Archive: October 2012

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Thoughts on Thirty

posted by Chelsea

My 30th birthday is fast approaching– in a week or so I’ll reach my 3rd decade of life.  I’ve been thinking about this milestone ever since last year’s birthday.  I’m a real sucker for fresh starts; I like New Year’s Resolutions and even the start of a new month is refreshing to me (after the bills are paid, of course!)  That said, 30 feels big-  a milestone, a new season, a fresh beginning, if you will.

After a year of contemplation, this is what I’ve been saying and will now write about turning 30…. Bring. It. On.  I’m ready to be 30.  I’m ready to be done with the whirlwind of my 20’s.

For us…

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… the 20’s were a time of change (marriage! finishing college! 3 kids! moves! a house! our own cows!) It was all good and exciting change, but I feel like our 30’s (Buck has been testing the waters for a couple of years now!) are already more of the “lets-settle-in-and-do-the-thing” years.  I don’t just “feel OK” about that- I’m flat out ready for it.

These are the things I want to take into this next decade of life…

*Like I mentioned already… settled-ness.
*A greater sense of who I am and who I’m called to be.
*Less concern about who other people think I am or who they think I’m called to be.
*Goals… physical goals, spiritual goals, relational goals.

These are the things I’d like to develop in my 30s…

*A deeper sense of my own style- both in my attire… I’m thinking Title 9 meets Garnet Hill in cowboy boots?…and in my house…French country meets modern cottage in an old western movie?
*Better budgeting & meal planning… Martha Stewart meets Dave Ramsey at The Pioneer Woman’s Lodge?  That sounds intense, motivating, and a little fattening now doesn’t it?!
*My abdominal muscles. .. and my sense of humor :-) Jillian Michaels meets Bob Harper… and me at the gym. Just kidding that was actually the humor part!
*Using and developing my gifts/talents to bless others… Oprah’s old “give-away” show meets scripture with cute stationary on a budget?  What that meant:  I want to give more, learn more, grow more and write more real letters again.
*Growing as a fully engaged and interactive mom/wife.  I have no analogy.  I’m worn out from thinking up the last four.  I just want to be supermom… minus the cape and the superpowers and the impossibility and the unreal expectations.  Basically I want to do my best and I want to sleep more- those two go hand-in-hand.

Moving on.  I’m excited to do more of this…

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…as a family.  Our family is “complete” and I like the idea of settling into that.  I want to help build a strong spiritual base for our kids- a solid and sure place to ask big questions and understand Biblical principles.   I’m excited to play with them…

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and teach them…

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and laugh with them!  (And photograph them, of course :-)

Lets face it, I’m excited to sleep through the night!!!

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Do you see what I mean when I say Bring. It. On?!

The 30’s are ready and waiting, so watch out ’cause I’m diving in!

These Are the Days

posted by Laci

Note from Chelsea: Laci wrote here a couple of years ago when Cowgirl Clippings was just getting started and somehow  she trailed off into a life of teaching school and being a wife and such.  This morning I’m so happy to tell you that SHE’S BACK! I’m really excited and after you get to reading, I know you will be too :-)

Recently, one of my favorite songs is number 6 on my Sugarland CD, “These are the Days.” It reminds me that even when things seem overwhelming, even when life is so daily, someday I will look back and remember these days. These are the days before kids, days in a small cozy apartment, days with no yard to take care of, days that sometime seem like years. But nonetheless, these are the days. Maybe I’m a little melancholy, maybe I’m just reflective. I don’t know. Regardless, I have to remind myself that, indeed, these are the days. I’m guilty of looking so forward to the future that I forget to think about and live today. I MUST live purposefully and make each day count.




Someday when I’m elbow-deep in dirty diapers and sleep-deprivation; someday when the water heater breaks and floods the basement (and it’s MY money, not my landlord’s that has to fix it); someday when there’s a yard to mow and weeds to pick along with dinner to make, a house to clean and animals to take care of…someday I will look back at this day. This day that I had time to sit down and blog before church, to do a craft if I want to, this day that I don’t know what’s for dinner (and it doesn’t matter because Bryan happily makes his own peanut butter sandwiches), this day that because I’m not feeling well, I will take a nap and not feel guilty.


Someday I will look back at these days and smile wistfully. Though I truly hope and pray I will enjoy and even embrace wherever I happen to be at that moment, I know I will look back at these cozy apartment, lazy weekend, and do-what-I-want days, and I will think of how wonderful they really were. Someday. No. TODAY. Today I will look at today and be thankful. Today I will embrace the things that God has in store. Today I will see the little bits that make my life full and I will thank Jesus for a chance to do life. To live with and be married to the best guy I know, the ability to go for a run, the ability to walk to the fridge and pull out a snack of my choice.




These Are the Days

Meet Me For Cream

posted by Chelsea

You might remember Donna’s series “Cream Rises” here at CC… it’s been scattered over the last year or so and has been all about the “cream” in the book of Psalms.  Well, it just so happens that our Sunday School class is embarking on a new Beth study called “Stepping Up: A Journey Through the Psalms of Ascent”.  I have the book on my lap and feel like I’m holding gold-  more than gold- because I’m so ready to start a new study and get rolling in God’s Word again.  I started the study this afternoon and had to laugh.  I’ll be honest and tell you that while I’ve been ready to get going on a new study, this was not my first choice of study- I actually had another one in mind.  Funny how God met me right in the pages of THIS study- some words seemed to written on those pages just for me.  I guess He knows what He’s doing afterall!  And I’m thrilled to get going.

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I decided that each week I’ll try to share a little bit of what I’m learning through the Psalms study here at CC.  Some weeks it might be a lot of sharing and others it might be a little.  I’m going to stick with Donna’s “Cream” theme, but I’ll title these posts “Meet Me For Cream”… skip the tea, skip the coffee, lets just get to the good stuff!

For today, a little snippet that stuck out to me that I think is just right for sharing with you…

“If we could only see beyond the natural world, look upon our true surroundings, see the kingdom in the distance, and behold the face of Jesus Christ, we’d realize the tragedy of ever settling into a stagnant, mediocre relationship with God.  You and I have places to go.  People to meet.  Dragons to slay.  Foes to defeat.  If God had already taken us everywhere He intended, we’d be at His glorious feet by now.  That you and I are still drawing terrestrial breaths tells us that God still has appointments for us.”

And I’ll end start! with the end of the Psalms:

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!  Praise the Lord!” Psalm 150:6



posted by Chelsea

This past weekend the boys and I went on a wild weekend get-away to a horse sale.  It was a two part adventure as we were both buyers and sellers.  We sold a mare and bought a mare.  I started telling you the whole story complete with more details than you’d ever want to know, but I can’t seem to find the time to finish it.  So maybe sometime I’ll finish the details and for now I’ll tell you the important things about…. Marilyn.

#1. She’s a palamino! I’ve never had a palamino.

#2. She’s 7 and a man named Travis had her for all 7 years.  He did a nice job with her- she had a great start and we love her!

#3. Here she is the day we got her home:

(nevermind our make-shift hackamore…  she’s mostly been ridden in a hackamore, but we don’t ride anything else in one so we’ll be putting one together for her!)

#4.  She did GREAT in our make-shift hackamore!  She is SUPER light reined and responsive.

#5. Here she is today, standing under a willow tree, wondering what kind of place we moved her to..

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…where there is snow already?  Oh wait, that was me wondering what kind of place WE live in!  The least the snow could’ve done is WAIT for me to finish picking up leaves!  Has it no decency?!

#5.  Lots more to say, but so far so good!  We’re really excited about Miss Marilyn and looking forward to spending some time on her!

Sneak Peak

posted by Chelsea

It’s Monday.  I’m playing a serious game of catch-up. BUT I wanted to share a picture, a sneak peak of the weekend.  I spent the last couple of days with the two cutest cowboys I know…

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… and I look forward to telling you more about our adventurous (horse buying) weekend soon!


Wood Cutting

posted by Chelsea

The chainsaw has been sharpened…

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The girls have new log rolling gloves…

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Because it’s wood cutting season again!

I’ve told you about our wood cutting adventures in the past and explained my complete lack of tree knowledge.  I’d love to tell you that I’ve worked hard to overcome my tree incompetence, but this story will relay my current level of knowledge.

We were driving through the forest, looking for appropriate trees to cut and Buck said “There’s it is! There’s a money tree!  Now that’s a nice one, isn’t it?!”  He didn’t say, “Do you see which one I’m talking about?”  He ASSUMED I knew which one he was talking about.  This is what we were looking at:

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I responded, “Yah! Looks great!”… hoping I was looking in the right direction.  I had no idea which tree he was talking about… I scanned, I reasoned, I had no clue.  I watched Buck walk up the hill and when he started cutting…

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… well then I knew which tree we were cutting…

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It was a Red Fir… I think.



Mommy Tips: Snack Packs

posted by Chelsea

This morning I’m sharing my newest and most favorite snack idea with you!  Ironically, it was inspired by my mom who never-ever-in-a-million-years would have bought us “sugary” cereal, but suggested to me as a treat for her grandchildren…. potentially on a road trip or something.  Her thought being that it’s better than feeding the kiddos candy– seeing how it’s enriched with vitamins! and minerals! (emphasis mine not hers).

So… when sugary cereal was on sale last week at our local grocery store I hid some in the bottom of my cart bought some.  AND I bought some other stuff to pile on top in case I saw anyone I know in the grocery store and wouldn’t have to explain why I was buying sugary cereal… because I have issues needed them for the snack idea…

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(Since when are they called sunflower nuts? Aren’t they seeds? Note the Fruity Cheerios in the back)

And I threw it all together to make some handy-dandy little snack packs for those days when we are on the go…

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I like to add additional M&Ms and throw them in Buck’s lunches, too.

The family’s take on the snack bags:

Buck: Loves ’em!
Me: I think the Fruity Cheerios are disgusting.  I like everything else.
Lucy: Calls Fiber One “bones”.
Kate: Manages to eat everything except the bones.
Cooper: While he looks excited about the idea…

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…he won’t get to try them out for quite awhile. (I love sneaking him into posts that have absolutely nothing to do with him.)

Anyway… these snack packs have endless possibilities… I’m looking forward to mixing it up with dried fruit, nuts, seeds, cereals, treats, and crackers.  You should do it, too!  And tell me what kinds of creative ideas you come up with!


posted by Chelsea

A couple of weeks ago, when we were in Idaho, I ran into THE caramel maker, Linda.  Linda made Buck and I a food-care-package for our honeymoon and included some of her caramels.  We’ve been craving them for the past eight years.

I told her it was my deepest heart’s desire to find a caramel recipe before Christmas this year.  She said in ol’ ranchwife fashion (ol’ NOT old)… “It’s as easy as 1-2-3”.  Here’s what she meant:

1 cup Karo Syrup
2 cups sugar
3 cups cream

In addition, “the cream needs to be fresh” (as in straight from the cow).  I have it on good experience authority that they can be made with store-bought cream as well.

Here’s what you do.  First, butter a 9×13″ pan.  Now mentally and physically prepare yourself to stand at the stove for awhile.  Mix 1 cup Karo, 2 cups sugar and ONE cup of cream in a medium saucepan.  Bring them to a low boil on medium heat.  Whisk often.  When the mixture reaches a low boil, add another cup of cream.  Bring that mixture to low boil.  Whisking often.  When the mixture reaches a low boil, then add the third cup of cream and start whisking continually.  Bring to a low boil, whisking all the while, and start watching the clock and the mixture.  I low-boiled mine for about 25 minutes and it looked like this towards the end…

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… the sauce should be thick and caramel colored.  In hindsight and for future reference, I think I’ll boil for 30 minutes just so they set up a tiny bit better than they did.  Once you’ve reached the desired consistency, pour the caramel into your buttered 9×13 pan…

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(Excuse the brown bananas- we were making banana bread, too!)

The caramels can sit on the counter or in the fridge for 30-45 minutes, until completely cooled.  Once cool to touch, cut into bite sized (or bigger!) pieces…

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… and enjoy!

I kept mine stored in the fridge, just because they weren’t quite set up enough without the cool refridgerator air.  And if they totally fail and don’t set up, do as Linda instructed and “pour it over ice cream!”

Go make some caramels!


posted by Chelsea

I recently wrote this post A Living Moving Breathing Place.  It was a peptalk with myself about having a clean house, or rather the lack of having one.  I’m going to have to star it so I can go back and re-read that peptalk.  I wrote it a few short days ago and I’ve already lost my frame of mind from writing it.  I swear to you right here and now that being a mom has got to be one of the craziest jobs on the ever-living-planet.

For example, I was under some sort of impression (a false one) that I cleaned all day today.  If you walked into my house right now you’d wonder what I actually did.  I’m actually wondering and I was here.  I was so busy that I haven’t even showered.  In fact, I had to go to town and rather than change the shirt I was wearing, one that had a big milk stain down the front, I just put a vest over the top.  And the really scary part?  That’s becoming a regular habit in my life.  I used to just put a hat on if I hadn’t showered.  Now I wear a hat AND a vest.  What will it be next?

Here’s the thing.  I try to clean, but every time I do, I come around the corner to find  a new mess.  It used to be that a gal (that gal being me) could have a day to just be “un-done”… you know, a day to not finish the un-done stuff.  BUT as a mom if you have an un-done day the entire thing unravels… and the longer you let the sock unravel the more yarn you have laying around.  Basically, if you don’t grab the unraveling by the yarn- and I mean quick- the entire sock will unravel.  And I don’t knit or crochet or know a single thing about sock making.  Or care to learn.

I recently cleaned out my car.  I felt really proud of myself.  As of right now you can’t tell that I ever clean my car.  How does that happen?  Speaking of my car, today when we were driving to school Katelyn was reaching over and touching Cooper who desperately needed a nap.  I asked Kate to please stop touching Cooper.  She said, “Umm.. no danks!”  (As in No, but thank you for asking!)  I said, “Kate, please stop touching Cooper.  AND when Mom asks you something you need to say ‘OK Mom’.”  Silence.  “Kate?” Silence.  “Katelyn, right now you need to say ‘OK Mom’.”  Katelyn still touching Cooper said, “Um…. No danks!”  While I appreciate her politeness, we clearly were not understanding eachother.

Here’s a visual of my girl with her polite little smile…

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Watch out… that bug she drew right there in the middle “it will bite your wittle toes-ies wight off!” (Says Kate.)

I pulled the sheets off of our bed this morning- threw them next to the washer to go in the next load.  Trouble is, I have this rule… I follow a few house rules and one of them is that the only place clean clothes can be unfolded is IN the dryer.  The instant clothes exit the dryer they MUST GET FOLDED.  Well, inside my dryer this morning were 2,436 tiny little clothes waiting patiently to be folded.  I ignored them.  I ignored the sheets.  Until I finally had no choice but to get those dirty sheets in the washer (and ultimately the dryer!) before bedtime arrived.  The thought of crawling into an unmade bed, particularly one without sheets… unspeakable.  So, I broke my rule.  There is a pile of tiny clean clothes outside the dryer.  As soon as the sheets are done I’m throwing the clothes right back in where they can continue to wait patiently.  My rule was only partially broken.

Why? you ask, didn’t you just fold the clothes?  I’ll tell you why.  I have a 4 month old baby who likes to be held and moved.  I did manage to get him laid down for two naps today (post car nap).  Shortly after, one of his big sisters with a high and shrill scream woke him up… twice.  I could go on about that, but just know I can do a lot of things one handed- like type this post- I cannot fold laundry with 16.5 pounds in my left arm.

All of that to say, I  just heard the dryer stop, which  means I have a bed to make and crawl into.  I guess I want to say that I’ve decided it’s the constantly unfinished and un-done that gets to this stay-at-home-mom.  This house is living, moving, breathing and UNDONE!  And the crazy part– I will start the whole thing over in the morning.  And to top it all off, I really miss The Dixie Chicks.  Tell me I’m not alone in this.

And now I’d like to conclude with a little irony…. my husband just called.  He’s finally in cell range and has a two hour ride back to his pickup.  It’s 8 o’clock at night and is “glad his horse can see so well” because baby it’s black outside.  I decided that on this chilly October night I really like my warm, albeit undone, house.  And cell phones.  I like those, too.  Goodnight.



Time Again

posted by Chelsea

Summer left.

Fall came.

Summer= iced coffee

Fall= tea time

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Which means… we’re back in business folks.  I love tea time.  My girls love tea time.

We found 3 small white tea cups at a yard sale this summer…

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as well as a new red tea pot…

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… so each girl has her own.

While fall also means there are leaves to rake, flower beds to clean, pumpkin-chocolate-chip bread to bake, wood to split & stack, cows to gather, bills to pay, pumpkins to carve, and winter to prepare for… all is well! Tea time is here!



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