Life in the Country

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


on Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I made it. I survived many things during the past few days and now I am done. DONE. DONE. Should be a walk in the park from here on out. We survived 2 birthday parties for Blake - one for his friends and one with family. Both were a lot of fun. Watching 7 and 8 year olds skate is too funny. I'm sure that a lot of them left with some bruised bottoms!

I also survived my IEPs, which are my yearly progress meetings for each of my students that require A LOT of paperwork! Each one is 7-10 pages long, depending on the student. This is about the most stressful day of my school year, so the thought of having it behind me is relieving!

I had a couple doctor appointments yesterday and I survived that, too. Granted I don't know anything yet, that's one more thing that is crossed off my list! I had a chest xray from about 10 days ago that came back "abnormal". (found this out on Friday at 3:30) What abnormal means I'm not sure, but there were some spots on it that they are concerned about. It could be scarring from Pneumonia (which I've never been diagnosed with), calcium deposits, or even something else. I'm sure it's nothing, but they sent me for a CT scan yesterday morning. I don't have any results yet, but should by tomorrow.

My friend Carrie gave birth to a little boy Sunday night, March 22nd. His name is Kellen Ryan. He weighed 8 lbs. 15 oz. and was 21 inches long. Both mom and baby are doing well. He sure is adorable. I'll post pictures as soon as I have permission from his mama! I got to see him and hold him yesterday...... between doctor's appointments!! That sure was a bright spot in my day!

Wish Brooke and Blake luck for tomorrow! Brooke has a science vocab test tomorrow, with a chapter test on Thursday. Blake has a science test tomorrow over all the parts of the body, the organs, what the organs do, and LOTS of other stuff that I didn't think 2nd graders would have to know!!

I'll post more pictures later... I'm ready for bed!


on Monday, March 23, 2009

If you are not an avid reader of MckMama, you should be. She is such a neat Blogger and has a beautiful family. Her little "mckMiracle" as she calls him, Stellan, is fighting a rare heart condition. Read about her here and pray for her family.

Blake Jeffrey Ryner, Age 8 (almost)

on Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Blake is turning 8 in two days. If he hasn't seen you to tell you that, I'm letting you know via blogworld. Because if he did see you, he would be certainly sure to tell you! Just thought I'd tell you what he's up to now that he is 8 (almost!).

*He has been talking about and planning his 8th birthday since March 21st of last year. He has come up with so many ideas for a birthday party including taking a bunch of friends to Chicago, taking a bunch of friends to Fun City, having a "race" party here at our house in which all of his friends could bring their dirt bikes or four wheelers and race each other, having a sleep over with a bunch of boys, and having a skating party. He is soooooo excited about his birthday!

*We resorted to a skating party at the Roller Rink on Saturday afternoon. Followed by our family party which will be at Happy Joe's at 6. We have several kids in the family and Happy Joes seems to be a favorite spot for all of them.

*Blake's new kick is having a strawberry shake every night, usually before bed. He likes to use the magic bullet for a yummy homemade treat. He also has really been liking granola and yogurt. His favorite flavor is strawberry orange sunrise and he eats granola in it. It's kind of a kick we are all on, but a good one for Mr. Sweet Tooth.

*Yes, Blake still has a major sweet tooth. Anything with sugar is by far his favorite food. Fruit snacks, skittles, gummy worms, sprees, runts, some squirty sweet tart stuff that comes in a tube that weighs about 1/2 pound, and starburst. The chewier and sweeter, the better! His favorite entrees right now are anything out of the Kid Cuisine blue box line, cheeseburgers, chips and dip, chicken nuggets, and hot dogs. He washes all of this down with Mt. Dew, Squirt, Hawaiian Punch, Dr. Pepper, Mr. Pibb, or Coke. You have to take his drink away from him at dinner because he will "drink" his supper if you'd let him. He does like apples and grapes on the "healthy" side of things. Total junk food junkie. I know. Bad parenting.

*He loves baseball and is so excited to be playing hard ball in Alexis this summer. I think their games start in mid-May. Oh boy!

*He loves, loves, loves, loves, loves his 4 wheeler. No shock to anyone! And loves doing burn outs in our newly gravelled driveway even more!

*He loves his big cousins Erik, Luke, and Chase. Does it really matter that they are 17, 20, and 23??

*He is really into Hot Wheels. He must have 150 cars and knows the make/model of each one. When we are at Target, he knows exactly which ones he has and does NOT have! They're only $1, Mom! I'll pay you back! Famous last words.

*He loves the After School Program. He wants to go everyday. It works out good because his friends are there to play with and .... Brooke and I can run errands and get groceries on our own.

*Speaking of, Blake HATES shopping and running errands. Unless he can buy candy or a hot wheel, then he's all for it.... for a minute.... until he gets his treat.... then he's done.

*Blake despise homework. It's a battle everynight. He does very well in school though and loves school despite telling you he hates it.

*Blake talks. All the time. All day long. All night long. All of the 2 minute drive to school. All through supper. From the time he opens his eyes in the morning until the very second his big blue eyes close at night.

*Don't tell anyone......but Blake will play Barbies with Brooke forever. He is so funny to listen to when they are playing. He will kill me someday for posting this.

*Blake wears cowboy boots just about everywhere. Even if they don't technically go with his outfit, he wears them. If his jeans are "boot cut" (which he looks at every morning he's getting dressed), he wears his boots instead of tennis shoes. But for his birthday he asked for "skateboarding" tennis shoes like Erik's. I don't get it - skateboarder or farm boy??

*Blake is a total boy! He loves his sister (he'll hate me for this too) and always tells her that right before he goes to sleep. I think as he is dozing off his soft side comes out. He gets pretty upset if she doesn't reciprocate so he might say it a couple times until she says it back ....just to get him to stop talking!

Happy Birthday, Blake "BJ" Ryner! We love you bunches.... even though you talk our ears off!! Have a wonderful Friday!


Blake's 1st Race

While we were getting soaked in Tipton, Blake and Luke headed to Sandy Oaks for the first WFO Promotions ATV Race of the season. A little or a lot of rain - neither of them affect Blake. He loves mud and the more he can ride in it, the better! He thought the race was a blast, but I'm not sure that Luke thought it was so much fun since the weather was so crappy. He got 5th and got a trophy so he was a happy little guy. Of course I've heard play by play of that day about 15 times so I feel like I was there. I felt bad that I wasn't, but I told him this was the only race that conflicted with showing. I'll be there next time cheering him on!

Our Soggy Weekend in Tipton

Well I guess I've slacked off since telling you all that we were going to have a busy, wet weekend a couple weekends ago. We did end up going to Tipton and it was awful. Well, it was good experience, but the weather and conditions were terrible. There was so much mud and standing water that everyone was getting stuck. Trucks and livestock trailers, plus cars, were stuck all over the place. Luckily we got out while the gettin' was good! We learned quickly that none of us have the stamina for these far away, long day shows. Brooke and Rachel did not sleep well at all that night. It was storming and neither of them do well with storms. So by 4:00, which was really 3:00 with the time change, they were up for the day. I laid in bed until a little before 5 and we were out the driveway at 5:58 a.m. Long, wet, raining, dark drive to the show. There were lots of die-hard cattle people there, and we were right in the midst of it all. Brooke didn't show until 11:00 a.m. and was supposed to show her steer around 2:00, but at 1:30 we called it a day and headed home. She was afraid to show her steer because she felt like she hadn't worked with him enough so I told Jeff to head home. It was a long, quiet ride home because Jeff was upset that she didn't show her heifer too well. She actually did a fine job, but didn't place well because her heifer was outweighed again. After everything, I learned that pouring rain + cattle show = MISERY. Lesson learned.

Getting ready to take off

on Saturday, March 7, 2009

We should all be in bed now, but Jeff is the only one who is. Luke, Rachel, Blake, and Brooke are playing Wii, and don't sound too ready for bed! Brooke, Rachel, Jeff, and I will be getting up very early (me at 5 a.m. , that's really 4 a.m.!) and will be heading out by 6:00 am at the latest. We're heading off to Tipton, Iowa in the pouring rain to a muddy mess at the Cedar County Fairgrounds for a March Madness Cattle Show. Oh boy! As bad as I'm wanting to go, I really am a fair weather farmer deep in my heart! I don't like washing and fitting calves in the rain or cold or snow.... the inside comfort of my barn makes it more appealing than out in the weather like we will be tomorrow! It will be a long day for sure. Rachel is going with us so Brooke has someone to "hang" with. Brooke will be showing Jewels, the heifer with the bad hock, and Tank, her steer (formerly known as Coal and Buff... we can't decide what to name him, but he is as big as a tank!).

While we are there, Luke is taking Blake to the first 4 wheeler race of the weekend, at Sandy Oaks in Keithsburg. It will be a muddy mess there, too, but they never cancel. I tried and tried to convince him to go with us but he really wants to race. I think this is the only time that the two conflict with each other so I guess it's okay. Cowboy, his steer, won't like being home alone though. Poor thing.

Hopefully I'll be able to update with how we did late tomorrow night. Wish us luck and pray that it stops raining! Ugghh....


on Friday, March 6, 2009

It's 9:08 on a Friday night and I'm ready to go to bed. Pretty pathetic. Brooke is spending the night with Rachel, and Blake has a friend over to spend the night, too. I wish I could say it was quiet around here. It's far from quiet though. Blake + friend = LOUD! He was bummed when I told him that the girls were staying here tonight.... they love to torture them! Darn.

This past week was ISAT testing at school. It is so exhausting. The tests are so hard for my students, and we all get so frustrated. Of course I don't think they try near as hard as they should. I know Brooke has been tired at night, too, because of the 4th grade tests. She voiced her opinion several times that the tests were "stupid" and "hard" and "stupid" and "hard". Thank goodness Blake isn't old enough to take them, I suppose he'll just make designs on the answer sheets with the answer dots.

We bought Blake a new mattress and it was delivered today. It is sooo much thicker than his old one. His old one was from mom and dad's house, was probably 30 years old, and weighed probably 200 pounds. It was hard as a rock and Blake complained of his back hurting, so we broke down and got him a better one. A nice pillow top.... maybe he'll sleep in tomorrow. Of course, last weekend he slept in until 11:00 one day.

Chores are still consuming a lot of my time. Jeff is wondering why I don't pay even half the attention to him that I pay to my (I mean the kids') calves. Brooke's heifer, Jewels, is being treated for an inflamed hock so I've been keeping a very close eye on here. This could make or break her as far as showing. She doesn't have a natural stride and is very stiff in her walk in her back left leg. The vet (who comes 3 x a week to give her a shot directly into her vein...cha ching! I hear the vet bills piling up!) thought she was doing better today. I sure hope so. She is so sweet and we are so attached to her, looking forward to having a successful showing season with her. Say a little prayer that she will recuperate quickly and be back to her old self.

Speaking of chores, this weekend poses another busy one for us. Tomorrow I have to wash/rinse all 3 calves, which should take about 4 hours by the time I'm all said and done. We have to get the trailer packed up for a show on Sunday, too. Brooke is showing in a March Madness Beef Blowout show in Tipton, Iowa on Sunday. We could go tomorrow, too, but I really need one day at home this weekend to get some things done. While we are in Tipton, Blake will be racing 4 wheelers at Sandy Oaks. Luke is taking him. This is the first race of the season, and Blake is thinking that he's going to go to all of them. Of course I don't understand why he would want to do that instead of show calves, but we gave him the choice, and he made it.... despite his mom's recommendations!

Wish us all luck!