About Me

Kentucky, United States
Fourth generation beef producer, wife, mother, 4-H & FFA supporter, agriculture advocate, Christian, WKU alum, love livestock shows, basketball, college football, Dallas Cowboys. All things agriculture.

Friday, December 30, 2011

2011, A Year of Growth and Changes

     This is my favorite time of the year and I seem to enjoy it more and more as I get older. The fun and excitement of opening my gifts has been replaced with the joy of seeing others enjoy their gifts. We have cut back on spending over the last few years and we have so much fun with gag gifts and giving what you know someone really needs. We open gifts with my family on Christmas Eve and we always have a spectacular meal and fun with gifts, then a night of cards or board games. For a small family of my parents, my brother and his family and my family, we can make a lot of noise. This year however, my husband began getting sick with a horrible case of bronchitis on Christmas Eve, so he stayed home to keep others from getting sick and we missed him terribly.

Desserts made by my daughter, mother, sister-in-law and myself. Included are chocolate  fudge, peppermint-white chocolate bark, apple cake with buttermilk icing, chocolate dipped pretzels, chocolate dipped marshmallows, pecan turtles, and Italian cream cake. Also, not pictured, a chocolate caramel dream cake.
     What a way to celebrate Christmas and the end of a great year!! Lots of delicious homemade treats!! On top of that my mother makes the best homemade custard, which we love much better than eggnog.   
      A few years ago we enjoyed a wonderful white Christmas and I remember taking the kids outside around 11:00 pm and enjoying the peace and stillness of the night as the snow fell in huge flakes. It was a great experience to be out in the country and hear the quiet but steady fall of the snow and all I could think about was how lucky I was to live in the beautiful country, knowing no one in a city was enjoying the snow like us.  It's such a blessing to live on the farm and be able to enjoy God's gifts of nature. No snow yet this year but I'm still hoping!!!
     As the new year approaches and I look back on this very blessed year, I see that we have gone through many changes with the family. Ashley graduated from Western Kentucky University in May and is now an  AgEd graduate student at Texas Tech, over a thousand miles away. I'm just so proud of her strength and ability to accomplish all her goals, and I'm learning to accept the distance.   Blake, as a young teenager, has matured and taken on more of the farm work and responsibilities at the barn. He has learned the rewards of hard work and it amazes me that he goes to the barn each morning before school to feed, rinse, and work hair on his show calves. He had an exceptional year with his market heifer, market hog, and market goat. Tim and I began a new project, a livestock show and sale barn, which is now in the building phase. As we near completion I will include more information about this new and exciting project in our life.

Blake with his market doe at the Kentucky State Fair. She stood second in class.
  
     I first published BarnScoop on October 26, and my second post "KY Agriculture Commissioner" received the most views, which makes me very happy. The Commissioner of Agriculture race was one of the most important in the 2011 Kentucky election and I'm proud that James Comer won in a landslide victory. I plan to begin 2012 with tips on choosing 4-H and FFA livestock projects, feeds, and preparing an animal for the show ring. I will also have feature articles on breeders and youth involved in the livestock industry.
     God blessed our farm with a very productive year of a healthy herd of beef cattle, strong calves, and the joy of watching those planned matings grow into the bulls and heifers we had hoped for. We definitely had our share of bad luck, but that's just part of life in agriculture.
     I wish for everyone in the year 2012, a year blessed with good health, steady jobs, friends, family, and success on the farm. I am Scotch-Irish and I would like to share this Irish blessing with you:  May God give you...for every storm a rainbow, for every tear a smile, for every care a promise and a blessing in each trial. For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share, for every sigh a sweet song and an answer for each prayer.

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