Monday, October 20, 2014

Not to be forgotten!

Roscoe turned six this month! I cannot believe he is already six years old - mostly because time flies, but partially because he still acts like a puppy. I should say, he is mostly rather well behaved, but he has the energy of a puppy.

Here's what has been happening in the world of Roscoe-Dog...
Plenty of time hanging out at the farm! 
Dog-selfie riding in the farm car.
Stalking the kitties.
Keeping an eye on Chad.
Taking a dip in the irrigation ditch.
This fall has been a bit tough on the poor pup - he must have gotten a piece of cheat grass wedged in his paw because he ended up with a sore on his paw. With a little bit of cutting from Dr. Derby and some antibiotics, he was back to normal in no time. Dr. Derby has a new vet in his office and when I was holding Roscoe on the examination table, I called him a puppy - she asked how hold he was (I mean, he is getting a little gray on his chin) and I told her six. She then told me that he looked really good for as old as he is ........ excuse me, as old as he is? I was kind of blown away, but I guess he's not really a puppy any longer!

I think the thing he hated most was having to go on walks on the leash. He is actually very behaved on the leash, but that means he cannot go jump in the ditch or the canal or the drainage or whatever body of water he might find. That dog loves the water. We had to keep his bandage dry and he was so not impressed.
He also had a constipation issue from eating something he shouldn't have - still not sure what that was, but after about a week of Pepto, some mineral oil, and a few pro-biotic pills, he was back to his normal twice-a-day schedule. That will teach him to eat out of the cat dish (actually - no, it did not).
Checking out his little brother or sister.
Pretty safe to say he likes it out here! 
Overall, I think he loves living in the country. He's in the best shape of his life - probably because he goes on runs every day and he loves to go to the farm, ride in the car with Chad, race down the dirt roads, and splash around in the water. I think the only thing he misses from living in town is the constant access to green grass, but since we live so close to a busy country road - he cannot be out of his kennel when we are not home. Soon, he'll have a big backyard and entire farm to roam :)

Friday, October 10, 2014

P.E.O. Chapter K Celebrates 100 Years {& Nuts}

Recently, P.E.O. Chapter K celebrated 100 years of sisterhood! Technically, the anniversary falls in December, but we held a gathering in September and had a great turnout of Chapter K (Vale) sisters and several others from around the area and even a few from Western Oregon and Idaho join in the fun. If you are interested in the history of our chapter, the Argus Observer wrote a nice article prior to the celebration.

One of the main goals of P.E.O. is the fund scholarships for deserving women. To raise money, our chapter sells nuts and the fundraiser is going right now! If you are interested in purchasing nuts, the price list is below and I would need orders to me no later than early afternoon on Monday, October 13. Delivery is usually shortly after Veteran's Day and payment is due upon delivery.

In 2014, Chapter K was able to sponsor four women with ties to the Vale community for over $4000.00 in scholarships - how awesome is that?! I always fill the cupboard and freezer with nuts for the year and they are great to have on hand to stick in a gift basket, use as a stocking stuffer, or set out for a gathering of friends and family. Chad loves to take a bag or two on his hunting adventures for a healthy snack. We've added a couple new items this year and I have my eye on the butter toffee cashews!
I know the deadline is coming close, but if you are interested, shoot me an email or text - or give me a call! It's for a great cause!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Inquiring Minds...

Since we have elected to not find out the sex of our baby, we have had a lot of questions about random things from people related to old wives tales. It's kind of fun to guess and we have people who firmly believe one way or another - but I'm sure everyone will be excited to meet Baby Beast Mode when he or she makes the grand appearance, regardless of whether the sweet babe is a boy or girl!

Chad and I went through these questions a while back just for fun and I thought I'd share the results to see if it influences your guess!

Q: Is your bump low or high?
A: I am carrying low.

Q: Do you know the baby's heart rate?
A: We aren't telling.

Q: How did your skin change?
A: My skin is worse than normal.

Q: Did you have a lot of nausea?
A: Not much nausea.

Q: Do you have any cravings?
A: Not many cravings.

Q: Did your legs get very hairy during this pregnancy?
A: Not really more hair on my legs.

Q: Does your husband have more brothers or sisters.
A: Brothers

Q: What is the shape of your pregnant abdomen?
A: Mostly in front.

Q: Has your face shape changed a lot during the pregnancy?
A: My face hasn't changed that much.

Q: As compared to before pregnancy, my feet are...
A: Warmer

Q: My food cravings?
A: I crave more fruits versus meats and cheeses.

Q: Has the baby's dad been gaining weight?
A: Dad's been losing weight (hunting season).

Q: Has your nose changed in size?
A: My nose is about the same size.

Q: Has your chest changed in size?
A: My chest has grown significantly.

Q: What color is your urine?
A: Dull colored.

Based on this quiz, we are 5/15 BOY; 7/15 GIRL; & 3/15 undecided.

The Chinese Gender Predictor says BBM is a GIRL. 

With five nephews and two nieces, based on our family history, it is probably a boy! Grandma Barbara currently has six great-grandsons and one more great-grandson on the way. If our babe is a boy, that would make eight and no little girls! A little girl would be Grandma Barbara's first great-granddaughter. Chad was certain BBM was a girl for a while, but now he's not so sure. Most of my family is thinking blue, and Chad's dad Scott is certain it is a girl. Late December or early January will tell!

I would say there's about a 50/50 chance BBM is a boy or girl. ;)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Trimester One

Well, I think it's pretty common knowledge these days that Chad and I are on the fast-track to parenthood - and couldn't be more excited about it! I was very hesitant to share our little bundle of news and tried my best to hide it throughout the first and part of the second trimester. Some say I did a good job hiding it and they had no idea - while others knew "right away". Either way, I'm glad we were able to share the very exciting news on our terms! Since I was pretty camera shy during the first little bit - most of the Trimester One photos are pretty random!
Branding at McBride's - 3 days before I knew I was pregnant!
We learned the morning of April 24 that we were expecting! I had an appointment scheduled for the next day with my new doctor over in Boise, so that was awfully convenient. Mom, Willy, Joe, and I went to Boise for the day and they dropped me off at my appointment where my new doctor and nurse reviewed my medical history, made some changes, and took some blood samples to check for various hormone levels. It took four pokes and two nurses to get the blood needed for the tests - my veins are not very needle-friendly! We made an appointment for the six week mark to check the pregnancy and the doctor set a due date of January 3, 2015.

Chad and I took a trip to Brush Prairie, WA to visit the Van Hoy family and attend Billy's Baptism. Chad and I are very excited to be his God Parents :) We hit the five-week mark over the weekend and I can remember being very tired and hungry!
Billy's Baptism
On our way to our 8 a.m. six-week checkup, I was (to borrow a term from my father) as "nervous as a dog shitting peach seeds". I think I sweat the entire drive over! We had an ultrasound and everything looked great - healthy, normal! We were able to see the heartbeat and they measured the heart-rate and the tiny babe looked great for six weeks. Chad and I stopped by Simmons Fine Jewelry to pick up my diamond earrings on the way home, so I was thinking it was a pretty great day!
Simmons Fine Jewelry - Diamond Earring Winner!
That weekend, I officially hit six weeks (Saturday is my changeover day) and on Sunday, we went through the Tour of Homes with Mom and Dan in the Boise area. We were able to gather a lot of really great ideas and view some incredible homes - some maybe too incredible for our budget :) To say I was exhausted at the end of the day would be the understatement of the century.
Tour of Homes
May 19-20, Kay and I embarked on our annual Idaho Falls / Eastern Idaho trip to visit customers. It was hard to be on such a random meal/sleep schedule at 7 1/2 weeks, but overall it went well. We took a detour to Shoshone Falls and that made me a bit sick. My car-sickness has seemed to pop up occasionally throughout the pregnancy.

We had our second ultrasound right before eight weeks after I returned from Idaho Falls and the baby was measuring a couple days bigger than "average" - which is great. I would rather be on the big side, I think! Heart rate was healthy and there were no signs of anything abnormal - anywhere, so that was wonderful news!

For the most part at this point during the pregnancy, I had been feeling really good - pretty normal, actually. If I were to have a complaint, I would say "tired" would be my biggest complaint. If I didn't eat anything in the morning, I would get a little nauseous, but I never did throw up or feel really sick. I did have some strange dreams early on in the pregnancy... in one, I gave birth to a puppy. In another, I was in a rattlesnake-filled pasture with my barefoot nephews (don't worry, everyone was okay). I also dreamed that a lady from Chad's past showed up with two daughters - that were apparently his! He claimed to have no knowledge, but I can remember in the dream being blown away that he would have not one, but TWO daughters with the same woman and not know about the older one. Laugh it up.

At around ten weeks, we had a very busy weekend with Courtney, Justin, Thad, & Dixon - going to the drive-in movie theater on Friday night and then spending the day at Les Bois watching the horse races and wishing California Chrome would have won the Triple Crown. It was warm, but not too bad - I had an awesome hat and stayed very hydrated with plenty of water while keeping an eye on my wild husband ;)
Belmont at Les Bois Park
June 12-15, I attended the Idaho-Oregon Fruit & Vegetable Association Convention in McCall. I rode up with Ashley because Chad was at an FFA event and joined me on Friday. I had to try to hide my tiny bump while pretending to have a drink in hand throughout the weekend. One of my customers called me out and I told him to zip his lip! He did as he was told :) We learned over the weekend that some of our friends - Brad & Faere were also expecting and they are about six weeks ahead of us. The Convention is filled with activities and I was desperate to sneak in naps whenever I could. I went to the spa with some of my friends and we hung out at the immersion pools for a while - my swimsuit didn't totally give me away, but I was definitely not as trim as normal!

Business Meeting Selfie

Idaho Oregon Fruit & Vegetable Association Convention - McCall, ID
The next week was the OVATA Conference for Ag Teachers and this summer, it was held in Ontario. Chad was busy most of the week, but I did join him for a couple of the dinners. My 12-week weekend, Mom and I worked the Garden Tour for the TVCC Foundation Fundraiser and the gardens were really gorgeous!

At 13 weeks, we finally decided we better share the news with our families. I was so, so, so nervous. We were getting together for Mom's birthday and at that point, the baby was the size of a peach - so I wrapped up some peaches and gave them to Mom as part of her birthday present. I think she was surprised - not that I was pregnant, but that we were able to keep it a secret that long. Toby claimed he "knew", but Alisha was definitely shocked!
Birthday peaches!
We also shared the news with my dad, Greg - and Chad's dad, brothers, and grandparents. Everyone was pretty darn excited! Some seemed to have a more difficult time keeping the news under their hat than others :) At our request, they were not to share the news.

That weekend, we went to Tamarack, ID for the NW Mountain Challenge to work in the BowTech Archery booth. It was a fun little getaway and nice break from the warm weather. There were a lot of people up there we knew and Chad worked hard to promote BowTech. I think next year he will sneak away from the booth for a while and shoot the course.It was nice because our hotel was only a few minutes from the Resort and I could drop Chad off in the wee-hours of the morning and come back at a more realistic hour for this tired lady!
BowTech Archery Booth at NW Mountain Challenge - Tamarack, ID
That wraps up the first trimester! Happy to report we made it through without a hitch! It's a good thing we weren't very busy at work, because I could barely crawl out of bed most mornings. I think Chad thought I was going into hibernation with all my sleeping!
13 Week Photo!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Pregnancy Stitch Fix (August)

My sister introduced me to Stitch Fix this summer. It's one of those online subscription companies, and for us rural gals - it is kind of amazing. I am sure it is for a busy city gal too!

You fill out a very comprehensive style profile - answering questions about size, fit, style, price range, colors, likes, dislikes, lifestyle and everything else you can think of and your stylist works to select five items each round (monthly, bimonthly, etc.) that she believes will blow you away and fit you like a glove. You can also link your "Style" Pinterest Board to your account and pin specific styles and items to drop hints to your stylist.  For each "fix", you can also send your stylist a note telling her about any upcoming events you might be preparing for. Since I live about an hour from the most realistic clothing retailer, buying clothing online is something that happens more often than not.

Each "fix" is $20 for the styling fee - that covers shipping both ways and you can put the $20 toward any item in your box of goodies, if you decide to keep any - and hopefully you do! If you purchase all five items in your "fix", you receive an additional 25% off!

My first fix shipped mid/late August and it was before Stitch Fix carried maternity-specific clothing. I thought I'd give it a shot anyway! I received three tops, a dress, and a pair of earrings. The tops were just a little short/small in the torso once they got past my chest and belly - but very cute for a non-pregnant lady. They were pretty flowy had plenty of room, but I did not see them working in the long run and after a little bit of a growth spurt in the tummy area, I am glad I did not keep them :)
On to the items I did keep...

I received these cute gold earrings in my fix. They were pretty inexpensive and a nice little addition to my earring selection. Added bonus - I know they'll fit all the way through my pregnancy ;)

My absolute favorite item from the fix is this dark purple maxi dress made by Loveappella (similar here). It is made out of a nice material with a little stretch and fits in all the right places - with room to grow because of the flowy style and fabric. I love that it is not black (because I feel like I am always drawn to black items since they go with everything) and this color will be great through fall and winter with a cardigan. I have been trying to buy some transitional maternity pieces that will work after the baby is born, and I think this dress fits the bill!
24 Weeks
All in all - I think the August fix was a success and two of the five items have been incorporated into my wardrobe. You get three days to decide whether or not to keep the items in your fix and Stitch Fix provides a postage-paid mailing envelope to send the rejects back. Once you send them back, you check out through the online system and give feedback on the items - from price to fit to style and a section for comments too! If your fix was fabulous, you can let them know why so they keep up the good work, and if your fix was just so-so, you can give very specific feedback on why the items did not work for you. Stitch Fix is working to carry maternity-specific clothing, so I am looking forward to that!

If you are interested in getting all "fixed" up - sign up and use this referral code to hook a girl up with a $25 credit :) I mean, it is kind of fun to get a box of surprises in the mail every once in a while - isn't it?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

America's Farmers Grow Rural Education

This spring, the Seminis seed representative in our area approached me and asked me if I would be willing to work with Chad on applying for the America's Farmers Grow Rural Education grant funded by Monsanto (Seminis). Deron - our representative is a huge supporter of FFA programs and really likes to see local schools win these grants. Two grants are available in our area - a $10,000 and a $25,000 and the application consists of several steps including having local growers nominate the program. The more nominations, the better!

Chad and I got to work brainstorming and after tossing around a few ideas, we decided a greenhouse renovation would be the ideal project. The Nyssa FFA Greenhouses are very productive - with poinsettias and hanging baskets - tomatoes, tilapia fish and more! BUT, they could be quite a bit more efficient and updated!

Once we got our idea formed, we set to work garnering nominations from local growers. Chad and his FFA kids were amazing at getting people to fill out the paperwork to support the grant application! After that, I attended a few online grant-writing workshops put on through the organization and set to work putting together a budget with Chad and writing the grant outlining the project details.

We were thrilled when Chad received an email at the start of August letting him know that he had won the $25,000.00 grant for the "Greenhouse & Fish Lab Agriculture Science Integration & Expansion" project!

In short, the funds will be used to build a larger, updated and energy-efficient greenhouse - and be put toward purchasing Vernier LabQuest technologies to be used in greenhouse science experiments throughout the school year. There are a lot of other smaller projects included in the grant, but that is the central idea for the funding. It will be a busy year ahead with the preparation and building of the new greenhouse, but I think Chad is excited :)

Monsanto presented the $25,000.00 check to the Nyssa FFA Chapter at the Seminis Onion Field Day this fall during the luncheon. Go us! Those late night budget and brainstorming sessions paid off big time :)
The Capital Press wrote a nice article about the program that can be found here.

Friday, August 22, 2014

January 3, 2015

Chad and I are very excited to share that we are having a baby! So far, everything has gone smooth with the pregnancy - the baby is growing, healthy, and all is totally normal. We couldn't ask for more than that!

Baby says HI!

My sweet sister, Alisha and her two youngest boys were kind enough to come out to Adrian this week to snap a few photos of us to share on our blog and capture this amazing time in our life together.

Our family is growing by these two very cute feet!
Quick Facts
Due Date: January 3, 2015
How Far Along: That makes me 21 weeks on Saturday (tomorrow) - so over halfway!
Baby's Heartrate: Healthy! That's all we have to report for those of you trying to predict the gender.
Nickname: Baby Beast Mode
How is Tiff feeling? Tired, but other than that - really good.
Cravings: Nothing strange to report.
Aversions: People touching my baby bump, so please restrain yourself :)
Baby Duck or Baby Vandal: TBD, but I'm working on my Duck influence already.
Will Tiff go back to work? Yes.
Nursery Plans: Still in the works, but open to creative gender-neutral options.
Names: I'm sure we'll have a few boy and girl names picked out and make a game-time decision when we meet him or her!
Anything Else? Baby Beast Mode is a big baby so far and was measuring nine days ahead of schedule at our 20-week ultrasound.

P.S. Happy 6th Anniversary Chad! I love you and just know you will be the best baby daddy!
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