Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wrangler Wednesday

It seems like I only post on Wednesday...
maybe because it's easier to share pictures than words at times

This past week I was #blessed to find some photos our favorite photographer had done for us.  She had dropboxed them to me and I didn't even realize it!!  

NicCole Photography

NicCole Photography 


 Summer has definitely arrived in South Carolina!  We reached upper 80's a few times already and I'm sure the 90's are right around the corner.  The #farmboys have been enjoying the warmer weather and more sunlight.  It means more time outside!  


Farm Boy #2 loves to walk up and down the calf rows and inspect each calf




Farm Boy #1 has gotten into the habit of helping feed calves more regularly, which is good since starting next week he will be feeding every morning


The boys have also been fascinated by the 4-H pullets they got.  
It's nothing to drive past our house and see at least one of them playing in the front yard with the chicks.



Farm Boy #2 loves the kitten as well... he has picked up a new word "KitKit" 
which he will yell until you find the kitten...who is probably hiding for safety 

Doesn't poor Dash (the kitten) look frighten?
I had the opportunity to help 3 Kindergarten classes harvest their gardens last Friday.
These kids did a great job of growing and caring for their crops.  
They were all smiles during harvest!  Between the 3 classes they filled a 55 gallon trash bag with lettuce!!! 



We have been enjoying sweet strawberries and some yummy blue berries as well from some local farms.  We actually have had berries from Bush-N-Vine, Black's Peaches, and Cotton Hills Farms already this year.  We consider each of these farms to be owned/operated by dear friends which makes deciding on the best berries very difficult.  Let's just say we enjoy them all! 



Our show lambs have finally picked up on eating again since bringing them home a little over a week ago.  Lambs have to adjust to their surrounding and learn the new routine before they resume their piggish appetites.  



Farm Boy #2 was loving this toy we borrowed from a friend.  He likes to make tractor sounds from behind the paci.  He is actually in a field we had just cut for silage.


The Farmer...ever working.  He is honestly the hardest working man I have ever met.  I am amazed daily by his work ethic and passion for agriculture.


I'm not sure when the last time I talked to him on the phone that he wasn't on a tractor either mixing feed, chopping silage or baling hay.


That's all for now..

Until we meet again...

Caci

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wrangler Wednesday: Picking up Show lambs

Last weekend we hit the road to drive 12+ hours to pick up a set of show lambs for kids in our county.  Now to you it might seem crazy that due to chopping silage we didn't leave until 8 p.m. drove until about 2 a.m. to pick up lambs at 8 a.m. and be back home before 5 p.m. so that the kids could grab their lambs.  

But I have a secret...that's not the farthest drive we have ever done to pick up show lambs.  

Why do we do it?

1) Because we (ok mainly I) enjoy show livestock 
2) There were a few really good men who did the same for me back in the day...they would drive 12-15 hours to pick up show pigs and haul them home for me!
3) Giving kids the opportunity to experience a livestock show is my passion. 


Before we headed out the boys and I had to check the heifers we had just turned out into a new field


and feed the cows in the barn...(can you tell Farm Boy #2 is a climber)


Farm Boy #1 fell asleep not long into our trip


And when he wasn't sleeping he was playing games, watching videos, fighting elephants or asking questions


The Farmer took 2 milkings off to go with us...
he did most of the driving (expect the 11 p.m.-2 a.m. shift) 
which included me, 
in the middle of the night, 
navigating his new trailer through bridge construction
ONE LANE bridge construction 
that was barely wide enough for a mini cooper to pass
much less the truck & trailer.

Photo credit: Crystal Sandifer

Farm Boy 1 was excited to help unload the lambs for the kids

Photo credit: Crystal Sandifer

These four will make excellent showers...poor Farm Boy 1 doesn't realize he's doomed in showmanship with these cuties
Photo credit: Crystal Sandifer
Farm Boy 2 is just frustrated no one will let him in with the big kids

Photo credit: Crystal Sandifer

We had some happy kids picking up their new projects.




Farm Boy 1 was determined to halter break his lamb on day one!  
Flash isn't so determined.


But they are becoming friends


And Farm Boy 1 was allowing Farm Boy 2 to explore without boundaries 


After a while the shirts came off because "halter breaking is hard work, Momma." 

So here is to a new show season,
with all it's ups and downs,
feed bills and buckets,
clippers and show stands.

I wouldn't trade a minute of the time I get to spend with my boys during show season for anything else.
Livestock projects teach children so much,
responsibility,
record keeping,
compassion,
animal husbandry,

Plus it keeps them outside!

Until we meet again~

Caci














Monday, May 19, 2014

Mommy Monday: 14 in 2014 Goals update


So this year I have set 14 goals for myself.  If you want to check out why I picked these 14 read this.  We are almost 1/2 through the year and I thought today would be a great day to check in and see how I am doing!

1. Pray about everything!  & 2. Study Scripture Daily.
I'm not sure I will ever pray or study enough but I find myself saying more little prayers each day and remembering verses throughout the day.  I also know that when I right it down I am more diligent about praying and spending time in God's word.     

3.  Tithe 1st, not last.
A work in progress.  It is the first item on our budget but I'm not saying it's always the first item out the door.  I think when things get tight it makes it extra hard to give all that we should because we forget all that God has given us! 

4. Memorize 12 verses of Scripture
If I am going to make 12 verses I am really going to have to work at it!!  

5. Organize my life.
Umm...my life isn't organized as you can tell from last Tuesday's blog post, however I am trying to find a system that works for me!

6. Declutter Our House
This is such a work in progress.  I have literally removed an entire wardrobe of women's clothes from my house.  Sad part is there is still 5 more women's wardrobes left!! I am slowing working through all the items.  I have found that clothes are my biggest challenge, not just for me but the boys as well.  I have been tempted to reduce my clothing to only 100 items.  I am working on a list...I'll let you know how that goes!  
.  
7. Set a daily schedule and stick to it!! 
well I set one...now I just need to follow it!

8. Pay off Debt!!!
The last time I updated I bragged about my multiple accounts and starting the envelope system...yeah I should keep my mouth shut!  Praying that I will be on a cash only system for groceries, gas, and other (non-bill) items by July 1.  

9. Put at least $1000 in our savings account for a rainy day fund
Not there yet..

10.  Put at least $200 extra into each of the boy's savings account.
Setting aside extra is hard...still working on this goal.

11.  Do a family outing once a month.  
We did go camping in the backyard over Farm Boy's spring break.  This has been a hard one to do.  It's very difficult for the Farmer to get away.  Honestly he hasn't had a day off since early December..it's long overdue!

12.  Exercise 3 times a week and include the boys as often as possible.  
I did great on this goal for a while and then I fell off the wagon...hoping to get back on ASAP!!

13.  Go on a date night just William & I once a month
5+ months and counting...still not one date night.  Please don't get me wrong we have a wonderful friend who has offered to babysit for us more than once...the Farmer just doesn't have the time.  On the rare occasion he makes it home before me...I have a meeting!  

14.  Post 60 blog post, plus keep our social media sites updated.
Over 1/2 to my goal and it's not even June yet!!  I have been working on getting the Farmer to update the farm's Facebook page from the field or at least send me some pics so I can do it! 

Don't forget you can follow SCFarmWife on Twitter, Facebook Pinterest& Instagram!

And you can learn more about what's going on at our farm on our Farm Page.

Did you set goals for the New Year? Are you still working on them? Or have you tossed them?

Until we meet again

Caci

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Origami & Broiler pans: Flats Challenge Day 4 & 5

Hi & welcome if you are visiting from the DDL link up!!  I hope you enjoy my little space on the blog sphere.
I'll begin with some honesty...I am a blogging slacker from time to time and honestly yesterday got away from me before I remembered.  Today we are going to do Day 4 & 5 of the Flats Challenge in one post :) 

Day 4's topic was: What is your washing routine?
Day's 5 topic: Flats experience, Fav Folds & What's working (or not).
Don't expect there to be a distinct answer for all the above.  I am going to address all the question as I go expect for my favorite folds which I will cover at the end.  

My washing routine is quite simple until we have a mishap.  Which just so happens we had on Monday evening, that really presented itself Tuesday.  Monday was a CRAZY day around the farm.  

Farmer is in the middle of chopping silage and the farm baby had to hang with him some. 

After spending some time doing that he got to haul cows with the Farmer as well...
which he loved but his unchanged bottom revolted against it.  (read TERRIBLE ammonia burn)
TBT: Hauling cows with Daddy in winter

Why was the Farm Baby with the Farmer and not Momma...
well cause Momma had the Farm Boy...

Picking up 4-H project chicks,

Checking cows with the kitten in tow, 


Getting the barn ready for 4-H project #3 to arrive Sunday,


Playing ball,


and attending a Young Farmers & Ranchers committee meeting. Oh and did I mention I went to work for most of the day Monday as well...
You see farm life often means you divide and conquer :)

So how do I have time to handwash???
Well simply I do it all along.  I don't have one huge allotment of time each day to dedicate to washing diapers but I do have 5 minutes here and there.  

My 1st step is filling the sink with cold water. 


While it's filling I empty all the pocket diapers out and swish them around in the cold water.
(Yes there is a microfiber insert in there...the Farmer grabs whatever is available to use). 


I let them soak for a few moments while I usually tend to something else.  Sometimes this is 5 minutes...sometimes it's 5 hours...just depends.  After the 1st cold soak, I boil some water in my kettle, drain the soak water and let the tap water heat up.  


Once the water is hot (my kettle isn't ready yet) I use a broiler pan and scrub my diapers using Zote, while filling the sink with "hot" water and a little blue dawn.  Once I'm done scrubbing diapers and the kettle is done I poor the super hot water over the diapers and let them soak again.



Once they have soaked again (at least 5-10 minutes) I drain the water and rinse all the diapers clean.


I then hang them on our back porch/laundry as it gets great sunlight but is still protected from all the elements.  Typically my diapers are completely dry within 3 hours or hanging them up (expect last night due to the rain and cooler temps).  

My wash routine also took a little longer last night as well.  And in favor of complete honesty...I'll tell you we used a disposable for one change because Farm Baby's bottom was BAD...he needed some HEAVY DUTY diaper cream that I didn't want in my diapers...I was so tempted just to throw everything in the washer with some bleach and then the dryer, to fix our problem.  After thinking about the fact that I'm sure there are moms out there who face this situation without the luxury of a wash & dryer 10 feet away...I figured I would find another solution.  So I boiled all the diapers to ensure any ammonia build up was completely gone.  

Once diapers are dry I let the boys twist, scrunch, and wring them to make them soft again.
After we play laundry ball for a few...I then fold anything I am going to fold so that it's ready for the next diaper change.  

I love the......
 pad fold (because how much simpler can you get)
Origami Fold (My ABSOLUTE favorite fold)
and occasionally the Kite Fold

Overall the challenge is going well.  I don't mind the hand washing and really could see us doing away with many of our pocket stash for flats and covers over the next few months.  They take up so much less space than our pockets.  

How's the challenge going for you?  If you aren't participating are you a CD mom?

Until we meet again...

Caci

Monday, May 12, 2014

My Flat Stash

This lil farm baby can really wreak havoc on some diapers...he's rough and tuff and loves to get dirty.  



Yesterday was the beginning of the Flats Challenge from Dirty Diaper Laundry and overall it went fairly well. I love trying out different folds but know that if I want to fully participate then I have to make it easy for my MIL and the Farmer.  So for times with the Farm Baby isn't with me I stuff my pocket diapers with flats.  

So this is one of my favorite men with a 'stache...couldn't help myself :) 


Mustaches of the American West
Baxter Black courtesy of http://matthewginn.com/mustaches/


So what's in my 'stash??

This the majority of our stash.  
About a dozen flat diapers,
10 flour sack towels (not all pictured)
and 6 receiving blankets.

I am using the Gerber flats you can purchase at Wal-Mart.  Mainly because my goal is to show others that you can use what is readily available locally.  Many folks on a tight budget don't have the means to order stuff online...so I wanted to use diapers that you could get locally.  Now that can't be said for most of my covers.  But later this week I will be sharing how I made my fleece covers!


For covers we have 2 fleece covers (at the moment a few more are still on the machine),
6 econobum one size covers I got on a seconds sale at CottonBabies (less than $30 for all)
4 Mother-Ease covers I got from a friend.
1 Pro-Wrap (that is pushing the too small side)
& 2 LiteWrap covers (which are my favorite)

We also have 3-4 pocket diapers in rotation for others to use.  
I am also using snappis to secure my folds.  

My entire stash costed me around $100 however that has been over time not all at once.  The flats themselves cost $12, the flour sack towels about $10 and the receiving blankets where gifts we received.  The rest of my money is in covers.  All of these covers except the Econobum have been used on multiple kids.  

Needless to say we have lots of covers...but this little farm boy makes lots of messes so he get's changed often.  


He loves
 playing with the new kitten which includes 
emptying the poor things food and water bowls multiple times each day...


Climbing gates to get to the horses, after crawling through the red dirt...


plus this week he will be in and out of the silage field helping to harvest feed for our dairy cattle. 

Are you interested in knowing more about the Flats Challenge?? Check out Dirty Diaper Laundry for more info and the rules!   


Until we meet again...

Caci





Sunday, May 11, 2014

Flats Challenge 2014

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there!  
I hope your day is full of bliss and uninterrupted potty breaks. 

I have decided to take the Flats Challenge that begins today.

imtakingthe2014flats

It was started a few years back by Kim of Dirty Diaper Laundry to test her commitment to keeping her kids in clean diapers.  I know many people in our world, country and even in our county don't make enough to make ends meet.  There is no federal assistance program for diapers (not that I believe there should be) but because of that some people take extreme measures to squeeze every last dime out of a diaper...down to reusing disposables.  This challenge was created to show that where there is a will there is a way.  You can cloth diaper your child from birth to potty training cheaply using things you probably have around the house or can pick up for less than $25 (the cost of a large pack of Pampers).  

We make ends meet, occasionally we use disposables, and have a working washer & dryer...so why am I participating in the challenge?   To show folks you can do it, if you want!  You don't have to reuse disposables or leave a diaper on too long.  Also I feel that I am in a unique situation..many of the moms I have seen are participating in the challenge stay at home, I on the other hand work a full time job outside the home, run an Etsy shop, help on the farm, have multiple volunteer commitments and an older child who has school and extra-curricular activities.  (Please don't think I am discounting the value of a stay at home mom or her time...I'm just in a different situation) I want to someone who feels like they can't to know no matter how much is going on in your lives you can accomplish this.  Even when ends barely meet and time is sparse you can diaper your baby without disposables and modern conveniences.  



So there you have it.  I pledge for the next 7 days to only use flats, no washer, no dryer on this little bum.  Through church, t-ball, work, committee meetings, and a 12+ hour round trip to only use flats.  If we can do this in our crazy family...you can too!  Are you willing?  It's not to late to join...check out the rules here and come ride the crazy train with me!

Until we meet again!

Caci

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wrangler Wednesday: Judging Trip and Mini Vacay

I was honored after the first of the year to judge the Meat Sheep Alliance of Florida's final show.  
Not only did it give me a chance to do one of my favorite things(judging) it also allowed me and the boys to take a road trip and send some much needed time with my big sister and her family.  

I was even more honored and thankful for all the kind words and Facebook messages I received after the show.  I was able to interact with a great group of kids and parents!

Photo courtesy of TK ShowEwehow Ranch
This was the first time I had taken the boys on a road trip by myself.  
But they did awesome for 99% of the trip! 


This was how they rode most of the time.  One napping, while the other entertained his self with games, books, DVDs, music and toys!




We were able to stop for lunch at my favorite BBQ place in all the world!  If you have never tried Purvis BBQ in Louisville, GA you need to make a special trip to this small town.  I promise you won't regret it!


Even Wyatt gave it 2 thumbs up!


This unfortunately is the driveway to where I grew up.  Behind that fallen down tree and up the lane sits the house my Granddaddy built in the early 80's.  This is where I developed a love for agriculture, learned how to halter break a calf, learned the books of the Bible (which I still can't remember 1/2 the time), spent hours riding my horse, and listened to my Granddaddy tell stories while watching the Braves game.  I wish now that I had paid more attention to my Granny's cooking and sewing that is lost behind this overgrowth.  That I had listened when she tried to share Jesus with me, that I had appreciated what was at the end of this driveway just a little more.

This overgrowth made me realize the importance roles others played in my life.  So instead of just driving right through my small hometown...I stopped and chatted with my Ag teacher for a minute and was lucky to get to see another family friend as well (I just wished I'd gotten to see his wife & girls too).  


The boys and I also made a stop at ABAC.  It was this place that introduced me to the Farmer.  It was here that I learned the importance of speaking out for agriculture.  It was ABAC that taught me no matter how entrenched you think your community is in agriculture there are still those folks who only know food comes from the grocery store.  ABAC is also where I learned to put my thoughts on paper and advocate...long before anyone thought they had too.  If you pick up a copy of Pegasus (ABAC's literary publication) from the 2002-2003 school year you will find a copy of my award winning essay "5 Legged Calf Found Eating Mutant Green Corn."  It was a non fiction piece discussing GMO's and the public's perception.  





After visiting with Rachel (Farmer's Baby sister) for a few we headed South to see this girl play in the powder puff football game at her high school.  Living 7+ hours apart we don't get to experience many of the "regular" parts of life with my sister and her family.  So it was a treat to just enjoy each other's company.  


Wyatt's highlight of trips to Florida always include hanging out with his "super cool" big cousins and playing video games (that he has no clue how to play).  



We were able to enjoy a local festival while we were in town as well.  It's neat to see how different towns celebrate their past, present and future.  


Wyatt even coaxed Paige into riding the train around the mall with him.  Which honestly made his day!




 Of course we have to have a few pictures of all the kids together.  It's funny there is the same age difference in Paige & Farm Boy as there is between Scotty & myself.  I wish I could find a picture of Scotty & I when I was 19.  I'm sure he was loving time with his favorite aunt!  


We did some sister pictures too.  I love spending time with my big sister and just talking.  We don't get to do it nearly enough.  I also just realized that apparently there are no pictures of my brother-in-law from our trip.  He did a good job of hiding from the camera I see.  No worries Scott we love you!  I mean really you have been part of my family for 20+ years now (over 1/2 my life you know!).  


After a tearful goodbye the boys and I headed home but not before a pitstop at Amelia Island.  The kids had a great time playing in the sand.




Farm Boy loves the ocean no matter the time of year and even though the water was cool he dove right in.
We have decided if he ever leaves the farm, you will find him at the beach.


Farm Boy #2 (he's no longer a baby :( )on the other hand preferred sitting on a towel munching on sea shells & sand. 
 A boy has got to eat you know!  


We had a great time and a wonderful trip.
Can't wait until we get to visit with our family again!
Goodbye for now!  

Until we meet again...

Caci