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January 26, 2012

Definitely My Girl!

So we are sitting at the supper table this evening discussing how every one's day was when the middle kid says:

"We had a substitute teacher today in one of my classes, it was the same woman who was the student teacher in my 2nd grade class - she remembered me Mom, isn't that cool - she came up to me and said:
'Emi Lou I remember you because you walked into 2nd grade one day looked down at your cowboy boots and said "Oh man I have shit on my boots can I go outside and scrap it off?" , it was so funny'
- I can't believe she remembered me!"

January 25, 2012


One of our winter shop projects is fixing the 2940 - it wouldn't stay in high range - the only way to fix this problem is to split the tractor to be able to get to the hi/lo unit!  I wonder if we can say we now have two 1470's????

NICE JACKSTANDS - he built them himself!

I would have a few more pics but he kept making me get wrenches - couldn't he see I was busy!

Standing in the middle of a tractor!

The guilty party - came out when he drained the hydrolic fluid!  Now to find the rest of it!

Today he went even deeper looking for the problem - he pulled the rock shaft cover off looking to see where the broken part came from - and he had success - now to start fixing and putting back together!

Last night Casey went down to the shop to see it and when she walked in she said "What are you doing to the tractor Dad?" Chris looked at her and said "It was too short so I am making it longer by adding a piece in the middle!" - she seriously had to stop and think about it before she realized he was kidding!

January 21, 2012


This conversation just happened over breakfast:

The boy:  "If I were stranded on a desert island with only one food it would be bacon - well not so much bacon as a pregnant sow so that I would always have a supply of bacon and pork."

Un-named neighbor girl (Hi Emily): "Cole if all you ate was bacon you would be fat!"

Me: "Really?  What would your only food of choice on a desert island be Katie un-named neighbor girl"

Un-named neighbor girl: "well . . . . potatoes"

I love kids conversations!

January 19, 2012

The Tuck and Roll


Very seldom do I oversleep on accident - maybe once last year and the first time this school year was today - but it happens so I have to take the kids to school!  Around here our policy is: The school bus passes here twice a day unless you have an extra curricular activity you better be on it - it is your transportation but on the rare occasion I have to take you to school or pick you up during the rush you WILL implement the Tuck and Roll for drop off and the Reverse Tuck and Roll for pick up!
I am flabbergasted at the number of parents who choose to take their kids to school everyday - not necessarily bad or good - everyone has a right to do what they think is best for their family but my problem arises waiting in the car line - what is going on in these cars as they pull up to the "drop" point?  What takes them so long to get out of the car?  It's not like you were just cruising around and suddenly made a last minute decision to drop the kids off at school!  Most likely you just left the house, if it's cold the kid should be wearing their coat, the backpack should be together and zipped, as you pull into the school start saying your good-byes, love you's, have a great day, and any last minute instructions!

1. If weather dictates wear a coat, have it on - don't just carry it!  Have your backpack/school supplies together!
2. As we approach the turn into the school - let me know any last minute changes to schedules - once in the parking lot all "oh Mom I forgot" no longer matter!
3. Once in the actual car line and off the road please remove your seat belt and untangle yourself from it!
4. Please place your backpack on your back!
5.  Please grasp the door handle firmly!
6. "I love you, have a good day!" from me!
7. We are now 4-5 cars from drop point you should be fully prepared - as I roll into drop position and come to a stop you will immediately disembark from the car, immediately close the door and step away from the vehicle!
8. You go to school and within seconds I am out of the way of the next car in line!

LOVE IT PEOPLE and we will all be happy!

January 17, 2012

Booty Up!

Yeah - that is exactly what the tag read on the Wranglers that I opened!
Yeah - my kids died laughing (well maybe not died so much as coming close to being murdered for laughing so hard at my expense)
Yeah - Chris snickered (he knew better than to laugh out loud) and asked "What the heck did you buy those for?"
Yeah - I have the need, desire or place to wear "Booty Up" jeans like I  have the need, desire or place for another pair of shit covered boots, another kid, a hole in the head - well you get the idea!

My disclaimer:  I am going to be brutally honest I can't help it - it's just who I am!

When I got the email that asked if anyone wore Wrangler jeans, had a kid or husband who wore Wranglers because Wrangler was looking to give jeans away for review - 3 men's, 3 kids and 3 women's - I got excited - I wear Wranglers everyday and so does the boy - I shot back an email faster than you can say "Wrangler butts drive me nuts" that included my make, model, size and length, I also included the boys just in case they weren't interested in my butt driving anyone nuts!

So these are the style of Wranglers I wear everyday:
2 things - Leave it to a kid to take a picture of my butt for no reason and then me to actually need it and post it here (I am shuddering) and I do not chew skoal that is a camera lens cover in my back pocket!
I love them!  They fit my, shall we say slightly odd shape, "healthy size thighs and butt" with a tiny waist (comparatively speaking of course), they aren't exactly "teacher, mom" jeans but they do come up high enough in the back that I am not mistaken for a plumber!  I found them one day at Tractor Supply, they are reasonably priced for the way I abuse jeans, they look good with boots and tennis shoes, they are at least 99% cotton (very important to me - I can't stand spandex and polyester in my jeans) - I won't lie - I own 5 pairs already and was pretty psyched to own 6! 

But when the package came, inside was a completely different kind of jean than anything I am accustomed to:

while they are nothing like I normally wear they weren't all bad - a little dressy for me as I don't often wear dressy jeans but once everyone passed the snickering stage over the "booty up" tag they all actually said that they did look good on me - way too long - I order a 36 length in my other jeans so they are long enough for my boots these in a 36 were wwwaaayyy too long and I wasn't wearing flats either!

So while I probably won't be wearing these too often and won't be ordering another pair I still love Wrangler jeans -

 I wear mine for work, play and

 for as dressed up as I get!

Now head on over to The Real Farmwives of America Blog and see who else got some Wrangler jeans to try!

While Wrangler did provide me with the jeans to review the thoughts, opinions and pictures are all mine!

I will end with this Wrangler butt so that there is no adverse effects to the previous pictures!

January 13, 2012

Things On My Mind!

It's Friday night, it's cold out, I have a cold, I am a little grouchy and I can't turn my wandering mind off:

*Top Producer came in the mail today - if I sat down and read all the farm magazines that come thru this house I would never get anything else done so I usually just flip thru one now and then but this issue caught my attention for more time than the standard glimpse:

- the article entitled "High-Profile Crash of A Titan" caught my attention - I can't gracefully and politically correctly (is that even a word) articulate my thoughts on this article or the farm it is about - that is bugging me - I am usually very vocal with my opinion and I have an opinion on this I just can't formulate intelligently how I feel.

- so did the article "Changes In Child Work Orders" - I know this has been talked about for a while now - I try to stay away from controversial and political stuff - this blog was for me, a way to remember the things that I am afraid I will forget during this time I feel like a chicken with it's head cut off - anyway this has been in the back of my mind for sometime (scary place back there).  I have read several different articles on this issue, as well as blog posts - one caught my attention and made me smile:

It was "Confessions of a FarmWife" by Emily

Her wording of the possible citation issued to her husband for having their young daughter with him on the farm:
"Six year old and 36 year old cited for spending time together, outside, exerting energy and breathing in fresh air, all while using muscles and brain power to climb up and down off of equipment, through fences and over green pastures."

Two post I wrote along the lines of kids working on the farm -
Raising Kids on the Farm for Indiana Family of Farmers Blog
Earning Their Keep

*Nyquil - as I write this my nose is stuffed up and I just want to go to bed am considereing going ahead and taking Nyquil and just call it a night - it's 7pm on a Friday night, yeah I am old and I am OK with that but the big problem is that if I take it this early it may not keep my nose clear all night so the big issue is what time to take the second dose in the middle of the night and will it coincide with my middle of the night restroom break so that I don't have to get out of bed twice!!!!!!

*The kids have a 3 day weekend and they are already bored - seriously - this drives me insane and now they will be bored and bugging me for the next 3 days -

January 11, 2012

Sweet 16

I can hardly believe that 16 years ago today Casey Elizabeth Campbell blessed us with her presence - a week late and forced out  induced to join us in this world because I was sick of carrying her for the sake of her and me!

I can remember the first ultrasound - Chris was determined we were not going to find out what she was - it was to be a surprise!  I said "It's a surprise now or a surprise later - it is still a surprise and I vote for now" - I was vetoed - for a whole 15 minutes!  During the ultrasound the technician asked if we would like to know, Chris said no, she said well I will put the picture and sex in a sealed envelope and if you decide you want to know you can look!  Yeah we made it out to the car and he says "Give me the damn thing I can't wait" - we learned we were having a girl!

I can remember trying to agree on a name - we bought a baby name book, two highlighters (different colors) and we took turns reading names and highlighting which ones we liked.  He loved the name Casey - I loved the name Elizabeth, I wanted to call you Lizzie - he was afraid you would murder us one day (no joke, his words) so thanks to Lizzie Bordon killing her parents she was given the name Casey Elizabeth!

I can remember the week she was actually due we had tons of snow and winds - just east of our house the road was actually closed for several days but not the road between our house and town - thanks to Chris and his Dad!  They spent hour after hour in the tractor clearing a path in the road to where the snow plows were clearing just in case I went into labor - My SIL was positive that we were going to be on the cover of The Daily Journal because Chris was going to have to rush me to the hospital in the tractor with the blade clearing the roads as we went!  Chris was so disappointed that a week later my Dr. decided to induce and told us what time to check into the hospital!  That evening we got in the truck, stopped for dinner at AppleBee's, stopped at CVS and picked up some Carmex and fingernail clippers and headed to the hospital - not near the exciting rush to the hospital he had envisioned - but he was fully prepared as he had a whole Ziploc bag full of change for the snack machine - you know something to do while I was just laying in bed waiting!

I can remember the day we brought her home - as we were getting ready to leave the hospital we asked the Dr. how warm her room needed to be (we didn't have forced heat upstairs) - he said "at least 60 -63 degrees" - oops the thermometer we had placed in her crib the night before read 54 degrees that morning - her first stop after leaving the hospital would be Wal-Mart to buy a space heater!  After that we came home, we walked in the house, we went upstairs and laid her on the bed between us and looked at each other and said "Now what?" - I can remember we kept thinking it was harder and more paperwork to buy a car than to bring a helpless newborn home from the hospital and at least the car would of came with an owners manual!

And today she is 16 - 16 years old!  It's a miracle we both made it to this day, I am so blessed to have her and I love her with all of my heart - she is definitely one of my top 3 favorite kids!  I wanted to throw a huge sweet 16 party - she nixed that, I said how about having a few friends over - she said "nah", I said let me make you a big cake - she said "could you just make a yellow cake with choc. icing out of a can?"!  The other day I said "OH MY GOSH K you are going to be 16 this week do you feel . . . .anything?" she said "Nope" - takes after her father in the emotions (or lack of) department!

Her smile and laughter are contagious, always have been!

Happy Birthday Doodle Bug - you are one of my favorite people, aw what the heck - today you are my favorite!!!!!!

January 10, 2012

Seriously Amazing Mac & Cheese!

I'm not kidding, I could eat a whole 9x13 of this stuff by myself - and low fat it ain't - so you just have to prepare this, eat this and don't think about what it might be doing to your thighs - because once you taste this and then devour the whole pan you will think to yourself - "OMG what have I done" then see that if you scrap the pan you can get one more bite and say "who cares it was totally worth it!"

disclaimer - Do not judge the taste of this dish by my pictures, these pics do not do this mac & cheese justice!  I am also not responsible for any addiction problems that may arise once you make this!

The original recipe for this I got from a great friend (Hi Emily) but as she knows I don't follow recipes very well and so tweeked this until I got it just to my liking - but have no fear Emily I will post a recipe with measurements and everything at the bottom!

I am a really creamy mac & cheese person and for me the way I make this is perfect!

Go to the fridge and grab all this stuff:

Your gonna need milk, heavy cream, one egg, a whole stick of butter, Velveeta and just start grabbing any and all kinds of cheese you have!  I happen to have Colby Jack, Fontina, Gouda and Havarti - but I have also used Parm (fresh grated as well as the stuff in the green can), cream cheese, American, all kinds of cheddar, mozzarella - if it's cheese toss it in!

Alright - start by cooking your macaroni - I use 3 cups for a 9x13 pan!

Then get a big bowl and start mixing everything else - start with your egg and give it a good whisk, add your milk and heavy cream, toss in all your cheeses and chunk up the whole stick of butter - toss in your cooked and drained macaroni!

Go ahead, don't think about it just give it a good stir and put it in your 9x13 and cover with foil - pop it in the oven and let it cook for about an hour - if you can wait that long!  In the meantime take all those great cheese's and slice a few up, pour yourself a beer, tell the kids you are in the middle of cooking supper not to bother you then sit down, surf the net and enjoy your snack while supper cooks!

When you take the foil off - just look at all that melted butter (look don't think) - if you like yours with a little brown color and crispy top be sure you take the foil off for the last little bit of cooking - but me I like it to melt in my mouth so I don't brown

Seriously Amazing - I'm Not Kidding!

My Favorite Mac&Cheese

3 cups dry macaroni - cooked and drained

2 cups milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup Velveeta
2 - 2 1/2 cups other cheese - any combination you like
1 stick of butter
salt & pepper

Combine all ingredients, put in a 9x13, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour!

Now if you will excuse me I am going to go make this for supper - wasn't the plan but after writing this it is all I can think about!

Oh and if your still here (hello are you still with me or are you already headed to your kitchen?) you should head over to Two Maids a Milking and check out Amy's Mac & Cheese recipe and the other links!

January 7, 2012

It's just one of the things we do!

Drive to the middle of Illinois (sometimes Iowa) to look at farm equipment - I hadn't really given it to much thought till this particular trip when the oldest announces from the backseat of the truck:
"These are my favorite vacations!"

VACATION - really? Has she never met her father (and I swear it is the man riding in the truck with us) - unless you are going somewhere for more than 3 nights, you are out of corn country and you haven't been there multiple times NEVER refer to it as a vacation - he will then consider driving to the middle of corn country to look at farm equipment your yearly vacation - he has this mindset (and the whole financial thing) that he doesn't have time for a vacation hardly once a year - so one should never use the term "vacation" unless you are on an actual non-agricultural work related excursion!

As soon as she said this last night I started having one of my conversations where I imagine someone is actually talking to me and I am answering them:

"Yes yes we do take our children on vacations, oh yes nice ones to. . .  oh gosh let's see we have been to Disney World several times, met Mickey Mouse, rode rides, princesses the whole works, skiing in Colorado in 4-5 different resort towns, Mt Rushmore and the Black Hills, all of the museums in Chicago, Myrtle Beach, Daytona Beach, lots of historical learning experiences, Yellowstone National Park was an amazing experience for the 5 of us . . . .  what? Of course we always take the children, it is so fun for us to experience these great places with our kids!"

The statement above always reminds me of our Chicago expericene:
2 years ago I talked Chris into taking us to Chicago over spring break - just for a couple of days - I wanted the kids to experience staying in a city and see the great museums - Wow that was not one of my better ideas - 3 particular things happened on that trip that really let me know what kind of people we are and what we enjoy doing as a family!  My goal was 4 days in the city - plenty of time to look in museums, walk around the city, soak in the atmosphere! I knew it might be chilly but it was downright freezing, we suck at figuring out public transportation (but did try), almost refuse to pay for cab rides - I will never live down making everyone walk from the aquarium to Navy Pier in 32 degree weather along the shore of Lake Michigan with a gusty lake wind blowing - it sucked or well it blew!

1. We rode the train into the city, walked out the door of Union Station, looked around, Chris started studying the map (he is a map connoisseur often referred to as MapBoy) couldn't figure out where he was or which direction was North - whipped out his cell phone and in the middle of the sidewalk was swinging his phone around trying to calibrate the compass and cussing loudly  (which is not characteristic of him, me definitely - but not him)!

This is truly how I felt the whole time we were in the city - how my kids always take pics of me in situations like these blow my mind!

2. Once when trying to find our way around the city we were crossing the canal for the 4th time when Emi Lou says rather loudly "Haven't we crossed this creek like a hundred times" - I just stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, laughed hysterically and said "Yes we have crossed this several times but I think they call it a canal in the city not a creek!"

3. On the morning of day 4 Chris wakes up at 6am turns on every light in the hotel room announces loudly "Get up, get ready, pack your stuff - I have decided we are driving 7 more hours west to the middle of Iowa to look at a tractor - we are done with this city!"  The kids screamed for joy and in less than 30 minutes were dressed, packed and sitting in the truck waiting for me yelling "HURRY UP MOM - let's go look at a tractor!" - and to I'll be honest I was right behind them ready to leave and never see Chicago again!

We took more pictures the 2 days that we went to look at the tractor than the 3 days we were in Chicago!

This is seriously a posed picture in the lot at the John Deere store!

Chris and I both test drove and every kid got to ride!

We stopped by the combine factory as well - Chris and I have toured the factory's on other trips but all kids aren't old enough yet for tours but they wanted stop there anyway!  That is actually a big trip that we are all planning the minute the youngest turns 12 - a whirl wind John Deere tour of the factory's - we like to dream big!

But for this ultimate agriculture (not vacation) get away we are looking for a drop deck semi trailer for a bulk seed handler and also taking in Springfield, Illinois and learning all about Honest Abe and truly having a blast doing it our way!

Touching Abe's nose for luck!

Posing with the Lincoln Family in front of the White House!

And of course pretending to pick Abe's nose!

We are nothing but class!

January 6, 2012

It's the happ-happiest time of the year!

At least for Chris - he has 3 main seasons:  Planting, Harvesting and Tax!

Oh how he loves tax season (sadly I am not being sarcastic), it makes him giddy - no really it does, there is no other word for it!

"A culmination of a year's worth of numbers coming together in so many forms - balance sheets, income statements, accrual vs. cash, 1099's, w-2's, cash flows, oh my - and then they all NEED to be analyzed, re-analyzed, over analyzed and then there is the over analyzation of the over analyzation!" 
Now try saying 'over analyzation' three times fast!

This year has been particularly interesting as we have ventured out on the edge and bought a new software program to keep our books on!

Just a brief background:  When we got married (20 years ago) Chris had an Apple desktop computer and was keeping his books on it using Farm Ledger Pro, about 2 years into marriage we bought a new computer and delved into the world of Horizon for Agriculture bookkeeping - a DOS based program - now 18 years later our farm books are entering the Windows world with RedWing CenterPoint Accounting for Agriculture - I don't believe I have ever seen Chris this excited (sadly once again no sarcasm)  - I swear the other day I heard him giggling in his office, he came skipping into the kitchen to inform me of all the "amazing" things that you can do when you right click with a mouse - no joke - I just smiled and patted him on the head!

Chris loves numbers and book keeping, I swear he could find out exactly how much I spent on deodorant in the year 2006 and least we never forget the time 15 years ago when I was entering expenses into the computer and I accidentally applied a tux rental for a friends wedding into a business deductible account that he caught only after the taxes were filed - my gosh we could of been audited for deducting that expense as a business expense when clearly that was not business!

We do have a friendly competition this time of year the 'nane nane boo boo i spent less than you' award and bragging rights to the individual who spent the least amount of money last year on medical expenses - I know we are just too fun!  We have self employed health insurance - nuff said!  Nothing is covered - no medicines, no co-pays - everything is out of pocket we (luckily because we are healthy!) never come close to meeting a deductible as they range somewhere between $5000 - $11,000 per person - in January when we add up the expenses for each persons dr. visits and prescriptions are added up we declare a winner - I don't win but am looking forward to inching ahead of Emi Lou next year as we are pretty sure she is going to have to have her tonsils out this year which will obviously edge her out for the 2012 award and put me one place higher - but then after that she may sweep 2013 and beyond as the only thing she ever goes for is Strep - which she gets if someone even whispers the word in a mile radius of her!

Yesterday Chris and I spent the day looking for a solid manure spreader - covering parts of Ohio and the east side of Indiana, yes it was harder to find than you think - I heard and said the phrase 'slop gate' more times yesterday then in the last 42 years combined - now say 'slop gate' three times fast - we finally found one in North Vernon and as I wrote the check Chris just kept saying he couldn't wait to get home and enter the check in Center Point and spreader into equipment (once again no sarcasm just pure excitement)!