Thursday, December 26, 2013

Deep Thoughts with Leslie Moon

I have enjoyed reading memories of Christmases gone by on fellow bloggers sites and tried to think of a fantastic memory that I could write about. Keeping up with the Joneses? Or the Barbs, Als or Chrises? Maybe. Nonetheless, I couldn't think of anything that would make a worthy post. Sure, I have good memories like when my brother and I got bikes, when dad would take us out back to chop down a cedar tree or the year my brother and I peeked and then meticulously retaped all the packages.  We always had wonderful Christmases but I just don't look back and think, wow, that year was a game changer!  So, instead, I have decided to share my thoughts over the last 24 hours. You're welcome. 

1. My family is weird, crazy and far from perfect but we love each other and we make it work!

2. Everyone needs an Aunt Betty. See, Aunt Betty is a crafting genius and has coined "craft time" as a family tradition. Yesterday, the kids (and some of the adults!) made these:
Excuse the crappy iphoneography, but they are key creatures! 

3. Great Scott, I need to go on a diet.

4. I'm so glad our family does Mexican food instead of the traditional dinner.  See I told you we are weird!

5. Oh crap, now I have to take the tree down and put it away.

6. I don't ever want to not shop for gifts for my kids again!  I had no idea how much I would miss watching them open their gifts.

7. In all of our blessings, abundance of food and warmth of our homes, I thought of those who didn't have all those things, the soldiers far from their families and those who have never considered the significance of Christmas and I felt sad. 

8. In addition to #7, I felt an extreme level of thankfulness wash over me. 

9. I missed my dad. I haven't seen him in over 11 years.  He lives all the way across the country. 

10. Wow, it came and went so quickly! 

Here they are with their "stockings" and a gift from Nana. 

Hope you all had a very Merry and blessed Christmas and enjoyed this installment of "Deep Thoughts."

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Fly the Coup

The other day I took some fruit and veggie scraps out to our chickens. They are kind of like pigs in that they will eat relatively anything.  

I dumped the scrap pan and latched the door to the laying house and went back inside.  Having been sick for a few days, I found my spot on the couch, curled up under a blanket and began taking in a Christmas movie. Hubs, being the wonderful man he is, came home to check on me (and find food) during lunch. I was surprised when he busted through the door and immediately noticed the look of concern on his face. Here was our conversation:

Him: Uh babe, did you know the chickens are all over the yard?
Me: NO!! I latched the door!

That was it. Short and sweet. I peeled my sick rear off the couch, put on some boots and headed outside to round up hens. Shockingly, the dogs didn't eat them. Once an animal gets a taste for chicken, you can't keep them out of the coup. I mean, that's what happened to me. Someone put a plate of hot wings in front of me and I have been a chicken eater since then!

We only found 3 of the 5 chickens.  Either there are a couple very happy, free birds out there or they made some wild animal a very nice dinner.  

Happiest Vacation on Earth??

The boy clearly thinks this is the happiest place on earth!  And yes, the girl is wearing a KC Royals shirt.  Ohh the abuse!
As previously stated, we decided as a family, in lieu of Christmas and birthday presents this year, we would just go on vacation to Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. The company I worked for offered great airline discounts for Southwest so I booked for round trip tickets. I was also able to purchase discount tickets to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure! Eat your heart out full price ticket vendors.  On top of my bargains, a close family friend allowed us to book her Timeshare resort for a fraction of the price of any other lodging options.  This was shaping up to be the BEST vacation ever! There was one catch with the airline; we had to fly standby. 

I did heavy research on flying standby before booking the tickets and talked to co-workers who had flown this way.  I heard all positive reviews!  We purposely picked the last week in September knowing that air traffic would be down due to school being back in session.  The only travelers we had to compete with were business flyers.  We followed all the rules.  We meticulously packed all liquids in 3oz containers, we arrived an hour early to go through security and we even followed the ridiculous business casual dress code only to find out the flight was completely full.  There had never, in the history of its opening, ever been a completely full flight (that I'm aware of anyway) out of Branson Regional airport. EVER.  Yet today, there was. The associate working the boarding counter informed us that she could get one of us to Dallas, but the rest would have to wait until the next day. Um, thanks, but no thanks.  The only reason for a full flight that I could think of is "One Hit Wonder Day."  There was no other explanation.

Hellbent on getting to Orlando and not ruining our vacation, we decided to drive.  We rushed home, grabbed the Garmin, some pillows and changed into appropriate road trip clothing and headed out.  We stopped in Troy, AL at 1 a.m. and paid $135 for 5 hours of sleep.  What a bargain.  Bright eyed and bushy tailed, we headed out at 6 a.m. only to find that we could have stayed five miles down the road at Americas Best Inn for $54.  Par for the course at this point!

After about 15 hours total in the car, the backseat looked like this:

The kids had all the essentials: Mt. Dew, sunglasses and Steak & Shake (you're welcome Steak & Shake for the free advertising). Three more hours went by and I started seeing signs on the interstate indicating that we were very close.  We arrived at the resort at 6 p.m. to a luxurious, clean, spacious room.  Thank goodness because if it had been a dump, I would have had a nervous breakdown right then and there! Since we had to drive we lost a day of theme park fun, but we took full advantage of four full days in a different park each day.  It was not the happiest place on earth 100% of the time.  There were tears, overpriced Minnie Mouse ears and rude tourists but all in all, I wouldn't trade our vacation for anything.  So, here it is in pictures, in no particular order:

Here we are being all touristy.  What you don't see is the lady I cropped out that had red on from head to toe.  She looked like a giant tomato. 
First ride: the trolley!  Oh the excitement on the boy's face.

Ralph & Vanellope
Star Trek 3D.  Girl child comes in peace.
We found the Delorean! 
Buzz Saw falls at Islands of Adventure.  Girl child loved this ride but was terrified of the Monorail at Magic Kingdom??
Eat my shorts children!
We came, we saw Mickey, we conquered, we went home. 

Best.vacation.ever!  There was one thing this vacation was not, and that was relaxing.  If you are looking for relaxation, Disney is NOT the place for you!  Much to my dismay, you also will not find a dollar menu.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Hail Storm

First of all, I must thank my bloggy friend, Al Penwasser for giving me a shout out on his blog.  He is one of my favorite bloggers and Penwasser Place was the first blog I added back to my reading list when I re-emerged into the blogger community.  For my new followers and visitors, welcome!  Look around and stay as long as you like.  Perhaps even sign up to follow me as I write about my new life as a stay at home mom and assistant to my real estate tycoon (okay, that's a slight exaggeration) husband, life in an EXTREMELY rural area and whatever else might cross my mind. Now, back to the regularly scheduled programming...

I saw something terribly horrifying yesterday while me and the fam where out and about looking for some insulated overalls for boy child.

The day started out rather well. Hubs had closed on a large commercial deal and we were out of the house after 7 straight snow days.

It was a little drizzly and a lot cold outside so not prime weather conditions but you take the good with the bad. We had to drop Granny off for a DR appointment that would last three hours so we had some time to kill. 

First, we had a fine dining experience at Taco Bell. Then, we perused the game selection at GameStop. Third, we picked up photo cards (which I have yet to get in the mail) from Wally World. All the while in search of insulated overalls.  Our search landed us at a local farm supply store that carries all the nicest brands in country apparel. So, I decided to try on some jeans. Bear with me, we are almost to the scary part. 

I went into the dressing room with two pair of jeans with high hopes. As I was shimmying the first pair up I caught a glimpse of someone else's legs in the dressing room. These legs hadn't seen squats or lunges in quite some time and were suffering from serious hail damage. I wasn't sure how someone snuck in the dressing room with me as I had locked the door behind me. That's when I locked eyes with the mystery woman - ME! Those were MY legs!!! I had to look again just to make sure. People always told me that once I hit thirty, it was all downhill. I didn't interpret that to mean that I would have an insta case of cellulite! I was horrified at what that full length mirror revealed. At least at home none of the mirrors go below my waist.  Ignorance truly is bliss sometimes.
Perhaps this is how said hail damage happened to my legs??
I did the only reasonable thing to do. I went straight home and did a series of chair squats, sumo squats, lunges, doggie leg lifts, donkey kicks, hip raises and planks.  Today, I have had a hard time walking and standing after a long sit down. Some might say I overdid it, but I say pain equals progress!!  If regular ole exercise doesn't do the trick, I'm sure this will do the trick:

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Bah Humbug

For whatever reason, this holiday season (unintentional rhyme; poet and didn't know it? oh never mind.) has seemed more rushed than ever.  Guess how many Christmas gifts hubs and I have purchased???

Nope, the answer isn't zero this time; its two! We bought the boy child some PJ pants and the girl child a PJ set.  They are going to be stoked; it's what every kids longs to see under the Christmas tree.  Hey, at least it's not socks and underwear!  We took the kids to Disney World, which as it turns out, isn't the happiest place on earth at all times but I will post on that later. The trip was our big family Christmas gift and the kids agreed that they would be fine with just getting stocking stuffers from us.  So, since I'm not shopping for my kids, I haven't really been able to get into the buying spirit.  What's worse is, the weatherman is predicting our next winter storm to arrive on December 21 or 22.  Fabulous.  This can only mean one thing: the Christmas present shopping extravaganza marathon must take place THIS WEEKEND!  With the impending ice storm of doom being forecasted, I'm just going to go ahead and assume every other Tom, Dick and Harry will also be making a mad Christmas gift buying dash this weekend too.
Again, fabulous. On the bright side, we did decide to draw names for hub's side of the family which means I only have to buy one adult gift since my family doesn't really exchange adult gifts.  Score!  All this bah humbug attitude against buying gifts doesn't mean I'm not excited about Christmas.  It is my favorite holiday.  I'm just sour over the commercialism of it all (Halloween costumes and Christmas trees on the same aisle??), or maybe its the hundreds of spam emails clogging up my inbox or the fact that I can't convince my husband to hang lights up on the house.  Okay, enough negativity!  Here's the things I LOVE about Christmas (yeah, yeah, I know...another list!):
1.  Celebrating the birth of Jesus - the only reason for the season.  And, the freedom to do so.
2.  Family
3.  Food!
4.  Christmas vacation - the movie and the time the kids get off school!
5.  Christmas music and programs
6.  The way people come together to help one another - Angel Tree, food baskets, etc
7.  Silver Dollar City.  Some people call this the Disney World of the Midwest.  They are lying BUT at Christmas time, its beautiful.  Lights everywhere, Christmas plays, a giant Christmas tree (that rivals times square) with lights set to the tune of all the best Christmas carols and the light parade.  It's a tradition of ours to go every year at this time.  It helps that we get free tickets from our family that work there.
8.  Hot chocolate, cider and baking
9.  Christmas candy
10. Watching the faces of the children in our family light up when opening their gifts.  
See, I'm not a complete Grinch!!  Here's to wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!   

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Snow Days of Winter

Much like the dog days of summer, they are the long, winter days where the weather is unbearable enough to keep you indoors for much of the day.  Did I mention winter hasn't even officially began?  We are on snow day #5 here and the kids are starting to get restless.  However, we have had quite a lot of fun sledding until our clothes were soaked through, making snow ice cream, having snowball fights and riding the four wheeler.  We have also baked brownies, cupcakes and fudge and make pumpkin cheesecake and frozen peanut butter pie!  The seams of my pants are begging me to stop!  I was able to snap some great photos of my kids in a rare, deep, Arkansas snow.  This is the deepest snow we have had since either of them was born.  About 8 inches!

I'm tossing around the idea of opening my own studio after the first of the year.  I have always loved photography and can remember torturing my brother who is 9 years younger than me by setting up make shift backdrops and taking picture of him with my Minnie Mouse 35mm camera! I have a lot to learn still and some equipment to buy.  Anyway, that's another post.

Today is just over a month of my being a stay-at-home mom and I can't believe how fast time is going.  I had this delusion that I would have an infinite amount of time on my hands after quitting my full time job to complete the hundreds of pinned Pinterest projects I have on my boards; complete the small, unfinished projects around the house and grow my blog into such an internet sensation (not the Miley Cyrus type internet sensation; I'm not that desperate for publicity) that people wouldn't be able to function without reading my next post. Guess how many Pinterest projects I have done.

That's right folks, ZERO! As for my blog, it goes neglected most times even though I love it so! I catch myself longing to write a post while I'm loading the dishwasher or making my grocery list.  And for the blogs I love to read, well I think about them too and how I would love to leave my two cents worth of comments because I know how much I love when people leave their two cents on my blog!  Oh well, enough whining already.  I mean, I can't complain about more quality time with my children, the ability to have dinner ready when my sugar daddy waltzes through the door after a long day's work and the comfort in knowing that my future has a lot of options.  So, I will continue to work on time management and hang onto the hope that Skip the Sugar will become an internet sensation!!  Well, I'm off to pin more projects...

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Turkey Coma

As I begin to recover from the turkey coma, I reflect on all that I have to be thankful for. Obviously, I am thankful for my friends and family, food to eat and a place to live. But there are a lot of things that I take for granted and I am truly grateful for all my blessings. And not the "God is great, God is good, let us thank him for this food" kind of grateful either!! So here goes another one of my lists...

1. Freedom. I might complain about the government and the state of the union but there is no other place that I can openly profess my faith, read my Bible, go to the church and send my kids to free public school than right here in the US. And I can complain because I vote! 

2. Dirty underwear and socks on the floor, band aids that once covered the slightest scrape now stuck to the floor, stickers stuck to my shirts only to be washed and end up on every single piece of laundry in the machine (I mean really, how does a Princess sticker the size of a quarter cover an entire load of laundry when accidentally tossed in with the wash??), hall lights being left on, half full cups of wasted milk, the toilet unflushed after a certain boy uses it (no, not the hubs, he actually knows how to use that little handle on the throne!) and last but not least the arguing over petty things like who got jelly on the counter. For one day in the too soon future I will only wish I could scrape a used bandaid that once soothed an overly dramatic 6 year old's boo boo off the floor.

3. Trees. I like to breathe.

4. Coffee. Without it, my mornings would be very different! 

5. The farm. It has all the natural resources we need; wood for the stove, soil for our garden, streams and ponds for the cattle, plenty of acres to ride our four wheelers and privacy from the rest of the world. 

6. My health. I don't eat as healthy as I should nor do I exercise regularly so obviously I take this for granted. I know it offers a freedom I might not have when I get to a certain age. I really should try harder to maintain it. 

7. Last but certainly not least: my faith. Without it I would be like a lost sheep in this life. The most important thing I am thankful for is a savior who was willing to go to the cross and pay my debt. I'm so unworthy! 

So there you have it. I'm sure I'm leaving something out. There I go taking something for granted again! Hope you all had a very blessed Thanksgiving yesterday. I know I did.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Table What!?!

Every year hubs and I begin our Christmas shopping on Black Friday.  We normally get 75% of our gifts bought in one day! So I did my normal combing through the ads and I found this interesting table item....

Table panties?? This brings a whole new meaning to tableware! I have heard of table salt, table runners and table center pieces but table panties are a new discovery for me! These probably won't make my list this year, sadly, but they are sure to make someone a great gift!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Small Town Tragedy

I don't watch the news. Call me disconnected, out of touch, whatever but it's always negative and I don't like negativity. I know what's going on in this world because it has been foretold in the best selling book of all time. However, I have been glued to the local news today trying to glean any facts that would explain the events that took place last night in our small, very rural map dot.  Our community is in a complete state of shock after learning that one local man is believed to have shot and killed another. This might be a common news story in the big city but in a place where their are more dirt roads than paved ones and everyone knows your name, this comes as quite a shock. I can't get it out if my head. My heart is broken for both families involved. What's worse is the man that is believed to have pulled the trigger was in my class in school and was one of my very best guy friends growing up. The boy I remember is nothing like the man portrayed in the mugshot and news coverage.

I picture him as a 9 year old boy who has just rode the middle bar of his bike down a very rough hill causing some pain where the sun don't shine. He had to wear special supportive underwear and he was so proud of them he pulled his pants down right there in my living room to show my mother and I!

We used to live in the same neighborhood and would dress up and trick or treat together.  

He was my escort at our 6th grade graduation. 

He's also the same guy who had a single cab Nissan pick up when we were teenagers that we crammed 7 people in and got stuck down by the lake. We didn't have cell phones so we all hoofed it back to civilization to call for a tow.

Most Friday nights he and I, along with a few other friends would head to town and cruise. 

That boy in all the pictures of my birthday parties, prom, homecoming, graduation's unbelievable that it's the same man on the news. 

Of course my heart is heavy for the victim's family too but I didn't know him personally. However, I do know his family and I can't begin to fathom the pain they are experiencing.  The whole thing is such a complete and utter tragedy.  

Sorry for the doom and gloom but I had to write about it or I was going to explode.  Now I do the best thing I know to do and pray for all affected. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Meltdown Heard Round the World

Okay so maybe it was just heard round the shoe store. It just felt like it was heard round the world! 

Does this face look like it belongs to someone who could pitch a fit like that?? Don't let her cuteness fool you.  This little lady had an epic meltdown in Shoe Carnival just the other day that made me want to point at her and say "someone needs to control their child!" Then, turn and run! 

It all started at the end of a tiresome, day long hunt for jeans and work boots for the hubs. Hubs wanted to swing in and see what they had real quick so I took sass master to the back to let her try on shoes. Lo and behold she fell in love with a pair of Steve Maddens. I have to agree with her here, they were super cute. However, they just weren't something she needed so hubs told her to take them off and put them back. Queue tears. Again she is asked to put them back on the shelf.  Queue begging, tears and thick laying of guilt trip AKA we don't love her and never buy her anything! By this time people are staring. Hubs tries to grab her and pull her close to talk to her and that's when it happens. She started running around the shelves crying and screaming so that we can't catch her!!!  At this point the Moon family is quite the spectacle. I just want to bend her over my knee and wear out her rear end then and there which is probably why my non reaction was a good thing.  Like circling vultures the other customers are now tuned completely in just waiting for us to do something. To be honest I was so shocked at her behavior that I couldn't do anything but stare at her in complete disgust and humiliation. She was acting like a spoiled rotten little brat! 

Finally, after what seemed like a lifetime, her daddy got ahold of her. He calmly but sternly took her hands in his, placed his forehead on hers and told her she would absolutely sit down, dry it up and put the boots back otherwise when we got home she was in MAJOR trouble. She did as she was told. 

Once safely in the car, out of earshot of any bystander, she got the lecture of a lifetime about being grateful for the things she has because there are children that only dream of having one pair of shoes much less multiple pairs. She didn't get a spanking though she needed one. I think both of us were so appalled at this child, that at the time didn't even look like our spawn, we couldn't react! So next time some kid is having a meltdown of Mt Vesuvius proportion I WILL NOT judge the parent. Lesson learned. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Confessions of a Cheapskate

When I was in college I would spend my last dime on something that I wanted. I had no money skills really. If it was shiny and caught my eye, I would stagger checks and hope they didn't bounce to buy it! Then I met my husband, Tightwad Extraordinare. He worked a minimum wage job at the time and had money in savings..what!? He would go hungry rather than shell out $3 for lunch! We married and he converted me to his cheap ways. Well, most of his ways; this girl does not go hungry! Fast forward 11 years and we still maintain our frugal ways. 

I am always looking for ways to save even more money so I watched a season of Extereme Cheapskates, the TLC series, on Netflix. I'm not that extreme! My kids will never have to worry about eating dumpster dive food or wiping with cloth toilet paper but I did pick up a few good ideas anyway. Here are some of the  thrifty things I do:

1. I comp shop and use coupons whenever I can. I try to get at least one thing free or almost free each time I go to the store. I only do this for things my family will use. I don't hoard anchovies and pickled eggs just because I can get them for free!

2. We only have Netflix and rabbit ears. Hey, at least the kids don't have to stand outside in the snow and turn the antenna. 

3. I reuse my freezer bags and foil as long as they are easily cleaned. 

4. We buy clothes on the cheap from clearance racks doubled with % off coupons and I am a yard sale junkie!! 

5. I make my own laundry soap. It smells great, works better than store bought and it lasts nearly a whole year even with having two kids and doing daily loads of laundry. 

6. I sign up for free stuff. Companies are just dying to send you free stuff in hopes that you will run right out and purchase whatever sample it is they send. And, they always include coupons in the sample pack. Double score!!

7. I let my dishes air dry instead of using the heated dry on the dishwasher and we heat with wood as our main source of heat. I also unplug anything easily accessible to avoid using unnecessary electricity. 

8. I do surveys for money. Sure it takes awhile to score enough points to earn money or a gift certificate but every bit counts. 

9. We grow a garden and I can and freeze the food we get from it. It saves money, is healthier and tastes better. Wins all around! 

10. I sell stuff at consignment stores. When my kids outgrow those clothes mentioned on #4 I take them to the consignment shop and make my money back!

That's a pretty healthy list so I will stop at 10. Cutting corners may not be up everyone's alley but it has allowed us to fulfill some of our hopes and dreams and we will continue to be cheap, frugal, tight, thrifty, whatever you want to call it! 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Secret Bunco Society

When I was a kid my best friend's mother was in a Bunco group.  We were strictly forbade from attending said bunco group!  I remember wondering for one what bunco even was and for two what in the world these women talked about or did that was unfit for the presence of young teens. Especially since this family was and still is very faithful, Godly people. My mind ran wild at the possibilities. Did they tell their deepest darkest secrets? Did they sit around and drink and smoke and tell dirty jokes?  Maybe they went skinny dipping in the nearby river. I never thought I would figure this mystery out but then it happened. A year ago I joined a bunco group at church.

I call it fight club because there are only two rules: no husbands and no kids!  Bunco is a real simple game. You roll dice and try to get sixes.  When someone rolls three sixes at the same time the fight is on to snatch up the die. I'm talking flying across the table, chairs falling over, drinks getting spilled, fingernail induced injuries type fighting to snatch up a die!! It's serious business! There is tons of delectable, fattening food; door prizes; a sinful dessert and most important of all the sanity inducing, stress relieving fellowship between 12 outstanding women.  I have finally figured this whole secret bunco society thing out and tonight it was my turn to herd my husband and kids out the door and host these women! Fun was had, food was devoured, all tables survived and no blood was drawn. We left after this all female party feeling recharged and refreshed.  Hubs and kids were thrilled that there was some leftover banana pudding!! Now my kids are left to wonder what in the heck it is that makes monthly bunco such a huge deal.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

So, I Quit my Corporate Job...

This is my first week as a homemaker, co-owner of Capstone 27 Realty and hopeful substitute teacher.  Most people are very supportive, but there's a few that think I've gone mad. After all, who in their right mind would walk away from a job they have dedicated ten years to, a job that pays well and has stellar benefits? Not many, but I chose to. Here's why:

1. Those books and magazines, they say you can have the best of both worlds. They lie. Who is "they" anyway? When you have a 30 minute commute (one way) and your work day is 9.5 hours long, including lunch, your career defines your entire life.  I just watched several people who had devoted 20+ years to this company retire. When I asked them what they would do, they didn't know because up until that point their entire life revolved around their career which is fine for some, but I want to leave a different legacy rather than: she was a great pricing analyst.

2.  To elaborate on #1, I'm not getting any younger and neither are the kids God so graciously blessed me with.  The babysitter, who we call Mimi still to this day raised them until they started school.  Thank God for her because she spared my sanity knowing she loved my kids as I do.

3. The hubs needs help. Not the kind that I would need a PhD and a couch for, but that of an office manager. Our business is growing and the one man show that he has been for the last few years just isn't cutting it anymore which is a great problem to have!!

Basically, I want to be the wife and mother that God intended for me to be; not this stressed out, worn out, impatient, crazy person I am when I have had a rough day.   And, I want our house to look like it's actually inhabited by humans, not animals!  So, here I go on my new journey...

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The DIY Project

To start off, I must first say that the hubs and I are not do it yourselfers.  We once tried to put one of the metal strip thingy majigs that covers the seam between the carpet and tile down ourselves and three trips to Home Depot later, we were ready to sign up for marriage counseling. See, I'm the type of person who is a perfectionist to the point of annoying.  My other half, on the other hand, is the type that wants to get the project done ASAP by whatever means is necessary so he doesn't miss the Hog game!  However, considering we wil be one income less just a week from now, we decided we would venture down DIY lane again and save some money.  When hubs broke out the chain saw to make a simple cut in some lumber, I feared not only would marriage counseling be in our future, but we may not make it out alive this time. After some compelling arguments from yours truly about why a skill saw was more suited for the job, he borrowed one and off we went again.  We hit some snags and we did a few things the hard way, but not only did we make it out unscathed, we are still married...happily! And we have this little jewel:

Yep we built a safe yard for our laying hens and their rooster, Mr. Cogburn. This may not seem like a huge project but this is the first successful husband/wife DIY project in our 11 years of marriage. I couldn't be prouder. Maybe next time we will go really big and build a birdhouse together! 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Miss List

My chapter as a Pricing Analyst is coming to an end on November 1. You will hear more about that later. There will be things I will miss about Corporate America, like the friends I have made and the bi-monthly paycheck, but that's not what this post is about. Here are the things I can't wait to be away from:

1. The noon time microwave wars...everyone standing in line patiently waiting to heat up their gourmet, frozen foodish creation in a plastic tray!

2. Meetings. Corporate meetings, what a time suck. Need I say more?

3. My 30 minute, one way, commute every morning of my life.

4. The bathroom. Sure, it gets cleaned like every hour, but no amount of disinfectant spray can cover up the aroma that hangs in the air in there. Not to mention, the women here are apparently scared to death of catching something from the toilets and their squatting accuracy is that of a male dog lifting his leg.

5. The clicking of an office full of keyboards. That noise day in and day out is enough to make a sane person crazy.

6. The lunch thief. You would think an office full of adults would know better than to steal someone else's food, but apparently there's a few bad apples on every tree.

7. Cubicle life. There is only so much beige and dust a person can handle in one lifetime.

8. And last but not least...drumroll please...I will not miss spending 10.5 hours a day away from my perfectly imperfect family!!

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Most people don't look forward to, or even plan on cutting wood on the weekend.  But, we aren't most people! Hubs and I actually enjoy cutting wood for our stove. Weird, I know. There's just something about being on the middle of the farm, smelling the mixture of chainsaw gas and cow manure that really makes me feel as one with nature. No, the fumes haven't gone to my head!  Cutting and chopping wood and tossing it in the back of the truck is therapeutic.
What better way to relieve the weeks frustrations than chopping stuff up and then setting it on fire later??  I'm kind of a wimp so the hubs does the "man work" and I do the loading! See my outstanding loading technique below:

Then again, maybe the stress relief isn't the only reason I like to cut wood. I mean who can resist a man in overalls wielding a chainsaw? 

Can't forget our faithful sidekicks:

The life of a farm dog is so rough! And all that work was with it to be able to relax by the first fire of the season. 

A Saturday well spent. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Witchin in the Kitchen

I got to craving potato salad so I logged on to Pinterest (the only place you can find a recipe, the workout needed to burn off said recipe and a new outfit to reward yourself for working out all in one spot!) to find the perfect recipe. There were half a million recipes but the perfect one was nowhere to be found. So, I decided to wing it!! Last time I "winged" something, the dog wouldn't even eat it. 

You know it's bad when even the dog turns his nose up! However, this time my inner chefness came out and my potato salad was delish so here's the recipe: 

8 medium potatoes, peeled, cube and boiled
8 oz sour cream
1 cup mayo (give or take)
8 oz can olives, sliced
Small packet of bacon bits (NOT The nasty imitation stuff!)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Garlic powder, onion powder, celery salt and pepper all to taste

Drain potatoes and allow to cool. Mix all ingredients together and try not to eat it all in one setting!!  

Sorry, no picture of this yummy creation because it is in mah belly!

Disclaimer: I truly threw this together on my own so if there is another recipe like this published, I have unintentionally copied you! 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Goodbye 20 Something

Today is the day I lay my 20's to rest. Most people take turning thirty hard, but I'm okay with it even though I didn't meet my goal of being in the best shape of my life by my 30th birthday!  I'm not mourning the loss of my 20's but looking forward to what my 30's bring. Here are some of the more notable moments of my 20's:

1. I had two perfectly beautiful children. 
They get their incredible good looks from me!

2. I worked for the same company the entire decade: FedEx. That's loyalty people! 

3.  Stayed married and in love with the same incredible man. 
He even cooks for me and he can multitask!  Yep, I found a man that can multitask!! Go me.

4. Opened a real estate business with the hubs...Capstone 27 Realty. 

5. I made some of the most amazing friendships a person could ask for. I'm talking friendships that last a lifetime regardless of the occasional hormone infused rant! 

6. Made too many memories to count, cried more tears than I care to remember, worried myself sick about decisions that didn't make a hill of beans, grew in my faith by leaps and bounds, embarrassed myself more times than I want to admit, laughed to the point of tears (which I'm sure contributed to my laugh lines!) and learned more about myself than I ever imagined. 

My 20's weren't spent the way most people spend their wild and young years but I'm proud of the last 10 years and hopeful for the next!!!