Life on the X-Bar Ranch...

I am an ordinary woman, with an amazing family, serving an awesome God.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Easiest-ever Donuts


 Take a can of cheap-o biscuits.
Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a pan over medium heat.
 Mix up a dish of cinnamon-sugar. Just dump, girl.
 Melt a 1/4 cup butter in a dish big enough to hold a donut.
Wash a prescription pill bottle, and use it to cut out the donut holes.
Just kidding! can use whatever you have. :)

  Fry the donuts a few minutes on each side - till golden brown. Drain on paper towels a bit - then dip in butter. Now dip in cinn/sugar mix and stack on a plate. Done!
 And try to grab one or three before your family devours them all!!
 Seriously - I never expected them to be so  delicious.
 Finger-lickin' good.

And that's my delicious-not homemade-fattening-preservative-laden-DIY-delicious tip of the day.
And I am not apologizing. :)  I may or may not have another can of biscuits in the fridge, waiting to be made into donuts. Hot, yummy donuts in 15 minutes?? Oh yeah. I'm on board!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Lucia's Birthday

Miss Lucia turned 4 years old today.
I have a cut-out cake book that the kids get to choose from, every birthday.
'Cia chose a daschund. Of all silly-lookin' dogs.
 Who knows what inspires a 4-year-old?? :)
 She had a hard time blowing the candles out.
 She has been begging for  stick horse the last few months - so I figured that would be a hit.

Happy Birthday, sweet girl! You bring a lot of joy and fun into this house.

Friday, September 7, 2012

It's That Time of Year...

It's cattle-workin' time on the ranch.
Time for pre-conditioning the babies.
Cowboys saddling up in the coolness of early morning.
Gathering cattle.
Giving shots.
                                                             Pre-conditioning last year.

And I am missing it. I was recently taken off of strict bed rest, but I am still supposed to be taking it easy. When I asked My Cowboy if I could ask to cook for the cowboys this week, the answer was a flat 'No'. I wasn't surprised. He is very careful with me and Baby. I should just walk out and take a few pictures, I suppose, but haven't even felt in the mood to do that.
From last fall's 'cooking for the cowboys'....

Instead, I have been organizing my house - one cupboard and drawer at a time. I can't work in the yard, the garden was destroyed by varmints while I was on bed rest, so that leaves the house.
I do need to make space in the girl's room for another girl, anyways, so it's  good I am stuck doing what I normally don't take time to do.

I have been searching the ever-popular Pinterest for organizing tips, and finding some pretty inspiring blogs and websites. Of course - I don't have a Container Store or Ikea anywhere close to me, so I can't really duplicate the most attractive storage/organizing solutions. But where there's a will, there's a way! (Right?)

Fall is right around the corner, and that makes me in the mood for even more cooking, writing, and projects. Is it just me, or does anyone else get the 'indoor-productive-itch' about this time of year?  :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

What is Really Important?

What is important to you?

I was thinking of this recently, in a moment of reflection. It's so easy to float through life, just doing the things that need to be done, planning and working and yes, even taking some 'down-time, so we don't get 'burned out'. 

We go to church and sing praise songs, we agree with powerful messages, we lay down in our beds at night and say a quick prayer before falling asleep. We may get up early and pray for an hour before we start the day. We may read three chapters of Scripture daily - at any cost.

 We may make a commitment to raise our kids in a Godly home - foregoing all the modern entertainment and distractions that are easy to provide. We home school. Or we find the best Christian/academic school possible, and send them there.

We go to marriage retreats, women's retreats, and men's retreats. We read great biographies of Godly people. We devour adoption blogs and dream of making a difference.

We spend less time on Facebook, so we can be better mothers/wives/husbands/fathers/students/Christians.

We read Godly mothering blogs, books, and magazines, and we feel guilty that we are not teaching our kids three languages and that they can't recite the Sermon on the Mount and play at least one instrument proficiently. We look around at our house and wonder if what we're doing really matters? And what are we really doing, anyways? The house looks like a whirlwind swept through - and we just cleaned it up!

My friends - what are we doing? And does it matter?
I have felt the guilt. I have tried the supermom-superwife-superChristian road. It doesn't satisfy. We are not meant to live a copy/paste life, taken from the pages of some book, blog or friend. We will fail, and fail miserably.

Photo credit to Rose Miller.
 We are created for one purpose, and one purpose only: To love and be loved by our Creator. To honor Him and His Name on this earth. To love one another.

What is the greatest commandment? A lawyer asked this of Jesus one time, many hundreds of years ago. And Jesus answered:
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 22:37-39.

This is what it all comes down to, my friends.
Do you love God?
Do you love your neighbor?
And are you passing that love along to your children?

 It doesn't matter so much if they can't say the Sermon on the mount by memory - if they love God.
It won't hurt them in life to never have studied Latin - if they love God.
They won't care if your home looked like a Pinterest home - if they know they are loved. 
They may not know more than one language their whole lives - but if they love their neighbor, they don't need a language to get that love across!

    You may only be able to snatch moments here and there for reading the Word of God, but if you love God with your whole heart, soul, and mind - your family will be blessed.
    It may not be in God's plan for your family to adopt, go on a mission, or even be on the VBS committee. But if you love your neighbor as yourself, you will find plenty of opportunities to love on people - starting with your family.

 Sometimes we need to get off our knees, and get a drink for our toddlers.
 Close the Bible and open a book to read to the little ones.
 Put down the duster, and pick up our babies - just for snuggles.
 Stop running around for others - and take our kids on a walk.
 Leave the house a mess, and go sit on the couch with our husband.
The house will always be there - waiting to be cleaned, but we never know when our family may be gone.

It is imperative that we love our children. Our spouses. That we teach our children to love God passionately. He doesn't need our sacrifices. He wants our love. He is our Bridegroom - desiring only our deepest devotion and affection. All of life and it's frantic hurrying and scurrying must fade away as we gaze into the face of our Beloved. That doesn't mean we must be hermits to be still. When we love our family - we are loving Him.

 Brother Lawrence said: " I can sit at the feet of Jesus just as much amid the clattering of pots and pans in the kitchen, as I can while at prayers." (And he was a monk.)

We need to come back to the important thing in life - loving God.
We need to have a deep, passionate love for God, and pass that on to our children.
We need to learn that being holy does not mean being unreachable.
This, my friends, is what is important.