Why being a farm mom rocks

I have four boys…four rambunctious, crazy, wild boys. I thank God every day that we live on a farm, because I’m not sure town could handle them. Or maybe it’s that I’m not sure I could handle them in town. Without frequent visits from officers. And maybe child protective services. And calls from neighbors. And…well, I digress.

So how does being a farm mom rock? Let me count the ways:

  1. I get to deep-clean often. Like when someone brings in a bucket of toads. And drops them. In the kitchen. Near the stove. And fridge. And I’m too slow.

    The Toad Catcher

    These are what we found right away…a few had escaped.

  2. I get new utensils and dishes often. Mostly because all of mine disappear throughout the winter and don’t reappear until it thaws outside and they’re found it what used to be a snow fort.
  3. I don’t have to talk to them about the birds and the bees. They learn about it every spring, usually with commentary from their uncle.
  4. I know when spring is upon us. Because it’s warm enough to pee outside. With pants ALL the way down.

    Warmer weather

    But the best sign of spring? Outdoor bathroom is open for business.

  5. My kids will be expert drivers by the time the state says it’s OK for them to drive…just don’t ask me how they got to know so much.
  6. They understand the weather, and what it means to the farm. Rain doesn’t mean an event is ruined…it means the whole family gets to join in!
  7. Math is no longer some mysterious language that will never be used. They understand the importance of measurements (such as acres), area (field size), volume (bin capacity), etc. Math and science are definitely living and breathing on the farm!
  8. We learn creative problem solving – like how to get the wild barn cat out of the house without breaking everything.
  9. They also learn about teamwork – so Mom doesn’t find out about #8.
  10. They also learn about trust – and that a 3-year-old isn’t so good at it. See #9.

    laughter, children

    That little one on bottom left? Yeah, he’s not so good at secrets.

No matter what, these boys are my world. And I’m glad I can raise them in the best environment possible – our farm. They learn so much, but even more so, they learn how to become better people. They respect the land, understand hard work, and know where their blessings come from – I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I’m sure I could add hundreds more, but I’d rather hear about your reasons why you love being a farm mom…or maybe why you’re glad you’re not!

There are no rules in farm ball

So tonight I switched up my workout a bit. The elliptical wasn’t going to cut it. It’s been one heck of a Monday, filled with unneeded drama, day-to-day stress and this issue I’m having with a recurring dream.

Have I mentioned taking a few college courses, the fact that rain has delayed harvest and that I missed my 11-year-old’s first ball game tonight?

The whole point? Not much, really. Just letting off steam, and since this is my blog, I certainly can do that. 😉 Who am I kidding, this blog has long since left the realm of a private rant! (Not complaining, not one bit.)

So instead of sitting on a machine in the warmth of my house, I braved the rain, ran out to the shop and played a little farm ball. Now that harvest is stalled because of the weather, and mostly because what farm shop isn’t stacked with machinery and what-not, playing ball in the shop isn’t like regular basketball.

Nope, you have to make up your own rules, call your own shots and award points and rewards accordingly…and you need to know when to call the game.

So, here’s my lesson for the night…let’s see if you can find the deeper meaning:

Sometimes you have to take an outside shot...sometimes from behind the Gehl cutter. Double points if you don't break out the glass in the tractor.

Sometimes you have to take an outside shot…sometimes from behind the Gehl cutter. Double points if you don’t break out the glass in the tractor.

Hitting a three is always a challenge in basketball. Now hit one from behind an air seeder. It's not just the distance you shoot from, but the obstacles in your way and whether or not you make the shot, no matter what you're facing.

Hitting a three is always a challenge in basketball. Now hit one from behind an air seeder. It’s not just the distance you shoot from, but the obstacles in your way and whether or not you make the shot, no matter what you’re facing.

The only triple in this shot was the tractor I was standing behind. Follow-through is a must in the game...basketball or otherwise.

The only triple in this shot was the tractor I was standing behind. Follow-through is a must in the game…basketball or otherwise.

Your obstacles don't have to be something new, and your answers don't have to reinvent the wheel...use what's in front of you. You won't be the first tackling that particular problem, and you most certainly are not the last. Even if your problem is the size of an old Massey Ferguson combine. Get the job done.

Your obstacles don’t have to be something new, and your answers don’t have to reinvent the wheel…use what’s in front of you. You won’t be the first tackling that particular problem, and you most certainly are not the last. Even if your problem is the size of an old Massey Ferguson combine. Get the job done. (Oh, and doesn’t everyone have an old fridge in their hay shed?)

Most importantly, know when to say when...and tonight it was losing the ball under the combine, and not wanting to go after it. Sometimes it's not worth getting dirty over...

Most importantly, know when to say when…and tonight it was losing the ball under the combine, and not wanting to go after it. Sometimes it’s not worth getting dirty over…





When the wife responds…

I have a ton of stuff to get you all caught up on, but I have to share my little story first.

Last night, as I was reading through our emails (they sometimes pile up a mile high, you know?), I caught a message from Boss Man’s friend, who just so happens to be an equipment dealer. He was getting Mark some information regarding the upgrade that they talked about for our payloader (it’s a machine that Mark uses to clean the manure out of the cattle lots, move junk, sometimes snow, etc.).

Well, an upgrade was all news to me. We have a ton of house projects that we need to work on, but I didn’t know that he was thinking about changing some of the equipment. And, truthfully, it’s not real surprising, since I’m usually the last to know! 🙂

I apparently was feeling pretty cheeky last night, because I decided to pay my dear hubby back by replying to the email. And this is what I wrote:

After consulting with my beautiful wife, I've decided that to
spend more money on farm equipment is futile. I shall spend
the rest of my days trying to please her exquisite tastes,
flying to the corners of the world, taking trips abroad, and
showing her the seven wonders of the world...of which, she is
the eighth. Sorry, but I will no longer have time for trivial
things, such as cattle, hunting or just wasting time away
visiting with others.

I followed with:

Yeah, well, I guess I’ll pass this message on to Mark. 😉


Lesson of the day: Perhaps we should discuss major purchases…you never know who will respond to the email!

Sizzlin’ Summer Saturday – First Car Show

Boss Man made a new purchase this spring…just a little something to add to his pickup collection. (Yes, my husband collects pickups. Someday I’ll do a post on them, or at least most of them. I’m not sure he’ll ever let me find all of them.)

Yesterday we took it to our first car show. It was called Sizzlin’ Summer Nights in a town just 60 miles south of us. It was our version of a date night, and it was a ton of fun! Plus Boss Man was able to spend an evening talking to complete strangers (and a few people we knew) about his truck. He was in heaven!

Here’s the pics…starting with our favorite (and second-place winner for the People’s Choice award!):

Boss Man’s new baby, a ’76 Ford with custom paint job. Ask him about it sometime, he’ll tell you all about it…just make sure you have the time.

This is what the side looks like a little closer. It’s even more amazing in person. No decals, just paint.

I’d love to have one like this someday…or at least this color scheme. Such a beauty!

Snap On Tools were there…and so was there OCC custom-made chopper. Nice.

Another great ride…all the time and work, hard to imagine.

The chrome across the street was polished so nicely, I was able to snap a pic of our truck in the bumper!






4-H Project – Dinosaur Gardening

Pinterest. It’s my new best friend. And as a 4-H mom, the ideas there are endless!

The county fair is a few months away, but we’re gearing up and getting projects out of the way early…I know, crazy idea, right???

So here’s our first completed project. And as long as the dog leaves it alone, we’ll be good to go!

Dinosaur Pots

1) We found these two dinosaur toys at the 4-H rummage sale on Saturday…cool coincidence! They are pretty well the perfect size, but it wouldn’t hurt if we could find a few bigger ones as well.

Cutting through the plastic was a little tough. But we poked a hole to start, then used a snips to work around.

2) Cut a hole in the top of the dinosaur. Big enough to plant in, but not so big that you can’t keep dirt inside.

Make sure to add drain holes in the underbelly, and down the tail.

3) Be sure to add drain holes in the bottom!

Get dirty!

4) Fill the tail with dirt. Get it damp, so that the dirt really fills it. You don’t want any air pockets killing off your new plants!

Final step…water well!

5) Pick plant of your choice (but make sure it will fit) and plant it in the new pot. Water well. (We went to our local garden center and looked around, asking the horticulturalist for advice…he did suggest moss roses, since they are smaller to begin with and will grow just about anywhere!)

6) Enjoy!

Cool planters that even little boys will love!

I love it! And can’t wait to see what we come up with next!

WW – Time Outside

The weather has warmed up again, and it finally quit raining long enough for the boys to enjoy some time outside. Last night was great, and although I didn’t get any pictures, even Boss Man took the time to play some ball with the boys. It made my heart sing!

EJ's first attempt at baseball...I love his face!

Scooter, getting ready for the big leagues this year! No more tee-ball!

You see, Mom. It hurts when I put my finger in my eye...like this.

I see you, Mom!

Our cows aren't the only ones that jump the fence!

Boss Man's college friend and roommate, Dr. J, stopped by for a visit.

Young Farmer Friday

Just loving my day with the boys…and who can blame me? We head to Mayo on Monday, and that’ll be worries for Monday. For today, I’ll just enjoy what we have.

"Mom, will this be mine some day?"

A rare moment of stillness, and no one fighting!

George teasing EJ that he was going to beat him to the shop.

Well, he decided the reward wasn't worth it.



March madness…North Dakota version

No, our March madness has nothing to do with basketball, and I’m talking brackets of a different kind…this March is madness with peewee wrestling and spring weather. And it added up to spending an afternoon digging out some water pipes.

Let’s start off with Saturday morning and early afternoon. Scooter participated in our local peewee wrestling tournament and managed to come home with a first-place medal.

The weather was so unseasonably warm, that I decided we should finish a project we had started earlier in the week. Our aging pipes had sprung a leak, which lead to a continually green patch of grass in our yard all winter. But as it was warming up, that green patch had turned to mush. We needed to work on a fix…and 70-80 degree temps in North Dakota in March is a great reason to spend some time outside, even if it is to dig a hole.

So, if we’re fixing a water pipe, one would think that you would call a local backhoe and have it done in a jiffy, right? That’s not the way we roll around here. Instead, Boss Man gave a few directions, gave us a rough outline of size, and away we went.

Me and my little sister, just digging a hole.

Yep, my little sister and I became excavators and dug out the hole that will be needed to fix our water leak. And I have to say, I’m happy with the work we did, and enjoyed spending the hour or so outside in the beautiful weather.

And today (Sunday), the weather has continued on its beautiful streak, cracking the 80 degree mark. Let’s just hope our temps stay above freezing, because all of those beautiful buds and new plants will be a hard loss to take.

Our rhubarb is up...and it's March.

By tomorrow evening, I'm guessing we'll have full-fledged leaves on our lilacs. These buds are busting at the seams!

The beauty of calving

This weekend was absolutely wonderful. The weather could not have been more perfect…well, maybe a little less windy yesterday, but it was still very nice. And with nice weather came a little boom in our calving.

When the weather is nice, though, it’s a little easier. The mud isn’t fun to mess with, but thanks to the wind, it’s been drying pretty nicely.

Here’s some of my shots from the weekend. And I’ll have more on Wednesday! Enjoy!

Hmmm...My calving instincts aren't always right on, but I'm thinking something here is telling me that she needs to head to the barn.

Just another beautiful bovine.

Our lilacs are trying to tell us that it's spring.

The cousins, in a race of epic proportions!

Mom, can't I just nap here?

A case for genetic markers

Not so long ago, I wrote a post about how George seems to enjoy coloring himself from head to toe in markers. And I don’t mean just a little bit.

For Halloween, we'll be going as Smurfs.

After turning bath water several different shades of blue, green, black and orange the last few weeks, I was beginning to think that he had some strange sort of addiction to coloring on himself. (You know, like on that show where people say they HAVE to drink nail polish, eat chalk, etc.)

Well, I may have stumbled upon the answer…it’s genetic.

It appears as though 30-some years ago, this little blonde-haired beauty decided that she rather enjoyed coloring herself as well. Although, I like to think that I pulled off the look a little better.

Yep, he came by the habit honestly. Who would have thought this scene would be replayed 30 years later? Well, and on a little grander scale.

But that’s how it works, isn’t it? The next generation tries to find a way to do it bigger and better?