Monday, September 26, 2016

Welcoming Fall with more Cattle Work

Fall around here means preparing to wean our calves.  Someone on my Instagram account asked me why we do this.  Well, we wean the calves (who aren't so little anymore), so we can make room for the new babies to come in the spring.  Also, to give the cows time to adjust before calving again. And, probably the most important pass the calves onto someone who will feed them out (get them fattened up) before they're used for what their raised for...beef for the consumer.

Rarely do we keep any calves, unless we're keeping heifers to use as cows in a year or so.  We just don't do that part of the operation anymore.  When I was in high school, that's all we did.  We didn't have cows.  Instead we were the middle men who fed weaned calves until they were ready to finish out at a feed lot.  Now, we're on the cow/calf side of the business.

So, to get ready for the weaning, we vaccinate them a few weeks ahead of time, and last week, the kids got to watch toward the end.

Peter was in charge of keeping the calves pushed up in the chute, so Dad and Papa could get them vaccinated quickly and back out to be with their moms.

We marked those heifers we wanted to keep, so they can easily be cut from the group once weaning happens.

In less than an hour, all of our calves (the ones in the pastures near Jeremy and my house) were vaccinated!

The kids helped get them back to their moms and then out to pasture.

The work was done, for the day, and in just a few weeks, they'll be separated and shipped to their new homes!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

What to Wear | Photoshoot

Every now and then people ask me what to wear for photos.  I'll tell you from the start, I'm not the world's most stylish person, and what I might like in terms of clothing may not be what you like.  But, here are tips I would share:

1.  I would stray from being too "match-y".

If you really want a photo with all white shirts and khaki bottoms, this photo will be in your home, and you have every right to do that.  I just feel that adding more patterns and color will add more depth to the photo.  (photo by Sarah-Beth Photo)

2.  Try to avoid neon colors.  

More often than not, the light hits those colors and leaves a cast of them on your skin - so if you have a neon orange shirt, your skin might end up having a orange tint in the photos.

3.  Add layers. 

I love the look of photos with a cardigan here, a scarf there (in the cooler months), and maybe even a little one in suspenders.  (photo by Sarah-Beth Photo)

4.  It's easiest to pick one outfit and then plan all other outfits around it.

For instance, the mom/girl is probably the one planning the photo.  Pick something you love!  A dress with a fun necklace and little booties, skinny jeans and riding boots, or even that fancier skirt you've been saving for the right occasion.  Find something you feel great in, and coordinate everyone else to your outfit!  (photo by Sarah-Beth Photo)

5.  I like to try to avoid pinstripes and checked shirts on the men/boys.  

When photographed, they can do this:

6.  Unless you are going for a completely different look than normal, I wouldn't put your family in clothing that doesn't speak to their personality.

For instance, my girls don't wear a lot of really glittery or sequined items.  So, I'll probably stay away from that for photos.  Peter will rarely wear anything but a polo shirt...and it's not worth changing that for a photo, trust me.  In our family, we might even plan our outfits around him.  Jeremy rarely wears any shoes but his boots, so I'm not going to ask him to wear flip flops just because I may like them more.  Make sense?
7.  Choose your outfits based on the style of your photoshoot.

I feel like there are exceptions to this, but what I'm mainly saying is...don't wear stilettos to trek through the corn field.  If it's an urban session, sure!  Sometimes it can look really neat to get extremely dressed up and shoot in an open field, but I wouldn't say it always works.

Like I said, I am not a professional stylist.  I just know what I like.  And, you know what you like.  
But, if you ever have questions, I'd love to help!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Mid-week Likes & Links

Anna Toney is starting a new blog!!  For now, you can find her on her Instagram or at her Etsy shop (!!) .  There, she has these amazing shirts.
I told her I'd get a picture of me with all the kids...and this one was, how do I say it?  Real.  In fact here's a few more of our realness :)  No shirt on Carter.  No pants on Sophie.  Some looking.  Some not.  But!  It's us, and it's me in this fabulous, super soft shift.  Need one?

What else I am liking this week...

These zucchini oatmeal muffins!  I have always used the Paula Deen recipe for zucchini bread, and I just needed a change.  I always love breads with oatmeal in them, and this one didn't disappoint.

This site has been really fun for me to find quick saint stories for the kids!

These remain some of my favorite tops - tat burnt henna color is tempting! sister and I are finally pregnant together, and if both babies came on their due date, they would be seven weeks apart!  I'm having a boy.  She's having a girl.  I want to take pictures of them together in something like this.  Or, do you have another great idea?

Do you have a recipe that has been part of your family for generations?  Look at what Lauren can do with it!

Does anyone have these?  Are they worth it?  I'm looking for a shoe that is really comfortable and equally quiet for the long days of photographing weddings!

My boys have been watching a bit of this on Amazon Prime.  I didn't think much of it until Carter pulled his stool to the counter the other day and said, "Pour me a shot of whiskey, please."  Oops.

This is a long, but good, read.

Here's another good article on parenting.  Sometimes I question my parenting, but last week Carter said something that made me think I might be doing something right.  Yep, "I don't like you Mom!" Ha!

Hope it's a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Our Meal Calendar - Month Two

So, here's the second installment to the monthly meal calendars (but I think I'm just doing two and rotating).

This is the one pot pasta!

And, here is the Pinterest board created to go with it.

Hope this helps.  Please send me any of your go-to recipes!

Monday, September 19, 2016

A Sunday with the Cats (yes, I said that correctly).

I am the first to admit, I'm not a cat person.  It's just that if I had to choose between owning a dog and a cat, I'd choose a dog.  But, the kids have been begging for a cat.  I've always said no.  Well, last week at Carter's piano lesson, his teacher said she had three older kittens who needed homes.  As any good parent would, I passed the buck to Jeremy.  And...he said yes!  I was shocked.  So, Saturday afternoon we had a little delivery.

Jeremy said they could have the cats on one condition...that they live in the barn.  So, the boys readied beds for their new pets.

And, it's been love at first far.  Carter hasn't named his.  Peter's is Fuzzy (yes, that's the second Fuzzy we have now).  John Paul's is Nellie.  They're all male cats.

This is the one without a name.

And, Fuzzy is always hiding, which is probably good, being that we have owls, too.

 Carter is most impressed with their climbing skills.

 And, what would an animal post be without a little chicken update.

We have fourteen, and ten are consistently laying.  It's been so, so fun for all of us!

So, if you need an animal fix, we can probably help you out.  We've got a little bit of everything around here!