Ag Book of the YEAR!!!

Howdy, all! If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll remember that in May I did an Ag Book of the Day theme, where I picked a book a day to feature…it coincided with my sons’ school reading program. It was an amazing month, and there were great books featured.

And now, I’ve found our latest treasure, and I’m sure it’ll soon be yours as well! And if you’re lucky, you’ll win one of the signed copies I’m giving away!!!

Here it is:

A family favorite!

Levi’s Lost Calf, by Amanda Radke, illustrated by Michelle Weber. We received our copies on Saturday, and we’ve already read it 15 times!!! The boys LOVE the colorful artwork and all the animals involved. The story is a simple, yet completely realistic farm story…a little boy is helping on the farm, and realizes one of his favorite calves is missing, so he takes his trusty horse and goes to find it!
Not only does the book have a GREAT story, but it also includes a great cowboy recipe, and vocabulary words to help those that may not be familiar with ranch lingo…how cool is that?
I’ve seen some really good farm books for kids, but this is one of the best! I highly recommend it, and if you leave a comment on this post, you’ll be signed up to win a copy, signed by Amanda Radke herself!!!
This is Amanda’s first book (and I’m hoping for many more to come!), and the artwork by Michelle Weber is breathtaking, as beautiful as it is captivating! So be sure to get your copy soon, you don’t want to miss out!
To enter in the contest, just leave a comment on this post. For extra entries, subsribe to my blog and follow me on twitter (wagfarms or Cows_Life)…let me know if you already do those things, it’ll still count as an entry! I’ll have a random number selected from to pick my winner!
Good luck…I’ll draw TWO lucky winners on Friday, August 19!
*I better add that, although I was given the copies of the book, the opinions expressed are my own, and don’t reflect anyone else, but me, myself and I. Although, I still think it’s a super-cool, absolutely fantastic, out-of-this-world ag book, you can buy a copy yourself and decide on your own. But trust me, it’s great! 😉

Ag Book of the Day – wrap-up

Today will be my last Ag Book of the Day post…until I decide to do it again! (That’s my perogative, as author, since this blog is about the only place that I have control! LOL!) I tried to feature an agriculture-based children’s book every day that the boys had school in April. It coincided with their April Reading Month theme of Cultivating Reading.

It was a fun month, and I loved some of the new books that I was made aware of, plus I’ve found a few others that I really can’t wait to add to my collection. And it was such a popular theme, that I’m sure I’ll do a week here or there, as I find new books to add to our collection.

Since I missed a few days, due to George’s little break he decided we needed, I’m going to feature three books today. Enjoy!

1) “The Life and Times of Corn” by Charles Micucci. With corn being such a big newsmaker lately, I wonder how many kids actually understand what it’s all about? This book goes into the actual history of corn, and how it’s used today. It gets great reviews, and I can’t wait to add it to our collection!

2) “Pigs” by Gail Gibbons. Who can live without a book about pigs? And I LOVE the illustrations!


3) “How Do Apples Grow?” by Betsy Maestro. Probably for an older child, at least first grade or so. But when you’ve been asked a million times how or why we have apples, this book is a GREAT tool! Goes through each step and the seasons of a tree. Love it!

And, since I’m wrapping up my Ag Book of the Day month, I’m going to throw the best one in as last. Because I know that our farm has this book at the top of our list, and although we don’t refer to it nearly often enough, it’s always there with the answer when we need it:

A Birthday Tradition

It’s raining. I should be a tad surprised, since the weatherman said that the chances were slim, but I’m not. You see, today is my birthday. And it rains on my birthday.

When I was younger, we always watched the forecast, because I always wanted to have a party at the park. I LOVED playing outside. But year after year, our plans were changes, because it would rain. And then, one year it looked like it was going to work out. I was able to plan an outside party at the park in town! I was so excited! And, although it wasn’t a perfect day (the wind was so strong that my cake blew across the picnic table!), it was one of the best birthdays that I can remember.

Last year we were at Mayo with George. George’s birthday is tomorrow. I spent my birthday preparing him for the colonoscopy that he had for his birthday. Not such a great day for either of us! But we made up for it this year. And I’ll show you the picture proof tomorrow. Can’t wait!

By the way, Easter break is over for school, so here’s the last week of Ag Book of the Day (today is day 15):

“A Cow’s Alfalfa-Bet” by Woody Jackson. Not your typical alphabet book, but some really great artwork and a very farm-y way to learn your ABC’s!

Click to enlarge

Ag Book of the Day 14 – Life on a Cattle Farm

Today’s Ag Book of the Day is “Life on a Cattle Farm” by Judy B. Wolfman.

The book shows great pictures, and although may be a bit simple for kids that LIVE on the farm, it’s a great introduction for those that don’t. And the best news of all??? There’s a whole series of these books! What a great gift to a local library, etc.!

Day 2 – More good news

I had to make a quick, mid-appointment update to bring some really great news…George no longer needs to have growth-hormone shots!

Now, this may only be temporary, we will have to come back in 4 months and double-check on things, but I’m certain that things will continue to go on the right track. Sadly, our visits with Dr. Lteif (endocrinologist), may become fewer and farther between…but that’s only sad because she’s such an excellent physician, and thinks pretty highly of our little man.

Up next, we see the neurologist, who will become the lead doctor in George’s care. Dr. Renaud is a pretty great doctor, too.

So, as long as everything goes as planned, we’ll be on the road heading north shortly after lunch. And for once, I’m leaving Mayo feeling as if we’ve finally turned a corner, not just headed further into the abyss. What a great feeling that is! (And for those new to my blog, George is suspected to have Ornithine Transcarbamylase Deficiency, a disorder that doesn’t allow him to break down protein…which means he won’t be enjoying full servings of meat, dairy, etc., for most of his life.)

Yesterday, when they drew his blood, I saw on the paperwork that his tests were heading to Baylor for the genetic testing. George hasn’t travelled much in his almost-2 years, but his blood certainly has!

Ag Book of the Day 13:

“What Do I Make? (Let’s Find Out!)” by Dale Simpson. A great board book, with turning wheel, where you can match up the animal with their gift to us! Great for the little guys! Include milk from cows, honey from bees, clothes from sheep, etc. And with the cute cow-shape of the book, and great illustrations, it keeps the little ones interested in the book!


So far, so good

Last night’s trip here to Rochester was uneventful. We were able to meet up with friends in the Cities and ate at Fogo de Chao’s (a Brazilian all-you-can-eat steakhouse). It was wonderful! But the company was even better. It’s great to meet up with friends and take a moment to relax and enjoy yourself, even if it’s just for an hour or two.

George likes to keep up-to-date on the Royal Wedding details.

Today’s appointment went pretty well. The blood draw part went better than expected. It usually takes several tries and a few different pokers. But this morning was a one-time shot. It was great! (Maybe the extra flesh on his bones has helped?)

Then we were off to see the dietician. She had good news for us, telling us that his ammonia level had dropped by almost half. (Proof that the diet is truly working.) They want to see it below 20 and we hit 18. Yay, George!

Boss Man was a little disappointed. He asked her if George would someday be able to enjoy a hamburger with the family. She burst his bubble when she told him, “Probably not.” He’s holding out hope that maybe a slider wouldn’t count as a full burger, so I’ll let him live with that dream for awhile.

The surprising news? She told us to start watching calories. Yeah, imagine that. We’ve been struggling with putting on weight, fighting for every pound. Now she tells us to back off. That’s just medicine for you, always changing.

His heighth has hit the 41st percentile, but weight is now at a whopping 93rd percentile. From a boy that was born at over the 95th percentile, then dropping off the chart, we’re now where a Wagner boy normally resides…well into the top of the charts! What a blessing!

We travel economically. Make-do cribs! (Just kidding!) 🙂

I’ll let you know how tomorrow goes. It’s snowing now, so we’ll see how our trip home progresses…if the docs don’t change our plans.

Here is Ag Book of the Day 12, a suggested reading by my sister-in-law. I don’t own this book, but it will definitely be added to our farm library!

A Brand Is Forever

“A Brand is Forever” by Ann Herbert Scott. It’s about a young girl who has a pet heifer, and she’s nervous about branding hurting her pet. The book explains why we brand, and walks through the process. What a great book for those that are familiar with branding, as well as someone who is questioning why we brand! (I think this would work for the parents, as well as the child!)

I’d love to hear any other suggestions! And thank you, for all the thoughts, prayers and support. It’s been a long ride, but we’re keeping our heads above water!


We are on the road again. We will be in Rochester sometime this evening, for doctor appointments the next few days. I know George isn’t a big fan of the trips, so it’ll be interesting.

I’m still going to try to blog every day. Had I been far enough ahead with all of this, I would have had my blogs ready to roll before we left, but that’s never worked out so well for me! If I plan far enough in advance, something always falls through. Oh well, our lives are exciting to say the least!

Spring has decided to play games with us, and winter has once again reared its ugly head. It’s snowing now again, as we speak. Yuck. I’m ready for sunshine and green grass, but maybe that will be here when we get back? One can always hope.

Here’s a few pics of EJ being helpful and shoveling our sidewalk. Love his enthusiasm!

Not what you want to see in April!


EJ love the "shubel" that Grandma B. gave him for Christmas! Maybe next year we will get him a snowblower.

Here it is, Ag Book of the Day 10:

“Little Star…Raising Our First Calf” by Twins Rianna and Sheridan Chaney. It’s a great story about twin girls and their experiences on the farm. I love how they define words in children’s terms at the back of the book. For example, “Manure – A fancy name for cow poop.” The pictures are great, and my kids love to see other kids involved in agriculture. Kindred souls, I guess.

Little Star... Raising Our First Calf
First in a new children's agricultural book series.  Rianna and Sheridan Chaney hope their experiences on the farm will help children understand the importance of farm animals and inspire them to appreciate all of God's creatures

Reflecting (Ag Book of the Day 10)

I’ve been reading more and more situations lately, where churches and others are making broad statements regarding farming, and the decisions that farmers should make.

I have a real hard time with that. I do not know of one farmer that would ever make a decision, based solely on financial gain, without thinking to the future or what will happen to their land if they abuse or misuse it. Yet, those are the implications that are made everyday by some that are not actually physically involved in production agriculture. Now, I’m not so naive as to think that those types of farmers/ranchers don’t exist, but we can’t cast down all of agriculture for them, can we?

Well, I don’t want to delve too deeply into it today, because it’s Friday, and it’s snowing, and I’m already in a bad mood. But I want to bring your attention to a blog I wrote about it a little while back…and I still stand behind it today. What if these tools have been given to us to use? What if technology isn’t an “accident” at all? Hmmm…

Anyway…on to Ag Book of the Day 10:

Today, I went with an old stand-by…not because I don’t have any others to choose from, but because I have it on my Kindle. How’s that for combining traditional ag-themed children’s books and modern technology??? Without further ado, welcome to

“Old McDonald Had a Farm” and it’s now available wirelessly! 🙂
not only does it have great illustrations (if you have the original version, the illustrations are definitely funnier, and not so politically correct!), but it also teaches young children about the sounds of the farm, and how busy it can be! And who can forget one of the greatest nursery rhymes of all time???
I just had to throw this one in the mix, since it is on my Kindle. Next week I’ll be back to more obscure and lesser-known books, but for now…ENJOY!

Ag Book of the Day 9

Today’s Ag Book of the Day was brought to my attention by my dear, dear friend Katie at Pinke Post:

“If You’re Not From the Prairie” by David Bouchard and Henry Ripplinger. It’s suggested for children in grades four through seven, but I believe any child of any age can relate to the amazing lines of poetry.

Although I do not own this book yet, I will by the end of the weekend…if the weather allows us to travel. (We’re under a winter storm warning for tomorrow…Yay!)

This book has beautiful poetry and great illustrations of what life is really like on the prairie. It’s a strong reminder of all the things that we take for granted, especially when winter is dragging on a day or three too long!

Do you have any other suggestions of ag-related books that you enjoy? Young or old alike?

Signs of spring – Ag Book of the Day 8

For those new to my blog, the month of april is Cultivating Reading month at our school. In support of such a great month, I’ve decided to feature an Ag Book for each day of school. Today is day eight!

And since we’re entering the half-way point of April (and it’s Wordless Wednesday…hmmm, Wordy Wednesday?), I’ve decided to include some pics of sure signs of spring:

Lilacs budding? Check.

Tulips coming up? Check.

Green grass? Sandal weather? Check and check.

Shop open for repairs?

Parts arrived? Check.

But the best sign of spring? Outdoor bathroom is open for business.

Today’s Ag Book of the Day is:

When the Rooster Crowed

“When the Rooster Crowed” by Patricia Little. It’s a really great book about a farmer that wants just a few more moments of rest before starting his chores in the morning…but too many people and animals are relying on him! It’s a cute story, with great illustrations, and my boys love reading it, especially when they’ve gone one too many mornings without seeing Dad.