I Don’t Even Know What to Say

Truthfully….  this is exactly how I feel.  I. Don’t. Know. What. To. Say.

A part of me feels as though I need to explain away the past 10 months and why I’ve been absent.  Another part of me feels that its not important.  Life happened, is happening and that’s the long and short of it.

A part of me has greatly enjoyed this long break from my daily sharing and yet, another part has greatly missed it.

Regardless of how I’ve felt, the truth boils down to time.  I haven’t had it, not have I felt that I could squeeze it in.  I don’t want to apologize for my absence because that would be false.  I’m sure all of you can relate to the need for a change.

Change…. THAT is the reason that I’m able to come back to you at this point in time.  My, how things have changed.

Three and a half months ago we made a HUGE life decision.  We took on a new adventure that would change our lives.  We were scared.  We were nervous.  Most of all, we were EXCITED.  We uprooted out kids, left my husband’s hometown of 38 years and moved an hour away for an incredible ranch job in the heart of Kansas.  Due to the nature of the calling we felt very strongly that this was a blessing from God.  It has always been our dream to manage a ranch and raise our children the way we were raised.  After years of prayers, trials and tribulations we were given this amazing opportunity.

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Now, I’m a stay at home mom/ranch hand.

Ranch Life 7

Ranch Life 4

Ranch Life 2

Grady is learning the ropes under the current ranch manager with the title being passed on to him within a year.

Ranch Life 6

Tucker is in an amazing school district full of country kids just like him.  He goes to school four days a week, which means he gets to work alongside his parents every Friday.

Ranch Life 3

We have been blessed with AMAZING friends in such a short period of time.  Arms have been open, welcoming us to this community.

Don’t get me wrong.  There have been adjustments.  Being a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) was never something I desired.  I love working.  Being at home with Monkey has proven to be a challenge for both of us at times.  I think we’ve finally fallen into a good routine.  Mornings are spent at home and afternoons are spent on the ranch working, unless, of course, we’re needed for the whole day.

The best part…. my EXTREMELY happy cowboy!  He is on cloud nine.  This has been his calling.  He was born to do this.  Seeing him (US) get to do exactly what he (WE) loves/(LOVE), day in and day out, brings great joy to me.  …and we get to work as a team.  I know… this isn’t every couple’s desire, but we do a pretty great job.

So, there you have it.  Our current life in a nutshell.  I hope to be able to keep you updated with fun stories of life on the ranch.

Peace, love and country living.

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Can’t. Stop. Laughing.

We had a quiet day to celebrate Father’s Day. We needed it.

Grady took the boys fishing for a
while. Monkey and I stayed home. She played princesses and babies while I cleaned and prepped for supper and the upcoming week.

It was nice.

The ONLY thing I really wanted out of the day was to get a picture of Grady with the kids.

After supper was over, dishes cleared, the kitchen cleaned and everyone playing on the deck, I got my moment.

I think it turned out well.

Father's Day

…but that wasn’t the BEST one.

Of course you can’t take just one picture and it be the PERFECT shot. Oh, no. It usually requires three or four takes.

Tucker was doing some weird thing with his mouth so I said, “Give me a GOOD smile. Show me your teeth…!!!”

…and this is what I got.

Perfection from the boys.

Crazy girl

…and some serious CRAZY from Monkey! (…she DID show me her teeth…)

I could NOT stop laughing! As bad as I wanted to post that picture to my Instagram and Facebook feed last night, I knew I wanted to save it for a blog post.

I just hope I can find this picture again in 15 years when she graduates high school. She’s going to hate me… Lol!

Peace, love and crazy eyes!!!!

Waiting

Roald Dahl Quote Typed on Typewriter

Baseball is underway.  School ended last week.  The summer daycare routine has begun.  Late evenings spent in the garden and playing in the yard have resumed.  The busy-ness of summer is upon us.

I’ve been doing a lot of pondering in the past few weeks as life has been whizzing by.

As Mother’s Day approached a few weeks ago my heart felt bittersweet pangs remembering Mother’s Day just one year ago.  On the Thursday before, as I sat at my desk diligently working on a project, I remembered the phone call from Grady that brought our world crashing down.  He’d been laid off from his job.  The pit of my stomach and my heart STILL remember to this day.  I don’t know that I will ever forget that feeling hearing those words and listening to him try to choke back his emotions.

I thought our world was coming to an end.  I couldn’t see anything except an out control downward spiral.  How were we going to survive?  I was a train wreck of highs and lows and every emotion in between.

A friend shared a quote today that hit extremely close to home and summed up the last year of our lives in a nutshell.

“Waiting isn’t only about putting off what you’ll receive at the end.  It’s about who you become in the process.”

Waiting.

It seemed like the first six months of the whole ordeal was spent waiting.

Waiting.

We were waiting on a job to come along.  We were waiting for money to pay our bills that seemed to be mounting.  We were waiting on answers to prayers that we thought weren’t being heard.  We were waiting on BETTER jobs to come.  We were waiting on life to stop kicking our butts.

Waiting.

At some point in time it dawned on me.  What if God is waiting on US?  What if he’s waiting on our hearts to be truthful in our search for what we REALLY want and what HE wants for us?  What if God is waiting on us to HEAR him and what he’s trying to teach us?  What if what we thought we wanted and needed isn’t what we’ve really been waiting for?

From that point on I got real with myself.  I got REAL with what I asked for from God.  I prayed from a place within myself that I never knew existed.  I prayed with a THANKFUL heart for the beauty and AWEsomeness that he gave to us.  I prayed for guidance and wisdom and an open heart and mind to HEAR him and his teachings.

When I finally let go of the control that I fault myself with having everyday, I was blown away with the answers that came before me.  I was awe struck by the beauty, kindness, generosity and love that surrounded me even in my darkest moments.

I saw that we were blessed.

We were blessed with a struggle and challenge that changed our hearts and made our marriage SOLID.

We were blessed with a struggle that made us better parents.

We were blessed with a challenge that made us more flexible.

We were blessed with a mess that opened our eyes to the world around us and opportunities we would have turned our backs on before.

We were blessed with a hardship that showed us what friendship REALLY means.

We were blessed with a misfortune that made us more faithful, prayerful and spirit filled Christians.

We. Were. Blessed.

We ARE blessed!

Living this blessing wasn’t comfortable by any means.  Living the uncertainty and unknown was a test of our faith and strength like none we’ve experienced.  Darkness crept in, but in the darkness we overcame with our faith and courage to NOT give up, to NOT take the easy road and to face our hardships head on.

Each day we are so incredibly thankful for the gifts we’ve been given.  We’ve both had opportunities laid before us that we wouldn’t have thought imaginable a year ago.  There is a happiness with simplicity within us that burns so brightly it can’t be anything other than Divine.

Waiting.

The best lesson I learned in this past year is patience.

Waiting.

When I gave up the control and WAITED for God, he led me to some of the most beautiful people, friendships and experiences I’ve ever known.

Today my heart is thankful and PEACEFUL.  My happiness is true and sincere.  My heart is full of light and hopefulness.  My soul is prayerful.

 

Peace, love and sweet reflection.

Date Night

Saturday night Grady and I FINALLY got the chance to celebrate our 10th anniversary.

We got kind of wild….

Dinner, a drink at a friend’s bar and then a trip to WAL-MART!!!!

I know.

We got CRAZY!

We ate supper at a tiny, dive Mexican restaurant that my co-workers have been telling me about.  Authentic Mexican food, dirt cheap and out of this world, they tell me.

Date Night 1Grady order the “medium” burrito.  (Note: there isn’t a “small” on the menu, just medium and large….)  The “medium” was as big as his forearm!

I ordered this thing.

Date Night 9It’s called a Sope. It’s a masa cake with beans, meat (I chose chicken), lettuce, tomato, onion and queso fresco piled on top.  I added tons of their yummy homemade salsa on top.  It was incredible!

I love the simplicity of authentic Mexican food.  Just a few basic ingredients, prepared just the right way can become the most phenomenal meals.

Date Night 2The hungry cowboy couldn’t make it through the whole burrito.  He had to stop.  Actually, he told me that he could have eaten the whole thing, but he would have been waddling out of the restaurant.

As we left, a lady at another table actually ordered the LARGE version, smothered in cheese sauce.  We giggled as we walked by and Grady gave her a hard time about his doubt in her ability to conquer her plate.  (Who NEEDS that much burrito…????)

We ventured down the street for a margarita since the dive didn’t serve alcohol.  Mexican food without a margarita on date night is just not right.  We enjoyed our drink, saw a few friends from home, had a few good laughs and decided we should continue on with our excitement.

Date Night 3Yes, we went to the WAL-MART.

We had to.  We needed a few things.  We needed a few things the kids couldn’t be present in purchasing. (ahem… Easter…. stuff…)

Grady ALWAYS finds this most ANNOYING aisle.

The clearance aisle.

This place puts my mind in a frenzy with all its chaos, but it’s his dream come true.  UGH!  When I posted this picture on Instagram a friend commented that it looked like it could swallow him.

AMEN to that!

Date Night 4This is the kind of ridiculousness that appears in the clearance aisle.  Who REALLY needs one of these things?  Obviously, not too many because there was a PILE of them on sale.

Date Night 5…and this stuff?  Would you cover YOUR salad in something that looked like Pepto Bismol?  I just don’t think I could do it, and I LOVE garlic.

Yikes!

Date Night 6I had to convince Grady that we didn’t need an entire gallon of ranch dressing.  He likes the stuff, but I’m not going to encourage his addiction by buying a gallon of the stuff.

Date Night 7These, on the other hand, really intrigued us.

Hmmmm….

Date Night 8So, we bought the little can of this version.

They’re pretty tasty.  Sweet and spicy.  Interesting.

…and that folks, is how we celebrated ten years of marriage.  Not exciting to many, but we enjoyed a few good laughs.  Some at each other’s expense, but good fun, regardless.

 

 

Peace, love and wild nights!!!

The Big Ten

We’ve officially reached a milestone.

DSC_0200Ten years.

It may not seem like many to most, but I think in this day and age ten years is quite a mile marker.

Happy anniversary to my tender-hearted, rock solid, Mr. Fix-it, hunk of a hubby!!!  You are everything I ever imagined and never dreamed I could have.  The past ten years have been some of the wildest rides and calmest seas.  I can’t wait to see what the next ten have in store for us!

Thank you for loving at my best and my absolute worst.

 

Peace, love and TEN!!!!!

Is There a Full Moon?????

Last night my house was full of “crazy” behavior.

Okay, so it’s always a little crazy inside these four walls, but this was just above and beyond.

I’m going to blame it on the unseasonably warm weather AND the approaching full moon.  I like to blame the moon.  It’s ALWAYS the moon’s fault.

It started with this.

EllaSomeone found Daddy’s razor in the bathroom and thought it’d be fun to try to shave like Daddy.  It didn’t turn out so well for her.  The band-aid was actually a must.  The darn thing wouldn’t stop bleeding.  …and it made her feel better.

Shortly thereafter, this was the scene.

GradyAs I explained to my Instagram and Facebook friends…  See the light switch on the wall?  See the man in the chair trying to THROW the tissue box at it?  Yes, that really happened.  He wanted to read the local rural directory and needed more light, but didn’t want to get the dog off his lap or get UP to do it.  In all fairness, he DID ask me to turn the light on for him after a few failed attempts using other methods of madness to achieve his goal.  I told him it was more entertaining to watch his shenanigans and remained on the couch folding the laundry.  It was quite humorous.  And for clarification… the tissue box didn’t work.  He still had to get up to turn it on.

Then the noise level escalated to squeals, screams and laughter as this happened.

Tuck 1Tuck 2Playing airplane with a 2-year-old is one thing, but airplane with a 7-year-old borders on ridiculous.  Tuck has a huge fear of heights and falling so his father holding him hostage in the air for a prolonged period of time was sending him over the edge.  He couldn’t decide if he was having fun or if he was scared to death which resulted in screams followed by lots of nervous laughter.

Thankfully, bedtime was only 10 minutes after the airplane rides ceased.  This momma was worn out from all the CRAZY behavior.

I’m kind of nervous to see what happens tomorrow.

Yikes!

Peace, love and insanity!!!!

A Tale of Two Biscuits

Saturday was one of those days that was SO bitterly cold outside that no one wanted to go anywhere or do anything.  Grady did a little hunting first thing in the morning, but the rest of the day was spent being lazy on the couch.

To break up the boredom we invited Grady’s dad and second mom, Jackie, over for supper and cards.  I knew soup would be on the menu, but I wanted something more to go with it.  The weather is cold and cold weather ALWAYS makes me want to cook.  All.  Day.

Bread.

I wanted some bread.

Biscuits to be exact.

I wanted biscuits.

I LOVE biscuits.

Who doesn’t love a biscuit?  Is there such a person?

When it comes to quick breads Grady and I have a difference of opinion.  I like mine a little on the sweet side.  I like my biscuits to have a bit of sugar in them.  I feel the same way about my cornbread.  Sweet.  It must be sweet.  Grady, on the other hand, likes his to be savory.  No sugar in either.

Since I was making the soup AND going completely above and beyond with the most ridiculous chocolate bundt cake you could imagine, I put him in charge of the biscuit making.  I wasn’t going to worry about the sugar debate this time.

He’s actually fairly handy in the kitchen and tends to lean on the imaginative and creative side when it comes to finding recipes.  With his task underway he dug out our cookbooks with a mission to find a cheddar biscuit recipe.  He found a few and settled on one that was in a Southern Living cookbook that we rarely use.

It’s Southern Living so the recipes should be legit right?

One would think so.

I didn’t really approve the recipe before he started putting it all together.  When he pulled out the tub of margarine and started measuring a full CUP of it into the bowl (first) I raised my eyebrows a bit.  I, typically, use butter and it, typically, goes in AFTER the dry ingredients….Then when he said he had to whip it (the margarine) until it was smooth I raised my other eyebrow.  Then when he said the only thing he needed to add was the cheese, flour and LEMON JUICE I really started to question this.  There was NO leavening agent in this recipe.  I started to laugh and question what the heck he was doing.  He looked at me and laughed with me and told me that he didn’t really READ the recipe before he started.  He just made sure that we had all the ingredients.

I just shook my head.

He got all the stuff mixed together and then read further into the recipe only to discover that he had to now beat the dough with the mixer for TWENTY MINUTES!!!

What?!?!  I just knew these were going to be the toughest things on earth.  We were both laughing.  When it was all said and done this “biscuit” dough looked more like Pla-Doh.  We rolled little balls of it onto the baking sheet and then flattened them to kind of resemble the shape of a biscuit.

We have always loved to cook with Grady’s dad and Jackie.  So… when they showed up the razzing began.  Jackie kept giving Grady a hard time about these flat things in the oven.

We served up the soup and gave the biscuits a try.  In all honesty, they didn’t taste that bad.  They were certainly buttery-ish, and cheesy and a bit spicy.  They were…. okay.

The next morning I had an email from Jackie with a pin from Pinterest.  The message said, “This is for Grady.  LOL!”  The pin was for a biscuit recipe called “Mile High Biscuits“.  I couldn’t help laughing.  Her teasing continued.

With enough soup left over for our lunch I set out to make these Mile High Biscuits.  They were right up Grady’s alley containing NO sugar and a FULL tablespoon of baking powder to make them big and fluffy.

BiscuitsI think it’s safe to say that there just isn’t any comparison.  The Mile High Biscuits WON!!  Oh, my, they were so light and fluffy and a little crispy on the tops and bottoms.  Even though they weren’t sweet like I typically like them I think I’ll be making these again.

And that, my friends, is a tale of two biscuits.

Peace, love and leaving agents!!!!