[Linking up with Julia @ black tag diaries]


When I saw Football Fan's link up for Thankful Thursdays last week, I knew I would had to copy her again. I wonder if she is getting tired of me copying her link-ups? She probably wishes she would have never taught me about blogging link-ups. oh well, too late now, I'm a linking fool! So here we go.........

This Thursday (and every other day) I'm THANKFUL for.........


and RANCHERS too!
[Linking up with Jamie at  This Kind of Love for What I'm Loving Wednesday!]

I'm LOVING......Pinterest successes, kiddos, friends on the big screen & beautiful winter days

These recipes from Pinterest were huge successes! I'll be blogging about them separately coming up, so stay tuned for the cooks secrets! Pork Green Chile, Cinnamon Almonds, and Malibu Chicken....mmmmmm.


AND....babysitting these kiddos. They are so cute and good little guy and gal. Aunt Jen is pretty proud! They are both pretty big fans of dancing around the living room to Cross Canadian Ragweed....that B-I-N-G-O doesn't hold a candle to CCR!


AND.......watching an old Sam Elliott flick and seeing Oklahoma Cowboy in it. My friend Oklahoma Cowboy has been in several movies, mostly as a stunt guy for horseback scenes. I still get excited when I see him in a movie that I didn't know he was in......like Rough Riders that I watched this weekend. He's somewhat of a legend, even if it is in his own mind.



AND......beautiful winter days on the mountain!


Happy Hump Day!


All you kids out there, listen up! This is what you have to look forward to in life after college. Don't get me wrong the paycheck and leave days are nice, but there just isn't the excitement that there was in everyday college life to be found in everyday "big kid" life.

According to the guys who have lived around here their whole lives, and their fathers before them, and their fathers before them.....last year was one of the worst droughts in the last 60 years. As we look back on it and look towards 2013....we might top last years drought this year. Boo! FSA offers a program acronymed NAP (Non-insurable assistance program). NAP is a catastrophic insurance plan that is available for crops that aren't covered by traditional crop insurance such as grass hay and grazing, my 2 biggest crops in my 2 counties. Because it is a catastrophic insurance the producer must have a 50% loss before they would receive a disaster payment however; because it is catastrophic insurance the premium is fairly inexpensive, $250 per crop, per year.

For the last 2 weeks I have been calculating NAP disaster payments on federal grazing permits. It doesn't sound that hard, but alas the federal government has decided to "new and improve" another process. I have more "worksheets" than federal permits to figure out THE number to enter into the software to make sure that the payment that is calculated by the software is correct. Enter....Exhibit 21 which is an Excel spreadsheet developed by New Mexico to calculate payments on federal permits. Each Exhibit 21 will accommodate up to 4 permits (or 4 schedules). Sounds like alot right? Lets just say I don't have many that bought NAP insurance that fit on one Exhibit 21.

I was staring........cross-eyed......at my computer and it hit me, what we needed was a challenge!

So I present to you.....

THE GRAZING PERMIT CHALLENGE

Basically, I challenged all the other CEDs in Wyoming to find out who has the producer who has the largest number of Exhibit 21s required to complete the NAP disaster payment calculations. Whoever wins gets a "prize" made by........you guessed it........ME! We've already had donations into the "pot" for the winner. The rules for the Challenge are:


  1. The number of Exhibit 21 will be totaled by producer, not by application. Example: if a producer has more than one entity and/or mutiple counties, his applications will be totaled together.
  2. If Patty catches you cheating during her County Office Review (COR) of your NAP program, you must forfeit all prizes and be deemed a cheater forever!
  3. All entries must be turned in by May 1, 2013
Now, I'm just throwing this out there, but I was informed by a producer a couple weeks ago that I need to understand that their operation is VERY complex and there won't be another application in the world that is like theirs......so I'm probably going to win, just sayin. Plus isn't the person who develops the challenge supposed to win said challenge. (Maybe you guys should root for me, a little extra cheering can't hurt, right?)

PS. I wish I would have never said  "I'm so ready to get out of ________(fill in your college town)! Choose your words carefully young grasshoppers!

January 27, 2001 is not a date that I remembered specifically, until I attended grad school at Oklahoma State University. Even though I wasn't yet part of the OSU family at the time of this horrible tragedy, I am now and I will remember the ten who lost their lives that day in Colorado from the men's basketball team. Then the unthinkable happened, it happened again and even though I had already graduated I do remember this day. November 17, 2011, when the women's basketball team lost 4 of their own and again the entire OSU family shed tears.

This was supposed to be a day of Super Bowl revelry in this college town, with the only worry being whether stores would run out of popcorn, beer and peanuts.

Instead, the mood Sunday was as cold and dreary as the rain soaking the streets following the crash of a small airplane bringing people home from Oklahoma State's basketball game against Colorado.

"It's like a part of the school died," said Justin Battista, a freshman walking in the rain toward Sunday morning Mass.

Ten people were killed in Saturday's crash in a field 40 miles east of Denver, including two reserve basketball players and six staffers and broadcasters. The pilot and co-pilot also were killed.

 excerpt Jennifer Brown
Associated Press Writer


Kendall Durfey
Bjorn Fahlstrom
Nathan Fleming 
William Hancock III
Daniel Lawson  
Brian Luinstra
Denver Mills
Pat Noyes
William Tietgens 
 Jared Weibert


Oklahoma State, 10 months removed from commemorating the 10-year anniversary of the deaths of 10 men affiliated with its men's basketball program, was again struck with its "worst nightmare" Friday after learning women's coach Kurt Budke and assistant Miranda Serna died in a plane crash a day earlier.
Their plane went down in Perry County, Ark., also killing the pilot -- 82-year-old former Oklahoma state Sen. Olin Branstetter -- and his wife, Paula. There were no survivors.
"This is our worst nightmare. The entire OSU family is very close, very close indeed," OSU president Burns Hargis said at a news conference Friday. "To lose anyone, especially these two individuals who are incredible life forces in our family, it is worse beyond words.
excerpt ESPN






Kurt Budke
Miranda Serna
Paula Branstetter
Olin Branstetter






Last year Kelsey and I finished the Remember the Ten Memorial 10K held in Stillwater, OK. It was an amazing event and I am honored to be part of it. For more information on the runs click here.


 Forever Orange

Remember

by on 5:00 AM
January 27, 2001 is not a date that I remember ed specifically, until I attended grad school at Oklahoma State University. Even thoug...
I got this email earlier this week and it really made me think about our lives and the rat race that tends to take over. Do these look familiar to anyone else?



Having coffee with friends


A day at the beach


Cheering on your team


Having dinner with friends


Out on an itimate date


Having a conversation with your BFF


A visit to the museum


Enjoying the sights



I feel as this day may have arrived. Can you unplug for a weekend? Enjoy your friends, your family, the world that God created around us, museums, sporting events, festivals. Enjoy ANYTHING and do it without your phone! That Albert E was one smart fella.

Unplugged

by on 5:00 AM
I got this email earlier this week and it really made me think about our lives and the rat race that tends to take over. Do these look famil...
Did you know MREs can have a shelf life of up to 60 months? That is 5 years! longer than it took me to pay off my car (well the first time.....but thats another story). Not to mention that even if soldier is lucky enough to avoid MREs a majority of the time, they will still eat in a "cafeteria" on base.....can't imagine this is that delicious either. So I put together this little MRE Survival Kit to send to my adopted soldier. And I hope that it is useful, but honestly.....who can't use Taco Bell sauce?


MRE Survival Kit

I may or may not schedule special trips to Taco Bell just to re-stock my Taco Bell sauce stash at my house.



Looks like its time for a Taco Bell run!
[Linking up with Jamie at  This Kind of Love for What I'm Loving Wednesday!]

I'M LOVING..................I Brake for Yard Sales (An HGTV show from Lara Spencer, a GMA host)


"Hoarders are welcome." ~ Lara, on finding the best yard sales

So I might watch too much TV since this is this is the second tv show that I have written about for WILW.....sue me. Lara re-decorates for her friends and family refinishing, reusing and re-purposing yard sale, thrift stores, estate sales and dumpster items. There wasn't any dumpster diving on this episode and I can't even tell you how much disappointment I will have if she doesn't pull something out of the dumpster on this season's show!

She loves garage sale-ing so much she wrote a book about it! I LOVE people who are so creative and can turn junk into masterpieces, especially in the name of saving some moo-lah. However, as with most HGTV shows that are all about re-purposing junk....still WAY out of my price range, but I'll keep dreaming!

And a few of my dream pieces from my Pinterest boards that Lara could hit out of the park. 

 
  
 
Its official, there is a national day/month of ________ for EVERYTHING. Did you know they even have a National Donut Day?.....I was unaware of this until last year, but I heard it on the radio so I went straight to Cowboy Donuts and loaded up for the office. Yeah, I was supposed to be dieting, but what is a girl supposed to do when its National Donut Day? Being a fun-hater and not participating in the celebration is not an option.

Anyway.....don't give blood on National Donut Day....I think your tests would come back funky or something. But lucky for us there is a National blood donor month and that is.....yep, right now! January! I have good blood and good veins so I think its my duty to give blood. Secretly, I love Gardettos and I get a little snack pack for free when I give blood so that is motivation right there. Sometimes I sneak two, but don't tell the blood folks that, ok?

Now that I live in WY, we have United Blood Services. But when I lived in OK and TN, I donated with American Red Cross. Find a place and donate today....you get free stuff most of the time. I like free stuff.

There is pretty good participation in Sweetwater County, sometimes they get really behind and you have to wait forever to give blood (like 2 snack packs forever) so I have started to give double red blood cell (RBC) instead of whole blood. It takes a little longer (about an hour) to donate, but you aren't eligible to donate as frequently since they take more RBC out. They take your blood out, channel it through this big machine that separates your RBC out and into one of the little bags. Then your plasma and some other stuff is returned to your body. Then repeat the process and you are done!


Happy Blood Donation Month!



Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.
And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is today. On Friday at work we received an email from our Administrator, Juan Garcia, encouraging us to read King's I Have a Dream speech. Now usually when we get these rah-rah emails at work I just delete them, but for some reason I decided to read over his speech.

Its really amazing how far we have come since King stood up in front of all those people and told us about his dream.

I believe that this his speech still has elements that apply to us today. 



We are facing some of the biggest difficulties that this Nation has ever seen and even though the point of his speech so many years ago was civil rights, our fight today is much more than civil rights. Let all all "rise up and live out the true meaning our country's creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." I think that sometimes we have turned too far in the other direction. We need to truly treat everyone equal, so long as they have not done things to not deserve equal treatment.

So as we reflect on MLKs life today and how his thoughts might apply to our Nation's problems of today, I'll leave you with the following thoughts from a man to impacted our country so many years ago.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. 

Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality. 
 We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now.
It's Friday! Time to celebrate! I'm linking up with Lauren at From My Grey Desk for High Five for Friday!


  1. Snowboarding: This last storm brought over a foot of snow to some of the ski areas that are near me, too bad its been about 10 degree (or -10).....but its supposed to be a heat wave this weekend, forecasted high of 37!
  2. My dog: She is always happy to see me when I come home!
  3. Babies with bows: To be clear she isn't really mine, but I LOVE being Aunt Jen.
  4. 4 day weekend: Yay for MLK Day....you will probably find me strapped to my board on the mountain, using $40 of my remaining $50 "envelope cash" on a lift ticket. Yeah, I'm responsible like that.
  5.  These delicious energy packed power balls - they taste like cookies, but are much better for you at least that is what I tell myself! Click here for the recipe. I have never once followed this recipe exactly.....be free, experiment!
Happy Friday!


I moved to Rock Springs and bought my first house in 2009! Exciting, I can pick my own paint colors. I bought my house in foreclosure and it had a few projects (and a few that I wasn't expecting). It definitely a work in progress and I'll blog about each room as I get it finished. Fair warning, I'm not that great at finishing projects so some of them might be closely followed with a 'my first sale' blog. And no, I don't see that coming too soon.

This the the picture that I thought I had of the outside of my house.
 See I told you I was bad at this picture thing......I thought that I might take one before work in the morning, but its super cold and all snowy and icy and I just don't think my house would look as joyful as it does when there is green grass and green trees. Maybe another day you will get a picture of it :)

Some of the changes that I'll eventually be blogging about include:
  • total kitchen remodel
  • new paint all around
  • new blinds all around
  • all new flooring
  • total bathroom remodel (this one wasn't by choice)
  • landscaping
  • all new paint colors
Whew, I'm getting tired just thinking about it and I had a whole lotta help with all these projects! And I enlist anyone to help me....my Momma, Music Man, Gypsy Friend, The Retired Guy and My Contractor. I sure hope that I didn't miss anyone, if I did don't sue me please.

 
They can't do anything about it! AND I'm going to post embarrassing pictures of them on my blog and there is still nothing they can do about it! Sister and Little Sister, I don't know what I'd do without them, but sometimes I'd like to kill'em.

We've been through alot, some good, some bad. We have our own dialect (more on that later). And we are pretty open book. We have furry children, most of which are naughty. Sister has agreed to guest blog with 'Critter Tales', all about her naughty weenie dog. They were a hit during her treatments with all that followed and continue on Facebook so lets hear a chant to get her going on those! We are stylish, as seen below.


We can be acceptable humans to take out into public should the need arise.

Mountain States Circuit Finals 2012 Rock Springs, WY



Sisters

by on 8:04 AM
  They can't do anything about it! AND I'm going to post embarrassing pictures of them on my blog and there is still nothing the...
Me: "Oh, I haven't told you about my new cash thing have I?"
Gypsy Friend: "No"
Me: "See, I have it split into categories and at the beginning of the month I take out my budget and when its gone, its gone."



Gypsy Friend: " (bahahahaha) You have a filing cabinet in your wallet! You are so lame."
Me: (sad face) " I thought you would be proud of me for not spending so much money."
Gypsy Friend: "Well I am, but seriously......a filing cabinet in your wallet?"

Ok so I wrote this post a couple weeks ago and its been sitting in draft mode waiting for the perfect debut day. I went home for my uncle's funeral on Friday and then stayed for my Dad's best friend, Roy's funeral yesterday (that's why I didn't get a blog posted). Anyway, I drive to Colorado....it snows and it did. Of course I have AWFUL windshield wipers that I never remember to replace when I'm someplace where I could get it done. So after blowing into Limon after Roy's funeral, I ran by NAPA (if you can't get it at NAPA, you don't need it) to get some wipers and of course someone else to go out in the cold to put them on. As I pulled out wallet to pay, I look up and the NAPA guy is grinning at me and the conversation that followed went something like this:

NAPA guy: (grinning and laughing)  Do you have dividers....like files in your wallet?
Me: (embarassed) um...yeah. I had to put myself on a cash diet because I was spending too much money.
NAPA guy: Hey! come look at this she has a filing cabinet in her wallet because she spends too much money!

Pretty soon all the NAPA employees come over to inspect my "filing cabinet wallet". I think I could really make money if I had the patent on my system. I did however see a commercial for a "filing cabinet wallet" on tv the other day, but I must say....mine is much nicer! So I dont' really know if I can get a patent on that or not.

So it turns out that that money guy.....you know Dave Ramsey might actually know what he is talking about. I'm the one that if I had cash, I didn't have it long because I spent it. I was also consistently freaking out over my credit card bill....I mean seriously how did it get that big of a balance in just a month?!?!?!

I've tried 3 of Dave's 7 Baby Steps. I'm not religious follower of the plan, but I do partake in moderation. I've saved my emergency fund, I've used the debt snowball and I'm working on my 3 to 6 months. I didn't complete the debt snowball to Dave's satisfaction, but I'll tell you what.....knocking out some of those monthly payments made me want to save even more.....I could see some serious progress each month!

And much to my kicking and screaming (in my head) I started using the envelope system for my discretionary spending. I added up what I spend in each category the month before starting the envelope system to give me a starting point for my budget. I thought fewer categories would be more manageable, so I eventually settled on 1) eating out, 2) entertainment, 3) gas, 4) groceries, 5) gym and 6) wedding (for my sisters). I've found I don't really need gym and wedding, I should just put them in regular savings accounts. I bought TurboFire and have started working out at home, saves me $40 bucks a month, which should probably be turned into the "boat gas" budget since Bryan bought a boat and I plan on spending a substantial part of my summer on said boat.

I haven't exactly gotten my budget down, every month I've borrowed from one "envelope" for another.....and I'll be honest DECEMBER BROKE THE WHOLE BUDGET....into a million pieces!

Again, I'm not the OCD Dave Ramsey plan follower, but hey "a penny saved is a penny earned" and if I can do it, anyone can do it! 
I am from Colorado and I now live in Wyoming, so by all stretches of the imigination I should be a hard core Broncos fan. BUT, I'm not. Sure, I'll spend an afternoon on the couch watching the Donkeys, but my life doesn't stop for the games, I don't yell at the TV and I don't get depressed if they lose. Wyoming adopts Colorado and Utah pro sports teams because we don't have any.....Broncos, Nuggets, Jazz, Rockies, Avalanche....you get the idea.

The Broncos have made the play-offs and Denver is going to be CRAZY this weekend.


And even though I'm not the die-hard, I could totally get on the bandwagon to take part in a way cool photo like this one taken at Loveland Ski Area!


And last but not least, I am qualified to jump on the bandwagon the week of playoffs because I am an Oklahoma State fan......orange and orange.....I'm on the bandwagon. GO BRONCOS!


Last night I had a crazy dream
A wish was granted just for me
It could be for anything
I didn't ask for money
Or a mansion in Malibu
I simply wished, for one more day with you

One more day
One more time
One more sunset, maybe I'd be satisfied
But then again
I know what it would do
Leave me wishing still, for one more day with you

First thing I'd do, is pray for time to crawl
Then I'd unplug the telephone
And keep the TV off
I'd hold you every second
Say a million I love you's
That's what I'd do, with one more day with you

One more day
One more time
One more sunset, maybe I'd be satisfied
But then again
I know what it would do
Leave me wishing still, for one more day with you

Leave me wishing still, for one more day
Leave me wishing still, for one more day


Well, in the past year  we've said goodbye to four great people on my mom's side of the family. Our family has come together to laugh, cry, ask why, remember and honor more times than one would like over the course of a year.  With each passing month it gets a little bit harder to remember the small details of each relationship, but the angels above us will never be forgotten. Please pray for all families who have lost loved ones, may we all find peace and comfort.

We lost Uncle Larry on Sunday and will be saying goodbye to him on Friday. He has had his struggles, but remained a strong family man. He always made it to our family get togethers and always had a good teasing for us nieces and nephews (I think he came by that honestly from Grandpa). I hope heaven is ready for the Maucks they have received this year.....I guarantee you everyday is April Fools Day up there now. Please pray especially for the Mauck family this week as we lay another one to rest. RIP Uncle Larry.

We lost another great man this week, who isn't family by blood, but we count him as family anyway. A man who was never supposed to die. He hit a horse in his semi and made it through, his grain trailer broke in half and he made it through. He is Roy "the little varmint", he made sure the little kids at Southside were supplied with candy and he made sure us big kids were supplied with Miller Lights. He is my dad's best friend and we are going to miss him too. RIP Roy Marsh. 

Wishing still, for one more day. 
[Linking up with Jamie at  This Kind of Love for What I'm Loving Wednesday!]
I'm LOVING.......Dolvett and The Biggest Loser
"Sometimes you gotta go through hell to get to heaven" ~Dolvett

She's back and she has 2 years of pent up rage at obesity and she let'er fly Sunday night in the season premiere of the The Biggest Loser. First workout, kicked 3 people out of the gym. By the end of the show her team was down to 3 players.....out of 5. Jillian Michaels is back! Nikki quit the show and TC was sent home because the white team lost the weigh in and he had the lowest percentage of weight loss. TC was in the running to be one of my favorites because of his absolutely heart wrenching back story. I hope he is successful in his weight loss journey at home.

I'm not quite sure that I agree with the kids being on there and there not being any eliminations for them. I believe that kids need to learn to lose just as much as anything that we should learn to make it in real life. However, I am glad that the show is now including kids to hopefully help alleviate the problem before it begins.

And.....I've picked my people

My guy [now my at-home guy]: Nathan, he's quiet, he gets his work done, he's never been good at anything (so he says) and I predict he will be good at losing weight on The Biggest Loser. well I just finished watching the second episode of the BL and now I must pick a new guy.

My new guy: Joe, red team.

My girl: Lisa, red team. She has 4 kids, she has to be tough.

My kid: Bingo, how can you not love this kid!?

My team: Dovett's team, I love Dolvett. I want to go on the show and I want Dolvett to be my trainer.



This is Far-away friend TC, he is one of my favorite guys in the whole, wide world! I heart him very, very much! TC and I go back a ways....all the way to Gunnison, CO. TC and I were Sunday church buddies, Sunday breakfast burrito buddies, drag the hay meadows partners in crime, late night dialers, and all around there whenever we needed each other.

TC is getting married in August and I couldn't be happier for him and his new wifey-to-be, Shelby. I will be southbound 35 via the big bird in the sky to celebrate the both of them and I.CAN'T.WAIT. And, how freaking adorable are they?????


I love this kid and God definitely gave me a friend that I need and named him TC.



Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU TC!
I  grew up in a sleepy little town where nothing overly exciting happened. We didn't lock our houses, we left the keys in the ignition and we didn't worry about it. Well things are changing. A few weeks ago, my BIL went out to leave for work.

PAUSE: BIL works at the prison and is not a small guy. He is not a morning person, but has to leave for work before 5 am.

As he walked out of the house, he noticed the dome light on in Sister's car. He grumbled to himself because he was going to have to listen to her about her car battery being dead. As he walked towards the car, he noticed something move inside. He opened the door and pulled a guy out, asking him what in the heck he thought he was doing? BIL patted him down and  held grand theft auto guy on the front lawn until the police came to take him into custody.

Lucklily, Sister had locked to door to the house for some reason the night before....something that still wasn't a regular occurrence in our sleepy little town. What would have happened if grand theft auto guy had gotten in the house? Likely he tried, as he said he was just trying to get the car started because he was cold. Not sure I buy it but hey its his story. What would have happened if BIL hadn't noticed the guy? What if this happened at MY house? I don't have a BIL living with me.

So I started reconsidering my procrastination on my concealed carry permit. Yes, I am aware that I don't need one to keep a gun in my house, but hey if I'm going to do it, I may as well do it right.

I am fortunate enough to have the option of working what Uncle Sam calls a compressed work schedule (CWD). In other words, I work 9 hours a day and get a day off every other Friday. Well last Friday was my CWD and after sleeping in, eating fresh eggs for breakfast and having Chalean kick my rear in Fire 55EZ (which that EZ thing is definitely the poster child for false advertising) I took off to get my application started for my Wyoming concealed carry permit (I showered first!)

I've been saying I need to do this for a couple of years now, but I'm actually doing it now that I'm going to be a grown-up. I think people that are 30 are grown-up, right? After doing a little bit of research I found that the requirements vary from state to state. Utah has a great permit that is recognized in the most number of states, however, the states that I think I would actually carry in weren't any different than the states that accept Wyoming's permit......so I'm supporting my own and spending at home! Wyoming it is!

I called the Sheriffs office to find out what is needed to get my concealed carry permit
  • complete the application
  • get fingerprinted for a background check
  • evidence of a firearm safety course completion (hunter's safety is acceptable in WY) 
  • WY drivers license
  • $$ ($75 dollars - good for 5 years)
  • picture taken at the DMW
  • wait 2-3 months.......waiting
I was on a flight somewhere sitting in DFW on layover where there was a group of soldiers leaving for deployment. Many leaving had wives/husbands, kids, friends there to see them off. As I sat there "reading" my book, watching the various interactions, fighting back my own tears I noticed the one soldier who was sitting one row over with his head in his hands. There was no one there to see him off, to give him a hug and a come back safe. Was it his choice? maybe. But I couldn't stand the though of him being over there and not having anyone checking in on him, sending him letters, telling him how much his sacrifice was appreciated, sending him corny care packages.

As I took my seat on the flight and we took off, I found out that the guy that was sitting next to me was a Blackhawk pilot, heading back to the Sandbox for the 2nd half of his 2nd deployment. He was an amazing guy. As we were landing all the passengers participated in a round of applause in thanks for their military service.

When I got home, I realized I wanted to do more. I needed to do more to show my appreciation for American soldiers. I started to research the idea and came across a non-profit organization called Soldier's Angels. They have so many ways to show support to our troops who are deployed. There are opportunities for long-term adoptions, one-time donations, one-time letter writing, groups etc. Check them out here.

I've adopted several soldiers over the last few years, but have kinda slacked off in the most recent past. So......for my list I've adopted a soldier for this 30th birthday year. Sometimes they send quite a bit of information about themselves in your initial adoption email....this one had very little. Hopefully my new soldier will write his angel back :). Even if he doesn't, I'll trust that my letters and care packages make a difference to someone who is so far away from home, from family and from everything he knows.

Dear Soldier (name removed for privacy)


Hello! I am your new angel though the organizations Soldier’s Angels. I have adopted soldiers before, but have been without one for a little while. I’m turning 30 soon and I decided that I should have a “dirty 30” list….30 things that I want to do before I turn 31 J I’m also new to the blogging world, as I started a blog so that people can follow me through my dirty 30 list. Anyway, one of the items was to get back into Soldiers Angels….that is where you come in. If you would like to follow my blog you can find it at http://almostgypsysoul.blogspot.com/
 

A little bit about me. I grew up in Colorado on a farm in a small town in eastern Colorado. I was active in 4-H and sports. I played volleyball, softball, basketball and ran track. After high school, I went to Western State College in Gunnison, CO and majored in business administration and economics while playing basketball. I really like Gunnison and I found a job at a guest ranch there so that I could stay in the summers too! I wasn’t ready for a real job when I graduated so I packed up and moved to Stillwater, Ok to get my Masters in Agricultural Economics from Oklahoma State University. 2 years later I was off to cross the Mississippi for the first time ever when I packed up and moved to Tennessee. I worked as a Marketing Specialist for the University of Tennessee  for a year before moving back west and starting work for the US Department of Agriculture in Wyoming. I’ve lived 2 different places in Wyoming, but have been with the Agency for 4 years.

So here I am in western Wyoming and I think I’m settled in for a little while. I’ve bought a house and been doing some remodeling the whole time…..still have some to go. I have a great little dog. Her name is Tylie and she is a blue heeler. She will be 8 in February.

Please let me know if there are any specifics that you would like in your care packages. That is the hardest part for me, making sure that I send good stuff, so please let me know what you like. 

Please feel free to write me back or email me jendutton@hotmail.com

Thank you for your service to our country. I appreciate all that you do!

Jen

If you can pin it, you can do it!

I got all crafty this year for Christmas and some of my best creations will show up on this blog periodically. Here is a super cool lamp that I made for Bryan (one for my house is currently in the works, that is how much I loved the finished product!)

I started out with an clean, empty Pendleton bottle (very important part is making sure its empty, you will have plenty of friends who want to help with this step). Then I picked up a great burlap lampshade at Target and ordered these cork lamp kits from amazon.com. Amazon is my go-to shopping location! I ran around town and picked up some chocolate brown acrylic paint and some kiddo's play sand.
  1. Trace the silhouette onto the lampshade (I used a Sharpie) and paint it in with acrylic paint. It will take a couple of layers to fill in the burlap.
  2. Fill up the bottle with play sand and make sure to shake it around because it will settle.
  3. Pop in the cork lamp kit stopper, add a light bulb and the lampshade
  4. Plug it in and admire your work.



DAMNIT.......logic really kills me sometimes.




There she is ladies and gentlemen...... Chalean and she's mean (although she does encourage her class to buy new shoes, I think this is why I keep coming back for more)! This will be the third time starting TurboFire and I'm going to be honest....when I didn't' know the moves it was a lot easier, I didn't get so sore. Its time to get serious because I've got a lot of physical activity on my Dirty 30 list. A little motivational slide show to get me going......again.




Here we go.....its the last, last time (Thank you Bleu)




AND, I got my next workout program for Christmas so I REALLY, REALLY have to complete TurboFire this time so that I can start Chalean Extreme :)