Tuesday, August 9, 2011


 Growing up both Marty and I were raised in families where hard work was expected, praised and rewarded. Our parents worked hard their whole lives, and by doing so, showed their children by example. Our grandparents did the same.

Both of  my grandmothers had college degrees. My grandmother Williams/Murrry( full blood Irish) was born in the late 1800's, and my grandmother Mockler/Heney( full blood German) was not much younger. For a women to earn a college degree in those days required hard work, and more than a little determination.

My grandfather Mockler went to law school when he was in his early 40s and running a cattle ranch, while raising 4 children. My grandpa Williams did not have an education past grade school, as he had to quit to work and help his family. Grandpa Williams did have his own construction company, and built many of the finest houses in Sheridan WY, including the modest home my mother grew up in.

My mother always taught me that everything we have is a gift from God. We had no choosing/say in what family we were born into, what part of the world we live in, or our mental or physical gifts.  We do get to choose how we use those gifts.

I am very grateful to God for the gift of my loving, hard working family, and the fact that my brain and body work well. Our children have to be the very best blessing that we have.

One of the reasons we moved to this area is that we wanted our children to grow up in a rural/agrarian community. We wanted our children to grow up working hard, in a community where people worked hard. In our life experience we have both seen that work ethic and discipline can take you anywhere you want to go in life. Brains and opportunity are nice too, but hard work is the key.

Two weeks ago we my friend Geri Byrne and i put on a small sheepdog trial.  Geri and are i both very busy this summer and have had to miss many of the trials we like to attend. We wanted to keep our dogs in shape for the up coming national sheepdog finals, so we had a small trial.  Mike Hubbard generously donated his judging skills for 2 days, and Bill Swan and Justin Rodriguez did the set out, with help from Amy Coapman and Angie Untisz.  I donated the sheep, and we had the trial at Geri's ranch. The trial was a fund raiser for the 2012 sheepdog finals that will be in the Klamath basin.

The weather was hot at 90 deg plus, and the set out pens were dusty and dirty. My 7 year old son James wanted to help set sheep and so did a neighbor and friend, 8 year old Colten Wright. Coletn's parents are ranchers and i know they feel the same way we do about work. The kids were both there before the trial started. I was going to have James come later in the day, but he cried when he thought he might miss ANY of the trial. Colten's mom told me he had been asking her every day for weeks to make sure he could still work at the trial.

The boys worked all day both days. They had a great time and both asked when the next trial would be so they could work that one too. We managed to raise around $2,000 for the finals, pretty good for small local trial that was a lot of fun.

Working the pens, photo by Gloria Atwater

At the end of the day these boys had earned the respect and praise of all the handlers. These young men seem to have been soaking up the work ethic just fine. I was very proud of them both.

Tired young sheep wranglers, photo by Gloria Atwater


  1. You have something magical going on here, Lana. How I admire you and Martin for the way you live your lives and raise your kids. God bless! :)

    ~ Gloria

  2. I really admire those boys! They happily worked in tough conditions. I was going to say that I know a lot of kids that would not have been willing to work that hard, but I was never that industrious, so I cannot criticize. You are raising kids the right way, kudos to all!

  3. James and Colten were simply fabulous. I've worked with many, many folks in the setout pens over the years and I'd take these two over just about anyone. I'm looking forward to when they outweigh the sheep!