Thursday, October 19, 2017

Still Around

Sometimes I forget that this was where I first started blogging. I know I should update it more, and now that I'm no longer working full time I'll try to do so.

Both girls are out at college and seem to be doing great. It's so hard to tell though. One day the world is an amazing place, the next everything is stupid. I hate to tell them, but that's life.

The boys are enjoying the peace of having the house all to themselves. Adam keeps busy with band and theater (seriously he's never home!) and Cole has started making stop motion movies. It's amazing to see how completely different all four of my children are.

Nathan still has a job. :) Seriously though, with layoffs the last few years we are grateful for that. He has to travel more, but at least he is doing what he enjoys.

Me? Well, after 8 months working at a job I ended up loving, with some amazing ladies I will never forget, I'm back at home. This first week has been a busy one as I recently got my publishing rights back for Talia's series. That means new cover art, new interior design, cut scenes have been replaced, and once it's live on Amazon I can start the process of getting it on Audible. I'm super excited.

Want to see the new covers? These were all designed by Tamara Hart Heiner who is also an amazing author.

I'll be re-releasing the first two in the series sometime the first week of November. Demon Rising is about half way finished, but this amazing cover has inspired me to get writing again. My goal is to have it out by fall of 2018.

It feels so good to be excited about writing again!

What do you think of the covers? I have to admit, I'm a bit in love with them. Maybe to an obsessive point.

I'll try and get pictures of the family for the next post.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Time is Flying By Way Too Fast

Where has this year gone?

Shortly after the girls left for mission and college, I started working for our POA (Property Owners Association). I love all the people I work with. We have a great time. The job itself is customer service and full of procedures that make my heart happy. Seriously, it keeps my OCD under control in a way never possible with substitute teaching.

The girls are both home. Kiah is working full time and saving for when she goes out to school this September with Ashlee. We are waiting for Ashlee to follow suit.

The boys are out of school as of this week. I don't know what they will do all summer with me working. I already miss our pool days and we haven't even reached that point of the summer yet.

Nathan has survived all the layoffs at Walmart so far. He recently was moved to a new area/team that he is excited about. In his free time at home, he still refinishes furniture sometimes, and we built a room in the garage for the girls to stay in. This weekend he's putting a shower in the half bath that's already down there.

Since I'm working, there isn't a lot of time to write, but I'm taking all the little steps I can, whenever I can. This month I released my first clean romance under a pen name. Nathan doesn't understand why I used a non de plume. It isn't because I'm embarrassed or anything. On the contrary, I'm really excited about it. However, I chose to use a pen name for romance so that any future readers will know what to expect. If everything was under "Charity"they would have to figure out if it was contemporary romance or science fiction/fantasy. This way, there is no doubting what they get. It makes for happy readers and that's what's important.

So, if your interested, check out the new author website River Ford Romances. There is also a goodreads giveaway right now where you can win a signed copy of the book.

Better yet, sign up for the newsletter and get the first 3 chapters free!

Monday, January 9, 2017

College and Missions--Ready, Set, Go!

We survived the craziness of sending off a missionary and a first time college student the first three days of January! It was quite the adventure.

First, after Kiah was set apart as a missionary for our church on Sunday, January 1st, Ashlee and I started the 2 day drive out to BYU-I. I spent one day helping her shop and get settled, so there wasn't a lot of thought about taking selfies. Now, I wish we had paused long enough to do that. We did take a picture out her dorm window. 

Ashlee is ecstatic about the snow. I can't say that I miss living in that much snow. :)

Especially when you have to drive in it.

While Ashlee and I were driving west, Nathan drove Kiah east. Here are pictures of her when she met her mission president and his wife. 
 All the new missionaries arriving in the Little Rock Mission...
And her new companions at a dinner appointment. 

What do I love the most about these pictures? Kiah's smile! She's smiling her "real" smile. I guess being Sister Bradford really suits her.

As soon as we get our first letter, I'll let you know how she's doing and what she thinks about all of this.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Best Family Vacation Ever!

This goes down as one of the best vacations ever. Maybe it's because we haven't been on a real vacation in four years. We've been lucky to go visit family, and Nathan and I have "run away" to the temple, but this was our first unplug and have nothing but fun vacation in a while.

Our thinking was this:

Kiah and Ashlee could be leaving our home any day (in 3-4 months for sure) to go on a mission and start college. Life will never be the same again. We really wanted one great memory to carry us into the next stage of our life.

You can view some of my favorite photos HERE.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Where Did A Year Go?

I can't believe it's been a year since I posted anything on the family blog! Sorry, about that if anyone is still around to notice.

Anyway, I've blogged at least monthly on my author blog. Those have been more personal lately than writing related. At least it isn't just writing topics over there. If you want to catch up with me, that's probably the best place to do it--Charity's Writing Journey.

Here's a quick update family wise.

Nathan is teaching and traveling more for work. He seems to enjoy it, but it is tiring for all of us. He still loves working for Walmart though, so that is a good thing.

We finally sold our second house! Getting back to only one mortgage is wonderful. However, it won't feel much different because...

Kiah has finished her mission paperwork and we are now waiting for the next step in that process! We are excited for her and will make sure to keep you posted.

Ashlee has filled out her application to college and is also waiting for the next step! She hopes to start the winter term/semester next year.

It's hard to think that in 5 months half of my kids could be moving out of the house!

Adam starts high school this year and will be in the marching band. Nathan and I both are looking forward to getting more involved with all that entails.

Cole is also moving to a new school, and I hope he will love it. He's still my school kid. He'd rather be at school than anywhere else. I sure hope that lasts!

I'll be substitute teaching again this year until Ashlee leaves. Then I'll be back to driving for seminary which makes subbing impossible. That will be a mixed blessing I think. Maybe I'll get back to writing, or maybe I'll get some half day jobs. Who knows. I'm trying to go with the flow and take it day by day. NOT my strong suit.

Perhaps the best news of the last month is that we will have floors in our house by the end of the week! After walking on the subfloors for a year, we finally got the tile in. Pictures to come soon.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

House Progress!

I've been updating on Facebook, but let's see if I can catch up on the blog.
Ashlee helped Nathan remove and cover the stairs to the garage.
Adam helped switch out all the ceiling fans.

Then we moved into our unfinished construction zone.
Nathan finished the master closet and put in the shelves. Eventually, we will get drawers for the bottom half.
Today we (not us, but James from Lowe's) started laying floor in the great room.
I love them!!
While James laid tile, we decided to try installing the wall cabinets for the kitchen. I mean, why not?
After getting them all up, level and everything, we realized the wrong ones had been ordered. Well the sizes got swapped. That's why the bottom ones don't line up. Don't worry, we figured out how to fix the problem without having to start all over or move what we did today. Now we just have to wait for the two new cabinets we ordered as well as the three we were already missing because they came damaged the first time. 
All in all, we've accomplished a lot this week, but Nathan goes back to work next week. Things will slow WAY down. Plus, we still have to sell the other house before we can purchase the rest of the building supplies--appliances, countertops, island and floors for this side of the house.

It's a good thing my mom's attached apartment has a working kitchenette. Although it's smallish and a bit frustrating at times, it's working.

Friday, July 31, 2015

House Update #2

The Bad
1. I hurt! I don't think my feet will ever stop throbbing.
2.  Our roll-out was promised early Thursday morning (for a huge cost mind you), but it didn't show up until this morning (Friday).
3. We still can't get an electrician to call us back. We've tried 5 of them now. Everyone is busy, and I guess the two who came out to give us an estimate were scared off?

The Good
1. My family is AWESOME! They are all working super hard to make this place our own.
2. My husband is THE man! Seriously, who knew he could do all these things?
3. All the trash is out of the house
4. The closet wall is rebuilt--my awesome hubby and I did it ourselves!
5. The kitchen ceilings have been scraped
6. The big room ceilings look just fine with a new coat of white paint (we decided not to kill ourselves scraping it)
7. All the tile, linoleum and carpet is out of the two main living areas
8. We are not getting out of bed early tomorrow. At this point we just hope we CAN get out of bed. LOL
9. There is a new fridge in my mom's apartment area
10. Even after buying my hubby a few new toys, we've saved a ton of money doing everything ourselves.
11. Floors are scheduled to be delivered next Wednesday

Best of all, I think doing it as a family has brought us closer. Instead of sitting around the house this week, my teens have been working. And they like it! There's been no bickering (other than about who's turn it is to do something), and they've been helping each other. I love it!

Here are a few more pictures.
The boys' room
The driveway has been pressure washed
As soon as the pile of trash was loaded into the dumpster we started on carpet and tile.
After scraping some more ceiling, daughter #2 had her dad "wash" her hair.
Son #1 and a friend helping us shift some of the debris in the roll-out. I was terrified they were going to step on a nail. Luckily, there were no injuries here. 
With the trash gone and ceilings scraped, we decided to try to rebuild the closet wall ourselves and save some money.
It fit perfectly the first time! We were surprised because it seemed so easy. I guess years of HGTV and DIY were worth something after all.
After a 12 hour work day, our new wall had to hold us up!