It’s a beautiful life.

While Lynn has been farming like crazy, I’ve had a chance to spend extra time with the girls. 

They are infinitely easier for me to manage this year as compared to last. I loved the snuggly baby stage, but I think my overall personality is better suited for parenting kids rather than babies.

They are mischevious, stubborn and sweet. They tell jokes, and laugh at mine. We laugh out loud every day. Since I work outside the home I rarely want a break from being with them when I’m off. 

Being that they are three and five obviously there are a few behavioral things we are working on, and we have personality clashes but as a general rule parenting is fun. (It’s also hard and exhausting and messy…but the love and laughter outweigh the hard things)

I’m in a very thankful spot right now. (Which I’m sure will change and I’ll be a gripey mess in no time.)

Lynn even brought me my favorite takeout for dinner tonight – Mexican. 

It is not perfect, but it’s a beautiful life.

Kind-of Family picnic

May was a whirlwind.

I worked quite a bit extra to get things wrapped up in the 4-H world for the end of the year.

Lynn has worked non-stop between rain showers and hasn’t let up the pace yet. He comes home exhausted, eats dinner, showers and collapses until it’s time to wake up and start again. I don’t know how he keeps going. Probably because he’s stubborn. 

They have finished planting corn, and working on planting soybeans and baling/hauling in hay. The girls and I thought Lynn would be especially late tonight, so we brought fast food to the field after I got off work. 

Naturally the girls were “starving to death”…and since waiting on a farmer is unpredictable we went ahead and ate before our french fries got cold. 

Claire has a bit of a fever and wanted to go straight home (I took the to the Dr to check her ears for infection….the verdict was a virus) but Caroline wanted to ride the tractor to the barn and come home with Lynn. 

When we got home, Claire quietly opened some Snow Cone syrup I bought and poured it in a cup like a drink and sipped the thick stuff like a drink…yuck. 

Caroline came home feeling grown-up and special and like a “real farmer”. Oh, to be 5years old. 

Garden time

There is some saying about how the cobbler’s kids get their shoes last. I forget how it goes.

It’s similar with the farmers family getting their garden put in. Of course, I could man up and do it myself… Or not. Come-on. Be reasonable people.

It may seem odd, but we do not live on the actual farm. There is no particular reason for this other that this is where we moved when we first got married back in 2005. In our minds was going to be temporary. But, it’s a good sturdy house and we’ve done a lot of living in it. 

We have about an acre. About half of it is our house and yard. In the yard is our garden. The other half of it is a sweet corn patch.

Today Lynn finally had a chance to till up the ground. 

Soon the girls will be selling sweet corn from this patch of ground

We don’t start seeds like tomatoes and peppers early (one day I want to have a little greenhouse for that…but at this life stage I don’t have the time for it) so I went to the Co-op and got some plants. 

While we were at the store Claire climbed in the middle of a windchime display and made a awful racket. She thought it was hilarious that everyone looked at her. I was less amused. 

We also got onion sets, cantelope plants, cucumber plants, a couple types of squash plants and a half pound of bushbean seed. I also got some herbs. I’m sure we will plant some more things as we think of them. 

Lynn had tilled up the garden first, so we girls got started planting it while he worked up the sweet corn patch.

It was the first year since we’ve had kids that I was able to accomplish it without giving up. The girls were finally helpful. Nobody ate dirt. Nobody cried. It was fantastic.

Planting the onion sets.

Official hole digger

They also planted the beans in the squiggly and randomly placed rows I dug for them. Lynn is much better at garden neatness and order, but hey he IS a professional after all. I’m just an amateur. And I’m fine with that. Beans out of a squiggly row will taste just as good. 

I’m looking forward to some fresh garden veggies. 

Happy Monday friends. 

No kids at the grocery store

I went to the store today withOUT the ratbabies. 

It was quiet. It was peaceful. I could read my grocery-list in its entirety and not have to peel a small person off a merchandising display.

It was lovely.

Nobody told me ANY jokes.
Nobody fought over who got to hold my hand.

There was absolutely no one at the store that got so excited about anything (and everything) they literally jumped up and down and screamed with joy.

Nothing embarrassing (but funny) happened. At all.

No one danced by the frozen foods.

There were no fights over the shopping cart.

I got zero hugs, and zero kisses.

It was normal, and boring….and a little bit lonely.
Good golly …. I think I actually missed grocery shopping with my lovely children, and all of their talkative, distracting, messy glory. 

This doesn’t mean taking them to the store in the future won’t eat at what little sanity I have left. 

But part of me will sure be happy they are there. I’m certainly going to work on appreciating what I’ve got.

Have a great week friends. 

When your parents are a 4-H lady and a farmer

Today was our County 4-H Horse Show. The expected high was 91 degrees. I don’t know it it reached it …but it certainly felt like it did.

Also, it was a day when the conditions were finally right for Lynn to plant corn. 

Since being trapped in a tractor cab until dark-thirty tonight didn’t sound appealing to the girls  – they came with me. And beyond some normal kid behavior (and excessive snacking – MAN those kids can eat) they were great. EVEN past their naptime. It was hot, and we got a little too much sun – but zero complaints in that department.

In appreciation for good behavior- I bought them a shaved ice from a food truck on the way home and spent their naptime getting the stock tank ready for swimming. 

The great thing about this little setup is that I had time to clean it out, hook up the pump, plop a chlorine tab in the floating “chlorine duck”, have it mostly filled with water AND a little extra time to put my feet up and drink a nice tall ice water before they woke up.

They woke up estatic about “swimming”, and streaked down the hall into their rooms to dig out swimsuits. Then it was out to the backyard for Caroline to fling herself into the cold water. Claire took a slower approach.

It’s been a good day – I’m glad I got to spend it with the girls.

Have a good Sunday friends.

Convictions from kid-fights.

Now, when I don’t like something I typically grouch about it. So this isn’t a sermon. I ain’t no preacher yo.
Last night my girls were griping and fighting about doing the easy tasks I asked them to do. (think, set out paper napkins and pick up trash they just threw on the floor)
Tired, with a headache and having enough of the squealing, fighting, and whining I bellowed (you know, like the graceful southern belle I am) at them 
Left to finish shredding the crockpot pork for BBQ sandwiches in relative quiet – Bible verses I memorized (which I only memorized because I was bribed with candy) in a church program popped into my head…made more relevant since these days I am both the one asking people to do things, AND taking “orders” at work.
This one from Phillipians 2, verses 14-16 (NIV version)
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.
Grumbling and arguing. Just like my ratbabies I tend towards that. Oops. Might ought to try to do better there.
And this one from Colossians 3:23 (Again, NIV)
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.
Well. Lunch break is about over. I need to adjust my attitude and get back to work. Pray for me please. It’s going to be a hard thing to work on.

What does a clean room look like?

If you ask Claire Grace what a clean room looks like, this is her answer..

Next time I will check rather than take a 3 year olds word on a job well done.

After they said their rooms were clean, I asked them to put on some clothes to run to town… they got all gussied up.

I felt underdressed, in my T-shirt, jeans, Chacos and real messy (as opposed to the stylishly messy) bun. Kind of like maybe I was a (really old) college nanny to some fancy family. 

Oh well. They DID look cute.

Seasonal farmer spouse

If you are married to a farmer, you know this – we have seasonal spouses.

Fall- kiss them everytime you see them, because you won’t seen them much. Fall is harvest time, the time if year where literally you reap the rewards of a years work in the fields. On our farm that means corn and soybeans are being harvested, and a cover crop of winter wheat is being planted.

Winter – you see them more often… No crop emergencies, fewer equipment breakdowns and less calving problems to attend to. Most nights you can get through dinner without a farm emergency phone call interrupting – this is MAJOR, and fabulous, and I get too used to it every winter. They still work a lot (7 days a week, a lot) but not excessively so, at least for these workaholics we call farmers.

Spring time – as soon as the daffodils bloom, give ’em a big hug goodbye because the steady stream of 12-14 hour days is just beginning. Typically dinner is interrupted 3-4 times a week with urgent farm business. (I DO NOT like the inturrupting dinner part) Typically Lynn starts with vaccinating calves and doctoring the herds.Then he moves on to spraying fields to kill weeds. Sometime in there they sell the weaned calves. Then spraying the crop fields. When my Iris beds bloom, Lynn has started getting corn seed and working over planters readying them for the busy time of putting seed in the ground. 

Going with Daddy to “help” work on the corn planter…even

farm girls have to be fancy.

Every spring all of us have to readjust to the annual normal of Lynn working longer and harder. Because we have young children, every year is different developmentally for them, and it’s new parenting territory for us. As they get older, I think they will understand it more…And maybe the parenting gets easier. (I know that last bit isn’t true. All the experienced parents have told me that parenting never gets easier. But let me believe the lie that smooth sailing is ahead!) Since I am also a working parent, family logistics are kind of a mess during the spring time.

Without so much as a day off, spring rolls right into summer. As soon as the corn and soybeans are planted, the wheat is harvested and straw is baled.

In the middle of all this I finally get my garden in the ground…Which (despite my AS, BS and MS degrees in Agriculture) will not look nearly as good as the field crops. 

As soon as the straw is baled, then it is time for hay to be harvested. There is a first, second and if the weather is good a third cutting of hay on each and every hay field. The girls and I ride in the (air-conditioned) tractor with Lynn some because that is just about about the only way we can see him awake.

Towards the end of summer, if we are lucky there is about two weeks of a break. Cows still need checking, but the hay is up for now and the fall harvest hasn’t started. I try my hardest to get my farmer away from the farm for a few days of relaxation during this time. Because he rarely gets breaks, he will not relax at home. He doesn’t know how to. I’ve found if we get him far enough away, he will unwind a few days…And that has to be good for him. Without question it’s good for me, and the girls enjoy adventures as much as I do.

So that’s our schedule in a nutshell. That’s why you won’t see Lynn at a lot of things that families typically do together. No, we aren’t fighting – yes he really does work THAT much.

Have a great week friends. Stop and smell those flowers!