Life in the Country

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

A Relaxing Afternoon?

on Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Well, it's our 4th week of school and I already had to bring someone (won't mention HER name, but it starts with a "B" and she recently got braces...) home this afternoon. This certain someone had to go to the orthodontist yesterday to get her wires changed, spring traded out for a brace, and her braces tightened. Thanks to Grandma Wanda, she got to and from her appointment in Rock Island. While I on the other hand.... well I had to get the gray taken out of my hair and a haircut. Please remember I am 95% gray as my stylist calls to my attention frequently. Plus, Blake had flag football practice until 5:00 and we had Open House at school last night from 6:30-8:00. Anyway, back to the topic at hand, her mouth hurts. It hurts really bad. She won't even say much, other than "but Mom it really hurts and I can't even eat or talk". That's a true indicator of how bad they hurt. So we got home about 1:00, with a weiner dog that was so excited because she just loves when we come home earlier than expected, and I fixed her some tomato soup, gave her an adult tylenol (she was on the max dose of children's and it doesn't cut it anymore), and put her in bed. She's watching tv, I'm hoping she will fall asleep.

But.... what did I have to do anyway? Well, I was really wanting to vaccuum, clean up the back porch (looked like white trash lived here), pick up the kitchen, and catch up on some laundry. So at least maybe I can get caught up on those things before the 3 hours of 4th grade homework we will have! Blake is going to the After School Program so he won't want to come home until 4:30 or so anyway. I should get lots done!

Speaking of that young man... Blake.... if you know him, you know that he likes to tell stories. He once told his kindergarten teacher at milk break that him and his dad get drunk while they work on snowmobiles in the garage, also told the librarian that his dad can't read, and that his Mom drinks a bottle of wine every night. Yeah, most of that isn't true. So far he's only stretched the truth a couple times in 2nd grade. He did tell his student teacher that he is going to be a Nascar driver and when he wins, his Pit Crew is going to come out onto the track and spray beer and wine all over him. He did tell her that he would do that when he was "legally able". Pretty sure those were his exact words! Also told Mrs. Boone, his reading teacher, that his Dad could shoot a bear with his elephant gun " 'cuz if it'll kill a elephant, it'll surely kill a bear"! Maybe I should go look in the gun cabinet .... last I knew we didn't have an elephant gun !!! For Pete's Sake! I'm sure there will be more Blake stories to come.

One more thing, I am totally a "Blog Stalker" of this awesome mom, scrapbooker, and photographer. She lives in Oregon and my dream would be to one day meet her, along with her awesome husband Josh (who is too cute), their handsome young son Ross, son Coley, and daughter "Yannie". Ok, her name is Annie, but they call her Yannie and so do I! You HAVE TO CHECK HER OUT! Her name is Karen Russell and she is way cool. The thing is, I think she is probably younger than me! Why can't I be cool????


on Sunday, September 14, 2008

I came upon this blog a couple months ago while I was reading Keely's blog. I've been reading it daily since. It's about a little girl named Annabelle that was diagnosed with severe Spina Bifida while she was in utero. She wasn't expected to live more than a couple hours and now she is thriving with the help of many doctors and prayers. She is a couple months old. Her story is so inspiring. Her dad is great at posting updates and keeping everyone informed of her progress. Please keep little Annabelle and her family in your prayers.

What we've learned around here....

During the past couple weeks, we've learned a lot. Here are a few of the things that have enlightened us!

1. Rain is never-ending. We cannot believe that it is STILL raining here. So far we have over 6 1/2 inches of rain. There is water everywhere. Our rural gravel roads are covered with water in some spots. The creeks are out of their banks. And .... I don't like having to take the dog out while carrying an umbrella1

2. It really does hurt when you fall on the gym floor mouth first. Just ask Blake! He has a swollen upper lip and it's scabbed over in the middle. (He wouldn't let me take a picture). He fell in PE and landed on his mouth on the gym floor. Yep, that really hurts.

3. When your 10 year old daughter wants to go shopping and says she wants to go to Hollister and Abercrombie, say no. That's not what I did. We headed to the Cities last night and got some new clothes for Brooke. She had birthday money so she did help pay for them. When we got home, the majority of our things were for her. She is so like her Mother!

4. After you've been out in the pouring rain, your shoes are wet and when you come in the house and step on linoleum, it's slick. Ask Brooke about that one. She has fallen right on her butt about 3 times on the back porch!

5. It feels really good to have all of the clean clothes put away and clean sheets on the beds. Ask me! That's what I did Friday night and yesterday. Our bedroom is clean, there is nothing on the floor and it feels great! (Cathi, you will know how this feels as soon as you get your front closet cleaned and put back together!)

6. When it rains 6 1/2 inches, you are bound to have water in your basement. But check that out before the Dish Network guy comes to your house to upgrade your equipment. I was so embarrassed that he had to walk through 4" of water in the back room of our basement.

7. Blake loves flag football. Just started practicing last week. His first game was rained out yesterday. Can't they play with floaties on?

8. You know it's rained a lot when the inflatable rings blow out of your pool and are really "floating" in your yard!!! And don't send your kids out to get the rings. They got caught in a downpour and were absolutely, positively soaked to the bone!!!

If there is anything else we've learned, I'll keep you up to date.

Better Late than Never!

Ok, so I'm about 3 1/2 weeks late, but here is a picture of the kids on the first day of school. Brooke is now in 4th grade and Blake is in 2nd. They are still loving school. 4th grade homework is about to kill me though!!!

More Festival News

Brooke and Blake had to stand by their pen of 4 steers and answer questions from the judge. Of course we had them all prepped with what they should say- what we feed them, how much, how often, which one is best, worst, etc. What did the judge ask? "Do you have a name for any of these steers?" Ugghh! Anyway, they looked good standing there! By far the cutest showmen!!

Brooke taking Stewart into the showring. He had sprained his leg the day before so he wasn't walking too well for her. That really bothered her. She was afraid, too, that he was hurting and she was making it worse. He hadn't eaten all morning so we knew he didn't feel too well. Then once he got into the showring, he was reaching over the gates to the hay feeder in the pen next to the ring! She did a fine job of showing him though.

Blake just received Reserve Grand Champion. Boy was he excited! The judge talked about all of the steers and then told us that he was going to go out and pick the Grand Champion and Reserve. He walked up to Andrew Raes' steer and slapped him on the butt and shook Andrew's hand. Then he walked over to Blake (I was about to wet my pants at this point), slapped Bullet on the butt and shook Blake's hand. Oh boy! The crowd went wild! Blake had his own cheering section of about 15 people!!!

That day was so exciting and so hard at the same time. I was so happy but my range of emotions went from smiling to crying to smiling to crying. I was so looking forward to the kids showing at the Festival. Most people work for the State Fair, but we worked for this. I wanted Dad to be there, and I wanted him to be proud of the kids and of me. He thought we were crazy in the beginning for getting into this but once we started working with them more, he got more excited, too. He was looking forward to watching them show. He didn't ever get to see that. He passed away 2 weeks before our first show in North Henderson in June. I know he was there in my heart and in spirit, but I kept wanting to look in the stands to see him sitting there. Brooke asked me what was wrong and I told her that I wanted Papa to see them show. Oh...... and poor Brooke..... while all of us were wrapped up in the excitement of Blake winning, I forgot to think of her. Then I thought to myself "Where is Brooke?". Here she came with our friend Jackie, just crying and crying. Her feelings were hurt because Blake was getting all of the attention. She was a little jealous, too, which we told her was a good thing. We also told her that one of the big reasons Blake did so well was because she had worked with Bullet and showed him all summer long. She did finally rally around and was fine within an hour or so.

Friday night we had to take Blake's steer over to the fairgrounds so he could be on display with the other winners. After we got back to the barn and got into the car, I could hear sniffles from the back seat. Blake burst into tears! He said "We worked hard all year for THIS. Now I have to do something that really hurts my feelings!" We talked for a while (and I cried too) about how they were going to be fine, that they were headed to Texas to a big feedlot for awhile. That is what we've told both the kids, and I've tried convince myself of that, too!

After the Auction on Saturday, which went really well, we headed back to the stalls. I broke down finally. I had wanted to all morning, but I did hold off until after the auction. It was hard not to when I looked over and saw Blake laying on top of Bullet. I told the kids to say goodbye (I wasn't going to though). Blake went up and hugged them. Brooke patted thier butts and said "Bye". I cried a little more and we headed to the car. I wasn't going to make them stay there and I knew I couldn't stay there any longer. Of course I still cry when people talk about it. I cry when I think of them. I will cry now if I don't stop this post.


on Thursday, September 4, 2008

What an exciting day!!! Just a brief note to recap today's Prime Beef Festival Steer Show Results... you remember, the show we've been working for since January!!! Anyway.... I am the proud mother of 2 awesome little showmen! Brooke got 3rd in her class (showing her steer who hurt his leg and wasn't able to walk very well!) and Blake got 1st in his class which also led to him winning...


We are so excited! We have a pretty full night tomorrow night and then again on Saturday morning. So pictures will be posted soon! By the way, I'm pretty sure that Blake is the youngest to ever win Reserve Grand Champion! A 7 year old, 60 pounder showing/handling a 1330 pound Crossbred Steer!