I have been a mom for 16 years.
I can't believe it myself.
This past year Isaac has grown from a boy into an almost man. He has matured and changed so much. It has been so much fun to watch.
Last year I asked this slightly annoyed teenage some questions....let's see if this year is any different.
Today my baby is officially a teenager.
Last year I asked Walker a few questions on his birthday and I loved the answers so much, I decided to do it again this year.
With this kid...some things will never change...
And when you least expect it...he throws you a curve ball.
Summer is under way and there is a whole new set of activities awaiting us. There are summer sports, 4-H meetings, summer camp, jackpot shows, Bible school, holiday parades and activities, county fairs, etc.
Most of these activities would not be possible if it wasn't for the unsung hero...
The all-important volunteer.
The person who gives up their time, their vacation days, and many times, money from their own pocket, just so we can show up and have fun.
All that you do
This quote is hanging on our wall and it is one I am always reminding the boys of.
We all often get run down and tired and just want to get it over with, but kids tend to wear down faster and have more difficulty seeing the finish line.
The final event of every B.E.S.T. season is the awards banquet.
The banquet is a fun time for everyone to get together, enjoy a good meal, and actually look and smell decent.
To be honest...we don't recognize half the people when they are all cleaned up.
This is a picture of all the B.E.S.T. participants that attended the banquet.
That is a lot of kids...and a lot of the kids weren't there this weekend.
This is the Knox County crew.
I know...we are in Morrow County...but sometimes they put us in with the Knox County crew because we show at the Knox County Fair.
We just go with the flow...
The main event of the evening is the award recognitions.
Not everyone that attends the banquet is eligible for an award.
However, they give away tons of door prizes and all participants that are present at the banquet are entered into a drawing for a one year lease of an Eby trailer.
Those that attended all 15 B.E.S.T. shows this season were presented with a show pass good for a free entry at one of next year's shows.
Isaac received a belt buckle for accumulating the most points for the season in the Miniature division.
Each show, they are given a certain number of points for how they placed in the ring. These points accumulate throughout the season and the top 2 points winners are awarded a belt buckle.
We knew going into the weekend what awards the boys would receive...except for one.
Each year they have a photography contest. You can enter a picture in three different categories and then they are judged by each age division. They also have an adult division that parents can participate in. A first, second, and third place winner are selected from each age division.
The photography winners are presented with a canvas print of their winning picture.
As soon as we walked in, Walker's eyes turned to the photography awards.
There in the back is his picture....
And it is the biggest one...so he knew he won 1st place.
He was so excited!
I think he was more excited about winning the photography contest for the junior division than he has ever been about winning a buckle.
Walker has never had any direction or training in photography.
At the Ohio Beef Expo, he begged and pleaded and whined until I let him use my camera.
I stood right by his side and watched him like a hawk!
Nobody messes with my camera!
I knew he really wanted to submit some photos for the contest, so I indulged him for about 5 minutes.
He took an amazing picture!
That is me on the end!
Yep...I won first place in the adult division.
I had a really hard time getting a picture. The rules state there are not supposed to be any edits or enhancements to the photos. In this digital age of photography, that is a really hard thing to do.
I have a lot of pictures I love, but I have cropped, lightened, sharpened, etc. to get the picture just the way I like it. That meant I couldn't use any of those pictures.
I am probably my toughest critic, so it took a long time for me to take a picture that I was happy with.
I have never won an award for photography, so I was almost as excited as Walker.
The hardest part has been finding the perfect place to hang the pictures in our house.
I am trying to convince everyone to let me take my picture to work to liven up the boring white walls of my office.
This is the picture that Isaac submitted for the contest. He didn't win anything and is pretty disappointed.
He took this with his phone one afternoon as a storm was starting to roll in.
I love this picture so much, I think I am going to have it printed on a canvas for him to hang in his room.
Yesterday afternoon Isaac was busy learning to use his camera (my old camera). He is bound and determined to take better pictures and win the photography contest next year.
We always love attending the B.E.S.T. banquet and this year was no exception. The Ohio Cattlemen's Association has created a wonderful program, and along with their many sponsors and supporters, they have put a lot of smiles on faces.
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Three weeks ago, the boys went out to do evening chores and found a new heifer calf.
Raylee is happy and healthy...but she had one problem.
Raylee is not a bull...she just has an umbilical hernia.
An umbilical hernia is caused when the blood vessels in the umbilical cord do not shrink as much as they should after birth. It really isn't a big deal, it just looks bad.
We don't normally worry too much about hernia's, but Raylee's was larger than normal.
Since there is a really good possibility that she will be in the show ring, we wanted to go ahead and get the hernia taken care of.
Since she is so young, the Dr. Rob wanted to use gas for the surgery, so we had to take her into the vet's office instead of having the surgery done here at home.
I was the bad Mom because I made Isaac and Walker go to school instead of letting them ride along with Dad for Raylee's surgery.
Some people may think it is weird for all of us to be so enthralled with cow surgeries, but you have to remember that Isaac was just seven years old when Dr. Rob had him help stitch up Missy after her C-section. It was a case of needing every set of hands to keep mamma and baby alive. No one had the choice to be grossed out...we all just had to jump in and do what needed done. Ever since then, the boys have been all too curious to see anything the vet does.
We sent Daniel to the vet's office with orders to take lots of pictures.
Raylee was the star of the vet's office. Everyone was in love with her and was more than happy to get to be a part of her surgery.
The vet tech's started by clipping the hair around the hernia.
Then it was Dr. Rob's turn to fix the hernia.
He made an incision, tucked everything back into place and then stitched her back up.
Raylee was still a little groggy...but all better and ready to go home.
I love the tongue!
Raylee is back home and doing well. She has to stay in the barn until we take the stitches out in two weeks.
Her belly is still swollen, but it will go down as it continues to heal.
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I sat down at the computer over the weekend to pay bills and finalize our March budget.
Yes, I am aware March started last week...but sometimes the stomach flu thwarts the best laid plans.
March is always a hard budget month for us. It is always full of some extra expenses, most of which revolve around the Ohio Beef Expo. We plan all year for the Expo, but sometimes the planning ends up more in our heads than in our bank accounts.
(I don't have pictures of the trade show, so today you get to look at random images that have absolutely nothing to do with this post)
We spend a lot of money at the Ohio Beef Expo.
Of course, there are show entry fees, vet health checks, time off work (sometimes without pay if the vacation days are all used up), and several dinners out with friends we only see this time of year.
We are fortunate to be able to commute and not have to stay in a hotel, but that also means some extra late nights and obscenely early mornings.
Late night pizza runs and early morning drive thru stops are just par for the course.
But for us...the real expense is the trade show.
This week, Apollo, our 9 month old bull, got his new bull bling.
The vet was out to do health papers for the Ohio Beef Expo and some pregnancy checks, so we had him go ahead and add a bull ring for Apollo.
So what is a bull ring and why do we use them?
A smile is contagious.
Especially a smile that reaches the eyes.
,We are well settled into the long winter months.
Sometimes these gray, gloomy days can make a Monday morning really hard to face.
Another cold day...
Another snowy forecast...
More slippery roads....
And Dark evenings....
But today, here are a few of my favorite smiles...
To brighten your day...
But, be careful...
Smiles are contagious...
And if you aren't careful....
You will be smiling too, this winter Monday morning.
A year ago, we were just returning home from our trip out to Denver, Colorado to attend the National Western Stock Show.
While we were in Denver, we rented a car and spent one day exploring Colorado and showing the boys a glimpse of the West.
As we drove through the countryside, we were surrounded by snow blanketed mountains with ski slopes on both sides of the highway.
That trip was a weekend packed full of memories, and we added a bunch of items to our bucket lists. Both boys were infatuated and dreamed of the day we would go back to Colorado to show at the NWSS, explore more of the West and try their hand at skiing.
I am known as the person who always says "NO" in our house.
I am the schedule maker and the bill payer. I am surrounded by men that have big dreams and lots of expensive hobbies. So, most times that means I am the reality keeper.
It's not like we don't do anything...it's just that there is always more to do.
Hello! I am Heather... the city girl turned mom to manure loving country boys. My husband and I both grew up in the city, but spent weekends visiting grandparents in the country. We are first generation farmers who learn best by almost always doing things the hard way. I hope you enjoy following along with our adventures down on the farm.