Friday, May 28, 2010


...we're still alive incase you were wondering.

Without going into all the nightmare-ish details, I was told today that we may NEVER be able to get a construction loan. Just to put this in perspective, we have perfect credit, a good income, NO debt (not even a car loan), and we completely own the lot that makes up almost half of the loan amount we are asking for (more equity than most building a home). So what is the problem?

We decided to put the sewer and water in because we needed that done in order to get our building permit. Well, my (incorrect) thinking was that in order to get a loan we needed to have a permit (wrong, wrong, wrong). Soooo....the sewer and water were all done about 3 weeks ago. Apparently if you even have someone dig a 1inch hole on your lot, they have the ability to put a lien (hold) on your lot. Since we had the sewer done, he now has the ability to put a lien on the property BUT he has agreed to sign a lien waiver. Honkey dorey right? NOPE!

Well, I told the bank, what if my oh so kind Grandparents pay the guy completely so that we owe him nothing. He would then have no rights to put a lien on it right? WRONG again...why, I do not know. Apparently once someone dug, or did anything, it allows every subcontractor to put a lien on our property and the bank will not loan with that risk...BUT if the loan had been in place before the first person, then it would have been OK.

SO...lesson can't have work done on the lot you own, even when you pay with your own money. So all those people with property, don't ever ever touch it without borrowing money and spending lots on interest...because it so matters where you get the money from. What the heck...I am SO lost.

Anyone know a lawyer? may come to that :(

PS-Everything else is going good. We are enjoying the weather in between meltdowns (from me...not Ryker). New mantra- "It's worth is worth is SO worth it"

Friday, April 23, 2010

All that she wants...

is this:
Remember way back when I posted this picture?

This is our lot where our house will hopefully eventually stand

Well, it looks like this now:

Yep, the same-identical-still house-less!

Good news, we are going to get our loan this week. Why in tarnation has this taken so long? Because we had to rezone, split the lot and put the lot in our name. On top of that, we have had to deal with wetland issues, an uncooperative city who drags their feet, fights over the sidewalk and about a million other stumbling blocks I don't have time to list.

But.............what's that? A light at the end of the tunnel! Water and sewer are being put in next week...perhaps I will attach a dishwasher directly to the main line, camp out and dig the foundation with a shovel. Sounds better than sitting around waiting for people to get things done!

Friday, April 9, 2010


Photoshop is my bestest friend lately. I have your typical digital camera but alas, it is not cutting it. The lighting is all wrong, there are no settings to change and monkey with...but at least I capture the fuzzy memories.

I have managed, with photoshop's help, to make some good looking pictures. This is my favorite.

I am smitten. In love. Enamoured. Totally swept off my feet.

This will hang in my new house, but until then, it will be a birthday gift for a very special someone.

PS- dear husband of mine: I always say I don't want anything, but pretty please with a cherry on top, can I have a professional camera. Loves- Ash

What kind of camera do you all have? I am lost as to what will be best.

Easter 2010

I am embarassingly late getting this up. Here was our Easter in a nutshell

The All- Boy "Basket"

That's what it's all about
My Little Man! Anyone else bummed that the Easter outfits were exchanged for pants and jackets? Ryker's Cousin/BFF
Seriously, I don't think there are better looking kids out there!
And to think that another little girl who will look exactally the same is going to arrive soon. Man-oh-man, their dad is in t-r-o-u-b-l-e!
Last, and most fun of all- our Easter basket "hunt". Each color of yarn is for a different kid. A whole scane was ran around the entire house and at the end was their prize. Seriously fun...Except for the fact that we had to crawl under it all to get into the kitchen!

Blast! No picture of the loot. He managed to swindle 2 bubble blowers (a gun and a set-on-the-floor kind) out of his Grandmas. I also managed to sway other grandmas to give him much needed spring clothes. Don't forget all the teeth-rotting candy. YUM!

Hope your Easter was great. I loved that it was also Conference weekend...really inspirational!

Disclaimer: although I do work for a dentist, I do in fact, still give Ryker candy. Shame. On. Me!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Till' We Meet

What a,, 4 years. I lost another person I love last Monday. My cousin, Steven James Duncan passed away from kidney failure from diabetes. He was only 19 :(

I felt a loss that was so new for me. At the funeral yesterday, I felt a real aching because I miss Stevie, his mom Holly (who died 4 years ago from cancer), my step-dad Steve (who died of kidney failure 3 weeks before Ryker was born) and my grandpa Clynn (who died the night before Ryker was born). It was a physical ache unlike any other. Along with that ache came times of great peace.

Yesterday was Good Friday. The day that our Savior uttered the words "it is finished". The presiding bishop yesterday said it so well. Even though Jesus died, it was the best day in history because of all that it meant to the world.

I am so grateful for the gospel and the plan of happiness!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Auntie Ash

He's here! My sister had a oh-so-cute baby boy on Wednesday March 24th. He is such a little trooper even though he is having some health issues (his mommy is also a trooper...sick babies are not fun!) I sure hope the little one gets to come home soon so I can squeeze those newborn cheeks!

Adri Eric Wood Rose
PS- I have a huge, yet amazingly fun family. Here is just a fraction of us (The Cowley/Maughan side).

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Fun Day in Pictures

Today we left

WithPicked up these goofballs

(thanks for the pic Nat!)
Went to the Sportsman's Expo
and here for some delish wings...

and here to visit my cousin.

I laughed so hard I cried ALL DAY!

PS- This lovely sister of mine is going to make me Auntie Ash this week! :) :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Back to Work

It's official- I have a job! We are very excited because this means that we will now be starting our house ASAP. It also gives me a little break, Ryker a little socialization and all of his grandparents some much wanted time with him.

I am now the assistant office manager at Legacy Dental in Wellsville. I work for Dr. Tyler Hunt and with three other fun girls. I will just be working 16 hours a week and have a schedule that is going to work well especially for summer. The flexibility is going to be great and since I am planning on staying for quite a while, I will be able to adjust as needed for preschool and school.

This job is going to be such a blessing. We have prayed for something just like this and I am very glad that I didn't jump on other opportunities I was considering. There is so much to learn but I can't wait until I am comfortable with everything.

The Holy Grail

After much searching, we have found it! A park, close to our house, appropriate for little ones. The search was long, but luckily not hard.

Park 1: Hyde Park where they have the pumpkin walk
Failed due to a foot of snow on the ground.

Park 2: Smithfield Elementary school
Failed due to the fact that there were a million other kids and the equipment was way too huge for mommy's comfort.

Park 3: Smithfield ball park
Failed due to being too large again

Park 4: (THE ONE!) Amalga Sugar Park
I know, Amalga?

Great points: 5 minute drive from our house, perfect for little ones, clean, newer equipment. It is perfect and the little one agrees. We spent a half hour in the car, another 15 minutes climbing on the bench...hey, something to climb on is something to climb on :) and 20 minutes of mom explaining that we can't just jump off the very top of the slide. It went something like this: "sit down, sit down...NO!" (catch Ryker midair as he leaps off the top) Ryker: hysterical laughing.
Spring To-Do List
Find a park? Check!
Find a way to keep stupid people on bikes away from the extremely wind-y roads in Benson before I pull my hair out? Still working on it!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dear Health,

It has come to our attention that you have been tardy and/or truant in our home for the past 16 months.

Case in point:
  • Ryker's ongoing sickness and your total lack of appearance when needed for him.
  • Ashley's chronic "feeling icky"since Ryker's birth- how dare you leave a mother to deal with your nemesis (ie Sickness)
  • Dustin's coughing attacks, back-aches and terrible headaches
  • Ryker's recent RSV and double ear infections (where were you?!?)
  • And your most recent case of sluffing (yesterday at 9 pm)- letting both Ashley and Ryker get the stomach flu resulting in this + crying all day:

As you may know, when you are absent, this affects everyone. Our bank account is terribly dissatissfied with your service (or lack-thereof), Ashley is just plain tired due to the every 2 hour puke-fest all night long and most offensive is your total lack of respect for our little man. Ryker is a sweet boy and the presence of your company is being officially requested at all times. (I really thought that was unnecessary, aren't you supposed to come standard on all models of babies?!)

16 months is long enough to be gone on your little vacation (is Hawaii nice?) In case you forgot, we are located in a little old house in Benson...not too hard to find. Is it the house? Do you need your own room? Let me know ASAP and that can be arranged.

We hope to peacefully resolve this situation but you and Sickness are currently on the list. Be warned.

Ashley, Dustin and Ryker

PS- tell your friend Sleep that his presence is also requested. Since you are BFF, I assume you are vacationing together. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Knock-Off Wood

If you haven't heard about Knock-Off Wood, you really aren't living! The second I have a garage (and a babysitter), I am whipping out the power tools...okay, Dustin will whip out our borrowed power tools, we'll work away and furnish our house b.e.a.utifully for thousands less than purchased furniture.

Here's our (future) dining table
And benches!
Anywho...Ana- the owner and fabulous carpenter at KOW, makes absolutely NO money for her hard work on her extremely detailed plans. She looks at the fancy-schmancy websites like Pottery Barn and West Elm {swoon}, and then gives us plans (for free!) so we can build our own.

Pottery Barn is mad now...she uses their pictures (stating that they are knock-offs) and she now has to take those pictures down. Imagine...a company who makes way too much money off of something we can make ourselves and we support them?!?! (I don't think there is one in Utah, but still...)

So, scurry on over and check out Ana, and spread the word. Us bloggers should have freedom of speech, or the press, or whatever.

Friday, March 5, 2010


I am so glad I have our wonderful brother in law as our general contractor. He knows how to speak gibberish. Reviewing our house plans with our equally wonderful drafter last night, I could have sworn we had been teleported to another country. "This can't be English" I thought- but I kept it to myself as to not look like a fool. (If you need either of these guys, let me know...he is beyond a perfectionist and does awesome work. She is super nice and by far the best deal around.)

Anyways, things are moving quickly now...a little too fast for me. I hate change, even though our new house is awesome. The lot, plans and mortgage will be rolling in the next 2 weeks...then it is a waiting game until I find a job...

Really, seriously? I thought I had credentials...*huge sigh* sometimes life just gets you down...I feel like a pretty big failure. Not that I ever feel supremely (diva-ishly) great about myself, but we don't end on a bad note and you don't all think I am such a whiner...I saved 55% at Macey's yesterday. I am now getting good at this whole coupon thing most of the time (yay for success!). Best deals I found:
The whole coupon book they released, namely the $3 off meat (just look for "FP" after the name of the meat) Pick it up at the front of the store, most are good until the 16th, some until the 31st.
Stauffer's mac and cheese for $1.99 (same as the 1/2 pound!)- normally $3.49
3 liter water for 88 cents (normally $1.89)- Great for food/water storage.

Go here for more great deals and matchups!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Morbid decor and AA

I will try to be sensitive as I explain this morbid? thought I had last night. I was at Allen Hall Mortuary to attend a viewing for a great neighbor of my mom's. I walked in and noticed they had redone their decor. I was there to pay my respects and I did graciously,! It is seriously beautiful! White details with a mainly brown and blue theme. Most awesome were the mirrored dressers and other details throughout. Anyways...I am morbid and I want my house to look like the funeral home. Don't worry, I refrained from taking pictures or asking for the name of their decorator. Anyone else covet decor in odd places? Nope...alright then, I will keep it to myself :)

Other happenings...
We are getting our house plans drawn up on Thursday! The lot should be in our name by next week. Then, we wait...and wait...while I try to find a part time job that I don't want to go to. I think it shows in my interviews that I really want to be home with my little man *shrug*

My name is Ashley and I am addicted to coupons. I don't think this requires a trip to AlAnon but I may have to pay the cashiers to go to anger management classes. They don't have a coupon addiction, more like a hatred. I have kept track of my purchases and just in the last 2 days (I shop at the beginning of the month) we have saved over $45 or about 53%. YAY! Last week I saved about 80% on my shopping trip. I felt like a thief.

Just so you aren't completely picture-less...I made these sun shades and decorated with Ryker's favorite things (horses now trump deer, I just can't keep up). Tutorial here.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Reminisce Restoration

My Photoshop class has come and gone and I loved every minute of it! Adam really needs a Photoshop 2 (and 3, and 4...) class because there is so much I still want to know. That's what You Tube is for :) share my work, I started a blog! I also want to do some professional restoration because I really love to do it and want to Preserve the Past....

Anyways, go visit Reminisce Restoration and leave me some love (or constructive criticism)


Thursday, February 25, 2010


I have been slacking on posting some of the fun stuff we have been up to along with pictures. So, I will keep it short word wise... here are lots of pictures from our trip to Hardware Ranch about a month ago. It was cold and a Sunday, so I was in my dress, high heel boots and nylons. The out-of-towners were talking about their double thermals under snow pants. It was 40 degrees! It was like August after the cold winter we have had here....Anyways, so much for being short! Here is the proof that it was fun!

Boys will be boys!
This one had his whole main beam broken off. Pretty crazy! My guys

In other news, Ryker is making messes, climbing and being all sorts of funny. Boy does he have a personality (and a love for shoes...I hope that is just a phase)!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lovey oh lovey...

Reading through my parenting magazine last night, I thoroughly read an article on sleep. In hopes that I will find the solution to our nighttime mayhem, I thought I would find good information. The only advice that I wasn't following to the tee was for your child to have a lovey. Makes sense- Ryker uses me as a lovey- placing his hand on my neck just before bed.
So my questions for you parents out there- does your baby have a lovey? What do they use as a lovey? Is it possible to introduce a lovey since he is so old- and how exactally do you do that?
So many questions about one little thing- but I am hoping that by the time he is like 16 he will sleep through the night and that lovey may just help!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dun Dun Dun DUN!!!

That title looks creepy...but it is supposed to be a trumpet, or whatever it is when you have big news...perhaps a drumroll would be better *rrrrrrrr BING* (I really don't know, but this is big. huge!)

We have picked a house plan! This is a bigger commitment than marriage...okay...well not really, BUT we are going to live in this house forever and always so I wanted perfection. I came close but that darn budget just wouldn't let us squeeze in a bonus room...Let's take a tour of the Hayword....

Note the is so so ORANGE but don't worry, my contractor brother-in-law is super good at making things look awesome.

Step inside to THIS:
Just a few changes....
1. Most important: flip the house like a mirror image so the garage is on the right to fit the lot better.
2. The den will be a bedroom and will have the door in the hallway near the other bedroom
3. Move the 3rd car to be a little set back and open to the front like the other garage. The spot where the third car is right now will be turned into a large patio.

Just a little disclaimer (mostly to myself). The bedrooms are somewhat far apart which makes me nervous...but like Dustin reminded me "they are big more than they are little" code for: Ryker will sleep one of these days. That great room is really where we will be as a family.

I want it done NOW! Plans are being drawn up next week as well as finalization on the lot YAY! We so need in there like right now- we have big dreams for a HUGE garden...who would have known my veggie hating husband would be so excited about our garden and seed catalog coming in the mail?!? Almost as good as the tax return that could be entirely blown on our mega awesome garden.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Scribbles About Sickness

I swear that ^ is what I am going to name my blog from now on *sigh*
I really want to be able to share uplifting, fun things that we are doing as a family...or at least something postive...but, well, that is not what is happening in our life right now.
Ryker has double ear infections and RSV *double sigh*. The poor little guy was miserable with a fever that just kept climbing last night. He is now on two antibiotics, tylenol, ibuprofen, an inhaler, ear numbing drops and saline for his nose. It's no wonder he doesn't eat- his medicines all fill that little belly up. It was amazing to see how well he is taking everything. When the medicine started working, he was flirting and waving to the nurses that had just made him so upset. He is doing better and the medicine is working. I feel that I need to be more grateful so, here are the things I am grateful for right now:
Ryker's upbeat attitude about all the crap he has to go through
Health Insurance!
A husband who provides so that I can stay home with Ryker
Our new house
A very supportive family

I really want him to be well and happy...he has had enough in his little life!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Just had to share!

I just had to share the success I am having in my photoshop class! Here is a before and after:



Saturday, January 30, 2010


...or lack thereof. After all that worry, money and worst of all suffering on Ryker's part, we now have no answers. Luckily, there is nothing wrong with Ryker that they can find, but that leaves us with nothing to help the little guy.
He is now on a round of antibiotics to see if he perhaps has too many "good" bacteria. We also now have a whole team of nurses, occupational therapists, nutritionists, etc. on our side. The wonderful Up to 3 program through USU (which I worked for for about 8 months) will be at our house starting Friday. This is great because hopefully they can help Ryker (and help me help Ryker) learn to eat again. He is down to one "staple" in his diet- raisins. He literally won't let anything else near his mouth. He also won't feed himself anything else either. He may eat a few goldfish or captain crunch berries (never ever the yellow bits of captain crunch!) Really, he is not eating anything that will help him grow. Pediasure is our BFF now and hopefully we will get him through this rough time.
He is also not sleeping in his own bed anymore. I KNOW!!! I was told and told again- once they are there they never leave. I also knew that my son was so uncomfortable he needed reassurance at night....tough situation. Once we are through the antibiotics, I am going to try to retrain him and get him sleeping through the night (I know, pity party on my part- I have not slept through the night since he was born....15 months to be exact!)
Thanks to my dear mom, that statement above is not true. She took Ryker last night and he did great with just him and Grandma. Dustin and I just relaxed and slept. YAY!
I also found a job. I will start next month. It is for a company in Malad (boo for the long drive) I will be working with children with behavioral problems (sometimes adults too). Helping people function better (do you think I could counsel myself?!) It pays really well and I will only be there 2 days a week which I will schedule myself. I love that my whole family is within 20 minutes so Ryker will be in great hands when I go.
House plans are still nonexistent. The lot stuff is taking Starting in March may be a longshot, but that is what we are shooting for.
Wow...what a long post! Sorry about that! Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tamale Time

Ahhh...I totally forgot to share with you another project that I completed like 2 weeks ago! We have a major obsession with taquitos and other mexican snacks at our house! Problem- they are like $5 a box and we were buying 2-3 a, I decided to try my hand at making tamales. Just wanted to share my experience because with that much time and energy going into these things, I was afraid that I would hate them. FYI: I am in love!

These are not mine, but similar.

I had a lot of frozen pork and chicken that needed to be used so that was practically free? I had to buy quite a few things but the spices, oil and masa can be used quite a few more times. So, I used the recipe found here. Super easy, although the rolling instructions confused me. So, here is another way to roll them at Make and Takes, and the next recipe I am going to try.

I ended up with like 4 dozen frozen tamales, 2 bags of frozen meat and 2 dozen we ate fresh. This was not too hard, except the fact that I had a toddler hanging on me the whole time. At least we will be enjoying our tamales for months :)

So, go on out and make yourself a whole bunch of tamales and share your results!

Just Something I Whipped Up...

I have fallen in love with Tatertots and Jello blog and all the delish burlap projects. I found a cute wreath that I knew I needed to try. Using my fabric scraps, spare embellishments, a preused wreath form and just $1.50 worth of remnant burlap (with leftovers to spare!) I came up with this Valentine's inspired wreath.

Go on over to Tatertots and Jello and get some inspiration!

Oh, oh...I haven't shared my house numbers that I made in the fall. I needed them to be able to be seen from the road for my lovely AVON delivery service and everyone else that cannot find my they are huge. Just used my cricket and some leftover vinyl. My wreath does obscure them but really, it's cute enough to get away with that! Also, ignore the icky looking door...we rent :)

And... a picture of Ryker. With crazy hair. And milk all over his face.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Little Trooper

Yesterday was Ryker's scope. It was a very long day for all of us, but oveall it went well. He was a trooper and was back to eating his french fries by 8 o'clock.

We left Logan at 9:30, arrived at noon, he went in at 1:40 and I was back with him by 3:40 and we left at 6 He had some medicine before he left that made him calm and it was a good thing because he was not having anything to do with anyone but mommy. I love Primary Children's (as much as you can love a hospital.) The anestesiologist came and put Ryker in a wagon with a toy and then pulled him into the procedure room. As soon as he rounded the corner and said "we'll see you later", I was out of there. I would have ran down the hall and scooped Ryker up if I had heard him cry when he realized we weren't there.

As far as results go, there was nothing visibly wrong. He has a couple places with bumps, but those can just be normal. Dr. Wu took lots of biopsies to check if his villi were abnormal, if he has enzymes to digest sugar, if he has a chronic infection....

Overall, we were impressed. There were 4-5 nurses with him the whole time. We were the only ones there because he was the last procedure. Results should be in next week so hopefully there is a magic pill that will make him feel like a million bucks.

Keeping my Sanity

...or at least attempting to.
This has been a hard few months. Even though Ryker is SO much fun and I love him oodles, the stress, sleeplessness and constant worry are really hard to cope with. To keep my hopes up, I have had to find stuff to do to keep my mind off of everything. Oh, add in the stress of building a house and finding a job and you have one super stressed, often crazy wife and mother.
So... I turn to:
Scrapbooking. We made cute covers for 43 CDs for Kristi's Young Women...beautiful songs to go with their theme-Joshua 1:9, look it up! Great message, "Be Not Afraid".
Ignore the poor quality pictures in this post. Most were taken on my phone.

They turned out great and I really did love helping out!
Along with this, I am taking a 7 week course in Photoshop and hopefully I can learn how to actually make my pictures look good! We worked on this picture last night. I didn't get finished but I went from


To This :)
Crafting. Making 3 jewelry holders for my mother-in-law, Kristi and I. I LOVE THEM and they are easy and cheap (under 6 dollars total). Let me know if you would like a tutorial or info on how I made them.

Bargain shopping. I love after Christmas sales and I love the dollar store. Put them together and you get these B.E.A.Utiful decorations for our tree next year :) Can you believe all this for under $4.50! Regularly $18! I also picked up some huge blue sparkly ball ornaments for 25 cents! I can't wait for Christmas!

I recently found a few new websites for coupons and deals and have picked up 12 bottles of salsa for 14 cents and hamburger helper. Dustin loves this and it makes my life easy plus... it covers up the taste of our free elk burger :)

Food storage. This is where the salsa comes in....I can make like 4 meals a month with each jar so I am getting an awesome deal. At Smiths this week, I also picked up some Dinty Moore stew (a favorite for both meals and camping) for $1.79 each. I think they are like twice that normally. I also have started stocking up on water, both bottled (2.50 at Smiths) and filling my empty apple juice jugs. I found a great website: and have one of my 72 hour kits completed! short, those are my stress relievers, but I would really just like Ryker to FEEL BETTER so we can all get a break. What is most heartbreaking to me (other than his pain) is the fact that I don't know what a "normal" baby is like and fear that I can't have more children because I could not do this again...*sigh* let me know what you do for stress relief and any tips on bargain shopping or food storage would be greatly appreciated.