Friday Favorites

Since everyone’s at home and some are running out of things to do, I thought I’d share a few of my simple favorite things. I’m aware that some are outdated… okay most (oldies but goodies) and if you’re really bored maybe you’ve already watched/read them, but I’m just sharing in case there might be some you missed 😉

Movies:

  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (Netflix)
  • Murder Mystery (Netflix)
  • Tombstone
  • Giant
  • Some Like It Hot
  • Almost Famous
  • The Martian
  • You’ve Got Mail
  • It’s Complicated
  • Because I Said So

Movies for the Whole Family:

  • Togo (Disney+)
  • Three Men and a Baby
  • Mrs. Doubtfire
  • The Newsies
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • White Fang
  • Dolittle (the new one!)
  • Turner & Hooch
  • Rookie of the Year
  • The Pacifier
  • The Parent Trap (the original)
  • BIG

TV Shows:

  • The Office (hands down, favorite show)
  • New Girl
  • Seinfeld
  • American Housewife (not a reality show)
  • Fraiser
  • Gossip Girl
  • Younger
  • Downton Abbey
  • Gilmore Girls
  • Cheers

Books: On the more “serious” side

  • A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken (one of my favorite books)
  • Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
  • A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers
  • An Echo in the Darkness by Francine Rivers (a sequel to the above)
  • John by Cynthia Lennon
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
  • Wild at Heart by John Eldridge
  • The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks
  • Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

Books: More on the Lighthearted Side

  • The Blue Bistro by Elin Hilderbrand
  • Hissy Fit by Mary Kay Andrews
  • Faking It by Jennifer Crusie
  • A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog by Dean Koontz
  • The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell
  • Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
  • Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
  • The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand
  • The Un-Honeymooners by Christina Lauren
  • The Antelope in the Living Room by Melanie Shankle
  • And it goes without saying…the Harry Potter series ⚡️

Books: For the Little Ones

  • Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle
  • Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco
  • Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell
  • And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street by Dr.Suess
  • The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
  • The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
  • Springtime Babies by Dana Smith (Little Golden book)
  • Friends Stick Together by Hannah E. Harrison
  • We’re Going On A Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
  • The B Book by Stan & Jan Berenstein

Activities with (younger) Kiddos:

  • Chalk
  • Scavenger Hunt (even if it has to be indoors!)
  • I Spy… (this can be absolutely anywhere!)
  • Simple Magic Tricks
  • Make Playdough together
  • Let them help make breakfast/lunch/supper
  • Have them draw something for each letter of the alphabet
  • Have coke floats
  • Build a fort
  • Start a Prayer/Gratitude Journal
  • Make Fossils (using salt dough and nature)
  • Write letters to family and friends

There you have it, a few things maybe you hadn’t thought of lately. Hope this can help at least one person out! 🙂

What are some of your favorites to watch/read?

*ASpottedHeart

Calving Season 2020

“I’m ready to start calving heifers until it’s time to start calving heifers.” Haha! It’s the time of year where One Cute Cowboy hardly get to slow down (not that he does very often anyway) but this time of year especially keeps him busy, checking on heifers all day, everyday and through every night. This seems to be the time of year my readers are most curious about so I decided to do a little update.

Instead of “Mama Bear” more like “Mama Cow”
A lot of nights when I look out my windows, this is my view. One Cute Cowboy out in the barn, taking care of mamas and their babies.

This year One Cute Cowboy had a different plan for calving. This winter he and my father-in-law built some panels and gates to make part of our tack house into a calving barn. I’m so dang proud of One Cute Cowboy and how this turned out! Normally, if a calf had to be pulled it was done outside, in a chute, no matter the weather. Then if it was really cold, we only have one small calving barn that would only fit one pair, so if we needed to warm up more than one pair, we had to take the calf to be sure and get the calf warm, leaving it’s mama outside. But now I’m happy to say, we have 4 pens for pairs, and if we needed 5, we still have our small calving barn that is actually now the home to our ranch cats. 😊

I was trying not to disturb this mama and her new calf.

Not 24 hours after I’d written this draft, the stalls were filled! 4 mamas and their sweet babies!

This is the time of year that can be both incredibly joyful, and incredibly heart-wrenching. I love seeing the baby calves being born and the mothers that take them and love them, protect them, and feed them. Then there can also be a lot of hardship in this season…really in ranching itself. Losing calves and sometimes mamas. Seeing a mama reject her calf. Seeing other mamas trying to claim calves that aren’t theirs. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, ranching is not for the faint of heart, especially during calving season.

Ranch cat, Sinatra, calving expert.
His apprentice, Hap.

I’ll be honest, being a lover of the whole animal kingdom, there are times that ranching life seems especially hard. I believe all true ranchers are animal lovers though, we wouldn’t do what we do if we weren’t. I’m incredibly proud of my heritage and lineage of cattle ranchers and cowboys and cowgirls. I’m immensely proud of my husband who day in and day out works on caring for and improving, and educating himself on what’s best for our herd. In the barns and at home. 😊

I’m thankful to have the opportunity to bring my son up on the ranch in today’s world. To teach him compassion and kindness to all God’s creatures, courage and bravery in times of hardship, and knowing how to have work ethic and not be afraid to lend a helping hand; these things I pray for him. Thank God for the rancher.

Momheart

Quite frankly, I could care less about football, so here I am folding laundry, watching my little guy sleep. This has been a week! Really in all aspects, but my role as Mom has especially been tested. We haven’t eaten as healthy as I’d have liked this week, which makes me cringe because I know the affects of not eating well. So, when bad sleep and emotional meltdowns happen, I can’t help but kick myself. But I’m gonna lay my momma heart open for you, what makes it worst is when I get irritated or lose my temper because of said meltdowns and lack of sleep. The guilt that follows is enough to make me want to do, no be, better.

Mom guilt has to be the worst form of guilt. I can’t help but think about things I’ve read, talking about how our children see and use how we respond and act to things, as a guideline for how they respond and act. You can’t help but ask the question, am I doing enough? Am I making the right choices for my child? Am I being a good example? It’s hard not to question every stage of Motherhood. But what I have learned is to lean into God and ask for guidance, patience, and reassurance in the things I do for my little bear (and really all things in life.) I don’t care how together the mom down the street seems-everyone has questions of what’s best for their child. At the end of the day what our kiddos really want, is us. I try to remember that after the 10th time he’s said, “Mama! Sit sit! Play!” Haha! But honestly, it’s time, Mama, to sit, and just play. In another 10 years he might not ask. I can physically feel my heart ache just thinking about it.

I guess my point is, keep doing the best you can do, whatever works for you and your family, lean into God, and don’t ever be too busy to sit and play.

Movie Review: Togo

Anyone that knows me well, knows I’ve got a heart for all animals, but I’m particular soft on the K-9 variety. I’m always pretty leery of movies about dogs because my heart can hardly handle any kind of heartbreak over one. Dogs resonate so deeply in my soul that to see harm to one is painful for me. With that said, when I signed up for Disney+, Togo was the first thing I saw when signing on. Growing up I can’t even tell you how many times I watched movies like White Fang, Iron Will, and Balto. When I saw what this movie was about, I knew it was one I was willing to watch, and am I ever glad that I did!

Togo was the real-life, lead sled dog of Leonhard Seppala. The movie is based on a true story about the 1925 diphtheria serum sled-run to Nome, Alaska. Growing up all I ever knew about it was what I’d learned and read about Balto, the sled dog. Though Balto was an incredible dog, Togo was unbelievable. When diphtheria threatened a small Alaskan village, their children especially, Seppala decided to make a sled run for the serum. In -30 temperature. The wind caused for a windchill of -85…I can’t even begin to imagine. They were one of 20 mushers (and over 100 dogs) that were part of the relay for the medicine. Why Togo stands out is he lead his pack for over 250 miles, while the other dogs averaged 30-40 miles. It’s a story of courage, loyalty, and the heart of a dog. It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you tear up, and it’ll make you want to hug your furry friends tight. It’s an incredible story! Thank you Disney for putting this story out there, it’s a story worth being told.

The real Togo and Seppala

I definitely give it 5 popcorns!

🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿

*ASpottedHeart

Spring Vision

Y’all I love Spring! I feel like I say that about every season, and while I do love Fall and Winter, I do NOT love Summer, so I appreciate Spring, though it’s usually fleeting. I love planting flowers, and Spring showers. Not to mention just about my favorite holiday, Easter, is always in the Spring. And I just love the way Spring makes me feel (not counting the dad-gum allergies, that feeling I do not appreciate.) Maybe it’s because my precious baby boy was born in Spring, or because I married my Love in the Spring, whatever it is, it makes me feel warm.

Here’s a mood/vision/ inspiration board/post. ☺️ Hope you enjoy!

Hope it’s starting to green up to Spring wherever you are! What are your favorite parts of Spring? What do you find inspiring this time of year?

*ASpottedHeart

Motherhood

One thing I know for sure is Motherhood looks differently for every mother. But I also know that motherhood is the same for every mother, in the sense of, we’re all doing what we feel is best for our little ones.

For some it’s a rough road, for some it’s been as easy as pie, and for some it seems best a road untraveled. Whether God blessed you with your own, or He led you down the road to bring your baby home, we’re all mothers loving our blessings to the best of our abilities!

My entire life I’ve felt like my “big questionin life has been, “What is my purpose?” While I believe some people have such a vividly clear vision of their purpose, I believe some it comes later in life in several snapshots of time. For so long I thought my purpose was something in music, but no matter what I did or tried, I never could get a life in music to work for me. I finally realized music was only a blessing to me, not necessarily a purpose.

Motherhood took me by surprise when it felt so right. If you’ve been with me for awhile, you’ve probably read my post about how I never thought I’d want to be a part of motherhood, if you haven’t, you can find it here. So you can imagine what a pleasant surprise and blessing it has been to truly let God mold me into who He wants me to be and to fully give him the reigns. I definitely still struggle with trying to “take control” but it’s when I let go that He showed me my true purpose. Motherhood.

I wouldn’t change a single thing. Some days it’s so incredibly hard and you think you can only bend and bend until you just can’t anymore. At the end of those days, I just try to tell myself, tomorrow is a new day and I have a new chance to be better and do better. I try not to ever let those days spill into my next day. Then some days are so wonderful and fun and so incredibly rewarding. Seeing the world through new eyes as I watch my little bear learn and see new things. To hear his laugh and watch his eyes in little boy wonder. So many little joys fill their days, I can’t help but feel those joys too.

So just remember mama, we’re all in this together and we’re all “figuring it out.” So when you see another mama, give her an encouraging word, or look, or nod. A simple gesture could mean so much to that mama who’s been up since 5, with a baby clinging to her side, trying to get the mountain of dishes done, the load after load of laundry put away, and get food on the table. She may just need to feel understood and seen. Never underestimate your power as an emotional human being.

I never thought I’d be the person to spend so much time wrapped up in one title, but Motherhood is both a mystery and a place that feels like home. Thank God for mothers.

*ASpottedHeart

Grandma’s Prayers

First time I read that, I cried. It hit home so deeply, tears literally just fell out of my eyes. My grandma was the most faithful “prayer warrior” I’ve ever known. Prayer was her answer to life. The good, the bad, the joyful, the sorrowful, the questions, and the answers–she prayed about it. But even more than that, she was a living prayer chain. She would have a list of people and things to pray for and on top of all of that, she kept a prayer going that my great-grandmother started. Every day she’d pray for every single person in the family. From her husband to her cousin’s daughter’s son, she prayed for them, by name. So when I read that quote from above, my whole being felt that prayer. The one she said for the 28 years she was with me. She wasn’t only praying for me in my everyday life, but she was also praying for my future self as well. It never occurred to me that her prayer was still being said over me. It was like a warm hug. God reminding me that my life has been so greatly blessed because someone out there was praying for me, diligently. Showing me a true example of faithfulness. She never questioned His faithfulness, she knew in His hands we were at our best, so she said a prayer for us, for me, to be blessed, to know Him, and to walk the path of righteousness.

Great is thy faithfulness…”

Seems like that’s been all over my radar lately. Faithfulness. I can’t help but think He is trying to tell me to let go of whatever it is that I’m holding on to, those parts of my life that I’m trying to control instead of letting Him handle it. Have faith in Him and His will for me.

“All that I’ve needed thy hand hath provided…”

I miss her greatly. She was and will always be one of my favorite people. I wish she could be here to hold this precocious little boy in my life, for I have no doubt, she once said a prayer for his life too.

*ASpottedHeart

Life on the Ponderosa as of Lately

Last week I asked in my Instagram stories what ya’ll wanted to see more of in 2019. A lot of you answered with “all of it,” Ranch Life, DIY, Mom Life, Mood Boards… so with that I thought I’d start with an update on what One Cute Cowboy has been up to lately. ( If you don’t follow me over on Instagram, what are you waiting for?!)

Winter=Wheat pasture season for One Cute Cowboy. So he spends his days checking the different pastures, doctoring anything that’s not doing well, feeding, hauling water, fixing hot wire fence, and breaking ice. I talked all about wheat pasture cattle in last December’s Ponderosa Post. It always seems to me, like wheat pasture months are a really long Cowboy “season” but this year OCC didn’t take on quite as many cattle since Lil’ Cute Cowboy is in the picture, and it hasn’t seemed quite so bad.

The weather here on the Ponderosa has been one extreme to the other. One weekend we had an inch of snow with about 24hrs of light rain before it, and then turned around and had 50-60 degree weather the next weekend. Ya never know what you’re gonna get here in the Panhandle! But on those nice days, Little Bear and I try to do some outings with One Cute Cowboy.

Little Bear loves to go and look at and feed the cows with his dad. He gets excited to hear them “Moo” and to see them come running to the feed truck.

This past week we brought our first load of heifers in to start calving. Yesterday it officially began with the mama I had picked to calve first, did indeed, have the first calf of the season! Calving Season has officially begun!

That’s the latest here on the Ponderosa! Hope you’ve enjoyed the little update!

What would you like to hear more of? Leave me a comment below!

*ASpottedHeart

2018 to 2019:Starting the Year of Self-Care

It’s been a little quiet on here lately. 2018 was a big year for One Cute Cowboy and I. We welcomed into our world the cutest Lil’ Cowboy and our hearts swell with love and pride each passing month as we continue to grow and learn as a family of 3. I say with confidence, I’ve grown more mentally, emotionally, and spiritually this past year, than in any other year in my life. Becoming a mom has totally rocked my world, in a good way, but also in “everything’s changed” kind of way. Being a good parent comes with a multitude of changes and self-sacrifices. Some we welcomely make, and some we make gritting our teeth.

One thing that has been hard for me, has been making time for self-care and cultivating my relationships with others. It’s easy to be completely wrapped up in your new little one and forget about yourself and others. And don’t get me wrong, I 100% believe it’s okay to be wrapped up in your new little life, I think you should be engulfed in this new treasure…but I also believe it’s incredibly important to take care of your physical and mental self, your marriage, and your close relationships.

Now, I’ve never been big on the whole “New Years” racket. Making resolutions, making a big to-do about it being a new year and a new beginning, and so on and so forth. (Obviously, I’m just now getting around to posting this a week already, into the new year!) You all know what I’m talking about. There’s nothing wrong with any of it, it’s just never been that big a deal to me I suppose...But with that being said, I would like to state a few things I look forward to working towards this coming year (See what I did there 😉)

  • Enjoy Reading Again: 2018 might be one of my slowest reading years to date. I sadly only read a handful of books, and I’m afraid to report the ones I did read are hardly mentionable. So this year I want to take some time to read some good, enjoyable books! (If you have any good recommendations please send them my way!)
  • More Water, More Veggies: Since Little Bear was born I’ve only drank water. With a sip of coke here and there and I think I’ve had 1 or 2 glasses of iced tea. Other than that it’s been my daily (sometimes 2-3 times) hot tea and then it’s just been water. That being said, I still don’t feel like I drink what I should for my daily intake. Actually this is a goal of both One Cute Cowboy’s and mine- Drink more water! And while we’re at it, let’s throw in “to eat more veggies” too! I want Little Bear to grow up loving veggies and fruits, so in order for that to happen, mom and dad need to be intaking more as well.
  • Purge: Since having a new one, we realized just how much “stuff” we have in our home. For some reason I get a sentimental attachment to odd things. Therefore every nook and cranny seem to be filled in our little home. I plan on doing some serious purging in the next few months. I’ve just started reading about KonMari’s method of decluttering. I kinda dig it and I’m wiling to try it.
  • Quality Time: I’m as guilty as anyone about constantly looking at my phone. 🙄 I plan on being more conscientious of my time spent on my phone and taking breaks from social media to make sure I’m spending quality time with my ever-learning son, and my cute husband. 😉 That being said…
    Scheduled Posting: I want to be better this year in having more of a scheduled posting so y’all are aware of when new posts are coming and it’s not so hit and miss for all of you! I haven’t quite decided what that’s going to look like yet, once a week, bi-weekly, once a month? I’m not sure yet, what would y’all like to see?
    Self Care: Lastly, I want to spend this year being sure to take time for self-care. I have a few ways I plan on doing that, but my biggest way I want to work on that is spending more time in God’s word. I’ve lacked in my daily devotionals and prayer time it seems lately, and I can definitely tell when I do. That’s something I ( and I would say all of us) need to keep a healthy mentality and attitude. But I also plan on spending some self care reading, journaling again, and just some alone time to collect my thoughts, write down my goals, and have some quiet to reflect on and listen to God’s words.

2018 tested my patience, my marriage, my self-worth, my heart, my mind, my physical body, my organizational abilities, and my pocketbook. (If you think having a baby won’t test every single one of those aspects of life, then show me your guidebook! Haha!) But it’s also brought more love than I knew imaginable, more patience than I realized, a stronger love to my marriage, more love for myself for what my body and mind and spirit can endure, and more blessings than I knew were possible. God has favored me in this year, and I’m so grateful for His love and patience. I will continue to lean on His guidance and trust His timing and faithfulness. As I’ve been writing this and thinking about 2018, this hymn keeps coming to the surface,

“Great is thy faithfulness,

Great is thy faithfulness.

Morning by morning new mercies I see.

All I have needed thy hand has provided.

Great is thy faithfulness,

Lord unto me.”

I pray that in 2019 I never lose sight of His faithfulness, and to remember, all that I need, His hand will provide.

Happy New Year! May 2019 be full of blessings and new adventures and lots and lots of love. ❤️

What does your label read?

We are the generation of “label readers.” To me, this isn’t a bad thing. It just means we’ve become conscious of living the best and cleanest way we can. Whenever I see something new I want to try whether it be food, beauty products, or items for my household, I read the label. I want to know what it’s made up of, what ingredients are used, and how will those affect my family and I. I’m amazed at the things that are considered “safe” to use in some products, whether it be a minuscule amount or not. I read the other day the average woman puts 5lbs of harmful chemicals on her skin a year. Five. Pounds. That’s completely insane to me!!

When I became pregnant with Lil Cute Cowboy, I became incredibly aware of what I was putting on and in my body. Now that he’s here, I’m just as obsessive about what’s not only going on my body (since we snuggle up everyday and essentially what’s going on mine is going on his) but what I’m putting on his body as well. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Okay, we get it ya ‘ol hippie! Go green…or whatever!” I’m not trying to necessarily convince anyone of anything, I just think as a whole, we can do so much better in this world. We can take care of ourselves and others better than what we have in the past. #KnowBetterDoBetter

This is, what I would I say, the era of “all natural” and “organic.” Seems like there’s an organic option for just about everything. I’m only going to lightly touch on this one, do I think organic is always the way to go?Not necessarily. We have the knowledge and the resources to know what is and isn’t harmful to our bodies and minds, so why not do the best we can? And Yes, you read that right, our minds. Do I think the moisturizer I put on my face of an evening could possibly affect my state of mine? Absolutely. Do I think that can of Coke OCC is drinking daily could possibly be affecting his mind? I think it’s quite possible. There are so many things out there that can change and modify the chemicals in our body, that it’s scary once you start reading the possible affect some ingredients can have on you.

One Cute Cowboy would tell you I’m a hippie at heart, because I’m always looking for a natural solution. Now, I know, the thought of trying to “go green” or completely change to organic or all natural or back to the “old ways” of doing things is a daunting task. I don’t want to give the wrong impression, One Cute Cowboy and I are pretty conscientious of the things we use on a daily basis and what we put into our bodies, but we definitely do not have it all figured out. We still eat Cheetos, use store bought shampoo, drink cokes (OCC gets to anyway) eat frozen meals, and don’t exercise like we should. Okay, maybe I don’t exercise like I should, OCC gets quite a bit of exercise daily. But my point is, we’re starting to take small steps to try and take out some harmful things in our daily lives and really strive to be the best we can, not just for ourselves but for our little bear. We want him to have a full life and be able to thrive.

Now, up there I said we use store bought shampoo, that’s a bit of a fib. We’re in the process of changing over our shampoo to a more natural, toxic-free option, along with our body soap, the cleaner in our house, and our laundry regiment. Most of you know, I’m an oily gal, and Young Living has come out with some amazing household and beauty products that are, you guessed it, toxic free! Young Living is a brand I fully trust because of their “Seed to Seal” promise. If you’d like to read more about what that means, you can go here.

We just recently got rid of all the toxic cleaners in our house, and replaced it with one, non-toxic cleaner. Thieves Household Cleaner. I do mean all the cleaners in my house.

Windows✔️Countertops✔️ Appliances✔️ Floors✔️ Bathtub/Shower✔️ Toilet✔️Baby Gadgets✔️

It covers all the bases and plus it helps boost your immune system while you clean! Whoop whoop!! We’re in the process of “ditch and switch” with several other things too.

One recent switch we’ve made is our sunscreen. One Cute Cowboy goes through a lot of sunscreen. He wears it just about 300 days a year since he’s in the sun so much! I hated the thought of him putting those chemicals on his body day in and day out (y’all your epidermis is your largest organ, take care of it!) Young Living came out with a mineral based sunscreen that not only works fantastically, but OCC and I can visually tell it’s been better for his skin. No more redness from his skin reacting to the chemicals in his old sunscreen.

So, my point being, make good choices for you and your family. Get interested in what you’re consuming,internally and externally. You may ask yourself, “does it really matter? If it’s only a little bit {of toxins} in (fill in the blank) is it really doing me any harm?” My answer will be, “YES! It matters because YOU matter.” If there’s just a “little bit of toxins” in 90% of the products you use, then think about what that’s building up in your body. I don’t know about you, but I know where I’m making my vote, and that’s with where I spend my money for better products for me and my family. Like I said above Know better, do better!

{steps off soapbox} ☺️

If any of y’all are interested in learning more about Young Living products or are ready to ditch and switch the products in your home, shoot me an email or go sign up here. Or if you’re interested to see just how harmful some of the products in your household are, download the “Think Dirty” app and look them up! It’s helped open my eyes a lot!

*ASpottedHeart