Wordless Wednesday – Outside!

 We finally have the cows out to pasture yesterday. It was so nice out, that I had the boys do their homework outside! Here’s a few snapshots I took:
 

George loves his "lawn mower."

 
 

This is one of EJ's favorites!

 

It's time for the cows to head to pasture!

 

EJ knows that anytime you deal with cows, you need to have your "rubby" boots on.

 

Junior may be our "foster" dog, but he's the best!

 
 

And he's terribly patient as well.

 

Big Bro is working hard on his homework!

 

Figuring, figuring, figuring...

 

Good thing he has all 10!

 
 
 

Excuse me, but do you have a license for this thing?

  

Notice the red tab in the window? Dad made sure they were driving legally! Ha!

 

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Lots’o laughs – Ag Book of the Day 4

Today is Pocket Day at school. The boys each put a joke (written on a piece of paper) in their pocket. Scooter’s joke was:

Why didn’t the skeleton cross the road?

Because he didn’t have the guts to do it.

I’m not sure which joke Big Bro went with, but he was taking advice from Scooter, so I can about imagine. Ah, the joys of young boy humor!

Today’s book is one that we read from a lot at night. It’s titled, “5-Minute Barnyard Tales for Bedtime,” with more than 90 stories by a variety of authors.

5 Minute Barnyard Tales for Bedtime

Now, the stories are great, most with moral lessons, but I will give you a heads-up, some of the animals talk. (I know for some parents, talking animals is a no-no in farm books.) But my boys know that our animals don’t talk. They also know that our hamburger comes from our cows and that our bacon and pork products come from pigs. So using their imagination for a story isn’t a big deal.

But again, the stories are GREAT! They are short and sweet and almost all of them have really great lessons that can easily be related to everyday situations. Plus, a lot of the farm situations are very accurate, which is something we end up talking about too.

And, as promised, later on today I will be putting together a blog recapping our calving season. We’re not completely done yet, but we’re pretty close.

Which means that spring MUST be here…somewhere.

Fabulous flannel – Ag Book of the Day 2

Today is Flannel Shirt Day at my boys’ school. I didn’t send them to school in flannel, because they decided they didn’t like wearing it a few years ago, and they are both at the age that they can decide what they want to wear, to an extent.

But I promised yesterday that I would give my Ag Book of the Day choices through the month of April, since it is Cultivating Reading Month at the school. Here is today’s pick:

It is “Good Morning, Farm!” by Catherine Nichols. It’s a Level 1 Reader from DK Readers, and it happens to feature mostly John Deere equipment. I like this book because it has real pictures, it includes many different types of farming (orchards, honey, milk, pigs, chickens, vegetables, grain, etc.) and it’s short and sweet and easy to read.

Enjoy!

Cultivating the future

I love my school.

Now, to clarify, I don’t ALWAYS feel that way, but who ever does? My sons attend the school that I graduated from…in 1995. In fact, they have had some of the same teachers that I had. Talk about a strange feeling, sitting across from your first-grade teacher, talking about your son! I still can’t call any of them by their first names.

This month is reading month. The theme??? Cultivating Reading. WOOHOO!

The whole month is focused on farming, agriculture, animals, etc. What a great opportunity! And you can bet I’m going to do my best to maximize it!

My plan is to shine the spotlight on a favorite ag book of ours, at least a few times a week. Now, as a disclaimer, I haven’t received approval or monetary donations from any of the authors…in fact, they haven’t a clue that I’m even doing this. I don’t know any of them personally (at least, not to my knowledge). But these are books that my family loves, and that we read together.

I’m an avid reader. I LOVE to read. I received a Kindle for Christmas and have already put over 100 books through it. (Hmmm…I may need to seek help.) I’ve been trying to instill in my children the same love of books, and so far, so good. Let’s hope it keeps rolling that way!

Today at school was “Hats off to books!” Day…or Hat Day. Scooter wore one of Boss Man’s farm caps, Big Bro wore a Cat-In-The-Hat hat. It was a Monday, and they were excited about school. Who could ask for more?

My book of the day?

It’s a great farm safety book, and one that we’ve read TONS of times! Plus, many county Farm Bureau’s sponsor safety days or safety camps, that reiterate what is taught in the book. It covers everything from ATV’s to cows to grain bins.

Do you have a favorite that you think I should check out? Something you’d like to see a spotlight on? I’d love to get more farm-favorite story books in our ever-expanding library! Tomorrow is Flannel Shirt Day – “Every which way with books.”

April is going to be a GREAT month!

A Thankful Heart

It’s the week of Thanksgiving, and I have so much to be thankful for, that I should have started last week! But I’ll get around to all the thanking I need to do, it’ll just take some time.

First off, I’m so very, very thankful for my boys, my husband and the rest of our family. Even when insanity is at its highest, there isn’t a moment that I don’t realize just how lucky I am. Last week one evening, Big Bro came home from school and as we were working on his homework he said to me, “You know Mom, I’m so glad that I have you. I’m a pretty lucky kid.” After wiping away the “dust” in my eyes, I told him that I was the lucky one. And I am.

Second, I’m thankful to be living in a country so great that we have the freedom to choose so many aspects of our lives. We can choose who we want to be, what we want to do, where we want to go and how we get there. (Even if it means the discomfort of an up-close-and-personal pat down!) These choices are ever-present and sometimes overwhelming, but I’m thankful for them none-the-less.

I’m thankful for my fellow farmers and fellow ag-related friends. The amount of time and dedication that goes into agriculture-related fields is amazing, and it truly becomes not just a job, but a way of life. To the point that trying to imagine your life outside agriculture is on level with trying to figure out which of your children is your favorite, it’s just not possible.

I’m thankful for the food that is produced by ALL of agriculture. Organic, no-till, conventional, cage-free, free-range, traditional, grass-fed, corn-fed, grain-fed, whatever the buzz word of the day is, whatever your production methods may be, the world needs it all. As long as people are going to bed hungry at night, as long as children wonder where there next meals come from, whatever it takes, we need to keep producing the safest, most cost-effective food source possible.

And I’d be really thankful if I had a tongue long-enough to lick the inside of my nose! (Just kidding, of course)

Don't you wish you could lick the inside of your nose with your tongue?

First grade drama

Last night Scooter came home from school in tears. To clarify, this isn’t unusual. Scooter is a very sensitive boy…which makes him an easy target at school. And he’s a very large boy, which makes him a very big target at school. (And I don’t mean obese, I mean being 5 feet tall, 90 pounds at the age of 6, wearing a size 12 pant, size men’s 6 shoe and almost the same size cap as his dad!)

Big Bro (left) and Scooter when Scooter was still the little brother.

I’ve been seeing a lot of articles lately on bullying and the like, and I know exactly what these parents are going through. I watch it with my children frequently. But last night was rough, even by Scooter standards.

Big Bro on his tippy toes to take a pic with his big-little brother after a wrestling match.

He was upset because he says that no one in his class likes him. Come to find out, it’s because of his lack of getting smelly stickers on his papers. He thinks that means that his classmates don’t like him, that his teacher doesn’t like him, that school does not like him. We talked about it at length, I tried to explain to him that the stickers had nothing to do with how much people liked him and everything to do with his attention and detail in his schoolwork.

But for Scooter, school is merely a social event. The work is just the fluff he goes through to be able to socialize and be amongst the people. And that is also why any discouraging comments or remarks are exceptionally hurtful.

I was afraid when he started school that his personality would be his biggest stumbling block. He LOVES people…and I mean loves! The good news: he doesn’t share his love with other students. He tries to be mindful of their personal space. The bad news: most teachers enjoy having a student that is excited to see them each day, a student that wants to start and end each day with a hug and a thank you…but when you have a teacher that doesn’t enjoy those things, that’s when times get a little rough.

We’ll muddle through this, the best way I know how…but if you have any suggestions, please, don’t hesitate to throw them my way!

Vocabulary for today’s third grader

A few months ago our oldest son, Big Bro, asked why he didn’t have any stepbrothers. He didn’t think it was fair that he only had one mom and dad and no “extra” family members.

The outburst took me a bit by surprise. I didn’t know if I should be apologizing to him that his father and I have decided that whatever it took, we were going to make our family work. Or if I should be chastising him for taking our family for granted. Well, I went with option c: I told him how lucky he was to have a family of people that loved him, no matter what.

I was wondering where all of this came from then, but now I have an idea. My son just brought home some vocabulary words and work that he did last week. The lesson was titled,”Me and My Family,” but the four vocabulary words were: family, divorce, values and sibling.

Wow.

Out of all the words that could be used to describe family, divorce is in the top four? Perhaps this is part of the problem with today’s society? Maybe if we start giving children outs at such a young age, it just becomes second nature.

Well, I was a little proud in the fact that Big Bro didn’t know how to use the word “divorce” in a sentence. I know he knows what it means, but it’s not part of our daily vocabulary, and I’m not planning on using that word regularly. It cost him 3 points on his paper, but it was the only one he got wrong on the whole lesson.

I’m thinking that maybe he should have got extra credit.