Thursday, October 15, 2015

Farm Wife {Day 15}: A love for Agriculture

As a farm wife you must
love agriculture, 
learn to comprehend the ups and downs,
work hard,
have lots of will power and determination
and
love agriculture.

 I mention that love of agriculture twice 
because if you don't love it you will start to hate it.
I suppose you can learn to love it...I'm not sure,

I think it was born into me,
nurtured from the moment the spark flickered, 
and the flames were fanned as they grew.


The man is this picture gets a lot of the credit for that.
He worked hard.
He loved the land.
He was a farmer,
but most importantly (to me) he was my Granddaddy.

Today would have been his 80th birthday,
but sadly he's been gone 16 years.
I was only 16 when he passed away.
I had lived next door to him for the last 4-5 years of his life.
In those short years he taught me so much
about farming, baseball, life and the Lord.
His teachings weren't always with directions,
sometimes it was with stories,
and sometimes by example.  

He encouraged my love for farming daily.

Thanks Granddaddy... I sure do miss you.

Until next time...

Caci

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Farm Wife: {Day 14} Wednesday Wisdom

Last night was the first night of showing in our week long marathon.  
You see for 6 days straight the farmboy will be showing, preparing, and traveling to livestock shows.  As I watched him with his heifers last night I realized (once again) that what he is learning in the show ring applies in life as well.  


Everyone has obstacles in their life they must get over,
but what if you can't??

I have had those things I can't climb over,
my aversion to certain makes and colors of cars,
the apprehension that develops each time a certain month rolls around,
failures that I can't shake.

Being married to a farmer there are lots of things thrown in your path.
Sometimes you don't expect them and many times they are too overwhelming to see over.
Each one though is met with perseverance, determination, and grit.
With all the ups and downs of farm life we can't let one thing 
(no matter how big or small) 
hold us back.
We have to keep thinking, dreaming, and planning.
When we can't scale that mountainous problem we still find a way.
On the farm we might go to the left or right,
heck we might even go straight through the middle,
but one thing is for sure...
we don't give up.  

Are you a new farm wife or mom?  Maybe you have never set foot on a farm...
this still applies...

Until next time...

Caci

31 days as a farm wife: Patience


I am slowly making my way through the 31 day challenge...
and oh has it been a challenge.  
You can read my other 31 day post here.  

The biggest challenge has been trying to develop new content because to be honest I feel like lots of my posts are repeating themselves.  I had a great plan back in September.  You see I laid it all out 

(ignore the pump in the background but what's a working momma to do?)

However that magnificent plan is gone...lost in the sea of papers never to be seen again.
It might resurface after this week is over...once I have time to breath.

So since I felt like my post were redundant.  I decided to look up the daily prompts one blogger is doing and play along for a few days.  You see Kate over at Heading Home (katemotaung.com) does a 5 minute Friday and this month its 31 days of 5 minute free writes.  

Today's word is patience.

Funny isn't it...

A farm wife MUST learn patience...
because as a farm wife you must wait...
for cows to calve,
rain to fall,
corn to grow, and
hay to be cut.

You must wait for waterers to fill,
feed to be delivered,
stores to open 
and your farmer to get home.

In the last 10 years I have done my fair share of waiting...
and in those moments I have been able to discover something wonderful...
my relationship with God...

In those moments that I'm waiting many times I turn to prayer...

I say a prayer for safety, 
for just enough rain, 
for the health of our cattle,
for the farm family who like us walks the financial tightrope daily.

I say a prayer for the markets,
our government,
and trade decisions.

I say prayers that I never dreamed would be first and foremost on my mind.
But through it all I have learned to live out Phillippians 4:6.



During these prayers I am also able to thank and praise God for

cows that have calved safely,
fields that have yielded far more than expected,
ends to be met,
one amazing farmer who he created just for me,
and the patience to be a farm wife.

Until next time,

Caci




Monday, October 12, 2015

National Farmers Day


Today is National Farmers Day!

Yay a whole day to celebrate my Farmer!!
Be sure to take a moment and thank a farmer for all they do for each of us.  

Each farmer I know gives more of themselves each day.
They love their families and farms.
Sometimes as a farmwife it's hard to see what order that comes in...

So say a little prayer for the farmers and their families today.



Until next time!

Caci

Farming on Sundays


No one likes working 7 days a week,
365 days a year.
However at least twice a day cows have to be milked,
so the Farmer works....even on Sundays.  


Our boys have learned that while others may go to the park,
visit the mall,
or just lay around...on Sunday the cows still have to be milked
and Momma's gonna take you to church.

 

If the Farmer didn't work this girl would be very hungry since he ensures she (and all the others)
have plenty of hay, water and feed twice a day.  




Not only would they be hungry but their bags (where the milk is stored) would be uncomfortably full.  Are you (or have you been) a breast feeding mom?  Baby all of a sudden sleep a few extra hours?  Imagine 24?  Yeah it hurts...milking the cows at least twice a day keeps them comfortable.

   

More Sundays than we care to admit the Farmer doesn't make church with the rest of us.  So we stop by the farm afterwards for lunch and family time.  Our farmboys love this!



They enjoy feeding baby calves, playing on rock piles, and just helping out in general.  




Here's a Monday Memory of our oldest Farmboy and one of our Guernsey milk cows. 
He has a busy week showing 5 of the next 7 days.
This will be the first time he's ever shown at our state fair...
and believe it or not he's showing a Guernsey as his showmanship heifer.  

So until next time...

Caci 






Faithful Friday (on a Monday)

Today you will see 3 post from me as I am playing catch up.  
You see as part of this 31 day challenge I am suppose to post daily...
yeah....I missed 2 days this weekend.

I am determined to do 31 post so...

This is a "makeup" post for Friday...

Why didn't I post on Friday??  
Well you see I was consumed by a discussion in a Facebook group that truly bothered me.
A mom from another part of the country asked about a program offered through the school.  The program is called Release Time Bible Education (RTBE).  In our area the program is focused on middle school students however different places focus on different grades.

The question was simple...had anyone ever heard of such?  Many hadn't...maybe you haven't.

Release Time is conducted off of school grounds at a local church.  People from various churches in our school district volunteer to lead a class of kids and study the Bible with them.  This is a completely optional program that parents can sign up for.  Students are bused to the location using a RTBE bus or church bus.  The school in no way funds this program.  Student miss an elective once a week to attend.  

The question was simple but a debate ensued about how wrong it was to allow these parents to make this choice about their child's education.  These moms were attacking each other over their beliefs and value systems like vultures attacking roadkill.  They complained about how allowing students to attend such a class what taking away from their child and their education...

I was floored...I mean really...this is a group of mainly moms...
the idea of the group is to support each other but here they were tearing each other apart.
I was saddened, distraught as they called my God, a fairytale.

It was obvious some of these ladies harbored deep resentment towards any sort of established "religion."  Some even went so far as to say that it wasn't safe in America to admit you are not a Christian...and went on and on about the Christian privilege.  

I attempted to use all my social media engaging skills have learned over my years of advocating for agriculture.  They all landed on blind eyes (and hearts).  

All I know to do is pray for them...

Will you join me...
praying for these lost souls right here in our own backyard.
Those who are so afraid it seems of God that they lash out at the very idea of their child hearing about Him.  They are denying their children the opportunity of hearing the Good News and hiding behind lackluster excuses and misinformation.  

Dear Heavenly Father, 
Thank you for all our many blessings.  Thank you for all you have done and will do for each of us.  I come to you today with a heavy heart....one that aches for these folks and their children.  Please guide them to you...let their hearts soften so that the Holy Spirit may take hold and help them come to the feet of Christ Jesus.  I also ask that you keep us humble in this situation and let all the glory and praise be given to you.  In Jesus Name,

Amen. 

  
Have you ever faced this type of opposition to Christianity?  How did you react?

Until next time,

Caci

Saturday, October 10, 2015

FarmWives & Football

I grew up in the South,
In Georgia...by birth I am a UGA fan,
By choice I am a UGA alum,
So is the Farmer.

We are raising 3 farm kids as a fans also. But getting away to attend a game is almost impossible.  


So what is a farmwife to do?  We dress the whole crew on game day in the appropriate attire.  Doesn't matter if we're home, going to the store or at a show.  We wear our colors.  And when we get the chance we all sit down and watch the game together... Which really means the kids and I watch the game and I give the play-by-play to the Farmer once he's home.  

Do you love college football?  
What team do you pull for?

Until next time

Caci

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Favorite Photos of My Farmer


As a farm wife the photos I treasure most capture the Farmer in his element.
These photos are the ones that show emotion, years of hard work, and the joy of life we have together.  Forewarning this might be picture overload!  I hope you like these as much as I do.  



Spends all day at the farm just to spend the night at the hospital holding son.



Works with callous hands until all the work is done.


Even in the midst of utter frustration continues on...



Is an example to our sons on how to work hard, love your family and the Lord with all your heart.



That no matter how long you have been up and going, how many trips to town you've had to make there is always time to give someone else a hand.


Rises before dawn to help feed his neighbors.




Legos and play fights at 10 p.m. just so he can steal a few minutes with his babies.



Can always spare a few moments to dry a tear or cheer for an accomplishment.



His smile warms my heart...


His strong arms bring comfort to even the tiniest one



His hands show years of wear and tear but are gentle




Family time is anywhere you are all together




Even though he is tired and worn out he still has time to listen 




He's always working


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Buckets, Books and Boots

Welcome back to day 7 of the write 31 day challenge!
This series is all about my life as a farm wife.  
You can read all the post here.

Buckets, books and boots...
you can never have too many of any of these.
Which may be why our house seems to be overflowing with them.
It seems like I always have questions on the best way to organize the books and boots.

Now trust me Pinterest has some AMAZING ideas that I am sure work great,
but we have found that buckets and bins work best for us.

I am currently working on redecorating/restyling our living room...
my goal is to reduce our clutter and let our farm life shine through in our decor.
And by that I don't mean mud of the floor, 
clothes covered in after birth by the door (outside),
or the random loose boot laying about.  

You see I have learned a few things about home decor since becoming a farm wife
that I thought I might share with y'all.

1. No matter how hard you try...mud, poop and more will end up inside your house.  Invest in a good broom and mop.  If you are building a house do yourself a favor and don't install carpets.  We are fortunate that most of our floors are hardwood.  

2. Make sure you can throw most things in the washer.  I have started using slipcovers more and more over the years.  That way when anyone makes a mess I can just throw it in the washer/dryer and things will be back to clean in just a short time.  Now if you are like me the mess will happen just before company arrives so I suggest having extra slipcovers on hand if your budget allows.  Our budget doesn't currently allow for that so I have quilts stored in the living room "just in case".  

3. Find a system that works for everyone.  What worked before we added kids doesn't work now.  Be sure to change as your life changes.  Each season will be different.  If you are dealing with kids be sure that you have a system that they can help with so that you don't end up doing everything.  Trust me we are still working on this!!  

4. Don't be afraid to express yourself.  For years I wanted that magazine worthy living room that really wasn't me.  With this redo I am letting our farm life shine.  Want to check it my style?  Hop over to my Living Room Redo board.  Ticking, buffalo checks, and burlap never disappoint!

5. Spotless is just not practical with the Farmer and 3 farm kids.  We try to keep it tidying but life happens.  If your friends judge your house each time they come over you might need new friends.

Do you have any suggestions or ideas?  Please share them below!

Until next time...

Caci


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Farm Kids and Money


As a farm family even our days off often revolve around a farm related event.
During the fall a day off typically means we are at a livestock show.
Our kids show dairy cows and sheep.
This is a way to show off some of the cows and sheep we have raised
but also a way to help our kids earn money.
You see we don't give our kids an allowance.
We provide them with a place to live,
food, clothing, pets, animals, and extra curricular activities...
we personally don't believe we should "have" to pay them to help around the house.
If there is something they would like to purchase they need to use their own funds for that, but how does a 7 year old earn money??  


Show livestock!
Farmboy works hard to earn money to purchase things he would like...think Legos...lots and lots of Legos.

And much to his disappointment he doesn't get to spend all the money he earns on toys.  You see we have developed a system.  
He must do 2 things with his money and the 3rd is optional.  
He must tithed at least 10% of his earnings.  
He can choose to do this at church or through a mission we support. 
He must save 80% of his money.
 He can, if he chooses spend 10%.  
Now some of you might say that's unfair that he can only spend 10% of his earnings however I say it's generous.  You see he doesn't pay for feed, or hauling, or even all of his show stock but he gets to keep his earnings.  Now if we deducted feed cost alone he would OWE us money.  

The farmer is very good with money and has been our whole marriage.  He is frugal and some of that is passing onto our oldest.  I personally am still working on being a great money manager... you see I like baubles and trinkets way too much!   However financial literacy and independence is very important to us.  We believe if we instill good saving and spending habits in our children now in the future they will remain.  

So how do your kids earn money?  

Until we meet again may God bless you real good!

Caci






Mommy Moments

Welcome back to day 5 in the Write 31 days challenge.
This series is all about my life as a farm wife.

You can see all the 31 day post here.

Today we are talking Mommy Moments..
everyone has them...
sometimes they are overwhelming and emotional,
sometimes they are joyful...
it all depends.

I had a Mommy Moment on Friday.
You see Friday I took the day off work,
Farmboy skipped school and we all went to a cow show.
Now you can say what you wish but this is a very educational experience for kids.
BTW I'm not looking to debate that topic as a former classroom teacher I feel qualified to determine what I feel are valuable learning experiences for my children.  


So back to Friday,
Farmboy, Farmgirl and I left home before dawn and headed to the show.
The Farmer and Farmboy2 milked cows and came up later.
We fed the heifers who had been taken to the show the day before,
cleaned up after them,
washed each of them,
cleaned water buckets,
and rebedded them all before 9 a.m.

Farmboy was so excited to be at the show doing something he loves.
He took his calf Orene for a walk which turned into a romp around the ring.
The change in the weather had all his heifers wanting to kick up their heels.

I have to say on Friday I saw what a young man he was becoming.
He is so much like his daddy,
which amazes and saddens me all at the same time.
You see I am saddened because I'm not ready for him to grow up.
I'm not ready for him to say he doesn't need me.

I am amazed because if he becomes half of the man his daddy is 
he will make some young lady very happy.


So today I will spend time in prayer...
not only for our friends suffering from devastating floods but for our family...
specifically for the future spouses of our children.  

Until we meet again may God bless you real good!

Caci










Sunday, October 4, 2015

Southern Sunday: Homecoming

Welcome to day 4 in the #write31days challenge!

Today is Homecoming day at our church. 


I love it!  Our little brick church is packed to the brim and dinner on the grounds!
We are hoping that the rain breaks long enough for us to enjoy food and fellowship with current, former and future members of our church.  I can't wait for some fried chicken, mac-n-cheese and all the yummy foods you can imagine and don't forget Ms. Beck's banana pudding.  We all know which bowl to be on the look out for and to be sure to get some on your first trip through or you will be out of luck!

  This church is oh so special to me...
no I didn't grow up in it but my Farmer did,
and my farm kids are.


This is the church where our 2 boys have been baptized, 
and our little farm girl will be next month.  

This is the church were some of my closest friendships have formed.

This is the church were I gather with a wonderful group of ladies each month to dig into God's word and share in each other's lives.  When it is just us and some snacks, our Bibles, and Beth Moore.  

This church has become like our second home.  While we aren't there every time the doors are open we know we are always welcomed and loved.  If we miss a Sunday we know someone is going to call, text, or message us and be sure we are okay.  


This church is an extension of our family.
You see the Farmer's ancestors were founding members,
the current membership has vowed to help us raise our children,
they have prayed for us, fed us and loved us through various trials and triumphs in our life.

Walking through the door is like coming home...

Do you have a church home?  Tell me about it in the comments section~

Until we meet again may God bless you real good!

Caci


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Water, Weddings & Funeral

It's been a rough week for us.
Not only has it been extremely busy with
work, school, a sick Farmboy, a cow show, cub scouts plus my Etsy shop orders 
add in a wedding & a funeral and things just go crazy!

On Tuesday evening my Poppa (my dad's dad) passed away.
While not completely unexpected it's always and emotional roller coaster.
Farmboy & Poppa in 2009

The funeral is this morning at 11.
The farmkids and I left our house around 7,
picked up my best friend because the farmer has to milk,
and headed south...
a 2+ hr road trip.

Guess what...it's raining.
Not a little rain but hurricane rains.
We are forecasted to get between 7-14 inches.
3 farm kids, a best friend, a large family and a graveside service 
in hurricane rains...

Once the funeral is over we will spend a little time with the family 
before we hit the road again headed home.

The farmer is spending the day milking and ensuring everything at the farm is ready 
just in case the winds/rain get really bad.

Once we are back in town,
I will change out of my dress clothes and help the farmer out.
Once we are done we will all get dressed back up again
for the wedding of a sweet young lady who we all love dearly.
Not sure we will make the ceremony but we will be at the reception...
come hell or high water (the latter is a real possibly).  
You see she grew up a farm kid, 
she understands not everyone can up and leave the farm for the ceremony
since it's slap in the middle of milking.

I tell you all this so you can learn...
farm work doesn't stop...
not for rains or hurricanes,
not for weddings or weeping.

On our farm the cows & calves still have to be milked, fed, and cared for 
no matter what's on the schedule.  

As a farm wife I've learned how to "keep on keeping on"
even in the hardest of times.
Honestly the routine of farm life is helpful...
you know that while many things change in life,
some things always stay the same.
The calves will always be happy to hear you coming,
the cows will file into the barn in nearly the same order each day,
and that when it rains it pours...
sometimes figuratively and literally.  

While other wives may enjoy a Netflix Marathon or a good book in times like these,
this farm wife will pull on her mud boots and feed calves in the rain.   
My farmer never promised everything would always be sunny,
but he did promise there would always be enough love and understanding to weather any storm.

Until we meet again...may God bless you real good

Caci

Friday, October 2, 2015

Who needs a lactation consultant?

When your kids grow up on a dairy farm (most livestock farms, really) 
they witness all stages of life.  
It starts early…especially if your kids are like mine and go to the farm while you are at work.  They see the miracle of new life almost daily…
calves learning to stand and nurse.  
The farm kids take ownership over some of those calves and lovingly feed them daily.  Watching the calves grow and develop is one of the most amazing parts of farm life.  
As the heifer (female) calves mature you start looking for a good mate.  
Sometimes you even pay someone to help match them up with the perfect bull.  
Our kids are there through the whole process
 even the hard parts such as
taking calves they have raised to the sale or the death of a special calf. 

You never realize how much your kids pick up on in daily life until…
they start talking! 

Today I’m going to share a couple of our favorite things our oldest has said…
that only a farm kid would

When Farmboy was about 4 years old the Farmer’s baby sister was preparing for a speech.  The topic was Artificial Insemination in cattle.  She stood in my in-laws den practicing her delivery when she was interrupted by Farmboy.  “Rach, you missed a step.”  He then proceed to tell her from start to finish how to AI a cow without missing a step.  Poor girl asked could he come to school and present the speech for her.

At the supper table one night after Farmgirl was born I gave the rest of my plate to the Farmer who was starving.  Our oldest looked dead at me and said “Momma, you need to eat.”  To which I replied, “Son, I'm fine.  Daddy’s been working hard all day and needs more to eat.”  Still not happy with the situation he said “The more you eat the more you milk.  Sister needs milk…EAT more!”  Who needs a lactation consultant when your 7 year old understand milk production better than the majority of the U.S. population. 


Farmboy2 has been plagued with ear infections since about 3 months old.  He hates taking medicine orally.  The  antibiotics routinely mess with his digestive system causing some bathroom issues.  According to Farmboy his little brother didn’t want to go poopy and have to take any red medicine (this is the medicine we give calves who have diarrhea) …because it tasted worse than the antibiotic.  Still not sure how he knows what it taste like. 

And the most recent one came when we were discussing calves being "late"
Any moms out there know what I'm talking about...
those dreaded days when you go PAST your due date!
 A few nights ago Farmboy declared that "Cows, chickens and people were a lot alike.  Some take longer than others to incubate.   Some are smarter than others and some get stuck doing all the work while the others watch TV." 

I didn't realize the milk barn and chicken coop were equipped with televisions but apparently I need to check this out.  

What thinks have your kids said that made you chuckle?  

Until we meet again may God bless you real good,

Caci

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Our faith, family & farm

Welcome to October!

Right now we have a break from the rain we have been having,
but it will be short lived as a hurricane is headed our way.

Throughout the month of October I will be participating in the #write31days challenge.
Over the next 31 days I will share with you each day about what being a farm wife is like.


As a farm wife I wear many many hats,
but nothing is more important than
my Faith,
my Family
and our Farm.

What do those 3 mean to me?


My faith in God is what gets me through the day, heck who am I kidding it's what gets me through moment by moment.  I strongly believe that everything that happens in our life is according to God's plan and that he knew our story before we can even imagine it.  I do my best to spend time each day soaking up His word and talking to him.  I fail miserably from time to time, but God's grace lifts me back to my feet and we start again.  

If you are a regular blog follower you know that multiple generations of our family farms together.  


And recently we added another farm kid.  


Behind my faith, my family is my driving force.
We have been blessed with 3 farm kids who are loving the farm life as much as we do.
I'm sure you will learn lots of farm kid antics over the next few weeks.
Raising our kids on the farm gives us unique opportunities to help them 
grow, learn and explore the world around them.  Nothing happens on the farm that the kids don't either know about in advance or learn about soon after.  They are learning the good parts of farm life and the bad parts.  We want to ensure they see all aspects before they decide what they want to do in life.  We know that farm life isn't for everyone so we want our kids to make an informed decision.
Our farm is far different from what I dreamed about as a young girl.
You see I grew up in a different part of the South...
the part where peanuts, pine trees and cotton are king.
I knew I would marry a farmer but never thought it would be a dairy farmer.


We farm in conjunction with the Farmer's parents.  The family farm consist of a 100 cow dairy, about 200 head of beef cows, plus land that we grow hay and crops on to feed the cattle.  We also have a few sheep and raise a couple of show pigs each year.  

For those of you not involved in agriculture here's what that means in grocery store terms :) 



And yes there are days when I think this is all too much for me to handle...
you can read about that here

So please join me over the next month and learn what I encounter as a farm wife.
Have questions about the farm?  Please feel free to ask them!

Until we meet again may God bless you real good!

Caci