Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Father Daughter Project- Beginning

In my blog intro, one of the statements I have is "the abundant love of a father for his daughter."  This is in regards to Milton and our 4 year old daughter.  One of my favorite past times is to watch (and listen to) them interacting together. Whether it is while they are playing a board game, reading bible stories at breakfast, or completing a task at the farm.   I find myself smiling a lot during these times, this is where I find joy often.


They have begun a project together, and when I say together, it really is together.  Milton has PV right there with him drawing it out, nailing, cutting, holding, lifting etc! 




 The creation they have begun is a Playhouse!  I must say PV is pretty excited, she can't wait for her & our granddaughter to play together in it!
I was away this past weekend and when I returned home, 
here is the stage it was at.


I think at this point, she was using it as a stage!


Life doesn't stop on the farm, they had to take a break from the playhouse
and work on the feed wagon! Milton snapped this shot of our little farmer!

I seriously love this shot Milton got of her!

Don't worry, she is only filling the nails in the nail gun, 
She isn't allowed to use it.... YET!

Creating the wall! Hold it steady!

Teamwork! 
Tim to figure out the window... she thought she needed his hammer!

At the end of day 2, this is where they were at!

When I arrived home last night it was this far!

Building this playhouse brings back memories of when we built our own home.
It was a labor intensive, stressful, blessed, hard, joyful time.
Watching Milton farm and build things makes me one proud wife.
But watching him do it all WITH his daughter, 
with a patience that is astounding,
that brings me joy!

I know this playhouse will be here for many years (pending no tornadoes etc).
Our children and grandchildren can all enjoy it.  
And PV will have memories to boot of building it with her Daddy!
(His abundant love all over this memory!)

Do you have any wonderful memories from your childhood?
You are welcome to share them or keep them tucked away!
My hope today was to bring back a wonderful feeling to you
 and to share what is currently bringing me joy!

Don't worry, I will continue to update you on the playhouse too!

Thanks for stopping by!
Julie













Monday, January 28, 2013

Sisters


This past weekend I got to leave the farm and 
spend it with a couple special ladies in my life. 

My sisters!


The one on the left is E and the one on the right is T!
Put them together and they are

ET

HAHA!

I must say at times they are pretty Extra-Terrestrial!

HAHAHA!

I was the 4th child and the baby.
(And no I was not spoiled no matter what they say!)
I have two sisters and one brother.
(Sometime I will share the lovely story of my brother trading me for a horse!)

A couple Christmas' ago, my sisters and I decided that the best gift we
could give one another is to spend time together.  
We all have busy lives and one weekend out of the year together is just what we need!

During this time we reminisce, talk about our families, 
our jobs, and much more.  
Mostly we just love to connect with one another.  

This year we hung out at T's home after seeing a movie, eating a decent steak, and shopping.  
Alot of it was spent on the couch watching Lifetime movies and just relaxing together.
And you know what... it was awesome! 

Here is where I would post the annual photo I took of T sleeping in the early evening on her couch,
but I will be nice and just move on! 
She will be thankful for it I am sure! :)

E, she brought breakfast for us Sunday morning.  Look at this Quiche. 
 It was delish!  

She also brought alittle treat from our past.  

When we were kids we didn't have much growing up.  
So when we had a special treat like Pillsbury turnovers, it was like we were on top of the world!
They are SO good and just bring a rush of memories back to us all!

My sisters are more than sisters, they are my friends. 
 I feel blessed to have both of them in my life and I  hope I they know how I feel about them!
I pray that they both have a safe and beautiful life that they deserve!

We have decided that our next weekend excursion we will move to warmer months.
That way we can enjoy the outdoors more and take some road trips!

So, if you know of  a location that is a great weekend getaway in Kansas, please comment!
We would  greatly appreciate it! 

Thanks for stopping by & allowing me to share my sisters!
Julie


Remember, we are on Facebook now!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Memory Verse- Psalm 1

I decided to change the memory verse section up this next couple weeks or month!  Don't panic, I don't expect you to memorize the entire Psalm below, I just thought you might like to "meditate" on it with me.  This Psalm was brought to my attention in Sunday school a couple weeks ago, and since then new things have been coming about in my life.  New thoughts, new rituals, new inspirations. So I thought I would seriously commit to meditating on it daily. I'd love for you to join me and if you feel the desire, comment below with any thoughts you might have now or later!

Now if you would like to continue memorizing a section, I would recommend the last section, 5 & 6.  


1 Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
        that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
        In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.

Thanks for joining me in the Lord's word!
Julie

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Facebook & A Giveaway

Yep, we did it!  We took the plunge and now have a Facebook Page
 Trust me when I say, Milton and I discussed and prayed on it for sometime.  
We are excited and nervous at the same time, but at this point it feels like a good move for us!  We hope to spread the word of agriculture and share some hospitality!  

To mark the occasion, we have decided to have a giveway!  
One of the items is this cookbook. 

Let me give you a little background on it.  It's my favorite cookbook, I am not sharing a picture of my own copy, because it's not exactly pretty anymore.  
You know, dried food splatters, wrinkled pages from use, etc.  
It's a well used cookbook, and isn't that the way cookbooks should be?

I received my copy from a co-worker a few years ago. It's a collaboration of recipes from the author and other people and she did a great job on the book and is a fabulous cook herself from what I hear! When I decided I wanted to get more copies, the local store that sells them didn't have any more and it wasn't in print any longer. So I gave up on my quest there. Until the holidays this year!  Lucky for me, I am familiar with the author and I decided to contact her via FACEBOOK. I was very happy to find out that she had put more in print and the local store had copies!  I made a mad dash for that store the following week!  I bought copies for my 3 daughters, myself, and one to giveaway here!

It's one of those cookbooks you just go back to when you need something yummy!  Whether it's for a family gathering, a church potluck, or friends over for dinner! She does have a 2nd cookbook out, and I have it as well. But this is my favorite!
 Perhaps we will do another giveaway later for that one... you never can tell! :)

Here is the entire gift!


A Cookbook and Two Homemade Jams 

(Jam made by Milton & myself!)

To be entered in the giveaway, all you have to do is LIKE our Facebook page!
Drawing will be held on February 3rd at 7:00 pm Central time!

Thanks for stopping by!
Julie



Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Interstitial cystitis - do you know what that is?

Interstitial cystitis.  How many of you know what that is without google?  I am guessing only one or two if any at all.  I decided after making my monthly trip to the pharmacy yesterday I wanted to vent blog about Interstitial cystitis. 

If you want a full description and details this website has great information , or I will give you my version. I was diagnosed with it when I was about 29, I am 42 now.


IC is basically where the lining of the bladder is gone or quite sensitive. Which causes frequency and possible pain. For example,  if I eat or drink something with acid or caffeine in it..... I will soon be going to the bathroom (often) and pain could occur.  Some foods that I have found to affect it severely in me are tomato based foods, spicy foods, coffee, citrus anything, too much chocolate.  On that last one, can I get some sympathy here, I mean IT'S CHOCOLATE!  


Do I still eat and drink these things, yes I do, just in moderation.  For instance, I do not eat pizza one night, barbecue another, and drink a large soda on any given day.  The only soda I drink is Mug root beer, and that is rarely. I do drink decaf coffee, because I like coffee. I figure as long as I am near a bathroom, I am ok to indulge! :)

Other factors that could cause the symptoms  are lack of sleep and stress.  I can definitely vouch for these two.  So I try my best to get enough sleep and reduce my stress if I can.


Positives or Joys of IC are that I will not die from it, there is a medication I can take to aide in the symptoms, I can still have a pretty regular life.  There are many people with other disorders and disease out there that can't say those things.

Sure I have to frequent bathrooms more often, I have to watch what I eat, and I have to pay a ridiculously high price for medication every month.  That was what this post was originally going to be about.  A vent for how much I pay for the ONLY medication with no generic in sight, but instead perhaps I should share how fortunate I am.


Here goes!


At this point in life I can pay for the medicaction, and I have aide from my health insurance with paying for a percentage of it, I can still work, I can still be active and run and jump and exercise with my daughter and granddaughter.  I can take road trips, I just have to find bathrooms (or a country road) often! :) Keep this in mind if you ever plan to travel with me!

I feel a change occurred while writing this post. I had a change of heart or thinking so to speak.  I found JOY in something I seriously get tired of.  Funny how that works that way huh?

In fact, I'd like to invite you to check out Caleb's page, he needs a kidney transplant.  I can't imagine what his medication bill will be after his transplant or even right now!

I'd like to ask you to share a link in the comments below for a medical disease or a cause or individual that you know needs support.  That way we can spread the word about it/them, share in praying, and perhaps if you feel you want to, donate financially.


Thanks for stopping by!
Julie


* All words written are my own opinion as always!

Monday, January 21, 2013

View from My Lens- January 2013

It's been awhile since I did a View from My Lens post. 
I finally have a few shots I like!



Add I just love cattle!

Just hangin out at the feedbunk!

I just love watchn my man work!

Love this one!



Sunday, January 20, 2013

Working an Alfalfa Field

There was alittle action on the farm today!  
Milton decided to work an alfalfa field this afternoon, 
but first he had to wait on RV to finish using the tractor. 
 He was cleaning the cattle lot to "reuse" the cow manure on the fields. 
PV is watching Grandpa work, apparently the smell didn't bother her a bit!
My grandfather used to say it was "the smell of money", 
keep in mind this was a man that owned a cattle feed yard.


She loves playing at the cattle pens! She has little fear of the cattle!

That's our farmgirl!

Time to get back to heading to the Alfalfa field! 
First we have to hook the tractor up to a springtooth.

Milton's handy assistant is here to help!

Milton & PV are hooking the hydraulics up.
Hydraulics run a cylinder on the equipment to raise it up and down.
There is a lever inside the tractor to do this.

The red object is the cylinder that Milton is hooking up here.

The reason that Milton is working the alfalfa field today is because the past two years
of drought have caused huge cracks in the field and it is "rough".  
He is trying to level it out and fill them in.

Two generations of farmers discussing things!

On a funny sidenote, if you happen to have read this post
you will know I (Julie) do not know how to operate a tractor.  
Milton apparently thought it would be humorous after reading my last post 
to get me alittle closer to learning!
He had me jump in and  run the hydraulic lever 
while he hooked up the springtooth! 
So of course I had to document my "big" accomplishment! :)

Thanks for stopping by the farm today!

Julie








Friday, January 18, 2013

Farm Wife

I have often pondered the question, "why am I a farmer's wife, when out of 4 children, I was the one that spent the LEAST amount of time on the farm growing up?" I've decided God was being funny when he placed me with Milton and this lifestyle.  God has humor you know! 

I am going to be honest, in this family, Milton is the farmer.  I would classify myself the "wanna be farmer" of the relationship.  :)  Part of my childhood was spent living at a cattle feedlot and on a farm, watching my mother work harder than any man I knew.  She would clean feedbunks, slop feed to the pigs, run the tractor, load the feedtrucks, and much more all while raising 4 children.  So now that I am placed in this farming operation lifestyle, I sometimes feel "less than worthy" as a farm wife.

You might be surprised or maybe not, to find out that I can't even drive a tractor, or a grain truck, or a combine. It is still out for debate if that is a good or bad thing, but admitting it on this blog, I feel is risky, since I blog about farming.   My resource though (Milton) is better at communicating about farming, then anything else on this earth.  Well, maybe construction stuff is right up there too! :)  So the information is accurate, it's more about my ability to be the best farmwife I can be.

I started this blog as part of my farm wife duties, to share the story of our agriculture experience. The simplicity yet complex lifestyle, agriculture education, and how lucky we are to be farmers.  In my time as a blogger, I have come to find some interesting and very informative blogs about agriculture.  Which has grown my knowledge, made me appreciate my husband more, get excited about options, and meeting new people online. I am thankful I have seen other Farm wives share the story of agriculture in their neck of the woods! Some are active farmers beside their husbands, others are more "helpers in times of need", and others work outside the home. But no matter the description, they're partners.  Farmer and Farm wife, living this life together.

There are days I wish I could just follow Milton around, because it inspires me to write. Unfortunately, I work a full time job outside the home (ironically I deal with farmers daily, as it's in the insurance business for Farm Bureau).  So I can totally relate when one of them comes in talking about the price of fertilizer, insurance, breakdowns, the need for moisture, and when they give me a value/cost of a piece of equipment I don't fall out of my chair in astonishment.  

The reason I don't, is because I'm a Farm Wife.

When I walk down the grocery store aisle, and see a loaf of bread it makes me recall, farmers provided what it took to create it.  I am thankful.

The reason - I'm a  Farm Wife.

When I am driving down the road, and come upon a combine or tractor traveling at a slow speed, I (usually) don't get angry at their slowness.

The reason  - I'm a Farm Wife.

When I see calves with their mothers, it brings back a wonderful feeling of my childhood and I appreciate the beauty in that moment.

The reason -  I'm a Farm Wife.

When it rains and sleets in the winter, and I have to drive in it to my job, I try not to get angry about the hazardous weather this year, the drought has been hard on the crops.

The reason I don't get angry  - I'm a Farm Wife.

When I see my father in law in the early darkness of the morning, running the tractor to load feed for the cattle, I know he is doing it, because he loves this life. He wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

The reason I know this - I'm a Farm Wife.

When I sit down at my dinner table and have a meal on my table that includes beef, I know that it comes from "our farm".  But even more, when I sit down and the meal includes pork or chicken, I appreciate the farmer that produced it for my table.

The reason - I'm a Farm Wife.

In the hectic season of harvest, when I am missing my husband, when our energy is down, and our nights are long, I try very hard to remember that this crop, being harvested is what in fact, will put food not only on my table but others, pay the bills, and give my husband an opportunity to continue a legacy. 

The reason I know this - I'm a Farm Wife.

These are only a few things, that because I have been placed in this farming lifestyle, it's perhaps easier for me to appreciate them and have a daily reminder.  

The hard work, long days, high expenses of farming, and low grain prices at times are alittle overwhelming, I will admit.  But seeing in my husband's eyes, the satisfaction of raising a crop or excitement in planting one, or watching and hearing him explain farming to our little girl, makes me remember why I love being HIS Farm Wife.

So I guess on those days that I am feeling "less than worthy" as a farm wife.  I should just remember that God placed me here for a reason, and maybe it was just to do farm paperwork, cook a good meal, and hug that farmer when he comes in after a long day.

I think that is reason enough. 

Thanks for stopping by and letting me work through this little hiccup of life through words! 
Julie






Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Blueberry Muffins & Vacation Memories!

I haven't been posting much lately.  Today I felt inspired to share a recipe that I have come to love!  I stumbled across the recipe a couple years ago at this great website! I'm sure a few of you are familiar with the site!

To Die For Blueberry Muffins!  That is what they are called and they are just wonderful and do not take very long to whip up! So come on along with me & let's make some muffins!

This is a shot of the ingredients I used!


 After gathering your ingredients you will want to preheat your oven 400 degrees and I usually get my liners in the muffin tin.  If you do not have liners you will want to spray them with Pam or something like that.

Here is where I started assembling the ingredients!  Dry ingredients first in a bowl! Stir them together.



Here's a clever idea from the actual recipe!  Put your oil in a measuring cup, then your egg, and fill it the rest of the way to 1 cup line with milk! (Yes I forgot the milk in the ingredient photo op!) 


You will now combine the the dry ingredients with the liquid.  It is a thick batter, so don't be concerned when it comes out that way!


Now! Here is the part I love!  Adding the blueberries! 

This is where the vacation story comes in!  The blueberries I used today have been nicely tucked away in my freezer since July.  We took a vacation to St. Louis, Missouri, and on our way back we stopped HERE to pick blueberries.  

It was extremely hot picking but it was well worth it and I am glad we stopped!  Here are a couple photos from that expedition!



























It was late in the season, and the drought had taken it's toll on the berries, but you know what!  THEY STILL TASTE GREAT in the middle of winter!


















Fold in the berries with the batter.

















All mixed together & ready to put into our muffin tins!

















How about a close up of this blueberry beauty mixture!

















You will now load up your muffin liners with the batter!

Streusel topping is next!  Grab your cinnamon, sugar, flour, and butter! I used a fork, and as you can tell I don't have much patience to work & work at getting the butter into tiny chunks! My chunks are pretty big!

















Put as little or as much stresuel as you would like on top of the muffin batter.

















Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes!  


Then when they are done, sit down, grab your  favorite beverage and prepare to be taken away to a land of warmth and blueberry goodness!


















Do you have a vacation memory that involves food?  It could be a place you ate, or when you eat a particular food it takes you back to a vacation or a  memory!  Please feel free to share! I'd love to hear about it! And you never know, you might recommend a new place or food for Milton & I to try!

Thanks for stopping by!
Julie


Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Directions:
1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
2.Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
3.To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
4.Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

PS: Frozen blueberries would probably work fine too, but I have only used fresh!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Memory verse - 12

Memory verse - Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What's It Like?


I was asked this simple question this week by a lovely lady during our bible study.  It's a simple question, but I stumbled as I gave her an answer as I wasn't expecting to be asked that.  My answer was pretty simple, but after pondering it a few days, I come to find that my answer is so much more.  So hence... a blog post!   

You are probably wondering what "it" is, right?  Well, you might recall from this post that I spoke of my faith and how I didn't come to know Christ until early in my adult life.  The lady that asked me the question, and pretty much everyone else in the room (as far as I know) was raised in a faith based home from birth. So she was asking me what it was like since I was not.   

Peace.

That's the word I kept repeating.  

Accepting Jesus as my Savior has brought me a great deal of peace, but so much more as well. I've listed a few below.
  • That part of me I felt "missing" from a young age, it's no longer there.
  • My emotions are often heightened more now than before when worshiping and I understand what communion really means and it is more meaningful.
  • I am less nervous when the subject of religion comes up in a discussion. 
  • I no longer feel lonely in my daily life.
  • Although he was always with me in my life, he has recently aided me in healing some dark parts of it. I really do not believe I could have done that without coming to know HIM.
  • Prayer is daily and often.
  • When I see someone, I try to push past the "hardness" they might be presenting, and welcome them in, when before I may not have made that kind of effort.
  • Everything seems easier to endure, even the extreme struggles, because I know, he will care for me and my family.
  • His word has taught me how to be a better wife and mother, absolutely no doubt! (still a work in progress of course!)
  • That although at times, I think a path is what I want and best for me, I soon come to realize I am incorrect. Because HE takes me somewhere else! (In particular, two of His choices for me, I have to say, have been the best ones of my entire life. Ones that I absolutely did not plan on!)
  • That bringing a smile to someone else's day, with or without their knowledge you aided in the event, is SO much more satisfying to my soul!
  • I have learned that HIS love for me, is a GIFT.  I did nothing to deserve it.
The last one, I truly did not comprehend or believe (per say), until this past year.  There is so much more to learn and become, I now welcome God's challenges and joyous journey's into my life.  For I know, I am not alone. Not only is HE with me,  but many of HIS lovely people to aide me in this path HE has chosen.

I thank you for allowing me to express my love of Christ and for stopping by my "little blog".  May your day be filled with grace, peace, and mercy!

Julie




Saturday, January 5, 2013

Children's Books

PV received a couple new books for Christmas.  When we started reading the two of them we didn't realize the correlation but have found it to be quite enjoyable to read both each evening!

She found this book in her stocking! It's from the Magic Tree House series and she has always liked Lions! This is the first time we have read a book from this series.  As you can tell from the cover the siblings have found their way to Africa!


PV received this book from her sister Kassidy and husband Matthew!  They found it for her at the San Diego Zoo!  It is SO cool! It is about exotic  Africa and some of the animals that live there!



Each page gives details about the animal and then has a wonderful part for the child to play with!















Although we have not completed either book, I would recommend them!  Wouldn't it be great to go on an African Safari! To view the beautiful animals in their own element!  That's one of our familydreams!

I would love to have any recommendations for books for a child of PV's age (4 almost 5). We love to read together!















Thanks for stopping by!
Julie