Thursday, November 17, 2016


Hi friends.  Life is well here - chaotic, busy, full - but well.

We've had a lot going on - I thought I'd update the blog with a few ramblings to remember this season of life. 

1. Moving.

Let's just all agree that moving is no one's favorite task.  But the beauty is that moving means we finally found a place to buy.  33 acres, most with water and a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house to call our own.  Or at least, we'll be able to call it that after escrow, appraisals, and closing.  ;)

It's in Stanfield, just a few minutes from the ranch, and even closer to some of our dearest friends.  Right off of the highway, but hidden from public view.

I think we'll find ourselves to live comfortably there, at least for awhile.

We hope to close, install all new flooring, move and be settled in there by the end of the year.  A tall task, but I'm keeping a positive attitude that it can happen.

2. Work.

It's about to get crazier, after a few days of being able to breathe.  Such is the ebb and flow though of my job.  And part of the reason I think I like it so much.

3. Chandler.

Growing.  Our sweet boy is doing well, and is so fun to be with.  He's clapping, and waving, and cheering and just has a great little attitude.  We love him so much.

4. Holidays.

Am I bad sport to say I'm not really thrilled that Christmas is a mere few weeks away?  There are just so many expectations, and I have a feeling we'll be moving into our house the weekend of Christmas, so I'm trying to not create expectations of "Chandler's First Christmas" that I won't be able to achieve....but also trying not to be a scrooge.

My plan is; a tree, a few decorations that are easy to find/hang up/display, and presents.  The rest - well, it will be what it will be.

5. And you?

I hope you are well.  I hope you are living life, and having fun, and surrounded by people who make you happy.

Everyone deserves to be happy.

Keep living the dream friends -

Monday, November 7, 2016

Chandler is 10 months old.

Chandler Jesson James

You are 10 months old buddy!

Your are growing so fast, and learning new things every day - it is so fun to watch you and see what you've picked up.

That being said - I've done a terrible job of taking pictures of you this month.  Our life has just been crazy - searching for a home, making an offer on a home, Clint's new job ramping up, travel opportunities and FFA auctions have taken their toll.  But you little guy have been a trooper thru it all - and hung with us each step of the way.

But I do know this - you have eight teeth, you are pulling up and cruising along everything, but still don't show an interest in walking.  (And that's ok, lol - your mommy & daddy aren't quite ready for that.)  You give hugs, and love to "cheers" your cup with us. 


You love to play with your popper, pull all of the cans and Tupperware out of the cabinets, put balls through the hole on your dump truck, and there isn't a detail that often goes missed by you.

You love pens, and necklaces, and anything with detail.

You are a good little eater, and can eat a lot of different textures and foods.  You let us feed you without getting messy, and like to use the back of your hand to push anything into your mouth (like a stray noodle, or part of a cracker) that might have escaped.  You drink out of a sippy cup and a regular cup - and get mad if we're drinking something that you aren't.

You've learned to throw a little temper tantrum - and it's usually when we take something away from you that you want.  We joke that that is when the red in your hair is most evident.  ;)

But far and away - you are a delight to your mommy & daddy, and we love you so much buddy!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from our little dinosaur!

When we got home from work, we dressed Chandler in his costume and took a few pictures before it was totally dark out and then went to visit Jack & Deana next door (to take Teagan her candy) and Mike & Patsy.  Patsy does such a nice job at Halloween for the kids - Chandler got a fun sparkle wand, animal crackers and baby food.  :)  And we got her famous popcorn balls. 

We have to thank the Funk family for Chandler's costume - at Bunco last week I mentioned I didn't have a costume for Chandler (a friend had offered to let us use their pumpkin costume, but I didn't have a chance to run to MF to get it) and wasn't super worried about it - but Alecia said her sister in law had dropped off some items, and one was a brand new 12 month dinosaur costume they wouldn't be able to use.  She let Chandler borrow it, and he just loved it.  Every time we'd pass it last weekend, he'd reach over and pet it and smile - so I knew he'd have fun wearing it. 

And he did - what a fun little first Halloween for our family of three.

Trick or Treat!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The NILE - Part 2.

We got home from the NILE on Sunday, and I am so, so glad we went with Clint.

It was a fun show to be at, and for me personally - it was good to have a little break from work and just spend time with my family.

We wrapped up the week by watching the Angus, Red Angus and NILE Merit Heifer shows, along with the selection of Supreme during the Saturday night rodeo performance. 

The NILE Merit Heifer program is really neat - and a great opportunity for kids.  They started out the show by having previous heifer recipients come back, and display their heifer (now cows) and their progeny, loose, in the ring.  The past recipients then gave a presentation over the microphone about their project and how it has evolved over the years and were then judged by Clint & Jake on overall merit. 

Following those presentations, the 2016 Merit Heifers were judged on conformation by Clint, while Jake judged showmanship from the sidelines.  The kids knew that someone was judging showmanship during the confirmation class (but didn't know who) and that made all of the kids work for it during the confirmation class.  Once the champion heifer was selected, they announced call backs for showmanship, and proceeded with the final drive.

I wanted to note here, that there was a young lady who was showing a Braunvieh (I think) heifer who got called back into showmanship, and was selected as reserve champion.  In no offense to the ranch that donated it, her heifer was tough to show and her effort was a true demonstration that you don't have to have the best heifer, to do well in showmanship.  Her parents were standing in front of me ringside and when she was selected, her mom burst into tears.  Not in a cocky, overly dramatic way - but in a sincere way that just showed how proud she was of her daughter.  That young lady took a heifer who others might have not put a lot of effort into; and made it in a project and display of showmanship that she can be REALLY proud of.


This guy just went, and went, and went some more.

I think with everything going on, he had a tough time shutting down and taking naps.  We'd walk, and walk in the stroller - but he'd still be awake, lol.  But he was a trooper, and minus a cold he (actually all three of us) came home with - he did so well with how little sleep he got.

The last night in Billings, the judges select a Supreme Female and Bull.  Everyone who stayed (or came back for Supreme, if they were local) went into the ring in the livestock barn at 5:00 and Clint, Jake & Steve each cast a vote for their favorite bull and female.  Then, at 7:00 in the rodeo performance, the judges were notified with had won (it was a secret who each judge voted for, so no one knew until that night) and Clint and Jake slapped the supreme's.

The Angus heifer won, and the Hereford bull won - they were pretty excited!

We stayed for almost all of the rodeo, and then headed for the hotel.  The next morning, we were up early to pack and head for home.  Chandler did so well on the 11 hour drive home - but we also tried to stop every hour or so when he was awake so he could stretch his legs.  Clint came up with the genius idea to let him play in the back of the pickup, which worked so well since it was clean and we could contain him. 

The suitcases as an obstacle course were a bonus. :)

A few final details to note:

We ate out twice in Billings, and hands down the best meal we had was at Jake's.  Most of our party got the Baseball sirloin, but I got the steak caprese pasta and it was the best pasta I've ever had!  Chandler agreed - I think he ate as much of it as I did. One thing to note about Jake's is that is a "nice" place to eat, but is still affordable - which I thought was nice. 

We stayed at The Northern, which is Montana's only 4 star hotel and it was AMAZING!

Besides not having a bathtub (Chandler got to take his first shower - not sure he was a fan, lol) the accommodations were first class.  The bed was super comfortable, and the rooms were well appointed.  All parking was valeted and the staff were cheery and personable, even early in the morning.  :)  I would HIGHLY recommend staying there, and I know we would stay there again if in Billings.


All in all, it was just a great trip as a family.

It also made me realize (again) that Clint and I have great jobs, that let us spend time together as family doing things that we love.   My job can be really stressful  (and has been lately), but having the flexibility to take vacation and just get away for a few days was really good for me personally. to just catch up on all of the laundry, lol.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

The NILE - Part 1.

This is the second year Clint has had the opportunity to judge The NILE in Billings, Mt. Last year I didn't go with him (work was crazy, and we were going to Kansas City the next week) so this year I knew I wanted to go with him.

We ended up driving, which worked great because then I didn't have to condense my packing, lol. (I try to minimize things - but it's just easier to travel with a stroller and pack and play for Chandler so this way I could take all of it!) We're having a great time so far, and I wanted to make sure I remembered it so I thought I'd post about the trip so far, along with a few cell phone pictures.

We left home Tuesday night and made it to Moscow, ID. The next morning Clint made a  prospect visit, and then we headed to Billings. Thursday morning, Clint judged the Jr. Gelbvieh and Open Hereford shows. The Metro Park facility is very nice, and Jennifer and her team do a great job putting on the event!

Select Sires is a sponsor of the show, so it was fun to have their logo in the picture backdrop!  We also got to meet Jay (he works for SS in Montana, and is on the NILE board) and his crew in their booth. Isn't the pumpkin his daughter painted cute?

Clint got done judging in the early afternoon, so we grabbed a bite to eat and then headed to ORIgen to look at a few bulls. They house S Chisum 255 and Still in the Rough, both of which Clint wanted to see in person. 

255 did not disappoint!!!

We also saw 4008, which ABS has, but who sold in the Rollin Rock sale at the sale barn last year. He was in his working clothes, but looked good.

The coolest part about the day, was that Gary Wall was who showed us around. Midway into the tour, I asked him where he was from....and he said Western Iowa. I said, "Oh, you probably haven't heard of Pomeroy or Havelock, but that's where my parents grew up." 

Turns out, he went to school in Pomeroy with my mom (he was one year ahead), and my grandpa Leo was his 4-H leader. How cool is that??? It was neat to meet him.

After our tour, we ate dinner at Applebee's and ran into Kelby, who lived with us last year when she interned with Genex. We loved getting to see her, and introduce her to Chandler.