Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Just a Farm Wife

My entire life I have heard the old adage 
"Behind every successful Farmer is a wife who works in town."


On our farm this rings very true.  
As you may or may not know I have a "town" job...
you know the one with the regular paycheck and health insurance.  
So did my mother-in-law and my grandmother,
However, strike the last 2 words and it still rings true on the majority of farms across the country.  

Farm wives work...
at home, 
at the farm 
and some at another job or two.  

It doesn't mean any one is more or less a farm wife than another.
I proudly wear the title farm wife,
never thinking of it as a belittlement.  
You see as a farm wife I have learned...
the value of a good cup of coffee (heck even a not so good one), 
to rake hay,


to milk cows,


to enjoy the moment,


to clean any bodily fluid, mud or grease you can imagine out of a new pair of jeans


but most of all to glorify God in all that we do,
to thank him for the rain, healthy calves, and abundant harvest,
and to drop to my knees in prayer...
asking for grace, comfort, and peace in his timing
when none of the above (and much more) is happening.


My job as farm wife requires me to be able to do many of the things my farmer can
 all the while keeping house, 
raising babies, and 
balancing books.

While some women may not want the title farm wife,
I'm happy as a pig in mud with that title.
It encompasses everything I do and all that I am into 2 little words...
Farm Wife


Brandi over at Lipstick and Tractors composed "So God Made a Farmer's Wife" 
almost 2 years ago. 
I think it sums it up well.
 

 Here's a link to her original posting.  

Are you interested in learning more about what I do as a farm wife? 
Follow me for the next 31 days as  I walk you through Life as a Farm Wife.
I will share about our faith, our family and our farm.  
Be prepared for cow shows, weddings, and work (maybe all in the same day).  

Until next time may God bless you real good,

Caci

You can see all the 31 day post here





Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Crockpot Applesauce

I love fall.  The crisp cool air, the leaves and glorious comfort food.  


Here's Farmboy 4 years ago picking apples at a local orchard.

You know what else I love about fall...
my crock-pot.  You see it doesn't get much use in the spring and summer.  
So I enjoy pulling it out again and putting it to good use.  

Oh the crock-pot!
How I love you...
you make my life a little easier,
but sometimes you fail me.

One thing I always make in the fall is applesauce.
The farmboys love it (and so do I).  
For the last few years I have used the same "recipe"
but on our first batch this year I tried to wing it.
I failed miserably.

Yeah so maybe the crock-pot doesn't fail me,
maybe I fail it.  

Our subsequent batches worked out great because I used our old standby.

I love the simplicity of this recipe.
You likely have all you need sitting in your cabinet already 
and you don't need any fancy equipment. 

I found the original recipe here  but it's been adjusted some since we cook more at one time and I don't peel our apples.

Ingredients:
 5 lbs Apples (cored and cut into chunks)
5 tablespoons of Brown Sugar
1 scant tsp of Cinnamon
 1 cup of Water (roughly)

Instructions:

1. Core and cut apples into chunks.  
2. Place chunks into the crock pot
3. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together, sprinkle over the top of the apples.
4. Add water
5. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or until you can mash the apples with a fork.
6.  Once apple are nice and tender mash them up to your desired consistency.  (The boys like it smooth so I put it in the blender once it has cooled just a bit). 

Now you can either can or freeze the applesauce.  I have done both.  I am really trying to improve my canning skills and this one is fairly easy to do.  I follow the Ball canning instructions.

Enjoy!

Caci

Monday, September 28, 2015

Mommy Monday: Grocery Stores & Grumpy Old Men

Last week I had to visit the grocery store....
TWICE!

I completely forgot coffee on my first trip of the week,
so I had to return the following day.  
Not a huge deal it just meant I would have 3 instead of 2.
Since Farmboy had a dentist appointment I knew I would beat the "after work rush." 

I made my list to ensure I wouldn't have to return for at least 10 days.
After our appointment we headed to the store in the rain no less (YAY!).  

Side note: Yes I am really excited about the rain as we are in a significant drought year so every millimeter counts.  

Anyhoo I unloaded our oldest, 
he held our 2 year old's hand while I got the baby out,
uneventfully we get up to the carts and everyone gets in.  
My 7 year old still loves to ride in the cart with his brother 
but only if it's a fire truck or police car.  

Of course as soon as everyone is settled the potty training kid says he needs to go.
We head back to the restroom grabbing potatoes, bananas, bread & muffins on our way.  

Unload again, toddler goes potty, load back up again.  

This is pretty much how any trip to the store works in our life right now.  
Most days are uneventful and mundane, 
yesterday was one of those days.

The baby wasn't crying,
the boys were getting along well (as well as can be expected) 
and they weren't overly loud.
Could the 2 year old practiced a better "inside" voice...
could he have not asked what's that of every person we passed 
(FYI I did explain people aren't what, they are who...not that it helped)
could our 7 year old not have encouraged him to be tiger in a cage...
of course all of those things would have made for a more peaceful shopping trip....

But they are kids, 
boys at that,
 who weren't being loud, 
just not whispering.
They weren't misbehaving,
just being silly,
expressing their imagination.

I wasn't neglecting them by not constantly correcting them,
I was letting them learn the boundaries that I find acceptable and unacceptable.

Apparently however an older gentleman was of the mind set
"Children should be seen and not heard."

I'm not sure what my boys did to make him think they were "bad" kids.
I could feel him eyeing them from across the frozen food case,
 as my toddler giggled at the oldest for "capturing the tiger."
I heard him grumble something unkind as we passed,
I dismissed it.  

We continued to shop,
we encountered him again at the meat case.
This time the toddler was inquiring about what I 
(and everyone else) was looking for and why.

The older gentleman then grumbled again, in a mean and resentful tone...
this time I heard him but the only phrase that stuck with me was
"they might to turn out to be OK kids...you never know." 

I was wounded, shocked and baffled.
Was he talking about my kids?
The 3 who were being pretty darn good in comparison to some outings...
The 3 who were all contained inside of a cart, not in his way or running around...
The 3 who not one was crying,
 or screaming,
 or grabbing things off the shelf..

I stared blankly at him...not sure if I should speak up or stay quiet.
I chose the latter as I wasn't sure what words would come out my mouth.

God calls us to show grace to others and in that moment,
the Holy Spirit led me to show grace by keeping my mouth shut.
As we continued I had to pray silently to calm my nerves, 
and my boiling blood.

Hebrews 12:14-15 states "Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.  See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no "root of bitterness" springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled." (ESV)

I have been working on this...
pursuing peace and "practical righteousness." John MacArthur explains practical righteousness as moment-by-moment obedience to God.  In this moment my sinful nature didn't want to be obedient to God... I wanted to lash out at this man who was belittling my children and my parenting.  The Holy Spirit held my tongue.  Satan was attempting to pervert my emotions and show my impressionable children how to stray from God's word.  

None of the above was obvious in the moment...
I had to wait to see clearly,
how God was using a moment in my life to...
teach me, lead me but most of all change me.

You see if you knew me in real life (especially during my teen's and 20's) 
you would know I have a "mouth on me."  
I was never known for holding back my opinions.
The Holy Spirit has been working on me (FOR YEARS) 
and in that moment I listened.
I am sure he probably did a small victory dance before slapping his forehead a
and realizing that I might not have said it but I thought it.  

If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen my post the other day



What a great example of God's concern with ALL parts of our life.

May God bless you real good,

Caci


Friday, September 25, 2015

31 days with a Farm Wife


Starting October 1st, 2015 each day for 31 days,
 I will share a portion of what my life is like as a farm wife.  
We will wade through stock shows, cub scouts, diapers, buckets, and boots.  
Be ready for the unexpected, 
the mundane,
 and the downright silly
 because no 2 days are ever the same.  
The only consistent things in my life 
God's love for me and twice a day the cows are milked.

Hope you join us throughout the series!

May God bless you real good,

Caci

Friday Farm Life Photos


Welcome to what I hope becomes a weekly series.  Each week I plan to give you a brief glimpse into our life as a farm family through photographs.  I'm sure there will be weeks with interruptions but for the most part I hope to be here.  If you have questions about the photos or what is going on in them please read the caption and ask any questions in the comments section below.

Farmgirl all dressed and ready for church.  I'm not sure about other parts of the country but in the South we love smocked outfits and big bows! 


Farmboy2 helping Nana feed calves at the barn.  Our 2 youngest go to the dairy each morning to help while our oldest goes to school and I head to my town job.  

Farmboy showing one of his heifers (with a little help) at our local livestock show.  Fall is full of shows, shows and more shows.  To help balance everything out we limit the number of shows we attend.  This year we are doing 2 lambs shows and 4 cow shows.  

Farmboy had a great day at our local sheep show bringing home 2 grand champions.  Now if he would just pay attention to the judge we might take showmanship too. 

The Farmer and Farmgirl enjoying themselves at the Cub Scout camp out
Reasons like this are why we decided to limit shows.  This allows the Farmer to get away and relax.


The Farmer and Farmboy2 got to enjoy sunrise on the beach during our camp out,
since "we are not all dairy farmers". 


My morning calf greeting.  Each morning as I'm leaving the barn this calf comes out to greet me.


Farmboy and his registration papers for his "first official" heifer.  Purebred animals are registered with their respective breed associations.  These animals get an official name and number.  Then we use those names and numbers while showing and then again when the cow has a calf.  


The farmboys helping to gather feed from bulk storage for calves.  Farm kids learn early in life how to work and that on our farm every one has to pitch in.  Our boys love to help out.  Sometimes I think it's just to get dirty.  


Farmgirl and I after church waiting on the Farmer to feed cows.
Yes it's September and we are already feeding hay due to the drought.  

Until next time may God bless you real good,

Caci

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Biscuits

If you follow me on Instagram  you might know I have a real love for biscuits.
It's not a normal attraction,
it's an addiction.  
The farmboys share it with me.

My biscuits are simple and quick to fix,
there's nothing fancy in them.

But I thought I might share with y'all how I make my 
oh so delicious biscuits. 
 I personally use Southern Biscuit flour but it's only available regionally.  
I suppose any self rising flour would do or you could even make your own (it's simple).

Farm Wife Biscuits

Ingredients 
2 cups of self rising flour 
1 stick of butter
buttermilk (you can use regular milk)

Directions
Place 2 cups of flour in large bowl, cut stick of butter into cubes,
using your hand (my preferred method), pastry blender or knives cut your butter into your flour until it looks crumbly.  Add in your buttermilk (small amount at a time) and combine until the dough is pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  I know it's sad I can't tell you how much milk because it depends on the moisture in your kitchen.  Honestly I use my hands for all steps of making biscuits because I can feel the dough better.  Once the dough has formed I dump it on a lightly floured surface and knead it for a minute or 2.  Roll out dough to 1/2 inch thick and use a biscuit cutter, glass, or canning ring to cut your biscuits.  After your first roll/cut you will need to pile all the scraps back up and gently roll out again.  Be light handed as the more your handle the dough the tougher the biscuits.  Typically I just pat them out instead of using a rolling pin the 2nd time around.  Place biscuits on a lightly greased baking sheet and back on 425 for approximately 8 minutes.  Somedays I melt a little more butter and brush the tops after they are done baking other days I don't.  These biscuits are best served warm, but reheat well also.  

Top with jam, jelly or gravy for breakfast or snack or heck even dessert!  

Hope you enjoy my small slice of heaven!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Mommy Monday: So Little Time

I know I'm not the only one...

 

I HATE MONDAYS!

Yes, I'm screaming...
It never fails the weekend has just begun 
and as soon as I open my eyes it's over.  


That means my babies are 2 days older, 
my house is 2 days messier, 
and my mind has 2 more days of information overload.  



Around the farm calving season is kicking into full swing,
 so that probably means we've had a least 2 more calves maybe 4 or 5 more.

At this point I'm not sure...I forget to ask.

Since returning to work after baby 3 I feel like time flies faster than ever. 
It could be because I haven't had a weekend free since I went back....
It could be because I now have to learn to juggle 2 under 2...
It could be I'm over committed...
but it's probably I lack organization and motivation.

I long for time spent snuggling with my babies,

I long for crisp fall days spent on the tractor in the same field with my farmer,
I long for coffee and sunrises.

I long for more time...

Today will always serve as a vivid reminder,
 we aren't guaranteed a certain amount of time on earth.
Only God knows his plans for us,
sweet Sara Ann passed away this day 2 years ago...
she shows up in my memories on Facebook at least once a week.

For me that's a once a week reminder to...
 hug my babies tighter
tell my farmer I love him more
to slow down and enjoy the little moments
and to spend more time focused on God than the world.

My plans for the week..

Rise before the rest of my house,
pour a cup of coffee,
sit on the porch in my favorite chair,
enjoy the cool fall mornings,
and talk to God.