Monthly Archives: November 2014

Christmas In The Country 2014

Do you love fun Christmas gift swaps?! I do. So this year I am signing up with the fun Christmas in the Country 2014 gift swap! Feel free to go join up:

Christmas in the Country 2014

I am excited to find out whose name I am given, then choose a gift for them based on their preferences. :) Since I am a stay at home mama, who also homeschools, I don’t get involved with many social gifting parties, etc. And while I don’t mind – I do enjoy giving Christmas gifts, so this sounds really fun to me.

I will be posting the gift I receive sometime after Christmas. I will also link back to the blogger who had my name. You don’t have to be a blogger to participate!

I hope your Thanksgiving was splendid, and your Christmas will be bright!


Thoughts on Marriage (for wives)

Thoughts on marriage

Where do I start? I have so many thoughts on marriage. I think it is shameful that marriages end so easily and quickly. I think it is more harmful to people than they realize. I think if we put half the energy and passion into our marriage as we do into sports, politics, exercise, healthy living, business ventures, or many other things – then most of the marriage problems would be solved instantly.

You say: “But he is a jerk! I am not going to waste my life with someone who doesn’t value me and my interests!
Really! But why do you expect him to be there for you in your ugly days, and yet not be willing to walk with him through his? You really think the problem is him? It may be. Men everywhere are emasculated and beaten down for even possibly, maybe, perhaps saying something sexist. Why should they dare treat you like a special person? —You may accuse them of being sexist! Why should they be tender and caring when you are determined to be self-sufficient and independent? You can’t have it both ways.

Men, as a whole, are more than willing to treat their ladies right. To be caring and loving and tender and protective. Do they forget? Yes. (haven’t you forgotten sometimes?) Do they need gentle reminders of things, occasionally? Yes. (don’t you?) Are they perfect? No. (are you?)

I really, truly believe that women have such an influence on the marriage, that a gentle, loving wife can win the most hardened of hearts. Yes, she may have to endure the selfish, laziness of a husband for several (many?) years. But imagine with me, if you will, a marriage where the wife never gives up on her husband. Where she believes in him and treats him like a King. (yes, I said that!) Where she adores him and overlooks faults. Where she puts herself in his shoes and treats him the way she would like to be treated.

Can you imagine how that man would begin to love her and cherish her?

OK, maybe some guys would always be jerks. How do you know if yours is one of those if you give up after 4 or 5 years? You’re scarcely getting started! I tell you – a good marriage is worth fighting for. And by fighting, I mean dying to self. Laying down your notion of how it should be, and learning to make the best possible of what you’ve been given.

Imagine if you were diagnosed with cancer. The Dr doesn’t know how long you will fight it – or if you will even ever completely recover. Your life ahead is unknown. You have three choices:
1. Kill yourself, (like Brittany Maynard did)
2. Live in a morbid state of depression, or
3. Choose to live the best possible life you can – with what you’ve been given.
Seriously? I think most of us will choose number three. Because we love our own selves quite a bit. In a battle, soldiers willingly lay down their life for their brothers-in-arms. How much more should we be willing to lay down our life for our husband, our marriage, and our kids?

Choose life in your marriage today, my friend. Do what it takes. Put some passion into it. Find someone who values marriage and learn from them. Stop thinking that your life is more important than his, and start treating him the way you would like to be treated. Stop waiting for him to make the first move – forgive even when he doesn’t ask for it. Hold no grudges. Don’t allow the hard places in life steal him away from you. Fight for him. Be on his side. Love him tremendously.

thoughts on marriage

~Celebrating 14 years of marriage to My Cowboy today~

Cooking For The Ranch Crew ~ Part 2: Cooking

When you are cooking for the ranch crew, it is most important that you think ahead to how you will be serving. Will you be serving in the field or at the house? And what time will they be coming in to eat? In my experience, they don’t usually know exactly when they will be in, so you need to make sure it’s ready at noon, but be able to hold it warm till 2 pm or even later if necessary! :)

Some of the cowboys I feed regularly.

Some of the cowboys I feed regularly.

cooking for the ranch crew


Think about how much oven space you will need, and how much time stuff will take to cook. You don’t want to have 3 pans of dinner rolls and a pan of baked beans and a dessert, all needing to go into the oven at the same time! :) So think about what can be baked earlier in the morning.
I like to bake my dessert first, and then my rolls, and then stick in the beans, corn, or whatever other hot dish I may have. Pies, cobblers, and breads can be served cool. They will still be delicious, since they are fresh. But you don’t want lukewarm beans!

If I am doing a roast, I like to stick it in the crockpot or oven the night before. Then it will be super-tender by lunch.  If I am doing a smoked brisket, I will put it in the oven (or electric roaster) in the morning, and let it heat slowly. Those come pre-cooked. 



So my cooking day looks something like this:
1. Mix up dinner rolls.
2. While the rolls are rising, I make my pies. When the pies are ready for the oven, so are the rolls. I stick the rolls in the oven. After the rolls come out, I bake the pies. NOTE: I really try to bake my pies the day before, because that makes cooking day so much easier! But sometimes life happens, and I don’t get it done till the day of.
3. I make my salad. If I am also having a jello salad, I like to make that a day ahead, too. But sometimes it doesn’t happen till day of, either! 😉
4. Next, I make my potatoes, and start my veggies. By now it will be getting close to noon. I start checking off things, mentally. Bread? Dessert? Salad? Veggie? Potatoes? Meat? I may put some butter out to soften, for the bread, and get a fresh jar of jam out. Fill the salt&pepper shakers… just make sure things are there.
5. By noon, or shortly thereafter, you should have all your food ready. If everything is done, just turn the oven as low as you can, and set stuff in there to keep warm. They may be late, but if it’s all ready, then you can relax. It’s better to keep stuff warm for awhile, than to be unprepared! :) Once they showed up at 11:30, and that was a bit nerve-wracking, as I wasn’t ready. (Of course, they expect to wait if they are early, but I still don’t like it.)

Baked corn

Baked corn


cheddar and chive mashed potatoes.

cheddar and chive mashed potatoes.

I am thankful to have several kids I can call on to make a last minute sweep of toys, shoes, and other junk that needs put away. Put a large towel and plenty of soap by the bathroom sink. It’s the little things, you know?

Set the table, (make sure you have large glasses for water!) put out the jam, butter, napkins, toothpicks. Get a jug of ice-water ready to pour. You want to be as ready as you can get before they come in. Well, OK, that’s kinda my thing. I hate waiting on a meal, so I try to not make others wait! 😉

Pumpkin pie. They look brown-er because I used home cooked pumpkin, and lots of cinnamon. :)

Pumpkin pie. They look brown-er because I used home cooked pumpkin, and lots of cinnamon. :)

Here is the menu I used in Part 1:
(some are linked to recipes)
Beef Roast
Mashed Potatoes

Green Beans (Drizzle with a bit of browned butter for a tasty flavor!)
Broccoli Salad
Jello Salad
Dinner Rolls
Homemade Pies
with ice cream.

Tom Wilson and Don Berry.

Tom Wilson and Don Berry.



A Walk to Beautiful ~ by Jimmy Wayne & Ken Abraham

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a teenage boy in foster care? ‘A Walk to Beautiful’ is a book about a child in and out of foster care. His story is emotional, lonely, frustrating, scary, and wonderfully inspiring. It will change the stereotypes you hold about teens in foster care! It will especially challenge the stereotypes that cling to teen boys.

jimmy wayne

Jimmy Wayne is a country singer who grew up amidst poverty, drugs, immorality and violence. Through years of foster care, relative homes, and living by his wits, he learned survival, integrity, and much more. God was watching out for him from the beginning, and He guided Jimmy to a home where he found the love and support that all kids need.

This book was the best I’ve read in a very long time. The swelling emotions and raw pain, together with the determination to keep going… it was hard to lay it down! In fact, I believe I read it in less than a day. One evening and part of the next day and I was finished. I loved the unvarnished story of life as a foster care teenage boy, straight from ‘the horse’s mouth’, as they say.

I would recommend it to adults over 18, as there are some graphic violence stories, and some accounts of sexuality. This book is well-written, highlighting the grace and mercy of God.  The story focuses on Jimmy Wayne’s young life, with the last few chapters dedicated to his walk across the country. His determination, humility, and graciousness are inspiring!


I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Remembering two years ago… a preemie victory!

Winter and snow and howling winds have come again to this part of the country. Sunday the temperature reached 50 degrees. By Monday noon it was 13*. Brrrr. This morning it is down to 6* with a wind chill of -9. Double Brrr!

Two years ago (yesterday), we brought our tiny preemie home from the hospital. The two hour drive was made incredibly trying, as it was a huge snowstorm that day, too! I remember it vividly, and likely always will. But God protected us and we made it home safely.
preemie preemie preemie

Reata with Auntie Rose.

Reata with Auntie Rose.

6-week old Reata with her big sister.

6-week old Reata with her big sister.

Reata Sage ~ 6 weeks old. 5 lbs

Reata Sage ~ 6 weeks old. 5 lbs

Today, Reata is a thriving, healthy two-year-old. Developing quite a sassy personality as well, I might add! 😉 We all adore her. I am thankful for the mercy of God to protect her life. She has no health problems, is above normal height, and loves BEEF! A true ranch kid. :)

ranch picturespreemie

ranch pictures