Tag: ranch kids

Learning to Sew

I have been dabbling in the art of sewing…. like with a machine.

My first set of towels....that is suppose to be a lady bronc rider

My first set of towels….that is suppose to be a lady bronc rider.

The darned dollie quilt!

The darned dollie quilt!

Second set for Mesa's sitter, they raise Herefords.

Second set for Mesa’s sitter. They raise Herefords.

I had hand stitched a few things in my youth, but that needle pounding up and down at lightning speed is a whole different basket of fruit! I am starting out super simple and as I continue to keep my fingers, I plan to advance.

My grandma gave me a really nice sewing machine so I had her show me a little about how it worked. From then on I have been blazing my own sewing trail. I started with some rice heated pads, then I sewed some shapes onto towels. I am rating these as the most fun so far. The latest project that caused me the greatest amount of grief was a small blanket/quilt for my daughter Mesa’s dollies—although I think she has claimed it for herself.

Sewing was all fun and games until the quilt! I picked out the cutest, softest plaid flannel for the back…..big mistake. It squandered around and bunched up so bad while feeding through the machine that it had me in a fluster. Based off the words I was muttering and the flying fabric, the ordeal probably wasn’t a PG experience. I learned I need a whole lot more practice at cutting, measuring, choosing fabric, sewing…..well about everything. For now, I am doing what any prideful person would do and blame it on the material.

Have you tried to learn anything new lately? How did it go?

~ Diana

Diana and her husband grew up farming and ranching. Now they own a crop and rangeland spraying business, and their own herd of cattle. Diana is a busy ranch wife and mom to a two-year-old little girl. When not helping with their spraying or cattle, she travels throughout north Idaho discussing feed programs with ranchers as a full-time feed consultant.

Categories: Blogging, Idaho Cattlewomen, Lifestyle, Ranch Life

Puppies, Gators & Year End

I’m looking out my office window reflecting on 2014 and wondering about 2015. Like everyone, the past few weeks have been full. You can see by this post’s title, we’ve enjoyed a few different things.

Puppies  Our middle daughter had been asking for a puppy for about blog-9a year.  She had her heart set on an Australian Shepherd, which in ranch country infiltrated by Border Collies, was not ordinary. Her Dad kept reminding her, “Not until one of the old dogs goes to Dog Heaven.” Not to be deterred, she posted Shepherd pictures on Pinterest, contacted breeders in Texas, and shared “puppy posts” with us at supper.

Then the Davis’ family, our neighbors up the creek, came to Dana’s aid. Like most rural families, our lives intertwine with 4-H, girl’s basketball and cattle. At a 4-H Leaders’ Meeting, Mrs. Davis confided that their Australian Shepherd female was “expecting” and the puppies might be ready by Christmas. Was Dana still looking for a Shepherd puppy? The Davis’ went to work to make this surprise happen.

blog-7The Davis’ girls and Dana play varsity basketball together. Dana kept asking the girls if they were going to have puppies anytime. The Davis’ girls kept replying, “I don’t know.” Secrets are pretty hard to keep around this neighborhood, but somehow the Davis’ girls pulled it off. Mrs. Davis called the day before Christmas with a plan. She said the puppies were ready to be weaned on Christmas. She and the girls would wash the puppies and bring them down, telling Dana “Santa delivered thepistol-7se to the wrong address.” Dana could choose from four Blue Merl females! It worked like a charm!

Even the old dogs have accepted the “new” kid. We’ve had fun with Pistol, except for the few “accidents” in my utility room!

Gators  After a month of blessed moisture, we were all getting a bit tired of the mud.   When it snowed last week, we were all glad to see something white and clean. After chores, the kids couldn’t wait to tie on to the Gator for a little snow time. I’m not sure who had more fun, the driver, the sledders or the Cow Audience! blog-15







Year End  Like most ranch wives, our job descriptions change daily depending on the priorities and agenda. Simply put, many of us fall between two categories this time of year: “a Mom who does the books” or “the Chief Financial Officer of a diversified livestock operation.” As I looked at my desk and the year-end financials, I realized this CFO was also managing laundry, cooking a crew meal and relaying information between my husband and accountant! That is the joy of being a ranch wife. . .you never have to find something to do!blog-5

We are thankful for our blessings of the past year and look forward with hope. Welcome 2015!

~ Julie

Categories: Blogging, Idaho Cattlewomen, Lifestyle, Ranch kids, Ranch Life

Bedtime Stories


This really is a mess of books, but I choose to affectionately call it our special bedtime story spot.

One of the most special things I cherish with my 2 1/2 year old daughter is reading bedtime stories. I often think she will grow tired of it and refuse, but each night she has a lighted expression when I ask if she is ready to read books. Heck, if I can get away with it I may read her bed time stories until she graduates! We all know that is just a mom dreaming, but I will drag this shenanigan out as long as she will allow it. Our routine goes as follows: we march into her room, kick the cat out of the chair, she picks two or six books from an overflowing pile, then she chooses the order in which we read them. About a month ago she let ME pick out books, which of course are either approved or thrown out anyway, but I sure felt special! Finally, with Mesa on my lap, we fill the next 15-20 minutes with lovely stories. We have many favorite books but I have grouped a few that I am sure have passed the million times read milestone.

The neat thing about books is they all have a story besides the one that is written on their pages. Second hand books are especially my favorite. Many of Mesa’s have inscriptions on the inside cover that are addressed to friends or family, hand-me-downs from generations. There are even a few that have scribbles from when I was her age. One of her favorites (which I may have influenced) that is not pictured is The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Who doesn’t love that book?!

These are just two that Santa will bring this year. I might have went a little crazy with ordering Mesa new books this Christmas. Eeeek! Its just so much fun!

“Once there was a tree…… And she loved little boy. And every day the boy would come
And he would gather her leaves And make them into crowns and play king of the forest.
He would climb up her trunk And swing from her branches And when he was tired, he
would sleep in her shade. And the boy loved the tree…..Very much,
And the tree was happy.”


She is “reading” Clifford the Big Red Dog, to herself. Anything to delay bedtime!

Now, sometimes there are circumstances that force a book to be removed from the pile of options. My own mother warned me about this, when she told me she almost had to hide One fish, Two fish, Red fish Blue fish from me as a child. That darn Fox in Sox book may just get the boot.

“Clocks on fox tick.
Clocks on Knox tock.
Six sick bricks tick.
Six sick chicks tock.”

Thankfully Mesa doesn’t choose it very often, but I will tell you it’s a tough read! It’s a thoroughly mental taxation that comes at the end of the day, no less. Sometimes I am tempted to get it for a baby shower gift just to spread the joy.

Although I was never the kid who read our high school geometry book front to back, I do believe there is some magic within these pages. The way a hard bound creaks as it’s opened, the musty smell of the pages, maybe some food droppings or a page corner folded, it is all irreplaceable. The probability of Mesa reading mostly online or from an electronic device as she grows up is very high, however I hope she will appreciate sitting down with ol’ Mom and reading from the tattered pages of a book.

Do you have a favorite book to read to your children? Or maybe a favorite book from your childhood? Please share!


Some of our current favorites. The bottom left book entitled Wombat, was a present to Mesa from our friends in Australia. Do you recognize any of these?


As for me, if I have any extra minutes before bed, I have been reading on this book. I found it at my local grocery store of all places. Very Interesting read.
















~ Diana

Diana and her husband grew up farming and ranching. Now they own a crop and rangeland spraying business, and their own herd of cattle. Diana is a busy ranch wife and mom to a two-year-old little girl. When not helping with their spraying or cattle, she travels throughout north Idaho discussing feed programs with ranchers as a full-time feed consultant.

Categories: Blogging, Idaho Cattlewomen, Lifestyle, Ranch kids

I Can Learn a Thing or Two…

The sun began to peek up over the hill that sits behind our house, and through Mattson’s bedroom window. He jumped up out of bed, with a smile on his face. This was the day that Mattson had worked all summer for—the 4-H horse show! As he catches his horse, I load the truck with the necessities—water, sunscreen, and of course, a comfy lawn chair that I can take a short, much needed nap in when the excitement of a horse show is too much to bare. As I look in the tack room of the trailer, I am pleased and proud of the organization Mattson has on display. Bridles hung neatly, saddle clean and oiled, floor swept and the water bucket and grain ready for reward for a job well done. I can learn a thing or two about his idea of being tidy and neat.

We pull into the arena, parked our truck and trailer next to the neighborhood girl and unload a blue roan gelding who is truly a part of our family. He goes by the name “Cody.” The sun blazing down on us all, I paint the hooves, brush the main and tail and pin the back number on Mattson’s freshly ironed shirt. The new halter is put on and they begin to show in their first class. Calm and collected, in all his classes, he shows his horse like a true champion. He teaching us the importance of having fun, having confidence, and being proud of who he is and what he has. I can learn a thing or two about his discipline and confidence to tackle everyday life.

As the day goes on it continues to get longer, hotter and dustier. Patience is tested, horses are ridden in patterns and parents are smiling as their child rides out of the arena with a red, white or blue ribbon. I remind Mattson to hold his reins steady, sit deep in the saddle, and make sure his horse picks up his correct lead. He reassures me with a smile and a wink, and tells me to relax. I once again am more nervous than he is.  teamsortingteamsortingwinners

His favorite event has finally come—Team Sorting! Mattson is a member of the team who won the county fair and went on to win the State Fair last year. The cows are placed in the lower end of the arena. Mattson and his team members ride in, cinches tightened, and horses’ ears perked up. The team consists of three ranch raised cow kids who have sorted a cow or two before in their time. They begin to ride toward the cows, getting them sorted in order, one by one, with a total of 5. After the dust is settled, and the numbers are tallied, their team is the county fair champion once again. Mattson congratulates his team and the other teams as well. They are excited to compete at state once again. I can learn a thing or two about his sportsmanship in 4-H as well as life itself.

Now we get ready for State Fair……

~ Jayme

Jayme Thompson lives in Shelley, Idaho, with her husband Matt, and their three sons, Jackson, Mattson and Dawson. She was daddy’s little cowgirl being raised horseback on the family cattle ranch in Mackay, Idaho. Matt and Jayme have known each other since their early junior rodeo days. They are both 4th generation ranchers and have a cow-calf and horse operation. Jayme drives school bus, and helps Matt on the ranch in addition to chauffeuring kids. Matt is a custom saddle maker and a video representative for Western Video Market on the side.

Jayme also blogs at Cavvy Savvy, where this post first appeared.

Categories: Blogging, Idaho Cattlewomen, Ranch kids, Ranch Life

My First County Fair ~ The Final Day

Charlie's last photo shoot before the sale.

Charlie’s last photo shoot


Today was the last day of the fair and my last day with Charlie. Charlie was the 55th steer to sell at the sale. He acted better than he did any other day at the fair. I was nervous that Charlie would go crazy because of all of the noises of the auctioneer and the people.

In the sale ring.

In the sale ring.

He sold for a really good price to South Hills Land and Farming. With the money I earned, first I have to pay my grandpa for buying Charlie and for the hay he ate. Then I have to pay my parents for the grain that they bought. The rest of the money is for savings for college or a church mission.

That afternoon, when it was getting close to time to put Charlie on the truck, I started feeling sad. Then I started lightly crying and I stayed with Charlie the whole time until he was ready to go. When I was with him, he kept scratching his head on me up and down, up and down. He tore a hole in my shirt, but I didn’t care. After the man said it was

Last moments with Charlie.

Last moments with Charlie.

time to put him on the truck, I cried in my mom’s arms for ten minutes. I started crying again that night. Then I had an idea: maybe if I sleep with my shirt with the hole in it, it will make me feel better. So I did and I’m going to do that every night.I love Charlie

But I’m glad that Charlie is going to help feed America beef!

Even though it was really sad to get rid of him, I’m glad I raised a steer for the fair. I learned responsibility and I got to get dirty all the time, which I found out was super fun. I also discovered that I really, really, really like cows and now they’re my first favorite animal.

My seven top favorite things at the fair were:

• Showing a steer (of course).
• Eating the fair food. I liked the donuts and elephant ears best.
• Working in the 4-H food booth.
• Riding my first carnival ride. My favorite was the ferris wheel.
• Looking at all of the other animals
• The entertainment (the monkey show was my favorite).
• Working and playing with friends and making a few new friends.
• Seeing some of my family.

I hope you liked reading about my first fair and that you learned some fair things too. Come to the Twin Falls County Fair! We’ll see you there next year maybe!

My family with Charlie.

My family with Charlie.

Farewell Charlie.

Farewell Charlie.

 6 am stall cleaning.

6 am stall cleaning.

Working and playing with my friend after a big rainstorm at the fair.

Working and playing with my friend after a big rainstorm at the fair.

Good times with good friends.

Good times with good friends.

Fun on the ferris wheel!

Fun on the ferris wheel!

Categories: Blogging, Ranch kids