Knolltop Farm Wife

Welcome to my blog! I'm a wife, mother of four and a self-employed freelance writer. I live on a dairy farm with my family and I enjoy sharing our life with family, friends and anyone else who wants to visit the farm. There's no telling what the I will write about from day to day, but hopefully you'll be enriched when you stop by! Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Playing catch

It's another beautiful morning here on the Knolltop and it's promising to be a nice day. Before school this morning, I played catch with the kids. It's amazing what great conversation can evolve from throwing a ball back and forth to each other. Connecting with our kids is so important, especially right before we send them into the world to fight another day.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Why Sundays?

It's Sunday morning and you're trying to get the chores done quickly so you can get to church on time. Then your neighbor who never darkens the door of any church shows up while you're in the barn and out of the blue wants to attend church with you. You're excited to say the least because you know he needs Jesus as much as you do, so you put a spring in your step to make sure you get done. Then it happens. The Sunday morning breakdown. Our breakdown was the gutter cleaner, it broke in a place it hasn't broken in two years! Vowing not to let this make us late, we worked together to fix it and with chores done we dashed in the house, cleaned up and headed to church...and we were on time no less! Nothing is impossible with God!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Pulling it off

After the cows were milked, I was washing the milking system to make sure it's nice and clean so we can ship clean milk. As I was standing in the milkhouse looking out the window I spotted one of my favorite pictures. JW was in the pickup which was chained to Jake's Allis Chalmers and they were pulling the Allis off. JW had to get out several times to give Jake instruction, but when it was all said and done, the Allis was started and Jake was driving it around. It's amazing to me how fast they grow up. Last year I would've have let Jake drive that tractor 10 feet without someone responsible with him. Now he is driving it quite capably and it's a beautiful sight to see. One thing that will make a mothers' heart melt faster than butter in a hot frying pan is to see her children cooperating to accomplish one common goal, without any adult involvement. Life is good.

All in, all done

It was a busy day here with the boys working for the neighbor, Bobby hauling manure, Jake mowing, Sarah baking and I tended my brush fire. Half way through the afternoon, Jake, Sarah and I had to run to TSC and get a new fuel filter for the lawnmower. Once we got that changed, we were in business, until a belt wore out. So I'll finish the mowing on Monday. Bobby came in and said he fixed my fence job that I attempted a couple of weeks ago. When we saw the heifers in the woods, I knew my fencing skills needed some improvement. I'm just thankful I didn't have to hone those skills today!

No baseball!

Yes, it's Saturday here on the Knolltop and we have no baseball games or practices to attend. It's a miracle...and it's the last Saturday that will happen until the end of July. So what's on the agenda you ask? Mowing, fencing, burning brush and anything else I can wrangle my children into doing. It's partly cloudy and going to be a nice day. So the housework will have to be let go while we play outside all day long! By the way, the double header last night with Waldron, a little farming town on the Ohio border, was split between the teams. We won the first game and should've won the second, but lost it instead. We got home at 9 pm and spent the next hour rehashing the whole game...while snacking on chips and salsa and lemon pie made by Sue, my good friend. I was also able to finally get some baseball pictures of Luke and JW....so you'll see those on here too. If I don't get off this computer, I'll never get my fire started!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Spell "Cow"

Today Sarah was in a spelling bee at school and she earned fourth place. She messed up on the word professor. Oh well, we were very proud of her! It's almost dinner time then we'll head up to the school for the ball game....in the drizzle...yippee!

Gloomy

It's still gloomy here on the Knolltop, but I guess I shouldn't complain too much....yet. We're supposed to have another double header this afternoon, I sure hope they get that in. Better head back out to the barn to finish up chores! By the way, that new arrival is doing well this morning, he's a huge bull...glad JW and I were there to help mom out.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Spring Arrival

We had a new arrival this evening after milking. Blanche, one of our show cows delivered a big bull. We were extremely disappointed because it wasn't a heifer! JW and I had to pull the calf, but Blanche took over and gave him a good start in life. We milked her and then fed him some colostrum before coming in for the night.

Rural Route

Well, I just got done doing Rural Route Radio with Trent Loos and Kyle Bauer and they were again successful at getting me all fired up. What about you ask? Homeschooling. If you want to take a listen just click on the rural route link at the bottom of this blog and then listen to Thursday's program. It's worth your time to listen to these guys every day. You can do like I do, get it on your computer then turn the volume up as high as it will go and do your housework or bake or do laundry. Yes, I live a sad, uneventful day that I get my enjoyment from listening to these two jokers talk for an hour! Better get back out to the barn and help big daddy finish up chores!

More rain

It's another rainy day today, but we need it. The neighbor planted the field behind us, so I'm sure he's tickled to see the rain coming down. Bobby's back out doing chores while I wait to go on Rural Route Radio.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A real treat

I received a real treat tonight. As I was milking, Big Daddy and the boys came back from baseball practice, took my dipper and told me I had the night off. How nice for them to step in a do that for me. I just love those guys!

Turn off the TV Week

Jake came home and said that if we turn off the TV for a week, he will get a pizza party at school. As a result, we have turned of the TV and yes, it's difficult not to watch Dancing with the Stars and Idol, but we've done it successfully, so far. As you can imagine the results have been greater than any TV program could ever be. We actually have spent the evenings visiting with each other. In fact, last night when we gathered in the livingroom, it was getting to be time to pray and head to bed. But instead we spent an hour talking about everything from cow shows to baseball and there was so much laughter we all went to bed happy. TV has robbed families of a lot, but unfortunately we are too blinded by it to realize it.

Big Boy

Yesterday while Jake was mowing and I was having my afternoon cup of coffee before chores, a load of feed came. A new guy was driving and he stopped in the middle of the road, got out and approached Jake. I was headed out to tell him where to put the feed and then stopped to see what might transpire between the two "men." I watched as Jake pointed and talked and then the man got back into his truck and drove down to the barn. Jake followed him down there to make sure he put the feed in the right spot. This may sound very routine, but what made me smile was to watch the youngest of the bunch take charge. He knew where the feed went and when he walked he puffed out his chest just a little and walked that farmer walk like he was big stuff. It was a precious sight.

It's got to rain sometime

It's a cool rainy morning here on the Knolltop. Although I like the sun, the rain has to come, the pasture needs to grow! The boys have a scrimmage today after school and Luke will have his first summer baseball practice tonight. Big Daddy came home the other night after the game and said he was wrangled into helping coach Luke's team. Although it takes a lot of time away from his cows, I don't think they had to work very hard for his cooperation...he loves his kids and he loves baseball!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Victory

Yes, JW had another victory tonight. He pitched and got the win against Burr Oak. While they were at the ball game, I milked and yes, Jake got to mow!

Spring Planting

It's another beautiful morning here on the Knolltop and there is dust everywhere. Yes, it's that time of year when Jake wakes up in a foul mood because he knows he has to spend the day sitting at a desk in a classroom when he really wants to be on a tractor with the neighbor "helping" him plant corn.
That wonderful neighbor tilled up my garden, now it's planting time for me. I think I'll spend the day mowing instead. All the neighbors have mowed leaving the farm on the hill looking in desperate need of a buzzjob. Jake will want to mow when he gets home, if there isn't a tractor within earshot.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Running start

This afternoon I had to help Big Daddy get the tractor started. I'm not sure what's wrong with it, I just heard rumblings of the battery blowing up in his face last week....but I'm not sure of all the facts.
So all showered, smellin' good and ready to go to town on errands, he asks me to help. As a dutiful farm wife, I say, "In this?" No, just kidding, I didn't, I said "No problem" With my mouth full of last nights carmel corn and a bottle of water in hand, I headed across the road to help. His plan was to push the tractor out of the barn with the skidsteer, it would head down the hill and by simply letting the clutch out, it would start. But... the tractor was going to be headed backwards and the manure spreader was hooked to it! Needless to say, I volunteered to hop in the skidsteer and do the pushing. With the last push I gave him as he headed down the hill backwards, I said to myself, "This is a trainwreck waiting to happen!" But, I was wrong, he went just a few feet down the hill, let the clutch out and it started. Ye of little faith!

Another win

JW's team had another win tonight and JW's name was in the local sports page for his win over the weekend. That's pretty big stuff considering I didn't even write the piece. In the past, I've been the sports writer for the local school. I send in scores after games and give a little commentary of the game. I'm not doing that this spring, so it's pretty exciting to actually have someone else write about you....and they aren't even related!

Mavelous Monday

We're having another fine day here in southern Michigan....and it's about time. Snow in April is just not allowed in my book! While visiting with a lady in church yesterday, I became quite concerned about the lack of good, sound information on the nutritional value of milk. This gal I was speaking to has something to so with kids and nutrition, exactly what I couldn't figure out in the short time we had together. But what concerned me is that she doesn't recommend milk to the kids she's in charge of feeding. She says it's processed too much and they add chalk to it therefore she drinks soy milk. I'm sure she could see the dismay on my face, but I didn't have time to give my point of view except to say that milk is very valuable in everyone's diet and she ought to be drinking it! That was real bright wasn't it? I guess I need a different line of defense if I'm going to stand up for my product. More on this later, right now I've got to get to the barn for more chores!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sunny Sunday

It's another beautiful morning here on the Knolltop. Milking is done and I'm in to get breakfast and another cup of coffee and then it's back out to finish up. We'll drive seperate to church this morning, JW and I have a Junior Holstein meeting in Lansing so we'll just take off right after church. I'm looking forward to a captive teenager in my van so we can just talk about life without interruptions. Usually we get into some theological talk and I don't have the answers so then we just turn to farming.

First win!

JW had his first win of the season yesterday! He got to pitch in the second game and they won, so he got the win, he was pretty excited and so was his daddy!
After sitting out in a beautiful day we all acquired our first sunburn of the year and boy does it burn this morning. When we came home we ate dinner, yes we eat at a strange time at 3:30 in the afternoon, but that's because I don't want to cook after chores in the evening and it's healthier for us. JW went to work for the neighbor and Luke went to a friends house. The two younger kids had a friend over and I just worked on laundry and clean up. After chores, the we dehorned some calves, that's a job I hate, but am so glad when it's done.
All during chore time Sarah kept begging me to come jumprope with her so after I visited with the neighbors and the work was all done, Sarah, Jake and I jumped rope. Jake is awful at it, while Sarah knows all the rhymes that go with jumping.
Of course Jake demanded equal time, so we had to play baseball after that. With JW's antics and Sarah's frustration with her brother who wouldn't take the game seriously, I quit after the second inning. I still had laundry to do and it was time to get showers and retire for the evening.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Double Header

On this beautiful sunny morning on the Knolltop, we are getting ready for yet another baseball game. It's a double header ladies and gentlemen so there won't be any fence building, calf pen cleaning or lawn mowing done today. We will spend the majority of our time between milkings at the ball field. I can't think of anything else I love more than watching my kids, so I'm glad to put down the barbed wire, pliers and fence stretcher for the afternoon. By the way, they won yesterday, actually they mercied them!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Baseball and cows

That seems to be the two things we focus on in the spring, making sure the cows give milk so we can afford to drive to baseball games. The bull rider, JW is playing baseball this spring so that makes for a tricky schedule at Knolltop. Since Big Daddy has a passion for baseball and watching every single pitch of every single game that all his kids play in, he is the one who gets to go to the games while I stay home and tend to the farm. So today when they travel west I will be down in the barn, taking care of business with the radio cranked up as loud as I need it without having to listen to anyone complain about it!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Today was Big Daddy's 49th birthday. He's much younger looking so I know he doesn't mind me using his age. The kids made a cow blanket for him and our daughter Sarah made the cake. The boys are still working at the neighbors so we're waiting for them to get home before we gorge on cake and ice cream!
Good Morning from the Knolltop here in southern Michigan. Knolltop Farm is a dairy farm that my husband and I along with our four children operate. We have registered Holsteins and it's a small family farm.
This morning on the Knolltop it's sunny and about 40 out. We've milked the cows, I've taken the kids to school and now it's time to head back out to the barn for more chores. I'll be back in just in time to write my weekly column and then head to an appointment with my husband.