Happy Moo Year!

Happy Moo Year

I found this picture on Southeast Dairy’s Pinterest when I was doing my homework!

Today I just want to share a couple of quick recipes for New Year’s festivities and football game parties this winter.

1.) Dried Beef Pickle Dip – The other morning I was in the calf shed listening to the radio and I heard this recipe from the Iowa Beef Industry Council. 

2.) Taco Dip – This is a recipe that I posted earlier this fall.

Have a safe and happy new moo year!

Take care,


Highlights of December 2014


I hope every one had a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Emily has been decorating the farm for Christmas for the past several years. In addition to adding lights to the hog buildings and another nativity, she also put lights on Grandma and Grandpa Van’s house (They live 1/4 mile down the road.) The Christmas lights remind us of the real reason for Christmas. They symbolize that Jesus is the light of the world.


Emily putting the lights on Grandma and Grandpa Van’s house the day before Thanksgiving. (It was cold and snowy!)


Penguin on the pool deck.

Pig buildings and fence lights.

Pig buildings and fence lights.

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One of the highlights of December on our farm included trying to finish up some fall field work when the ground was just right  – not too soft and not too hard!  The first week of December is a time to celebrate two birthdays at our house and the guys take a couple “days off” after chores are completed to do some deer hunting (or crop protection as it some times called).

Snickers is not a hunting dog.  We watering calves when the guys were sighting their guns in.  Snickers was between my legs the entire time!

Snickers is not a hunting dog. I was watering calves when the guys were sighting their guns in. Snickers was between my legs the entire time!

Van Manen Cousin annual Christmas picture!  See how they have grown in size and numbers the past 21 years!!


The Van Manen Cousins -2014

Cousins 2005

Cousins 2014

We were excited to have a night out to attend a performance by Mannheim Steamroller at the Civic Center in Des Moines. It was awesome!! (Thanks Emily!)Mannheim Steamroller

One of our family traditions that we have had for many years is making several dozen frosted sugar cookies for Christmas. 100_1958100_1959

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Yesterday I completed some end of the year book work and a class that I have been taking to renew my teacher’s certificate by the end of the month! Because of this class I am now on Pinterest.

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It is so cold that water buckets need to be emptied before they become ice cubes!

I think today is a good day to stay inside and clean house. It is sooo cold that Kevin ALMOST offered to clean house! (I really think he would rather be inside today!) However, livestock takes even extra care in this kind of weather. For example, I just heard the report that they have a frozen cattle water that needs thawed before dinner (noon). Have a great day! Stay warm!