Well, Monday was Christmas Eve, so a pretty easy day. Checked cows, tagged calves, early chores, and then headed to cousin Jenny and Kevin’s house for Christmas Eve with the family. We had a great time, with soup, a new game, and then White Elephant. We are really lucky to have a set of grandparents still living. Grandpa just turned 91 and grandma was 88 in October. They will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary in February. The cool part is that they are very healthy, mentally stable, and grandpa is still a micromanager that wants to manage everyone and everything, including all of his grandkids and great-grandkids. But how many people can say that their children knew their great-great grandma (who we just lost Jan 13, 2018) and have a set of great-grandparents that they know? All four of the kids will tell you that great grandma is the best cook, period. No one can beat her in a cook-off. They love going over and having lunch with grandma and grandpa in the summer. So Christmas Eve with our Bennett side of the family (mom’s parents) is a tradition that continues. Almost the entire family comes to celebrate, including our Aunt Peggy who just started cancer treatment again. We are truly blessed to have our family.
Tuesday was Christmas Day, we zipped around the cows quickly and then headed down to mom and dads to open presents. Santa was really good to us all this year, we got everything we wanted and then some. Toys, clothes, jewelry, guns, tools, candy and more. Toni, Kicker, Kade and Jaxsen headed to Clarkston to have Christmas with the Meachams and we headed home to cook Christmas dinner. Mom, dad and Skip came for dinner. Skip left an extra box of gloves, flashlights, and knives for us to sort through. You know you are country when you get just as excited about all-weather gloves as you do about a nice pair of earrings. I was home so I got to work on Justified and Hollywood. I have to agree with Toni, they are REALLY nice colts. We could not be happier with the Leroy foals. Hollywood is our last one of the 2018 Leroy foals to halter break and all four have been soft, supple, and smart. So basically Leroy fits into our breeding program. We do not like having hard to deal with horses. Clearly you are going to have a few just because, but limiting the amount you have with mare and stud quality is the name of the game for us.
Wednesday was cousin Leslie’s birthday, and what did she get, twins calves, so she has one at the house to bottle feed (plus one on Christmas Eve). Leslie is a lucky lucky girl. Ben helped Anna and Kaine do chores since Toni was still in Clarkston. Anna and Ben also expanded the corn circle and gave the cows more room and more stalks. Dad ran to Othello and got a 5-way shot for Bucky which Ben gave him in preparation for Bucky to leave Thursday. Bucky is one of those horses that you just call his name and he comes to you. He has been a fun gelding. Everyone knows we prefer not to have geldings, but if we did, he would be one we would keep. Anyone can ride him, he is super chill, and he loves attention.
Thursday Toni was back by noon for John to get here to get Hollywood and Bucky. Bucky was locked in, but Dad texted Toni to tell her that somehow Hollywood and Justified had escaped their pen. Luckily they are both so tame, so Toni just walked out and grabbed Hollywood and led him in with a piece of twine. Hollywood loaded great and him and Buck went on their way. Toni then went back out and caught Justified and turned him back out with the other weanlings. He is done in the halter breaking pen. Anna and Kaine helped Ben build fence and check cows, and then Ben brought the kids down for their annual Dr Appts. We all got our flu shots, and the kids got a few more. We got home and Toni and I did chores. The fog had set in so we did not get the next two in to halter break.
Friday was an exciting day for the kids, their “show shed” showed up, so they started moving all of their show supplies out of Ben’s shed and into their new shed. Ben and Kaine built a wall in the shed for my kennel part. We still need to move the kennel panels over and make the dog door. Toni and I wormed our last 4 we had to worm, the 4 yearling (almost two year old) colts. We love our Azteca colt Whim, it is probably good that he is not a filly or we would keep him. He is so smart and pretty. Smoke and Felix did great too, and since Felix is now a gelding he moved out and joined the big herd. He is not very happy about it. We also got Louie and King in and started halter breaking them. And it snowed on us most of the afternoon. We had a fun party Friday night with neighboring landowners.
We had a strong wind on Saturday that melted the snow. Toni’s little preme calf started nursing on her own, so her and her mom got to move back out to the heavy heifer pen, the mom is a heifer. The cow was very excited to move back, but the calf was not since it was so windy it almost blew her over when she left the barn. We also had another clubby calf Saturday, since he is black and white Anna is claiming him as hers. Aunt Toni agrees that Anna should get this calf since she doesn’t like calves with too much color. Anna went over to Connell to help Jay, the Twins and Kaycee get the bulls ready for Denver, she had a great time with them. Kaine and Ben changed the wall, they decided the dogs had too much room, and I moved more of the show tack over. Then Ben took the loader in the barn and cleaned it out. Toni worked on Louie and I worked on King, I think both did better than expected. Louie is our other AI colt and King is our only foal out of Bishop.
Sunday Anna, Ben and Kaine hand finished the barn and now it is going to dry out for a few days before we start tying up steers again. Anna and Kaine worked on moving more show stuff over to the shed and organizing it. Toni took our friend Erica and Erica’s friend Bri around to look at the horses and mom and dad’s and pet on our precious Jag. Toni and I worked on our colts some more.
As 2018 comes to an end tonight, we just want to say thank you to all of our friends, family, and customers who have made 2018 one of our best years. Ranching is not easy, but it was something we were born to do. Having the support that we have makes it a bit easier. We are excited to see what 2019 brings. Happy New Year!