Friday, April 27, 2012

How We Spend our Saturdays...

My husband, Dave, is a farmer. He and my dad feed beef cattle, to the tune of about 850 steers and heifers, and they also keep track of a 75 cow/calf herd.
Our sons are in 4-H and their main project is showing beef steers and beef breeding stock at the county 4-H and open shows. The fair isn't until mid-August, but it takes a lot of work and preparation to get the animals (that are about 15 times as big as the boys) ready to be walked around like a dog-- a very CALM dog at that.
During the spring, the boys and I try to work with the 4-H calves as often as we can on Saturday afternoons. We tie them up, we walk them around, we brush their fur, mostly just "hang out" with the calves so that they get used to us being around them.
Once summer vacation gets here, we'll work with them everyday. During the summer, the calves get tied for a while everyday, walked around everyday, and a quick washing every couple of days, with a "deep cleaning" once a week or so. We also make more of an effort to keep them well bedded in the summer to keep them cool and clean, so their coats look as nice as we can make them. My boys know their way around a straw bale and pitchfork!
This was a picture from last year's fair, our younger son showed this hereford yearling heifer. She's due to have her calf ANY DAY NOW!!! The suspense is killing us! Will it be marked like a true hereford? Will it be a heifer or bull calf? She and her calf will be going back to the fair again this year. She won grand champion in the 4-H show last year, hopefully she'll have the same luck this year! I love spending part of my Saturday working with the boys and their calves, the boys are growing into such good cattlemen and the calves we have picked out this year are very sweet and easy to work with. It's a smelly, messy job, but I'm blessed to be able to do it! Leave me a post if you are 4-H alumni!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It's the last Wednesday of the month, so you know what that means:

It's BOOK CLUB NIGHT!!! Well, actually we're not meeting this month. For the first time in 6 years we are skipping a month! Not the reading, just the discussing. One member is recovering from hip replacement surgery and one member has to babysit her grandson. Since that is 50% of our group, we've decided to just put off the discussion until next month and discuss April and May's books then.
This month we read The Girl with the Glass Feet, by Ali Shaw. This debut novel was about a girl who visits a little island and starts turning to glass. As she searches for a cure to her 'turning-to-glass' problem, she meets and falls for a quiet, introverted, shy man and of course they fall in love,etc.. I liked it. It was different, it had a fairy-tale like feel with strange characters living in bogs and fog. There are even mystical flying cows, but you'll have to read the book to get the skinny on that.
Other readers in the house are reading: A Series of Unfortunate Events, by Lemony Snicket. In this series, three children have nothing but BAD luck, according to the younger son. He's devouring them, so thankfully there are 13 (at least at our library)!
And older daughter was super-pumped that she was able to read this entire book by herself, the only words she didn't know were "thought" and "knew" and "phone". How is it possible that a 'ph' can sound like an 'f'? Oh, she has so many unfair grammar rules to learn... What are you reading?

Monday, April 23, 2012

My "September-to-May Home-Away-From-Home"

This weekend I took a cool picture of...... well that's for another post. Anyhow, it inspired me to take a similar picture of my work surroundings and will therefore be the subject of this first official post!
I'm a teacher at the high school in our town, it's actually the same high school I graduated from. Overall, this works out pretty well, but occassionally my world gets a little too "small" and I get a little claustrophobic. But most importantly, I'm doing what I really enjoy--teaching math. I teach Freshman Algebra 1 for most of the day, and one class of Pre-Calculus to a group of juniors and seniors. I LOVE the concepts in Algebra 1 and I LOVE the challenge of Pre-Calc. My students in Pre-Calc are very bright and eager learners, which makes my job easy, fast-paced, and fun. One activity that I am looking forward to doing with my Algebra 1 students this week is a puzzle similar to this:
The students will work in pairs or groups of 3 to unscramble the puzzle pieces by matching up the edges with the correct problems and answers, which will create a 3 x 3 square. This is a great activity because everyone has to be involved and participate. They learn a lot from it, too, especially as they struggle to get the puzzle started. This is an example of a puzzle in the pre-cut-up stage. This concept could be adapted to any age level and any content area. Here are some examples: learning contractions, matching kindom/phylum/genus, etc., states and capitols for geography, or even story characters and their corresponding literary work. I've also seen this in triangular form where one equilateral triangle is cut into 4 smaller equilateral triangles. The key to a good puzzle, though, is the tricker-edges to throw the students off!!! Let me know if you've ever done a puzzle like this! Do you have any other suggestions?

Sunday, April 22, 2012


My name is Carrie! I'm a big fan of blogs and have been trying to come up with a "spin" for my own blog for a while now, but my interests are so random. A friend finally convinced me to embrace the Random that is my life, so that's what I'll do! Here goes! I hope you enjoy learning a little about our crazy, action-packed, wild Daly Life!