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!

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. 🙂

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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

 

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.

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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

 

 

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!

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!

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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