Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Save the Date for Will's First Steer Show

Check out that smile! Will's getting ready for his first steer show. Be on the lookout for one of these in the mail.
Stationery card
View the entire collection of cards.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Life of a Farm Girl

Kaitlyn's been a farm girl most of her life. We moved out to the farm permanently when she was 2 and she has enjoyed every minute of it.  Her personality doesn't always lend itself well to farm life (she only comes with two volumes - LOUD and asleep), but she makes life much more interesting for us and all the animals.  She was recently described as being like a flying squirrel which aptly describes her since she never sits still, is always climbing on something, and seems to constantly be off the ground (on a table, hanging off someone, in a tree, etc.)  At school, they call her Fingers because she can't keep her fingers to herself.  

Kaity is one to always volunteer to do something especially if it's outside.  She is destined to work out here at some point in her life.  Here's a rundown of a few of her activities that happen on a fairly daily/weekly basis.

She's not old enough to show cattle yet, but don't tell her that!  She spends as much time as Will with them.  She's not always aware of how big they are or where she's at around them, but that will come with age.  And, notice what she's wearing.  Every cowgirl's got to look good.

Sometimes she goes with Daddy to feed cows.  She loves "looking at cows" as she puts it.  We don't let her ride in the back typically because she often forgets to hold on.

She takes horse lessons once a week or so with Ms. Lisa and Jill.  She loves this activity and will grow into it.  Currently, she's Ms. Lisa's youngest student and she has a hard time getting Jill to do what she wants.  But, look where her feet are...they only touch the saddle pad and not the horse!

She loves gardening and can't wait to start planting the fall garden with Daddy.  The sunflower was one that Daddy grew this year.  In her words, "it's bigger than my head!"

She loves her animals.  Oreo isn't always thrilled with her attention, but she loves all of them.  She says she wants to be a cowgirl animal vet when she grows up.  I believe she'll do it.  

And, apparently she's willing to explore ALL animals.  This is her first snake bite from a garden snake.  She wanted to hold it.  

And, she still has her very girly side.  She takes ballet, jazz, and tap each once a week. And, I'm hoping that dance influences her Flying Squirrel personality and helps mature her a little bit.  I see it working, but it's definitely a slow process.  

But, at the end of the day, this is what usually happens.  

I can't wait to see how she's going to grow and what she decides to do.  Whatever it is, she'll do it with a "full speed ahead" attitude.  :-) 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Snapshot of Our Day

Sometimes life just gets in the way of blogging and you get out of the habit.  I'm going to try to get re inspired to blog some more.  Especially about our farm and agriculture in general since John's now working full-time out here.
To start us off, I thought I'd start with a cool project called "Day in Agriculture." On September 29, Farm Journal is asking agriculturists to blog, tweet, update their Facebook status, take pictures/video all about their day and what happens.  So, I thought I'd give a rundown from my perspective as farm wife, mom, and off-farm income.  Here's how Thursday, September 29 went for me.

Got up a little bit earlier than normal (lots to do before school). Will gets in the shower as I'm getting out. I fix my tea and breakfast and read my online stuff and Kaity sits with daddy in his chair.  Fight with both over getting dressed and breakfast decisions. As Will's eating, John heads out to feed his steer and heifer for him. We get backpacks and lunches ready and check to make sure homework is finished and paperwork signed.  I get dressed for work and pack up my stuff.  Our family farm chores have to be done before we can leave - Bluebell and Oreo get fed in the house, Will unties the steer and heifer and checks their water, Kaity helps me feed the ponies and bunnies and checks their water, and Will feeds his hamsters.  John's weaning calves this week so he leaves for work without Bluebell.  Normally, she goes with him several times a day, but not when calves are in the pens.  Today is actually a special day for Bluebell and Oreo.  They're both getting fixed!  Which means we have to leave for school 30 minutes early so I can drop kids off in Micanopy and then head to Williston to drop the puppy and kitten off for their vet appointments before finally heading back to Gainesville for work.  But, before we can leave, I throw a roast, potatoes, and carrots in the crockpot for dinner.  Finally, we're ready to head out the door.  It takes Will 10 minutes to put his shoes on and tie his laces. I get out to the car with everyone, realize that Will didn't take his medicine, go back in (turning off and on the alarm) to get his medicine and head back to the car.  Will runs to the gate to shut it and we're finally off.

So, we've left the house and gone the 7 miles to school.  I usually walk at least Kaity to her class, but today we're early.  I drop them off and they head to the cafeteria to wait for school to start.  Back in the car and another 7 miles to Williston to the vet.  We have vets that are closer, but this is our farm vet's office and we really like him.  Normally, he comes to us, but these are surgeries so I have to go out of my way to take them in.  But, we have enough animals that we don't need any unexpected surprises.  After dropping them off, it's another 15 miles back to work for the day.

I check in with John on the way and they've fed all the barn animals, bulls, and cows and now they're working on getting calves in the pen.  They'll be at this all day - probably without a lunch break.

Finally, I make it to work (albeit a little late due to the vet dropoff).  I work on our Master Gardener e-newsletter, some video ideas, and other stuff before lunch.  In the haste this morning, I forgot to make my lunch so I head to Jimmy John's for a sandwich.  I work on some Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher stuff while eating my sandwich.  After lunch, I finish up a report for my professional development group and get ready for travelling next week.  I'm headed to K-State for a board meeting and will be out of the office all week so I need to have my ducks in a row for work.

I check in with John at lunch and all I got from him was cows in the pen and lots of mooing.

Head home a little early so I can pick up kids.  John had to go to the vet's to pick up cow medicine so he also got to pick up the puppy and kitten.

Get home and John's still working cows.  We all work on getting Bluebell and Oreo comfortable from their day at the vet.  We check over homework.  Kaity has a book to read and spelling practice.  Will has math, spelling, and reading to do.  We get those done.  Kaity's got tap and jazz class tonight so I send Will over to the barn to hang out until John's done working.  Kaity and I head to dance (which is luckily next to the grocery store).  We get home about 7:15 and dinner's ready (yeah for crockpots!)John and Will had fed and worked the steer and heifer while we're gone so everyone's ready to come in.  We eat about 8, which is normal for us, and then kids have to finish their reading.  Tonight, they're not that smelly so they don't need baths. They go to bed about 9 and John and I watch TV.  I head to bed at 10 and he'll head to bed about 11:30.  It's a long day, but a good day.

Couple things missing from my day: meetings and housework.  Normally, we have several evening meetings a week (farm bureau, cattlemens, 4-H, fair board, school board, etc).  And, no (which really means absolutely none) housework got done.  We've got 3-4 dirty loads of laundry sitting there, 2 loads of dishes, sweeping, filthy bathrooms, etc. I do a lot of this in the morning before school and John helps a lot with it.  But, it's weaning season, so he's not able to help.  But, weaning season creates a TON more laundry and dirt in the house and it quickly builds up.  When I get home next weekend after being out of town for a week, we're going to be knee deep around here.  Oh, well.  It's how life rolls on the farm.

Currently, this is how our days begin and end.  But it's good farm chores for the kids and is teaching them pretty big responsibility skills.  

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Birthday Extravanganzas!

I know I've been a terrible blogger lately. Here's a recap of February, or as we like to call it "the birthday party month."

Kaity turned 6 (wow!) two weeks ago. We made a big deal out of it for her because you know she likes being the center of attention. She got cupcakes at school, a special birthday supper of spaghetti and meatballs, and presents on her actual birthday.

I made this cake which was decorated just for her, but it was nasty. It was strawberry flavored and kind of gross. She liked it.

And, the big birthday present - a new bicycle! She had long ago outgrown hers and still doesn't know how to ride, so we got her a new one. I don't have a great picture of it yet. Will's going to get a new one also, but we'll let him pick out his own since he'll be more likely to ride it then.

Then, we had a sock hop party for her. I made her a poodle skirt and she had a couple friends over for dancing. It was the first sunny day we'd had in about three weeks so they spent a lot of the party outside. I LOVE this picture.

And, this one too.

For Will's birthday, we did a party at the bowling alley. It was so awesome and the best 8 year old party ever! They did all the setup, cleanup, and the kids got to bowl a lot.

He had a lot of friends come. He's pretty popular. It helps that he's such a sweet, nice guy. :-)

We had a family party at Nana and Papa's house last night for him. He wanted sausage gravy and biscuits for dinner.

He read each and every card this year. And, he loved the money he got in them. He counted and I think he's got almost $70. He says he's going to buy daddy a tommy gun. (He watched a documentary on tommy guns the other day. I think he's a little short of cash for that.)

And, the musical instruments they got. This is the "Funky Carrot" band.

Happy 6th Birthday to Kaity and Happy 8th Birthday to Will!

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