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!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Wintery again

It's snowing pretty hard here on the Knolltop. They didn't predict this much snow, but it seems to be piling up at a pretty good rate!

It's been a slow week on the sports front. With JW's team all done and baseball not started yet, we are in a lag for games. But tomorrow it will pick up with Jake and Sarah's games and Sarah also has quiz bowl. And tonight our varsity team will play Pittsford in the district finals. It's anybody's guess who will win, it will be a great match up.

And yes, I'm in mourning from my Spartans losing last night to Wisconsin. I don't even want to talk about it.

I think I'll put one of my columns in today. It was one about auctions, in fact the president of the Michigan Auctioneers Association wanted it to reprint in their magazine. So, I'll post it here for those of you who don't get the Farmers' Advance.

Truth from the Trenches
By Melissa Hart
It can be a useful tool, a fun event, a way to pass time or a huge spectacle. It can make money, lose money, give you an adrenaline rush or invoke sadness. You have high hopes when you begin, a sense of satisfaction when it’s done or an emptiness over dashed hopes. People flock to them, participate in them, enjoy them and spend lots of money at them.
What am I talking about? The auction of course. I’ve been to my share of all kinds of auctions and yet they are something you never get tired of attending. The auction is an amazing event. It’s a wonderful tool for the dispersing of so many things and yet, with the right offering it can turn an ordinary sale of livestock into a glamorized event of a lifetime that if you missed out you feel like you’ve missed Christmas.
I received a catalog in the mail for the Butlerview Parade of Perfection sale that will be happening the first of March. When I opened it up, I realized I was holding a keepsake. The graphics were well done, the concept of the layout was brilliant and the editorial content was priceless. It captures the whole essence of why anyone would drive across the country, cattle trailer in tow, to purchase an animal at this sale.
Here’s how it reads:
You see the gavel start to fall and you can hardly believe it. This is what it’s all about. There is nothing more exciting than the challenge; nothing more powerful than the generations of excellence stacked neatly in a row; nothing more uplifting than putting your fingerprint on the generations that will follow. You see the breeding of the future and the echo of the past. You see the power in the ring as they lead her out and the satisfaction of a life-long ambition. You sign the sale receipt and you own her past and control her future. You know what once was, still is.
When I read that I realized how powerful the breeding, raising and merchandising of livestock really is. It’s more than job or even a livelihood, it’s a profession that can lead you down a path you never thought possible. When you invest your life in animal agriculture you invest not only your sweat and hard work, but it challenges your brain power, your creativity and every ounce of determination in your being.
When you stand back and look at an offering of high quality livestock and the genetics, you are not only looking at animals, you’re seeing the years and years of a man’s work and tenacity. And then put it around the framework of an auction spectacle and you’ve got the culmination of many years of toil, trading hands and going back to work for someone else.
On the other hand, you may walk up to a farm yard with keepsakes lined up neatly in a row. Antiques of all kinds fill the yard of the century old farmstead and you’re there in hopes to take home a bargain or maybe a treasured item. Values are put on priceless tools, chairs, toys, crystal, wedding china and collections of antiques. Things that once provoked a fond memory for one small child are now headed for a different location to be the center of someone else’s world.
At that estate auction you may purchase a simple little bell that hung on a kitchen door to alert the farmwife of her farmer coming in for dinner. That small farmstead alarm may also be the one sound a grandchild remembers hearing when she awoke out of her sleepy state to remind her she’s laying in Grandma’s feather bed. That bell may exchange hands for a few dollars, but is priceless to that granddaughter.
Auctions can help launch one era while bringing an end to another. Auctions bring relief to some and delight to others. Auctions make money for some, provide entertainment to others all while serving as a means to and end and a beginning.
Is there anything better than a good auction?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A big day coming

Good Morning from the knolltop. It's cold here, but not as bad as yesterday. I keep seeing 50s on the weather map out in Washington state and I keep thinking it's going to come our way, but we haven't seen it yet! Yes, I'm whining, I want spring to come.

This saturday is a big day in the Hart family....actually Bobby's side of the family. The first grandchild is getting married. Bobby's nephew, Brant is getting married to a wonderful gal named Jenny. Now I've never met her, but I'm sure she's every bit as wonderful as her mother-in-law to be has said she is. They will marry this weekend in Kansas City and we of course won't be able to go. But they've promised us lots of pictures and I can't wait. So we will perk along here going to basketball games and quiz bowl and think of Brant and Jenny saying their "I dos" and pledging their love for one another for the rest of their lives.

I'd like to be a fly on the wall about right now seeing all the preparations that are happening for the biggest day in a bride's life....until she has children of course, your wedding day is a distant memory when that first child is born....there just ain't nothin' that compares to giving birth.

Oatmeal is cooking, better get to it before it scorches!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The R.P Roll

It's a cold morning here, 8 degrees out and my feet are cold! I sat by the cornstove this morning to drink my coffee to try to warm up. I'd like to camp out there, but decided that wouldn't be a wise decision....maybe in my golden years I'll be able to sit in a rocking chair by the stove and enjoy the cold winter days on the inside looking out.

Yesterday we moved some hay and I had the wonderful priviledge of helping out. I have no idea why I was there, with two strong boys and a husband to handle the situation, I was of little assistance. But I provided comic relief and a good target for snowballs.

The hay loading process went like this: Bobby was in the mow throwing them to JW and JW was throwing them to me then I had to put them onto the wagon for Luke to stack. This was great because although my job seemed like the tough job at first turned out to be the easiest because of JW's perfecting of the R.P. roll.

So, what's the R.P. roll you ask? Glad you asked. My dad, Richard Peckens, taught his children how to roll a bale so you don't have to carry it as far. If you simply toss the bale so it hits on its corner, then it will roll two or three times further...depending on how good of a tosser you are. I have perfected the R.P. roll and now my boys have also perfected this essential farm skill too. Luke came up with the name.

So when JW was a good 15 feet from me, all he had to do was roll the bale to me in R.P. fashion and I just stood there, picked up the bale and put it on the wagon. Life is so much simpler with the R.P. Roll!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Winter again

Well, it seemed like spring was trying to come over the weekend, but this morning 5 new inches of snow and the promise of more to come has kept the kids home from school again. I don't think they've got a full week since Christmas break....well that may be an exaggeration.

I couldn't help but laugh at the comment that shady knoll left the other day. She commented about the sisterhood we have here on this blog...sorry to leave you guys out....but she is right, there are a number of farm wives who visit here and we all seem to have the same story. I just think that's amazing. Someone said that when you are involved in agriculture you're involved in a huge industry with a very tight knit group of people. I bet everyone of us could go to any state in the nation and have a friend simply because of agriculture. Isn't that fun?!

With the kids home, I'm not sure what great projects we'll have today....although digging out a bedroom or two would be a good idea.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Bounce, bounce, bounce

It was a busy weekend for the crew on the Knolltop that included more basketball than you could shake a stick at...along with trying to keep the farm running too.

Saturday we watched Jake's team win and Sarah's team lose. Jake had 10 points, I don't know if Sarah contributed to any of the four points her team scored or not. It was ugly. Just plain ugly. Luke then got to see the other side of the court when he referreed two kids games. He said he would never do it again. A direct quote: "The parents and coaches need to get a life, you just can't make them happy with anything. All they did was yell at us about every call, it was stupid!"

I think it was good for Luke to get that will hopefully give him a different outlook as he heads back to his side of the court. Speaking of his side, we went to Kalamazoo yesterday for his tournament. They played three games and only won one of them. They were short two players, so they only had one sub and those boys were suckin' air when they got done. Their last game was against a team with about 12 they would just sub in fresh legs and our boys would just stay out there and get ready to keep fighting. They hung tough and beat the inner city team named Eastside. I was so proud of them.

Luke had 15 in the first game, 20 in the second and 15 in the third game. He was in his glory having a riot. Like Bobby says, Luke has a big motor and can go and go and go. I'll bet he was the only kid on the team who drove home with his family, changed into his barn clothes and headed out to do more work.

And the topper of the weekend, my Spartans won! Mark my words, they will be in the final four.

Lots to catch up on today...including a trip for groceries since I'm constantly being told there is nothing to eat in this house!

Friday, February 22, 2008


It's sunny here on the Knolltop today. It's been a busy morning having to run to town right after I dropped off the kids kind of ruined my routine. The big plus to that was stopping by the bakery for a dozen donuts. Yes, I'm on a sugar high!

JW's team lost last night and it was a heartbreaker for this team that has done so well this year. They reacted as if they hadn't won a game all year. How soon we forget our successes in the face of failure.

I've got recess duty today, so I get to go spend time watching kids be kids. That's always a refreshing time. Tomorrow brings more basketball for Jake and Sarah and Luke will play on Sunday. We will all actually be home today for nice!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Number Five!

The sun is shining brightly on the Knolltop this morning and it is so nice. When I walked across the road to the barn this morning, the moon was so big and bright it lit up the whole world. Ususally when I enter the barn I have to walk in the dark to get to the light switch, but the moon shone through the windows casting light on the cows faces and it was so cool I just stood there looking at the cows and listening to them rustle around. When I finally got to the lights, I flipped them on and did my usual scan of the barn to make sure everyone is where they should be.

A cow was carrying on about something so I thought I'd better just walk to the center isle to have a look and there she was, heifer number five, bright and beautiful and ready to begin her life. Then it was all down hill from there...

I went through my normal routine of preparing to milk the cows and figured Bobby would put the calf where she belonged when he got time. But I got impatient and decided to take care of her myself. Because everything I do is messy, when I got done dealing with her, what little afterbirth that was left on this new girl, was now on me and my gloves, sweatshirt and overalls were a mess.

Just before I turn the milk pump on, I go through all the stalls to pull down any manure into the gutter that's on the platform. As I was walking passed a cow named Muck, yes she was named during the Bob the Builder era, she was doing her business in the gutter. Usually that's no big deal and I steer clear because we all know what happens if a cow coughs when she's doing her thing...well, for whatever reason I was standing right behind her and she let out a great big cough and you guessed it, I got a good shot of manure all down the front of my overalls. As I walked over to clean myself off, I muttered to myself, I might as well just lay down and roll around in the gutter for as much manure as I'm wearing.

When I came in to fix breakfast, I went straight to the washer with my overalls and am presently waiting for them to get out of the dryer.

Now, what you've all been waiting for....the results of last night's Regional FFA contest. Luke's team was second and JW placed fourth. Yes, Dub was bummed for a while. But then he realized that the state convention is the same week as the first week of baseball practice and he brightened up because he loves baseball!

One of the reasons JW placed fourth was that he wasn't prepared for the question. He just got a topic that he didn't know much about and didn't prepare for. The other contestants had folders of information they were using to write their speeches and Dub had nothing....maybe because he spent a little too much time on the phone instead of studying for the contest.....hmmmm....everything is a learning experience.

Anyway, the boys who place above him were excellent, in fact the boy who won the contest was also in the discussion meet last fall. When he walked in, I knew he was going to win, he's more experienced and organized and his mom is the FFA teacher in his district!

My overalls are dry, better head back to the barn.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

JW's team wins again.

The wind has calmed down up here on the Knolltop and my washing machine isn't freezing up now. Yes, my washing machine freezes up when we get a good stiff west wind. Have I told you this before? I feel like I have. Anyway, the laundry room is on the southwest corner of the house and if we get a strong, cold wind, I get ice in the water lines...nothing a little time with the blow dryer won't fix.

We can mark up another win for JW's team. They killed Burr Oak last night...I think they finally got into the double digits sometime in the fourth quarter. JW had 10 points and four fouls. There was a kid who was giving JW a hard time under the basket and JW gave it right back. The ref called a foul on Dub and told him not to get into trouble, Dub told the ref that the kid was pushing him around and he was getting the fouls called on him. The ref said, look at the score...JW told the ref, just because they are losing doesn't mean I'm gonna let him push me around. Now isn't that a typical 16 year old boy statement?

JW and Luke have their FFA competition today...this is a secret, but it will be out later today, Luke's team will automatically go to state since there are only two teams competing in his event. JW on the other hand has to earn his position....prayer please!

I think we might have another baby by the end of the day. I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Great movies and HSUS

Good morning from the Knolltop. It's sunny and windy and cold here this morning. The kids have another day off so my schedule is out of whack.

Yesterday morning Bobby and I pulled a calf that was coming backwards...and yes, it was another heifer! Her feet were way down and she was coming butt first. So Bobby had to get in there and manipulate her around so she was at least coming hind feet first. I didn't think she was going to be alive when we delivered her, but when she came sliding out and she shook her head I was elated that indeed this little calf was alive.

Last evening I was given a real treat. I popped our popcorn and went into the bedroom where Bobby was watching TV and there was one of my favorite movies on...Gone with the Wind. Is there any better movie? No, I don't think so. I watched it from beginning to end and will pay for it at about 4 pm today when I will have an overwhelming desire to fall asleep.

Now about the new ploy by HSUS to aboloish animal agriculture. I feel no need to rant and rave about it here...instead I urge all of you who make a living with livestock to write a letter to the editor of your local paper and assure your friends, neighbors and community that you don't agree with the torture of any animal and what the employees at the slaughter plant in California did was wrong. But don't shrink back into the corner and apologize for making a living from raising animals for human consumption. Remember, we are responsible stewards feeding the world and we need to make no apologies for that!

Trent Loos has plenty of coverage of this at his website and he does a great job of informing us of just what's happening outside of the mainstream media. Make sure you check out to read his commentary or listen to his radio programs.

Monday, February 18, 2008

President's Day

Happy Presidents Day!

Yesterday felt like spring around here. It was so nice to have a peek at what's to come in just a few weeks!

The kids have the day off today so JW is gone with a load of scrap metal. Yes we can now call him an official "scrapper." After he gets back, he and Luke will head to Mr. Kyser's to work for him for most of the day.

We have a cow calving at the moment...I wonder if it will be another heifer. If so, we can officially say we've had a heifer explosion! I was talking to another farmer last evening and he asked what we did with our bull calves and I said we just haven't had any lately. He then asked if we were using sexed semen and I said nope, we're just really blessed with lots of heifers.

Well, I've got to get back to the barn.....and hand out some jobs for the crew that's left here at home.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Icy Knolltop

Well, we woke to an icy Knolltop this morning. It was treacherous walking across the road this morning to do chores. But when we got there, we had a new baby heifer to greet us. She was up and roaming the barn through milking time until Bobby finally had a chance to put her in her new home. She makes the twins look like dwarfs.

Yesterday was a full day of basketball. Let me give you the run down. Jake's team won their game, he had 10 points as he likes to reminds us all. Sarah's team had a strong start but a poor finish, they lost but Sarah had 4 points.

Luke left with our friends for Midland, about 2 and a half hours north of here for his tournamnet. They called and gave us updates as they went, he played three games and the won two of them. One of the great things was my brother, sister-in-law and two kids surprised him and showed up at the last game....incidentally, it was the roughest game as Luke accidentally elbowed a kid while he was going up for a layup and took the kid out. He made his nose bleed and they had to stop the game to clean up the blood.

Now this is what is so peculiar....Luke said he felt bad. He watched the kid take his shirt off to wipe up the blood from his nose and Luke noticed the shirt underneath said something about praying...obviously assuming the kid and his family were Christians or at the very least attended a church. Then Luke commented that the kid's dad, who was also their coach, stood around and yelled at Luke from the sidelines about using his elbows. The coach was obviously upset and rightly so....but I don't think he had a clue of his true colors that came through and the inconsistency that this 14 year old witnessed.

What a great reminder to all of us that there are many, many eyes watching us. Watching us when we pray, watching what we do, what we say and looking to see if what we say and do actually match up.

Even though the bruiser took a kid out of the game, which I know he feels bad about, he's pretty sensitive, Luke had a great night and is even more excited than ever to be playing basketball.

I needed an infusion of Luke's passion for the sport, especially after watching MSU lose to those Hoosiers last night. But, if you're a Spartan fan or an alumni, you've learned to lose with grace. I've not lost all hope, mark my words.... they will be in the finals!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Basketball Saturday

Good Morning from the sunny Knolltop! It's pretty, but cold, like 12 degrees cold.

We had a very nice evening at home last night. I sat on the loveseat in front of the cornstove eating my caramel corn, reading Farmworld while Sarah chatted away about a story she was writing in english. It was so nice to just sit and listen to her, face to face, listening to all her silliness. Listening about the events in her life and the emotion that goes with it. It's also fun to play dumb so she tells me more...I love that. As I listen to this young lady, I can't help but remember my awkward self at that age. She is a carbon copy of me at 12 years old, only she has cute dimples that I never had but always wanted. I said silly stuff, thought silly stuff and tomorrow was something I just never worried about. Come to think of it, that sounds like me today!

Now, about this book that I want to write....I've had all positive feedback except for one. So with that I want to say thank you and I will forge ahead with this soon as my mom gets done vacuuming. Yes, that's right, I have to wait for my mom to get done cleaning her house. She has every column I've ever written all stored in her file cabinet. She told me the other day that she was going to start sorting through what she thought would be good ones for the book, as soon as she got done cleaning up a bit because she knew that when she started sorting she would be there for a long time....reading and sorting and sorting and reading.

So, when she gets done with her housework I'll let you know.

It's on to basketball today with games at 10 am and 2pm and Luke plays at 4,6 and 8 pm.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Another win!

It's an overcast morning here, but a nice 25 out! The twin girls are doing well this morning as I reported to inquiring Jake. He and I are the caretakers of the babies, so we report to each other when things aren't quite right. I told him these two little girls will need extra attention...glad to see he's taking it seriously.

JW's team won last night and Dub played a lot. He had 6 points, 5 offensive rebounds and 4 fouls. The last two came within 30 seconds of each other....I think they had their eye on him...he is an easy mark.

Luke didn't get to the game, he had practice, he starts his second basketball season tomorrow with a tournament in Midland. That's up near the thumb, so if any of us go, it will only be Bobby. Luke's excited...he got his uniform...boy they are nice. They have home and away jersey's, warm ups and practice jerseys....all with their last name on the back. That's impressive to a youngster!

Well, I've got to finish up some articles today and then do the laundry. This morning I had two kids needing jeans and three kids needing socks...that's always a good indication that the laundry pile is getting a bit too big.

It's a Red Shirt Friday....what color are you wearing?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Double delivery

It's a sunny morning here on the Knolltop. Happy Valentines Day to everyone!

Jake had to make some valentines last night because I forgot to buy any. I told him homemade valentines are way better than store bought, but he didn't believe me. Oh, well, those kids just look at them and throw them in a bag and then the moms chuck them when they get home, so why waste the money?

Anyway, Sarah and I stamped some cool stamps on them while he addressed them. Of course being a boy what did he write? "Happy V-Day." Typical boy. And then Sarah decided that wasn't good enough so she started writing in the whole word "Valentine" until Jake threw a fit and demanded that she stop. She did. So then this morning I received a call from the school, it was Jake, he forgot his valentines so I had to run them in and then run to the barn for chores....all that to say this....I'm late in posting today!

Yesterday a cow started to calve while we were finishing up for the morning. By the afternoon she delivered a cute little heifer. By chore time she was delivering another little heifer. And by the time we were shutting the lights out for the night she had cleaned. Now that's a cow worth having around!

Lots of writing to do today...better get to it, now that half the day is gone. JW has a game tonight in Camden, I'm sure they'll win!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

They pulled it off

It's a beautiful sunny morning here on the Knolltop. And it's supposed to warm up! Yesterday we had a lot of snow and it was just plain cold out...I was so glad to get in by the corn stove last night after all the running of the day.

JW and Luke pulled it off yesterday at the district FFA competition. Luke thought his team was awful and wouldn't make it out of districts. Much to his surprise they placed first! Which means they will advance to regional competition in Sand Creek next week.

As for JW, well, he told me he thought he did well, but didn't have the time to write his speech because they had mix up in the order. He told me he only had half the time and had to just make it up as he went along. Like I said, he's good under pressure and placed 2nd, so he will go to regional competition as well.

If they both place at regionals, they will go on to the state convention and compete there. I'm so proud of them! And thanks for all of you who prayed for them...obviously your prayers were answered!

While I was at Springport, I visited with one of the four FFA advisors there and he took JW, Mr. Everett and me on a tour of their livestock and green house facilities. Boy, was I amazed at how much they do. They have a flock of sheep who are lambing right now, they have a greenhouse where they will grow vegetables for their school and to sell at the local farm market and they also have a place in the barn where it is heated for future chicken and swine projects. It was an amazing place and I've decided to do a story on it. So you may read more about it, depending on where you live.

While visiting with Dallas Burton one day, I was also introduced to an FFA teacher in Georgia, Dr. Ron Thomas, who apparently is doing a wonderful job, so he's on my story list too, just not sure right now where that story will appear...I don't have any contacts with any southern ag newspapers. Anyone got any ideas?

Speaking of Dallas Burton of the famed Burton and Fellers Sales, they are having the Butlerview Parade of Perfection sale on March 1st in Wisconsin. I've been told by a reliable source this will be a history making sale in the Holstein industry. So, I think I might have to do a story on this too, just not sure how I'll get to Wisconsin for it...I might have to do this by phone. Although if this great sales team would have internet streaming so we could all watch the sale on line...we could all get in on the history making event of the year!

I've got loads of writing to do....better get it done!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Back to the grind

Well, the kids had a day off yesterday due to the cold weather and blowing and drifting snow. But they will go back's just cold out there this morning.

Last Thursday, JW and Luke were supposed to have their FFA contest, but it was rescheduled because the host school didn't have school that day because of the snow storm. It was rescheduled for yesterday, but was postponed again because of no school. So today is the finally the big day for the FFA contest and it will go rain or shine, blizzard or not. know what that means....pray for JW today! (Thank you!)

Sarah spent the weekend at Grandma's house getting totally spoiled. Between eating out and going to the outlet mall, they hardly had a chance to catch their breath! But I'm not complaining because I was the recipient of some outlet mall there anything better than new clothes?

Well, I've got some writing to do today....and some phone calls to make....and some thinking I need to do about writing a book. After spending the weekend with a self published author, I think I can do that....I just have to formulate a plan. And that's where you come in. I want to know what you think about a book that is a collection of my columns over the past 10 years. Yes, tell me honestly....hate the idea? Love the idea? Think it's a waste of time? Would you be the first in line for an autographed copy? Is there a place for a collection of farmwife stories? You guys are the reading professionals....let's hear it!

Better get the pancakes on the table!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Frosty Monday

It's 0 degrees out this morning and thank goodness the wind has died down because it was brutal all day yesterday. When we went to the barn to milk last night, the milk house was frozen. This morning was much better, but the skidsteer doesn't feel like running too's just too cold!

I had a great time at the Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference. When I left Thursday morning, I left 2 inches of snow to drive into 2 feet of snow. A two hour trip took three and a half. And on the way, I did Rural Route Radio with Trent Loos so that slowed me down...I actually sat in a McDonalds parking lot and did the show and then went the rest of the way to the conference. Trent dogged me about not being able to get there on time....but what doesn't he dog me about?

Thursday evening I returned the favor when I introduced him. I said he had come up with a new clothing line for pets called the Loos Wear pet clothing line made from his red shirts....believe it or not, there were a couple of people who came up to me the next day wanting more information on this new pet clothing. Yes, I set them straight.

Trent did a fabulous job with his talk and even got a standing ovation....I wonder how often that happens? Friday was a great day with the Partners Program. Rebecca Long Chaney was our main speaker and she did a great job. But I have to say the highlight of the day was when we learned how to salsa dance. It could've been the combination of funny farmwives learning how to dance while starring at a very nice looking dance instructor, but whatever the reason, I nearly fell over with laughter as the group of us danced around to latin music. The great thing is we got it all one tape! One other note was a surprise visit with one of my good friends from college...Ernie Birchmier. He and I had a chance to catch up on life and then I asked him to come speak to our group about the threat of HSUS to animal agriculture. He wasn't prepared for that, but did a great job...he's great under pressure.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Pictures-- no words

2008 Great Lakes Regional Dairy, words later!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

JW's team won!

Well, it's icy here on the Knolltop...a real trick walking over to the barn. School in in session and the kids were bummed about that. The only day they really want to go is Friday and that's because it's winter homecoming. JW is singing during half time with the jazz band and one of Luke's best buddies, Brad, is on the homecoming court as the 8th grade representative. I guess he's less than thrilled at having to wear a tux and walk out in front of everyone with a beautiful girl on his arm. Give it a few years...that will change.

JW's team beat Tekonsha last evening, JW only had 2 fouls....they came pretty quickly. The varsity lost. Tomorrow night JW and Luke will compete in the FFA District leadership contest. Luke is on a conduct of meetings team, he went to state last year with the team, but this year he said they'll be lucky to make it out of districts. JW will compete in the extemporanious speaking contest. They pick a topic when they get there and then have 30 minutes to write a speech. That is right down his ally, back up against the wall and having to perform....he's a clutch guy all the way. Since I can't be there, I told him he had to make it to regionals so I could hear him there. I'm sure he'll do well, but those of you inclined to pray...please pray for both boys...JW is tired this week and a little stressed and could use a prayer.

Better get...lots to do!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

No School!

The kids are at home on the Knolltop....the work list has been given out and they are all heading outside for to complete their jobs. It's so nice to have free labor!

It's very foggy here and very warm, in fact I didn't even wear a sock hat to milk this morning...that's how warm it is.

Lots to do today...JW still has a game tonight....and I've got some writing to do before I head for Frankenmuth on Thursday. And meals to fix, laundry to do and buy a few groceries.

Well, I'll never get any of it done sitting here!

Monday, February 4, 2008

How 'bout them Giants?

It's an icy morning here on the Knolltop...but the kids still have school. The trees have ice, and there is a crust on the road, but it's not that bad.

Did you watch the superbowl last night? Wasn't that a great game? Yes, we sat in the livingroom eating our pizza and hotwings...compliments of our neighbor, she gave us a gift certificate after Jake and Bobby plowed her driveway and shoveled her steps last Friday. So we used it and had a great time eating and watching Eli and company take the wind right out of Tom Brady's sails.

You see, Tom Brady is a U of M grad and Plexico Burress is an MSU grad so you now know why we wanted the Giants to win. Plus what mother wouldn't want to see two brothers go to the superbowl in consecutive years and win? It was a great game and we enjoyed every bit of it....yes, especially the commericals.

On Saturday, Jake won his game, he had 16 points and Sarah's team lost their game, she had 2 points....they only scored 4. They need a little practice.

Water's boiling for oatmeal...better get. They get a treat this morning...toast from homemade bread!

Saturday, February 2, 2008


Good Morning from the Knolltop. It's overcast and a balmy 23 degrees out. The temp is supposed to rise into the 30s today and rain and 40 by Monday. So we are out of the cold spell right are you out there in Montana, Pryorvu?

It's a basketball Saturday. Sarah and Jake both have games today and Luke gets to ref two of the little kids games today and then Luke has basketball practice tonight...during milking time...he gets out of chores....again. And I bet at some point we will be watching basketball tonight as we munch on our popcorn.

Last night, Jake was laying on my bed watching basketball while I was sitting in a nearby chair reading a book. During the game, they had a mic on one of the players so we could hear what they were saying on the bench and during the huddles. Now this was an NBA player. I looked and listened to what he was saying because it was interesting and then Jake said, as serious as he could be, "See mom, now you know what we talk about in the huddle and on the bench." I raised my book up to my face and began laughing my head off....honestly, does he honestly think his conversations with other little 8,9 and 10 year old boys could be the same as what 25 year old NBA stars talk about? Well, now that I think about it...maybe they are similar.

Gotta get...chores are waiting!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Another day off!

We are currently under 6 inches of snow with more coming down as I write. And then it's supposed to blow. And then on Monday we are supposed to get rain. What a winter!

The kids have the day off, of course. I don't know of another school district that is holding school in southern Michigan. A three day weekend! YEEHAW!

Last evening we drove south to Waldron for JW's basketball game and the JV's won, but the varsity a close one. Waldron has a very good team this year.... it would've been nice to knock them off the top...but the baskets just didn't fall.

Yesterday I had a package official Red Shirts! Now I can wear my official American's in Agriculture Red Shirt Friday shirt that Trent Loos is always yackin' about on his radio show. Trent was nice enough to donate one for our auction at next week's Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference in Frankenmuth....for heaven's sake, it's the least he could do when I've relented to be on his Rural Route Radio program so many times over the past year. I mean have to be tough or dumb to be on his show the way he and Kyle like to verbally abuse I guess I'll call myself tough. Well, come to think of's not all that bad....I guess.... :)

Oh, and if you too want to support our troops all over the world by wearing the official Red Shirt, you can order one on Trent's website listed over on the left of this blog....Faces of Agriculture.

Okay, okay, that's enough promotion for him....I've got lots to do today....good thing the boys have the day off so they can go to the barn and do my chores!