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Morning Lessons While Riding

So JoJo and I have kicked off our fall riding routine. We call it #operationfatunicorn , but just between us of course, because well, you just dont call someone else’s unicorn fat…even if it is true.

Our five mile ride gives me so much time to think. I usually spend part of it talking to God. Trying to get my mind right. Today I was focusing on forgiveness. Forgiving myself, forgiving people that have hurt me, forgiving all the transgressions big and little both that all pile up on my soul.

I started out feeling angry, ungrateful, and just plain nasty. I asked God to put words of forgiveness in my heart. Something healing that I could repeat until I truly felt all the bad just melt.

As always he gave me words .

As I leaned forward in my saddle wind and mane in my face, with the sounds of Jos feet hitting the ground In quick succession I heard his words. And I let go of all that I needed to. I let it fall away as we galloped across an open field . I could just imagine the negative falling off in pieces and being carried away in the breeze. Sound a bit fantastical to you? Well, I’ll tell you, it was…. I mean I do ride a unicorn 🦄.

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Intense 🦄🐴❤️

The HK Bar workouts have been intense lately (for me) . We added a new mare to our string . Of course she is another Double J horse from JD and Jana Dreasher out of Eskridge, Kansas. My four year old daughter is the actual owner of this nine year old mare whom is called Lucy. Owl (my four year old middle daughter) sold her calves to buy her. Lucy and her became fast partners and love each other. I’ve added her to my daily workout as well. Which consists of a thirty minute lunge and then a five mile outride. Whew!

My sweet JoJo is on the same workout. So I’m riding a minimum of ten miles a day plus an hour of lunging (another 35 of grooming). My two year old paint filly is at the trainer so will be upped to fifteen miles when she gets back . Whew! I said it has been intense!

What have you been up to in your workouts?

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☕️🙄😂💕🤷🏽‍♀️

Real life moment:

When your four year old announces, “Mom, I’m saying this out of Gods love, for all our sanity, please go have your coffee. Then come back and try again.”

Then she turns to Boo and Bunny and says, “We all need the truth sometimes.”

And they ALL THREE NOD IN AGREEMENT!

Bahahahahaha bahahahahaha a

Happy Thursday y’all! Spread truth and drink your coffee before you do the things 😂💕❤️☕️

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Muck Boots and Ballet Flats

Muck boots to squish through mud, snow, water, dust and dewy grass to take care of the eight horses, two cows, fifty chickens, four dogs, ten cats, and thirteen hogs that call the HK Bar home .

Ballet flats. A transformation happens in the barnyard nearly every morning. The muck boots come off after hours of feeding, watering, and grooming of the HK animals. The tall riding socks also come off to expose calloused and cracked feet with chipped blue nail polish. The ballet flats are slipped on, and a journey to another world ensues. The HK children must go to school. And I must have the proper shoes to take them there. As you must know a Catholic School would surely not appreciate muck boots tromping through the halls in order to deliver the three HK girls to its sanctuary.

Sure the ballet flats are lighter and much prettier to look at….But there’s something so lovely about muck boots….

The children are delivered to school, and the ballet flats are promptly traded for riding socks and muck boots.

Because you see, there is more fun to be had in the muck boots.

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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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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 ?