This has been a dig deep kind of a week.

Now that Toni has had her gallbladder removed, she is back to her old self and her never ending energy level. Me, I was close to a walking zombie Monday after we drive for 19 1/2 hours the day before to get home and I slept until around 11. The kids, who all napped off and, on our trip, and Toni were up catching steers and she helped Jaxsen blow his. She had an emergency hearing on Monday and was back to work. I did not go back to work until Tuesday. The kids packed all of the bags into the house and started working on their heifers and steers for the Sagebrush show. I also forgot to put last week that we also lived on mom’s muffins and cookies. Anna’s Nile heifer, Lacey, was in heat again, so Teresa came out and bred Lacey for her.  Not great that she is still coming in heat, lets hope this is the last time.  The puppies also grew a bunch while we were gone. Abby can now jump in the backseat of Toni’s pick-up and doesn’t have to be picked up.

Tuesday the kids continued working on their animals. This will be Jaxsen’s first show with his steer Rockin. Rockin is a bred and owned Angus steer out of Jaxsen’s cow, Loud. Anna’s friend Brandi came out and helped work on the heifers and steers on Tuesday and spent the night. Toni had another emergency hearing on Tuesday. Our beloved Smoke passed away Tuesday night, after the boys did chores but before Toni and I got there. She was 36 years old.  We can remember when she was born and how excited we were. Smoke was well loved by everyone in our family and just about everyone rode her at one time or another. Tuesday was a hard day. It was time but it is never easy.

On Wednesday we finally got the livestock judging and skillathon results from Angus Nationals. Anna placed 6th in the intermediate division in Livestock judging and Kade was 14th in the Jr Division in Skillathon. Anna was 29th in the skillathon and Kaine 34th. Kade and Kaine were 73 and 74 in livestock judging. Good job kids! We are very proud of how they all placed and their try. Our friend Jade came out and got Kaine and Kade and took them in work out with the football team. Anna and Brandi, who spent the night, cleaned out the red gooseneck, caught Ed and Eddie and loaded them. Dad and Mom took Ed and Eddie to Kathy for the rest of the year. Then they went to Liberty Lake to pick up Crystal from Allie’s. Toni was allowed to feed Molly and managed not to screw it up. Wednesday night some of the cousins came over (just random that it was Wed) so we had to catch Leroy for Kayla to ride, she also had to pet Molly and all of the yearlings that would let her. She pretty much loves animals. And she wanted a cookie. They all know Mom makes cookies everyday. Leslie brought over pizza for us all to munch on. 

Thursday the kids packed up the trailer to go to the Sagebrush Classic over the weekend. Everything had to fit in the nose and in the back of Anna’s pickup, since we took 9 head there was no room for tack on the gooseneck floor. The kids also finished up clipping their cattle. Camas came out and worked on her heifer and helped chip her. Camas really is showing Kaine’s heifer, but now we are calling it hers. Lane came out Thursday night and had dinner with us. Kendel took her kids down and looked for tadpoles.

Friday Toni went down early to get a show halter on Jax’s steer. She had been asking him to have Anna help him, but he kept “forgetting.” Then she went to work for a few hours. After lunch, about 20 minutes later than they planned, Toni and the kids loaded up the cattle and headed to BB to move a few over to Leslie’s trailer and then the convoy headed to Colfax. Toni, Kaine and Camas in the Cajun, Anna and Kade in the imposter, Leslie and the medium sized kids (Jaxsen, Natalie, Ady and Julian) in the Mini Pete and Traci, Deb, and the little kids (Savannah and Kayla) in her pickup with her camper. I followed up after work in Butte and our camper. They had everything unloaded when I got there and dinner done.  The cattle that hadn’t been anywhere before unloaded pretty good and got settled in.

Saturday we did not show until 1, so we slept in until 6. We gave everything a good wash and then showed the steers in the afternoon. All of the steers showed really well. Kaine and Jimmy were second in their class and made it back to the championship round. Natalie and Anna had Charolais influenced steers so came back for that class. Kaine and Jimmy made it back to the feeder class.  Rockin had a really good first day and so did Jaxsen. They make a good team. We got to see lots of family, all of our family that shows was there. And we got to see the majority of our good show friends. Our good friend Kimmy came out to see us as well as she doesn’t live too far away and brought some good laughs with her as she is always funny.  Our friends Erina and Terry came with their grandson JR. For some reason JR really took to Jaxsen. Jaxsen loves it when little kids like him, he thinks he can help develop them into his image. He also asked Erina to email his Mom as his advocate to inform her he needs new boots. Just so everyone knows, he doesn’t need new boots, he just needs to go through the boot box and take out a pair that fit. He is the youngest boy, there are always hand-me-down boots. Always. Also on Saturday Ben got the cows in and pulled the bulls and doctored eyes. The men did the chores for us while we were gone and moved our water. Thank you.

Sunday we got up at 4:30 to start washing the 20 head of heifers and steers. We started with PeeWee showmanship, Kayla showed her heifer and Savannah showed Jimmy. Then the Jrs, Jaxsen, Natalie and Julian, Natalie made it back to the championship round. Next the Intermediates, Ady, Kade, Kaine and Camas, Kaine and Kade both made it back and Kaine was the reserve champion intermediate showman. And lastly our senior, Anna, and she made it back to the championship round. All of the kids showed very well and we are proud of all of them. Next was the heifer classes, Anna was in class 1 with her baby heifer from Jana Koller, she was second in her class so made it back to the championship round. Kade had Emma Frost, his fall heifer, in class 2. They looked really good, but were 3rd.  Then Kaine and Camas were in Class 5, Camas was 3rd with Em, Kaine was maybe 5th with Orange Slice. This was Orange Slice’s first show, and she bucked and kicked and thought it was play time. Natalie and Ady were in class 7, I think they were 3rd and 4th. Julian was in class 8 and was first, and so made it back to the championship round. Anna and Kaine came back for the Charolais influenced class. Then we had the cow calf class and Kade and Anna showed Foxxy and Captain Marvel and were reserve champion.   Pete brought his weiner dog Kevin to meet the kids so it was a fight who got to pack Kevin all over. Poor Kevin was exhausted by the time Pete finally left. The kids drug that poor puppy around for hours.  We then packed it all up and headed home. We had lots of help packing, so that was really nice.

On our way home Dan called, he was coming back from Utah and wanted to stop and look at Sam, so we got there about the same time and he bought Sam. Sam was the last yearling we have on our for sure sale list. The others we have listed are just listed in case someone falls in love with them more than we love them. In fact, Toni and I fight all of the time about which one of us gets which yearling. We both think there are some really great ones in that pen.

Rocky, our old Hereford bull died while we were gone. He was 11 and again, really old for a Hereford bull.  So this week has been a hard one. But again, a blessing for us to have him as long as we did. Many people have come to see Rocky over the years and get their picture taken with the big Hereford bull. He was always very patient, letting people pet him or kids sit on him if he was laying down. He can’t be replaced but we know it was time.

This has been a dig deep kind of a week. We were all still tired from the trip to Nationals and the everyday ranch life, but we could not miss the Sagebrush Classic as it was started by our good friends Alan and Leslie Alexander, continued in Leslie’s memory. Janna Koller has taken over the daily jackpot operations and is another good friend. It is always necessary to support friends, offer help where we can, and be part of a jackpot like the Sagebrush Classic. 124 head showed up for the weekend, so that just tells you how great everyone feels that this jackpot is. 

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