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, December 16, 2010

Another Knolltop Blog

Good Morning from a cold Knolltop.  It was 5 out this morning....but NO WIND!  YEEHAW!

I just wanted to alert you to another Knolltop Blog that is now available for your reading pleasure.  My son JW has created a blog called Knolltop Farm Kid. I've listed it on the right of this page.

While I'm here, let me give a Christmas cards sent.....YET!  We will get the tree this weekend, I hope and then shopping next week.  Tonight the kids have their Christmas concert and tomorrow night Luke will have a basketball game. Sarah's birthday is Sunday and I've yet to get her present.  I know what it will be, just haven't gotten it yet. 

I hear the tractor so I'd better head out to bed the barn!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's Cold!

Good afternoon from a cold, windy Knolltop. 

Let me get this off my chest first; it's cold outside and I don't like it. I belong in the south. Actually, I think I was mis-born.  I should have been born in the south where you stay warm all the time and in the heat of the day you sit on the wrap around porch sipping iced tea or a Coke with the gentle breeze blowing, listening to the heat permeate the world around you feeling the humidity creep down your neck and trickle down your spine.

I know, that was way back before air conditioning.  Now everyone sits in the house and doesn't go out until late at night when it cools off.  Nonetheless, I think my parents were supposed to be living down in Dixie but defiantly they chose to live in Michigan instead and have sentenced me to a life of bone chilling winters!  How's that for blaming my parents for the weather?  HA!  Just joking mom!  Please don't send my Christmas slippers back!!!!!

Here on the Knolltop, we are busy getting the barn ready for winter.  All the dry cows and heifers are now tied in the comfort stalls to keep the barn warm.  We have a bunch of dry cows that are due over the next few months.  I like looking at the heifers in the barn, to watch them grow and develop, up close and personal.  Usually they are put out in the steer barn for the winter and I only see them when they come up to eat the leftover cow feed in the bunk.  But now they are inside where I can keep track of their growth!

We got our Christmas ham delivered yesterday.  Some friends from Oklahoma generously sent us a ham for Christmas!  Although Robert continually takes jabs at the Big 10 and the lack of a football power, I listen to the poor, misguided soul.  Hey, I figure when you're from Oklahoma, you need all the friends you can get! JOKE!  Please, don't stop sending my heavenly ham!

Okay, now that I've offended two people, I'd better get off this computer and finish putting getting supper ready!  Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Leah is gone but we have hope!

Driving through rush hour traffic in Chicago, on our way home from World Dairy Expo, my phone rang, it was my son. He was calling to tell me his girlfriend had just been in a car accident and it was bad. I comforted him as well as I could from 150 miles away and told him we were coming home as quick as we could. But the most important thing he needed to do was pray.

Much to my dismay, my son called back and told me she had died. It was a shock for all of us to absorb that this young, vibrant, freshman nursing student at U of M was gone. She had just posted on Facebook that she was going to the fair with JW. She was home for the weekend and was looking forward to hanging with her friends. She was on her way to pick up her best friend but would never arrive that afternoon.

When I finally arrived home that evening, I sat down with my son and we both cried. I felt like the mother of a young boy again, like I could fix it all, but this time there was nothing I could do. No words would make him feel better; no actions could bring her back. This was the final chapter on earth for Leah and we had to close the book and move on.

Sitting on the edge of his bed, JW and I prayed together. I kissed him, told him I loved him and when I got up to leave I heard him crying quietly. At that moment, I realized nothing will ever prepare a mother to hear her 19 year old son quietly sobbing in pain. Nothing.

Sitting in the silence of my room, I began to sob as well. Why did we have to face days like this? Why do we have to hurt so much? Where did I sign my name to having my heart yanked out of my chest from a child’s pain?

The next few days were filled with waves of grief. Laughing about a situation one minute led to silent staring and a teary eyed glance the next. Each of my kids cried at different times and for different reasons. Unbelief was still staring us in the face as each night Leah didn’t show up at the door with her laptop and book bag ready to do homework.

Questions were asked, thoughts were pondered, stories were told and prayers were prayed.

In the high school gym, where three months earlier she had graduated as the salutatorian, we were sitting in the third row on the right staring at the flowers surrounding her casket. Poems were read, songs were sung and a message was preached. Having been through this before, I was prepared for the sentiments that washed over me and handled them with dry eyes. But when I looked to my left and saw my 17 year old with his jaw clenched and tears running down his face and then watched my 13 and 15 year old wiping their wet cheeks I began to stretch out my arms like a mother hen with her chicks offering a warm, comforting touch.

As I rubbed and patted and offered tissues, I listened to the sniffling teenagers behind me and wondered how I could offer them comfort as well. Then I looked into the bleachers and saw the hundreds of young, sorrowful faces and their pain was overwhelming to this mom.

When the service was over and we walked down the hallways of the school, lined with crying teenagers with seemingly no hope at all. I wanted to reach out to each one and tell them it was going to be okay. I wanted to let them know they could see Leah again, if they had a relationship with Jesus.

Honestly, I wanted to bring them all home, give them a cup of hot chocolate, some cookies and kiss and hug each one of them. But I couldn’t.

While I am assured hope springs eternal, some of these kids aren’t so sure. You see, without God there is no future with their fallen friend. But those who know Jesus have the promise that Leah is a much bigger part of their future than she ever was in their past. And that is our comfort today and the days to come.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Good Sunday Afternoon!

It's a typical fall Sunday afternoon on the knolltop.  A little cloudy, a little cool and quite lazy!

Normally at this time we would be loaded up and headed into the Hillsdale County Fair for a week of fun, but this year, instead we are going to World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin.  We've been planning this trip for a year now and to say I'm excited is an understatement.  I have not been to expo since I was pregnant for Sarah! JW was 4 years old and Luke was 2. I can't imagine what I enjoyed about having two toddlers to keep clean and out of everyone's way at such a show in addition to having a big belly and an appetite to match.  Let's just say the cream puffs were my mainstay!

But now Sarah is 14 and Jake is 13 and JW and Luke are old enough to stay home and milk cows!!!! Life just keeps getting better and better!

Right now, JW is in Madison getting ready to participate in the judging contest tomorrow morning.  They left on Friday and will be back sometime on Tuesday.  Then we will leave Wednesday morning....really.....really.....really early!

Now for a football update: Luke's team is still undefeated!  They beat Colon last Friday night which was a big win for them.  And the Friday before was Homecoming and they beat Lenawee Christian!  Luke was on the Homecoming court with his girlfriend Jessie and I took lots of pictures.  Since I have a couple of minutes before I head out to the barn which is in two minutes, I will post a few pics.

Jessie Lynch riding in her Corvette!

Luke was waiting on the other side of the field to get her out of the car. Cute, cute cute!

 This is my personal favorite of them!  Love it!!!!

 Then he helps her back in her ride.  I've got some others to post but now I'm late for the barn!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

It must be the mohawks!

It must be the mohawks that are doing the trick!  Good morning from a cool morning here on the Knolltop!

Last night Luke's team won their third consecutive football game!  Not only did they win, but Luke and his buddy, Dewey both scored touchdowns! In addition, the game was on the radio and so their names were announced over the radio waves! Dewey ran the ball while Luke caught a pass and ran it in for the score.

So I asked myself the question, why are they doing so well?  Is there extreme athleticism?  Is it because they are savvy football players?  Is it because they practice hard and have a great team this year?


Although all of those are great thoughts, I'm giving full credit for their football prowess to their stylish haircuts

--the Mohawks!

A couple of weeks ago, our good friend and hair stylist, Sue, came over to walk and brought her trusty scissors with her and ended up giving Luke and Dewey a mohawk.  Now some folks don't think these haircuts are all that cute, but I have to say, the look has grown on me.  Actually, Luke is so cute in my book that I really don't care what kind of haircut he has!

So as they venture onto homecoming next week and have to play Lenawee Christian, I wish them good luck because I don't think it will be the shut out it was against Camden and Battle Creek St. Phil.

Luke and his girlfriend Jessie are also the Junior reps for Homecoming so we will have that wonderful halftime activity and of course the dance.  This morning we are headed to pick out the tux!

But first it's time for cleaning!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Baseball Showcase!

Good Monday morning from the Knolltop. It's cool and a little overcast but oh so nice!

Yesterday I said I would be back with more about Luke's baseball showcase, but it's today now. 

In July, Luke received a letter inviting him to a recruitment baseball came by IPFW. Indiana-Purdue Ft. Wayne University...or something like that.  He was excited and so was everyone else.  Because it was an all day thing, I was the lucky one who got to take him to Indiana!!!!

We arrived and signed in and he went on the field with about 100 other baseball players while all the parents sat around the field and watched.  It was fun to just sit and enjoy the day but honestly, it was like watching a glorified baseball practice. I sat in the sun and got toasted to a crisp.  It was 90 without a cloud in the sky and a slight breeze.  As hot as it was, I so enjoyed being able to just sit and focus entirely on my boy.  I watched him run bases, hit, catch a bunch of pitchers in the bull pen and then at lunch we walked to an auditorium to listen to the IPFW coaches talk about recruitment. 

We learned a bunch to say the least!  And while Luke is only a junior, we learned that this is the most important year of baseball if he wants to go on and play in college.

Of course I met a few friends while I was sitting around.  One mom from Taylor, Michigan was telling me about her son's summer of playing 63 games of ball and the coveted letter from the Atlanta Braves asking him to come show off his stuff!  That was so exciting I was elated for the mom and I don't even know her name!

I also met another mom who hails from my home county.  We laughed at the fact that we all drove to Indiana only to meet someone who knows exactly where you live 3 hours away!  I met a dad who had been married 3 times and who's son is a superstar and a proud grandfather who was surprised that this 45 year old woman would be able to talk antique tractors with him.

It was a great day with Luke and gave us a glimpse into what his future could hold...but only if he works hard to exploit his God-given talent!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Good Sunday Morning!

It's a beautiful Sunday morning here on the Knolltop. Since we were too late for the early service, I've got extra time before the late service so I figured I would update this blog.  I'm so neglectful of it.

The past couple of weeks has been fun.  Not only are the kids in full swing with football and volleyball practices and even a football scrimmage last Friday evening....JW had a singing contest and Luke went to Indiana for a recruitment camp.

First, JW--he decided to enter a Kareoke contest at the Jackson County Fair.  We left chores for Sarah and Luke and we headed north to Jackson.  After witnessing two people in a brawl and the arrest of another guy while walking into the fairgrounds, I knew this was going to be a fun night in the city!  I took a picture of the guy getting slammed up against a building with the cops cuffing him and this guy walking by just laughed at me.  I remarked, "This just doesn't happen back home!"

Then we went and listened to the contest, which was interesting to say the least.  Of course JW was the most handsome contestant...and I'm not saying that cause I'm his mom!  He really was....ask his girlfriend!

He did a great job!  But he didn't win.  I'm not sure what their criteria was on selecting the winner, but I can tell you it had nothing to do with singing ability or voice quality.  Enough said.

Ok, now I have to change and get ready for church, so I will leave you with a couple of baseball pics and then come back and tell you about them!

Monday, July 19, 2010

It's a NASCAR world!

Good Monday Morning from a sunny, warm Knolltop!

It's Dairy Days this week and while we have no cattle going up, the kids will still participate in the contests.  Today is quiz bowl, so Luke, Sarah and Jake will go up for that while JW will be working for Koebels all week. 

Yes, JW is back in our midst, if only for a matter of hours before he leaves again.  I've been following him around like a puppy since he got home asking all about is NASCAR adventures.  We have laughed so much, mostly because of his story telling, he's very good at it, but his view of NASCAR compared to so many others.

JW works for Competition Tire and they will go to a NASCAR race and mount and balance all the tires used by all the race cars.  Some of these cars will go through 15 sets of practice tires and then 20 sets for the actual race.  That is  an amazing number of tires if you ask me, especially at $500 per tire! 

Anyway, JW and the crew work down in the pits doing their tire thing right next to all the racing teams.  Normally this would impress a kid who loves fast moving anything on wheels but apparently we didn't bring the boy up right, he is just not as impressed with the whole racing thing.  At least he's not as impressed as the crazy NASCAR fans. He just likes to do his job and leave and could care less about the race. 

But it's his rendition of the fans who see them at Taco Bell or Subway who spot them in their Goodyear uniforms and mistake them for a pit crew.  The NASCAR fanatics start giving them the thumbs up and yelling, "Yeah, Good Year, you part of the pit crew????"  And when they say no and explain they are just the ones who mount and balance Jr's,  Jimmy Stewart and Jeff Gordon's tires, they are even more impressed and then they start pointing at their vehicles and say, "Hey, we have Good Year tires! Yeah, we love Good Year!"

JW returns a smile and the thumbs up and walks away shaking his head.  He said he has never seen so many shirtless, big bellied men yelling, "Whoo! NASCAR! YEAH!" in his life. 

It's another part of this world I have never been exposed to, even though we live just 30 minutes away from Michigan International Speedway. Although I have no desire to put on my tank top and grab a Bud Lite, I have enjoyed learning about this world through JW.

This week he will go back into the cow world and enjoy working with great cattle in East Lansing.

And now, I've got laundry to do, blueberries to fetch and a zillion other things that are patiently waiting for me!

Friday, July 16, 2010

It's Friday!

It's a beautiful morning here on the Knolltop.  A very hot day is in store for our neck of the woods!

Sarah and I will head to go pick blueberries before it gets too hot and then I'm just not sure what we will do.

Last evening, in the heat and humidity, Sarah had a volleyball workout and Luke went and played basketball.  When they got home, Luke's shirt was soaked!  I asked him if that was all sweat and he assured me it was and then said, "That's what happens when you want to win every get sweaty."

Today he's off again to bale more straw and then will take his Farmall M to a tractor show a few miles south of here.  JW is in St. Louis at a NASCAR race.  He is mounting and balancing tires for Comp Tire.  They provide all the tires for the racing teams and he gets to go to the races and do his tire thing.  Last weekend he was in Chicago for a race and the highlight of the weekend was that Danica Patrick (sp?) said "Hi" to him.  He was all smiles.

Now I'll leave you with a few baseball pictures that I neglected to post this spring!

The outfielders pounding for good luck.

Luke dumping the gravel out of his newly painted catchers helmet.
JW warming a pitcher up, he got to play catcher for a couple of games.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

July? Already?

Yep, it's July, already and I can't believe how I have neglected this blog the way I have. This is ridicules!!!!

Let's just not worry about how longs it's been but just move forward. 

It's a beautifully, hot day here on the Knolltop! After walking this morning I was going to pick blueberries at Jennifer Lewis' place but decided to take the kids swimming instead.  It's just too hot to do anything else.  Now I've decided to update this blog!  For those of you who may not know, Sarah, Jake and I went to Montana with my parents for my nephew's wedding.  Here is a story about how it went. 

It was a 1600 mile drive, the longest drive I had ever made to sing at a wedding. But then again, this was no ordinary wedding.

After encountering heavy rain, downed power lines, detours through back roads, wrong turns in the mountains of Wyoming, 20 miles of gravel road in the middle of a destitute Indian Reservation, a western store where the sales lady tried to sell me a $100 shirt and one of the best Italian restaurants I’ve ever enjoyed, my parents and two younger children made it to Joliet, Montana where my oldest nephew would say his nuptials under Big Sky Country….literally.

I missed the memo saying the ceremony would take place in a branding lot where we would be tripping over rocks and stepping over dried cow pies. I was in a panic when I realized my pink silk dress and heels might not work too well in amongst the sage brush but I soon found this would be the least of my worries.

After greeting the family and seeing how tall everyone had gotten, I asked my sister what time the rehearsal started. She replied, “Fifteen minutes ago.”

My thoughts began to run wild….What? We’re late? I’m a part of this wedding and I’m late! How rude! The bride will never forgive me! She’s got enough on her mind without worrying about the vocalist being late! What a great first impression I’m making on my niece-to-be! Get on it sister! Let’s Go!

Seeing the wedding spot across the hills, it was only about a mile or so as the crow flies. Unfortunately we had to take the long way around and that was a 15 minute drive down winding, hilly, gravel roads dodging grazing cows.

Thinking I would meet an anxious bride, tapping her toe, looking at her watch, we arrived only to find the bride and groom laughing and joking and absolutely nothing happening. There was also the absence of a sound system and only a few chairs set up. What was happening?

They walked through the rehearsal and I asked the bride if there was any way I could do a sound check the next morning when they set up the sound system. She assured me it would be set up by 10 am and available for use.

The next morning came and no word from anyone about any sound check. I waited and wondered most of the day. By now it was wedding time, I pulled on my silk dress, slipped into my heels and headed for the hills. Arriving an hour before the ceremony I felt confident this would be plenty of time to work out the kinks. But it was when I saw the absence of a sound system…again…that I really began to wonder about this western way of life. Didn’t they have watches? Do they know what time it is? Do they just round off to the nearest hour and go from there?

Trying not to be the bossy Aunt from Michigan, I smiled faintly while the groomsmen joked around and slowly…ever so slowly put together the sound system. But it was when guests began arriving and they we were still saying…..”…three…testing….” that I said enough was enough. I stood up, took charge and began giving orders like a drill sergeant. You get the sound system running, you three go get your wedding clothes on, you go get the cord we need for the iPod and do it quickly!

With young men scattering in different directions, I felt a sudden rush of control and the feeling that all was right with the world again. Within minutes the ceremony began and the entire event was beautiful and quite memorable with the big sky and mountains in the backdrop.

Sitting in the second row watching my nephew and his bride look into each other’s eyes and proclaim their love for one another, all of a sudden, sound checks, cow patties, silk dresses and sage brush paled in comparison to a blushing bride and her handsome groom in his wranglers and cowboy hat. Bending her over in his strong arms for the wedding kiss was the icing on the cake on this beautiful day in a branding lot turned wedding chapel under the big Montana sky.

It was a great time!  Next: updating the pictures!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

JW's Graduation: Part I

Good Morning from a sunny, cool and beautiful Knolltop!

With JW"s open house over, it is now time to get back to "regular" life.  I have no idea what that is, but I do know it includes not worrying about the lawn, flowers, weeds, food, paper plates, a tent and a guest list.

JW's graduation came and went in a flash.  The day seem to just fly by.  It was the days of preparation before hand that seemed to be very, very slow, especially for the other three children who had to slave away for their big brother's open house while he just sat around, or so they say.  Never mind the days they were in school and I had him removing the swing set, taking trash out, running countless errands and sending out last minute invitations(with the wrong addresses, I might add.)

Here is one of the slaves painting the fence and posing.  Yup, we got the fence all time.
And here is another slave and his girlfriend slave.  They scraped a lot, in that one spot.  But they were left out of the painting detail....poor things. (My boys enjoy posing.)
And here is a happy slave.  See how much enjoyment she is getting out of serving her older brother?  Boy I have done a super job of raising such willing servants.  I ask you, does this look like a picture of an unhappy sister?
And they did it all for their big brother, JW.
More on the prep for the open house later!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Beautiful Game Day!

Good afternoon from the Knolltop!  It's cool, a bit windy but not a cloud, well, maybe a couple of clouds in the sky! I just got back from walking outside, yes normally I walk on the treadmill, but today, I ventured out while Sadie was sleeping.  I have to sneak out like a mom with an anxious baby.  Sadie loves to go with me but she is getting so old, blind and deaf, she doesn't hear cars coming and of course she doesn't hear me calling her.  Yes, I know what you're thinking....put a leash on the dog gone dog!  Good idea....but it's easier to sneak out.

The boys have a game today at home. I will take my trusty camera and get some pictures.  It occurred to me I have no baseball pictures and I will need some for JW's open house.  Oh my heaven's I said the O.H. words! Every time I speak or hear those words I start to cringe!  I'm not organized enough to have a full fledged open house...doggone it I said it again (cringe, cringe, cringe)

I'm getting this thing planned and progressing along and I feel pretty 'ok' about it.  Just as long as I stay away from other mothers who are more organized and I don't have to listen to how they have the tent ordered the food is finalized, the picture collage is done, the ice sculpture is in the freezer along with all the home made cookies, cakes, pies, pastries and every other delectable thing you could see at an open house.  Come on people....this isn't a wedding reception!!!!!! (deep breath, phew...almost had a full blown panic attack!)

Nope, we aren't doing all that food, people can have their main course at the other 20 open houses, they will have to suffer through ice cream sundaes at JW's party.  Yep, that's what we're serving, ice cream with all the toppings, root beer floats and brownies! What else would you expect from a dairy farm????? I think I'll order some of those M&M's with JW's name on them...those sound so fun!

Okay, now it's time to make subs for half the baseball team.  Every time I take the subs into the boys, they tell me, "Oh mom, Tommy wants a sub next time!"  Oh, okay, just call me "Subway!"  JW, Luke, Jake, Dewey, Dave and Logan today.....I wonder who we will add next week?

Gotta go!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Time to Catch-Up!

Good Morning from a sunny, going to be a beautiful day on the Knolltop! 

Taking me a long time to get something gathered up for my Dairy Agenda Today blog, I finally got around to what I wanted to post, something that wasn't too personal, too mother-ish, too condescending, too preachy, just something that everyone would want to read about(it took copious amounts of graham crackers dipped in melted chocolate) and I finally thought I would just put up a bunch of pictures and then the site went down so now I can't post there so I'll post here instead!  This blog has become such a step-child!  Isn't that awful! 

Anyway, Luke and JW have a game today at Jackson Christian.  Sarah had a tournament last weekend and they did rather well.  They were first in the Silver division.  Today I have to bed the barn before I head to town and get some lunchmeat for subs for the boys before they go to their game.  Then I've got to vote for the schoolboard, which is a joke...not going there!  And then I've got Bible study then back for dinner before the game.  Why am I still sitting here?????

Here are a couple of pictures for you.

Now this is for Bobby's birthday, unfortunately he doesn't look too thrilled, but I promise you, he was....I just didn't capture the right smile.  Sarah made and decorated the cake for him and he had a great birthday getting all kinds of tools for his big day!

This picture of me a Luke is notable because of what we were hiding.  We were at my Aunt Sande's house helping her pack her stuff to move and we had to take a lunch break.  Grandma brought a wonderful picnic lunch that included Oreo cookies!!!! We were busy munching on the chocolate goodies when Sarah picked up the camera and started taking pictures of us. 
We both had a mouth full of Oreos and cookie crumbs in the corners of our mouths so we had to take a moment to wipe those off and then pose for the real picture.

I love my family!!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Good to go!

It's a beautiful morning here on the Knolltop!  And I've got some good news.

For those who hadn't heard, I'll start at the beginning.  During basketball season, Luke took a hard fall and hurt his knee.  Like I always do when the kids complain, I just say, hmmmm....keep an eye on it, and usually it goes away.  But this time Luke kept telling me his knee hurt and it wasn't until he told JW that he couldn't go "catch" him early one morning because it killed him to squat, that I stood up and took action. 

I made an appointment with the doctor, we were sent to the Orthopedic surgeon and after X-rays and an MRI, we sat and waited for Dr. Anderson to come in and tell us the news.  I was prepared for the worst but Luke and his father weren't.  You see, his first game of the season was that afternoon at 4 pm and Luke thought he would suit up and squat behind that plate, frame those pitches and be just fine.  But when Dr. Anderson said, no baseball, put this brace on and keep it on for 4-6 weeks, the real pain and anguish of sitting out for a season of his absolute favorite sport was written all over his face.  I wanted to jump up and hug him as his face got red and his eyes began to water.  But I remained in my seat and prayed instead.

That was a very dark day for this 17 year old.  But God was just beginning His work.  As I shared this news with my small group and asked them to pray, those warriors went boldly to the throne of God on Luke's behalf and quietly they remained steadfast in their prayers for the next three weeks. 

As the season started, JW was also disappointed that he younger brother wouldn't be catching him.  Instead he would be taking over the catching duties for the other pitchers during practice and even donned the catchers gear for a game or two.  JW garnered a deep respect for those catchers and the work they do while Luke garnered a deeper respect for the ability just to play the game.  He stood on the sidelines and cheered on his team.  And when they came in from the huddle, I watched his stiff legged kid pat his teammates on the back and pick them up when they were down...waiting and wondering when or if he would get in the game.

Yesterday we went to the doctor again for a check up.  Luke climbed in the back seat of the truck with his baseball gear that had been gathering dust for the last three weeks.  There was a game that afternoon and Luke was sure he would be dressing for it while I had again, prepared myself to hear that he would be in that brace for another three weeks.  I tried to warn Luke that he might not hear good news, but my warning fell on deaf ears.

We entered the exam room and Dr. Anderson came in shortly after we arrived.  He took the brace off and examined Luke.  Bending his leg, pressing on his kneecap, asking if anything hurt.  Before, Luke would whince in pain, now nothing hurt.  The doctor kept asking, "Does this hurt? Does this hurt? What about this?" And Luke's answer was always 'No.'  I watched his face carefully for any indications of pain, there were none.

Then the doctor said what Luke wanted to hear and what I wasn't prepared for, "You're good to go!"  I asked, "So if he wanted to play this afternoon in his baseball game, he could?"  And he said yes.  I kept giving him scenarios and he kept reassuring me that as long as Luke began slow and did certain exercises, he would be fine... he was healed!

Luke walked out on cloud nine and was all smiles.  As we dropped him off at school and I walked him into the office to give them the doctor's note, I told Luke, "You know this is God's answer to prayer, don't you? There have been a lot of people praying for you the last three weeks, especially all those ladies at my Bible study and God did this for you.  He's given you the desire of your heart."

A small grin came over Luke's face and he said quietly, "Yeah, I know."

Because of this injury, Luke's desire to play baseball is stronger than ever.  This morning I came in from milking and he had already been up, run four miles and was showered and ready for school.  It's amazing how God appears front and center when we encounter a setback.  He's always there, ready and waiting for us to come and ask for help....and then he provides it....the perfect kind of help we need!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Prom Time!

Last Saturday evening, JW took off in my dad's truck and picked up Leah for the prom.  JW is not a conventional prom goer.  He picked out his own tux, no help from no one, he didn't want to eat with all the other people, (they went to her prom, a different school,) he wanted to eat alone. And they didn't spend big bucks at a fancy restaurant, instead they went to Culvers.  Yes, that's right, the home of the butter burger.  I didn't not teach him to be so unconventional, he got it all from his father. 

So when I went to Leah's home to take pictures of the prom couple, he was goofing off and making faces and she was trying to get him to behave.  I was standing a little ways away, but with my zoom lens, I was able to capture the moment.  You know, when he was putting up the peace sign and then she was asking him, gently to put it down and then had to take his hand and push it down. 

But of course, that didn't stop the strong-willed JW.  He snuck his peace sign in, unbeknownst to Leah.  He's 18 but reminds me of when he was 3!
Posted by PicasaAnd then I finally got some nice pictures.  They had a great time proming it up! Leah said she it was the best prom night ever.  She is a sweetie to say the least!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spring Break Week

It's warm but cloudy here on the Knolltop!  We keep having a shower here and a shower there.  Good Morning!

Jake hanging on the rim in the sunset....this has nothing to do with the post, just wanted to add a picture!

When I came in from the barn this morning I came in the south door and I walked past the magnolia tree and smelled the sweetest fragrance!  After a long, cold winter that is such a welcome sign of spring.

It's spring break around here so I've been trying to keep the kids busy with jobs.  I just sent Jake and his buddy out to put down some mulch while Sarah is folding laundry.  She twisted her ankle last night at volleyball practice and so she's hobbling around.  She can still do dishes and fold clothes, so it's all good!  Does that sound like a compassionate mom or what? NOT! 

Seriously, I do hope she gets better, we are going to the New York Spring Carrousel in Syracuse to cover the dairy show for Dairy Agenda Today and I would hate to have her hobbling around there.  Sarah is the only one who has never been to a major dairy show, so I think this will be a lot of fun for her.

Well, lots more to do, so I'd better get back to it!  I haven't even blogged on my Dairy Agenda Today blog yet!

Monday, April 5, 2010

It's time to get back to it

When my mother in law said, "Have you just quit blogging?" I realized how awful I had been about posting on this blog and keeping all my family happenings to myself.  So, with recent birthdays and Easter, I thought I had better get back to this and hopefully I can hang with it.

It's spring break on the Knolltop and the weather got the memo! We've had temps of 70 today, a little breeze and lots of sun! I love it. 

The forsythia is blooming and you can see the boys playing basketball through the bush.

The crocuses are beautiful even with the ladybugs crawling in them.

And the magnolia tree is blooming!  I love Spring!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

I'm back!

Yep, it's the slacker from the Knolltop! I'm on a sunny, warmer Knolltop!!!

I'm not going to bother with what's happened in the last month, pretty much business as usual...but I do have a blessing today. A gal from my small group from church came out today and is doing my housework! How blessed am I?????????????

Sheri Bean showed up while I was bedding the barn and started in helping out there and then we came to the house and she hasn't stopped yet! Oh my heavens is this wonderful or what????

So I'm working away in my office while she whistles away in my dining room dusting stuff in my jelly cupboard that hasn't been dusted since I moved it in 8 years ago!

Okay, now for a basketball update. Luke will play districts Wednesday night and I hope they win, although they haven't been too successful this year.

And while at our favorite ice cream place, the Udder Side, the owner mentioned my blog....I had no idea he read this I'm hoping if I mention it again, that wonderful place to get the best ice cream creations called "Creamations" he might give me a discount????? HA!

Back to work!

Friday, February 12, 2010

JW is at it again with marketing goodies for his Senior Trip.
And this is what he left on my stove after his entrepreneurial chocolate fest!

Monday he bought the molds and chocolate and made some samples to take to school. Tuesday he took his pretty packages of goodies and handed them out, took the orders and sold $96 worth of chocolates!
With the pretty boxes and bags his Nana sent up from Georgia, he melted his chocolate, put them in molds, stuck them in the freezer, tapped them out of the molds and put them in some fancy boxes and bags.

This morning he took a laundry basket full of bags and boxes to deliver at school. I'm amazed at how a little packaging can take ordinary chocolate...and I mean ORDINARY...we're not talking Dove or Cadbury....ORDINARY chocolate and make it into something people will buy. Just amazing!
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Monday, January 25, 2010

Homecoming 2010!

Pictures from Friday night at Homecoming. Luke played well, he was high scorer again, I'm so proud of him! I just happened to have my camera with me, so I took a few snap shots of a double bonus. One was that Luke was playing and the other was that JW was singing in the Jazz band!

What a wonderful night we had enjoying watching our kids. I'm sorry if I sound like I'm bragging, but they are pretty much the center of our world right now, so they get top billing!

The game didn't turn out like we wanted, they lost by a point. After the game, the jazz band played for the first set of music for the dance, so we stayed and watched that. I discovered that kids haven't changed much over the years. They bascially pay $5.00 to get into a gym where loud music is playing so they can mingle with their friends. I think I could make a lot of money if I turned up my radio and invited them to my house to hang out and talk. And then I could sell them pizza by the slice and make even more. I think I've been missing the boat.

We only have one game this week and on Saturday Jake has his first official game while the boys head to Ft Wayne to a baseball camp where four major league scouts will be looking at the prospects. JW and Luke know they will not be looked at very seriously, but when they get done, they can say they tried out for a major league scouts! They are really looking forward to it!

My dryer continues to work nicely while my washer still needs some adjustment, but I am still able to wash clothes so the kids don't go around with a cloud of dirt and dust looking like "Pig Pen" on Peanuts. Although with as much cologne as Jake has been spraying on, he will never smell bad again. I had some Mary Kay Men's cologne and Jake discovered it while he was looking for acne medicine after one of his classmates (a girl) discovered a lone pimple on his face. She told him he needed some acne medicine. She even made him write it down on a piece of paper. He pulled the little wadded up piece of scrap paper out of his pocket and showed me. I showed him what he could use and while showing him, he found the men's cologne and proceeded to douse himself with it. Yesterday afternoon JW and I were sitting on the loveseat watching Sarah Plain and Tall and all of a sudden we got a big wiff of his cologne. I guess he thinks he needs to re-apply it every so often throughout the day.

Anyway, Jake is smelling pretty good these days.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New Dryer

It's a mild, cloudy morning on the Knolltop! Good morning!

Another game tonight, we will head to Camden for the big radio game....yep, it will be on the radio.

I've run out of time...have to go bed the barn.. oh yeah... God answered our prayers on my brother found one on Craig's list for me, my mom called and told me about it, my dad sent the money down for it and now I have a new(used) dryer AND washer, that needs a minor repair...but we're getting it fixed. God is so good! THanks for prayer!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Art of Tieing

Good Morning from a much milder Knolltop! It's 35 out this morning! It smells like spring and definitely gives me a spring in my step today.
Yesterday Luke had a game in Bellevue and the team decided to dress up. Jake being the manager decided to dress up as well....he loves to copy his big brother. So I thought I would capture the boys in ties, who knows how long this urge to look nice will last.

I have to hand it to Luke, he is good at tieing a tie. He's quick and smooth. Jake hasn't mastered it yet and he came to me the night before asking if I would tie his tie. I looked at him and said, "I can't tie a tie, you'll have to ask Daddy or one of the boys." They were busy so a disgruntled Jake sat and tried to master the art of tieing a tie. Watching him in frustration, Sarah piped up and said, "Jake, give it to me, I'll do it." When she got done I asked how she knew how to tie a tie? She said she learned it from watching her big brothers do it over and over again. And then she reminded me that it wasn't that hard of a thing to master. Of course I disagree.

Luke started again last night and had quite a few points and they almost beat Bellevue but fell short. What a bummer.

Now I've got to make a few phone calls and write another column!

Okay, as I did spell check it highlighted "tieing" and it doesn't have an alternative spelling for it, isn't that a word? Am I making it up? OH my heaven's some one please come to my rescue!
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Thursday, January 14, 2010

It's Balmy Out!

Good Morning from a much warmer Knolltop. It's sunny and the temps are climbing, this mild weather is a welcome reprieve from the subzero wind chills in recent days.

We travelled to Tekonsha the other night for Luke's game and he got to start again! I realize that's not a big deal to some, but for this mom, it's big. I love watching my kids excel, what mom doesn't? He also scored 13 pts...but they lost. Afterward we met Doug and Angie Myers for coffee and McDonalds, it was fun to catch up with them and laugh a little.

Tonight we will head to Bellevue for his game. JW and Sarah will finish up chores for us. They are so good to help us out like that, we are so blessed to have kids who are willing to give their time and energy for us and their siblings.

Okay, now I have a prayer request: I need a new dryer. My old one died. So, please put that on your prayer list and we will see how God decides to provide! I can't wait to see what He has in store!

Now I have a column to write.....later!

Monday, January 11, 2010

It's Cold Out!

Good Monday Morning from a cold Knolltop! We had a slight dusting of snow over night but nothing major. It's 16 with a slight breeze...but nothing frozen in the barn! And I hear we are in for a heatwave later this week....our January thaw, perhaps?

Over the weekend, Sarah and I attended our county DHIA awards banquet. We garnered some pretty good door prizes..which is one of the things that keeps me going, other than I have to go to report on the event! Sarah picked out some lip gloss, shower gel and a water bottle. Yes, we had three chances at a door prize because a very generous Mark Adam gave us his number.....he always does....and that's why I sit by him! No, not really, I love to catch up on what the world traveler is doing and of course we do a little gossiping along the way...nothing major, just who changed jobs, who's working for who and who got married, etc. and a few other observations along the way.

Well, now it's time to head back out into the cold and bed the cows!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snow, snow and more snow

Good afternoon from a snowy Knolltop! It snowed at least 5 inches since yesterday! The kids went to bed thinking there would be no school today but a 7 am, I delivered the unwelcomed news hearing groans of "NO!!!" right back at me.

The snow has quit now and it's a pretty sunny winter day. Apparently we are in for some cold weather this weekend, stuff the plains states have been dealing with all week.

A buddy from Oklahoma, Robert Yeoman likes to send me his daily weather report. His weather sounds like Michigan. Yesterday morning he had 11 degrees and 30 mph wind. Yesterday afternoon he texted 25, sunny and still. I had visions of Oklahoma being warm and sunny this time of year, guess my visions were only dreams!

Our Hillsdale County DHIA banquet is this weekend, that's always a nice dinner out with friends from around the county. And great door prizes. Honestly, it's the unending ice cream sundae bar and door prizes that keep me coming back every year!

Timer's going granola is done!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Warming trend

Good Morning from a balmy Knolltop. It's 28 out this morning! I took my sock hat off in the barn, I was so warm! And i know when I go back out to bed, I will be sweating! This is good, very good because I think we are in for a cold snap this weekend!

Last night the kids did chores so Bobby could go with me to a meeting in Lansing. This was actually my meeting but I knew I wouldn't be able to stay awake on the way home, so I asked if he would go and much to my surprise he said yes! It was a Purebred Dairy Cattle Association meeting, so he just took the Agriview with him and read it while we discussed the matters at hand.

It was a very profitable meeting, they fed us pizza and then I brought home some of the leftovers! Guess what we're having for dinner tonight?

Better get out to the barn...I'm a little late....

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Typical Winter Day

Good Morning from a warmer Knolltop. It was 20 this morning when we walked across the road to milk the cows. Sooooo much better than single digits!

Luke called me at 6 am to make sure Jake and Sarah would have a ride to school if he went in with JW to pitch. Well, actually JW pitches and Luke catches. I was amazed that this 16 year old would care enough to call me to make sure he didn't have to come home and get

Jake had to take his oven into school today. He came home yesterday and informed me he had to make an oven out of a box, foil and a light bulb. An hour later he was bringing a warmed up piece of pizza to me that he had warmed in his new oven. It worked and he was beaming! The old Easy Bake Oven has nothin' on ol Jake!

The fire is warm, the coffee is hot, the weather is snowy, it's a good day to stay inside and enjoy the warmth!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Back to the routine!

Good Morning from a snowy knolltop! It's been cold, but it was 18 this morning, no wind and no frozen anything in the barn!!!! Let's celebrate!

With the holidays over, it's time to get back into a routine. The kids weren't exactly excited about going back to school.

No more time for pond hockey. I think the played it almost every day over break. Anytime they could get a group together to make two teams, they were on that ice. They even had a couple of boys come down from Jackson! They were a dedicated group!

This morning when I woke to post the news on Dairy Agenda Today, I looked out and saw a rabbit sitting outside the bathroom window. Why would any creature want to be out in the wee hours of the morning in the middle of winter?

Well, I've had my second cup of coffee, better put my tundra togs back on and head out to bed the cows!