Just The Beginning

Thanksgiving 2015 was a “messy” one for much of the state of Kansas.  Rain, turned sleet, turned ice.

Ice EditedWe were fortunate to be able to travel for one of our Thanksgiving feasts before the weather turned bad.  But, by Friday morning… It. Was. Nasty!!!!

Freezing rain, icy roads and cold animals that needed fed.  Ranchers and farmers don’t get bad weather days.  That’s when they’re needed the most.  The animals rely on us to take care of them when Mother Nature gets ugly.

The weather kept unloading through the weekend.  By Saturday, cabin fever had set in our house. I was going to lose my mind if the kids and I didn’t bust out.

We all bundled up and climbed in the feed truck to help Daddy feed the cows.

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Some of us were still a little sour because it was too slick to be able to get out of the truck.

Ice 3

While we’re not normally feeding hay this early in the winter months, when the ice sets on like this the cows need the hay since they can’t feed on the ice covered grass.  These girls eat a LOT of hay.  This bale would be gone by morning.

Ice 1  They were so happy to see us.

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Ice Cow

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Happy, happy girls.

Hopefully, storms like this are seldom this winter.  But…. on the chance that we ARE blasted again, our girls will be well taken care of!!!

 

 

Peace, love and ICE cream!!!!

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.

Milestones

DSC_0156 copyThis big, sorrel guy has played a HUGE part of our summer.  Not only did he, successfully, help teach Tucker his way around the pasture and cattle, he shared another “first” with his “human”.

This was Tucker’s first year in 4-H.  To keep it simple we enrolled in the horse project and leather project.  Both were things I did in my own years in the program and were projects that would be comfortable for him.  When we started this whole journey the plan was to use Daddy’s horse, Wimpy.  We had several practices with Wimpy.  Tuck was learning the ins and outs of showmanship and showing his horse at halter.  During his time with Nana and Papa he would practice with HIS trusted steed, Reggie.  The week before the fair arrived and Nana and Papa told us that they thought Tuck would be more comfortable showing Reggie than Wimpy.  It made perfect sense.  These two had been together 3 days a week for several months.  They were practically inseparable.

DSC_0157 copyShow day arrived and while I pushed hard for accuracy and as much “perfection” as I could get from a first year eight-year-old, more than anything I wanted him to have fun and do his best.

DSC_0160 copyTo merely say that I was pleased with their performance would be an understatement.  Don’t get me wrong, they both have LOTS to learn and milestones to reach before I would ever anticipate awards to be won for showmanship.  …but, I was very proud of Tucker.  He kept his calm when Reggie wasn’t cooperating in the arena.  He was confident and well poised and most important, REMEMBERED the pattern.  He was cool as a cucumber even though I know he was a ball of nerves on the inside.  He walked out of the arena with a goal reached.

Then it was time for the Aged Gelding class.  This is a class in which the judge “grades” the horses in the class and their build/muscular makeup and places them according to his/her liking.  We had no expectations.  All we wanted was for Tuck to gain a little more experience.

To our surprise and his Papa’s great delight this was the result.

DSC_0187 copyTuck and Reggie WON his class!!!!  We knew Reggie was a champ in our own hearts, but we were overjoyed when we found out the judge thought so, too.

DSC_0194 copyTo say that this boy’s heart and pride were a little swollen that evening would be an understatement.  I’m pretty certain they were bursting at the seams!

Tuck isn’t the only one who has gotten a few firsts with Mr. Reggie.

DSC_0240 copy 2Monkey got to have her very first “big girl” ride last weekend.  “Big girl/kid” riding equals riding solo in the saddle with Mommy or Daddy (or some appointed adult) in control of the reins/lead rope.  It’s the way all youngsters of this age learn to ride.

She proved, again, to be my fearless girl.

Daddy&EllaThe deep belly giggles from her were priceless.  Her daddy’s heart melted taking this first ride with her.  Her mommy’s heart bubbled over watching and taking it all in.

Without a doubt, Reggie has found his place with these kiddos.  He will be greatly loved as he greatly loves these two and carries them through many more adventures.

 

 

Peace, love and trophies!!!!!

 

Sheepish

A few weeks ago our hometown hosted the annual Bull Blowout.  Tucker got another chance to ride a sheep.  The boy lives for this.

Waiting patiently for the action to start.

Working out a strategy with Dad.

His best pal, Foxy (in the stripes), helps him get situated.

Daddy has to pull his rope.

And then he’s off.

And then, literally, off.

Make no mistake about it.  This boy has NO fear of this sport.  It was a smile 100% of the time

A high-five from the clown…

…and Dad make it all worthwhile.

Peace, love and wooly things.

The Tie That Binds

These are me and my girls, my support group, MY team.

We are the team wives (minus one, Mandy).

Abbey, myself and Tiffany. (Tiffany’s mom is on the end.  She’s proven to be one heck of a faithful fan.)  Jason’s wife, Mandy, wasn’t able to join us in Meade, and she was GREATLY missed.

I’ve said before that the camaraderie between teammates is like a brotherhood.  These guys have a certain chemistry and bond that goes as deep as family blood.  Their relationship is such that I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, any one of these guys would give his life for the other.

After 7 years of being a part of this world I have to say that the relationship between the wives isn’t much different from those of the men.  Grady would say that we’re the support system behind them.  We organize the road trips, set up travel plans, prepare food/snacks for the destinations, give pep talks when needed, mend wounds, hold down the fort when the need arises (literally), tend to babies in the bleachers and scream from the tops of our lungs when our guys enter and leave the arena.  We’ve all helped raise each others babies, offered encouraging words when spirits are down, cried tears of joy for each other’s husbands and kept the other’s moods in check when slightly off kilter.  We are there for each other in ANY given life situation.

We. Are. Sisters. 

Some sisters are from teams of yesteryear and some sisters are new to the pack.  Regardless of when we each joined the group the friendship and love run deep and survive through all life throws at us. We each have very unique personalities and bring a whole new dynamic to the group.

But with each of our differences, we ALL have one very important thing in common.

We each stand behind our cowboys come hell or high water. 

…and who wouldn’t stand behind these?  Seriously.  (I know you can’t quit looking.  It’s okay.  I can’t either.)

Especially this one.

Peace, love and kindred spirits!

Way To Go!!!!

Last weekend was SO. MUCH. FUN!!!!!!

It was nice to get away with no kiddos for a couple days.

The new crew, 2i Feeders, competed in a qualifying ranch rodeo in Western Kansas Friday and Saturday nights. 

This was only their 5th time to compete together and I am SOOOO very proud to say that…

THEY GOT IT DONE!!!!

We will be traveling to Amarillo again in November to compete for the title of World Champions.

Not only did the team take home a new title, so did Grady.

For the first time in 5 years, Grady was honored with the title of Top Hand at a WRCA qualifying rodeo. 

This is HUGE.

To be named Top Hand means this man was considered the MVP of the rodeo both nights out of SIXTY-FOUR other men.  That’s quite the feat.

Grady can now join Adrian in the ranks of honored Top Hands.

Now…I look forward to Clint and Jason being awarded this honor in rodeos to come.

They’re ALL Top Hands in my book!!  Cowboys with endless, talent, heart and strength.

Congratulations, guys!!!

 

 

 

Peace, love and milestones!!!

Wednesday

It’s Wednesday already?

Seriously?

I’ve had a bit of bloggers block for the last few days.  I’m sure there have been plenty of things to tell you about, but I haven’t felt inspired to write about them.

It could be a result of the crazy schedule we had over the weekend.  I, literally, fell into bed Sunday night from a GOOD exhaustion.

This was part of our fun.  Ranch rodeo season is underway and these four guys are a RIOT!  New friendships forming, old ones going strong and team of incredible athletes, men and horses combined.

Abbey and I were very lucky wives and got to have a whole evening without kiddos.

This was our perch for the night.

SO relaxing and SO fun.  We were surrounded with good friends and great laughs.

I’m so glad that rodeo season as started again.

 

 

Peace, love and high horses!