Tag: kids

The Stock Show Life

Each year somewhere around January 15th we attend an event.

stock show 2

This event is made up of a slew of animals, kids, anxious parents (mainly dads) and controlled chaos.

Stock show dad

This event is full of crazy emotions like, “Did we do enough, pick the right animal, feed it properly, will it stress out or just act a fool? Will it pee or poop on one of the kids this year? Who will have the first melt down…the kids, the animals…the parents?”

For mom, it usually goes like this, “Do the kids have decent clothes to wear? Do they have boots or a belt?  Pants that are long enough because they grew a foot from last year? Oops, I forgot new clothes.”

Yep, it’s stock show season.

stock show pig

And it arrives each year with a bang! Even though we have had animals since summer time, this event seems to sneak up on us right after the holidays and I never feel prepared.

Why do we put ourselves through this craziness? It truly is an exhausting weekend full of roller coaster emotions for kids and parents.

I can’t give you an exact answer of why we do it. It’s just what we do. We live in rural Texas. We are 4-H people. It’s what we did as kids. We enjoy animals. We joined the club and drank the kool-aid! ha

stock show chickens

But, that is not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about something rare that I saw this weekend at the show barn.

Friday there were about two dozen kids at the barn getting animals settled, weighed in, etc.  Many of the kids had not arrived, some had school and there were just a few there. That afternoon it had finally warmed up enough to be outside. The set-up crew (the dads) had brought in round bales of hay and placed them against the tarp on the open end of the barn to hold it down and keep the wind out. The hay bales were in a line down the side of the barn about 5  yards apart. Do you get the picture?

On one of my many trips to the car, I see a young man jumping from bale to bale. Sometimes he makes it with no problem, sometimes he doesn’t and slides down the side of the bale.  It was a picture perfect moment, but my camera wasn’t handy at the time. (I kept telling myself I would come back and snap a picture,  but I never did.) It truly was something you would see in a magazine depicting a country setting.

A little later, I saw the entire group of kids outside playing catch with some kind of a ball… I don’t even know what kind of ball it was because that is not what caught my attention.

This small group of kids was made up of all different ages, from different schools, boys and girls, playing catch…together. They were scattered all over the parking lot throwing the ball from end to end. In the background was a new kid jumping from bale to bale.

No one was on their phone.

No one was snapping a picture.

I didn’t even see anyone sitting on the side lines. They were all engaged in the game.

They were laughing, running, playing and acting like kids…even the teenagers! All different ages, playing in unison and having a blast while they were doing it.

All the hard work is really not about the animals. For me, it’s about that exact moment. Seeing your kids put down their device and interact with others and have old-fashion genuine fun and making awesome memories…that’s what it’s all about.

Everyone survived the weekend and came home fully exhausted. Some came home with ribbons and others with buckles.  But, we all came home with new stories, new friends and new family memories.

stock show life

That is the stock show life.




Oh How He Loves Us: A Divine Appointment

God goes to great lengths to show us how much he loves us. I know this from experience, but like most people, I too need reminding. And, He did just that this week. He orchestrated a divine appointment to show a young lady just how much he loved her.

It was a typical Monday morning. The kids and I were scurrying to get out the door, late as usual! I had too much to carry so I handed my laptop to my son and asked him to carry it so I would have a free hand for my coffee. I grabbed the rest of my things and out the door I went.  As we were driving down our 2-mile stretch of dirt road, I realized I had forgotten my coffee. I turned around to go fetch it. My kids were moaning about how they were going to be late. I should just leave it and get more at the convenient store, yada yada yada. But, I prevailed! Went back inside got the coffee and off we were, again!


My daughter made sure to give me the “what-for” even after I told her it was not up for discussion. Since my niece was with us, I reminded her that bad attitudes were contagious and little ears were listening. And, my own attitude was quickly going south from listening to her complain.

As we got onto the highway, I saw a truck pulled over. I girl was standing beside it, no cell phone in hand and looking pretty scared. So, I quickly turned around to go back and see if we could help. My kids were really getting frustrated with me by this time! As I get out of the car and head back to help, this young lady meets me in tears. She had run out of gas. She was traveling from Kansas to San Antonio and she didn’t know what to do.

I immediately hugged her and reassured her it was going to be fine. I explained that I lived close by and I had a gas can and we would get her fixed up. Not wanting to leave her there, I asked her to get in my car and go with me. (I realize this could have been dangerous and would not recommend doing it if the person appeared crazy looking or scary! I did use discernment.) We made the two mile trek back to my house to fetch the gas can.

We quickly made it back to her pickup truck and started putting the gas in.  I kind of chuckled to myself in disbelief.  Then, I said to her, “You know, this is such a God thing. We never have gas in this can. My husband just went to fill it up on Saturday so he could mow the grass. And, had I not forgotten my coffee, I would have missed you by ten minutes.” And she said, “Well, I was praying!”  We exchanged a few more words, and said our goodbyes.

I seized the opportunity for a teachable moment. I explained to my kids, especially my daughter, that God used us to answer that girls prayer. Had I not gone back for the coffee, that she so desperately tried to talk me out of, then we would have never seen her. And my daughter said, “Someone else would have stopped.” And I explained to her that yes, someone else would have stopped, but God sent us, a very non-threatening, non-scary looking mom with kids in tow. I explained to my 11 year-old how scary it can be to travel across country by yourself and be stranded on the side of the road. It’s happened to me and it is scary and you never know who might stop to help. But, God chose us. (Just for the record, we also discussed when to stop and when not to stop and how to use good judgement!)

After I dropped my kids off and headed to work, I felt God was showing me how much he loved that young lady that we helped. He loved her so much that he orchestrated events days ahead of time so that everything would work out perfectly. Not only did we have gas in that can, but there had been two very distinct instances on Saturday that the full-of-gas can had been pointed out to me. Normally I wouldn’t have even thought about that crazy gas can that I never use.

God really made a point to show that girl how much he cares about the smallest details in her life. I don’t know her story. I don’t know what he has in store for her, but I know God wanted her to know that he loved her enough to send someone to her aid.  Turns out she had a cell phone. But, she had stopped in a low spot and it wasn’t working. But, God got the call! Don’t you just love how God works?

Take a minute to listen to this song by the David Crowder Band. The video is a bit of a distraction, but the song is awesome! Oh How He Loves Us!!


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