Archive: November 2012

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Aunt Whitney’s Quiche

posted by ~ ann

This is a quick and DE-licious breakfast dish.  A good friend from my homeschool co-op shared this with me.  Slathering the potatoes with butter and precooking them,  gives a crispy, buttery crust!  Feel free to tweak the ingredients or add whatever sounds good to you:  chopped onion, chopped bell pepper, mushrooms. etc.




Press hash browns between paper towels to remove any excess moisture.  Pat hash browns into a lightly greased 8′ pie plate to form a crust; drizzle with melted butter.  Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven; turn down oven temperature to 350 degrees.  Combine ham or bacon and cheese (and any other goodies you like!); mix well and spoon into baked crust.  Whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper in medium bowl.  Pour over ham and cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees until quiche sets, 25 – 30 minutes.  Slice into wedges.

Serves: 8


posted by Chelsea

First, my disclaimer for the week: For your reading pleasure, I’m posting a series of short blurb posts.  In other words, I have a lot goin’ on (think raking leaves) and therefore I’m a woman of few (typed) words this week… but since I  always have a lot to say, I can’t help myself from getting a few important things out of my head and onto this here blog! And now, my blurb for the day….

One of the joys of  my life is seeing this cowboy of  mine…

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… not just love, but totally adore his Grandmothers.  I knew he was a catch when I met him 9 years ago, but when I found out how much he cares about the Grandma’s in his life, well then I was totally sold.  Watching these three together over the weekend was one my highlights of our time at the beach. Aren’t they cute?!

Kids & Cows

posted by Chelsea

We spent Thanksgiving on the coast with Buck’s extended family…


After we arrived and said our hello’s and played on the beach and started in on eating our way through the weekend, we got the girls tucked in bed for the first night.  As I was tucking in this little monkey…

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…she wanted to know the plan- the schedule of events- for the weekend.  I told her we’d have Thanksgiving the next day and that we’d all eat a big meal together in the afternoon.

Trying her best to understand the purpose of such a large gathering she asked, “So… we’re gonna move cows with all of these people before we eat dinner?!”   Then I informed her that occassionally we get together with other people just to hang out- no cows involved!

The Value of a Gift

posted by Donna

What is the value of the Christmas gifts you will give and receive in about a month? Let’s see:

an iPad2 costs about $368 and an iPod nano costs about $138

a new American Girl doll costs about $124

a fleece vest from Patagonia costs about $99

a new pair of K2 women’s superfree skis cost about $579.95

a best-selling novel from Amazon costs about $15

or perhaps you prefer a Kindle fire for about $199

What is the value of your life?  Here’s what Genesis 3:19 says: “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”  And Psalm 103:14 is along that same line: “for He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust.”

Unsettling, isn’t it? Hard to think of yourself in those terms? Impossible? God understands that about us. He knows our human pride convolutes what He created in the first place.  He knew before you and I were born. In fact, He realized it even back when Jesus was born.  Because the birth of Jesus kicked off the human campaign to restore our worth, our value.  What we couldn’t do for ourselves (even though we’d like to think we can – that’s our pride again), He’d already made provisions for.

Our value in God’s eyes is immeasurable.  It is the -us in Jes-us. He and me. He and you.

Through Jesus we have tremendous value. We were bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20, 7:23), God would tell you a very costly purchase. Because the birth of Jesus


became the life of Jesus, became the death of Jesus, became the resurrection of Jesus, and became the rebirth of every single soul who accepts His invaluable Christmas gift.  Our new life in Jesus.

Now this doesn’t have to stop us from giving gifts on December 25th. But why not consider attaching a name tag to increase the value of each gift that reads:

Thanks be to God for His indescribable Gift !


A Coastal Preview

posted by Chelsea

So much to say… but so much to do!  A quick recap…. we’ve been playing at the ocean for a few days….

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and now we are home!  There is laundry to do, clothes to put away, seashells that need a jar to live in… not to mention Christmas decor to be put on display, winter sheets to be put on beds, and we still have leaves to pick up!

While I’m short on blogging time this morning, I CAN tell you this.  We had a fabulous time at the ocean…

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It was a wave-chasing, good-food-eating, memory-making good time!



posted by Chelsea

Our youngest daughter, middle kid, big sister…

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… is our super sweet, super quirky child.  She says funny things.  She thinks funny thoughts. (Yes, that’s a black eye- she was “wunning super fast and bonk-ed heads with Wucy” last week.)

Last night I was fixing dinner, listening to the wind HOWL outside, and this is the conversation that unfolded:

Kate, “Mama, do storms have teeth?”
Mama, “Umm… no?  Storms aren’t alive.”
Kate, “But is this storm a mom or a dad?”
Mama, “Storms aren’t alive, they’re just weather.  They’re just wind and rain and snow– not alive.”
Kate, “But can they come in houses?”
Mama, “Nope, not our house.”
Kate, “But can they live under my bed?”
Mama, “Definately NOT.” (We don’t need one more scary possibility under the bed!)
Kate, “Oh.
Mama, “Buck, did you just hear that conversation?”
Buck, “Hey Kate- storms have big teeth- huge ones!”
Mama, “We just got it all worked out, you’re gonna confuse her!”
Buck, “She’s obviously already confused.”
Kate, “Mama can storms live under my bed?”

Wecome to my confusing and repetitive life :-)




Meet Me For Cream

posted by Chelsea

beth 006

When I started this mini-series I told you sometimes the posts would be long and sometimes they would be short.  This Monday morning is short BUT sweet!

Do you know the significance (without Googling!) of the unleavened bread used during Passover in the Old Testament?

First of all yeast or leaven was symbolic for sin.  Something that seems appropriate, right?  Well in addition to seeming appropriate, remember that the Old Testament was looking ahead, looking forward, to Jesus’ sacrifice.  When Jesus had the Passover meal with His disciples He broke what?  The unleavened bread! And said what?  “This is My body given for you.”  Get it?  The unleavened bread was symbolic for the sinless nature of Christ.

I’m going to learn more this week and share it with you, but I just love Old Testament symbolism!




posted by Chelsea

Ever since I was pregnant with our little-man-Cooper, and we knew we were having a boy, people starting saying things like, “You’ll see… boys are SO much different than girls.”   Now that he’s here people offer similar sentiments and also ask, “How is it having a BOY?”  And I usually respond like this, “He’s definately different than the girls, but it’s tough telling what’s just personality versus what’s “boy”.  The girls were very different (and still are!) too.”  It’s too early to really tell what is “boy” and what is “personality”, but there are a few standout things that make Cooper all his own.

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He’s big.   He’s 5 months old and weighs the same amount the girls did at a year- and I never thought they were “small”.  He wears 9-12 month clothes and some of his shirts are 18 months.  I have biceps for the first time in my life.

He’s determined and he wants to GO!  When he lays on the floor he kicks his legs and flings his arms with Everything. He. Has.  Along the same lines, he plays aggressively- grabs hard and holds on tight even if it makes his hands and arms shake.  In a similar fashion, he jumps until he catches air out of his seat in the Johnny-Jump-Up… and laughs and smiles the entire time.

He has NEVER “lost it” crying. When the girls were babies they would cry until they didn’t even know why they were crying.  As long as Cooper’s needs are met he is super content.  He gets fussy, but never cries uncontrollably.  I’m sure that’s a personality thing and not a fundamental difference between boys and girls.  Don’t try to convince me otherwise :-)

He ADORES his big sisters.  Nobody can make him laugh like Lucy does…

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I suppose that’s because no one else thinks to snort at him or dance for him or let him grab their curls and yank with all of his might. He lights up when she talks to him.  He cracks up when she performs for him.  She is SUCH a wonderful and adoring big sister.  I will never forget when we brought him home from the hospital and the girls were getting ready to spend a couple of nights with my parents.  Lucy hugged us goodbye, then she looked me right in the eye and said with the utmost sincerity, “Mom, I love that baby Cooper SO much!”  And then I cried. And I cried just now when I wrote it.  She sincerely loves everything about her baby brother.  And he seems to know it.

Back to Cooper.  He’s focused.

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He gets his eye on something and won’t stop until he has it… in his mouth!

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Cooper loves loud noise- the lawn mower, leaf blower, coffee grinder, blender, vacuum, blow dryer, etc.

This is a fun thing- he actually calms down when I sing to him (never mind what you just read about loud white noise!)  I used to rock and sing to the girls, but I didn’t ever think they “responded” to it.  If he’s having a hard time going to sleep or is a little fussy, he calms right down when I sing to him.  I love that.  I’ve been offering to sing Buck to sleep… I don’t know why but he doesn’t seem to have the same appreciation… at all?!

So those are a few little Cooper-isms thus far in his life.  We’re so crazy about him- can’t imagine life without him- and flat out adore all the things that make him, him!



A Work of Heart

posted by Laci

Ever feel imperfect? Incomplete? Frazzled? Stretched? The list could go on. I do. Daily. I’m not a mom, but I was thinking tonight about how very acutely I feel for all 14 of my “kids;” my students, and feel like I have a little glimpse of what motherhood might look like.


I feel sad for them when they are sad and upset. I ache for them when they fail. I try so hard to give them everything that they need. I get angry for them when they are mistreated and I hurt so badly for them when they choose the wrong path. I pray for them, cry for them, and would do just about anything for them.


I pour so much of myself into my job that it tends to be less of a job, and more like the beat of my heart. I try to say “it’s just a job,” but really, it’s not. I can’t not care. I can’t just “let it go”. I am daily in prayer for wisdom to respond well, teach well, and provide the best learning environment that I can.


Sometimes I fail. I hate failing. I hate screwing up. I don’t always say the right thing. I don’t always do the right thing. I know, I know, who does, right?! Yeah, well you’re obviously not as TYPE A as I am. Failure doesn’t sit well with me. Feeling like I’ve let the little people in my life down (or anybody, for that matter) is just not something that helps me sleep soundly at night.


The only thing that does help me sleep well at night is the knowledge that Jesus works in spite of me. He works for me. He works around me and before me. I’m learning to let go and let Him work, but for this TYPE A, it’s a daily lesson.


Even though I can make a mess of things on my own, I know that God can bring beauty from my mess and exchange my “spirit of heaviness” for a “garment of praise.” He is gracious and good; and while I must have a standard to hold myself to, He doesn’t expect me to be perfect, He wants me to live in the freedom that only HE can give. (Galatians 5:13-15) And that freedom doesn’t mean torturing myself with my imperfections.


I pinned a quote on my pinterest board:


The pursuit of excellence. this makes so much sense....


Ok, I’m learning. Here’s another one I pinned:


AMEN. When I'm fearful...I'm definitely lacking in my faith.


Yeah, this one too. So I guess what I’m getting at is that, the persistent pursuit of perfection is pointless. (Say that 5 times fast…I dare ya!) And really, when I’m trying to be perfect, it’s a result of a fear of failure. Jesus says to live in FREEDOM, and He means freedom from every stronghold. For me, failure is a huge issue, one that God is working on in my heart.


What’s He doing in yours?

A Healthy Humbling

posted by Chelsea

Not too long after I received my driver’s liscense, my Dad along with my best-bud’s Dad (God bless ’em), let us take their pickups and horse trailers just about anywhere we wanted to go.  We hauled our horses all over to rodeos and playdays and clinics and such.  I think our dads preferred us hanging out with eachother and our horses more than they liked the idea of us going to town or the lake and hanging out with boys… so they entrusted us with their keys and a few fairly spendy ponies.  I’ll say it again- God bless ’em.

At any rate, the two of us wanting to be efficient trailer back-er-uppers, practiced our little hearts out at backing up and turning around.  We both had a hefty dose of confidence about our backing skills and were probably even a little cocky about our abilities.  Naively, I brought that confidence right on into my marriage.  Little did I know, I married a man who can finagle a trailer into just about any little nook or cranny and can pass the true test of backing skills and can back in a straight line for a very long distance- all with nothing but his mirrors to guide him.

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I still have a habit of looking over my shoulder to stare (ineffectively) at the front of the gooseneck while I’m backing.  Just this last week Buck was suppossed to be directing me and I could NOT see him.  Finally, in utter irritation I (turned around) and stuck my head out the window and said, “I CANNOT see you!!” And he chuckled and said, “That’s because you’re not looking in your mirrors.”  And I looked in my mirror and he smiled and waved at me… and I said, “Oh.”  While I’m talking about him, the poor guy has never been able to “win” when it comes to directing me at backing up.  He’s gotten in trouble for helping too much— shouting which direction to turn the wheel or yelling “follow it follow it”.  I mean, puh-leeze!  I know what I’m doing!  He’s gotten in trouble for not saying enough..  A little help would be handy?!  Now I have to bite my tongue when he asks me, “Did you want some direction or are you on your own on this time?” Haha.

Bearing that in mind, this last week has been a little crazy– between feeding, weaning, shipping and hauling cows we’ve been a little busy.  On Saturday the kids and I headed out first thing to get the cows ready to be hauled to town.  Buck was off preparing a mobile chute to unload a semi-truck later in the day and he planned to meet us out at the corrals.   On our drive out (one we’d made approximately 32 times over the course of the week) about 20-ish miles to the cows, I took the final corner on the pavement before the road turns to gravel. I waved at the sheriff driving by when the pickup AND horse trailer started to slide.  The road was MUCH more slick than I realized.  These are the thoughts that ran (very quickly) through my head,  “This can’t be happening.  This is going to slow the day down so much it might never end.  I should have looked harder for my missing cell phone this morning.  I wonder where the closest tractor is (to pull me out of the ditch I was headed for).  Buck is going to be highly irritated.  Come to think of it, so is my Dad.  Neither edge looks good to slide off of… at all.  Shoot! I don’t know how to correct the trailer!  This can’t be happening to me.”  And then I said out loud, “Oh… Lord… please please please please please.”  I made a few ever so suddle and slow corrections and then right as the girls, oblivious to our predicament, asked me why I was saying, “please please to the Lord” we straightened out.  Praise the Lord.  And then I had a pep-talk with myself that sounded something like this, “You better slow your butt down!” And so I did.

We made it to the corrals and having gotten the cows in earlier in the week with just the help of the dogs…

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I was feeling confident about gathering them off the meadow and getting them into the corrals.  I had had such a good experience earlier in the week I wasn’t only feeling confident, I was down right prideful about the whole thing.  I even went so far as to daydream about the day Buck would tell people his dogs actually work better for me than they do him…  I’m such a dork.  Anyway,  the kids and I (girls on foot, Cooper in the front pack), along with the dogs headed out to the meadow.  I confidently sent the dogs “way ’round”.  They went way around.  In the meantime, I noticed a stiffled cow off by herself.  Knowing she probably wouldn’t join the herd, I decided we’d go back for her.  Anyway, the cows headed for the barn and the dogs were suddenly out of my sight… because they went way ’round again and headed the cows off just before they reached the gate to the barn.  In other words, the cows started running back towards me rather than away from me.  About this time, Kate didn’t want to walk anymore and was crying because she wanted to go see the Great Horned Owls (for the 64th time of the week) in the barn.  I threw her on my back and attempted to yell direction at the dogs.  Lets just say they kept going way ’round and pretty quickly the cows were going ‘round and ’round and ’round and ’round.  I put Kate down and sent the girls off to the side of the pasture so I could run into better position.  I was screaming like a lunatic at the dogs.  I’ve never had a good yelling voice and so if you can imagine the scene, it was completely pathetic.  Around this time it must have been “rush hour” because I think every rancher in the county drove by… or at least 3 of them.  If I didn’t see them slow down to watch the commotion, I could hear them slow down and I know they were wondering what in the world I was doing, the cows running every direction except toward the barn.  Eventually my voice was gone from my pathetic attempt at yelling and thankfully the cows straightened out and headed into the barnyard…

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I gathered up the kiddos and we walked back to get that stiffled cow in.  Kate (still) didn’t want to walk.  So, I set her…

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…on a mound of snow covered dirt…a good vantage point- and told her to stay put so she’d be able to see Lucy and me walking.  We walked and looked, walked and looked…

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The stiffled cow was no where in sight.  She must have gotten in with the herd when they were running in circles, I thought to myself. I told Lucy what I thought.  She agreed.  I made a mental note to tell Buck about the stiffled cow scenario.

Our friends Mike & Sara…

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…along with Grandma Janie and Papa Doug…

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..showed up to help us haul cows to winter ground.  Buck arrived and helped get everyone loaded and planned to stay to help load a semi that was on it’s way.  Upon hearing about a tough gate at the winter pasture, Sara, amongst other talents, is an experienced ranch wife and she wisely decided to jump in to help me out.  God bless her.  We chatted all the way to town and it did take both of us to open as well as close the said gate.  She helped keep my kiddos supplied with snacks on the drive.  We worked together all morning- loading and unloading cows, backing the pickup and trailer into a tough loading position, and otherwise taking care of business.  By the time we parted ways, I’ll be honest and tell you I was feeling like a true champion ranchwife…  To start, I managed to keep the pickup and trailer from sliding off the road.  Then I was able to get the cows in “by myself” with the dogs and three kids.  I backed into precarious loading situations and loaded cows.  I opened hard gates.  Not to mention, I nursed our baby and kept our kids fed.  (I did completely forget to feed them breakfast earlier in the week- so this was actually a noteable accomplishment.)

Feeling pretty satisfied with myself, I went home while Buck headed back out to go water some weaned calves and take care of some loose ends.  I was sitting down to a cup of tea when he called and said, “I never saw that stiffled cow today, did you?”  To which I replied, “Oh! I meant to tell you what happened.” And I proceeded to tell him how I assumed she got in with the cows when HIS dogs were chasing them around in circles.  “You’re kidding” he said.  “No- they were chasing those cows in circles- not listening to me AT ALL!”  “No” he said back to me, “you’re telling me she’s still out there?!”  I knew in my heart that he was right. I hadn’t seen her all day- she must have been hiding somewhere when Lucy and I looked for her.  My heart sunk.  I meant to tell him about her.  Turns out, I was not a true champion ranchwife.

He wasn’t far away and so he drove home to pick us up and we all loaded up for what would be the FOURTH 40 mile round trip of the day to pick up ONE stiffled cow.  I cried about my stupid mistake.  First I reminded Buck of all the other great things I accomplished.   Then I sulked.  I was pathetic.  “I’m not cut out for this”, I told him.  He laughed at me and said “Nah… lighten up, you’re good help. I couldn’t do this without you.”  I was even more pathetic… “Yes you could. I’m no help at all.”  He laughed more and poked me in the ribs across the pickup.  For my pride’s sake I hoped that darn cow wouldn’t be there. I hoped she had gotten in with a load of cows. I hoped we just happened to miss her. I hoped we were driving all that way in vain, just to save my pride.  BUT I had no such luck- she was by herself on the far side of the meadow, tucked behind some trees and such.  We got her in the corral.  She tried to eat Buck for lunch dinner, but fortunately her stiffled side made her slow and  she was unsuccessful.  We loaded her, drove her to the other cows and dropped her off.

By then we all (minus Cooper) were so hungry we considered gnawing on the dashboard.  Fortunately I had a gourmet steak dinner waiting for us at home.  Not really.  We stopped at the Chinese restaurant…for the second time this week.  I think they know us by name.  If not by name, by our order.   We drank sugary hot tea and ate hot food and went home where the kids crawled their tired little bodies into bed and I took a hot bath and Buck fell asleep on the couch…in his long johns.  Finally, I too crawled into bed where I decided it was a healthy humbling of a day.  Amen.


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