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Monday, September 23, 2013

I Feel Like I'm Failing...

Do you ever have days where you feel like you're failing as a parent?  If you answered "No", then please stop reading and scroll on down to the next blog in your feed.

Today is the first day of harvest.  That means long hours in the field for Brad.  They don't quit at 5:00.  They are sometimes in the field until 10 or 11:00, sometimes later.  When the weather is right, it's go time.  While I feel like I should be excited that this time of year is here, I'm struggling to feel like an adequate parent.  I thought, at the time, that last harvest was a tough one.  Besides the drought of 2012, we brought home a newborn on October 2nd.  Right smack dab in the middle of harvest.  All of a sudden I had to juggle a 6 year old, a 4 year old, and a newborn.

Tonight the girls had gymnastics until 7.  I took them to McDonald's because I was exhausted after wrestling Jo for 2 hours at the gym.  That girl does not sit still and she wants to be right on the floor with the rest of the girls!  I ended up sitting in the drive-thru for 15 minutes because they got my order mixed up with someone else's.  Jo screamed the whole 15 minute drive home.  She is in a very needy/whiny phase right now.  At least I'm really hoping it's just a phase.  She wants to be held non-stop.  If she sees me walk out of the room, she starts whining and will find me, pull herself up on my legs and demand to be held.

So, we got home at 7:35, eat our fabulous supper of Mickey D's.  Then it's time for B to do her homework.  While I'm trying to help her, Jo is whining at my leg.  Then it was bath and shower time for all three of them.  The moment when I was about ready to burst into tears was bedtime.  The girls had brushed their teeth and they both wanted to read a story.  They wanted two separate books. ( Jo has gone upstairs with us to put them to bed since she was a newborn.  It's our routine and it's what works.)  While I was reading Mel her story, Jo whined/cried.  While I was reading B her story, Jo whined/cried.  I felt like a failure because I couldn't cater to each of their needs.   Suddenly last harvest seemed like a walk in the park.  Newborns cry.  You feed them, change them, pop a paci in their mouth.  Now I have a crawling, almost toddling 11.5 month old who is into everything!  

I feel like I'm failing.  I feel like I can't spend enough time with all three of them. I feel like I can't keep up with all the homework/sign ups that B is bringing home.  I feel like I'm failing at keeping a clean house/yard.  I feel like I'm failing as a farm wife.  This is our life.  I'm supposed to be able to deal with the early mornings, late nights and all the chaos in between.  Why do I find this to be so hard?

Lord, grant me the stength I need to get through this hectic time in my life.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sweet and Savory Meatloaf...

When I was asked to share a recipe with my readers that relates to my farming background, I knew it had to include beef.  I was raised on a dairy and grain farm.  For several years we also had hogs.  Now we live on a beef and grain farm.  

Growing up, we were definitely a meat and potato kind of family.  I am now passing on my love for meat and potatoes to my girls.  I think it may be one of the main reasons Brad fell in love with me.  When we go to a restaurant, I'm not scared to order a steak or a big ole cheeseburger!

One of the ultimate comfort meals for me is meatloaf, mashed potatoes and carrots.  It's pretty easy to make and you have a three course meal in a little over an hour.

Sweet and Savory Meatloaf

2 pounds ground beef
1 Cup oatmeal
2 eggs
1/4 Cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 Cup ketchup

Mix all ingredients together.  (You may need to add a little more ketchup if it seems to dry, or more oatmeal if it seems to moist.) 

Form into a loaf and bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.


I am participating in Indiana's Family of Farmers Table Talk series and received a gift in exchange for my participation.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Chopping Time...

We finished chopping silage last week.  Brad always looks forward to it because it marks the beginning of harvest.
Mel, Jo and I managed to drive the RTV over on the first day and snap a few photos.  You can check out one of my previous posts that describes the chopping process, but for now just enjoy all the pictures.

While we were waiting for the chopper to come back around, I snapped a few pictures of Jo.  I feel like she doesn't have as many pictures as the older two.  Maybe that's the third child thing.

Now that the chopping is finished, there is talk that we will start corn harvest later this week.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Pizza Casserole...

Last Saturday was spent doing two of my favorite things, cooking and spending time with friends.  When Gooseberry Patch offered to sponsor the Real Farmwives for a freezer cooking day, I jumped at the chance.  Harvest is just around the corner and it's always nice to have a few meals already prepared and in the freezer.  I'm normally not this prepared, but thanks to a whole day devoted to freezer cooking with 10 of my favorite people, I now have 10 meals in my freezer!

We all picked a recipe from this book...

Our freezer cooking frenzy was held at a local church because I don't know if any one's kitchen would have been big enough to accommodate that many cooks!  How many cooks can you get in one kitchen?... 
Liz from Two Maids a Milking and Jent from My Front Porch...

The recipe that I chose was Pizza Casserole because my family loves pizza.  Sometimes I think I could eat pizza every day.  

Begin by chopping an onion...
Then brown the hamburger and onion... 
Set the hamburger and onions aside and boil the noodles until tender and drain.  Place them in a large bowl... 
Next add the hamburger mixture and spaghetti sauce to the noodles and spread the mixture in two 9x13 pans... 
Top with shredded mozzarella cheese and pepperoni... 

Since this recipe makes two, you can bake one right away and freeze the other, or you can give the other one to a friend;).

All the tasty meals ready to be divided...

Of course you can't cook that many meals without having to do dishes which ,we all know, was Jent's favorite part of the whole day!  Lunch Lady Jent....

Be sure to check out the Real Farmwives site for more freezer friendly meals.  You can also check out all the action from our super fun weekend by searching "FarmGirlsFreeze" on Instagram and Twitter.

Pizza Casserole

2 lbs. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 28 oz. jars spaghetti sauce
16 oz. package Rotini, cooked
16 oz. package shredded mozzarella cheese
5 oz. package sliced pepperoni

Brown beef and chopped onion;drain.  Stir in spaghetti sauce and pasta.  Place mixture in 2 greased 9"X13" pans.  Sprinkle with cheese and pepperoni.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 25- 30 minutes.

To freeze: Cover unbaked casserole tightly with aluminum foil.  Thaw overnight in refrigerator.  Uncover and bake as directed.

Gooseberry Patch provided me with a copy of Freezer-Friendly Meals to review, but all opinions and photographs are my own.

Mel's Fifth Birthday...

Doesn't she look another year older?
On Thursday we had our own little birthday celebration.  She got to take cookies and goody bags to school to share with her friends.  Then that night we celebrated with cupcakes and presents. 

You can never just blow the candles out once.  You have to do it at least two times! 
Present time.... 
Her very own red 4-wheeler helmet complete with flames! 

Jo thought the box was more fun than all the presents... 
We couldn't leave out Miss B... 
Friday night was the big birthday party.  Not as big as they used to be.  We used to invite everyone we knew it seemed.  While I do miss the big parties, it's a lot of work so it was nice to downsize.  Grandparents, Aunt Lauren and a friend of Mel's choice who happened to be her cousin, Taylor were there to help her celebrate. 

Someone thought they were a little too cool to have their picture taken.  And so it begins. 
The cake made by my very talented cousin.  Mel had specific instructions on what she wanted the unicorn to look like.  Very specific. 

She got a little embarrassed during "Happy Birthday"...  

The queen of funny faces... 

More presents... 

They ended the evening by playing Just Dance.  I think it wore them out because they slept really well! 
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