Happy spring break, my friends! I always look forward to spring break so much. It makes me feel like we're on the final lap of the school year, and that summer and all of it's delights, including a newborn baby (heaven!) and margaritas on the porch (bliss!) are just around the corner.
I'm writing our spring break tales in two posts, because our family had two different adventures over the weekend. I took Charles and Joseph to my hometown to visit family, while Steve hauled the older troops to Colorado for a few days of skiing.
Let's just say that one story is cute and cuddly, and the other is more of crash-n-burn type. I'm going for the cute and cuddly story today, because I feel that you would all rather see adorable pics of newborn baby calves than x-rays of broken bones. Amiright??
Since I couldn't get anyone to support the idea that a 31 week pregnant mom can totally handle the bunny slopes, I opted to stay home from the mountain trek and plan my own little adventure with the littles.
After chatting with my brother Scott, who let me know that calving season at his farm was in full swing, I knew that Charlie and Joseph would have a great time visiting my parents and seeing all of the fresh little cutie pies.
This mama loves her boss! Look how close she let him get to her chipmonk!
The little guy was born about an hour before we arrived.
Scott and his family live on the homestead where my dad grew up, just a few miles from my childhood home. I have the most wonderful memories of visiting my grandparents there as a child. Their farm was a joyful place where love, laughter, good times, great food, and chores where never in short supply.
Managing the cow-calf operation and farming are really what Scott loves most, but all of it has to be done in the evenings, or on weekends, when he's not working at his full time job as an electrical lineman.
Anytime we get to go home for a visit, the boys automatically throw their work clothes in the suitcase, because they know that Scott will always have a list of chores that they can help with. Since he's the daddy of three adorable little girls, I don't think Scott will ever say no to a bunch of wild farm boys who want to work!
The first afternoon that we took the boys to see the calves, it was cold and drizzly outside, so the babies were tucked in pretty close to their mamas.
But the next day the weather was beautiful, and the calves were ever-so-happy to be out in the pasture scampering around as far as their mamas would let them roam.
I think sometimes the media paints a very sad and inaccurate picture of most beef producers. Their descriptions lead us to believe that the animals live in miserable, cramped conditions, waiting in line for their food rations and daily shots of antibiotics, steroids, and hormones, while the farmer sits in his easy chair calculating his booming profits.
That just isn't so. Not on this farm.
In fact, I was amazed at how incredibly relaxed and calm all of Scott's cows were, despite the fact that we were walking close to them and their babies. And that's simply because he's out there with them every day, giving them such great care. They have plenty of room to roam, and the pens that separate the bulls from the heifers were clean, and fences tidy.
A trip to the farm is never complete without a four-wheeler ride around the pastures. Grandpa made sure Charlie got to be the pilot. Aside from the near immersion in the pond, they both rolled back to the barn smiling from ear-to-ear.
Then there's Jophis.
Just looking at that danger-seeker's hyper-focused face makes my hair grey.
That's better. I love me some sweet, squishy cheeked Jophis.
I treasure this picture of my dad holding his grandson. I could never have imagined as a child running around picking eggs and playing hide-and-seek on the farm where my dad grew up, that one day I would be watching my own children play in its pastures.
There's something so indescribably special about the way a particular place can weave itself into the life story of generations of souls, and how that place will always be where those souls come back together with their memories and experiences and feel connected.
Of the dozens of snapshots I took over the weekend, I have to say that these are my favorite. Even though my dad spent most of his life career in the world of banking, he will be the first to remind you that you can take the boy out of the farm, but you can never take the farm out of the boy!
That's one proud farm boy with his beautiful bride!
Stay tuned for part two, of the spring break story!