Life in the Country

Taking one day at a time with kids, cattle, and farming!

Wow! Time Flies!

on Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Gosh, I guess I've fallen off of the Blog Wagon. Our computer at home has been on the blink so I've only been able to use my laptop at school. On Mother's Day, my battery back up on my computer caught on fire. Luckily Jeff came home and caught it or we might have had quite a little fire! That was the same day that it was raining so hard that it was coming through our picture window in our living room.... and a whole container of cole slaw dressing spilled all over the back of the car on our way to Erik's birthday party. Oh yeah, what a great Mother's Day that was! We are busy with all of the end of the year school stuff. We have 2 days left, then just a little bit on another day to get report cards. I can't believe we are almost done. It's gone really fast. Jeff has wrapped up all of his planting. That will be nice. It will be nice to have him home in the evenings. He said that now that he is done in the field, we will start working with our 4H steers more. That sure needs to be done. Our first show is June 28th so we have a lot of work to do!

Here are a few highlights of the past week or so:
1. Last Friday I went with Brooke on her field trip to Wildlife Prairie Park. We had such an awesome day and were able to see most of the animals. The weather was perfect and the kids were really well behaved. That always makes those trips a lot better! Brooke and I had a lot of fun packing our lunches! Geesh, you would have thought we were going on a desert hike for 7 days for as much food as we took! I am so lucky that I have my two personal days to use for their field trips. Brooke was sure to tell her teacher that I was not going as "Mrs. Ryner", but as "Brooke's mom" instead. She absolutely did not want any of my students in our group.

2. Last weekend was our terribly busy weekend. We had so many things to do. We were exhausted by Sunday night. Blake raced in his 2nd race last Sunday. He got 6th place, which he will proudly tell you was "last place" and then he will tell you that "it's not about winning, it's about having fun!" He doesn't care what place he gets as long as he gets a trophy! The course was a lot harder this time and I was proud of him for finishing the race because he sure was nervous. There was a 10' ravine that dropped into a creek that he was sure he was going to get pushed into. They blocked off that part of the course after I told them that he was nervous about it so that helped him get enough confidence to go through with the race. I was the only one there with him because Jeff was still in the field. And, for the first time in 34 years, I got a speeding ticket on the way there! So it was a very expensive weekend by the time you add up the gas that it took to go up to Atkinson and a $75 speeding ticket!

3. Blake was the proud "Narrator" and character of "Mr. Small" in his first grade play last week. He was excited to have Aunt Cathi, Dad, and Grandpa John also join us at the play. Grandma Wanda even took off half a day from school to come!

4. Brooke's 3rd grade class put on skits this week about National Holidays. She did a great job. She was excited that Grandma came to the dress rehearsal over her lunch hour and that Aunt Sara came to her performance, too.

5. 5. 5. 5.Blake's "First Grade Author's Tea" was yesterday. The whole day was set aside for family and friends to come into their classroom to read all of their books that they had written during first grade. They work very hard on all of their books and were proud to show them off. Blake had lots of people to come read his books - Aunt Cathi, Brooke (and her whole class), Papa, Aunt Sara, and even our friend Jackie made arrangements to come up to it. Thank you to everyone for coming to all of the extras this week!!! I wish you could have seen Brooke and Blake during the Tea. She couldn't have been any sweeter to him. She was just giving him compliment after compliment and he was even very grateful for them.

I have to apologize for the positioning of these pictures! I am still not very good at this blog stuff!

6. By the way, we are running on about 3 to 4 hours of sleep today. Brooke was up most of the night not feeling well. It must have been something she ate. She didn't have a fever, but she was shaking so bad and had an upset stomach! Poor thing. We both slept downstairs. Not very comfortable either. She is here at school, though, trying to stay awake! Brooke and I are going shopping for summer clothes tonight in the Cities. We only have 17 days until Disney World! We are going to try to hit some of the Memorial Day sales.

I hope this is enough of an update. Our home computer is supposed to be fixed soon so hopefully I can get back to updating!

Happy Birthday Nanny Cathi!

on Monday, May 12, 2008

Happy Birthday, Cathi! Oh how I wish I had a picture of her to post! Darn it, I don't! Today she is 43 years old! I hope she has a good day. I have tried to send her several instant messages on the computer, but she must be out celebrating because she sure hasn't replied! She's a pretty neat gal. If you would have told me 15 years ago that she would be one of my best friends (along with other sister Carrie), I would have laughed in your face! We have gotten very close during the past 10 years or so. I don't know what I would do without my sisters. They mean the world to me. Cathi is one of those people who just does it all. She's a jack of all trades. She works hard and doesn't get near enough recognition. I sure hope her day is GREAT today!

Our Trip to Niabi Zoo

I was so lucky to be able to go with Blake and his 1st grade class last Friday to Niabi Zoo. We had a lot of fun. It was rather chilly, but we did survive. I thought for sure the kids would be exhausted on the way home, but they weren't. The teachers and parents sure were though! I think I kind of dozed off on the way home! I am not a very good traveler. I had to sit up front so I wouldn't get bus sick. Did Blake sit up with me? Oh of course not. He sat in the way back of the bus with his friends. We took lots of pictures of the animals. If you look closely at the picture of the kangaroo, you can see that she has a baby in her pouch. You can see his little head poking out. The new babies at the zoo sure were cute. We had fun trying to pick them out in the exhibits. Now I get to go to Wildlife Prairie Park this Friday with Brooke's 3rd grade class. I'm going to be "Field Tripped" out!

Happy 16th, Erik!

on Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Our nephew Erik is turning 16 tomorrow! Wow! I thought he would never be legal! He's only been driving illegally for about 6 years, he should have plenty of experience to get his license. This picture was taken about 5 or 6 years ago. You can see that he's always been our "daredevil", riding things on 2 wheels, popping wheelies, speeding around on anything that has a motor, and he's especially good at tearing apart motors and machines to see how they work... and he even gets things put back together. He is a very "hands on" type of guy. When he was in first grade, he stood up on his chair during a spelling test and told his teacher that the custodian who was mowing had a new mower and proceeded to tell her the make and model. Ok, maybe not the best time for that, but it was cute and informative! Give him some credit for that! If you notice in the picture, he's wearing shorts and chore boots. He has worn chore boots since he was old enough to walk, and he wore them in any type of weather and in any temperature, with and without socks. Ooooh, yummy, huh? I think those boots had to be retired and not handed down! (I am so lucky to have such great nephews and nieces.) Happy 16th Birthday, Erik! Have a great day! As your mom always says, never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly! We love ya!


on Monday, May 5, 2008

Jeff has been working long hours during this nice weather. He almost has all of his corn planted. I'm not sure when he will start beans, but I imagine when he does, he'll go like mad. I took lunch to the field yesterday and supper tonight so at least they are getting fed. I really enjoy cooking and taking it to the field. Although tonight Jeff had a subway sandwich and a blizzard. I wish I was home all day during spring and fall so I could be in charge of meals. I like doing it, but it's hard to come home from school and fix supper and cart it to the field so I try to fix better meals on the weekend. Blake rode with Jeff yesterday and then jumped into the tractor with Grandpa. He said he likes riding in the tractor that pulls the cultivator better because "it goes faster". Leave it to Blake. The kids and I ate with Dad tonight in town. He doesn't pass up a meal out very often. He doesn't like to eat alone and it makes for a long evening if he's home by himself so we try to get together with him for a good meal. We are off to Burlington tomorrow night to watch Erik play baseball at the Bees Stadium. Hopefully it won't rain! Blake's teacher's birthday was today so I was asked to make scotcheroos for their class to eat during their milk break as her birthday treat. Blake took a nice pot of planted flowers, too. Brooke was given 2 flowering cabbage plants from our friend Jackie (thanks, Jackie!) so we go those planted last night. She is looking forward to getting more flowers to plant. She is kind of in to that this year. She won't be in July when you have to water the dumb things when it's 100 degrees. Only 15 days of school left after tomorrow and 35 days to Disney World! Whoo hoo! We are soooo excited!

Repaying Debts!

on Sunday, May 4, 2008

I have been repaying some debts this weekend. I decided to do it by baking what Blake calls my "famous apple pie". I made 2 yesterday and 2 this morning. Last night we delivered one to our friends Jackie and Wayne because Wayne had a hip replaced 3 weeks ago and I didn't get anything to them like I had intended to. Then we delivered one to Luke and his girlfriend's dad (Jim Winkler) as a repayment for some material I used to patch the hole in the barn floor last weekend. Today I have to deliver one to Roger for helping me tear up my carpet (which looks great by the way!) and then I kept one for us. I am taking lunch to Jeff & John in the field today so they can have apple pie as dessert. Jeff was disappointed last night that I took the other pies and didn't leave him any! He told me to tell Jackie that she can't return the pie plate empty. Jackie gave Brooke two flowering kale plants for us to plant today. Brooke is excited. She has a few flowers that she's planted over the past couple years and she likes to look at them often and see how much they grow.

We have another busy week ahead of us! I like this time of year, but don't like all of the extra things going on, although they are fun. Erik (nephew) plays baseball at the Burlington Bees Stadium Tuesday night so we are looking forward to that. Then he turns 16 on Thursday. Watch out!!!! Blake has his field trip to Niabi Zoo on Friday so we are looking forward to that. Then Brooke finally has her multiplication party in her class so she will finally get her trophy for winning the speed tests! They had to wait for everyone to cross the "finish line" in order to have their party. I will be going with Brooke on her field trip to Wildlife Prairie Park on the 16th. I always save my personal days so I can go with them on their field trips. It's so hard for me to go as Mom and not Mrs. Ryner though!

For those of you who can (Gma and Nanny Cathi and Aunt Sara), Blake's 1st grade play is on May 14th . His Author Tea is on May 22nd which is a lot of fun. They set the whole day aside and family and friends come into the classroom throughout the day to read all of the books they've written during the year. They write a lot!!! Their Field Day is on May 23rd. Brooke will be performing history skits, too, I just don't know the date yet. Mark your calendars! They would love to have someone there other than their mom!!

Enjoy the nice weather today. We are off to the field to deliver lunch!


on Thursday, May 1, 2008

No pictures to post tonight, sorry! Just thought I'd give you a recap of a few of our week's happenings.

1. The kids are still enjoying the nice weather. They want to be outside all evening. I know I need to get them inside, but they have so much fun out there. Plus, it's so quiet in here! A little selfish, I know!

2. Can't believe that it's May 1st! Only 18 days of school left. This month will fly by with all of the kids field trips and fun events at school.

3. Erik (nephew) will turn 16 exactly one week from today! Can't believe that either. Just seems like yesterday that he was running around in his chore boots (that he wore everyday, rain or shine, hot or cold!) He was such a cute little guy! Still is, only handsome now.

4. I threw my back out tonight. That's fun. I'm getting new carpet put down in the east end of the living room and in the toy room. It's the same kind as I have now. Sophie was such a pain during potty training. Well, she's still a pain in that area. So I am having the carpet replaced tomorrow. Roger (brother in law) came to the rescue tonight to cut the carpet so I could pull it back and scrub the hardwood that was under it. Jeff is planting (yeah! - I'll get to that next) so I couldn't bother him. Plus, I just told him tonight that they were coming tomorrow. I kind of forgot to tell him that I was having carpet put down.

5. YEAH!! Jeff is planting corn! I wish I would have had my camera with me earlier this week. It was such a beautiful sight to see him pulling that planter through the fields. I love this time of year in that I love seeing the tractors in the field. Nothing like the smell of that dirt being turned up for the first time this year. Wanda (MIL) and I have moved trucks around for them, and she's been good to fix them sandwiches to take to the field. This should have been #1 on the Recaps List!!!

6. Had a little trouble with one of the show steers last Sunday. Jeff and I were trying to get them tied up. I had a hold of Brooke's steer and he was trying to get the halter on Blake's steer. I didn't have the alley door closed all the way. Bullet (Blake's steer) eyed that opening and took off running across the barn and jumped up in the alley-way. He broke through the floor and we had a 3'x3' hole. Jeff was soooo happy about that, too. I told him to go back to work and I would fix the hole. I did! It's all better!!! (with the help from Luke, although I am taking full credit for fixing it, didn't even tell Jeff that Luke came out. Deep down I know Jeff knows that I'm not capable of patching it that good! Thanks, Luker!) It all worked out and Jeff was relieved that he didn't have to fix anything.

7. Blake has come up with every ailment in the book that would make it possible for him to wear the ace bandage from when Brooke sprained her wrist. He is convinced that his arm is sprained and that he needs to wear it to school tomorrow. I don't think so! He's wrapped every part of every limb in the past 3 days. He's quite a sight now as it's wrapped all up his arm. He's so darn skinny that the ace bandage will wrap an entire limb.

8. Everyone please promise me that if you have a child that is not in school yet, potty train them before enrolling them. I have had my fill of trying to potty train kids at school. There wasn't a class offered for that in college. I think it should now be a requirement. It's a lot more frustrating when it's NOT your child you're potty training. How many "Poop Dances" can you do in one day for getting poop in the toilet??? Oh.... I could write a book. But only 18 days left, right??

Well that's about all that's been happening here. It's been pretty quiet around here. It's time to get caught up on homework and go to bed! Looking forward to a quiet weekend....but a wet one. Ugh!!