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We have guns in our house. Did I get your attention? Good! Some of our favorite hobbies include turkey hunting, shooting clay pigeons, and deer hunting, which means we are gun owners.

We have several bows and arrows in our home, actually four of them, we each own one. Our girls are getting to be great shots at the target in the yard!

This isn’t meant to be a controversial post about gun owners rights or about concealed carry laws or anything like that. It is meant to educate.

We practice S.A.F.E. In our home, do you?

Today, June 4, is National Safe Day! National Safe Day was started as the brainchild of Brooklynn Mae’s mother. Brooklynn was accidentally shot and killed by her best friend in 2013.

Her family wanted to do what they could to honor Brooklyn’s life so they filed for National Safe Day to be a recognized day on the calendar. They want to make sure all gun owners practice SAFE.

Safe stands for:

S- Secure all firearms in the home
A- Ask the question about unsecured firearms in the homes your child visits
F- Frequently talk to your children about the dangers of firearms
E- Educate and Empower others to be SAFE

Since our children have grown up seeing guns, hearing about guns and even watching us shoot clay pigeons. I feel confident that we have taught them to treat every single firearm as a loaded weapon, including their bows. The things I feel like ALL parents, grandparents, and gun owners need to work on beyond the above are:

T- Teach kids how to talk to their friends about gun safety.

Have the conversation with your kids about peer pressure and how to respond if a friend says they want to get a gun out of a gun safe or show them a gun. Teach them that it is ok to tell their friend “no” and give them the reasons why.

Y- You are one person, but YOU could be the one person that has the right conversation with someone that could save a life.

So don’t only practice the words SAFE add the TY to it and ensure that your children and other’s stay safe.


From the gravel road-



Last weekend Father Brunkan gave that same knock me over the head message that I was needing to hear at the exact moment that he gave it…

Photo courtesy of Brenda Schmitt at Family Fun Night, Roseville

Father Brunkan told a story of a little boy and his interest in a cocoon that a man had.  The man had told the young boy not to touch or bother the cocoon. As time passed the young boy saw the butterfly inside starting to beat its wings against the inside of the cocoon.  The young boy panicked and did the opposite of his instructions and broke open the cocoon to help the butterfly get out. To his amazement the butterfly didn’t flutter away, instead, it dropped to the ground and died.  The boy was embarrassed and sheepishly returned to the man. The man explained to him that the butterfly NEEDED to struggle and beat its wings against the cocoon to build the strength to survive outside of the cocoon.


The first thing that popped into my head-Parenting!  As parents, there are so many times that we want to just fix things for our kids, especially when they are living in our homes (cocoons).  It is so hard to watch them make bad decisions, big mistakes, and get their hearts broke. It would be SO easy to talk to that coach for them, call that teacher, or chew out that other kid that stomped on their precious heart. BUT, that does not help them build their wings and fly.  As hard as it is to witness sometimes, we have to let our children flap their wings and struggle. If we as parents don’t let them struggle they will never, ever be able to fly on their own.


Then I thought about was myself.  There have been SO many times that I have asked why?  Asked the question about why certain things have happened in my life. Why Crohn's? Why meningitis? Why have I had to lose good people in my life? I guess the why might be to strengthen my wings. Had I not been through all of my health struggles I might not be such an understanding person.  Had I not had meningitis I might have chosen to live my life in a different manner and not be a person that focused on dreaming big and huge. The struggle has gotten me where I needed to be today!


Lastly, I started thinking about our agriculture community. We have been hit hard!  I would venture to guess that most farmers and ranchers would tell you that they don’t feel like a butterfly trying to flap their wings to strengthen them, but they feel like the butterfly that is trying to remove itself from the grill of a Chevy that was driving down a blacktop in rural Iowa.  It’s hard, EVERYONE is asking why. Why so much rain? Why floods? Why the prices? While I don’t know the answer to why I do know that there is no better community to witness coming together than the agriculture community. In hard times and time of loss of life, farmers and ranchers, resemble a roost of monarchs coming together and those farmers will beat their wings just as hard as those monarchs headed south to help a neighbor in need.  I pray that we continue to keep that same courage to keep flapping through this hard season of life, encouraging each other to look ahead and I know buried deep somewhere there is a plan to make us all stronger by beating our wings through it.

What does Father's story make you think about? If you have a favorite story from Father Brunkan I would love to hear it, you can write it in the comments.

From the gravel road-


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