Friday, July 31, 2009


Heather from St. Louis emailed me some pictures of her filly by Raven out of her bay roan mare born March 18th, 2009. She named her Taseko after a glacier river in British Columbia. Didn't she turn out beautiful! We think this is the first blue roan Raven has thrown.
This morning around 5:30am the horses were waiting in their own paddock to be fed. I finished filling the water tank while I was graining them, then took off for the farm to get some chores there done before walking. Raven was grained, Ylse was moved to the cabin field, and Lily was moved into the big paddock to make room for a mare from Morton, IL. Darcy, Rhoda's dog has been coming with me to walk each morning and she usually stays right with us. Today after the first loop, Darcy decided to just wait by the car, enough of this seemingly pointless walking! First my son Philip called needing his truck picked up at a job site to get a tire repaired, then Dr. Hoerr called about the mare, she is at 51 cm and is ready to pop. He asked if I could get her to Raven, cover her, then take her back. Of course I said yes. Then Rhoda calls that she forgot her phone, Rhoda is leaving for Minnesota today right after work so I said we would get it to her somehow.
I drove home from the farm, picked up the truck and trailer, drove to Morton, IL picked up the mare (after which the owner tells me she has never been loaded before but she walked right in) drove to the farm, covered the mare by Raven, drove the mare to Bridlewood to meet our farrier, Tyler Joos and gave him a check for trimming Samantha, Sanna and reseting Mika's shoes, took the outside mare back to Morton, IL, drove the truck and trailer back to the farm, picked up Izaodora and brought her to Bridlewood, unloaded Izadora, grabbed Rhoda's phone, jumped in the car and drove that to Dunlap. I found myself drowsy and almost fell asleep coming back from Dunlap. It is just too much driving in one day. I'm just getting ready to head down to TSC to buy more grain for Raven, I will load that in the truck, then unhook the truck and trailer so we can use the truck on the dump trailer tomorrow. We will be finishing the paddocks if the rain holds off.
8:00pm. After dinner, I started cleaning the mare paddock. I let Izadora, Samantha and Apelles out into the field and had to stop working to watch them run. Apelles saw a couple of gray horses being ridden on the cross country course and started calling just sure that one of them was her mom. No such luck, Amy and Caitlyn were riding their gray horses. They came over to talk a bit, then back to work for me. I had just decided to quit when Amy came out with a wheel barrow so we filled another one. That is a TRUE friend, one that will shovel manure just so we can get in some visiting.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Sanna is in her foal heat and was covered today by Raven. I think it is a little early but she stood very well and Raven didn't hesitate so perhaps she really is in. Mark wanted to work on the office tonight so we headed out to the farm after dinner. He worked in the inside while I grained the horses, played with the foals, covered Sanna, and let Raven graze for a half hour. We drove home around 8:00pm and I let Samantha and Apelles out into the field for the night and cleaned their water tank. While it was filling Mark decided it was time to go for a walk so the tank is only half filled. Oh well tomorrow I'll finish the job. The walk was long but the weather is just perfect! Cool and not humid.

Jenis & Wedding Arrangments

Mike got a call early this morning from a neighbor at the Middle Grove farm that one of the horses was out. Sure enough one of the mares somehow ended on the wrong side of the fence. This would be ok except her colt was on the other side. At least she didn't wander with her foal still inside the pasture. This morning we said goodbye to Joan, Tim and their family. They are leaving to head back to Haiti. Two months home for them is just way to short. I grained Raven before heading to mom's, then after the walk, loaded up the truck and trailer and took Jenis to Dr. Hoerr for her sonagram. We need to know where she is in her season and it looks like we missed it by about a week so Dr. Hoerr gave her a shot to short cycle her. Dr. Hoerr was very impressed with her colt, not just how he looks but how well behaved he is. I picked up 3 foal shots from him to give Sanna's filly, Sandy's colt, and Ylse's filly. Dr. Hoerr will come look at Lily when he gets back from the cross country endurance ride he is vetting for the next 9 days. I'm praying for a miracle for her. I just don't have the money for more surgery but if her hernia isn't fixed and she is pregnant and tries to deliver she could die. What a mess. We believe she is probably pregnant as she has not come back in season. She was bred on her foal heat, then colicked a month later. I had to place her filly for sale to help pay for her surgery to save her life. I'm praying there will be another way, I really wanted to keep Ciera but keep telling myself, they ALL belong to God and what ever He wants for Ciera is what I want also.
Rachel Sauder helped me give the 3 foal shots. One of them was for her foal so when she offered to help me with mine I was thrilled. Ylse's filly was easy, Sanna's filly needs to be handled more, she did not like the shot and let us know by almost sitting down. Rachel's colt was great. They are doing a good job with handling him often. He is such a show-off. After his shot they let him out in the yard with his dam and he ran around strutting. Raven all over again! Rachel took some action shots of him, I hope she emails me some, he is such good advertisement for Raven. To be able to show what her mare, a palomino, throws when bred to Raven is just plain exciting. Gary Unsicker was cutting our hay when I drove up to the farm with Jenis and Valiant. Rain is predicted but we cannot wait any longer, the weeds will go to seed. I need everyone to pray for some dry weather with abundant sunshine. We still need to buy 100 round bales for the winter and the first cutting hay at Middle Grove got rained on.
I filled the truck up with gas on the way home, as I may be driving over to Morton, IL to pick up a mare for breeding if she is in season. Dr. Hoerr will call me if I need to go. I still need to get to TSC to pick up grain for Raven.
On another note, we are posting an invitation at church for David and Stephanie's wedding. All are invited but Stephanie's mom, Martha Kay would like people to sign up if they are coming so she has an idea for the food. I think this is a GREAT idea. The mail came and the truck insurance is due, the Discover card with Lily's last vet bill is due and I owe another payment on the skid steer. Sure hope I sell SOMETHING!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

BJ's Funeral

Yesterday was too hard to write of BJ's funeral. The day was emotionally exhausting. We had to be at the church at 9:30am to practice the songs the BJ's family had requested. The family really wanted the funeral to be a worship service to God and wanted the congregation to join in the singing, so we sat in the sanctuary instead of the balcony. This was the largest funeral I've ever attended, the church was packed with young kids all friends of BJs and friends and relatives of his family. Tim Roecker started the service then Tim Funk had the main part of the service. Ken Hoerr finished the service and Dave Obergfel had the prayer at the cemetery. Each minister talked about what BJ would want, BJ would want to see EVERY ONE of his friends up in heaven and that each person he touched, if they haven't made the commitment to follow Jesus, they need to. They told many stories of how BJ had touched so many lives in his 17 years and how the most important part of BJ's life was his commitment to Jesus. What a testimony this young 17 year old boy had to everyone his life touched. How his parents are going to miss him! His brother Michel was so close to BJ and even though he knows BJ is in heaven, he will miss him so much. BJ's death left a hole that cannot be filled for his brother, sisters and his parents. I must stop writing, my eyes can't stop tearing up thinking of BJ's family.

New Pictures and Videos

Video of Jenis' colt by Raven born July 7th, 2009, he is 20 days old in the video.

Video of Sanna's new filly we are calling Wanda, she is 2 days old in the video.
She was born July 24th, 2009

Below are pictures of the new filly born to Ylse fan't Reidfjild and by RAVEN
She was born July 28th, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ylse's Filly

Karin decided to spend the night, hoping Ylse would deliver. She was only at 250 with the mare predictor kit so there wasn't really that good of chance but at 2:50am she delivered a beautiful pitch black filly, she is very tall and has very curly hair. The placenta was delivered at 3:45am so I headed for bed. The filly was up and rooting around, hopefully she will be nursing fine by 6:00am.
8:57am: I drove back to the farm at 7:00am to make sure the filly had nursed, she had. Last night Karin called Rebekah, Rebekah told Anni and Jessica and Jessica told Sarah and Bethany so we had us an old fashioned birthing party. We finally got the girls settled down around 12:30am and I heard Ylse's water break around 2:40am. I woke up Karin and the girls, told them to call Jamie (who came out earlier wanting to know what in the world was going on) and Mike. Mike made it over in time to see the birth. We video taped the birth and have posted it here and on our website. Ylse was having a little trouble getting the filly's head out so I helped just a little, once the head was clear she did the rest like a pro. When I got back to the barn this morning, the filly is so strong, long legged and BEAUTIFUL. I'll get some pictures tomorrow. Today is BJ's funeral.

Monday, July 27, 2009


The clock was pulling jokes on me today. It is running 20 minutes slow and when it was 6:40am it just felt later so I looked at my cell phone and it was really 7:00am so I jumped into the car and headed for the farm. I knew I needed gas, looked at my cell phone and the time was 6:58am so I thought I had plenty of time to stop for gas but then the radio announced it was 7:10am. I pulled out the phone again and sure enough it really was 7:10, were my eyes playing tricks on me or was the phone just not right the first time? I did make it to the farm in time to walk with the girls. Coming out of mom's I see Diane, all dressed up for work, cleaning up left over garbage from the picnic, then I see Joan also cleaning up. Funny I drove right by the mess and didn't even see it, sometimes it is good to be blind. We walked over first to Rachel's to see her newborn colt, then headed to the farm. After the walk, I only had to time to grain Raven and took off for work. Eva Jean and I decided to work today instead of tomorrow as BJ's funeral is tomorrow and we both wanted off for it. Karin called while we were at work and wanted to go to the visitation with me so she met us for lunch at Denny's in Pekin. David, his fiancee, Stephanie, and Sarah also met us so we had 7 at the table counting Mark. David had us laughing so hard by telling us some of his childhood stories. We knew most of them but to hear Stephanie's take of them was hilarious!
Karin and I tested Ylse before we headed over to the visitation, got there at 1:30pm and immediately got in line. Good thing we did, by the time it was suppose to start the line went all the way out the fellowship hall door. What do you say to parents that have lost a child? Life is just not suppose to go this way.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Farewell Picnic

We had a very blessed day this Sunday. Bethany and Jessica gave their testimonies last night and were baptized after the second service today along with Shelby Waibel. After the baptism service they served a nice lunch of build your own tacos. They really hit the spot as I had to skip lunch at church, run home and put the pork roast in the oven and get back to church before the second service started. By the time we got home from church the roast were done. We stopped at a farmers market on the way home and bought 36 ears of sweet corn and a watermelon. Mark worked on shucking the corn while I sliced the pork roast. The picnic at the lake was really fun. Many people came to say good by to the Reinhard family. The vaulters performed for the group, more than a hundred people. Karin dedicated the performance to Caleb's best friend, BJ Elsasser. Caleb is going to miss him so much, the two boys talked on the phone each night, I think they were accountability partners. Karin brought out how in vaulting we have holders and how important it is to hold your friend up. Mike and Diane cooked big slabs of bacon around the camp fire and shared it with everyone while the older kids were playing volley ball and the younger kids were all lined up for pony rides. We had some swimmers but I don't think they swam on purpose as they were in their clothes. They were glad for the fire. We were enjoying the company and conversations when the phone rang and it was Linden Homes where Nancy lives. They couldn't find her pills. Karin picked Nancy up and they sent all of her pills with Karin, then Dan took her home leaving the pills in Karin's car. I left the picnic and drove to Morton to deliver the pills. Karin lives the opposite direction and I was ready to go anyway. I'm tired.

New Raven Son

This morning just as I was pulling up to the farm to take care of Sanna and Wanda, my phone goes off and it is Rachel Sauder. Her mare Sandy, a palomino, gave birth during the night to a beautiful pitch black colt. She has already named him Raven's Shadow. I threw Sanna some hay and drove over to Rachel's. That colt looks exactly like a purebred Friesian, very long upright neck, long, long legs and fantastic body. Raven has again outdone himself, he really does throw himself. As we were imprinting the foal and putting iodine on his cord he fell asleep. He was enjoying all the attention. I'm hoping Rachel will email me some pictures of him for our website. After all she IS a photographer. Got the pictures tonight, isn't he FANTASTIC!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Obituary for BJ Elsasser

Princeville—Brian John “BJ” Elsasser, II, 17, of Princeville, died at 7:02 p.m. Friday, July 24, 2009, at OSF St. Francis Medical Center Emergency Department.
BJ was born July 13, 1992, the son of Brian John and Mary Beth Menold Elsasser.
Surviving are his parents and two brothers, Jeremy Gray of Bloomington and Michel Elsasser of Princeville; three sisters, Jamie (Matt) Gray-Palmer, Alexandra Elsasser, and Paige Elsasser, all of Princeville; maternal grandmother, Lucille Menold of Dunlap; paternal grandmother, Lillian Elsasser of Peoria; one nephew, Coley Palmer of Princeville; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins who were very dear to him. He was preceded in death by both grandfathers, John Elsasser and William Menold; and four uncles, Duane Menold, Dale Zimmerman, Mark Elsasser, and Steve Elsasser.
BJ would have been a junior at Princeville High School, where he was a member of the National Honor Society and Future Farmers of America. He worked in the summers for Economy Builders in Princeville. He was a member of Sheridan Road Apostolic Christian Church, where he was an active member of the church young group. BJ was very spiritual and involved in his church. He was passionate in his love for his God, his Savior Jesus Christ, his family, and all of his friends. BJ battled a heart condition all of his life and survived four heart surgeries. His physical heart was weak, but his heart for others was very strong. BJ loved to smile, laugh, and share a word of encouragement to all he met. Special thanks are extended to Dr. Dale Geiss and Drs. Shah, Albers, and Chan, as well as all of the wonderful nurses who cared for BJ through the years.
A service celebrating BJ’s life will be 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, July 28, 2009, at Sheridan Road Apostolic Christian Church in Peoria. Ministers of the church will officiate. Visitation will be from 2:00 to 4:00 and 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Monday at Apostolic Christian Church Fellowship Hall, 7329 W. Highway 150, Edwards (one mile west of Weaver Angus Farms). Additional visitation will be at the church from 9:00 to 9:45 a.m. Tuesday. Burial will be in the Princeville Apostolic Christian Church Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Brian J. Elsasser, II, Memorial Fund in care of Princeville State Bank, which will be dispersed to several charities of which BJ was supportive, or to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Hammitt-Hott Funeral Home, Princeville, is in charge of arrangements. Private condolences may be sent to the family via

Tribute for BJ Elsasser

Below is an email I would like to share just in case anyone would like to come.

To the Young Group and Bible Class,

Our deepest prayers go out to the Elsasser family, but our greatest joy goes out to BJ as he is living in the presence of our great and powerful God. BJ was very active in the Young Group and Bible Class and was an inspiration to every single one of us. The Young Group Committee talked about what we should do for his family and we decided that there is nothing better than pray and intercession for the Elsasser family. So this Sunday, instead of going to eat during lunch, it would be great if we could all go downstairs and just pray for the Elsasser family. We will get a few Sunday school rooms and break up into small groups, depending on how many people show up, and pray from 11-12. Also, if you feel led to give some money, we are going to give the Elsassers a garden stone for the visitation and send some money to the memorial that they set up. At a later date, we are going to be creating a scrapbook for the Elsassers of all our memories of BJ (more details will be made known later). And we are going to be signing a card during this time as well. I encourage you all to come pray Sunday during lunch because that is the best thing possible for the Elsassers, as well as to give God praise even during hard times.

Also, if you would like to share memories of BJ, you are invited to Herman’s Barn today, Saturday, July 25, 2009, at noon. This would be another great time to lift up the Elsasser family and remember the great times that we shared with BJ and the memories we will never forget. (If your parents want to send snacks, that would be great!)

In Christ, who we trust during good and bad times,

Peoria Apostolic Christian Church

3420 N Sheridan Rd

Peoria, IL 61604


The girls were waiting for their grain this morning and with Sanna gone to the farm, Apelles, formally known as Joy, was able to have her own bucket. Apelles was so funny yesterday, I was filling the water tank and she kept coming and playing in the water. I sprayed her off and she would back right into the spray. If I would stop right back she would come for more. Yesterday she got a tying lesson, put on the cross ties and led around the barn. She was respectful, a little nervous leaving the mares but walked right with me. She didn't forget her leading lesson a couple of weeks ago. She stood very well for fly spray.
I drove to the farm around 7:00this morning to take care of Sanna and clean her stall. As I pull in the farm driveway 2 fawns are in the way. They see me and bound off into the woods, they were so cute, they still had their spots. Sanna's filly is doing wonderful. Diane thinks we should call the filly Wanda as she wandered away from her mother at birth. Lily was waiting for her belly band to be removed and she loves to be scratched after it is off. She is so funny with her reactions to the scratching. Once the mares at the farm were done and Raven was grained I headed over to mom's, they were all just sitting down for breakfast so I joined them. Then over to the cabin to look at Valor. He got kicked a few days ago and Mike has been caring for him but Mike called last night to tell me he thinks some proud flesh is appearing. I washed the wound down well and sprayed it with wonder dust. If this doesn't take care of it I will buy some granulex spray, that always works. Once home the truck and trailer were put away and the laundry started.
This afternoon, Dr. Hoerr called to remind me that he will be collecting Raven this coming week. He thought either Monday or Tuesday but will let me know when the time gets closer. The kids left for the Herman Barn, I think they are all still in shock about BJ Elsasser, as are we, and need to be with others their own age.

Tribute for BJ Elsasser

Everyone is invited to the Herman barn today starting at noon to share memories of BJ Elsasser. The barn will be open until time for the testimonies at church. We are so saddened for all of BJ's family. We know BJ is with the Lord and far better off than us but we will miss him so much. He had just celebrated his 17th birthday, far, far to short of life.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sanna's Filly

Sanna's newborn filly July 24th, 2009

Sanna's filly pictured at a few hours old, Notice Raven in the background, he looks so proud of his new daughter!

Last night I didn't let the mares out on pasture as Joy is here but just opened up the back paddock so they had plenty of room for the night. This morning I went out about 5:00am to call in the mares and see Sanna standing by the water tank but I think it is Samantha as she does not look pregnant, then I turn and look and there is Samantha eating her grain and I realize it must be Sanna but I cannot find the foal. I start searching outside the paddock, then inside the 2 paddocks. Sanna was due August 21st, so I know the foal is maybe a preemie so I'm looking in both paddocks for a foal that is lying down, I let Sanna out thinking maybe she knows where the baby is and she is frantically running back and forth between the red barn and the green barn but no baby. Of course by this time I am also frantic. I run back into the house to find a flash light and still cannot find the foal. The thoughts running through my head are, OK it must have staggered over to the water tank and fell under the post and rail there or an animal dragged it off but with the mares on patrol I really didn't think that happened, then I started to worry that it was lying somewhere dying. I'm inside the red barn searching every corner with the flashlight when I hear "hello anyone around, there is a horse running near the road." I took off at a dead run and there she is trotting along the fence line at Baer on the inside of the apartment fence. She is small but perfectly formed and so strong. I bring her over to the barn, call Sanna and she comes at a run and starts licking her. I had already called Mike to tell him we were in trouble and he pulls up just as I got them into a stall. We decided to take them to the farm and put them in the deluxe stall so drove Sanna and her new filly out to the farm. The filly is nursing and I am waiting for Sanna to deliver the placenta. I left them alone and went walking with the ladies. After the walk I checked on them and the filly was taking a nap but Sanna has still not delivered the placenta so I drove the truck and trailer home and will head back. If it does not deliver within a few more hours I'll head to Dr. Hoerr's and pick up a oxytocin shot along with a foal shot for the filly. It is almost 9:00 am and I'm already exhausted!
I've continued this post tonight at 8:45pm
After dinner we drove to the farm to feed and water Sanna and clean her stall. As we were pulling out of the driveway onto Glasford Rd. a bunch of wild turkeys started crossing the road in front of us. We stopped and watched 3 hens with their broods all running across the road. The last 4 chicks were crossing the road as a mini van coming from the North almost ran right into them. They saw us stopped, then realized the turkeys were crossing and slammed on their brakes. Glad to say none of them were hit. We drove straight to Sams to buy the pork roast for the picnic on Sunday. While unloading groceries the phone rings and we got the news that B.J. Elsasser died. We are all shocked. B.J. is just a teenager. Rachel Sauder is up at the hospital now. Please pray for the Elsasser family, to lose a child is heart breaking. Brian and Mary and their other children Michel, Alexandra, and Paige will be struggling for a long time. They have the comfort that B.J. had given his testimony and was baptized recently. Their treasure is truly in heaven. We are to not lay up treasures here on earth where the moth and rust will corrupt.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


This morning the water tank again needed to be cleaned and filled. Every 2 days I am filling it. I made it to the farm in time to grain Raven and still get to mom's for our walk before Diane and Ruth made it. Then it was down to the shop to work on Bridlewood apartments books. Our cell phones were all to be turned in today as the Meister Companies are changing from Nextel to Sprint. I was waiting my turn to change it all over and learn how to use the new phone but ran out of time, I needed to be at Skyline home by 11:00am and with all the road construction going on I really needed to plan a half hour for the trip. Bernice Otto was one of our workers at Meisters then when she retired from that she kept coming in and helped me with Berean Prison Ministry for about 10 years. Thursdays I try to get down to the home to visit. Today I told her she could have the entire day and I would do what ever she would choose. She chose to go out to eat at Olive Garden then head to Farmington to see the Old School Center. She had heard so much about it but had never seen it. Dan Meister met us and gave us the GRAND TOUR. I've been in there numerous times and Dan showed me parts I'd never been in. Bernice was impressed with everything The Old School Center offered. After the tour we stopped at the farm so I could show her Lily's filly and Jenis' colt. Then home to unload Joy who will be staying with us for 8 months then back to Skylines. It was a long day for Bernice but she really enjoyed it. Bernice is 87 years old and will be 88 in November. I never did get to the phone.

trail ride pictures

The kids had a great time, The trails were muddy but what else is new with this year and the horses all got muddy but how much fun they all had.
Tacking up and getting ready for the ride.
Heading out on the trails.
Rebekah getting Izadora ready for the long trail ride, notice the mud from earlier on her legs.
Rhoda taking Sunny for a ride.
Hanna on Paris, Hanna really enjoyed the camping AND Paris.
Jessica on Paris.
Rebekah showing off, actually we asked her to do it again for the camera.

Anni showing us how Larry can MOVE!
On the mark, get set, GO!!!!
Rebekah showing us Cindy's trick. Pretty cool Rebekah!

Darcy hunting.
Anni on Larry and Rebekah on Cindy.
Anni on Larry, Jessica on Paris and Bethany on Duke.
Bethany loves to race.
Bethany on Duke
just relaxing after the ride

Getting ready for dinner.
After the snap

What is that noise?

The raccoon in the dumpster

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Camping with Horses

We joined Karin and the kids at Jubilee State Forrest. The horse camp has no electricity but does have a hydrant for watering the horses. I took lots of pictures of them playing games on horse back, then they decided to play football and on the way to the field heard something in the dumpster. It was a large raccoon. I took a picture of it and Rebekah left a large stick in the dumpster so the raccoon could crawl out once night falls. The football game was a blast, Caleb made the first touchdown, Anni made a touchdown by catching a long pass, Rebekah made a running touchdown and Sarah Sceggel caught a short pass then ran it in for a touchdown. They had a lot of trick plays some of which worked and some which didn't. After the game we got the fire going and cooked hot dogs and big slabs of bacon. Ruth used her car to help with filling water buckets as the hydrant was pretty far from the camp. I left the camera with Sarah so she can take pictures tomorrow and Rhoda and I headed home for bed.

Rehearsal Feast?

Last night was the first of 3 showers I will need to attend for my son David and his fiancee, Stephanie. I drove the old Meister Brother truck out to the farm, hooked up the stock trailer for Karin, then walked over to mom's to catch a ride to the shower in Princeville, IL. Mom was still garage saleing with Joan so I had a chance to sit on her deck and watch the rain hitting the lake. Heidi, mom's German Shepherd kept me company until I heard the van pull in. Mom was too tired to drive so I drove her car. The shower was a lot of fun and David and Stephanie got many nice things. We got home around 9:00pm and just headed to bed.
This morning I didn't need to worry about calling in the mares, they didn't get let out last night because of the rain so I took my time getting out of bed. Finally around 6:30am I headed down stairs to let Darcy bring in our paper. She loves doing her job and can get impatient if I don't let her do her job right as soon as I get up. Sarah had already made a pot of coffee and it was good and strong. I only got to read the funnies before heading to the farm if I wanted to be on time to walk with the walkers. I got to the farm, removed Lily's belly band for a few hours then headed over to moms. I pulled in just before Ruth and we all headed out to walk. Joan showed us where Tim had moved the semi trailers and how nice the yard looks with them gone. Then we talked over the picnic plans for this coming Sunday. I will buy the pork loins, plastic ware, napkins and cups. Joan will provide the buns and bbq sauce. Rachel is going to make a double batch of party potatoes and Diane will bring a large pot of green beans. Everyone is invited, just bring a dish to pass and a dessert. The picnic starts at 4:30pm.
David would like to break from tradition and hold a rehearsal FEAST instead of the formal dinner. He wants a pig roast at the lake the Saturday before his wedding with EVERY ONE invited. He wants to play volley ball, ride horses, swim, fish, boat and sing around the camp fire. Just in case of rain, I asked Dan and Spark Meister if we could reserve the Old School Center for that evening. We must have plan B for this pig roast. David still needs to get permission from his future mother-in-law as she may not want this for her daughter's wedding but as the groom's family gets to pay for the rehearsal dinner I hope she will let him do this.
After I made it home from the farm this morning I did the shopping for the camping trip Karin is taking the kids on. They are going to Jubalee State Park for this afternoon and will return tomorrow afternoon. I packed bottled water, eggs, sausage, cheese,coffee cake, bread, jam, peanut butter, chicken salad, grapes, graham crackers, Hershey Chocolate bars, and marshmallows. I don't know what Karin packed but I'm sure they will have plenty to eat. When Sarah got home from school, I gave her a driving lesson with the big truck and trailer. She is 19 years old and it is time she learned especially since Rhoda is not going on this trip. Sarah did well and drove the rig out to the farm. While the kids were at vaulting practice, I put Lily's bellyband back on and let her and Ciera graze for about a half hour, put her away and let Raven graze for 40 minutes while mom visited with me to help pass the time. He really needs the good green grass during breeding season. He always loses weight and we want to pack it on before winter. After the practice Karin and the kids started loading up horses. They took Mika, Izadora, Sunny, Bunni, Paris, Duke, Cindy and Larry. The riders are Karin Meister, Sarah Sceggel, Sarah Reinhard, Bethany Reinhard, Hanna Reinhard, Caleb Sauder, Jessica Sauder, Rebekah Davidovics and Anni Davidovics. We will join them around the camp fire tonight after church.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


There is something funny going on at Bridlewood, in fact, I think someone is messing with my mind. Yesterday I bought 3 cans of wasp spray at TSC. Last night I took the bag out of the car, brought it into the house and set it on the kitchen table. After dinner I remembered that I wanted to kill the wasps on the side of the barn so I took all three cans out of the bag, then my son came over so I left them on the kitchen table. This morning around 5:00am I was going to call in the mares and thought I may as well take the wasp spray out but couldn't find ANY of the cans. I found the bag they were in, looked on all of the counters, the playroom table, they were not put away where we keep the dangerous sprays, not under the kitchen sink, I just couldn't find them so quit looking and headed out to call in the mares. Once the mares were grained and the water tank filled I walked into the kitchen and there were the 3 cans right in front on the kitchen table. I picked up one can, took off the lid and headed out to spray the barn. I used the entire can. When I got back in the house I went to put the other 2 cans away and there was only ONE can sitting on the kitchen table. So... who is walking around our house early in the morning moving stuff around? Am I really losing my mind? weird!
I got to the farm around 7:10am, tried the Saddlebred mare but she is out of season so will make arrangements to send her home today, then took the car over to the cabin to check Jenis' colt. We had a good walk today, the walkers along with me were: mom, Diane, Rachel, Ruth, and Joan. Tim needed a ride to the shop to pick up Old Smokey the semi truck to move 2 trailers and I headed down to TEMCO to get the Berean mail of which there was more than 300 pieces, I think we will break the record today.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Breakfast and Joy

We woke up way to early this morning, yesterday we lost all of our electricity and Internet which caused all of our clocks to start blinking 12:00, 12:00, 12:00. So last night when we went up to bed we needed to set the alarm clock but neither Mark or I knew what time it was. I guessed it was late, it felt late, so I changed the clock to 11:00pm. Well Darcy runs into our bedroom at what the alarm clock said is 6:40am so I think wow, it must be later than it feels, come down stairs and it is not even 6:00am. And I was going to sleep in!
The mares were called in with the last of my grain then I took off for the farm to meet the walkers. This morning Ruth, Karin, Diane, Rachel, Joan, mom and I started around 7:15am. Joan told us all about her trip to Alabama and Indiana, it sounds like they had a wonderful time. Her son Gabriel told her "I never know where I am when I wake up." They did a lot of the driving at night so while the kids slept the miles flew by. This is our last full week with Joan and Tim, they leave for Haiti on Thursday next week. After our walk, mom made breakfast for everyone, mmmmm fresh squeezed orange juice, coffee, farm fresh eggs, sausage, bacon, toast and left over donuts from Sunday. It is hard to get to work after the great breakfast and even better conversation. Karin helped get Lily's bellyband back on. She for sure has herniated and must wear the bandage for at least another month. We let her graze while Ciera ran around showing off her buckin bronco moves (not too impressive) but her trot, now that's another story!
Ruth and Fede showed me the condo they are working on, wow have they done a lot of work, the appraisal is scheduled for Thursday but it is not quite finished. Fede is going to bring in the wrought iron railing to show how it will look. The condo is amazing. Fede took out the circular stair case to the loft bedroom, made it a straight stair case put in a large closet underneath the stairs with washer dryer hookups. It looks so nice I think they should keep it and just rent it out.
TSC was next on the list, those mares want their grain each morning and today they only got half rations. The lady that bought Ruth's Raven daughter called and wants to board her at Bridlewood for 8 months while she is out of the country. I agreed to do this so will move her over this week. I'm actually glad to do this, she is a fantastic example of what Raven throws so I will have plenty of time to get new pictures and videos up of her. The picture posted was taken when Joy was 6 months old. She is even more beautiful now that she is 10 months old. The Bridlewood kids will LOVE playing with her.
On another note, Holly Hinton called, her mare is in foal. What a GREAT job Raven does. He only has one job to do, he loves his job and does it so well!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

We Did IT!

It took a large family to help, but lunch went GREAT. We were busy making the chicken salad sandwiches and cutting ham and cheese until close to the time to put them on the trays. Lots of people offered to help and I took each one up on their offer. Thank goodness for family and friends. Amy even came from Tremont, IL to help. When all was finished, Diane told me she will help me with the ordering next time, to save everyone from working so hard! There really was too much of just about everything. I guess I should have either served chicken salad OR ham and cheese but not both. The help was glad though, as there was plenty to share. We took one large box of donuts down to the South Side Mission, another large box went home with Rachel for who ever shows up at the lake tonight for volley ball and we ended up with almost 3 dozen at our house. We had plenty of left over chicken salad so I felt free to give that away also. With what we brought home, Rhoda will take 4 pounds to work tomorrow and Mark will take that and donuts down to Meister Brothers. I had an entire ham left over along with almost 2 bricks of cheese so that was put in the freezer and will be served at the picnic next Sunday at the lake. All in all it was a great day.
Mike is going to get the saddlebred mare checked and covered by Raven if she is still in so I don't have to drive out to the farm. We lost electricity this morning so have no internet at home, I had to drive to the shop to write this, hope it gets fixed soon.

Church Lunch

The mares were again called in by 5:30am and it was a good thing I went out at that time. The Bridlewood stall cleaners for Sunday were already there. All three mares were in their own paddock waiting for me so all that needed to be done was give them their grain and shut the gate between the paddocks. Last night after turning them out, I worked for a couple of hours cleaning their paddock and filling up the water tank. It was such a cool evening that with my usual compulsive behavior I didn't want to quit until the paddock was done. The problem with waiting until evening to scoop poop is that we had already worked pretty hard at setting up church, then the laundry had to be done as David is coming home for good today from Mexico and I'm sure he will have laundry. Then Mark decided that the weather was so cool we should take advantage of it and go for a bike trip on the Rock Island trail. We only went from Alta to Dunlap, about 5 miles there and 5 miles back but when everything else that was done is added to the ride, the paddock could have waiting for cleaning. At least my body told me that this morning. The Rock Island trail is beautiful, quiet, peaceful and an easy ride. I'm always surprised it isn't used more.
We will leave for church at 7:45 this morning as the donuts are to be delivered at 8:00am. Philip and Anna are coming to help along with Rhoda, Sarah, mom, Diane and Mike. Also the Davidovic girls said they would also come but the young group activity last night lasted VERY late. I don't think the girls came back until way after 11:00pm.
After church today the saddlebred mare will need to be covered and Lily's belly band put back on. We are very disappointed that she has to wear this for another month but maybe it will help with her huge belly. Lily has not come in season since she was put in the small paddock. If she is still pregnant after all she has been through it will truly be a miracle!

Saturday, July 18, 2009


The mares were called in at 5:30am this morning so we could get ready to shop. Sanna and Ylse are starting to look uncomfortably large, Ylse is due first around August 14th, and Sanna is due a week later, August 21st. We are having very cool weather which makes it easier on the mares. I'm almost out of grain here at Bridlewood so will need to make a trip down to TSC SOON. Steven picked up the grain for the farm for me. Thank you STEVEN. Mark is picking up the items from Aldi, Kroger and GFS and I will head to Sams.
The kids are meeting at church to help set tables at 10:00am.
The towels and dish rags are all washed, dried and folded and sitting in the church laundry basket. We are READY.
3:42pm the tables are set, the towels are put away, all the food is bought and delivered except for the donuts. Sarah, Jessica, Rebekah and Anni set all the tables, washed the high chairs, and refilled all the glassware. Mark thought the munster cheese was sliced to thick so we bought another brick (5 pounds) of that we now have purchased over 65 pounds of munster cheese. The 65 pounds of chicken salad from Kroger looks very good. The 45 pounds of Black Forrest ham actually looks delicious, we should have tried a bit of the ham, cheese and chicken salad but we didn't think of it until we left for home. We did not buy bananas at Sams they were all too green so we bought seedless dark purple grapes and green grapes instead. The trays will each have a nice variety of goodies.
After working so hard we took the girls out to lunch at Avanti's.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Samantha Is In FOAL

The saddlebred mare was in standing heat and was covered by Raven this morning. After meeting the walkers, Diane and I walked to the cabin field, haltered Valiant and scrubbed with iodine shampoo a small scrape he got last night. He was filthy with mud so we think he was running, wiped out and hit a stick or root which caused a small puncture wound. He didn't like getting it scrubbed out but he stood for it. What a good boy! Samantha's sonagram was schedule for 10:30am, Dr. Hoerr saw the embryo right away then took the time to make sure there were not twins in there. It is really good to have a diligent vet. The picture posted of Samantha is a funny one, look at what she is doing with her mouth but it shows her unfading black color and her good conformation! I saw an incredible sight when I was putting her back into the paddock. From the corner of my eye, I saw something coming at me from the barn wall, I jumped back and saw about a 4 foot black snake shooting out of a hole in the brick, the snake saw me and stopped but it must have squirmed through a wasp nest and was getting attacked by multiple wasps. The snake froze, dropped it's head and covered it's eyes but the attack didn't stop so then even though I was standing near it had to move. It slithered out of the hole and down the side of the barn until it found another hole to slide into the entire time getting stung. I left the gate unlatched, I didn't dare get near the barn, I really didn't want to get stung and there were at least 30 angry wasps flying around. I will need to buy some wasp spray, we can tolerate snakes but the wasps are just plain MEAN.
Autumn has been covered by Keegan on July 15th, but we will not bring her home until her sonagram, it is just too far to drive back and forth. The last time Autumn took the first cover so hopefully she will only have to stay 2 more weeks. We REALLY miss Autumn. She is turning out to be one of our best riding mares.

Auction Night

Sometimes the thrill of the hunt before we get to an auction starts my heart pounding. Didn't happen last night, it is no fun going when there is no money, bummer. Still I did buy 3 trailer ties, two long ones for the stock trailer, and one new one for my trailer. I also picked up a hay net, used and not in good shape but we were short hay nets at the last camp out, and I also bought one bottle of fly spray, new not yet opened. Total spent was $15.00 plus tax, although I can't figure out how tax can be charged on used items. I'm heading out to the farm now to get the saddlebred mare covered.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


The saddlebred mare is still not showing, Raven thinks she must be in, she's HERE isn't she? But she is not winking and let him know with a very polite kick as if to say "Don't even think of mounting!" Raven backed right off so at least he does listen to me. He wasn't too disappointed as his grain was waiting. We moved Lily and Jenis with their foals to the cabin field this morning and put the saddlebred mare in the small paddock. Her owner told me she can be hard to catch. Steven just hand grazed Lily in the cabin field for a half hour then let her go and watched for another hour, the most she did was about 10 trot steps. This is Lily's first time to be off lead since her surgery April 23rd. I'm praying that she doesn't do anything stupid. Ciera is having a ball. She is loving having room to run and a companion to run with. Valiant, at one week old is better than no companion at all. Ciera's best friends were Piper and Royal but both are now at Middle Grove.
Ruth is going to check to see if her motor home can pull the stock trailer for the Northern IL Horse Fest. Please email me if you would like to go, I'll get the tickets in advance. They are $20.00 for the weekend or $10.00 a day. I think I can get them cheaper at a bulk rate. The motor home would make my job a lot easier but if not I'll see if I can borrow either Philips truck or the old Meister Brother truck. The latter doesn't have air conditioning so I hope Philip will trade me his truck for my car for that weekend.
Once back from the farm I headed down to the warehouse to start working on the Bibles. I have chaplains waiting for them from all over the United States. Twenty boxes of Bibles are now waiting for the UPS man all stuffed with lesson number 1, a letter explaining the study and a postage paid return envelope so the prisoner does not have to spend his own money to join the study. If they send back number 1 in the postage paid envelope we send them three more studies and once they finish all 50 we send them a completion certificate.

Church Lunch

I went shopping yesterday after getting done with the farm chores. This is what I've ordered for church lunch. 14 dozen glazed donuts, 8 dozen double chocolate donuts,8 dozen Bavarian donuts, 8 dozen angel cream donuts 8 dozen sour cream donuts and 8 dozen cake donuts with white icing. 65 pounds of chicken salad, 5, 9pound each black Forrest hams, 6 bricks of munster cheese, 3, 3lbs cans of honey roasted peanuts, 5 big pans of double chocolate brownies, 22 dozen cookies, 3 tubs of cream puffs, 6 boxes of sweet-n-salty granola bars, 10 bags of 36 sandwich rolls, 25 loaves of wheat bread, 6 big heads of lettuce, 80 bananas, and I think I'm also going to put 2 small packs of skittles on each tray so that would be 156 packs.
This morning the mares were grained and the water tank cleaned and filled by 6:30 so I can type this and leave by 7:00am for the farm to breed the saddlebred mare and still walk with the walkers.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I left this morning around 7:30 to drive to Morton, IL to pick up a saddlebred mare to breed to Raven. She was sonagramed this morning and should be ready within 48 hours. The other mare had already ovulated so she will be short cycled along with another mare so Dr. Hoerr will just come collect and AI both mares.
I picked up Joy at Ruth's for a trailering lesson, she will be leaving for her new home in New York soon. She was good, we put her in and out of the trailer twice at Ruth's place, drove her over to the farm, unloaded her and put her in and out 3 times there. She NEVER hesitated any of the times. When we brought her home we gave her a leading lesson for about 15 minutes. She didn't want to listen at first and wanted to run back to the other horses but within a few minutes she was walking by my side, stopping when I stopped and starting when I started. She has a good mind.
I am serving lunch Sunday for around 800 people so need to get my food ordered TODAY! I will for sure need to clean up first before heading out to the stores.
For Jenis' colt name we are thinking Raven's Valiant Warrior. Let me know what you think of the name, it just seems to fit.
The name I am thinking of for Sangria's Colt is Royal Masquerade. After all the Andalusian horse and the Friesian horse were the horses of the kings. He has ALL ROYAL Blood!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

3 out of 4

I just got off the phone with Dr. Hoerr and 3 of the 4 mares he artificially inseminated are in foal, the 4th mare he discovered a marble in her uterus. Dr. Hoerr said some people use to put a marble in a mare's uterus to stop a mare from coming into estrus. The funny thing is that the owner either forgot it was done or bought the mare with the marble in place. Dr. Hoerr will have to remove the marble, then short cycle the mare to get her in foal. Tomorrow morning I am driving to Morton, IL to pick up for sure one mare and maybe a second if she is in season to be bred to Raven. We are really having a GREAT summer.


Jenis is in and was covered today, I drove out to the farm after dinner and had Mike help. Her colt still needs a name, he is now a week old and so strong. I asked Mike to lay him down so I could check his cord and he almost got away from both of us. We have never had such a strong foal. Mike really doesn't think we should sell him, he feels this colt is worth every penny of $18,000.00 and will not take less. I guess I'll need to change his price on our website. After watching him move today, I agreed, yes we shouldn't take less than $18,000.00. He is such a high stepper and so proud! He is EVERY THING we have been breeding for. What a stallion he is going to be at 4 years old. If we don't get his full price we will not sell him. We are going to be showing him at the Northern IL Horse Fest with Jenis the end of August.I also plan on taking Ylse and her foal if all goes well with the birth and she delivers early enough. Funny, we knew this colt was special from the moment of his birth, he is a true stallion candidate!

Mare Paddock

I was up before 6:00am went to call in the mares, Sanna was in already and Ylse and Samantha were in the back paddock in the shelter, they saw me and came running. I didn't go check if they had left any manure by the barn as I needed to be at the lake by 7:00am to try to get Jenis bred. Still no luck with her, she is showing all the signs but when Raven comes near she starts to kick. I will have to drive back out tonight to try again. I put a very disappointed Raven back but he perked up when I brought him his grain. I got done in time with Jenis to go with the walkers today. Kari and Rachel were in fast mode and Diane, mom, and Joan were more my speed so I walked with them. We decided (family meetings are always held while walking) that Amy and I would take mom to Haiti to visit Joan early in December but first Joan and Tim will join us on a cruise leaving out of Ft. Lauderdale. I called Amy with the news and to tell her to start saving her money. Amy is always willing to travel with me, what a good friend she has been for 53 years! Diane got online and found a Princess cruise leaving the first Saturday after Thanksgiving so we will try to make that work.
I left for work at 8:22 am and barely made it in time. We were swamped again. How will I ever take a week off? The Bible study program is only getting bigger. Rhoda met Eva Jean and I for lunch at Denny's, we all had a good breakfast at 12:30pm, then Eva Jean and I headed to the post office to drop off Bibles and buy 1200 more stamps. That came to $528.00, the sad thing is they won't last more than a month.
After work the mare paddock needed cleaning so I spent an hour and a half working on it. I could work longer but I'm dripping wet typing this. I need a big cool drink.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Well Jenis is in season but not yet at a standing heat. We will try again tomorrow. Her colt has some diarrhea which may be due to the foal heat but we will worm Jenis again anyway, just in case. I got to the farm pretty early, grained everyone, collected a check that was waiting for us at the farm and then headed home to get ready for work.
I got the forms filled out for the Northern IL Horse Fest and need to send them $240.00 for our camping spots and stalls. This showing gets expensive. I'll have to run to the bank, put the check in so I have the money to send. I do NOT like living month to month. Lily's colic surgery has me in the hole for probably 3 months. The good thing is the deposit on Samantha is on the way. I'm praying that we sell Aries, Classy, Piper, Clara, and Sangria's colt (not yet named). I was looking at the horses at Middle Grove on Saturday and Sophie the 2 year old Tennessee Walker is growing and filling out nicely. I should take some pictures and market her or at least get her in training. She has such a long thick mane and tail and a very pretty buckskin color. I've posted a picture of her standing with the others. from left to right is Classy, Jewel, Pacheron and Sophie and behind the group is Clara.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Jenis & Lily

Steven moved Jenis and her colt in with Lily because of the heavy rain. Mike feels we are taking too big of risk with something happening to that very valuable colt, in fact he had a fit they were in together, so I guess I'll head out and move Jenis. Her colt is so spectacular that Mike just doesn't want anything to happen to him. I'll need to find a place to put Lily and Ciera because Jenis should be coming into her foal heat and we want her close to Raven. We will try breeding her tomorrow.
We are actively searching for hay. I want a good quality alfalfa grass mix. The weather has not helped the hay shortage, there is just too much rain and no bright sunshiny days to dry so most of the fields are overdue to be cut. I know mine has been ready for weeks. Thank goodness we got at least one cutting up of which I think we only have 3 round bales left.

The Boys

After the wedding while we were waiting to start cleaning up we decided to run to Middle Grove to check on the horses. Diane brought her camera and snapped this picture of the boys. On the left is Sangria and her colt, then big Sally with her colt, the buckskin is Sophie and last is Chiquita's 2008 colt, we call Classy.

Jacob and Andi's Wedding

The wedding was at 5:00pm at the Old School Center. Rhonda had the place decorated beautifully. There were fairy lights under sheers up on the stage area with a very decorated wrought iron trellis in front of the fairy lights, then beautiful flowers and candles going up to the stage. The wedding was so much like church that when I let my mares out last night, I thought "oh good, tomorrow is Monday and I can sleep in until 7:00." Ken Hoerr had the service and it was so personable and sweet. He told the story of Jacob deciding to run away and only packing 6 pairs of socks, then when Rhonda asked him if he wanted to take anything else like food, Jacob told her,"no, I'll be back for lunch." He also told about how tiny Andi was growing up and one time a big storm came and she was picked up by the wind and rolled end over end to a corn field before her dad rescued her. After the wedding we were escorted up the stairs to the reception where the dining room had been decorated to match the auditorium. There were fairy lights behind curtains, ribbons and bows on the walls, each table had a kerosene lantern with 4 candles and 2 vases of lilies along with orange and brown lollipops. The kitchen help had a wonderful display on the food line, then there was a cake table set up on the other wall that the old library (now a conference room) help served out of. One would never know the Old School Center could look so much like a beautiful fellowship hall. Dan and Spark need to start renting it out for weddings. It was roomy, beautiful and the guests at the wedding all enjoyed visiting and eating the delicious meal prepared. I hope someone sends me some pictures I can post of the wedding, I didn't have my camera.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Email from Emily

Hi Judy
I took Knight for a drive this morning. He did PERFECT. We went at least a mile, farther than I'd ever taken him before. Cars came past and he didn't flinch. Anni and I went at least two miles. We even crossed the bridge and she did awesome. She runs a lot better than Sally did too. When I get done riding her I always hose her down and she just loves it.


My mind wouldn't stop spinning last night and let me sleep. I posted the video of the performance but my mind kept trying to figure out how the vaulters could have another performance before Joan and Tim leave for Haiti and take three of our vaulters away for 10 months. The vaulters need at least one more performance to make up for last nights not so best effort, not on the kids part but on Ribbons. The kids knew it wasn't the best and left the fair a little down. I know if Ribbon would have been her usual self, quiet and steady, the kids would have SHINED! The crowd loved it but it was an uneducated crowd. I think we need a farewell picnic at the lake, invite anyone that wants to come and have one last performance for the year for the Reinhard girls. How does July 26th, sound, the picnic at 4:00pm or 4:30pm with vaulting following at 6:00pm. That is Bethany's baptism day and we will have a lot of out of town guest that would probably love to come.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Heart of IL Fair

Well this wasn't the best performance the kids ever put on but it sure wasn't the worst either. They had some obstacles to over come, the first was the hard arena floor. It was packed down for the hitches, then the noise from the wagons, jingling and thumping around, Ribbon was up and scared. Steven had his hands full trying to keep her in a steady trot. Karin stopped her within the first few moments of the performance and tightened up the side reins, then Ribbon listened a little better and by the end she was actually doing very well. Too bad they couldn't practice at least once in the arena. Oh well there is always the next performance. Sarah Reinhard said I should put the video up on youtube and call it vaulting bloopers. I'll have to look at the video and see how bad it look, though I may just do that. The audience seemed to really enjoy it and there was a lot of applause when they were finished but most of them had never even seen vaulting before.


I believe Samantha is sold. The lady buying her is sending the deposit today. But I won't mark her sold until the deposit actually gets here. We now have Samantha at Bridlewood to be with Sanna and Ylse. I've posted a picture we took of Rhoda riding Samantha last year, but I rode her at Sandridge State Forrest in February and Samantha was great, she is not at all spooking, and was perfectly behaved.
Mike helped me give Jenis' colt his foal shot and we also put more iodine on the cord to help it dry out a little faster. We have had such damp rainy weather I don't want it getting infected.
I have Ribbon's halter here at the house to try to make it look new for the vaulters today. We are leaving the farm around 4:00pm for this performance. Sounds like we will have a good crowd watching this year, many people have called or emailed asking when they are performing. Neat to have a good following. Beth said she is bringing all the little grandkids to watch. The kids 6 and under are free with kids prices at $3.00 and adults $7.00. Not too bad of prices.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Did It!

The laundry got washed and dried, the dishes are done, the apartment washer and dryer quarters were taken to the bank along with the barn rent, 348 Bibles were sent out, the check Meister Brothers was waiting for was finally picked up and deposited. Dr. Hoerr's office was called, the colts shot picked up by Steven and the bill paid, I picked out and up Mark's birthday gift for his birthday tomorrow, and yes I went shopping, Rhoda dragged me to TJ Max. Carol Christ called and we can use the fellowship on Monday July 27th for David and Stephanie's shower. Now I just need help trying to remember those who offered to help with the shower.

Jenis' Colt

Steven Marchal picked up the colt's foal shot and it is now in my fridge. I may have time tonight to go out to the farm to give it but I want help with this shot. This colt is already so strong. Steven told me that he LOVES his back scratched. HE will stand still for a half hour enjoying all the attention he gets. This is one big strong colt, we need a wonderful name for him so everyone start thinking. Mike moved Jenis into the cabin field this morning because of the heavy rain last night created a very muddy paddock. Jenis was missing the other horses so Steven took Samantha over to the cabin to keep them company. Samantha is so kind to the newborn foals. Steven also let Raven and Lily each graze an hour.

Sandridge State Forrest

They had a wonderful time at Sandridge. They rode last night in the pouring down rain but after the ride were still able to have a campfire and cooked pork chops and turkey dogs over it. I posted a picture of the campfire. All the rest of the pictures I place on our website on the Friesian fun page. Karin told me that Izadora is now the best horse we have, she is so balanced and light on her feet. The kids played hide and seek on horseback and they were galloping between the trees and no one could catch Karin on Izadora. Nice to hear, I guess I'd better take her off our sale page. Rhoda said they decided to race on one of the fire lanes and Mika won that race, he is our fastest horse now that Grace is gone but he comes by it honestly, Grace was his mom. Bunni was perfect for Sarah. It was a good thing for Sarah to ride her, Bunni had been ridden by too many beginners and was starting some bad habits like trying to put her head down to eat on the trails. It was good to have Sarah do a little schooling on her to bring her back to beginner safe. Rebekah had to ride her pony Cindy, not the fastest pony but she probably is the cutest. Rachel rode her Haflinger, Sunny (the gorgeous one) and he is doing so well we will probably not be afraid to put beginners on him soon. Paris and Jessica are a perfect match, Jessica is so delicate and Paris loves her and pays attention to her. Karin put Caleb on Larry. Larry is owned by the Davidovics and is the best trained horse of the bunch. He does walk canter departs that are fabulous. Anni did well with Duke, Duke is a good size pony and can be quick, Anni is great with him. They had a wonderful breakfast cooked over the camp fire of brown country fresh scrambled cheese eggs, sausage, bacon, coffee cake, fresh squeezed orange juice and of course coffee. It was cool this morning, great riding weather and they all had so much fun! We are glad they are home safe.

Thank You from DIANE & MIKE

This is an email Diane sent through but WE ALL need to thank her. She organized the entire reunion and kept it running smoothly, she kept and fed 16 people at her place, she made sure we all had schedules and updated it when necessary. THANK YOU DIANE!!!

Dear Family,
Thank you so much for all your hard work to make the reunion a success.
Spark & Dan - Thanks for the school, what would we have done without it? Saturday was a great day because of all the wonderful options there.
Herman Family - Thanks for the lake with all the activities and all the food (sorry we wiped you out of fish - where will you ever catch more?)
Mark & Judy - You bailed us out with those delicious tacos & fajitas when three car loads came early and we didn't have any food planned for Thursday night. Also, thanks for keeping Peter, Evelyn & kids the first two nights and for a great breakfast Saturday.
Mom - Thanks for the use of your house all weekend and the delicious breakfast Monday.
Rachel - Thanks for providing the bacon and guitar playing around the fire and for keeping the Van Tines.
Ruth - Thanks for opening up your apartment and motor-home, we really needed both.
Rhonda & Karin - Thanks for being flexible on the lunch, those sandwiches were great the first time and even better hot the next day.
Karin - The vaulting demonstration was awesome and thanks for helping with all the horse rides.
Joan - We really appreciate all your help with the mowing, cleaning the place up and the Sunday picnic, it was a great success.
Tim - Thanks for the big tire tubes, the kids had a lot of fun trying to stand up on them in the water and will continue to enjoy them for years to come.
Thanks to all you kids and the entertainment you provided. The skits and vaulting were great. Go to to see the videos Judy made of the reunion.
We are so thankful for our big, loving, helpful, hard working & playing family.
Mike & Diane

Work, what work?

I was thinking this morning, yes, I know that is a hard job but someone has to do it, about what needed to be done today. Steven Marchal has been helping me out a lot at the farm so I could catch up on work here but somehow the work just isn't getting done. One example of putting things off until the last minute is the laundry facilities at the apartments. Last night after church I asked Mark to helped me get the coins out of the washer and dryers. Only one hallway was full, if the coins are not removed, the coin bins become too full and the appliances won't work, so it is pretty important to do at least every other month but I always put it off until the last day. After removing the coins I started on laundry. I really don't like going to bed listening to the washer and dryer but if I don't do it we will have no clean clothes. Why didn't I do it during the day? I have chaplains from all over waiting for me to UPS out their Bibles and the day I have scheduled to do that it rains. I cannot get the Bibles out if it rains, they have to sit out on the loading dock until the UPS truck comes. I need to go down to the shop today and try to collect some money that has been owed for at least a month. I drove to the place twice on Tuesday, then called on Wednesday and have not been successful so today I need to drive to the place and be a bulldog and not leave until the check is in my hand. I really don't mind doing it, but it eats up the hours. This reminds me that I have to call Dr. Hoerr's office and pay my bill from Lily's last check up. The dishes did not get washed yesterday so we had no clean cups to drink our morning coffee. Is it so hard to just load and start the dish washer? ALRIGHT, enough thinking and time to start DOING!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Vaulting at the Heart of IL FAIR

It is official, the vaulters will be performing at the Heart of IL fair on Friday July 10th, 2009 around 8:00pm in the show arena. They were asked to be the entertainment between the 4 horse hitch and the 6 horse hitch as the fair needed a time filler to keep people from leaving while the entries for the 6 horse hitches get their last 2 horses hitched up. (that is a lot of hitches in one sentence)
This performance is going to be ALL family.
Karin and Rhoda just took a group of 8 horses and 8 people (including them) to Sandridge State Forrest for an overnight camping trail ride. They crammed 5 horses in the 4 horse trailer and 3 horses in our 2 horse trailer. Where there is a will there WILL be a way. I think we are going to need to invest in a larger horse trailer at some point. Ruth lent her motor home for more sleeping arrangements so between our horse camping trailer and Ruth's motor home they will be able to sleep 8 people. The really funny thing is that Rhoda was going to take Jenis on this trip not realizing she was so close to delivery. The horses that got to go on this trip are: Mika, Larry, Cindy, Sunny, Paris, Bunni, Duke, and Izadora. The riders are: Karin, Rhoda, Sarah, Rebekah, Anni, Jessica, Rachel and Caleb.
UPDATE: I called them this morning, July 9th, to see how the horses did during the tornado that was sighted in Manito (Sandridge is in Manito) last night and Karin told me they didn't even know there was a sighting. She told me she was so thankful for Ruth's motorhome, they got dumped on by heavy rain but if rain was the only problem, that isn't bad at all. Paris got loose during the night but Rachel took care of her, Karin said she didn't even wake up.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Ciera's 2 Month Picture

I had to post this picture of Ciera I took today when I went out to take pictures of Jenis' colt. Ciera is so impressive. I've never seen a filly move as well as she does, she has just perfect conformation and she is the shiny black so desired for Friesians. I have no intention of selling her and for once we will get to see one of Lily's foals grow up. On another note, Lily is doing very well. She still has a lot of swelling and she is now past her month of stall rest and allowed out to hand graze. I am so hopeful for her.

Jenis' New Colt

Look at how high he steps out, remember he is just a few hours old in the picture.
He looks like he is saying, "I LOVE YOU MOM!"

Pictures of Jenis' New colt taken shortly after birth. Notice the neck on him. He is so big and strong for only a few hours old!

Zeug Reunion At Norris

These are the last videos of the Zeug Reunion, Thank Goodness!

Sunday Night Picnic

This is the video of the Sunday night picnic part of the Zeug reunion.

Jenis' New Colt

Born July 7th, 2009. Will get pictures and videos. He is BEAUTIFUL! I went out this morning around 5:50am and he was just delivered. He was still attached but when Jenis saw me she jumped up and broke the cord. He jumped right up also. He is very strong, big and all black. I called Steven Marchal as I have to work today and someone needs to make sure he nurses. We hauled them to the farm in Hanna City so Jenis and her colt can have the deluxe stall. Jenis is a great mom, standing very still while her colt roots around. Steven just called at 8:45am to tell me the placenta has been passed. Sanna is now here at Bridlewood with Ylse. Jenis will be bred on her foal heat so she needed to be out there. Lily is doing GREAT! Things are definitely looking up.
Thank You God!!!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Nice Surprise

Someone needs to fess up! I just went out to clean the mare paddock and it is DONE! All clean, the water tank cleaned and filled WOW I had no idea and it must have been done early this morning or last night. What a WONDERFUL surprise! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!
I'll have to find out who is the good person that does such wonderful deeds.

Reunion Over

I'm heading to the lake this morning, not to take care of Lily although I will clean her paddock later, but to say good by to my aunts, uncles, and cousins. We had a wonderful time for the last 4 days visiting, playing and of course eating but parting will come and this morning all of them are packing up to start the drive or to meet their planes. We had family come from the East coast, the West coast, the North, and the South. All of us will treasure this family reunion. Our Sunday was just a little slice of heaven. Mike started the horse rides early in the morning before church for a family that was going to have to start driving back home before our picnic. We all met out in Norris, IL at the Herman lake for church at 11:00am. We needed to make it that time so all the ones that went to the different jails would be able to attend. Church was full (Beth's pavilion) we used all the picnic tables in a horse shoe pattern with folding chairs, beach chairs and other kinds of chairs all in the middle. The kids sang some songs first, then we had congregational singing with Barb and Peter on the accompaniment. Uncle Johnny started the service and Mark Meister finished it up. Then came lunch, we had hot ham and cheese along with grilled fish and many salads and fruits. After lunch the kids couldn't wait to be taken over to the other side by the pontoon boat to the water slide, dive and swing. Nathan had to take quite a few trips back and forth, he let Sarah drive on one of the trips. Spark and Dan brought the racing boat they purchased on Wednesday and wow can that thing move. Beth was busy hauling people with the mule, then she started up the ski-doo for the tubing. Mom and I left around 2:30pm to head to the lake to help Joan prepare supper. We had over a hundred people come for the picnic but everyone brought such wonderful food to go with the hamburgers, hot dogs and brats. Karin's vaulters put on a fantastic vaulting demonstration after dinner and then let anyone that wanted try vaulting. Her vaulters make it look so easy it was actually a good thing for the many other kids to try so they can see how hard it really is. The vaulters are close to professional at this point. Then Karin had to start giving horseback rides. She used 8 horses, took 7 at a time and went out on the trails 5 times. On the last ride of the evening it was getting almost too dark so the horses were then put away. The kids played volleyball and the adults sat around the fire visiting and singing and cooking bacon or as Spark would say as he was passing it around "heart attack on a stick anyone?" Even Tony tried a piece but I think he was so disgusted with the thought he didn't enjoy it. I pulled out of there around 10:30pm and the party was still going strong, the kids just didn't want it to end but it was home to bed for me.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Freedom's Gunsmoke

Freedom is owned by Joyce Marken. He is by Raven and out of her mare Orita's Pretty Miss, a cream colored palomino mare. He is now 2 years old and under saddle. He is just gorgeous! Joyce sent me these pictures tonight.

The Cousins

Another special number by the cousins at the Zeug reunion. I think they did fabulous!

Zeug Reunion

This is one of the special numbers at the reunion.
We drove up to the Old School Center in Farmington, IL with a car load of breakfast foods and had less than an hour to finish preparing it before the group descended. Dan and Susan were the BEST! Dan got the elevator going so I could get it all hauled up to the kitchen. Susan jumped right in and started helping me with the food. Sarah and Mark started setting up tables and chairs. Thank goodness for the school it rained all day so we changed our reunion plans from going to Norris on Saturday to going to Norris on Sunday and stayed at the school all day. The kids (all those under 84 years old) played basketball, volleyball, used the game room, sang, had special numbers watched a skit some of the cousins had prepared, watched 2 movies, Facing the Giants and Fireproof and of course ate and ate and ATE! The Old School Center is fantastic for family reunions, It is so huge, there is so much to do and so much room to do it in. We had about 95 people show up, I think around 80 for breakfast, then as the weather wasn't suitable for outdoor sports a lot of the older cousins started showing up to play. Dan Meister, Barb Munther, Peter Bossart, Mark Meister and Tony Munther all played their instruments while the rest sang. I'll be making a video of some of the activities. It has been such a wonderful time.