Friday, December 7, 2012

A Horrific but Blessed Day on the Farm

Today I am decompressing from a very strange day yesterday.  My face book post had my phone buzzing and ringing all morning long. So many worried about me.  It’s good to know someone cares right?  I hate fishing posts on face book, so here is my follow-up…


Yesterday kind of went like this:

1. peed bed

2. fit from a kiddo

3. forgotten homework 2 minutes before bus

4. fit (kinda rightly so here)

5. incomplete homework and  upset child headed to school to learn a lesson in responsibility.  Hard parenting time when your kids have to learn the hard way, right?

6. fit at Wal-Mart, actually this was kind of me this time, just kidding, but I hate Wal-Mart.

7. trip to consult with orthodontist which is going to lead to many trips to town, thousands of dollars and mostly awful, pain for baby girl.

8. The question of where and how God is using me on and off of the farm popped up again today in the midst of all of this. This is the heaviest and most joyful issue on my heart daily.

9. Before leaving for a Christmas Concert last evening, Beau cut his head open with a stocking hanger that he pulled off of the mantel. I immediately figured out what to do with the other kids, and headed to Decatur to the clinic for stitches.  On the way over, my sister (thank God for that girl and all her kid health knowledge!) told me about liquid bandage. So I continued to Decatur to get that, because we know that the chances of the Dollar General having it was slim and I was already almost to Decatur! 

10. Oh, another small fit from a baby that kept saying “I hurt mom.” The fit was about the location of his car seat in the van.  So I moved the darn thing in the parking lot of Walgreens for my poor hurting, hungry child who had already had junk food  McNuggets for lunch due to orotho appointment.

11. On the way back home, I came upon a horrific car accident.  I don’t remember details, but know that many flashbacks and emotions flooded my head from our car accident in 1985 where I lost my mom.

12. Among my emotion I was so thankful that the accident wasn’t me and my baby and felt the simultaneous guilt that it was somebody’s baby in the flipped over car the firemen were trying to get into.  It was a fresh accident as there was no ambulance and police cars were headed to the scene from all directions.

13. To make matters worse, the thoughts of MY MOM were mixed in there too…oh my! This day is getting deeper.

14. We rushed back in town just in time to pick up Great Grandma (who I was worried I would be late to get) to take her to the Christmas Concert.

15. Witness a near crash as parents were turning into the school parking lot from the busy road. Screamed and nearly gave Grandma another heart attack!

16.  Baby still had blood in his bangs and no shoes, which I forgot in my rush to leave the house.

17.  In the school parking lot, I came nose to nose with the town Police. The lot was crowded and I was trying to get Great Grandma close to the door so she didn’t have far to walk to the entrance to the school. I have an unreasonable fear of police in school parking lots as I “passed” a school bus years ago parking in the lot at the school where I worked! Oh heavens!

18. Husband was standing in the parking lot somehow and watched the cop ordeal and gestured his disapproval of what,  I still don’t know…

19. Doctored Beau’s head under the dome light of the van and screaming and bleeding ensued.

20. Got into school and settled in seat in first or second row on the floor. Ugh! Toddler+Floor= Play, not sit and listen to lovely Christmas music from pesky older sister and her friends.

21. Toddler played with McDonald toy from lunch on the floor with his bloody hair flying in the breeze for the whole town to see.  Toy proved to be very loud as did toddler when directed to sit and listen.

22. Low rise jeans stink and I felt I was managing the toddler AND the creeping underwear hanging out the top of my too low jeans in the front row of packed gym full of Arthurites!  Classy.

23. Took him home after tricking him out of the gym with the  promise of concession stand popcorn that didn’t exist at Christmas concerts, but he’s two, it wasn’t a hard sell. The screams of disappointment were in the hallway, not to be heard by glowing parents proud of Little Suzy’s Christmas solo.

24. Fed hurting, tired toddler and had a wine and cheese while snuggling and watching cartoon. 

25.  Put heavenly children to bed, snuggled and giggled with them and told them how proud I was of who they are becoming. 

26. Detailed conversation with my loving dedicated husband, followed by a 2 am night of writing all of my emotions out on the computer screen to decompress and sort my array of emotions. (My 7th grade english teacher was right, journaling does help. Too bad I am just now learning that 23 years later. )


A day full of blessings and heart ache, a fast-paced, wonderfully awful day, full.

Thanks for all of your calls my friends and family.  I love you all.  I didn’t mean to scare you and I rarely put stuff like that on Facebook, so I am sure it seemed odd. 

So far, today hasn’t been full of weird, odd strings of events, but it really isn’t much better as I am praying for my friend and her mother, wondering about the outcome of the accident and pondering my plight in life.  Thankful for so much and mourning the loss of what could have been  in the events of yesterday and my life. (ugh, man, you can’t go there, known that since ‘85!)

I am happy to be surrounded by people who care and respond to a ‘hurtin’ unit.’ Love you guys!!

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Saturday, December 1, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness on the Family Farm-Day 30

Day 30-Friends and Winging It

I'm trying out posting from my phone- scary and probably not pretty. This month I have worked through some posting "fear" and today my final post I'm at it again.

Posting from an iPhone seem nutty, with my history if grammar. Yikes! But here goes, what the hey, I'm up for winging it!

Today, I am so, so, so over the top thankful for my friends Steph and Missy. Steph and I go back to the ole pre-k days and Missy joined the trio in college.

To say the least these two and I are as thick as it gets.

Both of them are born and raised farm girls. Both married livestock jocks and both work in the ag industry.

They answer lots of my questions and advise me on being a good farm wife... alot!

Between us we are amazed at the number of kids we have and the craziness of our schedules. Trying to get our families together is like trying to sort dust. Nearly impossible!

We have managed a few traditional, regularly scheduled meet ups.

This photo is of our meet up last year at the Farm Bureau Annual meeting. They are important girls there. I just pretty much hang. Works for me!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness on a Family Farm-Day 29

Day 29-My First (and possibly only) Printable

Our family has deep roots in our local Methodist Church.  Justin’s family has gone there for several generations.  His parents were married there and we were married there.  All of our kids were baptized there.  Our church has a congregation of 200ish people.  On a usually Sunday morning we are bound to run in to many of our friends and our kids are sure to find their little groups to hang out with.  The donuts at Sunday School are a sure draw and the coffee during the worship service is a perfect touch, but what brings us back week after week and year after year is the sense of community that our church offers. 


Just like a family, our church family has been through alot.  We’ve had babies and babies and babies and sometimes we’ve had them two at a time!  We’ve had deaths and life changes.  Just like a family, we are steadfast and always there for each other.  Some of us have been attending this church for decades and others for a few weeks or a year.  As soon as you set foot in our doors, you are family.  That is for sure.

Our worship team was planning some holiday services and the idea for some scripture-based Advent Countdown activity was brought up.  Years ago I had made a cheesy one that was just sliced up paper with the scripture message typed on it.  This meeting spurred me on to remake that old wreck of an idea into something better and CUTER!  Cute helps right?

I put this little printable together. I scoured the internet for something I could just print off and go with, after about two hours I gave up and got to work creating my own.  I know this could be made even cuter by a graphic design person, but if it foots your bill, feel free to download and print it.  I may tweak it more next year.  But as with most things I do…it’ll do!

Advent test


I adapted it from a post on Sweeter Than Sweets.  Check out her version too!

It is stored as a pdf at gmail.  It’s public, so you all should be able to click on the image above and download no problem.  If you would rather have the publisher version, shoot me an email and I’d be glad to email it to you. 

For our church we are going to print it on cardstock, tie it together with a little ribbon and give out to all the families in our congregation. 

My plan for it at home is to laminate it and stick it in our current advent calendar. One scripture card per day. Our countdown calendar is kind of like this one, but not really.  Currently, I can’t find it.  Typical.  It’s in the basement. Somewhere. 



Usually I stick candy or coins in each pocket for each day.  I think I’ll still do that, but this year each day will have a scripture in it.  When we get to Christmas Day, the kids will have heard the whole story, from the Bible.  Now that’s importante! 



Want to start at the beginning?  Start HERE!

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30 Days of Thankfulness on a Family Farm-Day 28

  Day 28-Farm Kids and Their Love of Animals

New born kittens are a regularity on our farm.  These are from the newest litter.  11.12 kitties

Note: white fluffy kitten, days old, eyes not open yet

Note: sticky, terrified toddler

11.12 beau scared kitty

We worked with the kittens and the toddler.  We made progress.  Sigh of relief for the future of our farm.  If our little farmer is afraid of white fluffy kittens, the future may be bleak for our operation.  Farming ain’t for the weak of heart.  You gotta be tough.  You can’t be scared. Scared of grain marketing, maybe.  Scared of kittens, not okay.

11.12 beau kittens smile

  Now that’s more like it!

Want to start at the beginning?  Start HERE!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness on the Family Farm-Day 27

Day 27-Elf on the Shelf Goes Country

This year, the Elf on the Shelf showed up at our house.  Some families with great, on-top-of-things moms have been visited by the Elf for years.  I’m a bit of a slow learner.  Didn’t want to invest my $20 if it was just a passing thing you know!  Yields were low this year and all. 

Usually these elves show up at your house with a book.  Not mine! I like to outsmart the system!  Instead of buying the book, before placing my order, I did a quick YouTube search and found this!

Saved myself a ten spot!  And hey, lets admit it, this is way more fun than a traditional book!  We gathered around the table and watched this little ditty on the ipad.  The little guy was totally enthralled.  He bought it hook, line and sinker. 

We named our Elf on the Shelf “Elfis” as in “Elvis, the King.” Actually it’s in recognition of Jesus, our new born King! Ya, I don’t buy that line either.  It’s all about Elvis and Jail House Rock around here lately. So Elfis is perfect.

There are lots of great videos that we watched of some sneaky elves in action. Our youngest watched all of these with his hand over his mouth in utter suspense.  “That’s hilawious” was spoken more than once. 


This morning our silly elf got caught riding on a John Deere tractor! Surprising, I know! (Please ignore the train pieces located under the couch.  They got moved shortly after this photo.) 

elf tractor aloneLittle man loves Elfis and this is the best picture I could get of him. He was moving away to get the trailer to hook up to the tractor so Elfis could work some ground. True. Farm. Boy.

elf on tractorOur oldest understands the story of Elfis and has not missed a beat presenting it to the younger ones.  The joy shines in her eyes as she watches the boys look for Elfis each morning and delve in to the magic.  I am thankful they have each other.

Heck, I’m thankful for Elfis,, but he’s staring at me right now.  Gotta run, it’s creepin’ me out!


Want to start at the beginning?  Start HERE!

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30 Days of Thankfulness on a Family Farm-Day 26

Day 26-Party It Up on the Farm

So…..I am going to write two posts today!  No surprises here, I got myself a little overbooked and let the moments get away from me yesterday and I chose to spend quality time with the kiddos in our little bit of an evening we had between practices, and activities.  So here goes.

Yesterday the hubs was up and going at the butt crack of dawn, taking advantage of the not-yet-frozen ground to install drainage tile. His brother and one of ‘the guys’ were out and about even earlier.  The hum of the diesel engines awoke me as they rolled out before the sun was up in an attempt at being the first in line at the elevator. (If left to me, I’d say let those crazies go first and roll in about 8:30 a.m. after stopping for some coffee and maybe a donut.) You’ll see a theme here in a minute…

My first goal of the day was to decorate for a birthday celebration out in our farm office.  You see, we celebrate every one of ‘the guys’ birthdays.  Even grown men and women like to be acknowledged on their birthday, right?!

So I made hubs a left-over turkey sandwich for his lunch box, put on a ball cap and sweatshirt to camouflage my pajamas and bed head and stumbled out to the office!

The irony of the Birthday Celebration starts here.  I was actually setting up a celebration for 1. Yes 1.  Our secretary, administrative assistant, book keeper (pick your own term) was working alone in the office yesterday, except for my occasional bop in and out.  But I wasn’t about to let her show up for work to a dark, cold office not adequately decorated for her special day!

The menu planned 3 days ago was vanilla yogurt, triple berry granola cups and cream cheese croissants accompanied by freshly brewed Folgers.  A very girly menu for the only girl employee on the farm.  And since all the crew was out and about early, we can eat like girls!

The decorations were merely a cutesy printout personalized for her day, but it was celebration none the less! I turned on the radio and lights, had the spread all laid out for her arrive and then came back to the house to get myself together.  Here’s the scene:


photo (2)

Ironic point number two for the day is we were one day too early on her birthday and have been celebrating it on the wrong day for the last 4 years.  Today she let the cat out of the bag.  I’m all for honesty, so I chuckled as I ate the deliciousness and had a cup of coffee, just another day of farm wifery! Geez… next year I hope to get it right, but it’s the thought that counts!  Happy Birthday!

Want to start at the beginning?  Start HERE!

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness on a Family Farm-Day 25

Day 25-Farm Dogs

Meet BZ.  We are BZ’s second home.  His previous home had several kids.  I think his name was Cesar, but along the line somebody couldn’t say Cesar, so BZ it became.  He only answers to BZ, so don’t get formal on him and try to call him Cesar.  Big Boy will just ignore you.

BZ’s owner was concerned he wouldn’t have enough room to roam.  I sent her an photo taken from a plane.  He came to live at the farm the next day.  BZ is one BIG dude. He makes grown men think twice!

IMG_5992This is BZ’s best bud Macy (the guy running away from the camera.) Macy was rescued from an abandoned farm way back when, when he was just a pup.  He is a he with a she name.  (Sorry buddy).  Macy was 14 years old last summer and had had a few medical issues over the years.  A coupla stokes never slowed him down!  Who needs two working eyes?  Not Macy! 

Sadly, last summer his old body just quit working on him.  We were all so very sad when he passed away.  Especially BZ.

BZ tried and tried to be happy again.  Finally, he made friends with a Tom Cat.  We all know Tom Cats that live on the farm aren’t forever friends.  BZ didn’t know that, and now he’s sad again.


We need to find a friend for BZ to hang with.

I applied for a suitable pup from a rescue place the other day.  I got rejected.  I think I’m taking it hard.  I mean, what dog wouldn’t love to live here?

Apparently, it’s only a suitable home if we promise to keep him in the house and in a fenced yard.  Huh?  Makes no sense to me.  I guess a constant flow of guys here, the fact that there is NEVER NO ONE HERE, three heated buildings and the occasional visit to the house and office building just aren’t acceptable. 

I guess it is better to be in the house all day in a crate while your owner is at work.  I guess it’s better to play with toys than chase rabbits and farm cats.  Apparently a heated garage is not as good as a human’s bed (ok, I may agree there.)

So back to the drawing board. 

If you know of a hearty, but cute, midsized farm dog that would love to live on the prairie, loved by our crew of family and helpers, and who would be happy not sleeping between Farmer Justin and I every night, shoot me an email or comment.  Hoping to find one before Christmas morning!  BZ will be so happy!  Shh, don’t tell him, or the kids while you’re at it.


Day 1-The Hubster
Day 2-Abundance
Day 3-HELP!!!
Day 4-Playground Equipment
Day 5-A SHOP
Day 6-USA
Day 7-Point of View
Day 8-Sharing the Love of the Farm
Day 9-The Best of Both Worlds
Day 10-Rain, It’s A Love/Hate Relationship
Day11-Veteran’s Day

Day 12-Crafting Time on the Farm

Day 13-Romantic Afternoons With My Main Squeeze

Day 14-The Circle of Life on the Farm

Day 15-Raise Your Hands for Concession Stands

Day 16-Whoops

Day 17-Small Town Living

Day 18-Itty Bitty Bits

Day 19-Baby Daddy’s and Dilly Bars

Day 20-Dedication

Day 21-Crazy Boyz Down on the Farm

Day 22- Thanksgiving & No Shave November

Day 23-Thanksgiving-What’s the Point?

Day 24-Opportunities on the Farm


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Saturday, November 24, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness-Day 24

Day 24-Opportunities on the Farm

When people think of “living on a farm” or “working on a farm” the images that come to mind are:
1. feeding cattle and livestock
2. driving a tractor
3. operating heavy equipment
4. baling hay
5. scooping the poop
6. driving a semi
7. etc etc etc
When I cam to the farm 14 years ago, there was alot of THAT kind of stuff that was going on.  There still is. 
Back then, I thought I’d be peech teacher!  Speech teacher, speech therapist, speech/language pathologist, speech/language specialist whatever, the kids usually just call me “Speech!”  Which works. I was going to be the best ever man.  I was going to tear it up in the schools. I was going to therapize my heart out!
But as I had kids and reflected on my life as a child, I realized that the very few years I got to spend with my mom (who passed away tragically when I was 11) were so very precious.  I realized the enormity of her impact on my life in such a short little time. 
It was then I knew that a career path wasn’t for me.  The farm life was all consuming for us and there just wasn’t enough time and energy and resources available for me to have a booming career on top of my husband and his farming and raising a family.
It took me like a million years to realize that this choice didn’t make me less of a valuable person or more of a mother.  It was just an individual choice that felt right in my heart and the heart of my husband and it was clear it was the lifestyle for us.  I COULD work full time and have three kids and help my hubs out when he needs it and allow him to work all these long hours, but did I want to…..uh NOPE!  Does that make me lazy…..uh NOPE!  It just makes me, well me!  And it makes my husband and kids happy too.  So it is. 
Well, I can’t actually escape my Peech Teacher role completely, nor do I want to.  I’ve ended up working more than I ever thought I  would and I am thankful for that too.  But, that’s not the point of this dang post. 
These days besides diapering and chauffeuring and washing scads of laundry and volunteering etc, I find myself doing a ton of stuff like this: HFF logo white square
It’s a spin from our regular logo that our local gal helped us made for some gifts we gave to our Harvest Crew.  Well, I had to tweak it a tiny bit for our farm Christmas Cards.  I wish I knew Photoshop better, but in the mean time, I make due.
These days I find myself making pintables about drainage tile and writing and editing information about our family for various reasons and tweaking written documents and working on spreadsheets for my husband and planning dinners and tweaking logos for cards.
This ain’t Peech and this ain’t Traditional Farming chores! But it is stuff around the farm that needs doing, and I guess way back when, I decided to be my husband’s helper and I’m glad I can delve in and figure stuff out to help out on the farm! 
Next up on the farm….who knows!  But I’m game!

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30 Days of Thankfulness-Day 23

Day 23-Thanksgiving-What’s the Point?

The last two days had 6 Objectives:

1. Eat
2. Giving Thanks
3. Family
4. Eat
5. Shopping Strategy
6. Eat

I spent my take partaking in #1,2,3,4 and 6.  Sadly/gladly I didn’t do #5.  This is the first year of many years of late, that shopping strategy wasn’t  priority for me.  The good part is, it left more time in my day for #1,2,3,4 and 6.
Pertaining to #1,4 and 6, I was responsible only for a vegetable and a salad one day and pumpkin bars and rolls the next. I am thankful that just the other day, I made a ridiculous amount of green beans that were well received and a salad that got raves from my children. So I repeated.  I bought rolls, so really I just had to make make pumpkin bars.  Sadly, I choose one with chocolate chips.  Though they were good, they really should be called chocolate chip pumpkin bar cookies.   Not so Thanksgiving Festive. 
The secret to the green beans is slow cooking in a homemade chicken broth.  No canned stuff here.  Homemade chicken broth from a homemade chicken, grown right here on the farm.
Dontcha know a homemade chicken takes better than a store bought chicken?  Well, broth from that homemade chicken tastes better than store bought broth too!  The second secret is homemade bacon, sliced thick.  Again, store bought bacon doesn’t taste nearly as good as bacon raised on our own farm.
If only I’d grown the green beans, people may have fainted when they tasted this recipe.  Growing my own beans will have to be for another year.  Maybe another lifetime.
The salad my children were oogling over is a bit of a mystery.  The ingredients were, iceberg lettuce, Wish Bone Italian dressing, sliced olives, croutons, shredded carrots, tomatoes.  Hmm….nothing tricky there! Kinda dump and go, but what the hey! Sadly, this time around, they didn’t eat hardly any.  DANG KIDS!
#2 is NOT unlike the veggies I try to gag my kids with everyday, I try to be thankful everyday, everyday, everyday! I’ll be honest, some days I gotta dig a little. On some topics, I gotta find that place in my head and in my heart. 
This holiday I was reminded of 567,598 reasons why I should be THANKFUL! 
Boom to the Pow for Thanksgiving.  Belly up!
Want to start at the beginning? Day 1 Want to follow along and learn more about farming and food? Click on over to 30 Days on a Prairie Farm Series. kickoff_30_days_prairie_farm_1_634872128566419996-300x119

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness-Day 21

Day 21-Crazy Boyz Down on the Farm

Confession time: I’m a girl, my sister is a girl and I wasn’t so used to ‘boy stuff.’  When I had a little girl of my own, I knew just what to do with her.  I was pretty confident in all the regular stuff like changing diapers and what to play with her and what stuff to buy her and all of that jazz.  When she started the squeal and run and giggle and scream stage, I could relate, when she started the princess stage, I knew that one too.  Well, then I had a boy!

Boy oh boy, boys are different!  First off the diaper thing was (say it with me now)….AWKWARD!  What came next was a little like the diapering, “what the heck am I supposed to do with THAT!” Wrestling, fighting, kicking, jumping, bouncing, climbing and generally moving constantly. 

The boy isn’t hyper, he is just a for real, genuine boy!  These photos are from a spontaneous wrestling match that broke out on a trip to The Great Pumpkin Patch.  These other two boys belong to my life-long friends, Missy and Stephanie.  We all have 3 kiddos spaced just about the same.  These three are the “middle boys.” Oh gracious these boys are our challenges!  They are three strong kids and they get together and SHAZAM, it gets crazy! 


We just had to let them wrestle a little to see where it was going to go (not that we didn’t know already, but it was kind of fun to see.)


On and on it went.  Looks like my boy was getting a smack down from Carson while Preston enjoys the show. 


So much for all of those ninjitsu lessons we pay for and haul him to each week.  I may need to talk to our Sensei Paul-Son about his application of those ninja moves.  By looking at these photos, the boy needs to loose a rank belt! 


Just kidding, he CAN put the smack down on, but he’s a sweetie and not so aggressive!  He says he was just cracking up at Carson.  We all do that, cuz Carson is a crack up! Carson on the other hand….well, he’s got this one!  He’s used to wrangling sheep around the show ring and Preston (in brown) is a steer jock at age 8!  Farm boys rollin’ it at the Patch!

Love these boys and all the craziness they bring to our family outings! 


Want to start at the beginning? Day 1

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30 Days of Thankfulness-Day 20

Day 20-Dedication

Today I am thankful for ALL of the families that allow their dads and husbands to spend their free time with us here on the farm to make harvest and the fall field work happen.

Good ole’ fashioned work ethic hasn’t been lost here on the farm with any of our employees.  In recent conversations with several of the guys, it is very clear that they aren’t afraid of the work and they will take on the hours and even be excited about it! 

For guys with families at home, if the families are not happy with the Dad working long hours, then the Dad doesn’t do it!  It’s a little like the “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!” saying.  So we really want these ladies to know how much we appreciate THEM!

It can be rough on the mom to be a single parent to kiddos while dad is working ground after his 9-5 or when he is here at the farm before the sun comes up and stays here well into the evening.  Often these guys will grab a quick supper after work and head on out to the field to work ground well into the wee hours of the morning or put in long hours here at the farm during the day and on into the night. Then they will sleep a little and do it all over again.  Yes, they get paid, but it is still a hardship on the family.  Many of these dads don’t see their kids awake for more than 10 minutes each day (or less) throughout the farming season. Once this harvest, my hubby mentioned he hasn’t seen the kids awake in a whole week.  Wow.

Another conversation I had recently with a guy and his wife, that works ground after his 9-5, made me realize just how much a part of their family life OUR farm is!  They were jokingly talking about them finishing a room for him to sleep in during harvest so he can SLEEP IN a little and not be awoken by his wife’s hairdryer early in the morning.  I know that our harvest and planting seasons mean a real change for our family in it’s routine.  (Actually harvest lasts so long it’s like a real NEW routine, not a temporary change in the old one.)

  But to hear from both spouses how OUR harvest season is a real change in THEIR family routine made me appreciate their dedication even more. 

Justin and I hope that our kiddos can see the importance of hard work and integrity and the value of doing a job right and seeing it through to the end.  We try to instill that into their lives on a daily basis. 

So today, I am thankful for ALL of the people involved in our harvest.  We are doing important work here people and I’m glad you are on OUR team!  You can see a few of the people that put in long hours here on the farm at our farm website.  There are more not pictured that work seasonally but many aren’t pictured because the photog (me) isn’t available to photograph them the crazy overnight hours that they work and the photog (me) is a little behind on the updating. 


Want to start at the beginning? Day 1

Want to follow along and learn more about farming and food? Click on over to 30 Days on a Prairie Farm Series.


Monday, November 19, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness on the Family Farm-Day 19

Day 19-Baby Daddies and Dilly Bars

You know what really rocks on this farm?  It’s the same thing that really stinks on this farm.  We can be TOGETHER ALOT, if we want to.  Sometimes this is utter perfection, sometimes we need our space. But, I’m a together type gal!

Mama loves that I can take my babies to the field or out to the shop at any time to see their Baby Daddy.  There are really very few exceptions to this rule.  One of those is when he is doing anhydrous ammonia.  It’s a little dangerous, pressurized gas at below zero temps.  But other than that, usually there is a spot for one or two kiddos almost anywhere he goes.

This is especially true if the kiddos come wielding a Dilly Bar or Blizzard.

The stinky part is, Baby Daddy is ALWAYS working.  Always in a field, in a tractor, in a bin, in the shop, in a semi.  It’s a rarity that he is hanging with the fam on the couch watching Duck Dynasty Marathons. 

But it’s our life, and we love it, and that’s all that matters. 

ask a farmer

Because farming requires such nutso hours and because the hubs is a serious worker, when baby number three came along, (I like to say, when I got knocked up AGAIN.)  Isn’t it way more colorful when put like that?  Anywhoo…I quit my full time job in town to be the go-to, the chauffer, the taker of the baby to the field, the follower-arounder as Daddy works and carries baby.  It’s my job and it works for me (though somehow I think I may eventually miss that Teacher Retirement System thing.)

I never got to really hang with my dad at his big desk with the stylin’ phone.  I didn’t play under his desk for hours.  I didn’t run around his office, kickin’ it on my skateboard like my boys did tonight. I didn’t bring him Dilly Bars. 

Farming is a lifestyle and we’re bound determined to make the most of it! 

ps-Baby Daddy will give rides in the combine or tractor or semi to almost anyone wielding a Dilly Bar or Snickers Blizzard, so if you find yourself cruising the country, hankering for a spin in some big equipment, swing through the DQ first!


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Sunday, November 18, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness on the Family Farm-Day 18

Day 18-Itty Bitty Bits


Partners in Praise.  That is what it is called.  It happens four times a year in our community.  It's another community effort in our little town.  Tonight the Christians hosted us.  We all gathered and rejoiced and praised and sang.  All celebrating what God has given us during this harvest season.  


There were praise bands and ensembles, solos and a community choir.  It doesn't matter how talented you are, just that you are willing to share you music with others in the spiriting of praising God.  


As a side note, the organizer of the host church is the owner of a very popular tourist attraction in our area.  It's called The Great Pumpkin Patch.  The church was decorated with beautiful pumpkins and squash that he grew on his farm.  If you are ever in this area, you should go there.  For sure.  


After the hour long service, we all ate lasagna and pumpkin desserts in the basement of the church. The Methodists, the Baptists, the Christians and the Mennonites.  All together, hanging, fellowshipping and eating.  It's weird.  It's wonderful. We're such a joined community that it is almost hard to explain.  


I'm thankful for my itty bitty bit of musical talent so I can be a part of it all.  ROCK ON! 


Photo 30

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30 Days of Thankfulness-Day 17

Day 17-Small Town Living


We love our small town and played a little game the other day about "if you could live in any of the surrounding towns, rank them in the order in which you would prefer to live in them and why!" Well, it was clear to all of us that THIS is the town for us to live in and we wouldn't change that.  Yesterday, exemplified the small town atmosphere we love.  It is a new tradition in our town to have a Lighted Christmas Parade!

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We donned our Santa hats and helped with our organizations' entries. Our local 4H Club had an entry of course!  It was last minute, but we are flexible and it was so much fun for he kids!  Love it!

IMG 3611The Cub Scouts had an entry involving a tractor and trailer on which the boys collected canned good for the local food drive.  Someway, somehow, we are always working for those in need in our town and that is amazing!  We have a very active food pantry and clothing closet here.  There is a lot of need in our little town, and there is a lot of giving going on as well. 

This little Boy Scout is a little goofy….but I wouldn't trade him.

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Next up is the cutest little thing ever!!!  I think we need one of these out on the farm.  Ours would be a hopper bottom of course instead of a van, but we haul corn and these guys haul garage doors!  It's a tiny little tractor/trailer.  It made it's first public debut at the homecoming parade, which is where I fell in love.  You can visit the company's website here.

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You can see the driver and the scale from this angle.  He's crunched in behind the cab.  Isn't it adorable?  It would take us forever to haul corn, but I'm going to vote for one of these to be added to our fleet here on the farm.  haha! IMG 3637
The mayor may have had the best ATV entry.  That's him in the passenger seat.  He worked all day on all of those lights and even had a reindeer mounted to the front with sparkly reins and a fully decorated Christmas tree finishing it off in the back. 

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We heard several comments that there were so many spectators at the parade, we were wondering who in our town was left to be IN the parade.  The streets were hustling all day with local shoppers.  We were offering buggy and even camel rides.  Yes, our town has it's own camel that shows up often at festivals and most notably, our Christmas Eve service held in a barn in the middle of the country. 


After the parade, Santa and Mrs. Claus were there for the kids to visit.  They brought cookies and hot cocoa and the grade school children decorated the Christmas trees lining the area for Santa. Our baby wasn't going to have any part of Santa.  Had he been our oldest, I would have pushed for him to sit on Santa's lap for a photo.  Being that he is the third, I videoed his crying and used the video to entertain him later at supper. It's called Evolutional Parenting. 

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Dirty little sweet face. 

I'm thankful for our little town, where we can participate in so much COMMUNITY!

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...and I'm thankful for this dirty little sweet face...

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness on the Family Farm-Day 15

Day 15-Raise your hands for concession stands

This post is really more about family than family farming.  But, we are a family first I guess.  Tonight we had another basketball game to attend.  I am thankful for ALOT of things about basketball games  in our little town. 

1. Great kiddos playing hoops!  I love to watch the girls play their little hearts out.  They seem like big 6th graders as they are chatting it up over pizza in your kitchen, but put them out there on the court and they look like babies.  Wahhhhh, I miss those babies! 

2.  Great parents in the stands.  In our town, games are a little social time for us parents.  We have the best time hanging out cheering on our kiddos and talking about Thirty-One parties and fertilizer and all that jazz.

3. Grade school “thugs” in the lobby.  Our school has two gyms and the little brothers and sisters all meet and hang in the lobby.  Tonight, a game of chase was going on our there with poor Miss Harrison watching on while taking money.  Miss Harrison, if you read this, please text me next time these thugs are partying it up unsupervised by their socializing parents.  We can surely stop our conversations on Thirty-One bags and fertilizer to take care of our little thugs!  Sorry!  That 8 and under sect is a wild one…:)

4. Concession stands!!  Who can resist popcorn and a pop, even if we did JUST eat a nutritious meal of gas station pizza and fried chicken.  The good ole’ FFA gets at least $5 out of us at each game!  Thanks for the snacks!

Thankfully we have MANY years of ball games in those gyms, like 15 more years of it, and I’m thankful for every one!

I’ll be missing posting tomorrow, because I’ll be BUSY having a little bit of Mommy Fun!  But will post twice on Saturday!  I’ve got some wonderful things to share in the next few days about Farm Family Thankfulness so stop back by! Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear what you are all thankful for in the comments section. 


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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness on the Family Farm-Day 14

Day 14-The Circle of Life on the Farm


Imagine pulling in to the driveway and seeing this every day.  The cutest white cats the world has to offer.


I’ve talked about our mama cat, Snowball in previous posts.  She is a super mama.  She has 2-3 litters of kittens every year and has even fostered a litter for a neighbor.  She is loving and nurturing and she is firm when she needs to be.  Often when she is weaning kittens, she is pregnant (glorious!) When the kittens try to nurse, she gets a testy. HSSSS and swat!  I know the feeling Snowy. Git them kids away! Mama has had it!IMG_7456 Snowball is a great mouser as well as a great mother. In fact, I just found a mouse yesterday that she probably took care of!  We need mousers here.  This place would be crawling with rodents if we didn’t have cats around.  In fact, recently my father-in-law was asking me how many cats we had, because it’s mouse season and our cat population is a little low. 

Luckily, just today I found Snowball’s most recent litter.  She had them in an old barrel in the shop.  She is always happy to share them with me. I get to love on them before their eyes are open! Here are our current farm cat stats:

Kittens: 2 white, 1 grey, 1 white/tabby---2 females, 2 males

Big Cats: 4 white, 3 females, 1 male

Total Cats: 8 total, 6 white, 2 not white, 5 females, 3 males

I keep track of the important stuff around here, I know you can all tell!

I’m thankful that my kids get to see the circle of life here on the farm, though I feel like they are getting a little hardened to it all.  They rarely name the farm cats anymore, and taming them isn’t always a priority.  Wild kittens are better for the mouse population anyway.   The coyote population and natural selection seem to keep our cat population around 5-7 most of the time.  However, we have been up to as many as 18.  That was the “Summer of the Cat.” 

During the “Summer of the Cat,” it became obvious this farm is too small for that many cats and weird, strange, murky, mean stuff was brewing that summer I tell ya.  You could cut the tension with a knife over in the cattle barn where the tom cats prowled.

The kids see the cute white kittens frolicking on the patio, but they also see the other end, the kitten they named and fell in love with disappears and is never to be seen again.  They will grow up with a different picture of what a pet cat is than I did growing up in town.  Town cats are house cats, they lounged in our living room window and lived in our homes for what seemed like most of my childhood.  They were fat, they ate from a can.  Farm cats come and go, they are skinny, they eat mice and dog food and sleep in the hay.  I think I’d rather be a house cat, how about you?!  Yikes.


Weird post, weird phenomenon. Farm life, just as it is!


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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness on the Family Farm-Day 13

Day 13-Romantic Afternoons with My Main Squeeze

Who can recognize this sight?  Well it's not a lovely hotel room on the Mexican shore or fine dining at a romantic Italian Bistro.  It's the view from the backseat of a big rig.  This is what quality time with my husband looks like during the heat of harvest.

On this day, we were more than half way through harvest and he needed me to tend to some work on his cell phone.  I take care of all of that for him (ain't I a keeper?)  Well, he certainly can't stop hauling grain for me to fix his phone, and he can't be without his phone as the guys are constantly calling etc.  So, the baby and I saddled up to the 18 wheeler and took a spin to Filson elevator while I helped him out.

The baby got shotgun, so that left me the back seat, which is a bed.  On this day, I fixed the phone, cranked the air in the rear and tried to take a nap and enjoy the ride!

If you've ever ridden sideways down the highway in a bumpy big rig, you may have guessed that not only was this NOT a romantic afternoon with my husband in a semi during harvest, but it was also a nauseating ride!  Bouncy, Bouncy, Bouncy!!

You won't find me complaining or turning down the next ride down the long stretch of highway. Or maybe more like down the country road to the corn field, because during harvest time, any time spent together counts as quality family time, even if it's in the cab of a tractor trailer! Roll on 18 wheeler....roll on!

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Monday, November 12, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness on the Family Farm-Day 12

Day 12-Crafting time on the farm


My little girl, since age 1, has always been a crafty girl.  She is a table-top activity kind of kid.  Give her a worksheet or 25 at age 2 and she was doing a happy dance! 


Several times in her life, we have made corn husk dolls.  I have linked up with a few corn husk doll related sites for you to look at.  Unfortunately, I’m not a keeper of things, so I don’t have one of our actual dolls to show you here. 

They are surprisingly easy to make and turn out so, so cute!

Even the rough and tumble son of mine has made corn husk “action figures” with us.  His usually end up drop kicking the other “action figures,” but hey, it’s quality time right?


on table

Here are a few links to get you started. 


Luckily, we have an abundance of shucks to make our dolls.  This year is slipping by and we haven’t picked up our husks to make our dolls yet!  Hey kids, get the heck out there in the field with your flashlights and get us shucks!  It’s crafting time!


There’s always someone out there who shows us up…. show-offs!  These are some high level corn husk dolls here!  I’m betting even dear daughter crafter won’t want to tackle these.  They are adorable.  Pinterest is such a wonderful place!!

What are some of your favorite farm-friendly crafts? 


Want to start at the beginning? Day 1

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