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PRIORITIES MAMA, PRIORITIES


As I’m getting ready to get the girls’ breakfast around Boo rushes over with a mug of water to put in the microwave. She says, “Your coffee has to come before our breakfast.” I say, “That’s really sweet, but you guys should get your breakfast before I get my coffee.” Boo gives me a half hearted grin and says, “No Mom you are so wrong!” I say, “Why shouldn’t I fix your breakfast first?” Boo chuckles and says, “Because you microwaved my corn flakes last week…. you need coffee before you do the things…priorities Mama, priorities…”

#keepinitreal #ionlydidthatonce! #reallifeatthestaleyhouse

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So I was Basically the Mean Girl

Last week I took my three girls shopping for new bathing suits as the following week swimming lessons were scheduled to start. Because we live in a fairly small rural town we made a day of going to “the city ” (Lawrence, Kansas) -big but not the big city. 

We pulled up in the parking lot of Target and the traffic was fairly busy so I told my oldest daughter Boo, whom is 7, to exit her side of our Yukon and walk round to the front and stand close to me as I still had to unbuckle my two youngest daughters (Owl 4 years old and Bunny 3 years old) from thier car seats. Boo exited the vehicle as I’d instructed and starts to make her way round our Yukon when I notice a lady exit an SUV on Boo’s side. She is looking at Boo and I can hear her ask her a question. I’m unbuckling the two little girls and watching this unfold. Of course as a mom that frequently travels with all three of my young girls, I am very aware of my surroundings and alarm bells are sounding in my head. I am literally mentally shouting at Boo to quickly get round my side of the Yukon. 

Thankfully I have frequently had the stranger talk with my girls. And just as Boo and I had practiced she didn’t pay the lady any mind and high tailed it to my side. I did a collective sigh when I had my hands on her shoulder. But then ! The lady from the SUV continues to walk round to us standing on our side of the Yukon and says to me, “Wow, you have a whole crew there!” I commenced to nodding and paying her no attention. I look up expecting her to have gone but she’s standing at the end of the Yukon just staring. If my alarm bells were yelling before they were utterly screaming now. There is no way this woman could be up to any good. 

She then proceeds to say, “Nice Yukon, it looks much newer than in your pictures.” Meanwhile I’m thinking what? I don’t know you! What scam is this?! 

I’ll tell you what happened next. I became 😡 angry. How dare someone think to threaten the existence of me or my daughters. So I did what any insane mother bear would do, I became the mean girl. I squared my shoulders, tucked my girls behind me and lifted my shirt enough to reveal my shoulder holster and pistol. And I said, “I don’t know what you’re going on about but I don’t know you and I’d be obliged that you respect the space of me and my girls.” I didn’t draw on her or anything of the like, but I wanted to send a very clear message. 

The color commenced to drain from her face at an alarming rate and she put her hands palm up in mock surrender and said, “I’m supposed to meet a lady with a black Yukon for sale.” 

Before I could say anything more a black Yukon, identical to mine with a few more bumps and bruises pulled up next to her, rolled down the window and asked if she was so and so that agreed to meet to look at the Yukon for sale…..

I tipped my hat and took my brood on in to the store. In the moment I didn’t think much about the whole experience, just the fact that I was relieved this woman whom I’d thought a threat truly was just meeting someone and it was a case of mistaken identity. 

But these few days later it appals me that I even feel the need to behave in such a way in today’s society. I grew up where everyone left doors unlocked, where everyone said hello and offered you a cup of coffee even if you weren’t a familiar face. And here I am today in a public car park with my three girls armed to the teeth and ready to push back if threatened. Has it really come to this? 

I don’t want to teach my girls that the world is a place to be scared of. I do want to teach them to be prepared, aware, and minimize themselves as a target or victim of crime. In today’s world how do we do this without going overboard? 

So today I’m praying for knowledge, the knowledge to lead my girls and raise them into independent women that can protect themselves, but yet be the person that still offers a friendly word to a stranger in a car park. 

How do you raise children in today’s society to toe the middle of the road between safe, yet still personable ?

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Traveling With The Mutts and the Discovery of BringFido.com


Here on the HK Bar our dogs are part of our family. They are constant companions that go everywhere (nearly) with us. So when the rare road trip or vacation comes around they typically travel with us. 

I have been in the midst of planning a short getaway for the girls and I, (plus Virgil and Booker Blue.)  While I was wasting my time on google trying to sort each individual motel/motel on prices, availability, location and pet policy I came upon a jewel! 

The secret you ask? Www.Bringfido.com 

It’s basically the answer to my trip with dogs in tow planning dream come true! It even has an app! Which I quickly downloaded. Super easy to navigate. 

I was able to compare hotels and read all the info easily in one place. No more clicking on each hotel site and wasting time. 

In addition to hotel arrangements you may also search pet friendly restaurants, find dog walkers, dog parks, as well as many other tools at the specific area you plan to be. 

So if you are planning a trip soon and your pup is going along check this app out! It’s a win! 

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Hail to Pay 

So the HK Bar had a major hail storm hit about 1 pm today. Golf ball size hail, high winds, and a torrential downpour. 


I posted a video I took during the very beginning of it all. The hail was only about quarter sized at this point but coming down fast. 



My brand new Yukon, my Dodge, and my husbands Dodge truck are all battered….. 


The siding on our house has holes all over in it……


The three photos above are pictures taken four hours after the hail…still piles of it everywhere…

I immediately phoned all of our insurance companies on the house and vehicles. I asked husband to call in our crops damage (alfalfa total worth about 10k)…..for him to look stricken and tell me he had not yet insured for the year. *sigh* 

Such the life of a rancher.. BUT here on the HK we try to keep our eyes on the 🌈 rainbow…. so we are praying God provides us deductible 💰 money…. And saying thank you that all our livestock is accounted for, safe and sound. 

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Pray for strength, pray for recovery, pray for patience and goodwill. 

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Summer on the HK Bar 


Boo, Owl, Bunny, Booker ready for another wild adventure.


Owl and Bunny taking care of the horses. Pretty sure they picked more dandelions than anything.


Boo and one of our four kittens, Runty.


Doing a little fishing with my mom.


Owl and I getting ready to get our fish on. 🐟 


Keeping up our workouts .


Sneaking out for some ice cream with Virgil and Booker.


And of course lots of sleeping….


And resting…


And relaxing… 

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HK Bar Cats

We have new residents at the HK, thanks to my husband. Four orange kittens just weaned from thier mum came to live with us. 

They will hopefully grow up to be mousers in the barns, and of course little playmates for Boo, Owl, and Bunny. The girls are very excited about them. 

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What do you want now, my blood or my soul? Five Easy Ways to Take Back Time for Yourself


Do you ever have those moments as a parent that you just want to shout, “No! No! No! ITS MINE YOU CANT HAVE IT TO!” Because your children 👶 suck the ever loving life right the hell out of you? I mean really I gave up my body, my personal space, my time… I gave up sleeping in (ooooh I miss this one), eating candy outside of the pantry (because really the kids can hear that friggin crinkly wrapper a mile away) , and the list goes on…. My point? Well, sometimes in my parenting journey I just want to have something left for myself. As you can see from the above picture I can’t even eat a buttered sweet potatoe without someone pleading with thier eyes to share with them. Oi vay!

Here are a few simple ways I take back a little for myself even in a busy stay at home mom way of life:

  1. Write yourself into your schedule! Do you keep a planner? Block off some time just for yourself to read a book, pull weeds, lockbox, or whatever it is that you do by yourself that recharges you. All to often I get so wrapped up in everyone else’s schedule of needs I forget to make time for my own.
  2. Embrace nap time 😴! If your kids still take naps STOP ✋ trying to dash around like a crazy person trying to get all those chores done “while you have time” and they are asleep.  I know it’s tempting but really, just leave the clothes and dirty dishes were they are. Take the time to recharge your own battery. Catch some zzzzzs! If your kids have outgrown nap time, implement quiet time were all electronics are off and it’s books and quiet toys only.
  3. Get up early or go to bed later than you usually do. Don’t get me wrong sleep is important! But even fifteen minutes to yourself sometimes makes all the difference.
  4. Limit your extracurriculars. All those activities that have you running kids back and forth all week? Yeah those! Sit down and really consider which ones to keep. I tell my girls one sport or extracurricular at a time. Less time on those makes my girls really appreciate the activity they choose and value it. They get so much more out of it and it frees up so much time! 
  5. Ask yourself “What can I delegate?” My seven year old can unload the dishwasher. Will she do it exactly like I would? No, not at all! And sometimes I’ll have to deal with my favorite coffee cup being put way in the back. But my point is she CAN do it, and it frees me up from doing it and it teaches her responsibility and basic life skills. And I always try to tell my kids hey let’s get our team spirit on and get the chores knocked out first so then we can ALL PLAY! 

So when I’m on the verge of mommy melt down time I try to take a step back and reimplement these tips. I re-evaluate and more often than not if I’m following my own advice I feel so much better! Hope this helps!