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!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Feels Like Fall

Today in SC Kansas, it feels like falls.

The boys have started school.  I have a junior and a freshman in my house. Tristen had the normal freshman jitters, but after the first day of not being able to find his classes and almost walking in to the girls bathrooms, he claims its "just school" now.  I don't really enjoy sending my boys to school. It nothing to do with a school issue. I just like having them around. ;) This year I get to sleep in bit longer. For the first time ever both my boys are in the same school in the same town we live in.  Now, the time Tristen was getting out bed, was the time he was getting on the bus in previous years.

This season also found us with another first. For the first time since Jacob was a 4th grader..I have no one playing football. My feelings change a lot on this. As tired and worn out as I'm feeling these days, I'm mostly thankful, mixed with just a bit of sadness.

Tristen sent off his German Chocolate Cake Friday morning to the state fair, and was THRILLED to see it earned him a blue ribbon!

Our family recently went to Kansas City and took in a Royals game. Tristen and Danny are huge fans. Jacob and I..well, we enjoyed the experience. ;)  Out of the 4 of us, 3 of us are not city people, and couldn't wait to be back at home to our sleepy little town.  It WAS fun!


Pre-game--hoping to get a warm up ball.

My garden has really produced this year!! I have many jars of canned jalapenos, banana peppers, and okra. My freezer is full of pretty tomatoes that I'll turn into salsa when things slow down a bit.

I'm sure every family goes through this, but Dan and I are on a mission to de-stress our family as much as possible right now.  This has resulted in a step down on a board, downsizing on a couple of things,  asking for help, and the admittance of "if it doesn't get done right now, the world will not end,"  and not feeling guilty about saying NO when asked to do something I don't have time for or just don't want to do.  (I'm getting better at this one.)  My boys didn't complete their record books for 4-H this year. Guess what.. I'm almost positive they will still grow up and be productive members of society. 

Back in January I started a running program and then had to stop for health reasons. I have recently found one that I LOVE, and have really taken off with it.  I'm slow. Painfully of slow. But I love it.  Recently I started having some knee issues, and decided I probably needed new shoes. So, my very loving, tired of hearing her complain, husband drug my butt to GoRun to be fitted.  I wasn't sure what to to expect, but the very sweet girl looked at my shoes, and how they were wearing, watched me walk away from her, and then back, and then made me run on a treadmill while a high speed camera recorded my feet.
I'm not sure why it bothered me so much. But I was MORTIFIED! and HORRIFIED.  Its really no wonder my knees had been hurting. Or that my ankles just haven't snapped right off.


I over pronate. When I run, I turn my foot out, land on the side of my foot, roll it in, and then step and repeat. Danny loved it, and made sounds like we were passing a really gruesome accident on the high way. After trying on a stack of shoes, I put on the ones that were MADE FOR ME. They have taken away every ache and pain I had. Like walking on clouds. I highly recommend getting fitted! I just wish I would have done it sooner!!

And this past weekend, we partied hard as this little cutie turned one year old.

Michelle, Tarquin, and Jayden Michael, the brown eyed ball of sunshine.

I'm constantly amazed at how fast life can change in a year, both good and bad.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Dodge City Days 5K

Saturday morning my best friend Lori and I headed to Dodge to participate in the Dodge City Days 5K.

Why is this a big deal? Well, you would just have to know our track record for girls day out isn't very good.  I know we've made it to at least one, in crappy weather and we should have probably just stayed home that time! Someone always seemed to be sick, or the weather uncooperative.   The last time we planned to do something together, we were suppose to go Christmas shopping. We buried my Dad that day instead.

I got to her house, 30 mins away, around 6:20am, and then we headed to Dodge.

Those of you that are familiar with Dodge City, the course was UP second street (street by the steer.),  around the school, through part of the civic center, around some residential area, back down by the school, and DOWN second street to where we began. 




Feel the burn!!

I had a certain time I wanted to hit. I didn't hit it, but had just over a 15 min mile through the entire race. Which I don't find bad for a occasional run/ mostly walker going up and down hills, but I was still a little bummed.  I stayed with Lori for about 10 seconds as we started. Ever see a Yugo race a Corvette? It was a bit like that.  Me: I'm running. I'm staying with everyone. Look--there's Lori. Hi, Lori!!..This is going to ROCK.....Ahh, lungs are burning... do blood clots burn? ...can ankles snap off??...that 80 year man just passed me...walking is cool... No shame in walking.

The hills were wicked and my calves were burning just  walking to the line to begin. As I got into it, I was SURE my phone app wasn't working and that I was probably at LEAST half done.  About that time, the app kicked on, telling me I had gone 0.60 of a mile. =-O I'm sure my tears were just mistaken for sweat. hehe

Hills or was A BLAST!!! 

Lori got 1st for her age group, and I didn't come in last.


While walking the strip of sidewalk that had farmer's market type tables set up, I found a lady selling Iris bulbs, and came home with Mariachi Music, Vandal Spirit, Silver back, Keeping up Appearances, and Feature Attraction. I can't wait to see how they all do!

Thanks for the great day, Lori!! =) When can we do it again??

Sunday, July 20, 2014

County Fair 2014

Whew!! Thank goodness this week is over. I feel like I have been ran over by a train, and guessing from the kid in his bed, sleeping at 12:51 in the afternoon, and the other 2 men flopped on the couch, they are feeling the same way!

Here are our results from the fair!

For level 2 foods, Tristen made a German Chocolate Cake, Orange Chiffon Cake, and Peanut Butter Sandwich cookies.  He was awarded Champion level 2 with his German Chocolate Cake.  This is his Dad's favorite cake, and we've now tried several different recipes. This one, though, is a keeper and the new favorite!  He got to take it to the auction. His other goodies got state fair blues.

He also entered a flag case, and got reserve.  This flag case will be given to my mom, to put the flag in that was on top of my dad's casket.

Rabbits he was awarded both Grand and Reserve with Tort Dutch.

And his steer got a blue.  The steers are a long and dramatic story, but I'll just say we are all kind of glad to be done for a while. He also got a blue in Beef showmanship.

Jacob took a rocket this year. It was a level 5, and about half way though I wasn't sure he would be able to complete it! Things flying across the room usually are not a good sign!   (There wasn't even a level 5 to mark on the report you have to check in into the fair. Only through 4. It was pretty wicked!)  He did, and flew it successfully. Despite a few problems, he was still awarded Grand Champion with it.

He made fishing pole holder for our house, and got Grand on it. He's run out of places to put things for his room..his mother may or may not take this to her advantage with "suggestions" on projects to make!

He took 3 rabbits...2 which were really really young, and one that was really too old. He's been working hard on them, just doesn't have much show wise right now. Those that he took got blues.

His steer also got a blue, as well as blue in Beef Showmanship.  Jacob was awarded the small animal herdsmanship award.



 I entered 3 pictures, one receiving a red, the other 2 blues. I took a plate of pretty green peppers from my garden, and got a blue, and took 2 jars of Monster Energy Jelly. I was hoping for a blue, figured I would get a red, because its just really a strange thing, but couldn't believe it when Tristen sent a text saying they had slapped a grand champion ribbon on my jars! I also took 4 rabbits to our fair. My Havana doe got Grand. I have been itching to get her to a show. She's a senior now, but hasn't been able to get to a show because she was born at a weird time. Too young for this show, out of coat for this one... I'm not sure I'm going to keep her to show, or if I should just get her bred. Hmmm. Anyway, the reserve went a a little chocolate mini rex of mine.

All and all, it was a good fair. I think we just have so much going on, both on the schedules, and in our hearts, that we just weren't all there this year. I usually love fair week.  I also think having a fair board member in our family adds to it. Though the drama doesn't really involve me, I KNOW about what goes on or what issues come up. I think people would really be surprised and shocked at some of the things these guys deal with.

On to next year!

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Real Update

I thought it was about time to update about this little family.

Our biggest and most exciting news is...I will have a new kitchen soon! Ours in in major need of updating.. And I'm not talking about new paint or hardware. All the existing cabinets will be ripped out, as well as the floor.

I also should tell you...Melanie and Sara..close your ears...I hate this stuff. HATE!!!  Where most girls get excited over picking out all these fun things...I can't stand it. It overwhelms me.  I think I've made all the decisions on things--except for our new wall color.  This stuff is really hard for me for some reason.

So, the wood, the crown molding, the bead board, are all ordered. I've picked out counter top, back splash, pulls and knobs, and flooring.. to be picked up next week.

I need some wine.

I also should mention that I don't do well with mess and disorganization of my life...this should be interesting! 

Our area has been blessed with rain. Not enough to break us out of the drought category, but enough to surely help, and to make the plants and grass super happy.  I am once again doing containers for my garden, and tripled what I had this year. I haven't been disappointed, and I'm not sure I'll ever want to put a garden in the ground again!! I added 3 pots of sugar snap peas, which are about done now, but did fabulous, watermelon.-we've got 5 set!-- spaghetti squash, jalapenos, cabbage, and corn. I repeated the banana peppers, green peppers, okra, as well as several pots of herbs.  My tomatoes I stuck in the mineral tubs. Last year I put them in little pots. They did ok, but are doing really well in the tub! I also grew cucumbers for the first time ever. My dad had a giant metal pot he always tried to grow them in after he was unable to do a garden. I say tried, because he never could get them past a certain point. My mom gave me the pot early this spring and I figured out I'm pretty sure Dad's problem was a water issue.  I always water them for about 5 seconds past what I think is good...that pot is hot, and dries out fast.  Anyway, I've picked 5 now. They make me smile, and reminds me of him.  He's probably really happy, or really irritated with me! ;)







Jacob has had a busy summer so far.  Every morning he runs out to care for 4-H steers and the bucket calf. And then checks his string of traps. He's licensed with the State of Kansas as a nuisance wildlife controller. Its one of those things you probably wouldn't think of being too much of a need, but the kid stays really busy.   He recently snagged a 45# beaver and has even trapped a few at our local lake for the city.  He recently went to a 4-H camp as a counselor, got home, did laundry, packed and left the next morning for our vacation. And works part time at our local grocery store. I hope he still has this energy when he's my age! ;)

Tristen is in full summer mode, and has the tan to prove it!! Still undecided if he will play HS football in the fall.  He's loaded up on Dutch babies at the moment, all in the super cute bounce around stage,but are starting to crap in the water bowls, so the cuteness is about over. ;)  Still trying to finalize fair plans, which is coming up fast!

Danny is nursing  what I think is a mean case of whiplash at the moment. He was was helping halter break 4-H steers, and Jake's steer kinda went one way, Dan pulled the other, and then they both kinda released into each other. I thought they had actually bumped heads, but they didn't. Dan immediately knew he was going to be sore, and sure enough. He's kinda doing the whole body turn to look to the side.

Thanks for checking on us!!! It feels good to be blogging again!