Thee Farm Wife

Thee Farm Wife

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It's a Boy!

Dylan William Wagner was born this afternoon! He is the son of my brother Chad, and his wife Heather. I would post a picture, but my mother can't figure out how to email them to me!
He joins proud big brother Kaiden and sisters Kennedi and Adrianna.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Jaima cooked eggs for her and Jaiden this morning. She did it all by herself. Cody just went out to put the license plates on his car. My kids are growing up and becoming independent - and it makes me happy. It means I am doing this right!

I have been in a slump. No energy. No desire to accomplish anything. Maybe I am enjoying the vacation with my kids. Maybe I am being lazy. Maybe I am supposed to be still. Kiersten did my dishes yesterday while I took Jaima to see Bedtime Stories at the theatre. Today, I will tackle the Christmas mess. But only one thing at a time.

Friday, December 26, 2008


The guys are here working on the building today. For the past two days, a machine has been thawing the ground so they can dig holes for the posts. One side is thawed and they are "drilling" holes right now. All of the trusses are put together - once we get the posts set, then the building can go up. Obviously, we can't pour the concrete floor until spring - but at least we can get some cows in the building once it's up. It is misting out right now - but it is warmer today than it has been.

We are having a lazy day after Christmas. Kiersten is on her way out. We are going to watch movies all day! Jaiden and Jaima are playing with toys. Cody and Khyle are on their way to Readlyn to get show steer feed. I am going to bake bread. Maybe some brownies. I wish I had bought a turkey to roast. My mom prepared an amazing feast yesterday - and I am wanting some more LOL
By the way, Cody got his drivers license this week. I can't believe I am old enough to have a kid that's old enough to drive.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Jaiden on her John Deere ATV
Tired Jaima, hugging her Dada

Santa came!

Cody and Jaima "fighting" over the Wii

Our day is winding down. We traveled home from Waterloo in snow. The roads are getting bad again and our driveway was drifting shut. Cody and John are out putting cows to bed or the night - sleep in heavenly peace!

We had a wonderful turkey dinner at my parent's today! Chad and Heather's baby will be here in 6 days - I can't wait to meet my nephew. It was fun to watch Cody, Kennedi, Kaiden, Jaima, Adrianna and Jaiden open gifts today -very chaotic, but amusing. Paper lying everywhere - giggles of delight and "Oh!"s.

Tonight, we will play games on our Wii that Santa brought. Tomorrow, we will clean up the mess!

Santa came!

You can't really see anything - just listen to Khyle and Cody waking Jaima up this morning!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


We were without water last night because John had to shut the water off to the whole farm. One of the cow waterers broke and Norby's was already closed. So, we went without.

John went this morning and got the part. So, I am finishing dishes and laundry.

I can't wait or church tonight - I love singing carols. I love telling people, "Merry Christmas!" and really meaning it.

John and Cody are going on their annual shopping spree soon. But first, there is more snow to be moved from last night. Emma just asked me if she could go outside and swing...oh, I wish you could little girl, but it is too cold! and the swings are buried in the snow.


I love taking pictures of the tree.
Ummm...what is going on here?! They got all of the presents out from under the tree last night and proceeded to find their own. Some of them "accidentally" got ripped. Some of them were taped shut with packing tape. Hmmmm

Before I went to bed, these were all neatly placed under the tree!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I keep forgetting to take my camera outside - but then again, every time I go out it's to put calves or cows away! I am getting my exercise!
The guys are makng great progress on the building. We rented a machine today that will thaw the ground so they can set posts. This was supposed to be done way back in August, of course, but the guy who was supposed to do it never came. He just dropped off the pieces and made excuses about why he was not here. So now, we have hires someone else to come and do it - along with John - I fed them all chili or lunch today - they were so cold!
I will post more later - Cael and Emma are here to spend the night!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Who's this? Me! The cows got out in the blizzard - I saw Cody kept looking towards the house and I knew he needed me - so I bundled up - the snow is so high by the feed bunks that the cows can climb right over. We will have to keep a constant watch on them. John and Cody are putting down more corn stalk bedding and feeding them to try and keep them happy and safe. It is so cold outside - I have no words to describe that feeling - when I was trying to walk back to the house it was like my life was being sucked out of me. I could hardly walk or breathe. There are beautiul sundogs around the sun - that's how cold it is. And the two men I love the most are out working in it - that's dedication.

Blizzard Birthday

As promised, here is a pic of all of the chocolate John bought me! And no, the packages are not empty! I have only had a few bites! We had a great time at the neighborhood Christmas party last night! It was so nice to laugh and be Merry! Sharing wine and treats with friends - I love the holidays!

Happy Birthday to my baby brother, Chad - who turns 34 today!

No - I am not outside recording the video - I am safe and warm in the front hallway. That's Cody's car buried in the snow.

Our power was out for a couple of minutes this morning - but Gerben and Julie lost theirs for quite awhile - we are all in our jammies, enjoying a day of rest. Sometimes God not so gently reminds us that He is in control and to slow down and observe His Sabbath.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I can't leave this out!

Last night, John and Cody and Jaima went to town to get pop and treats. I said that I would like some chocolate. My sweetie bought me 5 different chocolate bars - dark, caramel truffle, milk, almond and cappuccino truffle! 5 kinds! So, I will sample a few bites here and there and remember that I am loved!

And more snow...

Snow is is actually really pretty, and we are grateful to be safe and warm. I got up early to go to Walmart (a necessary evil) and get some hair dryers for John to put in the waterers outside. I usually buy some before it freezes but I forgot this year. Anyways, the girls and I made the trip before the snow really started to fall. It was getting slippery as we came home - I bought all the stuff I need for Christmas Eve dinner. Cody has requested chicken and noodles. We will have Pan de Los Reyes (Three Kings Bread). Also, little smokies and lots of finger food.
Right now, I have meatballs in the oven. We are going to Groths for a Christmas Party tonight. I also have some wine chilling for me, Julie and Danielle to sample tonight. I will also make chili/creme cheese dip. My favorite! The whole neighborhood will be there - kids too! - we are going to have so much fun.
John and Jaiden are napping - Jaima is watching the Cheetah Girls movie. Cody is playing guitar. It is a great day!
Did I mention the cows were out again today? I am an expert at keeping them out back until John gets home. Maybe someday I will shoot a video of me calling the cows in - the first time I heard John call cows, I thought he was crazy! Now, I take pride in my cattle call!

Friday, December 19, 2008

I'm dreaming of a warm Christmas

Where to begin? I have been up since 6:30 - woke to a call from Khyle saying that he had to be to Wartburg by 7 to leave for a wrestling tournament in Las Vegas. So, I drift back to sleep - only to have Khyle awaken me with "I'm stuck in the driveway." I looked outside - more snow than I have ever seen before! We jumped in John’s truck – Khyle had missed the driveway and ended up in the yard! The snow was deeper than his tires! So, we hook John’s truck up to KD’s truck – and proceed to get John’s truck in the snow! It is still dark outside and I am thinking the neighbors think we are crazy! All of the dogs have jumped in the truck – Khyle and I don’t want to go in and tell John we got both trucks stuck - we walk back to the house in the tracks the truck made – and I woke John up. Good ole patient John – he gets up and gets the skid loader and starts clearing a path – and drove Khyle down Hwy 218 so he can meet Coach Miller to hitch a ride to Des Moines. It took them about 5 hrs to get to DM. I just saw on the news that Vegas got snow, too! LOL Khyle wanted to stay home and bake Christmas cookies – I am not sure he wanted to leave at all! For those of you who don’t know him, we have added KD to our family – I mother (or is smother?) him – and he and Cody are just like brothers. He also loves the girls dearly – and of course, we are babysitting Otis the puppy while he is in Vegas.
Cody and John have been moving snow – John has been talking to Spencer about the cattle building – and he is getting excited – they have the trusses put together and are making plans for the rest – I am ready to get this project over with! I am ready to have my cows safe and warm!
I tried to finish my Christmas cards – you’ll be lucky if you get them before Christmas! LOL We have sugar cookie dough chilling in the fridge – we’ll roll it out tomorrow – it is my Mom’s recipe- uses almond flavoring and cream of tartar – I call those the secret ingredients – Jaima and I loved licking the spoons! Jaiden’s newest thing is turning the TV on and off – and running through the house grabbing everything she is not supposed to and throwing it on the floor – like the DVDs Cody is picking up right now – she has also learned to throw real temper tantrums.
We have been watching Christmas movies all day – Little Drummer boy, Veggie Tales Christmas, A Christmas Story and Sleepless in Seattle. The trees are lit up – the furnace is starting to heat up the house (we ran out of LP AGAIN!) and I am trying to be a patient wife and mother – 18 days to go until they go back to school!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A surprise from Grandma Austa

Here is a video of Jaima and Jaiden opening their presents from Grammy and Papa White...Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Otis is a TEMPORARY resident at the White House. He is an 8-week-old mini Australian Shepherd - a real COW dog! He belongs to Khyle - he stays here while Khyle is at school or when he travels for wrestling. He is a good Patches-substitute since she ran away over a month ago!

Things are progressing with the cattle buildings - that is all I will share for now - I eagerly await the day when I can post photos.

Christmas vacation starts next week. Jaima and I have plans to bake cookies for Santa. We will also plan a special celebration or Christmas Eve. We will make soup and bread and something sweet and have a birthday party for Jesus.

It is so cold today - below zero - I don't even want to look at the thermometer. The wind is blowing right through every crack in the house - the furnace just can't keep up today - we don't have our electric warm air heat hooked up yet - so we are dressed in layers today - Jaiden is taking a loooong nap right now.

John is home today - keeping an eye on the cows and working on finances - hard to believe another year is almost to an end. I made a pot of taco soup - my favorite. I am also enjoying some raisin bread that Danielle sent home with me after church yesterday. We had a potluck to mark the 48 hours of prayer that we have once a month. People volunteer to come to the prayer room for an hour over the 48 hour period. It is an awesome way to lift up our church family, our community and our world. The food was amazing yesterday - all sorts of warm and yummy things - and Oreo fluff!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Twas two weeks before Christmas
and all through the house
not a creature was stirring
except for the mouse of my laptop computer
As I sit in my comfy chair
the stockings are swaying in the blast of cold air
(I forgot to close the flue the night before)
The kids are all snuggled in each of their beds
Except Jaiden with Daddy
And Khyle on the coach,he's snuggled up with his new puppy
"Oscar the Grouch"?
We've got to come up with an "O" name today for this gorgeous new puppy
Who's eager to play.
As you're waiting for Christmas
and Santa and fun
Remember our Savior,
Remember the One.
The best gift of all, no waiting in line, no returns, no wrong size
just the amazing love of God, come to Life.

Merry Christmas to All, from your friends, the White's.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Something to ponder this morning...

Obama’s ‘Secretary of Food’?
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOFPublished: December 10, 2008
As Barack Obama ponders whom to pick as agriculture secretary, he should reframe the question. What he needs is actually a bold reformer in a position renamed “secretary of food.”A Department of Agriculture made sense 100 years ago when 35 percent of Americans engaged in farming. But today, fewer than 2 percent are farmers. In contrast, 100 percent of Americans eat.Renaming the department would signal that Mr. Obama seeks to move away from a bankrupt structure of factory farming that squanders energy, exacerbates climate change and makes Americans unhealthy — all while costing taxpayers billions of dollars. “We’re subsidizing the least healthy calories in the supermarket — high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated soy oil, and we’re doing very little for farmers trying to grow real food,” notes Michael Pollan, author of such books as “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and “In Defense of Food.”The Agriculture Department — and the agriculture committees in Congress — have traditionally been handed over to industrial farming interests by Democrats and Republicans alike. The farm lobby uses that perch to inflict unhealthy food on American children in school-lunch programs, exacerbating our national crisis with diabetes and obesity.But let’s be clear. The problem isn’t farmers. It’s the farm lobby — hijacked by industrial operators — and a bipartisan tradition of kowtowing to it. I grew up on a farm in Yamhill, Ore., where my family grew cherries and timber and raised sheep and, at times, small numbers of cattle, hogs and geese. One of my regrets is that my kids don’t have the chance to grow up on a farm as well.Yet the Agriculture Department doesn’t support rural towns like Yamhill; it bolsters industrial operations that have lobbying clout. The result is that family farms have to sell out to larger operators, undermining small towns.One measure of the absurdity of the system: Every year you, the American taxpayer, send me a check for $588 in exchange for me not growing crops on timberland I own in Oregon (I forward the money to a charity). That’s right. The Agriculture Department pays a New York journalist not to grow crops in a forest in Oregon.Modern confinement operations are less like farms than like meat assembly lines. They are dazzlingly efficient in some ways, but they use vast amounts of grain, as well as low-level antibiotics to reduce infections — and the result is a public health threat from antibiotic-resistant infections. An industrial farm with 5,000 hogs produces as much waste as a town with 20,000 people. But while the town is required to have a sewage system, the industrial farm isn’t.“They look profitable because we’re paying for their wastes,” notes Robert P. Martin, executive director of the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production. “And then there’s the cost of antibiotic resistance to the economy as a whole.”One study suggests that these large operations receive, in effect, a $24 subsidy for each hog raised. We face an obesity crisis and a budget crisis, and we subsidize bacon?The need for change is increasingly obvious, for health, climate and even humanitarian reasons. California voters last month passed a landmark referendum (over the farm lobby’s furious protests) that will require factory farms to give minimum amounts of space to poultry and livestock. Society is becoming concerned not only with little boys who abuse cats but also with tycoons whose business model is abusing farm animals.An online petition that can be found at calls for a reformist pick for agriculture secretary — and names six terrific candidates, such as Chuck Hassebrook, a reformer in Nebraska. On several occasions in the campaign, Mr. Obama made comments showing a deep understanding of food issues, but the names that people in the food industry say are under consideration for agriculture secretary represent the problem more than the solution.Change we can believe in?The most powerful signal Mr. Obama could send would be to name a reformer to a renamed position. A former secretary of agriculture, John Block, said publicly the other day that the agency should be renamed “the Department of Food, Agriculture and Forestry.” And another, Ann Veneman, told me that she believes it should be renamed, “Department of Food and Agriculture.” I’d prefer to see simply “Department of Food,” giving primacy to America’s 300 million eaters.As Mr. Pollan told me: “Even if you don’t think agriculture is a high priority, given all the other problems we face, we’re not going to make progress on the issues Obama campaigned on — health care, climate change and energy independence — unless we reform agriculture.”Your move, Mr. President-elect. Readers' CommentsReaders shared their thoughts on this article.Read All Comments (248) »

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thank you, my friends, for reminding me of God's goodness and how much He has given us! The phone calls and messages were much appreciated! I don't know why I don't rely on ya'all more!

Today, Jaima stayed home "sick" from school. I think she has a case of the crankies and not the stomach flu! I don't feel so well myself - and Jaiden, well she must have caught the grumpy bug from her sister! We all had bubble baths today and are being lazy...except for running around after Jaiden picking up everything she gets out! That kid can run!

John is outside moving more snow. We had a nice talk over coffee this morning - that helped improve my mood. Sometimes we get so busy we forget to take time for each other. Cody will be home at 4 or so and then they will start chores and I will start supper - I have no idea what I am cooking but I am sure it will involve beef! LOL

All in all, it has been a great day. Even if I never left the house...sometimes those are the best days.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Today, I am not my usual cheerful self. Oh, I had a great time at MOPS this morning. I loved leading my book club with the sixth grade girls at Jaima's school. I even enjoyed working on the girls' messy room. I am just so worried about the cattle buildings that are laying in a pile in my yard. We have received lots of prayer and encouragement from friends, church and family. We trust in God. But today, it is hard for me for some reason. It must be my "hurry up, God, and fix it now attitude" - something I really am trying to work on. The Bible tells us to wait, trust in the Lord, wait some more, and have faith. That is my prayer this afternoon. Peace that passes all understanding and patience, Lord.

fun pictures

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Weekend of rest

Saturday, I spent most of the day in my jammies! It is an annual ritual for me - the day of the Butler-Bremer Christmas party I pamper myself - and then I take an hour or so to get ready - because it is the only real "date" I get all year with my husband! We had a great time: hors' dourves, wine tasting, chicken cordon bleu and prime rib...we stayed up past 8:00!
Today, we were awakened with a moo moo here and a moo moo there...cows out! They didn't get past the front yard - some hay bales had fallen on the fence and they went running - you'd think they would have stayed and eaten the hay! - They all went in without any problems - the only thing is, I forgot to grab a hat and it was COLD! Invigorating though to wake up at 6 am go for a run in the snow - maybe I should do that more often!
Church was awesome today - the Advent message of Hope - Hope in a Savior who has come to bring us Peace that passes all understanding!
Naps this afternoon - and beef stew simmering on the stove all day - what an end to a perfect weekend!

Friday, December 5, 2008

She's so good when she is sleeping!
The haircut

She was mad at me because I wouldn't give her the camera this morning!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Just got back from a quick trip to town. Jaiden got her hair cut - I will post a pic when she wakes up.She looks more and more like her daddy everyday! Had lunch with Khyle at Subway - I really wanted chinese but KD has to wrestle this weekend so he's watching his figure - LOL

The roads are getting icky - starting to drift - that wind sure is cold! Think I will snuggle up with a cup of tea and read The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder - my favorite winter ritual since I was 8 or 9!

Something to ponder this season...

Credit Crunch or Christmas Contentment?
By Lynn Cowell

“Owe no one anything except to love one another for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8 (NKJV)

The TV blared the news: the economy is tightening and a credit crunch will definitely affect Christmas spending this year.

Credit card companies are lowering credit limits and raising interest rates. Gone are the days of zero percent interest for your first few months on a newly opened card. As I watched the news, I imagined many families would share similar concerns of mine. Will we have enough money to celebrate and give Christmas gifts? Can we be content with less than usual? Is there any possibility this could be a good thing?

Overspending during the holiday season winds up being a joy-robber. Many of us spend our December evenings and weekends searching frantically for that perfect gift or worrying over keeping everything “equal” (this is my personal worry with my three kids). The more I shop, the more I spend, and the less joyful I become. Sometimes, I find myself wishing the holidays would hurry up, get here and get over! There has got to be a better way to celebrate the birthday of Christ. Isn’t there?

Yes, there is! Romans 13:8 encourages us to owe no one anything except love. This verse brought to mind my sister’s special Christmas last year. Her family practiced the very gifts of love this verse speaks about. They all chose one family member to buy a gift for. In addition to this gift, they wrote a letter of love to the receiver. Their letters included words of encouragement and appreciation. They asked for forgiveness of past wounds and sought renewed relationship with one another.

My sister told me that reading these letters outloud before they opened gifts brought tears of love, healing, and restoration. She never gave the gifts a second thought after this wonderful experience. As the tears flowed from her family, in her heart she celebrated their best Christmas. The boxes may have been the fewest ever, but the love was the most! She was content.

My sister inspired me. How can I encourage my family to focus on spreading God’s love to each other and those we come in contact with this holiday? How can I encourage others not to “keep up with the Joneses,” but instead to “keep up” with Jesus’ idea of extravagantly given love?

How about your family as this Christmas season approaches? Is the tight economy exactly what your family needs to prompt you to rein in your traditional spending and refocus this year? I know it is for me and my family.

Dear Lord, may the tough times so many of us are experiencing financially, point us back to You. Help me hear Your voice this season and truly demonstrate what this precious holiday is all about. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

Celebrating a Christ-Centered Christmas by Sharon Jaynes

Pampering Gifts: Crafting a Ministry of Treating People Well for Less by Lara Krupicka

See Dave Ramsey’s website for sound financial advice.
Application Steps:
Sit down with your spouse and make a strategy for staying within a budget this Christmas. Check out financial expert Dave Ramsey’s website. Follow this link and scroll down to find special savings on his “Budgeting Bundle.”

Can you plan one gift for each of your children that costs very little, but says so much about how you love them?

Sit down with your kids and set the expectation for this Christmas if it is different than what your family has experienced in the past.

What motivates me to give at Christmas more than I can afford?What is one thing I would like to receive this year that money can’t buy? Is this something I can give to another?Power Verses:
1 Timothy 6:6, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” (NIV)

Proverbs 19:23, “The fear of the LORD leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.” (NIV)
Job 36:11, “If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment.” (NIV)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Carolyn's Chili (not too hot!) the key is seasoning the ground beef

2 lbs ground beef, browned seasoned with pepper, onion powder, mccormicks steak house grinder, lawrys, and onion flakes - drained

1 can Mrs. Grimes chili beans - use whatever size you prefer, depends on how many beans you want in your chili
1 large can tomato juice
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 pkg. chili seasoning - use a brand name not store brand - they just don't taste the same

Combine all and bring to a boil - simmer for 30-45 minutes. It's best when left in the crock pot all day.

Wheat bread disaster

I thought I would make a loaf of whole wheat bread in the takes like paste. I am not kidding, it is the worst bread I have ever eaten. I tried to toast it thinking that would help. It tasted like toasted paste.

Julie and Danielle, you better get me some recipes, QUICK!

Venus, not Mars

I'll have to wait to see Mars someday - for now Venus will suffice! Thanks to my favorite Aunt Kay for setting me straight.

Ok - I admit I hate the snow now! The first day was great - but now, I am wishing it would melt...I do not like winter! When my kids are grown, I am headed to Arizona.

Cows are out this morning - newsflash? Nah! There are certain members of our herd that act more like family pets than cows. They stick around the east door of the barn and when John starts the skid loader or ranger they go running for the gate because they know they are getting fed. The meter reader came to the door yesterday and asked, "Ma'am, do you know you have cows out?" and I was thinking, "Do I look old enough to be called ma'am by a 20yr old?!!!!!?" and , "No kidding? I didn't know those were cows!"

Jaiden and I got to spend time with Ian yesterday while his mama and papa went to a Swiss Valley meeting. He is so sweet and funny. Jaiden was feeding him cheerios.

The kids have an early out today. I am picking Cody up and taking him to get his license. I also have to renew mine - I better not have to take the test!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Did you see it?

Another adventure of Mama and Cody...

Last night Khyle called to tell us that we would be able to see the moon, Jupiter and Mars. Khyle told me by the time it happened again I would be dead - HAHA very funny, Khyle Daniel!

So, Cody, jaima and I hopped in the Denali and drove down the gravel road and there it was in all it's glory! (too bad I forgot my camera) I was totally amazed - it was so bright and...well, it was cool. Then, I let Cody drive around the mile on on the highway since he had never driven in snow before. My knuckles were white! My chest was pounding - and I had a smile plastered on my face telling him what a GREAT job he was doing - which he was - and I remember the first time I drove in snow...sigh, why can't he stay my baby forever?


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Prayer request...

For many months now, we have been waiting for our new cattle buildings to be raised. We have a pile of parts and posts in our yard. The man who was supposed to be putting them up has taken on way too many jobs and keeps making excuses on why he cannot come. The tenHoeves are in the same situation. Calves and cows are dying. Other people are waiting to come and work on cement and water and electric. John is having to use a GARDEN HOSE to water our cattle. This is all putting a terrible strain on us as a family and a farm. Please join as we pray that this will all come together in a timely manner, that God will give us patience, that our cattle will stay healthy, and that this man will honor his commitments.

Thank you, my friends, for your continued prayers for us.

one of our trees

I love gingerbread men! They're silent. They're sweet. And when they give you too much flack, you can bite their heads off! LOL This is the ginger tree, the big tree is in the sitting room. Jaima and I tried not to argue when we were decorating...we are just too much alike. My parents think it's hilarious that I have a daughter...JUST LIKE ME.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

When I was a little girl and I woke up to my Daddy singing this song, I knew there was plenty of snow on the ground for him to shovel - and shoveling meant extra money for our family. Times were tough, but Daddy worked hard, and there was always enough. So, in my heart this morning I was singing...I love the first real snow!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Danielle and Julie have been talking about making homemade bread - so, I got out my bread machine, measured all of the ingredients, pushed start and...came home to a lump of watery "dough" - no bread - I forgot to put the mixer blade in!!!

The girls and I went to the library today. We got DVDs and books. Jaima got her first chapter book and has read 8 pages so far! Then, we went to Trinkets and Togs and I found a cardholder for Christmas cards - and then for chocolate shakes!

John's parents left for Arkansas - we will see them again next spring. I must say, Austa sure kept my kitchen clean!

We decorated for Christmas yesterday - my Mom and I always have a race on the Friday after Thanksgiving to see who can put the tree up the quickest - then my parents came for dinner last night and surprised me by bringing my nieces and nephew - who I haven't seen in almost a year!!!! I screamed when they came running in the door!

Have another loaf baking...we'll see how that turns out!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thank you, God, for family and friends

Hanna Folkerts and her fabulous smile!
Connie and the Folkerts kids - I took the doors off my kitchen cupboards when I redecorated...any opinions?

Auntie Sarah and the tenHoeves (sorry, Julie, I cut off your head!) Awesome mashed potatoes, by the way! And even better pie - 2- 1/2 sticks of butter - like I needed that! But it was worth it!

The table - the crocheted place mats were made by my dear Mommy!

The glorious bird! We cheered when this came out of the oven!
What an awesome day! Psalm 100, the thanksgiving Psalm, says our lives should be full of thanksgiving always! We had food, family and friends today - abundantly! I am so stuffed right now I think I will go to bed! Turkey overdose!


the table is set - the turkey is roasting - jaima and i made placecards out of corn husks - i am ready to eat!

julie called me - i better give her LOTS of credit - she's making mashed potatoes (which I am not good at!) and she is bringing the apple pie I begged for awhile ago! We are so thankful for friends like the tenHoeves - even if they have two last names! HAHA

more later...i have a bubble bath waiting for me!

here i go...

getting ready to start making my first Thanksgiving dinner all by myself! My mom and I have been on the phone the past few days - me asking questions, her giving advice. I want so much for her to be here! I've got "back up" gravy in the jar - just in case - LOL!

Monday, November 24, 2008

oh - how could I forget!

Last Friday morning, the corn dryer caught on fire - the fire dept. teased us that we were going to get a punchcard! John is on the Plainfield Fire dept. - he actually gets credit for being on the scene. John could have been hurt very badly - but he was quick on his feet and got the right things opened up and called 911. The wires in the dryer were melted - but they had it up and running by 1pm. I went to town and bought chicken and broasted potatoes for all of the guys that helped! We have AMAZING friends and neighbors!


Oh! I love these girls!
She loves to put her feet on the table - we don't use this booster seat anymore.

Today - 13 months and one week old! She is a wild child! RUNS all over the place - hides, talks all of the time - the blankie is one Grammy Austa made last week - it is kitties! Jaiden calls it her "kitty blankie".

I haven't taken many photos lately - which is unusual!

I am still not feeling 100% myself - my voice is not totally back either - I can't sing or yell...whispering is getting old!
Grandma has moved to the other White House for a week of spoiling Cael and Emma.
Harvest was FINALLY completed last night around 10:30 - it has been a long fall - not without trials - but a blessing nonetheless.
I watched The Passion of the Christ today for the first time - what can I say but, "Thank you, Lord!" Knowing that I am that loved, no matter what I have done - takes my breath away!

Friday, November 21, 2008

I need a vacation!

I want to go someplace warm and tropical -where I can be TOTALLY alone for once and not answer to anyone or have to talk or think, only dream and nap - and have a drink with an umbrella in it! I have the worst sore throat and cough! And I lost my voice - which I am sure many of you will find hilarious! Instead, I am wearing a sweatshirt and am curled up in a blankie, wearing my rainbow socks and drinking hot tea!

The corn dryer caught on fire this morning - Lord God, we know this is all part of the Plan for us! But - MAN - we have been through a lot lately! God says He will never give us more than we can handle and I believe that with all my heart.

Don and Austa are here thru Thanksgiving - I think I mentioned that last post - Jaiden has been spending time with Grammy.

I missed Girls Night Out last night in Waverly - I was ready to spend some money for Christmas!
Enough for now - more Nyquil and hot tea for me...Cancun anyone?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The corn is almost all harvested. Which means cranky, tired farmers!
John's parents are here until Thanksgiving. Right now, they are staying with us. In a few days they'll go to the other White House for a visit. Austa has been keeping the dishes done - a first in this house!
I was supposed to go to Girls Night Out in Waverly tonight with Julie but I am not feeling well. Fever, sore throat and cough. If only I could go to bed for a whole day and watch movies, drink tea and nap - in my dreams!
Cody gets his license next week - I am not ready for that! He has grown up so much this year - my little boy is gone and a handsome young man has taken his place! Jaima is doing great in school - and is really learning to wait her turn and raise her hand - she is so much like me - so I know the struggles she is gong through - it is hard to be patient! Jaiden is running, running, running! I have lost weight from chasing her LOL
I went and bought all of the food for Thanksgiving dinner - can't wait to eat turkey and stuffing - I got everything but the cranberries - and since I am the only one that eats them I may just forget about it -
Conner and Wyatt will be coming here after school until next week - their Dad hasn't found another sitter but I gave him a month to find one - the ball is in his court now. I definitely need a break from having 5+ kids running around!
It snowed a little today - just flurries, I guess - but it sure was pretty - I don't mind winter when I don't have to drive!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Catching my breath...

Cody and I are each on a computer typing away - the girls and John are sleeping. I would rather stay up and enjoy the peace and quiet and share some laughs with my almost-grown-up baby boy! Sigh - I cherish these moments with him - even if we are in the same room - each lost in our own thoughts...
John's parents will be heading up here tomorrow - staying til Thanksgiving. Mom Austa will stay here for a few days and then head down to the other White House. Dad will stay in his basement bedroom here. His sons are getting restless because they can't get the crops out of the field - I think they need Dad here to reassure them that they are doing it right. I'm glad for the excuse to eat pie for breakfast with Dad. Wonder if I can get Julie to make me one of her AWESOME apple pies - hint hint
Asked my brother to help me take down the ceiling fan in the kitchen and replace it with a light fixture - which I still have to buy - it's nice having an electrician in the family.
I am thinking of going to Blains farm fleet tomorrow - they have an awesome ad - and I need a new crockpot - and I wouldn't mind getting my Christmas shopping done early for once. Jenni and I plan on going to our favorite craft store in Clarksville as soon as it opens! Anybody else have a favorite craft sale/store to go to? You know me, I love antiques and country!
I need to order Jaiden's pics from her first bday and then I will post them - they turned out so cute!!!! I haven't been taking a lot of pics lately because I spend most of my days chasing Jaiden Ilo around the house! She sure can RUN...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Don't think I'm crazy!

This is my Thanksgiving tree! A celebration of harvest and what we are thankful for! I bought a new tree this year and decided to put it together today. Since it took me over an hour, I decided to leave it up...and then I started decorating it. Corn from our field and vines from the ditch...foxtails, scarecrows, pinecones, Bible verses about thankfulness...and when the kids get some time we will do a craft project about what they are thankful for.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

church today

i almost forgot! we had a student from wartburg college preach this morning - and it was about legalistic and wordly christians - and he said something so profound that it changed 30 years of Christian thinking for me - being a Christian is not about accepting Christ so I can get into heaven - being a Christian is accepting Christ so I can LIVE in FREEDOM and joy right now - I am free from making bad decisions. I am free to be happy and enjoy the things that God has given me - I am free to claim all that God has in store for me - things are are right here...right now! And yes, go to heaven SOMEDAY...
so sorry that i haven't been blogging! i haven't been at my computer in days! i have lots of pics and videos to share and will as soon as i have enough time to upload

jaiden has been walking since the day after her birthday - i should say running! i chase her all day - which is great because i am losing weight - cody went to a metallica concert in moline this weekend and brought mama back a tshirt - i love metallica and used to play it to him via headphones when i was pregnant - hey, i was 18! lol
jaima is doing great in school - she is a super speller - right now she is telling me it would be cool if we could go get massages - sounds great to me
john is having trouble with calves dying - it is so sad - and costing us quite a lot (timewise and monetarily) we are doing everything we can - but this has been a terrible year for calves - we need to get the new buildings up - which were supposed to be up by september!
i am really enjoying life - that much i can say! - every day is a new adventure - opportunities i never had before - i love being a mommy! we go to the library for story time - to MOPS for mommy time - to church and bible studies - i get to have tea with julie! and best of all - i really know my kids! what a blessing - i will never regret my decision to stay home with them...
i will continue to watch conner and wyatt until the end of the month - but then i need a break - i need to learn to tell people "no" in the first place and not feel guilty about it - another life lesson i have learned these past few months - when i say "yes" too often, my life gets out of control! the reason for taking a break is that the boys need so much - more than i can give them and my own kids each night - and i need to make sure my own family gets all of me - i'm sure many of you can understand the being stretched too thin!
hey! i just remembered - aunt kay - can we have massages? Bring your table to Thanksgiving at our house!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Halloween pics...finally!

God doesn't give us...

anything we can't handle. We truly believe this. Got woke up by a phone call from John at 11:45 last night. The hay baler was on fire in the field - he got the tractor unhooked and watched her burn. The Plainfield fire dept. came and put out the fire. A little of the field burned as well. John is unharmed. But it was a brand new baler - they had just returned it to us after fixing it. So calls to the insurance company today and try to get another one so we can make more bales. Sigh...just another bump in the path of life.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Birthday to me

36 years young today...
I threw the frosting first

Mom always buys me a storebought Halloween cake!
More pics later

36 years young today...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dog Rescue!!!!

Cody and I went on another of our crazy adventures last night! I saw a dog sitting in the field across from Jim and Jen's at 12:30 when I went to town. It was there when I came back at 2 in the same spot. At 5, when I took Jaima to dance class, there he was. At 6:30 when I picked her up, there he was. At 6:45 - same spot! So, I called Cody and told him to "Be Ready! Get the flashlight and the binoculars in case we can't get close." So, we drive the back way to C33 and turn into Kevin Adams' bean field and THERE HE IS. This massive, beautiful black lab...who is so big I think "CUJO!" So, I call Jenni and I say, "Can you see me in the field across from your house?" She's like, "What in the heck are you doing?" And I say, "There's a dog!" And I know she thinks I am crazy! She says she's never seen one like that around - so we finally roll down the windows and shine the flashlight on him - "Here puppy" and he starts wagging his tail. "You get out and pet him Cody!" "No way, you do it" "I'm not doing it" So we both get out - and I am tiptoe-ing for some dumb reason - up to the dog - and I reach out a hand and...he likes me! We tried to put him in the back of the Denali, but he won't jump in. So I tell Cody to open up the side door...and in he jumps...this MASSIVE black lab...and we both get in the car - "What if he bites my head off?" So we both lean forward in case he lunges at us...I call Jenni, she says, "Did you get bit?" HAHA - I say, "No, we're takin' him home" She thinks I'm crazier than before.
Fast forward to this morning...I call the vet - yep he's missing - belongs to Mr. Uhlenhopp at the high school - his name is...Bonehead. It fits him. Turns out that at harvest time he gets confused and can't find his way back he sits and faces north and waits for someone to rescue him...THE END

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Wind and snow today! Just blowing snow...every once in a while - but it was pretty! The wind is really bad today. The guys are trying to combine and the corn is getting knocked down. Then, when they unload corn into the bins they have to stand in the wind. Cody is riding in the tractor with Khyle. Soon, they will stop to do chores and then come in and watch the girls for me so I can go to my ChristLife class.

This class is really changing my life - helping to let go of my past and face the future. I'd recommend it to anyone.

I only went to Sunday School today. I had a migraine and knew I needed to get home and get to bed and sleep it off. I'm glad Jaiden was willing to sleep, too! I am feeling much better and am going to stop and get a Coke on the way to class. Someone found my secret stash and there is none left at the house!

I have a prayer request for you all, a good friend, Garry, had a stroke. He is one of those guys that looks and acts 40 and he is in his late 60s - he is really depressed because he can't go to work in his tire shop - and is struggling with why it happened to him. Please lift him up in your prayers. We all know what God can do when we pray!

Cael is doing great - he returned to school last week. He is up to his old tricks - yesterday, while carving pumpkins I discovered he carved my kitchen chair! Oh, Cael! Thank God for you and your mischief!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pumpkin Carving

Cael and Jaima carved pumpkins today - I ended up carving the rest of Jaima's spider for her! Cael made a three-eyed monster (and a mess!) Cody is carving his now - will post pictures later.
The guys are combining corn in the field just west of the house. All is going well. It feels good to be harvesting after the rain we had this week!

Playing in the leaves

Emma Lynn


"Auntie, make me a big pile!"

Pizza party!

The leftovers!
Master chef!


Thursday evening, we had the Bolin's over for dinner! Thanks, Ashley and Matt for bringing the food - yeah for my double oven!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Thanks, Mama Austa...

...for reassuring me that life is good just the way it is!
I am the perfect mother. No, my dishes aren't done. My floors are not always swept. Four dogs will greet you when you visit. Piles of laundry lurk in my hallway. You can't see the tops of our desks. Sometimes the bills are late. Sometimes the kids go to school without the papers that were supposed to be signed and sent back. Sometimes we miss the bus. The milk expires. The bread gets moldy. And always, kids that aren't ours are running through the house and staying with us.
But there are always lollipops and hugs and kisses and laughter. Balloons to hit around the house. Leaves to be played in. Races to be run and footballs to be caught. These are the things that will matter twenty years from now when my children are grown. They won't mention the dust or the muddy hallway. They will remember the wonderful meals full of laughter and love. Special treats after school and a mom that was there to greet them when they got off the bus. The special kisses before bed and reading four or five stories because Mom wants just five more minutes with them.
I am the perfect Mom.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

What a weekend!

The cake!
After we sang happy Birthday, Jaiden grabbed it!
"I'm one!" Eating cake with Kiersten. (Ian and Julie in the background.)
Walking with the vacuum that Nana and Papa got her.
Jaima writing a story.
I just woke up from a nap with Jaiden! I could use another, but I have a little homework to finish for my church class tonight...hmmm, I am definitely taking a nap again tomorrow!

Cael and Cody are playing Guitar Hero - I am going to send them outside soon - they need to get "the stink off them" as my mama used to say!