Snow Day

Yesterday was another–yet again–snow day and when there is snow, Peanut must play in it.

And when Peanut must play in it, Daddy must play in it, too.

She wanted to make a snowman and as any fun-loving, indulgent father would do, he agreed to it.

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See, she has more of a supervisory role.

Observing while the farmer does the laborious part.

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She might move to the other side, once in a while.

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Now, Peanut, you must punch the snowball.”

He didn’t really say that; I was just narrating.

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Official carrot holder. Somebody’s gotta do it!

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I hear it pays really well.

Then, Banjo arrived. He’s kind of a party crasher.

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This dog is so weird. Army crawling is his favorite mode of transportation. “Pft-puth-puh! Note to thelf: Don’t uthe your nothe ath a thnow plow…” (He has kind of a low, rather unintelligent voice if you’re trying to hear this in your mind. You’re welcome.)

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“I don’t know what that orange thing in her hand ith…but…I want it.”

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“Thtealth mode… keep your eye on the target.”

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“Doh! I’ve been made! I am up to abthoulutely nuffin.’”

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Thtick your nothe in the thnow…that alwayth confutheth ‘em.”

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Then roll around…act like you’re just a dog…playin’ in the thnow.”

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“Yawn…look natural.”

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Meanwhile, the farmer is putting the finishing touches on the snowman.

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All done!

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Just your friendly, neighborhood Select Sires snowman. Out here in the cold. Advocating artificial insemination and exemplary genetics.

After that, being the adoring father that he is, the farmer threw a snowball at Peanut. However, Banjo saw this as an opportunity to play, as well. He kind of stole the show, in fact.

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The big galoof was showing off, catching snowballs on the fly.

“Catchin’ thnowbalth…I can do it in my thleep.”

Famous last words…

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“Firtht, you must antithipate.” (It’s kind of a selective lisp. I do it at my own discretion.)

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“Then, keep your eye on the thnowball.”

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“Wait for it…wait for it…”

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“Doh!! Mith’d it!”

In fact, he never…quite… caught it again.

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“But, look how high I can jump! Thee! Thee!”

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“Yeah!!! Th-tuck it!!

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Find the thnowball…and…bow.”

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A for effort, Banjo…ya cute lil’ thang.

Having way too much fun talking for my dog,

Breauna

Bringing You Up to Date and Rambling

I’m coming up on my second anniversary of being a full-fledged farm wife. On the front lines. Fully immersed in the red dirt and poo. Over the last year, I’ve done less and less of the actual labor part of farming. I don’t get in the milk barn much at all anymore. I spend more time at my desk with the numbers than I ever have because we continue to slowly and steadily grow. I’ve also been working part-time for an attorney in the city. I enjoy it immensely (the finances and the part-time job), but it leaves me a lot less time for my blogging hobby. Not to mention that it’s hard to feel inspired when it’s thunder-snowing with freezing rain tornadoes followed by beautiful spring-like temperatures followed by 18 degrees, quarter-sized hail, 30mph sleet-winds.

I’m serious. One day it looks like this.

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The next day it looks like this.

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I don’t think I’ve ever been more ready for spring in my life!  I can’t even imagine how our cattle feel.

We haven’t been up to anything different than the usual around here. The farmer bought more cows in August and they’ve been sporadically calving in. He’s been busy trying to keep them alive from freak accidents and bad weather. We’ve had 3 black bulls from Solomon.( If you’re not familiar with him, click here: http://wp.me/p1lzEK-hR) However, only one has survived. The first calf born to one of our heifers met his end by falling off a 15-foot bluff and drowning in the spring below. The farmer was just sick about it because she calved early. He had been moving all of the ones that were “due any day now” close to the house. That’s one thing I’ve learned about farming. If they’re not in a barn, left to their own devices, these cows will give birth to their offspring in the most remote, dangerous spot on the farm. Let’s not speak of giving these calves a fighting chance. Apparently, our cows want to raise warrior calves and believe in the “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” philosophy. I mean, not only do they have to worry about winter, coyotes, and  abandonment  by  a heifer that seems to think she just had a really rough time going to the bathroom, but bluffs with 8 inches of running spring water underneath.

Wide loads! Comin' through!

Wide loads! Comin’ through!

Then, the farmer had to pull another one, but it was stillborn. So, our luck so far this year hasn’t been the greatest. The farmer did a good job planning so that none of them would calve in January-mid February (the worst part of winter) and here we are, having terrible weather in March. One of our new, really nice cows calved overnight and the farmer has been awaiting her calf with much anticipation only to not be able to find it all this morning. The cow keeps mooing across the fence, but the farmer can’t even so much as find a piece of hair or any sign of the calf. We found mountain lion tracks on our place during the last snow, so he thinks it was either that or coyotes.

And then you always have to worry about a cow getting her back down a hill during labor. She’ll have the calf, but not be able to get back up to lick it and encourage it to eat. In this weather, it will freeze in no time. That’s the situation he came upon with another cow this morning. He got the momma cow turned the right direction, picked up the calf to take it with him, and returned to the milk barn soaked with slime. He put it in the warm bulk tank room hoping he could save it and so far, it’s worked. Needless to say, he’s been busy. And that was all just before church Sunday morning.

Peanut’s been going to preschool during the days. She’s still loving it and it’s heartwarming to watch her make friends and know that there’s a possibility that some of them might be life-long ones. She’s blossoming educationally and socially. And I find myself flip-flopping between being so proud that she can do so much and feeling sad because my baby’s growing up. Baby # 2 fever has definitely arrived!

Peanut only had a half-day at preschool last week and the weather was nice, so we went driving around checking cattle with the farmer. He turned to me and said, “Well, I guess we’ll go back to the house and get the trailer so we can load that heifer and bring her back to the house.” Just a second after that, Peanut looks at him and repeats verbatim what he just said like it was her idea all along. In a more commanding tone. He looked at me and quietly said, “I tell you what, whatever she ends up doing when she grows up, we are raising a boss.” It didn’t take her 5 seconds to reply, “You’re not raising a boss, Daddy. I am the boss already.” He was rendered speechless and I just had to laugh. (Sigh) You gotta love 3-almost-4 year olds… This picture is all the illustration you need of the role she plays around here.

The Boss

The Boss

I have so many stories about Peanut. I think the third year has probably been the toughest as far as child-rearing has gone. (For me, anway. Two was a peach compared to three. All I can say is attitude…attitude…attitude.) However, in some ways, three has been super rewarding because I see Peanut follow the examples her dad and I are trying to set for her. In church Sunday morning, we had our Bibles open and guess what? So did Peanut. It doesn’t matter that we were in Hebrews and she was in Lamentations; it clarified that she’s watching. Later during the sermon, she turned to the farmer and told him he wasn’t on the right page. She flipped his Bible to some other random page and told him, “Now, you’re right.” (Doing to us what we do to her.) It was funny.

She has so much spunk and my family likes to laugh and say, “We can’t wait to watch this story unfold.”  Neither can I.  It’s going to be interesting.

Banjo is as weird as ever.

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He’s still chasing birds…as their flying in the sky.

He’s still dragging all kinds of dead things into my yard.

He still hates cats. (I don’t know of one Blue Heeler that will not kill cats if given one split-second of a chance.) However, he also hates mice. Actually, he hates all animals smaller than him. I like cats and would enjoy having some mousers around here, but if Banjo spots a mouse, it’s a goner. Problem is, he doesn’t hunt them like a cat does… He redeems himself with me by being the best alarm system for snakes. If there is a snake in the yard, Banjo will seriously chase you out of the yard and away from the snake. For that reason, him and I have a special bond.)

And he still entertains me when I catch him outside the window chasing his tail.

Somewhere between the middle and end of March, we’ve planned to start stock dog training for him with a trainer that knows more about what they’re doing than we do. Might as well, right? Why not have a dog that can gather the cows instead of the farmer going after them every morning and afternoon? Why not have a dog smart enough to sort and know what gate you want different cows to go through? That’s our plan, anyway. I’m all about productivity and efficiency around here. Even the dog has to pull his weight.  We’ll see how it all turns out.

Sorry about all the rambling. Just thought I’d let my loyal readers know what we we’ve been up to lately. I’d go take some pictures of some new babies, but I don’t particularly like getting pelted with what feels like glass when I step outside the door, so you’re left to read my ramblings.

I’ll try to do better once spring comes.

Ta-ta for now,

Breauna

A Cute Idea for Bathrooms

As all of you know, my house is small little thing, so I try my best to use the space I have efficiently. I can’t stand clutter, so anything that can hang on a wall and hold necessary items is a must.

I found a couple things on Pinterest (of course) and I thought I’d share. I’m combining the two.

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The shelves above the toilet are perfect! I love everything that’s on them. You can put cotton balls and Q-tips in the little apothecary jars, light a candle, admire the tulips, grab a towel,  and stare at the hands on the clock for a good minute trying to figure out what time it is.

Oh wait, that’s just me. Roman numerals and self-doubt.

These aren’t the colors in my bathroom, so I’ll probably try to find either white or espresso colored shelves. Black would look great, but I have disavowed black lately. Dusting every 30 minutes kinda puts a cramp in my style, ya know?

Anyway…

This is the other picture I found on Pinterest.

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I thought this was a really cute idea because nothing is sweeter to me than a bathtub baby picture.

And I snapped the perfect one a week ago.

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I think I’ll put it where the clock is.

Can’t wait!

Breauna

Our Fall Family Photos

A while back, I told you about some family photos we had done. I wanted them taken at the dairy because, as far as scenery and photo ops go, you really can’t get much better than this. The next step was to find a photographer. It just so happens that I have a photographer cousin in Kansas City. (Icon Imagery, if you’re in the KC area.) I really wanted her to take them because 1) she’s awesome 2) she knows our personalities and 3) I enjoy her company immensely. She brought her little family down, we took pictures, I cooked, we ate, we stood around a backyard bonfire, and a good time was had by all. She even trekked down to the dairy barn to help the farmer the next morning!! (Her name’s Kim, by the way.)

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Isn’t she gorgeous?

And here are some of my favorites that she took of us… Barrage of pictures comin’ at ya.

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I’ve decided that I must have one like this every year.

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This is our rendition of a picture the farmer saw on the internet. He told me he wanted it for his birthday. :-) We couldn’t have staged it better for him. An old red barn, a few hay bales, and his girls.

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Angel.

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Peanut did an awesome job for Kim.

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I love her face here. It looks like she’s happily wistful.

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And this one’s just so candid.

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I can’t think of a picture of us that I’ve ever liked so much. I ordered a big 16×20 canvas of it for our bedroom.

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Haha! And although this picture is on the suggestive side, it’s so totally us. If I were to title this one, it would be “The Shoes Say it All.”

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Yeah, she took my banner photo, too. :-) Just a random one she snapped as we were walking away that turned out so cute!

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I can’t figure out if I like the cleaner one or…

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the hazy one better. What do you think?

My family 2

My mom said this is the kind of picture you frame and put behind your couch. I agree.

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I love this one because we’re all smiling.

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I love this one because of Peanut’s sweet, spunky face. And I think it’s kind of great how we’re all touching. I don’t remember Kim telling Peanut to put her hand there.

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Her face…

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The sun in this one’s pretty cool.

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This was one of Kim’s ideas that turned out so cute!

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And then Peanut did some posing of her own.

My Ornery Daughter

Peanut looks all disheveled here because the farmer was flying her around like an airplane. However, the haphazard hair and the little mischievous grin to go with it is why I absolutely love this picture. It visually captures…her. This is Peanut. This is what she looks like every other day of the week.

And finally, there’s this one.

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This picture is symbolic to me, in a way. Symbolic of the journey. On one hand, we’ve come this far. On the other, we still have a lot more to go. But, we’re here on this dairy and as long as we’re all together, I can only feel hopeful.

Thanks for letting me share with you!

Happy Hump Day,

Breauna

A Few Family Pictures

Over the last several months, my husband, my daughter,my sister-in-laws and their children have willingly endured some picture-taking practice. I enjoy taking pictures and have alot of fun with it, however, I am by no means a professional. I’ve only learned the things I’ve learned through trial and error and a moderate amount of reading.

And some helpful tidbits that masters have thrown to this young grasshopper.

However, today, I’m going to show you a few pictures I’ve taken that conjure a special feeling for me. They may be imperfect technically, but they perfectly demonstrate a perfect moment, a perfect look, or a perfect emotion.

And then next time, I’ll share the family pictures the farmer and I recently had done. Photographs that I can only aspire to take someday.

Ok, are you ready? Here goes.

I have no idea how I took this picture and would never be able to do it again. Inconsistency is my middle name when it comes to photos, but this is my absolute favorite picture of my husband. It’s just so him.

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That look… I fell in love with that look and it still retains it’s effectiveness today. I now refer to it as “The Smolder.” And I thank Flynn Rider for the descriptive term.

This one comes in at a close second because 1) it’s a little bit closer and 2) this look is also one I receive all the time.

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I live for this look. This is his, “You.Are.Weird” look. Or his “Seriously…?” Or his “I find what you just said somewhat humerous, but I’m never going to let you know it” look. I strive for this look on a daily basis. I say ridiculous things just to get it. I mime song lyrics. I shadowbox. I make random, weird faces. Because I’m really mature like that. And that look says to me “mission accomplished.” Don’t let his seriousness in these pictures fool you, though. This is the man that is desperate for a laugh from his daughter. This is the man that will run down our hallway, fake trip, and dramatically tumble to the ground. Works every time. And then I’m the one with the above look on my face. To each his own, right?

In summary, there’s no telling what Peanut’s going to turn out like. But, I’d say a good sense of humor and a double dose of goofiness is definitely in her cards.

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This one speaks to me. I like the color of it, for one. And then, I dunno… It may just be because I know him, but there’s something about his face and his eyes that speak of a quiet strength. It’s a face of focus and determination. A kind warrior. And he is every bit of that.

Moving on to Peanut.

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She absolutely loves to swing and this is a moment of unbridled glee. This picture makes me grin.

And this one makes me melt.

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This one also reminds me of her one condition for me to be allowed to take pictures of her. Our conversation went like this:

Me: “Can Mommy take some pretty pictures of you?”

Peanut, after tilting her head, and pondering what this meant for a few seconds: “Can I wear lipgloss?”

Hence, the pink sheen to my 3-year-old’s lips. Heaven help us.

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This one makes me smile because it’s so her. A happy little kid.

Then, there’s Kalyssa, my neice.

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This one might possibly be the best picture I’ve ever taken. And those big, beautiful brown eyes… This little girl is so full of love and this picture perfectly expresses that.

Here she is with her dad.

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Such a sweet picture! You can tell they adore each other.

And here she is with her mom. I love mother-daughter pictures.

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That’s my sister-in-law, Tanna. She’s the one that milks for the farmer when we’re away for a weekend. We don’t know what we’d do without her. Well…we’d never get to leave, that’s what we’d do.

Here’s her big brother, Foster.

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I like this picture because it captures what a little boy is. (I’m chuckling because he would NOT appreciate me calling him a little boy). It’s a sweet face riddled with orneriness. It’s Foster.

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This is one of my absolute favorites because it’s such a cute keepsake. If these were my kids, I’d have this on a gallery-wrapped canvas and stick it in their playroom.

Moving along…

This little guy is the newest of Peanut’s cousins.

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This is Drayson.

Newborns are so precious. However, taking these pictures had to be the hardest I’ve ever done. Taking a decent picture is HARD when I’m not outside. I do not relish taking indoor pictures. I need lots of pointers when it comes to this. I’ve heard one of those attachable flash thingies is very helpful, but I have no idea what’s right for me or what a good one is. Do they really improve an indoor picture’s quality that much? Anyway, I love this photo because his little face is just so sweet and pleasant.

I was more in my element when we took him outside.

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Love it!

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EEEEEEE!! He’s just so darn cute!

I love this one because I know what was going on when I took it.

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Drayson was getting really tired of the pumpkin and Staci –she’s the farmer’s youngest sister– was doing everything she could to keep him happy while laughing at the circumstances herself. There’s laughter in her eyes. And that’s why it’s one of my favorites.

This one speaks to me as a mother.

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First of all, Drayson is actually looking up towards the camera, which lends it’s own level of cuteness. And then, I just love the look on Staci’s face. She’s serenely smiling down at him with a look of pride, awe, and absolute love. It’s clear she adores him and it’s touching.

I’m so glad my family allows themselves to be my guinea pigs. And Drayson may never fit in a pumpkin again, so that moment will be frozen in time, which makes me happy I was there. Each and every one of these is special because it’s a day I can’t ever physically go back to. But, these pictures take me back so vividly in my mind.

And that’s what they do for the people in them, as well. Hence, the reason I love it so much.