Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Fairytale (Somewhat)

Once there was a train engineer named Clara.
(a very serious Clara pose)

Clara spent her days working on the rails, fixing engines and such with her hardworking co-worker named Sadye.

Meet Sadye.

While she loved her job on the rails, the hours were long and sometimes she just needed a "break" in life so she decided to invest in a baby goat farm.

 She prided herself on making sure each of the goats were bottle fed and loved immensely.

However, while she loved those little goats, her heart yearned for the good 'ole days she used to spend long afternoon's riding her grandparent's horses.

So, she did what any wise train engineer would do; she bought, trained and raised thoroughbreds for the Kentucky Derby. This particular fellow however never seemed to come in any better than 5th for her.
(Chuck.E.Cheese could really be a little more lax with their horse racing games)'s where it gets interesting. This sweet story takes a turn most do not expect.

The townspeople didn't know. Her friends didn't know. Even her own family...

...while she covered as a train engineer who loved baby goats and horse racing, she was actually....

A princess!!!

Who had a particular affinity for cake balls.

(Clara is just literally like never going to love me again if she ever reads this post when she's older. Sorry sweeheart!)

She also had abnomally large feet for someone of her size and stature.

With so many secrets and quirks about her, she decided to come clean one afternoon to the townspeople, her friends and family.

To show them she was truly remorseful for lying to them for all these years, she told them she would wear only table napkins for an entire day.

While she did not enjoy that one bit, this did seem to appease her adversaries so she was able to continue with business as normal.
(She got really cold one day at the restaurant we were eating at so we asked her if she'd like us to wrap napkins around her although she was still a bit crabby about it...enter picture)

So while most would worry and fret over someone uncovering your secret identity...princess Clara slept just fine.

She sometimes sleeps in her crib still for naps (because she loves it and I don't figure it's worth an argument - I came into find this one day - her minnie and mickey holding hands waiting for her to wake up. I asked her about it after she got up and she took a biiiig sigh and said"Oh my gosh...I cwoudn't get dem to stay up there!"

So, as all good stories must come to an end I am happy to tell you what has happened to our princess. Last I heard, princess Clara sold her goats and a few racehorses and moved to a remote island where she spends her days making smores!! :)

(This girl can't get enough of her smore's lately and I can't keep her away from those little chocolate squares either lol!!!)


P.S. As most of you have probably guessed I decided to try a little more creative way to post some recent pictures for the grandparents.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Confessions of a non- Pioneer Woman

I had this moment mowing my lawn last week.

Mowing our lawn with a simple push mower sometimes feels like trying to paint a door with a toothpick...or something... lol - I'm bad at comparisons as you can see but I just really want you to know it's a biiiig ole' lawn and it's takes about 6 hours with our baby lawn mower and I feel like I'm just like all sweaty and have been working so hard and turn around to see like 1/127th of it is finished.


However, somehow every week I get it done and it always kindof feels like I've climbed my Everest for the weekend.

Before all of you feel sorry that my husband isn't mowing the lawn for me (haha)- I just thought I'd add that he is working much harder inside our house, always, whether it's repairing holes in the hardwood or putting up frames and doors, etc.

Okay, so my point in sharing that with you all is that while I was mowing I realized the true Pioneer women of old would probably just honestly walk up and punch me square in the nose if they heard me complaining about something like that.

(Yep-probably any of those fact they kindof look like they are ready too lol)
And it doesn't stop with ingredients pre-boxed still is exhausting to me and I sometimes find feeding fluffy every morning can be annoying. I have air conditioning and plumbing in my house and have never worried a prarie fire would destroy our life savings.

But, while I was mulling that over which was quickly becoming an upleasant thought - a lady in a girdle taking me out and all - :) and just the fact that we have so much more than they did 100 years ago, I realized there is a reason I wasn't born then....

..because I was born now.

How's that for deep thinking lol?

I'm serious though. I truly think the Lord knew I would have never made it back then so he just safely placed me here in 1983 and knew it was a much safer bet I could make more of an impact.

So, then the question I was faced with was, what does "working hard" look like now?

Well...that was the real stumper lol.

But I started chewing on that thought...

I believe right now, it is hard to keep myself from being bombarded by the world's message to women that we are never going to be beautiful enough, never going to be smart enough, should be able to work full time, raise 26 kids, make sure the house is clean, supper's on the table and that hubby is happy.

I believe right now, it is hard work to fight for actual time with our family. I only have one little one but for some reason we have to just really try and protect our evenings together between teaching piano, volunteering, "que busts" (Dave's work demands),etc.

I believe right now, it is hard work to remember what our priorities should be. When you look back in 20 years will you say wow...I'm so glad I worked as much as I did and now have all this money to sit on. Or, will you wish it would have been spent at Disneyland, or maybe a couple more trips to the zoo or a few extra Saturday picnic's at the park.

I don't know...just some food for thought. I know in some ways those are all the same battle but they can feel different.

Yes, we have lots more resources...
but with that came lots more demands.

Anyways...just something to chew on this Monday afternoon lol. :) It may have been a long shot comparing working to keep family time sacred and working to keep locusts from eating all your crops but I went there anyways...


I don't believe any of those ladies are around anymore to assure me differently so for now I'll go with it.:)

P.S. I'm glad I have a husband who "works hard" in this generation too!

P.S.S. And yes, I am not trying to steal titles here, I was just feeling uncreative this afternoon and Ree's blog title seemed to inspire my title as I believe I truly am the complete opposite of that wonder woman!! :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I am a bit scared of tornadoes (understatement of the century).

But, while I am totally scared out of my mind about them, they also fascinate me.

You probably have heard me say at one point or another "I really want to see one; just not be in one." (And to add to that - I don't want anyone else to be in the one I see either...just a nice little touchdown in a field somewhere where maybe a few trees go flying away, etc.)

I believe my very real fear developed precisely because of what occurred near the town I lived in during high school.

So, about 8 years ago, if any of you are from NE, you may remember the tornado that devastated the town of Hallam. My mom's friend Patricia was one of the people that witnessed first hand that mile-wide cyclone and she had a craaaaazy story to tell. Well, Patricia and her son Kendall were at home when it hit and they lived on an acreage about one mile south of Hallam in a beautiful new log cabin. They saw the tornado approaching and really felt as if the house may not be the best place to be because of the way their basement was set up (I believe it was more of a cellar and not very secure) so they had a decision to make...which vehicle to jump into. They made the split decision to jump into her son's truck which was a bit further down the lane with no time to change their mind. Patricia said that soon after they'd locked themselves into the truck, they literally saw the other vehicle being lifted away and thrown into a nearby lake. For what could only be described as a miracle, the vehicle they'd chosen remained steady and they both were completely unharmed...but unfortunately the house was destroyed. :(

So, this Sunday was a bit crazy with the whole tornado thing...There was a giant wall cloud that formed about 20 blocks south of us (right over some of our friend's houses...eek!). So super thankfully the funnel cloud never touched, hovering what they estimated about 200 ft above the ground but the sirens sent everyone in Olathe and Overland Park underground.

Now, naturally this was frightening for Ms.Clara but she was such a big girl and never cried one bit. We calmly tried to explain what was happening as we set up camp downstairs with sleeping bags and chairs ready for whatever the night brought on. Dave had the computer going and we were anxiously awaiting where this cloud was heading when in such a sweet small voice...

"Momma, I weally scared of tomatoes." 

It was one of the funniest/cutest things I've ever heard her say and I tried so much not to even crack a smile as she was so serious.

Somewhere in the rush and hastiness of the situation, she thought we said "Tomatoes" were outside looking to sweep us away. My poor little girl...she'll probably never be able to eat Taco's again without this fear imprinted in her mind.

However, I can only hope that me and Dave sufficiently explained to her now about the difference between "Tornado's & Tomatoes."

I bet memories from her 2nd bday party will never be the same!?!?

Some say "Tomatoe"/ "Tomato"

Our new phrase "Tomato"/ "Tornado"


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Money Makeovers

I know this is a sensitive topic but I've thought I should share it for a while now just in case, perhaps maybe one person, maybe at one time, might have possibly made a bad decision about finances. Just maybe one? :) Okay, and if you're like me...take that one and make it two and then times it by like a bajillion.

I used to buy a new outfit in college for pretty much every "event" I went to. Birthday party, celebrating a Monday party, celebrating a Wednesday party - you get my drift...there was alot of bad decisions & chaos happening in my life in 2004. 

Now, before I comment on that let me insert that pretty much the only place to buy outfits in Maryville, MO was Maurices (yeah people who recognize that store name)!:) However-I'm adding that to say they weren't crazy expensive clothes but $40 adds up quickly.

Enter 2005 - God brings me Dave and we get married and estimate I'd borrowed over $10,000 for clothes and accessories over the course of my college career and they all sat on a Sallie Mae "Independent Loans." Awesome sauce.

I wish I was exaggerating but I'm not.

Moooving on.

Haha. Just a little joke and tribute to Clara who can't get enough of that "Chic-Fil-A" cow lol.

See, I'm not kidding...that was today at chic-fil-a after she kept yelling saying "Mommmmyy pwease take pichure of me and da cow!!"

Okay, anyways now I really am off track! I just wanted you to know I had some serious shopping issues, and some serious debt issues. I seriously don't even know where 80% of those clothes are???

So, years go by and 2010 peaks around the corner and guess who we meet?

The most amazing couple on the planet and Clara's favorite babysitter ever...Paige!!

Okay, so some more time goes by and Paige and Stephen leave (totally one of the saddest days ever) but we stay in touch.

Then some more time goes on and Paige and Stephen stay at our house after a Dave Ramsey conference one weekend. We hung out all night and had an awesome time but a couple days later I receive this in the mail.

It included a super sweet letter from Paige kindly stating that she felt that "tug" on her heart to send it to us...the type you get when you know God wants you to do something but can't reason how doing it could ever be a good idea...especially when you're talking about other people's money. But she did despite all her misgivings about it.

The irony - we'd felt we should buy it a few months earlier and had, but hadn't yet cracked it open.

It's funny how at times God goes to such extravagent lengths to patiently remind you what you're supposed to be doing! 

So, this time...this time we "did the thing." We took the advice and started the process.

This is what I want you to know...

it's working.

1 credit card - gone.
2 credit cards - gone.
3 credit cards - gone.

Keep that process going to 5 and then let me tell you we just have a baby bit left on number 6. A baby bit.

Then we hit up the car, the SUV and have now started in on school debt (remember the clothes I mentioned earlier - yeah it felt overwhelming for a time).

I can write you today and honestly say for the first time ever...we feel like we're getting a handle on this thing. And it is AWESOME!!!

I am also writing it today because it has come at a cost. Clothes buying? Only the necessities. Groceries? Always with coupons. Going out money? Buy- one-get-one anyone?? You get the point! :)  

I just want everyone/anyone out there who ever argues about money, gets frustrated about it, yells at CC statements(as I used to do) :) or just plain feels "owned" by it, to know as overwhelming as debt can feel...there is sunshine. It may just happen one ray at a time but before you know it you're going to have a fully sunny day with no chance of showers unless you bring them on (AKA-pull out card). I think that was probaby a terrible analogy but I should be making supper so Im rushing a bit here..:)

As Beth More often "yells" (not in regard to this but I feel it's applicable)just DO IT! Just DO THE THING! lol Make your money right - debt snowball yourself out of the mess and then like throw a million parties because you deserve it!! (And please invite me because I still like to get "party" outfits from time to time but I just celebrate differently now!) :)

The best part of the whole story is this...

we still get to see Paige and Stephen regularly and just got back from an awesome weekend with them! See...couple lessons here...always obey if you think you've been prompted to do something and if you do it you never know how much it may change that other person's life!

Love you guys and thank you for letting our precious pumpkin pants turn you into "frogs" with her magic wand all weekend! :)

We are happy, close to becoming debt free campers and I know if we can do it...anyone else in the whole world can. WHOOPPEEE!!! :)

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