Thursday, May 24, 2012

Letters From Home

So... I'm trying to do better with my posting. Sometimes I slack off and don't get anything written for a couple of weeks. I was thinking that the easiest way to be more consistent would be to link up with a couple of other blogs a couple of times during the week. That where today's post comes in... I came across this completely adorable blog Adventures of Newlyweds, and she does...

Dear Monkeys, I am so excited for this summer! While I don't have anything planned, I have lots of fun ideas! I'd only you will listen, not argue and just chill-ax already!

Dear God, thank You for always having perfect timing. I know I can be super ungrateful for the blessings you give- always asking for more- but I am learning to let go because "You got this."

Dear Realtor, please remember that, unlike you, I do not buy and sell houses everyday and therefore I do not understand half of what you are talking about.

Dear Metta World Peace, the Lakers are NOT the best team in the NBA. And you need to quit smoking whatever you are smoking.

Dear sunburn from 4 weeks ago, quit peeling already!! It's kinda grossing me out!!

Dear Readers, if you like this blog or if you have visited here before, please take a second to officially "follow" me so I know who you are. You can do this by clicking "Follow" at the top of the page or by joining Google Friend Connect. Thank you!!

And that's all for me today!!

Love you all,


Greatest Gifts for {Our} Dad

I have an AMAZING hubby.
But as wonderful as he is as a hubby, he's even MORE AMAZING as a daddy.

The thing is, with Father's Day just around the corner, I'm stumped as to what the WORLD'S GREATEST DAD should get.  (And no, I refuse to purchase anything that says "WORLD'S GREATEST DAD").  His work is physically and mentally exhausting (and he doesn't wear ties), he has no hobbies like golf or fishing that he participates in on a regular basis, and he has every tool known to mankind.  So I've come up with a list of 10 things I'd love to give him...and these aren't your typical gifts (i.e., ties, lures, tools, etc.)

1. Deep Tissue Massage - The first time I scheduled him a massage, he almost made me cancel it.  He said "real men" don't get massages - it sounded too feminine.  I convinced him he would feel wonderful afterward (and it wouldn't tickle) so he reluctantly agreed to go.  WOW - is he converted!!  Our lady uses acupuncture, too, which was a little weird, but she gets the blood pumping and works out the knots like nobody's business!

2. Lawn Work - I mentioned earlier that his work is physically demanding.  He runs the family ranch, which in the summer consists of about 50 head of cattle and their babies, but in the fall, winter and spring bumps up to about 300 (we bring in about 250 calves to run on wheat pasture).  This keeps him hopping!  So, I figure, anytime we can pitch in and mow, edge, weed or trim, we should do it!

3. A Shop Building - Now...this is what I would do if money were no object.  The amazing hubby of mine loves to build things.  He is a fantastic craftsman and has built much of our furniture in addition to built-in bookcases for his brother and a deck/walkway for his parents.  The thing is, we don't really have anywhere except the garage for him to do this.  A dedicated space would be awesome for him to have!

4. A Hot Tub - Again, with unlimited funds, this would be another perfect gift.  A couple of times a year, we take off for the weekend and enjoy a hotel's hot tub.  Sometimes we take the monkeys and sometimes we go on our own.  It would be even better if we had one right outside our back door - How AWESOME would that be?  (And not just for him!!)

5. A Stadium Seat - We are a sports family.  We spend A LOT of time at fields, courts and diamonds.  Some of the bleachers are nice, some are non-existent, some were built in the '50s and have never been updated.  This makes for a seriously sore bum, but he's not one to complain.  He's too busy cheering on the kiddos to notice!

6. A gourmet, candlelight dinner for two - Now, this defeats the purpose of being a Father's Day gift since I wouldn't be including the monkeys, but, oh well!  And remember - this is a dream list.  I am not a gourmet chef by any stretch of the imagination.  In fact, most of the really good stuff we eat is because our amazing daddy has pushed us outside our comfort zone or he has cooked it himself!  I tell you, he'a a keeper!

7. A lifetime supply of Bottle Caps - These are the hubby's favorite candy.  Everytime I go to the store, I pick up a couple of boxes...IF they have them.  They are kinda hard to find. So, if I could, I would get him enough that he would never run out!

8. More Cows - My hubby really enjoys working with the cows.  He understands them...and how to make money with them.  His friends that dabble in the cattle business are always asking his advice on things like feeding, weaning, selling, etc.  And he knows it all!  It amazes me the knowledge that is in his brain!!

9. More Land for our cows - Right now we lease several different properties and our herd is split up.  It would be FANTASTIC if we could run them all in one place, all together.  That would be AMAZING!!  Of course, that would mean that we would need buckets of money and people who wanted to seel their land, but this is the gift wish list, right?

10. A New Truck - The hubby has been driving his current truck since before the tween-monkey was born!  I've had two vehicles in between (I know - spoiled) and his truck has over 200,000 miles on it.  He says it still runs really well (it's a Ford F-150) and is in great shape so why would we want to buy a new one and spend all that money?  So... as gifts go, I think this would be a great one that he wouldn't buy for himself!
Ford F-150
But here is the thing...Even if I (or the kids) got him one or all of the above listed things, it still wouldn't come close to repaying him for all the times he sacrificed, volunteered, coached, loved, listened, stayed up late worrying, praying, and just plain caring for all of us.

WE LOVE YOU DADDY!!!  (And we'll keep thinking of something good for Father's Day!)

Love you all,


**writing prompt provided as part of Mama Kat's writer's workshop**

Mama’s Losin’ It

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pretty-ing It Up

Baseball is in full swing around here and I am in need of some new shirts to wear to the games. Our boys changed schools this last year, so I couldn't wear anything with the old team/school/colors. Since I can't afford to buy a bunch all at once, I thought I'd try to work with what I already owned. Upcycling!!! Gotta love it!

I started with the black tank I want to wear and an outgrown orange t- shirt courtesy of monkey boy.

I cut the old t-shirt straight across under the arms.

I then cut 1" strips straight across the shirt (then snip one side to make a loooong strip.) I did this three times because I like things in threes! You can cut as many as you want.
I got to dig out my sewing machine for this next step. Yeah!!! And put a basting stitch right down the center of each strip. Pull the bottom thread to slightly ruffle each strip.

To start each flower, fold the strip in half along your basting stitch, then fold over one end and, using a needle and thread, tack it together. Now, continue wrapping it around and tacking it.

After you finish your flowers, decide what you want to do with them. At first I was going to put them all on my shirt, but as you can see, that didn't happen. I ended up using one of them on this plain black hat. I like how it turned out! I just pinned this flower on so I can change it out when I get the urge. Easy-peasy!!!

When I was sewing the flowers together, Princess asked what I was doing. I told her I was making flowers for my shirt. She waited a couple of seconds, then said, "When you're done pretty-ing up your shirt, will you make me something?" Guess what's next in line for sewing projects?!

Let me know what you think about my "pretty-ed up" baseball attire... I like it, so I'll probably make some more in other colors! How do you pretty up your stuff??

Love you all,


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Going Through the Motions

This year, I set a goal for myself to become more "intentional" with my life. I felt like I was barely scratching the surface with my husband, my kids, my family, my friends and my God. And I was NOT okay with any of that. I don't want to be a surface dweller. I want to dig down deep, make memories and become closer to the people I have chosen to include in my life.

This plan worked well- for a little while. I prayed for opportunities to be revealed and for the heart to carry them out. I joined Project 365. (You can see all those posts here.) The thing is, being intentional is hard. And sometimes exhausting. But it is SOOO worth it.

Then Spring rolled around. And life got busier. And don't think I'm complaining, because I'm not! I love my life... And I know everyone is busy... It's just that when life gets busier, it's easier to let things slide- like being intentional. When I'm tired, it's easy to say, "Just go watch TV, we'll sew later," or let the boys play their iPods on the way to school instead of talking about their days. But does that do anyone any good? I'll answer that for you... NO. It doesn't.

I recently read a blog post from Hand Free Mama that made me cry and think and cry again. Just because I am with my kids, that doesn't make a memory. Watching TV in the same room IS NOT the same thing as spending time with my family. Going to church IS NOT the same thing as living for God.

I don't want to just go through the motions in life. I want to love and laugh and cry and dance for joy and make memories and KNOW that God is using me for His purpose.

So, even if I'm tired...or's up to me. As Ferris Bueller said so eloquently, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."

What have you been missing lately? What are some ways you dig deeper?

Love you all,


Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Favorite Month

May is my favorite month of the year. It's kinda weird because Fall is my favorite season. But, I have some great reasons why this month makes me happy...and here they are!!

1. It's my birthday!! I don't care how many candles are on your cake, each one is a blessing so I'm going to keep on celebrating!

2. It's Monkey Boy's birthday!! The only thing better than your own birthday, is someone else's. I love parties! This year we are going to have a "paint gun" party. Messy boys- what can I say?!

3. School's out for summer. Now that I'm a SAHM, I enjoy summer a whole lot more!!

4. Rainy days. Springtime in Oklahoma means a few wet days. Last year, we had a drought that was as bad as the dustbowl days and we didn't get the rain. I missed it. So did the corn, wheat, grass, ponds, animals, etc...

5. Beautiful flowers. This is the month dogwoods bloom and day lilies blossom. Gorgeous.

6. Baseball. Enough said here. And here.

7. Mother's Day. I think being a mom is a wonderful blessing. My kids make pictures and write me notes- they are the best!

8. We sell calves. This let's us know if we get to eat steak or beans the rest of the year. It's kinda stressful, but I wouldn't change it!

9. Awards assemblies. I think my kids are super smart and amazing, but they are also disobedient and mouthy. Assemblies let me see what the teachers see and I guess they are doing great!

And the final reason May is my favorite month...

10. We got a contract on our house!!!!

Hope you are all having a great May!
Love you all,