Kay is a mom of four sweet kids, and the wife of a working cowboy. She untangles her thoughts through writing, and enjoys sharing stories about life on a working ranch. She also enjoys puttering in the garden, whipping up new recipes, and holding baby chicks. Jesus is her hero - she reads about Him all the time. You can connect with Kay on Instagram @a_ranch_mom, and on Facebook. You can also keep up with her chicken coop obsession on Pinterest.
My kids love pancakes for breakfast! I have to say; their syrupy sweetness also goes pretty good with my morning cup of black coffee! So, I thought I would share my super easy recipe for fluffy pancakes.
The great thing about this recipe, is that you can just put all ingredients in one bowl and stir! I use a whisk and beat it good, till it is well mixed. You can also use an electric mixer – or even a blender. But the fastest way is just to whisk it good. It is ok if there are a few lumps in the batter. When you fry the pancakes the lumps will disappear. The batter is pretty runny, so you can add less milk for a thicker batter – which will also make slightly thicker pancakes.
You can use any skillet – but for our large family, I like to use my electric skillet. I can fry 4 at a time, which really speeds things up. Sometimes I make the pancakes a bit smaller, and fry 6 at a time. My Presto® electric skillet was a wedding gift – 17 years ago!! I didn’t use it much the first 7 years, but for the past 10 years I have used it quite a lot. I can also throw an egg on there with the pancakes, or some sausages…
It is non-stick, which makes cleanup a breeze. I usually think nonstick will get scratched too easily, but this skillet has lasted a long time. The spatula pictured is steel – probably not the best choice! But I am careful, and so far it has been fine.
We like syrup on our pancakes – but honey, maple syrup, or fruit is also delicious! Right now the days are getting colder, and somehow pancakes seem like the thing to make for the kiddos! They like peanut butter on theirs – which I encourage for the protein.
Ranch cooking is usually centered around beef recipes. And often – crowd-sized! I have to double or triple most recipes, when I am feeding the cowboys! I decided to go searching for all the beef recipes for a crowd that I could find, and compile them in one place for us ranch wives. Hopefully this will help simplify your meal-planning, the next time you need to feed a bunch of cowboys.
One huge way to show your husband love – is to teach the kids to respect him. They pick up on your attitude and opinions, so if you are always respectful and loving – chances are they will be, too.
When they are small, make a big deal about Daddy coming home. Rush to the door with them to greet him. Let your husband know that you and the kids can’t wait till he gets home!
Give him special treatment sometimes. Or all the time! It is a sign of security – not submission – when a wife finds fulfillment in treating her man special because she loves him. Get the kids in on it by bring him hot drinks in the winter or cold ones in the summer. Make it an honor to do special things for him like cleaning out his truck or folding his clothes. Little kids enjoy doing special things for the people they love. This practice will help them see their dad as someone who needs to be respected. (for his position, if not his character)
As they get older, don’t ever talk disrespectfully about him whether he is present or absent. Kids naturally don’t like when someone speaks ill of their father – just like they naturally don’t like anyone to speak ill of their mother! Sometimes they will come to you with questions when you must tell the truth – don’t ever lie – but you can still be respectful.
“Yes, dad made that decision and we might not agree, but we still need to respect him. Sometimes we disagree, but God has placed Dad as the leader in this family, and we are going to honor him.”
Never fight in front of the kids. Always present a united front. If Dad tells them no, but they come to you – you say no too. It doesn’t matter if you disagree with your husband. You stand with him. You back him up. Let them know that you will enforce dad’s rules. You can discuss disagreements privately, later.
My kids know I am the pushover! (I’m not proud of that) So every once in a while they come to me. Sorry but no. If dad said no, then I say no too! It won’t hurt kids to be disappointed occasionally – but it may hurt them to have parents who are not united.
Respect your husband by teaching your kids to respect him. It may change your marriage!
When I was a kid, my mom made easy jello pudding cake often. It was one of my favorite desserts! The pretty jello paired with the creamy pudding was just great. Especially in the heat of a Southern Illinois summer – it was so refreshing!
Mom used strawberry jello most frequently, but sometimes she experimented with green or orange. I have used a white cake with blue jello(raspberry) for July 4th, green jello (lime) with pistachio pudding for St. Patrick’s Day, or red (strawberry) for Christmas. So many fun options!
The pudding is one of my favorite parts. I am not a huge fan of thick frosting, but this pudding is just right. Creamy and sweet, but not too sweet!
The other great thing about this easy jello pudding cake, is how simple it is. First, you bake a cake mix according to directions on box. I use yellow but you could also use white cake mix.
When it comes out of the oven, let it cool 10 minutes while you mix up the jello. Mix 1 package jello (any flavor) with 1 cup hot water. When it is dissolved, add 1/2 cup cold water.
Poke lots of holes in the cake, with a fork. Make sure you get around the edges.
Take a large spoon and spoon the jello over the cake, slowly. This is somewhat tedious, but keep at it. Pay special attention to the higher areas where it just wants to run off. Keep spooning jello until it is all on. It seems like a lot but it will be fine. 😉 Then set your cake in the fridge to chill for several hours.
After the cake is cold, mix the pudding and pour it over.;
I have covered this topic throughout the series, but today I wanted to point out several specific ways that we disrespect our husbands – sometimes without knowing it! I have been guilty of some of these, sadly. I ask God often to show me where I can grow in respecting my man.
Correcting him in public. There is a time to speak, and there is a time to be silent. When your husband is telling a story or recounting an experience, it is a time for you to be silent. Does it really matter if he said it happened in January, when it really happened in February? Does it really matter if your uncle Fred is 76 years old instead of 74? I cringe when a man is trying to tell some story but he can’t get through 2 sentences without his wife correcting some minuscule detail. This is disrespect, ladies, and it needs to stop. Let him tell the story.
Telling him what to do. There is a fine line between asking for help and ordering him around. I am a firm believer in asking for help. But I am just as firm, that ordering your husband to do things is disrespectful. Let’s be careful of our tone of voice…
Never wanting intimacy. I know — your hormones are all over the place, you are drunk-tired, you are tired of little people touching, hugging, pulling at you all day long. But If you never want to get sexy in the bedroom – he will feel disrepected. I love this article from Sheila Gregoire. (my favorite resource on intimacy)
“You know the things that drain you: talking to certain people, housework, running around after kids, paid work, chauffeuring, scheduling, all the things that go into a normal life. These things aren’t necessarily bad, but you need to figure out what also charges you…” Sheila Wray Gregoire
Don’t correct his parenting. It’s ok if the baby doesn’t get his hair washed with a special soap, or the diaper gets on backwards, or he lets them eat more sugar than you would. If he is helping you – be thankful. There is no reason to disrespect him because you are Type A or whatever. It is 100x better to have a loving, involved dad who feeds his kids sugar, than to have a absent dad. (research the crime rates in homes with no father) Besides, it smacks of pride to think your way is best! Let him parent how he wants. If it is a big issue – talk to him privately about it.
Thank him for providing for your family. If he is working, thank him! If you are also working, you still need to thank him. Remember the Golden Rule. Men like to be providers – let him know you appreciate it.
Get excited about his dreams, and help him pursue them! You may not be interested in tagging sharks off the coast of California, but if he is – learn a little bit about it! Help him research his dreams and encourage him. He will love you for it.
Take care of yourself, physically. Don’t ‘let yourself go’ because you have your man. Get dressed daily. Comb your hair. And by all means – take a shower daily!! (I won’t hear any excuses) I have raised 7 babies and moved 12 times and been sleep-deprived more than I would like to remember. But there are not many days when I didn’t get a shower. Please, for the love of your husband, take a shower! (3 kids under 3, anyone? been there)
This is not an exhaustive list, by any means. Feel free to comment with your ideas and tips on how we can show respect to our husbands.
No Tattling sounds a bit juvenile – I get it. But the problem remains, no matter what you call it. Are you telling your mom/sisters/friends about your husband’s weaknesses under the guise of humor? Maybe as a shared prayer request? Or just flat-out as griping?
This needs to stop.
There is simply no place in a Christian wife’s life for tattling on her husband. How would you like if he told his buddies how you spend too much money – and they all laughed about it? Or if he told his mom how you are such a terrible housekeeper and he never has clean socks?
You know, marriage is a good place for the Golden Rule.
“Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.” Luke 6:31
“But he DOES treat me like this! He tells mean jokes about me to his buddies!” OK, that is a hard place to be. I get it. I have watched men do this to their wives, and it is NOT Christ-like. It is selfish and cruel. But as a Christian, you must treat him the same way you would any other sinner: with love and kindness, always desiring that he would come to repentance.
She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. Proverbs 31:26
Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation. 1 Peter 2:12
They (believers) must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone. Titus 3:2
This is the part of the gospel no one wants to face: death to self. Because death is unpleasant! But if we say we believe the Bible, and we say we are obedient to Christ – then we need to treat everyone with kindness and not gossip. No tattling. No carrying grievances to your buddies. Even if he does. I like how Elizabeth George says, in her wonderful book to wives:
Your goal as a Wife after God’s Own Heart is to help, heal, and to minister to your husband with your words–not to slash and slice him to pieces.Your rash words can resemble the thrusts of a sword, or they can disperse refreshment that promotes health, edifies, encourages, and delivers grace to your husband. (Ephesians 4:29) -from A Wife After God’s Own Heart
What to do if you have a disagreement? I always, always advocate for prayer first. Pray fervently, daily. God and the Holy Spirit can do far more than your nagging and complaining. Yes, there is a time and place for getting outside help. But just the piddly little stuff that irritates you? Nope. Don’t go throwing him under the bus to your mom. No tattling.
You know that you shouldn’t allow things to build up between you, but then you get in a fight disagreement, and you just want peace, or sleep, or your own way, or maybe life is so crazy-busy that you just don’t take time to talk things through.
First thing you know – a bit of coldness toward your husband is creeping into your heart. Not anger. Not bitterness. Just a general ‘meh’. Maybe the two of you disagreed about something that you can’t get past. If you disagree on principles and values, it is really hard to get past that.
Maybe you think: “It’s not a big deal, I should just get over it!” You stuff it, or you try to forget it. But once there is something you refuse to work through – soon there is more. I have found that talking about stuff is the key to keeping communication open. You may never agree on a certain issue. But you can have a peaceful, loving marriage despite that.
It’s like a brick wall – I am sure you’ve heard this comparison before – one brick is not a big deal, but soon it’s a wall a mile high. Then it is next to impossible to move! So don’t allow even one brick between you! You may have to compromise, you may have to die to self, you may need to explain yourself better. But keep working at communication.
My husband and I have worked through some pretty big disagreements. Do we see everything 100% the same way? Nope. We are human, with different backgrounds, different personalities, different stories. But we follow the same Jesus. We read the same Bible. And we both want a Godly friendship-love. So we talk. We hash things out. In the end, though, I believe the Scripture that says:
“Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5:22-25
So keep working at your communication, my friends. Keep things clear and open between you. Will this matter in 100 years? If the answer is no, then just let it go.
The wind whipped about me mercilessly, as I waited for the cowboys to get their food and coffee. The sun was shining and the temperature hung around 45*, but it didn’t feel that warm on the open prairie. The sound of cows lowing and calves bawling drowned out the talking and laughter of the cowboys.
When I looked in the foil-covered pan sitting on the tailgate, I saw something that looked like sausage balls. I took one, because I love sausage! The hot sausage warmed my cold hands, and I bit into it as the Wyoming wind whipped my hair. Inside the sausage was a hard-boiled egg!
Then I remembered… Cliff had told me that this ranch served something called “Scottish Eggs”. His description of a hard-boiled egg inside sausage had sounded delicious. I was happy to get a chance to try them. Somehow, it seemed the perfect food for a branding snack. Hot, easy to hold, full of protein – to give the cowboys energy.
I relished every bite, and resolved to go home and make them myself! Since that day on the wide and windy prairie, I have made them often. Today I want to share with you this incredibly easy, filling breakfast food.
The process is incredibly simple. You take a pound of bulk pork sausage, divide into 6 equal parts, and flatten each part. Then you place a hard-boiled egg on top of the sausage, and wrap the sausage around the egg. The wrapping is the hardest part – you might have to squish it a bit to get the egg completely covered. You can divide the sausage into only 5 parts for a thicker sausage layer, if you like.
Technology is one of those things with which I have a have a love/hate relationship. I mean, obviously technology makes my life so easy, and helps me so much! But then, it also can be distracting and frustrating(!!) and get in the way of real relationships.
You’ve heard the jokes about wives who run up credit debt online, or husbands who play video games all the time. Sadly, this is all too common. Now, we have the smartphones to add to the mix; we can buy and play with a swipe of our thumb.
It is easy – far too easy – to live virtual lives instead of real ones. To chat with a friend 1,000 miles away, instead of talking to the person we are sitting next to on the couch. To share our beliefs and the Gospel with someone in a different state instead of with our neighbor. To invite friends to online ‘parties’ instead of inviting them over for coffee.
What does this mean in the context of marriage?
We need to remember that first; this is the world we live in. You ain’t gonna change it, friend. Nobody is going back to 1988. (except a few preppers, maybe) This is our new world. Don’t mourn and fuss and whine about the good old days. That’s what my grandpa said, too, and he farmed with horses till 1960! (or somewhere around there) I mean, there’s a place for old-fashioned things and simplicity, I agree. But there’s a point…
Second, technology can be a real blessing! You can read blogs on marriage 😉 , get financial tools, find jobs, find date ideas and places to stay. You can learn a new skill. You can watch movies. You can listen to sermons and find Bible studies. So many good things to do with technology.
OK, but is it a blessing or a curse in marriage?
Satan wants to bring it between us. He wants to make it a curse. He is a cunning enemy who wants to make us fight and fuss. HE wants to tear us apart any way he can! Technology can certainly do that. But God wants to make it a blessing. We have the same Saviour in 2017 as we had in 1988. We can allow Satan to use technology to come between us, or we can allow God to make it a blessing.
This obviously takes two people to agree that you will not allow Satan to get a foothold. Two people who agree to put their relationship first, and technology second. Maybe you don’t actually ‘sit down and talk about it’, per se. We haven’t. But when technology (usually our phone usage) bothers one of us, we tell each other in a kind, respectful way. I’m not saying we are perfect in this area, but we are learning and growing.
We give each other our full attention when we talk to each other. We don’t interrupt each other when we are busy with something online. We give grace when one or the other spends extra time online or watching a riveting movie series. Again, we’re not yet perfect, but we try.
Remember the good old days where everyone ignored each other with books and newspapers? 😀 Yeah, that wasn’t much better. I know technology has overrun our lives, but we can control it, by the power of the Holy Spirit in us. Just like alcohol or food, it can become an addiction that needs broken. But in the right place, it can be a blessing!
Texts to each other: flirty, encouraging, loving. Encouraging websites, sermons online, even games to play together. Music. Sending pictures of the kids. Skype. I’m sure you can think of more!
Remember; Satan wants to tear you apart in any way he can. Jesus wants to bring you together. Technology is just a tool. Don’t be a slave to it, don’t allow it to control you. Embrace the good in it, be thankful for the good points.
If your husband suggests that you are using it wrongly; listen to him. If he is using it too much, lovingly discuss it with him. Pray about it. But don’t allow Satan to use technology to tear you apart.
Do you find it hard to have an actual ‘date night’?
Especially when you have babies and toddlers in the house, it is just hard. If you have family nearby, you might wonder what all the fuss is about. But if you live far from family, you will know exactly what I am talking about!
We have lived far from family for years. We have friends, but here in Wyoming, even our friends are pretty scattered! While we had babies and younger children, we just didn’t have many date nights. We did get a babysitter once a year and take a night away for our anniversary. That was so important to our sanity and closeness as a couple. We also tried to have 1-2 nights where we’d get a sitter and go out to eat. But even that was hard.
But why bother?
I do feel it is extremely important that a couple gets a bit of time alone, now and again. Even if it is only 1 time per year. Yes, you can be a close, loving couple without ever doing it, but frankly, I know very few couples who are deeply in love with each other, who don’t take time out for themselves. (I can’t think of any, in fact)
“We do everything as a family.” That sounds wonderful and so committed – but remember that you were a couple before you were parents. If you never go out, never take a night away, then you will need to be extra vigilant to get some time together at home. You just can’t properly nurture a deep, caring, friendship-love when there are kids climbing over you and listening to you talk.
I know, I know. You disagree with me. Well, maybe I am wrong. But if you think so, let me ask you: Do you have a deep, loving, friendship with your husband, or is marriage a bit of a disappointment to you? I challenge you to answer honestly. (To yourself, of course.)
The people whose marriages I respect and look up to – they say to get away from the kids once in a while. They say that the kids will be fine. And they are right.
When I was a young wife, I hated leaving my toddlers for a night. I thought they would be scarred for life, haha! But my husband encouraged me to invest in our marriage – and I am so glad he did. I do not regret even one night away from my ‘babies’. We never lost the sense of ‘us’, and I credit time alone as the reason.
This is the tricky part! It is hard to have the time, money, or sitter. If you have one you probably don’t have the other.
How to find a babysitter: Family is ideal. Friends are second best. If you have neither – then you need to find friends!! Seriously. I recommend that you start by going to church. Even if it isn’t perfect, find a church that believes as closely to Scripture as possible. (just pick the best one in your town.) Then go to that church and make friends, serve them, get plugged in to their lives. You will soon (hopefully) find one or two families who will be willing to trade babysitting. You can also use drop-in daycare. I haven’t, but I think it would be a decent alternative.
I will say that when I had a nursing baby, or one under 2, I often took them along. Especially when we moved away from family.
How to find time: For a night away, I suggest that you put it on the calendar. We used to take a night away on our anniversary, but since we moved to WY (and ranch life) it is a bad time of year for us, so we take our night away a different weekend. But we plan ahead, every year. At least a tentative plan. If we were visiting family over the holidays, we’d plan an extra day, and arrange to leave the kids with grandma for a night.
For date nights we do it differently. If you have a set schedule, then a regular date night may work. It hasn’t for us. We ‘take a notion’ to go on a date, and go! When our kids were little, we grabbed every opportunity we could find. If we had an out-of-state sibling visiting, we left the kids and went on a date.
Now, we have teenage kids!! What a blessing to have built-in babysitters. I remember feeling that this day would never come! But here it is. And we LOVE it! 😀
How to find money: Oh boy. What a tough one, right? Really, we haven’t done much fancy stuff, because we are not rich folk. We would absolutely love to travel overseas or even just to Yellowstone for a weekend getaway. But realistically, we just can’t. The one exception was our 10th anniversary. We saved then splurged, and went to Washington D.C. for several days. That was a huge treat, and a trip that gave us many good memories.
For dates, we sometimes go out to eat, sometimes just ice cream! Right now we live far enough from town, that when we can make it work we will go to town together. We walk around the store, picking up what we need,(not groceries) then get a burger or ice cream on the way home.
Our dates get simpler and more meaningful as we age. Driving 2 hours to and from town is a wonderful date. Checking water or putting out mineral is another way to get time together while not spending money.
When the kids were small, we’d stick them to bed early then pull out some special treats and drinks and have a date on the couch.
Usually for anniversaries, we spend one night at a hotel in a nearby city. We eat out and maybe catch a movie or a local, inexpensive attraction.
On leaner years, we’d get a babysitter for the kids, then pick up a pizza and some pop, and rent a movie and go home. In some ways, that was as relaxing as anything! Very inexpensive, very private, and no hassle of packing/unpacking.
I highly recommend you try this! Especially of you have sitters that you can easily get for a night!
I hope I have sparked an interest in you to make time for your marriage! Maybe you can’t take a weekend away. Maybe you need to put the babies to bed and light some candles and dress up. Maybe you just need to say YES next time he asks you to go check water. Better yet – YOU ask to go along, then be interesting and helpful and stay off your phone. 😉