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Affording to stay home. 

Recently a comment was made to my husband that really raised the hair on his hide. Someone said, “I don’t understand how you can afford the life you have with your wife not working.” To my husband it was an insult, to me I just think the person who said this truly doesn’t understand how we do it. 
There was a time in my life that a comment would have really chapped my hide. I would have felt offended. But at this point in my life I realize people really don’t get it and these comments are made out of ignorance and true genuine curiosity! So here’s a peek into how we run things on a tight budget at the HK! 

  1. We Save energy and resources where we can. We hang our clothes on the line when it’s nice instead of using the dryer. We take short showers and the little girls sometimes share a bath to reduce water use. We do not keep our house especially cool in the summer generally 80 degrees f. Same thing in the winter, the house we generally Keep about 60 degrees f. We use less gas and electricity this way. We also have invested in buying high efficiency units such as washer/dryer/furnace/ac unit. 


2.  We eat at home (usually). We do eat out as a family about once a week as a treat. But if the money is just not there in the budget at the time….then we don’t! I make a meal plan and stick to it. It’s not formal, just a quick jot on a post it to keep me on track. We are also blessed that we can raise much of our own food right here on the HK. We usually butcher one cow a year, sometimes a hog or two, usually a couple dozen chickens. So we have our meat right here in the freezer. We don’t have the extra store cost of the meat. We just pay to raise them and process the animal, which is a resource we HAVE and we USE! Also when I’m shopping I go with a set amount of money. Generally about $60/week. I buy the very basics and make what I can at home. As a stay at home parent I have the time to bake bread and actually prepare meals. I shop the sale ads and frequently at Aldis. We rarely buy pop, chips, snack cakes, ice cream etc. it’s just too expensive usually! 

3. We curb our entertainment costs. We are very heavy users of our public library and it’s resources! Our children attend many of the programs which are generally free, and of course check out loads of books and videos. 

We also spend a ton of time outside in our own backyard! We go on nature walks, have picnics, and grand adventures. It’s free since we already have it! And it makes my children entertain themselves! I see thier imaginations grow while they are pretending ! 


Along with playing outside and enjoying our own space, we spend a great amount of time enjoying our animals. We all enjoy riding horses, walking our dogs, and just helping with thier general care.​ 


We don’t buy all the new movies we want to, we don’t have internet to pay for….we don’t even have a computer…. But hey we do have satellite! 

4. Wardrobes are bought second hand, passed down, or bought on sale. There really isn’t much more to tell other than that. I also dont buy massive amounts of clothes. We all have probably two weeks worth of outfits each. Cuts down on the need for storage space as well as I have to keep up with our laundry. Plus we all really get our wear out of our clothes, nothing is left in the back of the closet forgotten because there are just too many clothes to wear. 

5. My husband works two jobs. I am very blessed that my husband is willing to work such long hours to financially provide for our family. This is a huge sacrifice on his part as he is often tired, misses out on having his own time, and being home to see all of the girls activities. I also work prn as a nurse when my husband is available to watch our girls (no daycare costs this way). 

6. If we don’t have the money to pay outright…..it usually doesn’t happen. We both drive  older vehicles that are payed for. The one vehicle we do have a loan on we made sure was the only payment we had (i.e. We have no credit card bills, no other loans other than our farm loan) committed to. Any improvements to our house or big purchases we make are planned and saved for. Period. Basically we know what our expenses will be each month and we anticipate for them. If we don’t have the money to spend then we just don’t. There have been several times I’ve wanted something new and had to just say to myself, it’s just not in the budget right now, let’s plan, save and wait. It’s very difficult at times. 

These are a few of the top ways we cut costs. It is very difficult to stick to it at times. Of course it would be easier to throw those clothes in the dryer or order a pizza because I just don’t feel like cooking….but it’s also more expensive! Of course there are times I wish I had top of the line wardrobe with tons of pretty clothes, but it just doesn’t make financial sense with our budget. Of course there are times we fail miserably! We aren’t perfect! But at the end of the day we don’t rely on anyone else to pay or even help us with our expenses, and we have earned everything we have by working hard and saving. 

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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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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!

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Just Keep Moving

Yeah so remember in February when I recommitted to being healthy? Well, I have stuck to it. Except of course for the days that I didn’t and I totally 🐷 pigged out on pizza and 🍺 beer. I do t have any set exercise plan other than just to keep moving. That’s my new motto. Just keep moving! It doesn’t have to be torturous to be healthy. I think that is the mistake I have all to often made then I’ve just given up.


So today’s Just Keep Moving is an adventure with Bunny and Owl and our two small dogs Virgil and Booker. Walking at our local walking path! The kids get to burn off some steam as well as me and the pups. 

So howdy from us and Just Keep Moving!