ranch life

Life Lately- September 2023

September has been jumping back in the deep end of all the things! Both kids are back in school, this year Olivia is full time in kindergarten at our local elementary school, and Henry is back at two-day preschool at our beloved church preschool we started last year.

Olivia moved up from three years of baby ballet (age 3-5) to Ballet I, and is loving it. Just this week we found out she has been cast as a Tiny Angel for the annual upcoming production of The Nutcracker close to Christmas time and she is excited to perform for everyone. She is a performer, but competitive athletics, maybe not so much. We’ve got both kids in soccer this season, and Liv very much enjoys the team bonding aspect, but the actual following of the ball, and trying steal it, and all that, not so much. There may be an athlete in there somewhere, but for now she’s a little too sweet. 😉 Henry seems to enjoy it, and will have streaks of success, and streaks of being a three year old working on coordination, so we’ll take it. He is most excited that his team is the Raptors, and his little dino loving self is all about that.

We rounded up spring calves and sold them early in September, and have gathered the girls once so far to grab a few pregnancy tests to start sorting out who is and isn’t bred. Our schedule is busy enough on Saturdays with soccer games that we don’t really have time to get them all done, so we are planning to grab a few at a time over time and get everyone done that way. We use the Alertys OnFarm tests, so it’s pretty straightforward to grab a syringe/ vial of blood and then run the test at home with results in 20 minutes. Plus it’s fun to look across the chute to a nice view 😉

I think I might finally be hitting the stride of our school schedule now that we’re a few weeks in. I had to turn our meal planning schedule on its ear a little, but it seems to be working. The kids and I used to come to town on Mondays and grab groceries for the week while Liv was in ballet, but now Mondays are the only day I don’t absolutely have to come to town for anything consistently, so I’m protecting those pretty fiercely to stay home and reset from the weekend and get housework done. So, now I’m buying our weekly groceries on Fridays after Henry goes to a tumbling class with his little bestie (and his mom is one of my besties, so it’s double fun!), and it’s actually working pretty well because Tuesday-Thursday are the highest likelihood of us eating out/ not eating at home (so I’m mainly planning meals from Friday-Monday). Some favorites lately have been reverse seared steaks with twice baked potatoes from Sam’s Club, Euna Mae’s poppyseed chicken with homemade mashed potatoes, hibachi chicken bowls, and homemade beef enchiladas. Before heading to the Tech game a few weeks ago, I used my favorite biscuit recipe to make breakfast biscuit sandwiches, and they were a nice Saturday treat. And if you are like me, and like to get a little creative with school lunches, I have loved this set of cookie/ sandwich cutters. A full sandwich won’t fit in the kids’ bentgo boxes, so I will either cut them one sandwich shape that makes it a little easier to fit, or 3-4 little cut outs. They think it’s so fun to find surprise shapes, and I can quiz them to see if they know/ remember what shape they got for the day 😉

I was a little slow going on reading through the summer, but picked up a little in September finishing five books (mostly thanks to audiobooks and a lot of driving to and around town!)- three nonfiction and two fiction.

  • M is for Mama: a Rebellion Against Mediocre Motherhood by Abbie Halberstadt– I really enjoyed this one, and mainly read it during my morning quiet time with my Bible study, but I could see where everyone wouldn’t agree with it necessarily. It’s primarily about bucking the cultural norm that “no one has it together so no one should make you feel like you aren’t a good enough mom for not trying”. And I agree that no one is perfect and no one is going to be a perfect mom, but it did inspire me to feel like it’s okay (and good, and Scriptural) to try to be my best, however that looks, for my family.
  • Like a River: Finding the Faith and Strength to Move Forward after Loss and Heartache by Granger Smith– We’ve been Granger Smith fans for several years, and have watched his transformation from music artist to preacher on social media with interest. This was absolutely heartbreaking in parts. I mean, I ugly bawled through the first few chapters because what absolute unimaginable horror they had to go through. He and I don’t agree on absolutely everything theologically I think, just based off this, but it was really good, and what a way to use your platform by giving Christ the attention and glory.
  • Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones by James Clear– some of this was interesting, but a lot was repetitive, and at the end of it all, I’m not sure I learned or took away anything life changing.
  • The Wishing Game by Meg Shaffer– I LOVED this one! Think Willy Wonka meets Hunger Games in a literary type world. So unique and interesting and a really sweet ending!
  • The Dry by Jane Harper– This was highly recommended but I had a hard time keeping interest in it if I’m honest. I am interested in tracking down the movie that came out a few years ago and seeing how it compares!

Liv is still all about a matching moment and I’m here for it. We aren’t always completely matchy-matchy, but I’ll dress her like me and vice versa as long as she’ll let me!

Baby ranchers have been helping with ranch duties on Saturday mornings before soccer and on weeknights after dinner, and it’s such sweet family time. We’re determined to raise ’em ranchy and so far they are completely on board!

September had us moving at warp speed, and October looks like more of the same. I’m hopeful we get (and keep!) some cooler temperatures, and get a little more settled into our routine- probably just in time for things to wrap up and the routine to change again. Such is life around here, and I wouldn’t want it any other way!

2 thoughts on “Life Lately- September 2023

  1. September sounds like it’s been a whirlwind of activity for you and your family! 🌪️ It’s heartwarming to hear about Olivia’s excitement for ballet and her role as a Tiny Angel in The Nutcracker—such a special moment to look forward to during the holidays. Henry’s enthusiasm for soccer and his dino-themed team is adorable! 🦖⚽

    Your insights on managing the household and meal planning are impressive and efficient. It’s all about finding that balance, and it sounds like you’ve got it figured out, especially with those delicious meal choices! 🍽️ And the cookie/sandwich cutters for school lunches? What a creative way to make lunchtime fun and memorable for the kids! 🍪

    Your book recommendations are intriguing, and it’s wonderful that you find time to read despite your busy schedule. “Like a River” sounds like a touching and inspiring read, and “The Wishing Game” seems like a unique and captivating story.

    Your family’s involvement in ranch duties and the determination to raise them ranchy is heartening. It’s fantastic to hear how you’re creating meaningful family moments amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life.

    Wishing you cooler temperatures and a bit more settled routine in October! 🍂 It’s clear that you embrace the dynamic nature of your life, and it’s all part of the beautiful journey. Keep enjoying those sweet moments with your family! 🌟

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