2019 HCLS

Since we moved to Malakoff in 2010, our family has been very involved with the Henderson County Livestock show. We have shown broiler chickens, meat rabbits, a heifer, market & breeding goats, breeding rabbits, and several small projects the kids have made.

Through the years we have learned so much, had some successes and lots of disappointments. No matter what the year holds as far as animals we are showing, I know my kids have learned more life lessons through their animals projects than just about anything else. Watching them pour their hearts and all their efforts into raising a healthy animals has been a joy. They love their animals (usually). Anyway, even though this was all new to us in 2010, we have really jumped in with both feet and thoroughly enjoyed all of it!!

This year Eli showed a market goat. Unfortunately he did not make sale with it – mostly because Anna’s market goat died about 3 weeks ago. The two were big buddies – and when Custer died, Everett stopped eating. Needless to say he was not the goat he should have been at the show. So he came home with us, and will be grazing and eating to get a little bigger. Then we will have a 4h party at our place and serve smoked cabrito!

Anna showed a pen of meat rabbits, she did not do real well, so we brought them home too and hope to breed them soon, and maybe we will start eating some rabbit? She also showed breeding rabbits, well sort of. Her sr buck lost a toe right before the show, so we borrowed a rabbit from our breeder, for the show and she won 1st place! Yay! However, she was one of the 130 mini rex rabbits – so we are going to find another breed to start raising! Maybe Polish? They are another small breed in several cool colors.

Lastly this year, Anna submitted several projects in the project show : a painting, an embroidered tea towel, a batch of fudge, and a succulent arrangement. She earned 3 best of division ribbons and sold two of her projects for a total of $200! Eli showed his hand carved chickens and a model airplane and received 2 blue ribbons. Overall it was a fun week, but exhausting!!

Categories: 4h

Beekeeping Fun

Family working together to get everything loaded (except for Peter)

So about a week ago the men in our family headed out to help a friend split his hives. They loaded up some empty boxes and headed out.

Jacob learning to drive a fork lift

This is the second year they have done this and they love it despite the exhausting days!!

Hanging out with a bunch of bees!

They split hives, requeened every one and moved them between bee yards. Exhausting work, but a great time to learn and earn some honeybees!

Book Review : Character Carved in Stone

When a book takes me back to my Alma Mater, I have a special fondness for it. When an author can weave a message together with historical accounts, personal experiences and practical application, I am hooked.

Character Carved in Stone – The 12 Core Virtues of West Point that Build Leaders and Produce Success – by Pat Williams and Jim Denney was that book.

West Point was such a pivotal part of my life. The training there pushed me well beyond what I ever thought I could do. I found friends that will be in my life forever, and I met my husband. So many leaders and peers influenced me at such a deep level that when I go back there, even just in my mind, my heart swells. Establishing who I was on the foundation they were laying, changed me and the course of my life. These truths that they about beat in to us, are life changing for anyone and can be life changing as well. Discipline, Integrity, Loyalty, Courage – and of course Trust (or honestly) are all needed at a deeper level today than ever before.

Each of the 12 chapters explores a character trait that is tied back to West Point. Each trait is also associated with a historical figure like Grant, and gives an account of their life and how that character trait defined them early on and throughout their lives. As you read about this trait and how it impacts a person you also read about a person who embodied that trait. Seeing how people apply these ideas in their own lives can be inspiring to us to apply them in our own lives as well.

I really enjoyed reading this book, the chapters are well written and flow at a quick pace. I also appreciated the history lesson that continues throughout, even learning some history associated with West Point that I did not know!

I highly recommend this book, it a great read for history lovers, self-help readers and those who are looking to apply character in every area of their lives.

If you want to try it before you buy it – there is a download of an excerpt HERE.

NOTE: I received a copy of Character Carved in Stone in exchange for an honest review.

More about the Book:

Overlooking the Hudson River on the campus of the United States Military Academy at West Point are 12 granite benches, each inscribed with a word representing a key leadership virtue: compassion, courage, dedication, determination, dignity, discipline, integrity, loyalty, perseverance, responsibility, service, and trust. These benches remind cadets of the qualities that lead to victory and success, not just on the battlefield, but in all of life.

With his signature enthusiasm and insight, Pat Williams shares the incredible stories of West Point graduates who exemplified these traits, from the Civil War to the War on Terror. He shows readers of all backgrounds how to develop these 12 essential virtues in their lives, whether they are in the corporate world, the academic world, the military, the church, or in some other sphere.

Brigades #1 by Peter

Hello I’m Peter Cole, Janelle’s favorite son. Over the past couple years you may have seen posts about the Texas brigades. Well for the next couple of weeks I am going to break down each different aspect of what Texas Brigade camps are about, why you should attend, or encourage others to, and why they are so important to the future of our world.

Sharing about Texas Brigades at a youth hunt.

 The Texas Brigades are a group of wildlife leadership intensive camps located around the state.    There are five differ wildlife subjects covered by seven different camps: Rolling plains Bobwhite Brigade, South Texas Bobwhite Brigade, North Texas Buckskin Brigade, South Texas Buckskin Brigade, Ranch Brigade, Bass Brigade, and Coastal Brigade. Have had the privilege of attending as well as returning to three different brigades over three years. 

Sharing what I learned at Texas Brigade Camps

One major focus of brigades is to teach wildlife  Each camp focuses on teaching the habitat, conservation, and anatomy of the focused wildlife. The Texas brigades motto is “Tell me I forget, show me I remember, involve me and I understand.” At camp the instructors live that out by teaching wildlife, but also by us doing what they taught.   The other focus of Texas Brigades is to teach public speaking, decision making, leadership and critical thinking.  Learning these skills at camps has helped grow me into a more determined and qualified leader.  

Teaching other youth about Wildlife Conservation, earning that scholarship and an invitation to come back as a leader to Buckskin Brigade.

At most camps one of the first activities is the anatomy. We get to dissect the animal we are learning about. The first brigade I went to was the 24th Battalion (or year) of the Rolling Plains Bobwhite Brigade, this was the camp that started the program back in 1993.  Bob White camps focus on the conservation of the quail species in Texas. We learned about their habitat, diet, and everything they need to live.  One bonus from my Bob White camp experience was earning a $2250 scholarship for college by sharing what I learned and advertising for the organization!

Receiving my scholarship at North Texas Buckskin Brigade in 2018.

In 2018, I was able to attend the 3rd battalion of the Coastal Brigade. At the Brigade we learned all about Coastal wildlife. We were able to study the anatomy of a fish, by dissecting one. We also went to a hatchery, to learn the life cycle of fish, specifically the life cycle of the red drum, the state fish of Texas. One of my favorite parts of camp is always the plants. At coastal brigade we studied the many different types of coastal plants. We learned all about the plants that directly impact the coast, and any type of coastal wildlife. 

Applications are open for a few more weeks at  Youth agers 12-18 should apply now!

Book Review : Never Let Go

I’ve met a new author : Elizabeth Goddard. In Never Let Go, she begins a new series called Uncommon Justice. This was a well paced novel that had plenty of twists and turns, action adventure and some romance as well.

The main character Willow Anderson is a forensic pathologist and this was incredibly interesting to learn about her passion for linking the past with the present. After experiencing the loss of her grandfather and going through her own house fire, Willow realizes that a job she and her grandfather were hired to do might be more than they realized.

Before his passing, Willow’s grandfather called in an old friend, past boyfriend of Willow, to consult on their latest case. When tragedy strikes twice Austin is there to help out and offer support to Willow as well as assistance with her new case.

The author dove into several areas that I really enjoyed, the forensic pathology as well as the setting of Wyoming. I enjoyed feeling a part of the western scene and loved tagging along on their back road, harrowing adventures.

I will certainly be looking for other books by Ms. Goddard. I enjoyed her style of writing and her character development.

NOTE : I was offered a copy of Never Let Go in exchange for an honest review by Revell Publisher.

More about Never Let Go :

As a forensic genealogist, Willow Anderson is following in her late grandfather’s footsteps in her quest for answers about a baby abducted from the hospital more than twenty years ago. The case may be cold, but things are about to heat up when someone makes an attempt on her life to keep her from discovering the truth.

Ex-FBI agent–and Willow’s ex-flame–Austin McKade readily offers his help to protect the woman he never should have let get away. Together they’ll follow where the clues lead them, even if it means Austin must face the past he’s spent much of his life trying to forget. And even if it puts Willow’s tender heart at risk.

In this fast-paced and emotional page-turner, bestselling author Elizabeth Goddard keeps the stakes high, the romantic tension sparking, and the outcome uncertain until the very end.