Thursday, May 30, 2013

Bright or Dim - Treasures Are We

One evening over the holiday weekend,
 I went for a walk right about the time it was getting dark.  
When I returned home, I wasn't ready to go inside the house.  
This is kind of out of character for me, I am usually all about getting things completed, baths & bedtimes etc.  

Instead I stretched my tired legs and decided to literally lay on my concrete driveway.  I changed my music from workout music to the inspirational playlist, and gazed at the 

couple of stars that were making their appearance in the night sky.

I just let myself become engulfed in God's word through music 
and enjoyed the stars begin to pop out one  by one.  
It led me think....

 those stars are like people.

Some of us are brighter personalities, while others are dimmer.  The dimmer are just as important as the bright ones, and they can sometimes provide more insight into answers than those bright ones.  
Both have their place in this world, both are treasures. 

One of my favorite songs was playing.  I thought it was kind of appropriate, it speaks of our Father's return someday, and as the stars slowly came about, I could use imagery, and see the baptized rising in this manner.  One by one by one.  Of course I have no clue how or when it will be, but truly I am looking forward to a day of no more pain, being close to Him, and Satan being locked away.

Click to take a listen!
(excuse the ad at beginning)

One particular line has always stuck out to me since the first time  I heard it.
"I wanna see dry bones living again, Singing as one"
A chill is found within me. It's a good thing.

I don't have much more to say except this.

Treasure all the people you cross paths with whether they are bright or dim.
Know that God isn't in the business of creating junk and you are valuable.
The Great I Am will return someday.

Thanks for allowing us to share our faith, family, and farm life.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Memorial Day Farm Work

We spent our Memorial Day checking fields as a family. 
 PV has now decided it is ok for her to literally steer the UTV/Mule while Dad runs the gas pedal!  
The intensity in this photo was not setup, it's truly how she is when she drives! 
She's one serious gal!  
Although I will say,  she really likes to go through the mudholes fast!  
So I don't think we are in the clear when she actually starts driving!


We have several different types of crops currently growing.  We will begin planting milo in the near future, but not just yet.  Here are a few pictures I got while visiting the fields today!

Milton is checking the Alfalfa field.  
We normally have it swathed and put into bales.
Then we sell the bales.

This field is where we will plant Milo (grain sorghum).
We no-till so that is why the stocks from last season's milo crop are still in the field.
We have to call the company we use to spray our fields tomorrow to schedule spraying.
The weeds are making an appearance.

It's never too young to learn about farming.
There is always opportunity to teach and learn.

 For good measure I am throwing a couple photos of the chicken coop and chirps!
Milton finished the roof today too!

They are so cute aren't they! They are filling out nicely!
Milton and PV has noticed they are starting to hop upon the boards inside the
coop to roost.  So they are starting to learn!

We hope your Memorial day holiday was a safe and good one!
We are thankful for all the men and women that have served for us to obtain
this thing we call freedom!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Exercise - Yep I'm actually posting this!

I mentioned this particular post that has been in my drafts since early April here.  I decided to throw caution to the wind & post it since a follower was intrigued by the hint of it's existence! 

Ok, I decided to get back on the bandwagon, or better yet the elliptical machine.  The one that literally sits in the same room that I sit and write this blog from. The one I can see out of my peripheral vision while I surf the web for fattening recipes and check in on others on Facebook.  Until a couple days ago, I ignored it quite well.  I wasn't mean, it's not like I covered it up with clothes or threw a blanket over it or had MV take it to the garage. I just acted like it cease to exist.   For two months I did this little dance.  Then I decided, ok it's time to quit ignoring and jump right in!

Elliptical - see how I tried to make it "look"
better by editing the photos! :) LOL

The items below should be reason enough for me to NOT ignore my "machine" of choice, but yet I still proceed with randomness in the workout area of life.

I handle stress better when I exercise.
I sleep better when I exercise.
My mood and libido is MUCH better!
My body fits better into the clothing I already have in my closet!
It will help me live longer and be healthy.
I'm a good example to all 3 of my daughters, but especially the little one that still lives with me daily.
We are going on vacation to California this summer, I think we will be doing some hiking, it's not flat there like in Kansas!
Gives me MORE energy!

I got on my Elliptical and I am telling you what! Wow - and not a good Wow! Usually, when I have not been active on this little puppy for a bit, it's not that hard to complete the workout. UM... not so this time.

I've decided that my body AND the elliptical are conspiring to get back at me for ignoring them both for at least 2 months!  I made it through the first 30 minute workout, but honestly I had to reduce the incline, turn up the ceiling fan, open the window, and suck down a glass of water all while working out!  BUT I did it!

Then I sat down and wrote a blog post.....

I got up the next morning at 5 am and made my way back to the dreaded machine. I only made it about 12 minutes but I wasn't a total quitter.  I headed outdoors to the DARKNESS, put my ipod on, and proceeded to walk fast in my small concrete driveway.

Yep! I was not venturing out into the dark oblivion.  We have skunks here in Kansas and I do not enjoy them or snakes!  The other reason is, and it must be the "city girl" part of me, I like to walk on a firm solid foundation.  I'm not saying I never take walks on the dirt roads with the lovely Kansas breeze flowing through my hair, but I'd take a solid surface any day!

AND a walking partner, mornings work best for me, but I could probably do a few evenings too! You always do better with a partner right?

Too bad we can't combine the scenery of the rural area and a solid walking track for me?  I doubt my farmer would even allow any sort of thing like that, but it was nice to dream for a moment.

So if you happen to drive by at 5:00am you might see a lady with crazy hair, singing, and walking like crazy in her yard. Just wave and smile, don't worry about a thing! She's just getting her exercise in for the day!

Thanks for stopping by!

PS:  On day 3, I really did not want to get up at 5am, but I made it out of my bed, and of course checked my phone.  In the middle of the night, my oldest daughter sent this text (I assume because she saw my personal FB status from the day before.)

Talking about working out (on a bicycle, but you could apply to an elliptical) : I know going 8.5 out of 10 the next 3 minutes is gonna be hard, but living in a body you hate is harder.

I'm sure she saw it on Pinterest or Facebook or Twitter or something, but it was just the push I needed to do a 30 minute workout on the "E"!

Thanks Tash! See.... it is easier with a partner!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Cocoa Apple Cake

This cake recipe is one that came from my Mom.  My sister Elizabeth, she makes me a birthday cake from scratch every year.  For years, she would make this particular one for me. So it is one of my favorites, yet I don't make it that often.  Today I wanted to share it with you and spend some time making memories with my little girl.  So we headed to the kitchen! I hope you enjoy it!  We did!


3 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 cup margarine
1/2 cup water
2.5 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 tbls. vanilla
2 tbls. cocoa
1 tsp  soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp all spice
1 cup chopped nuts
2 apples (delicious but I used whatever red apple I have on hand) Chop fine (2 cups) can                     be done in a blender too.

Beat eggs, sugar, margarine, and water until fluffy.  Sift flour and spices, add to creamed mixture, and mix.  Fold in nuts, chocolate chips, apples, and vanilla.  Spoon into a greased 10" tube pan (I used my bundt pan).  Bake at 325 degrees for 60 to 70 minutes or until done. Serve with whipped topping!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Things that brought me Joy (in recent weeks)

Just a few shots of things that brought me joy !

Very first tball practice of this little girl's life.

Turning around and seeing this tree that I've walked by a million times.
Just like our family farm it's been here a long time and is strong as ever.

Farmyard kitties!
Watching this lucky little girl, she has the most patient father I've ever met!
Baking & Dancing with this little gal in our kitchen!

Watching my hubby do something that he enjoys!

Seeing family I haven't in years. Listening to stories of my dad's family.

Walking 3 miles
Celebrating a family birthday and realizing how blessed we are with family.
Hearing the word of God and learning new stuff.
Days off from my job.
Working on craft ideas for missions board work.
Being inspired to list the gifts God provided in a day, both small and large.

I hope your life is bringing you joys these days! May your holiday weekend be blessed!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

My Randomness & Motivators!

Yep. I'm going to write and publish this post! Even though when I asked my husband a month ago "am I random on the blog?"  And his reply was, "yes, kinda".  In my sensitive manner, I didn't post the lovely post I had spent an hour and a half writing that day.  It's still in drafts, depending on my mood and the response to this one, I might publish it in the near future!

This past week I had the pleasure of walking with a friend for the first time.  Ok, I'm going to be honest here, it wasn't your leisurely, check the scenery kind of walk.  It was a massive throw your body into 3rd gear, get your rear moving, and watch out world here we come type of walk! Now my friend H., she didn't seem to even break a sweat.  

OH! Did I mention that she runs half marathons!  We didn't run (thank goodness) but she motivated me to want to keep up with her.  No matter the shooting pain in my legs, swollen fingers by end, and red face look of almost exploding and the fact that talking was hard yet doable!  (By the way, my husband saw us on the walk, he mentioned later about my face.... it must have been bad!) :)

I now know what it means when they say, "you should walk at a pace that it is difficult to talk".  THAT was me on this night, I had lots to say, but I wasn't about to slow down. Ok maybe I was about one foot behind her step but I was still RIGHT THERE close! :)

This post isn't about complaining or that I can't believe my friend would push me so hard. She didn't even say anything about the pace.  And guess what.....

I'm thankful.

Why am I thankful?

Because in life, I need people to push me, motivate me, take me to places I've never been, hold me accountable, and lead me in certain areas.  

The next day my buttocks hurt on each side. Seriously.  BUT later that day, I was smiling about the pain.  Because you know what!  If I continue to move that fast, that area will look awhole lot better, my clothes will fit better, and my husband might be smiling more too! :)

H. asked me if I wanted to go again next week, I said sure.  I didn't hide or use my wounds as an excuse, like we sometimes do in life.  

H. wasn't with me today, but she still motivated, challenged me, was in my head, and I am grateful.  I couldn't sleep at 6:00 am on a Saturday.  I knew exercise wouldn't be anywhere on the schedule today, family events to attend all day long!  I needed to clear my mind too. So I got up, sore body parts and all.  I walked.

It wasn't the leisurely walk.  I gave myself the first half mile to get my body woke up, and then I took off.  I walked at a good pace.  I listened to my music loud, and it motivated me, I thought about this coming week when I walk with H. again.  I want it to be less painful.

By the end of my walk today, I felt good.  I felt I had accomplished something. I felt alittle  more proud of myself.

I know there are lots of things upcoming in my future that hold uncertainty.  But with all things, find a person or saying or song or motto to motivate you through it.  I couldn't get by without all those!

My view today as I walked alone!
3 miles in 52 minutes that 's good for this ol' gal!

Have a blessed day & Memorial day weekend!  

Thank for stopping by and allow me my randomness of life!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Planter Repairs/Little Girl Farm Play

This post has been patiently waiting to be written.  The photos just sitting there on the camera card waiting for me to compress them, watermark them, and load them on blogger.  The main issue to why it wasn't written sooner...... the farmer in my life and I haven't been in the same room much since I snapped the photos!  If we were, we were too tired to think about blogging. I needed his input to properly educate about the planter! 

Finally!  We have met in the middle and created this little post.  It's about planter repairs and parts and watching our little girl play while he worked on it one Saturday!

First we will explain the main part that he wanted to replace prior to planting corn.  
It is the flow monitors.

Other parts of the planter.

Seed Firmer: Pushes the seed to the bottom of the seed slot.

Closing Wheel: This gently closes the seed slot and covers the seed with soil.
Seed Box: Holds the seeds prior to being planted.
Marker: One side is always down, keeps your rows spaced evenly.
Tanks: Holds the liquid fertilizer that is applied on the soil where the seed is planted.
Flow Monitors: They are on the equipment to enable the Farmer to see if you have a plugged line or not.  

Allow me to show you what farm kids do while their parents are working on the farm!

She was very serious about hooking the chain up to the ATV to be able to move the chair.  A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!

When it wouldn't hook and stay on the hitch part, without any help from us, she found a solution! Note, you must hold your tongue JUST RIGHT, to get it to work!

I'm telling you, the work gloves are not only for work, but play too!  She finally got it hooked and ready to go!

Obviously, as responsible parents we did not allow the 5 year old to drive the ATV.  Her legs are too short anyways, but in her imaginary farm world she did JUST that! :)

There was some serious farm talk done as well that day between Grandpa & PV! I think they are discussing what crops will be planted where next year! :) She's giving him her 2 cents worth!

There are always repairs to be made to machinery and trucks at the farm.  We don't have the latest and newest machinery, but we get by just fine.  Machinery is quite expensive these days.  When we purchased our (used) Grain Drill with Air Seeder two years ago, we paid  in the area of $50,000 but feel it was a great investment.  Since Milton is the only one that plants/drills crops, investing in a larger unit seemed like the next logical move.  Combines,  we have seen some of these go for $350,000 or more for new ones and other machinery doesn't fall far behind.
We are hoping our combine continues to get us by for a year or two, they have had it for 10 plus years and bought it used at that time.  Sometimes repairing a part outweighs the purchase of  a newer /bigger piece of equipment.  Sometimes it does not.  Just like any business, one has to weigh the pros and cons of the situation.

We hope this post has been enjoyable, educational, and enlightened you into the world of agriculture!

Thanks for stopping by!

Julie & Milton

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Chirp Chronicles- Chicken Run Roof

This past week we started working on that chicken run roof.  We bought some chicken fencing and had to cut it to size.  The possums and coyotes think Chicken is tasty!  So on those evenings we fail to get over there before dark to put the Chirps away, we need a roof on the chicken run!

PV was right in on the action too!  

You know one of the things I love about her? The fact that it doesn't matter, to her, that she has a skirt on and farming at the same time.  As long as she has her boots on, she's all good.  She didn't even complain about bending over or putting her bare knees on the ground while working.  Just goes to show, farm girls can be alittle girly too!

PV had to cut some too she thought.  Daddy patiently waited while she did some.  
There were grunts and muscles used to cut this wire!  :)

My husband taught me something while working on the roof.  
Flattening the wire fencing, his years of working in construction comes in handy! 

Once the piece is cut off the roll, turn it over, and we put a board at the end to hold it down.  Then take a shovel and flatten the piece of wire.  Here is a photo of him completing this.

Now it lays flat! He did share with me the story of how he learned this, 
but I won't go into that right now!

I just really liked this shot I got of the two of them.  So I'm sticking it in here!

After we cut three pieces it was getting late, so it isn't finished yet.  We will keep you posted though!  We thought it would be fun to try and catch a chicken or two.  Since they are getting bigger, it hasn't been as easy!  Daddy caught one or two, and then PV got to hold one.  I don't think the Chirps particularly cared for it, but it was fun anyway!

Here they are SLOWLY and QUIETLY trying to sneak up on the Chirps! The Art of Catching Chickens! :)

Ta Da!  PV holding a Chirp!  

Ok! Time to go in Ladies! They do love their run, 
but they do pretty well for PV when she needs to put them in for the night!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Joys to Remember- Family

Joys from the weekend that I didn't want to forget!  It was a wonderful feeling to hug my California Kid  & her hubby when they showed up at my office on Friday afternoon.  It was also bittersweet when I hugged her at the airport to say goodbye.  I miss this kid.  I like where our relationship has come to be.  I look forward to a time they live closer and we can have lots of family gatherings with ALL my children's families.  

ES, she missed her aunt ALOT!  
Aunt Kassidy was the one she wanted to hold her!

Cuteness all around I do believe!

Although this daughter lives in Kansas, 
between her work schedule, 
life with a little one,
 and our schedules we don't get to see her as much as I'd like either!
It was wonderful to just visit with her and her family that night too!

They love it when Mom takes photos (NOT!)
But they humor me at times!

I am blessed!

Our weekend didn't end quite like planned but we are glad for safe travels!
After dropping the kids off at the airport, we headed over to Kohls to do alittle shopping.
We were almost done, and I received an emergency text on my phone.

Tornado warning, take shelter.

In Kansas this isn't a total surprise this time of year, but still not what one enjoys.
We ended up being in the back of the store for alittle over an hour 
with everyone else in the store! 
Funny thing is, I ran into a high school classmate, so we had an hour to catch up!
Luckily, Kassidy could text me, they were on the plane to leave, but it was brought back.
They waited in the basement of the airport while a tornado was near the airport.
Thank God for safety!  They might end up staying the night at their next stop/layover.
At the time of this writing, I am waiting to hear.
Praying for safe travels for them!

I hope all of you were safe and that your weekend was a wonderful one!
We feel truly blessed !

Thanks for stopping by!


Strawberry Salad

It's been awhile since we've posted from the Entertaining Kitchen section, so I thought since I was whipping up a salad for our family bbq tonight, I'd share the recipe. Honestly, alot of you probably have this recipe.  It's a good one!  

Everytime I make it, my husbands states that it is more like a dessert than a salad.  It's sweet and has cream cheese, need I say more!  The first time I had it was more than 5 years ago.  Our Pastor's wife had made it for a dinner we were both invited to. 

The reason I am making it..... is because of this gal!

My California kid is home just for the weekend and it's her favorite.  In fact, one year for her birthday she requested this instead of a cake.  So to my friend H., the Pastor's wife, both Kassidy and I thank you!

I hope you enjoy it!  I know we will!  Thanks for stopping by!

Strawberry Salad

2 cups crushed pretzels
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter

Mix these three and spread in a 9x13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 10 mins.  Let cool.

1- 8 oz. package cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 small carton whipped topping

Beat these together and spread over cooled pretzel crust.

1 lrg. box strawberry jello
2 cups boiling water
1 lrg. package frozen strawberries

Dissolve jello in boiling water.  Stire in strawberries, and chill until partially set.  Spread on top of cream cheese layer and chill.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Toast & Tea & 2 am

It's 2 am and I finally decided to just get up and attempt to refocus my thoughts.  

Toast.  I'm beginning my third piece.  


I prefer mine simple, just butter, lightly toasted.   

Also, the state I'm in, the heels of the bread are my favorite.  

Tea.  Perhaps a cup of tea as well.  No fancy flavor, just decaf regular with a tad of sugar.

Pretty simple comfort food huh?

Plain seems to be the theme as I examine my comforts in time of need.  There's one more.  The one this notebook sits upon as I write my thoughts. 

(sounds like a "foundation" doesn't it?)  

My Bible.

There was a time when this last comfort would not have been included.  

But now,  now I feel it's like a blanket of warmth in times of both joy and tribulation.  I find myself reaching for it more often than not.

The Bible is simple and plain in a way.  Oh sure, at times it seem intimidating. But in reality it's a simple truth.

As a broken individual (or sinner) I tend to make things complex - about me - about my wants and my desires.  

But truly God gave and gives us daily the comfort and strength to endure not only the tribulations in life but the joys as well. 

HE gave the baptized the ultimate beginning and the loveliest "end", although in reality it's not an end, but eternal life through Jesus Christ our Savior.

So as I write these words, I find comfort in HIS word.  HE will take me where HE wants.  My goal is to go where ever that is, and may I do His work for His good for all people.

What's your "tea A& toast" in times of question or tribulation?  

I'll go now, it's time to actually open the one thing that will bring more comfort than my "tea and toast".

Thanks for stopping by, and allowing me to share my faith, feelings, and family.

2 Corinthians 1:4

"who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."