Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Spring is HERE!!

I swear I'm here!!!  Super busy, yet...there seemed nothing of importance to write about!!!

But Spring is here, and that is something to celebrate!  It felt like the longest winter of my life...but we were also grieving for the second winter in a row...that makes for some really long and dark days.  I'm also convinced I suffer from seasonal depression. Just when I think I can not stand it anymore, here comes spring!!

Let's see..  Golf has started for both  my boys. That means our routine is shot, and we are trying to figure out the new one!! 9 more weeks until summer, and this mom can HARDLY wait!!  Tristen has his first job, working at the same place as his Dad.  Jacob was recently made part time supervisor at the grocery store he works at. I've got all the cool weather crops in my buckets, and will get my tomatoes and peppers in just as soon as they hit the shelves.  Danny has his potatoes in the ground. The guys will be going to a pig auction this weekend, to pick up pigs for fair projects.

With spring comes babies, and we have several nestboxes of baby bunnies.  Danny recently built is own barn, for his own project, and is already wanting to add on and expand.

We recently went to one of our favorite shows...The Windy Plains Spring Fling. This year it was held in Garden City.  The last show I went to was in October, and that was just Tristen and I. The last show we went to as a family was almost a year ago. I was happy to load all of us up, and head out, with no thought at all at winning anything. I just wanted to see the people and be stuck in the car with my family for a few hours!!

Jacob no longer has rabbits, so he asked to take comments for a judge all day. He seemed to really enjoy his time.  I received a 1st place Black SR buck Havana in one show, always getting beat my friend Sarah. Her rabbits are killer. (She later won BIS in BOTH shows in the Open, and also added a reserve or 2nd in the other)

Tristen won breed and best opposite Dutch in both youth shows. He was a bit shocked to see several exhibitors of Dutch and several varieties show up. (There aren't very many Dutch breeders in Kansas, these people had come in from Colorado)   He won with a set of blues in one show, and a tort buck and a black doe in the other.   He was trying to convince us to leave, before the Best in Show judging. He was tired, and "Dutch usually don't win BIS."   Sarah and I both tried to tell him that yes, they do..and that we were not leaving.

The first show he put his tort up. I heard them announce the 1st and 2nd Reserve, and then I heard Best in show today will be the DUTCH.

Tristen's jaw hit the floor.  And then the "we told you so's" started in.

Tristen and Judge Blaine Maier

This is Tristen's very first Best in Show and he won some cash. The tort was DONE and refuses to sit still any longer.

His tort, Wiggle, has done well for him every time he has shown him.  But a few weeks after his last show, T and I were feeding in the barn, and heard someone start choking and coughing. It was him. The idiot had a mouthful of feed, got a drink, and choked up. I'll save you the details, but had we not been there, he would have been found dead in his cage, with us wondering what in the world happened.

Sometimes I think a kick butt show is almost better than a really bad one--Sunday found Tristen busy evaluating, culling hard, and breeding even harder, making soon-to-be hopefuls for the fall season.

I also came home with a breeding pair of mini satins, and a obber sweet Champagne buck, for a family in our town who is just starting in rabbits.   And a very cute Havana doe I can't  wait to grows a bit more so I can breed her!

On the way home, I thought about just how many places, experiences, and people we have met...that  all started with a couple of 4-H rabbits  named Carly and Bulls-eye.

Happy SPRING!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas Vacation

The weekend after Christmas, my crew packed up mid morning and headed to Kansas City for a little mini Christmas vacation.

In a funny turn of events, I was laying on the bed girl talking with my sister on Thanksgiving Day, and it mentioned that we had got tickets to surprise the boys on Christmas morning. She acted shocked and then started laughing...she had gotten Tarquin tickets to the same game for Christmas!!!

So we met up and enjoyed a nice meal together Saturday evening.  After our dinner, the guys and I headed to the Plaza to see the lights. I have heard about these lights for many years. This is one of the things Danny always talks about when he talks about his childhood Christmas's.  It was so beautiful!! We were even stopped in the road for horse drawn carriages to cross...and now I've added going and doing that some year to my bucket list!!

Sunday was the big game. We headed over to Krispy Kreme, where we got a few hot donuts, and off we went. I quickly felt like I had stepped into the twilight zone. I just THOUGHT Danny and the boys were hard core fans. I was wrong. It could be SO much worse!  We drove by lots of tailgaters. Drunk and drinking tailgaters. At 10:30am on a Sunday!

The game was a dream come true for 3 out of 4 of us. The other one of us...well, I enjoyed the experience.  But I'm not a cold weather person. Or a crowd person. Heights bother me. And loud and obnoxious drunk people annoy me. (Sheesh--I sound like I'm 100 years old, don't I?)  But it was amazing to be with my guys!!

This is how I spent 85% of the game. If I tilted my head back a little, I could see the game just fine. My feet were numb and hurt so bad. They finally got back to normal about halfway home from KC. I even wore running pants under my jeans and thought if I wore my boots instead of my tennis shoes, they would be warmer. They were not. 

This is what $10.25 hot chocolate looks like. I was cold. And desperate. And weak.
 I'm so ashamed.

Remember what I said about crowds? And heights? ;)

All and all it was a great weekend!! Oh, and they won!!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas 2014

I'm sitting here at my table, the day after Christmas, and can't believe another one has passed already.

This Christmas was different AGAIN, with losing Danny's dad just a short few weeks ago. I feel like we still are trying to figure things out even still from losing my dad a year ago. I crave the holidays that feel whole and complete. Maybe they will again someday. Or maybe they won't ever be again.  For the second year in a row we had sympathy cards mixed in with our Christmas cards. I have many of moments of didn't we just do this? and I can't believe we are doing this again.

That being said, I think we did great this Christmas. I carried on my theme from last year. Took pressure off and if we didn't REALLY want to do it, we didn't do it.  We didn't get lights hung on our house. Christmas still came.  I didn't want to make cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning. Danny threw in 2 rolls of Cinnabon cinnamon rolls when we were last minute shopping and called it good. Christmas still came. We laughed a lot. Some of us cried. We watched a lot of movies. Baked a lot of cookies, and one of us cried like a baby during Silent Night at the candle light service.  (Is there anything more beautiful?)

Danny and I were about to burst with excitement about one of the gifts we got for our boys. Our daycare elf, Mistletoe Max, stuck around to help deliver it,  Tristen has a love/hate..mostly hate..relationship with Max, so it was just icing on the cake I found a cute little elf jersey in the Halmark store.

Anyway, back to the gift: We got them Kansas City Chief tickets!

And Tristen thought his ticket was a "stupid letter mom wrote from the elf" and almost didn't read it!! HAHAHA

Danny got me a Garmin watch to help with my guess I HAVE to start running more now.  He also gave me a skillet that says "Peace Love and Taco grease, some warm winter boots, and an Ipod dock so I can listen to my music MUCH louder while in the kitchen now!!

I was also SHOCKED when this CA-UTE little chair was carried into my living room. It was made by some of my favorite people in this entire world, and had been part of a scheme with my mother.  I had been drooling over this chair on Facebook and still can't believe IT'S MINE!!!

My boys scored as well, but the favorite gift came from Grandma Glennda.  She got both of them a little remote controlled drones, and feared they were too old for them.  They literally messed around with those things all stinking day. I don't think any boy/man is "too old" for "toys" like that! We got Tristen a big drone, that records while it is in the air. Its pretty cool, and has already had to have been rescued several times from our Mulberry bush in our yard.

One of the best parts of our day was going out to check on the cows.  We have 2 girls who are due anytime, and they've been checking bags and watching them close.  Jacob told us Tristen's cow, Black Out was closer than his, but that he didn't think it would be soon.  We loaded up, and went out. I said I thought there was going to be a baby. Jacob disagreed.  I won.  There was cute fluffy little black bull calf out with his momma at the bale.  We don't know for sure, but I'm guessing she had him more on Christmas Eve..probably right after Jacob checked and claimed nothing was happening. hehe He was really clean and dry and was running around when we were out there.

To:Tristen Merry Christmas Love, Black Out

So--Tristen following his Black OUT, Burn OUT, SLEIGH OUT.  

Hope you all had a VERY Merry Christmas!!

"Sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can't see." The Polar Express

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Great Santa Run

I have NO idea why, but from the moment I saw an ad for Wichita's Great Santa Run, I wanted to go.  Keep in mind this was back in September, when I was a lot more active. Before doing The Santa Run, I hadn't done anything since Thanksgiving Day. And before that, the run in Haviland. But decided--WHAT THE HECK!

There were 380ish people running this race. It was the biggest one I have done to date. It was also the most FUN!!! Christmas carols where blaring, Santa was there, EVERYONE was dressed in Christmas attire, hot chocolate was flowing, donuts were appearing--you just couldn't help be anything but in the Christmas spirit!!

There were Santas, and reindeer, and tutus, men in Christmas themed boxer shorts,  Christmas trees, and bells...And everyone had a smile and a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

This fireman had lights that worked all the way around his air tank. I bet he was exhausted when he was done. 

I started off strong and then decided to just enjoy the experience..  which is code for...I totally fell apart. HAHA!! It wasn't the worst 5K I have ever done, but it wasn't my fastest. BUT--it was THE BEST TIME I have EVER had at a run. SO MUCH STINKING FUN!! I figured that made up for it!  Nothing like stepping over antlers and Santa hats that had fallen off other runners.


I've got several posts in my head. Just need to work on getting them here. I promise I'll update soon!! In the meantime..hope all of you have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!! 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Thank You

Tuesday, December 2nd, our family was hit with another hard loss. Within 6 hours of being exactly a year apart with my Dad, my father in law passed away.

Chuck and Diane, with all their children: Danny, Tony, Chris and Sarah

Lying in bed this morning found me with my heart full and my eyes open, with my fingers needing to write.

How do you say THANK YOU, to a family who made the journey from Hungary to America, risking it all in a time that was treacherous, to find a better life? 
He was 11 years old when his family fled their country.  I had known this since I had entered this family, but at the funeral home, listening to Chucks sister tell part of the story, the hair on my neck stood up and I REALLY finally understood. She talked about being a little girl, 8 years old, and her mother telling her they were going to for a walk and that she needed to put on 2 layers of clothes. And of them stopping at her grandmothers house, and her wrapping up food for them. Her mother crying, and her grandmother saying "You act like I'll never see you again." They couldn't tell anyone they were leaving.  And she never did see her mother again. It took them a year before they made it to Kentucky, where Chuck would later meet Danny's mother.  This story has been on Tristen's heart, and in the hunting section of Wal-mart,  I felt him also grasp the full story. "If anything had been different, I wouldn't be here, would I?"

 And because of Chuck's family, and their journey, my husband is first generation born American.

How do you say THANK YOU to a man who fought in Vietnam, not meeting his daughter until she was 7 months old.  A man who wasn't born in America, but He KNEW what it was to be an American. He was one of the most patriotic people I have ever met, and his knowledge of world history was just absolutely crazy. 

How do you say THANK YOU for raising the man you would marry? The man who would help me bring my babies into the world?

How do you say THANK YOU to a man who adored your children? (Well, not just mine. He adored ALL 13 of his grandchildren!) He taught them about food, and about chess, about saving money and being thrifty, about stamps and coins..  He taught them to be yourself. 

How do you say THANK YOU to a man whose most important thing in life was his family. He was happiest with kids running around playing, and adults with bellies full, sitting around socializing. 

Chuck and Diane with kids and spouses: Me with Danny, Stacey and Tony, Chris and Penny, and Sarah..we were missing her husband Don.

How do you say THANK YOU for the life he lived? For the example of determination, and grit, and hard work. 

How do you say thank you? I have no idea.


 Thank you, Chuck Bruckner.

Thank you.

Sunday, October 26, 2014


This past Saturday I completed my 3rd 10K in a year.  After my last one, I experienced some health issues we've figured out, but I wasn't really sure I'd ever be able to do another one. (Quick--stop reading, Melanie! ;) )

But--I did!!

I didn't beat my fastest record, but I did beat my time from this race from last year. And I ran the fastest mile I have EVER ran. 

The difference between the miles is pretty comical. Mile 1-3 I felt like I could finally call myself a runner, and kept up with the pack.  After the 5K ended and I took the 10K turn off, I kinda questioned why I do this to myself! HAHA
Miles 1 and 4 were my fastest.  The 5K course in it town, mostly on paved roads, which the 10K'ers do, but then it splits and the second half of the route is cross country.


See..totally not kidding!!


I was so happy to see this pumpkin! Only 2.2 more miles to go!!

After this part, it was all super sandy dirt roads with a bridge that makes me dizzy as I cross it. I passed mile 5 and then kinda fell apart at 5.5. . I'm not really sure what happened, if I just needed a little more fuel or if I just went to hard in the beginning, but I might have went faster if I had crawled. =P It was also very unseasonably hot that day, and that certainly didn't help.  Was thrilled to cross that finish line.

These pictures were taken from the photographer that was there.


Taken right at the starting line. See me in the pink shirt and black pants?


See how I'm going one way, and my foot is going the other? THAT'S what GoRun was talking about! Perfect picture of it!*shaking my head*  BTW--my feet felt GREAT!! Not even ONE blister!!


At the finish line!! 6.2 miles! I did it!!!  I'm ALIVE!!!!This was quickly followed by "Good Lord..I need to sit down." =)

Thursday, September 18, 2014


Hello? HELLO! Is this thing on?? I'm not sure I have have any readers left out there, but here I sit.  I thought I'd update everyone on my journey.

My weight loss has come to a stand still since my Dad died. Because until recently...I honesty did not care.   I'm grateful I have gained hardly any weight back,  but it sure isn't moving the other way either. IS time to get busy again. It's for sure a 2 steps forward, one step back thing.

I completed a 10K in Garden City Saturday.  I ran A LOT.  I have been working on a running program, and until this, I had only done 2 miles. I'm not really sure what I was thinking when I signed up, but I did finish and managed to take a personal record by taking off over 3 mins off my time from a 10K almost exactly a year ago. Maybe soon I'll actually TRAIN for a 10K and see what I can do! HA!


You know the saying sometimes I open my mouth and my mother comes out? Well, this picture makes me laugh..because ALL I SEE is my mom!! ;) The older I get, the more she blinks back at me when I look in the mirror! This is the AFTER picture..see how red I am??  HAHA

I got REALLY tired around mile 4.5-5.  The road we were coming off of seemed like it would never end.  And then a song came on through my headphones that reminded me of Jamie. And of my Dad. 

My heart and lungs are strong enough to do whatever I ask them to do. I'm alive.  I suddenly felt super silly for feeling tired, and told myself to NUT UP, BUTTERCUP.  I plowed through those last few miles and felt great as I crossed that line.

My recovery time has been much easier this time. I had some butt/ back of the thigh pain, and was super stiff. But--no blisters, no shin pain, no knee pain. God Bless you, GoRUN, for my new shoes!!

I also realized that while I may  not think much is changing scale wise, I CERTAINLY would not have signed up to do 6 miles, "just for fun" a year and a half ago. 

Progress is STILL progress, no matter how slow, or what form it shows itself! Must keep telling myself this!