So, I guess it's been a couple months since i updated, so i'll just ramble for a while and try to catch up. Later i might be able to throw a few pictures in. We celebrated Ben's 35th birthday at The Old Spaghetti Factory with Grandma and Bucka Gibson, Bucka Bucka (Bucka is Max's word for grandpa and Bucka Bucka is his great-grandpa) and MJ (Bucka Bucka's wife), Amber and Ryan, Josh, and Uncle Gary. It was tons of fun and Ben is pretty much the same with maybe a little tiny bit more gray hair. Just after that, in the middle of February, our already precarious financial situation took a turn for the worse, so we decided to do everything we could to make it through this downturn. Ben's company had bought a trailer in Buckeye about a year ago with the idea that they would move it to some land they have in Mesa and sell it. That plan was put on hold a while back, so we decided to find a renter for our house and move into the trailer. So...we found a guy to rent it and thought everything would be great, he is the president of his church and a really nice guy, etc... then we had Chet run his credit for us and it turned out that he had had two evictions and a couple of car repossessions in the last 5 years. Needless to say, he didn't get to rent our house, but the day i went to put the "For Rent" sign back up, a lady came up and said she was interested. It turns out that she has an assisted-living facility a couple doors down from us and wants to open another one. So, we have a renter and she's great and we'll have a ramp up to our front door and bars in the showers when it's all said and done. What more could you ask for. So, we moved into our little trailer in our gated Buena Vista trailer park on Feb 28th. For anywone not familiar with this neck of the woods, we moved 20 miles further west than we already were. We now are truly half-way to California (all the more reason to visit everyone that lives there). I still work one day a week in east Mesa and it's 55 miles away. The kids love our little house and are always trying to get back there whenever we go anywhere. They did have to go through all of their toys and decide which ones they would keep and which they would give to other kids cuz we don't have as much space. They did awesome, they're very generous. It's great, there was just enough room on the side of the house to wedge in the trampoline. The management has came over to inform us that someone had called to complain about our little boy was throwing rocks into the street (I'm thinking, well he didn't hit anyone did he?, but I didn't say it, just thought it). I wouldn't call it a super friendly neighborhood, but it's clean and quiet. The day we moved in, I was driving Ben's dually and parked across the street and the neighbor came home and said, "you almost hit my tree with your truck". I apologized and said, "I'm sorry, i don't usually drive this. Hi, my name is Rachelle, i'm moving in across the street." that threw her off for a second or two. she might be the one that called in on max and the rocks. so, I was telling our movers what she said and our friend Eddie, that helped us move, said, " well, i almost brought you cookies." so, we got all settled and I found out that a gym not too far away has reformers (Pilates equipment), so i applied for a job and got hired as a Pilates instructor and then made the director of their Pilates/yoga department. i've since gathered that it's the job no one wants, but that's okay, I do great at jobs that no one else wants. the one really nice thing is that i get two hours of child care per day for free and can work in that time. the only problem with that is that max bit a kid's hand has second day in there and got written up (three write-ups means suspension). When i asked him why he bit him, he said, "He wouldn't say that I was the boss". Scary, i know. so, he had a couple of great weeks and this last week bit a kid on the cheek. i'm hoping we don't get that third strike. so...we're learning to enjoy the simple things in life and go without. A little run-down of the things we've decided in the last year that we can do without:
Swim lessons, cable, downgraded internet and phone service, cell phone (i now have a pay-as-you-go phone and get 10 min/day), my Cadillac (I now drive a '94 gutless Cutlass supreme), Ben's truck (he drives an older company truck), the associated insurance, going out to eat (we do much less), medical insurance (the company dropped what we had and we picked up a private policy with a much smaller premium, higher deductible), our house, cut grocery budget by almost 1/2, preschool for Max, gym membership (although my new job provides me with a free membership), babysitters (using Amanda less). I think that's about it. It's been interesting, because not only are we surviving the changes, i think we're enjoying each other more and have learned an awful lot about wants/needs adn what those words really mean. we hope that we are learning all of the lessons we're supposed to and that we will never forget them and that our philosophy will never again be outearning our spending, but actually limiting our spending regardless of our income.
My sister Nicole sang the National Anthem at a Spring Training game on March 10th, I went with the kids and we hung out on the lawn until Bryn had tapped out all of the food possibilities that the spectators around us had to offer.
In the end of March, we went to Tucson for the Cystic Fibrosis Walk to support Dayson, our nephew and spent a couple of days with Erika and Chet. It was fantastic, we miss them and love them.
Being Easter Eve, I'll share a couple of the attempts I've made at helping Max understand religious events. we were in church one day and bryn and ben were home sick, so i could give max a little more attention while they were passing the sacrament around. we talked about how Jesus had died and that he had then come back to life. Without hesitation, Max said, "the animals come back to life every night". for anyone that hasn't seen Night at the Museum, that's the plot and so, that was the extent of Max's understanding of the Resurrection. It was really hard not to laugh. So, this week i decided to take a stab at teaching him about Easter and why we celebrate. He's convinced that Easter is a person, and so he said "Easter can kill the guys that killed Jesus". I'm not sure where the violent streak comes from, but i guess I'll just keep on trying:-).