Saturday, February 6, 2016

How To Rope

Roping's purty easy,
there's not a whole lot to it.
Since you asked me really nicely,
I'll show you how I do it.


First you gotta pick your rope -
This one here's a poly.
And don't do this in the house,
R'else you'll tick off Mommy.

I always like to build my coils....

I do this part REALFAST.

After that I swing my loop
and then I throw it last.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A Review: Norwex Laundry Soap

Norwex Ultra Power Plus Laundry Detergent

Within the past year I have become acquainted with the Norwex brand of cleaning products.  Have you heard of them?  If not, you should.  They are pretty awesome.  

My friend Stephanie is a Norwex independent sales consultant.  Recently, she ran a promotion and asked for guinea pigs willing to try Norwex products for free, as long as we agreed to write a review of the product.  She had me at free.  My favorite four letter F word (now that I'm out of college and a mother).  

Here's the long and the short of their laundry detergent: I love it.

She sent me a little, quart size plastic baggie of detergent.  There couldn't have been more than 1 cup of detergent in the baggie.  I made a mental note that I would write a review as soon as the detergent had been all used up.  Problem is, I'm still working on using that little bag.  I use one TEASPOON of detergent per load to get my clothes clean.  That's right, folks.  Teaspoon.  The littlest scoop in your kitchen utensils.  

I have used this powder on darks and could not detect any fading or residue left behind like I feel sometimes happens when using a powder.  Also, I feel like the detergent did a great job on Wesley's dirty work jeans.  I must admit, though, that I cheated on the super-sized load of work jeans and I put in two teaspoons of detergent.  Whew.  Glad I got that off my chest. 

Overall I have been nothing but pleased with this product and would highly recommend it to others.  To place an order, please look Steph up on Facebook:  Stephanie Huser: Norwex Independent Sales Consultant.  

Over the past few months I have ordered other products from her, including: a dusting mitt, window cleaning cloth and enviro cloth (for general cleaning).  

Company coming over in 30 minutes?  I grab my handy-dandy dusting mitt and do a quick once-over on all my bookshelves.  I'm not sure why I feel the need to have my furniture dusted when there is a sink full of dirty dishes in the kitchen, but there are my priorities.  Wood > food. 

The window cleaning cloth has restored my faith in the entire cleaning process.  All those conversations I normally have in my head as I grumble about stupid cleaning tasks like cleaning mirrors and windows are gone.  Why am I doing this if no one can tell the difference afterwards?  Which is worse - a clean window with streaks or a dirty window with rain spots?  The window cleaning cloth + water = magic.  No spots, no streaks.

The enviro cloth is a great general cleaning rag for counter tops and table tops I've found.  Yes, there are still times when I bust out paper towels and bleach after cutting chicken and some drops fall off the cutting board, but in between those times this is the cloth I reach for. 

There you have it, folks.  Norwex - good stuff. (I'm in the process of trademarking that phrase so don't y'all steal it.)  

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

I Swear There Were Cattle Involved

We moved cattle one day last week when there was a bitter cold wind blowing outside.
See?  Cattle.

But let's get to the important stuff.  My co-pilot. 

My apologies for the odd shadow across his forehead.
It's from his shade screen across the back window of the pickup. 

Poor Kenyon wasn't in the cold for a terribly long time, but it was enough to freeze his face into a smile of sorts.  Well, that's what we're going with.  It's amazing how similar a smile and a grimace from the cold can look at times.  It's all in perspective.  

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Little Country Wedding

It's a cold, nasty, blowing, miserable day outside.  What better way to spend the boys' nap time than to look through my friend's wedding photos from a super warm day this past September?  

Megan approached me about taking her wedding photos one day when our boys were playing this spring.  She sounded super casual about it; like I do this sort of thing all the time, I'm a super professional, and not due to give birth to a child just days after her wedding.  All of this could not have been further from the truth.  

Thank goodness Megan has a cousin who volunteered to be the primary photog and thank goodness my little sister Liza volunteered to take my place in the event that I was preoccupied with having a baby on her wedding day.  Little stuff like that we had to plan around. 

Below are just a few of the 1195 photos that I took for her.  I'm not even joking.  I drove home after her wedding that night absolutely exhausted.  I was having contractions like crazy, my feet were swollen as large as a draft horse's and I couldn't hardly keep my eyes open but it was oh so worth it.  I also laughed that day harder than I had in a long, long time and got to witness one of the biggest days of a family's new life together.  Good times. 

Click on these photos to enlarge.  It's worth it.  (Well, for most of them at least.  Keep in mind I am NOT a professional.  You get what you pay for - which is absolutely nothing.)

This sign was so neat.
When you walked into their ceremony, you saw the front of the sign....

...and as you walked out after they were married, this was written on the opposite side.

This is the bride's dad.
His smile is so contagious.  I can't help but smile when I look at this picture.

Most adorable flower girl ever
I may or may not have already betrothed this little cutie to Kenyon.
Pretty sure that's not legal, but whatever.  Details, details.

She is so stunning right now, I can't even imagine her beauty as she ages.
Her dad is going to have a big problem on his hands very soon.

This captures everything about their wedding.
Simple, elegant, focused, relaxed, perfect. 

The bride and groom wrote sweet messages to their kiddos,
tied the messages onto balloons and released them into the air.
  I cried like there was no tomorrow. 

I caught a butterfly! I caught a butterfly!

And they lived happily ever after.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

New Camera Lens

I saved up my reward points with a company and was able to receive a new 50mm lens for my camera for FREE (my favorite price).  I haven't had the chance to play with it much yet, save for one recent morning when I acted as my sons' own personal paparazzo.  

I definitely have some learning to do with this lens, especially in manual mode, but thus far it has been an enjoyable new toy.  Hopefully it will inspire me to take out my camera more often, and especially as John grows up and doesn't need to be held every minute of the day.  Focusing a camera while holding a baby is a near impossible task I have come to find out.

Lady, it is too early in the day for flash photography.

Let me eat my eggs in peace, woman.  And shut the blinds, please.

Today in microfashion:
Stormy Kromer cap courtesy of Auntie Lala; coat, shirt, pants courtesy of the hand-me-down box;
boots courtesy of the Salty Cow Mercantile.
Sidenote: God bless hand-me-downs.  This will probably be an entire post in an of itself one day.

Kenyon loves to ride in the feed wagon with his grandpa.
Wesley is hoping Kenyon enjoys it well enough to take it over someday so he won't have to.

State of the Family

In honor of last week's State of the Union address, I've decided to participate on a more familial level.  It will be approximately two hours, 59 minutes shorter; it will most certainly not be written by a professional speech writer; and I am wearing sweatpants instead of a suit.  However, much like the official State of the Union address, by the end of this address you will have heard much, learned little and absolutely no changes will take place in your course of action as a result.

John is adorable.  He does look incredibly similar to his brother at this age (which you would assume since they have the same parents) and has many of the same traits.  He is a very good-natured baby who smiles, giggles and coos incessantly....... unless he is placed in his carseat.  Kiddo hates being in his carseat and will scream the entire time he is placed in it.  Therefore, our trips to town are far and few between.  If you are ever offended by the trash bags piling up outside our back door or the containers overflowing with items for the recycle bins please know you are more than welcome to take them with you.  I; however, am going to wait until there is an overwhelming amount of each and make my scream-filled trip to town well worth the effort.

Kenyon amazes me every day.  For the past two years we watched as his physical traits altered and his physical movements changed drastically.  Now we witness as his mind develops and he starts to put pieces of the puzzle together.  My sister, Elizabeth, lives in a white house.  As we were driving (complete with screaming baby) one day through GW Co. we noticed a white house.  Kenyon pointed it out to me and asked, "Mom, why is Auntie Lala's house right there?"  Apparently every white house is now Auntie Lala's house.  Or when he arranged all his large lego blocks on the floor like a minefield and then stood above them on a stool.  "Mom, if I jump on top of these will I be mad, or scared?"  Hurt, kiddo, you will be hurt.

And then there are the parents.  Wes and I don't change much from day to day or year to year.  Efficiency is our key word.  We both try to do our best to make hay while the sun shines.  Sometimes that means building fence on a 'nice' 40 degree day, sometimes that means laundry and writing a blog post at 3 am because you're up anyway, and sometimes that means rocking a baby swing with your foot while completing snap tests on top of your washing machine that is full of muddy jeans while you have a jello salad setting up in the fridge and homemade biscuits cooking in the oven.  (Although I try not to pull days like that too often.  That whole 'efficient from 3 am till 10 pm' day about killed me.)

And there you have it, the state of our family.  Hope your's is in good shape as well.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Ranch Kids Are Resourceful

"Mama, we NEEEEED to go to Jake's tire shop.  I need to fix my tires."  

I had heard Kenyon plead with me all morning about how every tire on every single pickup, truck or trailer he owns was having tire problems.  Gee, I wonder where he could have gotten this idea?  Surely we don't have any tire problems, living out her in the FLINT hills.  (It's not the 'soft as a feather pillow' hills, folks.  

Between dealing with a teething, sickly baby and trying to complete some snap tests I did not have time to indulge Kenyon in this little playtime game. 

"Bud, Mama does not have the time to run you and your tires to Jake's.  If your tires need fixin', you're going to have to figure it out yourself."

I turned around moments later to find that my cell phone charger can also pull double duty as an air hose.  It's true, you learn something new every day. And yes, I am very proud that Kenyon figured out how to fix his tires all by himself.  Maybe Santa can bring him a tire machine next year.