Sunday, May 31, 2009

We're counting down...

Andrew's graduation is only a week away now and we are really trying to concentrate on the things that need to be done instead of all the things we'd just like to have done before then. It seems hard to believe that it's been 4 years since I was the one sitting out in the field, pencil and paper in hand, trying to think of what I wanted to say in my speech! How time flies by...


We did many different, assorted jobs today. I'll give you a brief overview...


Andrew mowed the lawn across the road while I push-mowed around the trees and broke off the seed heads from all of the rhubarb plants. Then I got out our little pruner to take off the little trees that were coming up beside the big ones and Andrew got out the chainsaw for the bigger trees that were growing in the raspberry patch and elsewhere. About that time, our friends who had bought Andrew's dirt bike pulled in, as they had a problem... The gas tank on the bike started leaking. So, Andrew directed them to the shop and fixed the hole--hopefully. If what he did doesn't work, they'll have to take it down to Titan in Kintyre.


My dad worked on the corn/sunflower planter for a lot of the day and swathed down some alfalfa and brought it in for the goats to eat. They loved him!


Mother worked on laundry and organizing things in the house and she planned the final menu for the graduation today. She also planned our program, so now all we need to do is practice, practice, and practice...


Jacob rested a lot and is doing his best to get well quickly.


Andrew and I got the fence set up to be electrified across the driveway, as a certain bull of mine does not think he has to stay in... Andrew hooked up a fencer to it and when the cows and bulls came in for water,--POW!--My bull stayed in the rest of the afternoon!


I also weeded the flower bed that's by the house and trimmed the 2 bushes that were scraggly looking. I took a picture of the finished project to share with you here:




I should have taken a before picture, but I didn't think of it then. :)

Andrew and my parents did some more work on the slide show we'll be showing on the 7th--getting the rest of the pictures loaded and then sorting them in chronological order. We had WAY too many pictures to begin with, so we've had to narrow it down several times, and it's now down to our very favorite pictures of Andrew's growing up years--which still amounts to a LOT!

While doing dishes after lunch, Mother and I got to discussing clothes for the big day. Andrew's favorite colors (and consequently, the colors for the graduation table-clothes; cake frosting; etc...) are yellow and black, so we were trying to decide if we wanted to try to color coordinate our clothes somewhat too. As we were talking, I remembered a yellow prom dress that our neighbor lady had given to us and that I had tucked away in the back of my closet. I dug it out and then Mom and I had a good time imagining what we/I could all do with it. Now, what would you do with an immodest; way too long for you; yellow dress if you were in my shoes? I'll post pictures later of some of the ideas we had, but here is a picture of the dress before I started cutting it apart at the seams...

I praise God that He has given us the strength to keep on keeping on and that He's sent us such lovely weather for working outside!

...And now, once again, I'd best get some sleep...

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A peaceful day~

Today was lovely and quite. Mother posted a detailed account of the day over at her blog, (http://dawns-hope.blogspot.com/) so I thought I'd just direct you over that way instead of repeating everything she said.

I'll close now with a thought from my daily flip-calendar that seemed to fit well with this day...

"Thank God for regular days. There are far too few of them."

by Gloria Gaither

Beautiful!

Thought for the day~


Friday, May 29, 2009

Visitors...and "The rest of the story" on the cakes...

It's getting late, so to make a long story-of-the-day short, I thought I'd post the pictures I took and just a little bit about each one...

Our hunter friends arrived in North Dakota last night and came over to rent one of our tractors for a few days. Here my dad is refreshing Gaylin, Tom and John's memories on how to use the tractor... John had brought his son, Alex along this time and so Andrew had to show him his new bike...

Then Andrew let Alex drive his old bike, which Alex enjoyed immensely!

Our good friend, Gaylin was telling us about the good old days when he and Tom used to drive powerful dirt bikes up very steep hills and other such dangerous things... After a bit of talking, we convinced Gaylin to get on the dirt-bike...

...and to go for a spin.

While the above was happening, I snapped this picture of Millie. I was amazed at how well she behaved herself today, as she usually gets very hyper when new people show up.

As Alex seemed to like Andrew's smaller dirt bike so well, Andrew informed John that it was for sale. They discussed a price and John said he'd think about it. Later this afternoon, John and Alex showed up and wanted to buy the bike! So, my dad and Andrew helped load it and, after paying for it, they were off--one happy father and one even happier young man!

We needed to get some eggs today, as I used the last ones up in my cakes (more about that later), so Mom called our neighbor, Tamera, to see if we cold buy some from her. (She has chickens and sells eggs to friends and neighbors.) It turned out that she had several dozen on hand, so I drove over to get 5 dozen. While there, I enjoyed seeing all of their Nubian goats and their new puppy and all of their various and assorted cats and kittens. The children all wanted to tell me about what this animal did, or why it was named what it was, or what happened when the kitten fell in the water, so it was a pleasant little visit. Thanks for the eggs, Tamera!

My cake project today was interesting... I baked another marbled cake this morning, (in a clean, well oiled pan) and let it cool for 10 minutes before tipping it over onto the cooling rack. I gently lifted up on the side of the pan------and it was sticking! Not again! This time, I dug out my notes from cake class and read about what to do. (It's always so helpful to read the directions!) "If cake sticks, put cake in freezer for an hour, then dip pan in hot water. Should pop out." So, that's what I did. Before trying to "Pop" it out, though, I went around the edges with a knife. Slowly, slowly it came out--all in one piece!!! I just had to get a picture (I took the picture after I had leveled the top--that's why it looks a little crumby)...

After 3+ hours work of mixing icing; refilling bags; smoothing edges; deciding on designs; etc...., here's what my finished cakes look like:

The confirmation cake...

...and the graduation cake:

On a totally different note, I'd appreciate if you'd pray for my brother, Jacob tonight--to be feeling much better soon. He got sick this morning and was really sad about it because he had been so looking forward to the Appleseed Shoot Project, and now he and Andrew aren't going (unless he's feeling back to normal in the very early morning...) We have a lot of work ahead of us this next week in preparing for Andrew's graduation (June 7th), so we really need everyone to be strong and healthy. We've even resisted the temptation to eat the cake crumbs from yesterdays' disaster, as we know that would not do anything to improve our health!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

What's better than the smell of freshly mown lawn?

Freshly baked cake? Well, if you were at our house this evening, you could sample my new kind of cake--the one I call "Crumble Deluxe". Actually, I baked a white cake in a 9x13 inch pan, then just re-oiled the pan without washing it out for the second cake. Bad idea! When I flipped the second cake upside down after it had cooled 10 minutes, a good portion of the cake remained in the bottom of the pan... My cake decorating instructors' words came to mind just then, "If you tip a cake out and some of it remains in the pan, don't throw it all to the dog. Just put it back in the pan and put it in the freezer for a while 'till it hardens together and then take it out and flip it and it will come out no problem." Sounds easy enough, right? Well, if I'd been more careful, maybe it would have worked, but as it was, I was wanting to get outside with Mom to plant flowers in the flower pots and I didn't take it easy. Somehow, as I was flipping the cake back into the pan from the cooling rack, the whole thing slid to the side and smushed and crumbled all over. What a mess--tasty, yes, but still a mess. I just left my crumbs to fall where they may and went out to help Mom. I guess I'll have to try again in the morning, and this time I'd best be more careful, as I'm almost out of eggs so I can't make too many more mistakes! Oh, did I mention that these cakes are for a graduation and a confirmation???


Mom and Jacob went to Wishek today to meet my Uncle and Aunt who brought Grandpa's pop-up camper that far for us. (The boys will be using the camper this weekend...) When they got home, they decided the camper needed to be set up and aired out for a while, so Jacob set to accomplishing the task right away. However, just as he had it pretty much up, my dad called me from the field and said that Andrew had just called him on the two-way-radio and said he heard on the news (is this getting confusing?) that there was a thunder storm coming our way soon and there was a possibility of hail, so we should get the camper and the van in the Quonset right away. So, Mom and I helped Jacob take the camper back down again quickly and I drove it into the building. All of that turned out to be for not, as it only sprinkled and the storm went to the South of us--which we really didn't mind if there was hail with it! When the sun came out again, the camper did too and Jacob set it up and got it aired out nicely this time. This picture shows Jacob getting the camper level before setting it up.



Jacob & I also mowed the lawn today, or rather I should say, we mowed part of it. We still have to mow across the road. When we were about half done with the grass around the house, the Craftsman mower (which I was driving) starting making a really loud thunking sound. I stopped the blades right away and turned the mower off. The guys didn't have much time to investigate, but they said it is probably a bearing going out or a belt. So, now we are down to the other rider mower and the push mower...


Andrew & I separated milk tonight and got 6 1/2 quarts of cream. Now we can make ice cream again! We had a few problems as separating works best with 3 people, so we had to clean up some spilled milk and cream when we were through, but it was nothing worth crying over--so we didn't. :)


Well, I should get to bed. Tomorrow is going to be another full day--plus we're losing over half our man-power as the boys are going to be leaving for the Appleseed Shoot up by Leeds. (You can visit Mother's blog for more info. about that if you like.) They'll be gone until Sunday night, so I'm afraid the house will seem pretty quite for the next couple days! I just realized that it's actually pretty quite now, so perhaps it is time for sleep?

Thought for the day...


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

New babies and beautiful flowers!

Today was very much a busy outdoors day for my dad, Jacob & I... (Mom and Andrew were in Bismarck for almost the whole day.) Seeing as everything was so wet and the wind was pretty still, Dad decided to burn the garbage hole out. So, we cleaned up a LOT of trash around the place, plus some old tree branches that we'd fed the leaves of to the goats; some rotten railroad ties; and many small pieces of wood that had been laying on the floor in the back of the shop for a few years! After picking up a bag of garbage in the Quonset, I looked down at where the bag had been and saw about 10 baby mice! They were actually (I can't believe I'm writing this) kind of cute, but cute or not, we did not need more mice on the place. I called our dog and she carried some of them off... The rest we did in. Anyway, it felt good to get rid of all of that garbage, although our muscles don't feel so good tonight. :)
After finishing that yucky job in the late part of the afternoon, Jacob and I went in the house to get some seeds for planting in the garden. Dad came in quick then and said that I should grab my camera and come outside. This is what he had seen:

One of our hens had hatched out 9 fluffy chicks! When we went closer so I could get a picture, our dog Millie ran up to a chick and obviously had plans of eating it, but the mother hen flew at her and she backed away. Millie was going to try again, but we hollered at her and then went and tied her up. We'll have to figure out a place to put the mama and babies, as the cats are a threat to the little puff balls as well and Millie can't spend the next 3 months on the end of a cable!

Jacob and I did manage to get 3 more beds planted in the garden then before having to come in to make a quick supper. Dad hauled some bigger stuff out to the fire and then went and swathed down a little bit of fresh alfalfa for the goats as we're out of hay now. They sure enjoyed that treat! We had just finished with chores when the van pulled in.

When we all got in the house, Andrew had a surprise for me...

He had bought me a hanging pot of Viola flowers in appreciation for the chores I did for him while he was cleaning grain. My very favorite kind of flowers are Pansies, but Andrew said that they didn't have any there, so he got the Violas which are, basically, small Pansies. They are so pretty and smell so sweet. I'll have to find a good place to hang them now... Thank you, Andrew, SO much!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Not for the faint of heart...


Today we all worked on the not-so-pleasant task of working our Holstein calves (the ones we bottle-fed last Fall). We had 57 calves to do, so it took about 3 hours. Mother helped us get the calves in the right pen and then went in to bake bread and do other things. Andrew was in charge of chasing the calves in and then banding them; Jacob held the tail of the calf for Andrew while he was banding and then reloaded the bander and, finally, chased the calf out of the chute when it was finished;
my dad caught the calves in the head-gate, gave them their 7-way shot, and dehorned them; and I wrote down the numbers and took notes about the calves, refilled the syringe and put the blood-stop powder on the calves' head after Dad was done with the dastardly job of dehorning. We were all so glad when we were finished and could chase the calves back out to their small pasture.
The calves just laid around the rest of the day and took it easy. I'm sure they'll be back to their normal rambunctious selves in a few days.


When it came time to get the milk cows in the lot behind the barn tonight, they really did not want to be in the lot! I suppose they were able to smell the blood from the calves, and that really spooked them. I got a video of my bull bellering--sounding like he was the one in pain! You can also see the cows sniffing the ground--trying to figure out what had been going on there...

video

The sky was so pretty tonight, so I took a picture of it. You can see our house beneath the shiny clouds...

Things are going well in the goat barn now days... The triplets are growing fast and, after a desperate push and shove time, they all somehow manage to get their tummies filled with milk. This picture turned out funny, as just when I snapped the picture, the mother goat turned her head back, so it looks like we have a head-less goat!

This is the kids' favorite corner of the barn to snuggle up in. Aren't they cute?

Well, I still have an e-mail to send to a friend tonight, so I'd best post this now and get to it...

Sleep well friends~

An inspiring video~

In case you haven't already watched this on Mother's blog, I thought I'd post it here too... We received this video in a forward from friends and this is what information was in the forward: "An old couple walked into the lobby of the Mayo Clinic and spotted a piano. They've been married for 62 years and he'll be 90 this year." I hope I'll be as agile as they are when I'm 90!



Amazing!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Rain!

Within the last 24 hours, God has sent us almost 50 hundredths of an inch of rain! He even stopped the wetness enough this afternoon so that Dad, Andrew and I could go around the fence of the next cell in the pasture (and fix it in 4 places) and chase the cows to their new grass! I remembered my camera and got a few pictures to share with you...

This is where I stopped with the Ram (by the gate to the other pasture) and the guys went on with their bikes to get the cows out of that cell. The cows and calves moved really well. PTL! As you can see, the land up there is pretty rugged...

Then I saw this little trespasser on a sign... He even posed for a picture and sang me a song!

Back at home, our little Irises are blooming really well now and they smell just as nice as the fresh rain! We're hoping they'll last 13 more days--until Andrew's graduation day! Flowers are so beautiful...

Remember on Memorial Day~

Freedom isn't Free - by Kelly Strong~

I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
and then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
He'd stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?
How many pilots' planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
~No, freedom isn't free.

I heard the sound of TAPS one night,
When everything was still
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That TAPS had meant "Amen,"
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
~No, freedom isn't free.

Freedom truly isn't free--not that much in this life is. Even salvation wasn't free, as Jesus had to die on the cross in order for us to receive it, so it cost a great deal! Remember to thank the Lord for His wonderful gift today, and remember all of our soldiers (especially the ones so far from home) on this day. My family and I will also be remembering Grandma... Please pray for Grandpa, as this will be a hard day for him...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Showers of blessing...

God sent us a little rain shower this evening, for which we are very grateful. When it rains, everything gets watered so much more evenly than what we could ever do and the air smells SO heavenly--or at least, it smells like what I imagine heaven might smell like?

My dad worked on plowing again today, but had troubles with steering the tractor, so he and Andrew took a look at it before supper and found and fixed the problem. It didn't even cost any money this time. :)

Andrew and Jacob used the wire-winder that the guys made this morning and wound up the electric wire and pulled up the posts that were around the field SW of our place. They said the winder worked really well, so I'm sure we'll be using it more in the future.

Mom worked on laundry a lot and dishes and helped me later in the garden. I tilled up half of the West side of the garden and we got all that space planted before the rain came! If you count the potatoes that we planted earlier, we are half done planting now! Oh, speaking of potatoes, they are poking their leaves out of the ground now. It's so exciting to see things that are green and growing!

Thought for the day~


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Graduation day...

We attended my cousin, Dylan's graduation from high school today. I took a few pictures and thought I'd post them here before I crawl into bed. I didn't take any at the open house, so these will all be from the ceremony.


Dylan is in the front row here, 3rd from the left.

Here Mother is just coming back from getting the rose Dylan gave to her across the railing...
And here's a picture of Dylan with his older brother, Cody. In case you can't tell from the picture, Dylan is VERY tall! (When I congratulated him, I was reminded again of this fact.)
Oh, when I was looking at the pictures I took, I found this one which I got of Andrew at Uncle Duard & Aunt Sharel's (Dylan's parents) house. I had forgotten I took this one... Boys and noise really seem to go well together!

You may be wondering what the other reason was that Andrew wanted to go to Eureka for... Well, to save on words, I'll just show you a picture...
He had bought this bike on-line from a man in Fargo, so our Uncle Ronald (who's from Fargo) brought it to my Bornemann grandparents' house in Eureka today for Andrew. I guess you could say Andrew's happy! He took it for a drive around town before we came home and then also used it to get the milk cows in from pasture. He said that the cows noticed that it was a different bike than what he usually uses and didn't let him get very close to them! I have a feeling that this green giant won't sit around long enough to collect dust--at least until Winter comes. During chores, Andrew told me that he knows one thing for sure. When I asked him what that one thing was, he said, "You won't want to drive my dirt-bike!" The bike is REALLY tall and I was scared the one time I drove Dad's shorter bike, so I'm sure he's right. :)

While we were at Grandpa and Grandma's, we visited a little bit with my cousin's wife, Amanda and their 2 little girls, who had just gotten there a little before us. Jason and Amanda had just recently gotten a puppy and they had him along, so their little girl, Cierra was having fun walking the dog. Actually, we weren't entirely sure who was walking who, as the puppy was about as strong as Cierra was!

Well, that was about all of the excitement of the day for our family.

Happy new week to everyone and to all a good night!

A picture review of the last 2 days events...

Did anybody have any guesses as to what my dad was up to 2 days ago in the picture I posted? Well, I'll try to explain... After planting our grass, we decided it would be best to cover it with straw to help keep the moisture in when we water and also to prevent our geese and other birds from scratching up the seed--which they were already doing! Our neighbors let us use their bale processor to shred the straw up in smaller pieces, which saved us a LOT of work. We did have to go over the whole thing then with rakes to get the straw spread evenly, but the processor did most of the work. Praise God for big machines!


This is the area that we seeded--before it was all covered with straw.

We started watering the lawn with a little sprinkler, but it was taking forever, so Dad had a great idea... He and Andrew put the big, 1,600 gallon water tank on our white truck and then filled it with water down at the Kintyre elevator. They hooked up a long hose that Andrew bought while in town so now we can just drive along the grass and water it with the hose. The only problem with the whole set-up is that the hose is so flexible that it crimps easily, so it helps to have 2 people to do the watering. Still, it's a big blessing.



On Thursday, my parents decided to work up this area too and plant it with new grass, as it was mostly weeds. It is close to the other grass we planted, so we can just water it all without moving the truck too far.


In case you were wondering, we also do other things than work once in a while... For example, Andrew dug out their old go-cart and he, Jacob, and our dog, Millie had a blast.

While the boys were having fun driving, I took some pictures of our "Flag" Irises. They are really opening up well now and I just love their fuzzy petals!

Yesterday morning, I got up early and decorated this cake for our neighbor, Olivia's 9th birthday... I hope you liked it, Olivia!


Olivia's mom, Tamera and Olivia's two youngest siblings came over to pick the cake up and were able to stay for a couple-hour-long visit too. This time, I remembered to take some pictures, although I only got a few because then my batteries went dead in my camera!

Here, Mother and Tamera are visiting in our living room, while Mariah is having fun digging out balloons that were still left from my birthday...

I had forgotten how fun throwing a balloon around can be...

Josiah had other ideas of fun ways to use balloons... (It's kind of hard to see in this picture, but he's getting ready to knock down the toy tower with his blue balloon.)

There, now I'm caught up. :) Today we are going down to Eureka for my cousin, Dylan's graduation from the Eureka high-school. Andrew also has another reason for wanting to go down, but I'll keep you wondering until I have pictures...

May God grant you all a lovely day~

Friday, May 22, 2009

Thought for the--night?

I'll write about the events of this day in the morning, but for now, I'll leave you with this thought... (Isn't it great having someone to love?)


Thursday, May 21, 2009

What do you think we're up to now?

I need to get to bed, as I need to get up early in the morning, so I thought I'd just post a picture of one of the projects we worked on today. Can you guess what my dad is doing here--and why???

Thought for the day~

We received a forward with all of these cute sayings and pictures, so I thought I'd share some of them here....