Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010 Resolutions

I am not usually the type of person that makes New Years Resolutions.  However, the Bruckner house will be taking on a couple this coming new year.

D and I were appalled to learn (after saving ALL our receipts for a month) that we spend MORE THAN HALF of our income a month on…..drum roll, please….groceries.  Now, I would totally understand this if we were eating filet mignon every night, but I assure you, that is not the case.   I do understand our food bill is also going to be higher than a normal family given the fact that I feed 10 daycare kids 2 meals and a snack everyday. But seriously!

So my resolutions are this:

Shop and plan meals more around the sales at the store. And also stock up on sale items if it’s something we will use.  (Already have 4 cans of spag sauce on our storage shelf  because they were on sale for $1.25. Go me.)

Cook more homemade.   Sounds easy, but I am the queen of box meals, because they are easy and I don’t really have to think about it.

Stop using paper plates/styro cups for daycare. This one is huge for me, because I *do not have a dishwasher*.   I’ve never ever had one. I wouldn’t even know how to turn one on, honestly.  But we spent THOUSANDS of dollars last year on paper products, according to our tax papers. (Which I get to deduct, but not the point!) Again, I am the queen of convenience.

Honestly, I’ve never thought about this all before. I go to the store, buy what I need to feed the troops, usually grab a couple of things we really DIDN’T need, and start the process all over the next day.  Obviously, it’s not working and we’ve been helping Venture Foods pay their light bill every month! ;-)

My other resolution I’ve made is to become healthier.  Not the “lose 200 lbs in a month” resolution I’ve made in the past. This one is easy.  Make better food choices, which might just fall effortlessly into place as I cut down the grocery bill and be more active, whether that means taking a walk or getting my butt kicked on the Wii.

Happy New Year, everyone! 

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

December Funny Farm News

There isn’t much going on as far as Funny Farm news during this BLAH winter time.

Out of the 25 baby chicks I ordered in September, there are *7* left. I’ve discovered that I am not a very good baby chick mama, and that baby chicks die…..easily.
Out of the 7 out there, there are 2 Red Stars, one of which is a rooster and will be sold, 1 Rhode Island Red, and 4 Easter Eggers, but at least one of them is a rooster and will not be kept. I will be asking our chicken buddy Shawn if he would like him though, because he is going to be GORGEOUS!!! He already is almost twice the size as the other babies out there the same age.

See his light green legs? That's an Easter Egger trait. See how pink his comb area already is? And the start of his tail? In the chicken world, he’s gonna be a hottie! ;-)

We are not breeding or showing any buns at the moment. I think there is a show in January, but we still are not sure we are going to get to it—it’s 3 hours away. We cut back for the winter, but are anxious for spring to get here to start breeding again. We plan on showing hard this summer! I have high hopes of getting the Hotots to finally breed! If not, the buck will be sold and replaced. I’ve never ever heard of a rabbit that didn’t want to breed, but of coarse, one had to land here. And yes…I am SURE he’s a he…he’s got the jelly beans to prove it.
The boys each have their individual plans to breed thier rabbits, so hopefully lots of baby buns will be at our house this spring!

Still have not gotten Kirby cut. I'm afraid D is going to have to bribe his buddies with cases of beer or rolls of chew to get them out there, because it's going to take several guys and not going to be easy.  He's looking "bullish" these days so he's got to be cut from his man hood soon. He's looking nice though, and I told him he had 2 nice looking roasts on his butt when he walked away from the me the other day. (I can NOT wait to have "homegrown" beef in the freezer!) That calf will eat out of D's hand, but when I am out there, he won't come anywhere near us. It's like I am "the wicked lady in the purple coat that haunts his dreams." Absolutely terrified of me.

Chewy is...well...Chewy. He won't be cut, he will be banded. Our vet recommended he be banded due to his rough start and small size. He's REALLY small, especially since he's out there with beef cattle. Jerseys are not large cattle at all anyway, and given he's been stunted a bit, well, I fully expect to have this conversation some day:
"Cute calf you have out there. How old is he?"
"Oh, that’s Chewy. He's 3."
"3 months?"
"No, 3 years."
Oh well. We love him. Still very much more dog than cow, but is getting better since having cattle companions.
Rosy is HUGE. She seriously looks like a dump truck with legs and a head. D is REALLY hoping she's pregnant, and not just fat. If she IS just fat, *I* don't feed, so he can't blame me! ;-) I'm thinking we'll have a calf this spring though. Knowing our luck, the day AFTER we leave for vacation!

We have started planning our garden. Talking about what worked, what didn’t, what we want to add. He wants to plant some garlic, so we will be looking into that. And I am going to add some jalapenos this year, as the ones we got from our friends Melanie and Sue ROCKED!!! My goal for this coming season is to have salsa TOTALLY made from our homegrown veggies!! (I still have enough leftover tomatoes in my freezer for at another batch of salsa. Not as good as Melanie who I am sure has red ripe tomatoes right now in her green house! ;-) )
Anyway, we’ve already been receiving gardening catalogs in the mail, and have been drooling and marking what we want.

Christmas is over now, so hurry up spring!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

My Life In A Photo

See that pretty bottle of Midnight Pomegranate? Thats me...surrounded in world of manlyness.

Welcome to my life.

BTW--the Bruckner pre-men are VERY worried about how they smell these days!  Could you tell?


We did have some drama on Christmas day when one of the dogs at the farm attacked Sugar, my sisters horse, that resulted in a HORRIBLE injury to her shoulder area. The type of injury I hope I never ever see again on ANYTHING.   I am still in shock that 1. a 50 lb dog would even attempt to take on a full grown horse, and 2. a dog of that size could inflict a wound that was like that.
The dog was put down that day, the horse the next.  We had hope, though admittedly only a small amount, that everything would turn out ok and she would heal, but the next morning she had gotten so much worse, and after a small family meeting, we knew it was time and that we could not be selfish.  We had to think about HER, not our breaking hearts.

Many tears were cried yesterday, by many people.  Though she was M's horse, she had become a part of the farm.  It seems strange out there without her there.

And those people who say its "just" an animal or that animals do not feel, have never watched a horse cry....really, seriously, honestly, cry, for her baby.  Sugar was not her real baby, but had been Whiskeys "baby" since she came to the farm.  I'll never ever forget the confused and crushed look there was in Whiskey's eyes yesterday.

So, run wild and free, pretty girl. We'll see you again someday.  Please watch over the farm and everyone on it.

Don't Cry For The Horses

Don't cry for the horses that life has set free.
A million white horses, forever to be.
 Don't cry for the horses now in God's hands.
As they dance and prance to a heavenly band.

 They were ours as a gift, but never to keep
As they close their eyes, forever to sleep.
Their spirits unbound, forever to fly.
A million white horses, against the blue sky.

Look up into Heaven. You will see them above.
The horse we lost, the horse we loved.
Manes and tails flying, they gallop through time.
They were never yours, they were never mine.

Don't cry for the horses, they will be back someday.
When our time has come, they will show us the way.
Do you hear that soft nicker close to your ear?
Don't cry for the horses, love the ones that are here

A Very Merry Christmas

What an amazing Christmas.  We were awoken at 3 am.   Dan and I laid in bed and talked till around midnight...Christmas magic makes adults even anxious and excited, so 3am came WAYYYY to early.  Anyway, we stumbled down the stairs and we saw what Santa had brought, open presents, ate some homemade doughnuts,  and then crawled back to bed for a couple of hours. My boys on the other hand, went full steam from 3am till 8:30pm when they crashed on the floor, with the Wii controllers not to far away.

Christmas Eve was amazing.  We had been hoping to get out to the candle light service at this wonderful little country church about 11 miles away or so.  I thought our plans were ruined when J gets up with a headache and just feeling icky, and then D comes downstairs with a headache and just feeling blah.  J perked up pretty fast, but D continued to feel rotten most the day. However, we did end up going.  It was so wonderful. A great service, wonderful music, beautiful candles.  I left with this wonderful sense of peace. 
After the service we raced home and got ready for company.  We always have Christmas Eve dinner with my family and it's always roast with veggies and cornbread.   It was a nice peaceful evening.  M brought her ps2 over.  My boys' system broke about 3 weeks ago and they've been withdrawing. M loves Guitar Hero so that's what they did a good part of the evening.

 We've just been lounging the past couple of days. And playing Wii.  We got a WONDERFUL deal on a Wii a couple weeks ago so we grabbed it.  Didn't plan on buying it, but was too good of a deal to pass up and the entire family has been having a blast with it.  My boys FREAKED and were so surprised!   And I FINALLY beat D at bowling last life is complete now. I've discovered I play sports as well on the Wii as I do in real life....not well!!

Favorite gifts, besides the Wii....

T's is his iPod Santa brought him.  He's been wanting on for a while, and had enough money to buy one, but decided to "wait and ask Santa to bring it to him, so he wouldn't have to spend any of his OWN money."  Seriously, that kid is going to be wealthy someday. 

J's favorite is all his hunting gear he got. 

D swears he loves all his gifts and can't pick a favorite.  But I know it WASN'T the bottle of Red Raspberry Smokey Hills wine I got for us to try. HAHA  I, on the other hand, enjoyed his gift tremendously. (There's been a lot of wine talk lately, and I SWEAR neither me nor my husband have a problem. About once every couple of months or so we like to get a new bottle of wine to try out.  We both have very different tastes in wine, so it gets interesting!)
My favorite? Hmm...I am not sure I can pick a fav either.  I got a pressure canner that I've really been wanting.   My husband got me this AWESOME clock that I love love love.  M got me a beautiful "sisters" necklace. I had some guilt opening that one, as I had taken her gift, the second Twilight book, and wrapped it in a HUGE box with packing peanuts, Pull-ups and maxi pads.  Opps. =)
My brother and K also got me a  wall mounted jewelry armoire that hangs on my wall. It looks like a huge mirror, but opens up to put all my jewelry in.  Love it.

It was a great holiday!  Today we took most of our decorations down. I left some of my favorite snowmen up, as well as my Christmas cards, just because they make me smile.    I'm a little sad its all over, but its nice to get back to "normal":  normal foods, normal routine, normal house, normal school......normal is good too!

Hope everyone had a very Merry Chirstmas!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Almost Ready!

The candy and goodies are made.

The presents are mostly done. I just have a couple more to get and wrap and then I am DONE!  (BTW--see that one that shaped like a bottle? One of my daycare mom and dads brought me that. Not their child--he brought me a more child-friendly gift. hehe)   I plan opening that one up a little early. =)

 The Christmas cards are all mailed out. I hung our cards we received this year from fishing line from garland that we wrap around the top of the wall for our stair way. It looks really neat and is the perfect height for the daycare kids to enjoy looking at them too!

It looks as though we might have a white Christmas this year. It will be nice, but hope if doesn't stay around long!  But it will be magical to have snow on Christmas!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Our Tree

Yesterday I read another blog and she blogged about her tree. Well, I decided our tree deserved a mention in my blog. Our tree is horrible. No, seriously! It really is, but that's ok!! It's this jumbled mix of homemade and kids ornaments, old ones and new ones. But they are so very dear to me!!  My favorites?

The trumpet ornament that was my dads when he was growing up.

There are also 2 on there from my Grandmother, and my paternal great grandmother. The one from my Great-Grandma is a knitted pair of ice skates. The "blades" are paper clips. The one my grandmother made hard to explain. It's almost like a stuffed quilt block, and she added some beads. Just seeing it makes me smile and its a reminder of her love I still get to feel every holiday season.

Danny's Baby's First Christmas

The  boys' First Christmas ornaments

J and T have each made various ones throughout their years in school. My favorite T has made is this really cute one made from a CD case. One side has a picture of him smiling really cute with a Santa hat one, and says NICE. You flip it over and he's frowning, looking real mad, and it says NAUGHTY!

My fav of J's is a Santa and a Snowman he made out of popsicle sticks. Isn't it amazing what all you can do with popsicle sticks? ;-)

Another favorite is one my boys look for each year. It's a wooden cut out of a bus from my bus driver from 1985. It must have taken her AGES because she made one for each kid on her bus and they are all hand painted with a neat little note on the back.

We used to have this pretty angel that sat on the top.  The second or third Christmas we had with Smokey, he got bored one night, somehow got the angel down, and ate off her wings.  My Aunt K made us a pretty bow to stick up on the top, and I like it so much I haven't replaced the angel yet.

I am like the Hallmark commercials. Every year I try to get my boys a new ornament, usually trying to represent something they did or accomplished that year.  My hope is someday they can take them with them when they start their own lives, but that thought also makes me very sad.

I dream of having a tree with matching ornaments, ribbon, and perfectly placed lights. But I'll have to get another tree and put up two, because this one makes me smile too much!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

December Update

WHEW!! We have our running shoes on here at the Bruckner house.   It seems someone always needs to go/be picked up from somewhere at the moment!!

We went to Meade Saturday to watch J play ball. They lost both games.  I am seeing improvements in J’s game, however. He’s got room for improvement, but I no longer cover my eyes when he gets the ball.   He’s become much more relaxed when he gets the ball. The first game or so he’d want the ball really bad, and then panic and get rid of it as soon as he got it.  He always got the ball stolen this way…the other teams figure out pretty fast what he’s going to do.   He’s taking more shots, even scoring in the last game he played.  I had asked him later if he heard me scream and yell when he did. He replied NO, but said he was more worried about trying to stay cool and not smile big and look like a dork.  I am seeing more of a teenager come through every day.  UGH. This past game day he comes out of his room 20 minutes before the bus leaves and says. “Did you not wash my uniform?”  Uhhhhh….I don’t know. Where is it?”  “In my BAG!!”  D looks at me and then at J and then back again with a look like Mt St Helen's is about to errupt in our living room and he must take cover immediately.  I try to stay calm.  “You’ll just have to wear dirty clothes then. I am not coming and looking for YOUR dirty clothes. If you need them washed, YOU put them in the basket.”  So, he goes to get them out and discovered his AXE shampoo has leaked….ALL over his clothes. So I wash his uniform out in the sink until it is no longer foaming, throw them in the dryer for 10 minutes, put them on a hanger, and throw him out the door, and hope they dry the rest on the way to Meade.  Lesson learned? I am not holding my breath.

T also learned a lesson this week about compressed air.  He had just got done taking a shower, and thought his foam soap was all gone, so he POPPED A HOLE in it with one of those punch can openers. (He “wanted to see what was inside of it.”)  There was foam all over my carpet, up the wall, ceiling, ceiling fan....words can not even describe the mess this made.  It was pretty easy to clean up.  However, I am still finding foam a week later.   And my house smelled of Cool Kiwi Berry from Bath and Body. I highly recommend it…though it’s better on your body than on your carpet, walls, ect.
This pic just does not tell the whole story.  You just had to be there to see and smell it all! 

T also had to go get some glue on one of his fingers this weekend. He had a buddy over to stay the night and they were looking at his pocket knife.  T reached over to take the knife as H flicked it up.  He cried right after it happened, but that is all.  Took him to the hospital, and they were looking at it, cleaning it out. I looked down and they were spreading it open, looking inside of it, and I suddenly felt very, very, VERY hot and started seeing little sparkles.  Next thing I knew I was sitting on a stool with my head between my legs with a cold washrag on my head.  T laughed and laughed, and told me it didn’t even hurt that bad.  He found it really amusing and has to make sure he slips that in his story when he shows people his finger.  That’s never happened to me before, and it was HUMILATING!! 

I don’t think I ever wrote about the 4-H Achievement Banquet.  This is where the county 4-Hers and their families meet for a potluck dinner and receive their year pins and their awards for their record books.   It’s a lot of fun.  J received his 3rd year pin, County Rabbit Champ, and County Aerospace Champ.  T got his membership pin, 1st year pin, County Hand Pet Champ, and a Poultry award.  T was pretty tickled because going over there he announced he didn’t think he’s win ANYTHING! ;-)  I always wait for a “Gee Mom, thanks for standing over of us and making us write in our books.” But so far, nothing.  HAHA

D and I are just trying to keep with the hustle and bustle of the season.  I do not think I am going to be able to get away to shop till the weekend BEFORE Christmas. Yeah, that will be a fun trip.   Hope to get some holiday baking in this weekend, as well as go see New Moon again—it’s playing here that the Chief this weekend.  Dragging D to it…if any of you get a “PLEASE HELP ME” text from him, just ignore it! ;-)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Memories

The HOLIDAYS ARE HERE!! This is my very favorite time!! I get just as excited about Christmas as the kids do. There is something just so magical about it.

I’ve started my hunt for the perfect gifts. I have a problem with gift buying. I try to hard to find the “perfect gift” for that person, and will pretty much give my self an ulcer trying to find it.

My favorite Christmas?

One of the very top ones was the first one I spent with my new baby sister. She was 4 days old on Christmas and the best gift EVER. Lucky for my mom, she was smart enough to have our Christmas that year right before she went into the hospital, so watching us see what “Santa” brought was the only thing she really had to get up for on Christmas morning.

Another that sticks out is the very first Christmas D and I were married and our very pathetically decorated tree. We were broker than broke and always laugh about that time. “Well, it could always be worse…remember when…?”

Eric and I used to wake our parents up in the middle of the night to open presents. We had an unspoken pact, where if one of us woke up before the other, we’d wake the other up. We’d run in to see what Santa had brought us. After a while we just couldn’t stand it anymore so we’d wake our parents up. Many 3 O’clock Christmas mornings happened at my house. Even when I was too old to “believe” anymore, Eric and I still had that pact and we’d wake the other up.

I remember how Santa sometimes, if he had time, left a note for us. Thats a tradition that has been carried on. (Though Santa has had to get creative to find unrecognizable handwriting! Smart, those boys are!) He always left us an orange or an apple in the bottom of our stockings, and I always claimed it was the best orange/apple I had ever eaten. Christmas magic can even make fruit taste better.

Every Christmas Eve we would eat dinner with my Grandma Moreton. We’d feast, and then open our presents from her. Every year when we would leave her apartment I would always listen for sleigh bells. Some years I’d hear them, others not. And any airplane that was spotted in the sky was SURELY Rudolph. Now, the Christmas Eve tradition is held at my house, and it’s one I hold close to my heart and love doing.

I LOVED watching Santa’s Workshop. Does anyone remember that? With Toy Boy and they would ZOOOOOOMMMMM around the world? Anyway, I remember one time telling my dad to hurry home because I wanted to watch “Play Boy.” After Dad got done choking, he reminded me that his name was TOY BOY and to never ever say that in front of Grandma Katy. HAHA

We’ve had some sad ones too. My grandmother passed away right before Christmas when I was 9. I didn’t think my family was ever going to smile again. I also remember our beloved dog, Deputy, getting run over a day or two before Christmas when I was a 6th grader. The only reason I remember that it was at Christmas is because I can I remember sitting on my dad’s lap, crying, and he told Eric and I that he knew Santa was going to miss Deputy too, and that Santa was up at the North Pole, crying with us. (And I know that after the kids were settled in bed, “Santa” did go and have himself a good cry. He loved that dog as much as Eric and I did.)

So, it's December 1st, and my cards are all addressed and waiting to be dropped in the mail, the tree and decorations are up, and the shopping has begun. Bring it on! =)

I just love Christmas.