's. Then, I picked up Jeff and James and we went back to Mom's to hang out and see Rach. After that, we took James home for a nap, packed everyone up again and headed to Noah and Amanda's party. We stayed for dinner, came home and got the kids to bed. The next morning, we woke up and headed off to church. When we got home at 12:40, we got a call that we had a 1:00 appointment to see a few houses. Oi! We packed everyone back up and headed out to look at the houses. The first one, as Dad used to say: N-O-U-P-X. What does that mean, anyway, Dad? We looked at the completely original kitchen, complete with pink enamel oven, and the beer girl posters hanging up and the smoke hanging in the air and walked out. It was a dump. The next one we were not optimistic about at all, but it turns out it was a lot better than we thought and we have an appointment tonight to make an offer on it. So, if that works, we have to pack up, do some projects around here, find a renter, do some projects around that house, and move in. Simple, right? Did I mention Jeff is in school two nights a week and our life is crazy already!? This is the reason I had a bout of insomnia last night. So, on top of all that, we had small group last night. In lieu of Bible study, we headed over to our friends Ryan and Ashely to help them get their house ready to sell. It was fun, but made for a reallllllllllly long day. As they used to say on the Car Wash commercials in Grand Junction, "And now I'm tired!"

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Photo Phun

My friend Rachel and I went out on Saturday for a photo expedition. Can you guess where we went? It was lots of fun, even though my camera batteries died after only ten pictures. It was nice to do something creative and all my artsy inclinations came flooding back. It was fun to look at the world through the camera lens and let myself be creative for a while. Thanks, Mom, for babysitting and thanks, Rachel, for going! As they say, a good time was had by all. And here is a bonus picture for y'all. How do you like to watch movies? If you are James, you just make yourself right at home on top of your Dad.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

So I Had a Little Fun

Here is the cake I made with my fancy-schmancy new baking pan and decorating tools from Jeff. Happy Birthday, Noah and Amanda!

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Me and my baby girl

My babies sharing a little secret

Hey, maybe we can fit one more!

Scintillating reading material (everything is better when you read it upside-down)

Looking so 'grown up'

My brother put these on me. I am not humored.

The Lonesome Dove Passes Into the Great Beyond

Part Two of The Shock-and-Awe-Your-Vegetarian-Sister Saga

Earlier I regailed you with tales of rotting cow horns, and now that you have been sitting on the edge of your seats for a week now, I figured I had better tell the rest of the gory tale. I asked Rach what she thought of the thoughful gift we gave her. She sat back, thought a little bit, and said 'Well, I wasn't grossed out at Katie's birth. But the horns were definitely gross.' So there you have it: every woman's favorite gift.

On to the rest of the story: Rach came out to visit me one summer when I was in college. Jeff (my then underaged boyfriend...hehehe, Rach) and I took Rachel out for a little bit of farm entertainment, also known as shooting prairie dogs. Now, before you call PITA on me, let me say that in rural areas you gain a whole different perspective on animals. Prairie dogs dig up your fields and your roads and your yard. Their holes damage crops and create traps for horses to break their legs, not to mention the nasty diseases they carry. So, its basically them, or your livelihood. Anywho, we took Rach out to shoot some prairie dogs. She was impressed. She even made a comment that 'so this is ranch life. It's interesting.' After about fivty-seven times circling the center pivot field, we were running out of prairie dogs who hadn't gotten the memo. As we came around the bend, Jeff saw a dove sitting on the fencepost. In order to impress my sister and further secure his status as fabulous future bro-in-law, he shot the dove. Not really sure went through his head, but he shot it. With a gun that was more intended for, say, elephant hunting than shooting a wee bird. The bird literally went up in a poof of feathers. I cringed, thinking that my sister would forever exclude me from her life. Instead, she said 'Wow, that was really cool.' I think that was one of the first shared experiences that formed the unique bond that Rach and Jeff have today. That, and the radiator incident that will forever remain in infamy, right Rach? :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Fashion Dilemmas

The entire scope of my fashion knowledge could probably be written on a grain of rice. I know nothing. Everything I do know I learned from my sister. Recently, I have been considering heading down the tights-wearing road, only because I have a few cute skirts to wear but I don't want to wear pantyhose. Not being familiar with the ethics of tights-wearing, I first consulted with my Mom, since she is a tights-wearer herself. She informed me that tights are 'in' and that I can wear black or brown, and that I can wear brown shoes with black tights. Now, who am I to argue? I don't really know what is acceptable. BUT! I knew that Rachel would not agree with the brown shoe business. I have asked/begged her before to say it was OK to wear my cute brown shoes with a black skirt or pants, but she has always told me it was a big fat NO. So, to cover all my fashion bases, I checked with Rach. Sure enough, she said NO! So now I am more confused than ever. I have a cute pair of brown leather shoes, which apparently don't go with anything. But I don't want to be a colossal dork. That's why I asked my fashion consultants to begin with. By the time I solve this dilemma it will be spring and I won't need tights or pantyhose.

And with a mother like me, its no wonder that James has such a distinctive sense of fashion:

On a side note, look what I accomplished yesterday! I finished a pair of Jammies for each kid. My next crafty venture is to make a sandcastle cake with a chocolate train for Noah and Amanda's birthday.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Random Happenings

1. I got a 5 1/2 hour stretch of sleep! Yipee!!! (Katie is going through a little phase where she has been getting up every hour or two) Hopefully things will get back to normal.

2. Tonight is Jeff's first night of Chemistry.

3. James got Jeff's screwdriver and proceeded to 'fix' his barn by loosening the screws holding it together.

4. Katie is getting hair!! Its really a microscopic layer of blond fuzz coming in under her baby hair, but its hair none the less. I am so excited!

5. We got the Curious George Treasury today, so the crisis has been averted. We now have our own 'Chu-George' book. Phew!

6. The offer we put down on the house was declined in favor of someone else with more expendable moolah. We are still looking.

7. Did I mention I got sleep last night?! It was glorious!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

More Pictures (Also Known as: No Brain Power to Blog Due to Extreme Lack of Sleep)


Hey, Ma, I really like this contraption!

Grammy reading 'Chu-George'

Little Peanut

'Ba-Pack Rite, peas!'

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Its moments this that make me want to have at least 17 more babies! Jeff, are you with me? Jeff? Jeff? Are you listening?

Friday, January 18, 2008


We had a serious crisis last night. A major meltdown. The END of the world! Or at least that's what James thought. We went to the library where we checked out a Curious George book. Although we hardly ever watch the show, George is a celebrity around here. James had a hard time parting with the book even long enough to have the librarian scan it. We should have known then and there how fiercely protective James would be with his newly borrowed book. Last night, we had finished our nighttime routine and I was ready to take James to bed. He wanted to take 'chu-George' with him. Due to his past history of shredding books when he takes them to bed, and the fact that it was a library book, we told him George would have to stay downstairs. You would think we told him he had to move out of the house and get a job. He lost it. He cried, screamed, stuck his bottom lip out and wailed big tears of sorrow. He might have even gnashed his teeth, whatever that means. It was really so dramatic it was funny. But I tried not to laugh, because he was heartbroken. After many hugs and reassurances that George would be there in the morning, he finally grudgingly let me take him to bed. He blew kisses to George and put him to 'bed' on the bench. As soon as he got up this morning, he retrieved the book and we read it five or six times back to back. And then a few times more. I think its time to try and find a 'chu-George' book of our own. The one from the library is going to fall apart by the time we have to bring it back.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Fun Times!

Yesterday, what was supposed to be Nate coming over for a few hours while his car was in the shop turned into an impromptu all-out family fest, minus Mom. Rach and Phil came down to see him and we talked them into staying all day. James was in heaven having his two uncles to rough him up and his auntie to play with. They went out bowling and came back for dinner. We got Dad to come over too. Really, all we had to do was say that we were all hanging out and he was there. Or maybe it was the prospect of not having to cook his own dinner. Regardless, we had lots of fun! Nothing like a timing belt and an oil change to bring a family together!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Horns in a Bag

A Tale from the Franch

Back in the day, my sister Rachel went through a little bit of a phase, shall we say. She became a vegetarian and said she didn’t like meat. Aren’t you glad you go over that, Rach? Mmmm, steak! But I digress. Like any good sister and her boyfriend would do, we made it a point to disgust her in any way we could. (At this point, I hope you are realizing that this post is going to contain gross information, which is fast becoming a theme of this blog) One day, we went out to help my friend Meg and her family brand/vaccinate/dehorn/castrate their calves. Yes, you read that right. I said castrate, city folk. I won’t delve too deeply into that subject; just know that it involves little tiny green rubber bands. The whole process is quite an ordeal. The calves are herded into a pen and then one by one, into a squeeze chute. While they are being held in the chute, they can be branded and/or tagged, given their shots, dehorned and have that pesky green rubber band installed all at once. It’s a gory, stinky process. There are horns flying everywhere, blood spraying, and the smell of burning hide. In the midst of all this melee we had the thought that a pair of calf horns would make a nice gift for Rach. Please note that horns are not exactly like fingernails; they have blood vessels and all. But we would not let that deter us. We threw a couple of those puppies in a ziplock bag and threw them in the back of my beloved Linx. It was summer; it was hot; the horns stayed in my car. I did have the thought to throw some salt in with them. If salt can preserve meat, why not horns? So the horns sat and marinated in the salt and the heat for a few months, until we saw Rach. Can I just say she was thrilled?

Stay tuned for the continuation of the how-to-disgust-your-vegetarian-sister saga with The Lonesome Dove passes into the Great Beyond, coming soon!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Few New Pictures

Sweet Baby Feet

Big Brother and his Baby Sister

Squeaky Clean!


Trash Man!!! (the highlight of James' morning)

PS. James is jumping on the bed in my heels right now, yelling 'tash mon! tash mon!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Franch 101: Putting a Chicken to Sleep

It is time to educate you on the finer points of putting a chicken to sleep. This is a trick I learned from my Uncle Ken who lives up in the woods of Oregon. You tuck a chicken’s head under the wing and swing it back and forth in a sweeping motion. Here, with the magic of internet, you can see a video of someone else utilizing this technique:

How To Put A Chicken To Sleep - The best bloopers are a click away

The only difference with my Uncle’s technique is that he threw the chicken into the creek once he put it to sleep. Note that the chicken was immediately awakened by this change in procedure and it was not in the least bit thrilled.

New and Improved!

Thanks to the technologically-savvy-other-half of N&B Inc., the blog has been all gussied up. Thanks, Jeff. I could never have done it without you. It looks so purty!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Family Resemblance

Friday, January 11, 2008

STOP Reading This Post...

This post is about poop. It will disgust you. I guarantee it is gross.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Rach and Phil, this one's for you. It's better/worse/more disgusting than the raisin story, in my opinion.

Have I mentioned that James is in the potty training era of his life? He started asking to go so I jumped on the opportunity to work our way out of diapers. We went to the store and he picked out his very own undies: ones covered in cars and trucks. Now, in our house, 'unnies' are the season's latest fashions as they say on Nappy Dyn@mite. He is very good at going pee in the bathroom and has very few accidents with that. The only problem is, James is afraid to do certain business in the pot. OK. I already warned you. He refuses to POOP in the pot. Why? I don't know. He likes to do it surreptitiously and then come to me and say 'wet'. I bet that feels awkward, walking around with a big chunk 'o poo hanging out in your tractor undies. (Again, if you are still reading/cringing/disgusted...I warned you!) So anyway, yesterday afternoon he walked over to me with his ankles together like a penguin. At first, I thought maybe he wet himself. After all, he already pooped that morning. Why would he do it again? It was this same faulty reasoning that allowed me to let him go running around sans undies yesterday afternoon. Did I mention that my reasoning was flawed? Apparently all the multi-grain pancakes James eats have turned him in to a pooping ma-cheen. There, hanging out in the leg of his jammies was a giant blob-o-you-know-what. Eeeeewww! If you are wondering why James was in his jammies in the afternoon, he found his 'line' (lion) jammies in the closet upstairs and insisted on wearing them. They had an elastic band around the ankle, preventing the renegade poop from completely falling out of his pant let. Going back to the clean-up effort, I had quite a time extracting him and I think he was equally as disgusted as I by the 'nassy' poop smeared all down his leg. And his foot. And between his toes. Maybe next time he'll decide to use the pot when he goes. And maybe next time you'll listen when I tell you to stop reading a post. I told you it was going to be gross!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

When you have kids...

People make your life their business. It actually starts before you have kids. People want to know:

When are you going to have kids?
How many kids are you going to have?
Are you pregnant yet?

Once you are pregnant, they ask you things like:

What are you having? (Uh, a baby, thank you very much)
Are you hoping for a boy or a girl? (We were actually hoping for a goldfish, thanks for asking)
How far along are you?

The last question is often followed by:

Oh, my, you look HUGE!
Oh, my, you're so tiny!
You look ready to pop!

And my personal favorite:

I don't know how this is possible, but you look bigger then you did yesterday! (Thanks, Mom)

Then, you have the kid. BUT, you aren't out of the woods yet! That's when it really starts. You hear things like this:

Are you breastfeeding? (from complete strangers)
Is he/she a good baby?
Does he/she sleep good for you? (they're supposed to sleep?)
Do you have any guns in the house? (Darn pediatricians!)

People look at your kid and say things like:

Is this your first?
Oh, she looks fake.
Is that a boy or a girl? (Well, judging by the pink hat, I am guessing its a girl)
How old is your baby?

Then, armed with that intriguing bit of chronological knowledge, they say:

Oh, he/she is HUGE!
Oh, what a little peanut.
Oh, she's going to be a big girl.
Wow, he looks a lot older than two. He's only two?
Does he talk? (No, he's training to be a monk)

They also throw in comments like:

He/she is so shy.
He/she needs a nap.
He/she is hungry.
Can she breath in there? Isn't she squished?
(When I am carrying Katie in the sling)
Is he/she warm enough?

Thanks, people, for telling me what you think my kid needs. I would be lost without all your helpful advice.

So, seriously, do the questions and unsolicited advice ever end? I guess I have to admit that I have asked a few of these questions myself, but I try to stay on the friendly non-obnoxious side of things. So, people-of-childbearing-age-who-read-this-blog, you know who you are. So, when are you going start having babies? :)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Say What?!

James has taken it upon himself today to make me laugh/cringe/shake my head with his antics.

Exhibit A: He came to me earlier with a pair of my scrapbooking scissors, trying to cut his hair, saying ''

Exhibit B: He crammed himself into the excersaucer which is Katie-sized, and was dancing to the radio. "Shake Your Bootie" was blasting on the oldies station (yes, Rach, the station you say I always play) and James was shouting loudly, "Shake your boobies!" Now, he DID NOT, I REPEAT, DID NOT learn that from me. Jeff?? Maybe. Actually, he was just trying to pronounce bootie, and it sure came out pretty funny.

Exhibit C: James latest favorite Veggie T@les is Jonah. In one part, the veggies keep saying "Nada, zip, zilch, NAAAAAAAAAAA-DA." James has picked up on the "NAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA" part and was shouting it out around the house this morning.

All this, and its only 1:00.

Hello? Hello? Can anyone here me?

A Tale from the Franch

I never knew when we would be called into action when I stayed at my friend Meg’s house. They had cattle, and their cows had a penchant for escaping. It didn’t matter what time of day or night, they would get out. That means we’d have to chase them back in. Whoever was around got roped into wrangling the wayward bovines. I can truthfully say I have chased cows in my pajamas. One afternoon, Meg’s dad came in and told us the cows were loose. We all pulled on our shoes and got prepared to head out. I took a brief stop at the bathroom, not knowing how long it would take. I did my thing and went to go out and join everyone. There was only one problem. I was stuck. Trapped. Entombed in the bathroom of a trailer. The door wouldn’t budge an inch. Try as I might, the door was stuck. I yelled, but no one heard. It wasn’t until several minutes later when they realized I disappeared that someone came looking for me. Meg’s dad successfully un-jammed the door to free me. Then we all jumped on our Japanese quarter-horses and headed off into the sunset.

Monday, January 07, 2008

This is totally random, but...

1. Thanks to Dad, James' new pastime is building towers out of his Legos.
2. Katie has now rolled over a couple times. She can't really do it on purpose, but she's getting closer to gaining some mobility.
3. Jeff got into his Chemistry class and the lab: that's a good thing, I think. It's going to be an adjustment having him gone two nights a week.
4. James is doing good with potty training. He picked out some fancy-schmancy big boy undies and is doing really good. Except that he sneaks off and finds himself a quiet place to do his #2 biz-ness. That leads to some fun times.
5. Congrats to our friends, Scott and Merry Jo, who had their baby girl, Emma Jo!
6. Did you know that the measurements you sometimes see on door jambs in businesses are there to help in the case of a robbery? It allows the police to approximate the height of the perpetrator using the measurements on the video surveillance video. Thanks, Jeff, for enlightening me.

See, I told you that was going to be random!!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Mmmmm! Muffin batter!

This is why James wants to run off and live with 'Mammy' and 'BawPaw'

Look, ma, I'm standing up! This is really fun!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Can they get any cuter?

Jesus Jammies

Brace yourselves: There is an actual website called

And its run by Mormons. Talking all about their undies. For those of you who don't know much about Mormons, they wear special undergarments all the time, called by us 'gentiles' as 'Jesus jammies.' Click on the link to become more informed about this interesting subject. Google Image the phrase 'Temple Garments' to see a picture of these saucy skivvies. And now you know.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Katie's Dance Moves

Mi Vida Loca

Never knew I spoke such marvelous Spanish, huh?

My life is crazy. Every time I think it may slow down...well, it doesn't. I think I might have thirty whole seconds to hear myself think, and instead I hear my daughter having an explosive poop session. Or my son saying 'pee, peez?' I am drowning in poop here, people! Among other things, like laundry, dishes, small tractors, Cars underwear, etc. This is actually my normal day-to-day stuff. And I like it. I love it. Its fun and crazy and tiring all at once. But to add to all the chaos that is my life, we are in the market for another house. We want to buy a second house and rent this one out. We have a house in mind, which we want to make an offer on, but things keep getting more and more complicated. Of course, before we knew about all the complications, we put an ad in the paper to rent out our house. So now, on top of figuring out what we are going to do with ourselves regarding said house, we have people calling here about renting our house. Problem is, its not looking so good on the other front, and we don't want to be stuck on the streets. We also don't want to turn down potential renters, either, in case this whole crazy thing works out. There are way more details involved, which I will spare you. Just know that it is complicated stuff here. Enough to make my head explode. And on top of that whole crazy mess, Jeff is starting school in two weeks, beginning with Chemistry! He has stepped back at church, which will make a big difference in the amount of time commitments he has. Now he will be gone two nights a week for school. Although it is a big commitment for both of us, I am glad he is able to go back. In the long run it will be very beneficial for him. See why our life is so crazy?!

I think my laundry pile is calling me; its a lot less complicated.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Quotes Of The Day

"Your baby looks like an elf." -The Lady at the Fabric Store

"Your baby looks fake." -The Checker at the Grocery Store (then explained that she looked like a beautiful little doll)

"I couldn't get it out, so I had to light it on fire." -The Husband, explaining why he lit the hose sprayer on fire. Naturally, that would be my first choice too.

And a quote from the other day: "Auntie Wach, via-mins" as James brought me a handful of Tootsie Rolls. When Rach and Phil stayed with us, they gave him his vitamins. Rach ate a Tootsie Roll in front of him and said "See, Auntie Rachel takes vitamins too."

Last but not least, and in the spirit of total randomness, James found the lint roller last night and proceeded to de-fuzz the entire surface area of his footie pajamas.

The End