Tuesday, March 31, 2015

More Later

We had another very busy day A few highlights:
Fedi's surprise
Berean workers
Star's filly
Prissy's udder but it is late and I'm heading to bed and I have to leave the house at 6:00 am tomorrow. More will be posted Wednesday morning at 5:00 am.
So as promised this is yesterday's news:
Fedi as a surprise to Ruth, rented a car on Monday night and drove down to Gulf Shores to spend the rest of the week with his wife and mother-in-law. Karin took a video of it but since it was only posted on Facebook it cannot be shared here. If you want to see it go to Karin Meister's facebook page. It was funny. Ruth is sitting on the swing, Fedi walks up behind her and says, "good morning" Ruth starts to say, "good morning" then realizes it is Fedi!
Yesterday we had another big day for Berean. Mark remarked, "that doesn't sound like work, it sounds like a party in that room." He is half right. We are having a good time but the work doesn't stop.
 Above everyone is hard at work, below a check came in from Lincoln Correctional center. This is always amazing to us. This is actually a tithe check from an inmate. They get paid pennies on the dollar and instead of spending it on something at the commissary to make their life or cell a little better will send it to us.

 Above Jan is opening letters and reading them while Joyce is applying labels to studies for mailing. Below is just a nice thank you letter with a new address.

 Above we have the Bible line. David is getting the Bibles for us and putting them on the table then each lady has a job to do. Eva Jean has the return address, Kathy is applying the prisoner label, Jan is applying the postage while Joyce is stacking them back in the boxes for loading. We broke for lunch at noon. Emily picked up pizza for everyone from Casey's but also picked up a few chicken tenders to share just in case someone didn't want pizza.
 Then it was back to work on the Bible line. Check out those boxes below, David and Emily were busy hauling them into Diane's van for the trip to the post office while the ladies finished getting them processed.
 Mark left work a little early to work on the house. We have been advertising Menards for months while the house waits for new siding. Well Menards doesn't seem to care, they never even acknowledged this special advertising for them and since we didn't get even get any store credit Mark decided it was time to cover up the house wrap and start on the siding.
Not really he got the insulating done last fall but the weather turned cold so quickly he decided to wait until spring to put on the new siding.
Star and her filly were taken out for a few updated pictures. There is someone interested in seeing updated pictures.

She was funny galloping around her mom, bucking and kicking. I really should have had the video camera instead of the still camera.
We had a late night at choir practicing for the Easter sunrise service then for the Benefit dinner. We still have room if anyone would like to join us for the Benefit dinner. Just send me an email and I'll reserve you a seat.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Beautiful Monday

We had a gorgeous day, sunshine and 70 degrees. A perfect day to spend outside. Today is mom's 83rd and Spark's 63rd birthday. Mom is enjoying her birthday down in Gulf Shores, Alabama with Karin and Ruth. They are also having beautiful warm weather. When I called at 7:15 am mom was already out on the beach walking Molly.
It was so nice outside I decided to work a few horses. The first horse worked with was Prissy. She is shedding big time with white hair covering everything she touches. She was taken into a stall and groomed and by the time I finished with her the stall floor looked white. Of course a few pictures needed to be taken. She really needs a bath but that will have to wait for consistently warmer weather. She is due in 8 days with her first foal.
Lily and her colt were brought out next. This one week old colt is so impressive. He has that show presence
He thinks he is all that and guess what, he is!
Anna dropped off the girls for the afternoon. Since it was so nice and warm we took a golf cart ride over to the cabin field, then into the cabin field to check on Jurista and Sheena. They were enjoying the green grass.
Jurista came right up to the golf cart to see what we were hauling.
Diane made it home and invited us to play on her beach. The girls love playing in the sand and even though the water is too cold it is still fun to splash.

Even Kensley enjoyed being outside.

We headed back for home late afternoon but had to stop at the barn to hose off the girls before bringing them into the house. Rhoda, Emily and Sarah were all visiting on the tramp and held Kensley while Braelyn and Taegan got cleaned up. Supper was next, Taegan is so active she needs a lot of calories and by 4:00 was hungry.
Kensley was put in the Johnny Jump-up so my hands could be free to feed the others.
After supper, Emily round penned Jurista then saddled and bridled her. The mare needs work but shows promise. Sheena was brought over next. Now Sheena hasn't been ridden since July 2014. Emily round penned her for about 2 minutes then climbed right on. Sheena remembered and did very well. Emily kept it short with her as she is due next month.
We are anxious to see what she produces, she was bred to Valiant. We are guessing the foal is going to be tall, black, beautiful and big boned.
Sheena was taken back to the cabin field then we moved a new round bale in for Valiant and Zalena's paddock and a new round bale for Killian's paddock. I only have 3 square bales left so Emily flipped a 4th cutting round bale in the corner of the arena and the horses I had been square baling will now be fed with that. Right now that is Prissy, who is in her own paddock or stall and Violet & Tatiana. Those 2 will be leaving for their new homes in April and I don't want them in the mud. I am very thankful for such a beautiful day.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Palm Sunday

We didn't just celebrate Palm Sunday in church today, this afternoon was Communion. The triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the praises, the Hosannas (God Save Us) the untrained colt, the waving palms, then the plot. That horrible plot, the man of sorrows, He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with His stripes we are healed. This week is Passion week, we need to remember, we need to be thankful.
Mark and I had a very quiet Sunday afternoon, restful and uneventful. I made a big pot of stone soup minus the stone (chicken, vegetables, wild rice, mushrooms) for dinner.
I received a message today from a parent whose son is in prison. She writes:
Thanks much. Our son has a Bible but he is facing a long sentence and he's just not ready for a study yet. Thank you though for all you do.
It's very difficult having a son in prison. Few people understand our feelings.  No one raises their children to be inmates. We are very fortunate to be able to visit often. You look around the visiting room, see the tears, know the ruined families, the emotions and you know that the inmates aren't the only ones in prison. It is heart wrenching to watch these young guys visit with their elderly parents, young children and hear how life continues to move on while theirs is at a standstill.
If there is anything her son needs more than her support it is to learn that Jesus loves him so much he died for him while he was yet a sinner. This is what Berean is all about. The gift of a Bible is a way to give hope to the hopeless. When a prisoner learns what Jesus did for him this sometimes brings a change of heart, not only brings a new heart but new hope.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

A Cold Start

We had a cold start to the day, the thermometer was only reading 25 here. The grass was frosted and the horses were blowing steam out of their nostrils. Below is Jurista the new Andalusian mare.
 Pictures were taken of her this morning for the website. Mike loaded Soul and Ripper and drove them out to Middle Grove. Karin checked all the mares yesterday and Mike checked them today. He is concerned that Emma may have lost her foal. She is due in 60 days and he said she is fat but didn't think fat enough. I'll need to bring her in to check. Prissy was moved today to the paddock next to the stall barn. She was much more bagged up today so we will be stalling her at night. Lily and her colt were moved in with Sangria. Lily was just not comfortable with Indy and Star and Sangria has been her companion for years so this was a much better fit. It would have been nice for the 3 babies to be together. Oh well maybe Prissy will have her foal soon so Lily's colt can have a companion for weaning.
Mark got the log splitter going and worked on wood for next winter, although we were both tempted to burn some today. It was still in the 30's this afternoon. We moved in a new bale for Sangria and Lily. Killian and Valiant's paddocks will each need one either tomorrow or Monday. Mark counted the bales, we have 96 left and should easily make it before our first cutting. I went shopping this afternoon for groceries hitting both Sam's club and Walmart.
Mom, Karin and Ruth left for Gulf Shores, Alabama early this morning. They should be there by now but I'm sure just too busy to think about calling. Rhoda and Lee get home tonight from their honeymoon.

Friday, March 27, 2015


Our walk today was in below freezing temperature. Even though the sun was shining the puddles were iced over and the wind was blowing. Not what one would expect the end of March. Today it was determined that we needed to move Lily and her colt in with the other mares as we were going to need her paddock for a new mare coming in. We don't like to put new foals in with others until they are around a week old but Lily's colt is big and strong for his age. The best way to do this was to first put the other 2 mares in the big field then bring Lily and her colt over once the other mares were grazing. It went pretty well. Indy and Star were curious but Lily let them know pretty quickly to stay away.
 Above is Indy and her filly by Evan and below is Star and her filly by Evan.
 Lily took off at a run but her colt stayed right beside her. She soon settled down to graze when the others were deemed as no threat to her colt.
He was very curious about those other horses but didn't leave his mom's side.
I needed to head to Diane's office to reconcile the bank book so opened Violet and Tatiana's paddock so if the mares got thirsty they could go in there to drink. When those 2 were let out Violet had to put on quite a show. Galloping around with her tail flagged high in the air. It was kind of funny below Indy's colt is trying hard to keep up with her half sisters.  Indy wasn't too happy with that.

I didn't leave for Diane's until they were all grazing together peacefully.
The bank reconciling took less than an hour giving me time to drive in to Peoria to renew my license for another 4 years. This time the job got accomplished by 1:30 pm giving me enough time to get home to put the mares away before heading to Chris Erkert's visitation. When I got home though Lily and her colt were already in the breeding shed paddock. Either a fence is down or the colt ran through the fence and she followed then took him where she knew it was safe. The other 6 were still grazing exactly where I left them so they were all put away. Mom and I left at 3:15 pm for the visitation arriving just as the line started. It was good we weren't any later as I was booked to watch Phil and Anna's girls at 4:30 pm. Just as we got home Emily pulled up with the big truck and trailer. She had driven to Cleveland, OH to pick up our new Andalusian mare Jurista.
Jurista is a 10 year old 16 hand IALHA registered purebred Andalusian mare. Below is a video her previous owner sent to show us her movement. This is a high quality Andalusian mare.
 She is gray but has a good chance of throwing black when bred to a black as her dam is black.  Our plan is to breed her to the gorgeous 17 hand black Andalusian stallion Glorioso standing at stud in Michigan. Below is a video of him at liberty.

We will probably book all three of our Andalusian mares to him this year. Anna dropped off the girls then took the truck back to Meister's. The girls were busy tonight building things out of our firewood. OK maybe we do need a few new toys around here, although this kept them occupied for quite a while.

Today was another busy day. Thankful for the electric blanket tonight, the bed is going to feel great.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Birthday Party

We were blessed today, unbelievably blessed. The plea went out Tuesday about being overwhelmed with mail and today people responded. Our office was filled with wonderful willing volunteers.
 Above is Myrna and Diane reading the letters while Eve Jean works on the studies. Below Maddi, Tiffany and Cooper are stuffing and labeling the Bibles.

 The jail ladies came here today instead of working at the jail. Beth and Myrna volunteer each Thursday at the Peoria county jail but this Thursday they came to give us a hand helping us catch up. Below Beth is working on the studies filling boxes for next Tuesday.
 Below came a check for $20.00 from an inmate along with a letter asking for a couple Bibles.
 Below Tiffany is hauling the boxes of Bibles out to Diane's van while Maddi and Cooper are busy filling the boxes.

 There were boxes, papers and tape flying everywhere today but the productiveness from these helpers was amazing.
 Below is a new volunteer for Berean, this is Janet. She was more than willing to do what ever was asked.
 She and Joyce were put to work in the conference room filling boxes. 
One of the letters that came today was a new request, one that I've never seen requested in a letter in all the 21 years I've been working at this job. The first part of that letter is posted below.
So how does one answer a letter like THAT? Not sure exactly what kind of grill he is thinking of.
We were able to finish by noon. We had 350 Bible request this week and AGAIN ran out of postage by 50 stamps. Aunt Bernie ran down those and by noon we had them all stamped and loaded into Diane's van for the trip to the post office. A big thank you to Rachel Sauder who brought in lunch today for the volunteers.
As soon as I got home Lily and her colt were loaded and driven to Dr. Hoerr's office in Morton, IL. Emily noticed the discharge first on Lily. This morning there was more and it didn't look normal. Below Aaron is holding her colt while Lily is loaded into the stocks.
 Dr. Hoerr checked her over and cleaned out her uterus with 2 bottles of an iodine flush. Her temperature was normal and the blood work came back normal also so she was good to go.
 The best part about the trip was the colt stepped right up into the trailer for the trip to Morton, then stood quietly while his mom was being worked on. He has Valiant's amazingly sweet quiet temperament.
When we finally arrived back, he was so glad to be home he was jumping for joy.

Karin stopped by and gave me a ride to Gils Supper club where we were celebrating Mom's 83rd birthday plus Spark's birthday, Nancy's birthday and Karin's birthday. All 11 of us plus our spouses enjoyed being together and got a good meal too.