Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas in the Country

Through social media I have met many fellow bloggers. Most are like me, rural women. Some are very involved in the farm, some not so much. We are all alike in one way, we share a love of agriculture. We are passionate about our way of life. We agvocate daily to others in order to keep living this life. With that one driving force among us, we have a close knit community that stretches from Maine to California, South Dakota to Texas and ALL POINTS in between.
All year long we share each others stories. At Christmas time, we share with each other. We hold a gift exchange, 'Christmas in the Country' It's hosted by three or so of our group. We promote it on our blogs and through social media. Each participant is asked to share a gift with a few basic criteria in mind. It should represent items of your local area, things you love and things that you think the recipient would enjoy based on what you learned about her on her blog.
This year, I got Danielle, of High Heels and Shotgun Shells. The following is the letter I wrote her:
 Dear Danielle,

Hello, I am Kathy Hasekamp, of ‘Hasekamps of Tulip’ blog and H&K Farms facebook page. I am your Christmas in the Country secret Santa. I stalked your blog and facebook page. I will say it took me back in time a little, in many ways, some unexpected, which was kind of fun.
In my blogstalking, I felt like I learned several things about you, some that I found fun were. It looks like you are left handed, in a picture you were doing something with your left hand. If I wasn’t also left handed, I probably wouldn’t have noticed that.
Your mobile home, is almost the same exact floor plan as the one that my Farmer and I lived in when we were first married. I noticed funny things like the goofy light switch covers that aren’t like the ones you buy in the store, the trim on the walls over each piece of paneling, etc…… Your stories of remodelling it sound so much like some of the projects we took on. At the time ours was practically new, but young brides like to make their mark on things. :) 25 years into marriage, we have moved to another home now. But there were many memories in that mobile home. And I am sure you will make many in yours as well.
I love that we have the same last name initial, H. As I was looking for things for you, grabbing a letter H just seemed like something you would like. After seeing some pictures of you and your husband, I think with a sign that had your last name on it, I really wanted to think up a project using your last name. That never panned out, so I bought you a little black metal H that I thought might work into your decor somewhere.
As for your other gifts, they all come with a reason/story. First off after reading your blog post about canning, I felt like I needed to share something that I had canned. I read that you miss the ‘west’ so hoping that the jar of hot peppers will offer a little reminder. My pepper plants were ABUNDANT this summer and I canned salsa, pickled peppers and dehydrated them, plus giving away tons all summer long.
You mentioned that you have chickens and cattle. When I saw that cool ‘chicken wire’ ribbon, I just knew that was another item to add to your box of goodies. Then I know that every farm wife needs a cute and colorful tea towel to line her basket to go to a potluck dinner, so hence the two ‘cow’ towels. I made (did the machine applique) those. They were a project that I had on my blog back in the spring and seemed to be a popular one.
We were also instructed to add items from our local area. I added ‘Sticky Pig’ BBQ sauce and Mustard. That is canned right here in my town and is popular around here.  Hope that you enjoy it. I also added a small bag of peanut brittle. We have an Amish community about 2 miles from our farm and they make some wonderful candy this time of year. So I thought that I would share a little.
I also thought that I would share a product that I love. I sent Mary Kay Hand scrub. I know being a farm wife and mom, I sure don’t pamper myself much. That stuff is my one ‘guilty pleasure’ and in this season of giving, I thought I would share a bottle.
I hope that the items give you some things to enjoy, a little sense of who I am and add a little smile to your day. Really enjoyed participating in the Christmas in the Country gift exchange and look forward to seeing everyone’s posts.

Merriest of Christmases from Mid-Missouri,
From Tulip~

While I was busy blog stalking Danielle, in another part of the country, I was being blogstalked as well. Sure makes you think, am I really portraying who I am............well here are the items I received from, Sarah at Hewitt Farms in Minnesota:
Totally spot on, I love things with 'H's' or our name on it. I am a scarf wearer, and totally switch out everyday for Christmas in my kitchen. She told me stories about her gifts and how they tied into her own story. I just loved it.

Feeling extra blessed and loved in the Christmas season,
From Tulip~

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tune In Tuesdays--Wildman, a Mostly True Memoir of a Missouri Cattle Man

Almost 25 years ago, BC, or as I like to say before children (oldest would say before Cody) I worked in town at the local Furniture store. Loved that job, got to know many of the local business people, several who have been friends since and are some of my good friends today. One day, a friend of mine, Sally came into the store. Her mother in  law had sent her in to buy a high chair for their oldest daughter. (was picking out her own gift, that's always fun!) We sold beautiful wooden ones and she and I looked through our selection. Probably that day was the first time I knew who Sierra Shea was.
After we started adding kids to our family, I stayed home with our kids and a social outlet I participated in was a monthly coffee group. Sierra was in school by then but her mom attended the group as well. Being a mother of 4 kids, I always have stories and Sierra's mom could always appreciate.
Over the years, we had kids, they had some more and everyone got to be 4H age. Sierra and her sisters comprised the Charolais class of the local fair most years and I would tease her mom about it. Of course she replied, you will be there and in a few years, I was. Different breed, but multiple class entries.
Fast forward a few more years and over half of these beautiful girls have graduated from High School, (Selestia in a few weeks) went to college and are starting to find their place in the world. Sierra has certainly accomplished that. The mom in me, thinks I wish she lived closer, as I am sure her family misses her. But in this day and age of social media and access, I guess they can 'see' her everyday.
Prolific blogger and newspaper contributor, Sierra Shea has published her first book. One, that I am certain has been a labor of love. Wild Man: A Mostly True Memoir of a Missouri Cattlemen is beautifully pieced together collection of stories intermingled with a basic family history of about 4 generations of the Angell family. The main star, is Sierra's grandpa, Luther Angell. Well known in our state for his involvement in the cattle industry, from raising cattle to marketing them in the family owned sale barns.

Stories of family, business and good times fill every page. You will laugh and cry along with the Angell family as they move from post World War era to modern times. Certainly a family who works hard and plays hard, but mostly just loves each other. 
I knew this would be an entertaining read. What I didn't expect, especially since I have read some of the beginnings of this through Sierra's column in the Cattleman's Advocate and the tidbits she shared was that I had a such a hard time putting it down. She broke it up nicely and neatly into many short stories, but I just kept thinking, oh I will read one more. Needless to say, I wasn't particularly productive until I got it read. I think my family is glad it wasn't any longer. HA! 
Like Sierra's Uncle Jon rates her Aunt Charlotte's cooking, I would give this a 5 cowboy hats out of 5 on the official Angell cowboy hat rating scale. 
It would be a great keepsake for any local person and anyone who loves the country, cows and rural life. Locals can purchase their copy at Angell's Western Wear in downtown Centralia or click on the link above and order it online. For more incredible stories of the life and times of Sierra Shea, follwo her blog, or follow her page on facebook, SierraSheaWrites
Proud when a local kid makes the 'big time',
From Tulip~

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Home Sweet Home

Started out the month strong, adding Thankfulness posts. My goal was to not just be thankful for the same things that I am every year, although I am thankful for the same things year in and year out. I wanted to give you a deeper, new insight to life on our farm in the process. Well life on the farm has gotten in the way in the last several days and blog posts just haven't happened.
Had a few extra moments this afternoon, so I decided to add a post about the one place/location I am probably most thankful for and that of course is our farm. Obviously most people are thankful for their home. But, for us, our farm is so much more than our home.
We are living in the same house that My Farmer was raised in, raising our own kids. But its more than a home, more than a farm. Yes its our livelihood. It's also where we are teaching our children core values like responsibility and work ethic. We are teaching them stewardship of the land. They are learning about life in the care of livestock. We are teaching them the value of an honest days' work.
I love that such a high percentage of our time is spent 'at home' on the farm. It's so ingrained in our souls, that I am sure that we wouldn't be happy anywhere else. I love to watch the growing season unfold before my very eyes. As the ground is prepped for planting, seeds sown, then the plant grows. We watch it mature and dry in preparation of harvest. We are blessed to be able to harvest. Afterwards, we begin the process of prepping for the next year.
It's a similar process with the animals, from calving season in the spring until they are loaded onto the trailer en route to the sale barn. The step by step process is absolutely breath taking. It's one that I am honored for the privilege to witness.
There's no place like home,
From Tulip~

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Our First Born

Today is a good day. I have always been a TGIF gal. Although when you farm, Friday is generally just another day, its not like we have weekends off. But in the last year or so, some Fridays are particularly special. Our oldest son attends a college about 4 hours from home. This year he's an RA in the dorms, so we haven't seen much of him. Guess what? Today he's coming home. Actually as I begin to write this, he's likely 3/4 of the way home. (I will likely not post until I get home and can add a few pictures.)
Cody taught us how to be parents. He's the guinea pig. Aren't all first borns? We tried our hand at parenting, read all the books, tried to follow the rules, and then realized that the rules were a guide, find what works in your family and embrace it.
We were very lucky that he was such an easy baby, probably a lot of the reason why he has so many siblings. LOL
His curiosity and imagination are two of the first traits that I found most fascinating. He was always a busy guy. Sometimes that was fun, sometimes that was frustrating.
Growing up, he's accepted the job of 'leader' that oldest kids seem to automatically be nominated for. He's pretty organized with his time and resources. He's great at finding a solution, actually loves the process of finding that solution, as he seems to never be able to learn enough.
I can remember a conversation had with him probably less than a week after school was out for the summer, when he was maybe 9. Cody: "Mom, we are going to NEED to go to the Library TODAY?" Me: "Why?" Cody: "I have read everything in this house. We need to go NOW."
At a parent teacher conference, with his teacher, I mentioned that I am amazed and the amount of papers that they get done during class. And she just laughed and assured me, no they didn't always ALL do that many papers daily, she gave Cody extra papers, to keep him busy and would soon have to find more as he was moving ahead of the group, by leaps and bounds.
I have always been proud of his academic achievements. But, who he is as a person, far outweighs the 'book learning' His love of people shows through in his friendliness, his natural ability to relate to others and the beginnings I have been witness to of what he ultimately wants to do in a teacher.
He has enjoyed helping with the younger kids at church. He's the oldest kid, grandkid, he's ended up being in charge of the group unofficially for years. That was soon followed by other endeavors, like 4H camp, for one example. He enjoyed attending as a camper, but REALLY loved his years as a counselor. Now he enjoys his RA job, which just seems to be the next step in his journey.
Re-writing this post as the original only saved a partial yesterday, so now that its the first day of deer season, I am reminded of another deer season 17 yrs ago. My mom and I went shopping and let the guys do their things. Well we went to a favorite store of ours about 1 hour away. While shopping there, Cody lost his 'bobby' which was a blanket that he loved dearly. I had gotten back to mom's before I realized it. So even though it was getting late in the afternoon and remember its opening day of deer season.............but YES I drove back to the store which was north into the heart of 'deer country' and got his beloved 'bobby' I earned my Mom of the Week Star that day for sure!
You all know me, no post is complete without a picture, so here goes:
....and Momma loves you too, Sweets! 
Thankful for 20 yrs with this guy,
From Tulip~

Thursday, November 13, 2014

It's the most wonderful time of the Year

A friend posted about her favorite days and how she was thankful about each of them, which was sort of the post that was rolling around in my head as well. I am trying to not JUST do the same old thankful posts that I do every year. While yes I want to make sure and incorporate the people and things that I am truly thankful for, I am trying to do it in a different way this year.
So with that being said, today I am thankful for Special Days. I am also thankful for the people who make them special. Here goes--
I am thankful for four dates...........Sept 5th, Oct. 6th, Nov 1st and 2nd. Those are my kids' birthdays. I never realized as kid growing up just how special my own birthday was to my parents, until I became a parent myself. Their birthday far and away overshadow my own. I want celebrate them, shout from the mountaintops, 'That's my Baby!' So proud of those 4 kiddos.
I am thankful for one other date...........July 14th, the next one coming up marks a Quarter Century being married to my best friend in the the entire world. The person who I laugh with, work with, love with all my heart, my sweet Farmer. (he better take note, I spoke nicely of him on TWO Thursdays in a row, LOL)
I am thankful for Holidays.........we host family dinners at our house on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love having my home full of family. I love the prep, cleaning every nook and cranny (okay almost every nook and cranny). I love cooking the food. I love the extra decorating, burning candles, all the extras that it involves. I also love sitting in my recliner while the dishwasher washes the dishes afterwards and all the food is put away, etc.....knowing I can sit there with no guilt, job done.
I am thankful for Planting time and Harvest...... While I may call it, 'Seasonal SingleParenthood' I really do love those days spent eating meals in the field. Shouting our conversations over the sound of grain being augered into the bin. Helping move from field to field. Bringing more seed to the field. Going after a much needed part. Helping weigh the test plot. All of those extras that I hope my Farmer thinks makes his day run a little smoother.
I am thankful for days spent at fairs.........whether its local, county or state fair. Those are the times we sort of call our 'down-time' we get to visit with old friends, enjoy watching our kids make new friends, teach the public a little bit about what our life is all about and just generally have a great time.
I am thankful for a day of a 1,000 bales of hay........there's nothing I delight more in, than cooking and spoiling the kids who come out and work with us putting up hay. Granted they all probably think its hard work, but I like to hope not one of them has ever went home hungry.
I am thankful for game day/dual or tournament time.......... I love the prep, the anticipation, and finally the actual event. I love watching my kids do what they love, with their friends, seeing them work hard for a goal and enjoy getting to see it with friends.
My Farmer will hear of an upcoming event and I swear no matter where it falls, Jan 1st through Dec 31, he will say that's a busy time of year. And he's right, everyday on the farm is busy. Regularly we are busy with kid activities, church activities, 4H/FFA activities, games and much, MUCH more. For that, and those days, I am thankful.
Remind me when I am whining about it that I really am thankful for BUSY-NESS,
From Tulip~

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Family (Father and Mother I Love You)

Thankful for so many things and so many people. If there was anyone outside of my own household and the family I helped create with my Farmer, it would of course be my Mom and Dad. I am blessed with parents who live less than a half hour away from me, aren't a long distance phone and are ready and willing to drop everything to help, anytime I ask.
Just a few years shy of a half century of marriage, I think that they are in love more today than they ever were. I think about how I perceive their relationship and how I have seen it evolve over the years. It's a reminder that, you don't just fall in love once in a lifetime, if you are very lucky, you fall in love with the same person over and over, throughout your lifetime.
My mom and dad are the perfect example of that. They had their years of working and raising a family, the years of grown kids spreading their wings, adding in-laws to the mix, semi-retirement, grandkids, now retirement. They built a house. They owned a business. Through it all I think that they just continue to show us what lasting love is all about.
They aren't perfect, none of us are. Sure there are the conversations where its evident they are aware of each others imperfections, but the love always wins out. Because of this strong bond, they totally rock as parents. I am thankful that I have never had serious problems in my own marriage, but even when those littlest of things come up, they are very good at putting it into perspective and reminding me that I am blessed. They can build me up high. They can give me a reality check. They always seem to know what I need. Because they know what it takes.
Feeling thankful for and blessed by the greatest parents in the world,
From Tulip~

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Proud to be an American

The last two days have always been big ones in my family. Yesterday was the Marine corp Birthday and today is Veteran's Day. In my family service to our country is a BIG THING. My Dad and Brother, both Marines. Both of my Grandfathers served, several of my uncles, cousins, etc.
My Brother, Wayne on his first visit home, after Cody was born. He was stationed in Okinawa at the time.

My Mom and Dad when Dad graduated from Boot Camp in Camp Pendleton, California, 1968

Above and Below are items from my Grandpa's tour of service, he was stationed in the Pacific during World War II.

With things like Purple Hearts and folded flags in the homes of my family, being patriotic and proud to be an American are just what we are. I feel very thankful that my loved ones were willing to serve to keep our country free. If one of my kids decided to serve, of course I would worry about them, but I would also be so proud that they have carried on a proud family tradition. 
God Bless Veterans, Our Troops now serving and the grand ol' USA,
From Tulip~

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Friends who are like family and family I am glad to be friends with.

I started to write my thankfulness post yesterday morning and kept rambling (worse than normal) I couldn't seem to tie it together. So I decided to let it sit and 'live my weekend out.' After spending a rejuvenating weekend that included productivity of farm work, catching up on odds and ends, prepping for upcoming events, cleaning my house, then spending time last night with great, GREAT friends and ending the weekend with family; I am hoping that the clarity of this post will end up shining through.
We  have many groups, families I prefer to call them, that are made up from the different activities that we are a part of. Wrestling season is upon us. That is one of my favorite families to spend time with. Of course, that's good, since we spend LONG HOURS together in gyms for the next three months. One of my favorite phrases to describe a wrestling tournament, 9 hours of sitting for 9 minutes of wrestling. Of course that is sort of flexible, since obviously I have a HS wrestler, some many days its more than 9 minutes and if you add drive time, 9 hours doesn't catch it either. We will also being getting to know the younger end of this 'family' as Seth is going to wrestle in the 'club' (little league) this year. He has tried both wrestling and basketball, and isn't really sure what his thing will be yet.
We love this group so much, definitely as close to them as if we were actual family. We have our inside jokes and fun times, we are there for each other in the harder times as well. Just like family.
Today was spent celebrating our two littlest kids' birthdays. We had our parents there, our siblings and my grandmother. We were mostly all here. Our oldest was up at school, wasn't able to come home this weekend. Truly makes me sad that he wasn't here. My brain realizes that the goal was to raise them and they grow up, but my heart wants to cling tightly to my babies forever and never let go. Even without their oldest brother, my littles had a good day.
Which brings me around to my thankfulness for the weekend. I am so thankful that within our lives we have people that we love so fiercely, whether they are related by blood or not. I am also thankful that our family is like friends and that we enjoy their company so much, I know that some aren't afforded that luxury. I am also thankful that among everything else, we just plain had a great weekend that makes me smile and leaves me ready to tackle the week ahead.
From Tulip~

Friday, November 7, 2014


They are your first friends in life outside of your own home. And likely they are your life-long friends. They know all about you, the good and the bad---and they still love you. Yes I am talking about cousins. I am very blessed to big a part of a large extended family.
All of the Angle first cousins but two. 

Barnes first cousins, plus spouses and children and steps and all the extras plus my Grandmother. 
I love how with my cousins, its always game on, and a good time will always be had. It really doesn't matter what we are doing. And its ALWAYS the more, the merrier!!! The example that comes to mind of a most recent 'goodtime with my cousins' involved cousins who were MILES apart from either other, but we had a blast anyway. For that, I have to thank social media. I was feeling sorry for myself last Friday, thinking about all that I wasn't going to be experiencing with my own family and just generally feeling lonely. I jumped on Facebook to check out what was going on and my brother had posted the picture at the top of myself and most of my Angle cousins taken last summer. His comment was something to the affect of, is it too early to start planning a get together for next year? All it took was a few folks replying and away we went, literally have next summer's reunion planned, we know where we want to go and when we want to go there. 3 of the 5 branches replied. Guessing the others will jump in if they are able. The planning was just details, the funny comments and snarky barbs back and forth made my afternoon, in fact it made my whole week. I am pretty certain that my cousins are the reason I will never REALLY feel lonely in this world. 

Feeling Thankful for the Love of Cousins on this fall Friday afternoon,
From Tulip~

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Day 6, My Farmer

I was warned not to write about him. So instead I will share pictures. (He didn't mention that) I am blessed and thankful this man is in my life. Here's some of the reasons why.
My Farmer is a pretty serious guy, but when he smiles its always genuine, nothing fake with him, ever!

Four kids changes the dynamics of a family, that guy takes it in stride.

Had to add one that shows the humor he brings to my world, sometimes I am laughing with him, sometimes I might just be giggling a little at him. ;) 
We might call JH the cattle whisperer, but she gets that skill naturally. The cows know what an important person he is in their lives. 

When we were dating, going country dancing was a big thing. almost 25 years, later it takes a younger woman to do a little shaming to get him out there. 

I think these skinny young people used to be us. 

So glad we got a dog 'for the kids' (another animal that knows how important he is, but this one plays him like a violin, she may be more spoiled than our two legged kids, and HE is the reason why.)

Always game for mischief, the board or 'stud' in the picture was part of a practical joke played on the neighbor girl. Totally his idea Brittney, here's the proof!

My hard working man. 
Downtime is rare, but is usually spent at a cattle show.
Since I am not supposed to write anything, there it is, I figure if pictures don't count, neither do the captions. My life is certainly blessed with him in it and for that I am thankful today. (even on a Thursday!) 
Proud of the title Mrs. David Hasekamp,
From Tulip~

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

5th day of Thankfulness--Head Heart Hands and Health

As a kid growing up, I tried many things. I played sports, little league, then school-ran, playing softball, basketball, track and golf. I was in Girl Scouts. I was in 4-H. I played in band. Not all of these things at once, mind you. But I tried it all. Then I grew up, got married and we started our family.
When our oldest child was old enough to be on a T-ball team, I was ecstatic! He tried that for a few years, but then the much strong influence and possibly at times a driving force for rural kids came along...................4-H. F&L Hustlers, to be exact. It was the club we would join 12 years ago and would become a big part of our family for over a decade---SO FAR.
It's the club that The Farmer was a member of, his sisters, all of the neighbor kids, the kids at church, the kids on the bus route and so on. (of course that's a lot of the SAME people mentioned over and over, but that's okay) Our club meets on the first Wednesday night of the month. (tonight) The club is primarily comprised of kids who attend Centralia schools, who live in western Audrain county. There are a few rebels who live in Boone county or Monroe (like us) and a few who attend other schools.
F&L Hustlers was established in 1949. One of our neighbors, Bob McBride was a charter member. Within his family three generations have been members. Many families have the second generation going through the club.
4-H and the skills learned through it have made a big impact on the lives of my children. The responsibility and commitment that it takes to raise a beef project are two that stick out in my mind. My oldest son will say that his years at camp taught him that he has a special skill with young kids and plans to put that skill to use as a middle school teacher. My quieter younger son may not say that he improved his speaking skills through doing demonstrations and leading the meeting as President, but he did. Our littler two kids are just starting to see all of the places 4-H can take them. As we drove to school this morning, we talked about which projects that they will enroll in for the coming year. I am always surprised by where their interests lie and then amazed that 4-H has something to accommodate those interests.
As I prepare for tonights meeting and juggling all that makes up our busy life, I am ALWAYS thankful that 4-H is one of those things in it,
From Tulip~

Harvest Abundance

In the last year, things have changed in our household, I work what I like to refer to as a 'town job.' By this, I mean that several days a week after dropping the kids at school, I drive on to that job, instead of turning around and heading back home to help David. This time of year, when he is working long hours as well, we don't see much of each other. I certainly don't have my finger on the pulse of the farm, not that I ever have had that, at least not to the extent that The Farmer does.
Some of the things I miss the most are happening right now at our farm. The trees that encircle many of our fields are turning brilliant shades of gold, orange and red. They make for a beautiful backdrop for pictures. I miss taking pictures of the combine, the grain pouring out of it, into the trucks, then augers to the grain bin. I think watching the movement of the grain is so calming. No, I really don't ever mind being asked to dump trucks.
The feedlot is another great source of entertainment at this time of year. The calves are over missing their mommas by now and are starting to establish their pecking order among them. Watching the silly playfulness is quite entertaining.
This has been an amazing growing season. Rains came about when they needed to, with correct amounts. Temperatures weren't so extreme to impede proper planting time, burn crops in the heat of summer or make for an early fall. We really couldn't have ordered a much more perfect year, weather-wise.
With all the right conditions, the crops grew. Boy, oh boy did they grow! As we baled record amounts of hay this summer and chopped sileage, it became all the more obvious, harvest, this year would be a 'fun time' It's always great listening to my Farmer and neighbor visiting from truck to truck as they meet on the road while doing morning chores. They report what the day before's yields are, talk about the line at the elevator, of course wonder if it will rain and they will get a day off; and so on. If  I am lucky enough to catch a day off and get to help on the farm, I am always a happier person at the end of the day!

While they are no artist examples of great photography, above are a few pictures I grabbed while helping The Farmer on Monday.

Loving this FUN TIME of year, with abundance harvest and remembering its a good problem as we play the game of where to market the grain,

From Tulip~

Monday, November 3, 2014

Thankfulness, Day 3 Hometown Healing

It's been a busy morning, full of everyone else's errands. As I went through the motions of checking things off my list, in the back of my mind I was rolling over, which thing will I be thankful for today. Before I could get in here and start writing, my inspiration was handed to me in a text from my oldest son. 'Mom, you better check facebook, there's a post about Dr. Bradley.' Well, I was outside helping The Farmer switch to the last field of soybeans, (YAY!) so I called my son. I think I already knew before I heard the words, 'Dr. Bradley died, mom.'
In our small town we have been blessed with medical care from the definition of old school family doctor. Dr. William Bradley has served the community for over 40 years. He's the only doctor I remember. He's healed our sickness, sewed up our wounds and been a shoulder to cry when there was nothing else that could be done.
As a community we will have to cry on each other's shoulders as our sweet Doc has left this world today. He's now with the Great Healer. His own personal pain is gone. We are left to heal our broken hearts. As a friend said, "How do you replace a doctor who can look at you and know what's wrong?"
We who loved Doc know what she meant. Who else says to a mom of 4 kids, who has two of them in office, if anyone else gets this, call us and we will call in more meds, and I am home this weekend, call the house if you need to.
Dr. Bradley you have been an icon to our community for so long, I can't imagine how we will do without you. When you closed the doors merely days ago, we said he must be really sick, as most of us figured you would be there till last moment, and you darn near were. You are irreplaceable, they definitely broke the mold when they made you. Rest in Peace, Sweet Friend, Rest in Peace.

Sitting here sort of in shock at this point,
From Tulip~

Sunday, November 2, 2014

You can't keep a good man down

So yesterday as I wrote the post about Jenna, I was already thinking about that in the world of us, Nov 1 and Nov 2 are a busy pair of days, because guess what, as we celebrated Jenna's birthday yesterday, we celebrate Seth's today. Today marks one decade of our lives with this brilliant, full of life love and humorous little soul. As I wrote Jenna's post, I purposely used 12 pictures, I was keying on the age she was, sort of a top 12, I don't know. Well in my search to find pictures that gave you the story of Seth, I found that following my theme of as many pics as the child was old, wasn't going to work.  There have been so many things about Seth that truly break the mold and make him unique. Follow me on this attempted journey to describe all that he is to us.

Probably 16 months old, rockin' the diaper and wrestling head gear. That would be our little boy, running to catch those big kids, try everything that they have, do it all, live in every single moment. 

First Christmas. After 3 others, I thought I knew what a Hasekamp baby looked like, till this was born. I found out I had it in me to make an Angle baby, cowlick and all. The others had a head full of hair, this one not so much and what was there was dark and had wave to it! Wow! 

Determination, when this guy sets his mind to do it, its done. He was pretty serious about catching a fish in this pond and a little unimpressed by me distracting him with pictures. My camera died, and he caught a fish. Always teaching us, that days' lesson was patience. He learned it, me well probably not.

After two night owls, do you have any idea how pleasant this face is to see in the morning. Cody pops right up, Sam and Jenna, not so much. One of my many privileges of having four children in my life, this littlest one is pure joy from the moment his eyes open. 

Besides the pure joy mentioned above, he's also pure boy. I think that means he is at least 85-90% dirt. No he doesn't go outside and roll in it, but it sure seems to find him. That was his first day as an only child, older three had went to school, that guy lived it up big and played and did exactly what he wanted to do all day long. Apparently what he wanted to do was get dirty! 

At about this age, he vowed, pledged and promised me that he would stay little. I remember when he said those words, the lump in my throat almost choked me. There are so many things that I have savored with this last one, his innocence and child like love of life is one of them. Sadly, he's not been able to keep that promise to stay little. But I am still promising to him not wish away one moment of my time with him. I really think you savor those last ones so much more. 

This guy never got to be the big boy in the equation, until the cousins started coming along. There is nothing sweeter than watching him 'teach' Marshall things. Granted before things are said and done I may not feel that way and his Aunt Beth may wish he would quit teaching him so much, but for now, we love seeing this side of his personality.

How many kids can you stack on the 4 wheeler? That day it was 5. No worries, it idled around the yard. Always the giver, Seth gave up his preferred seat to this younger cousins and sister and sat all the way to the back. 

When we got married, we were pretty young. Married a couple of years before we ever even discussed kids. When we finally decided, it turns out it wasn't quite as easy as we figured. Eventually we  had Cody, then Sam finally. We discussed was our family the size that we wanted. At the time we thought maybe. Well while we were thinking, Jenna snuck onto the scene and then BAM! Seth too, all the obstacles of the earlier pregnancies were overcame. When I look at our children, I think I am so glad that God knew we needed a big family. 

He is the face that lights up a room, I can never look at him without seeing sunshine. Makes it hard to be tough when that is needed. I am sure that he will endure his older siblings comments on he never had it as 'hard' as they did. I will be first to admit that I am not the same mom to him that I am to the others. But he's not the same kid that they were either. No better. No worse. Just different. Viva la difference.

This is a GREAT example of who Seth is. His humor fills our lives. Besides the constant smile on his face, its seems to be his life work to make sure you are smiling and has a natural ability to entertain, probably a youngest kid thing too. He's happiest laughing and I am so glad that is who he is. 

Figuring out your place in the world is tough enough. Try having older brothers and a sister who do a wide variety of activities. Seth has pretty well tried it all. Its still up in the air what he will settle on as his thing. But again his loving personality will show through. Not even sure he cared that he won in this picture, he just knew his momma would want the picture and there he was coming off the mat to pose. He knows me well. 

I tease my older kids, and say that if I  had known what a great helper the 4th kid would be, I would have started with him first and hope that he influenced the others. Part of his pleaser personality is this gift of knowing what needs to be done and just doing it. I love that about him. I sometimes think he makes me walk a little more straight and narrow. That's okay, they've all four taught me so many things. 

Interesting the difference ten years makes. You have the 16 yr old who would prefer his picture not be taken. The 6 yr old was making a face. I know the difference is amazing on so many levels.  

This is who Seth is. Busy. Full of life. Always has time for it all.
As I thought about how to describe Seth and explain how blessed we are by him, I found it a daunting task. He is an amazing young man. He won't be contained in any way. He will be. We will all just have to sit back and watch and feel blessed we were invited along for the ride.

Thanking God for unanswered prayers like Seth William Hasekamp,
From Tulip~

Saturday, November 1, 2014

12 is a magical number today at H&K Farms

Today our little farm girl is 12 years old. Following along with social media, I am going to attempt to do thankfulness blog post for the next 30 days, or the month of November. I always start this tradition being thankful for this little gal. Her birthday is today. Jenna Claire, this one is for you, Sass-a-fras! 

Look at what a little pip-squeak she was. That fuzz on top always reminded me of a baby duckling. She was such a happy baby, a smile for everyone. 

Taken about one month before she became a big sister. This was a cat given to her by our neighbors, Danny and Sheryl. She loved Saturn with a fierce-ness that gives me no doubt what a great momma she will be someday.

JH and her Seffy. There are moments when I question their friendship, but one look at this picture and I am reminded, they've been BFF's since the beginning. 

Jumping ahead (I thought I had these sorted chronologically, hmm) This past summer, she didn't let an injury slow her down. Our little cattle whisperer pushed through and continued to do what she loves. Her determination is astonishing. 

One of the many summer loves. This bottle calf, Rose was probably more groomed than any other animal on the farm combined. She regularly had on more hair product than most high paid models. So glad that the Nelsons knew we were looking and hooked us with this project. 

Mater, the steer, he was the first of many she will likely have over the year. First year 4H-er and she had two projects. Probably would have had more and I am sure there will be a year where she shows a whole string, I have no doubt she can do it!
Lucky, her first heifer. This cow is still a fixture on our farm, although her daddy says some day her luck will run out. She was a great first year project, and then spent the second year following the kids around as they led calves. She could sometimes be found standing in the grooming chute if a gate got left open in the barn. 

Sitting by Grandpa Bob the night he won the FFA Hall of Fame. She was Grandpa's girl for sure. 

Hanging out with the brothers, sharing some Christmas cheer from our farm during the local Lighted Tractor parade.

Hasekamp (and one Kable) kids taking selfies, before selfies were even the IN thing to do! Just how they roll!

First year at the MO State Fair. She was the famous 'Bucket Baby' of the Angus Barn. She was possibly the most popular attraction of the barn that year. 

Before she was big enough to show cattle at the fairs, she helped our neighbors show their sheep. Here she is before the Pee Wee Leadline at MO State Fair.

Well there's 12 pictures of Jenna, all depicting an aspect of who she is and fairly aptly. Several are with an animal, many taken at fairs, most of the rest on our farm. She's got an appreciation for this way of life that really is unparalleled, particularly by others her age. I can see her being an industry leader, her passion is contagious. 

Happiest of Birthdays, sweet daughter of mine.On this first day of November, like the other 364 days a year, I am thankful for you,
From Tulip~