Thursday, June 30, 2011

June Goals Update

Here we are again, the end of another month and time for another goals update…seriously, where did June go?!? So last month I promised you there wouldn’t be a June Goals Update if there wasn’t much improvement on my part…well, I spent the first three weeks of June fighting a nasty tooth/jaw ache. It seriously put me out of commission all of last week, home from work, cancelled a trip to Steamboat, it was bad! So that did affect a few of my goal areas, but after several dentist appointments, a trip to the urgent care, visits to a new chiropractor and lots of prayers, I am feeling so much better, so I’ve been back at it full-throttle this week.

Drink more water.
I don’t know what my thing is with bottled water, but when we have it, I drink it. I bought a case awhile back and my H20 intake has majorly gone up. I think it’s partly a convenience thing…if cans of Diet Coke are all that’s in the fridge and cold, I grab them, if the Little Lady’s juice packs are the only thing in the fridge, that’ll do. So, I just need to keep the fridge stocked with water and I’m good to go. I guess I should fill up all of the million water bottles we have in the cupboard and stock the fridge with those, but I don’t know if that’ll work, I just have a thing for bottled water?.?.?

Stick to a budget.
OK, I’m getting back on track here. Confession, I borrowed from my house fund to pay for our trip to Disney World. I’ll have it paid for this month and then next month it’s back to paying the mortgage. While the super-saver I am trying to become told me we should forgo vacation, I’m so glad I didn’t listen…I am so excited for our trip!

Read atleast one book each month.
I finished The Pioneer Woman’s Black Heels to Tractor Wheels. If you enjoy her blog and following her funny stories, you’ll enjoy this. If you find her blog writings ridiculous and annoying, you won’t like this. I enjoyed this.

I’m now about a quarter of the way into Water for Elephants. I want to see the movie, but I wanted to read the book first. Have any of you read and/or seen Water for Elephants?

Keep my pictures organized.
I am very pleased with the photo books I made for the Little Lady’s first Christmas and first birthday party. Now, I’m working on a “newborn” book for her. This is the answer for me not having the desire or time to scrapbook right now.

I’m also still plugging away at getting all of my pictures organized and into one place…what a process!

Start sewing again.
One word: no.

So excuses, excuses, but the first three weeks of June, I couldn’t watch TV without my tooth throbbing, so…you guessed it, no exercise. But now that I’m feeling better, I’m back at it. Still doing Jillian’s 30 Day Shred…but hmmm, I am yet to shred for a consistent 30 days…a July goal perhaps? And I’ve also done the 6 week Six-Pack several times…I’m still a long ways and a lot of hard work from a six-pack, but I’d be good with flat, I don’t need chiseled.

The “d” word.
Dieting…ugh, I am not a good dieter. That’s why I’m done dieting, atleast for July. I will go back to my trying to make wise choices and watching what I eat. I “dieted” for two months and lost 8 pounds…unimpressive, really unimpressive. It was such a yo-yo pattern with me…I would be good and lose weight during the week and then blow it and gain it all back on the weekend. Ridiculous, but I’m obviously just not into getting tough with myself and finding some will power. When shopping the other day, I told my Mom that I’d given up on being thin, I’m just going to have fabulous hair and fabulous accessories…I really think I’m good with this. Can you say Paula Deen?!?

Yes, I just said that I want to be Paula Deen! Seriously, her hair, make-up and clothes always look fabulous, she's always smiling and laughing, and she cooks with real butter, lots of real butter.

Here’s to a happy, successful July! Oh and this 4th, I’ll be enjoying all of the S’mores and hot dogs I want, because that day, that day I’m not even going to “make wise choices!”

Saturday, June 25, 2011


I walk into our room to this...

John Wayne's {lame} attempt at humor! : )

Lions and tigers and bears...oh my!

The Little Lady and I had a great day today at the Denver Zoo with our friends the Knutson's.

Tressie and Kaleb ready to explore the zoo.

The Little Lady really liked the giraffes...maybe she felt a connection to them, with her giraffe hat and all?!?! : )

Really up close to a lion!

The Little Lady was starting to get a little tired, but thankfully was in an awesome mood the whole day!

Nothing like a little lunch in the park and play time with Kaleb to get her going again!

The Little Lady had NO time for pictures with Mama today...she had too much running, playing and exploring to do!

Thanks Jocelyn, Shaun and Kaleb for going with us! We had a great time and can't wait to do it again next summer!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Father's Day

John Wayne, you're a punk!

Over two months ago, I enlisted my bestie's hubby to help me pick out a shotgun for John Wayne for Father's Day. I carefully devised a plan to keep the present a surprise from him. I thought of everything from the perfect story of where I was the night we went to buy the gun, right down to having my Mom pay my credit card bill so John Wayne wouldn't see the transaction on our online banking. I am not good at keeping secrets, especially big surprises. Two years ago, I stashed away cash for months to buy John Wayne a new flat screen TV for Christmas. On Thanksgiving night as we set there looking at the Black Friday ads, the stress overcame me and I went into my night stand, grabbed the envelope of cash and threw it at John Wayne. But not this time. This time I was going to surprise him with something he had wanted for a long time now, a new shotgun.

So the gun spent it's first few months hidden in my Mom and Dad's closet. Then the Sunday before Father's Day when John Wayne was gone checking cows, I decided it could make its move into John Wayne's gun cabinet.

Fast forward to Saturday afternoon...The Little Lady and I decide it's time to give John Wayne his present. We had purchased some shells and wrapped those up for him to open. He opens the shells to which we really get no response. OK, maybe he's confused. (I'm confused, I was expecting much more of a reaction.) I tell him he better go check out his gun cabinet. He goes out and "finds" the new gun, again, not the reaction I was hoping for.

After some very fake, "I'm so surprised..." I begin to worry that he hates this expensive, non-returnable gift.
"What don't you like about it?"
"Is it not the right brand?"
"Not the right color?"
"Not the right size?"

Finally, I realize, this is not the first time John Wayne has seen this gun. After a little prodding, he admits this to me. OK, rewind back to Friday night...we had the really bad storm. The window to our mudroom, where John Wayne's gun cabinet is, was left open. The Little Lady and I were at my Mom and Dad's when John Wayne discovered our mudroom full of water. There was water running down the front of his gun cabinet. He figured he better open it up to make sure none of his guns had gotten wet...

He said he was quite surprised on Friday night.

So I'm done, I'm done working so hard to try and surprise this guy. No matter how perfectly I think I've executed a plan, he always figures it out.

I failed and didn't get a good picture of John Wayne and the Little Lady on Father's Day, but was able to snap a pretty good one of them today. Go ahead, go ahead and tell me how much the Little Lady looks like her Daddy! : )

Happy Father's Day to a wonderful Daddy and husband...even though you are a punk!

Brushing the Little Lady's Teeth

Yes, the Little Lady has had teeth for months now.
Yes, when we visited Dr. Hoover three months ago he told us we needed to start brushing them.
Yes, we bought the tooth brush and tooth paste that day.
Yes, since we go visit Dr. Hoover this Friday, we brushed her teeth for the first time tonight.

Hmmmm...what is this stuff?!?!

Mama...that looks a little scary...

A little weird, but not so bad.

Now this is more like it, I can do it myself!

The Little Lady actually kind of liked the whole brushing her teeth most things she enjoys, she cried when it was over!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My former safe life

I used to sit on my couch and watch the weather alerts crawl across the bottom of my screen as I watched Entertainment Tonight. I'd pick up my phone and call my Mom and make sure they were okay. But now, now I am a storm chaser and this is not by choice...I despise my new life as a storm chaser.

Instead of heading into this, I want to be back on my couch with my blanket and the latest celebrity gossip.

You know you're an idiot when you're flying down the very rural county highway, trying to beat the storm and you pop over the hill only to meet the county sheriff parked along the side of the road watching the clouds. You're going a good 20 over, but he doesn't even flash his lights at you, he just bids you good luck as you head into the darkness.

Every two minutes, a new weather advisory text alert comes through my cell phone. At this point, I don't know if it's a good thing that I know we're sitting right in between two storms, or if I'd be better off not having my phone tell me every two minutes that I'm about to die. John Wayne is hating the text alerts. He is also hating the frantic wife cleanching the seat next to him, asking him every minute and a half if he's scared. To which the obvious reply is "not yet."

John Wayne did some pretty crafy backroad driving, maneuvering to stay behind one storm and ahead of another. About 20 miles from home, we came across this: water flowing down the ditches fast enough to grab a tube and go tubing right here on the plains of eastern Colorado.

It wasn't but another two miles down the road, we pop over the hill and are met by this: so much hail it looked like a winter storm had just blanketed the plains.

Boyero was a disaster. Traffic along Highway 40 barely creeping along, numerous cars slid off into the ditch.

Our commuter, Fancy the Ford Focus, did well. Poor little girl was up to her gills, but under John Wayne's command, she trudged through the nearly foot of hail.

This next picture is misleading, it looks like we're headed off into the sunset for a calm night on the prairie. Not the case. When we make our final turn off the highway to head home, we are met by more hail and heavy rain.

We make it home only to be assaulted by hail as we race from the car to the house and are welcomed home by dark rooms and no electricity. Well, it's 3 o'clock in the morning and I'm blogging...there's only one thing to do when you have no electricity: go to bed.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Stroller Stress

Yesterday I had to go to the big city for a couple of appointments. I had just enough time between my two appointments to make a quick stop at Babies R Us to check out some strollers. We are going to Disney World in September and much to John Wayne's dismay, neither of the strollers we already have, are right for the job. I had a coupon that expired today, so I was on a mission.

I have been doing a lot of research on strollers.

I was feeling pretty confident that the Chicco Liteway was the stroller for us.

It met all of my major requirements:
-reclining seat
-compact fold
...and it is a Chicco...we LOVE our bigger Chicco stroller, so that gave it a slight advantage. I felt like I knew what I’d be getting.

But then, I see this stroller, the Aprica Presto, sitting there on the shelf with a big SALE sign on it. I had eyed this particular stroller in my research, but $200 was more than I, or really John Wayne, was willing to spend on a stroller. So I said to myself, “yes, that one is nice,” but then quickly threw it into the category of "the one I'll buy if I can get more money squeezed out of John Wayne" and moved my focus back to the Chicco.


Here they sit on the shelf at Babies R Us – the Chicco and the Aprica – too close in price to one and other to make cost a factor. You would think I was thrilled, the more expensive Aprica that I had deemed out of reach, was now sitting right in front of me, ready to conquer Disney World. Instead, I suddenly feel loyal to the Chicco and the cynic in me begins to question why the price has been so drastically reduced on the Aprica. There’s only one option, I must try them both out.

I grab the Aprica off the shelf and steer it around the aisles of BRU for awhile, ok, drives good, fine, whatever. One of things that I’m most concerned about is folding this sucker up. I can’t figure it out…nope, not even with the manual that I find stashed in the stroller’s basket. I flag down the nearest person I see wearing the purple polo. She says it’s brand new on their shelves, but she’s pretty sure she knows how. So after my lesson in stroller folding, she is on her way.

I head over to the Chicco. Same thing, a few laps around the stroller department, ok, drives good, fine, whatever. I go to fold it up. Nope, not even with the manual that I find stashed in the stroller’s basket. I go find my friend in the purple polo, who by now I’m sure is thinking, “Really, this lady’s going to take a kid to Disney World…she can’t even fold up a stroller.”

Now that I know how to fold them both up, I still cannot make a decision.
I call my Mom and tell her to Google both of them and give me her opinion. Nope, no help. “They both look nice and have pretty good reviews.”

So I proceed to drive around, fold and unfold each stroller seven times. By this time, I’m sweating; drenched really, mind you I’m in dress clothes and high heels.
But I am beginning to master each stroller like a NASCAR pit crew.

Forty-five minutes later, I’m pretty sure the purple polo crew is having a good laugh back in their break room watching me on their security camera, and am still no closer to a decision than when I first saw the SALE sign. I’m now going to be late to my next appointment; it’s crunch time, a decision must be made, now. So I throw the Aprica over my shoulder and head to the check-out. My decision is finally reached by the fact that the SALE might not last forever. After asking the cashier four times if she is sure that I can return the stroller for a full refund if I change my mind, I purchase the Aprica.

I need your help though, if any of you out there have experience, good, bad or otherwise, with either of these strollers, please comment and let me know. If you don’t have personal experience, but just want to give me your opinion (besides telling me that I am insane, it’s just a stroller) on which one you’d choose, I’d love to hear that too. Please I need your help.

Too bad the Little Lady wasn’t with me…she never seems to have a problem expressing her opinion!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Ranch Wives Cooking Club - Branding Breakfast

It has been forever since I've shared any Ranch Wives Cooking Club recipes. Branding always brings A LOT of good food. My Mom prepared an amazing lunch of roast beef, potato casserole, pinto beans, rolls, and lots, lots more! I'll see if I can talk her into sharing some of her secrets to the best branding meal in Cheyenne County.

Branding morning is always hectic: getting chores done, horses saddled, last minute preparations taken care of, before the neighbors arrive to start gathering the cattle. Everyone needs to eat because there is a hard days work ahead, but no one has much time for breakfast, we need something everyone can just grab and eat on their way down to saddle the horses.

This year I made a couple of easy "cheater" recipes for breakfast. I consider anything that you don't start from scratch, a "cheater" recipe. Most of the time, from scratch is the way to go, but occasionally even this ranch wife has to cheat!

I had some Rhodes Bread Dough in the freezer that needed to be used, so rather than making what have become my usual Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls, I cheated and made Rhodes Old Fashioned Cinnamon Rolls (with a few minor revisions, like I cut mine thinner and baked them in a 9x13 pan). They were good, although not as good as PW's recipe.

I also made Kraft's Cheesy Ham Bubble Bakes. They were good. John Wayne prefers something hearty over something sweet for breakfast, so he especially liked them. They are super easy, and like I said, good. I'll be making these again, but am renaming them...Branding Biscuits!

So while most of you probably don't have a branding crew arriving at your house anytime soon, I would imagine these simple recipes would fare well as a make and take recipe for an upcoming camping trip or such.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My two favorite guys

We branded yesterday. I have tons of pictures, so as I edit them throughout the week, I'll share some more of them. Even though this post would probably be better saved for next Sunday, Father's Day, they are some of my favorite pics, so I'm sharing them today.

My two favorite guys: my husband and my Dad.

They're both pretty quiet guys...more of the let's get the job done, rather than stand around and talk about it, school of thought.

Like I said they're quiet guys, and they definitely don't wear their hearts on their sleeves, so while they've never really came out and said it, I think they like each other ok : )

Kind of "the mentor" and "son I never had" relationship.

Or maybe they just like having each other around because they can gather, sort and work a whole pen of calves with out saying a word. If they opted for the alternative help (that'd be me and my Mom), there would be lots of directions to the obvious, yelling and unnecessary chatter.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

John Wayne's New Horse

Horse power, that is!

Pool Party!

Two really good things happened today...
Aunt Katie came to visit!
We had a pool party!

Testing the waters.

Me and Aunt Katie hanging out at the pool!

Splish splash! I was quite the splasher!

Doin' a little dance!

I loved my pool and am looking forward to lots more pool time this summer!