Life in the Country

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

Just Recovering.....

on Sunday, December 28, 2008

Once again, this year's holidays were a whirlwind!! It seems like you work and work and work and in an instant, it's over. Now it's the "let down" after Christmas, and I frankly don't like it. Although for the first time since we've been out for Christmas break, I've been able to sit down and relax a little bit. I even snuck in an afternoon nap on Friday and Saturday! And it felt really, really good! The kids had a great Christmas. I'm pretty sure they got just about everything on their list. Santa brought them a Wii and some games. They've been busy with that - trying out every game and actually (for the most part) getting along with each other while they've played the games. Jeff thought he threw out his shoulder on Christmas playing Wii Baseball with Blake. Maybe it will help us all get in shape!!! I was proud of myself when I gave Jeff his Christmas present. I have always tried to "surprise" him with something, but he always knows what it is or guesses as he's opening it. It drives me nuts! So this year I wanted to really catch him off guard... and I did! Now, I know, most wives wouldn't dream of buying their husbands what I bought mine, but please consider how very hard Jeff is to buy for. If he wants something, he buys it. He wanted this, too, but for the first time since I've known him, he didn't buy it. Are you wondering what it is??? I just bet you won't guess. In a million years you wouldn't guess an Assault Rifle??!! Well, that's what he got! And he was surprised! Of course he got me just about everything on my list (except for the stuff from Farm King which I couldn't believe he didn't get - he's very practical), and my little personal shopper Brooke did such a good job shopping!!! Jeff got me a really cool HP printer/copier and wants me to be able to print out the pictures that I take. I thought that was a really good idea - that was my "practical" gift. Then I got some pajamas (because Brooke hates my Ryner sweats), slipper socks, my perfume that I love, a new watch, a diamond necklace, and some kickass diamond earrings. He did really good! I was shocked with the jewelry, but he told me why he bought them. He said that he found out this summer how much it meant to me to get some of Mom's jewelry so he thought that if this is something Brooke could have down the road, then it's worth buying it. (Sidenote- Carrie told me to ask to see his ID.... Jeff doesn't usually say such sentimental things...)

I'm just about ready to get started on Weight Watchers. OK, I might not be ready to, but I really NEED to! I've eaten way too much!!! None of my khakis will fit next week when I have to go back to school, which I'm dreading by the way!

My sister Cathi has been sick since Christmas. High fever and just feeling rotten. Say a little prayer for the little Scooter tonight. She needs to feel better. Soon. Tomorrow is Monday and Carrie is coming. We always hang out on Mondays (when I'm not in school!) and we need Cathi to hang out with us. Get better, Sissy!

We get our other show calves on Tuesday. I'm pretty pumped to see what we are getting!

No big plans for New Year's Eve. I think we'll just hang out. Probably play the Wii and go to bed before midnight! My kids are 7 1/2 and 10 and I don't think they've ever rang in the new year at Midnight! I always tell them Happy New Year the next morning! I am just not a night person. Hope everyone has a fun and safe New Year's and that everyone is recovering nicely from Christmas!!


on Sunday, December 21, 2008

Right now it's -3 degrees with a wind chill of -30. What an inviting winter, huh? Well that's what you get when you live in central Illinois. The 1/2" of ice that we had Thursday night didn't help either! As of last night, Cathi and Roger didn't have power. That makes for an interesting "Flatt Christmas" that we are supposed to have this afternoon. Thank Goodness for generators! Our power did flicker at midnight and went off for just a minute. At that point I think Jeff went down to the couch to be ready in case the power did go out. We have a big generator that he is all ready to use. I know he "wants" to use it but doesn't want to "have" to use it. He even has a cute little John Deere tractor that will run it. Nothing but cute though if we have to run the dumb thing. We've been spared so far so we should be fine.

The holidays are in full swing around here! All of my shopping is done. Well, I do have to take Brooke to get something for Blake. Jeff said he will take the kids one night to get something for me. I give them a very specific list and he is good to follow it. Now that Brooke is older though she thinks of things she wants me to have. For example, last week was the kids' Polar Express Party at school. We were all able to wear pajamas, but Brooke was too embarrassed by my RYNER sweats (see previous blog about that!) and she said that I just had to wear jeans and slippers. Although she's not a big fan of my slippers either. I'm thinking slippers and matching pajamas could be under the tree for me this year. There is one gift under the tree, by the way, with no tag on it. I'm thinking that my wonderful sisters had a little bit to do with that. They are good to drop hints to Jeff. I think they even get the darn gifts and wrap them for him!!! Geesh, how much easier does that get for Jeff???

December 10th was the kids' Christmas program at school. Notice in the picture how grown up they are! Where has the time gone? They are both looking forward to Christmas. Blake is constantly looking under the tree for his presents to just Magically appear under there.

Today is Christmas with my side of the family. Hopefully we'll all be able to "slide" on over to Roger and Cathi's house. Our afternoon is going to be full of appetizers and soups, wearing our slippers, relaxing, opening gifts, and just visiting. I don't think we have all been together, just us as a family, since Dad died. It will be "different" this year, for a lack of a better word. And to think that even "Bo" (Dad's black lab) won't be with us either..... that's hard in itself as well. He was Dad's right hand man, his best friend, and though it might sound corny, he was a little bit of Dad that we had left. Bo was hit by a train on Thursday while out running around with Harley (Chase's yellow lab). The guys found him and said that is was a suffer-free death which made me feel better. Poor Bo. But just imagine how happy he was to see Dad and Mom up there in Heaven. I'm sure he was greeted with a sausage link and a bowl ice cream, maybe even a ribeye! They are all three together now, and since Bo was part-human, they are a little family again.

I better get my 50 mini-cheeseburgers finished up and put in the crockpot for today. We love to all be together, but love to all EAT even more!!!

Enjoy your cold Sunday...

Snow Day #1

on Monday, December 8, 2008

Well, I kind of cursed myself last night when I was wishing for a snow day today. I don't know why I wanted one so bad. I got several things done this weekend that I had been wanting to. My wish came true, although we were about to get teeth brushed and shoes on when I found out we didn't have school! Thank goodness Cathi called or we probably would have gone to school. They called it off late because of icy roads. I guess they sent the buses out but called them back to the bus barn due to icy roads and many accidents. I really didn't complain too much. How could I when the kids were screaming and jumping up and down. Of course none of us will be excited when we are still in school in mid-June!!

I'm wondering if there has ever been a day when teachers got to stay home but could send their own personal children to school. This is why:
Blake talks nonstop. He asks questions nonstop. He wants to be outside nonstop. He is the definition of nonstop. When we drove by the school this afternoon, one of the 3rd grade teachers was there and I told Blake maybe I could drop him off to her and they could have some private learning time. He was less than amused.

This weekend I got several things accomplished - cleaned out my closet and bagged up some of my clothes for Goodwill, cleaned out Blake's dresser and closet (you couldn't see the floor - I was afraid of what I would find in there but it turned out AOK), cleaned out Brooke's 2 dressers and her closets, bagged up her clothes that didn't fit anymore (yes, I had 4 bags to give to a single Mom that Wanda works with), delivered clothes to Goodwill, took a bunch of trash down to the dumpster at the shop, cleaned out the vanity in the upstairs bathroom, and even threw out some outdated food in my cupboard. Today I steamed Brooke's carpet, got my Christmas cards finished up and in the mailbox, cleaned out the freezer in the kitchen (Jeff was yelling "heeelllllooooo" into it when he first opened the door, he claimed he had never seen the back wall of the freezer!), and even bought our first show steer. Yes , you read right - I bought our first show steer..... since the devastating selling of the festival calves on September 6, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. Yes I remember all of the details and all of the tears that were shed on that day and for days after. Like last week when we got a flyer in the paper with the kids pictures of them with their steers. It still hurts. It still hurts bad. But..... they are now replaced... with a 760 pound, big hunk of a steer that is now residing in my barn. He's an Angus-Shorthorn crossbred who is sired by the bull Heatwave ( yes, that means nothing to you, but it does to me!) Oh, don't worry, there will be pictures. Maybe quite a few. He is so cute right now. All black with long, thick, wavy hair. Just picture him..... just picture how I will be blogging about selling him next fall. Of course John (My right hand man of a father-in-law who helps me so much during show season.... we have so much fun) and I think he's darn-near perfect!!! He will have a stall mate in about 6 weeks when we get our other festival calves. He's kind of lonely right now.

December is proving to be another busy month. We've got lots to do in the couple weeks left of school - a Christmas program, a 2nd grade play, making gingerbread houses with Brooke's class, Classroom Christmas parties, and a few meetings that I have to go to between now and the 19th. Of course there's always the things outside of school, too - like finishing up shopping, making cookies for a cookie exchange, putting together cookie/treat trays for the farm landlords, wrapping all of the gifts and making sure everything is even and fair, and maybe even having some down time to enjoy the holidays! Is that asking too much!!!

Well it's off to bed now so we can get ready for school tomorrow. I don't think I want another snow day...... if so, I will be calling each and every one of you to see if Blake could come to visit. I love every little piece of him and every word uttered out of his mouth, but sometimes Mom needs a damn break!!!!!!!!!! Good night.

Cheetah... Cheetah... Cheetalicious!

on Sunday, December 7, 2008

Saturday was the big Cheetah Girls concert! If you haven't been to a concert with 20,000 screaming girls ranging in age from 6-13, you need to!! It really was a good concert, they are very talented and entertaining girls. There was never a lag in the concert. They had a group of 8 guys that danced when the girls were changing or whatnot. Cathi, Rachel, Brooke, and I all had a good time! Blake stayed "with the guys". He's kind of into "staying with the guys". Blake and Luke rode the snowmobile for most of the day, then Blake and Jeff hung out until we got home. He was down at the shop all day today, too. I have a feeling that he is going to be wanting to hang out with them on the weekends this winter. Brooke helped decorate the 4H Christmas tree today that will be on display next weekend during the Alexis Christmas Walk. She was actually the only one that helped. I told her she should receive some special high 4H honor!!!

By the way, Blake just informed me that he is going to start "being like Dad". He told me that he is only going to take showers (no baths), wear deodorant, go to bed in his own bed at night (instead of laying down with his mama), sleep only in his underwear ( he will freeze b/c his bedroom is cold), and is going to cut down on sugar (yea right) and drink more water (yea right again). He did tell me that there is one thing he's not going to do yet - drink beer. That's giving me the indication that he is going to drink beer... someday... I guess I've been forewarned!