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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Summer Nights...

Summer nights are quickly winding down, much to our dismay.  Summer always seems to be our busiest time, but also gives us the chance to spend more time as a family.  The days and nights may be long, but we sure do enjoy them!

I captured these the other night while the girls were jumping on a trampoline...with a pool floatie, of course;)  The lighting and quality isn't the best...I'm still working on my low-light photography and after nearly 10 years, I'm beginning to wonder if I will ever master that, but I love them.

This one is my favorite.  Jo is in the shot also, but she is laying down;)

 Sunset, cornfields, and a trampoline.  Perfection!


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Spraying Fungicide...

This has definitely been an interesting year thus far for farmers.  It's hard to believe that 3 years ago we were in one of the worst droughts in history.  I saw on the news today that in 2012 we experienced 51 days of 90 degree temperatures.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  I was pregnant and spent a lot of time in the pool, while watching our crops burn up.  That year we had some of the lowest yields on record.

This summer has been the complete opposite.  I forget the exact number, but we have only had a few days of 90 degree temps and the rainfall has been above average...way above average.  I've tried to refrain from sharing very many crop pictures on social media because I know that we are very fortunate where we live in terms of how our crops look.  I have seen pictures of fields that are flooded, fields that didn't get planted because of Spring being too wet, and corn that is only a foot tall and is beginning to tassel.  My heart is definitely aching for these farmers and their families and I am keeping them in my prayers.

With all the moisture we have experienced combined with late planting times, there comes a risk of diseases in corn that can affect yields.  Many farmers have chosen to spray their fields with fungicide in hopes of preventing further disease.  We decided to have our fields sprayed as well.  Some chemical companies apply the fungicide with an airplane, while others, like ours, use a helicopter.  Some farmers can use a "sprayer" with very tall wheels to get through the rows of corn to apply it, but there are only certain types of sprayers that can do this.  Fungicide is applied after the corn has tasseled.  It seems that for the past several weeks we have heard planes in the distance spraying corn.  It never gets old watching them spray the fields and it is easy entertainment for the girls;)

This was the first year that we have sprayed fungicide from the air, so the girls were pretty excited to watch.  It's not every day that a helicopter lands in the barn lot!;)

Here is a short video of the helicopter spraying...
 The helicopter landed on the back of the truck to fill-up with more fungicide.  They are able to spray 26 acres between fill-ups.

Here is a short video of the helicopter landing...
 A quick fill-up, which only seemed to take a couple minutes, and he was off again...


Thursday, July 23, 2015

22 Days...

22 days.  That is exactly how many days Jo has been paci free!  I didn't think it would happen this soon(I know. I know.  She's almost three, but I really wasn't worried about weaning her from it at this time.), or that it would be so easy.  
She always had at least two pacis everywhere we went, and if we were going for a car ride, I always made sure to pack at least 5!  She is a HORRIBLE car rider, and if any of my friends or family members are reading this, they are probably nodding their heads right about now.  She has never liked the car!  I remember taking her to B and Mel's gymnastics lessons when she was a week old and she cried for the 18 minute drive there and the 18 minute drive home.  Not just cry, but that blood curdling scream that a newborn has.  I came home in tears (I blame the hormones) and Brad said, "She's only a week old.  Give her time.  She'll get better."  Yeah.  She never did.  So, the pacis have always made the drive a little bit easier.

Another reason   excuse she always had the paci was because she is very strong willed!  The most strong-willed out of the three.  Once again, friends and family are nodding their heads;).  So, I didn't think that the weaning process would be easy.

B was weaned by planting them in the garden.  She was 2.5 also.  We planted each one, then at nap time I dug them all up and put sunflower seeds in their place.  She was convinced that those seeds would grow a paci tree!  She soon forgot about them and the sunflowers bloomed and no pacis grew;)

We told Mel that she left her's at Grandma's and we would have to get them the next time we were there.  We didn't visit Grandma for a while.  This wasn't a total lie because she really did leave one there, but we had 5 in the cabinet;).

So, how did we wean Jo?  The three girls and went to town to run errands.  As we were pulling out of the driveway I realized I didn't grab any extra pacis.  She had one in her mouth and one in her hand.  I didn't feel like running back in the house for more, so I thought to myself 'She's just going to have to deal with it."  5 minutes in to the ride she was asking for more so I explained to her that we left them at home.  We went to the library, then drove to the county courthouse.  When we were getting in the car from the courthouse she asked for another paci.  She still had one in her mouth so I asked her where the other one was.  She said, "At church."  Which also means library.  I told her that it was lost and I wasn't going back to find it. She is notorious for leaving them places! Looooong ride home.  When we got home she took a nap, with her 5 pacis.  That night, after supper, she came to me and asked for another paci.  She opened the drawer in the kitchen where we kept them and the two in there had holes, so she didn't want those.  I reminded her that we left a paci at the library and that they were all gone.  Then B, Mel, Brad and I scrambled through the house to find the pacis that we could and hid them.  She only asked for it once at bed time and a few more times after that.  If she sees a baby with one, she will ask about her's, but is usually satisified with hearing that she left it at the library.

We have visited the library since then and she never asked for it;)  She did find one miraculously appear on the kitchen counter.  I have no idea where it came from.  She exclaimed, "My paci!  Thank you, Daddy!"  Brad was just as clueless as I was.  I told her it had bugs on it so we had to throw it away.  We are still keeping our eyes peeled for any missing ones that might be hiding in the house!

So, there you have it.  It was all because she left one at the library.


Monday, July 20, 2015

Puffy Paint Ice Cream...

July is National Ice Cream Month and what better way to celebrate all month long than by eating your favorite flavors of ice cream and making this fun craft?  Mom for Less and I have joined together, thanks to Indiana's Family of Farmers to bring you a homeschool lesson and craft all about ice cream!

My girls love playing with shaving cream.  I buy probably 10 cans of the cheapest shaving cream I can find at the store so I always have some in the cabinet.  They love practicing letters, spelling, or just pretending with it.  Then when you are done all you have to do is hose them off!

Last winter we made puffy paint snowmen (which I will share later), so we decided to make ice cream cones with the same "recipe."

You will need:
shaving cream
brown construction paper
black sharpie marker
food coloring
brown acrylic paint (optional, or another color of your choice)
glue stick
school glue
Black beads (optional)
red paint (optional)

Begin by cutting a triangle out of brown construction paper and draw black lines on it.  This will be your cone.  Then glue it on the cardstock.  For the younger kids, I drew the outline of the ice cream to help give them direction on where to paint.
Apply the same amount of shaving cream and school glue in a bowl.  You really can't mess this up.  I try to get the consistency of icing with nice smooth peaks.
Next add in the food coloring or paint.  For chocolate ice cream we added a drop or two of brown paint until we reached the desired color.  The same process went for the food coloring.
Now, begin painting...
Finally, add your toppings.  We used black beads for chocolate chips on some of the cones, and drops of brown paint on others.  We added a cherry to the top with red paint, but again, that is optional.

Have fun creating the flavor ice cream of your dreams!  While this ice cream does look good enough to eat, I don't recommend it;)

Now, jump over to Mom for Less and find a homeschool lesson to go with these puffy paint ice cream cones!


Friday, June 19, 2015

Smoky Barbecue Sliders...

I love a good cheeseburger!  The messier the better!  Pizza and cheeseburger are my two favorite foods and if you know me well, you know that I never pass up a chance to eat at our local Pizza King, and we can be found there most Sundays after church, or at the chance to eat at any "hole in the wall" restaurant because those are the ones that serve the best cheeseburgers!

I also never pass up the opportunity to have those two foods at home, so when I saw this recipe for Smoky Barbecue Sliders I knew that I had to try it.  As a bonus, they also include my second most favorite food...bacon.  Oh.My.Goodness.  So delicious!  These were probably the best cheeseburgers I have ever grilled!  I made these a couple weeks ago and Brad asked tonight when we were going to have them again.  And the girls loved the mini sandwiches.  This would make the perfect burger for Father's Day.

Smoky Barbecue Sliders

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1/2 Cup onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons powdered garlic
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp. liquid smoke
  • 3 Tbsp. Sweet Baby Rays original BBQ sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. Paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 16 hamburger slider buns
Cooking Directions
  1. Cook bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels and let cool and crumble. Drain all but 1 Tablespoon bacon grease from skillet; saute onion for about 3 minutes. Add garlic powder and stir into bacon. Saute for an additional minute. Let cool.
  2. Mix ground beef, paprika, barbecue sauce, salt, pepper, and reserved bacon and onion.
  3. Form into 3-inch patties.
  4. Grill over medium heat for 6-10 minutes per side.
  5. Top half of them with shredded cheese and allow to melt for a minute or so.
  6. Top with another patty and serve on buns.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Dairy Cow Bookmark...

June is National Dairy Month.  To celebrate, I am partnering with Crystal at Mom for Less to bring you a homeschool lesson and a cute little craft to learn about the wonderful world of dairy farming!

This month we actually made two crafts!  Growing up on a dairy farm, I love all things dairy so it was definitely hard for me to pick just one craft to create and share with all of you!  The first craft we made was a dairy cow bookmark.

My kids are up to their eyeballs this Summer trying to meet their Summer Reading goal and win the "grand" prize.  It always seems like they are always looking for a bookmark, so I thought this was perfect.  Also, they are each showing two dairy heifers (a young cow that has not yet given birth to a calf) at our county fair which is a week and a half away.

You will need:
Jumbo craft sticks
black (and possibly brown) sharpie marker
Pink craft foam
black (and possibly brown) construction paper
Jingle bells
Hot glue gun
White paint

Begin by painting both sides of the craft stick and allow it to dry...

Next cut out ovals from the pink foam.  This will be for the nose...
Cut ears out of black (or brown) construction paper...
Then cut about a 6 inch piece of Raffia and tie it in a bow.  Unravel the ends a bit to give it a rustic look;)...
Glue the oval foam to the craft stick then, using a black sharpie marker, add lines for the nostrils and the mouth.  Add the eyes and hair.  Then draw a line from the bottom of the nose all the way to the bottom of the craft stick.  Make two half lines near the bottom for the hooves...
Color in the hooves with the Sharpie marker..
Begin making the black or brown spots on the cow...
With hot glue, attach the ears, bow, and bell and your bookmark is all finished!

 Mel decided to use a brown Sharpie for her calf since one of the heifers she is showing is red.  Most Holsteins are black and white, but some are born with a recessive gene that makes them red and white.

The next craft we did was milk painting.  I saw a video floating around Facebook a while back where someone had milk in a shallow bowl, added a few drops of food coloring, and a few drops of dish soap and the reaction was so cool.  The girls loved it, so the idea for milk painting popped into my head. 

You will need:
whole milk
dish soap

Add a thin layer of milk to the bottom of the baking pan.  Then add drops of food coloring to the milk...
 Next, add a few drops of the dish soap around the perimeter of the pan and swirl with a Q-tip a bit.  Don't do this too much or you will end up with brown:/..
 Gently press the paper into the milk.
Remove the paper from the pan and allow it to dry.

I loved how each paper looked different.  It's almost a tie-dye effect...

 This project is so simple, that you can dump the milk and do it over and over!

Now hop on over to Mom for Less and learn about the big and wonderful world of dairy with a homeschool lesson.


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