Thee Farm Wife

Thee Farm Wife

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Calm

There's a reason why I wake up waaaaay before the rest of the family. After the chaos of the previous evening (see previous post) I truly cherish this quiet and peaceful time each morning. My Keurig is brewing thee perfect cup of coffee for me. I have surveyed the damage to the house. (I swear little elves come out at night and trash the place even more.) And now, I plan my day. Bible open on my lap. Coffee in my hand and there is hope again for a better day.

For more on Hope For The Weary Mom (I am guessing that's you, too) I encourage you to visit www.hopeforthewearymom.com Not only has this book changed my life, but I am on a team that has reviewed their book and promised to share this message with as many other moms as I can! There is hope...it can be found One place. I invite you to make the discovery for yourself, my friend!

“Right now, I have nothing to give. Nothing. Nada. I’m tired and don’t feel good and honestly, I want a break from everything. It’s not that I want to leave my family, trade them in, or get new ones. I WANT to be with them. I just want a break from hard hearts, discipline, correction. I want their hearts changed and I can’t do it myself. Sometimes, the knowledge of this makes me feel hopeless and helpless.” from Hope for the Weary Mom

See, there are other mommies, just like you and me, who are keeping it real and admitting they are imperfect. So take off your fake church smile and put on your big girl panties and find out how to live in the Truth girlie. No more "fake it til you make it" attitude. Go! Before your kids wake up!

p.s. The first chapter is free! www.hopeforthewearymom.com

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Chaos

Some days I get to the 8:00pm hour and feel a primal scream welling up in me. The house is a disaster and I know I cleaned all day. There is a pile of laundry that I will never get to. At least it feels that way. The tv is blaring in the other room and my kids are acting like wild animals. They want drinks and snacks and stories and snuggles. I try and tell them I am only one person, but to them I am SuperMommy...the woman who does it all. So I watch another episode of Thomas, wishing it was Antiques Roadshow instead. I pray a continuous prayer in my head because there isn't time to get down on my knees and I need to ask God to see me through. I made a sign that says "There is no yelling in this house unless there is a fire!" My throat hurts from yelling "stop!" And "no!" And "put that back!" all day. All day. So much for the no yelling part. I envision other sweet mommies gently saying no and not right now honey.

Then I tuck them in bed and I take a deep breath, and another, and sometimes even another. And I ask God for strength for another day.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Merry Christmas!

From all of us, to all of you, we wish you the merriest of Christmases...God's Blessings to you. Thank you for being such faithful family and friends and always supporting us and loving on us.


p.s. That's Abby with Cody on the top right. Aren't they cute?

Bracing for the storm

...and whoever was dreaming of a White Christmas is on my naughty list!
I might have to send my little hit man after ya...I love this suit! and that is his naughty smile. "You caught me, Mommy!"

We now have a blizzard warning until Thursday. I went to the store yesterday and got more milk...came home and we had four gallons total. I guess we can always make ice cream.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving...

We came home from Waterloo tonight and I wanted to call the police and tell them someone broke into our house while we were gone, but then I realized it was our mess...I am going to use hefty cash rewards to bribe these kids to pick up after themselves. It will be worth it. Who wouldn't want a dollar to clean Daddy's toilet?

Cody decided to go to Walmart at 8pm because he thinks it's hilarious watching all of those people trying to get a good deal. He told me I couldn't go. He knows I would probably punch someone in the face. Seriously. I hate crowds.

Spent the day with my parents. Ate way too much. We got a call from our neighbor telling us the power was out. Luckily, it's back on now, because I needed to microwave my leftovers.

SO much to be thankful for, even these screaming and fighting kiddos. My family is healthy. The drought didn't destroy us. We have great friends. Plenty to eat. A great big roof over our heads.

Will you consider sponsoring a child at www.compassion.com this year? It's about $38 a month...and you will make a lifetime impact on a child who is a world away, giving hope, developing a friendship, and insuring that they will have enough to eat and clothes to wear!

Be blessed.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Chaos in childrearing

I suppose for a non-parenting type of person our house would appear to be one big chaotic mess. (Can you have a chaotic mess? is that an oxymoron?) It's loud, because I'm loud. It's happy. There's a lot of running and chasing and jumping. Toys. Clothes for six people. A hundred pairs of shoes. 2500 sq. ft. of a farm family livin it up. There's more love than most people get in a lifetime. There's always plenty of food. Anyone is welcome to pull up a chair at mealtimes, or anytime in between. That's our life.

So, I guess I was deeply offended that someone would describe our chaos in a negative way. Our ministry, our life purpose has been to dedicate this home to serving others. We don't pretend to be fancy, even though from the outside this house looks pretty darn fancy. We don't open the door and say, "Oh no! You can't come in, we haven't cleaned yet." We apologize if you don't like dogs, but we have three, you'll just have to yell at them like Julie does :) And, Big Dummy counts as two. ha

My point is, real life is messy. Chaotic at times. But chaos with a purpose. The purpose of raising healthy, well rounded, Jesus-loving kids. When a home centers around raising kids that's what you get. Noise. Mess. Dirty dishes. Dust. Because, frankly, I'd rather read to my kids than dust the shelves. I can dust when they're grown.

Besides, I didn't build this big house. It takes a lot of time to clean it. I've timed it, more than eight hours to clean two rooms. I grew up in a trailer. That lovely home would fit in my kitchen and dining room.


So, YES, we raise our kids in chaos. Heaven forbid if it ever changes. Because we love our kids. They come first. Just yell when you walk in the front door and join in the game of tag. Or fold a basket of my laundry. But join in, don't judge.

(She steps off the soapbox. Exits stage left.)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Halloween

I turned 40 on Halloween. Sigh. Everyone says 40 is the new 30. But I was ten years younger when I was 30!

Here are some pumpkin and costume pics.

Cody bought me all the Star Wars movies on bluray!








Sunday, October 14, 2012

Rainy days

So content to be done with the harvest and then the rain falls! We have rested the past two days. Cooking lots of good hearty food and spending quality time together. Napping, too!

I've been keeping up with my new pen pals. I love getting real mail and writing back about life and thoughts and feelings. I imagine the surprise on each of their faces when they open their mailboxes.

A new baby joined the neighborhood this week...so sweet. Makes me happy to have all these kids around for mine to grow up with! Cody and the three neighbor boys were the only ones for a long time. Now there are at least 12-15 kids.

So glad the corn is out of the field in front of my window. I can see the highway and horizon again.



Thursday, October 11, 2012

Only sixty acres left and then harvest is over - at least according to Papa Farmer. He is ready to go back to Arkansas and rest. But I will surely miss our morning talks and the freedom to eat dessert for breakfast with him!

Harvest is such a long and lonely time. I have it rather easy because John doesn't run the combine. But I am ready to have his focus back on us and not on the crops. We either make it or break it at this time of year and the stress is enormous on us all.

There is still lots of field work and maure hauling but the end is in sight!

I am busy planning Jaiden's fifth birthday party. She wants a pink cowgirl party. Daddy has orders to clean out the shop and get us some hay bales.

The weather man says there is a 100% chance of rain Saturday. We really need it. The dust is coating everything. The air is heavy and my windows are filthy! Jesus, bring the rain!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Shhh...don't tell

I think it's hilarious that the girls don't know any better - you don't have to rake leaves when you live in the country! But we put them to work anyways!
I totally forgot about the shadows lol...as you can tell, we were all outside!
Jaima made the biggest pile!



AJ didn't really like the leaves,

He would rather play basketball!

This is Daddy's favorite picture...


A year ago this weekend our precious boy came to live with us. It was a long, hard year, and he is finally ours. But most important of all he is healthy!!! We love you Aiden John.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Homemade biscuits, take one

Ignore the counters lol haven't gotten that far yet this morning.


So, I have this old lard can that I keep Cascade pacs in for the dishwasher...oh and ignore the drill that The Farmer hasn't taken back to the shop yet.


On it is a recipe for biscuits:

2 cups sifted, all purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup lard
2/3 cup milk

Resift flour with baking soda and salt. Add lard and blend with pastry blender or tow knives until mixture resembles corn meal. Add milk all at once, stirring until ingredients are dampened. Turn dough out on floured board, knead lightly 1/2 minute and pat out to 3/4 inch thickness. Cut out biscuits and bake in 425 degree oven for 12-15 minutes.


I have always had dreams of being a Southern Belle and making hot, flaky biscuits for my family each morning. They turned out pretty well, but I have a tummy ache from the lard :) and grape jelly.
 

Choosing to stay home

That's right, it is a choice. Some call it a sacrifice. But what am I sacrificing really by staying home and being a mommy? A career? Shopping? A new car?

I hate seeing 20something mommies trying to juggle it all. I've been there. Single mom at 19. Going to college. Working three jobs. Living in substandard housing in the ghetto. Life back then was anything but sane. Plus, I was on the ever present quest to find Mr. Right and always ended up with Mr. Totally Wrong. Because there was something missing from the equation. G-O-D.

In my insane journey of putting motherhood on the back burner, my son was the one who sacrificed. We were always running late. Notes never got signed. Library books were lost. Dinner was drive-thru. Yes, Cody survived, even thrived, because I made a choice.

When The Farmer and I met and married, we decided that me staying home would be best for us all. He got three square meals a day and I got to learn how to be a mommy. Because it didn't come easy and there is no manual, because Dr. Spock was a man! After Jaima turned two I decided I was bored and went to town to get a job. Stupid. I spent all the money I made on gas, daycare, junk food and clothes. I think we had less when I worked in town. The house was a mess. My kids were a mess. My marriage was on the back burner. I worked for four years til JaidenIlo came along and I've been home ever since.

I always hear, "I would stay home but we need health insurance." or "You guys farm so it's easier for you." Hogwash. Just go without something or things. Do you need 250 TV channels? A $500/month car payment? I won't list more.

Goodwill is awesome. Aldis for groceries. Buy a side of beef and learn how to cook. Rent movies from the library. Drive a used car. Quit running. I guarantee that you being home during your child's growing up years will be satisfying. They love nothing more than seeing your face when they wake up, or get off of the bus each day. A hot meal, at the table, with the whole family present. Snuggles on a sick day. Collecting leaves together and singing off key.

That's my encouragement to you today. You can't be supermom, she doesn't exist, but you can make the difference in the life of a child.

Read Proverbs 31 or visit www.aboverubies.org (I love this site and magazine!) whatever choice you make, just make sure your giving it your all!

Blessings to you this Friday...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Harvest Cooking

It's 9am and I am cooking lunch and supper at the same time! Hamburger casserole, so it's ready to eat whenever the men are. I might make a batch of chili, too, so I won't have to cook tomorrow!

Yesterday the box elder bugs invaded the farm. Today, not a bug in sight. Must be too chilly this morning.

John baled corn stalks yesterday. I love seeing hundreds of them on the horizon. Shows hard work and preparedness.

I have started a letter writing campaign lol. I love to write so email me your mailing address at kennedy993@yahoo.com I still believe there's nothing better than getting a letter in the mail. Adds a little joy to all of those bills!

Enjoy your day friends!


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Rediscovering Me Time

I love to draw and paint. When Jaima was born ten years ago I used to paint almost everyday. Then she started walking and I haven't picked up a brush since. Tonight I started drawing. My paints were still good lol and a fall scene comes to life.

Me time is good for the soul!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Quitting Facebook

Well, it's been a rough day...came home from babysitting at church to find out my dog got hit by a car. Poor Pickles...I am so sad. This is one of the few things I hate about life on the farm.

He would never look at the camera...my shy boy...everybody else hated him because he was a yippy ankle biter. It's gonna be a sad night tonight because he always sleeps at my feet...

I quit Facebook. It was an addiction that had to go. I have a lot better things to do with my time. I want real friends, in person friends. I love my friends that live out of state (and welcome! if this is your first blog read) but I found I was being hurt by posts, feeling left out by other certain posts - like when do you stop calling friends and sharing your life and saying "Well, I posted it on Facebook!"

Screammmm!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Oh rats

As in the four-legged ones...living under my chicken coop in an exquisite tunnel of engineering...and attacking my 2 week old chicks. John and Cody moved the coop. Cody poured buckets of water down the holes and we waited...I saw a nose poke out and screamed. And then my 20-year-old son screamed and came running at me, arms flailing, and I LAUGHED. He still needs his mommy. HAHAHAHAHA I will spare you the details of the rest...there were pitchforks involved. But it made for a very exciting morning, all before I had my first cup of coffee!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Baking Station

inspired by one of my favorite new blogs:
http://sewmanyways.blogspot.com/2011/10/baking-center-from-old-desk.html?spref=fb


Before

Making progress

All finished!




Photo of the Hoosier cabinet in it's original home. It has been in John's family since it's purchase.

Baking mixes, until I learn to bake on my own!

 
 
Learning to use what you already own is a great way of adding new life and character to your home!
I didn't spend a dime on this project, I just repurposed items from around the house.
 
I just need to learn to be a better baker now, but that's a post for another day!
 

 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Menu Planning

When school starts, I plan our meals two weeks at a time. I write the meals for the week on a paper plate so the whole fam knows what's coming up. I get meat out and can have it thawed in the fridge. And it is so easy to make a list of what is needed for each meal,  check the pantry or freezer, and then make my shopping list. When dance lessons and other activities start, I already know what needs to go in the crock pot that morning. No more rushing or ending up eating junk.

We are so blessed to be a family that always eats together. I don't know how other families stay connected without sharing a meal each day.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Allergies...aaaargh

I understand why God made pollen. I understand how it works and why it is necessary. But I want to know why He created allergies. This year has been the worst so far because apparently only ragweed can grow in a drought!

My kids can't go outside for long without sneezing and their eyes swelling up. We all take Claritin and I would hate to see what we would be like if we didn't.

In the midst of the pollen, I decided to do a major house clean - adding dust to the mixture. I hardly ever dust - it is a losing battle on the farm.

 So, if you drive by the funny farm and wonder why the windows are shut and the AC is still running, now you'll know. Because I sure wish we could have a nice breeze blowing through the house. I miss fresh air!

Most years I pray for an early frost. But not this year with the drought. We need as much frost free time as we can get this year. Some farmers are chopping corn already for silage. We will begin next week. We are fortunate to still have corn growing in some of our fields.



Monday, August 20, 2012

Summer's over...

Some pictures to mark the end of a GREAT summer...







Where do you meet Him?

Every morning I head to my table. Before I get dressed or wake the kids. I make my coffee and I meet Him here. I sort out my day, make my lists, read my Proverbs 31 devotion and open my Bible for some much needed Father/ daughter time.

Do you have a quiet spot? It doesn't have to be fancy. I placed mine in front if the window so I can see the beauty of our farm. I have pens, my fav books, my planner/household notebook and occasional clutter :) My laptop is on an antique high chair at my side. It is thee perfect place for me.

Even more incredible is that when my precious babies wake up, they know where to find me, at my table, meeting with The King.


You can win a Nexus 7

Lately, I've been trying to win and iPad or other such device, since The Farmer has overtaken MY iPad. Here's a link to a giveaway. It's totally ligit. I promise. Have a great day!

Oh! My Heartsie: Nexus 7 Giveaway 9/6#c2380373395170990506#c2380373395170990506#c2380373395170990506#c2380373395170990506#c2380373395170990506#c2380373395170990506

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Relief from the heat

The Farmer is golfing with friends today...he deserves a day of worrying about nothing but chasing a little white ball around.

Woke up to 48 degrees outside! Opened all of the windows. Will regret the pollen and dust later, right now it is so nice to hear the birds. AJ got to go outside and play, his fav thing to do! It was s o nice to not have to worry about his asthma or the heat for once. We even went for a ride on the Ranger to see the cows.

There is a little more rain in the forecast which will be great for the beans. And my hay fever. Ugg this is the worst I have been in over 20 years. Can't wait for the frost, but we are praying for a late one, so that the crops have more time to mature. It's all in God's hands:

"So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is significant, but God, who keeps everything growing, is the one who matters." 1 Corinthians 3:7 ISV

I bought John a painting of this verse...reminds us of why we chose this way of life. You have to choose it for sure, because there is really nothing we can control. Not disease. Not wind. Surely not rain. We just raise our hands to Heaven and say, "Your will be done."

AMEN

Monday, August 6, 2012

My 500th Post!

Can you believe it? Are you bored yet?

We still pray for rain. I wish we didn't constantly check the radar...or experience extreme disappointment when the clouds build up, we smell the rain, but it doesn't fall on our land. But yet, we are so blessed. We have more than enough. Jehovah-Jireh. The LORD provides.

The Farmer got up at 6 this morning and when I woke up he was sitting at the computer typing up a Word document. I inwardly giggled as he pecked at the keys. He was tabbing and I could have told him about the handy dandy shortcuts at the top of the screen, but I let him be. And then, he tries to print. And tries again. Only it's not his fault. Somehow the driver for the printer has been deleted. Probably by a two foot midget named AJ. I have spent the last half hour downloading and fixing. Not how I pictured my morning.

Roll with the punches. That should be the motto for JC Farms. That and the Farmer's famous words, "We'll get through it." And he's always right. Dangit.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Drought

Still no sign of rain...the corn is mostly dead, and the beans are on their way to the grave, too. The Farmer is trying to get all of the information he can on our crop insurance. He is also going to a meeting at the ethanol plant tomorrow to see how they are handling grain deliveries...or lack thereof. Needless to say, these are stressful times!

I collect old copies of Farm Wife magazine and I came across these words of wisdom...

Mom's Advice - Getting Along on the Family Farm
by Helen Howe of Stratford, CA

"Ten Commandments for the Senior Farm Wife" for moms who are welcoming a new daughter-in-law to the family farm

1. Understand the words "Generation Gap".
2. Make sure she has her own home.
3. Stay out of her house.
4. Give her privacy - in all things.
5. Give her freedom - to establish her own place.
6. Always be ready to help - when asked.
7. Never criticize.
8. Keep the communication channels open.
9. Keep your mouth shut.
10. Keep smiling.

Oh, how I want to interject my own experiences throughout these ten ideas...especially since I had the experience of not only living with my brother-in-law and his wife the first five years of my marriage, but also living in my mother-in-laws former home. If we had followed these rules, it would have been a much more loving and peaceful experience - especially since I was the only townie in the house!

If you are reading this, and are new to the farm, take heart. It will get better. Stand your ground. Don't nag your Farmer. And most of all, PRAY!!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I find it hard to understand

women these days! What is so wrong about staying home and raising my kids, caring for my husband and cleaning my home? Do I need to come to every one of your play dates to make you feel more like a woman? Do I need to join every committee? Discuss every new trend? Compare my kids progress or delays with yours?

I guess I am a new pioneer woman. I mean, think about it, 100+ years ago a woman on the farm had little contact with the outside world. Church on Sundays, an occasional visit from the neighbors. No telephone, no texting, no internet...just living the life God gave her and raising her kids and her chickens. Getting up before the sun rose to tend her garden. Focusing on the care of her husband. Cooking three great meals a day. Was it an easy life? Duh. I'm not naive. But for me, it is the life I choose. It is the life I chose when I set out to find the Farmer.

Do I judge you for your career or your busy lifestyle? Heck no. All the power to you. I used to live in the rat race. Now, I'm the tortoise. Slow and steady wins the race. But when I say no thank you to your invite to the next "come look at the crap this lady is selling" party, don't judge me either. Don't call me anti-social. Better yet, write me a letter, I'm looking for a good old-fashioned pen pal.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Farm safety

Today's lesson is on farm safety. For kids. Adults ought to be smart enough not to do the dumb things they do. Believe me, I've seen the Farm Boys do the dumbest, unsafest things, but that is another tale for another day.

Here on the farm rule number one for all visiting kids and my own is
  • STAY ON THE GREEN GRASS!
Because a farm driveway is deadly.

Rule number two is
  • LOOK BOTH WAYS! and then LOOK AGAIN!
Listen for tractors, ATVs, semis, trucks and cars.

Which brings me to rule number three and the real reason for writing this post
  • NO CHILD SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO DRIVE AN ATV, RANGER, FOUR-WHEELER
Yesterday, after church, the Farmer and I went to check on one of our driest fields, and there was a kid. In the ditch. Ambulance. Helicopter landing. This should not be. I flashed back to THAT day. The day my nephew rolled our Ranger. Six years old. And it was the most horrific day of my life. Only there is a happy ending to that story. He is alive today. Changed. But alive.

My mission is to prevent any family from ever having to go through what we did THAT day. We can't forget any of the details. We question our judgment. We ask God "WHY?" We see a kid in a ditch thrown from his motorbike. And we want to tell the world that these are not toys. Gravel is no place for a child to drive anything on. Life is too precious. And sometimes, they don't wake up. We were the blessed ones, God brought our nephew back to life. But why tempt fate?

Please, don't allow your kids or visitors to ride anything motorized on your farm! Share the rules. Teach them life lessons. That's why we live how we live. To change the world.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Telling the truth

This blog started out about five years ago as a way to keep our families up to date on the happenings here on the farm.( And the neighbors and their families oversees heehee) But it's become much more to me. It's become a way to help other farm wives know that they are not alone in their unique life journey. It is a different way of life. I happen to cling to the past. I want to be like some of the older farm wives I have met. I want to cook and bake and clean and feed my chickens. I don't care about play dates or being fit and trim or running a mud run. Whatever that is! I run in manure chasing cows, good enough for me. I want to raise my kids to be respectful and hard working. I want them to trust that their Dad and I know what is best for them. That means staying home and not running all over the place. It means having a schedule and going to bed at a decent time and waking up early and doing chores.

And, when I find interesting articles or books about our way of life I will post them. And you can bet I will give my opinion. That's just the way we are.

Happy Birthday, America. I still believe in you.

Monday, July 2, 2012

"We live in a great country. We are Americans," Jaiden White

One of the great benefits of country life is the week of the Fourth. Not the heat, or the extra stinky manure pile or the ragweed pollen. But at night, all around the horizon, you can see all the fireworks "in the world" - and my girls screech "oooooooooooooooooooh". I want to record their reactions sometime, priceless. We enjoy guessing what town, or farmer, is hosting the show. We watch for shapes and colors and listen for the booms. We don't have to deal with traffic or people who've had one too many. We stand in our yard and scan the skyline for the next burst of color!

Saturday night, Jaiden and I were outside. She's a night owl like her mama. I had to lift her up because she is too short to see over the corn field. But we watched fireworks for twenty minutes together. "Mama, why we see fire shoots?" "Fireworks honey. They are called fireworks." "Mama. why we see fire-worts?" "Because we are celebrating, we live in a great country." "Which country, Mama?" "America. We are Americans and we are celebrating because we are free." Miss Jaiden goes in the house when we are ready for bed. Jumps on the bed to tell her Daddy. "DADDY! We live in a great country. We are AMERICANS!" To which Daddy replies, " I know honey, now go to sleep."

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Those pesky daughter-in-laws

from an artilce by Jolene Brown www.jolenebrown.com


We can't choose in-laws, but we can choose to communicate with them up front.
Time after time, conversations start like this: "Our family members got along just fine till the boys got married." Or, "How do we keep our assets in our family? In-laws aren't family" or, "What do we do if he's going to be with her family on Christmas?"
And so the saga of daughters-in-law begins. What I've learned is that relationships with this group can be the biggest source of pain – or joy.
To gain mutual support, loyalty, respect, and gratitude, it's critical to understand and distinguish behaviors and decisions from a family perspective vs. a business perspective.
Defining these, preferably before rings are exchanged, will require a commitment to honest communication and intentional planning.
Here's the challenge. A daughter-in-law often marries into a generations-old family business with literally hundreds of unwritten rules and an unexpressed code of conduct. Her issues range from trying to understand her husband's interactions within the family and business to finding a role for herself. Maybe she's given up her job and home to live in a more rural setting and now faces expectations, uncertain ties, loneliness, and a wish that she could just fit in.
At a recent young farmer meeting, a daughter-in-law asked, "How long do you have to be married before you get to be family?" The answer should be: "You're family from the minute vows were exchanged." Parents then get to celebrate the ad dition of a new family member, do all they can to support the marriage, and respect the boundaries of a new family unit. The new member now gets to build on the best of family history, respecting tradition and relationships, while negotiating new boundaries. If the parties have mutual reservations, each still gets to be pleasant and polite. Sometimes you get to choose to like someone before you love someone.
Defining a daughter-in-law's relationship to the business requires an expanded mind-set. It takes intentional communi cation and expressed expectations: What, if any, is her role in the business? What are her expectations of the business?

Summery day

My parents are on their way up - they bought a new swing set for the kids - Dad wanted to buy them a pony but the Farmer wasn't too keen on that one. I really wanted a horse, too! Maybe someday. So, we will be assembling a new play set this afternoon.

We also got a new pool and a sand and water table. The girls are outside most of the day. Aiden goes out for about 30 minutes. He burns so easily, the pool is too cold and he is allergic to grass! Seriously. He gets a rash on his legs and feet. We are going to have to build that kids immunity up!

The weather is absolutely perfect. Nice breeze, lots of sun, little humidity and not too warm. The neighbors corn is already over my head. I have tomatoes turning red in my garden - this has never happened in June before. I never get ripe tomatoes until August! So I am really excited to taste one. Hopefully, sweet corn will be ready soon, too. Ours won't be ready til August, but I know Harrington's have got to be close!

The girls went to see the movie Brave with my friend Emily. She traded me her youngest daughter for my two girls for the day. Morgan is two and she and Aiden love to play together. Although he does try and kiss her a little too much!

John is out checking the hay he mowed yesterday to see how it is drying. Once it is baled I hope we get a couple more inches of rain! We really need it.

We had an electrician come and check the wiring today because we had a little fire under the kitchen sink. Apparently some mice ate the wiring. We will have all new outlets put in on the main floor and also have some lines fixed that haven't worked in ages. I am sure Cody will be glad not to have to use a drop cord to get electricity to his room. I will definitely be glad when it is all fixed. I am terrified of fire!

We took some cows and calves to pasture today. We also brought up two cow-calf pairs to the barn so the girls can start working on next year's show calves. Bonnie Blue Butler and Rhett. Which reminds me, it's time for my annual reading of Gone With the Wind...a glass of sweet tea and some shade is calling my name!

Monday, June 25, 2012

from an article by Jolene Brown www.jolenebrown.com


We can't choose in-laws, but we can choose to communicate with them up front.
Time after time, conversations start like this: "Our family members got along just fine till the boys got married." Or, "How do we keep our assets in our family? In-laws aren't family" or, "What do we do if he's going to be with her family on Christmas?"
And so the saga of daughters-in-law begins. What I've learned is that relationships with this group can be the biggest source of pain – or joy.
To gain mutual support, loyalty, respect, and gratitude, it's critical to understand and distinguish behaviors and decisions from a family perspective vs. a business perspective.
Defining these, preferably before rings are exchanged, will require a commitment to honest communication and intentional planning.
Here's the challenge. A daughter-in-law often marries into a generations-old family business with literally hundreds of unwritten rules and an unexpressed code of conduct. Her issues range from trying to understand her husband's interactions within the family and business to finding a role for herself. Maybe she's given up her job and home to live in a more rural setting and now faces expectations, uncertain ties, loneliness, and a wish that she could just fit in.
At a recent young farmer meeting, a daughter-in-law asked, "How long do you have to be married before you get to be family?" The answer should be: "You're family from the minute vows were exchanged." Parents then get to celebrate the addition of a new family member, do all they can to support the marriage, and respect the boundaries of a new family unit. The new member now gets to build on the best of family history, respecting tradition and relationships, while negotiating new boundaries. If the parties have mutual reservations, each still gets to be pleasant and polite. Sometimes you get to choose to like someone before you love someone.
Defining a daughter-in-law's relationship to the business requires an expanded mind-set. It takes intentional communication and expressed expectations: What, if any, is her role in the business? What are her expectations of the business?


© Copyright 2011 Jolene Brown
 319.643.2429

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Show me some pictures!

Apollo loves to sleep in a bed, for real.

Papa Don planted us an asparagus bed this spring.

JaidenIlo, dance recital

Jaima Lulu, dance recital.

We have one chicken who lays "double-yolkers" everyday!

Daddy and his kids, before recital.

Ilo, after recital, getting flowers and kisses from Daddy.

Cody, at the kickoff show in Wave town, before the band left on tour.

Me and Cody, with the sign I held up during the show!

Lulu, leading her heifer, Blanca, at fair on Friday.