Tuesday, July 31, 2012

This Little Baby

This little baby was SO good at the fair.
She pretty much lived on my back in the Ergo a friend gave me.

I was so impressed with how happy she stayed from Tuesday morning all the way through Saturday night!
This was taken Saturday morning at some point during the auction.

As long as she's with Mommy, 
she's a happy, happy baby girl!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

County Fair

This is where we spent MUCH of our time the third week in August.
I wrote a bit about that HERE and HERE
but am just getting around to posting some other pictures.
Since this blog serves as a sort of family scrapbook,
I need to do a little catch-up, which is different than
ketchup, which some of my family consume in copious amounts. 
Yet again, I digress.

I didn't get any pictures of our big show day
because I didn't want to 
1) have my camera hanging off my neck
2) have my camera come in contact with water as I helped with washing
3) have my camera come in contact with any poo from the cows as I helped get them where they needed to be
4) take a chance on dropping, breaking, or losing it
5) lose it.

I hope my children accept these as valid reasons for not photo-documenting one of the biggest days of the year for them.

This is Linnea and one of the animals she showed.
She is about to tie it to the wash-rack and clean her up before entering the ring.
Linnea got into the blue ribbon auction with her and this was on Saturday morning.
However, this is what we did several times from Wednesday through Saturday
with all the different animals they showed.

 I didn't get a picture of the goat pens in one of the other barns
but this was our area of dairy cattle. 
Linnea is doing a stall check,
making sure everyone is clean behind them and bedded.
We had 13 head in the dairy barn;
from the left of the picture to the dark cow quite aways down the line.

Feeding, watering, and cleaning up after all of these
takes quite a bit of time but we enjoy it.

This was taken while Linnea was waiting for her turn in the auction ring on Saturday morning.

On her way out of the ring,
very happy with the amount of money she got!

Our friend and neighbor Darrell waiting near Nathaniel as he waited his turn in the ring.
When they show, there are no gates and there are groups of cattle in the arena at one time.
For the auction, it's one-at-a-time.

I think this was Nathaniel's eleventh year at the fair,
which would also make it MY eleventh year at the fair
not counting the years I showed as a child/teen.

Nathaniel in the auction ring with Natasha.

Andrew and Isaiah didn't have anything in the auction so I don't have pictures of them for this post.

It was hot, tiring, and dirty but it was a lot of fun, too.
Some may look at us and think
"WHY in the WORLD would anyone want to do THAT??"
If that's your question, I don't really know how to answer in a way that would make sense to you.
It's just one of the things our family likes to do!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I'd Love to Have You Over for Coffee, But First You Need to Know

Inspired by this post:

1. I'm a Martha, not a Mary.  We will sit and chat the day away.  I will be worrying about how messy my house is and I will probably clean up while I talk to you and interrupt myself with self-deprecating comments about the mess.

2.  I really don't like it when the house is messy.  And I really don't like it when people see it when it's messy.  I'm having to get over myself a lot because this has happened frequently as of late.  However, I just feel terrible when people see it messy!  For the record, I couldn't care less how you keep your house, I only care how I keep mine.  So don't worry if your house is messy and I see it--it won't make me think you are a poor housekeeper.  I apparently only hold myself to this standard.  I remind myself that we are a lot of people in not a lot of space, but it doesn't always help.   This is also why I do much better with a text/phone call giving me a 10 minute heads-up.  We can pick up a LOT in 10 minutes!

3.  It is not uncommon for visitors to hear, "Moooooom????  Can you come wipe me???"  Once, a little guest even slipped in a li'l puddle from a trip not made soon enough.  Gross?  Yes.  My life?  Yes again.

4.  I like fixing my hair and would prefer to wear makeup on most days.  However, I'm in dire need of a new look and I can't seem to find any makeup that 1) I can afford 2) doesn't make me look like I'm in a theater production.  Thus, you will see me mostly with my hair in a ponytail or braid and no makeup on my face.  I'm hoping that one day I'll be swept away for one of those makeovers you see on tv or in a magazine.  It could happen y'know.

5.  I, like Amy, am a deep conversations person.  Small talk exhausts me.  I ask hard questions and this sometimes alienates me from people.  This is difficult and I beat myself up about it often.  I just wish we could be a bigger part of each others' lives (as long as the feeling is mutual) and spending time talking about the weather and how I remember the names of my children and whether or not my kids have specific chores seems superficial.

6. We let our children play all over the farm, with the exception of on the tractors and in the barn where the cows are milked.  So if your kids want to play, it's probably going to be outside and they might get dirty.  They might also see some sort of dead critter, be it a bird, a raccoon, or a snake that one of my boys or one of my dogs has brought to the yard to show me.  You will see our real life.

7.  We are night owls.  You could not possibly stay too late.  However, I never know if I should go ahead with bedtime preparations while you sit on the couch "unattended" as my company, or if I should just wait until you go and then put kids through the tub.  I'm 34 and I still don't know how to act in many situations.  It's a good thing I married an older man so that one of us can be an adult and know what to do.

8.  Like Amy said, Disrespectful children make me cringe, but most things don’t bother me. Actually, let me rephrase that…Disrespectful children who remain uncorrected by their parents make me cringe. Please go ahead and correct your children if they need it. It won’t bother us and it does not reflect badly on you. However, also realize it takes a lot to rattle me, so no need to stress about your child spilling their cup on the floor or the fussy little one who needs a nap.

9.  Don't be afraid to wear your shoes in our house.  This is a dairy farm with nine children--if the worst thing that ever came in to the house was a little gravel from the driveway you walked in on, I'd count myself one lucky woman.  

10.  I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things.  This becomes clear within a few minutes of talking to  me.  You and I might differ but we can most certainly still be friends!

Monday, July 23, 2012


I had these pictures loaded to a post and haven't gotten around to posting them
so I decided to do that now--'cause I can, seeing as it's my blog and all.

Elijah, Ruby, and Ivy were playing so nicely outside 
(and looking so cute, of course)
that I took the camera out to snap some pictures of them.

Our dog Molly wanted to be right in front of me
so I took one of her, too, which the children thought was quite funny!

Elijah, Ivy, and Ruby (pre-glasses)

Ivy loves Molly.

"Now take a picture of me with Molly, Mom!"

Ruby was feeling giggly.
All my kids have a twinkle in their eye--they come by it honestly.
My dad always says, "Smile--it makes people wonder what you're up to."

You can see that these pictures were taken much earlier this summer--
that's our neighbor working his field across the road.

Dennis is in our yard hooking up what looks to me to be a fertilizer wagon.

Now, the fields are stressing with this drought we are having.
Farmers are praying for rain and hoping they will get a crop.

So when we start stressing about things like that,
I try to look into the eyes of the really important things in our lives--
our nine beautiful, healthy children.

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Farm Wife & Her Baby

I've held a baby in many unique situations.

Once I discovered slings and wraps, I had many more opportunities to hold/wear my baby
in both mundane and unique situations.

Today (the day before our big show day)
I broadened my own horizons.

What could that be?
Wearing the baby while mowing lawn?  Nope.  Done that.
Wear the baby while in the lake with the other kids?  Nope.  That I've done many times, too.
Wear the baby in the store, at the library, at church, at the park, at home, doing dishes, cooking meals, while hanging out the laundry, going for walks, to the zoo, around the grounds at the county and state fair--all those  I've done.

But this---this was new even for me.

Elizabeth hung out on my back while I washed up some of our cattle at the fair.

While this is from an angle that is clearly not my best side,
you can see that she was quite content--she was sleeping (I think) when Dennis took this picture.

(Some of you might ask "Wait a minute--aren't these your kids' projects?  Why are YOU washing them?"
The answer to that would be that we have 13 calves up there and 5 kids that are showing.  We all need to pitch in together to get it all done in time!)

I know I've heard at least ten times,
"Look--there's a baby in there!"
as someone passes by.

It makes me smile.

Elizabeth babbles and coos behind me and "talks" to people who approach us
and that makes me smile, too!

I'm glad that people are able to see that babies don't always need to be carted around in strollers--they can stay pretty close to Mom and she can do pretty much anything!

(disclaimer:  I'm not knocking strollers. They serve a purpose, to be sure.  In situations like this, however, they just plain get in the way of what needs to be done.)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I Recommend

So many times I come across a blog post and think, "I should write about this post on my blog."
(And sometimes I think, "I think/did/do/believe the same thing--I wish I would have written that!")

So today, I decided to direct you to some posts of interest to me that I think might interest you.  Y'know, if motherhood "interests" you.
I'm toying with the idea of making this a routine practice; a regular "I Recommend" appearance on my little bloggity.  Let me know if you think I should.
Although truth be told, I'll probably do it anyway--just so you know.  Sometimes I'm sassy like that.

1.  Open Mouth, Insert Foot by MamaBirth.   Though of course I don't agree with everything she writes (I can't think of anyone I 100%-agree with except Jesus Christ), she has so many good (and bold!) insights into motherhood.  This post is definitely one of them.

2.  Women With More Than One Child Are Not Actually Crazy   again by MamaBirth.  My favorite line from this post:  "Even though you appear nuts, you love your kids and want MORE. Yes, your hands are full. No you can not afford them. Yes, you sometimes mix up their names. This is not actually an indicator that you have trudged too far down the path of insanity. It is just LIFE. And life can be hard, but children are still awesome. You see the beautiful moments, where everybody gets along and where there is just a touch of the divine in your home."

3.  Anatomy of a Mother by Gypsy Mama.  Lisa-Jo has amazing insight into this mothering gig.

4. How to Pray Without Using Words {Motherhood Edition} also by Gypsy Mama  This post hit close to my heart.  Especially when she says, "This is when I am most your mother."  Yep.  Exactly.

My Bipper is the Mutton Bustin' CHAMPION!!

This week is our county fair.
It's been going well so far--we're hot, dirty, and tired 
but that's par for the course.

Tonight after the sheep show, Bipper was signed up to do
Mutton Bustin (sheep riding).

He chickened out decided not to last year,
but this year he was SO READY.

Pardon the poor video quality--
it's from my tiny point-and-shoot camera
and I was trying hard to watch him and record him at the same time.

He was so pumped afterward--
he stayed on for 13 seconds!!

We are so proud of our little cowboy!!!
Good job, Bipper!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Happy Birthday to My Farmer

Today is my husband's 38th birthday.
Andrew said, "I can't believe my dad is almost FORTY!!!"

Happy Birthday, Daddy.
I'm sort of sorry we have to spend the day getting all the animals and kids to the County Fair,
but knowing how much you love the fair, 
and the animals,
and the kids...
and that it's where you met ME,
spending it that way doesn't sound so bad.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Baby Legs

 Elizabeth Grace

 I love these chubby legs.

and her tan lines in the creases of her skin.

 She was feeling so squirrely, this is her laugh-y, squeel-y smile!

 I get to look into this face every day.

 I love the twinkle in her eyes.
 chubby legs...

 chubby arms
chubby cheeks

I'm so glad she's mine.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Guess Who Else Got Glasses?

My Ruby-girl got glasses today!
My mom works in the clinic upstairs from where the "eye-glasses store" is,
so she popped down on her break to watch the big event.
Ruby's mouth is a great big 'O' of excitement
upon seeing herself in the mirror.
 Ruby's doll Laura was along, too.

When the glasses were off getting bent to fit her little face,
I snapped this picture of my excited little girl.

 I pointed the camera at the mirror to capture this moment.
You may notice she was dressed in her "wedding" finery. 
Her godparents love to pick out extra-fancy, extra-girly, extra-just-right-for-Ruby-type dresses.
This would be one of them.

 Once we arrived home, we showed all the brothers and Daddy
and then took some more pictures.

 Since she knows I have a "blod" (blog), she wanted me to be sure I took a picture of her case.
I'm sure you are surprised to see it is pink, just like her glasses.

She is so happy to have them--
she's told me so a hundred times since they were put on her face!
"I can see now, Mama!"

As I type this, she has on her apron and is cooking at her toy kitchen,
humming, and saying "Now I look just like a Mama!!"

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Miss Lil' Bit

A friend dubbed Elizabeth "Lil' Bit"--I think it's a rather cute nickname,
sort of like Laura Ingalls' being called Half Pint.

Well--Miss Lil'Bit has been chewing and chewing on everything lately,
as is evidenced in this picture:

 Can you guess why??

'Cause she got a TOOTH!!!
and she's pretty happy 'bout that.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


More pictures of my trip to visit one of my big brothers!
These were taken on the day we were leaving, which is a month ago now.
It has taken me a bit to have enough "turns" on the computer to get these all done!

 My brother Aaron with the kids

 Ivy being Ivy

 Did you know I am fascinated by old barns?
I think about their stories...the men who built them, the work done inside them,
the families who were fed because of them.
I. love. old. barns.

As we were driving out of his driveway, I had Andrew snap some pictures.
 Western North Dakota is beautiful.
The rolling hills, the breaks, I had never seen anything like it!

 That's my brother's truck ahead of us.
We followed him into town.

Crossing the Missouri River.  

And then my camera's battery died.

We followed him into town so the kids could see where he works, a John Deere dealership.
He drives semi  to deliver farm machinery.
We got to see his truck and the people he works with,
get some John Deere balloons and suckers from the nice receptionist,
and then we loaded up.

As I was buckling little ones,
Aaron told me he was going to take a look at one of the tires.

I wish I could get the picture of that tire off my phone and on to this post
because it's a good thing he took a look!

There were literally chunks of rubber missing and wires poking through--
the guys at the shop were surprised it was even still holding AIR!

Is God big enough for the little things?

Here I was, a woman traveling alone with six of her kids,
300 miles from home in a 15 passenger van.
I drove the whole way out there on that bad tire with no problem.
When my brother noticed it, we were at his shop so he just drove it around to the service bay,
jacked it up and the kids and I ate our little lunch in the van while Aaron worked.
He had all the necessary tools there and the spare was a full-sized tire.

How "lucky" was I!?!?!?!?!

I can imagine about a hundred different scenarios that could have taken place.
Can you imagine had I blown that tire on the interstate?
I could have had a car accident, or at least been stranded on the side of the freeway.
The cost of being towed, etc--YOWZA.
It would have most certainly been beyond the constraints of my budget.

I'm so blown away by God's provision for me on my little outing!

I've got one more post I have to finish about our trip and then I'll be done--
not with blogging, but with this particular train of thoughts posts.

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