July 26, 1986

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A post from Kelli–

July 26, 1986 was a pretty wonderful day.  In case you didn’t know, this was the day that mom and dad got married.  While I was there in utero, I wasn’t there in person to share in the wonderful events of the day.

Mom and dad 2 (300x400)

I’ve been told that it was a very, very hot day.  Mom and dad always tell the story of how the zipper in dad’s pants broke and my grandma (mom’s mom) had to pin them up.  Mom tells of how they got engaged and married so fast that they didn’t have time to order dresses or enough fabric to make them in the same color.  They ended up ordering pastel fabric to make the same dress in coordinating colors and enough fabric for my grandma to make my mom’s dress as well.  Mom always tells too of how it was so hot they had to put a fan underneath her dress to help her cool off and not pass out.

Fast forward a few 30 years or so and you’ll see they’ve been through a lot together–5 kids who have made them want to pull out their hair (maybe that’s why dad is significantly more bald) at times, the deaths of their parents, some serious illnesses, 7 houses (and moving between them), disagreements about when the challenger blew up (this was before the time of internet when it hadn’t been published in our encyclopedia yet–and yes it was an issue), but first and foremost lots of love.

They’ve been wonderful enough to pass on lots of the lessons that they’ve learned to us kids.  Phrases like “use your head and save your feet,” and “Those that mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind,” have been said in our house many more times that can likely be counted.  Another favorite “I am the parent, and you are the child,” has worked quite well to teach us all to respect those in any authority position.  They’ve also worked to show us the importance of hard work and dedication to a task.  Helping others and volunteering has also been another lesson that they have showed us through their work.  They’ve also worked hard to show us that little things can add up to big things and that not everyone was as fortunate as we have been.  Lots of our successes can be attributed to the fact that they’ve both always treated us as adults and held us responsible for our actions no matter our age.

Mom and Dad (400x400)I know you see those thing floating around facebook about being half the person your parents are, but it really is true in my case.  Heck, if I could be a quarter the person that either of them are, I’ll consider that a great success.  Considering the wonderful foundation that I’ve been provided though, I don’t think it’ll be too hard though!

So–Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!  Thanks for everything that you’ve done for me or put up with from me.  I know that I haven’t always been the nicest or best person that I can be and I really appreciate you sticking it out and putting up with me, knowing I’d come around eventually.  Thanks for showing me the value and meaning of hard work and sticking to your guns. Your faith in me has brought me to wonderful places and I’m sure I have many wonderful journey’s awaiting me.  Happy 30 years!  Here’s to many, many more!

 

Questions on Being the Farm Wife

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A post from Kelli–

One of the last posts I wrote was about being the farmer’s wife and what that all entails.  Many people had questions in regards to the process of cutting and chopping hay and such, so I figured I’d answer them–as best I can!

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A question from Lisa–You can tell Jason that I find the farm stuff very interesting. Do you raise animals, crops or both?

We do both!  Jason and his brother farm together, along with his parents.  They have one hired hand that helps with milking cows and is amazing!  They also have a few high school kids that help haul loads, pour cement, or other random little things.  They currently milk about 240 cows twice a day.  They also have about 350 or so steers at our house and then 400 or so at his brother’s house.  They also farm about 1000 acres between a couple different farms.  They plant and harvest corn, beans, and alfalfa.

Many people wondered about baling or why the boys chop their alfalfa rather than bale it.  When baling, especially small round bales, it takes a lot more people to get the task done–1 to run the baler, 1 to stack on the wagon, 1 or 2 to haul loads, 1 to 2 to unload off of the wagons and throw it on the elevator to put it in the barn, and 1 to 2 to stack it in the barn, so a total of 8 or so.  With chopping, they just need someone to run the chopper, 1 to 2 to haul loads and someone to run the packer which drives on top of the bunk, so just 4.  Sometimes farmers might chop first and third crop and bale second, but it just depends on if you can find enough people to work and what the weather ends up looking like.  If baling big bales, they can often times sit out and so there’s not as much worry about getting them to where they will be stored immediately.

I also really appreciated the encouragement and support I got from you all!  Sometimes being the farm wife isn’t fun and sometimes it really makes me mad, but I know that Jason is worth it.  I am glad that I married such a hard worker, I just wish sometimes that he’d try to learn a bit about relaxing and coming in the house!

 

Headband Wanna-be!

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A post from Kelli–

For the longest time, I’ve wanted to be able to wear headbands.  I know it sounds pretty stupid, but I’ve really wanted to be a girl that could throw her hair in a pony with a headband and look put together, but I have literally bought every headband possible to try and none of them have worked.  I’ve tried thick, thin, decorative and plain.  None have worked.  They all kind of slip up the back of my head and don’t stay put.  Each time I buy a new one, I’m sadly disappointed and just plain mad–UNTIL NOW!

The nursing home that I work at hosts “scrub shows” where they have  a company that sells scrubs come in and set up shop.  We are lucky enough that they allow us a credit for scrubs that we can use to purchase new scrubs, shoes, socks, or other accessories.  I am super picky about the scrubs that I buy and so I wasn’t finding anything in my size that I liked and was kind of bummed.  I ended up finding a scrub top to go with a pair of pants that I already had, and a jacket that I really liked.  When I was checking out, they had a basket of headbands.  I asked one of the ladies if they actually worked and had picked up a wide stretchy one.  She said that those ones don’t always work for her, but showed me one that she had on.  She said that it worked and stayed in place all day.  She said that it was the best one that she has ever had becuase it has velvet on the back which helps it to stay in place.  When I looked at the price, I saw that it was $11.00 and balked a bit, but figured I’d give it a go.

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I put it on the next morning and –WAHOOOO!!!!  It actually stayed all day long!  I was so excited.  That day when I got home from school, I dug through the trash and got the tag on it out because I had decided I was going to order more!  I ended up finding the banded2gether.com website and was elated to see that they had a lot more options online!  I was a bit bummed at the price, but then read a bit more and found out that the company works with other charitable companies to provide 3 meals to those less fortunate for every headband that is bought.  I figured that if I bought a few, it’d be helping others too, so I was slightly able to justify myself.

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I picked these ones out form all of the choices.  The thicker one is a thick brown sparkle with a gray print in the middle and an off white think sparkle is on the bottom.  Prices range from about $10 to $30.  I really liked some of the more expensive ones, but wanted to makes sure I actually like the headbands a lot before jumping in deep!

I also found a surprise bag that had 5 headbands for $9.  I added it to my cart, half expecting maybe one decent one, but was wonderfully surprised when I got the 5 that I did–

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They are all ones that will work perfect with stuff that I wear on a regular basis!  I’m so excited!  The pink one isn’t one that I might pick for myself, but I LOVE all of the others.

I would say that I’m well on my way to becoming a real, live headband girl!




Being the Farm Wife

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A post from Kelli–

As many of you know, Jason is a farmer.  While a lot of people have hobbies and such outside of their career, Jason just enjoys working.  It seems as though he’s always working–to the tune of 16 or so hours a day, 7 days a week…if not more.  While I love that he’s a hard worker, I don’t like that he feels the need to work almost every waking hour–literally.  It has made for a few odd conversations when I have to remind him that going to bed at 10:15 doesn’t warrant the comment “Why are you going to bed already?” or when I have to remind him that it’s not odd to want to go out to eat or do something together more than once each month.

I would say that the majority of our disagreements usually focus on not spending as much time together or him working all of the time.  Rather than continue getting mad at him, I am trying to just go with the flow more and try to do things like ride in the tractor or go on a parts run with him.  This past Saturday was no different.  He was once again chopping hay and had mentioned maybe doing something, however a few hours before we were going to go out, he called to tell me it wasn’t going to work out.  They were a few people short to haul loads and they needed to get done before it rained, so they were going to have to run until they were done.  I initially was MAD, but then he said I could come ride with.

So off I went–I grabbed him a pop, changed into some outside clothes and was on my way.

When I got in the chopper, he asked if I was going to take pictures for the blog.  He swears that he doesn’t really get the blog or understand why people like to read it, but I secretly think that he likes his farm things being featured and always asks if anyone thought his stuff was cool or if anyone had any questions.

So per Jason’s idea, here are some pictures from when I was in the chopper with him–

This is how chopping works–One day they use a big lawn mower type attachment and mow all of the hay.  They then windrow it to put it into rows that end up looking like this–


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Then they take the chopper through and it picks up the long piles.

Chopping 1 (225x400)

And then it runs through the chopper and gets chopped up.  Once it’s through the chopper, it gets thrown back into a chopper box.

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These chopper boxes get filled up and then transported back tothe farm with tractors.  They usually empty them into the bunker, cover them with plastic, and then are able to feed the cows throughout the year.

Usually, they are able to do this three times throughout the summer, sometimes four depending on the weather, how much time they have, and who they rent the farm from.  If they consistently cut hay four times each summer, the quality of the hay can diminish, so sometimes, landlords limit the hay cuttings to three.

While I often complain about Jason and his working all the time, I really do appreciate it.  While I never have to come home and get mad because he’s playing video games, I do wish he’d take a bit more time off.  Maybe someday–But I’ve been saying that for 8 years or so.