Cooped Up Confession: Ashly Bates

When I think of Ashly Bates, I seriously think of sunshine.  There's such a bright light that radiates from within her and that's exactly what makes people drawn to her.  I was so excited when she agreed to let us interview her during this super busy time in her life.  She's a successful business owner of three Balance Yoga Barre Studios, mother, wife to PBR announcer, Brandon Bates, and all-around encourager of anyone she comes in contact with.  So, sit down, grab some coffee and enjoy getting to know Ashly Bates!


Hey Ya'll...My name is Ashly Bates and I am the owner and creator of Balance Yoga Barre.

I would love to share the story of how I found myself through Yoga with all of you.

For my entire life I've had a sense of incompleteness, like there was always a little something missing.  I just knew I was destined for a greater calling.  This hit me really hard about 5 years ago.  I had just married the love of my life and moved from the beautiful state of Utah to Edmond, Oklahoma.  I was a single mom for a couple of years before this so I was eager and excited to step into the new role of wife and stay at home mother to my young daughter.  I soon found myself again seeking for the "something" more.

I started training very hard at the gym with a personal trainer.  She convinced me that I should do a fitness competition.  I was driven with undeniable dedication and determination.  The very first show I took first place and qualified for a national competition with the best of the best.  Months later and countless hours of very strenuous work in and outside of the gym I took the stage with a shredded six-pack.  I placed but once again, my soul longed for more.  My body and mind had been pushed so hard and I was left exhausted.

Through this process my husband and I had tried to have a baby with no luck.  We decided it was time to step up the game.  I started to obsess about the next chapter in my life.  It was to have a baby with the man I loved.  Surely this is what is missing.  After several years of negative tests and my body pumped full of hormones we conceived.  To say I was happy would be a massive understatement.  At our 12 week appointement I piled my mother-in-law, daughter and husband in the car.  This was the week we would hear the baby's heart beat and finally see our child.  When the doctor let us know there was no heart beat we all cried and I left more empty than when we started the entire process.  I was devastated to say the least.

I read online how yoga could help with fertility.  That same day I ran across a studio in Oklahoma that was offering a special on a montly package and I knew it was a sign.  I started my journey at a beautiful studio called Soul Yoga.  At first it was a nice distraction from the pain but quickly transcended into dealing with the pain and loss.  For the first time in my life I was learning to live moment to moment.  I was hooked with the feeling yoga provided for my Mind, Body and Soul.

Two years later I finsished my 200 hour teaching training with the very enlightened Tiffany Cruikshank.  Slowy Yoga taought me "I am enough" there is nothing in this world that could feed my soul more than loving my true self.

Fast forward to present day and three beautiful studios later I strive to show others and myself our greatest strength is self love and love others.  Living in the moment is all we need.  I am blessed beyond measure to share my love and passion for yoga on a daily basis and show others the enlightenment yoga offers to us all.

I'm also very happy to let you know that I am currently 15 weeks pregnant unplanned and unprepared...

Cooped Up:  Could you tell us a little bit about your upbringing, hobbies and how that led you down the path of who you are now?

Ashly:  I was born in a small town called Springville, Utah.  I grew up camping and playing in the mountains.  I love the outdoors. I played many sports and loved to dance.  I was always a Free Spirit. You told me to do one thing I would choose the opposite.

Cooped Up:  I've heard you describe yourself as a hippy who married a cowboy, could you explain to us how you and Brandon met and how your lives intertwine so beautifully today?


Ashly:  I met Brandon while I was working for a modeling agency.  On the weekends I would travel from state to state working different events and having the time of my life finding a new adventure in each state I visited. I guess you could say I was lucky enough be booked with the PBR and there Brandon found me and the rest is history.

Cooped Up:  Your little lady, Zeyda, is an absolute doll!  Can you share with us a little about her and what she's into?


Ashly:  Zeyda Mae is my everything!  She is a spitting image of me at that age. She is full of love and laughter and always seeking the next adventure like her mommy.  Brandon adopted Zeyda at a very young age and they are two peas in a pod.

Cooped Up:  What are some the of the best mommy/daughter dates you two have been on?

Ashly:  This past spring break, Zeyda and I packed the car and took a road trip to Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Neither of us had ever been there. We spent the week weekend hiking, exploring and soul searching together. It was a weekend I will never forget.

Cooped Up:  And you and your little family are expecting a new baby this year,  I know this has been blessing worth waiting for.  Besides the baby, what are you looking forward to in this pregnancy?


Ashly:  Eating junk food, lol!

Cooped Up:  What are 3 principles you and Brandon would like to instill in Zeyda and your new baby?


1.  Love is always the answer.

2.  God will always provide.

3.  Move to the beat of your own drum.

Cooped Up:  Tell us about Balance Yoga Barre, what's in store for the future with the studios?


Ashly:  I own 3 studios now and I plan to keep growing and expanding my passion with others.

Cooped Up:  Can you take us through the day-in-the-life of Ashly? From start to finish what does a usual day look like for you?


Ashly:  Yoga, Barre and family time..

Cooped Up:  What can't you live without from day-to-day?

Ashly:  Yoga, prayer/meditation, family.

Cooped Up:  Okay, can we get some cowboy's wife wisdom from you?

Ashly:  When your cowboy finds his “Yoga” don’t ever try and take away what is good for his soul.. Like fishing for my cowboy.

Make sure to check out one of Ashly's BYB Studios if your local or passing through, you can find more info here!

Lots of love,

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife- Candace

Military Marriage

Happy Saturday to all you beautiful people!  The sun is shining this morning and I'm so excited for the weekend to get some stuff done.  My little man is with Mooma and Papo's this weekend while the hubs and I stay at home and get lots of outside (weather willing) work done.  Have you ever had those projects that seem to progress in taking way longer than you would have ever thought?   Well, anyways, I'm so excited to introduce you to our guest for our monthly "Cooped Up Confessions."  This beautiful gal's name is Danielle!


Danielle and I have known each other since high school when we first met at the barn in Eaton where they had Cowboy Church.  I always remember Danielle as that tough and gorgeous cowgirl.  She always was fun and bright but at the same time could kick your butt if you needed to shape up. After a few years in between there we both ended back up at the Cowboy Church where we grew our friendship and really got to know each other more.

Danielle grew up in Loveland, Colorado with her mom and sister in a two bedroom, one bathroom duplex.   As she states it, "privacy was few and far between, but we all were very close with each other and living in that smaller home brought us to a new level of closeness."   Although it was only her mom and her sister at home, they did have quite the large outside family.  Their large family would attend Catholic Mass together where Danielle remembers getting to hear her grandpa sing as she told us he had one of the "best voices."  This was a bond between a grandpa and a girl that was strong.  Once Danielle got into high school she never wanted to go to church anymore because it felt "repetitive" and she didn't enjoy it anymore.  She tells us this story about this one Saturday night and how it changed everything.  Danielle was at a party, "I remember like it was yesterday," and while she was intoxicated she struck up a conversation with a guy she had never met before.  If you knew Danielle, you would know she has such a bubbly personality and can just about talk to anyone!  This gentleman started telling Danielle about Cowboy Church and much to her surprise and her current state of mind, it didn't seem to faze him in talking about God and how amazing this church was. The next day Danielle was discussing her conversation with this young man with her family and the following weekend they went to the Cowboy Church and fell in love with it.  Danielle and her family found themselves sitting in a chair, in the dirt, surrounded by people that were of the same norm, jeans and cowboy boots.  Their family knew at this point, this is where they were supposed to be!  Danielle began to attend church regularly and started having lots of questions about God and wondered if she really needed to be coming to church.  She says that one night she was reading her Bible asking God to give her a sign if this church was where He wanted her to be.  It was then, that following Sunday, that she was hungover sitting in her chair, in the dirt near the back row trying to hide her shame and the Pastor started reading the exact same verse that she was reading when she had asked God for some kind of sign.   Danielle says her heart jumped into her throat and she felt like God had just given her a good slap to the face, that she obviously needed this!  This moment made a milestone for Danielle in getting to really know the Lord, to get more involved in church and make long, lasting friendships with some amazing people (she mentions me… your so sweet Danielle, truly!!!.)



Cooped Up: How did you first meet your husband and was he already in the military?  

Danielle: I was introduced to Clark by my sister, she was going on a date with his roommate and asked me to come with her for a double date.  We all went to Red Robin and I remember that he had no interest in me.  I honestly only went for the food and to keep my sister company!  We eventually became friends and he made the decision to sign up to join the Navy in which we kept in touch while he was at boot camp and when he returned home after 9 weeks away.  We were inseparable for his 2 week break at home before he reported to his duty station in Virginia.   Six short months and lots of time back and fourth from Colorado to Virginia he asked me to marry him and 2 days later we went to the court house and made it official.

Cooped Up:  We've always heard that rumor about woman being attracted to a "man in uniform," did that apply to your attraction to him? I knew Clark before he decided to join the Navy but I’m extremely proud of him for making the decision to join. The uniform is just a bonus, he always looks very attractive in any of them so I guess you could say yes, it does appeal to me.

image                    image

Cooped Up: How many times have you moved since you have been married to Clark while he has been serving?  What are the positives and negatives of having to move?

Danielle: I moved from Colorado to Virginia in 2009.  Clark and I have lived in two different states (Virginia and Maryland) and have moved a total of five times.  The positives about moving to a new area is being able to experience different culture,  granted we have never lived outside of the States but it was a huge culture shock for me to move from northern Colorado to Hampton, Virginia.  The negatives of relocating would be not knowing anyone or what’s in the area.

Cooped Up: Where did you find your faith through it all?  Did you struggle when he was gone or how did you pass time, ect?  Any advice to other military wives?

Danielle: The best advice I feel I could give to another military wife is to stay busy.  Having your spouse being gone is the perfect time to pick up a new hobby…or five.  When Clark was gone on his first deployment I was fortunate enough to live at home in Wellington, CO where I had my family, friends, and my church to keep me going.  When Clark went to fire school for 3 months I was not as lucky.  If I was not at work I was usually alone and to be honest it was difficult the first month to adjust.


Cooped Up: You have always loved barrel racing, are you still able to do that up there on the east coast and how is it different than western culture here in Colorado? 

Danielle: In Virginia it’s more dressage than timed events.  I was not able to race when we lived there but I think my horse, Jet, enjoyed the break.  I was able to get in with a barn here in Maryland that does roping and has barrels for me to practice.  Our first open 4D after a 3+ year break we ended up 1st in the 2D.  The barrel races are a LOT smaller here than back home but I’m not complaining because at least I get to do it.



Cooped Up: You are very involved with CrossFit now, what attracted you to that and where do you want to go with it or what are your goals? Does Clark participate too?

Danielle: Clark was actually the one that got me into CrossFit  when he went to Texas for a training he joined a box!  (CrossFit centers are not called gyms, they are called “boxes") .  They literally are just warehouses that contain bars, weights, and ropes.  This means no TVs, no mirrors, and no cute posters.  A box opened up about 5 minutes from my house and I have been going ever since.  I think the best part of CrossFit is the community.  Everyone cheers everyone on and the person that finishes last always gets the loudest cheers.

My main goal is to get a muscle up but it’s fun to achieve things along the way.  I have never taken it too seriously unless I’m in a competition then I go all out because I want to win!  With Clark's schedule, he unfortunately is not able to come to the box with me but he is able to continue doing WOD’s (workout of the day) in his free time at work.





Cooped Up: How long will Clark be serving and where do you see yourselves in the next 5 years?

Danielle: Clark plans to retire from the Navy at around 21 years of service; so far he has been in for 8 years. Because there is so much uncertainty with both of our careers I have no way to know where we will be 5 years from now.  Although, on one hand it’s exciting because you don’t know where the Navy will take us next, but on the other hand you are not able to settle in anywhere.  It’s unfortunate when we get to a place you like and make friends it definitely makes it harder to move away.

Cooped Up: Do you have any stories that you'd like to share about being a militant wife whether it be funny, scary, crazy ect? Danielle: One thing I will always remember is when Clark came home from his first deployment.  He had been away for 8 months so my friend Heather and I loaded up in Clark’s mustang and drove from Colorado to Virginia to welcome him home.  It was such a memorable experience watching the ship pull into port with the entire flight deck lined with the people he was deployed with in there dress whites.  Everyone was cheering, holding signs, flowers and  American flags as they were pulling in. Just being able to see the raw emotion of family’s reuniting with their loved ones was truly an amazing experience.

Cooped Up: Taya Kyle in her husbands book, American Sniper, mentioned that she'd have to get to know Chris all over again when he'd return from deployment. Have you & Clark experienced that?

Danielle: Absolutely! When he came back from his first deployment he was different.  Clark became very distant and quiet, almost like he didn’t know what to do with me being around and wanting to show him affection.  After a few days he was not completely back to what I considered to be "normal," but he was able to eventually adjust. The roles reversed when he left for 3 months to go to Texas for fire school where I became extremely comfortable and use to being alone that when he came back it was me that didn’t know how to react to him being in what had become “my space."  It’s never easy to readjust to each other and I know that when he goes back to sea duty we will need to figure it out all over again.  With that being said when your spouse returns from deployment they need a person that knows what they need to get acclimated upon return, they don’t need you crying about how lonely you were when they were gone or how hard it was for you.  Deployments are harder on them and a majority of the time they are not going to tell you a lot of what is happening because they don’t want you to worry while they are gone.  It’s a slow process and you can’t push, they are doing the best they can & you just need to be a support system.

Cooped Up: Share with us what a typical day is for you!

Danielle: My Day usually starts at 5am as we have 2 dogs Wrangler & Gauge. Wrangler usually wakes up with me but then we need to wake Gauge up because he is not a "morning dog" by any means. Then, I’m able to start getting ready for work, walk the dogs, then off to work I go. I’m a Sr. Scheduler for Lockheed Martin, so my day is usually filled with multiple meetings and I never really having a moment to relax. Once off work (if Clark is not on duty) I head to the box to get my workout in usually doing the WOD then fit in some strength work and exercising my social skills of course. Then finally, I’m able to go home where if Clark is home, he usually has dinner ready so I can eat, clean-up and spend the rest of my night with my 2 fur babies and my husband. So short hand, it’s nonstop.

image          image


I just want to tell Danielle a big THANK YOU!!!  I SO admire you as a person, a friend, a sister in Christ and as an AMAZING WIFE!  I am so glad that you got to share a part of your life with us and so many others.  I pray that God blesses you in all things, that His hand would bring a refreshing rain to you and your family and that His love would surround you and grow you stronger in Him!  You are beautiful and you rock!  

Take a look at some of these extra pics of Danielle! 

These pictures explain who this gal is.  She's got a little of everything being country, a sharp shooter, fit, and has a girly flair to her!  I personally love the second and fourth picture here because it show her bubbly personality coming out, which I love about her!












These last pictures are from the last time Danielle was out here in Colorado.  We got to enjoy a day of being glammed up by the awesome, Megan Holdren of Livewire Clothing and do a photo shoot!  It was such a fun day to just be us! 

And yes that's Kody while he was trying to fix his car, we thought it'd be a funny picture!  It makes me laugh!

Till next time, 

XOXO Cooped Up Cowboys Wife Kirste



Cooped Up Confession: LeAnn Hart


I'm pretty sure that when God created a cowboy's wife, He had LeAnn Hart in mind.  She's tough, compassionate, kind and courageous.  This pretty lady stands by her husband and will step into help in whatever situation that he needs her in.  She's also an amazing mother and friend.  And talk about TALENTED!  She can sing, write songs, play the guitar and preach about Jesus better than most ministers!  Miss LeAnn posts beautiful video devotionals on Facebook and her words are always so simple and applicable in this crazy world that we live in.  I'm so blessed to call her my friend and I really look up to her as a sister in Christ, a wife, and especially as a mother.  Her and her husband, J.W., live in Marietta, Oklahoma with her two sweet kiddos, Makayla and Wacey.

Every time I get to see I'm so captured by her zeal for Jesus and her love of others.  I'm so excited to share this interview with all of our readers here on Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife.   

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  Can you share with us your testimony?  A little bit about how you started living "all out" for Jesus?

LeAnn:  I was 8 yrs old when I said, “Yes” to Jesus.  It was the week of Vacation Bible School and for the first time my ears were open because I had never before heard our pastor speak of Death, Hell and Heaven like he did that day.  We had an old dairy barn that had been mangled from a tornado and I found myself climbing to the top thinking about what the pastor had said.  I don’t know if I even waited for the invitation prayer to end that next day before I was running to the front.  This girl did not wanna spend eternity burning!  Even though I had made a commitment pretty early I didn’t understand the relationship part, that came later.  Years ago, JW and I were going through a string of messes in our marriage.   After a few months, I found myself give out, crying and begging God to fix everything on my bathroom floor.  In those next few moments I heard a voice whisper, “If you would stop looking down and start looking up, you can get past this pain.”  The next morning I woke up and what I couldn’t fix, God did and He still is today. 

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  What was your upbringing like and who were the people that helped shape who you are today?

LeAnn:  From the time I came out of my Momma’s womb I was raised in a Southern Baptist Church.  My Dad’s family would visit different churches doing Special music.  I remember a story Dad would tell about a family of Gospel singers called the “Happy Goodman’s” and how they wrote a song called “Who Am I” at my Grandparents house.  Dad said, “Momma made me go to bed, but I sat right by the door and listened while they wrote that song!”  I always thought that was pretty neat.  If you were to visit my Dad’s parents house you would leave there with a Joy that couldn’t be explained!  I don’t know if there was anyone who ever went there that didn’t hear something good about Jesus.  They have moved on to greener pastures now, but are still a huge influence in my walk with Jesus today.  My Dad was also a huge influence!  When my parents were starting to fight and eventually decided to get divorced, my Dad was a constant voice when it came to speaking life over what seemed like the darkest time of my life.  I have letter after letter from him and no matter the circumstance, God never changed.  I am forever thankful that he took time to remind me of that.  So I never lost touch of the Gospel no matter how far I strayed because of the time others invested in me to never back down from sharing a story that would outlast the temporary messes that this life seemed to bring. 

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  You have so many irons in the fire, can you share with us everything you're involved in and how you get it all done successfully?

LeAnn:  I am a Ranchers Wife by choice, a Momma by grace, a Foster Parent when I can be, a Worship leader every Sunday & Wednesday not because of a dream but because of a prayer, we host a Lifegroup of 35 plus every Monday in our home all because Jesus made a way, the Chair Woman for our local Toy Drive and Angel Tree, Photography is my trade as well as my joy and Ministry is my heart… I have always been busy but before marriage and babies I was alone in my busy.  Having a family when your busy it's important to not let the stew sit for too long without stirring the pot.  Otherwise the good stuff will start to stick to the bottom!  I keep that in mind with all things… I choose what I get involved in by praying first and if its something that is just “good” then I say, “no” but if I know its the “best” then I say, “Yes.”  For the first few years, I got lazy in paying attention to how much I was gone and how that affected my family.  I started to ask the Lord to remove people and things from my life that weren’t helping me grow in my walk.  If what I was involved in wasn’t growing the Kingdom of Heaven I didn’t need to be a part of it.  Little by little, people started to step out of my life and before I knew it God had planted a beautiful garden of people around me that were desiring to grow just like me.  It's also important to listen to your family when they speak!  If JW mentions, "I need clothes washed" then I ask God to help me make time.  If Wacey says, “Momma are you gonna watch me ride my calves.”  Then whatever I am doing can wait and I go watch Him.   If Mac says, “I need help with my homework.”  Then it's time for me to sit at the table and help.  It's important to include your family in your projects!  It's important to have that ME time as well, but when you learn how to get connected together, you learn how to stay together… The key to my success is I keep Jesus in the middle of my everything!


Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  What are the "tools of success" that help your marriage?

LeAnn:  If you were to ask JW what has been the glue to getting our marriage to stick, he would say, “Jesus!”  Even though we are only going on 10 years of being married we resemble an old quilt that has been patched and re-patched!  Although, in my book the more weathered the quilt the more comfort it seems to bring.  We tried to be the “fix all” for the first few years and that wasn’t working!  Through the miscarriages, family messes and those unique marriage issues that push the limit of your relationship we, finally decided to give Jesus a try! He is the success… 


Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  Do you mind sharing how you two came to the decision to adopt?

LeAnn:  Before JW and I married we knew we wanted kids and even mentioned the word “adoption” long before we ever faced any of the trials we have gone through.  After the first 4 babies went to Heaven we started to pray and literally got one word “adopt.”  So we started the process in October 2008 through an adoption agency, we were chosen December 2008 and Wacey was born March 2009!  I never one time doubted if this was the path we were to choose.  At the time I had been studying the book of Esther so she was a guiding light for me in the midst of some dark times!  We stayed in Michigan with Wacey for a month and the trials that we endured came one after the other.  The following year we were told about a little girl who was placed in a foster home 3 hours from us.  We started to pursue her and two years later we finalized our adoption of Makayla.  Through this time lots of messes popped up that we were not planning on.  Fostering was not our intentions we were on a mission to adopt Makayla.  Although, the state had different plans.  This is what led us to being Foster Parents!  We are considered a emergency placement now because of our busy schedules, but we take advantage of whatever opportunity is placed at our door step.  I encourage anyone who is considering adoption to pray first and if you know this is your path then get embedded in the Word of God for encouragement.  Surround yourself with people who are for you and above all things, trust God!  No matter the circumstance HE is for you and your story is His story to write.  Every mess has a purpose..


Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  Tell us about Wacey & Mac, are they a lot alike or pretty different from each other?

LeAnn:  My two little mud bugs can be like two raccoons when cooped up together for too long!  The age difference is 6 months. “YES” the Lord does have a sense of humor. Wacey looks to Mac for everything!!!  EVERYTHING!!!  If sis can’t do it then its just the end of the world.  They have very different love languages.  Mac is my “pleaser child” and needs approval with everything, she is an awesome reminder for me to be encouraging to my babies.  On another note, she is tougher than any boy her age and if she’s not smiling something is wrong!  Wacey is all BOY and could honestly care less.  He has this dry sense of humor that leaves you shaking your head with a smile on your face.  This kid has a question for everything and is a constant reminder for me to never stop asking questions, you never stop learning!  I am so thankful that the Lord gave us the opportunity to experience Adoption.  Regardless of the trials His Grace has been sufficient and His Mercy endures forever… 


Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  Any good ranch wife stories? 

LeAnn:  Its a rarity to have JW hear me when I present an idea that may help our day go a little smoother!  Not long ago we started planning a day to get cattle worked and branded.  Our cattle can be a little hard headed much like our marriage used to be, LOL!  So we were talking about “how” we planned to gather our crazy Mommas.  JW’s plan was like every time before, push them through a gate to the south pasture, close that gate, get thedogs on them, get around them horseback and start pushing towards the pens.  I had a thought and for once didn’t hesitate to share!  I said, “Why not take the wing we already have and connect panels from the wing fence to the fence a little west of the gate they are going through?  That way when they go through the gate they are already in a trap.  We shut the gate behind us and BAM all we have to do is push them to the pens…”  His response, “They will never fall for that!”  Well ,I guess he got to the thinking and without telling me that morning we headed to the pasture to gather the cattle and I noticed he had connected the wing fence to the other fence!  I didn’t say anything, I just started praying, I surely didn’t wanna be wrong now that he used my idea!  As we got through the gate the boys sat watching the dogs bay the cows and I took off making a big loop to get to the back side.  As I got to my point I started praying for God to give these cows eyes to see that gate and started thanking the Lord for doing so.  Then I started singing “Our God” LOL!  I kid you not, a few minutes later they started trotting to the gate and WOOOOWEEEE they all went in!  We got them trapped, pushed and lotted in 15 minutes!!!  One of the hands said, “Man those are some good dogs right there.”  I said, “No, that was all Jesus!”  JW just grinned I believe he was waiting for me to have some smarty comment but I was on cloud nine! 

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  Can you give us some cowboy's wife wisdom?

LeAnn:  No matter the circumstance there is always an opportunity to be effective for the Kingdom!  Messes are going to come and when they do ask God to change your perspective.  In order to feel freedom from your mess you will have to face it.  God will give you the confidence, strength, boldness and the extra push you need to do so.  As my Great Grand Mother always said, “You don’t get in the swamp to swim with the alligators, you get in to drain the swamp!”  Keep Moving!  Don’t label God to certain areas of your life, when you label God you limit God.  It's hard to keep moving when you have given the Lord limited access to your life.  It's important to understand that often the best “Yes” is sometimes “NO!”  I was consumed for so long because I hadn’t given the Lord access to being number 1 in my life.  Finally, when I asked him to take over, He did.  I still don’t understand the “why” behind every mess but I “trust” His purpose for every reason.  It's his message to share, not mine… I’m just a vessel, just a servant being used for a plan that is way bigger than me!  Scripture references: James 1:2, 1 Corinthians 10:3-6, Philippians 4:6, Matthew 6:14,15, Philippians 3:12-14, 1 Corinthians 1:25.

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  What would you like to share with a woman who might be struggling with her marriage, kids or in her faith? 

LeAnn:  Our house was a divided home just like so many are today.  I was raised in church and JW was not.  I had to come to the understanding I had been living my entire life, “I can do all things through my earthly Grandpa, Father, Husband who strengthens me” instead of “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!”  Learning to put God as your number 1 priority is key!  1 Peter 3:1 is such a great verse ! I often put my name in scripture and once I do, it personalizes the debt of “why its so important to get into this amazing book that was written for us.”  I realized that after reading this verse that “I” couldn’t change anyone!  God was the only one who could get to fixing what was broken.  As long as I kept Him “Top Guy” in my life, then I was was giving every one an opportunity to see something different.  Then, they would have the same opportunity as me to choose something different for there lives.  Including my husband!  I couldn’t just tell JW about Jesus because he didn’t know what His voice sounded like but JW knows what change looks like.  So I had to show him… I had to learn to be consistent in my walk with Christ & when I do stumble I have to be vocal about asking God to forgive me.  If those around you can’t see Jesus in you then you need to rethink what it means for you to call yourself a “follower” of Christ.  My husband and I now walk by faith.  We desire to raise our children in a home that welcomes the gospel and doesn’t limit it… 

Make sure to check out LeAnn's Facebook page if you're interested in keeping up with her devotionals.

Lot's of Love!

Cooped Up Mama Candace

Cooped Up Confession: Abba, Father!

imageThis beautiful gal's name is Kaity Ford. Once a working mama at a vet office, she is now a stay-at-home mom with three beautiful children; Kash 5, Tyelee 3 and Laska 7 months old! Kaity grew up in and around the Larkspur/Castle Rock area of Colorado. She was raised by her two parents and had a younger brother who would say, “she always was picking on me."  Since I know her so well now, I would have never guessed that Kaity, being the humble person she truly is, grew up in a household that got to experience the finer things in life.  This was called the “County lifestyle."  This included vacationing multiple times a year, tanning, shopping, getting your nails done, valet parking and expensive living.    imageGrowing up Kaity and her dad were very close.  She teases that if her dad could have chosen a favorite kid, she would be it!  Together, they were able to do numerous things together, one of which was always attending sports events/banquets and church.  Although, Kaity did grow up in church she explains her experience there was simply "trying to uphold a polished image."  Back then attending church was more of a thing you just did every Sunday.  It was just a class you'd go to where there wasn't anything you could apply in your life.  She explained that it seemed less relevant to have a relationship with Jesus than it did to uphold that "Sunday church stature".   Her fragile faith began to crack when Kaity was only 8 years old and her dad was diagnosed with a cancer.  After fighting for eight years her father went into remission.  But the cancer returned and he soon passed away.

 We got to sit down with Kaity this last week and talk about a lot of different things in her life, including the good, the bad and how much God has grown her faith through all of it.  The one detail that highlighted itself through all of this was how God revealed Himself as her TRUE DADDY after she had lost her earthly father.  We really feel that is so important to point out to our readers.  We hope you enjoy getting to know Kaity and reading a small part of her testimony.   

Cooped Up: After your dad had died, what ways did you manage with you're grief

Kaity: A few years later after my dad died I had met my first husband and began to fill the void  of losing my dad with my husband.  I clung to him and he was my world.  As I look back on it, I realize that I made him an idol.  By doing this I never could fully give him or myself over to God. I held onto him so tight and couldn't release him to God because I thought that I might lose him after everything that happened with my dad. 

Cooped Up:  After your divorce and before you met your current husband, Nic, there were a lot of circumstances that took place in which you had the choice to give up or look to God and trust in Him.  At what point did you know that God was going to be the one you chose instead of giving up? 

Kaity: When I had to! (she laughs) I remember that exact moment. It was when I was sitting in a parking lot 6 months pregnant with my daughter and I had a two year old in the back. I had no house, no money and at that point I realized that all I have is God to lean on.  This is when I was fully able to give my all to God.

Cooped Up:   That had to take a lot of courage to be able to trust in something that you didn't really grow up having.  It's so awesome hearing how God can turn the bad things in this life into good if we only trust Him.

Kaity: Yes, I realized that I felt so entitled because of the way I grew up, that by losing everything was probably one of the best things that happened to me. I was so prideful before and I would have tried to do everything in my own will power that there was no way I would have ever trusted God fully without that experience in my life.

Cooped Up: So at this point you said you really had nothing, where did you go and what did you do?

Kaity: Luckily it was a Tuesday night in which my church at that point had Tuesday night services so I drove to the Cowboy Church. They put money in my hands that night because I had only $20 to my name.  I had met a couple who were little older than me and they were so sweet to me.  The husband went to his parents and told them about my situation and shortly after that, they volunteered their basement for me and my son to live in. 

Cooped Up: Was that weird moving into someone's house that you just barely met? 

Kaity: No, honestly from the moment I got there I was treated like I was their child. If it was family meals, pictures or events I was always included.


Cooped Up: Wow that's amazing for those people to have such a heart to invite you into their home and not just have you “live” there but have you be a valued, important member of their family. How did that bond between you guys start to take place?

Kaity: I remember the first week I was there and we sat down for dinner. We had like crab legs and steak. I had nothing and these people were feeding me this outrageous food. They were blessing me so much. Its like you almost feel like a slave to someone when they are blessing you with so much stuff and you can't repay them. I wanted to wash dishes, and clean the house because there was nothing that I could do to re-pay them. It was very similar to Gods unmerited favor.

Cooped Up: You told us that this reminded you of God's favor and God's character... how did God show you that character of Him through this family?

Kaity: By them doing this, it spoke so much to me about the character of God and how He takes you in as family. This family told me, "You eat what we eat, you do what we do." I had never fully felt that before. It was almost and instantaneous grafting in with this family.

Cooped Up: After this season of living with this family, you moved out on your own and God brought your future husband into your life, right?

Kaity: Yes, I did meet my “future husband” at that point. My adopted dad even checked him out to make sure he was “good enough” for me and gave us his blessing for our marriage.

Cooped Up: So obviously this relationship with your adopted family was there when you lived there and now that you're remarried how is that relationship now?

Kaity: It has continued on since I moved out and then got married. It's harder now because I have my own life and family to tend to, but we still have fun times together. We have “fight night” where we all will go over there and hang out and have fun. There is no difference in the relationship, but that it always keeps growing.

Cooped Up: When did you know that God is your ultimate father?

Kaity: It was very paralleled with how my adopted dad treated me while I was living there. He treated me with such respect, was protective over me and always had my back in everything. He treated me as if I was his own flesh and blood and that's how God is with us. It didn't matter that he didn't actually birth me, I was his kid. This is very similar to how my husband is now with my older two kids. To Nic, it didn't matter that they aren't his blood, they are his kids. That is truly the heart of God. It doesn't matter where you have been, what you've done, where you came from, you are His kid! That's where I learned what that Abba, father, daddy love was.  If it wasn't for him and his family, I wouldn't be where I am today and I thank them so much for that!  I will always love them.  I will always probably fight with my adopted brother for the rest of my life.  We get grumpy with each other but we always love each other because we are family. 











Cooped Up: Have you ever looked at this fatherly relationship and think, "what would my dad think of this?"

Kaity: At first I used to think that I couldn't have anyone else sit in this place because my dad was here and not he's not and that would be dishonoring to him. Now I look at it and know that my dad would rather I have someone like my adopted dad than be on my own.

What an amazing testimony of how God uses people to show us His love through people.  Although some of us may or may not have an earthly father, God is the ultimate father and through Him He places people in our lives to love us too.  God didn't just bless her with another earthly dad, but a whole entire family!  I can see just from knowing Kaity that she is forever thankful for what this family as a whole has done for her.  Through the birth of her second child while she was living there, the covering over her head, the meals, the photos, the fun and most of all the love is what I would say she is so grateful for.  In knowing these people I can truly say that not just one of them, but all of them show the love of Christ through them to everyone on a daily basis.  We need more people like this who have the heart of Jesus and would readily open themselves up for His Kingdom work.  Thank you for all you do daily and continue to do for His Kingdom and what you did for Kaity.  I pray that God blesses you abundantly for all that you give to others and that people would continue to see the light that He has placed inside of you all.  There is no greater gift than the gift of Jesus, and you all help administer that gift to people around you more than you will ever know. 

 Till next time, 

XOXO Cooped Up Cowboys Wife Kirste 


( Photo credits and thanks go to Nate and Liz Photography and , courtesy of Kaity Ford. )



Cooped Up Confession: Lynette Gleghorn

Have you ever met a person that just makes you feel like you are the most special person the world when you're with them?  It's like they see all the good that is in you and really make you feel valuable.  I know this kind of person is very rare indeed and if you haven't had the pleasure of meeting a person like this before, let me introduce you to Pastor Lynette Gleghorn.  In a world of people who are quick to talk negative and pass judgment, she is such a breath of fresh air.  Her and her husband Darin, both Pastor Northern Colorado Cowboy Church in Lucerne, Colorado.  This is the church Kirste and I attend.  Pastor Darin and Lynette each preach sermons at services as well as a few guest speakers take the pulpit from time to time.  I can tell you right now that this lady can really "bring it" when it comes to preaching God's Word to the church.  Not only does she make the Bible relatable, but she makes it so every person can really apply it to their lives.  I know for myself, I've learned from Lynette that God is such a good Daddy.  That He loves us so much and does not want us to settle for less than His best.  Being a parent herself, she knows how to reveal the attributes of God that show us how He loves us as His children.  Another principle that I've learned from Lynette is that God is more concerned with our character than our comfort.  Now, don't get me wrong,  He's concerned with our comfort as well, but not at the sacrifice of our character.  So when He's letting us go through something that we feel we shouldn't have to go through, it's usually because God is letting that circumstance shape our character by putting our faith in Him to make it through it.  Oh my gosh, I could go on and on with all of the wisdom I have gleaned from this woman of God.  When we sat down to interview her, I could've stayed there all day and just soaked in the words she had to say.  I hope you can see how much love and honor I have for this woman of God and if you have never been to our church I really encourage to come or visit if your passing through.  You will not be disappointed by the culture of honor and hospitality that our pastors have created in our church by simply following the Holy Spirit's leading.

I've been so excited to bring this confession to our readers and I know you will fall in love as well with this Proverbs 31 woman.

Pastor Lynette Gleghorn

Pastor Lynette Gleghorn

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife: I always like to ask what's it like in the day-in-the-life of you, just to give us a peak into your everyday life?

Lynette:  I usually wake up before everyone else and have quiet time with God.  And then I always make breakfast for the kids before I take them to school.  After I drop them off at school I head to the gym.  I really enjoy doing this for myself.  After the gym I head to the church office for meetings with our staff or people from our congregation.  Then it's off to pick up the kids and head home to get homework done and cook dinner.  We really cherish our time at home because of this busy season that we are in.

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  I know I've heard it before, but tell us the story of how you and Pastor Darin met.

Lynette:  Well we were at a cowboy minister's conference being held a casino in Laughlin, Nevada.  We were introduced by Crystal Lyons who was a mutual friend between us.  I just felt the strongest presence of God when I met Darin and I really felt like I needed to pray for him.  So I had another minister stand with me and I got to pray over my future husband before I even got to know him.  He lived in Texas and I was in Colorado, so we talked on the phone and saw each other in person only five times before we got married.  We both have the same passion to serve God. 

Pastor Lynette and Pastor Darin Gleghorn

Pastor Lynette and Pastor Darin Gleghorn

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife: Pastor Darin says that, "it's Lynette's world and I just lives in it."  Tell us what that exactly means.

Lynette:  Haha! Well...when we got married he really encouraged me to step into my ministry.  I remember him telling me that he'd carry my Bible wherever I went.  He supports me in all things!

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  What does a Godly woman look like to you?

Lynette:  When I think of a Godly woman, I think of honor.  She has honor for her God and her husband.  Her priorities are in line as well.  Gracious also comes to mind.  The more we grow, the more we find that our value is in God and this is more meaningful than just confidence.

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  If you could tell a woman that is looking for a Godly man anything to encourage her, what would you tell her?

Lynette:  First, she needs to know her value in God and if she does, she will wait for a man who sees that same value in her.  Don't settle!  Fall in love with God and be patient.  I know for me, I started writing in a journal and I wrote to the man that God had for me.  I wrote down my prayers for him and especially when I was lonely I would write in that journal.  I gave that journal to Darin the night before we got married and it was a such a special and beautiful thing to share with him.

Lynette and her adopted pup, Barley

Lynette and her adopted pup, Barley

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  Is there a woman that you admire or one who inspires you? Be it from the from fitness, motherhood or another minister, etc.?

Lynette:  Seeing a woman who is doing what God created her to do.  This woman is walking in the calling and authority that God has placed her in.  There's such beauty in watching a woman be "all out" and not holding anything back in her life.  I love watching a mom and her kids or seeing you girls sing worship on stage.  I'm so inspired by just witnessing a woman that is allowing God to use her in all things.  This woman is aware of His anointing and for her to be able to recognize what God is doing is just so amazing.  Sandy Trice is one of the many women I know who lives like this.  She and her husband had pastored a church in Texas for over 40 years and she just exudes God's gracefulness and beauty.

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  So many women can run themselves ragged by serving, working, and being a mother and wife.  What advice would you give a woman who is struggling with this?

Lynette:  If we do it out of our own strength we will get burned out.  If we allow God to work it out through us and we give Him our all, He will put everything in order.  I always think of a quote from Andy Stanley, "Do for one what you would like to do for all."  It's so easy to get spread too thin.  What man establishes man must maintain and what God establishes, God will maintain.  You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.  Ask yourself, "Am I doing what He is wanting me to do and am I partnering with Him?"

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  You and Pastor Darin have had some tough times financially when you were first married.  Could you give us a specific story that illustrates how you got through it?

Lynette:  Well when we fist got married we were serving another minister and we had to travel to where they were ministering to just serve anywhere they needed and we did not have much between the two of us.  We had our truck and our dogs and our luggage was just a couple of Tupperware totes that rode in the bed of our truck.  I remember stopping once at a gas station and we bought some Ritz crackers, spray cheese and a couple apples and that was our lunch, dinner and possibly our lunch the next day.  But we just made the most of it and everywhere we went we just made an adventure out of it.  From that gas station we walked over to a nearby park that had some statues of dinosaurs and I remember taking pictures of Darin riding the dinosaurs like he was riding a bull and getting bucked off and we were laughing so hard.  All that mattered to me was that I had God and I had Darin.  I knew everything would be okay.  We never got upset with each other through the hard times, we just embraced it.  If we couldn't have believed God for the small things like food and gas money, we would have never been able to believe Him for a church and a house.  I remember my dad telling me just a while back that he wishes he would've known how bad things were financially for us during that time because he would've wanted to help. But I told him that if we would've told him, we would've never had to trust God solely for our provision.

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  Looking over this past year, what is one thing that you recognize as being a huge accomplishment in your life?  It could be something you did together as a couple or as a family?

Lynette:  We went to a minister's conference in Florida called Voice of the Apostles and it seriously rocked our family in a good way.  We gave our kids the choice of going to stay with their grandparents or coming with us to the conference.  We let them know that it was going to be close to Disney World, but we were only going to the conference.  They chose to come with us and we all got filled with so much out there.  We grew so much as a family as well.

The Gleghorn Family

The Gleghorn Family

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  Your kiddos, Rhett and Rhiatta, are some of the sweetest and most respectful kids I've ever met.  What are some things you've really instilled in your kids to raise them "right?"

Lynette:  Honor was the biggest thing. There's a difference between obeying and honoring their father and I.  Obeying is when I ask them to do something and they do it, but honor is when they are not with us and they still choose to make choices that would please us.  Honor is having me in their hearts when I'm not there to see what they are doing.  This is the first commandment that God gives us that comes with a promise. The way we teach them about honor is mainly from the way they see how Darin and I treat each other and other people.  We really try to show them that they themselves have value and to see the value in other people as well.  It all starts in the home.

Rhett and his pretty mama!

Rhett and his pretty mama!

Lynette and Rhiatta

Lynette and Rhiatta

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  Tell us one of your proudest mommy moments.

Lynette:  This last fall, Rhett was having a hard time with a boy in school and it had started to become physical.  It was so rewarding to watch him work his way through this hard time and he ended up going to our youth group and had them pray with him to have his own heart changed toward this boy and he also wanted to have the urge to pray for this boy.  It was hard to watch him go through it, but his growth in faith and character because of it, was amazing.

With Rhiatta, we had asked her if she wanted to go serve with us at the homeless shelter in Greeley and she really wanted to go.  But I wasn't sure how she was going to handle being around the folks there so I gave her the choice of working in the back or serving up front and she chose to serve up front.  I was so proud to watch her treat everyone with such honor and respect and make them feel dignified.  She was saying, "Yes, ma'am" and "Yes, sir" to everyone.

And then there's definitely the times when they got baptized.  We waited until they chose to do it and it was so special.  C.W. Wegele stood with Rhett at his baptism and it meant a lot to him.  We have such awesome men in our church that our son can look up to.  As well as the women for Rhiatta to look up to.  She thinks that you and Kirste just about have wings and walk on water! 

The Gleghorns

The Gleghorns

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  Okay, so I have to just say that I love your classy style.  You always seem to be so put together and I wanted to know what are some of your go-to pieces?

Lynette:  I love a good denim jacket!  I have a few of those and I also have an army green blazer that goes with so much.  I love something that goes with a number different outfits.  I'm not really into spending money on pieces that are trendy but I will spend more on the classic basic pieces.  Also, a good pair of boots or fun heels are worth every penny!

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  Just to glean a little more wisdom from you, could you give us some cowboy's wife wisdom?

Lynette:  Always be your husband's biggest fan.  He will have more than enough critics, so he needs you in his cheering section!

Thank you Pastor Lynette for sitting down with us and I pray that your words change lives!

Love the Cooped Up Cowboy's Wives!

Cooped Up Confession: Kylie Shivers

Not many women know what a Professional Bull Rider's wife feels like as we watch our husbands or boyfriends climb on a livestock animal that out weighs them 10 to 1.  Very few women know how to pray through the doubt as we see them being lifted off the ground on a stretcher unconscious as we try to get past security to be by their side.  And only a select few of these women know how it feels to have their heart race with adrenaline with the same intensity as their husband's when he jumps off a bull knowing he'll at least be 90 points.  As a Christian, we call it one-flesh when you're married.  And when your married to a bull rider...well let's just say you better be ready to share in the excitement, the fear, the adrenaline and the heartache because honestly, you signed up for it. KC2

Kylie Shivers is one of those women who "signed up for it" and I can say from experience of witnessing it myself that this lady knows how to deal with the highs and lows of being married to a bullrider.  I've known Kylie since Kody started on the PBR Tour 10 years ago.  At this time, Chris had already won two PBR world championships and became the first PBR cowboy to reach $1 million dollars, the first to reach $2 million dollars and the first to reach $3 million dollars.  You'd never know that they'd reached that kind of success by the way they treat everyone around them.  And I say "they reached that success" because it's kind of a joke around the PBR circle that for a cowboy to win the World in the PBR, he has to be married.  Look it up!  Not one guy has won the World that hasn't been married.  I firmly believe it's because it takes a partnership to do it.  Having a wife that stands by your side through injuries, through slumps and through the exhaustion of having everyone pull you in every direction is worth it's weight in gold buckles.

KC1Kylie and Chris live on their ranch in Jonesville, Louisiana with their sons Brand (12) and Blayne (7).  Chris is now retired from bullriding since 2012, but their lives haven't exactly slowed down, but just rerouted themselves.  I was so excited to interview Kylie and to bring you a little bit of her story because I have tremendous admiration for her as a friend and a woman of faith that's walked the same path that I'm walking while being married to a bullrider and raising kiddos at the same time.

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  Your life is pretty entrenched in the ranching and western lifestyle; did you grow up in it or was it a classic case of marrying a cowboy that made you a "cowboy's wife?"

Kylie Shivers:  The western lifestyle was actually nothing new to me.  My daddy rode bulls up until I was born.  He also team ropes and so does my brother so I grew up going to lots of rodeos and ropings.  I wasn't raised on a ranch, however, so that was new to me but I quickly fell in love with it.  There's nowhere else I'd rather live.

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  Can you tell us how you and Chris met?

Kylie Shivers:  Chris and I met at my cousins house one night in 1999.  He was there to see a friend and we were introduced to each other.  It was small chit chat for the most part.  Not long after that we ran into each other again and chatted a little longer.  A few weeks later he called my cousin to get my number and the rest is history.  We started seeing each other not long after he called and have been together pretty much ever since. 


Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  You have some pretty cute boys and they seem to have such deep respect for you and Chris.  How did you instill that respect in your boys?

Kylie Shivers:  You know, I guess you could say that we are just raising them like we were raised. Our parents raised us to be respectful and we feel like it's very important to instill that in our children as well. We started making our boys say mam and sir as soon as they started talking. Lol!

bb2 bb1

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  What does a typical day in the life of Kylie Shivers look like?

Kylie Shivers:  A typical day in my life would be getting up around 5-530 am and doing a little laundry before getting ready to head to work. Chris usually gets the boys up and ready and then off to school we go.  I teach at a local Christian academy and the boys attend there also.  I get to spend my day with 16 little 4th graders who I have grown to love as my own.  I absolutely love my job!  Yes, it's trying and challenging at times but the good outweighs the bad by far.  I love my coworkers and I also love the fact that I can be where the boys are everyday and I never miss any of their school activities.  After we get out of school there is usually errands to run, bills to pay, groceries to buy, a sporting event or practice to attend with one of the boys, then home to get homework done, feed kids(and animals too if Chris is gone), get bathed, and go to bed to get ready to do it all over again the next day. 

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  Have things slowed down or kept on trucking since Chris retired from riding? 

Kylie Shivers:  It's funny because in some ways we have slowed down and then in some ways life has gotten crazier. We aren't traveling as much anymore but it seems like we are never home between working, our boys' activities, and just everyday life. 


Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  In what ways do you find to encourage your husband?

Kylie Shivers:  I've always tried to encourage him by showing him I believe in him and support him in the things he chooses to do.  Easier said than done at times but it's important that a wife supports her husband's goals no matter how crazy they can be. 

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  In 10 years where would you like to see yourself in your faith and in life?

Kylie Shivers:  I rely on The Lord and my faith daily but I always see room for growth.  I'm a work in progress.  My Grandma Jack was one of the most faith filled and faith driven people I have ever known.  She spent her life doing work for The Lord and showing Christ's love to everyone she came into contact with.  She was and still is my hero and my goal is to have that same admirable and unwavering faith that she had. 

 As for my life in 10 years, well that makes me kind of want to cry.  Our oldest, Brand, will be 22 and our youngest, Blayne will be 17. If I could, I would make them stay little forever.  My world has been my kids' ever since they were born so it's hard for me to imagine 10 years from now with them grown and on their own.  Let's just hope those 10 years go by real slow!

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  What words of encouragement would you offer to a woman who seems to be struggling in life?

Kylie Shivers:  Nobody's life is perfect and we all have to face trials from time to time. I've learned some of my biggest lessons in the trials I've had to go through. One important thing I've learned is no situation is hopeless when you let The Lord take control and quit trying to control it yourself. He can make any mess beautiful if you let Him.  

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  What are 3 traits that you and Chris want to instill in your boys?

Kylie Shivers: 

1) My #1 priority to instill in the boys is to teach them about The Lord and that they need the Lord in their hearts and lives. 


2) Respect and kindness... I think these two go hand in hand. 


3) Good work ethic and to always remain humble.


Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  Can we get some "Cowboy Wife Wisdom" from you?

Kylie Shivers:  "Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people."-Colossian's 3:23

Thank you so much Kylie for chatting with us!

Till' next time,

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife- Candace

(All photos are courtesy of the Shivers Family)








Cooped Up Confession: Lady of the Land

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMeet Jeannie Hackleman!  I first met this beautiful lady when I started attending Northern Colorado Cowboy Church.  Jeannie has always helped out with the children's ministry and when I had my little guy Traycen, he grew up in the kid's class with her.  She instilled so much into him and I can't thank her enough.  It truly means so much to me that she loved on him so much and helped him grow and learn in Jesus.  I am so excited to share her life with you. If you ever think of that person that always has a smile on her face, thats her!  She is by far an all around rancher's wife, artist, lover of Jesus and so much more.   Jeannie grew up outside of Colorado Springs, where her parents had a small acreage around the Black Forest area.  She told me that when her dad asked her mom to marry him she said yes on one condition, that he buy her a horse.  Her dad kept his promise and it allowed her to grow up with horses.  Jeannie did 4H in which she showed and did some roping.  She says that she literally lived on the back of a horse, (wouldn't we all love that)!  Growing up, her family spent most of their time outdoors, fishing, camping and hunting.  Amazing!!!

Jeannie, like a lot of woman always wanted a husband and knew that God had the "perfect" one for her!  It's so great to be able to wait for the one the Lord has for you and this is what she did.  She first met her husband Mark at church. She knew his sister Amy first, and then Amy introduced the two.  Jeannie says that after being introduced to Mark, it took awhile for him to ask her out.  Mark had never thought it was right to ask a girl out at church.  He had stated that it wasn't the reason he was going to church and Jeannie  loved that integrity in him. (Ladies aspire for a man with this much integrity!!) His sister told him one day he should ask Jeannie out, and Jeannie was sure glad he listened to her! Their first date was on his birthday. Jeannie says, "I kinda like to think I was a pretty good present."  They then were married a year later on Valentine's Day.

I love asking people questions about their life because we are all in different stages of our life and in different seasons. So take a look!

Q & A:

Cooped Up:  What's a day like in the life of you? Is it always the same every day?

We both have jobs out side of ranching and will continue until we are able to just ranch. Both of our jobs give us the freedom to give as much time as we need at the ranch. I guess it's not so much about the days, it's more about the season that dictates what we are doing. Calving starts the first of April and is finished the end of May. We then brand, check and fix fences then turn the cows out to summer pastures. Irrigating starts soon after, then hay season begins around the first of August. We only get one cutting of hay since summer is short. September we're bringing cattle home. November starts with vaccinating and weaning the calves. The first of January we sell the calves, and after that it's pretty quiet except for feeding.





Cooped Up: What made you guys decide to move out where you are now and will you be there for a while?

Jeannie: My husbands family homesteaded in the North Park area. His great grandfather walked from Colorado Springs with 18 head of cattle to start his dream of ranching in the late 1800's. The family bought and sold land but finally settled on a spot north of Walden, close to the little town of Cowdrey (population 78) .When I married my husband I knew that one day we would be ranching. We waited. Paid off all our debt, saved as much as we could so we would be ready when God opened the door for us. My husband saw an opportunity to buy part of his family's cattle. It's a great start for us. We knew God was in it, so we went for it. We can't say if this is where we will settle, our hope would be to continue on at the family's ranch, we will just have to see what God has in store. Right now, we are open for opportunities that would allow us to grow. If it means moving, we move.









Cooped Up:  What's your favorite part about living a ranching lifestyle?  What's one thing that you miss since you don't live close to town anymore? Jeannie: I love everything about it. People ask how we are doing all the time, my answer is, "it's a good fit, everything just feels right."  I spent years desiring this kind of life and not knowing how I would ever get to where I'm at now. I'm blessed beyond belief that God is allowing me to live this way. We keep our life simple and that works for us.  Days are quiet and there is always a lot of work to be done but nothing can beat being horseback on a beautiful day or seeing a calf being born.  I love being in the hay meadow on a tractor, it's so peaceful.  Being outside is a constant reminder to me of how creative God is.  Some days I think He does things just for me. We live in an amazing area with tons of wildlife and beautiful mountains.  I never leave home with out a camera.  I don't miss anything about town but I do miss the church we attended.








Cooped Up: Do you have a specific job that's just you on the ranch or do you and Mark work together all the time?

Jeannie: We try and do as much as we can together. I'm still learning and thankfully Mark is a good and patient teacher. He spent years working on ranches in California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado so he has seen and done a lot. In order for us to grow we both need to be able to do what ever it takes.



Cooped Up: How do you get groceries and other necessities in town?  How do you stay organized to make the most out of your time when you leave the ranch?

Jeannie: We keep a list of things we are running low on. I try to buy in bulk the things we use all the time. If we are out of something I don't just buy one I usually get 2 or 3, we have an extra refrigerator and freezer for that reason. I've learned to keep things on hand for unexpected guests. In the winter roads get closed all the time so if you run out, you improvise, thank goodness my husband is not a picky eater. Since all errands need to get done in a day it usually takes a whole day to shop. I always have big plans to go to a bunch of places but after about 3 stops I'm done fighting traffic and ready to come home. Cooped Up: How would encourage another wife or woman that's going through a hard time? Things will change, they always do. Season's in your life don't last forever.

Jeannie: I recently heard a message that encouraged me, - Don't ever ask God, "why" when things don't go as you had planned. Ask Him, "What's next?" We can't avoid hard times, they happen. But we can learn to respond to the hard times in a positive way, we can choose to learn in them, we can choose to find good, we can choose to seek Godly wisdom. I wrote this in my Bible in the beginning of the book of James - "Your biggest problem is not the one that is staring you right in the face. Your biggest problem is your lack of wisdom about how to deal with that situation." I love the Word of God, there is an answer for everything we need in this life.

Cooped Up: What are ways you encourage your husband in life, spiritual and work?

Jeannie: I let him know continually how much I appreciate him and thank him for working hard for us. His vision for our future is large, I do my best to support it 100%. I also let him be the head of our home. I will always give my opinion but once a decision is made I don't question him about it. It's also important that I don't put undue stress or expectations on him. His way is not always my way of doing things and that's OK. As a wife it's important to learn too understand how your husband thinks, reacts and sees things and accept that about him. I know my husband seeks the wisdom of God, I know he prays, I know he wants to do God's will, it up to me to trust God in him. My source is not my husband it is God, I keep that perspective in our relationship.


Cooped Up: Do you have a piece of wisdom.... in or about anything you have walked in, gone through in life or on the ranch?

Jeannie: personal wisdom - If you don't know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you should. The best thing I ever did was to give my life over to Him, submit to His will, let Him love on me with an unconditional love, let Him mold me and shape me into what He created me to be. Let Him guide me on a path that is beyond what I ever knew. Let Him teach me that there is more to this life than what this world could ever offer. At times I am lonely, but I'm never alone because I have HIM. Wisdom concerning ranch life - remember what you "get" to do everyday is a dream for others, count it a privilege that you "get" to do it.

Cooped Up: Are you still drawing/painting, etc.? Are you selling any of your pieces? Jeannie: I'm still drawing, mostly I do it in the winter. I have a hard time sitting in the house on a nice day. I've done commission pieces but mostly, I do it for me. Im waiting for the weather to get cold, I have a couple of projects ready to draw.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Cooped Up: Do y'all attend church there somewhere or how do you get fed the Word? Any suggestions for other rancher wives who may not live close or be accessible to having a great church by them ?

Jeannie: We were apart of an amazing church (Northern Colorado Cowboy Church) and loved our church family. This change has been the hardest change for me. We haven't found a fit for us yet but we have been able to meet with fellow believers for a bible study a couple times a month. Thank goodness for the internet. I have several ministries that I follow that feed my spirit. You just have too make that personal commitment to keep in the Word. If God truly is first in your life you will find the time for Him.

I just want to thank you Jeannie for sharing a little part of your life with us!  There are so many amazing things to remember in here and I know this will truly minister to other ranchers wives, moms and other woman.  I love your advice about spiritually encouraging your husband in all things.  I know for myself sometimes I let myself get in the way of supporting my husband in decisions and that is such a great reminder to myself and others to not question the final answer!  I know God protects my household and holds that covering over us and the decisions made and He has so much grace for us!  I took this to heart because I am always willing to receive any wisdom, knowledge of any sort from someone who has been walking it out longer than I have!  I appreciate you and all you have done in my life! Thank you!



Jeannie Ride tall HE is always watching!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATill next time, XOXO Cooped Up Wife- Kirste 


Cooped Up Confession: Sara McCoy

Since I only have girls, I can only imagine what mamas with little boys pray over them.  And if those little boys happen to be cowboys; well let's just say that mamas of cowboys can wear their knees out praying for their little guys.  I'm sure they pray protection over them, that they'll make smart decisions and stand up for their faith.  Especially, they might pray for the woman that they'll fall in love with and marry.  They probably pray that she'll be strong, independent, and faithful to their son who may travel a lot by rodeoing for a living.  They might even pray that she'd be able to work side by side with him on the ranch.  That she would be his best ranch hand as well as his best friend.  She would be someone that he could always count on, confide in and dream with.  Well, Janet McCoy, mother of PBR bullrider and Amazing Race contestant, Cord McCoy, without a doubt, had God's ear when she prayed for Sara to come into Cord's life.  Sara is a rancher's daughter, cowboy's wife, entrepreneur, tough as nails, a sweet friend and a Godly woman, all rolled into one.  I've known this gal for about 6 years now and I always looked forward to seeing her and catching up.  Cord was also my husband's roommate on the road most of the time before Cord retired from riding.  To say the least, these two people mean a lot to our family and I'm so honored that Sara let us interview her for our little blog. SaraM IMG_1075







Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife: How's life been? 

Sara: As always life is good! I count my blessings and then count them again! If I said my life was perfect and always easy I would be lying. Thanks be to God for this life that I live.

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife: Tell us a little bit about how you and Cord met and how life changed after you guys got married?

Sara: Immediately after I graduated college from Upper Iowa University I took a three month internship position at a company in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Looking back, I was oh so young, indecisive, weak in my faith, and so curious as to what my future held.  I first quickly reassured myself that the city life was not for me.  I couldn’t fathom having to drive in rush hour traffic, taking an elevator to the 22nd floor, and sitting in a cubical every day of my life.  You could say I was more than a little bit homesick after three months of that.  On a Friday afternoon drive back from work with a sweet friend of mine, a huge billboard with a cute cowboy riding a bucking bull caught our attention.  I know, how typical for two 22 year old country girls right…?!  Homesick and trying to cope with the city life, we knew immediately what our plans were for the weekend!  Long story short, that weekend my life was forever changed for the better.  I met the most kind, charismatic, and adorable red-headed cowboy… In regards to relationships I can recall people always saying when you find “the one” you’ll just know…yadda yadda yadda…. Sure enough those ‘people’….were right!  Immediately after meeting Cord, it was like the angels starting singing!  I melted.  He swept me off my feet.  I fell head over heels in love and we never looked back.  Two years later we were married and this November we will be celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary.

Thankfully, true love landed me on a little ranch in southeast Oklahoma with my sweet husband and “Y’all” quickly became my new favorite word.  My internship in the city and curiosity of the future was traded for being a cowboy’s wife, working outdoors, daily chores, and numerous weekends supporting my husband at bull ridings all across the country.  And I wouldn’t trade it for the world! So, thank you eye-catching billboard and most of all, Thank You God!SaraM2

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife: What was life like while he competed on the Amazing Race compared to him riding bulls?


Sara:    Cord had the privilege to be a contestant on the Amazing Race with his brother Jet three times.  The first time he raced we had recently just been engaged.  Much to their surprise they received a call to do the race a second time in the All-Stars season.  They began the second race the day after our wedding.  Even more surprised, the Cowboys were asked to race a third time.  Considering we were newly engaged the first race and newlyweds the second race, Jet thought surely he would be hearing news that we were expecting by the start of the third race.  Unfortunately no baby, nor did they ever win the million dollar prize, but I joyfully know their experience alone and the memories they made is worth way more to them than a million dollars.  Each time they raced they were gone for thirty days straight with zero communication with family/friends.  The first two times they raced I was still living at home and working on my family’s ranch.  Cord and I juggled a long-distance relationship and I was used to not seeing him for long periods of time so it wasn’t too bad.  Although, the third time they raced we were married and had pretty much been side by side for the past three years so it was much more difficult. I stayed busy holding down the ranch. I don’t know if I was missing him or his help more… Perhaps a little of both!

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  What is a typical day in the life of Sara McCoy?

Sara:  Oh boy this is a tough question, as I don’t know that there is ever anything very typical about my days… I guess I could say my days most often consist of feeding a bunch of hungry four-legged critters, exercising bulls and horses, maybe some fence fixing here and there from last night’s bull fight, perhaps a quick run of errands in town, a couple coffee breaks, and some work on my small business-Pretty Western.  Cord and I always have good intentions of planning our next day, to routinely find that nothing ever goes exactly as planned.  I do admire the fact that I never know what my work week will hold and I’m quite okay with there always being something left on the to-do list to push over to tomorrow.

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  Any crazy rancher’s wife stories for us?

In four short years of being the rancher’s wife I feel like I’ve had more near death experiences than I can count.  I’ve become a professional at jumping and flipping over fences to be saved from the wild cow.  I’ve attempted to be the next female bull rider with an end result of flipping over backwards, landing on my head, and lots of laughs from my husband.  I recently thought I could ease around a few bulls that got out in the neighbors hay field which quickly ended in the need to make a mad dash sprint in my cowboy boots.  Much to my surprise I learned that I can climb up a mesh wrapped round bale with ease if a bull is on my tail!

I’ve impressed my husband with what he calls my ‘90 pt bronc ride’ when my horse decided to break in two amongst a small pen full of bucking bulls. Any other time, this most likely would have ended with me being dumped in the dirt.  Needless to say, I’m humbly amazed at the things I can do out of fear!

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  What inspired you to start your online boutique, Pretty Western?

Sara:  My sister and I, from an early age, have always greatly admired fashion, being cowgirls, and the western lifestyle.  We truly felt there was a need for a women’s fashion boutique that carried unique clothing with a western flair.  After years of dreaming, learning, contemplating, and planning, Pretty Western was recently launched.  It really is a little dream come true!  Thus far, it’s been an enjoyable little journey being in business with one of my very best friends.  We’re alike in many ways, but at the same time we’re so different.  We invite everyone to check out our website and enjoy 15% off with coupon code: coopedup15.

photoAll photos courtesy of Sara McCoy.

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  What would you like life to look like in 5 years?  Just the same?  Anything different?

Sara:  Well, we have been hoping and praying that we would soon become parents for the last few years so I guess that’s the only thing I would be overjoyed to see change.  I love being my husband’s wife, working on the ranch, and being a small-business owner.  I’m so content with God’s will and his plans for us.  I think it’s important that we continue to make the most of what we have, learn from our mistakes, give thanks, and aim to be more Christ-like every day.

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  How do you keep up with your busy life?  How would you encourage a wife that is finding it hard to keep up in everything in her busy life?

Sara:  I don’t know that I actually do keep up with my busy life, perhaps it keeps up with me?  I’m assuming like other wives, I have the tendency to dwell on the things that I don’t finish, don’t keep up with, and I’m constantly battling to get it all done when really I shouldn’t be so hard on myself.  I think it’s important that we just stay focused on the bigger picture.  I try to keep God the number one priority in all that I do and always be grateful that I have the opportunity to lead a busy life. Life isn’t suppose to be easy.  Regardless of the circumstances, work hard and have fun!

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife:  What’s your best Cowboy’s wife piece of wisdom.

Sara:  Being a cowboy’s wife, life can become Pretty Western.  I think it’s important to know that fine line between holding your ground and keeping your mouth shut.


Well there you have it.  She's the real deal with a heart of gold.  Make sure to check out Sara and her sister's online boutique, Pretty Western!

'Till next time,

Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife- Candace



Confessions: A Jack of All Trades

The Merriam Websters Dictionary defines a jack of all trades as: a person who has many skills, can do many different jobs, can do passable work at various tasks, and is a handy versatile person!  The Cooped Up Cowboys Wives define Amy Fellini as just this!  Let me introduce you to Amy, a warrior for Christ, a wife, mother, aunt, and dear friend of our! This beautiful woman definitely goes into a categoroty of one of the toughest, most hardworking woman we know! 

Photographed by: Liz & Nate Hergert

Amy grew up west of Fort Collins on a ranch with her parents and siblings.  She is married to a wonderful husband/Pastor named Mark in which this September 10, they will have been married for 9 years.   She first met her husband Mark at Old West Leather which Mark owned and had started in 1988.  Together they have ran the store and worked as a team selling, beads, jewelry, leather tools, accessories and being all around leather shop to the Greeley and surrounding area communities!  Recently they have closed down the store and began a new journey in life!  Amy has such a creative mind not only in jewelry making, but also in recreating different pieces from old ranch things!  Personally knowing Amy, she also is an AMAZING cook, baker, Jerry-rigger, decorater, friend, woman's leader at church and Pastors wife. Here is some of our questions we got to ask Amy, take a look!!! 


Photographed by Liz & Nate Hergert



Q & A 

Cooped Up: In one word how would you explain yourself?

Amy: Simple!  I am not an extravagent  person by any means.

Cooped Up: What lifestyle did you grow up in and what things have driven you in the lifestyle you have now?

Amy: I grew up on a ranch and we didn't have a lot of animals but my grandparents did, so we would have to help before school doing chores and we each had responsibilities that had to be taken care of.  We didn't come from money so we learned how to do everything.  We worked for everything that we had and we taught not to just expect things.  Today, I am the same way in the sense that we work for the things we have and we know how to do everything so we just do it ourselves.

Cooped Up: How do you keep balance doing what you do and being a Pastors wife? 

Amy: A Pastors wife is never what I thought I would be!  (laughs) Sometimes I feel like there is unspoken pressure for a Pastors wife, but what I have to remember is that I just have to be who I am.  I support my husband in his ministry and we both have realized that we each have a place and a purpose. This means we are each others help mates and encourages and for every wife it's going to look different and that's okay! 

Cooped Up: What is one thing people may not know about you? 

Amy: I love making lotions and scrubs for fun and for gifts.  One of my favorite oils to put in them is peppermint. I like buying my oils from natural groceries or you can get them at sprouts but they are a little more expensive. 

Cooped  Up: Fact is that your an amazing jewelry creator, how did that process first begin?

Amy: Honestly, it never dawned on me to do beads, until I met my husband Mark in which then it kind of went crazy!  It started out as loom work and Native American work at first in the store, and then Mark let me take control to buy stuff.  At this point, the beading and jewelry making really blossomed.  I loved looking at all the different kinds of jewelry other people made, but knew I personally would never spend $600 a piece.  I knew I could be creative in making jewelry, and still make it affordable.



Check out her store @


Cooped Up: Looking back on the whole year until now, what is one of the biggest struggles/accomplishments you've dealt with?

Amy: Together we made a decision to close our store.  It had been open for 26 years so this as you can imagine was a huge decision on our part.  It was nerve-wrecking at first, but God kept opening doors for this opportunity and new season in life.  We talk about it now and have absolute peace and no regrets!

Cooped Up: What is your hope and vision now for being at home?

Amy: There is actually a lot of opportunity for us to work from home.  I love not having to go to town everyday, and it's been nice taking a break from doing all the jewelry, but I am ready to start creating again.  I have ideas in my head for pieces of jewelry I want to make and I would also like to get into leather stuff.  I would love to do wild rags and play with some of my own ideas for them.  I also have all my projects I like to do, and household projects!

Cooped Up: Speaking of projects do you have recently done or are currently working on?

Amy: Yes! I have a few to show you...

#1. Wagon wheel light project $60

We had this old wagon wheel here and just went to buy solar lights to put on it, then hung it.



#2. Dry sink (w/plumbing) project $0

We had old horse feeders lying around that we're busted, all the screws, plumbing, we had all that too!



 #3. Wheel barrel bathroom hanger$10

Outside we had an old wheel barrel so I just took out the front wood and cut it,Nthem added hooks from Hobby Lobby!



#4. Bull skull $5

Had the skull, and the turquoise beads.  This is what I am currently working on.  It's taken a little while because it's like putting puzzle pieces together.  You have to find the match of the different shapes of beads and where to place them.



#5. Headboard $ thinking in progress

At the store in the basement we had this old door.  I want to make it into a headboard and inset leather on the door panels and then put metal button pins around it.



Here are some pictures from our morning at Amy's house.  The kids loved checking out the chickens, grapes ( I wanna grow grapes ), and the barn! 

DSC_2581DSC_2574DSC_2576 DSC_2575DSC_2573DSC_2570


Till next time!!! 

Confession: SaLeena Bishop

Sparks fly as electricity collides with metal producing an unmistakable smell that can only be enjoyed by those who truly realize the power they hold in their hand.  The trade of welding is not for the faint of heart, it takes grit and patience to melt steel while creating a piece of art.  I'd like you to meet one lady that can go from "preacher's wife in heels" to "artist in welding gear" all in a day's work.  SaLeena Bishop is a woman of many talents, not to mention she's an absolute beauty inside and out. SaLeena and her husband, Lawerence, live in Monroe, Ohio with their two boys, Elvis and Rio.  Lawrence is Pastor of Solid Rock Church that currently has two locations in Cincinnati and Lebanon, Ohio.  A very talented man himself, Lawrence is a retired saddle bronc rider, singer/songwriter and musician in an award winning Christian Rock Band "Bride".  He also travels the world speaking at a number of churches and events.  Lawrence and SaLeena have ministered at our church, Northern Colorado Cowboy Church, for a number of years.  He not only brings the Truth of God's word in a powerful message but will also have you rolling on the floor laughing when he relays his stories of rodeoing and growing up in the horse business.

SaLeena Photo courtesy of SaLeena Bishop. Shot by Maslyn Photography

A man like that needs a strong woman by his side and that's exactly what he has in SaLeena.  She not only is an amazing wife and mother, but this powerhouse builds beautiful podiums, pulpits and pretty much anything else a church would request to bring a contemporary touch to their sanctuary, all out of metal. To check out more of SaLeena's work take a peek at




Photos courtesy of SaLeena Bishop

We got to catch up with SaLeena on their most recent visit to Colorado to find out how she does it all:

First off: How did you get started with working with metal? Had you welded before or did you just learn because you wanted to create a piece?

Well, I have a bachelor’s degree in Communications and a Minor in Psychology, so I had no prior experience with metal fabrication or welding. For me, the destination has definitely been a journey, it started with jewelry making with sterling sliver and turquoise, which turned into stained glass, then ceramics, to wood working and then finally I think I’ve found my niche with steel. I honestly learned how to weld out of being cheap. I knew the design I had in my head and I just got tired of having to outsource the job to someone else. Through a good friend, and many hours of Youtube, I’ve learned how to weld and I love it!!

Where do you find inspiration? From God, Pinterest, etc?

My inspiration starts with the Lord. When I pray, I specifically ask God to download creative ideas into my mind that will build up the Kingdom and bless our church. Since God is the ultimate creator, I ask him to open my eyes to see the beauty in everything. It’s really helped me to look at things differently and notice and appreciate tiny details that I might have otherwise overlooked.

The screen shot function on my iPhone is also definitely a blessing. If I see something I like, I try to take a picture of it and keep it in mind for a project, even if it’s something I don’t use for a while.

How do you balance projects, kids, husband, ministry?

I seriously wish I was an octopus. Haha! Because balancing projects, kids and ministry, along with my crazy husband is probably something I can continually improve on. There are certain seasons that are busier for me than others, but even then I try to force myself to prioritize. Reading my Bible is something that the devil always tells me I can push off and do later. I’m really trying to find some quite time before everyone wakes up, before I check Facebook, to spend alone with God. I suppose it’s part of being a 21 century mom, but no excuse.

What would a day for you consist of? From morning to night.

Usually, I wake up around 8:30 and make some Coffee. Best way to start the day.

After that,I try to pray and read the Bible for about a hour before the kiddies wake up.

After getting the kids breakfast and brown juicy (chocolate milk), the babysitter will come over around 11, so I can go to my barn and work. Usually, I’m working on multiple projects at one time, so the perks of being my own boss, is that I’ll work on whatever I’m feeling inspired to work on that day until about 5.

After I take a shower, we’ll either go out to eat at a nearby restaurant, or I’ll cook up something simple like spaghetti…I’m not too good in the kitchen department.

Following dinner, we like to hang out around the house, or ride horses around the ranch with the kids. Maybe take the kids to a drive in movie.

When you run into difficulties with a project, how do you find a solution?

When I run into difficulties, I pray that the Lord would give me wisdom. I also Youtube it, and then I have a few good friends that have a little more experience than I do and can get me out of a jam!

What works in your marriage? You both live such busy lives, how do you get through the day to day, but still keep the bigger picture in your sights?

Through these 6 years of marriage, the best thing for us to keep in mind is being flexible and open to God’s plan. When we got married, I didn’t have a metal fabrication business, he wasn’t the pastor of two churches, and we didn’t have any kids. It would be easy for some to grow apart, or say I never agreed to all this, but since we said till death do us part, we’ve always tried to encourage each other and it’s been neat to see what God has done through both of us. We’ve both grown, but by keeping God first, we’ve grown together.

Praying together and a date night (almost once a week) as really been vital for us to get through our hectic life.

Our marriage, is really an adventure, we don’t know what God’s going to do next, but we are both headed in the same direction, and we try to stay completely open to God’s plan. When you do, you realize marriage is about your purpose together as a couple and then secondly, fulfilling God’s plan for our life as individuals.  

What are three things you want to instill in your boys?

1.    Put God first, in everything you do. Matthew 6:33. Seek ye first the kingdom of God…

2.   There’s nothing wrong with having nice things as long as those things don’t have you. I want them to always have compassion for others, to always help people and never get the attitude that they are better than anyone.

3.   Chivalry goes a long way. I want them to be gentlemen.

You recently had an amazing event in your hometown and we caught wind of it from your Facebook page, can you tell us a little bit more about Hope Over Heroin?

The Hope over Heroin event was something God gave my husband Lawrence when he heard 14 people in one week had overdosed on heroin in Hamilton, Ohio. It was a three day event with Lawrence's Christian rock band, along with video testimonies, and free food. There were several alter calls, for salvation and deliverance from drug addiction. Followed by spontaneous baptisms. It was awesome. We had 2,000 the first night. 3,000 the second night and then 7,000 the last night! Other than giving hope to the addicted, it was also about healing the hurts of family members who have an addicted love one, and a call of repentance to the 'church'. Asking God and the community to forgive us for not being out there sooner:)




Raising a Flock of Five

For a mother with just one or two kids, having five to watch over could seem daunting. But we know one mother who handles it with ease. Meet Stacie Hartwig, she's a mother and homeschool teacher to four amazing girls and one tough little guy. She's also an oilfield wife to Dale, a very outnumbered man at home, but I know for sure that he'd have it no other way. Their children range in ages from 2 to 19 years old. Having successfully homeschooled their oldest, Elizabeth,  all the way through graduation, the Hartwig's are also homeschooling 15 year old Abigail, 8 year old Ellie, and 5 year old Shiloh. Little man, Tru, just keeps busy making all the girls chase him around while enjoying being the baby of the household. The Hartwig's also have a plethora of poultry life at their home. Chickens, ducks, peacocks, geese, and turkeys keep these country kids busy all year round. IMG_2907 We sat down with Stacie on their farm in Briggsdale, Colorado to soak in her wisdom and lightheartedness when it comes to raising five kids in a partnership that seeks after God in all they do. You might say that she's mastering the art of "spirit-led parenting."


Cooped UP: So what made you decide to homeschool instead of sending your children into traditional public or private school?

Stacie: When Elizabeth was young we had planned to send her to a private school, but when it came down to it, we just didn't have peace. Honestly, the Holy Spirit really led us into homeschooling. The Bible talks about how the Holy Spirit broods over His people and the Spirit was so heavy in leading us into homeschooling.

Cooped UP: How did you get started?

Stacie: I attended a conference as well as some homeschool groups. These helped, but you really have to find what works for you. I really wanted a curriculum that was Christ centered. This was big reason we didn't do traditional school because we wanted our kids to be "seeing" God in all that they learned. We've used the Alpha Omega and Apologeia curriculums. Each child is different and we are flexible with how we teach each one and the curriculum used for each may differ.

Cooped UP: The majority of people believe that homeschooling is "weird" or will cause a kid to be unsocialized. But your kids seem to be well adjusted to talking to others and engaging in conversation. Have you had many instances where people have doubted the way you and Dale are raising your kids?

Stacie: You will walk the rest of your days having people doubt you, but you must walk in mercy for them because you know you're walking in God's best. I know me and I know my family and we have to stand with our resolution of what works for us. Another reason we really love homeschooling is because the learning never stops. If we're driving into town and Shiloh sees an eagle, we can head to the library and pick up books about Eagles and she can learn to her heart's desire of everything about eagles. The whole world is their classroom. It really makes a child a lifetime learner. It doesn't just come down to learning to pass a test. It's about really taking it in and getting hold of the lesson.

Cooped UP: How do you teach your children to have servant's hearts? They always seem to be thinking of others in everything they do.

Stacie: We work really hard to raise them that way and I'm almost kind of hard on them. I really start them when they are young. I'll ask simple requests of them to go get your baby brother's blanket or to bring your sister some water. Sometimes they would balk at doing it, but it's not an option in our house to not help each other out.

Cooped UP: I love that! When you do have to discipline, how is that handled in your home?

Stacie: We're not afraid to spank! But we try not to do it out of anger and I always explain that we are doing it because we love them. I'll get down to their level and hold their little faces and tell them that "God disciplines those He loves, so that's why mommy is disciplining you."

Cooped UP: With  5 kids your life could be so busy running them all over the countryside to different activities, but from what we've witnessed, it doesn't seem that way.

Stacie: We definitely let the kids do activities that they love, but we have limits. Also, if it's a season where that activity doesn't work for us, we'll drop the activity until a later time. For example, Ellie loves gymnastics, but when Tru was born it just didn't work for us to be driving her into town to attend the class. Our kids understand that it's okay for them to go to their sister's game and just cheer and support her. Again, I want them to know that it's not all about them. They all get to experience different things, but it may only be temporary. We are not a family that is going to be running every single night of the week. It's really important to us to have our family together the majority of the time.

Cooped UP: What life principles do you want your children to walk in?

Stacie: I want them to love God and to just be immersed in a Holy Spirit led life. And I want them to love others and to always have a servant's heart toward everyone and anyone.




Featuring Megan from LiveWire Country Couture!


Megan Holdren of LiveWire Clothing Couture Est. 2013

I (Candace here) have known Megan since our high school rodeo days. I have always appreciated the fact that she marched to the beat of her own drum when it came to her style. She was rocking pearl snap shirts and painted boots long before they came back in style. It's such an honor to call her my friend. She backs up everything she makes with rock solid integrity and loyalty to making her designs not looking like the "run of the mill" clothing you see everywhere. Megan was also kind enough to dress Kirste and I for our blog pics, as well as donating a good chunk of her time to photograph us during a crazy day outside with kiddos and dogs running everywhere.


Megan lives with her husband Ryan of almost 5 years and two girls in Eaton, Colorado. Before Megan had her firstborn ,Paige, she worked in the supply chain of the poultry division at JBS for two & a half years. It wasn't until Paige was 8 months old that she decided to stay at home with her. She now since has had another precious little girl, named Gracie May, who is a couple months old.



Megan started her clothing line business in 2013, which features numerous creative designs of shirts, blouses, dresses, pants and accessories. December of that year, she designed a dress for Miss Rodeo Colorado, Sara Weins, to wear while she competed in the Miss Rodeo America Pageant. With the creation of this dress, Sara needed a cowboy hat to go with it. Trent Johnson, from Greeley Hat works decided to work in collaboration with Live Wire to create a hat for Sara. This led to six more Live Wire designed hats from Greeley Hat works. Check out the collection, its amazing! 



Q & A with Cooped Up Cowboys Wife and Mrs. Megan Holdren from LiveWire DSC_2525


Cooped UP: What and who pushed you to start designing, as well as your own business? Family, friends, God, yourself?

Megan: God definitely pushed me through all of this, giving me the creativity to always have my own style from a young age and to be different in my own unique way. It was definitely hard to always believe in myself, but I had to learn and start believing and doing what God was telling me to do.  It meant stepping out even when I didn't know what I was doing. Relying on friends and family was also important, but one person who was inspirational to me was my friend Kristin at Spur Ridewear. She told me I needed to my crap together and start designing seriously. It's awesome how people speak into your life at the exact time that we need to hear it! 

Cooped UP: Where do you find inspiration?

Megan: Honestly during church! The word being ministered would hit home and my mind would start to create different things and God would show me what it looked like. It's always best to write any ideas down that pop into your head because if you don't you will forget! 

Cooped UP: How do you overcome obstacles in life, family and business?

Megan: It is definitely easier said than done! You have to make choices and stick to them. You can't have guilt for stronghold goals!  My motive is family first and integrity! 

Cooped UP: What goals/plans do you have  for 2014?

Megan: I will be collaborating with Greeley Hat Works and Spur Ridewear at some point this year.  I am also starting to plan a fall fashion show for the Live Wire clothing line!

Cooped UP: What are your 10 year goals?

Megan: So many people have helped me along the way, mentored me through starting this business and really have invested their time in me and I would love to be able to do that for other first time business starters like myself. Also , I would love for Live Wire to financially support my family in more than one way.

Cooped UP: What are 5 principles you want to instill in your girls?


1. Love God 

2. Love each other; I want my girls to grow up having that and to have it later on in life too. 

3. You can do anything.  I don't care what they choose to do in life, but I want them to go and do it and do their best! 

4. Be kind & accepting of people 

5. Don't let others actions affect your own, and be who you are! 

Cooped UP: What advice could you give other woman who may be on the fence about starting their own business?

Megan: I would tell them that honesty in your business is so important! I'd advise them to find someone successful in business and ask them to help mentor you.  You will learn a lot from them. Also do your homework and know "what's what" in comparison to what you are doing in your business. Know the "in's and out's" of the trade and most importantly seek God's counsel and wisdom on everything! 

Megan loves to create!. Check out her website; Live Wire Country Couture.