Range Round Up and Dorkity Mc Dork Dork

Last night, we took the kids to the Range Round up here in our fair city.  Well, in the city close to our fair city.  We had heard about this weeks ago and we were all excited to go see what it was all about.  Well, folks, we had a BLAST!  I have been to a rodeo or two in my time (shut up)….but this was different.  This was all local (within our state) family run ranches competing in real ranch activities.  Some included- roping, wild cow milking, bronco bucking and wild horse racing.  There was also a kids contest- Bucking Donkeys!

The first thing we got to do is walk around all these cool booths set up with western stuff.  I got a really really cool bracelet!  I will take a photo later- but it is WAY cool.  We then grabbed some grub (look at me all countrified)- and found our seats!  Then the fun started!

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The American flag- really beautiful.

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The horse peeing.  My kids favorite part.  Sorry.

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riding

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ready for action

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Gotcha

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bunch of kids ready to ride

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Yeehaw

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Well, here it is folks.

Dorkity Mc Dork Dork

with Ree, The Pioneer Woman.

Yes, I got to meet her.

Yes, I acted like a total dork.

Yes, she is really sweet and kind and fun.

And I now, will cry. 

I look like a turtle in that photo.

And I, I who was a nanny for a celebrity, was so nervous to go up to her I was shaking.

And I can't tell you how much fun I had doing it.  

I had a great night.

But I really REAALLYYYYY was a dork.

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Simple Things

My evening…

Spagandmeat

Dinner.  That I made with my daughter. Best meatballs ever.

Pumpkin candle

lit my very favorite candle scent…cannot wait for fall to roll in.

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And my kids newest obsession is on right now.  SO fun to watch with them.  Especially when they all start yellin' out prices.  

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Pure Joy, my friends.

Heart of the Home

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I am facing a new phase of life.  Shut up.  I know I am almost in my fourth decade.  But that is not what I am discussing.

So.

My children, starting tomorrow will all be in school.  ALL of them.  The three children whom were at one time attached to these wide child bearing hips of mine, tethered to these long apron strings, are beginning the process of growing up.  They have been all along, and I realize that.  But I think the fact that my kids are all in school now, has  made that fact hit home.

My mom went back to work when I was Jack's age.  I just thought about that the other day when I was thinking about how alike Jack and I seem to be. It hit me that when I went to 6th grade, I too entered a new school- and not only that, but my mom went back to work.  Huge changes.

I remember having to walk to school and walk home.  I dreaded that walk home.  I have always been a huge homebody- and I love being home.  Even perhaps when being at home was not always the most peaceful place to be.  I loved the idea of home.  The coziness, the warmth.  The sights and sounds.  I loved it.  Even if that home to me was not a reality but what I saw on TV, or what I wrote in spiral notebooks as stories.

Walking into a quiet, lonesome home made my heart hurt.  In those lonely days at home, I made a resolve that I would be at home when my kids were as a grown up.  

So, making a home when my kids were all underfoot, while difficult, was a joy.  It was so fun to think up things to go do with the kids and then come back home to a cozy, clean (relatively) and warm place to have a nap and a snack.  Then when Michael came home, I would love him up and together we would wade through the fun times of bath time and bed time.  Then in blanket sleepers tuck them in after stories and kisses and cuddles.  And then…. well.  I will go no further in my sweet memories of evenings with my husband.

Now, I have days to myself.  Then most nights we are home.  We have a new routine and a new style of afternoon routines- and evening bed times.  The one thing that has remained the same- is that I am creating the heart of our home. How that looks will be entirely different from the days of Thomas and Princesses. We are entered into nights of homework, playing outside and dinner with Dad.  So my goal, is to make the time we have together be the best time that the kids have.  I want our home to be the place they want to be, not because of a TV show or of a story, but because it is their reality.

Home.

Favorite Photo Friday!

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Our little cowgirl- it is Howdy Day at school for Katie Mei and Aloha Day for Jack.  One of them let us take a photo.  One did not.  I think I may leave you guessing on this one.

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Cute big brother and little sister…

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hey, wait a minute

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what happened to the cute brother and sister photos?

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reality.

Milestone

It has been 6 months since we relocated to Oklahoma.  

6 months.

Half a year.

Can that really be true?  In many ways it feels as though we just arrived.  And in many ways, it feels as though we have always lived here.  This milestone creeped up on me.  I realized that we have lived here 6 months the other day when talking to someone at Jack and Katie's school.  And it took me by surprise.

So, here we are.  As I am sitting on my bed blogging, I am listening to rain pounding our roof, watching lightening across the hay meadow and hearing the thunder crash loudly. A huge change from my view in LA.  A huge life change as well.

I have said it before that my soul seems at home here.  Increasingly it becomes more and more the truth as each day passes.  I have to say that this has not been the easiest thing for us.  To be honest and transparent- it has been one of the most painful times in my life.  When we left Los Angeles, my heart hurt.  I was excited about the move, especially for Michael- but my heart was broken.

To leave all that I knew was scary.  To leave my sisters, my parents, my in-laws and best friends, was truly excrutiating.  My heart grieved- at times I still get to the point of tears and aching.  I don't remember going through a time of such emptiness.  Loneliness.  A feeling that I had nothing.  I knew no one.  

I can distinctly remember our first two weeks here.  Michael was here for a few days, and then he flew off to Seattle for his first actual week of work.  And I was alone.  With 3 children, who truly wanted to be anywhere but here.  Much more so, the tears, the screams, the anger, all directed toward me- were overwhelming.  I could comfort them, but not much.  Their heartache caused my heart to ache more.

We didn't fit anywhere.  I remember times going into my shower after puting the kids to bed, and sobbing.  I remember my sisters calling, hiding my tears coursing down my cheeks.  I remember every message I got from cheerful friends made me miss home and made me wonder what did we do.  I became a person I didn't really like, nor know.

My relationship with my kids was tense and hard.  My relationship with Michael was so tense.  I loved loved loved watching him go through the experience of God's hand in his work life. He came home every day happier then I have ever seen him.  He called with joy and excitement in his voice.  And I cried.  I was so sad- and upset that he could be so happy, meeting new friends, doing what the Lord wants for his life….and I was at home, with 3 children, lonely.

It wasn't him.  It was the timing.  

Life got easier as the days went by.  Our home was unpacked.  Furniture made empty rooms cozy and homelike.  The scariness of late night storms, and tornado watches got more familiar.  I was able to find where we lived on the little map in the corner of the local channels to know when to bundle up the kids and head for safety. I knew where Super Target was.  I could find the Sonic, and a gas station.  Our mail finally started arriving.  Things were starting to fall into place.

I think that God really used this time in my life to draw me closer to Him.  It amazes me how in the points in my life when I forget to call upon Him- are the times He pulls me close to Him.  Teaches me to rely on Him and Him alone for my source of comfort and friendship. I am thankful, now, that I had the opportunity to go through this period of being alone.  I drew closer to Him and learned to depend on Him.

Michael kept praying with me- and promising me that if God brought us out here, He would prepare a place for our family to worship, provide friends, and schools for the kids where our family could thrive.  I have to be honest when I say I truly didn't believe it.  Each time we visited a new church, I didn't feel uplifted.  I felt deflated.  I missed our church in Ca. more then I could even fathom.  The first time we walked into our church here, was the first time I felt my heart lift a bit.  I felt at home.  At peace.

Since that time, I have learned that Michael was right.  God prepared a place for us here.  He has provided all that we need and more.  The most amazing thing to me is how God used this time as a time to grow me- and draw me closer to him.

I wonder what the next 6 months will bring.

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