“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” ― Thomas Campbell

This has been an especially difficult week for us all. We lost Grandpa Bill Bennet on Monday late morning. I realize since he was almost 92 we maybe should have been prepared, but, since we just lost Great Grandma last year, we thought we had at least 10 more years with him. We all love grandpa very much, and he is going to be missed. He loved going to cattle shows and watching the kids show, this is the first year he missed watching them at the Spokane Jr Livestock Show. He may have loved us grandkids, but he adored his great-grandkids and never missed a chance to watch them show. He loved cattle, buying cattle, checking cattle and really everything about cattle, and he encouraged us to be the same- love livestock. Monday was a long and stressful day for us all, but Grandma and Cousin Kendel were really hit the worst. The positive thing about it is that Grandpa went quickly, there was no long and lingering illness, and he was at home until the end, which is what he would have wanted. The other great thing is that we all saw him on Saturday for the family party and he was himself. He wanted the kids to get over there and help him halter break steers, he wanted a facebook page to sell steers, and he wanted us all to promote his steers. It was irrelevant to him that we have our own steers to halter break and sell. So although this has been a tough week, we are really focused on the positive and moving forward with plans to Celebrate his life.

Tuesday Toni took mom to her Dr apt to look at her broken wrist. It is healing nicely and now she needs to start physical therapy. Then they went and visited Merilee. After that Mom and Toni went to the funeral home to help with the plans. Lots of time has been spent at Grandmas or with the family. Anna and I worked on Stick and BBB, both are doing really good. We are trying to get Piper D in to wean Summer Sky, but we don’t really want to run the whole herd in, so we have been trying to trick her. So far no luck. Kaine and Kade did the front chores and Jaxsen fed Double, sine mom broke her arm feeding Double has been primarily Jaxsen’s job. There is lots of yelling (from Jaxsen) about feeding. Even though he knows we are going to ask him, and he is going to do it, he never hesitates to tell us that he doesn’t want to feed Double and that it isn’t fair. We never hesitate to remind him that the other three kids are doing ALL of the chores, not just feeding one old horse by the house that takes under 3 minutes. Jaxsen is still not getting that concept. Toni got home and Anna, Toni and I finished chores.

The wind finally stopped Wednesday. The kids had a half day of school and Kade and Jaxsen had parent teacher conferences right after lunch, so the Meachams took lunch out to Grandma’s before the conference so they could spend time with her. My dad picked Anna and Kaine up after school and took them to the Burger factory for lunch. Anna also walked down to the burger factory during school for milk shakes as part of the ASB. We ALSO ate at the burger factory after our parent teacher conferences that night. So lots of burger factory. The kids and Toni did chores before they met me in there. Toni decided that BBB and Stick were going to walk through muddy water on Wednesday so chores took a bit longer than normal, but the foals finally walked in the water. All 4 kids had great conferences, I know, shocking. Then, Anna, Kaine and I went out to grandmas to see her before we went to Idaho. We borrowed Holts trailer to take with us to pick up Mil, since it is smaller and easier to maneuver around with only one horse. So Ben went and picked it up on his way home from conferences.

Thursday we headed down to Preston, Idaho for the weekend to see the Geddes family. We stopped in Boise on our way down at ate at Fresh off the Hook, it was really good. At home, Toni shipped out one of the last outside mares, she was a palomino mare that was in with Sagebug. Toni and Kade worked on the foals. Jaxsen helped do chores.

On Friday down in Idaho we played Phase 10 and then went to the corn maze that night. Friday Snip left to his new home with Josh and Crystal. John Gray brought out a lame paint pare from his neighbors that Toni had found a home for to be a recipe mare. Then John dropped his trailer at Toni’s and headed to Montana for a week of hunting. Toni had texted that the cows were out in the corn stalks and buckwheat stubble. Of course when half the work force is gone, everything goes to heck.

Saturday was the 509 Show Circuit Leadership Conference in Kennewick that Toni had been helping Alyx Cory plan. They had 43 kids and approximately 20 adults come out for the conference followed by the ag tour. It was a great turn-out and the kids had fun. The tour included Garden Gate Nursery and Beus Feedlot. It was a windy, but fun tour, and included fresh cookies at Garden Gate Nursery. Matt, from Nampa, also showed up with his trailer for the foals leaving Sunday, so Toni and Kade loaded BBB and Stick a couple of times Saturday night. In Idaho we played more Phase 10 in the morning and then all of the family got here and we had a little party and told stories. Jake and Jaynee came down and joined in the festivities. (One of the group pics below is the Geddes family, the rest of the group pics are from the 509 Conference)

Sunday morning we headed back to WA with Mil in the trailer, we had a great drive and ate at the Willowcreek Grill, it was really good. Back at the house, Toni and Kade loaded out Stick and BBB first thing, sending Matt and Kristy on their way back to Boise. Then Toni, Kicker, Kade, Jaxsen and dad got really busy. They put out a few grass bales, chopped own Russian olive trees, fixed fence, moved horses, weaned foals, halter foals and more. Also, Toni took mom over to Connell to see grandma and have a meeting with the pastor before grandpa’s graveside on Monday. We got mom and dads from Idaho about 5:30, we dropped Mil off and then went and took the trailer back to Holts. It was about 7 when we finally got home. Now, once again the whole family is home.

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