Thee Farm Wife

Thee Farm Wife

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Makin a List, Checkin it Twice...

Creatures stirring. Check.
Stockings hung by the chimney with care. Check.
Sugarplums dancing. Check.
Brains settled. Ummm.
Kerchief? Not.

But it's definitely Christmas here at the farm. I have a house full of kids actually behaving for once. "Canta Caus is coming!" says JaidenIlo. I took a long winter's nap this afternoon so I can stay up all night wrapping presents. I do this every year - wait til the absolute last minute to wrap because I despise wrapping. One year I stuck everyone's presents in gift bags and they hated it. Said it wasn't any fun. Well, let me tell you, sitting on a cold floor wrapping presents for hours ain't no pleasure cruise. hahahaha

But seriously, I hope you take a few moments to reflect on the true meaning of the season. GOD sent his Son, to a humble manger, to grow up to be a King. Not a king with a crown of gold, but a crown of thorns. The best gift ever. For you and me. Merry Christmas - share the love.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Late start

Sweet bliss, I got to stay in bed until 8 this morning! School is on a two hour delay, so the bus will be here at 9:10. The kids are arguing because Jaima took the last of the milk and left a half bowl of cereal on the table - I always run out of milk on snow days - lol - but I leave them to work it out themselves. Have a poptart son. And, Jaima, let's not be wasteful....I never say stuff like that because sometimes, I just don't fell like the parent. I could write a whole book on what it's like to become a parent at 18 1/2. How I've been a parent for 20 years and frankly, I'm tired of using the same old cliches. "Go to your room." "Clean up your plate." "Quit pinching your sister." "You'll shoot your eye out." blah blah blah. So, I sit back and observe, let them figure it out. Cody taught his sister a lesson on wastefulness - and had leftover pizza for breakfast. That's my boy!

Friday, December 17, 2010


I woke up Wednesday morning with a plan! I was all set to clean house - I had a list. I had goals. I had energy. I bent over to unload the dishwasher and...out went my hip. Electricity shot down my leg and I was down for the count. Feeling much better here on day three - but the house is still a mess. I keep waiting for some little magic fairy to swoop in and save the day...still waiting. Wait. What was that? Nevermind. Just one of the dogs. I am hoping to start my list tomorrow - otherwise, I know some kids that are going to be buuuuuusy!

So, I will try and sit here at my computer and read some of my favorite blogs. Farmerboy took off to go to the bank two hours ago - left his phone on his desk so I can't call and ask him to bring me a frozen pizza and a Diet Dr. Pepper. Guess I will just starve and drink the last Mountain Dew. (insert evil witch laugh here) 

Cody was so hilarious when Jaima got home from school. He picked up his guitar and started singing, "I'm on Christmas break. I'm on Christmas break. You have to go to school on Monday, cause I'm on Christmas break!" I got some of it on film, but she started throwing things at him and yelling, so we'll keep that in the private family collection haha

Snow everywhere, more on the way. Sounds like a good weekend to watch our pile of Christmas movies - we'll start with Christmas Vacation tonight. Minus the frozen pizza. Sigh...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Plains Blizzard

I want to shout at the wind, "You'll never get me!" Just like Pa Ingalls did in the Long Winter. We are in the middle of an honest-to-goodness Iowa blizzard - and it's not even Christmas! We are blessed to be warm and have plenty of food and entertainment. The dogs hate to go outside, however. Cody's roommate, Mychal, thought he was going to go to work in Waverly at 6am - I wouldn't let him and besides he would never have made it out of the drive.

The sun is shining right now, giving a false sense of warmth. Cody and John went out to feed cattle and check the waterers and came inside freezing and red-cheeked. I am still in my pjs - lol. The blessings of being the farmer's wife!

Jaima and I are listening to classical Christmas music on Pandora . Sugarplums and Hosannas and Emmanuel as we dance around the house. Beautiful! I have pics of my little Christmas elves to upload but blogger is rejecting them right now for some reason.

So, I wish you warmth in your heart wherever you are today, warm or cold outside - be blessed!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thrifting...I'm not the only one!

One of my favorite blogs is written by The Nester. She's just a middle-class at-home mommy (which btw, we are numbered more than you realize!) and her post today is on her Goodwill finds. It amazes me how many people never think to stop at their local thrift store before they go to Walmart to buy something! I've found: electric pencil sharpeners, dog dishes, pet cages, Christmas decs, chairs, tables, toys, jewelry, CLOTHES!, dishes, antiques, school and crafting supplies...anything you need for the home - for it's recycling! When one of the girls decides she likes Polly Pockets, I go thrifting. The next month it might be Littlest Pet Shop - and when they are done with that phase, we donate them back!I call it "blessing another family."

We are preparing for a snowstorm that's supposed to hit tomorrow. Cody and John are bedding cattle and getting feed lined up. It's not too bad out right now, but I am really missing the sunshine. We are all stocked up on groceries and I am kinda looking forward to a weekend of family time and not going anywhere. If the weatherman is wrong, John and I will be going to the phone board Christmas party tomorrow night.

I am still waiting the results from my final exam. 233 questions on the Old Testament. I was totally not prepared for it - I thought I had studied all I needed to know - and I was wrong! It was the hardest test I have ever taken - even Physics was easier! I am sure I will pass the semester - well, maybe, I will have to wait and see. I really want this ministry degree - so, I will take the semester over if I - gulp - failed.

Friday, December 3, 2010

My beautiful children...
JaidenIlo, Cody and Jaima

The new haircut

Future supermodel

Diva farmwife

The White Family

Merry Christmas!

p.s. I love you, Aunt K! Thanks for the gentle prodding to update!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary Mom and Dad White!

Saturday, we will celebrate with family and friends.
I just got done with the slide show, so I thought I would share a picture.

It is sooo cold out! It felt like January when we were "checking" cows tonight. Thanks, KD, for not running her over!

Celebrated Ian tenHoeve's third birthday this afternoon. I love Dutch birthday parties. It's fun being the only American's there. haha Julie!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Please don't judge a book by it's cover...

If you looked at my life and only assumed, you'd never know me. If you considered the basic facts about me i.e. wife, mom, stay at home mom, farmer's wife, etc . you wouldn't really know anything about me either. I HATE it when people assume I stay home because they think I don't want to work. HELLO! I DO work. 24/7  I am never "off". There are no vacation days. The money John and I make is ours. Those are also my cows, my buildings, my crops. We are a team, business owners and parents. I can do everything 'cept drive a tractor - because if I did that, too, I would never get anything done in the house! So, I've said my nice to me.

I also am thinking I despise Facebook. It is nothing but an excuse for people to pretend to be friends and avoid direct conversation or face-to-face visits. What's wrong with picking up the phone and issuing an invite? Or saying "hello"? And, if those 300+ people who are my FB "friends" were truly friends, they would have my digits.  So, if you are my true friend, never send me a message on FB again - I'd take smoke signals, a telegram, even morse code over one more FB message!

Cody moved home this week and my home is once again full of teenage boys' laughter, Nintendo noises and heavy metal. I had to buy more food and I get to cook in huge batches again - as Jaiden says, "Happy Da

Friday, November 12, 2010

Rain and the blustery day

Looks like I am going to have to give up my basement hide-away. Cody is moving back home next week - the apartment owner put their apt. up for rent...don't ask. Anyways, I've been hiding out down here with my big screen tv and old couch in the PEACE AND QUIET! Guess I will have to claim another space for me. While hiding I have been going through cupboards and boxes. The pile to take to the burn pile is huge. I had three sets of pans, enough furniture for a whole house and abandoned knick knacks galore. For those of you new to the story, John and I lived in the basement for the first 5 yrs of our marriage.(The Canadian guy on HGTV just said "Eh?" heehee but I digress.) There is a full house down here but it was a rough five yrs, mainly because of my attitude I admit. When we moved upstairs and got the house all to ourselves, we left a lot of STUFF down here. As our "kids" have gotten places of their own, I have been able to fully equip their kitchens with all of the stuff - Khyle's gf Hannah got a house this week and I sent a couple of boxes with her. I've made a lot of progress, so when Cody moves back in he will have his own house down here - but I'm definitely not cleaning it for him. When I first moved in, this place was quite the bachelor pad for John and Jim. And it looked the part.

Went grocery shopping for Thanksgiving today - whoa! - all's I have to say is they better enjoy their meal and eat every last bite - I think that it was the most I have ever spent on it - and I bought turkey breasts and not whole birds. I also bought a ham - I have double ovens which makes cooking a big dinner a breeze.

The weekend before T-day is Don and Austa's 50th wedding anniversary party. So, they will be coming back sometime this coming week so we can get ready to celebrate. We will have family pics taken that day - my fam is wearing hot pink, black and silver. Cody and John are wearing black with hot pink and black ties. The girls got new dresses and I treated myself to a spree at the new JoMarco boutique in Waverly. I walked in the front door and instantly felt like the shoppe had been built just for me! Bling bling everywhere! I certainly won't look like a farmer's wife at the party! If I could afford it, I would buy a whole new wardrobe - it was that awesome!

It is a true fall day today - rain, wind, chilly - the guys didn't get all of the chisel plowing done but I think they are satisfied with the progress they have made considering we weren't done with harvest at this time last year!

I am almost done Christmas shopping - mostly online this year - we are keeping it really simple and focusing more on the reason for the day, not the gifts. I can't wait to spend the day with the kids and just BE - does that make sense?

Will have to post some pictures when I get online upstairs. Jaiden's hair. Jaima's smile. Cody's goofy faces. These are a few of my favorite things.

Monday, November 1, 2010

What a day!

Got up too late to put Jaima on the bus - could it have been the extra episodes of Roseanne I swore I wouldn't watch? hmmmmm  THEN, I took Jaiden to the dentist only to find out the the appointment is tomorrow! I got back in my car and the battery warning light kept flashing - alternator was fried. Oh, there's more...came home and had to shampoo the carpet AGAIN! because Zeus (our 10yr-old lab) had gotten sick. And then, I shut off the carpet cleaner and walked to the girls room - and saw Jaiden try to hide something on her bed. That's when I noticed the HUGE pieces of blonde hair on the floor. I looked at her head. Bangs? Gone. Sides? Gone. Back? One little piece. My baby cut off all of her beautiful hair! I sat down and cried and cried. Called John and left him an unintelligible message. Called Wendi@ Hair Tech - on of my BFF's - and went in right away. It took both Wendi and Dawn to figure out what to do. You'll see pictures tomorrow. I have no idea where my camera is or for that matter, my IPOD. I'm thinking the bald kid hid them.

Scissors? Yeah. Jaima left them in her bedside table. oooooooooooops

Off to bed, because we have a dentist appt tomorrow. I hope. I lost my dayplanner, too.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Perfect Day!

I don't even know if this pic will be visible! John and I dressed up to take the kids trick-or-treating tonight. I am a Jersey girl with big hair and tons o'makeup and John is "Pimp Daddy Big J" - I am wearing a wig and a crown. It was a blast. Jenni my sis-in-law said I looked like I did when I first started dating John - and I had to laugh because I thought that same thing when I was putting on my face! The girls wore sequin dance outfits - Khyle wore a Star Wars storm trooper helmet, Cody wore an Iron Man helmet, Jaclyn was a cupcake and Hannah (Khyle's GF) went as a college student. I love that John dressed up with me - bc I love my bday being on Halloween - next year for my forever 39 party I am definitely having a costume party! I DID miss throwing my own party this year but still had an awesome day!

We all went to church at Open Bible, then to lunch at Pizza Ranch. Then I came home and got back in my jammies. Khyle came over and brought Hooters hot sauce so I had to fry up a few chickens. They butchered yesterday. It was YUMMY! Then trick-or-treating - I watched three episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond, and now I am watching JUST ONE Halloween episode of Roseanne. Just one, because I could stay up all night watching them!

Tomorrow, Jaiden goes to the dentist to get her teeth fixed. We had gone to a specialist and he had wanted to do surgery on her mouth - almost $7,000! So, I got a second opinion and our dentist office said they would be able to do it without anesthesia - they will do a few tomorrow and see how she handles it. For under $700!

So, I better get to bed soon - as soon as Roseanne is over - gotta love Nick@nite!

My Daddy called me tonight and told me he could remember the day I was born - me all pink and naked - and he said to himself "She's mine" - that made me so happy - on my desk is a picture of my daddy and me when I first came home and he is laying next to me and smiling -  it is so great to be a Daddy's girl!

Perfect end to a perfect day - I don't feel 38 - more like 18 - and I hope I always feel this way!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Birthday Weekend

I am 35 minutes away from being 38 years old -
1972 - born in Killeen, TX
1985 gave my life to the LORD and was baptized
1992 Cody Allan blessed my life
2001 met John, my sweet and patient Farmer Boy
2002 married John
2002 Jaima Louise blessed us
2007 JaidenIlo Marie blessed us
2010 pierced my nose hahahaha

What fills up the rest? Tons of friends, farm life, learning to be a good wife and mother, reading, working various jobs and trying new careers, more blessings from God than I could ever count...and here I am today a WOMAN, although not quite a grown up - and I really okay with who I am! I have great kids, more cows than I can count, pets who adore me, and a husband who should be nominated for sainthood for putting up with me!

Last night I went to coffee with an old/new friend. We finally juswt made time for each other and spent four hours talking and getting to know each other. Thanks, Heather, for some much needed girl time and laughter!

I slept in until TEN o'clock this morning. Got up, had coffee and Halloween candy. Stayed in my jammies all day. Watched the History channel because I was too lazy to change the channel, painted pumpkins with John and the girls, never cooked anything but BBQ smokies and drank Dutch tea all day! I napped from 2 to 6 with the girls. Took a bubble bath with Jaiden and put on my favorite pink silk jammies. I never talked on the phone or got the mail or checked my Blackberry or email - a day of me!

Tomorrow, we are all going to church and then out to eat for my bday.

Khyle and Dan butchered chickens this morning and Khyle showed up with 5 or 6 of them - put them on the counter and said it was my turn to do the rest. So, tomorrow I will fry chicken and make mashed taters and greasy gravy and have a feast. I didn't plan a party this year - I always throw myself one - and I don't know why. Maybe because I didn't want to clean? haha Next week, I plan on calling each of my special friends and ask them to each spend an hour or two with me, catching up and then I will have an excuse to go and visit them. Sue has already invited me to go to a cupcake shoppe with her on Thursday!

Hmmm what else can I ramble on about? Cody and Jacly came tonight and brought presents! Cody bought me a Willow Tree mother and son statue - I cried - and Jaclyn bought me a tea cup that says "prayer changes everything" and "pray without ceasing" - I cried, too - because my son is in love with a godly woman!

Off to bed I go - now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the LORD my soul to keep - my angels watch me through the night and wake me with the morning light! AMEN

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Ahhhhh Saturday! Scattered Thoughts

Farmer Boy and I are watching the Iowa game. Jaiden is napping on the floor where she fell, exhausted. Jaima is in my purse closet looking for just the right bag and wallet - she becomes more like me everyday - Cody is at a concert in Iowa City - and the air smells like rain - lovely - I walked outside this morning and breathed in th fresh smell of rain - we haven't had a drop in over 30 days - and to have no more dust and hardly any flies - I love fall ya'all!

Made chicken noo-nuls for lunch - and am thinking of going to the fridge and sampling some leftovers...too lazy to get up - Big J and I haven't sat in the living room together in forever - I am pretty sure my chair was missing me - I swear she sighed when I sat down - or was that a groan?

I stayed up til past 1am watching Keeping Up Appearances on Netflix - man, I love Netflix! - I don't remember falling asleep - and I slept so well, til 8 - can you believe it? Then Jaima and I went to the Beauty Shope for some Steel Magnolias time and then to Togs - the thrift store! Fall decor was half off so I bought me some - and they had Christmas decs out so I bought me some, too. I love gingerbread men! Also scored an awesome denim jacket.

Jaiden just woke up - so I better get some cuddle time!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Football - yeah Go-hawks! Jaima danced with the Dance Team before the game - Jaiden didn't want to leave - and since I am working on a new blog template tonight that's all you'll get for now. Blogging has moved up on my priority list - Aunt K is smiling I just know it! - now if only I could get my laptop to cooperate - she's running a little slow! I am working on photo editing at and hope to make a custom header - so give me time- I drank a Mt Dew - yee ha - so will be up for awhile...stay tuned

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Harvest is Complete!

I just spent 15 minutes typing and lost my post! MAD

In summary: harvest is complete, fieldwork next, Jaiden's bday tomorrow, Cody visited today, Jaima's been reading alot and Jaiden is TALKING!

I will retell in detail tomorrow because I am off to watch a movie!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Harvest Time!

Blessings to you for putting up with my ineptitude with blogging! I have so many stories to tell - and I could easily blog from my Blackberry - but time just slips away from me!

Taught Sunday school today - 1-5th grade boys and girls - we talked about "God our Rock" and painted rocks that I found here on the farm - some had fossils because I picked up limestone from around the outside of the barn - they loved it! Jaima and I went out to lunch for Chinese at Hyvee after church - and we invited some single elderly folks to sit with us - one woman reminded me so much of Grandma Wagner that I could have talked to her all day!

So, now we are home in our jammies and I am listening to podcasts and blogging and thinking about taking a happy nappy.

Jim got the combine out yesterday and started on the corn to the west of the house - it was AWESOME to see Daddy Don pulling in the drive with the first load of golden corn - we are so blessed to live this life - in good times and in bad - rain put an end to the harvest process - so Cody took me out on a date - we went to HuHot - you fill up a bowl with meat, noodles, veggies and sauce and they grill it Mongolian style right in from of you - yummy! We also went and bought new earrings for each of us - yep, picking our jewelry with my son was fun :) only he calls his gauges or something - if he knew I called them earrings he would roll his eyes! I even listened to his music all the way home - and enjoyed it!

I have been helping out with Junior High youth group on Wednesday nights - a big change from the high school group I'm used to - but I love it - even though Pastor Kent introduces me as "Crazy Carolyn"! I would say exuberant not crazy!

I picked the last of the cherry tomatoes yesterday - I had planted them inside clear back in January - and they just now produced! It was a hard year for gardening - too much rain and then too much heat - my pumpkins and peppers never produced - come to think of it neither did my beets or carrots - and I only got one zuchinni - and I would have had cukes but Jethro, the big dumb dog, dug them up. (He also ate a carseat last night, but we won't go there!)

John had a close call at the landfill this week. He parked his dump truck to empty it and a semi loader parked next to him - Thank You God for John getting out of that truck! - because the semi fell on the cab of the dumptruck - right where John would have been sitting! One blessing out of this? He has a few weeks off because the County is not sure if they will replace it - so he will have plenty of time for the Harvest!

Sleep beckons me - sweet afternoon dreams...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

We are definitely back on our Fall schedule - Sunday School, both girls are in dance, youth group and the girl's Wednesday night activities...

John is finishing up his concrete wall project in the barn. We also poured cement in a few pens in the hoop buildings - with more to come as we find time (and $) to clean out pens and pour the cement. We sure are rich in manure. "Smells like money, honey!"

Today I went to a baby shower for my best girlfriend's (Kim) daughter, Rachael. I took my other best girlfriend Laurie with. When I say best girlfriends I'm talking about junior high and high school - I love Facebook - it's brought us all back together.

Jaima and I are staying up for the third night in a row watching Camp Rock 2 on Disney - I love this movie! but don't tell anyone. k?

Jaima first day of school, Khyle being Khyle, Chloe, Jaiden and "Me cook!"

more pictures - we sure did a lot this summer!

Random pictures

Cody's band Graduating Summer playing at the Bremer County Fair - Cody is on the right (Blue plaid on the hottest night of the year) Rock on!

The girls and I at the Sparrow Family Reunion - picture by Daddy

Jaiden playing in the rain!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Migrating Monarchs

We saw hundreds of monarchs roosting in our locusts trees tonight. It was so beautiful - and awesome to be a part of their journey south to Mexico!

The girls have been running me ragged - with preschool, school, dance, Sunday School, my class, Wednesday night youth group and my house and farm duties I have to be on my toes - and keep a good calendar! We have gotten rid of most of the "stuff" that was taking up space in the house. Too many clothes, toys, gadgets, books, junk, dishes and pans, not to mention furniture - it all got donated to the local thrift store. Less laundry, less mess, less washing up. We also have a pretty strict after school schedule - and the nights I am not here John has a checklist - lol - I have no idea what we are going to do when harvest starts. Cody has class Monday nights. But I will handle that when it comes!

Cody moved out a few weeks ago to an apartment in Waverly. I am still grieving - I had no idea I would feel so empty and wounded with him gone. My Mom says it gets easier and I am trusting that. It's not like he's hundreds of miles away - but the fact that I am no longer his main focus depresses me. Oh, I know I should say that I am proud of a job well done - especially when there were those that said Cody and I would never make it - and I should be proud that he is in college. But it still hurts, and I would love to have him come back home! One positive - it sure is easier to divide my time between two instead of three.

I love fall - and really feel alive this time of the year - will try and post pics soon - but for now I have to go chase Jaiden Ilo who is running through the house naked - she DID have jammies on and was in bed!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sitting in a hotel - eating Taco Bell Nachos Supreme - KFC chocolate parfait and watching Transformers 2 - redneck vacation - we came to Osceola to pick Jaima up - she has been in Arkansas with Grammy and Papa all week - I forgot how much this girl can TALK! We swam in the hotel pool for awhile and will try to sleep in past 7 tomorrow haha then we will breakfast at the casino buffet - and head home- I wanted to go to the zoo or Living History Farms but the Farmer can't be away from his cows that long - so no time to visit our dear relatives in DM either - I will just have to drive myself down next time!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Peach Parfait

2 cups oatmeal
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup melted butter
1 cup walnuts (optional)
I like to add a dash of salt

Mix all and press into bottom of 9x13 pan

2 boxes peach Jell-o
2 cups boiling water
Add one quart vanilla icecream and stir until melted.

Places four cups of diced peaches on top of crust (If using canned, drain juice)
Pour Jell-O mixture over all. Chill until set.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

one more thing...

tomorrow i will post an awesome recipe for Peach Parfait - that's "parfay" for you non-frenchies!
Oh my goodness, I think my blog is sooo boring compared to the ones I've read today - I used to read this blog when she first started The Pioneer Woman- and John Deere Mom reminded me of the blog today in her post. I originally started reading PW's blog back in the day when I was a frustrated-I have no idea what I'm doing - farmwife. She sure is AWESOME! Calls her husband Marlboro Man - I call mine Cooter - you know from the Dukes of Hazzard? She has a big ranch and horses and talks about manure and castrating calves. I have a big farm and lots of bulls**t and manure and castrate calves also. See, we have a lot in common. Only she has an amazing blog - she wrote a book and got to be on the Today Show - just because she's a farmer's wife! Heck, I can do that! Me and John Deere Mom are going to wear our JCP outfits and joo-ler-rey and impress more young women with our country knowledge - yeee ha!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Trying a new way to blog…

Windows live writer…we’ll see if it increases my blog rate :)

i only have a second to type because the girls just pulled in the yard with Papa! Cody shows steer and heifer for the last time tomorrow - my hand is healing - but it hurts ALOT - i have very limited range of motion - the good news is most of the feeling is back in my hand and thumb - today, i did too much and right now fingers are tingling - so off to bed i go...NOT - still have to recap days with my princesses and give them baths!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

It's Hot and Stinky

More rain last night. more humidity, more wet manure - and to top it all off, John is cleaning pens in the big buildings today. I am NOT going outside.

Tomorrow is the Sparrow Family reunion in Zearing. I love to go - lots of sweetcorn, fresh peaches that Mama Austa brings, salads, PIE! I hope it is not so hot that we cannot enjoy ourselves.

Jethro is adapting. His newest thing is taking one of Chloe's toys and running through the house with it with her barking and chasing him. He is like a million times bigger than her. I think he is in love.

Daddy Don showed up here this morning with a bag of peaches! I ate one before I could even say "Thanks!" I am going to make a cobbler to go with dinner tonight. It's a recipe that Tricia Yearwood had in Good Housekeeping magazine. Uses TONS of butter. I think we will have grilled burgers and sweet corn, too! And a gallon of sweet tea.

Jaiden is starting to TALK! All of a sudden yesterday she was repeating words I was saying. She is even using some 2-3 word sentences. She still uses some signs - for swing, bath, juice, milk - I love it when she signs "swing" that is her all-time fav thing to do. We have a tree swing out front and she climbs up herself and swings side-to-side. We are trying to teach her to pump her legs - but she gets mad because it isn't as fast as her way! Some days you open the front door and she runs outside naked as a jaybird and jumps on that swing!

I have surgery scheduled for this coming Wednesday for my right hand. I have carpal tunnel that I have left untreated for over 10 years (DUMMY CAROLYN!) So, there is a lot of nerve damage and pain. I pray that the surgery will be successful - and I can regain the use of my hand! I am on antibiotics for a staph infection right now - and that needs to clear up before I can have surgery - right on my chinny chin chin. How lovely! That hurts a lot less today so I am praying the meds are working. Mom and Dad White are here to help. I gotta remember to ask her to make me Ribbon Jello! you know, the one that takes all day to make with layers of Jell-O in a 9 x 13 pan? My favorite! And I am going to have her make Chinese chicken salad, too - yummy!

One thing God has taught me through all of this is that I need to let others help me and take care of me. I have always been the one to "do" and have always hated to "receive". Now, I have to have help and I pray that God will give me a quiet, gentle and accepting spirit.

My Dad hasn't been doing too well in his recovery from shoulder surgery. He has had blood clots in his lungs, and has taken a fall down the stairs. So, I ask that you would lift him up in prayer, too - he's a "do-er" just like me! In fact, everyone has always said that we are too much alike. Stubborn and bull-headed.

Well, another load of laundry is calling my name - only I am imagining it is Neil Diamond "Sweet Care-o-line da da da Good times never felt so good!" Thank you to the hubby for having two sets of washers and dryers for me- I love that man!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day Four With Jethro...

otherwise entitled "Jethro Finds the Cat"

Yes, my dear friends, I am writing sarcasticly today. You will hear a crazy tone of humor in my words. I just chased a 97 pound dog through my house, because he decided it was Cat Hunting Season. He moved the Hoosier (which I can barely move). He broke glass milk bottles, He knocked over the TV and my plant. Tried to jump through a closed window was like a horrible retelling of The Gingerbread Man, "You can't catch ME!"

And John wonders why the regular housework never gets done!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

It's a...

BOY! Meet "Jethro Gibbs" - our new baby who weighs 95 lbs and is three years old. We saw him on the Today in Iowa show on KWWL this morning and John fell in love. SO, we went to the Humane Society and adopted him. He loves the kids and the dogs and is fitting in just fine here in the crazy house.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cody got registered for his fall classed and ended up being able to take all of them at the Waverly campus! So, now I won't have to worry about winter driving to Waterloo! Right now he is taking gen ed classes and will be exploring what he wants his major to be. I told him not to worry about it and just enjoy his first year!

Yesterday was so hot! I have no idea how the guys survived working in the heat - I felt guilty for staying inside...kind of:)

I just realized that school will be starting in a month - school supplies are already in the stores - can you believe that?! But I did snag a few good deals for our school supply cupboard - you know 15 cent folders and notebooks - you can never have enough of those and 45 cent boxes of crayolas - I am a sucker for a good deal!

All for now, John has asked me to stop staying up so late - he always knows what's best for me!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Here I am blogging from my Blackberry! We are at Hawkeye Community College registering Cody for fall classes. This is so surreal to me. I was a student here 19 years ago when I was pregnant with him! All for now!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Where has July gone? Here it is almost fair time.

Jaiden had speech therapy today. She didn't really want to talk to Jackie or Carrie. But she did tell them a few of her new words: pink, blue, cut, yellow. Pink is her favorite color. If you give here scissors she will cut every piece of paper she can get her grubby little hands on!

We went to the Shell Rock parade on the 3rd and watched fireworks that night on the gravel north of SR. We sat on the top of my Denali and ate licorice and had a great time. But the stars on the way home were even more beautiful to me!

Jaiden and I have both had strep throat. I also had a tooth pulled and it promptly got a dry socket and then infection set in. So, I am on another week of antibiotics.

We haven't seen real sunshine in days! Another hot, sticky and cloudy day today -I think we will watch movies and color - read books and not do too much.

I am going to be having carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand in the next few months. I also have a rotator cuff injury on my right shoulder, so will be doing physical therapy and light duty for awhile. The rough and tumble life of a farmer's wife!

We have been to the pool for the first time - the girls and I had so much fun - we stayed for two hours - and had to leave when my shoulders started burning in spite of the SPF 50! We now have golden tans and have plans to go back as soon as the sun shines again!

John and Cody and Dan have been hauling manure, making hay and work work working! We have all of the buildings full so we are RICH in manure. Flies, too - which I really could do without. I hung a sandwich bag with pennies and a little water in it (I am sure you all have seen that email floating around!) and it seems to work - EXCEPT when the kids or the dogs leave the front door wide open! OR when Cody parked the manure and fly covered skid loader in the garage!

Rainy days wouldn't be complete here on the farm without the basement flooding - this time the water was over our ankles and covered every room but the room I keep my Christmas decs in! The deepest it's ever been - turns out the electrical cord shorted out on the pump. John replaced it and the water drained in a few hours. Then they cleaned up the mess for the 100th time. Cody will be moving to his apartment as soon as fair is over and then I won't have to worry about his things getting ruined. If I could, I would fill that basement up with concrete!!!!! One blessing - the water is always clean!

All for now, the couch is calling my name!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Do three or four entries in a day make up for not blogging regularly? I love to write, and one of my "life changes" is to write more. (I hate the word "goals" those are for someday - life changes are immediate!)

I taught Jaima's Sunday School class this morning. We made shirts and ties out of craft foam for Father's Day. There were scraps and glue everywhere and I loved every minute of it.

I won a contest! One of my favorite blogs is John Deere Mom. Seriously, I never win anything! I won a beach towel, book, Target gift card and Starbucks gift card. I am going to Target in CF as soon as I receive it and getting my Starbucks fix on!

Jaiden is progressing with her speech. Some of her new words are: poop, toot, yellow, tent, goose, goat, gate...Some she uses on her own like toot and poop haha and others she repeats when we are reviewing her phonetics cards. She can count with her fingers. She tells us how many pigtails she wants. How old she is, how many objects are in front of her. It is amazing that she can do that but still not talk.

I have been staying up late every night, so tonite I will retire to my boudoir posthaste and read my Kindle. Night ya'all.

Noah and Jaiden playing bean bags

Andrew taking Jaiden to see the show heifer...she was kinda scared!

"Hi, Grandma Austa!"


am I crazy? Nah - I just need to work with the girls this summer. Jaiden with her speech and Jaima with her math and concentration skills. Yes, that's Cody sneaking into the pictures. I had the area all cleaned up once, but Daddy watched the girls yesterday and you know what that means...chaos.

Time for pictures!


The White House

Ground cherries

My little garden...yeah, I know you see weeds. I will get to them, eventually. If it would stop raining. Or if I would get some energy. Hmmmmm

It's So Hard to Say Goodbye...

My sweet Aunt Lorena went home to be with the Lord last night. She fought a courageous battle with cancer. I rejoice that she is in Heaven - singing and dancing. We will celebrate her life sometime this coming week. My Uncle Ross and Aunt Lorena had a love story that inspired me to find true love in my life. They dated when they were younger. Uncle Ross went on to marry another. Aunt Lorena waited for her true love. He came back to her and they married and lived happily ever after! Aunt Rena was the most truthful, loving, AMAZING woman I have ever had the priviledge of knowing, and I will miss her - but I will see her again, because she led me to the Lord.

Goodbye, Rena, I love you forever.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Deep Sigh of Relief!

some of the pictures I put up for Cody's party

Proud grandparents!

(The dates are wrong on the pics because we were using Jaima's camera!)

The school year is over - let the relaxation begin! There is nothing on my "to do" list - I plan on sleeping in tomorrow and then who knows!

I finally got a new camera so I will share some pics now!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Graduation and such

Well, we survived the graduation ceremony...barely. It was 95 degrees outside and even hotter in the high school gym! Oh, I was so proud of my son! And his friends and all of the great choices they have made! I was proud of the people who showed up to love on him! And, I don't have any pictures to show you because Shannon K. has not emailed them to me yet - HINT HINT!

Cody's party is this Saturday, so this week we will work on his picture displays, dust off his trophies, and I will dig out the Barney videos and Power Rangers stuff I saved all these years for this special day!

If I have learned anything about raising kids these past 18 years it is this: Really get to know your children. Never say, "What do you want now?" to them. Love them unconditionally, even when they spill red Kool-aid on your white carpet. Love their friends. Open your home. Break the cycle of the past and vow to be a better parent. Attend as many of their events as you can. Love them some more.

I could go on writing forever...but my big comfy bed is calling my name!

I vow to blog more often - and post pictures soon. SHANNON! lol

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Whoa, Nelly!

Life just flies by sometimes - not that I haven't enjoyed every hectic minute the past few weeks! - but it sometimes gets away from me. I think I actually forgot that I have a blog. I read everyone elses - and tons of decorating ones, too! And then never take the time to update ours!

Corn is planted - beans are waiting for dry ground and a rain-free stretch. Calving time is almost done and school is almost over.

Plans are moving along quite smoothly for Cody's graduation party. Saturday, June 5th from 1-3pm at our church - invites to be mailed hopefully by Tuesday - HA! I just need to get the cakes ordered - finish the scrapbook, which I promised myself that I would do one page a week during the school year - guess who only has about 2.6 pages done?

Jaima and I are hanging out in my office right now - she is eating cold leftover Chinese and I am eating homemade caramel corn. She is talking and I don't think I am really listening - she talks more than I ever did!

JaidenIlo has once again emptied her popcorn bowl all over the floor - you would think I would learn by now - but I forget! Honestly, that child gets me so befuddled sometimes!

Life is good - God is greater - and I am so happy I could sing!

Be blessed.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My good friend Maria says it's time to update my blog and when Maria says "It's time!" she means it's time! We had a lovely girls day on Friday...a start to a perfect weekend.

What's happened in April? I need to look at my calendar so I can recall because it has been a BUSY month!
- Lots of spring cleaning
- Gallons of coffee and Gatorade
- Planting corn
- Calving (Oh how I love helping or watching a new baby come into the world!)
- Cody's band played a show in DesMoines - missing Senior Prom, but what a great excuse to miss it!
- Jaiden goes to preschool two days a week and continues her speech therapy
- Jaima had recital pictures taken and is practicing for her big day in June
- John is working lots at the landfill as people begin to spring clean and clear out their junk
- Don and Austa (John's parents) are here for a few weeks

And on a more serious note, my dear sweet Mommy had a stroke two weeks ago. But our God is the Great Physician and has healed her. She is already back to work - much to my opposition - and making a quick recovery. Please lift her and Daddy up in your prayers. Daddy is still trying to heal from shoulder surgery. Probably because he can't sit still!

As I write, Jaiden is sitting at her desk, too - drinking coffee just like Mommy. I carry on a coffee drinking tradition (addiction?) that started with my grandparents. Coffee with sugar and more milk than coffee and a special little cup.

I will post pictures soon. I need to get to Walgreens and print some more for Cody's scrapbook - one month to graduation!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Yesterday I got a break from being a mommy - I worked outside all day with John, and it felt like a vacation! Cody watched the girls for us.

Me, getting kissed by one of the new Holstein steers. 109 of them arrived yesterday - very healthy and pretty tame.

Me and Pickles took a rest on the hay bales. Yep, I got my nose pierced back in January. Rebel lol And yep, full makeup, a farm wife has to look good for her man!

109 steers waiting for vaccinations - we ran them through three at a time!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy Birthday, Cody Allan!

My brother and his family, my parents, Andrew and Jaclyn helped us celebrate.

Jaclyn turned 16 Saturday, I made her a Sweet Sixteen cupcake cake!

(Note the Power Ranger cake!)
18 years ago today, my life was changed forever! I am so blessed to have you for my son!

We love you, mucho!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Prayers needed

We have been touched by tragedy here in Waverly. One of Cody's classmates was killed in a drunk-driving accident early Sunday morning. Please pray for the family of Josh Young. Please lift up, Alex, the young man who was driving, and his family. Pray for healing - both physical and emotional. Please pray for the kids at the high school, their teachers, mentors, counselors and pastors - that the right words will be spoken, that hope will not be lost, and that life will go on - changed, that they will realize that good choices result in postive outcomes.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

March Madness

NCAA basketball? Check.
Wind? Check.
Spring melt? Check.
First robin? Check.
Snowed again? Check.

Yep, we got snow yesterday. It actually was quite pretty and big and fluffy at first. Then it got cold and slippery. I stayed home, of course and snuggled and watching college wrestling with my honey. Iowa is National Champion - AGAIN!

Jaima spent the night at Cael's last night. They needed some together time. Two peas in a pod.

John just yelled for me. I went into our room and Jaiden had gotten really sick and was under our bed. I helped clean her up and got her in the tub. Now, we are in the living room watching Sesame Street. Poor girl! She is wrapped up in her fish towel - she calls it her "blubbie blankie" - that girl loves fish! I hope she will fall back asleep for awhile. She has had stomach flu a few days this week. We thought she was all better.

I am in my second semester of school - Discipleship 2 Finding Your Ministry. I have started a new blog as part of my ministry work I am so excited that God has led me into women's ministry. I am hoping to become a speaker and perhaps an author. One of my dreams is to attend the Proverbs 31 SheSpeaks conference. For now, I will raise my babies and have the goal of someday traveling the country and encourage other women!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spring is definitely here!

The girls and I played outside after church yesterday - we saw our first robins Friday - and wished for luck just like my Grandpa Wagner taught me to.

This morning, Jaima and I walked to the bus for the first time in a long time - we usually drive because of all the snow and mud - and we like the time together, being warm in the car, talking and eating breakfast. But this morning she needed to walk because she had a VERY hard time getting up - the cold, brisk air did the trick!

Everything is coming alive again! Thank you , God, for the promises of Spring!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jaima Lulu!

8 years old today!

Jaima wanted a Gummy Bear party!

JaidenIlo helped me to decorate!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Oh my little blog, how I have missed you so!

For the past month, I have cut my Internet time down to almost nothing. I haven't blogged or even read my favorite blogs - or Facebooked or googled or anything! Just checked email and jumped off line. Refreshing I must say!

So, dear reader, will you ever forgive me? Did you get frustrated with me? Were you dying to know "the rest of the story?" hahahahahaha

Things are going remarkably well for us - both cattle buildings are up and running and we even have steers in the south building that we are feeding for someone else. Thank you God, You are amazing!

The kids are growing and blessing us. We are counting down to graduation - I still need to order senior pics and invites and announcements and cake and food and make mints and all of that - we will probably order a big sub and have the party at our church. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

Other than that - let me see...

Jaiden had her hearing checked today - PERFECT! However, I now need to have my hearing checked because I couldn't hear the sounds! I knew I had loss in my left ear, but didn't realize it had gotten that bad. Yes, Mom, you were right, I shouldn't have ridden (is that a word?) in cars with loud stereos, or gone to all of those rock-n-roll shows! I've done gone and went deaf! I will make an appt to get my ears checked - maybe then I won't have to make everyone repeat themselves!

So, Jaiden can hear - and we have speech therapy tomorrow and we will see what progress she has made! She made sssssssssssssssssssss sounds yesterday! When I took her in for her hearing test there was a daycare in the same building and she wanted to go play with the other kids - I was so sad for her ! So, I am going to see about sending her to daycare for two half days per week so she can play and socialize!

All for now, I have been on more than my ten minutes!!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

I have lost count of how many snow days the kids have had! I made this cake for them this morning - school started at 8:30 and they were dismissed at 10:30 - I told Cody he could skip, but he went anyways and was back home a little after 11 - I laughed because he could have slept in. I don't think there will be school tomorrow - we have gotten a lot of snow!

John has pneumonia - he went into a grain bin without a mask - inhaled mold and dust and who knows what - so I took him to the doctor on Friday - he is on antibiotics and is doing albuterol breathing treatments - he seems to be breathing much easier today.

Jaiden's speech is doing great! She has added a few words that she can actually say! "Good! I did it! Blub, blub! (fish)" and a few others that I can't remember right now - but we are making progress. I have turned the big table into a school table for her. We read books, do activities, work on speech. She loves to color and cut out shapes. She also has a dry erase board hanging on the wall to write on - and a sticker chart. Every time she says a word out loud she gets a sticker -

Jaima is doing great in school - she comes home so happy and full of stories to tell. They are working on basic geometry in math and she seems to be enjoying that - she disappeared for an hour or so this afternoon and then came and told me she had a surprise for me - she had cleaned her room! Some stuff got shoved under the bed but I am NOT complaining!

I passed my first semester of INSTE theology course! A- A lot of studying - and more to come when second semester starts -

Cody's band "Graduating Summer" has made it to the finals of the Battle of the Bands sponsored by JEL (Just Eliminate Lies). They will head to Des Moines in April to win a chance at a recording contract! He is giving up prom to go - sigh - I wanted to see him in a tux. But this night will be the best! They also will be playing at the Bremer County Fair this summer. Two of his friends will be moving in the basement "house" with him after graduation - looks like we will have all of the bedrooms full - the boys promise to clean the basement up - so I am looking forward to that. They all plan on going to community college for their general education and then will move on to university somewhere. Both of his friends are like sons to me - I practically have raised Lance - lol.

Friday, January 29, 2010

In three weeks, Jaiden has gone from not being able to tell us anything to being able to sign almost 20 words! Jaiden and Daddy working on her sign language cards everyday. I have a video of it but it is too large of a file to upload, so I will make a smaller one tomorrow. We have speech therapy this morning and I am looking forward to more suggestions to help her communicate. We are still not sure of why she is not talking. One website you can look at is This will give you an idea of what she is experiencing. She certainly has a high level of comprehension - for example if you name animals she can point to a picture of everyone of them - but she cannot say "cow" or "kitty", etc. She knows signs for: more, drink, milk, eat, please, cow, kitty, mouse, dog, cookie, pig, bubbles (her favorite!), bath, goodnight, light, etc. She can even put signs together like "more milk please" - she still can say "Chloe, Daddy, Mommy, no" that's about it for her speech. (Chloe is our dog.) John and I don't want you to worry - JaidenIlo is a gift from God. She will speak in her own way and in her own time. If you want to learn some signs, we are using ASL - American Sign Language. We bought a card set and book from and local libraries have them as well. I am not sure of a good website to use yet. This morning we went to Jaima's school. The second graders were in charge of the worship service - it was so cute! Jaima had to buy a new outfit last night at the mall. Thank goodness Aeropostale has clearance racks - it's her favorite store! Cody is being measured for his cap and gown today - graduation is right around the corner. We are trying to decide when to have his party - graduation is Memorial Day weekend. We also have Jaima's dance recital that week and our anniversary! The basement continues to be a challenge for us. Water is still flowing through the tile lines. But with this cold weather, the pump sometimes freezes up. I am not looking forward to the spring thaw! Dan is going to fix the tile lines around the house as soon as he can this spring, and then we won't have to worry about the yearly water problems. I bet in the ten years I have been here the basement has flooded 50 times - yep, about 5 times a year. Can you tell I am frustrated?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


We are in a black and white world right now - I haven't taken any pictures but Julie has!

Let's see, I haven't blogged in awhile - this is probably the busiest I have ever been! "Spring" cleaning is done - we have donated two truckloads to the local thrift store. Julie is proud of me for getting rid of more junk - and it sure makes life so much simpler with less clothes to wash and less toys to put away! Less is more!

Jaiden has begun speech therapy - right now we are still in the diagnosis and evaluation stages. Thank you to everyone for all of your prayers - we continue to trust God - because John and I know that Jaiden will speak in whatever way God has planned for her! Right now we are using sign language, pictures and words - she continues to make new sounds as we work with her - when she speaks we get so excited! Daddy works with her everyday with her flashcards of sign language. She knows: bubbles, mouse, light, drink, book, cow, milk, goodnight, more, please and thank you. They add new signs each day, saying the word and making the sign. It is so great to be able to have her communicate with us and tell us what she needs! I will try and take a video of her and daddy signing tomorrow - right now she is busy watching Khyle play the Wii.

Well, Jaima needs help with math homework, then it's bath and bedtime!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Jaiden had her first assessment with AEA267 - a local agency - for her sppech and communication problems today. She has more than a 25% delay so they will begin working with her next week. Today she had playtime with Jackie and did really well. They played with blocks, puzzles and colors. She is actually advanced in her skills - she just doesn't have the words to express what she knows or feels. We continue to trust God to bring her to the level she needs to be at.

John had a great time last night with some of his old friends at a Hawkeyes football party. Go Hawks! They won the Orange Bowl. I didn't watch the game I was too busy chasing my girls around and getting them ready for bed. Neither one of them wanted to go to sleep last night without Daddy here!

Another snowstorm is on the way - if there is a snow day tomorrow we will work on the girl's bedroom. I bought bunk beds for them yesterday. They are so excited! i was lucky to find nice bedding for each of them at the local thrift store. Yellow butterflies for Jaiden and lots of pink for Jaima. We will get rid of a lot of the extra "junk" accumulated intheir room and make it a quiet place for them to spend time together.

John and Dan are cleaning the garage today and burning trash. Too cold if you ask me!

I went to the dentist yesterday becaue my jaw was hurting. Last week it had "popped" out on me - and I couldn't eat, chew, or close my mouth. The muscles are pulled and I need to go to physical therapy. No, it is not from talking too much!

Stay warm - I am hoping there is a snow day tomorrow so I can cuddle with my kids!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Dear God, Thank you for my friends! Thank you for the help and inspiration to get my house clean!

Kiersten came tonight and helped me with the girls. Then she and Jaiden did the dishes for me and cleaned the kitchen. Jaclyn helped me with the playroom and living room this week. The only rooms I have left are the laundry room and Jaima's room (which I will tackle when she goes back to school on Monday!).

I am laughing because my Grandma Wagner and I always had a contest to see who would start their spring cleaning first. We would start in January. Well, Grandma, I going to beat you this year! I know she is up in her heavenly mansion vacuuming - trying to get done before me!