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!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

It's a small world

It's a warm, sunny day here on the Knolltop. The troops are busy at work doing their own jobs. The big boys are hauling manure, Jake is doing odd jobs around the house and Sarah is cleaning out my cupboards while I finish up a story for Holstein International and then do my weekly column and maybe even another story all before I head into town get the tags for our vehicles and get a new battery for the lawnmower so Jake can now mow again for the second time this week.

Now for the Name the Fitter contest. Of all the guesses I had emailed to me yesterday I had only one winner! And that winner was Russell Gammon our Jersey fanatic from Jersey Canada! He guessed the correct nick name and it was "Cowboy."

An interesting story about the fitter we featured on Monday, "Bear." Mandy Nunes from Scientific Holsteins in Wisconsin emailed me and told me who "Bear" really was. His real name is Shane Hulle, the son of a friend of theirs up in Wisconsin, Annie Hulle of Anyday Holsteins. This is where the "small world" factor comes in to the story...while I was at the National Holstein Convention Mandy introduced Annie and I and we had a great visit. She was a really neat individual and I so enjoyed talking to her. I wish I had known "Bear" was her son...then I could've told him I knew his mama! It's truly a small world!

So now for the next contestant on


Name that Fitter

"Angel"

"Blondie"

"Cowchick"

"Cowgirl"

"Ace"

So get your guessers ready and email me or post on this blog your guesses on this female fitter...she's one small, unique group of women. Any woman who can keep up with the male dominated world of fitting has my cheers and applause!
By the way, wouldn't it be a great idea to have a cattle sale run by women? All women fitters, women sale staff, a woman reading the pedigrees? Hmmm....what do you think?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Fitter number Two

Good Morning from a breezy, hay scented Knolltop. Because everyone on the county is baling hay when you step outside the smell of newly baled hay rushes over you. It's a glorious smell that never leaves you. It's a smell that if you've grown up on a farm is as familiar as the smell of manure, corn silage or sweetcorn growing in the garden on a hot July afternoon. As soon as you breath in the morning air it takes you back to your childhood of lazy summer days spent playing in the yard while a whirlwind of farming activity plays out around you. Isn't that a great memory?

Okay, now for the Name the Fitter contest. Kudos to all who ventured a guess yesterday, the correct name for the fitter in the picture was "Bear!" And no, I don't know his real name. And the lady he's hugging is a familiar face to anyone at any Holstein event in Michigan, I like to refer to her as "Mama Koebel" and her real name is Jennie Koebel from Tri-Koebel Holsteins in Three Oaks Michigan. And she has three girls...wow, they have a lot of threes!


Now for the next contestant on

Name that Fitter!



This fitter hails from Indiana and worked for Hardy's Holsteins while at the All-Michigan Summer show.

Here are your name choices:

"Scooter"

"Cowboy"

"Tippy"

"Ramrod"

"Blue"

So...Name that fitter! And yes, you get extra points if you can name the man he's talking to...he has a nick name too...but he's not necessarily a fitter.

You have until 7 am tomorrow morning to send me your guess. Good Luck!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Name that Fitter

Good Morning from a sunny Knolltop!

We are finally getting back into the swing of things around here...getting the lawn mowed, the bushes trimmed and the guys are hauling manure like mad!

I was so bummed last night as I walked into TSC and found the double rocker I wanted was gone. It had been marked down half off and I wanted to wait until it was 75% off before I bought it. Well, I waited too long! Now I'll have to keep looking. Now that I think about it, God must have a free one for me somewhere...I just have to pray for it! I'm also praying for a laptop. And the only reason I'm telling you this is so that when God does provide it you'll all know it was from Him and not my doing!

Okay, now for the contest that you've all been waiting for! Get ready to play


Name that Fitter!

I will post a picture and give you several names to choose from then you post your answer. Now we all know that fitters usually have a nick name, very rarely, unless they are very sophisticated and don't wish to be called "Hoss" or "Spike" or "Gushie", will they go by their real name. So while I was at the show last week I took pictures of all the fitters I could find and told them they would be on my blog this week.

Here it goes....our first contestant hails from Wisconsin. He is a very jovial kind of guy and can be often seen sporting a pink striped shirt and pink plaid shorts. No, not your normal attire for a cattle fitter, but acceptable nonetheless. Thank goodness there is no dress code!



Here are your name choices:

"Hoss"

"Jethro"

"Hugger"

"Bear"

"Twinkle"

You get bonus points of you can name the woman holding on for dear life wondering if she'll survive his bear hug.

You've got until Wednesday morning at 7 am to submit your guess. And of course the prize is......having the sheer satisfaction that you know your fitters!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Forgotten passwords


It's been so long since I posted anything here I almost forgot my password to get into my blog!


It was a great week at the All-Michigan Holstein show and 4-H Dairy Days. I've got so much information floating around in my head and some great pictures to share and I even have a contest I will launch this week!


Basically last week was a test for mom and her four kids. While I came home each night to help with chores around here, my kids stayed at the show and went to Grandmas each night. If you don't think laying in bed wondering if they had enough sense to leave the cow show at a decent hour so they could get a good night's sleep to get back up at 4 am to take care of the Knolltop show string wasn't frustrating for this controlling mom....I'll set you straight....it was about as tough for me as the first time I let someone else teach them their ABC's.


I know how difficult it is to leave the barn at night. Every step you take toward the door there is this imaginary magnet that keeps you there, people who want to visit, others who have a question, just one more hand of spoons or one last flake of hay to feed. An hour later you find yourself ten steps from where you originally decided it was time to leave for the night.


For the kids each night got a little later until the night before the Junior show. Just settling in for the night the phone rang. It was JW informing me that they would've left earlier but I left the key on in the van and they were getting a jump! Guilt galore rushed over me as I thought to myself, I should be there...why did I let them do this themselves...they need their mommy!


After an extremely long Junior show, they were so tired they could hardly see straight. Again, I came home to help with chores and left them to fend for themselves. The phone rang again at 9:45 pm. "Mom, did you take the keys to the van? We can't find them anywhere?" Yes that same rush of guilt but more concentrated with a bit of alarm and a heaping spoonful of "I think I'll hop in the truck and go to Lansing to save my children!" mixed in.


My only other option was to pray they find the keys. I mean really, I didn't want them spending the night in the cow barn and I know God didn't either! So I knew I could count on Him to find those keys and He did!


I've got lots more news and results and like I said, a contest, but for now I've got other things on the front burner that need my immediate attention!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Kansas Holstein Heritage

Good Morning from a very busy Knolltop.

We are headed to the show for the week, I'll be back and forth so hopefully I'll be able to post some news and pictures through the week.

Did anyone know Kansas was so full of famous Holsteins? From the comment left by that famed Dallas Burton I learned a lot about Holstein heritage.

I mean really, I know seven people from Kansas and I think that's half the population. Of course I know all the really important people; three used cow salesmen, a couple of instructors at Kansas State, a rancher and a radio station manager.

But I never knew Kansas would be such a draw for two editors of Holstein International to come all the way from Holland to roam the plains of Kansas appreciating rich Holstein history....with that hostess with the mostest, Dallas Burton.

Wow...I guess Kansas is more than wheat, Flint Hills and NCAA basketball champions!

More about our Dairy Days adventures later!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

League Champs!

That's right...they won!

Jake's team beat Pittsford this morning to win the league championships! They were very excited to say the least. There were more parents taking pictures of them after the game than photographers at Princess Diana's wedding! Well, that's a slight exaggeration.

They received medals, trophies and plaques. After the awards presentation we all went over to the coaches house for a team party. The cookout was great fun and the boys had a good time swimming in the pond.

This evening Luke clipped Jake's heifer while Jake and Sarah went to quiz bowl practice. Then Luke, Bobby and Jake unloaded straw while I visited with the neighbor. Now it's time to crash, it's been a very long day!

Friday, July 18, 2008

The straw is waiting!

It's another warm day here on the Knolltop. We've had a hot couple of days here, but I'm not complaining.

Last evening the boys ventured out to their ball game only to find the team they were supposed to play got their schedules messed up and thought they were playing another team. The end result was no game. But the unfortunate aspect was that my parents, who haven't been able to come to any games at all because of my dad's back, finally were able to get away and come to a game....and they didn't get to see one! They called from the field and I broke the news to them. I felt awful, so that awful feeling had to be cured! I told them to come to the house and to pick up some ice cream on their way! So we sat around the table and had ice cream sundaes and listened to dad tell stories and watch the boys nearly laugh themselves out of their seats!

Straw baling is on the agenda today. Jake spent the whole day in the combine yesterday having a great time. I think he even said he took a load of something to Ohio with Rodney. He gets to have so much fun riding around the country in a big semi. What a life!

Time for breakfast and then off to the work of the day!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Trust defined

Trust Defined: Getting on the back of a motorcycle driven by your 16 year old son and riding around the block.

That is the true definition of trust or maybe faith. Whatever the word that's what I had last night as we got home from the baseball game last night and JW said, "Hey mom, I got another helmet, wanna go for a ride?"

I agreed, with great apprehension and immediately started praying. Looking at Luke and mouthing to him, "Pray for me!" I got on the back of the bike wrapped my arms around the child that I gave birth to and used to bathe in the kitchen sink and we were off.

It really wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I can hardly ride in the car while he's driving without great anxiety so putting my life in his hands on a motorcycle was not good for the blood pressure. He kept the speed down to 35 mph....I know, that doesn't seem very fast in a car, but on a bike, it seems faster than a speeding bullet!

After a couple of miles I was able to relax and enjoy the ride. Turns were a bit tricky especially when he said, "Lean with me!" Yeah, right...I ain't leanin'! All in all, it was a very nice ride.

They had a double header last night and it was ugly. They lost both games and it was ugly. JW was a relief pitcher for one inning...80 pitches, walked four batters, and 18 runs were scored.....did I mention it was ugly? They play Homer tonight...let's hope it's not so....ugly.

Yesterday I was on Rural Route Radio with Trent Loos and Kyle Bauer, you can click on the links below to listen on the Internet if you'd like. It was great fun, like always!

Today is writing day, columns, stories, interviews. I'm working on a story for Holstein International about Indiana Holsteins. That is turning out to be a lot of fun. Word on the street is that the crew from HI, Jan Bierma and some others are here in the U.S. traveling the rural roads of Kansas with the hostess with the mostest, Dallas Burton! They'll be visiting with some influential Holstein breeders and enjoying some breed history with Dallas, the Holstein Historian.

I'm sure they will have fun with lots of stories to tell.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It's that time of year

You don't need to look at the calendar to see what day it is, wheat harvest is underway, it's hot and Ag Expo is underway, yes, it's the middle of July in Michigan!

Yesterday I watched the first combine harvesting wheat to the south as I painted the back of the barn. So that means farmers across the state are torn, do they go to Ag Expo or combine wheat? What a decision. Ag Expo will be important if they have money to spend by the end of the year, but if not, then they will stay home and keep their nose to the grindstone and send another family member in their place. That means the grounds will be filled with grandfathers and young grand children, the ones who could afford the time off the farm!

The boys baled hay all day yesterday and finally came home when the All-Star game was in it's second inning. And yes, we are boohooing because the National League lost.

Today will be a prep day for our Summer show next week and then tonight the boys have a baseball game. Last night's game was cancelled so nothing to report from the local diamond.

If anyone heads to Ag Expo, be sure to report in to the rest of us who can't go! And remember to pray for Jericho today!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Troopers and Battles

Good Morning from the crew at the Knolltop.

Painting is the name of the game today. Yesterday, Jake, Sarah and I tackled the back of the barn. It was a real trip with Sarah afraid of heights and wasps swarming around us. But we got a big chunk of it done without falling to our death or getting stung! We will head back out this morning after breakfast and tempt those wasps again.

I was very proud of Sarah for sticking with it. She really was very uncomfortable up there and still stuck with me. She's a real trooper. She was tested over the weekend too when the little girl she was babysitting fell and cut her head. I was at Jake's ballgame and my cell phone rang. It was a panicked Sarah telling me I needed to get there right now...she needed me! After telling her to take a few deep breaths and to calm down, I was able to talk her through the rescue operation. By the time I got off the phone she was in control of the situation and had a plan. It turned out the little gal didn't need stitches like we thought she might. It was just a small cut, but you know how those head wounds bleed and make you look like you're doing battle with Goliath!

Better get to breakfast!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Busy Monday

Good Monday Morning from a sunny Knolltop!

We had a day off on Saturday because of the rain. Jake was supposed to play baseball, but buckets of rain came down and postponed it until Sunday. So instead of a day of rest on Sunday, we had it on Saturday. Although after the rain, it cleared up, got humid and forced us to the pool Saturday night.

Yesterday Jake's team won both games and is now in the championship game on next Saturday morning! They did a great job and Jake pitched a no-hitter. He's so excited about it.

It turned out to be a beautiful sunny day and the great thing about yesterday was that it was too far away to come back home in between games so we packed a picnic lunch and while we had two hours until the next game we went to a park in Camden and enjoyed a picnic. The funny thing was when we got done eating, JW and Luke tackled the ancient merry-go-round. It was broken, so what do two farmboys do? They climb underneath and start fixing it! They got to go a couple of rounds, but then it broke again. This whole scene reminded me of when they were toddlers and we made the trek with my parents out to Montana to see my sister and her family. Every time we stopped for a meal we would get our food, go to a park and let them run around for awhile so when they got back in the car they would be ready to ride for awhile. That memory was sparked yesterday while they were playing on the playground and we were still eating.

Okay, today is a work day and then off to Grand Rapids for a funeral visitation. A good friend died recently, Roger Meyer of Rod-er-Dic farms in Byron Center died from his battle with cancer. He fought it for a long time, in fact every morning when I would put the second milker on the cow, Ruth, I would pray for Roger and the family. Now I will just be praying for the family and if you would pray for them too, that would be great.

Roger's son, Paul was in college with me and has been a good friend over the years. He was almost destine to be a bachelor until Sherry Strautz caught his eye and snatched him up last April...the lucky girl! Well, he's pretty lucky to have her too since when I talked to her last Saturday night she was breeding a cow at 8 O'clock at night and couldn't answer the phone because her arm was you know where....!

Gotta go...please pray for this family!

Friday, July 11, 2008

So, you're a prisoner?

It was baseball galore last night as we went to watch the beginning of Jake's tournament games. They beat Camden....actually the mercy rule had to be used....so they were done after three innings. Then we headed west to Jonesville where Luke was playing a double header. JW missed the game, he's at an FFA officer training camp in Lansing.

We arrived in time to watch most of the second game, they lost both. Luke said he pitched, played third and then wound up catching. Then it was time for ice cream! We went to the Udder Side where they have the best deal. They keep all their mistakes, put them in cups and stick them in the freezer. These delicious, cheap treats are called "Cow Piles" and they only cost 50 cents. If your lucky, you could wind up with a misshapen banana split, a screwed up flurry or just a cup of ice cream. Anyway you scoop it, it's a great deal and it's always a surprise!

Tonight Bobby and JW will ump again. I guess they had a couple of close calls the other night, close enough to make the coach come out onto the field and argue. First he argued with JW and then got on Bobby's case. Bobby told him if he wanted to stay and coach he needed to get back in the dugout and be quiet! I wish I could've been there but no, I was in the gas station making an idiot out of myself!

An idiot you ask? Let me explain. I walked into Buddy's and there were about 6 men in there with bright orange vests on. Spotting the 12 passenger van they were riding in, I automatically assumed they were prisoners out on work release. Yes, I know, you're laughing already.

It was when they began to flirt with me that my suspicions were confirmed....yes....jailbirds who haven't had close contact with a female in quite some time....yep...prisoners. Here was the conversation:

Me: "So, are you guys prisoners or what?"

Them: "Yep"

Me: "Oh, so they let you out to do work huh?"

Them: "Yep"

Me: "That's kind of nice."

Them: "No, you're kind of nice lookin'"

Me: No comment and nervously shopping, headed to the far corner of the store.

Since they were taking so long I finally got in line behind one of the more honest looking, well groomed guys with the least scariest tattoos.

Me: "So, what kind of work did they let you do?"

Honest looking prisoner: "Ma'am, we're not prisoners, we're working gas well drillers, we've been working around here for weeks."

Me: "Seriously? Oh, for heaven's sake, I'm sorry. I'm such a fool!"

Him: Smiles and smirks.

Me: Paying for my goods and getting the heck out of there.

Of course then when I went to get in the truck, it wouldn't start. I knew as soon as I lifted the hood, they would pile out of their van and head toward me to help a damsel in distress. So I tried to act confident like I knew exactly what was wrong. It didn't work, it wouldn't start, so I decided to leave the truck and walk to the ball field. I really just wanted to leave as quick as I could. Walking down the side walk, yes you guessed it, they came driving up beside me and stopped, opened the door and said, "Hey, you need a hand with your truck? We'll be glad to help you."

Me: "Oh, thank you so much for the offer, buy my HUSBAND is right over there at the ball field and I'm just going to go get him, he'll fix it. But thanks anyway."

Them: "Are you sure, we'll be glad to give you a hand." Smiles and winks.

Me: I bet you would. "Really, thanks but my HUSBAND will take care of it."

And much to my relief they drove off. That is the last time I talk to people in bright orange vests with lots of tattoos riding in 12 passenger vans!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Prayer request for Jericho

Good Morning from a very sunny, pleasant Knolltop!

I've got a prayer request for all of you prayer warriors out there! A reader of this blog and of my column is in need of prayer for a new adventure. Not wanting to be too specific I'll try to keep in general. But he needs you to pray for him specifically next week. Let's see.....I'll give him a new name too.....how about.....Lester. No, not Lester....how about......Duke? No, he's not really a Duke either.....let's call him.......Jericho! Yes, Jericho it is! Please pray for Jericho. Seriously, please pray for him and I'll let you know how God works in his situation when Jericho let's me know.

Okay, the children and heifers await to go on their daily walk! I'd better hop to it!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

No rain delays here

Good Morning from a beautiful, sunny Knolltop!

We had more rain yesterday, a very nice steady rain...but it didn't keep us from heading to Bronson for the boys baseball game. Jake and I were the lucky spectators yesterday while Bobby and Sarah stayed home to do chores. I was excited as I watched Luke put on his catcher's gear and JW walk to the mound. It has been a while since I've seen them pitch and throw together and I tell you it was a proud moment for this mama! I started to get worried when Luke approached the pitchers mound, he's been known to chew JW out if he's not performing how he knows he should. But then I relaxed when I also saw the coach headed to the mound too, I knew Luke would be nice and there wouldn't be any fights on the field!

I don't mean to sound like Luke is mean or anything, he just expects a certain level of play from his older brother and actually from the whole team. I know for a fact when he approaches the mound to encourage other pitchers he's not telling them they're throwing like a two year old!

They lost the first game, but won the second. Luke caught both games and after JW got done pitching he went to center field and made some awesome catches...yes...I'm bragging!

Yesterday as I laid down for my siesta I was drifting off the sleep when I heard a calf mooing outside. At first I thought there were heifers out, but then I heard Jake's voice and realized he was walking his calf. Only on the farm could someone go to sleep listening to a boy and his calf conversing on their daily walk.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Wow, what a birthday!

Good morning from an overcast, humid, about to rain any minute Knolltop!
I have to say I had a great birthday yesterday. Yes, it was my birthday and I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm 43 now. Of course you knew that, it's on my profile. Anyway, yesterday morning the boys showed up to finish up chores for me. I came in the house and was told to go lay down and wait for breakfast. So laying down, Bobby came in and asked if I was sick. I replied that I was following orders.....without any hesitation, I might add.

Sarah whipped up a big breakfast of pancakes, scrambled eggs, toast and coffee for the whole family. She was amazing, she messed up every dish in the kitchen and had fun doing it! After breakfast I opened my present from my creative daughter....a t-shirt she hand painted with "I'm the worlds best mom" on the front. Don't think I didn't shuck out of my barn shirt and proudly put that baby on!

As I was enjoying watching my two boys play baseball last night my phone rang and it was Mr. Kyser. He wanted to know when we would be home from the game because he and Donna had cake and ice cream waiting for me! What a surprise! I'll admit it, before that call I'd been a bit disappointed that we hadn't gorged on the first bite of birthday cake all day and the chances of getting a sugar high from too much chocolate frosting was getting me down. But I consoled myself with the wonderful birthday greetings I'd had all day from phone calls and emails of good friends and family.

We came home to a beautiful layer cake and vanilla ice cream. Now I'm getting a hankerin' for a little sugar, I'd better get this done so I can go have a piece of cake!

One more thing....I received an email from my buddy Gene VanRhee with a picture of this pretty blond girl from the Netherlands named Minke.

Apparently she was at Tim Baker's recently clipping cows. It was her debut as a fitter and her first cow only took 6 hours. I wonder if Tim is paying her by the cow or the hour?

Monday, July 7, 2008

It's time to run again....

It's another fine morning on the Knolltop.


After a very restful weekend of not having to run, run, run....we are off and running today. I've got some errands to run, one of which is standing in line at the Secretary of State's office so JW can get his motorcycle plates and I have to get mine renewed....oh joy!


Then we've got baseball every night this week. Last night as I was laying around watching Lonesome Dove I felt guilty like I should be doing something. But then it occurred to me that this would be the last evening I had to just do nothing....so then I just relaxed, ate caramel corn and did.....nothing!


The boys have three games this week, Jake starts tournaments on Thursday and Bobby and the boys have to ump two Pony league games this week. So the evenings will be spent at a baseball field somewhere....if it doesn't rain.


The show heifers are coming along nicely. When the kids get them out and head down the road for their daily mile walk, they are good for about half way, then they start to slow down...until they get the barn back in their site then they speed up and start to run.....I didn't know cows could get barn sour!


Time to jump into the day!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Good Sunday Morning

It's a beautiful morning here on the Knolltop!

I just got back from my walk and will head back out to the barn to finish up chores before church. I just thought I'd put in one of my columns this week since my mom gave me some great encouragement about it. She reads a lot and when she comments on one of my columns like she did this week, I listen. So for those of you who don't see my column on a regular basis, here it is.

Truth from the Trenches
By Melissa Hart
“The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.”
Wondering about that statement I searched further to see what it meant. I know gossip is fun to listen to and especially repeat. I’ve had plenty of practice at both. But the part about going down to a man’s inmost parts is what baffled me.
When gossip goes down to a man’s inmost parts it means it is thoroughly digested and is carried about and lives on and on. To that I was amazed. So if gossip, which is repeating untruths, has that much affect on a person, think of how much more power there is in speaking truth?
Our words are powerful and have more of an effect on people than we realize.
Several years ago, when I was in elementary school, my father brought home a gift for me he had picked up at a convention. It wasn’t expensive or particularly pretty. It was a very simple gift but had an impact on my life like nothing else.
It was a small statue of the Peanut’s character, Peppermint Patty. And on the front of the statue it said “You are a rare gem.”
When he gave it to me, I proudly displayed it on my dresser where I would see it everyday. I could see everyday that my dad thought I was a rare gem. He never voiced those exact words to me, but that didn’t matter, he didn’t need to. As far as I was concerned there was a very special place in his heart for me and just for me with only my name on it because he thought I was a rare gem.
Those five words spoke to me every time I looked at that statue. They spoke goodness, kindness and value to me. I was worth something to someone who was equally as special to me.
You are surrounded by people you love and who love you, what kind of impact are you making on them? Are you speaking truth into their lives? Are you assuring them they are valuable and worth something to you? Are you letting them know they are one of a kind and were created with a special purpose?
There are people around you who you don’t particularly love but are simply friends, what kind of impact are you making on them? Are you repeating things you’ve heard about them? Or are you stopping the lies with truthful statements?
It’s so easy to listen to the negative and even easier to believe it. When you’ve heard how worthless you are for long enough you not only believe it, you start acting the part.
While we can live with the status quo and perpetuate the gossip and negativity, it takes effort and energy to raise the bar and be positive. It takes no concentration to slam someone but it takes clear vision to lift others up.
Speaking truth into others lives means we have to be intentional, direct and determined. Speaking lies requires nothing but a lazy mind and a reckless tongue.
What happens when we speak the truth into each others lives? We start believing in ourselves, we develop past our potential and the ripple effect around us can turn into a tidal wave affecting more than we may ever know.
Is it time to change your dance step? When you start dancing another direction the people around may start to stumble at first, but as they watch where you’re headed they will quickly follow and you’ll be amazed at the end result of taking one small step in a new direction.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Birthday MOM!

Yes, today is my mom's birthday, but we aren't going to mention any ages. Let's just say she says she feels like a college coed in her mind. She's got the spunk of a college coed too!

Last night after chores, I took a quick nap because we planned on watching the fireworks. So after I woke up, Sarah, Jake and my friend Sue all headed into town for the celebration. Of course we were early, it wasn't dark yet, so in finding something to do we decided to get ice cream. Two nights in a row we've enjoyed sundae's....but who's keeping track?

I didn't get to bed until 11 pm...now that's late for me! But it was worth it, the fireworks were beautiful....and to think the whole country celebrates my mom's birthday!

Today we will get chores done and head into town for the parade. Then after chores tonight I've got a brush pile that needs burning so we'll roast hotdogs and make smores....I can't wait!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Stormy evening

It was a stormy night last evening! The wind howled, the sky turned black and the heavens let loose a bucket full of rain on us. Well, you know, a bucket in heaven is a big bucket, don't you think?

Anyway, Bobby and JW were umping a game, Jake was playing on the other side of town at his game, Luke was baling hay and Sarah was clipping her calf when I finished up milking and headed into town to watch Jake. By the time I got there everyone was running for cover and it was all over. We then headed down to the other game where Bobby and JW were and believe it or not, they were waiting out the storm in the dugout thinking they might still get the game in. They gave up after about a hour of rain.

I stopped and got ice cream and we all had sundaes with homemade fudge sauce. I've never made hot fudge sauce before but I had a hankerin' for it and wanted to try it out. Boy was it good.

The satellite dish was out so Sarah, Jake and I played cards, Luke continued to sort his baseball cards, Bobby read the paper and JW daydreamed about what it would be like to ride his new motorcycle that he had just picked up...in the rain. Yes, continued prayer and even some fasting will be required for this teenager and his bike.

When I woke up this morning to the continued sound of rain my first thought was how glad I was that Jake and I got the eaves cleaned out!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Choices, choices, choices

Good Morning from a kind of sunny Knolltop!

JW and Luke came home yesterday. It's so strange having them drive to Grandmas together without me. I know Grandma loves having them there, although I think they eat her out of house and home, but she enjoys it. But I have to say I miss them when they're gone.

Jake, Sarah and I were just coming back from our mile walk with the show heifers and JW called to say they were going to stay another day. What? Stay? How did they get that authority all of a sudden? When I thought about it, there was really nothing they had to come back for, so it wasn't a big deal, it was just the fact that they were in charge instead of me. Wow. I guess I'd better get used to that!

But then as I was hoeing the garden they surprised me and came running down to let me know they were home. JW wanted to come home, he missed just being here. It was nice to see their big smiles again. Gee, what am I going to do when they leave for college? I'm in big trouble!

Today we will work with the the heifers and have the option of cleaning out the eaves on the house or start painting the back of the barn. I'm just not sure what I'm up for, so I guess I'll let the work crew decide.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Getting down to work!

Good Morning from a very sunny and kind of cool Knolltop!

I've got good news! The laundry is half done! I know that doesn't compare to winning the lotto or having a baby, but for me, it's very, very good news.

Yesterday I neglected to share with you one of the great things about coming home. Not only was it nice to sleep in my own bed, but when I walked in the door, instead of being greeted by a cluttered table, scattered mail and crumbs on the counter I was treated to a clean house! Jake and Luke worked hard all week to keep the house clean and the dishes washed. I was so proud of them.

If that wasn't enough, the part of the barn that I was supposed to paint before we left had a fresh coat of paint when we got home! And boy does it look good.

Yesterday Sarah and Jake got down to business with their heifers. Of course I had to supervise, they tend to cut corners when I'm not there to help out. We washed the calves, put them in a day pen and then Sarah got the clippers out and clipped Brandy after chores.

The boys ended up spending the night at my moms last night, so they will be home sometime today. You just can't beat spending the night at Grandmas!