Monday, August 29, 2011

I'm Blessed

My friend Gretchen hosts an
series each Monday.

I'm always blessed to read all her posts;
we share many common interests
and hold the title of a dying "breed"--
farm wife. 

She and I both like wide open spaces, 
just like where we live.
After attending the State Fair on Saturday to see Isaiah show his heifer calf,
I'm feeling especially blessed that I live rurally
because this:
(throngs of people at the  MN State Fair)
makes my skin crawl
and causes my breath to come in short gasps.

I'm blessed that we were able to step away from the farm for a day to 
go see our #2 son show his animal.
Dairy farming is a 365 day a year job.  
There are no holidays or times when we're "closed" so a day when Dennis and I can both be away comes VERY far and few between.
We barely made it in time to see the show.
When we got there, our (exhausted) son was already in the staging area
and when I went to find him to let him know we'd arrived,
I walked right past him!
I didn't recognize him without his ever-present cowboy hat;
 I'd also cut his hair just before he left on Wednesday
so that no one would mistake him for a member of the Beatles.
Before you think I'm a horrible mother for not being able to pick her child out of a crowd,
you should know Dennis couldn't spot him right away either.

Dennis' cousin was able to milk for us along with Andrew's help.
Linnea and Nathaniel came with Dennis and me
which was another blessing.
I don't know that we've ever done anything with just those two kids.
The younger four children stayed with my wonderfully willing parents
and had THE BEST time.
(As I watched stroller after stroller pass by at the Fair
with screaming toddlers and babies,
I looked to my husband and said,
"Goodness Dear, why ever didn't we bring our little ones along to partake of this insanity today?")

back to the dairy show...
the Coliseum is huge.
1/4 of the show ring
The judge conferring with an exhibitor
Isaiah's class was HUGE.
Isaiah leading his calf
I'm blessed that Dennis and I both like to watch this kind of thing.
My farmer is super-smart about cows.
He can nearly always pick out the top ones in any class.
One day, in our less-busy years
I see us attending dairy shows just for fun.

We both feel more comfortable in the agricultural section of the fair
and had to make sure we showed Linnea and Nathaniel the largest boar.
I was disappointed that it wasn't Reggie again like last year.
That big guy weighed 1450 pounds.
This years' reigning boar was nearly 300 pounds less.
 Husky Lee was still a pretty big pig, though.
We wondered if Reggie had perhaps contributed to the 
Big Fat Bacon on a Stick booth.
Who knows.

So, we made our big trip down to the Big City
and back again
all in one piece and still willing to be married to each other.
Our kids were well taken care of, and then some.

Even though this farming gig sometimes drives me crazy,
I really am glad that we live on a farm
and that my husband does what he does.
An 8-5 just wouldn't be him.

Today, I'm back at it with the housework,
laundry, and such.
The sun is shining and washing windows is on the list;
I actually like that job.

How have YOU been blessed?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ivy Loves Her Swing

Ivy loves her swing
and I love these pictures because
when I look at them,
I can hear her shrieks and giggles!

Saturday, August 27, 2011


These two are precious friends...
brother and sister.

He protects her.

She takes care of him--
especially when they play Princess
'cause then he is her "pince".

And did I mention they like to make funny faces?
'Cause they do.

Friday, August 26, 2011

They Also Need to Get Dirty

they--especially boys--need to get dirty.

Wanna know how he got so dirty?
And why he looks so upset about it?  :-)

Well, see, remember that bridge I mentioned in this post?
There was a little rainwater that had collected under it
and it was oh so fun to ride through it.
Of course the Bipper gave it a try--or ten.

You didn't think the dirt on that shirt
was just from one time through, did you???

Thursday, August 25, 2011

They Need Space

 As parents, it is our responsibility to keep our kids safe.
If my kids have heard it once, they've heard it a bazillion times,
"Stay by Mom..."

I will not be that mom whose kids are running all over the store,
always running ahead, or running away.
It is imperative that they learn to stay by me.

Homeschooling is often thought of as over-protecting our kids.
I beg to differ, obviously.
While I do believe it is a way to protect them, I don't think of it any differently than
the use of a seat belt or a life jacket or whole grain foods--
I am doing what I think is best for them and for their development,
emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

I also believe it is important to balance 
"Stay by Mom"
with "go ahead...I'll meet you there."
I promised them that we could ride the trail that runs right near it.
It was built on an old railroad bed;
I remember watching the trains run on the tracks. 
 So when they asked me if they could run ahead,
I said, "Sure!  I'll meet you at the bridge."
(By the time I walked that distance, they had run back and forth
a time or two...)
Maybe I'm making too big a deal out of that day,
I've been trying to learn/extract life lessons out of just about every experience.

In our world that has gotten so dangerous,
it was so fun for me to watch them just be free.
No watching for cars, trucks, or tractors.
We had the trail to ourselves, so no weird strangers.
We were on no time frame--no worry about schedules.
It was just
It was just what they we needed.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ruby Was Swinging

The pictures I took at the park  are, 
in my opinion,
too funny not to share.

If you know Ruby,
you can just about hear her little giggle
as she was swinging

 How high, you ask?

Really, REALLY, REALLY high!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Little Brothers Who Aren't So Little Anymore

these were taken on the day of
Andrew, Christopher and Elijah

 I'm really not sure why the sober face for Elijah, but it was quickly replaced with a smiley one!


Friday, August 19, 2011

Our Afternoon Adventure

I took some of the kids to the park on Sunday afternoon.
It promised to be a beautiful day, and I never take the time to go to a park.

They had so. much. fun.
So did I.

I just let them play and run around while I took pictures--with my camera that I actually intended and remembered to bring along.

Isn't her face hilarious on this one?
Fear and fun all rolled into one.

Christopher is an athletic playground participant.
Swing from the handle and fly down the slide.

Ivy has NO FEAR;
she quickly scrambled to the top and looked down at me from on high.

Though she insisted she needed no help, Christopher served as her protector on the trip down the slide.

Elijah was so proud of all his climbing
which was even braver than earlier in the summer when he 
had gone with a friend.

I encouraged him to "climb the rocks!"
He calmly turned to me and said,
"No, Mom.  These are rock handles."

Andrew made it 
 all the way across
 on his first try
and every time thereafter.
He is my strong, strong boy.

Christopher wanted to do it soooo bad.
Then he looked down...
and decided not to.
(He did try again later, and made it with help.)

Ruby said,
"Mommy!!!!  I am so high--I'm like on a mountain!"

Elijah, ever the realist,
was quick to correct her and tell her she was on a bridge.
It's effect was lost on her.

Ivy Joy
This, by the way, is my new desktop background.

I have more pictures from the rest of our afternoon adventure
coming up!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

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