The Country Christmas Connection 2016

The Country Christmas Connection is here!  I have been looking forward to this for sometime, before they even posted the sign ups for this Christmas swap.  My secret Santa was The Michigan Farm Girl and she is such an AMAZING gal!  We have a lot in common with our families and our love of cows.

 

I could not have gotten this box at a better time.  My father-in-law passed on December 15th and I saved opening this box for that moment I needed a big smile on my face.  This sure did it!

 

 

 

The Michigan Farm Girl and I both have 3 small kiddos and she completely understands my love and need of coffee and a sweet coffee mug.  Have you ever seen a coffee mug this gorgeous and blue is my favorite color!  I’m currently using it right now with hot chocolate, a couple of Dove chocolates and listening to my husband snore in the recliner.

 

She found this super yummy coffee and let me tell you it smells AMAZING!  I love it when my little one says, “mommy did you get special coffee from your friend?!”

 

Christmas has been so exciting this year with my 5, 3 and 2 year old.  The ornaments have been so much fun for them to put on the tree.  My 3 year old son saw this Christmas ornament and ran to put in on the tree.  When Mr. Farmer came home he says, “Daddy, this came from Mish-gan!”  😍😍

 

The Michigan Farm Girl also found this chocolate covered potato chips that I shamelessly hid from the rest of my family.  I have been rationing them out and they hit the spot!

 

 

#tccc16 has been so much fun!  I have loved getting to know my secret Santa and her dairy farm.  I am so glad I decided to participate especially when I definetly needed the surprise!  Thank you Michigan Farm Girl for the perfect Christmas gift this farm momma could ask for!  I see many early mornings with my coffee mug and late night hot chocolate.  Merry Christmas Michigan Farm Girl, you are an amazing farm mom and I am so glad we are friends!

Share:Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

A Farm Momma’s Faith

A farm mom’s life is busy, constantly busy.  There is always something to do on the farm or at the farm house.  Most nights I go to sleep around midnight and it takes a good strong cup of coffee in the morning.  Ok, let’s be real, it takes two cups of coffee.  And since we are being real, welcome to my house at supper time. 🙂

DSC_0252

I have a busy farmer and am blessed to be his other half.  I also have those small kiddos whom God blessed me with the mighty task of being their farm momma.  My days are filled with tons of questions and contestant interruptions.  Nothing ever seems to go as planned.  For this Type A, strong Red personality,  this is very hard for me.  I always have a plan for everything.  It’s difficult to keep everyone happy on the farm and get the never-ending farm momma chores accomplished.  The constant nagging of things I need to do for others goes like this…

“Can I wear this shirt instead of that shirt?”

“I don’t like this shirt.”

“I want a snack.  can I have ice cream?”

“Can we go outside?

“Can we turn on the water?”

“Can you come pick me up?

“Can you pick up parts?”

“Can you push me in the swing?”

“I’m stuck, can you bring the truck?”

“I’m out of gas, can you bring me some?”

“Did you get those invoices done?”

“Can you jump on the trampoline with us?”

“Can we get the paint out?”

“Did you get all the checks written?”

“How much money do we have left?”

“Do you think we should sell some beans?”

“I’m bringing by a calf, I need you to save it.”

“We should start calving next week, do we have electrolytes and colostrum on hand?”

“Can you go check the cows so I can get to the field sooner?”

“Can you bring me lunch and pack for two extra people?”

“Mom, I went potty can you pull my pants up?”

The questions and everyones need for my attention are endless.  There are days I feel like I can no longer hold it all together, unable to keep all the plates spinning.  But, I’m the farm momma.  We always have it together, we are the glue and the backbone of the whole operation.

The one true person who knows what I am going through, and they get overlooked during these times.  This person who also requires attention, Jesus Christ.  He had countless people following Him, always a crowd.  They all wanted something from Him, or needed something from Him.  Just like farm mommas, or any mommas for that matter.  He gets it.  He understands what it is like to be asked one hundred questions everyday.  There is a story in the Bible where Jesus had His own plan for the day and someone interrupted Him.  He was headed to the town of Jericho.  Zaccheaus had to see Jesus, needed to see Jesus so badly that he climbed a tree to get His attention.  Jesus had his own agenda that day, but it was interrupted.  Hmm, sounds like a familiar?  Jesus ended up telling Zacchaeus that would be staying at his house.  Not only did His plans change that day but He used His situation to share the gospel with a tax collector.  Jesus always seemed to find the good in every situation, even if it changed His plans.

There are always going to be people in my life that call me or text me with a need/want that might change my agenda for the day.  Jesus was in high demand, and so are farm mommas.  I need to remember to take a moment to talk to Jesus and let Him know that I understand how He must have of felt and to ask that He help me handle these situations as He did, with grace and a smile on His face.

He gets it, we are not alone.

The Farm Momma

 

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin.  Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time.Hebrews 4:15-16  HCSB

 

Share:Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Farm Momma’s Beef Steak Rub

Steak is a meal we have at our house around 3 times  a week.  As a mom, I LOVE knowing that I am feeding my family beef that was raised on a balance diet, had regular doctor appointments with our veterinarian and was incredibly healthy.  Raising great beef is a team effort!  We have Mr. Farmer who is the main caregiver, the veterinarian who helps keep our animals healthy, our feed nutritionist helps ensure we are feeding our cattle a balanced diet, and an agronomist helps determine the vitality of our pastures.  We keep our cattle on pasture, so it has to perform at its best! 🙂  We can’t forget the Farm Mom who is Mr. Farmers back up, main caregiver of bottle calves, keeps inventory on supplies and record keeper.

Mr. Farmer loved this recipe so much he ate 2 steaks and my 3 farm kids (ages 4 and under) ate 2 steaks combined.  That reminds me that my family of 5 is now a 2 package of steaks per meal family!  Anyways, Mr. Farmer gave me a thumbs up and said, “keep making this one.”  Now folks, THIS is a big deal!  He loves to eat and run.  There isn’t a lot of “honey this is good” or “thanks for lunch babe”.  He comes home, eats fast and is back to it on the farm.  So for him to slow down enough to tell me to keep making something, it’s as good as gold 😉

 

Meet my pile of porterhouses….

 

DSC_0047

 

FARM MOMMA’S  BEEF STEAK RUB

1 tbsp kosher salt

1 heaping (don’t be shy) tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/8 tsp allspice

4 beef steaks

  1. Combine the seasonings and press evenly onto beef steaks.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes
  3. Place steaks on grill over medium heat.  Grill 5-6 minutes per side, depending on desired doneness.  145 degrees for medium rare, 160 degrees for medium and 170 degrees for well done.  Get a meat thermometer if you don’t have one!

 

Enjoy those yummy steaks at your table, while I make a bulk recipe of this to keep on hand!

From my farm table to your table,

The Farm Momma

 

 

 

Share:Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Beef Lombardi

On the farm we love BEEF and FOOTBALL!

What better way to celebrate than serving your family Beef Lombardi!  You can’t go wrong with beef and noodles. 🙂

Fun Ag Fact – Did you know that one cow hide will make approximately 20 footballs?!  Since it is actually baseball season, I will add that one hide will make 144 baseballs!  Go Royals!!

 

Ingredients

1 lb. ground beef

1 can chopped tomatoes

1 can diced tomatoes

2 tsp. sugar

2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 can tomato paste

1 bay leaf

1 package egg noodles

6 green onions, chopped

1 cup sour cream

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

To start this recipe we are going to  brown one pound of ground beef on medium heat.  This will take you about 5 minutes, then drain off any fat.  I didn’t have to drain mine, we raise lean beef!  🙂

 

DSC_0066

 

Then we are going to add in chopped tomatoes, diced tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper.  Cook this for another 5 minutes.

 

DSC_0068

 

Add in the tomato paste and bay leaf then simmer for 30 minutes.  You will want to remove the bay leaf now.

 

DSC_0072

 

Next you will want to cook your egg noodles, drain.  Stir them with the green onions and sour cream until just blended.  Place the noodle mixture in bottom of a lightly greased 13 x 9 baking dish.

 

DSC_0077

 

Top the noodles with the beef.

 

DSC_0078

I’m not sure if you know this or not but your cheese will melt faster if you buy block cheese and the shred it at home.  I had no clue!  We almost all of our cheeses in the block form because it tastes better, its cheaper and it melts faster.  Here I used a grader and got all this yummy shredded cheese.

 

DSC_0073

 

 

Put all that cheese right on top of the beef.  🙂  Beef and cheese, you can’t go wrong!

 

 

DSC_0079

 

Bake this, oh so good, dish covered at 350 for 35 minutes.  Take the foil off and bake an additional 5 minutes.

 

 

DSC_0080

 

I let this cool a bit before I serve it to the kiddos, doesn’t it look yummy!!!

 

DSC_0081

 

I paired the Beef Lombardi with some corn on the cob we froze last year off the farm.

 

DSC_0087

 

Mr. Farmer and the farm kids loved this dish!  I found this recipe in one of my Southern Living cookbooks, I opted out of using the chiles in this recipe.   Our farm table doesn’t see a lot of spicy dishes.  🙂

To freeze this dish prepare as above but DO NOT bake it.  Wrap with foil and freeze up to 1 month.  To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.  Bake as directed.

Happy Eating,

The Farm Mom

 

 

 

<a class=”rcptr” href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/a46c04a61/” rel=”nofollow” data-raflid=”a46c04a61″ data-theme=”classic” data-template=”” id=”rcwidget_jm2ur9ee”>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>
<script src=”https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js”></script>

Share:Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Dude Meets New Mom

Dude’s adventures keep getting better!

While I was getting Dude use to receiving milk from a bottle, a few pastures away a momma cow was having a baby.  God had other plans for this momma cow, her baby was stillborn.  Losing an animal on the farm is always a sad day, not only are you losing money but losing a life pretty much makes for a bad day.   This cow was missing her calf, so Farmer Tim (my brother in-law) and Mr. Farmer put their heads together and came up with a plan.

Farmer Tim came by the house to get Dude.  Little did Dude know at the time that his world was about to change, and so was my 4 year old daughters.  At the cattle lot, next to the pasture, they put the momma cow in the cattle chute.  The plan was to let Dude try to nurse from her outside the cattle chute to ensure his safety.  Cows tend to kick at other calves that try nurse from them, and after the quality time we have spent with Dude we wanted to make sure they would get a long.

IMG_7807

As you can see, Dude took right up with nursing like a champ and the momma cow was handling this new baby just fine in the chute.  The next step was to leave them in a pen to get acquainted with one another.  This lets the Farmers and I keep a close watch over the new pair.  We want to make sure that Dude is getting the milk he needs and that the momma has adopted this calf as her own.

At this point I am having to explain to my 4 year old why she doesn’t have a calf to love on anymore.  Farm kids learn about life and death at an early age, it’s never easy.  Letting them know that Dude would rather have a mother that is a cow and not a person is better for Dude.  But with life on the farm there will always be another calf to love on!

 

Keep watching for more updates on Dude and hopefully his new mom!

The Farm Momma

 

 

Share:Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

3 Ingredient Pulled Pork

A pulled pork sandwich is definitely in the rotation on the farm!  I love them in the crock pot or in the oven, depending on what time allows.   This crockpot recipe I use on busy days when I have to pick Kinze up from preschool, church night or a meal in the field for the crew.

I start out by putting a 3 lb pork roast in the crock pot, salt and pepper the roast.  I use a pepper grinder so my pepper is freshly ground allowing me to use less pepper.  I mix in 1 1/2 cups of BBQ sauce with 3/4 cup of brown sugar.  If you don’t like your pulled pork to be as sweet you can cut back the brown sugar.  This yummy sauce goes onto the pork roast and cook it on high for 4 hours.  Usually around 3 1/2 hours I will take the roast out, shred with forks and put the pork back into the crock pot for the last 30 minutes.  This is a simply recipe that your whole family will love!

 

 

DSC_0012

3 lb Roast

1 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce

3/4 cup brown sugar

Salt and pepper to Taste

 

Place roast in crock pot, salt and pepper the top.  Mix BBQ sauce and brown sugar, pour over roast.  Cook on low for 4 hours.

 

Happy Eating,

Jen

 

Share:Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

The Perfect Baked Potato

Baked potatoes have been my nemesis for a long time.

I was the oldest in my family and on our farm that meant that I was always with my dad.  I didn’t realize until later on in life that it would mean I would have, um, lets say, ample of opportunity in the kitchen.  There was a time in college that I had to call home and ask my younger sister how to make a baked potato, then came her laughter.  Fast forward several years, I get married, have babies and cooking 3 meals a day.  I’ve came a long way, ask my brother-in-law. 🙂

Back to the potatoes, I have cooked them in the microwave, in a microwave covered with a potato and have even tried a potato bag in the microwave.  I’m here to tell you that there is nothing better than a baked potato that has baked in the oven for an hour.  They are PERFECT every time!

I line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the potatoes on.  Swirl on some olive oil and sprinkle on sea salt.  Rub the potatoes into the oil and sea salt, my kids love this part! 🙂

DSC_0013

 

Bake these yummy potatoes at 350 for 1 hour.  Serve with a great grilled steak, use this rub!

 

DSC_0033

 

Steak and baked potato, life doesn’t get any better!

 

Jen

Share:Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Steak Rub – Garlic and Thyme

Spring is here and so starts the beginning of grilling season!

On the farm we love our beef, and I’m always trying something new with our steaks.  This steak rub recipe is easy to make and helps you spice up your steaks if you happen to be in a flavor rut.

Rubs are a great way to get kids involved in the kitchen, mine love using measuring spoons and will stir anything until the sun don’t shine.  Meet my rub assistant, she loves steak, playing in the kitchen sink and her MU Tigers.

My rub assistant :)

 

 

To start off we mixed together 1 tablespoon of dried thyme leaves, 2 tablespoons paprika, 3 cloves of garlic, minced and fresh ground pepper.

 

 

DSC_0024

 

We then press the rub into the steak and placed them onto our grill.  It was raining outside so I opted to use my indoor grill that you place on the stove.  Grill these to the desired doneness, we prefer medium which is a temperature of 160 degrees.  (I also prefer grilling outside)

 

DSC_0029

 

While momma was working on grilling the steak, my assistant lost herself in a bottle of paprika.  Good-bye paprika…

 

DSC_0027

 

Serve the steaks with the Perfect Baked Potato!

 

DSC_0033

 

Happy Grilling!  Don’t forget to get your kids involved in the cooking process, they love to eat what they cooked!

Jen

 

Share:Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Meet Dude

Hello world, meet Dude!!

 

Dude enjoying some time with Kinze and my bath towels.

Dude enjoying some time with Kinze and my bath towels.

 

Dude is a new baby heifer whose momma decided that she would rather chomp on some hay than feed her new baby girl. This starts out as a sad story, but a happy ending is coming (I PROMISE).  Dude’s momma didn’t seem up for the task of taking care of her just delivered baby. This happens from time to time during calving season, and usually each mother and calf scenario is different. In this case, after a failed night of trying to create a bond with Dude and her mom it was decided that Dude would need to come and live at our house for a bit for a chance of survival.  Just like all new babies, they need their mother’s milk.  We weren’t sure if Dude received any milk from her mom, so we quickly gave him a bottle of colostrum.  Along with the colostrum, she got a nice rub down with my nice bath towels and a view of the country road while she soaked up some sun. Whatever Dude needed there was a kiddo ready to run after it to help make life a little easier for this baby (and myself).

You may be wondering at this point how this baby girl came of the name “Dude”?  That would be from my 2 year old son calling for the baby calf and saying “Come on Dude. Come over here!” It still makes me smile when I think about him call for her, how could we not name her “Dude”?

After Dude received her colostrum, she wasn’t acting as perky as we would have liked her to be.  Thanks to the advice of our veterinarian, we kept an eye on her and for the next 4 days and gave her doses of electrolytes.  When she was eventually chasing me down for her bottle of milk, we knew she was starting to feel a lot better. We monitor their behavior and encourage feistiness as it helps us to recognize that they are feeling better and will have a greater chance to thrive in life.

Finally taking a bottle on day 5!

Finally taking a bottle on day 5!

 

Stay tuned for updates on Dude!

Share:Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Gardening with Kids

Kids and dirt.

The combination happens at my house constantly.  I feel like I’m always washing boots and soaking clothes.  Spring time on the farm is full of anticipation of spring planting, which happens to include gardening.  We have a garden every year on the farm, and some years are better than other years pending if I’m pregnant or not or on how well Mother Nature will cooperate.  Then, there are those years where the weeds just get the best of you.  This year is going to be different on Wright Farms, the kids are another year older and I just have that feeling its going to be great and full of adventure.

Before the kids and I could get in the garden (and play “farm” as they call it), I put a lot of thought and work into figuring out which plants/seeds I would need to purchase and how much I would need to feed my family of 5 for the coming year.  People agonize over this and some just don’t plain plan at all.  The University Missouri Extension literally did all the work for me.  They must have been thinking about the moms who don’t want to spend all their money at the grocery store and doesn’t have time to do all the math will trying to wrangle three little kiddos to bed.  They provide this fancy little worksheet that tells you how much to plant per person! This handy little worksheet will also help you pick what variety of fruit and vegetables to plant in your garden.  You can get it here, download and and print from your computer.

The kiddos and I took a trip to get part of our garden seed and a quick look at the bunnies, chicks and ducks at the local farm store.  When we got back home, I laid the kids down for their naps, and I went out to get the garden tilled, since this isn’t a kid friendly process.

When they woke up, it was their turn!  First thing is making a row for our seed potatoes, this is a great way to get kids involved!

IMG_7566

Momma’s Potato Planters

 

Covering potatoes

Covering potatoes

 

We also planted carrots, beets, radishes and lettuce.  As soon as the garden dries up for the last rain we will put in peas.

Gardening is a great way to teach your kids where food comes from and how it is grown.  I have also found that my kids are more prone to eat their vegetables if they plant, pick and help cook them.  There will be more gardening posts to come as we journey through this spring and summer, including the good, the bad and the ugly.  As soon as harvest rolls around in the garden I will share our favorite recipes from our garden produce and how to preserve your harvest for the winter months.

Happy Spring,

Jen

 

Share:Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestEmail this to someone