Wednesday, April 30, 2014


This month - it's been a blur.

In the best way, but also in a way that's challenged us.

I came across this quote from Josie's blog, and it really spoke to me.

"You can't have a million dollar dream with a minimum wage work ethic."

April - you've been the month where we're chasing the million dollar dream....and we're thankful we have the chance to do so.

Monday, April 28, 2014


He loved his wife Yvonne so much, along with his three children David, Sherryl & Milt.

A marriage that stood the test of time, and a display of family love that showed what commitment really means.

 Clifford & Yvonne celebrated 67 years of marriage this past summer in Grant.

Gramps loved his grandchildren and great-grandchildren too.

And he loved to visit. 

Oh, how he loved to visit.

He was a veteran of the United States Navy, and he loved his Nebraska Huskers.

Gramps rarely missed a football game that was televised.

He was a man who loved well, lived much, and we loved him.

So much.

Love always wins.

Clint's "Gramps" passed away yesterday and we will sure miss him.

But we know he's waiting for us in Heaven, and that we'll see him again.

Until then - if you hear a man's voice shouting and cheering for the Nebraska Husker's, don't worry - it's just Gramps.

Friday, April 25, 2014

5 on Friday.

1. Bare Minerals Giveaway!

Sale alert!!!  Bare Minerals is having a 12 Hour Beauty Rush sale, and there are some great deals on their awesome products!  You know how I love a good sale, and this is a good one!

Bare Minerals makeup is the best, especially if you have sensitive skin.  My friend Becky introduced it to me in 2006 and I don't use anything else.  My skin loves it, it's economical (especially when you shop from their sales) and it lasts a sweet forever.  That's the only problem with buying more - the stuff I've already bought is still around, so then you have to choose what to wear in the morning!  #Firstworldproblems

I ordered the "Hot to Trot" Marvelous Moxie lip gloss set of 6 (for only $17!!!!) and the "7 Ways to Bare" eyecolor set - this set has my absolute FAVORITE eyecolor ever, Nude Beach in it plus a lot of other great neutrals. 

The sale only lasts today until 9 pm PST, so get clicking! :) 


- Now for the {GIVEAWAY} -

I'd love to send one lucky commenter a sampling Bare Mineral products! 

I'll include one of my favorite eye colors, lip gloss and a few other surprises!

All products are new, sealed and full size!

To enter, just leave a comment on this blog post before next Friday, May 2.

Winner will be announced shortly after May 2nd - we're breeding cows in Loomis, WA that weekend and won't have cell coverage or internet service there so I can't promise when I'll be able to post.  :)


2. Jenna Hipp Hand Cream

Can I just tell you how many creams we have tried in our home?  Ranching is not easy on the hands, and so we have tried a million and one different ways to repair and correct cracked, chapped hands. Until recently, Clint's best method was to coat his hands in Bag Balm before going to bed, and then putting on blue latex milking gloves to wear through the night.  Not exactly the most comfortable solution, but it was better than the pain of cracked hands.

Then, a few weeks ago I was at Costco and I saw that they sold Jenna Hipp cream in a 3-pack for less than $20.  I thought, "Heck, we've tried everything, might as well try this." 

And it is amazing.  Seriously.

I don't really care that it's all natural, or paraben free. Who even knows what a paraben is?!?  What I do care about is that it works.  It really, truly works.  And because it doesn't have a strong scent, Clint will use it often too.  It also absorbs quickly into your hands and doesn't feel greasy.

If you're looking for a hand cream that really works, I would recommend this one.

*Linking up with Momfessionals & A Little Bit of Everything "Favorite Things Party"

3. Green grass ROCKS!

The days of feeding hay at the ranch for 2014 are almost over.  All of the groups are turned out to grass, except for one group that Clint is still AI'ing, and another group of late calving first calf heifers that still need their calves branded.  (You have to wait about 45 days after a calf is born to vaccinate it, so late calving pairs get turned out a bit later than the others.)

And while the guys save a lot of time by not having to feed, I think they trade it for time in the saddle riding through groups and checking health.  'Tis the season for pinkeye! But you won't find my husband one to complain about having to spend time on a horse.  :)

4. I really like my "5 on Fridays" posts.

While these posts aren't exactly what you would call brilliant writing, bulleted lists are fun & easy to write when life is a little chaotic.  And it's a quick way for me to remember the little things that happen, that may not be "enough" for a blog post, but are important in their own way. 

5. We're still breeding cows.

I'm headed out this afternoon to a ranch outside of Pendleton to pull CIDR's in a group of young cows, and the guys have been breeding mature cows at Double M all day today.  We'll spend the rest of the weekend breeding cows at Rollin' Rock and in Pendleton, and a set of heifers at the feedlot.  

'Tis the season!


Happy Friday friends!

I hope you have a great weekend!

PS - Don't forget to comment for a chance to win some SUH-WEET makeup!

***Sorry for the problems with the comments - I hope I have it fixed now.  If you still are unable to leave a comment here, please leave a comment on the Facebook post and I'll get you entered!***


Update: And the winner of the Bare Minerals Givewaway is....

Hillbilly Goddess!

Josie, send me an email at with your address and I'll get your makeup in the mail!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

'Tis the season.

Hi friends!

Sorry I've been away for a bit....we've been busy breeding cattle and doing a lot of synchronization work to set cows & heifers up to breed over this last week.

'Tis the season.

Last Thursday evening, Clint, Morgan and I made an "AI Train" and headed to a customer's ranch outside of Pendleton to set up the portable alleyway, chute and breeding box. 

The next morning, Morgan and I headed back out to put in CIDR's and give a shot of GnRH.  I'll head back out to this ranch on Friday after work to pull CIDR's and give a shot of Estrumate, and then Clint will breed the cattle early next week.

The rest of the weekend was spent at the ranch AI'ing Double M cows, and a set of replacement heifers.  In between breeding, we turned pairs out to grass (such a great feeling!), doctored sick calves and fed. 

Easter morning was spent time breeding a set of Double M cows, and the sunrise was glorious.  While the way we celebrated was a bit non-traditional, we also savored the meaning of Easter in our own way.

After time breeding Easter morning, we got a quick hour nap (which was GLORIOUS!), picked up lunch at Dickey's drive-thru (easiest Easter lunch ever!) and then headed out to Pilot Rock to help Ryan & Amy patch and give shots to their Rollin' Rock Angus replacement heifers for breeding this week.

After we were done with the Angus heifers, Amy, Colter and I hopped in the Gator to go check out their Longhorn herd.  They weren't close to the road, but it was fun to see them!

Then Sunday night we came home to breed our own heifers.  Monday we woke up bright an early at 3:15 am to do the same, before heading to work.  We're not time breeding this set, so Clint is heat detecting every 4-6 hours, and we're breeding 12 hours later, which means sometimes we're breeding in the middle of the night.  We've been trying to get a few hours of sleep before we breed at midnight, but between delivering semen to customers and setting up additional group of heifers for other customers, sleep has been a rare commodity lately.

If you know me - I get grumpy when I'm tired, or hungry.

Don't we all?

But even in my grumpiness, Clint has been so patient with me, and has made me feel like an amazing wife who is loved.

He is such a blessing and I am so thankful for him.


I don't want to preach - but a piece of advice I was given awhile ago is that marriage isn't a 50/50 proposition.

It's a
"I have to work to give 100% to my spouse and they have to work to give me 100%"
kind of a thing.

It's a
"I will love you forever & ever, and no matter what"
kind of a thing.

This week when I've needed his 100% - he's been there.
With thank you's, and I love you's, and hugs, and moments to let me walk away and rest a bit. 
I don't take that for granted....

And while I'm tired,

I'm not tired of this lifestyle.

And I'm certainly not tired of the blessings that I've been given.

So if you don't hear from me for a few days - it's probably because we're either breeding cows, or trying to catch a quick nap in our easy chairs. 

I'll try to post a few times a week - because this blog is something I love. 

But I love my husband more, and right now is a time when I can help him and give my 100% through being there for him. 

So thank you for grace.


I hope you all had a wonderful Easter, and that you're out there living the dream!

Friday, April 18, 2014

5 on Friday.

1. It's an AI Train!

We're headed out the door here this morning in just a bit to put CIDR's in a group of cows.  We headed out to this customer's ranch last night and set up the portable alleyway, chute & AI barn and ran out of daylight so we're headed back out there this morning.  Then we'll be breeding cows at the ranch here this weekend.

2. Diet Pepsi is the Breakfast of Champions.

It's been a busy week - so the Diet Pepsi has been flowing!  But we're living the dream, and so thankful that Morgan has been able to stay with us this week to help with the breeding projects that are going right now at the ranch, and at other customer's ranches.  We're looking forward to a busy spring and early summer filled with Genex Chuteside Breeding Projects.

3. I'm a proud aunt!

Our niece & nephew, Jacobi & Jace, are doing awesome things!  Jacobi has been running track, so her mom (Clint's sister) sent me a few pictures and she is quite the track star....just look at those arm muscles!  I'm jealous!

And Jace - or Jacer, or Jace Robert Roy Rex Ralph Stumpff, as we like to call him - got his market goat for fair, and I think they have quite the partnership going on!  It's his first year with a goat (he's shown sheep and cattle in the past) and we know he'll do really well with this new venture!

4. Easter.

We won't get to spend Easter with family since we're breeding cows, but ranch life is kind of like that - holidays come and go, but the cows still have to be fed and work needs to be done.  But even though we'll be at home, the spirit of Easter will not be lost on us and we are so thankful for the sacrifice that was made on the cross.

5.  And the winner is.....

Tess!  Congratulations!  I'll be dropping off your copy of Ann's One Thousand Gifts Devotional early next week....can't wait to start counting with you! 


Happy Friday friends!

I hope weekend is filled with all things good!

He is Risen!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What's in our AI kit.


Breeding cows and heifers the same way, every time, is really one of the keys to a successful breeding project. Consistency means less variables, and that's important for when you review a project to see what could be improved upon or what went well.  If everything was done consistently, then you have a starting point for change.

When we breed cattle, my job is to thaw the bull semen.  I think it surprises some people when they find out that I don't breed.  I could if I needed to in a pinch, but the guys are much more proficient at it than I am.  My job is to thaw and keep track of paperwork and flow.  Records are really important when you're AI'ing, because it's important to know what semen was put in what cow on what date and by what technician.  

Since we're out breeding a large group of heifers today (hooray for vacation days off of work!) I thought I'd tell you about what I keep in my AI kit.

A well stocked AI kit is helpful to have going into the breeding season.  Since we breed in the fall, winter & spring our kit stays stocked year-round.  Right now, if you were to open our kit, you'd find:

CITO Thaw Unit
AI Guns
Paper Towels
Digital Timer
Pens & Sharpies
Syringes & Needles
CITO Cutter
Small Bottle of Lube
Ziploc Bags
70% Alcohol & Pipe Cleaners
Plastic Breeding Gloves & Latex Gloves

I thought I'd touch on just a few preferences I have regarding the above - brands, types, why we use things, etc.

CITO Thaw Units - These units come in both 12 volt and 110 volt models.  We have two of each, and use them according to what power source is available at a project.  If 110 volt power is available, we prefer to use it because we think the power is more consistent, which creates a more consistent water temperature.  Our AI barn has both 110 and 12 volt power, so we can plug either thaw unit into the barn, and when I thaw out of my pickup I have to use a 12 volt. 

If I'm thawing for a more than 2 breeders, I will use two thaw units to help maintain temperature consistency.  The more frequently you drop straws into a thaw unit, the more it has to work to keep the temperature up.  So if I'm thawing three units at once over and over in the same unit, more often than not the unit will drop below ideal temperature.  If I use two thaw units, I can either thaw two straws in one, and a single straw in the other (what I prefer) or thaw three straws at once, and then thaw the next three straws in the other unit the next time to give my first unit a chance to warm back up.  This all goes back to our theory of maintaining consistency throughout the entire project.

*Whatever type of thaw unit you use, make sure that you don't ever allow the water in the unit to freeze.  For example, when you leave the AI kit in your pickup over night in December because you forgot to bring it in after breeding fall heifers in sub-freezing temperatures and the water freezes into a solid block, it's kind of an expensive mistake to make.   Don't ask me how I know this.  ;)

AI Guns - We prefer to use the Continental Plastics All-2-Mate Barb Style guns.  I've loaded a lot of straws of semen over the past few years, and this is by far my favorite AI gun.  The guys like to use them in the cow too, since they're sturdy (like an O-Ring gun) but lightweight (like a Combi-Gun).  They are just a really well made AI gun.  They're also fast to load, hold the sheath securely in place (without fiddling with an O-ring) and load either a 1/4 or 1/2 cc straw.

*If you use the guns above, you'll order the unslit sheaths with the blue inserts.

Thermometers - I use two types of thermometers.  One is the plastic card type thermometer that usually comes with the thaw unit.  These are good for knowing the general water temperature, however I do not rely on this type of thermometer to know my exact water temperature.  I mainly use this to "divide" the thaw unit area into two parts to help keep track when I'm thawing different straws of semen. 
Every year I buy a new, digital thermometer to guage water temperature.  I figure $10 to know exactly how warm your water is to the tenth of a degree, is money well spent.  I buy mine from Wal-Mart, in the kitchen supply aisle.  I don't keep this thermometer in the water the entire time I'm thawing, but I will check the water before I start and then periodically throughout the project to make sure my thaw unit is running correctly.

Digital Timer - I thaw my units of semen for 45 seconds, and use a digital timer to keep track of that.  There's enough going on when we're breeding that if I can take my focus off of one area (counting to myself in my head to 45), then that frees up some mental capacity to focus on other items like keeping records, or making sure the right unit of semen gets into the right cow.  Our friend Mike actually gave me my first timer, and it's been one of best gifts I've ever received.  I had to buy a new one this year, and I bought it from our local Cash & Carry restaurant supply store - a good timer will cost you about $15 and they're worth every penny.

Paper Towels - Costco half sheets are the best paper towel on the market.  Period.  Trust me, we've tried them all.  I use 2 half sheets folded together to dry the straws off after they come out of the water bath, and the guys like to use a single half sheet to wipe the cow before they insert the AI gun.  The first year we AI'ed cows, everyone had a different paper towel preference, but now we all use the same one and it makes stocking the AI barn a lot easier.

CITO Cutter vs. Scissors - Everyone that thaws semen has a personal preference here - and depending on the type of AI gun you use, that can dictate which method of cutting works best.  I prefer to use a CITO cutter, and I don't find any seating issues when we use the barb style AI guns.  I also think a CITO cutter is faster, and when they're cleaned regularly (that's what the alcohol & pipe cleaners are for, along with cleaning the AI guns) I think they're just as sanitary as a pair of scissors.  I also buy a few new CITO cutters every breeding season, and keep them sealed in a Ziploc sack when I'm not using them and I think that helps keep them clean as well.  We do keep a pair of scissors in the AI kit though, just in case.

Ziplocs - This past year I started keeping Ziploc sacks (both sandwich size and one gallon) size in the AI kit.  I use the small ones to keep a few spent straws from each breeding project.  That way if there's ever a question of semen quality, we have some of the straws saved.  I label these bags with a Sharpie.  I use one big Ziploc to store my timer, CITO cutter, pens and small AI book - that way if my thaw unit tips over, the water spilled won't get on these items.

Pens & Sharpies - If you don't have a Sharpie in your AI kit, you should get one.  I bet you'll be amazed by how often you use it.  I always make sure I have one, and have a back up one in my pickup and in my purse.

Gloves - The guys prefer to use latex gloves on both hands, and then put a breeding glove up on their left arm.  Yes, their hands get sweaty, but if a cow craps on them while they're breeding, it's a lot easier to just pull the glove off and put a new one on, versus trying to find somewhere to wash their hands.

Needles & Syringes - Usually when we're giving GnRH shots, we use an automatic syringe, but I keep a small 3cc syringe and clean needles in the AI kit just in case.  We keep bigger boxes of needles & the automatic syringes in a big tote that stays in the breeding barn.

Lube - We buy gallons of AI lube by the case, and keep those in our basement or in the AI barn (there's a special holder for the gallons) but we also keep a small squeeze bottle filled with lube just in case.  It always comes in handy when you're breeding just a handful of cows, and don't want to bring out the lube.  Lube, just like the water in your CITO thaw, shouldn't ever be frozen.  It really changes the consistency.

Tweezers - You'll notice that I don't have tweezers on my list, and that's because I don't use them.  I think I can pull straws faster with my fingers (which means that the canes of semen are exposed for less time) and find that in the instances I did use tweezers (like when my fingers were raw from multiple days of pulling straws) I was more likely to drop a unit.  Now, I just make sure I have bandaids and if my fingers are raw, I just deal with it.  If you use tweezers, and it works for you - that's great.

AI Gun Warmer - This isn't necessarily something we keep inside the AI kit, but it is something that we use every time we breed a cow.  Even if we're just breeding one, we'll still use a gun warmer.  These are kind of spendy, but again it all comes back to consistency - if we can maintain the temperature as consistently as we can from the time the unit of semen is pulled from the tank until it gets inside the cow - all the better. 

And the last - most IMPORTANT - thing to have in your AI Kit is.....

Diet Pepsi!

Lol.  Or is that just me.....?

So that's what is in our AI kit!

Is there anything I'm missing?  If so, please leave your thoughts in the comments - I'd love to hear what you do differently, or a brand that works well for you!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Amazing Grace.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.


A {good life} is hard to define, and probably looks different to everyone.

Ten years ago, if you'd have asked me where I would be today, I probably wouldn't have said that I'd be living this blessed little life here in Eastern Oregon.

God's funny like that.

Amazing Grace.

How sweet the sound...