Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Bottle Calves and Nevers

Degnan is almost nine. That means I have successfully avoided having a bucket calf for about six years. He started asking around the age of three. 

At first, I just flat out said "No!"  Then, he recruited his sisters. I said, "It will ruin your lives!  You can't go anywhere."  Then, he started recruiting grandparents and aunts and uncles. I said, "Great!  Ask them to get one for their house and you can live there while you take care of it.  I am not feeding one.  That's what will end up happening. I will have to feed it."

So I won, right?  Yea right. There wouldn't be a blog if I had won the battle. It turns out God sided with Degnan, Makenna and Josie. He showed his favoritism with a set of twin calves. The mama cow was showing her favoritism so we got her leftovers. 

Has it ruined their life?  No. Have they left the house?  Yes. Is it still at our house?  Yes. Have I had to feed it?  Of course. But, I will say the times have been few and far between. The creepy country kids have really stepped up to the plate and taken care of Twitch. Yes, that's her name. So, meet Twitch. 

For the record, the milk replacer still stinks. Washing bottles is still gross. The calf is still cute. But, look at how happy the rancher is. Ugh!!

Monday, February 22, 2016


Signs from Heaven. It's a tough one for me to talk about. The few times I have opened up about it, I have been shut down or subtly made fun of. I get it. It's kind of weird to admit you believe someone is coming back to guide you through something.

Who do my signs come from?  Mostly, my brother, Jared. For those of you who haven't been in my life forever, Jared passed away when he was fourteen. I was seventeen. I also get some pretty clear messages from Papa, my grandfather. 

What signs have I seen or heard?  Jared's usually come in the form of his initials. It isn't as if his initials spell a word I see on a daily basis. They are "JDK". I see the letters on trucks. They stand out in things I read. I see them on signs.  When I was pregnant with Chaney, I was filled with worry. Two miscarriages in a row will do that to you. Whenever the worry would hit hard, I would see the initials.  I also run across small things that come out of nowhere. Jared loved "Calvin & Hobbes".  It isn't exactly a mainstream cartoon, these days. Yet, it popped up on my phone, just the other day with a message I needed to read while dealing with disappointment. 

 My signs or messages from Papa are usually a clear mental insert in my thoughts.  Just as I am struggling to hear what God is trying to point me towards, there is Papa's voice tuning me in. 

What do they tell me?  Unlike the delivery, the message is usually pretty consistent. "Don't worry. Trust God."

I don't know if everyone gets these type of messages. I don't know how they come to others. I do know I am grateful when I get mine. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Almost Perfect

I am not sure what a perfect day looks like, but this was darn close to showing me. 

Components of an almost perfect day are:

1.  No school for the kids.

2.  No work for me. 

3.  Beautiful springlike Kansas weather ... in February. 

4.  Great horses. 
5.  Spending time with Grandpa and Grammy. 
6.  Puppies. 

7.  Exploring old buildings.

The only thing missing was Austin. Darn jobs!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Goodbyes & Black Eyes

Degnan said goodbye to Tattoo this weekend. Tattoo taught Degnan a lot of lessons. Most of them weren't fun lessons. They were the kind of lessons only a pony can teach a kid. Degnan returned the favor. 

Degnan began to really miss Tattoo this evening. He mentioned that he wished he could have just kept him. I told him that he would have many horses in his life that he liked. I said it would be impossible to keep them all. He said Tattoo would have been one to keep. I compared Tattoo to Clancy, otherwise known as Equine Jesus around here. I asked Degnan if he would keep Tattoo over Clancy.  He looked at me and said "Of course not!!"  
*photo credit:  Amay Photo

I compared Tatoo to Dandy (equine apple of my eye) and asked if he would keep Tattoo over her. To my dismay, he said "Yes."  At that point, Makenna vehemently said "Hey!  I will fight you to the death for her and it starts with a black eye and a bloody nose!"  

Makenna quietly secured her place as favorite child of the day. Degnan backtracked (out of fear or wisdom) and agreed with her. Dandy is a better horse than Tattoo. Where was Josie in all of this?  Quiet. No one had mentioned her horse hero, Casino. She had no need to pipe up. 

It makes me feel good to know that we are giving them options of horses to love. Growing up, I had Jake. He taught me to love horses. It didn't come naturally to me like it does to Degnan. None the less, it was important to me to have Jake. I am glad we are giving our kids that experience. I am also happy to hear it is a love that will bring about feelings of fights to the death and black eyes. We all need to feel that strongly about something. 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Christmas Cards & Signs

God's signs and His sense of humor always amaze me. In the middle of an awful week where things were piling up, we got our Christmas cards. 

At first glance, they were perfect. Then, I read the beautiful baby announcement at the bottom. We aren't Stephan or Jada. We don't have a Penny who was undoubtedly excited for baby Arin to come home. 

It being an already emotional day, I did what anyone staring at this mess would do. I laughed.  Out loud. What else can you do?  It's beyond my control. All of it. 

At this point, all I can do is deal with the big stuff. I have to stop sweating the small stuff. I have to give it ALL to Him. Oh, and field the calls when people ask how they missed us having ANOTHER baby. No extra creepy country kid this year. But, "congrats" to Stephan and Jada. 

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, October 4, 2015


We covered the spectrum this weekend. 

Saturday was a chilly and slightly damp day. We took advantage of the dreary day and went shopping. Chaney needed shoes. The kids needed a few warm weather things. We aren't city people and it shows pretty quickly. However, we pulled it off for a little bit. Austin made so much fun of me when I had the kids take a group picture in front of one of the stores. All I can say is, they don't look presentable at the same time very often. I take my opportunities when I can get them. 

Today, we made up for what we couldn't do on Saturday. We preg checked our cows. We have a pretty good group to help us. 

It's hard to describe the feeling I get when I look in the mirror and see this. 

Different feeling. Just as proud. 

Chaney is not going to be left behind. Rawhide isn't either. 

Josie isn't going to miss the opportunity to hit something and not get in trouble. 

They are the best help we could ask for.   It is official. We are better at horses and cows than we are at shopping. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Sunday - Not So Fun Day

We weaned calves yesterday.  Josie was left out on the riding horses to gather.  She was NOT happy about this.  While she and I were coming to town to catch an empty weigh, she looked at me and said "So, am I just supposed to be good through all of this?"

I replied, "Well, that's the goal every day."

"Don't be ridiculous!"

She has a point.  Expecting the best of everyone every day is ridiculous.  We all have our days. Yesterday was no different and it included the beasts of the day.  For every smooth moment we had, four not so smooth moments came up.  What should have taken two hours, took over four.  But, we got it done.  We got it done together.  We had the best help you could imagine.