Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Don't choke on the cherries!

The chokecherries, that is.  Mom, Jacob and I picked 4 gallons of ck. cherries this morning and juiced them and I tried to make jelly out of some of the juice, using homemade apple pectin that I also made today, but it doesn't seem to have jelled, so I'll have to either make/add more pectin or just use the jelly as syrup.   We did have some syrup on top of pancakes for supper.  Yummy!

My dad started cutting down the South alfalfa field and was surprised to find quite a bit of hay in the low spots, so the guys will be working on haying.  PRAISE GOD!  It is still so dry here.  We also looked at some CRP ground that our hunter friends said we could pay a bit to put up, so they'll probably do that too.  After looking at the CRP land, Dad, Andrew and I went and picked up a parts car at the Mochs' (where I work), as Paula and Andrew traded--computer services for the car.  I was glad 2 of our guys finally got to meet Zach anyway.   Next:  get everyone to meet Paula......  :)

I was so happy to pick 3 bell peppers in the garden this morning!  What a lovely time of year this is.

Monday, July 30, 2012

They almost lost the tire...

While loading up even more scrap-metal to haul to Bismarck,  the guys heard a strange squeaking noise coming from the tractor and Andrew stopped it when there was a thud also-----the wheel was all wobbly and almost off.  I'm not sure if they have that fixed yet or not.

Andrew had a pleasant surprise this afternoon and thanked the Lord this evening for honest neighbors.  :)  One of the neighbors he'd cleaned grain for this spring came over to pay his bill, which Andrew truly had forgotten he even owed him!   The money (over $2,000) will come in really handy, as he needs more parts for his big brown pickups' transmission now and was hoping to sell a vehicle soon, but now he can go ahead even without a vehicle sale.  PTL...   I do have to wonder just a little about my brothers' memory :), but am glad he's not greedy anyway.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


The guys (mostly, although Mom and I helped this morning a bit) put in the 2 corners in the fence, pounded posts in and restrung the wire, so now the cows will be contained and we'll have our rifle range fenced out.  Hoorah.  The dates were also decided on and set for the 2 Project Appleseed events we plan to host at our farm in the next few months.  More details to come on that...

Mom and I played a few piano duets today and we attempted to play the Maple Leaf Rag, which was fun, but we wanted to see how fast others play it, so I looked for some videos on YouTube.  This was my favorite:  <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/6j5JCw5J-7U" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>iframe>  .  :)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

2012 Summer Olympics...

Yes, we spent a good portion of the day watching amazing feats being performed by the human body.  God truly did glue us together well.  ;)  Simply, amazing! 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday, oh how busy you are!

I spent the morning and half of the afternoon caring for energetic Johanna and ever-changing Tracy Jo.   :)  We went for a medium-sized walk this morning before it got too hot to be outside.   When I was done there, I drove the 11 miles home and helped my mom clean the house and make enough food for 2 days.   It was my turn to do the chores too, so I fed, watered and milked the goats; watered and fed the turkeys and 2 calves; gathered the egg; and fed the younger turkeys (they have a large waterer in their pen, so we don't need to fill that at every chores.)  Oh yes, and I fed the dogs and cats some dog food.  Andrew has now cut back to milking his cow, Sally, once a day.  He wants to dry her up completely so she can have a little break before her new baby arrives. 

My dad hauled up another semi-load of scrap-metal (this time it was big items, like whole combine headers that are really old and of no use.)   Andrew (and Jacob is assisting him) has now decided to get into fixing air-conditioning problems in vehicles too, so, as his parts came in the mail today, they worked on one of Andrew's project cars...   My mom had a client out at the farm today, but hasn't been feeling the best lately (nothing catchy), so took it easy after that until I got home to help.

As I said, it was a busy day.  It's so nice to relax and rest in the cool evening breeze.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


We spent the first couple hours of this day with new friends/acquaintances (I left a while before they did, but I learned tonight that the one gentleman was actually part of Brother Andrew's---from "God's Smuggler"---team and smuggled many Bibles into China!)

The next part of the day got spent with my employer friends and "My" little girls.    And yes, the girls have grown and changed so much again!  Their nephew was there as well, so he helped keep the girls entertained when he wasn't helping his uncle, Zach.

The last part of the day was spent visiting my friend, Sarena and her little brother, telling stories; exchanging ideas;  listening to her shoot her VERY loud pistol; chasing horses in; and playing piano duets.  :)  She gave me several apricot pits/seeds that came from the trees at her parents' place, which she said produce abundantly.  I love apricots and hope God blesses my efforts to get them to grow!

I don't know much about what went on at home.  I do know that the guys finished up the loader-mounted-hole-digger and it WORKS.  Hooray!

The coyotes were just howling up a storm and sounded pretty close.  I'm glad our dogs let their voices be heard as well...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Waiting for our company...

This morning, my mom's cousin (from WI) wrote and asked if some friends of theirs could spend the night at our place, as their previous plans for lodging had been canceled.  We said "Yes", of course, but the trip must have taken them longer than they originally thought, as they're not here yet.  They should be pulling in any moment though, as about an hour and a half ago, they were in Valley City...

This day was hot, muggy, and productive.  The guys worked more on the rifle range (my dad brought straw bales home to start building the back-stop for the bullets.)  They also took some thing apart on the old pull-type combine we got from my grandpa, as they need a part from that for the loader-mounted post hold digger they're building.   Mom and I worked inside a lot and tidied up; baked bread; chopped up a lot of green beans from the garden for our supper; finished the laundry; and did other odds and ends. 

Tomorrow, I get to babysit "My" little girls, who I haven't seen in a week!   I'm sure they've grown by leaps and bounds!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Scraps of metal...

The guys worked on loading up more scrap-metal and actually filled up the semi-flatbed trailer (an old combine, a couple old swathers, and other things, although they had to take the tires off, or else they'd get charged $50 per tire at the place they sell the scrap iron!). 

Mom was in Bismarck all day, doing sessions for clients mostly, and getting a few farm and home supplies.

I cleaned and reorganized some more of the house; washed, dried and folded several loads of laundry; and washed some of the house windows. 

After supper, Andrew stoked up the smoldering fire (from yesterday) and some of us roasted some giant marshmallows for dessert.   I tried roasting 2, but I think I only ate the sum of 1, due to the amount of marshmallow that slipped off into the fire while I was trying to re-roast the middle after eating off the outer part.  :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Finally unpacked...

Yes, it's embarrassing and ridiculous to relate, but we truly did still have 2 or 3 boxes in the laundry room that had not been unpacked since we moved here 9 years ago!  We found one of Andrew's old shoes in there, from when his foot was about half the size that it is now!  We are done sorting through that now though.  Mom and I took almost the whole laundry room apart and cleaned, and cleaned, and threw garbage on the burn pile, and filled a box to donate to the 2nd hand store and, well, now it looks a lot better.  :) 

Our fellas had decided to start on the big project of cutting the walls of the barn we'd brought over here (9 years ago also) into smaller pieces and burning them in a dirt area, after it sprinkled this morning.  It's really still back where they're burning, because of the shelter belt on 3 sides and the shop blocking the wind from the other side.  It will be so nice to get this place cleaned up some more... 

Mom and I also worked on painting, inbetween sprinkles, that is.  It was just beautiful out this morning ("Thank you, Lord, for a break from the heat!), so Mom re-stained the deck while I painted the swings their beautiful, bright colors and also started repainting the teeter-totter and merry-go-round.  Oh, and a birdhouse.  I still have more to do, but hopefully it will be nice out again tomorrow so I can finish.

Jacob and I also began work on our new rifle-range location (in the corner of our pasture by the farm here).   First, we took all the clips off of (or the staples out of) the posts that need to be moved.  Then, we pulled the wires back out of the way, and then we pulled up the posts, all except for the heavy corner-posts which we'll need a tractor for.    Andrew dug out the post-hole digger and hauled it up to the shop as he plans to modify it to go on the loader bucket instead of using it on the 3-point, which doesn't work so well.    When he gets that done, then we'll be building 3 new corners out of wooden posts, so as to fence out the rifle range from the pasture.  Basically, we're taking the corner out of the pasture.

Oh yes, and my dad took the load of junk metal up to Bismarck this morning so as to get that out of the way. 

Those were the out-of-the-usual things we did today.  We also cared for the animals; made and ate meals; did the dishes and laundry; watered the greenhouse and garden; answered the phone; washed our hands a ton of times (trying to get the paint off!); went down to Titan for parts......you know, the usual things that are just a part of living.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Oh where, oh where should our rifle range be?

This was one of the topics of discussion today...  The guys think they've found a suitable location and are dreaming big about what it will one day be like.  (They're even talking about building an outhouse out there!)

We've been thinking for a while about hosting another Project Appleseed shooting event at our farm and are trying to decide on dates.  Does anyone reading this have any desire to attend and is there a certain weekend that would/wouldn't work for you?  We're wanting to hold it in the next month or two (to give you some idea).   You can go to the Appleseed website to learn more about what I'm talking about.  :)

My family and I got many things done today, even with the very hot weather.   Dad and the boys worked on loading up a load of scrap-iron to haul to Bismarck to sell.   Mom and I mowed the lawn and washed the deck (and swings) off with a special wash that prepares the wood for the one more coat of stain we're going to put on....  Mom shredded some zucchinis and put them in the freezer while I made a double batch of zucchini fritters for supper.  :)   Mom got her next batch of water keifer going again (lemon and lime flavored).  I cleaned out and reorganized one of the messy kitchen cupboards.  Mom set up the sprinkler between two of the apple trees, as they've been dropping their apples and Dad thinks it may be from not enough water.   My dad mowed down a ton more weeds in the pasture around the farm here and then did some in the yard too.   The boys worked on taking Jacob's dirtbike apart to fix it.  Jacob skinned his knuckles.  I almost got some deep slivers under two of my fingernails but was able to pull them out.  Mom hurt her wrist/arm again from something or other.  AND, my dad felt dizzy a couple times in the heat (unusual for him), but other than that, it was a great day.  Andrew thinks so especially?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Midsummer Song~

by Clinton Scollard (1860-1932)


Dawnings of amber and amethyst eves;
Soft in the south wind the laughter of leaves;
Breath of the poppy and death of the rose,--
Midsummer comes and midsummer goes!

Dapple on cheek of the apple and plum;
Honey-bees droning a die-away hum;
Swales in a shimmer and dales in a doze,--
Midsummer comes and midsummer goes!

Darting of dragon-fly, flutter of moth;
Barley in windrow and wheat in the swath;
Hush-song and thrush-song!--the mother-bird knows!--
Midsummer comes and midsummer goes!

Moonlight and noonlight all glamour and gleam;
Hillside and rillside a thrall to the dream;
Capture the rapture before the days close!--
Midsummer comes and midsummer goes!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Finishing things up...

Friday is such a great day at our place to do the jobs we've been procrastinating, or for finishing up fields and the like.  

For instance:   My dad finished baling the pasture over by Hazelton.  Mom drove the mower home.  Andrew finished baling up the oats field and the boys (and I hauled 2 loads while Andrew milked his cow) hauled in and stacked all the bales.  My dad got home mid-afternoon and then hooked up to the mower and cut down a ton of weeds around the farm/pasture.  Andrew got the powerful, push weed-wacker machine working again and knocked down some more weeds.   Mom and I cleaned the house; worked on laundry; and made a double batch of chicken enchiladas and then I made an angel-food cake from scratch (I'm still trying to perfect that!), whipped some cream and sliced several strawberries.  Yummy!  It was a very busy day.

I didn't post much about the last 2 days, but basically what happened was haying related and the only things out of the ordinary were when both my dad and Andrew saw a coyote (in different fields) while cutting/baling.   Jacob took Andrew's rifle out to the field, but by the time Andrew got back to the where the coyote had been, he had moved into the neighbors' field.   OH, also, while my dad was mowing in the pasture a few days ago, the mower must have struck a rock and sent out a spark because Dad looked back and saw smoke.  Praise be to God that he saw it when he did and was able to stomp out the flames!   It is so very dry now...    OH yes, and also, Jacob found a GINORMOUS toad, which he showed to me (while I was picking peas) and then released in the garden.  And I gave Andrew a much-needed haircut.  ;)  Things like that.

Here's wishing you all a wonderful weekend!  God bless~

Thursday, July 19, 2012

We just finished watching...

"War Horse".   Why are my eyes so watery tonight?  Hmmm....

It's pretty late already, so I'll post about the latest happenings at another time.~

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I love going to sleep in the Summer
When you know there's no chance that you'll freeze!
You leave all the house windows open,
Then relax and enjoy the cool breeze.
Crickets serenade you to dreamland--
After coyotes keep you awake for a bit.
An owl may be "whooooo--ing", a cow may be mooing,
But it's a Summer night, so I'll thoroughly enjoy it!
It was a busy day for everyone once again.  I took care of Johanna and Tracy Jo again for a good part of the day.  The boys and Mom finished screwing down the deck boards and Mom was going to paint/stain over the screws, but then it started to drizzle, so she couldn't.  The boys then replaced the dryer vent cover and hose and Mom cleaned up under/behind/around the clothes dryer.   My dad was cutting pasture hay again, but had to quit around 7:00PM, when it got too wet, even though he just had 3 rounds left....   
I love having the windows open in the evening.  Just thought I'd say it again.   :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Squeaky clean!

My brothers and I spent the afternoon in the shop (where it was a little cooler, with a fan blowing and the door closed), vacuuming out my car; washing vehicle windows and getting sticky glue off (from signs/stickers that previous owners had on); Andrew peeled the tinting off one of his pickups' windows, as it was too dark and then we had to get that goo off; and the boys fixed my car window so that it goes up and down now.   Then, when it cooled off a little, we worked on screwing down the deck boards.  We worked on that until supper, then ate and did chores and worked on it again until it was almost dark.  Oh, and this morning, I tilled in the garden again and then did some hoeing and also piled dirt up around the onions, as they were sticking out.  Mom kept busy with 3 clients' sessions and cooking.  Dad was over cutting prairie hay in Ferns' pasture, as the oats he'd cut down for hay around the farm here was not dry enough to bale yet.  It was a productive day. 

Also, some of you have asked about my Aunt and I realized that I hadn't shared here recently about how she's doing.  A couple of days ago, she came out of the coma she was in for nearly a week after the surgery.  Yesterday, they moved her out of the ICU and just into a regular hospital room/bed, so she's improving.  Thank you SO much for your prayers!!!   Uncle Russell is so happy and we're all praising the Lord for His healing power!  Aunt LV still has a long ways to go in her recovery and will have to take it easy for a long time yet.   (One of her nephews and his wife are planning to help take care of her for a while, until she can do things for herself again.)   The Drs. told Aunt LV that she needs to stop smoking (which she did a lot of) and also, she needs to quit dying her hair, as when she would dye her hair, the chemicals (or whatever is in that stuff?) made her blood pressure go sky-rocket high, which is very hard on a heart!  Continued prayer would be appreciated, for continued healing and also for the saving of 2 hearts---my Uncle and Aunt's hearts, that they would both know true peace through the Lord, Jesus (Yeshua--His Hebrew name).

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A birthday celebration...

My family and I went up to Mandan today to help celebrate my grandpa (Earl) B.'s 84th birthday, as well as his sister Esther's birthday (they share a birthday).   There was lots of yummy food and plenty of visiting going on.  We were the last ones to leave and helped Grandma with clean-up.  It's always good to get together with family.  (And yes, Grandma Marly DID enjoy the bouquet of lilies/zinnias I gave her!)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Peaceful day...

...spent at home.  Ahhhh.~

Friday, July 13, 2012

Closer to done...

If you can believe this, we're still working on our deck.  We haven't worked on it for about a month actually, as we've been busy with everything else, but recently (this morning) Andrew's been cutting the boards and I stained the cut ends.  Now we're finally ready to screw/nail them down and then have to do one more coat of varnish.  We still will have to redo the lower part with steps and everything, but at least the big part will be done!

We were so hot after we stopped with the deck, so I decided to wash my car and Andrew (after fixing something on the header?) washed the tractor with the pressure washer and Jacob then used it to wash his pickup....   It felt so good to get sprayed with cold water!

Andrew helped me move the big sprinkler in the garden, then noticed the small oscillating sprinkler that was in the junk pile, as it had been stepped on by a cow last year sometime when the cow went through our garden.  :(    He was able to straighten it out and it works again!  Then, he put a new hose-end on one of the leaky garden hoses, and then it was time for lunch. 

My dad was hauling grain almost all day, then worked on welding something that broke on the big square baler.   The boys went over to the Hazelton land after lunch and raked up and baled the hay in our land-lady's farmyard (she doesn't live out there anymore, so the grass just grows and grows).  Mom and I cleaned the house and Mom did some reorganizing in Dad and her' bedroom, then trimmed back some of the houseplants that were growing wild, almost.  I watered the house-plants and my fish...   OH, and I picked a gallon-pail full of peas, took the ends off, blanched them and put most of them in the freezer for use later.  I did make a stir-fry with carrots, walnuts, and peas that turned out well.  The boys did chores this evening and then we had a yummy supper consisting of the stir-fry I just mentioned, meatloaf, cocoa-milkshake, and zucchini chocolate chip cake for dessert (it took 4 zucchinis to make, that's how little they were!).  :) 

I guess I'd have to agree with those of you who commented that baby snakes probably aren't cute, although I don't think I've ever seen one, so I'm just guessing.  I do think baby mice are cute though and ALMOST find it hard to call the dog when we find a nest of them....    I just think it's so amazing how God created a certain living thing to look like the living thing it came from, just in much smaller proportions, and yet everything's there and, with proper care, all the parts of it's body will grow.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Good news!

Praise the Lord!  Our prayers are being answered---positively.  My aunt LV woke up this morning from the coma she's been in for nearly a week!!!  My uncle Russell is so happy, as are the rest of us.  She still will have a very long recovery and battles to fight, but this is such a good sign.  Please join me in keeping her in your prayers as she comes to mind.  Thanks.

It was a good day.  :)  I went over and watched/cared for "My" 2 growing girls again.  Dad hauled grain and then he and the boys moved the cows and sorted off 2 big steers, loaded them up, and Dad hauled them to Linton this evening to the butcher shop.  The boys got home from the pasture just as I was finishing chores.  I would have been done sooner had I looked for Sally in the pole-barn instead of driving all the way out to the back of the pasture to find her, where she wasn't....  Mom spent a good part of the day in Bismarck.  I was so happy to get the title for my vehicle in the mail---FINALLY!  Now that I also have liability insurance on  my car; new plates and stickers; and new front tires, I should be set to go, for a while (and yes, the money I made working these last 5 days is already spent just on those first 2 items I mentioned)....      As one of the songs Johanna was listening to today goes, "A penny for a spool of thread, a nickle for a needle.  That's the way the money goes.....Pop goes the weasel."  :) 

I saw 3 does this morning on the way over to work, all of them in separate places, and 2 of which had 2 fawns each.  The babies were so cute with all their speckles!  Just curious, have you ever seen a baby animal that you didn't think was cute?  If so, what kind was it??? 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Update on my aunt...

Mom talked to her brother again today.  There is a bit of good news, that being that the Drs. were able to pull 2 of the 8 IVs and without her heart going haywire.  She is still in a coma though.  Please, keep praying.  Thanks so much!

I spent a good portion of the day over caring for Johanna and Tracy Jo again.  We went for a nice long walk this morning BEFORE it got so hot out.  We read books, built towers with blocks, and just lived.

When I got home, I whipped some cream to go on top of the pancakes Andrew was mixing up.  Then, I did the goat and turkey chores while Andrew did the cow and calf chores.  I took a stroll through the garden to see how things are progressing.  Our cucumbers are blooming like crazy, but don't have any fruits on yet.  The zucchinis will soon be ready to eat though!   The peas are producing well and, of course, the lettuce is still producing.  The beans are blooming, as are the potatoes.  The corn is getting very tall.  My lime-green zinnias are just opening now.  I was so excited to see that the lilies my grandma gave me are about ready to burst into bloom, as we're going to their place on Sunday to celebrate Grandpa's birthday and I'll be able to take her a lovely bouquet.  :)

My dad is still over by Hazelton, working on putting up the ditch hay.  The boys are working on or playing on their computers.  Mom is doing a long-distance session for a client.  I was just playing piano for an hour, then decided to do something else, like writing here...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Andy and Barney Return...

I did not realize that Andrew had put this on You-Tube until just a few days ago, so here is a link to the skit my brothers did (last minute style) at Prairie Days:

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/sBfegJRXFnI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>iframe>

This day started out as interesting and ended on a sad note.  The interesting part was when I went to get the 4-wheeler so as to go get Sally in from pasture so I could milk her and then 5 horses suddenly came around the corner where I was walking towards, running full speed.  They ran down to the goat pen, paused, then turned around and ran back out of the driveway.  I asked Mom to call our neighbors to let them know where their horses were, but we learned later that my dad and Andrew had already called them, as they both headed for Bismarck before chores this morning and saw the horses and called their owners.

Then, after I'd finished chores, but before I left to babysit, our insurance man (that we've known forever, it seems) stopped by so I could sign the needed paperwork to get my own liability insurance policy.  Now that I'm 25, I have to have my own policy....  SO, signed on the dotted lines, wrote out a check, changed clothes quick and headed for work.

The girls and I had a usual day, splashing in their little pool in the afternoon and staying inside out of the heat for almost all of the rest of the time, except for when we went on a short walk.   We did puzzles, colored, rocked in the chair while watching "Word world" and the like, ate, drank, and were merry, most of the time.  ;)

When I got home, I learned that my mom had talked to my uncle again and had got a more detailed report on my aunt Lv's condition, after her open heart surgery.   He had just said before that things were not good/terrible, but he told my mom today that LV never woke up after the surgery and is in a coma.   She's on life-support and her wishes before the surgery were that she would not be kept on life-support if something should happen...   Please pray for my uncle Russell and also for LV, and that the Lord's will would be accomplished in this.   Uncle Russell loves LV so much that it's going to be very hard for him to go on if she passes away now.  He used to be quite "Wild", but she's brought a lot of good things into his life and mellowed him out, shall we say?    "Father in Heaven, please be with them...."

Monday, July 9, 2012

We said our goodbyes...

It felt like Summer today, which is a good thing, since it is.  :)

I watched/cared for/enjoyed "My" little girls again today.  Probably the funniest part of my time there was when Johanna was naming her blocks, alternating between "Mommy" (toss the block into a pile, pick up the next); "Daddy" (toss block); "Mommy".....    She's in the process of learning to say my name, so yesterday I was "Tora" and today I was "Dora".  What will I be tomorrow?  :)   Little Tracy Jo is growing and changing so much!   She's now at the stage of pulling herself across the floor with her arms, scooting on her tummy.  She's so fun to watch, and she can play with a pile of toys for longer and longer times now, kicking her little feet all the while.   The 3 of us almost all fell asleep this afternoon though (after getting in from a short trip outside) while I sat rocking with both of them on my lap.   I also always enjoy visiting with the little girls' parents (AKA: Daddy and Mommy).   In case you couldn't tell, I'm enjoying my job! 

This evening, Mom, the boys and I went to another John Birch Society meeting (the 2nd part of 3) about the United States' Constitution and what it really means to be responsible citizens.  This is the 3rd time we've heard the 3-part series, but each time we learn more and it's become more interesting as other people are getting involved as well and we get more discussion going and stories being told....   There was a really good turnout tonight, compared to the last one, that is.  Sadly, it might be the last time we'll get to see Mr. Stevens---and his son was along too (he's a friend and the teacher of the class), as he and his family will be moving to Montana next week to be closer to their extended family members.  The good thing is that he will still be carrying on the message of hope to the people surrounding him there, but we will miss their family.  (We've had them here a few times and stayed with them during the home-school conference this last year, so have got to know them pretty well.)  The good news is that we will not be left hanging, as the JBS is constantly growing as more and more people wake up to the realization that our rights are being taken away left and right, while we do nothing.   The JBS will be hiring someone else to come to our state to pick up the torch and continue to light the way for others.   

I highly recommend concerned citizens to find or start a local JBS chapter of your own and learn the things that used to be common knowledge to every American, when this still was without a shadow of a doubt, the land of the free and the home of the brave!    You can buy the story of John Birch's life HERE.  He was actually a Christian missionary to the Chinese to start out with, and ended up (after fighting heroically and getting lots of medals, ) getting murdered (in China) because he was speaking out about the dangers he saw coming from communistic thinking----but I don't want to ruin the story for you...

We're all back home again...

Yesterday morning, I said goodbye to our cousin and then did all the chores while my dad and Jacob took him up to Steele to meet up with his grandparents who he rode with.  Then, they said goodbye.

I'm not even sure what Dad and Jacob did yesterday, but I'm sure they were busy.

I babysat Johanna and Tracy Jo most of the day and then got off work about 6:30.  I'd told my new friends, Lauretta and Sarena that I'd be over there after work to visit and to take them the next season in a video series we're both watching.    Sarena wasn't there at first, so Lauretta and I talked and looked at the garden.  When Sarena got back, we visited some more, and then they asked if I'd like to ride horse, as it was a lovely evening and we'd talked about doing that other times.  It's been about 12 years since the last time I rode, and even then, I'd been riding very old horses who didn't go faster than a walk.  We mostly just walked, although we did trot and gallop for a while, until I stopped my horse as I felt like I was going to fly off.  :)  It was fun.  We got back to their place just as it was getting dark.  Then we talked a lot more, I guess, as it got pretty late. 

Andrew got home around 11:30; I arrived a little after that; and Mom came home too---around 1:00AM I think, although I didn't hear her pull in.  SO, we are all back under the same roof once more.  PTL!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A derby...

Yesterday, last minute, my dad decided to take us to see Linton's Demolition Derby (with cars).  It was a loud and interesting 3 hours, especially since there was a guy right behind us who decided to befriend us and he was very talkative and loud. 

We played several games with Hristiyan yesterday too (pool, Koosh-ball, Bocee...), and then Jacob and I stayed up pretty late with him, visiting about police jobs (he wants very much to be a policeman when he is old enough.) 

I need to go make sure he is awake right now though, as we're meeting his grandparents in Steele in an hour.   It's been lots of fun having our 2nd cousin here!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Some of the calves got loaded up....

This morning, after helping get Mom on her way to Canada (and she e-mailed much later, letting us know she arrived safely), and after the boys did chores, we all went up to the pasture to move the cows to their next cell and to sort off 3 steers for Andrew to take to the Bartletts.  Thankfully, that all went very smoothly.  Thank you to you if you prayed!

Right after an early lunch, Andrew took off, after saying goodbye to Hristiyan...and the rest of us too, of course.  Not too long after he'd left, he called Dad to tell him there was a white calf out by the road up there by the pasture.  He thought it might be ours, so my dad went to investigate and found that, yes, it was ours.  He came back for panels, the stock trailer, and some help.  Sadly, we were not able to get the calf loaded though, as he'd crawled the fence in with a neighbors' cows.  Dad called the neighbor and got permission to try and get the calf out, but he wouldn't sort out of the herd and it just wasn't working, so we came home.  We'll have to try to get him in when Andrew returns home to us.

Outside of the cattle busyness, the day was spent in different ways....  My dad worked on one of the grain-cleaners.  Jacob and Hristiyan did some odd jobs (cleaning up fireworks from last night, setting the table, etc...) and also spent some time "Farming" together on the computer and bouncing on the trampoline.  I cleaned the house and made tortillas for the tacos we had for supper.  I also made a gooey crumb cake, as I was in a hurry to get it out of the oven so as to go help try and get that white calf in........ 

This evening, after supper, we showed Hristiyan the old, but funny movie, "Hot lead and cold feet".  And now I'm heading for bed.  I think the boys are not quite tired yet, so they'll probably be up a little longer.  It's hard to believe we only have 1 day left with Hristiyan here.  Time sure does fly by!

A picture-full post!

It's been a busy couple of days!  You  may have noticed I did not post last night----the reason being that we got home from the Mandan rodeo (and fireworks display) a little after 1:00AM, and as I fell asleep on the way home, I felt like I was sleepwalking while getting ready for bed and certainly didn't have any thoughts of posting.  BUT, I have been working on a nice long picture post throughout the day, so I hope you all enjoy it (especially Hristiyan's family!). 

Here it goes:

Andrew's used car/pickup lot:

The garden is doing well, with the aid of the very tall sprinkler you see in the picture below.  It's so tall that it can water the garden in 4 settings. 

I'm sure you can all guess what that little green squash is between the flower and the plant!
A couple of the lovely orange lillies that Sarah gave me last Summer (and you can see the raspberries I also got from her, growing in the background).
I took this picture yesterday morning....   We decided to go see a parade and, after much thought and debate, it was at last decided that we'd go to the parade in Linton, like we used to do in the "Good old days".  :)    So, we put on our walking shoes and......   walked across the road to hop into Andrew's pickup! 

Here we are waiting for the parade to start....
I think the boys liked the yellow car?

These were the only horses in the parade:
I liked this car:

After the parade was over, we visited for a while with some people we used to go to church with, then we headed for home, but got a bit distracted.  :)   We drove back to the farm where we used to live and were happy to see that there's someone living there now.  Then, we showed Hristiyan our Temvik house (the big blue house in a previous post).  We had a belated lunch when we got home.

It was pretty nice and warm out, so after some convincing talking (I won't say by whom or whom to), my brothers, Hristiyan and I headed up to the big lake in our pasture.  I wanted to swim, but the boys wished to stay dry, so they went in boats/rafts.  It was pretty windy, so we had some difficulties getting back to shore, (Kristi M, I'll let Hristiyan tell you about that experience)....

Jacob by his pickup, with "Paddle boats" on back....
Hristiyan and Andrew...
After about an hour, we decided to head for home.  There was a slight problem with the cows' fence though that we tried to fix, kind of.....   Apparently, someone didn't notice the fence or know that the road there's been closed for many years, but at any rate, they bent over a fencepost and lost some plastic from their lights. 
 Trying to pound in a post with a rock (it didn't work)...
The guys did chores early while Mom and I packed some sandwiches for supper, then it was off to Mandan for a RODEO!

 This was the bare-back bronc-riding event....

Calf roping/tying event: 

 Everyone enjoyed the Chuck-wagon races!

Then there was more wild horse riding (with saddles this time).  Thankfully, nobody got hurt too badly, although I'm sure some of the cowboys were a bit sore after some of the landings they took....

This cowboys' guardian angel was working overtime I think!  He actually flipped up and over the horses' head, but then he fell to the left and the horse went to the right.  Yikes!

Another cowboy with an awkward landing...

Steer wrestling (jumping off a horse and twisting the calf's neck sideways so it tips over---along with you.)

They had "Mutton Bustin' " this year, which was so cute to watch.  Basically, little cowboys and cowgirls rode on sheep and tried to stay on as long as possible.   The one boy who actually stayed on the full length of time was so funny to watch, as he was leaning way off to the side, but just had such a grip on that sheep that he stayed that way-------even after the beeper beeped and he could have let go!

Team roping...
The bull riders are getting ready....
Barrel racing...
 The bull pictures are all a blur, so this is the best one that I have!  I think there were only 2 cowboys that managed to stay on the whole amount of time.  I can not even imagine trying to ride a bull.  That is the ultimate in scarrieousness!
 After the official rodeo was over with, there was a Ranch Rodeo which was also very fun to watch.  My favorite of the 3 events they did was the WILD COW MILKING!   One of the team members would rope the cows' head, then some would also rope the back legs or else one team-member just pulled the cows' tail, but the goal was to milk a bit of milk (enough to poor out) into a baby bottle, then a team-member had to run the milk to the judge, all in as little time as possible.  It was so funny!

In the picture below, 2 teams would be competing at the same time, trying to rope their designated calf and get it loaded into the trailer as fast as possible. 
Oh yes, during the main  rodeo, there was a clown and he had a special act, but we didn't like him much at all!   There was another special event though, which we enjoyed a lot...  Shooting balloons while riding your horse around the course.  I have a video and will maybe get it posted sometime?

After the Ranch Rodeo was over, there was a gigantic, loud, amazing fireworks display, which we all really enjoyed.  Then it took a long time to get out of the parking lot, with everyone trying to leave at once......    We finally did get home, like I said, a little after 1:00 in the morning.  I was surprised that we were all up around 8:00 this morning!

This day was special too.  Most of the day was spent in work (the guys went over to the hayland and fixed the tractor and finished stacking bales after lunch, and Mom and I cooked and did laundry, and I ran the tiller through the garden paths), but this evening was really fun.  We invited Tom and Virginia M. over for supper/campfire and fireworks, so they came and we had a very nice visit; ate; roasted hotdogs and marshmallows; swung on the swings; played Boccee until it got dark; then the 3 boys lit off most of their fireworks and the rest of us enjoyed the show (and more visiting). 

It was a delightful day.  

Please pray for my aunt LV in the morning, as that is when she is having her open-heart surgery....  Also, if you would, please keep my mom in your prayers as she has decided (last minute) to go to a class in Canada, travelling with friends.  She'll leave in the morning.  Also, prayers for cooperation from the cattle would be nice, as the remaining 5 of us will be attempting to cut out 3 young steers from the herd and getting them herded up to the old farmstead and loaded up.  Andrew plans to take them up to our friends in the Turtle Mountains (they're buying the calves from us) tomorrow, as soon as we get them loaded.    Life is never, ever dull! 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Cousin Hristiyan is here!

He rode with his grandparents to Bismarck, where my mom and brother, Jacob picked him up before heading home.  They arrived here at the farm around 8:15PM, just in time for supper.  ;)  Then, Mom and I planted the flowers she brought home while the boys bounced on the trampoline, and then most of us swung on the swings in the cool evening breeze.  We're trying to decide what to all do tomorrow.  Hmmmmmm..............

Monday, July 2, 2012

It was a HOT day, weather-wise.

You know the kind.... 

When THIS:

...would feel oh so good!  :)

Unfortunately for them, my dad and Andrew weren't home to enjoy the air-conditioned house.  Fortunately for the rest of us though, my dad got done hauling grain at noon and came home for lunch, at which time he put a new breaker in, as the AC had blown one while Mom and I were out in the garden this morning! 

Then, my dad went out cultivating.  Andrew was also cultivating, but he was doing it for our Organic farming friend, Dave, over by Linton.

Mom, Jacob and I worked inside most of the day, cutting up rags for the shop; I made a carrot cake; and just doing odds and ends.  Jacob and I did go outside for a while to rework-up the front flower bed so we can plant flower plants in there after Mom gets some in Bismarck tomorrow.  We had tried a new product (flower-bed-in-a-roll) but it did not work AT ALL, so now we need to start over, with plants though.

We learned to day that my Aunt LV's open-heart surgery is set for Thursday, so please join us in praying for that to go very well.

We're excited for our 2nd cousin, Hristiyan to be coming tomorrow from WI.  He's never seen a rodeo, so we'll be taking him to the one in Mandan on the 4th.  Fun times!  :)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Gone most of the day...

I took care of/played with/enjoyed Johanna and Tracy Jo from 6:00AM to almost 8:00PM (actually starting at 6:30, because that's when Tracy Jo woke up!).   Their mom had to work and their dad was at a threshing bee. The girls and I stayed in the air-conditioned house a lot of the time, but did venture out to splash in the pool for a while and to try out the big beach-ball sprinkler.   It was a nice day.