Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thursday Thirteen

1. I took a quick trip to Washington DC last week for work.  When I say quick, I mean really quick... flew out early Tuesday morning and came back Wednesday night.  I've never been to DC before so it was pretty neat, but since it was such a quick trip and I was there for work, I wasn't able to see near as much as I wanted to.  I did get to spend a couple of hours on Tuesday walking around there.  The Capitol was an awesome sight to see.

2. The United States Botanical Garden is right across the street from the Capitol so I ducked in there for a little bit and snapped this picture for Monkey, I know she would've loved the bright colors!

3. I was also very fortunate that spring came early, because the cherry blossoms were in full bloom!  These trees were all over DC and it was gorgeous.

4. It's nice seeing things like this... where a concealed weapons permit holder stops a shooting rampage.  Too bad major media doesn't report on it. 

5.  It's been many years since I was in school, and we don't have any school-aged children in our house, yet I still call weeknights "school nights"... anyone else do this?

6. The weather was so nice last weekend, we were able to get a start on Monkey's birthday present... she's beyond excited to have her own clubhouse!

7. I've decided I'm going to cut back on the 5k's I do this year... we are just so busy all the time, I need all the free time I can get.  I did however, run my first race of the year on St. Patrick's Day.  In all fairness, it was only 1.8 miles, but we did have a lot of fun!

8. Our Oklahoma friends, Scott and Annie (and little baby Cort!) came up for a visit last week.  We were sad to see them leave, but enjoyed the time they were here.  Monkey is obsessed with Cort and did not want them to go home. 

9. I mean really, who wouldn't be in love with this little handsome man!

10. Speaking of obsessions... I've been addicted to Cuties recently...  I can eat 5 or 6 at a time.  I love how easy to peel they are.  That is the number one reason I don't eat oranges very often.    

11. I bought a loaf of french bread at my last trip to the grocery store.  I've found that if we don't eat it right away it gets moldy pretty fast.  So I've been making all sorts of grilled cheese sandwiches.  I made a mozzarella, pepperoni and pesto that was really good and last night I tried out one I found on Pinterest, jalepeno popper grilled cheese (I skipped out on the tortilla chips).  Oooooh so goooood. 

12. Tonight, I'm thinking maybe mushroom and brie sandwiches.  What combinations do you like?

13. I'm looking forward to the NRA Annual Meeting that is quickly approaching.  It's been a few years since I've been able to go, and I've missed it.  They always have so much to see and do.  We plan to take Monkey with us this year too, so maybe we'll get some time to explore St. Louis while we are at it. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Buffalo Chicken in the Crock

What You'll Need:
  • 4-5 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Package Dry Ranch Mix
  • 3/4 - 1 Jar Buffalo Wing Sauce

What You Do:

Put all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 6 hours. 

I served this as an open-faced sandwich, topped with whatever fixings you like... tomato, lettuce, pickles, red onions... I went with just cheese for mine.  After a few bites, I decided that it needed something more, so I added pickles.  It added that extra crunch I was looking for.

The second time around, I thought it might be interesting to mix it up and serve on top of a baked potato.  I actually think I liked it better this way! 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Shooting Course Giveaway!

Remember waaaay back in January when I shared with you a giveaway that A Girl and Her Gun was having?  Remember how awesome it was?

Well, guess what?!  She's having another one

The prizes are once again pretty great: 

1st Place- up to $150 towards one basic shooting course, The Cornered Cat: A Woman's Guide To Conceal Carry, & 100 rounds of ammo(.45ACP, 40 S&W, .9mm or .380)

2nd Place- up to $150 towards one basic shooting course, The Cornered Cat: A Woman's Guide To Conceal Carry & 100 rounds of Ammo(.45ACP, .40 S&W, .9mm. or .308)

It's only open to women 21 and older, so if you fit that criteria, get on over there and enter to win

Monday, March 12, 2012

Shed Hunting

Yesterday was such a beautiful day, we decided to take a family outing and go shed hunting. 

My mom came across the one find of the day, not too shabby!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Suzanna Hupp at IGOLD

I told you the other day that the video I posted of Suzanna Hupp's story didn't do her speech at IGOLD justice.  Well guess what?  Here is video from that day.  I know it's a little long, but if you have 20 minutes to spare today, WATCH IT.  It's worth it. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012


I wrote this post for my blog at work, Corn Corps.  Thought I'd share it here as well:

In life’s hectic day-to-day grind, we all probably take many things, and people, for granted. It’s easy to do. This week is National Write a Letter of Appreciation Week, so take a few minutes today and think about something, or someone, you’d like to show appreciation for and write a letter. Here’s mine:
Dear Farmer - more specifically - Dad,

Growing up on a family farm, life wasn’t always easy or ‘fair’. I wasn’t able to run down the street to play with my friends after school or on many weekends like the rest of the kids in my class. You expected me to be at home helping in the garden, in the field mowing hay, or in the pasture checking cows. And you didn’t pay me for doing these things. If I wanted to buy something extra, then I had to earn the money for it. Summers of my youth were spent detasseling and baling hay. Once I hit sixteen, I worked part-time outside of the farm. You were always there for me and supplied me with the necessities, but if I wanted more, I was expected to earn it myself.
I wasn’t able to have all the coolest, up-to-date clothes that other girls in my class sported. Mom took us shopping at Farm & Fleet and we got the Wranglers that were on sale. Boots were handed down from older siblings, it didn’t matter if they were boys or girls, we wore what fit.

While my town friends were sleeping in or watching Saturday morning cartoons, we were working cattle before the heat set in for the day. Sometimes even being woke up in the middle of the night to round up cattle that got out.
You know what though… I wouldn’t change it for anything. Life on the farm taught me many lessons that I have carried with me into adulthood.
- Determination and Commitment – When I got bucked off a horse, the world didn’t stop turning for me, I had to get right back on and ride. You taught me that when something isn’t going right, you don’t give up, you dig your heels in and finish the job.

- Roll with the Punches – Things don’t always go as expected on a farm… you’ve got a 30 acre field of hay cut and an unexpected thunderstorm rolls in, or a heifer is having problems calving at 2 in the morning, you’ve got to deal with the obstacles as they come at you, not everything can be done by the book…. Not so different than the hurdles I face in life now.

- Caring – Farmers care about the welfare of their sources of livelihood - the livestock and the land - like no other profession I've ever come across. You taught me this. How many corporate folk do you know that would go out in the driving rain and sleet to help a downed cow? I can’t name any. That’s part of a farmer’s job though. You care about the quality of life of your animals and that extends to caring about others as well. When a neighboring farmer is going through a hard time and needs help getting the crops in, we helped. You don’t stand by and watch others struggle, you do what you can to lift them up.

- Respect – You taught me to respect my elders, the land and the animals we raised. Without them, we wouldn’t have anything.

- Be Independent and Work Hard– You can’t rely on others for everything. You taught me that if I wanted something I had to work for it and do it myself. There wasn’t going to be any magical Fairy Godmother to wave her wand and pay for my first car or my college tuition. You taught me how to change a tire so I wouldn’t have to be stuck on the side of the road waiting for help.

This is just a short list of the things you taught me, but what I’m really trying to say is, thank you Dad, from the bottom of my heart. I appreciate all the lessons learned and quality time spent together. Without you and Mom showing me the ropes of farm life, I don’t think I would be the person I am today. And to all the other farm parents who have created such an amazing environment in which to raise their families, you are appreciated.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day 2012

Today was IGOLD!  Were you there fighting for our right to carry concealed?  I was.  I've gone for the last 5 years and I think this year had the biggest turnout.  It was great to see all those yellow shirts and hats marching to the Capitol again.

If I can only share one thing from today, I want to share Suzanna Hupp's story.  This video doesn't quite do justice to listening to her in person, but it's a start.