Category Archives: Family

Where Was I?

Construction has been progressing!

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This is pretty close to what the house looks like this morning.  We should have some men come put on our new roof today!  Dad & I will then get after some of the siding and installing doors, windows, and a chimney so we can finish siding.

So why haven’t I posted in over a month?  I built a mudroom on the opposite side of the house and the mudroom enclosed the satellite dish that connects us to the internet.  So I called to have the dish moved, and the technicians were booked out for more than 3 weeks.

In other news, my babies continue to grow.  Abigail is quickly approaching her second birthday and pretty much refuses to talk because she can communicate by sign language.  Joshua is 3-½-months old and weighs 19 pounds!

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We also had our first calf born on our farm:  a bull calf I’ve named Norman because he gave us quite a scare at first — we weren’t entirely sure he would make it through.

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But the really exciting news is that I got a job!  Or rather, God has provided for his children.  I will detail this more in a future post and I will testify to the goodness and providence of Jesus!

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Filed under Family, Farming Dairy, Homebuilding, jersey cow

35th Birthday

I hit the 1/3-of-the-way mark the other day.  It is a bit hard for me to believe.  Have I always heard adults saying the same thing their whole lives and never understood it?  I don’t feel much different from when I was half this age.  Obviously, I move slower and have a bigger belly and work harder and longer hours and don’t spend anywhere near the same amount of time just goofing off.  But, basically, I don’t feel any different.

Let me try again to catch you up.  In August-September, my parents came to visit.  My Mom made sure my lawn got mowed for the second time since we moved in a year ago!

My Dad celebrated his 59th Birthday.

We processed chickens (Caleb needed stitches), held our first annual farm day (no pictures), and put vinyl siding on the garage, finally.

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Filed under Family, Farm, Work

Abigail is 8 weeks old

Princess Abigail is 8 weeks old as of yesterday.  She is such a sweet girl and she has stolen the hearts of all who have met her.

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Filed under Baby, Family

Winter Solstice

My parents have been here three full days already, and we have gotten some work done.

In the kitchen, we have installed wallboard along the East wall and Gina has painted a first coat of paint (it will need a second coat).  We had to remove a few electric lines and move one electric socket in the process, but we should be ready to hang some wall cabinets by Monday morning.

No work has been done on the garage.  It is still covered in ice and snow, negating any hope of working on the roof.  But it is a convenient place to cut up wallboard.  We did manage to move the doors and windows indoors, so they are no longer covered in ice and snow, but I don’t think there will be time to get windows or doors installed during Dad’s visit.

Last night, on the spur of the moment, we decided to celebrate the Winter Solstice by opening presents.  There were many happy faces at all the gifts exchanged.  Gina got a beehive, gloves, and smoker from me, slippers from Meagan, and towels from Caleb.  Caleb got a medieval battle axe from Grandpa, a $20 Orscheln’s gift card and $30 cash from Oma & Opa, three throwing knives and a Treehouse book from Gina & I, a few really cool gifts from Uncle Sean & Aunt Marlaina, and a Hardy Boys book from Meagan.  Meagan got a three-pack of musicals on DVD from Grandpa, a $20 Orscheln’s gift card and some Ukrainian gifts from Oma & Opa, a doll bed and some doll dress patterns from Gina & I, a stamp and color set from Uncle Sean & Aunt Marlaina, and a latch hook project from Caleb.  I received a wood-burning stove and a wave of Heroscape figures from Gina, Meagan got me chocolate-covered blueberries, Caleb gave me a key holder for my belt at work, Sean & Marlaina gave me two card games (Pit & Bible Mad Gab).  Gina & I were also blessed with a $200 gift card to Orscheln’s from my parents, and a ‘gift card’ good for one milk cow from Gina’s dad.  The kids also were given $250 to buy animals for Christmas from their Grandpa.  Gina & I were supposed to buy these animals already, but we haven’t found the right animals yet.

The real highlight, though, has been unloading Dad’s ABF pups.  We had two ABF pups delivered on Thursday and we tore into them early.  The truck that brought the two pups had quite a bit of trouble negotiating my driveway in the snow and ice.  He ended up putting chains on and tearing up my driveway a bit trying to get back out of it.  In the end, we have the two pups in an acceptable position.  Yesterday, it was our goal to get the Mustang unloaded and into the barn, because we wanted it to be stored as far forward as possible.  We went down to my neighbor, Vernon Hazen, because he has lots of cars and stuff in his yard so we hoped he might have the equipment to help us lower the Mustang four feet.  We talked a bit about getting a roll-off, but the closest one is 25 miles away and he wanted to charge $125 to come out and move the Mustang 200 feet.  Our neighbor said he could do it — his flatbed trailer is three feet high, so we could just roll the Mustang down off the ABF pup (4 feet high) onto the flatbed using some ‘bridge planks’.  Then, he could reposition the trailer and we could roll the Mustang off the trailer and into the barn.   So that is what we went with.  He showed up with two other neighbors, Omer (unsure of first name spelling or what his last name was) and Roger Wusk.  Omer lives a few miles away, but Roger is, I think, our closest neighbor at just 1/2 a mile to the north.  In fact, Roger’s grandfather, John Wusk built the house I am living in now.  Roger brought his tractor, and we used it to pick up the engine off the ABF pup and carry the engine over to the barn.  It was amazing to see them all descend on our home and accomplish their mission, helping out their new neighbors.  We feel very blessed to have such wonderful neighbors.

Today we plan to work through the 25 mph winds and freezing temperatures and possible 1-2 inches of snow to get the truck unloaded.  Tomorrow we plan to go to Lincoln for church, Fremont to visit family, and back to Lincoln to visit family.  On Monday and Tuesday I have to work, but I hope to visit the Beckers one of those days and work in the Kitchen on the other day.  Wednesday I would like to either slaughter chickens or work more in the kitchen.

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Filed under Family, Homebuilding, Moving

Plan for the next week

My parents are coming to town tomorrow, so I thought I should lay out a plan for their visit.

18 – Parents arrive in Omaha.  I work, so Gina & the kids will pick them up.

19 – Time to get to work.  I have the day off, so we should process about 17 cockrels and 1 pullet.  The pullet has been having trouble being pecked and is missing almost all of her tail feathers now.  She has twice been a bloody mess.  For the processing, we need a way to hang the chickens while they bleed, and a way to keep water warm for the scalding.  We will also use the Whizbang Chicken Plucker I built to remove any chicken feathers.  I would rather do this in the afternoon when it will be warmest (forecasted high of 41 with 30% chance of snow).  We could go to Lincoln in the morning to pick up 1/4″ drywall or wallboard for the kitchen.

20 – Another day off for me.  I would like to get drywall up in the kitchen and clean out the barn.

21 – Third day off.  The ABF pups should be delivered today.  We will want them backed in so they face the barn and can be easily unloaded.  We will probably spend Friday and Saturday unloading the pups into the barn.

22 – Fourth day off.  Spend the day unloading pups into the barn.

23 – Last day off.  We could visit a PCA church in Lincoln (for my parents’ sake).  Then perhaps we could do some visiting in Lincoln and/or Fremont.

24 – Christmas eve.  I will be home in the morning.  Perhaps in the afternoon Gina and the folks could go to Omaha to visit family.

25 – Christmas day.  Yeah!  What a fun day this should be!

26 – Another day off.  It would be nice to put up some wall cabinets before my Dad leaves.

27 – My last day off but also the day my folks leave for NM.  I would rather work an overtime shift than have to drive them to the airport, but we shall see what is expected of me.

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Filed under Chickens, Family

Sick & Tired

Gina is recovering nicely from her C-section two weeks ago today.  And Abigail is just the perfect little baby.  She rarely cries and seems content to just be with us.  We love it when she opens her eyes and looks around.  What a princess!

I, however, have been sick for the last week.  I think the stress of dealing with Abby’s birth and caring for both Gina & Abby caught up with me.  Hopefully I will get better over the next two days, before I have to return to work.

Tomorrow we will be heading to Omaha for the day to meet with Abby’s doctor for her two-week appointment and to visit with Gina’s grandmother.  I also plan to stop in with some attorneys that Dale knows and see if they can tell me anything.

Work has been going okay.  Normally it is fairly quiet and I don’t have much to do all day, but the last week has been very busy for me, including a few serious rules infractions that I have uncovered.  It has been exciting, although it hasn’t led to many accolades or anything.

We got the bill for Abby’s birth, and it was a little over $12,000 for Gina and about $1500 for Abby.  The Abby expenses were ridiculous, including an amount for the nursery, which we rarely used, and an expensive hearing test, which we never wanted nor authorized.  Obviously, the expenses for Gina were bloated as well.  This whole ordeal has really called into question how I feel about insurance.  I had been thinking that health insurance was an unnecessary expense that we could drop.  My insurance premiums are $3300/year, with a maximum out-of-pocket of $8000 for the family.  I had been thinking we are all relatively healthy and rarely ever want to go to the doctor’s.  If we discontinue insurance and pay on a cash basis, surely we could save money.  Plus, insurance doesn’t cover alot of the non-traditional healthcare approaches we would like to try, like chiropractors and midwives.  Then this C-section hit us.  I never thought I would be looking at a $16000 bill for this delivery;  I always thought I would only be paying $2000 for a midwife.  I wonder how much that bill would have been if we weren’t insured.

Ah, well, it’s too late now, anyway.  I already signed up for health insurance through 2008.

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Filed under Baby, Family, Insurance

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Me

Yesterday, Caleb & my beloved wife Gina were talking about how well they knew me.  As a part of this discussion, Caleb listed things he knew about me:

  • dramatic
  • strong
  • uses excuses to get his way
  • a little weird
  • likes to play with me
  • lets me do stuff
  • gives advice
  • does stuff with me

Meagan, not to be outdone, decided to make her own list of what she knows about Daddy:

  • loves me
  • he’s my Daddy
  • plays with me
  • plays house
  • he’s handsome
  • wants to play Settlers of Catan
  • he loves Mama

There you have it — the most complete description of me by two wonderful people who claim to know me pretty well.  Maybe I could include this information on my résumé;  I’m sure I wouldn’t have a problem finding a job if the prospective employer knew all that about me.

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Filed under Family