Thursday, August 28, 2008

End of August update

Elizabeth did a fair project on horses and this was one of the pictures on it. She was showing how much food horses get and ways to feed them.
This is actually a picture from last year of when we camped outside in the fort. We kept that fire going all night!

So much has gone on in August, yet I have updated very little. The first few days of August we were camping at the R family annual camp which also happened to be on my birthday. After that was preparing for the fair which led right into fair! That was an extremely fun and busy week which will forever be embedded in my memory. I learned so much, met so many fun people and had so much fun that I hope next year will be just like it. It was a great week. The week after that, we started the whole canning process which we are still currently working on. We are only about 1/3 done and our pantry is about 1/2 full. :) Last Saturday we had a Schreur family reunion with the extended family. I met several people who I had only heard of and many who knew me yet I had no idea as to who they were! It was fun, especally since we were able to visit the Regan family at their fair on the way! This weekend Mom, Abigail, Rachel, Elizabeth and I are going to head back up to Grand Rapids area for Mom's 20th highschool reunion. We are going to stay at Grandpa and Grandma S's house on Saturday night. We should be home Sun. afternoon.

As for the farm updates, we have lost one of the calves most likely from selenium defficiency. It was sad, but it is something a farmer is used to.
Our goats are all going in heat and we are anniously awaiting Sept. to come so we can begin the whole breeding process. We are trying to prep them for breeding which makes chores longer and the feed bill higher, but we should get more kids and healthier does because of it.
We have 5 new kittens that were born while we were at the fair, each one looks different and are such unique colors. I will try to get pictures of them someday.

Until next time,

Friday, August 22, 2008


We actually got some rain today! In the last 5 weeks, we have only received .68 inches of rain. Even more astonishing is that since the 4th of July, we have only received 1.09 inches of rain! For those of you who know much about farming, you will know that is not near enough to keep the crops going. This rain that we got was a HUGE blessing.

Thank you God for the rain you have sent!


Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Rachel getting her jams judged on Saturday.
Rebekah right after winning showmanship.
Ben, a friend, and Elizabeth after showing in peewees.
Abigail answering questions in showmanship.
#8 and I in Hog showmanship.

I am sure you are all anxiously waiting to here how our fair week went. I didn't update as soon as we got home because we were all so tired. I am still tired and feel like taking a nap, but this has got to get done! :)

Friday- We brought the camper to the fairgrounds early in the morning and found our camping sight. When we got home, we worked on projects all day. Unfortunately, our printer was running our of ink so we had to go to the neighbors. When we got up there, theirs was all out too! We managed to get everything printed out somehow. I didn't get to bed until midnight but other than garden stuff, I was all ready.

Saturday- All of our projects were packed into the van and were were on the road by 8:30-9:00 in the morning and got to the fair by 9:30. We exhibited all of our projects by noon and then went to fill all of our pens with shavings. Mom went home with a few of the younger children to wait for a milk customer and we waited until all the judging was over. I won't burden you by telling you every single thing we brought and what we won with them but I will tell you mine. :) I took a crop project(A award, best of class and best of show), vegetable garden exhibit(A award, best of class and best of show), hay(A award and best of show), goat educational exhibit(A award) and Hog feed records(B award). We wrapped up the day by bringing a bunch of tack to the fair grounds and getting to bed around 10:30.

Sunday- All of the animals were brought in starting with hogs and steers. We loaded up my hog and Abigail's steer around 6:45 and headed over to a friend's house where we loaded up his hog. Then we all headed to the fairgrounds(which was just opening)and unloaded everything. We all hopped back into the van and went home for breakfast. We loaded up the van with stuff for the camper and the rest of the tack, loaded up the goats and by 10:30 we were on our way again. We unloaded, filled waterers(we had filled hay feeders the night before)then just hung out. We had Sara along and we walked around holding her. We went and watched the fair parade and the King and Queen contest which took about 3 or4 hours. By the time it was all over, it was time to do chores. We worked on getting all of our animals cleaned up before bed so that show day would not be so hectic. I got to bed around 11:00.

Monday- GOAT SHOW DAY! Abigail and I were up at 5:00 doing chores and getting our showmanship animals ready to show. We didn't have much to do so we were rushed getting ready. Around 8:00 I took a shower and at quarter to 9, the Beginner showmanship started. We only had one in that class this year(ages 9-11) and that was Rebekah. She won her class, easily placing first. Intermediates were second. Abigail, Rachel and I are all in that class so there was a bit of competition. :) Abigail and I were close, but I placed first. We don't have anyone in Senior this year, but next year I am entering that age bracket. After all the different age classes had shown, there was overall showmanship which is where the the first place winners have to come out and show against each other to see who is best. I won that also which was a goal of mine. Following that was peewees and then all the breed classes. Everybody did well with Hannah winning Grand Champion and Mandie winning Reserve Champion Senior does. Candie won Grand Champion and Mindie won Reserve Champion junior does. It was a long day but very rewarding. Many thanks to all the people who helped out on that long, tiring day. I hope you all had as much fun as I did!

Tuesday- We woke up late that morning since we didn't have anything going on. We did chores and just hung out for most of the day. However, we didn't sit still too long, swine showmanship started at 6:00 p.m. with intermediates beginning. The swine club is so large that they break the showmanship classes up into 3 or 4 classes with 10 exhibitors each per age division. I was in the second group in the intermediates. In each age division, they pull out the top 4 showman. I was pulled out in my division. At the end of the 3 divisions, they pulled those 12 exhibitors back out into the ring. My hog decided not to cooperate and so we were not chosen to come back with the top 7. I would have to say that for my first year, placing in the top 12 of 30 exhibitors wasn't that bad though! :) We also had milk production contest that night around the same time I was showing so Abigail and Dad had to do all the milking!

Wednesday- SWINE AND STEER SHOW DAY! We finished up the milk production contest with Gatlin coming out with 2nd and Hannah with 3rd. Up first for steers was showmanship at 9:00. They do about the same thing as swine, though sadly, Abigail was not pulled out. The judge did give her some good pointers for next year however so it wasn't all in vain. Right after that was homebred steers and Abigail was in that also. Again, she did not place, but there were some beautiful steers out there shown by some awesome breeders. She was in the first market class and she placed 5th out of 7 in that class. She was pretty happy with that I believe. I didn't show till after she was done(which worked well) and all I had to show was in one market class. I placed 4th out of 7. I ALMOST placed 3rd, in fact the judge took the 3rd place and I out again but just put us back in the same place again. :( I was pretty happy with how I placed though since there are tons of beautiful hogs at our fair. After all the showing was done, we had to help set up for the auction which started at 6:00. We sold first, so we had to be lined up promptly at 6. We sold pretty quickly and then I went to milk the goats. I had the girls do all the hay and water so we got done pretty fast. Then Abigail and I helped serve the food that was for the buyers. We served until about 8:30 and then we shut down. I was way tired out but didn't get to bed till really late.
Thank you to Harvey's Farm for purchasing my 2008 market wether project of the Calhoun County Fair.

- Right away in the morning we started searching for the right people to tell us how to show all the different animals. We were able to get down most of the animals by lunch time and at 1:00 obstacle/pack/harness for goats began. I didn't do very well in 4H or open but it took FOREVER. Around 3:00 I was done so Rebekah and I went out to finish up the animals we hadn't gone over yet. At 6:00 we had both showered, dressed for the show and were registered with the show of champions superintendent. We both were in the same group together which made it easier(each group consists of a beginner, intermediate and senior). Neither one of us got any thing great or grand, but we both had great fun. After we were done, our whole family went out and got a funnel cake and split it between all 9 of us!

Friday- Another long day for Abigail and I. The Large animal auction started at 11:00, but set up started at 7:30 and I was there for most of it. I helped serve starting at 10:00. Around noon Abigail sold her steer. I didn't serve much longer after that because I needed to change and get my hog ready. I sold around 2:00. I went and changed back into my "normal" clothes and got some lunch. Around 2:30 I served food again until about 5:00 which is when they shut down. I went and did my chores and then hung out the rest of the night.
Many thanks to Redfield Brothers Inc. for puchesing my swine project at the 2008 Calhoun County Fair!

Saturday- The first and only slow day at the fair which ended up not being so slow. A friend and I walked around the fairgrounds several times trying to track down her fair premiums. We all had to write thank yous to our buyers and several others and Abigail and I had barn duty. Abigail started at 12:30 and was on till 3:30. I started at 3 and ended at 5. There was also a bike drawing and Elizabeth and I won bikes. I gave the bike to a friend since I have one that is practically brand new. At 6:30, we all went to watch the Demo Derby in the Grand Stand. It was great fun and it ended with fireworks around 10:00. After the show was done, we sent the little ones to bed and then Abigail, Mom, Dad and I walked around the fairgrounds saying goodbye to everyone and everything. There was a melancholy feeling in the barns as all the 4Hers said goodbye to their animals and there were many in tears. I was glad to fall asleep when we got to the camper at midnight!

Sunday- At 4:30 Abigail, Dad and I were up milking and stuffing as much as we could into the van. Abigail and Dad brought all the goats home while I stayed at the fairgrounds getting all of our tack together and tearing down pens. By 8:00, all the sheep and goats where out of the barn, all the pens were down and the barn was completely cleaned out. I went to clean out my hog pen, then we got our trophies and crafts. We got everything home around noon and all crashed. I slept for about 4 hours without a problem. Didn't get to bed until 10:30 because Abigail and I had a goat meeting with mom and dad.

We are now home and trying to get back on schedule. We have 5 new kittens, a sick calf and goats ready to sell. Such things will have to be updated on later because I am quite exhausted now :). I would like to thank all those that helped us by doing chores, helping us show and just showing up to support us. It was very much appreciated.
Until next time,

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Fair is a comin'!

Fair is fast approaching and we are working hard to get everything in order for this weekend. Yep, this Saturday we have to bring in all our crafts, Sunday is when we bring in the animals and it goes on from there. So, if you happen to think of it, send up a prayer for us, we are in a rather hectic pace right now and I am in desperate need of sleep!
Have a good evening!

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Just wanted to announce to everybody that today is my 15th birthday. That is old, did anyone know that? Wow, I suppose I never thought about that before. We are camping this weekend(we came home to do chores this morning)and I think we are going to have a blast.
Have a great weekend!