Tuesday, August 30, 2016

May

May signaled the end of the school year, some new beginnings and the end of a few chapters as well. For instance, I drove my girl to school the morning of the last day of classes for the last time, knowing she would be driving herself once junior year began. Bittersweet. But necessary. Sigh.

We also brought this guy home - Taylor delved into the market steer arena for this show season. Cooper joined us in May and he's really the most calm and chill cow we've had to date. In fact, he believes he's a cat on most days.


Clyde continued to grow at a rapid rate and almost eclipsed Kate.


My girl brought home 2nd place at Area with her Ag Policy speech.


She also finally acquiesced and went in for allergy testing. She's not terribly fond of needles and, though she clearly has many allergies, she'd been averse to getting shots on a weekly basis. Once we learned that drops administered at home were an option, we quickly scheduled an appointment and learned she is literally allergic to all but TWO of the items they test for - several so severe that she had to be treated in the office during testing. 


Sigh. But the good news is she's three months into treatment and is already showing some improvement.


Cooper learned to walk and be set up for show.


And then we brought home the final piece of the show team - Cherry Delight. 

This girl. She is spirited. In fact, she thought she was a bull for the first couple of months - she would literally snort, throw dirt and charge anyone or anything that came near her. Even through her pen. Needless to say, it was a looooong summer of trying to get her to trust us. We've finally turned a corner, I believe, but walking is still a challenge. We'll get there, though!


Taylor was honored with both two awards at the Academic Awards Ceremony to close out the school year...


...and later that night we attended the FFA Banquet where Tiny busied herself with artwork...


...and Taylor celebrated a year's worth of accomplishments with other FFA members. She was also installed as the new Reporter! She is sooooo excited to be part of the officer team.


Sophomore year was fun, annoying, full of activities, challenging and brought new experiences and learning opportunities. I watched my girl grow and take on the world with confidence while continuing to be an amazing friend and person.

We may not always see eye to eye but there's no person in this world that I love more. There are a couple who are tied with her, though. :)

Friday, August 26, 2016

April

April. Oh April. You did provide a bit of an opportunity to catch our breath. It didn't last terribly long but it was glorious.

Taylor hit the ground running with Sweetheart volunteer hours.


And spent a lot of quality time with bath colors and Tiny in my tub. Let's just say we've learned baby wipes clean it the easiest and they've been hidden now. :)


Taylor also got her hair highlighted again. She tried out a new stylist and LOVES her. Tiny and I waited outside because, well, she's loud. On this day she learned the joys of hand sanitizer.


My blonde again girl got first place in her Ag Public Speaking division and advanced to District where she got second and fell just shy of advancing to state. 

Her sweet advisor, Ms. Burch, has been helping her perfect her craft for two years. Love both of them dearly! She also spent a lot of time with Ms. Burch on the Land Judging Team. They spent a lot of early mornings heading out to competitions and advanced to state before all was said and done.


Toward the end of the month, Dave and I headed south to Galveston for a long weekend. It was the first time we'd gone away alone since Tiny came into our lives. And was really overdue. We enjoyed the sand, the surf and a lot of good food. :)


Not to mention the pool and hot tub.


And perhaps a few adult restaurants too!


Seriously - this is our happy place. And we even had some uninterrupted conversation!!



Tay invited her friend over to hang with her most of the weekend. It was also our first time to leave a teenager mostly home alone (though Nana and Boppy were only a phone call away) and CLEARLY she missed us terribly.


Ok, maybe not, but I did manage to make her jealous with the photo of our mini mozzarella cheese sandwiches from Nonno Tony's.


All in all, April was calm. At least for us. We also took both Dottie and Kate to be bred but neither were successful. That time anyway. We now have Kate bred with an early April baby on the way while Dottie is spending some time at a local ranch and we're hoping she'll get news she has a May baby on the way soon!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

March

If February wasn't enough of a blur, March sure made up for it. During the week of Spring Break, the Houston heifer was held so Dave and Taylor headed off to sit overnight in the trailer line. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I asked Tiny what she wanted to do while they were gone. The reply? EAT!

So she did.


She also attempted stowing away in my suitcase but ultimately decided to hang out at Nana and Boppy's instead. Good choice, Tiny!


Despite being awake all night with rain pounding the windows of the truck and rocking the trailers, my girl still managed to look beautiful. Oh, the joys of youth!


Between loading in and the actual show day, there was one where we didn't have to do much other than feed, walk and water. So we took advantage of being close to one of our favorite places and headed beachside for the day.
 




The next day was all business again.



Kate may not have done as well as Dottie but she looked pretty and behaved. Score!


And Tay got to hang with some sweet friends.


Once back in town, it was time to kick off the next Sweetheart year with an '80s theme party.


And on the night that the parents met to sign all the Sweetheart paperwork and pay for all of the clothing, Tiny enjoyed her first Happy Meal.


Next thing we knew it was time to wrap up majors season with a trip to Austin - our first to this show. Tiny and Taylor enjoyed a lot of quality time with Kate.


And Tiny continued to prepare for her grooming career.


And this is where things went a wee bit crooked for Kate. It was the last show. She was heading out of the ring. And kinda lost her mind.


She did a little dance. Made a little noise. And eventually made her way out of the ring.


Better the last than the first, right?

At the end of the month we celebrated Easter. Tiny was clearly a fan of getting her picture made in her pretty dress...


...but she did enjoy the community egg hunt we attended.


Taylor wrapped up the month with a new pastime - hammocking. She sent me this pic and said it was the best day of her life. :)



Wednesday, August 24, 2016

February

So February kicked off major stock show season for us and it was a wild and crazy busy month. Sweet Kate finally decided to behave literally two days before the county show. She's not the biggest heifer on the block but she's sweet. And she's Clyde's best friend so I'm kinda partial to her.


We also participated in the Midway show and sale - Tiny was dressed for sale where we bid adieu to Gus the goat.


Dottie also made her last show appearance at the county show - with Clyde in tow - as she aged out. Her son may have gotten tired and just fallen over for a nap. That boy...


We were sooooo worried about Kate behaving at the county show and it turned out that she was one of the best behaved in the ring. Who knew?


Tiny exhibited her love for alfalfa...


...and apparently Valentine's Day was simply more than she could handle.


We went to the San Antonio Stock Show for the first time and really enjoyed it.


We got Kate settled in and then had to head home for a commitment Taylor had in Waco. Once that was over, we headed back to SA so she could show the next day. It. Was. Exhausting. But we do what we need to for our kiddos.


This girl's face kinda says it all when it came to showing Dottie for the last time.


Kate in SA. Where she actually behaved yet again!


The girls also found some baby pigs. And, yes, it was almost 90 degrees in February. Brutal.


Tiny found her artistic side...


...and Taylor continued to grow up waaaaaay too fast.


This was Gus' last photo by himself.


Some very sweet friends were very generous at the auction, which is what ultimately allowed Taylor to buy a steer.


At the end of the month, Taylor hung up her HOT Sweetheart sash for the last time - after logging more than 100 hours of volunteer service - and...


...we attended the end of year banquet.


She was chosen again as a Sweetheart for this year and has already logged 50+ hours. And it's only August. So proud of this girl!

These pics kind of sum up our life in February. We walked a lot of cows...


...spent a lot of time hydrating at shows...


...and Tiny's love of grooming began. :)