Life on the Farm 6-18-17

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I realized when looked back at pictures that my Little Farmer had been wearing the same clothes much of the week. There was also a day he was so busy working that he didn’t eat anything until lunch. Laundry and healthy eating may leave a bit to be desired, but the good news is we’ve built some other life skills each week this summer.

picking up rocks

There are no words to describe the sheer joy this child got from pulling his wagon around to pick up rocks. #honestly

Consolidated Grain & Barge on the Ohio River

I had the opportunity to join the Ohio Farm Bureau’s Trends & Issues Conference at Consolidated Grain & Barge on the Ohio River near Cincinnati.

This is a barge being loaded with soybeans to take to the Mississippi River.  North of New Orleans several barges will be loaded onto an ocean going vessel to go to far away places.  My family grows soybeans that may end up feeding farm animals here in the US or somewhere around the world.  It’s neat to learn more of the ways that we’re all connected!

Consolidated Grain & Barge on the Ohio River

Ohio farmers grow soybeans that take boat rides all over the world! Soybeans are used for human food as well as an ingredient in pig, turkey & chicken diets.

massey ferguson tractor

He was confident she would enjoy sitting on a Massey Ferguson tractor.

Life on the Farm 6-11-17

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Somebody shared a story about how they reacted to a tragic accident with me this morning at church.  The accident was years ago, but it made an indelible mark on their life.  There’s always a lot that we could do, but let’s focus on what we NEED to do.  Accidents aren’t planned.

supplement in feed grinder

My dad needed to make food for his pigs.

pig feed 4-H

Then the little farmer needed to make a little feed for his little 4-H pigs.

counting round bales

Counting bales. If you think this is tough you should try counting animals…that move!

massey ferguson and hay rake

My dad getting equipment ready for my mom to rake hay.

instructional tractor seat

Some tractors have an extra seat called an instructional seat. Oh how I wish he could’ve ridden longer and received a lot more instruction. Some days he just needs it!

Life on the Farm 6-4-17

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We like mooers more than mowing so the whole Steak Maker thing just makes sense for our family!

Can you see the husband, helper and child helping a lost calf catch up with it’s momma?

Momma cows mowing for us. Being pregnant and making milk doesn’t take as much energy as growing, so grass and a little corn is good for this crew.

This farmer is outstanding in his field…which was especially annoying because he was snapping me in a sticky situation.

The baby heated up some pizza and brought me dinner in the tractor to help redeem her dad who might’ve made fun of me on snapchat earlier in the day.

Then the baby told her daddy to fill the drill with more seeds while her mommy ate and she played with foil.

Big brother holding off curious cows so I could get the stroller in the barn.

If you think nobody loves you take some corn in a group of cattle.

 

The Weight of Glory

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I remember sitting at my desk in August of 2013 when a school official called me to explain new school transportation rules.  This phone call ruined the plans that I had struggled and worked so hard to make for my son.  I was a single parent of a soon to be kindergartner, building a house, selling another, a widow, a Christian.

I thought this call would make my life so much more difficult.  It didn’t, this call was another example of a change in direction that didn’t seem great, but it certainly turned out for the better.

Henry’s school is K-3.  I just got home from the third grade clap-out.  Parents lined the halls as the third graders walked through and we gave them high fives.  Henry was one of those third graders.  He made it!  Despite the phone call that I feel like I just hung up from and several more trials in between…he made it!

I shared some feelings with my husband a few days ago and said, “I hope I don’t end up rolling around on the floor and crying at school.”  He replied, “Well then you could be a YouTube sensation.”

3rd grade clap out

I love that we handle serious conversations with sarcasm, but I want to share that I walked in the house just now and cried.  I cried because I saw the faces of so many people that got Henry and I to this point in life.

Back to the phone call in 2013.  I took that struggle and shared it in my Sunday School class.  One of my friends and classmates thought out loud and said, “Well I suppose my daughter is old enough to get Henry off the bus.”  Her parents both work, so other family members brought her to our house just before the bus arrived.  I saw one of those family members today.  She is one of the many faces.  She’s spent time, travel and effort that she could’ve used elsewhere on Henry, on helping me.  She didn’t have to.  I’ve given her nothing.  She had no obligation.  I didn’t even know her 4 years ago.  She is one of so many.  More people than I can count or know that have served us.  This is God’s glory at work here on earth.

The tears roll again and that’s the weight of glory.

I can easily think of things Henry could do better.  There are many things we could all do better.  Today instead of seeing those gaps.  I see the grace that has covered those gaps and gotten us to this point.  We’ve come so far.  Amazing Grace has brought us so far.

I feel peace in my soul and that’s the weight of glory.

That girl that was just old enough to start babysitting almost five years ago drives now.  She’ll be babysitting Henry’s infant sister this summer.

Our life is so rich and so full of God’s glory today.  I pray that you may be able to step back and experience glimpses of that in your own life today.

Ohio Farm Life – May 21, 2017

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The same week precious brought home a book from the local library with the words “Agricultural Pollution” on the cover I came across litter in the field.  The trash was two empty plastic bags of lawn fertilizer.  #Ironic…in so many ways.  I haven’t seen many finger pointers win, that’s not the goal here, I just couldn’t resist sharing the irony.

Filling the drill with soybeans is a family affair.

That’s an empty plastic bag of lawn fertilizer, just past my reusable water bottle.

Working ground. #Felfie – that’s a farmer selfie

A couple gentle taps got the job done. He is getting really good at replacing worn shovels!

Do I stay or do I go?
Big decisions are exhausting.

Ohio Association of Nutrition & Dietetics in downtown Cleveland. The attendees had a lot of great questions about farming.

Life on the Farm – 5/15/17 – Happy Mothers Day!

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So many decisions about where to put the pens in an existing barn with walls, a roof and concrete.  “Thank goodness the house was already built when Joe and I met.”  The thought did cross my mind a couple times as our family worked together to make a spiffier place for 4-H pigs and calves to live.

It’s never too soon to learn how to use tools…or provide a spot for them to rest.

Team work makes the dream work. Especially when the dream is still young and people are patient!

Move over calves – the pigs are getting some of this space now.

He seriously said, “I wish I had a self ratcheting thing.”

Assembling the cup waterer and napping.

The Little Farmer changed two shovels. He removed them himself.

He got some help to squeeze the pliers and tap the new shovel on. Team work makes the dream work…especially when you find good people for the team!

Life on the Farm 5-7-17

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Last weekend we made a big pen for the two Holstein calves that the Little Farmer got for 4-H projects when they were a few days old.  He’s bottle fed them in individual pens, and now that they’ve grown we put them together.

dairy bull calf eating

The little farmer got pretty excited about this big feeder for his calves…so he gave them a LOT of feed.

DIY treehouse

Then he had an hour, so he quickly built the tree house he’s always dreamed of that we’ve never provided. #DIY #HighDesign

After a self taught crash course in becoming a builder why not build something legit?

The thinking shot

The action shot.

Checking on the fair pigs which are about to out grow the nursery barn.

Life on the Farm – April 30, 2017

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He noticed a loose piece and got the tools to fix it himself! He said he could be Luigi on Cars 3

I’m glad somebody can keep us Plowing Through Life 🙂

Chore time

A good man working to keep fuel in the tractor and food in the fridge. He’s knows regular maintenance is just as important on equipment as it is in the marriage. True and dedicated!

The girls are fueling up this time. The little turkey is checking for broken or missing bolts, shovels, etc.

We had to do some work so we pulled the tractor to the grass. Our first #FarmHer selfie!

I asked for help, but all she did was try to eat some grass.

#LikeAGirl #LikeACEO #FarmHer #GetErDone  Where are the boys now?

A Legacy full of corn. Do it cheap!

Keep costs down.  Measure and mix yourself. 2 buckets of corn, 1 bucket of supplement, 2 buckets of corn and mix with the shovel.

Making and moving piles of calf manure and raking and hauling grass clippings in his wagon are his favorite self-chosen hobbies.  I so desperately want to coach him to be WAY more efficient, but I also love that he’s elected to be outside doing something.

Pilot. Pile it here…

Pilot. Pile it there.

Life on the Farm – April 28, 2017

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Bunny ears…on Easter…haha

Black N Gus’ Mowing Services

We’d much rather the kid learn to handle electricity than mow the backyard ourselves!

Lean in & hurry up. The mowers will be MOOOving our way soon!

I had a hose for 3 seconds and somehow sprayed myself in the face. Ugh!

She heard some people over cook pork.

Fueling up. So they can keep PlowingThroughLife…

Instruction time.

Getting in position to apply what we’ve learned.

The automatic grease gun Joe’s always dreamed of.

Life on the Farm – April 16, 2017 – Happy Easter!

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I got a baby and a 4-Her in the same winter.  I know how the baby showed up, but I’m clueless about how the little farmer got to third grade already?  He bottle fed two Holstein calves that are two months old.  We are working on training them to walk with us.

I hope we’re better at taking care of this calf than taking selfies!

See me wearing the baby? She and the calf are ON AN ODYSSEY…lol

Now boarding the #StruggleBus

Compliance training fail #54…for calf and baby.

Poop happens. Somebody’s gotta clean the barn, might as well do it in your own style. #Fashionista

Loaning out the farm hat is a consolation prize for having to stay inside with mom and work.

My Grandpa is a farmer too. He was born in West Virginia.  #MyRoots  #NuffSaid

The little girl shrieked louder than the air brakes when I turned them on and off to test them for Joe.

#Troubleshooting #Maintainence And then I over heard one brother say to another brother, “Even an IDIOT trucker knows that.”

I’m pretty sure somebody stopped by just to get my father-in-law worked up and try to make him feel behind. #RelaxPeople

Some people say the line that “Barns protect animals” is just big ag rhetoric.

Where eggs are made the eggs at hunts are hard boiled. #ThrowBack

Life on the farm can be noisy. Live prepared.