Get Back On

Luke wiped his sleepy eyes. He was confused, did Santa skip his house? Where were his toys? Could it really be that Santa granted his wish? His mom and dad excitedly encouraged Luke to check outside. Maybe Santa could not leave his gift under the tree.

Much to his surprise, there it stood. Luke’s very first horse! Luke had spent many nights helping his mom and dad clean stalls, groom horses, and feed cattle. There were countless hours of swinging his rope over the heels of a roping dummy. The work paid off, he finally could claim his very own horse.

It was a beautiful December morning, and Luke couldn’t wait any longer. He was ready to go saddle his horse! He followed all of the steps he had watched his mom and dad do so many times. The confident child climbed on and headed to the arena.

After warming up, he was ready to rope his very first steer. In attempt to catch the steer’s feet, Luke threw his loop with a swift forward motion. His horse came to a screeching halt. The once confident little cowboy went flying through the air, landing in the middle of the arena. After dusting off his denim pants, he heard the words that we have all heard before…”You have to get back on”.

At this point, the defeated little cowboy had a choice. He could either get back on and try again, or he could hang his hat up and never ride again. Luke had the heart of a true cowboy, he held his chin high and climbed back in the saddle. This little cowboy backed in the box, nodded his head, and captured his very first steer. Because he made the choice to get back on, he was able to accomplish what he set out to do. This was only the beginning of his journey.

As we approach 2017, I challenge you to “get back on”! Maybe you’re struggling with an addiction, loss of a job, lack of purpose, finances, infertility, abuse, or weight gain. No matter what you are facing, I know that we serve a God who is mightier than all of our struggles. Just like Luke in our story, we should be excited about our gift. Our gift from God that he has mercy on us, forgives our mistakes, loves us unconditionally, promises us hope and a future! We all make mistakes, have wounds, and weary circumstances. Luke made a mistake by leaning too far forward while his horse was stopping. We must make a decision to invite God into all areas of our lives (the good, the bad, and the ugly). We have a choice whether our past defines us or the future that God intends for us. Don’t let your past rob you of the joys in store for you. Join me today in dusting off our denim pants and getting back on just like Luke!

Pslam 34: 6

“This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of ALL his troubles.”

Notice the verse didn’t say one of his troubles. IT SAID ALL! If God will do this for the poor man, he will do it for you too! Join me as I follow the next steps to getting back on and inviting God into every area of my life.

Steps to GETTING BACK ON:

First we have to BELIEVE  that God will deliever us from our troubles.

Matthew 19: 26 “but Jesus looked to them and said to them, With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Second: We have to LET GO  of our past.

Isaiah 43: 18-19 “Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing. Now it shall spring forth; Shall you know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

Third: GET INTENTIONAL about trusting the Lord and seeking his direction.

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In ALL of your ways, acknowledge him, and shall direct your paths.

Finally: LIVE CONFIDENTLY 

Romans 8:11 ” But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dewells in you”.

How exciting it is to know that we can have a relationship with the same God who raised Jesus from the dead. If you’ve made it to this point in this post then I can imagine that you are just as excited to see what God is going to do in 2017 as I am! Let’s work together to help one another “get back on”. Let’s make it our priority to encourage and pray for one another.

PRAYER:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for all the many blessings you poured out over me and my family in 2016. I thank you for our health and togetherness as we enter 2017. Dear Father, I am so excited to see what you are going to do this year. I invite you in to every decision that I make! I pray that none of my decisions be made out of selfish ambition. Help me to be intentional about my walk with you and serving others. I pray for your blessings on everyone who reads this post. Help us to join together in a common purpose of reaching lives for you! Protect us from evil, help us to keep close watch, and be alert at all times. Use me to spread your love. I am willing. I am dusting off my jeans, and choosing to get back on! In Christ name I pray, Amen!

*Cr

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Campbell’s Creations

Houlihan Homestead: Craftsman Interview

Campbell’s Creations

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Prices on bedroom furniture vary, depending on details, customization, and types of wood.

1. I always like to start out by letting our viewers get to know you. Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started in the western industry.

My name is Steven Campbell. I grew up in Atmore, AL, where I started riding calves at six years old.  Riding bulls is something I have done nearly all my life, and I have strong passion for it. Even when I’m not competing, I’m producing clinics to help educate the next generation, getting them going in the right direction. One summer I tore my shoulder up riding bulls and had to have it surgically repaired. I was in college at the time, so I was going back to school in the fall. I have never been one to ask for anything. I had this wild idea that I was going to start building things to make a little money while I was out of commission. I told my friend,Shane Esco, all about my plan. Little to my surprise, he said he had always wanted a cowboy hat rack, so I took on the challenge. I sketched up an idea and built it, and those custom hat racks took off. Seemed as if everyone in Texas wanted one. I was also blessed to be able to pick ideas off of some great carpenters like Rodney Hall and Guy Spoon. I built a bunch of hat racks, custom trash cans, and a few other nick nacks. After I graduated from college I came back home and got a job surveying, and I didn’t really pursue the woodworking too much. I did build a few things for a few people as needed and it kind of took off again from there. Jake Dickerson, who is now a really good friend, was the person who asked if I wanted a job helping survey. He and I kind of started building a few things together. It is fun because he is a real crafty guy, who builds anything from kyodex and/or leather gun holsters, knife sheaths, to carpentry, etc.,and I have learned a lot from him. Together we have built things that neither him nor me would have ever imagined building. It’s hard to turn down a good challenge though, and I believe the challenge of building something I have never built is what I enjoy more than anything.

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Steven takes pride in pricing his products fair and afordable. Contact him for all of your custom design needs.

2. What is your favorite item or items to create?

My most favorite thing to build would have to be something I have never built before. My second favorite thing to build is anything custom with a western twang to it. I enjoy building furniture then adding some cowhide, horseshoes, brands, stars, etc. You have to be careful not to add too many of those things, because it can be easy to have too much going on a piece. The customized western furniture is my favorite to build.

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Wedding Guestbook

 

3. If someone wants to custom order a product, how do they need to go about it?

They can text or call me at (251)- 213-3413, or look me up on my business’s facebook page,  Campbell’s Creations. They can also go through my personal page, Steven Campbell, or Instragram, Steven_Campbell90.

 

4. Are you able to recreate buyers’ brands?

What are the different ways you design brands on your furniture?

Yes, that is one of my favorite things to do. Sometimes we’ll make a brand out of metal for a firebrand. Most of the time I’ll draw the brand on the piece I am creating. Next I will cut that out with a jig saw. Then I place cowhide under or behind it with a piece of plywood for the backing. That is what I call a cowhide inlay.

 

5. If a buyer knows exactly what they want, are you willing to recreate their vision or do you like to incorporate your spin on things?

Yes, I’ll do what it takes to make them happy. I do like to put my own spin on things, but I do not mind sticking to my customers exact desires. Some customers explain to you what they want, but tell me to do what I think looks best. I’ll sketch some ideas out to see what they think, and throw ideas back and forth to one another until we come up with the perfect piece. Others have it all figured out, needing me only to build the piece. My goal is to please the customer, so I’ll do whatever it takes to do that.

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$450: Designed to your needs

6. Do you ship all over the U.S.A.? Do you cover the shipping cost or is that up to the buyer?

Yes, I do ship anywhere. A lot of times I’m able to find a ride for the items. For example, I may send a piece through a buddy of mine traveling to the same rodeo as my customer. There the customer can pick up their item and avoid shipping cost. If I do ship the customer is responsible for the shipping cost.

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7. If someone has memorabilia like a special horse’s shoes, favorite contestant back number, or unique leather, would you be willing to incorporate it into my custom order?

If so, should they mail those to you after requesting their design?

Definitely, there is many different ways to do it. It just depends on the customer. It seems like I have a lot of favorites, but that is also one my favorite things to do. I feel privileged to build something for someone that incorporates an important piece of memorabilia to them. Sometimes people are hesitant of sending something that means so much to them through the mail, so usually the customer will give me measurements of the item they’re wanting to incorporate. I’ll then build it accordingly, allowing them to attach their memorabilia themselves. If a customer does want to mail the item it does make it easier, but it can be done either way. Again, whatever makes the customer happy.

8. The Houlihan Homestead has fans from different disciplines. Can you do custom rustic designs that will go great with farmhouse/country style homesteads?

Another one of my favorites! Anything custom and rustic is what I like to build. A lot of the pieces I build are custom, rustic, and have a touch of western.

 

 

**HOT ITEMS ALERT!!!

Trash Cans

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  Trash cans range from

$150-$250,

depending on your branding desires.

Hat Racks

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Hat Rack with Cowhide and 2 racks: $250.

*For every additional rack there is a $25 charge.

CHECK IT OUT: This gorgeous custom coffee table, built to perfection! It was personalized with rustic stars and a picture frame on the top.

 

UNIQUE WALL DECOR! 

Campbell’s Creations has something for EVERYONE!

 

Championship Spurs Case:

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Contact Information:

Cell phone: (251)-213-3413

Facebook: Campbell’s Creations or Steven Campbell

Instagram: Steven_Campbell90

The importance of slow work…

Slow Work

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For all of you barrel racers, you understand the frustration of going through a slump. Maybe your horse has started blowing the first barrel. It could be that you can’t seem to get him by the second. What about him pulling off the third barrel? All of these issues are frustrating and defeating.

Have you ever felt like no matter how hard you practiced or worked that it never seemed to get better? If you have felt this in your event, then this message is for you.

As I continue this journey with my five year old mare, I have learned one very important lesson. Slow work is crucial. 

In the past few months, Sadie has began to show difficulties turning the second barrel. The faster we go the worse it gets. After seeking advice from some of the most decorated barrel racers, I learned something special about not only barrel racing but life as well. Everyone’s special advice has had one thing in common, slow work

Notice that I did not go to my team roper husband to ask for advice on my second barrel problem. I went to someone who was very knowledgeable in barrel racing. Someone who had been there, done that, and got the t-shirts. You’ll see in a moment why this is an important step in gaining wisdom.

After slowing things down, I was completely surprised at how Sadie gave me her best effort, turning the second barrel. I can humble say that we were too slow for the 4D, however I immediately felt a new sense of confidence from her. I sacrificed a run in order to make her slow down and realize that turning the second barrel was “no big deal”. How does this relate to our lives?

God does not call us to run harder or work harder in order to get where we are going. As a matter of fact, he urges us to SLOW DOWN AND REST. If we look in the Old Testament we see that David lived a messy, busy life too. In Psalm 23, David said that God MADE him take a break.

Psalm 23:1-3

 “The Lord is my shepard; I shall not want. HE MAKETH ME LIE DOWN IN GREEN PASTURES: he leadeth me beside still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the path of righteousness for his name’s sake”

Not only did the Lord make David take a break in a quite place, but he said that the Lord restored his soul. I believe that restore is such an important word in this scripture. The definition of “restore” is to bring back, return, or repair to an original state.

An old horseman once told me that as horse doesn’t make a mistake on his own. He said that a horse has been shown to make that mistake or has been guided to it. Our lives are the same way. God did not intend for us constantly run, run, run. In order for us to live a life worthy of the Lord, it is important for us to do slow work on ourselves. In doing so, God will restore our souls, or like my barrel racing horse we will gain a new confidence.

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Plan of Action:  (taken from I Want It All by Gwen Smith.)

R: Reflect– The first step in rest is to reflect on what God has done in your life. Don’t just think about the big things. Consider the little things too. Think about how God has blessed you with your horse riding ability. Do you have children? What a blessing that is from God! What about that gorgeous sunset you witnessed last night? Thank God for all of the blessings big and small in your life.

E: Engage Jesus understands how exhausting life can be. In Matthew 11:28-29 he says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Jesus understands what we’re going through on Earth. Remember he walked in from pretty uncomfortble shoes while he was here. He can relate to us, and he promises us rest when we seek him. This is not to say that our trouble will vanish in to thin air, but it does promise us that the Lord’s strength is with us during our weaknesses. Just like I sought advice from proven barrel racers, we must do thing same thing during our busy lives. We must go to the one who understands our every need the most, God.

S: Surrender-Like I mentioned in the engage section, our struggles may not disappear immediately. Our society often gives us an instant response. Google is an instant provider of what seems to be the answers to everything. God doesn’t work this way. Sometimes we have to go through the valley to reach those beautiful green pastures. Take comfort in knowing that God is working in your life. Be patient and wait on the Lord. Just like slowing my horse down for her confidence, we must do the same. Slow down in order for God to reveal what he is doing in your life. We must be willing to be too slow for the 4D, and wait on God’s will to be carried out.

T: Trust– In all of our trails, God can use them to grow our faith and bring Glory to his name. How do we get peace during our struggles and trust that God is really working in our lives? In Philippians 4:6-7 the apostle Paul instructs us to, “Not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will gaurd your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Worrying does not add anything but more stress to our lives. We can choose to submit our request to God and trust that he knows exactly what we need. Trust him today, and be encourage that the creator of our universe knows exactly what YOU need.

In order for us to nail our first barrel or get our turny horse past the second, we must slow work him or her. Friends let me tell you, we are no different. Choose to slow work yourself today.

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Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you today with a humble heart. I thank you for using barrel racing to show me your design for my life. I choose rest today, Father. I pray that as I rest, Lord, that the Holy Spirit would lead, guide, and direct my foot steps. I thank you for the blessings you have given me. I am thankful for my eye sight, my sense of smell, my voice, and long brown hair. I ask that you would give me a heart that never takes for granted the little things in life, because I know that there is someone out there who sees them as BIG things in their life. I trust in what you’re doing in my life. Thank you for always being available and listening to my concerns. Use my life to make a difference for you. You know everything that I need. I trust that everything that is going on in my life is all for your glory. I love you! In Christ’s name I pray, AMEN. 

Prayer Requests: 

Is there someone you know going through a hard time? Are you struggling to find peace? If you would like for the Houlihan Homestead community to be praying for you and your needs, please post them to our facebook wall. If you would like to keep your requests private, you are welcome to private message me those requests on facebook. 

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Why God loves a bull fighter…

Welcome back to round two of our bull fighting series. 

WARNING MESSAGE: This message is a challenge, one that may step on toes, one that may cause you to feel guilty, and one that will hopefully cause change. I say this because I feel convicted myself while writing it. BUT HEY, if there ever comes a point when we don’t feel a little uncomfortable, then we probably have lost all care. Yikes, talk about a bad spot to be!

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Why God loves a bull fighter…

In part one we discussed how the bull fighter demonstrates God’s love for the bull rider, how he protects the bull rider, and also how the bull rider confidently trusts him. As we roll in to the next round, one verse stood out to me the most.

John 13:34

Love one another as I have loved you.

*Whew, I don’t know about you but that verse sure punches me right in the ole’ belly. How am I (a sinner, someone who falls short daily) suppose to love someone the way God loves me? I mean let’s face it. It is HARD to love someone who gossips about you, steals from you, or lies to you. How can we put our best effort into loving someone the way Christ loves us? Easier said than done, but be a bull fighter.

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Shane Bishop stepping in to save a down bull rider.

Luke 6:35

But love your enemies, do good to them and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be the children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 

I love how this verse says to lend to them without expecting to get anything back. As a bull fighter dances around the arena, waiting to step in and save someone’s life, he is not thinking of himself. He is on guard, ready to save SOMEONE ELSE. I love how selfless this picture is. He is not in the arena for his glory. He is in the arena to be a life guard & a guardian angel. He is not expecting anything is return.

*Okay, okay. I am guilty here. I am 100% guilty of wanting to write someone off whenever they do me wrong. I have a get me once, shame on you, get me twice, shame on me, kinda attitude. There are times that I lend a helping hand because in the back of my mind I think they I may need something in return someday. That’s not what being a Christ-like friend is. So right now, if you have the same struggle as me, let’s say a quick prayer together:

Dear Heavenly Father, I humbly come to you today asking you to forgive me for not loving my enemies the way you call me to. I ask that you change my heart and attitude. Help me to do good to my enemies and lend to them NOT expecting anything in return. I thank you, Lord, for having mercy on me when I fail you. Help me to express that same mercy to those who do me wrong. I also ask that you will be with them. Only you know their hearts’. Help them through whatever struggle or trial they are going through. I want to be a lamp for you, and I know my selfishness is keeping me from that. I am committing to change, help me and hold my hand in this move. In Christ’s Name, AMEN.

If you prayed this prayer, please join me in praying for one another. Pray for each other to overcome our selfishness and truly do good to others.

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Shane Esco saving a cowboy in need.

Matthew 5:16

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see the good works, and glorify your father who is in heaven. 

We are instructed to let our light shine before men so that people do not see us but see God. When I think about the bull fighter’s job, I think about how they take hits for the bull fighter. In doing this, they are given their friend protection in the time of need. What can you do to help a friend in the time of need?  Maybe send a friend in the hospital flowers, bake a cake for someone who has lost a loved one, or give a hug to a friend who just broke up with their significant other.

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Ross Hill putting his life on the line.

John 15:13

Greater love has no one than this; to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 

A bull fighter certainly does this every time he enters an arena. He selflessly lays down his life for the bull rider. Okay, Okay, I can hear you now…Katie, you really think I am going to step in front of a moving truck because my dumb friend is hanging out in the street?…What I am saying is that God calls us to be merciful, loving, and faithful to our friends. When your friend snaps at you over a miscommunication, forgive them. When they are running late for the rodeo, be patient with them. When your friend needs you to come over because he is sick, drop what you are doing and GO. When your friend is depressed about a lost job, take him or her their favorite candy bar. When your friend’s distant family member passes away, be there for the services. Drop your plans and be there for your friend. God doesn’t tell us, wait Katie, I am entered in the rodeo over at Fort Worth tonight, I can’t listen to your prayer, try again tomorrow. OUCH,**I’ve been belly punched, again…  In order to be a Christ-like friend, life can’t always be about me.

 

So why is it so important to have friends? 

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Thank you, Casey Martin, for the amazing action shot of Chris Forrest and Ross Hill.         “Two are better than one”

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Two are better than one for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other person can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. 

Majority of times, bull fighters work in pairs. That way if one falls down, the other one is able to step in and help both the bull fighter and the bull rider. They work as a team, helping each other succeed in rescuing bull riders. One of the toughest things to go through is feeling like you are alone. It clearly states that TWO ARE BETTER THAN ONE. That also tells me that when I am down and out that I need to reach out to someone. I need to reach out to my friends. Someone who I know will listen to me, pray for me, and be an accountable friend. In saying that, I think it’s important to make sure you’re surrounded by “good” friends. Don’t call the one who is going to tell you what you want to hear. Call the friend who is going to hold you accountable to God’s word. If you don’t feel like you have one of those friends, contact me! I’m on facebook “Houlihan Homestead”, shoot me a private message, and we can discuss any issue you have. I will be more than happy to pray for you through WHATEVER it is you’re going through. AND no, I will not expect anything in return..Remember, I already gave that to God, and I am constantly checking my attitude and heart. 

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God says to “love” as he loved us…But what does “love” really mean?

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always hopes, always perseveres. 

I believe society has painted quite the different picture of love. Reality check, love is NOT some fuzzy feeling you get inside your belly. LOVE IS A CHOICE!!! You can choose whether or not you’re patient with someone. You can choose whether or not you envy someone’s big truck and fancy trailer. You can choose whether you hang on to the fact that someone spread a lie about you. You can choose whether to lose hope in that new job or you can choose to remember that God plans to give you a future. You can choose to give up on life or you can persevere through the hard times, knowing that God is perfecting you through the trials & using them for good. IT IS YOUR CHOICE how you handle each situation. A bull fighter has the choice whether to step in between the bull and the bull rider. Will you be a bull fighter who chooses love or are you going to let the bull (LIFE) get the best of you?…Your choice.

 

Thank you for hanging in there with me through this tough message. I know first hand how difficult this is. Although we may not be dealing with the same issues, please know that you are not alone. Everyone falls short. Let’s make a change in our community. Let’s CHOOSE to love, CHOOSE to be a Christ-like friend, and CHOOSE to be a bull fighter for Christ. 

 

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, I want to start off by saying thank you for sending me tough messages. I know that in order for me to grow that I have to accept the areas where I fail you, repent, and truly change. Reveal to me any area of my life that is hindering me from being a good friend. Help me to love others the way you love me. When someone hurts my feelings, lies to me, or gossips about me, help me to forgive them & love them anyway. I know that is what you would do for me. Use me to change the world. Show me how I can be a friend to someone in need. When you reveal that person, please take me out of the equation. I do not want it to be about me. Let it be solely about you so that you can be glorified. Thank you for our horse community and the “bull fighter” type people that make it. Reveal to me the “bull fighters” that I can count on, that will help me, and that will work with me to make change. Thank you for blessing us with horses. Thank you for the passion you put in my heart for those incredible four-legged animals. I love you, and I praise you. 

In Christ’s name I pray,

AMEN!

*Hope you all enjoy this message! Go have fun with your friends. Enjoy the good times!

Take a selfie with your best friend, post on instagram or facebook, tag us at #houlihanhomestead & #HHbullfighter. Love you all!

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Thank you, Ross Hill, for the selfie!

For more pictures from the amazing, Pro Rodeo Photographer, Casey Martin, please visit the link below:

Casey Martin Homepage

Lassoing Lowry

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We are pleased to welcome Mrs. Leann Lowry to the Houlihan Homestead. Her creative style, eye for detail, and western flair easily makes her one of our favorite homemakers in the southeast. She’s a full time working woman, rodeo cowboy’s wife, breakaway roper, barrel racer, and thrift store raider. I can honestly say that this homestead matches her sweet personality to a tee. Leann keeps things simple and loves DIY projects. Get ready to PIN! This wild west home is sure to give your inner cowgirl several new decorating ideas!

Homemaker’s Interview:

Mrs. Leann Lowry

 

1. First, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Well, I am a 37 year old first year Middle School Assistant Principal. This school year will be the start to my 15th year in education. I have taught Kindergarten, First, and Third grades. I was the media specialist in an elementary school and a middle school for the past 6 years. I am excited about this new chapter of my teaching career.
I am a breakaway roper (well, I try to be). I am a late in life roper. I never roped when I was younger, and only within the last 6 or 7 years, I decided I wanted to try to rope. I really enjoy it and it is strictly a hobby of mine. I grew up running barrels and really love that, I hope to be back at it soon!
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Lowry Living Room

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Championship saddles displayed on the entertainment center, and the coffee table is to dye for! Love this cowgirl’s creative style.

2. Whenever you started decorating your new house, what was the first step you took in order to form a vision of what you wanted?

I knew that I wanted a kind of rustic/western look. I like taking old things and painting them and adding them in my decor. I constantly re-decorate. I don’t think there is anything (decor wise) that has been in the house the whole 10 years that we have lived here.
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Buckle display made from a pallet.

  1. Do you use sites like Pinterest to help you generate ideas? If so, what sites do you use most often?

Of course! Doesn’t everyone love Pinterest? I love watching fixer upper, and even though it is a farmhouse look that Jo uses, I find some ideas on that show.

4. What part of your house is your favorite and why?

I love the living room and kitchen, because it is one open room.
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Check out their adorable turquoise bar stools!

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Cowboy Kitchen

  1. What would you say is the most important thing to keep in mind while you are in the decorating process?

I would say that I always have a vision of what I want. I will see stuff and I will automatically know where I could put it.

6. What is your favorite store to shop at when purchasing home decor items?

I love thrift stores, TJ Maxx, and Ross. I find so many things at the thrift store from candle holders to end tables.
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7. Do you have any tricks or hacks that help you keep your homestead organized/clean?

I love to clean and organize so it is not hard for me. With only be two people in our home, the cleaning is very minimal, especially when you love to clean like I do. I would say for someone that isn’t as “weird” as me to not let things pile up on you. When you have a load of clothes wash them, clean up the kitchen as soon as you are finished eating. Don’t put cleaning off.

8. Can you give us advice on picking color schemes or themes?

Find a style that you like, and go with it.

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9. What is your favorite kitchen item?

I love my cooking stones, and crock pot.

*Click on the link below to get your programmable Crock Pot today!

 

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10. What is most special about making your house a “homestead”?

Ours is special because we were here for the building from the ground up. We picked out everything that we have and we have worked and are working hard for it.

 

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Ever wonder what to do with all of those back numbers? Check out Leann’s amazing idea!

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Thank you to all of our Houlihan Homestead fans! You’re continuous views and support are what keeps us coming back with new, amazing western homes. We are beyond appreciative of your shares, likes, and comments. For any of you that would like to share your homestead with us, please comment below or message us on Facebook! ❤

 

**Stay tuned this week as we return with part two of the bull fighter series. We will be discussing how to be a bull fighter for God. Join us as we spark a movement in the rodeo community, spreading God’s amazing love and mercy!**

Trust the Bull Fighter

Trust the “Bull Fighter”

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All other rodeo events have come to a conclusion, many cowboys and cowgirls are loading up their rigs heading home, and yet the crowd is still completely in tact. Each spectator is hanging on tightly to their seat. There is one thing they have talked about since the RODEO signs were posted in town. One event excites the crowd more than any other. Can you guess it?…That’s right…Bull Riding!  There is something so unique about bull riding that is extremely intriguing to people all over the world. Bull riding is pretty special to me too. It paints an incredible picture of God’s love for us! Yes sir, that’s correct… Bull riding tells a story about God. Pull down your hat and hang on tight. We’ve drawn a good one today!

I want you to imagine that you are a bull rider. Dream big, go ahead and wear those fancy spurs, blingy chaps, and your shiny gold buckle! You’ve drawn this nasty bull they call “Life”. They’ve had a hard time predicting him. Some rodeos he has no pattern, jumping left then right. Other rodeos he’s just what you like, bucking hard and spinning into your hand. Every cowboy that has ridden him went on to win the prize. You’re best friend is the bull fighter at the rodeo tonight. You know he is the best of the best. Because he’s out in the field, you’re able to rest assured that no matter how your ride goes…He’s got your back!

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I want to take a closer look at your friend, the bull fighter. We’re going to imagine that the bull fighter is Christ. You are putting your trust into him, knowing that he will help you through the ride. He is your life guard! Because of him, you’re not going to hesitate to get on “Life”.

Psalm 62: 8

” Trust in him at all times you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”

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It’s time to start preparing for your ride. You have put complete trust in your friend. After saying your prayer of protection, you gently begin settling into the chute. “Life” is already bucking, showing you how difficult the ride is going to be. You get your rope pulled tight,  and the gates bang!  1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, 3 Mississippi, 4 Mississippi, 5 Mississippi, WACK!!! “Life” manages to get you off balance and slammed you to the muddy arena floor, but he’s not finished. It appears as though “Life” is coming back for more. You yell for the bull fighter, knowing you are in trouble. Luckily your friend, Christ, quickly grabs your vest and lifts you to your feet. The two of you make it to the fence in just the nick of time!

Psalm 40:1-2

“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”

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Although you bucked off of “Life”, you’re safe.

There are times in life when things seem to be spinning totally out of control. You can sit there and worry yourself to death, or you can pray, telling the Lord all of your concerns and struggles. He is waiting on you to call out to him. He is always there in times of need. Are you going to yell for the bull fighter or be stomped by “Life”? Trust in him to help you to firm ground. God is listening, he’s ready to help you. Please keep in mind that the bull fighter may not save you immediately, sometimes you have to put forth much effort in the meantime. Have faith, know that he’s working!

Philippians 4:6-7

” Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” 

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TO BE CONTINUED…

Think about the job of a bull fighter. What characteristics do you see in them that relate to Christ? I challenge you to create a facebook status that tells how a bullfighter is Christ-like. Add your favorite bull fighting pictures and tag the Houlihan Homestead! Don’t forget to check copyrights! If you would like, you can private message me with your connection statement and photo. Pictures will be featured on our next Bull Fighting segment.

Example) A bullfighter makes me think of how Christ…laid down his life for me.

 

A special thanks goes to Mike Goodall, Brittany Drawdy, Mike Driver, Shane Esco, and Ross Hill for the amazing photos!

 

**For more Mike Goodall pictures follow the link to see his homepage:

https://www.facebook.com/MikeGoodallPhotography/

**For more B Blessed Photography action shots, check out Brittany Drawdy’s website:

https://Bblessedphotography.fotomerchant.com

 

 

 

BATTLE OF THE STYLES

 

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I am fortunate to call this week’s homemaker a great friend of mine, Mrs. Mary Ellen Lawrence. Mary Ellen is one of the most creative visionaries that I have ever seen.  I can’t wait to share with you how she incorporates western details into her modern chic home. Not only have her and her husband created an immaculate homestead, but she reveals their DEAL BUSTING secrets. Mary Ellen manages to balance a well-kept home while being a full-time business owner and operator, team roping wife, and barrel racing competitor. This little lady has a full plate. Tighten up your saddle cowgirls, this is one homestead for the record book!

Interview with Mary Ellen:

1.First off tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a business woman by day, running a trucking company, and a barrel racing junkie in my spare time.  If you asked my Dad or Kyle it would be “Barrel Racing Junkie” 24/7.
2. Whenever you started decorating your new house, what was the first step you took in order to form a vision of what you wanted?

I love to be different and make a statement. I LOVE the western/rustic theme, but I also adore that pop of girly. As you can tell  from the pictures, turquoise is my favorite color.

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Lawrence Homestead: Dining Room 

3.Do you use sites like Pinterest to help you generate ideas? If so, what sites do you use most often?

I love Pinterest for decorating, and also a favorite is Cowboys & Indians Magazine.

*You can subscribe to Cowboys & Indians Magazine for as low as $19.95 a year. Follow the link below to start receiving one of Mary Ellen’s top inspirations.

https://ssl.palmcoastd.com/14701/apps/-186218?iKey=I**PBP&
4.What part of your house is your favorite and why?

Honestly I spend more time at the barn, on the road, or outside. Nothing like being in your own bed, so I’m guessing the master bedroom is the answer.

5.What would you say is the most important thing to keep in mind while you are in the decorating process?  

We purchased our house, and it was so 1980’s. Yes, the dreadful pink bathtub and sinks. There was wallpaper galore and the ugly fixtures to go with it. I knew knocking down some walls, fresh paint, and deco would do the trick. I started with my paint colors which are all in the brown family to make the house seem bigger and flow.
6. What is your favorite store to shop at when purchasing home decor items?

TJ Maxx, Ross, Tuesday Morning, and Harold’s Furniture. I love the hunt of finding things at a DEAL.  You can do cheaper items, but then make it pop with some more expensive accessories. Antiques will always give you that old feel with a little western touch. The majority of all my pictures came from TJ Maxx and Ross, so never be scared to mix and match some.

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7. Do you have any tricks or hacks that help you keep your homestead organized/clean?

Probably that we are rarely in it. Lol

I love to wash clothes. Folding clothes is probably a little too much enjoyable to me. I have a friend that always says, “let me guess, you’re washing clothes?”.

8.Can you give us advice on picking color schemes or themes?

Go with the flow of your house and what works for you. I’m one that likes to venture out, but with my house it’s a little more traditional on the outside. Because of my traditional outside, I had to incorporate western feel with a pop of chic on the inside. If you have a big house you can go with more colors on the wall, but I personally like to chose neutral colors and accessorize with color.    

9. What is your favorite kitchen item?

The sink because I love to wash things. I knew when remodeling I had to get a copper farmhouse sink, and I’m so glad I did. I am not a big cook, but Kyle loves to grill. I’m the wash girl! 🙂

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Cabinet secrets revealed below! 

10. What is most special to you when making your house a “homestead”?

Kyle and I did the remodeling as a team. There is nothing like coming home to your homestead that you transformed into a beauty from a beast.

 

Take a look at this amazing ceiling!!! Find out how to DIY below!

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Turqouise Ceiling:

Items needed:

Nifty Turqouise paint

Copper paint

Latte Glaze paint

Roller Brush

Sponge

*You’ll need something to pour your paint into. Your local hardware store should have plastic containers for this purpose. SHOP LOCAL 😉

DIY:

First use a roller brush to paint the ceiling with the turqouise paint. After giving the paint plenty of time to dry, use the sponge to dab on the copper paint. Finish up by lightly dabbing on the Latte Glaze. WAH~LA!

Lawrence Homestead Gallery

 

Championship Corner

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**Did you love the antique style cabinets? I sure did! The most amazing part of all is the fact that they were a DIY project. Yes, that’s right…YOU CAN DO IT YOURSELF. No big box store involved. **

Antique Kitchen Cabinets DIY

Items Needed: 

Antique White paint

Latte Glaze

Paint Brush

Rag

*You’ll need something to pour your paint into. Your local hardware store should have plastic containers for this purpose. SHOP LOCAL 😉

DIY: 

*Prior to beginning make sure cabinets are smooth and ready for paint. If there are scuffs or rough spots, you may need to sand the cabinets before beginning. If cabinets are painted already with a bright color, you will need to prime the cabinets before beginning with the Antique white.

  1. Paint cabinets with the Antique White paint. You can paint multiple layers for the desired coverage.
  2. Give paint plenty of time to dry. Be patient! 🙂
  3. ONCE THE WHITE IS COMPLETELY DRY….Using a rag, wipe on the latte glaze

(The more layers you glaze, the darker the tint will be.)

 

For questions concerning any of the DIY projects or decorating tips, please feel free to comment below! Mary Ellen and I will be more than happy to assist you. 

Happy Trails!

❤ Katie @ the Houlihan Homestead

 

 

 

 

 

The Alley Way

The Alley Way

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How many of you have sat at the back on an arena, watching as the barrel racing horses approach the alleyway? I know, I know, it’s safe to watch from a distance. There are many types of entrances. You may witness the horse who runs backwards, the one who runs away, or the one who bows out his or her chest ready for battle.

I find it amusing how we as Christians can be related to those horses. When God is calling you, do you run backwards, run away, or are you pumped up & ready? Let’s examine the three different alley way reactions.

 

THE PATTERN

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First off, let’s vision the barrel racing pattern as the route God is calling us. It is composed of straight paths as well as turns. There are many things that can cause us to stumble or fall. The ground conditions may be deep, muddy, hard, or just right. The straight paths are the easy or smooth times on God’s path. The muddy, deep, or hard turns are the areas on the path that cause us to work a little bit harder. One thing is certain about the pattern, it is always different. The same thing goes for each path that God paves for us, different routes for different people.

 

THE RIDER

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Now this one may be a little difficult, but I want you to think of the rider as God. He is asking you to take on the challenge (the pattern). He knows that you are prepared for the battle that lies ahead. He knows what the ground conditions are like, he knows how many turns are up ahead. He knows that he has worked endlessly, preparing you for the task. He has conditioned you with workouts, drills, and tests. How you going to enter the arena?

 

The Horse

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I want us to imagine that we are the horse. Are you going to run backwards, telling God that you are not ready to run? Are you going to run away, ignoring what you’re being called to do? Are you going to be the horse who bows his chest out and prances down the alley way?

 

-Running backwards: There are times in life when we want to “run backwards”. We are afraid of failing, losing, or trials that are up ahead. Most of the time it is because we have been hurt or have fallen in a prior experience. We can’t let the past or the fear of the future hold us back. We have to be the gritty little horse who runs even though they may feel a little pain or have fallen.

Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all of your ways submit to him, and he will make your path straight.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

 

-Running away: This is usually the road in which leads to many more hardships and frustrations. Even if you are scared and are making baby steps, that is better than completely running away. The barrel racing horses who will not go in the pen receive a No Time. Don’t run away from your passion, your dreams, or goals. God has placed those feelings and emotions in your heart for a purpose. Don’t be the horse who gets a no time for a 4D time is better than no time at all.

“For the Lord did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love, and self-control.”

2 Timothy 1:7

 

-Prancing toward the alley: For we all fall short of the glory of God, but this is the horse that I want to be. Take a second to think about the horse who bows his/her chest out and prances toward the alley way. They are confident and ready to run their race. Although they know their job, they don’t know what the ground is like, how big the pattern is, or even what their rider is going to ask of them. Think of how they trust in their rider (God) to help them through the clover leaf. They don’t seem fearful, they appear ready! They trust that their rider will guide them safely around each turn (trial). The horse isn’t able to make a flawless pattern without their rider. Okay, I know some of you may be thinking that some horses can do it without their rider. True, but in this scenario the flawless run with no rider is when God completely takes over in your life. This is when things are happening that are totally out of your control and solely dependent on God, miracles. I want to be that horse who prances down the alley way, ready to take on the challenge. What about you?

Jesus looked at them and said, With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible”.

Matthew 19:26

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Trula Churchill of Valentine, Neb. begins her ride during the Barrel Racing competition in the fourth go-round of the 2012 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

 

Prayer

Dear heavenly Father, I come to you today with a grateful heart. I am thankful for the love of horses you have placed in my heart. Even more than that, I am thankful that you have placed such a beautiful animal on this earth for us to enjoy. It amazes me how we can relate barrel racing to our lives. I pray that you will mold and make me into the barrel horse who prances down the alley way, chest bowed out and ready for battle. Condition me Father to trust you in all areas of my life. I don’t want to be the horse who runs away from your path, pursuing my own selfish desires. This life is not about me, it’s about you & building your kingdom. I also don’t want to run backwards,living in the past or fearing my future. You hold my future. You’re the only one who knows what tomorrow holds. Give me peace for tomorrow and help me live in the moment. I thank you for the joys and blessings you have given me. I know I owe this life to you. Show me how or where I can honor you, bless me with the confidence to fulfill the call, and humble me so that it is always about you. I pray that I would have a strong conscious, honoring you in all of my words, my thoughts, and my actions. Use me as a light in the horse community, honoring you completely.

In Christ’s name I pray, Amen.

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In the wise words of Fallon Taylor, ” The world is your alley way, so you better PRANCE!”

You can purchase the PRANCE pillow for $28.00 by following the link below:

 http://shopfallontaylor.com/the-world-is-your-alley-way-pillow/

May God bless you as you approach your next alley way!

❤ Love ❤

Katie @ the Houlihan Homestead

**COMING UP NEXT: Pork Tenderloin on the grill, and homemaking with Mary Ellen Lawrence!

Hilley Homestead

I am so excited to introduce to you an amazing western homemaker and great friend of mine, Mrs. Gretchen Hilley. You’re going to be blown away at the creativity and vision this cowgirl has. Gretchen manages to keep a gorgeous home while being a mom and a wife of two rambunctious cowboys. On top of that, she’s a full time elementary school teacher. Whew! For all of you teachers, moms, and wives of cowboys, you know how difficult it can be to manage a schedule and keep your homestead running. Sit back and relax! She’s going to spill all of her homemaking secrets and advice, as well as give us a tour of her amazing western palace!

Interview with Gretchen Hilley 

  1. First off tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m on my 13th year of teaching elementary school…

**Enough said 🙂

  1. Whenever you started decorating your new house, what was the first step you took in order to form a vision of what you wanted?

Color. I really thought about a color scheme. Since my big project was chalk painting my kitchen cabinets turquoise the rest of the house needed to flow.

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*Turquoise chalk paint can be found on Amazon! This is not her exact color, her color is CC Caldwell Santa Fe Turquoise .

  1. Do you use sites like Pinterest to help you generate ideas? If so, what sites do you use most often?

Yes! Pinterest is the best! However, we need more blogs like yours to pin western inspired homes for decorating ideas!

  1. What room is your favorite and why?                                                                                     Since our house has an open floor plan, the whole bottom of the house is my favorite. We don’t have curtains and the sun shines in the windows all day. It’s cozy, colorful and just a happy place to be.
  1. What would you say is the most important thing to keep in mind while you are in the decorating process?

Have fun and throw the rules out of the window! When we were building our house lots of our friends were building or just finished building as well. We’d stop by their beautiful new homes and the first thing I would notice is that they were all the same. The same things you see on pinterest over and over, the same bathroom cabinets you get at lowes… everyone is safe! Forget about the rules! Grab interesting furniture, make bathroom cabinets out of odd pieces. Have fun!

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  1. What is your favorite store to shop at when purchasing home decor items?

Sadly enough, we are lacking in the western decor department here in GA. I’d have to say Hobby Lobby is my go to place for decor. You can usually find lots of rustic pieces and typically at a decent price. Whenever we go out west I’m sure to snatch up anything I love and know I’ll never get a chance to purchase otherwise!

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  1. Do you have any tricks or hacks that help you keep your homestead organized/clean?
    I was once told, “There’s a place for everything and everything has its place”. Those are words of wisdom. Just doing a little bit each day will keep your home under control. The fact that we don’t have a TV in the house might help the situation as well! 😉

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  1. Can you give us any advice on picking color schemes or themes?
    In the western world I think we can get caught up in everything being too colorful or too blah! If you aren’t careful, you can look around and realize your whole house is barnwood brown! My mom taught me a good lesson with my first house. She said my furniture and decor was so neutral and “blah” so we painted my walls wild colors! In our new home, I knew I wanted fun, turquoise kitchen cabinets, so I kept the walls a neutral color.

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Check out the adorable chairs with the back numbers!!!

  1. What is your favorite kitchen item?
    I’m not sure the name of it, but there is this little round knife contraption. The blade is a circle. It rolls… I use it to cut up our frozen pizzas! Haha! No really, I’m not much of a cook, but after reading your first crockpot recipe and how simple it was, I think I’ll try it out!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01A7PYVS4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=houlihanhomes-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B01A7PYVS4&linkId=c496a95077501a83ebb66d4933703941

*This link will send you to Gretchen’s favorite little round knife contraption. 🙂

Western Palace Tour

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Cow Canvas Link:

http://www.hobbylobby.com/Home-Decor-Frames/Mirrors-Wall-Decor/Wall-Art/Big-Cow-Canvas-Wall-Art/p/135748

Turquoise Arrow Link 

http://www.hobbylobby.com/Home-Decor-Frames/Mirrors-Wall-Decor/Wall-Art/Metal-Arrow-on-Wood-Wall-Decor/p/80647628

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Hope everyone has enjoyed the Hilley Homestead! Please feel free to comment below if you have any questions about this homestead. Tune in next week for a cowgirl devotions followed by another Houlihan recipe!

Love,

Katie @ the Houlihan Homestead

CrockPot Cube Steak

(Crockpot) Cube Steak

As you already know, I absolutely love to cook. Even more than that, I love easy recipes. Who said that cooking had to be hard? Here at the Houlihan Homestead, there are several nights that we need yummy & FAST meals. Our afternoons normally consist of barn work, team roping practice, and exercising barrel racing horses. Although our afternoons are consumed, we always find time to stop and sit together at the dinner table. I have had several friends ask for advice on how to swing home cooked meals while fulfilling a busy work-week schedule. Today I am going to share with you one of our favorite meals (and easiest).

 

Ingredients:

2lbs Cube Steak

2 cans of Cream of Mushroom

¼ cup of water

1 pkg. Of French Onion Soup Mix

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*As you see in the picture, I do not use name brands. Store brand products seem to work perfectly fine for our family. This is one way that I save a hefty amount of money each week.

 

Tools needed:

5 Quart Crock Pot

Mixing bowl

¼ measuring cup

Whisk

Large spoon

 

Steps:

*if meat if thawed, skip to step 3.

1.Thaw 2lbs of cube steak. (I normally use deer cube steak. My husband loves to hunt in the fall, so we normally have plenty of deer stocked in our freezer. This recipe works wonderfully with beef cube steak as well.)

2. Drain any fluids that appear after thawing.

3. Place cube steak in the bottom of your crockpot.

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4. In a separate bowl, mix cream of mushroom soup, french onion soup mix, and water. Mix until smooth.

 

 

5. Pour the mixture over the top of the cube steak.

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6. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8-10 hours.

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7. Serve over rice, mashed potatoes, or side of choice.

*Optional: Salt & Pepper to taste (I allow individuals to salt & pepper to their liking.)

 

This dish is a winner at our homestead. It serves approximately four people. I can honestly say that this is one of my favorite meals to throw together. It’s easy, and it makes for an amazing leftover meal. I hope you enjoy the Crock Pot Cube Steaks as much as we do. I would love to hear how you put your special twist on this recipe!